By His wisdom, God gave preference to some places and times over others. For Muslims, Friday is the best day of the week, Ramadan is the best month of the year, “Laylat al-Qadr” is the best night in Ramadan, the day of “Arafah” is the best day of the year. Likewise the first ten days of the month of “Dhul-Hijjah” are the blessed days for Muslims.
God says in the Qur’an what means:
By the daybreak, by the ten nights, by the even and the odd, by the passing night – is this oath strong enough for a rational person? (Al-Fajr 89:1-5)
Early Muslim scholars differed on what is meant by the “ten nights”. But most of them agreed that the ten nights refer to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.
In another verse God says:
… to attain benefits and mention God’s name, on specified days. (Al-Hajj 22:28)
Most of the Qur’an commentators view that the specific days are the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.
What a great virtue attached to those days which pass unnoticed by many people nowadays.
On the merits of the first ten days, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said: “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight, giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” (Al-Bukhari)
In what follows are suggested ideas on how to make the best use of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah:
Repent to Allah
Make a sincere repentance to God and promise Him that you will not do bad deeds again. This may be your last chance. You are not sure if you will live till next year.
Pray at the Mosque
Try to perform the five daily prayers in the mosque. If you have time after Fajr prayer, try to sit in the mosque, read a juz’ (part) of the Quran, make du`aa’, or recite some Adhkar (remembrance of Allah). Then offer two rakahs before you go home. If you do so, you are reviving a tradition that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to do, a tradition which these days has been neglected by many Muslims.
Observe Fasting in the First Nine Days
Abu Sa`id al-Khudri said: I heard the Prophet saying, “Indeed, anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s Pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years.” (Muslim)
Do not observe fasting on the tenth day because it is an `Eid day and it is prohibited to fast that day.
Good deeds are rewarded abundantly in these first ten days; and as fasting is a good deed, it is recommended to fast these nine days.
Do not Miss Fasting the Day of `Arafah
On the day of `Arafah, non-pilgrims are highly recommended to maintain fasting. It is reported that the Prophet was asked about fasting on the day of `Arafah, whereupon he said: “It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year.” (Muslim)
He also said: “There is no day in which Allah frees a greater number of His slaves from the Hellfire than the Day of `Arafah.” (Muslim)
Make a Lot of Supplications (du`aa’) on the Day of `Arafah
The Prophet said: “The best supplication is that of the Day of `Arafah, and the best thing that I and other Prophets before me said, is: La ilaha illa allahu wahdahu la sharika lah, lahu al-mulku wa lahu al-hamdu wa huwa `ala kulli shai’in qadeer (There is no god but Allah alone. He has no partners. To Him belong the sovereignty and all praise. He has power over all things.) (Al-Tirmidhi)
Try to Do Something New this Year
If you used to recite a part of the Qur’an last year, try to finish reading the whole Qur’an this year. Try to pick some verses everyday and check the books of Tafsir (exegesis of the Qur’an) to reflect on their meaning in order to derive lessons from them in your daily life.
If you do not read Arabic, I recommend Muhammad Asad’s translation of the Qur’an. If you are well-versed in the Qur’an recitation, try to teach a group of new Muslims how to read the Qur’an correctly.
Maintain your Family Relations
Visit your relatives even for a few minutes. If they live far away, give them a call. Do not forget your parents. Be kind to them, visit them, and attend to their needs. Some new Muslims think that after their conversion, they should cut off their family members. God orders Muslims to be kind to their parents even if they are non-Muslims. This occasion might be a good opportunity to talk about Islam to your non-Muslim parents.
Give to Charity
Make it a daily habit to help the needy. Look for humanitarian organizations in your neighborhood and help them in any way you can.
Don’t Miss Offering at Least Two Rak`ahs of “Tahajjud” at Night
Offer many extra prayers, as much as you can. God promised a great reward for offering extra acts of worship. The Prophet said: “Allah said, ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My protection (refuge), I will protect him; (i.e. give him My refuge) and I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer, for he hates death, and I hate to disappoint him.” (Al-Bukhari)
Reciting the Takbir
It is an act of Sunnah to say “Takbir” (Allah is the Greatest) in the first ten days.
The “Takbir” should be pronounced everywhere; in the mosque, at home, in the streets, etc. It is reported that: “Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with them) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, reciting Takbir, and the people would recite Takbir when they heard them.” (Al-Bukhari)
There are many forms of Takbir, but the most common one is: Allahu akbaru, Allahu akbaru, Allahu akbaru, la illaha illa Allah, Allahu akbaru, Allahu akbar, wa lillahi al-Hamd.
