Thursday 3 June 2021

Fear the Day when no intercession will be accepted and no one will be ransomed

The verse selected today is the 49th verse of Surah 2. Al Baqarah (The Cow), wherein Allah warns al those who have the misconception that they on the Day of Resurrection will be pardoned due to the fact they were the followers of the God fearing saints or that someone else will take the burden of their sins or even someone who will intercede on their behalf for their pardon. 

Although this verse is directly addressed to the Jews of the time, and applicable to the Christians who take the shield of concept of Vicarious Redemption (details below), it is equally applicable to a large number of Muslims who think that the saints they follow will intercede for them on Day of Resurrection. 
This verse embodies one of the most important Islamic principles. Responsibility and accountability are personal and not collective, and are directly related to an individual’s will and freedom of choice. They are also based on divine justice.
The contents of the verse mentioned below are very clear and do not need a scholarly wisdom to interpret or understand. We only need to understand that we are all creations of One True God and are His servants. Being servants it is our duty to listen to Him and none else and follow His teachings as have reached us through His messengers and prophets UNADULTRATED and UNALTERED. Our salvation lies in this. Remember in the Hereafter nothing but deeds will be of any avail to anyone.

وَاتَّقُوۡا يَوۡمًا لَّا تَجۡزِىۡ نَفۡسٌ عَنۡ نَّفۡسٍ شَيۡـئًـا وَّلَا يُقۡبَلُ مِنۡهَا شَفَاعَةٌ وَّلَا يُؤۡخَذُ مِنۡهَا عَدۡلٌ وَّلَا هُمۡ يُنۡصَرُوۡنَ‏ 
(2:48) Fear the Day when no one shall avail another, when no intercession will be accepted, when no one will be ransomed, and no criminal will receive any help.
اور اُس دن سے ڈرو جس دن کوئی جان کسی دوسرے کی طرف سے کچھ بدلہ نہ دے سکے گی اور نہ اس کی طرف سے کوئی سفارش قبول کی جائے گی  اور نہ اس کی طرف سے (جان چھڑانے کے لئے) کوئی معاوضہ قبول کیا جائے گا اور نہ (اَمرِ الٰہی کے خلاف) ان کی اِمداد کی جا سکے گی
In this verse the Israelites have been warned to guard against their wrong notion about the Hereafter, for this was the main cause of their degeneration. They were under the delusion that they would win salvation just because they were the descendants of great Prophets and had relations with great saints and pious and righteous people. That is why they neglected we religion and involved themselves in sin. Here they are being disillusioned and warned that they will not escape the consequences of their evil deeds by virtue of their relation with some holy person or his intercession in their behalf. That is why immediately after reminding them of the favour ((2:47) Children of Israel! Recall My favour which I bestowed upon you, exalting you above all nations.) they have been warned that they shall be punished like the guilty people who lived in this world without belief in the Hereafter.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir:
After Allah reminded the Children of Israel of the favors that He has granted them, He warned them about the duration of the torment which He will punish them with on the Day of Resurrection. He said: 
(And fear a Day) meaning, the Day of Resurrection, (When a person shall not avail another) meaning, on that Day, no person shall be of any help to another. 

Similarly, Allah said:
(And no bearer of burdens shall bear another's burden) (35:18)
(Every man that Day will have enough to make him careless of others.) (80:37) and,
(O mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord (by keeping your duty to Him and avoiding all evil), and fear a Day when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father) (31: 33).
This indeed should serve as a great warning that both the father and the son will not be of help to each other on that Day. Neither Intercession, Ransom, or Assistance will be accepted on behalf of the Disbelievers, Allah said, (nor will intercession be accepted from him) meaning, from the disbelievers.

Similarly, Allah said,
(So no intercession of intercessors will be of any use to them) (74:48) and described the people of the Fire saying,
(Now we have no intercessors. Nor a close friend (to help us)) (26:100-101).
Allah's statement here (2:48): (nor will compensation be taken from him) means, that Allah does not accept the disbelievers to ransom themselves. Similarly, Allah said,
(Verily, those who disbelieved, and died while they were disbelievers, the (whole) earth full of gold will not be accepted from anyone of them even if they offered it as a ransom) (3:91)
(Verily, those who disbelieve, if they had all that is in the earth, and as much again therewith to ransom themselves from the torment on the Day of Resurrection, it would never be accepted of them, and theirs would be a painful torment) (5:36)
(And even if he offers every ransom, it will not be accepted from him) (6:70) and,
(So this Day no ransom shall be taken from you (hypocrites), nor of those who disbelieved. Your abode is the Fire. That is your Mawla (friend ـ proper place)) (57:15).
Allah stated that if the people do not believe in His Messenger and follow what He sent him with, then when they meet Him on the Day of Resurrection, after remaining on the path of disbelief, their family lineage and/or the intercession of their masters will not help them at all. It will not be accepted of them, even if they paid the earth's fill of gold as ransom. Similarly, Allah said,
(Before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession) (2:254) and,
(On which there will be neither mutual bargaining nor befriending) (19:31).

