Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya is one of the sources of the Islamic inheritance, and among the important books of eloquence, education, ethics, and literature in Islam. As it is of great importance, the great thinkers and scholars called it ‘the Sister of the Qur’an’, ‘the Gospel of the Folk of the House’, and ‘the Psalms of the Household of Muhammad’.1
Al-Sahifa was very important because it was composed in a time full of terrible events and political problems which affected the life of the Muslims and turned it into black clouds in which there was no gleam of light, guidance, and vividness of Islam. In that time the Muslims were busy forming political parties to achieve their interests and ambitions, hence there was no Islamic spirituality, teachings, manners, and rules.
Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya opened new doors to the religious awareness which the Muslims had not known before. It urged the Muslims to devote their lives to Allah, to purify themselves from evil inclinations such as selfishness and greediness. It also urged them to cling to Allah, the Exalted, the Creator of the world, and the Giver of life, Who is the Source of all favors and good for all mankind, so it is necessary for us to shed light on this great book, namely Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya.
As for the chain of authorities of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya, it goes back to the greatest Imam, Abu’ Ja‘far al-Baqir, peace be on him, and to the immortal martyr Zayd b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on him. The Chain of Authorities has been mentioned in the introduction of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya and is confirmed by over fifty-six thousand authorities. The religious scholars received al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya from successive authorities.2
Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin al-‘Amily said: “The strongest proof for the authenticity of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya is that it contains pure words, matchless eloquence, excellent meanings, different kinds of humbleness to Allah and praising Him, wonderful ways for seeking His pardon and generosity, and imploring Him. Hence this pearl belongs to that sea, this jewel belongs to that metal, and this fruit belongs to that tree. Besides it is very famous and its chain of authorities is numerous and goes back to its author, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, may Allah bless him and his pure fathers and his pure children.
The trustworthy narrators reported it through their numerous, successive chain of authorities on the authority of Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him. Zayd, the martyr, had copies of it, and he handed them over to his children, who handed them over to the children of ‘Abd Allah b. al-Hasan al-Muthnna, as it has been mentioned in the introduction of al-Sahifa, as well as al-Baqir, peace be on him, had copies of it. The people took great care of narrating it, verifying its words and copies, and they went on reciting its supplications by night and day.3
As the chain of authority of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya is definite and its eloquence is excellent, therefore it issued from none except this great Imam.
Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya, like all supplication books, has very important characteristics of which are the following:
1. It represents the most perfect freedom from the material world, full devotion and fleeing to Allah, the Most High. Such qualities are the most valuable in this world. In this respect let’s listen to the Imam’s words:
“O Allah, I showed sincerity by cutting myself off from everything but You. I approached You with my whole self. I averted my face from everyone who needs Your support. I ceased to ask from any who cannot do without Your bounty. I saw that the needy who seeks from the needy is foolish in his opinion, and misguided in his intellect. How many people have I seen, my God, who sought exaltation through other than You and were abased, who wanted wealth from someone else and became poor, who tried to rise high and fell down low! Observing the likes of them corrects a prudent man; his taking heed gives him success; his choosing the best guides him to the path of right.
“So You, my Master, are the object of my asking to the exclusion of all those who are asked and the patron of my need to the exclusion of all those from who requests are made. You are singled out for my call before all who are called; none is associated with You in my hope, none comes along with You in my supplication, nor does any join with You within it, for to You is my appeal.
“To You, my God, belong the Unity of number, the property of eternal power, the excellence of force and strength, the degree of sublimity and elevation. Everyone other than You is the object of his compassion in his lifetime, overcome in his affair, overwhelmed in his situation, diverse in states, constantly changing in attributes. So You are high exalted above likenesses and opposites, proudly magnified beyond similitudes and rivals! Glory be to You! There is no god but You!4”
These paragraphs represent the Imam’s devotion to Allah, the Exalted, his clinging to Him, his turning away from other than Him, and his renouncing those other than Him. The Imam, peace be on him, justified this as follows:
A. It is an act of foolishness and vanity that man hopes those other than his Creator, for those other than Allah, despite their great importance, are weak and in need of support and gift. So how does man hope them and hopes for good from them?
B. The experiences taught the Imam, peace be on him, that some people sought honor, might, and exaltation through a way other than that of Allah, but their hopes came to nothing, and they completely lost their way, and that some people sought wealth from other than Allah, so, suddenly, they became poor and deprived. This matter increased the Imam’s insight and certainty and made him think that clinging to other than Allah was foolishness and vanity.
C. Might and power are only in the hand of Allah, the Glorified. As for those other than Allah, they are the object of there compassion in there lifetime, overcome in there affair, overwhelmed in there situation, diverse in states, constantly changing in attributes. All these matters made the Imam, peace be on him, turn away from those other than Allah.
2. It shows that the Imam, peace be on him, had perfect knowledge of Allah, the Exalted, and had firm faith in Him. Such knowledge and faith did not result from sentiment or tradition, rather they resulted from deep thinking and pure mind. In his book, al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya, the Imam, peace be on him, has mentioned many theological views on which the Muslim theologians and philosophers depended in writing about the Necessary Being (Allah). Now, let’s listen to another paragraph of his supplication wherein he has mentioned the tremendousness of the Wise Creator. He, peace be on him, said:
“Praise belongs to Allah, the First, without a first before Him, the Last, without a last behind him. Beholders’ eyes fall short of seeing Him, describers’ imaginations are not able to depict Him. He originated the creatures through His power with an origination. He devised them in accordance with His will with a devising.5” In this paragraph, the Imam, peace be on him, has mentioned some attributes of the Almighty Creator. These attributes are the most important matters in theology. They are as follows:
A. Allah is, the First, without a first before Him.
B. He is the Last, without a last behind Him. These two attributes have been established in theology.
C. Beholders’ eyes fall short of seeing Him. How can beholders see and perceive the Almighty Being, Who created and originated the universe?
D. Describers’ imaginations are not able to depict Him, the Exalted, for all the words cannot contain some of His attributes.
E. He originated the creatures through His power with an origination and devised them in accordance with His will with a devising, while no associate shared Him in creating the creatures, and there was none like Him in mightiness.
Now, let’s listen to another part of his supplication concerning describing the mightiness of the Almighty Creator. He, peace be on him, said:
“Praise belongs to Allah, who created night and day through His strength, set them apart through His power, and appointed for each a determined limit and a drawn-out period. He makes each of the two enter into its companion, and makes its companion enter into it, as an ordainment from Him for His servants in that through which He feeds them and with which He makes them grow. He created for them the night, that they might rest in it, from tiring movements and wearisome exertions and He made it a garment for them that they might be clothed in its ease and its sleep, that it might be for them refreshment and strength, that they might reach therein pleasure and passion. He created for them the daytime, giving sight, that they might seek within it of His bounty, find the means to His provision, and roam freely in His earth.6”
The wise Imam proved the mightiness of Allah, the Exalted, through His creating night and day and making them enter into each other, through a light movement which none can stop, control, divide, and limit. Night enters into day and day enters into night in a gradual manner in which moments and changes cannot be set apart. The darkness of night gradually enters into the brightness of day, and morning gradually enters into the utter darkness, and they both are a repeated sight.7 Also the Imam mentioned the wisdom in creating night and day; Allah, the Most High, created night, that man might rest in it, from tiring movements and wearisome exertions, and man can regain in sleeping all the strength he consumes through his work by day; He, the Exalted created the daytime, giving sight, that man might seek within it of His bounty, find the means to His provision, and work to maintain himself and his family.
The Imam’s supplications contain a group of proofs for the Unity of Allah. They show that the Imam was among those who recognized Allah and turned to Him in repentance.
3. It contains absolute humbleness and lowliness before Allah, the Exalted, and with this it has been distinguished from the other supplications of the pure Imams, peace be on them. In the preface of his Sahifa, al-Fadil al-Asfahani said: “Though the supplications of our master, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, are numerous, they are distinguished from those of the infallible Imam, peace be on him, by showing pleading, lowliness, and neediness to Allah, the Most High.” He added: “Allah, the Exalted, singled out each of the Imams with a quality which does not exist in other than him, such as bravery in Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and his son al-Husayn, peace be on him, gentleness and lament in Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin’s supplications, especially as it concerns the supplications of al-Sahifa al-Kamila, which our companions sometimes call the ‘Psalms of the Household of Muhammad’ and sometimes they call it the ‘Gospel of the Folk of the House’”8
Let’s listen to another part of his supplications in which he pled to Allah. He, peace be on him, said:
“My Lord, my sins have silenced me, and my words have been cut off. I have no argument, for I am the prisoner of my own affliction, the hostage to my works, the frequenter of my own offense, the confused in my intended way, the thwarted. I have brought myself to a halt in the halting place of the abased sinners, the halting place of the wretched and insolent, those who think lightly of Your promise. Glory be to You! What insolence I have insolently shown toward You! What delusion with which I have deluded myself! My master, have mercy on my falling flat on my face, the slipping of my foot, grant me my ignorance through Your clemency, and my evildoing through Your beneficence, for I admit my sin and confess my offense: Here are my hand and my forelock! I am resigned to retaliation again st my soul! Have mercy on my white hair, the depletion of my days, the nearing of my term, my frailty, my misery, and the paucity of my stratagems! My Master, and have mercy upon me when my trace is cut off from this world, my mention is effaced among the creatures, and I join the forgotten, like the forgotten ones! My Master, and have mercy upon me at the change of my form and state when my body decays, my limbs are scattered, and my joints are dismembered! O my heedlessness toward what was wanted from me! My Master, have mercy upon at my mustering and uprising and on that day, appoint my standing place with Your friends, my place of emergence with Your beloved ones, and my dwelling in Your neighborhood! O Lord of the worlds!9”
This supplication is full of fear of Allah and devotion to Him, for this great Imam melted before the Wise Creator and showed love for him and did all things that brought him nigh to Him, asking Him for forgiveness and good pleasure.
4. It has opened doors to hope and expectation through Allah’s mercy, which embraces all things, for whatever sins and crimes man commits, he should not despair of Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and munificence. In one of his supplications, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, said:
“O my Allah, by Your mightiness and majesty, if You demand my sins, I will demand Your pardon, and if You demand my ignobility, I will demand Your munificence.”
Most of the Imam’s supplications are full of hope which fills the souls with radiance, ambitions, and trust in Allah’s pardon and forgiveness.
5. It has opened doors to wonderful debates with Allah, the Exalted. Such debates are full of firm proofs for asking Him, the Exalted, for pardon. Let’s listen to some of them. He, peace be on him, says:
“My Allah, if You do not forgive save Your friends and those who obey You, then where shall the sinners go? If You do not show generosity save to those who are sincere to You, then whom shall the evildoers ask for help? My Allah, You have revealed pardon in Your Book, and You have commanded us to pardon him who wrongs us. We have wronged ourselves, so pardon us, for You are worthier of that than us. We have commanded us not to repel a beggar from our doors. I have come to beg You; therefore repel me not from Your door! You have commanded us to do good. We are your slaves; therefore release our necks from the Fire!”
In another supplication, he, peace be on him, said:
“So have mercy upon me, O Allah, for I am a vile man and my worth is little. Chastising me will not add the weight of a dust mote to Your kingdom. Were chastising me something that would add to Your kingdom, I would ask You for patience to bear it and would love for it to belong to You; but Your authority, my Allah, is mightier, and Your kingdom more lasting, than that the obedience of the sinners diminish it!”
Commenting on this part of supplication, Allama, the late Shaykh, Muhammad Jawad Mughniya said: “Have you ever seen a defense stronger than this defense or a proof more conclusive than this proof? What does Allah make through punishing men as long as punishing (them) does not decrease His kingdom nor does it increase His authority? The Imam protested through the same law Allah has written against Himself and against all mankind, for He, the Great and Almighty, said: ‘Your Lord has written mercy against Himself: O My servants who have been prodigal against yourselves, do not despair of Allah’s mercy, surely Allah forgives all sins. Surely, He is All-forgiving, All-merciful.’ Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, talked in a right manner and submitted figures with sanctification to the Great Judge. As Allah’s words are true, the Imam protested according to them.10”
6. Most supplications of the Sahifa contain moral programs which purify man’s soul. The following is one of them:
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, cause my faith to reach the most perfect faith, make my certainty the most excellent certainty, and take my intention to the best of intentions and my works to the best of works! O Allah, complete my intention through Your gentleness, rectify my certainty through what is with You, and set right what is corrupt in me through Your power!
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, spare me the concerns which distract me, employ me in that about which You will ask me tomorrow, and let me pass my days in that for which You have created me! Free me from need, expand Your provision toward me and tempt me not with ingratitude! Exalt me and afflict me not with pride! Make me worship You and corrupt not my worship with self-admiration! Let good flow out from my hands upon the people and efface it not by my making them feel obliged! Give me the highest moral traits and preserve me from vainglory!
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, raise me not a single degree before the people without lowering me its like in myself and bring about no outward exaltation for me without inward abasement in myself to the same measure! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, give me to enjoy a sound guidance which I seek not to replace, a path of truth from which I swerve not, and an intention of right conduct in which I have no doubts! Let me live as long as my life is a free gift in obeying You, but if my life should become a pasture for Satan, size me to Yourself before Your hatred overtakes me or Your wrath against me becomes firm!
“O Allah, deposit in me no quality for which I will be faulted unless You set it right, no flaw for which I will be blamed, unless You make it beautiful, no deficient noble trait, unless You complete it!”
The Imam, peace be on him, asked the Great Creator to give him all excellencies through which man becomes sublime. He asked Him, the Exalted, to give him perfect faith and the most excellent certainty, to make his works the best of works, to employ him in obeying Him and acts that please Him, to expand His provision toward him, not to tempt him with poverty, deprivation, might, and self-admiration, to make him an obedient servant, submissive to Him, to let good flow out from his hands upon the people, not to efface it by making them feel obliged, to give him the highest moral traits and the best qualities, and not to raise him a degree before the people without lowering him its like in himself, lest he should see his soul had an excellence over Allah’s servants. The Imam, peace be on him, added:
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household and point me straight to resist him who is dishonest toward me with good counsel, repay him who separates from me with gentle devotion, reward him who deprives me with free giving, recompense him who cuts me off with joining, oppose him who slanders me with excellent mention, give thanks for good, and shut my eyes to evil.
