Intercession الشَّفاعَة

Intercession in the Life of this World

الشَّفاعَةُ فِي الدُّنيا

1ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): اِشفَعُوا تُؤجَرُوا.

1– The Prophet (S) said, 'Intercede for someone and you will be rewarded.’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 6489]

2ـ رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): مَن شَفَعَ شَفاعَةً يَدفَعُ بها مَغرَماً أو يُحيِي بها مَغنَماً، ثَبَّتَ اللّه‏ُ تعالى قَدَمَيهِ حِينَ تَدحَضُ الأقدامُ.

2– The Prophet (S) said, 'Whoever intercedes for someone settling thereby a financial liability or procuring someone's due profit, Allah will give him a firm footing on the day that feet will stumble.’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 6496]

3ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الشَّفاعَةُ زَكاةُ الجاهِ.

3– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, 'Intercession is the zakat of high rank.’[Tuhaf al-’Uqul, no. 381]

Intercession in the Hereafter

الشَّفاعَةُ فِي الآخِرَةِ

4ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): شَفاعَتي لاُِمَّتي مَن أحَبَّ أهلَ بَيتي.

4– The Prophet (S) said, 'My intercession will avail those people from my community who love my household.’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 39057]

5ـ رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): لَأشفَعَنَّ يَومَ القِيامَةِ لِمَن كانَ في قَلبِهِ جَناحُ بَعوضَةٍ إيمانٌ .

5– The Prophet (S) said, 'On the Day of Resurrection, I will surely intercede for anyone who harbours even a fly's wing's worth of faith in his heart.’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 39043]

6ـ رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): إذا قُمتُ المَقامَ المَحمودَ تَشَفَّعتُ في أصحابِ الكبائرِ مِن اُمَّتي، فَيُشَفِّعُني اللّه‏ُ فِيهِم ، واللّه‏ِ لا تَشَفَّعتُ فِيمَن آذى ذُرِّيَّتي .

6– The Prophet (S) said, 'When I stand at the Glorious Station, I will intercede on behalf of those of my community who have perpetrated grave sins, and Allah will accept my intercession for them. By Allah, I will not intercede for anyone who hurts my progeny.’[Amali al-Saduq, p. 242, no. 3]

7ـ رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ دَعوَةٌ قد دَعا بِها وقد سَألَ سُؤلاً، وقد خَبَأتُ دَعوَتي لِشَفاعَتِي لاُِمَّتي يَومَ القِيامَةِ .

7– The Prophet (S) said, 'Every prophet was given the right to a special request which they asked [from Allah], but I suppressed my request in return for the permission to intercede for my community on the Day of Resurrection.’[al-Khisal, p. 29, no. 103]

8ـ الإمامُ الباقرُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ في قولِهِ تعالى: «ولَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضى» ـ: الشَّفاعَةُ ، واللّه‏ِ الشَّفاعةُ ، واللّه‏ِ الشَّفاعَةُ.

8– Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said with regards to Allah’s verse in the Qur’an [addressing the Prophet (S)]: “Soon your Lord will give you [that with which] you will be pleased”[Qur’an 93:5], ‘(This is) intercession, by Allah it is intercession, by Allah it is intercession.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 8, p. 57, no. 72]

9ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ في قولهِ تعالى: « لا يَمْلِكُونَ الشَّفاعَةَ إلّا مَنِ اتَّخَذَ عِندَ الرَّحمنِ عَهْدا» ـ: إلّا مَن اُذِنَ لَهُ بِوَلايَةِ أميرِ المؤمنينَ والأئمَّةِ مِن بَعدِهِ فهُو العَهدُ عندَ اللّه‏ِ.

9– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said with regards to Allah’s verse in the Qur’an: "No one will have the power to intercede [with Allah], except for him who has taken a covenant with the All-beneficent"[19:87], ‘[This means] except for him who has been allowed intercession through his acceptance of the guardianship of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) and the Imams after him, as this is the covenant with Allah.’[Bihar al-Anwar, p. 36, no. 9]

Those Who Will Be Deprived of Intercession

المَحرومُونَ مِنَ الشَّفاعَةِ

10ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): رَجُلانِ لا تَنالُهُما شَفاعَتي: صاحِبُ سُلطانٍ عَسُوفٌ غَشُومٌ ، وغالٍ في الدِّينِ مارِقٌ.

10– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Two types of people will not be included in my intercession: the tyrannical and iniquitous ruler and the heretical extremist in matters of religion.’[al-Khisal, p. 63, no. 93]

11ـ رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): أمّا شَفاعَتِي ففي أصحابِ الكبائرِ ما خَلا أهلَ الشِّركِ والظُّلمِ.

11– The Prophet (S) said, ‘My intercession is intended for those who have committed grave sins [from among the Muslims], except for those guilty of polytheism and injustice to others.’[al-Khisal, p. 355, no. 36]

12ـ رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): لا يَنالُ شَفاعَتي مَنِ استَخَفَّ بِصلاتِهِ ، ولا يَرِدُ عَلَيَّ الحَوضَ لا واللّه‏ِ.

12– The Prophet (S) said, ‘He who does not take his daily prayers seriously will neither benefit from my intercession nor meet me at the Heavenly Pool [of Kawthar], no by Allah.’[al-Mahasin, v. 1, p. 159, no. 323]

13ـ رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): مَن لم يُؤمِنْ بِشَفاعَتِي فلا أنالَهُ اللّه‏ُ شَفاعَتِي .

13– The Prophet (S) said, ‘My intercession on behalf of one who does not believe in my intercession will not be accepted by Allah.’[‘Uyun Akhbar ar-Ridha, v. 1, p. 136, no. 35]

14ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ لَمّا أمَرَ بِاجتِماعِ قَرابَتِهِ حَولَهُ وقد حَضَرَتهُ الوَفاةُ ـ: إنَّ شَفاعَتَنا لَن تَنالَ مُستَخِفّاً بِالصَّلاةِ.

14– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.), when he asked for his relatives to be gathered around him as his death approached, said to them, ‘Verily our intercession will not avail one who takes his prayer lightly.’[al-Mahasin, v. 1, p. 159, no. 225]

15ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): لَو أنَّ المَلائكَةَ المُقَرَّبِينَ والأنبياءَ المُرسَلِينَ شَفَعُوا في ناصِبٍ ما شُفِّعُوا .

15– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Even if the most favoured angels and all the prophets were to intercede for a Nasibi1, their intercession would not be accepted.’[al-Mahasin, p. 294, no. 587]

People’s Need for Intercession From the First to the Last

حاجَةُ الأوَّلينَ وَالآخِرِينَ إلَى الشَّفاعَةِ

16ـ الإمام الباقرِ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ وقد قالَ لَهُ أبو أيمنَ: ياأباجعفرٍ، تَغُرُّونَ الناسَ وتَقولونَ: شَفاعَةُ محمّدٍ، شَفاعَةُ محمّدٍ! فَغَضِبَ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) حتّى تَرَبَّدَ وَجهُهُ ـ: وَيحَكَ يا أبا أيمَنَ ! أغَرَّكَ إن عَفَّ بَطْنُكَ وفَرجُكَ ؟! أما لَو قد رَأيتَ أفزاعَ القِيامَةِ لقدِ احتَجتَ إلى شَفاعَةِ محمّدٍ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) ، وَيلَكَ فَهل يَشفَعُ إلّا لِمَن وَجَبَت لَهُ النارُ ؟! ثُمَّ قالَ: ما مِن أحَدٍ مِنَ الأوَّلِينَ والآخِرِينَ إلّا وهُو مُحتاجٌ إلى شَفاعَةِ محمّدٍ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) يَومَ القِيامَةِ .

16– A man called Abu Ayman once came to Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) saying, ‘O Abu Ja’afar, you delude people by saying, ‘Muhammad’s intercession [will help you], Muhammad’s intercession!’ At this, the Imam (a.s.) got so angry that his face was glowering, and said, ‘Woe betide you Abu Ayman! If your belly and your private parts keep you away from sin, does that mean they delude you? You would only have to see the atrocities of the Day of Resurrection to need Muhammad (S)’s intercession. Woe unto you! In any case, do you think that he will only intercede for those whose punishment in the Fire is obligatory?!’ Then he continued, saying, ‘Every single person, from the first to the last, will need the intercession of Muhammad (S) on the Day of Resurrection.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 8, p. 38, no. 16]

The Intercessors


17ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): ثلاثةٌ يَشفَعُونَ إلى اللّه‏ِ عَزَّوجلَّ فَيُشَفَّعُونَ: الأنبياءُ ، ثُمّ العُلَماءُ ، ثُمّ الشُّهَداءُ.

17– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Three types of people have the right to intercede with Allah, and their intercession will be accepted: the prophets, then the scholars, and then the martyrs.’[al-Khisal, p. 156, no. 197]

18ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): الشَّفاعَةُ لِلأنْبِياءِ والأوصِياءِ والمُؤمِنِينَ والمَلائكةِ.

18– The Prophet (S) said, ‘[The right of] Intercession belongs to the prophets, their vicegerents, the believers and the angels.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 8, p. 58, no. 75]

19ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): الشُّفَعاءُ خَمسَةٌ: القُرآنُ ، والرَّحِمُ ، والأمانَةُ ، ونَبِيُّكُم ، وأهلُ بَيتِ نَبِيِّكُم.

19– The Prophet (S) said, ‘There are five intercessors: the Qur’an, consanguinity, immunity, your Prophet, and your Prophet’s household.’[Bihar al-Anwar, p. 43, no. 39]

20ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): لا شَفيعَ أنجَحُ مِنَ التَّوبَةِ.

20– The Prophet (S) said, ‘There is no intercessor more effective than repentance.’[Bihar al-Anwar, p. 58, no. 75]

21ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): شافِعُ الخَلقِ العَمَلُ بِالحَقِّ ولُزومُ الصِّدقِ .

21– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The intercessor for all of creation is action according to what is right and adherence to the truth.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 5789]



22- رسولُ اللّه (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): سَلُوا اللّه‏َ لي الوَسِيلَةَ ... فَمَن سَألَ لي الوَسيلَهَ حَلَّتْ لَهُ الشَّفاعَةُ .

22– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Ask Allah through my mediation … for whoever asks through my mediation is then allowed my intercession.’[Sahih Muslim, no. 384]

23- رسولُ اللّه (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): الأئمّةُ مِن وُلْدِ الحُسينِ عليه‏السلام ، مَن أطاعَهُم فَقَد أطاعَ اللّه‏َ، ومَن عَصاهُم فقد عَصَى اللّه‏َ عز و جل ، هُم العُروَةُ الوُثقى ، وهُمُ الوَسيلَهُ إلى اللّه عز و جل .

23– The Prophet (S) said, ‘The Imams from the progeny of al-Husayn (a.s.) are such that whoever obeys them has obeyed Allah, and whoever disobeys them has disobeyed Allah. They are the Firm Rope [to Allah], and they are the means of recourse to Allah.’[‘Uyun Akhbar ar-Ridha, v. 2, p. 58, no. 217]

The People Most Deserving of Intercession

أحَقُّ النّاسِ بِالشَّفاعَةِ

24ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): إنّ أقرَبَكُم مِنّي غَداً وأوجَبَكُم عَلَيَّ شَفاعَةً: أصدَقُكُم لِساناً ، وأدّاكُم لِلأمانَةِ ، وأحسَنُكُم خُلُقاً ، وأقرَبُكُم مِنَ الناسِ .

24– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Verily the closest from among you to me tomorrow [in the Hereafter], and the most eligible of you for my intercession are those who are the most truthful from amongst you, the most conscientious at returning a trust placed in their care, the most good-natured, and the ones who have close ties with people.’[Amali al-Saduq, p. 411, no. 5]

A Believer’s Right to Intercession Depends on the Extent of His Deeds

شَفاعَةُ المُؤمِنِ عَلى قَدرِ عَمَلِهِ

25ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): في المؤمنينَ مَن يَشفَعُ مِثلَ رَبِيعَةَ ومُضَرَ ، وأقَلُّ المُؤمنينَ شَفاعَةً مَن يَشفَعُ لِثَلاثِينَ إنساناً .

25– The Prophet (S) said, ‘There are people from among the believers who have the right to intercession like Rabi’aa and Musar. A believer has the right to intercede on behalf of at least thirty people.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 8, p. 58, no. 75]

26ـ الإمامُ الباقرُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): يَشفَعُ الرَّجُلُ في القَبيلَةِ ، ويَشفَعُ الرَّجُلُ لاِءهلِ البَيتِ ، ويَشفَعُ الرجُلُ لِلرَّجُلَينِ على قَدرِ عَمَلِهِ ، فذلكَ المَقامُ المَحمودُ.

26– Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, ‘A man may intercede on behalf of his tribe, or for his family, or even just for two other people, depending on the extent of his deeds, for that is the Glorious Station.’[Bihar al-Anwar, p. 43, no. 41]

  • 1. Nasibi (f. Nasibiyya): one who declares enmity towards the ahl al-bayt and their followers (ed.)