The Intercession (ash-shafaa’ah) which Allaah has stored up for them is something TRUE – Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

Aqeedah Tahaawiyyah : Lesson 22 (Part 01)

[84] وَالشَّفاعَةُ التي ادَّخَرَها لَهُم حَقٌّ، كما رُويَ في الأَخْبارِ‏‏‏‏‏.

[84] And the intercession (ashshafaa`ah) which He has stored up for them is something true, just as is reported in the narrations.

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The Explanation – Point [84] [Part 01]

Ashshafaa`ah (the intercession) is also from the important matters of `aqeedah (creed and belief)[1] because people have gone astray with regard to affirming it. Some people went beyond the due limits in affirming it and others took a middle way.

So, with regard to the intercession on the Day of Resurrection, then the people have become divided about it, into three categories:

A people who went beyond the limits in affirming it to such an extent that they seek it from the dead and from the graves and from the idols and (from) the trees and (from) the stones.

And they worship besides Allaah that which cannot harm them and cannot benefit them; and they say, “These are our intercessors with Allaah.” (Soorah Yoonus (10), aayah 18)

(The people of shirk, they say,) “We do not worship them except so that they should draw us closer in nearness to Allaah.”  (Sooratuz-Zumar (39), aayah 3)

And a group who go beyond bounds in denying intercession, such as the Mu`tazilah and the Khawaarij. So they denied that there would be any intercession regarding the people who commit major sins (ahlul-kabaa·ir). And they contradict the proofs from the Book and the Sunnah which are mutawaatir (reported by huge number of narrators at each level of narration) affirming the intercession (ashshafaa`ah).

Whereas the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah (the people of the Sunnah and the Jamaa`ah), they took a middle path. So, they affirmed the shafaa`ah (intercession) in the manner mentioned by Allaah and His Messenger; and they truly believe in it – without ifraat (إفراط – exceeding the limits) and tafreet (تفريط – falling short of what is required).

And ashshafaa`ah (intercession) in the language, is derived from ashshaf` (الشفع – that which is even) meaning: the opposite of ‘odd’ (الوتر – al-witr) because the word al-witr means: ‘a solitary person’ (that which is single), whereas ashshaf` (that which is even) means: ‘more than one’, be it two or four or six; it is what is called ‘the even numbers’.[2]

And in the Legislation it means: acting as an intermediary to carry out needs; that an intermediary comes in-between the person who has a need and the one who possesses what he wants. And it is of two categories: (the first is) interceding with Allaah and (the second is) interceding with the creation.

As for intercession with the creation, then that is of two categories:

A good intercession (شفاعة حسنة – shafaa`atun hasanah) which is, when it is done with regard to affairs which are good, beneficial and permissible; that you mediate with someone who possesses the needs required by the people, in order that he should carry out those needs for them. He, the One free of all imperfections said,

Whoever intercedes for a good cause will receive a share of the reward for it.  (Sooratun-Nisaa· (4), aayah 85)

And he, `alayhissalaatu was-salaam said,

“Intercede and you will receive reward, and Allaah will bring about whatever He wills upon the tongue of His Messenger.” [3]

So this is shafaa`atun hasanah (good intercession) and there is reward for it because it involves bringing about benefit for the Muslims in their needs being carried out and in their attaining that which they seek which is beneficial for them, and as long as it does not involve transgression or wrong-doing against anyone.

And the second category (of intercession amongst the creation) is: evil intercession (شفاعة سيئة – shafaa`atun sayyi·ah) which means: interceding for affairs which are forbidden; such as interceding so that prescribed punishments which have become binding should be dropped. And the like of this, enters into those who the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam cursed in saying,

“Allaah has cursed whoever gives shelter to a person of transgression.” [4]

And likewise, interceding with regard to seizing the property of other people without right and giving it to those who do not deserve it; Allaah the Most High said,

And whoever intercedes for an evil cause then he will have a share of the sin of it.  (Sooratun-Nisaa· (4), aayah 85)

As for intercession with Allaah, then it is not like interceding with the creation. For intercession with the Creator, that means: that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, honours some of His servants by granting them that they may supplicate for some of the Muslims who deserve punishment because they have committed major sins (other than shirk), so the person intercedes with Him that He should pardon those people and not punish them because that person was a believer upon tawheed. So therefore, the one interceding, he intercedes with Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, that He should pardon that person. Or, regarding someone who has entered the Hellfire because of sins, so the one who is interceding, intercedes with Allaah for that person to be taken out and for the punishment to be removed from him. And this is called ‘the intercession regarding the people who committed major sins’[5].

However, interceding with Allaah has two conditions:

The first condition is that it is done only with the Permission of Allaah. So no one can intercede with Allaah, except with His Permission. So, He is the One who permits the person who intercedes, to intercede. And as for before He has granted Permission, then no one can precede Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.

Who is there that can intercede with Him, except with His Permission?  (Sooratul-Baqarah (2), aayah 255)

And He is not like the created beings whom people come to in order to interceded with them even if they do not give permission for it. So Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, no one can intercede with Him except with His Permission.

The second condition: that the person you are interceding for is one of the people of tawheed (one who worships Allaah alone) and he is from the people of eemaan (he is a true believer – a mu·min) from those whom Allaah is pleased with – being pleased with their sayings and their actions.

And they cannot intercede except on behalf of those He (Allaah) is pleased with.  (Sooratul-Anbiyaa· (21), aayah 28)

Meaning: Allaah is pleased with that person’s sayings and actions.

