Before we continue to discuss this topic, we must bring to attention a habit of anti Islamic missionaries. When the Muslims claim that they quote out of context and rely on mistranslations, they are correct to say so. Even in allegations addressed in this article the missionaries use different translations for different verses. If they quote one verse from one translator and to allege a contradiction, they will use the translation of another translator. Even in using the same translator, there could be translation errors but at least the missionaries should be consistent and not rely on twists and tricks.
And warn by the Qur’an those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord – for them besides Him will be no protector and no intercessor – that they might become righteous. [Qur’an 6:51]
There are many other passages which state that there is no other protector or intercessor besides Allah.
The anti Islamic missionaries have a problem with intercession by Allah. They state that intercession is between two parties and for their definition they quote some verses from the Bible. The first point is that quoting from the Bible is an unacceptable task when discussing a neutral topic. For example saying that ‘the Bible is the word of God because the Bible says so’ which many missionaries do say so is an assault on intellect. Secondly, we must understand the Qur’an from the Qur’an, from the Prophet ﷺ, from his companions and from knowledgeable Islamic scholars from past and present. To know the meaning of the word ‘intercessor’ or ‘mediator’, we must look into Arabic. The Arabic word used is ‘شفىع’ which does mean intercessor but does not put a condition of having more than one party to intercede. A judge can be a mediator whereas he is the one to make the final judgement. A Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ will make this more clear and concluding:
…”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 532)
The Hadith is very clear that the Prophets and Angels’ intercession would be very much different from the intercession of Allah. The Prophets and the Angels would plead to Allah in the same way the missionaries understand ‘intercession’ but the way Allah would ‘intercede’ or rather ‘mediate for the person’ alone to no one would be final and conclusive. He would hold a handful of the Fire and His actions would be by Him alone and cannot be dubbed as something on the lines of human intercession.
Similarly, sending Salah upon the Prophet ﷺ by Angels, human beings and Allah are very different in nature. Here is what Tafsir Ibn Kathir states:
Allah’s Salah means that He praises His servant before the angels, as Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Al-`Aliyah. This was recorded by Abu Ja`far Ar-Razi from Ar-Rabi` bin Anas from Anas. Others said: “Allah’s Salah means mercy.” It may be said that there is no contradiction between these two views. And Allah knows best. Salah from the angels means their supplication and seeking forgiveness for people, as Allah says:
[الَّذِينَ يَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْشَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُـلَّ شَىْءٍ رَّحْمَةً وَعِلْماً فَاغْفِرْ لِلَّذِينَ تَابُواْ وَاتَّبَعُواْ سَبِيلَكَ وَقِهِمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ – رَبَّنَا وَأَدْخِلْهُمْ جَنَّـتِ عَدْنٍ الَّتِى وَعَدْتَّهُمْ وَمَن صَـلَحَ مِنْ ءَابَآئِهِمْ وَأَزْوَجِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّـتِهِمْ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ]
(Those who bear the Throne and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (saying): “Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your way, and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire! Our Lord! And make them enter the `Adn Garden which you have promised them — and to the righteous among their fathers, their wives, and their offspring! Verily, You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. And save them from the sins.”) (40:7-9)
[لِيُخْرِجَكُمْ مِّنَ الظُّلُمَـتِ إِلَى النُّورِ]
(that He may bring you out from darkness into light. ) means, by means of His mercy towards you, His praise of you and the supplication of His angels for you, He brings you forth from the darkness of ignorance and misguidance into the light of guidance and certain faith.
Indeed Allah knows best.