What is the meaning of Waseelah? There is a sect which has spread great mischief and fitnah in the Ummah by the false presentation of the conception of Waseelah and by its slander against the Ulama-e-Haqq who expound the correct Islamic meaning of this concept.
Waseelah in the Shariah means to supplicate directly to Allah Ta’ala for the acceptance of one’s dua‘ through the agency of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) or any other Nabi or Wali of Allah Ta’ala. The Islamic meaning of Waseeelah does not consist of praying or making dua‘ to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) or any other created being. Islam teaches that the only Being to whom prayers and duaa have to be directed is Allah Azza Wa Jal. Directing one’s prayer and dua‘ to any being other than Allah Ta’ala is shirk or polythiesm, and shirk is the worst of sins committed against Allah Ta’ala.
The sect known as the Ahle Bid’ah (or Qabar Pujaris) slander the Ulama-e-Haqq by alleging that the latter reject Waseelah and in so doing are disrespectful to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). But, Allah Ta’ala knows the truth. Allah Ta’ala is fully aware of this despicable slander which the Qabar Pujaaris level against the true Heirs of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Ulama at no time whatever had rejected the belief of Waseelah. However, the beliefs and accretions of shirk which the grave-worshippers have clustered to the proper Waseelah method, are what the Ulama of Deoband and all Ulama throughout the ages of Islamic history have persistently criticized and rejected.
In the unanimous view of all the Ulama of the Ahl-e-Sunnah Wal Jama’ah, adoption of Waseelah in dua‘ is not only permissible, but is meritorious. The excesses and transgression caused in regard to this practice are condemned. The correct Waseelah method is based on the Qur’aan, Hadith and ljma’ of the Ummah. This is the belief of all the Ulama of Deoband whom the Qabar Pujaaris slanderously accuse of rejecting Waseelah. The Qabar Pujaaris are indeed guilty of a grave act of injustice. They are wantonly closing their eyes to the truth .
Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) has written a treatise in substantion of the validity of the Islamic conception of Waseelah. In his treatise, Hadhrat Hakimul Ummah has clarified this question. Any Muslim who has no bias and malice to churn out against the Ulama of Deoband will in all honesty acknowledge the truth of our Ulama and dismiss with disgust the evil slanders of the Qabar Pujaari sect.
Tawassul (another word for Waseelah) is classified into three categories, viz.,
(1) To supplicate (or make dua‘) directly to created beings as is the way of the mushrikeen (the polythiests). This form of tawassul is unanimously haraam. If this form of waseelah is accompanied by the belief that the created being to whom the prayer is directed, is himself independent and able to grant the prayer, then such belief will be such shirk which is kufr in the same way as Salaat or Saum (Fasting) offered to a created being will be such shirk which is kufr.
The conception of independence and self-sufficiency (Istiqlaal) as believed in by certain misguided people, is to believe that Allah Ta’ala has assigned certain affairs to the created being in such a way that the created being in executing the affair is not dependent on the special Will of Allah Ta’ala even thou they acknowledge that Allaah Ta’ala has the power of dismissing the created being from the office assigned to him (created being).
2. Requesting a created being to supplicate (make dua‘) on one’s behalf. This form of tawassul is permissible in relation to a living person since it is manifestly clear that a living person can make the duaa. However, since there exists no Shari evidence (daleel) to indicate that this type of tawassul is valid in relation to a person who has died, a dead person cannot be asked to supplicate on behalf of one.
(3) To supplicate directly to Allah Ta’ala, asking Him to accept one’s dua‘ by virtue of the barkat of a pious created being.
The Jamhoor (majority of the Ulama of the Shariah) have opined that this form of tawassul is permissible. And the Ulama of Deoband accept and fully adopt this method while rejecting the former two methods.