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Other Prayers

So far, daily recommended {mustahabb} and nawafil prayers, post-prayer devotional acts {ta‘qibat}, prayer of a traveler {musafir}, and compensatory {qadha} prayer have been discussed. These two types of prayer are the same daily obligatory prayer under particular circumstances (in travel, or after its appointed time).

There are other prayers, however, some of which are obligatory while others are emphatically recommended {mutahabb mu’akkad}. In order to complete the discussion about prayer, we shall also deal with them in brief.

Friday congregational prayer {salat al-jum‘ah}

In the weekly social ceremony of Muslims, Friday congregational prayer {salat al-jum‘ah} occupies a special status. It is not only an act of worship, but also a manifestation of Muslim power and the grandeur of Islam. It increases the awareness of followers of the Qur’an and is considered a “religio-political prayer”.

Regarding Friday congregational prayer, the Holy Qur’an says:

﴿ يَا أَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا نُودِيَ لِلصَّلوٰةِ مِنْ يَومِ ٱلْجُمْعَةِ فَاسْعَواْ إِلىٰ ذِكْرِ اللهِ وَ ذَرُواْ ٱلْبَيعَ ﴾

“O ye who believe! When the call is made for prayer on Friday, hurry up toward the remembrance of Allah, and leave all business.”1

Manner of offering Friday congregational prayer

During the period of occultation {‘asr al-ghaybah} of Imam al-Mahdi (‘a), Friday congregational prayer is wajib takhyiri and one has the option to offer the Friday congregational prayer or the noon {zuhr} prayer.

Friday congregational prayer consists of two rak‘ahs and it must be performed in congregation.

Before the prayer, there are two obligatory sermons {khutbayn} in which the khatib {the one delivering the sermons} shares socio-political issues with the congregation apart from inviting them to observe piety.

Its appointed time is from the beginning of zuhr up to about an hour after the recital of its adhan and later than that, it is no longer permissible.

The number of persons offering Friday congregational prayer should be at least five, including the imam.

The distance between the two places where Friday congregational prayers are offered should not be less than one farsakh (approximately 3 miles).

It is obligatory {wajib} to listen to the sermons of the Friday congregational prayer. Non-participation in the Friday congregational prayer for no reason at all is a sign of hypocrisy {nifaq}.

It is better for the prayer leader in the first rak‘ah to recite Surah al-Jum‘ah after Surah al-Hamd and Surah al-Munafiqun in the second rak‘ah.

The Messenger of Allah (S) has said: “Through the Surah al-Jum‘ah, God has honored the believers.” Thus, as glad tidings for them, the Prophet (S) has made it his tradition {sunnah} to recite Surah al-Jum‘ah, and as a reproach to hypocrites, he has regarded it necessary to recite Surah al-Munafiqun.2

Importance of Friday congregational prayer

There are many hadiths which have been narrated in this regard and it is impossible to deal with them here.3

The Messenger of Allah (S) has regarded Friday congregational prayer as the Hajj pilgrimage of the poor4 and as a means of forgiveness of sins.

Friday congregational prayer demonstrates the power of Muslims and is a meeting place of the faithful worshippers.

At the beginning of migration {hijrah}, the Apostle of Allah (S) held the first Friday congregational prayer for the people of Medina laying the foundation of this splendid and constructive gathering.

This prayer has political and administrative dimensions. The khatib and imam of Friday congregational prayer is either the ruler of Muslims or appointed by the leader to assume the post. There are many constructive educational and social blessings and effects this ‘political worship’. Some of them are the following:

1. Cultivating the spirit of fraternity and brotherhood

All people from different places gather in a single prayer ground and sit together, without distinction of race and color. Whatever is present in a congregational prayer is far greater and stronger in the Friday congregational prayer—this weekly gathering of Muslims.

2. Formation of the Islamic forces

This act of worship organizes the Muslims around the axis of worship and prayer, and strikes fear in the heart of the enemy as well as thwarts the plots and intrigues of the discord-mongers.

3. Intellectual and political development of the Muslims

According to the exigency of subject matters, the information given during Friday prayer sermons makes the people aware of political issues concerning their country and the world. By familiarizing them with social responsibilities, they tend to have greater participation in the society scene.

4. Enhancing the spirit of collectivity

Friday congregational prayer gathers the scattered drops of human beings into a single ocean, and through mutual communication and acquaintance, everybody acquires the spirit of collectivity, and thus, dissension and individualism gradually vanish.

