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SWEETSWORDS 94 [ Timeless Miladun Nabi ]


SWEETSWORDS 94 [ Timeless Miladun Nabi ]

BISMILLAH

Poga Humayun Dundiwala

Before the time before the space
God existed with is grace
He existed in timeless aeon
He existed in space less dominion

Before the time before the space
God existed at his place
He existed to bear the existence
He existed to exhibit his dominance

Before the time before the scope
Before the expectation before the hope
God existed as the self sufficient
God existed as the self dominant

Poga Say's in a Foolington Maze

When there was only water
Above that was the throne of the creator
That too encompassed by his grace
All the time all the space
Water was if a tear drop
The organic food for the spiritual crop

When there was only water
Above that was the throne of the creator
That too was encompassed by his might
All the hearing all the sight
Water was if a drop of ink
The organic fluid for the spiritual link

When there was only water
Above that was the throne of the creator
That too was encompassed by his being
All the matter all the thing
Water was if a drop of cry
The organic Saying for the spiritual eye

Dirty Water Say's oh clean WODU
You are the menifest Majeja and i am the hidden JADU
I read Arabic AL QURAN in Bengali lingo
Because i am the dirty ADAM with the impure angha
Arabic is pure QURANIC language whose purity is lost in the translation
Similarly a Man is pure but his purity is lost by the momentary manure or by the monthly mensuration
It is from the pure state we become the Man filthy and dirty
Similarly just as every baby is born Muslim politician then converts to his fathers KAFFIR party
From them who grows to learn about the personal hygiene
They from the impure KUFFAR state reverts to pure ISLAM and become the true MUMIN
But many baby's are born in namesake MUSLIM family
Who are MUSLIM because they love the holy cow and abhor the unholy swine and are called Omar Osman and Ali
Dirty Water Say's oh clean WODU
When i read Arabic AL QURAN i become the pure MULLAH but when i read the Bengali translation i remain the Nanga Shadu



Mr Barzakh Fitrath Ullah : Our prophet is Hayatun Nabi our prophet is alive
Therefore we celebrate Miladun Nabi Knowing he is the immortal light the Nurullah what will forever survive
We say Ya Nabi Salalm Alaika knowing he is the eternal ignotronic crescent
We say Ya Nabi Salam Alaika Knowing He is the immortal forever present
Our prophet is Hayatun Nabi our prophet is alive
We celebrate Miladun Nabi knowing it is the investment what will for ever survive

Mrs Be Aql Khan Usta : Prophet is dead ALLAH is forever present
Therefore it is SHIRK to call Ya Nabi after his interment
We say YA ALLAH because to him belongs all the answer
We say YA ALLAH because to him heeds all the calls in this SANSAR
Now if you are true then show me something what is dead yet alive
And if you can't then stop your Miladun Fitna of Shaytani Zikr and Jinni Jive

Barzakh : GOD cried with NINAAD E MUHAMMAD
MUHAMMAD said Labbayak I am present oh my lord
ALLAH Say's now lets begin the Armageddon
Now lets establish MAKAM E MAHMUD the house of shelter in the world of distraction
There ALLAH said YA MUHAMMAD
And MUHAMMAD said Labbayak i am present oh my lord
And it happens when nothing else is present
Therefore we say Ya Nabi Salam Alaika knowing he is present now and even when everything else will be absent

Be Aql : If they can speak to each other then surly they can see each other too
Yet we know GOD said to MOSES surly my light will burn you and everything with you
Your eye can't see me because it is i who control all the vision
Therefore BARZAKH know ALLAH doesn't hold meeting session with his creature for theirs creation and distraction

Barzakh : ALLAH said to MOSES you can't see me because earth will burn
Therefore ALLAH took MUHAMMAD for heavenly Ascension by invitation of divine Formaan
ALLAH took MUHAMMAD for meeting session beyond the Sidratul Muntaha beyond the last horizon
Then he went further toward the final point
Beyond the Angels whom GOD appoint
In the lower heaven
Beyond the Baitul Mamur of the sky seven
He went further toward the double bow
Toward the ignotronic arc of the Nurani glow
It is the Nurani glow what created the every circumambulating Angels
It is the arc of the circle what created the every heavens and hells
There he saw and prostrated at the feet of the first cubical ARSH with ALLAH the most high
There he saw what his eye did not waver there he saw what is heart did not lie



III.   QUESTIONS ON TAWASSUL

 

 

 

 

Is it true, as some people say, that tawassul or "seeking means" through the Prophet and the awliya', such as seeking their intercession, is not necessary nor a priority in Islam, because Allah says that He is near and answers whoever calls Him directly?

 

            What about the statement in al-Wala' wal-Bara' According to the `Aqeedah of the Salaf that among the "ten actions that negate Islam" is "relying on an intermediary between oneself and Allah when seeking intercession"?

