Seeking the help of the servants of Allah

All Muslims must realise that the real remover of all difficulties, the seer, the hearer and
the knower is only Allah. And by His granting, his chosen people are given knowledge,
the power to remove difficulties and to hear and see. For example, he made our parents
helpers in removing our difficulties. The Qur’an says:
My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.2
Sayyidina ‘Isa ‘alaihis salam would cure the blind and lepers and give life to the dead.
This is removal of difficulties and fulfilling needs of the highest order as the Qur’an
I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead, by Allah’s leave.3
Seeing and hearing and knowledge and understanding are attributes of humans which not
even the most ignorant of people will deny. Allah says:
So We have made him hearing, seeing.
And seeing and hearing are dependent on knowledge. Hence, Allah says:
Taught man that which he knew not.
And it should also be known that death is for the body, not the soul. The body dies but
the soul does not. The perceptions of the soul do not finish, in fact, they increase. It is in
the hadith that the people of the grave hear our salam and also reply to it. The actual
location of knowledge, perception and power is the soul, not the body. For the body there is the matter of near and far but not for the soul. For it, farness is also nearness and proof
of this is that the soul hears and replies to salam. If the soul is in paradise, it replies from
It must also be borne in mind that the friends of Allah are the intermediaries [wasila] of
Allah’s help. To attribute words towards an intermediary is well known in the Shari’ah
and colloquially. It is said that the rain grew the vegetation whereas in reality Allah grew
it but the rain is the intermediary and that is why the act of growing is attributed to the
rain. Similarly, it is said that the parents raised us whereas in reality Allah raised us.
Allah is the One who gives sight to the blind and respite to the lepers and it is Him who
raises the dead but because Sayyidina ‘Isa ‘alaihis salam is the intermediary in these acts,
Allah attributed them directly to him. He says:
And you healed the blind and the leprous by My permission; and when you brought
forth the dead by My permission.
After this introduction, we shall now endeavour to answer some oft raised objections.

Question 1
If someone apart from Allah can remove our difficulties, then tell us: If there is a distance of thousands of miles between the one beseeching and the one beseeched, can they hear this voice in their lifetime or from their grave?

Answer: As has been previously explained, the real remover of difficulties is Allah and by His granting, the people of excellence remove difficulties and by the will of Allah, can hear the voices of people in need even if there is a distance of thousands of miles between them. It has been mentioned that the power of hearing is actually from the soul and in the grave, the soul is not bound. After demise, the powers of the soul multiply manifold and its every activity is miraculous. These are some proofs for this:
1. It is in the Sahih ahadith that the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam said: When
you lose something in the jungle and you need help, then say: Oh servants of
Allah, help me. Oh servants of Allah, help me. Oh servants of Allah, help me.
2. Hafidh ibn Kathir writes that during the battle of Yamama, the companions
invoked the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam in the time of difficulty and
made Istighatha. Ibn Kathir writes:Hadrat Khalid bin Walid radiyAllahu ‘anhu raised the unique slogan of the Muslims and on that day, the sign of the Muslim army was Ya Muhammadah.(sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam)
Thus, the companions sought help from the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam.
Both these a hadith show that seeking help from the people of excellence is permissible
and that Allah removes the boundaries of near and far for the soul. For it, helping from
distances of thousands of miles becomes easy. Imam ‘Ali Qari Hanafi writes:
This is because the actions of the hereafter are based on miracles and abnormalities


Question 2
Suppose it is proven that they can hear from this distance, then the question is raised that do they understand every language in the world? For example, a German will present his difficulty in German and an Englishman in English.

It is in Sahih ahadith and narrated in the Sihah Sitta that when the deceased is placed in
the grave, two angels come to him named ‘Munkar Nakir’ and ask him three questions.
He answers the questions and the scholars have written that his answers are in Arabic or
Hebrew. The deceased will know this language. Imam ‘Ali Qari gives precedence to
Arabic and writes:
Even if the deceased is a non-Arab, he will know Arabic.10
When an ordinary Muslim and a Kafir can understand another language, then why is
extraordinary for the souls of the pious?
It is in the hadith that when a woman argues with her husband and hurts him, the Hoors
of paradise say:
May Allah destroy you. Do not harm him for he is your guest for a few days.
Soon he will leave you to be with us.11
This hadith shows that even if a woman argues with her husband in English or any other
language, the Hoors of paradise understand it. Hence, it is seen that the events of the
hereafter are abnormal and cannot be equated and analogised with those in this world.
Those things that are learned in this world are simply bestowed in the hereafter.


