(i) They will be brought forth from Hell and will enter Paradise by means of intercession.

Muslim reports from Abu Sa’eed that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
“The people of Hell will remain there, never dying, and never living. But there are people who will enter Hell because of their sins, and will be killed therein, so that they become like coals. Permission will be granted for intercession to be made, and they will be brought forth in groups and spread on rivers of Paradise, and it will be said, “O people of Paradise, pour water on them. Then they will grow like seeds in the silt left by a flood”. [Muslim, Kitaab al-Imaan, Baab as-Shafa’ah wa Ikhraaj al-Muwahiddin min an-Naar, 1/172]

Muslim also reports from Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Some people will be brought out of the Fire, having been burnt all over except for their faces, and they will enter Paradise”. [Muslim, Kitaab al-Imaam, Baab adna Ahl al-Jannah Manzilatan, 1/178]

The people of Paradise will call these people who are brought out of Hell and admitted to Paradise, al-Jahannamiyyoon. al-Bukhaari reports from ‘Imraan ibn Husayn (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said, “Some people will be brought out of Hell through the intercession of Muhammad (saw). They will enter Paradise and will be known as al-Jahannamiyyoon.” [Sahih al-Bukhaari, Kitaab ar-Riqaaq, Baab Sifaat al-Jannah wan-Naar, Fath al-Baari, 11/418. They are also mentioned in a hadith narrated from Jaabir by Muslim, 1/179 and al-Bukhaari from Anas, Fath al-Baari 11/416]

According to another sahih hadith narrated by Jaabir: “The Prophet (saw) said, “They will be brought out of the Fire through intercession, as if they are tha’areer”. I asked, “What are tha’areer?” He said, “Daghabis [snake cucumbers]”. [al-Bukhaari, Kitaab ar-Riqaaq, Baab Sifaah al-Jannah wan-Naar, Fath al-Baari, 11/416]

Muslim reports a lengthy hadith from Abu Hurayrah, in which the Prophet (saw) describes the Hereafter, and in which he says: “…When Allah (swt) has finished judging mankind, and wants to bring whomever He wills out of Hell by His Mercy, He will order angels to bring forth those upon who He wishes to bestow His mercy of the people who never associated anything in worship with Allah (swt), and who said, “Laa ilaaha illaah Allah”. The angels will recognize them in Hell, and will known them by the mark of sujood on their foreheads. The Fire will consume all of a man except the mark of sujood which Allah (swt) has forbidden the Fire to consume. They will be brought forth, having been burned in the Fire, the water of life will be poured on then, and they will grow like seeds left by still after a flood”. [Saheeh Muslim, Kitaab al-Imaan, Baab ar-Ru’yah, 1/299, no. 182]

It was reported in more than one hadith that Allah (swt) will bring forth from hell whoever has a dinaar’s weight of faith in his heart, or even half a dinaar’s weight or an atom’s weight. Moreover, people will be brought forth who never did any good deeds at all. Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said , “Allah (swt) will admit the people of Paradise to Paradise and He will admit whomsoever He will by His Mercy. And He will admit the people of Hell to Hell, then He will say, “Look for anyone who has the weight of a mustard seed of faith in his heart, and bring him out””. [Saheeh Muslim, Kitaab al-Imaan, Baab Ithbat ash-Shafa’ah wa Ikhraaj al-Muwwahhadeen, 1/172]

One of the reports about Hell is the hadeeth narrated by Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah (ra) concerning entering Hellfire:
“Then intercession will be permitted and they will interceded until whoever says Laa ilaaha illa Allah and has a barley grain’s worth of goodness in his heart will be brought forth. They will be made to stand in the courtyard of paradise and the people of Paradise will start to pour water over them, until they begin to grow like seeds left by silt after a flood. All traces of the Fire will disappear, then he [the person who was brought out of Hell] will keep asking until he is given the equivalent of this world and ten times more”. [Sahih Muslim, Baab adna Ahl al-Jannah Manzilatan, 1/178]

Anas ibn Maalik reported that the Prophet (saw) said: “Whoever says Laa ilaaha illaa Allah and has a barely grain’s weight of goodness in his heart will be brought out of the Fire. Then whoever says, “Laa ilaaha illaa Allah” and has a wheat grains weight of goodness in his heart will be brought out of the Fire. Then whoever says, Laa Ilaaha illaa Allah and has an atom’s-weight of goodness in his heart will be brought out of the Fire”. [Sahih Muslim, Kitaab al-Imaan, Baab adna Ahl al-Jannah Manzilatan, 1/182]

There are many hadiths that discuss this matter.

(ii) Opinions of different groups on intercession.
The Khawaarij and Mu’tazilah deny that there will be any intercession to protect those who are guilty of major sins and have been ordered to enter Hell from doing so, or to bring forth those who have already entered.

al-Qurtubee said, “This intercession was denied by the innovators, Khawaarij and Mu’tazilah. Their denial is based on their corrupt principles, which are based on what they saw as rational thinking”. [1]

These reprehensible ideas which go against the muttawaatir sahih hadith, emerged while the Sahabah were still alive. Muslim reports in his sahih from Yazeed al-Faqeer, who says: “I was infatuated with one of the ideas of the Khawaarij, so a large group of us went out, intending to go for Hajj and then go out to fight the people. We came to Madinah, where we found Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah sitting by a pillar, narrated hadith to the people. When he mentioned al-Jahannamiyyoon, I said, “O Companion of the Messenger of Allah, what is this that you are narrating, when Allah (swt) says: “And who You admit to the Fire, truly You cover with shame.” [3:192] and “….everytime they wish to get away therefrom, they will be put back thereto..” [32:20] So what is it that you are saying?” He said, “Have you read the Qur’an?” I said, “Yes.” He asked, “Have you heard about the [exalted] position of Muhammad [ i.e. the position to which Allah swt would raise him]?” I said, “Yes”. He said, “That is the honored position of Muhammad by which Allah (swt) will bring out whosoever He wishes to bring out”. Then he described as-Siraat [the bridge over Hell] and the passing of the people over it, then said, “I am afraid that I may not have remembered exactly what he said. But he said that people would be brought out of Hell after entering it. He meant that they would come out looking like the wood of the ebony tree; they would enter one of the rivers of paradise and bathe in it, then they would come out looking [white] like sheets of paper”. We turned back and said, “Woe to you! Do you think this sheikh would tell lies about the Messenger of Allah (saw)? We turned back [from the views of the Khawaarij] and by Allah (swt) every one of us abandoned this group except for one man”. [Sahih Muslim, Kitaab al-Imaan, Baab adna Ahl al-Jannah Manzilatan, 1/179, no.191]

The Khawaarij and Mu’tazilah went ot extremes with their claim that people guilty of major sins [al-Kabaair] would never come out of Hell, and that the intercession of those who interceded would be of no avail for them. The Murji’ah went to the opposite extreme by stating that no-one who was guilty of major sins would necessarily enter Hell, and believing that all such people would enter Paradise without being punished at all. Both groups are in conflict with the well-known muttawaatir Sunnah and with the consensus of the Salaf and Imaams of this ummah. Allah (swt) has guided Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah to the truth in this matter where others have erred, by His Will. They [Ahl as-Sunnah] believe that hose who are guilty of major sins are subject to the will of Allah (swt); if He wills, He will forgive them, out of mercy, and If He wills, He will punish them for His sins then admit them to Paradise by His Mercy.

“Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him, but He forgives anything else, to whom He pleases.” (4:48)

“Say: O My Slaves who have transgressed against themselves [by committing evil deeds and sins]! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly He is Oft-forgiving, All-Merciful”. (39:53)

Shirk will not be forgiven, but any other sin is subject to the Will of Allah. The one who repents will be as if he never sinned. The aayaat that the Khawaarij use to prove that intercession will not be accepted actually refers to the kinds of intercession believed in by the mushrikeen. They think that interceding with Allah is like interceding with rulers or authorities on earth, where a person may intercede with someone (an authority figure) without that person’s permission and even if the one in authority is displeased with the one on whose half intercession is made. This is not so in the case of Allah (swt) may He be glorified. Several texts reject this type of intercession, for example:

“Then guard yourselves against A Day when one soul shall not avail another, nor shall intercession be accepted from him nor will compensation be taken from him nor shall anyone be helped [from outside]” (2:48)

“Then will no intercession of [any] intercessors profit them”. (74:48)

“..No intimate friend, nor intercessor will the wrongdoers have, who could be listened to”. (40:18)

Several texts explain that no-one can intercede with Allah except with His permission and unless He is pleased both with the intercessor and the one for whom he seeks to intercede:

“Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission?” (2:255)

“and they cannot interceded except for him with whom He is pleased” (21:28)

“And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allah has given leave for whom He wills and pleases”. (53:26).

Allah (swt) also says about the angels: “He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased. And they stand in awe for fear of him”. (21:28)

“No intercession can avail in His presence, except for those to whom He has granted permission”. (34:23)

These aayaat reject and refute the kind of intercession believed in by the mushrikeen, i.e. intercession via angels, prophets and righteous people, (“saints”), and confirm only that intercession which takes place with the permission of Allah (swt) and when He is pleased with both the intercessor and the one on whose behalf he intercedes. Allah (swt) is not pleased with the kuffaar and mushrikeen. As for the disobedient monotheists, intercessors will interceded for them, but they will not intercede for a mushrik. al-Bukhaari narrated that Abu Hurayrah (ra) said, “I said, “O Messenger of Allah, who will be the most happy with your intercession on the Day of Resurrection?” He said, “I thought, O Abu Hurayrah, that no one would ask me this question before you, because I have seen that you are so eager to learn hadith. The one who will be the most happy with my intercession on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who says Laa ilaaha illaa Allah sincerely and from the heart””. [al-Bukhaari, Kitaab ar-Riqaaq, Baab Sifaat al-Jannah wan-Naar, Fath al-Baari, 11/418]

[1] al-Khawaarij are a sect that emerged after the battle of Siffin; they denounced ‘Alee and Mu’awiyah, and whoever followed them, as kaafirs, and claimed that whoever was disobedient to Allah (swt) would remain forever in Hell. The Mu’tazilah are the followers of Waasil ibn ‘Ataa’ who believe in the Mu’tazili doctrine that whoever commits major sins will remain eternally in Hell, but does not judge their position in this life.