In another version of the Hadith mentioned above on the merits of the ten days, there is this addition: “… so increase saying Tahlil (saying la-illah illa Allah), Takbir (saying Allahu akbar), and Tahmid (saying Al-hamdullilah)” (Ahmad) Therefore, these kinds of “dhikr” should be recited day and night.
The Best Good Deed in These Days is to Offer Hajj
Go to Hajj, if you are physically and financially able to perform it. If not, try to offer a sacrifice if you have the means. By doing this you are commemorating the story of sacrifice of both prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`il (peace be upon them). The poor and the needy have a share in the sacrifice and feeding them is one of best deeds that can be done on the day of `Eid.
I pray to Allah to accept our good deeds in these days of Dhul-Hijjah and throughout the year. When our good deeds are accepted by God, we will be admitted to Paradise, by His Mercy.
Du`aa’ is essentially submission to God and a manifestation of a person’s need for God.
Du`aa’ is an Arabic word written here in English letters. Three small letters that make up a word and a subject that is large and breathtaking. This word du`aa’ could be roughly translated to mean supplication or invocation, although neither word adequately define du`aa’. Supplication, which means communicating with a deity, comes closer than invocation which is known to sometimes imply summoning spirits or devils.
In Islamic terminology du`aa’ is the act of supplication. It is calling out to God; it is a conversation with God, our Creator, our Lord, the All Knowing, and the All Powerful. In fact the word is derived from the Arabic root meaning to call out or to summon.
Du`aa’ is uplifting, empowering, liberating and transforming and it is one of the most powerful and effective act of worship a human being can engage in. Du`aa’ has been called the weapon of the believer. It affirms a person’s belief in One God and it shuns all forms of idolatry or polytheism. Du`aa’ therefore is essentially submission to God and a manifestation of a person’s need for God.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “A slave becomes nearest to his Lord when he is in prostration. So increase supplications in prostrations.’’ (Muslim)
“The supplication of every one of you will be granted if he does not get impatient and say: `I supplicated my Lord but my prayer has not been granted’.’’ (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
At this point in understanding exactly what du`aa’ is, it would be easy for someone from a Christian background to think that du`aa’ is prayer. Du`aa’ certainly holds certain similarities to the prayer of Christians; however it should not be confused with what Muslims call prayer. Prayer, or in Arabic salah, is one of the pillars of Islam, and in performing the five daily prayers a Muslim actually engages in a physical form of du`aa’ asking God to grant them Heaven through their actions. Throughout the prayer one also supplicates to God directly.
For Muslims prayer is a set of ritual movements and words performed at fixed times, five times per day. God says in Qur’an:
Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours. (An-Nisaa’4:103)
Muslims pray in the early morning before sunrise, in the middle of the day, in the afternoon, at sunset and at night. Prayer is an act of worship, in which a Muslim reaffirms his belief in One God and demonstrates his gratefulness. It is a direct connection between God and the believer and it is an obligation.
Du`aa’ on the other hand is a Muslims way of feeling that connection to God at anytime, in any place. Muslims call on God frequently throughout the day and night. They raise their hands in supplication and ask for His help, mercy, and forgiveness. Du`aa’ incorporates praise, thanksgiving, hope, and calling on God to assist the one in need and grant his or her requests.
Du`aa’ can be made for the individual, their family, friends, strangers, those in dire circumstances, for the believers, and even for the whole of humanity. When making the du`aa’ it is acceptable to ask for good in this worldly life and in the hereafter. A person making du`aa’ should not hold back, but ask God to grant both the largest and smallest requests.
Prophet Muhammad encouraged the believers to make du`aa’. He said:
“The du`aa’ of a Muslim for his brother in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial du`aa’ for his brother the appointed angel says: Ameen. And may you also be blessed with the same’”. (Muslim)
Although making du`aa’ is not an obligation, there are many benefits to making du`aa’ to God frequently and with full submission. Feeling the closeness to God that comes with sincere du`aa’, it increases faith, gives hope and relief to the distressed and saves the supplicant from the despair and isolation.
Throughout the Qur’an, God encourages the believer to call on Him, He asks us to lay our dreams, hopes, fears and uncertainties before Him and to be sure that He hears every word.
