Argumentation and debate have always been the eminent feature of the prophets’ invitation to Almighty Allah. They falsified the opinions of their heathen enemies by means of arguments and debates. For instance, Prophet Abraham provided undeniable points of evidence when he was argued by the tyrant of his time. Referring to this argumentation, the Holy Quran recounts:
Bethink you of him who had an argument with Abraham about his Lord, because Allah had given him the kingdom; how, when Abraham said, ‘My Lord is He Who gives life and causes death.’ He answered, ‘I give life and cause death.’ Abraham said, ‘Lo! Allah causes the sun to rise in the East; so, do you cause it to come up from the West.’ Thus was the disbeliever abashed. And Allah guides not wrongdoing folks. (2:258)
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) also depended upon dialogue and highly moral argumentation in the process of promulgation for Islam. In this respect, Almighty Allah has ordered him, saying,
Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! Your Lord is best aware of him who strays from His way, and He is best Aware of those who go aright. (16:125)
Positively and distinctively, Islam has adopted the method of debate and argumentation in the promulgation for its message and has not used any means of violence in order to achieve its goals. Obviously, the Holy Quran has declared,
There is no compulsion in religion. (2:256)
All the wars that were entered against the enemies of Islam were completely defensive and were aimed at protecting the values, principles, and goals of Islam that the polytheistic powers of Quraysh and their aides had exerted all efforts to eradicate and screen them from the human community.
Imam Ali (‘a) always followed the course of the Holy Prophet (S), since he was the most attached to him, the door to his city of knowledge, and the closest to him. The Imam (‘a) thus patterned after the Holy Prophet (S) in all of his practices; he relied objectively upon debate and argumentation against his rivals. He only waged wars against them after all other means of peace had run out.
Besides, Imam Ali (‘a) was the most broad-minded and the most conversant with the various fields of knowledge. For instance, none could ever beat him in the field of theology and divinity. He confuted the scholars and doctors of other religions through his debates and arguments.
Because the caliphs who seized power before him did not have any logic for challenging the Divine and Prophetic orders of appointing Imam Ali (‘a) as the next leader of the Muslim community, they could not defend themselves when the Imam (‘a) provided overwhelming points of evidence proving the violation they had committed when they plotted the conspiracy of usurping the position of leadership from him.
Likewise, Imam Ali (‘a) had full acquaintance with the points of weakness in the other religions; he therefore presented these points before the scholars of these religions who had come to dispute with him about the authenticity of Islam.
In the following lines, we will present a little number of the debates and arguments of Imam Ali (‘a) against his rivals.
After the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S) and the coming to power of Abu-Bakr, a group of Christians, headed by the Catholic (jathaliq), visited Al- Madinah and met the new caliph.
The Catholic asked, ‘In the Gospel, we have read about a messenger who would come after Jesus. When we were informed that Muhammad ibn Abdullah had claimed being the messenger involved, we hurried to our king to find us a solution. He summoned the prominent personalities of our people and sent us to your city so that we would seek the truth. However, we missed meeting with your prophet Muhammad.
We have read in our books that prophets would not depart from this world before appointing successors to represent them among their people and to give answers to all questions posed. O leader, are you the successor of Muhammad so that we will ask you questions whose answers are needed by us?’
‘Umar intruded, pointed to Abu-Bakr, and said, ‘Yes, this man is the successor of Allah’s Messenger. You may ask him.’
The Catholic asked, ‘Can you tell us about the superiority of you in religion? We are here basically to ask this question.’
Abu-Bakr answered, ‘We are believers and you are nonbelievers. A believer is definitely better than a nonbeliever. Likewise, belief is better than unbelief.’
The Catholic said, ‘Your claim requires evidence. Can you tell me whether you are believer in the sight of Allah or in the sight of yourself?’
Abu-Bakr answered, ‘I am believer in the sight of myself, because I do not know what Allah thinks about me.’
The Catholic asked, ‘Now, am I nonbeliever in your sight as same as you are believer in your sight, or I am nonbeliever in the sight of Allah?’
Abu-Bakr answered, ‘You are nonbeliever in my sight, because I do not know what Allah thinks about you.’
The Catholic said, ‘I believe indisputably that you doubt yourself and me!
Can you tell me whether you do or do not enjoy a certain rank in Paradise that you know on the strength of the faith you are following?’
Abu-Bakr answered, ‘I do have a rank in Paradise that I know due to the promise. However, I do not know whether I can or cannot reach it.’
The Catholic asked, ‘Do you expect that I will have such a rank in Paradise?’
Abu-Bakr answered, ‘Yes, I expect so.’
The Catholic said, ‘I believe indisputably that you expect for me such a rank but you fear lest you yourself will not have it. Now, can you tell me whether you have familiarity with the entire knowledge of the Prophet?’
Abu-Bakr answered, ‘No, I do not. Yet, I know the items of knowledge that the Prophet transmitted to me.’
The Catholic asked, ‘How should you be the Prophet’s successor when you are not familiar with the Prophet’s knowledge that is needed by his community?’
The questions of the Catholic annoyed ‘Umar who considered them transgression against Abu-Bakr. He therefore shouted at the Catholic.
Hurriedly, Salman went to Imam Ali (‘a) and informed him of the situation. The Imam (‘a) came to the mosque and said to the Catholic,
O Christian, you may ask me whatever you need to ask. I swear by the One Who split the grain and fashioned the souls; I will answer whatever you ask me, out of the knowledge that I have received from the Prophet of true guidance, Muhammad (S).
So, the Catholic asked, ‘Can you tell me whether you are believer in the sight of Allah or in the sight of yourself?’’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
I am believer in the sight of Allah as same as I am believer in my own faith.
The Catholic, admired by the Imam’s answer, said, ‘Well, this is the answer of one who has full confidence in his faith. Now, tell me what rank you will have in Paradise.’
The Imam (‘a) answered,
My rank will be the same rank of the Prophet of Makkah in the highest place of Paradise. I never doubt so and I never suspect any promise that is made to me by my Lord.
The Catholic asked, ‘On which strength have you recognized the rank you have just mentioned?’
The Imam (‘a) answered,
I recognize it on the strength of the revealed Book and the truthfulness of the Divinely-sent Prophet.
The Catholic further asked, ‘How can you be so sure of the truthfulness of your prophet?’
The Imam (‘a) answered,
I have known his truthfulness through the amazing signs and the clear-cut miracles.
Confirming the Imam’s words, the Catholic said, ‘Yes, it is. This is the way to true argument for those who engage themselves in debates. Now, tell me where Allah is today.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
Allah the All-exalted is too majestic to have a certain place and too elevated to have a certain space. He is always as He is and He existed when there was no place. Today, He is as same as He was, because He never changes from one condition to another.
The Catholic said, ‘Well done, young man. You have briefed the answer to the point. Now, tell me about Allah the All-exalted; can He be realized by tangible matters so that one who seeks to know Him can realize him by means of tangibles? Or, if not, what is the way to recognize Him?’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
Allah the King and the Omnipotent is too exalted to be described by an amount or to be realized by tangible things or to be compared to human beings. The only way to recognize Him is to consider His makings that dazzle the intellects and lead the people of good reason to Him through His creations that are witnessed and reasoned.
The Catholic said, ‘You have said the truth. By Allah, this is the very truth that those who are straying off in ignorance have missed. Now, tell me what your prophet has said about the Christ when he informed you that Jesus is a creature and not god. How could your prophet prove that Jesus was created and how could he deny Jesus’ godhead?’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
Jesus is proven as a created being because he could not dispense with programming, he had a certain feature, he always changed from one condition to another, and he was always exposed to increase or decrease.
On the other hand, I do not deny that he was a prophet and I do not claim that he was out of infallibility and (human) perfection. Allah the All- exalted has informed us that Jesus was just like Adam: Allah created him from dust and then said to him, ‘Be!’ So, he was.1
A group of Christians came to Al-Madinah from Rome to recognize the leader of the Muslims after the Holy Prophet (S). Headed by a monk, the group entered the Prophet’s Mosque where Abu-Bakr, surrounded by a group of the Muhajirun and the Ansar, sat. The monk advanced and asked Abu-Bakr, ‘What is your name?’
Abu-Bakr answered, ‘My name is ‘Atiq.’
The monk asked, ‘Do you have another name?’
Abu-Bakr answered, ‘My other name is Al-Siddiq.’
The monk asked, ‘Do you have another name than these two?’
Abu-Bakr answered, ‘No, I do not.’
The monk expressed, ‘You are not the one I am looking for.’
Abu-Bakr now asked, ‘What for have you come?’
The monk answered, ‘I have come from Rome carrying with me a casket of gold to pose some questions to the successor of the prophet of this community. If he answers me, I will convert to Islam and distribute the gold among you; otherwise, I will return home carrying my gold with me and keeping my faith.’
Abu-Bakr expressed, ‘You may put any question you want.’
The monk said, ‘By Allah, I will not start any discussion with you before you grant me immunity against your companions’ and your assault.’
Abu-Bakr said, ‘You are safe and you can say anything you want to say without facing any trouble.’
The monk thus asked, ‘What is the thing that is not possessed by Allah, the thing that is not from Allah, and the thing that Allah does not know?’
Abu-Bakr was too perplexed to find an answer; therefore, the monk posed the same question to the companions none of whom could answer.
Salman ran to Imam Ali (‘a) and informed him about the question, and the
Imam (‘a), accompanying Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn, hurried to the mosque.
Once the Imam (‘a) arrived in there, Abu-Bakr asked the monk to pose his question to Imam Ali (‘a).
The monk thus asked, ‘O young man, what is your name?’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
For the Jews, my name is Eli; for the Christians, it is Elijah; for my father, it is Ali, and for my mother, it is Haydarah.
The monk asked, ‘What is your position to your prophet?’
The Imam (‘a) answered,
He is my brother, father-in-law, and cousin.
The monk said, ‘By the Lord of Jesus, you are the very one I am asking about. Can you tell what the thing that is not possessed by Allah is, what the thing that is not from Allah is, and what the thing that is not known by Allah is?’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
The thing that is not possessed by Allah is that Allah the All-exalted does not have a wife and a son.
The thing that is not from Allah is that Allah does not have any oppression towards His creatures.
The thing that is not known by Allah is that Allah does not know any thing or any one to be His partner in His Kingdom.
Immediately, the monk converted to Islam. He kissed Imam Ali (‘a) and declared the profession of Islam, saying, ‘I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and you are the true vicegerent (of the Prophet), the trustee of this community, and the essence of the true religion and wisdom.’
The monk gave the gold he had with him to the Imam (‘a) and the Imam (‘a) did not leave his place before distributing the entire gold among the poor people.2
The archbishop of Najran came to ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab to pay the tribute. When ‘Umar invited the archbishop to Islam, he nodded his head and could not find any answer to say.
Immediately, Imam Ali (‘a) entered and everybody received him warmly. He (‘a) then had the following debate with the bishop:
The bishop asked, ‘You, Muslims, claim that Paradise is as wide as the heavens and the earth. If so, then where will Hellfire be?’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
‘If night falls, where does daylight go?’
The bishop knew for sure that Imam Ali (‘a) had so much knowledge, but he asked his permission to pose a question to ‘Umar. As the Imam (‘a) permitted him, the bishop asked, ‘O ‘Umar can tell me about the land that was covered by sunlight one time only?’
‘Umar failed to answer; he therefore asked Imam Ali (‘a) to answer this question on behalf of him.
The Imam (‘a) thus said,
This land is the bottom of the sea that Allah the All-exalted split for Moses so that his soldiers and he could cross from it. At the hour of their crossing, the land was covered by sunlight for once only, but it did not see sunlight neither before nor after that hour, because the sea then was closed on Pharaoh and his soldiers.
The bishop said, ‘This is true. Now, can you tell me about a thing that is within reach of the inhabitants of this world, but whatever people take from it, it neither decreases nor increases?’
The Imam (‘a) answered,
It is the Holy Quran and the sciences.
The bishop said, ‘This is true. Now, can you tell me about the first messenger that Allah sent while it was neither human being nor jinn?’
The Imam (‘a) answered,
This is the crow that Allah sent immediately after Cain had killed his brother Abel (the two sons of Adam). So, Cain was so confused because he did not know what to do with the body of his brother. At that time, Allah sent a crow digging in the ground to show Cain how he should cover his brother’s naked corpse.
The bishop said, ‘This is true. I have only one question, but I want ‘Umar to answer it: Where is Allah?’
As ‘Umar became angry, Imam Ali (‘a) said to him,
O Abu-kafs, do not be angry; lest the bishop will believe that you have failed to answer his question.
Hence, ‘Umar asked Imam Ali (‘a) to answer the question and the Imam (‘a) said,
One day, I was in the presence of Allah’s Messenger (S) when an angel came and greeted him. The Holy Prophet (S), having responded to the angel’s greeting, asked: ‘Where have you just been?’
The angel replied, ‘I was with my Lord above the seven skies.’ Then, another angel came and the Holy Prophet (S) asked him the same question. The angel answered, ‘I was with my Lord at the place of the rising of the sun.’ A third angel came and the Holy Prophet (S) asked him the same question. The angel answered, ‘I was with my Lord at the place of the setting of the sun.’
Allah the All-exalted is never empty of any place and is never occupying a certain place at any moment. He is neither in a thing, nor over a thing, nor within a thing. His authority includes the heavens and the earth. There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing.
Not an atom’s weight, or less than that, or greater, escapes Him in the heavens or in the earth. He knows all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. There is no secret conference of three but He is their fourth, nor of five but He is their sixth, nor of less than that or more but He is with them wherever they may be.3
A heated argument took place between Al-karith ibn Sinan Al-Azdi and a man from the Ansar. When their case was provided before ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, he did not judge fairly. As a result, Al-karith apostatized from Islam and joined the Roman emperor. One day, Al-karith recited this holy Quranic verse before the Roman emperor:
Whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers. (3:85)
In fact, Al-karith did not memorize any Quranic verse except the previously mentioned one. When the emperor heard the verse, he decided to write a letter to the king of the Arabs asking for answers to his questions.
If the king answered them, the emperor decided that he would release all the Muslim captives; otherwise, he would ask the captives to convert to Christianity and would kill any one of them who would refuse.
Hence, the emperor posed the following questions to ‘Umar in a letter:
(1) What is the exegesis of Surah Al-Fatihah?
(2) What is the water that is from neither the earth nor the heavens?
(3) What is the thing that breathes although it has no soul?
(4) What is the material from which the rod of Moses was made? What was its name? How long was it?
(5) What is the maiden that is possessed by two brothers in this world and by one of them only in the other world?
When he read these questions, ‘Umar could not find any answer to them; he therefore hurried to Imam Ali (‘a) and presented them before him.
In reply to the emperor, Imam Ali (‘a) wrote the following letter:
In the Name of Allah; the All-beneficent, the All-merciful (I begin).
From Ali ibn Abi Talib, the son-in-law of Muhammad (S), the inheritor of his knowledge, the closest of all creatures to him, the henchman of him, the one to whom loyalty has been made incumbent (by Allah) upon all people and repudiation of whose enemies has been made obligatory by Allah upon all people, the one who is the delight of the Messenger of Allah, the husband of his daughter, and the father of his descendants; to Caesar the Roman emperor:
First of all, I praise Allah save Whom there is no god. He is the knower of all hidden matters and the sender of all blessings. He whom Allah guides, there can be none to lead him astray, but he whom Allah leads astray, there can be none to lead him to the right path.
Your letter has been received and ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab presented it to me. Concerning your question about the Name of Allah the All-exalted (mentioned in Surah Al-Fatihah), it is the name that holds remedy for all maladies and substitution for all medications.
Concerning the exegesis of the word Al-Rahman (the All-beneficent), the All-beneficent Lord is the aid of every one who believes in Him. It is furthermore a name that is not called to anyone save Allah the All- beneficent, the All-blessed, and the All-exalted.
Concerning the exegesis of the word Al-rahim (the All-merciful), it indicates that the Lord shows mercy to everyone who had disobeyed Him, but then believed and acted good deeds.
Concerning the exegesis of ‘Alhamdulillahirabbi’l- ‘alamia (All praise be to Allah, the Lord of All Worlds),’ this is praise of our Lord, the All-blessed and All-exalted, for the blessings He is conferring upon us.
Concerning the exegesis of ‘Malikiyawmal-dini (the Master of the Day of Judgment)’, this means that He (the Lord) shall dominate over all of the creatures on the Resurrection Day. Then, He will send to Hellfire everyone who suspected Him or acted insolently in this worldly life. In fact, the chastisement of Allah the Almighty and All-exalted will not spare any doubtful or insolent person. On the other hand, Allah, out of His mercy, shall allow to Paradise everyone who acted obediently towards Him, persisted in, and kept on obeying Him.
Concerning the exegesis of ‘iyyakana ‘buduwaiyyakanasta ‘inu (You alone do we worship and You alone do we ask for help),’ this means that we seek the help of Allah the Almighty and All-majestic against Satan the accursed; lest Satan may mislead us as same as he did with you.
Concerning the exegesis of ‘ihdinaAl-sirataal-mustaqima (Guide us to the right path),’ this is an indication of the clear path which will lead to Paradise everyone who does righteous deeds in this worldly life.
Concerning the exegesis of ‘sirata alladhina an ‘amta ‘alayhim (the path of those whom You have endued with blessings),’ this is an indication of the very blessings that Allah the Almighty and All-majestic conferred on the prophets and the veracious people who lived before us. We thus beseech Allah our Lord to endue you with the same blessings as exactly as He did to those people.
Concerning the exegesis of ‘ghayri almaghsubi ‘alayhim (not those upon whom Your wrath was brought down),’ this is an indication of the Jews who had changed the blessing of Allah into disbelief. As a result, He (the Lord) brought down His wrath upon them and transformed them into apes and pigs. We thus beseech our Lord not to bring down His wrath upon us as He did to them.
Concerning the exegesis of wala alsallina (and not those who go astray),’ this is an indication of your likes and you, the worshippers of the wicked cross, since you went astray after the departure of Jesus the son of Mary (‘a). We thus beseech Allah our Lord not to make us go astray like you when you have gone astray.
Concerning your question about the water that is from neither the sky nor the earth, it is the water that Bilqis, the queen of Sheba, sent to Solomon the son of David. The water was namely the sweet of horses that were used for fighting in battles.
Concerning your question about the thing that breathes although it has no soul, this is the morning when it breathes away the darkness.
Concerning your question about the rod of Moses, it was named Al- barniyyah Al-ra'idah (i.e. the pioneering vessel-like rod). When it became soulful, its size would extend, but when the soul left it, it would decrease in size. It was made of boxthorn. Its length was ten arms. It was brought by Archangel Gabriel from Paradise.
Concerning your question about the maiden’, it is the date-palm tree, which can be owned by both a believer like me and a nonbeliever like you although both of us are the descendants of Adam. In the Hereafter, it will be owned by the Muslims rather than the polytheists. This tree is only in Paradise, but not in Hellfire. This is the meaning of Allah’s saying,
‘Wherein is fruit, the date-palm, and pomegranate. (55:68)’4
When Abu-Bakr died and ‘Umar took over the office of caliphate, ‘Umar went to the mosque and sat down. A man entered the mosque and said, ‘O amir Al-mu'minin, I am one of the Jews. I am their great scholar. I wish to ask you about some problems. I will embrace Islam if you can convince me.’
‘Umar said, ‘What are your problems?’
He said, ‘Three, three, and one. I will ask you if you please, or you may guide me to ask anyone else who is more knowledgeable, if you wish.’
‘Umar said, ‘Go and ask that young fellow who is Ali ibn Abi Talib.’
The Jew went to Imam Ali (‘a) and asked him questions. Imam Ali (‘a) said,
Why did you say three, three, and one, but not seven?
The Jew said, ‘That would have been due to my ignorance! If you could not answer the first three questions, there would be no need to ask the rest.’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
Will you accept Islam if I give you the correct answers?
The Jew said, ‘Yes, I will.’
Then, Imam Ali (‘a) said,
Go ahead and ask.
The Jew asked, ‘Which were the first rock placed on the earth, the first spring which gushed out of the earth, and the first tree which grew on the earth?’ Imam Ali (‘a) replied,
O Jew! You (the Jews) say that the first rock placed on the earth was the one in Baytal-Maqdis (the Holy Shrine in Jerusalem), but you lie; rather, it was in fact the rock which Adam brought down to the earth from Paradise.
You say that the first spring which gushed out on the earth was one in Bayt Al-Maqdis , but you lie; rather, that spring was the spring of youth in which Joshua the son of Nun washed the fish and the same one from which Al- Khasir drank. Whoever drinks from it will become immortal.
The Jew said, ‘You are true. This has been recorded in Aaron’s handwriting on the authority of Moses.’
Then, Imam Ali (‘a) continued,
You say that the first tree which grew on the earth was an olive tree, but you lie; rather, the first tree was the date-palm tree that Adam brought down to the earth from Paradise.
The Jew said, ‘You are true. This has been recorded in Aaron’s handwriting on the authority of Moses.’
Then, the Jew asked, ‘How many are the leaders of true guidance of this community whom are not affected by the disappointment of those who will disappoint them?’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
They are twelve in number.
The Jew said, ‘You are true. This has been recorded in Aaron’s handwriting on the authority of Moses.’
Then, the Jew asked, ‘Where in Paradise does your Prophet sit?’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
He sits in the noblest and highest place in the Eden Gardens.
Then, the Jew asked, ‘Who will accompany him in his place of residence?’
Imam Ali (‘a) replied,
He will be accompanied by the Twelve Divine Leaders.
Then, the Jew asked the seventh question and accepted Islam.5
A group of Jews went to see ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab when he became the caliph. They said, ‘You are in charge of the affairs after your prophet. We have come here to ask you several questions. If you give us the correct answers, we will believe in you, accept your religion, and follow you.’
‘Umar said, ‘Ask whatever you wish to ask.’
They said, ‘Inform us about the locks of the seven heavens; the grave which carried its resident around; the one who admonished his own nation but was neither of the jinn nor of the humans; the place on which the sun shone only once and never again; the five creatures which were not created in the womb; of the one, the two, the three, the four, the five, the six, the seven, the eight, the nine, the ten, the eleven and the twelve.’
‘Umar looked down, opened his eyes wide, and said, ‘You have asked ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab about things that he does not know. However, the Prophet’s cousin will answer all your questions.’
Then, ‘Umar sent after Imam Ali (‘a). When the Imam (‘a) came, ‘Umar said to him, ‘O Abu’l-Hasan, these Jews have asked me questions none of which I could answer. They have pledged to believe in the Prophet if we give them the right answers.’
Imam Ali (‘a) thus said to them,
O group of Jews, present your questions.
They related to him what they had asked ‘Umar. The Imam (‘a) asked,
Do you have any other questions?
They said in the negative.
Answering their questions, Imam Ali (‘a) said,
The locks of the heavens stand for associating partners with Almighty Allah, and the keys to them stand for professing that there is no god save Him, by saying, la-ilahaillaallah(There is no god but Allah).
The grave which carried its resident around was the large whale that moved around at sea when Jonah was in its stomach.
The one that advised his people while it was neither jinn nor human was the ant which spoke with Solomon the son of David.
The place where the sun shone only once and never again was in the depth of the sea which the Honorable and Exalted Allah split up for the Children of Israel to pass (when they were fleeing from Egypt and chased by Pharaoh) and where Pharaoh and his soldiers were drowned.
The five creatures that were not created in wombs were Adam, Eve, the rod of Moses, the she-camel of (Prophet) Salih, and Abraham’s ram.
The One is the Honorable and Exalted Allah with Whom there are no partners.
The two are Adam and Eve.
The three are the archangels Gabriel, Michael, and Seraph.
The four are the Torah, the Bible, the Psalms of David, and the Quran. The five are the five prayers made obligatory upon the Holy Prophet.
The six are the six days (i.e. phases) during which Allah created the heavens, the earth, and whatever lies in between as we read the saying of the Honorable and Exalted Allah: ‘We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in six days.’
The seven are the firmaments about which the Honorable and Exalted
‘And have We not built over you the seven firmaments.’(78:12)
The eight are angels who bear the Divine Throne as we read Allah’s saying,
‘And eight will that Day bear the Throne of your Lord above them.’
The nine are the miracles which were sent to Prophet Moses the son of ‘Imran.
The ten are the more days referred to in the following verse as said by the Honorable and Exalted Allah: ‘We appointed for Moses thirty nights and completed (the period) with ten (more) ‘
The eleven are the stars about which Joseph told his father: ‘I did see eleven stars.’
The twelve are times Moses was advised to strike at the rock by Almighty Allah Who says,
‘Strike the rock with your rod.’ Then, gushed forth there from twelve springs (7:160).’6
A Syrian Jewish scholar who had read the Torah, the Bible, the Psalms of David, and the books of other prophets came to Al-Madinah and met some companions of the Holy Prophet (S) among whom were Imam Ali (‘a), Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, and Abu-Ma’bad Al-Juhani. A lengthy debate took place between the Jewish scholar and Imam Ali (‘a); therefore, we will hereinafter mention a part of it.
The Jewish scholar, addressing the attendants, said, ‘O community of Muhammad, you have not left any virtue, rank, or merit of any of the prophets and messengers of God but that you ascribed it to your prophet. Now, will you answer me if I pose questions to you?’
The attendants did not reply to the Jewish scholar except for Imam Ali (‘a) who, without hesitation, said,
Yes, I will. Whatever rank and virtue that Allah the Almighty and All- majestic had conferred upon any prophet and any messenger of Him, He gave its like wholly to Muhammad (S). Moreover, Almighty Allah increased Muhammad (S) virtues in many folds as He had given to the other prophets.
The Jew asked, ‘Will you answer my questions?’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
Yes, I will. Today, I will mention such virtues of Allah’s Messenger (S) that will delight the hearts of the believers and remove any doubt that may be arisen about any of his virtues. Whenever the Holy Prophet (S) mentioned one of his virtues, he would say, ‘No pride!’ As I will mention before you his virtues, I do not intend to offend the prophets or to belittle them; rather, I will mention these virtues as a sort of thanking Almighty Allah for He has given to Muhammad virtues like theirs and even more, since He has preferred him to them’
The Jew asked, ‘Allah accepted the repentance of Adam after he had made a mistake.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), Allah has revealed to him what is greater than accepting the repentance of Adam. Allah the Almighty and All-majestic thus says,
‘‘That Allah may forgive you your past faults and those to follow and complete His favor to you and keep you on a right way. (48:2)’
On the Resurrection Day, Muhammad (S) shall come without being answerable for any sin and without being responsible for any burden.
The Jew asked, ‘Allah raised Idris 7to a high place and fed him from the fruit of Paradise after his death. Did Allah do such a thing with Muhammad?’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he has been given what is even better than this. Allah majestic be His praise said to Muhammad,
‘And We exalted for you your esteem. (94:4)’
This is in fact sufficient exaltation for Prophet Muhammad (S). If Idris was fed from the best food of Paradise after his passing away, Muhammad (S) was fed from the Paradisiacal food in his worldly life. One day, Muhammad (S) was starving when Archangel Gabriel came to him with a vessel from Paradise full of some food. The Prophet (S) handed it over to his household. When he wanted to give part of it to his companions, Archangel Gabriel took it from his hand and said,
‘Eat this, because it is from the best food of Paradise that Allah the Almighty and All-majestic has given to you exclusively; therefore, this food must not be eaten by anyone except a prophet or a prophet’s successor.’ We therefore ate from it. In fact, I can find the flavor of that food even at this moment.
The Jew said, ‘As for Noah, he acted patiently for the sake of Allah and established a perfect argument on his people when they gave the lie to him.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. Muhammad (S), as well, acted patently for the sake of Allah and established a perfect argument on his people when they disbelieved, banished, and cast stones at him. Abu-Lahab even covered the Prophet (S) with amnions(1) of a camel and a sheep. As a result, Allah the All-exalted revealed to Gabel the angel of mountains to split the mountain and be under the command of Prophet Muhammad (S).
So, the angel came to the Prophet (S) and said, ‘I have been ordered to be obedient to you in everything you may order me to do. If you now order, I will shut the mountains on these people and destroy them.’ However, the Holy Prophet (S) said to the angel, ‘I have been sent as mercy (and nothing else). O my Lord, please guide my people, because they do not know (the reality).’
When Noah was sure of the drowning of his people, he felt sympathy with them on account of his family relation ties with them. He thus felt for them and said, ‘O my Lord, my son is surely of my family!’
Answering him, Allah blessed and exalted be His Name said, ‘He is not of your family. Surely, he has done other than good deeds.’ By these words, Almighty Allah wanted to entertain Prophet Noah. As for Muhammad (S), when he despaired of any reformation of his people due to their cureless obstinacy, he unsheathed in their faces the sword of reprimand and he did not feel anything for them, including the family relation ties.
The Jew asked, ‘When Noah prayed to his Lord, the sky poured down heavy water.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. Noah’s prayer was a sort of imprecation of Allah’s wrath upon his people. As for Muhammad (S), the clouds poured forth their water for mercy. After his migration to Al-Madinah, the people of the city came to the Holy Prophet (S) on a Friday and said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, the raindrops were withheld, our plants paled, and the leaves fell down.’ Immediately, the Holy Prophet (S) raised his blessed hands in prayer so highly that his armpits were seen while there was no single cloud in the sky. He did not stop praying until Allah poured forth rain so heavily that
(1) Amnion is the inner membrane that forms round a developing fetus of an animal.
even the strongest young man could not return home despite all efforts made. The rain did not stop for a whole weak that the people, on the second Friday, came and said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, the walls of our houses fell down, and we can no longer go on journeys or ride on our animals!’
The Holy Prophet (S) smiled and said, ‘See how son of Adam feels bored impatiently!’ He (S) then prayed, saying, ‘O Allah, make the rain pour around us but not upon us. O Allah, please make it pour on the outskirts of the city and in the dried out farms.’ People noticed that rain was pouring heavily in the outskirts of the city, while it stopped in the center. That was one of the honors that Almighty Allah conferred upon the Holy Prophet (S).
The Jew asked, ‘As for Prophet Hud, Allah gave him victory upon his enemies by means of sweeping wind. Did Allah do such a thing to Muhammad?’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. Muhammad (S) was given even better than that. On the Day of the Ditch (i.e. the Battle of Al-Khandaq), Allah the Almighty and All- majestic gave victory to Muhammad (S) over his enemies by means of wind, when He sent on them wind that carried pebbles and hosts that they could not see.
Additionally, Allah the All-blessed and All-exalted supported Muhammad (S) with eight thousand angels more than what He gave to Prophet Hud and preferred him to Prophet Hud by another point: the wind that was sent for Prophet Hud was wind of wrath, while the wind sent for Prophet Muhammad (S) was wind of mercy. In this respect, Allah the All-blessed and All-exalted says,
‘O you who believe, call to mind the favor of Allah to you when there came down upon you hosts; so, We sent against them a strong wind and hosts that you saw not; and Allah is Seeing what you do. (33:9)’
The Jew said, ‘As for (Prophet) Salih, Allah took out for him a she-camel as a lesson for his people.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was given what is even better than that. The she-camel of Prophet Salih did not speak to him and did not testify to his Prophethood. As for Muhammad (S), one day, we were with him in one of his military expeditions when a camel came towards us and grumbled. Then, Allah the Almighty and All-majestic gave it the ability to speak, and it said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, so-and-so had used me for long years and when I became too old to work, he decided to slaughter me. I now seek your protection, O Allah’s Messenger, from him.’ Immediately, the Holy Prophet (S) called the owner of the camel and asked him to give the camel to him as gift. When the man did, the Holy Prophet (S) released it.
The Jew said, ‘As for Abraham, he recognized Almighty Allah through natural means and he believed in Him through personal learning.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was given even better than that when he also recognized Almighty Allah through natural means and believed in Him through personal conclusions. Prophet Abraham attained that at the age of fifteen, while Prophet Muhammad (S) did so at the age of seven only. A group of Christian merchants came to Makkah and offered their merchandise in the place between the Safa and Marwah hillocks.
When they saw Muhammad (S), they recognized him as the promised prophet from his features, sublimity, the introductory news of his advent, and marks. They therefore asked, ‘O boy, what is your name?’ ‘Muhammad,’ he answered. ‘What is your father’s name?’ they asked. ‘’Abdullah,’ he answered. Pointing to the earth, they further asked, ‘What is this?’ ‘This is the earth,’ he answered. Pointing to the sky, they asked, ‘What is that?’ ‘That is the sky,’ he answered. ‘Who is the lord of these two?’ they asked. ‘Allah is their lord,’ he answered. He then reproached them and said, ‘Do you intend to make me doubt Allah the Almighty and All-majestic?’
O Jew, Muhammad (S) recognized Almighty Allah through natural means although his people were disbelievers. While they used to swear by the diving arrows and serving idols, he used to say, ‘There is no god but Allah.’
The Jew said, ‘Abraham was screened from Nimrod through three screens.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was screened from those who had intended to assassinate him through five screens. Three of these five may be the equivalent of the three screens given to Abraham. Still, there are two more for Muhammad (S) that must be considered excellence for him. As for the first screen, Almighty Allah says, ‘And We have set a bar before them.’ As for the second screen, Almighty Allah says,
‘‘And a bar behind them.) As for the third screen, Almighty Allah says, ‘‘ And thus have we covered them so that they see not. (36:9)’
As for the fourth screen, Almighty Allah says, ‘And when you recite the Quran,
We place between you and those who believe not in the Hereafter a hidden barrier. (17:45)’
As for the fifth screen, Almighty Allah says,
‘‘Reaching unto the chins, so that they are made stiff-necked. (36:8)’
These are the five screens given to Prophet Muhammad (S).
The Jew said, ‘Abraham abashed the one who had disbelieved in the evidence of his Prophethood.’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
This is true. Ubayy ibn Abi-Khalaf Al-Jamhi, disbelieving in the afterlife, came to the Prophet (S) challenging, and said, ‘O Muhammad, who will revive these bones when they have rotted away?’ Immediately, Almighty Allah made Muhammad (S) to speak of one of His decisive signs, saying, ‘He will revive them Who produced them at the first, for He is Knower of every creation.’ Thus, Muhammad mortified the disbeliever in the evidence of his Prophethood, making him leave with abashment.
The Jew said, ‘Abraham reduced the idols of his people into fragments on account of his anger for Allah.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he toppled and turned upside down three hundred and sixty idols from the roof of the Ka’bah. He then threw these idols out of the borders of the Arabian Peninsula and humiliated with sword those who used to serve these idols.
The Jew said, ‘Abraham ordered his son to lie down and flung him down upon his face.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. After that incident, Abraham was given ransom. As for Muhammad (S), he was stricken by a more calamitous misfortune. He stopped at the dead body of his uncle kamzah, the lion of Allah and His Messenger and the supporter of His religion, but he did not show any sort of grief and did not let a single tear pour down of his eyes, because he only and purely wanted to attain the pleasure of Almighty Allah through showing patience and to surrender to all of His acts under all circumstances.
The Prophet (S) added, ‘Had it not been for that I fear lest Safiyyah (kamzah’s sister) should be sad, I would have left the body of kamzah unburied so that he would be resurrected from the stomachs of beasts and the craws of birds. Also, I would not do so for fear that it would be taken as tradition after me.’
The Jew asked, ‘The people of Abraham decided to set him on fire; yet, he stood that steadfastly. Then, Allah changed the fire (into which Abraham was cast) into coolness and peace. Did Allah do such a thing with Muhammad?’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was poisoned by a woman from Khaybar when he resided there. Yet, Almighty Allah changed that poison into coolness and peace in the stomach of the Holy Prophet (S) up to the end of his lifetime. It is well known that poison burns when it enters the intestines in the same way as fire does. You cannot deny so, because it is an aspect of Allah’s omnipotence.
The Jew said, ‘Jacob must be greater (than Muhammad), because Allah made the tribes to be his offspring and made Mary the daughter of ‘Imran to be one of his she-descendants.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. Yet, Muhammad (S) is even greater as regards the shares of prosperity he won. Allah made Fatimah , the doyenne of all the women of the worlds, to be his daughter and made Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn to be his grandsons.
The Jew said, ‘Jacob stood the departure of his son so steadfastly although sadness was about to ruin his health.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. However, the sadness of (Prophet) Jacob was followed by meeting with his son (for whose departure he was sad). As for Muhammad (S), his son Ibrahim was caused to die by Allah during his lifetime, while his son was the delight of his eye. Almighty Allah put Muhammad (S) to this test so that He would give him a great reward in return.
Muhammad (S) thus said, ‘Souls may be sad and hearts may be restless, and we are very sad for you, O Ibrahim. Yet, we never say any word that may bring down the wrath of the Lord.’ In all situations, Muhammad (S) did things that please Allah dignified be the mention of Him and surrendered to him under all conditions.
The Jew said, ‘Joseph suffered the bitterness of departure and he was put in prison so that he would avoid disobedience (to Allah). Before that, he was cast in a pit alone.’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he also suffered the bitterness of estrangement and departed from his family members, children, and wealth. Leaving all that behind his back, he emigrated from the sanctuary and safe haven of Almighty Allah (i.e. Makkah). When Allah the All- exalted saw the distress and sorrow of Muhammad (S), He blessed and exalted be His Name make him see a dream similar to the dream that was seen by (Prophet) Joseph in interpretation. Then, He demonstrated before all people how the dream came true.
Thus, Allah said,
‘Certainly, Allah had shown to His Messenger the vision with truth: you shall most certainly enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah pleases, in security; some having their heads shaved and others having their hair cut; you shall not fear. (48:27)’
As Joseph was detained in prison, the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) detained himself in the col for three years during which he was prevented from contacting his relatives and kinsmen and they (i.e. the polytheists of Makkah) imposed on him the most restricted constraint.
Then, Allah dignified be the mention of Him warded off their plot in the most obvious form when He sent the weakest of all of His creatures to swallow the document in which they had decided to cut off all relations with the Holy Prophet (S).
As Joseph was thrown down in a pit, Muhammad (S) detained himself in a cave out of fear of his enemies until he said to his companion (in the cave), ‘Grieve not! Surely, Allah is with us.’ For this situation, Allah has praised him in His Book.
The Jew said, ‘As for Moses the son of ‘Imran, Allah gave him the Torah in which there is the judgment (i.e. laws) of Allah.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he has been given what is even better than that. As equivalence to the Torah, he has been given Surah Al- Baqarah, Surah Al-Ma'idah, the three Surahs beginning with ta-Sin (i.e. Surahs Al-Shu’ara', Al-Naml, and Al-Qasas), Surah ta-Ha, the half of the MufassAl (i.e. the last four -or three- parts of the Holy Quran).
As equivalence to the Psalms of David, Muhammad (S) has been given the other half of the MufassAl and the Surahs beginning with tasbih (i.e. Quranic chapters that begin with such words of glorification like sabbaha and yusabbihu ).
As equivalence to the books of Abraham and Moses, Muhammad (S) has been given Surah Bani-Isra'il (or Al-Isra') and Surah Bara'ah (or Al-Tawbah). As additional favor that Allah has conferred upon Muhammad (S), He gave him the seven long Surahs and Surah Al-Fatihah, which is the seven oft-repeated verses and the Great Quran. Moreover, Muhammad (S) has been given the Book and wisdom.
The Jew said, ‘As for Moses, he was spoken by Allah confidentially on Mount Sinai.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), Almighty Allah revealed to him at the Farthest Lot-tree. So, his position in the heavens is praised and his situation at the ultimate boundary of the Divine Throne is commended.
The Jew said, ‘Allah cast affection from Him on Moses.’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), Allah gave him what is even better than that. He cast on him affection from Him due to which Muhammad’s name is always attached to Almighty Allah’s Name in the profession of Islam (i.e. shahadah ).
Profession of Islam cannot be perfect unless the two following statements are said altogether: ‘I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.’ Thus, whenever a voice is raised with the mention of Allah, the name of Muhammad is raised, too.
The Jew said, ‘Because of the most virtuous standing of Moses with Allah, He revealed to his mother.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. Allah majestic be His praise conferred upon Muhammad’s mother such grace that He gave her the name of her newborn. She accordingly said, ‘Allah and the people of knowledge bear witness that Muhammad is expected.’ Likewise, the angels bore witness that the prophets had recorded Muhammad’s name in their books. Due to the grace of Almighty Allah, He gave her Muhammad and gave her his name, which involves the virtuous standing he enjoyed with Allah.
In dream, she was told, ‘What you bear in your womb is a chief. When you give birth to him, you should give him the name of Muhammad.’ Therefore, Allah derived the name of Muhammad from one of His Names; Allah is Mahmud (the All-praised) and the Prophet is Muhammad (the praised).
The Jew said, ‘As for Moses the son of ‘Imran, Allah sent him to Pharaoh and showed him the grandest sign.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad, Almighty Allah sent him to many tyrants like Abu-Jahl Ibn Hisham, ‘Utbah ibn Rabi’ah, Shaybah, Abu’l-Bukhtari, Al-Nasr ibn Al-karith, Ubayy ibn Khalaf, Munbih and Nabih the sons of Al- Hajjaj, and the five mocking persons (i.e. the scoffers): Al-Walid ibn Al- Maghirah Al-Makhzumi, Al-’As ibn Wa'il Al-Sahmi, Al-Aswad ibn Abd- Yaghuth Al-Zuhri, Al-Aswad ibn Al-Muttalib, and Al-karth ibn Abi’l- talalah. Therefore, he showed them the signs in the horizons and in their own selves so that the truth will be demonstrated obviously before them.
The Jew said, ‘Allah inflicted retribution on Pharaoh for Moses.’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
This is true. Likewise, Allah the Almighty inflicted retribution on these tyrants for Muhammad (S). As for the scoffers, Allah the Almighty has said,
‘Surely, We will suffice you against the scoffers. (15:95)’
Consequently, Allah killed each of them in a way different from the other on the same day. As for Al-Walid, he passed by a snare that had been distributed and put on the public way. So, a fragment of that snare hit Al-Walid and cut off his ankle. He died bleeding while he was repeating this statement: ‘The Lord of Muhammad has killed me.’
