• Origin 1
    • Sunni Islam 1.1
    • Shia Islam 1.2
    • Quranist view 1.3
  • Notes 2
  • References 3
  • Further reading 4
  • External links 5


The Qur'an states:

We sent not the Messenger, but to be obeyed, in accordance with the will of Allah. If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come to the Messenger and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful.
— Al-Qur'an, Surah an-Nisa, 4:64[1]

Muslims also believe that intercession is only with the "permission" of Allah.[2] Muslims believe that the practice of seeking intercession began during the life of Muhammad.[3] An oft-cited Hadith in support of this is one narrated from Uthman ibn Hunaif regarding a blind man who Muslims believe was healed through the process.

The Hadith is as follows:

A blind man came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and said: “I've been afflicted in my eyesight, so pray to Allah for me”. The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Go perform ablution (Wudu), perform two Rak’at Salat and then say: “O Allah! I ask you and turn to you through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy. O Muhammad! I seek your intercession with my lord for the return of my eyesight, that it may be fulfilled. O Allah! Grant him intercession for me”. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) then said: “and if there is some other need, do the same”
— Recorded by Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa'i, Tabarani and others, with a sound chain of narrators.[4]

Sunni Islam

Sunni Muslims traditionally have believed that seeking intercession is lawful: Imam Baihaqi in Shu’ayb ul Iman endorsed the view of Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, Imam Shafi in Imâm Shâfi`î, Dîwân, Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani in Al-Isabah, Mullah Ali Qari in Sharh ash-Shifa, Imam Ibn Kathir in Ibn Kathir, Imam an-Nawawi in Majmu, Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti in Dur al-Manthur, Imam Qurtubi in Tafsir al-Qurtubi, Qadhi Shawkani in Tuhfa tul Dhakireen have explained and supported Tawassul.[1]

  • Syrian Islamic scholars Salih al-Nu`man, Abu Sulayman Suhayl al-Zabibi, and Mustafa ibn Ahmad al-Hasan al-Shatti al-Hanbali al-Athari al-Dimashqi have similarly released Fatwas in support of the practice.[5]
  • The Salafi considers it unlawful to make Tawassul through those that are no longer alive — including prophets and saints. The Saudi-based Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fataawa holds the view that Tawassul through dead persons, virtuous or not, leads to shirk (polytheism).[6]

Shia Islam

Seeking Intercession (tawassul) is accepted and even advised in Shi'a Islam. Shia Scholars refer to Quranic verses such as 5:3, 12:97 and 12:98 and justify its permissibility. During the tawassul prayer Shia Muslims call on the names of the prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt and use them as their intercessors/intermediaries to God.[7]

Quranist view

According to Tabatabaie there are three types of verses concerning intercession. The first type of which totally rejects intercession,[1][2][3][4][8] while the second type reserves it for God only.[5][6][7][8] The third type however state that others too may intercede with God's permission.[8][9][10][11][12][8]

Tabatabaie says it is a famous style of Quran that it first rejects any virtue or perfection for anyone other than God; then it confirms the same virtue for others depending on His permission and pleasure.[8] To prove his view, Tabataba'i puts forward the following similar verse in which first (in the first verse) Quran says only God knows unseen, then (in the second verse) Quran confirms it for others too: And with Him are the keys of the unseen, does not know it any except He.[13] [S]o He does not reveal His secrets to any, except to him whom He chooses of an apostle.[14][8]


  1. ^ Qur'an, 2: 254
  2. ^ Qur'an, 12: 48
  3. ^ Qur'an, 40: 33
  4. ^ Qur'an, 10: 18
  5. ^ Qur'an, 32: 4
  6. ^ Qur'an, 6: 51
  7. ^ Qur'an, 2: 255
  8. ^ Qur'an, 10: 3
  9. ^ Qur'an, 21: 26-28
  10. ^ Qur'an, 19: 87
  11. ^ Qur'an, 34: 23
  12. ^ Qur'an, 53: 26
  13. ^ Qur'an, 6: 59
  14. ^ Qur'an, 72: 27


  1. ^ a b http://www.ahlus-sunna.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=57&Itemid=116
  2. ^ Sunni Hanbali Position from Islam Tomorrow
  3. ^ Al Rifai Al Salafi At Tawassol Ila Haqiqat al Tawassul P:158. الرفاعي المعاصر: التوصل إلى حقيقة التوسل
  4. ^ Aqeeda_Wasila of Holy Prophet| Not accessible, 8 May 2013
  5. ^ Salih al-Na`man's fatwa on Tawassul
  6. ^ Seeking Rescue from the Living and Dead and Making Tawassul Through Them| FatwaIslam.com
  7. ^ Donaldson, Dwight M. (1933). The Shi'ite Religion: A History of Islam in Persia and Irak. BURLEIGH PRESS. pp. 339–358. 
  8. ^ a b c d e  

Further reading

  • Chiabotti, Francesco, Shafa'a (Intercession), in Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God (2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014. ISBN 1610691776

External links

  • Intercession in Islam
  • Tawassul in the Sunnah
  • The Intermediary of Shirk by Sayyid Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki
  • Tawassul: Is it permissible?. -
  • Position of Tawassul and Waseela in Islam
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