We have all read the Salafi views on Tawassul and those who haven't, it is available on almost every second forum now and most of Dr Naik's sites and links too. Since pro- Tawassul detailed articles are few, let us analyse it here. And of course, if it makes sense to you, the choice is yours.
Contemplate on the following verse of the Qur’an in Surah Al-Hujurat (49) Verse 10:
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
Innama almuminoona ikhwatun faaslihoo bayna akhawaykum waittaqoo Allaha laAAallakum turhamoona
(All believers are but brothers, therefore seek reconciliation between your two brothers, and fear Allah, so that you may be blessed with mercy).
But instead of uniting as a community, we are divided in views, declaring others as 'kufr' and practising 'shirk' without thinking twice. I have come across people even stating on assumptions alone that those paying respect to Walis, are actually praying to them. Nor does offering 'salaam' to our Beloved Prophet SAS mean that we are worshipping him. How can they look into another's heart (which only Allah can) and question another's Faith (Aqeeda). Such an act itself displeases Allah, as the right to decide who is right and who is wrong lies with HIM alone. Also, it is only in His powers to forgive whom He Wills.
Before proceeding to an article by By Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam , I invite your attention to the following verse from Quran - Surah An-Nisa (4) Verse 64:
We did not send any Messenger but to be obeyed by the leave of Allah. Had they, after having wronged themselves, come to you and sought forgiveness from Allah, and had the Messenger prayed for their forgiveness, they would certainly have found Allah Most-Relenting, Very- Merciful.
This verse talks clearly about Prophet Muhammed SAS interceding (waseelah) for forgiveness for others. But some present day scholars try to confuse people by saying that the people believing in the concept of 'Tawassul' are actually praying to / worshiping the entity / medium itself. This of course, is incorrect. The people who do this or even bow down at dargahs, should be corrected. But assuming that everyone commits such an act is being judgemental. Our aim should be to wipe the incorrect practices within the religion, instead of branding everyone 'kufr' and declaring that a particular act itself is incorrect.
An Article by Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam :
Tawassul (using intermediaries in supplication to Allah) through the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), Awliya and righteous believers is permitted, rather recommended according to the four schools of Sunni Islam.
This has been the mainstream belief held by scholars of this Ummah throughout the eras. The Salaf (predecessors) from the earliest generations had this understanding and this has been the way of the four Sunni Madhhabs in Fiqh.
The meaning of Tawassul is: To ask Allah Almighty through the medium and intercession of another person. For example, one says: “O Allah! I ask forgiveness for my sins through the Wasila (intercession) of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)”.
Tawassul can be carried out through one's own righteous deeds, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), righteous people who have passed away and those who are still alive. All these types of Tawassul are permitted and acceptable.
The permissibility of ‘Tawassul’ is proven from the Qur'an, Sunnah, continued practice of the Ummah and reason.
Some of the proofs on the validity of Tawassul:
1) Allah Most High says:
“O you who believe! Fear Allah and seek a means (wasila) to him” (Surah al-Ma'ida, V: 35)
The word “Wasila” (a means of approach) in its general indication includes Tawassul (intercession) by persons, and through actions.
2) Allah Almighty says:
“If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you (Prophet, Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and asked Allah's forgiveness and the Messenger of Allah had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed forgiving and Most Merciful”. (Surah al-Nisa, V: 64)
These two verses are clear on the permissibility and recommendation of Tawassul. The distinction made by some, between the living and the dead in this matter only comes from one who believes in the perishing of souls upon death, which would lead to denying resurrection.
Also, when one uses Tawassul in supplication, one does not ask and seek from other than Allah. Only the high position, status and rank of the person through whom Wasila is carried out is used as intercession. In other words, the servant is saying: “O Allah! This certain Prophet or servant of yours is very close to you. I do not possess any good deeds, but I have love for the pious. O Allah! Pardon me and forgive my sins due to this love and connection I have with this pious servant of yours”.
Now, every person with a sound mind will determine the fact that there is no reason to distinguish and differentiate between the living and the dead. This is the reason why scholars such as Imam Subki, Hafidh Ibn Kathir, Imam an-Nawawi and many others have declared the permissibility of Tawassul through the righteous, whether alive or passed away to the Mercy of Allah.
3) Imam al-Tirmidhi (Allah have Mercy on him) and others relate from Uthman ibn Hunaif (Allah be pleased with him):
“A blind man came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and said: “I've been afflicted in my eyesight, so pray to Allah for me". The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Go perform ablution (Wudu), perform two rak'at Salat and then say: “O Allah! I ask you and turn to you through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy. O Muhammad! I seek your intercession with my lord for the return of my eyesight, that it may be fulfilled. O Allah! Grant him intercession for me”. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) then said: “and if there is some other need, do the same”. (Recorded by Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa'i, Tabrani and others, with a sound chain of narrators).
The express content of this Hadith proves the legal validity of Tawassul through a living person. It implicitly proves the validity of Tawassul through a deceased person, as Tawassul through a living or dead person is not through a physical body or through life or death, rather, through the positive meaning attached to the person in both life and death.
4) Moreover, Tabrani relates in his ' Mu'jam al-Kabir ' reporting from the same Uthman ibn Hunaif that a person repeatedly visited him concerning something he needed, but Uthman paid no attention to him. The man met his son and complained to him about the matter- this was after the death of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) and after the caliphates of Abu Bakr and Umar (Allah be pleased with them)- so Uthman (who collected Hadith and was from the learned) said : “Go to the place of Wudu, then come to the Masjid, perform two Rak'ats and then say : “O Allah!, I ask you and turn to you through our Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy. O Muhammad! I turn through you to my lord, that He fulfil my need”....... until the end of the Hadith.
This is an explicit and clear text from a Companion proving the legal validity of Tawassul through the dead. The Hadith has been classed as authentic (Sahih) by al-Bayhaqi, Mundhiri, al-Haythami and many others.
5) In the Hadith recorded by Imam al-Bukhari and others, the Companion Umar (Allah be pleased with him) made Tawassul through the uncle of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), Abbas (Radhi Allahu Anhu), in asking Allah for rain at the time of drought.
These and many other Ahadith are clear on the permissibility and validity of Tawassul. This is the reason, why the great traditional Sunni scholars have held this belief throughout the ages. Even in the present era, most of the Muslims who belong to the Ahl Sunnah Wa al-Jama'ah in most parts of the world have this belief.
Many books in Arabic and other languages have been written in refutation of those who regard Tawassul as Shirk. Scholars from Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Emirates, India, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia itself have rejected the position held by the minority -so called- Salafi sect.
As far as some of the scholars of the Haramayn are concerned, there views in matters of Aqida are generally from the blind following of Imam Ibn Taymiyya... The Imam, despite having great knowledge, in many issues chose a path which was different from the path of the majority of the Ummah, and the Scholars by and large did not accept his views.
At the same time, one should be precautious in not having any wrong belief in Aqidah. There should be the conviction that Allah Almighty alone has influence over everything, outwardly and inwardly. Also, one should NOT have the belief that the supplication (Dua) is not accepted without Tawassul. Tawassul is a way, not the entire means.
Reference : http://www.central-mosque.com/aqeedah/taw1.htm
I also request the readers of this article to read the beautiful analysis by Ebrahim Saifuddin through his blog - http://ebrahimsaifuddin.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/tawassul/, which even a layman can easily understand. And his views are again purely analytical without biases and accusations.
And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best