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Invoking other than Allah (swt) in Dua

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

A common practice amongst the Shia nowadays is invoking the members of the Ahlulbayt (as) asking them for their intercession before Allah (swt) so that their prayers may be granted by Allah (swt). Under the notion that the Ahlulbayt (as) are acting as intermediaries for them. The proponents of such practices often appeal to certain texts found within the Shia literature such as ”Dua Tawassul”. This article examines the validity of such practices by comparing them to what is mentioned in the Quran and ahadith, as we will see those texts are often weak in terms of their reliability.

Advocates of this practice often give reasons to justify it, such as that one may be ashamed of asking a certain thing from Allah (swt) directly so a person will instead turn to the Ahlulbayt (as) who due to their exalted position will be acting as intermediaries and thus increasing your chance of your dua being accepted.

Now ask yourself:

Is there a veil between us and our creator for us to invoke other than him for our needs?

Is this way of dua how the Ahlulbayt (as) have taught us to make dua?

Is this indeed the authentic way to do tawasul (seeking nearness to Allah swt)?

Dua Tawasul

This dua which is attributed to the Ahlulbayt (as) by Allamah Baqir Majlisi may have been the first step in normalizing the invoking of the Ahlulbayt (as) directly.

An excerpt from the dua:

يَا ابَا ٱلْحَسَنِ
يَا امِيرَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ 
يَا عَلِيُّ بْنَ ابِي طَالِبٍ
يَا حُجَّةَ ٱللَّهِ عَلَىٰ خَلْقِهِ
يَا سَيِّدَنَا وَمَوْلاَنَا
إِنَّا تَوَجَّهْنَا وَٱسْتَشْفَعْنَا
وَتَوَسَّلْنَا بِكَ إِلَىٰ اللّهِ
وَقَدَّمْنَاكَ بَيْنَ يَدَيْ حَاجَاتِنَا
يَا وَجِيهاً عِنْدَ ٱللَّهِ
إِشْفَعْ لَنَا عِنْدَ ٱللَّهِ

O Abul Hasan, O Commander of the Faithful, O ‘Ali, son of Abu Talib, O decisive argument of Allah over mankind,
O our chief, O our master, We We turn towards Allah with your help, seek thy intercession and advocacy before Allah, We call upon you before [mentioning] our requests [to Allah], O intimate of Allah, Stand by us when Allah sits in judgment over us.

Dua Tawasul

Authenticity of the dua

If we are certain about this dua being from the Imams (as) this would be sufficient to indicate that such practice is recommended. But rather the opposite is true and the dua is not authentic.

Several problems apear when one attempts in authenticating this dua:

  1. The dua has no sanad (chain of narrators) at all.
  2. This Dua was for the first time mentioned in Bihar al Anwar of Allama Majlisi, (around 700 years after the Ghayba).

When mentioning this Dua, Allama Majlisi writes:

I say: I found in an old manuscript of the books by some of our companions, may Allah be pleased with them, the following wording, “this du`a is narrated by Muhammad b. Babawayh, may Allah have mercy on him, from the Imams, and he said, “I never performed Tawassul for any matter except that I found the effect of the response quickly.”

al-Majlisi, Bihaar Al-Anwar, vol. 99, ch. 10, pg. 247

Issues raised:

1.) al-Majlisi (d. 1111 AH) is reporting it on the authority of al-Saduq (d. 381 AH), but there is an approximately 700 year gap between the two scholars. (The scholars of Rijaal stipulate that in order for you to credibly narrate a Riwaayah from someone, you should hear it directly from the person concerned.) Majlisi has not provided a Tareeq (chain of people) connecting him to Sheikh Sadooq for this particular narration.

2.) It has also been claimed that no one else recorded this dua until al-Majlisi (d. 1111 AH), not al-Tusi in his Misbaah, not Ibn Tawus in his many du’a books, not even al- Kaf’ami in his dua books. How did this dua remain hidden for so many centuries from the sight of great Shia scholars and Muhadditheen, only to resurface in the time of al-Majlisi?

Well, as it is known, many Ghaali practices (such as the third Shahaadah in Adhan) were not endorsed/approved by Shia scholars for centuries, until the Safavid period started, thereafter many formerly Ghaali beliefs, practices and Riwaayaat were welcomed into mainstream Shiaism. Dua Tawassul definitely seems to be one of them.

