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Affirmed And Prohibited Intercession Principles Are Without Evidence.

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Introduction:

Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab classified the intercession into two; 1) prohibited intercession and 2) permitted intercession. Both principles will be analyzed in the light of Quran/Sunnah to see if they have any basis in Islam and do these principles accord with teaching of Islam.

The Second Principle Of Qawaid Al Arba:

That they say: We do not call upon and turn towards them except to seek nearness and intercession. So the proof against seeking this nearness (through others like Awliyah) is the saying of the Most High: “And those who you take Awliyah besides Him (they say): ‘We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah.” Verily, Allah will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Truly, Allah guides not him who is a liar, and a disbeliever.” [Ref: 39:3] And the proof of intercession (through Awliyah) is the saying of the Most High: And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: These are our intercessors with Allah.” [Ref: 10:18] And intercession is of two types; 1) the prohibited intercession, 2) and the affirmed intercession. The prohibited intercession is that which is sought from other than Allah concerning that which only Allah is able to do. And the proof is the saying of the Most High: “O you who believe! Spend from that which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the wrong-doers.” [Ref: 2:254] And the affirmed intercession is that which is sought from Allah, and the intercessor is honored with the intercession and the one interceded for, is one whom Allah is pleased with; his speech and actions, after he gives permission, as He, Ta’aala, said: “Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission?” [Ref: 2:255]

The ‘Prohibited Intercession’ Principle Under Microscope:

He defined the prohibited intercession as; The prohibited intercession is that which is sought from other than Allah concerning that which only Allah is able to do.” To support this principle he presented the following verse of Quran as evidence; “O you who believe! Spend from that which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the wrong-doers.” [Ref: 2:254] Question which begs to be asked is; how does this verse support the principle? Does the verse indicate; prohibited intercession is which is sought from anyone other then Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala)? If the verse did, then the verse would partly support the following part of principle; “…is that which is sought from other than Allah …” Does the verse of Quran indicate; prohibited intercession is intercession which Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is only able to do but it is sought from other then Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala)? If the verse did, then the verse would support this part of principle; “… concerning that which only Allah is able to do.” From Islamic point of view this principle of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab is without any backing from Quran and Sunnah.

Seeking From Other Then Allah Which Only Allah Is Able To Do:

Strictly from the perspective of Tawheed all is property of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and all is granted by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Hence all should be sought from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) even a glass of water. This is highest level of Eman and the Saliheen of highest level practice this but Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has permitted seeking of anything from creation as long as we do not seek it with intention of worship or with belief that the creation we sought from is the god or partner of God. Importantly what the heretics define as “… which only Allah is able to do.”, can be done by creations of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) created Prophet Adam (alayhis salam) from clay, Isa (alayhis salaam) created birds from clay and breathed into them life.[1] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will gives life to the dead and the cursed Dajjal will kill Khadir (alayhis salaam) and return his life.[2] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will call out all creation to being after He has anahilated it and Prophet Ibrahim (alayhis salaam) killed birds made mince meat out of them scattered it on mountains and called them out and they flew to him.[3] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will enter people into paradise and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) granted entry to his companion entry to paradise.[4] Point is everything can be done by servants of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) even the cursed Dajjal will be able to revive the dead. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) said: “And Allah is Ever All-Able to do everything. “ [Ref: 4:85] The Awliyah-Allah are able to do everything because their Rabb, their Allah, their Malik, is able to do everything, hence nothing is unique to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). To seek paradise from Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) is not seeking; “… which only Allah is able to do.” To seek help of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) with regards to bad memory is not seeking; “… which only Allah is able to do.”These are not and nothing can be; “… which only Allah is able to do.” because Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) provides the ability to his servants to perform supernatural abilities and Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has granted his servants the supernatural powers via which these servants perform wondrous acts.

Seeking With Right & Wrong Creed Of Tawheed:

