The school of supplication has numerous features in which sublime intentions are set by the sacred legislator to educate people. Here reference will be made to some of them:
The First Objective
One of the most significant features in the sphere of education is the fact that in all supplications we may not find a case where the causation is referred to non-God or non-divine names. In other words, in all these supplications the Absolute Cause is God and nothing can ever take place without His consent.
Among the divine knowledge and sciences, the closest science to this school is Gnosticism which ascribes to God the cause of creating all the creatures and that every creature in the world stems from one of God's positions and features. Thus, one of the features of the infallible ones (s) is to guide their followers towards the supreme God.
Regarding this issue, Allamah Tabataba’i distinguishes between the Shiite Gnosticism and the common Gnosticism and he says that “in the verses, traditions and supplications there is a special system which paves the way for the Gnostic and the believer”. Thus, in the behaviors and manners of all these great men of virtues in the school of the infallible imams (s) we may not see anything against the common sense and the rational thinking. Great men such as Seyyid Ibn Tawus, Seyyed Bahroi uloom, Ibn Fahd al-Hilli, Allamah Tabataba’i and his great teachers, whose manners and behaviors had been based on the basis of those of the infallible imams (s), are good examples. All these men are among the elite scholars in the employment of the verses of the Qur'an, traditions and the commands of the school of the infallible imams (s).
In order to depict this significant feature of the infallible imams (s), we will refer to some supplications. This will lead us to appreciate the magnificent content of these sacred texts. Of course, in each supplication only those parts are referred to that are crucial to our argumentation:
In Simat supplication we see that God's name appears in the opening passage:
اَللّهُمّ إنِّي أسْألُكَ بِاسْمِكَ العَظيِمِ الأعْظَمِ الأجَلِّ الأكْرَمِ الّذي إذا دُعِيتَ بهِ عَلى مَغالِقِ أبْوابِ السَّماءِ لِلفَتْحِ بِالرَّحْمَةِ انْفَتَحَتْ وإذا دُعِيتَ بهِ عَلى مَضايِقِ أبْوابِ الأرْضِ لِلفَرَجِ انْفَرَجَتْ.
“O Allah! I invoke You with Your Great Name which is greater than your names, more glorious than Your names and more beloved than them. I invoke You with this name, with which if You are invoked to open the locks of the gates of the Heaven they will be opened with mercy and if You are invoked with it to open up the narrow gates of the earth with deliverance they will be opened up”.
وَبِحِكْمَتِكَ الّتي خَلَقْتَ بِها الظُّلْمَةَ وَجَعَلْتَها لَيلاً سَكَناً وَخَلَقْتَ بِها النُّورَ وَجَعَلْتَهُ نَهاراً وَخَلَقْتَ بِها الشَّمْسَ وَخَلَقْتَ بِها القَمَرَ وَخَلَقْتَ بِها الكَواكِبَ وَجَعَلْتَها نُجوماً.
“…and with Your wisdom, by which You have created darkness and made it as calmness at night and created light and made it as day and created the sun, the moon and the planets and made them as stars.”
In the supplication of “al-Jawshan al-Kabir” God is given a thousand names, each name of which relates to one aspect of the creation.
يا مَنْ لهُ المُلْكُ وَالكَمالُ، يا مُنْشِئَ السَّحابِ الثِّقالِ, يا صَانِعَ كُلِّ مَصنوعٍ, يا خَالقَ كُلِّ مَخلوقٍ, يا رازِقَ كُلِّ مَرزوقٍ, يا مُصَوِّرُ يا مُقَدِّرُ يا مُدَبِّرُ, يا مَنْ كُلُّ شَيءٍ مَوجودٌ بهِ, يا مَنْ كُلُّ شَيءٍ قائِمٌ بهِ, يا رَبَّ الحُبوبِ وَالثِّمارِ, يا رَبَّ الأنْهارِ وَالأشْجارِ, يا رَبَّ الصَّحاري وَالقِفارِ, يا رَبَّ البَراري والبِحارِ, يا رَبِّ اللَّيلِ وَالنَّهارِ, يا مَنْ نَفَذَ في كُلِّ شَيءٍ أمْرُهُ, يا مَن لَحِقَ بِكُلِّ شَيءٍ عِلمُهُ, يا مَن لا مُلْكَ إلاّ مُلكُهُ, يا مَن لا عَطاءَ إلاّ عَطاؤهُ.
“O God, I invoke You, Who have the absolute domination and perfection, Who have created the heavy clouds, Who have made every thing, Who have created every creature, Who have provided everyone and everything with the means of subsistence, O You, the Creator of the universe, the Manager of the worlds, O You, Whom everything is existed because of, Whom everything relies on, O You, the God of the seeds and the fruits, the God of the rivers and the trees, the God of the deserts and the wilderness, the God of the wild lands and the seas, the God of the night and the day, O You, Whose command has prevailed over everything, Whose knowledge has covered everything, O You, Who there is no kingdom except His, Who there is no gift except His.”
On the issue of the revolution of the world and the want and desire of every creature to be absorbed by God, we read:
يا مَنْ لا مَفْزَعَ إلاّ إلَيهِ، يا مَنْ لا مَقْصدَ إلاّ إلَيهِ.
“O God, Who are the shelter for every creature and the One to Whom every creature resorts.”
We also read:
يا مَنْ كُلُّ شَيءٍ صائِرٌ إلَيهِ.
“O God, to Whom everything returns.”
In Rajabiyya Supplication, we read as well:
أسْألُكَ بِاسْمِكَ الأعْظَمِ الأجَلِّ الأكْرَمِ الّذي وَضَعْتَهُ عَلى النَّهارِ فَأضاءَ وَعَلى اللّيلِ فأظْلَمَ.
“I invoke You with Your greatest, most honored and most glorious attribute, which You have put on the day and it has lit and put on the night and it has become dark.”
We read in the Sabah supplication:
يا مَنْ دَلَعَ لِسانَ الصّباحِ بِنُطْقِ تَبَلُّجِهِ وَسَرَّحَ قِطَعَ اللّيلِ المُظْلِمِ بِغَياهِبِ تَلَجْلُجِهِ وَأتْقَنَ صُنْعَ الفَلَكِ الدَّوّارِ بِمَقادِيرِ تَبَرُّجِهِ وَشَعْشَعَ ضِياءَ الشّمْسِ بِنُورِ تَأجُّجِهِ، وَخَلَقْتَ بِلُطْفِكَ الفَلَقَ وَأَنَرْتَ بِكَرَمِكَ دَياجِيَ الغَسَقِ وَأنْهَرْتَ المِياهَ مِن الصُّمِّ الصَّياخِيدِ عَذْباً وَأُجاجاً وَأنْزَلْتَ مِن المُعْصِراتِ ماءً سَجّاجاً وَجَعَلتَ الشّمْسَ والقَمَرَ لِلبريَّةِ سِراجاً وهّاجاً.
“O You, Who have made the morning shine with brightness, released the night with darkness, mastered the circulating orbits, made the sun shine with Your light…O you, Who have created the dawn with Your kindness, descended the dusk with Your generosity, flown waters from among solid rocks, poured from the clouds pure water and have made the sun and the moon as shining lamps for Your peoples.”
