Does The Hikmah Mean the Sunnah?

Bismillahirahmaniraheem

Praises and thanks be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. He neither forgets nor errs. He has revealed the Truth. He has told us that it’s the truth. He is The Truth.

Praise be to Allah. Allah guides and none can guide whom He misguides. Praise be to Allah, He is the All-Knowing. May Allah soften the hearts of the true believing seekers of truth and grant them the guidance.

The hikmah that Muhammad taught, pbuh, was first and foremost the hikmah in the Quran. I don’t deny that he taught wisdom from outside the Qur’an, as he was a wise man, may Allah have mercy on his soul. However, what is meant in the Qur’an when it says that he teaches the Hikmah is not the hadith, but it’s a part of the teachings of Islam found in the Qur’an.

Due to the widespread claim that the Hikmah that Muhammad taught, pbuh, was first and foremost what we today encounter as the Hadith literature, I’ve made an effort to refute that and show the truth of the matter in a short blog, and there are others online that have done the same. Praise be to Allah, Most Gracious.

The Hikmah was given to a number of prophets, including Jesus and Moses

Quran 4:54: Do they, perchance, envy other people for what God has granted them out of His bounty? But then, We did grant revelation and wisdom (Hikmah) unto the House of Abraham, and We did bestow on them a mighty dominion.

Quran 5:110, mentioning Jesus: ‘And I taught you ‘Al Kitab’ and ‘Al-Hikmah’.

So how can it be that the sunnah is The Hikmah, The Hikmah? In that case Jesus learnt the sunnah of Muhammad pbuh. Clearly, that’s not the case.

Contemplate these verses, brothers and sisters, and you’ll see the truth. The Book has no doubt in it. Zhalikal Kitabu, laa roiba fihi.

The words ‘Al Hikmah’ and ‘Al Kitab’ denote something definite.

Al Baqarah verse 129: Our Lord, and send for them a messenger from among them to recite to them your ‘Ayat’ and teach them ‘The Kitab’ (‘The Scripture’) and ‘Al Hikmah’ (‘The Wisdom’).

Allah could have said “some wisdom”. In the verses about the risalah, found in Al Baqarah and Al Jumu’at, Allah could have said “He teaches The Book and some wisdom”, but He didn’t. He said “The Book and The Wisdom”.

Where does Allah bestow Hikmah?

Quran 2:269: He bestows ‘Al Hikmah’ upon whoever He pleases, and whoever attains ‘Al Hikmah’ has indeed attained a great blessing.

What does Hikmah look like?

In Surah 17, we are given a clear demonstration of the word ‘Al Hikmah’ as being the ability to differentiate between right and wrong and the wisdom to choose what is right. If we read the verses from 22 to 39, we find God commanding us not to worship except Him, to honor our parents, to give due alms to our relatives, the needy, the poor, and the traveling alien but without being extravagant or stingy, not to kill our children for fear of poverty, not to commit adultery, nor to abuse the orphan’s money, to trade equitably and fairly, to verify everything before following it blindly and not to act vainly. After such valuable advice God informs us that these virtues are indeed what wisdom is all about.

In that sense ‘Al Hikmah’ is not a book of ‘hadith’ (sayings) of one single person but instead a blessing that God may bestow on any of His servants.

What did Allah say about it?

If God had revealed to Muhammad an additional Sunna other than the Quran, as Sunnis claim, then we would expect God to say ‘We have revealed to you the Qur’an and the Sunnah’ or words to that effect. Instead the only Revelation endorsed in the Quran is the Quran itself:

Quran 6:19: Say, ‘What is the greatest testimony?’ Say, ‘God is the witness between me and you that this Quran has been inspired to me, to preach it to you and whomever it reaches.

The following fact only supports the above verse: The term ‘Sunnah of the Messenger’ does not appear in the Qur’an at all. It hasn’t been included in the Holy Book of Islam, and thus hasn’t been included in what we read in our salat. Glorified is Allah!

Dear reader, thank you for reading. Please forgive me for errors you find me committing and please thank Allah if you get a benefit from reading this blog.

TAKING INTERCESSORS IS BLAMEWORTHY

Bismillahirrahmanirraheem

It’s simple. Through the praising and blaming of one who knows what is praiseworthy and what is blameworthy, the uneducated become educated.

Take a pepaya farmer training a novice fruitpicker. He says this and this about a particular pepaya, in praise of the good aspects of it, so that the person knows it’s a praiseworthy product. Without being given that knowledge, he may otherwise not know, or he may have to learn through his own trial and error.

Then there’s a bad fruit. The farmer would point out the defect so that the apprentice knows what is bad about it. The farmer would say this and this about it, blaming.

Allah has done this for us in the Qur’an, praising and blaming different acts that people commit. In the Qur’an, taking intercessors is blamed along with other forms of polytheism:

Have they taken intercessors besides Allah? Say: Even though they have no power at all and do not comprehend? [Az Zumar 43].

The above verse contains a question and an answer. The evidence that taking intercessors is blameworthy, not praiseworthy, is in the answer. If it was praiseworthy, the answer would show it.

However, Allah asks the rhetorical question: Have they taken intercessors besides Allah? Then Allah himself responds Say: Even though they have no power at all and do not comprehend?

This means [Can they give intercession] even though they don’t have power over anything and don’t comprehend? This answer shows the failure of taking intercessors. The reasons for failure are 1) they aren’t able, and 2) they don’t have the necessary comprehension.

This is already clear from reading the verse from surah Az Zumar above. However, it is made clearer when seen in the context of other Quranc verses which have an almost identical format with the verse mentioned above.

What follows are three places in the Qur’an where something is blamed with the same choice of words:

Have they taken gods from the Earth who can raise the dead? If there were gods in them [the Heavens and the Earth] besides God, they would both be ruined. So glorified is God, Lord of the Throne, from what they attribute.

Here, the issue is deification, not taking intercessors, so it’s about another kind of polytheism. Yet the answer here is again negative. Like in the case of taking intercessors, the answer shows that deifying false gods is something that Allah doesn’t affirm.

Have they taken gods besides Him? Say: Bring your proof. This is a reminder for those with me and those before me. But most of them don’t know the truth, so they are averse.

In surah Al Anbiya, after a just a few verses, the same language occurs again. Indeed, twice in this noble surah of the Qur’an: surah Al Anbiya which instructs us about the prophethood of the prophets.

Once again the verses talk about the problem of deification and once again the response is negative and constitutes blame from Allah. And what is right is that we follow the understanding that accords with the text of the Noble Qur’an.

Hey, didn’t we say we have faith in everything the Qur’an brings us?

Then, let’s look at another verse of the Qur’an in the same style and think about it:

Have they taken protectors besides Allah? Yet Allah is the Protector and it is He who gives life to the dead, and He has power over everything.

In surah Al Shuura, this style is used once again to blame taking protectors for refuge. Like the above cases, Allah shows his rejection through a question and a response.

With this exposition, we can improve our knowledge of the Oneness of Allah (Tawhid). The better our knowledge of Allah, the better we can worship Him.

Allah has commanded us to obtain knowledge of his Oneness. This is our obligation, because he called us to it in his Holy Book: Fa’lam an laa ilaha illallah! That means: Know that there is no god besides God.

These words are a command. A command to gain knowledge. And in order to know, a person must study. Didn’t the messenger teach the Oneness of God? Indeed, every prophet and messenger did so.

Yes! Every prophet and messenger came to call mankind to right worship, which is sincere worship of Allah, and Allah alone. They were tasked with bringing and teaching knowledge about Allah to mankind.

What exactly do we mean when we say that they taught people the Oneness of God? It includes knowing what constitutes worshipping Allah alone and what contradicts it.