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, adorn me with the adornment of the righteous, and clothe me in the ornaments of the Allah-fearing, through spreading justice, restraining range, quenching the flame of hate, bringing together the people of separation, correcting discord, spreading about good behavior, covering faults, mildness of temper, lowering the wing, beauty of conduct, gravity of bearing, agreeableness in comportment, precedence in reaching excellence, preferring bounteousness, refraining from condemnation, bestowing bounty on the undeserving, speaking the truth, though it be painful, making little of the good in my words and deeds, though it be much, and making much of the evil in my words and deeds, though it be little! Perfect this for me through lasting obedience, holding fast to the community, and rejecting the people of innovation and those who act in accordance with originated opinions!11”
The Imam, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Exalted, to be kind to him through giving him the most excellent qualities, the highest moral traits and all that which would bring him near to Him, that he might live in abundant dignity, guide the people, and show them the way to the truth and rightness.
7. It contains the scientific realities which none had discovered before him, for example, he, peace be on him, in invoked Allah against the enemies of the Muslims, saying: “O Allah, mix their waters with pestilence and their food with maladies.12”
The Imam, peace be on him, mentioned the scientific reality which was discovered in the last century; and which is that the germs of the pestilence called Cholera live in water and food, hence whoever drinks or eats such water and food will carry them.
Another example of the scientific realities the Imam mentioned in his Sahifa is these words of him, peace be on him: “Praise belongs to Allah, who has placed within us the organs of expansion, and assigned for us the agents of contraction.13”
The Imam, peace be on him, talked about the hands and the legs, which are among the wonderful organs in man’s body, for they contract and expand according to the oscillation of the brain. The English Science Magazine said: “Man’s hand is among the unique, natural wonders. It is very difficult; rather it is impossible to make a tool like human hand in simplicity, capability, and speedy adaptation. When you want to read a book, you take it with your hand and fix it in a situation appropriate for reading. It is the hand which sets right its situation automatically. When you want to turn over one of its pages, you put your fingers under the page and press it to the degree through which you turn it over, then the pressure removes when you have turned the page over. The hand catches the pencil and writes with it; it uses all tools necessary for man such as spoon, knife, and typewriter; it opens windows and shut them, and carries all what man wants. The two hands have twenty-seven bones, and each has nineteen groups of muscles.14” Modern medicine objectively and inclusively searched for the wonderful qualities of the hand, which proves the existence of the Great Creator.
8. It is among the spiritual and moral sources in Islamic thought; therefore it is a remedy for the perplexed souls, and fresh fountain from which the Allah-fearing and those who turn to him in repentance drink. It represents the philosophy of supplication, which the believer uses as a ladder to climb to Allah, and which makes him reach the highest degree of perfection, for there is nothing in this world’s life higher than communicating with Allah, the Exalted, the Creator of the universe and Giver of life. Surely perplexed souls find their objectives in supplication, for they feel tranquillity after anxiety, and hope after despair. Sincere supplication takes man to the Kingdom and frees him from material pleasures. The immortal Sahifa of al-Sajjad has clearly contained this brilliant philosophy of supplication.
9. Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya was a revolt against the Umayyads, who spread corruption among the Muslims and froze their abilities
10. It has reached the highest degree of eloquence and purity. I (the author) firmly believe that no Arab words are more eloquent and purer than the supplications of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, except those of the Holy Qur’an and of ‘Ali’s Nahjj al-Balagha. The most prominent qualities of the Sahifa are the beauty of style and the mildness of words. The Imam used only the words which have brought together all the measures of beauty.
None knows the rhetorical and literary qualities of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya except the rhetoricians. Commenting on it and all the supplications of the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, Dr. Husayn ‘Ali Mahfu’z said: “The Imams’ supplications are wonderful art prose plain in style, expression, and eloquence. Surely, this genuine, miraculous method is of the pure (words) of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Household, and his family, peace be on them.
“Supplication is beautiful literature, blessed conversation, rich language, valuable religion, genuine eloquence, divine trace, and prophetic scent.15”
Among the aspects of splendor and eloquence in the supplications of the Imam, peace be on him, is that he elaborated on describing the bliss, luxury, and beautiful palaces of the Garden, for he wanted men to wish for it through doing good deeds. Also he elaborated on frightening men with the Fire and severe punishment to make them refrain from committing sins. In this he followed the Holy Qur’an, which elaborated on describing the Garden and the Fire in many of its verses, for the same reasons which we have mentioned. The rhetoricians have mentioned that the elaboration on such matters is among the highest and the most wonderful degrees of eloquence.
Muslim and non-Muslim circles have taken great care of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadia, the following are some aspects of the taking care of it:
A. The Muslim scholars and the righteous recite it by night and day pleading to Allah through it to pardon them and to save them from the Fire.
B. It has been translated from Arabic into numerous languages such as English, Persian, Germany, Urdu, French. It is worth mentioning that the Sahifa has been translated into Persian many times, for example, it has been translated by al-Hajj ‘Imad al-Did al-Asfahani, Shaykh Jawad Fadil, and al-Sayyid ‘Ali Naqi Fayd al-Islam, hence they made their nation make use of al-Sahifa, which is one of treasures of thought, knowledge, and wisdom.
C. The calligraphers always write and decorate it with wonderful scripts and decorations, hence the cases of the Islamic manuscripts are full of it.
The scholars devoted themselves to interpreting al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya and wrote in this respect a group of valuable books which Shaykh Agha Buzurg al-Tahrani, the Shaykh of the researchers, has mentioned. The following is the text of what he has mentioned:
1. Sharh al-Sahifa (the Interpretation of al-Sahifa) by Mirza Ibrahim b. Muhammad ‘Ali al-Sabzwari, surnamed Wathraq al-Hukama’, died in 1358 A. H. He interpreted the vague words and difficult sentences. This sharh (interpretation) is Persian and gnostic. It was printed in the year 1342 A. H.
2. Sharh al-Sahifa by Mirza Ibrahim b. Mir Muhammad Ma‘su’m b. Mir Fasih b. Mir al-Husayn al-Tabrizi, al-Qazwini, died in the year 1149 A. H. His son al-Sayyid Hasan has mentioned it (Sharh al-Sahifa), in ‘Khatimat al-Ma‘arijj’ and said: “He interpreted some supplications of al-Sahifa.”
3. Sharh al-Sahifa by Shaykh Taqi al-Din Ibrahim b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. Muhammad b. Salih b. Isma‘il al-Kaf‘ami, the author of al-Musbah, died in the year 1195 A. H. He called it (Sharh al-Sahifa) ‘al-Fawa’id al-Tarifa’.
4. Sharh al-Sahifa by Mawla Sharif Abi al-Hasan b. Muhammad Tahir b. ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Fatu’ni, al-‘Amili, al-Asfahani, al-Gharawi, who died about the year 1140 A. H.
5. Sharh al-Sahifa, Persian, by some companions.
6. Sharh al-Sahifa by some companions; it is in al-Radawiya Library.
7. Sharh al-Sahifa by some companions; it is in al-Radawiya Library, its time is unknown.
8. Sharh al-Sahifa by the greatest Sayyid Mirza Muhammad Baqir al-Husayn al-Farisi.
9. Sharh al-Sahifa, Persian, by ‘Allama Muhammad Baqir al-Majjlisi. He confined it to the most important and difficult matters.
10. Sharh al-Sahifa, Arabic, by ‘Allama Muhammad Baqir al-Majjlisi. He called it al-Fawa’id al-Tarifa, but did not complete it.
11. Sharh al-Sahifa, Persian, by Badi‘ al-Harnadi. He called it ‘Riyad al-‘Abidin’.
12. Sharh al-Sahifa by Muhammad Taqi b. Maqsu’d.
13. Sharh al-Sahifa, Persian, by an unknown author.
14. Sharh al-Sahifa by al-Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Kawkabani al-Yamani, from India, died in Baghdad, in the year 1339 A. H.
15. Sharh al-Sahifa by one of the companions, his name is unknown, for there are missing pages in the beginning and end of the copy.
16. Sharh al-Sahifa by Habib Allah b. ‘Ali Madad al-Kashani, a copy of it is with his grandsons in Kashan.
17. Sharh al-Sahifa by Shaykh ‘Abbas b. Muhammad ‘Ali al-Balaghi al-Najafi, author of Tanqih al-Maqal. He wrote it in Khurasan (Mashhad) when he went to visit al-Rida, peace be on him. He began writing it in the beginning of (the month) Jamadi al-Ula, in the Year 1105 and finished it in Rajab in the same year. He made a fair copy of it after a while when he returned to Asfahan.
18. Sharh al-Sahifa by Mirza Hasan b. al-Mawla ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Lahiji, author of Shams al-Yaqin. This interpretation is in three volumes, but it is incomplete.
19. Sharh al-Sahifa by Tajj al-Din Hasan b. Muhammad al-Asfahani, the father of al-Fadil al-Hindi. It is in the Library of Abi al-Huda al-Kalbasi, in Asfahan.
20. Sharh al-Sahifa, Persian, by the Researcher, Agha Husayn al-Khansari, died in the year 1099 A. H.
21. Sharh al-Sahifa by Husayn b. Mawla Hasan al-Jilani al-Asfahani, died 1129 A. H.
22. Sharh al-Sahifa, just like commentary, by al-Sayyid Husayn b. al-Hasan b. Abi Ja‘far Muhammad al-Mu’sawi al-Karki.
23. Sharh al-Sahifa, just like commentary, by Shaykh ‘Izz al-Din al-Husayn b. ‘Abd al-Samad al-Harithi, al- ‘Amili, the father of Shaykh al-Baha’i, died in the year 984 A. H.
24. Sharh al-Sahifa by Khalil b. al-Ghazi al-Qazwini, a copy of it was in the Library of al-Asfahani, the Shaykh of al-Shari‘a, in Najaf.
25. Sharh al-Sahifa by al-Sayyid Muhammad Rida al-‘Araji.
26. Sharh al-Sahifa by Rida ‘Ali al-Taliqani.
27. Sharh al-Sahifa by Muhammad Salim al-Razi.
28. Sharh al-Sahifa, Persian, by Muhammad Salih b. Muhammad Baqir al-Roghani al-Qazwini.
29. Sharh al-Sahifa, Arabic, by Muhammad Salih b. Muhammad Baqir al-Roghani al-Qazwini.
30. Sharh al-Sahifa by Shaykh ‘Abbas b. Muhammad ‘Ali b. Muhammad al-Balaghi al-Najafi.
31. Sharh al-Sahifa by al-Sayyid Sadr al-Din b. Mir Muhammad Salih al-Tabataba’i, the grandfather of the Sayyids who have been given the nick-name of al-Mudarrisi in Yazid.
32. Sharh al-Sahifa by Mufti Mir ‘Abbas al-Lakinhu’ri; it is in the Library of al-Sayyid Nasir Husayn al-Kantu’ri, in Lakinhu’r.
33. Sharh al-Sahifa by Jamal al-Salikin ‘Abd al-Baqi al-Khattat al-Tabrizi; it is easy and detailed, according to the Sufi method, in this manner it has been mentioned in al-Riyad.
34. Sharh al-Sahifa by ‘Abd al-Ghaffar al-Rashti, who belonged to the time of Shah ‘Abbas.
35. Sharh al-Sahifa by Ibn Miftah Abi al-Hasan ‘Abd Allah b. Abi al-Qasim b. Miftah al-Zaydi al-Yamani.
36. Sharh al-Sahifa by ‘Abd Allah Afandi, the author of ‘Riyad al-‘Ulama’’.
37. Sharh al-Sahifa by Muhammad Tahir b. al-Husayn al-Shirazi, lived in Qum.
38. Sharh al-Sahifa by Sadr al-Din ‘Ali b. Nizam al-Din Ahmed al-Ashtaki al-Shirazi, better known as al-Medani, died 1120 A. H. He called it ‘Riyad al-Salikin’.
39. Sharh al-Sahifa by al-Sayyid Sharaf al-Din ‘Ali b. Hujjat Allah al-Sholistani al-Husayni al-Tabataba’i.
40. Sharh al-Sahifa by Nu’r al-Din Abi al-Hasan b. ‘Abd al-‘Al al-Karki, died 940 A. H.
41. Sharh al-Sahifa, Persian, by Abi al-Hasan ‘Ali b. al-Hasan al-Zawari.
42. Sharh al-Sahifa by Shaykh ‘Ali b. Shaykh Zayn al-‘Abidin, one of the grandsons of the second martyr. It is an easy interpretation, just like the Interpretation of Majjma’ al-Bayan, for he first mentioned the supplication, then language, then parsing, and then meaning.
43. Sharh al-Sahifa by Shaykh ‘Ali b. Shaykh Abi Ja’far, who was also one of the grandsons of the Second Martyr, Zayn al-Din. A copy of this interpretation (sharh) is in the Library of al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Mashkat, in Tehran.
44. Sharh al-Sahifa by Muhammad ‘Ali b. Nusayr al-Jahar dahi al-Rashti al-Najafi, died in the year 1334 A. H. This interpretation, written in Persian, is in a big volume, titled ‘al-Hashiya’.
45. Sharh al-Sahifa by Muhammad ‘Ali b. al-Hajj Sulayman al-Jashi al-Bahrani al-Khatti. He interpreted the words and vague sentences, but he did not complete it.
46. Sharh al-Sahifa by Fatih Allah al-Khattat al-Su’fi. In it he discussed the method of the Sufis.
47. Sharh al-Sahifa by Shaykh Fakhr al-Din al-Turayhi al-Najafi, died in the year 1085. A. H. He called it ‘al-Nukta al-Latifa’.
48. Sharh al-Sahifa by Mirza Qadi. He interpreted four supplications of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya, and called this interpretation ‘al-Tuhfa al-Radawiya’.
49. Sharh al-Sahifa by an unknown author, for some pages in the beginning and end of this interpretation are missing. Shaykh Mehdi Sharaf al-Din, in Tustar, had a copy of it.
50. Sharh al-Sahifa by al-Sayyid Muhsin b. Qasim b. Ishaq al-Daghani al-Zaydi, lived in the 13th century.
51. Sharh al-Sahifa by al-Sayyid Muhsin b. Ahmed al-Shami al-Husayni al-Yamani al-Zaydi, died in the year 1251 A. H. Ibn Ziyada mentioned this interpretation in his manuscript called ‘Nashir al-‘Urf’.
52. Sharh al-Sahifa by Muhammad b. Muhammad Rida al-Mashhadi, the author of ‘Kanz al-Daqa’iq. The interpretation is in four volumes. Al-Sayyid Shahab al-Din al-Tabrizi, who lived in Qum, had a copy of this interpretation.
53. Sharh al-Sahifa by al-Sayyid Afsah al-Din Muhammad al-Shirazi, the author of ‘al-Mawahib al-Ilahiya’ on the Interpretation of ‘Ali’s Nahjj al-Balagha. Al-Sayyid Shahab al-Din mentioned this Sharh (interpretation) in the introduction he wrote to the printed Sahifa (of al-Sajjad).
