31-Ruling on making Du’a’ the dead
Q: What is the ruling on those who make Du’a’ (supplication) to the dead?
Ans by Imam Ibn Baz (rahimahullaah):
Those who make Du`a’ (supplication) to the dead are Mushriks (those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity or worship). If they make Du’a’ to the dead, idols, trees, stones, angels or jinn, they will be regarded as Kafirs (disbelievers) as making Du’a’ to all these leads to one thing; namely, Kufr (disbelief that takes the Muslim out of Islam),
One thing that can be excluded from this ruling which is seeking help from his fellow Muslim brother or non-Muslim like buying a commodity from a non-Muslim, asking him to build a shop or mend a car while the person while he is alive. This case is considered to be exceptional and is not a kind of Shirk. It is similar to what Allah (Exalted be He) mentions in the story of Musa (Moses): (The man of his own) party asked him for help against his foe)
If one asks his fellow Muslim brother or the non-Muslim, who is present, to do something for him like building a house, mending the car, or plowing the land in return for something, or they agree upon doing something that is legally permitted, there will be nothing wrong as all these things are normal and can be done by human beings who are alive and present.
But what is Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect) is making Du’a’ to those who are not present and cannot hear him, the dead or a living person whom he thinks to be supernatural and has a mysterious power. This understanding leads him to think that if he makes Du’a’ to this person for forgiveness and admittance to paradise, he will be able to do this because of something secret about this person. This is Munkar even if the person who is invoked besides Allah (Exalted be He) is living.
There are many Sufis who worship their Shaykhs and their senior and prestigious persons who are dead. They ask them for help and make Du’a’ to them to cure the sick. All these things are considered to be major Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) even if the person whom they make Du`a’ to is alive because they ask him something beyond his abilities. This behavior differs from asking a person to lend you something, build a house for you, cultivate some land, mend a car, bring your belongings from the car, and so on. All these things are normal and contain there is nothing wrong in them.
(Part No. 2; Page No.93)
Source: English Translations of Collection of “Noor ala Al-Darb” Programs, Volume 2. By: Sheikh `Abdul `Aziz Bin `Abdullah ibn `AbdulRahman ibn Bazz (May Allah forgive and reward al-Firdouse to him and his parents). He was The Mufti of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars, and Chairman of Department of Scholarly Research and Ifta’.
This English Translations are collected from alifta.com , Portal of the general Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta’