The Myth of Intercession

To believe that anyone, other than God, can intercede on our behalf to have our sins forgiven or our wishes fulfilled, is to set up partners with God. This is an act of 'shirk'.

1- The Quran proclaims that:

All intercession belongs to God. 39:44

A day to come in which there will be no trade, no friendship and no intercession. 2:254

We learn from the Quran that Abraham, God's beloved servant, could not intercede on behalf of his father (9:114). Noah could not intercede on behalf of his son (11:46). Muhammad could not intercede on behalf of his relatives (9:80).

Further confirmation that there will be no intercession on Judgement Day is given in: 2:48, 123; 6:51, 70; 7:53; 26:100; 30:13; 32:4; 36:23; 40:18; & 74:48.

2- In the following verse God ridicules all who claim that someone will intercede for them on Judgement Day:

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 'shurakaa' (partners) among you. All your means have been cut off and that which you have claimed has deserted you. 6:94

The Intercession advocates will naturally manipulate the content of 6:94 by saying this does not apply to Muslims, but any unbiased reader can see that God never excluded any people from the message of 6:94. The above words address all who claim to have intercessors, and thus these words also apply to all Muslims who claim that Muhammad will intercede for them.
The Quran proclaims that all who claim to have intercessors have indeed committed an act of shirk:

They worship besides God what does not harm them nor benefit them, and they say, "These are our intercessors at God." Say, "Are you informing God of something in the heavens or in the earth that He does not know?" Glory to Him and exalted is He, far above whatever they associate with Him.
10:18

In addition, the words in 6:94 are of great importance in defining all who advocate intercession as ones who are committing an act of shirk. We note the deliberate use of the word 'shurakaa' which is the corner stone of the act of 'shirk'. Those who advocate intercession are setting up partners (shurakaa) with God in His exclusive right as the only One to have any say on the Day of Judgement:

You (Muhammad) have no say in the matter as to whether He redeems them or He punishes them, for they are transgressors. 3:128

It is the day when no self possesses any power to help any other self, and all matters on that day will be decided by God alone.
82:19

To God belongs the unseen of the heavens and the earth and to Him all matters are returned. 11:123

As for the one who has deserved the decree of punishment, can you (Muhammad) rescue those who are in the fire? 39:19

Intercession can never change God's Judgement, so how can it benefit anyone?

The Word cannot be changed with Me and I am not unjust towards the servants. 50:29

3- How rational is the concept of intercession in principle? To analyse this concept we must first remind ourselves that in 4:48 God says that He forgives all sins except 'shirk' (setting up partners with God). We also read in 39:53 how God speaks of those who worship Him alone (ibadi), and thus who do not commit 'shirk', saying that He will forgive all their sins, even if they have exceeded all levels of transgression.

For the purpose of our analysis, we will divide all humans into 2 categories:

A- Ones who die as genuine worshippers of God alone and who were not practicing 'shirk' at the moment of death, albeit having committed numerous other sins.

B- Ones who died as disbelievers and also ones who were committing 'shirk' up to the moment of their death.

The immediate question here is as follows:

For which of the 2 categories of people would Muhammad, or any other messenger, intercede?

Would they be interceding for a believer who has not committed "shirk" (category A)? If yes, then their intercession is totally useless since God tells us that He will forgive all their sins anyway (39:53). The members of this category of people are in no need for human intercession. Indeed, there is no better intercessor for them than God; God is their only Intercessor:

Warn with it those who fear being summoned before their Lord, having no ally or intercessor apart from Him, so that they may be reverent. 6:51

You have none besides Him as an ally or an intercessor. Will you not be reminded? 32:4

Or, would they (the messengers) intercede for a disbeliever, or for a 'mushrik' (category B)?

The Quran makes it clear that both the mushrikeen and the disbelievers will never be forgiven:

God does not forgive shirk (setting up of partners with Him), and He forgives other than that for whomever He wills. Anyone who sets up partners with God has forged a gross sin. 4:48

Those who disbelieved, repelled from the path of God, then died as disbelievers, God will not forgive them. 47:34

As a result, no intercession is acceptable for a mushrik or a disbeliever. We read in 9:80 that God informed Muhammad that even if he asks forgiveness for them 70 times, God would still not forgive them because they are disbelievers. When Prophet Abraham tried to intercede for his idol worshipping father (19:47) he was reprimanded by God and so he refrained (9:114).

In 4:18 we read about one of God's unbreakable laws:

Not acceptable is the repentance of those who do bad deeds until death comes to one of them then he says, "Now I have repented." Nor is it acceptable from those who die as disbelievers. For those We have prepared a painful punishment. 4:18

The repentance of those who die as disbelievers will never be accepted by God, and they shall have a painful punishment. As a result, no intercession can benefit them, for no intercession can break the law set by God.

