Shia & the Practice of Intercession
The Shia who seek help from other than ALLAH by asking for help: O Hussain!, O Ali!, O Mehdi!, and perhaps, O Abbas…! They appeal for help from the afore mentioned relatives of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w) to assist them obtain their needs, or to help them remove lessen whatever overburdens them. Indeed the Shia's adherents do love excessively members of the Prophetic Household (s.a.w.w) without observing the fact that they are mere humans and not gods. It should be borne in mind that mankind, can neither inflict anybody with harm nor confer benefit to him whatever their ranks and prestige may be in the sight of ALLAH. For only ALLAH can cause harm or bring benefit to us.
Shia have dedicated duties to each one of their Imams in regards to conferring benefits and infliction of harm to people:
They thus say "As far as Ali Bin Hussain is concerned, his name shall be invoked to save people from tyrannical kings as well as from the evil whispering of the Devil".
Muhammad Bin Ali and Jaffar Bin Muhammad, will be responsible for saving the Shia adherents from the Hell-Fire on the Day of Judgment, and to guide people to the true way of worshipping Allah the Omnipotent and obeying His commandments.
Musa Bin Jaffar, was assigned the duty of mediation to ALLAH for those who seek good health from Him.
Whereas the duty assigned to Ali Bin Musa was to mediate to ALLAH for people who seek safety when navigating or sailing in the sea and those who travel on the mainland.
As regards Muhammad Bin Ali, through him sustenance will be proceeding from ALLAH.
While through Ali Bin Muhammad's name, the optional acts of devotion, nice treatment of brothers toward each other, and all the other acts of obedience and worship of ALLAH will be accepted.
Regarding Hassan bin Ali, his duty and obligation is to serve the Shia adherents in the hereafter.
Whereas the responsibility of the Custodian of Time, is to rescue the people who are about to be stabbed to death, if they appeal for his assistance.
The author of the book called Behar-ul-Anwaar (Seas of the Lights) has illustrated in his book the supplication to be said earnestly when appealing for the aid of the Imams within the scope of their duties and obligations as elaborated above.
In this respect, Mulla Baqar Majlisi, one of the prominent Shia Scholars, concluded that the above mentioned cults are the greatest medicine and means of cure for whosoever intercedes with them.
As such, Shia Scholars prescribe supplications (Ad'iyah), with regard to the aforementioned pattern of placing their hope in their Imams (religious leaders) and seeking their assistance. Hence, they do turn to their Imams for aid when in distress and invoke their names respectively.
This is done in response to their awaited Imam's narrative, in the following text, "O pillars of the countries, gates of faith, and granters of donations, it is decreed that by you the distressed and destitute will be saved. Nothing can happen without you being a reason and an obvious way towards its occurrence. There is neither deliverance nor resort from fear except by taking shelter in you, and there is no way we can dispense with you… O eyes of God that never relent". (Behar-ul-Anwaar, 37-94).
However, we cannot conceal the reality
that, while they do not deify their Imams, they, in the long run bestow lavishly
upon them distinctive attributes of divinity in one way or the other. Thus
invoking ALLAH by mentioning their names, has become a means by which their
prayers and supplications are accepted to ALLAH according to their belief.
Whereas ALLAH says in the Holy Quran: "The most beautiful names belong to ALLAH,
so call on Him by them…". ( Al-Quran 7: 180 )
We often hear the Shia adherents repeat, "O Ali provide supplies! O Hussain, rescue us! While others abide by the grave of Imam Ridah, crying and rubbing along his tomb, kissing it and either invoke his name or swear their fealty thereat". Then they claim that they don't worship the Imams.
This fact is embodied in their dictum, "Call
upon Ali, the revealer of wonders". When you ask such people, "Do you worship
Ali? They categorically deny it. Whereas they call upon his name appealing for
aid from him in obtaining their most demanding needs. It is crystal clear as
stated in the Holy Quran that the mighty prophets of God used to invoke and
supplicate directly to God, the Exalted in Might, by mentioning His name and
attributes that confirm His Unity. Never did the prophets pray to God by
mentioning the names of the Shia Imams. ALLAH says in the Holy Quran regarding
Prophet Yunus (a.s),