My child! We have inherited from our fourth Imam, ‘Ali b. Husain (as) a precious encyclopedia in the form of supplication and requests from Allah, by the name of al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah. I am going to read to you a passage from this book on the topic of our discussion. I hope to draw your attention to some exciting words in connection with one's obligations to his father and mother. The honourable Imam with much fear in his heart, sits in prayer in front of glory and majesty of Almighty Allah and in a humbling voice says:
اللهم صل على محمد عبدك و رسولك واهل بيته الطاهرين و اخصصهم بافضل صلواتك ورحمتك و بركاتك وسلامك واحصصهم اللهم والدى بالكرامة لديك والصلوة منك ياارحم
الراحمين اللهم صل على محمد و اله والهمني علم ما يجب لهما على الهاما واجمع لى علم ذلك كله تمام ...
“O Lord, bless Muhammad, Thy servant and Thy Apostle and the holy people of his house.
Distinguish, O Lord, my parents with excellence before Thee and grace from Thee, O Most Merciful!
O Lord, bless Muhammad and his descendants.
Acquaint me by inspiration with the knowledge of what is due unto them from me.
Collect for me the complete knowledge of all this.
Cause me to act according to what Thou reveal to me by inspiration.
Give me grace to penetrate into such of this knowledge as Thou teach me till I omit to perform nothing Thou have taught me. Do not let my limbs grow heavy (so as to prevent them) from the discharge of what Thou reveal unto me.
O Lord, bless Muhammad and his descendants as Thou hast exalted us with him.
Favour Muhammad and his descendant as Thou has given us claims upon Thy creation because of him.
Make me fear my parents as I would fear a despotic ruler and love them with the tenderness of an indulgent mother.
Let me obedience to my parents and beneficence to them be sweeter to my eyes than sleep is to the drowsy, cooler to my beast than drinking water is to the thirsty, till I give preference to their wishes over mine and precedence to the satisfaction of their needs over mine.
Let me over-value their benevolence to me, even in small things and under-value my beneficence to them, even in great things.
O Lord, let me lower my voice for them.
Let my speech be arguable to them
Soften my conduct towards them.
Let my heart be kind to them.
Make me tender and lenient unto them both.
O Lord, reward them for bringing me up.
Recompense them for loving me.
Guard them as they guarded me in my infancy.
O Lord, whatever pain they may have received from me, whatever displeasure may have been caused to them by me or whatever duty owed to them that was left unperformed by me, let that be a pardon of their sins, and exaltation of their rank and an addition to their good deeds.
O Thou, who does change evil deeds into multiplied good deeds!
O Lord, that speech in which they were unjust to me, or that action in which they were extravagant against me, or such of my claims as they failed to satisfy, or such debts as they failed to discharge, verily, I forgive it to them and favour them therewith.
I turn unto Thee with a view to removing the penalty thereof from them.
For verily I do not accuse them falsely of having done something to my hurt, nor do I deem them negligent in doing good to me, nor do I despite the care they took of me, O Lord!
Because their claim upon me is so great, their benevolence to me so magnificent and I am as highly obliged to them, that
I cannot fairly meet, it nor repay them as they deserve.
O my God, how can I repay them for their tedious employment in bringing me up?
For their hard labour in guarding me.
For their self-denied to lavish comfort upon me!
Alas! Alas (I cannot).
Their claim can never be satisfied by me, nor can I perceive what is due from me unto them nor can I fully discharge the duty of serving them!
Therefore, bless Muhammad and his descendants. Help me, O best of all those whose assistance is solicited. Give me grace, O Greatest of Guides, towards whom people turn.
Do not let me be of those who wronged their fathers and mothers on the day wherein “every soul shall be paid what it has merited and they shall not be treated with injustice.
O lord, bless Muhammad and his descendants.
Distinguish my parent, in particular with the best distinctions which Thou hast conferred upon the fathers and mothers of Thy true believing servants, O Most Merciful.
O lord, do not let me forget to remember them after my ritual prayers, at every time of my night and at every hour of my day.
O God, bless Muhammad and his descendants.
Forgive me for the sake of my prayers for them.
Grant a sure pardon to them because of their goodness to me.
Be perfectly satisfied with them through my intercession for them.
Bring them by Thy Mercy into places of safety.
O God, If Thy Pardon for them has preceded (my prayers), then make them intercessors for me.
If Thy pardon for me has preceded (Thy forgiving them.) than make me an intercessor for them so that we may be gathered by Thy Mercy in the place of Thy grace, the place of thy pardon and Mercy.
For verily Thou art the one Whose Munificence is Great, Whose kindness is eternal. Thou art the Most Merciful.” 1
No matter how hard or how long I tried, I would not be able to observe the sensitive and important subjects on fathers and mothers as it is apparent from the beautiful and meaningful and concise words of our Fourth Imam. Every single sentence of his statements are an indication of how deeply he thinks and of how knowledgeable he is.
Such words can come only from an individual of excellent calibre and a pious man as Imam Sajjad (as). Hearing him had such an impact upon me as if he woke me up from a deep and long sleep. I pray to Allah, by the glory of this holy man and his words, to grant me that ability to put these words practice.
- 1. Al-Sahifa Al-Sajjadiyyah, Prayer number 24 (For parents)