Table of Contents

11. Becoming Eligible For The Intercession Of His Eminence On Judgment Day

Research and study of this subject requires the mention of some points which are as follows:

First: Meaning of intercession.

Second: Proofs of intercession.

Third: Intercessors on Judgment Day.

Four: Who is eligible for intercession?

Five: It is that praying for an early reappearance of Maula Sahib az-Zaman is a cause of eligibility for intercession of His Eminence. Now by the blessings of Allah we shall explain the above points:

First: Meaning Of Intercession

Intercession means that a person pleads to someone higher than him for well-being and goodness of one who is lower in status to him, or for condoning of punishment or for increase in rewards or for both. If intercession be for the people of obedience it would imply request for increase in reward and recompense and increase in their positions. And if it is for sinners and disobedient ones it would mean asking for their forgiveness and pardon of their sins and mistakes. Or it may be for canceling their punishment or chastisement and making them eligible for gains. And the explanation we have given for the meaning of intercession is the correct statement.

In this two sects have differed: Tafzeeliya (Ashaira) and Waeediya (Motazela) – in such a way that it is said:

The first sect says: Intercession is restricted to removing harm and loss so that the sinners may not be punished. Some of our scholars are also having this view.

The second sect believes that: Intercession would be there for increasing rewards and recompense for those who obey and those who have repented and not those who are ever disobedient.

Muhaqqiq Tusi – may Allah exalt his grades – says:

“The fact is that intercession is possible for both cases – increase in benefits and removal of loss – and its second type is proved for the Holy Prophet (S) as he said: My intercession is reserved for those who commit the greater sins.”1

I say: The fact is that both types of intercessions are proved for His Eminence (aj) and its explanation will be done in the fourth point, if Allah wills.

Second: Proofs Of Intercession

From the logical point of view there is no doubt that intercession is possible.

As for the evidence of this actually happening – in addition to the fact that it is one of the fundamental principles of religion, which Allamah Majlisi has explained in detail in his book of Haqqul Yaqeen – Qur’an, Sunnah and Ijma (consensus), each of which alone is sufficient, all are unanimous on the reality of intercession.

Among the verse of the Holy Qur’an that mention it are:

مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ

“Who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission?” (Qur’an, Surah Baqarah 2:255)

لَا يَمْلِكُونَ الشَّفَاعَةَ إِلَّا مَنِ اتَّخَذَ عِنْدَ الرَّحْمَٰنِ عَهْدًا

“They shall not control intercession, save he who has made a covenant with the Beneficent God.” (Qur’an, Surah Maryam 19:87)

يَوْمَئِذٍ لَا تَنْفَعُ الشَّفَاعَةُ إِلَّا مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وَرَضِيَ لَهُ قَوْلًا

“On that day shall no intercession avail except of him whom the Beneficent God allows and whose word He is pleased with.” (Qur’an, Surah Taha 20:109)

وَلَا يَشْفَعُونَ إِلَّا لِمَنِ ارْتَضَىٰ

“And they do not intercede except for him whom He approves.” (Qur’an, Surah Anbiya 21:28)

وَلَا تَنْفَعُ الشَّفَاعَةُ عِنْدَهُ إِلَّا لِمَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ

“And intercession will not avail aught with Him save of him whom He permits.” (Qur’an, Surah Saba 34:23)

And traditions: They are to the limit of Tawatur (widely related) but we shall mention only a few that are quoted in the third volume of Biharul Anwar:2

1. It is narrated from the Holy Prophet (S) that he said:

“For every prophet there is a prayer that he seeks from the divine court, I have concealed my prayer for the intercession of my Ummah on the Judgment Day.”

2. It is narrated from His Eminence that he said:

“Three groups would come forward to intercede on the Judgment Day and they would be allowed to intercede: prophets, then scholars and then martyrs.”3

3. It is narrated from His Eminence that he said:

“One who has not believed in my pool, the Almighty Allah would not make him come at my pool and one who does not have faith in my intercession, the Almighty Allah would not allow him to receive my intercession. Then he said: Indeed my intercession would be there for the people of my Ummah that commit greater sins, as for the righteous, there is no sin on them.”4

I say: The meaning of intercession in this tradition is: request for pardon and forgiveness of sinners and not that it is restricted only for that.