3.) How was al-Majlisi able to ascertain that the manuscript was indeed al-Saduq’s? Because his name was written? On the basis of his handwriting? Back in the day, there was no way to 100% ascertain the date of authorship of the manuscripts, other than the date written on the manuscript itself. Today, we are able to scientifically date the manuscripts to their time periods.

4.) Even if we were to assume that this manuscript was indeed al-Saduq’s, how certain are we that its text had not been tempered with, and no one came after al-Saduq and added or deleted certain words, phrases, etc.

If people could add Ahadith to the books of the 5th and 6th Imam (as is clear from the statements of Imam Ridha (as)), then where does Sheikh Sadooq stand?

5.) We do not have a chain for Dua Tawasul connecting Sheikh Sadooq to an Imam, which is why it is not even known for certain which Imam taught Dua Tawassul.

No serious scholar of Rijaal worth his salt would entertain a Riwaayah that has such serious problems and flaws in its transmission. And we can especially not rely on chain-less Riwaayaat in such controversial and risky matters, as that would be very imprudent and unwise.

So any argument based on Dua Tawasul carries no weight.

Then what is “Nad e Ali”?

Nade Ali is not mentioned in even a single hadith, rather it is only mentioned as a poem in later books. The earliest source for it is Shaikh al Kaf’ami (d. 905 AH), who mentioned it in his book “Misbah” claiming that he saw a handwritten note from Shahid al Awwal saying that this poem (i.e. nade ali) should be recited for difficulties. The latter scholars who quoted it from Kaf’ami (such as Allamah Majlisi, Muhadith Noori and Ayatullah Ali Namazi Shahroodi) also made it clear that it is only a poem, not a hadith.

Akhbari scholars, like usooli scholars, are not a homogenous group, and thus had different views. The strict akhbaris like Shaikh Hurr al Amili believed in doing tawassul only as per what’s mentioned in ahadith from reliable books like kutub al arba (hence no nade ali, dua tawassul etc for him). There is no concrete evidence to suggest that Nade Ali or Dua Tawassul even existed in the times of classical scholars like Shaikh Kulaini, al-Saduq, al-Tusi, and al-Mufeed etc, and so there is no way we can attribute them to the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt (as).

Quranic teachings

Allamah Sheikh Mohammad Jawad ​​Mughniyyah

Pictured on the right here next to martyr Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr

A renowned scholar known for works such as his 3 volume encyclopedia “Fiqh al Imam Jafar al Saadiq”, In his Quran tafsir on the following verses:

وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا
وَأَنَّهُ لَمَّا قَامَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ يَدْعُوهُ كَادُوا يَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِ لِبَدًا
قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَدْعُو رَبِّي وَلَا أُشْرِكُ بِهِ أَحَدًا
قُلْ إِنِّي لَا أَمْلِكُ لَكُمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا رَشَدًا
قُلْ إِنِّي لَن يُجِيرَنِي مِنَ اللَّهِ أَحَدٌ وَلَنْ أَجِدَ مِن دُونِهِ مُلْتَحَدًا

إِلَّا بَلَاغًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِسَالَاتِهِ

The mosques are for Allah [Alone]. Therefore, invoke not anyone along with Allah.
And when the servant of Allah [i.e. Muhammad (S)] stood up invoking Him in prayer, a group made round him a dense crowd.

Say: “I invoke only my Lord and I associate none as partners along with Him.”
Say: “It is not in my power to cause you harm nor to bring you to the Straight Path.”
Say: “None can protect me from Allah’s chastisement [if I disobey Him], nor can I find refuge except in Him.

But [I have for you] only notification from Allah, and His messages. […]

Surah al-Jinn – Verses 18-22

He says about these verses:

« Say: “It is not in my power to cause you harm nor to bring you to the Straight Path.” » And also say, O Muhammad, to the mushrikeen: I am a human being like you, I do not claim the ability to control your fate nor can I harm you or benefit you. This ability belongs to Allah alone.
« Say: “None can protect me from Allah’s chastisement [if I disobey Him], nor can I find refuge except in Him. But [I have for you] only notification from Allah, and His messages. » There is no escape for the Prophet of Allah from Allah if he had a limitation in delivering the message that has been entrusted to him

These verses, like many other verses, explicitly and unequivocally prove that Islam rejects the idea of ​​mediation between Allah and his servants and places man directly before his Creator in such a way that he (man) turns to him unhindered and can talk to him and call on to him, however he wishes or however he feels and he can seek nearness to him (the Creator) by righteous deeds without any intercessor or mediator.

