Chapter: Visiting the People of Good, Sitting with them, and Accompanying them.
The Ruling of Requesting Others to Supplicate for you.
Hadeeth #373: Umar b. al-Khattaab (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) said:
عَنْ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: اسْتَأْذَنْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي الْعُمْرَةِ فَأَذِنَ لِي وَقَالَ لَا تَنْسَنَا يَا أُخَيَّ مِنْ دُعَائِكَ فَقَالَ كَلِمَةً مَا يَسُرُّنِي أَنَّ لِي بِهَا الدُّنْيَا – قَالَ شُعْبَةُ ثُمَّ لَقِيتُ عَاصِمًا بَعْدُ بِالْمَدِينَةِ فَحَدَّثَنِيهِ وَقَالَ أَشْرِكْنَا يَا أُخَيَّ فِي دُعَائِكَ
“I sought permission from the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) to perform Umrah, so he permitted me and said: “Do not forget us, O young brother, in your supplication.” So he said to me these words that were more precious to me than the whole world.”
In a narration, he said:
“Include us in your supplication, O young brother.”
The author an-Nawawee (rahimahullaah) said: The hadeeth is Saheeh (authentic), narrated by Abu Daawood, and at-Tirmidhee, who said: It is Hasan-Saheeh.
Shaikh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah):
Abu Daawood, no. 1498, At-Tirmidhee, no. 3562. However, Shaikh al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) graded the narration as Da’eef (weak) in “Da’eef Abee Daawood” (no. 322). He said: “Both narrations are weak, so do not be deceived by the mention of this [narration] by some of the great ones who remained silent concerning this hadeeth.” Mishkaat al-Masaabih, no. 2248.
Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah):
The great jurist and Imaam, Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen said:
This hadeeth is da’eef (weak) even if the author authenticated it. The author (Imaam an-Nawawee) had a methodology in that he was easy-going with those hadeeth that were related to the righteous deeds in terms of his rulings upon them, and acting upon them.
And this is the case (i.e. that we consider it weak) even if it is from a good intention – however it is obligatory upon us to follow the truth. So what is authentic is authentic and what is weak is weak. And the narrations concerning the righteous deeds that do not reach authenticity are weak.
Benefit from Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah):
Yes, it is known, that the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) commanded that whoever sees Uwais al-Qarnee, or al-Qaranee (rahimahullaah) that one should request from him to supplicate. But this was something specific to him due to the fact that he was good and dutiful to his mother. And Allaah wished that his mention be elevated in this world before the Hereafter.
And it is for this reason that the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) did not command any person to ask another to make du’aa for him, and this is alongside the fact that there were those present who were more excellent and virtuous than Uwais (rahimahullaah). So Abu Bakr (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who was more virtuous than Uwais without doubt – and the rest of the Sahaabah were more virtuous than him also, yet the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) never commanded anyone to ask another to make du’aa.
So what is correct is that it is not right for anyone to request from another to supplicate for him, even if it be a righteous man as that is not from the guidance of the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) nor is it from the guidance of the Rightly Guided Caliphs.
However, if the request is for a general supplication, meaning that you wish to request from a righteous man to make a general supplication such as asking him to make du’aa for rain or to remove tribulation from the people or whatever resembles that, then there is no harm in that because that is for a benefit other than yourself [specifically], just as if you were to ask someone for charity for a person who is stricken with poverty. In such a situation you would not be blameworthy nor deserving of rebuke.
So when the Sahaabah would ask the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) to supplicate for them, then it is considered as from those affairs that are specific to him (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam), such occurred on the occasion when the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) narrated to them that seventy thousand would enter Paradise without reckoning and without punishment. So ‘Ukkaashah b. Mihsan stood up and said:
“Make du’aa that I am from them.”
So the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:
“You are from them.”
Then another man stood up and asked for the same, so the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alahi wassallam) said:
“‘Ukkaashah has already preceded you.”
Reported by Bukhaaree (no. 6541) and Muslim (no. 216).
A woman suffering from epilepsy asked the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alahi wassallam) to supplicate for her, so he said:
“If you wish, I will supplicate to Allaah for you, and if you wish, you can be patient, and for you there will be Paradise.”
So she said:
“I will be patient but make du’aa to Allaah that my ‘awrah (i.e. by body) does not become uncovered.”
Reported by Bukhaaree (no. 5652) and Muslim (no. 2576).
So from this we understand that this was from the particular characteristics of the Prophet that he would be asked to make du’aa. As for applying this to others, then that is not correct.
So, yes, if a person intends to ask someone to supplicate for the benefit of another person, i.e. that he wishes to benefit a person by way of his supplication for his brother – or that Allaah will answer his du’aa because if a person makes du’aa to Allaah for his brother in his absence, then the Angel says: “Ameen (O Allaah accept it), and for you the same.” So the deeds are in accordance to their intentions. So this person does intend by his supplication only benefit for himself specifically, rather it is benefit for himself and for his brother who has asked him to supplicate. So deeds are in accordance to intentions.
As for merely seeking benefit for oneself, then Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee (rahimahullaah) said concerning this that it is from the blameworthy asking. And the Companions gave a pledge of allegiance that they would not ask the people for anything.
[Explanation of Riyaadh as-Saaliheen 1/729-730]