Posted by: mjaga | March 16, 2011

Intercession

Qur’aanic Verse 2.48:

2.48

Transliteration:

48. Waittaqoo yawman la tajzee nafsun AAan nafsin shay-an wala yuqbalu minha shafaAAatun wala yu/khathu minha AAadlun wala hum yunsaroona

Translation:

48. And fear that Day when none can be of any avail on anything to another, when no intercession will be accepted from anyone nor any ransom taken, and when they will be given no help!53

Study Note:

53. This is a divine statement, made quite categorically. In defiance thereof, however, almost the entire Christendom and the majority of the Muslims cling to their futile fond hopes that Jesus and Muhammad (may peace be upon them both) shall ransom their sinning souls out, with their – the two Messengers’ – respective powers(?) of intercesssion!

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Mohammad Shafi

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Responses

  1. Dear Br Shafi,

    Some verses seem to imply that none can intercede save without Allah’s premission. Does that not create hope for intercession? I think we need to revisit the meaning of Shafa’at. What does it mean? A sifarishi or a witness?

    Thanks.

    • Shafaa’at in Arabic means intercession, mediation. In the context of the Judgment Day in the Hereafter, Verse 2.48, as also Verse 2.254, categorically says that there shall be no intercession, mediation. In view of this categorical divine statement, where is the question of there being any hope for intercession? The divine statement that none can intercede without Allah’s permission, as in Verse 2.255, is just a reiteration of the earlier statement. None whosoever has the power to reverse any decision by Allah Almighty.

  2. I absolutely agree with Shafi saahib’s analysis. It is quite amazing that Muslims would rather say there are contradictions in the Qur’an than seek the true, divine, perfected meanings.

  3. Verse 2:255 says “Who is there to intercede in His presence except as he permitteth?” which leads some people to think that if Allah gives permission, intercession is possible. Others say there is no possibility because numerous verses say so. So, since there can be no contradiction in Allah’s message, the following may help to clear the air:

    This verse puts beyond doubt that there is no intercession, as is repeated in the verse (4:123-124) quoted above. Clearly, there is no need to go into more detail regarding the interpretation of the verse (2:255), otherwise there appears to be a contradiction in the Quran which is not possible. According to the Law of Requital every human deed leaves its effect on the human personality. The Quran has used metaphor to draw parallels with our experience in society. For example, we see in a court how the accused is tried in the presence of witnesses for both the defence and the prosecution. Sentence is then pronounced based on the evidence produced.

    The Quran has expressed the reality by drawing on similar examples to make things clear to us:

    “And there will come forth every soul; with each will be an (angel) to drive, and an (angel) to bear witness” (50:21).

    “And behold! Ye come to us Bare and Alone as We created you for the first time: ye have left behind you all (the favours) which We bestowed on you: We see not with you your intercessors whom you thought to be partners in your affairs: so now all relations between you have been cut off, and your (pet) fancies have left you in the lurch” (6:94)

    These witnesses will not automatically stand with the person; but will be called upon and allowed to give evidence. These are those intercessors (shafi – means the one who stands with someone), who are mentioned in verses like (2:255). The messengers of God will also be witnesses. For example:

    “One-day will God gathers the apostles together, and asks: ‘what was the response ye received (from men to your teaching)’? They will say: ‘We have knowledge: it is Thou who knoweth in full all that is hidden’ (5:109)

    Therefore in these verses ‘shafaat’ means ‘shahadat’ or giving evidence – to support someone is a great help as we see in the present life. Indeed the Quran itself has explained it clearly in the following verses:

    “And those whom they invoke besides God have no power of intercession;- only he who bears witness to the truth and they know (him)” (43:86)

    Those who can read Arabic text with understanding should look as the words of the above verse closely and compare them with those used in (2:255). This is why the Quran has called the last messenger as ‘shaheed’ and has nowhere called him ‘shafi’:

    “One day We shall raise from all peoples as witness against them, from amongst themselves: and We shall bring thee as a witness (Arabic equivalent used – Shaheed) against these (Thy people): and we have sent down to thee the Book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims” (16:89)


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