Benefitial Information: this is an emphasis to what was mentioned before that the Muslim scholars used to deem the tawassul and istighathah by the Prophet after his death permissible and unobjectable.
Hafiz ^Abd-ur-Rahman Ibn al-Jawziyy mentioned in the book "Al-Wafa bi Ahwal-il-Mustafa" and Hafiz ad-Diya' al-Maqdisiyy mentioned also: From Abu Bakr al-Minqariyy; he said: At-Tabaraniyy, Abush-Shaykh, and I were in the Haram of the Messenger of Allah in a bad situation. Hunger had affected us and we continued fasting that day. When the time of ^Isha' came, I came to the grave of the Messenger of Allah and said: O Messenger of Allah, hunger, hunger; and I left. Abush-Shaykh told me: Sit down, either there will be provision or death. Abu Bakr said: Abush-Shaykh and I slept, while at-Tabaraniyy was sitting looking into something. An ^Alawiyy (a descendent of Prophet Muhammad) came and knocked the door. He had two servants, each had a big straw bag full of things. We sat, ate, and thought that the rest will be taken by the servant. However, he departed and left the rest for us. When we finished eating, the ^Alawiyy said: O people, did you complain to the Messenger of Allah? I saw the Messenger of Allah in the dream; he ordered me to carry something to you.
In this story, there is that those great people deemed the istighathah by the Messenger a good, permissible matter. Then the scholars conveyed it in their writings, some of which were the Hanabilah and others. In the eyes of the Muslims, those are muwahhidun (believers in Allah), not just that, but among the greatest muwahhidun. However, in the eyes of the negators of the tawassul who followed Ibn Taymiyah they have committed shirk, because whoever likes shirk commits kufr. What is the answer of those people about the likes of this incident which if traced would come in a large volume. Let those prepare an answer when they are asked on the Display-of-Deeds Day.
Among such incidents is what Hafiz Abu Bakr al-Khatib al-Baghdadiyy, about whom it was said: The writers of the books of Hadith dirayatan [Dirayatan means knowing about the related Hadith and its relator in the context of accepting or rejecting it.] are in need of him, said: Qadi Abu Muhammad al-Hasan Ibn al-Husayn Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ramin al-'Istarbathiyy told us; he said: Ahmad Ibn Ja^far Ibn Hamdan al-Qati^iyy told us; he said: I heard al-Hasan Ibn Ibrahim, Abu ^Aliyy al-Khallal say: Any time I had a problem, I went to the grave of Musa Ibn Ja^far and performed the tawassul by him; Allah made what I liked easy for me.
Isma^il Ibn Ahmad al-Hiriyy told us; he said: Muhammad Ibn al-Husayn as-Salamiyy told us; he said: I heard Abul-Hasan Ibn Maqsam say: I heard Abu ^Aliyy as-Saffar say: I heard Ibrahim al-Harbiyy say: The grave of Ma^ruf is the tested antidote. (Meaning by the will of Allah, du^a' is answered there).
Abu Ishaq Ibrahim Ibn ^Umar al-Barmakiyy told me; he said: Abul-Fadl ^Ubaydullah Ibn ^Abd-ir-Rahman Ibn Muhammad az-Zuhriyy told us; he said: I heard my father say: The grave of Ma^ruf is tested for the fulfillment of needs. Whoever said there : "Qul Huwallahu Ahad" one-hundred times and asked Allah, ta^ala, what he wanted, Allah would fulfil his need".
Abu ^Abdillah Muhammad Ibn ^Aliyy Ibn ^Abdillah as-Suwariyy told us; he said: I heard Abul-Husayn Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Jami^ say: I heard Abu ^Abdillah Ibn al-Mahamiliyy say: I have known the grave of Ma^ruf al-Kurakhiyy for seventy years. Allah will relieve the distress of any person who comes to it.
