Some persons believe that it is Shirk (associating partners with Allah) if you call to the Aoulia Allah (Saints) for help, for example, “Ya Ghous, Assist me” or “Ya Khwaja, Assist me”. The Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama’at believes that it is permissible to call to the Aoulia Allah (radi Allahu anhum) for assistance or help as this is not associating partners with Allah Taala. We believe that Allah Taala has given the Aoulia Allah special powers to assist the creation with His permission.
The following verse of the Holy Quran proves that one can also seek the assistance of the Aoulia Allah: “Your helpers are Almighty Allah and His Rasool and those Muslims who perform Salaah and give alms and make Ruku” (Part 6, Ruku 6) This verse refers to the Helpers as “those Muslims” who are in reality the “Aoulia”.
The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated, “There are certain of Allah’s servants that have been set aside to fulfil the necessities of the people. People will call to them in their times of need. They are protected from the punishment of Almighty Allah”. (Jame Saghir) This Hadith Shareef clearly proves that one may call the Aoulia Allah for assistance.
Sayyiduna Allama ibn Juzri (alaihir rahmah) states, “If one is ever in any need then He should say, ‘O servants of Allah, assist me! O servants of Allah, assist me! O servants of Allah, assist me’.” (Tibraani)
Sayyiduna Imam Naudi (alaihir rahmah), the commentator of “Muslim Shareef”, quotes an incident: “One of my superiors narrated an incident to me, ‘My mule ran away and I had known the Ahadith and I immediately said, ‘O servants of Allah, assist me!’ Almighty Allah immediately stopped the mule (from running away)’.” (Kitaabul Azkaar)
Sayyiduna Shamsuddeen Muhammad Hanafi (alaihir rahmah) was performing ablution in his room. He suddenly threw his wooden sandal into the air. It disappeared although there was no way for it to exit through the room. He gave the other sandal to his disciple and asked him to keep it until the first one returned. After some time a certain person from Syria arrived with the sandal and some money as gifts and said, “May Almighty Allah give you the thanks for this. The actual incident, which occurred, was that once when a thief sat on my chest and was about to slaughter me. In my heart I said, ‘Ya Sayyidi Muhammadin Ya Hanafiyu.’ Then suddenly, this sandal came and fell on the chest of the thief with such force that he became dazed and collapsed and Almighty Allah has saved me through your blessing.” (Tabqaatul Kubra)
Sayyiduna Allama Abdul Wahab Shu’raani (alaihir rahmah) when explaining the status and significance of Hadrat Moosa Abu Imran (alaihir rahmah) states: “When any of his Mureeds would call to him from anywhere, he would answer them even if he is in a years distance away or even more than that.” (Tabqaatul Kubra)
When Sayyiduna Sayyidi Shamsudeen Hanafi (alaihir rahmah) was on his death-bed, he called his Mureeds and said: “If anyone has any wish or need, he should come to my grave, I will indeed help him in fulfilling it. Remember between you and me, there is merely a handful of sand, and how can a mere handful of sand be a screen between a Murshid and his Mureed. If the sand does become a screen, then the Murshid cannot be a perfect Man (Insaan-e-Kaamil).”
Sayyidi Mohammed Farghal (alaihir rahmah) states: “I am indeed amongst those Saints who can assist you from the grave. If, therefore, you have any wish or need come to my grave and facing me, mention your requirements. I will fulfill them.”
It is recorded that while Sayyiduna Sayyidi Madeen Ahmed Ashmooni (alaihir rahmah) was performing the Wudhu, he suddenly threw his sandal towards the eastern side of the city. A year later a man arrived and described a strange incident. He said: “My daughter was once walking in the jungle, when an evil man tried to entrap her. She did not at the time remember the name of her father’s Murshid, yet in panic, she screamed, ‘O Murshid of my father, save me! Suddenly, a sandal appeared from thin air and rendered the evil man unconscious.” It is stated that the sandal is still in the possession of the mentioned family.
Imaam Arif Billah Sayyidi Abdul Wahab Sha’raani (alaihir rahmah), in his book, “Lawaaqi-ul-Anwaar Fi Tabqaatil Akhyaar”, records a strange and miraculous incident. It is recorded that a Mureed of Sayyidi Mohammed Khawri (alaihir rahmah) was once passing through the market, when the foot of the animal he was riding slipped. In extreme panic he screamed, “Ya Sayyidi Muhammad, Ya Ghamri!” Co-incidently, in that very market place, the captured ruler, ibn Omar Sa’eed, was also passing through. He inquired from the Mureed as to who was Sayyidi Mohammed. When he was told who he was, he asked permission to use the name of the Murshid so that he could also be released. As soon as he had proclaimed the name of the great Wali, the spiritual master appeared and driving away the capturers, freed the ruler. The Shaikh then blessed the ruler, and thereafter departed.
Among the excellences of Sayyiduna Sayyidi Moosa Abu Imraan (alaihir rahmah), it is recorded that whenever his Mureeds used to call to him, he immediately use to assist them, even though the Mureed was as far away as a year’s journey or even more.
Before the passing away of Moulana Rumi (alaihir rahmah), he revealed to his Mureeds a startling secret. He said: “Whatever conditions you may be in, remember me, so that I can be your protector and helper, irrespective of what state I may be in. In this world I have two types of relationships, one with my body and the other with you, and when, with the Mercy of Allah I am freed from this contact with my body and the world of loneliness is exposed to me, I will divert the attention of my soul to you.”
Sayyiduna Shah Wali’ullah (alaihir rahmah), records a method for achieving and fulfilling one’s needs and wishes in his book, “Al intibah fi Salasil-e-Aoulia”. He states: “One should first perform two Rakaats of Nafil Salaah. After completion he should recite the following – 111 times Durood Shareef, 111 times Kalima Tamjeed and 111 times ‘Shay an Lillah, Ya Shaikh Abdal Qaadir Jilaani’.” From this book, it has been proven that all the great Luminaries believed in the proclamation of “Shay an Lillah” as being a valid and a great solution to many unsolved problems.
Sayyiduna Ahmed Zarooq (alaihir rahmah) said: “I indeed bless my (Mureeds) with tranquillity during times of difficulty and perplexity, when cruelty and evil oppresses them and in times of misery and fear. Therefore (during these times) call to me ‘Ya Zarooq’, I will immediately come to your assistance.”
Allama Ziyadi, Allama Ajhoori, Allama Dawoodi and Allama Shaami (alaihimur rahmah), have all prescribed a method for finding mislaid items. They state: “One should climb on to a high spot and offer Faatiha for Sayyiduna Sayyidi Ahmed bin Alwaan Yamaani. Thereafter invoking his name one should say, ‘Ya Sayyidi Ahmed, Ya ibn Alwaan’.”
From all of the above narrations one will see that to call upon the Aoulia for assistance is permissible even if they are thousands of miles away. With the permission of Allah Taala they certainly assist those who are in need.