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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Ask of Allah Only

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "If you ask, ask of Allah"
[Narrated by Abdullah Ibn Abbas. Recorded by Al-Tirmidhi]

The important point for the Muslim is to realize that Allah and Allah alone is able to truly grant his needs. Therefore, he should turn only to Allah and realize that, even if Allah uses other humans to meet his needs, the one who truly fulfilled his needs is Allah.

It is recorded in Sahih Muslim that the Prophet took an oath from a number of Companions, such as Abu Bakr, Abu Dharr and Thaubaan, that they would never ask for anything from anyone. If any of these Companions dropped their sticks or their camel reins, they would never ask anyone to pick it up for them but would get it themselves.

However, people are often in situations where they need to seek assistance from others. Therefore, it is important to recognize that there are two types of asking from other humans. One type is forbidden. As for the second type, it is still best for one not to ask of any other human.

1. The type that is completely forbidden is to ask of another human what is typically not within the ability of a human being. This would include asking them for guidance, asking from them things related to the unseen and unknowable, or praying to people who are dead and in their graves.

2. The second type is where people ask of each other what is normally with the ability of a human being. This is the kind of mutual assistance and help that takes place all the time among mankind. However, even when turning to other humans for this permissible type of request, one should realize that the request will only be satisfied by them if Allah guides them to that decision.

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