There is No Intercession in the Hereafter according to the Qur'an
This teaching where another mortal being can intercede for us on the Day of Judgement is completely against Quranic teachings. Shias believe Ali will intercede on their behalf, Sunnis believe Prophet Muhammad will intercede on their behalf between Allah and them to mediate their sins. In other words, some of their misdeeds will be forgiven or wavered by virtue of the Prophet or Ali.
The Qur'an is clear on the matter. It is a repeated, core and fundamental theme of the Qur'an that absolutely no mediator, intercessor, can go in-between Allah and His judgments of His servants. It is so often repeated under various styles, themes, overtly and covertly that it is practically impossible to show all the verses in this article. One who sincerely reads the Qur'an will be surprised to notice this strikingly clear message.
Then, why did mankind fabricate the opposite ideas? The answer is provided in the Qur'an - it is that mankind always wishes to attribute and associate partners with Allah. In this case, associating partners is achieved by assigning some of Allah's power to judge and forgive to other mortal beings, they are not satisfied with the message of Allah alone as the one with complete power and might:
"Most of them only believe in Allah while associating partners with Him." (Qur'an 12:106)
"And when Allah alone is mentioned,
the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter are filled with
aversion; and when others are mentioned beside Him, they rejoice!"
On the Day of Judgment, neither the Prophet, nor Ali, nor any other being will be able to assist, accompany or mediate for a person's sin and each being will be fully accountable for his or her sins, as stated in these explicit verses:
"Have fear of a Day when no self will be able to compensate for another in any way. No Intercession will be accepted from it, no ransom taken from it, and they will not be wronged." (Qur'an 2:48 as well as 2:123)
"Believers, give away some of what We have provided for you before a Day arrives on which there is no trading, no close friendship and no intercession. It is the disbelievers who are the wrongdoers." (Qur'an 2:254)
The above verses clearly state that there is no intercession. Furthermore:
"Warn by it (the Qur'an) those who fear they will be gathered to their Lord, having no protector or intercessor apart from Him, so hopefully they will guard against evil." (Qur'an 6:51)
In the verse above, it is explained by Allah that we do not have any intercessors in the Hereafter, leaving no room for doubt.
"You have come to us all alone / singularly just as We created you at first, leaving behind you everything We bestowed on you. We do not see your intercessors accompanying you, those you claimed were your partners with Allah. The link between you is cut. Those you made such claims for have forsaken you." (Qur'an 6:94)
In the above verse, Allah explains that we will face Allah all by ourselves, using the word "فُرَادَى" which means "singularly".
"Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth and everything between them in six days and then established Himself firmly upon the throne. You have no protector or intercessor apart from Him, So will you not pay heed?" (Qur'an 32:4)
This fact of absolutely no intercession is an oft-repeated message. Many times, we understand it from verses that may not use the word "intercession", nevertheless make the same point. For example:
"The coming of the Deafening Blast will be a Day when a man will flee from his brother, his mother, his father, his wife and his children: on that Day every man among them will have concerns enough of his own." (Qur'an 80:33-37)
"On the Day the sky is like molten brass and the mountains like tufts of coloured wool. No good friend will ask about his friend even though they can see each other. An evildoer will wish he could ransom himself from the punishment of that Day, by means of his sons, or his wife or his brother or his family who sheltered him or everyone else on earth, if that only meant that he could save himself. (Qur'an 70:8-14)
"Mankind, be mindful of your Lord, and fear a Day when a no parent can help his own child, nor can a child help his parent. Certainly, Allah's promise is truth. Therefore, do not be deceived by this worldly life; and do not let the Deceiver delude you about Allah. (Qur'an 31:33)
"...they will be paraded before your Lord in ranks: 'You have come to Us just as We created you at first. Yes indeed! Even though you claimed that We would not fix a time with you.' The Book will be set in place and you will see the evildoers fearful of what is in it. They will say, 'Alas for us! What is this Book which does not pass over any action, small or great, without recording it?' They will find there everything they did and your Lord will not wrong anyone at all." (Qur'an 18:48-49)
What is special about the above verse? Allah says He will not wrong anyone on that Day. If people can have their sins pardoned by intercession, then this would mean that those who sincerely strived and earned better ranking are wronged, because their striving would not have been truly valued.
