Allah’s Rights, People’s Rights, and Recipients of Intercession
Before reading on, you may want to follow the articles leading up to the present one:
- What Happens After Death? Life in the Grave
- The Journey Continues: Barzakh and Beyond
- The Day of Accounting
We left off a couple of weeks ago on the topic of the Weighing Scales (al-Meezan), on which all our deeds will be weighed against that of the Holy Prophet’s and the Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them all). Continuing our discussion on the Day of Judgment, here we delve further into the events of that inevitable Day – the measure of which is 50 thousand years – which we must all soon encounter.
“Surely to Us is their turning back, then surely upon Us is the taking of their accounts.” (Holy Qur’an, 88:25-26) >According to the Qur’an and the traditions, it is proved that Allah Himself will take account of all people. “And He is swiftest in taking account.” (6:62) But also, according to some traditions, this work will be assigned to the Angels. According to some reports, it is related that Allah will take account from His Prophets, while the Prophets will take account from their Vicegerents, while they in turn will take account from their Ummah.
The Rights of God (Haqqullah Ibadah)
The first thing a person will be questioned about on the Day of Judgment is his prayers. Were they offered on time? Were they offered purely for the sake of the Almighty, or to please others? How much importance was given to prayers over worldly affairs? Did we rush to meet our Lord as soon as prayer time would set it, or did other duties usually take precedence? Did we bother to learn the rules of prayer, including things that invalidate it, whether our Arabic pronunciation is correct or not, and what to do in the case of doubts? As told in numerous Hadith, if one’s prayers are not accepted, none of their good deeds are accepted – we must therefore strive to give it our utmost attention and care to perfect it.
People will then be questioned about the remaining obligations, such as fasting, Hajj, Zakat, Khums, and Jihad, to name a few
Rights of People (Haqqun-Naas)
If a person has someone’s right (Haq) upon him, it will be handed over on the Day of Judgment to its rightful owner. He may have taken a fellow believer’s right by engaging in backbiting or defaming him or her, and consequently the weight of such a person’s good deeds will automatically be transferred to the account of he whom he spoke ill of. Not only this, but in return that person’s bad deeds will be transferred to his own account. There are many traditions narrated to support this.
Allama Jazaeri quotes a tradition in his book that if a person owes someone even one dirham and returns it back to its owner, this act of his is greater than worship of one thousand years, freeing one thousand slaves in the way of Allah, and performing one thousand Hajj and Umrah.
Imam Sajjad (peace be upon him) has beautifully explained the rights of others upon us in his masterpiece, Treatise on Rights (Risalat al-Huquq), in which he explains the 50 rights we cannot evade under any circumstances. He also elucidates on the rights of Allah, rights of our deeds, rights of those whom we have authority over, rights of the parts of our bodies, rights of our leaders and the rights of our relatives. The last section speaks of the rights of others, including the rights of a master, the rights of a freed slave, the right of one who treats you kindly, the rights of your neighbors and companions, the right of the caller to prayer (Mu’azzin) and the right of the ritual prayer leader (Imam-e-Salaat), amongst others. Imam Sajjad has said it is incumbent upon us to observe all 50 of these rights and exert all efforts to fulfill them, the results of which will surely be apparent on the Final Day.
The Prophet said, “Verily the closest from among you to me tomorrow [in the Hereafter], and the most eligible of you for my intercession are those who are the most truthful from amongst you, the most conscientious at returning a trust placed in their care, the most good-natured, and the ones who have close ties with people.” (Amali al-Saduq)He also said, “Intercession will be for those of my people who committed major sins, while those who are righteous will be in no need of it.”
On the day of Qiyamat, the Prophet has promised to intercede for the following four types of people: those who respect and honor his Ahlul Bayt, those who fulfill their desires, those who work for their cause, and those who love them from their hearts as well as their tongues (openly and in secret). (Sawaeqe Muhriqa) Will we be amongst those filled with such love for the beloved Family of the Prophet of Allah? Have we strived to well and truly align our hearts and lives with their teachings? In order to do so, we must make the effort to know these personalities, for how can one love someone they do not properly know? Let us read about their lives, celebrate each of their birthdays, commemorate each of their departures and visit their shrines, reading their Ziyarat at our homes, mosques and centers if this is not possible. Let us live for everything they lived for, and pray to Allah to increase our love for them daily.
By the Grace of the Almighty, it is not only our Prophets, Ahlul Bayt and scholars who have been granted the honor of interceding on behalf of their fellow believers, but some believers themselves will be given permission on this Day to do so as well. The Holy Prophet said, “Do not underestimate the Shias of Ali, for each one of them will intercede for the people equal to the tribes of Rabi’ah and Muzar (two great tribes of Quraysh).” (Bihar al-Anwar) But of course, as Imam Baqir (peace be upon him) tells us, this will depend on the extent of the believer’s deeds in the present world, and the station he has attained with his Lord.
In the final moments before departing this world, Imam Sadiq said, “Those who do not give importance to their prayers will not receive our intercession.” In fact, if a person does not do what is obligatory upon him and does not keep himself away from sins and evil, he is not considered to be amongst the Shias at all, and will not receive the intercession of Prophet Muhammad and his Ahlul Bayt on this day when no other help will avail. (Ensanul Fawaed)
Indeed as Imam Baqir says, “Our Shia is the one who obeys us and does not go against our word.”