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Section 4

Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 40

يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَوْفُواْ بِعَهْدِي أُوفِ بِعَهْدِكُمْ وَإِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ

40. "O' Children of Israel, remember My blessing wherewith I blessed you, and fulfil My covenant and I shall fulfil your covenant, and have awe of none but Me."

The Remembrance of the Favours of Allah

In the previous verses we learnt about the commission of Adam's vicegerency on the earth, the respectful treatment of the angels towards him, Iblis's reaction of pride, and the negligence of his covenant with Allah, and, consequently, his removal from the Garden and, thereafter, his penitence.

Through these events, this fundamental principle was made clear that: in this world, there are two opposite forces, i.e. right and wrong, or just and unjust, which are always at odds with each other.

He who, following the temptations of Satan, chooses the wrong path gets farther and farther away from felicity and salvation and involves himself in toil and pain, the fruit of which is remorse and regret.

But those who, heedless of the Satanic temptations and those of vicious fellows, choose the path of obedience of Allah will live a happy life, free from spiritual pain and grief.

There is a close similarity between the story of Adam (as) and that of the Israelites when they were rescued from the clutches of Pharaoh before their vicegerency on the earth, and, after that, their negligence of their solemn promise to Allah which caused them to be involved in pain and misery.

Their fate not only resembles that of Adam's, but it can also be considered as a subdivision of that general principle. Hence, in the above verse and several verses after that, Allah refers to some different aspects of the lives of the Children of Israel and their lamentable end to complete with them the educative lesson which He started with the story of Adam's fate.

He addresses the Israelites and says:

"O' Children of Israel, remember My blessing wherewith I blessed you, and fulfil My covenant and I shall fulfil your covenant, and have awe of none but Me."

Those three instructions (the remembrance of the great blessings of Allah, being loyal to His covenant, to be in awe of only Him) are, indeed, the basis of all Divine programs.

The remembrance of the blessings of the Lord leads Man to the knowledge of Allah, and provokes a sense of gratitude in him. Then, believing that those bounties are not given unconditionally and He has taken a covenant for them makes man aware of his duties and responsibilities.

After this, not having awe of anybody or any power in the way of performing the Divine duties, causes Man to remove all the barriers and obstructions from his way and fulfil faithfully his responsibilities and promises, for, having awe of this and that, is one of the greatest obstacles on this way, especially in the case of the Israelites who were under the control of Pharaonic governments and, consequently, fear had become a part of their lives.

Explanations

Jews in Medina

It is interesting that, according to what historians of the Qur'an have cited, Surah Al-Baqarah is the first Surah that was revealed in Medina. This Surah talks mostly about Jews, because they were the most dominate group of the 'People of the Book' there.

Before the advent of the Prophet of Islam (S), as their own religious books indicated, they were waiting for such an advent, and used to give its glad tidings to others. They were also in a very good economic condition at that time and, on the whole, they had a deep influence on the social affairs of Medina.

But, with the advent of Islam, many of them not only did not accept the invitation of Islam, but stood, hiddenly and openly, against it, because Islam hindered them from their unlawful interests and did not let them continue their evil social projects. Now, after the passing of more than fourteen centuries, this same hostility is still alive and active against Islam.

It was at that time when the above verse and the verses after that were sent down which blamed them intensively and, by mentioning the sensitive aspects of their historical background, moved them so violently that those Jews, who had the least sense of justice and truth-seeking, awoke and accepted Islam. Besides that, this admonishment was a comprehensive lesson for all the Muslim believers, too.

In the discussions of the verses that will come later, we shall talk about some of the outstanding circumstances of these people such as their rescue from the grips of Pharaoh, the cleaving asunder of the sea and the drowning of Pharaoh and his horsemen, the appointing place of Moses (as) on Mount Sinai (Toor), the calf (of gold) worshipped by the Israelites when Moses (as) was not among them which caused them to receive the instruction of the bloody repentance and, thereafter, the special bounties of Allah were sent down for them, and some other events similar to these, each of which contains a lesson or lessons to be learnt by all.

The Jews' Twelve Covenants with Allah

As it is understood from the verses of the Holy Qur'an, the covenant mentioned in the above verse is the very covenant of worshipping Allah; to treat parents, kindred, orphans, and the needy with kindness; to have fair behaviour with people, to attend and be steadfast in ritual prayers; to pay alms; to avoid doing grievous wrongs, and to avoid shedding blood.

