Allah says in the Glorious Quran, Surat Ghāfir (The Forgiver), Chapter 40, Verse 60:
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ
Your Lord said: ‘Invoke Me, and I will accept your prayers. Surely those who are too proud to worship Me shall enter Hell, utterly abased.
Man makes Dua only to that being whom he regards as all-hearing and all-seeing and Possessor of supernatural powers. He believes that the one he is making Dua to can give him. So in return he thanks the provider, and repays with tan, man and dhan (with all efforts) for his accepter of Dua in gratitude. He invokes Him at all places, and under all circumstances; he invokes Him in privacy, aloud as well as in a low voice, and even in the depths of his heart.
He does so on the basis of the belief that this Being is watching him everywhere, is also hearing whatever he has in his heart, and possesses such absolute powers that, it can come to the help of the supplicant wherever he is, and can help him out of every trouble and difficulty.
Like my belief in Allah confirms me that Allah has angels who have duties and are Allah’s workers, angels who also ask forgiveness for us, there are angels of food, rain, etc etc. Even Quraish, the people of Prophet (pbuh), believed in Allah as creator but made dua to Angels and made them daughters of Allah as they believed that Allah cannot say no to these angels, as they have been given great responsibilities so Allah will consider their words of shafaat for them. But this belief is considered false by Allah and In Quran this belief is told by Allah to stop.
Other then this Allah helps us by putting sympathy for us in some one’s heart. Like the girl who came to Prophet Moses (pbuh) after he made Dua to Allah that he is in a great need of food, he is very much tired, so Allah says in Quran that the girl came to him and told him that her father has told her to bring her muhsin who helped him to home. Allah sent a feeling to her father’s heart to call the one who helped him. Allah has all the means to help. These are just few of them, like spider making webs, fire getting cold, etc.
Therefore, this is a Muslim’s belief that Allah will help him in all cases, so he makes Dua only to Allah and in return thanks him only and give his loyalty and tawaakal to Allah. How Allah helps is His responsibility, our duty as Allah commanded in 40:60 is to only and only make Dua to him. We cannot say that I will make Dua to angel as he asks for me forgiveness from Allah, this will be wrong belief as Allah commands that make Dua only to Him.
Allah is the possessor of powers and authority. The fact of the matter is that Allah is the only one who is All-Powerful, All-Hearing, All-Seeing, and who is actually controlling the whole Universe and He alone is Possessor of All powers and authority. There is none else in this Universe, who has any power to hear the prayers and to answer them or reject them. Some of verses from Quran for Dua to Allah are mentioned below. These verse are with examples given by Allah.
The example of a person making dua to any deity other than Allah is like a thirsty person standing in front of all well with his hands stretched out hoping to get his thirst quenched. Allah mentions in Surat Ar-Ra`d (The Thunder), Chapter 13, Verse 14:
لَهُ دَعْوَةُ الْحَقِّ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ لَا يَسْتَجِيبُونَ لَهُم بِشَيْءٍ إِلَّا كَبَاسِطِ كَفَّيْهِ إِلَى الْمَاءِ لِيَبْلُغَ فَاهُ وَمَا هُوَ بِبَالِغِهِ ۚ وَمَا دُعَاءُ الْكَافِرِينَ إِلَّا فِي ضَلَالٍ
To Him [alone] is the supplication of truth. And those they call upon besides Him do not respond to them with a thing, except as one who stretches his hands toward water [from afar, calling it] to reach his mouth, but it will not reach it [thus]. And the supplication of the disbelievers is not but in error [i.e. futility].
