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14948

Intercession

Place : Saudi Arabia / Riyadh / None / None /
Business Category : Life of the hereafter
date of publication : 1439/05/30
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1- Human need for intercession and statement of its reality. 2- Restriction of intercession to the legitimate. 3- Kinds of intercession. 4- Categories of people in terms of the issue of intercession. 5- Conditions and evidence of intercession.

 First Sermon:

 

All praise is due and belongs to Allâh. We praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness and repent to Him. We seek refuge with Allâh from the evils of ourselves and from the wickedness of our own deeds. Whomever that Allâh guides, none can mislead him, and whomever He sends astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allâh alone with no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

 

( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ )

(O you who believe, fear Allâh as he should be feared and die not unless you are Muslims) [Al-Imran: 102]

 

( يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا )

(O people fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul. From it, He created its spouse, and from both of them scattered many men and women. Fear Allâh, by whom you ask one another, and (fear) the wombs (lest you sever its relationship). Allâh is ever watching over you). [An-Nisa: 1].

 

( يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا * يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا )

(O you, who believe, fear Allâh and say sound statements. He will mend your deeds for you and forgive your sins. Whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger shall win a great victory) [Al-Ahzab: 70-71].

 

Slaves of Allâh ! Man often needs others to serve his need. That need may not be possible, unless through another person, who mediates between the owner of the need and the person who is required to serve the need. Or there may be some inhibitions, and then the needy person seeks to find someone who would intercede for him with the person that can solve his need. People in this world are naturally predisposed to serve the needs of one another in their private and public lives, to bring benefit or ward off harm. Allâh  the most High said,

( لِّيَتَّخِذَ بَعۡضُہُم بَعۡضً۬ا سُخۡرِيًّ۬ا‌)

So that some may employ others in their work [Az-Zukhruf: 32].

 

They may not have access to some of their interests and demands except through the intercession of one another, with the person who has the ability to actualize the issue for which intercession is sought. This is what is legally known as intercession. The middleman is the intercessor, the required need is the issue for which intercession is sought and made,  the needy person is the one on behalf of whom intercession is sought, while the one who serves his brother’s needs is the one whose intercession is sought.

 

Based on this, intercession is to mediate for another to bring about benefit or ward off harm, and for the intercessor to serve as an intermediary of bringing benefit and warding off harm between the one seeking intercession and the one sought for intercession.

 

This intercession is considered Islamically legitimate in the affair legally authorized in Islam, concerning which the directive of the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh  be upon him),   came when he said, “Intercede and you will be rewarded” (Agreed upon).

 

Intercession for things that are not permissible is not allowed, because it involves assistance and support for the evil, or an unauthorized issue in Islam. It is in regard of such intercession that the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh  be upon him),  said, while rejecting the request of Usama, may Allâh  be pleased with him, when he wanted to intercede for the Makhzumiyyah woman that stole, “Are you interceding regarding one of the punishments prescribed by Allâh ?” (Al-Bukhari),

O believers!

Intercession in the religion of Allâh  (Islam) are two types:

First Type: Intercession permitted by the Islamic law. Such is the sound intercession, which the Almighty Allâh  has authorized in His Holy Book, or that which has been authorized by His Messenger, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh  be upon him), and it is strictly meant for the people of Tawhid (Islamic monotheists) and devotion. It was reported that Abu Hurairah, may Allâh  be pleased with him, said, O Messenger of Allâh ! Who will be the luckiest person that will gain your intercession on the Day of Resurrection?” Allâh ‘s Messenger replied, “The luckiest person who will have my intercession on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who said sincerely from the bottom of his heart “None has the right to be worshipped but Allâh ” (Al-Bukhari).

 

This legitimate and sound intercession, comes as follows:

First: General  legitimate intercession: Allâh  has given it to whoever He likes among His creation, so that they can intercede for the person authorized by Allâh . This intercession is confirmed for the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh  be upon him), and others, whether they are Prophets, or followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, the martyrs, and the righteous.

Intercession will be as follows:

  • The intercessor will intercede for the disobedient believers among the people of Hell, in order to get them out of the fire.
  • Intercession for whom Allâh wished that they would not enter the Hell fire among the disobedient Muslim monotheists.
  • Intercession for some people of Paradise whom Allâh wished to elevate their ranks and increase them in reward.

Ibn Uthaimeen, May Allâh  bestow His mercy upon him, said, ” The luckiest people who will have the intercession of the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh  be upon him),   on the Day of Resurrection and the most deserving persons will be the people of Tawhid (Islamic monotheism) and sincerity, as stated in the previous hadith, lest the polytheists may fancy that they have a share in it. It has been denied to them when they asked for it from others besides Allâh . It will only be achieved by the Islamic monotheists, among whom are those who deserved to go to Hell because of their sins; but they will be interceded for to get out of it after cleansing, as stated in the hadith: “Take out of the fire anyone that has in his heart even a mustard grain of faith” (Al-Bukhari).

