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Intercession on the day of judgement

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Question

Kindly explain to me the concept of intercession from Quran and authentic Ahadith as i keep hearing diversified views on the subject which give me an impression that no matter how sinful,immoral,wicked or even serial killer a muslim is, since he has recited the kalima, prophet Muhammad(pbuh) will intercede for him on the day of judgement and he will enter paradise.This concept is weakening my faith.Need your urgent help.

Regards

Answer

An important argument supporting the claim that Muslims are eventually going to enter the paradise without doubt is the understanding that the prophet alaihissalam will intercede for (do shafa’at) for Muslims before God on judgment day which will enable them to enter the paradise despite their undeserving worldly performance.

Perhaps the clearest statement about intercession has been made in the Qur’an in the following verse which is addressing the Jews who on account of being the children of prophets believed that they will be saved from the punishment of the next life because of the intercession of their ancestors: “Guard yourselves against the day on which no soul shall be able to rescue another, no intercession shall be accepted on their behalf, no ransom shall be taken for them and no help shall be given.” (2:48) This verse with slight modification has been repeated twice in the surah, once addressing the Jews again and once addressing Muslims (2: 123; 2: 254) These verses are announcing most clearly that no help from anyone shall be entertained to help an undeserving individual to be rescued from punishment.

However, the Qur’an does indicate some possibility of intercession in the famous verse that is known as Ayatul Kursi (the verse of the throne): “…Who can intercede with Him without His permission?” (2:255) Obviously, there can be no conflict in one passage of the Qur’an with another. The Qur’an claims one of the reasons why it needs to be acknowledged that it is God’s word is the fact that there are no contradictions in it. (4: 82) It needs to be understood as to what is meant by the fact that there shall be no intercession on Judgment Day at all (2:48, 2:123, 2: 254) and that there is going to be some intercession (2: 255).

There is another relevant passage of the Qur’an that clarifies that on Judgment Day God is not going to allow anyone to speak. If at all anyone shall be permitted, he will speak only the truth: “…On that Day, the Spirit (Gabriel) and the angels shall stand in their ranks; none shall speak except the one to whom the Compassionate (God) shall grant permission to speak, and he will speak what is right.” (78:38) Likewise, the Qur’an clarifies that intercession will benefit on that day only the one whom God will choose to be allowed to benefit: “No intercession before God can avail anyone except for the one for whom He permits.” (34:23)

Keeping the above explanation of the Qur’an in view, the following pictures seems to emerge: There will be many people who will deserve to succeed in the hereafter because of their good performance. Many others will deserve to be doomed for failure because of their poor performance. There will be some who even though won’t qualify to succeed clearly but they won’t be clearly failing either: They will be on the margin. God, out of His mercy, shall decide for them to also succeed through the process of intercession. He will allow some outstanding human beings to intercede for such people. This will give such chosen people(Prophet Muhammad sws being one of them) a very special position of privilege before the entire humanity. Since this intercession will be allowed in favour of those who will be on the margin and therefore would deserve God’s mercy, such intercession would not negate the basic principle mentioned in verses 2:48, 123, & 254 that there shall be no intercession on the Judgment Day. The negation of intercession in these verses is for the people who wouldn’t deserve to be interceded for.

The ahadith of the prophet, alaihissalam, also mention the same fact:

Abdullah narrates: The Prophet(pbuh) said, “I will be your predecessor at the Lake-Fount (Kauthar) and some men amongst you will be brought to me, and when I will try to hand them some water, they will be pulled away from me by force whereupon I will say, ‘O Lord, my companions!’ The Almighty will say, ‘You do not know what they did after you left, they introduced new things into the religion after you.’” (Bukhari)

 

Anas narrates: “The prophet(pbuh) I will raise my head and praise God with a saying (i.e. invocation) He will teach me, and then I will intercede. He will fix a limit for me (to intercede for) whom I will admit into the paradise. Then I will come back again to God, and when I see my Lord, the same thing will happen to me. And then I will intercede and God will fix a limit for me to intercede whom I will let into the paradise, then I will come back for the third time; and then I will come back for the fourth time, and will say, ‘None remains in Hell but those whom the Quran has imprisoned (in Hell) and who have been destined to an eternal stay in Hell.'” (Bukhari)

 

The prophet, alaihissalam, said, “(On the Day of Resurrection) camels will come to their owner in the best state of health they have ever had (in the world), and if he had not paid their Zakat (in the world) then they would tread him with their feet; and similarly, sheep will come to their owner in the best state of health they have ever had in the world, and if he had not paid their Zakat, then they would tread him with their hooves and would butt him with their horns.” The prophet, alaihissalam, added, “One of their rights is that they should be milked while water is kept in front of them.” The prophet added, “I do not want anyone of you to come to me on the Day of Resurrection, carrying over his neck a sheep that will be bleating. Such a person will (then) say, ‘O Muhammad! (please intercede for me.)’  I will say to him. ‘I can’t help you, for I conveyed God’s Message to you.’ Similarly, I do not want anyone of you to come to me carrying over his neck a camel that will be grunting. Such a person (then) will say ‘O Muhammad! (please intercede for me).’ I will say to him, ‘I can’t help you for I conveyed God’s message to you.’ ” (Bukhari)

Regards

UIUK team

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