In Wahhabism if one seeks anything from what is defined as; “…that which is sought from other than Allah…” and “… which only Allah is able to do.”, then one is guilty of [major] Shirk, this includes seeking of intercession. In Islam issue is not of not what one seeks but with what creed ones seeks. If one seeks glass of water from his mother, or asks his mother to supplicate to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), or seeks entry to paradise from Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam), with the creed that he is the god or partner of God then [major] Shirk will be warranted. The real reasons of Shirk do not surround what one seeks or who one seeks from, but the real reason of Shirk is creed. If the creed is polytheistic is held then regardless of what you seek from whom you seek one will remain of Mushrik. If one believes Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has a son and a mother, yet only seeks help, water, son, wife, biryani, from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) without invoking the ‘son’ or the ‘mother’ of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) he is still guilty of [major] Shirk. If one only worships Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) while holding to creed that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has a ‘son’ and ‘mother’, such a person is still a Mushrik – Kafir. The reason is simple, even though he purified his worship only for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and only invoked Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) in times of distress/comfort, but he still did not purify his creed from [major] Shirk. He attributed partners to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and attributed god-partners to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), which is [major] Shirk. Alhasil [major] Shirk is determined by creed and not by what one seeks from another. So if one seeks intercession of a Nabi or a Wali, or seeks anything else, with polytheistic creed, in earthly life or in here after, such a one is guilty of [major] Shirk and therefore Mushrik – Kafir. Without polytheistic creed, Tawheed is not negated, and one’s Islam is not affected.

Close Inspection Of Principle Of Affirmed Intercession:

The principle of permitted intercession is stated to be; “And the affirmed intercession is that which is sought from Allah, and the intercessor is honored with the intercession and the one interceded for, is one whom Allah is pleased with; his speech and actions, after he gives permission …” The evidence which Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab presented for this principle was the following verse: “Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission?” [Ref: 2:255] This verse supports the following part of the principle; “…and the intercessor is honored with the intercession …” Also the following part of the principle is supported; “… after he gives permission …”, by the following part of the Hadith, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will give permission to Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) by saying; “Go and take out of Hell (Fire) all those who have faith in their hearts, equal to the weight of a barley grain.” [Quoted fully below] Crossing out the supported part leaves us with parts of principle which are unsupported by evidence; “And the affirmed intercession is that which is sought from Allah, and the intercessor is honored with the intercession and the one interceded for is one whom Allah is pleased with; his speech and actions, after He gives permission …”

Affirmed Intercession Sought From Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala):

Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab wrote; “And the affirmed intercession is that which is sought from Allah …” Yet the Hadith establishes people will approach Prophet Ibrahim (alayhis salaam) and ask him to intercede for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and he will recommend Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam), here; “… the narration of intercession): "The people will go to Abraham and say: 'You are Allah's Prophet and His Khalil on the earth. Will you intercede for us with your Lord?' Abraham will then remember his lies and say: Myself! Myself! Go to Moses." [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H581] Another longer version of this Hadith records that on the judgment day the people will approach Prophet Adam (alayhis salaam), then Prophet Nuh (alayhis salaam), who in turn will refuse, instead will recommend Prophet Ibrahim (alayhis salaam), he too would refuse, instead will suggest Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam), who in turn would advise to approach Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) and who then would send the people to Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) and he will intercede for the people.[5] This establishes that permitted intercession is which is sought from the Prophets and not which is sought from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

Allah Being Pleased with Actions And Speech Is Supported:

The heretics may argue that following verse; He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not intercede except for him whom He likes, and they fear with awe of Him.” [Ref: 21:28] supports this part of principle; and the one interceded for, is one whom Allah is pleased with…” Response is, the verse was revealed in context of Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) his mother Maryam (alayhis salaam) and Uzair (alayhis salaam). In the context the verse means, the three mentioned will not intercede for anyone except for whom He likes. Therefore it does not apply to intercession of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) hence it too factually remains unsupported. There is no evidence for permitted intercession being which is sought from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Nor there is evidence that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will be pleased with the speech and actions of those who will be interceded for by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam). Instead the intercession will be based on quantity of Eman.

Allah Be Pleased With Or Will Allah Be Angry:

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states, he will give permission to whom he pleases; “And many an angel is in the heavens, whose intercession does not benefit the least unless Allah gives permission for whomever He wills, and whom He likes.” [Ref: 53:26] In another verse Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states, they will not intercede for except whom Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is pleased with;  “He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not intercede except for him whom He likes, and they fear with awe of Him.” [Ref: 21:28] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will be pleased with people of paradise, the Saliheen; “Their reward is - with their Lord - everlasting Gardens of Eden beneath which rivers flow, in which they will abide for ever and ever; Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him; this is for one who fears his Lord.” [Ref: 98:8] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will be displeased with people of hell fire; “And that He may punish the Munafiqun (hypocrites), men and women, and also the Mushrikun men and women, who think evil thoughts about Allah: for them is a disgraceful torment. And the Anger of Allah is upon them, and He has cursed them and prepared Hell for them - and worst indeed is that destination.” [Ref: 48:6] This reveals for whom Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam), Uzair (alayhis salaam)  and Maryam (alayhis salaam) will intercede Saliheen who will have sins. And Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will forgive their these sins and admit them in paradise; “That He may admit the believing men and the believing women to Gardens under which rivers flow (i.e. Paradise), to abide therein forever, and He may expiate from them their sins; and that is with Allah a supreme success.” [Ref: 48:5] The uniqueness of our Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) in his intercession is that he will intercede for people with littlest of Eman and enter them into paradise. Therefore those whom Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) will intercede for will under the wrath of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Hence the evidence of verse 53:26 is insufficent to establish the principles following part; and the one interceded for, is one whom Allah is pleased with…”