Allah's statement next: (nor will they be helped.) means, "no person shall get angry - or anxious - on their behalf and offer them any help, or try to save them from Allah's punishment.'' As stated earlier on that Day, neither the relative, nor persons of authority will feel pity for the disbelievers, nor will any ransom be accepted for them. Consequently, they will receive no help from others and they will be helpless themselves. Allah said,

(While He (Allah) grants refuge (or protection), but none grants refuge from Him) (23:88)
(So on that Day none will punish as He will punish. And none will bind (the wicked, disbelievers and polytheists) as He will bind) (89:25-26)
("What is the matter with you Why do you not help one another (as you used to do in the world)'' Nay, but that Day they shall surrender) (37:25-26) and,
(Then why did those whom they had taken for alihah (gods) besides Allah, as a way of approach (to Allah) not help them Nay, but they vanished completely from them) (46:28).
Also, Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas said that Allah's statement, ("What is the matter with you Why do you not help one another'') (37:25) means, "This Day, you shall not have a refuge from Us. Not this Day.'' 

Ibn Jarir said that Allah's statement, (nor will they be helped.) meaning, on that Day, they shall neither be helped by any helper, nor shall anyone intercede on their behalf. No repeal or ransom will be accepted for them, all courtesy towards them will have ceased, along with any helpful intercession. No type of help or cooperation will be available for them on that Day. The judgment will, on that Day, be up to the Most Great, the Most Just, against whom no intercessor or helper can ever assist. He will then award the evil deed its kind and will multiply the good deeds. This is similar to Allah's statement,
(But stop them, verily, they are to be questioned. "What is the matter with you Why do you not help one another'' Nay, but that Day they shall surrender) (37:24-26).
Asad Ali Translation:
The "taking of ransom ('adl)" is an obvious allusion to the Christian doctrine of vicarious redemption as well as to the Jewish idea that "the chosen people" - as the Jews considered themselves - would be exempt from punishment on the Day of Judgment. Both these ideas are categorically refuted in the Qur'an.
Vicarious redemption: The concept is that a person can throw their sins onto someone else. Vicarious redemption means that the actual sin, the responsibility, the guilt, the spiritual presence of a wrong-doing, can somehow be thrust upon another person, and the sinner is then completely redeemed and made clean.
Yusuf Ali Translation:
Before passing to particular incidents, the conclusion is stated. Be on your guard; do not think that special favours exempt you from the personal responsibility of each soul.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: 
The Jews should not remain in the misconception that since they are the progeny of such great prophets of God as Abraham (sws), Isaac (sws) and Jacob (sws) they would be salvaged in the Hereafter merely because of this association. They should bear in mind that in the Hereafter nothing but deeds will be of any avail to them.

Quran Wiki
The two verses (47-49) are yet another reminder from God to the Israelites of His grace and generosity towards them, and a general admonition to them about the resurrection that is certain to come: “Children of Israel! Remember My favour which I bestowed on you, and that I have preferred you over all people. Fear the day when no soul shall avail another in any way, nor shall intercession be accepted from any of them, nor ransom taken from them, and none shall receive help.” (Verses 47-48)

The preferred position granted to the Israelites was limited to the time of their mandate as custodians of God’s message on earth. As soon as they betrayed their trust, disobeyed their prophets, denied God’s favours and abandoned their commitment to God, they incurred His wrath, and were condemned to a life of humiliation, misery and exile.

When Every Soul Stands Alone: The statement was meant to remind them of that glory and privilege in order to encourage them to seize the fresh opportunity presented to them by Islam to rejoin the community of believers and renew their covenant with God. But they are also being warned about “a day when no soul shall avail another in any way,” and no individual can save another.
This is one of the most important Islamic principles. Responsibility and accountability are personal and not collective, and are directly related to an individual’s will and freedom of choice. They are also based on divine justice.
It is a principle that upholds the dignity and integrity of man and cultivates and strengthens his conscience. It raises his standards of morality and behaviour and enriches his wealth of values with which Islam has honoured him.
The verse further stresses that on that day, no intercession “shall be accepted..., nor ransom taken” from, or on behalf of, anyone. Unless a person has a record of faith and good deeds, nothing can save him or absolve his misdemeanours or intransigence towards God. Furthermore, he shall receive no support of any kind from anyone else.
May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. 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 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.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • 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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