Among some of the common people there is the widespread practice of saying, before going to sleep, “O guardian angels, wake me up at such-and-such a time.”
Praise be to Allaah.
This is not permissible, and in fact it is a form of major shirk (al-shirk al-akbar), because it involves calling upon someone other than Allaah and asking for something from one of the unseen creatures. This is like asking from the jinn or idols or the dead, because of the general meaning of the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):
“And the mosques are for Allaah (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allaah”[al-Jinn 72:18]
“Such is Allaah, your Lord; His is the kingdom. And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a Qitmeer (the thin membrane over the date stone).
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) like Him Who is the All Knower (of everything)”[Faatir 35:13-14]
Allaah described calling upon anyone other than Him, such as the dead, idols, the jinn or the angels, as shirk or the association of others in worship with Him. He said (interpretation of the meaning)
“And verily, there were men among mankind who took shelter with the males among the jinn, but they (jinn) increased them (mankind) in sin and transgression”[al-Jinn 72:6]
“And whoever invokes (or worships), besides Allaah, any other ilaah (god), of whom he has no proof; then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Surely, Al Kaafiroon (the disbelievers in Allaah and in the Oneness of Allaah, polytheists, pagans, idolaters) will not be successful”[al-Mu’minoon 23:117]
So Allaah calls those who call upon anyone other than Him kaafireen. This applies to all those who call upon anyone other than Allaah, whether it be the dead, idols, jinn or angels; no one is exluded from that except one who is alive, present and able to help, because Allaah says in the story of Moosa (interpretation of the meaning):
“The man of his (own) party [religion] asked him for help against his foe”[al-Qasas 28:15]
Examples of this shirk are to be found in what some people say, such as “O jinn, seize him” or “O seven (jinn), seize him” or “O jinn of the noon-time, seize him” or “O jinn of such-and-such a valley” or “O jinn of such-and-such a land”. All of this is major shirk and is calling upon unseen creatures instead of Allaah. If a person says, “O angels of Allaah, wake me up” or “protect me”, this is also major shirk, and if he says, “O jinn protect me” or “wake me up”, this is also major shirk. We seek refuge with Allaah from that. The Muslim must beware of that and must seek help from Allaah alone and ask from Him alone, for He is Sufficient and He is Able to do all things. Allaah is the One Who says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And your Lord said: ‘Invoke Me [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism) and ask Me for anything] I will respond to your (invocation)’”[Ghaafir 40:60]
“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[al-Baqarah 2:186]
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If you ask of anyone, then ask of Allaah, and if you seek help, then seek help from Allaah.”
We ask Allaah to help us and all the Muslims to understand His religion and to keep us safe from the things that cause His wrath, for He is the All-Hearing, Ever Near.