54. Sharh al-Sahifa by Muhammad, better known as ‘Abd al-Baqi. In it he mentioned the words of al-Sahifa.
55. Sharh al-Sahifa by Shaykh Abi Ja‘far Muhammad b. Jamal al-Din Abi Mansu’r al-Hasan, son of the second martyr, may Allah have mercy on him, died in the year 1030 A. H.
56. Sharh al-Sahifa by Muhammad b. al-Husayn b. ‘Abd al-Samad al-Harithi al-‘Amili, died 1030. A. H. He called this sharh ‘Hada’iq al-Salihin’; it is other than his other interpretation, which is just like commentary.
57. Sharh al-Sahifa, a brief Persian interpretation, by Qutub al-Din Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Lahiji al-Daylami. A copy of this sharh is in the Library of al-Sayyid Jalal al-Din al-Muhaddith, in Tehran.
58. Sharh al-Sahifa by al-Sayyid Muhammad b. Haydar al-Husayni al-Tabataba’i al-Najafi, died in the year 1099 A. H. He was among the scholars of the time of Shah Safi, and one of the students of Shaykh al-Baha’i, and the teacher of ‘Allama al-Majjlisi.
59. Sharh al-Sahifa by Muhammad by Muhammad, better known as Shah Muhammad al-Istihbanati, al-Shirazi. He called this sharh ‘Riyad al-‘Arifin’.
60. Sharh al-Sahifa or commentary on it by al-Muhaddith (traditionalist) Muhammad b. Shah Murtada al-Kashani, better known as al-Mawla Muhsin al-Fayd, died in the year 1091 A. H. This Sharh has been printed.
61. Sharh al-Sahifa by Shaykh Abi Ja‘far Muhammad b. Mansu’r b. Ahmed, son of the second martyr.
62. Sharh al-Sahifa by the Shaykh of Islam and Muslims, the splendor of the creed and religion, Muhammad b. al-Husayn b. ‘Abd al-Samad al-Harithi, al-‘Amili, died in the year 1030 A. H. He called this sharh ‘Hada’iq al-Salhin’.16
63. Sharh al-Sahifa by al-Muhaddith (traditionalist) al-Sayyid Ni‘mat Allah b. ‘Abd Allah al-Musawi, al-Tustari, al-Jaza’ri, died in the year 1112. He called this sharh ‘Nu’r al-Anwar’, and it was printed in the year 1316. A. H.
64. Sharh al-Sahifa by al-Sayyid Ni‘mat Allah Jaza’ri; it is other than ‘Nu’r al-Anwar’; rather it is bigger and older than it.
65. Sharh al-Sahifa, Persian, by al-Fadil Hadi b. al-Mawla Muhammad Salih b. Ahmed al-Mazindarani.
66. Sharh al-Sahifa by Shaykh Ya‘qu’b b. Ibrahim al-Bakhtiyari al-Hawzi, died in the year 1050 A. H. Al-Sayyid Hasan al-Sadr said: “I have seen it (the interpretation) written in his holy script.”
With this we will end what the great researcher, Shaykh Agha Bu’zurg al-Tahrani, has mentioned concerning the interpretation (sharh) of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya.17 After this two interpretations of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya were printed. They are:
67. Sharh al-Sahifa by Shaykh Muhammad Jawad Mughniya, printed in Beirut.
68. Sharh al-Sahifa by His Eminence al-Hujja al-Sayyid al-Shirazi, printed in the Sacred City of Karbala’. These are some interpretations of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya. These interpretations show that the religious scholars take care of it throughout times, for they find therein treasures of knowledge, wisdom, Gnosticism, and they regard it as part of the ideological wealth after the Holy Qur’an, and ‘Ali’s Nahjj al-Balagha.
Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya, which was narrated on the authority of Imam Abi Ja‘far (peace be on him) and his brother the great martyr Zayd b. ‘Ali (peace be on him), includes fifty-three supplications, but if some of these supplications are omitted, the Sahifa will be incomplete, as it has been mentioned in its introduction, hence the scholars devoted themselves to looking for the rest of the supplications, and they have found a group of them and added them to Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya. The following is the name of the supplementary versions along with the names of their authors:
Al-Sahifa al-U@la (the First Sahifa of al-Sajjad): It was collected by al-Muhaddith (the traditionalist) al-Hurr al-‘Amily, author of Wasa’il al-Shi‘a, died in the year 1104 A. H. He brought it forth from the reliable sources and wrote in the end of it: “The servant (of Allah), Muhammad b. al-Husayn b. ‘Ali b. Muhammad al-Hurr al-‘Amili, may Allah pardon him, said: ‘This is what I have concluded concerning al-Sahifa al-Kamila.’”18 The Sahifa contains sixty-three supplications.
Al-Sahifa al-Thaniya (the Second Sahifa of al-Sajjad): It was collected by al-Fadil ‘Abd Allah b. Mirza ‘Isa b. Muhammad b. Salih al-Asfahani, known as Afandi, author of ‘Riyad al-‘Ulama’’. In it he mentioned what escaped al-Hurr al-‘Amili. It was engraved on stone.19
Al-Sahifa al-Thalitha (the Third Sahifa of al-Sajjad): It was gathered by Mirza Husayn al-Nu’ri. He mentioned what escaped Mirza ‘Abd Allah, the one who collected al-Sahifa al-Thaniya. He collected therein seventy-seven supplications, which has not been mentioned in the other versions.20
Al-Sahifa al-Rabi‘a (the Fourth Sahifa of al-Sajjad): It was collected by the great researcher al-Sayyid Muhsin al-‘Amili. He mentioned what escaped (the authors) of the previous versions. The total number of its supplications is 182, hence he added only 52 supplications.21
Al-Sahifa al-Khamisa (the Fifth Sahifa of al-Sajjad): It was gathered by Shaykh Muhammad Salih b. Mirza Fadl Allah al-Mazindarani al-Ha’iri.22
I (the author) have found some supplications which have not been written in the original Sahifa of al-Sajjad, and these supplications are as follows:
One of his holy supplications is this: “O Allah, we seek refuge in You from that You make good my outward conduct in the flashing eyes and make ill my mindedness. O Allah, just as I did evil and You were kind to me. If I return, You return to me.23”
The Imam, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Exalted, to make good his inner self. He sought refuge in Him from that He might make good his outward conduct before the people without making good his inner self. Also he asked Him to show forgiveness and good pleasure toward him if he returned to one of his psychological desires.
The Imam, peace be on him, would supplicate with this holy supplication when neediness befell him or he was afraid of a certain affair. He advised his children to supplicate Allah with it after a four-ruk‘a or two-ruk‘a prayer. The following is its text:
“O Place of every complaint! O Hearer of every secret conversation! O Healer of every affliction! O He who knows all hidden thinks! O He who removes every tribulation! I ask You with the supplication of one whose indigence is extreme, whose strength has become weak, whose force has decreased; the asking of the stranger, the drowned one, and the poor one whose neediness none removes except You, O Most Merciful of the merciful! There is no god but You! I was among the wrongful!”
He would say: “Allah relieves all those who supplicate Him with this supplication.24” This supplication represents the Imam’s clinging and devotion to Allah, for he was sure that only Allah had the power to remove poverty and neediness; there was none had power to change man’s misery and unhappiness except Allah, the most High.
This is one of his holy supplications which were narrated on his authority by Zayd b. Aslam. It is as follows: “O Allah, entrust me not to my own self, for I am incapable of it! Entrust me not to the creatures, for they will disparage me!25”
The Imam, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Most High not to entrust him to his own soul, for soul commands man to do evil, nor to the creatures, for they would disparage and disdain him. As for entrusting to Allah, it brings about success in this world and the next.
He, peace be on him, would supplicate Allah to forgive him and to accept his repentance, saying: “O He remembering whom brings honor to those who remember! O He thanking whom brings triumph to those who give thanks! O He obeying whom brings deliverance to those who obey! Bless Muhammad and his Household, and divert our hearts through remembering You from every act of remembrance, our tongues through thanking You from every act of thanksgiving, our limbs through obeying You from every act of obedience! If You have ordained for us idleness from these occupation, make it an idleness of safety, within which no ill consequence visits us or weariness overtakes us!
Then the writers of evil deeds may depart from us with a page empty of the mention of our evil deeds, and the writers of good deeds may turn away from us happy with the good deeds of ours which they have written. And when the days of our life have passed by, the terms of our lifetimes have elapsed, and Your call, which must come and be answered, summons us forth, then bless Muhammad and his Household and make the outcome of what the writers of our works count against us an accepted repentance, which afterwards gave us no rest in a sin we committed or an act of disobeying that we performed! Remove not from us any covering with which You have covered over the heads of the witnesses on the day when the records of Your servants are tried! Verily You are Merciful to him who calls upon You!26”
The Imam, peace be on him, pled to Allah, the Exalted, asking Him to employ his heart, his tongue, and all his limbs in remembering and worshipping Him and to make the outcome of his life an accepted repentance.
This is one of his holy supplications. He would supplicate with it to call down blessings upon his grandfather, the Greatest Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Household. The following is its text:
“O Lasting! O Everlasting! O Living! O Self-subsistent! O Reliever of worry! O Remover of grief! O He who sent the messengers! O He who keeps His word! Bless Muhammad and Muhammad’s Household, and do with me what is worthy of You!27”
The Imam, peace be on him, would supplicate with this supplication when his supplication was accepted: “O Allah, the request has come to nothing, the force has failed except with You, the ways have become narrow, the requests have stopped, the desires have become difficult, the paths are cut off except (those lead) to You, hopes passed, expectations are cut off except (those) from You, trust has become unsuccessful and opinions have become disappointed except in You.
“O Allah, I find the ways of requests lead to You, and the fountains of hope are open for You! I know that You respond to him who supplicates You, help him who calls upon You, he who seeks You is close to You, the whispered prayer of a servant is not veiled from Your hearing, that longing for Your munificence, satisfaction with Your promise, and pleasure with Your guarantee are a recompense for the deprivation of the misers, an alternative to what is in the hands of the alone possessors, and avoidance of the deception of the deceitful. There is no god but You, so forgive me my past sins, safeguard me during my remaining span, and open for me the doors to Your mercy and munificence, which You do not shut (in the faces of) Your friends and Your chosen ones, O Most Merciful of the merciful!28”
The Imam, peace be on him, clung to Allah, sought protection in Him, and devoted himself to Him. He set his desires, hopes and expectations on Him, for he, peace be on him, thought that relying on other than Allah was part of feebleness and weakness, for such relying was adopting imaginations and looking for mirage.
He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this supplication when food was placed before him: “O Allah, this is of Your kindness and bounty and giving. So make it blessed for us, make us swallow it easily, and provide us with another (food) when we have eaten it. There may be someone who is in need of it. You have provided (us with food), so You have done well. O Allah, place us among the thankful.”
When the food was taken from him, he would supplicate with this supplication: “Praise belongs to Allah who carries us on land and in see, provides us with agreeable things, and makes us surpass many of His creatures with a surpass.29”
The Imam, peace be on him, always occupied himself with remembering Allah. He never flagged (in glorifying Him), nor did he abandon Him.
This is one of his great supplications: “In the name of Allah, by Allah, in the way of Allah, by Allah, from Allah, to Allah, in the creed of Allah’s Messenger, may Allah bless him and his Household. O Allah, I have submitted my own soul to You, entrusted my affairs to You, turned my face toward You, leant my back against You. O Allah, safeguard me with the safeguarding of faith from before me and behind me, from my right hand and my left hand, from above me and below me. Repel from me (the evil) through Your force and Your strength. There is neither force nor strength save in Allah, the Most High, the Great!30”
The Imam, peace be on him, submitted his own self to Allah, entrusted his affairs to Him, sought protection in Him, clung to His cord, and was sure that neither force nor strength save in Him.
He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this supplication in seeking refuge from the wrath of Allah, the Exalted: “O Allah, what am I and You become angry with me? By Your mightiness, my good deeds do not adorn Your kingdom, nor do my evil deeds make it ugly! My riches does not decrease Your treasures, nor does my poverty increase them!31”
He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this supplication when he went to bed: “O Allah, You are the First without anything before You, You are the Outward without anything above You, You are the Inward without anything below You, and You are the Last without anything after You. O Allah! O Lord of the seven heavens and seven earths! O Lord of the Torah, the Bible, the Zabu’r (David’s Psalms), and the Holy Qur’an! I seek refuge in You from every beast whose forelock is in Your hand! Verily, You are on a straight path!32”
He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this supplication to drive fearful things away: “O Allah, nothing repels Your wrath but Your clemency, nothing repels Your displeasure but Your pardon, nothing grants sanctuary from Your punishment but Your mercy, and nothing will deliver me from You except pleading to You before You. So give me, my Allah, relief by means of the power through which You revive the dead lands and bring the souls of servants to life. Destroy me not, my Allah, and give me the knowledge of Your response (to my supplication) ! Raise me up, push me not down, help me, provide me with (provision), and make me well from blights.
“My Allah, if You rise me up, who is there to push me down? If You push me down, who is there to raise me up? But I know that there is no wrong in Your decree and no hurry in Your vengeance. He alone hurries who fears to miss, and only the weak needs to wrong. But You are exalted, My Allah, high indeed above all that!
“Make me not the target of affliction nor the object of Your vengeance, respite me, comfort me, release me from my stumble, and afflict me not with an affliction in the wake of an affliction, for You have seen my frailty, the paucity of my stratagems. So, my lord, make me patient, for I am weak, pleading to You! I seek refuge in You form You! I seek sanctuary in You from every affliction, so give me sanctuary! I cover myself over with You, so cover me over, my Lord, of what I am afraid and careful! You are the Great One, the Greatest of the great! O Allah, I cover myself with You, so bless Muhammad and his pure Household!33”
These are some supplementary of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya. Whoever wants more on them, let him see the five supplementary supplications in the Sahifa, al-Kaf‘mi’s Musbah, al-Tu’si’s Musbah, Muhajj al-Da‘awat, and other supplication books.
As long as we are busy speaking about the Sahifa of al-Sajjad, we will mention some of its valuable supplications, which have surpassed art thoughts. They are as follows:
The Imam, peace be on him, would supplicate with this supplication. He has mentioned therein the efforts of his grandfather, the Greatest Messenger, may Allah bless him and his Household, and the persecutions he faced in the way of the Islamic Message and raising Allah’s Word in the earth. The following is its text:
“Praise belongs to Allah, who was kind to us through Muhammad (Allah bless him and his Household) to the exclusion of past communities and bygone generations, displaying thereby His power, which nothing can render incapable, though it be great, and nothing can escape, though it be subtle. He sealed through us all He created, appointed us witnesses over those who deny, and increased us by His kindness over those who are few.