 

Second: Specific intercession: This is the intercession by which Allâh  has honoured our Prophet Muhammad (May the blessings and peace of Allâh  be upon him), and the greatest of it is the Great Intercession of the Day of Resurrection. People will fall in anguish and wide-ranging distress, and so they would seek for who to intercede for them before Allâh , the Glorified and Exalted to relieve them of their suffering. Then they would come to Adam, then Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, and all of them would not intercede until they would halt by the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh  be upon him), who will stand up and say, “I am in the position to do that” (Al-Bukhari).

 

He would intercede with Allâh , the most Glorified and Exalted, to save His slaves from this great situation. Allâh,  the Almighty, would answer his prayer and accept his intercession, and this is part of the commendable status which Allâh  the Almighty, had promised him when He said,

( وَمِنَ ٱلَّيۡلِ فَتَهَجَّدۡ بِهِۦ نَافِلَةً۬ لَّكَ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَبۡعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامً۬ا مَّحۡمُودً۬ا)

And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salâh (prayer) with it (i.e. recite the Qur’an in the prayer), as an additional prayer (Tahajjud optional prayer – Nawâfil) for you (O Muhammad). It may be that your Lord will raise you to a station of praise and glory, i.e. the honour of intercession on the Day of Resurrection [Al-Isra: 79].

 

The Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh  be upon him),  has informed that he would come and prostrate for his Lord and praise him, and that he would not begin with intercession first, until it would be said to him: “O Muhammad, raise your head: say, and you would be listened to, ask and it would be granted; intercede and intercession would be accepted” (Muslim).

 

 Among the kinds of  intercession that is strictly granted to the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh  be upon him),   is to intercede for the people of Paradise to enter it, because when they have crossed the path (sirat), they would be stopped on the bridge between paradise and hell for their hearts to be purified for one another, until they are refined and purified. Then they would be authorized to enter paradise. The gates of Paradise would be opened through his intercession, May the blessings and peace of Allâh  be upon him.

 

It is also part of his special intercession, to intercede to ease the torment of his uncle Abu Talib, to be in a shallow place of the Hellfire. Abbas bin `Abdul Muttalib said, “O Allâh ‘s Messenger (May the blessings and peace of Allâh  be upon him)! Did you benefit Abu Talib with anything as he used to protect and take care of you, and used to become angry for you?” The Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh  be upon him), said, “Yes, he is in a shallow place of Fire. Had it not been because of me he would have been in the lowest part of the Fire”(Agreed upon).

 

The second type of intercession: False intercession that does not benefit the person that strived for it. This includes the claims of the polytheists that their gods would intercede for them with Allâh , the most Glorified and Exalted, and this one of the greatest reprehensible intercession, because they think that the idols they worship besides Allâh , and which do not benefit nor harm, will intercede for them with Allâh , as Allâh  the most High has told about them that they would worship idols and say,

( هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ شُفَعَـٰٓؤُنَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ )

These are our intercessors with Allâh [Yunus: 18].

 

The  fact is that they will not be of any use to them, as Allâh  says,

( فَمَا تَنفَعُهُمۡ شَفَـٰعَةُ ٱلشَّـٰفِعِينَ )

 So no intercession of intercessors will be of any use to them [Al-Muddaththir: 48].

 

He is not pleased with them, and therefore, He cannot authorize for them to be interceded for, because permission of intercession is only granted to those whom Allâh  the most Glorified and Exalted, is pleased with. Sheikh Ibn Uthaimeen, May Allâh  have mercy on him, said that ” the polytheists hope to get intercession of their idols through a void means, which is the worship of these idols. This is part of their stupidity to try to draw closer to Allâh  by something that will only increase them in being set at a distance from Allâh  “.

 

Shaikh al-Islam, May Allâh  bestow mercy on him said,  “Allâh  has denied to anything besides Him all that which the polytheists get attached to. So, He denied for others besides Him to have the Dominion or a portion of it, or to be helpful to Allâh  thus leaving out nothing but intercession. So He explained that it will only benefit those authorized by the Lord Almighty. And He, the most Purified, does not authorize it but for the people of Tawheed, as Allâh  said,

( وَلَا يَشۡفَعُونَ إِلَّا لِمَنِ ٱرۡتَضَىٰ )

And they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased [Al-Anbiyaa: 28].

 

Slaves of Allâh !

Among the illegal and invalid intercession is for one to request anything from the prophets and the righteous among the dead Muslims, like for a person to say: O so and so Prophet of Allâh , intercede for me with Allâh  to forgive me my sin, or dear so and so master intercede for me with Allâh  to relieve me of my distress, and placate my anguish.

 

In this forbidden intercession, they have indeed combined between two dangerous taboos:

First: Invoking others besides Allâh,  the Almighty, thus committing shirk (association of partners with Allâh).

 

Second: They have likened the Creator to the creature, and set intermediaries between them and Allâh , as done between humans and the kings who are sought for some needs. By so doing, they have sinned because the creature may not be aware of the condition of another creature and thus needs someone to inform him about that. This is in contrary to the Lord, the most Glorified and Exalted, who has full knowledge about the conditions of His slaves, nothing of them is hidden from Him. Such is the intercession expected by the polytheists, and it will not be realized on the Day of Resurrection, as the Qur’an has denied it.

