There are 29 verses of the Quran that start with a series of letters with no vowels. As far as I am aware, there is no concrete evidence to elaborate on the meaning of these letters, some have speculated about the abjad (traditional Arab numbers where letters are used which indicate a numerical value). Others have said that the letters represent praise to Allah, there is a (weak) hadith, and there is certainly no overwhelming evidence, but here it is anyway: From Muhammad ibn Haroon al-Zanjaanee that which ‘alee ibn Ahmad al-Baghdaadee had written by his own hands to me – narrated from Maaadh ibn al-Muthanee from Abd Allaah ibn Asmaa- from Jawayrah from Sufyaan al-Thawree who said: “I said to Al-Saadiq, peace be upon him, ‘O’ Son of the Messenger of Allah! What is the meaning of the words of Allah, The Powerful and Exalted, Alif, Lam, Meem and Alif, Lam, Meem, Saad and Aleef, Lam, Ra and Aleef, Lam, Meem, Ra and Kaf, Ha, Ya, Ayn, Saad and Ta, Ha and Ta, Seen and Ta, Seen, Meem and Ya, Seen and Saad and Ha, Meem and Ha, Meem, Ayn, Seen, Qaaf and Qaaf and Noon?”
The Imaam, peace be upon him, said, “As for Alif, Lam, Meem in the beginning of Surah al-Baqarah, it means ‘I am Allah the King’; and the Alif, Lam, Meem in the beginning of Surah Ale Imraan means ‘I am Allah the Noble’; the meaning of Alif, Lam, Meem, Saad is ‘I am Allah, The Decider, the Truthful’ ; and Alif, Lam, Ra means ‘I am Allah, the Forgiving’ ; the meaning of Alif, Lam, Meem, Ra is ‘I am Allah, The Giver of Life, The Taker of Life, The Sustainer’ ; the meaning of Kaf, Ha, Ya, ‘Ayn, Saad is ‘I am The Sufficient, the Guide, The Protecting Friend, The Knowledgeable, The One Who is Truthful to His Promise’ ; as for Ta, Ha, this is one of the name from the names of the Prophet, blessings of All¡h be upon him and his progeny, and its meaning is ‘O’ Searcher of Truth and The Guide to it (the truth), we have not revealed unto you the Qur’aan so that you may be unsuccessful (in your mission), rather, through it, We wish to give you good fortune’ ; as for the meaning of Ta Seen, it means ‘I am The Claimant and The Hearer of All’ ; as for Ta Seen Meem, it means ‘I am The Claimant, The Hearer of all, The Originator and the Ender’ ; as for the meaning of Ya Seen, this is one name from the names of the Prophet, blessings of Allaah be upon him and his progeny and it means, ‘O’ you who are listening to Our Revelation and the Qur’aan full of Wisdom, surely you are of Our Emissaries, upon the Straight Path; and as for Saad, it is a spring that originates from under the Divine Throne (of Allaah) and it is from this spring of water that the Prophet, blessings of Allaah be upon him and his progeny, performed Wudhoo- when he was carried into the heavens (on the Night Journey – al-Meraaj) and it is this same stream of water which Jibreel, goes to every day and submerges himself into. He then comes out of this stream and shakes off all of the water that is on his wings and there is not a single drop of water that falls off of his wings except that All¡h, the Glorified and High, creates from that drop of water, an Angel who glorifies, sanctifies, exclaims the greatness and praises Allaah until the Day of Judgement; as for Ha, Meem, its meaning is ‘The Praised, the Glorified’ ; and as for Ha Meem ‘Ayn Seen Qaaf, its meaning is‘The Forbearing, The Rewarder, The Knowledgeable, The Hearer of All, The All Able, the All Powerful’ ; as for Qaaf, ‘it is a mountain that covers the Earth and the greenness of the sky comes from it, and through this mountain does Allaah spread out the Earth for the people living there on’; as for Noon, this is a stream of water in Paradise which Allaah, the Powerful and Exalted, told to coagulate and so it coagulated, and then He fashioned a pencil. Then He, the Powerful and Exalted, said to the pen, ‘Write!’ So then the pen wrote on the Al-LawH Al-MaHfoodh(The Protected Tablet) all that has happened and all that will happen until the Day of Judgement. And the pen is of Divine Light (noor) and the pencil is of Divine Light (noor) and the Law (tablet) is of Divine Light (noor).’ ”
Sufyaan then said, “I said to him, O’ son of the Messenger of Allah! Explain to me the command of the Law and the Pen and the Pencil – a complete explanation – and teach me that which Allah has taught you!” The Imam replied, “O’ Son of Sa`id! Certainly if you had not been a person who was worthy of replying, then I would not have replied to you. So then, Noon is an Angel who leads to the Pen and it (the Pen) is an Angel and the Pen leads to the Law (tablet) and it too (the Law) is an Angel and the Law leads to the Angel Israafeel and Israafeel leads to Mika’eel and Mika’eel leads to Jibraa’eel and Jibraa’eel leads to all of the Prophets and Messengers, prayers of Allah be upon all of them.” The Imam then said to me, “Get up O’ Sufyaan since there is no security for you (since I have conveyed to you this hidden knowledge).”
- Al-Sadooq, Ma’aanee Al-Akhbaar, pg. 22
- Al-Majlisi, Bihaar Al-Anwaar, vol. 89, ch. 127, pg. 373, hadeeth # 1
Allah refers to the Quran as “The book”, not just poetry or oral tradition, it is a written thing, and it was written at the time of the Prophet SAW
Asks for for the belief in the unseen. This does not mean the unknown, or belief in a theory or belief without evidence.
Someone told Imam Ali (a.s.), “Have you seen your Lord that you worship Him?” Imam Ali (a.s.) answered, “Woe be on you! I do not worship the Lord Who I have not seen.” The questioner asked, “How have you seen Him?” Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, “Human eye cannot see Allah, rather his heart can perceive Allah by real belief.
Important to remember the .mind can reason truth, and this is what is meant by Imam Ali As
The “Unseen” may refer to a number of things, such as God, the day of Judgement, etc According to a tradition from Imam Sadiq AS The Unseen here refers to the Divine Proof (Imam Mahdi AS), and he added the evidence is referred to in this verse (10:20) “And they say: Why is not a sign sent to him from his Lord? Say: The unseen is only for Allah; therefore wait– surely I too, with you am of those who wait”
Those who guard against evil, or in other words, the pious ones, are the very people who believe. Piety or guarding oneself against evil, is not a special virtue of any particular group of the believers. It is not like doing good, being humble before God or purity of intention, which are counted as various grades of the faith. Piety, on the other hand, is a comprehensive virtue that runs through all the ranks of the true faith. It is for this reason that Allah has not reserved this adjective for any particular group of the believers.The characteristics of piety, enumerated in these four verses, are five: Believing in the unseen, keeping up prayers, spending benevolently out of what Allah has given, believing in what Allah has revealed to His apostles, and being sure of the hereafter
The above set of verses are regarding the believers, they believe in the Quran, the Unseen (God), perform prayer, give charity and accept previous revelations, they are certain of an afterlife.
Refers to the hypocrites.
We have in the Qur’an: “And they (the unbelievers or Jews) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them), and Allah is the best of schemers” [3, 47]; and also: “Verily the hypocrites seek to beguile Allah, but it is ,Allah Who beguileth them” [4,141]; and: ” Allah doth mock them ” [2, 15]; and we have: “Allah will deride at (sakhira) them ” [9, 80]; and we have: “They have forgotten Allah, so He hath forgotten them” [9, 68]. And the meaning of all this is that He, the Glorious and Mighty, shall requite them for their scheming (makr), beguiling (mukhada’a) mockery (istihza’), and forgetfulness (nisyan); and that is, He will make them forget themselves, as He, the Mighty and Glorious, has said: “And be not ye as those who forgot Allah, therefore He caused them to forget their souls ” [59,19]. For in reality Allah, the Glorious and Mighty, does not scheme, nor does He beguile, deride, or forget. Exalted is Allah beyond all this by His Greatness and Glory.
The people made a fire to see the correct way, but without Allah, there is no possibility of correct guidance.
The hypocrites are constantly afraid and doubting, remembering Allah only when they are afraid.They think that every cry is against them. (63: 4)They swear by Allah that they are truly of you while they are not of you, but they are a people who are afraid. Should they find refuge, or caves, or a place of concealment, they would turn straightway thereto in a swift rush. (9:56-57).
One reason mankind has been created is so that it may learn righteousness.
Consider that we are in a place where we can live, with water to drink and food to eat, if we look around the universe, these seems to be unique or at the very least, rare.
People are not simply mislead, people who are evil by their own choice will not be inclined to Islam until they change their ways.
By successor it is meant authority figure, the angels were surprised that Allah would choose mankind, as they seemed to know that their behavior can be awful. The angels were thinking it should be one of them, as they are dedicated worshippers. It seems that “calipha” is not an individual, but rather a successor in terms of a creation that was not their before, but is being put there. So mankind itself was not there before in the form as we know it today, but Allah wanted it to be. The angels saw something on Earth like humans and were surprised that Allah would want to allow such a creation to become dominant on earth.
The Commander of the Faithful [a] said,
“Allah wanted to create a creature by His hand, and that was after the jinn and the Nasnaas (a half-human half-beast species) remained in the Earth for seven thousand years. And it was His will to create Adam beyond the confines of the heavens.
Allah said to the angels, ‘Look at the inhabitants of the Earth, My creatures, the jinn and the Nasnaas.’
So when they saw what they were doing in acts of disobedience, the shedding of blood, and unjustly spreading corruption in the Earth, that became significant to the angels. They became angry at the inhabitants of the Earth, and they could not control their anger.
They said, ‘Our Lord, You are the Almighty, the Able, the Powerful, the Supreme, the One of Great Consequence. These are your weak, servile creatures. They tumble within Your grasp, they live within Your sustenance, they enjoy Your pardon, and they disobey You with these great sins that You do not make them regretful for, nor do you get angry, nor do You seek vengeance for Yourself when You hear from them or when You see. But this has become significant to us.’
So when He heard that from the angels, He said, ‘Surely, I will establish a vicegerent upon the Earth (2:30) who will be My Proof in the Earth upon My creation.’
The angels said, ‘May You be glorified.’ ‘Will You place upon it one who will cause corruption therein (2:30) just as the children of the jinn caused corruption, and shed blood just as the jinn shed, and be envious and disobedient? Appoint that vicegerent from us, for we are not envious, nor are we disobedient, nor do we shed blood.’ ‘And we will declare Your praise and sanctify You’ (2:30)
Allah said, ‘I know what you know not’ (2:30). ‘I want to create a creation with My two hands, and make from his progeny prophets, messengers, and righteous servants who are guided Imams, and I will make them vicegerents upon My creation in My Earth. They will prohibit them from disobeying Me, and warn them of My punishment, and guide them to My obedience, and put them upon the path of My cause, and be My Proof upon them. I will remove the Nasnaas from My Earth and purify it from them, and I will move the evil, disobedient jinn away from My goodly, preferred creatures and settle them in the space beyond the Earth so that they do not tyrannize this race of My creatures. I will put a barrier between the jinn and My creatures so that this race of My creatures will not see the jinn, nor sit with them, nor mix with them.’”
فحدثني أبي عن الحسن بن محبوب عن عمرو بن (أبى ط) مقدام عن ثابت الحذاء عن جابر بن يزيد الجعفي عن أبي جعفر محمد بن علي بن الحسين عن أبيه عن آبائه عليهم السلام عن أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام قال إن الله تبارك وتعالى أراد ان يخلق خلقا بيده وذلك بعد ما مضى من الجن والنسناس في الأرض سبعة آلاف سنة وكان من شأنه خلق آدم كشط(2) عن اطباق السماوات قال للملائكة انظروا إلى أهل الأرض من خلقي من الجن والنسناس فلما رأوا ما يعملون فيها من المعاصي وسفك الدماء والفساد في الأرض بغير الحق عظم ذلك عليهم وغضبوا وتأسنوا على أهل الأرض ولم يملكوا غضبهم قالوا ربنا إنك أنت العزيز القادر الجبار القاهر العظيم الشأن وهذا خلقك الضعيف الذليل يتقلبون في قبضتك ويعيشون برزقك ويتمتعون بعافيتك وهم يعصونك بمثل هذه الذنوب العظام لا تأسف عليهم ولا تغضب ولا تنتقم لنفسك لما تسمع منهم وترى وقد عظم ذلك علينا وأكبرناه فيك قال فلما سمع ذلك من الملائكة قال “إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً” يكون حجة لي في الأرض على خلقي فقالت الملائكة سبحانك “أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا” كما أفسد بنو الجان ويسفكون الدماء كما سفك بنو الجان ويتحاسدون ويتباغضون فاجعل ذلك الخليفة منا فانا لا نتحاسد ولا نتباغض ولا نسفك الدماء ونسبح بحمدك ونقدس لك قال عز وجل “إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ” اني أريد ان أخلق خلقا بيدي واجعل من ذريته أنبياء ومرسلين وعبادا صالحين أئمة مهتدين واجعلهم خلفاء على خلقي في أرضي ينهونهم عن معصيتي وينذرونهم من عذابي ويهدونهم إلى طاعتي ويسلكون بهم طريق سبيلي وأجعلهم لي حجة عليهم وأبيد النساس من ارضي وأطهرها منهم وانقل مردة الجن العصاة من بريتي وخلقي وخيرتي واسكنهم في الهواء في أقطار الأرض فلا يجاورون نسل خلقي وأجعل بين الجن وبين خلقي حجابا فلا يرى نسل خلقي الجن ولا يجالسونهم ولا يخالطونهم
(Tafsir al-Qummi, Surat al-Baqara, verse 34)
The origin of knowledge is Allah.