5. The center for mobilization

The Friday congregational prayer stronghold is the best place to invite people and mobilize them for jihad, defence, solving social problems, and rendering assistance to others. This glorious power of the masses that is formed in the Friday congregational prayer has always been the focus of attention. During the early days of Islam, the Messenger of Allah (S) and the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) used to mobilize the people and dispatch them to the arenas of jihad.5

Life conduct {sirah} of the holy saints {awliya’}

The conduct {sirah} of the Messenger of Allah (S) and the infallible Imams (‘a) in relation to Friday congregational prayer bespeaks of its importance and the need to increase efforts for this obligation.

It is recorded in the hadith that ‘Ali (‘a) said: “During Thursday, do not take medicine that weakens the body.” He was asked for the reason. He said: “So that it does not hinder you from attending the Friday congregational prayer.”6

Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) says: “The companions of the Prophet used to make preparation for Friday on Thursday because on Friday the time is limited (because of their works).”7

The Commander of the Faithful (‘a) used to free those who were imprisoned on account of debt, accusation, and the like so that they could attend the Friday congregational prayer while their guardians used to guarantee that they would return to the prison cell. The Imam (‘a) also used to allow the imprisoned transgressors {fasiqun}, under guard, to participate in the congregational prayer.8

As a token of commemorating Friday congregational prayer and glorifying these rites, ‘Ali (‘a) used to attend the congregational prayer barefooted, holding his shoes with his left hand saying, “This prayer has a special divine status.” He used to do so out of humility in the presence of the Lord.9

Keeping this in view, the importance of this obligatory act becomes clear, and any committed Muslim must not be heedless of attending this politico-religious assembly.

The Imam of the ummah has said: “The Friday congregational prayer which is a demonstration of the sociopolitical power of Islam must be made more splendid and substantial. The great and dear nation should keep this Islamic fortress as majestic and splendid as possible so that by its blessing, plots of traitors and intrigues of corruptors would be thwarted.”10

‘Id prayers

Islamic occasions are a means of reminding Muslims to remember God, the Exalted. For most of these occasions, special supplications and prayers have been mentioned.

Salat al-‘id is the prayer consisting of two rak‘ahs which is offered on Id al-Fitr and Id al-Qurban.

Contrary to other celebrations and festivities which are associated with heedlessness, self-indulgence and sensual desires, Islamic festivity is accompanied by prayer, supplication, alms-giving and charity, washing {ghusl} and purification, etc. Now, we shall briefly explain the prayer of these two festivals:

‘Id al-Fitr Prayer

On the first day of the lunar month of Shawwal, which is Id al-Fitr, one must offer prayer in gratitude for a whole month of worship and fasting. During the time of the presence of the infallible Imam, this prayer is obligatory and must be performed in congregation, but in our time it is mustahabb.

It can be offered from sunrise of the day of Id up to midday, but performing it earlier in the day is recommended.

In the first rak‘ah, after the recital of Surah al-Hamd and another surah, one must recite takbir {“Allahu akbar”} five times and perform qunut after takbir. In the qunut any supplication may be recited, but it is better to recite the supplication, “Allahumma ahl al-kibriya’i wa’l-‘azamah…

There are four takbirs in the second rak‘ah, and after each takbir, qunut is required.

Because of the peculiar spirituality it possesses, the Id al-Fitr prayer makes hearts aware of God and creates a state of repentance, followed by asking for forgiveness. It is recommended {mustahabb} for a person to take a bath, recite a particular supplication and pray in an open space.

Imam ar-Rida (‘a) says: “God has made this day as a day of festivity so that the Muslims can gather together and glorify Him for His blessings and favors. Thus, this day is a day of festivity, of fraternal gathering, alms-giving, spiritual delight, and benediction.”11

In this noble hadith, the philosophy of the prayer and festivity {id} has been stated under the following headings:

(1) fraternal gathering;

(2) alms-giving and attending to the poor;

(3) dutifully inclining toward God; and

(4) humbly entreating the Lord.

All of these refer to the spiritual and mystical dimension of the said prayer and religious rites, as well as the social effects and benefits which the people obtain. By giving their zakat al-fitr,12 the people provide sustenance to the poor and needy. In another dimension, attention is diverted toward the deprived ones, Id al-Fitr is regarded as the “feast of the poor”.

