11.3.2020

Question:

The Shafa’ah (Intercession) of the Prophet to his household.

Alsalam alaykum wa rahmatu Allah wa barakatuh (Muslim greeting: Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you) dear sir, and may God reward you for this blessed website.

I have been honoured to read this Hadith (Saying of the Prophet):

Jabir bin Abdullah (companion of the Prophet) said: “The household of the Prophet of God had a servant-maid named Barirah. A man met her when the top part of her hair was uncovered and said to her: O’ Barirah, cover your hair (the part that was uncovered), for Muhammad would not save you from Allah, so she told the apostle of Allah. Our beloved Prophet went out pulling his garments and his cheeks turned red, and we Al-Ansar (the people of Medinah) knew when the Prophet was upset when he pulled his garments and his cheeks reddened, so we took our weapons and came to the Prophet and told him, O Messenger of Allah ask us anything you want for by the Almighty who sent you to us if you were to ask us to turn against our mothers, fathers and offspring we would do so. Then he went up the minber (pulpit of a mosque) and he praised and glorified Allah Almighty and then he said: Who am I? We said you are God’s messenger, he answered yes but who am I? We said: Muhammad son of Abdullah son of Abdulmutalib son of Hashim son of Abdumanaf. The Prophet said: I am the preeminent among the descendants of Adam (mankind) and I do not take pride in being so, the first whom the earth will break open for (raised on the day of judgement) and I do not take pride in that, and on the day of judgment I will be in the shade and protection of God the Most Merciful when there will be none but his shade and protection and I do not take pride in that. Why do I hear that some say my kinship and blood will be of no benefit to them? It will indeed, and it will reach out to Jabaa and Hakam (two tribes in the land of Yemen). I will intercede and my intercession shall be accepted and even those whom I intercede for will have their own intercession and theirs shall be accepted. Even Iblis (Satan) will dare to hope in my Intercession”.

Dear Sir, how can I reconcile and match the above Hadith with God’s revelation in the Holy Quran “So when the Horn is blown, no relationship will there be among them that Day, nor will they ask about one another.”,Holy Quran, Al-Muminoon (The Believers) 23:101, and with the Prophet’s saying when this verse was revealed:” And warn thy nearest kindred “Holy Quran, Al-Shuaraa (The Poets), 26:214, the Messenger of Allah (God’s peace and blessings be upon him) called Quraish (the Prophet’s clan); so they gathered and he gave them a general warning. Then he made a particular (reference to certain families) and said: O sons of Ka’b bin Luwayy, save yourselves from the Hell Fire; O sons of Abdumanaf rescue yourselves from the Hell Fire; O sons of Hashim, rescue yourselves from the Hell Fire; O sons of Abdulmuttalib, rescue yourselves from the Hell Fire; O Fatimah daughter of Muhammad (The Prophet’s daughter), rescue thyself from the Hell Fire, for I have no power (to protect you) from Allah in anything except this, that I would sustain relationship with you”.

Thank you dear Sir,

Name: Zaydun.

Answer:

Peace and Allah’s blessings and mercy be upon you and may Allah Almighty reward you all the very best and bless us all with his remembrance for he is the all giving and the best of givers God the righteous Almighty says in the Holly Quran: {Indeed, We have granted you, [O Muhammad], al-Kawthar} Holy Quran, Al-Kawthar (Abundance) 108:1.

Abu Bishr narrated that Sa`id bin Jubair narrated that Ibn `Abbas said about Al-Kauthar. “That is the good (abundance) which Allah has bestowed upon His Apostle. (I asked Sa`id bin Jubair. “But the people claim that it is a river in Paradise.” Sa`id said, “The river in Paradise is part of the good (abundance) which Allah has bestowed on His Apostle). Narrated by Bukhari.

Imam Mujahid (late Muslim scholar) God’s blessings be upon him said: Al-Kawthar is the abundance and plenty of good in this life and the afterlife.

Akrimah (late Muslim scholar) said (Al-Kawthar is the Prophethood and the Holy Quran and God’s reward in the afterlife). Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 8/501.

God Almighty has bestowed on our beloved Prophet from his infinite bounty and his enormous everlasting good what we know of and what we have no knowledge of. And the intercession is from the good and bounty that we know of.

We know of the Prophet’s Intercession from the blessed Hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) The Prophet said (I have been given a choice between owning the Intercession and having half of my nation go to Heaven, I chose the Intercession for it’s bigger and more bountiful. Do you see this (the Intercession of the Prophet) for the pious ? No, it is for the wrongdoing polluted sinners). Narrated by Imam Ahmed and Tabrani.

