What is the need of doing good deeds when God is very Generous and all one has to do is ask God to give and God will give? So there shouldn’t be a need to do good deeds for God because God is capable of giving you for simply asking Him even if you have no good deeds to offer. The answer is that yes of course God is the most generous and He gives to those who supplicate even if they have no good deeds. In fact the very asking of God to give is a good deed. In fact God gives to those who ask and also to those who don’t ask nor even know Him but he only gives to the believers in the hereafter. Anyway the point is that the reason we ask others to intercede for us is because we are hopeful that that would be a means of getting extra mercy from God just as when we do good deeds we are hopeful that that good deed would be a means of getting extra mercy from God
And another response
This is the understanding upon which Muslims ‘call upon other than Allah.’ It is no different from taking medicine when sick, or going to a mechanic when your car is giving trouble: if you think that the medicine itself creates the healing, or that the mechanic is the one himself creates the fixing, then you have serious innovation in belief. The sound understanding is that Allah creates the healing when you use the medicine, and He creates the fixing when the mechanic does their job: we affirm these means, but also affirm that it is Allah who created both the means and the resultant effect.
Anyway the point is that the reason we ask others to intercede for us is because we are hopeful that that would be a means of getting extra mercy from God just as when we do good deeds we are hopeful that that good deed would be a means of getting extra mercy from God
The purpose for which we have been placed on earth is to do as many good deeds as we can in order to succeed in the test of this life. Thus, the Qur’an says:
He it is, who created death and life to test you as to who among you is the best in deeds. – Al Mulk 67:2
Not equal are the blind and those who see, nor are those who believe and do good deeds, and those who do evil. Little it is that you reflect! – Al Ghafir 40:58
There are various other instances in which the Qur’an declares that it is “those who accepted faith and did righteous deeds” (e.g. Al Asr 103:3 and Al Teen 95:6 etc) that are the successful. So, we do good deeds in order to succeed and the more we do, the better the result, Inshallah. Seeking someone’s intercession during our prayers was never what the Prophet (p) did or asked anyone to do. Actually, it would seem very much contradictory to the Message that He delivered as can be seen from verses such as this:
Surely, those whom you call upon besides Allah are servants like you: Call upon them, and let them listen to your prayer, if you are truthful… And those whom you call upon besides Him are not able to help you, nor can they help themselves. – Al A’raf 7:194-197
So, there is no need for intermediaries in our prayers and supplications. What we can do however, is ask others to pray for us as even Allah (swt) tells us to pray for blessings and peace upon the Prophet (pbuh) (Al Ahzab 33:56). Regardless of all this though, in the end we will be held responsible for our deeds as is made clear in the Qur’an:
It [i.e. each soul] shall be rewarded for what it earned and shall be held responsible for what it did. – Al Baqarah 2: 286
…man shall have nothing but what he strives for – Al Najm 53:39
Hence, even others’ prayers will be meaningless if we are not deserving of God’s reward. The sincere prayers of Abraham (pbuh) for his father are a good example of this (Al Tawbah 9:113-114).
This is the understanding upon which Muslims ‘call upon other than Allah.
Muslims do not “call upon other than Allah”. On the contrary, our prayer and call for help is to God alone:
You do we worship and to You do we pray for help – Al Fatihah 1:5
The Qur’an also says:
That is because when Allah alone was called upon, you denied, but when associates were given to Him, you believed; so judgment belongs to Allah, the High, the Great…Therefore call upon Allah alone, making your religion sincerely His, even though the rejecters detest it. Al Ghafir 40:12-14
“And your Lord says: Call upon Me, I will answer you; surely those who are too proud for My service shall soon enter hell abased….Call upon Him alone, making your religion sincerely His” – Al Ghafir 40:60-65
So, it is God that we are meant to call upon and none besides Him.
It is no different from taking medicine when sick, or going to a mechanic when your car is giving trouble: if you think that the medicine itself creates the healing, or that the mechanic is the one himself creates the fixing, then you have serious innovation in belief. The sound understanding is that Allah creates the healing when you use the medicine, and He creates the fixing when the mechanic does their job: we affirm these means, but also affirm that it is Allah who created both the means and the resultant effect.
The indirect methods used by God to help us are only so that we can participate in a successfully functioning test during our lives in this world. It is for this reason that He has decided to keep Himself hidden. Had He interacted with us directly, then the test would have been meaningless. However, this does not give us a reason to pray and seek His help through indirect means. Actually, for us to be successful in this test, we are meant to worship and call upon Him alone. Therefore, drawing parallels to justify calling upon other than God is pointless. The only reason for us to call upon other than Allah (swt) would be if He were unable to hear us. This obviously is not so as He clarifies:
We created man and We [even] know the promptings of his mind. We are closer to him than his life vein. – Qaf 50:16
The above basically expresses that God is fully aware of everything about us, including our most secretive, silent and hidden thoughts. Logically then, there is absolutely no need for an intermediate.
Lastly, I would like to point out that the Holy Qur’an has the following to say regarding the polytheists that it was addressing:
Surely pure religion is for Allah alone. And those who choose protecting friends beside Him (say): We worship them only that they may bring us closer to Allah. Allah will surely judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Indeed, Allah does not guide him who is a liar, a rejecter. – Al Zumar 39:3
Here we are told that they would excuse their habit by saying that they merely invoke other than Allah (swt) in order that they may get closer to Him. They were not asked to do this and yet they added their own innovations into the religion. Sadly, I must say that similar arguments are today presented by some Muslims to excuse invoking some dead saint or pious person. This is unacceptable, and we should be on guard against such a trap. Let us not imitate the enemies of the Prophet (pbuh). The Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omni-benevolent God is the only one who can truly hear our call and answer it. If nothing else; calling upon other than He is at least akin to making an addition to the religion and ascribing partners to Him. Such indeed is most grave and cumbersome. Hence, it must be avoided at all costs.
May Allah (swt) keep us on the straight path.
February 19, 2005