 

            What about Albani's claims that tawassul is not through the person of the Prophet after his time, but through his du`a and only in his lifetime?

 

            And what about those who compare tawassul and asking intercession to the Christian worship of Jesus and the saints, those who reject tabarruk bi al-athar -- getting blessings from the Prophet's relics -- as being outside Islam, and those who put limitations on invoking salawat -- blessings and peace -- on the Prophet?

 



Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, and blessings and peace of Allah upon His Prophet and Messenger Muhammad, his Family and all his Companions. There is not one single act of worship in Islam that is not a tawassul (seeking means to Allah), therefore it is inadmissible to say that tawassul is not an integral and central part of Islam.

 

            Tawassul is the very heart of Islam, and the shahada contains a declaration of belief in tawassul, for one cannot be a Muslim unless one recognizes the messengership and prophethood of Muhammad, blessings and peace upon him, and of all Prophets, although the goal is Allah alone Who said: "I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me" (51:56). Therefore this is seeking an obligatory means to an obligatory end. The pillars of Islam similarly all consist in actions which are means before Allah for one who performs them.

 

            Intercession is the greatest means as it will be only through intercession that the people of the Fire will enter Paradise, and Allah even called Himself "Intercessor" in the verse: "You have not, beside Him, a protecting friend or mediator" (32:4) and in the long hadith narrated by Muslim wherein the Prophet said:

 

Allah will say: "The angels have interceded. The Prophets have interceded. The believers have interceded. There does not remain except the Most Merciful of the merciful ones."[1]

 

            The Prophet also called the Qur'an an intercessor, declared that people were intercessors, and gave as an example the intercession of children for the parents who lost them in their infancy. We ask for the intercession of the dead person every time we pray janaza, when we say: allahumma la tuhrimna ajrahum which means "O Allah, do not prevent their benefit from reaching us." Allah declares that the best people are the Prophets, then those who are absolutely truthful (siddiqin) and these are the great saints, then the martyrs (shuhada), then the righteous (salihin), and the Prophet declared that every person will be making intercession on the Day of Resurrection, but with an order of priority among them, just as Allah gives precedence in this world to those who are closest to Him. All this is a great blessing of Allah to the worlds and the reason why we are greatly blessed on this earth despite our sins. For the earth is never empty of the true worshippers and there is still someone left saying "Allah." If you realize this, you will never harbor doubts about Muslims availing themselves of the blessings and guidance that Allah sends to them in the persons of the anbiya' and awliya'.

 

            Nor do we believe that the friendship with Allah established in nubuwwa and wilaya stops with death. We strenuously reject the heresy of those who claim that the Prophet is dead and gone after delivering his message. Hasha, wa ta`ala Allahu `amma yasifun. He is alive and fed, our greetings reach him, our actions are shown to him, he intercedes for us, and the dust of his grave is the most blessed spot on earth for which no show of love and honor is too great. No-one who has love in their heart approaches it without adab. It is the responsibility of every Muslim to ascertain what is correct from what is wrong, and tawassul is correct, recommended, and one of the greatest means of drawing close to Allah, first and foremost through the Prophet. This is the position of the overwhelming majority of the scholars until our own time, opposed by a handful of dissenters.

 

            Tawassul is not a luxury for the rich, and its validity is not determined by circumstance, analogy, or personal feelings but by solid, known legal proofs and the practice of the righteous early generations. It is not a matter of procedure and scholarship but one of sound belief. Dislike for asking for the Prophet's help displays arrogance against Allah's greatest mercy, dislike for the Prophet, and a diseased heart. May Allah protect us from it at all times, especially in our time which is the time of fear of declaring love for our Prophet and that of rampant disaffection towards him. As for tawassul with the saints, no one can claim that they know Allah better than the Prophet, just as no one can claim that they know the Prophet better than the Friends of Allah. What then is the status of one who would stop seeking their company and asking for their help and guidance?



THE PROOFS FOR INTERCESSION

(SHAFA`A) IN ISLAM

 

 

In Islam every action of a believer is an intercessor, and the Prophet has told us that the Qur'an also will intercede for us on the Day of Resurrection,[2] while he himself is the greatest intercessor other than Allah. The position of the Prophet as the Intercessor between creation and the Creator is illustrated by his position as the one whom Allah consults with regard to his Community. This is established by the following authentic hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad:

 

         Hudhayfa said: The Prophet was absent and he did not come out until we thought that he would never come out anymore. When he did come out, he fell into such a long prostration that we thought that his soul had been taken back during that prostration. When he raised his head he said:

 

My Lord sought my advice (istasharani) concerning my Community, saying: "What shall I do with them?" I said: "What You will, my Lord, they are Your creation and Your servants!" Then He sought my advice again (fa istasharani al-thaniya), and I said to him the same thing, so He said: "We shall not put you to shame concerning your Community, O Muhammad."

