As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 2


Invoking others besides Allah is Shirk Page 3

Translator's Notes                

*8: Explanation of Shifa'ah (intercession) of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) on the Day of Resurrection
Intercession is an honor bestowed by Allah on His Messengers and pious servants. When Allah Wills to forgive the sins of His slaves, He might make intercession of His pious slaves a means to forgive a sinful person, thus forgiving His sinful slave and honoring His pious slave.
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, 'The believers will be kept (waiting) on the Day of Resurrection so long that they will become worried and say: 'Let us request someone to intercede for us with our Lord so that He may relieve us from this state of ours. Then they will go to Adam u... (And others Prophets but none of the Prophets will dare to come forward, finally) They will come to me and I will ask my Lord's Permission, and when I see Him, I will fall down in prostration to Him, and He will leave me in that state as long as He Wills, and then I will be addressed, 'Raise up your head (O Muhammad)! Ask, and your request will be granted, and say and your saying will be heard; intercede, and your intercession will be accepted.' Then I will raise my head, and I will glorify and praise my Lord with a saying (i.e. invocation) that He will teach me, and then I will intercede,' Allah will fix a limit for me (i.e., certain type of people who I may intercede), and I will take them out of the (Hell) Fire and let them enter Paradise. Then I will come back (to Allah) and fall in prostration, and will do the same for the third and fourth times till no-one remains in the (Hell) Fire except those whom the Qur'aan has imprisoned therein.’ (The sub-narrator, Qatada used to say at that point, '...those upon whom eternity (in Hell) has been imposed.' [Saheeh Al-Bukharee v.8 no.570]

From the above hadeeth we know…
Even though Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is bestowed with the right to intercede on the Day of Judgment, he will not be allowed to unrestrictedly intercede for anyone he wishes, rather, Allah will set limit as to whom Allah's Messenger should intercede, and he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) will abide by His Orders.

So, who are those people who are eligible for the intercession? They are those who maintain the Tawheed of Allah in their beliefs and actions. Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) asked the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), 'Who will be the happiest of people with your intercession?' He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, 'Whoever said 'La ilaha illa-Allah' sincerely with pure intention from his heart.' [Saheeh al-Bukharee] Allah says in the Qur'aan, 'They will not be able to intercede except for him with whom He is pleased.' [Soorah a-Ambiya (21): 28]

Thus, none can force or even suggest an intercession. Intercession will take place with the Permission of Allah and it will be only for those whom Allah is pleased with. Even Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), who is highest in status to Allah and whom Allah has already informed of his right to intercede on the Day of Resurrection, will not intercede straight away, but he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) will prostrate to Allah and glorify Him first and the rest has already been mentioned earlier. Grossly misguided are those who beat their chests, proclaiming that such and such walee will have the right to intercede for anyone he wish or some walee will quarrel with Allah to take his followers to paradise regardless of what the person's deeds may be in this world. They have indeed not understood the Glory and Might of Allah.

Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) writes in Iqtida Sirat al-Mustaqeem explaining the above hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu), ‘So, the more sincerely one recites this statement (i.e. La ilaha illAllah), the more deserving he would be of the intercession. However, the one who puts his trust in some fellow creature (to intercede for him on the Day of Judgment without any effort from his side) looking forward to him and fearing him, would have no share in the intercession.

When one approaches someone for recommending the case of another, he does not take prior permission to do so. Rather, one does it in the belief that the person approached, being indebted to him, would consider favorable the recommendation. However, Allah is above everyone, being the Master and Ruler of everyone, hence, one cannot intercede with him without His prior leave.

He Himself grants someone this privilege and accepts his intercession. This is akin to the process of duaa (supplication), in that He prompts one to ask something and then grants the same. This Right is of Allah Alone.

It is worth reflecting that the one taken by someone as his intercessor may decline to do so or be forbidden by Allah to do so or his request be turned down. The most exalted human beings are Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and Ibraheem (alaihis-salaam). Yet, Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) ceased to supplicate for his dear uncle Abu Talib, not withstanding his earlier statement that he would seek forgiveness for him unless forbidden from it.

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) no doubt, offered funeral prayer for some hypocrites and prayed for their forgiveness but he was forbidden to do so by Allah, 'And never (O Muhammad) pray (funeral prayer) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies, nor stand at his grave. Certainly they disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger, and died while they were Fasiqoon (rebellious, - disobedient to Allah and His Messenger).' [(9): 84]

‘Whether you (O Muhammad) ask forgiveness for them (hypocrites) or ask not forgiveness for them ... (And even) if you ask seventy times for their forgiveness ... Allah will not forgive them, because they have disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad). And Allah guides not those people who are Fasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).' [ (9): 80]

After this revelation, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) remarked, 'Were I to know that they would be forgiven if I had asked more than seventy times for their forgiveness, I would have done so,' Subsequently the following verse was revealed, 'It is equal to them whether you (Muhammad) ask forgiveness or ask not forgiveness for them. Verily, Allah guides not the people who are the Fasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).' [ (63): 6]

Let us now turn our attention to Prophet Ibraheem's story. He had promised his father that he would ask for forgiveness for him. However, when Ibrahim realized that his father was Allah's enemy, he recanted his earlier stance, as the Qur'aan recounts, 'It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's Forgiveness for the Mushrikoon (polytheist, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) even though, they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief). And (Ibraheem's) invoking (of Allah) for his father's forgiveness was only because of a promise he had made to him (his father). But when it became clear to him (Ibraheem) that he (his father) is an enemy to Allah, he distanced himself from him.' [(9): 113-114]' [end quote]

Thus, no intercession will be of benefit to someone who commits Shirk or one who leads his life in disobedience to Allah and all the while simply holding on to the false hope that he will be pardoned due to the intercession of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) or someone else.

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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