It is mentioned in Kumayl supplication:
وَبِقُوَّتِكَ الّتي قَهَرْتَ بِها كُلَّ شَيءٍ وَبِعِزَّتِكَ الّتي لا يَقُومُ لَها شَيءٌ وَبِعَظَمَتِكَ الّتي مَلأَتْ كُلَّ شَيءٍ وَبِأسْمائِكَ الّتي مَلأَتْ أرْكانَ كُلِّ شَيءٍ.
“…and with Your power, with which You have defeated everything, with Your glory that nothing ever equals, with Your greatness that has filled everything and with Your attributes that have filled the corners of everything…”
And we read in the thirty sixth supplication of Sahifa:
وَأنْزِلْ عَلَينا نَفْغَ هَذِهِ السَّحابِ وَبَرَكَتَها وَاصْرِفْ عَنّا أذَاها وَمَضَرَّتَها, اَللّهُمّ أذهِبْ مَحلَ بِلادِنا بِسُقْياكَ وأخْرِجْ وَحْرَ صُدورِنا بِرِزْقِكَ, فإنَّ الغَنيَّ مَنْ أغْنَيْتَ وإنَّ السّالِمَ مَن وَقَيْتَ.
“O Allah, bring down on us the benefits and blessings of these clouds and turn their harms away from us. O Allah, take away the barrenness of our country by Your rains and take away the distress of our hearts by Your blessing. The rich one is he, whom You have made rich and the safe one is he, whom You have protected.”
It is also said:
اَللّهُمّ إنّ هاتَينِ آيَتانِ مِن آياتِكَ وَهذَينِ عَونانِ مِن أعْوانِكَ يَتَبَدَّرانِ طاعَتَكَ بِرَحْمَةٍ نافِعَةٍ أوْ نِقْمَةٍ ضارَّةٍ فلا تُمْطِرْنا بِها مَطَرَ السّوءِ وَلا تُلْبِسْنا بِهِما لِباسَ البَلاءِ.
“O Allah! Cloud and lightning are two signs of Yours and two assistances from among Your assistances obeying You with profitable mercy or harmful wrath. O Allah, do not make them pour over us the rain of wrath nor make them cover us with the dress of distress!”
And in the sixth supplication of Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah:
اَلحَمدُ للهِ الّذي خَلقَ اللّيْلَ وَالنَّهارَ بِقُوّتِهِ وَمَيَّزَ بَينَهُما بِقُدرَتِهِ وَجَعلَ لِكُلِّ واحِدٍ مِنهُما حَدّاً مَحدوداً.
“Praise be to Allah, Who has created the night and the day with His power and distinguished between them with His might and made to each of them a certain limit”.
وَخَلقَ لَهُمُ اللّيلَ لِيَسكُنُوا فيهِ مِن حَرَكاتِ التَّعَبِ.
“And He has created for them the night to rest from the hardships of the day.”
وَخَلقَ لَهُمُ النَّهارَ مُبْصِراً لَيَتْبَغوا فيهِ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَليَتَسَبَّبوا إلى رِزْقِهِ وَيَسْرَحوا في أرضِهِ طَلَباً لِمَا فيهِ نَيلُ العاجِلِ مِن دُنياهُم وَدَرْكُ الآجِلِ في أُخْراهُم.
“…and He has created the day and made it bright for them to benefit from their Lord's favors, to gain livelihood and to rove in His earth to get the necessary needs of their worldly life and to insure the later necessities of their afterlife.”
It is to be noticed that in these expressions every move and immovability is directly related to God and the whole causality is ascribed to the Most Aware Allah. Another significant point is that the infallibles imams (s) have considered themselves as the manifestation of God's attributes (In some traditions they consider themselves as the very content of God's attributes). However, the structure of the truth behind God's attributes is beyond our thinking and imagination.
The recognition of the Absolute power and the Absolute knowledge and the absolute magnanimity of God are evident for the infallible imams (s). This kind of knowledge is not the common knowledge; rather it is their special understanding. They are, in fact, the manifestations of God's attributes. There is no separation between them and these attributes. That is to say, when the infallible imams (s) refer to themselves, they introduce themselves as God's great names.
The reason is that the imam's body is in this world and his truth rests in the other world. Imam as-Sadiq (s) says:
وَنَحْنُ عِندَنا مِن الاسْمِ الأعْظَمِ اثْنانِ وَسَبعونَ حَرفاً، وَحرْفٌ واحِدٌ عِندَ اللهِ.
That is to say, it is particular to Allah and no one knows it. Mo'awiya Ibn Ammar reports from Imam as-Sadiq (s):
نَحنُ واللهِ أسْماءُ اللهِ الحُسْنى.
“By Allah, we are the attributes of Allah.”
Hammad Ibn Othman reports from Abi al-Sabah that one of the infallible imams (s) have said:
يا أبا الصباح! نَحنُ وَاللهِ النّاسُ المَحْسودونَ.
“O Abi al-Sabah, by Allah we are the very ones, who are envied by the people.”
This means that the infallible imams (s) are the closest ones to God. That is to say they are in a world higher than this one. Imam Ali (s) has said:
لَو كُشِفَ ليَ الغِطاءُ ما ازْدَدْتُ يَقيناً على يَقيني.
“If the curtains (of the truth) are drawn apart, my conviction will never change.”
Concerning God's sincere servants, Imam Ali (s) has said: “The bodies of the infallible ones (s) are here but their souls are in the other world.” Regarding pious Gnostics, Avicenna in chapter nine of his book entitled Isharat says: “As if he was present although he was absent and as if he was resident although he had moved away”. Thus, the bodies of the pious sincere servants of God are here in this world, but their spirits are in the high layers of the system of creation.
The above sentence was an introduction for realizing the fact that when we observe that the infallible ones (s), in their supplications, invoke God with names, each of which manifests one aspect of creation, they are not concerned with words per se; rather, they see the whole creation as the effect of these names; they would also look at the world as it is the creation of Allah. They have not established their relation with God through this world. They are familiar with the specific features of each one of God's names. They consider this tangible world as the manifestation of God's power. So we hear in Kumayl supplication, “…and with Your attributes that have filled the corners of everything.”
They are, in fact, looking from the higher layers of the creation downwards the earthly world. They have noticed that each creature depends on one of God's Names. In other word, they see the world as true realizations of God's Names. They have known the geometry of this world through God's Names. They know that, for instance, a certain name includes night, the other includes day, the third one manifests the sun and the fourth one depicts the moon.
The Second Objective
Sometimes the infallible imams (s) supplicate to God so intensely that we are amazed how such unique creatures should weep so anxiously. Of course, no body has any shred of doubt about the cleanliness of these great people, but their regrets, continual weeping and confessions of their weaknesses are amazing. We read in the supplication of al-Iftitah:
اَللّهُمَّ إنَّ عَفْوَكَ عَن ذَنبِي وَتَجاوُزَكَ عَنْ خَطِيئَتي وَصَفْحَكَ عَنْ ظُلْمِي وَستْرَكَ عَلى قَبيحِ عَمَلي وَحِلْمَكَ عَن كَثيرِ جُرمِي عِندَ ما كانَ مِن خَطأي وَعَمْدي…
“O Allah, Your forgiving my sins, Your overlooking my mistakes, Your pardoning my injustice, Your covering my bad doings Your patience before my many crimes when I have committed them intendedly and unintendedly…”
In Abu Hamza supplication we read:
فَوَعِزَّتِكَ يا سَيّدي لَو أنْهَرْتَني ما بَرِحْتُ مِن بابِكَ وَ لا كَفَفْتُ عَنْ تَمَلُّقِكَ.