Question 3
Suppose it is proven that they understand every language, it is still left to answer that if
thousands of people were to present their need to them simultaneously, can they hear
each and everyone at one time or will there be a need for a queue?
It is not difficult for the soul to hear thousands of voices at once and to differentiate
between them. There are proofs for this:
1. The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam said:
Whoever passed by the grave of his Muslim brother whom he knew in the
world; he should say salam to him because the deceased still recognises him
and replies to his salam.12
2. Hadrat Abu Zarrin radiyAllahu ‘anhu said to the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi
Ya RasulAllah, I pass by a graveyard, what should I recite when passing? The
Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam replied: Assalamu ‘alaykum ya ahla’l
quburi mina’l muslimina wa’l mu’minina antum lanaa salafuw wa nahnu
lakum taba’uw wa inna inshaAllahu bikum lahiqun.
Hadrat Abu Zarrin asked: Do the dead hear? The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi
wasallam replied: They hear but cannot answer.
Imam Jalal al-Din Suyuti writes concerning this hadith:
The hadith means that the dead do not answer in a manner audible to the
living; otherwise they do reply to the salam which we cannot hear.13
These two ahadith prove that even if thousands of people pass by a graveyard, the
ordinary believers hear their salam and reply to it too. Then what of the people of
excellence? Moreover, what about the Chief of the Prophets himself? Hence, the Prophet
sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam said:
When a Muslim says salam to me, Allah returns my soul to me and I reply to it. Hafidh ibn Qayyim narrates from Hadrat Abu Darda radiyAllahu ‘anhu that the Prophet
sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam said:When a person sends salutations upon me, wherever he may be, his voice reaches
me. We asked: Even after your demise? The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam
replied: Even after my demise [because] Allah has made it Haram for the Earth to
consume the bodies of the Prophets.
Everybody knows that there is not a moment in the day or night in which thousands of
people, jinns and angels send salutations and salam upon the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi
wasallam. The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam hears all of these and replies too.
Therefore, it is known that it is not at all difficult for souls to hear many different voices.
It is ignorance to analogise the happenings of Barzakh to this world. The actions of this
world are acquired whereas those in Barzakh are granted and those in this world transpire through normal means whereas in Barzakh, they are abnormally and miraculously bestowed.
Take the grave for example. If a person is given that much space in this world, he will sit
uncomfortably; but in Barzakh, the space amount of space is expanded to 70 yards. If a
room is confined such that air cannot enter from any direction, the sound from inside
cannot out and vice versa but in the grave, the deceased is covered with soil yet he hears
the sound of footsteps outside


Question 4
Does this person ever feel sleepy or is he always awake? If he feels sleepy, then we
should have a list of times when he is asleep and he is awake so that we only present our
needs at this time or does he also listen when he is asleep?

Death is for the body, not the soul which is always alive. It is in the hadith that the
deceased recognises those who bathe, shroud, carry and lower him into the grave. This
recognition is by the soul, not the body. When the perceptions, knowledge, sight and
hearing are intact even after death, then when did he die? Yes, his body died and sleep is
the younger sister of death. Therefore, sleepiness will only affect those who have died;
and that which does not die, sleepiness will not affect it. The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi
wasallam said:The deceased recognises those who bathe him and those who carry him and those
who shroud him and those who lower him into the grave


Question 5
There is a man who cannot talk. He is in such a difficulty that his throat is closed. If he
presents his need from his heart, then will this lamentation of his heart be heard?

When the souls of the perfect believers can see and hear from thousands of miles away,
then by the will of Allah, why can they not get to know the states of peoples’ hearts? It is
in the hadith:
Beware of the intuitive perception [farasat] of the believer, for indeed he sees with
the nur of Allah?17
Commenting on this, Mawlana Wahid al-Zaman, writes:
Beware of the intuitive perception of the believer, for indeed he sees with the nur
of Allah and gets to know the inner states of peoples’ hearts.18
Imam ibn Hajar Haytami writes:
Some scholars were asked the meaning of Farasat. They said that some souls
travel in the world of spirits [malakut]; hence, they become aware of hidden
[ghuyub] matters and inform creation of them. When they talk of the secrets of
Allah, they do so from seeing [mushahada] and not through conjecture and
Imam ‘Ali Qari has written extensively with regards to the Nur of Farasat of the
believers. One incident is narrated here regarding Imam Yafi’i:
Imam al-Haramayn Abu’l Ma’ali bin Imam Abu Muhammad Juwaini was once
teaching in the masjid after Fajr. Some ascetics passed by with their companions
on their way to an invitation. Imam al-Haramayn thought to himself that is their
only job to attend [food] invitations and perform raqs? When the Shaykh left the
invitation, he passed by the masjid and said: Oh Faqih! What is your ruling for
that person who offers the morning prayer in the state Janaba and teaches the
Shari’ah and backbites? On hearing this, Imam al-Haramayn remembered that
Ghusl was wajib upon him. Thereafter, he had great affection for the ascetics.20
We have seen how Allah grants his chosen people inner nur that they not only come to
know the feelings of peoples’ hearts; they even know those things that people have
themselves forgotten.
We also learn that the nur of their vision is such that to get to know peoples’ states, they
are in no need of loud exclamations. They can read the condition of peoples’ hearts and
help them accordingly.


