|Tawhid (Monotheism)||Tawhid of Essence • Tawhid in Attributes • Tawhid in Actions • Tawhid in Worship|
|Other Beliefs||Tawassul • Shafa'a • Tabarruk|
|Bada' • Amr Bayn al-Amrayn|
|Infallibility • 'Ilm al-ghayb • Mu'jiza • Integrity of the Holy Qur'an|
|Infallibility • Wilaya • 'Ilm al-ghayb • Occultation of Imam al-Mahdi (a) (Minor Occultation,Major Occultation) • Reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (a) • Raj'a|
|Hereafter • Barzakh • Embodiment of Actions •Bodily Resurrection • Al-Sirat • Tatayur al-Kutub • Mizan • Hashr|
|Other Outstanding Beliefs|
|Ahl al-Bayt (a) • The Fourteen Infallibles • Taqiyya • Marja'iyya • Tawalli • Tabarri|
Shafāʿa (Arabic: الشفاعة, intercession) is a religious act, all Muslims and followers of divine religions believe in. Shafa'a means that on the Day of Judgment, friends of God and some holy entities such as the Qur'an, with some conditions, intercede for some wrong-doers and rescue them from hellfire or cause the promotion of some people.
According to Shiite beliefs, Shafa'a completely belongs to God and nobody can intercede without His permission. If God is satisfied with one's faith, He will permit others to intercede for one. Shafa'a has been explicitly mentioned in Sunni sources stipulating the intercession of the Prophet (s) for believers.
Among Muslims, Wahhabis believe that only God can be asked for Shafa'a and if someone asks others for Shafa'a (especially after their demise), he is a polytheist. Belief in Shafa'a has a special position among Shi'a.
The word of Shafa'a is derived from the root of "ش ف ع" meaning "to append or join something to another". Shafi' (intercessor) is called so because they join one to themselves and provide one with what one lacks and thus rescue one.
Shafa'a in religious terminology means "a creature's mediation between God and another creature in delivering the good or driving away the evil whether in this world or in the hereafter." Shafa'a means to make a change in the sinner so that the sinner no longer deserves to be punished and exclude one from the law of punishment; like repentance makes a wrongdoer no longer deserve the punishment and makes one deserve receiving God's forgiveness, as Imam 'Ali (a) has said: "There is no Shafi' (intercessor) more rescuing than repentance."
Shafi' (intercessor) is called so because this person tries to adjoin someone else to himself and recompense the person's sins.
Shafa'a has a close relation with Tawassul (entreaty): Tawassul is the act of one who takes refuge to a person and asks for intercession and thus Shafa'a is the act of the person asking God to forgive that wrongdoer.
In the Qur'an
Shafa'a has been clearly stated in the Qur'an in 24 verses many of which negates the pagans' belief in the intercession of idols.
- "They worship besides Allah that which neither causes them any harm, nor brings them any benefit, and they say, These are our intercessors with Allah.’ Say, ‘Will you inform Allah about something He does not know in the heavens or on the earth?’ Immaculate is He and exalted above [having] any partners that they ascribe [to Him]!" (Qur'an 10:18)
Although the Qur'an denies the intercession of the idols, it has acknowledged the intercession of some figures such as the Prophet (s) with some conditions. Therefore, Muslims have no disagreement on the principle of Shafa'a in general and disagree only on its rulings and position. For example, in the verse "And keep vigil for a part of the night, as a supererogatory [devotion] for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praiseworthy station." (Qur'an 17:79) Shi'a and Sunni exegetes agree that by "a praiseworthy station", the position of Shafa'a is meant which God has promised to His Messenger (s).
The verses mentioned in the Qur'an about Shafa'a can be categorized in some groups,
- Some of them totally reject Shafa'a in the hereafter,
- Some regard Shafa'a exclusive to God,
- Some regard Shafa'a conditioned to the permission and order of God,
- Some reject Shafa'a about some people.
