Interesting discussion of al Shawkani on the statement of al San`ani on shirk.
Muhammad bin Ismaeel al San`ani (1099 H – 1182 H) VS al Shawkani (1173 H -1250 AH).
al San`ani said:
(Kufr al Amali) Disbelief in action includes asking help from (dead) Auliyah, Asking help from them in pain, tawaf of the graves, kissing the wall of the grave, vows for them. These are Disbelief in action and not in Belief (Kufr al Aitiqadi). This person will be included in those who believe in Allah and his Messenger and the day of judgement but satan beautified this belief for them that Auliyah have the power to benefit and harm, they can intercede. So he had a same belief for them (Auliyah) which the kuffar had for the idols in the days of Jahiliyah. But these people prove tawheed for Allah and do not make the auliyah their god…. So they should be stopped through naseeha and let them know about their ignorance…. [al Fath Rabbani min Fatawa al Imam al Shawkani page 364]
al Shawkani responded saying this is actually Kufr in Aiteqaad rather than Kufr in Action and that the grave worshipers of his time are even worse as Mushrikeen used to ask help from Allah at the time of grief and they used to ask help from idols generally (quoted al Isra 67, al Anaam 40, Luqman 32). Whereas the grave worshipers of his time used to ask help from dead even in calamities, only a few would call Allah.
AN INTERESTING NARRATION.
A Man who traveled to Hajj via the sea informed me that when there was s great storm in the sea, I saw most of the travelers asking help from dead.. No one was asking help from Allah. I had a great fear of drowning at that time that this type of shirk is going on with Allah. [al Fath Rabbani min Fatawa al Imam al Shawkani page 368 Maktaba al Jaleel al Jadeer Yemen San`a]