Al Tafseer Al Kaashif, Dar al Anwaar, Beirut, 4. Edition, Volume 7, Page 441-442

Grand Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Hussain Fadhlallah

When commenting on Ayat Al Kursi:

اللَّهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلَّا بِمَا شَاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ

“Allah is He besides Whom there is no god, the Everliving, the Self-subsisting by Whom all subsist; slumber does not overtake Him nor sleep; whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot comprehend anything out of His knowledge except what He pleases, His knowledge extends over the heavens and the earth, and the preservation of them both tires Him not, and He is the Most High, the Great.”

Surat Al Baqara – Verse 255

He says:

This concept of Omni-potency is further emphasized in “who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission.” In other words, it is only the will of Allah that determines fates and orders the course of events. No man, whatsoever, can assume the role of a mediator and interfere in the matter of determining who to win His intercession, and who to deserve His punishment.
Accordingly, we must directly resort to Almighty Allah when asking for intercession, redemption from sins, and any other worldly or transcendental wish, need, or desire.

Intercession (shafa’a)

Still after all this uncertainty and knowing the shaky foundation of this practice, the ones whom insist on invoking the Ahlulbayt (as) sometimes do so under the guise of shafa’a (intercession), which is an actual established belief, even when these have nothing todo with eachother, one may receive the intercession of the Prophet (pbuh) and the Ahlulbayt (as) on the day of judgement without having to invoke them directly by saying things such as “Ya Ali Madad” or asking the Ahlulbayt (as) directly for their needs

Tawasul (seeking nearness to Allah swt)

The second common argument by advocates of invoking the Ahlulbayt (as) is:

“We don’t call upon other than Allah (swt), we only believe in “Wasila”, which is not shirk, moreover the Quran in 5:35 orders us to seek “Wasila”. Therefore there is nothing wrong in what we do.”

It is an easy way out to term everything we do as “Wasila” without trying to know what “wasila” means in the Quran and narrations of Ahlulbayt (as).

Taking intermediaries with Allah (swt) is not “wasila” according to the Quran.

The Quranic verse that mentions wasila:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَابْتَغُواْ إِلَيهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَاهِدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O’ you who have Faith! Be in awe of Allah, and seek the means (of nearness) to Him; and strive hard in His way, that you may be prosperous.

Surah Al-Ma’idah, Verse 35

Tafseer by Allamah Sayed Muhammed Husayn Tabatabai

“al-Wasīlah (اَلْوَسِيْلَةُ ) means attaining something with longing; it is more particular than al-wasilah (اَلْوَصِيْلَةُ = joining, attaining) as it has added connotation of longing. Allãh says: and seek means of nearness to Him; the reality of this means of nearness to Allãh is to comply with demands of His path with knowledge and worship, and pursuit of virtues of thesharī‘ah , and it is like al-qurbah (اَلْقُرْبَةُ = nearness).”

It is a sort of joining together, i.e. a spiritual joining which connects the slave with his master; there is no link that connects man with his Lord except the submissiveness of worship and veneration. Therefore, the means of nearness means ensuring the reality of vener-ation and turning the face of humility and poverty to His direction – this is then the connecting link that joins the servant to his Lord. As for knowledge and good deed, these are obviously its tools and concomitants, except if knowledge and deed are used to this very condition.

Tafsir Al Mizan, English translation by Allamah Sayyid Sa’eed Akhtar Rizvi, Volume 10, pg 132

Here is a narration by Imam Ali (as) where he mentions the best means by which seekers of nearness to Allah (swt), seek nearness (tawasul):

Imam Ali (as) said: “Definitely the best way to do tawassul, for those seeking nearness to Allah (swt); is to believe in Allah (swt) and His (swt) prophet (pbuh), do jihad for Him as it is the pinnacle of Islam, profess the shahadah (i.e. testify that Allah is the sole deity and Muhammad is His messenger) as it embodies the nature upon which everyone is born, establish prayer as it is the main feature of the Islamic community, give zakah (charity) as it is an obligation, fast in Ramadan as it is the shield against Allah (swt)’s punishment, perform Hajj and Umrah as they protect against destitution and wash the sins, be good to close relatives as it causes blessing in wealth and increases longevity, give alms secretly as it covers shortcomings, and give alms openly as it protects from bad death, and be good and kind as it protects against disgrace.”


