Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh on Asking the Dead to Intercede

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

This is an answer given by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh to the issue of requesting the supplication of the deceased. The shaykh was asked (during his explanation of al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah, in the printed version: 2/1029, Dar al-Mawaddah, Egypt):

من سأل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أن يدعو له وأن يطلب له المغفرة من الله بعد موته، هل هذا شرك؟

The one who asks the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) to supplicate for him and to ask for his forgiveness from Allaah after his (the Prophet’s) death, is this shirk (an act of polytheism)?

The shaykh’s answer:

نعم، هو شرك أكبر لأن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا يُدعى بعد موته، فطلب الدعاء من الميت، وطلب الدعاء بالإغاثة أو الاستسقاء؛ يعني أن يدعو الله أن يغيث، أو أن يدعو الله أن يغفر، أن يدعو الله أن يعطي ونحو ذلك، هذا كله داخل في لفظ الدعاء والله – عز وجل – قال {وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا} [الجن:18].

Yes, it is major shirk because the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) is not to be called upon after his death. Requesting supplication from the dead  (for them to) request rescue and sending of rain, meaning, that he (the deceased) supplicates to Allaah that He grants relief or he supplicates to Allaah to forgive (the person making the request), that he supplicates to Allaah to give (to that person) and what is like this, all of it is included in the meaning of the word “du’aa” (supplication), and Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic said, “And the mosques are for Allaah, so do not invoke anyone alongside Allaah” [72:18].

 والذي يقول إنّ هذه الصورة وهي طلب الدعاء تخرج عن الطلب الذي به يكون الشرك شركًا فإنه ينقض أصل التوحيد كله في هذا الباب، فكل أنواع الطلب؛ طلب الدعاء يعني طلب الدعاء من الميت، طلب المغفرة من الميت، أو طلب الدعاء من الميت أن يدعو الله أن يغفر، أو طلب الإغاثة من الميت أو طلب الإعانة أو نحو ذلك كلها باب واحد هي طلب، والطلب دعاء فداخلة في قوله تعالى {وَمَنْ يَدْعُ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ لَا بُرْهَانَ لَهُ بِهِ فَإِنَّمَا حِسَابُهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الْكَافِرُونَ} [المؤمنون:117] ، وفي قوله {وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا} ، وفي قوله {وَالَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ مَا يَمْلِكُونَ مِنْ قِطْمِيرٍ} [فاطر:13] ، ونحو ذلك من الآيات.

And the one who says that this form, which is to Continue reading

Humbling Oneself and Rejecting Popularity

[ The twelfth and final part of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Humbling Oneself and Rejecting Popularity

The last point of guidance that we will take from the fountains of Imam Ahmad that do not dry up, is the statement of Muhammad ibn Hasan ibn Haaroon, “I saw that when Aboo ‘Abdillaah walked the streets, he hated that someone would walk behind him.”

Furthermore, ‘Abdullaah, the son of Imam Ahmad, said, “When he went out to Jumu’ah Prayer, my father would not allow anyone to follow behind him, and he used to stop until the people following him would pass him up.” Continue reading

The Effect of Knowledge on One’s Writings

[ Part Eleven of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

The Effect of Knowledge on One’s Writings

‘Abdullaah, the son of Imam Ahmad, said, “A baby was born to my father. ‘Abdul-A’laa gave me a letter of congratulations to give to my father.” ‘Abdul-A’laa was one of the scholars of hadeeth at that time. “He read it,” continued ‘Abdullaah, “And then tossed it aside.”

“This is not the writing of a scholar, nor a muhaddith (hadeeth narrator),” said Imam Ahmad, “This is the merely the writing of an average writer.”

Imam Ahmad was teaching his son a lesson, detesting what this scholar wrote, as no knowledge could be felt in his writing. Continue reading

Seeking Safety and Good Health When Supplicating

[ Part Ten of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Seeking Safety and Good Health When Supplicating

Al-Khallaal was a student of Imam Ahmad. I tried to bring a statement from each one of Imam Ahmad’s students who narrated something noteworthy, so if I did not fully accomplish this, then know that his history was rich, his sayings were many, and his school deserves that you study it and reflect over it. You will find that he was truly the imam of Ahlus-Sunnah in his speech and actions.