O Allah, bless Muhammad, entrusted by You with Your revelation, distinguished by You among Your creatures, devoted to You among Your servants, the Imam of mercy, the leader of good, the key to blessing, who wearied his soul for Your affairs, exposed his body to detested things for Your sake, showed open enmity toward his next of kin by summoning to You, fought against his family for Your good pleasure, cut the ties of the womb in giving life to Your religion, sent far those close because of their denial, brought near those far because of their response to You, showed friendship to the most distant for Your sake, displayed enmity toward the nearest for Your sake, made his soul persevere in delivering Your message, tired it in summoning to Your creed, busied it in counseling those worthy of Your summons, migrated to the land of exile and the place of remoteness from home of his saddlebags, the walkway of his feet, the ground of his birth, and the intimate abode of his soul, desiring to exalt Your religion and seeking help against those who disbelieved in You until what he attempted against Your enemies went well with him and what he arranged for Your friends was accomplished.
He rose up against them seeking victory through Your aid, becoming strong in spite of his weakness with Your help. He fought against them in the center of their cities and attacked them in the midst of their dwellings, until Your command prevailed, and Your word rose up, though the idolaters were averse. O Allah, so raise him, because of his labors for Your sake, to the highest degree of Your Garden, that none may equal him in station, none may match him in level, and no angel brought nigh or prophet sent out may parallel him in Your sight. And inform him concerning his Household the pure and his community the faithful of an excellent intercession, greater than what You have promised him! O Keeper of promises! O Faithful to Your word! O He who changes evil deeds into manifold good deeds! You are of bounty abounding!34”
The Imam, peace be on him, presented what his grandfather, the Greatest Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Household suffered, such as hardships, difficulties in the way of spreading Islam and raising up the Word of the Unity of Allah. An example of these hardships is that the idolaters from among his blood relations and people unanimously agreed on fighting against him, crushing his message, and declaring war against him, hence the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his Household, abandoned them and brought near those far like ‘Ammar b. Yasir, Salman al-Farisi, Abi Dharrwho were the best of all the people in clinging to him and sacrificing their lives for him.
Another example of the hardships the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Household, faced was his emigration to al-Ta’if and Medina (Yathrib). There he faced various kinds of difficulties and hardships, but Allah, the Exalted helped and supported him, when He manifested his affair and exalted his importance. Hence the Messenger was able to fight against the unbelievers in the center of their cities and spread Islam among them.
In this supplication, the Imam, peace be on him, mentioned the followers of the messengers and those who attested to them, and then he mentioned the Companions of his grandfather, the Greatest Messenger, may Allah bless him and his Household, who supported Islam during its early days. He, peace be on him, said:
“O Allah, as for the followers of the messengers and those of the people of the earth who attested to them unseen (while the obstinate resisted them through crying lies) they yearned for the emissaries through the realities of faith, in every era and time in which You did send a messenger and set up for the people a director from the period of Adam down to Muhammad (Allah bless him and his Household) from among the Imams of guidance and the leaders of Allahfearing (upon them all be peace) remember them with forgiveness and good pleasure!”
The Imam, peace be on him, praised the followers of the messengers and those who attested to them from the period of Adam down to the last of the prophets and their Lord, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his Household. This is because they represented the true faith when they believed in Allah and attested to His messenger when he told them about the unseen creatures. They did not pay attention to the rumors of their enemies; rather they rejected them and waged war against them. Now, let’s listen to another part of this holy supplication. He, peace be on him, said:
“O Allah, as for the companions of Muhammad specially, those who did well in companionship, who stood the good test in helping him when he made them hear his messages’ argument, separated from mates and children in manifesting his word, fought against fathers and sons in strengthening his prophecy, and through him gained victory; those who were wrapped in affection for him, hoping for a commerce that comes not to naught in love for him; those who were left by their clans when they clung to his handhold and denied by their kinsfolk when they rested in the shadow of his kinship; forget not, O Allah what they abandoned for You and in You, and make them pleased with Your good pleasure for the sake of the creatures they drove to You while they were with Your Messenger, summoners to You for You. Show gratitude to them for leaving the abodes of their people for Your sake and going out from a plentiful livelihood to a narrow one, and (show gratitude to) those of them who became objects of wrongdoing and whom You multiplied in exalting Your religion.”
In this part, the Imam, peace be on him, lauded the Companions of his grandfather, the Greatest Messenger, may Allah bless him and his Household, who did well in companionship and stood the good test in supporting Islam and protecting its principles. They firmly believed in Islam, hence they suffered for it bitter difficulties and hardships of which are the following:
1. They abandoned their wives and their children who did not believe in Islam.
2. They fought their fathers and their sons who opposed Islam.
3. Their tribes abandoned them, for they embraced Islam and supported the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Household.
4. They faced economic hardships because of their support to Islam. These are some affairs from which the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Household, suffered. Let’s listen to another part of this supplication.
“O Allah, and give to those who have done well in following the Companions, who say, Our Lord forgive us and our brothers who went before us in faith, Your best reward; those who went straight to the Companions’ road, sought out their course, and proceeded in their manners. No doubt concerning their sure insight diverted them and no uncertainty shook them from following in their tracks and being led by the guidance of their light. As their assistants and supporters, they professed their religion, gained guidance through their guidance, came to agreement with them, and never accused them in what they passed on to them.”
“O Allah, and bless the Followers, from this day of ours to the Day of Doom, their wives, their offspring, and those among them who obey You, with a blessing through which You will preserve them from disobeying You, make room for them in the plots of Your Garden, defend them from the trickery of Satan, help them in the piety in which they seek help from You, protect them from sudden events that come by night and dayexcept the events which come with good and incite them to tie firmly the knot of good hope in You, what is with You, and refrain from ill thoughts (toward You) because of what the hands of Your servants’ hold. Thus You may restore them to beseeching You and fearing You, induce them to renounce the plenty of the immediate, make them love to work for the sake of the deferred and prepare for what comes after death, make easy for them every distress that comes to them on the day when souls take leave from bodies, release them from that which brings about the perils of temptation and being thrown down in the Fire and staying forever within it, and take them to security, the resting place of the Allah-fearing.35”
The Imam, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Exalted to bless those who followed the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Household, while they did not see the Prophet, but they believed in him in their inner selves and followed the way of his Companions. No doubt prevented them from following them and their guidance, hence they raised up the Banner of the Unity of Allah, and spread among the people the principles and values of this religion, so the Imam asked Allah:
1. To preserve them from committing acts of disobedience.
2. To defend them from the trickery of Satan.
3. To help them to do good and to adhere to piety.
4. To Protect them from sudden events that come by night and day.
5. To tie firmly the knot of good hope in Him, that they might be free from need to the people.
6. To make them renounce the world and make them love to work for the sake of the next world. These are some contents of his supplication for the followers of the Companions of his grandfather, the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family.
The following is one of the excellent supplications of the Imam, peace be on him. He would supplicate with it for himself and the people under his guardianship:
“O He the wonders of whose mightiness will never end! Bless Muhammad and his Household and prevent us from deviation concerning Your mightiness! O He the term of whose kingdom will never cease! Bless Muhammad and his Household and release our necks from Your vengeance! O He the treasuries of whose mercy will never be exhausted! Bless Muhammad and his Household and appoint for us a portion of Your mercy! O He whom eyes fall short of seeing! Bless Muhammad and his Household and bring us close to Your nearness! O He before whose greatness all great things are small! Bless Muhammad and his Household and give us honor with You! O He to whom all hidden tidings are manifest! Bless Muhammad and his Household and expose us not before You! O Allah, remove our need for the gifts of the givers through Your gift, spare us the loneliness of those who break off through Your joining, that we may beseech no one along with Your free giving, that we may feel lonely at no one’s absence along with Your bounty! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, scheme for us, not against us, device to our benefit, not to our loss, give the turn to prevail to us, not to others! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, protect us from Yourself! He whom You protect stays safe, he whom You guide knows, and he whom You bring near Yourself takes the spoils. O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household and spare us the cutting edge of time’s turning changes, the evil of Satan’s snares, and the bitterness of the sovereign’s aggression!”
In this part of his supplication, the Imam, peace be on him, started with praising the Great Creator, and then he asked Him to protect him from unbelief which makes man leave his humanity. After this he mentioned the mightiness of Allah. He asked Allah to bestow upon him His favors and boons, to remove his need for the gifts of the givers through His gift, to spare him the loneliness of those who break off through His joining, to spare him from the misfortunes of time, and save him from the evil of Satan’s snares and the bitterness of the sovereign’s aggression. This part is full of wonderful words and good style and is among the most beautiful rhetorical parts in Arabic literature. Now, let’s listen to another part of this supplication:
“O Allah, the spared are spared only through the bounty of Your strength, so bless Muhammad and his Household and spare us! The givers give only through the bounty of Your wealth, so bless Muhammad and his Household and give to us! The guided are guided only by the light of Your face, so bless Muhammad and his Household and guide us! O Allah, he whom You befriend will not be injured by the abandonment of the abandoners, he to whom You give will not be diminished by the withholding of the withholders, he who You guide will not be misled by the misguidance of the misguiders. So bless Muhammad and his Household, defend us from Your servants through Your might, free us from need for other than You through Your support, and make us travel the path of the Truth through the right guidance! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household and put the soundness of our hearts into remembrance of Your mightiness, the idleness of our bodies into giving thanks for Your favor, and the flow of our tongues into the description of Your kindness! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household and make us one of Your summoners who summon to You, Your guiders who direct to You, and You special friends whom You have singled out! O Most Merciful of the merciful!36”
How wonderful this faith is! How great this love for Allah is! Have you seen how this Imam displayed love for Allah and sincerity to Him? He believed that Allah had power over all things, that those other than Him had neither force nor strength, hence he set his hope and expectation on Him, not on other than Him.
This is one of the greatest supplications of the Imam, peace be on him. He would supplicate with it in morning and evening. It is full of reliable proofs for the existence of the Almighty Creator and His tremendous power. The following is its text:
“Praise belongs to Allah, who created night and day, through His strength, set them apart through His power, and appointed for each a determined limit and a drawn-out period. He makes each of the two enter into its companion, and makes its companions enter into it, as an ordainment from Him for His servants in that through which He makes them grow. He created for them the night, that they might rest in it from tiring movements and wearisome exertions and He made it a garment for them that they might be clothed in its ease and its sleep, that it might be for them refreshment and strength, that they might reach therein pleasure and passion. He created for them the daytime, giving sight, that they might seek within it of His bounty, find the means to His provision, and roam freely in His earth, searching for that through which to attain the immediate in their life in this world and to achieve the deferred in their life to come. Through all of this He sets their situation, tries their records, and watches their state in the times for obeying Him, the way stations of His obligations, that He may repay those who do evil with that they have done and repay those who do good with goodness.”
As for this part, it is one of the proofs for the Islamic Unity based on thinking and sense, for faith in Allah, according to the Islamic viewpoint, is a mere traditional phenomenon or an emotional inclination; rather it is based on the most reliable proofs and the best of them in awareness and originality.
In this part the Imam, peace be on him, considered carefully the universe and life and based on this his deep faith in Allah. He considered carefully night and day and concluded that they followed a wonderful, orderly movement, concerning which the Holy Qur’an said: “Neither it is allowable to the sun that it should overtake the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day; and all float on in a sphere.” Who ordered this movement, created it, and ordained it with this accurate ordination? Without doubt, it is Allah, the Giver of life, who did this!
The Imam, peace be on him, mentioned the profits which man gain during his life from the march of night and day. Allah, the Most High, created for man the night, that he might rest in it from tiring movements and wearisome exertions and He made it a garment for His servants that they might be clothed in its ease and its sleep. As for the daytime, Allah, the Exalted, made it giving sight and light, that man might seek within it of His bounty and provision through agriculture, work, trade, and other works which help him earn his livelihood, that his life might continue on this earth on which he lives. Now, let’s listen to another part of this supplication:
“O Allah, to You belongs praise for the sky You have split into dawn for us, giving us to enjoy thereby the brightness of daytime, showing us sought-after nourishment, and protecting us from the striking of blights. In the morning we and all things, every one rise for You, the heaven and the earth and what You have scattered in each, the still and the moving, the resident and the journeying, what towers up in the air and what hides under the ground. We rise in the morning in Your grasp: Your kingdom and authority contain us and Your will embrace us. We move about by Your command and turn this way and that way through Your governing. We own nothing of the affair except what You have decreed and nothing of the good except what You have given. This is a fresh, new day, over us a ready witness. If we do good, it will take leave from us with praise, and if we do evil, it will part from us in blame.”
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, provide us with the day’s good companionship and preserve us against parting from it badly by doing a misdeed or committing a sin, whether small or great! Make our good deeds within it plentiful empty us therein of evil deeds, and fill what lies between its two sides for us with praise and thanks giving, wages and stores, bounty and beneficence! O Allah, ease our burden on the Noble Writers, fill our pages for us with our good deeds, and degrade us not before them with our evil works! O Allah, appoint for us in each of the day’s hours a share from Your servants, a portion of giving thanks to You and a truthful witness among Your angels! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, and safeguard us from before us and behind us, from our right hands and our left hands and from all our directions, a safeguarding that will preserve from disobeying You, guide to obeying You, and be employed for Your love!”
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, and give us success in this day of ours, this night of ours, and in all our days, to employ the good, stay away from the evil, give thanks for favor, follows the Sunna’s norms, avoid innovations, enjoin good behavior, forbid the disapproved, defend Islam, diminish falsehood and abase it, help the truth and exalt it, guide the misguided, assist the weak, and reach out to the troubled!
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, and make this the most fortunate day we have known, the most excellent companion we have accompanied, and the best time in which we have lingered! Place us among the most satisfied of all Your creatures whom night and day have passed by, the most thankful of them for the favors You have done, the firmest of them in the laws You have set down in the Shari‘a and the most unyielding of them toward the prohibited acts against which You have cautioned! O Allah, I call You to witness and You are sufficient witness and I call Your heaven and Your earth to witness and Your angels and Your other creatures who inhabit them, in this my day, this my hour, this my night, and this my resting place, that I bear witness that You are Allah, other than whom there is no god, Upholding justice, Equitable in judgment, clement to the servants, Master of the Kingdom, Compassionate to the creatures, and that Muhammad is Your servant and Your messenger, Your chosen from among Your creatures. You did charge him with Your message and he delivered it; You did command him to counsel his community and he counseled it.
