Du'a can only be directed towards Allah alone.
"Say(o Muhammad): "I make du'a only to my Lord (Allah alone), and I associate none as partners along with Him." (Q72 Jinn: 20).
To make du'a to other than Allaah is clear shirk(associating partners with Allaah), which is one sin that Allaah will not forgive. This is due to the fact that the one that makes du'a to other than Allah is infact attributing to a created object characteristics and attributes that only Allaah has. So, the person who makes du'a to a saint, or rock, or idol, believes that the object can hear him, and has eternal life, and is capable of responding to his invocation, and has knowledge of his situation, and can see the state that he is in, and has mercy upon him, and has the power to grant him what he wishes.
The perfection of all of these attributes is only with Allaah. It is only Allaah that can hear everything, infact; Allaah knows our every thought even if we do not vocalize them. It is only Allah that knows our situation perfectly, and has Divine Mercy for us, and is All- Powerful in responding to our requests. Allah describes all other objects which du'a is made to in the following verse:
"If you invoke (or call upon)them, they hear not your call, and even if they were to hear (you), they could not grant 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 each and everything)" (Q35 [Faatir]:14)
So the object that is called upon besides Allah, whether it is an idol or a dead saint, cannot hear such calls in the first place. They do not have the perfect Attribute that as-Samee (The Hearer of Everything) has, and even if they are alive and have a sense of hearing, this sense is extremely limited, for they can only hear within a very small distance. If the voice is loud enough. Can such restricted hearing be compared in any way to the attributes ofas-Samee? Allaah then states that, even if they could hear such calls, they would not be able to respond to them. Thus because these objects simply do not have the power or capability to respond to any requests, Allaah describes these worshipped objects as:
"He calls besides Allaah that which hurts him not nor profits him. That is a straying far away. He calls unto him whose harm is nearer than his profit: certainly, an evil Mawla (patron) and certainly an evil friend!" (Q22[Hajj]: 12-13)
So the person calling an object besides Allaah is in reality calling something that can neither benefit him nor harm him in this world. Although these objects can in and of themselves cause no harm, by calling them instead of Allaah, a person brings harm upon himself by committing shirk, so what an evil and foolish act it is. As Allaah says:
“And who is more astray than one who makes a du'a to other than Allah- who will not answer him until the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their du'as to them?" (Q46[Ahqaf]: 5).
The object that is called besides Allah does not even know is being called, and if du'a were made to them until the Day of Judgment, nothing would occur!
In fact, look at the example that Allaah gave of the one who calls to other than Allaah:
"Say (o Muhammad): “Shall we invoke others besides Allaah (false deities), that can do us neither good nor harm, and shall we turn on our heels after Allaah has guided us? Like one whom the devils have made to go astray, confused (wandering) through the earth, his companions calling him to guidance (saying):'Come to us'" Say: "Verily, Allaah's Guidance is the only guidance, and we have been commanded to submit(ourselves) to the Lord of the Worlds."(Q6[An'am]:71)
So from all this it is apparent that anyone who makes a du'a to other than Allaah has committed a form of major shirk, rather, the greatest form of shirk!
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited