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Intercession and tomb making in Islam

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Islam is divided into many sects. Some sects consider that it is necessary to made someone intercession in order to gain Allah’s love and nearness. This concept is actually a Bidah or the exaggeration of what Allah had taught us in Quran or in accordance with the sunnah is the view of one sect whether other sects consider it right to make someone intercession. Allah is closest to ones jugular vein so is there any need to find an intercession to reach Allah Almighty which is everywhere and ever listening. let us know about the views of different sects and Quranic verses in this regard.

Meaning of Waseelah or intercession

Word waseelah is an Arabic word which is considered as a mean to achieve a goal.

Waseelah according to different sects

There are different views about waseelah in different sects. Some sects consider to make people waseelah in order to gain Allah’s nearness while others consider it wrong to make someone waseelah between them and Allah (SWT).  The verse 35 of Surah Al Maida is the base of intercession.

O you who have believed, fear Allah and seek the means of nearness to Him and strive in His cause that you may succeed.

Both types of people take this intercession into different meaning. Let us discuss the views of both sects.

First sect
  1. According to the first sect, the good and pious people whether living or dead are intercession between them and Allah and the dead pious people can hear others.
  2. The dead or alive pious people are already very close to Allah so a wish made to Allah through those people will never be underrated or ignored by Allah.
  3. This intercession of pious people between them and Allah is the guarantee of fulfillment of their wishes in this world and on the day of judgement.
Other sect
  1. According to these people, the intercession is the attributes of Allah (SWT). Ask Allah by calling Him with these names and He will never let one down.

and to Allah belongs the best names, so invoke Him by them. Surah Al Airaaf verse 180

  1. The intercession which is pointed out in this verse are the good deeds, Salah, Zakat, Fasting, refraining from haram and doing halal acts, respecting parents etc.
  2. If a person, who is considered as an intercession, is a pious and living person then he can make invocation for others but there is no guarantee of its fulfillment and one should personally know that he is fulfilling all his duties which are made fard by Allah. This does not include the Sufis or people who disguise themselves as pious people. A pious person is one who observes all the fard and refrain from all the sins.
  3. Parents can also do invocation for one’s children.
  4. The intercession can be the good deeds of one which can be reminded to Allah to gain goodness.
  5. A dead person cannot be an intercession for someone as he cannot hear nor do something for others. In the following verse it is clearly written that they don’t have power over anything.

Or have they taken other than Allah as intercessors? Say, “Even though they do not possess [power over] anything, nor do they reason?” surah zumur verse 43

In verse 20 and 21 of Surah nahal it is narrated that.

And those they invoke other than Allah create nothing, and they themselves are created.

They are dead, not alive, and they do not perceive when they will be resurrected.

In the above mentioned verses it is clearly written that dead people cannot do anything so doesn’t invoke them other than Allah.

Visiting graves in Islam

Visiting graves in Islam is recommended but it is only to remind about ones of his death. The graves and graveyard is a sign of one’s end and one should visit it to refrain himself from the sins. In addition to this, when one visits the grave then he should seek forgiveness from Allah (SWT) for himself and for the one who is buried in the grave. It is not right to visit the graves and ask from them the wishes and blessings.

Those whom they invoke seek means of access to their Lord which of them would be nearest, and they hope for His mercy and fear His punishment, Indeed, the punishment of your Lord is ever feared. Surah Bani Isreal verse 57.

Making tombs prohibited in Islam

Islam prohibited making of graves in a tomb form. If a grave is made with concrete or any other way then it should be broken down. A grave should be made in level with the ground. A grave should not be higher than a hand span and if there is any then level it with ground. so if making tombs is prohibited so how can one assume that making wishes to those dead people can be permitted?

How first tomb was made and how the shirk was started?

Wadd was the first idol who was worshiped by the people. Word Wadd means love as it is derived from the word Wuddah of Arabic. He was a very pious and righteous man. For his piousness,

Allah(SWT) put his love in the hearts of people around him and Allah (SWT) gave him very pious and righteous children as a reward. The name of his four sons was Suwa, Yaghooth, Yaooq and Nasr.  Their names were also mentioned in verse 23 of surah Noah. They also preached goodness and faith to people around them like their father. People of that time loved all of them so much.  After their death, people used to miss them.  Satan appeared in the form of a human and started to whisper in their ears to sit on their graves and mourn as they were loved and followed by many people. Then Satan saw a huge amount of gathering on their graves, which were made in form of tombs, so he suggested making their idols which could be put at a place of gathering to remember the way they worship Allah. People of that time liked this suggestion too and they made idols of them in different postures and put these at a common place of gathering. The idea was to remember them and to follow their righteous path.

