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Friday, November 16, 2012

Argument No. 6: Stalling of punishment through the mediation of the Prophet (SAW)

Allah says in the Qur’ān:
And (the fact of the matter is that) it is unbecoming of Allah to inflict punishment on them while (O exalted friend,) you are also (present) among them, nor will Allah punish them in a state while they are seeking forgiveness (from Him).[10]
In this Qur’ānic verse the divine punishment may be stalled for two reasons:
  1. The presence of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) among them.
  2. Seeking forgiveness from Allah.
First of all, Allah stresses the point that He does not want to punish them because the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is present among them; and second, He withholds the punishment because they seek His forgiveness. What is to be noted here is the ordering of the two reasons. Allah gives priority to the presence of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). The verse clearly argues that as long as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is present among them, Allah would withhold the punishment, which would have surely gripped them in his absence. Here the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is acting as an intermediary for his Ummah. Not only does Allah accept his mediation, but He also accords it primacy even over His Own forgiveness, and this is clearly supported by the way the two reasons for warding off punishment are arranged in this Qur’ānic verse. Some people, who interpret the word presence as mere physical presence, that is, his actual life-span on this earth, are quite mistaken. It is nothing but hair-splitting. Allah is not making any distinction between his life on this earth and his life after death. The word presence is in fact used in an inclusive sense. In the following pages I shall try to explain that this applied to his presence even before he was actually born into this world. Even before his birth, the Jews used to pray to God for their victory over the unbelieving Arabs through the mediation of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) as pointed out by Allah Himself:
Though before this they themselves (through the mediation of the last Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the Qur’ān that was revealed to him) offered (the prayer) for victory over the non-believers.[11]
This Qur’ānic verse illustrates a Jewish practice, which is endorsed by the Qur’ān and all the exegetes and experts on hadith have made it as a basis of their arguments.[12] It means that the fact has been collectively acknowledged that if the people in the past could rely on the mediation of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) for the fulfilment of their needs, it becomes not only valid, but even more strictly binding, for the Muslim community to continue a time-hallowed tradition.

[10]. Qur’ān (al-Anfāl) 8:33.
[11]. Qur’ān (al-Baqarah) 2:89.
[12]. Complete discussion on the topic is in chapter 5, section 1. [ http://www.minhajbooks.com/english/control/btext/cid/17/bid/253/btid/787/read/txt/Intermediation-through-the-holy-Prophet-SAW-before-his-birth-Islamic-Concept-of-Intermediation-Tawassul.html ]