Satan was a Jinn, but as hinted earlier, it was not only angels present at this time.
Satan is labeled as a disbeliever, yet he believers in God, the Prophets, the Books, Afterlife, prayer etc. It seems the item of faith he rejected was the authority of Allah on the earth, rejection of this appears to amount to disbelief. Or it is simply that satan openly refused a clear order from Allah, however the issue is not clear, as surely there is a difference between someone who believes but does wrong, eg a fasiq, and someone who rejects God all together?
H 3564, Ch 14, h 14 Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad from Ali ibn al-Hakam from ‘Abd Allah ibn Bukayr from abu ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant, who has said the following: “The Holy Quran was revealed in a manner like, ‘I speak to you, but it is the neighbor who must listen.’” It is narrated, in another Hadith, from abu ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant, who has said the following: “The meaning of ‘I speak to you, but it is the neighbor who must listen’, is that whenever Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, has addressed His prophet in critical expressions they, in fact, are addressed to others and not the Holy Prophet such as: ‘Had We not strengthened your faith you might have relied on them some how,’ (17:74) is addressed to others (not the Holy Prophet).’”
H 2904, CH 172, h 1 Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from ibn abu ‘Umayr from Jamil who has said the following: “Al-Tayyar would say to me that Satan is not among the angels. Only angels were commanded to bow down in prostration before Adam and Satan said, ‘I will not bow down in prostration.’ Why should Satan be called disobedient for not bowing down in prostration when he is not among the angels? The narrator has said that he and I went in the presence of abu ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant. He, by Allah, presented his question very nicely saying, ‘May Allah keep my soul in service for your cause, please consider Allah’s, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, calling the believers, “O believing people,” are hypocrites also addressed along with the believers?’ The Imam said, ‘Yes, also the straying people and all who had affirmed the public call to Islam. Satan was included in the public call with them (the angles).’”
The prohibition was approaching the tree, Prophet Adam AS believed that he was free to eat as he liked.
H 4707, Ch. 91, h 2
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn abu Nasr from al-Husayn ibn Muyassir who has said
“I asked abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, about the garden of Adam, ‘Alayhi al-Salam. He said, ‘It
was a garden of the gardens of the world on which the sun and moon rise. Had it been of the gardens of
the hereafter, he would have never been expelled there from.’”
You should always be truthful, and not tell only half the truths. This does not override taqiyah, which is obligatory if your life or interests are threatened. (2:225, 3:28, 16:106, 40:28)
H 6223, Ch. 1, h 7
Ali has narrated from his father from ibn abu ‘Umayr from Sulayman from those whom he has mentioned who has said the following:
“This is about the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Glorious, ‘Seek support through
patience.’ (2:45) Abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said, ‘“Patience” is a reference to fasting.’ He
further said, ‘If a man faces severe difficulties, he should fast. Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most
The Arabic word yathunoona, is normally translated as assumption / conjecture / guess / think. A person can assume or think something, and it maybe right or it maybe wrong, it is not certain, the person does not have certainty (yaqeen). Generally in the Quran, acting on assumption is disliked (45:32, 48:12, 53:23, 53:28, 64:7) which makes me suspect this verse is implying that those people who dont practice what they preach and find religion very difficult are just suspecting there will be a judgement day, rather than being certain. Or, the verse could just mean that those who genuinely think they are going to meet their Lord, as in people who are God fearing decent people.
The ancient tribes and the idol-worshippers believed that the life hereafter was an extension of this one; that the customs of this world were valid for that one too, and that the next world was permeated by the same actions and reactions which prevailed in this one. Thus they offered sacrifices and offerings to their deities seeking forgiveness for their sins or assistance in their needs; the offerings were supposed to intercede on their behalf. Some times a sin was expiated or help was sought by offering even a human sacrifice. They carried this idea of continuation of the life so far as to bury with a man all types of necessities of life, not forgetting his ornaments and arms, in order that he might use them on his onward journey; some times even his concubines and soldiers were buried alive with him to keep him company. You may see a lot of such finds in archaeological museums around the world. Some such ideas have persisted even among the Muslims – with all their diverse cultures and languages, albeit in modified forms.The Qur’an has rejected all such superstitious beliefs and baseless ideas in no uncertain terms:…and the command on that day shall be entirely Allah’s(82:19).…and they see the chastisement and their ties are cut asunder (2:166).And certainly you have come to Us alone as We created you at first, and you have left behind your backs the things which We gave you, and We do not see with you your intercessors about whom you asserted that they were (Allah’s) associates in respect to you; certainly the ties between you are now cut off and what you asserted is gone from you (6:94).There shall every soul become acquainted with what is sent before, and they shall be brought back to Allah, their true Master and what they did fabricate shall escape from them (10:30).There are many similar verses; and they show that the life hereafter is cut off from the natural causes which govern this life, and is quite separate from material connections. Once this principle is understood all the above-mentioned myths would automatically be cleared away. But the Qur’an is not content with this general declaration; it refutes each and every myth and superstition described above:And be on your guard against the day when one soul shall not avail another in the least;- neither shall intercession on its behalf be accepted, nor shall any compensation be taken from it, nor shall they be helped(12:48)…before the day comes in which there is no bargaining, neither any friendship nor intercession (2:254)The day on which a friend shall not avail (his) friend aught… (44:41).…there shall be no savior for you from Allah… (40:33).What is the matter with you that you do not help each other? Nay! on this day they are submissive (37:25 – 26).And they worship beside Allah what can neither harm them nor profit them, and they say: “These are our intercessors with Allah” Say: “Do you (presume to) inform Allah of what He knows not in the heavens and the earth?” Glory be to Him, and supremely exalted is He above what they set up with Him. (10: 18).…the unjust shall not have any friend nor any intercessors who should be obeyed (40:18).So we have no intercessors, nor a true-friend (26:100-101).There are many other verses of the same theme, all rejecting the intercession on the Day of Resurrection.On the other hand, the Qur’an does not totally reject the intercession; rather it confirms it to a certain extent. For example, it says:Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth and what is between them in six periods and He is firmly established on the throne; you have not besides Him any guardian or any intercessors; will you not then mind? (32:4)…there is no guardian for them, nor any intercessor besides Him (6:51).Say: Allah’s is the intercession altogether” (39:44).…whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them (2:255).Surely your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six periods; and He is firmly established on the throne; regulating the affair; there is no intercessor except after His permission (10: 3).And they say,- “The Beneficent God had taken to Himself a son.” Glory be to Him! Nay! they are honored servants; they do not precede Him in speech and (only)according to His commandment do they act. He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not intercede except for whom He approves, and for fear of Him they tremble (21:26 – 28).And those whom they call upon besides Him have no authority for intercession, but he who bears witness of the truth, and they know (him) (43:86).They shall have no authority for intercession, save he who has made a covenant with the Beneficent God(19:87).On that day shall no intercession avail except of him whom the Beneficent God allows and whose word He is pleased with. He knows what is before them and what is behind them, while they do not comprehend Him in knowledge And intercession will not avail aught with Him save of him whom He permits (34:23).And how many an angel is there in the heavens whose intercession does not avail at all except after Allah has given permission to whom He pleases and chooses (53: 26).Some of these verses (like the first three) say that intercession is reserved for Allah, while the rest declare that others too may intercede with Allah’s permission. In any case, all of them confirm the intercession per se. How are these verses related to the preceding ones which totally reject intercession? It is exactly the same relation that exists between the verses that say that the knowledge of unseen is reserved to Allah and those which declare that others too may have that knowledge with the permission of Allah. As Allah says:Say: “No one in the heaven and the earth knows the unseen but Allah” (27:65).And with Him are the keys of the unseen, does not know it any except He (6:59).The Knower of the unseen! so He does not reveal His secrets to any, except to him whom He chooses of an apostle (72:27).The same is the case with various verses on the subjects of creating, sustaining, giving death, causality, command, authority and similar things. Some verses reserve them for Allah, while some say that others too may do these things. It is a well-known style of the Qur’an: first it rejects the idea that anyone other than Allah has any virtue or perfection; thereafter it confirms the same virtue or perfection for others depending on the permission and pleasure of Allah. When read together, the verses show that nobody has any virtue by his own power and right; whatever excellence there may be, he has got it because Allah has given it to him. Allah puts much emphasis to this fact; He attaches the proviso of His will even for those things which are firmly decreed by Him. For example:So as to those who are unhappy, they shall be in the fire; for them shall be sighing and groaning in it; abiding therein so long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord please; surely your Lord is the(mighty) doer of what He intends. And as to those who are made happy, they shall be in the garden, abiding in it as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord please; a gift which shall never be cut off(11:106 -108).Note that abiding for ever is made dependent on the pleasure of Allah, even in case of the garden, although it is a gift which shall never be cut off. It emphasizes the fact that even when Allah firmly decrees a thing, it does not pass out of His control or authority; “Surely your Lord is (mighty) doer of what He intends” (11:107). When Allah gives a thing, it does not go out of His total possession. When He denies some thing to someone, it is not done to protect Himself against any need or poverty!
In short, the verses that reject intercession – albeit talking about the Day of Resurrection – do so in the context of intercession independent of Allah’s authority; while the ones proving it, prove it basically for Allah and then, depending on His pleasure, for others.Thus the intercession is proved for other than Allah with His permission.Now we should see what is the meaning of intercession? Who may intercede? On behalf of whom? And when? How is it related to the divine forgiveness?