After that, Satan misguided the second generation to make idols and pictures of them and put these in their houses so it can be easy for them to remember them. They liked the idea and made idols and pictures which they put inside their houses in remembrance of all of them. Then the third generation came to which Satan mislead towards worshiping these idols as God and they assumed that these idols were worshiped by their forefathers. So Allah sent Prophet Noah (AS) with the warning. But his people did not pay attention to his message and then the punishment of Allah came to them and destroyed them.

So this was the time when people start doing shirk which was started with making tombs of the pious people and hanging their pictures in their houses. So making tombs and hanging the pictures of pious people in houses is prohibited in Islam.

Then the Christians love Prophet Issa so much that Satan misguided them to worship him as well. These are the Quranic examples of excessive love. When the love for a human being becomes excessive than the love for Allah, it leads towards shirk.

To know about the history of Shirk and when it is started please check the article shirk.

Can prophet (PBUH) be a waseelah

Our holy Prophet (PBUH) was the most beloved Prophet of Allah Almighty and like every Prophet he was granted a wish which Allah (SWT) will never ignore. The wish of Prophet (PBUH) was saved for the day of judgement. He will surely become intercession for every Muslim at the day of judgement but to make him intercession in this world is not a proper way. If one wants Allah (SWT) to grant him wishes then he should invoke Allah by His names or personal good deeds.

Culture instead of Sunnah

Going and bowing down in tombs is a cultural practice not a Sunnah. So connecting this with Islam is just ignorance. Its equivalent of bowing down in front of idols.

Why people or anything else cannot be a waseelah

In Quran, Allah mentioned several times that no one can be intercession until Allah(SWT) on the day of judgement commands them to be waseelah for others. The persons on this earth or the persons whom we consider waseelah may not be granted with this power by Allah (SWT) so making someone of our own choice intercession is equivalent to shirk. Allah (SWT) alone knows who can be waseelah and this will be done on the day of judgement with His commandment.

And intercession does not benefit with Him except for one whom He permits. Surah Saba verse 54.

None will have power of intercession except he who had taken from the most Merciful a covenant. Surah Maryam verse 87.

That day, no intercession will benefit except one to whom the Most Merciful has given permission and has accepted his word. Surah Taha verse 109.

In addition to this, Hadith number 4712 of Sahih Bukhari clarifies that even the Prophets will be very afraid of Allah (SWT) on the day of judgement. They will be thinking of their own selves that what will Allah(SWT) do to them for the one sin they had conducted in their lifetimes. So if Prophets were in such a grief and they were thinking of their own selves then how can a common person be intercession for the other people?