In our time, we’ve been blessed with the Qur’an. We don’t have to follow the errors of scholars any more. Through making errors, the scholars of the People of The Book deviated from the right teaching, and millions, no billions, have followed those errors. Obviously, the Qur’an came as a solution to that.

The Qur’an came as a differentiator. It differentiates between right and wrong, or haq and batil in Arabic. Alhamdulillah. With the Qur’an we can obtain the right understanding without doubt.

 

This is the book. There is no doubt in it. It is guidance for the Godfearing (Q 2:2).

Alhamdulillahirrobil’aalamiin. Glory be to Allah who has blessed us with a protected Holy Book!

PENGAMBILAN PARA PERANTARA TERCELA DALAM AL QUR’AN

Allah bertanya pertanyaan: Bahkan adakah mereka mengambil para perantara selain dari pada Allah? Kemudian Allah sendiri menjawab Katakanlah: Pada hal mereka tidak mempunyai suatu apapun dan tidak pula berakal?

Bismillahirrahmanirraheem

Di dalam al Qur’an, pengambilan perantara tercela bersama jenis-jenis kemusyrikan yang lain:

Bahkan adakah mereka mengambil para perantara selain dari pada Allah? Katakanlah: Pada hal mereka tidak mempunyai suatu apapun dan tidak pula berakal? [Az Zumar 43].

Ayat yang ada diatas mengandung pertanyaan dan jawabannya. Bukti bahwa pengambilan perantara itu tercela, dan bukan sesuatu yang terpuji, ada di jawaban. Kalaulah ia terpuji, akan jawaban itu menunjukkunnya.

Akan tetapi, Allah bertanya pertanyaan rhetorika: Bahkan adakah mereka mengambil para perantara selain dari pada Allah? Kemudian Allah sendiri menjawab Katakanlah: Pada hal mereka tidak mempunyai suatu apapun dan tidak pula berakal?

Ini berarti [Dapatkan mereka memberi syafa’at] pada hal mereka tidak mempunyai suatu apapun dan tidak pula berakal? Jawaban ini menunjukkan kegagalan mengambil para perantara. Alasan gagal adalah karena 1) mereka tidak mampu, dan 2) mereka tidak memahami.

Ini sudah jelas dari bacaan ayat ini dari surah Az Zumar. Namun, ia dijelaskan lagi ketika dipandang dalam konteks ayat-ayat al Qur’an yang lain yang pembentukannya mirip dengan ayat yang telah dibahas diatas.

Berikut ini adalah tiga kali lagi di dalam al Qur’an yang mana sesuatu hal yang tercela disusun dengan tutur bahasa yang sama:

Bahkan, adakah mereka mengangkat beberapa Tuhan dari bumi, yang dapat menghidupkan? Kalau sekiranya ada beberapa Tuhan di langit dan bumi, selain Allah, niscaya binasalah keduanya. Maka Mahasuci Allah, Tuhan ‘arsy, dari apa-apa yang mereka sifatkan.

Disini, halnya adalah menuhankan, bukan mengambil perantara, hanyalah beda jenis kemusyrikan. Dan di kasus yang ini, jawaban tetap negatif. Seperti dalam kasus pengambilan perantara, disini jawaban menunjukkan sesuatu yang Allah tidak membenarkan.

Bahkan, adakah mereka mengangkat beberapa Tuhan, selain dari padaNya? Katakanlah: Unjukkanlah dalilmu. Ini adalah peringatan bagi orang-orang yang bersamaku dan orang-orang yang sebelumku. Tetapi kebanyakan mereka tiada mengetahui kebeneran, sedang mereka berpaling.

Di surat Al Anbiya, setelah beberapa ayat saja, terdapat tutur bahasa ini yang sama. Benar dua kali dalam surat al Qur’an yang mulia: surat Al Anbiya yang mendidik kita tentang keagamaan nabi-nabi.

Sekali lagi ayat-ayat membahas tentang masalah menuhankan dan sekali lagi jawabannya negatif dan merupakan celaan dari Allah. Dan yang baik adalah bahwa kita mengikuti pemahaman yang sesuai dengan apa yang diutarakan Al Qur’an Al Karim.

Bukankah kita beriman kepada segala apa yang didatangkan Al Qur’an?

Terus, kita melihat dan fikir tentang ayat al Qur’an lain yang sejenis:

Bahkan, adakah mereka ambil wali-wali selain dari padaNya? Pada hal Allah yang menjadi wali dan Dialah yang menghidupkan orang-orang yang mati, dan Dia Mahakuasa atas tiap-tiap sesuatu.

Di dalam surat Al Shuura, tutur bahasa yang ini dipakai sekali lagi untuk mencela pengambilan wali-wali sebagai pelindung-pelindung. Seperti kasus-kasus yang diatas, Allah menunjukkan penolakanNya melalui pertanyaan dan jawaban.

Dengan keterangan yang ini, kita bisa menyempurnakan ilmu tentang keesaan Allah: ilmu tauhid. Semakin bagus ilmu kita terhadap Allah, ya, semakin bagus ma’rifatullah, semakin baik kita bisa menyembahNya.

Allah telah memerintakan kita untuk berilmu dengan ilmu tauhid. Benar-benar ini adalah kewajiban kita, karena kita diseru oleh Allah dalam kitab suciNya: Fa’lam an laa ilaha illallah! Artinya ketahuilah bahwa tiada tuhan selain Allah.

Perkataan ini merupakan perintah. Perintah berilmu. Agar tahu, kita harus pelajar. Bukankah rasulullah mendidik tentang keesaan Allah? Bahkan setiap nabi dan rasul?

Benar! Setiap nabi dan rasul datang untuk menyeru manusia kepada ibadah yang sah, yaitu ibadah yang ikhlas kepada Allah dan hanya kepada Allah saja. Mereka ditugas juga untuk mengantar dan mendidik ilmu tentang Allah kepada manusia, yaitu ilmu tauhid.

Di masa ini, kita telah dianugerahkan Al Qur’an. Kita tidak harus mengikuti keliru-keliru manusia lagi, seperti yang terjadi antara Ahli Kitab. Ulama mereka menyimpang dari ajaran yang benar. Tentu saja, Al Qur’an datang untuk menyoalkan hal itu.

Al Qur’an datang sebagai pembeda. Ia memisahkan antara yang benar dan yang tidak, yaitu antara haq dan batil. Alhamdulillah. Dengan al Qur’an kita bisa memperoleh pahaman yang benar tanpa keraguan.

 

Kitab itu tidak ada keraguan padanya, jadi petunjuk pada bagi orang-orang yang taqwa.

Alhamdulillahirrobil’aalamiin. Maha Suci Allah yang telah menganugerahkan kita dengan kitab suci yang terjaga!

 

Refutation of Claiming Intercessors

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS SUPPOSED TO GATHER ALL THE OTHER ARTICLES ABOUT INTERCESSION TOGETHER. HOWEVER, I HAVEN’T FINISHED IT.

