FEATURE ARTICLE  

Intercession

by Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

He is the Master of the Messengers, the Seal of the Prophets, the Intercessor of sinners, the friend of the strangers, the Mercy for the Worlds, the grandfather of al-Hasan and al-Husayn, Our patron and the patron of Humans and Jinn: Abu al-Qasim Muhammad son of ‘Abd Allah, a light from the light of Allah. O you who yearn for the light of his beauty, send blessings and utmost greetings of peace upon him and upon his family and his Companions.

Evidence from Quran al-Karim

In absolute terms intercession belongs to God alone:

39:43-44: "Or choose they intercessors other than Allah? Say: What! Even though they have power over nothing and have no intelligence? Say: the intercession belongs to God."

The right of intercession is actually permitted to whom Allah allows and then is only by His permission:

2:255: "Who should intercede with Him, except by His permission?"

10:4: "There is no intercessor save after His permission."

19:87: "They will have no power of intercession, save him who has made a covenant with his Lord."

43:86: "And those unto whom they cry instead of Him possess no power of intercession, except him who beareth witness unto the truth knowingly."

The intercession of the Prophet Muhammad (s) in his lifetime is explicitly and frequently established:

3:159: "Pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs."

4:64: "And if, when they had wronged themselves, they had but come unto thee and asked forgiveness of Allah, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Forgiving, Merciful."

8:33: "But Allah would not punish them while thou wast with them

9:103: "Pray for them. Lo! thy prayer is an assuagement for them."

24:62: "If they ask thy leave for some affair of theirs, give leave to whom thou wilt of them, and ask for them forgiveness of Allah."

47:19: "Know that there is no god save Allah, and ask forgiveness for thy sin and for believing men and believing women."

The intercession/mediation of the Prophet Muhammad (s) on the Day of Judgment has been established by the consensus of scholars (ijma‘).

17:79: "It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a Praised Station."

93:5: "And verily thy Lord will give unto thee so that thou wilt be content."

23:56 "Surely, Allah and His Angels bless the Prophet (Muhammad); O you who believe! Call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation."

The Intercession of the Generality of the Prophets and Believers

The intercession of the prophets has been established by the verses above, i.e. based on permission, and also because prophets have made a covenant with their Lord (33:7, 3:81) and knowingly bear witness unto the truth. The latter is true also of the elite of the believers (3:18: "Allah, the angels, and the men of learning"). There are also the following verses concerning the prophets’ intercession in their lifetime:

12:97-98: "And they said: O our father! Ask forgiveness of our sins for us for lo! we were sinful. And he [Jacob] said: I shall ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful."

19:47: "He [Abraham] said: Peace unto thee. I shall ask forgiveness of my Lord for thee."

61:4: "Abraham promised his father: I will ask forgiveness for thee, though I owe nothing for thee from Allah."

Angels are permitted to intercede for whomever Allah wills, specifically among the believers:

21:26-28: "And they say: the Beneficent hath taken unto Himself a son... Nay, but honored slaves [angels]... and they cannot intercede except for him whom He accepteth, and they quake for awe of Him."

40:7: "Those who bear the Throne, and all who are round about it... ask forgiveness for those who believe."

42:5: "The angels hymn the praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on the earth."

Evidence from Hadith

The Prophet taught a blind man the following invocation:

"O Allah, I am asking you and turning to you by means of your Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O Muhammad, I am turning by means of you to my Lord regarding my present need so that He will fulfill it; O Allah, allow him to intercede (with You) for me!" It is related by Tirmidhi (Book of Da`awat Ch. 119), and many others and is of grade sahih.

The Prophet said:

"My life is a great good for you, you will relate about me and it will be related to you, and my death is a great good for you, your actions will be presented to me (in my grave) and if I see goodness I will praise Allah, and if see other than that I will ask forgiveness of Him for you." [sahih from Al-Bazzar, also narrated by Qadi Iyad Ash-Shifa` 1:56, Musnad Ibn Abi Usama]

Evidence of the Scholars

Ibn Taymiyya said:

"It is agreed between the Sahaba, and the Tabi’een and the Four Imams Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanafi and Hanbali, that the Prophet (saws) will intercede for the sinners of his Ummah." [Al-qaida al-jaleela fit- tawwasali wal-waseela, page 12]

Earlier Ibn Taymiyya states:

"the Prophet (saws) is the intercessor of all creation [shafi’a al-khala’iq] and the owner of the Maqaam al-Mahmoud, that was the aspiration those who came before and those who came after, and he is the greatest of intercessors [shufa’a] and the highest in glory and superiority in Allah’s Presence." [Al-qaida, p. 4]

Ibn Taymiyya also said:

"Muslims agreed that the Prophet (saws) is the greatest of creation, the highest in rank and superiority and the most glorified and honored in the presence of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and no other creation is better to Allah than the Prophet (saws) and no other intercession is greater than his intercession. [Al-qaida, p. 6]

Peace and Blessings on the Best of Creation Sayiddina Muhammad (s)


Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani



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