The hadeeth about Adam's tawassul by the Prophet, and the meaning of the verse "And seek the means of approach to Him"
Sheikh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid
I hope that you can explain to me the meaning of the verse (interpretation of the meaning):
"O you who believe! Do your duty to Allaah and fear Him. And seek the means of approach to Him"
That is so that we may refute what the Sufis say about tawassul, because some of them interpret it as meaning that it is permissible to seek to draw close to Allaah by the Prophets and awliya' ("saints"). With regard to the hadeeth about Adam committing a sin, they say that al-Bayhaqi classed the hadeeth as saheeh, and that al-Dhahabi praised his book.
Praise be to Allaah.
The hadeeth about Adam committing a sin and seeking to draw closer to Allaah by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is a fabricated hadeeth which is falsely attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and to Adam (peace be upon him).
We have stated that in the answer to question no. 34715, where we quoted the scholars' comments on the falseness of this hadeeth. These scholars include Imam al-Dhahabi (may Allaah have mercy on him).
Al-Bayhaqi (may Allaah have mercy on him) did not narrate this hadeeth in his Sunan, rather he narrated it in Dalaa'il al-Nubuwwah (5/489), where he classed it as da'eef (weak). After quoting the hadeeth, he said: "It was narrated only by 'Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Zayd ibn Aslam, and he is da'eef."
What makes it most likely that the text is false is the fact that the du'aa' by which Allaah accepted Adam's repentance is what is mentioned in Soorat al-A'raaf, where Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"They said: 'Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers'"
This is the supplication of Adam and Hawwa', in which they called upon Allaah alone, and sought to draw close to Him (tawassul) by His names and attributes, and by mentioning their situation. These are words which Adam received from his Lord, then he said them and Allaah accepted his repentance, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"Then Adam received from his Lord Words. And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful"
What is meant by the word waseelah [means of approach] in the verse, (interpretation of the meaning):
"O you who believe! Do your duty to Allaah and fear Him. And seek the means of approach to Him, and strive hard in His Cause (as much as you can), so that you may be successful"
is the way of reaching Allaah, and there is no way of reaching Him except the way that Allaah loves and is pleased with, which is by obeying Him and not disobeying Him.
Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Allaah commands His believing slaves to fear Him (taqwa). When this word is accompanied by mention of obedience, it means refraining from haraam things. After that Allaah says, "And seek the means of approach to Him". Sufyaan al-Thawri said, narrating from Talhah, from 'Ata', from Ibn 'Abbaas: i.e., drawing close to Him. This was also stated by Mujaahid, Abu Waa'il, al-Hasan, Qataadah, 'Abd-Allaah ibn Katheer, al-Saddi, Ibn Zayd and others. Qataadah said: i.e., draw close to Him by obeying Him and doing that which pleases Him, and Ibn Zayd recited (interpretation of the meaning):
"Those whom they call upon [like 'Eesa (Jesus) ‑ son of Maryam (Mary), 'Uzayr (Ezra), angels and others] desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allaah)"
There is no difference of opinion among the mufassireen concerning what these imams said.
Means of approach or means of access means that by means of which one reaches one's goal. End quote.
Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 2/53, 54.
Al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Note that the majority of scholars are of the view that what is meant by waseelah here is drawing close to Allaah by obeying His commands and avoiding that which He has forbidden, in accordance with the teachings brought by Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), doing that sincerely for the sake of Allaah alone, because this is the only path that leads to the pleasure of Allaah and attaining what is with Him and what is good in this world and in the Hereafter.
The basic meaning of the word waseelah is a path that brings one near to something. Here it means righteous deeds, according to scholarly consensus, because there is no other way of drawing close to Allaah apart from following the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Based on this, there are many verses which explain the meaning of waseelah, such as the following (interpretation of the meaning):
"And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it"
"Say (O Muhammad to mankind): 'If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me'"
[Aal 'Imraan 3:31]
"Say: Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger"
And there are other similar verses.
It was narrated from Ibn 'Abbaas that what is meant by waseelah is need.
Based on this, the words narrated from Ibn 'Abbaas, "Seek with Him al-waseelah" mean, seek your needs from Allaah, for He alone is the one who is able to meet them. This is further explained by the verses in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"Verily, those whom you worship besides Allaah have no power to give you provision, so seek your provision from Allaah (Alone), and worship Him (Alone)"
"and ask Allaah of His Bounty"
And by the hadeeth: "If you ask, then ask of Allaah."
Then al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The correct view concerning the meaning of waseelah is that of the majority of scholars, that it means drawing closer to Allaah by worshipping Him alone, in accordance with the teachings of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The tafseer of Ibn 'Abbaas comes under this heading, because calling upon Allaah (du'aa') and praying humbly to Him when asking for one's needs is one of the greatest forms of worship which is waseelah or seeking to draw closer to Him and attain His pleasure and mercy.
From this it may be understood that what many of the heretics and followers of ignorant men who claim to be Sufis say, which is that what is meant by waseelah in the verse is the Shaykh who has the power of mediation between him and his Lord, is ignorance, blindness and obvious misguidance; it is toying with the Book of Allaah. Taking intermediaries is the essence of the kufr of the kaafirs, as Allaah clearly stated when He said concerning them (interpretation of the meaning):
"[They say:] We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allaah"
"and they say: 'These are our intercessors with Allaah.' Say: 'Do you inform Allaah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?' Glorified and Exalted is He above all that which they associate as partners (with Him)!"
Every one who is accountable must understand that the way to attain the pleasure of Allaah and His Paradise and His mercy is to follow His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Whoever deviates from that has gone astray from the straight path.
"It will not be in accordance with your desires (Muslims), nor those of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof"
The meaning of waseelah that we have explained here is also the meaning in the verse where Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"Those whom they call upon [like 'Eesa (Jesus) ‑ son of Maryam (Mary), 'Uzayr (Ezra), angels and others] desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allaah) as to which of them should be the nearest"
Another meaning of waseelah is the status in Paradise which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us to ask Allaah to grant to him, and we hope that Allaah will give it to him, because only one person will be entitled to it, and he hoped that he would be the one. End quote.
Adwa' al-Bayaan, 2/86-88
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