As for Al-’As ibn Wa'il, he went to a place to excrete feces and the rock on which he sat rolled. He therefore fell down and broke into pieces. While he was dying, he said, ‘The Lord of Muhammad has killed me.’
As for Al-Aswad ibn Abd-Yaghuth, while he was sitting in the shadow of a tree after he had gone out to receive his son Zam’ah, Archangel Gabriel took his head and hit it frequently with the tree. He shouted at his slave, ‘Save me from this!’ His slave said, ‘I cannot see anyone doing this to you except you yourself.’ So, he was killed while he was repeating, ‘The Lord of Muhammad has killed me.
As for Al-Aswad ibn Al-Muttalib, the Holy Prophet (S) invoked Allah to blind his sight and make him suffer the loss of his son. On that very day, he was in a certain place when Archangel Gabriel slapped his face with a green leaf that caused him blindness. He survived until he suffered the loss of his son.
As for Al-karth ibn Abi’l-talalah, he left his house when wind blew so heavily that his face turned black. When he returned home, he informed his family members that he was Al-karth. They became so angry that they killed him while he was shouting, ‘The Lord of Muhammad has killed me.’
The Jew said, ‘Moses the son of ‘Imran was given the rod that turned into a serpent.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was given what is even better than that. Abu-Jahl ‘Amr Ibn Hisham had purchased a camel from a man and had not paid him its price, because he engaged himself in drinking intoxicants. When the creditor complained to one of those who used to scoff the Holy Prophet (S) about that, the scoffer said to him, ‘May I lead you to a person who can take out your due from Abu-Jahl?’ ‘Yes, please,’ said the man. So, the scoffer led him to the Holy Prophet (S), because Abu- Jahl used to say, ‘I wish that Muhammad would ask me for a favor so that I would mock at and reject him!’ The man went to the Holy Prophet (S) and said, ‘I have been told that you have a good friendship with ‘Amr Ibn Hisham (Abu-Jahl)! I now seek your intercession for me with him.’
Immediately, the Holy Prophet (S) accompanied the man to the house of Abu-Jahl. When Abu-Jahl opened the door, the Holy Prophet (S) said to him, ‘Give this man his due.’ Without hesitation, Abu-Jahl hurried and gave the man his due. When Abu-Jahl met his companions afterwards, one of them asked him surprisingly, ‘You did so because you feared Muhammad. Did you not?’ Abu-Jahl answered, ‘Woe betide you all! You have to excuse me! When Muhammad came to me, I saw to his right side men carrying glittering lances and to his left side two serpents from whose eyes fires were glittering.
If I had refused, the men would certainly have stabbed me with their lances and the two serpents would certainly have swallowed me.’ Of course, this is greater than what had been given to Moses.
The people of Quraysh were very annoyed by the Holy Prophet’s promulgations for the religion. One day, he stood up, ridiculed their intellects, carped at their faith, insulted their idols, and declared that their fathers had gone astray. Extremely distressed by this act, Abu-Jahl said, ‘In fact, to die is better for us than to exist (and hear such words). Is there any one among you, O group of Quraysh, who will kill Muhammad and suffer the retaliation of his folks?’ They all answered in the negative; therefore, he said, ‘I will kill him. Then, the sons of Abd Al-Muttalib will either kill me in retaliation or let me off.’ The groups, encouraging him, said, ‘If you do, you will do the people of this town such a great favor that they will never forget for you.’
Abu-Jahl said, ‘He usually prostrates himself very frequently around the Ka’bah. If he comes and prostrates, I will smash his head with a rock.’ Before long, the Holy Prophet (S) came, circumambulated the Holy House seven rounds, and prostrated himself for a considerable time. Abu-Jahl picked up a rock and approached the Prophet (S) from the head’s side. When he was close enough to hit the Prophet (S) with the rock, a serpent that opened its mouth widely came towards Abu-Jahl from the side of the Holy Prophet (S).
Upon seeing the serpent, Abu-Jahl feared very much that his hand trembled and he dropped the rock on his foot and wounded it. Bleeding, pale, and sweaty, Abu-Jahl ran away towards his companions who met him with this question: ‘We have never seen you in such a state of fear! What happened?’ Abu-Jahl said, ‘Woe betide you all! You have to excuse me. From the side of him (i.e. the Holy Prophet), a serpent came and opened its mouth so widely that it was about to swallow me. As a result, I threw the rock and it wounded me.’
The Jew asked, ‘Moses was given the white hand. Was such a thing ever done with Muhammad?’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was given what is even better than that. Whenever he sat, light was glittering to his right and left sides that all people used to see it.
The Jew asked, ‘A dry path in the sea was made for Moses. Was such a thing ever done to Muhammad?’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was given what is even better than that. We were with him on our journey towards kunayn when we faced a valley that was pouring forth water. According to our estimation, we knew that the water was about fourteen fathoms high. Our companions said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, the enemy is behind us and this valley is in front of us. We will definitely be perishing.’
This statement is similar to the statement of the companions of Moses when they saw the sea in front of them and Pharaoh and his soldiers behind them. Allah’s Messenger rode off and said this prayer: ‘O Allah, you have made an indication for every one of Your missioned prophets. Please, show me Your omnipotence now.’ The Holy Prophet (S) rode on and led the animals through the waterfall. Neither the hooves of the horses nor the feet of the camels were wet at the least. We thus crossed it as if it was split up before us.
The Jew said, ‘Moses was given the rock from which twelve springs gushed forth.’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was given what is even better than that. When he resided at Al-kudaybiyah and the polytheists of Quraysh laid siege to him, his companions could not find water for neither themselves nor their horses whose bellies became so thin because of thirst.
When they complained to him (i.e. the Holy Prophet) about that, he asked for a piece of cloth and put his blessed hand over it. Immediately, springs of water gushed forth between his fingers. We, as well as our horses, had our full from that water and filled every skin we had with water’ etc.
The Jew asked, ‘Moses was given manna and quails. Was Muhammad given such things?’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was given what is even better than that. Allah the Almighty and All-majestic made lawful for Muhammad (S) and his community the spoils of war although He had never made them lawful for any other nation. This is of course better than manna and quails.
What is more, Allah decided the intention of doing a righteous deed as a righteous deed (in reward) for Muhammad (S) and his community, while this has not been given to any other bygone community. Accordingly, when one of the community of Muhammad (S) is determined to do a righteous deed but he does not do it practically, he will gain one reward for that. If he does it practically, then ten rewards will be recorded for him.
The Jew said, ‘Moses was overshadowed by the clouds.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. This was done to Moses in the years of wandering only. As for Muhammad (S), clouds overshadowed him since the day of his birth and up to the day of his passing away, both at home and on journeys. This is of course better than what was made to Moses.
The Jew said, ‘Allah made the iron pliant to David; so, he could make iron armors.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was given what is even better than that. Allah the Almighty and All-majestic made the solid, unshakable rocks pliant to him and gave him the ability to melt these rocks. At Bayt Al- Maqdis (the holy shrine at Jerusalem), a rock melted in the hand of the Holy Prophet (S) so flexibly that it became just like a piece of dough. We saw that with our eyes and noticed it under his pennon.
The Jew said, ‘David wept for his sin so heavily that even mountains moved out of fear of him.’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was given what is even better than that. Whenever he stood up for performing a prayer, a sound like the buzzing of a boiler on a hearth would be heard from his chest and body because of his heavy weeping, although Allah the Almighty and All- majestic had given him immunity against chastisement.
However, he (the Holy Prophet) always wanted to show reverence to his Lord by means of weeping and to be an example to be followed. For ten whole years, he stood up on the toes of his fingers until his two feet swelled and his face paled. During these years, he used to stay up the whole night in worship until he was blamed for that by Almighty Allah Who accordingly revealed to him, saying,
‘Ta-Ha! We have not revealed the Quran to you that you may be exhausted. (20:2)’
Rather, the Quran was revealed to him so that he may be happy with it.
He used to weep so heavily that he fainted. He was once asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, is it not that Allah has forgiven all your sins the past and the coming?’ He answered, ‘This is true. Yet, should I not be a thankful servant (of Allah)?’
The Jew said, ‘Solomon was given such sovereignty that none else would ever have its like.’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was given what is even better than that. An archangel, who had never descended to the earth before that; namely, Michael, descended to the Holy Prophet (S) and said, ‘O Muhammad, you can live as a luxurious king! These are the keys of the hoards of the earth; they are kept with you. You can turn the mountains of this earth into gold and silver and this will not decrease the least amount of your reward that you will receive in the Hereafter.’
However, the Holy Prophet (S) waved to Archangel Gabriel, who was his most intimate friend from amongst the angels, (asking for his opinion) and Gabriel, through a gesture, asked him to be modest. Thus, the Holy Prophet (S) said, ‘No, I will live like a servant who can find something to eat on a day and cannot find anything to eat on a couple of days. I will then join my brothers, the prophets who lived before me.’
Accordingly, Allah gave him as an addition the River of Al-Kawthar and granted him the right of intercession. These two are of course seventy times greater than the kingdom of this world from its beginning and up to its termination. Allah also promised to give him the Praiseworthy Standing. On the Resurrection Day, Almighty Allah will allow him (i.e. the Holy Prophet) to sit to the right side of the Divine Throne. This is absolutely better than what was given to (Prophet) Solomon.
The Jew said, ‘The wind was made subservient to Solomon and it blew in his country; a month’s journey in the morning and a month’s journey in the evening.’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was given what is even better than that. He was carried at one night from the Sacred Mosque to the Furthest Mosque, which is a whole month’s journey (by natural means). He was then ascended to the kingdom of the heavens, which is a fifty-thousand years’ journey. All that took place in less than one-third of a single night.
He was led to the leg of the Divine Throne where he approached through knowledge and came even closer. From Paradise, a green cushion was hanged down to him. Light overcast his sight and he, accordingly, saw the grandeur of his Lord with his heart rather than his eyes. He was then distant two bows’ length or even nearer. Then, He revealed to His servant what He revealed. One of the revelations of the Lord at that situation was the following verse that is in Surah Al-Baqarah:
‘Unto Allah belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth; and whether you make known what is in your minds or hide it, Allah will bring you to account for it. He will forgive whom He wills and He will punish whom He wills. Allah is Able to do all things. (2:284)’
The Jew said, ‘As for John the son of Zachariah, he was granted wisdom, forbearance, and understanding while he was still child. He used to weep although he had not committed any sin and he used to observe fasting ceaselessly.’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was given what is even better than that. John the son of Zachariah existed in a time where there were neither idols nor ignorance. Muhammad (S) was granted wisdom and understanding while he lived amongst the idolaters and the party of Satan. He nevertheless never liked any of their idols, never readied himself for participating in their feast days, and never told a single lie.
Moreover, he was trustworthy, truthful, and forbearing. He used to observe fasting for one whole week, less than that, and more than that. When he was asked about that, he would answer, ‘I am not like any of you. I stay under the shade of my Lord Who gives me food and drink.’ He used to weep so heavily that his prayer-place would become wet (because of his tears) for fear of Allah the Almighty and All-majestic although he had not committed any offense.
The Jew said, ‘Jesus the son of Mary is claimed to have spoken in the cradle while he was still a young boy.’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), when he fell from his mother’s womb to the ground, he was in such a posture that he put his left hand on the ground and raised the right towards the sky, moving his lips with words of professing Almighty Allah as the One and Only God.
From his mouth, light came through which the people of Makkah could see even the palaces of Busra in Syria and what was built behind them, the red palaces of the Yemen and what was built behind them, and the white palaces of Istakhr (Persia) and what was build behind them. At the night of the Holy Prophet’s birthday, the whole world gleamed’ etc.
The Jew said, ‘Jesus is claimed to have cured the blind and the leper by the permission of Allah.’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he was given what is even better than that. He cured the handicapped. He (S), once, asked about one of his companions, and he was told, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, the man has been inflicted with such a bodily disability that he became like a featherless youngster.’ The Holy Prophet (S) visited the man and found him as exactly as he was described.
The Prophet (S) said, ‘You used to repeat a certain supplication when you were healthy.’ The man answered, ‘This is true. I used to say, ‘O Lord, as for any punishment that You will impose upon me in the Hereafter, please make me suffer from it in this worldly life instead.’’ Instructing him, the Holy Prophet (S) said, ‘You should have said, ‘Our Lord! Give unto us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and guard us from the doom of Fire.’’ When the man repeated these words, he recovered, regained health, and could accompany us again’8
The Jew asked, ‘Jesus the son of Mary is claimed to have the ability to inform his people of what they eat and what they store at their houses.’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he did what is even greater than that. Jesus informed his people of things that nothing separated them from him except a wall. As for Muhammad (S), he gave the new of Mu'tah (a region in current Jordan) while he was not there. Hence, he described the war in details and mentioned the names of the martyrs although Mu'tah was a whole month’s journey away from the Holy Prophet (S). When men used to come to him to present their problem, he would say to them, ‘Will you say (your problem) or let me say it?’ They would say, ‘You may say it, O Allah’s Messenger.’ So, the Prophet (S) would inform them of what they had come to say.
The Prophet (S) used to inform the people of Makkah about their secrets completely. One day, Safwan ibn Umayyah and ‘Umayr ibn Wahab had held a secret discussion. ‘Umayr then came to the Holy Prophet (S) and said, ‘I have come to you asking for releasing my son.’ The Holy Prophet (S) said, ‘This is not true. When you met Safwan at Al-katim and mentioned those whom we had killed in the Battle of Badr, Safwan said to you, ‘By Allah, death is better for us than life after what Muhammad had done to us. How can one enjoy life after those people whom were killed at the spring of Badr?’ You answered, ‘Had it not been for my dependants and a debt that I must pay off, I would certainly have released you from Muhammad.’ Safwan said to you, ‘I pledge that I will pay off your debts. As for your daughters, they will be joined to my daughters and they will then encounter whatever is encountered by my daughters, be it good or evil.’ You answered, ‘So, keep it secret and supply me with a weapon so that I will go to Muhammad and assassinate him.’ You are now here to assassinate me.’ ‘Umayr had no other way but to confess, saying, ‘You are truthful, O Allah’s Messenger. I now bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that you are Allah’s messenger.’ Stories like this one are too many to be counted.
The Jew said, ‘Jesus is claimed to have made from mud things in the form of birds; and when he breathed into it, it would be a bird by the permission of Allah.’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. Muhammad (S) also did things similar to this one. During the Battle of kunayn, he picked up a rock from which we could hear statements of praise and glorification of Allah. He (S) then said to the rock, ‘Split!’ So, the rock split into three fragments, each one of them said a statement of glorification different from the statements said by the other two fragments. On that day in Al-Batha', he talked to a tree and it responded to him when each leaf of it expressed statements of praising, glorifying, and elevating Almighty Allah. He (S) then said to the tree, ‘Split apart.’ So, it split into two halves. He (S) then said to the two halves, ‘Stick together.’ So, they stuck together. He (S) then said to the tree, ‘Bear witness that I am the Prophet.’ So, it bore witness. He (S) then said to it, ‘Go back to your place, repeating the same statements of praise, glorification, and elevation of Allah.’ So, it did. This tree was originally at the side of the Al-Jazzarin in the city of Makkah.
The Jew said, ‘Jesus is claimed to have wandered in devotion to the cause of Allah.’
Imam Ali (‘a) said,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), his wandering in devotion to the cause of Allah was practiced through jihad. In a period of ten years, he (S) called an uncounted number of the inhabitants of the cities and deserts to fight in the cause of Allah and could terminate a great numbers of the Arabs through his sword (in order to spread the belief in Allah as the One and Only God).
The Jew said, ‘Jesus is claimed to have been abstinent (from worldly pleasures).’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
This is true. As for Muhammad (S), he is truly the most abstinent of all prophets. He had thirteen wives and a big number of slave women. He never left any remnant of food. He never ate a loaf of wheat bread. He never had his full of barley bread for three consecutive nights. When he passed away, his armor was still in mortgage with a Jew for four dirhams. Although he visited many countries and he was allowed to take the spoils of war, he did not leave a single golden or silver coin. On a single day, he (S) used to distribute three or four hundred thousand (dirhams) among people. At night, when a beggar would come to him asking for something, the Holy Prophet (S) would say to him, ‘I swear by Him Who has sent Muhammad with the truth, the family of Muhammad at this night does not possess a single sa’9 of barley or wheat, one dirham, or one dinar.
Declaring conversion to Islam, the Jew affirmed, ‘I bear witness that there is no god but Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad gained together all the ranks and virtues that were given to each prophet or messenger of Allah. Moreover, Allah gave Muhammad additional ranks and virtues in many folds.’
Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, having been astounded by the discourse of Imam Ali (‘a), said, ‘O Abu’l-Hasan, I bear witness that you are one of those who are firm in knowledge.’
The Imam (‘a) answered,
I should not have anything else to say about a person whom Allah the All- sublime has deemed sublime when He said about him, ‘Most surely, you conform yourself to sublime morality. (68:40)’10
An atheist came to Imam Ali (‘a) and said, ‘Had it not been for the many contradictions and inconsistency of many verses of the Quran, I would certainly have believed in your religion.’
When the Imam (‘a) asked the atheist to present these contradictory Quranic texts, the atheist mentioned a number of verses, which seemed to those who lack adequate reason and understandability to be contradictory.
Revealing the actual meanings of these verses, Imam Ali (‘a) said, As for the verse: ‘They (i.e. the hypocrites) have forsaken Allah; so, He has forsaken them, (9:67)’ this means that these hypocrites forsook Almighty Allah in this worldly life when they did not act obediently towards Him; He will therefore forsake them in the Hereafter when He will not decide any part of His reward for them. They will thus become forsaken from prosperity.
Similarly, Almighty Allah says, ‘Today, We forsake them, as they neglected the meeting of this day of theirs. (7:51)’ This means that He will forsake them as He will deprive them of any reward that He will decide for His saints who used to obey Him in their worldly lives and used to refer to him constantly when they believed in His messengers and Him and feared Him although they have not seen Him with their mere eyes.
As for Allah’s saying, ‘Your Lord is not forgetful, (19:64)’ this means that our Lord, the All-blessed and All-exalted, never forgets and is never inattentive; rather, He is always the Preserver and the All-aware of all things. In one of their expressions, the Arab used the expression ‘forget’ to imply forsaking and deprivation of good.
As for these Quranic verses:
(1) ‘The day on which the spirit and the angels shall stand in ranks; they shall not speak except he whom the Beneficent Allah permits and who speaks the right thing, (78:38)’
(2) ‘Then, their excuse would be nothing but that they would say: By Allah, our Lord, we were not polytheists, (6:23)’
(3) ‘Then, on the resurrection day, some of you shall deny others, and some of you shall curse others, (29:25)’
(4) ‘That most surely is the truth: the contending one with another of the inmates of the fire, (38:64)’
(5) ‘He will say: Do not quarrel in My presence, and indeed I gave you the threatening beforehand, (50:28)’
(6) ‘On that day, We will set a seal upon their mouths, and their hands shall speak to Us, and their feet shall bear witness of what they earned. (36:65)’
Each one of these verses presents a certain situation on the Resurrection Day, which will be as long as fifty thousand years. The people of acts of disobedience to Almighty Allah will renounce each other and curse each other on the Resurrection Day, because the word of atheism (kufr) can be used to imply renunciation. For instance, in Surah Ibrahim, it is confirmed that Satan will say to the disbelievers,
‘Surely, I disbelieved in (i.e. renounced) your associating me with Allah before.’(14:22)
Similarly, Prophet Abraham the Friend of the All-beneficent Lord said, ‘We disbelieved in you,’ which means: we renounce you.
At another situation on the Resurrection Day, the people will be gathered for interrogation. They will weep at that situation. If their weeping, voices are made to be heard by the inhabitants of this world, they will therefore astound them from seeking earnings and split their hearts’ etc.
At another situation on the Resurrection Day, they will be gathered and allowed to speak. Some of them will say, ‘By Allah, our Lord, we were not polytheists.’ These people are particularly those who professed Allah as the One and Only God in their worldly lives, but their belief in Allah will not benefit them, because they violated the messengers of Allah, suspected what these messengers had conveyed to them from the Lord, broke the covenants they had made to the messengers’ successors, and replaced the lowly with the prosperous. So, Allah will deny their belief in Him, saying, ‘See how they lied to themselves.’ Then, Almighty Allah will lay a seal on their mouths and allow their hands, feet, and skins to testify to every act of disobedience to Him they had committed. After that, He will remove the seal of their mouths and they will say to their skins, ‘Why have you testified against us?’ The skins will answer, ‘We have been allowed to speak by Allah Who gives the ability of speaking to all things.’
At another situation on the Resurrection Day, they will be gathered and allowed to speak. Then, some of them will run away from others. Referring to this situation, Allah the Almighty and All-majestic says, ‘The day on which a man shall fly from his brother, his mother, his father, his spouse, and his son’’
At another situation on the Resurrection Day, they will be gathered and the saints and elects of Allah will be allowed to speak. Hence, none will speak except those who are granted permission to speak by the All- beneficent Lord and to say good wording. The messengers will first stand up and they will be asked about the conveyance of the messages they had carried to their peoples. When the peoples will be asked, they will deny the conveyance of the Lord’s message by His messengers. About this situation, Allah the All-exalted says, ‘
Most certainly, then We will question those to whom the messengers were sent, and most certainly We will also question the messengers. (7:6)’
The peoples will deny, saying,
‘There came not to us a giver of good news or a warner! (5:19)’
Then, the other messengers will ask the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) to testify to their perfect conveyance of the message of the Lord, and the Holy Prophet (S) will testify to the messengers and will renounce the denial of the peoples. He will then say to the peoples,
‘Indeed, there has come to you a giver of good news and a warner; and Allah has power over all things. (5:19)’
This means that Allah has power to make your organs testify against you with regard to the conveyance of the Lord’s message by the messengers. Likewise, Allah says to His Prophet (Muhammad),
‘How will it be then when We bring from every people a witness and bring you as a witness against these? (4:41)’
Then, they will fail to reject the Prophet’s testimony, because they will fear lest Allah will lay a seal on their mouths and allow their organs to testify to what they used to do. The Prophet (S) will then testify against the hypocrites and disbelievers of his folks and community as regards their atheism and obstinate refusal of the truth as well as their breaking of the covenants they had made with him, their deliberate alteration of his practice, their violations against his family members, and their turning back on their heels, following the examples of the bygone nations who had wronged and betrayed their prophets. All of them will then confess, saying,
‘O our Lord, our adversity overcame us and we were an erring people. (23:106)’
Once more, they will be gathered at another situation on the Resurrection Day when the standing of Muhammad (S), which is ‘the Praiseworthy Standing,’ will be demonstrated and when he will be allowed to speak. He will then praise and thank Almighty Allah in such a manner than none did ever before. He will then praise the angels without leaving even one of them not praised. He will then praise the prophets in such an unprecedented manner. He will then praise all the believing men and women, starting with the veracious, the martyrs, and the righteous respectively. Then, the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth will thank him for so. This is what Allah the All-exalted has meant by saying,
‘Your Lord will send to you a praiseworthy position. (17:79)’
Blessed will be the one who will have a share or a portion at that place; and woe will betide the one who will not have such a share or a portion.
Once more, they will be gathered at another situation on the Resurrection Day and they will be discriminated from one another (according to their deeds). All these situations will precede the Judgment, because when the Judgment is started, every single person will be distracted from everything and everyone else by what he has to present. We beseech Allah to grant us the blessing of that day.
About the exegesis of Almighty Allah’s saying,
‘Some faces on that day shall be bright, expecting (the reward of) their Lord, (75:22-23)’
This will happen at a place to which the saints of Allah will be led after the accomplishment of the judgment. It is namely a river called the River of Eternity. They will wash themselves in that river and drink from the water of another river and, as a result, their faces will turn brightly white when all harms, moles, and dust will be removed from them. Then, they will be ordered to enter Paradise. From this very place, they will expect and look forward to gaining the rewards of their Lord. From this very place too, they will enter Paradise and receive the greetings of the angels about which Almighty Allah says,
‘Those whom the angels receive in a good state, saying: Peace be on you! Enter the garden for what you did. (16:32)’
Then, they will be awarded Paradise and making their eyes enjoy what Allah has promised to give them. This is the meaning of ‘Expecting their Lord.’
As for the exegesis of Almighty Allah’s saying, ‘And certainly he saw him in another descent at the farthest lote-tree, (53:13-14)’ this means that Muhammad (S) reached the boundaries of the farthest lote-tree where none of the creations of Almighty Allah is allowed to reach. As for His saying, ‘The eye did not turn aside, nor did it exceed the limit. Certainly, he saw of the greatest signs of his Lord, (53:17-18)’ this means that he (S) saw Gabriel in his real image twice; at this situation and at another one. The creation of Archangel Gabriel is too great, because he is one of the Spirited-angels (ruhaniyyun) whose creation and features are too great to be described by anyone save Allah the Lord of the Worlds.
As for the exegesis of Almighty Allah’s saying, ‘And it was not vouchsafed to any mortal that Allah should speak to him unless it be by revelation or from behind a veil, or that He sends a messenger to reveal what He wills by His leave, (42:51)’ it is clear. The Messenger used to receive the revelations from the messenger-angels of the heavens and they convey them to the earth. The speech between the messenger of the earth and Him was direct, in the sense that the messenger-angels of the heavens are not intermediated. Once, the Messenger of Allah (S) asked, ‘O Gabriel, have you seen your Lord?’
The archangel answered, ‘My Lord cannot be seen.’
‘Where from do you receive the revelation?’ asked the Holy Prophet (S).
‘I receive it from (Archangel) Seraph,’ answered Gabriel.
‘Where from does Seraph take it?’ asked the Holy Prophet (S).
‘Seraph takes it from an angel of a higher rank within the spirited-angels,’ answered Gabriel.
‘Where from does that angel take it?’ asked the Holy Prophet (S).
‘The revelation is cast into the heart of that angel in a manner of casting.’
The revelation is thus the word of Allah the Almighty and All-majestic;and the word of Allah is not always the same. A category of the word of Allah is what was addressed to the messengers. Another category is what was cast into their hearts. A third category comes in the form of a dream that the messengers see. A fourth category comes in the form of revelation and descended words that are recited and read. This is also the word of Allah.
As for the exegesis of Allah’s saying, ‘Nay, but surely on that day, they will be covered from their Lord, (83:15)’ it means that they will be prevented from receiving the reward of their Lord on the Resurrection Day.
As for the exegesis of Allah’s saying,
‘Wait they, indeed, for nothing less than that the angels should come unto them, or your Lord should come, or there should come one of the portents from your Lord? In the day when one of the portents from your Lord comes, its belief avails naught a soul which theretofore believed not, nor in its belief earned good. Say: Wait you! Lo! We too are waiting, (6:158)’
Allah, in this verse, tells Muhammad (S) about the future of the polytheists and the hypocrites who refuse to respond to Almighty Allah and to His Messenger. He the All-exalted thus tells that they should wait for nothing but that the angels should come to them. Because they did not respond to Allah and to His Messenger, Allah says that He, the Lord, should come or some portents of Him should come. This means that chastisement will inflict these nonbelievers in their worldly lives in the same way as chastisement inflicted the bygone peoples. Then, Almighty Allah says, ‘In the day when one of the portents from your Lord comes, its belief avails naught a soul which theretofore believed not, nor in its belief earned good.’ This indicates the souls that did not believe before the coming of the portent, which is namely the rising of the sun from the west.
In another verse, Allah says, ‘But Allah came to them from a place whereof they did not reckon. (59:2)’ The coming of Allah means that He poured down chastisement upon them. Likewise, He says, ‘Those before them plotted; so, Allah came to their buildings from their foundations. (16:26)’ The coming of Allah to their buildings also means that He sent chastisement upon them.
The ‘meeting with Allah’ that is mentioned in several Quranic verses signifies the resurrection. For instance, as for this verse, ‘Whoever hopes to meet his Lord, the term appointed by Allah will then most surely come, (29:5)’ it means that whoever believes in the resurrection, then Allah’s promise of reward and threat of punishment will certainly come. In conclusion, meeting with Allah does not imply seeing Him; rather, it implies the resurrection.
As for the verses in which the word sann is mentioned, this word sometimes means doubt and at other times certitude. When it is mentioned to express the resurrection, then it means certitude; but when it is mentioned to express a manner of the hypocrites in this worldly life, then it means doubt’
As for the exegesis of this verse: ‘Whoever shall do of good deeds and he is a believer, there shall be no denying of his exertion, (21:94)’ and this verse: ‘Most surely, I am most Forgiving to him who repents and believes and does good, then continues to follow the right direction, (20:82)’ repentance, faith, and doing good deeds will not benefit anyone unless they are attached to guidance to the truth. In other words, belief does not always save from perdition and redeem from what the transgressors will encounter; otherwise, the Jews will be saved, because they believe in Allah and profess His being the One and Only God. Moreover, Iblis (Satan) and the other people who profess the Unity of Allah, although they are considered infidels, will be saved if belief alone saves from perdition. Demonstrating the features of those who will be redeemed, Almighty Allah says,
‘Those who believe and do not mix up their faith with iniquity; those are they who shall have the security and they are those who go aright. (6:82)’
On the other hand, He the Almighty says, ‘Those who say with their mouths, ‘We believe!’ And their hearts do not believe. (5:41)
Faith has such numerous manners and standings that it would take a long time if we want to explain all of them. For instance, faith can be classified into two classes: cordial faith and verbal faith. An example of the verbal faith is the faith of the hypocrites whom the Holy Prophet (S) overcame with sword (i.e. power) and they had to claim being faithful for fear of being killed. However, their hearts never tasted faith. Therefore, cordial faith means submission to the Lord. Whoever gives up all of his affairs to their Owner, will not defy Him arrogantly, just as Iblis (Satan) did when he refused to prostrate himself before Adam and just as the majority of nations did when they refused to obey their prophets because of arrogance. Thus, their belief in Allah as the One and Only God did not promote them. Likewise, the long prostration of Iblis did not promote him after he had refused to prostrate himself before Adam. Iblis prostrated such a long prostration that it took four thousand years, but it did not benefit him, because he only intended to gain worldly pleasures and to gain respite. Similarly, prayers and fasting are not helpful unless one is guided to the true path of redemption and to the ways of the truth.
Almighty Allah did not leave any justifiable excuse for His servants when He made clear all of His portents and sent messengers (to all nations) so that people should not have a plea against Him after the coming of messengers. He has not emptied His lands from a person who has acquaintance with all that is needed by the creatures or a learnt person who seeks redemption. Yet, these are very few.
Almighty Allah applied this to the nations of the bygone prophets and made them lessons for the next nations. For example, He says about the people of Prophet Noah, ‘And there believed not with him but a few. (11:40)’
About the believing people from the community of Prophet Moses, He the Almighty says, ‘And of Moses’ folk, there is a community who lead with truth and establish justice therewith. (7:159)’
About the Disciples of Prophet Jesus, He the Almighty says that Prophet Jesus said to the children of Israel, ‘Who will be my helpers in the cause of Allah?’ The disciples said, ‘We will be Allah’s helpers. We believe in Allah, and bear you witness that we have surrendered unto Him. (3:52)’ This means that these disciples testify to the people of virtue that they are virtuous and they do not refrain from responding to the orders of their Lord out of arrogance. Hence, none of the children of Israel responded to Jesus except the Disciples.
Almighty Allah selected certain people for the mission of bearing the knowledge and made it obligatory upon His servants to obey these bearers. He the Almighty thus says:
• ‘Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority. (4:59)’
• ‘If they had referred it to the messenger and to such of them as are in authority’ (4:83)’
• ‘Be careful of your duty to Allah, and be with the truthful. (9:119)’
• ‘None knows its explanation save Allah and those who are of sound instruction. (3:7)’
• ‘Go to houses by the gates thereof. (2:189)’
These houses are the houses of knowledge that Almighty Allah has entrusted with the prophets. The gates of these houses imply the successors of the prophets.
Any act of kindness that is not in congruity with the consent, covenant, law, practice, and instructions of the divinely selected people is rejected and unacceptable, and the doers of such deeds are then considered nonbelievers even if they may enjoy the features of faith. This is clear in Almighty Allah’s saying,
‘And naught prevents that their contributions should be accepted from them save that they have disbelieved in Allah and in His messenger, and they come not to worship save as idlers, and pay not their contribution save reluctantly. (9:54)’
Hence, the people of faith who have not been guided to the path of redemption will not be benefited by their belief in Allah when they refuse and ward off the right guidance of the true saints of Allah. Moreover, they will be of the losers on the Resurrection Day. Thus has Allah the Almighty said: ‘But their faith could not avail them when they saw Our doom. (40:85)’ Besides, there are many other examples in the Holy Quran proving this fact.
True guidance is thus the loyalty to the divinely ordained leaders. Referring to this fact, Almighty Allah says, ‘And whoso takes Allah and His messenger and those who believe for guardian (will know that), lo! The party of Allah, they are the victorious. (5:56)’
In this holy verse, the expression: ‘those who believe ‘stands for the people whom Allah has entrusted with His creatures; namely, the argument-persons of Allah and the prophets’ successor in every age.
Likewise, not every Muslim one who professed the two professions of Islam is considered believer. The hypocrites used to profess that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger; yet, they used to violate their covenant with Allah’s Messenger concerning the religion of Allah as well as His laws and the portents of his Prophethood regarding his nomination of his successor. They also used to hide their dislike for these things and their intention to violate their covenants with him whenever they would be able to do so. Demonstrating this fact to His Prophet, Almighty Allah said,
‘But nay, by your Lord, they will not believe in truth until they make you judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of that which you decide, and submit with full submission. (4:65)’
In the same manner, He the Almighty has said, ‘Muhammad is but a messenger; messengers the like of whom have passed away before him. Will it be that, when he dies or is slain, you will turn back on your heels? (3:144)’
He the Almighty has also said, ‘You shall journey on from plane to plane. (84:19)’
This means that you will follow the example of the nations that existed before you with regard to their disloyalty to the prophets’ successors after the passing away of the prophets. Many other examples have been mentioned in the Book of Allah concerning this topic.
When this matter annoyed the Holy Prophet (S) with regard to the end result of his people that Allah has shown to him, Allah the Almighty revealed to him, saying, ‘Let not your soul expire in sighing for them. (35:8)’ He also said to him, ‘Grieve not for the disbelieving folk. (5:68)’
As for the exegesis of Almighty Allah’s saying, ‘And ask those of Our messengers whom We sent before you, (43:45)’ this is one of the proofs that Allah has given to His Prophet and due to which He has made the plea irrefutably binding on the creatures. As Allah the Almighty has sealed the prophets with Prophet Muhammad (S) and made him His messengers to all of the nations and all of the communities, He endued him exclusively with the virtue of ascending to the heavens at that night, which is known as the night ascension. During the ascension, Almighty Allah gathered all the prophets before him (i.e. Prophet Muhammad) and they informed him about what they were asked to convey to their peoples. They thus made him know about the laws, portents, and proofs of Almighty Allah. They then professed of his preference to them and of the preference of his successors and argument-persons who should come after him. They also professed of the preference of the believing male and female partisans of his successor who confessed the virtue of the virtuous people and did not act arrogantly with regard to obeying their orders. He also came to know the people who had obeyed these prophets and the others who had disobeyed them as well as everyone from the past and the next generations.
As for the slips of the prophets and what Allah has mentioned in this respect in His Book, which has mentioned that they had committed wrongdoings, although they are all metonymical expressions, this is in fact one of the most evident signs of the dazzling wisdom, the invulnerable power, and the predominant almightiness of Allah. To explain, because Almighty Allah has already known that the miraculous acts of His prophets would be too great to be accepted by their peoples and that some of these people would consequently take these prophets as deities, just as the Christians who worshipped the son of Mary as deity, Almighty Allah has mentioned these matters (that apparently show that these prophets committed wrongdoings) to prove that these prophets cannot attain the perfection that is enjoyed by none save Allah the Almighty and All- majestic. As proof, Almighty Allah says about Jesus and his mother, ‘And they both used to eat earthly food. (5:75)’ This means that whoever eats earthly food will have a certain weight; and whoever has a certain weight will be too incompetent to be deity. In fact, the prophets were far away from defects so that they might require discipline or punishment’ etc.
As for the verses that may imply the coming of Almighty Allah, they have conveyed nothing but the truth. Yet, the coming of Almighty Allah is not similar to the coming of His creatures, because He is the Lord of all things.
Some verses of the Book of Allah cannot be interpreted according to the extrinsic meanings of their words, and the acts and words mentioned in these verses cannot be likened to the acts and words of human beings. I will give you an example that will be sufficient for you to understand the meaning involved, by the will of Allah:
Almighty Allah, in the Holy Quran, reports Prophet Abraham as saying, ‘And he said, ‘Lo! I am going unto my Lord Who will guide me.’ (37:99)’
The going of Abraham to his Lord stands for his devotion to serving and worshipping his Lord as painstakingly as possible. This shows that the interpretation of the verse is different from the actual meaning of its words.
Almighty Allah also says, ‘He has sent down for you of cattle eight kinds. (39:6)
He also says, ‘He sent down iron, wherein is mighty power and many uses for mankind. (57:25)
In these two verses, ‘sending down’ these things stands for creating them. Almighty Allah says,
‘Wait they, indeed, for nothing less than that the angels should come unto them, or your Lord should come, or there should come one of the portents from your Lord? (6:158)’
Addressing our Prophet Muhammad (S), Almighty Allah says, ‘Are the hypocrites and the polytheists waiting for nothing but that the angels will come to them and they will see them with their own eyes?’
The coming of the Lord, in the verse, stands for the coming the Lord’s decree and command. The coming of the portents of the Lord stands for the coming of the chastisement of the Lord in this worldly life, the same of which had been already inflicted upon the bygone communities and the past nations.
Almighty Allah says, ‘See they not how we come to the land, reducing it of its outlying parts? (13:41)’ In this verse, He uses the expression ‘coming’ to express the perdition of the ages and generations.
He the Almighty also says, ‘Allah (Himself) fights against them. How perverse are they? (9:30)’ This means: May Allah curse them! Hence, He has used fighting to express cursing.
Likewise, Almighty Allah says, ‘Fought be man! How ungrateful he is! (80:17)’ This means: cursed be man!
Almighty Allah also says, ‘So, you did not slay them, but it was Allah Who slew them, and you did not smite when you smote the enemy, but it was Allah Who smote. (8:17)’ In this verse, Almighty Allah ascribes the act of the Holy Prophet (S) to Himself, which proves that the interpretation of the verse is unlike the actual meanings of the words of its revelation.
Likewise, Almighty Allah says, ‘Nay! They are disbelievers in the meeting of their Lord. (32:10)’ The meeting of the Lord stands for the resurrection.
Almighty Allah also says, ‘Who know that they shall meet their Lord’ (2:46)’ This means that the believers are certain that they shall be resurrected on a great day. Hence, ‘meeting’ for the believers stands for the resurrection, while it stands for seeing and looking in the concept of the nonbelievers’
As for Almighty Allah’s saying, ‘And a witness from Him recites it, (11:17)’ this is the plea of Almighty Allah that He has established again His creations when He made them know that none deserves the position of a prophet except one who is apt enough to replace him and none recites it except one who is as pure as the prophet so that one who has been touched by disbelief in any period of his lifetime will not deserve to occupy the position of a prophet, especially the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S)
As for the trust to which you have referred, it is specially the trust that must not and may not be enjoyed except by the prophets and their successors, because these are the only persons whom Almighty Allah has entrusted His creation with them and whom He has made pleas on His lands.
As for the point you have aroused about the mentioning of the attributes of Almighty Allah in both singular and plural forms, let it be known to you that Allah blessed and exalted be His Name is One and Only and Singular, as exactly as He has described Himself. He is the eternal and everlasting Light that none can ever be the like of Him. He never changes. He decides whatever He wills and chooses. Nothing can ever repel His decree and nothing can ever ward off His act. Whatever He has created would never increase His kingdom and almightiness, and whatever He has not created would never decrease any part of what belongs to Him. So, He created whatever He willed as exactly as He willed. Then, He made the doing of certain things to be at the hands of His trustees whom He has selected. Therefore, their deeds are His deeds and their commands are His commands, just as He has said, ‘Whoever obeys the Messenger, he indeed obeys Allah. (4:80)’
He has also made the heavens and the earth a vessel for whom He wishes from among His creatures so that the wicked will be discriminated from the good, although He has already known the discrimination of the two parties.11
Ibn Al-Kawwa', a filthy hypocrite, used to ask Imam Ali (‘a) many questions for no reason but to annoy the Imam. One day, he asked the Imam (‘a):
Can you answer these questions?
What is the thing that is sighted at night and sighted in daylight? What is the thing that is blind at night and blind in daylight? What is the thing that is sighted at night but blind in daylight?
What is the thing that is blind at night but sighted in daylight? Answering him, Imam Ali (‘a) said,
You should ask about matters that concern you and should not ask about things that are beyond your concern.
What is sighted at night and in daylight is one who believed in the messengers (of Allah) and the messengers’ successors who existed in the past, in the Books (revealed by Allah), in the prophets, in Allah, and in His Prophet Muhammad (S), and admitted to the divinely commissioned loyalty to me; so, this one can see at night and in daylight.
What is sighted at night but blind in daylight is one who, although he believed in the past prophets and divinely revealed Books, refused to believe in the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) and denied the truth. So, he can see at night but he is blind in daylight.
What is blind at night and blind in daylight is one who disbelieved in the prophets, their successors, and the Books that had been revealed, and when he lived in the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S), he did not believe in him either and did not profess the divinely ordained loyalty to me. So, he denied Almighty Allah and His Prophet. He is therefore blind at night and blind in daylight.
What is blind at night but sighted in daylight is one who had disbelieved in the bygone prophets, their successors, and the Books; but when he lived in the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S), he believed in Almighty Allah and in him, believed in my Imamate, and accepted the divinely ordained loyalty to me. So, he is blind at night but sighted in daylight.
