Amongst this is the one pertinent question as to whether it is permissible to say “Yaa Rasulullaah!” or not? My opinion on the matter is that there are numerous occasions and manners in which one says “Yaa Rasulullaah”, and the ruling for each one differs. For example, one way is when a poet who in his poetical imagination addresses perhaps the mountains, a jungle, or some animal, etc. In this way he is not really talking to the thing he is addressing, his speech to and he does not have this belief that the addressee is listening to him or will answer, this is merely a way of expressing his emotions. If in such circumstances the poet remembers the name of Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) and addresses him, then my opinion is that it will be permissible and correct.
The second way is when a person addresses his beloved. In this manner if a person calls out to Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) to express his love for him (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam), where his object is not to actually call Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam), as though he is speaking to him. Or like when a mother who had lost her child calls out the child‟s name, knowing full well that the child will not hear her call in his grave, but this is merely her way of giving vent to her emotions. This is like an instinctive and involuntary action, spurred by love and emotion.
In similar manner, if a person calls out to Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) out of love for him, knowing and believing that his call will not reach the grave of Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam), then such a call would be permissible, provided there is no disorder in his Aqaa`id.
Another way is when a person says Durood in the specific form of “As-Salaatu was Salaamu Alaika Yaa Rasulullaah”, believing that the specially appointed angels of Allaah Ta`ala will convey this Durood to Nabi‟s (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) grave. This act would also not be regarded as impermissible, because Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) said:
“Whosoever sends Durood at my graveside, I hear him, and whoever send s Durood on me from afar, it is conveyed to me.” [Mishkaat Shareef, page 87]
It is reported in another Hadith:
“Indeed there are some angels of Allaah Ta`ala who traverse the earth and convey to me the salaams of my Ummat.” [Ibid. page 86]
Another Hadith states:
“Do not make our homes graves and do not make my grave an object of festivities. Send Durood upon me, because indeed your Durood is conveyed to me wherever you are.” [Ibid]
Although the correct way will be to recite Durood Shareef in the methods and words taught to us by Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) and not to use the terms of addressing him directly, nevertheless, if one uses the words Yaa Rasulullaah in this context without there being any fear of one‟s Aqaa`id spoiling or that of another who is listening being spoilt, then such words cannot be regarded as impermissible.
The fourth way is to say Yaa Rasulullaah and to harbour this belief that just as Allaah Ta`ala listens to every word all the time, since He is Omnipresent, so too one believes Nabi‟s (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) condition (that he is haazir-o-naazir), then in such a case I regard this to be totally impermissible.
Such a belief, as mentioned before is incorrect and there is neither consent nor leeway for it in the Qur`aan Majeed nor the Sunnah nor the beliefs of the Ahle Sunnah. Since the general masses have scant regard for the limits of the Shariah, the Salf-e-Saaliheen have exercised great caution in such matters. It is reported from Hadhrat Abdullaah Bin Mas`ood (radhiAllaahu anhu) in Bukhari Shareef:
“As long as Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) was present in our midst, we used to say „Assalaamualaika Ayyuhan Nabi‟, when reciting Attahiyaat. But after his demise we replaced these words with „Alan Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam)‟.” [page 926, vol.2]
The object of the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiAllaahu anhum) was to show that in the „Attahiyaat‟ the words which indicated to Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) being directly addressed was not indicative or based on this belief that he (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) was omnipresent and that he heard the words of every person. — No! In fact this Salaam (in „Attahiyaat‟) refers to the Speech of Allaah Ta`ala which He Spoke when Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) went for Mi`raaj.
The fifth way is when one who visits the grave of Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) and he says As-Salaatu Was Salaamu Alaika Yaa Rasulullaah. Since Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) is alive in his grave and he hears and replies to every visitor who makes salaam to him, in such an instance, it is not only permissible to say this, in fact it is commendable.
These are the few ways and manners of saying Yaa Rasulullaah which I have enumerated upon and given my view on each. Now those people who say Yaa Rasulullaah, what are their intentions when saying it and what is their object? The conclusion to this you can draw for yourself. However, it is important that I draw your attention here to two Mas`alahs. The first being that the Shiahs have initiated the „Na`ra haidari: Yaa Ali‟. In aping them some people have now formulated „Na`ra-e-Risaalat: Yaa Rasulullaah‟, and „Na`ra-e-Ghauthia: Yaa Ghauth!‟
However, I have never come across anyplace from Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) or the Sahaabah (radhiAllaahu anhum) where they have coined a Na`ra (slogan) to replace Allaahu Akbar. This is not mentioned anywhere in the Qur`aan Majeed, Sunnah or Fiqh of Hanafi. Hence, I regard this as being an emulation of the Shiahs, from which the Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat is completely free.
The other Mas`alah is that just as in the way of dua and to gain nearness to Allaah Ta`ala one calls out to Him and recites Wazifahs (incantations) using His Pure Name, similarly, some people use the names of some Buzrugs (pious people) and call out to them and recite incantations. This is completely impermissible in Islaam. The reason being that such actions fall under the scope of Ibaadat and all Ibaadat is purely for the Sake of Allaah Ta`ala.
Neither Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam), nor the Sahaabah nor any pious predecessor used the name of any other being besides Allaah Ta`ala for the recitation of any incantations. Hadhrat Qaadhi Thanaaullaah Paani Pati Hanafi (rahmatullahi alaih) states:
“It is not permissible to make Thikr with the name of any of the Auliyaa as a Wazifah or as a means of achieving any objective or need, like how the ignorant one do.”[Irshaadut Taalibeen, quoted from Al-Jannatu Li Ahlis Sunnati, page 7]