Question: There are people who believe that the Prophet (ﷺ) is light from the light of Allāh, that he was not truly a human, that he had knowledge of the Unseen, that Muslims should seek deliverance, rescue and aid from him, and seek refuge with him from evil―all this in the belief that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) possesses the ability to bring benefit and harm. What is the ruling regarding this?
Answer: Whoever believes that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is light from the light of Allāh, not a human being, and that he has knowledge of the Unseen has disbelieved in Allāh. Such a misguided person cannot be considered a friend or an ally (waliyy) of Allāh, because this statement entails a rejection of the sayings of Allāh and His Messenger (ﷺ).
The proof for this is Allāh’s statement, “Say (O Prophet), ‘I am a man like yourselves.’” (Al-Kahf 18: 110), and Allāh’s (ﷻ) statement, “Say (O Prophet), ‘None in the heavens and the earth knows the Unseen except Allāh.’” (An-Naml: 65), and Allāh’s saying, “Say (O Prophet), ‘I do not tell you that with me are the treasures of Allāh, nor that I know the Unseen, nor do I say to you that I am an Angel. I only follow what is revealed to me.’” (Al-Anʿām: 50). Allāh (ﷻ) also said, “Say (O Muhammad), ‘I possess no power of benefit or hurt upon myself except as Allāh wills. If I had knowledge of the Unseen, I would have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil would have touched me. I am but a Warner and bringer of glad tidings to people who believe.’” (Al-Aʿrāf: 188)
As for supplications of divine aid and rescue, then we seek these only from Allāh (ﷻ). Invoking the aid of the Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ), and seeking to be rescued by him is polytheism (shirk), i.e., it is to associate partners with Allāh in worship. It is prohibited in Islam to supplicate (i.e., make duʿā) to created beings [dead or alive] for aid, deliverance and when seeking refuge. Allāh (ﷻ) stated in the Qur’ān, “And your Lord said, ‘Invoke Me and I will respond to you. Verily, those who scorn My worship will surely enter Hell in disgrace.’” (Ghāfir: 60) And Allāh’s saying, “Say (O Muhammad), ‘It is not in my power to cause you harm, or to bring you to the Right Path.’ Say (O Muhammad), ‘None can protect me from Allāh’s punishment, nor do I find refuge except in Him.’” (Al-Jinn: 21-22). The Prophet (ﷺ) said to his own daughter and family, “I cannot avail you in front of Allāh with anything.” (Bukhārī and Muslim). If this is what the Prophet (ﷺ) said to his own daughter, Fāṭimah (Allah be pleased with her), then how much more is that true for other than his own family?!