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Between Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi (d. 606H), Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) and Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab (d. 1175H) on Seeking Shafaa'ah From Intermediaries - Part 5
Filed under: Shafaa'ah
Wednesday, April 21 2010 - by Abu.Iyaad
Key topics: Intermediaries Ar-Razi Shafaa'ah Fakhr Ud-Din Ar-Razi

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Background and Introduction

To the right is a cover page for the book "Tafsir ar-Razi", also known as "Mafaateeh al-Ghayb" belonging to Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi who is a prominent Imaam for the Ash'aris of today and he died in 606H. We will be quoting from it further below to prove that "Tawhid al-Ibadah" is not an invention of Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah), nor Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah). Ar-Razi was present in a time when worship of other than Allaah within the Muslim Ummah had spread and thus, even amongst the As'hari scholars prior to this era, there exist clear indications in their books and writings that they (unlike the later Ash'aris) understood Tawhid al-Ibaadah, and explained it, and spoke against its violation, even if they erred in other aspects of creed.

Historically, the innovations of the first century were light innovations (Khawarij, Shi'ah, Qadariyyah, Murji'ah), in that they did not directly relate to Allaah Himself. Those that came in the second century hijrah were more severe in that they related directly to the belief in Allaah Himself (His Names, Attributes, His Uluww, His Speech), and then from this period the introduction of philosophy and gnosticism (mystical esoteric knowledge) led to further deviations. However, it took around six centuries for shirk (associationism) to spread amongst the Muslims on a wide scale. The seeds of this shirk were spread initially by the Ismaa'eelee Baatiniyyah known as Ikhwan al-Safaa (Brethren of Purity) in the third and fourth centuries, and they were given support by the Ubaidiyyah (Shii'ite rulers of Egypt) when they took power. Prior to this time (before the fifth century, i.e. 400H), whilst the variuos sects had deviations in issues of aqidah, the understanding of Tawhid al-Ibaadah was still relatively firm.

This shows that the greater deviations occurred when the people were further away from the era of revelation, and this is simply a cycle of history. This has always occurred after the sending of Prophets and Messengers, and it is indicated in the Prophetic texts for this ummah, such as those texts that mention that this (Muslim) nation will follow the footsteps of those (nations) that came before them (such as the Jews and Christians). For this reason, the greatest deviation, shirk with Allaah, was the last of the affairs to enter into the Ummah - long after the era of Prophethood.

Coming to the subject of this series of articles now, we present in this some quotations from the Tafseer of ar-Razi pertaining to the core arguments for the justification of supplicating to those besides Allaah and seeking their intercession, and through this we illustrate that this type of refutation against the grave and saint worshippers precedes Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) by a century and Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) by six centuries, and it also uncovers the academic and intellectual fraud of today's grave and saint-worshippers against the Scholars of Tawheed.

Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi on du'a (invocation) Being worship (ibaadah)

Many of the later Ash'aris (from the seventh century onwards) do not consider invocation (du'a) to be worship, or they do not consider the calling upon others to be shirk, unless it is accompanied with the belief that those being called upon had power over harm and benefit, and in this they oppose the earlier Ash'aris, and oppose the clear texts of the Book and the Sunnah, and oppose the Tawhid that the Messengers invited to. It is for this reason, that shirk appeared amongst them, which they tried to justify using the label of "tawassul", and this "tawassul" is not the legitimate tawassul of the Book and the Sunnah, rather it is attachment to the righteous dead, and veneration of them, for soliciting their intercession.

In the (first part) of this series (see here), it was established that ar-Razi showed rejection against those who venerate the graves, seeking to win the intercession of the righteous dead, and he stated that this is rebutted by the Qur'an. Here is his statement quoted previously, and it is in reference to the saying of Allaah, "And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: "These are our intercessors with Allah"." which is in Surah Yunus (10:18), he wrote:

ونظيره في هذا الزمان اشتغال كثير من الخلق بتعظيم قبور الأكابر على اعتقاد أنهم إذا عظموا قبورهم فانهم يكونون شفعاء لهم عند الله

And the equivalent of this in our time is the occupation of many of the creation with the veneration of the graves of the senior [righteous] ones, upon the belief that when they venerate their graves, then they (the deceased) will become intercessors for them with Allaah.

Please refer to (Part 1) for the full context of the above quotation, because ar-Razi has stated that this action is equivalent to the practice of the idolators. The issue of "du'a" is integral to this subject, and thus we will now take a look at some of the statements of ar-Razi confirming that du'a is the essence of worship. The commentary of ar-Razi is upon the following verse:

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُواْ لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُواْ بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me [without any mediator or intercessor]. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright. (Al-Baqarah 2:186)

Ar-Razi's Commentary Upon This Verse

From the comments of ar-Razi are (Tafsir ur-Razi 5/105), and all of this content is in the course of ar-Razi addressing a series of doubts, seven in number, used to argue that du'a is not of any real benefit if what is decreed is going to happen anyway, so from what is found in this passage as a whole:

And the great majority of the intelligent said: Verily du'a is the most important of the stations of uboodiyyah (servitude), and many angles of transmission and intellect prove it, as for transmitted evidences, they are many ...

