Intercession According to the Qur’an

The ceiling of the back chamber of Sultan Hassan Mosque during daylight
The verse most often quoted regarding intercession - by Aymanrefaat09 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

This article was contributed by Worldwide Quran Thinkers. Visit their site for quran-bil-quran explanations of Quranic words and concepts.

General Traditional Concept

As per the general understanding and belief of most Muslims, Nabiy Mohammad will intercede on their behalf – in light of Ayahs 20:109, 21:28 and Ayah 53:26 – that say that it is allowed for whom Allah has given permission.

The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia depicting the general misconceptions among Muslims.

“Shafa’ah (Arabic: شفاعه, “intercession”) in Islam is the act of pleading to God by an intimate friend of God (a Muslim saint) for forgiveness of a believing sinner. The prestige of the intercessor strengthens the otherwise weak plea of the sinner. Popular belief among Muslims is that “all but the most sinful” Muslims will be saved by Muḥammad’s intercession and God’s mercy at “the final time”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shafa%27a

What Does The Qur’an Say?

Since there cannot be any contradiction in the Qur’an i.e. one Ayah can never contradict another, the Qur’an tells us clearly with respect to the day of judgement and accountability that there will be no intercession at that point in time. The Qur’an also tells us specifically and clearly through multiple ayaat that on the day of resurrection “there is no bargaining, neither any friendship nor intercession“.

Please refer to the following Ayahs

  • “The day when one Nafs (soul) shall not avail another in the least; neither shall intercession on its behalf be accepted” (Ayah.2:48)
  • When “there shall be no saviour for you from Allãh” (Ayah 40:33)
  • The day when it is said, no one but Allãh can harm people nor profit them (Ayah 10:18).

All of these and many other aayat (verses) specifically talk about the day of judgement and accountability wherein no one can intercede and no one can benefit or harm another except Allah.

The ayah mostly quoted for instance Ayah 21:28 DOES NOT talk about the day of accountability or resurrection but is talking about the temporary life here on earth, where we tend to get help and support from all around us. So when Allah says in Ayah 21:28 that “Allah knows what is before them and what will be after them, and they cannot Yashfaun (support or help another) except for what Allah artadha (permitted and allowed)…” is not a reference to the day of judgement or accountability at all, but basically the ayah is talking about the temporary life here in this earth.

For the purpose of accountability on the day of judgement and resurrection, Allah tells us there is no intercession help or support possible that day.

Similarly ayah 53:26 is also not talking about the day of resurrection but Allah’s created and set in motion natural laws of the space and the skies as applicable during this temporary life here on earth. This Ayah has Nothing to do with the concept of accountability and resurrection.

Ayah 20:109, however, does talk about the day of judgement and resurrection but the concept of adhan lahu refers to Allah’s proclamation and announcement as applicable w.r.t. Allah’s Kitaab and message. Hence the only thing that would be of help at the time would be with Allah’s proclamation i.e. Allah’s Kitaab and Message.

Intercession as per Qur’an

There is no concept of intercession by anyone as per the Qur’an at the time of accountability. It will be recompense and justice at its best. When Nabiy Ibrahim couldn’t save his own father, when Nabiy Nuh couldn’t save his own child — why are Muslims have this wishful thinking that our Nabiy would be able to save us from hellfire, if the perfect recompense based on our actions earn us the due right to be in hell?

Time and again Allah tells us in the Qur’an that it’s going to be recompense as per justice at its best, based on our scales of justice whereby not even an atom weight of deed will be left unaccounted for. Why then do we want to be in this state of wishful thinking and not focus on our deeds, the earnings that we should send forth for our Akhira, the hereafter?

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