Narrated Abu Huraira: Some (cooked) meat was brought to Allah Apostle and the meat of a forearm was presented to him as he used to like it. He ate a morsel of it and said, I will be the chief of all the people on the Day of Resurrection. Do you know the reason for it? Allah will gather all the human being of early generations as well as late generation on one plain so that the announcer will be able to make them all-hear his voice and the watcher will be able to see all of them. The sun will come so close to the people that they will suffer such distress and trouble as they will not be able to bear or stand. Then the people will say, ‘Don’t you see to what state you have reached? Won’t you look for someone who can intercede for you with your Lord’ Some people will say to some others, ‘Go to Adam.’ So they will go to Adam and say to him. ‘You are the father of mankind; Allah created you with His Own Hand, and breathed into you of His Spirit (meaning the spirit which he created for you); and ordered the angels to prostrate before you; so (please) intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are? Don’t you see what condition we have reached?’ Adam will say, ‘Today my Lord has become angry as He has never become before, nor will ever become thereafter. He forbade me (to eat of the fruit of) the tree, but I disobeyed Him . Myself! Myself! Myself! (I am preoccupied with my own problems). Go to someone else; go to Noah.’ So they will go to Noah and say (to him), ‘O Noah! You are the first (of Allah’s Messengers) to the people of the earth, and Allah has named you a thankful slave; please intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are?’ He will say.’ Today my Lord has become angry as He has never become nor will ever become thereafter. I had (in the world) the right to make one definitely accepted invocation, and I made it against my nation. Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Abraham.’ They will go to Abraham and say, ‘O Abraham! You are Allah’s Messenger and His Khalil from among the people of the earth; so please intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are?’ He will say to them, ‘My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before, nor will ever become thereafter. I had told three lies (Abu Haiyan (the sub-narrator) mentioned them in the Hadith) Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Moses.’ The people will then go to Moses and say, ‘O Moses! You art Allah’s Messenger and Allah gave you superiority above the others with this message and with His direct Talk to you; (please) intercede for us with your Lord Don’t you see in what state we are?’ Moses will say, ‘My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before, nor will become thereafter, I killed a person whom I had not been ordered to kill. Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Jesus.’ So they will go to Jesus and say, ‘O Jesus! You are Allah’s Messenger and His Word which He sent to Mary, and a superior soul created by Him, and you talked to the people while still young in the cradle. Please intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are?’ Jesus will say. ‘My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before nor will ever become thereafter. Jesus will not mention any sin, but will say, ‘Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Muhammad.’ So they will come to me and say, ‘O Muhammad ! You are Allah’s Messenger and the last of the prophets, and Allah forgave your early and late sins. (Please) intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are? The Prophet added, Then I will go beneath Allah’s Throne and fall in prostration before my Lord. And then Allah will guide me to such praises and glorification to Him as He has never guided anybody else before me. Then it will be said, ‘O Muhammad Raise your head. Ask, and it will be granted. Intercede and It (your intercession) will be accepted.’ So I will raise my head and Say, ‘My followers, O my Lord! My followers, O my Lord’. It will be said, ‘O Muhammad! Let those of your followers who have no accounts, enter through such a gate of the gates of Paradise as lies on the right; and they will share the other gates with the people. The Prophet further said, By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, the distance between every two gate-posts of Paradise is like the distance between Mecca and Basra (in Sham).

Thirdly, only Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) can become intercession because they had left with a wish which was granted to every Prophet so by using this wish , he invokes Allah(SWT) mercy and we can go to jannah then in sha ALLAH. But asking him to become intercession in front of Allah in this world is not a good practice.

Fourthly, Allah has the power to do anything. He is the master of day and night, good and bad and everything a person needs so directly asking from him is the appropriate thing. Allah (S.W.T) is closest to the jugular vein of every person so what is the need to go to some ones tomb or to some person for seeking help when Allah (S.W.T) alone can help. The key to gain Allah’s love and nearness is the takwa actually. When one believes in mercy of Allah(SWT) then He will definitely bestow people with everything. 

Proof of Allah is the only intercession

In Quran, Allah had mentioned various times that He is only the one who can fulfill the wishes of His creation. Intercession entirely belongs to Him.

Say, “To Allah belongs [the right to allow] intercession entirely. To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. Then to Him you will be returned.” Surah Zumur verse 44.

And warn by the Qur’an those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord – for them besides Him will be no protector and no intercessor – that they might become righteous. Surah al Anam verse 51 

He causes the night to enter the day, and He causes the day to enter the night and has subjected the sun and the moon – each running [its course] for a specified term. That is Allah , your Lord; to Him belongs sovereignty. And those whom you invoke other than Him do not possess [as much as] the membrane of a date seed. Surah al. Fatir verse 13

And [mention] when they will argue within the Fire, and the weak will say to those who had been arrogant, “Indeed, we were [only] your followers, so will you relieve us of a share of the Fire?” . Those who had been arrogant will say, “Indeed, all [of us] are in it. Indeed, Allah has judged between the servants.” Surah al Ghafir verses 47 and 48.

so one should only ask from Allah (SWT) and invoke him by His names and one’s good deeds. Intercession of common persons is not a good practice so one should refrain from it.

 

if you find any mistake in this article please feel free to point it out and contact us. we will try to solve it in the light of Quran and Sunnah. May Allah ease the way of jannah for our family. May Allah bless us all with authentic knowledge of Islam.

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