“O my Lord, I swear by Your dignity that even if You propel me, I will never leave Your gate nor will I stop flattering You.”
We also read:
سَيِّدي! أنا الصَّغيرُ الّذي رَبّيْتَهُ, أنا الجَاهِلُ الّذي عَلَّمْتَهُ وَالخاطِئُ الّذي أقَلْتَهُ؛ أرى نَفسِي تُخادِعُني وأيّامِي تُخاتِلُني وَقَدْ خَفَقَتْ عِندَ رَأسِي أجْنِحَةُ المَوتِ فَما لي لا أبْكي…
“O my Lord, I am the little one, whom You have brought up. I am the ignorant one, whom You have taught. I am the sinful one, whom You have forgiven. I see my self cheating me and my days deceiving me while the wings of death are fluttering near my head…what about me! Why do I not cry!”
We also read:
أفَبِلِساني هذا الكالِّ أشْكُرُكَ أَمْ بِغايَةِ جهْدِي فِي عَمَلي أُرضِيكَ؟ وَما قَدرُ لِسانِي يا رَبُّ فِي جَنْبِ شُكْرِكَ؟ وما قَدرُ عَمَلي فِي جَنْبِ نِعَمِكَ؟
“O my Lord, can I thank You with this tired tongue or can I please You with my doings? O my Lord, what the value of my tongue is beside praising You and what the value of my doings is beside Your favors!”
We also read:
إلَهي إرْحَمْني إذا إنقَطَعَتْ حُجَّتي وَكَلَّ عَن جَوابِكَ لِسانِي وَطَاشَ عِندَ سُؤالِكَ لُبيّ.
“O my Lord, have mercy on me if my means fails me, if my tongue fails to answer You and if my mind becomes reckless when invoking You.”
In these phrases we observe how these sources of knowledge and treasures of piety employ humbleness with pardon and flattery to be close to God. This question has got two answers:
Firstly, we should be aware that piety, knowledge, power and glory of the infallible imams (s) have stemmed from that of God's. We read in the first ziyara of Imam Husayn (s) on the day of Ashura:
إرادَةُ الرَّبِّ في مَقادِيرِ أمُورِه تَهبِطُ إلَيكُمْ وَتَصْدُرُ مِن بُيوتِكُم.
“God's will, in performing His actions, descends to you and then sets out from your houses.”
We also read:
بَلَغَ اللهُ بِكمُ أشْرَفَ مَحلَّ المُكرَمِينَ وأعْلى مَنازِلِ المُقَرَّبينَ وأرْفَعَ دَرجاتِ المُرسَلينَ حيثُ لا يَطْمَعُ في إدْراكِه طامِعٌ.
“Allah has granted you with the most honored position, the highest rank of the closest ones (to Allah) and the highest positions of the prophets that no one reaches, exceeds, precedes or ever thinks to get.
All these stem from God and have been given to the infallible ones (s). If, at any moment, this favor is cut, no sign of perfection will remain with man. In fact the fear of cutting these forms of perfection by God has led these elite ones to know that the origin of the exultant status comes from God. The greater this perfection, the greater is our need to come close to God and the more vivid is our poverty in the presence of God. Thus, the infallible ones are away from their very selves and are more in need of the Absolute Power. To be thankful for this great asset, they would never put supplications and regrets aside. They have always pointed to this fact that what there is, could be accounted as to be from God.
Naturally, this great perfection and absolute dependence bring them humbleness. That is why they get involved in supplications. Imam Ali (s), in this regard, says: “I have not stopped flattering You.” From this statement we can conclude that we may not ascribe to those honorable ones what we will consider appropriate for ourselves, because this is going away from the status of any of the infallible ones (s). Putting this kind of assumptions in our minds, we will never arrive at knowledge.
Secondly, coming close to God, the Almighty, and receiving that bottomless ocean of glory, absolute power and infinite knowledge, make man so humble that he keeps on worshipping God for ever and if he cuts the mountains with his eye-lashes, he has yet not compensated for God's favors and he will always remember to be humbleness and not to forget that.
The manifestation of glory, which could divide a mountain into two pieces and could make Moses unconscious, is applied to the infallible ones (s). Any power compared with the Almighty power is just nothing. In this case, there is a reverse relationship: the more a person understands the power of God, the less he will regard himself. No matter how much time he will spend on worshipping or will go on fasting, he will be ashamed in the presence of God. Therefore, he will always consider himself as an obedient servant of God. In the Sabah supplication, we will:
سُبْحانَكَ اللّهُمَّ وَبِحَمدِكَ؛ مَنْ ذا يَعْرفُ قَدرَكَ فَلا يَخافُكَ! وَمَن ذا يَعْلَمُ ما أنْتَ فلا يَهابُكَ!
“O God! Glory and praise be to You. Who is he that knows Your reality without being afraid of You?”
This point has put the traits and features of all the infallible ones (s) in a special position and let the ignorant ones in the darkness. Thus Imam as-Sajjad (s) says:
إلَهي؛ ما لي وَما خَطَري! هَبنِي بِفَضْلِكَ وَتَصَدَّقْ عَلَيَّ بِعَفْوِكَ.
“O my God! Who am I and what is my value? Grant me with Your favor and forgive me with Your generosity.” He also declares:
ولئن أدخلتني النار لأخبرنّ أهل النار حبي لك.
“O God! If You throw me into the Hell, I will announce to the people of Hell that I love You.”
This statement shows that Imam as-Sajjad (s) does not assume any right for himself. Thus, humbly he says:
سَيِّدي! عَبدُكَ بِبابِكَ أقامَتْهُ الخَصاصَةُ بَينَ يَدَيكَ.
“O my Lord! Your poor servant has come at Your gate; his poverty has brought him here…”
Elsewhere, he adds:
سَيِّدي! إنْ وَكَلْتَنِي إلى نَفْسي هَلَكْتُ.
“O my Lord! If You leave me to myself, I shall perish.”
The important issue is that he is standing beside the light of the Creator of the world with no curtain between them. That is why he sees all his worships as nothing and he humbly invokes God, assuming no right for himself. This definitely is the highest degree of sincerity. In the sixteenth supplication of Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah we read:
إلَهي لَو بَكِيتُ إلَيكَ حَتىّ تَسقُطَ أشْعارُ عَينِي وَرَكَعْتُ لكَ حَتىّ يَنخَلِعَ صُلبِي وَسَجَدْتُ لَكَ حَتىّ تَنْفَقِئُ حَدقَتايَ وَأَكَلْتُ تُرابَ الأرْضِ طُولَ عُمُري وَشَرِبْتُ ماءَ الرَّمادِ آخرَ دَهْري وَذَكَرْتُكَ في خِلالِ ذلِكَ حَتى يَكِلَّ لِسانِي ثُمَّ لَمْ أرْفَعْ طَرفِي إلى آفاقِ السَّماءِ اسْتِحْياءً مِنكَ ما اسْتَوْجَبَ بِذلِكَ مَحْوَ سَيِّئَةٍ واحِدَةٍ مِن سَيِّئاتِي.
