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What is Waseela (Intercession)

Date published: 2 October 2021
Topic: Aqeeda


Allah Ta'ala states in The Holy Quran:


'All praise be unto Allah, Lord of all the worlds'

'The Most Affectionate, the Merciful'

'Master of the Day of Requital'

'We worship You alone, and beg You alone for help'

'Guide us on the straight Path'

'The path of those whom You have favoured. Not those who have earned Your anger and nor of those who have gone astray'

(Surah Al-Fateha. verses 1-7)


In every rakaat of our namaaz, we make dua to Allah Ta'ala to 'guide us on the straight path', 'the path of those whom You have favoured'.

From all the bounty of Allah Ta'ala, the most esteemed bounty is being steadfast on the straight path. This path is identified with the path walked upon by saints, distinguished, and people of wisdom of Allah Ta'ala; for they are the ones upon whom Allah Ta'ala has bestowed His favours. True guidance cannot be achieved by one's effort alone, as it is bestowed upon a person by the grace of Allah Ta'ala. However, following the path of those who are misguided and astray invites the wrath of Allah Ta'ala.

Now! Who are these pious, distinguished, people of wisdom, of Allah Ta'ala?

Allah Ta'ala states in The Holy Quran:


'O you believe! Fear Allah and seek the means of approach to Him, and strive in His way that you may obtain prosperity'

(Surah Al-Ma'ida. verse 35)


A Muslim should seek intercession of Prophets and Awliya Allah with their deeds, because deeds were included in 'fear of Allah', then the command to seek appearance as a means of approach. But one has to strive in order to seek the intercession before it can be obtained. However, no pious Muslim can reach Allah Ta'ala without the intercession of Prophet ﷺ. Prophet Muhammad is the intercessor for everyone.


Similarly, we also supplicate to follow the path of those whom Allah Ta'ala has favoured. These devotees are whom Allah Ta'ala has bestowed His divine blessings. They are the Nabi, Siddiq, Shahid and Wali. We seek guidance from them to be on the straight path.

Guidance is of two types. First, is to tell or communicate in words i.e. inform the straight path. Second, is to walk with you on the straight path to reach the destination-the court of Allah Ta'ala.' One is theory and the other is practical. In the same manner, deen also has two arms. They are the Islamic Scholars (Ulama) and the Mystics (Sufi). The Ulama will tell you the straight path. But the Sufi will walk with you and show you the straight path to reach our destination-the court of Allah Ta'ala. In other words, the Ulama will tell you how a drink tastes, but the Sufi will give you the drink to taste.


A bird with only one wing cannot fly. In the same way, any sect that has only the Ulama and not the Sufi cannot reach the court of Allah Ta'ala. Deen that has both the Ulama and Sufi has to be followed to reach the court of Allah Ta'ala. Alhamdulillah, this bounty is blessed upon the Ahlus Sunnah Wa Jama'ah only. The imaan of the followers of Ahlus Sunnah Wa Jama'ah are at the highest levels because of the guidance of both the Ulama and the Sufis. Shariat-the body of canonical law based on the Quran, and Tareeqat-the mystic way of life (Sufism) form the basis of the Ahlus Sunnah Wa Jama'ah. All the deviant sects only have the Ulama. How will it be possible for the followers of the deviant sects to reach the court of Allah Ta'ala when they don't believe in those on whom Allah Ta'ala has bestowed His bounty? Clearly, they are not on the straight path. One needs to have a guide, a waseela to reach the court of Allah Ta'ala.

Allah Ta'ala states in The Holy Quran:


'Except those who are your sincere and selected bondsmen'

(Surah Al-Hijr. verse 40)


One has to search for a waseela who will take us to the court of Allah Ta'ala. One has to pledge a spiritual allegiance to a spiritual Master, a Sufi, who, in steps will guide his followers to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Prophetwill ultimately be our intercessor on the day of qayamat.


One cannot reach the court of Allah Ta'ala without a guide (whom Allah Ta'ala has bestowed His favours). Because the shaitaan has pledged to lead anyone astray who tries to follow the straight path without the help of a guide.

Allah Ta'ala states in The Holy Quran:


'He (shaitaan) said: 'I swear that because you seduced me, I shall necessarily sit to block them from straight path in wait for them'.'

(Surah Al-A'Raaf. verse 16)


The shaitaan says that he is sitting in the path that leads to the court of Allah Ta'ala. He says that he will put temptations and lead people treading on this straight path to astray. Hence, to protect oneself from being led astray by the shaitaan, one has to 'hold hands' with the pious walking on the straight path-the path of those whom Allah Ta'ala has favoured. Those who deny waseela-who deny a guide will definitely be led astray and follow the path of shaitaan.






This article is an abridged English translation of an Urdu sermon delivered by his eminence, Peer Syed Imroz Dean Saifi, Hanfi, Maturidi of Masjid Anwaar e Madina, Surrey BC Canada

If there is an inaccurate translation, please pardon it and not let it be a means to negatively reflect on the honoured presenter.