4. It is narrated from His Eminence that he said:

“I am the intercessor of my Ummah with the Lord on the Judgment Day.”5

5. It is also narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S) that he said:

“When I stand at the Maqaam-e-Mahmood (praised place) I will intercede for those people of my Ummah who have committed greater sins. Then the Almighty Allah would allow my intercession for them. By Allah I will not intercede for one who has harassed my progeny.”6

6. It is mentioned in hadith that:

A servant of the wife of Ali bin al-Husain (as), named Abu Ayman came to His , Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) and said: “O Abu Ja’far, you are deceiving people and saying: intercession of Muhammad (S)!” His Eminence, Abu Ja’far (as) became angry and his face became red. Then he said: “O Abu Ayman, has a pure stomach and chaste sexuality made you proud? I swear by Allah, if you had seen the terrible scene of Qiyamat you would also have become needful of the intercession of Muhammad (S). Woe on you, except for the one on whom the hell fire has become unlawful can anyone else intercede?”

Then he said: “There is none from the former and the latter people except that they would be in need of the intercession of Muhammad (S) on the Judgment Day. The Messenger of Allah (S) would intercede for the Ummah and we would get to intercede for our Shias and our Shias would be able to intercede for their family members.” Then he said: “In any case, every believer would intercede in favor of people numbering equal to the members of Rabia and Mudhir tribes. So much so that the believer would even intercede for his servant and will say: O Lord, he used to fulfill his duty in summer and winter.”7

Third: Intercessors On Judgment Day

We should know that the greatest position of intercession is a specialty of the Messenger of Allah (S). In Khisaal and other books, it is narrated from His Eminence that he said:

“I am given five such things as were never given to anyone before me. The earth became pure and a place of prostration for me. I was helped through awe. War booty is made lawful for me. I was given comprehensive perfect words. And I was given intercession.”8

And the intercession of others are derived from the great intercession of His Eminence because it concludes in him. And of all the intercessors are the Infallible Imams (as) – as you know – and traditions also confirm this:

It is narrated from His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) that he said regarding the verse:

فَمَا لَنَا مِنْ شَافِعِينَ

وَلَا صَدِيقٍ حَمِيمٍ

“So we have no intercessors, nor a true friend ."(Qur’an, Surah Shuara 26:100)9

“The intercessors are the Imams and the friends are believers.”

And with regard to the following verse:

مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ

“Who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission?” (Qur’an, Surah Baqarah 2:255)

Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) said:

“We are those who would intercede.”

And it is narrated from the Holy Prophet (S) that he said:

“There would be five intercessors: Qur’an, mercy, trustworthiness, your Prophet and the family of your Prophet.”10

And it is narrated by Muawiyah bin Wahab that he said:

I asked His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) about the verse:

لَا يَتَكَلَّمُونَ إِلَّا مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وَقَالَ صَوَابًا

“They shall not speak except he whom the Beneficent God permits and who speaks the right thing.” (Qur’an, Surah Naba 78:38)

He said: By Allah, we are those “whom the Beneficent God permits” and “those who speak the right thing.”11

I asked: May I be sacrificed on you, what would you say?

He replied: “We would recite the praise of our Lord and benedictions on our Prophet (S) and do intercession for our Shias and the Almighty Allah would not reject us.”

And among the intercessors would be the progeny of the Holy Prophet (S).

In Amali of Shaykh Sadooq and Biharul Anwar it is narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) that he said:

“When it is the Judgment Day the Almighty Allah would gather the first and the last on an open plain, then a severe darkness would envelop them. They would lament and beseech in the court of Allah and say: O Lord, remove this darkness from us. Then some people would come whose light would be moving ahead of them and it would illuminate the ground of Qiyamat. The people of Qiyamat would ask:

Are they prophets?

A voice from the Almighty Allah would say:

They are not prophets.

The people gathered there would then ask:

Are they angels?

A voice from the Almighty Allah would say:

They are not angels.

They would say: Then they must be martyrs.

A voice from the Almighty Allah would say: They are not martyrs.

They would ask: Who are they?

A voice would say: Ask them only.

The people gathered there would ask:

Who are you?