And also (5/106):

The fourth: That the supplicator, so long as his thought is preoccupied with other than Allaah, then he is not [truly] a supplicator (invoker) upon Him. When everything else transpires (from his thought), he will then be submerged in knowing al-Ahad, al-Haqq (i.e. Allaah), and thus he will be prevented from remaining in this state, looking at the impediments [in his thought] and [instead] he will be seeking His goal. So when all of these intermediate things are removed completely, then surely, the nearness (qurb) will have been obtained. For so long as the servant remains turning to the desire of his soul, he will not be near to Allaah the Most High, because that desire veils him from Allaah. So it is established that du'a (invocation) brings about nearness to Allaah, and thus du'a (invocation) is the most excellent of (the types of) worship.

And also (5/106):

The third proof: That He, the Most High, did not restrict Himself to explaining the excellence of du'a (invocation, supplication) by ordering it (in this verse), rather He explained in another verse that when He is not invoked, He becomes angry, so He said, "When Our Torment reached them, why then did they not believe with humility? But their hearts became hardened, and Shaitan (Satan) made fair seeming to them that which they used to do." (Al-An'am 6:43). And he (alayhis salaam) said, "It is not befitting that one of you say: 'O Allaah forgive me if you will', rather he should be resolute and say, 'O Allaah forgive me'." And he (alayhis salaam) said, "Invocation is the essence of worship" [inauthentic hadeeth], and from an-Nu'man bin Basheer, that he (alayhis salaam) said, "Invocation is worship" [authentic hadeeth], and then he recited, "And your Lord has said: Invoke Me and I shall respond to you..." (Ghafir 40:60). Thus his saying, "Invocation is worship", its meaning is that it is the major part of worship, and the most excellent (part) of worship, just like his saying (alayhis salaam), "Hajj is Arafah", meaning the standing at Arafah, it is the greatest pillar (of the Hajj).

And also in (5/107), and here is addressing some of the seven doubts he mentioned earlier (to argue that there is no benefit in du'a if what is decreed is going to happen anyway):

And the answer to this second doubt: That informing (i'laam) is not what is intended by du'a (invocation), rather [what is intended by du'a] is manifesting servitude (uboodiyyah), humbleness (dhull), and defeat, incapacity (inkisaar), and returning to Allaah completely and entirely.

And [the answer to the] the third: And that it is permitted for what is not a maslahah (benefit) to become a benefit on account of the precedence (in al-qadr) of du'a (supplication).

And [the answer to] the fourth: That when his (the servant's) intent behind invocation is to manifest his lowliness (humbleness) and poverty (need), and thereafter, he is pleased with what Allaah has decreed and ordained, then that is the greatest of the stations [of worship], and this is the answer to the reset of the doubts regarding this topic.

And also (5/108):

And the third of them: That the intent behind du'a (invocation) is worship (ibaadah), he (alayhis salaam) said, "Invocation is worship", and what gives evidence to this is His, the Most High's saying, "And your Lord said: "Invoke Me, (and ask Me for anything) I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who scorn My worship they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!" (Ghafir 40:60). So it becomes apparent that invocation (du'a) here is worship (ibaadah) itself, and when this is established, then Allaah, the Most High's response to invocation, with this explanation, is an expression of His guarantee of reward to the obedient, just as He said, "And He answers (the invocation of) those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and gives them increase of His Bounty." (Ash-Shura 42:26), and from this angle, the [claimed] problem is ended.

From all of the above quotes it becomes readily apparent:

  • That supplication, invocation (du'a) is the greatest form of worship, ar-Razi quoted verses and ahaadeeth in this regard, to establish this firmly.

  • That invocation (du'a) is such that other underlying forms of worship are inevitably and inextricably behind it, such as dhull (humbleness), inkisaar (feeling of incapacity, defeat), uboodiyyah (servitude), maskanah (poverty, need) and the likes. All of these are the worship of the heart, and du'a (invocation) is not merely an outward thing, rather it has these feelings behind it, and driving it, (and this is why it is the greatest of the forms of worship).

  • That it is not permissible to direct this worship (ibaadah) to other than Allaah, and doing so constitutes shirk, the worship of others besides Him.

Ar-Razi on tawassul, invocation and shafaa'ah

With the above established, and bearing in mind everything which has preceded in this series, then it is abundantly clear that there is no difference between what is found in "Kashf ush-Shubuhaat" of Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab and between what has been presented in this series of the speech of ar-Razi, a prominent Ash'arite figurehead. Here are some highlights (refer to previous articles for the Arabic text):

Intercession Belongs Only to Allaah Alone and Is Denied For All Others Unless He Permits It

He said (Tafsir ar-Razi 26/285):

And the second [seeking intercession of the righteous dead] is futile because on the Day of Judgement, no one will have power over anything, and no one will be able to perform intercession except with Allaah's permission. And thus the shafee' (true and real intercessor) is Allaah, the one who will grant permission for that intercession (to take place). And thus, being occupied with His worship is more befitting than being occupied with the worship of others besides Him. And this is the intent behind His, the Most High's saying, "Say: "To Allah belongs all intercession"...", then He explained that there is no dominion (ownership) for anyone besides Allaah, with His saying, "His is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, then to Him you shall be brought back.". And amongst them are those who held onto the saying of Allaah, "Say: "To Allah belongs all intercession..." to negate shafaa'ah (intercession) absolutely, and this (saying) is weak, because we already submit that so long as He, the Sublime, does not grant permission for intercession (to take place), no one will be able to perform intercession.