“O my God! If I cry until I lose my eye-lashes, and bow to You until I break my back, prostrate so much till my eyes pop out of their sockets, eat earth from the ground all my life, drink water mixed with ashes and during all this time I invoke You until my tongue becomes tired, then I do not dare to raise my head towards the sky feeling ashamed in front of You, I shall not deserve that You forgive even one of my sins.”
The one, who feels proud when offering prayer and expects a lot to happen to him because of his mid-night prayers or his fasting, will be a prey to his greed and will not realize that servitude does not have any conditions. One should engage in God's servitude without having any doubts.
The above two points, which we discussed above, were taken from the supplications. They will be good guidelines for those who are entangled in this problem that “how Imam as-Sajjad (s) shows humbleness before God?” This kind of mental states are seen among the great scholars who are among special students of the school of the infallible imams (s) who have put forth a lot of energy in worshipping God with no unusual expectation. It is enough for the reader to refer to their biographies in order to get to the truth.
The Third Objective
Teaching Islamic knowledge depends on explaining mental and philosophical issues which are dealt with in some supplications. This is a big issue which requires several volumes to deal with. It is a spring of knowledge. In the Arafah Supplication, Imam Husayn (s) said:
بِكَ عَرفْتُكَ وَأنْتَ دَلَلْتَنِي وَلَو لا أنْتَ لَمْ أدْرِ ما أَنْتَ.
“O God! I have known You by You. You have guided me to You. Without You I will never know what You are”
And this is the best kind of the reasoning used by the sincere ones, who recognize God through God Himself and use no other form of reasoning. This means that they will not feel qualified enough in with mind to realize God. A poet says:
The sun is a proof of the sun,
If you are looking for proof, just have a look at it.
This is because it is absurd to look for the sun during the day by the light of the candle. Imam Husayn (s), in another part of his supplication, refers to the proof of this issue with a fascinating interpretation;
ألِغَيرِكَ مِن الظُّهورِ ما لَيسَ لكَ حَتىّ يَكونَ هُوَ المَظْهَرَ لكَ؟ مَتى غِبْتَ حَتىّ نَحتاجَ إلى دَليلٍ يَدُلُّ عَلَيكَ؟ وَمَتى بَعُدْتَ حَتىّ تَكونَ الآثارُ هِي الّتي تُوصِلُ إلَيكَ؟ عَمِيَتْ عَينٌ لا تَراكَ عَلَيها رَقيبا.ً
“Is there any other one besides You having what You do not have so that other one would introduce you? Have you ever been absent so that we would need a guide to get to You? Have You ever been distant so that signs would be needed to lead to You? The eye, which does not see You as the observer on it, is blind.”
When have You been hidden for me to look for you?
You have never been absent for me to be willing to see you;
You have never been hidden for me to appear.
You have come out with hundred thousand displays;
I will watch you with hundred thousand eyes.
It is also said:
إلَهي أمَرْتَنِي بِالرُّجُوعِ إلى الآثارِ فَأرْجِعْني إلَيكَ بِكَسْوَةِ الأنْوارِ وَهِدايَةِ الإسْتِبْصارِ حَتىّ أرجِعَ إلَيكَ مِنها كَما دَخَلْتُ إلَيكَ مِنْها مَصُونَ السِّرِّ عَن النّظَرِ إلَيها.
“O my Lord! You have ordered me to refer to Your signs, in order to recognize You, so take me to You with the proofs of light and the guidance of insight so that I shall return to You from them as I have come to You by them preserving Your secrets when seeing Your signs.”
Allah has said:
أَفَلَا يَنْظُرُونَ إِلَى الْإِبِلِ كَيْفَ خُلِقَتْ. وَإِلَى السَّمَاءِ كَيْفَ رُفِعَتْ. وَإِلَى الْجِبَالِ كَيْفَ نُصِبَتْ. وَإِلَى الْأَرْضِ كَيْفَ سُطِحَتْ.
“Will they not then consider the camels, how they are created and the heaven, how it is reared aloft and the mountains, how they are firmly fixed and the earth, how it is made a vast expanse? 88:17-20”
But I humbly beg Your magnanimity without letting doubts overcome me. I turn towards You because You are the clearest. You need no reason to prove Yourself; rather, You are the reason for everything.
Love is observable from every angle,
She is manifesting herself, O eyes, see her.
Imam Husayn (s) refers to one of the secrets of the world, which is to high above the world of reason:
أنْتَ الّذي تَعَرَّفْتَ إلَيَّ فِي كُلِّ شَيءٍ وَرَأَيْتُكَ ظاهِراً فِي كُلِّ شَيءٍ.
“You have made Yourself known to me in everything and I have seen You apparent in everything.”
Then he says:
تَعَرَّفْتَ لِكُلِّ شَيءٍ وَما جَهِلَكَ شَيءٌ.
“You have made Yourself known to everything and there nothing that has ignored You.”
It is evident that Imam Husayn (s) has observed the secrets in the entire creation ad he himself, besides having seen God in every thing, has been aware of the awareness of the creatures.
O God! How should we know? We wish we were at his time to ask him: “O our Imam, how have you become aware of the stones, mountains, iron and steel in the other world and how have you got the knowledge to know that these items know God? What we could say, however, is that you are an infallible Imam.” In the thirty second supplication of Sahifa as-Sajjadiah we read:
اَللّهُمَّ يا ذا المُلْكِ المُتَأبِّدِ بِالخُلودِ، عَزَّ سُلطانُكَ عِزّاً لا حَدَّ لَهُ بَأوَّلِيَّتِهِ وَلا مُنْتَهى لهُ بِآخِرِيَّتِهِ وَاسْتَعْلى مُلْكُكَ عُلُوّاً سَقَطَتِ الأشْياءُ دُونَ بُلوغِ أَمَدِهِ وَلا يَبْلُغُ أدْنى ما اسْتَأثَرْتَ بهِ مِن ذلِكَ أقْصى نَعْتَ النّاعِتِينَ.
“O God! O You the possessor of the everlasting kingdom over the world. Your kingdom is so dominant that it has no limit in its beginning; nor does it have an end to its termination. Your kingdom is so high that everything has failed to reach. The utmost description of the descriptors will not reach the least of what You have appropriated to Yourself.”
In these sentences, Imam Husayn (s) refers to noticable points:
He has defined the infinite kingdom and might in the following words: The limits of that kingdom are not shown by any beginning or end although by the use of the expression “He is the First and He is the Last.” His kingdom is carrying the attributes of “the beginning and the end.” Every creature, before being of its own, belongs to God. Imam Husayn (s) has said:
يَا مَنْ دَنِيَ فَلا شَيءَ دونَهُ وَعَلا فَلا شَيءَ فَوقَهُ.
“O You, Who have become so near that nothing is nearer than and have become so high that nothing is higher than.”
This expression indicates that “He encompasses everything” and shows that everything in the world is under the control of His power. Nothing could exist or act without His consent. This fact is called monotheism. Imam as-Sajjad (s) says:
بِكَ عَرفْتُكَ وَأنْتَ دَلَلْتَنِي وَلَو لا أنْتَ لَمْ أدْرِ ما أَنْتَ.
“O God! I have known You by You. You have guided me to You. Without You I will never know what You are.”