You alone do we worship and You alone do we ask for help. (Al-Fatihah 1:5)
And your Lord says, Call on Me; I will answer your (prayer). But those who are too arrogant to worship Me will surely find themselves in Hell, in humiliation. (Ghafir 40:60)
Say, O My slaves who have transgressed against their souls; despair not of the Mercy of Allah: For Allah forgives all sins; for He is oft Forgiving, most Merciful. (Az-Zumar 39:5)
Say, Call upon Allah, or call upon Ar-Rahman (The Most Beneficient): By whatever name you call upon Him, (it is well): For to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. (Al-Israa’ 17:110)
And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the supplications of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright. (Al-Baqarah 2:186)
Prophet Muhammad called du`aa’ the essence of worship. (At-Tirmidhi) He also suggested that the believer be humble, yet firm when making du`aa’ and said: “When one of you supplicates, he should not say: ‘O God, forgive me if You will’, but be firm in asking and make the desire great, for what God gives is nothing great for Him.” (Muslim)
When we make du`aa’, when we call upon God in our hour of need, or express our gratefulness, or for any other reason including simply to feel the comfort of being close to God, we must remember to examine our sincerity and to check our intention. Du`aa’ must be addressed to God Alone, who has no partners, sons, daughters or intermediaries. Our intention when making the du`aa’ must be to please God, obey Him and trust Him completely.
When a person makes du`aa’ God may give him what he asked for or He may divert a harm that is greater than the thing he asked for, or He may store up what he has asked for, for the Hereafter. God has commanded us to call upon Him and He has promised to respond to our call.
In order to be recognized as a member of the Islamic community one needs to do Shahadah in front of people.
What are the procedures to follow if someone wishes to convert to Islam?
Conversion to Islam is a simple procedure; it does not entail any complicated rituals or ceremonies, since Islam allows for no intermediaries in worship, and as such there are no priestly classes to administer specific rites.
Conversion therefore is mostly a person’s own choice; as long as he/she is willing to accept the basic tenets of faith, without any external coercion or pressure, and as long as one expresses it in words in front of people the conversion is acceptable.
However, because of the need for documentation, it is best that a person goes to an Islamic center which can issue a certificate of conversion. For this one needs to simply book an appointment with the imam of the local mosque; he would be more than willing to facilitate the conversion.
At the time of conversion one will be asked to repeat the following words of testimony: Ashhadu ana la ilaha illa Allah wa ashahdu anna Muhammadun rasulu Allah (I bear witness there is no god but Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God).
Besides this, it is also good to affirm faith in the following tenets of Islamic faith: I believe in Allah; in His angels; in His scriptures; His messengers; the Last Day and the fact that good and bad are decreed by God. You should request a certificate indicating the date of conversion as you may need it for purposes of pilgrimage to Makkah.
Finally, let me also suggest that you consult the following excellent work entitled, ”Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Islam“ by Yahya Emerick (2nd edition) as it has all of the essential information you need to know about Islam.
Is it enough to declare the Shahadah (Testimony of Faith) by oneself order to be converted into Islam or is it considered obligatory to make the declaration in front of two witnesses?
Although between you and God it surely is enough for you to say Shahadah (the Testimony of Faith) by yourself, however, in order for you to be recognized as a member of the Islamic community you need to do so in front of people.
As mentioned above, you are best advised to do so in the presence of an imam in a recognized Islamic center or mosque, for in this way you can hope to gain proper orientation in regards to your actual practice of Islam.
Islam teaches us that we should do whatever we do as professionally and efficiently as possible. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah has enjoined excellence in each and every act one performs.” (Muslim)
Therefore, I advise you to call on the nearest Islamic center and get an appointment with the imam; let him facilitate your task of reversion to Islam; in the meantime, if you haven’t already found some useful books on Islam, let me mention another important book – besides Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Islam – which, I urge you to read and study well; “Islam in Focus” by Dr. Hammudah Abdul `Ati.
I pray to Allah to grant us all steadfastness in faith, and may He grace us all with His mercy and forgiveness in both worlds. Ameen.
That is what worship is all about: your purification and elevation in iman (faith) and taqwa (piety).
Good Deeds Will Get You Closer to Allah
But had they done what they were exhorted to (do), it would have been better for them; and would have strengthened/stabilized their (faith). (An-Nisaa’ 4:66)
Narrated Abu Hurairah that Allah’s Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Allah said: ‘Whoever harms a wali (a friend or a supporter) of mine I will declare war against him. And my servant has not drawn closer to me with anything more beloved to me than what I made obligatory on him (faridah). And he continues to draw closer to me with nawafil (the preferable non-obligatory deeds) until I love him; And when I love him I become his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks, and if he asks Me, I will give him, and, if he seeks refuge in me, I will protect him and, I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer for, he hates death and, I hate to sadden him’” (Al-Bukhari)
Why We Worship God?
