Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto,Ontario, Canada, states: A number of things should be clear in the mind of every Muslim:

1. In Islam, we must not ask, pray, or supplicate to any one other than Allah. This is why we repeat several times a day in our prayer, “You alone do we worship, and from You alone we seek assistance.” (Al-Fatihah: 5)

2. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told his cousin, Ibn `Abbas, “…if you ask, ask of Allah, if you seek assistance, seek assistance from Allah.”

3. In the Qur’an, Allah tells us that He is “closer to us than our own jugular vein” (Qaf: 16), and that He knows our innermost thoughts, before we even express them.

4. He (Allah) also guarantees that no matter how ugly our sins are, we can always call upon Him directly, without any intermediary. He has also promised to answer us, so long as we turn to Him sincerely.

In the light of what we said above, no Muslim must think that there is any justification in Islam for calling upon anyone other than Allah. To do so would be nothing short of shirk or associating partners with Allah. Such a practice never existed in the best generations of Islam. We are told to follow their example in religion.

Moreover, according to the Qur’an, the pagans of Makkah who called upon deities other than Allah are cited as saying, “we only worship them in order to bring us closer to Allah.” (Az-Zumar: 3) And “They are our intercessors before Allah.” (Yunus: 18) It is, therefore, safe to conclude that the practice of calling upon saints, dead or alive, is nothing but a form of shirk. No Muslim should ever contemplate such a practice, if he/she is keen on keeping his/her religion intact.