The input of all the Quranic verses above leads us to the following conclusions in relation to the 2 groups A and B above:

A- All the sins of the genuine believers will be forgiven by God (39:53), God is their only Intercessor (6:51). Therefore they do not need the intercession of any human.
B- On the other hand, we have all the disbelievers and 'mushrikeen' (those who set up partners with God). Their repentance will never be accepted. They will never be forgiven and no human is allowed to intercede for them.

4- When we consider the overall message of the Quran and all divine Scriptures, and we review what we are told about God's infinite mercy, we arrive at an even more serious matter. Based on an incorrect interpretation of 19:71, some scholars claim that all people will initially be placed in Hell, then they will taken out of Hell, but only after the intercession of Muhammad.
This scenario implies that Muhammad in fact had more mercy towards his followers than God, since he pleaded with God, and was allowed (as some hadith proclaims) to take his 'ummah' (nation) out of Hell!
The mere suggestion that the messenger of God asked God to re-consider and show more mercy on his people is outrageous to say the least!
Needless to say, this concept is in total violation of everything we know about God’s infinite mercy. This concept is in fact a grave insult to God.
God the Most Wise mocks this whole scenario with the words:

As for the one who has deserved the decree of punishment,
can you (Muhammad) rescue those who are in the fire? 39:19

In truth, the whole concept of intercession is nothing but a glaring, outrageous and blasphemous doctrine.

Special commentary on 2:255

To support the claim that Prophet Muhammad will intercede for his 'ummah' (nation) on Judgement Day, some scholars have used the following words in 2:255:

Who is he who could intercede with Him, except with His permission? 2:255

In 2:255 God speaks about those who cannot intercede, except if He gives the permission. This was quickly interpreted by these scholars to mean that God will give His permission to Muhammad to intercede. Do the words in this verse really mean that God will give permission to anyone to intercede? Or do these words simply mean that intercession, just like anything else, cannot take place without God's permission?

The correct answer is always the Quranic answer. We are told in no uncertain terms that there will be no intercession on Judgement Day (2:48, 2:123, 2:254, 6:51, 6:70, 7:53, 26:100, 30:13, 32:4, 36:23, 39:44, 40:18, 74:48). It follows that if God was to give permission to some to intercede, then all the above verses would be meaningless!

The same scholars go on to say that God would not use the words
"except with His permission" if He will never give anyone permission to intercede, so to them these words indicate that God, with His permission, will allow Muhammad to intercede for the Muslims! They go on to claim, with the support of various hadith, that Muhammad will be asked to name his wish from God, then Muhammad will ask for his 'ummah' (nation) to be saved! Various hadith in Bukhari go on to say that God will give permission to Muhammad to take out of Hell many of his followers who are already in Hell. One example is the Bukhari hadith (Volume 6, Book 60, Number 3) which is no more than a shameful display of shirk and an insult to all other Prophets of God who apparently did not think that they are worthy of the right to intercede and that Only Muhammad was worthy of that honour!

As we have seen, God answers those fabricated hadith with the words in the verses presented above, not least the words in 39:19.
In view of all the above, what is the correct meaning of the referred to words in 2:255?
First, the genuine believers will accept the Quranic assurance that all intercession belongs to God alone, and that there will be no intercession on Judgement Day.
The full picture about intercession is made complete with the following words:

They (messengers of God) do not intercede except for those who have already been approved by Him, and they are apprehensive out of fear of Him. 21:28 (also 53:26).

These words state categorically that even the messengers of God do not have the authority to intercede except for "those who have already been approved" by God.
Needless to say, those who are already "approved" (redeemed) by God would not be in need of any intercession.
Everyone in Paradise will probably try to intercede on behalf of his/her loved ones: "Please God, admit my mother into Paradise." If the person's mother deserves to go to Paradise, and is approved by God, she will be in Paradise whether her loved ones interceded for her or not. Thus, intercession, though it will take place in this manner, will be utterly useless.
This is confirmed in the following words:

On that day, intercession will benefit no one except the one who has been permitted by the Almighty and whose utterance is accepted by Him.
20:109

Just like in
21:28, the words in 20:109 tell us is that the ones who will have any benefit are in fact the ones who are already approved by God to be pardoned. Their benefit is a result of God's mercy and not a benefit of human intercession. This confirms that even though intercession will take place, it can never change God's Judgement nor benefit anyone who is not pardoned by God. Intercession will be nothing more than a good word said in favour of other believers who are also redeemed. The misunderstanding regarding the following verses is thus resolved: 2:255, 10:3, 20:109, 19:85-87, 21:25-29, 34:23, 43:86, 53:26.

Special commentary on
6:51

And warn (O Muhammad) with it those who fear being summoned before their Lord, having no ally or intercessor apart from Him, so hopefully they may be reverent. 6:51

The above Quranic words are of particular importance within the subject of intercession.
As we know, there are a large number of hadith and books of interpretation which all state that prophet Muhammad will intercede for his 'ummah' (nation) on the Day of Judgement. In some of these hadith, prophet Muhammad says that God granted every prophet a wish, and that he asked God to allow him to intercede for his nation, and that God granted Muhammad his wish.
In other hadith Muhammad says that he will be allowed to take many people out of Hell, even though the Quran states categorically that no human will ever take anyone our of Hell when God has placed them there (39:19).