They would reply: We are Alawites, the progeny of the Messenger of Allah (S), we are descendants of Ali the Wali of Allah, we are those who were especially chosen by Allah for being honored, we are in peace and comfort. Then a voice would come to them from Allah, the Mighty and Sublime: Intercede for your friends, devotees and followers. Then they would intercede.”12

Among the intercessors would be believers as mentioned before and would also be mentioned in the coming pages. And in Biharul Anwar it is narrated from the Holy Prophet (S) that he said:

“Do not consider worthless the poor among the Shias of Ali and his descendants, as each of them would intercede for people equal to the members of the Rabia and Mudhir tribes.”13

Among the intercessors would be the practical scholars.

It is narrated from His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) that he said:

“When it would be Qiyamat the Almighty Allah would raise the worshipper, thus when he stands in the court of Allah it would be said to him: Go towards the mercy of Allah. And to the scholar they would say: Come and intercede for the people as a reward of giving them a good training.”14

The visitors to the tomb of Imam Husain (as) would also be among the intercessors:

In Khasais al-Husain and other books it is narrated from Saif Tammar that His Eminence, Sadiq (as) said:

“On the Judgment Day, the visitor of the tomb of Imam Husain (as) would intercede for a hundred thousand persons all of whom would have been condemned to Hell.”

It is mentioned in Biharul Anwar that His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) said:

“On the Judgment Day an announcer would announce: Where are the Shias of the Progeny of Muhammad (S)? Then a large group of people whom none except Allah can count would arise and stand on one side. Then the caller would call: Where are the visitors to the grave of Imam Husain (as)? A large group would stand up. They would be told: Take the hand of anyone you like and take him to Paradise. Thus each of them would take the hand of one he likes in such a way that one of them would say: Do you not recognize me? I am the one who on such and such day at such and such time stood up for you. Thus he would take him to Paradise and not refuse to do it.”15

Fourth: Who Is Eligible For Intercession?

May the Almighty Allah allow me and you the intercession of the intercessors – except for the people of faith no one is eligible and rightful for doing intercession, as the Almighty Allah has said:

وَلَا يَشْفَعُونَ إِلَّا لِمَنِ ارْتَضَىٰ

“And they do not intercede except for him whom He approves.” (Qur’an, Surah Anbiya 21:28)

As mentioned in Tafseer al-Burhan and other books from Imam Kazim and Imam Reza (as) that he said:

“They will not intercede except for those whose religion Allah likes.”16

I have not seen an opinion opposed to this among the Imamiyah scholars and traditions also support it:

In Biharul Anwar it is narrated from His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) that he said:

“The believer would intercede for his friend except if he is a Nasibi (enemy of Ahle Bayt) because even if all the messenger prophets and proximate angels intercede for one Nasibi person they would not be able to intercede.”17

In another tradition it is quoted from His Eminence that he said:

“The neighbor would intercede for the neighbor and the friend would intercede for the friend. But even if all the messenger prophets and proximate angels intercede for one Nasibi person their intercession will not be accepted.”18

In Tafseer of Ali bin Ibrahim Qummi it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) regarding the verse:

لَا يَمْلِكُونَ الشَّفَاعَةَ إِلَّا مَنِ اتَّخَذَ عِنْدَ الرَّحْمَٰنِ عَهْدًا

“They shall not control intercession, save he who has made a covenant with the Beneficent God.” (Qur’an, Surah Maryam 19:87)

Their intercession is not accepted, intercession will not be done for them and they will not intercede except for those who have made a covenant with the Almighty Allah, except for those who are permitted from the aspect of the mastership (Wilayat) of Amirul Momineen Ali and the Imams after him as the covenant with Allah is this only…”19

It is absolutely clear that believers are of two types: One is the righteous and obedient and the other, sinner. Now the question arises whether intercession is for sinners and righteous, both, or it is restricted to righteous or the sinners? These are different opinions in this regard and the first one is the correct one. That is, intercession would be for both types of believers, the righteous as well as sinners. With regard to the righteous, intercession would increase their rewards and raise their status and with regard to the sinners it would enable them to be released from chastisement and remove harms or in addition to this make them more eligible for gains. That which proves this – after that it is proved that intercession is for both types – are some traditions, some of which are as follows:

1. Thiqatul Islam Kulaini in Usool Kafi in a lengthy tradition from Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) says:

“Qur’an would take its owner to the court of the Almighty and say: O Lord he is Your servant and You gave the best of all the knowledges. He used to always act upon me. He observed enmity for my sake and friendship for my sake. Then Allah, the Mighty and Sublime would say: Admit My slave into Paradise, make him wear the garments of Paradise and put the crown of Paradise on his head.