Affirmed Intercession Being For With Whom Allah Is Pleased:

Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab writes; “… and the one interceded for is one whom Allah is pleased with; his speech and actions …” The Hadith records when the people reach Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) they will ask him to intercede for them and he will say he is appointed for the task of intercession. He will prostrate to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and praise Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Then Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will say to Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam); “O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be listened to; and ask, for your will be granted (your request); and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted.” Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) will mention the Muslims being in hellfire and Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will respond; “Go and take out of Hell (Fire) all those who have faith in their hearts, equal to the weight of a barley grain.” Then Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) will go to hell and take out people with mentioned amount of Eman. He will return two times more, prostrate and praise Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), each time the amount of Eman required to get out of fire of hell would be lesser then before; “Go and take out of it all those who have faith in their hearts equal to the weight of a small ant or a mustard seed. […] Go and take out (all those) in whose hearts there is faith even to the lightest, lightest mustard seed. (Take them) out of the Fire.” The fourth time RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) after prostrating and being told his intercession will be accepted, will say; “O Lord, allow me to intercede for whoever said, 'None has the right to be worshiped except Allah.” And Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will say; “By my Power, and my Majesty, and by My Supremacy, and by My Greatness, I will take out of Hell (Fire) whoever said: 'None has the right to be worshipped except Allah.” [Ref: Bukhari, B93, H601] There is no evidence that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) be pleased with the actions and speech of those people who will interceded for by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam). Instead the Hadith indicates that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) will venture into hell four times to take people out of fire. Each time he will bring out from fire people with lesser quantity of Eman until those who recited; there is no god but Allah, are brought out of fire. Common sense dictates the inhabitant of hell fire will not be people with whose deeds and speech Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will be pleased with. If He was pleased with their actions and speech then they will not be in hellfire. If they are in hell fire [which they will be] then Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is not pleased with the actions of these people. Quran is replete with references to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) being pleased with Saliheen and Momineen, but no mention of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) being pleased with those who are in hell-fire.

Simple But The Truth Nothing But Truth:

A true Islamic prohibited intercession is, where the one requiring intercession has committed [major] Shirk – believed in gods, or a god partner for Allah (subhanhu wa ta’ala), in form of sons, daughters, or worshipped idols, gods, and died upon such [major] Shirk without repenting etc. Intercession for such people will be and is prohibited, no Prophet or a Muslim will ever intercede for a disbeliever nor will they be permitted nor their intercession be accepted if they were to. Permitted intercession is for one who as at minimum affirmed; there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. This is a absolute minimum requirement for securing a intercession of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) and if one has some good deeds but not enough to enter paradise, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) the greater the amount earlier the Muslim will be out of fire.

Finale Word On The Principles Of Affirmed & Prohibited Intercession:

These principles absolutely are irrelevent to understanding intercession in fact these principles of intercession clearly and definitely contradict evidence of Quran and Sunnah. A ‘prohibited intercession’ principle should be exclusive enough to exclude the permitted and exhaustive enough to include all prohibited, and same rule applies to ‘affirmed intercession’. One does not require a principle or principle as presented by Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab to understand the subject intercession. Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab had alterior motives behind formulating these two principles of intercession. He strictly intended to forge the minds of his minions into Shirk machine-guns which he managed quite comfortably because his target audience was dessert Beduins who had little to no religious knowledge and intellectual capacity of an ant.

Conclusion:

In a Hadith narrated by Hadhrat Aysha (radiallah ta’ala anha) in which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) is reported to have said; "If somebody innovates something which is not [in harmony with the principles of] our religion, that thing is rejected." [Ref: Bukhari, B49, H861] The prohibited principle does not have evidence for the following parts; The prohibited intercession is that which is sought from other than Allah concerning that which only Allah is able to do.”, It is established with evidence that this principle contradicts established aspects of deen of Islam because the Awliyah-Allah are able to perform Karamat (i.e. miracles) with power granted by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) hence nothing can be out of their power. The the following crossed out parts of affirmed intercession principle do have backing in Islam, they are innovations; “And the affirmed intercession is that which is sought from Allah, and the intercessor is honored with the intercession and the one interceded for is one whom Allah is pleased with; his speech and actions, [one interceding intercedes] after He gives permission …” Due to lack of evidence and these principles contradicting Quran and Hadith one employing these principles to judge matters of Islam will fall into heresy, and even disbelief, hence safest path is to reject them as we are instructed in the above Hadith.  If we as Muslims we do not reject these principles, then we leave what Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) termed; “The best of the speech is embodied in the Book of Allah, and the beet of the guidance is the guidance given by Muhammad.” [Ref: Muslim, B4, 1885] Instead we have opted for the misguidance which will lead us into fire of hell.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