Since Allah's laws are completely just, we must be fully accountable for every sin. No intercessor can come to plea for us when we face our records.
The following verse quotes a believer who believed in the message that was being preached by one of Allah's messengers:
"(A man from the far side of the city said,) 'Am I to take as gods instead of Him whose intercession, if the All-Merciful desires harm for me, will not help me at all and cannot save me?' " (Qur'an 36:23)
An argument put forward for Intercession...
There are certain Quranic styles and ways of expression unique to the Qur'an. One such style used are phrases like "except if He wills" / "except if He gives permission" / "unless He wills otherwise". In the Qur'an, often these expressions follow on from a definite statement. But they do not necessarily negate the initial statement. These expressions serve purely to emphasise on the fact that Allah has the capability to will it both ways - but His verdict on the matter is what has been mentioned initially. A few examples are as follows.
"[Prophet], We shall teach you [the Quran] and you will not forget — unless Allah wishes; He knows both what is open and what is hidden." (Qur'an 87:6-7)
Allah says to the Prophet, "you will not forget" the Qur'an - that is His verdict in the verse. The following portion "unless Allah wishes" is there to show that Allah is capable of making him forget, if He so wills - not that He will make him forget. The Prophet will not forget is the verdict - the point made using this Quranic style is that Allah is capable of doing all things.
"On the day He gathers everyone together [saying], ‘Company of jinn! You have seduced a great many humans,’ their adherents among mankind will say, ‘Lord, we have profited from one another, but now we have reached the appointed time You decreed for us.’ He will say, ‘Your home is the Fire, and there you shall remain eternally’- unless Allah wills otherwise." (Qur'an 6:128)
In this verse, Allah's decree is that these Hell-bound people are sent there forever, "eternally". However, "unless Allah wills otherwise" is not negating that, it is once again used as an expression to emphasise Allah's capability only to do otherwise, it is not retracting what has just been stated already about their stay in Hell forever. From other verses like 2:80-82 and 3:24, we can be sure that people who go to hell stay there forever (See: Those sent to Hell, Stay there Forever ).
"The Trumpet is blown and those in the heavens and those in the earth swoon away, unless those Allah wills. Then it is blown a second time, at once they stand upright, looking on. And the earth shines with the Pure Light of its Lord; the Book is put in place; the prophets and witnesses are brought; it is decided between them with the truth; and they are not wronged. Every self is repaid in full for what it did. He knows best what they are doing." (Qur'an 39:68-70)
In this verse, everyone on earth is destroyed when the trumpet is first blown. And then on the second time they are raised up. The expression, "unless those Allah wills" placed following the sounding of the first trumpet does not mean some people will be able to escape the destruction on that Day! Once again, we can see that it is the same Quranic style used in emphasising Allah's power and capability to choose what He wills to do. These phrases do not retract the statement made by Allah previous to them but rather only a Quranic style of expressing Allah's power.
With this Quranic wisdom, we can thus understand verses which have been claimed to allow intercession. It is important for a believer to bear in mind that there can be no contradiction in Qur'an. We have already seen clear verses that state there is no intercession in the Hereafter - all verses have to be consistent in this message.
We can understand these verses:
"None will possess intercession, except for he who has taken a pledge with the Almighty." (Qur'an 19:87)
The verdict is "None will possess intercession" - so there is no intercession. Except for he who has taken a pledge with the Almighty" does not mean people will be given pledges with Allah to intercede. It shows that permission is required from Allah for it to happen, not that anyone will be given permission. Again, it is to achieve a demonstration of Allah's power, it does not mean intercession will take place.
The same understanding applies here:
"Intercession will not work with Him, except by those to whom He gives permission.’ They will be asked, after the terror is lifted from their hearts [on the Day of Judgement], ‘What did your Lord speak?’ and they will answer, ‘The Truth. He is the Most High, the Most Great.’ " (Qur'an 34:23)
"Intercession will not work with Him" is the message of the verse - but the following portion does not mean anyone will have permission to intercede with Allah, only that permission is required. Allah achieves His demonstration of power and complete control in the Qur'an using this unique Quranic style.
People must therefore prepare themselves in this short world with a view to meeting their Lord all alone, expecting no help from intermediaries. Mankind must please Allah alone, and not include other beings hoping for intercession from them - something that will never happen.
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