Here this proves that intercession is asked directly and only from Allaah, as there is no shafee' (granter of intercession) in truth except Him alone. Compare this with the saying of Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Abdul-Wahhab in his book "Kashf ush-Shubuhaat":

If he then says: Do you reject the intercession of Allaah's Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and free yourself from (having any need of) it? Then say: I do not reject it, and nor am I free of having any need of it. Rather he is the one who will intercede and the one whose intercession will be granted. I hope in his intercession. However, all intercession belongs to Allaah alone, as He the Most High said, "Say: To Allaah belongs all intercession." (Zumar 39:44). And then it does not take place except after the permission of Allaah, just as He - the Mighty and Majestic - said, "Who can intercede with Him except after His permission?" (Baqarah 2:255). And no one can actually intercede for anybody else except after Allaah has granted him permission regarding it, just as He - the Mighty and Majestic - said, "And they do not intercede except for the one with whom Allaah is pleased". (Anbiyaa 21:28). And He, free is He from imperfections, is not pleased except with Tawheed, just as He, the Most High, said, "And whoever follows a religion other than Islaam (i.e. Tawheed), then never will it be accepted from him." (Aali Imraan 3:85). Hence, when it is the case that all intercession belongs to Allaah alone, and that it cannot take place except after His permission, and that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) or anybody else cannot intercede for anyone unless Allaah grants permission for this person, and Allaah - the Most High - does not grant permission except for the people of Tawheed, then it will have become clear to you that all intercession belongs to Allaah alone and I seek it from Him alone. So I say, "O Allaah do not prevent me from being interceded for", and "O Allaah accept his intercession for me" and what is similar to these words.

That du'a (invocation, supplication) is the Greatest of Forms of Worship

He says (5/105):

And the great majority of the intelligent said: Verily du'a is the most important of the stations of uboodiyyah (servitude), and many angles of transmission and intellect prove it, as for transmitted evidences, they are many ...

He says (5/106):

So it is established that du'a (invocation) brings about nearness to Allaah, and thus du'a (invocation) is the most excellent of (the types of) worship.

And on the same page:

Thus his saying, "Invocation is worship", its meaning is that it is the major part of worship, and the most excellent (part) of worship, just like his saying (alayhis salaam), "Hajj is Arafah", meaning the standing at Arafah, it is the greatest pillar (of the Hajj)

He says (5/107):

...rather [what is intended by du'a] is manifesting servitude (uboodiyyah), humbleness (dhull), and defeat, incapacity (inkisaar), and returning to Allaah completely and entirely....

This establishes that du'a (invocation, supplication) is worship (ibaadah), and is it is worship it is prohibited to direct it to other than Allaah, and that Allaah has expressly forbidden the making of du'a others besides Him, be they Angels, Prophets, or the Righteous, or the Jinn, stones, trees, stars and the likes.

Those Who Venerate the Graves Are Equivalent to the Idol-Worshippers

He said (Tafsir ar-Razi 17/63):

And the fourth of them: That they made these idols and statues upon the form and shape of their Prophets and senior [righteous] ones (al-akaabir), and they claimed that when they occupied themselves with the worship of these statues, then those senior [righteous] ones (al-akaabir) will be intercessors for them with Allaah. And the equivalent of this in our time is the occupation of many of the creation with the veneration of the graves of the senior [righteous] ones, upon the belief that when they venerate their graves, then they (the deceased) will become intercessors for them with Allaah.

This is an explicit likening and equivocation between the practice of the idol-worshippers and that of the saint and grave worshippers.

Ar-Razi Has Demolished the Foundations of Today's Ash'arite Gnostics Who worship the Saints

From the above it is clear from the speech of ar-Razi that those who venerate the graves, supplicate to the righteous and dead, invoking them and asking them for intercession is a clear instance of shirk and idol-worship because to invoke someone in the first place, means showing feelings of humbleness, incapacity, defeat, aspiration and the likes and these are integral to du'a (invocation), it comprises all these things, and then secondly, they are being invoked for something which only Allah has power over, which is intercession, it all belongs to Him, and no one has any power over it whatsoever, unless He grants His permission.

And with this it is established that the later Ash'aris who came along (8th century onwards) and misguided a great portion of the creation into worshipping others besides Allaah in the name of "tawassul" have been convicted and found guilty by one of their own great Imaams, Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi - this is besides the fact that all of this highlights their great academic and intellectual fraud against the likes of Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab.



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Between Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi (d. 606H), Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) and Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab (d. 1175H) on Seeking Shafaa'ah From Intermediaries (7)
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