This means that Allah has given us minds to reason and He has formed our nature in a way to seek for Him. This is, as we have seen before, the best kind of reasoning offered by the infallible imams. No better expression could ever be said by any philosopher. In the forty-seventh supplication of Arafah, we read:
أنْتَ الّذِي لا تُحَدُّ فَتكون مَحدُوداً وَلَمْ تُمَثَّلْ فَتَكون مَوجوداً وَلَمْ تَلِدْ فَتَكون مَولوداً. أنْتَ الّذي لا ضِدَّ مَعَكَ فَيُعانِدكَ وَلا عِدْلَ لَكَ فَيُكاثِركَ وَلا نِدَّ لَكَ فَيُعارِضكَ.
“You have no boundary to be limited; You are not visualized to be an object; You have not begotten to be born. You are the one for whom there is no opponent to oppose You; nor You have an equal to defeat you.”
What is referred to, here in this expression, is the absolute power and the real monotheism which is neither limited nor exemplifiable; neither does it have appearance, nor is it derived from anything else. He does not have any associate or partner. This is because if He has any of these things, then He will not be the Absolute Power or have the attribute of being alone. In Kumayl supplication we read:
وَبِوَجْهِكَ الباقِي بَعدَ فَناءِ كُلِّ شَيءٍ، وَبِنورِ وَجْهِكَ الّذي أضَاءَ لَهُ كُلُّ شَيءٍ، يا نُورُ يا قُدّوسُ.
“O God! I invoke You with Your Face that will remain after the perdition of everything and with the light of Your Face, with which everything has lit. O You, the Light, the Most Holy.”
This infallible Imam has collected all of the Gnosticism in these few words.
Imam Ali (s) has seen that everything is reliant on God's Light and has seen that man's salvage from the darkness of non-existence is only due to God's light, which is the Absolute Existence. However, by using the expression “with Your Face that will remain after the perishing of everything” he has referred to the absolute and everlasting dignity of God. After considering everything as dependant on God's Light, he has used “O You, the Light, the Most Holy” so that to hinder the dubiety of adding an associate or a partner to Him. This is what he has in mind “O God, You are the Absolute Light and everything else has got its light from Your light. Glory be to You.”
The Fourth Objective
The expressions of love towards God, which are seen in these supplications while no exaggeration is involved, show us how feeble we are to understand these beloved ones. They consider themselves as the simplest of all the creatures. Now we refer to some aspects of this truth, which is beyond our intelligence. Considering how innocent and pious these infallible ones are, the significance of the issue will be clear:
In the fiftieth supplication of Sahifa as-Sajjadiah, Imam as-Sajjad (s) has said:
وَلَيسَ عَذابي يَزيدُ فِي مُلْكِكَ مِثقالَ ذَرّةٍ وَلَو أنّ عَذابِي مِمّا يَزِيدُ فِي مُلْكِكَ سَألْتُ الصَّبْرَ عَلَيهِ وَأحْبَبْتُ أنْ يَكونَ ذلِكَ لَكَ.
“O God! Punishing me does not add to your Kingdom even as a weight of one atom. If punishing me adds to Your Kingdom a thing, then I will ask You for patience and I would love that to You (if it adds something to Your Kingdom.”
Imam Ali (s), in Kumayl supplication, has said:
هَبْني يا إلَهي وَسَيِّدِي وَمَولايَ وَرَبِّي صَبَرْتُ عَلى عَذابِكَ فَكَيْفَ أصْبِرُ عَلى فِراقِكَ!
“O my God! O my Lord! O my Guardian! Suppose I could tolerate Your punishment, then how could I endure my being away from you?”
He has also said:
وَاجْعَلْ لِسانِي بِذِكْرِكَ لَهِجاً وَقَلْبِي بِحُبِّكَ مُتَيَّماً.
“O God, make my tongue fluent in praising You and make my heart enthralled by Your love.”
He has also said:
فَرَبِّي أحْمَدُ شَيءٍٍٍٍِ عِنْدي وَأَحَقُّ بِحَمْدِي.
“My God the most beloved One to me and the worthiest of my praise.”
He also says:
إلَهي لَوْ قَرَنْتَنِي بالأصْفادِ وَمَنَعْتَنِي سَيبَكَ مِن بَينِ الأشْهادِ وَدَلَلْتَ عَلى فَضائِحِي عُيونَ العِبادِ وَأمَرْتَ بِي النّارَ وَحِلْتَ بَينِي وَبَيْنَ الأبْرارِ ما قَطَعْتُ رَجائِي مِنْكَ وَما صَرَفْتُ وَجْهَ تَأمِيلِي لِلعَفْوِ عَنكَ وَلا خَرَجَ حُبُّكَ مِن قَلبِي، أنا لا أنْسى أيَادِيَكَ عِندِي.
“O my Lord! If You bind me with fetters, prevent me Your favors, disclose my scandals before the people, order to put me into Hell and separate me from the pious, I will never lose my hopes in You, I will never despair to be forgiven by You and I will never take Your love out of my heart. I will never forget Your favors on me.”
Imam Ali (s) also says:
وَلَئِنْ أدْخَلْتَنِي النّارَ لأُخْبِرَنَّ أهْلَ النّارِ حُبِّي لَكَ.
“If you put me in Hell, I will announce to the people of Hell my love to You.”
In Sha'baniyyah Prayer, Imam Ali (s) has said
وَإنْ أخَذْتَنِي بِذُنوبِي أخَذْتُكَ بِمَغْفِرَتِكَ وإنْ أدْخَلْتَنِي النّارَ أعْلَمْتُ أهْلَها أنّي أُحِبُّكَ.
“If You punish me for my sins, I will ask Your pardon. If you put me in Hell, I will inform its residents that I love You.”
As we see, all we have heard of the love of lovers towards their beloved ones, their sayings and their exaggerated fictions is not at all comparable to the tongues of sincerity and assured hearts of these sincere infallible imams (s).
The Fifth Objective
The language of Gnosticism is the tongue of entrée into the world of intuition. It is the language of the unimaginable world. In Sha'baniyyah Prayer we read:
وَاجْعَلْني مِمَّنْ نادَيْتَهُ فَأجابَكَ وَلاحَظْتَهُ فَصُعِقَ لِجَلالِكَ وَناجَيْتَهُ سِرّاً وَعَملَ لَكَ جَهْراً.
“O my God! Make me one of those, whom You have called and they have responded, whom You have observed and they have been stricken for Your glory and whom You have confide to secrets and they have worked for You openly.”
We also see in the twelfth supplication of The 15 Munajat:
إلَهي فاجْعَلْنا مِن الّذينَ تَرَسَّخَتْ أشْجارُ الشّوقِ إلَيكَ فِي حَدائقِ صُدورِهِمْ وَأخَذَتْ لَوعَةُ مَحَبَّتِكَ بِمَجامِعِ قُلوبِهِمْ فَهُمْ إلى أفْكارِ الأفْكارِ يَأوونَ وَفِي رِياضِ القُرْبِ وَالمُكاشَفَةِ يَرتَعونَ وَمِنْ حِياضِ المَحَبَّةِ لِكأسِ المُلاطَفَةِ يَكرَعونَ وَشَرائعِ المُصافاتِ يَرِدونَ. قَد كُشِفَ الغِطاءُ عَن أبْصارِهِم. ما أطْيَبَ طَعْمَ حُبِّكَ وَما أعْظَمَ شرْبَ قُرْبِكَ وَاجْعَلْنا مِن أخَصِّ عارِفِيكَ وأصْلَحِ عِبادِكَ.