In fact that is what worship is all about: your purification and elevation in iman (faith) and taqwa (piety), for Allah will not benefit from your worship. In a hadith qudsi (divine hadith) Allah said:
“O my servants! I have made unlawful oppression upon myself and I have made it unlawful between you. So do not oppress each other. O my servants! All of you are astray except the ones whom I have guided, so seek my guidance and I will guide you. O my servants! All of you are naked except those of you whom I have clothed, so seek clothing from me and I will clothe you. O my servants! All of you are hungry except those of you whom I have fed, seek food from me and I will feed you. O my servants! You make errors in the night and in the day and I forgive all sins. Seek forgiveness from me and I will forgive you. O my servants!
You will never be able to harm Me and you will never be able to benefit Me. O my servants! If the first of you and the last of you and the jinn from among you and the men from among you, were to fear Allah as the best among you, that would not increase in My Majesty/Mastership any. O my servants!
If the first of you and the last of you and the jinn among you and the men among you, were to perform the worst forms of crimes, that will not decrease from My Majesty/Mastership any. O my servants! If the first of you and the last of you, the jinn of you and the men of you, were to stand on one side and ask Me, I will give each one of you what you ask and still this will not decrease from My Majesty/Mastership; as if you dip a needle into the ocean.” (Muslim)
So when fasting was prescribed for you, it was to bring you closer (i.e., closer to Allah), Allah said:
O you who believe Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain piety. (Al-Baqarah 2:183)
And when you make Hajj and slaughter the sacrifice it is that you may get closer to Allah. Allah said: It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah but, it is piety from you that reaches Him. Thus, have We made them subject to you that you may magnify Allah for His Guidance to you. And give glad tidings to the good doers. (Al-Hajj 22:37)
And when you give charity it is to get closer, Allah said:
Take alms from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allah for them. Verily! Your invocations are a source of tranquility for them; and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. (At-Tawbah 9:103)
The article is an excerpt from the paper “Acts of Worship as a Means to Strengthen the Attachment between the Servant and his Lord” by Dr. Hatem Al-Haj which was prepared for a conference in Austin, Texas, 2002. It first appeared at drhatemalhaj.com.
By Editorial Staff
If you read our previous article, you will learn that Islam does not deny intercession. We have provided evidence to the contrary. However, in the Hereafter, making intercessions with Allah requires some prerequisites the most important of which is Allah’s permission.
Permission must first be granted to the intercessor so that he or she can intercede on behalf of those who deserve it, namely, those who get permission confirming that they deserve it.
On the other hand, Intercessions, in general, may be divided into three kinds: intercessions made in the Hereafter, living persons making intercessions on behalf of the departed, and intercessions made in this life. Let us consider these kinds in some detail.
The kinds of Intercessions
As for the Greatest Intercession, the intercessor with Allah will be only Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) after obtaining Allah’s permission.
A. ِِIntercessions made in the Hereafter
1. The Greatest Intercession
As for the Greatest Intercession, the intercessor with Allah will be only Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) after obtaining Allah’s permission.
On the Day of Resurrection, people will suffer anguish and affliction to the extent that they will not be able to bear. They, then, will ask some of the prophets (peace be upon them) to intercede to alleviate their sufferings. Praying to Allah, Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) will be granted the right of the Greatest Intercession. Moreover, he will have the right to admit some people into the Paradise and save others from the Hellfire.
The Hadith that tells the story of this Great Intercession.
Abu Huraira reported:
“Meat was one day brought to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and a foreleg was offered to him, a part which he liked. He sliced with his teeth a piece out of it and said:
“I shall be the leader of mankind on the Day of Resurrection. Do you know why?
The setting of this real, yet unseen story
Allah would gather in one plain the earlier and the later (of the human race) on the Day of Resurrection. Then the voice of the proclaimer would be heard by all of them and the eyesight would penetrate through all of them and the sun would come near.
People would then experience a degree of anguish, anxiety and agony which they shall not be able to bear and they shall not be able to stand. Some people would say to the others:
“Don’t you see in which trouble you are? Don’t you see what (misfortune) has overtaken you? Why don’t you find one who should intercede for you with your Lord?”
Prophet Adam (peace be upon him)
Some would say to the others: “Go to Adam”.