Qadi Abu ^Abdillah al-Husayn Ibn ^Aliyy Ibn Muhammad as-Saymariyy told us; he said: ^Umar Ibn Ibrahim al-Muqriyy told us; he said: ^Umar Ibn Ishaq Ibn Ibrahim told us; he said: ^Aliyy Ibn Maymun told us; he said: I heard ash-Shafi^iyy say: I perform tabarruk by Abu Hanifah and come to his grave every day, i.e., visiting. If I needed something, I would pray rak^atan, come to his grave, and ask Allah there. It would not be too long before my need was fulfilled.
The Graveyard of Bab-ul-Burdan has a group of meritorious people. At the Musalla prescribed for Salat-ul-^Id, there was a grave known as the Grave of Nuthur (pl. of nathr) [An-Nathr is an oath to Allah by which one commits oneself to do any good deed which is not obligatory, such as fasting a certain number of days or paying charity. It is obligatory to fulfil one's nathr.]. It is said that in it was buried a man who was a descendent of ^Aliyy Ibn Abi Talib. People perform tabarruk by visiting him, and whoever had a need would come to him to have his need fulfilled.
Qadi Abul-Qasim ^Aliyy Ibn al-Muhsin at-Tannukhiyy told me; he said: My father told me; he said: I was sitting in the presence of ^Adud-ud-Dawlah while we were camping near the A^yad Musalla in the eastern part of the city of as-Salam aiming to go with him to Hamathan. In the first day he attended the camp, his eye fell on the construction made on the Grave of Nuthur. He said to me: What is this construction? I said to him: This is the Mashhad (Grave) of Nuthur. I did not say grave, because I knew his superstition of this. He liked the wording and said: I knew this is the Grave of Nuthur, but I wanted its matter to be explained. I said: This is a grave, it is said, of ^Ubaydullah Ibn Muhammad Ibn ^Umar Ibn ^Aliyy Ibn al-Husayn Ibn ^Aliyy Ibn Abi Talib. It is also said: It is the grave of ^Ubaydullah Ibn Muhammad Ibn ^Umar Ibn ^Aliyy Ibn Abi Talib. It is said that one ruler wanted to have him killed secretly. A ditch was made for him. He was taken on it without him knowing and fell into it. Then the sand was thrown over him while alive. The grave was famous as the Grave of Nuthur, because every single nathr made for him was valid, the nathir (one who performs the nathr) achieved what he wanted and is obligated to fulfil his nathr. I am one of those who made nathr for it many times that I cannot count for hard mattrers. I achieved them; fulfilling the nathr became obligatory upon me and I did fulfil it. He did not accept this saying and said what implicated that this occurred accidentally. Then lay people marketed it magnified and spread false news about it. I stopped talking.
Few days later while we were camping in our position, he sent after me in the afternoon. He said: Ride with me to the Mashhad of Nuthur. We rode along with some of his retinues until we reached to the place. He entered and visited the Grave. There, he prayed rak^atan after which he made a sujud in which he made a long du^a' in a such a way that no one heard him. Then we rode back to his tent and stayed for days. Then we moved to Hamathan. We reached it and stayed with him for months. Then he sent after me and said: Do you remember what you told me about the Mashhad of Nuthur in Baghdad? I said: Yes, I do. He said: I addressed you with its meaning without that which was in me to have a good company with you. What was in me is that all of what was said about the Grave was a lie. A short time after that something occurred to me that I was afraid it would happen. I worked hard to avoid its happening even if it amounted to spend all of what I had in my treasuries and employing my soldiers. I could not find a way to that. Then I remembered what you told me about the nathr for the Graveyard of Nuthur. I said: Why do I not try that? I performed a nathr that if Allah protected me from that matter, I would carry 10,000 full Darahim to the box of this Mashhad. Today I got the news of being protected from that matter. I told Abul-Qasim ^Abd-ul-^Aziz Ibn Yusuf -his writer- to write to Abur-Rayyan, who was his delegated ruler in Baghdad to carry them to the Graveyard. Then he looked at ^Abd-ul-^Aziz who was present and said: Surely, I wrote that and the order in the letter was executed [This is the end of the statement by al-Khatib al-Baghdadiyy.].