Example that those who take Auliya’ (protectors and helpers) other than Allah, are like a spider, who builds (for itself) a house but Allah says weakest house is the house of spider and then Allah says that He knows what they make Dua to besides Him. Allah mentions in Surat Al-`Ankabūt (The Spider), Chapter 29, Verses 41-43:
مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ كَمَثَلِ الْعَنكَبُوتِ اتَّخَذَتْ بَيْتًا ۖ وَإِنَّ أَوْهَنَ الْبُيُوتِ لَبَيْتُ الْعَنكَبُوتِ ۖ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ
The likeness of those who take Auliya’ (protectors and helpers) other than Allah is as the likeness of a spider, who builds (for itself) a house, but verily, the frailest (weakest) of houses is the spider’s house; if they but knew.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
Verily, Allah knows what things they invoke instead of Him. He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ ۖ وَمَا يَعْقِلُهَا إِلَّا الْعَالِمُونَ
And these similitudes We put forward for mankind, but none will understand them except those who have knowledge (of Allah and His Signs, etc.).
In another example Allah says that those who you make Dua to other than Allah are like a Qitmir which is a thin membrane over the date stone. Allah then says that Aulia of Allah (righteous people) cannot listen to your Dua and on Day of Judgment they will reject you. Allah says in Surat Fāţir (Originator), Chapter 35, Verses 13-14:
يُولِجُ اللَّيْلَ فِي النَّهَارِ وَيُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِي اللَّيْلِ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ كُلٌّ يَجْرِي لِأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ۚ ذَٰلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمْ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ مَا يَمْلِكُونَ مِن قِطْمِيرٍ
He merges the night into the day (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the night are added to the hours of the day), and He merges the day into the night (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the day are added to the hours of the night). And He has subjected the sun and the moon, each runs its course for a term appointed. Such is Allah your Lord; His is the kingdom. And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a Qitmir (the thin membrane over the datestone).
إِن تَدْعُوهُمْ لَا يَسْمَعُوا دُعَاءَكُمْ وَلَوْ سَمِعُوا مَا اسْتَجَابُوا لَكُمْ ۖ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكْفُرُونَ بِشِرْكِكُمْ ۚ وَلَا يُنَبِّئُكَ مِثْلُ خَبِيرٍ
If you invoke (or call upon) them, they hear not your call, and if (in case) they were to hear, they could not grant it (your request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you (O Muhammad SAW) like Him Who is the AllKnower (of each and everything).
In another verse Allah says that the Auliya of Allah cannot answer you and are unaware of your invocations, and on Day of Judgment they will become your enemies. Maula Ali, Jesus and all righteous who are invoked will become enemies of the invoker. Allah says in Surat Al-‘Aĥqāf, Chapter 46, Verses 5-6:
وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّن يَدْعُو مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَن لَّا يَسْتَجِيبُ لَهُ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَهُمْ عَن دُعَائِهِمْ غَافِلُونَ
And who is more astray than one who calls (invokes) besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them?
وَإِذَا حُشِرَ النَّاسُ كَانُوا لَهُمْ أَعْدَاءً وَكَانُوا بِعِبَادَتِهِمْ كَافِرِينَ
And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become enemies for them and will deny their worshipping.
In Surat al-Jinn, Chapter 72, Verse 18, it is mentioned:
وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا
And the mosques are for Allah (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allah.
In the same Chapter, Verses 20-23 mention:
قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَدْعُو رَبِّي وَلَا أُشْرِكُ بِهِ أَحَدًا
Say (O Muhammad SAW): “I invoke only my Lord (Allah Alone), and I associate none as partners along with Him.”
قُلْ إِنِّي لَا أَمْلِكُ لَكُمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا رَشَدًا
Say: “It is not in my power to cause you harm, or to bring you to the Right Path.”
قُلْ إِنِّي لَن يُجِيرَنِي مِنَ اللَّهِ أَحَدٌ وَلَنْ أَجِدَ مِن دُونِهِ مُلْتَحَدًا
Say (O Muhammad SAW): “None can protect me from Allah’s punishment (if I were to disobey Him), nor should I find refuge except in Him.