Studying all the verses of Shafa'a, it can be inferred that the Qur'an approves of a kind of Shafa'a and disapproves and rejects other kinds of Shafa'a. The verses which reject Shafa'a imply that no one other than God has such a right and those verses which support Shafa'a imply that Shafa'a belongs to God and others can do Shafa'a only by His permission.
|“||Intercession is of no avail with Him except for those whom He permits.||”|
|— Quran, 34:23|
- The Prophet (s) stated, "God blessed me with five privileges… one of which is [the right to make] Shafa'a and I have secured it for my people. Shafa'a will be for those who do not commit polytheism."
- The Prophet (s) also said, "three groups make Shafa'a for sinners before God and their Shafa'a will be accepted: Prophets (a), scholars of religion, and the martyrs."
The hadiths of Shafa'a are in three groups:
- Hadiths which say that Shafa'a will make a sinner be forgiven from going to the hell.
- Hadiths which say that some sinners after a while staying in the hell will enjoy Shafa'a and rescued from punishment.
- Hadiths which say that some people will never enjoy Shafa'a and will eternally remain in hell.
Therefore, those hadiths which say that anyone having a particle of faith will enjoy Shafa'a do not disagree those hadiths which say one who does some very wrong acts such as he takes the prayer of little importance will not enjoy Shafa'a, because anyone who believes in God will once enjoy Shafa'a but he will be long left in hell so that some of his impurities will be cleansed and deserve Shafa'a.
In the View of Intellect
From the point of hadiths, validity of Shafa'a is definite and its rulings are clear; however, Muslim thinkers have mentioned rational justifications as well. Morteza Motahhari wrote,
- "Even if there was no traditional justification for Shafa'a, we had to justify it using intellect and rational arguments such as the argument of Imkan Ashraf (the Possibility of the Superior) and the nature of organizational creation. When a person accepts the existence of God's forgiveness, definite rational principles make him say that forgiveness needs to flow through a total intellect or soul, i.e. the intellect and soul of one who has the position of total divine Wilaya; and it is not possible that God's mercy reaches creation without order."
From intellectual point of view, Shafa'a is flowing in the creation and is the requirement of the system of causality.
Rational justification is based on two criteria:
- The general mercy of God: God's mercy is general and reaches all creatures. And if a creature receives a smaller proportion of divine mercy, it would only be due to his own incompetence. Basically, no creature can ever reach happiness and success alone without divine mercy or rescues punishment.
- Organizational nature of world: from rational viewpoint, the world has an organization and hierarchy. This system of hierarchy is the very same system of causality. Material needs of human beings are fulfilled through a chain of natural causes which all effect by the permission of God.
Even though mercy and forgiveness of God is general but it is not excluded from this law and they are impossible to reach the creation without means and this is true about all kinds of divine mercy. For example, revelation which is an instance of God's guidance and mercy is not received by all human beings, but only certain people receive it and other people benefit from it through these people; because no one other than prophets (a) has such a competence to be directly addressed by God. And this is that very hierarchical system of creation. Or for another example, when Istisqa prayer (prayer requesting rain) is made, it is not that it rains without any change in the weather; but due to the Istisqa prayer, God provides all the causes and means of raining including the wind and condensation of clouds. The same way as the Istisqa prayer causes that the requirements for raining are provided, Shafa'a, repentance, and such cause a change in the states of the sinner so that he acquires the competence for forgiveness, decrease of punishment or promotion.
The position of Shafa'a in this system is that it promotes a person's competence so that he can more benefit from God's general mercy. It is due to this rationality that if a one lacks perfection, it needs to acquire that perfection from a source of perfection and if it does not have the competence to receive perfection, it needs to develop its competence to necessary level. Such an action not only breaks no rule but it is in fact what rationality requires.
Therefore, Shafa'a about a person does not imply that while he is incompetent and lacks the requirements, making Shafa'a will be accepted about him; also, Shafa'a in legislation does not mean to cancel the law and not applying the law about that wrongdoer who is deserved to be punished; rather, Shafa'a means to make such a change in that person so that he would not deserve punishment anymore and he will be excluded from that law of punishment, the same way repentance rescues a person from punishment and makes him deserved of God's forgiveness. Therefore, it is mentioned in hadiths that Shafa'a is the best of Shafi' (intercessor).
