Is there any basis for the belief that you can pray at some religious scholar’s shrine and ask for their intercession on the Day of Judgment? Is this not a form of Shirk1?
There is absolutely no basis for the referred practice. Islam teaches a direct relationship between man and God. The Qur’an says:
I [i.e. God] answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls Me. (Al-Baqarah 2:186)
and then again, it says:
We [i.e. God] are closer to him (man) than his life vein (Qaaf 50:16)
Thus, there is no reason to look for any secondary source of reaching God. The correct and the only way to get close to God is by following the teachings of the Prophet (pbuh) and walking the path that he has guided us to.
The concept of such intercession as would prevent a person from getting the justified reward of his deeds is unknown to Islam. In other words, any intercession that would negate God’s justice on the Day of Judgment is against the clear teachings of the Qur’an . The Qur’an clearly tells us that the Yawm al-Qiyamah (Day of Resurrection) shall be a manifestation of God’s justice and mercy (Al-Qalam 68:35). It tells us that no body shall be wronged even to the extent of the husk of a date stone (Al-Nisa’ 4:49, Al-Nisa’ 4:77 and Al-Isra’ 17:71). It tells us that on that day, man shall get only that which he himself strived for (Al-Najm 53:39).
Praying at shrines can sometimes very easily lead to “Shirk“. A Muslim, who is (and should be) sensitive of his duties towards God, should try to avoid all such activities that entail even a remote chance of leading him to Shirk. I would therefore recommend that even if someone does not consider praying at shrines to be Shirk, he should avoid such practice on the basis of even the remotest of chances that it might lead to something that the Qur’an has clearly declared to be most despicable in the eyes of his Lord and Master.
5th March 1999
- That is: associating partners with God. [↩]