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Tawassul - Seeking a Way unto Allah


Authors(s): Dr. Abd al-Karim Shirazi

Translator(s): Sayyid 039;Ali Shahbaz

Category: Prophethood amp; Imamate

Journal: Vol.5, N.4, 2000

Publisher(s): Ahlul Bayt World Assembly

Topic Tags: Tawassul Intercession Death Allah




Controversy over the concept of tawassul. Definition of tawassul; to the Prophet and the Saints during their lifetime and after death. Opinion of 'ulama (scholars) on the permissibility of tawassul.



“O you who believe! Fear Allah and seek an approach unto Him...” (5:35)

Over the last few centuries, the Muslims have been wracked by severe discord and hostility over the issue of tawassul (beseeching or supplicating) to Prophet Muhammad (saws), the Ahl al-Bayt (as), the Saints and the Pious, to the extent that those who reject this concept have accused its supporters of shirk or polytheism, while the upholders of tawassul have charged its opponents with enmity and aversion towards the Prophet (saws) and his Infallible Household (as).

The result has led to increasing bigotry on both sides to the benefit of their common enemies who have increased their domination of Muslim lands. This article is an attempt to examine and critically study the issue of tawassul.

Definition of Tawassul

The lexical meaning of tawassul is 'nearness' or a 'means' through which to reach a certain goal. For instance, when it is said wa wassala ila Allah, it means to perform a certain act for gaining proximity to God. Accordingly wasil here means being 'desirous of God'.(1)

According to the prominent Sunni scholar, Sayyid Muhammad Alusi al-Baghdadi, wasilah is

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1- Refer to the Arabic lexicons Lisan al-'Arab, Asas al-Balaghah and Tartib al-Qamus al-Muhit for meaning of wasala.
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