KEY MISSING POINTS ARE:

RESEARCH AND DISCUSSION

  • that the majority of opinions about intercession are not founded on METHODOLOGICAL research but typically based on a very basic judgement of what that person has heard from others
  • that most of these opinions do not rely on knowledge of the mechanics of intercession, but rather refer to what is said about intercession, even when interpreting what the Qur’an says about it
  • the difference between these: A METHODOLOGICAL EFFORT to know the truth about the topic, and A FAIR GUESS, and why so many people are not bothering with the first one
  • what often happens to scholars who expose this problem, e.g., Ahmad Mansour Subhy, other hadith criticisers

 

QUR’AN AND HADITH

  • that the Qur’an is the real bayan; mubayyinaat, yubayyinullah, kazalika yubayyinullah; wa bayyinaatun lil huda wal furqan (2:185)
  • that it doesn’t matter how many hadith you have, they can only win if they overcome the quranic arguments
  • that it doesn’t matter how many people agree on something, the quality of the research and argument is a better measure than the number of supporters

 

INTERCESSION AS A PATH

  • what intercession exists for; all intercession belongs to Allah; Allah will cause things to intercede and He has make that clear to us
  • whether it’s unsound or unjust for one prophet to be granted intercession and not others
  • concepts of intercession; the intercessor as a full god, like Allah as intercessor, a semi-god, like Jesus or Hanuman when taken as free agent intercessor; intercessor without free agency, such as the quranic description; consulting intercessor, such as Noah when he failed to intercede for his son; strictly robotic intercessor, such as the angels; intercessory prayer by prophets; people interceding for each other in actions on the earth (Qur’an 4:85)
  • what AbdulWahab said about it in his Four Principles essay: negated intercession and intercession with grounds

 

MECHANICS OF INTERCESSION

  • that the biggest essay on intercession in the Qur’an is in Al An’am and that it explains the problem in a comprehensive discussion
  • showing that the real context and meaning of “They only intercede after his permission”, is sometimes in the Qur’an to explain the POSITION of intercessors in relation to Allah, i.e, as servants
  • the difference between intercession by a knowing deity, such as interceding by acting directly on the spirit of a person; or miraculous intercession by the delegated authority and power of God, like Jesus raising the dead; non-miraculous intercession with prayer, or interceding in worldly action like giving someone food
  • difference in degree of idolatry between miraculous and non-miraculous; attributing attributes of Allah to objects when claiming the power of intercession
  • difference between claiming Muhammad will go into Hell and drag people out compared to claiming he will pray for his ummah on Judgement Day
  • hoping for intercession: if there is no intercession, then is it idolatry or just error to hope for it?; hoping for help from a the god of the sea winds compared with hoping Jesus will forgive sins, compared then with hoping Muhammad’s prayer will save you by the leave of Allah

 

WARNING AGAINST TAKING INTERCESSORS

  • warnings in the religion of Islam generally; the importance and significance of them; crucial to service to Allah;
  • the messenger was commanded to warn people against taking intercessors besides Allah (Qur’an 6:51);

 

COMPARING THE IDOLATRY OF TWO CLAIMS: 1. JESUS AS SON OF GOD WITH THE POWER TO SAVE, AND 2. MUHAMMAD AS INTERCESSOR BY HIS PRAYER

  • attributing Jesus as the son of God (the power to save is internal to the saviour), and attributing Muhammad as the intercessor of God (the power to save is external to him but he has authority to access that aid), surely both are idolatrous attributions unless they are true
  • the granting of Muhammad the right to pray for people is an idolatrous attribution unless proven to be true
  • in both cases people could say “It’s not idolatry because I only claim that Allah has the ultimate power, not Jesus” or “It’s not idolatry because I only claim that Allah has the ultimate power, not Muhammad”, yet in both cases, they are hoping in a false hope unless the thing can do what they are hoping for it to do
  •  

 

TIMING IS A REAL FACTOR: DELINEATION OF THE ACCEPTABILITY OF ACTS BY THE TIME PERIOD IN WHICH THEY OCCUR

  • the delineation of the acceptability of acts according to the time period in which they occur;
  • e.g., fasting the month of Ramadhan vs. fasting the month of Shawwal – they are differentiated by Allah decreeing a time for one but not the other;
  • praying for people in the world and praying for people on Judgement Day is a difference in timing – the act occurs in a different period of time – so there has to be a decree from Allah for us to believe in praying on Judgement Day;
  • what Allah has said about praying on Judgement Day, and what He has said about praying while alive in this world;

 

STAGE IS A REAL FACTOR: DELINEATION OF THE ACCEPTABILITY OF ACTS BY THE STAGE IN WHICH THEY OCCUR

  • the difference between acceptability and rejection of acts may be due to the stage of life, or a contract, not only timing;
  • sexual relations between men and women is evil in the sight of God before marriage, but Islamic and pleasing to Allah after marriage;
  • function of the messenger is conveying information; messengership of Muhammad PBUH is primarily warner, giver of glad tidings, inviter, and a good example, he is not placed as someone whose prayer is central to our salvation, even though it is a great thing and it occurs in surah 63 al Munafiqeen;
  • does it include Judgement Day acts? witnessing vs. interceding, what is the difference? This goes back to authority from Allah given to someone so they can intercede

 

PERMISSION FOR INTERCESSION

  • that the key issue of Allah permitting intercession is clearly there, and it’s repeated in the Qur’an, but that that doesn’t automatically mean Muhammad has got that permission
  • that this is a key mistake; many people go and take the words ‘With the permission of Allah’ to mean ‘Muhammad is on the list’, while that it isn’t proof
  • i.e, taking ‘With the permission of the US govt. people will get a resident visa’, and then saying – without going through the actual application process – ‘My name is on the list of those who get a resident visa’
  • showing why Muhammad isn’t on a list of permitted Judgement Day intercessors, peace be upon him, and what would be necessary for him to be on such a list

 

APPLICATION OF VERSES

  • whether or not the verses in Al Baqarah about intercession are only for non-believers or they apply to everyone

 

DELUSION ABOUT INTERCESSION

  • showing the common error of delusion and how it relates to intercession (Qur’an 6:94)
  • more detailed explanation of tadzakkur failure, tadzakkur impediment, distortion and weakness in the tadzakkur process: preceding Qur’an with hadith, over-reliance on hadith, failure to take Qur’an as furqan, deciding by estimation not analysis, failure to patiently work for certainty
  • link between ‘a fa laa tatadzakkaruun’ in As Sajdah and ‘a fa laa tatadzakkaruun’ in Al An’am
  • other important points

 

 

Peace be upon whoever follows the guidance.

 

Preface

Dear reader, my intention with this writing is to do service to Allah, The Holy, who has the right of my service.

Allah is The Most Merciful, and The Most Gracious. Praise be to God, the Acceptor of Repentance, The Oft-Forgiving, The Most Merciful, The Most Gracious.

Allah has prohibited us from saying something about Him that we do not know (Q 7:33). I’ve resisted writing about religion due to this fear. I believe that reading the Qur’an is better. Allah has called us to read, not write. I think the best writing is writing that helps us to understand Islam, explaining what Allah has given us in the Qur’an.

It seems that what has been written about intercession is not comprehensive and yet it’s an important topic. I think we are in need of good teaching on this topic. That’s why I’m writing this essay.

I pray that Allah forgive me for any wrongdoing I may commit with this effort, and increase the good of it, and accept from me the good of it. May truth and Allah’s mercy be carried by this essay.

I believe that many people who believe are committing gross errors in this matter, and this is very concerning to me. The error and it’s importance are roughly the following:

 

THE ERROR

Many people claim that Muhammad will intercede for the faithful on The Day of Judgement, and that Allah has called us to believe so.

THE IMPORTANCE

I believe that this issue is of the greatest importance.

The most important thing for any person is his or her relationship to Allah. Then, since intercession claims lie in this domain, then this issue is among the most important things anyone can contemplate and seek to understand;

indeed, the security of monotheism will be compromised if intercession is significantly misunderstood, because it causes polytheism, and polytheism earns eternal punishment.

DALIL FOR IMPORTANCE

Intercession has been mentioned in the Qur’an more than 20 times, and mentioned in previous revelations as well, which means that it’s clearly important.

Also, in the Noble Qur’an, a warning is given about intercession, which demonstrates it’s importance. Allah wouldn’t give a warning unless there was a danger.

 

The essay contains 2 parts:

 

Part 1: What the Qur’an says on intercession:

  • general power and permission for intercession
  • ability to intercede
  • specific Judgement Day intercession

 

Part 2: Why many people aren’t accepting what the Qur’an says about it.