“O my God! Let me be among those, in whose hearts the trees of longing to You have rooted and whose hearts have been occupied with Your love so to the best of grace they resort, in the gardens of nearness and disclosure they delight and from the ponds of love they drink. The curtain has been removed from upon their sights…How sweet the taste of Your love is and how great Your nearness is. Make us among the best of those, who know You, and the most pious of Your servants.”
Imam Husayn (s) says:
يا مَن اسْتَوى بِرَحْمانِيَّتِهِ فَصارَ العَرْشُ غَيباً فِي ذاتِهِ, مَحَقْتَ الآثارَ بِالآثارِ وَمَحَوْتَ الأغْيارَ بِمُحِيطاتِ أفْلاكِ الأنْوارِ، يا مَن احْتَجَبَ فِي سُرادِقاتِ عَرْشِهِ عَن أنْ تُدْرِكَهُ الأبْصارُ، يا مَنْ تَجَلّى بِكَمالِ بِهائِهِ فَتَحَقَّقَتْ عَظَمَتُهُ فِي الاسْتِواءِ… إنَّكَ عَلى كُلّ شَيءٍ قَديرٌ، وَالحَمدُ للهِ وَحدَهُ.
“O You, Who have dominated with Your beneficence that the Throne has become unseen in Your essence. You have effaced the signs by the signs and removed the opponents by the horizons of light. O You, Who have hidden in the pavilion of Your Throne so the sights cannot see You. O You, Who gloried with Your perfect grace so Your greatness has shone loftily… You have power over all things… Praise be to You alone.”
This part of the supplication is more distinguished and deeper than the other phrases of the supplication because in the previous sections Imam has begged God, but at this stage of the supplication, he describes his intuition, i.e., he talks about the secrets of the heavens and the glories of God. He considers that everything will vanish except God.
Thus, this supplication in fact is the description of an innocent voyage, which this infallible imam has adopted and so he has offered a great honor to the people, who have followed him. Definitely, if he had not invited us to regard his dignity and if he had thought that the attainment of such a position was impossible, he would have never described this position in this supplication.
Most of the secrets are significant and only those infallible ones know them. When Imam as-Sajjad (s) says in the thirty-second supplication of his Sahifa: “The utmost description of the descriptors will not reach the least of what You have appropriated to Yourself” he refers to this delicate point that what he knows of the names of God, the wisdom of all the learned can never reach. Since he knows that nobody can attain those positions, he does not discuss their stages.
The Sixth Objective
The practical and ethical instructions, which are mentioned in the supplications, are not deniable. This is especially true in al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah. Perhaps one of the factors, which led to these instructions in the language of supplication, was that at that time there was no reliable narrator at the side of this Imam. These narrators might have been present but they did not dare to communicate much with Imam as-Sajjad (s). This was because Imam as-Sajjad's followers were easily persecuted. That was why Imam as-Sajjad's students communicated with him as little as possible.
They even could not teach the others what they had learned from Imam as-Sajjad (s). Thus those lofty instructions were told in the form of supplications to be used by the subsequent generations. In this way, these supplications were kept until the present time. Now it is time to refer to some instructions of these infallible ones.
Praying for Parents and Respecting Them
The twenty-fourth supplication of Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah pays special attention to parents:
اَللّهُمّ إجْعلْني أَهابَهُما هَيبَةَ السُّلْطانِ العَسوفِ وَأَبَرُّهُما بِرَّ الأُمِّ الرّؤوفِ واجْعَلْ طاعَتِي لِوالِدَيَّ وَبِرِّي بِهِما أقَرَّ لِعَيْنِي مِنْ رَقْدَةِ الوَسْنانِ وَأثْلَجَ لِصَدْرِي مِن شُربَةِ الظّمْآنِ حَتىّ أؤْثِرَ عَلى هَوايَ هَواهُما وَأُقَدِّمَ عَلى رِضايَ رِضاهُما. اَللّهُمّ ومَا تَعَدَّيا عَليَّ فِيهِ مِن قَولٍ أوْ أسْرَفا عَليَّ فِيهِ مِن فعْلٍ أوْ ضَيَّعا لِي مِنْ حَقٍّ أوْ قَصَّرا بِي عَنْهُ مِن واجِبٍ فَقَدْ وَهَبْتُهُ لَهُما. وَلا أَكْرَهُ ما تَوَلّيا مِن أمْرِي يا رَبِّ.
“O my God! Let make me fear them (my parents) like fearing a tyrant king. Make me treat them piously like a kind mother. Make my obedience and being pious to them more delightful than the sleep of a sleepy one and more pleasant to my heart than the drink of a thirsty one so that I prefer their tendencies to mine and their contentment to mine. O my God! I forgave them whatever wrong they have said or done to me or whatever right of mine they have wasted or duty towards me they have neglected…O my Lord! I do not dislike whatever they have undertaken of my affairs.”
From this statement it is clear that Imam as-Sajjad (s) attracts the full attention of children towards their parents and this is just an example because both he and his honorable father are infallible and they never do any wrong. He has definitely not shown any kind of negligence towards his parents. Thus, the objective of this supplication is the practical side of it.
How to Educate Children and what their Rights are
The twenty-sixth supplication deals with the education of children. In this part of the supplication, Imam as-Sajjad (s) has ordered the parents to pray for their children and to take much care of them. They are not to indulge in the wrong assumption that their only task is to provide food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and to send them to schools or to high schools. Rather, the focal attention should be educating them.
At the same time, in this supplication it is talked about the ideal children. Should it be enough for them to be only literate or should it suffice them to be healthy or wealthy? Are there other factors, as well? Imam as-Sajjad (s) has issued comprehensive commands concerning these issues:
وَأصِحَّ لِي أبْدانَهُم وَأدْيانَهُم وأخْلاقَهُم. وَأَدْرِرْ لِي وَعَلَيَّ يَدّيْ أرزاقِهِمْ، واجْعَلْهُم أبْراراً أتْقِياءَ بُصَراءَ سامِعِينَ مُطِيعِينَ لكَ وَلأوْلِيائِكَ مُحِبِّينَ مُناصِحِينَ وَلِجَمِيعِ أعْدائِكَ مُعانِدِينَ وَمُبْغِضِينَ وَأَعِنّي تَربِيَتَهُمْ وَتأدِيبَهُم وَبِرَّهُمْ. وَأَعِذْني وَذُرّيَّتِي مِنَ الشّيطانِ الرّجِيمِ، فإنَّكَ خَلَقْتَنا وَأَمَرْتَنا وَنَهَيْتَنا وَرَغَّبْتَنا فِي ثَوابِ ما أمَرْتَنا وَرَهَّبْتَنا عِقابَهُ.
“O my God! I pray You to keep their (my children's) bodies healthy and to preserve their ethics and faith…and grant me with their sustenance. Make them well-doers, pious, discerning and obedient to You and make them love and follow Your guardians and hate and dissent from Your foes.
