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Offline Reader Questions

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Tawaasul and verse 4:64 (Prophet's Forgiveness)
« on: May 31, 2012, 05:35:58 PM »
Salam Brother Joseph,
 
4:64 for We have never sent any apostle save that he should be heeded by God's leave. If, then, after having sinned against themselves, they would but come round to thee and ask God to forgive them - with the Apostle, too, praying that they be forgiven - they would assuredly find that God is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace.
 
How do you respond to people when they use the above verse to justify Tawwasul?
 
I understand you have written about Waseela but the above verse, as an excuse, was not covered [http://www.quransmessage.com/articles/wasilah%20FM3.htm]
 
Thanks.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Tawaasul and verse 4:64 (Prophet's Forgiveness)
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 05:49:55 PM »
Salamun Alaikum,
 
Your question was addressed as part of another article.
 
It is important to remember that there is nothing incorrect from a Quranic perspective with finding a means to get closer to God (Wasilah 5:35). What I assume you mean is that some use 4:64 as a basis to prove that this qualifies the prophet’s intercession (shafa’a) or that he is the exclusive means to get near to God even though he is not alive today. This would also conflict with 17:56-7.
 
The excerpt below is taken from the following article:
http://www.quransmessage.com/articles/intercession%20FM3.htm
 
I hope that helps, God willing.
Joseph.
 
 
POPULAR ARGUMENT - GOD ASKS TO SEEK THE PROPHET FOR FORGIVENESS WHICH QUALIFIES INTERCESSION
 
The following verse is used as support for the Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) right of intercession on the Day of Judgement. Quite apart from the purport of the verse being completely misunderstood, what becomes apparent is the somewhat sheer desperation of many to make use of isolated verses to support a theological concept that emanates not from the Quran but is only supported by Islamic Secondary Source Literature
 
004:064
"We sent not a messenger, but to be obeyed, in accordance with the will of God. If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee (Muhammad) and asked God's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found God indeed Oft returning, Most Merciful"
 
•   There is no mention of 'Shafa'at' in this verse. (No intercession). It is only an implication made by many Muslims.
•   If this verse is read within context of the previous verses (4:61), one clearly notes the addressees as hypocrites who lived at the time of the Prophet. If they had obeyed the Prophet (Like all Prophets were meant to be obeyed) and asked for God's forgiveness and the Prophet had asked forgiveness for them, they would have indeed found God merciful. However, they chose not to. This does not mean however, that by virtue of a hypothetical situation that is context specific, intercession is proved.
 
On the contrary, we note a very powerful verse which negates the Prophet having any effect on an outcome decreed by God no matter how many times the Prophet asked for forgiveness. If his ability to ask for forgiveness was tantamount to qualified intercession, this verse clearly proves the opposite.
 
009:080
"Whether you (Muhammad) ask for their forgiveness, or not: if you ask seventy times for their forgiveness, God will not forgive them: because they have rejected God and His Messenger: and God guides not those who are perversely rebellious."
 
Therefore verse 4.64 is conditional per context.
 
Also believers (including the Prophet) are barred to pray even for their close ones, if they were 'Mushrikeen' (idolaters / pagans) and yet, continued to reject the message after it was made clear to them and later became 'disbelievers'.
 
009:113
"It is not fitting, for the Prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for Pagans, even though they be of kin, after it is clear to them that they are companions of the Fire"
 
The same arguments that are used to justify 4:64 as an intercession verse are found in the following two verses where it is clear that the Prophet’s forgiveness would not matter. Again, the theme is the same as in verse 4:64 where disbelievers would not come to the Prophet for forgiveness. Either way they would not be forgiven.
 
063:005
“And when it is said to them, "Come, the Messenger of God will pray for your forgiveness", they turn aside their heads, and thou would see them turning away their faces in arrogance”
 
063:006
It is equal to them whether you (Muhammad) pray for their forgiveness or not. God will not forgive them. Truly God guides not rebellious transgressors”
 
Once again, the above narratives show that verse 4:64 is context driven and is in no way indicative of proof of Prophetic intercession rights on the Day of Judgment.
 
Also, it is useful to note that a Prophet of God asking for forgiveness is not exclusive to Prophet Muhammad.(pbuh) The Prophet Abraham also asked for forgiveness for all believers on the Day of Judgment (14:40-41).
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell