Section 6: Intercession
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا الشَّيَاطِينَ عَلَي الْكَافِرِينَ تَؤُزُّهُمْ أَزّاً
فَلاَ تَعْجَلْ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّمَا نَعُدُّ لَهُمْ عَدّاً
83. “Have you not seen (how) We sent the Satans unto the disbelievers to incite them with an incitement?”
84. “So make no haste against them, for We but count out to them a number (of days).”
Here, this fact is referred to that idols not only did not cause their honour but also disgraced them.
The Qur’an by this holy verse says:
The incitement of Satans upon men is not an obligatory and unknown incitement, but it is the men themselves who let Satans arrive inside their hearts and souls.
In this holy verse, the Prophet (S) is addressed being told that he should not haste against them, because Allah will minutely count their deeds and record them for the Day when the Divine court of Justice will be held in Hereafter.
The verse says:
Upon the commentary of the verse there is also this probability that the purpose of the phrase:
is the counting the days of lifetime, or the number of their breaths, which means that the length of their life is very short so that the number the breaths of it can be counted.
However, the Arabic term /’azz/, used in the verse, means ‘to incite severely’.
يَوْمَ نحْشُرُ الْمُتَّقِينَ إِلَي الرَّحْمَنِ وَفْداً
وَنَسُوقُ الْـمُجْرِمِينَ إِلَي جَهَنَّمَ وِرْداً
85. “On the day We muster the pious unto the Beneficent (Allah) (like the guest) of honour.”
86. “And We shall drive the sinners unto Hell thirsty.”
The Arabic term /wafd/ is used for ‘a group of people who have just arrived mounted for a pilgrimage or seeking something’. The Arabic word /wird/ means ‘thirst’.
In this verse, the course of ‘the pious’ and ‘the sinners’ is stated through some short and expressive sentences.
The Holy Qur’an says:
Again, the Arabic word /wafd/ originally is used in the sense of ‘a mission’ or ‘a group’ who go to some nobles in order to solve their problems where they will be respected and honoured.
Thus, this word implicitly contains the meaning of ‘esteem’, and, perhaps, it is for the same reason that some Islamic traditions denote that the pious will ride on some easy-paced mounts and enter into Paradise with much respect.
Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“Ali (as) asked the commentary of this verse from the Prophet (S), and he answered:
‘O’ Ali! ‘Al-wafd’ is surely said about those who ride on a mount. These are they who are in awe of Allah, Almighty and Glorious. He loved them and specialized them for Himself, and was pleased with their deeds and named them ‘the pious’.”
It is cited in Tafsir-i-Ali-ibn-Ebrahim Qummi that Hadrat Imam Sadiq (as) said that Ali (as) asked the Prophet (S) who they were, (the pious), and he (S) answered:
“O’ Ali! They are your sincere followers, and you are their Imam.”1
Then in the next verse, the Qur’an says:
The sinners will be driven toward Hell in the same manner that some thirsty camels are driven unto the drinking place, but, here, there is no water, there is Fire.
It should be noted that the Qur’anic term /wird/ means a ‘group of people or animals who enter a drinking place’, and since such a group are certainly thirsty, some of the commentators have taken the word, hare, in the sense of ‘those parched with thirst’.
How long is the distance between those whom are lead to the Beneficent Allah respectfully and with esteem in a circumstance that the angels come to receive them and greet them, and the group whom are driven unto Hell Fire like some thirsty animals, while they are bend there heads because of shame, disgrace and worthlessness?
1. The Prophet (S) said:
“Never will enter Paradise, but the one is a Muslim.”2
2. The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“Verily, in Heaven, (there are some things that), no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no heart has received.”3
3. Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:
“The Messenger of Allah (S) told me ‘You are the first person who enters Paradise’. Then I said: ‘O’ Messenger of Allah! Do I enter it even before you?’ He said: ‘Yes, For you are my standard in Hereafter, the same as you are my standard in the world, and the standard is always placed before’.”4
4. Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as) said:
“There is no price for your selves save Paradise, then, do not sell your self but for it.”5
5. Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:
“He who sells his self for other than Paradise, he has made his affliction grievous”6
6. The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“Promise upon six things for me, then I will promise (and guarantee) Paradise for you: Whenever one of you speaks, he should not tell a lie; and when he is trusted, he should not be treacherous; and when he promises, he should not breach; and lower your eyes (from forbidden things); and hold your hands (from wrong); and guard your modesty.”7
7. The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“Paradise is enclosed by pains and difficulties, and (falling in) Hell is enclosed by lusts.”8
8. Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) was speaking and he said:
“Verily the people of Heaven look unto the houses (and places) of our followers, as a person looks at the stars.”9
9. The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“A span from Paradise (in comparison) is better than the world and whatever is in it.”10
10. ‘Abdillah-ibn-Zayd-Mazini has narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S) who said:
“There is a garden from the gardens of Paradise between my house and my pulpit.”11
11. ‘Abu-Hurayrah narrated from the Prophet (S) who said:
“There is a garden from the gardens of Paradise between my house and my pulpit, and my pulpit is upon my Houd.” These two traditions may indicate to the place of Hadrat Fatimah’s grave.12
12. Allah, the Almighty, the Glorious, said:
13. Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as) said:
“Hell is a Fire whose flame does not subside, whose capture does not release and whose break does not close. Its heat is terrible, its depth is far, and its water is pus.”14
14. Again, Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as) said:
“Avoid the Fire whose heat is terrible, whose depth is far, and whose ornament is iron.”15
15. Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:
“Avoid the Fire whose roar is forthcoming, whose flame is terrible, and whose chastisement is fresh."
16. Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as) said:
“How may I be patient of (Hell) Fire that if it casts a parcel unto the earth, it will burn all its plants, and if a person refuges to a mountain its heat will cook him thereon? Which is better for Ali: that he becomes nigh stationed with Allah, or, because of his sins, he, entangled in Fire, becomes far from the Mercy of Allah, driven away and inflicted with His Wrath?”16
17. It is cited in Majma‘-ul-Bayan that one of the Immaculate ones (as) upon the commentary of the Qur’anic phrase:
“By the One in Whose hand is my life, the people of Hell will be so pressed in Fire as a nail is pressed in the wall.”18
18. The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“The first person who will enter Hell-Fire is a dominant ruler who does not administer justice, and the rich person who does not give the due of his wealth, and the poor who is proud.”19
Thus, the key of Paradise is piety to Allah (s.w.t.), and the key of Hell is sin, vice, and opposition against Allah and His Messenger.
لاَّ يَمْلِكُونَ الشَّفَاعَةَ إِلاَّ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ عِندَ الرَّحْمَنِ عَهْداً
87. “They shall not own any intercession, save he who has taken a promise with the Beneficent (Allah).”
On the Day of Resurrection, the wicked people are not able to intercede any one, and also none my intercede them. On the contrary, the believers will intercede each other and their intercession will be accepted.
The verse says:
The Qur’an introduces some conditions for intercession and it is not so that every body can take everything or everybody he desires as his intercessor. In Hereafter, the infidels will try their best and ask refuge from everybody, but they will be refused and they will receive negative responds from them.
The objective meaning of the Arabic term /‘ahd/ (promise), mentioned in the verse, may be the same promise of servitude unto Allah and separation from Satan which the Qur’an refers to, where it says:
And in another occasion it says:
The Qur’anic term /‘ahd/ has been rendered into several meanings in the Islamic literatures, including the following:
1. Promise to the mastership of Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as) and the immaculate Imams after him.22
2. Making testament at the time of death, that a mortal gathers others around him and says that he is charged to believe that ‘there is no god but Allah’, ‘Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah’, and the rightfulness of Paradise and Hell.23
3. Engagement and protection to the statutory prayers.24
وَقَالُوا اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَنُ وَلَداً
لَّقَدْ جِئْتُمْ شَيْئاً إِدّاً
88. “And they say: ‘The Beneficent (Allah) has taken (unto Himself) a son’.”
89. “Indeed you have put forth something hideous!”
This verse refers to many groups of people in relation to their belief, including the followings:
A. Polytheists: those who believed in angels as God’s daughters.
The Qur’an says:
B. The Jews: those who imagined Ezra (‘Uzayr) as God’s son.
The Qur’an says:
C. The Christians: those who considered Messiah as God’s Child.
The Qur’an says:
Therefore, at the end of this discussion, the Qur’an points to one the subdivisions of polytheism, i.e., the belief in the existence of offspring for Allah, and emphasizes on this statement with the utmost emphasis.
Not only the Christians believed that Jesus (as) was the real child of Allah, but also the Jews believed like that about Ezra, and polytheists had such an idea about the angels and believed in angels as Allah’s daughters.
Then, the Qur’an, with a beating tone, says:
However, the Arabic term /’idd/ originally means an ugly noise which is usually heard from a camel as a result of the sharp turning sound in its throat. Then it has been applied for the ugly and horrible deeds.
