Please note: The answers on Hawramani.com constitute friendly advice rather than fatwas. Where relevant, we translate the opinions and fatwas of respected scholars and present them in our answers.

Is it permitted to ask shaykhs for prayers?

Part one :: salamu alaykom, my parents are refusing to let me get married bc they have decided that someone isnt muslim enough or the right race. my friend is saying she’s having sheikhs who are awliyah in Africa read Quran and make dua to “fix the situation” and i have constant arguments with her about how this is shirk & to not bc Allah is the only one who fixes things and she argues that all they do is read Quran and do nightly zikr for the person and they do it through Allah (cont)

Part two:: and payments they ask for go to the Islamic khalwa schools that mainly house orphans but it doesn’t sit right with me bc it seems shady. I’ve read Islamic articles that say these kinds of ppl are magicians and that its shirk. she says that they live in mosque/are righteous and I just keep telling her I’d rather her not. I don’t want her to be committing shirk and I’m scared. I also don’t want to be saying that ppl are mushrikeen if they aren’t bc that makes me feel bad. Is this shirk?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Sorry to read about your parents not letting you marry the person you choice. May Allah make things easy for you. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with having others pray for you. And if the payments are for charity then that is fine too, although if they refuse to pray for someone unless they get paid then that is more questionable. Unfortunately I cannot find any fatwas that deal directly with the issue of payment for prayer.

The concept of certain shaykhs having karāmāt (the ability to intercede with God and sometimes perform miraculous acts) is widely supported by scholars. Fatwas by the Jordanian Fatwa Authority and the Qatari Fatwa Authority support it. These karāmāt are only privileges that is granted by God due to a person’s piety. Believing in karāmāt is not shirk because a person admits that it is only a grace from God, it is not some unique power that the person possesses.

So asking shaykhs for karāmāt is not idolatry and it is considered acceptable by most scholars. So if the people are truly pious then there is no issue with what your friend is doing.

Now, I am not the type of person to do what your friend is doing (making a donation in order to get prayers). But if a person does that, we cannot condemn it since there is nothing prohibited about it. Perhaps it will have a benefit.

Sources:

And God knows best.

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