Ibn Taymiyya on Tawassul and Shafa`a

Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem

Ibn Taymiyya said in his book “al-qaida al-jaleela fit- tawwasali wal-waseela“, with commentary of Rabi`a bin Hadi `Umayr al-Mudkhali, professor in the Islamic University of Madinah al-Munawwara, page 6, paragraph 9:

“Muslims agreed that the Prophet (saws) is the greatest of creation the highest in rank and superiority and the most glorified and honored in the presence of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala and no other creation is better to Allah than the Prophet (saws) and no other shafa`a is greater than his shafa`a. [‘aazamu al-khalqi jaahan `ind-Allahi laa jaahun li- makhluqin `inda-Allahi `azamu min jaahihi wa laa shafa`atun `azamu min shafa`atih]

He mentioned in the same book, page 4, para. 4:

“the Prophet (saws) is the intercessor of all creation [shafi`a al-khala’iq] and the owner of the Maqaam al-Mahmoud, that was the aspiration those who came before and those who came after, and he is the greatest of intercessors [shufa`a] and the highest in glory and superiority in Allah’s Presence.”

Ibn Taymiyya says in the same book on page 3, para. 2:

“Allah has sent his Prophet (saws) to Jinn and mankind and everyone has to follow him and believe in him and to follow him INWARDLY [BATIN] and OUTWARDLY [DHAHIR] and to believe in the Prohet (saws and to follow him is the only for Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala and the only way for the religion of Allah and it is the worship of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala and it is the obedience of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala, and all these are the way of the Friends of Allah [awliya-Allah], and all this is the the means [waseela] that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has ordered His servants to follow when He said in the Holy Qur’an, [35,5] “yaa ayyuhalladheena aamanu ittaqullaha wabtaghaw ilayhi al-waseela ” — “O ye who believe! Fear Allah and seek the means of approach unto Him.” And the means to seek Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is that one who will ask Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala by the intercession and the means of faith in His Prophet (saws) in and following him.”

Ibn Taymiyya states on page 12, para. 18:

“It is agreed between the Sahaba, and the Tabi`een and the Four Imams Maliki, Shafi`i, Hanafi and Hanbali, that the Prophet (saws) will intercede for the sinners of his Ummah.”

And Ibn Taymiyya continues on the same page 12, para 20:

“And the Sahaba and the Tabi`een and the Four Imams of Islam all of them confirmed the authentic hadith of the Prophet (saws) that Allah will take out from Hell people after He will punish them for whatever length of time he likes with the shafa`a of the Prophet (saws). And ALLAH WILL TAKE OUT OF HELL SOME OTHERS BY THE shafa`a OF OTHER THAN THE PROPHET (SAWS)[!!!!….]”

And on page 17, para 28:

[“wa lafdhu at-tawassul qad yuradu bihi thalaathata umoor”] The word intermediation [tawassul] refers to three different meanings. Two of them are agreed upon among the Muslims.

and on para 29:

“the first of the two is the root of faith and Islam [hua asal al-eemaan wal-islam wa hua at-tawassul bil eemaani bihi] and it is the intercession with the Prophet (saws) by means of the belief in him and to obey him (saws). Second is by means of his supplication [du`a] and by means of his intercession [shafa`a], …and whoever denied this he is a kaafir and a renegade [murtad]. He must repent, and if he does not he will be killed. And no single scholar can deny the intermediation [at-tawassul] of his supplication and his intercession [shafa`a].”

and Ibn Taymiyya on page 17, para 30 says:


and he says on para 32, of the same page,

“whoever denies the intermediation by means of his supplication [du`a] and his intercession [shafa`a] and whoever denies that Muslims will derive benefit from that is a non-believer [kaafir]. And whoever denies out of ignorance must be educated. If he will persist in his denial and is stubborn, he will be considered a renegade [murtad].”

Imam Ahmad said in his Musnad, Volume 2, page 75:

“Abdullah bin `Umar said that the Prophet (saws) said, ‘I have been asked to choose between the Intercession [as-shafa`a] or to enter half my Nation into Paradise, but I chose the shafa`a because it is more inclusive and more perfect. Do you think it is for the pious? No! It is for the filthy and sinful people.”

And Ibn Majah said, in Volume, page 1444:

“Ibn Jaabir said he heard Salim bin `Aamir that he heard `Auf bin Maalik saying that the Prophet (saws) said, ‘do you know what Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has given me a choice in this night?’ We said, ‘Allah and His Prophet (saws) know better.’ He said, ‘He gave me a choice between two matters: either to send half my Nation to Paradise or to have the shafa`a. And I chose the shafa`a.’ And we said, ‘O Prophet, ask Allah to make us from those who deserve the shafa`a.’ And the Prophet (saws) said, ‘It is for every Muslim.'” [Muslim said it is authentic]

`Allaama Ibn Qayyim in his book al-Jami` al-Fareed, page 493, comments on the following hadith of Ibn `Abbas (r):

“in the time before the Prophet (saws) the Jews of Khaybar were fighting with the Ghatfaan tribe. When the battle ended the Jews were defeated. They prayed to Allah asking Him, ‘for the sake of Muhammad (bi haqqi Muhammad), the Prophet whom you are sending in the last days, make us defeat this tribe.” When they met again with Ghatfaan they defeated them. Allah mentioned that event in the Qur’an when He said: “From of old they had prayed for victory against the unbelievers” (Baqara, 89), which means they [the Jews] were asking for your sake, O Muhammad, to defeat the unbelievers.”

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions