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Section 6: Intercession

Surah Ta Ha – Verses 105 - 107

وَيَسْاَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْجِبَالِ فَقُلْ يَنسِفُهَا رَبّـِي نَسْفاً

فَيَذَرُهَا قَاعاً صَفْصَفاً

لاَّ تَرَي فِيهَا عِوَجاً وَلآ أَمْتاً

105. “And they ask you (O Apostle) about the mountains (on that Day). Say: ‘My Lord will uproot them and scatter them (as dust),”
106. “Then He will leave them (as) a plain, smooth level;”
107. “Wherein you will see no crookedness neither any curving’.”

The Arabic term /nasafa/ means: ‘to destroy from the foundations, uproot’, while the word /qa‘a/ means: ‘a level plain’; and the Qur’anic term /safsaf/ means: ‘a level land, so that all parts of it are in one row and a line’. The Arabic words /‘iwaj/ and /’amat/ are used in the sense of: ‘downs and ups’.

And, in view of the fact that in the former verses the words were about the events concerning to the end of this world and the beginning of the Hereafter, here, in these verses, the same subject is followed, too.

The first verse of the abovementioned verses leads us to this meaning that people had asked the Prophet of Islam (S) about the fate of the mountains at the time when this world will end.

Therefore, the revelation says:

“And they ask you (O Apostle) about the mountains (on that Day). Say: ‘My Lord will uproot them and scatter them (as dust),”

As for the fate of the mountains, it is understood from the totality of the verses of the Qur’an that they will pass different stages at the threshold of Resurrection.

At first, they will quake, and then they will move.

In the third stage, they will be burst into a pile of sand, and, at last, in their final stage, winds and storms will scatter them around so violently that they seem as ‘loosened wool’.1

Then, after destruction of the mountains and their dust being scattered, by the next verses, the Qur’an says:

“Then He will leave them (as) a plain, smooth level;”
“Wherein you will see no crookedness neither any curving’.”

However, the destruction of the mountains and bringing forth the Hereafter is a manifestation of the Lordship of Allah.

Surah Ta Ha – Verse 108

يَوْمَئِذٍ يَتَّبِعُونَ الدَّاعِيَ لاَ عِوَجَ لَهُ وَخَشَعَتِ الاَصْوَاتُ لِلرَّحْمَنِ فَلاَ تَسْمَعُ إِلاَّ هَمْساً

108. “On that day they will follow the caller in whom is no crookedness, and the voices shall be low before (the grandeur of) the Beneficent (Allah), so that you hear not but a faint murmur.”

There are some persons in the world who turn their backs on the missionaries of Allah, but, on the Day of Hereafter, they cannot be helped but to follow.

In this holy verse, the Qur’an says:

“On that day they will follow the caller in whom is no crookedness…”

That is, all men will rise from their graves and no one will have any ability to oppose Him.

The order of this caller, whoever he may be, will be so operative that nobody can oppose it.

Concerning this time, the verse continues saying:

“…and the voices shall be low before (the grandeur of) the Beneficent (Allah), so that you hear not but a faint murmur.”

This silence of voices will be either for the domination of the grandeur of Allah over the resurrection plain toward which everybody humble himself, or for the fear of reckoning and the result of the worldly deeds, or both of them.

Surah Ta Ha – Verse 109

يَوْمَئِذٍ لاَّ تَنفَعُ الشَّفَاعَةُ إِلاَّ مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَنُ وَرَضِيَ لَهُ قَوْلاً

109. “On that Day shall no intercession avail save (that of) him to whom the Beneficent (Allah) gives leave and whose word He is pleased with.”

Since the denial of intercession contrasts the contents of the verses of the Qur’an and the Islamic traditions, and it causes the despair of those believers who are sinful, and also accepting the unconditional and unrestrained intercession causes that the wrong doers become more daring, which is opposite to Allah’s justice, then the Qur’an has assigned some control and prescriptions for intercession.

From the viewpoint of the Qur’an, intercession is a ray of hope for the sinners. It is a means of their communication with the saints of Allah and following them.

Intercession is done by the leave of Allah, and the persons who care to intercede are only those believers who are in the path of Monotheism and have a proper logic and rightful notions and whose statements are acceptable with Allah. Therefore, there is an exact process in intercession both for the intercessor and the person who will be interceded.

It is so that the Qur’an in this holy verse says:

“On that Day shall no intercession avail save (that of) him to whom the Beneficent (Allah) gives leave and whose word He is pleased with.”

For this reason, the Qur’an counts the intercession of idols futile for the idolaters. Also, the intercession of Christ (as) in the sense of ransom, in order to purify the sins of his followers, or the martyrdom of Imam Hussayn for the sake of interceding his lovers and followers, is not acceptable, even though Imam Hussayn is one of the great intercessors on the Day of Resurrection, but it should be noted that his goal from martyrdom was not to intercede his advocators, but it was to protect the religion of Allah.

