Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Idea Behind 'Intermediation' in Islam

Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri

Intermediation is a twofold act: on the one hand, it acknowledges the humility and helplessness of the creature who has a pressing need to be fulfilled; on the other hand, it asserts the superiority of an act which has been hallowed by divine sanction, or of a personage who enjoys divine approval through a series of noble deeds. 

The idea behind intermediation is not to vitiate or supplant divine authority but to facilitate the acceptance of human needs through the act of prayer. Thus the act of intermediation involves a sliding-scale of graded functions: at the bottom is the humble creature who hopes for a favourable divine response; in the middle is the sanctified act or the personage who has developed closer affiliation with God through meditation, prayer and human service and at the top is God Himself Who Alone possesses the power to grant the prayer.

The concept does not imply that the intermediary will grant the prayer or that he will pressurize God to grant the prayer of an individual or condone his sins. This is an egregious misconception, which haunts the minds of a number of people. In fact, the prayee believes that when he mediates his prayer through divinely blessed persons, after positing his own helplessness and after articulating the praise of God, He will fulfill his need as a token of courtesy to the intermediary. He does not even have the creeping notion that the intermediary is a partner in divinity.

It is, therefore, vitally significant to grasp the reality of intermediation to obviate any misunderstanding, especially on the part of those who are prone to interpreting it in a characteristically un-Islamic sense.

It should be understood at the very outset that intermediation is only a form of prayer to be answered by God Alone. The intermediary is only a medium who serves as a means to activate the process of its fulfillment.

Besides, it is not necessary that mediation alone should serve as a guarantee for the realization of prayer, because Allah says:

And (O beloved,) when My servants ask
you about Me, (tell them,) “I am Near.”1

(O beloved,) say, “Call upon Allah or
call upon ar-Rahmān (the most Merciful), by
whichever name you call on Him, His are
the most beautiful names.”2

No one can dictate to Him, we can only beseech Him. It is only an expression of His infinite mercy that he has upscaled some of His creatures on the grounds of their love and obedience and turned them into agents of redemption for millions of ordinary people who, without their mediation, might have drifted in sheer hopelessness and frustration. This is an indirect divine recognition of their services that God puts a positive spin on whatever is associated with them. It is for the same reason that sacred places and objects are offered as means. The purpose is to boost human expectation for the divine reprieve.

Read full book: The Concept of Intermediation

His Views on Terrorism & Foreign Policy of Pakistan (Feb 2010/ARY)

BIOGRAPHY Professor Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri:

Professor Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri earned his MA in Islamic Studies in 1972 with the University of the Punjab Gold Medal, achieved his LLB in 1974 and began to practise as a lawyer in the district courts of Jhang, Pakistan. He moved to Lahore in 1978 and joined the University of the Punjab as a lecturer in law and completed his doctorate in Islamic Law.  He also held the position of the Head of the Department for LLM in Islamic Legislation.

He is the founding leader of Minhaj-ul-Qur’an International (MQI), an organization with branches and centres in more than 90 countries around the globe, working for the promotion of peace and harmony between communities and the revival of spiritual endeavour based on the true teachings of Islam.

Dr Tahir ul Qadri is a prolific author and researcher. He has authored around 1000 books out of which 360 books are already published, and the rest of the 640 are yet to be published. An unrivalled orator and speaker, he has delivered over 5000 lectures (in Urdu, English and Arabic), on a wide range of subjects.


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