Al-Khallaal said, “I heard Ahmad ibn Hanbal saying, ‘I had memorized the Quran. Then when I began seeking the narrations, I became busy.'” When he began seeking and memorizing the narrations, he became too busy to keep track of the Quran, and forgot some of it due to his occupation with the narrations. Continue reading

Seeking Knowledge Until Death

[ Part Nine of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Seeking Knowledge Until Death

Imam Ahmad had two sons, ‘Abdullaah and Saalih. They were half-brothers, meaning that each of them had a different mother. Saalih, the son of Imam Ahmad, said, “A man saw my father carrying a mih-barah.” A mih-barah was a wooden inkwell that students used to carry along with their pens.

He said, “A man saw my father was carrying a mih-barah, and said, ‘O Abaa ‘Abdillaah!’ Look at how the all the people were fascinated by him, even the elders of the people! He said, “O Abaa ‘Abdillaah! You have reached this position, you are the imam of the Muslims!” He had a problem seeing Imam Ahmad carry his mih-barah as the young students would carry it, or that he would still read books or shoulder the same responsibilities that the youth did.

Imam Ahmad replied with a statement that nullified this man’s whole understanding. He said, “With the mih-barah all the way to the maq-barah (the graveyard).” What did he mean? Continue reading

Memorizing the Quran

[ Part Eight of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Memorizing the Quran

From the noteworthy sayings of Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have Mercy on him) is his statement, “‘Azeezun ‘alayya that the dunyaa melts the hearts of men whose chests comprehend the Quran!” He said (repeating), “It is hard for me to accept that the dunyaa could melt the hearts of men whose chests comprehend the Quran.”

If a man is able to carry (memorize) the Quran with him by heart, then verily Allaah has given him a great bounty indeed. On the Day of Judgment it will be said to the recitor of the Quran: “Read, ascend, and recite with rhythm as you used to recite rhythmically in the dunyaa! For verily your place will be determined by the last verse you recite.” [1] Continue reading

Praying at Night

[ Part Seven of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Praying at Night

One of Imaam Ahmad’s students, ‘Abdus-Samad ibn Sulaymaan, said something that I mentioned earlier in this lecture, “I stayed with Ahmad ibn Hambal. He left for me a container of water. In the morning he found that I had not used it. He said, ‘A companion of the narrations, and he has no activity in the night?!’ I told him, ‘I am a traveler.’ He replied, ‘Even as a traveler!'”

This is an outstanding lesson from Imaam Ahmad! The student of knowledge must keep himself upon some rites of worship, he must have an eagerness to get close to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. Continue reading

Identifying Religious Innovations and Staying Away From Them & the Importance of Hadeeth

[ Part Six of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Identifying Religious Innovations and Staying Away From Them & the Importance of Hadeeth

From Imaam Ahmad’s other noteworthy sayings, may Allaah have Mercy on him, is his statement, “I do not know any people more in need of learning hadeeth than the people in our time.”

They asked him, “And why is that?”

He replied, “Innovation has spread, so whoever does not have the Sunnah, or the narrations, then he will fall into innovation.” Continue reading

Loving and Hating for the Right Reasons

[ Part Five of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Loving and Hating for the Right Reasons

From the noteworthy sayings of Imaam Ahmad about the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah is his statement, “Love the people of the Sunnah according to the degree that they are upon the Sunnah.” This means that your love should be based on the Sunnah, that you do not love for petty reasons, nor for some worldly reasons. Real love is for those who are upon the Sunnah.

It could be that a person of the Sunnah, a person of the correct ‘aqeedah, does some evil things. However, due to his correct ‘aqeedah, his clarity, and his submission to Allaah’s Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), you find that he is a person whose heart is free of innovation and doubts. Continue reading

Biography: Shaykh Saalih ibn ‘Abdil-‘Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful…

From a family of grounded knowledge, Shaykh Saalih ibn ‘Abdil-‘Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh is the grandson of the great scholar, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem Aal ash-Shaykh (d.1389).  Shaykh Muhammad was the grandson of Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Hasan (d.1285), the author of Fat-hul-Majeed, an outstanding explanation of Kitaab at-Towheed of his grandfather, Shaykh al-Islaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (d.1206).  May Allaah have Mercy on all of them.

