Division between real and derivative is inevitable:
A group, who denies the relevance of beseeching help from any quarter besides Allāh, however, believes that it is valid in natural matters, while there is no need to stress its real and derivative components. Now we would like to ask these people that if appeal for help through natural means and the division bet ween the real and the derivative is dis acknowledged, then who will be the real helper in natural matters? Is the real helper the doctor who is prescribing medical treatment for the patient or Allāh? If the answer is that even in worldly affairs the real helper is Allāh, then why should we retain the distinction bet ween the natural and the supernatural means or sources of help? Why should it be allowed through the operation of natural causes and declared a kind of disbelief when it operates through supernatural causes? How is it possible to resolve the contradiction bet ween belief in Allāh as the t rue helper and seeking help from others besides Allāh, without acknowledging the disinction bet ween the real and the derivative? The Qur’ān says:
And our Lord is infinitely Merciful and His help alone is sought against the (vexing) words (O non-believers,) you utter. (Qur’ān (al-Ambiyā’, the Prophets) 21:112.)
On the other hand, if the answer is that in ordinary matters the true helper is not Allāh but man, it creates duality, which is a negation of belief that the helper in ordinary matters is the creature but the helper in extraordinary matters is the Creator. On the basis of this duality, if we admit the creature as the true helper, it will amount to the same kind of disbelief as was practised by the infidels of Makkah that in ordinary affairs they relied on men as helpers and in other affairs beseeched Allāh for help. If it is admitted that Allāh is also the Helper in worldly affairs, then how is it correct to seek the help of someone who is not-God.
The conclusive argument is that Allāh is the only Helper even in ordinary matters, and help from the creatures is implored only in the derivative sense, not in the real sense then the question arises if beseeching others for help besides Allāh in ordinary matters is valid where it is only derivative, then how can it be declared invalid in extraordinary matters where its derivative status is established beyond doubt. The contradiction is simply incomprehensible. Justification of help from derivative source in supernatural matters
Reliance on the derivative source of help in supernatural matters is justified in the sense that, though apparently, the source is other than God, actually it is God whose help is being coveted. In addition, the word help is used in its derivative sense at many places in the Holy Qur’ān. The frequency with which it is used is amazing. In the following pages, a few examples from the Qur’ān will be given to wash out the misconception in the minds of the believers and to bring home to them the dire consequences if the distinction bet ween the real and the derivative is blotted out: Allegation of disbelief against Jibrīl ?
When Jibrīl , with Allāh’s consent, appeared before Maryam (Mary) in the shape of a human being to convey to her the news of the birth of ‘Īsā , he said:I have only been sent by your Lord. (I have come because) I should bless you with a pure son.
(Maryam, Mary) 19:19.)
In this Qur’ānic verse the statement by Jibrīl borders on the supernatural because the birth of a son without marital consummation is impossible in the world of cause-and-effect, and, to convey the news of the birth of a son to a chaste, unmarried woman is a graphic Qur’ānic illustration of help in supernatural matters, which is simply inconceivable without the interpolation of material causes.
The point to be noted is that if a person beseeches a saint or one of Allāh’s favourites for help only as a means, some of our ignorant friends instantly clamp on him the allegation of disbelief, while if some non-God Jibrīl says, “I bless you with a pure son,” and Allāh Himself mentions it in the holy Qur’ān, why don’t they call it disbelief because both situations are substantially identical? In the case of beseeching help the petit ioner is essentially a human being and remains so under all the circumstances, but the statement “I bless you with a pure son” is an encroachment on the divine powers if it is not interpreted derivatively; if it is interpreted in the real sense, then the angel acquires the stat us of God which is nothing but disbelief. To bless someone with a child is a divine act and the duty of a creature is only to seek His blessing. If a person’s act of beseeching help from non-Allāh is an act of disbelief, then the statement by a non-Allāh that “I bless you with a pure son” amounts to even a higher form of disbelief. The quest ion is that Jibrīl did not commit disbelief despite his statement apparently bordering on disbelief; rather his statement proved truthful. Then how could we vindicate his statement that apparently seemed to defy the powers of divinity, as nobody has dared call him (may God forbid) a disbeliever?
Though the statement, “I bless you with a pure son,” apparently belongs to Jibrīl , but the “ son” actually refers to the son Allāh is about to bless her with, and the angel is only a cause, a means for the act which is, in essence, divine. Thus the Qur’ānic verse (19:19) embodies only an act of help which is really an act of intermediation only and is a superb example of derivat ive help furnished by the Qur’ān itself. Some people raise objection against the translat ion of the verse. They opine that the subject of the verb li-ahaba (I should bless) is Allāh Himself and Jibrīl said it reportedly. While in another recitation of the verse the verb is li-yahaba (He (Allāh) should bless).