Istighatha by Means of the Prophet During His Life

Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad

[Istighatha = Using Intermediaries And Intercessors]

It is related that:

One night, the Prophet of Allah – may Allah bless him and grant him peace – was in his house and was heard to proclaim ‘I am here!’ three times and ‘You have been granted help’ also three times. Umm al- Mu’minin, Maymunah – may Allah be well pleased with her – asked the Prophet – may Allah bless him and grant him peace – whom he had been talking to since there was no one present. He – may Allah bless him and grant him peace – replied, ‘I was talking to a person called Rajiz from the tribe of Bani Ka`ab. He asked for help from me against the Quraysh.’ Umm al- Mu’minin, Maymunah – may Allah be well pleased with her – said that when she finished Fajr prayer the next morning, she heard Rajiz calling out in the streets of Madina: “Ya Rasul Allah! Help us and call the servants of Allah to help us.”

Shaykh Yusuf al-Nabhani, Allah have mercy on him, cites two hadiths in this respect with their full wording in the chapter of the Prophet’s `ilm al-ghayb in his encyclopedia of the Prophetic miracles, Hujjat Allah `ala al-Alamin bi-Mu`jizat Sayyid al-Mursalin (p. 493):

<<Al-T.abarânî narrates that Maymûna the Mother of the believers said: “The Messenger of Allâh, upon him blessings and peace, was sleeping with me one night and he got up to make ablution and pray. I heard him say during his ablution in the dead of night:

Labbayka labbayka labbayka

– [like this,] three times – then:

nus.irta nus.irta nus.irta

[like this,] three times. When he came out, I asked him, “Messenger of Allâh, I heard you say, during your ablution, ‘In your service!’ three times, and ‘To your defense!’ three times, as if you were addressing someone. Was there someone with you?” He replied: “This was the poetry champion (râjiz) of the Banû Ka`b” – one of the sub-tribes of the Khuzâ`a – “invoking my aid (yastas.rikhunî)(1) and asserting that the Quraysh had helped the Banû Bakr against them.” The latter had allied themselves with the Quraysh the day of the H.udaybiya truce while the Khuzâ`a had allied themselves with the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, and he became duty-bound to defend them. The support of the Quraysh for the Banû Bakr against the Khuzâ`a was therefore a violation of their truce with the Messenger of Allâh, upon him blessings and peace. This incident was the catalyst for the conquest of Makka and, immediately afterwards, he prepared himself to enter it and conquered it.(2)

<<Ibn Ish.âq said – as found in Ibn Hishâm’s Sîra – that when the Banû Bakr and the Quraysh defeated the Khuzâ`a and looted them, violating the terms of the solemn pact to which they had agreed with the Messenger of Allâh, upon him blessings and peace, by warring with the Khuzâ`a, his formal allies, `Amr ibn Sâlim al-Khuzâ`î, one of the Banû Ka`b there, rode out until he came to see the Messenger of Allâh, upon him blessings and peace, in al-Madîna. His coming gave the impetus for the conquest of Makka.(3) He stood before the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, as the latter sat in the Mosque, in full sight of the people, and declaimed:

Lord! I am appealing to Muh.ammad
by the time-honored pact of both our fathers.

You(5) were a father and we a son;
then we entered Islâm and remained loyal.

Help us, and may Allâh help you always!
Summon His servants, they shall come in arms,

Among them, the Prophet, mobilized–
if he is wronged, his face glowers.

In his legion he marches, a sea, foaming.
Quraysh broke its treaty with you!

They violated the truce they pledged you,
made me as good as dead and buried!(

They claimed I could not call on anyone
although they are meaner and less by far!

They snared us at Watîr during our vigils
and slew us as we bowed and prostrated.

<<The Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, said: “In your defense, `Amr ibn Sâlim!” Then the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, glimpsed a cloud in the sky and said: “Truly, this cloud is initiating the victory of the Banû Ka`b.” Then he geared himself for the conquest of Makka and conquered it.(8)>>


(1) Ibn H.ajar in al-Is.âba (4:631) mentions another wording, “invoking my mercy (yastarh.imunî).”

