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The Intercession of the Prophet on the Day of Judgment

Answered by Ustadh Tariq Abdul-Rasheed

Question: Assalamu alaikum. Some people say that on Judgment Day we will be running after some prophets like Ibrahim, Nuh, Musa, etc. to intercede on our behalf but they will say they can’t help us and thereafter we will go to Prophet Muhammad and he is the one that will help the believer. Is this true?

Answer: Wa laikum salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh,

Allah (The Exalted and Glorified) says in the Holy Qur’an, “And for a part of the night, keep vigil therewith as a supererogatory [devotion] for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praiseworthy station.” [Isra’a: 79]

From amongst the tremendous favors Allah (swt) has granted our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is the Major Intercession on the Day of Judgment. It is one of the blessings of distinction and excellence that is the mark of his excellence over the other Prophets and Messengers (peace be upon them all).

The scholars of Qur’anic Exegeses regard the “praiseworthy station” mentioned in verse 79 of Surah Isra’a to refer to the Major Intercession that has been singularly reserved for al-Habib (peace and blessings be upon him). [Alusi, Ruh al-Ma’ani ; Ibn Ashur, Tahrir wa Tanweer]

A Praiseworthy Station

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has informed us by way of Anas: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The believers will be kept (waiting) on the Day of Resurrection so long that they will become worried and say, “Let us ask somebody to intercede for us with our Lord so that He may relieve us from our place.

Then they will go to Adam and say, ‘You are Adam, the father of the people. Allah created you with His Own Hand and made you reside in His Paradise and ordered His angels to prostrate before you, and taught you the names of all things will you intercede for us with your Lord so that He may relieve us from this place of ours? Adam will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking.’ He will mention his error which he committed, i.e., his eating off the tree though he had been forbidden to do so. He will add, ‘Go to Noah, the first prophet sent by Allah to the people of the Earth.’

The people will go to Noah who will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking’ He will mention his error which he committed, i.e., his asking his Lord without knowledge.’ He will say (to them), ‘Go to Abraham, Khalil ar-Rahman.’ They will go to Abraham who will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking. He would mention three words by which he was evasive, and say (to them). ‘Go to Moses, a slave whom Allah gave the Torah and spoke to directly and brought near Him, for conversation.’

They will go to Moses who will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking. He will mention his error which he committed, i.e., killing a person, and will say (to them), ‘Go to Jesus, Allah’s slave and His messenger, and a soul created by Him and His Word “Be: And it is”. They will go to Jesus who will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking but you’d better go to Muhammad the slave whose past and future sins have been forgiven by Allah.’ So they will come to me, and I will ask my Lord’s permission to enter His presence and then I will be permitted.

When I see Him I will fall down in prostration before Him, and He will leave me (in prostration) as long as He wills, and then He will say, ‘O Muhammad, lift up your head and speak, for you will be listened to, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask (for anything) for it will be granted:’ Then I will raise my head and glorify my Lord with certain praises which He has taught me. Allah will put a limit for me (to intercede for a certain type of people) I will take them out and make them enter Paradise.” (Qatada said: I heard Anas saying that), the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “I will go out and take them out of Hell (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, and then I will return and ask my Lord for permission to enter His presence and I will be permitted.

When see Him I will fall down in prostration before Him and He will leave me in prostration as long as He wants me (in that state), and then He will say, ‘O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be listened to, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask, your request will be granted.’ ” The Prophet (Prayers and blessing of Allah be upon him) added, “So I will raise my head and glorify and praise Him as He has taught me.

Then I will intercede and He will put a limit for me (to intercede for a certain type of people). I will take them out and let them enter Paradise.” (Qatada added: I heard Anas saying that) the Prophet said, ‘I will go out and take them out of Hell (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, and I will return for the third time and will ask my Lord for permission to enter His presence and I will be allowed to enter.

When I see Him, I will fall down in prostration before Him, and will remain in prostration as long as He will, and then He will say, ‘Raise your head, O Muhammad, and speak, for you will be listened to, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask, for your request will be granted.’ So I will raise my head and praise Allah as He has taught me and then I will intercede and He will put a limit for me (to intercede for a certain type of people). I will take them out and let them enter Paradise.”