  1. delusion regarding intercession;
  2. failure in receiving admonition (tadzakkur)
  3. distortion in receiving the explanation (bayan) of the Quran

 

The main points of discussion covered by the above include discussion of the mechanics of intercession and discussion of the authoity to intercede.

Amongst societies, opinions aren’t always understood. What I mean is that people make a lot of decisions without understanding the matters they’re deciding. A lot of decisions are made on the basis of Satan’s whispers: on the basis of pride, misinformation, short-term benefit, a false promise of future reward, mistaken attributions, and so forth.

In fact, understanding is not always a criterion for acceptance or rejection of an opinion. While it may be the case that it is accepted or rejected on the basis of understanding, i.e, knowledge of the matter itself, that’s not always a criterion. Peer pressure, lack of research, impatience, etc., affect a lot decisions.

Within our great universe, many acts are committed based on authority, not understanding. Many of those acts are legitimate, in the sense that the actor accepts a command from a legitimate authority and commits the act. For example, children often do what they are told. They’re internally programmed to do so. In a lot of cases, they rely on authority, not understanding.

Many of these acts occur within the globe of human action. Some are good acts, and others are not good. I’m referring to acts based on authority, not understanding. In those cases, analysing the legitimacy of authority may be a more beneficial discussion than understanding the act itself.

Not only in broader human life, but specifically within religion, we can observe many examples of people acting without having to fully understand why. Some of these are good actions that an authority has required of a subordinate, such as Allah requiring that we accept his mandate for the creation of mankind, even though we can’t fully understand it (surah Al Baqarah).

 

Introduction

Allah created us with an innate desire to know and confirm truth. He calls us to value the truth, to discover it, and to share it amongst one another. In order to know the truth we have to have a source of it. For us, the source of religious truth is revelation. The Qur’an is a revelation and the Qur’an is the truth.

I remind myself and the believers: Allah has appointed selected individuals to receive information from Him and convey it to mankind. They are prophets and messengers. Brothers and sisters in faith, Allah has also appointed specific books for this purpose and they are revelations. Out religion comes from revelations.

 

What the Qur’an says on intercession

Theme 1: general power and permission for intercession

The Qur’an says that all intercession belongs to Allah (Qur’an 39:43-44).

Say: “All intercession is with Allah. To Him belongs the dominion of the Heavens and the Earth. Then to Him you will be returned”.

Those who claim that Muhammad will intercede on Judgement Day may say that this verse doesn’t contradict their claim. This is true. The verse itself doesn’t state that Muhammad couldn’t be given such power.

In fact, this verse, if it could be taken alone and completely disconnected from the Qur’an, could be used to support the claim that Muhammad will intercede for us, or that Jesus will intercede for us, as long as we didn’t say that the intercession belonged to someone or something other than Allah.

It would easy to say that all intercession belongs to Allah and Allah has delegated it to Muhammad. However, this verse is not alone. It’s part of the Qur’an, so we can’t just say that.

 

The Qur’an says no-one can intercede without Allah’s permission (Qur’an 2:255).

Allah – There is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the Heavens and whatever is on the Earth. Who can intercede with Him without his permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not encompass a thing of his knowledge except for what He wills. His Throne extends over the Heavens and the Earth, and He is never weary of preserving them.He is The Most High, The Supreme.

We need to understand what this verse is about. While Allah knows best, and I don’t want to claim to perfectly know the meaning of Allah’s speech, yet we can also take an opinion.

My opinion is that this verse is about Allah. How many parts of it are about Allah? Almost all of it’s parts. Several parts. Look:

  1. his name (Allah)
  2. his oneness (There is no deity except Him)
  3. his attributes (the Ever-Living, the Sustainer)
  4. his sovereignty (To Him belongs whatever is in the Heavens and whatever is on the Earth)
  5. the subordination of intercession (Who can intercede with Him without his permission?)
  6. his knowledge (He knows what is before them and what is behind them)
  7. his power over knowledge (hey do not encompass a thing of his knowledge except for what He wills)
  8. his throne (His Throne extends over the Heavens and the Earth)
  9. his endurance (He is never weary of preserving them)
  10. two more of his attributes (He is The Most High, The Supreme)

It’s pretty much all about Allah. The verse isn’t about what’s halal and haram to eat, nor about the way to do salat, it’s about Allah.

Then if one of us wants to look at what this verse says about intercession, it’s necessary to see the mention of intercession in the context. The context is that we are learning about Allah. It would be unwise to look at a part of the verse without noting that.

And here’s how that relates to the discussion. This is key because a lot of people these days are quoting this verse to support their idea that the prophet will intercede for them at the time of Judgment.

For example, someone says “Muhammad will intercede for me on Judgement Day”, and then another says “What’s your proof for that?”, and then the first person replies “man dzallazhi yashfa’u ‘indahu illa bi idznihi (Who can intercede with Him without his permission?)”. This is happening a lot.

Yet it would be unwise because the verse doesn’t state what the claim states. This verse doesn’t state that Muhammad will intercede on Judgement Day. Actually, this verse is silent on whether or not Muhammad will intercede for anyone on Judgement Day.

Like the previous point, which noted that “All intercession is with Allah”, the noble verse of the Throne neither confirms nor denies intercession by anyone. It doesn’t mention any specific case of intercession. It’s not about that.

The verse is about Allah’s attributes.

So, if this verse is taken as proof that Muhammad will intercede for his people on Judgement Day, it’s insufficient as proof. The verse simply states that intercession requires Allah’s permission.

In fact, this verse is a significant part of the rejection of unauthorised intercession claims. In other parts of the Qur’an, Allah mentions that there is no intercession at Judgement. This verse supports the rejection as follows:

If it were not for this verse, one might say: “I have another channel to intercession, it’s not Allah, but it’s a permit that will be given to my prophet by such-and-such”. However, because of Qur’an 2:255, it is clear that you can’t get an intercession permit from anyone else, only Allah.

 

The Qur’an says seeking intercession from other than Allah goes into idolatry.

And they serve before Allah what can neither harm them nor profit them, and they say: ‘These are our intrcessors with Allah.’ Say: ‘Do you inform Allah of what He knows not in the heavens and the earteh?’ Exalted is He, and He is high above what they join with Him (Jonah 10:18)

In this verse there is proof that seeking intercession may lead to polytheism. The link between intercession and polytheism is “what they join with Him / ‘amma yushrikuun”).

The Qur’an says

  • intercession is not possible without power and cognition

 

What! Do they take for intercessors others besides Allah? Say: “Even if they have no power whatever and no intelligence?”.

 

This verse is a strong rejection and refutation against those who think that anyone will intercede for them in their affairs.

1. The rejection. Taking intercessors besides Allah is put down.

The style of the language puts it right down: “What! Do they… “, and, as shown in the following discussion, this very same language is also used elsewhere in the Qur’an to put down several other erroneous courses of action. Although it’s a question, the question is in a tone of disgust or surprise which shows that it’s bringing out the blameworthiness of the act.

Whatever you call it, disgust, surprise, jest, or something else, it’s to show rejection. Tremendous support for this is that the same phrasology is used in other parts of the Qur’an to reject similar matters. That it’s rejection is obvious from the verse itself, but to add further support, I’ll mention some other cases of the same phrasology in the Qur’an.

The Qur’an says, for example, “What! Have they taken gods from the earth who can raise the dead?”. The very same words are used in this statement as the words used in verse 43 of Az Zumar, the verse under discussion: Those words are “Am attakhadzu…” which means “Or have they taken…”, or in another translation “Or have they set up…”. The word “Or” isn’t really a good translation, since the use of it in Arabic isn’t the same as the use of “or” in English. Another translation is “What! Have they taken…”.