 

Then He informed me that the first of my Community to enter Paradise will be seventy thousand, each thousand of whom will have seventy thousand with them [4,900,000,000], and none of them shall incur any accounting.

 

Then He sent me a messenger who said: "Supplicate and it will be answered to you. Ask and it will be given to you." I said to His messenger: "Will my Lord give me whatever I ask for?" He replied: "He did not send me to you except to give you you whatever you ask for."

 

And indeed my Lord has given me whatever I asked for, and I say this without pride: He has forgiven me my sins past or future while I am still alive and walking about; He has granted me that my Community shall not starve, and shall not be overcome. And He has given me al-Kawthar, a river of Paradise which flows into my Pond; and He has given me power and victory over my enemies, and terror running in their ranks at a month's distance from my Community; and He has granted me that I be first among the Prophets to enter Paradise; and He has made spoils of war lawful and good for me and my Community, and He has made lawful much of what He had forbidden those before us, nor did He take us to task for it."

 

            Narrated by Imam Ahmad, and Haythami said in Majma` al-zawa'id (10:68) that its chain was fair (hasan).

 

According to Shari`a even the good action of the greatest apostate intercedes for him and profits him, as established by what is related in Bukhari whereby Abu Lahab freed his slave Thuwayba on the day the Prophet was born and that subsequently his punishment in the grave is diminished every Monday. Scholars have quoted this hadith to highlight the importance of praising the Prophet in that even non-believers benefit from the intercession of their own actions that denote his praise -- even unintentional. Two examples of such scholars are the hafiz of Syria and supporter of Ibn Taymiyya, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al-Qaysi, known as Nasir al-Din al-Dimashqi (777-842) in his several books on the praiseworthiness of Mawlid, among them Jami` al-athar fi mawlid al-nabi al-mukhtar (The compendium of reports concerning the birth of the Chosen Prophet), al-Lafz al-ra'iq fi mawlid khayr al-khala'iq (The shining expressions for the birth of the Best of Creation) and Mawrid al-sadi bi mawlid al-nabi al-hadi (The continuous spring: the birth of the Guiding Prophet) and the hafiz Shams al-Din al-Jazari in his book `Urf al-ta`rif bi al-mawlid al-sharif (The beneficient communication of the Noble Birth of the Prophet).

 

            Another principle of that hadith is that the benefit of intercession takes place before Resurrection.

 

            Whether persons other than the Prophet are intercessors as well the answer is: yes, since the Prophet has explicitly declared it in many sound hadiths which quote below, among them the following:

 

"More people than the collective tribes of Banu Tamim shall enter Paradise due to the intercession of one man from my Community." It was said: "O Messenger of Allah, is it other than you?" He said: "Other than me."[3]

 

            The belief in the Prophet's intercession and that of other than him is obligatory in Islam. It is stated clearly in the `Aqida tahawiyya of Imam al-Tahawi, in Ghazali's al-Iqtisad and the chapter on `aqida in his Ihya', in the works of al-Ash`ari, and even in the `Aqida wasitiyya of Ibn Taymiyya. These intercessors are a mercy from Allah and it is an obligation and an order for mankind to seek out Allah's mercy.

 

            The seeking of intercession has two effects: one is immediate, in increasing the faith of the person and availing him all sorts of benefits in the world; the other is delayed until Resurrection.

 

            About the statement in al-Wala' wa al-bara' that among the "ten actions that negate Islam" is "relying on an intermediary between oneself and Allah when seeking intercession,"[4] then the deceptiveness of the statement is obvious, since the meaning of intercession is intermediary. How can one at the same time seek an intermediary and refrain from relying on him? This would not be the act of a believer but of a duplicitous person. Besides language and logic it is clear in the hadith of the Great Intercession in Bukhari and Muslim that the people will seek intercessors in vain among all the Prophets until they come to the Seal of Prophets seeking to rely upon him for intercession, and he confirms that he is able to fulfill their request. This is one of the matters which the Prophet boasted about in the hadith "I have been given five things..." What then is the import of reducing it to an "action that negates Islam" other than to reduce the status of the Prophet himself and of his intercession?

 

            Allah has created intercession as He has created everything else, out of mercy; He also said: "My Mercy encompasses all things" (7:156). No doubt His greatest Mercy is the Prophet, concerning whom He said: "We did not send you save as a Mercy to the Worlds" (21:107). Belief in the Prophet's intercession is tied to the witnessing to the truth he brought and the recognition by the believers of his right as Allah's greatest Mercy. The angels intercede according to Qur'an, yet the Prophet is nearer to Allah than the nearest among them. No-one will speak on the Day of Judgment except those who have permission, and it is related in authentic hadith that Allah gave permission to the Prophet. The Prophet will not be saying "I and Myself" but will be saying "ummati, ummati (My Community)" and that is intercession which, unless it is reliable, cannot be hoped for nor looked forward to, as the "Salafis" try to suggest.

