Ibn Rajab on Faith & the Hadîth of Intercession
April 9, 2007 4 Comments
I translated this quote and sent it out on the Aqeedatus-Salaf Yahoo Groups mailing list sometime last year. I thought I would edit it slightly and post it here on my blog for the benefit of the visitors who bother to come here. Allah willing, those who find interest in it will benefit from what the great imam mentions regarding this hadîth.
In his book at-Takhwîf ‘an an-Nâr (Inciting Fear for the Fire), Ibn Rajab writes,
Zaid bin Aslam narrated from ‘Atâ’ bin Yassâr, from Abî Sa’îd al-Khudrî, from the Prophet, may Allah send salutations and peace upon him, in a long hadîth from which mention of the journey over the Bridge (the Sirât) preceded, then he said, « … until when the believers are saved from the Fire. Then by the One in whose hand is my soul, none of you are more intense in earnest appeal to Allah for the fulfillment of a right than the believers to Allah on the Day of Standing for their brothers who are in the Fire. They will say, “Our Lord! Surely, they used to fast with us, and pray and make pilgrimage!” So it is said to them, “Go and take out whoever you recognise for their likenesses are forbidden for the Fire.” So they take out many people [who] the Fire had seized upto the halves of their shins and up to their knees.
Then they say, “Our Lord! No one of those you commanded us to [take out] remain.” So it is said to them, “Return, and whoever you find a dînâr’s weight of good in his heart, then take him out.” So they take out many people. Thereafter they say, “Our Lord! We did not leave anyone [left] in it from whoever you ordered us [to take out].” Then He says, “Return, and whoever you find half a dînâr’s weight of good in his heart, then take him out.” So they take out many people. Then they say, “Our Lord! We did not leave anyone in it from whoever you ordered us to take out.” Then He says, “Return, and whoever you find an atom’s weight of good in his heart, then take him out.” So they take out man people. Then they say, “Our Lord! We did not leave any good in it!”»
Abū Sa’îd used to say, “If you do not attest to this hadîth, then if you wish, read «Surely, Allah does not wrong the weight of an atom» (4:40).”
«Then Allah says, “The angels interceded. The Prophets interceded. The believers interceded. And [no one] remains except the most Merciful of the merciful.” So He grabs a handful from the Fire, and with it a people [who] did not do any good for Allah at all are taken out [who] had returned as embers. So they are thrown into a river in the spices of Paradise, for which it is said [to be] the River of Life. Then they are taken out just like the seed is taken out of in the flood’s silt.»
Then he mentioned the remainder of the hadîth. It is brought out in the two Sahîhs and its wording is Muslim’s. And the intent of his statement «[they] did not do any good at all» is from the deeds of the limbs, even if the root of monotheism was with them. And due to this it came in the hadîth of the one who ordered his family to burn him after his death with fire that he did not do any good at all other than monotheism; it was brought out by Imam Ahmad from the hadîth of Abî Hurairah in raised (marfū’) form and from the hadîth of Ibn Mas’ūd in stopped (mawqūf) form. And what is in the hadîth of Anas from the Prophet, may Allah send salutations and peace upon him, regarding the hadîth of the intercession testifies to this; he said, «Then I say, “O [my] Lord! Permit me [to intercede] for whoever said there is no god [worthy of worship] except Allah.” So He says, “By My might, by My sublimity, by My splendour, and by My majesty, I will surely take out whoever said there is no god [worthy of worship] except Allah.”» It was brought out in the two Sahîhs and with Muslim is [the wording] «Then He says, “That is not for you,”» or «Then He says, “That is not to you.”» And this indicates that those who Allah takes out by His mercy are not from the intercession of the created beings. They are the people of the word of monotheism who did not do any good with their limbs at all along with it [i.e., the word of monotheism]. And Allah is more knowledgeable.