In the last example the Quranic language used in verse 21 of chapter 21 to reject the taking of false gods is the same as the language used in surah az Zumar to reject the taking of intercessors besides Allah.

The same phrasology appears again in chapter 42 of the Qur’an verse 9: “Or have they taken guardians besides Him? But Allah is the Guardian, and He gives life to the dead, and He has power over all things”. That’s enough to prove that the phrase used in Zumar verse 43 is a rejection, although there are also further cases in the Qur’an that employ the same phrase.

 

2. The refutation. The mechanics of the claim are shown to be deficient. Two dynamics are discussed: power and cognition.

The Qur’an says “Say: I have no power over any harm or profit to myself except what Allah may will. For every community there is a term appointed; when their term is reached, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour”, and Muhammad was certainly commanded to say these words.

That is already sufficient to cover this subsection of the discussion, i.e, the power to intercede, however, I hope it will be helpful if the point is elaborated further.

If I may say so, the mechanics of how intercession works is a topic that is often lacking in debates about intercession. Most debates are focused on authority, because authority is key, but a genuine debate should not neglect the role of understanding if it is available.

In this article, the discussion is intercession and since the Qur’an gives us a glimpse of how intercession works, the debate will be more well-informed if it takes advantage of what Allah has given us of the understanding of intercession. So the discussion needn’t be limited to authority. Some discussion of understanding is also available, and all praise be to Allah.

This verse isn’t about the authority to intercede, but about how intercession works, and there are two things mentioned: power and cognition. Here, Allah has given us some understanding. Praise be to Allah!

So how does it work? Here’s a simple example: Even though a person be employed on a farm and picking some lovely figs from it, yet they can’t necessarily intercede for people who ask them for free figs. They don’t have the power to do that, as they don’t own the figs.

You might say that they can intercede, because they can take you to the owner, but while that’s true, it’s not the answer to the original problem, which is whether or not you get the figs. They don’t have the power to determine what you get.

Another way to study this is to think of a mayor. He can decide what happens in his city, but not what happens across the whole country. The ‘power’ to do something gives the mayor the ‘power’ to intercede in the affairs of his city. His intercession is limited to his domain, and this is what the verse is indicating when it says “Say: Even if they don’t have the power…”.

These examples show that the ability to intercede in something requires your having the power to intercede in it. Anyone who is going to intercede in getting a visa for someone will have to have the power to do so. And whoever wants to intercede in the spiritual transformation of a human being will have to have the power to do that or have knowledge of the spirits of human beings.

As for interceding in the creative process, or in the actual physical and metaphysical spiritual transformation, such as making you into a flawless being and seating you in a pavilion in Paradise, or actually walking up and taking you by the hand on Judgement Day, and ushering you over and putting you in the line for Paradise, prophets don’t have such power, so they can’t intercede in that way. Yet, that’s not the claim I’m refuting right now. That’s closer to making prophets deities and it’s not what the people are saying. What people are saying is that Muhammad will pray for us, not that he’s going to do divine works.

Let me note that there are also such claims out there. That is, claims that Muhammad will actually go into Hell and drag people out. Although these claims also say that his doing that would be based on Allah giving him the power and the permission to do so, it means that he would need a more miraculous ability than what prophets have. Prophets pray, so claiming that he will pray is not out the range, but prophets don’t go in and out of hell on errands, so it would be another discussion in itself.

.

Rather, most of this discussion is about the claim that Muhammad will pray for us on Judgement Day, which is also a form of intercession, and which is a more reasonable claim than saying that He will go into Hell and drag people out.

Admittedly prophets can intercede in the matters of their communities in several ways, and prayer is one of them. While alive, a prophet can give people advice, give out food, and so on and they can pray for their people. This last one, prayer, is the form of intercession that is the main subject of this discussion.

Intercessory prayer is found in the stories of the prophets and reported in the Holy Books. According to the books of Allah, Noah, Abraham, Jesus, and Muhammad all prayed for their people, and other prophets did too. However, all of that took place while they were alive.

In the case of intercession by prayer, and this is because prayer itself is a supplication, not an act of it’s own commission, then the problem of having enough power to intercede may appear to be transferred to the thing you’re asking from. But the problem isn’t transferred. The problem of whether or not Muhammad can intercede is still there, whether he goes to Allah or not. The question is ‘Does he have the power to intercede?’.

While Allah can intercede in the affairs of the person who is being prayed for, that’s Allah’s attribute, not the prophet’s, and so it’s not the focus of the verse. In verses 43 and 44 of az Zumar, the roles are given. The claimed intercessors can’t intercede because they don’t the sovereignty to do so, while Allah owns all intercession because he has sovereignty over the entire Heavens and Earth.

The arabic verb ‘yamliku’ which means to own or possess or to have dominion is used twice. One for the claimed intercessors (‘laa yamlikuna shay’ / they don’t have sovereignty over anything) nd oce for Allah (‘lahu l mulku samaawaati wal ardh’ / for Him is the sovereignty of the Heavens and the Earth). It’s clear that the sovereignty and the power to intercede go hand in hand.

So the verse “Say: Even if they have not the power …” is to be applied to the intercessor itself, not another thing which he is interacting with. Even if I have the money, I can’t intercede to get you a plane ticket if the ticket office is already closed and the plane is taking off. You had to get a ticket before that.

This is the mechanics of intercession.

Two important dynamics are mentioned in the verse: power and cognisance, and the first of them, power, is still under discussion.

The power problem can be phrased like this: “Does the prophet have the power to offer his intercession, even if only in the form of a prophet’s prayer, not working directly on the souls in the works of deities”?

No, according to the Qur’an, he doesn’t have the power to intercede on Judgement Day, because he doesn’t have the power to do so.

If a questioner asked me: “What do you mean, Abdullah? He doesn’t have the power to do what? To change souls like a deity can?”.

Then I would say: At the time of Judgement, he has neither the power to change souls nor the power to intercede for them with prayer.

Allah is the Malik of the Day which means the power-holder, the king. He is the King of the Day of Recompense (Qur’an surah al Fatiha). In Arabic, the one who has ‘mulk’ (sovereignty) is a ‘malik’ (sovereign / king). If an intercessor had a certain power, he would be a malik of that power.

As for the second dynamic mentioned in the verse, it is cognition or intellect (‘aql).

For what I know, may Allah have mercy on me, the prophet’s cognition is also not sufficient for Judgement Day intercession on behalf of souls, whether acting like a deity or simply a prophet coming as an advocate.

Why should I say so? In the first case, that is the case of a prophet-god, then the prophet would have knowledge that only Allah has. So that can’t be. There are no prophet-gods. There are no gods but Allah.

Then in the second case, that is where the prophet prays for people on Judgeemnt Day, it is also not going to happen, because prayer, if it be an act of intercession in the court of judgement, will still leave the prophet with a cognisance failure: you can’t pray for something that you don’t know about. Unless Muhammad knows the judgements of souls, he’s not fit to pray for them in the court of judgment. He can’t be a jury member, giving his recommendation to the judge, unless he has full information of their cases.

Noah couldn’t pray for his son whom Allah condemned. Noah said: “My Lord, I seek refuge in You from asking that of which I have no knowledge” (Qur’an surah Hud).

So the problem of cognition. If the prophet could physically intercede for people, like going into Hell and dragging people out, he’d need to have cognisance of who was worthy of Heaven and who was worthy Hell. Since he can’t cognise that, it means he can’t intercede.

And likewise, even if we don’t consider physical superhuman physical intercession, but we simply discuss intercessory prayer, the prophet would still need to have knowledge of, or cognisance of, who was worthy of his prayer and who not, but this knowledge is not in the hands of the prophets, and they are not permitted to pray for whom Allah is condemning.

