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Intercession is a Manifestation of Mercy and Cooperation

The variation that exists among people is one of the approaches of Allah The Almighty for His creation. Thus some people are rich while others are poor, some people are noble while others are not, some people are high-ranking and wellborn while others are not, and so on.
People need one another. Some people may commit a mistake that subjects them to the punishment of those who could punish them, and such people may need assistance to avoid this punishment, if it is within the limits of the Sharee‘ah, of course. Hence, Islam encourages intercession. In a Hadeeth on the authority of Abu Moosa Al-Ash‘ari he said, “Whenever a needy person would come to the Prophet he would turn to those who were present and say: ‘Intercede [for him] so that you would be rewarded, and Allah decrees what He wills through the tongue of His Messenger.’”

Intercession is a Manifestation of Mercy

Intercession is a manifestation of mercy. Sometimes a person commits a mistake that results in no prescribed corporal punishment under the Sharee‘ah, but nevertheless it subjects him to the punishment of those who have authority or who are able to take revenge on him. In such a case mercy necessitates that those whose intercession can be of value should intercede on behalf of the person who repents and hopes to be forgiven. This happened to Al-Hurr ibn Qays when his uncle ‘Uyaynah ibn Hisn infuriated ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab by saying, “By Allah, you neither give us fairly nor rule justly.” When Al-Hurr saw the effect of these evil words on the Commander of Believers, ‘Umar and feared that he might punish his uncle, he interceded for him with ‘Umar saying, “O Commander of the Believers, Allah The Almighty Said to His Messenger (what means): {Take what is given freely, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant.} [Quran 7:199], and this [his uncle] is an ignorant man.” Therefore ‘Umar pardoned him.

Intercession to Fulfill Needs

When a person needs something lawfully from another person, mercy means interceding for him to fulfill his need. The Prophet would intercede with people to fulfill the needs of others. The father of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah died leaving him thirty Awsuq (a measure of volume) of dates that he owed to a Jew. Jabir asked the Jew to give him respite in repaying, but he refused. He asked the Messenger of Allah to intercede with the Jew for him. The Messenger of Allah went to the Jew and asked him to accept the fruits of his trees in place of the debt, but the Jew refused. The Messenger of Allah entered the date-palm garden, walked among the trees, and then said to Jabir: “Pick the fruit and give him his due.” Therefore, he picked the fruit for himself after the Prophet had departed and gave the Jew his thirty Awsuq, and still had seventeen Awsuq extra for himself.

In another situation the Prophet interceded with a woman to get her to return to her husband. In a Hadeeth on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaaas he said, “Bareerah's husband was a black slave called Mugheeth, and it is as if I am seeing him now, following Bareerah and weeping, with his tears flowing down his beard. The Prophet said to ‘Abbaaas : ‘O ‘Abbaas! Are you not astonished at the love of Mugheeth for Bareerah, and the hatred of Bareerah for Mugheeth?’ The Prophet then said to Bareerah: ‘Why do not you return to him?’ She said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, do you order me to do so?’ He said: ‘No, I am only interceding for him.’ She said, ‘I am in no need of him.’” [Al-Bukhari]

Thus, the Prophet was always keen to intercede for Muslims to fulfill their needs, offering his time, effort and high status to serve people out of his mercy towards his Ummah (nation).

Two Types of Intercession

Intercession is divided into two types: good and evil.

These types of intercession are mentioned in the Noble Quran, for Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Whoever intercedes for a good cause will have a reward therefrom; and whoever intercedes for an evil cause will have a burden therefrom. And ever is Allah, over all things, a Keeper.} [Quran 4:85]

Good intercession is that which is made to remove injustice, fulfill people’s needs, give people their rights, and to provide forgiveness and benevolence in situations where the Sharee‘ah recommends them to, reconciling people and the like. The one who undertakes this type of intercession is rewarded by Allah The Almighty.

Evil intercession is that which is made to cancel the execution of a Sharee‘ah prescribed corporal punishment, to take another’s rights unjustly or things of the sort.

This type of intercession causes a person to be sinful. Hence the Prophet was angered when Usamah ibn Zayd once interceded with him not to execute the prescribed corporal punishment of theft: In a Hadeeth on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah she said: "The Quraysh were very worried about the case of a woman from Banu Makhzoom [an esteemed tribe] who had committed theft and wondered who could intercede for her with the Messenger of Allah so that she would not be punished for her crime." They said, ‘No one but Usaamah ibn Zayd his beloved, could dare talk to him about this.’ So Usamah went and spoke to him about that matter. The Prophet said to him: ‘Are you attempting to intercede and have a prescribed corporal punishment ordained by Allah be waived?’ Then he got up and addressed the people, saying: ‘The people before you were ruined because when a noble person amongst them committed theft they would leave him, but if a weak person did so they would execute the prescribed punishment on him. By Allah, if Fatimah the daughter of Muhammad committed theft I would cut off her hand.’

Good intercession among Muslims is a manifestation of cooperation, mercy and sympathy, as clear in the Prophet’s advice to his Ummah when he said: “Intercede to be rewarded, and Allah decrees what He wills through the tongue of His Messenger.”

Finally, intercession should not be contingent on hoping that it will be accepted, since the interceder is rewarded regardless of the results of his intercession. 

Source: Islamweb

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