Upon the commentary of this verse, Imam Baqir (as) said:

“The intercession of the Prophet (S) is only for those who are well-pleased (by Allah) from the point of action and speech, and they have lived with the love of Ahlul-Bayt (as) and have died with it.”2

In the book entitled ‘Mahasin’, there is cited a tradition from Imam Sadiq (as) who said:

“The intercessors are the (immaculate) Imams (as), and the truthful ones among the believers.” 3

The Messenger of Allah (S) said:

“There will be no intercession for the doubtful ones, the disbelievers, and the rejecters. But intercession is particular to the believers, the true confessors of Divine Unity.” 4

The holy Prophet (S) said:

“There will be there groups who can intercede before Allah and whose intercessions are acceptable: the prophets, the scholars, and the martyrs.” 5

The holy Prophet (S) also said:

“My intercession does not involve the one who does not mind (his) prayer and takes it light; and by Allah he will not arrive (near) me at the Pond of Abundance; and by Allah a drunkard is not of mine and will never arrive (near) me at the Pond.” 6

Surah Ta Ha – Verses 110 - 111

يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِهِ عِلْماً

وَعَنَتِ الْوُجُوهُ لِلْحَيّ‌ِ الْقَيُّومِ وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنْ حَمَلَ ظُلْماً

110. “He knows what is before them and what is behind them, but they (people) do not comprehend Him in (their) knowledge.”
111. “And (on that Day, all) faces will be humbled before the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent (Allah), and whoever bears inequity will indeed be disappointed.”

The Arabic term /‘anat/ is derived from /‘nwah/ with the meaning of humility before wrath and sovereignty, and the Qur’anic word /qayyum/ is called to one who is subsisting to his own essence and is the protector of every thing and who has given the cause of consistence of every thing to that thing.

And the Arabic word /xaba/ is derived from /xaybah/ with the sense of ‘failure, despair’. Thus, the despair is of those who carried the burden of injustice on their backs.

Since the attendance of humankind in the resurrection plain for reckoning and retribution needs Allah’s awareness from their deeds, the Qur’an in this verse implies that Allah knows whatever the sinners will have in front of them and whatever they have done in the world and have passed in their behind.

He knows them all so that He is aware of their whole deeds, sayings, and intentions in the past, and knows the retribution they will confront in future; but they do not encompass His knowledge.

The verse says:

“He knows what is before them and what is behind them, but they (people) do not comprehend Him in (their) knowledge.”

Thus the encompassment of the knowledge of Allah is unto both their deeds and their retributions (and rewards). These two in fact, are two principals of complete and just judgment.

The verse says:

“And (on that Day, all) faces will be humbled before the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent (Allah)…”

Choosing the attributes of ‘the Ever-Living, and the Self-Subsistent’, here, from among the attributes of Allah is for the suitability of these two epithets with the event of Resurrection which is the Day of new life and rise of all.

Then, at the end of the verse, the Qur’an adds:

“…and whoever bears inequity will indeed be disappointed.”

As if, inequity is a great burden which weighs down on the back of a person and hinders him from going toward the bounties of Allah.

Surah Ta Ha – Verse 112

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّالِحَاتِ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلاَ يَخَافُ ظُلْماً وَلاَ هَضماً

112. “And whoever does good works, and he is a believer (on that day) shall fear neither of injustice nor of (any) curtailment (of his wage).”

The Arabic term /hadm/ means: ‘To decrease’. It is used for the absorption of food in the body, perhaps for the reason that the food apparently will be decreased therein when its remaining will be discharged.

And, since the style of the holy Qur’an is often to state the comparative statement of the affairs, after mentioning the fate of the unjust and the guilty on that Day, it refers to the state of the believers, and says:

“And whoever does good works, and he is a believer (on that day) shall fear neither of injustice nor of (any) curtailment (of his wage).”

Principally, in order that a righteous action can often be performed continuously and deeply, it should be originated from a pure Faith and a proper conviction.

In the recent ten verses of this Surah, the illustration of the feature of Hereafter has briefly been pointed out.

1. The Trumpet will be blown and the dead will be quickened.

“(On) the day when the Trumpet shall be blown…”7

2. The sinners will he mustered.

“…We will muster the guilty…”8

3. The mountains will be uprooted.

“…My Lord will uproot them and scatter them (as dust).”9

4. All people will obey the invitation of a divine missionary.

“…They will follow the caller…”10

5. Without the permission of Allah, no intercession will avail.

“…shall no intercession avail…”11

6. Allah, with His encompassing knowledge, will reckon all.

“He knows what is before them…”12

7. All people submit to the commandment of Allah.

“…(all) faces will humbled.”13

8. Those who have committed injustice will be despaired.

“…whoever bears inequity will indeed be disappointed.”14

9. The righteous believers will be in peace and ease.

“…a believer (on that day) shall fear neither of injustice nor of (any) curtailment (of his wage).”15

Surah Ta Ha – Verse 113

وَكَذَلِكَ أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْءَاناً عَرَبِيّاً وَصَرَّفْنَا فِيهِ مِنَ الْوَعِيدِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ أَوْ يُحْدِثُ لَهُمْ ذِكْراً

113. “And thus We sent it down as a perspicuous Qur’an and explained therein certain warnings that they may keep from evil or that it may serve unto them a reminder.”