Qur’anic Discourse About Intercession
1. WHAT IS THE MEANING OF INTERCESSION? “Ash-Shafa’ah” (intercession) is derived from “ash-shaf'” which means “even” as opposed to odd – the interceder adds his own recommendation to the plea of the petitioner; in this way the number of pleaders becomes even, and the weak plea of the petitioner is strengthened by the prestige of the intercessor. We are accustomed in our social and communal life to seek others’ intercession and help for fulfilling our needs. We resort to it to get an advantage or to ward off a disadvantage. Here we are riot talking about an advantage or a disadvantage, a benefit or a harm that is caused by natural causes, like hunger and thirst, heat or cold, illness or health; because in such cases we get what we want through its natural remedies, like eating and drinking, wearing clothes, getting treatment and so on. What we are talking here about is the benefit and harm, punishment and reward resulting from the social laws made by civil authorities. Rising from the very relationship of mastership-and-servitude and for that matter, between every ruler and ruled – there are some commandments, orders and prohibitions; one who follows and obeys them is praised and rewarded, and the one who disobeys is condemned and punished; that reward or punishment may be either material or spiritual. When a master orders his servant to do or not to do a thing, and the servant obeys him he gets its reward, and if he disobeys he is punished. Whenever a rule is made, the punishment for its infringement is laid down too. This is the foundation which all the authorities are built upon.When a man wants to get a material or spiritual benefit but is not suitably qualified for it; or when he desires to ward off a harm which is coming to him because of his disobedience, but has no shield to protect himself, then comes the time for intercession.In other words, when he wants to get a reward without doing his task, or to save himself from punishment without performing his duty, then he looks for someone to intercede on his behalf. But intercession is effective only if the person for whom one intercedes is otherwise qualified to get the reward and has already established a relationship with the authority. If an ignorant person desires appointment to a prestigious academic post, no intercession can do him any good; nor can it avail in case of a rebellions traitor who shows no remorse for his misdeeds and does not submit to the lawful authorities. It clearly shows that intercession works as a supplement to the cause; it is not an independent cause.The effect of an intercessor’s words depends on one or the other factor which may have some influence upon the concerned authority; in other words, intercession must have a solid ground to stand upon. The intercessor endeavors to find a way to the heart of the authority concerned, in order that the said authority may give the reward to, or waive the punishment of, the person who is the subject of intercession. An intercessor does not ask the master to nullify his mastership or to release the servant from his servitude; nor does lie plead with him to refrain from laying down rules and regulations for his servants or to abrogate his commandments (either generally or especially in that one case), in order to save the wrong-doer from the due consequences; nor does he ask him to discard the canon of reward and punishment, (either generally or in that particular case). In short, intercession can interfere with neither the institution of mastership and servantship nor the masters authority to lay down the rules; nor can it effect the system of reward and punishment. These three factors are beyond the jurisdiction of intercession.What an intercessor does is this: He accepts the inviolability of the above-mentioned three aspects. Then he looks at one or more of the following factors and builds his intercession on that basis:a. He appeals to such attributes of the master as give rise to forgiveness, e.g., his nobility, magnanimity and generosity.b. He draws attention to such characteristics of the servant as justify mercy and pardon, e.g., his wretchedness, poverty, low status and misery.c. He puts at stake his own prestige and honor in the eyes of the master.Thus, the import of intercession is like this: I cannot and do not say that you should forget your mastership over your servant or abrogate your commandment or nullify the system of reward and punishment. What I ask of you is to forgive this defaulting servant of yours because you are magnanimous and generous, and because no harm would come to you if you forgive his sins; and/or because your servant is a wretched creature of low status and steeped in misery; and it is befitting of a master like you to ignore the faults of a slave like him; and/or because you have bestowed on me a high prestige, and I implore you to forgive and pardon him in honor of my intercession.The intercessor, in this way, bestows precedence on the factors of forgiveness and pardon over those of legislation and recompense. He removes the case from the latter’s jurisdiction putting it under former’s influence. As a result of this shift, the consequences of legislation (reward and punishment) do not remain applicable. The effect of intercession is, therefore, based on shifting the case from the jurisdiction of reward and punishment to that of pardon and forgiveness; it is not a confrontation between one cause (divine legislation) and the other (intercession).By now it should have been clear that intercession too is one of the causes; it is the intermediate cause that connects a distant cause to its desired effect.Allah is the ultimate Cause. This causality shows itself in two ways:First: In creation: Every cause begins from Him and ends up to Him; He is the first and the final Cause. He is the real Creator and Originator. All other causes are mere channels to carry His boundless mercy and limitless bounty to His creatures.Second: In legislation: He, in His mercy, established a contact with His creatures; He laid down the religion, sent down His commandments, and prescribed suitable reward and appropriate punishment for His obedient and disobedient servants; He sent prophets and apostles to bring us good tidings and to warn us of the consequences of transgression. The prophets and apostles conveyed to us His message in the best possible way. Thus His proof over us was complete: and the word of your Lord has been accomplished with truth and justice, there is none to change His words… (6: 115).Both aspects of causality of Allah may be, and in tact are, related to intercession.1. Intercession in creation: Quite obviously the intermediary causes of creation are the conduits that bring the divine mercy, life, sustenance and other bounties to the creatures; and as such they are intercessors between the Creator and the created. Some Qur’anic verses too are based on this very theme:whatever is in the heavens and what is in the earth is His; who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission (2:255); Surely your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six periods, and He is firmly established on throne, regulating the affair; there is no intercessor except after His permission (10: 3).Intercession in the sphere of creation is only the intermediation of causes between the Creator and the created thing and effect, in bringing it into being and regulating its affairs.2. Intercession in legislation: Intercession, as analyzed earlier, is effective in this sphere too. It is in this context that Allah says: On that day shah no intercession avail except of him whom the Beneficent God allows and whose word He is pleased with (20: 109);And intercession will not avail aught with Him save of him whom He permits (34:23); And how many an angel is there in the heavens whose intercessi
on does not avail at all except after Allah has given permission to whom He pleases and chooses (53:26); and they do not intercede except for him whom He approves… (21:28);And those whom they call upon besides Him have no authority for intercession, but he who bears witness of the truth and they know (him) (43:86). These verses clearly affirm intercessory role for various servants of Allah both men and angels — with divine permission and pleasure. It means that Allah has given them some power and authority in this matter, and to Him belongs all the kingdom and all the affairs. Those intercessors may appeal to Allah’s mercy, forgiveness and other relevant attributes to cover and protect a servant who otherwise would have deserved punishment because of his sins and transgressions. That intercession would transfer his case from the general law of recompense to the special domain of grace and mercy. (It has already been explained that the effect of intercession is based on shifting a case from the former’s to the latter’s jurisdiction-, it is not a confrontation between one law and the other.) Allah clearly says: …so these are they of whom Allah changes the evil deeds to good ones (25:70). Allah has the power to change one type of deed into other, in the same way as He may render an act null and void. He says: And We will proceed to what they have done of deeds, so We shah render them as scattered floating dust (25:23); …so He rendered their deeds null(47:9); If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden, We will expiate from you your (small) sins(4:31); Surely Allah does not forgive that any thing should be associated with Him, and forgives what is besides that to whomsoever He pleases (4:48). The last quoted verse is certainly about the cases other than true belief and repentance, because with belief and repentance even polytheism is forgiven, like any other sin. Also Allah may nurture a small deed to make it greater than the original: These shall be granted their reward twice (28:54); Whoever brings a good deed, he shall have ten like it (6:160). Likewise, He may treat a nonexistent deed as existing: And (as for) those who believe and their offspring follow them in faith, We will unite with them their offspring and We will not diminish to them aught of their work; every man Is responsible for what he has done (52:21).To make a long story short, Allah does what He please, and decrees as He wills. Of course, He does so pursuant to His servants’ interest, and in accordance with an intermediary cause – and intercession of the intercessors (e.g., the prophets, the friends of Allah and those who are nearer to Him) is one of those causes, and certainly no rashness or injustice is entailed therein.It should have been clear by now that intercession, in its true sense, belongs to Allah only; all His attributes are intermediaries between Him and His creatures and are the channels through which His grace, mercy and decrees pass to the creatures; He is the real and all-encompassing intercessor: Say: “A1lah’s is the intercession altogether” (39:44); …you have not besides Him any guardian or any intercessor (32:4), …there is no guardian for them nor any intercessor besides Him(6:51). The intercessors, other than Allah, get that right by His permission, by His authority.In short, intercession with Him is a confirmed reality – in cases where it does not go against the divine glory and honor.2. THE OBJECTIONS AGAINST INTERCESSIONIntercession, as explained above, is a confirmed reality not in every case but in approved ones. The Qur’an and the traditions do not prove more than this. A little meditation on the meaning of intercession is enough to lead to this conclusion. Intercession is mediation in causality and effectiveness. Obviously causality cannot be limitless and unconditional. No cause can be a cause of every effect, nor can an effect be governed by every cause – otherwise it would render the system of cause and effect null and void. Those who do not believe in intercession have fallen in this very trap – they thought that we affirm the intercession in its totality without any condition or limit. All their objections emanates from this very misunderstanding:First Objection: Allah has threatened to punish the wrongdoer; now supposedly He waives the punishment on the Day of Judgment. The question is whether this waiver is justice or injustice. If it is justice, then the original promise of punishment would be injustice, quite unworthy of divine majesty; and if it is injustice, then the intercession of the prophets, for example, would be a plea for injustice, and it is a folly that should not be attributed to the prophets.Reply – First: What will they say about those, orders that are given only to test the royalty of a servant and are changed at the last moment, like the order to Ibrahim to kill Isma’il? Surely its waiver too like the original order was based on justice. Such orders are given only to test the hidden quality of the servant concerned. Likewise, it may be said that salvation is written for all the believers. The laws of the shari’ahwere ordained with punishments prescribed for transgressors – in order that the disbelievers should perish because of their disbelief. As for the obedient believers their rank would be enhanced by their good deeds. And as for the disobedient believers, they would be rescued by intercession: that intercession might be effective either totally or partially; in later case, they would have to suffer some of the punishments in al-Barzakh or on the Day of Judgment itself and then they would get deliverance.Thus the original law with the prescribed punishment for the defaulters is nothing but justice, and, the subsequent waiver of that punishment too is nothing but justice.Second: The waiver of the prescribed punishment as a result of intercession could be compared with the previous order – in being based on justice or injustice – only if that waiver were a contradiction of the previous order. But we have explained that it is not so. Intercession is not a contradiction of, or confrontation between one cause (divine legislation) and the other (intercession); it is in tact shifting his case from one jurisdiction (reward and punishment) to the other (mercy and forgiveness).Second Objection: It is the established practice of Allah, that His actions are safe from contradiction and conflict. Whatever He decrees and orders, without any exception, runs on an established pattern. And this is the foundation which the system of cause and effect has been built upon. Allah says: This is a straight path with Me, Surely, as regards My servants, thou hast no authority over them except those who follow thee of the deviators. And surely Hell is the promised place of them all (15:41-43); And (know) that this is My path, the straight one, therefore, follow it, and follow not (other) ways, for they will scatter you away from His way(6:153); For you shall not find any alteration in the course of Allah; and you shall not find any change in the course of Allah (3 5:43). And intercession, if effective, would certainly create conflict and contradiction in the actions Allah: If intercession caused waiver of punishment from all the sinners, of all their sins, then it would defeat the very purpose of the shari’ah and would turn the whole system into a joke. And if only some of the sinners, or only some of their sins were forgiven, then there would occur contradiction in divine actions and change and alteration in Allah’s established course. Certainly, all the sinners are transgressors and every sin is disobedience of divine command. Therefore, forgiving only some of them or only some of their sins, because of intercession, would be impossi
ble.Intercession is used in this life of ours, where people are influenced by their desires or social connections. It cannot work in the affairs of the shari’ah nor can it influence the divine Judgment in any way.Reply: No one doubts that the path of Allah is straight and His course without any change or conflict. But it should not be forgotten that this one and unchanged course is based on all His relevant attributes, not on only one or two of them.Allah is the One Who bestows on every creature diverse things like life death, sustenance, bounty and so on. These are the decrees that are contradictory or unrelated to each other; they do not have the same connection with the issuing authority i.e. God. Otherwise the relationship of cause and effect would become null and void. For example, Allah does not restore a sick man to health by virtue of His death-giving power; rather He does so because He is Merciful, Benevolent, Giver of health and Bestower of bounties. Likewise, He does not destroy an arrogant tyrant by His mercy and beneficence, but because He is the Avenger, the Omnipotent and the Subduer. The Qur’an is the best witness of this fact: Whenever it ascribes an event or affair to Him, it invariably always mentions the appropriate attribute by which that affair or event was decreed and managed.You may say that every affair and every thing is decreed by Allah because of its underlying benefit and good. And He does whatever He does by His all relevant attributes, and not by only one or some of them. There is always action and reaction between benefits and good of various courses of a certain affair; and Allah issues His decree as a result of His knowledge that encompasses ail those aspects; His vision is not limited to one or two sides only. Had there been one fixed cause or attribute, there would have been no change or difference between a believer and a non-believer, between a pious person and a debauchee; but there are numerous causes and attributes, and their sum-total often has effects quite different from the effect of its individual parts.Therefore, intercession, and the consequent waiver of punishment – based on sum-total of numerous causes like mercy, pardon, Judgment, and giving everyone his due right – does not entail any change in the established course, nor any deviation from the right path.Third Objection: Intercession, according to common understanding, prevails upon the authority to do against his original will. In other words, the original will is abrogated and changed because of the intercessor. A just judge would never accept an intercession unless his knowledge is changed, e.g., his original Judgment was wrong, and then he was made to realize that justice demanded a course opposite to his original plan. An unjust judge would accept intercession of his friends knowing fully well that the course suggested was wrong; but he values his personal relations more than the demands of justice and