The famous hadith of the blind man and how the Quburis (those who pray to Imams/Pirs/Saints etc.) misuse it and how to refute them.
First of all, the hadith comes with different wordings, some scholars have even weakened it, only Zanadiqah i.e. people with sickness in their hearts would use a flimsy narration and practice of a Sahabi (the irony) to justify their own blatant Shirkiyat (or let’s say use it as a Hujjah against their opponents) that have no relation to legitimate Islamic
Tawassul (as endorsed by the likes of Imam Al-Nawawi and others who accepted this hadith).
The hadith (the version that is most commonly quoted):
أخرج الإمام أحمد وغيره بسند صحيح عن عثمان بن حنيف أن رجلاً ضرير البصر أتى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، فقال : ادع الله أن يعافيني . فقال صلى الله عليه وسلم : (إن شئت دعوت لك ، وإن شئت أخّرتُ ذاك ، فهو خير لك. [وفي رواية : (وإن شئتَ صبرتَ فهو خير لك)] ، فقال : ادعهُ. فأمره أن يتوضأ ، فيحسن وضوءه ، فيصلي ركعتين ، ويدعو بهذا الدعاء : اللهم إني أسألك ، وأتوجه إليك بنبيك محمد نبي الرحمة ، يا محمد إني توجهتُ بك إلى ربي في حاجتي هذه ، فتقضى لي ، اللهم فشفّعه فيَّ وشفّعني فيه) . قال : ففعل الرجل فبرأ .
A blind man (Othman Ibn Hunaif) came to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and said: Pray to ALLAH to heal me. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “If you wish, I shall pray for you; and if you wish, I shall delay that for you and that will be better for you.” [According to another report, he said: “… Or if you wish, you can be patient and that will be BETTER for you.”] He said: Pray for me (now).
So he instructed him to do Wudhu and do it well, then to pray two rak‘ahs and say this Du’a (supplication): “O Allah, I ask YOU and I turn to YOU by VIRTUE of Your Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy. O Muhammad, I turn by VIRTUE of you to my Lord concerning this need of mine, that it might be met for me. O ALLAH, accept his intercession concerning me and accept my intercession concerning him.” So the man did that and he was healed.” [Musnad Ahmad]
Notice how the man started with Allah, prayed to Allah alone, asked ONLY for intercession (in the presence of the Prophet and even after his demise next to his grave, considering that narration to be authentic as that’s another narration that is misused) and ended his Du’a by asking Allah alone and directly! This is what the Rafida conflate with their nonsense and clear-cut shirk where they directly invoke their Imams for all their needs, often not even mentioning Allah (Ya Ali madad/help)!
Further points that prove that the very text of the narration in no shape or form supports Rafidi “Tawassul” i.e. direct prayers to Imams/saints under the guise of intercession (like Catholics do) for the following reasons:
1. The text itself states that the blind man was informed that having patience is better than the Prophet (S) praying for him! This is in heavy contrast to the belief of the
Quburis/Grave-venerators who believe that one’s Du’a is more likely to be accepted if one asks through a mediator. So the narration proves that praying directly to Allah and NOT relying on anyone’s (including the Prophets) Du’a is the best form of Du’a, this is why there are numerous statements from the Salaf that although it is permissible to ask any living person to pray for one, one should refrain from this practice and ask everything – including the most trivial things – from Allah alone!
2. This hadith has been quoted as being one of the miracles of the Prophet (S) and one of his supplications to ALLAH that were answered.
The scholars who authenticated this narration never understood it as the Grave-worshippers and Imam-worshippers do. Take for instance Imam Al-Tirmidhi, he mentioned this hadith under the following chapter:
(( كتاب الدعوات عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ))
“Book on Supplications of Prophet peace be upon him”
3. The saying of “Ya Muhammad inne atawajjahu bika” (not “Ya Muhammad madad” i.e. help me!), is similar to the saying of “as-salamu ‘alaika ayyuhan-nabiyyu” in Tashahudd which is witnessing the Prophet in one’s heart and saying to it and praying FOR him and not asking anything FROM him except Shafa’ah.
4. The Prophet (s) teaches him to call on Allah alone, and then say ‘Ya Muhammed” and effectively you ask Allah by his intercession (a form of Tawassul allowed by many later scholars). Allah is not an afterthought, it occurs at the very beginning and it is the central aspect of that Du’a. The man didn’t go around yelling “Ya Muhammad madad” (let alone calling on his cousin or other Imams) from afar like a crazy mushrik (Ya Ali madad, Ya Mahdi adrikni…) i.e. he wasn’t upon the Mushrik creed of the Rafida, otherwise, he wouldn’t have approached the Prophet at all, he would just invoke him as Rafida do when they sit in London and invoke their tombed deities.
Finally: No sane Muslim and Muwahhid (monotheist) ever understood from this hadith that can literally and directly invoke the Prophet in Du’a and ask him for ANYTHING (we make Du’a FOR the Prophet when we send prayers on him, not TO him). Quburis conflate their blatant Catholic-like prayers/practices to their tombed saint to the action of the blind man that are not an Hujjah on Ahlus-Sunnah, to begin with as it is a disputed form of Tawassul, certainly not shirk though.