(Qatada said: I heard Anas saying that) the Prophet (Prayers and blessing of Allah be upon him) said, “So I will go out and take them out of Hell (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, till none will remain in the Fire except those whom Qur’an will imprison (i.e., those who are destined for eternal life in the fire).” The narrator then recited the Verse:– “It may be that your Lord will raise you to a Station of Praise and Glory.’ (17.79) The narrator added: This is the Station of Praise and Glory which Allah has promised to your Prophet. [Kitab at-Tawheed, Sahih al-Bukhari No. 7440]

Belief in Intercession

Imam al-Bayjuri mentions that it is obligatory for a Muslim to believe in three aspects of the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings be upon him) intercession. Namely;

1. That he (peace and blessings be upon him) is an intercessor.

2. That his (peace and blessings be upon him) intercession is accepted [with Allah].

3. That his (peace and blessings be upon him) intercession will precede any other intercession on the Day of Judgment [i.e. The Major Intercession]. [Bayjuri, Tuhfat al-Mureed]

And Allah knows best

Tariq Abdul-Rasheed

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

What Will Happen to Plants and Animals on the Day of Judgment?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: What will happen to animals and plants on the day of judgement?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

On the day of judgement, animals will be resurrected. Those amongst them who were wronged by other animals (e.g. the hornless by the horned) will seek requital. After this, they will be turned into dust, as understood from the words of Abu Huraira. [Nawawi, Sharh Muslim; al-Hakim, Mustadrak]

It would seem that plants, too, will become dust on that day.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “All scores will be settled on the Day of Resurrection; even the hornless sheep from the horned.” [Muslim]

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

The Beast & The Smoke: Signs of the Last Hour

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Question: Could you please explain the meaning of the Smoke and the Beast, which are from among the signs of the last day?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

I pray you are well.

The Smoke and the Beast are among the signs of the Day of Judgment, mentioned in the Qur’an and in rigorously authentic narrations.

The Smoke

Allah Most High states, “So be on the watch for a day when heaven shall bring a manifest smoke covering the people; this is a painful chastisement.” [44: 10-11] The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “The Hour will not rise until you have seen ten signs: the rising of the sun from the west, the smoke, the beast…” [Muslim]

There is a difference of opinion regarding whether the “smoke” mentioned in the verse of the Qur’an refers to the smoke that was foretold as one of the signs of the Hour. `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud was of the opinion that it did not, while ibn `Abbas, `Ali, ibn `Umar, and others affirmed that it referred to the same smoke mentioned in the Prophetic narratives. [Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim; Qurtubi, Jami` al-Ahkam al-Qur’an]

Imam Qurtubi mentions that the smoke will cover the earth for a period of forty days, effecting both the believers and disbelievers. The former will be effected as if suffering from a common cold, whereas the latter will suffer harder. [Jami` al-Ahkam al-Qur’an]

The Emergence of the Beast

Allah Most High states, “We shall bring forth for them out of the earth a beast that shall speak unto them.” [27: 82] The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “The first of the signs [the Hour] to appear will be the rising of the sun from the west and the appearance of the Best before the people in the forenoon.” [Muslim]

There scholars differed greatly regarding the details related to the Beast, which, though not important to know, can be mentioned briefly as follows:

(a) Appearance: Some scholars, such as Imam Qurtubi, held that the beast is the she-camel of the Prophet Salih (Allah bless him). Others stated that it was an animal that is a hybrid of many different animals. Another opinion states that it is an actual human being, which is a very weak opinion. [Qurtubi, Tadkhira]

(b) Place of Emergence: Some stated that the Beast will emerge from Makka, basing it on a narration of Hudhayfa (Allah be well-pleased with him). Others stated that it will emerge from a desert, then disappear, then emerge from a village, then disappear, then finally from the Masjid al-Haram in Makka. There is another opinion that states it will emerge from Ta’if. [Qurtubi, Tadkhira; Alusi, Ruh al-Ma`ani]

(c) It’s Speech: The Beast will address the people with the words of Allah, “Mankind did not believe in our signs.” [27: 82] Others stated, quoting ibn `Abbas, that “speaking” refers to the action of the Beast in differentiating the believers and disbelievers.

(d) It’s Role: The Beast will be tasked to differentiate the believers from the disbelievers. Abu Hurayra (Allah be well-pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “The Beast of the earth will emerge and have with it the staff of Moses and the ring of Solomon.” [Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Musnad Ahmad] It will use these to mark off the believers from the disbelievers. [Qurtubi, Jami` al-Ahkam al-Qur’an]

An important point to note is that many of the opinions regarding the beast may not have sound basis in the texts. As such, believing in these subtle details is not necessary, except that which has come in the authentic narratives of the Prophet (Allah bless him). This includes, first and foremost, believing in the coming of the Beast itself, a point established decisively in the Qur’an, as well as it being a sign of the Last Hour, its speaking to people, and its task of differentiating the believers from the disbelievers.

Details regarding its appearance, where it will arise from, what it will say, and so forth, are matters of secondary importance. The safest route is to consign these modalities and details to Allah, while realizing that ultimately we will all return to Him to be judged for what we did in our worldly life.

Wasalam
Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani