Question 159: In a dua’a made at the Shahadat of Imam al Kadhim (AS), a reference to was made calling him ‘Bab al Hawaij’. Someone explaining it to me stated it meant he is a door to dua’as or prayers being heard or granted. When we are making dua’as after salah and try to call on the intercession of the Imams (AS), after saying salawat of course, are we to name the Imams (AS) and Rasullah (SAWS) by name for the ones that we want to intercede for us? Can we generally say “Ya abwab (doors) al Hawaj (in referencing that any of the imams that are referred to or known to intercede for dua’as to be answered)?

Answer 159: The believers have been asked to practice this method of tawassul in the Qur’an,[1] “Oh you who believe! Be wary of Allah (swt) and seek a means of nearness to Him…” Therefore, there is no contradiction between asking the Imams (AS) and Allah’s (SWT) apostles (SAWS) for something. The doctrine of tawhid, keeping in mind that if the Imams (AS) do something, it is with the permission of Allah (swt). Thus it is okay to say ‘Ya Ali Madad’ or ‘Abwab al Hawaj’ with such a mindset.

‘Bab al Hawaij’ means the door to fulfilling people’s needs. Many hadiths allow us to ask the Imams (AS) for help and a means of livelihood, making no difference between asking them during their lifetime and after. They are the mediators of Allah’s (SWT) grace and it is through them that Allah’s (SWT) grace flows to the rest of His creation, and they are of great respect to Him. The nickname of ‘Bab al-Hawaij’ is one of the most famous nicknames of Hadrat Abalfadl al-Abbas (PBUH) amongst the Shiites. All the Imams (AS) referred to ‘Bab al-Hawaij’ too.

When we make dua’as, instead of calling on the Imams (AS) by individual names can we just refer to any of them as ‘Bab Al Hawaij’ and ‘Abwab al Hawaij’, because the Imams (AS) are infallible and ‘Bab al-Hawaij’.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Name, Titles and Lineage of Imam Musa Kadhim (AS), answer 030.

Index: The unmarried daughters of Imam Kadhim as / Fatima Masumah sa, answer 027.

Index: Seeking one’s need from someone other than Allah, answer 005.

[1] . Surah Maidah, Verse 35.