Assist me to bring them up and educate them well. Guard me and my children against the Satan. You have created us and ordered us to do the right things and prohibited us from doing wrong. You have made the reward of carrying out Your orders desirous to us and warned us of the punishment of not obeying Your orders.”
As we see in this supplication that the two objectives above (i.e. introducing the ideal children and the ways of educating children) are thoroughly dealt with.
Recognizing Satan and How to Keep Away from Him
We have been ordered to keep away from the Satan and to protect ourselves against him to have any control over our souls. This is something vital to us because disregarding any of the commands of these great ones may cause man to deteriorate. Moulana, the great Iranian Poet says:
The other day the Gnostic was going around the city with a lamp;
He said he was tired of seeing devils; he was looking for a true man;
I told him he cannot find one because we have looked for him and we have failed.
He said he wanted the one who is not found.
Imam as-Sajjad (s) has mentioned the dangers of the Satan. He said that he is a foe, whose stronghold is our breast, whose movement is into our blood vessels and whose weapon is our doubts.
Through these sentences the Satan is thoroughly introduced so that man can defend himself against his bloody attacks and nullify his aggression. Of course, this supplication belongs to an imam, who is in the stronghold of God and the Satan can never take hold of him. So it is evident that Imam as-Sajjad (s) has offered these commands for people.
Treating the Others and The Rights of The Neighbors
In the twenty- sixth supplication of as-Sahifa As-Sajjadiah, Imam as-Sajjad (s) says:
وَتَوَلََّنِي فِي جِيرانِي وَمَوالِيَّ العارِفِينَ بِحَقِّنا وَوَفِّقْهُم لإقامَةِ سُنَّتِكَ وَالأخْذِ بِمَحاسِنِ أدَبِكَ فِي إرفَاقِ ضَعيفِهِم وَسَدِّ خَلَّتِهِم وَعِيادَةِ مَريضِهِم وَهِدايَةِ مُسْتَرشدِيهِم وَمُناصَحَةِ مُسْتَشِيرِهِم وَتَعَهُّدِ قادِمِهِم وَكِتْمانِ أسْرارِهِمْ وَسَتْرِ عَوراتِهِمْ وَنُصْرَةِ مُظلومِهِم وَحُسْنِ مُواساتِهِم بِالمَاعُونِ وَالعَوْدِ عَلَيهِم بالجِدَةِ والإفْضالِ وَإعْطاءِ ما يَجِبُ لَهُم قَبلَ السُّؤالِ وَاجْعَلْني اللّهُمّ أجزِي بالإحْسانِ مُسِيئَهُم وَأعرِضُ بِالتَّجاوُزِ عَن ظالِمِهِم، وأسْتَعْمِلُ حُسْنَ الظَّنِّ فِي كافَّتِهِمْ وَأتَولّى بِالبِرِّ عَامَّتَّهُم وَأغُضَّ بَصَري عَنهُم عِفَّةً وَألِينُ جانِبِي لهُمْ تَواضُعاً وأرِقُّ عَلى أهْلِ البَلاءِ مِنهُمْ رَحْمَةً وَأسِرّ لهُمْ بِالغَيبِ مَوَدَّةُ وأُحِبُّ بَقاءَ النّعمَةِ عِندَهُم نُصْحاً وأُوجِبُ لَهُم ما لِحامَّتِي وأرْعى لَهُم ما أرْعى لِخاصَّتِي وَارزُقْني مِثلَ ذلِكَ مِنهُم.
“…and guide me (to be good) towards my neighbors and followers, who have acknowledged our right…and guide them to keep to Your religion and to follow Your morals in being kind to the needy, reforming their defects, visiting the sick, guiding the seekers of guidance, advising the consultees, welcoming the comers, preserving their secrets, covering their defects, supporting the wronged, assisting the hungry, doing them favors, giving them what they need before they ask for. O my Lord, make me reward with good those, who have done me wrong, overlook the unjust, trust in them all, be pious to them, lower my eyes continently, be humble to them, be kind merciful to afflicted ones, love them truly, wishing them blessing, wish to them what I wish to my kins, take care of them as I take care of my close relatives…O my Lord, grant me like that from them”
It is observed that in all of these constructive pieces of advice, Imam as-Sajjad (s) has great positive feelings towards the neighbors. We should know that, according to the Islamic code, until forty houses on each side of one's house are considered as one's neighbors. If these principles are carried out, we can imagine what utopias persons like Plato and Aristotle have had in their minds. Under such conditions, the dominance of human ethics and principles will lead the society without interference of the governors. These ethical instructions are to secure the social justice. They are charters for living peacefully and for modifying behaviors and speeches and for controlling one's imaginations.
Explanation of Ethical Virtues and Vices
Among the significant commands in supplications are the ethical issues and the fitness of one's soul to them. Concerning this, we can refer to Imam as-Sajjad's “Resalatol Hoquq” in which he has dealt with all these items, with which man contacts, and he has offered necessary instructions for each of them. In the twenty-second supplication of Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah we read:
اَللّهُمّ صَلِّ عَلى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَخَلِّصْنِي مِنَ الحَسَدِ وَاحْصُرْنِي عَنِ الذُّنوبِ وَوَرِّعْنِي عَنِ المَحَارِمِ وَلا تُجَرِّئْنِي عَلى المَعاصِي وَاجْعَلْنِي فِي كُلِّ حَالاتِي مَحفوظاً مَكْلوءاً مَسْتوراً مَمنُوعاً مُعاذاً مُجاراً.
“O my Lord, make Your blessings upon Mohammad and his progeny and get me rid of envy, make me refrain from sins, make me pious before prohibitions, do not make me dare to disobey You and make me in all of my states protected, safeguarded, defended and rescued!”
The supplication of Makarim al-Akhlaq, which is the twentieth supplication of Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah, is very useful in this regard. We will refer to a part of it, which is a sample of the human ethical system. The content of this supplication equals a visit to a library of ethical resources. As if a synopsis of a library has been gathered in this supplication:
وَأجْرِ لِلنّاسِ عَلى يَدَيَّ الخَيْرَ وَلا تَمْحَقْهُ بِالمَنِّ وَهَبْ لِي مَعالِي الأخْلاقِ وَاعْصِمْنِي مِن الفَخْرِ وَأغْنِنِي وَأَوْسِعْ عَلَيَّ فِي رِزْقِكَ وَلا تَفْتِنِّي بِالنَّظَرِ وَأعِزَّنِي وَلا تَبْتَلِيَنِّي بِالكِبْرِ وَعَبِّدْنِي لَكَ وَلا تُفْسِدْ عِبادَتِي بِالعُجْبِ.
“O my Lord! Make me as a means of welfare for people and do not perish this welfare by making me boast vainly. Grant me with the highest of morals and keep me safe from boasting. O my Lord, do not make me in need of anything and ease my livelihood. Do not try me with pride and vanity. Make me devote myself to You and do not spoil my worship with conceit.”
In another part of this supplication Imam as-Sajjad (s) says:
وَعَمِّرْنِي ما كانَ عُمُرِي بذْلَةً فِي طَاعَتِكَ فإذا كانَ عُمُرِي مَرْتَعاً لِلشَّيْطانِ فَاقْبِضْنِي إلَيْكَ قَبْلَ أنْ يَسبِقَ مَقْتُكَ إلَيَّ أوْ يَستَحْكِمَ غَضَبُكَ عَلَيّ.