equity. Obviously, both these alternatives are impossible so far as Allah is concerned; His will is related to His knowledge, and His knowledge is eternal and unchangeable.Reply: Intercession has nothing to do with change of will or knowledge. What actually changes is the thing willed about or known. Allah knows that a certain man will pass through various stages in his life; for a time his condition will be excellent – and Allah wills about him a certain will, and He knows that later his condition will change – and He wills about him another will; and every day He is in a (new) state (of glory). And He has said:Allah effaces what He pleases and establishes (likewise), and with Him is the bases of the Book (13:39); Nay, both His hands are spread out, He expends as He pleases(6:64). The same happens with out knowledge and will. We know that soon night will come and we will not be able to see in darkness, but a few hours later the sun will rise dispelling the darkness. When night comes out will is directed to light a lamp, and later when the morning comes the will is directed to extinguish that lamp. In this case, there was no change at all in out knowledge and will; what changed was the objects of that knowledge and will. And consequently they ceased to be governed by that knowledge and that will. After all, not every knowledge is related to every known object, nor every will is connected to every purpose.What is impossible for Allah is disagreement of His knowledge with the thing known, or of His will with its object – while that thing or object remains unchanged. In other words, it is impossible for Him to be mistaken in His knowledge or for His will to be ineffective. We see an apparition far away and take it to be a man; on coming nearer we find that it was a horse. In this case, out “knowledge” did not agree with its object; it was a mistake.Likewise, we intend to do a certain work, then we realize that it would be wrong to do so; here our “will” was cancelled and became ineffective. But in these cases the objects of our knowledge and will had not changed. Such “disagreement” is certainly impossible for Allah. But as we have seen, intercession and the subsequent waiver of punishment does not come into this category.Fourth Objection: Had Allah promised intercession, or had His prophets brought this message to their nations, the people would have been emboldened to disobey the commandments of Allah, and to transgress the limits of the shari’ah. It would have defeated the whole purpose behind the institutions of prophethood and religion. If we are to avoid this inherent difficulty, we shah have to interpret the relevant Qur’anic verses and traditions in a way that does not collide with this basic concept.Reply – First: What will they say about the verses showing that Allah’s mercy and forgiveness is all-encompassing? For example: Surely Allah does not forgive that any thing should be associated with Him, and forgives what is besides that to whomsoever He pleases (4:48). This verse, as explained earlier, covers the cases other than repentance, as the exception of polytheism shows – because in cases of repentance even polytheism may be forgiven.Second: The promise or message of intercession could incite people to disregard the rules of the shari’ah, if it were accompanied by one of the following factors:1. If it had pin-pointed either the sinner – by name or description – who was to be forgiven through intercession; or the particular sin that was to be wiped off – unconditionally, definitely and without any ambiguity.2. Or, if intercession were effective against all types of punishment and at all times.Read the following sentences to understand what the above conditions mean:”All men, or a named group of men, will never be held responsible for any sins they commit; nor they ever be punished for their transgressions.””A particularly named sin will never be punished for.”Obviously, such declarations would defeat the basic purpose of the shari’ah.But Allah has kept both things vague. He has never said what sins or which sinners might benefit from intercession, nor has He Said whether all or only some of the punishment would be waived; nor has He made it clear whether or not the intercession would be effective in every condition and at all times. As all these things have been kept vague, no one could be sure of getting the benefit of intercession. In view of this uncertainty, he cannot feel bold to trespass the limits of Allah. On the other hand the possibility of intercession would save him from losing the hope of divine mercy, will keep him away from despair and despondency, from pessimism and hopelessness. Then there is the verse: If you avoid great sins which you are forbidden, We will expiate from You your (small) sins… (4:31). It clearly says that Allah will forgive small sins and waive the punishment, provide
d the servant shuns great sins. If Allah can say, “If you avoid great-sins, I shall forgive the small ones”, He can as easily say, “If you keep your belief pure until you come to Me with unpolluted faith, I shall accept the intercession of intercessors on your behalf.” The important thing is to keep the faith strong; the sins weaken the faith, harden the heart and lead to polytheism. Allah has said: But none feels secure from Allah’s plan except the people who shah perish (7:99);Nay! rather what they used to do has become like rust upon their hearts (83:14); Then evil was the end of those who did evil, because they rejected the signs of Allah…(30:10).The hope of divine mercy (generated by the belief of intercession), in many cases, leads to repentance, piety and good deeds – and often the servant reaches a stage where intercession is not needed after all. It is in fact the most important benefit of this belief.Likewise, if it were mentioned who would benefit from intercession or which sins were likely to be interceded about, but it was declared that it would nevertheless entail some types of punishment up to a certain period, the man could not feel bold to commit sins.And the fact is that the Qur’an has nowhere pin-pointed the sin or the sinner likely to benefit from intercession. On the contrary, it speaks only of averting the punishment from some people. And no objection can be leveled against such a vague expression.Fifth Objection: Utmost that reason may prove is the possibility, and not the actuality, of intercession – in fact, it does not prove even that much. So far as the Qur’an is concerned, it does not show that intercession will actually take place. Some verses refute the idea of intercession altogether, e.g., …the day comes in which there is no bargaining, neither any friendship nor intercession (2:254). Other verses say that intercession shall be of no avail, e.g., So the intercession of intercessors shall not avail them (74:48). Still others, after refuting the actuality of intercession, add the proviso like, but by His permission (2:255), except after His permission (10:3), except for him whom He approves(21:28). This style (a negative followed by exception of divine permission or approval) is used in the Qur’an invariably always to emphasize the negative statement; for example, it says: We will make you recite so you shall not forget, except what Allah pleases (87:6-7); Abiding therein so long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord pleases (11:107). Obviously, there is no definite declaration in the Qur’an proving the actuality of intercession. As for the traditions, those giving its details are not reliable; and the reliable ones do not say more than the Qur’an does.Reply: As for the verses refuting the intercession we have already explained that what they reject is the intercession without the permission of Allah. The verse 74:48, which says that “the intercession of intercessors shall not avail them”, is not a proof against intercession; on the contrary it proves its actuality. The verse is in the Chapter, “The Clothed One’ and speaks about “them”, i.e., a particular group of wrong-doers mentioned in verses 41 to 47; it is they who shall not benefit from the intercession of intercessors; it does not speak about all the sinners. Moreover, it uses the phrase, “the intercession of intercessors.” There is a difference between saying, “Intercession shall not avail them”, and saying, “Intercession of intercessors shall not avail them.” When an infinitive verb or verbal noun is used in genitive or possessive case, it proves its actual existence, as ash-Shaykh ‘Abdu’l-Qahir has clearly written in Dala’ilu’l- I’jaz. Therefore, the expression, “intercession of intercessors” proves that some intercession shall definitely take place on that day, although that particular group shall not be able to benefit from it. Also, the plural, “intercessors” points to the presence of a group of intercessors. Look for example at the phrases: she was of those who remained behind (7:83); and he was one of the unbelievers covenant does (2:34); so he is of those who go astray(7:175); My convenant does not include the unjust ones(2:124). The plurals in all these phrases would have been irrelevant if they did not mean existence of more than two persons having the attributes mentioned. Likewise, the verse: So the intercession of intercessors shall not avail them, instead of refuting the intercession, clearly proves the existence of intercessors and, therefore, intercession. As for the verses that contain the exceptions, “but by His permission”, “except after His permission”, they clearly prove the actuality of intercession, especially as the infinitive verb “permission” is used in genitive case (His permission).No one having a taste of Arabic literature can entertain any doubt about it.It is childish to say that the two phrases, “but by His permission” and “except for him whom He approves” mean the same thing, i.e., the divine will. Moreover, the Qur’an has used various phrases of exception in various places, e.g., “but by His permission”, “except after His permission”, “except for him whom He approves” and “but he who bears witness of the truth and they know (him).” Even if we accept that the divine permission and divine approval mean the same thing, i. e., divine will, can it bc said that the last-mentioned phrase (but he who bears witness of the truth…) too implies the same? Such interpretation implies such inexactness and laxity in talk as even an ordinary Arab would not like attributed to him, let alone an eloquent one. Can we accuse the most eloquent divine speech, i.e., the Qur’an, of such inarticulateness?As for the traditions, we shall show later that they too follow the line adopted by the Qur’an.Sixth Objection: The verses do not say clearly that on the Day of Judgment, the punishment would be averted from the wrong-doers, after the sin has been proved and the sentence pronounced. The intercession attributed to the prophets means that they were the intermediaries between the Lord and His servant, they received revelation from their Lord and conveyed it to the people and guided them to the right path, leading them to spiritual and ethical perfection. In this sense, they are the intercessors for the believers in this world as well as in the hereafter.Reply: No doubt, it is one of the aspects of intercession; but intercession is not limited to this much. The prophets called their people to the true faith and repentance, and this is the intercession mentioned by the objector. Now let us look again at the verse: Surely Allah does not forgive that any thing should be associated with Him, and forgives what is besides – that to whomsoever He pleases (4:48). As described earlier, this verse covers the cases other than the true faith and repentance. (True faith and repentance would wipe out the polytheism too.) The exception of polytheism shows that here the talk is about other things – and intercession, in themeaning explained by us, is one those cases.Seventh Objection: Reason does not prove that intercession really exists; and the Qur’anic verses on this subject are ambiguous – in one place they prove it, at others refute it; sometimes they add some proviso, at the other they speak unconditionally. Therefore, the ethics of religion demands that we should believe in all of them and leave their meaning to Allah.Reply: The ambiguous verses, when referred to the decisive ones, become decisive themselves. It is an easy process which is not beyond our ability and power. We shall explain this subject when writing about the verse:of it there are some verses decisive, they are the basis of the
Book, and others are ambiguous… (3:).3. WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM INTERCESSION?As explained earlier, it was not in the best interest of religious guidance to pin-point who should benefit from intercession on the Day of Judgment. But vague hints and ambiguous statements can do no harm, and the Qur’an has used them to give us a general idea. Allah says: Every soul is held in pledge for what it has earned, except the people of the right hand, in gardens; they shall ask each other about the guilty: “What has brought you into hell?” They shall say: “We were not of those who prayed, and we used not to feed the poor; and we used to enter (into vain discourse) with those who entered (into vain discourse); and we use to call the Day of Judgment a lie, till death overtook us.” So the intercession of intercessors shall not avail them (74:38-48). The verses declare that every soul shall remain mortgaged on the Day of Judgment for the sins it has earned, held responsible for the wrongs done in this life. The only exception is of the people of the right hand – they shall be released from that pledge, and shall settle in the gardens. They shall see the wrongdoers who shall be held captive of their sins, and herded into hell; they shall ask them for the reason of their entering into hell, and the guilty shall reply by enumerating four sins as the cause of their disgrace and punishment. And because of those sins, they shall lose the benefit of the intercession of intercessors.It implies that the people of the right hand would be free from those sins which deprive a man of the benefit of intercession. Allah shall release them from the fetters of sins and wrongs; and this release shall be as a result of the intercession of intercessors.The verses are a part of the Chapter 74, (The Clothed One); it was revealed at Mecca at the beginning of the Call, as its contents amply prove. At that time the prayer and zakat as known to us were not promulgated. In this context the prayer, mentioned in the verse, “We were not of those who prayed”, could only mean turning one’s face towards Allah with humility and submission; likewise, the verse, “and we used not to feed the poor”, could only refer to general spending on the poor in the way of Allah. Al-Khawd (= translated here as entering into vain discourse) literally means to wade into water, to plung or rush into something. The verse, “we used to enter (into vain discourse)…”, implies entanglement in the vain things of this life, which distract a man from remembrance of the hereafter; it may also mean vilification of the verses which remind one of the Day of Reckoning.Those wrongdoers, therefore, shall be guilty of four sins: (1) Not turning their faces towards Allah with humility and submission; (2) not spending in the way of Allah; (3) vilification – of divine revelations; and (4) calling the Day of Judgment a lie. These four evils destroy the foundation of religion. Religion demands following the purified guides, setting one’s face towards Allah, turning away from the worldly distractions, setting one’s eyes on the Day of Judgment. If a man succeeds in it, he will be free from the third and the fourth sins, i.e., vilification of divine revelation and calling the Day of Judgment a lie. When, in this way, his fundamental belief is secured, he shall feel the urge to turn towards Allah and to help fellow human beings. These two factors are represented in these verses by prayer and spending in the way of Allah. Faith and deed all would thus combine to build the structure of religion. Other elements, like belief in Oneness of God and the prophethood, would naturally follow.The people of the right hand are the ones who shall benefit from the intercession; and they are the ones whose religion and faith Allah is pleased with. They may come on the Day of Judgment with perfect deeds – and in that case there will be no need for any intercession; or they may come burdened with some sins and it is they who shall benefit from the intercession. Therefore, the intercession shall be for those people of the right hand who may have committed some sins.Allah says: If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden, We will expiate from you your (small) sins(4:31). Therefore, anybody coming on the Day of Judgment with a sin not expiated, shall certainly be guilty of a great sin; had it been a small one it would have been expiated long ago. We have to conclude from this verse that the intercession shall be for those people of the right hand who shall be guilty of great sins. The Prophet has said: “Verily my intercession is for those of my ummah who shall have committed great sins; as for the good doers, there shall be no difficulty for them …”The designation, “the people of the right hand”, is the opposite of “the people of the left hand.” These Qur’anic terms are based on the fact that man, on the Day of Judgment, shall be given his book of deeds either in his right hand or in the left. Allah says: (Remember) the day when We will call every people with their Imam; then whoever is given his book in his light hand, these shall read their book; and they shall not be dealt with a whit unjustly. And whoever is blind in this, he shall (also) be blind in the hereafter; and more erring from the way(17:71-72). We shall describe, when writing about this verse, that getting the book in the right hand is synonymous with following the rightful Imam; likewise getting the book in the left hand means following a misguiding leader or lmam. Allah says about Pharaoh:He shall lead his people on the resurrection day, and bring them down to the fire (11:98). It means that not only the required four qualities but even the nomenclature, “the people of the right hand”, is based on the fact that they followed an approved religion, that Allah was pleased with them.Allah says in another place: and they do not intercede except for him whom He approves (21:28). This approval is general and without any condition or qualification. It is not like the one mentioned in verse: …except of him whom the Beneficent God allows and whose word He is pleased with (20:109), where approval or pleasure is related to the servant’s word. In the verse under discussion the pleasure or approval is related to them, not to their deed; in other words, “whom He approves” means ‘whose religion He approves’. Accordingly this verse too has the same import as the previous ones.Again Allah says: The day on which We will gather the pious ones to the Beneficent God as the guests of honor, and We will drive the guilty to hell like (thirsty) herd (to the watering place). They shall own not any intercession, save he who has made a covenant with the Beneficent God (19:85-87). The one who has made a covenant with Allah shall be given possession of intercession. It should not be forgotten that not every guilty servant is an unbeliever. Allah says: Whoever comes to his Lord (being) guilty, for him is surely hell; he shall not die therein nor shall he live; and whoever comes to Him a believer (and) he has done good deeds indeed, these it is who shall have the high ranks (20:74-75). According to these verses, anyone who is not a good-doing believer is guilty, no matter whether he is an unbeliever or a wrong-doing believer. The latter group, i.e., those who have true belief but have also committed sins, is the one that has made a covenant with God. Allah says: Did I not enjoin you (make a covenant with you), O children of Adam! that you should not worship the Satan? Surely he is your open enemy, and that you should worship Me; this is the straight path (36:60-61). The phrase, ” and that you should worship Me”, is a covenant in the meaning of order, enjoinment; and the sentence, “this is the straight path”, is also a covenant by implication because the straight path leads to felicity and safety
