I spoke to a friend regarding invoking the Imams in supplication and seeking their aid, to which he responded, “The Imams are intermediaries between Allah and the slave. For example, can you enter the office of an administrator or a high-ranking official without a contact?”
I said, “If this official was just and humble, and he allowed for people to see him, then yes I would be able to do so. However, if he was arrogant then I would not be able to do so. Do you feel that the need for an intermediary is just?”
Allah disregarded all obstacles and intermediaries and proclaimed:
رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ
Call upon Me and I will answer you. Those who show arrogance from My worship, they shall enter Hell, utterly disgraced.
He never said, “Call the Imams, or bring intermediaries to me, so that I may answer you.”
The matter has greatly surpassed being confined to just the Imams. There is now a shrine for Imam Khomeini that is visited by people seeking provision and cure from him. It is the old plan of Shaitan that has come again, but in a different garb. In the past, when a man would die, they would mould an idol for him. Today, when a scholar dies, they erect a shrine for him. What used to take place by the idols now takes place in the shrines. There is no real difference.
The strange thing is that the propaganda literature that justifies this kind of action cites Ahadith that allow visiting graves for reflection and taking lesson from them; then combines this with the Ahadith of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam intercession on the Day of Qiyamah. Thus, they justify Tawaf (circumambulating) of the shrines, and seeking help from those buried in those graves. I fail to realise the link between the permissibility of visiting the graves and the permissibility of calling on their inhabitants as opposed to calling on Allah.
All misguided religions placed intermediaries between the slave and his Lord. In some denominations of Christianity priests are intermediaries between the slave and his Lord, and idols hold the same position for the polytheists. Is this merely a case of Shaitan applying a diverse and broad strategy for the deviation of the rest of humankind?
Imam ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam advised Imam Hussain, saying, “Seek refuge yourself for all affairs in the Being that you worship; for that is taking recourse to a cave of protection, and a strong defence. Devote yourself in your prayer to your Lord, for indeed giving and withholding are in His control.”
Imam al Rida would often supplicate in the following manner:
O Allah, I am devoid of any power and might, and there is no true power and might except Yours. O Allah, I take refuge in you and I absolve myself of those who have claimed about us that which is not in us. I absolve myself from those who have said regarding us that which we have not said regarding ourselves. O Allah, creation is Yours, and provision is from You, and You, alone, do we worship and ask for help. O Allah, You are our Creator and the Creator of our early forefathers and our later forefathers. Divinity befits no one save You, and being worshipped is not for anyone besides You. Curse the Christians who belittled Your grandeur, and curse those who make similar claims from Your creation. O Allah, we are Your slaves, and the children of Your slaves. We do not hold any power to cause ourselves goodness nor harm, nor life nor death nor resurrection. O Allah, whoever claimed that we are deities then we are free from them. Whoever claimed that creation and sustenance is in our hands then we are free from them the same way that ‘Isa, son of Maryam, is free from the Christians. O Allah, we did not call them to that which they claim, so do not hold us accountable for what they say. Forgive us for what they say, and do not leave any of them to inhabit the earth. If you leave them, they will misguide your slaves, and they will only beget immoral ingrates.
The Imam is dissociating himself from whoever seeks provision and blessing from him, yet some are insistent on calling him instead of Allah!
Would you like the Imam to disassociate himself from you on the Day of Judgement the same way that ‘Isa, son of Maryam, dissociates himself from the Christians? Just as Imam ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam says, “O Allah, I am free of those extremists the same way ‘Isa, son of Maryam, is free from the Christians. O Allah, forsake them forever and do not assist any one of them.”
Moreover, those who erected these shrines, what was their aim aside from stealing the people’s money? There are multiple cities claiming that Imam Hussain ‘alayh al Salam is buried there: Cairo, Damascus, Raqqah, and ‘Asqalan. Now, seeing as Imam Hussain ‘alayh al Salam is loved by all Muslims, these shrines will attract great sums of money for the upkeep of those shrines.
More astonishing than this is the fact that it is believed that the grave of Al Yasa’ ‘alayh al Salam is in the South-western part of the village of Al Awjam in al Qatif! O Allah! Who brought the grave of Al Yasa’ from Palestine to al Qatif?
All the historical and religious evidence points to the fact that he lived his life between Mount Qasiyun and Jerusalem; so, what moved his grave over here? Did he flee the siege of the Jews? Did his people disbelieve in him when he was alive, such that he escaped them after in death?
If the opportunity presents itself you may just be lucky enough to see his “grave” in al Awjam, and you will hear someone reading the ceremonial Visitation of the Prophet Al Yasa’!
The latest absurd comment I came across on a news website online was the construction of a shrine for Imam ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam in Mazar-i Sharif!
Everyone is competing to increase their share of shrines so that they can amass the greatest possible revenue through people’s donations. This is the investment that will never fail as long as there are simple-minded people who insist on accruing the curses of Allah, His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the Imams ‘alayhim al Salam. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said, “Do not take my grave as a qiblah or as a place of worship, for indeed Allah cursed the Jews for taking the graves of their messengers as places of worship.”
Imam al Rida had cursed whomsoever did such acts, as it appears in the Hadith cited earlier.
 Surah al Ghafir: 60.
 Nahj al Balaghah, 3/39-40.
 Al Saduq: Al I’tiqadat, pg. 99-100; Al Majlisi: Bihar al Anwar, 25/343.
 Al Tusi: Al Amali, pg. 650.
 Al Saduq: ‘Ilal al Shara’i’, 2/358; al Hurr al ‘Amili: Wasa’il al Shia, 3/235.Back to top