Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "Whom does he talk to? The Affect Allah's Intercession has on Divine Unity"
Shamoun's article could be found here.
Shamoun cites the following hadith:
The Prophet added, "Then the prophets and Angels and the believers will intercede, and (last of all) the Almighty (Allah) will say, 'Now remains My Intercession.' He will then hold a handful of the Fire from which He will take out some people whose bodies have been burnt, and they will be thrown into a river at the entrance of Paradise, called the water of life. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532s)
Then he puts forth his main argument, which is summed up as follows:
The immediate problem with the above is that if Allah is interceding and mediating on behalf of sinners then whom does he intercede and mediate to? After all, intercession and mediation presupposes more than one party, that a person goes before another in order to intercede and mediate on behalf of someone else.
Now if it were true that intercession necessarily involves two parties and Allah did intercession that would mean that someone higher and more powerful than Allah in authority and divinity would be fulfilling the request, namely taking out the people from Hellfire. However, what we see from the hadith is that it is Allah Himself taking the people out of Hellfire:
The Prophet added, "Then the prophets and Angels and the believers will intercede, and (last of all) the Almighty (Allah) will say, 'Now remains My Intercession.' He will then hold a handful of the Fire from which He will take out some people whose bodies have been burnt, and they will be thrown into a river at the entrance of Paradise, called the water of life.
So this means that Allah is not intercessing to anyone except Himself. Esteemed scholar Shaykh Abdul Azeez Al-Rajhi states:
على ظاهره يشفع مثل قوله: كتب يكتب على نفسه، )كَتَبَ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ ) (يا عبادي إني حرمت الظلم على نفسي ( ما معنى حرمت الظلم على نفسي؟ حرم على نفسه من نفسه، كتب على نفسه من نفسه، شفع من نفسه لنفسه، نعم.
Its apparent meaning shows that He (i.e. Allah) intercesses just like He prescribes on Himself "He has prescribed Mercy for Himself" (Surah 6:12). Allah says: "I have made oppression unlawful for Me" (Saheeh Muslim, Book 032, Number 6246). What does "I have made oppression unlawful for Me" mean? It means that He forbade for Himself from Himself, He prescribed for Himself from Himself, He performs intercession from Himself for Himself, yes. (Shaykh Abdul Azeez Al-Rajhi, Al Iqtisaad fil 'Itiqaad, Chapter: Al Eemaan bil Shafaa'a (Faith in Intercession), Source)
Hence, we see that Allah performs functions internally within Himself. He could praise Himself (Saheeh Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 158), prescribe for Himself, forbid things for Himself and even do intercession to Himself to give people the hope they require. Allah's intercession is not like ours. When we do intercession we plead to those greater than us in order to help out. As for Allah's intercession to Himself, it is merely an expression or symbol of His willingness to shower His Mercy upon sinners and forgive them. It's not that He is pleading and begging someone greater than Him to help out. How could that be when it is Allah Himself who decides who could do intercession or not (Surah 2:255) and when it is He who has the power to take people out of Hellfire as illustrated in the aforementioned Hadith?
In conclusion, Allah's intercession does not affect His divine unity one bit.
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