Shaykh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda on Istigatha

The Syrian scholar en hadith master Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda condemned istigatha (seeking help from other than Allah) in his work entitled kalimat fi kashf al-abatil, which was a work refuting fanatic Salafis accusing the Shaykh of lies:

A Great Slander:

As for their forged claim that I said, “istigathah from other than Allah from amongst the deceased and seeking their help and assistance is permissible, and whoever claims that it is shirk or kufr is a kafir himself,” then it is also from amongst their false allegations against me, and I demand that they provide proof for this. I challenge them to substantiate that I made that statement, for where have I stated this? And when have I stated this? And who will attest to this in their favor? Any assertion, regardless of how small, must be established with proof, let alone if the claim deals with ‘aqidah, accusing a person of kufr, or accusing him of doing takfir on people.

One who hurls accusations of kufr at another out of spite, to vent his anger, or in retaliation to those who oppose him, should fear Allah. (And Allah is not heedless of what the oppressors do…).

Indeed, by the grace and guidance of Allah, none of that which they claim has actually been issued by me, and I subscribe to that which the great scholars and pious predecessors determined before, acting on clear, abundant wording from the Book of Allah, Most Exalted, and the sunnah of His messenger, may Allah bless and greet him: istighathah with the creation is not permissible, and istighathah regarding that which none other than Allah can perform is only permissible with Allah. I have no need to provide the texts here, since my purpose here is not to prove and provide evidence for this, but to expose slander and oppression.

When I edited the book, al-Raf’ wa al-Takmil, of ‘Allamah ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Luknawi, and I saw on page 236, in the second edition printed in Beirut in 1388 AH, that he states regarding the imam, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, may Allah have mercy on him, “ghawth al-anjab” and “ghawth al-thaqalayn,” I commented on his statement in the following manner:

“If only the author, may Allah have mercy on him, honored Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, may Allah have mercy on him, with other than this epithet here and with “ghawth al-thaqalayn” in what follows, for indeed, I do not think the shaykh [al-Jilani], may Allah have mercy on him, would be pleased with such a title for himself or others. The rank of the great shaykh is preserved and does not depend on his veneration through such words, and going to great lengths to enumerate grandiose and exaggerated titles is not known in the biography of the salaf, whose great deeds have been attested to. May Allah guide us to that which pleases Him.”

That was my comment I added to the aforementioned book published seven years ago, and it was in the hands of these individuals (accusers) as soon as it was issued by the publisher. If I did not accept for a created being, regardless of what he attained in terms of righteousness, knowledge, and elevated rank, to be entitled “ghawth al-thaqalayn,” then how could I possibly permit istighathah from the deceased, and from other than Allah, as they allege! And how could I declare one who does not permit it outside the fold of Islam! Doesn’t such a person fear Allah when he knows that he will be held accountable for what he fabricated?

Also, as for their allegation that I declared Shakh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah, his student Imam ibn al-Qayyim, and Imam al-Da’wah Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, may Allah have mercy on them, to be in error for categorizing tawhid into tawhid al-rububiyyah and tawhid al-uluhiyyah, then it is a false claim as well, for I never objected to that in the slightest bit in any of my books or lectures, and what they attributed to be is nothing but pure falsehood and slander.

Indeed, by the grace of Allah, Most Exalted, I believe in Him according to the ‘aqidah of the salaf, may Allah be pleased with them, so I follow their belief with respect to the names and attributes of Allah, affirming for Allah, Most exalted, what He affirmed for Himself and what His Messenger, may Allah bless and greet him, affirmed for Him, without ta`wil, tahrif (distortion), tashbih (similitude), or tamthil (likeness): There is none like unto Him, and He is the All-Seeing, All-Hearing.

As for the categorization of tawhid into that which these scholars, Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah, his student ibn al-Qayyim, and Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, may Allah have mercy on them, mentioned, tawhid al-`uluhiyyah and tawhid al-rububiyyah, then this is a technical categorization the scholars derived from what comes in the Book and Sunnah in innumerable places, by which Allah, Most Exalted, refuted the polytheists that used to believe in tawhid al-rububiyyah but not tawhid al-`uluhiyyah. There is evidence for this in Surah al-Fatihah, which a Muslim reads numerous times every day: All praise is for Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Master of the Day of Judgment. You alone we worship, and from You alone we seek help.

Abu Ghuddah, ‘Abd Al-Fattah. Kalimat Fi Kashf Al-`Abatil Wa `Iftira`at. Aleppo: Maktab Al-Matbu’at Al-Islamiyyah, 1990. 35-37. Print.

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