. However, such believers shall enter the hell because of the sins they had committed, then they shall be rescued by intercession. It is to this covenant that the verse 2:80 alludes: (The Jews) Say: “Fire shall not touch us but for a few days. Say: “Have you received a promise (covenant) from Allah?” These verses too, therefore, lead us to the same conclusion, namely, the group that shall benefit from intercession on the Day of Judgment is that of the believers who would have committed great sins; it is they whose religion and belief Allah is pleased with and has approved.4. WHO ARE THE INTERCESSORS?It has been described that intercession takes place in two spheres: in creation and in legislation. So far as the intercession in creation is concerned, all intermediary causes are intercessors because they are placed between the Creator and the created.As for the intercessors in the sphere of legislation and Judgment, they may be divided into two categories: (1) intercessors in this life, and (2) those in the hereafter.Intercessors in this life: All the things that bring a man nearer to Allah and make him eligible for divine forgiveness. The following come into this category:a. Repentance: Allah says: Say: …O my servants! who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah; surely Allah forgives the faults altogether; surely He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. And return to your Lord…(39:53 – 54). It covers all the sins, even polytheism; if one repents from it and believes in One God, one’s previous polytheism is wiped out and forgiven.b. True faith: Allah says: 0 you who believe! Fear Allah and believe in His Apostle: He will give you two portions of His mercy, and make for you a light with which you will walk, and forgive you… (57:28).c. Good deed: Allah has promised those who believe and do good deeds (that there is) for them pardon and great recompense (5:9); 0 you who believe! Fear Allah and seek an approach (medium) to Him… (5:35). There are many verses of this theme.d. The Qur’an: Indeed has come to you from Allah a light and a manifest Book whereby Allah guides him who follows His pleasure, into the ways of peace, and takes them out from darkness towards the light by His will and guides them to the straight path (5:16).e. * Any thing related to a good deed, like the mosques, holy places and auspicious days.f. The prophets and the apostles, as they seek forgiveness for their people. Allah says: and had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah, and the Apostle had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful (4: 64).g. The angels, as they too ask forgiveness for the believers. Allah says: Those who bear the throne and those around it celebrate the praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask forgiveness for those who believe(40:7); …and the angels celebrate the praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on earth… (42:5).h. The believers themselves, as they seek pardon for their believer brothers and for themselves. Allah quotes them as saying: and pardon us, and forgive us, and have mercy on us, Thou art our Guardian… (2:286).Intercessors in the hereafter: We use the term, intercessor, in the meaning explained in the beginning. The following come into this category:a. The prophets and the apostles: Allah says: And they say: “The Beneficent God has taken to Himself a son.” Glory be to Him. Nay! they are honoured servants,- they do not precede Him in speech and (only) according to His commandment do they act. He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not intercede except for him whom He approves… (21:26-28). Those who were called ‘son’ of God, are in fact His honoured servants and they do intercede for him whom He approves. Among them is ‘Isa, son of Maryam, and he was a prophet. It means that the prophets do intercede for approved persons.Again Allah says: And those whom they call upon besides Him have no authority for (or, do not own)intercession, but he who bears witness of the truth and they know (him) (43:86).b. The angels: The preceding two verses prove that the angels too may intercede, because they too were called daughters of Allah. M, Allah says: And how many an angel is there in the heavens whose intercession does not avail at all except after Allah has given permission to whom He pleases and chooses (53:26) On that day shall no intercession avail except of him whom the Beneficent God allows and whose word He is pleased with, He knows what is before them and what is behind them…(20:109-110).c. The witnesses: Allah says: And those whom they call upon besides Him have no authority for (or, do not own)intercession, but he who bears witness of truth and they know (him) (43:86). This verse shows that those who bear witness of the truth do own (or, have authority for) intercession. The witness mentioned here does not mean the one killed in the battlefield. It refers to the witness for the deeds, as was described in the Chapter of the Opening, and will be further explained under the verse: And thus we have made you a medium (i.e. just)nation that you may be witnesses over the people and (that) the Apostle may be a witness over you… (2:143).d. The believers: They shall be joined to the witnesses on the Day of Judgment; it follows that they too may intercede like the witnesses. Allah says: And (as for)those who believe in Allah and His apostles, these it is that are the truthful and the witnesses with their Lord…(57:19).5. INTERCESSION: ABOUT WHAT?The intercession in creation is related to every cause in this world of the cause and effect.As for the intercession in matters of legislation and Judgment, some of them wipe out every sin and its punishment, right from polytheism to the smallest one. For example, repentance done, and true faith acquired, before the Day of Resurrection. Some wipe out effects of some particular sins, like some specified good deeds. As for the issue under discussion, i.e., the intercession of the prophets and other believers on the Day of Judgment, we have already explained that it shall avail those believers who might have committed big sins, but whose faith Allah is pleased with.6. WHEN WILL INTERCESSION BE EFFECTED?We are talking here too about the intercession on the Day of Judgment to waive off the punishment of sins. We have earlier quoted the verses of the Chapter 42 (The Clothed One): Every soul is held in pledge for what it has earned, except the people of the right hand, in gardens they shall ask each other about the guilty (74:38-41). As explained earlier, the verses clearly say who would benefit from the intercession, and who wont. They also imply that the intercession will get the wrongdoing believers released from fetters of their sins, and protect them from abiding for ever in the hell.But there is nothing to show that intercession might avail against the turmoil of the Day of Resurrection. Rather, the verse proves that it will be effective only for rescuing the guilty believers from the hell, or preventing them from entering into it.It may be inferred from the verses that this talk will take place after the people of the garden have settled in the gardens, and the people of the hell in the hell; and that the intercessors shall then intercede for a group of the guilty ones and rescue them from the hell. The phrase, “in gardens”, implies it, as does the question, “What has brought you into hell?” Both phrases imply a more or less permanent abode. Likewise, the comment, “so the intercession… avails them not”, denotes something occurring in present time i.e. after both groups have settled in their abo
des.As for al-Barzakh (the period between death and the Day of Resurrection) and presence of the Prophet and the lmams of the Ahlulbayt (a.s.) at the time of death and at the questioning in the grave and the help given by them to the believer to overcome those difficulties (as will be described under the verse: – And there shall not be any one of the people of the book but he must certainly believe in him before his death (4:159), these things have nothing to do with intercession. It is rather exercising the authority given to them by Allah over the creation. Allah says: …and on the most elevated places there shall be men who know all by their marks, and they shall call out to the dwellers of the garden: “Peace be on you; they shall not have yet entered it, though they hope”…And the dwellers of the most elevated places shall call out to men whom they will recognize by their marks, saying: “Of no avail were to you your amassing and your behaving haughtily. Are these they about whom you swore that Allah will not bestow mercy on them?” “Enter the garden; you shall have no fear nor shall you grieve” (7:46-49). It gives a glimpse of the authority or rule vested in them by the permission of Allah. If we look at the verse 17:71 from this angle, it too throws light on this aspect: (Remember) the day when We will call every people with their Imam; then whoever is given his book in his right hand. The intermediary position of the lmam in calling every people and giving them their books is a sort of authority and rule vested in him by Allah.To make a long story short, intercession shall happen at the very last stage on the Day of Judgment; it shall bring the divine forgiveness to the guilty believers, prevent them from entering into hell and take those out who would have entered into it; it shall be by extension of mercy and/or manifestation of benevolence and magnanimity.
Al-Husayn ibn Khalid narrates from ar-Rida (a.s.), who narrated through his forefathers from the leader of the faithful (a.s.) that he said: “The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said: ‘Whoever does not believe in my reservoir, and whoever does not believe in my intercession, may Allah not extend to him my intercession.’ Then he (s.a.w.) said: ‘Verily my intercession is for those of my ummah who shall have committed great sins; as for those good-doers, there shall be no difficulty for them.'” Al-Husayn ibn Khalid said: “I asked ar-Rida (a.s.): ‘O son of the Messenger of Allah! What is then the meaning of the words of Allah, Mighty and Great is He: and they do not intercede except for him whom He approves?’ He (a.s.) said ‘They do not intercede except for him whose religion Allah is pleased with.'” (al-Amali as-Saduq) The author says: The tradition of the Prophet, “Verily my intercession is…”, has been narrated by both sects with numerous chains; and we have shown earlier that it is based on the theme of the Qur’anic verses.Suma’ah ibn Mihran narrates from Abu Ibrahim (a.s.) that he said about the words of Allah: may be your Lord will raise you to a praised position: “The people, on the Day of Resurrection, will remain standing for forty years; and the sun will be ordered so that it will ride over their heads and they will be bridled by sweat – and the earth will be told not to accept any of their sweat. So they will approach Adam to intercede for them and he will direct them to Nuh, and Nuh will direct them to Ibrahim, and Ibrahim will direct them to Musa, and Musa will direct them to ‘Isa, and ‘Isa will direct them saying: ‘You should seek the help of Muhammad, the last prophet.’ Thereupon, Muhammad (s.a.w.) will say: ‘I’ll do it;’ and will proceed until, arriving at the door of the garden, he will knock at it. It will be asked, ‘Who is it?’ (while Allah knows better!), and he will say: ‘Muhammad.’ Then it will be said: ‘Open for him.’ When the door will be opened he will turn to his Lord, falling in sajdah. He will not raise his head until he is told: ‘Speak up and ask, you will be given; and intercede, your intercession shall be granted.’ He will raise his head and turning to his Lord will fall (again) in sajdah. Then he will be promised as before; then he will raise his head. (Thereupon, he shall intercede) until he will intercede even for him who would have been burnt in the fire. Therefore, on the Day of Resurrection, no one among all the nations will be more eminent then Muhammad (s.a.w.); and it is (the meaning of) the words of Allah: May be your Lord will raise you to a praised position.” (al-‘Ayyashi)The author says: This meaning is narrated by both sects in great number, in detail as well as in short, with numerous chains; and it proves that the “praised position” means the position of intercession. This tradition is not in conflict with intercession of other prophets, because probably their intercession will be an offshoot of our Prophet’s, and it will begin on his hand.’Ubayd ibn Zurarah said: “Abu ‘Abdillah (a.s.) was asked whether a believer would have the right of intercession. He said: ‘Yes.’ Then someone said: ‘Will even a believer need the intercession of Muhammad (s.a.w.) on that day?’ He said: ‘Yes. The believers too will come with wrongs and sins; and there will be none but he shall need the intercession of Muhammad on that day.'” (‘Ubayd) said: “And someone asked him about the words of the Messenger of Allah: ‘I am the Chief of the children of Adam, and I say this without boasting.’ He said: ‘Yes.’ (Then) he said: ‘He will hold the chain-link of the door of the garden and open it; then he will fall in sajdah, and Allah will tell him ‘Raise your head, do intercede, your intercession shall be granted, and ask, you shall be given.’ Thereupon he will raise his head and intercede – and his intercession will be accepted; and he will ask and be given.” (ibid)Muhammad ibn al-Qasim narrates through his chains from Bishr ibn Shurayh al-Basri that he said: “I said to Muhammad ibn ‘Ali (a.s.): ‘Which verse in the Book of Allah is the most hope-inspiring?’ He said: ‘And what do your people say (about it)?’ I said: ‘They say, (it is the verse), Say: “O my servants! Who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah.”‘ He said: ‘But we, the people of the house, do not say so.’ I said: ‘Then what do you say about it?’ He said: ‘We say (it is the verse), And soon will your Lord give you so that you shall be well pleased. (It means) the intercession, by Allah the intercession, by Allah the intercession.'” (at-Tafsir, Furat ibn Ibrahim)The author says: The words of Allah, may be your Lord will raise you to a praised position, refers to the Prophet’s glorious position of intercession, as the numerous traditions of the prophet himself prove. Moreover the wording of the verse too supports it: “will raise you” shows that it is a position which he will attain in future, i.e. on the Day of Judgment; “praised” is general and unconditional, and implies that he shall be praised by all men, past and present. Al-Hamd means to praise someone for a good done to you intentionally. This definition shows that the Prophet will do something by his own will and power which will benefit all of them and in return everyone will praise him. That is why the Imam said in the tradition of ‘Ubayd ibn Zurarah, “and there will no one but he shall need the intercession of Muhammad that day.”
Nabi Musa AS was in occultation, (like Imam Mahdi AS), during the time Musa AS was away, the people failed to keep up the message and religion and instead reverted back to idol worship.
As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the believers are those who believe in Allah being the Unseen, those that suggest Allah is to be viewed are severely mistaken.
Allah can restore people in this world as He likes, an example of rajah. According to Sheikh Suduq : those that were selected among the Bani Isra’il. And that was because when they heard the word of Allah, they said: We shall not believe in its truth until we see Allah clearly. So, on account of their wrongdoing the thunderbolt fell upon them and they perished. Moses, said O my Lord, what shall I say to the Bani Isra’il when I return to them? Then Allah revived them and they returned to the world; they ate and drank and married women and begat children, and lived in the world and died at their appointed times.
H 363, Ch. 23, h 11
Some of our people have narrated from Muhammad ibn ‘Abdallah from ‘Abdal Wahhab ibn Bishr from Musa ibn Qadim from Sulayman from Zurara from abu Ja‘far (a.s.) who has said
the following. “I asked the Imam about the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, “They (children of Israel) did not wrong Us but they wronged themselves.” (2:57) The Imam said, “Allah is far Great and Majestic and Mighty above being wronged. But He has mixed us with His Own self. He has considered the wrong done to us as being done to Him and His Own authority as
our authority as He has said, “Only God, His Messenger, and the true believers who are steadfast in prayer and pay alms, while they kneel during prayer, are your guardians” (5:55).