O Ibn Al-Kawwa', be it known to you that through us, i.e. the descendants of Abu Talib, Allah has commenced Islam and through us, too, He shall seal it.12
Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have climb the minbar of the Al-Kufah Mosque and said,
Ask me before you lose me. I will definitely answer any question about anything that is beneath the Divine Throne. No one claims so after me except a liar or an impostor.
A man who seemed to be one of the Arab Jews stood up and said, ‘I will ask you; so, prepare yourself for answering my questions.’
Because of the coarseness of the man, some people jumped in his face and wanted to discipline him, but the Imam (‘a) said,
Leave him and do not be so hasty. Verily, the pleas of Allah cannot be established through such things like hastiness and impulsion. The proofs of Almighty Allah cannot be demonstrated through depriving an asker of any respite to pose his questions.
The Imam (‘a) then turned his face towards the asker and said,
You may ask any question as much as you can utter it and as much as your knowledge allows you to ask. Then, I will answer you, by the will of Allah with such an answer that removes all of your doubts and mutes all of the filthy suspicions of straying off the right path. Eventually, there is neither might nor power except with Allah, the All-high and All-great.
The man thus asked, ‘What is the distance between the east and the west?’
The Imam (‘a) answered,
It is the same distance of the air.
The man asked, ‘What is the distance of the air?’
The Imam (‘a) answered,
It is as same as the rotation of the globe.
The man asked, ‘What is the distance of the rotation of the globe?’
The Imam (‘a) answered,
It is the same distance of a one-day walking to the sun.
The man asked, ‘When will the Resurrection Day come?’ The Imam (‘a) answered,
It will come at the presence of death and the termination of the lifetime.
The man asked, ‘What is the border of Bakkah inside Makkah?’
The Imam (‘a) answered,
Makkah is the sides of the Holy Precinct, while Bakkah is the very place of the Holy House (i.e. the Ka’bah).
The man asked, ‘Why was Makkah given this name?’
The Imam (‘a) answered,
This is because Allah the All-exalted spread (makka ) the earth from beneath it.
The man asked, ‘Why was Bakkah given this name?’
The Imam (‘a) answered,
This is because it smashed (bakka) the necks of the potentates and the sinners.
The man asked, ‘Where had Allah been before He created His Throne?’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
All glory be to the One Whose description cannot be attained even by the bearers of His Throne despite their proximity to the Chair of His Honor, nor can the archangels recognize His attributes despite their proximity to the lights of His glorified majesty. What! It is improper to ask about Allah with such question words like, ‘where’, ‘in what’, ‘which’, or ‘how’.
The man asked, ‘How long had the Throne of Allah remained on the water before He created the earth and the heavens?’
Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
Perhaps, you are not skilful enough in calculation. Are you?’
The man answered, ‘I am skilful enough.’
Imam Ali (‘a) expressed,
If the whole earth is filled with grains of mustard seed until the amount even blocks the air and blocks up whatever is between the earth and the sky, and then you, despite your weakness, are allowed to remove this amount of mustard seed from the east to the west each time one grain only, and you are given such a long lifetime to do this mission completely, and you are given power to do so, and you thus move these grains and calculate them, then that will be easier for you than calculating the number of the years during which the Throne of Allah remained on water before the creation of the earth and the heavens.
Nevertheless, what I have described to you is only one-tenth of one-tenth of one-tenth of one-one hundred thousandth of the actual number. Yet, I implore Almighty Allah’s forgiveness for my failure to be accurate in calculating the very number and for my restricting the infinite duration (of the Divine Throne remaining on water).13
Once, Imam Ali (‘a) spoke to the people in the Al-Kufah Mosque from the pulpit, saying,
Ask me before you lose me. I swear by Him Who split the grain and created the souls; if you ask me about any holy Quranic verse whether it was revealed at night, in daylight, at Makkah, at Al-Madinah, during a journey, or at home; or whether it is repealing (another verse), repealed (by another verse), decisive, or allegorical; or ask me about its interpretation and its revelation, I will definitely answer you accurately.
A man called Dhi’lib, a very good orator and brave in heart, stood up and said, ‘O Leader of the Believers, have you seen your Lord?’
The Imam (‘a) replied,
What is this, Dhi’lib? How will I worship a lord whom I do not see?’
The man said, ‘How have you seen Him? Please, describe Him for us.’
The Imam (‘a) said,
The eyes are not able to see Him physically, but it is the hearts that see Him through the reality of belief. O Dhi’lib, my Lord is Subtle in subtleties, but He cannot be described by means of subtle matters. My Lord is Great, but He cannot be described by means of greatness. His greatness surpasses all greatness, but he cannot be described by means of any such greatness. He is glorious in His Glory, but He cannot be described in terms of intensity. He is before everything and it cannot be said that something was before Him.
He will be after all things but it cannot be said that there will be something after Him. He willed the existence of things but not by means of first thinking about it. He comprehends things but not with a great deal of effort. He is in all things, but He is not mixed with them, nor is He separate from them. He is clearly manifest, but not with contacts and changes. He shines, but not in the form of being found out with eyesight. He is far, but not in the form of distance.
He is near, but not in the form of nearness. He is very fine, but not in the form of physical fineness. He exists, but not after nothingness. He acts, but not because of being forced. He measures things, but not by means of movement. He wills, but not by means of thinking. He hears, but not with tools. He sees, but not with instruments. He is not contained in place and held up in times. Attributes do not limit Him and slumber does not seize Him. His Being was before the time and His Existence was before nothingness.
He was before eternity. His giving the sense of awareness proves that He does not need tools of sensing. His giving substance to the substances is proof that His Self is not a substance. The existence of a contrary to everything is proof that there is nothing contrary to Him. His giving comparability to things is proof that there is nothing similar to Him. He has made the light contrary to the darkness, the wetness to the dryness, the harshness to the softness, and the coldness to heat.
He combines the separating ones and separates their closeness. The separation among things is evidence of the existence of the One Who causes separation in them and their combination is evidence of the existence of the One Who combines them. It is just as Allah has said,
‘We have created everything in pairs so that perhaps you may take heed. (51:49)’
He has made a distinction between before and after to show that there is no before and after for Him. The instincts show that the One Who created the instincts Himself has no instinct. The time is evidence that there is no timing for the One Who made the time. His hiding things from each other is evidence that nothing hides them from their Creator. He was the Lord when there was nothing to enjoy His Lordship. He was to be worshipped when there was no worshipper. He had the knowledge when there was nothing to know. He was hearing when there was nothing to hear.14
Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib(‘a) is the chief of the monotheists, the leader of the pious people, and the inviter to Allah on this globe after his brother and cousin the Holy Prophet (S). From the minbar of the Al-Kufah Mosque, he delivered numerous speeches that comprised brilliant facts about the Unity of Allah and the most wonderful features of the creation, declaring the portents of Allah, the Creator of the universe and the Giver of life.
Throughout his lifetime, Imam Ali (‘a) acted as an exceptional element of true faith and center of monotheism. He raised the Word of Allah and endued the intellects with such ilumination that has been lighting up the path to the truth, scattering the murk of ignorance, and leading to the recognition of the All- great Maker of all things.
One of the aspects of Imam Ali’s spiritual life was his supplications, which are considered overwhelming documents that speak of his piety and strong connection with the Creator as well as his devotion to and recognition of Him. At the same time, these supplications play a major role in guiding the bewildered souls to the truth and leading to all-inclusive integrity and reformation.
The supplications of Imam Ali (‘a) worked hard in the fields of human behavior and discipline of instincts and personal whims. They therefore purify the souls from the sins of this life.
Achieving a great success, the supplications of Imam Ali as well as the other Holy Imams (‘a) have been the most widespread and the most requiring by all people. You cannot see a single house or a religious center empty of a copy of the many books that comprised such supplications that are recited day and night.
In addition, Imam Ali (‘a) taught people magnificent etiquettes and methods of supplicating. He thus taught us how to pray, how to beseech earnestly, how to resort to the Lord, and how to prepare ourselves in His presence with full submission and modesty so that we should not regard any value for ourselves when we supplicate Him. In this field, Imam Ali (‘a) taught us that we, along with all of our intellectual and material energies, are nothing if compared to the All-great Creator.
For instance, the planet on which we live is in its reality a simple and single atom that spins in this endless space that has baffled the intellects of the most skilled people and confused their minds so mystifyingly that they, despite their highly developed devices, had to confess that they could not discover even one percent of the secrets of the universe, which is only one of the creations of Almighty Allah.
Depending upon the nature on which Almighty Allah has created all human beings, man spontaneously feels the existence of the Creator Who fashioned him; therefore, man resorts to the Creator whenever he is inflicted by a vicissitude of time or by a crisis. This phenomenon is deeply rooted in human beings and connected firmly with their creation from the beginning. It can never be disconnected, because what is found in the innermost of selves in an unprompted manner is neither changeable nor erratic, as scholars of logic express.
Through his impressive supplicatory prayers, Imam Ali (‘a) opened wide the doors to connection with Almighty Allah a connection that is based on ultimate servitude to the Creator-Lord. Imam Ali (‘a) thus proved that man loses all of his values and facts once he does not establish a connection with the Almighty Lord, the utmost and one and only goal in this existence.
The supplicatory prayers of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib and his descendants, the Holy Imams (‘a), have not been restricted to such spiritual topics like holding communion with the Lord and imploring for His pardon and forgiveness; rather, they have touched on other topics appertained to the educational, social, and political issues like what Muslims used to suffer from the oppression and persecution of the tyrannical rulers who domineered the Muslim communities during the Umayyad and ‘Abbasid dynasties.
In other words, the supplicatory prayers of the Holy Imams (‘a) are replete with all domains that bring about prosperity to humanity and promote their individual and social lives. They also represent the Islamic notion in the field of spirituality, not to mention that these supplicatory prayers are indispensable resources of Islamic education and Arabic eloquence and fluency, since they have been composed at the highest level of articulacy; therefore, they have become one of the most precious reserves of Arabic literature due to their distinctive expressiveness.
Generally speaking, the Holy Imams’ supplicatory prayers are within the treasures of monotheism and the most wholesome means of contacting the Almighty Lord. They express the unattainable scope of the Holy Imams’ fondness of and connection with the Lord.
It is worth mentioning that the late Dr. Zaki Mubarak, a famous Egyptian man of letters, had the intention to write a book about the etiquette of supplication (du’a') through the pieces of supplicatory prayers that are reported from the founders of some schools of Muslim jurisprudence and other Sufi scholars.
However, he had not had any acquaintance with the supplicatory prayers composed by the Twelve Imams of the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a). When he offered this urgent desire of him to Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Ya’qubi, the head of the Literary League of Al-Najaf and the master of orators, he (Shaykh Al-Ya’qubi) asked, ‘Have you seen the supplicatory prayers of the Holy Imams (‘a)?’ Dr. Mubarak answered in the negative; so, Al-Ya’qubi gave him the book of Al Sahifah Al-Sajjadiyyah (a collection of Imam Ali ibn Al-Husayn’s supplications, famously known as the Psalms of Muhammad’s Family) and some other books comprising such supplications.
Once Dr. Mubarak browsed these books, he, full of amazement and admiration, returned to Shaykh Al- Ya’qubi to declare before all the members of the said league, ‘The supplications of the Holy Imams are indeed treasures of Islam and the most precious and valuable spiritual heritage of Muslims.’
Confirmedly, no other Muslim sect or heavenly-revealed religion has the like of the supplicatory prayers that are had by the Shi’ah who received them from their Imams. Indeed, the spiritual heritage represented by these supplicatory prayers has, positively and effectively, contributed to self-reformation, disciplining the human instincts, and raising the intellectual level of humanity.
Besides, these supplicatory prayers have always been the object of great interest for the scholastic media of the Shi’ah whose scholars have looked at these prayers with the eye of pride and glory.
Sayyid Ibn tawus, a master scholar, has mentioned in the introduction of his book entitled Kashf Al- MaHajjah li-Thamarat Al-Muhjah that it was one of the graces of Almighty Allah that he could keep in his library about eight hundred books comprising the supplicatory prayers of the Holy Imams (‘a) that he had inherited from his forefathers while no other library of Islamic books had had such a number of books. Probably, some of these books can be found in a manuscript form in some libraries of the Islamic world.
It is also noteworthy that some scholars have already compiled the supplicatory prayers of Imam Ali (‘a) in independent books like the following:
(1) Shaykh Abdullah ibn Salih Al-Bahrani Al-Samahiji (died in AH 1135) compiled the supplications of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) in a book he entitled Al-Sahifah Al-’Alawiyyah (Imam Ali’s Book of Supplications). The book was first published in Iran in AH 1325 and then reprinted by Dar Al- Ta’aruf Publications in Beirut, Lebanon.
However, the author has not mentioned the reference books from which he had quoted these supplications; therefore, they were interruptedly reported from Imam Ali (‘a). Besides, some supplications were too poor to be ascribed to Imam Ali (‘a) who is famously known as the master of eloquence and the prince of style. Finally, the book lacks harmony and accord between the supplications.
(2) Shaykh Husayn ibn Muhammad Taqi Al-Nuri Al-Tabrisi subjoined to the supplications compiled by Shaykh Al-Samahiji some other supplications and compiled them in a book he entitled Al-Sahifah Al-’Alawiyyah Al-Thaniyah, which is different from Al-Samahiji’s Al-Sahifah Al-’Alawiyyah in the points that the author has referred to the chains of authority and the reference books from which each supplication was quoted. Besides, high quality of the supplications of the latter book can been easily inspected.
(3) Shaykh Muhammad Baqir Al-Mahmudi, the master and well-versed scholar, has allocated a special volume of his encyclopedic book entitled Nahj Al-Sa’adah fi Mustadrak Nahj Al-Balaghah to the supplications of Imam Ali (‘a), mentioning the reference books from which these supplications have been quoted. In fact, Shaykh Al-Mahmudi has done such a great job and he has exerted remarkable efforts in this field.
To end with, the supplicatory prayers of Imam Ali (‘a) secure self-discipline and protect from any pollution with the sins of this worldly life. They open wide the door of communion between a servant and his/her Lord and present to the community a great service in the field of morality and spirituality.
In their capacity as the most brilliant spiritual and intellectual heritage owned by Muslims, these prayers must be spread among people so that they would learn very much knowledge from them and make them the pilot that lead them in the midst of the waves of moral corruption and lack of spirituality.
Supplication In The View Of Imam Ali
Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) was fond of praying to Almighty Allah under all circumstances and at all times. His lips did not stop mentioning the Lord and beseeching Him at night, in daylight, at home, on journeys, and even in the battlefields and at the most horrible hours of his lifetime.
With extreme submission and reverence, Imam Ali (‘a) used to implore Almighty Allah as earnestly as he could for mercy and forgiveness, because he felt that human beings, because of their imperfection, cannot serve and praise Almighty Allah as it should be. He therefore used to begin his supplicatory prayers with statements of praise and thanks for Almighty Allah and with references to His wonderful creation and all-inclusive mercy.
Describing Imam Ali’s inclination to supplicating, Imam Al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said,
Amir Al-Mu'minin (Imam Ali) was seen frequently supplicating.15
About the merits of supplication, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,
Supplication is a shield for a believing person. When a door is knocked often, it will sooner or later open up.18
Supplication is the key to success and the input for one’s wellbeing. The best prayer is what comes out of a clean chest and pious heart. In pleading before Allah for help, there is the means for salvation. In sincerity, there is freedom. When distress intensifies, Allah is the only One before Whom one must implore for protection.19
Supplication is the most beloved of all deeds to Allah.20
Concentration on the supplicatory words is one of the conditions of response. In this respect, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,
Verily, Almighty Allah does not receive the supplication coming out of an inattentive heart.21
Whenever any of you may pray for a dead person, he must not do it frivolously but must strive to be serious in his prayer.22
Defining the best times for supplicating, Imam Ali (‘a) says,
Use the opportunity for supplicating on four occasions: At the time of reading the Holy Quran, at the time of adhan (call for prayer), at the time it rains, and at the time of the meeting of two armies for martyrdom.23
As Almighty Allah has opened the door for His servants to beseech Him, He also opened wide the door of His response to their prayers. In this regard, Imam Ali (‘a) says,
Allah would never open the door for supplicating Him but He would close the door of His response to these supplications.24
He whom is granted the opportunity to supplicate (Almighty Allah) will never be deprived of (His) response.25
Presenting supplication as the essence of worship, Imam Ali (‘a) says,
Supplication is the brain of worship.26
About the indispensable need for supplication, Imam Ali (‘a) says,
The person who is afflicted with hardship is not in a greater need for supplicating than the one who has been spared affliction but is not immune from it.27
According to the method established by Imam Ali (‘a), supplicating must be preceded by statements of praise and glorification of Almighty Allah. Imam Al-Sadiq (‘a) thus reports,
It is written in the book of Am r Al-Mu'min n Ali ibn Abi Talib that he (‘a) said,
‘Praise must precede supplicating. Whenever you want to pray and plead before Allah for help, you must first speak of His glory.’
He was asked, ‘How can we speak of His glory?’
The Imam (‘a) instructed,
You may say: O He Who is closer to me than my jugular veins! O He Who does whatever He wishes without fail! O He Who stands between a man and his heart! O He Who is on a high position and like Whom there is no creature!28
Confirming this instruction, Imam Ali (‘a) is also reported to have said,
Supplicating should follow praising; therefore, praise and extol Allah the All-exalted before you ask Him for granting your needs.29
Within his course of the etiquettes of supplicating, Imam Ali (‘a) instructed that one should invoke Almighty Allah’s blessings on the Holy Prophet and his Household before presenting one’s needs before Him.
In this connection, we find many traditions confirming that to begin any supplicatory prayer with invocation of blessings upon the Holy Prophet and his Household results in response to that prayer, because Almighty Allah never rejects a prayer that is preceded by this invocation.
Similarly, Almighty Allah, out of His magnanimity, decides to respond to any prayer ending with an invocation of His blessings on the Holy Prophet and his Household. This fact has been reported from Imam Ali (‘a) who says,
If you would like your request to be granted by Almighty Allah, you must begin your prayer with invoking His blessings on His Messenger and then say your request, because Almighty Allah is too generous to respond to a request and reject the other when two requests are prayed from Him together.30
Imam Ali (‘a) is also reported as saying,
All supplicatory prayers are screened from reaching the heavens until the supplicant invokes Almighty Allah’s blessings upon the Holy Prophet and his Household.31
Imam Ali (‘a) also confirmed that the prayers of the infant descendants of the Holy Prophet (S) are always responded as long as they have not committed sins. He (‘a) is thus reported to have said,
The supplications of the children of my offspring are accepted unless they commit sins.
Imam Ali’s Supplicatory Prayer for Responding to the Prayers
It is reported that a man came to Imam Ali Amir Al-Mu'minin (‘a) and complained about the delay in response to his prayers.
‘Have you tried the swiftly-responded prayer?’
Imam Ali (‘a) asked.
‘What prayer do you mean?’ asked the man.
Imam Ali (‘a) thus taught him to say this supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, I beseech You by Your Name; the great, the greatest, the most majestic, the noblest, the hoarded, the hidden, the brilliant, the true, the manifest demonstration, which is light with light, light out of light, light in light, light on all light, light over all light, and light by which all darkness is shone and all hardships, all rebellious devils, and all obstinate transgressors are unraveled.
Neither a land can bear it nor can any sky hold it. Through it, all fearful ones attain security and sorceries of all sorcerers, oppressions of all oppressors, and envy of all envious ones are counteracted. Because of its greatness, all lands and oceans split and all arks stand stable when the angel pronounces it; so, waves will no more have any effect on these arks.
It is Your Name; the greatest, the greatest, the most majestic, the most majestic, the grandest light, which You have used for Yourself and by which You have prevailed on Your Throne. I turn my face towards You in the name of Muhammad and his Household and beseech You in the name of You and them to bless Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad and to’ One then may submit one’s personal requests.32
Let us now present a number of Imam Ali’s supplicatory prayers on various subjects:
Supplicatory Prayer On The Unity And Praise Of Allah
Although the majority of Imam Ali’s supplicatory prayers comprise brilliant statements of professing the Unity of Almighty Allah, praising Him, and showing pure servitude to Him, a certain number of these prayers demonstrate the scope of the Imam’s humbleness, earnest entreaty, and recognition of the Lord. In one of his supplicatory prayers, Imam Ali (‘a) says,
All praise be to Allah Who is the foremost among all those to be praised, (Who is) the most ultimate to be served, (Who is) the nighest of all existent things, (Who is) the premier (of all things) while His sempiternity is unknown and His beginning is endless, (Who is) the existent prior to the existence without having a (certain) entity, (Who is) the extant everywhere without having a certain place, and (Who is) close to every confidential talk without need for proximity.
All covert things are open before Him and all intellects are too perplexed to realize His greatness. Sights cannot comprehend His greatness but hearts cannot deny recognition of Him although He is out of all sights. He represents Himself in hearts without being similar to any thing that can be defined by illusions or appreciated by impressions. He then established evidence from His own Self to prove that He is too grand to have an opposite, a rival, a match, or a like.
His Unity is the indication of His Godhead, and the death that unavoidably comes upon all of His creatures tells of His creation and omnipotence. He then created (the beings) from a sperm- fluid while they had been nothing so that He would establish evidence proving His ability to re-create them in a new creation after their termination, in the same way as He had created them in the first time.
All praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds Who is never harmed by the disobediences of those who disdain worshipping Him and Who is not benefited by the obedience to those who worship Him devotionally. He acts forbearingly towards the potentates who claim godhead falsely and He grants respite to those who claim that there is one sharing with Him in His realm.
He is the All-existing in His authority without a term, the lastingly Enduring in His realm after the termination of all times, the Unique, the One, and the eternally Besought of all, and He is too elevated to have a wife or a child.
He raised the sky without pillars, made the clouds move without a rein, and overcame all of His creatures without a definite number. He is thus Allah, the One and Only, the Unique, the eternally Besought of all, and He it is Who does not beget nor was He begotten, and there is none comparable to Him.
All praise be to Allah Whose favors cannot be dispensed with even by those who permanently disobey Him and the least of Whose blessings cannot be recompensed even by those who exert all their efforts in obedience to Him. He is the All-rich Who never wards off His sustenance from those who deny Him and Whose gifts do not reduce His provisions for His creatures. He is the creator, the terminator, the restorer, the originator, and the healer of the creation.
He knows what is concealed through secrets, what is hidden in inner selves, what is expressed by the various languages, and what is changed by times. He is the Ever-living Who never dies, the All-subsisting Who never slumbers, the Eternal Who never vanishes, the All-just Who is never biased, the pardoner of the grand sins out of His favors, and the punisher of those whom He punishes out of His justice.
He never anticipates missing anyone; therefore, He is always forbearing. He is All-aware of need for Him; therefore, He is always merciful. In his decisive Book, He says,
‘If Allah were to take mankind to task for their wrongdoing, He would not leave hereon a living creature.’(16:61)
I praise Him with such praise due to which I ask for more of His blessings, I seek refuge with Him against His punition, and I seek nearness to Him through my giving credence to His Prophet, whom He has chosen for (receiving and conveying) His revelations, who He has selected for (carrying) His message, whom He has given exclusively (the right of) intercession with Him, and who has carried out his duty towards Him completely; namely, Muhammad may Allah bless him, his Household, his companions, the prophets, the messengers, and all of the angels; and may He pour forth His benedictions perfectly upon them.
O Allah, all expectations have been lost, all manners have changed, all words have been proven false, and all promises have been broken except for the promises You have made, for You have promised (us) with forgiveness and favoring.
O Allah, (please) pour down blessings upon Muhammad and his Household, provide me with Your favors, and protect me against Satan the accursed.
All glory be to You, and this glorification (of mine) is only part of Your favors that You deserve praise for them. How great You are! How forbearing You are! How generous You are! Out of Your favors, Your forbearance has included even the defiance of those who disdain serving You.
Your blessings are too much to be covered by the thanking of the grateful ones. Your forbearance is too excellent to be calculated by all calculators. Your bounties are too majestic to be described by all describers.
Had it not been for Your favors, You would not have been clement to those whom You created from a sperm-fluid after they had been nothing. So, You nurtured them with the most vigorous of Your sustenance, You brought them up on Your uninterrupted graces, and You gave them the power to survive on the plains of Your lands.
However, when You called them to be obedient to You, they used Your good turns for helping them to disobey You and they denied You and worshipped others than You under Your authority!
As a result of Your clemency, You granted me respite, sheltered me under Your covering, honored me with recognition of You, made my tongue speak in praise of You, guided me to the path taking to the obedience to You, made easy for me the course taking to Your honoring, and made accessible for me to find the way taking to Your vicinity.
Nevertheless, I recompensed Your good turns with evil acts, cared for committing whatever would bring about Your wrath, moved freely in the circle that made me deserve nothing but more punishment from You, hurried up towards whatever cast me away and away from Your pleasure, pleased myself with the seductive snare of long expectation, and turned away from the fact of my short-termed lifetime, although it should have been enough admonisher for me.
Your forbearance with me has not benefited me although Your menace to deprive me of my power has already come to me; therefore, I now entreat You, despite the grand wrongdoing I have committed, to grant me more graces from You, even though I do not seem to panic about Your punishment to which I am drawing myself nearer, finding slow Your ever-increasing favors to me, displeased with Your adequate sustenance to me, demanding You to endue me with Your prizes for the deeds of the sinful that I am doing, as if I am expecting Your mercy due to righteous deeds that I did not in reality do, and sparing no efforts in hoping that You would confer upon me the most enormous of Your errands, just like the doing of a criminal who has been secured from retaliation for his crimes! So, we are Allah’s and to Him shall we return! It is indeed a misfortune of an unbearable burden and of an awful punishment.
Had it not been for my hope in You and for Your promise to pardon my slips, how should I expect Your absolution after I had challenged You through committing grand sins openly, while I tried my best to conceal myself from the lowliest of Your creatures? I have neither feared You while You are always with me nor have I looked up to the inviolability of Your covering up of my sins.
With what face should I meet You and with what tongue should I speak to You confidentially, after I had broken all the pledges and vows that I had made with You confirmedly and after I had made You surety over me?
Then, when I prayed You while I was sinking in wrongdoing, You responded to me! Yet, when You called me (to obey You) while I am always in urgent need for You, I refrained from answering You! Shame on me! How hideous my deed is!
All glory be to You! How horrendous insolence I have shown to You! How repugnant seduction I have drawn to myself! All glory be to You! I seek nearness to You in the name of You. I adjure You in the name of Your right. I flee to You from You. As I disobeyed You, I have indeed belittled myself, but not You!
As I depended upon my seductive prospect, I have indeed been deceived due to my ignorance, but not due to Your clemency. I have thus violated my own right, but not Your great right. Now I hope for Your mercy, believe in You, put my trust in You, return to You in repentance, and humble myself before You.
So, (please) have mercy on my poverty, neediness, falling to my forehead, and my perplexity for the shame I had acquired because of my sinning, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy!
O most All-hearing of all those who are supplicated! O best hoped One! O closest of all those whose aid is sought! I beseech You, seeking Your aid just like the seeking of one who has despaired of the response of Your creatures. So, (please) meet me with Your benevolence that You may show to my weakness, forgive me my grand sins out of Your all-inclusive mercy, and confer upon me Your immediate kind acts.
Verily, You are the best giver of the most plentiful graces of all those who may gift. There is no god save You. All glory be to You, I have been of those who committed wrongdoings. O Allah! O One and Only! O Allah! O eternally besought of all! O He Who does not beget nor was He begotten! O He like Whom there is none!
O Allah, my requests have tired me out, all ways have become narrow before me, my distant people have thrown me even farther, and my close people have become weary of me. In the midst of this, You alone are my only remaining hope after my hope for others has been cut off; and Your help alone is sought after my misfortunes have doubled up; and to You alone are my resort in hardships and comfort; so, (please) relieve the agonies of me although I should despair of Your mercy when misery reminds me of my evildoings. However, please, do not make me despair of Your mercy, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy!33
Supplicatory Prayer On The Unity And Glorification Of Allah
In one of his supplicatory prayers on professing the unity and magnificence of
Almighty Allah, Imam Ali (‘a) says,
O Allah, You are verily Ever-living and You never die. You are so Truthful that You never tell lies. You are so Supreme that You are never defeated. You are the Creator Who does not need any help. You are so Nigh that You are never away. You are so Omnipotent that You can never be opposed. You are so Forgiving that You never wrong (others). You are so Besought of all that You never need nourishment.
You are so Self-subsisting that You never slumber. You are so quick to respond that You never weary. You are so Seeing that You never doubt. You are so Invincible that You never need assistance. You are so Great that You are never vulnerable.
You are so Knowing that You never require learning (from others). You are so Powerful that You are never weak. You are so Forbearing that You never rush. You are so Grand that You cannot be described. You are so Faithful that You never break (Your word).
You are so Just that You are never unfair. You are so Overcoming that You are never overpowered. You are so Rich that You never need (for anything). You are so Magnificent that You can never reduce.
You are so Wise that You never treat wrongly. You are so Impenetrable that You are never subdued. You are so Famous that You are never unidentified. You are so Unique that You never require entertainment. You are so One and Only that You never want the consult of others. You are so Ample-giving that You never become exhausted (from giving).
You are so Hearing that You never miss any sound. You are so Magnanimous that You never cease giving generously. You are so Mighty that You can never be humiliated. You are so Preserving that You are never inattentive. You are so Vigilant that You never forget. You are so All- subsisting that You never sleep. You are so Lenient that You never treat with violence. You are so Tolerant that You never hurry.
You are so Witnessing that You never fail to notice. You are so Hidden that You can never be seen. You are so Everlasting that You never perish. You are so Enduring that You never deteriorate. You are so Single that You cannot be likened (to anything). You are so Commanding that You can never be rivaled.
O Generous! O Magnanimous! O Conferrer of awards! O Nigh! O Responsive! O Most High! O Majestic! O Source of peace! O Giver of security! O Guardian over all! O Mighty! O Possessor of all mightiness! O Supreme! O Possessor of all supremeness! O Grand! O Possessor of all grandeur! O Powerful! O Possessor of all power! O He Whom is called from every remote path with various tongues, different languages, and ceaseless requests and, nevertheless, no single thing distracts Him from another thing.
You never cease to exist; ages never cause You perdition, times never change You, places can never include You, neither sleep nor slumber can ever overtake You, and nothing can ever be like You. How can You be anything other than this while You are the Creator of all things? There is no god save You. Everything is perishable except Your Face (i.e. Person), the most honorable of all faces.
Remembering You is always sacred, Your commands are always holy, duties towards You are always incumbent, Your decrees are always effective, and obedience to You is always binding. Please, pour blessings upon Muhammad and his Household, make easy my affairs that I anticipate to be difficult, release for me as well as for every believing male and female all that which I fear its agony, facilitate for me all that which I expect to be intricate, and redeem me from all that which I predict to lead me to perdition.
O most Merciful of all those who show mercy! O Lord of glory and honor! There is no god save You. All glory be to You! I have been of the wrongdoers. May Allah pour blessings upon Muhammad and upon his pure and immaculate Household.34
Supplicatory Prayer On Professing Almighty Allah’s Oneness And Expressing His Grandeur And Magnificence
Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplicatory prayer, which is considered one of his most outstanding supplications, on Fridays.
The supplication is full of statements of professing Almighty Allah as the One and Only God and deeming Him high above any similarity with His creatures:
All praise be to Allah Who existed from nonentity and Who created all that existed from nonentity, too. He thus used the non-eternity of all things as evidence on His sempiternity, used the failure that He added to these things as evidence on His omnipotence, and used the perishability that He imposed on all these things as evidence on His immortality. No place can be empty of Him so that He may be pointed to at a certain space.
There is neither likeness nor a match for Him so that He may be described according to the fashion of that like or match. He has never been absent from any thing so that He may be known due to the knowledge with that thing. He is thus different from all the attributes that He created, He cannot be realized through the actions of identities that He fashioned (in the things), and He is beyond all the changes of states due to His grandeur and greatness.
It is definitely unattainable for the most brilliant and sagacious acumens to identify Him, for the most profound sagacity of intellects to distinguish the way He exists, and for the most reflective views to imagine Him. Spaces cannot embrace Him due to His greatness. Measures cannot appraise Him due to His majesty.
Criteria cannot weigh Him up due to His grandeur. It is impossible for illusions to fathom Him, for understandings to empathize Him, and for mentalities to represent Him. The most ambitious intellects have despaired of extracting the comprehension of Him. Oceans of knowledge have run out before being able to point to His Essence. The most subtle ideas of the rivals have retreated from sublimity to shortcoming in describing His power.
He is One, but not as a number. He is Eternal, but with no term. He is Self- subsisting, but with no pillar. He is not a species so that species may be equivalent to Him. He is not a ghost so that ghosts may keep pace with Him. He is not like the things so that attributes may be applicable to Him. All intellects have wandered in the waves of the currency of comprehending Him. Allusions have been too bewildered to apprehend the form of His sempiternity.
Understandings have been too restricted to feel the description of His power. Mentalities have sunk in the surges of the oceans of the orbits of His kingdom. He is All-powerful due to His elegances, Unbeatable due to His grandeur, and having supreme power over all things. No age can make Him old and no description can comprehend His real Entity. The necks of the difficulties have submitted themselves before Him in the climax of their powers. The sturdiest causes have succumbed to Him in the utmost of their high courses.
He used the variety of species as evidence on His Lordship, used the deficiency of these species as evidence on His all-powerfulness, used the origination of these species as evidence to prove that He is beginningless, and used the unavoidable extinction of them as evidence on His everlasting endurance.
It is then impossible for things to comprehend Him, impracticable for them to refrain from confessing of His comprehension of them, unavoidable for them to confess that He records the number of all things, and inescapable for them to admit His having power over them.
His excellently perfect making is a sufficient indication of His existence. His composing natures on the things He has made is sufficient sign of Him. The responsiveness of these things to the different manners is sufficient sign of His sempiternity. His dexterous making of the things is sufficient lesson (to be learnt).
There is no limit to be ascribed to Him, there is no parable to be set forth for Him, and there is nothing to be hidden from Him. High exalted is He from setting forth parables for Him and from ascribing created attributes to Him, in high exaltation.
All glory be to Allah Who created the world for perdition and extinction and created the Hereafter for endurance and perpetuity.
All glory be to Allah, nothing of what He gives abundantly can reduce what He has in possession, even though His gifts exceed all expectations and attain the utmost hope, and He never wrongs when He issues judgments.
All glory be to Allah Whose decrees are never refutable, Whose determinations are never warded off, Whose donations are never stopped, and Who never slips, forgets, or rushes; rather, He always grants respite, pardons, forgives, shows mercy, and acts patiently. He cannot be questioned concerning what He does, but they shall be questioned.
There is no god save Allah Who appreciates those who are obedient to Him, Who grants respite for those who set partners with Him (in His Godhead), Who is close to those who beseech Him despite His farness, and Who is benign and merciful to those who resort to His shade and hold fast to His rope.
There is no god save Allah Who responds to those who call on Him with their lowest voices, Who hears the words of those who speak to Him confidentially about their most hidden secrets, Who is kind to those who hope Him for relieving them from their distresses, and Who is nigh to those who supplicate Him for alleviating their agonies and grief.
There is no god save Allah Who is forbearing with those who deny His portents, stray off from His clear-cut demonstrations, and adopt for denying all of His states.
Allah is the Most Great; He is the conquering of all adversaries, the highly exalted above all peers, and the One and Only in conferring favors upon all of His servants.
Allah is the Most Great; He hides Himself with kingdom and almightiness, secludes Himself alone with omnipotence and power, and dresses Himself the dress of grandeur and greatness.
Allah is the Most Great; He is sacred due to the perpetuity of His authority, overcomes by means of the conclusive argument and the manifest proof, and enforces His will in every place and time.
O Allah, please send blessings upon Muhammad, Your servant and messenger, and grant him on this day the best of all means (of mediation), the most honorable donation, the most immense favors, the closest standing (to You), the happiest endowment, and the biggest delight of the eye.
O Allah, please send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family members of Muhammad whom You ordered us to obey, from whom You removed filth, and whom You purified with thorough purifying.
O Allah, please send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family members of Muhammad whom You inspired with Your knowledge and made the trustees of Your Books and the keepers over Your servants.
O Allah, please send blessings upon Muhammad, Your servant, messenger, prophet, intimately dear one, and friend; (he is) the chief of the past prophets and messengers and the past and coming generations of Your creatures, and (send blessings) upon his household, the pure and immaculate ones whom You ordered us to obey and You made obligatory upon us observing their rights and showing affection to them.
O Allah, I now beseech You the beseeching of one who is fearful of Your punishment and cautious of Your chastisement; one who has fled to You from You; one who does not find any other savior from his destitution than You and does not find any other security from his fear than Your court and Your bounties.
O my Master and Lord, even with my recurring disobedience to You, please cause my destination to be to You alone, although my sins have preceded me to You and stood between me and You. This is because You are the strongest support to Whom one who seeks support may resort and You are the best objective to Whom one who seeks objective may turn. Your donation of gifts never reduces You and the many requests from You never infuriate You. So, to You only do the grand favors and the enormous bounties belong.
O He Whose hoards are never decreased, Whose kingdom is never perishable, Who cannot be seen with eyes, and from Whom no single movement or stillness can be hidden! You always existed and You will be always existent. No thing that ensconces itself in the most fortified part of the earth, the sky, or the horizon can be hidden from You.
You have taken upon Yourself to provide Your creatures with provisions, O Bestower of all sustenance! You are too holy to be expressed by attributes. You are too almighty to be comprehended by the terms of all languages.
You have never been transient so that You may be found moving from one state to another; rather, You are the Single, the First, the Last, the Lord of overwhelming might, the Ample in giving, the Donor of bursting bounties, and the Worthiest of excusing and pardoning the wrongdoers and those who misrepresent You in every tongue.
O my Lord, You alone deserve to be worshipped at nights wholly and in You alone trusts are put in hardships. So, all praise and all glory be to You, for You are the endless Master and the eternal Lord. As You fashioned all the creatures perfectly, You have had command of them through Your gentle management and appraisal.
You are too highly exalted in the elevation of Your affairs to be exposed to the power of changing, or to be under such a state due to which an atheist may ascribe to You a quality of alternation, or to be in such a state of increase and decrease due to which You may be believed to undergo the variation of transference, or to exist in such a way that the clouds of comprehending You may be wetted from the most profound ideas of the well-determined intellects, or to have a created quality through which the most premeditated thoughts may refer to You.
So, all praise be to You, O my Lord. All Your creatures have to succumb to You, since they find no other way than professing Your Lordship, confessing, and surrendering to their servitude to You.
All glory be to You! How superior Your affairs are! How high Your position is! How truthful Your proofs are! How effective Your decree is! How excellent Your management is! As You made the sky a canopy, You raised it high.
As You expanded the earth, You made it a resting-place and You then brought forth from it abundantly pouring water and flickering plants. So, the plants of the earth are praising Your glory and its waters are flowing by Your command; and both of them are standing on the resting- place of Your will as exactly as You have commanded them.
O He Who is Almighty through His perpetuity and Who overcomes His servants with perdition (that is unavoidably decided on them), please, receive me with honor, because You are the most favored resort for removing all harms.
O He Who is alone hoped in all hardships and Who is alone expected (to give more) in all comforts! Today, I put my request before Your Hands and to You alone do I pray humbly; so, please do not reject me with disappointment from what I have hoped from You and do not prevent my prayers from reaching You after You have allowed me to pray to You.
Please, send blessings upon Muhammad and his Household and provide me, out of Your expansive favor, with a part that is expansive, palatable, legally gotten, pleasant, enjoyable, wholesome, and delightful while I enjoy wellbeing.
O Allah, please make the day on which I will meet You to be the best of all of my days, forgive my wrongdoings because they are depriving me of all entertainments, and absolve my sins because they have destroyed me. Verily, You are Responsive, Acceptor of penitence, Preserving, Nigh, All- powerful, Forgiving, Overcoming, Merciful, Generous, and Self-subsisting; and to do all that to me is easy for You to do; and You are the best of all creators.
O Allah, You have imposed upon me some duties towards fathers and mothers and You then deemed these duties imperatively great. You are the worthiest of releasing from and alleviating the burdens (of sins) and the worthiest of fulfilling the duties on behalf of His servants.
So, please help me carry out my duties towards my parents, forgive them as well as every one who has besought You (for forgiveness), including all the believing men and women and all the brothers-in-faith and sisters-in-faith, attach them and us to the Pious Ones, and allow them and us to the gardens of Your Paradise with the Selects and the Righteous Ones. Verily, You are the Hearer of prayers. May Allah bless the Prophet Muhammad and his immaculate progeny and pour abundant benedictions on them!35
Supplicatory Prayer On Unity And Magnificent Power Of Allah
The following supplicatory prayer is considered one of the most brilliant supplications of Imam Ali (‘a) that comprises such superb statements of the magnificent power of Almighty Allah and His excellent creation of things:
All praise is due to Allah. There is no god but He, the Ever-living, the Self- Subsisting, the Eternal, the True, the Manifest King. He is the Administrator without any minister and without consultation with any of his slaves.
He is the First Who cannot be described. He is Eternal after the annihilation of all creatures. He is the greatest Cherisher, the Light of the heavens and the earth and their Creator and Maker out of nothing. He created both of them and separated them with a proper separation; the heavens hence became stable in obedience to His command and the earths became fixed on the surface of the water with their pegs. Then, our Lord subdued the high heavens, the All-beneficent, ruled from the Throne.
Everything that is in the heavens and in the earth, and in between them and what is below the earth belongs to Him. So, I bear witness that You are verily Allah; there is none to elevate what You may lower, none to lower what You may elevate, no one to exalt him whom You leave in disgrace, no one to bring into disgrace him whom You exalt, no one to prevent him upon whom You bestow Your favor, and no one to bestow anything which You may withhold.
