Surat Al- Fatihah, the greatest Surah in the book of Allaah, includes several types of Tawassul (Intermediation). It contains the legislated ways of Tawassul as opposed to those innovated by later generation; that which was neither practiced by the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) nor the Companions (رضي الله عنهم).

There is a type of Tawassul unknown to the layman, and though it is not mentioned -directly- in Surat Al-Fatihah, it seems befitting to mention it for its benefit. It is a Tawassul loved and accepted by Allaah and it is to mention your condition. Allaah said in His Book:

“And (remember) Ayub (Job), when he cried to his Lord: ‘Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.’

So We answered his call, and We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them, as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us.” [21:83-84]

This ayah shows the permissibility of such Tawassul, rather it shows that it is a recommended Sunnah,  Allaah responded to this from the Prophet Ayyub (Job) and He mentioned this Tawassul in the Qur’aan in a manner of praise and encouragement, therefore we see that it is loved and accepted by Him.

This Tawassul is to mention how poor, weak, and dependent you are upon your Lord. It is to affirm that you rely completely on Him for all of your needs, that you cannot do without him for even a second and that you hope for Him alone, and then ask him for what you need:

“(This is) a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His slave Zakariya (Zachariah).

When he called out his Lord (Allah) a call in secret,

Saying: “My Lord! Indeed my bones have grown feeble, and grey hair has spread on my head, And I have never been unblest in my invocation to You, O my Lord!

“And Verily! I fear my relatives after me, since my wife is barren. So give me from Yourself an heir,

“Who shall inherit me, and inherit (also) the posterity of Ya’qub (Jacob) (inheritance of the religious knowledge and Prophethood, not the wealth, etc.). And make him, my Lord, one with whom You are Well-pleased!”.

(Allah said) “O Zakariya (Zachariah)! Verily, We give you the glad tidings of a son, His name will be Yahya (John). We have given that name to none before (him).”” [19:2-7]

This method of Tawassul fills the heart with Ubudiyyah (slavery and submission) to Allaah and humbles us to our weakness and His Magnificent Strength.

Now we return to the types of Tawassul mentioned in Surat Al-Fatihah:

“All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).”

This is Tawassul to Allaah with His Ruboobiyyah (His Lordship), that He is the only Lord and Master.

“The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.”

This is Tawassul to Allaah with His attribute of mercy.

“The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)”

This is Tawassul by mentioning His great dominion on the Day of Recompense, the day that is feared and only Allaah can save one from.

“You (Alone) we worship, and you (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).”

This is Tawassul through His Tawheed of Uluhiyyah (Oneness in His right of being worshiped alone), Tawheed of Ruboobiyyah (Oneness of His Lordship) and also through your good deeds, since you are professing that you worship Allaah alone, rely solely on him, and through this deed of Tawheed you want Him to:

“Guide us to the Straight Way”

Meaning; keep us firm on the straight path and  increase us in guidance and do not decrease us.

We should always remember to make such permissible types of Tawassul to Allaah when we make du’aa since they are means by which to get our du’aa answered.

Above we have mentioned various types of permissible Tawassul, and the most common categorizing of Tawassul is three:

1/ Through righteous deeds

2/ Through the Names and Attributes of Allaah

3/ Through the Du’aa of a righteous man. Note that he must be alive and not dead, as opposed to what Sufis practice by going to the grave of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) or to a Wali, and asking them, which is Shirk Akbar and is not permissible.