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Permissible And Prohibited Tawassul. by Taamas111 (m): 3:36pm on January 13
Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.

I want to ask about Tawassul (invoking Allah,
by means of an intermediary), is it
permissible in Islam?

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the
Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of
worship except Allah, and that Muhammad
is His Slave and Messenger.

There are two categories of Tawassul. One is
permissible and the other is prohibited.
The permissible category has three types:

1- Tawassul by means of the Names and
Attributes of Allah; Allah Says (what
· {And to Allah belong the best names, so
invoke Him by them. And leave [the
company of] those who practice
deviation concerning His names.
They will be recompensed for what
they have been doing.} [Quran
· {O you who have believed, fear Allah
and seek the means [of nearness] to
Him and strive in His cause that you
may succeed.} [Quran 5:35]
2- Tawassul to Allah by virtue of a
person’s righteous deeds. Ibn 'Umar, may
Allah be pleased with him,narrated on
authority of the Prophet the story of
the three persons who were blocked inside a
cave by a huge stone and each of them
supplicated Allah to get them out of the cave
by virtue of a good deed he had done . [Al-
Bukhari and Muslim]
3- Tawassul by a righteous living man
supplicating for others. It was narrated on
the authority of ‘Uthmaan Ibn Abi Al-‘Aas ,
may Allah be pleased with him,that a blind
man made Tawassul to Allah The Almighty by
means of the Prophet saying, "I invoke
You by means of Your Prophet … so
make him intercede for me with You". [Abu
Daawood and Ibn Maajah]
This man's saying " make him intercede for
me with You" proves that the meaning of
seeking the Tawassul of the Prophet , is
seeking Tawassul by his supplication and
not with the person of the Prophet .
This is also supported by what ‘Umar Ibn Al-
Khattaab , may Allah be pleased with him,
did when they suffered draught: he sought
the Tawassul of Al-‘Abbaas, the uncle of the
Prophet to supplicate Allah and it rained
with the permission of Allah. [Al-Bukhari].
Had pleading to Allah by means of the
person of the Prophet been permissible,
then they would have made Tawassul by
means of the person of the Prophet ,
after his death as well, as his status and
honor during his life remained the same
after his death.

The prohibited category contains two types:
1. Tawassul that is considered a religious
innovation, such as making Tawassul by
means of the person of the prophets or
righteous persons. The evidence for this is
that Tawassul is an act of worship and all
acts of worship are only done if they are
proven by an authentic text , as indicated by
the previous narration of ‘Umar, may Allah
be pleased with him.
2. Tawassul which is considered an act of
Shirk [associating partners with Allah],
such as making Tawassul by means of
acts of worship (supplicating, vowing,
sacrificing) for the sake of other than
Allah , then alleging that this is for the
purpose of making them (to whom the
act was done) intercede for them with
Allah. Allah Says about polytheists (what
· {We only worship them that they may
bring us nearer to Allah in position}
[Quran 39:3]
· { And they worship other than Allah that
which neither harms them nor
benefits them, and they say, "These
are our intercessors with Allah "}
[Quran 10:18]

Allah Knows best.


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