Question 6
During his life, a man faces many difficulties – some big and some small. If Allah can
relieve all these difficulties, then what is the need to turn towards anyone else? And if
those other than Allah can relieve all difficulties, then why do we need Allah?
It is Allah who removes all difficulties – big and small. His chosen people are
intermediaries for His help. For example, it is Allah who grants cures and raises His
creatures but doctors and parents are intermediaries for cures and upbringing
respectively. Everyone is this world turns towards means and it is through this that the
world exists. The same is the case for the Prophets and Saints. They are intermediaries
for the help of Allah and creation turns to them with this in mind.
We can ask the questioner in his own words: If Allah can remove all difficulties from a person’s birth till their death and if He can cure all illnesses; then why do people go to a doctor? If a doctor can relieve our illnesses, then what need have we for Allah?


Question 7
If people besides Allah can remove our difficulties, then it is possible that some of them
are removed by Allah and He has given the responsibility to remove some difficulties to
others. Therefore, you should have a list of difficulties that can be removed by Allah and
those that can be removed by others; so that a questioner can present his needs to
whoever can relieve it.
Even though this ridiculous question has been answered in Question 6, we shall repeat it
with further clarity. It is Allah who removes all difficulties, so much so that it is in the
hadith that when a person runs out of salt, then he should ask Allah for more and if his
shoelace breaks, then he should ask Allah. All praise is to Allah that the belief of Ahlu’s
Sunnah is upon the fact that the real helper is Allah and His chosen people are
manifestations of His help and their help is actually the help of Allah.
However, our experience shows that Wahabis do not act upon this. They ask for salt from
the shopkeeper instead of Allah and ask a cobbler for a shoelace and ask people for
monetary donations. Can Allah not relieve these difficulties? If He can, then why do they
go to other than Allah? Yes, if a Wahabi is drowning in the river and there is someone to
help him nearby; then we can guarantee that the Wahabi will consider him to be a means
of help and will associate this helper to be a partner to Allah, nay, not just that, he will
consider this helper to be a greater helper than Allah and will only call upon this helper
and his monotheism will be unaffected. Yes, if he cannot see any helper; then he will call
upon no other than Allah.Now, we ask you in your own words: For some things you ask other than Allah and for
others you call Allah alone. Have you got a list which you refer to and seek the help of
Allah for some matters and seek it from others for other matters?
Yet you do not feel any shame.


Question 8
Whoever can relieve a difficulty apart from Allah, can they also impart difficulties or is
their job only to relieve? If they can only remove difficulties, then who creates them?
Whether it is remove a difficulty or to impart it; to give benefit or harm; the real decider
in all these matters is Allah and it is Allah who can make anyone of His creation give
benefit or harm. He has made honey grant a cure, food to diminish hunger and water to
quench thirst. He made the Earth a covering and the sky a roof. All these things give
benefit. He made snakes and scorpions injurious, poison a killer and a heretic a killing
agent; hence, all these things are harmful and their benefiting or harmful properties are by
the will of Allah. The Qur’an says:
And We sent down Iron, in which is (material for) mighty war, as well as many
benefits for mankind.21
The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam said:
Whoever has the ability to benefit a brother, then he should benefit him.22
1. In the battle of Hunayn when the Kuffar surrounded the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi
wasallam, he stepped down from his ride and gathered a handful of dust and
threw it at them with the words: Shahati’l wujuh [their faces worsened]. There
remained none from the Kuffar whose two eyes were not filled. They ran off and
Allah defeated them.23
2. When the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam wrote to the king of Iran, Chosroes,
he tore the letter upon which the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam said:
May they be totally torn apart. 24
The blessed tongue had uttered these words and soon after, Chosroes’ own son
killed him and the kingdom of Iran was destroyed.3. During the battle of Yamama, the companions sought help from the Prophet
sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam with the words یا محمداه . If it was only یا محمد , even
then the meaning was achieved but the alif is for Istighatha. In this Khayr al-
Qurun, these monotheists [companions] made the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi
wasallam their helper against the enemies of Islam.
4. The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam said about the Abdal of Syria:
By their blessings, rain will fall and through their intermediation, victory
will be gained against the enemies and due to their blessed beings, the
people of Syria will be saved from punishment.25
5. During the caliphate of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiyAllahu ‘anhu, Hadrat Sariya
radiyAllahu ‘anhu took an army to Nahawand which is approximately 2,500 km
from Madina. They were engaged in battle against the Kuffar and one battalion of
the enemy army planned to attack the Muslim army from behind the mountain. At
the same time, Sayyidina ‘Umar radiyAllahu ‘anhu was on the pulpit delivering
the Friday sermon in Madina. The battle plan was in his sights and before the
enemy could fulfil their strategy, Sayyidina ‘Umar radiyAllahu ‘anhu informed
Hadrat Sariya radiyAllahu ‘anhu of the danger and loudly exclaimed the words Ya
Sariyat al-Jabal thrice. On hearing these words, Hadrat Sariya too altered his plan
and saved the Muslim army from defeat.26
Hence, we learn that the chosen people of Allah are not only relievers of difficulty; they
can even inflict difficulty, destruction and humiliation upon enemies, by the will of Allah