He was born and raised in Riyadh in 1378 (1958 on the Christian calendar).  He studied Quran Sciences at Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University, where his exceptional level of knowledge stood out, and thus he became a teacher there and taught for about 15 years. Continue reading

Recognizing the High Status of Islamic Scholars

[ Part Four of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Recognizing the High Status of the Scholars

From his other noteworthy sayings, may Allaah have Mercy on him, elevate his and our positions, and reward him with the best reward, the most plentiful and loftiest one, “Whatever the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah have detested, then it is evil.” He (Imam Ahmad) said (repeating), “Whatever the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah have detested, then it is evil.” He meant that the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah are to be referred to in affairs of what is to be considered evil and what is not.

So whatever the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah have detested in the issues of ‘aqeedah, then it is evil. Whatever the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah have detested with regards to manners, then it is evil. Whatever the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah have detested in affairs of ordering righteousness and forbidding evil, then it is evil. This means that a man must return to the scholars of the Sunnah if he wants to know about the affairs of the Sunnah, about the proper understanding of righteousness and evil. Continue reading

Living in Fear of Allaah

[ Part Three of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Living in Fear of Allaah

Al-Mar-roothee [1] was one of Imam Ahmad’s companions and students, and he relayed many issues from him. He said to Imam Ahmad, “O Abaa ‘Abdilllaah! There are so many people that call on you!”

He looked at him and said, “I fear this may be something that gradually leads me to something evil.” Continue reading

Speaking Only About Beneficial Matters

[ Part Two of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Speaking Only About Beneficial Matters

Aboo Daawood Sulaymaan ibn Ash’ath, the author of Sunan Abee Daawood, was a student of Imam Ahmad who related many issues from him, issues that are published today. He said, describing the Imam, “I have not seen anyone like Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal He never used to talk about the things that the people talk loosely about from the worldly affairs, but if some affair of knowledge was mentioned, he would talk.” Continue reading

Benefits From the Life and Works of Imaam Ahmad – Introduction to the Series

[ The introduction to a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

The praise is for Allaah, the One who keeps a group of scholars available during the times when there is no messenger, scholars who bring those who have strayed back to the Guidance, curing their blindness and bringing them back to life using Allaah’s Book. For how many have they brought back to life from those killed by Iblees? And how many strayed and then were guided by the scholars?

What great effects they have on the people! And how filthy are the effects of the people on them! They expel from the Religion of Allaah the perversions of the people of falsehood, the twisted explanations of the ignoramuses, and the plagiarism of those who have strayed, those who bear the flags of innovation and dispute over the Book of Allaah. Continue reading

Dedicating One’s Youth to Worship

[ Part One of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Dedicating One’s Youth to Worship

Since his childhood, Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have Mercy on him) could be seen with signs of nusuk on him. [The term nusuk will be explained shortly.]  Ma’roof Al-Karkhee (may Allaah have Mercy on him) said, “I saw Ahmad ibn Hanbal when he was a young boy, and he had signs of nusuk on him. I used to hear him making statements that were full of benefit.”

This statement describes how he was upon guidance even as a young boy. He used to be seen with signs of nusuk on him. What is meant by nusuk is worship and acts of obedience. The effects of worship and obedience are not only physical ones seen in the appearance and dress, but their effects are also found in one’s speech, manners, in the acts of worship and obedience themselves, and in one’s preference for the next life over this one.

Imam Ahmad said about his own self, “I did not marry until after I reached 40 years of age.” His companions said that this was because he used to be busy traveling to seek knowledge before that. He went to Makkah, and from there to San’aa’. There is a story about this trip:

He set out with his companion, Yahyaa ibn Ma’een, for Hajj. He said to Yahyaa, “When I finish Hajj, verily I am going to Yemen to meet the scholar of Yemen, the scholar of Hadeeth, ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ibn Hammaam As-San’aanee.” As-San’aanee died in the year 210 after Hijrah.

When they reached Makkah, they found that ‘Abdur-Razzaaq was making Hajj that year as well. So Yahyaa knew who he was and met him. He saw him going around the Ka’bah, and since he knew him, he went and greeted him. Yahyaa said to ‘Abdur-Razzaaq, and they knew each other, “This is Ahmad ibn Hanbal” So ‘Abdur-Razzaaq became happy about this and said, “It has reached us that he is a person who has a lot of goodness.”

When they prayed their two rak’ahs after making tawaaf, Yahyaa said to Imam Ahmad, “Ahmad, our provisions for the journey to San’aa’ have been used. And here is ‘Abdur-Razzaaq, so let us stay with him so we can take some narrations from him.”