In this verse, the Qur’an hints to the totality of the matters which were mentioned in the previous holy verses about the instructional subjects and divine promises concerning the Hereafter.

It says:

“And thus We sent it down as a perspicuous Qur’an and explained therein certain warnings that they may keep from evil or that it may serve unto them a reminder.”

The Qur’anic term /‘arabiyyan/, although means ‘the Arabic language’, here, it is an indication to the eloquence, and rhetoric of the Qur’an, as well as the clarity of its concepts.

The evidence for this meaning is that, as some linguistics of the world have said, Arabic language contains the most expressive words and its literature is the strongest one. Another fact is that the Qur’an expresses one subject in the frame of different statements.

For instance, as for the threat and punishment of the wrong doers, it sometimes states it in the form of the story of the former nations, sometimes in the form of addressing the audience, sometimes in the form of illustration of their status in the Resurrection plain, and sometimes in other shapes.

Surah Ta Ha – Verse 114

فَتَعَالَي اللَّهُ الْمَلِكُ الْحَقُّ وَلاَ تَعْجَلْ بِالْقُرْءَانِ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يُقْضَي إِلَيْكَ وَحْيُهُ وَقُل رَبّ‌ِ زِدْنِي عِلْماً

114. “So high exalted is Allah, The Ture Sovereign; and do not make haste (O Apostle) with the Qur’an before its revelation is completed unto you, and say: ‘My Lord! increase me in knowledge’.”

Through the phrase:

“Do not make haste (O Apostle) with the Qur’an”

it can be deduced that the Prophet (S) had known the whole verses of the Qur’an from before its gradual revelation and had been acquainted with them. This itself is a clear evidence that the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet of Islam twice.

Once it was sent down to him in a lump, and the second revelation was in the form of a gradual revelation. Thus, the Prophet of Allah (S), who had received the whole Qur’an at once on the Night of Qadr, was acquainted with what was gradually being revealed to him before its revelation.

There is a fundamental difference between the act of haste /ta‘jal/, on one side, and the Qur’anic term/ sari‘u/ 16 (be quick) and /sabiqu/17 (be you foremost) which have been divinely admired, on the other side. The goodness of ‘being quick’ and ‘being foremost’ is in a circumstance where all the affairs have been considered and arranged.

Therefore, opportunities must be utilized. But ‘haste’ is used for the circumstance where the time of action has not come yet, or the matter needs to be searched and we do not observe it, then we have made haste.

The origin of ‘haste’ is sometimes the negative qualities, such as: impatience, pride and vanity. These qualities, of course, are blameworthy and they are aloof from the holy being of the Prophet (S).

And, sometimes, it is because of the intense love and interest for receiving a matter, and sympathy for protecting something. In this case, haste is counted a good thing. The haste of the Prophet (S) in receiving the revelation had been of this kind, i.e. an amorous reception, and an anxiety for the protection of revelation.

Therefore, this verse says:

“So high exalted is Allah, The Ture Sovereign; and do not make haste (O Apostle) with the Qur’an before its revelation is completed unto you, and say: ‘My Lord! increase me in knowledge’.”

When the Prophet (S), with that abundant knowledge and spiritually full of cognizance, is enjoined to seek increase of knowledge from Allah until the end of lifetime, the duty of others is completely clear.

In fact, from the view of Islam, there is no limitation for earning helpful knowledge. Amassing things, in many affairs, is blameworthy; while it is admirable concerning knowledge. Excess is bad, but excess in knowledge does not have any meaning.

However, Allah sent Moses (as) to Hadrat Khidr to be taught. So Moses (as) asked him for permission and said:

“Shall I follow you so that you teach me right conduct of what you have been taught?”18

But Allah Himself undertook teaching the Prophet (S) and told him to say:

“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge”.

The first teacher foreverything is Allah, the All-knowing, and the Omniscient.

The Qur’an says:

“He taught Adam all the names…”19

Also, it says:

“The Beneficent”
“It is He Who has taught the Qur’an.”
“He has taught him an intelligent speech.”20

The holy Prophet (S) in a tradition has said:

“If a day passes in me wherein my knowledge is not increased, that day is not blessed for me.”21

  • 1. Surah Al-Qari‘ah, No. 101, verse 5
  • 2. Ta’wil-ul-’Ayat, p. 304
  • 3. Tafsir-us-Safi, old version, p. 358
  • 4. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, vol. 8, p. 58
  • 5. Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 8, p. 34
  • 6. Wafi, vol. 5, p. 9
  • 7. Verse 102
  • 8. Verse 102
  • 9. Verse 105
  • 10. Verse 108
  • 11. Verse 109
  • 12. Verse 110
  • 13. Verse 111
  • 14. Verse 111
  • 15. Verse 112
  • 16. Surah, ’Al-i-‘Imran, No. 3, verse 133
  • 17. Surah Al-Hadid, No. 57, verse 21
  • 18. Surah Al-Kahf, No. 18, verse 66
  • 19. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 31
  • 20. Surah Ar-Rahman, No. 55, verses 1,2,4
  • 21. The Commentary of Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, vol. 3, p. 397

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