Question: What is your opinion regarding what Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah (Shaykh Al-Islaam) says in his book “Iqtidaa’ Al-Siraat Al-Mustaqeem”, “There is no disagreement among scholars except in respect to taking oaths by the Prophet (peace be upon him).” There are two juristic opinions cited from the Math-hab (School of Jurisprudence) of Imaam Ahmad. It is related that Imaam Ahmad said about the issue of Tawassul (supplicating to Allaah by means) through the Prophet in Al-Maruthee’s book, “Mansak” that taking an oath by the Prophet (peace be upon him) is valid. However, the sound view states that taking an oath by the Prophet (peace be upon him) is invalid, and thus ineffective.
Imaam Ahmad also says in “Majmoo’ Al-Fataawaa” that if we do not ask Allaah by means of supplicating to them (prophets and righteous men) nor by means of our deeds, but by virtue of their personalities, that will not be a reason for answering our supplications. Therefore, we are performing Tawassul through a fruitless means. That is why we find no authentic report from the Prophet (peace be upon him) or even a narration transmitted from the Salaf (righteous predecessors) in support of this practice. However, in “Mansak”, Al-Maruthee related from Imaam Ahmad one supplication including Tawassul by the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Answer: What is reported by Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allaah be merciful to him) from the leading jurists in his two books on the topic is variance in wording while bearing the same meaning… read more here.