In other words, the essential difference between the true Shafa'a with a false one is that true Shafa'a initiates from God and ends with the sinner and intercessor is only the means of delivering God's mercy to lower levels; however, in false Shafa'a, like favoring someone, the wrongdoer without having the required competence and only through relation requests for something.
In Creation and Legislation
Shafa'a in creation means that the origin of any action or effect is God and all other causes and means are only means through which God's mercy is delivered to lower levels by His permission. This way, all the causes in the world are intercessors of their effects since they deliver God's mercy to lower levels. For example, the sun is the intercessor of the wheat grain to make it grow.
In the Qur'an we read,
|“||To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that may intercede with Him except with His permission?||”|
|— Qur'an, 2:255|
Shafa'a in legislation means that God, out of His mercy, has sent laws for people which guide them and in fact intercede them to enter the paradise. All religious rulings are of this type.
False Shafa'a is that the wrongdoer acts against the law and influences the will of the lawmaker through an illegal way. Such kind of Shafa'a in this world is an act of oppression and it is impossible in the hereafter. The objections to Shafa'a are mostly of this kind and this is rejected in the Qur'an as well.
The false Shafa'a originates from the belief in Tafwid (unrestricted human delegation) which is a wrong belief meaning that after creating the world, God delegated its management to others and He has no role in it and thus people would be able to make Shafa'a independently and if one can attract the intercessors' favor, he would not need God.
True Shafa'a as mentioned in the Qur'an which is believed by Shi'a and supported by Imams (a) is that Shafa'a in its wholeness belongs to God and no one can make Shafa'a without His permission. Prophets (a) and Imams' (a) Shafa'a never means that they have an independent role or that to be privileged by their Shafa'a, one would need to do anything other than what God has ordered. On the contrary, they would only make Shafa'a for someone, God would be pleased with,
|“||…and they do not intercede except for someone He approves of,…||”|
|— 21:28, Qur'an|
For Forgiveness and for Propmotion
Sometimes, Shafa'a is for promotion which is accepted by all Islamic schools and sometimes, it is for forgiveness of the sins which some schools such as Mu'tazilites and Kharijites reject. These two schools do not accept that Shafa'a would be made about those who commit capital sins and those who have entered the hell. They say that, "one who has entered the hell would not exit it."
Sometimes, Shafa'a is about issues in the hereafter, such as the Shafa'a of the Prophet (s) for the sinners on the Day of Judgment and it is sometimes about issues of this world. If some actions are good, Shafa'a for them is also good, and if it is about sins, it is not only bad but also the intercessor needs to take the responsibility for a part of it.
Due to the educational purpose and avoiding people from being bold in committing sins, the Qur'an and hadiths have not mentioned all the details and requirements for one to be interceded for; however, they have mentioned some necessary requirements.
The most important requirement for one to be interceded for is that God approves of him.
From the verse of the Qur'an, two requirements can be understood for those who are going to be interceded for:
It is obvious that one who needs Shafa'a of forgiveness because of some sins, God does not approve his act; rather, it means that God approves of that person's religion and beliefs. In other words, the one who is going to be interceded for even if is a sinner and has committed greater sins, he must have not cut his relation with God and leaders of religion.
Obstacles of Shafa'a
From the Qur'an, it can be understood that some issues are obstacles for benefiting from Shafa'a. Some groups who are deprived of Shafa'a are as follows:
- Disbelievers and polytheists
- Enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) (Nasibis)
- Deniers of the Wilaya of Imam 'Ali (a) and other Imams (a)
- Those who harassed the progeny and children of the Prophet (s)
- Deniers of Shafa'a
- Those who do not take prayer seriously
- Those who abandon prayer
Shafa'a in creation as the influence of causes exists in whole creation. Therefore, in hadiths, the right to make Shafa'a is also mentioned for some places as well as for people and groups and it refers to the effect of such issues in the guidance of people. In Shafa'a of legislation, intercessors are either among the righteous acts of a person, prophets (s), friends of God or other issues.
