According to Shi'a Islam, what does "الوسيله" in the following verse include? How can it be interpreted from the ahadith?

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَابْتَغُواْ إِلَيهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَاهِدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
Believers, have fear of Allah and seek the means ("الوسيله") by which you come to Him. Struggle in His way in order that you are prosperous. (Surah Al-Maeda:35)

2 Answers 2


The basic meaning of the word waseelah is a path that brings one near to something.

Allah commands His believing slaves to fear Him (taqwa). When this word is accompanied by mention of obedience, it means refraining from haram things. It says that Seeking nearness to Allah is done through Obedience and leaving the sins.

After that Allah says, "And seek the means of approach to Him".

What is meant by waseelah here is drawing close to Allah by obeying His commands and avoiding that which He has forbidden, in accordance with the teachings brought by Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).(mofradat,page561)

So while the word waseelah is a path that brings one near to Allah, It includes:

  1. Obedience of Allah
  2. avoiding sins
  3. jihad for Allah
  4. Sincerity (Ikhlas)
  5. Prayer
  6. zakat
  7. fast
  8. hajj
  9. visiting relatives(sele rahem)
  10. alms
  11. goodness
  12. Quran
  13. Imams and Ahlul Bayt

Specially Ahadith interpret waseelah to Imams. The Prophet (PBUH) said:

الائمة من ولد الحسین(ع) من اطاعهم فقد اطاع اللّه و من عصاهم فقد عصى اللّه هم العروة الوثقى و هم الوسیلة الى اللّه تعالى"

Imams are the children of Imam Hussein (A.S.) which who obey them, obeyed Allah; And who disobey them, disobeyed Allah. They are the most trustworthy handhold And they are waseelah for nearness to Allah.(Nour Alsaghalain,volume 1,page 624)

In Interpretation of Ali ibn Ibrahim,he interprets this verse as:

"تقرّبوا الیه بالامام"

Seek Approach to Allah by Imams.

Also in hadith saqlain narrated that adherence to Quran and Ahlul Bayt is a waseelah to nearness to Allah.


As it is obvious in the apparent meaning of the word “the means or (الوسیله)”, it means the Means which can convey us to Allah (closer), in fact it approaches us to Allah.

But about the Tafseer or interpretation of the word “الوسیله” (the means), I found the related issue in the site below which is in Farsi. I hope it could be profitable for you if you know Farsi (Since its illustration is relatively complete. It consists of some famous Tafseers (of Shia) among Tafseer-al-Mizan and Tafseer-Nemueh. So, it has shown in the source of the text (below).

Of course as briefly speaking, there has termed several items for the meaning or tafseer(interpretation) of Waseelah, but it seems that (according to Shia) the main meaning could be related to Prophet(s) and Imams as the Waseelahs who can help us approach Allah.



  • It is a good thing Masha Allah, that you're trying to answer, but a small advice, if you already find answers and think you can improve them, plz feel free to do that by commenting under their answers, by saying "I support your answer but wanted to add this link".... Hope you don't mind. Apr 14, 2015 at 10:04
  • uh-huh, Good idea. (of course tis an old answer of mine if u meant it..) / But I assume it would be more appropriate to do for the answers which relatively completely are the same... Anyhow, hopefully, occasionally I'll try to do that (in feasible parts). و من الله توفیق mate . Apr 15, 2015 at 5:57
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    Besides, I strongly believe that the verse above would be absolutely a logical response for the persons who say "why you Shia recourse(Tawassol) to Imams?" / Since actually they recourse to Imams as a good Waseelah to approach Allah, otherwise they don't worship them as Allah at all May 9, 2015 at 7:31
  • Besides, Allah could say in the mentioned verse that "don't use Waseelah in approaching me", but He did not say that. ____ consequently, I strongly believe that fair people would accept this issue fairly. (not those kind of people who decide on bias (even unwanted) / Good luck good fair dear readers. May 9, 2015 at 7:33

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