The importance of
6:51 in this context is that God commands Muhammad to specifically tell his people that they will have "no ally or intercessor" on Judgement Day other than God.
For Muhammad to say (in hadith) that he will in fact intercede for his people is a clear violation of what God commanded Muhammad to tell his people as per 6:51!
Hence, we are left with two contradicting accounts:
1- In the Quran, God commands Muhammad to tell his people that they will have no intercessor on Judgement Day other than God.
2- In the hadith, Muhammad proclaims that he will intercede for his people.
Which one do you believe?

Apparent contradiction?

Upon reading the various Quranic verses that speak of intercession, it may appear that there is some contradiction between some of the verses. On the one hand, some verses state categorically that there will be no intercession on Judgement Day, such as 2:254, while on the other hand, other verses state that some will be allowed to intercede, such as 43:86. This matter can be resolved as follows:

1-
The Quran tells us that on Judgement Day, some will be allowed to intercede, they are those who will be allowed to speak and who will testify to the truth:

Those whom they call on besides Him possess no power of intercession except those who testify to the truth, and they know.
43:86

When we examine other verses below, it will become apparent that such an intercession will be more of a testimony of truth than an intercession.
This will not be any different from the role of all the witnesses who will testify on Judgement Day.

2-
We also learn that those who will be allowed to intercede will not be permitted to intercede except for those whom God is already pleased with:

He knows what is before them and what is after them. They do not intercede except for those whom He is pleased with, and they are apprehensive out of fear of Him.
21:28

3- The outcome of the above is that even though intercession (as a process), will take place, yet (in true value), it will benefit no one.
The ones whom God is already pleased with are already redeemed, so intercession will not gain them anything.
-----------------------------------
To follow, we need to compare the Quranic input above to the hadith version of the issue of intercession. As mentioned, according to hadith, all humans will initially be put in Hell after which prophet Muhammad will interceded for his 'ummah' (nation) whereby he will be allowed to take multitudes out of Hell.
This claim poses a number of outright contradictions to the Quran. The following are some of those:

1-
God says that intercession will be allowed only to those whom God is pleased with. The question is thus: why would a person whom God is pleased be in Hell?

2-
In 39:19, we have clear confirmation that prophet Muhammad will not take anyone out of Hell:

As for one who has deserved the Word of punishment, are you (Muhammad ) to r
escue the one who is in the Fire? 39:19

In another Quranic verse, God tells Muhammad:

You (Muhammad) have no say in the matter
as to whether He redeems them or He punishes them, for they are transgressors. 3:128

3-
Those who claimed to have intercessors who will intercede for them on Judgement Day, will be totally humiliated on Judgement Day when their alleged intercessors will abandon them and God will mock them:

You have come to Us each on his own, just as We created you the first time, and you have left behind you what We had provided for you. We do not see with you your intercessors whom you claimed were partners among you. All has been severed between you, and that which you used to claim has deserted you.
6:94

4-
The concept of intercession according to hadith also implies that after God had decreed for some to be in Hell, God then reversed His decision and allowed those in Hell to be taken out. Once again, this suggestion is in violation to Quranic words and is also unbecoming of God, the Creator, the Almighty:

The Word cannot be changed with Me
and I am not unjust towards the servants. 50:29

The Word of your Lord has been completed, in truth and justice. None can change His Words. He is the Hearer, the Knowledgeable.
6:115

5-
The concept of intercession according to hadith is actually a great insult to God.
What the hadith scenario entails is that in accordance with God's will, some people will be thrown in Hell, but then will be taken out of Hell (with Muhammad's intercession).
The obvious deduction from the above is that God's mercy on its own was insufficient to save such people and that it was instead Muhammad's mercy upon his 'ummah' that actually saved those who were in Hell! Such people would therefore need to thank Muhammad for their salvation and not God!

Conclusion

While the devil has duped millions of Muslims into believing that they cannot exit Hell except through the 'Intercession of Muhammad', he has also had great success with millions of Christians when he sold them the equally fictitious concept of 'Salvation only through Jesus', which dictates that Jesus is their 'Saviour' and that they cannot get to God's Kingdom except through Jesus! To Muslims, the devil sold the fictitious doctrine of
'Intercession', while to Christians, he sold them the doctrine of 'Salvation', which in reality are two sides of the same coin. Two different titles but the content and purpose are identical; to idolise humans besides God thinking they have the power to save them!

Genuine believers know that God alone has all the authority and that they do not need anyone other than God, The One, The Supreme Ruler and the only Saviour.

Is God not sufficient for His servant? 39:36