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Intercession-Meaning, conditions & Means

Monday 29/03/2010

One of the most important types of mercy which those who believed in him,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) will enjoy, is that on the Day of Judgment. The greatest mercy will be manifested in him,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) interceding for them with Allah for forgiveness.

Allah gave him  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) the choice between intercession or to admit half of his Muslim Nation into Paradise, as in the following narration: "An angle came to me (from my Lord) with a message (giving me the choice of) either admitting half of my Nation into Paradise or the permission to intercede, but I chose intercession, because I knew it will be better for them" [At-Tirmithi and Ahmad] This means that as a result of his intercession, more than half of his nation will be admitted into Paradise, and that is why he chose it.
 
In this article, we will address the issue of intercession highlighting its meaning, types and the ways to attain the greatest intercession by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and how to become worthy of it.
 
The meaning of intercession:
 
Allah Says (what means): “That Day, everyone will follow [the call of] the Caller [with] no deviation therefrom, and [all] voices will be stilled before the Most Merciful, so you will not hear except a whisper [of footsteps]. That Day, no intercession will benefit except [that of] one to whom the Most Merciful has given permission and has accepted his word. Allah knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, but they do not encompass it in knowledge. And [all] faces will be humbled before the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of existence. And he will have failed who carries injustice. But he who does of righteous deeds while he is a believer – he will neither fear injustice nor deprivation.” [Quran 20: 108-112].On the Day of Resurrection everybody who transgressed will lose and be humiliated, and all righteous people who performed virtuously will be rescued and win the intercession of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). What does intercession mean? What are the types which where specially given to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )? What causes them? What prevents them? What should the Muslim’s position towards them?
 
·         linguistically Intercession means, to mediate for someone with someone else in order to fulfill a need.
·         Islamically, it is to ask Allah to grant people good in the Hereafter and forgive their sins.
 
We must know that Allah favored His chosen Messenger Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) with certain things, as he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “I was given five things which no one was given before me, I am victorious by virtue of fear (enemy fearing him) from as far a distance as a month’s journey; bowties were made lawful for me while it was not before me; all earth is made as a pure place for me to pray, so whenever time for prayer reaches any man from my nation then let him pray wherever he may be; I was granted intercession; all Prophets were sent specially to their people, but I was sent to all mankind”.
 
Intercession does not mean that there will be no punishment and accountability, nor should it make people negligent and slight the commands of Allah, because in principle, a person is commanded to exert all efforts to fulfill his obligations and adhere to the commandments of Allah; Allah Says (what means): So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it. And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” [Quran 99: 7-8]and also Says (what means): “That no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives. And that his effort is going to be seen .Then he will be recompensed for it with the fullest recompense”[Quran 53: 38-41].
 
Conditions of accepted intercession:
 
There are certain conditions that must be met before Intercession can take place:
 
·         The permission to intercede: Allah Says (what means): “Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? …” [Quran 2: 255] So it is only those whom Allah permits who will be allowed to intercede. To emphasize this point, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said when speaking his intercession: “Allah will then allow me a portion (to intercede for); I then choose them, and they will be admitted into Paradise”[Al-Bukhari].
·         The approval of Allah: Allah Says (what means): “He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they cannot intercede except on behalf of one whom He approves …” [Quran 98: 28] but Allah will only approve of it for those who deserve it.
·         It is only granted to the followers of Tawheed (Islamic monotheism): Anyone who has loyalty to other than Allah, His Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and the believers will be deprived from it; anyone who supports the followers of falsehood will be deprived; anyone who believes that there is a better way to go through life than the way Allah legislated through His religion will be deprived; anyone who mocks or rejects the way of Allah will be deprived. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “The Happiest people with my intercession on The Day of resurrection is he who said ‘Laa Ilaaha Illaa Allah sincerely from his heart ”[Al-Bukhari]. Meaning those who submit to The Two Testimonies of Faith, act upon them, and fulfill their implications.
 
Means to attain the Prophet’s intercession:
 
There are many ways to attain the intercession of the Prophet   sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and be worthy of it:
 
·         Supplicating to Allah to grant him  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) Al-Waseelah (i.e., the highest rank in Paradise): The prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:“Whenever you hear the Athaan (call for prayer), say as he says, then (after that) send Salah upon me (supplicate Allah to exalt my mention), because anyone who exalts my mention once Allah will forgive him ten times, then ask Allah to grant me Al-Waseelah, which is a rank in Paradise that will be granted only to one from the slaves of Allah, and I hope to be him; whoever asks Allah to grant me Al-Waseelah becomes worthy of my intercession”.
·         Sending Salah upon him (which is asking Allah to exalt his mention): The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:“The worthiest of me (my intercession) are those who send Salah upon me the most”.
·         Living in Al-Madeenah: the prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:“I will intercede on the Day of Resurrection for whoever perseveres its hardship (heat & cold weather)”.
·         Performing extra optional acts of worship: The prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said to one of his servants who asked the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) intercede for him on the Day of Resurrection: “Help me (to fulfill this) by performing extra prostration”.
·         Fulfilling people’s needs: The prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:“I will be standing at The Scale interceding for whoever fulfils a need of his brother if his own deeds wouldn’t rescue him”.
·         Brother hood in faith: The prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:“I will intercede for every two men became brothers for the sake of Allah; (this applies to people who do this) from the time I received the Message until the Day of Resurrection”.

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