The witness of this statement is Surah Al-Baqarah. No. 2 verses 83 and 84:

"And (remember) when We made a covenant with the Children of Israel (instructing): ‘You shall not worship any but Allah; and A (you shall do) good to (your) parents, and to the near of kin and to the orphans, and the needy, and speak kind words to people, keep up the prayer, and pay the poor-rates (zakat)’. Then you turned away, except a few of you, and you backslide (even now)."
"And (remember) when We made a covenant with you: 'You shall not shed your blood, nor expel one another from your dwellings', then you confirmed it while you bore witness."

These two verses, in fact, refer to the ten different covenants that Allah had taken from the Jews. When we consider, and add, the two other covenants of Surah Al-Maidah. No 5. Verse 12, which advises them to believe in the Divine prophets and help them respectfully, the fact is made clear that they had given numerous covenants to Allah for those great Divine blessings; and they had been promised by Allah to be settled in the Gardens of Heaven under whose trees and castles streams flow, if they would have kept their promises, thus:

"Allah did aforetime take a Covenant from the Children of Israel... and Allah said:'I am with you: if ye (but) establish regular Prayers, practice regular Charity, believe in My apostles, honour and assist them... And admit you to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath..."

But, unfortunately, in spite of the long expectations of the Jews based upon the prophecies in their sacred scriptures, they, finally, observed none of those promises and they continued their most vehement and the most torturous opposition and persecution against Islam and Muslims not only at the advent of Islam but they have also been continuing it until the present time.

The fruit of their evil actions was that they became vagrant, and this condition will always be seen in their lives till the time when they will be destroyed. If we see that, with the support of this or that, they flourish in their authorative existence for a short length of time, it cannot be counted a real reason for their final victory.

We know it well that one day the true followers of Islam, free from any tribal or racial adherences and only under the light of the Holy Qur'an, will rise and put an end to all these vanities.

Allah will fulfil His Covenant, too!

The bounties of Allah have never been given unconditionally and every blessing is accompanied by a responsibility or responsibilities.

A tradition from Imam al-Sadiq (as) says that the objective meaning of the phrase: 'I shall fulfil your covenant', mentioned in this verse, is that Allah will fulfil His covenant in admitting them into Heaven. 1

It is not surprising that, in this tradition, the belief in the mastership of Hazrat Ali (as) is mentioned as a part of this covenant, because one of the items of the covenant of the Children of Israel was the acceptance of the prophecy of the Divine Apostles and the assisting of them.

And it is evident that the acceptance of their vicegerents is also a part of the acceptance of that leadership and mastership, which should be established at any time appropriate with that age. At the time of Moses (as), it was he who held that position; and at the time of Hazrat Muhammad (S), he did, and thereafter Hazrat Ali (as) continued it.

By the way, the phrase: “...and have awe of none but Me", referring to an awe of His punishment because of their disobedience of His command, is an emphasis on this subject that, in fulfilling their covenant with Allah, they should fear of no one and no circumstance.

Why are Jews Called the Children of Israel?

'Israel' was one of the titles of Jacob, Yosuf's (Joseph) father. Both the well-known commentators 'Tabarsi' in his book: 'Majma'ul-Bayan ' (vol. 1, p. 92), and 'Shaykh-ut- Ta'ifah' the Late Toosi in his book entitled: 'at- Tibyan Fi Tafsir-il-Qur'an' (vol. 1, p. 180) have expressed:

"Israel is the same as Jacob, the son of Issac (Ishaq) the son of Abraham (as)...".

These two great commentators believe that the word / isra'il / is a combination of the term 'Isr', / 'abd /, with the meaning of 'servant' and' 'il ' with the meaning of 'Allah'. Then, the word means 'the servant of Allah'; and it is a 'Hebraic' word.