When this is effected, he would be presented to Qur’an and it would be asked: Are you satisfied with all that is done about your friend? It will say: O my Lord, I think it is less than what is expected from You. Then all the good things will be increased for him. Then Allah, the Mighty and Sublime would say: I swear by My honor and majesty, today I will gift five things – in huge measure – to him and those who are in his level: they would be youths that would never become old, they would remain healthy and never fall ill, they would be rich and never become poor, they would be happy and never become sad and they would be alive and never die. Then Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) recited the following verse:

لَا يَذُوقُونَ فِيهَا الْمَوْتَ إِلَّا الْمَوْتَةَ الْأُولَىٰ

“They shall not taste therein death except the first death.” (Qur’an, Surah Dukhan 44:56)

This tradition confirms the intercession of pleading for removal of chastisement and increase in rewards.

2. From the traditional report of Abu Ayman that was mentioned under the second point it is known that there is none from the first and the last people who would not be in need of the intercession of Muhammad (S). Also it shows that all the believers – even the obedient ones – rather even the previous prophets and righteous people of the past nations would also be needful of the intercession of the Messenger of Allah (S) since the words of the tradition are general, they include everyone. Although it is known that the need of the righteous for intercession of His Eminence is not to remove punishment because there is no scope for their being liable to punishment, rather this intercession is for elevating of their station and increasing of their rewards.

That which strengthens this traditional report is a statement of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) mentioned in Biharul Anwar that he said:

“There is no one from the former and the latter people but that he or she would be in need of the intercession of Muhammad (S) on the Judgment Day.”20

3. In Biharul Anwar and al-Burhan it is narrated from Ayyashi from Ais bin al-Qasim from His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) that he said:

“On the Judgment Day, jinns and men would be gathered in a field and when their wait would be prolonged they would ask for intercession. Thus they would say to each other: Whom do we approach? They would come to Nuh (as) and ask him to intercede. He would say: Alas, if only I could fulfill your need. Then the people of Mahshar (field of Qiyamat) would ask each other: Whom do we approach? It will be suggested: Let us go to Ibrahim (as). So they go to him. He will say: Alas, if only I could fulfill your need. Again they would say: Whom do we approach? It will be suggested: Let us go to Moosa (as) and ask him to intercede. He will also say: Alas, if only I could fulfill your need. Again they would say: Whom do we approach? It will be suggested: Let us go to Isa (as) and plead him to intercede for them. He will also say: Alas, if only I could fulfill your need. Again they would say: Whom do we approach now? It will be suggested: Let us go to Muhammad (S) and ask him to intercede. So they will all go to His Eminence and petition him to intercede for them. Thus His Eminence would arise with absolute calm and head towards Paradise. He will hold the knocker and knock at the gate. It will be asked: Who is it? The reply would be: This is Ahmad. So they will say: welcome, and open the door.

When he looks at Paradise he would fall down in prostration and praise and glorify his Lord. Then an angel would come and say: Raise your head and ask as you would be given and intercede as your intercession will be accepted. Then he would raise his head and enter Paradise. Then he will (again) prostrate and glorify the Lord. Then an angel will approach him and say: Raise your head and ask as you would be given and intercede as your intercession will be accepted. So he will get up and walk for a moment in Paradise.

Then he will (again) prostrate and glorify the Lord. Then an angel will approach him and say: Raise your head and ask as you would be given and intercede as your intercession will be accepted. So he will get up and he will not ask for anything but that the Almighty Allah would give it to him.”21

Allamah Majlisi (r.a.) says that the words:

‘Alas, if only I could fulfill your need’ could also be interpreted to mean: I am also in need of the intercession of someone else, so I cannot intercede for you.

I say: Without any doubt, their need of intercession is not due to the filth of sin, because they were infallible. And they never committed any act that could make them liable for punishment but they needed intercession to attain the elevation of their stations which would not be possible except through someone who is having a status higher than theirs, that is Muhammad (S) and his Infallible Family.

If it is said that: This and similar traditions contradict traditional reports that mention all the prophets to be among the intercessors on the Judgment Day.

