All praises be to Allah who tells us in the Qur’an:
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘I make du’a only to my Lord (Allah alone), and I associate none as partners along with Him.'” (Surah al-Jinn:20)
It is clear that du’a can only be directed towards Allah alone. To make du’a to other than Allah is to associate partners with Him, which is shirk, the only sin that Allah does not forgive. This is because if we ask a saint, or rock or idol or other created object for something, we are attributing to them powers that only Allah has.
Allah tells us:
“If you invoke (or call upon them), they hear not your call, and even if they were to hear (you), they could not grant your (request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you (O Muhammad) like Him Who is the All-Knower (of each and everything).” (Surah al-Fatir:14)
Only Allah can respond to our du’a. Only He knows what’s in our hearts and has the power to grant our wishes. If we call on other than Allah, we are calling on someone or something that cannot benefit us in anyway. But by calling on them, we bring harm to ourselves by committing shirk. Look at the example that Allah gives of one who calls on other than Him:
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Shall we invoke others besides Allah (false deities), that can do us neither good nor harm, and shall we turn on our heels after Allah had guided us? Like one whom the devils have made to go astray, confused (wondering) through the earth, his companion calling him to guidance (saying): ‘Come to us.’ say: ‘Allah’s Guidance is the only guidance, and we have been commanded to submit (ourselves) to the Lord of the Worlds.'” (Surah al-An’am:71)
Unfortunately, many groups within Islam worship other than Allah. They have taken the concept of Wali of Allah and used it to give their Sheikh’s a kind of demi-god status, believing them to be so near to Allah that they should ask the Wali for help instead of Allah. It is possible to hear a person who believes that he is a Muslim, and may even be fasting or praying, crying our ‘O ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani! Save Me!’ May Allah protect us from this type of shirk, or associating partners with Allah, all praises and glory be to Him.
Others, think that making du’a through an intermediary will give their du’a a stronger chance of being accepted. The Arabs at the time of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would worship the idols with the exact same excuse – that they were only trying to come closer to Allah – and yet despite this, Allah considered them to be committing shirk. Allah is the only one that has the right to be worshipped, and Islam does not allow for any intermediaries.
We must ensure therefore that we make our du’a directly to Allah alone, for He is the only one who can answer our call.