Question 9
In the end, the result is that Allah inflicts difficulties and those other than Allah remove
them. Suppose one being is chosen to inflict difficulties and another is chosen to remove
them; which of the two beings will take back their decision?
This question is a mere deception of the questioner who, according to his ignorance, is
trying to prove that power is shared between Allah and His chosen people and that some
things are governed by Allah and others by His people. Since He has power over one
thing, then it is possible that a conflict occurs and if one being is more powerful, then the
other will have to revoke their decision.
This is said even though no Muslim in the world believes that power is shared by Allah
and His people or that there can be a conflict. The essence of all power is Allah who is
without a partner and the power of His chosen people is granted by Him. They do not use their power against the will of Allah, rather the use their power is in accordance with the
decision of Allah. This is a belief that will not be denied by anyone but an infidel.
Let us firstly see what the Qur’an says regarding the power given to the people of Allah
and secondly, how they comply with the orders of Allah in using these powers:
1. Allah granted Sayyidina Sulaiman ‘alaihis salam power over the winds and it
blew according to his order. Hence, the Qur’an says:
And (We made) the wind (subservient) to Sulaiman, which made a
month’s journey in the morning and a month’s journey in the
In another place, Allah says:
Then We made the wind subservient to him; it made his command to run
gently wherever he desired.28
In another place, the perfection of his control of the winds is described thusly:
And (We made subservient) to Sulaiman the wind blowing violent, pursuing
its course by his command to the land which We had blessed.29
2. Allah made metal turn soft for Sayyidina Dawud ‘alaihis salam. He says:
And We made the iron soft for him.30
3. Allah granted Sayyidina ‘Isa ‘alaihis salam the power to heal the blind and lepers
and to raise the dead and Sayyidina ‘Isa ‘alaihis salam announced this power with
these words of the Qur’an:
And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead, by Allah’s
4. A companion of Sulaiman ‘alaihis salam was given the power to bring the
weighty throne of Bilqis before the blink of an eye, whereas it was a distance that
would normally take two months’ travel. Allah mentions the words of His
accomplished servant thusly:
I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye.

5. When Sayyidina ‘Isa ‘alaihis salam talked about the power given to him by Allah,
he did so with the words Bi idhnillah. On the day of judgement, Allah will
recount the favours of His upon Sayyidina ‘Isa ‘alaihis salam and He will
especially use the word Idhn. He says in the Qur’an:
And you healed the blind and the leprous by My permission; and when you
brought forth the dead by My permission.33
6. It is mentioned in the Qur’an about the companion of Sayyidina Musa ‘alaihis
salam, Hadrat Khidr ‘alaihis salam, who talked of his perfection in some
creational [takweeni] matters:
I did it not of my own accord.
These six verses prove that Allah grants His chosen people authority in creational
matters. They do not use these powers against the will of Allah in order for a conflict to
occur, rather, they use these powers according to the order of Allah.


Question 10
When offering the funeral prayer of a person, should we call upon Allah to seek
forgiveness for them or to others who remove difficulties?
This question, too, is based on ignorance and lack of knowledge because:
 Is there any Muslim in the world who seeks forgiveness from anyone other than
 Do we not recite Allahummagh fir li hayyina wa mayyitina wa shahidina wa
gha’ibina in the funeral prayer of every adult Muslim?
It is only Allah that forgives sins:
And who can forgive sins except Allah.35
Yes, due to the blessings of supplications made by His pious servants, sometimes Allah
grants forgiveness and this is why the funeral prayer is ordained so that these pious
servants can seek forgiveness for the deceased and due to this, He grants it.