إِلَّا بَلَاغًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِسَالَاتِهِ ۚ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَإِنَّ لَهُ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا
“(Mine is) but conveyance (of the truth) from Allah and His Messages (of Islamic Monotheism), and whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, then verily, for him is the Fire of Hell, he shall dwell therein forever.”
As against this factual matter that Allah only listens to our Dua, if some people by themselves start entertaining the belief that some prophets, saints, angels can also listen to Dua, because Allah gave them some powers then to think like this will not be correct. The reality will not change in any way whatever. The Owner will remain the Owner and the helpless servants the servants. All powers are by command of Allah and you cannot make Dua to the being that is given powers by Allah.
In 40:60, two things deserve special attention: (1) Du’a and ‘ibadat (worship) have been used as synonyms here. The “Dua” of the first sentence has been called `worship” in the second. This makes it explicit that dua itself is worship, rather the essence of worship. and (2) the words “who are too proud to worship Me ” have been used for those who do not make Dua to Allah. This shows that making Dua to Allah is the very requirement of one’s worship to Him, and not making Dua to Allah amounts to being proud.
According to Hadrat Nu’man bin Bashir, the Holy Prophet said:
“Dua is the very essence of worship. Then he recited this verse 40:60.”
(Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Abu Da’ud, Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, Ibn Abu Hatim, Ibn Jarir).
According to Hadrat Anas, the Holy Prophet said:
”Dua is the marrow of worship.” (Trimidhi)
Hadrat Abu Hurairah says that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Allah becomes angry with him who does not ask Him for anything.” (Tirmidhi)
This verse 40:60 shows us the relation between dua and ibadat (worship). The Dua in the first part is called worship in second phrase. Every creature on this earth is dependent and needy. Only Allah is As-Samad, free of all needs. So a person knows that the one he worships will satisfy his needs. So the out come of worship is Dua. As Prophet Moses after running from Egypt made Dua to Allah under the tree in extreme need, so Dua and Ibadat are connected in a way that Climax and Outcome of Ibadat is Dua. The best moment of worship is Dua. This is a moment that we connect strongly to Allah. We are calling Allah in need. Our Wujood comes to a point where it is totally focused to Allah (swt). A Lower Ego completely surrenders to the Highest Ego. This is the moment where out act of Ibadah/worship is at the highest level.
This moment is loved by Allah; a slave comes completely in the arms of His master and begs Him. I love the story of Prophet Moses When he ran from Egypt to Madayan he was very tired as he has not eaten or drank for days, so he sat under the tree and his Dua is in the Quran. In Surat Al-Qaşaş (The Stories), Chapter 28, Verse 24, it is mentioned:
فَسَقَىٰ لَهُمَا ثُمَّ تَوَلَّىٰ إِلَى الظِّلِّ فَقَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ
So he watered (their flocks) for them, then he turned back to shade, and said: “My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!”
Dua is the peak / climax of worship, we are humble mohtaj , we are in a state of such need that only Allah can take me out of this difficulty. In Urdu I can say “hum biche jate hein Allah ke samane“. Oh Allah I am in need of You. Please help me”.
But in extreme need or in smallest need we have to make Dua to Allah only as every breath we take is because of Him. He (swt) is sustaining every moment. The Prophet (pbuh) has taught us Dua of every occasion, for example Dua for sleeping, waking up, going to washroom, coming out of washroom, before eating, after eating, all these Duas are taught by prophet to be made from Allah only. So if Prophet taught us to make Dua to Allah then how can we say that we will make Dua to other than Allah as He has noor of Allah. Prophet had also noor of Allah in him so why he taught us so many Duas?
Hadrat Anas says that the Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Each one of you should ask his every need from Allah; so much so that even if his shoe-lace breaks, he should pray for it to Allah.” (Tirmidhi).
That is, even in matters which man feels are in his own power, he should invoke Allah’s help for it, for in no matter can man succeed only on the basis of his own efforts without the help and of Allah, and by making Dua a servant is at all times acknowledging the supremacy of Allah and admitting his own helplessness.
