Al-Isti’aanah (Appealing for Aid and Assistance)
Source: The Path to Attaining Clarification reagrding Three Fundamental Priciples - by Shaykh Rabee bin Hadee Al-Madkhalee [PDF] 114 Pages – troid.orgAnd from the types of worship is al-isti’aanah (appealing for aid and assistance).
Al-Isti’anah: And the istiaanah that is not permissible is that which is directed to other than Allaah. It is isti’aanah with the creation in that which no one is able to grant besides Allaah the Mighty and Majestic. So when this isti’aanah is directed towards other than Allaah, like the one who appeals for aid and assistance to the creation, whether they are living or dead, for a child of noble breed, or bringing about sustenance, removing a disease, giving security to the one living in fear, fulfilling a need and other than that from that which no one is able to grant besides Allaah. This is what was done by the polytheists and idolaters, even though they lived amongst the Muslims. So this is major Shirk.
Do to the magnificence of its affair, Allaah the Glorified and Exalted counted it in directing the servants towards Himself in His statement,
“Only You do we worship and only You do we appeal to for aid and assistance.” [Sooratul-Faatihah 1:5]
That is, we do not worship anyone besides You (Allaah), and we do not seek assistance from anyone besides You. And this is a promise from the servant and a contract that has been confirmed between him and his Lord. So whoever fulfills the obligation, then he will have the best reward and whosoever breaks a contract, then he has only broken it against himself.
As for isti’aanah with the creation that are living with regards to that which the creation are capable of granting, despite the hearts remaining connected to Allaah the Mighty and Majestic and considering the helper a cause only; then there is no prohibition in this. The example of this is when a person gives you some wealth, or provides one of the necessities of life for you, or he builds for you a building and the likes of that from the affairs in which one is permitted to seek the aid of other than Allaah the Blessed and Exalted, because these are not from the manifestations of Shirk. And these are not from the examples of Shirk.
The following is taken from :
A Gift For The Intellect In Explanation Of The Three Fundamental Principles Of Islaam
By Sheikh Ubaid Al-Jaabiree (Hafizahullah) With some notes (in blue) from the sharh by Sheikh Salih al Uthaymeen (Rahimahullah)
And in the hadeeth there occurs: “If you seek help, then seek the help of Allaah.”
“The evidence for appealing for aid and assistance (al-isti’aanah)” – Al-isti’aanah is to appeal for assistance and aid.
It is of two types:
- Appealing for assistance and aid in something that only Allaah has the ability to do. This is solely the right of Allaah, the Most High, and directing it to other than Allaah is major shirk that takes a person outside the fold of Islaam.
- Appealing for assistance and aid from the creation of something which they are capable of. The conditions of this are:
- The creation must have the ability to do what is being sought of them, because if they are appealed for the aid of someone incapable of assisting you, and you are aware of his circumstances, then you have embarrassed them and burdened them with more than they can bear; and this is impermissible.
- They must be alive.
- They must be present. However, it is possible in certain situations that assistance is sought from someone absent. Someone might call a person that is absent by telephone or write to them to seek financial aid from them or to seek assistance due to their position
Appealing for assistance and aid by doing deeds which are beloved to Allaah.
Allaah says: “And seek assistance through patience and prayer.” [Al-Baqarah 2:45]
“is the saying of Allaah, the Most High: “O Allaah, You alone we worship and You alone we appeal for aid.” And in the hadeeth there occurs: “If you seek help, then seek the help of Allaah.”” - Some of the people of knowledge have stated that the underlying reason behind this is because it isn’t possible to worship Allaah correctly without appealing for the aid and assistance of Allaah, the Most High.