  1. Kitab al Zuhd by Hussain b. Saeed al Ahwazi, page 13
  2. Al Mahasin by Shaikh al Barqi, Vol 1 Page 289
  3. Man la yahduruhul faqih by Shaikh Saduq, Vol 1 Page 205
  4. Illalush Sharai by Shaikh Saduq, Vol 1 page 247
  5. Tuhuful uqul, attributed to Shaikh al Harrani, page 149
  6. Nahjul Balagha by Syed al Radi, Vol 1 Page 215: Sermon 113
  7. Amali by Shaikh Tusi, Page 216

Explanation of the hadith by Sayed Mustafa Hussaini al Tabatabai

I say: The ‘waseela’ to Allah (swt) is the means by which the worshiper gets closer to Him (swt), and Imam Ali (as) has explained in this sermon called “Khutabah al Dibaj” the best way to gain nearness to Allah (swt), which is: To belive in Allah (swt) and His prophet (pbuh), and following the laws of Allah (swt) in terms of the obligations and rules.

Fathhul bayan by Syed Mustafa Hussaini al Tabatabai: Part 1 section 18

As can be seen from some of the earliest extant sources of Shi’ite ahadith, such as Hussain b. Saeed al Ahwazi (254 AH)’s Kitab al Zuhd and Shaikh al Barqi (280 AH)’s Mahasin, and the succeeding books from Qummi and Baghdadi scholars such as Shaikh Sadooq, Shaikh Mufid, Syed al Radi and Shaikh Tusi; the tawassul taught by the Ahlulbayt (as) is to believe in Allah (swt) and His prophet (pbuh), and follow the Islamic laws and obligations. There is no mention of calling on / invoking the Ahlulbayt (as) for waseela.

Lessons on Dua by the Ahlulbayt (as)

Advice from Imam Ali (as) to one of his sons after returning from the Battle of Siffin

Imam Ali (as) says:

In all affairs resign yourself to Allah, because you will thus be resigning yourself to a secure shelter and a strong protector. You should ask only from your Lord because in His hand is all the giving and depriving.

Nahjul Balagha, Letter 31

In another place in the same letter Imam Ali (as) says:

Know that He Who owns the treasuries of the heavens and of the earth has permitted you to pray to Him and has promised you acceptance of the prayer. He has commanded you to beg from Him in order that He may give you and to seek His mercy in order that He may have mercy on you. He has not placed any thing between you and Him that may veil Him from you. He has not required you to get a mediator for you to Him, and if you err, He has not prevented you from repentance.

Nahjul Balagha, Letter 31

Further he says:

He has opened for you the door of repentance. Therefore, whenever you call Him He hears your call, and whenever you whisper to Him He knows the whisper. You place before Him your needs, unveil yourself before Him, complain to Him of your worries, beseech Him to remove your troubles, seek His help in your affairs and ask from the treasuries of His mercy that which no one else has power to give, namely length of life, health of body and increase in sustenance. Then He has placed the keys of His treasuries in your hands in the sense that He has shown you the way to ask Him.

Nahjul Balagha, Letter 31

Dua of Sayeda Fatima (sa)

يا مَنْ لَيْسَ غَيْرَهُ رُبٌّ يُدْعى، يا مَنْ لَيْسَ فَوْقَهُ اِلهٌ يُخْشى، يا مَنْ لَيْسَ دُونَهُ مَلِكٌ يُتَّقى، يا مَنْ لَيْسَ لَهُ وَزيْرٌ يُؤْتى، يا مَنْ لَيْسَ لَهُ حاجِبٌ يُرْشى، يا مَنْ لَيْسَ لَهُ بَوّابٌ يُغْشى، يا مَنْ لا يَزْدادُ عَلى كَثْرَةِ السُّؤالِ إلاّ كَرَماً وَجُوداً وَعَلى كَثْرَةِ الذُّنُوبِ إلاّ عَفْواً وَصُفْحاً صَلِّ عَلى مُحَمَّد وَآلِ مُحَمَّد وَافْعَلْ بى كَذا وَكَذا

O He! Besides whom there is no lord to be supplicated! O He, above whom there is no god to be feared. O He, except whom there is no master to be obeyed. O He, who has no counsellor to be approached. O He, who has no attendant to be bribed. O He, who has no doorkeeper to be fooled. O He, who gives generously, liberally irrespective of the demands, and (deals not) with numerous sins but mercifully and kindly. Send blessings upon Muhammad (sawa) and his progeny, and grant my prayers (Du’a, desires)

Shaykh Tusi, Misbah al-Mutahajjid, pg. 302

Dua of Imam Ali ibn Hussain Zainul Abideen (as)

If we read the supplications of Imam Zainul Abideen (as) in Sahifa Sajjadiya, we do not find any supplication addressed to anyone other than Allah (swt). Rather we find supplications that denounce such an act.