So, can a prophet be given the power and the cognisance to pray for us on Judgement Day? That is the discussion of the permission to intercede. This part was about the mechanics of intercession, not so much the permission.

Permission to intercede was discussed before this section in a mention of the general: being the supreme or overriding power of Allah in all cases of intercession and after this section in a mention of the specific: being the revelations about judgment time itself and the rejection of intercession therein.

 

The Qur’an says

  • we have no intercessors besides Allah

 

It is Allah who created the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them in six days; then He established Himself above the Throne. You have not besides Him any protector or any intercessor; so will you not be reminded?

 

The above verse is in surah as Sajdah. The chapter is about the Greatness of Allah. This is not a misinterpretation. It’s easy. There is no intercessor for us but Allah. That’s what He has revealed to us.

 

The Qur’an says

  • we are warned about it

 

And warn by the Qur’an those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord – for them besides Him will be no protector and no intercessor – that they might become righteous (Qur’an 6:51).

 

6:51 starts with “Wa anzhir” which means and warn. Allah would not give us a warning about something unless there was a danger. Subhaanallah!

Furthermore, the fact that we, along with our messenger, have to give a warning about this, means that it is a fundamental part of our mission. Subhaanallah!

It’s a great tragedy that many believers are unaware of this and that many are in fact calling people to the opposite of what this verse commands us: many are calling people to take Muhammad as an intercessor! Allah is the Acceptor of Repentance. Allah is the Most Merciful.

 

The Qur’an says

  • there is no intercession at the time of Judgement, and intercession will not be accepted at that time, and intercession will not be of benefit at that time, which are more or less three different ways of stating the same thing

 

And fear a Day when no soul will suffice for another soul at all, nor will intercession be accepted from it, nor will compensation be taken from it, nor will they be aided (Qur’an 2:48).

 

And fear a Day when no soul will suffice for another soul at all, and no compensation will be accepted from it, nor will any intercession benefit it, nor will they be aided (Qur’an 2:123).

 

O you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you before there comes a Day in which there is no exchange and no friendship and no intercession. And the disbelievers – they are the wrongdoers.

In the world, we intercede for each other, and Allah has permitted that. It’s mentioned in surah An-Nisa. Yet on Judgement Day, we can’t speak unless Allah permits, and we can’t intercede for each other any more, as Allah has told us in surah Al Baqarah.

 

We know from verses of the Qur’an that intercession will not be accepted on Judgement Day, will not benefit, and will not happen. Allah is The Master of the Day of Judgement and the Master has told the servants about that event.

 

Why many people aren’t accepting what the Qur’an says about intercession

 

Fruitless hope in false Intercessors is a mistake that mankind has been destined to commit

Qur’an 6:94

You have come to Us each on his own, just as We created you the first time, and you have left behind what We had provided for you. We do not see with you your intercessors whom you claimed were associates with you. All ties between you have been cut off and that which you were claiming has deserted you.

 

Tadzakkur failure.

Tadzakkur is the making of effort to achieve dzikr, or rememberance. People are not making sufficient effort to receive Allah’s revealed rememberance, held back by:

  • desires,
  • lack of persistence,
  • lack of precision,
  • seeking money,
  • seeking to agree with people,
  • and other factors.

 

The Qur’an says in chapter 32, verse 4, teaching us of Allah’s greatness:

It is Allah Who has created the heavens and the earth, and all between them, in six Days, and is firmly established on the Throne: you have none, besides Him, to protect or intercede for you: will you not then receive admonition.

Although this verse states clearly that there is no intercessor besides Allah himself, there is a key to accepting this: you have to be willing to take the admonition: ‘Will you not take the admonition?’ / ‘A fa laa tatadzakkaruun?’.

 

The phrase ‘a fa laa tatadzakkaruun?’ means ‘Won’t you heed the reminder?’. The same phrase as appears in the above verse (32:4) was used by Abraham when his people were rejecting his call!

 

The Qur’an says in surah 6, verse 80, reporting the discussion between Abraham and his people, who were polytheists:

His people disputed with him. He said: “Do you dispute with me about Allah, when He has guided me? I don’t fear what you associate with Allah: [Nothing can happen] unless my Lord wills. My Lord comprehends in His knowledge all things. Will you not be admonished?

 

Bayan distortions

The distorted understanding of what Allah really meant with ‘bayan’ (explanation) by a large section of scholars. Following some of the errors of the People of The Book, it means over-reliance on man-made techniques in interpretation of the meaning of the Holy Book.

The Qur’an in verse 184 of surah al Baqarah says that it is guidance and also evidence for the guidance and for the criterion (bayyinaat). Many scholars have strayed in their evidential criteria and methods, so that they take the religion from a mix of revelation and scientific work, not just from revelation.

While I don’t carry an outright objection to science and logic, they can never be put on the same platform as revelation. They must be subjugated to the guidance of Allah, the revealed guidance that the prophets received. The techniques of logic, meditation, and the like must not overrun the mind or the heart.

The messengers weren’t as much scholars of interpretation as conveyors of Allah’s explanations and such information as He chose to give them (bayan). While the scholars are wont to use scholarship and it does us both good and terrible harm.

Applying Islam with the Qur’an

Praise be to Allah. The Qur’an is the one and only holy book that Muhammad was commanded to read and to convey to us, peace be upon him.

What’s the difference between applying Islam by reading and understanding the Qur’an and applying Islam through other media, such as the hadiths or through watching Islamic films? It’s such a big difference that it can’t be measured.

Reading the Qur’an is the right approach to Islam

The Qur’an is a book of light. The Qur’an is 100% error-free. The Qur’an was arranged by Allah himself. The Qur’an is the truth and it touches your soul like a key in a lock. It brings peace and submission to the chest of a human being. Reading it returns us to our good nature.

The Qur’an is consistent. The Qur’an was made easy. The Qur’an is protected. The Qur’an was sent as a mercy. The Qur’an is the reminder. The Qur’an is a criterion. The Qur’an is a revelation from God.

Not Muhammad, nor any other messenger of Allah, has described the hadith collections with these terms. Not as revelation, not as the truth, not as a mercy, not as the reminder or the criterion. Some of the hadiths may carry these aspects in some quantities, but not in an absolute sense.

The hadiths or ahadith (‘ahadith’ is the arabic plural of ‘hadith’) contain a percentage of truth, and some portion of light, but not the pure light or the pure truth.

The Qur’an calls us to the Qur’an, not to the sunnah

I have a version of the Qur’an which has an index. This copy is a hardback version distributed by the Saudi government. It has both Arabic and English text. In the index of that Qur’an, there is a list of headwords indicating various topics found within the Qur’an, and next to each headword, is a series of references indicating where the Qur’an mentions that topic – in which surah and in which ayat or ayaat.

For example, the entry for ‘Noah’ lists all the references in the Qur’an to Noah or his story. Under the headword ‘Noah’, there are 36 references, occurring across 29 chapters of the Qur’an.

The index entry for ‘Qur’an’ takes up almost a whole page of the index. More than the entry for Noah. This shows us that the Qur’an talks a lot about the Qur’an. As for ‘sunnah’, there’s no entry in the index for it. The Qur’an has never mentioned the sunnah of the messenger using the term ‘sunnaturasul’ (‘sunnaturasul’ means ‘the sunnah of the messenger’). That’s right. There’s no entry for ‘sunnah’ in the index of the Saudi government English language manuscript of the Qur’an.

Although significant aspects of the life of the messenger have been shown in the holy Qur’an, and they are indeed part of the messenger’s sunnah, nevertheless this material is not presented in the Qur’an as ‘the sunnah’ or ‘the messenger’s sunnah’. It’s just not quranic phrasology.