In addition to sociopolitical effects of this glorious annual gathering, it is a symbol of the power and glory of the Muslim ummah.13

Divine gift

The main thing which can be requested from God in this prayer is forgiveness and mercy as well as the acceptance of worship. This is the best gift that God grants to the worshippers who have fasted.
Imam al-Baqir (‘a) says: “The Messenger of Allah (S) said that whenever the first day of Shawwal (i.e., Id al-Fitr) arrives, a caller from God cries out, “O believers! Hurry to get your gifts”.” Then, the Imam (‘a) turns toward Jabir and says: “O Jabir! The gifts of God are not like the gifts of kings… Today is the day of (divine) gifts!”14

‘Id al-Fitr as a scene of the Day of Resurrection {qiyamah}

One of the educational and constructive effects of Id al-Fitr prayer is that in the said gathering for supplication and entreating in open space, man is reminded of God, the Day of Resurrection and his need of divine mercy, while the scene of the Day of Resurrection comes into view. Remembering the Day of Resurrection on that day is enjoined by the Commander of the Faithful (‘a).

It is recorded in the hadith that on a certain Id al-Fitr, the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) said to the people in a sermon: “O people! This day of yours is the day when the good ones shall receive reward. On this day, the evil-doers shall be in loss.

This day is the day most similar to your resurrection. Your coming out from your houses and going to the prayer ground calls to mind your coming out of your graves. Your waiting for the prayer reminds us of the gathering in the Presence of God on the Day of Resurrection. Your returning home after the prayer is reminiscent of your return to your dwelling, either in paradise or hell.”15

On a certain Id al-Fitr, Imam al-Mujtaba (‘a) came across some people who were busy laughing and playing. The Imam (‘a) said to his companions: “God has made Ramadhan as a ground to compete in obtaining His mercy and pleasure. Some are ahead while others are left behind. What is sorrowful is that on this day of reward, the latter are busy laughing and playing.”16

‘Id al-Adhha prayer

The tenth day of Dhu’l-Hijjah is ‘Id al-Qurban (or al-Adhha). It is one of the most auspicious festivities of Islam, with specific practices and supplications. One of them is the ‘Id al-Qurban prayer. Like the ‘Id al-Fitr prayer, it consists of two rak‘ahs. It is also offered in the same manner, at the same time, and under the same conditions.

Whether on the day of ‘Id al-Fitr or ‘Id al-Qurban, takbirs are to be recited before and after the prayer (in the case of ‘Id al-Qurban, up to ten takbirs after the ‘Id al-Qurban prayer), which all contain the glorification of God, monotheism, His greatness, and our gratitude for His blessing of guidance.17

In the qunut of the ‘Id al-Adhha prayer, as in the previousid prayer, it is better to recite the supplication, “Allahumma ahl al-kibriya’i wa’l-‘azamah…18 In this supplication, we recognize and remember God through His greatness, omnipotence, clemency, mercy, and forgiveness. For the sake of this great day which is a day of festivity for the Muslims and a source of nobility and pride for the Prophet and his descendants (‘a), we beseech God to send salutations to Muhammad and his progeny (‘a) and to benefit from His blessings and good things.

The statement made in this supplication is the most comprehensive request that may be asked from God. We request the following from God:

O God! Include me in whatever goodness You bestowed on this day upon Muhammad and his progeny.

And also take away from me whatever evil You took away from Muhammad and his progeny.
O God! I ask You for the best of things which Your righteous servants have asked of You.
And I seek refuge in You from whatever evil Your righteous servants have sought refuge in You!

‘Id prayer as a prerogative of the leader

In Islam affairs pertaining to Friday and Id congregational prayers are among the posts designated to the rightful government and Islamic leadership. If oppressive powers assume the posts to advance their own objectives, it is an act of usurpation.

Even designating individuals to conduct the Friday and Id congregational prayers and the Hajj pilgrimage is one of the prerogatives and functions of the government and guardian of the affair {wilayah al-amr}. Therefore, such affairs being in control of the unworthy individuals is mournful for the progeny of Muhammad (S). In a hadith Imam al-Baqir (‘a) has pointed to this fact: “There is no Id al-Adhha or Id al-Fitr for Muslims in which the grief and sorrow of the progeny of Muhammad are not aggravated and revived.” The Imam (‘a) was asked about the reason and he said: “It is because on that day the Ahl al-Bayt could see their rights in the hands of others!”19

And which state of being oppressed is graver for the infallible progeny than the fact that even the Islamic festivities are sorrowful for them, as they remind them of the usurpation of their rights and the deviation of the leadership of society!