فَمَنْ حَاوَلَ سَدَّ خَلَّتِهِ مِنْ عِنْدِكَ
So he who strives to remedy his lack through what is with Thee

وَرَامَ صَرْفَ الْفَقْر عَنْ نَفْسِهِ بِكَ فَقَدْ طَلَبَ حَاجَتَهُ
and wishes to turn poverty away from himself through Thee has sought his need

فِي مَظَانِّها وَأَتَى طَلِبَتَهُ مِنْ وَجْهِهَا
in the most likely place and come to his request from the right quarter.

وَمَنْ تَوَجَّهَ بِحَاجَتِهِ إلَى أَحَد مِنْ خَلْقِكَ أَوْ جَعَلَهُ سَبَبَ نُجْحِهَا
But he who turns in his need toward one of Thy creatures or assigns the cause of its being granted

دُونَكَ فَقَدْ تَعَرَّضَ لِلْحِرْمَانِ
to other than Thee, has exposed himself to deprivation

وَاسْتَحَقَّ مِنْ عِنْدِكَ فَوْتَ الاِحْسَانِ
and deserves to miss Thy beneficence.

أللَّهُمَّ وَلِي إلَيْكَ حَاجَةٌ قَـدْ قَصَّرَ عَنْهَـا جُهْدِي
O God, I have a need of Thee: my exertion has fallen short of it

وَتَقَطَّعَتْ دُونَهَا حِيَلِي
and my stratagems have been cut back before reaching it.

وَسَوَّلَتْ لِيْ نَفْسِي رَفْعَهَا إلَى مَنْ يَرْفَعُ حَوَائِجَهُ إلَيْكَ
My soul induced me to present it to him who presents his needs to Thee

وَلاَ يَسْتَغْنِي فِي طَلِبَاتِهِ عَنْكَ
and can do nothing without Thee in his requests,

وَهِيَ زَلَّةٌ مِنْ زَلَلِ الْخَاطِئِينَ
but this is one the slips of the offenders,

وَعَثْرَةٌ مِنْ عَثَراتِ الْمُذْنِبِينَ
one of the stumbles of the sinners!

ثُمَّ انْتَبَهْتُ بِتَذْكِيرِكَ لِي مِنْ غَفْلَتِي
Then through Thy reminding me, I was aroused from my heedlessness,

وَنَهَضْتُ بِتَوْفِيقِكَ مِنْ زَلَّتِي
through Thy giving success, I stood up from my slip,

وَ رَجَعتُ وَنَكَصْتُ بِتَسْـدِيدِكَ عَنْ عَثْـرَتِي
and through Thy pointing the way, I returned and withdrew from my stumble.

وَقُلْتُ: سُبْحَانَ رَبّي كَيْفَ يَسْأَلُ مُحْتَاجٌ مُحْتَاجـاً
I said: Glory be to my Lord! How can the needy ask from the needy?

وَأَنَّى يَرْغَبُ مُعْدِمٌ إلَى مُعْدِم؟
How can the destitute beseech the destitute?

فَقَصَدْتُكَ يا إلهِي بِالرَّغْبَةِ
So I went straight to Thee, my God, in beseeching,

Sahifa Sajjadiya, Dua 13

Dua of Abu Hamza Thumali

Abu Hamza Thumali (ra) was a close companion of Imam Sajjad (as) he has related the following dua from Imam Sajjad (as)

وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِي ا­نَادِيهِ كُلَّمَا شِئْتُ لِحَاجَتِي
All Praise is for Allah whom I call upon with my needs whenever I wish

وَا­خْلُو بِهِ حَيْثُ شِئْتُ لِسِرِّي بِغَيْرِ شَفِيعٍ
and I entrust Him with my secrets without an intercessor

فَيَقْضِي لِي حَاجَتِي
and He grants me my wishes

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِي لاَ ا­دْعُو غَيْرَهُ
All Praise is for Allah whom I do not plead to anyone but Him