Ahmad said to Yahyaa ibn Ma’een, “My intention is still present, and I will not oppose it. So I will continue on to San’aa’.” This shows the effects of his commitment to the hardships of seeking knowledge. A trip to San’aa’ in that time was not made in cars or airplanes or the likes, rather it was only made with great hardships, the realities of which can not be described.

Ma’roof said, “I saw Ahmad ibn Hanbal when he was a young boy and he had signs of nusuk on him.” In reality, this is what we should see in our children, that they work hard to correct themselves in their youth, in their early years. Because at this, if they do not build upon this foundation with what is correct, with acts of worship and obedience, then it will be very difficulty after that, except for those whom Allaah, the Mighty and Exalted, excludes.

Whoever holds to His Religion in his youth, firmness will return to him. Someone being devout or obedient is not just a claim or a verbal ascription to something, nor is it something seen only from the outside. Rather devoutness in the Religion entails one taking on serious rituals, he must worship, and he must be obedient.

This leads us to the story when Imam Ahmad once hosted one of his students in Hadeeth, ‘Abdus-Samad ibn Sulaymaan. When he was hosting him in his house, and it came time to sleep, he brought him some water to make wudhoo’ from or for general use. Then he went to sleep. When the morning came, Imam Ahmad saw that all of the water was still there, so he asked about it. ‘Abdus-Samad replied, “I did not use the water.” Imam Ahmad said, “A student of the narrations who does not do anything at night?!”

He meant, “All the way to the morning, you did not pray in the night?! You did not worship!? You did not even pray two rak’ahs?!” ‘Abdus-Samad replied, “Verily I am a traveler.” He said, “Even as a traveler!” Meaning, “Where is the witr? Where is the prayer?”

So without a doubt, if this was important in that day and time for cultivating one’s soul and getting set in the proper direction, then we are in more need of it today. This is the case especially with the youth who seek knowledge, those holding tight to their guidance, those who show outward signs of righteousness, and those who are keen in doing good deeds. [1]

One must keep his soul tied to some acts of worship. No doubt, one must keep his soul tied to some acts of obedience. If you force the soul to be obedient, it will become obedient. If you abandon it, then it will be a soul that gravitates toward wrongdoing.

It has been related that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said (what means):

“Whoever shows enduring patience, Allaah will make him firm upon patience. Whoever seeks knowledge, Allaah will teach him. Whoever hunts for good, he will be given it. Whoever expects evil, he will be made to fall into it.” [2]

Therefore, this description of Imam Ahmad proves that he had an upbringing based on obedience to Allaah and acts of worship, so much so that he used to force his soul to shun many worldly things and to take on great hardships. The result of this was that he established his soul firmly upon obedience to Allaah, the Mighty and Exalted.

FOOTNOTES

[1] This paragraph was updated to correct a mistake in the original translation. (1435-06-23)

[2] The first part of this hadeeth, “Whoever shows enduring patience, Allaah will make him firm upon patience,” it is found in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree, on the authority of Aboo Sa’eed Al-Khudree (may Allaah be pleased with him).

Continue reading this series…
Part Two – Speaking Only About Beneficial Matters

Or go to the Index of articles in this inspiring series.

Translation, Titles, and Footnotes by: Moosaa Richardson

Originally published on Bakkah.net: 1423-05-16

Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad – Index of Articles

The following is an index of all articles in the inspiring series called “Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad” by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him), from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad”.

Introduction

Part One – Dedicating One’s Youth to Worship

Part Two – Speaking Only About Beneficial Matters

Part Three – Living in Fear of Allaah

Part Four – Recognizing the High Status of Islamic Scholars

Part Five – Loving and Hating for the Right Reasons

Part Six – Identifying Religious Innovations and Staying Away From Them & the Importance of Hadeeth

Part Seven – Praying at Night

Part Eight – Memorizing the Quran

Part Nine – Seeking Knowledge until Death

Part Ten – Seeking Safety and Good Health When Supplicating

Part Eleven – The Effect of Knowledge on One’s Writings

Part Twelve – Humbling Oneself and Rejecting Popularity

About the Author: Who is Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh?

Translation, Titles, and Footnotes by: Moosaa Richardson

Originally published on Bakkah.net: 1423-05-16