Wednesday 7 December 2022

Intercession in a good cause shall return a good result (and vice versa)

Different people behave differently and with different results. Some urge others to exert themselves for the cause of Allah and to exalt His Word and they get its reward. There are others who spread misunderstandings among the people about Allah's cause, discourage the Muslims and try to dissuade them from exalting the Word of Allah and thus incur punishment.

This is the very theme of 85th verse of Surah 4. An Nisa (The Women) as appended below and its simplest explanation [1]:

مَنۡ يَّشۡفَعۡ شَفَاعَةً حَسَنَةً يَّكُنۡ لَّهٗ نَصِيۡبٌ مِّنۡهَا​ ۚ وَمَنۡ يَّشۡفَعۡ شَفَاعَةً سَيِّئَةً يَّكُنۡ لَّهٗ كِفۡلٌ مِّنۡهَا​ ؕ وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ مُّقِيۡتًا‏ 
(4:85) He who intercedes in a good cause shall share in its good result, and he who intercedes in an evil cause shall share in its burden. Allah watches over everything.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Interceding for a Good or an Evil Cause)

Allah said, ( مَّن يَشْفَعْ شَفَـعَةً حَسَنَةً يَكُنْ لَّهُ نَصِيبٌ مِّنْهَا Whosoever intercedes for a good cause, will have the reward thereof;) meaning, whoever intercedes in a matter that produces good results, will acquire a share in that good.

(وَمَن يَشْفَعْ شَفَـعَةً سَيِّئَةً يَكُنْ لَّهُ كِفْلٌ مَّنْهَا And whosoever intercedes for an evil cause, will have a share in its burden.) meaning, he will carry a burden due to what resulted from his intercession and intention. 

For instance, it is recorded in the Sahih that the Prophet said, (Intercede and you will gain a reward of it. Yet, Allah shall decide whatever He wills by the words of His Prophet.) Mujahid bin Jabr said, "This Ayah was revealed about the intercession of people on behalf of each other.'' 

Allah then said, (وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ مُّقِيتاً And Allah is Ever Muqit over everything.) 

Ibn `Abbas, `Ata', `Atiyah, Qatadah and Matar Al-Warraq said that, (مُّقِيتاً Muqit) means, "Watcher.'' Mujahid said that Muqit means, `Witness', and in another narration, `Able to do.'

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
Lit., "shall have a share (nasib) therefrom". Since the term nasib has here a positive meaning, it can be suitably rendered as "a share in its blessings".

The noun kifl is derived from the root-verb  kafala "he made himself responsible [for a thing]". Tabari explains it in this context as denoting "a share in the responsibility and the sin". The expression minha ("out of it") indicates the part played by the transgressor in the evil enterprise, to which the pronoun ha ("it") refers.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:  
In this fleeting world's chances Allah's providence and justice may not always appear plain to our eyes. But we are asked to believe that if we help and support a good cause, we share in all its credit and in its eventual victory. And conversely, we cannot support a bad cause without sharing in all its evil consequences. If appearances seem against this faith, let us not be deceived by appearances. For Allah has power over all things.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The actual words are: يَّشْفَعْ شَفَاعَةً سَيِّئَةً. The wordشَفَعَ means to join a thing to another. From this basic meaning, this word came to be used to support and second something and to speak in favour of it – whether that thing is good or evil. Thus, the Qur’ān has used the same word for both. It has called the first شَفَاعَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ and the second شَفَاعَةٌ سَيِّئَةٌ.

Now you may listen to the following short clipped video to explanation of the aforesaid Ayat by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

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. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

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 the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, 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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