After having known this truth about Dua, it remains no longer difficult for man to understand that the one who invokes another than Allah for help, is clearly committing shirk, for he believes those attributes are in other being, which only belong to Allah. Had he not believed the other being to be an associate of Allah in the Divine attributes, he would never have even thought of invoking him for help.
In another place Quran says in Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow), Chapter 2, Verse 165:
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ يَرَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا إِذْ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ أَنَّ الْقُوَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعَذَابِ
And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else). If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is Severe in punishment.
In Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow), Chapter 2, Verse 186 it is mentioned:
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.
I told you about righteous people who are invoked and they will become enemies of the invoker on day of Judgment as Allah say in Quran. Now another case is that why some one wants that he should be invoked besides Allah. What does he wants in return that he tells his followers who invoke him?
Because He wants credits, gifts and loyalty in return, you are thankful to the one who provides you and want to serve your provider in return with all efforts, this is in the nature of human beings. You are loyal to one who provides you.
True Imām will always tell us to connect to Allah and make Dua to Allah. This is very important that Aga Khan wants that all Ismalis must make dua to him, because in return for his blessing and giving they serve him with all heart soul, tan, mann and dhann. They must be made to accept that Aga Khan is divine and giver of everything they have. They say:
“Ya Noor Mawlana Shah Karim al-Husaini Hazar Imām, hamari aal aulaad mein izaafa kar“
Therefore, by making dua to Aga Khan in Jamatkhana, they purchase their belief on mowla and loyalty to mowla in return. For this Ismalis must assume that mowla gives them, so it’s a part of eveyday worship that all need are addresses to Imam.
By dua you connect to Allah as you make Dua to Him, but if Ismalis are made to make Dua to Aga Khan then they connect to Aga Khan. He did this because once Ismalis will believe that Aga Khan give us then they will in return serve Aga Khan with tan, mann and dhann.
Righteous people will deny to that people make Dua to them.
As Ismailis, we used to ask Hazar Imām for everything in our rituals, prayers and even in our daily lives instead of making dua to Allah. We created stereotypes who only made dua to Aga Khan. We used to pass through a process twice each day where we used to make dua to Aga Khan and the impact was that in our daily routine and normal talks we frequently used phrases like “Mowla shukar hai” and “Mowla mushily aasaan karay”.
Still, Ismailis are programmed like that each day to create stereotypes. The benefit the Aga Khan gets is their loyalty as we are loyal to the one who is giving us. This is exactly how their connection with Allah is broken. Even on their death beds they say “Ya Mowla, ya Mowla”. Allah is far away.
With Dua you connect with Allah and this blessing has been stolen from Ismalis by their Imām. They are most unfortunate people that they are misguided with this false make belief that Imām has noor of Allah and He takes your dua to Allah. He has come in way between Allah and His slaves as a median who tell them to make dua to him. Prophets, Imām, and all the people that are mentioned in the Quran made dua only to Allah. There are 500 ayats in the Quran that say make dua to Allah or about people who made dua to Allah. Did not Asab-Khaf made dua to Allah that “Our Rab Grant ur from your presence mercy and arrange for is our affairs in the right way surely u are Al Wahab”. Read Surah al-Khaf, Allah made time to change for them. Did nor Mary, Prophet Zikariaya, Yousaf and all others made Dua to Allah in the Quran
In the end you yourself will destroy if you keep on persisting with this false believe. No one will be affected but you. Life is short, you will soon know. As Ismailis, you say in Surah Fatiha thrice-a-day:
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ
“You alone we Worship and You alone we seek help”
Do you practically implement this ? Allah says in the Surat Aş-Şaf (The Ranks), Chapter 61, Verses 2-3:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ
O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do?
كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِندَ اللَّهِ أَن تَقُولُوا مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ
Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.
We hope and pray that in Ismaili Jamatkhana all duas will be directed to Allah in future.