I will say: There is no contradiction between the two. As they would by the bounty of their seniors obtain grades and benefits and those who are their juniors would in turn through their bounty attain grades and benefits and by their intercession their punishment would be cancelled – as indicated in the intercession of the Imams for the believers and the intercession of the believers for their family members.

And some points will be given in the description of the intercession of the Purified and Truthful Lady, Fatima Zahra (s.a.) for her Shias and followers and their intercession for their friends, that will solve this doubt.

4. In Layali it is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) that he said:

“Two believers who had been together on the path of Allah would be in Paradise in such a way that one of them would be given a place higher than the other. So he will say: My God, this brother is from my same group. He encouraged me in Your obedience, stopped me from sins and created in me the eagerness of that which is with You. So bring him also in this level with me. Thus the Almighty Allah would place them in that same level…”

5. In Darus Salaam quoting from Kafi, the statement of Amirul Momineen (as) that he said:

“…Two believer friends who during their lifetime were together in the obedience of Allah, the Blessed and the High and for His sake gave concessions to each other; one of them died before the other. So Allah, the Mighty and the High gave him his place in Paradise, he did intercession for his friend and said: O Lord, so-and-so, enjoined me to obey You and as a result of it I was friendly and he restrained me from your disobedience, O Allah, from what You like from guidance make him steadfast and show what You have showed me. So the Almighty Allah accepts his request till they meet each other in the presence of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime. Each of them says to the other: The Almighty Allah gave you goodness by your friendship as you enjoined on me the obedience of Allah and restrained me from His disobedience…”

This traditional report proves that the intercession of the intercessors would occur for the righteous persons among the believers from the view of the increase in their rewards just as it will be there for the sinners. Those who believe that intercession is restricted for canceling of punishment, they should also agree that in the case of the sinners also there would be demand for rewards. This can be explained by saying that one who agrees that sinners can be saved from the fire of Hell only through the intercession of the intercessors in the same way he believes that as a result of that intercession he would enter Paradise. For if intercession were only for removal of punishment it should necessarily imply that: Whoever is interceded for, he would neither enter Paradise nor Hell because he is not having the basis to enter Paradise and intercession has only stopped him from being thrown into Hell.

It is possible that there may be dispute that: The cause of entering Paradise is Faith and when the punishment is removed as a result of intercession, other exigencies would be realized. Thus intercession is not for getting rewards.

This dispute could be solved in two ways:

First: It is that some traditional reports clearly state that entering Paradise is also as a result of intercession. Thus it is mentioned in Amali and Biharul Anwar from the Messenger of Allah (S) that he said:

“Every woman that performs the daily prayers, fasts in the month of Ramadan, goes for Hajj of the Holy House of Allah, pays Zakat on her wealth, obeys her husband, and follows Ali after me would enter Paradise by the intercession of my daughter Fatima…”22

In Biharul Anwar in the tradition of the intercession of Fatima for her followers it is mentioned:

Then the Almighty Allah would say: “O My friends, come back and see if there is anyone who loves for the sake of Fatima, see if there is anyone who gave you something to eat for the love of Fatima, anyone who gave you clothes for the love of Fatima, anyone who gave you a draught of water for the love of Fatima, anyone who deflected backbiting from you for the love of Fatima, take his hand and make him enter Paradise…”23

In another tradition from His Eminence, Abu Ja’far Baqir (as) it is mentioned that he said:

“The believer would intercede for his neighbor who would not have even a single good deed to his credit. He would say: O my Lord, my neighbor removed my hardships. Thus he would be allowed to intercede for him. Allah, the Blessed and the High would say: I am your Lord, and more capable of rewarding him than you. Then He will make him enter Paradise while he won’t be having a single good deed in his account. And the least that a believer would intercede for is thirty persons. At that time the inmates of Hell would say:

“So we have no intercessors, nor a true friend.”24

In Biharul Anwar and al-Burhan it is narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S) that he said:

“When the people would be herded together on the Judgment Day a caller would call out to me: O the Messenger of Allah – hallowed be His name – you have been appointed to reward your friends and the followers of your Ahle Bayt who loved them in your way and for your sake supported them and hated your enemies. So you may give them whatever you like. Then I will say: My Lord, Paradise. Then I will be able to give any place I like in Paradise. And that is the Maqaam-e-Mahmood that I have been promised.”25

Second: It is correct that traditional reports prove that Faith is a cause of entering Paradise and reward depends on faith. But not that it should be cause without medium. Thus the aim of this tradition is perhaps that whoever is not a believer would not enter Paradise and thus he has no need for intercession. There is nothing that proves this.

