Is intercession allowed on the Day of Judgement?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Surah Taaha Chapter 20 Verse 109

"On that Day shall no Intercession avail Except for those for whom Permission has been granted By (God) most gracious  And whose word is Acceptable to Him"


Here God Almighty states that intercession will be allowed. Can you clarify this compared to the other verses where the Almighty states that there will be no intercession by anyone for anyone.



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Is intercession allowed on the Day of Judgement?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Yes, there is a concept of Shafa’a in Islam, in the Quran and in the recorded words of the Messenger of Allah (saws). 


Allow me to relate a simple example to prove my point:

Even this world, if there is a ruler or a king, and he is known to forgive criminals only because the criminals have some ‘shafei’ or intercessor with the ruler, he would be considered an unjust ruler. Imagine this unjust kingdom, where a person can kill someone, or not pay taxes, or do anything criminal he wants, as he knows and takes care of so and so who is the beloved of the ruler!   And the ruler will not be able to punish him, because this ‘shafei’ or intercessor, who is the beloved of the ruler,  will always take him out of trouble!   Even in this world, any ruler who follows this sort of system, would be considered an unjust king and an unjust kingdom!   But our Lord is The ‘Al Aadil’, the All Just!   Can you imagine that in His kingdom in the Hereafter, He will decide with Injustice!   Can you believe that He will forgive criminals only because they gathered every year, wailed and cried for 10 days every year of their life for one of His beloved slaves?   Is this the system of Justice that will be prevalent in the Court of Allah?   Glory be to Allah, for all the falsehood that they ascribe to Him!    


But if you were to ask me, is there a concept of ‘shafaa’ or intercession in Islam, the answer is, Yes!  There is ‘shafaa’, and that ‘shafaa’ is solely in the hands of Allah. Allah will choose whoever He wills to make ‘shafaa’ on. Neither the ‘shafei’ nor the one expecting ‘shafaa’ will have any power to choose anything!  


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumar verses 44: What!  Have they taken besides Allah others as ‘shofa’a’ (intercessors)?  Say to them, “Will they intercede even if they have no power whatever nor understanding?”  Say, “Shafa’a is wholly in the Power of Allah Alone!”.   His is the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth.  Then to Him you will be returned.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 34 Surah Saba verse 26: Say, “Our Lord will gather us all together, then He will Judge between us with Truth.  He Alone is the One Who Decides, and He Alone Knows everything.”


Yes, there will be ‘Shafa’a’, simply because Allah says Himself in the Holy Quran so!   But it will not be according to the names we have nominated, nor will the ‘shafei’ themselves have any power to choose whom they want to intercede for! Allah Alone will decide who among His slaves will intercede for which of His slaves!   No one, absolutely no one, will have the power to influence the decision of Allah in the least!  And Allah may Honor anybody among His slaves to give intercession to anyone He wills!   And the person giving intercession will only speak the Truth.  In this world a powerful intercessor who is close to the ruler can come to the ruler who has imprisoned his friend who is a criminal and tell the ruler that there might have been a mistake as he personally knows the person to be a good person!   But in the Court of Allah, no such lies will be spoken.   The language will be one of Truth!!!


Let me relate a worldly example of the right concept of Shafaa, which is evident in light of the Holy Quran:

In an university graduation,  it is always the University who decides who passes and who fails.   But they do honor somebody to come as a chief guest and hand out the certificates to the graduates.    This chief guest has no power of his own and he cannot choose whom he wills to pass or fail.   He just hands out the certificates.   Similarly,  in the Court of Allah,  Allah will decide who goes to Paradise and who goes to Hell Fire.   Allah will Honor anyone of His chosen slaves He wills to intercede for one who Allah decides deserves intercession!   


Allah has not revealed any names of these intercessors in the Holy Quran, but the most Truthful man who ever walked on this planet earth, Mohamed ar Rasool Allah (saws), said that Allah has granted him this honor.   But, we must keep in mind, that it is not as if he (saws) can take anyone he wants out of the fire of Hell, because he (saws) repeatedly said he will not be able to do that.  And if Mohamed (saws) is not able to take anybody out of Allah’s punishment, just imagine what chances do the names we have created ourselves have in the court of Allah?  If Mohamed (saws) himself told his aunt Hadrat Safiyya (r.a.) and his beloved daughter Hadrat Fatema bint Mohamed (r.a.), that he (saws) would not be able to help them from Allah’s punishment,   what are our chances of attaining intercession from these names that we have invented as our ‘shafeis’ without any authority to do so?


When Allah revealed the verse: "Warn your nearest kinsmen," Allah's Apostle (saws) got up and said, "O people of Quraish (or said similar words)! Buy (i.e. save) yourselves (from the Hellfire) as I cannot save you from Allah's punishment; O Bani Abd Manaf! I cannot save you from Allah's punishment, O Safiya, the Aunt of Allah's Apostle! I cannot save you from Allah's punishment; O Fatima bint Muhammad! Ask me anything from my wealth, but I cannot save you from Allah's punishment."


