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Intercession in Islam

  • Date Submitted: 02/24/2012 07:43 AM
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 Intercession in IslamBy Nilofar Ahmed , DAWN 25-11-2011

INTERCESSION has become one of those controversialtopics for which arguments are provided from both sides of the divide. The Quran says, `O you who believe! Fear Allah and seek a wasila to him`(5:35).

In Arabic `wasila` stands for a link, a means to an end or an intermediary. `Tawassul` or `shifa`a`, means intercession, or to seek a means to an end. It means to plead with somebody on behalf of somebody else, in this world as well as on the Day of Judgment. When the word `Shaafi`is used for God, it means one who gives permission for intercession.

Many verses have been misunderstood out of context and some people think that the Quran contradicts itself and says in some places that intercession is valid and in others that it is not.

According to the Quran, those denied intercession are the ones who did not believe, or those who transgressed: `The intercession of the intercessors will be of no use to them` (74:48), referring to those in hell. The Bani Israel are told, `Fear the Day (of Judgment when) ... No fine will be acceptable and neither will any intercession be useful` (2:123).

Some verses which make it clear that without God`s permission and promise, no one can intercede, also reassure that intercession will take place: `They will have no (claim to) intercession, except for those who have the promise of the Most Merciful` (19:87; 34:23). No one can act as intercessor except by His leave (10:3; 2:255; 21:28). `On that Day no intercession will matter other than his whom Ar-Rehman grants permission and accepts` (20:109). The Makkan belief that their idolswould intercede for them is refuted (30:13).

God tells the Prophet (PBUH): `And in the night, pray the tahajjud, which is additional for you for soon your Lord will raise you to the Station of Praise (Maqam Mehmud)` (17:79).

Recited in the middle of the night, this prayer was made obligatory for the Prophet, but is voluntary for...

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