 

            Allah said in Surat Yunus:

 

Is it a matter of wonderment to men that We have sent Our revelation to a man from among themselves? that he should warn mankind and give the glad tidings to the Believers that they have with their Lord a truthful foothold/forerunner. But the unbelievers say: This is an evident sorcerer. (10:2)

 

            The following is one of the authoritative explanations for the expression "a truthful foothold/forerunner" (qadama sidqin):

 

"A truthful foothold/forerunner": Bukhari in his Sahih [book of Tafsir for Surat Yunus, ch. 1], Tabari in Jami` al-bayan, Qurtubi in al-Jami` li al-ahkam, Ibn `Uyayna in his Tafsir, Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir, Suyuti in al-Durr al-manthur and al-Riyad al-aniqa, Abu al-Fadl al-Maydani in Majma` al-amthal, Abu al-Shaykh, Ibn Mardawayh in his Tafsir, Ibn Abi Hatim in his Tafsir, and others said, on the authority of the Companions: `Ali ibn Abi Talib and Abu Sa`id al-Khudri, and the Tabi`in: al-Hasan, Qatada, Mujahid, Zayd ibn Aslam, Bakkar ibn Malik, and Muqatil: "It is Muhammad, blessings and peace upon him."

 

Qurtubi said: "It is Muhammad sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, for he is an intercessor whom the people obey and who precedes them, just as he said: I will be your scout at the Pond (ana faratukum `ala al-hawd). And he was asked about its meaning and said: It is my intercession, for you to use me as a means to your Lord (hiya shafa`ati tawassaluna bi ila rabbikum)." Ibn Kathir mentioned the latter meaning in his Tafsir (2:406, 4:183) as well as al-Razi in his (8:242).

 

al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi said: "Allah gave him precedence (qaddamahu) with the Praiseworthy Station (al-maqam al-mahmud). Qurtubi mentioned it.

 

Suyuti said: "Ibn Jarir al-Tabari and Abu al-Shaykh narrated that al-Hasan said: It is Muhammad blessings and peace upon him, who is an intercessor for them on the Day of Rising; and Ibn Mardawayh narrated from `Ali ibn Abi Talib through al-Harith and from Abu Sa`id al-Khudri through `Atiyya: It is Muhammad blessings and peace upon him, he is an intercessor in truth on their behalf on the Day of Rising."

 

            Intercession in no way diminishes the fact that everything is under Allah's sovereignty. However, Allah created secondary causes and means, and He has said: "Seek the means to Allah" (5:35). Intercession is but one of those means and not the smallest. The fact that the Prophet said that to utter la ilaha illallah from the heart guaranteed his intercession, implies that there is immense good in his intercession; what would we wish for in addition to the benefit brought by uttering the kalima, if it were not to be prized immensely?

 

            That is why sincere love of the Prophet and of pious people is of a tremendous benefit, as one hopes thereby to be loved back. The Prophet said to the Arab who had prepared nothing for the Final Hour other than love for Allah and His Prophet: yuhshar al-mar' ma` man ahabb, "One is raised in the company of those he loves," and the Companions who were present said this was the happiest day of their lives for hearing this promise.[5] All this implies reliance, and contradicts the assertion of the book al-Wala' wal-Bara' that "relying on an intermediary between oneself and Allah when seeking intercession negates Islam."

 

            The asking of intercession from the intercessor, as the asking of du`a from a pious Muslim, in no way implies that the person who asks believes any good can come apart from Allah. In effect he is asking Allah, but he is using the means that Allah put at his disposal, including the intercession of those who may be closer than himself to Allah. To refuse to believe that other may be closer than us to Allah is the sin of Iblis.

 

            Imam Ghazali said in the section on doctrine of his Ihya':

 

It is obligatory to believe in the intercession of first the prophets, then religious scholars, then martyrs, then other believers, the intercession of each one commensurate with his rank and position with Allah Most High.[6]

 

            A contemporary scholar wrote the following explanation of the meaning of intercession:

 

 

What is the meaning of Intercession?

 

 

al-shafa`a (intercession) is derived from al-shaf` which means "even" as opposed to odd, since the interceder adds his own recommendation to the plea of the petitioner; in this way the number of pleaders becomes even, and the weak plea of the petitioner is strengthened by the prestige of the intercessor. We are accustomed in our social and communal life to seek others' intercession and help for fulfilling our needs.

 

We resort to it to get an advantage or to ward off a disadvantage. Here we are not talking about an advantage or a disadvantage, a benefit or a harm that is caused by natural causes, like hunger and thirst, heat or cold, illness or health; because in such cases we get what we want through natural remedies, like eating and drinking, wearing clothes, getting treatment and so on. What we are talking here about is the benefit and harm, punishment and reward resulting from the social laws made by civil authorities.

