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عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ : أنّه کَانَ إِذَا قَحَطُوا اسْتَسْقَى بِالْعَبَّاسِ بْنِ عَبْدِالْمُطَّلِبِ ، فَقَالَ: اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا کُنَّا نَتَوَسَّلُ إِلَیْکَ بِنَبِیِّنَا فَتَسْقِينَا، وَإِنَّا نَتَوَسَّلُ إِلَیْکَ بِعَمِّ نَبِیِّنا فَاسْقِنَا، قَالَ: فَیُسْقَوْنَ. صحیح البخاری - البخاری - ج 4 - ص 209

( محمد ابن اسماعیل البخاری ، صحیح البخاری باب المناقب عباس ابن عبد المطلب حدیث 3710، النشر الثالث ،بیروت ؛ دارالکتب العلمیه)

In accordance with a narration in Sahih Al-Bukhari, when there was famine in Medina, Omer ibn Khatab recoursed to the honor of Abbas ibn Abdol Motaleb (the Prophet's uncle) and said: o God, we have recoursed to the honor of your Prophet and you gave us rain, now we recourse to the honor of his uncle and ask you rain.

(Sahih Al Bukhari - Al-Bukhari - V4 - pg 209)

I was heard from a person that Sunnis don't agree with Tawassol (recourse) and even many of them assume that it is like Shirk. But when I saw the hadith (narration) above, I did not believe the speech of that person. Since if there is such narration(s) (that I mentioned from Sahih Al-Bukhari), hence it shows and even perhaps demosntrates that Omar agreed with Recourse and this is not Shirk.

How do Sunnis interpret this hadith?

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    Uncle was alive that time when Hazrat Omer recourse him for rain. – Murtaza Aug 10 '14 at 8:11
  • And why do you writing Tawassol with Recourse. Tawassol means Begged and Recourse means in arabi اللجوء and definition of Recourse is a source of help where Tawassol means begging which a person is directly asking from someone who is he asking to. – Murtaza Aug 10 '14 at 8:16
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    This hadith is also in Chapter: Request of the people to the Imam to offer the Istisqa' prayer of sahih al-Bukhari sunnah.com/bukhari/15/5 and – Medi1Saif Apr 11 '16 at 6:06
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According to Sunnis, there are two different types of Tawassoul:

  1. Tawasoul when a person is alive.
  2. Tawasoul when a person is dead.

The 1st one is not Shirk according to Sunnis. Such as in the hadith above. Umar used to recourse when the Prophet was alive. After his death. now the recourse to the honor of his uncle who was alive at that time.

Moreover to explain why Sunnis consider it is shirk, recourse according to Sunnis is different from recourse according to Shia. Sunnis call Allah and recourse by someone(i.e: O Allah cure me for the sake of this person). While according to Shia, you can call the name of the person with the intention that he will recourse in front of Allah for you (i.e: O' Hussein cure me) which Sunnis consider it shirk.

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    I am not sure if this is the official sunni view or if its shared by all branches of Sunni jurisprudence. Sunni references are therefore necessary for substantiation. – infatuated Aug 8 '14 at 18:51
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    I find inconsistency in this answer. Although the question makes no mention of Shia practice the answer mentions it (no problems there; inaccuracy not the subject here) but answers in the same line that have some extra (relevant/related) information get them removed (disagree with that action). Apart from that some more elaboration on the Sunni interpretation of the hadith would be appreciated since that's the main focus of the question. – Bleeding Fingers Aug 8 '14 at 19:21
  • @infatuated, I will update the answer with sources from 4 madhabs. Thank you for your positive feedback. – Sohaeb Aug 8 '14 at 21:28
  • @BleedingFingers, I mentioned shia practice becasue OP was asking why sunni consider it shirk. Logically, it is impoosible to explain why without mentiong the Shia practice. and I will try to add more interpretation. Thank you for your feedback. – Sohaeb Aug 8 '14 at 22:07
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Salam
The concept of tawasoul is different as describe above, only Sunnis are those who have strong believe in tawasoul. Sunnis never consider ask for tawasoul from dead one as shirk and they used to go to the graves of pious people and ask for tawasoul from them.

I want to give a reference:

Hazrat Abu Jauza Ows bin Abdullah narrates, once in Madina munawara there was a famine, people were going to die from hunger, they went to AYESHA SADDIQA r.a and ask for help and dua, she said go to sacred grave of HOLY PROPHET SAWW and ask for help from him and make a hole in ceiling in such a way that there would nothing between sky and the face side of grave. They did so, after some time there were clouds on sky and rains so fast after that the barren field turns green.

-Daarmi, Sunan, Baab 15, Hadees No. 92 -Khatib Tabrezi, Mishakatul Masabeeh #5950 -Ibnul Jauzi, al-Wafa be Ahwalal Mustafa SallAllahu Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam -Taqiu-e-din Subki, Shafa us Saqam -Qustulaani, al-Mawahib al-Ladunya -Imam Zurqaani.

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