وَلَوْ دَعَوْتُ غَيْرَهُ لَمْ يَسْتَجِبْ لِي دُعَائِي
for if I pleaded to others, they would not grant me

Shaykh Tusi, Misbah al-Mutahajjid, pg. 582-598

Further in the dua he says:

 وَقَدْ قَصَدْتُ إِلَيْكَ بِطَلِبَتِي
And I have sought You for my wish

وَتَوَجَّهْتُ إِلَيْكَ بِحَاجَتِي
and directed my need to You

وَجَعَلْتُ بِكَ ٱسْتِغَاثَتِي
and I depend on You for my rescue

وَبِدُعَائِكَ تَوَسُّلِي
Through supplication I seek near to you

Shaykh Tusi, Misbah al-Mutahajjid, pg. 582-598

He also says:

يَا مَفْزَعِي عِنْدَ كُرْبَتِي
O the shelter I seek when I am in misfortune

وَيَا غَوْثِي عِنْدَ شِدَّتِي
O my Aid whenever hardships hit me

اليك فزعت
To You have I resorted

و بك استغثت ولذت
With You have I sought refuge and haven

لا ا لوذ بسواك
To none save You shall I ever resort

ولا اطلب الفرج الا منك
From none save You shall I ever seek for relief

Shaykh Tusi, Misbah al-Mutahajjid, pg. 582-598

Dua Makaremul Akhlaaq

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي أَصُولُ بِكَ عِنْدَ الضَّرُورَةِ، وَ أَسْأَلُكَ عِنْدَ الْحَاجَةِ، وَ أَتَضَرَّعُ إِلَيْكَ عِنْدَ الْمَسْكَنَةِ، وَ لا تَفْتِنِّي بِالِاسْتِعَانَةِ بِغَيْرِكَ إِذَا اضْطُرِرْتُ، وَ لا بِالْخُضُوعِ لِسُؤَالِ غَيْرِكَ إِذَا افْتَقَرْتُ، وَ لا بِالتَّضَرُّعِ إِلَى مَنْ دُونَكَ إِذَا رَهِبْتُ، فَأَسْتَحِقَّ بِذَلِكَ خِذْلانَكَ وَ مَنْعَكَ وَ إِعْرَاضَكَ، يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ

“…Oh Allah! Make me leap to thee in times of distress; ask from thee in times of need, and plea to thee in times of misery. Tempt me not to seek help from other than you when I am distressed, or to humble myself in asking from someone else when I am poor, or to plea with someone less than thee when in state of fear – for then (if I do that) I would deserve Thy abandonment, Thy withholding, and Thy turning away, O Most Merciful of the merciful! …”

Sahifa Sajjadiya, Dua 20

I would like to finish off this post with an excerpt from the Quran

وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ

And your Lord says: Call upon Me, I will answer you

Surah Ghafir, Verse 60

والحمد لله رب العالمين وصلى الله على محمد وآله الطاهرين


  1. Saïda Saïda March 23, 2019

    Salam Waleykum,
    A very good article brother. You explained it in such a good manner.
    May Allah subhanou reward you.

  2. Syed Mohammad Syed Mohammad March 29, 2019

    Yet, Allama Tabatabai undoubtably read Dua e Tawussal and other Duas invoking the Ahlulbayt in front God. And so did his students. Our scholars are not oppressed, nor are they misled. They tell us what they practice themselves, and what they practice has been passed down from the older Ulema of prior.

    Your article is devoid of nuance and a shame.

    • Admin Admin Post author | March 31, 2019

      Salam alaykum,

      Nowhere is anything claimed in regards to Allamah Tabatabai’s opinion in regards to dua tawasul, we have merely included his Quran tafsir on a particular verse as supplementation to the understanding of the term wasila.

      Once again you pose a claim we didn’t make; we have a variety of opinions in our madhab, it cant be that all scholars are correct on everything, they are interpreting Islam with pure intention in sha Allah and to the best of their abilities. But at the end of the day they are all still fallible people.

      As for your claim that the practices the like of “Ya Ali Madad” and dua tawasul are passed down, yes we have highlighted this in the article; passed down / normalized in the Safavid era by Allamah Baqir Majlisi (D. 1110). When we return to the actual classical scholars; Shaykh Saduq (D. 381), Shaykh Mufeed (D. 413), Shaykh Tusi (D. 460) etc. there is no sign of this practice and its recommendation.

      Wa salaam

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