Salat al-Ayat {Prayer for the Signs}

Some phenomena occurring in nature have uncommon characteristics which create fear among people, and at times, bring about superstitious and polytheistic ideas in the minds of the ignorant and heedless.

It is the duty of religions with heavenly origins to draw minds toward the original factors of these phenomena and prevent mental deviation.

In Islam a particular prayer has been made obligatory for such phenomena, so that the people turn their attention toward God, the Creator of the universe, and regard His power as the source of these changes and occurrences. This prayer is called Salat al-Ayat {Prayer for the Signs} because it is offered at the emergence of natural events which are divine signs and symbols in the world.

We read in the books on practical laws that salat al-ayat is obligatory upon the occurrence of the following phenomena:

(1) solar eclipse {kusuf};

(2) lunar eclipse {khusuf};

(3) earthquakes, and

(4) thunder and lightning, and black and red winds that frighten most people.20

Salat al-Ayat as a lesson on monotheism {tawhid}

The occurrence of such events was considered by the narrow-minded ones as a sign of nature’s wrath and gods’ anger. Since they were unaware of the nature and causes of these events, they used to be heedless of God and focus their attention to lifeless nature. In particular, the sun- and moon-worshippers had their own superstitious ideas.

Offering salat al-ayat is meant to draw the attention toward the Primary Source of creation and natural changes, viz. God the Exalted. It also gives a lesson on monotheism {tawhid}.

It is narrated that there was a solar eclipse when Ibrahim, a son of the Prophet (S) died in childhood. The people started saying that the loss of the Prophet’s (S) male offspring was the reason behind the solar eclipse. In a bid to correct the wrong notions and assumptions, the Apostle of Allah (S) mounted the pulpit {minbar} and after praising and extolling God, he said: “O people! The sun and moon are among the signs of Allah.

They run on their respective courses by His command and they are subservient to Him. Eclipses take place not on account of the death or life of anyone. So, if there is a solar or lunar eclipse, you offer a prayer.” After this speech, he went down from the pulpit and along with the people he offered a prayer for the eclipse.21

We can learn two lessons from this behavior of the Prophet (S):

One lesson is that the Prophet (S) first enlightened minds about natural phenomenon and then performed a prayer for the natural signs. It implies that proper understanding and correct thinking are more important than worship and prayer.

The other lesson is that since he was a man of God and a true messenger, he spoke the truth and drew the people’s attention toward God. On the contrary, the deceivers and demagogues would perhaps take advantage of such an event to draw attention toward themselves. They would analyze and interpret even the natural happenings for their selfish desires.

Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) narrated that his father said: “Earthquakes, solar and lunar eclipses, strong and dreadful winds, are among the signs of the Day of Resurrection. Whenever you happen to witness them, think of the Day of Resurrection, seek refuge in mosques, and stand in prayer.”22

This narration also draws people’s attention from nature to the Lord of nature, and in the end, this ‘God-centeredness’ is completed through prayer.

Manner of performing Salat al-Ayat

We shall point to only a few issues regarding the Salat al-Ayat. For details, one may refer to books on practical laws.

1. The Salat al-Ayat consists of two rak‘ahs and every rak‘ah has four rukus. In every rak‘ah, after reciting Surah al-Hamd and another surah, one may perform ruku and then rise up, and then recite Surah al-Hamd and another surah, and then perform ruku, and continue doing so five times. In every rak‘ah, after the recital of Surah al-Hamd one may also divide a surah into five parts and recite a part of it before ruku, and continue doing so five times.

2. Whatever is obligatory in the five daily obligatory prayers such as ritual purification {taharah}, qiblah, etc. is also obligatory in the case of Salat al-Ayat.

3. Offering Salat al-Ayat is an urgent obligation and it must not be delayed. In case of solar and lunar eclipses, one may offer the prayer from the beginning of the eclipse. If a person fails to perform the said prayer, he commits a sin, and it is obligatory upon him as long as he is alive, and it is valid whenever he offers it.

4. If natural phenomenon for which Salat al-Ayat is obligatory (such as an earthquake, etc.) happens in a certain city, it is obligatory upon the inhabitants of that place to offer the said prayer but those in the other places are not obliged.