 



            From the nature of the relationship of mastership-and-servitude, and for that matter, between every ruler and ruled, rise some commandments, orders and prohibitions; one who follows and obeys them is praised and rewarded, and the one who disobeys is condemned and punished; that reward or punishment may be either material or spiritual. When a master orders his servant to do or not to do a thing, and the servant obeys him he gets its reward; and if he disobeys he is punished. Whenever a rule is made, the punishment for its infringement is laid down too. This is the foundation which all authorities are built upon.

 

            When a man wants to get a material or spiritual benefit but is not suitably qualified for it; or when he desires to ward off a harm which is coming to him because of his disobedience, but has no shield to protect himself, then comes the time for intercession.

 

            In other words, when he wants to get a reward without doing his task, or to save himself from punishment without performing his duty, then he looks for someone to intercede on his behalf. But intercession is effective only if the person for whom one intercedes is otherwise qualified to get the reward and has already established a relationship with the authority. If an ignorant person desires appointment to a prestigious academic post, no intercession can do him any good; nor can it avail in case of a rebellious traitor who shows no remorse for his misdeeds and does not submit to the lawful authorities. It clearly shows that intercession works as a supplement to the cause; it is not an independent cause.

 

            The effect of an intercessor's words depends on one or the other factor which may have some influence upon the concerned authority; in other words, intercession must have a solid ground to stand upon.

 

The intercessor endeavours to find a way to the heart of the authority concerned, in order that the said authority may give the reward to, or waive the punishment of, the person who is the subject of intercession. An intercessor does not ask the master to nullify his mastership or to release the servant from his servitude; nor does he plead with him to refrain from laying down rules and regulations for his servants or to abrogate his commandments (either generally or especially in that one case), in order to save the wrong-doer from the due consequences; nor does he ask him to discard the canon of reward and punishment (either generally or in that particular case). In short, intercession can interfere with neither the institution of mastership and servantship nor the master's authority to lay down the rules; nor can it effect the system of reward and punishment. These three factors are beyond the jurisdiction of intercession.

 

            What an intercessor does is this: he accepts the inviolability of the above mentioned three aspects. Then he looks at one or more of the following factors and builds his intercession on that basis:

 

           He appeals to such attributes of the master as give rise to forgiveness, e.g., his nobility, magnanimity and generosity.

    

           He draws attention to such characteristics of the servant as justify mercy and pardon, e.g., his wretchedness, poverty, low status and misery.

 

           He puts at stake his own prestige and honour in the eyes of the master.

 



            Thus, the import of intercession is like this: I cannot and do not say that you should forget your mastership over your servant or abrogate your commandment or nullify the system of reward and punishment. What I ask of you is to forgive this defaulting servant of yours because you are magnanimous and generous, and because no harm would come to you if you forgive his sins; and/or because your servant is a wretched creature of low status and steeped in misery; and it is befitting of a master like you to ignore the faults of a slave like him; and/or because you have bestowed on me a high prestige, and I implore you to forgive and pardon him in honour of my intercession.

 

            The intercessor, in this way, bestows precedence on the factors of forgiveness and pardon over those of legislation and recompense. He removes the case from the latter's jurisdiction putting it under the former's influence. As a result of this shift, the consequences of legislation (reward and punishment) do not remain applicable. The effect of intercession is, therefore, based on shifting the case from the jurisdiction of reward and punishment to that of pardon and forgiveness; it is not a confrontation between one cause (divine legislation) and the other (intercession).

 

            By now it should be clear that intercession too is one of the causes; it is the intermediate cause that connects a distant cause to its desired effect.

 

            Allah is the ultimate Cause. This causality shows itself in two ways:

 

     First: in creation: every cause begins from Him and ends up to Him; He is the first and the final Cause. He is the real Creator and Originator. All other causes are mere channels to carry His boundless mercy and limitless bounty to His creatures.

  

     Second: in legislation: He, in His mercy, established a contact with His creatures; He laid down the religion, sent down His commandments, and prescribed suitable reward and appropriate punishment for His obedient and disobedient servants; He sent prophets and apostles to bring us good tidings and to warn us of the consequences of transgression. The prophets and apostles conveyed to us His message in the best possible way. Thus His proof over us was complete: "and the word of your Lord has been accomplished with truth and justice, there is none to change His words" (6:115).

 

            Both aspects of causality of Allah may be, and in fact are, related to intercession:

 

1. Intercession in creation: quite obviously the intermediary causes of creation are the conduits that bring the divine mercy, life, sustenance and other bounties to the creatures; and as such they are intercessors between the Creator and the created. Some Qur'anic verses too are based on this very theme: "Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission" (2:255); "Surely your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six periods, and He is firmly established on the throne, regulating the affair; there is no intercessor except after His permission" (10:3).