“O Allah, so bless Muhammad and his Household, more than You blessed any of Your creatures! Give him for our sake the best You have given any of Your servants, and repay him on our behalf better and more generously than You have any of Your prophets on behalf of his community! You are All-kind with immensity, the Forgiver of the great, and You are more merciful than every possessor of mercy! So bless Muhammad and his Household, the good, the pure, the chosen, the most distinguished!37”
The Imam, peace be on him, spoke in this part about the submission of all things to Allah’s power and will, for it is He who makes them walk on the path of His desire. After this the Imam asked Allah to give him success to in order to employ the good, stay away from the evil, give thanks for favors, follow the Sunna’s norms, avoid innovations, enjoin good behavior, forbid the disapproved, defend Islam, diminish falsehood and abase it, help the truth and exalt it, guide the misguided, assist the weak, and reach out to the troubled, and other good works and noble moral traits through man become sublime. In this supplication, the Imam has chosen the most beautiful words and the purest of them. It is certain that there are no Arab words more eloquent and purer than this supplication except those of the Holy Qur’an and of ‘Ali’s Nahjj al-Balagha.
This is one of the Imam’s holy supplications. He supplicated Allah with it to be kind to him through good outcomes. This is its text:
“O He remembering whom brings honor to those who remember! O He thanking whom brings triumph to those who give thanks! O He obeying whom brings deliverance to those who obey! Bless Muhammad and his Household, and divert our hearts through remembering You from every act of remembrance, our tongues through thanking You from every act of thanksgiving, our limbs through obeying You from every act of obedience! If You have ordained for us idleness from these occupations, make it an idleness of safety, within which no ill consequence visits us or weariness overtakes us! Then the writers of evil deeds may depart from us with a page empty of the mention of our evil deeds, and the writers of good deeds may turn away from us happy with the good deeds of ours which they have written. And when the days of our life have passed by, the terms of our lifetimes have elapsed, and Your call, which must come and be answered, summons us forth, then bless Muhammad and his Household, and make the outcome of what the writers of our works count against us an accepted repentance, which afterwards gave us no rest in a sin that we committed or an act of disobedience that we performed! Remove not from us any covering with which You have covered over the heads of the witnesses on the day when records of Your servants are tried! Verily You are compassionate to him who supplicates You, the responder to him who calls upon You!38”
Have you seen this sincerity to Allah and love for Him? The Imam asked Allah, the Exalted, to make his outcome an accepted repentance, that he might be safe from the terrors of the hereafter and chastisement of the Day of Resurrection, and delight at Paradise.
He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this supplication asking Allah, the Exalted, to be kind to him through repentance and forgiveness:
“O Allah, three traits have prevented me from asking You and one trait has urged me on: I am prevented by a command You have commanded in which I have been slow, a prohibition You have prohibited toward which I have hurried, and a favor through which You have favored for which I have not given sufficient thanks. I am urged to ask You by Your gratuitous bounty upon him who turns his face toward You and comes to You with a good opinion, since all Your beneficence is gratuitous bounty and every one of Your favors a new beginning! So here I am, my Allah, standing at the gate of Your might, the standing of the lowly, the surrendered, asking You in my shame, the asking of the destitute, the pitiful, admitting to You that at the time of Your beneficence I surrendered not save through abstaining from disobedience toward You and in none of my states was I ever without Your Kindness. Will it profit me, my Allah, to admit to You the evil of what I have earned? Will it save me from You to confess the ugliness of what I have done? Or will You impose upon me in this my station Your displeasure?
Will You hate hold fast to me in the time of my supplication? Glory be to You! I do not despair of You, for You have opened the door of repentance toward Yourself. Rather, I say, the words of a lowly servant, having wronged himself and made light of his Lord’s inviolability, and whose sins are dreadful, great, whose days have parted, fled, until, when he sees the term of his works expired and the limit of his lifetime reached and knows with certainty that he has no escape from You, no place to flee from You, he turns his face toward You in repeated turning, makes his repentance toward You sincere, stands before You with a pure and purified heart, then supplicates You with a feeble, quiet voice. He is bowed before You, bent, his head lowered, thrown down, his legs shaking in fear, his tears flooding his cheeks.
He supplicates You: O Most Merciful of the merciful! O Most Merciful of those toward whom seekers of mercy keep on turning! O Tenderest of those around whom run seekers of forgiveness! O He whose pardon is greater than His vengeance! O He whose good pleasure is more abundant than His anger! O He who seeks His creatures’ praise with excellent forbearance! O He who has accustomed His servants to the acceptance of their repeated turning! O He who seeks to heal their corruption through repentance! O He who is pleased with the easy of their acts! O He who recompenses with the much their little! O He who made himself accountable to them to respond to supplication!
O He who pledged Himself by His gratuitous bounty to give them excellent repayment! I am not the most disobedient of those who have disobeyed You and whom You have forgiven, nor am I the most blameworthy to offer excuses which You have accepted, nor am I the most wrongdoing of those who have repented to You and to whom You have returned. I repent to You in this my station, the repentance of one remorseful over what preceded from him hastily, apprehensive of what has gathered around him, pure in shame for that into which he has fallen, knowing that pardoning great sins is nothing for You, overlooking enormous misdeeds is not difficult for You, putting up with indecent crimes does not trouble You, and the most beloved of Your servants to You is he who refrains from arrogance before You, pulls aside from persistence, and holds fast to praying forgiveness! I seek refuge in You from persistence, I pray forgiveness from You for shortcomings, I seek help from You in incapacity!
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, dispense with what is incumbent upon me toward You, release me from what I merit from You, and grant me sanctuary from what the evildoers fear! For You are full of pardon, the hoped-for source of forgiveness, well known for Your forbearance. My need has no object but You, my sin has no forgiver other than Youcould that be possible? I have no fear for myself except from You; You are worthy of reverential fear, and worthy to forgive! Bless Muhammad and his Household, grant my need, answer my request favorably, forgive my sin, and give me security from fear for myself! You are powerful over everything, and that is easy for You. Amen, Lord of the worlds!39”
In this supplication the Imam, peace be on him, has opened a new door to conversation with Allah, the Exalted. I (the author) think that none knew or used such a door to conversation in the Arab words except the supplication which have been handed down from Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. The Imam (Zayn al-‘Abidin) displayed before Allah the factors which prevented him from asking Him as well as he presented what urged him to ask him. He mentioned this in a detailed exiting manner, asking Him, the Exalted, for repentance, pardon, and mercy. He asked him with the words of one fearful, lowly, and miserable. He bent, lowered his head, shook (in fear), and burst into tears. He pled to Allah, asked Him to forgive him for falling short of fulfilling His rights against him, and showed remorse over His affairs which he neglected. He, peace be on him, addressed Allah, the Exalted in such a manner, while he, peace be on him, was Sayyid al-Sajidin (the Lords of those who prostrate themselves in prayer), Imam of the Allah-fearing, and Leader of the monotheists. What an angelic soul this is! It became small and melted out of honoring and magnifying the Great Creator!
He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this great supplication when he was sick or visited by distress or an affliction. The following is its text:
“O Allah, to You belongs praise for the good health of my body which lets me move about, and to You belongs praise for the ailments which You cause to arise in my flesh! For I know not, my Allah, which of the two states deserves more my thanking You and which of the two times is more worthy for my praise of You: the time of health, within which You make me delight in the agreeable things of Your provision, through which You give me the joy to seek the means to Your good pleasure and bounty, and by which You strengthen me for the acts of obedience which You have me success to accomplish; or the time of illness through which You put me to the test and bestow upon me favor: lightening of the offenses that weigh down my back, purification of the evil deeds into which I have plunged, incitement to reach for repentance, reminder of the erasure of misdeeds through ancient favor; and, through all that, what the two writers write for me: blameless acts, which no heart had thought, no tongue had uttered, and no limb had undertaken, rather, as Your bestowal of bounty upon me and the beneficence of Your benefaction toward me.
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, make me love what You have approved for me, make easy for me what You have sent down upon me, purify me of the defilement of what I have sent ahead, erase the evil of what I have done beforehand, let me find the sweetness of well-being, let me taste the coolness of safety, and appoint for me a way out from my illness to Your pardon, transformation of my infirmity into Your forbearance, escape from my distress to Your refreshment, and safety from this hardship in Your relief! You are gratuitous bountiful in beneficence, ever gracious in kindness, the Generous, the Giver, Possessor of majesty and munificence!40”
The Imam, peace be on him, firmly believed that Allah, the Exalted, had power over health, safety, and maladies. He thought that it was Allah who gave well-being and tried with malady whomever He wished of His servants, yet the Imam, peace be on him, thanked his Lord for both states: He thanked Him for well-being, the agreeable things of provision, activity to seeking His good pleasure, and strength to obeying Him. Also he thanked for malady, for he thought that illness would decrease one’s sins and crimes, meanwhile he wanted to draw the attention of people to repentance. After this he asked Him to give him well-being and safety, to save him from hardships, and to relieve him.
This is one of the Imam’s outstanding supplications. He supplicated with it when he asked release from his sins or pleaded in seeking pardon for his defects, as it has been mentioned in al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya. The following is its text:
“O Allah, O He through whose Mercy sinners seek aid! O He to the remembrance of 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 distresses! O Aid of everyone abandoned and alone! O Support of every needy outcast! You are He who embrace 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 who by whose mercy all creatures are embraced! You are He who desires no repayment by him upon whom He bestows! You are He who does not overdo the punishment of him whom disobeys You! And I, my Allah, am Your servants whom You commanded to supplicate and who said: I am at Your service and disposal! Here am I, my Lord, thrown down before You. I am he whose back offenses have weighed down! I am he whose lifetime sins have consumed! I am he who was disobedient in his ignorance, while You did not deserve that from him! Will You, my Allah, be merciful toward him who supplicates You, that I should bring my supplication before You? Will You forgive him who weeps to You that I should hurry to weep? Will You show forbearance toward him whom puts who puts his face in the dust before You in lowliness? Will You free from need him who complains to You of his indigent need with confidence? My Allah, disappoint not him who finds no bestower other than You, and abandon not him who cannot be freed from his need for You through less than You! My Allah, so bless Muhammad and his Household, turn not away from me when I have turned my face toward You, deprive me not when I have besought You, and slap not my brow with rejection when I have stood before You! You are he who has described Himself by mercy so bless Muhammad and his Household, and have mercy upon me! You are he who has named Himself by pardon, so pardon me! You have seen, my Allah, 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 from my shame before You because of my evil works! So my voice has become silent, no longer crying to You, and my tongue has gone dumb, no longer whispering in prayer.”
This part of supplication shows the Imam’s firm faith in Allah and his strong devotion to Him. He entrusted all his affairs to Him, clung to Him during all his worries, and asked Him for pardon, repentance, and good pleasure. Now, let’s listen to another part of this supplication.
“My Allah, so to You belongs praise! How many of my flaws You have covered over without exposing me! How many of my sins You have cloaked without making me notorious! How many faults I have committed, yet You did not tear away from me their covering, collar me with their detested disgrace, or make their dishonor plain to those of my neighbors who search for my defects and to those who envy Your favor toward me! But that did not prevent me from passing on to the evil that You know from me! So who is more ignorant than I, my Allah, of his own right conduct? Who is more heedless than I of his own good fortune? Who is further than I from seeking to set himself right? For I spend the provision You deliver to me in the disobedience You have prohibited to me! Who sinks more deeply into falsehood and is more intensely audacious in evil than I? For I hesitate between Your call and the call of Satan and then follow his call without being blind in my knowledge of him or forgetful in my memory of him, while I am certain that Your call takes to the Garden and his call takes to the Fire! Glory be to You! How marvelous the witness I bear against my own soul and the enumeration of my hidden affairs! And more marvelous than that is Your lack of haste with me, Your slowness in attending to me! That is not because I possess honor with You, but because You wait patiently for me and are bountiful toward me that I may refrain from disobedience displeasing to You and abstain from evil deeds that disgrace me, and because You love to pardon me more than to punish! But I, my Allah, 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 Your gentleness, through which the affairs of sinners are set right, and hoping for Your mercy, through which the necks of the offenders are freed.”
The Imam, peace be on him, never committed sin throughout his life; rather he devoted himself to his religion, taking great care of his conduct. As he was very fearful of Allah, turned to Him in repentance, and dedicated himself to Him, he placed himself in the station of the sinners, hoping for pardon, salvation, and deliverance. Now, let’s listen to the last part of this supplication.
“O Allah, this is my neck, enslaved by sins, so bless Muhammad and his Household and release it through Your pardon! This is my back, weighed down by offenses, so bless Muhammad and his Household and lighten it through Your kindness! My Allah, were I to weep to You until my eyelids drop off, wail until my voice wears out, stand before You until my backbone is thrown out of joint, prostrate to You until my eyeballs fall out, eat the dirt of the earth for my whole life, drink the water of ashes till the end of my days, mention You through all of that my tongue fails, and not lift my glance to the sky’s horizons in shame before You, yet would I not merit through all of that the erasing of a single one of my evil deeds! Though You forgive me when I merit Your forgiveness and pardon me when I merit Your pardon, yet I have no title to that through what I deserve, nor I am worthy of it through merit, since my repayment from You from the first that I disobeyed You is the Fire! So if You punish me, You do me no wrong.
“My Allah, since You have shielded me with Your covering and not exposed me, waited patiently for me through Your generosity, and not hurried me to punishment, and shown me clemency through Your bounty, and not changed Your favor upon me or muddied Your kindly acts toward me, have mercy on my drawn out pleading, my intense misery, and my evil situation! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, protect me from acts of disobedience, employ me in obedience, provide me with excellent turning back (to You), purify me through repentance, strengthen me through preservation from sin, set me right through well-being, let me taste the sweetness of forgiveness, make me the freeman of Your pardon and the slave released by Your mercy, and write for me a security from Your displeasure! Give me the good news of that in the immediate, not the deferreda good news I recognizeand make me known to me therein a sign which I may clearly see! That will not constrain You in Your plenty, distress You in Your power, ascend beyond Your lack of haste, or tire You in Your great gifts, which are pointed to by Your signs. Verily You do what You will, You decree what You desire. You are powerful over everything.41”
The Imam, peace be on him, did his best to seek nearness to Allah and prepared for his life in the next world a marvelous station: In the field of worship, he performed all the superfluous and desirable prayers, and in the field of good deeds, he helped the miserable and the deprived, yet he thought that he fell short of obeying Allah, following the prophets and their trustees (of authority) who were very sincere in obeying and worshipping Allah, still they felt that their worship and obedience to Him was not important.
He would supplicate with this great supplication when he mentioned Satan and sought refuge in Allah from him and from his enmity and trickery.
