Those who believe in the Abdal claim they are very special awliyah. So it is halaal for a person to make duaa to them or through them. They base their claim that these people are special on a number of hadeeths. But are these hadeeth authentic and therefore justify their actions and believes.
A Look In To The Hadeeths Concerning The Abdal
1. The Hadeeth Of Ubadah ibn Samit:
from the Prophet “There will always be thirty people in this Ummah like Ibrahim, each time one of them dies Allah substitutes another in his place.” Narrated Musnad Ahmad v 5 p 322.
Imam Ahmad, who narrated this Hadith, said after mentioning it: “Munkar” (rejected).
2. Hadeeth Of Ubadah:
from the Prophet “The Abdal of my community are thirty, by them the earth is established, by them you receive rain and by them you are saved.” Narrated At-Tabarani
Al-Haythami said: “From the way of Umar and by Al-Bazar from the way of Anbasah Al-Khawwas, and I do not know these two” (Majma’ uz-Zawa’id v 10 p 63). So this hadeeth is weak as these two narrators are unknown.
3. The Hadeeth Of Awf Ibn Malik:
from the Prophet “The Abdal are among the people of Sham (Syria and surrounding areas): By them they are saved and by them they receive their sustenance”. Narrated by At-Tabarani
Al-Haythami said: “Narrated by At-Tabarani. The chain of narrators contains Amr ibn Waqid, and the majority of Imams weakned him…As for the narrator Shahr, there is difference about him.” (Majma’ uz-Zawa’id, v10 p 63)
Hafiz ibn Hajar said concerning ‘Amr ibn Waqid: “Matruk” (abandoned), in Taqrib, 5132.
4. The Hadith Of ibn Masud:
from the Prophet “There will always be forty people in this community whose hearts are upon the heart of Ibrahim. Allah will remove harm from people by them, they are called the Abdal…” Narrated by At-Tabarani
Al-Haythami said: “Narrated by At-Tabarani from the narration of Thabit ibn Abbas Al-Ahdab, from Raja Al-Kalbi, and I do not know them” (Majma’ uz-Zawa’id, v 10 p 63)
5. The Hadeeth Of Umm Salamah:
from the Prophet “Difference will occur after the death of a caliph and a man from the people of Madinah will flee to Makkah. Some people from Makkah will come towards him, take him against his will and give him Bay’ah between the corner (of the Ka’bah) and the Maqam of Ibrahim. A Military expedition will be send against him, but it will be swallowed by the earth in the desert between Makkah and Madinah, and when people will see this, the Abdal of Syria and the best people of ‘Iraq will come towards him and give him Bay’ah.” Narrated Musnad Ahmad, v 6 p 316, Sunnan Abu Dawud, Kitab Al-Mahdi No, 4286)
The chain of narrators contains Salih Abu Khalil from one of his companions, from Umm Salamah. The companion of Salih Abu Khalil is unknown.
Abu Dawud and Al-Hakim mentioned a similar narration from Abu Khalil from Abdullah ibnul Harith from Umm Salamah, so the unknown narrator in the first narration might be this Abdullah ibnul Harith, but all these chains of narrators contain Abul ‘Awam, and his name is ‘Imran ibn Dawar Al-Qattan.
Ad-Dhahabi said: “Many people weakened him and he was a Khariji”. (Talkhis, v 4 p 431)
Also Ad-Dhahabi included him in his book of weak narrators, Al-Mughni fi Ad-Du’afa, No.4596.
Overall Conclusion About These Hadeeth
Hafiz as-Sakhawi said, “It (the hadeeths about the Abdal) has a number of different routes from Anas from the Prophet, with contradictory wording, all of which are da’eef (weak).” [‘Maqaasid al-Hasanah’ (pp 26-28 no.8)].
The hadeeths are all weak because they have contradictory wording, some hadeeth mention 30 Abdal, other hadeeth mention 40 Abdal, and some other numbers. These hadeeth are weak and specifically they are mubtarib (Confusion or not being clear). The reason for this is people have narrated this particular hadeeth on the Abdal in such different ways, that it is not possible to reconcile between why some narrations say 30 and others say 40.
The hadeeth about the Abdal are all weak, so any believe system based upon these hadeeths is false. Therefore there are no Abdal to make duaa to or through due to their status.