The conclusion is that: Both kinds of intercessions are true and confirmed and the doubts are solved.

It is said that: The Almighty Allah gave Tawfeeq for the research into this matter by the bounty of the Family of the Holy Prophet (S) the People of Remembrance inspite of the fact that their statements we have seen are devoid of its explanation.

As for those that restrict intercession for requesting of increase of rewards of the obedient apparently base their contention on the apparent meaning of some verses like the following:

ما لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ حَمِيمٍ وَلَا شَفِيعٍ يُطَاعُ

“The unjust shall not have any compassionate friend nor any intercessor who should be obeyed.” (Qur’an, Surah Ghafir 40:18)

While the sinners are unjust.

وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنْصَارٍ

“And the unjust shall have no helpers.” (Qur’an, Surah Baqarah 2:270)

فَمَا تَنْفَعُهُمْ شَفَاعَةُ الشَّافِعِينَ

“So the intercession of intercessors shall not avail them.” (Qur’an, Surah Muddaththir 74:48)

The reply to all this is: The unjust and oppressors implied in these and similar verses are infidels and Nasibis and those who have removed the Holy Imams (as) from the position Allah has given them and installed someone else in that place while they die in ignorance of the Imam of their time or they would be like such that in the end they leave the world faithless.

And that which proves this matter – apart from that which has been mentioned above and that which would be seen later – are a large number of traditional reports which even reach to the level of Mutawatir; but they all cannot be quoted here, inspite of the fact that the requirement of reconciling the proof is this only. And as for those who consider intercession to be restricted to seeking cancellation of chastisement of those who deserve it, it is obvious that their contention rests on two matters:

First: they say: If intercession is only for increase of benefits, even we would intercede for the Prophet and ask the Almighty Allah to increase the grades of His Eminence and since this latter conclusion is invalid, the basis of the former is also invalid.

Although this statement invalidates the previous statement that intercession will only be for increase of rewards. And this hypothesis could be replied as follows: We don’t accept that the former is necessary and it should be the latter, as we have defined intercession to be that a person requests someone who is above him for goodness and well-being of someone who is lower in status. Though in this case, intercession is taken as absolute demand for increase and the misunderstanding is clear.

The conclusion is that: Our view is like the topic of demand which differs from person to person and is of various types. One is order, one is request, and one asking. Thus if it is from a higher to the lower it would be called ‘order’. If it is from a lower to the higher, it will be termed, ‘order’ and if it is from an equal to its equal it will be named ‘asking’. Our contention is also like this. If benefits and rewards are asked for someone lower, it is intercession – like the intercession of the Holy Prophet (S) that will be for increase in rewards and elevation of ranks for his Ummah – and when this demand is from a lower for someone higher, it will be supplication, like Salawaat and benedictions of the people on the Holy Prophet (S) and their supplications for His Eminence.

Second: The second proof are traditions that prove that intercession is restricted only for sinners. Like the following:

The Holy Prophet (S) said:

“My intercession is only for those who commit the greater sins.”

And His Eminence also said:

“My intercession is for those of my nation who have committed greater sins and as for the righteous there is no problem for them.”

And in the same way, it is mentioned from His Eminence:

“And as for my intercession for the doers of mortal sins, except for polytheism and injustice, it will be there for all.”

The reply of this hypothesis is as follows: The aim of these traditional reports is to explain the most important implication and the most perfect type of intercession, and it is not to restrict intercession to one or two types. And what we have explained previously proves this.

Some Benefits

First benefit: Intercession that will not be available for the infidels is the one that would bring them out of the fire. But as for reduction in their punishment, apparently some traditions state that it would be possible. In Biharul Anwar it is mentioned from Hannan that Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) said:

“Do not ask them (disbelievers) for anything so that on the Judgment Day we would not be bound to fulfill their needs.”26

And also from another chain of narrators, it is narrated from His Eminence (aj) that he said:

“Do not ask them for anything [do not refer to them in anything] as you would become their connection to the Messenger of Allah (S) on the Judgment Day.”27

I say: This matter is supported by many traditional reports. In the same way it is mentioned that the love of the Purified Imams (as) would profit all, even the disbelievers.

