A Side Note: Is It Shirk To Say "ali[as] Mawla"?
People criticize us for saying "Mawla" to Ali (as). They base their argument on the verse:
لَّي'سَ بِأَمَانِيِّكُم' وَلا أَمَانِيِّ أَه'لِ ال'كِتَابِ مَن يَع'مَل' سُوءًا يُج'زَ بِهِ وَلاَ يَجِد' لَهُ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ وَلِيًّا
[Yusufali 4:123] whoever works evil, will be requited accordingly. Nor will he find, besides Allah, any protector (Waliyan) We pray to Allah (swt) to give them the "Taufeeq" and "Ability" to see the other part of Qur'an and Hadith too and to take guidance from them.
In fact, saying "Mawla" to Ali (as) is the "Sunnah" of Rasool Allah (saww), when in the valley of Khum, he said:
"For whoever I am his Leader (mawla), 'Ali is his Leader (mawla)."
So, we only follow the "Sunnah" of Rasool Allah (saw) , when we say "Ali Mawla". And if these people still want to criticize us, then they have to first issue a fatwa of shirk against Rasool Allah (saww).
Can anyone Intercede us beside Allah?
In verse 39:43-44, Allah says that there is no intercessor beside Allah.
أَمِ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ شُفَعَاء قُل' أَوَلَو' كَانُوا لَا يَم'لِكُونَ شَي'ئًا وَلَا يَع'قِلُونَ قُل لِّلَّهِ الشَّفَاعَةُ جَمِيعًا لَّهُ مُل'كُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَال'أَر'ضِ ثُمَّ إِلَي'هِ تُر'جَعُونَ
[Yusufali 39:43-44] What! Do they take for intercessors others besides Allah? Say: "Even if they have no power whatever and no intelligence?" Say: "To Allah belongs exclusively (the right to grant) intercession But in verses 19:87 and 43:86, Allah says that there are some people who can also intercede for us with the permission of Allah.
لَا يَم'لِكُونَ الشَّفَاعَةَ إِلَّا مَنِ اتَّخَذَ عِندَ الرَّح'مَنِ عَه'دًا
[Yusufali 19:87] None shall have the power of intercession, but such a one as has received permission (or promise) from (Allah) Most Gracious.
وَلَا يَم'لِكُ الَّذِينَ يَد'عُونَ مِن دُونِهِ الشَّفَاعَةَ إِلَّا مَن شَهِدَ بِال'حَقِّ وَهُم' يَع'لَمُونَ
[Yusufali 43:86] And those whom they invoke besides Allah have no power of intercession;- only he who bears witness to the Truth, and they know (him).
Are we associating partners with Allah, when we say that Rasool Allah (saww) can also intercede for us by the permission of Allah? Are there contradictions in the Qur'an? Rule: When Allah says that He is the sole Intercessor, then some pious people are already allegorically included in it, who intercede with the permission of Allah.
(Note: There are 10 occasions in Qur'an wherein Allah says that there is no Intercessor except him. And there are 7 occasions wherein Allah says that there are some pious people and angels who can intercede us, with Allah's permission).
Salafi Tactics: They always quote ONLY those verses where Allah says that all intercession belongs to Him. But they totally neglect and discourage mention of those verses, that state that some other people and angels have also been given the power by Allah to intercede for us.
Fadhl (Grace / Bounty) is only in Hands of Allah?
You will find Salafi often quoting the following verse with great stress.
لِئَلَّا يَع'لَمَ أَه'لُ ال'كِتَابِ أَلَّا يَق'دِرُونَ عَلَى شَي'ءٍ مِّن فَض'لِ اللَّهِ وَأَنَّ ال'فَض'لَ بِيَدِ اللَّهِ يُؤ'تِيهِ مَن يَشَاء وَاللَّهُ ذُو ال'فَض'لِ ال'عَظِيمِ
[Yusufali 57:29] That the People of the Book may know that they have no power whatever over the Grace of Allah, that (His) Grace is (entirely) in His Hand, to bestow it on whomsoever He wills. For Allah is the Lord of Grace abounding.
By quoting these type of verses, the Salafi want to compare us (i.e. Shia and our Ahl'ul -Sunnah brethren, who believe that Rasool Allah (saww) has also been given the powers and authority to benefit us) to the Kuffar and Ahle-Kitab (Christians and Jews). They try to prove that in the same way that the Kuffar and Ahle Kitab committed shirk by having such beliefs, the Sunni and Shi'a have likewise fallen into the quagmire of Shirk.
Sadly, by doing this, they completely neglect other parts of the Qur'an and Sunnah. See the following verses.
وَلَو' أَنَّهُم' رَضُو'ا' مَا آتَاهُمُ اللّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَقَالُوا' حَس'بُنَا اللّهُ سَيُؤ'تِينَا اللّهُ مِن فَض'لِهِ وَرَسُولُهُ إِنَّا إِلَى اللّهِ رَاغِبُونَ
[Shakir 9:59] And if they were content with what Allah and His Messenger gave them, and had said: Allah is sufficient for us; Allah will soon give us (more) out of His grace and His Messenger too; Is Allah himself committing shirk by saying that His Messenger can also GIVE to others along with Him?