O believers! Based on the foregoing, people with respect to intercession are in diverse categories:

First category: Those who denied intercession, and did not give it any consideration. These people include the people of the Book among the Jews and Christians, as well as the Kharijites, who declare one to have disbelieved just for committing sin.

 

Second category: Those who confirmed intercession, but committed excesses with respect to proving it, to the extent that they have authorized it to be granted by anyone that shows some righteousness. These are many and they are the misguided sects, which bucked the teachings of the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh  be upon him).

 

Third category: The Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah, who confirmed the legitimate intercession proven by the Shari’ah, as Allâh  mentioned that in His book, when he said,

( وَأَنذِرۡ بِهِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ أَن يُحۡشَرُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمۡ‌ۙ لَيۡسَ لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِۦ وَلِىٌّ۬ وَلَا شَفِيعٌ۬ لَّعَلَّهُمۡ يَتَّقُونَ )

And warn therewith (the Qur’ân) those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord, when there will be neither a protector nor an intercessor for them besides Him, so that they may fear Allâh and keep their duty to Him [Al-An’am: 51].

 

Moreover, they believe in what the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh  be upon him),  has informed that there will be forms of intercession on the Day of Resurrection by which Allâh  would honour those He had chosen for that goodness, those He would authorize  to intercede, but for those He is pleased with and those He has accepted to be intercessors.

 

We ask Allâh  to be pleased with us, and to honor us all by His grace and kindness.

 

I said what you have heard, and I ask forgiveness from Allâh  for you and me. So, ask for His forgiveness, for He is the All-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.

 

Second sermon:

 

All praise is due and belongs to Allâh , the Lord of the worlds. The good end shall be for the righteous, and no aggression except on the oppressors.

 

O believers! The legitimate intercession must not be but for Allâh , the Almighty alone, who says,

( قُل لِّلَّهِ ٱلشَّفَـٰعَةُ جَمِيعً۬ا‌ۖ لَّهُ )

Say: “To Allâh belongs all intercession [Az-Zumar: 44].

 

For this to be realized, three conditions must be met as follows:

 

First: Allâh ‘s permission to the intercessor to intercede, and for it to be in an affair about which Allâh , the Almighty, is  pleased with. Allâh  the most Purified said,

( مَن ذَا ٱلَّذِى يَشۡفَعُ عِندَهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِهِۦ‌ۚ )

Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? [Al-Baqarah: 255].

 

Second: Allâh ‘s satisfaction with the person for whom intercession is sought as He says,

( يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ لَّا تَنفَعُ ٱلشَّفَـٰعَةُ إِلَّا مَنۡ أَذِنَ لَهُ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ وَرَضِىَ لَهُ ۥ قَوۡلاً۬)

On that day no intercession shall avail, except the one for whom the Most Gracious (Allâh) has given permission and whose word is acceptable to Him [Ta Ha: 109].

 

Third: Allâh ‘s satisfaction, the most Glorified and Exalted, with the person interceding. Allâh  the Almighty said,

( وَلَا يَشۡفَعُونَ إِلَّا لِمَنِ ٱرۡتَضَىٰ )

And they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased [Al-Anbiyaa: 28].

 

These conditions, May Allâh  bless you, have been outlined in the following words of Allâh :

  ( وَكَم مِّن مَّلَكٍ۬ فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ لَا تُغۡنِى شَفَـٰعَتُہُمۡ شَيۡـًٔا إِلَّا مِنۢ بَعۡدِ أَن يَأۡذَنَ ٱللَّهُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيَرۡضَىٰٓ)

 And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allâh has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with [An-Najm: 26].

 

Then, they were stated in details in His word:

(مَن ذَا ٱلَّذِى يَشۡفَعُ عِندَهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِهِۦ‌ۚ)

Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? [Al-Baqarah: 255].

And the words of the Almighty:

( يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ لَّا تَنفَعُ ٱلشَّفَـٰعَةُ إِلَّا مَنۡ أَذِنَ لَهُ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ وَرَضِىَ لَهُ ۥ قَوۡلاً۬ )

On that day no intercession shall avail, except the one for whom the Most Gracious (Allâh) has given permission and whose word is acceptable to Him [Ta Ha: 109].

 

And His words, the most Exalted and Glorified:

(وَلَا يَشۡفَعُونَ إِلَّا لِمَنِ ٱرۡتَضَىٰ)

And they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased [Al-Anbiyaa: 28].

 

These conditions are the basis of the soundness of desired intercession, by which the one on behalf of whom intercession is sought obtains his goals only, and by meeting them,  goodness is realized by those who hope for that.

 

We ask Allâh  to make us among those who will enter Paradise without accountability or pre-punishment.

Invoke prayers and blessings of Allâh upon the one Allâh the Most Exalted and Glorified has commanded you to do so when He said,

( إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا )

Allâh sends His Salah (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet (Muhammad) and also His angels too (ask Allâh to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salah on (ask Allâh to bless) him (Muhammad), and (you should) greet him with the Islamic way of greeting [Al-Ahzab: 56].

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