And they would go to Adam and say: “O Adam, thou art the father of mankind. Allah created thee by His own Hand and breathed in thee of His spirit and ordered the angels to prostrate before thee. Intercede for us with thy Lord Don’t you see in what (trouble) we are? Don’t you see what (misfortune) has overtaken us?”
Adam would say: “Verily, my Lord is angry, to an extent to which He had never been angry before nor would He be angry afterward.
Verily, He forbade me (to go near) that tree and I disobeyed Him. I am concerned with my own self. Go to someone else; go to Noah.”
Messenger Noah (peace be upon him)
They would come to Noah and would say: “O Noah, thou art the first of the Messengers (sent) on the earth (after Adam), and Allah named thee as a ‘Grateful Servant’, intercede for us with thy Lord. Don’t you see in what (trouble) we are? Don’t you see what (misfortune) has overtaken us?”
He would say: “Verily, my Lord is angry today as He had never been angry before, and would never be angry afterwards. There had emanated a curse from me with which I cursed my people. I am concerned with only myself, I am concerned only with myself; you better go to Ibrahim (peace be upon him).”
Allah’s Beloved Friend and Messenger, Abraham (peace be upon him)
They would go to Ibrahim and say: “Thou art the apostle of Allah and His Friend amongst the inhabitants of the earth; intercede for us with thy Lord. Don’t you see in which (trouble) we are? Don’t you see what (misfortune) has overtaken us?”
Ibrahim would say to them: “Verily, my Lord is today angry as He had never been angry before and would never be angry afterwards. And (Ibrahim) would mention his lies (and then say): I am concerned only with myself, I am concerned only with myself. You better go to someone else: go to Moses.”
Messenger Moses (peace be upon him)
They would come to Moses (peace be upon him) and say: “O Moses, thou art Allah’s messenger, Allah blessed thee with His messengership and His conversation amongst people. Intercede for us with thy Lord. Don’t you see in what (trouble) we are? Don’t you see what (misfortune) has overtaken us?”
Moses (peace be upon him) would say to them: “Verily, my Lord is angry as He had never been angry before and would never be angry afterwards. I, in fact, killed a person whom I had not been ordered to kill. I am concerned with myself, I am concerned with myself. You better go to Jesus (peace be upon him).”
Messenger Jesus (peace be upon him)
They would come to Jesus and would say: “O Jesus, thou art the messenger of Allah and thou conversed with people in the cradle, (thou art) His Word which He sent down upon Mary. And (thou art) the Spirit from Him; so intercede for us with thy Lord. Don’t you see (the trouble) in which we are? Don’t you see (the misfortune) that has overtaken us?”
Jesus (peace be upon him) would say: “Verily, my Lord is angry today as He had never been angry before or would ever be angry afterwards.” He mentioned no sin of his. (He simply said:) I am concerned with myself, I am concerned with myself; you go to someone else. You better go to Muhammad (ﷺ).”
The Last Messenger, Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace)
They would come to me and say: “O Mahammad, thou art the messenger of Allah and the last of the apostles. Allah has pardoned thee all thy previous and later sins. Intercede for us with thy Lord; don’t you see in which (trouble) we are? Don’t you see what (misfortune) has overtaken us?”
I shall then set off and come below the Throne and fall down prostrate before my Lord; then Allah would reveal to me and inspire me with some of His Praises and Glorifications which He had not revealed to anyone before me. He would then say:
“Muhammad, raise thy head; ask and it would be granted; intercede and intercession would be accepted.” I would then raise my head and say:
“O my Lord, my people, my people.”
It would be said: “O Muhammad, bring in by the right gate of Paradise those of your people who would have no account to render. They would share with the people some other door besides this door.”
The Prophet then said: By Him in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad, verily the distance between two door leaves of the Paradise is as great as between Mecca and Hajar, or as between Mecca and Busra. (Muslim)
The matter of intercession is of great importance because it is part of the Islamic Faith or ‘Aqidah. To reach a proper understanding of this matter, one must first study all the verses of the Gracious Quran and the authentic Hadiths that speak about it. Adopting an opinion according to a specific text without taking into consideration the other texts may lead to misunderstanding.
Al-Shafa’ah (intercession) is an Arabic term taken from al-Shaf’ which means two, even or couple. Two antonyms of al-Shaf’ (couple) are single and odd. It may be defined as speaking to or asking someone to bring about benefits or to save or protect another one from harm. If the intercession is accepted, this becomes a sign of the high status the intercessor enjoys in the eye of the person who accepts it.