“O Allah, we seek refuge in You from the instigations of the accursed Satan, his trickery, and his traps, from trust in his false hopes, his promises, his delusions, and his snares, and lest he should make himself crave to lead us away from Your obedience and to degrade us through our disobeying You, and lest what he has shown us as beautiful be beautiful for us and what he has shown us as detestable weigh down upon us. O Allah, drive him away from us through Your worship, throw him down through our perseverance in Your love, and place between us a covering that he cannot tear away and a solid barrier that he cannot cut through! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, distract Satan from us with some of Your enemies, preserve us from him through Your good guarding, spare us his treachery, turn his back toward us, and cut from us his trace!
O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, give us to enjoy guidance the like of his misguidance, increase us in piety against his seduction, and make us walk in reverential fear contrary to his path of ruin! O Allah, assign him no place of entrance into our hearts and do not allow him to make his home in that which is with us! O Allah, cause us to recognize the falsehood with which he tempts us, and once You have caused us to recognize it, protect us from it! Make us see what will allow us to outwit him, inspire us with all that we can make ready for him, awaken us from the heedless slumber of relying upon him, and help us well, through Your giving success, against him! O Allah, saturate our hearts with the rejection of his works and be gentle to us by destroying his stratagems! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, turn his authority away from us, cut his hope from us, and keep him from craving us!”
The accursed Satan is the first enemy of man. He makes him follow evil inclinations and thoughts, turns him away from the straight path, adorns for him the acts of disobedience, and makes him love crimes and sins, hence the Imam, peace be on him, asked Allah to save him from Satan, his trickery, his traps, from trust in his false hopes, his promises, his delusions, and his snares through which he deludes men, throw them into ruin, and send them far from Allah’s favors and mercy. Now, let’s listen to the rest of the supplication:
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, and place our fathers, our mothers, our children, our wives, our siblings, our relatives, and the faithful among our neighbors, male and female, in a sanctuary impregnable to him, a guarding fortress, a defending cave! Clothe them in shields protective against him and give them arms that will cut him down! O Allah, include in that everyone who witnesses to You as Lord, devotes himself sincerely to Your Unity, shows enmity toward him through the reality of servanthood, and seeks help from You against him through knowledge of the divine sciences!
“O Allah, undo what he ties, unstitch what he sews up, dislocate what he devises, frustrate him when he makes up his mind, and destroy what he establishes! O Allah, rout his troops, nullify his trickery, make his cave collapse, and rub his nose in the ground! O Allah, place us in the ranks of his enemies and remove us from the numbers of his friends, that we obey him not when he entices us and answer him not when he calls to us! We command everyone who obeys our command to be his enemy and we admonish everyone who follows our prohibition not to follow him! O Allah, bless Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets and Lord of the emissaries, and the folk of his house, the good, the pure! Give refuge to us, our families, our brothers, and all the faithful, male and female, from that from which we seek refuge, and grant us sanctuary from that through fear of which we seek sanctuary in You! Hear our supplication to You, bestow upon us that of which we have been heedless, and safeguard for us what we have forgotten! Through all this bring us into the ranks of the righteous and the degrees of the faithful! Amen, Lord of the worlds!42”
The Imam, peace be on him, asked the Great Creator to be kind to him through placing his father, his mother, his children, his wife, his siblings, his relatives, and the faithful among his neighbors, male and female, in a sanctuary impregnable to Satan, a guarding fortress, a defending cave. He asked Allah to include in that everyone who witnesses to Him as Lord and devotes himself sincerely to His Unity. Moreover he asked Allah to undo what Satan ties, unstitch what he sews up, dislocate what he devises, frustrate him when he makes up his mind, and destroy what he establishes.
During a drought, he, peace be on him, would supplicate with this outstanding supplication.
“O Allah, water us with rain, unfold us Your mercy through Your copious rain from the driven clouds, so that Your goodly earth may grow on all horizons! Show kindness to Your servants through ripening of the fruit, revive Your land through the blossoming of the flowers, and let Your angelsthe noble scribersbe witness to a beneficial watering from You, lasting in its abundance, plenty in its flow, heavy, quick, soon, through which You revive what has vanished, bring forth what is coming, and provide plentiful foods, through heaped up, wholesome, productive clouds, in reverberating layers, the rain’s downpour not without ease, the lightning’s flashes not without fruit! O Allah, give us water through rain, helping, productive, fertilizing, widespread, plentiful, abundant, bringing back the risen, restoring the broken! O Allah, give us water with a watering through which You will make the stone hills pour, fill the cisterns, flood the rivers, make the trees grow, bring down prices in all the lands, invigorate the beasts and the creatures, perfect for us the agreeable things of provision, make grow for us the fields, let flow for us the teats, and add for us strength to our strength!
“O Allah, make not the cloud’s shadow over us a burning wind, allow not its coldness to be cutting, let not its pouring down upon us be a stoning, and make not its water for us bitter! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, and provide us with the blessings of the heavens and the earth! You are powerful over everything!43”
I (the author) think that there are no Arab words more wonderful and eloquent than this description in the supplication of Imam, peace be on him. He descried the reality of clouds with the most accurate qualities. He showed that clouds gave life to the earth, made inclusive changes in the laws of nature, and hence they profited both man and animal. This great Imam, like his fathers, was given inclusive words and sound judgment.
He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this great supplication when some thing made him sorrow and offenses made him worry. The following is its text:
“O Allah, O Sufficer of the isolated and weak and Protector against terrifying affairs! Offenses have isolated me, so there is no one to be my companion. I am too weak for Your wrath and there is no one to strengthen me. I have approached the terror of meeting You and there is no one to still my fear. Who can make me secure from when You have filled me with terror? Who can come to aid me when You have isolated me? Who can strengthen me when You have weakened me? None can grant sanctuary to a vassal, my Allah, but a lord, none can give security to one dominated but a dominator, none can aid him from whom demands are made but a demander. In Your hand, my Allah, is the tread of all that, in You the place of escape and flight, so bless Muhammad and his Household, give sanctuary to me in my flight, and grant my request!
“O Allah, if You should turn Your generous face away from me, withhold from me Your immense bounty, forbid me Your provision, or cut off from me Your thread, I will find no way to anything of my hope other than You nor be given power over what is with You through another’s aid, for I am Your servant and in Your grasp; my forelock is in Your hand! I have no command along with Your command. Accomplished is Your judgment of me, just Your decree for me! I have not the strength to emerge from Your authority nor am I able to step outside Your power. I cannot win Your inclination, arrive at Your good pleasure, or attain what is with You except through obeying You and through the bounty of Your mercy. My Allah, I rise in the morning and enter into evening as Your lowly slave. I own no profit and loss for myself. except through You. I witness to that over myself and I confess to the frailty of my strength and the paucity of my stratagems. So accomplish what You have promised me and complete for me what You have given me, for I am Your slave, miserable, abased, frail, distressed, vile, despised, poor, fearful, and seeking sanctuary!
The great Imam believed in the absolute power of Allah, the Exalted, and thought that all things were in the grasp of Him, the Most High, for He is the Possessor, the All-dominating, the All-overcoming, whose command none repels. The Imam emptied himself from all his outstanding merits and confessed obedience to Allah showing his feebleness, weakness, misery, and inability to do anything except through the help of Him, the Exalted. Now, let’s listen to the last parts of this supplication.
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household and let me not forget to remember You in what You have done for me, be heedless of Your beneficence in Your trying me, or despair of Your response to me, though it keep me waiting whether I be in prosperity or adversity, hardship or ease, well-being or affliction, misery or comfort, wealth or distress, poverty or riches!
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, make me laud You, extol You, and praise You in all my states so that I rejoice not over what You give me of this world nor sorrow over that of it which You withhold from me! Impart reverential fear of You to my heart, employ my body in that which You accept from me, and divert my soul through obedience to You from all that enters upon me so that I love nothing that displeases You and become displeased at nothing that pleases You! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, empty my heart for Your love, occupy it with remembering You, animate it with fear of You and quaking before You, strengthen it with beseeching You, incline it to Your obedience, set it running in the path most beloved to You, and subdue it through desire for what is with You all the days of my life! Let my provision in this world be reverential fear of You, my mercy be toward Your mercy, and my entrance be in Your good pleasure! Appoint for me a lodging in Your Garden, give me strength to bear everything that pleases You, make me flee to You and desire what is with You, clothe my heart in estrangement from the evil among Your creature, and give me intimacy with You, Your friends, and those who obey You! Assign to no wicked person or unbeliever a kindness toward me or a hand that obliges me, nor to me a need for one of them! Rather make the stillness of my heart, the comfort of my soul, my independence and my sufficiency lie in You and the best of Your creatures! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, make me their comrade, make me their helper, and oblige with yearning for You and doing for You what You love and approve! You are powerful over everything and that is easy for You.44”
In these parts, the Imam, peace be on him, expressed his great trust and faith in Allah, asking Him not to let him forget to remember Him in what He had done for him, be heedless of His beneficence in His trying him, or despair of His response. He asked Him to make his laud and praise for His pleasure in all states. He asked him to empty his heart for His love, occupy it with remembering Him, animate it with fear of Him, set it running in the path most beloved to Him, let his provision in this perishing world be reverential fear of Him, and make Paradise his abode and final station.
The Imam, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Most Exalted, to clothe his heart in estrangement from the evil among His creature, and give him intimacy with Him, His friends, and those who obeyed Him, and to assign to no wicked person or unbeliever a kindness toward him or a hand that obliged him, nor to him a need for one of them! The Imam entrusted all his affairs to Allah, the Most High, for He freed him from need to all His creatures.
The Imam, peace be on him, would supplicate with this holy supplication in hardship, effort, and difficult affairs.
“O Allah, You have charged me concerning myself with that which belongs more to You than to me. Your power over it and over me is greater than my power, so give me in myself what will make You pleased with me and take for Yourself Your good pleasure in my self’s well-being! O Allah, I have endurance for effort, no patience in affliction, no strength to bear poverty. So forbid me not my provision and entrust me not to Your creatures, but take care of my need alone and Yourself attend to sufficing me! Look upon me and look after me in all my affairs, for if You entrust me to Your creatures, they will frown upon me, and if You make me resort to my kinsfolk, they will refuse to give me; if they give me, they will give me little and in bad temper, making me feel long obliged and blaming me much. So through Your bounty, O Allah, free me from need, through Your mightiness, lift me up through Your boundless plenty, open my hand, and with that which is with You, suffice me!
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, rid me of enemy, encircle me against sins, make me abstain from things unlawful, give me not the boldness of disobedient acts, assign me love for that which is with You and satisfaction with that which comes to me from You, bless me in that which You provide me, that which You confer upon me, and that through which You favor me, and make me in all my states safeguarded, watched, covered, defended, given refuge, and granted sanctuary!
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, and let me accomplish everything which You have enjoined upon me or made obligatory for me toward You, in one of the ways of Your obedience, or toward one of Your creatures, though my body be too frail for that, my strength too feeble, my power not able to reach it, and my possessions and what my hand owns not encompass it, and whether I have remembered it or forgotten it. It, my Lord, is among that which You have counted against me while I have been heedless of it in myself. Let me perform it through Your plentiful giving and the abundance which is with Youfor You are Boundless, Generousso that nothing of it may remain against me, lest You would wish to settle accounts for it from my good deeds or to compound my evil deeds on the day I meet You, my Lord!”
Consider carefully these paragraphs of this supplication and you will find deep faith in Allah, perfect sincerity to Him, and absolute freedom from all material inclinations. The Imam asked Allah, the Exalted, to include him in His care and favors and to be kind to him through:
1. Not trying him with that toward which he had neither force nor strength.
2. Not afflicting him with poverty and neediness, for they were the hardest of all the disasters in this world’s life.
3. Not entrusting him to His creatures, whether near or far, for they disdained him who was in need of them.
4. Ridding him from envy, which was one of the most evil inclinations.
5. Preventing him from committing sins and acts of disobedience.
6. Making him cling to piety and Allah-fearingness.
7. Making him desire for that which was with Him.
8. Making blessed his property and children
9. Safeguarding him in all his states and affairs, covering him over, and protecting him from the evil.
10. Granting him success for performing his past duties and obligations. These are some of the Imam’s requests. Now, let’s listen to the rest of this supplication.
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, and provide me with desire to serve You for the sake of my state in the hereafter, such that I know the truthfulness of that (desire) in my heart, be dominated by renunciation while in this world, do good deeds with yearning, and remain secure from evil in fright and fear! And give a light whereby I may walk among the people!, be guided in the shadows, and seek illumination in doubt and uncertainty! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, and provide me with fear of the threatened gloom and yearning for the promised reward, such that I may find the pleasure of that for which I supplicate You and the sorrow of that from which I seek sanctuary in You!
“O Allah, You know what will set my affairs right in this world and the next, so be ever gracious toward my deeds! O Allah, bless Muhammad and Muhammad’s Household and provide me with what is Your right when I fall short in thanking You for that through which You have favored me in ease and difficulty, health and sickness, such that I may come to know in myself repose in satisfaction and serenity of soul in that which You have made incumbent upon me in whatever states may occur: fear and security, satisfaction and displeasure, loss and gain!
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, and provide me with a breast safe from envy, such that I envy none of Your creatures in anything of Your bounty and such that I see none of Your favors toward any of Your creatures in religion or this world, well-being or reverential fear, plenty or ease, without hoping for myself better than it through and from You alone, who has no associate! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, and provide me in this world and the next with caution against offenses and wariness against slips in the state of satisfaction and wrath, such that I may remain indifferent toward that which enters upon me from the two states, work toward Your obedience, and prefer it and Your good pleasure over all else in both friends and enemies. Then my enemy may stay secure from my wrongdoing and injustice and my friend may despair of my inclination and the bent of my affection. Make me one of those who supplicate You with sincerity in ease with the supplication of those who supplicate You with sincerity in distress! Verily You are Praiseworthy, Glorious.45”
These paragraphs contain some of the Imam’s psychological desires when he asked Allah:
1. To serve Him for the sake of his state in the hereafter.
2. To make him renounce this world.
3. To help him in doing good deeds.
4. To giving him a light whereby he might walk among the people, be guided in the shadows, and seek illumination in doubt and uncertainty.
5. To make him fear the terrors on the Day of Resurrection and yearn for the abundant repayment He (Allah) had prepared for His pious, righteous servants.
6. To save him from envy, which was among the most dangerous psychological blights.
7. To provide him with guarding against sins and slips. These are some contents of this part of the supplication.
The Imam, peace be on him, would supplicate with this holy supplication when he asked Allah for well-being and thanked Him for it:
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, and clothe me in Your well-being, wrap me in Your well-being, fortify me through Your well-being, honor me with Your well-being, free me from need through Your well-being, donate to me Your well-being, bestow upon me Your well-being, spread out for me Your well-being in this world and the next! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, and make me well with a well-being sufficient, healing, sublime, growing, a well-being that will give birth to well-being in my body, a well-being in this world and the next! Oblige me through health, security and safety in my religion and body, insight in my heart, penetration in my affairs, dread of You, fear of You, strength for the obedience which You have commanded for me, and avoidance of the disobedience which You have prohibited for me!
