Opion’s imams about religious istighathah
1. Imām Zayn-ul-‘Ābidīn
Imām Zayn-ul-‘Ābidīn supplicates to the Holy Prophet for help and intercession in these words:
O mercy of the worlds! You are the intercessor for the sinners. On account of your infinite generosity, mercy and magnanimity, intercede for us on the Day of Judgement.
O, who has come to all the worlds as a source of mercy, help Zayn-ul-‘Ābidīn! Who is caught in trials and tribulations by the party of the oppressors (and beseeches your help).
2. Imām Mālik
Imām Mālik’s prominence as one of the four jurists of Islam is well-established. Once Caliph Abū Ja‘far Mansūr visited Medina and he asked Imām Mālik: ‘while supplicating, should I turn my face to the prayer niche [and turn my back to the Holy Prophet or should I t urn my face to the Holy Prophet and t urn my back to the prayer niche]?’ On this interrogation, Imām Mālik replied: ‘
(O caliph!) Why do you t urn your face from the Holy Prophet , as he is the means for you and for your ancestor Adam on the Day of Judgement? Rather you should (pray and supplicate by) turning towards the Prophet and seek his intercession so that he intercedes for you before Allāh on the Day of Judgement. Allāh has declared:
(O beloved!) And if they had come to you, when they had wronged their souls, and asked forgiveness of Allāh, and the Messenger also had asked forgiveness for them, they (on the basis of this means and intercession) would have surely found Allāh the Granter of repentance, extremely Merciful.
(Qur’ān (an-Nisā’, Women) 4:64.)
This incident has been narrated by Qādī ‘Iyād in his ash-Shifā (2:596) with a sound chain of transmission. Besides, it has been related by a number of other traditionists of impeccable credibility. Subkī in Shifā’-ussiqāmfī ziyārat khayr-il-anām, Samhūdī in Khulāsat-ulwafā, Qastallānī in al-Mawāhib-ul-laduniyyah, Ibn Jamā‘ah in Hidāyat-us-sālik and Ibn Hajar Haythamī in al-Jawhar-ul-munazzam.
3. Imām Qurtubī
He has ment ioned istighāthah in the interpretation of the verse 64 of sūrah an-Nisā’ in his al-Jāmi‘ li-ahkām-ilQur’ān (5:265-6).
4. Qādī ‘Iyād
He has, in his book, ash-Shifā (2:596) narrated Imām Mālik’s statement to the Caliph Abū Ja‘far Mansūr, which we have mentioned before. He also narrated Adam’s intermediation through the Holy Prophet with the help of sound and famous traditions in ash-Shifā (1:2278). In addit ion, in the chapters on “visit ing the Prophet’s grave,” “virtues and merit s of the Prophet” and in many other chapters in his book he has referred to the qualit ies and attributes of the Holy Prophet .
5. Imām Subkī
He has discussed at length the question of istighāthah and intermediation in his book Shifā’-us-siqām fī ziyārat khayr-il-anām and has proved their relevance as vibrant concepts in Islam.
6. Imām Ibn Kathīr
Imām Ibn Kathīr has commented on verse 64 of sūrah anNisā’ in his book Tafsīr-ul-Qur’ān al-‘azīm (1:519-20) and raised the issue of istighāthah. He has not levelled any objection against ‘Utbī’s tradition in which a bedouin supplicates at the Prophet’s tomb for his intercession. Imām Ibn Kathīr has related in al-Bidāyah wan-nihāyah (5:167) the episode of the man who visits the Prophet’s grave and calls him to pray for rain, and he has pronounced this tradition quite sound. In addition, he has also related in the same book (5:30) that during the battle of Yamāmah, the battle-cry of the Muslims was yā Muhammadāh (O Muhammad! Help us).
7. Hāfiz ‘Asqalānī
He has in his books al-Isābah fī tamyīz-is-sahābah (3:484) and Fath-ul-bārī (2:495-6) narrated the incident of the man who visited the Prophet’s grave for rain through his means and called him for help.
8. Imām Qastallānī
The qualities and accomplishments of a special group of saints are recorded in the traditions. The blessing of their supplication causes rain and brings victory and triumph to the Muslims. Qastallānī’s views about them are given below:
When ordinary people fall into trouble, first of all, the Heralds supplicate for them, then turn by turn the Nobility, Substitutes, the righteous and the ministers (supplicate for them). If their supplication is granted, well and good, otherwise, the saint of the highest rank — ghawth (who is all the time engrossed in Allāh’s worship) — supplicates for them, and before he winds it up, his prayer is granted. (This is Allāh’s special blessing on them (Qastallānī, al-Māwāhib-ul-laduniyyah (2:726); Zurqānī, Commentary (7:487).
9. Imām Ibn Hajar Haythamī
Ahmad Shihāb-ud-Dīn Ibn Hajar Haythamī Makkī, who possesses an eminent position among experts on Islamic jurisprudence and tradition, has proved on the basis of the experience and observation narrated by Abū ‘Abdullāh Qurayshī that Allāh’s favourites help people after death as they help them during life and the value of their benefit is not in the least reduced. Produced below is an incident attributed to Abū ‘Abdullāh Qurayshī:
A severe drought had enveloped Egypt in its grip and the people’s distress caused by hunger and thirst remained unrelieved in spite of their prayers and supplications:
So I journeyed towards Syria, when I reached near Allāh’s friend (Ibrāhīm’s) tomb, he met me on the way. I said to him: ‘O Messenger of Allāh! I have come as a guest. You should show your hospitality in the form of a supplication for the natives of Egypt.’ He prayed for them, so Allāh drove their famine away from them. (Ibn Hajar Haythamī, al-Fatāwā al-hadīthiyyah (pp.255-6).
In this extraordinary reference, the description of the face-to-face meeting with Ibrāhīm has been commented upon by Imām Yāfi‘ī in these words:
The statement made by Abū ‘Abdullāh Qurayshī that he had a face-to-face m eeting with the Friend is based on truth. Only an ignorant person can deny it who is unaware of the mode of living and status of the saints because these people observe the earth and the heavens and see the prophets in their living condition (Ibn Hajar Haythamī, al-Fatāwā al-hadīthiyyah (p.256).
10. Imām Nabhānī
He has written an irrefutable book Shawāhid-ul-haqq fī alistighāthah bi-sayyid-il-khalq and proved the validity of appeal to the Prophet for help.