Surah Al-Baqarah, Verses 41-43

وَآمِنُواْ بِمَا أَنزَلْتُ مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ أَوَّلَ كَافِرٍ بِهِ وَلاَ تَشْتَرُواْ بِآيَاتِي ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً وَإِيَّايَ فَاتَّقُونِ

وَلاَ تَلْبِسُواْ الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُواْ الْحَقَّ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُواْ مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ

41. "And believe in what I have revealed (the Qur'an), confirming that (Scripture) which is with you, and be not the first to reject Faith therein, and sell not My Signs for a miserable price; and be in awe of none but Me."
42. "And confound not the truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth while you know (it)."
43. "And keep up the prayer, and pay the poor-rates (zakat), and bow down in prayer with those who bow down (in congregation)."

The Lord commands the Jews that they should believe in His revelation, the Qur'an, and accept it because the acceptance of the Qur'an is just the same as the acceptance of the Turah:

"And believe in what I have revealed (the Qur'an) confirming that (Scripture) which is with you..."

This statement indicates that the Turah, in which they believe, itself has pointed out the glad tidings of the advent of the promised Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad (S), and the revelation of the Holy Qur'an. Thus, the requisite belief in the content of the Turah is belief in the Qur'an.

"...and be not the first to reject Faith therein..."

The verse addresses the Jews and says that those people, who are of the "People of the Book" and among whom there are scholars and learned men who believe in God and have accepted the Divine prophets, should not be the first group to reject the Qur'an and deny its rightfulness. When their scholars do not accept the truth, many others also follow them and reject it.

"...and sell not My Signs for a miserable price..."

Some authentic narrations denote that many of the scholars and Rabbis of the Jews used to sell the verses and some features of Hadrat Muhammad, the promised Prophet (S), mentioned in the Scripture of old, the Turah, to some of the rich Jews at that time and perverted the verses of the Turah in exchange for taking money from them.

Here, Allah scorns them and forbids them from doing this abominable action and directs them not to corrupt the Scripture for that little sum of money. The money they used to take was, of course, a large sum, but, in comparison with what they committed, it was very little.

Allah's signs are worth more than all their paltry considerations, and changing and perverting those Divine Signs is a very great sin so that gold and silver, howsoever much they may be, or even high social positions, seems naught in comparison with it. So, He says:

“...and be in awe of none but Me."
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"And confound not the truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth while you know (it)."

This verse provides another emphasis on the above meaning. The Jewish scholars are told, here, not to mix up the truth with falsehood by perverting the verses of the Turah and hiding its revelations about the Prophet of Islam (S), when they are supposed to make them manifest, because they recognize them and, in connection to this, know the difference between right and wrong very well.

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"And keep up the prayer, and pay the poor-rates (zakat), and bow down in prayer with those who bow down (in congregation)."

In Islam, next to the belief in Allah, His Messenger, and the Resurrection, prayer and alms (zakat) are the two essential pillars of Faith without which the establishment and endurance of Faith is impossible.

Prayer and poor-rates, as well as observing their proper times, are strictly and repeatedly emphasized in the concerning verses of the Holy Qur'an and Islamic traditions and narrations. The excellence and importance of prayers are briefly pointed out in commenting on verse 3, the current Surah on pages 80-83 in this volume.

Explanation

Islam, as a religion, has revealed information with the perfection necessary to train mankind and to discipline the human race and to enable them to raise themselves from the depths of material degradation to the unlimited elevation of spiritual glory in order to qualify each - individual as an adherent, as much as he or she personally desires, to rise towards the divinity in store for every sincere seeker of it.

The curbing of the physical desires of a human being is sure to have the natural consequence of sublimating it by the resulting moral effect on the mind which can gradually put it well on the way to receiving the enlightenment of the higher meanings of life. A certain degree of piety and devotion is essential for a human being to be initiated into the realm of spiritual bliss.

All the previous religions, particularly the creed of the Jews and the Christians, were limited to some extreme systems of optional ascetic hermitage of extremes which did not agree with the natural demands of the social life of the people.

The imposition of such extremes, with the freedom to do it or not, could help only a few to follow the order, discarding completely their worthy life but the bulk of the people had sunk deep into hypocritical observances and practices.

Islam, as a practical and fully regulated religion, bases its foundation first on humbling the ego of man by making him conscious about his relation to his Creator and thus making him yield to the Lord, his God, in complete submission to Him by worshipping in a way suiting his humble position.

By this, Islam brings man in the presence of his Lord. The first cardinal doctrine or ordinance of Islam is 'salat' or, 'prayers' which develops in a human being the appropriate feeling in relation to God and puts the individual in direct contact with the great qualities of the Absolute Divinity.

Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 44

أَتَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبِرِّ وَتَنسَوْنَ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ تَتْلُونَ الْكِتَابَ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ

44. "Do you enjoin righteousness upon people while you forget your own selves (to practice it)? And you read the Scripture? Have you then no sense? "

This verse is apparently addressing and scorning the scholars of the Jews who, before the Divine invitation of Hadrat Muhammad (S), recommended people to embrace Islam. They enjoined them to pay charity and favour each other, but they did not do these good deeds themselves. They did not accept Islam in order to continue their mastership, nor pay charity lest they might become poor.

But, the verse, in fact, addresses and admonishes all those who habitually recommend others to piety and neglect their own souls.

"Do you enjoin righteousness upon people while you forget your own selves (to practice it)?..."

It is not logical that a person enjoins his fellow men to help others and work righteousness but,'he himself does not observe it. That is why, at the end of the verse, it says:

“...And you read the Scripture? Have you then no sense? "

It inquires how you do not understand that you should enjoin righteousness on yourselves first and do accordingly to be as an example, and then expect others to obey you and receive your recommendation, with their whole hearts.

Experience has proved that words which are uttered only by the tongue, as simple statements, physically strike the ears and perish. But reasonable speech that arises from the soul and reality settles in souls firmly and affects hearts deeply.

Surah Al-Baqarah, Verses 45-46

وَاسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلاَةِ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلاَّ عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ

الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلاَقُوا رَبِّهِمْ وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ

45. "And seek you help (from Allah) through patience and prayer; and most surely it is a hard thing, save upon the humble,"
46. "Those who bear in mind the certainty that they will meet their Lord and that verily unto Him shall they return."

To enable Man to overcome his latent low desires and to clean his mind from the love of position and rank, the Qur’an says:

"And seek you help (from Allah) through patience and prayer; and most surely it is a hard thing, save upon the humble,"

How to Overcome Difficulties

To overcome difficulties and solve problems demands two fundamental principles. The first principle is a strong inner will, and the second one is a firm outward refuge. These two principles are referred to in the above verse as 'patience' and 'prayer'.

Patience, here, has been rendered into' fasting' and' perseverance' during difficulties while prayer is a connection with Allah and a means of communication with this Helpful Refuge.

About the term / sabr / ' patience', one of the books 2 says that it is a natural phenomenon well-known to every enlightened one that bodily mortification is to some extent necessary in disciplining the human ego accommodated in the physical framework, to lighten it by liberating it from the clutches of the desires and passions of the material world otherwise it would sink deeply into its own devious personal interest.

This is essential to elevate it unto the heights of the spiritual realms. A religion merely consisting of some mere formal rituals and the offering of chanting or the recitation of some verbal prayers or charms without the demand on the individual for the practical control of the animal-self in him can hardly be worth anything.

The truth endowed or the spiritual strength one gets through overcoming his selfish passions, is by itself a very vast subject to be dealt with in the brief notes meant to explain the particular aspects of the wordings of the Divine verses here.

However, an Islamic tradition says that Imam al-Sadiq (as) was once asked about the meaning of the word / sabr / 'patience', mentioned in this verse, when he said: "Patience means fasting." 3

Again, commenting on this verse, the leading commentators have cited that whenever any difficulty confronted the Prophet of Islam (S), he used to resort to' fasting' and 'prayers' to be helped with. 4Also, Hazrat Ali (as) did the same.5

It is also narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (as) who has said:

"It does not matter that when one of you is involved in a grief out of the grieves of the world, you would make ablution and enter a mosque. Then, you would recite a prayer and offer a petition therein to Allah, because I know He has commanded: ‘And seek you help (from Allah) through patience and prayer'." 6

Yes, verily prayer connects Man to an everlasting Power, to Allah, for Whom all the hard problems and complicated difficulties are easy. This very feeling causes man to be calm, powerful, and steadfast against misadventures.

And with prayer, -what else can ever be imaginably more effective or successful than any individual in his helplessness approaching the All-Merciful, Almighty through prayers for help ?

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In the verse following the above one, the Holy Qur'an introduces the humble ones, thus:

"Those who bear in mind the certainty that they will meet their Lord and that verily unto Him shall they return."

