Al-Isti‘aanah (Appealing for Aid and Assistance) and its Proof – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

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Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah : Lesson 24 Part A
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]

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Al-Isti‘aanah (Appealing for Aid and Assistance) and its Proof

Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:

And the proof for Al-Isti‘aanah (appealing for aid and assistance) is His saying, He the Most High:

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

You alone do we worship and to You alone do we appeal for aid [1:5]

And there occurs in the hadeeth:

“If you seek aid, then seek the aid of Allaah”[1], 12


[12]: Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation:

Al-Isti‘aanah: means seeking aid and assistance, and it is of two types:

The first type (which is worship): is seeking assistance upon something which no-one but Allaah is able to do; then directing this to other than Allaah is shirk, whoever seeks aid and assistance of other than Allaah with regard to something which only Allaah can carry out, then he has committed shirk, because he has directed a type from the types of worship to other than Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.

The second type (which is not worship): seeking aid upon something which someone from the creation is able to carry our, so you may seek someone’s help to build a wall along with you or to carry some luggage along with you or to help you to do something which is permissible which you wish to do, just as He the Most High said:

 وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ

And help one another upon righteousness and dutifulness towards Allaah, and do not help one another upon sin and transgression [5:2]

So al-Isti‘aanah (seeking aid and assistance) with regard to everyday matters which the people are able to do, there is no harm in this, because it is co-operation upon righteousness and dutifulness to Allaah. And He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:

“And Allaah continues to aid the servant for as long as the servant is aiding his brother”

[Reported by Muslim (2699) from a hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah radiy Allaahu ‘anhu]

As for seeking aid and assistance from someone from the creation with regard to something which no-one can carry out except Allaah, for example bringing about provision and repelling harm, then this cannot be except for Allaah; such as seeking the aid of the dead and seeking the aid of the jinn and the devils, and seeking the aid of people who are absent and they cannot hear your calling out their names – this is major shirk, because you are seeking aid from those who are not able to aid you.

So His saying, He the Most High:

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

You Alone do we worship and Your aid Alone do we seek [1:5] 

Iyyaka na‘budu”, (You Alone do we worship): this is a case of putting the governed word before the operative word. The governed word, “You”, is in the accusative case and, “We worship” is the governing word which caused, “Iyyaka” to be in the accusative case. And putting the governed word before the operative word indicates restriction. So the meaning of, “Iyyaka Na‘budu”, is – we do not worship anyone else besides You. So worship is restricted (to only be) for Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.

Wa Iyaaka nasta‘een”, (and Your aid Alone do we seek): this is a restriction of seeking aid (to only be) from Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, and that is with regard to those affairs which no-one is able to carry out except Allaah the Perfect and Most High.

And in His saying, “Iyaaka nasta‘een”, (Your aid Alone do we seek): it shows freeing onself from, “Hawl” and “Quwwah” – from any claim to having the ability to change things and from having power, and that a person has no power except with Allaah’s aid, and that no-one is able to do anything except with the aid of Allaah the Mighty and Majetic, and this is the utmost worship and servitude to Allaah, when a person frees himself from shirk, and he frees himself from, Hawl – from any claim to being able to bring about change, and from having Quwwah – from himself having power. So this is the utmost worship and servitude to Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.

[1] Reported by At-Tirmidhee as a hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas radiy Allaahu ‘anhumaa (part of hadeeth 19 in An-Nawawee’s 40 hadeeth)

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