- God the Almighty: Since God is All-merciful, after that intercessors make Shafa'a for people on the Day of Judgment, many people who will be deprived of all intercessors' Shafa'a will receive God's Sahfa'a and mercy.
- The Prophet (s): the Prophet's (s) Shafa'a is called Shafa'a al-Kubra (great intercession). In different hadiths, it is mentioned that his Shafa'a will include those believers who have committed greater sins.
- Imam 'Ali (a)
- Lady Fatima (a)
- Imams (a)
- The Qur'an
- Prophets (a) and friends of God.
- Repentance: The superiority of the intercession of the prophets (a) and angels over repentance is that their Shafa'a is effective also on the Day of Judgment; while, repentance is only for this world.
- Religious scholars
The nature of Shafa'a is neither encouraging to sin, nor a green light for sinners. It is not a cause of staying behind or mediation either; rather, it is an important educational issue which has constructive effects, some of which are mentioned below:
- Raising hope: Usually, the power of the self and lowly desires leads to committing great sins and following it, a spirit of disappointment takes over the person and this disappointment leads the person to more corruption. On the contrary, being hopeful in Sahfa'a of the friends of God, as a preventive factor, gives people hope that if they correct themselves, their bad past could be compensated through Shafa'a of the righteous and the pure.
- Establishing spiritual connection with friends of God: Obviously, someone who hopes in Shafa'a, tries to establish such a relation and does something which pleases them and does not break his cord of love with them, which can lead to doing more good deeds.
- Trying to Acquire the Prerequisites of Sahafa'a: The hopeful in Shafa'a need to review their deeds in the past and make better decisions about the future for Sahfa'a would not happen without proper background; and that is because Shafa'a is a kind of bestowing mercy which actualizes due to the proper background of the one who is interceded for and also because of the honor, dignity and righteous deeds of the intercessor.
Wahhabis and Shafa'a
All Sunnis including Wahhabis believe in Shafa'a. The leader of Wahhabis, Ibn Taymiyya said, "Hadiths about Shafa'a are many and frequently narrated in Sahih Muslim and Sahih al-Bukhari and many of them also exist in Sunan and Masanid."
Elsewhere he said, "The Prophet (s) will have three kinds of Shafa'a on the Day of Judgment… The third type of Shafa'a is for those who deserve the hellfire. Shafa'a of the Prophet (s), other prophets (a), the righteous and others is so that a person who deserves the hellfire, will not enter it and it is also for the one who has entered the hellfire (to be rescued)."
They believe in the request of Shafa'a from prophets (a) and the righteous in this world during the lifetime of the intercessors and also on the Day of Judgment. 'Abd al-Rahman b. Hasan b. Muhammad b. Abd al-Wahhab (d. 1285/1869) said,
The disagreement between Wahhabis and other Muslims is over requesting Shafa'a from prophets (a) and friends of God during Barzakh (the Middle World), about which, since Wahhabis do not believe in the life in Barzakh, they regard this kind of Shafa'a impermissible and even consider it an example of polytheism. 'Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. Abd al-Wahhab said,
- "We approve of Shafa'a for our prophet (s) on the Day of Judgment according to hadiths. We also approve of it for other prophets (a), angels, friends of God and children due to the reports we have received, but we seek Shafa'a from its owner (God)… Shafa'a needs to be requested from God not intercessors, e.g. one should not say, "O the Messenger of God! O the friend of God! I ask you Shafa'a or its means. … or similar expressions, which no one other than God has the power upon them. Request for Shafa'a from the intercessors while they are in Barzakh is a kind of polytheism."
