Question: In times of calamities and disasters, some people invoke the Messenger of Allaah and the Awliya’ (pious people). Also, if they are afflicted with illness, they visit the graves of the Awliyaa’ and seek help from them. Such people claim that Allaah (Exalted be He) removes affliction by virtue of the dead who are buried in these graves. They allegedly ask their help only as a means while keeping in mind that Allaah (Exalted be He) has control over everything. Is such an act counted as Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship)? It is important to note that those people offer Salah (Prayer), recite Qur’aan and do other good deeds.
Answer: What these people are doing is Shirk, similar to that practiced by the people of Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islaamic time of ignorance), who used to invoke and seek help from idols such as: Al-Laat, Al-‘Uzza, Manaat and others, which they glorified, hoping that they would bring them nearer to Allaah (Exalted be He)… read more here.