Scanning the verses of the gracious Quran, one finds out that there are some verses that negate al-Shafa’ah (intercession) while there are other verses that confirm it. Of course, there is no problem here as scholars provide some ways of reconciliation between the two apparently contradictory kinds of verses.
Intercession may be defined as speaking to or asking someone to bring about benefits or to save or protect another one from harm.
Some verses which absolutely negate al-Shafa’ah(intercession):
There are some verses that deny intercession. It will be sufficient to quote a few of them.
1. Allah says,“Then be ever fearful of a Day (Hereafter) when no soul shall indemnify any other soul against anything (from God). Nor shall any intercession be accepted from it (for its salvation). Nor shall any compensation be taken from it (in atonement for its sins). Nor shall they (who have disbelieved) ever be helped (against God’s Judgment).” (Quran 2:48)
2.“O you who believe! Spend (charitably) out of what We have provided you, before there comes a Day (Hereafter) in which there shall be no (gainful) trade nor (availing) friendship, nor intercession. Then (as to) the disbelievers (who embrace false gods) _ it is they who are the wrongdoers, (godless in heart).” (Quran 2:254)
3.“Hence, forewarn with (this Quran all) those who fear being gathered before their Lord (that) they have no patron apart from Him, nor any intercessor, so that they may become God-fearing.” (Quran 6:51)
As for intercession to take place, there are some conditions regarding all the parties involved. The above mentioned verses can be understood to refer to the people who do not meet the requirements necessary for them to intercede on behalf of others or have others intercede on their behalf.
Some other verses which confirm intercession:
On the other hand, the following verses mention some prerequisites so that the intercession can be accepted. Allah’s permission and pleasure are but a few examples. A few examples of these verses will also be sufficient.
1. Allah says, “Who is it that shall intercede with Him, except by His permission?” (Quran 2:255)
2. “So all those that they call upon apart from Him hold no (power of) intercession. Excepted are those (of God’s servants whom He permits to intercede, and) who bear witness to the truth and they know well “from Him for whom it may be made).” (Quran 43:86)
3. “For how many an angel is there in the heavens whose intercession is of no avail (to anyone) in anything until God grants permission to whomever He so wills and is pleased with.” (Quran 53:26)
Ways to reconcile between the two types of verses:
1. The matter of intercession is entirely in the Hands of Allah (Glory be to Him). Allah says, “(Then) say (to them): Intercession is altogether for God (alone to permit)!” (Quran 39:44)
2. There is no intercession in favor of the disbelievers. Allah says, “So forewarn them of the Impending Day when hearts go up into choking throats – (when) there shall be no intimate friend for the wrongdoers, nor any intercessor to be heeded.” (Quran 40:18)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, Abraham will meet his father (on the Day of Resurrection) and will say, ‘O my Lord You promised me that You would not let me in disgrace on the Day when people will be resurrected.’ Allah will say, ‘I have forbidden Paradise for the disbelievers.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
However, Abu Talib, Prophet Muhammad’s uncle, may be regarded as an exception. Although the intercession of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) will not save him from the Hellfire, the torment of the Hell-fire will be alleviated for him. This is because he used to defend and protect Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Moreover, Abu Talib did not use to call people to disbelief even though he was a disbeliever.
Narrated `Abdullah bin Al-Harith bin Naufal:
`Abbas bin `Abdul Muttalib said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Did you benefit Abu Talib with anything as he used to protect and take care of you, and used to become angry for you?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Yes, he is in a shallow place of Fire. But for me he would have been in the lowest part of the Fire. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
3. The intercessor can intercede only by Allah’s permission. Allah says, “Who is it that shall intercede with Him, except by His permission?” (Quran 2:255)
4. The intercessor can intercede only on behalf of those whom Allah is pleased with. Allah says, “He (alone) knows what lies before them and what lies behind them. Nor do they intercede (with God) – except on behalf of those with whom He is pleased.” (Quran 21:28)
5. Idols, the sun, the moon and all the other things that were worshipped apart from Allah do not intercede with Allah on behalf of their worshippers. Allah says,
“Thus (all) those whom you call upon apart from Him hold no authority even over (so much as) a seed coat. If you call them, they do not hear your call. And were they to hear, they could not answer you. Thus, on the Day of Resurrection, they will utterly disavow your association of them (as gods) with God. And there is none to tell you (of the events of that Day) like the One who is all-aware. (Quran 35:14)