Married to a Sufi
As salaamu alaikum, I hope this message finds you well. I write to you regarding a matter that affects me. My husband very much follows the Sufi way of life and has integrated it into the Deen. By doing so, he believes in the concept of intercession and that the deceased auliya can hear him and will be able to intercede for him on the day of judgment. Due to this, he and his family visit shrines of pious saints and pray there asking of them to help them through intercession on the day of Qiyaamat. They claim that they start their dua with “Oh Allah, through the wasila of my Nabi s.a.w. and your pious auliya… Grant me Jannah.” I do sometimes hear them asking through the auliya directly as they believe that they can hear them. Does this place them beyond the pale of Islam and is it regarded as shirk? What advice can you give me concerning my marriage? Jazak’Allah
Wa’alaykum as Salām wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuhu,
Whilst it may be true that the deceased can hear the living with the permission of Allāh, the following should be understood:
It is only permissible to make Duʿā to Allāh, and it is not permissible to ask from others.
It is permissible to make Duʿā to Allāh to fulfill one’s needs through the intercession of a Prophet or a Walī (friend of Allah).
It is not lawful to seek direct help from a deceased Walī or to supplicate to them to fulfill one’s needs, though one may supplicate with their intermediation.
If a person visits the grave of a Walī and bows his head to the deceased or directly ask for intercession from the deceased then, this act will be regarded as Shirk.
Furthermore, Shirk in this regard is of two types:
- Shirk in belief: To worship anyone besides Allāh or to regard anyone as a partner to Allāh in His attributes or in His worship, for example, if one prostrates to anyone else besides Allāh with the intention of worshiping that person, as is the practice of polytheists and idol worshipers then, this is kufr and one will take one out of the fold of Islām.
- Shirk in practice: This type of shirk is not like the first in terms of belief, but rather it is Shirk by way of imitating the actions of the polytheists and idol worshippers, which is Ḥarām. However, such Shirk does not take one out of the fold of Islām, for example, if one prostrates to anyone other than Allāh with the intention of greeting or by way of reverence and not for worship, then such an act will be deemed Ḥarām, and hence, a major sin. However, such a person is not taken out of the fold of Islam.
Based on the above, if your husband directly supplicated to the Walī whilst believing that the Walī will fulfill his needs of this world or the hereafter, then this will be categorized as Shirk in belief, in which case he might have been taken out of the fold Islām and his Nikāḥ with you terminated. This would then require that he renews his Imān and Nikāh with you.
However, if the direct supplication to the Walī was free from ‘Shirk in belief’, then it will constitute a major sin, in which case he will have to repent and seek the forgiveness of Allāh, though his Imān and Nikāḥ with you remain intact.
The statement “Oh Allah, through the wasila of my Nabi s.a.w. and your pious auliya… Grant me Jannah” cannot be categorized as Shirk (of any type), since there the supplication is made to Allāḥ directly and is therefore considered a permissible intercession.