They say: “We don’t worship them except to bring us closer to Allaah”

Four Rules Regarding Shirk

Section Three: The Second Rule Regarding Shirk

[Text from Imam Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab’s “Four Rules Regarding Shirk”]

The Second Rule: They (i.e. the disbelievers) said: “We did not invoke them nor turn towards them except to seek nearness (to Allah) and (their) intercession. The proof for their seeking nearness (to Allaah) is His saying:

 وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَىٰ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ فِي مَا هُمْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ هُوَ كَاذِبٌ كَفَّارٌ

“And those who take protectors besides Him (say): ‘We don’t worship them except to bring us closer to Allaah.’ Verily Allaah will judge between them concerning that which they differ in. Verily, Allaah does not guide he who is a liar, a disbeliever.” [Surah Az-Zumar: 3]

The proof for their seeking intercession is Allaah’s saying:

وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنفَعُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ هَٰؤُلَاءِ شُفَعَاؤُنَا عِندَ اللَّهِ

“And they worship besides Allaah things that harm them not nor benefit them. And they say: ‘These are our intercessors besides Allaah.’” [Surah Yoonus: 18]

Intercession is of two types: Intercession that is negated and Intercession that is affirmed.

The Negated Intercession is that which is sought from someone other than Allaah in matters that no one has the ability to carry out except Allaah. The proof for this is Allaah’s saying:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنفِقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاكُم مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَ يَوْمٌ لَّا بَيْعٌ فِيهِ وَلَا خُلَّةٌ وَلَا شَفَاعَةٌ ۗ وَالْكَافِرُونَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

“O you who believe! Spend of 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.” [Surah Al- Baqarah: 254]

The Affirmed Intercession is that which is sought from Allaah. The intercessor is one who is granted the honor of being able to intercede (by Allaah), while the one who is interceded for is the one whom Allaah is pleased with his statements and actions. (All of these occur) after Allaah’s permission is granted, as Allaah says:

 مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ

“Who is it that will intercede in His presence except with His permission.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 255]

Listen to the Explanation of Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullaah)

[Souncloud Audio Link]

Source for the above AudioExplanation of The Four Rules (Al-Qawaa’id-ul-Arba’ah) – Dr. Saleh as Saleh [Audio Series|En]. Audio Series based on the explanation of Shaykh Uthaymeen rahimahullah

Explanation from Dr. Muhammad Bin ‘Abdir-Rahmaan Al-Khumayyis’ explanation of Four Rules Regarding Shirk

Language:

Zulfaa means closeness; Shufa’aaunaa (our intercessors) is the plural of shaafi’ and shafee’, and he is the one that gets in between (two parties) in order to bring some benefit or to repel some harm; Khillah (friendship) mutual love.

Explanation:

These disbelievers used as an argument for their supplicating and worshipping of other gods besides Allaah, the claim that they did not call unto them nor turn to them except for two reasons.

First: So that these things (i.e. false gods) that they were worshipping could bring them nearer to Allaah. And Second: So that they may intercede for them before Allaah.

The proof for the first reason is Allaah’s saying:

وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَىٰ

“And those who take protectors besides Him (say): ‘We don’t worship them except to bring us closer to Allaah.’” [Surah Az-Zumar: 3]

Meaning: We only supplicated to them and worshipped them so that they may serve as a means to gain nearness to Allaah and attain a high position with Him.

The proof for the second reason is Allaah’s saying:

وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنفَعُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ هَٰؤُلَاءِ شُفَعَاؤُنَا عِندَ اللَّهِ

“And they worship besides Allaah things that harm them not nor benefit them. And they say: These are our intercessors besides Allaah.” [Surah Yoonus: 18]

Meaning: We only worshipped them so that they may intercede for us before Allaah in bringing about some good or repelling some harm.

Then the Shaikh explains that Intercession is of two types in the Book of Allaah. The first is an intercession that the Qur’aan has negated, rejected and restricted that it be achieved. And the second type is the Affirmed Intercession, which the Qur’aan has affirmed will occur on the Day of Judgement, based on the clear evidences.

As for the Intercession that Allaah has negated in His Book, when He said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنفِقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاكُم مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَ يَوْمٌ لَّا بَيْعٌ فِيهِ وَلَا خُلَّةٌ وَلَا شَفَاعَةٌ ۗ وَالْكَافِرُونَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

“O you who believe! Spend of that which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining nor friendship nor intercession” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 254]

then it is the Intercession that is sought from other than Allaah in matters that no one has control over except Allaah, such as a person who seeks entrance into Paradise from other than Allaah, for example, or to be saved from the Hellfire. What also falls into the Negated Intercession is the Intercession that is done for those whom Allaah did not permit that intercession be granted to, such as the disbelievers, or the Intercession from someone that Allaah did not allow to intercede. As for the Affirmed Intercession, then it is that which is sought from Allaah and which occurs with His permission. So the one who intercedes, Allaah has granted him the honor of interceding. As for the one who is interceded for, he is the one whom Allaah is pleased with his statements and actions, after He has given His permission for him to be interceded for.

This is as Allaah says:

 مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ

“Who is it that will intercede in His presence except with His permission.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 255]

The true intercession, which is the affirmed one cannot occur unless two conditions are first met:

First: Permission for the intercessor to intercede, as is stated in the previous ayah.

Second: Allaah must be pleased with the one being interceded for. This is as is stated in Allaah’s statement:

وَلَا يَشْفَعُونَ إِلَّا لِمَنِ ارْتَضَىٰ وَهُم مِّنْ خَشْيَتِهِ مُشْفِقُونَ

“And they cannot intercede except for he whom Allaah is pleased with. And they stand in awe from fear of Allaah.” [Surah Al-Anbiyaa: 28]

So due to this, all of the Intercession occurs by Allaah’s Permission and it is all in His Hand and Command, as Allaah says:

قُل لِّلَّهِ الشَّفَاعَةُ جَمِيعًا

“Say: To Allaah belongs all of the intercession.” [Surah Az-Zumar: 44]

Summary:

1. The disbelievers worshipped false gods besides Allaah seeking nearness (to Allaah) and intercession (from them) before Allaah.

2. Having good intention is not sufficient in the absence of following of the Sunnah.

3. Intercession is of two types: Affirmed and Negated.

4. The Conditions for Intercession are: (a) permission must be granted to the intercessor and (b) Allaah must be pleased with the one being interceded for.

Examination:

1. What is it that caused the disbelievers to worship other than Allaah? Provide evidence for your answer.

2. What are the types of Intercession? Give one proof for each type.

3. What are the conditions for the Affirmed Intercession?

Excerpted from: An Explanation of Shaykhul-Islaam Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab’s Four Rules Regarding Shirk,  Explained Shaykh Muhammad Al Khumayyis ,Al-Ibaanah book publishing [e-Book]

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