FAQ7: “Calling upon” in the Quran is used for worship not for supplication, therefore whenever it says do not call upon other than Allah (swt), it means do not worship other than Allah (swt).
There is no proof for this, rather in Arabic “دعا” is for calling someone not for worshiping someone, anyone who claims otherwise is either ignorant of the Arabic language, or is intentionally twisting the verses of Quran.
However, if this “دعا” / “calling someone” is the kind that seeks help from an entity beyond the curtain of ghayb (going beyond the natural world that God has placed us in, and seeking help from across its boundaries) then this calling simultaneously becomes a worship (due to seeking help from beyond the hudood/boundaries/limits that God has established for us). When the Musrikeen of Makkah were worshiping their intercessor-idols, did they believe that the stones and rocks were powerful? Or did they believe that the spirits represented by them were powerful intercessors? It was the latter, just as is the case with Hindus today. So if someone is seeking out the holy spirit represented by the rock (who exists in a world outside our realm — which is what is done) then indeed such calling upon is simultaneously a worship. And yes, God has forbidden it. Let us ask ourselves, when we call out to the Prophet (saww) or Imams (as), are we seeking holy spirits from a realm beyond the hudood/boundaries that God has confined us to? Well, of course (i.e. Barzakh). Then such calling is a forbidden worship.
Moreover, prohibition of worshipping anyone other than Allah (swt) has been mentioned in the Quran with the word (‘ibadat) in many other verses. When Allah (swt) has already prohibited that to us in clear Arabic (by suing the actual word for worship), then why would he now prohibit us the same thing with a word that does not even stand for worship? Clearly this is wrong, the verses which talk about “calling upon” therefore are not about “worship” primarily, rather they are about supplicating and calling upon for help (which itself is a kind of worship in the eyes of Allah (swt)).
وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لَا تَعبُدُونَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ(2:83)
إِذْ قَالَ لِبَنِيهِ مَا تَعبُدُونَ مِنْ بَعْدِي (2:133)
إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ (12:40)
وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ (17:23)
“La Ta’budoona min doonillah” or “la ta’budoona illallah” has been mentioned in tens of places in the Quran to prohibit worshiping anyone other than Allah (swt), therefore there is no need to say that the verses that prohibit “calling upon” are about worship.