So, it is narrated from Amir-ul Mu'mineen Ali (as) who has said that one of the characteristics of the humble ones who are the same as the believers is knowledge and certainty about their meeting with Allah which will take place in the Hereafter. 7

What is 'Meeting with Allah'?

The idea of 'meeting with Allah ' has been mentioned repeatedly in the Qur'an where it totally means 'Presence in the Hereafter'. It is obvious that the purpose of 'meeting with the Lord' is not a physical meeting like the meeting of people with each other face to face.

We also know that Allah is not a bodily substance to have colour or place, or to be seen with the eyes. Then, as some commentators have said, the purpose of the phrase may be the observation of the effects of His Power in the scene of the Hereafter, such as: His bounties, rewards, and punishments.

Or, it means an esoteric intuition in the heart or soul, because, sometimes, Man reaches a point that he sees the Lord in front of him by his heart's eye, and in that case no doubt will continue for him.

This state may come to being for some people in this world as a result of piety, worship, and purification of the carnal soul. The following explanation, cited in Nahjul Balagha, attests to the idea:

One of the companions of Amir-ul Mu'mineen Ali (as), Di'lib al-Yamani, who was a learned man, once asked him (as) whether Ali (as) had seen Allah, his Lord, when he (as) replied:

"Do I worship the One Whom I have not seen?"

Then the man asked him to explain it more and Ali (as) added:

"Eyes do not see Him face to face, but hearts (souls) perceive Him through the (light of) realities of Faith..." 8

However, in the Hereafter, all human beings will attain this esoteric intuition, since, therein, the effects of the Glory and Power of Allah will be so manifested that none can deny them, and all will have a decisive Faith in everything.

Surah Al-Baqarah, Verses 47-48

يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَنِّي فَضَّلْتُكُمْ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ

وَاتَّقُواْ يَوْماً لاَّ تَجْزِي نَفْسٌ عَن نَّفْسٍ شَيْئاً وَلاَ يُقْبَلُ مِنْهَا شَفَاعَةٌ وَلاَ يُؤْخَذُ مِنْهَا عَدْلٌ وَلاَ هُمْ يُنصَرُونَ

47. "O' Children of Israel, call to mind My favour which I bestowed on you, and that I made you excel the nations (of that time)."
48. "And guard yourselves against a day when no one in the least shall avail another, nor shall intercession be accepted from anyone, nor shall any ransom be taken from anyone, nor shall they be helped (from outside)."

The Vain Imaginations of the Jews

In these verses, again, the Lord addresses the Children of Israel and reminds them of His bounties bestowed on them, thus:

"O' Children of Israel, call to mind My favours which I bestowed on you..."

These bounties were numerous consisting of Faith, Divine Guidance and their rescue from the grips of pharaohs which led them to regaining their splendour and independence.

Then, among these bounties He has pointed out the bounty of their being made to excel the nations of their time which in itself is a combination of different bounties. He continues and says:

“...and that I made you excel the nations (of that time)."

Some may think that the objective meaning of the phrase, "I made you excel the nations ", is that He has made them excel the nations all over the world and forever.

But, regarding other verses, the Qur'an makes it clear that the application of the address 'you' is meant for those immediately present at that time and in their own locality, because in another occurrence the Qur'an, addressing Muslims, says:

"You are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, " (Surah Ale-Imran. No. 3. verse 110).

Another verse about the Israelites says: "And We made a people, considered weak (and of no account), inheritors of lands in both East and West…", (Surah Al-A'raf No.7. verse 137). It is obvious that the Children of Israel did not inherit the world entirely at that time.

So, it means that they inherited the east and the west of their own region, Therefore, their preference to other nations means preference to the other nations in their environment at that time.

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The Qur'an rejects the vain considerations of the Jews, They thought that, on the Day of Judgment, their forefathers and ancestors, who were prophets of Allah would make intercession for them; or they imagined that on that Day those prophets could give ransom for their sins the same as some of their people employ bribery in this world, The Qur'an says:

"And guard yourselves against a day when no one in the least shall avail another ",
"Nor shall intercession be accepted from anyone", "nor shall any ransom be taken from anyone," "nor shall they be helped (from outside)"

In brief, the 'Judge' on that Day is He Who accepts, from the servants, only pure good actions done with true belief, as the Qur'an says about it:

"The Day when on neither wealth nor sons will avail," " But only he (will prosper) that brings to Allah a sound heart" (Surah Shu'ara No.26. verses 88 & 89).