You are Allah, there is no god but You; You existed when there was neither stable sky, nor broad earth, nor brilliant sun, nor dark night, nor bright day, nor vast ocean, nor stable mountain, nor revolving planet, nor luminous moon, nor blowing wind, nor raining cloud, nor flashing lightning, nor praising thunder, nor breathing soul, nor flying bird, nor blazing fire, nor flowing water.
You existed before the existence of all things, You created everything, had power over everything, and originated everything. You enriched some and reduced others to poverty, caused some to die and brought others to life, and made some laugh and others weep. Verily, You rule from the Throne. Blessed and Exalted be You, O Allah. You are Allah save Whom there is no god; the Creator and Supporter.
Your Decree is overpowering, Your Knowledge is operative, Your strategy is wonderful, Your promise is fulfilled, Your saying is true, Your judgment is fair, Your words are right guidance, Your Revelation is light, Your mercy is all-inclusive, Your forgiveness is superb, Your grace is excessive, Your gift is most abundant, Your cord is strong, Your ability is ever ready, Your protege is supported, Your prowess is strong, and Your stratagem is entrapping.
You O my Lord, are the target of all complaints, the present in all gatherings, the witness of all confidential talks, the ultimate goal of all requests, the expeller of all sorrows, the affluence of every needy, the stronghold for every refugee, the security of every fearful, the shield of the weak, the treasure for the indigent, the destroyer of grief, and the helper of the righteous. Such is Allah, our Lord.
There is no god but He. You satisfy such of Your slaves as trust in You. You are the protector of him who has recourse to You and implore You, the haven of him who seeks Your haven, the supporter of him who looks up to You support, the forgiver of sins of him who begs Your forgiveness, the Compeller of the tyrants, the Most Grand of the grand, the Most Great of the great, the Master of masters, the Lord of lords, the Succor of the grieved, the Reliever of the aggrieved, the Responder to the calls of the distressed, the most hearing of the hearers, the most-seeing of all observers, the most just of all judges, the quickest in reckoning, the most merciful of all the merciful, the best of all forgivers, the satisfier of the needs of the faithful, and the succorer of the righteous.
You are Allah, there is no god but You, the Lord of the worlds. You are the Creator and I am a creature, You are the Master and I am a servant, You are the Lord and I am a slave, You are the Provider while I am provided with sustenance, You are the Giver while I am a beggar, You are the Generous while I am a miser, You are the Mighty while I am weak, You are the Noble while I am humble, You are the Independent while I am needy, You are the Master while I am slave, You are the Forgiver of sins while I am sinful, You are the Omniscient while I am ignorant.
You are the forbearing while I am hasty, You are the All-Merciful and I lack mercy, You are the Healer but I am involved in suffering, and You are the Responding and I am the distressed. I bear witness that You are verily Allah, there is no god but You; You bestow favors upon Your slaves before they beseech You.
I bear witness that You are verily Allah, the One, the Peerless, the Unique, the Independent, the Single, and to You is the return. May the blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad and his Household, the immaculate and pure. Forgive my sins, keep my faults concealed, and extend to me Your special and bounteous sustenance.
O most Merciful of all those who show mercy! All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Allah is the Sufficient to us and excellent Protector He is. There is neither might nor power but with Allah, the All-high, the All- great.36
Supplicatory Prayer On Earnest Entreaty And Self-Humbling Before Allah
Imploring earnestly to Almighty Allah and humbling himself before Him, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said the following supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, You are verily my God and I am Your servant. I believe in You sincerely and I commit myself to fulfilling the pledge and promise that I have made with You as much as I can. I repent to You from my evildoings and I implore for Your forgiveness of the sins that none can forgive save You. My humility is now seeking refuge with Your dignity. My poverty is now seeking refuge with Your richness. My impatience is now seeking refuge with Your forbearance.
My defenselessness is now seeking refuge with Your all-powerfulness. My fear is now seeking refuge with Your grant of security. My malady is now seeking refuge with Your remedy. My illness is now seeking refuge with Your healing. My current situation is now seeking refuge with Your predetermined decree. My helplessness is now seeking refuge with Your ability. My sin is now seeking refuge with Your forgiveness. My terminable and mortal face is now seeking refuge with Your Face that is eternal, everlasting, imperishable, and interminable.
O He Whom cannot be concealed by the covering darkness of night, the skies along with their constellations, the thunderous murk, or what is in the bottom of the roaring oceans! O Repelling of the sways of calamities! O Reliever from agonies! O sender down of blessings from above seven skies! I beseech You, O Decider! O He in Whose Hands are the keys of all hoards!
I beseech You to bless Muhammad and the pure and immaculate Household of Muhammad, to open wide before me the entire welfare of this world and the other world, to stand between me and the one whom is given sway over me (i.e. Satan), not to give him free hand over me lest he will lead me to perdition, not to make me depend on myself even for the wink of an eye lest I will fail, not to deprive me of Paradise, to have mercy on me, to make me die as Muslim (i.e. surrendering to Your will), to join me with the righteous ones, and to make me dispense with the illegally gotten provisions through the legally gotten ones and with the worthless things through the good things, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy!
O Allah, You have created hearts to follow Your volition and framed intellects to recognize You. So, minds are shivering in fear of You and hearts are crying in passionate love for You. The scope of hearts, no matter how expansive it is, has fallen short to thank You as exactly as You deserve thanking. Words have fallen short to express the amount of Your excellent attributes. Tongues have fallen short to calculate Your graces.
Whenever they penetrate into the paths of searching for the most exact expression of describing You, they become astounded by the bewilderment of failing to comprehend Your depiction. Thus, they remain too short to trespass the limits You have decided for them, since they are not allowed to exceed what You have ordered them. As they can only whirl in the frame that You have put them in, they praise You for the borders You have decided for them. Tongues are thus expanding to express only what You have dictated to them.
The duty towards You of every one of Your creatures that You have ordered to be servants of You is that they must not be weary of praising You, even if all expressions of praise are too short to thank You for all the graces that You have conferred upon them. Therefore, those who permanently praise You have exerted all their possible efforts in praising You. Those who fell short to carry out their duties towards You adequately have held fast by their expectation of Your pardon.
The fearful have conceived fear of Your Godhead. The seekers of Your bounties have turned their faces towards You with desire for You. The good-doers have ascribed their good deeds to Your favor (that You have conferred upon them and due to which they could do good acts). All of these are meanwhile shading themselves under the hope for Your pardon, humbling themselves in abatement before You in fear of You, and confessing of their failure to thank You as it should be.
However, the shunning of those who have shunned obeying You and the engagement of those who have engaged themselves in disobedience to You have not stopped You from conferring upon them abundant graces, giving them big shares (of Your sustenance), warding off misfortunes from them, warning them against the bad consequences that would bring them nothing but regret, doubling up the rewards for those who act kindly, imposing upon the good-doers thanking You for granting them the opportunity to do good acts, and upon the wrongdoers thanking You for Your kind turns stemming from Your favors, and promising the doers of kind acts with additional kind rewards from You.
All glory be to You! You give rewards for things whose commencement is from You, things that are originated by You, things that You give power to be done, things whose goodness is from none but You, and things that cannot be done unless their doers rely upon You in doing them. All praise be to You; the praise of one who knows for sure that all praise must be due to You and that its beginning is from You and its return is definitely to You. I praise You such praise that does not stop before attaining Your pleasure; the praise of one who aspires for You and accordingly deserves more graces from You.
O Allah, You have supporting matters from Your aid and mercy with which You immunize whomever of Your creatures that You wish (to immunize). So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and give us exclusive portions of Your mercy and of Your supporting matters from Your favors that are the most absolving (of our sins), the most protecting from loss, the most redeeming from perdition, the best guiding to the right path, the most defensive against misfortunes, the most abundant in donations of rewards, the most favorite in blessing-giving, the richest in shares of sustenance, the most profuse of graces, the most covering up of defects, the most concealing of the covertly done things, and the best guaranteeing of forgiveness of sins. Verily, You are Nigh and Responsive.
Please, bless the choicest of Your creatures, the most select from among Your beings, and the trustee on Your revelations (i.e. Prophet Muhammad) with the most favorite blessings and confer upon him with the best of Your benedictions, as a reward for his perfect conveyance of the messages, his declaration openly of what You ordered, his invitations for You, and his presenting the proofs of You with the most manifest truth until death came upon him. May Allah bless him among the past generations!
May Allah bless him among the last generations! May Allah bless his household and the immaculate members of his family! Please, represent him amongst them in the best way You have ever represented any of Your messengers, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy!
O Allah, You have determinations that no other willpower can ever stand against their achievement, because any willpower that opposes Your determinations are in fact too weak to oppose the issuance of these determinations not to mention their achievement.
If You, through one of Your determinations, have decide to pardon, or if You have made one of Your determinations to be a reason for attaining Your favors or bringing down welfare from You, then please bless Muhammad and his Household, perpetuate such determination, and attach perfection to it. Verily, You are Ample in giving, Generous in donating, Responsive to the calls (for You), and Hearer of the prayers.37
Supplicatory Prayer On Holding Allah In Holy Reverence
The following supplicatory prayer is one of the most distinguished and outstanding supplications of Imam Ali (‘a). It comprises such incomparable statements of paying holy reverence to Almighty Allah. It is reported that Imam Ali (‘a) dictated this supplicatory prayer to a man from the prominent and virtuous personalities of Yemen; therefore, it is famously known as du’a' Al-yamani (Supplication of the Yemeni):
O Allah, You are verily the true king save Whom there is no god. I, Your servant, have wronged myself and I am now confessing of my sins that none is worth forgiving them save You. So, please forgive me. O Oft-forgiving! O Multiplier of rewards!
O Allah, I praise You since You are the worthiest of being praised for what You have given me particularly from Your gifts that cover the desires, for what You have reached to me from Your ample favors, for what You have endued me from Your kind acts, for what You have achieved for me concerning my idea about Your justice, for what You have conferred upon me from Your turns that You attached to me, for defending me, for leading me to success, and for responding to my prayers whenever I spoke to You confidentially in supplication and supplicated You in states of grief.
Whenever I beseeched You, I found You setting aright all of my affairs under all circumstances, looking at me with the eye of mercy in all of my issues, forgiving all of my sins, and covering up all of my defects. I have never been deprived of Your prosperity even for a wink of an eye since You have brought me down to this abode of test so that You would see what I would send forth for myself for the enduring abode.
I am now Your manumitted slave whom You have manumitted from all misfortunes and calamities in the sticky hardships and the distresses due to which anxieties jumped on me and afflicted upon me various kinds of hardships and countless varieties of exhausting adversities. I know about You nothing but nice turns and I see nothing from You but favoring. Your welfare to me is comprehensive, Your favors ceaseless, and Your graces connected to each other.
Very frequently, You have not let my anticipation come true; rather, You made my expectation come true. You have been my comrade in journeys, You have conferred honor upon me in my homeland, you have healed all my illnesses and tiresome ailments, You have wrapped my places of turmoil and rest with wellbeing from You, You have not allowed my enemies to gloat over my misfortunes, You have smitten those who had smitten me, and You have saved me from the burdens of my enemies.
So, my praise to You in uninterrupted and my thanks for You are timelessly moving from one age to another with a big variety of glorification of You, and sincerely aimed at remembering You and at attaining Your pleasure with the most ripened profession of Your Oneness and the purest glorification of You with the longest numeration (of the items of Your glory) and the way those who deserve more favors from You glorify You. You never require aid in Your all-powerfulness.
You have never been shared in Your Godhead. Your Essence is never known how it is, so that the various things may be similar to You. You can never be seen, since You have suspended all things on their instincts. Illusions have never been able to penetrate into the screens of the unseen so that they may form a defined idea about Your greatness. The height of the intellectual courage cannot appreciated You, nor can the diving of understanding reach You, nor can the view of any viewer catch a glimpse of You in the glory of Your splendor.
The attributes of Your omnipotence are high above the attributes of the created beings. The grandeur of Your greatness is highly exalted about that. What You decide to augment shall never diminish, and what You decide to diminish shall never augment. None witnessed You when You created the souls.
Illusions are too impotent to explain Your attributes, and intellects are too narrow to comprehend the reality of Your greatness. How can You be described when You are the Omnipotent, the All-sacred, and the One Who has incessantly been eternal and perpetual in the hidden worlds where nothing exists save You and nothing subsists save You?
The most profound methods of thinking are too perplexed to understand Your kingdom; therefore, kings humbled themselves before Your veneration, all faces debased with the humility of surrendering to You, all objects gave themselves over to Your greatness, all things relinquished for Your omnipotence, all necks are nodded down in reverence for You, and then any management for identifying Your attributes proved abortive. Whoever thinks deliberately about this, his sight returns to him confused and fatigued, his intellect astounded, and his intelligence confounded.
O Allah, all praise be to You; praise that is uninterrupted, consistent, and regular; praise that lasts forever and never terminates; praise that is never lost in the divine kingdom, never effaced in any feature, and never decreased in the recognition of You.
All praise be to You; praise whose nobilities cannot be counted; praise be to You in the night when it flees, in the morning when it manifests itself, in the lands and oceans, in the morns and eves, and in the noon and dawn.
O Allah, owing to the success to which You have led me, I have had desire for You and You have made me enjoy Your protection because of my loyalty to You to which You have guided me. I have thus been taking pleasure in Your abundant graces and successive elegances, guarded by You in Your invulnerability and defense, and surrounded by Your safeguard in my place of turmoil and place of rest.
You have never imposed upon me what is beyond the scope of my power, as You have accepted nothing from me save my obedience to You. However, my thanks for You even if I express them tremendously verbally and practically will never attain to the level of adequacy and will never recompense for Your favors, because You are Allah save Whom there is no other god. No hidden thing can ever be hidden from You, no concealed matter can ever conceal itself from You, and no lost thing can ever be missed by You even if it is lost in the murk of the most mysterious spaces. Your command, when You intend anything, is only to say to it, ‘Be!’ So, it comes to be.
O Allah, all praise be to You; the same praise by which You have praised Yourself, and the same praise by which You are praised by those who incessantly praise You, those who glorify You, those who profess Your greatness, and those who profess Your magnitude.
I thus praise You with such praise that every single item of it that is as swift as a wink of an eye and even less than that will be resembling the praise of all those who praise You, the profession of Your Oneness that is professed by all of the various species of Your creatures that are sincere to You, the sanctification of all of the varieties of the gnostic ones, the thanking of all of those who profess that there is no god save You; and resembling the praise of all of Your beings that You alone know. I also desire for You to gain the reward of the praise that You have enabled me to expresst. How easy the duty that You have impose upon me is, but how great Your promised rewards for my thanks for You are!
Out of Your favoring and honoring, You have taken the initiative to confer Your graces upon me, ordered me to thank You for them although I have to thank You truly and fairly, promised to give me many folds and even more, provided me with Your provisions so that I may take lesson and regard Your favors, ordered me to give back a little and small amount of it (in charity and as alms), and promised to give me in recompense an abundant reward.
You have also released me from the tedious hardships and You have not left me alone with Your tribulations along with the wellbeing that You have granted me (due to which I have had the ability to undergo these hardships soundly) and the honoring donations with which You have bestowed me.
Then, You have doubled up Your favors to me although You have already put in me the ability to follow the straight path, made easy for me to attain the high and exalted rank (with You), and chosen me to follow the greatest of all of Your prophets in invitation and the best of them in intercession; namely, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his Household.
O Allah, please forgive me these sins that cannot be covered up by any other thing than Your forgiveness, cannot be cleared by any other thing than Your pardon, and cannot be atoned by any other thing than Your favor. On this day of mine, please grant me certitude by which You may alleviate the misfortunes and anguishes of this world that are afflicted upon me, by means of giving me yearning for You and desire for what You have in possession.
Please, put my name down in the list of Your forgiveness, make me achieve honor from You, and endue me with thanking You for the graces You have conferred upon me, for You are Allah the One, the Elevated, the Originator, the Fashioner, the All-hearing, and the All-knowing. There is nothing to repel Your decrees and there is nothing to deter from the realization of Your acts.
I bear witness that You are my Lord and the Lord of all things, You are the Originator of the heavens and the earth, the Knower of the unseen and the seen, the Most High, and the Most Great.
O Allah, I beseech You for steadfastness on my affairs, determination on right guidance, and thanks for Your grace. I seek Your protection against the despotism of every unjust one, the transgression of every transgressor, and the envy of every envious one.
Through You only can I fall upon the enemies, and from You only do I hope for loyalty to the most cherished saints of You, not to mention the donations of Your favors, the varieties of Your sustenance, and the colors of Your endowments that I can neither calculate nor numerate, because You are Allah save Whom there is no god, Whose aids are widespread among the creatures, Whose Hand is stretched with magnanimity, Whose judgments can never be countered, and Whose decrees can never be rivaled. You possess from the created beings whatever You will to possess, but they can possess nothing but that which You want them to possess.
‘Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty! You give sovereignty to whom You will, and You withdraw sovereignty from whom You will. You exalt whom You will, and You abase whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. Lo! You are Able to do all things. You cause the night to pass into the day, and You cause the day to pass into the night. And You bring forth the living from the dead, and You bring forth the dead from the living. And You give sustenance to whom You choose, without stint.’
You are the All-benign, the Favorer, the Creator, the Maker, the All-powerful, the Overcoming, and the All-holy in the light of sacredness. You dress glory and almightiness, You are great due to Your grandeur, You are covered with light and brilliance, and You are enclosed with awe and sublimity.
O Allah, to You alone be the great praise, the eternal favoring, the inspiring authority, the liberal magnanimity, and the overpowering omnipotence, for You have made me one of the best descendants of Adam and You have made me able to hear, able to see, sound, unblemished, and enjoy wellbeing.
You have not preoccupied me with a defect in my physique. Your honoring me, Your good turns to me, and Your great favors to me have not stopped You from providing me with sufficient provisions in this world and from preferring me to many of the inhabitants of it (i.e. this world).
So, You have made for me the sense of hearing with which I can hear Your verses and You have given me an intellect that can recognize Your greatness. I thus praise You for these, out of Your favor to me (i.e. the favor of enabling me to thank You), thank You for them, out of my efforts (which are also from You), and bear witness to my duty towards You.
You are verily the Ever-living Who existed before all existent things, the Ever-living Who shall endure after the extinction of all existent things, the Ever-living Who has not inherited life from any existent thing. You have never stopped Your prosperity from reaching me even for a time that is as swift as a wink of an eye and all times unexceptionally. You have not wreaked upon me the penal chastisements.
You have not changed even the most minute item of Your protection of me. If I mention nothing of Your good turns except Your pardon, Your response to my prayers whenever I raised my head towards You with statements of praising and glorifying You, and Your giving me shares of Your sustenance when You measured, then all praise must be due to You; praise that is as copious as what Your knowledge retains, as abundant as what Your omnipotence envelops, and as expansive as what Your mercy embraces.
O Allah, please make perfect Your good turns to me for the rest of my lifetime in the same way as You did in my past lifetime. I thus beg You in the name of Your being One, Most Glorified, Most Praised, One and Only God, Most Great, Most Grand, Source of all light, Most Clement, Most Merciful, Most High, Most Splendid, Most Majestic, Most Brilliant, Owner of all authority, and Most Powerful, and in the name of Muhammad and his immaculate Household.
I beg You not to deprive me of Your donations and gifts, since the hindrances of misery never befall You, because of Your immense donating, the negligence in thanking Your graces never decreases Your magnanimity, and Your favors never consume the hoards of Your gifts. You never grudge for fear of fall to poverty, and fear of expiration never attaches You to make You reduce Your profuse blessings.
O Allah, please provide me with a submissive heart, a true certitude, and an oft-remembering tongue. Do not make me secure from Your scheme, do not remove Your covering from me, do not make me neglect remembering You, do not draw me away from Your vicinity, do not deprive me of Your entire mercy, and do not make me despair of Your comfort. Be my entertainment at every (situation of) loneliness, protect me, and save me from all tribulations. Verily, You never break Your promise.
O Allah, please raise me, but never lower me. Give me more, but never reduce Your gifts to me. Show me mercy, but never punish me. Grant me victory, but never disappoint me. Prefer me to all others, but never prefer others to me. Please, send blessings and very much benediction on Muhammad and his pure and immaculate Household.38
Brief Supplicatory Prayer On Humbling Before Allah
Imam Ali (‘a) says in supplication,
O Allah, You are the most attached to Your intimate servants and the most ready to assist those who trust in You. You see them in their concealments, know whatever is in their consciences, and are aware of the extent of their intelligence. Consequently, their secrets are open to You and their hearts are eager from You.
If loneliness bores them, remembering of You gives them solace. If distresses befall them, they beseech for Your protection, because they know that the reins of affairs are in Your hands, and that their movements depend upon Your commands.
O Allah, if I am unable to express my request or I cannot see my needs, then guide me towards my betterment and take my heart towards the correct goal. This is not against (the mode of) Your guidance nor anything new against Your ways of support.
O Allah, please deal with me through Your forgiveness and do not deal with me according to Your justice.39
Supplicatory Prayer On Showing Humility Before Allah
The following supplicatory prayer comprises outstanding statements of showing humility before Almighty Allah:
O Allah! O He through Whose mercy sinners seek aid! O He to Whose beneficence the distressed flee! O He in fear of Whom the offenders weep! O Comfort of every lonely stranger! O Relief of all who are downcast and distressed! O Aid of everyone disappointed and alone! O Support of every needy outcast!
You are He Who embraces everything in mercy and knowledge! You are He Who has appointed for each creature a share of Your favors! You are He Whose pardon is higher than His punishment! You are He Whose mercy runs before His wrath!
You are He Whose bestowal is greater than His withholding! You are He Whose pardon embraces all the creatures! You are He Who desires no repayment from him upon whom He bestows! You are He Who does not overdo the punishment of him who disobeys You!
And, O my Lord, I am Your servant whom You commanded to supplicate and who thus said, ‘I am at Your service and at Your disposal, O my Master! Here I am, O my Lord, thrown down before You. I am Your servant whose back offenses have weighed down! I am he whose lifetime sins have consumed! I am he who was disobedient to You due to his ignorance, while You did not deserve that from him! Will You.
O my Master, be merciful toward him who supplicates You, so that I shall bring my supplication before You painstakingly? Will You forgive him who weeps to You, so that I shall hurry to weep? Will You show forbearance toward him who puts his face in the dust before You in humility? Will You free him who complains to You of his indigent need with confidence?
O Allah, please, do not disappoint him who finds no bestower other than You, and do not abandon him who cannot dispense with You and depend on any other one.
O Allah, please, do not turn away from me when I have turned my face toward You, do not deprive me (of Your pardon) when I have besought You, and do not slap my brow with rejection when I have stood before You!
You are He Who has described Himself as merciful and You are He Who has named Yourself as pardoner; so, please have mercy upon me and pardon me. You have seen, O my Master, the flow of my tears in fear of You, the throbbing of my heart in dread of You, and the infirmity of my limbs in awe of You. All this is originated from my shame before You because of my evil deeds and from my shyness from You due to the numerous sins that I have committed. My tongue is thus too failing to speak to You confidentially and my voice is too muted to cry to You.
O My God, too many are my flaws that You have covered and thus You have not exposed me. Too many are my sins that You have cloaked and thus You have not made me notorious sinner.
Too many are the faults that I have committed; yet, You have not torn away from me their covering, You have not collared me with their detested disgrace, You have not demonstrated (before others) their unpleasant defects, You have not made their dishonor plain to those of my neighbors who search for my defects and to those who envy Your favors to me. Nevertheless, this did not make me stop committing these sins until I have committed eviler sins than these which You know from me!
So, O my God, who can be more ignorant than I am about Your leading to the right guidance?
Who can me more heedless than I am of his own good fortune that has been given by You?
Who can be further than I am from seeking to set himself aright, for I have spent the provision that You delivered to me in disobedience to You, which You have prohibited me to do?
Who sinks more deeply into falsehood than I am?
Who is more intensely audacious in evil than I am, for I have hesitated between Your call and the call of Satan, and then I have followed Satan’s call without being blind in my knowledge of his reality or forgetful in my memory of him, while I am certain that Your call takes to Paradise while Satan’s call takes to Hellfire?
All glory be to You! How strange the witness that I bear against my own soul is and how strange the enumeration of my own hidden affairs is!
However, what is even stranger than this is that You slow down in reproving me and You act forbearingly towards me! Yet, that is not because that I may possess honor with You, but because You wait patiently for me and You are bountiful toward me that I may refrain from disobeying You and because to pardon me is more favorable to You than punishing me.
However, O my God, I am more numerous in sins, uglier in footsteps, more repulsive in acts, more reckless in rushing into falsehood, weaker in awakening to Your obedience, and less attentive and heedful toward Your threats than that I could number for You my faults or have the power to recount my sins. I only scold my own soul, craving for Your gentleness, through which the affairs of sinners are set aright, and hoping for Your mercy, through which the necks of the offenders are freed.
O Allah, this is my neck enslaved by sins; so, please release it through Your pardon. This is my back overloaded with offenses; so, please lighten it through Your kindness.
O Allah, were I to weep to You until my eyelids drop off, wail until my voice wears out, stand before You in obedience until my feet swell up, bow to You devotionally until my backbone is thrown out of joint, prostrate myself before You in submission until my eyeballs fall out, eat the dirt of the earth for my whole lifetime, drink the water of ashes until the end of my days, mention You through all of that until my tongue fails, and not lift my glance to the sky’s horizons in shame before You, yet I would not merit through all of that the erasing of a single one of my evil deeds.
Even though You may forgive me when I merit Your forgiveness and pardon me when I deserve Your pardon, yet I have no title to that through what I deserve, nor am I worthy of it through merit, since what I deserve from You since my first act of disobedience to You is Hellfire. So, if You now punish me, You will then do me no wrong.
O my God, as You have shielded me with Your covering and not exposed me, waited patiently for me through Your generosity and not hurried to punish me, and shown me clemency through Your bounty and thus You have not changed Your favor upon me or muddied Your kindly acts toward me, so please have mercy on my drawn out pleading, my intense misery, and my evil situation.
O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, save me from acts of disobedience to You, employ me in obedience to You, provide me with excellent turning back to You, purify me through repentance, strengthen me through preservation from sin, set me aright through wellbeing, provide me with the sweet taste of forgiveness, make me the freedman of Your pardon, and write for me a security from Your displeasure.
Please, give me the good news of that in the immediate but not the deferred good news that I can recognize and make known to me therein a sign which I may clearly see. Verily, this will not constrain You in Your plenty and will not tire You in Your greatness. Verily, You have the power over all things.40
Supplicatory Prayer On Submission And Yielding Before Allah
The following supplicatory prayer is one of the literary pieces in which Imam
Ali (‘a) shows submission and reverence to Almighty Allah:
O my God, if I praise you, then this will be due to Your gifts to me. If I glorify You, then this will be under Your will. If I beseech You, then this will be due to the power that You have given to me. If I declare that there is no god save You, then this will be due to the strength with which You have endued me. If I want to fix my eyes on something, then I must fix them on Your mercy. If I want to lower my gaze, then I lower it to see Your graces.
O my God, whoever is not preoccupied with remembering You by inclination to You and is not making his destination in all of his journeys draw him nearer to You, his life is in fact considered death for him, and his death will be source of regret for him.
O my God, the views of those who observe You attained seeing You through the secrets of hearts, and the hearings of those who can hear You are open wide enough to hear You through the innermost parts of their intellects. Then, their sights have not been deterred from what they wanted.
When the screens of inattentiveness that prevented them from seeing You were ripped apart, they dwelt in Your Light and respired Your breath. So, their hearts have become plantations of love for You, and their sights have become centers of Your power. And when You drew their souls nearer to Your Holiness, they sat in Your Name with the most reverent session and with the most submissive addressing.
Then, You received them with the reception of the compassionate, listened to them with the listening of the lenient, responded to them with the response of the intimate friends, and spoke to them as confidentially as close friends speak to each other.
So, please help me attain the position to which these people have reached, and do not leave any door unlocked between me and the kingdom of Your almightiness or any screen of inattentiveness unopened between me and You, so that You will lodge my soul in the midst of the light of Your Throne and grant it a position in the face of Your illumination. Verily, You have power over all things.
O Allah, how dreadful the road on which my hope for You does not accompany me is! How long the journey during which my expectation for You is not my guide is! Disappointed indeed is he who holds fast by any rope other than Yours. Weak indeed is he who leans on any post other than Yours. O He Who instructs those who have put their hopes in Him how to put their hopes in Him so that the distress of fear will detach them, please do not deprive me of the most righteous deeds.
Please, put me under the shield of those who have lacked any way out to redemption. How can the humility of poverty attach those who put their hopes in You, while You are too rich to be affected by the harms that the sinful bring about to themselves?
O my God, every sweetness comes to an end, but the sweetness of belief in You is ever increasing, because it is affixed to You. My heart has stretched out its hope for You; so, please make it taste the sweetness of Your making it attain what it has hoped from You. Verily, You have power over all things.
O my God, I beseech You with the beseeching of one who recognizes for sure that You are the source of each and every item of prosperity that a faithful believer must find, and I seek Your protection against every evil and seditious matter against which You have protected Your creatures that You love. Verily, You have power over all things.
O my God, I beseech You with the beseeching of a poor man who is confused where to put his hope; therefore, he cannot find any shelter or prop through which he can reach You, since the shelter and the prop are the only means that You have decided to take to You, to Your posts, and to Your ranks that You never cancel.
So, I beseech You by Your Name in which You presented Yourself to Your elite servants; therefore, they professed Your Unity and recognized You as truly as You are, [I beseech You] to make me recognize You so that I will admit Your Lordship according to the true way of believing in You.
O my God, please, do not make me of those who worship the Name but not the meaning (of it); rather, send upon me one of Your views through which You fill in my heart with the illumination of recognizing You in a special way and recognizing Your true saints. Verily, You have power over all things.41
Supplicatory Prayer On Devoutness And Humble Entreaty To Allah
Imam Ali (‘a) used to pray to Almighty Allah with the following words:
O Allah, I praise You and You are the worthiest to be praised for Your excellent acts to me, Your permanent compassion towards me, Your light to which You have attached me, Your mercy that You have assigned to me, and Your favors that You have conferred upon me abundantly.
You, O my Master, have done to me good turns due to which it becomes incumbent on me to dedicate all of my efforts to You and [it becomes incumbent upon me] to thank You for Your nice pardoning, Your eternal kindness to me, Your consecutive graces that You are pouring on me, and Your successive bestowals that You are transferring to me. Although I have not attained the rank for which I may deserve what You are presenting to me and I have not achieved self-reformation, You.
O my Lord, have taken the initiative to covering me with Your kindness. You therefore guided me to Your religion, introduced Yourself to me, and made me stand steadfastly all of the hardships that inflicted me, by means of Your redemption and good turns. So, You saved me from the tiresome tribulations and prevented the cautious acts from reaching me. I remember from You nothing but kind acts and I see from You nothing but favors.
O my God, too many are the tribulations and troubles that You have fended off from me and made me see how these tribulations affected other people. Too many are the graces by which You gave me delight of the eye. Too many are the excellent acts that You have done to me.
O my God, It is You Who respond to my prayers when I am distressed. It is You Who relieve me from agonies when sorrows attack me. It is You Who take vengeance on my enemies when they wrong me. I have never, and I will never find You away from me whenever I need You, or find You giving no answer to me whenever I beseech You, or find You turning away from me whenever I pray to You.
O my God, Your acts to me are always praiseworthy, Your excellent deeds with me are always effective, and Your exploits with me are always nice. Praising You are my tongue, my intellect, my limbs, and all the parts of my body that the earth carries.
O my Master, I beseech You in the name of Your Light that You derived from Your greatness and in the name of Your greatness that You derived from Your will, and I beseech You by Your Name that is highly exalted, to grant me the favor of thanking You as adequately as it is incumbent upon me.
O Lord, how caring I am for what You have encouragingly ordered me to forsake. If You do not help me act ascetically in the affairs appertained to this world and act piously in the issues appertained to the other world, I will certainly expose myself to perdition.
O Lord, when the seductive harvests of this world, such as women and children, called on me, I responded to them without hesitation and inclined towards them obediently; but when the heralds of the other world, such as asceticism and painstaking work for You, invited me, I stumbled and I did not rush to them in the same way as I have rushed to the inactive wreckage, the mortal straw, and the swiftly transient mirage (of the world).
O Lord, You have warned me (against disobedience to You), awaken my desires (for Your rewards), and provided overwhelming arguments against me; yet, I have not feared You as You should be feared. I now fear lest I have slowed in working for You and I have been careless to any part of Your suspension (of punishing me).
O Allah, please make all of my efforts in this world to be sincerely dedicated to You and to obedience to You, fill my heart with fear of You, change my slowness, negligence, carelessness, and whatever I fear for myself into dread of You, steadfastness in obeying You, and working towards You, O Lord of majesty and honoring! Please, make my shield against wrongdoing invulnerable and the rewards for my good deeds multipliable, for You verily give increase manifold to whom You will.
O Allah, make my ranks in Paradise high. I seek Your protection, O my Lord, against excessive eating and drinking. I seek Your protection, O my Lord, against the evil of what I know and the evil of what I do not know. I seek Your protection from all indecencies, both the apparent and the hidden.
I seek Your protection lest I purchase ignorance with knowledge, just as some others do, or purchase intolerance with forbearance, or purchase impatience with patience, or purchase straying off with true guidance, or purchase disbelief with belief. O Lord, please confer that upon me, for You befriend the righteous ones and You never waste the wages of the good-doers. All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.42
One of the most illustrious supplicatory prayers of Imam Ali (‘a) is the one known as Du’a' Kumayl (The Supplication of Kumayl), because Kumayl reported it from Imam Ali (‘a) who used to say it at the nights of mid- Sha’ban. Imam Ali (‘a) then dictated the statements of the supplication to Kumayl.
The supplication is characterized by delicate style, charming phrases, and elegant diction. It also comprises the most wonderful pictures of submission and humbleness before Almighty Allah.
Faithful believers have devoted themselves to reciting this supplicatory prayer on Friday nights. Because of the important topics of the supplication, it has been translated into many languages. Besides, many scholars have written books comprising commentaries on this supplication. However, the most important of these books may be the one entitled aswa' ‘Ala du’a' kumayl by His Eminence Sayyid ‘Izz Al-Din Bahr Al-’Ulum.
Du’a' Kumayl reads as follows:
In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful. O Allah, I ask You by Your mercy, which embraces all things, by Your strength, through which You dominate all things toward which all things are humble, and before which all things are lowly, by Your invincibility through which You overwhelm all things, by Your might, which nothing can resist, by Your tremendousness, which has filled all things, by Your authority, which towers over all things, by Your face, which subsists after the annihilation of all things, by Your Names, which have filled the areas of all things, by Your knowledge, which encompasses all things, and by the light of Your Face, through which all things are illumined! O Light! O All-holy! O First of those who are first and Last of those who are last!
When people break their promises, Allah will give their enemies those sins which alter blessings!45 O Allah, forgive me those sins, which hold back supplication!46 O Allah, forgive me those sins, which cut down hopes!47 O Allah, forgive me those sins which draw down tribulation).48
O Allah, forgive me every sin I have committed and every mistake I have made!
O Allah, verily I seek nearness to You through remembrance of You, I seek intercession from You with Yourself, and I ask You in the name of Your munificence to bring me near to Your proximity, to provide me with gratitude toward You, and to inspire me with Your remembrance.
O Allah, verily I ask You with the asking of a submissive, abased, and lowly man to show me forbearance, to have mercy on me, and to make me satisfied and content with Your appointment and humble in every state.
O Allah, I ask You the beseeching of one whose indigence is extreme, who has stated to You in difficulties his need, and whose desire for what is with You has become great.
O Allah, Your authority is tremendous, Your place is lofty, Your plan is hidden, Your command is manifest, Your domination is overwhelming, Your power is unhindered and escape from Your governance is impossible.
O Allah, I find no forgiver of my sins, nor concealer of my ugly acts, nor transformer of any of my ugly acts into good acts but You been audacious in my ignorance, and depended upon Your eternal good turn to me and Your favor toward me.
O Allah! O my Protector! Too many are the ugly things You have concealed! Too many are the burdensome tribulations You have abolished! Too many are the stumbles You have prevented! Too many are the ordeals You have repelled! Too much is the beautiful praise, of which I was unworthy, You have spread abroad!
O Allah, my tribulation is tremendous, my bad state is excessive, my acts are inadequate, my fetters have tied me down, my far-fetched hopes have held me back from my gain, this world has seduced me with its delusions, and my own soul and delay with its offences.
O my Master! So, I ask You by Your might not to let my evil works and acts veil my supplication from You, not to disgrace me through the hidden things You know of my secrets, not to hasten punishment to me for what I have done in private, such as my evil acts in secrecy and my misdeeds, my continuous negligence, my ignorance, my manifold passions, and my forgetfulness.
By Your might, O Allah, be kind to me in all states, and be gracious to me in all affairs! O my God and Lord! Whom do I have other than You from whom to ask removal of my affliction and regard for my affairs?
My God and Protector! You put into effect through me a decree in which I followed the caprice of my own soul and I did not remain wary of adorning my enemy. So, he deluded me through my soul's caprice and therein destiny favored him.
So, in what was put into effect through me in that situation, I transgressed some of Your statutes and disobeyed some of Your commands. So, Yours is the argument against me in all of that and I have no argument in what Your destiny put into effect through me therein nor in what Your decree and Your test imposed upon me.
Now, I have come to You, My God, after my shortcoming and immoderation toward myself, proffering my excuse, regretful, broken, apologizing, asking forgiveness, repenting, acknowledging, submissive, and confessing. I find no place to flee from what I have shown nor any place of escape to which I may turn in my affairs other than Your acceptance of my excuse and Your entering me into the compass of Your mercy.
O Allah, so accept my excuse, have mercy upon the severity of my affliction, and release me from the tightness of my fetters.
My Lord, have mercy upon the weakness of my body, the thinness of my skin, and the frailty of my bones. O You Who gave rise to my creation, to the remembrance of me, to the nurture of me, to goodness toward me, and to nourishment on me! (please) Bestow upon me for the sake of Your having given rise [to me] with generosity and Your previous goodness to me!
O my God, Master, and Lord! Will You torment me with Your fire after I have professed Your Unity, and after the knowledge of You my heart has embraced, the remembrance of You my tongue has constantly mentioned, the love of You to which my mind has clung, and the sincerity of my confession and my supplication, humble before Your lordship?
Far be it from You! You are too generous to squander him whom You have nurtured, banish him whom You have brought nigh, drive away him whom You have given an abode, or submit to tribulation him whom You have saved and shown mercy.
Would that I knew, my Master, God, and Protector! Will You give the Fire dominion over faces fallen down prostrate before Your Tremendousness, over tongues voicing sincerely the profession of Your Unity and giving thanks to You in praise, over hearts acknowledging Your Divinity through verification, over minds encompassing knowledge of You until they have become humble, over organs speeding to the places of Your worship in obedience and beckoning for Your forgiveness in submission? No such opinion is held of You nor has such been reported thanks to Your bounty concerning You.
O All-generous! My Lord! You know my weakness before a little of this world's tribulations and punishments, and before those ordeals which befall its inhabitants, even though it is a tribulation and ordeal whose stay is short, subsistence is little, and period is fleeting.
How can I then endure the tribulations of the next world and the great ordeals that occur within it? It is a tribulation whose period is long, station endures, and sufferers are given no respite, since it only occurs as a result of Your wrath, vengeance, and anger, which cannot be withstood by the heavens and the earth.
O Master, so what about me? For I am Your weak, lowly, base, wretched, and miserable slave.
My God! My Lord! My Master! My Protector! For which things would I complain to You? For which of them would I lament and weep? For the pain and severity of chastisement? Or for the length and period of tribulation?
So, if You take me to the punishments with Your enemies, gather me with the people of Your tribulation, and separate me from Your friends and saints, then suppose My God, Master, Protector, and Lord that I am able to endure Your chastisement, how can I endure separation from You? Suppose that I am able to endure the heat of Your fire, how can I endure not gazing upon Your generosity?
How can I dwell in the Fire while my hope is Your pardon? So by Your might, my Master and protector, I swear sincerely, if You leave me with speech, I will lament to You from the midst of the Fire's inhabitants with lamentation of the hopeful, I will cry to You with the cry of those crying for help, I will weep to You with the weeping of the bereft, and I will call to You: Where are You, O Sponsor of the believers, O Goal of the hopes of those who yearn for recognizing You, O Aide of those who seek assistance, O Friend of the hearts of the sincere, O God of all the world’s inhabitants!
Will You Glory be to You O My God, and Yours is all praise hear therein the voice of a slave surrendered to You, imprisoned there because of his violations, tasting the favor of its torment because of his disobedience, and confined within its layers because of his sin and crime, while he laments to You with the lament of one hopeful for Your mercy, calls to You with the tongue of those who profess Your Unity, and entreats You by Your lordship!
My Protector, so how should he remain in the chastisement while he has hope for Your previous clemency? How should the Fire cause him pain while he expects Your bounty and mercy? How should its flames burn him while You hear his voice and see his place? How should its groaning encompass him while You know his weakness?
How should he be convulsed among its levels while You know his sincerity? How should its keepers torture him while he calls out to You, O Lord? How should he have hope for Your bounty in freeing him from it while You abandon him therein? Far be it from You! That is not what is expected from You nor what is well-known of Your bounty, nor is it similar to the goodness and kindness You have shown to those who profess Your Unity.
So, I declare with certainty that were it not for what You have decreed concerning the chastisement of Your deniers and what You have foreordained concerning the everlasting home of those who stubbornly resist, You would make the Fire, entirely, coolness and safety, and no one would have a place of rest or abode within it.
But You holy are Your Names have sworn that You will fill it with the unbelievers, both jinn and men together, and place those who stubbornly resist therein forever. Moreover, You majestic is Your eulogy said at the beginning and were gracious through kindness as a favor: ‘What? Is he who has been believer like him who has been ungodly? They are not equal.’
