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Waseela: The facts underlying the belief of Waseela (Sufi Saints)

I come from a family where Islam is well practiced, we are Sunnis Hannafi and follow the Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat
I am confused with two things.
Firstly what is Waseela? Here a lot is believed in Saints like Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Kwaja Gharib Nawaz, and a local saint Pir Jamal Shah
I do respect these saints because I believe they have been good people and have given good examples of piety and sacrifice and are closer to Allah than us. Should we make ‘mannats’, and pray through them to Allah? When we visit their shrines can we lift our hands in duaas and ask their intercession, how should we make duaas and how should we visit their shrines?
Are Shias considered Muslims? Can I eat in a Shiah’s house? Can I offer my prayers in a shias house albeit alone? And lastly can I follow a Shia Imam in Jamaat?


Assalamo Alaikum
If there have been good people in our history who have created examples of piety for others to emulate, it is a good idea to pray for the elevation of their status. Indeed the Almighty would befittingly reward them adequately for their good acts. One can go to their graves if one wants to make such prayers (duas). However a prayer / dua can reach God from wherever you make it. It is not the place but your sincerity that makes your dua effective. To ask help from God through someone else however is unacceptable. Doing such a thing would be silly and, more alarmingly, shirk. God listens to our prayers directly. It is lack of sincerity that prevents our prayers from reaching him. No saint can intermediate to enable our prayers to reach God. If that was possible, God himself would have clarified it. He has mentioned any such possibility anywhere in His book. In fact, he has warned us that those people who seek help through sources other than God are committing shirk which is the most serious crime of all.
Anyone who claims to be a Muslim is to be considered a Muslim unless a Muslim state has declared him to be otherwise. Shias have all along been accepted by Sunnis as Muslims. If they have certain views which are different from ours, we should let them know about their incorrectness through arguments. You can eat with them, pray in their house, and pray behind their imams. However, to be allowed to do an act doesn’t mean that you must necessarily do so. If your inner taste doesn’t allow you to do any of these things, it is up to you not do so. However, such acts of yours, or lack of them, should not be given a religious colour.
Allah Hafiz.