1) To call upon other than Allah for a need, such as rain, etc, while believing that the one being addressed will answer the call is Shirk by agreement. For example: O Prophet! Send us rain!
This is the most important of all issues that the Muslims must be very clear about, for this is the very foundation of our religion.
The danger of this issue must also be made clear, that if one is ignorant in this issue, and calls upon other than Allah, then he has absolutely nothing to do with Islam.
1) Remember, that as a rule, there are aspects of this religion that are clear cut and well-established, whereby a person does not even need textual proof to believe in those aspects, and from them, worshipping Allah alone. Yet, the heretics and pagans will always bring arguments, as they did at the time of the Prophet – SallAllahu ‘alaihi wa-sallam – to cast doubt on that which is already established. Hence, they will bring arguments to suggest that making vows to idols is not Shirk, because making a vow itself is not worship. They can even argue that prostrating to someone other than Allah, or praying to him is not Shirk, because a Salah is not exactly an act of worship.
Here, a Muslim who has no knowledge, surely knows that idols are bad. No matter how corrupt a Muslim is, everyone knows that Islam is a monotheistic religion, which does not allow one to worship anyone besides Allah. Even a sinful Muslim knows that he should not prostrate to anyone besides Allah.
Yes, he might not be able to answer the counter-arguments, but he should still stick to the well-established facts about Islam. And hence, Allah’s censure of those in the Quran who leave the clear-cut Muhkam verses, and instead follow the ambiguous Mutashabihat, seeking thereby pure fitnah.
Meaning, if we have clear cut verses in the Quran, often repeated in nearly every Surah: Do not call upon anyone besides Allah; one seeking the truth knows that such verses are certainly clear-cut and open to no doubt. If one leaves these clear-cut verses and follows the twisted arguments of the pagans, he has surely followed the mutashabihat and therefore, led astray.
Please remember this principle, for this is applicable to host of issues where a layman like ourselves has little knowledge.
If someone argues with you how there is not Hadd for theft, etc, leave the doubts, and follow that which you know for certain.
2) One who advocates, or legitimises calling upon other than Allah is alien to Islam and its history. The Arabs before ‘Amr b. Luhay were upon the monotheistic religion of Ibrahim. When ‘Amr went to Syria, he saw people worshipping idols. He liked the idea, and brought one of the idols with him, and therefore, he became the first to introduce idols amongst the Arabs. And important point to note here is: The Arabs, in spite of worshipping idols, believed themselves to be on the religion of Ibrahim, and hence, they would make Hajj as they were taught to. They would even say: Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk, as we do today. The difference was, that they added to that: La sharika lak, illa sharikan huwa lak, tamlikuhu wa ma malak (You have no partner, except for whom You choose as a partner, whom you own along with what he owns). Read their Talbiyya for Hajj, for they clearly believed that Allah is the supreme God and He owns all other Gods, yet only by His power and decision, he makes other gods his partners. However, there kept appearing men – before the Prophet – who would abandon idol worshipping and tell the pagans that this is all bid’a. The Quraish will obviously pay no heed, for this is what they saw their forefathers doing. The Prophet – SallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam – was sent as a Messenger to revive the religion of Ibrahim. Thus, his call was to abandon all acts of worship directed towards other than Allah. The Quran is filled with condemnation of these pagans, arguing that the pagans call upon those who cannot benefit them! And guess what? The Pagans do not disagree that the idols do not benefit them! Their only argument was: These are our intercessors with Allah. This is exactly what the pagans today claim.
3) The Quran is so crammed full of verses condemning – specifically – calling upon other than Allah, that as Sh Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Wahhab says: Whoever has a copy of the Quran, and still calls upon other than Allah, is in no need of any evidence being established upon him. SubhaanAllah! Is there any evidence after the explicit and clear cut text of the Quran?! And if the Quran is not a sufficient evidence, then what use is the Quran which cannot even prove something as basic as this?!
For example, Allah says, and we are ordered to recite in every raka’ah: ‘You alone we ask for help’
These Mushriks say: Erm… not exactly, we ask others besides You too…
Allah says: ‘Indeed the Mosques belong to Allah, so do not call upon anyone besides Allah’
These Mushriks say: You may call upon others besides Allah
Allah says: ‘Who is more astray than the one who calls upon other than Allah, one who cannot respond until the Day of Resurrection, while they are unmindful of their invocation?’
