| Fakhr al-Din al-Razi on Soliciting Intercession, Supplication (du'a) as the Essence of Worship, and Veneration of the Graves as a Means of Worshipping the Righteous Dead
Al-Razi said in his tafsir (Mafaateeh al-Ghayb, 17/63):
ونظيره في هذا الزمان اشتغال كثير من الخلق بتعظيم قبور الأكابر على اعتقاد أنهم إذا عظموا قبورهم فانهم يكونون شفعاء لهم عند الله
And the equivalent of this in our time is the occupation of many of the creation with the veneration of the graves of the senior [righteous] ones, upon the belief that when they venerate their graves, then they (the deceased) will become intercessors for them with Allaah.
Al-Razi, the Ash'ari scholar of the 6th and early 7th centuries, affirmed: a) That Shafaa'ah (intercession) belongs to none but Allaah alone, and intercession can never take place except with Allah's permission - (see this article), b) That du'a (supplication) is the loftiest of the stations of al-ubudiyyah (servitude, worship), is the most excellent of the types of worship, and the reality of du'a is such that incorporates other forms of worship such as humility (dhull), servitude (uboodiyyah), incapacity (inkisaar), poverty, need (maskanah) - (see this article), c) That none of the pagans ever intended to worship the statues or idols, rather the acts of worship they performed were directed to those in the graves, and their reason was that they were intending to solicit their intercession - (see this article and this article), d) That many were found in the time of al-Razi who flocked to the graves and venerated them with the desire of soliciting the intercession of the righteous dead - (see here), e) That no nation in history ever believed in Ruboobiyyah for other than Allaah (with an exception for the Dualists) and that none of those who worship other than Allaah believe that what they worship has any independent power or control. And that what actually led people to worship things were certain philosophical and other reasons and from them were the soliciting of the intercession of the pious, righteous dead. And further, that whatever they took as focal points of worship (pictures, idols, statues, graves, tombs) were never intended for worship at all, rather they were simply focal points to allow the direction of worship to the righteous dead - (see here), f) Finally, that seeking intercession from other than Allaah is something which deprives a person from receiving intercession at all (see here).
A key thing to note in the above is al-Razi's clear and explicit denial that those worshipping others besides Allaah ever believed that those others have control over creation, life, death, benefit, harm, and he says that this (affirming another as creator, provider, sustainer) has never ever been known in any nation in history (except for the Dualists). This undermines the claims of the fabricating, slandering saint-worshippers who came later such as Ahmad Dahlan in the 13th century hijrah who claimed that Rububiyyah and Uluhiyyah are one and the same, and that distinguishing between them is an innovation! What a blatant lie against the Book of Allah, who said, (وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللّهِ إِلاَّ وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ), "And most of them do not believe in Allaah except while they associate partners with Him." (12:106)
| Ibn Abd al-Wahhaab on Soliciting Intercession, Supplication (du'a) as the Essence of Worship, and Veneration of the Graves as a Means of Worshipping the Righteous Dead
Shaykh Ibn Abd al-Wahhaab said in the opening of his treatise Kashf al-Shubuhaat:
أرسله إلى قوم يتعبدون ويحجون ويتصدقون ويذكرون الله كثيراً ولكنهم يجعلون بعض المخلوقات وسائط بينهم وبين الله. يقولون: نريد منهم التقرب إلى الله ، ونريد شفاعتهم عنده؛ مثل الملائكة، وعيسى، ومريم، وأناس غيرهم من الصالحين
Allaah sent him (Muhammad) to a people who were given to devotion and worship, would make the pilgrimage, give charity and remember Allaah often. However, they made some of the creatures into intermediaries between themselves and Allaah, and they would say "we seek nearness (taqarrub) to Allaah from them" and "we seek their intercession from them with Allaah". Such (creatures) included the Angels, Eesaa, Maryam and others from among the righteous people.
What is found in the writings of Ibn Abd al-Wahhaab is the same as what was expressed by Fakhr al-Din al-Razi almost six centuries earlier, that a) intercession (shafaa'ah) belongs exclusively to Allaah alone, there is none that owns it, controls it, dispenses it, gives permission for it, accepts it, except He alone, b) that du'a (supplication) is from the loftiest and greatest forms of worship, in fact the very essence of worship, and is to be directed only to Allaah alone, c) that many of those who have gone astray in this time (twelfth century hijrah) have gone astray through their claim that they show devotion to the saints not because they believe they have control over benefit and harm, but because they only solicit their intercession, calling upon them to intercede for them, d) that none of those who worship others besides Allaah ever believed that those other deities have control over creation, life, death, benefit and harm, e) that those worshipped besides Allaah included the Prophets, the Angels, the righteous dead, and likewise the Jinn, and stones and trees (from whom blessings were sought), f) that anyone supplicating to others besides Allaah for intercession only deprives himself of that intercession, because he is excluding himself from being worthy of it through this action.
Note that all these things are the very same points made by Fakhr al-Din al-Razi if you investigate and analyze the seven articles which are linked to at the top.
From this it becomes clear that the monotheistic reform movement of 12th century hijrah (18th century CE) was not an innovation, or a new concept or teaching. Rather, the very same was expressed from the time of al-Razi (d. 606H), in fact before him by Ibn Aqeel (d. 513H) and Ibn al-Jawzee (d. 597H) in the 6th century hijrah.