The verse under discussion, in fact, is a hint to this reality that, in this world, saving a sinful person from punishment by applying all possible means is an ordinary custom. Sometimes someone undertakes the payment of another person's compensation and pays it.

If this way fails, intercession may be resorted to and some respectable personalities who have power and influence may be brought forward to intercede for him. If intercession does not avail either, the person tries to save himself by paying for the fine. And, if this, too, provides no results, he asks his friends and fellow men to help him somehow, so that he can escape from the grips of punishment.

There are different ways of fleeing from punishment in this world, but the Qur'an says that the chastisements in the Hereafter are completely different from those in this world and none of these behaviours are acceptable there. The only way of rescue is to refuge under the shade of Faith and righteousness, and to ask help from Allah, the Merciful.

Supplication

O'Lord, the Creator, the Cherisher! We humbly ask You to guide us so that, at the end, You will be pleased with us and we can be prosperous.

Intercession in the Qur'an and Traditions

The term / safa'at / ' intercession', with all its derivations, has occurred about thirty times in the Qur'an. This status shows the depth of the importance of the matter.

Undoubtedly, the punishments of the Lord, whether in this world or in the next, are not for revenging at all, but they are, in fact, to warrant the obedience of the Divine ordinances and, consequently, the development and progress of men. Therefore, everything that weakens this security should be avoided in order that people would be less likely to commit sin and vice.

On the other hand, the way of repentance and return to righteousness and improvement should not be completely closed to the sinners. They must have the opportunity and possibility of improving themselves which results in piety and returning to the path of Allah.

Thus, intercession means that, on the Day of Judgement, prophets, saints, and some special righteous ones will intercede with Allah's permission for those who have not cut their tie of Faith with Allah and preserved their spiritual relationship with Him and His Messengers.

In other words, intercession, in its proper meaning, exists for the preserving of this equilibrium. It is a means for the sinners and the wrong-doers to return from their present way to the path of obedience and servitude.

We may emphasize that the doctrine of intercession is quite natural, reasonable and logical. It is a natural, just, and merciful classification of souls according to the natural affinity and the bonds of love and sincere attachment which existed between the individual and the faithful servants of Allah, viz. the holy Prophet (S) and the holy Ahlul Bayt (as) whose purity of spirit, flawlessness of conduct and character, selfless services and matchless sacrifices for the cause of truth, are universal factors and whose goodliness is unreservedly acknowledged by the Muslims and even by the non-Muslims as well.

However, as it was mentioned before, there are numerous verses in the Qur'an concerning 'intercession'. To understand these verses completely and correctly, all of them should be studied carefully and considered as a whole to follow the unity of purpose they are meant for.

It is absolutely wrong that for proving our claim we take only one verse from amongst the numerous verses on intercession and neglect the others. The errors that have come into being upon the subject of intercession, as well as upon some other rational subjects, are the effect of such wrong and imperfect investigations.

This method, in which we take a single verse and refuse or neglect other verses that can be elucidative and frames of reference for that particular verse, is far from the right manner of researching.

Then, firstly, besides all the other arguments of the various expositions on the validity of intercession based upon the other verses of the Qur'an, as was mentioned formerly, and with further assurance by the traditions of the holy Prophet (S), it is a natural and logical conclusion, beyond all doubt, that on the Day of Judgement intercession cannot be but an undeniable fact.

That is, Allah regard for His holy and faithful servants is accepted as a natural and logical necessary factor. Secondly, it is certain that the Holy Qur'an in many places, some of which are mentioned below, asserts the effectiveness of intercession under some conditions, on the Day of Judgement, when those authorized by the Lord shall have the right to do it.

The Qur'an says:

"On that Day shall no intercession avail except for those for whom permission has been granted by (Allah) Most Gracious and whose word is acceptable to Him ", (Surah Taha, No.20. Verse 109).
"No intercession can avail in His Presence, except for those for whom He has granted permission...", (Surah Saba, No.34. Verse 23).
"And those whom they invoke besides Allah have no power of intercession; -only he who bears witness to the Truth, and they know (him)", (Surah Az-Zukhraf, No.43. Verse 86).