It means the Imams from us. Allah has also said, “They (children of Israel) did not wrong Us but wronged themselves. (2:57)” Then he mentioned a similar statement.”
H 2797, CH 156, h 6
Yunus has narrated from ibn Sinan from Ishaq ibn ‘Ammar from abu ‘Abd
Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant, who has said the following: “The Imam recited this verse: ‘. . . for they denied the evidence (of the existence of Allah) and murdered His Prophets without reason; they were disobedient transgressors.’ (2:61) The Imam said, ‘By Allah they did not murder them with their hands or swords but they would hear their Hadith and publicize them,
causing them to be captured and murdered. It then became murder, transgression and disobedience.’”
Any who believe in God and a day of judgement, who do good, they will have the reward of their actions. Also the term Nasara is used here for Christians and Yahood for Jews.
Ibn Faddal said: “I asked ar-Rida (a.s.) why “an-Nasara” (the Christians) were given that name. He said: ‘Because they were from a village called an-Nasirah (Nazarath) in Syria. Maryam and ‘Isa settled there after they returned from Egypt.'”
The same tradition says that “al-Yahud” (the Jews) got this name because they are descended from Yahuda, son of Ya’qub. (Ma’ani ‘1-akhbar)
So there is some evidence that they are called Christians and Jews because of their cultural and ethnic heritage. A person can be a Jew by heritage but a Muslim by belief.
An example of Rajah, God is able to do as He pleases, including bringing the dead back in this life.
Assumptions and conjecture are not the same as truth, and are not acceptable ways of analysing religion. See 53:28 There are Muslims today who are doing the same, they know the external, simple, superficial aspects, and then try to guess the rest, with disastrous consequences.
Some assume that because they do some good and some bad, that at worst they will just go to hell for a short while, this is not necessarily the case.
These are the good honorable deeds, ones that God wishes for humanity, namely worshiping God, being good to parents, relatives, orphans, the needy, having good manners.
H 2024, CH 66, h 9
It is narrated from him (narrator of the Hadith above) from ibn Faddal from
Tha’labah ibn Maymun from Mu’awiyah ibn ‘Ammar from abu ‘Abd Allah,
recipient of divine supreme covenant, who has said the following:
“About the words of Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, ‘. . .
speak righteous words to people. . . .’ (2:83), the Imam said it
means, ‘Do not say anything about a people except good until
you actually learn all about it.’”
The concept of something being “over” another thing is not literal, but rather it means the higher thing is in authority of the lower. So Allah is “over” the Throne, His Hand is “over” their hands etc, all means authority.
“Allah, it is He Who has created the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them in six days. Then He rose over (istawa) the Throne. You (mankind) have none, besides Him, as a Wali (protector or helper) or an intercessor. Will you not then remember (or receive admonition)?” [32:4]
“Surely, your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then rose over (istawa) the Throne, disposing the affair of all things.” [10:3]
“He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him), the Most High (nothing is above Him) and the Most Near (nothing is nearer than Him).” [57:3]
“He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then rose over (istawa) the Throne. He knows what goes into the earth and what comes forth from it, and what descends from the heaven and what ascends thereto. And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be.” [57:4]
48|10|Those who pledge allegiance to you are pledging allegiance to God. The hand of God is over their hands. Whoever breaks his pledge breaks it to his own loss. And whoever fulfills his covenant with God, He will grant him a great reward.
ahl kitab, some are believers others are disbelievers. Those that disbelieve do not believe in justice for all.
Allah rejects narrow view of religion, whoever believes in God and does good, their deeds will be rewarded.
destruction of any site that encourages remembrance of God is forbidden, regardless of the religion. Completely opposite to isis.
God’s face refers to the fact where ever you are, you can look and see the proof of Gods existence in the creation.
As earlier, sacrifices, fancy burial donations and gifts
There is a position of leader, or Imam within humanity. The position of Imam is not for those that sin.
H 430, Ch. 2, h1 Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from abu Yahya al-Wasiti from Hisham ibn Salim and Durust ibn abu Mansur the following: “Abu ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant, has said that the prophets and the messengers are of four categories. There were prophets who were given Divine news in their souls just for their own selves and for no one else. There were also prophets who were given Divine news in their dreams and would hear the voice but would not see anyone when awake and they were not sent to other people with such news. They had to follow an Imam just as it happened with Lot who followed Abraham. There were prophets who would experience in their dreams, hear the voice and see the angel and were sent to a group of people small or large like Yunus (Jonah), as Allah has said, ‘We sent him to a hundred thousand people or a few more.’ (37:148). The Imam said that ‘Few more’ were thirty thousand people led by an Imam. “There were those who saw in their dreams, heard the voice and saw the angel when awake and were also Imam like ’Ulul ‘Azm ones. Abraham was a prophet but not an Imam until Allah said, ‘I want to appoint you as the Imam for people.’ He said, ‘Also, please (let there be more Imam), from my descendents,’ to which He said, ‘My covenant does not go to the unjust ones.’ (2:124) Those who have worshipped idols or statues will not become Imam.’”
H 431, Ch. 2, h2 Muhammad ibn al-Hassan has narrated from those he mentioned from Muhammad ibn Khalid from Muhammad ibn Sinan from Zayd al-Shahham who has said the following: “I heard Imam abu ‘Abd Allah say, ‘Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, chose Abraham as a servant before choosing him as a prophet. Allah chose him as a prophet before choosing him as a messenger. Allah chose him as a messenger before choosing him as a friend. Allah chose him as a friend before choosing him as an Imam. When all of the above conditions accumulated in Abraham, Allah said, ‘I have certainly appointed you as the Imam for the people.’ To Abraham, to be an Imam was so great that he asked, ‘Can this Imamat (Leadership with Divine Authority) be placed in my descendants also?’ Allah said, ‘My covenant will not be made available to the unjust ones.’ (2:124) He said that the feeble-minded (the unjust ones) cannot become the leaders (the Imam) of the pious ones.’”
Historical groups and disagreements will not be relevant to the questioning on the day of judgement.
There is a difference between what was revealed to Abraham and what the Jews and Christians practice.
H 1096, Ch. 108, h 19
Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from alHassan ibn Mahbub from Muhammad ibn al-Nu‘man from Salam from abu Ja‘far AS who has said the following about the words of Allah, the Most High: “About the words of Allah, ‘(Muslims) say, “We believe in Allah and what He has revealed to us. . . .,”’ (2:136) the Imam said, ‘This is primarily addressed to Ali, Fatimah, al-Hassan and al-Husayn, recipients of divine supreme covenant, and thereafter to ‘A’immah (Leaders with Divine Authority), recipients of divine supreme covenant. Then the words of Allah “. . . if they [refers to people] believe, in all that you, [Ali, Fatimah, al Hassan and al-Husayn, recipients of divine supreme covenant] believe, they will have the right guidance, but if they turn away, it will be for no reason other than their own malice. . . .’” (2:137)
When it is said, “we make no distinction”, this refers to the message and the fact that all Prophets were on the right path with the right message, and all must be accepted. It does not mean that some Prophets AS were not given more support from God, or more “high”, as Allah says :
17|55|Your Lord knows well everyone in the heavens and the earth. We have given some prophets advantage over others; and to David We gave the Psalms.
2|253|These messengers: We gave some advantage over others. To some of them God spoke directly, and some He raised in rank. We gave Jesus son of Mary the clear miracles, and We strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. Had God willed, those who succeeded them would not have fought one another, after the clear signs had come to them; but they disputed; some of them believed, and some of them disbelieved. Had God willed, they would not have fought one another; but God does whatever He desires.
So the message and mission is the same, but the status and methods are different.
H 1462, CH 7, h 1
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father and Muhammad ibn Yahya from
Ahmad ibn Muhammad all from ibn Mahbub from ‘Abd Allah ibn Sinan from
abu ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant, who has said the
“About the words of Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, ‘. . . It is
the coloring of Allah. Who has a better color than Allah’s
color?’ (2:138), abu ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme
covenant, said, ‘Color is a reference to this belief.’ The Imam
also said, ‘It (color) stands for al-Islam.’ In the words of Allah,
the Majestic, the Glorious, ‘. . . He has established a firm hold
onto the strong ring’. . . (2:256), he said, ‘It (the strong ring) is a
reference to the faith and belief in Allah, Who is One and has no
The change in the direction of prayer (qibla), Allah reveals what is better when He feels the time is right, bada.
The suggestion is that every community was given some guidance and a format for religion.
They are not physically alive as before, this is obvious, however there is life beyond the physical body.
Faith is to be rejected in order to be cursed, and cursing is the removal of God’s mercy upon that person.
The world around us clearly has a design.
H 961, Ch. 85, h 11
Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from
al-Hassan ibn Mahbub from ‘Umar ibn Thabit from Jabir who has said the
“Once I asked abu Ja‘far, recipient of divine supreme
covenant, about the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most
Gracious: ‘. . . Certain people consider certain things equal to
Allah and love them just as one should love Allah. . . .’ (2:165)
“The Imam said, ‘They, by Allah, are the friends of so and so
and so and so whom they have taken as their ‘A’immah (leaders
without Divine Authority) instead of the ‘A’immah (Leaders with
Divine Authority) who are appointed for people as such by
Allah. For this reason He has said, ‘. . . had the unjust been able
to reflect upon their condition, when facing the torment, they
would have had no doubt that to Allah belongs all power and
that He is stern in His retribution (2:165). When the leaders see
the torment and lose all their resources, they will denounce their
followers (2:166). The followers will say, “If we had the chance
we also would have denounced our leaders.” That is how Allah
will show them their regrettable deeds. They will not be able to
escape from hellfire.’ (2:167)
“Then abu Ja‘far, recipient of divine supreme covenant, said,
‘By Allah, O Jabir, they are the unjust ‘A’immah (leaders without
Divine Authority) and their followers.’”
Some people just follow what is established, without checking if it is true or based on sound sources.
situations change, but principles stay same. So fiqh changes, no good following old rules, need old principles and new rules.
Carrion refers to meat from an animal that has died and was not killed for food, eg finding a dead animal in a forest. Also the concept of taqiyyah is established.
H 2401, CH 107, h 2
A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid
from ‘Uthman ibn ‘Isa from ‘Abd Allah ibn Muskan from those he has
mentioned (in his book) from abu ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme
covenant, who has said the following:
“About the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy,
‘What has made them remain so patient in the fire?’ (2:175) The
Imam said, ‘What has made them so patiently do something that
they know will lead them to the fire?’”
Being Muslim is not simply praying, all aspects of life need to be compatible with the moral code.
QUR’AN: 0 you who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the slain; the free for the free…:
The verse is addressed to the believers. It means that the law promulgated herein applies to the Muslims only. As regards the non-Muslims – whether under protection of an Islamic State or not – the verse is silent about them. Some people think that this verse has abrogated the verse 5:45 (life is for life); because it does not allow killing of a free person for a slave, or of a man for a woman. But actually there is no room for this supposition. The position of this verse vis-à-vis the verse 5:45 is like that of an explanation vis-à-vis its text.
al- Qisas (retaliation) is the masdar of qassa yuqassu(he followed, he follows); an Arab says: qassa atharahu (he followed someone’s tracks). Another derivative is al-qassas (story-teller) – it is as though he follows the tracks of the past generations. Retaliation is called al-qisas because it follows the footsteps of the offender, giving him a punishment similar to that which he had inflicted upon his victim.
QUR’AN: but if any remission is made to any one by his (aggrieved) brother: Its literal translation is: then whoever is remitted any thing by his brother. “Whoever” refers to the murderer; the heir/s of the murdered person may waive his/their right of retaliation. Therefore, “any thing” refers to that right; it is used here as a common noun, in order that the rule may cover all possibilities, whether there was a full remission or partial. Let us say, for example, that there are many heirs and only some of them waive their right; then there shall be no retaliation; instead the blood money will be imposed. The heir of the murdered person who has the right of retaliation) has extraordinarily been described here as the “brother” of the murderer; this expression has been used to awaken the feeling of love and kindness in the heart of the aggrieved party, and gives a hint to him that remission and forgiveness is highly preferable in the eyes of Allah.
QUR’AN: then (the demand for the blood wit) should be made according to the usage, and payment should be made to him in a good manner:
Its literal translation is: then following according to usage, and payment to him in a good manner. Both phrase are subjects with their predicates implied. Thus literally it would mean: then it is obligatory on the aggrieved “brother” to follow that remission with demand for the blood-money according to usage; and it is obligatory on the murderer to pay it to the aggrieved brother, that is, heir of the slain, in a good manner without any annoying delay.
QUR’AN: this is alleviation from your Lord and a mercy:
The permission to commute the retaliation into blood-money is alleviation from your Lord, and therefore, once effected, it cannot be changed. The heir of the slain person cannot revert to retaliation after granting remission. If he transgresses the limit and retaliates after remission, then he shall have a painful chastisement.
QUR’AN: And there is life for you in the retaliation, 0 men of understanding, that you guard yourselves(against evil):
This verse points to the philosophy of this legislation. It aims at removing a possible misunderstanding that – because Allah has allowed remission and blood-money, and also because remission expands the circle of mercy and affection – remission is more in conformity with public weal and social good. The verse shows that, although remission is alleviation based on mercy, common good and society’s peace depend on the retaliation. The only guarantee of life is the law of retaliation, and not remission, blood-money, or any other thing. Man has to accept this fact, if he has understanding. “that you may guard yourselves” that is, from murder. It gives the basic of the law of retaliation.
The scholars have said that the verse, “and there is life for you in the retaliation,” is one of the most eloquent in its clarity, and the most refined in rhetoric, in addition to its having many other fine literary points, like brevity – it has so few words and such a small number of total letters – fluency of style and clarity of composition. It combines the force of argument with beauty of meaning, the fineness of proof with clarity of result.
Before this verse was revealed, the Arabs were fond of some adages and maxims (on the subject of murder and retaliation), of whose rhetoric and fluency they were very proud. For example: ‘To kill some is to keep alive all’, and ‘To increase killing is to decrease killing’. And the most remarkable in their eyes was the sentence: ‘Killing stamps out killing.’ But when this verse was revealed all were forgotten. Some of its distinguishing points are as follows: The verse has fewer letters, and is easy to pronounce. “the retaliation” with definite article is a proper noun, while “life ” is common noun – it shows that the resulting good is greater and more widespread than the retaliation. It explains the result in clear words and describes the real philosophy of the law, that is, the life. It unambiguously shows by what means the desired result can be obtained: Obviously, it is the retaliation that leads to life, and not the killing. (After all, many killings are done unjustly, and they do not lead to life, they are negation of life.) The word, “retaliation,” covers also other punishments besides killing, that is, the reprisal in the matter of injury, etc. – and such retributions too lead to the society’s life. The word conveys another extra meaning, as it shows that the retribution has resulted from unjust killing. (Compare it with their maxim, “Killing stamps out killing”, which does not give any idea that “killing” refers to any punishment.) Then there is an exhortation in this sentence, as it points to a life reserved for the people, whom they are oblivious of; it behooves them to take hold of it as it really belongs to them; it is as if someone tells you: There is a property belonging to you with so-and-so, or in such and such a place. Lastly, the opening word of the verse, that is, “for you” makes it clear to the men of understanding that the law-giver only desires to protect their interest, and no benefit is ever to accrue to him.
These are a few of the fine points found in this verse. The scholars have mentioned some more points, which may be seen in the books of rhetoric. The fact is, the more deeply you look at this verse, the more dazzled you shall be by its brilliance and radiance; and the word of Allah is the highest.
as-Sadiq (a.s.) said about the word of Allah, the free for the free: “A free man shall not be killed for the slave’ but he shall be beaten a severe beating and be fined the blood-money of the slave. And if a man kills a woman, and the heirs of the slain (woman) want to kill him, they shall pay half of his blood-money to the man’s heirs.” (al-Ayyashi)
al-Halabi narrates from as-Sadiq (a.s.). He says: “I asked him about the word of Allah the Mighty, the Great: but he who forgoes it, it shall be an expiation for him (5:45); he (the Imam) said: ‘His sins shall be expiated, as much as he forgives.’ And I asked him about the word of Allah, the Mighty, the Great: but if any remission is made to anyone by his (aggrieved)brother, then (the demand for the blood wit) should be made according to usage, and payment should be made to him in a good manner. He said: ‘He who has got the right (i.e. the aggrieved party) should not put his brother (i.e. the murderer) in difficulty, when he has made settlement with him concerning the blood-money; and he who has got the duty (of paying the blood-money) should not delay in its payment when he has ability to do so; and he should pay it to him in a good manner.’ And I asked him about the word of Allah, the Mighty, the Great: sowhoever exceeds the limit, he shall have a painful chastisement. He said: ‘It refers to a man who accepts blood-money or forgives, or makes compromise, then exceeds the limit (and kills the murderer); so he shall be killed as Allah, the Mighty, the Great, has said.'” (al-Kafi)
The creation of a will is decreed for people.
H 3556, Ch 14, h 6
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father and Muhammad ibn al-Qasim from
Muhammad ibn Sulayman from Dawud from Hafs ibn Ghiyath who has said the
“Once I asked abu ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme
covenant, about the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most
Holy, ‘The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran
was revealed, . . .’ (2:185) but there were twenty years between
its first and last (words).’ Abu ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine
supreme covenant, said, ‘The Holy Quran was revealed in one
piece in the month of Ramadan to Bayt al-Ma’mur, then it was
revealed in twenty years.’ The Imam said, ‘The Holy Prophet
has said, “The books of Ibrahim were revealed in the first night
of Ramadan, Torah was revealed on the sixth day of Ramadan,
Injil was revealed after thirteen nights of the month of Ramadan
had passed, al-Zabur was revealed after twenty six days were
passed from the month of Ramadan and the Holy Quran was
revealed after twenty-three days had passed from the month of
H 14247, Ch. 7, h 3
Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from al-Husayn ibn Sa‘id from ‘Abd Allah ibn Bahr from ‘Abd
Allah ibn Muskan from abu Basir who has narrated the following:
“I once asked abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, about the meaning of the words of Allah, most
Majestic, most Glorious, ‘. . . do not consume your wealth among yourselves in falsehood and throw
them to the rulers.’ (2:188) He (the Imam) said, ‘O abu Basir, Allah, most Majestic, most Glorious,
knows that among the nations there are unjust rulers who commit injustice. He has not thereby meant
the rulers of justice but He has meant the unjust rulers. O abu Muhammad, if you have a certain right
on a man and you call him before the judges of justice but he refuses and wants to take you before the
unjust rulers and judges for judgment for him, he is one of those who has gone for justice before the
transgressors. This is mentioned in the words of Allah, most Majestic, most Glorious. “. . . have you
considered those who think they have believed in what Allah has sent before you, they like to seek
judgment before the transgressors when they are commanded to reject the transgressors, the devil.”
This verse is in praise of Amir al Mumineen, Ali Ibn Abu Talib AS, who slept in the Prophets SAW bed to confuse the assassins. What is interesting is that they found Imam Ali AS fast asleep without any fear or care, even though he knew that people would come to kill him that very night.
There is a mockery of the non Muslim view of God, the Greek God in the heavens surrounded by angels.
humanity existed before prophets, they were one community, perhaps this means united in falsehood, or ignorance, or truth. Would make sense if they were bad, as angels knew about humanity before Adam was made a caliph.
H 14308, Ch. 1, h 4
A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid from Yahya ibn Ibrahim from his father from abu
Salam al-Salam al-Muta‘abbid who has said the following:
“I once heard abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, saying to Sadir, ‘O Sadir, one who swears by Allah,
most Majestic, most Glorious, falsely as well as one who swears by Allah truthfully has sinned; Allah,
most Majestic, most Glorious, says, ‘Do not swear by Allah, unless you are obligated.’ (2:224)”
H 14348, Ch. 8, h 1
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from Harun ibn Muslim from Mas’adah ibn Sadaqah who has narrated the following:
“I once heard abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, saying, about the meaning of the words of Allah, ‘. . .
Allah will not hold you responsible for your meaningless oaths.’ (2:225) Al-Laghw, (meaningless) is a
reference to a man’s saying, ‘La wa Allah, (No, by Allah) Bala wa Allah-i, (yes, by Allah)’ and it does
not make anything binding.”
H 9843, Ch. 90, h 3
A number of our people have narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from ibn abu Nasr from Hammad ibn
‘Uthaman who has said the following:
“I once heard abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, saying, ‘Breastfeeding after weaning is not effective.’
I then said, ‘I pray to Allah to keep my soul in service for your cause, what is al-Fatam (weaning)?’
He (the Imam) said, ‘It is the two years that Allah, most Majestic, most Glorious, has mentioned (in
His book).’ (2:233)”
H 10648, Ch. 37, h 3 Ali has narrated from his father from ibn abu ‘Umayr from Hammad from al-Halabiy who has said the following: “A pregnant divorcee must receive her maintenance until childbirth, and she has the priority to breastfeed the child for wages equal to what another woman asks. Allah, most Majestic, most Glorious, has said, ‘A mother must not be harmed because of her child or the father because of the child and the heirs also bear such responsibility.’ (2:233) He (the Imam) said, ‘A woman (from us) would raise her hand before her husband, when he wanted to go to bed with her, and say, ‘I do not want to allow you because I fear of becoming pregnant with my child.’ The man would say, ‘I do not want to go to bed with you for my fear of suspending you, thus killing my child.’ Allah prohibited a woman’s harming a man or a man’s harming a woman’ and His words ‘. . . the heirs also bear the same responsibility’ is a prohibition against harming the child or his mother in breastfeeding. She must not charge for breastfeeding for more than two complete years. If they with mutual agreement wean the child before such time, it is fine.’”
H 9802, Ch. 85, h 1
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from ibn abu ‘Umayr from Hammad from al-Halabiy who has said the following:
“This is concerning my question before abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, about the meaning of the
words of Allah, ‘. . . but you must not secretly date (make secret appointment with) such women
(during their waiting period) unless you speak to them in a lawful manner.’ (2:235) He (the Imam)
said, ‘He is a man who speaks to the woman before she completes her waiting period saying, “I invite
you for a date in the house of so and so” and to propose marriage to her and His word, “Unless you
speak to them in a lawful way” is a reference to “proposing marriage”, “. . . but you must not decide
for marriage until the appointed waiting period is complete…” (2:235)’”
Shaykh Abu Ja’far: Our belief concerning resurrection is that it is a fact. Verily Allah, the Mighty and Glorious, has said in His Mighty Book: “Bethink thou (0 Muhammad) of those of old, who went forth from their habitations in their thousands, fearing death, and Allah said unto them: Die, and then He brought them back to life” [2, 243]. These people were the residents of 70,000 houses, and they were visited by the plague each year. The rich, on account of their opulence, used to go out; while the poor would remain on account of their poverty. So the plague used to attack lightly those that went; while it raged severely among those that remained. Now those that remained would say: If only we had departed, surely the plague would not have come upon us. And those that went would say: Had we stayed, it would have attacked us, even as it has attacked them. So they all agreed to depart from their houses collectively when the time of the plague was nigh. Then they all went out and camped on the banks (of a river). And when they had put down their belongings, Allah cried to them: Die, and they perished, one and all. And the passers-by swept them off from the road, and they remained in that condition as long as Allah willed. One of the prophets of Israel named Jeremiah passed by them. He said: If Thou willest, 0 my Lord, Thou couldst revivify, them so that they may inhabit Thy cities, and beget Thy slaves, and worship Thee with those who worship Thee. And Allah through a revelation asked him: Do you wish that for your sake I should bring them back to life ? The Prophet said: Yea, 0 my Lord. So Allah revivified them for his sake and sent them with him.
An example of Rajah.
Allah appoints authority within the communities.
H 621, Ch. 38, h 1
A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from Ali ibn al-
Hakam from Mu’awiya ibn Wahab from Sa‘id al-Samman who has said the following. “I was
in the presence of abu ‘Abdallah (a.s.) when two people from the Zaydia sect came to him.
They asked, “Is there with you an Imam obedience to whom is obligatory?” The narrator has
said that the Imams (a.s.) said, “No, there no one as such.” They then said, “Reliable people
have informed us about you that you issue fatwas and that you affirm and speak of it. We can
point out what their names are. They are very pious alert people. They are such that can not
be rejected. The Imams (a.s.) became angry and said, “I have not ordered them to say so.”
When the two men notice anger from the face of The Imams (a.s.) they left.”
The Imams (a.s.) then asked me, “Do you know these two?” I said, “Yes, I know them. They
are from our Suq (shopping center). They belong to the Zaydia sect and they think that the
sword of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) is with ‘Abdallah ibn al-Hassan.” The Imams (a.s.) said,
“They have lied, may Allah condemn them. I swear by Allah, ‘Abdallah ibn al-Hassan has not
seen it with his own eyes, not even of his eyes has seen it. Even his father had seen it except if
he might have seen it with Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn (a.s.). If they are truthful let them say
what kind of mark does its hilt have and what is the mark on its blade?
With me is the sword of the Messenger of Allah, with me is the flag of the Messenger, his
coat of arms, his Lamam (pennon) and his helmet. If they are truthful let them say what kind
of mark does the coat of arms of the Messenger of Allah has? With me is the flag of the
Messenger of Allah, the victorious. With me is the Staff of Moses. With me is the ring of
Solomon son of David. With me is tray on Moses used to offer offerings. With me is the
name that whenever the Messenger of Allah would place it between the Muslims and pagans
no arrow from the pagans would reach the Muslims. With me is the similar object that angels
brought.” Perhaps The Imams (a.s.) has hinted to the following verse. ‘Their Prophet further
told them, “As the evidence of his authority, he will bring to you the Ark which will be a
comfort to you from your Lord and a legacy of the household of Moses and Aaron. It will be
carried by the angels. This is the evidence for you if you have faith.’ (2:248)
The case of the Arms with us is like the case of the Ark in the Israelites. Whichever family
would have had the Ark at their door-front that family would receive prophet-hood. To
whoever of us the Arms are transferred he receives Imamat (leadership with Divine
authority). My father wore the coats of arms of the Messenger of Allah. It would reach the
earth and leave marks. I wore it also and it reached the earth and sometimes it would not.
When the one from us who, will rise to establish the authority of Allah on earth, will come it
will fit him perfectly, if Allah would so will.”