تَكَادُ السَّمَاوَاتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْهُ وَتَنشَقُّ الاَرْضُ وَتَخِرُّ الْجِبَالُ هَدّاً
أَن دَعَوْا لِلرَّحْمَنِ وَلَداً
وَمَا يَنبَغِي لِلرَّحْمنِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ وَلَداً
90. “At it the skies are about to burst, and the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down crashing.”
91. “That they attributed a son to the Beneficent (Allah).”
92. “When it is not worthy of the Beneficent (Allah) that He should take (to Himself) a son.”
The Arabic term /hadd/ means ‘to fall down’.
Since the attribution of polytheism is a disagreeable attribution which contrasts to the principle of theism, it seems that the whole world of existence, which has been founded on the basis of theism, sinks into a horror and anxiety because of this undue attribution.
Therefore, the Qur’an announces:
The horrible effect of this statement, that Allah has a child, is so great that it causes the mountains to fall down.
Again, for a more emphasis, and stating the importance of the matter, the Qur’an says:
In fact, they have never known Allah; else they would have known that it is not consonant with the majesty of the Most Gracious that He should beget a son.
The verse says:
A person may desire to have one or some children for one of the following things:
It is either for the sake that the one needs to have reproduction for the duration of his seed; or he seeks for an assistant; or he is afraid of loneliness. But none of these concepts is meaningful about Allah. Neither His Power is limited; nor His life ends; nor any weakness or feebleness befalls Him, nor He feels loneliness and need.
إِن كُلُّ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ إِلآَّ ءَاتِي الرَّحْمَنِ عَبْداً
93. “There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Beneficent (Allah) as a servant.”
All the world of existence and its creatures are wholly under the command of Allah, and they are His servants. Why do you consider the servant of Allah as His child?
It is for this reason that the Qur’an, concerning the matter, in this holy verse, says:
“There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Beneficent (Allah) as a servant.”
These servants obey Him, but in the meantime He does not need their obedience. It is those creatures who are totally in need of Him.
لَقَدْ أَحْصَاهُمْ وَعَدَّهُمْ عَدّاً
وَكُلُّهُمْ ءَاتِيهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَرْداً
94. “Certainly He has counted them, and He has numbered them exactly.”
95. “And every one of them shall come to Him on the Day of Resurrection, all alone.”
He knows the exact number of all parts of the world of existence entirely.
The knowledge of Allah (s.w.t.) encompasses not only the universals, but He also knows the details of the matters.
The verse says:
That is, never think that with the existence of all these servants, how He may know the account of them wholly.
Therefore, in the second holy verse, mentioned in the above, the Qur’an says:
Thus, both Jesus, and Ezra, and angels, and all human beings are involved in this general commandment. Yet, how disgrace is the consideration of belief of a child for Him, and how low do we bring His Pure Essence from the climax of Dignity and Grandeur!
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ سَيَجْعَلُ لَهُمُ الرَّحْمَنُ وُدّاً
96. “Verily those who believe and do righteous deeds, soon the Beneficent (Allah) will appoint love for them.”
The words in this verse, as well as the next couple of verses, are about the faithful believers and also about the faithless cruel unjust. The contents of these verses are also upon the Qur’an and its glad tidings and warnings.
At first, it says:
Faith and righteous deed has a reflection as vast as the world of existence, and the ray of love emerged from it can cover the whole expansion of creation. Allah, the Pure Essence, loves such believing people. They are beloved with all those who are in the skies. This affection will brighten the hearts of men who are on the earth.
To be beloved is a divine bounty which may be given to the believers and the righteous, as the Qur’an says:
Yes, the one who loves only Allah will be loved heartily by all people with the help of Allah. In general, he who remembers Allah, He will have His favor upon him. The Qur’an says:
It is interesting that the Prophet (S) in a tradition says:
“When the Lord loves one of His servants, He says to His great angel, Gabriel, that He loves so and so, then do love him. Gabriel will love him and, then, he calls in the skies that Allah loves so and so, then do love him; and thereafter, all those who are in the skies will love him, and then the acceptance of this affection will reflect in the earth.
And when the Lord hates a person, He tells Gabriel to hate him, and Gabriel hates him. After that he calls out among those who are in the skies that Allah hates him, then do hate him. Thus, all those who are in the skies will hate him, and afterward, the reflection of this hatred will be found in the earth.”
This tradition has been recorded in many Islamic traditional sources as well as in many commentary books, but this is a tradition of the text recorded in The Commentary of Fi-Zalal, vol. 5, p. 454 which is adopted from Ahmad, Muslim, and Bukhari.
