Asking of the Creation

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Be mindful of Allah and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask Allah, if you seek help, seek help with Allah…” (Ahmad)

This hadith expresses the same meaning as the verse under discussion and clearly shows that Allah, Mighty and Magnificent, is the One who should be asked and the One from whom help should be sought. With regards to asking in general, Allah says, “Ask Allah of His bounty” (an-Nisa 4:32)

At-Tirmidhi records the hadith reported on the authority of ibn Masud that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Ask Allah of His bounty for Allah loves to be asked.” (at-Tirmidhi 3571) and on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, “Allah is angry at the one who does not ask of Him.” (at-Tirmidhi 3571)

There are many ahadith that prohibit one from asking of the creation, indeed the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, took a pledge from a group of his Companions that they would never ask people for anything, amongst those were Abu Bakr, Abu Dharr and Thawban. (Muslim 1043) Know that asking of Allah and not the creation is what is necessary. This is because to ask is to display humbleness and submissiveness before the one being asked as well as dependence upon him; it also contains an implicit acknowledgement that the one being asked has the ability to remove harm, grant the object of desire and promote benefit. It is not allowable to show humility, submissiveness and need except to Allah alone because these matter exemplify the reality of worship. Ahmad used to supplicate, ‘O Allah! Just as You have prevented my face to prostrating to other than You, also prevent it from asking of other than You.’ None is able to remove harm or promote the good save Him as he says, “If  Allah afflicts you with harm, no one can move it except Him. If He desires good for you, no one can avert His favour.” (Yunus 10:107)

Allah loves to be asked, to be hoped in and desired at times of need, to be supplicated frequently and resolutely. He is able to grant all of mankind all their requests without his dominion decreasing in the slightest. Created beings on the other hand are the exact opposite, they dislike being asked due to their inability, need and poverty. This is why Wahb bin Munabbih said to one who would frequent the door of the ruler, ‘Woe to you! You run to one who would shut his door in your face, display his poverty to you and conceal his riches and leave One who opens His door to you in the middle of the night and the middle of the day, who displayed his richness and proclaims, “invoke Me and I will respond” Tawus said to Ata, ‘Beware of asking your needs to be met by one who would close his door in your face, instead it is upon you to go to the One whose door is open until the Day of Judgement, One who has ordered you to ask Him and promised you that He would respond.’

With regards asking Allah Alone for help, this is because man alone cannot promote good for himself or repress harm, hence there is no one who can aid him to promote benefit in his religious and worldly life except for Allah, Mighty and Magnificent. The servant is in perpetual need of the aid of Allah in performing the obligations, leaving the prohibition and bearing with patience the vicissitudes of the decree in the life and after death. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “…be desirous of that which would benefit you and ask the aid of Allah and do not become disheartened.” (Muslim 2664)

Al-Hasan wrote to Umar bin Abdul Aziz, ‘Do not seek the aid of any besides Allah or else Allah would abandon you to him.’ One of the salaf would say, ‘My Lord! I amazed at how one who knows You can place his hope in someone else and ask the help of someone else.’ (ibn Rajab)

The Spiritual Cure: An Explanation of Surah Al-Fatihah prepared and translated by Abu Rumaysah Pages 124-127