For further elucidation on the doctrine of intercession some of the verses which can also be referred to are: 26: 100, 2: 123 & 255, 74: 48, 21: 28, and 19: 87.

In the authentic literature of Muslims, both the Sunnite and Shi'ah schools, through some Islamic narrations, there are many implications to the existence of 'intercession' in the Hearafter which are presented as explanatory statements for the aforementioned verses on intercession.

Some of these books are: Bihar-al-Anwar, Majma'-ul-Bayan, Tafsir-i-Almizan, At-Tibyan fi Tafsir-il-Qur'an, Al-Burhan fi Tafsir-il-Qur'an, Al-Khisal by Shaykh al-Saduq, Usul al-Kafi, Sunan-i-Ibn-Majah, Musnad-i-Ahmad, Muwatta-i-Malik, Sunan-i-Tirmizi, Sunan-i-Darmi, Sahih-i-Muslim, Sahih-i-Bukhari,…

Out of the many traditions and narrations cited in the above mentioned books, a few of them have been chosen here:

1. The holy Prophet (S) has said:

"I will be the first one who intercedes and the first one whose intercession will be accepted (by Allah)." 9

2. Hadrat Ali (as) said:

"...We will intercede and those who love (and follow) us will do so, too..." 10

3. The holy Prophet (S) also said:

"...I have been bestowed on (five privileges: the first is), 'intercession' which I have kept for my followers (Ummah). Intercession is (permitted) for the one who associates no partner with Allah..." 11

4. Again, the Messenger of Allah (S) has said:

"...The most prosperous people by my intercession on the Day of Judgement will be those who have sincerely said from their deep hearts (souls): there is no god except Allah (i.e. sincerely believe in Allah)." 12

5. The holy Prophet (S) has also said:

"My intercession is for all (true) Muslims." 13

6. Firdous-ud-Diylami, Abuhurayrah, narrates from the holy Prophet (S) who has said:

"The intercessors (in the Hereafter) are five: the Qur'an, relationships, trust, your Messenger, and the people of the house (Ahlul Bayt) of your prophet." 14

7. Imam al-Sadiq (as) is narrated to have said:

"There is none of (the people of) ancient times and (those of) the later times but needs Muhammad's intercession (S) on the Day of Judgement." 15

8. In Usul al-Kafi, it is also cited that Imam al-Sadiq (as) has said in a tradition:

"He who wishes to enjoy of intercession by the intercessors with Allah, should try to gain His pleasure." 16

We hope that Allah, the Merciful, may bestow the success of obedience and servitude on His path upon all of us and may He save us from any err and sin in our deeds. May He deprive us not of the intercession of the holy Prophet (S) and Ahlul Bayt (as) on the Day of Reckoning. Amin, O' Lord of the Worlds!

  • 1. Nur-uth- Thaqalayn, vol, 1, p 73
  • 2. The Holy Qur'an, with English Translation of the Arabic Text and , p. 98
  • 3. Al-Burhan Fi Tafsiril Qur'an, vol. 1, p. 14 & Tafsir-as-Safi: vol. 1, p. 111
  • 4. Majma'-ul-Bayan, vol. 1, p. 99
  • 5. Ibid, p. 100
  • 6. Usul al-Kafi, vol. 3, p. 480
  • 7. Atyabul-Bayan, vol. 2, p. 21
  • 8. Nahjul-Balagha, sermon 179
  • 9. Sunan-i- Tirmizi vol. 5, p. 24 & Sunan-i-Darmi; vol. 1, p. 26 & 27
  • 10. Al-Khisal by Saduq, p. 624
  • 11. Musnad-i-Ahmad, vol. 1, p. 301 & Sunan-i-Nisai vol. 1, p. 172
  • 12. Sahih-al-Bukhari, vol. 1, p. 36
  • 13. Sunan-i-Ibn-Majah, vol. 2, p. 1444, tradition 4317
  • 14. Bihar-al-Anwar, vol. 8, p. 43
  • 15. Bihar-al-Anwar, vol. 8, p. 38, tradition 16
  • 16. Usul al-Kafi; vol. 8, p. 11 & Bihar-al-Anwar, vol. 8, p. 53

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