On this occasion, the question may arise as to why man stands in need of intercession and why it is not permissible for a person to seek pardon directly from God through repentance and forgiveness. The law of nature itself answers this question. It is an established fact, which none can deny that the system of procreation not only in humans but also in animals, is based on intercession. As we have already stated, the Arabic word for intercession, that is shafa’at, originates from shaf’un, which means to couple. Hence, how can there be any doubt in the fact that all the blessings of procreation have and continue to issue forth from coupling? Inner qualities, faculties and physical features descend from one person to another in this way, i.e. they are the result of union. Similarly, within the animal species, all the qualities which are transmitted among animals from their progenitors, such as in the case of a goat, ox, donkey, etc., are also in actuality the result of union. Hence, this union, when taken to imply that an imperfect being develops a spiritual relationship with a perfect one by which the former finds remedy in the soul of the latter and is safeguarded from passions of the flesh, is known as shafa’at or intercession. Likewise, the moon, when opposite the sun, develops a sort of union and connection with it and as a result immediately receives the light of the sun. Since the spiritual bond between affectionate hearts and the Prophets resembles the relationship existing between father and son, therefore those who are spiritually blessed are viewed as the progeny of the Prophets in God’s estimation. Those who perfectly undergo this spiritual birth acquire the same attributes, morals and blessings that exist in the Prophets. This, in fact, is the true nature of intercession and just as physical union or pairs inherently necessitate that offspring take after their parents, so it is the case with spiritual union.
In short, this is the reality of intercession, inasmuch as the natural law of God since time immemorial, in both the physical and spiritual realms, are based on the fact that all blessings originate from pairs; the only difference is that one is called shaf’un, which means to couple and the other is named shafa’at or intercession. Just as humans require shaf’un or union to preserve the system of procreation, likewise shafa’at or intercession is necessary to preserve the spiritual system. The Word of God has explained both. As such, at a certain instance in the Holy Quran, Allah the Exalted says that He created Adam along with his consort and produced from this couple many men and women. God also says that He created Adam as His vicegerent on earth and he was a man who possessed the divine spirit. This light then passed from Adam to the other prophets; and Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Moses, David, Jesus, etc., all became heirs to this spiritual light until finally, the last heir, our beloved Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, appeared. Just as all these blessed prophets inherited the physical features of Adam, also by virtue of being his deputies, they received the spirit of God. And then through them other people became heirs from time to time as well.