5. It does not make any difference whether a total or partial eclipse takes place. In both cases, Salat al-Ayat is obligatory.

Salat al-Mayyit {ritual prayer for the dead}

When a Muslim, even if he is a child, dies, prayer is to be performed for his corpse after the ritual bathing {ghusl al-mayyit} and enshrouding {kafan} are done. Although it is called salat al-mayyit {prayer for the dead}, in reality it is nothing more than supplication, because it has no ruku, sujud, tashahhud, and salam.

To perform ablution {wudhu} or dry ablution {tayammum}, or taking a bath {ghusl} is not a prerequisite for its performance. The physical purity of the person praying is not also required though it is better to observe all the conditions for prayer.

It is better to perform this rite in congregation.

To offer prayer for the corpse of a Muslim is wajib kifai, which means that it is incumbent upon all Muslims, and if a Muslim or a group of Muslims do so, the rest are excused.

This prayer requests mercy and forgiveness for the dead one. As such, it is better for the friends and relatives of the deceased and the believers to be informed to participate therein, and pray for him.

This prayer brings mercy to the dead one as well as forgiveness for the sins of the persons praying.23

Usually, in offering this prayer certain recommended {mustahabb} supplications and statements are recited. The obligatory things, however, which are necessary for every Muslim to know, are the following:

Salat al-mayyit consists of five takbirs.

After the first takbir, “Ashhadu an la ilaha illallah wa anna Muhammadan rasulullah” {I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah} is recited.

After the second takbir, “Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ali Muhammad” {O Allah! Send blessings on Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad} is recited.

After the third takbir, “Allahumma ’ghfir li’l-mu’minina wa’l-mu’minat” {O Allah! Forgive the believing men and women} is recited.

After the fourth takbir, “Allahumma ’ghfir li-hadha (or li-hadhihi) al-mayyit” {O Allah! Forgive this dead (male or female as the case may be)} is recited.

After the fifth takbir, the prayer is finished.

The person praying for the dead body must face the qiblah and place the corpse in the lying position in front of him in such a manner that the head of the dead body is on the right side of the one praying while the feet are on his left side.

The person praying must not be far from the corpse, but if the prayer is in congregation, there is no problem if others are far from the dead body, provided the connection between those who are praying is maintained.

If the prayer for the dead Muslim is not offered (intentionally or out of forgetfulness), or it is found out later that the prayer offered was invalid, it must be offered near his grave after the burial.24

Prayer for rain {salat al-istisqa’}

When divine mercy (rain) is withheld, springs and canals dry up and water scarcity takes place, a prayer is offered for divine mercy and rain. This prayer is called “salat al-istisqa” or prayer for rain.

This is also a lesson in monotheism, and paying attention to the divine power and mercy, because at the time of draught, famine and water scarcity, nobody can be of help. It is only God who can shower His mercy on the people by sending the dark clouds. God says:

﴿ قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَصْبَحَ مائكُمْ غَوْرًا فَمَنْ يَأْتيكُمْ بِماءٍ مَعينٍ ﴾

“Say, ‘Tell me, should your water sink down {into the ground}, who will bring you running water?’”25

The scarcity of water and lack of rain in a place is a sign of divine wrath and sometimes due to the sins committed by the people in society. So, attention to God, weeping, beseeching, repenting with humility might be accepted by God and the scarcity of water removed. The prayer for rain is meant to earn the mercy of God.

Reason behind the absence of rain

As indicated above, sometimes, the absence of rain is the result of the sins of people and is a sign of divine wrath and chastisement.

The Messenger of Allah (S) has said: “When God is displeased with a community and does not bring chastisement to it, inflation will occur and the lifespan will become shorter; traders will not profit and trees will not bear fruit; rivers will not be full of water and rain will be withheld from people; wickedness will become rampant.”26

In another hadith, Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) has said: “When the rulers and judges practice injustice, rain will not come down from the sky.”27

According to hadiths, besides those mentioned already, prevalence of sins, denial of blessings, obstruction of rights, hoarding, oppression and deception, abandonment of the enjoining of good and the forbidding of evil, non-payment of zakat, are sometimes the reason for the absence of rain.28

It is narrated in a hadith that Hadhrat Sulayman (‘a) along with his companions was going out in order to pray for rain. He came across an ant that lifted one of its feet toward the sky, pleading: “O God! We are Your weak creatures and we are not independent of Your provision. So, on account of the sins of the Children of Adam, do not bring us to perdition.”

