Answers to the claims of those who deny intercession

Intercession is true

The so-called evidences put forward by those who deny intercession

Answers to the claims of those who deny intercession

Now, let us answer some of the so-called evidences that those who deny intercession try to put forward:

1-The following is stated in verse 44 of the chapter of az-Zumar: “Say: "To Allah belongs exclusively (the right to grant) Intercession.” Those who deny intercession refuse intercession by putting forward the verse above. According to them, the verse above attributes all intercession to Allah and refuses the existence of the other beings who can intercede.

We answer as follows: In verse 139 of the chapter of an-Nisa, the clause “all honor is with Allah” attributes all honor to Allah like the attribution of all intercession to Allah. In verse 8 of the chapter of al-Munafiqun, it is stated that honor belongs to the Prophet (pbuh) and the believers:  “But honor belongs to Allah and His Messenger, and to the Believers.” That is, it is stated in verse 139 of the chapter of an-Nisa that all honor belongs to Allah but it is also stated in verse 8 of the chapter of al-Munafiqun thathonor belongs to Allah and His Messenger, and to the believers. It means honor belonging to Allah does not deprive the Prophet and the believers of honor. 

The two verses that seem to be opposite can be reconciled as follows: All honor belongs to Allah Almighty. The honor of the Prophet and the believers are in question when Allah gives them honor. The honor of Allah is essential but the others receive honor when Allah gives them honor; their honor does not contradict the fact that all honor belongs to Allah.

The same thing is valid for intercession. That all intercession belongs to Allah does not mean that nobody will have the power of intercession. It can be explained as follows: All intercession belongs to Allah. The intercession of others depends on the permission and consent of Allah. That is, nobody can intercede without the permission and will of Allah.

We can liken it to the following situation: If nobody has any money except us and if we give some money to the people who are in need, and if we say, "all money belongs to us", it does not mean we will not give money to anybody; it means the money that other people have also belongs to us and that they own the money when we give it to them.

To say “all intercession belongs to Allah” is similar to the example above. That is, anyone who has been authorized to intercede is given the power of intercession by Allah; he can intercede by the permission of Allah and to the people whom Allah permits. 

The so-called evidences put forward by those who deny intercession

2- The following is stated in verse 48 of the chapter of al-Baqara: “Then guard yourselves against a day when one soul shall not avail another nor shall intercession be accepted for her.” Those who deny intercession refuse intercession by showing the verse above as evidence.

We answer as follows: It is a big mistake to interpret the Quran without knowing the reasons why the verses were sent down. It is necessary to know the reasons why the verses were sent down first and the verses need to be interpreted accordingly. If it is not done, there will be misunderstandings like the verse above. The reason why the verse above was sent down is the following incident mentioned in the interpretations of Nasafi and Ruh al-Bayan:  Jews said, “We are the grandchildren of Hz. Ibrahim and Ishaq (pbuh). Therefore, Allah will accept their intercession for us. They will save us from hellfire.” The verse above was sent down to refuse those claims of Jews. It means the verse above was sent down for unbelievers. That is, it is not possible to intercede for unbelievers. For instance, Hz. Nuh (Noah) will not be able to intercede for his wife, who died as an unbeliever and the Prophet (pbuh) will not be able to intercede for his uncles who died as unbelievers.

It means the clause “nor shall intercession be accepted for her” in the verse has nothing to do with those who die as Muslims. However, those who do not know the reason why the verse was sent down make wrong interpretations by looking at the apparent meaning of the verse; due to their wrong interpretations, they refuse intercession, about which there are several verses and hadiths.  

The so-called evidences put forward by those who deny intercession

3- The following is stated in verse 48 of the chapter of al-Muddaththir : “Then will no intercession of (any) intercessors profit them.” And the following is stated in verse 18 of the chapter of al-Mumin:“On that day, no intimate friend nor intercessor will the wrongdoers have, who could be listened to.” Those who deny intercession refuse intercession by putting forward verses like the ones above.  

We answer as follows: Those verses do not refuse intercession; on the contrary, they prove it. For, “Then will no intercession of (any) intercessors profit them” proves the existence of intercessors. Since intercessors are mentioned, it means there are intercessors. If there were not intercessors, it would be meaningless to mention them. Besides, to say, “no intimate friend nor intercessor will the wrongdoers have” means “there will be intimate friends and intercessors for believers.”

Then, the meaning of the verses above does not refuse the existence of intercession; it means as follows: O unbelievers! You are in such a difficult situation that intercession, which will be useful for everybody, will not be useful for you. You are deprived of the intercession of intercessors.

It is similar to the following case: If we point to a person who got cancer and who has no hope of surviving and say, “Doctors will be of no use to him", it does not mean to reject doctors; it means the illness is severe and to accept the fact that doctors will be of no use to that patient any longer. That is, they have despaired of him; and no doctor can heal him. This is what it means.

“Then will no intercession of (any) intercessors profit them.”“On that day, no intimate friend nor intercessor will the wrongdoers have, who could be listened to.”The verses above have the same meaning. In the verse, the existence of intercessors is not refused; it is stated that the unbelievers will be deprived of the intercession of the intercessors due to their unbelief and they will not be able to benefit from it. Besides, we agree that the people whom Allah Almighty is not pleased with will not be interceded. The people mentioned in those verses are those who belong to these groups.  

In conclusion, those verses prove the existence of intercession, not its non-existence. Since the verse mentions intercessors, it means they exist. If they did not exist, they would not be mentioned. Then, we add these verses to the ten verses we quoted related to the existence of intercession and use them as evidence for the existence of intercessors.

Let us summarize our statements regarding the issue in items:

1- Intercession is true and real with the indication of the verses and hadiths we have quoted.

2- Intercession can take place only with the permission and consent of Allah. This is what “all intercession belongs to Allah” means. Nobody has the right to intercede acting upon his own decision.

3- Intercession will not be useful to unbelievers and those whom Allah is not pleased with; they will be deprived of this bounty of Allah's. All of the verses of the Quran stating that there is no intercession are about these people.

4- It is not appropriate for people to trust in intercession by acting lazily to perform fard deeds and to attribute their salvation to intercession despite committing haram deeds. A person can expect intercession but he cannot abandon fard deeds by trusting in it. Intercession is a station of hope.

5- The reason why Allah Almighty gives the right of intercession to some of His slaves and saves His sinful slaves from Hell through those people is their exemplary lives in the world. Their taqwa, worshipping, asceticism, love and other attributes are the reasons for attaining such a position.

May Allah Almighty enable us to benefit from the intercession of the Prophet (pbuh), the Quran and other intercessors! May He protect us from being among those who are deprived of intercession by denying intercession! Amin!

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