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 78 Surah Naba verses 38: The Day when the Spirit (Jibrael) and the angels shall be standing up in ranks (means..Day of Judgement), none shall speak except the one whom the Merciful may permit, and (the one permitted) will only speak what is right.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 20 Surah Taha verses 108-109: On that Day the people will come straight to the call of the summoner!  No one will dare show any haughtiness, and all the voices will be hushed before the Merciful and you will hear nothing but a whispering murmur.   On that Day, no intercession shall avail save his, whom the Merciful may allow to intercede and be pleased to give him a hearing.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 19 Surah Maryam verses 87: (On that Day) no one shall have the ability to make ‘shafaa’, except the one who may have received permission from the Merciful.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 34 Surah Saba verse 23: (On that Day) no intercession before Allah can avail anyone, except for the one for whom Allah permits it.  So much so, that when the dread is gone from their hearts, the people will ask (the intercessors),  “What reply did your Lord give?”.   They will reply, “The Right reply!”.   And Allah Alone is the Exalted, the Great.


Thus in light of the Holy Quran, there is a concept of Shafa’a in Islam,  but some unscrupulous people have taken it to the extreme.  Rather than following the commandments of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), and living their lives according to the Will of Allah, they just depend on the ‘shafa’a’ of their self-appointed ‘shafeis’!  These people are going to have nothing but regrets on the Day of Judgment, and they will have no one to blame except themselves!!    No member of the Prophet’s (saws) noble family ever claimed that he/she will be your intercessor in the Court of Allah…  This is a lie that some unscrupulous men have attributed to the noble ‘ahle-bayt’. 


But some people have taken the wrong concept of Shafaa, and have started nominating who they want the Shafeis to be, and on whom the Shafaa should be accepted!   This is absolutely the wrong concept of Shafaa,  as Allah states clearly in the Quran,  that Shafaa is in the Power of Allah Alone!   He Alone will Decide who will be the Shafei and from whom the Shafaa will be accepted.   He has not given us the Power to nominate our Shofaa!!


The truth is there is a concept of Shafa’a in Islam,  but it will not be according to our choice.   We cannot nominate some people and advice Allah, that we have chosen these people as our ‘Shafeis’!!!   Nor can the Shafeis nominate themselves the ones that they wish to make Shafa’a for!!!   Allah Alone will decide who are the Shafeis and for whom the Shafa’a will be accepted by Allah.  This is the concept of Shafaa propagated by Allah in the Holy Quran.


And Yes, one of the most truthful person to ever exist on this planet earth, Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws), himself said that Allah had granted him the ‘maqaam’ of Shafei!  And he (saws) did not say this from himself, but rather he only spoke what Allah bade him to speak!  


He (saws) never mentioned that Allah had granted the Power of Shafaa to anybody else from his family or his noble ‘ahle-bayt’!  Neither did he (saws) ever advice or exhort us to depend on this. The whole Quran is full of aayahs whereby Allah exhorts the believers to believe and do righteous deeds!   It is only the deeds of a person which will determine whether he is worthy of Paradise or not!   


The problem is that, we start to nominate the names of our pious and holy people to be our Shafeis!  This is where the problem happens.  Yes, the Messenger of Allah (saws) himself said that Allah had granted him this Power of Shafaa.   But did he (saw) ever mention that Allah had granted the power of shafaa to his descendants?   Did the noble companions of the Prophet (saws) ever claim that Allah had appointed them to be shafaas?   Did the noble ‘ahle-bayt’ ever claim that Allah had appointed them to be shafaas on the Day of Judgement?  In light of the Holy Quran, we CANNOT NOMINATE whom we want our Shafaas to be!   And this is where the problem lies….


Once we nominate our shafaas ourselves, then we start doing deeds to please them. We start visiting their graves, we start celebrating their birthdays; we start mourning the days of their death; we gather and repeat fiery stories of their lives and incidents; we wail, mourn and beat ourselves in commemoration of their lives; etc.  Did Allah command us to do these deeds?    Did the Messenger of Allah (saws) do these kind of deeds for the loss of his loved ones?   Did the Messenger of Allah (saws) gather everybody on the anniversary of Uhud every year and give fiery speeches about the martyrdom of his beloved uncle, Hadrat Hamza (r.a.)?  Did the Messenger of Allah (saws) wail, mourn and beat himself in commemoration of the martyrdom of his loved ones?  No, brother!  All these acts that we do today in the name of Islam, have absolutely no basis in the Quran, nor the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws).  These are ‘bidahs’ or innovations, that we have invented ourselves, and we assume that Allah and those noble ‘ahle-bayt’ will be pleased with our these deeds!  The only thing that will please Allah, Mohamed (saws), Ali (r.a.), Fatema (r.a.), Hasan (r.a.), Hussain (r.a.) and all the noble ‘ahle-bayt’ will be if we follow the commandments as laid out in the Holy Quran, and follow the way of the Messenger of Allah (saws).  That is what will please them!  And if we can do just that, then we can hope and pray to be amongst those on whom Allah will show Mercy.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,




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