My God and Master! So I ask You by the power You have apportioned, the decision You have determined and imposed and through which You have overcome him toward whom it has been put into effect, that You forgive me in this night and at this hour every offence I have committed, every sin I have performed, every ugly thing I have concealed, and every folly I have enacted whether I have hidden, announced, concealed, or manifested it, every evil act which You have commanded the noble writers to record, those whom You have appointed to watch over what appears from me, whom You have made, along with my organs, witness against me, and You were the Watcher over me from behind them and the Witness of what is hidden from them, but through Your mercy You concealed it, and through Your bounty You veiled it, bestow upon me an abundant share of every good You end down, kindness You confer, goodness You unfold, provision You spread out, sin You forgive, or error You cover up.
My Lord! My Lord! My Lord! My God! My Master! My Protector! Owner of my bondage! O He in Whose Hand is my forelock! O He Who knows my affliction and my misery! O He Who is aware of my poverty and indigence!
My Lord! My Lord! My Lord! I beseech You in the name of Your Truth, Holiness, and the greatest of Your Attributes and Names, to make my times in the night and the day inhabited by Your remembrance, and joined to Your service, and to make my works acceptable to You, so that my works and litanies may all be a single litany, and my occupation with Your service everlasting.
My Master! O He upon Whom I depend! O He to Whom I complain about my states!
My Lord! My Lord! My Lord! Strengthen my organs in Your service, fortify my ribs in determination, bestow upon me earnestness in my fear of You and continuity in my being joined to Your service so that I may move easily toward You in the fields of the foremost, hurry to You among the prominent, desire fervently Your proximity among the fervently desirous, move nearer to You with the nearness of the sincere, fear You with the fear of those who have certitude, and gather with the believers in Your vicinity.
O Allah, whoever desires evil for me, desire [it] for him! Whoever deceives me, deceive him! Make me one of Your most excellent slaves in portion in Your decree, the nearest of them in station to You, and the most elected in proximity to You, for that cannot be attained except by Your bounty.
Grant generously to me through Your munificence, incline toward me with Your splendor, protect me with Your mercy, make my tongue remember You without ceasing and my heart enthralled by Your love, be gracious to me by answering me favorably, nullify my slips, and forgive my lapses! For You have decreed Your worship for Your servants, commanded them to supplicate You, and assured them that they would be answered.
So, toward You, O my Lord, I have turned my face, and toward You, O my Lord, I have extended my hand. So, in the name of Your might, respond to my supplication, make me attain my desires, do not severe my hoping for Your favors, and spare me the evil of my enemies from among the jinn and men!
O He Whose pleasure is quickly achieved, forgive him who owns nothing but supplication, for You do what You will. O He Whose Name is a remedy, Whose remembrance is a cure, and Whose obedience is wealth, have mercy upon him whose capital is hope and whose weapon is tears!
O Ample in blessings! O Repelling of adversities! O Light of those who are lonely in the darkness! O Knower Who was never taught! Bless Muhammad and Muhammad's household, and do to me what is worthy of You! May Allah bless His Messenger and the holy Imams of his household, and give them abundant peace!49
Imam Ali (‘a) paid much attention to supplicating Almighty Allah during performing the devotional rituals. As his heart was full of love for Almighty Allah, the Imam’s most favorite times were definitely the times of performing and offering the religious obligatory and recommended acts. Let us now present his supplicatory prayers that are attached to these devotional rituals:
The ritual ablution (wuzu') is one of the obligatory introductions to the performance of the prayers whose acceptance is contingent upon performing the ablution as accurately as prescribed by Almighty Allah.
When it precedes an obligatory prayer, the ritual ablution is obligatory, but it may be recommended when it is performed with the intention of attaining the state of ceremonial purity. The ritual ablution consists of a number of recommended and obligatory acts. Upon performing every single act of the ritual ablution, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say a definite supplicatory prayer, as follows:
Upon rinsing out the mouth with a handful of water three time,50 Imam Ali (‘a) would say each time this supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, (please) make me receive my proof on the Day when I will meet You, and cause my tongue to be eloquent with mention of You.51
Upon inhaling water from the nose,52 Imam Ali (‘a) used would say this supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, do not ban me from (smelling) the scent of Paradise; rather, make me of those who smell its scent, nice breathe, and fragrance.53
Upon starting washing his face as obligatory part of the ritual ablution, Imam Ali (‘a) would say this supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, (please) whiten my face on the day when faces will turn black and do not blacken my face on the day when (other) faces will turn white.54
Upon washing his right hand, which is within the obligatory acts of the ritual ablution, Imam Ali (‘a) would say:
O Allah, (please) give me my Record (of deeds) in my right hand and immortality in the gardens of Paradise in my left hand, and make me take my account by an easy reckoning.55
Upon washing the left hand, Imam Ali (‘a) would say this supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, do not give me my Record of Deeds in my left hand nor from my back; and do not cause my hand to be chained to my neck. I also pray Your protection against the severing flames of Hellfire.56
When Imam Ali (‘a) would rub his head with water as an obligatory act of the ritual ablution, he would say this supplication:
O Allah, (please) overshadow me with Your mercy, blessings, and pardon.57
When the Imam (‘a) would rub his feet with water as the last obligatory act of the ritual ablution, he would say this supplication:
O Allah, (please) make me stand firm on the Discriminating Bridge (sirat ) on the day when many feet will slip and cause all of my efforts to be in what brings about Your satisfaction with me. O Lord of Majesty and Honoring!58
Prayer is the pillar of the religion and the offering of the pious. Imam Ali (‘a) was passionately fond of offering prayers under all conditions. He used to offer all the supererogatory prayers. At the most horrible night of the Battle of Siffin, he offered a prayer in the center of the battlefield while arrows were overtaking him from both sides. When one of his companions criticized him for that, the Imam (‘a) answered,
We are fighting these people for nothing but the performance of the prayers.
Historicists state that Imam Ali (‘a) used to offer prayer in most of the times of his lifetime regularly.
Describing Imam Ali’s prayers, Imam Zayn Al-’Abidin (‘a), who was known for his unparalleled devotion and piety, is reported to have said,
There is no way to compare my devotion to the devotion of my grandfather Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Let us now present some supplications that Imam Ali (‘a) used to say bfore, during, and after the ritual prayers:
Just before uttering the takbirat Al-ihram statement,59 Imam Ali (‘a) would say this supplicatory prayer:
O Munificent, I the wrongdoer have come to You. As You have ordered the munificent ones to overlook the wrongdoers, and as You are the All- munificent while I am a wrongdoer, so please, in the name of Muhammad and his Household, bless Muhammad and his Household and overlook the hideous deeds that You know about me.60
The best part of a ritual prayer is the prostration. A tradition has it that in the posture of prostration, a servant is in the closest state to Almighty Allah.
In this connection, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say a number of supplicatory prayers while he prostrated himself before the Lord. Let us now refer to some of these supplications:
(1) Al-Asbagh ibn Nubatah has reported that Imam Ali (‘a) used to say this supplicatory prayer in his prostrations:
I am speaking to You, O my Master, as confidentially as a humble servant speaks to his lord. I ask from You just like the asking of one who knows for sure that You always give and that no request can reduce any amount of what You have in possession. I implore for Your forgiveness just like the imploration of one who knows for sure that none can forgive the sins except You. I put my trust in You just like the putting of one who knows for sure that You have power over all things.61
(2) Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq (‘a) reported that his grandfather, Imam Ali (‘a), used to say this supplicatory prayer in prostration:
O Allah, I pray for Your protection against that You may put me to a test due to which I may pollute myself with any act of disobedience to You. O Allah, please do not make me need any of Your evil and lowly creatures. If You decide to make me need someone, then please make my need to be for the most receptive, the most well-mannered, the most handsome, the most magnanimous (in meeting my need), the most expressive, the most liberal, and the least to put me under obligation for meeting my need.62
(3) Imam Ali (‘a) is also reported to have said this supplicatory prayer regularly in prostrations:
O Allah, (please do) have mercy on my humiliation before You, on my earnest imploring to You, on my loneliness among people, and on my amiability with You. O All-generous! Verily, I am Your servant and I can move only under Your control. O Lord of favoring, graces, magnanimity, richness, and honoring, please have mercy on my weakness and old age against Hellfire, O All-generous!63
‘Adi ibn hatam Al-ta’i reports:
One day, I visited Imam Ali (‘a) and found him standing up in a prayer while he was pale out of reverence. Except for the Messenger of Allah (S), I have never seen any other person offering more prayers that Imam Ali (‘a). I then moved towards him. When he felt my coming towards him, he made a signal for me, ordering me to stop at my place.
Then, the Imam (‘a) offered a two- unit prayer briefly. Upon accomplishment, he prostrated himself for such a considerable time that I thought that he had fallen to sleep. When he raised his head from prostration, I could hear him saying this supplication:
There is no god save Allah, indeed, indeed. There is no god save Allah, (a sign of) having faith in and giving credence to Him. There is no god save Allah, (a sign of) worshipping and serving Him. O He Who grants honor to the believers through His authority! O He Who humiliates the potentates through His greatness!
You are my haven when I fail to find any course to follow and when calamities afflict me, causing the expansive earth to be narrow in my sight. You, O my Master, created me as mercy that You have shown to me. Had it not been for Your mercy (to me), I would certainly have been of the perishing ones. You are my supporter with victory over my enemies. Had it not been for Your support, I would certainly have been of the overcome ones.
O He Who originates blessings from their centers and sends mercy from its essence! O He Who takes exclusive possession of dignity and exaltation; therefore, His saints are dignified due to His dignity! O He Who puts the riddle of humility on the necks of the kings; therefore, they are fearful of His sway!
I beseech You in the name of Your grandeur that You have derived from Your greatness, and in the name of Your greatness by which You have had full domination over Your Throne and by which You have raised high above all Your creations; therefore, all of them are submissive and humble before Your dignity; please, send blessings upon Muhammad and his Household and do to me one of the two things that You are worthiest to do. Blessed be You, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.64
Imam Ali (‘a) used to perform the ritual Dawn Prayer in the mosque known as Masjid Bani-Kahil. In the Qunut,65 he used to say this supplication:
O Allah, we do seek Your help, implore You for forgiveness, pray You for guidance, believe in You, put our trust in You, pay tribute to You for the entire prosperity (enjoyed by us), and disavow and renounce anyone who denies You.
O Allah, You alone do we worship, to You alone do we pray and prostrate, towards You alone do we go and rush, for Your mercy alone do we hope, and Your punishment do we fear, for, verily, Your punishment is always encompassing the disbelievers.
O Allah, please guide us among those whom You have guided, grant us wellbeing among those whom You have granted wellbeing, befriend us among those whom You have befriended, bless for us all that which You give to us, protect us from the evils of what You have decided, for, verily, You decree, but no one can decree against Your decrees. Verily, He whom You befriend shall never face humiliation. He whom You antagonize shall never find dignity.
Our Lord, blessed and exalted be You. I implore for Your forgiveness and I declare repentance before You. Our Lord, do not punish us if we forget or make a mistake. Our Lord, do not lay on us a burden as You did lay on those before us. Our Lord, do not impose upon us that which we have not the strength to bear. Pardon us, grant us protection, and have mercy on us. You are our Patron; so, help us against the unbelieving people.66
Before it dawned, Imam Ali (‘a) used to hurry to the Prophet’s Mosque, when he lived in Al-Madinah, and to the Al-Kufah Mosque, when he moved to Al- Kufah, to offer the nocturnal devotional acts, such as the ritual Night Prayer and the other supererogatory prayers.
Upon accomplishment, he (‘a) used to say words that express praise, glorification, and exaltation of Almighty Allah. Immediately after the obligatory Dawn Prayer, he used to say the following supplicatory prayer that he also used to say whenever he was concerned. Following him, the Holy Imams (‘a) used to say the supplicatory prayers regularly:
O Allah, I beseech you, O He Who overtakes the fugitive! O He Who is the haven of the fearful! O He Who is the aide of those appealing for aid!
O Allah, verily I beseech You in the name of the situations of Your Dignity, in the name of Your utmost mercy in Your Book, and in the name of Your Name the great, the All-great, the grand, the All-grand, the pure, the All- pure, the sacred, the blessed: ‘And if all the trees in the earth were pens, and the sea, with seven more seas to help it, were ink, the words of Allah could not be exhausted. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise.’
O Allah! O my Cherisher!67 O my Lord! O He Who is the utmost of my desire! O He! O He Who is He! O He Whom none knows who He is except Him and none knows how He is except Him! O Lord of majesty, honoring, favoring, and bestowal of graces! O Possessor of dominion and kingdom! O Lord of almightiness, grandeur, greatness, and invincibility! O He Who is ever-living and Who never dies!
O He Who is exalted and thus He dominates! O He Who is High and thus He exercises power! O He Who is worshipped and yet He appreciates! O He Who is disobeyed and yet He covers up! O He Whom cannot be comprehended by intellects! O Provider of the human beings (with sustenance)! O He Who fashions the predetermined acts! O He Who reckons the number of the raindrops!
O He Who is permanently Enduring! O He Who causes plants to grow! O He Who grants the requests! O He Who gives success to the appeals! O He Who sends forth the blessings! O He Who gives life to the dead! O He Who raises the ranks! O He Who has mercy on the teary eyes! O He Who frees from slips! O He Who removes the agonies! O He Who is the Light of the earth and the heavens!
O He Who associates every stranger! O He Who is always present that He is never absent! O He Who entertains every lonely one! O He Who is the shelter of every runaway! O He Who shows mercy to the old aged! O He Who shields the fearful who seek refuge! O He Who gives riches to the miserable and the poor! O He Who releases the solicitous prisoners! O He Who does not require explanation! O He Who is All-aware of all things!
O He Who has full power over all things! O He Who is exalted in place! O He Who is strong in pillars! O He Who has no interpreter! O He Who is the most excellent helper! O He Who is eternal in doing favors! O He Who in a state every day! O He of Whom no place is empty! O Most Magnanimous of all those who act magnanimously! O Most Generous of all those who act generously! O Most Hearing of all those who can hear! O Most Seer of all those who can see!
O Swiftest of all those who reckon! O Patron of the believers! O Help of those who put their trusts in Him! O Backer of those who seek refuge with Him! O Aide of those who seek aid from Him! O Supporter of those who seek support from Him!
O Lord of all lords! O Originator of all reasons! O Opener of all doors! O He Who manumits all slaves! O He Who raises the heavy clouds! O most liberal Bestower! O Acceptor of all repentances! O He Who responds wherefrom He is supplicated! O Cleaver of the daybreak! O He Who resurrects all souls!
O He in Whose Hand are all keys! O He Who gives blessings abundantly! O He Who repels all punishments! O Fashioner of all spirits! O He Who will gather all nations! O Lord of magnanimity and honoring! O He Who is the support of him who lacks support! O He Who is the prop of him who lacks prop!
O He Who is the might of him who wants might! O He Who is the shelter of him who lacks shelter! O He Who is the aide of him who is aidless! O Opulent in donation! O Excellent in extolment! O Forbearing Who does not make haste! O All-knowing Who never misses anything! O Magnanimous Who is never stingy! O Nigh Who is never inattentive! O my companion in my loneliness! O my means in my hardships!
O my haven when I fail to follow any course, when my relatives disappoint me, and when all of my friends give me up! O my hope in conditions of constriction! O my strong support! O my God truly and confirmedly! O Lord of the Ancient House!
O All-clement! O All-lenient! Please, save me from what I can do and what I cannot, release me from the narrow rings and send me to Your close relief, and defend me against what has concerned me and what will concern me from the affairs of this world and the other world, in the name of Your mercy, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.68
Upon accomplishing the obligatory Dawn Prayers, Imam Ali (‘a) used to implore Almighty Allah for forgiveness using this seventy-paragraph supplication:
(1) O Allah, I praise You although through Your assistance to me I can praise You for the rewards that I will win from You as recompense for my praising You. I confess before You against myself to my lack to do what You deserve from me because of my ill intention and weak certitude.
O Allah, You are the most excellent God and the most excellent Lord, but I am the worst servant! You are the most excellent Cherisher, but I am the worst slave of You! You are the most excellent Master, but I am the worst serf! Very frequently have I committed sins, but You have always pardoned me. Very frequently have I committed crimes, but You have always excused me. Very frequently have I made wrongdoings, but You have not punished me for them.
Very frequently have I challenged You, but You have always absolved me. Very frequently have I slipped, but You have always overlooked my slips and You have not censured me. So now, I have wronged myself, confessed of my sins, and admitted my wrongdoings! O Forgiver of all sins, I now implore You for forgiving my sins and I pray to You for condoning my slips; so, please respond to me excellently, because You are the worthiest of responding, the worthiest of being served piously, and the worthiest of forgiving.
(2) O Allah, I implore You for Your forgiveness of every sin that I had physical power to commit it due to the wellbeing that You conferred upon me, or I could do it by my power that You gave to me due to the favor of the blessings that You gave me, or I extended my hand to it (i.e. the sin) using Your sustenance with which You provided me abundantly, or I could hide it from people on account of Your covering up of it, or I, when I anticipated its bad consequences, relied on Your forbearance, or I secured myself from Your control over me due to Your lenience, or I did it on account of my idea about Your honoring pardon. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(3) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that arouses Your wrath, or draws me near to Your rage, or drives me to committing what You have warned me against doing it, or throws me away from what You have called me to do. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(4) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I have committed in order to attract one of Your creatures towards my seduction or to deceive one with my trickeries; therefore, I taught him what he had ignored concerning that sin and I blocked in his face what he had known about it. As a result, I will meet You carrying my burdens along with additional burdens (i.e. the burdens of those whom I led to committing that sin). So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(5) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that takes to transgression, misleads from orthodoxy, reduces the sustenance, effaces the blessings, and brings about ill reputation. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(6) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin in the doing of which I tired out all my organs at night and in daylight, and because of which I concealed myself from Your servants with my covering although there is no covering save yours. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(7) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin due to the doing of which my enemies watched over me in order to expose me to disgrace, but You warded off their schemes from me and You have not helped them bring shame on me, as if I were one of Your intimate saints, so that You gave me victory over them! Until when will I disobey You, O my Lord, and You give me respite? Many a time have I disobeyed You but You have not chastised me. Then, when I, despite of my evildoings, prayed to You, You gave me. What kind of gratitude that may meet even a single grace of Your graces to me should I make to You? So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(8) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin from which I had repented to You, taken an oath by the honorable Name of You, and called Your intimate servants to witness for me that I would not do it ever again, but when Satan targeted his schemes at me, causing me to lean on disappointment, and my own self called me to disobey You, I committed the sin once again covertly because I was shy of Your servants, but I had the dare to challenge You, although I know for sure that no veil and no door can ever cover me from You and no screen can ever prevent You from seeing me. So, I, disobeying You, violated what You have warned me not to do.
Then, I removed the veil that I had put on me and faced Your intimate servants as if I were still obedient to You, rushing towards carrying out Your orders, and fearful of Your menace! So, I could cheat on Your servants while none knew my hidden fact except You. Nevertheless, You did not deal with me according to what I really was and according to any other thing than the view that Your servants had about me; rather, You endued me with abundant blessings the like of which You endued them and even You preferred me to them, as if I enjoy the same ranks of them with You! All that is on account of Your forbearance and the favor of Your blessing. All praise be to You, O my Master.
Now, I beseech You, O Allah! Just as You have covered up my defects in this world, so please do not expose me to shame on the Resurrection Day. O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.
(9) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin for the committing and the creating of which I spent many nights sleeplessly, but when morning came upon me, I ostentatiously mended paces towards You putting on the ornament of the righteous people, while I was concealing the opposite of what brings about Your pleasure, O Lord of the Worlds. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(10) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin due to which I wronged one of Your intimate servants, or supported one of Your enemies, or uttered words that You do not like, or stood up to commit acts of other than obedience to You. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(11) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that You warned me against committing it, but I violated Your warning, or You admonished me against doing it, but I kept on doing it, or You showed it ugly for me, but I showed it attractive to myself. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(12) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I have forgotten, but You recorded it, and I have deemed it trivial, but You registered it on me, and I have committed it openly in challenge of You, but You covered it up for me, and If I repented to You from it, You would certainly forgive it. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(13) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I expected that You would punish me for it immediately, but You gave me respite and laid a covering over it, but I exerted all efforts in tearing up that covering. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(14) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that removes Your mercy away from me, or imposes Your punishment on me, or deprives me of Your honoring, or confiscates Your graces from me. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(15) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that begets perdition, or causes tribulations to come upon me, or makes the enemies gloat over my misfortune, or bares the covering, or stops the drops of the sky. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(16) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin for the committing of which I gibed one of Your creatures, or found fault with any of Your beings, but I then indulged myself in it and perpetrated it in violation of You and in audacity to disobey You. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(17) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I repented to You from it and then I committed it and, as a result, I became ashamed to face You while I was committing it and I feared You while I was doing it. Once again, I beseeched You to forgive it for me, but I then redid it. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(18) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that hipped on me and found a place within my deeds because of a pledge that I had made to You, a vow that I had undertaken with You, or a covenant that I had given in Your Name to one of Your creatures, but I then broke it although it was not necessary for me to break it; rather, it was because of my recklessness that I failed to fulfill it, and it was because of my irresponsible exultation that I failed to keep it. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(19) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that is attached me owing to a favor that You have done me and thus I had the power to disobey You, to violate Your prohibition, and to expose myself to Your menace. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(20) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin in which I preferred my own lust to the obedience to You, and favored what I love for myself to carrying out Your order, and pleased myself through bringing about Your wrath to myself after You alerted me with Your reverence, provided before me the reasons for the necessity of abandoning it, and presented to me Your arguments through Your threatening. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(21) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I knew, forgot, remembered, did deliberately, or did unintentionally, but You, without doubt, will ask me about it and my soul is held responsible for it even if I forgot or disregarded it inattentively. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(22) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin by the doing of which I challenged You although I was certain that You saw me doing it, and then I did not care for repenting to You from it and I was made forget to implore You for forgiveness of it. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(23) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin into which I entered, depending upon my good idea about You that You should not torment me for my committing it, and when I hoped for Your forgiveness of it, I embarked boldly upon it, relying on my knowledge about Your nobility that You should not expose me to shame after You had covered me up. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(24) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin due to which I deserved Your rejection of my prayers, Your depriving me of response to my supplications, Your disappointing me due to my greed, and Your thwarting my hope. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(25) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that results in regret, reflects on remorse, detains the pouring down of sustenance, and rejects the supplications. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(26) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that gives rise of illnesses and perdition, conduces to punishments and tribulations, and turns into regret and remorse on the Resurrection Day. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(27) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I praised with my tongue, or hid in my heart, or craved for in my inner self, or put into action within my deeds, or wrote down with my own hand. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(28) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I did secretly at night or in daylight, I did undercover where none could see me except You, O Omnipotent; therefore, I aroused doubts about it and I confused whether I should refrain from doing it for fear of You or I should commit it in violation of You, depending upon my good idea about You. Hence, my soul commended to me committing it, and I did while I was fully aware that I was disobeying You. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(29) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I deemed trivial, or crucial, or grand, or slight, or my ignorance embroiled me in it. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(30) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin by the doing of which I took sides with one of Your creatures, or maltreated one of Your beings, or myself made me to see it fair, or advised someone else to commit it, or led someone else to it, or insisted on doing it deliberately, or kept on doing it due to my ignorance. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(31) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin through which I contravened what is entrusted with me, or I withheld my own due, or I overburdened my body with it, or I chose for my lusts, or I preferred my pleasures, or I informed against someone, or I encouraged those who followed me (in doing it), or I rallied against those who forbade me (from doing it), or I overcame those who had effect on me, or I gained victory through evil means, or my tendency drove me to commit it. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(32) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I committed, using a trick that brings me nearer to Your wrath; or by committing it, I overcame the people of obedience to You, or I attracted someone towards committing an act of disobedience to You, or I showed off before Your servants, or I made them have a wrong idea about me through my deeds. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(33) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that You have recorded against me owing to pride that I showed, or ostentation, or false reputation, or arrogance, or excessive elation, or malice, or discommended fun, or exultation, or recklessness, or fanaticism, or partisanship, or self- satisfaction, or anger, or over-generosity, or oppression, or betrayal, or theft, or fabrication, or tale-bearing, or amusement, or mischievousness, or any other state that brings about sinning or results in perdition. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(34) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that You have already known, through Your eternal knowledge, that I would commit depending upon Your power through which You overpowered all things. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(35) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin through which I feared anyone other than You, or I incurred the animosity of Your intimate servants, or I showed loyalty to Your enemies, or I disappointed Your most beloved servants, or I exposed myself to any amount of Your wrath. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(36) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin from which I had repented to You, but I then re-committed it and broke the covenant that I had made with You in challenge of You, because I was sure of Your nobility and pardon. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(37) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that approached me to Your chastisement, cast me away from Your reward, deterred Your mercy from reaching me, or roiled Your graces to me. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(38) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin by the doing of which I untied a knot that I had clinched or I deprived myself of an item of prosperity that You had promised to give me. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(39) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I committed because Your grant of wellbeing had included me, or I could do it depending upon Your favoring blessings, or I had the power to do it due to the abundant sustenance You conferred upon me; and I implore You for forgiveness of every act that I had intended to do purely for Your sake, but other purposes were mixed with my pure intention, and other matters that prevent my act to be sincerely intended for You jumped to the scene, or I became under the obligation of adding other matters than You to my intention. This very often takes place. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(40) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I committed thinking that I am allowed by You to do it, but it was in reality forbidden by You. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(41) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that remained hidden from Your creatures but it never remains secret before You; and when I prayed to You to forgive it for me, You did. Yet, I returned to committing it, and You again covered it up. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(42) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin to the committing of which I made steps, or I stretched my hand, or I watched with my eye attentively, or I listened to with my hearing, or I said with my tongue, or I spent from the sustenance that You had given me; and I then prayed to You for more sustenance, and You did provide me with more sustenance; and I then used Your sustenance for disobeying You, and You covered me up; and I once again prayed to You for more, and You did not disappoint me; and I then challenged You in committing that sin, but You did not expose me.
I thus kept persistently on disobeying You, and You kept forbearingly and forgivingly on covering up my sins. O most Generous of all those who act generously! So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(43) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin the little of which imposes on me Your painful torture, the much of which afflicts on me Your severe punishment, the doing of which quickens Your chastisement, and the insistence on which causes the removal of Your graces. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(44) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that none could see except You, none could know about it except You, none can save me from its consequences except Your forbearance, and nothing can comprehend it except Your pardon. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(45) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that eliminates the graces, imposes punishments, expedites destitution, and augments regret. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(46) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that wipes out the rewards for good deeds, doubles up the punishment for evildoings, expedites the chastisement, and enrages You, O Lord of the heavens. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(47) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that You are the worthiest of knowing it from me, since You have been the worthiest of covering it up, for You are the worthiest of being feared and the worthiest of forgiving. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(48) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin due to which I made one of Your intimate servants frown impatiently at me, because I assisted Your enemies or joined the people of disobedience to You against the people of obedience. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(49) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that dressed me with arrogance; while being engrossed in it increased me nothing but more humiliation, or made me despair of the availability of Your mercy, or made me too negligent to return to obedience to You due to my despondency that stemmed from the enormity of my crime and the ill idea I had about myself. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(50) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that would have led me to perdition had it not been for Your mercy, made me alight into the abode of perdition had it not been for Your embracing me, and driven me to the path of deviation had it not been for Your showing me the straight path. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(51) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that deterred me from following that to which You have guided me or that which You have ordered me to do, or discouraged me from carrying out what You have ordered me to carry out, and from refraining from what You have warned me against doing it, and from following the path that is full of my good fortune and that takes me to attain Your pleasure, prefer love for You (to anything else), and to come closer to You. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(52) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that prevents my prayers from reaching You, cuts off my hope for You, extends my sufferings from Your wrath, or cuts down my hope to get what You have in possession. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(53) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that kills the heart, flares up agony, satisfies Satan, and enrages the All-beneficent Lord. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(54) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that ends in despair of Your mercy, gives up hope for Your forgiveness, and deprives of the abundant favors that are in Your possession. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(55) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin for the doing of which I detested myself as a sign of glorifying You and when I declared repentance from it, You accepted my repentance, and when I prayed to You for pardon, You pardoned me. However, my fancy then made me incline to re-committing it, depending covetously on Your vast mercy and Your noble pardon, but I neglected Your threatening and hoped for Your nice promise. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(56) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that brings about the blackness of faces on the day when the faces of Your intimate servants shall be white while the faces of Your enemies shall be black, when some of them advance against others, blaming each other. Yet, it shall be said to them, ‘Do not quarrel in My presence, and indeed I gave you the threatening beforehand.’ So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(57) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that leads to disbelief, drags long deliberation, achieves poverty, and begets difficulty. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(58) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that brings nearer the termination of lifetime, cuts off all expectations, and uproots life spans, whether I expressed it verbally, or I kept silent because I am too embarrassed to mention it before You, or I concealed it in my chest but You knew about it, for You know the secrets and what is yet more hidden. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(59) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin the committing of which cuts off provisions, rejects supplications, brings about tribulations in succession, takes to distresses, and magnifies grief. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(60) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that makes me hateful to Your servants, alienates me from Your intimate saints, or diverts the affection of the people of obedience to You from me because of the estrangement caused by the acts of disobedience to You, the engagement in offensive crimes, and the distress of committing sins. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(61) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I have concealed its defects that You showed as merits, or I have revealed of it what You covered up, or I have presented as ugly that which You made attractive. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(62) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that excludes from Your covenant, does not secure against Your wrath, does not allow Your mercy to come down, and does not perpetuate Your blessings. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(63) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I hid myself against Your servants when I did it under sunlight and I challenged You in committing it in the murk of night due to my audacity to defy You, although I knew for sure that all secrets are open before You, all hidden things are apparent before You, no barrier can ever defend me against You, and neither property nor sons can benefit me with You unless I should come to You with a heart free from evil. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(64) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that entails forgetting about remembering You, or causes negligence of Your warnings, or makes me persist in feeling secured from Your schemes, or tempts me to ask for sustenance from one other than You, or makes me despair of the prosperity that You have in possession. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(65) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that grabbed hold of me because of my blaming You when my sustenance was detained, or because of my turning away from You, or because of my inclination to Your servants submissively, or because of my earnest entreaty to them. Yet, You have made me listen to Your saying in Your decisive Book: ‘But they were not submissive to their Lord nor do they humble themselves.’ So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(66) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that stuck to me because I sought the help of one other than You when I was inflicted by an agony, or because I depended upon one other than You in releasing me from it. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(67) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that made me fear one other than You, or instigated me to humble myself before one of Your creatures, or awakened my desire for hoping for what is possessed by one of Your creatures, or adorned in my eyes the obedience to one of Your creatures that was based on disobedience to You so that I would gain what he had in possession, while I know for sure that I am always in need for You and I can never dispense with You. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(68) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I praised with my tongue, or my soul craved it, or my deeds proved it as good, or I urged on doing it through my statements, while it is in Your sight is so hideous that it would expose me to Your punishment. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(69) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that I personally put it into effect because I deemed it unimportant, and my soul presented it before me as little and urged me to belittle it until I exceeded all limits in committing it. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and forgive it to me, O Best of all forgivers.
(70) O Allah, I implore You for forgiveness of every sin that You knew from me and whose consequence You applied to me to the last of my lifetime, including all of my sins; the first and the last, the intentional and the unintentional, the small and the big, the trivial and the grand, the old and the recent, the secret and the open, and all sins that I will commit.
I now repent before You (from all these sins) and beseech You to bless Muhammad and his Household and to forgive me all of my wrongdoings against the servants that You have counted against me. Verily, there are many duties of mine towards Your servants by which I am bound. I thus beseech You to forgive all of them as You wish and when You wish. O most Merciful of all those who show mercy!69
Upon accomplishing the obligatory Midday Prayer (salat Al-zuhr), Imam Ali (‘a) used to say this supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, all praise be to You and the entire affair, both the open and the secret, is returned to You. You are the utmost of all affairs. O Allah, all praise be to You for Your pardon although You are able to punish. All praise be to You for Your forgiveness although You have all power.
O Allah, all praise be to You; You are the highest in ranks, the responsive to prayers, the sender of blessings from above seven skies, the grantor of requests, the changer of evildoings into good deeds, the maker of good deeds rise to high ranks, the bringer forth of light from utter darkness.
O Allah, all praise be to You; You are the Forgiver of faults, the Acceptor of repentance, the severe to punish, and the Lord of bounty. There is no god save you and to You shall be the return.
O Allah, all praise be to You in the night when it draws a veil. To You be all praise in the day when it shines in brightness. To You be all praise in the Hereafter and the former life.
O Allah, all praise be to You in the night when it departs. All praise be to You in the dawn as it breathes away darkness. All praise be to You at the rising of the sun and at the setting of it. All praise be to You for Your graces that cannot be counted in number and that cannot expire forever and everlastingly. O Allah, all praise be to You in the bygone and all praise be to You in the coming.
O Allah, You are my trust in all affairs, my means to the granting of all requests, my companion at all appeals, my entertainment at all loneliness, and my shelter at all perditions.
O Allah, send blessings upon Muhammad and his Household, expand my sustenance for me, confer blessing upon what You have given me, help me settle my debt, and set aright all of my affairs. Verily, You are clement and merciful. There is no god save Allah the All-forbearing and All-generous. There is no god save Allah the Lord of the Worlds. There is no god save Allah the Great Lord of the Throne.
O Allah, I beseech You for the motives of Your mercy, the determining causes of Your forgiveness, the advantage of each act of kindness, the safeguarding against each and every sin, the winning of Paradise, and the redemption from Hellfire.
O Allah, (please) do not leave any of my offenses not forgiven, any of my misfortunes unrelieved, any of my ailments unhealed, any fear (that I experience) unsecured, and any need unanswered, in the name of Your favoring, benevolence, and mercy, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.70
Upon accomplishing the obligatory Afternoon Prayer (salat al-’asr), Imam Ali (‘a) used to say this supplicatory prayer:
All Glory be to Allah, all praise be to Allah, there is no god save Allah, Allah is the Most Great, and there is neither power nor might save with Allah, the Most High, the All-magnificent.
Glory be to Allah in the morning and the evening hours. Glory be to Allah in the early hours of night and morning. ‘Glory be to Allah when you enter the night and when you enter the morning. Unto Him be praise in the heavens, the earth, at the sun’s decline, and in the noonday.’
‘Glorified be Your Lord, the Lord of Majesty, from that which they attribute (to Him). Peace be upon the Messengers. All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.’ Glory be to the Lord of Kingdom and Realm. Glory be to the Lord of Majesty and Magnificence. Glory be to Allah the Ever-living Who never dies. Glory be to Allah the Self-Existent, the Eternal. Glory be to the Ever-living, the Self-Existent. Glory be to the Exalted, the Most High. All glory be to Him, and Exalted be He. Venerated is He and Holy is He; the Lord of the angels and the Spirit.
O Allah, my sin is now taking shelter in Your pardon. My fear is taking shelter in Your security. My poverty is taking shelter in Your richness. My humility is taking shelter in Your dignity. O Allah, please bless Muhammad and his Household, forgive me, and have mercy on me. Verily, You are worthy of all praise, full of all glory.
O Allah, Your Brilliance is perfect; so, You guided (to the right). All praise be to You for that. Your forbearance is enormous; so, You pardoned. All praise be to You for that. As You stretched Your Hand, You gave abundantly. All praise be to You for that.
Our Lord, Your Honorable Face is the most honorable of all faces, Your stature the greatest of all statures, and Your gifts the best of all gifts.
Our Lord, when You are obeyed, You thank; and when You, our Lord, are disobeyed, You forgive. You respond to the distressed, relieve from evil, rescue from anguishes, give riches to the poor, heal the ailed, and none can ever recompense Your elegances. You are the most Merciful of all those who show mercy.71
It is also reported that Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following brief supplicatory prayer after accomplishing the Afternoon Prayers:
All glory be to the Lord of munificence and graces. All glory be to the Lord of all-powerfulness and favoring. I beseech Allah for satisfaction with His acts, working for obedience to Him, and submission to His commands. Verily, He is the Hearer of prayers.72
Immediately after accomplishing the obligatory Sunset Prayer (salat Al- maghrib), Imam Ali (‘a) used to prayer to Almighty Allah with these words:
O Allah, please accept from me what is righteous and set aright of my deeds what is corruptive. O Allah, do not allow me to corrupt what You have set aright from my affairs, but set aright my affairs that I have corrupted.
O Allah, I implore You for Your forgiveness of every sin that I had physical power to commit due to the wellbeing that You conferred upon me, or I could do it by my power that You gave to me due to the favor of the blessings that You gave me, or I extended my hand to it (i.e. the sin) on account of Your sustenance with which You provided me abundantly, or I could hide it from people on account of Your covering up of it, or I did it on account of my idea about Your honoring pardon.
O Allah, I implore You for Your forgiveness of any sin from which I had repented to You, regretted committing it, felt shy of You while I was committing it, and feared You in the midst of doing it, but I then returned to and redid it.
O Allah, I implore You for Your forgiveness of every sin that I recollected, forgot, remembered, overlooked, did intentionally or unintentionally, but I am without doubt answerable for it even if I had forgotten or failed to remember it.
O Allah, I implore You for Your forgiveness of every sin that I brought upon myself with my own hands and preferred following my own lusts when I did it, or I informed against someone through it, or I encouraged those who followed me (in doing it), or I refrained arrogantly from listening to the advice of those who discouraged me from doing it, or I overcame them due to my ignorance, or I gained victory through evil schemes against others, and my tendency drove me to commit it.
O Allah, I implore You for Your forgiveness of every act that I had intended to do purely for Your sake, but other purposes were mixed with my pure intention, and other matters jumped to the scene, or I became under the obligation of adding other matters than Your sake to my intention. I implore You for forgiveness of every vow that I had taken upon myself, but I then violated it because of following my whims.
O Allah, please send blessings upon Muhammad and his Household, release me from Hellfire, and endue me with Your favors out of Your generosity.
O Allah, I beseech You in the name of Your Face; the noble, the everlasting, the perpetual, by whose light the heavens and the earth glittered and by which You removed the darkness of the lands and the seas and managed all the affairs of the jinn and human beings, [I beseech You] to bless Muhammad and his Household and to set aright my entire affair, in the name of Your mercy, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.73
It is also reported that Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following brief doxology upon the accomplishment of the Sunset Prayer:
All praise be to Allah Who causes the night to enter into the day and causes the day to enter into the night. All praise be to Allah whenever night overspreads and comes with darkness. All praise be to Allah whenever a star rises and falls.74
Immediately after accomplishing the obligatory Evening Prayer (salat Al- ‘isha'), Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplication:
O Allah, please send blessings upon Muhammad and his Household, guard me with Your Eye that never sleeps, embrace me with Your support that is invincible, and forgive me in the name of Your power over me, O Lord of majesty and honoring.
O Allah, I pray for Your protection against the strokes of nights and days and against the oppression of every oppressor, the envy of every envier, and the transgression of every transgressor.
O Allah, please guard me in myself, my family members, my property, and all of Your graces that You allowed me to dispose of them.
O Allah, manage my affairs from which I am absent with the management of You, and do not make me rely upon myself in the affairs that are in my presence. O He Who cannot be harmed by sins and Who never lacks forgiveness, please forgive me that which never harms You and give me from that which never causes You reduction. Verily, You are the most liberal Bestower.
O Allah, I beseech You for an imminent relief, excellent patience, expansive sustenance, pardon, and wellbeing in this world and the other world.
O Allah, please send blessings upon Muhammad and his Household and forgive me, my parents, and the believing men and women, both the alive and the deceased.
O Allah, please include me with those who remember You very frequently, thank You incessantly, serve You persistently, and fulfill Your trusts.
O Allah, please purify my tongue from telling lies, my heart from hypocrisy, my deed from showing off, and my sight from stealthy looks. Verily, You know the stealthy looks and that which the breasts conceal.
O Allah, O Lord of the seven skies and whatever they cover, Lord of the seven layers of the earth and whatever they carry, Lord of the winds and whatever they scatter far, Lord of all things, God of all things, First of all things, Last of all things, Lord of Gabriel, Michael, and Seraph, and God of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, and Jacob!
I beseech You to bless Muhammad and his Household, to take care of me through Your mercy, to include me with wellbeing from You, to make me happy through Your forgiveness, and not to give any hand to any of Your creatures over me.
O Allah, please draw me near You, make me straight on good mannerism, rescue me from the evils of the devilish jinn and men, guard me at the hours of night and day, safeguard me as regards my family members, property, children, brothers, and all of Your graces that You have granted me, and forgive me, my parents, and all the believing men and women.
O Patron of the ever-abiding, good works! Verily, You have power over all things. O transcendent Patron and transcendent Helper! [Let all that be] In the name of Your mercy, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy. May Allah’s blessings be upon our chief Muhammad, the Prophet, and upon his immaculate household and offspring.75
After accomplishing any obligatory prayer, Imam Ali (‘a) would praise and thank Almighty Allah and say the following supplication:
O Allah, to You only are voices raised and prayers said. To You only are all faces submissive. To You only are all necks nodded in acquiescence. To You only is the judgment of deeds. O He Who is the best of all of the supplicated ones! O He Who is the best of all those who may give! O All- veracious! O All-kind! O He Who never breaks His promise! O He Who has ordered of supplicating and assured response of supplications!
O He Who has said, ‘Call upon Me, I will answer you. Surely, those who are too proud for My service shall soon enter hell abased.’
O He Who has said, ‘And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me; so, they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.’
O He Who has said, ‘O my servants who have acted extravagantly against their own souls! Do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Surely, Allah forgives the faults altogether. Surely, He is the Forgiving the Merciful.’
Here I am responding to You and here I am trying to please You. Here I am standing in Your Presence! While I am the one who has acted extravagantly against himself, You are the One Who has said, ‘Do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Surely, Allah forgives the faults altogether. Surely, He is the Forgiving the Merciful.’76
Before offering the highly recommended Night Prayer, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplication:
O Allah, the hearts of the humble servants are eager for You. The intellects of the sane servants are entertained by You. The reverence of those who work for You meticulously is dedicated to You. The minds of those who are negligent are seeking shelter with You.
