It is very sad and unfortunate that many people have misinterpreted and misunderstood the Shari' method and value of Waseela. The Dangers of getting it wrong will be catastrophic!
My aim here is to keep it very simple and differentiate between that which is Halal and that which is Shirk and I pray to Allah that He gives us the ability to see the difference and protect our Iman.
It's not something new, instead it's very old, older than Islam and when done incorrectly, it becomes a Pagan act.
Islam came to wipe out Paganism, it came to wipe out Polythiesm, i.e. Shirk, associating partners with Allah. Islam came with Tawheed, The first Pillar of Islam!
So for anyone to get this wrong, knowingly or unknowingly will destroy their Akhira.
One may ask, "Why unknowingly?" well, because the answers are right in front of us and all we need to do is educate ourselves.
Allah tells us very clearly and we repeat it a minimum of 20 times to 32/48 or more everyday! (depending on how we offer our Salah).
You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). Surah Fatiha Verse 5
One may argue that they don't understand Arabic, well, neither do majority of the Muslims today, but we have the translation available in almost every language!
So what's the problem? The problem is many people are misunderstanding Waseela and are in fact practising Istighatha (yet another term)
For example, one makes a claim that our Prophet (SalALLAHu 'alayhi wasallam) taught us our Deen and showed us the straight path, therefore we should make Dua to him (SalALLAHu 'alayhi wasallam) to guide us back on the straight path and NOT to ask Allah, just like the way we have a Maths teacher, if we have a problem or need guidance in Maths, we ask the Maths teacher directly for help since we can't go back to the Headteacher of the school.
Yes a very bad example, but unfortunately, that is how Waseela (and Tawassul) are being understood - something I witnessed first-hand unfortuantely, however, I believe what I witnessed was a mere misunderstanding and a slip of a tongue inshaAllah.
So lets get to know what Waseela, Tawassul and Istighatha are and what position they hold in Islam.
What is Waseela and Tawassul?
1) To make dua to Allah Ta’ala and to ask Allah to fulfill ones needs through/with the waseela of a Nabi or a Wali (friend of Allah). Nabi alaihis salaam taught a Sahabi to make dua through him (Nabi alaihis salaam). Refer to Tirmizi Shareef vol. 2 pg. 197 and Mishkaat pg. 219.
2) Umar radiyaalahu anhu at the time of drought use to make dua and take the waseela of Abbaas radiyaalahu anhu, the paternal uncle of Nabi alaihis salaam. Refer to Mishkaat pg. 132 and also Bukhaari.
3) To use the waseela of ones good deeds is also Jaaiz as mentioned in the Hadith of the ‘Ghaar’ (cave), when the 3 men were locked in a cave by a rock which blocked the entrance. Each one of the 3 men through the waseela of one of his good deeds implores Allah to remove the rock and accordingly Allah removed the rock. Refer to Riyaadus Saaliheen by Imaam Nawawi.
Proof on the validity of Waseela and Tawassul:
Allah Most High says:
“O you who believe! Fear Allah and seek a means (waseela) to him” (Surah al-Ma’ida, V: 35)
The word “Waseela” (a means of approach) in its general indication includes Tawassul (using intermediaries in supplication to Allah) by persons, and through actions.
This means seeking to draw close to Allah through acts of worship which He loves and which please Him; these may be waajib (obligatory) or mustahabb (encouraged), and may take the form of words, actions or beliefs. Some types are as follows:
Seeking to draw close to Allah by means of His names and attributes. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His names. They will be requited for what they used to do.” [al-A’raaf 7:180].
So when a person makes du’aa’ to Allah, he begins by calling on Allah with the name that is most apt, such as “al-Rahmaan” (the Most Merciful) when seeking mercy and al-Ghafoor (the All-Forgiving) when asking for forgiveness, and so on.
Seeking to draw close to Allah by means of faith and Tawheed. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger, so write us down among those who bear witness (to the truth).” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:53]
Seeking to draw close to Allah through righteous deeds, whereby a person asks Allah by virtue of the best deeds that he has done, such as salaah, fasting, reading Quran, avoiding haraam things, and so on. An example of this is the saheeh hadeeth narrated in the Saheehayn about the three people who entered a cave, and a rock fell and blocked their way out. They asked Allaah by virtue of their best deeds (to save them). A person may also ask Allah by virtue of his total dependency upon Him, as Allah mentions in the Quran (interpretation of the meaning):
"[Ayyoob said:] ‘Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.’ [al-Anbiya’ 21:83];
or by admitting his own wrongdoing and his need for Allah, as Yoonus is described as saying (interpretation of the meaning):
“ ‘None has the right to be worshipped except You (O Allah). Glorified (and exalted) are You. Truly I have been of the wrong-doers.’” [al-Anbiya’ 21:87]
The rulings on Islamically correct tawassul vary according to its type. Some types are Waajib, such as seeking to draw close to Allah through His names and attributes and through Tawheed (believing in His absolute Oneness), and some are mustahabb, such as seeking to draw close to Him by virtue of all kinds of righteous deeds.