And that’s signifcant because Allah calls us to read the Qur’an in order to learn about the universe, the social world, and the messengers. The Qur’an is the sourcebook for learning about Muhammad, peace be upon him, yet it doesn’t have a chapter called ‘the sunnah’ and it doesn’t introduce this phrase at all, anywhere, ever.

The closest the Qur’an comes to the sunnah phrasology is to say “you have indeed, in the messenger of Allah, a good example…”. Even then, the verse is contextual (Q 33:21), referring to faith and commitment in religion, and doesn’t call for the detailed life description that has taken place.

I’m not trying to attack the sunnah. I’m simply noting that describing and analysing the life of Muhammad in as much detail as possible and making the study of it a cornerstone of the religion, is not an act that the Qur’an has explicitly called for, although the Qur’an does say “and as for the blessings of your Lord, then tell stories about them” (Surah 93), which seems to me to permit it.

The benefits of the description of the life of Muhammad are no doubt great, but the errors that have come from it are also great. The point of this article to correctly understand what the sunnah is and what it’s role is.

I believe that a wise Muslim will accept the good things that come from learning the messenger’s sunnah, but will yet focus on learning Islam through studying and reciting the book of God, the Qur’an.

Reading the Qur’an will lead you to understand the messenger’s life and it will give you the most important parts. Of course, the Qur’an teaches a Muslim about everything.

The fact that the sunnah paradigm is not part of the Qur’an shows us that ‘Muhammad’s sunnah’ should not be the primary paradigm for understanding or practicing Islam.

The case of someone who can’t read the Qur’an

If a simple-minded Muslim couldn’t understand the Qur’an and wanted to view Islam through the example of a Muhammad, the great exponent of Islam, then learning from the sunnah might appear to be another option. However, did Allah command this person to take such a path? Does Allah command anyone to read the sunnah instead of the Qur’an? No. So it doesn’t seem like a wise option after all. Allah is wise and if Allah doesn’t call us to do it, then it’s not wise thing to do.

If the sunnah was taken as a Muslim’s primary paradigm, it would open the door to speculation and error, as it’s a source that was not codified in revelation. Rather, it was documented by regular humans with regular pens, and it thus contains human error. I believe we should love the sunnah of the messenger, and that is not a primary source of the religion. I don’t call it a primary source of Islam. Allah knows best.

 

Thank you for reading this article. Allah is the Most Gracious.

Abdullah

O Mankind! Worship your Lord Who Created You.

This article is based on the revelation of God, the Qur’an. It is taken from what is found in lines 20-25 of chapter 2 of the Qur’an, which has been called The Chapter of the Cow (Surah Al Baqarah).

God has communicated clearly in it. He calls all mankind to worship Him. Muhammad, being the prophet to all people who haven’t yet had a prophet as well the prophet to those who have, has to address all mankind. He has called out to us: “O people! Worship your Lord!”.

While in the mission of Jesus the call was to The Children of Israel, Muhammad’s call is not specifically for one tribe. In Arabic, it’s “Yaa ayyuha an-nas”, which I have translated as “O people”, or “O mankind”.

All mankind is called to worship God. Why should we worship God? He created us and He created all the good things we have.

In the advice of the Qur’an, we’ve been reminded to worship God who set out the earth for us and set the sky over us and who sends down the rains and brings out our provision with the rains. You eat the provision, don’t you? You like your favourite fruit, don’t you? You appreciate the sunshine that shines down upon the fruit trees, don’t you?

If you love nature’s delights, it’s natural to feel gratitude towards the provider of them. And this feeling of gratitude is inside people, it’s in our nature. Worship is a more directed or more developed expression of this gratitude.

By worshipping God, we will get piety. If we truly believe and do good works, we will keep the good things we have and enjoy more good things. So worship is a step that leads to spiritual happiness.

How do we know there is a connection between worshipping and attaining piety? The end of the sentence in the holy book (Qur’an 2:20) says “that you attain piety”. Worship God so that you become pious. Piety is good to attain because piety causes a person to receive all kinds of other blessings from God, including more understanding of everything.

So, the message to us all is: worship your Creator who provided you with your favourite delights. Thus, you will know God better, and logically you will have spiritual development. Just like you can develop in other domains like science, how to love, how to earn, and so on, you can also develop spiritually.

Praise be to God who has provided for me and all mankind again and again.

The Qur’an on Intercession

The Quranic statements on intercession are generally warnings against, rather than encouragements towards, an intercessorial eschatology.

 

NO INTERCESSION ON THE DAY OF RECOMPENSE

Qur’an 2:254

Believers, give away some of what We have provided for you before a Day arrives on which there is no trading, no close friendship and no intercession. It is the disbelievers who are the wrongdoers.

The above verse states that there is no intercession on some day which is coming. I assume it means the Day of Recompense (Yaum id-Deen).

Many believers believe that Muhammad will act as an intercessor on that day, based on reports of the prophets statements which say that he claimed that he would be interceding on the Day of Recompense.

It is difficult for me to believe that these reports are accurate because they appear to contradict the above verse in the Qur’an, and other verses. At this point in time, I do not believe those hadith to be true, and Allah knows best if they are or not.

The following verse from the Qur’an gives me support for my view, and yet Allah knows best what the truth of the matter is. The following verse is not about the belief in judgement day intercession as such, but rather a warning that the prophet had to give the believers.

Qur’an 6:51

Give the warning to those who fear that they will be brought before their Lord: Except for Him, they will have no protector nor intercessor. Thus they may fear God.

I believe that in the above verse, the Master of The Day of Recompense has prepared the attendees of the day by revealing a great tip to us. The tip is:

If you want to be pious, hear that there is no intercession.

Qura’an 82:17-19

And what will make you know what The Day of Recompense is? Again, what will make you know what The Day or Recompense is? It is a day when no soul will avail another, and the command, that day, will be with Allah.

After these statements from the Master of the Day of Recompense, I cannot understand why people are ready to believe that Muhammad will intercede on their behalf on the Day of Recompense. It may be that I’m blind. Perhaps I’m misinterpreting the verses. If so, please correct me with polite and detailed explanations, so that I may be guided.

 

AUTHORITY TO EXPLAIN THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT

These are not statements from unauthorised parties. The Master of The Day of Recompense has given us a certain amount of information regarding the program of events on the Day of Gathering. We can read this information in advance so we know how to prepare.

Where is the intercession by a prophet? I don’t know how I could agree to it after reading the above verses. Did Muhammad contradict himself? It’s not possible. One of the points of view must be wrong.

I want to be kind, not harsh, to the scholars of my brotherhood. My brothers in faith who have collected hadith, reported hadith, and analysed hadith are not my enemies. If they fight me over interpretation, they may end up as enemies, but there is no fight.

Discussions of the meanings of the Qur’an are are a source of difference among people of a faith – the believers. However, I don’t think we can fight over them. I think Allah would be displeased with us if we did.

 

CONCLUSION

My intellect cannot accept the hadith about Muhammad’s alleged intercession on the Day of Recompense. It appears to me to contradict the Book of God. If I’m wrong, I hope Allah will forgive me and guide me to a better understanding.

 

Abdullah Reed

Sketching Islamic Linguistics

Sketching Islamic Linguistics

 

Bismillahirahmaaniraheem

 

Dear reader, please read with your mind alert. If you’re Muslim, please pray to Allah for his help.


What is Islamic linguistics?

When you see “Bismillahirahmaaniraheem” in the front section of a book or on a wedding invitation, its an islamic use of language, so in my opinion its an example of applied Islamic linguistics.

Many people would call it something that Muslims do. Yes, we do. From a regular perspective, its just something that Muslims do. For a student of language usage, its an Islamic linguistic act.