O He Who is the hope of the cognitive ones and the expectation of the hard working servants, please send blessings upon Muhammad and his immaculate Household, deliver me from the scandals on the Judgment Day when all coverings will be exposed and what is in the hearts will be made apparent; and entertain me when the sinful will be fearful and the negligent will be astounded; in the name of Your mercy, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.
By Your Might and Majesty I swear! When I disobeyed You, I have not intended to violate You, and when I disobeyed You, I have never been unaware of Your Status, and I have never intended to expose myself to Your punishment, and I have never belittled Your watching over me; rather, my soul has commended to me, my adversity has overcome me, and I was deceived by Your screen that covers all of my defects.
I thus disobeyed You because of my ignorance and defied You because of my failing efforts. Now, who can save me from Your punishment? Whose rope can I maintain if You cut off the rope that connects me with You? What a shame shall be on me tomorrow when I will be detained before You when the light-loaded ones will be allowed to pass, but the heavy-loaded ones will be stopped?
Shall I pass with the light-loaded ones or shall I be stopped with the heavy-loaded ones? Woe to me! The older I am the more sinful I become! So often have I declared repentance! So often have I returned to committing acts of disobedience! Has not the time come that I be ashamed of my Lord?
Imam Ali (‘a) would then prostrate himself and repeat the following imploration three hundred times:
I pray for the forgiveness of Allah and I repent before Him.77
Upon accomplishing the first two units of the Night Prayer, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplication:
O my God, I slept for a little time, but I was awakened by Your manifest saying, ‘Their sides draw away from their beds, they call upon their Lord in fear and in hope, and they spend benevolently out of what We have given them. So, no soul knows what is hidden for them of that which will refresh the eyes; a reward for what they did.’
I therefore deserted the nice sleep and tolerated the heaviness of sleeplessness, and I drew away from the pleasant slumber, shed heavy tears, trod on the ground with my feet, confessed of my sins before You; and stood in Your Presence, standing erect and sitting; and entreated You earnestly and submissively, genuflecting and prostrating; and prayed to You in fear and in hope; and desired for You eagerly and confoundedly: calling upon You with a clear heart, speaking to You confidentially with flowing tears, resorting to You from my harshness, seeking Your protection against my audacity, appealing for Your help against my ignorance, clinging to the handles that take to You so as to get rid of my sins, and constructing my heart with the remembrance of You.
O my God, if the earth knew about my sins, it would swallow me; if heavens knew about them, they would snatch me; if oceans knew about them, they would drown me; if mountains knew about them, they would collapse on me; and if the deserts knew about them, they would swallow me.
O my God, what horrible seduction I have brought upon myself! What bold audacity I have shown to You, O my Lord!
O my God, all those to whom I came are leading me to You. There is none but that he guides me to You. No creature for whom I desired but that he advices me to put my desire in You. So, I found You the most excellent Lord, but You found me the worst servant of You!
O my God, if You decide to punish me, then who can deter punishment from me? If You decide to expose me, then who can cover me up? If You decide to annihilate me, then who can interfere before You concerning the affair of me Your slave? I have already known for sure that Your decrees are devoid of injustice and Your punishment does not count on immediateness.
Verily, immediateness is the work of him who fears lest he may miss, and only do the weak need injustice. As for You, You are too exalted to be so Exalted and Great You are beyond all measure! So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and’
The Imam (‘a) then submitted his personal needs. After that, he (‘a) would continue on saying,
O Allah, I seek Your protection lest my outward appearance seems admirable in the eyes (of people) while my innermost fact proves hideous in Your sight; I thus try my best to keep myself excellent in the eyes of people ostentatiously by showing them my good appearance, while I in fact show You my evildoing, thus I seek nearness to people but I draw myself away from Your pleasure.78
Upon accomplishing the Night Prayer, Imam Ali (‘a) would say the following supplication:
I bear witness that the heavens, the earth, and whatsoever lies between them are portents testifying to Your Existence and demonstrations proving that to which You have called. Every thing that proves Your argument and testifies to Your Godhead is marked with the traces of Your grace and the features of Your excellent managements by which You exalted highly above Your creatures and thus conducted to the hearts the amount of recognition of You by which these hearts are entertained against the loneliness of thinking and saved from the floundering of pleas.
Although hearts confess of recognizing You and desiring for You, they bear witness that allusions can never depict You or can intellects and sights comprehend You. I seek Your protection lest I refer to any other one than You with my heart, tongue, or hand. There is no god save You; You are One, Single, Unique, and Independent; and all of us are surrendering to You.79
Immediately after accomplishing any prayer, be it obligatory or supererogatory, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplication:
O Allah, I have performed a prayer for You and I have supplicated to You. However, my prayers and supplications may be affected by defect, hastiness, inadvertence, negligence, lethargy, laziness, oblivion, rashness, showing off, exhibition, doubt, distraction, suspicion, diversion, and moments that preoccupy from establishing the prayers that You have made obligatory.
So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and replace their imperfection with perfection and replace my rashness with deliberation and firmness, my inadvertence with vigilance, my negligence with care, my lethargy with activity, my laziness with energy, my oblivion with retaining, my imprudence with perseverance, my showing off with sincerity, my ostentation with covering up, my doubt with certitude, my lack of deliberation with submission, my suspicion with certainty, my distraction with attention, and my diversion with acquiescence, because I performed the prayer for Your sake purely, I supplicated to You only, I intended for nothing but Your Face, I turned my face to none save You, I believed in none but You, I put my trust in none except You, and I requested for nothing but what You have in possession.
So, please bless Muhammad and his Household and decide for me on account of my prayers and supplications mercy and blessings due to which You excuse my evildoings, double up the rewards for my good deeds, raise my rank, honor my position, whiten my face, unburden my loads, and accept my obligatory and supererogatory devotional acts.
O Allah, please bless Muhammad and his Household, free me from my burdensome sins in favor of my prayers and make the sustenance that You have with You for me to be better for me than what has been stopped to reach me.
All praise be to Allah Who has helped me made up my prayers. ‘Surely, prayer is a timed ordinance for the believers.’
All praise be to Allah Who has guided us to this. We would not have found the way had it not been that Allah had guided us.
All praise be to Allah Who has honored my face when I prostrated before nothing save Him.
O Allah, just as You have honored my face against prostrating before anyone save You, so also please send blessings upon Muhammad and his Household and safeguard my face from asking from anyone save You.
O Allah, please bless Muhammad and his Household, accept my prayer with the most excellent acceptance of You, and do not call me to account for its imperfection, and please perfect for me the parts in which my heart was distracted, in the name of Your mercy, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.
O Allah, please bless Muhammad and his Household: (they are) the Men in Authority and the obedience to whom You have made obligatory upon us, the Blood-relations whom You ordered us to regard, the Kindred to whom You ordered us to show affection, the People of the Reminder whom You have ordered us to ask, the Masters to whom You ordered us to be loyal, and the People of the House from whom You removed all filth and whom You purified with complete purification.
O Allah, please bless Muhammad and his Household, make the reward for my prayers, the reward for my utterance, and the reward for my sitting to be Your pleasure and Paradise. Make all that to be so pure and sincere that it earns mercy and response from You.
Answer me as regards all of the items of prosperity for which I have implored You, and then grant me more prosperity and more from Your favors and abundant donations. Verily, You are All-pervading and All-generous. Make all that to be attached to the prosperity and bliss of the Hereafter. I am really one of those who desire for You, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy!
O Lord of favors that never interrupt! O Lord of errands that never expire! O Lord of graces that cannot be counted in number! O All-generous! O All- generous! O All-generous! Please, bless Muhammad and his Household and include me with those who believed in You and You thus guided them to the truth, those who put their trust in You and You thus saved them (from all troubles), those who besought You and You thus responded to them pleasingly, and those who acted sincerely to You and You thus delivered them.
O Allah, please send blessings upon Muhammad and his Household, and make us alight in a house abiding forever out of Your grace; toil shall not touch us therein, nor shall fatigue therein afflict us.
O Allah, I beseech You the beseeching of one who is humble and needy, to bless Muhammad and his Household, to forgive me all my sins, and to grant me all my requests that I have asked from You. Verily, You have power over all things.
O Allah, as regards the needs that my requests have not included, the things that I am too powerless to do, and the things that I am not too clever to mention, among the things that You know that they prosper my worldly life and next life; then please bless Muhammad and his Household and do all that to me in the name of Your mercy while I enjoy wellbeing (from You).
Only that which Allah wills to be shall come to pass. There is no might and no power except with Allah.80
One of the supererogatory prayers, the Relief Prayer (salat Al-faraj) consists of two units (rak’ah), in the first of which Surah Al-Fatihah is recited once and Surah Al-Tawhid repeated one thousand times. In the second unit, Surah Al-Fatihah is recited once and Surah Al-Tawhid recited once only.
When Imam Ali (‘a) offered this prayer, he used to say the following supplication afterward:
O Allah, O He Who cannot be seen with eyes and cannot be comprehended by visions! O He Who cannot be described by the describers! O He Who cannot be changed by ages! O He Who does not anticipate the vicissitudes of time! O He Who never tastes death! O He Who does not anticipate missing anything! O He Who is not harmed by sins and Who is not affected by forgiveness! O He Who knows the weights of mountains, the amounts of water in oceans, the number of the raindrops, the number of the leaves of trees, and the creeping of the creatures.
No sky can hide another sky from You, nor can any land hide another land from You, nor can any ocean hide what lies in its bottom from You, nor can any mountain hide what lies in its rugged ways from You. You know the stealthy looks, and that which the breasts conceal, and that on which night casts its darkness, and that on which daylight casts its light.
I beseech You by Your Name the hoarded, the hidden, which is known by none but You in Your unseen knowledge, which You use for Yourself exclusively, and from which You derived Your Name and You are thus Allah; there is no god save You alone, alone, alone; having no partner with You; and [I beseech You] by Your Name that You respond when You are besought by it and You give when You are asked by it.
And I beseech You in the name of Your missioned Prophets, in the name of the bearers of Your Throne, in the name of Your favorite archangels, in the name of Gabriel, Michael, and Seraph, and in the name of Muhammad, his Household, and his offspring may Your blessings be upon them to bless Muhammad and his Household and to make the last of my lifetime to be the best part of it and the last of my deeds to be the best of them. I beseech for Your forgiveness and pleasure, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.81
Imam Ali (‘a), accompanied by Maytham Al-Tammar, used to visit Al-Ju’fi Mosque in Al-Kufah where he used to offer a four-unit prayer after the accomplishing of which he would say the following supplication:
O my God, how dare I pray to You after I have disobeyed You, but how can I stop praying You after I have recognized You, and love for You is firmly established in my heart? I am extending towards You a hand that is full of sins and an eye that is glancing with hope for You.
O my God, You are the Possessor of all gifts, while I am the prisoner of wrongdoings. To be lenient to the prisoners is one of the honorable attributes of the great ones. I am the prisoner of my offence and the bound to my evildoings.
O my God, how narrow the path for him whom You have not guided is! How lonely the course of him whom You do not entertain is!
O my God, if You will interrogate me for my sins, I will demand with Your pardon. If You will interrogate me for my hidden wrongdoings, I will demand with Your nobility. If You will interrogate me for my evils, I will demand with Your goodness. If You make me join Your enemies in Hellfire, I will tell them that I loved You and I bore witness that there is no god save Allah.
O my God, my pleasure is fearful of You, then how can my pleasure be secured from You? O my God, obedience to You pleases You, while disobedience to You does not harm You; so, please endue me with what pleases You and forgive me what does not harm You, and accept my repentance. You are verily the Relenting, the Merciful.
O Allah, please bless Muhammad and his Household and have mercy on me when my trace is cut off from this world, my mention is wiped out among the creatures, and I became just another forgotten one like the many other forgotten ones.
O my God, I have grown old, my bones have become thin, years have affected me, the days of my lifetime are expiring, my attractive parts are disappearing, my lusts have gone but their consequences are still effective, my body is wearing out, my parts are being cut off, my organs are being separated, and I am still bound to my deeds.
O my God, sins have confuted me, my expressiveness is no longer efficient, and I have lost any argument (in defense of myself).
O my God, I am confessing of my sin, admitting my crime, imprisoned by my offenses, bound to my deeds, reckless in my wrongdoing, too confounded to find my path, and left alone and lost. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household, grant me Your favors, and excuse me.
O my God, if my deed is too little when compared to the true obedience to You, then my hope for You is too big when compared to my prospect from You.
O my God, how can it be that I return from You with disappointment and deprivation while I expect, depending upon Your magnanimity, that You will endow me with mercy?
O my God, I have not shaded despair over my good idea about You; so, please do not frustrate my true hope for You from among those who put their hopes in You.
O my God, my offense is great because I will be answerable for it before You, and my sin is grand because it was done in challenge of You. However, when I remember the enormity of my sin and the enormity of Your pardon and forgiveness, I would conclude that Your mercy and pleasure are the nearest to me.
O my God, if fear of Your chastisement called me to Hellfire, then my hope for Your excellent reward called me to Paradise.
O my God, if wrongdoings prevented me from enjoying the excellencies of Your gentleness, then the nobilities of Your pardon entertained me by my certitude.
O my God, if my inadvertence has screened me against readying myself for meeting You, then my recognition of the generosity of Your bounties, O my Master, has awakened me.
O my God, if my reason failed to set aright whatever makes me righteous, then my certainty that You will confer upon me whatever benefits me has never failed.
O my God, if the days of my lifetime have been spent in doing what is in violation of what You love, then the past years of my lifetime have also carried my belief in You.
O my God, I have come to You distressed and dressed with destitution; and the detrimental consequences of my poverty have made me stand before You among the humble ones.
O my God, You have been always generous; so, please grant me from Your generosity, since I am one of Your suppliants. You have always given errands magnanimously; so, please mix me with those whom You grant earnings.
O my God, I am now standing on one of the doors of Your donations, begging You and refraining from asking for anything from any other one than You. It does not correspond to Your Stature that You may reject a distressed beggar who desperately waits for an item of kindness that You familiarly grant.
O my God, I am standing on the arch of hazards, suffering from the ordeals of my deeds and my bad choice, unless You help me pass by means of alleviating my loads and burdens.
O my God, have You decided that I should be of the people of misery, so that I should spend my times weeping? Or have You decided that I should be of the people of happiness, so that I should give this good news to my hope?
O my God, if You will deprive me of seeing Muhammad may Allah bless him and his Household and turn the face of my hope away with disappointment, then this is contrary to the hope in which I indulged myself, O Lord of majesty, honoring, bounty, and favoring!
O my God, if You had not guided me to Islam, I would not have been guided to it. If You had not provided me with the favor of believing in You, I would not have believed in You. If You had not released my tongue to pray to You, I would not have been able to pray to You. If You had not made me taste the sweetness of recognition of You, I would not have recognized You.
O my God, if failure has dissuaded me from competing with the pious people (in obedience to You), then my confidence in You has made me stand with the righteous people on the scales (that take to You).
O my God, how come that You give fire free hand over a heart that You filled with love for You in this world, so that the fire will burn it in the flames of hell?
O my God, all agonized ones resort to You, and all deprived ones hope for You.
O my God, when the devoted servants heard about Your abundant reward, they acted submissively towards You. When those who slipped from the straight course to You heard about Your magnanimity, they returned. When the sinful heard about Your all-inclusive mercy, they took pleasure in it.
When the offenders heard about Your generous pardon, they craved it, until the bands of the disobedient servants of You crowded, and each one of them clamored with roaring of supplication to You in Your land, while each one of them had a hope and a request that drove them to You, since You are the besought of all with Whom the faces of requests will never be turned black. Please, bless Muhammad Your Prophet and his Household and do to me that which befits You. Verily, You are the Hearer of prayers.82
Imam Ali (‘a) received the month of Ramadan with great joy, because this month is dedicated to Almighty Allah and it represents the best time of obedience to Him and winning His forgiveness.
Upon seeing the new moon of Ramadan, Imam Ali (‘a) said the following supplication:
O Allah, (please do) cause this crescent to carry with it for us security, faith, safety, submission to Your order, encompassing wellbeing, and repulsion of ailments. O Allah, (please do) provide us with the opportunity to observe fasting in this month, to do devotional acts, and to recite the Quran. O Allah, keep us sound for the month of Ramadan, accept our deeds, and save us during its days.83
Immediately before breaking his fast, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say this supplication:
O Allah, for You have we fasted and with Your sustenance have we broken our fasting; so, (please) accept form us. You are surely the All-hearing, the All-knower.84
A number of supplicatory prayers are reported to have been frequently and regularly said by Imam Ali (‘a) in mornings and evenings.
At the time of the rising of the sun, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplication:
O wonderfully shaped and miraculously formed Sun, you have been made a lamp for visions and a source of benefit to the people of the countries. Your rising is like a new life while your setting is like death. If you rise, then your rising is under a well-established decree, and when you set, your setting is to a well-fortified place.
I beseech Him Who has adorned the sky with you, attired you with light, designed for you the corners of your rising-places, and screened you with the glowing rays; thus, any thing that comes near you will be obliterated and any human being that faces you will be burnt I beseech Him to grant us health through you, to repel our ailments, to remove our estrangement, to remove our agonies, to protect us from slipping, following our whims, and exposing to perdition, to grant us the longest lifetime and the best of all deeds, and to make your rising a cause of a new, happy determination that brings to us the dress of wellbeing and secures for us the warding off of punishments.
O Allah, please bless Muhammad and his Household, perfect for us Your elegances that You have decided for us, and safeguard for us the favors that You have done us. Verily, You are the Patron of all munificence, the Donor of all favors, the Lord of copious bounty, and the Doer of whatever You wish to do. All praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds, and He is sufficient to us; and He is the most excellent patron.85
Famously known as du’a' Al-sabah, the following supplication is one of the most prominent supplicatory prayers of Imam Ali (‘a) who used to say in mornings:
O Allah, O He Who extended the morning's tongue in the speech of its dawning, dispatched the fragments of the dark night into the gloom of its stammering, made firm the structure of the turning spheres in the measure of its display, and beamed forth the brightness of the sun through the light of its blazing!
O He Who demonstrates His Essence by His Essence, transcends from congeniality with His creatures, and is exalted beyond conformity with His qualities! O He Who is near to the passing thoughts of opinions, far from the regards of eyes, and knows what will be before it comes to be!
O He Who has put me at ease in the cradle of His security and sanctuary, awakened me to the favors and kindness that He has bestowed upon me, and held back from me the claws of evil with His hand and His authority! Bless, O Allah, the guide to You in the darkest night, who, of Your ropes, clings to the cord of the longest nobility, whose pure lineage evident at the summit of stout shoulders, and whose feet were entrenched in spite of slippery places in ancient time. And [bless] his household, the good, chosen, and pious.
Open for us, O Allah, the leaves of the morning’s door with the keys of mercy and prosperity! Clothe me, O Allah, with the most excellent robes of guidance and righteousness! Plant, O Allah, through Your tremendousness, the springs of humility in the watering place of my heart! Cause to flow, O Allah, through fear of You, tears of moaning from the corners of my eyes! Chastise, O Allah, the recklessness of my clumsiness with the reins of contentment!
My God, if mercy from You does not begin with fair success for me, then who can take me to You upon the evident path? If Your deliberateness should turn me over to the guide of hope and wishes, then who will annul my slips from the stumbles of caprice? If Your help should forsake me in the battle against the soul and Satan, then Your forsaking will have submitted me to where there is hardship and deprivation.
My God, do You see that I have only come to You from the direction of hopes, or clung to the ends of Your cords when my sins have driven me from the house of union? So, what an evil mount upon which my soul has mounted-its caprice! Woe upon it for being seduced by its own opinions and wishes! Destruction be upon it for its audacity toward its Master and Protector!
My God, I have knocked upon the door of Your mercy with the hand of my hope, fled to You seeking refuge from my excessive caprice, and fixed the fingers of my love to the ends of Your cords. So pardon, O Allah, the slips and errors I have committed, and release me from the foot-tangling of my robe, for You are my Master, my Protector, my Support and my Hope, and You are the object of my search and my desire in my ultimate end and stable abode.
My God, how could You drive away a poor beggar who seeks refuge in You from sins, fleeing? How could You disappoint one seeking guidance who repairs to Your threshold, running? How could You reject a thirsty man who comes to Your pools to drink? Never! For Your pools are full in the hardship of drought, Your door is open for seeking and penetration, and You are the goal of requests and the object of hopes.
My God, these are the reins of my soul I have bounded with the ties of Your will. These are the burdens of my sins I have averted with Your pardon and mercy. These are my misleading caprices I have referred to the threshold of Your gentleness and kindliness.
So, make this morning of mine, O Allah, descend upon me with the radiance of guidance and safety in religion and this world! And [make] my evening a shield against the deception of enemies and a protection against the destructive blows of caprice! Verily, You have power to do what You will!
You give the kingdom to whom You will, seize the kingdom from whom You will, exalt whom You will, and abase whom You will. In Your hand is the good and You are powerful over all things. You make the night to enter into the day, make the day to enter into the night, bring forth the living from the dead, bring forth the dead from the living, and provide whomsoever You will without measure! There is no god but You!
Glory be to You, O Allah, and Yours is the praise! Who knows Your measure and yet does not fear You? Who knows what You are and yet does not stand in awe of You? Through Your power, You have joined disparate things, through Your gentleness, You have cleaved apart the daybreak, through Your generosity, You have illumined the dark shrouds of night, made waters, sweet and salt, flow forth from hard shining stones, sent dawn out of rain-clouds water cascading, and appointed the sun and the moon a blazing lamp for the creatures without experiencing in that which You originated either weariness or effort.
So, O He Who is alone in might and subsistence and dominates His slaves with death and annihilation, (please) bless Muhammad and his household, the god-fearing, answer my supplication, hear my call, and actualize through Your favor my hope and desire. O Best of those who are called to remove affliction and object of hope in difficulty and ease!
I have stated my need to You; so, do not reject me despairing of Your exalted gifts. O All-generous! O All-generous! O All-generous! By Your mercy, O Most Merciful of the merciful! May Allah bless the best of His creatures, Muhammad, and his entire Household!
The Imam (‘a) would then prostrate and say the following words:
O my God, my heart is veiled, my soul is deficient, my intelligence is defeated, my caprice is prevalent, my obedience is little, my disobedience is much, and my tongue confesses of sinning; so, what am I to do?
O He Who covers defects! O He Who knows the unseen! O He Who removes troubles! Forgive my sins, all of them, in the name of the sacredness of Muhammad and the household of Muhammad! O All- forgiver! O All-forgiver! O All-forgiver! By Your mercy, O Most Merciful of the merciful!86
Imam Ali (‘a) used to say more supplications in mornings, some of which will he presented hereinafter:
(1) O Allah, this daybreak and I are two of Your creations. O Allah, please do not put me to the test through it, and do not put it to the test through me. O Allah, do not show this daybreak from me any audacity to disobey You or any committing of what You have forbidden from me. O Allah, please keep away from me slipping, hardship, misfortune, hard luck, gloating of the enemies, and evil scene in myself and my property.87
(2) We being this morning thankful to Allah and begin our evenings praising Him. All praise be to You for we have become Muslims and sound.88
(3) Welcome, O you the two preserving and noble angels. I will invoke Allah’s blessings on you as you wish, by the will of Allah.89
(4) O Allah, please make me live and cause me to die following the Book (i.e. the Quran) and the Prophetic traditions. Please, keep me safe from fancies, innovations, deviation, and falsity. Please, protect me from confusion, aberrance, idiocy, ignorance, evil tribulation, sedition, lack of understanding, lack of knowledge, inadvertence because of being connected to (i.e. because of) the long respite, and the prevalence of lusts. Verily, You are All-gentle to what You wish. O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.90
Many supplications are reported to have been said by Imam Ali (‘a) in mornings and evenings. Yet, I will hereinafter quote one supplication only:
O my Lord, please immerse me in the ocean of the light of reverencing to You so that, when I come out of it, my face will have the rays of the illuminations of veneration that will take away the sights of the envious jinn and human beings and blind them against targeting the arrows of envy at the papers of my grace.
O Allah, please shield me behind the screen of light whose interior side is made of light and whose exterior side is made of light, too.
O Allah, I beseech You by Your Brilliant Name and Brilliant Face, O Light of all lights, to shield me in the light of Your Name by the light of Your Name, O All-light. May Allah bless Muhammad and his Household! All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.91
Imam Ali (‘a) spent the nights of his lifetime praying to Almighty Allah confidentially and expressing his love for and belief in Him. One of these confidential prayers reads as follows:
O Allah, I beseech You for security on the day when ‘neither wealth nor sons will avail except him who comes to Allah with a heart free from evil.’
And I beseech You for security on the day when ‘the wrongdoer gnaws his hands, saying: Ah, would that I had chosen a way together with the Messenger of Allah.’
And I beseech You for security on the day when ‘the guilty shall be recognized by their marks; so, they shall be seized by the forelocks and the feet.’
And I beseech You for security on the day when ‘a father shall not make any satisfaction for his son nor shall the child be the maker of any satisfaction for his father. Surely, the promise of Allah is true.’
And I beseech You for security on ‘the day on which their excuse shall not benefit the unjust and for them is curse and for them is the evil abode.’
And I beseech You for security on the day ‘when no soul shall control anything for another soul and the command on that day shall be entirely Allah’s.’
And I beseech You for security on the day when ‘a man shall fly from his brother, his mother, his father, his wife, and his children. Every person of them shall on that day have an affair, which will occupy him.’
And I beseech You for security on the day when ‘the guilty one will fain redeem himself from the chastisement of that day by sacrificing his children, his wife, his brother, the nearest of his kinsfolk who gave him shelter, and all those that are in the earth, wishing then that this might deliver him. By no means! Surely, it is a flaming fire, sagging by the head.’
O Master! O my Master! You are the master and I am the slave; and who can have mercy upon a slave except the master? O Master! O my Master! You are the Lord and I am the servant; and who can have mercy upon a servant except the lord? O Master! O my Master! You are the Almighty and I am the humble; and who can have mercy upon the humble except the Almighty? O Master! O my Master! You are the Creator and I am the created being; and who can have mercy upon a created being except the Creator? O Master! O my Master! You are the All-great and I am the trivial; and who can have mercy upon the trivial except the All-great?
O Master! O my Master! You are the All-powerful and I am the weak; and who can have mercy upon the weak except the All-powerful? O Master! O my Master! You are the All-wealthy and I am the needy; and who can have mercy upon the needy except the All-wealthy? O Master! O my Master! You are the Donor and I am the beggar; and who can have mercy upon a beggar except the Donor? O Master! O my Master! You are the Ever-living and I am the mortal; and who can have mercy upon a mortal except the Ever-living?
O Master! O my Master! You are the Everlasting and I am the evanescent; and who can have mercy upon an evanescent being except the Everlasting? O Master! O my Master! You are the Eternal and I am the perishable; and who can have mercy upon a perishable being except the Eternal? O Master! O my Master! You are the Provider of sustenance and I am the sustained; and who can have mercy upon a sustained being except the Provider of sustenance?
O Master! O my Master! You are the All- magnanimous and I am the miser; and who can have mercy upon a miser except the All-magnanimous? O Master! O my Master! You are the Healer and I am the subject to diseases; and who can have mercy upon the sick except the Healer? O Master! O my Master! You are the All-big and I am the tiny; and who can have mercy upon a tiny being except the All-big (Lord)?
O Master! O my Master! You are the Guide and I am lost; and who can have mercy upon a lost one except the Guide? O Master! O my Master! You are the All-beneficent and I am the object of Your mercy; and who can have mercy upon the needy for mercy except the All-beneficent? O Master! O my Master! You are the Superintendent and I am the tested; and who can have mercy upon a tested except the Superintendent?
O Master! O my Master! You are the Director and I am the perplexed; and who can have mercy upon a perplexed one except the director? O Master! O my Master! You are the All-forgiver and I am the sinful; and who can have mercy upon a sinful except the All-forgiver? O Master! O my Master! You are the Dominant and I am the overcome; and who can have mercy upon an overcome one except the Dominant?
O Master! O my Master! You are the Raiser and I am the raised; and who can have mercy upon a raised one except the Raiser? O Master! O my Master! You are the All-superb and I am the subservient; and who can have mercy upon a subservient except the All-superb? O Master! O my Master! (Please do) encompass me with Your mercy and be pleased with me out of Your magnanimity, nobility, and favoring. O Lord of magnanimity, benediction, conferral of bliss, and blessing, in the name of Your mercy, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy!92
In another confidential prayer, Imam Ali (‘a) says,
O my God, roads have become rugged and passersby are thus very few. So, please be my friend in my loneliness and my companion in my seclusion. To You do I complain about my poverty and destitution, and to You do I refer my harshness and neediness, because You are the goal of my hope and the utmost of my request.
How happy the hearts of the cognitive are! How lively the souls of the gnostic are! How excellent end the eagerness of the loving has! It is You in Whose courtyard everyone resides; and for You only all hopes are headed; and in You only are true trusts put.
O He Who is the one and only Perfect, Who has dressed brilliance, Who is Almighty through majesty, and Who does abundant favors, please do not deprive us of Your donations.
O my God, hearts are seeking shelter with You, because You are the utmost goal of the loving. With You only are the hearts seeking refuge in fear of defects. You have always been forbearing although You knew (about the wrongdoings), have always shown mercy although You saw, have always covered up (the defects) although You were fully aware (of them), and have always forgiven although You were enraged. Is there then any other one than You to hope for? Is there any other god than You to be feared? Is there any other worshipped one than You to be prayed?
Is there any foot running towards other than You at hardships? By Your Almighty (I swear), O delight of all souls and utmost goal of all success, I possess nothing but my humiliation, destitution, neediness for You, and sincere confidence in You. I thus run away towards You and I beseech You for what cannot be hidden from You.
If you then pardon me, this will be out of Your favors; if You punish me, this will be justice from You; if You endue me with Your kindness, this will be due to Your magnanimity; and if You excuse me, this will be due to the perpetuity of Your infinity.
O my God, I swear by the majesty of Your grandeur and I vow by the perpetuity of the everlastingness of Your subsistence that I will never cease sitting at Your door until You grant me security from the sways of Your torment and I will not be content with Your excluding me from the sways of Your torment until I leave, carrying with me Your abundant reward.
O my God, very strange are the hearts that feel at ease with this world and find the comfort of hopes while they knew for sure that the possessions of this world should be eventually gone, its bliss should eventually vanish, its shade should eventually decline, its pillars should eventually slope, the attractive bloom of its beauty should eventually wear out, and whatever is true in it should eventually be proven false. How can they then desire for the comfort of the kingdom of the heavens while they are distracted by love for the perishable things and misled by whims from taking the true path?
O my God, please include us with those whose intellects are passionately adoring the remembrance of You and whose hearts left their places in yearning for You; therefore, the motives of their love for You grasped their hearts, making them prisoners in Your fist.
O my God, how can I praise You, although praising You is one of Your graces, when no utterance can ever express Your Essence, no hearing can ever retain You, no heart can realize You, no idea can comprehend You, no determination can go along with You, and Your reality cannot occur to any mind.
So, please grant me that I should be thankful to You, do not make me secured of Your scheme, do not make me forget remembering You, and give me generously all that which You are the worthiest of giving generously, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.93
These golden words are reported to have been said by Imam Ali ibn Abi- talib (‘a) in the form of confidential prayer:
O my God, to be a servant of You is the ultimate of my honor and Your being my Lord is the ultimate of my pride. As You are as exactly as I love, please make me as exactly as You love.94
Accompanied by the pious Muslims, Imam Ali (‘a) used to come out to a desert when rain stopped and draught befell people. He would pray Almighty Allah humbly and submissively for rain.
In one of his supplicatory prayers for rain, he (‘a) said,
O Allah, please spread Your mercy on us through heavy, sudden rain and splashing clouds; and endue Your servants with ripening of the fruits; and enliven Your servants and lands through the growing of blossoms; and call Your honorable scribing angels to witness for a beneficial and perpetual irrigation of expansive heaviness and immediate, swift, and pouring heavy rain by which You give life to what had died, catch what had been missed, grow what is coming from the yields, and expand for us our livelihoods; clouds that are accumulative, pleasant, enjoyable, and heaped up; the drops of which should not be harmful nor should its lightning be rainless.
O Allah, please water us with rain that is fertile, productive, outgoing, liberal, and heavy, by which You water the animals and meet the gluttony of the greedy.
O Allah, please water us with raindrops due to which hillocks will flow with water, skins of water will be replete, rivers will be gushing forth, trees will grow, prices all over the countries will be lowered, beasts and human beings will be refreshed, plants will sprout, udders (of cattle) will pour out milk, and our power is increased to be added up to Your power.
O Allah, please do not make its heat to be undesirable wind; do not make its coldness to be unremitting; do not make its damage to be like missiles and its water to be salty.
O Allah, please provide us with portions from the blessings of the heavens and the earth.95
Imam Ali (‘a) is also reported to have said the following supplicatory prayer for rain:
O Allah, surely our mountains have dried up and our earth has become dusty. Our cattle are thirsty and are bewildered in their enclosures. They are moaning like the moaning of mothers for their dead sons. They are tired of going to their meadows and longing for their watering places.
O Allah, have mercy on the groan of the groaning and yearn of the yearning.
O Allah, have mercy on their bewilderment and their passages and their groaning in their yards.
O Allah, we have come out to You when the years of drought have crowded over us like a herd of thin camels, and rain clouds have abandoned us. You are the hope for the afflicted and succor for the seeker.
We call You when the people have lost hopes, cloud has been denied, and cattle have died, that do not seize us for our deeds and do not catch us for our sins, and spread Your mercy over us through raining clouds, rain-fed blossoming, amazing vegetation, and heavy down-pours with which all that was dead regains life and all that was lost returns.
O Allah, give rain from You which should be life-giving, satisfying, thorough, wide-scattered, purified, blissful, plentiful and invigorating. Its vegetation should be exuberant, its branches full of fruits, and its leaves green. With it, You reinvigorate the weak among Your creatures and bring back to life the dead among Your cities.
O Allah, give rain from You with which our high lands are covered with green herbage, streams are flowing, our sides grow green, our fruits thrive, our cattle prosper, our far-flung areas are watered, and our dry areas get its benefit, with Your vast blessing and immeasurable grant on Your distressed universe and Your untamed beasts.
And pour upon us rain which is drenching, continuous and heavy; wherein one cycle of rain clashes with the other and one rain drop pushes another into a continuous chain, its lightning should not be deceptive, its cheek not rainless, its white clouds not scattered, and rain not light, so that the famine-stricken thrive with its abundant herbage and the drought stricken come to life with its bliss. Certainly, You pour down rain after the people lose hopes and spread Your mercy, since You are the Guardian, the praiseworthy.96
The following is another supplicatory prayer that Imam Ali (‘a) said in seeking for rain:
Behold! The earth which bears you and the sky which overshadows you are obedient to their Sustainer (Almighty Allah). They have not been bestowing their blessings on you for any feeling of pity on you or inclination towards you, nor for any good which they expect from you, but they were commanded to bestow benefits on you and they are obeying, and were asked to maintain your good and so they are maintaining it.
Certainly, Allah tries His creatures in respect of their evil deeds by decreasing fruits, holding back blessings, and closing the treasures of good, so that he who wishes to repent may repent, he who wishes to turn away from evils may turn away, he who wishes to recall forgotten good may recall, and he who wishes to abstain from evil may abstain. Allah the Glorified has made the seeking of His forgiveness a means for the pouring down of livelihood and mercy on the people as Allah has said,
‘Seek the forgiveness of your Lord! Verily, He is the Most Forgiving. He will send down upon you the cloud raining in torrents, and help you with wealth and children. (17:10-12)’
Allah may shower mercy on him who took up repentance, gave up sins, and hastened in performing good acts before his death.
O Allah, we have come out to You from under the curtains and coverings of houses when the beasts and children are crying, seeking Your mercy, hoping for the generosity of Your bounty, and fearing Your chastisement and retribution.
O Allah, give us to drink from Your rain and do not disappoint us, nor kill us by years of drought, nor punish us for what the foolish among us have committed, O Most Merciful of all.
O Allah, we have come out to You to complain to You about what is already not hidden from You, when the seven troubles have forced us, draughty famines have driven us, distressing wants have made us helpless, and troublesome mischief has incessantly befallen us.
O Allah, we beseech You not to send us back disappointed, nor to return us with down-cast eyes, nor to address us harshly for our sins, nor to deal with us according to our deeds.
O Allah, do pour on us Your mercy, Your blessing, Your sustenance, and Your pity, and make us enjoy a drink which benefits us, quenches our thirst, produces green herbage with which all that was lost gets a growing, and all that had withered comes to life again.
It should bring about the benefit of freshness and copiousness of ripe fruits. With it, plains may be watered, rivers may begin flowing, plants may pick up foliage, and prices may come down. Surely, You are powerful over whatever You will.97
Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplication at hardships:
O Allah, You are verily the king; O Oft-forgiving. There is no god save You. I am Your servant. I have wronged myself and confessed of my sins; so, please forgive my sins. There is no god save You, O Oft-forgiving.
O Allah, I praise You and You are the worthiest of being praised for what You have given me exclusively from the donations that cover my desires and the most favorite errands that You have made reach me; and for Your pleasure with which You have endued me and conferred upon me; and for Your enjoyable graces that You have bestowed upon me; and for
Your defense of me; and for Your success granted to me by You; and for Your responding to my prayers so that I am speaking to You confidentially in desire for You, I am beseeching You with pure intention, and I am hoping for You and thus I find You amending all my affairs under all conditions, regarding me in all of my issues, giving me victory over my enemies, forgiving my sins, and covering up my defects. I have never been divested of Your prosperity even for a wink of an eye since You have sent me down to the world of test to see how I should behave and what I should make for the abode of perpetuity.
O Allah, I have been released by You from all misfortunes, hardships, and agonies because of which distress exposed me to unexpected matters and because of which I suffered unbearable tribulations. I remember nothing from You but kind turns and I have seen nothing from You but favoring.
You have granted me all-inclusive welfare. Your favors to me are uninterrupted and Your graces to me are connected. Many a time have You saved me from what I anticipated. You have thus made my expectations about You come true, as You have always been my companion in my journeys.
You have also honored me in my hometown, healed my illnesses, cured me from my diseases, and treated me kindly in my abodes of turmoil and rest. You have never allowed my enemies to gloat over my misfortunes as You always smote those who had smitten me and saved me from the evils of those who incur the animosity to me.
O Allah, O my God, many an enemy unsheathed the sword of his hostility against me, honed his dagger’s edge against me, sharpened the heads of his weapons against me, mixed for me his deadly poisons, leveled at me his hitting arrow, and decided secretly to target harm to me and to make me taste the deadly poison of his bitterness. [Amid all that] You considered that I am too weak to bear hardships, I am too short to have aid against him who aimed at attacking me, and You perceived my loneliness to confront many of those who incurred my hostility and laid in wait for me, while I have not been ready to give any thought to overcoming and retaliating.
So, You, O my Lord, came to stand by me with Your aid, made me strong through Your support, notched his sharpness against me, disappointed him although he concentrated all his troops and crowds, gave me the upper hand over him, and defeated him fatigues and engaged with his own traps. Thus, he could not quench his thirst, did not assuage the fury of his anger, bit his thumb [out of his malice toward me], and turned his back fleeing after You frustrated his pennons and made him fail to achieve his expectations.
O Allah, many a tyrannical oppressor made me the target of his oppressive trickeries, set the traps of his hunting for me, and waylaid me like a beast waylaying its prey and trying to catch its prey, while he was showing me happy mien flatteringly and displaying a cheerful face.
So, when You, O my God, saw the ill intention of his inner self and the ugliness of his determination against me, You threw him down headlong in the very pit which he had dug for hunting me, made him fall in the bottomless depth of his hole, made him turn back on his heels, hurled him with his own stone, slaughtered him with his own arrowhead, suffocated him with his own rope, turned his plot to his own neck, lassoed him with his remorse.
So, he became lowly and dwindled after his arrogance, was crushed after his haughtiness; humble and captured in the lasso of his trap in which he wished to see me. In fact, I was had it not been for Your mercy about to encounter the same as he had encountered. So, all praise be to the Lord Who is invulnerably Omnipotent, the Patron Who is prudently Forbearing, the Self-subsisting Who is never negligent, and the Forbearing Who is never impatient.
I called upon You, O my God, seeking Your shelter, having full confidence in the immediateness of Your response, trusting in that which I am still receiving from You; namely, the excellence of Your defense of me, having full knowledge that whoever harbors under the shade of Your protection will never be persecuted, and whoever takes refuge in the fortress of the seeking of Your support will never be exposed to the strikes of misfortunes. So, You, O my Lord, redeemed me with Your omnipotence and saved me from his prowess with Your bounty and obliging favor.
O my God, many clouds of misfortune You have dispersed, much rain of bliss You have poured, many streams of conferral You have made flow, many springs of troubles You have effaced, many launches of mercy You have spread, many overwhelming calamities You have removed, many armors of wellbeing You have adorned [us with], and many continual events of goodness You have decided. They would never render You impotent when You determined them to happen, and could never stop responding to You when You wanted them to be.
O Allah, many an envier targeted his envy at me, smit me with his sharp tongue, pricked me with the inner corner of his eye, made me the object of his intentions, and gird me with dispositions that are still his.
O Allah, many an excellent hope You have achieved, many breaking poverty You have set and expanded, many blows You have revived (me from them), and many agonies You have relieved (me of them), and many gross neediness You have shunted, and many graces You have allowed me to use. You cannot be questioned concerning that which You do and You are never grudging when You grant. Although You have not been besought, You took the initiative to give.