Criticisms of Wahhabis
The most important criticisms mentioned by Wahhabis are:
Asking Shafa'a from the intercessor means to call anyone other than God and this is polytheism in worshiping, because God says,
|“||"so do not invoke anyone along with Allah"||”|
|— Qur'an, 72:18|
The above criticism comes from Wahhabis' misunderstanding of the meaning of unity of God and polytheism. The true understanding of polytheism and unity of God implies that invoking anyone other than God does not mean polytheism in itself and it is not even forbidden since polytheism refers to cases in which one believes an independent divinity and lordship other than God and Shi'a never believe as such neither about their Imams (a) nor any other beings but for Allah alone.
Undoubtedly, invoking Muslims and requesting them for help is a permissible action and they need to help such an invoker as much as they can. On the other hand, when an action is permissible for a person, asking him to do that is permissible as well. When Shafa'a would be permissible for the Prophet (s) and other intercessors, asking Shafa'a from them would also be permissible.
Asking people for making du'a for one is permissible in the view of all Muslims such as that we ask someone, "make du'a for me"; therefore, asking Shafa'a from a person who has permission for that from God, such as he is asked, "make Shafa'a for me before God" is also permissible.
To forgive sins, God invites people to ask the Prophet (s) to make du'a for their forgiveness,
|“||"Had they, when they wronged themselves, come to you and pleaded to Allah for forgiveness, and the Apostle had pleaded for forgiveness for them, they would have surely found Allah all-clement, all-merciful."||”|
|— Qur'an, 4:64|
Some tried to explain the meaning of this verse so that, people who have harassed the Prophet (s) needed to ask him for forgiveness; but through a more careful look into the verse, wrongness of this interpretation can be understood so that, if the Prophet (s) was about to forgive people's sin about his own rights, the verse needed to say "and the Apostle had forgave them" while the verse says, "the Apostle had pleaded for them".
Moreover, the above mentioned verse Wahhabis refer to (Qur'an 72:18) prohibits Muslims from partnership and association, i.e. that Muslims do not consider anyone at similar level with God. The verse actually addresses polytheists who regarded the means independently. Also, if asking anyone other than God is a polytheistic act, there would be no difference between the life and after death of people and thus no one should ever ask the Prophet (s) or another even during their lifetimes.
Excluding Shafa'a to God
The Qur'an considers the right to make Shafa'a exclusive to God,
|“||"Say, All intercession rests with Allah"||”|
|— Qur'an, 39:44|
Therefore, Shafa'a need to be requested from God alone.
Shafa'a from this aspect that it is a kind of making influence in the creation, is among the manifestations of God's Lordship and thus it belongs to Him; however, this does not contradict with believing in the rights of Shafa'a for prophets (a) and the righteous; because, their Shafa'a is not independent but depending on the permission of God while it is the same in other issues. In the Qur'an God says,
|“||…that power, altogether, belongs to Allah…||”|
|— 2:165, Qur'an|
which means that all the powers in the world belongs to God and all the creatures gain power by His permission and will and to the extent that He wishes and after God gives a being power, then that being can be asked for help. Also, the verse
|“||"Say, 'All intercession rests with Allah"||”|
|— Qur'an, 39:44|
means that if God sees it appropriate and gives the right to make Shafa'a to a being, then that being can be requested to use the permission God has given him for the one requesting.
In the Qur'an, God considers the polytheists of the time of the Prophet (s) polytheist because they ask Shafa'a from other than God,
|“||They worship besides Allah that which neither causes them any harm, nor brings them any benefit, and they say, 'These are our intercessors with Allah.'||”|
|— Qur'an, 10:18|
There is no doubt that polytheists of the time of the Prophet (s) considered the rights to ask their idols and gods for Shafa'a, but this verse implies that they worshiped idols and also considered the rights of Shafa'a for them and thus believing in their Shafa'a together with worshiping them led to their criticism.
Polytheists considered unconditional rights of Shafa'a for their idols which God never had given them such position. Also, they believed in their divinity and worshiped them; while if one believes in someone's rights of Shafa'a God has given him and that using such rights is by the permission of God, then there would be no problem. On the other hand, no Muslim considers the position of divinity for intercessors to worship them so that his act resembles the acts of the polytheists.