 

            Intercession in the sphere of creation is only the intermediation of causes between the Creator and the created thing and effect in bringing it into being and regulating its affairs.

 

2. Intercession in legislation: intercession, as analyzed earlier, is effective in this sphere too.

 

It is in this context that Allah says: "On that day shall no intercession avail except of him whom the Beneficent God allows and whose word He is pleased with" (20:109); "And intercession will not avail aught with Him save of him whom He permits" (34:23); "And how many an angel is there in the heavens whose intercession does not avail at all except after Allah has given permission to whom He pleases and chooses" (53:26); "... and they do not intercede except for him whom He approves ..." (21:28); "And those whom they call upon besides Him have no authority for intercession, but he who bears witness of the truth and they know (him)" (43:86).

 

            These verses clearly affirm an intercessory role for various servants of Allah, both men and angels, with divine permission and pleasure. It means that Allah has given them some power and authority in this matter, and to Him belongs all the kingdom and all the affairs. Those intercessors may appeal to Allah's mercy, forgiveness and other relevant attributes to cover and protect a servant who otherwise would have deserved punishment because of his sins and transgressions. That intercession would transfer his case from the general law of recompense to the special domain of grace and mercy (it has already been explained that the effect of intercession is based on shifting a case from the former's to the latter's jurisdiction; it is not a confrontation between one law and the other). Allah clearly says: "... so these are they of whom Allah changes the evil deeds to good ones" (25:70).

 

            Allah has the power to change one type of deed into another, in the same way as He may render an act null and void. He says: "And We will proceed to what they have done of deeds, so We shall render them as scattered floating dust" (25:23); ...  "so He rendered their deeds null" (47:9); "If you avoid the great sins which you are  forbidden, We will expiate from you your sins" (4:31);

"Surely Allah does not forgive that any thing should be associated with Him, and forgives what is besides that to whomsoever He pleases" (4:48).

 

            The last quoted verse is certainly about the cases other than true belief and repentance, because with belief and repentance even polytheism is forgiven, like any other sin. Also Allah may nurture a small deed to make it greater than the original: "These shall be granted their reward twice" (28:54); "Whoever brings a good deed, he shall have ten like it" (6:160). Likewise, He may treat a nonexistent deed as existing: "And (as for) those who believe and their offsping follow them in faith, We will unite with them their offspring and We will not diminish to them aught of their work; every man is responsible for what he has done" (52:21) .

 

            To make a long story short, Allah does what He pleases, and decrees as He wills. Of course, He does so pursuant to His servants' interest, and in accordance with an intermediary cause, and intercession of the intercessors (e.g., the Prophets, the Friends of Allah and those who are nearer to Him) is one of those causes, and certainly no rashness or injustice is entailed therein. It should have been clear by now that intercession, in its true sense, belongs to Allah only; all His attributes are intermediaries between Him and His creatures and are the channels through which His grace, mercy and decrees pass to the creatures; He is the real and all-encompassing intercessor: "Say: Allah's is the intercession altogether" (39:44); ... "you have not besides Him any guardian or any intercessor" (32:4); ...  "there is no guardian for them nor any intercessor besides Him" (6: 51). Intercessors other than Allah only get that right by His permission, by His authority.

 

            In short, intercession with Him is a confirmed reality in all cases where it does not go against the divine glory and honour.[7]



PROOF-TEXTS OF INTERCESSION

IN THE QUR'AN AND HADITH

 

 

1. Linguistic definitions

 

Shafa`a is the Arabic noun for intercession or mediation or asking forgiveness from Allah for someone else. The word is used also in laying a petition before a king,[8] interceding for a debtor,[9] and in judicial procedure:

 

     "Whoso makes a righteous intercession shall partake of the good that ensues therefrom, and whoso makes an evil intercession will bear the consequence thereof" (4:85);

 

     "He who by his intercession invalidates one of Allah's hudud (laws concerning transgressions) is challenging (tahadda) Allah" (Bukhari, Anbiya' ch. 54).

 

            He who makes intercession is called shfi` and shaf`.

 

 

2. Statement of the Doctrine of Intercession in Islam and the Obligations of Belief Therein

 

Hujjat al-Islam Imam Ghazali said:

 

It is obligatory to believe in the intercession of first the prophets, then religious scholars, then martyrs, then other believers, the intercession of each one commensurate with his rank and position with Allah Most High.

 

[Cf. "Allah Himself is witness that there is no God save Him. And the angels and the men of learning too are witness" (3:18) and "Whoso obey Allah and the Messenger, they are with those unto whom Allah has shown favor, of the Prophets and the saints and the martyrs and the righteous. The best of company are they!" (4:69).]