يَح'لِفُونَ بِاللّهِ مَا قَالُوا' وَلَقَد' قَالُوا' كَلِمَةَ ال'كُف'رِ وَكَفَرُوا' بَع'دَ إِس'لاَمِهِم' وَهَمُّوا' بِمَا لَم' يَنَالُوا' وَمَا نَقَمُوا' إِلاَّ أَن' أَغ'نَاهُمُ اللّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ مِن فَض'لِهِ فَإِن يَتُوبُوا' يَكُ خَي'رًا
[Yusufali 9:74] They swear by Allah that they said nothing (evil), but indeed they uttered blasphemy, and they did it after accepting Islam; and they meditated a plot which they were unable to carry out: this revenge of theirs was (their) only return for the bounty (Fadhl) with which Allah and His Messenger had enriched them! If they repent, it will be best for them;
And do we really associate Rasool Allah [saww] as a Partner to Allah when we say that he [saww] can also ENRICH the others out of his Bounty (Fadhl) along with Allah?
Salafi Tactics: Since all these kind of verses go directly against the self-invented definition of Shirk given by Salafi, therefore, they are compelled to neglect and avoid them. They discourage the mentioning of these types of verses, because they fear that it will lead the people towards Shirk.
We hope that our dear readers would now be able to better understand the evils of this literal approach. Let us go towards help from Rasool Allah [saww].
Is Allah the Only and Sufficient Helper? Salafi claim that Allah is the Only and Sufficient Helper. And we (Shias and our Ahle-Sunnah brothers), agree with them 100% on this statement. Allah says in Qur'an:
وَاللّهُ أَع'لَمُ بِأَع'دَائِكُم' وَكَفَى بِاللّهِ وَلِيًّا وَكَفَى بِاللّهِ نَصِيرًا [Yusuf Ali 4:45] But Allah hath full knowledge of your enemies: Allah is enough for a protector, and Allah is enough for a Helper.
قُل' مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَع'صِمُكُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ إِن' أَرَادَ بِكُم' سُوءًا أَو' أَرَادَ بِكُم' رَح'مَةً وَلَا يَجِدُونَ لَهُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرًا
[Yusufali 33:17]...Nor will they find for themselves, besides Allah, any protector or helper. Now after saying that we agree with Salafi on this point (that Allah is the Only and Sufficient Helper), we would like to ask Salafi if they too agree with us on the following point:
Our claim is this that when Allah says that He is the Only and Sufficient Helper, then Rasool Allah [saww], Gabriel (as), righteous believers and angels are already included in it allegorically. Please look at the following verse.
إِن تَتُوبَا إِلَى اللَّهِ فَقَد' صَغَت' قُلُوبُكُمَا وَإِن تَظَاهَرَا عَلَي'هِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ مَو'لَاهُ وَجِب'رِيلُ وَصَالِحُ ال'مُؤ'مِنِينَ وَال'مَلَائِكَةُ بَع'دَ ذَلِكَ ظَهِيرٌ
[Pickthal 66:4] If ye (wives of Muhammad) twain turn unto Allah repentant, (ye have cause to do so) for your hearts desired (the ban); and if ye aid one another against him (Muhammad) then lo! Allah, even He, is his Protecting Friend (Mawlaho), and Gabriel and the righteous among the believers; and furthermore the angels are his helpers.
Does this verse really mean that Allah is not the ONLY and SUFFICIENT Helper. Are there contradictions in Qur'an? And do we really associate Partners to Allah when we believe that Gabriel (as), some righteous believers and angels can also be our Mawla (guardians) and Naseer (helpers), along with Allah?
If we still follow the Literal Approach and Self Defined definition of Shirk by our Salafi friends, then certainly we are going to make Allah himself a Mushrik (naudo-billah), and along with Him all those too, who believe in Whole Qur'an. And please also look at this verse.
وَمَا لَكُم' لاَ تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَال'مُس'تَض'عَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاء وَال'وِل'دَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخ'رِج'نَا مِن' هَـذِهِ ال'قَر'يَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَه'لُهَا وَاج'عَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا وَاج'عَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ نَصِيرًا
[Yusufali 4:75] .. Men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect (Waliyan); and raise for us from thee one who will help (Nasira) (us)!" When Allah is enough as Protector (Waliyan) and Helper (Nasira), then why these people asked Allah for another person who should protect and help them?
And when Allah is giving the attributes of Wilayat (protection) and Nusrat (help) to this person, then why to claim that no one other than Allah can Benefit us (either by protecting or helping)? Indeed there are pious people of Allah, who can Benefit us by the permission of Allah. And it is not shirk to take these Awliya (friends of Allah) too as our Protectors and Helpers, along with Allah (i.e. they are not separated from Allah in these attributes, but Allah has kept them with Him).
And the opposite party is Shaitan and his Awliya (friends). If we take Shaitan or his Awliya as our Protector and Helper, then surely it is Shirk. يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا' اس'تَعِينُوا' بِالصَّب'رِ وَالصَّلاَةِ [Pickthal 2:153] O ye who believe! Seek help in steadfastness and prayer.
NOTE: There are a lot of more verses of Qur'an and Ahadith, where help and benefit has been sought allegorically by others than Allah. And one is not allowed to interpret them literally, otherwise several contradictions will appear in Qur'an.