It is obvious that only showing respect and kissing Darih in holy shrines without believing in divinity would not be considered as worship; for if it was considered so, then respecting and kissing the hands of parents would also be considered as worshiping them.
Another point is that idols made of stone and wood had no permission to harm or benefit and it was only the claim of idol-worshipers who believed in the effects of those stone and wood and their beliefs are different from the effects believed to exist in the Shafa'a of the intercessors by the permission of God.
In the above mentioned verse, God addresses the idol-worshipers that, "you believe in positions for idols I have not given to them. Do you want to give news to God about what (idols' effects) He does not have news about?" and this is different with asking the friends of God for Shafa'a.
This verse has not mentioned anything about asking for Shafa'a; rather it addresses believing in the Shafa'a of idols, "they say, 'These are our intercessors with Allah.'" and it has not said, "they say, make intercession for us before Allah.'"
Therefore, if Wahhabi's reasoning is right, then believing in Shafa'a would be totally polytheistic and this includes Wahhabis as well, because they believe in Shafa'a in general.
Hadith Rejecting the Request for Shafa'a from People
- "Know that He Who owns the treasuries of the heavens and of the earth has permitted you to pray to Him and has promised you acceptance of the prayer. He has commanded you to beg from Him in order that He may give you and to seek His mercy in order that He may have mercy on you. He has not placed anything between you and Him that may veil Him from you. He has not required you to get a mediator for you to Him, and if you err, He has not prevented you from repentance."
Secondly, by the sentence "He has not required you to get a mediator for you to Him", Imam 'Ali (a) meant that God's mercy upon people is not like people's so that when they do not know some people, they refer to some people to introduce them to those people so that they can reach their wishes; because God is the Knower of secrets and the Unseen and knows all humans and their requests directly; but He refers people to the means due to His wisdom and because the causal system in the world of nature and spirituality requires.
God Almighty has not made human distressed so that he needs to refer to a mediator or an intercessor; because the need for a mediator is when there is no access to the main person either due to his meanness or ignorance about the rights of the one who requests; while God has no meanness or restriction of access contrary to the opinions of the Christians and polytheists who believe that there needs to be means between God and human beings.
Request from Those who have Passed away
- Main article: Visiting Graves
Wahhabis say that asking Shafa'a from intercessors after their demise is impermissible since it is a polytheistic act and the dead cannot hear the living.
If some action are polytheistic, it would be polytheistic both in this world and the hereafter and there would be no difference. Moreover, death is about body, while soul is living and hearing du'as and Shafa'a and answering it is related with the soul not the body.
There are many Sunni hadiths about reciting Salawat upon the Prophet (s) and saying Salam (salutation) to him from far or near and it is clarified that the Prophet (s) hears these Salams and praises and answers to them.
We Have No Rights to Ask Them
- "If one says that, 'the Prophet (s) is given the rights to make Shafa'a and I ask him about what God has given to him'; the answer would be that God has given him the rights to make Shafa'a, but He has prohibited you from asking him and has said that, 'so do not invoke anyone along with Allah. (72:18)'"
Answer Firstly, the above verse has no relation with asking for Shafa'a; and it is about the polytheists who considered independent partners for God and asked them their requests and thus such verses cannot be identified with believers.
Secondly, as it is mentioned above, the meaning of this verse and other such verses which have come with "مع" [with] is that no being should ever be considered at the same level with God, but if one believes that God has given permission to a means or mediator to do something while he considers anything done by the order of God; this would not be an act of polytheism, and it is along with monotheism, the same as when in the Qur'an, Prophet Jesus (a) attributes healing the sick, reviving the dead, and even creating a bird from mud to himself but depending on the permission of God.
Deniers of Shafa'a
Those who have basically denied Shafa'a have mentioned some reasons:
Boldness over Sinning
Some believe that believing in Shafa'a causes boldness over sinning in people and revives the spirit of transgression in sinners and criminals; thus, believing in it is not compatible with the spirit of the Islamic law and other laws.