“O Allah, oblige me through the hajj, the ‘umra, and visiting the grave of Your Messenger (Your blessings, mercy, and benedictions upon him and upon his Household, upon them be peace) for as long as You caused me to live, in this year of mine and in every year, and make that accepted, thanked, and mentioned before You and stored away with You! Make my tongue utter Your praise, Your thanksgiving, Your remembrance, and Your excellent laudation, and expand my heart toward the right goals of Your religion! Give and my progeny refuge from the accursed Satan, the evil of venomous vermin, threatening pests, swarming crowds, and evil eyes, the evil of every rebel satan, the evil of every refractory sovereign, the evil of every living in ease and served, the evil of every weak or strong, the evil of every born high or low, the evil of every small or great, the evil of every near or far, the evil of every, jinn or man, who declares war on Your Messenger and his Household, the evil of every crawling creature that You have taken by the forelock! Surely You are on a straight path.
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household and if some one desires ill for me turn him away from me, drive away from me his deception, avert from me his evil, send his trickery back to his own throat, and place before him a barricade, so that You may bind his eyes toward me, deafen his ears toward my mention, lock his heart toward recalling me, silence his tongue against me, restrain his head, abase his exaltation, break his arrogance, abase his neck, disjoint his pride, and make me secure from all his injury, his evil, his slander, his backbiting, his faultfinding, his envy, his enmity, his snares, his traps, his foot soldiers, and his cavalry! Surely You are Mighty, Powerful!46”
The most valuable thing in this world’s life is well-being and soundness from maladies, hence the Imam, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Most High, to give him to enjoy this favor to be strong enough to serve Him, to perform His obligations, and to refrain from prohibited things and acts of disobedience. He asked Him to oblige him through the hajj, the ‘umra, and visiting the grave of the Greatest Messenger (may Allah bless him and his Household) and the graves of his grandsons, the pure Imams, who were the ships of deliverance and security for mankind. He sought protection in Him from the evil of men and jinn.
He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this supplication when his provision was stinted and the means of his daily bread was difficult.
“O Allah, You have tried us with distrust in our provisions and the expectation of long lives, until we begged for provisions from those who are provided and craved in our expectations the life-spans of the long-lived! So bless Muhammad and his Household, give us a true certainty that will suffice us the burden of seeking, and inspire us with a sincere trust that will release us from the hardship of exertion! Let Your clear promise in Your Revelation which You have followed in Your Book with Your oath cut off our worry about the provisions for which You have made Yourself responsible and sever our occupation with everything whose sufficiency You have guaranteed! For You have saidand Your word is the most truthful truthand You have swornand Your oath is the most kept and fulfilledIn the heaven are your provision and everything you are promised! And then You have said: So by the Lord of heaven and earth, it is as surely true as that you have promised!47”
In this supplication the Imam talked about two psychological aspects. They are:
1. When man faces stinted provision and narrow paths, he accuses Allah of this and attributes it to Him.
2. Man has been afflicted by long expectation and subsistence in this world, hence he foolishly considers the life-spans of the long-lived and thinks that he will live as they did. This opinion has bad results of which is that man neglects the affairs of his life in the next world and devotes himself to this world’s life, hence the Imam, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Exalted, to give him a true certainty that would suffice him the burden of seeking, and inspire him with a sincere trust that would release him from the hardship of exertion.
He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this supplication for help in repaying debts.
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household and release me from a debt which make me lose face, confuses my mind, disrupts my thinking, and prolongs my occupation with attending to it! I seek refuge in You, my Lord, from worry and thought about debt, from the distraction and sleeplessness of debt; so bless Muhammad and his Household and give me refuge from it! I seek sanctuary in You, my Lord, from debt’s abasement in life and its ill effects after death, so bless Muhammad and his Household and give sanctuary from it through a bountiful plenty or a continually arriving sufficiency!
O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, prevent me from extravagance and excess, put me on the course of generous spending and moderation, teach me excellent distribution, hold me back through Your gentleness from squandering, allow me to attain my provisions through lawful means, direct my spending toward the gateways of devotion, and take away from me any possession which will bring forth pride in me, lead to insolence, or drag me in its heels to rebellion! O Allah, make me love the companionship of the poor and help me be their companion with excellent patience! Whenever You take away from me the goods of this perishing world, store them for me in Your abiding treasuries! Make this world’s broken pieces which You have conferred upon me and its goods which You have quickly granted to me a way to reach Your neighborhood, a link to Your nearness, and a means to Your Garden! Verily You are Possessor of bounty abounding, and You are the Munificent, the Generous.48”
This holy supplication includes the following points:
1. The Imam, peace be on him, asked Allah and pleaded to Him to release him from debt, which results in harm and pain of which are the following:
A. It makes one lose face, especially when he is unable to repay it.
B. It confuses mind and disrupts thinking, for the indebted always think about how to repay it and get rid of it.
C. It forces the indebted to practice many works to repay it and get rid of it.
D. It abases the indebted in life, for they show lowliness before the creditors.
E. It continues after the death of the indebted until it is repaid, hence the Imam, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Most High, to give him sanctuary from it through a bountiful plenty or a continually arriving sufficiency, that he might get rid of the pain and harm of debt.
2. The Imam, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Exalted, to prevent him from extravagance and excess which ruined and wasted possessions.
3. He, peace be on him, asked Allah to teach him to distribute his possessions in an excellent manner.
4. He asked Allah, the Most High, to provide him with legal provision.
5. He asked Allah, the Most High, to make his spending toward the gateways of devotion and what pleased Him, the Exalted.
6. He asked Allah, the Exalted, not to try him with riches which would bring forth pride in him, lead to insolence, or drag him in its heels to rebellion.
7. The Imam asked Allah to make him love the companionship of the poor and help him be their companion with excellent patience. These are some contents of this great supplication.
The following is among his supplications in mentioning and asking for repentance:
“O Allah, O He whom the depiction of the describers fails to describe! O He beyond whom passes not the hope of the hopers! O He with whom is not lost the wage of the good-doers! O He who is the ultimate object of the fear of the worshippers! O He who is the utmost limit of the dread of the Allahfearing! This is the station of him whom sins have passed from hand to hand. Offenses’ reins led him on, and Satan has gained mastery over him. He fell short of what You have commanded through neglect and he pursued what You have prohibited in delusion, like on ignorant of Your power over him or one who denies the bounty of Your beneficence toward him, until, when the eye of guidance was opened for him and the clouds of blindness were dispelled, he reckoned that through which he had wronged himself and reflected upon that in which he had opposed his Lord. He saw his vast disobedience as vast and his great opposition as great. So he turned to You, hoping in You and ashamed before You, and he directed his beseeching toward You, having trust in You. He repaired to You in his longing with certitude and he went straight to You in fear with sincerity. His longing was devoid of every object of longing but You, and his fright departed from every object of fear but You. So he stood before You pleading, his eyes turned toward the ground in humbleness, his head bowed before Your might in lowliness; he revealed to You in meekness those secrets of his which You counted better than he; he sought help from You before the dreadful into which he has fallen in Your knowledge and the ugly which has disgraced him in Your judgment: the sins whose pleasures have turned their backs and gone and whose evil consequences have stayed and stuck fast. He will not deny Your justice, my Allah, if You punish him, nor will he consider Your pardon great if You pardon him and have mercy upon him, for You are the Generous Lord for whom the forgiveness of great sins is nothing great!”
As for this part, it contains confessing the Unity of Allah and praising Him as One whom the depiction of the describers fails to describe. How can the possible being limited in existence, senses, knowledge, ability, and activitiesencompass the Necessary Being, whose knowledge and power has no bound?
The Imam, peace be on him, shed light upon the sinners from among Allah’s servants. He humbly regarded himself as one of them. He indicated that pleasures plunged them into disobeying the Commands of Allah, the Exalted, that when they came to their consciousness, bitter thoughts would attack them, and felt remorse, and that they would flee to Him asking Him for pardon, forgiveness, and good pleasure. Now, let’s listen to another part of this great supplication.
“O Allah, so here I am: I have come to You obeying Your command (for You have commanded supplication and asking the fulfillment of Your promise, for You have promised to respond): You have said: Supplicate Me and I will respond to you. O Allah, so bless Muhammad and his Household, meet me with Your forgiveness just as I have met You with confession, lift me up from the fatal infirmities of sins just as I have let myself down before You, and cover me with Your covering just as You have shown no haste to take vengeance on me! O Allah, make firm my intention to obey You, strengthen my insight in worshipping You, give me the success of works which will wash away the defilement of offenses, and take me when Your prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace).
“O Allah, I repent to You in this my station from my sins, great and small, my evil deeds, inward and outward, my lapses, past and recent, with the repentance of one who does not tell himself that he might disobey or secretly think that he might return to an offense. You have said, my Lord, in the firm text of Your Book, that You accept repentance from Your servants, pardon evil deeds, and love the repenters, so accept my repentance as You have promised, pardon my evil deeds as You have guaranteed, and make obligatory toward me Your love as You have stipulated! To You, my Lord, belongs my stipulation that I will not return to that is disliked by You, my guarantee that I will not go back to what You blame, and my covenant that I will stay away from acts of disobedience to You.
“O Allah, You know better what I have done, so forgive me what You know and turn me through Your power to what You love. O Allah, counted against me are claims that stay in my memory and claims I have forgotten, while all of them remain in Your eye that does not sleep and Your knowledge that does not forget! So compensate their owners, lighten their load upon me, lift up their weight from me, and preserve me from approaching their like!
“O Allah, but I cannot be faithful to my repentance without Your preservation, nor can I refrain from offenses without Your strength. So strengthen me with a sufficient strength and attained to me with a defending preservation! O Allah, if any servant repents to You while in Your knowledge of the unseen he will break his repentance and return to his sin and offense, I seek refuge in You lest I be like that! So make this my repentance a repentance after which I will need no repentance and a repentance which will obligate the erasing of what has gone by and safety in what remains!”
In this part the Imam stood humble, lowly, and broken-hearted before the Great Creator, hoping that He would response to him, give him forgiveness and good pleasure, lift him up from the fatal infirmities of sins, and cover him over with His beautiful covering, for he had repented to Him sincerely, returned to Him, been sincere in obeying Him, decided not to return to any detested and dispraised thing, and to follow the path that would lead him to His good pleasure. The Imam insisted on asking Allah to accept his repentance, to safeguard him from all sins, and to erase all his sins. Now, let’s listen to the rest of this great supplication.
“O Allah, I seek pardon from You for my ignorance, and I ask You to disregard my evil acts! So join me to the shelter of Your mercy through graciousness and cover me with the covering of Your well-being through bounteousness! O Allah, I repent to You from everything opposed to Your will or far from Your lovethe thoughts of my hearts, the glances of my eye, the tales of my tonguewith a repentance through which each bodily part will by itself stay safe from ill consequences with You and remain secure from Your painful penalties feared by transgressors! O Allah, so have mercy on my being alone before You, the pounding of my heart in dread of You, the trembling of my limbs in awe of You! My sins, my Allah, have stood me in the station of degradation in Your courtyard. If I remain silent, none will speak for me; if I seek an intercessor, I am not worthy for intercession.
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, make Your generosity intercede for my offenses, follow up my evil deeds with Your pardon, repay me not with the punishment that is my proper repayment, spread over me Your graciousness, wrap me in Your covering, and do with me what is done by a mighty man, when a lowly slave pleads to him and he shows him mercy, or a rich man when a poor slave submits himself and he raises him to wealth! O Allah, I have no protector against You, so let Your might be my protector! I have no intercessor with You, so let Your bounty be my intercessor! My offenses have set me quaking, so let Your pardon give me security! Not all that I have said rises up from my ignorance of my evil footsteps or forgetfulness of my blameworthy acts in the past, but in order that Your heaven and those within it and Your earth and those upon it may hear the remorse which I have professed to You and the repentance through which I have sought asylum with You. Then perhaps one of them, through Your mercy, may show mercy upon my evil situation or be seized by tenderness for my evil state. There may come from him for my sake a supplication to which You give ear more than to my supplication or an intercession surer with You than my intercession through which I may be delivered from Your wrath and attain to Your good pleasure!
“O Allah, if remorse is a repentance toward You, them I am the most remorseful of the remorseful! If refraining from disobedience is a turning back to You, then I am the first of those who turn back! If praying for forgiveness alleviates sins, surely I am one of those who pray for Your forgiveness! O Allah, as You have commanded repentance and guaranteed acceptance, as You have urged supplication and promised to respond, so bless Muhammad and his Household, accept my repentance, and return me not to the returning place of disappointment in Your mercy! Surely You are Ever-turning toward the sinners, All-compassionate toward the offenders who turn back!
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household just as You have guided us by him! Bless Muhammad and his Household just as You have rescued through him! Bless Muhammad and his Household, with a blessing that will intercede for us on the Day of Resurrection, the day of neediness toward You! You are powerful over everything, and that is easy for You!49”
Have you seen this pleading and devotion to Allah? The Imam melted out of fear of Allah, while he was the Lord of the Allah-fearing, Imam of those who turned to Allah in repentance, and Leader of the monotheists.
It is certain that the Imam, peace be on him, did not commit any sin throughout his lifetime. His life shone with the light of piety and faith, but he wanted to teach the community brilliant lessons about the true Islamic principles, which summoned the people to Allah through opening a door to repentance. Hence one who has irregular conduct and has turned away from the straight path should not despair of Allah’s mercy, for the door to repentance is open when he repents to Allah, turns to him in repentance, and uproots from his own soul the inclination to sin and disobedience.
The following is his supplication in asking for the best:
“O Allah, I ask You the best in Your knowledge, so bless Muhammad and his Household and decree for me the best! Inspire us with knowledge to choose the best and make that a means to being pleased with what You have decreed for us and submitting to what You have decided! Banish from us the doubt of misgiving and confirm us with the certainty of the sincere! Visit us not with incapacity to know what You have chosen, lest we despise Your measuring out, dislike the place of Your good pleasure, and incline toward that which is further from good outcome and nearer to the opposite of well-being! Make us love what we dislike in Your decree and make easy for us what we find difficult in Your decision! Inspire us to yield to that which You bring upon us by Your will, lest we love the delay of what You have hastened and the hastening of what You have delayed, dislike what You love, and choose what You dislike! Seal us with that which is most praised in outcome and most generous in issue! Surely You give generous gain, bestow the immense, do what You will, and You are powerful over everything.50”
This supplication indicates that the Imam, peace be on him, entrusted all his affairs to Allah. He asked Him for the best in all his important matters and asked Him for guidance. If Allah decreed for him the best, he would do them; otherwise he would leave them.
