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Intercession on Judgment Day (part 1 of 2)

Description: First of two lessons that discusses the Islamic concept of ‘intercession.’

By Imam Kamil Mufti (© 2015 NewMuslims.com)

Published on 13 Oct 2015 - Last modified on 01 Aug 2016

Printed: 25 - Emailed: 0 - Viewed: 2074 (daily average: 4)

Category: Lessons > Islamic Beliefs > Hereafter


Objectives

·       To understand the meaning of intercession.

·       To understand the types of intercession on the Day of Judgement.

·       To understand the four types of intercession specific to the Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, and three types of intercession granted to Prophet Muhammad and others.

Arabic Terms

·       Shariah – Islamic Law.

·       Sunnah - The word Sunnah has several meanings depending on the area of study however the meaning is generally accepted to be, whatever was reported that the Prophet said, did, or approved.

·       Ummah - Refers to the whole Muslim community, irrespective of color, race, language or nationality.

·       Hadith -  (plural – ahadith) is a piece of information or a story. In Islam it is a narrative record of the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad and his companions.

·       Hajj – A pilgrimage to Mecca where the pilgrim performs a set of rituals.  The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, which every adult Muslim must undertake at least once in their life if they can afford it and are physically able.

Meaning

In the simplest of words, “intercession” means to act as a mediator on behalf of someone to get them some benefit or ward off harm from them.

Intercession on the Day of Resurrection is of two types:

1.     Accepted Intercession: This is intercession which is proven in the texts of Shariah. More details will be given below.

2.     Rejected Intercession: This is intercession which according to the texts of the Quran and Sunnah is invalid and ineffective as will be explained in Part 2.

There are two types of Accepted Intercession that will take place in the Hereafter:

A. Intercession Exclusive to the Prophet

The first type is an exclusive intercession that which will be granted only to Prophet Muhammad and no one else will share it with him. It is of various kinds:

1.     The Greatest Intercession also known as maqam-mahmood or the ‘station of praise and glory.’ The earlier and later generations will ask the Prophet to intercede for them with their Lord so that He might relieve them of the horrors of the Day of Judgement. This is the ‘station of praise and glory’ which Allah has promised to him in the Quran:

“And in some parts of the night (also) offer the prayer with it (i.e. recite the Quran in the prayer) as an additional prayer for you (O Muhammad). It may be that your Lord will raise you to maqam-mahmood.” (Quran 17:79)

The Prophet Muhammad will intercede for all of mankind so that the reckoning can begin. In a narration it states that mankind will be distressed and anxious and will reach a point where they can no longer bear the lengthy wait and will say, “Who will intercede for us with our Lord so that He will pass judgement among His slaves?”  So people will come to the prophets, each of whom will say, “I am not suitable for this position,” until they come to our Prophet, who will say, “I am able to do it.” So he will intercede for them that judgement may be passed.

This intercession belongs exclusively to the Prophet Muhammad.

There are many other reports that speak of this intercession: “The people will fall on their knees on the Day of Resurrection, each nation following its prophet, saying, ‘O So and so, intercede!’ until intercession is granted to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). On that Day Allah will resurrect him to a station of praise and glory.”[1]

2.     Intercession of the Prophet Muhammad that the believers be granted permission to enter Paradise.

The Messenger of Allah said: “I will come to the gate of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection and will ask for it to be opened. The gatekeeper will say, ‘Who are you?’ I will say, ‘Muhammad.’ He will say, ‘I was commanded not to open it for anyone before you.’”[2]

According to another report narrated by Muslim, “I will be the first one to intercede concerning Paradise.”

3.     Intercession of Prophet Muhammad for his paternal uncle Abu Talib, so that the torment of the Fire be reduced for him. This applies only in the case of the Prophet and his paternal uncle Abu Talib.

Once, Abu Talib was mentioned in the presence of the Messenger of Allah. He said, “Perhaps my intercession will benefit him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be placed in a shallow part of the Fire which will come up to his ankles and cause his brain to boil.”[3]

4.     Intercession that some people of his Ummah may enter Paradise without being brought to account.

This kind of intercession was mentioned by some of the scholars, who quoted as evidence the lengthy hadith which states:

“Then it will be said, ‘O Muhammad, raise you head; ask, it will be given to you; intercede, your intercession will be accepted.’ So I will raise my head and say, ‘My Ummah, O Lord; my Ummah, O Lord; my Ummah, O Lord.’ It will be said, ‘Admit those among your Ummah who are  not to be brought to account through the right-hand gate of Paradise. They will share the other gates with the people of other nations.’”[4]

B. General Intercession

Another type of intercession for those who committed sins will be granted to Prophet Muhammad and other prophets, as well as to angels, martyrs, scholars and righteous people. Even a man’s good deeds may also intercede for him. But the Prophet Muhammad will have the greatest share of intercession.

It is of various kinds:

1.     Intercession for believers, who committed major sins, to be taken out of Hell.

The Messenger of Allah said: “My intercession will be for those among my Ummah who committed major sins.”[5]

“By the One in Whose hand is my soul, none of you can be more insistent in asking Allah to restore his rights against his opponent than the believers who will ask Allah on the Day of Resurrection (to grant them the power of intercession) for their brothers who are in the Fire. They will say, ‘Our Lord, they used to fast with us and pray and perform Hajj.’ It will be said to them, ‘Bring out those whom you recognize, so the Fire will be forbidden to burn them.’ So they will bring out many people…and Allah will say: ‘The angels have interceded, the prophets have interceded, and the believers have interceded. There is no intercession remaining save that which belongs to the Most Merciful.’ Then He will seize a handful of the inhabitants of Hell who never did anything good.”[6]

2.     Intercession for people who deserve Hell, that they may not enter it.

The Prophet said: “When any Muslim dies and forty men, who associate nothing with Allah, pray the funeral prayer for him, Allah will accept their intercession for him.”[7]

This intercession happens before the deceased enters Hell as Allah accepts their intercession.

3.     Intercession for some believers who deserve Paradise for their status to be raised in Paradise. For example, the Prophet prayed for Abu Salamah: “O Allah, forgive Abu Salamah and raise his status among those who are guided, and take good care of his family that he has left behind. Forgive us and him, O Lord of the Worlds, make his grave spacious for him and illuminate it for him.”[8]

 



Footnotes:

[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

[2] Saheeh Muslim

[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

[4] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

[5] Tirmidhi

[6] Saheeh Muslim

[7] Saheeh Muslim

[8] Saheeh Muslim

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