Verily, what a pleasure is better than this that a person feels that he is beloved by all the pure and the righteous of the world of existence? And how painful is that a person feels that the earth, the skies, the angels and the believing people all hate him?
However, besides the books of Shi‘ah, there are numerous traditions recorded in the books of tradition and commentary compiled by the scholars of the Sunnite upon the occasion of revelation of the verse under discussion, narrated from the Prophet of Islam (S), which denote that this verse has been revealed mostly in regard to Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as).
Among them are: Zamakhshari in Kashshaf; Sebtayn-ul-Jauzi in Tathkirah; Ganji Shafi‘i; Qurtabi his famous book; Mu‘jab-ud-Din Tabari in Zakha’ir-ul-‘Ughba; Neyshaburi in his well-known commentary book;’Ibn-i-Sabbaq Maliki in Fusul-ul-Muhimmah, Suyuti in Durr-ul-Manthur; Heythami in Sawa‘igh-ul-Muhraghah; and’Alusi in Rouh-ul-Ma‘ani.
Some of these traditions are as follows:
1. Tha‘labi, in his commentary book, narrates from Bara’-ibn-‘Azib:
“The Messenger of Allah (S) told Ali (as): ‘Say: O’ Allah! Appoint a covenant for me with yourself, and set my love in the hearts of the believers’. Then this verse was reveled.”29
This very statement exactly, or with a little difference, has been cited in many other Islamic books.
2. In a lot of Islamic sources it has been narrated from’Ibn-‘Abbas who said:
has been revealed in regard to Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as), which means that Allah appoints his love in the hearts of the believers.”30
3. Upon the commentary of this verse, it is cited in the book entitled ‘Sawa’igh’ that Muhammad-ibn-Hanafiyyah said:
“There is no faithful believer but there is love of Ali and his Ahl-ul-Bayt in his heart.”31
4. Maybe, for the same reason it has been cited in a correct and authentic tradition narrated from Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) who said:
“Even if I strike the nose of a believer with this, my sword, for hating me, he will not hate me, and even if I pile all the wealth of the world before a hypocrite in order that he loves me, he will not love me. This is because it is a verdict pronounced by the tongue of the unschooled Prophet (S) as he said: ‘O’ Ali! a believer will never hate you and a hypocrite will never love you’.”32
5. Imam Sadiq (as) in a tradition said:
“The Prophet (S) in his last prayer invocated in regard to Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) so loudly that people could hear, saying: ‘O Allah! Bestow the love of Ali upon the hearts of the believers, and appoint his awe and greatness in the hearts of the hypocrites’. Then this verse and the verse next to it were revealed.”33
It has also been narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) who said:
“The love of Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) is a reward that Allah gives to the believers who have righteous deed.” A similar meaning to this tradition has been narrated from the holy Prophet (S) in regard to the love and affection of the believers unto Ali (as).34
However, as it was said in the commentary explanations of the abovementioned verses, the revelation of this verse upon Ali, as a complete example, does not contrast the generality of the meaning upon the believers wholly, with a hierarchical order, of course.
فإِنَّمَا يَسَّرْنَاهُ بِلِسَانِكَ لِتُبَشّـِرَ بِهِ الْمُتَّقِينَ وَتُنذِرَ بِهِ قَوْماً لُّدّاً
97. “So We have made it (The Qur’an) easy in your tongue that you may give glad tidings thereby to the pious ones, and warn thereby stubborn people.”
Here, the verse has referred to the Qur’an, which is a source of training, Faith, and righteous deed.
Allah (s.w.t.) in this verse says:
The term /yassarnah/, mentioned in the verse, is derived from the Arabic infinitive /taysir/ in the sense of facilitation. This facilitation may be from the different points of view:
1. It may be in this point of view that the Qur’an has been revealed in Arabic, eloquent and perspicuous, whose tone is pleasant in the ears, and whose recitation is easy for the tongues.
2. It may be from this view that Allah had given such a domination over the verses of the Qur’an to His Prophet (S) that he could apply it easily everywhere and for removing any difficulty, and he used to recite them to the believers munificently.
3. It may be from the point of the content of the Qur’an which, with its deep meanings, is easy to understand. Basically, those many great and outstanding facts which have been arranged in the frame of limited mere verbal utterances whose meanings can be understood easily, itself is an evidence for what is recited in the abovementioned verse and the act of which has been performed by the help of Allah.