If it is said: This contradicts some verses like:

لَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَلَا هُمْ يُنْظَرُونَ

“Their chastisement shall not be lightened nor shall they be given respite.” (Qur’an, Surah Baqarah 2:162)

The reply is: They can be reconciled in two ways:

One: It is perhaps that what it implies is that the reduction that is prohibited for them is the reduction of time that sometimes the chastisement be removed from them according to the evidence of the saying of the Almighty Allah in Surah Momin:

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ فِي النَّارِ لِخَزَنَةِ جَهَنَّمَ ادْعُوا رَبَّكُمْ يُخَفِّفْ عَنَّا يَوْمًا مِنَ الْعَذَابِ

“And those who are in the fire shall say to the keepers of hell: Call upon your Lord that He may lighten to us one day of the punishment.” (Qur’an, Surah Momin 40:49)

And this does not contradict that the punishment of some of them will be lightened in that manner.

Two: That we know the absence of lightening of punishment for one who does not have an intercessor.

And Allah knows best.

Second benefit: Saying of the Messenger of Allah (S) that:

“I am given five such things as were never given to any prophet before me…”

It apparently proves that intercession is a specialty of His Eminence and this is in contradiction to the traditional reports that there would be many intercessors on the Judgment Day. And it is possible to reconcile these two types of reports in a number of ways:

First: It is that the meaning of bestowing the power of intercession to His Eminence – especially – is the promise and permission to intercede in the world, which is not promised and allowed to other prophets and intercessors. That which proves this is the exegesis of the following verse in Tafseer Qummi:

وَلَا تَنْفَعُ الشَّفَاعَةُ عِنْدَهُ إِلَّا لِمَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ

“And intercession will not avail aught with Him save of him whom He permits.” (Qur’an, Surah Saba 34:23)

He said: None of the divine prophets and messengers would intercede on the Judgment Day till the Almighty Allah permits, except for the Messenger of Allah (S) whom the Almighty Allah gave permission before the Judgment Day. And intercession is only for him and for the Imams from his progeny. After that it would be for the prophets (as).

Second: It is that it implies general and broad intercession so that there is none from the formers and the latter that is not in need of the intercession of Muhammad (S) as mentioned in the tradition above.

And others would intercede for a community, a family or a particular tribe (or group). Thus the intercession of the Messenger of Allah (S) is a complete and comprehensive intercession as all the creatures would be needful of it while His Eminence is not needful of anyone except Allah, the Mighty and the High.

Third: It is that intercession is not lawful except after the Almighty Allah permits. Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says:

نْ ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ

“Who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission?” (Qur’an, Surah Baqarah 2:255)

And also that:

مَا مِنْ شَفِيعٍ إِلَّا مِنْ بَعْدِ إِذْنِهِ

“There is no intercessor except after His permission.” (Qur’an, Surah Yunus 10:3)

And He said:

إِلَّا مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ

“…except he whom the Beneficent God permits…” (Qur’an, Surah Naba 78:38)

And He said:

إِلَّا مِنْ بَعْدِ أَنْ يَأْذَنَ اللَّهُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَرْضَىٰ

“Except after Allah has given permission to whom He pleases and chooses.” (Qur’an, Surah Najm 53:26)

And He said:

لَا يَسْبِقُونَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ وَهُمْ بِأَمْرِهِ يَعْمَلُونَ

“They do not precede Him in speech…” (Qur’an, Surah Anbiya 21:27)

On the basis of this it is possible that the permission of Allah, the Mighty and the High would be for the Holy Prophet (S) – as this matter is stated in the report of Ais mentioned previously and other traditional reports – and the intercession of other intercessors would take place by the permission of His Eminence.

Thus all intercessions would be based on the intercession of His Eminence and they are all branches of this comprehensive and greatest intercession, and the purpose of sending the people in first stage from one prophet to another is, as mentioned in the report of Ais, and other traditional reports – to show the greatness and lofty status of the Seal of the prophets (S) to all the people of Mahshar (gathering) on the Judgment Day.