Footnotes:

- [1] “And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], 'Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah. And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead - by permission of Allah. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.” [Ref: 3:49] “[The Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Pure Spirit and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and [remember] when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; and …” [Ref: 5:110]

- [2] “… and a person who would be the best of men or one from amongst the best of men would say to him: I bear testimony to the fact that you are Dajjal about whom Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) had informed us. The Dajjal would say: What is your opinion if I kill this (person), then I bring him back to life; even then will you harbour doubt in this matter? They would say: No. He would then kill (the man) and then bring him back to life. When he would bring that person to life, he would say: By Allah, I had no better proof of the fact [that you are indeed Dajjal] than at the present time. The Dajjal would then make an attempt to kill him (again) but he would not be able to do that. Abu Ishaq reported that it was said: That person would be khadir (Allah be pleased with him).” [Ref: Muslim, B41, H7017]

- [3] “And [mention] when Abraham said, "My Lord, show me how You give life to the dead." [Allah] said, "Have you not believed?" He said, "Yes, but [i ask] only that my heart may be satisfied." [Allah] said, "Take four birds and commit them to yourself. Then [after slaughtering them] put on each hill a portion of them; then call them - they will come [flying] to you in haste. And know that Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise." [Ref: 2:260]

- [4] “I was with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) one night. and I brought him water and what he required. He said to me: ask (anything you like). I said: I ask your company in paradise. He (the Holy Prophet) said: Or anything else besides it. I said: That is all (what I require). He said: Then help me to achieve this for you by devoting yourself often to prostration.” [Ref: Muslim, B4, H990]

- [5] “The Prophet said, "On the Day of Resurrection the Believers will assemble and say, 'Let us ask somebody to intercede for us with our Lord.' So they will go to Adam and say, 'You are the father of all the people, and Allah created you with His Own Hands, and ordered the angels to prostrate to you, and taught you the names of all things; so please intercede for us with your Lord, so that He may relieve us from this place of ours.' Adam will say, 'I am not fit for this (i.e. intercession for you).' Then Adam will remember his sin and feel ashamed thereof. He will say, 'Go to Noah, for he was the first Apostle, Allah sent to the inhabitants of the earth.' They will go to him and Noah will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking.' He will remember his appeal to his Lord to do what he had no knowledge of, then he will feel ashamed thereof and will say, 'Go to the Khalil--r-Rahman (i.e. Abraham).' They will go to him and he will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking. Go to Moses, the slave to whom Allah spoke (directly) and gave him the Torah .' So they will go to him and he will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking.' and he will mention (his) killing a person who was not a killer, and so he will feel ashamed thereof before his Lord, and he will say, 'Go to Jesus, Allah's Slave, His Apostle and Allah's Word and a Spirit coming from Him. Jesus will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking, go to Muhammad the Slave of Allah whose past and future sins were forgiven by Allah.' So they will come to me and I will proceed till I will ask my Lord's Permission and I will be given permission. When I see my Lord, I will fall down in Prostration and He will let me remain in that state as long as He wishes and then I will be addressed.' (Muhammad!) Raise your head. Ask, and your request will be granted; say, and your saying will be listened to; intercede, and your intercession will be accepted.' I will raise my head and praise Allah with a saying (i.e. invocation) He will teach me, and then I will intercede. He will fix a limit for me (to intercede for) whom I will admit into Paradise. Then I will come back again to Allah, and when I see my Lord, the same thing will happen to me. And then I will intercede and Allah will fix a limit for me to intercede whom I will let into Paradise, then I will come back for the third time; and then I will come back for the fourth time, and will say, 'None remains in Hell but those whom the Quran has imprisoned (in Hell) and who have been destined to an eternal stay in Hell.' " (The compiler) Abu 'Abdullah said: 'But those whom the Qur'an has imprisoned in Hell,' refers to the Statement of Allah: "They will dwell therein forever." (16.29) [Ref: Bukhari, B60, H3]

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