Vowing to the Shrines of “Shaykhs”

Question 26: 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 Karaamahs (extraordinary events performed at the hands of pious people) as they are Awliya’ (pious people), and that most of them claimed to have seen Allaah. I used to resent this inside me, until I came to know some people from Ansar 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… read more here.

Calling Awliya’ (pious people) and invoking their help when afflicted by some misfortune

Question 12: What is the ruling on those who call upon the Awliya’ (pious people) and invoke their help when afflicted by some misfortune?

Answer: Anyone who calls upon the Awliya’ (pious people) after their death or when they are absent is a Mushrik (one who associates others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship), who is committing an act of major Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or… read more here

Claiming the knowledge of the Unseen (al-Ghayb)

Question 10: 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 Allaah) 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‘aa (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 fortuneteller’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 Awliya’ (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… read more here.

Doing the collective thikr like what is done by the Sufi orders and Tariqas

Question 8: Please give us your Fatwaa concerning a group of people who sit in circles in Masjids (mosques) in which they observe remembrance of Allaah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger. Sometimes in their thikr (Remembrance of Allah), they say things that are contrary to Tawheed (Oneness of Allaeh). An example of what they say is: “Help us, O Messenger of Allaah!” They repeat these words while their leader says: “O, you (the Prophet) are the key of Allaah’s treasures. O you are the Ka`bah of Allaah’s appearance. O you are the throne of Allaah’s leveling and O you are the chair of Allaah’s descent! Suffice us, O Messenger of Allaah. O Allah’s beloved! You are the intended one. It is you, O Messenger of Allaah,” and other similar words of Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship).

Answer: First of all, collective thikr (Remembrance of Allaah) like what is done in the Sufi orders is an act of Bidd`ah (innovation in religion). It was stated that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said… read more here.

Is it permissible to establish Salaah behind anyone who seeks help from the dead?

Question 4: An Imaam of a Masjid (mosque) seeks help from dead people in their graves, claiming that these are the graves of Awliya’ (pious people) to whom we should resort. He says that they may act as mediators between us and Allaah (Exalted be He). Am I allowed to perform congregational Salaah (Prayer) behind this Imaam, despite the fact that I call for Tawheed (belief in the Oneness of Allaah)? Could you please also clarify such questions as making vows, seeking help from other than Allaah, and Tawassul (seeking to draw close to Allaah) through a means?

Answer: If you are sure that the Imam you mentioned seeks help from the dead or vows to them, then it is not permissible to perform Salah behind him because he is considered a Mushrik (one who associates others with Allah in His Divinity or worship); the Salah he performs… read more here.

Anyone who believes that someone besides (or with) Allaah is managing the Universe

Question 1: Is a person who believes that someone other than Allaah is managing the universe considered a Kaafir (disbeliever)?

Answer: Whoever believes this is considered a Kaafir, because he has associated partners with Allaah in His Lordship (al-Ruboobiyyah). He is even worse in disbelief (Kufr) than … read more here.