“O my Lord! Keep me alive as long as I obey You and when my life becomes as a pasture to the Satan, then make me die before You will detest me or You will send Your wrath on me!”
In Relation to The Government
There is another feature of supplication; it is the reference to the Islamic government and invoking Allah to protect its stability and defending the borders of the Islamic countries by strong faithful men. Imam as-Sajjad (s) has devoted the twenty-seventh supplication of Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah to the guards of the borders and the armies of the Islamic state. Imam as-Sajjad (s) has made people alert to defend their Islamic heritage:
وَحَصِّنْ ثُغُورَ المُسْلِمينَ وَأَيِّدْ حُماتَها بِقُوَّتِكَ، وَكَثِّرْ عدَّتَهُمْ وَاشْحَذْ أسْلِحَتَهُم وَاحْرُسْ حَوزَتَهُم وامْنَعُ حَومَتَهُمْ وألِّفْ جَمْعَهُم وَدَبِّرْ أمْرَهُمْ وَواتِرْ بَينَ مِيرِهِم وَعَلِّمْهُمْ ما لا يَعْلَمونَ وَعَرّفْهُمْ ما يَجْهَلونَ وَبَصِّرْهُم ما لا يُبْصِرونَ. اَللّهُمّ وأيّما غازٍ غَزاهُم مِنْ أهْلِ مِلّتِكَ أوْ مُجاهِدٍ جَاهَدَهُمْ مِن إتّباعِ سُنَّتِكَ فَلَقِّهِ اليُسْرَ وَهيِّئ لهُ الأمرَ وَاعْفِه عَن الجُبْنِ وَألْهِمْهُ الجُرأةَ وَارْزُقْهُ الشِّدَّةَ وأيّدْهُ بِالنُّصْرَةِ وَعَلِّمْهُ السّيرَ وَالسُّنَنَ وَسدِّدْهُ فِي الحُكْمِ.
“O my Lord! Protect the borders of the Moslem countries and support their guards with Your power… increase their numbers and, sharpen their weapons, guard their land, defend their country, unite their groups, manage heir affairs, teach them what they do not know, inform them of what they ignore, enlighten them on what they do not see… O Allah, whoever fighter of Your nation fights them (the enemies) or a mujahid of the followers of Your religion strives against them… support him and prepare his affairs… take cowardness off him, inspire him with courage, grant him with strength, assist him with victory, teach him the Sunna and the laws and support him in the rule.”
These statements of this supplication refer to the organizations of Islam. The Moslems should be so organized that the enemies could not find a chance to demolish them. They should be equipped with modern weaponry to defend themselves.
The phrase “sharpen their weapons” refers to the power of dominating. It means that the weapons should be modified in accordance with the time. The phrase “teach him the Sunna and the laws” means to learn the latest military tactics and the phrase “teach them what they do not know, inform them of what they ignore, enlighten them on what they do not see” indicates that the Islamic army should learn the military techniques and should behave diligently in accordance with the position of the enemy. Not only the army should be ready, but also it should not act foolishly.
It should be noticed that Imam as-Sajjad (s) has recommended this strong organization not for expanding the country or for dominating over the poor and the needy; but he (s) has intended to defend the Moslems and the Islamic countries. Thus he says:
اَللّهُمّ وَقَوِّ بِذلِكَ مَحالَّ أهْلِ الإسْلامِ وَحَصِّنْ بهِ دِيارَهُمْ وَفَرّغْهُم عَن مُحارَبَتِهِم لِعبادَتِكَ وَعَنْ مُنابَذَتِهِمْ لِلخِلوَةِ بكَ حَتىّ لا يُعْبَدَ في بِقاعِ الأرْضِ غَيرُكَ ولا تُعَفَّرُ لأحَدٍ مِنهُم جَبهَةٌ دُونَكَ.
“O God! Make the countries of the Moslems strong and fortified, do not make them busy with fighting in order to be free to worship You and to be alone with You so that no one is to be worshipped on the earth save You and that no forehead of any of them is to be covered with soil to other than You.”
Imam as-Sajjad (s) in the supplication of “the Beginning” asks God for a pious government:
اَللّهُمَ إنّا نرغَبُ إلَيكَ فِي دَولَةٍ كَريمَةٍ تُعزُّ بِها الإسْلامَ وَأهْلَهُ وَتُذِلُّ بِها النّفاقَ وَأهْلَهُ وَتَجْعَلُنا فِيها مِن الدُّعاةِ إلى طاعَتِكَ وَالقادَةِ إلى سَبيلِكَ.
“O Allah! We are looking forward to an honorable state, in which You glorify Islam and its people and degrade hypocrisy and its people and to make us among those, who invite to Your obedience and guide to Your path.”
Elsewhere, he asks God to protect us against the trespassers and aggressors by saying:
الحَمدُ للهِ قاصِمِ الجَبّارينَ مُبيرِ الظّالِمِينَ مُدرِكِ الهَارِبِينَ نَكالِ الظّالِمينَ صَريِخ ِالمُسْتَصرِخِينَ مَوضِعِ حاجاتِ الطّالِبينَ.
“All praise be to Allah, the Defeater of the tyrants, the Destroyer of the unjust, the Overtaker of the escapers, the Punisher of the unfair, the Resort of the resorters and the Responder of the applicants.”
In this statement, the oppressed ones in the world are given hopes and are encouraged not to despair. It makes them realize that God remembers them because He is the destroyer of the tyrants, the opponent of the vicious and the protector of the wretched. So when the wretched escape from the tyrants, Allah is the only one, to Whom they are to resort to. They will not find themselves unprotected and they will not give the aggressors a chance to involve in more injustice.
It is evident that Islam has a firm view towards the Moslem social parties. It severely punishes those, who make troubles for these foundations. Even in some verses of the Qur'an, the punishment for trouble-makers in some cases is killing.
لَئِنْ لَمْ يَنْتَهِ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ مَرَضٌ وَالْمُرْجِفُونَ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ لَنُغْرِيَنَّكَ بِهِمْ ثُمَّ لَا يُجَاوِرُونَكَ فِيهَا إِلَّا قَلِيلًا.
“If the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease and the agitators in the City (Medina) do not desist, we shall most certainly set you over them, then they shall not be your neighbors in it but for a little while. Cursed, wherever they are found they shall be seized and murdered, a (horrible) murdering. 33:60-61”
There are many such decisive verses in the Holy Qur'an. This policy is to protect the prestige of the Moslem nation. This prestige is strongly protected by God. The Holy Qur'an says:
فَقُطِعَ دَابِرُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ.
“So the roots of the people who were unjust were cut off; and all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. 6:45”
This Islamic system and organization is deemed so crucial by the infallible imams (s). Imam Ali (s) says in Nahj al-Balaghah: “I found that if I had asked for my rights and stood against the government, it would have been hazardous to the society of the Moslems. So I gave up my rights to keep the Moslems safe and I was a sincere counselor.” And for the same reason, Imam Hassan (s) signed the famous contract with Mo'awiya. In many supplications the infallible imams (s) have ordered people to pray for the just imam.
What has been mentioned above is just a few of the concepts included in the supplications offered by the infallible imams (s). I hope it will be of use for the dear readers. All praise is due to Allah.