Interpretation of Iyyaka nabudu wa iyyaka nastayeen


Rasheed: We recite ‘Surah Fateha’ in every Raka’at of Salaat and we read ‘iyyaka nabudu wa iyyaka nastayeen’, which means “thee do we worship, and thine aid we seek.” Then how come seeking help from others is permissible.


Hameed: Why do you prostrate in the direction of Kaba? If you do so is it your God? No! but it is being regarded as the only one direction of prostration for the Muslims all over the world. Look! Times back people demolished Kaba might be demolished or reconstruct it but prayers continued round the globe. This shows that Kaba is neither God nor people worship it. The prayers of Muslims are not dependent on the four walled structure of Kaba, but Kaba is only the direction for their prayers.


Second thing which raises questions why urination in the direction of Kaba is prohibited.? Why facing Kaba while sleeping is Sunnah? Why a dead body in the grave is faced towards Kaba? All these questions can be answered on one ground alone - anything which is related with Allah SWT is alleviated in its importance. When Kaba is regarded as the House of Allah then it’s superiority reached its supreme and its respect became compulsory. The same thing can be applied here as well, whether you call them Nabi Allah (Prophets) or Wali Allah (Saints). When Allah’s name is associated with them their respect becomes obligatory.


Secondly with reference to above words ‘Wa Iyyaka Nastayeen’ people who say seeking help from others is a polytheism is absolutely wrong. Because we find them since morning till evening seeking help from others. The whole society is inter dependent on one another. When we are sick we seek help from a doctor, to get education we seek help of a teacher, to make a house we seek help of an architect etc. So what do you have to say regarding this help?


According to some people, he who says: “such and such medicine kills the pain” is a believer but one who says “the pain was relieved after I prayed Allah at the grave of a Saint is a disbeliever does not hold good.


To ask for intercession and seek help from Prophets and Saints does not mean to abandon Allah or forget that Allah is the Creator. But it is a medium. It is like expecting rain from Allah through the medium of clouds, expecting cure from Allah by taking medicines, expecting victory from Allah by using canons, bombs, rockets etc. Allah SWT creates everything through mediums. To use radio in order to hear the sound which Allah created through the medium of electromagnetic waves, does not mean to abandon Allah and have recourse to a box, for He is Allah SWT who gives this power, for installation in the radio box.


Rasheed: To seek help from people alive makes sense but seeking help from dead is beyond my understanding.


Hameed: To seek help from living beings is permitted and to seek dead’s help is forbidden - is this written in Holy Quran or found in traditions? Because ‘Iyyaka Nastayeen’ means ‘thine aid we seek’ when the limitation is on God alone then to regard one as permissible and the other forbidden is untrue. Because the principals of jurisprudence  includes the actions permitted in Islam must be proved with reasons. In “iyyaka nabudu wa iyyaka nastayeen” we find limitation.

Similarly in “huwa As Sami ulBaseer” there is a limitation for Allah is He who Heareth and Seeth all things.  If we accept or agree with this limitations then all human-beings, animals and birds are blind and deaf. That is why I had asked you to put the things on their proper place. From this originates two propositions, direct - strange and trust.