(2) Narrated from Maymûna by al-T.abarânî in the Kabîr (23:433-434 §1052) and S.aghîr (2:167-169 §968) and al-Taymî in his Dalâ’il (p. 73-74 §59), both with a slightly weak chain because of Yah.yâ ibn Sulaymân ibn al-Madînî cf. al-Haythamî (6:163-164) although Ibn `Adî in al-Kâmil (7:255 §2156) said “he narrated reports from Mâlik and the Madinans, most of which are valid.” Ibn H.ibbân included him in his Thiqât (9:269). Cf. Is.âba (4:631), Fath. (7:520), Sîra H.alabiyya (3:5), and Dah.lân’s Sîra (2:76-77).

(3) Cf. Ibn `Umar’s narration in Ibn H.ibbân (13:140 §5996) and Ibn H. ajar, Talkhîs. al-H.abîr (4:131 §1929).

(4) Allâhumma innî nâshidu Muh.ammadâ / h.ilfa abînâ wa’abîhi al- atladâ.

(5) I.e. the Banû Hâshim and Banû `Abd al-Mut.t.alib with a rhetorical trope of apostrope (iltifât).

(6) Wa-ja`alû lî fî kadâ’in ras.adâ, misspelt in al-Nabhânî as wa- ja`alû lî fîka dâ’in ras.adâ.

(7) Ibn `Asâkir (43:519) narrated from Ibn al-Musayyab: “There is not one homebound woman of Banû Khuzâ`a except she memorized the verses of `Amr ibn Sâlim al-Khuzâ`î to the Messenger of Allâh, upon him blessings and peace.”

(8) Narrated
(i) through al-Zuhrî from `Urwa ibn al-Zubayr from the Companion al-Miswar ibn Makhrama and the Tâbi`î Marwân ibn al-H.akam by Ibn Ish.âq in the Maghâzî (cf. Ibn Hishâm 5:48, al-T.ah.âwî, Sharh. Ma`ânî al-Athâr 3:315-316, Is.âba 4:630-631, and Bidâya 4:278), al-T. abarî in his Târîkh (2:152-153), Ibn `Asâkir in his Târîkh (43:519- 520), and al-Bayhaqî in the Sunan al-Kubrâ (9:233) and Dalâ’il;
(ii) from Ibn `Abbâs by Ibn Mandah and Abû Nu`aym in Ma`rifat al-S.ah.âba as well as Ibn al-Athîr in Usd al-Ghâba (4:225-226 cf. Is.âba 5:285);
(iii) from Abû Hurayra by al-Bazzâr and al-Bayhaqî (cf. Bidâya 4:281) with a fair chain according to Ibn H.ajar in the Fath. (7:520) and al- Haythamî (6:162);
(iv) from the Tâbi`în Abû Salama and Yah.yâ ibn `Abd al-Rah.mân ibn H.ât.ib by Ibn Abî Shayba (7:398 §36900) and
(v) also mursal from `Ikrima by Ibn Abî Shayba (7:400-401 §36902) and al-T.ah. âwî inSharh. Ma`ânî al-Athâr (3:291, 3 :312-313). The bracketed segment is narrated only through al-Zuhrî. Cf. Iktifâ‘ (2:215); al- Fâkihî, Akhbâr Makka (5:103); Istî`âb (3:1175-1176); Ibn al-Qayyim, Zâd (3:348-349); Sîra H.alabiyya (3:5-6); Ibn Taymiyya, al-S.ârim al- Maslûl (2:214); Is.âba (1:122), Fath. (7:519-520), Talkhîsal-H.abîr (4:131-132 §1929), Ibn al-Athîr, Kâmil (2:162), al-Suhaylî, Rawd. (2: 265), and Kanz (§14422, §30166, §30195, §30204). Al-Watîr or Watîn is a Khuzâ`a watering-point in the lowest area of Makka cf. Yâqût and al- Nihâya. Ibn Ish.âq and al-Wâqidî said that `Amr was accompanied by forty riders of the Banû Khuzâ`a when he arrived in Madîna. Another report by al-Bârûdî with a weak munqat.i` chain attributes those verses to Budayl ibn Kulthûm ibn Sâlim al-Khuzâ`î cf. Is.âba (1:274).

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