In several verses of Surah Al-Qamar, No. 54, including verse 17, this phrase has been repeated:
The Arabic word /ludd/ is the plural form of /’alad/ which means ‘an enemy with intensive hostility’, and it is used for those who are fanatic, obstinate, and irrational in enmity.
وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُم مِن قَرْنٍ هَلْ تُحِسُّ مِنْهُم مِنْ أَحَدٍ أَوْ تَسْمَعُ لَهُمْ رِكْزَاً
98. “And how many a generation before have We destroyed! Do you find any one of them or hear a sound of them?”
This is the last verse of Surah Maryam. This Surah was revealed in Mecca at the time when Muslims were in a hard pressure. Keeping this matter in mind, the verse was both as a comfort for the Prophet (S) and the believers, and as a threat and warning against all hostile and obstinate enemies of Islam.
The Arabic term /rikz/ means ‘a faint sound, a whisper’, and, therefore, the things which are hidden under the ground, (as ore), in Arabic are called /rikaz/. Thus, the verse means that these cruel nations and the hard enemies of the truth were so destroyed that even no faint sound is heard from them now.
Imam Sadiq (as), in answer to Jabir concerning this verse, said:
“The destroyed generation is Umayyads. You may find none of them in the state of being hopeful or free from fear and horror.”
Jabir has said that he asked whether that state could take place, and the Imam replied:
“It will happen very soon.”35
O’ Lord! Brighten our hearts with the light of Faith, and fill the entire of our entity with light of righteous deeds. Appoint us, please, among the lovers of the believers and the righteous, specially the prior of the pious, Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as), and cast the love of us into the hearts of all believers.
O’ Allah! Our large Islamic society, with those abundant people and plenty of material and spiritual abilities, is captured in the grips of enemies and, because of disunity and separation of their rows, has become feeble. Please gather them all around the torch of Faith and righteous deed!
O’ Lord! As You destroyed and annihilated the former tyrannical generations so that no faint sound is heard from them, annihilate the most powerful unjust forces of our time, too. Remove their vice from the oppressed communities and make the raise of believers against the oppressors victorious! Amen. O’ Lord of the Worlds!
- 1. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, the Commentary, vol. 3, p. 259, and Tafsir-i-Ali-ibn-Ebrahin, under the verse.
- 2. Kanz-ul-‘Ummal, vol. 1, p. 79
- 3. Kanz-ul-‘Ummal, vol. 14, p. 645
- 4. Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol.8, p. 6
- 5. Tauhid-i-Sadug, p.29
- 6. Qurar-ul-Hikam, vol. 1
- 7. Kanz-ul-Ummal, vol. 14, p. 894
- 8. Sahih-i-Muslim, vol. 4, p. 2174
- 9. Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 8, p. 148
- 10. Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 8, p. 148 Kanz-ul-Ummal, vol. 14, p. 456
- 11. Sahih-i-Bukhari, vol. 2, p. 77
- 12. Sahih-i-Bukhari, vol. 2, p. 77
- 13. Surah An-Naba’, No. 78, verses 21 and 22
- 14. Kanz-ul-‘Ummal, No. 44225
- 15. Qurar-ul-Hikam, No. 2619
- 16. ’Amali-us-Sadug, vol. 7, p. 496
- 17. Surah Al-Furqan, No. 25, verse 13
- 18. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, vol. 4, p. 8 tradition 27
- 19. ‘Uyun’Akhbar-ir-Rida, vol. 2, p. 28, tradition 20
- 20. Surah Yasin, No. 36, verses 60 and 61
- 21. Surah Taha, No. 20, verse 109
- 22. The Commentary of Al-Mizan, Safi, Burhan, Nur-uth-Thaqalayn
- 23. Majma‘-ul-Bayan
- 24. The Commentary of Al-Mizan
- 25. Surah Al-’Isra’, No. 17, verse 40
- 26. Surah At-Taubah, No. 9, verse 30
- 27. Ibid
- 28. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 152
- 29. Ihghagh-ul-Haghgh, vol. 3, p.p.83-86
- 30. According to’Ihghagh-ul-Haghgh, vol. 3, pp.83-86
- 31. Ihghagh-ul-Haghgh, vol. 3, pp. 83-86
- 32. Rauh-ul-Ma‘ani, vol. 16, p. 130; Majma‘-ul-Bayan, vol. 6, p. 533; and Nahaj-ul-Balaqah, saying No. 45
- 33. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, vol. 3, p. 363
- 34. Al-Kafi vol. 1, p. 431, Tafsir-i-Furat, p. 247
- 35. Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 46, p.30