Intercession of the righteous on Judgment Day
By: Ayatullah Shaheed Syed Abdul Husayn Dastaghaib Shirazi
The summary of a narration noted in volume 3 of Bihar is that, on the Day of Judgment, a voice will be heard from the Source of Majesty: O People! You fixed ranks of grace and honor on lineage, race, wealth and beauty. We have also fixed righteousness the criterion of gracefulness and honor. You acted in the world on the basis of your own standards and took pride in the said race, wealth, name and fame. All of you acted on this basis.
What you did not do was to see who has righteousness for honoring him. Now today is the day on which I act according to My criteria. Then comes a voice: O Righteousness people! Get up. O those who were God’s servants indeed! Rise up as your grace is to be manifested this day. According to the narration, every one of such righteous people will intercede for communities as big as Rabeeah and Mazar (two largest tribes in Arabia). God will multiply their honor. One of the wisdoms behind intercession is the manifestation of the grace of the intercessor. Hence the intercession of Husain in the highest of all, which, we hope, will reach everyone.
Bani Asad arrives in Medina
We will speak about faith and Islam and the circumstances of the revelation of the holy verse afterwards. The tribe of Bani Asad, whose population was apparently big, got up, took up their means and arrived in Medina and remained there. Greedy Arabs arrived and said: We want to become Muslims. They accepted Islam and stayed in Medina. They filled up the city of Medina. A number of them struck tents outside Medina and lived there. Every morning and evening, they came to the mosque and stayed with the Prophet saying, "O Messenger of Allah! We are different from all other tribes. Others submitted under pressure after wars and we did not resort to fight but have arrived ourselves willingly to become Muslims. Everyone else had come alone but we have come with our women and children and our belongings. Please include us in sharing the war booty."
This shows with what thinking they had become Muslims. In short, they created a sort of trouble for the Prophet. This verse, which I want to recite, refers to this group and so that all may know, till Judgment Day that what the Muslims who come later on and say: "There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah" and offered prayer, have an apparent or outward faith. This expression of faith is only on the tongue. There is nothing in the heart. It is of no use after death. As it was related only to the tongue, it has vanished. Does a man not lose his tongue after his death? Everything else also which is merely on tongue goes away. But what is in the heart or soul stays forever.
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"The dwellers of the desert say: We believe. (49:14)"
These Bedouin Arabs arrived in Medina and said: We are believers.
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: You do not believe… (49:14)"
Say, you have not put faith. Is faith a joke? Is it merely on tongue or it is with devotions?
Faith is the awakening of the heart
True Faith is a divine light hidden in the heart. When did they believe truly? Yes, they say: We have submitted. So there is a difference between Faith and Islam, (between faith and submission). Islam means apparent acceptance, that is when they are told: Say "I witness that there is no god except Allah and I witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah", they utter so and also say Judgment Day is truth. You must offer prayer, observe fasts in Ramadhan, and go for Hajj also if possible.
Surely they accepts all this. That is very good. This is Islam, which is like the skin. Its keeps the body clean and makes one eligible for marriage, inheritance, and protection of life, wealth, property and honor. It is allowed to give them daughters, and to take daughters from them in marriage. Even when he dies, his relatives inherit from his property and he also gets inheritance from others. These rules are related to the confession by tongue, even if he has no faith in the heart. But if he dies in this state or condition, he has no benefits in the Hereafter.
Woe if one becomes a Muslim due to some greed. It also happens sometimes that a young boy intends to marry a Muslim girl. She says: I will not marry you until you become a Muslim. The boy says: All right, I become a Muslim. He takes that girl too. This marriage is also valid. His Islam also is good for this job. But if death comes to him, it is not known what will happen. This Islam, which was for getting a girl will be accepted and admitted in the society of Muslims. But this not the faith for which the Holy Prophet had arrived. The faith desired by the Holy Prophet is that man’s heart should know Allah. His interior should have fear of God. He must be afraid of the accountability on Judgment Day. Only verbal utterance of the words: The Hour will arrive, no doubt therein," is not enough.
He must, from his heart, believe in: "The questioning of Munkar and Nakeer in the grave is truth". He must truly realize and know that dreadful things are ahead. Until this thing does not exist in one’s heart, hundreds of verbal utterances are of no use. This is Islam. But until there is true belief in Paradise, Paradise is not attainable. Faith in Paradise is different from Islam. Faith in Paradise means that the heart must long for the reward of Allah and strive to attain it in a serious way. O friend! If you have a strong desire to build a palace; you work for it with or without saying, "I want a palace." The deep desire in your heart makes you work for your desired thing. But if he does not work for a thing he will not get it even if he calls for it a hundred times with his tongue.
If one says only with his tongue that Paradise is true, he does not go to Paradise. Hell is true. Does he escape from fire? What is required is belief in Paradise and hell in heart, not only on the tongue. In other words, on the tongue and in the heart, both. Islam means tongue. Faith means heart. God is present everywhere and sees everything. "He is with you wherever you may be." This is Islam. Faith is that the heart should develop a condition whereby even in his house he says: God is present everywhere. If there is an opportunity of sinning and even if there is no deterrent. There is a fear in his heart, which says God is Omnipresent. A kind of light (Noor) is created in his heart whereby he sees that God is present everywhere.
Faith has not yet entered your hearts
The Arabs say: We have believed. Say: You have not yet believed. But say: We have accepted Islam. Faith has not yet entered your hearts. If faith has entered the heart it must show some signs. It is not possible that real faith be signless. Fear and hope are two solid pillars of faith. It is impossible that there is Faith in heart but man does not fear divine punishment. At a thought of sinning, he does not tremble due to what is to happen on Judgment Day. It is not possible for the faithful not be eager for divine reward and Paradise. He will run after every good for buying Paradise, for building Paradise, for making arrangements for the Hereafter. If you see one who has become cold and lazy, know for sure that faith has not entered his heart.
They did not come up for jihad
The same Arabs who said: We are believers, when the Holy Prophet called upon them to participate in the battle of Hudaibiyah they turned back. Those who said: ‘We are the faithful’ did not arrive. This shows that Jihad requires Faith. It also required spending money in the path of God and even sacrificing ones life. Unless the noble aim is not in one’s mind, how can he give his money? Anyone in whom you see that he finds it difficult to spend in the cause of God, know that his faith is weak. If he does not spend at all, then know that he has no faith at all.
Therefore, He says: If you obey the orders of Allah and His Prophet, He will not decrease anything from your reward. O Arabs! O Bedouins! O the ones who claimed to have faith! We also tell you that you still do not have sincere faith. If you do act according to faith sincerely, then you should obey the commands of God and His Prophet. Your reward will not only not be decreased but you will receive it multiplied.