 

            Any believer remaining in hell without intercessor shall be taken out of it by the favor of Allah, no one who believes remaining in it forever, and anyone with an atom's weight of faith in his heart will eventually depart from it.[10]

 

 

3. Proofs of intercession and mediation in the Qur'an

 

In the Holy Qur'an intercession is:

 

a)   negated in relation to the unbelievers,

b)   established categorically as belonging to Allah,

c)   further defined as generally permitted for others than Allah by His permission,

d)   further specified as permitted for the angels on behalf of whomever Allah wills,

e)   explicitly attributed to the Prophet in his lifetime,

f)    alluded to in reference to the Prophet in the afterlife, and

g)   alluded to in reference to the generality of the Prophets and the believers in the afterlife.

 

 

3.a) The Day of Judgment is described as a day on which no intercession will be accepted from the Children of Israel (2:48) or the unbelievers generally speaking (2:254), or the idolaters (10:18, 74:48):

 

- 2:48: "And guard yourselves against a day when no soul will avail another, nor intercession be accepted from it";

 

- 2:254: "O believers, spend of that wherewith We have provided you before a day comes when there will be no trafficking, nor friendship, nor intercession. The disbelievers, they are the wrong-doers."

 

- 10:18: "They worship beside Allah that which neither hurts nor profits them, and they say: These are our intercessors with Allah."

 

- 74:48: "The mediation of no mediators will avail them then."

 

 

3.b) In absolute terms intercession belongs to Allah 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 Allah."

 

 

3.c) A further definition that "intercession belongs to Allah" is that intercession is actually permitted to others than Allah but only by His permission:

 

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

 

- 10:3: "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."

 

 

3.d) 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."

 

 

3.e) The intercession of the Prophet 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."

 

- 4:106-107: "And ask forgiveness of Allah (for others). Allah is ever forgiving, merciful. And plead not on behalf of those who deceive themselves."

 

- 8:33: "But Allah would not punish them while thou wast with them, nor will He punish them while they seek forgiveness."

 

- 9:80, 84: "Ask forgiveness for them (the hypocrites) or ask not forgiveness for them; though thou ask forgiveness for them seventy times Allah will not forgive them... And never pray for one of them who dieth, nor stand by his grave."

 

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

 

- 9:113: "It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters even though they may be near of kin (to them) after it hath become clear that they are people of hell-fire."

 

- 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."

 

- 60:12: "Accept their [believing women's] allegiance and ask Allah to forgive them."

 

- 63:5-6: "And when it is said unto them: Come! The Messenger of Allah will ask forgiveness for you! they [the hypocrites] avert their faces and thou seest them turning away, disdainful.  Whether thou ask forgiveness for them or ask not forgiveness for them, Allah will not forgive them."

 

 

3.f) The intercession and mediation of the Prophet on the Day of

Judgment has been established by the consensus of scholars (ijma`) and is an article of belief in Islam as stated in section 2. The Mu`tazili heresy rejected it, as they held that the man who enters the Fire will remain there forever. The consensus of scholars is based on the principle of permission (see the verses in section 3.c above), on the allusive verses in the present section, and on the more explicit hadiths quoted further below:

 

- 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."

 

 

3.g) The intercession of the generality of the Prophets as well as the believers has similarly been established by the verses of sections 3.c and 3.e above, i.e. based on permission, and also because Prophets have made a covenant with their Lord (33:7, 3:81) and do bear witness unto the truth knowingly. 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. He is the forgiving, the merciful."

 

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

 

- 60:4: "Abraham promised his father: I will ask forgiveness for thee, though I owe nothing for thee from Allah."

 

            There are also the following verses concerning the believers' intercession in their lifetime:

 

- 9:113: "It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters even though they may be near of kin (to them) after it has become clear that they are people of hellfire."

 

- 59:10: "And those who came after them say: Our Lord! forgive us and forgive our believing brothers who lived before us."

 

 

4. Proofs of intercession/mediation in the hadith

 

In the hadith the power of intercession is emphasized as given:

 

a)   to the Prophet exclusively of other prophets;

b)   to special members of the Prophet's Community, such as saints and scholars;

c)   to the common believers of the Prophet's Community.

 

 

4.a) Intercession of the Prophet:

 

 

4.a.1) In his lifetime for those who passed away:

 

- All the authentic traditions concerning the Prophet's prayer and takbir over the graves of the believers.

 

- Muslim (jana'iz): Abu Hurayra narrates that a dark-complexioned woman or young man used to sweep the mosque. When that person died, no-one told the Prophet until he enquired about it and then went to pray over the grave. He remarked: "Verily, these graves are full of darkness for their dwellers. Verily, Allah Mighty and Glorious illumines them for their occupants by reason of my prayer for them."

 

- Muslim (jana'iz): `Awf ibn Malik said that after he heard the words of the Prophet's prayer over a dead person, he earnestly desired that he were that dead person.