Hadhrat Sulayman (‘a) said to his companions: “Go back! Indeed, because of the supplication of others, you shall be satiated!”29

So, one must not be arrogant. Sometimes, because of the request of an ant, God will send down His mercy to His servants. At times, He hears the supplication of even an unbeliever, such as Pharaoh, and shower abundant rain. It is stated in a hadith from Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) that the companions of Pharaoh talked about the lowering of water level of the Nile River in his presence, expressing that “This will end in our perdition.”

Pharaoh asked them to return that day. When the night arrived, he went to the middle of the Nile and raised his hands toward the sky and said: “O God! You are aware that I know that except You, no one can bring down water. So, give water to us.” The following morning, the Nile River was overflowing with water.30

ايمنى ديدند و نا ايمن شدند دوستى كردم، مرا دشمن شدند

ما كه دشمن را چنين مى پروريم دوستان را از نظر چون مى بريم؟

They saw security and got insecure.
I tried to befriend them but they turned inimical to Me.
How can We who nurtured the enemy as such
forget the friends?31

Manner of performing the prayer for rain

Like Id prayer, this prayer consists of two rak‘ahs and is offered in congregation. The first rak‘ah has five qunuts while the second rak‘ah has four qunuts.

In the qunuts, any supplication may be recited but it is better if the supplication to be recited contains something about request for rain, and before every supplication salawat to the Prophet and his progeny (‘a) should be offered. It is recommended {mustahabb} to recite aloud Surah al-Hamd and another surah.

Since this prayer is for drawing the mercy of the Lord, there are recommended acts {mustahabbat} which demonstrate the, weakness and intense need of the servants of God and attract divine mercy.

Among these acts are the following:

The people must fast for three days and go to the open field on the third day and pray there.

They must gather together in an open space.

They must be barefooted.

They must bring the pulpit {minbar} along with them;

They must let callers to prayer {mu’adhdhin} accompany them.

They must also bring with them the aged, their children and four-footed animals.

They must separate the children from their mothers so as to intensify the crying and wailing.

They should not let the unbelievers with them go outside.

The imam and the people must go to the open space with utmost humility and seriousness and choose a clean place for the performance of prayer.32

When the prayer is finished, the imam has to mount the pulpit, and hang his cloak, or place it on his back or shoulder. He has to recite takbir a hundred times aloud. Facing the people on the right, he has to recite “subhan Allah” {glory be to Allah} a hundred times aloud. Then, facing the people on the left, he has to recite “la ilaha illallah” {there is no god but Allah} a hundred times aloud. There is nothing wrong if the people repeat these slogans aloud to win divine mercy and forgiveness.

Thereafter, the imam and the people have to raise their hands in supplication, fervently pray, beseech, and implore. The imam of the congregation has to deliver a sermon and request God for rain. It is better for him to recite the sermons transmitted from the Infallibles (‘a) such as those transmitted from Hadhrat Amir (‘Ali)33 (‘a) and Imam as-Sajjad (‘a).34

Historical precedence of the prayer for rain

As indicated in historical accounts, there has been prayer for rain during the periods of the prophets (‘a), an example of which was the account about Hadhrat Sulayman (‘a) mentioned earlier.

The transmitted supplications and hadiths about the life conduct {sirah} of the Messenger of Allah (S) in offering prayer for rain, the sermons related to this prayer narrated from the Commander of the Faithful (‘a), and the supplication of Imam as-Sajjad (‘a) bespeak of the fact that this tradition {sunnah} was practiced in the past.35

In history, some distinguished ‘ulama’ have also offered this prayer and their request for rain has been granted by Allah. Of course, this prayer is crucial because if the request for rain is not granted by God and it does not rain, it will embarrass the worshippers for not being heard by God. For this reason, to perform this prayer requires courage and sacrifice to the extent of risking one’s honor.

One of the most famous prayers for rain in our contemporary history was the prayer of Ayatullah al-‘Uzma Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Khwansari (may Allah be pleased with him).

It has been recorded that in 1363 AH (1944), the same year when the Allied Forces had occupied Iran after World War II, there was no rain in Qum. The gardens and fields dried up, and draught and famine were threatening the people of Qum.

