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Shafa’ah: Intercession

A believer knows well and is fully convinced that on the Day of Judgment the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) will intercede to God on behalf of his followers. This intercession will be of the highest order. This is what has been described as the “praiseworthy status’ in the holy Quran in these words:

عَسَى أَنْ يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَاماً مَحْمُوداً(79) (الإسراء: 79)

(Translation of meaning) [“. . . It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised estate” (Al-Isra: 79)].

On the Day of Resurrection every community will go to its own apostle seeking intercession. Each apostle will refer them to the apostle succeeding him. Ultimately people will approach the last apostle Hadrat Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). He will then prostrate beneath the Divine Throne and intercede on behalf of the believers. The gist of the related tradition is that on the Day of Resurrection the sun will be lying very low. The people will be drowned in sweat up to their ears. In this condition they will go to Hadrat Adam (Alaihis Salam) for intercession. He will express his inability to do so. Then they will approach Hadrat Musa (Alaihis Salam) who will give the same reply. Ultimately they will approach Hadrat Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) who will intercede on their behalf. On the same day Allah will install him on the praiseworthy status which He had promised him. That day all beings will praise Allah (Bukhari).

On the Day of Judgment, God will accept the intercession of the Apostles, savants and the martyrs. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

يَشْفَعُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ثَلَاثَةٌ: الْأَنْبِيَاءُ، ثُمَّ الْعُلَمَاءُ، ثُمَّ الشُّهَدَاءُ ” (ابن ماجة)

(Translation of meaning) On the Day of Resurrection three will intercede: The Apostles, then the theologians, then the martyrs (Ibn Majah). Allah has proclaimed:

يَوْمَئِذٍ لا تَنفَعُ الشَّفَاعَةُ إِلاَّ مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَنُ وَرَضِيَ لَهُ قَوْلاً(109) (طه : 109)

(Translation of meaning) [“That nobody’s intercession will benefit except that of one whom the Beneficent allows and whose words He accepts” (Taha: 109)].

Describing the reward of a martyr [shaheed] the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

يُغْفَرُ لَهُ فِي أَوَّلِ دُفْعَةٍ مِنْ دَمِهِ، وَيَرَى مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ، وَيُزَوَّجُ مِنَ الْحُورِ الْعِينِ، وَيُشَفَّعُ فِي سَبْعِينَ إِنْسَانًا مِنْ أَقَارِبِهِ ” (الطبراني)

(Translation of meaning)  As soon as his blood flows Allah forgives all his sins and he is shown his dwelling in the paradise. He is married with the hurries. And he will become entitled to intercede on behalf of seventy of his relatives (At-Tabrani).  According to another tradition, the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said

«إِنَّ مِنْ أُمَّتِي مَنْ يَشْفَعُ لِلْفِئَامِ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَشْفَعُ لِلْقَبِيلَةِ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَشْفَعُ لِلْعَصَبَةِ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَشْفَعُ لِلرَّجُلِ حَتَّى يَدْخُلُوا الجَنَّةَ»

(Translation of meaning)  There are in my community [ummah] people who will intercede on behalf of a whole lot of people, some who will intercede on behalf of a tribe, and some who will intercede on behalf of a group and some who will intercede for a few people, till they all enter the Garden (Tirmidhi).

According to another tradition, the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

« الْقُرْآنُ وَالصِّيَامُ يَشْفَعَانِ لِلْعَبْدِ، يَقُولُ الصِّيَامُ: رَبِّ إِنِّي مَنَعْتُهُ الطَّعَامَ وَالشَّهَوَاتِ بِالنَّهَارِ فَشَفِّعْنِي فِيهِ، وَيَقُولُ الْقُرْآنُ: رَبِّ مَنَعْتُهُ النَّوْمَ بِاللَّيْلِ فَشَفِّعْنِي فِيهِ، فَيُشَفَّعَانِ » (أحمد)

(Translation of meaning)  On the Day of Judgment the fast [saum] and the holy Quran both will intercede on behalf of the fasters and the reciters of the holy Quran. The fast will say: O my God I prevented him from eating and drinking and indulging in bodily pleasures. Please accept my intercession on his behalf. The Quran will say: O my God I prevented him from sleeping in the night. Please accept my intercession on his behalf. Allah will accept the intercessions of both (Ahmad).

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