When a believer says “Assalaamu alaykum” its Islamic and at the same time, its a linguistic prescription. Therefore, I believe its an Islamic linguistic prescription.

 

The Limits of the Sketch

The limits of Islamic linguistics are probably beyond what you can imagine. Try to visualise the mountains singing the praises of Allah along with David, and try to imagine the beauty of his voice.

Imagine a bird chatting with Solomon. The limits of the Islamic study of language are known only to the Almighty. He created languages and He knows best about them.

Noble reader, let us praise and thank Allah for blessing us with the stories of these two great men and their miraculous relationships with the natural world. Glory be to Allah, the Exalted, the Holy.

Let us remember that they were grateful to Allah for these favours, not proud. They knew that the relationship to nature is only a way of relating to Allah, and that it is not, in itself, either an original cause or a final result.

Imagine Jesus giving advice to his mother, the noble Mary. The Qur’an is a book of truth, and so with certainty in its truth, we can imagine or visualise the stories in the Qur’an. Let us praise Allah again!

What about the Day of Judgement: nobody will speak except for whom Allah permits. Glory be to Allah, Master of The Day of Judgement.

This gives us another limit. It is a limit of human speech, that we cannot speak except with Allah’s permission.

Within The Limits

If the above are some of the limits of the sketch, then what is within the limits? The centre of the sketch would seem to be our own daily lives and the language that we use in them, because I find that Islam is for the believing human being and Islam is not difficult or occult or highly theoretical; it is quite practical and the user is the believer.

This area of the sketch, the area within the limits, may be divided into further subdivisions. I choose to categorise them as: acquiring language, using language, and I suppose we should recognise losing language, although it seems that its not as interesting as a subject of study, compared to acquisition.

Knowledge of Language

Allah has blessed us with language and the evidence for this is in the Qur’an. The verses of the Qur’an show that we know language from an innate process. The fact that Jesus spoke as a baby also confirms that Allah is the creator of language and that it is innate.

The believer will have a certain amount of natural speech ability, and then he or she must work to improve upon that. Moses is a good example for us. A man of great faith, he called on his Lord for help when he felt insecure about his own linguistic skills (20:25-28).

I see the Qur’an that Allah may improve us through inspiration ot through teaching. Perhaps there are other ways as well. There probably are. Allah knows best. I don’t know much.

I want to make it clear again, that this essay is a short note, not a complete thesis. I think the qur’an has more about language than what I’ve mentioned so please don’t take this work as any kind of compendium.

Uses of Language

I think this area requires research and discussion, so that we can observe and describe our our speech, as believers who are targetting Allah’s pleasure. There are many books already about speaking to win the pleasure of Allah. I don’t know the names of their titles. I recommend the reader to find them and read them, though. I think they usually mention speaking with honesty, sincerity, clarity, beauty, and in a way that benefits people.

Then we have speaking to Allah through prayer, repentance, and seeking refuge. This is clearly different from the speech that we direct at other human beings.

Humility and submission would appear to be at the heart of this kind speech. Again, Allah knows best. I suggest the Qur’an as the reference; I don’t claim full knowledge of the subject.

As for the speech which we direct at other human beings, I’ve found many practical linguistic commands in the Qur’an. The following list is just what I remember at the moment.

I don’t know if a systematic description of all relevant verses, listed with extensive detail of theory and technique would be ideal for perfecting your speech or understanding languages.

That may be too technical. I find that experience is a good teacher, together with a complement of prayer before speaking, some rehearsal, some repentance, and getting feedback from those who hear you speak.

I think that short books are often more useful than long ones, and in this matter, a huge directory may do more harm than good because speech is not an isolated matter – it is always connected to and coloured by the message that is to be communicated, the audience, your natural abilities, the social environment you are in, and so forth.

Part of the beauty of the Qur’an is its simplicity and another part is the applicability. I think that if we take a too librarianistic approach to language, we may end up with a worse result than a diligent student who reads the Qur’an regularly, leads a right life, and acts as he is commanded to act. Allah knows best.

Examples of speech injunctions are: the command to say that which is good (17:53), the command to say what conforms with your behaviour (61:1-2), and many direct commands to speak, which are found throughout the Qur’an and begin with the Arabic word “Qul”.

The example of a good word, found in Surah 14, is a linguistic precept. The example of a good word is that of a good tree: it gives its fruit again and again.

Noble reader, please assist. Allah is the One who rewards. He will know it if your tongue moves to announce a single word with the intention of pleasing Him, or a whole sentence, or more than that or less. Praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Please forgive me if there are any errors. All goodness is from Allah.

Islam and Philosophy of Language

Peace be upon the reader, God willing

This is only a brief booklet. I hope it will help linguists, language teachers, and language users to know what language is for and to be grateful to God for language.

I’ve uploaded this document: Islam and Philosophy of Language.

Abdullah Reed

Institutionalised Ideologies

Peace be with the servants of God.


HOPING IT WILL BRING YOU PEACE..

I INVITE YOU TO READ ABOUT ISLAM


SOURCES OF ERROR AND PAIN AND THE LIKE


We see terrorism, honour killings, corrupt rule, and so forth coming out of societies of Muslims, so how do some Muslims deviate from the divine religion which is perfect? In this reading I mention the difference between human error and ideological error and how they affect us.

Human Error

Turning to human error first: some of the pain of this world is not caused by errors in people’s relationships to God, but simply failures to execute. I.e. a person understands correctly, but fails in action. Call it human error. In this situation, there is no ideological problem, as such.

If an action is sanctioned by Islam, then turmoil that springs from human error occurring in the execution of it could not be harmful to society at large. If human errors committed while acting upon Islamic commands caused society at large to suffer, then Islam would be harmful to the world.

Is that possible? No. Did Allah ask Muslims to be perfect? No. Would Allah make make us suffer just because of that? No. Allah said that He would grant peace to society run by Islam. Islam brings peace.

Ideological  Error

Ideological error causes suffering. That is because it is not from God. Allah doesn’t order us to write ideologies. He wrote ideology for us. He knows we err a little, but He would never direct us to an ideological error that caused millions to suffer. We do that. We misguide ourselves.

In fact, this is a point that we must note. The sign of an ungodly ideology is that it causes suffering. Let me make my point now that I want to get across, and the point of this article:

The sign of an ungodly ideology is that it causes suffering. If it was from God then it could not.

Allah reveals to human beings sufficient religion for a happy life, and societies who fail to accept the religion, or they change it, or they disabuse it in some way, they fail to reap the benefits of divine revelations and they misguide themselves in some way.

Making Error Into Ideological Error

Institutionalising an ideology will magnify the error. Looking at the behaviour of the people, we can see whether an idea has become an institution. Once a group of followers begin manifesting a particular behaviour or belief regularly, in significant number, then there is institutional regulation of some kind behind it. Usually it can also be observed written into creeds and laws.

Examples of Institutionalised Religion

Sunni Islam and Shia Islam are man-made forms of institutionalised religion. They are not found in revelation. The words ‘sunnah’ and ‘shi’a’ are found in the Qur’an, but never mentioned as religions, nor placed together with the word ‘Islam’. Each of these terms (Sunni and Shi’a) has a literal meaning.

The literal meaning is not the point here. Any idea could become an institution if linked to the word ‘Islam’, especially if people are enticed to believe in it. You could have Mango Islam or Macadamia Islam, even both, if you sanctified them enough.

This may sound crazy, but its actually not too far from reality. There are sects that sanctify their own ancestors and claim it is the real Islam, and others who sanctify leaders, particular days, particular scholars, particular verses of the Qur’an, and so on. Usually, each group claims that their ‘Islam’ is the right one.

All of that is idol worship. We know this from the Qur’an itself, which dismissed sectarianism as idolatrous and forbade us from institutionalising man-made ideologies.