Intercession in Islam

January 8, 2008

Intercession in the Hereafter is real and it will occur.  However, as Muslims, we cannot pray to or make dua to other than Allah for the basis of Islam is tawheed and the oneness of Allah as the Holy Quran states, “And who is more astray than one who calls on (invokes) besides Allâh, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them? And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 46:5-6).

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) does have a special type of intercession on the Day of Judgment.  Rasoolullah (SAW) will intercede for the Hisaab (reckoning) to begin on the Day of Judgment.  Rasoolullah (SAW) also has a special intercession for those who live in Madinah and die there as well as for his non-Muslim uncle, Abu Talib (who will still reside in Hell-Fire forever but in a lesser severity).

So, who are the intercessors on the Day of Judgment?  They include Allah (the Most Merciful), Rasoolullah (SAW), the Messengers, the Angels, the martyrs, children who passed away, the believers to one another, and the Holy Quran.  Allah’s Mercy will allow people who have only a mustard seed amount’s worth of Eeman to be saved from the Hell-Fire.

What are the types of intercession?  They include the type for people to get out of Hell-Fire once they are in Hell, for people to be saved from the Fire before they are thrown into it (i.e. Surat Tabarrak intercedes for this), for people to have their punishment reduced (in severity or time), to allow people to enter Jannah, and to raise the level for people in paradise once they are already there.

Now that we have covered the types of intercession, one may be inclined to ask about the intercession from grave-worshipping that occurs throughout some parts of the Muslim world.  However, it must be noted that grave-worshipping is strictly prohibited in Islam as Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “May Allah curse the Jews and the Christians, for they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship” (narrated by Bukhari and Muslim). 

Some people claim that they ask these ‘saints’ because these saints are better people than themselves and closer to Allah.  Even if this may be true, it is pointless of one to make dua to this saint as Allah will reward this saint for his deeds and not the person making dua to him for his deeds.  Allah will not call on one’s prayer more if he makes his prayer directed to a righteous saint.  Instead, we should strive to be better believers and we should ourselves make dua sincerely to Allah (SWT).  One must follow the Quran and Sunnah in all which one does.

Finally, what are the conditions for intercession?  Firstly, Allah (SWT) must approve the one for whom intercession is made as the Quran states, “and they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 21:28).  Abu Hurayrah narrates in a longer hadith in which Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “The people who will be most blessed by my intercession on the Day of Resurrection are those who say Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah sincerely from the heart” (narrated by Bukhari).  Secondly, Allah (SWT) must allow the intercessor to intercede as the Quran states, “Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission?” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 2:255).  Furthermore, Allah (SWT) can decide to accept (or reject) the intercession as the Holy Quran states, “…whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allaah has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 53:26). 

In closing, consider the words of Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid (of IslamQA):

it is clear to every fair-minded person that the correct kind of intercession is intercession that depends on the permission and approval of Allaah, because all intercession belongs to Him. That also includes asking for intercession from living people who are able to do that concerning worldly matters, for which Allaah has granted permission. It should be pointed out here that this kind of intercession is permitted because Allaah has given permission for it, since it involves no kind of emotional attachment to the person, rather the point is that it is a means, like all other means which Islam permits us to use. The kind of intercession which is forbidden is asking someone other than Allaah to do something that no one is able to do except Allaah, because intercession belongs to no one besides Allaah, and no one can do it unless Allaah grants him leave and approves of him. So whoever seeks intercession from anyone else has transgressed upon the exclusive preserve of Allaah and has wronged himself, and has exposed himself to being deprived of the intercession of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on the Day of Resurrection. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound, and we ask Him to cause our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to intercede for us … Ameen.

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2 Responses to “Intercession in Islam”

  1. amal Says:

    I didnt get to read the rest of the post , but I am assuming you know your tawheed !, even on the day of judgment interceddion is by the phrophet swa is given permission , so all those out their who think they can ask intercession in the dunya are ignorant .

    may allah make us know our deen better , or how about the meaning of our existence ameen |:)


  2. assalamu alaykum,
    definitely, i agree. i guess the basis of my post was if we want the prophet (saw) to intercede on our behalf, we should never make dua to him, rather we should follow the Quran and Sunnah in all that we do and perhaps make dua to Allah to allow the Prophet (saw) to intercede on our behalf on the Day of Judgment


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