The abovementioned religious authority {marja‘ at-taqlid} went to the open fields in the suburbs of Qum for two successive days, in order to pray for rain. Although this move was subjected to the insults of those who were denying spiritual and unseen affairs, on the second day, there was such a heavy downpour that the rivulets were overflowing. This was the effect of the lofty spirit of that man of God.36

Other prayers

For the purpose of establishing relationship between God and His servant, many prayers have been recommended, among which are the following:

Salat al-Ghufaylah;

Salat al-Hajat;

Salat al-Layl ad-Dafan (prayer on the first night of burial of a dead Muslim);

• Prayer on the first day of the month; and

• Many other prayers which are discussed in the books on supplications and those who are interested may refer to those books.

I shall end up this writing with the hope that it will serve as a provision in the hereafter and a useful venture for me and others.

  • 1. Surah al-Jum‘ah 62:9.
  • 2. Mizan al-Hikmah, vol. 5, p. 426.
  • 3. See Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 89, p. 122; Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 5, p. 1; Man La Yahdhuruh al-Faqih , vol. 1, p. 409; Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 707; vol. 8, p. 368.
  • 4. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 89, p. 199, under the title al-Jum‘ah, Hajj al-Masakin.
  • 5. For information about the Friday congregational prayer, see the booklet, Namaz-e Shokuhmand-e Jum‘eh {The Splendorous Friday Prayer} published by the Qum-based Dar Rah-e Haqq Institute.
  • 6. Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 5, p. 47.
  • 7. Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 5, p. 28.
  • 8. Mustadrak al-Wasa’il, vol. 6, p. 27.
  • 9. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 86, p. 255.
  • 10. Sahifeh-ye Nur, speech dated Shahrivar 21, 1358 AHS.
  • 11. Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 5, p. 141; Man La Yahdhuruh al-Faqih, vol. 1, p. 522.
  • 12. Zakat al-fitr: a specified type of religious dues paid by the worshippers when they complete the fasting in the month of Ramadhan. {Trans.}
  • 13. The ‘Id prayer that Imam ar-Rida (‘a) wanted to offer but Ma’mun prevented it as he was afraid, and the ‘Id prayer held in Qaytariyyah, Tehran during the first march rally of the Islamic Revolution in which Shahid Mufatteh mobilized our nation to form a great movement, were indicative of the sociopolitical dimension of this splendid gathering.
  • 14. Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 5, p. 140; Man La Yahdhur, vol. 1, p. 511.
  • 15. Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 5, p. 141.
  • 16. Man La Yahdhuruh al-Faqih, vol. 1, p. 511.
  • 17. “Allahu akbar, la ilaha illallah, wa’llahu akbar, Allahu akbar wa lillahi’l-hamd, Allahu akbar ‘ala ma hadana.” See Mafatih al-Jinan; Tawdhih al-Masa’il.
  • 18. See Mafatih al-Jinan; Books an practical laws.
  • 19. Man La Yahdhuruh al-Faqih, vol. 1, p. 511.
  • 20. We shall deal later with some pertinent issues.
  • 21. Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 5, p. 144.
  • 22. Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 5, p. 145.
  • 23. Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 2, p. 762.
  • 24. For more information, see the books on practical laws.
  • 25. Surah al-Mulk 67:30.
  • 26. Man La Yanhdhuruh al-Faqih, vol. 1, p. 524.
  • 27. Ibid.
  • 28. Tahrir al-Wasilah, vol. 1, p. 245, under “salat al-istisqa’”.
  • 29. Man La Yahdhuruh al-Faqih, vol. 1, p. 524.
  • 30. Man La Yahdhuruh al-Faqih, vol. 1, p. 526.
  • 31. Extract from the poem, “Lutf-e Haqq” {Divine Grace} by Parvin I‘tisami.
  • 32. Tahrir al-Wasilah, vol. 1, p. 245.
  • 33. Man La Yahdhuruh al-Faqih, vol. 1, p. 527, “Al-hamdulillahi sabigha’n-ni‘am”; Mustadrak Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 6, p. 268, supplication of Hadhrat ‘Ali (‘a).
  • 34. As-Sahifah as-Sajjadiyyah, Supplication 19, “Allahumma asqina al-ghaytha”.
  • 35. See Man La Yahdhuruh al-Faqih, under the discussion on the prayer for rain.
  • 36. Athar al-Hujjah va Ganjineh-ye Daneshmandan, vol. 1, p. 324. The grave of the late Khwansari is located in the shrine of Hadhrat Fatimah al-Ma‘sumah (may Allah be pleased with her) in Qum.

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