And these two conditions occur together in the saying of Allaah the Most High,

Except, after Allaah has granted permission for whomever He wishes and is pleased with.  (Sooratun-Najm (53), aayah 26)

‘After Allaah has granted permission’ – this is the first condition; ‘and someone He is pleased with’ – that is the second condition.

And as for the unbeliever (kaafir), he will not be benefitted by any intercession.

Then they (the unbelievers) will not be benefitted by the intercession of those who intercede.  (Sooratul-Muddaththir (74), aayah 48)

For the wrongdoers (from the unbelievers), there will be no devoted friends nor anyone to intercede for them, who will be of aid.  (Soorah Ghaafir (40), aayah 18)

So, the intercession mentioned in the Qur·aan is of two types: intercession which is negated or denied, and that is intercession which has its conditions (one or both of them) absent; and intercession which is affirmed, which is intercession which fulfils those conditions.

So as for the unbeliever, then he will not be benefitted by intercession. Even if all the inhabitants of the heavens and of the earth were to intercede for him, Allaah still would not accept their intercession because this person is a mushrik (one who worships others besides Allaah), he is an unbeliever (kaafir) in Allaah the Majestic and Most High. Allaah is not pleased with him in his sayings and his actions. Except, for what occurs with regard to the intercession of the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam with regard to his uncle – Aboo Taalib, for this is a special and particular intercession; and also, it is not an intercession for him to come out from the Hellfire, but rather an intercession for the punishment to be reduced upon this man because of the assistance he gave to the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and because of his sheltering him and defending him `alayhissalaatu was-salaam. So the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam will intercede for the punishment to be reduced for him, only.

This is the confirmed intercession with its conditions, and it is of different types.

Point [84][6] to be continued inshaa· Allaah


[1] As is indicated in the hadeeth of ashshafaa`ah, reported by Al-Bukhaaree as hadeeth 3340, 4712, 7510, and also by Muslim.

Translator’s Side Point: It’s a long hadeeth mentioning the Day of Resurrection, when the people would be suffering from the length of the waiting. Then they will go to the Oolul-`azm from the prophets – Aadam `alayhis-salaam, then Nooh, then Moosaa and `Eesaa, asking each of them to intercede with Allaah for the judgment to begin. Finally it will be said to them:

“Go to the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam; so they will come to me and I will prostrate beneath the Throne, and it will be said, ‘O Muhammad, raise your head and intercede, your intercession will be accepted, and ask and you will be given.’”

[2] Translator’s Side Point: Some of the explainers mention that’s why, the way it’s derived in the Arabic language, is that when somebody has a need, the person who intercedes to help him, it’s as if he makes that first person, he makes him two by going and joining him in his request and going and interceding with the person who can fulfil that request.  (He is one person and you have made him even, shaf`). That’s why it’s called ashshafaa`ah.

[3] Hadeeth reported by Al-Bukhaaree as hadeeth 1432 and reported by Muslim; it is from a hadeeth of Aboo Moosaa radiyAllaahu `anh.

The full wording of Al-Bukhaaree begins: that the companion Aboo Moosaa radiyAllaahu `anh said, “Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, when a beggar used to come to him, or someone having a need (and) this was transmitted to him, he used to say this, ‘Intercede and you will receive reward…’.”

[4] From a hadeeth of `Alee radiyAllaahu `anh who said, “We do not possess anything with us except for the Book of Allaah and this scroll from the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, containing the wording that he said, ‏

‘Al-Madeenah is a sacred area between `Aa·ir and such-and-such. Whoever introduces transgression within it, then upon him is the Curse of Allaah and the angels and all of mankind. No obligatory deed and no optional deed will be accepted from him…’Reported by Al-Bukhaaree as hadeeth 1870 and by Muslim

[5] الشفاعة في أهل الكبائر – ashshafaa`ah fee ahlil-kabaa·ir

[6] Translator’s Side Point: Shaykh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) said about the ahaadeeth about the shafaa`ah, “The ahaadeeth about that are mutawaatir (reported by a huge number of people at every level) also. And Ibn Abee `Aasim, in his book: As-Sunnah, he brings six chapters about this – chapters 163 to 168, and he brings the ahaadeeth in that regard numbering hadeeth number 784 to 832 (about 48-49 ahaadeeth) and the explainer (Ibn Abil-`Izz) in his explanation mentions a good number of them and they include the fact that the intercession of the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam is of eight (8) different types. So whoever wishes can refer back to that (the explanation of Ibn Abil-`Izz).”

At-Ta`leeqaat Al-Mukhtasarah `alaa Matn Al-`Aqeedah At-Tahaawiyyah
By Shaykh Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan hafizahullaah
Pages 94-98 (Point 84)
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah, in 1426AH
Transcribed by Sideeqa Ali

Points discussed in this excerpt include:

  • The intercession (ashshafaa`ah) is true and an important matter of `aqeedah
  • The three categories into which the people are divided regarding the shafaa`ah
  • Meaning of ashshafaa`ah linguistically and in the Legislation
  • The two categories of intercession: interceding with Allaah and interceding with the creation
  • The two categories of intercession with the creation: good intercession and evil intercession
  • The two conditions required for interceding with Allaah: it is only by Allaah’s Permission and the one being interceded for is from the people of tawheed and eemaan and from those that Allaah is pleased with
  • The two types of intercession mentioned in the Qur·aan: affirmed and negated
  • The unbeliever will not be benefitted by intercession
  • The ahaadeeth regarding the intercession are mutawaatir

Listen to the Part 02 of this lecture at the below link:
Different Types of Confirmed Intercession – Aqeedah Tahaawiyyah – Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah

Listen to the Full Audio Series of Aqeedah Tahaawiyyah:
Explanation of Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah – Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

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