Allah, the exalted, says in the Noble Quran as such:

وَالَّذِي هُوَ يُطْعِمُنِي وَيَسْقِينِ ﴿٧٩﴾ وَإِذَا مَرِ‌ضْتُ فَهُوَ يَشْفِينِ ﴿٨٠

"And it is He who feeds me and gives me drink; and when I am ill, it is He who cures me"

(Surat Ash-Shu`arā,verse79-80)

So, according to this verse we should ask our wills from Allah and we can simply ask them directly from Allah, what is the need of tawassol to holy men?

Why some Muslims (Shia) call the name of some holy men with the intention that he will recourse in front of Allah for them? Is tawassol allowed in Islam?

  • 2
    please do more search on the meaning of tawassol. It doesn't mean to ask something from other than Allah. It simply means asking Allah through somebody www.duas.org/tawassul.htm
    – user4456
    Commented Aug 9, 2014 at 18:26
  • 2
    @Mhmd,I know the meaning of tawassol.But maybe the text of question was misleading.Anyway I edited it;Thanks for your comment. Commented Aug 9, 2014 at 19:42
  • Tawasul "توسل" means begging and recourse is like taking support or source. Why don't you think these are different words.
    – Murtaza
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 19:29

2 Answers 2


What is the need of Tawasol?

It is known that there are places that Allah loves to be worshiped in:

[Such niches are] in mosques which Allah has ordered to be raised and that His name be mentioned therein; exalting Him within them in the morning and the evenings [24:36]

In addition, we are sinful; Our sins are taking us away from Allah so we need a "mean" to come back to Allah and ask his forgiveness. This mean must be a sinless person i.e. the prophet and his family.

Is Tawasol allowed?

to know if Tawasol is allowed, we should check if the Islamic sources and Qur’an is -obviously- our first reference:

O you who have believed, fear Allah and seek the means [of nearness] to Him and strive in His cause that you may succeed.5:35

In this verse, Allah is asking us to seek the means to him. It uses the Arabic word "الوسيلة" which proves that Tawasol is allowed and even encouraged.

They said, "O our father, ask for us forgiveness of our sins; indeed, we have been sinners."

In this verse, the sons of Jacob asked him to ask Allah to forgive their sins. Note that they could have asked Allah directly.

There are plenty of other verses and Ahadith that describes that Tawasol is allowed.

Tawasol between Shia and Sunni

It is wrong to think that only Shia allow Tawassol. Sunni allow Tawassol too. The difference is that Sunni don't allow Tawassol with the dead while Shia do.

Why do Shia allow Tawassol with the dead?

The following verse:

( وَلَو أَنَّهُم إِذ ظَلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُم جَاءُوكَ فَاستَغفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاستَغفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّاباً رَحِيماً And We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed by permission of Allah. And if, when they wronged themselves, they had come to you, [O Muhammad], and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Accepting of repentance and Merciful.

The debate here is about this verse. Sunni's say that this verse is just for the past "اذ" proves that the whole verse should be in the past tense.

Shia say that the verb "جاءوك" came within a conditional which adds generality to the verse. Here is a Shia source and a Sunni one. Since the debate is about the Arabic language itself, it is hard to explain it here in English


In the name of Allah

In Shia perspective, there are some sources which are related to Tavassul:

  1. Quran

Verse 35 Surah Ma'dah:

یَأَیُّهَا الَّذِینَ ءَامَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَ ابْتَغُواْ إِلَیْهِ الْوَسِیلَةَ وَ جَاهِدُواْ فىِ سَبِیلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُون‏

O you who believe! Be conscious of God, and seek the means of approach to Him, and strive in His cause, so that you may succeed.

The important point in this verse is about "means". The Absoluteness of this word show us the only feature of this means is pleasing to Allah, So it can be acts pleasing to God or it can be persons nearest to Allah like all of the prophets or the devoted friends of Allah(1).

  1. Sunnah
  • Fatima (p):

وأحمد اللّه الذي بعظمته ونوره يبتغي مَن في السموات والأرض إليه الوسيلة ونحن وسيلته في خلقه.

All the things in the earth and sky tend to find the means by which become nearest to Allah and we are this means

  • Imam Sadeq (p):

…he said about this part of verse (Ali emran/103), وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِیعاً وَلا تَفَرَّقُوا (And hold fast to the rope of God, altogether, and do not become divided...), we are the rope of God(2).


  1. www.tebyan.net (in Persian).
  2. fa.wikishia.net (in Persian).

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