Intercession that is bid’ah and Istighatha that is Shirk and, that is the problem and therefore forbidden:
Lets go into a bit of detail of ISTIGHATHA and hope to see what the major difference is and why what I mentioned above about asking the Prophet directly for help is Shirk, let alone any pious dead or alive person
Impermissible Waseela's (aka ISTIGHATHA)
1) To ask anyone or thing to fulfill ones needs besides Allah Ta’ala.
The above mentioned permissibility is in regard to one who asks Allah for a particular need and in doing so, he uses some honourable personality as his Waseela (means) without thinking or believing that the person is being supplicated to or that he will fulfil his need. Yes, if one asks directly from the deceased and he believes that the Anbiyaa [alayhimus salaam] and the pious [rahimahumullah] independently possess the power to provide, then this would be Shirk (polytheism) because he is now ascribing partners to Allah in the quality of 'Providing', or the quality of "The All Hearing" This is what is known as Istigatha
This is the attempt to draw close to Allah by means of things that He does not like and that do not please Him, whether they be words, deeds or beliefs. One example of this is trying to draw close to Allah by calling on the dead or people who are absent, ASKING THEM FOR HELP, and so on. This is a form of Shirk, which goes agianst Tawheed and means that a person is no longer considered to be a Muslim. Calling uopn Allah, whether it is for a purposesuch as asking Him to grant some benefit or to ward off some harm, or as an act of worship to express humility and submission before Him, can only be addressed directly to Allah. If Dua's or prayers are addressed to anyting or anyone else, this is Shirk.
“Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret…” [al-A’raaf 7:55].
Allah commands His slaves to call on Him and not anyone else.
Allah says of the people of Hell:
“[They say:] ‘By Allaah, we were truly in a manifest error when we held you (false gods) as equals (in worship) with the Lord of the Worlds.” [al-Shu’ara’ 26:96-97]
Anything that results in equating something other than Allah with Allah in worship or acts of obedience is shirk, the crime of associating partners with Him. Allah says:
“And who is more astray than one who calls (invokes) besides Allah, such as will not answer him until the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them? And when mankind are gathered (one the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become enemies for them and will deny their worshipping.” [al-Ahqaaf 46:5-6]
Tawassul or Waseela (to seek a medium) is proven from Qur’an and Hadith. Allah Ta’ala says,
‘O you who believe! Fear Allah and seek Waseela to Him.’ (Surah al-Ma’ida, V: 35)
Hadhrat Umar (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) sought rain during drought through the Waseela of the Prophet’s Uncle (SalALLAHu 'alayhi wasallam). However, due to people trespassing the limits of Waseela and there is fear of committing Shirk, it is advisable to abstain from Tawassul. Any permissible act which may lead to Shirk also becomes prohibited
Since making Dua is an act of Worship - We CANNOT ask anyone other than Allah for help!
Sayyiduna 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The most excellent worship is du'a." (Al-Mustadrak, p.491 – classified as authentic by Al-Hakim and Al-Dhahabi)
For those who wish to be cautious and not cross the boundaries, it is wise to abstain from such acts and for those who wish the use a pious person as their Waseela, why opt for a deceased Saint, Peer, Bawa or any other Prophet when we have The Greatest Man to walk the face of the Earth, Muhammad (Sallallahu'alaihi Wasallam) himself. But do it correctly as mentioned above. Don't ask Directly believing that He (Sallallahu'alaihi Wasallam) will fulfill your Dua's! Or use your good deeds and present them as way of getting closer to Allah like the people mentioned in Surah Kahaf.
The practice of istighathah – which is to call for such help from the creation, which is beyond their natural means – would be impermissible and a possible cause of shirk.
DOING IT THE WRONG WAY WILL LEAD PEOPLE TO BECOME MUSHRIKS AS WE SEE TODAY Click here and ask yourself if you have misunderstood Waseela and if you are practicing Istighatha http://www.muftisays.com/blog/abu+mohammed/578_18-11-2010/who%27s-been-fooled.html
https://islamqa.info/en/100105 For Tabarruk :)