Etiquette of Intercession
Etiquette of Intercession
(1) The way adopted to intercede (on behalf of another) should not in any way curtail the liberty of the one with whom you are interceding. Nowadays, intercession is in fact compulsion. Indirect pressure is applied. A man will take advantage of his prominence or rank to compel another to submit to his request. This is not intercession. Such intercession is not permissible.
(2) If someone extracts service, etc. from another on the strength of his relationship with a man of prominence or rank and it becomes discernable that the service or aid is not offered freely and wholeheartedly, but has been forthcoming solely on account of the relationship which the taker of the service enjoys with some prominent person, then acceptance of such aid or service is unlawful. As a result of the relationship, the one who supplies the aid entertains the notion that if he does not provide the requested assistance, the man of prominence will be displeased. Thus, to make a request to someone to fulfilll a need or supply some aid on this basis is haraam.
(3) In any matter, intercession should not be made without having made investigation.
(4) It will be permissible to intercede on behalf of another if the work or deed happens to be a waajib (compulsory) act.
(5) It is not permissible to impose any kind of pressure, direct or indirect, on the person to whom the intercession is directed.
(6) In actual fact, intercession (sifaarish) is a branch of mashwarah (advice) which cannot be imposed on anyone.
(7) If a person rejects the intercession, he will be acting fully within his rights. It is improper to take offence if one's intercession is not accepted.
(8) If by indications one realizes that the intercession cannot be rejected, e.g. the person is under some obligation, hence he has no alternative other than complying, then such intercession is not permissible.
MALFOOZAAT PERTAINING TO INTERCESSION:
(1) A father, bringing along his son, commenced to complain about a certain maktab (elementary Deeni school). He complained that the principal had expelled his child. I (Hadhrat Thaanvi) explained to him nicely that I have no say in that maktab. The man commented: "I heard that you are the head of that maktab." I informed him that my only relationship with the maktab was that the salaries were given via myself. I have no say in the management of the maktab. The man again started to complain about the principal. I told him that there is no beneficial result in this conversation other than gheebat. After a while, when he was about to leave and shake hands, he repeated his complaint and accused the principal of having been unjust for having expelled his son. In view of the fact, as mentioned earlier, I had informed him of the actual position and had stopped him from continuing the discussion of the complaint, I was very much perplexed by his repeated renewal of the complaint, hence I questioned him with some abruptness. He attempted to present some excuses, but all futile and in vain. He departed in this very condition.
(2) Hadhrat Bareerah (rahiallahu anha) was an emancipated female slave. While she was yet a slave she was in the Nikah of Hadhrat Mugheeth (radhiallahu anhu). On being emancipated she invoked her right of abrogating the Nikah. Hadhrat Mugheeth loved her dearly, hence he wandered around the streets sobbing at the separation. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), overcome with pity, interceded on his behalf and advised Bareerah:
"0 Bareerah! Marry Mugheeth."
The reality and nature of intercession will become apparent from the ensuing discussion. Hadhrat Bareerah asked:
"0 Rasulullah! Is this a command or an intercession?"
Indeed, her question was wonderful and subtle. In reply, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallarn) said:
"It is an intercession."
Bareerah said: "I do not accept it." Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) remained silent. Let some mureed today say to his shaikh that he does not accept his (the shaikh's) intercession. The peer (spiritual guide) will quickly retort that the mureed has become a renegade.
Nowadays spiritual mentors should not intercede. It has become common nowadays to accuse one of refusing to assist even verbally when one refuses to intercede on account of the general corruption prevalent today. One is accused of being miserly. Truly,.it is easier to spend wealth, but where I detect that a person will accept the request on account of our pressure, then to make an intercession seems like maut (death) because of the suspicion that the person may sustain some loss by having been constrained to act according to the intercession.
(3) A gentIeman said to Hadhrat Thaanvi (rahmatuIIah aIayh):
"I wish my son to learn dentistry. If Hadhrat will write a letter of intercession to the dentist in Lahore, it is hoped he will pay greater attention."
"I have no objection in writing the letter. But the main thing is that there has to be munaasabat (congeniality) between the teacher and the pupil. It is not proper to first apply the pressure of sifaarish (intercession). The consequence is that whether one approves or not and whether there is munaasabat or not. one is constrained to act accordingly. If an intercession is first made, then the conditions which he (the particular dentist) normally stipulates for acquiring this profession cannot be applied freely on account of his liberty having been curtailed by the intercession. Anyway, commence the work. Afterwards I shall intercede for special attention. On the contrary, an intercession in the very beginning will constrict his heart. If all things are done correctly on the basis of principles then there is no difficulty and no perplexity."
(4) Although those who wish me to intercede are not favourably disposed to my way of intercession, nevertheless, I regard transgression of this method (of mine) as a violation of the Shariat. People request that I should write the intercession in forceful terms to apply pressure so that the request is accepted. Since when is it ever permissible to apply pressure on others? How can a person be pressurized into acceptance of the request? My abstention from this pressurizing method is described as bukhl (miserliness) by people. In reply I say: To benefit a person is Mustahab. But to impose a difficulty on a person is haraam.
(5) A newcomer arrived and requested Hadhrat to intercede on his behalf in some matter. Hadhrat said:
"Regarding intercession first listen to an introduction. Allah Ta'ala had commanded Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) to go to Khidr (alayhis salaam) for the purpose of gaining knowledge (in a certain branch of esotericism). When Musa (alayhis salaam) met Khidr (alayhis salaam), he (Khidr) asked the reason for his coming. Musa (alayhis salaam) replied: 'May I follow you so that you teach me of the knowledge which has been imparted to you?' Inspite of Khidr's knowledge being insignificant compared to the knowledge of such a great Nabi as Musa (alayhis salaam), the latter said: 'May I follow you.......' It is noteworthy that Musa (alayhis salaam) did ret say: 'I have been sent by Allah Ta'ala'. If in fact Musa (alayhis salaam) had mentioned this, it would have amounted to a very high category of intercession. From this should be understood that the type of intercession which one is nowadays required to write out, sometimes weighs heavy on another person. Truly speaking, the Ambiya are the true repositories of true knowledge. It is most significant that Musa(alayhis salaam) did not reveal that Allah Ta'ala had sent him because on hearing that his arrival was by the command of Allah, Khidr (alayhis salaam) would not have ha'd any liberty to speak freely or to stipulate any conditions. Thus, Khidr (alayhis salaam) had freely imposed conditions on Musa (alayhis salaam). We learn also from this episode that one should not attempt to derive benefit from someone's companionship without his consent. From this it is learnt that the practice of some visiting students to join in classes without consent is erroneous."