So if the Intercession of the Prophet is for the impure, should not his household (God’s blessings be upon them) hope for it for they deserve it more than anyone else since they are his household and they are those whom Allah has purified {Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification} Holy Quran, Al-Ahzab (The Clans) 33:33.

God’s peace and blessings be on the Prophet, his household and his companions for they are the people of honour and trust.

This is when we speak of the Prophet’s Intercession in general, but there are Hadiths (Prophet’s sayings) that show the Prophet will intercede with a special intercession intended for his household and family. Some of these Hadiths are as follows:

1- Abuydallah Ibn abe Rafi’a narrated that Mussawer Ibn Makhrama said (that Hassen son of Hassen (The Prophet’s great grandson) proposed to marry Mussawer’s daughter, Maussawer met with Hassen and praised God Almighty and said to Hassen by God’s grace there is no family, kinship, lineage and in-law relation that is more loved to me than your family, your kinship, your lineage and your in-law relation but the Prophet said ”Fatima is part of me and what saddens her makes me sad and what makes her happy makes me happy, and all lineages are broken on the day of judgment but my lineage, kinship and in-law relation” & you are married to Fatima’s granddaughter* (Fatima is the Prophet’s daughter), and the last I want to do is to make her sad, for if I do that I will make her grandmother (Fatima daughter of the Prophet) sad so Hassen excused him and left).

(*Fatima’s granddaughter here is also named Fatima; she is Fatima daughter of Hussein and she was married to her cousin Hassen son of Hassen). Narrated by Imam Hakim and Imam Dhahabi (God’s blessings be upon them) Lineage in the above Hadith is what comes by birth and in law relation is what comes through marriage with the Prophet’s family (descendants). God’s peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad and his family, descendants and his companions, for they are the people of honour and trust.

The above Hadith was narrated by Imam Ahmed (Famous late Muslim scholar and author of the book of Hadith collection: “Masnad Ahmed”).

2- Abu Saeed Al-Khidri, Allah’s blessing be upon him said: (I heard the Prophet of God (Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him) say on the Minber (The Prophet’s pulpit): “Why do some people say that my kinship is of no benefit? Indeed by Allah Almighty it is, for my kinship is allied (of benefit and affiliation) in this life and the afterlife, and I O people will proceed you to the Haudh (the Prophet’s sacred Lake Fount / Cistern) and when I will be there men will rise and one will say O Messenger of Allah it is me, and another will say O’ Messenger of Allah it is me and a third will say O’ Messenger of Allah it is me. I will answer: I know you but you have innovated estranged new things in religion after me and you have retracted). Narrated by Imam Al-Hakim and confirmed by Imam Al-Dhahabi (Late Muslim scholars) May Allah bless them.

3- Abdul-Rahman Ibn Abe Rafi’a (God’s blessings be upon him) narrated that (Um Han’i daughter of Abu Talib went out unveiled, with her earrings exposed when Umar Ibn Al-Khattab saw her and he said to her” Know that Muhammad will not protect you from Allah”; she went to the Prophet and told him, our master the Prophet (God’s peace and blessings be upon) him said” Why do some people suggest that my intercession does not include my household? For it does and it encompasses H’a and Hakam”. H’a and Hakam are two tribes. Narrated by Tabrani (late scholar) in his book of Hadith 9/257

4- Abu Hurayra and Ammar Bin Yassir (companions of the Prophet), said  (Durrah daughter of Abu Lahab came to Madinah as an emigrant (Muhajirah), and stayed at the house of Rafi’a Bin Al-Mual’a Al-Zureki when some women sitting with her from the Zureki family asked her: Are you daughter of Abu-Lahab whom God Almighty condemned? {Perish the hands of Abu Lahab* and perish he, His wealth and fortune will not suffice him, neither what he has gained} Holy Quran, Al-Massad (The Plaited Rope), 111:1 (*Abu Lahab was an uncle of the Prophet whom God named Abu Lahab meaning father of the flame) Those women asked Durrah daughter of Abu Lahab: How will your flight to Medinah help you? Durrah (the Prophet’s cousin) came to the Prophet (God’s blessings and peace be upon him) and complained to him what those women said. The Prophet of God comforted her and reassured her and asked her to sit down then he conducted the mid-day prayers with the people and sat on his minber (the Prophet’s pulpit) for a while then he said: O people, why am I hurt and disturbed with my family and household? For by God my intercession will reach out to the tribes of H’a, Hay, Hakem, Sud’a and Selheb on the day of Judgment). (These are tribes in Yemen). Imam Haythemy (late Muslim scholar) said, this Hadith (saying of the Prophet) was narrated by Al-Tabarani. 8/258

5- And also the Hadith (Prophet’s saying) narrated by Jabir Ibn Abdullah God’s blessings be upon them, i.e. the Hadith that was mentioned in the question above.