Firstly, if it is so, repentance which brings the forgiveness of sins can be considered as encouraging people to sin again; while, repentance is an original Islamic belief and agreed by all Muslims.
Secondly, Shafa'a would lead to transgression only if includes all criminals in general; but, if it becomes ambiguous that for what sins and sinners and when on the Day of Judgment, Sahfa'a would be used, then it would not lead to encouragement of sinning.
There is No Need for a Mediator
God is closer to human beings than their veins and more merciful than anyone to His creation, thus why would we go to anyone other than Him for any request.
It is true that God is closer to us than our vein, but the wisdom of creation of human being on earth has required that God sends His messengers to guide people than speaking directly to them and that wisdom also required that the position of these messengers would be high before people so that the guidance would be accomplished in a better way, therefore God granted them infallibility from sinning and error, so that human being would follow them confidently and gave them positions in appearance so that their great positions before God is better known to people and attracted people's hearts to them.
In the Qur'an, God mentions some cases and tells people to take these people as mediator in order to reach better results, cases such as the brothers of Prophet Joseph (a) who asked their father to intercede for them and ask God for their forgiveness, or elsewhere introduced the Last Prophet's (s) asking for forgiveness more effective than people's own supplication or mentioned that people referred to prophet Jesus (s) as the divine proof of their time to heal their sick ones and solve their problems. If it was wrong to take a mediator while knowing the closeness of God, it must have been criticized in the Qur'an, not introducing it to people as a recommended act.
Justice or Oppression
Shafa'a removes the punishment, which is either justice or oppression. If it is justice, then punishment has been God's oppression (God forbids), and if it's not and punishment is justice, then Sahfa'a of intercessors and their action in removing the punishment is oppression.
Answer Removing the punishment can be mercy and neither labels of justice or punishment applies about it. In other words, removing punishment is mercy and above justice. God, the Immaculate has determined punishment for wrongdoers according to His justice, but removing punishment due to Shafa'a is mercy and kindness. God has taught His servants to be just and ordered them to try to reach the level higher than justice which is kindness,
|“||"Indeed Allah enjoins justice and kindness,…"||”|
|— Qur'an, 19:90|
He also taught His servants that if one did wrong about you, you can punish one due to justice, however it would be better if you forgive one due to patience and kindness.
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- Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.6 p.19
- New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol.7 p.519-520
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- Q, 39:44, 32:4
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- Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, vol.1 p.301; Al-Nasa'i, Sunan, vol.1 p.209
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- Qur'an 4:85
- Qur'an, 21:28
- Qur'an 19:87
- Qur'an 43:86
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- Fayd al-Kashani, 'Ilm al-yaqin, vol.2 p.1325; Al-Bukhari, Sahih, vol.4 p.392; Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.8 p.362
- Al-Himyari, Qurb al-isnad, p.64; Al-Qazwini, Sunan Ibn Maja, vol.2 p.724
- Qur'an, 21:28
- Al-Himyari, Qurb al-isnad, p.64; Al-Qazwini, Sunan Ibn Maja, vol.2 p.724
- Ridwani, Salafigari, p.465
- Ibn Taymiyya, Majmu' al-fatawa, vol.1 p.314
- Ibn Taymiyya, Majmu' al-fatawa, vol.3 p.147
- 'Abd al-Rahman b. Hasan Al Shaykh, Kitab al-tawhid, p.258
- Scholars of Najd, al-Durar al-sunniyya, vol.1 p.231
- Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, vol.4 p.621
- Qur'an, 10:18
- Nahj al-balagha, vol.3 p.47
- Abu Dawud, Sunan, vol.2 p.218
- Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Wahhab, Kashf al-shubahat, p.25
- Qur'an 3:44
- Qur'an, 12:97, 98
- Q, 4:64
- Qur'an, 3:49
- Qur'an, 16:126
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