Ruling on making vows at the shrines of righteous people

Question: I am a secondary school student, and since my tender age I have seen my family in Sudan flocking to the shrines of shaykhs to rub them, seeking their blessings, and make vows by them. I have denounced such scenes within myself, but I could not declare it, because in their view I am considered a Kaafir (disbeliever) and that they can poison me, and definitely can do me harm. For they claim that these people have Karaamaat (extraordinary events performed at the hands of pious people) as they are Awliyaa’ (pious people), and that most of them claimed to have seen Allah. I used to resent this inside me, until I came to know some people from Ansaar Al-Sunnah Al-Muhamadiyyah; they showed me that these people’s claims are only delusions and Shirk. They also taught me that these people are followers of Bid‘ah (innovation in religion) and that every Bid‘ah is a going astray that leads to the Fire. I also came across some books of theirs on Tawheed (Monotheism), written by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab. However, I cannot afford to get them due to my straitened circumstances, so I just borrow them and return them after a short while.

I hope that you, as a father and a Daa‘ee (caller) to the truth, will explain to me in a personal letter, your opinion on this group and send me some books, if possible, to enlighten me. And Allaah is the Knower of intentions.

Answer: Making vows by the shrines of shaykhs is Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship), because making vows is an act of ‘Ibaadah (worship), and so dedicating a vow to other than Allaah is a major form of Shirk… read more here.

Undesirability of making vows

Question: Some people vow to give Sadaqah (voluntary charity) or offer a sacrifice to attain what they want; some in hope of recovery, others of restoring a lost right, and so on. Some devote their vows to Allaah sincerely or for the sake of Allaah’s Love,others offer the vow to other people. Please, advise me on this matter and clarify the correct way of offering a vow. May Allaah admit you to the best of life and Hereafter.

Answer: Firstly, vowing is an undesirable act for a Muslim, for it is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said… read more here.

Seeking help from and making vows to the Awliyaa’

Question: What is the ruling on seeking help from the Awliyaa’ (pious people), offering vows to them, considering them intercessors with Allaah, making Tawaaf (circumambulation) around their graves, seeking blessings from the stones thereof, and shading them ?

Answer: Seeking the Awliyaa’s help at their graves, vowing to them or considering them intercessors to Allaah and asking them to do so is Shirk Akbar (major form of associating others in worship with Allaah) that drives a person away from Islam and admits them permanently into Hellfire if they die while believing in this… read more here.

Vowing to offer lawful food or animals for the sake of other than Allaah

Question: Making vows for other than Allaah is void. However, is it valid, for instance, to vow a sheep for Shaykh Muhyee Al-Deen or `Abdul-Qaadir Al-Jeelaanee and then give the meat to the poor, claiming that the Shaykh receives the reward and so he blesses whoever made the vow? If not, is it lawful to eat the meat of these vowed sheep? Does this fall under the saying of Allaah, …and that on which Allaah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering, (that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allaah because the vowed animal is Taahir (purified)? Can that Taahir animal be unlawful because of a void vow?

Answer: First of all, vowing and slaughtering are acts of `Ibaadah (worship) that should not be offered to other than Allaah (Exalted be He). Whoever vows or slaughters for other than Allaah commits Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship)… read more here.

Making vows at the shrines of pious people

Question: What is the ruling on people who vow to sacrifice for anyone other than Allaah, namely, for the dead. Yet, at the same time, they say, for instance, “O Lord, if my son or my daughter succeeds, I will sacrifice a sheep for you, O shaykh so and so”?

Answer: Making vows to anyone other than Allaah is an act of Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship). Likewise, offering sacrifices to anyone other than Allaah is also an act of Shirk. Allaah (Glorified be He) says… read more here.

Vows for other than Allaah

Question: What is the ruling on making a vow to other than Allaah?

Answer: Making vows to other than Allaah is Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) because it involves glorification of those to whom vows are made and is an attempt to draw closer to them through that… read more here.

Believing in the permissibility of making vows and slaughtering animals for the dead

Question: If a father performs the five daily Salaat (Prayers) and maintains the pillars of Islaam but believes that vowing and slaughtering to those buried in the graves and shrines is permissible, can his son use his money to secure his future or inherit him after his death?

Answer: The belief of a Mukallaf (legally competent person) that vowing or slaughtering sacrificial animals to those buried in graves is permissible, is considered Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) which takes him out of the fold of Islaam… read more here.

Vows: An exclusive Right of Allaah

Question: I would like to ask about making vows to other than Allaah the Exalted. Some claim that vows can be made only to Allaah, while to any other being they are considered Kufr (disbelief) and Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship), because it is a form of worship, when dedicated to other than Allaah it becomes Kufr. Another group claims that making vows to people is a righteous deed which brings reward to those who do so. What is the truth in this regard?

Answer: Making vows is an act of worship which is an exclusive right of Allaah. It is impermissible to dedicate any share of it to other than Him. If a person makes vows to anyone else, they have dedicated a form of worship, which is an exclusive right of Allaah, to other than Him… read more here.