Third Benefit: In Part Four of the book – in the Letter ‘Sh’ – we mentioned a tradition through Sunni channels from the Messenger of Allah (S) about the position of the Imams thus:

“… and Mahdi is the one who would intercede from among them on the Judgment Day when the Almighty Allah would not permit anyone to intercede except those He wants and permits…”

At that place also we mentioned that the secret of restricting intercession to our master, Hazrat Hujjat (aj) is that none of the intercessors would intercede in favor of the deniers of the Master of the Affair (as) even though they might be having faith in those who were before His Eminence [the Holy Prophet and the Holy Imam (as)]. Thus the fact is that intercession is related to the belief in the Imam of the Age (aj).

Fifth: It Is That Praying For An Early Reappearance Of Maula Sahib Az-Zaman Is A Cause Of Eligibility For Intercession Of His Eminence

It means that: For eligibility of the intercession of the intercessors on the Judgment Day, it is necessary that there should be a prior connection in the world between the intercessor and the interceded one. For example the latter should have served or helped him, fulfilled his needs or prayed for him, expressed his sincere love for him or removed some harm from him as was seen in Part Four of this book under the topic of the intercession of the believers. And also the tradition about the intercession of the believers in Point Two and the tradition about the intercession of the visitor of the tomb of Imam Husain (as) in Point Three proves this matter. In addition there are numerous traditions that confirm this. For example:

In Biharul Anwar from the Tafseer of Imam Hasan Askari (as) from Amirul Momineen (as) it is mentioned that:

“The Almighty Allah is kind to His servants and among His favors is that He created a hundred blessings and kept one blessing among all the creatures so that by it people observe kindness with each other. And that by it the mother is kind to her children and the female beasts are kind to their offspring. Thus when it would be the Judgment Day He would supplement this blessing with the other ninety-nine blessings and with that be merciful on the Ummah of Muhammad (S) and He would give them the right to intercede for whoever they like from the people of religion – So much so that a person would come to a Shia believer and say: Intercede for me.

He would ask: What right you have on me to ask for intercession? He would reply: I gave you water one day. Thus he would recall it and do intercession for him. Another person would come and say: I have a right upon you to ask you to intercede for me. He will ask: What is that? He replies: One day you took the shelter of the shade of my wall from sun. So he would intercede for this person. Thus he would continue to intercede till he has interceded for his neighbors, friends and acquaintances. The believer is more honorable in the view of Allah than what you consider him to be.”28

Also it is narrated from His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) that he said:

“Indeed, a believer from among you would avoid one whom he had known in the world while it would be ordered that the latter be taken to Hell. The angel would be taking this man and he would say to that believer: Please help me, as I did good to you in the world and fulfilled your need when you came to me. Would you not recompense for that today? Thus the believer would say to the angel appointed on him: Leave him. Imam Sadiq (as) said: The Almighty Allah would hear the believer and ask that angel to accept the believer’s request. So the angel would release that man.”29

I say: When the position of a believer is such with regard to one who has done a favor to him, there is no doubt that our master, His Eminence, the Master of the Time (aj) would intercede for one who has prayed for him and he would save them from chastisement on the Judgment Day because Dua is an important link and a very strong rope; it is a sign of love, a source of pleasure, a kind of help and a type of service to His Eminence.30

May the Almighty Allah give Tawfeeq to pray for an early reappearance of His Eminence and make us worthy of his intercession.

  • 1. Sharh Tajreed al-Itiqaad, Pg. 331
  • 2. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 34
  • 3. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 34
  • 4. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 34
  • 5. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 34
  • 6. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 37
  • 7. Mahasin, Pg. 183
  • 8. Khisaal, Vol. 1, Pg. 292
  • 9. , Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 42
  • 10. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 43
  • 11. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 41
  • 12. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 36
  • 13. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 59
  • 14. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 59
  • 15. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 101, Pg. 27
  • 16. Al-Burhan, Vol. 3, Pg. 57
  • 17. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 41
  • 18. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 42
  • 19. Tafseer Noor ath-Thaqlayn, Vol. 3, Pg. 361
  • 20. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 42
  • 21. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 47
  • 22. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 59
  • 23. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 52
  • 24. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 56; Surah Shuara 26:100.
  • 25. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 39
  • 26. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 55
  • 27. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 55
  • 28. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 44
  • 29. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 8, Pg. 41
  • 30. In the thirty-second benefit it is mentioned that one who prays for the Imam will become eligible for intercession of the Imams. The Tafseer of the verse says that the Imams will see their helpers and companions and intercede for them. Since the supplicant is also a helper of the Imams this is also applicable to him. (The Author)