All of the above Hadiths (Prophet’s sayings) do not include those of his relatives or kinship and relation that did not or will not believe in him but these saying are about the believers among his relatives and kinship and this is the case till the Day of Judgment.

So the meaning of the above Hadiths (Prophet’s sayings) is that on the Day of Judgment, the Prophet’s honoured lineage is not broken but connected (coherent and meaningful) and will be of great benefit to his descendants. This is the great grant and award that Allah Almighty has bestowed upon the Prophet and cited him with, God’s blessings and peace be upon him.

Imam Ibn Katheer (late famous Muslim scholar) addressed the unique characters of the Prophet’s lineage in his book, Al-Fusool Fee Sirat Al-Rasool (The Chapters of the Prophet’s Biography) pages 342-344: (and of the unique characters of the honoured lineage of the Prophet is that on the Day of Judgment every lineage and relation will break and will have no benefit apart from his lineage, kinship and relation by marriage) Allah’s peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet.

That is why early Muslims were keen to adhere to this honoured lineage (the family of the Prophet). Our master Umar Ibn Al-Khatab (the second Caliph, Allah’s blessing be upon him) comes to a gathering of the Prophet’s companions from the Muhajirun (the Meccans who emigrated to Medina) and the Ansar (the people of Medina) and he asked them: (Wish me good union, understanding and blessings for I have married Um Kulthum daughter of Ali (granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad); I heard the Prophet of Allah say “Every lineage, kinship and marriage relation is broken apart from my lineage, kinship and marriage relation”. I am related to the Prophet through kinship but I wanted to add relation through marriage. They wished him well and he was blessed with a son (Zaid) and a daughter (Ruqaya)). Source: Masnad Al-Farook (2/126) by Imam Ibn Katheer, Allah’s blessings be upon him.

And to harmonize between the above Hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) and to what God says in the Holy Quran {So when the Horn is blown, no relationship will there be among them that Day, nor will they ask about one another}. Holy Quran, Al-Muminoon (The Believers) 23:101.

To understand this, Imam Hafidh Ibn Katheer (late famous scholar, God’s blessing be upon him) said: [It means that his nation (Prophet Muhammad’s nation) will relate to him (The Prophet), whilst nations of other Prophets will not. And through the relation of his lineage there will come great benefit, and there will be no benefit what so ever through other lineages and relations, {And [mention] the Day when We will resurrect among every nation a witness over them from themselves. And We will bring you, [O Muhammad], as a witness over your nation. And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims}. Holy Quran, Al-Nahl (The Bees) 16:89.

{And for every nation there is a messenger. And when their messenger cometh (on the Day of Judgment) it will be judged between them fairly, and they will not be wronged} Holy Quran ,Yunus (Jonah) 10:47.

In many verses of the Holy Quran, each and every nation will be called by their Prophet to whom God has sent, and Allah Almighty knows best]. Source: Al-Fusool Fee Sirat Al-Rasool “The Chapters in the Prophet’s Biography” pages 342-344.

And the way to reconcile between the above Hadiths about the Prophet’s intercession for his household and the Hadith mentioned in the question above, that was narrated by Imam Muslim (God’s blessings be upon him) about the Prophet having no power to protect them, the way to understand this is through what the Ulama (Muslim scholars), God’s blessing be upon them said. Imam Haytami said: (The Prophet peace be upon him has no power but Allah Almighty will grant him and bestow upon him the Shafa’ah (the Intercession), the general intercession for his nation and a special one for his kin and family. For he (the Prophet peace be upon him) has none but what Allah gives him and that is the meaning of what he said in the above Hadith mentioned in the question “for I have no power (to protect you) from Allah in anything except this that I would sustain relationship with you” and the meaning of “I have no power” as in by myself without the unique grant and bestowment of Intercession and forgiveness. And the Prophet spoke to his kin in this way to strike fear in their hearts from God Almighty and to encourage them to be the first of the pious and believers and then he addressed and pointed to the rights and advantages of kinship in this blessed Hadith (i.e. “I would sustain relationship with you”) to give them hope and peace). Source: “Al-Sawai’q Al-Muhriqah (Burning lightnings) Vol. 2 pages: 259-260”.

I pray that God Almighty may include us in the beloved Prophets’ Intercession. May God’s peace and blessings be upon his beloved Prophet and his family and companions and whoever follows him. O Allah we seek refuge to you for you are the best of givers.

And God Almighty knows best.