ASH-SHAFI’ (الشفيع) The Intercessor
ASH-SHAFI is the One who grants intercession and intercession exclusively belongs to Him. Seeking Allah’s intercession with any of His creations is trespassing His RUBUBIYYAH (Lordship) and impairs one’s belief in TAWHID (Oneness of Allah). Nobody may be invoked besides Him because none of those invoked can intercede without His leave. They are powerless to bring benefit, repel harm or bestow favors. – Do not worship besides Allah that which cannot help (profit) or harm you. [Al-Anbiya 21:66]; Verily,those whom you call upon besides Allah are slaves like you…. [Al-‘Araf 7:194]
- Or have they adopted intercessors besides Allah? Say: “Even though they do not control a thing and have no awareness?” Say: “Intercession is entirely Allah’s affair. The kingdom of the heavens and earth is His. Then you will be returned to Him.” [Az-Zumar 39:43-44]
- The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “So the Prophets, the angels and the believers will intercede, and the Compeller (Allah) will say, ‘There remains My intercession.’ Then He will take a handful from the Fire and bring forth some people whose bodies have been burnt and throw them into a river at the entrance to Paradise that is called the Water of Life. They will grow on its banks, as a seed carried by a flood grows. You have seen how it grows beside a rock or beside a tree, and how the side facing the sun is usually green while the side facing the shade is white. They will come out like pearls, and necklaces will be placed around their necks. Then they will enter Paradise, and the people of Paradise will say, ‘These are the people emancipated by the Most Merciful. He has admitted them into Paradise without them having done any good deeds and without them having sent forth any good (for themselves).’ Then it will be said to them, ‘You will have what you have seen and the equivalent thereof.'” [Bukhari]
4 elements of Shafa’ah
- Ash-Shafi’ الشفيع (one who intercedes). SHAFA’AH (intercession) literally means “to join.” He is called as such because he joins his wish and desire with the one being interceded for. An intercessor intercedes only with the one who is superior to him.
- Al-Mashfu’ ilayhi المشفوع عليه (the one whose help is needed)
- Al-Mashfu’ lahu المشفوع له (the one for whom the intercession is done)
- Al-Mashfu’ bihi المشفوع به (the subject of the intercession)
Allah grants SHAFA’AH on 3 conditions: His permission is granted to the intercessor; He is pleased with the intercessor; and He is pleased with the one for whom the intercession is done. On the Day of Judgment, none can utter any word except by His permission. – … Who is he that can intercede with him except with His permission? [Al-Baqarah 2:255]; And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allah has given leave for whom He wills and pleases. [An-Najm 53:26]
SHAFA’AH is useless without Allah’s permission and pleasure. Allah will not grant the disbelievers and polytheists permission for intercession and no intercession is accepted on behalf of anyone of them. – And intercession does not benefit with Him except for one whom He permits…. [Saba34:22-23]; So no intercession of intercessor will be of any use to them. [Al-Muddath-thir74:48]
Shafa’ah on the Day of Judgment
I. The Prophet’s intercession
- He will intercede at the Place of Gathering as a start of the Judgment called the “greatest intercession.” This is MAQAM AL-MAHMUD (The Praised Position) which Allah has promised him. Avail of his intercession by invoking to Allah to raise him to MAQAM AL-MAHMUD after the call to prayer. “O Allah! Lord of this perfect call and of the regular prayer which is going to be established! Kindly give Muhammad the right of intercession and superiority and send him to the best and the highest place which You promised him.” [Bukhari]
- For the people of Paradise to enter it. Even though they deserved to enter it, they will not be permitted until he intercedes for them.
- For some people of Paradise to be granted higher level in it.
- Exclusively for him, for his paternal uncle Abu Talib, who will be in Hell for eternity to have his punishment reduced.
II. Shared intercession
The Prophet together with all the Prophets, the martyrs, the truthful ones, the righteous people, the angels…
- For those who deserved to be in Hell but they will be saved from entering it.
- For those who have already entered Hell to be taken out from it. Sinners who are monotheists will not stay in Hell for eternity.
III. ALLAH: The Ultimate Intercessor
- Those who did not do any good deed but maintained their belief inTAWHID, Allah will take them out of Hell by virtue of His infinite Grace, Bounty, Mercy and Forgiveness.