Asking for Intercession from other than God, and the Suspicion of Polytheism 

Ethics with God

There is no doubt that intercession is God’s own right. The Quranic verses, added to the logical evidence, indicates that, for example:” To God be


There is no doubt that intercession is God’s own right. The Quranic verses, added to the logical evidence, indicates that, for example:” To God belong all intercessions”. [1]
But it was also mentioned in a number of other verses that God has given a group of his servants the privilege of using this right and intercede, in specific circumstances and special conditions. Many verses have also stated the traits and names of a group of those intercessors. He almighty says: “And how many angels are there in the heavens whose intercession does not avail at all except after Allah has given permission to whom He pleases and chooses”. [2]
In addition, the holy quran proved for the prophet of Islam his “praiseworthy position” when he say: “Thus it may be that your Lord will raise you to a praiseworthy position”.[3]
The explainers say that the “praiseworthy position” is the position of intercession, taking the hadiths mentioned about this issue as evidence.
Muslims have agreed on all what was previously mentioned, but the debate is as follows: Is it considered polytheism to ask for intercession from he who’s given the right to intercede, such as when saying “O God’s messenger, intercede for us”?
The research is not about the position (as we implied one time if this request is beneficial or not), but it’s about knowing: Is this action considered idolizing or not?
We say: the answer was mentioned in what we explained the last time. If we believe that those whom we ask for their intercession can intercede for whoever they want, whenever they want, and however they want without going back to the divine permission or the need for that, then there is no doubt that this request and intercession are considered as idolizing. In this case, the requester is considered as a polytheist and a deviator from the path of rightness because he asked for divine action from someone other than God.
But if we ask for the intercession of those intercessors while we believe that they cannot intercede for anyone without God’s permission, then this issue doesn’t differ from the normal request and cannot be outside the scope of monotheism.
If someone thinks that asking for the intercession of God’s guardians is similar in its appearance to the polytheists behavior, then it is a false perception far from the truth
A common appearance is not a standard to judge through, but the real standards of judging are: the requester’s intention and his belief in the right of the intercessor. It is very clear that the standard is intentions and consciousness, not appearance and look. In addition, the difference between the two actions are shown through:
First: there is no doubt that the believer’s belief in the right of God’s guardians totally differs from the polytheist belief in the idols rights.
In the belief of the polytheists, idols little gods possessing something of the affairs of the divine station such as intercession and forgiveness, unlike the people of monotheism, for they believe that those who intercede for them are: honorable servants who do not disobey God and they act by His command, and that they do not possess anything of intercession, and they only intercede if God permits them to intercede in the right of whom He is pleased with.
Overall, in order for their recession to be accomplished, it needs two conditions:
The recessor should have the permission to intercede.
He who requests intercession should be pleased by God’s satisfaction.
If a muslim asks one of the God’s guradians to intercede for him with God, this cannot be accomplished without the presence of the two previous conditions.
Second: The polytheists used to worship idols in addition to asking for their intercession, so that they made the response to their call and their intercession instead of what they used to do of worshiping them, unlike the people of monotheism, who never worshiped other than God for the blink of an eye.
As for asking for the intercession of those intercessors, it is only in the sense of benefiting from the praised station that God Almighty gave to His Prophet in the limits that God authorizes. Therefore, comparing the intercession of the believers with what the polytheists do is nothing but a fallacy. It has been mentioned more than once that if the outward resemblance is the standard, then we would consider the circumambulation of the Holy Kaaba, touching the Stone, and running between Safa and Marwa, is polytheism and worship of the Stone.
Concepts of Al Sobhani Quran Part 1, Ayatollah Al Sheikh Jaafar Sobhani


[1] Surah Al Zuman, verse 44
[2] Surah Al Isra’, verse 79
[3] Surah AL Isra’, verse 79
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