“Had God willed” implies free will is available to humanity, as God did not will, but the events happend, and we are responsible, so it must have been our will.
Some used to bury money as a form of intercession, or offer charity in their will, this is not the same as spending when you have it.
Our belief concerning the Chair (kursi) is that it is the receptacle of all the creatures, including the Throne (arsh), the heavens, the earth and everything else created by Allah. Now kursi according to another interpretation is knowledge (ilm). Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq was asked corning the saying of Allah, the Mighty and Glorious: “His Chair (kursi) embraced the heavens and the earth” [2,255]. He said: It (kursi) is His ilm (knowledge).
H 338, Ch. 20, h 4
Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from al-Hajjal form Tha‘labah ibn Maymun from Zurarah ibn ’a‘yun who has said the following. “I asked Imam abu ‘Abdallah (a.s.), ‘The heavens and the earth are (contained in His al- Kursi) under His dominion . . .’ (2:255) Do the heavens and earth contain the al-Kursi or that the latter contains the former?” He said that it is al-Kursi that contains the heavens and earth and all things are contained in al-Kursi.”
God has made the right clear from the wrong, it is up to humanity to choose. Additional Surah 109 explains that Muslims have their views and Non Muslims have different views and each to their own.
“Let there be no compulsion in religion”-has a very delicate meaning; it implies that compulsion in religion is impossible, because “deen” means faith and belief which are related to the heart, and it is impossible to force someone to believe in something. So, on a personal level, to force someone to believe in something is impossible.
However, on a social level, every country or state -whether Islamic or non-Islamic- has its own rules and regulations which are to be observed by the people living under that system, and that is why we see people in some Islamic countries being forced to observe the Islamic rulings like hijaab, although they might not be Muslims or believe in hijaab.
This is the story of Prophet Uzayr AS (know as Ezra in the west), Ezra lived between the times of King Solomon and the time of Zachariah, father of John the Baptist. Prophet Aziz(as) was his brother. The story is an excellent example of Raj’aa. This is where there is a resurrection before the day of judgement. According to Sheikh Suduq, this may actually refer to Jeremiah.
H 2866, CH 165, h 1
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from Yunus from al Husayn ibn Hakam who has said the following: “Once I wrote to the virtuous servant (of Allah) saying that I had doubt and Ibrahim, peace be upon him, had said, ‘Lord, show me how you will bring the dead to life?’ (2: 260) and I would love that you show me something. The Imam wrote back to me, ‘Ibrahim was a believer. He wanted to increase his belief. You, however, have doubt and there is nothing good in doubt.’ The Imam further wrote, ‘Doubt comes when there is no certainty when certainty, comes then doubting is not permissible.’ He wrote further, ‘Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, has said, “We did not find many among them keeping their promises. However, We did find many evil-doers among them.” (7:102) The Imam said, ‘It was revealed about people who doubt.’”
H 11, Ch. 1, h 11
A number of our people has narrated Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid from certain persons of his
people in a marfu‘ manner from the Holy Prophet (s.a) who has said the following.
“Allah has not distributed anything among people more excellent than intelligence. The sleeping of a
person of intelligence is better than the worshipping of an ignorant person for the whole night. Staying
of a person of intelligence at home is better than the journeying of an ignorant person in search for
success and good deeds. Allah did not sent any prophet or messenger before the completion of his
intelligence and to let it become better than the intelligence of all of his followers. Whatever a prophet
preserves in his soul is better than the achievement of all the striving people for virtue and good deeds.
People would not fulfil their obligations to Allah without having an understanding about Him. All the
worshippers will not be able to achieve with the virtue of their worships what a person of intelligence
achieves. It is the people of intelligence who are considered as people of proper understanding in chapter
2:269 of the holy Quran, “Only People of understanding realizes this.”
H 456, Ch. 7, h 11
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from Yunus from Ayyub al-Hurr from
abu Basir from Imam abu ‘Abdallah (a.s.) who has said the following about the words of
‘Whoever is given wisdom he has received a great deal of goodness’ (2:273) “It means
obedience to Allah and knowin who one’s Imam is.”
H 5704, Ch. 1, h 17
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from ibn abu ‘Umayr from Ishaq ibn ‘Ammar who has said the following: “Abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, about the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Glorious, ‘. . . If you pay it privately to the needy, it is better for you. . . .’ (2:273), has said, ‘This payment is a payment other than compulsory zakat which is paid publicly and not privately.’”
This is the ruling of someone who is ignorant of the laws, he does not know that riba is unlawful and therefore judged in the same way as someone who has become mentally retarded.
H 8618, Ch. 50, h 3 Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from Mansur from Hisham ibn Salim who has said the following: “This is concerning my question before abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, about the case of a man who consumes Riba’ and he considers it lawful. He (the Imam) replied, ‘It does not harm him as long as he does not consume it knowing that it is unlawful, in which case he will face the condition of one who is mentioned in the words of Allah, most Majestic, most Glorious. “Those who take unlawful interest will stand before Allah (on the Day of Judgment) as those who suffer from a mental imbalance because of Satan’s touch; they have said that trade is just like unlawful interest. Allah has made trade lawful and has forbidden unlawful interest. One who has received advice from his Lord and has stopped committing sins will be rewarded for his previous good deeds. His affairs will be in the hands of Allah. But one who turns back to committing sins will be of the dwellers of hell wherein he will live forever.” (2:275)’”
Clearly Usury is a negative thing. It seems to be described as the opposite of charity. So usury is not trade and the opposite of charity. The punishments seem also to be extremely harsh (2:275, 3:130 etc):
H 8616, Ch. 50, h 1 A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from ibn abu ‘Umayr from Hisham ibn Salim, who has said the following: “Abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said, ‘The sin of receiving one dirham of Riba’ (unlawful interest) is more serious than having carnal relations with one’s relatives (with whom marriage is unlawful).”
H 8617, Ch. 50, h 2 Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from ibn abu Najran from ‘Asim ibn Hamid from m h ibn Qays, who has said the following: “Abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said that Amir al-Mu’minin, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said, ‘One who consumes Riba’, one who feeds Riba’ and one who documents it, are all the same (in committing this sins).’”
so the Quran is indicating the usury is a serious crime. We must understand exactly what is meant by usury then, as if it is simply interest on a loan, Doesn’t Allah give interest on loans to Him? in Quran :2:245
Also I think this hadith is implying the same thing:
H 8622, Ch. 50, h 7 A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn abu ‘Abd Allah from ‘Uthman ibn ’Isa from Sama‘ah who has said the following: “I once said to abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, ‘I have noticed that Allah, most High, has mentioned Riba’ in more than one passages of the Holy Quran. He (the Imam) asked, ‘Do you know why He has done so?’ I (the narrator) replied, ‘No, I do not know.’ He (the Imam) said, ‘It is because He wants people not to deny performing good and benevolent deeds.’”
I think the key point here is that there is a difference between interest and usury. It does not seem unreasonable to expect some return on giving the loan, as mentioned earlier, it is natural, Allah would do it. So what is the difference ?
If someone borrows a chair, it is common decency that the man who took the chair now owes in the very least a favor or some gratitude to the chair owner. It would not be right that the chair is simply returned without even a thanks. So it seems that borrowing something and then getting something back for lending something is not in itself unusual or harmful.
It seems riba in itself is not bad, but rather its effects on society, as it it permissible between father and son etc
H 8628, Ch. 51, h 1 Hamid ibn Ziyad has narrated from al-Khashshab from ibn Baqqah from Mu’adh ibn Thabit from ‘Amr ibn Jumay‘ who has said the following: “Abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said that Amir al-Mu’minin, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said, ‘There is no Riba’ between a man and his sons as well between a master and his slave.’”
H 8630, Ch. 51, h 3 Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from Yasin al-Darir from Hariz from Zurarah who has said the following: “Abu Ja‘far, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said, ‘Riba’ does not apply in the case of a man and his sons, his slave and his wife. Riba’ applies when you do not own certain goods.’ I then asked, ‘Does it apply between me and the pagans?’ He (the Imam) replied, ‘Yes, it applies.’ I said, ‘They are slaves.’ He (the Imam) said, ‘You do not own them. You own them along with others. You and people other than you are equal about them. What is between you and them is not of that nature; your slave is not like the slave who is your slave as well as the slave of someone other than you.’”
It certainly seems riba is of two types, a permissible and impermissible:
H 8621, Ch. 50, h 6 Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from Hammad ibn ‘Isa from Ibrahim ibn ‘Umar al-Yamaniy who has said the following: “Abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said that Riba’ is of two kinds: One kind is that which is consumed and the other kind is not consumed. The gift that one presents to someone in order to receive Thawab (rewards from Allah) is better. Of this kind is the Riba’ which is consumed as it is mentioned in the words of Allah, most Majestic, most Glorious, ‘The Riba’ in which you are involved so it increases in people’s property does not increase before Allah.’ (30:38) The other kind of Riba’ is that which Allah, most Majestic, most Glorious, has prohibited and has warned those involved in it with punishment in the fire.”
H 8625, Ch. 50, h 10 A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from ibn Faddal from ibn Bukayr from ‘Ubayd ibn Zurarah who has said the following: “I once heard abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, saying, ‘Riba’ comes in existence only in what is measured or is weighed.”
From reading all the hadiths on the matter, the impermissible riba appears to be like a trade where the trade is extremely biased to one side.
H 8629, Ch. 51, h 2 Through the same chain of narrators as the previous one is the following Hadith: “The Messenger of Allah, O Allah, grant compensation to Muhammad and his family worthy of their services to Your cause, has said, ‘There is no Riba’ between us and those in the state of war with us. We can receive a thousand dirham from them for just one dirham. We have permission to receive from them but we must not give them anything.’”
H 8630, Ch. 51, h 3 Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from Yasin al-Darir from Hariz from Zurarah who has said the following: “Abu Ja‘far, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said, ‘Riba’ does not apply in the case of a man and his sons, his slave and his wife. Riba’ applies when you do not own certain goods.’ I then asked, ‘Does it apply between me and the pagans?’ He (the Imam) replied, ‘Yes, it applies.’ I said, ‘They are slaves.’ He (the Imam) said, ‘You do not own them. You own them along with others. You and people other than you are equal about them. What is between you and them is not of that nature; your slave is not like the slave who is your slave as well as the slave of someone other than you.’”
H 8625, Ch. 50, h 10 A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from ibn Faddal from ibn Bukayr from ‘Ubayd ibn Zurarah who has said the following: “I once heard abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, saying, ‘Riba’ comes in existence only in what is measured or is weighed.”
H 6100, Ch. 30, h 3
A number of our people have narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad from Ali ibn Asbat from Ya’qub ibn Salim who has said the following: “Abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said that you must leave alone a borrower who has difficulty repaying a loan, just as Allah does (extend the due time for payment of loan if the borrower has difficulty repaying. . . ” (see (2:280)).
H 14108, Ch. 2, h 3
A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from al-Husayn ibn Sa‘id from Muhammad ibn alFudayl who has narrated the following: “This is about the meaning of the words of Allah, most Majestic, most Glorious. ‘. . . the witnesses must not refuse to testify when they are summoned to testify,’ (2:282) abu al-Hassan, ‘Alayhi alSalam, has said, ‘When the man calls you to testify for him about a loan or a right, it is not proper for you to refuse and step back to delay.’”
H 14113, Ch. 3, h 2
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from ibn abu ‘Umayr from Hisham ibn Salim who has narrated the following: “About the meaning of the words of Allah, most Majestic, most Glorious, ‘. . . one who hides a testimony his heart is sinful,’ (2: 283) abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said, ‘It is after having witnessed a case.’”
No distinction in terms of their beliefs, but there were given different attributes and methods according to the people of their times see 2:253
H 3039, CH 202, h 1
Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad has narrated from Mu’alla ibn Muhammad from abu Dawud al-Mustriq who has that narrated to him ‘Amr ibn Marwan who has said the following: “I heard abu ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant, saying, ‘The Messenger of Allah has said, “My followers are exempt from responsibility for four things: Acting mistakenly, forgetting, being coerced and compelled, and for failing to act. This has been mentioned in the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, ‘Lord, do not hold us responsible for our forgetfulness and mistakes. Lord, do not lay upon us the burden that You laid upon those who lived before us. Lord, do not lay upon us what we cannot afford. Ignore and forgive our sins. Have mercy upon us. You are our Lord. Help us against the unbelievers,’ (2:286) also in His words, ‘No one verbally denounces his faith in Allah, unless he is forced, but his heart is confident with his faith. . . .’” (16:106)
Says the Shaykh Abu Ja’far: Our belief concerning the obligation to obey the law (taklif) is that Allah imposes upon His slaves (mankind) only such legal obligations as are within their power (to obey), for He says:
“Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its capacity” (Qur’an 2:286).
Now (in the Arabic idiom) wus’ (capacity, scope) indicates a lesser degree of potentiality thantaqa (strength). And (Imam Ja’far) as-Sadiq has said: I swear by Allah, Allah has not burdened His slaves, save to a lesser extent than their capacity.
For He has only imposed upon them five prayers during the course of a day and night; and only thirty days of fast during the year; and only five out of every two hundred dirhams (aszakat); and only one pilgrimage during the course of a lifetime, although the full extent of their capacity is greater.