When Your favoring was asked, You have not withheld. You have insisted on nothing but favoring, bestowal, and granting bounties. But as for me, I insisted on nothing but indulging in acts of disobedience to You, violation of Your prohibitions, transgressing Your limits, passing over Your threats, and obeying Your and my enemy. You have never stopped perfecting Your favors on me and granting successive graces. However, this has not prevented me from committing sins that You dislike.
O my God, this is the situation of one who confesses of failure to carry out his duty towards You, and testifies to Your ample favoring on him and Your excellence deliverance. So, O Allah, O my God, confer upon me that through which I can attain Your mercy, and that which I can take as a ladder by which I ascend to Your satisfaction, and I can be secured from Your wrath. Verily, You do whatever You wish, You judge whatever You want to judge, and You have power over all things.
O Allah, my praise of You is continuous and my extolment of You in perpetually moving from age to age, with the various colors of glorification of You and the various arts of sanctification of You, purely intended for remembering You and for attaining Your pleasure through the genuine confession of Your Oneness, wholesome praise of You, and enumeration of Your bounties that is intended for giving the lie to those who deny You.
You have never been assisted in any item of Your power, You have never been shared in Your Godhead, and You have never been witnessed when You suspended all things on their various instincts and made the creatures on a variety of forms.
Illusions can never penetrate into the screens of Your hidden knowledge so that they may conclude that Your greatness is limited, Your sempiternity is fashioned on a definite way, or Your infinity is possibly comprehended. So, the most profound ideas cannot attain an understanding of You nor can the most reflective skills embrace You.
The views of the most talented thinkers cannot perceive You in the glory of Your omnipotence and the greatness of Your power. The description of Your power is too exalted and the grandeur of Your greatness is too elevated to be likened to the descriptions of Your created beings. Never reducing is that which You decide to augment, and never augmenting is that which You decide to reduce.
None beheld You when You fashioned the creation and none stood by You when You originated the souls. All tongues are too impotent to elucidate Your attribute and intellects are too weak to embrace the essence of recognizing You. How can You be described through attributes or held in any space while You are the Omnipotent and All-holy Lord Who is eternally and everlastingly perpetual in the unseen world alone without being any one else existent therein and none else can be worthy enough to be there?’98
Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have prayed to Almighty Allah for steadfastness, saying,
O Allah, please grant me steadfastness with every tribulation, and grant me expression of gratitude (for You) with every grace.
O Allah, when You decide to put me to the test through tribulations, please grant me patience along with these tribulations. Yet, wellbeing is more favorable to me.99
Whenever a misfortune would trouble him, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following help-seeking prayer:
I pray for the immunity of the Ever-living King Who never dies. I pray for the protection of the Lord of almightiness, justice, and omnipotence. I pray for the help of the Lord of greatness, power, and kingdom against whatever I fear and whatever concerns me.100
Imam Ali (‘a) used to refer to Almighty Allah in all times, with a definite prayer that suited the situation. In times of distress and agony, he (‘a) prayed to Almighty Allah, saying,
O Allah, please do not endear to me what You hate, and do not make me loathe what is lovable by You.
O Allah, I seek Your protection lest I may be pleased with what arouses Your wrath, or I detest what pleases You, or I reuse Your acts, or I trespass Your Words, or I act sincerely towards Your enemies, or I violate Your orders for their sake.
O Allah, please make me stand steadfastly and do tirelessly any word and act that draw me nearer to Your pleasure and take me aloof from Your wrath, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.
O Allah, please grant me an oft-remembering tongue, a grateful heart, an honest certitude, a sincere faith, and a humble body. Please, provide me with love for You and fill in my hearts with dread from You.
O Allah, if You show me mercy, then I have already had a nice idea about You. If You otherwise torment me, then this will be a fair punishment for my wrongdoing, prejudice, offenses, and extravagant acts. Then, My excuses will not be admitted, if I make ones, and I will have no right to demand with any reward, if I want to demand with one.
O Allah, when the terms of lifetime terminate, the days of life come to an end, and I have no other way but to present myself before You, please then grant me an abode in Paradise that the past and the last generations will wish to have the like of it an abode that will never bring about regret and there will be no companion like it. Please, make it to be one of the most honorable abodes of Paradise.
O Allah, please attire me with the dignity of the faith-based submission before I am attired with the humility-based submission in Hellfire.
I praise You, O my Lord, with the most excellent praise, because You have always done me the most excellent favors.
O Allah, please make me taste Your aid, support, success, and donation. Please, provide me with eagerness to meet You, and support from You until I can find the sweetness of that in my heart. Please, help me decide on the most successful choice concerning all of my affairs. You verily can see my situation and the situation of my companions, and nothing of my affairs can ever be hidden from You.
O Allah, I beseech You for victory that You granted to Your Messenger and through which You discriminated between the truth and the falsity and You established Your religion and demonstrated Your argument clearly. O He on Whom I depend under all circumstances!101
Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplicatory prayer when he was attacked by calamities:
O Allah, Master of the Kingdom! You give the kingdom to whomsoever You please and take away the kingdom from whomsoever You please, and You exalt whom You please and abase whom You please. In Your hand is the good.
Surety, You have power over all thing. You make the night to pass into the day and You make the day to pass into the night, and You bring forth the living from the dead and You bring forth the dead from the living, and You give sustenance to whom You please without measure.
Allah is the Most Great! Allah is the Most Great! Allah is the Most Great! All created beings are submissive to the greatness of His majesty. Every haughty one of them is humble before the greatness of His almightiness.
None of them can ever find a redeemer from Him; rather, He, Allah, causes them to be fugitive, scattered and perishing in the climax of their
tyranny, in the name of: ‘Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn from the evil of what He has created, from the evil of the utterly dark night when it comes, from the evil of those who blow on knots, and from the evil of the envious when he envies.’ And in the name of: ‘Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of men, the King of men, the god of men, from the evil of the whisperings of the slinking (Satan) who whispers into the hearts of men from among the jinn and the men.’
Closed against me is the door of the eager and the laggards amongst you (all); they are thus lost and cast away in the name of Al-Saffat (those drawing themselves out in ranks), Al-Dhariyat (the wind that scatters far and wide), Al-Mursalat (the emissary winds), and Al-Nazi’at (the angels who violently pull out the souls of the wicked).
I deter you all from making any movement. Be ash! Do not extend your hands towards me or towards any believer. ‘On that day, We will set a seal upon their mouths; and their hands shall speak to Us; and their feet shall bear witness of what they earned.’
‘This is the day on which they shall not speak; and permission shall not be given to them so that they should offer excuses.’ All eyes (of the enemies) may be blind, all tongues may be mute, and all necks are nodded down in submission before the Creator King.
O Allah, In beseech You in the name of ‘mim’, ‘‘ayn’, ‘fa'‘, the two ‘ha'‘ the light of the ghosts, the glittering of the light of mornings, and Your management for me, O He Who is All-powerful in going and coming, please save me from the evil of whatever creeps and walks, and whatever acts arrogantly and haughtily.
Allah is the Overcoming. No fugitive can flee from Him. ‘Help from Allah and a victory near at hand.’ ‘Allah has written down: I will most certainly prevail, I and My messengers. Surely, Allah is Strong, Mighty.’
Whoever seeks the shelter of Allah will be secured. There is neither might nor power save with Allah, the All-high, the All-great.102
The following is another supplication that Imam Ali (‘a) composed in praying for Almighty Allah’s defense against the tricks of the rivals and enemies:
I seek the defense of the brilliance of the Face of Allah the Eternal and Perfect. I seek the protection of the shield of Allah the Powerful and Encompassing. I smite every one who has acted wrongly towards me with the arrow of Allah and with His fatal sword.
O Allah! O Master of all of His affairs! O He Who stands over all of His creatures! O He Who intervenes between man and his heart! Please, intervene between me and Satan, his schemes, and all of Your servants whom I lack power to confront. Please, stop their tongues from reviling at me, enchain their hands and feet, and establish between them and a dam made from the brilliance of Your greatness, a screen made of Your power, and a host from Your authority. Verily, You are Ever-living and All- powerful.
O Allah, please set a seal over the eyes of the observers so that I can pass, and set a seal over the trickeries of those who plot against me at night and in daylight, and set a seal over the sights of those who scheme evil against me so that I will not care for their watching over me; ‘the flash of His lightning almost takes away the sight. Allah turns over the night and the day. most surely, there is a lesson in this for those who have sight.’
In the Name of Allah the All-beneficent, the All-merciful. ‘kaf-ha-ya-’ayn- sad.’
In the Name of Allah the All-beneficent, the All-merciful. ‘ha-mim. ‘ayn- sin-qaf.’
‘Like water which We send down from the cloud so the herbage of the earth becomes tangled on account of it, then it becomes dry broken into pieces which the winds scatter.’
‘The Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the Beneficent, the Merciful.’
‘The day that draws near, when hearts shall rise up to the throats, grieving inwardly; the unjust shall not have any compassionate friend nor any intercessor who should be obeyed.’
‘Every soul shall then know what it has prepared.’
‘But nay! I swear by the stars that run their course and hide themselves, and the night when it departs, and the morning when it brightens.’
‘Sad! I swear by the Quran full of admonition. Nay! Those who disbelieve are in self-exaltation and opposition.’
Imam Ali (‘a) would then repeat the following supplicatory statements three times:
Deformed be the faces! Blind by the sights! Muted be the tongues! I make their good between their eyes, their evil under their feet, and the ring of Solomon between their shoulders.
All glory be to Allah the All-powerful, the Overcoming, the All-sufficing. ‘So, Allah will suffice you against them, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.’ ‘The baptism of Allah, and who is better than Allah in baptizing? And Him do we serve.’ ‘kaf-ha-ya-’ayn-sad.’ Please, save us. ‘ha-mim. ‘ayn-sin-qaf.’ Please, protect us and have mercy on us. He is Allah; the All-powerful, the Supreme, the All-strong, the All-sufficing.
‘And We have made before them a barrier and a barrier behind them; then, We have covered them over; so, they do not see.’ ‘These are they on whose hearts and their hearing and their eyes Allah has set a seal, and these are the heedless ones.’
May Allah bless Muhammad and his entire Household the pure and immaculate. ‘Surely, it is from Solomon, and surely it is: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Exalt not yourselves against me and come to me in submission.’
O Allah, I do beseech You to grant me my request and to forgive my sins, because none can forgive sins save You, in the name of Your mercy, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy. ‘And the faces shall be humbled before the Living, the Self-subsistent Allah; and he who bears iniquity is indeed a failure.’ O Ever-living! O Self-Subsistent! O Lord of majesty and honoring!103
Praying to Almighty Allah for protection, Imam Ali (‘a) says,
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; He is the Resurrecting, the Inheritor.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; He watches every soul as to what it earns.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; He said to the heavens and to the earth, ‘Come both, willingly or unwillingly.’ They both said, ‘We come willingly.’
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; neither slumber nor sleep can overtake Him.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; He is the All- beneficent Who has full authority over the Throne. He knows the stealthy looks and what is hidden in breasts.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; His are whatever is in the heavens, whatever is on the earth, whatever is between the two, and whatever is under the dust.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; He can see but He can never be seen while He is in the Most Exalted Prospect. He is the Lord of the last and the first.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; all things are submissive to His kingdom.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; all things are humbling themselves before His greatness.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; He is near although He is All-exalted, Most High although He is near, and Mighty through His absolute authority.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; He is the most excellent Maker, the All-elevated, the Ever-living, the Perpetual, the Eternal Who is never extinct.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; no language can ever describe His all-powerfulness.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; He is the Ever- living, the Self-subsistent; neither slumber nor sleep can overtake Him.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; He is the All- clement, the All-munificent, the Lord of majesty and honoring.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; He is the One, the One and Only, the Single, the Besought of all; He begets not nor is be begotten, and there is none like Him.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; He is the most Generous of all of the generous, the All-great, the Most Great, the All- high, and the Most High.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; in His Hand lies all goodness, and He has power over all things.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; all those who are in the heavens and in the earth glorify Him and are subservient to Him.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; He is the Ever- living, the All-wise, the All-hearing, the All-knowing, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful.
I seek the protection of Allah save Whom there is no god; in Him do I put my trust, and He is the Lord of the Great Throne.
In the Name of Allah the All-beneficent, the All-merciful.
O Allah, I do beseech You, although You know my request better than I do. I ask from You, although You know my question better than I do. I desire for You, and You are the ultimate of my desire.
O He Who is the knower of all secrets, the Raiser of the heavens, the Fender of misfortunes, the Target of all requests, and the Grantor of all demands, please bless Muhammad the Seal of the Prophets and bless his Household, the pure and immaculate.
O Allah, please forgive our wrongdoing and our transgression against our duties towards You in all of our affairs and in what You know better than we do.
O Allah, please forgive my offenses and my intentional, unintentional, funny-intended, and serious faults, because I have committed all of these categories of faults.
O Allah, please forgive me my past, coming, overt, and covert sins. You are the Grantor of precedence and postponement. You have power over all things.104
Thursday nights (laylat Al-jumu’ah) are distinctive nights of blessings. It is highly recommended to spend them with devotional and charitable acts.
At Thursday nights, Imam Ali (‘a) used to repeat the following supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, I beseech You for mercy from You by which You guide my heart, reunify my affairs, unite my scattered matters, guard my absent ones, set aright the affairs of my present ones, purify my deed, inspire me to follow uprightness, and protect me from all evils.
O Allah, please grant me true faith, pure certitude, and mercy by which I can attain the honor of Your dignity in this world and the other world.
O Allah, I beseech You for winning in Your predetermined affairs, ranks of scholars, life of the happy, and victory over the enemies.
O Allah, I am stating to You my needs, even though my deed is weak. I thus need for Your mercy. I beseech You, O settler of all issues and healer of all breasts; just as You set a barrier between the two seas, so also please rescue me from the torture of the flaming fire, from the pleading for destruction, and from interrogation in the grave.
O Allah, as for all items or things that my request could not cover and my hope could not attain, and as for any item of prosperity with which You have promised any of Your servants but my plea did not include, please I desire for all of that from You.
O Allah, O Lord of the strong rope and Lord of right-directing commands, I beseech You for security on the Day of Threatening and for Paradise with those ones who are drawn near to You, the witnesses, the frequently genuflecting and prostrating to You, and the faithful to their covenants. Verily, You are All-merciful and All-loving and You do whatever You will to do.
O Allah, please cause us to be guiding, well-guided, neither straying off nor misleading; and make us at peace with Your saints and at war with Your enemies; and make us love the repentant ones and incur the hostility of those who oppose You, because You are their enemy.
O Allah, this is our prayer and we are waiting for Your response. This is our effort and we put our trust in You.
O Allah, set light in my heart, light in my grave, light before me, light beneath me, light over me, light in my hearing, light in my sight, light in my hair, light in my skin, light in my flesh, light in my blood, and light in my bones.
O Allah, please magnify light for me. All glory be to the One Who wears magnificence and Who is honorable due to His magnificence. All glory be to Him save Whom none deserves to be glorified. All glory be to the Lord of favoring and granting of graces. All glory be to the Lord of magnificence and honor. All glory be to the Lord of majesty and honoring.105
The night before the ‘´d Al-Fitr Day (i.e. the first of Shawwal; the first day on which the obligatory fasting of the month of Ramadan is broken) is also one of the blessed nights which is highly recommended to be spent with devotional acts.
At this night, it is recommended to offer a two unit prayer reciting, in the first unit, Surah Al-Fatihah once and repeating Surah Al-Tawhid one thousand times and reciting, in the second unit, Surah Al-Fatihah once and Surah Al-Tawhid once only.
After accomplishment, it is recommended to prostrate and say the following words: atubu ila’llahi (I turn repentant unto Allah). After that, the following supplicatory prayer, which is reported from Imam Ali (‘a), should be said:
O Lord of favoring and magnanimity! O Lord of favoring and bounty! O He Who has selected Muhammad, peace of Allah be upon him and his Household, (please do) send blessings to Muhammad and his Household.
Then, one may pray for the granting of one’s personal needs.
Imam Al-Sadiq (‘a) reported that when Imam Ali Amir Al-Mu'minin (‘a) used to offer this prayer, he would say,
‘I swear by Him Who grasps my soul in His Hand; Almighty Allah shall definitely respond to whomever offers this prayer and then prays Him for granting his needs, and Almighty Allah shall forgive him even if his sins would be as much as the pebbles in deserts.’
Upon accomplishing this prayer, Imam Ali (‘a) would say the following supplicatory prayer:
O Allah! O Allah! O Allah! O Beneficent! O Allah! O Merciful! O Allah! O Sovereign! O Allah! O Most Holy! O Allah! O Peace! O Allah! O Giver of security! O Allah! O All-prevailing! O Allah! O Almighty! O Allah! O Omnipotent! O Allah! O All-great! O Allah! O Creator! O Allah! O
Inventor! O Allah! O Shaper! O Allah! O All-knowing! O Allah! O Great! O Allah! O Knowing! O Allah! O All-generous! O Allah! O Indulgent! O Allah! O Wise! O Allah! O Hearer! O Allah! O Seer! O Allah! O Near! O Allah! O Responder! O Allah! O All-magnanimous! O Allah! O Glorious! O Allah! O Rich and Powerful! O Allah! O Sincere! O Allah! O Lord-Master!
O Allah! O Judge! O Allah! O Swift! O Allah! O Firm! O Allah! O Compassionate! O Allah! O Preserver! O Allah! O Mighty! O Allah! O Protector! O Allah! O Encompassing! O Allah! O Chief of the chiefs! O Allah! O Ever-Foremost! O Allah! O Eternally Last! O Allah! O Evident! O Allah! O Intrinsic Fundamental! O Allah! O Glorious! O Allah! O Victor! O Allah! O Oft- nourishing! O Allah! O Oft-nourishing! O Allah! O Oft-nourishing! O Allah! O Loving! O Allah! O Light! O Allah! O Raiser!
O Allah! O Preventing! O Allah! O Defender! O Allah! O Introducer! O Allah! O Bountiful! O Allah! O Magnificent! O Allah! O Handsome! O Allah! O Witness! O Allah! O Present! O Allah! O Succoring! O Allah! O Beloved! O Allah! O Creator out of nothing! O Allah! O Purifier! O Allah! O Master! O Allah! O All-powerful! O Allah! O Possessor! O Allah! O Spreader! O Allah! O Vivifying! O Allah! O Exterminator! O Allah! O Causer! O Allah! O Inheritor! O Allah! O Bestower! O Allah!
O Favorer! O Allah! O Benefactor! O Allah! O Truth! O Allah! O Distinct! O Allah! O Affable! O Allah! O Polite! O Allah! O Graceful! O Allah! O Originator! O Allah! O He Who brings back all things! O Allah! O He Who makes visible! O Allah! O Inventor! O Allah! O Guide! O Allah! O Able! O Allah! O Efficacious! O Allah! O High! O Allah! O Great! O Allah! O Tender! O Allah! O Kind! O Allah! O Owner of bounties! O Allah! O Allah! O Most High! O Allah! O Just!
O Allah! O Owner of ascendancy! O Allah! O Truthful! O Allah! O Sincere! O Allah! O Requiting! O Allah! O He Who remains for ever! O Allah! O Vigilant! O Allah! O Owner of majesty! O Allah! O Owner of glory! O Allah! O Admirable! O Allah! O Adorable! O Allah! O Maker! O Allah! O Helper! O Allah! O Doer! O Allah! O Active! O Allah! O Subtle! O Allah! O Oft-forgiving! O Allah! O Very Thankful! O Allah! O Splendid! O Allah! O Omnipotent! O Allah! O Oft-nourishing! O Allah! O Oft-nourishing! O Allah! O Oft-nourishing! O Allah! O Oft-nourishing!
O Allah! O Oft- nourishing! O Allah! O Oft-nourishing! O Allah! O Oft-nourishing! O Allah! O Oft-nourishing! O Allah! O Oft-nourishing! O Allah! O Oft- nourishing! O Allah! I beseech You to send blessings to Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad, favor on me with Your pleasure, grant me amnesty through Your munificence, and expand Your lawful, good sustenance to me from whence I expect and from whence I do not, for I am Your servant, I have no one else other than You, and there is no one to whom I turn to other than You! O Most Merciful of the Merciful! Only that which Allah wills takes place. There is no power except in Allah the All- high and All-great.
After that, the Imam (‘a) would prostrate himself and say the following supplicatory words:
O Allah! O Allah! O Allah! O Oft-nourishing! O Oft-nourishing! O Oft- nourishing! O He Who sends down blessing! To You only are all desires turned.
I beseech You in the name of every name treasured in Your invisible collection, and in the name of Your celebrated names, inscribed on the hangings of Your Throne, to send blessings to Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad, to accept my offerings made in the month of Ramadan, to record my name in the list of those who will journey to Your Sacred House, to overlook my grand sins, to demonstrate, O Lord, before me Your treasures, O All-beneficent!106
On the fifteenth of Rajab, that is one of the blessed days. Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, O He Who humiliates all the tyrants! O He Who dignifies the believers! Verily, You are my Shelter when all courses mislead me and You are the Maker of my creation out of Your having mercy upon me, while You have never needed to create me.
Were it not for Your mercy, I would be of those who perish. You are my backer against my enemies, and were it not for Your support, I would be of those who are exposed. O He Who sends mercy from its origin! O He Who originates blessings from their centers!
O He Who has given Himself exclusively disdain and elevation; therefore, His saints feel dignified out of His Honor! O He for Whom all kings have put the yoke of humiliation on their necks; they are therefore fearful of His supremacy!
I pray You in the name of Your Entity from which You have derived Your Pride, I pray You in the name of Your Pride from which You have derived Your Dignity, I pray You in the name of Your Dignity by which You have been firmly established on the throne of authority; so, You have created all Your creatures who are, as a result, submissive to You. [I pray You to] send blessings upon Muhammad and upon his Household.
The Imam (‘a) would then submit his requests.107
In the month of Sha’ban, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, (please do) send blessings to Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad, listen to my prayer whenever I pray You, listen to my call
whenever I call upon you, and accept from me whenever I confidentially whisper to You, for here I am fleeing into You, standing before You, showing submission to You, imploring You, and hoping for the reward that You have. You do know what is in my inner self, recognize my needs, recognize my hidden affairs, and all my moves and stillness are known by You.
So are all the utterance which I want to begin with, all the requests that I want to express, and all the expectation that I hope for my future. All that which You, O my Master, have decided for me up to the end of my life, including my secret and open matters, shall be experienced by me. And it is in Your Hand, not anybody else’s, are all increase and decrease, and all my benefits and harms that come upon me.
O my God, if You deprive me (of Your sustenance), then who else can ever provide me with sustenance? If You disappoint me, then who else can ever back me?
O my God, I do seek Your protection against Your wrath and against the befalling of Your ire upon me.
O my God, if I do not deserve Your mercy, You are still expected to confer upon me with Your expansive favor.
O my God, I now imagine how I will stand before You, shaded by my good idea about You on account of my trust in You, and You will decide for me that which befit You and You will include me with Your forgiveness.
O my God, if you pardon me, then who else is worthier than You are in pardoning. If my time of death is approaching while my deeds are still too short to approach me to You, I am then considering my confession of being guilty to be my means towards You.
O my God, I have wronged myself when I allowed myself to behave unrestrainedly; therefore, woe will betide me if You do not forgive.
O my God, You have never ceased Your favors from me all over my lifetime; so, (please) do not stop Your favors from covering me after my death.
O my God, how can I despair of Your nice custody over me after my death while You have not shown me but the good throughout my lifetime?
O my God, (please) manage my affairs in the very way that befits You, and confer upon me a sinful who is covered by his ignorance with Your favors.
O my God, You have concealed my sins in my worldly life, but I need Your concealment more urgently in the Next Life. You have thus not disclosed my sins before any of Your righteous servants; therefore, (please) do not expose me on the Resurrection Day before all the witnesses.
O my God, it is Your magnanimity that expanded my hope, and surely Your pardon is more preferable than my deeds.
O my God, so (please) delight me when I meet You on the day when You shall judge between Your servants.
O my God, I submit to You the apology of one who cannot dispense with the acceptance of his excuse; so, (please) accept my excuse, O most Magnanimous of all those before whom the guilty make an apology.
O my God, (please) do not reject my request, do not fail my big hope for
You, and do not disappoint my desire and expectation for You.
O my God, had You wanted to humiliate me, You would not have guided me (to You). Had You decided to disclose me, You would not have saved me.
O my God, I do not expect You to reject my request that I spent my whole lifetime asking for it from You.
O my God, all praise be to You, forever, forever, perpetually, everlastingly, increasingly, and without perdition, as exactly as You like and please.
O my God, if You punish me for my offense, I shall demand with Your pardon, if You punish me for my sins, I shall demand with Your forgiveness, and if You decide to send me to Hell, I shall declare to its inhabitants that I love You.
O my God, if my deed is too little when compared to the true obedience to You, then my hope for You is too big when compared to my prospect from You.
O my God, how can it be that I return from You with disappointment and deprivation while I expect, depending upon Your magnanimity, that You will endow me with safety and mercy?
O my God, I have spent my whole lifetime with the vigor of being negligent to You and I have spent my whole youth with the inebriety of being far away from You.
O my God, I have not thus woken up to myself during the period when I seductively felt safe from Your punishment and when I was taking the path that ends with Your ire.
O my God, nevertheless, I am Your servant and the son of Your servant now standing before You and begging You in the name of Your generosity. O my God, I am, being Your servant, disowning all that with which I used
to face You; namely, my shameless inconsideration of You, and I am hereby appealing for Your pardon since pardon is one feature of Your generosity.
O my God, I had no strength by which I would rid myself of the acts of disobedience to You except after You aroused me to love You. Hence, I have become as exactly as You want me to be. I have thus thanked You, for You have included me with Your generosity and You have purified my heart from the filths of being inattentive to You.
O my God, (please) look at me in the same way as You have looked at one whom You called and he has responded to You and whom You have conferred with Your aid and he thus has obeyed You. O He Who is too close to depart from one who is inadvertent to Him! O He Who is too magnanimous to deprive one who hopes for His reward!
O my God, (please) grant me a heart whose longing for You will approach it to You, a tongue whose truthfulness is directed to You, and a sight whose righteousness advances towards You.
O my God, he who recognizes You shall never be anonymous, he who seeks Your shelter shall never be disappointed, and he whom is attended by You shall never be boring.
O my God, he who abides by Your Path shall be enlightened, and he who resorts to You shall be succored. I am thus having recourse to You, O my God! So, (please) do not disappoint me as regards Your having mercy upon me and do not divest me of Your kindness.
O my God, grant me, among those who show servitude to You, the position of one who (incessantly) longs for more love for You.
O my God, (please) inspire me with passionate love for ceaseless reference to You, and (please) devote all my pursuit to my attaining the delight of the success that is achieved through Your Names and the amount of Your Holiness.
O my God, I beseech You in Your name to put me in the position of those who are obedient to You and in an honorable standing of Your pleasure, for I, verily, have no power to rescue or to benefit myself.
O my God, I am Your servant the feeble and sinful and Your slave the penitent. So, (please) do not include me with those against whom You have turned Your face or those whom are deprived of Your pardon because of their inattentiveness to You.
O my God, (please) grant me absolute devotion to You and illuminate the sights of our hearts with the light of observing of You so that the sights of the hearts will penetrate the Screens of Light and arrive at the Core of Magnificence, and that our souls hang to the Majesty of Your Holiness.
O my God, (please) make me of those who responded to You when You called at them, those who were shocked for Your Majesty when You observed them and You have thus taken into their confidence and they acted for You openly.
O my God, I have shaded neither despair nor gloom over my good idea about You and I have never lost hope in Your excellent magnanimity.
O my God, if my sins have overthrown me in Your sight, then please pardon me for my excellent trust in You.
O my God, if my wrongdoings have caused me to lose Your honorable kindness, then my belief in You has called my attention to the generosity of Your sympathy.
O my God, if my inadvertence has screened me against readying myself for meeting You, then my recognition of the generosity of Your bounties has awakened me.
O my God, if Your grave chastisement has drawn me to Hellfire, then Your opulent reward has drawn me to Paradise.
O my God, You alone do I pray and You alone do I implore and desire. I beseech You to bless Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad and to include me with those who always mention You, who never breach their covenant to You, who never fail to thank You, and who never belittle Your Affairs.
O my God, (please do) take in me with the most brilliant Light of Your Dignity so that I will recognize You and I will leave everybody else, and that I will be fearful of and careful with You. O Lord of Majesty and Honor! May Allah send blessings to Muhammad, His Messenger, and upon his Household the Infallible, and exalt them very much.108
Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplicatory prayer on Saturdays:
All praise be to Allah Who has connected my wishes to His forgiveness, has spread on my desires with His mercy, and has strengthened my back and the shoulders by His Generosity and Recognitions.
He has not left me without obligation and favors when I was involved in sins and disobedience, when I was negligent to His obedience, and when I have not fulfilled the right of fear of Him and of His chastisement as His graces were incessantly poured on me and His favors were manifestly done to me.
All glory be to Allah on Whom all believers rely, to Whom all those who deny Him have to return, and with the favors of what He has none can dispense.
There is no god except Allah Who is attentive to the one who is negligent about Him, Who accepts the repentance of one who does sins excessively, Who is displeased with one who has lost hopes of His vast blessings and mercy.
Allah is the Most Great; He is the creator and lord of all things, and the annihilator and destroyer of all things.
Allah is the Most Great; He is as great as He deserves and merits.
O Allah, please bless Muhammad Your servant, prophet, messenger, trustworthy, and pure and noble witness, and bless Muhammad’s Household, the pure and immaculate.
O Allah! I beseech You the beseeching of one who has confessed his sins, regretted following his evil desires. You are the most Dependable of all those in whom trust is put and You are the most Hoped to pardon and confer forgiveness upon those who have wronged themselves. My sins have thrown me in the depths of perdition and my offenses have surrounded me, disabling me from getting rid of them.
You are the Most Hoped and upon You only is our dependence at times of hardships and times of joy. You are also the haven of the fearful drowned, as You are more clement than any kind person is. O my Master, I am now turning my face towards You, for You are the ultimate goal of those who turn to You and the most merciful of all those whose mercy is sought for excusing the sinful ones.
O Allah, verily, forgiveness of sins and relief from agonies are never big for You to do, since You are the All-knower of the unseen, the coverer up of all defects, and the reliever from agonies, as You are the Eternal and the All- merciful and You have attired Yourself with Lordship and You are unique in Godhead.
O my God, I seek nearness to You in the name of the expansiveness of Your mercy that has comprehended all things. O my Lord, You see my place, have full acquaintance with my inner self, know my secrets, and nothing of my affairs can hide itself from You, as You are closer to me than my own jugular vein are.
So, please, accept my repentance in such a way that I will never return to doing what enrages You ever again, and please forgive me with such forgiveness that prevents me from returning to acts of disobedience to You, O Noblest of all the noble ones.
O my God, You alone have set aright the hearts of the corruptive and thus they followed uprightness due to Your setting them aright. So, please set me aright with Your setting aright. You alone have favored on the straying off ones when You, through Your guidance, guided them to the truth against straying off.
You alone have guided those who had denied You, following off courses, and thus You led them to the true course. As You set aright their devious slips, You granted them love for You, made them avoid disobedience to You, included them with the forgiven ones, and made them occupy the position of the winners. So, I beseech You, O my Master, to include me to them, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.
O Allah, I beseech You to bless Muhammad and his Household and to provide me with sustenance that is expansive, legally gotten, and pleasant along with wellbeing that You may confer upon me, as well as a deed that draws me close to You, O Best of all the besought ones!
O Allah, I earnestly entreat You with the entreaty of one who confesses of his faults and I thus declare my repentance before You, O Oft-returning with mercy; so, please do not reject me with disappointment from gaining Your abundant donations, O most liberal Bestower! You have always forgiven the sinful generously and covered up the hideous deeds of Your servants, O All-majestic! O High Exalted!
I turn my face towards You, asking You in the name of those whom You bound Yourself with duties towards them, since I have not had any item of decency in the name of which I may ask You; and my sins intervened between me and the good- doers; and my deeds have not given me the opportunity to accompany the prophets. So, please, O my master, do not reject my asking You in the name of those.
O my Lord, will You disappoint me while You are my one and only hope? Will You reject me empty-handed of Your pardon while You are the ultimate goal of my desire?
O He Who is always Existent and Who is well-known for His magnanimity, and all the creatures are only servants of Him, and all affairs are eventually returned to Him, please bless Muhammad and his Household, bestow me generously with Your good turns that suffice the nearby, the far away, the enemies, the brothers, and the sisters; and please attach me to those whom You have whelmed with Your liberal bounties and honor and with Your favors and conferrals of honor, and whom You have made pure, pious, dutiful, and virtuous and thus they became the neighbors of Your Prophet in Your abode. Please, forgive me and forgive the believing men and women along with our fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters. O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.109
On Sundays, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplicatory prayer:
All praise be to Allah for His forbearance and clemency. All praise be to Allah, for I know that my sin, no matter how grand it is, is insignificant if compared to His pardon, and my offense, no matter how hideous it is, is slight if compared to His mercy.
All glory be to Allah Who has raised the skies without posts, made the Paradisiacal abodes without ending time, and created the creations without need for an assistant or a helper.
There is no god save Allah Who has warned those who stubbornly disdained from obeying Him and insolently violated His commands, Who has put on alert those who persistently engaged themselves in disobedience to Him and arrogantly refused to serve Him, and Who has already presented His excuses with regard to those who went too far in error and deviation so that His argument is made plainly against them and because He has already known their bad end result.
Allah is the Most Great; He is the All-magnanimous and the All-generous Whose eternal kindness and abundant conferral of favors on all of His creatures have no end, nor is there any last part to His power and authority over His beings.
O Allah, please exalt Muhammad and his Household and bless them in the best way You have ever exalted and blessed Abraham and the Household of Abraham. Verily, You are Owner of praise, Owner of glory.
O Allah, I beseech You the beseeching of a sinful one whose acts of disobedience to You have led him to the most restricted courses and thus he has none to rescue except You, none to hope for but You, none to come to his aid more compassionate to him than You are, and none to depend on save You.
You are my Master Who has granted graces generously before they are deserved and Who has given such graces to those who are not qualified to gain them. Refraining from generous grant has never increased Your almightiness. Your generous gifts have never tired You. The persistent beseeching has never made Your abundant donning expire; rather, You are providing Your servants with sustenance on account of Your bountiful favors to them.
O Allah, all statements are too ill-expressed to praise You adequately. All tongues are too erroneous to circulate Your praiseworthy deeds and favors.
I have now come to You, intending none but You, even if my sins are surrounding me, because You are the most Merciful of all those who show mercy, the most Magnanimous of all those who act magnanimously, the most Generous of all those who show generosity, the most Excellent of all those who provide sustenance, the Best of all creators, the First, the Last, the Evident, and the Immanent; and You are too majestic, almighty, and gentle to reject one who puts his hope and expectation in You and wishes to gain what You have in possession fervently.
So, all praise be to You, O Worthiest of all praise. O Allah, I have wronged myself when I wanted to decide for it, and I felt secured from the vicissitudes of days when I committed sins. You are the patron of favoring and the Lord of majesty and honoring.
Now, nothing remained to amend my affairs but Your regard for me; so, please set aright my affairs with success and regard them nicely through prosperity. You are verily the most liberal Bestower, the All-benevolent, and the Lord of elegances, favors, and lenience. O Cleaver of the daybreak, please grant me my request, even though I do not deserve so. O All-forgiving!
O Allah, I beseech You by Your Name through which all acts are put into effects, and by Your almightiness through which all managements are made perfect, to bless Muhammad and his Household, to provide me with sustenance that is abundant, legally gotten, and pleasant out of Your favors, and not to intervene between me and whatever draws me near You. O All-affectionate! O All-favoring.
O Allah, please include me with those whom You have given Your forgiveness, pardon, and pleasure and whom You have allowed to dwell in the gardens of Your Paradise out of Your compassion, bounteous favor, and donating.
O my God, as You conferred honor on Your saints, You bound Yourself with safeguarding them and put them under the shade of Your custody against the successive falling in perditions. I am Your servant; so, please save me, attire me with wellbeing, and lead me to the obedience to You, and ward me off from transgression against You and from acting disobediently towards you.
All voices with different languages are clamoring to You, beseeching for the requests for which they hope so that You may erase their defects and forgive their sins. O Knower of all of the hidden things!
O Allah, I implore You for guidance; so, please guide me. I seek Your protection; so, please protect me and help me carry out my duties towards You. You are verily the Worthiest of being feared and the Worthiest of forgiving.
Please, keep away from me the evils of every evil one and change them into the prosperity of what is owned by none save You. Please, make me carry out my duties towards fathers and mothers, and forgive me as well as all the believing men and women, brothers, and sisters, kinsmen and kinswomen. O Patron of blessings and knower of all secrets!110
On Mondays, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplicatory prayer:
All praise be to Allah Who has guided me to Islam, honored me with faith, granted me insight in the religious affairs, conferred credit on me with certitude, and made known to me the truth from which they are turned away and the great news about which they are in disagreement.
All glory be to Allah Who provides with sustenance both the biased and the unbiased and the reasonable and the ignorant, and shows mercy to the inattentive and the negligent, not to mention the suppliant and the prayerful.
There is no god save Allah Who has full awareness of the transgressing servants of Him Who try to run away from Him so that they may retreat from their insolence and arrogance, and Who accepts pleasantly from the repenting and the sincere although they do not exert all their efforts in repenting to Him and acting sincerely towards Him.
Allah is the Most Great; He is the Forbearing, the All-knowing, Who has a manifest portent in each category of His amazing creation and wonderful making that makes unavoidable to believe in His Godhead. There is a clear indication and fair witness in each class of His mysterious measures and excellent management that necessitates His being the One and Only Lord.
O Allah, I beseech You O He Who wards off all misfortunes, knows all hidden things, and gives abundantly the beseeching of one who has regretted the commitment of sins and felt secured from the vicissitudes of days and night when he committed acts of disobedience to You; but now, he cannot find any other one than You to forgive him these sins and cannot find any other haven than You to resort to, hoping for relieving him from his neediness.
O All-majestic Lord! Your obliging favors have included all Your creatures, Your all-embracing mercy has overshadowed all of them, and Your abundantly given graces have covered all of them. O He Who is Oft-returning with generosity, All-magnanimous, and most liberal Bestower; and retaliator with painful torment upon those who disobey Him!
I am beseeching You with confession of having wronged myself, because I have not found any other haven to resort to for forgiving the sins that I made than You. O He Who is the Best of all those who may be beseeched for meeting the desired needs and the Best of all those who may be hoped for relieving the hardships! All faces are submissive to You; so, please do not reject me with deprivation. Verily, You do whatever You wish and You judge whatever You will.
O my God, Master, and Lord! For which lord may I hope or to which god may I turn my face when regret encompasses me and my acts of disobedience and the calamities of the anticipated punishments surround me, while You are the Patron of excusing and the abode of generosity?
O my God, will You put me in the position of the exposed ones while You are the most excellent in covering up? Will You interrogate me about my commitment of sins in the presence of the witnesses while You have known the secrets that I have hidden?
O my God, if I have wronged myself extravagantly and sinned against it when I violated the inviolabilities and I was negligent of the slippery offenses that I have done, then You are so Gentle that You always show.
Your mercy to the extravagant out of Your liberality and You always confer Your pardon on the wrongdoers out of Your generosity. So, please have mercy on me, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.
O my God, You always soothe the horrors of the hearts of the fearful through Your compassion, achieve the hopes of the expectant through Your bounteous donation, and pour down Your plentiful gifts on those who do not deserve them. Please, secure me through despair-free expectation and hope that is not mixed with despondency. O He Who encompasses all things with His knowledge.
O my Master, in my morns and eves, I am begging at the doors of Your grants and refusing to pose my requests before any other one than You; and it is not part of Your excellent favoring that You may reject an imprisoned and distress beggar who is desperately waiting for Your familiar goodness.
O my God, illusions are too failing to comprehend You and tongues are too halting to describe Your Essence. In the name of Your bounties and munificence, please bless Muhammad and his Household, forgive my sins, endue me out of Your profuse favors with sustenance that is abundant, legally gotten, and pleasant along with wellbeing, and overlook my slips, O He Who is the utmost desire of the hopeful,
Omnipotent of the heavens and the [layers of the] earth, Everlasting after the extinction of all of the creatures, and Master on the Judgment Day! You, O my Lord, are the trust of those who lose confidence in themselves because of their overdone defects, the hope of those who have lost hope because of their numerous slips, and the expectation of those who lack expectation for themselves because of their deeds.
O my God, please save me, out of Your mercy, from perditions; and deliver me, O my Master, from the narrow paths; and allow me to dwell in the abode of the virtuous; and make me in the company of the righteous; and forgive me the sins that I have committed at night and in daylight,
O He Who is fully aware of all secrets; and help me, O my Master, carry out on behalf of me, as well as my brothers and sisters, the duties that You have made incumbent upon me towards fathers and mothers, out of Your gentleness and generosity, O Lord of majesty and honoring; and grant us a share in the prayers of the believing men and women whose prayers are responded by You. Verily, You are All-knowing, All-magnanimous, All- generous, and All-donning. May Allah send peace and perfect blessings upon Muhammad and his Household.
On Tuesdays, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplicatory prayer:
All praise be to Allah Who has bestowed on me deep-rooted recognition, sincerity, and profession of His Oneness, and Who has not included me with the people of deviation, idiocy, doubt, and polytheism and with those over whom Satan has gained mastery and thus seduced and misled them, making them betake their whims as their gods.
All praise be to Allah Who responds to the distressed, releases from harms, knows the secrets, and controls good and evil.
There is no god save Allah Who acts back forbearingly when He is disobeyed by one of His servants and receives him with aid and response when the servant prays to Him.
Allah is the Most Great; His realm is expansive, partnership of Him is nonexistent, His Throne is glorious, and His sway is intense.
O Allah, I beseech you the beseeching of one who cannot find any other one to beseech than You and I depend upon You the depending of one who cannot find any other one to depend upon than You, because You are the First Who originated the beginning and created it with the hands of Your tenderness and it thus submitted itself to Your volition and came to being as exactly as You had willed for it to be through Your well-established measure. You are such Almighty and Majestic that intellects cannot comprehend the reality of Your description.
