Did Imam Shafi’i (Allah Have Mercy on Him) Make Tawassul Through the Grave of Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah Have Mercy on Him)?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


I have heard from several people that Imam Shafi’i (Allah have mercy on him) is said to have made Tawassul (intercession) through Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him) in his grave. [Tarikh Bagdad 1:123].

However, I have heard from other people that this is false. Furthermore, I read that Imam Shafi’i criticized Imam Abu Hanifa. I do not know what is true now. I hope you can help me.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

A well-known narration suggests that Imam Shafi’i (Allah have mercy on him) made tawassul through Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him). The story goes that Imam Shafi’i was traveling through Baghdad and came across the grave of Imam Abu Hanifa. He then supplicated to Allah, saying, “O Allah, I am turning to You and seeking Your intercession through the intermediary of Your pious servant, Abu Hanifa, so grant me my request.”

However, it is essential to note that there is debate among scholars about the authenticity of this narration. Imam Kawthari says the chain is authentic. [Maqalat al-Kawthari, p.38]

Regardless of the authenticity of this particular report, the issue of Tawassul has been addressed here:
What Is the Ruling of Seeking Assistance (Istighatha) through Other than the Prophet (Allah Bless Him and Give Him Peace)?

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.