Question: There is a righteous person or so we call him who lives at my residence.He is still alive and people honor him greatly. He has yearly banquets prepared by the rich men of the tribes for him. One person may come and say: ‘O sir, you will have dinner with me’ as a matter of blessing. Another says: ‘O sir, you will have lunch with me.’ As for the banquet, they slaughter one or two animals. About fifty or sixty people gather at the banquet and recite formulae of Thikr (Remembrance of Allah) in the nightly banquet. The cost of the banquet may be around one hundred pounds. When the pious man leaves, the owner of the banquet follows him and gives him from twenty to fifty pounds. This happens every year by the well-to-do people. He knows that people make Du`a’ (supplication) to Allaah by means of his position or honor in his absence. For example, when a person who thinks highly of this man’s piety, falls into distress, he says: ‘O sir so and so, by your position and dignity with Allaah, relieve my distress, whether it be sickness, fear of a road, or darkness at night, etc. After Du`aa’, the person says: ‘I will give you five pounds when you cure my sickness or relieve my fear.’ All this happens in the absence of this righteous man. On meeting the righteous man, a person says: ‘Here is one pound.’ Thereupon, the pious man says: ‘Give me the five pounds you mentioned in your distress.’ The distressed person wonders as this has happened in the absence of this man.Does this indicate the righteousness of this man? Or is it a fortune-teller’s act, which is forbidden? We hope you explain this matter and identify its essence; is it an act of righteousness, or a forbidden act?
Answer: Firstly, Making Du`aa’ to others instead of Allaah such as Awliyaa’ (pious people) to remove harm, cure the sick, or secure a road is Shirk Akbar (major form of associating others in worship with Allaah) that takes its doer away from the realm of Islaam. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: And the mosques are for Allaah (Alone): so invoke not anyone along with Allaah. He (Exalted be He) says… read more here.