In "al-Mi^yar", Vol. 2 page 82, Abul-^Abbas Ahmad Ibn Yahya, al-Wansharisiyy, al-Malikiyy, who died in Fas in the year 914 A.H. said: Some villagers were asked about those who performed a nathr to visit the grave of a righteous Muslim or an alive righteous Muslim. He answered: He is obligated to fulfil his nathr even if one rode an animal to get there. Ibn ^Abd-il-Barr said (what means): One is obligated to fulfil every act of worship, visit, ribat (guard post), or other acts of obedience other than Salah. The Hadith which says: The animals are not ridden...[ Ahmad akhraj it in his Musnad.] is particular to Salah. However, there is no difference about (the permissibility of) visiting the alive brothers and shuyukh and performing a nathr to do that and ribat, and the like. The sunnah leads to this of visiting the brother in the Religion of Allah and ribat in the places of ribat. Some people hesitated about visiting the graves and the traces of the righteous Muslims. There should not be a hesitation about them, because they are of the acts of worship other than Salah, and because it is out of visiting and reminding for the saying of the Prophet: Visit the graves; they remind you of death [Al-Bayhaqiyy akhraj it in his Sunan.]. The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, used to go to Hira' when he was in Makkah, and to Quba' when in al-Madinah. The goodness is in following him and and his traces by word and action, especially those who showed obedience to him.
Let it be known that we do not say of the validity of the nuthur for the graves of the shuyukh and awliya', with the belief that those places have piculiarities in bringing benefit or warding off harm without those people seeking a better status from Allah by paying charity on the behalf of the buried so that Allah fulfil their needs. We say as al-'Athru^iyy, may Allah's mercy be upon him, said: Many of the nuthur of the laypeople for the graves are invalid and prohibited, because they mean that those places bring benefit and ward off harm by a peculiarity of theirs. Allah, subhanahu wa ta^ala, knows best.
What proves that the scholars of Hadith and others did not care about the deviation of Ibn Taymiyah in prohibiting the tawassul by the Messenger after his death is that Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-^Asqalaniyy performed the tawassul by the Prophet in his poems known as "an-Nayyirat-us-Sab^". Also his shaykh Zayn-ud-Din al-^Iraqiyy did that at the end of his poem in "Tafsiru Mufradat-il-Qur'an". This has been and is still the habit of the scholars of the Salaf and Khalaf. No one avoided that except those who were deceived by Ibn Taymiyah's innovation, the great innovation of his prohibiting the tawassul by the Prophet who is dead or not present.
Among the innovations of the Mushabbihah (group of people who liken Allah to His creation) who followed Ibn Taymiyah that they stipulate three things for the correctness of one's Islam: Tawhid-ul-'Uluhiyyah, Tawhid-ur-Rububiyyah, and Tawhid-ul-'Af^al. The answer for that is: Tawhid-ul-'Uluhiyyah along with understanding the meaning is enough. This is evidenced by what is sahih of the questioning in the grave. The buried is asked: Who is your Lord? What is your Religion? Who is your Prophet? Had the matter been like what this group of people say, the Hadith would have said: Who is your Lord? Who is your God? However, since the meaning is included, the Messenger of Allah was satisfied with mentioning: Who is your Lord? What they take a long breath about is a refuted argument. Where are those from the saying of the Prophet: I was ordered to fight people until they profess that no one is God but Allah, and that I am the Messenger of Allah? It is a mashhur Hadith. However, some scholars of Hadith said that it is mutawatir.
Among their confusing the Muslims is in the issue of the giving of the recitation to the dead people. Let us be content with proving that by mentioning the Hadith of al-Bukhariyy that the Prophet said to ^A'ishah: If that happened while I am alive, I would ask for forgiveness for you and I would make a du^a' for you. The evidence in the Hadith is his saying: ' I would make a du^a' for you '. These words include the du^a' with [all of] its kinds. Included in this is the du^a' of the man after reciting some ayat of the Qur'an to deliver the reward to the dead person by saying the like of: O Allah, deliver the reward of my recitation to fulan. What was famous about ash-Shafi^iyy of saying that recitation does not reach the dead is interpreted as the recitation that is without a du^a' to deliver it and for the recitation which is done at other than the grave, or else ash-Shafi^iyy approved it.