 

- Muslim (jana'iz): Muhammad ibn Qays narrates from `A'isha that the Prophet on every night that he was with her used to quietly get dressed and leave at the end of the night, and she once followed him surreptitiously until he reached Baqi` [the graveyard of the believers] where he prayed for the dead. Later he told her that Jibril had come to him and said: "Your Lord has commanded you to go to the inhabitants of Baqi` and beg forgiveness for them."

 

 

4.a.2) In the afterlife:

 

- al-Daraqutni, al-Dulabi, al-Bayhaqi, Khatib al-Baghdadi, al-`Uqayli, Ibn `Adi, Tabarani, and Ibn Khuzayma in his Sahih, all through various chains going back to Musa ibn Hilal al-`Abdi from `Ubayd Allah Ibn `Umar, both from Nafi`, from Ibn `Umar: "Whoever visits my grave, my intercession will be guaranteed for him."

 

            Ibn Hajar al-Haytami said in his commentary on Nawawi's Idah fi manasik al-hajj:

 

Ibn Khuzayma narrated it in his Sahih but alluded to its weakness. Ibn al-Kharrat and Taqi al-Subki declared it sound (sahih). Daraqutni and Tabarani also narrate it with the wording: "Whoever visits me with no other need than visiting me, it is my duty to be his intercessor on the Day of Judgment." One version has: "It is Allah's duty that I be his intercessor on the Day of Judgment." Ibn al-Subki declared it sound.

 

            Although declaring all the chains of this hadith imperfect (layyina), Dhahabi nevertheless said that they strengthened each other and declared the chain jayyid (good) as narrated, in Mizan al-i`tidal, (4:226): That is, the hadith is hasan. Sakhawi confirmed him in the Maqasid al-hasana, while al-Subki declared it sahih in Shifa' al-siqam (p. 12-13) and Samhudi in Sa`adat al-darayn (1:77). Imam Lucknawi in al-Ajwiba al-fadila (p. 155) said: "And this [declaring it authentic] until today is the custom of the people who have reached mastery of this science."

 

About Musa ibn Hilal, Dhahabi in his Mizan (3:220) said: "Huwa salih al-hadith" which means: "He is good enough in his narrations." Ibn `Adi said in al-Kamil fi al-du`afa" (6:2350): "He (Musa ibn Hilal) is most likely acceptable; other people have called him unknown (majhul) and this is not true... He is one of the shuyukhs of Imam Ahmad and most of them are trustworthy." Lucknawi said in al-Raf` wa al-takmil (p. 248-249): "Abu Hatim [al-Razi]'s saying whereby Musa ibn Hilal is unknown is rejected, because it is established that those who are trustworthy narrated hadith from him." Even Albani declared him thabit al-riwaya (of established reliability) in his Irwa' (4:338).

 

About `Ubayd Allah ibn `Umar al-`Umari: Dhahabi calls him saduq hasan al-hadith (truthful, of fair narrations) in al-Mughni (1:348); Sakhawi says of him salih al-hadith (his narrations are good enough) in al-Tuhfa al-latifa (3:366); Ibn Ma`in said to Darimi about him: salih thiqa (good enough and trustworthy) in al-Kamil (4:1459).

 

            al-Lucknawi also said about this hadith in his book Zafr al-amani (p.422): "There are some who declared it weak, and others who asserted that all the hadiths on visitation of the Prophet are forged, such as Ibn Taymiyya and his followers, but both positions are false for those who were given right understanding, for verification of the case dictates that the hadith is hasan, as Taqi al-Din al-Subki has expounded in his book Shifa' al-siqam fi ziyarat khayr al-anam."

 

Among those who fall into the category of "Ibn Taymiyya and his followers" on this issue: Ibn `Abd al-Hadi who wrote al-Sarim al-munki in an attempt to refute Subki's book Shifa' al-siqam on the great merit of visiting the Prophet; the Saudi author Bin Baz who said: "the ahadith that  concern the desirability of visiting the grave of the Prophet are all weak, indeed forged" (kulluha da`ifa bal mawdu`a) in the 1993 edition of Fath al-bari (3:387); Nasir al-Din Albani, who claimed that the visit to the Prophet ranks among the innovations in Talkhis ahkam al-jana'iz (p. 110) and elsewhere in his writings; and Nasir al-Jadya`, who in 1993 obtained his Ph.D. with First Honors from the University of Muhammad ibn Sa`ud after writing a 600-page book entitled al-Tabarruk in which he perpetuates the same claim (p. 322). One will find such books printed and distributed far and wide, while the classical books of Ahl al-Sunna are deliberately ignored and made unavailable to Muslims at large.

 

            Despite the claims of Wahhabis and "Salafis," the hadith "Whoever visits my grave is guaranteed my intercession" is one of the proof-texts adduced by the ulama of Islam to derive the obligation or recommendation of visiting the Prophet's grave and seeking him as wasila (intermediary/means), as will be seen further down, in the chapter on visiting the

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