You are the All-knowing from Whom the weight of an atom cannot be hidden in the earth or in the sky. You are the All-magnanimous Who cannot be made tightfisted by the persistence of those who pray to Him excessively earnestly; rather, when You want something to be, You only order it to be, and it will definitely come to pass.
Your order is effective, Your promise unavoidable, and Your judgment fair. Nothing can be hidden from You and all things are eventually returned to You.
As You screened Yourself with Your bounties, You cannot be seen. You witness all confidential talks, You are high exalted in the highest position, You are Unique in Your grandeur, and You are Almighty by Your all- powerfulness and sempiternity. All praise be to You in the last and the first, and all thanks be to You in the beginning and the end.
You O my God are Forbearing, All-powerful, All-kind, All-forgiving, King, Omnipotent, Sustainer, excellent Maker, Responsive, and All-hearing. The forelocks of the servants and the sides of the lands are under Your control, and You are Ever-living, Self-subsisting, All-magnanimous, All-glorious, All-generous, and All-merciful.
You, O my God, is the Possessor Who had all kings under His domination; therefore, all the mighty ones are submissive to Your sublimity and Your saints are subserviently obedient to You. Through Your Godhead, You merit all glory and commendation. Maintenance of Your creatures never overburdens You.
You are also the Knower of all the unseen; You have thus covered up my defects, counted all of my sins, conferred honor upon me by making me recognize Your religion, and You have neither ripped apart Your nice covering of me, O All-tender, nor have You exposed me, O All-munificence.
I thus beseech you to bless Muhammad and his Household, to provide me with sustenance that is abundant, legally gotten, and pleasant out of Your profuse favoring, to forgive me the sins that have intervened between You and me when I committed them, for You are worth enduing me with Your all-inclusive mercy liberally.
I beseech You to save me from Your painful torment, to include me with those honored by You, and to attach me, O my Master, to the righteous ones whom shall be received by the angels in good conditions, saying to them, ‘Peace be upon you all! Enter Paradise for what you used to do.’ Let all that be in the name of Your pardon and Your encompassing me with Your mercy, O All-compassionate and All-merciful!
O my God, I also beseech You to bless Muhammad and his Household, to help me carry out my duties towards fathers and mothers and meet their rights, to attach me and them as well as the believing men and women to the pious ones, and to forgive them and me. Verily, You are full of praise and full of glory. May Allah bless Muhammad and his entire Household!111
On Wednesdays, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplicatory prayer:
All praise be to Allah Whose pleasure lies in beseeching Him and asking for what He has in possession, and Whose wrath lies in refraining from entreating Him earnestly.
All glory be to Allah Who witnesses all confidential meetings due to His knowledge and Who is unlike any corporeal thing in His Essence.
There is no god save Allah Who cannot be realized by eyes and visions, cannot be ignored by reasons and intellects, and cannot be nonexistent in the inner selves. He knows the stealthy looks and what is concealed in breasts.
Allah is the Most Great; He is too majestic to have the attributes of the created beings and He is full aware of what is in the hearts of all of the creatures.
O Allay, I beseech You the beseeching of one who is never fed up with praying to his God. I entreat You as earnestly as the entreaty of a drowned who hopes for being released from his agony. I implore You the imploration of one who is repentant from his sins and wrongdoings.
You are the All-compassionate Who dominated all of His creatures, made them species of various colors and abilities according to Your will, and measured their terms of lifetime and their sustenance.
The creating of any creation has never been difficult for You; so, You fashioned the creation as You willed. You are thus too exalted and too omnipotent to have an assistant, You are too almighty to consult a partner, You are too holy to beget a son, and too sacred to touch women. Visions are never to comprehend You, and illusions are never to realize Your Essence. You have no partner, no peer, no match, and no like.
You are the Unique, the One, the Everlasting, the First, the Last, the All- knowing, the One and Only, the Independent, and the Subsisting. You beget not nor are You begotten, and there is nothing similar to You.
You cannot be described by any description, cannot be comprehended by any illusion, and cannot be changed by any vicissitude of any age. You were and You are always Eternal. Your knowledge about hidden things is the same as Your knowledge about the open and overt things.
O He to Who all the great ones are humbling themselves! O He to Whose almightiness all chiefs are submissive! O He Whose Essence cannot be adequately expressed by the tongues of all of the eloquent ones! O He Who has managed all things with ultimate precision! O He Whose comprehension cannot be attained by the statements of the most well- versed scholars!
O my Master, will You torment me in the Fire while You are my hope? Will You allow the Fire to consume me after I have professed Your Oneness, expressed my submission to and fear of You by means of prostrating myself before You? Will You cause my tongue to fail to express my state in the situation of Judgment after You, out of Your favors to me, have made it accessible for me to glorify, praise, and venerate You?
O Ultimate goal of the seekers, Security of the fearful, Support of the distressed, Aide of the seekers of aid, Shelter of the seekers of shelter, Remover of the harms of the agonized, Lord of the worlds, and most Merciful of all those who show mercy! Please, bless Muhammad and his Household, admit my repentance, attire me with wellbeing, provide me with abundant sustenance out of Your favors, and make me of those who frequently turn to You in penitence.
O Allah, if You have recorded me as wretched with You, then I beseech You in the name of the objects of dignity in Your mercy and in the name of the grandeur and greatness of You that neither any arrogant nor can any great one oppose, to bless Muhammad and his Household and to turn me into a happy one.
Verily, all things are run by You according to Your volition and You always protect and none can protect from You; and You have power over all things; and You are the All-compassionate, the All- merciful, the All-aware; and You know what is in my inner self but I do not know what in Yours.
Verily, You are the knower of all unseen things. So, please be kind to me, for You have many times been kind to those who wronged themselves extravagantly. Please, confer upon me with Your obliging favors, for You have many times favored those who are bewilderedly drowned in the oceans of their wrongdoings when their frequent slips gave them up to perdition.
Please, grant me Your bounties, for You grant Your bounties to the sinful through Your lenience and pardon. You have always practiced doing favors to the wrongdoers and pardoning those who slip and those whose audacity to commit offenses made them inevitably dwellers of the abode of perdition.
O He Who knows the hidden and the secrets! O Omnipotent! O Overcomer! Please, help me, as well my brothers and sisters, carry out my duties towards fathers and mothers and meet their rights, O Lord of majesty and honoring; and forgive the believing men and women. Verily, You have power over all things.112
On Thursdays, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplicatory prayer:
All praise be to Allah Whose innumerable favors, unforgettable bounties, and unconcealed gifts are existent along with every breath of air, every recollection, every moment of our lives, and every state.
All glory be to Allah Who overcomes the strong, supports the weak, amends the broken, enriches the poor, accepts the little, gives abundantly, and has power over all things.
There is no god save Allah Whose graces are copious, Whose wisdom limitless, Whose arguments overwhelming, Whose mercy all-inclusive, and Whose protection givable.
Allah is the Most Great; He is the Lord of invulnerable authority, elevated erection, excellent making, and swift reckoning.
May Allah bless Muhammad, the best of prophets, and his immaculate Household, and may He pour on them magnificent benedictions!
O Allah, I beseech You the beseeching of one who is afraid of his situation in the gathering for Judgment, fearful of exposing his defects, worried about the horrible results of the Resurrection, exposed to sudden attacks, regretting his wrongdoings, responsible for them, eventually liable to account where he will be either rewarded or punished; one who cannot be hidden from You by any place, who cannot find any place to flee except to You, who disavows and thus resorts to You from his evil deeds, who confesses of his grand sins, who is surrounded by grief, to whom the spacious areas are narrow, who is certain of death, and who is hastening to declare his repentance before it is too late, if You only accept his repentance out of Your bounteous favoring and pardon him.
O my God, You are my hope when I lose hope with any other one than You, and You are my haven when I find no other place to resort to than You. You, O my Master, are the One in Your Almightiness and Exaltation, You are the Unique in Your Oneness and Sempiternity, and You are the Almighty Who uniquely enjoys glory. All praise be to You, O my God. No place can cover from You, and no age or time can change You.
You have united the scattered parties through Your gentleness, rendered the split things through Your power, lit the murk of night through Your generosity, made waters, sweet and salt, flow forth from hard shining stones, sent down out of rain-clouds water cascading, made the sun for the creatures to be a shining lamp, and made the moon and the stars to be constellations, without experiencing any fatigue or weakness when You created them.
You are the God and Creator of all things, and the Omnipotent and Sustainer of all creatures. The true dignified is only he whom You dignify; the true humble is only he whom You humiliate; the true happy is only he whom You make happy; the true wretched is only he whom You make wretched; the true rich is only he whom You enrich; and the true poor is only he whom You deprive.
You are my Patron and my Lord; and my sustenance is in Your Hand; and my forelock is under Your control. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household, do to me what befits You, and pour forth Your favors on a servant of You who is sinking in his ignorance and overcome by negligence until he felt secured from the changes of days and thus committed the prohibitions and the sins.
So, O my Master, please make me a servant who resorts to repentance, because repentance is the haven of the sinful; make me dispense with the created beings by Your liberal magnanimity; do not make me in need for the evil people; and grant me Your pardon at the situation of the Judgment Day. Verily, You are the most Merciful of all those who show mercy, the most Magnanimous of all those who act magnanimously, and the most Generous of all those who are known for generosity.
O He to Whom belong the Most Excellent Names and the Highest Parables and Who is the Omnipotent of the heavens and the [layers of the] earth! For You only have I headed in expectation; so, please do not make me return from Your brilliant donations empty-handed. You are verily All- magnanimous and All-munificent. O He Who is compassionate with the servants and Who watches them, I beseech You to bless Muhammad and his Household, to grant me stuffed rewards, to make my return (to You) pleasant, to cover up my defects, to forgive my sins, and to save my, out of Your favors, O my Lord, from the painful punishment. Verily, You are All-magnanimous, All-generous, and most liberal Bestower.
The good and the bad deeds have cast me between reward and punishment, and I now hope that You, out of Your kindness, immerse Your servant, who confesses of having committed enormous faults, in Your magnanimity and generosity, O Forgiver of sins, and to excuse his slips, because, O my Master, I do not have any other God to hope for than You and I do not have any other Lord to beseech for amending my poverty and destitution than you. So, please do not reject me along with disappointment, O He Who overlooks slips and relieves from agonies!
O my God, please give me pleasure, because I am not the first to have been given pleasure by You, O Patron of all graces, Intense in punishment, and Perpetual in glory and honor! Please, give me exclusive forgiveness that no misery can match and exclusive pleasure that no harm can reach; and inspire me with fear of You and love for You; and keep me away from the perishing acts of disobedience to You; and do not give the Fire authority over me. Verily, You are the Worthiest of being feared and the Worthiest of forgiving.
I have besought You, and You have promised of response; so, please do not frustrate Your beseecher, do not disappoint Your asker, and do not reject the one who puts his hope in You, O Best of all those in whom hope may be put!
I beseech you in the name of Your kindness, mercy, uniqueness, and Godhead, O He Who has power over all things and Who encompasses all things, please save me from what has distressed me, both this-worldly and the other-worldly issues, for You are verily Hearer of prayers and gentle to what You wish.
Please, make me with those whom You had decided incumbently to dwell in the abode of Your honoring with Your elite servants and those whom You give special abundant donations in the ranks of the gardens of Your Paradise upon whom Your have bestowed favors from among the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs, and the righteous; and a goodly company are they.
As for the duties that You have made obligatory upon me towards fathers and mothers, and brothers and sisters, please help me carry them out properly, and forgive me and them as well as the believing men and women. Verily, You are Nigh, Responsive, and Ample in giving blessings; and doing so is easy to You, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy. May Allah send blessings and thorough benedictions upon the Prophet Muhammad and upon his Household.113
Imam Ali (‘a) had to suffer unbearable tribulations from his enemies and rivals who rebelled against the truth and deterred him from putting into action his programs of social reformation and ultimate justice.
The bitterest enemies of Imam Ali (‘a) were the people of Quraysh who harbored a grudge against him in the same way as they did with the Holy Prophet (S).
On more than one occasion, Imam Ali (‘a) invoked Almighty Allah’s curse and punishment on the people of Quraysh, saying,
O Allah, please impose Your punishment on the people of Quraysh on behalf of me, because they have ruptured my family relationships with them, helped each other against me, deterred me from having my due, and usurped the authority that was given to me by my brother (i.e. the Holy Prophet) and handed it over to those who have neither the like of my close family relation with the Messenger nor the like of my precedence to Islam, unless one claims falsely what I do not know and what Allah, as much as I know, does not know. However, all praise be to Allah under all circumstances.114
O Allah, please wreak disgrace on the people of Quraysh, for they have deprived me of my right and usurped my position from me.115
Talhah and Al-Zubayr rallied people against Imam Ali (‘a) and launched a war against him. Invoking Almighty Allah’s punishment on them, Imam Ali (‘a) said,
O Allah, Talhah ibn ‘Ubaydullah had sworn allegiance to me with his own right hand, but he then breached! O Allah, please descend torture swiftly upon him and never grant him respite.
O Allah, Al-Zubayr ibn Al-’Awwam has ruptured my kinship ties with him, broken the pledge he had made to me, and supported my enemy against me, while he knows for sure that he is wronging me. Please, save me from his evils as You wish and when You wish.116
Busr ibn Arta'ah, one of the excessive offenders and murderers, was commissioned by Mu’awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan to invading the regions that were under the control of Imam Ali’s government. He then marched towards Yemen and committed massacres, killing innocent people and capturing women.
When the Imam (‘a) was informed about the crimes of Busr, he invoked Almighty Allah’s punishment on him, saying,
O Allah, Busr has sold his religion with this-worldly pleasures, violated all inviolabilities and preferred obedience to a corrupt created being to gaining what You have in possession.
O Allah, please do not cause him to die before You deprive him of sanity and do not show him Your mercy even for a moment.
O Allah, please curse Busr, ‘Amr (ibn Al-’As), and Mu’awiyah. May Your wrath afflict them; may Your punishment be poured down on them; and may they be affected by Your disaster and pestilence that You never keep away from the guilty people.117
The rebellion of the Khawarij was the most difficult hardship that faced the government of Imam Ali, because these people not only prevented him from achieving victory over his most vehement enemy; namely, Mu’awiyah, but they also made mischief and committed horrible crimes, convulsing the stability of the Imam’s government.
Invoking Almighty Allah’s curse and punishment on the Khawarij, Imam Ali (‘a) said,
O Allah, Lord of the much-frequented Fane, the elevated canopy, the swollen sea, and the Decree inscribed, I beseech You for victory over those who abandoned Your Book behind their backs and separated themselves from the community of Ahmad (the Prophet) in mutiny against You.118
On another occasion, Imam Ali (‘a) invoked Almighty Allah’s curse upon the Khawarij, saying,
O Allah, You have declared one path of Your paths, made Your pleasure to be attained by following this path, ordered Your saints to follow it, and made it the most honorable path in rewarding, the worthiest in return to You, and the dearest course to You. You then bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have Paradise; they fight in Your way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on You.
So, please include me with those who bought themselves from You in this course and then fulfilled their covenants made to You neither breaching, nor breaking any pledge, nor changing their attitude; rather, they only seek the fulfillment of Your promise, the attainment of Your affection, and nearness to You. So, please bless Muhammad and his Household, make this the seal of my deeds, provide me with a situation that is intended purely for You and by which You may make me attain Your pleasure bindingly and release me from wrongdoings.
Please, make me of those who are alive and provided (i.e. after they are martyred) at the hands of the disobedient enemies under the standard of the truth and the pennon of true guidance, advancing towards supporting them, neither absconding nor doubting. At that situation, I implore for Your protection against committing any sin that frustrates my deeds.119
Invoking Almighty Allah’s curse upon some enemies, Imam Ali (‘a) said,
O Allah, I seek protection with You lest I may incur the animosity of one of Your saints, befriend one of Your enemies, or be pleased with a thing that brings about Your wrath.
O Allah, whomever You bless, then may our blessings be upon him; and whomever You curse, then may our curses be upon him.
O Allah, as for one whose death achieves relief for us and for all the believers, please relieve us from him and give us in exchange for him one who is better than him so that You will show us response to our prayer in our faiths and livelihoods, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy.120
The majority of people abandoned Imam Ali (‘a) and refrained from supporting him. Invoking Allah’s punishment upon them, the Imam (‘a) said,
O Allah! Whoever listens to our utterance which is just and which seeks the prosperity of religion and the worldly life and does not seek mischief, but rejects it after listening, then he certainly turns away from supporting You and desists from strengthening Your religion.
We make You a witness over him and You are the greatest of all witnesses, and we make all those who inhabit Your earth and Your skies witness over him. Thereafter, You alone can make us needless of his support and question him for his sin.121
On account of his unmatched piety, faithfulness, and godliness, Imam Ali (‘a) did not make any step before he had known for sure that it would please Almighty Allah. In every moment of his lifetime, he mentioned Almighty Allah sincerely and dedicated all of his deeds to Him.
In battlefields, Imam Ali (‘a) did not stop referring to Almighty Allah with the most eloquent phrases of praise and glorification, since his participations in battles were sincerely devoted to pleasing the Lord and winning His rewards.
Since supplication is inseparable part of the devotional acts, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say such supplications even in the most difficult hours of fighting. Let us now present some of his supplicatory prayers in battlefields:
When Imam Ali (‘a) was informed that the mutinous forces had occupied the city of Al-Basrah, he led his army thereto. Once he entered the city, he prayed to Almighty Allah with the following supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, Lord of the skies and whatever they shade, Lord of the layers of the earth and whatever they carry, and Lord of the Great Throne! I beseech You for the welfare and prosperity of Al-Basrah and I implore for Your protection against its evils. O Allah, please make us dwell in it the best dwelling, and You are the Best to cause to alight.
O Allah, these people (i.e. the rebels) have violated obedience to me, transgressed me, and breached their pledge of allegiance to me. O Allah, please spare the bloodshed of Muslims.122
Immediately before the breaking out of the war, Imam Ali (‘a) said the following supplicatory prayer:
O Best of all those before whom hearts are disclosed and Best of all those supplicated with tongues! O Best Awarder! O Ample in giving! Please, judge between us and our people with true justice; and You are the Best of all judges.123
When the rebels insisted on fighting against the Imam (‘a), he sent them some messengers of peace among whom was a young man. However, the rebels stabbed the young man to death.
Upon this situation, Imam Ali (‘a) raised his hands towards the sky and said,
O Allah, toward You only are all eyes gazed, all hands extended, all hearts disclosed, and all deeds intended. Please, Our Lord! Decide between us and our people with truth; and you are the best of deciders.124
When all attempts of peacemaking failed, Imam Ali (‘a) stopped in the center of the battlefield and said the following supplicatory prayer:
‘O Allah, I seek Your protection against cowardice at situations of the affliction of horrors, against weakness at encountering the heroes, and against sins that frustrate the deeds; lest, I may stop because of a doubt or proceed without certitude. Then, my efforts will be worthless and my deeds unaccepted.125
When Imam Ali (‘a) decided to march toward Syria for fighting against Mu’awiyah the mutinous, he said the following supplicatory prayer while he was riding on his animal:
O Allah, I seek Your protection from the hardships of journey, from the grief of returning, and from the scene of devastation of property and folks. O Allah, You are the companion in journey and You are one who is left behind for (protection of the) family. None except You can join these two, because one who is left behind cannot be a companion in journey nor one who is in company on a journey can at the same time be left behind.126
When his troops moved from Al-Nukhaylah toward Syria, Imam Ali (‘a) said the following supplicatory prayer:
All praise be to Allah when night spreads and darkens; all praise be to Allah whenever the star shines and sets; and all praise be to Allah Whose bounty never misses and Whose favors cannot be repaid. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and we are of the witnesses of this. I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. May Allah send blessings and benedictions upon him and his Household!127
When fighting started in Siffin, Imam Ali (‘a), marching and bearing the standard, said this supplicatory prayer:
In the Name of Allah; the All-beneficent, the All-merciful. There is neither might nor power except with Allah the All-high and All-great. O Allah, You alone do we worship and Your aid alone do we seek. O Allah! O All- beneficent!
O All-merciful! O One and Only! O Besought of all! O God of Muhammad! All feet and moved toward You; all hearts are disclosed before you; all sights are gazed at You; all necks are extended to You; all requests are made to You; and all hands are raised toward You.
O Allah, decide between us and our people with truth; and You are the best of deciders. There is no god but Allah. Allah in the Most Great. There is no god but Allah. Allah is the Most Great. There is no god but Allah. Allah in the Most Great.128
At the night of the most violent encounter in the Battle of Siffin, which is known as laylat Al-harir, Imam Ali (‘a) prayed to Almighty Allah, saying,
O Allah, I implore for Your protection lest I may be oppressed under Your authority.
O Allah, I implore for Your protection lest I may be led astray in spite of Your guidance to the truth.
O Allah, I implore for Your protection lest I may suffer neediness while Your enrichment is available.
O Allah, I implore for Your protection lest I may be lost under Your safety from loss.
O Allah, I implore for Your protection lest I may be overcome, while the whole matter is Yours and under Your control.129
On the days of the most violent encounters, Imam Ali (‘a) said the following supplicatory prayer:
O Allah! O All-beneficent! O One! O Besought of all! O God of Muhammad! O Allah, all feet and moved toward You; all hearts are disclosed before you; all hands are raised toward You; all necks are extended to You; all sights are gazed at You; and all requests are made to You.
O Allah, we complain to You about the absence of our Prophet may Allah bless him and his Household and the numerousness of our enemies and the scattering of our tendencies. Please, Our Lord! Decide between us and our people with truth; and you are the best of deciders.130
Ibn A’bad (or Ibn Aghyad, according to some reference books) reported that
Imam Ali (‘a) asked him,
Do you know what your duty towards food is?
‘What is that duty?’ asked the man. Imam Ali (‘a) answered,
Its duty is to say the following prayer before eating:
In the Name of Allah (I begin). O Allah, please bless us in what You have provided us as sustenance.
Imam Ali (‘a) then added,
Do you know how to thank (Allah) for the food after you finish?
‘What is that?’ the man asked. Imam Ali (‘a) instructed,
To thank for the food is to say this:
All praise be to Allah Who has given us food and drink.131
Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplicatory prayer whenever he went to sleep:
In the Name of Allah. I put my side for the sake of Allah, following the faith of Abraham, the religion of Muhammad, may Allah send blessings and benediction upon him and his Household, and showing loyalty to those the obedience to whom has been made incumbent upon us by Allah. Only what Allah wills shall come to pass, but what Allah does not will shall never come to pass.132
When he woke up, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say this supplicatory prayer:
Sufficient to me is the Lord against the servants. Sufficient to me is He Who is sufficient to me. Sufficient to me is He Who has incessantly been sufficient to me. Sufficient to me is Allah; and He is the most excellent Patron.133
Because showing off cancels the rewards of the deeds, Imam Ali (‘a), the most sincere to Almighty Allah in all of his words and deeds, used to seek Almighty Allah’s protection against showing off by saying,
O Allah, I seek Your protection from this that I may appear to be good in the eyes of the people whilst my inward self may be sinful before You, and that I may guard myself from sins only for showing off before the people although You are aware of all about me. Thus, I appear before the people in good appearance although my evil deeds are placed before You. This means achieving nearness to Your creatures but remoteness from Your pleasure.134
To be praised and extolled by people was one of the most abhorrent matters for Imam Ali (‘a). Whenever he was praised, he used to say this supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, You surely know me better than I myself do about myself and I know myself better than all others do. O Allah, please make me better than what they think of me and forgive me what they do not know about me.135
Whenever Imam Ali (‘a) entered the marketplace, he used to say and order his companions to say the following supplication:
I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; One and Only and having no associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. O Allah, I seek Your safety from losing deals and perjury, and I seek Your safety from stagnancy.136
Whenever he looked into a mirror, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplication:
All praise be to Allah Who created me perfectly, formed me perfectly, gave me perfect things that others have had imperfect, and honored me with Islam.137
Imam Ali (‘a) used to pray to Almighty Allah for retaining the Holy Quran with the following supplication:
O Allah, please have mercy on me to avoid, forever, disobeying You, as long as You will keep me alive; and have mercy on me against being burdened with that which does not concern me; and grant me beautiful appearance in that which pleases You from me; and hold my heart on memorizing Your Book as You have taught me. Please, confer upon me the opportunity to read it the way it will make You please with me.
O Allah, please give light with Your Book to my eyes, open thereby my chest, enlighten with it my heart, free up with it my tongue, make my body work for it, and strengthen me thereby. There is no helper in this task except You; there is no god but You.138
Imam Ali (‘a) taught his son Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) to say the following supplicatory prayer:
O He Who is my only means when I am agonized! O He Who is my aide against hardships! O Grantor of my requests! O He Who is my haven when I am involved in troubles! O my Redeemer when I am exposed to perdition! O He Who saves me when I am alone!
Please, forgive me my wrongdoing, make easy my affairs, bring together my reason, grant success to my requests, set aright all of my matters, save me from whatever distresses me, and make relief and way out for my conditions, and do not separate between wellbeing and me as long as You keep me alive and when You will make me meet You in the Hereafter; (let all that be) in the name of Your mercy, O most Merciful of all those who show mercy!139
Imam Ali (‘a) also taught his son Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) to say the following supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, I praise You for all of Your graces, I thank You for all of Your good turns, I implore Your for forgiving all of my sins, I beseech You to endue me with a part of every item of prosperity, and I seek Your protection against all tribulations. There is neither might nor power except with Allah, the All-High and All-great.140
Beseeching Almighty Allah for sustenance, Imam Ali (‘a) said,
All praise be to Allah Who has introduced Himself to me but has not left me blind-hearted. All praise be to Allah Who has made me of the people of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his Household. All praise be to Allah Who has made my sustenance lie in His Hands, but has not made it lie in the hands of people. All praise be to Allah Who has covered up my defects and has not exposed me among the creatures.141
Imam Ali (‘a) said the following prayer whenever a dead body is put in a grave in his presence:
In the Name of Allah, and following the religion of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and his Household. O Allah, please expand the grave of this dead, fill it (i.e. the grave) with light, and join him (i.e. the dead person) with his Prophet while You are pleased with him, but not wrathful. When dust was thrown on the dead body, the Imam (‘a) would say this supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, (this is on the basis of the) belief in You, giving credence to Your messengers, and believing certainly in Your resurrection. This is what Allah and His Messenger promised us, and Allah and His Messenger spoke the truth.142
Imam Ali (‘a) used to stop at the graves, whenever he passed by them, and say the following words:
Peace be upon you, O dwellers of the lonely abodes and the derelict quarters; the believing men and women and Muslim men and women! Verily, You have preceded us to these abodes and we will most surely follow you and very soon join you. O Allah, please forgive them and us and absolve them and us.143
Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said the following supplicatory prayer, seeking Almighty Allah to help him refrain from being engaged in the worldly pleasures:
O Allah, I beseech You for inattention to this worldly life and abhorrence to it, because, indeed, its prosperity is little, its poverty overwhelming, its felicity turbid, its new shabby, its missed things never recovered, and whatever is gained in it is test except for those whom You grant protection and show mercy.
Please, do not make me of those who are satisfied with this world and who feel secured from its vicissitudes and put confidence in it. Verily, it will unavoidably betray him who feels secured with it and it will seduce him who puts his confidence in it.144
In this connection, Imam Ali (‘a) also used to say the following supplicatory prayers:
O Allah, please take me to You while I am poor; and never take me to You while I am rich; and include me with the group of the destitute.145
On the other hand, Imam Ali (‘a) also prayed to Almighty Allah to give him sustenance from which he would give alms for His sake. He thus used to say,
O Allah, I beseech You to give me part of the worldly sustenance that helps me set aright my words, guard my chastity, fulfill my responsibilities, build good relationships with my relatives, and merchandise for my Hereafter.146
Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have instructed those who intend to marry to offer a two-unit prayer and, upon accomplishment, pray to Almighty Allah with the following supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, please provide me with a wife who is good, amiable, fertile, grateful, content, and jealous. If I treat her nicely, she will thank me. If I may make a mistake, she will forgive me. If I mention Allah the All- exalted, she will help me. If I show negligence, she will remind me (of what I have neglected).
If I leave her, she will guard her chastity. If I am with her, she will give me pleasure. If I order her to do something, she will obey. If I put her under an oath, she will fulfill it. If I may be angry with her, she will please me. O Lord of majesty and honoring!147
Imam Ali (‘a) very often repeated the following supplicatory prayer:
All praise be to Allah Who made me such that I have not died nor am I sick, nor have my veins been infected with disease, nor have I been hauled up for my evil acts, nor am I without progeny, nor have I forsaken my religion, nor do I disbelieve in my Lord, nor do I feel strangeness with my faith, nor is my intelligence affected, nor have I been punished with the punishment of peoples before me.
I am a slave in Your possession, I have been guilty of excesses over myself. You have exhausted Your pleas over me and I have no plea (before You). I have no power to take except what You give me, and I cannot evade except what You save me from.
O Allah, I seek Your protection from becoming destitute despite Your riches, from being misguided despite Your guidance, from being molested in Your realm, and from being humiliated while authority rests with You.
O Allah, let my spirit be the first of those good objects that You take from me and the first trust out of Your favors held in trust with me.
O Allah, we seek Your protection from turning away from Your command or revolting against Your religion, or being led away by our desires instead of by guidance that comes from You.148
Beseeching for mercy and illumination from Almighty Allah, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say the following supplicatory prayer:
O Allah, I beseech You, O Lord of the souls passing away and the rotten corpses! I beseech You in the name of the obedience of the souls that are restored to their bodies, and in the name of the obedience of the corpses that join their organs, and in the name of the splitting of the graves to send out their dwellers, and in the name of Your Word that is effective on them, and in the name of Your judging justly among them when the other creatures will be standing before You, awaiting the decisions of Your judgment, seeing Your authority, fearing Your punishment, and hoping for Your mercy; on the day on which a friend shall not avail his friend aught, nor shall they be helped, save those on whom Allah shall have mercy.
Surely, He is the Mighty, the Merciful. I beseech You, O All-beneficent, to place light in my sight, strong belief in my heart, and reference to You night and day on my tongue as long as You keep me alive. Verily, You have power over all things.149
When death came upon Imam Ali (‘a), he was repeating statements of remembering Almighty Allah and saying the following supplication:
O Allah, please save us from Your accursed enemy.
O Allah, I beseech You to witness for me that I bear witness that there is no god save You. You are the One and Only and the Besought of all and You beget not nor are You begotten, and there is none match to You. All praise be to You in the same amount of Your favors to me and Your kind acts to me. So, please forgive me and show me mercy, for You are the Best of all those who may show mercy.
‘There is no god save Allah; One and Only and having no associate. Muhammad is His servant and messenger.’ These words are my means at the current situation and the situations to follow.
O Allah, please make me join him (i.e. the Holy Prophet) and never intervene me from meeting him. Verily, You hear all prayers and You are All-compassionate, All-forgiving, and All-merciful.150
- 1. Shaykh Al-Tusi, Al-Amali, pp. 137; ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 10:54-6.
- 2. Al-Tabrisi, Al-Ihtijaj 1:307-8.
- 3. Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 10:59-60.
- 4. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 10:60-2.
- 5. Shaykh Al-Saduq, ‘Uyun Akhbar Al-Ridha 2:57.
- 6. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Khisal, pp. 456.
- 7. Idris is a prophet who probably appeared in the period between the appearances of Prophet Adam and Prophet Noah. However, on the basis of some similarities, Prophet Idris may be Enoch that is mentioned in the Bible.
- 8. Imam Ali (‘a) then mentioned many other examples of people who could regain health by the blessing of the Holy Prophet (S).
- 9. Sa’ is a unit of mass or weight, usually used for grains; one sa’ is equal to approximately three kilograms.
- 10. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 10:28-48; Al-Tabrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, pp. 111-20.
- 11. Al-Tabrisi, Al-Ihtijaj 1:358-84.
- 12. Al-Tabrisi, Al-Ihtijaj 1:329.
- 13. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 10:126-8.
- 14. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi, 1:138.
- 15. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 2:468.
- 16. Al-Zamakhshari, Rabi’ Al-Abrar 2:208.
- 17. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 2:468.
- 18. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 2:468.
- 19. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 2:468.
- 20. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 2:468.
- 21. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 2:473.
- 22. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 2:473.
- 23. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 2:477.
- 24. Muhammad Taqi Al-Isahani, Mikyal Al-Makarim 2:347.
- 25. Al-Hurr Al-’Amili, Wasa'il Al-Shi’ah 7:29.
- 26. Al-Hurr Al-’Amili, Wasa'il Al-Shi’ah 7:28.
- 27. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Aphorism No. 312.
- 28. Al-Hurr Al-’Amili, Wasa'il Al-Shi’ah 7:80.
- 29. Ibn Shu’bah Al-karrani, Tuhaf Al-’Uqul, pp. 123.
- 30. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Aphorism No. 361. This saying has been also reported, through a valid chain of authority, from Imam Al-Sadiq
(‘a). Refer to Jami’ Ahadiih Al-Shi’ah 15:239, H. 13.
- 31. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Thawab Al-A’mal, pp. 85.
- 32. Shaykh ‘Abbas Al-Qummi, Mafatih Al-Jinan 2:1055 (the two-volume complete English version, translated by Badr Shahin, published by Ansariyan Publications ñ 2009).
- 33. Sayyid ibn Tawus, Muhaj Al-Da’awat, pp. 111-4; ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 91:231
- 34. Al-Samahiji, Al-Sahifah Al-’Alawiyyah, pp. 74-76.
- 35. Shaykh Ibrahim Al-Kaf’ami, Al-Balad Al-Amin, pp. 92-4.
- 36. Shaykh Ibrahim Al-Kaf’ami, Al-Balad Al-Amin, pp. 380-1.
- 37. Shaykh Ibrahim Al-Kaf’ami, Al-Balad Al-Amin, pp. 378-80.
- 38. Sayyid Ibn Tawus, Muhaj Al-Da’awat, pp. 106-11.
- 39. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 225.
- 40. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 6:180-2. Also ascribed to Imam Ali ibn Al-Husayn Zayn Al-’Abidin (‘a), this supplicatory prayer is one of the supplications of Al-Sahifah Al-Sajjadiyyah.
- 41. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 91:95; Al-Zamakhshari, Rabi’ Al-Abrar 2:253.
- 42. Sayyid Ibn Tawus, Muhaj Al-Da’awat, pp. 94-6.
- 43. Tearing apart safeguards means to remove the protection of the Lord from the servant who commits these sins. More precisely, the sins that tear apart safeguards, according to the words of Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq (‘a), are namely consuming intoxicants, gambling, engagement in excessive joking in order to make others laugh, forbidden amusement, engagement in finding faults with people, and sitting with people who doubt Almighty Allah, besides many others.
- 44. The sins that draw down adversities, according to a discourse reported from Imam Al- Sadiq (‘a) are: breaking the vows and pledges, committing indecencies openly, spreading lies among people, issuing verdicts that are in violation of the judgment of Almighty Allah, refraining from defraying the zakat tax, and defrauding in measurements.
The Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said, ‘Five for five!’ When he (S) was asked for explanation, he said, ‘
There is no god but You! Glory be to You, and Yours is the praise! I have wronged myself, free hand over them. 2When they commit adultery, Allah will spread death among them. (3) When they tell lies and judge against Allah’s rule, they will be increasingly unfortunate. (4) When they refrain from paying the zakat tax, rain will no longer be poured on them. (5) When they shorten the measures, they will be deprived of plants and entangled in famine.’
- 45. About the sins that alter the blessings, Imam Al-Sadiq (‘a) says,
‘The sins that alter the blessings are namely refraining from appreciating the favors, forging lies against Almighty Allah and His Prophet, rupturing relations with the relatives, delaying performing the prayers, pandering (i.e. a go-between in illicit lustful affairs), refraining from coming to the aid of the distressed ones who ask for aid, and refraining from helping the oppressed regain their dues.’
- 46. Sins that deter supplications from being responded are generally every evildoing and namely devouring the orphans’ properties illegally, refraining from trusting in Almighty Allah, and arrogance in addition to all vices and indecencies
- 47. Sins that cut off hopes are despair of Almighty Allah’s soothing mercy, putting one’s confidence in any other one rather Almighty Allah, and giving the lie to the promises of Allah. According to a tradition, these acts cut off the connection between a servant and his Lord and cast in bottomless mazes of deviation.
- 48. According to traditions, sins that draw down tribulations are seven in number. They are:
setting partners with Almighty Allah in His Godhead, slaying the souls that Allah has
forbidden to be slain, accusing falsely the married women of adultery, swallowing the properties of the orphans illegally, committing adultery, fleeing from battlefields, and larceny.
- 49. Sayyid Ibn Tawus, Iqbal Al-A’mal, pp. 220-4.
- 50. Terminologically known as masmasah, rinsing out the mouth with a handful of water is a recommended introductory act to the ritual ablution. It is meant to cleansing the teeth and making the mouth free of dirt.
- 51. Al-Hurr Al-’Amili, Wasa'il Al-Shi’ah 1:292.
- 52. Known as istinshaq in the terminology of Muslim jurisprudence, inhaling water from the nose is another recommended introductory act to the ritual ablution. It cleans the nose and brings about many healthy advantages.
- 53. Al-Hurr Al-’Amili, Wasa'il Al-Shi’ah 1:282.
- 54. Al-Hurr Al-’Amili, Wasa'il Al-Shi’ah 1:282.
- 55. Al-Hurr Al-’Amili, Wasa'il Al-Shi’ah 1:282.
- 56. Al-Hurr Al-’Amili, Wasa'il Al-Shi’ah 1:283.
- 57. Al-Hurr Al-’Amili, Wasa'il Al-Shi’ah 1:283.
- 58. Al-Hurr Al-’Amili, Wasa'il Al-Shi’ah 1:283.
- 59. Takbirat Al-ihram statement is to say, ‘allahu-akbar (Allah is the Most Great)’ in order to enter into a prayer. It is thus the introductory statement to prayers.
- 60. Al-Nuri Al-Tabrisi, Al-Sahifah Al-’Alawiyyah Al-Thaniyah, pp. 143.
- 61. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Amali, pp. 255.
- 62. Al-kimyari, Qurb Al-Isnad, pp. 1.
- 63. Ali ibn Babawayh, Fiqh Al-Ridha, pp. 141.
- 64. Al-Nuri Al-Tabrisi, Al-Sahifah Al-’Alawiyyah Al-Thaniyah, pp. 170.
- 65. In the second unit of each prayer, be it obligatory or supererogatory, it is highly recommended to raise the both hands towards the sky and utter any supplicatory statement. This act is known as Qunut although the word linguistically means obeisance and piety.
- 66. Al-Nuri Al-Tabrisi, Al-Sahifah Al-’Alawiyyah Al-Thaniyah, pp. 74.
- 67. The Imam (‘a) used to repeat each of these two statements ten times.
- 68. Ibrahim Al-Kaf’ami, Al-Balad Al-Amin, pp. 494-5.
- 69. Shaykh Ibrahim Al-Kaf’ami, Al-Balad Al-Amin, pp. 38-46
- 70. Sayyid Ibn Tawus, Falah Al-Sa'il, pp. 172-3.
- 71. Sayyid Ibn Tawus, Falah Al-Sa'il, pp. 202.
- 72. Nasr ibn Muzahim, Waq’at Siffin, pp. 134.
- 73. Sayyid Ibn Tawus, Falah Al-Sa'il, pp. 237-8.
- 74. Nasr ibn Muzahim, Waq’at Siffin, pp. 134.
- 75. Sayyid Ibn Tawus, Falah Al-Sa'il, pp. 249-50.
- 76. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 91:119.
- 77. Al-Nuri Al-Tabrisi, Al-Sahifah Al-’Alawiyyah Al-Thaniyah, pp. 162-4.
- 78. Al-Nuri Al-Tabrisi, Al-Sahifah Al-’Alawiyyah Al-Thaniyah, pp. 164-6.
- 79. Muhammad Baqir Al-Mahmudi, Nahj Al-Sa’adah fi Mustadrak Nahj Al-Balaghah, pp. 42.
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- 92. Sayyid Ibn Tawus, Misbah Al-Za'ir, pp. 88-90.
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- 94. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Khisal, pp. 45.
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- 97. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 143.
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- 115. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 9:306.
- 116. Ibn Shahr'ashub, Manaqib Ali Abi Talib2:112.
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- 119. Shaykh Al-Tusi, Tahdhib Al-Ahkam 3:81.
- 120. Al-Samahiji, Al-Sahifah Al-’Alawiyyah, pp. 31.
- 121. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 212.
- 122. Al-Mas’udi, Muruj Al-Dhahab 2:370.
- 123. Muhammad Baqir Al-Mahmudi, Nahj Al-Sa’adah fi Mustadrak Nahj Al-Balaghah 4:294.
- 124. Al-Waqidi, Kitab Al-Jamal, pp. 182.
- 125. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 33:452.
- 126. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 46.
- 127. Nasr ibn Muzahim, Kitab Siffin, pp. 231.
- 128. Mirza Al-Nuri, Mustadrak Al-Wasa'il 11:111-2.
- 129. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 91:242.
- 130. Nasr ibn Muzahim, Waq’at Siffin, pp. 477.
- 131. Abu-Na’im, Hilyat Al-Awliya' 1:70.
- 132. Al-Samahiji, Al-Sahifah Al-’Alawiyyah, pp. 282.
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- 134. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Aphorism No. 286.
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- 144. Al-Daylami, Irshad Al-Qulub, pp. 36.
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- 147. Muhammad Baqir Al-Mahmudi, Nahj Al-Sa’adah fi Mustadrak Nahj Al-Balaghah 4:249.
- 148. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 215.
- 149. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 92:3.
- 150. Al-Qasi Al-Maghribi, Da’a'im Al-Islam 2:354.