Monday 10 May 2021

Divine Warning for those who worship others than Allah and call them their Intercessors with Allah

Idolatry is one of the oldest religions outside the Divine religions. At the time of advent of Islam, the people of Makkah were diehard idolaters and it took a lot of efforts on the part of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to cleanse the Arabian lands from idols and idolaters. However, despite this, a very large segment of populations still worship idols, specially in India and South East Asia and consider them their intercessors with Allah.

The irony is that a large number of Muslims in the Indian Sub Continent and Bangladesh also revere religious people as their intercessors, even when they are long since dead. Some even claim that their worldly deities still hear them in their graves and "answer" their calls.

Allah has strictly forbidder such practices of worship and has warned at a number of places in the Qur'an that those whom they worship are mere stones or deities who even themselves are not sure of their salvation. Herein under we share today 18th verse from Surah 10. Yunus (Jonah) warning such worshippers:

وَيَعۡبُدُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ مَا لَا يَضُرُّهُمۡ وَلَا يَنۡفَعُهُمۡ وَيَقُوۡلُوۡنَ هٰٓؤُلَاۤءِ شُفَعَآؤُنَا عِنۡدَ اللّٰهِ​ؕ قُلۡ اَتُـنَـبِّـُٔوۡنَ اللّٰهَ بِمَا لَا يَعۡلَمُ فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَلَا فِى الۡاَرۡضِ​ؕ سُبۡحٰنَهٗ وَتَعٰلٰى عَمَّا يُشۡرِكُوۡنَ‏ 
(10:18) They worship, beside Allah, those who can neither harm nor profit them, saying; 'These are our intercessors with Allah.' Tell them (O Muhammad): 'Do you inform Allah of something regarding whose existence in the heavens or on the earth He has no knowledge? Holy is He and He is exalted far above what they associate with Him in His divinity'.

This is a fine way of saying that no such intercessors exist as can plead their cases with Allah. For if something is not in the knowledge of Allah, it implies that it does not exist at all, for everything that exists anywhere in the heavens and the earth is in His knowledge.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
When we shut our eyes to Allah's glory and goodness, and go after false gods, we give some plausible excuse to ourselves, such as that they will intercede for us. But how can stocks and stones intercede for us? And how can men intercede for us, when they themselves have need of Allah's Mercy? Even the best and noblest cannot intercede as of right, but only with His permission (x. 3). To pretend that there are other powers than Allah is to invent lies and to teach Allah. There is nothing in heaven or earth that He does not know, and there is no other like unto Him.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: What do the Idolaters believe about Their Gods
Allah reproaches the idolaters that worshipped others beside Allah, thinking that those gods would intercede for them before Allah. Allah states that these gods do not harm or benefit. They don't have any authority over anything, nor do they own anything. These gods can never do what the idolaters had claimed about them. 

That is why Allah said:
(Say: `Do you inform Allah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth') Ibn Jarir said: "This means, `Are you telling Allah about what may not happen in the heavens and earth' Allah then announced that His Glorious Self is far above their Shirk and Kufr by saying: (Glorified and Exalted is He above all that which they associate as partners (with Him)!)

Allah then tells us that Shirk was new among mankind. It was not in existence in the beginning. He tells us that people were believers in one religion and that religion was Islam. Ibn `Abbas said: "There were ten centuries between Adam and Nuh. They were all on Islam. Then differences among people took place. They worshipped idols and rivals. 

So Allah sent extensive evidence and irrefutable proof with His Messengers.'' (So that those who were to be destroyed (for rejecting the faith) might be destroyed after a clear evidence, and those who were to live might live after a clear evidence.) [8:42] 

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
Literally, the beginning of the sentence reads thus: "And they worship that which neither harms them nor benefits them" - an expression alluding to both concrete representations and conceptual images. It should be noted that the "they" elliptically referred to here are not identical with the people spoken of earlier as "those who do not believe that they are destined to meet Us" (in other words, those who deny the reality of resurrection and of the Day of Judgment): for the people of whom the above verse speaks obviously do believe - albeit in a confused manner - in life after death and man's responsibility before God, as is evident from the statement that they worship imaginary "intercessors with God".

Thus, belief in the efficacy of anyone's unqualified intercession with God, or mediation between man and Him, is here equated with a denial of God's omniscience, which takes all the circumstances of the sinner and his sinning a priori into consideration. (As regards God's symbolic grant of permission to His prophets to "intercede" for their followers on the Day of Judgment)

The same has ben mentioned in verse 3 of Surah Yunus:
" ... There is none that could intercede with Him unless He grants leave therefor."
Lit., "there is no intercessor whatever, save after His leave [has been granted]". Cf. 2:255 - "Who is there that could intercede with Him, unless it be by His leave?" Thus, the Qur'an rejects the popular belief in unqualified "intercession" by living or dead saints or prophets. As is shown elsewhere in the Qur'an (e.g., in 20:109 , 21:28 or 34:23 ), God will grant to His prophets on Judgment Day the permission to "intercede", symbolically, for such of the sinners as will have already achieved His redemptive acceptance (rida') by virtue of their repentance or basic goodness. in other words, the right of "intercession" thus granted to the prophets will be but an expression of God's approval of the latter. Furthermore, the above denial of the possibility of unqualified intercession stresses, indirectly, not only God's omniscience - which requires no "mediator" - but also the immutability of His will: and thus it connects with the preceding mention of His almightiness. 

Qur'an Wiki: When people deviate from the truth, there is no end to their absurdity. The numerous deities to whom they address their worship can neither harm nor benefit them in any way. Nevertheless, they think they have a role to play.

God does not know anyone who can intercede with Him. Do you then presume to know what is unknown to God Himself? Are you, by implication, informing Him of the existence, in the heavens or on earth, of beings He is unaware of? Here the Qur’ān adopts sarcasm as the means to best counter their unrivalled absurdity. But this is followed with a statement of God’s glorification which makes it clear that all their claims are absolutely false. 

May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein and save us from deviating His path. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. [2]  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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