These Mushriks say: ‘In fact the dead do respond to us, and hence you can call upon other than Allah’
Allah says: ‘Those you call upon besides Allah are servants just like you, so call upon them, and let them respond to you if you are truthful’
Mushriks say: ‘Yes, they are servants just like us, and yes, we would call upon them’
No need for me to keep quoting verses upon verses, for anyone who reads the Quran, I do not understand, how on earth he would miss such clear cut verses, unless if Allah has made him for the Fire. For how can one establish evidences against a person who recites iyyaka nasta’een in every raka’ah, yet still calls upon other than Allah!
4) Calling upon other than Allah is Shirk by agreement of the Muslims, past and present.
Mullah ‘Ali al-Qari al-Hanafi says commenting upon Hadeeth about the worst of sins where the Prophet said: ‘To make a rival unto Allah, while He created you’; Al-Qari says: ‘Meaning: To make someone his equal in your invocation and worship’
The Hanbalis have unanimously agreed that whoever takes an intermediary between himself and Allah, calls upon them and asks of them, has disbelieved by consensus. See for reference al-Furu’, al-Insaf, Kashaf al-Qina’, Sharh al-Muntaha and Ghayat al-Muntaha.
This consensus was also referred to by Ibn Hajar al-Haytami in his al-I’lam bi qawati’ al-Islam, even though he permits tawassul, i.e. asking Allah directly by the right of the Prophet, and not asking the Prophet instead!
Ibn al-Subki in his Shifa al-Saqam also regards asking other than Allah is Shirk, while arguing that Istighatha (seeking aid) through the Prophet is not Shirk. He says: ‘(by seeking aid)… we are not asking other than Allah, nor are we calling upon anyone but Him. Hence, the one asked in such invocations is Allah alone who has no partners, while the one on whose behalf the question is made varies. This does not necessitate Shirk, nor asking other than Allah. Likewise, asking by the virtue of the Prophet, is not actually asking the Prophet (directly), rather it is asking Allah (directly), by the virtue of the Prophet’. Meaning, if one were to ask the Prophet directly, it would be, not doubt, Shirk with Allah.
Al-Taftazani states in Sharh al-Maqasid that the Shirk which the early pagans were guilty of was making statues of righteous people and glorifying them in order to seek their intercession with Allah.
Al-Zabidi the Ash’arite theologian also concurred with the so-called ‘wahhabi’ understanding of ‘invocation being the act of worship’.
Moreover, what would al-Zahawi do with the following Hadeeth: ‘When you ask, only ask from Allah. When you seek aid, only seek aid from Allah’?
Al-Qurtubi also states in the tafseer of the verse: ‘Your Lord said: Call upon Me, and I will respond to you!’, this proves that invocation is the act of worship, and this is what most of the mufassirin are upon’.
Fakhr al-Razi al-Ash’ari said: ‘The majority of the greatest intellectuals said: the Dua is the greatest of all stations of worship’ (Sharh Asma Allah) Hence, if Dua is from the greatest of stations of worship, could it be directed to one other than Allah? And one guilty of it, could he be called anything but a Mushrik?
Furthermore, Fakhr al-Razi in his Tafseer reports al-Khattabi commenting on the Hadeeth: ‘The Dua is in fact worship’, meaning: that it (dua) is the greatest of acts of worship’!
5) It is important to understand that the modern pagans are not different to the early pagans. In fact the modern pagans are worse. This is because the early pagans, when they were caught in a difficulty, they would call upon Allah alone, as Allah says: ‘When they aboard a ship, they call upon Allah, purifying the religion for Him. Yet, when He saves them and brings them to the land, they are instantly committing Shirk’
The pagans of today call upon other than Allah, even during hardships.
The only difference between the pagans of the old and 21st century pagans, is that the first ones actually called their idols ‘gods’ and acknowledged that they worshipped them; while the modern pagans – most of them – do not call their saints ‘gods’, nor do they claim to worship them, yet the actions they perform towards these saints are exactly the same as the actions performed by the early pagans to their gods. Hence, their actions in reality are the same, the difference between them is restricted to terminology.
I said ‘most of them’ for some of them actually refer to the Prophet – SallAllau ‘alaihi wa-sallam – as al-Awwal, al-Aakhir, al-Dhahir al-Batin! This Shirk was printed and distributed by ‘Alawi al-Maliki, the ‘Amr b. Luhay of the age who brought idolatry back to the Arabs after 1400 years!