The following is his supplication when he was afflicted or saw someone afflicted with the disgrace of sin:
“O Allah, to You belong praise for Your covering after Your knowledge and Your pardon after Your awareness! Each of us has committed faults, but You have not made him notorious, done indecencies, but You have not disgraced him, and covered over evil deeds, but You have not pointed to him. How many are Your prohibited acts which we have performed, Your commandments of which You have told us which we have transgressed, the evil deeds which we have earned, the offenses which we have committed! You see them to the exclusion of all observers; You have the power to make them public above all the powerful! By giving us safety You have veiled their eyes and stopped their ears. So make the shameful things You have covered over and the inward reality You have concealed our admonisher, a restrainer upon bad character traits and committing offenses, and a striving toward the repentance that erases (sins) and the praiseworthy path! Bring the time of striving near! and visit us not with heedlessness of You! Surely we are the beseechers, the repenters of sins. And bless, Your chosen, O Allah, from Your creation, Muhammad and his descendants, the friends selected from among Your creatures, the pure, and make us listeners to them and obeyers, as You have commanded!51”
In this supplication the Imam, peace be on him, spoke about Allah’s favors toward the sinners from among His servants, for He did not expose them when they committed sins nor did He make them known among the people, lest their social position should decline; rather He covered them with His great covering, that they might return to the path of the truth and refrain from disobedience.
The following is among his supplications in satisfaction when he looked upon the companions of the world:
“Praise belongs to Allah in satisfaction with Allah’s decision! I bear witness that Allah has apportioned the livelihoods of His creatures with justice and undertaken bounty for all His creatures. O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, tempt me not with what You have given to Your creatures and tempt them not with what You have withheld from me, lest I envy Your creatures and despise Your decision! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, delight my soul through Your decree, expand my breast through the instances of Your decision, give me a trust through which I may admit that Your decree runs only to the best, and let my gratitude to You for what You have taken away from me be more abundant than my gratitude to You for what You have conferred upon me! Preserve me from any imagining any meanness in someone who is destitute or imagining any superiority in someone who possesses wealth, for the noble is he whom obedience to You has ennobled and the exalted is he whom worship of You has exalted! So bless Muhammad and his Household, give us to enjoy a wealth which does not run out, confirm us with an exaltation which will never be lost, and let us roam freely in the kingdom of everlastingness! Surely You are the One, the Unique, the Eternal Refuge; You have not begotten, and equal to You is not any one!52”
We will briefly talk about some wonderful contents of this great supplication.
1. The Imam, peace be on him, mentioned that Allah, the Exalted, apportioned the livelihoods of His creatures with justice and made them surpass each other in livelihood in accordance with His wisdom, for If they were equal in livelihood, they all would perish, as it is in the tradition.
2. The Imam, peace be on him, asked Allah not to tempt him with what He had given to His creatures and tempt them not with what He had withheld from him, lest he (the Imam) should envy His creatures.
3. The Imam, peace be on him, asked Allah to preserve him from imagining any meanness in someone who was destitute or imagining any superiority in someone who possessed wealth, for the noble was he whom obedience to Allah had ennobled.
The following is one of his supplications when he looked upon clouds and lightening and heard the sound of thunder:
“O Allah, these are two of Your signs and these are two of Your helpers. They rush to obey You with beneficial mercy or injurious vengeance, so rain not down upon us from them the evil rain and clothe us not through them in the garment of affliction! O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, send down upon us the benefit of these clouds and their blessing, turn away from us their harm and their injury, strike us not through them with blight, and loose not upon us our livelihood any bane!
“O Allah, if You have incited them as vengeance and loosed them in anger, we seek sanctuary with You from Your wrath and implore You in asking Your pardon! So incline with wrath toward the idolaters and set millstone of Your vengeance turning upon the heretics! O Allah, take away the barrenness of our lands with Your watering, dislodge the malice from our breasts with Your providing, distract us not from You through other than You, and cut none of us off from the stuff of Your goodness, for the rich is he to whom You have given riches, and the safe he whom You have protected! No one has any defense against You, nor any means to bar Your penalty. You decide what You will for whom You will and You decree what You desire for any whom You desire! So to You belong praise for protecting us from affliction and to You belongs thanks for conferring upon us blessings, a praise which will leave behind the praise of the praisers, a praise which will fill the earth and the heaven! Surely You are the All-kind through immense kindnesses, the Giver of abounding favors, the Acceptor of small praise, the Grateful for little gratitude, the Beneficent, the Benevolent, Possessor of graciousness! There is no god but You; unto You is the homecoming.53”
In this supplication the Imam, peace be on him, talked about clouds and lightning, which were two of Allah’s signs and two of His helpers. Allah sends them to His creatures as a blessing through which He gives life to the land after it has died or as a vengeance through which He demolishes their houses and destroys their plants as well as He sends down upon them thunderbolts, hence the Imam pled to Allah to send down the evil rain upon His enemies from the idolaters, the unbelievers, and those who deviated from the Truth, and to single out the believers and the Muslims for the good rain.
He, peace be on him, would supplicate with the following supplication when he confessed his shortcomings in giving thanks to Allah, the Exalted:
“O Allah, no one reaches a limit in thanking You without acquiring that of Your beneficence which enjoins upon him thanksgiving, nor does anyone reach a decree in obeying You even if he strives, without falling short of what You deserve because of Your bounty. The most thankful of Your servants has not the capacity to thank You, and the most worshipful of them falls short of obeying You. To none of them is due Your forgiveness through what he himself deserves or Your good pleasure for his own merit. When You forgive someone, it is through Your graciousness, and when You pleased with someone, it is through Your bounty. You show gratitude for the paltry for which You show gratitude and You reward the small act in which You are obeyed, so that it seems as if Your servant’s thanksgiving for which You have made incumbent their reward and made great their repayment is an affair from which they could have held back without You, and hence You will recompense them, and whose cause is not in Your hand, and hence You will repay them. Nay, my Allah, You had power over their affair before they had power to worship You, and You had prepared their reward before they began to obey You; and that because Your wont is bestowal of bounty, Your custom beneficence, Your way pardon. So all creatures confess that You wrong not him whom You punish and bear witness that You bestow bounty upon him whom You pardon. Each admit that he has fallen short of what You merit. Had Satan not misled them from Your obedience, no disobeyer would have disobeyed You, and had he not shown falsehood to them in the likeness of truth, no strayer would have gone astray from Your path.
“So glory be to You! How manifest is Your generosity in dealing with him who obeys or disobeys You! You show gratitude to the obedient for that which You undertake for him, and You grant a respite to the disobedient in that within which You are able to hurry him. You give to each of them that which is not his due, and You bestow bounty upon each in that wherein his works fall short. Were You to counterbalance for the obedient servant that which You Yourself had undertaken, he would be on the point of losing Your reward and seeing the end of Your favor, but through Your generosity You have repaid him for a short, perishing term, and for a near, vanishing limit with an extended, abiding limit. Then You do not visit him with a settling of accounts for Your provision through which he gained strength to obey You, nor do You force him to make reckonings for the organs he employed to find the means to Your forgiveness. Were You to do that to him, it would take him away everything for which he had labored and all wherein he had exerted himself as repayment for the smallest of Your benefits and kindness, and he would remain hostage before You for Your other favors. So how can he deserve something of Your reward? Indeed, how?
“This, my Allah, is the state of him who obeys You and the path of him who worships You. But as for him who disobeys Your command and goes against Your prohibition, You do not hurry him to Your vengeance, so that he may seek to replace his state in disobeying You with the state of turning back to obey You, though he deserved from the time he set out to disobey You every punishment which You have prepared for all Your creatures. Through each chastisement which You have kept back from him and each penalty of Your vengeance and Your punishment which You have delayed from him, You have refrained from Your right and show good pleasure in place of what You have made obligatory. So who is more generous, my Allah, than You? And who is more wretched than he who perishes in spite of You? Indeed, who? You too blessed to be described by any but beneficence and too generous for any but justice to be feared from You! There is no dread that You will be unjust toward him who disobeys You, nor any fear of Your neglecting to reward him who satisfies You. So bless Muhammad and his Household, give me my hope, and increase me in that of Your guidance through which I may be successful in my works! Surely You are All-kind, Generous.54”
It is necessary for us to shed light on the contents of this supplication, which are as follows:
1. The favors of Allah, the Exalted, toward His servants cannot be counted, so one cannot thank Him for them, whatever he thanks Him, for the organs through which he thanks Him have been created by Him, and they deserve giving thanks.
2. Though man worships and obeys Allah, he falls short of worshipping and obeying Him because of His (Allah’s) boundless favors to His creatures.
3. Allah bestows bounty upon the believers from among His servants through forgiving them and repays them Paradise for their works. This does not mean that they have rights against Him; rather it is He, the Exalted, who bestows favors upon them. This has objectively been established in theology.
4. It is Satan who turns men away from obeying Allah and incites them to disobeying Him. Had he not misled them from obeying Allah, no disobeyer would have disobeyed Him, and had he not shown falsehood to them in the likeness of truth, no strayer would have gone astray from His path.
5. Allah shows gratitude to His obedient servants and grants a respite to the disobedient from among them. He does not hasten punishing them. Had he hastened punishing them, He would not have left any of them on the earth.
6. Allah, the Exalted, will repay His righteous servants in the Abode of Subsistence; He will cause them to enter Paradise. These are some contents of this great supplication.
He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this supplication when someone’s death was announced to him or when he remembered death.
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, spare us drawn out expectations and cut them short in us through sincerity of works, that we may not hope expectantly for completing an hour after an hour, closing a day after a day, joining a breath to a breath, or overtaking a step with a step! Keep us safe from the delusions of expectations, make us secure from their evils, set up death before us in display and let not our remembering of it come and go! Appoint for us from among the righteous works a work through which we will feel the homecoming to You as slow and crave a quick joining with You, so that death may be our intimate abode with which we are intimate, our familiar place toward which we yearn, and our next of kin whose coming we love! When You bring it to us and send it down upon us, make us happy with it as a visitor, comfort us with its arrival, make us not wretched through entertaining it, degrade us not through its visit, and appoint it one of the gates to Your forgiveness and the key to Your mercy! Make us die guided, not astray, obedient, not averse, repentant, not disobedient or persisting, O He who guarantees the repayment of the good-doers and seeks to set right the work of the corrupt!55”
Long expectations withhold man from doing good deeds and make him forget the next world, hence the Imam, peace be on him, sought refuge in Allah from them. He pleaded to Allah to set up death before him in display and let not his remembering of it come and go, that he might work for the Abode of Subsistence and be intimate with death when it came to him.
The following is his supplication in asking for covering and protection:
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, spread for me the bed of Your honor, bring me to the watering holes of Your mercy, set me down in the midst of Your Garden, stamp me not with rejection by You, deprive me not through disappointment by You, settle not accounts with me for what I have committed, make no reckoning with me for what I have earned, display not what I have hidden, expose not what I have covered over, weigh not my works on the scales of fairness, and make not my tidings known to the eyes of the crowd! Conceal from them everything whose unfolding would shame me and roll up before them all which would join me to disgrace with You! Ennoble my degree through Your good pleasure, perfect my honor through Your forgiveness, rank me among the companions of the right hand, direct me to the roads of the secure, place me in the throng of the triumphant, and through me let the sessions of the righteous thrive! Amen, lord of the world!56”
In this supplication the Imam pleaded to Allah and humbly asked Him to spread for him the bed of His honor, to bring him to the watering holes of His mercy, and to set him down in the midst of His Garden, not to stamp him with rejection and deprive him through disappointment. Besides he asked Him to cover him over in the hereafter, to ennoble his degree through His good pleasure, and to perfect his honor through His forgiveness.
Depiction falls short of encompassing this great Imam’s real fear of Allah, and words are not able to embrace his piety, his perfection, and his intense turning to Allah in repentance.
The following is his supplication when he looked at the new crescent moon:
“O obedient creature, speedy and untiring, frequenter of the mansions of determination, moving about in the sphere of governance! I have faith in Him who lights up darkness through you, illuminates jet-black shadows by You, appointed You one of the signs of His kingdom and one of the marks of His authority, and humbled You through increase and decrease, rising and setting, illumination and eclipse. In all of this You are obedient to Him, prompt toward His will. Glory be to Him! How wonderful is what He has arranged in your situation! How subtle what He has made for your task! He has made You the key to a new month for a new situation. So I ask Allah, my Lord and your Lord, my Creator and your Creator, my Determiner and your Determiner, my Form-giver and your Form-giver, that He bless Muhammad and his Household and appoint you a crescent of blessings not effaced by days and of purity not defiled by sins; a crescent of security from blights and of safety from evil deeds; a crescent of auspiciousness containing no misfortune, of prosperity accompanied by no adversity, of ease not mixed with difficulty, of good unstained by evil; a crescent of security and faith, favor and good-doing, safety and submission!
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Household, place us among the most satisfied of those over whom the crescent has risen, the purest of those who have looked upon it, the most fortunate of those who have worshipped You under it; give us the success during (the new month) to repent, preserve us within it from misdeeds, guard us therein from pursuing disobedience to You, allot to us within it thanksgiving for Your favor, clothe us during it in the shields of well-being, and complete for us Your kindness by perfecting therein obedience to You! Surely You are All-kind, Praiseworthy. And bless Muhammad and his Household, the good, the pure.57”
In this supplication the Imam, peace be on him, talked about one of Allah’s signs; it is the moon the beautiful, wonderful bodywith which Allah has adorned the heaven of this world, for which He has created the mansions of determination, that it may move within them regularly and accurately. Hence its rising, its setting, its illumination and its eclipse are proofs for the existence of the Almighty Creator and His great determination. The Imam asked Allah to appoint it a crescent of blessings, security from blights, safety from evil deeds, and auspiciousness containing no misfortune, etc.
An example of his supplications in repelling the trickery of enemies and diving away their severity is this great supplication, which is also called al-Jawshan al-Saghir. It is worth mentioning that this supplication is other than al-Jawshan al-Saghir narrated on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Household. The supplication is as follows:
“O Allah, You guided me but I diverted myself, You admonished me but my heart became hardened, You tried me graciously but I disobeyed. Then, when You caused me to know it, I came to know that from which You had turned (me) away, so I prayed forgiveness and You released, and I returned and You covered over. So Yours, my Allah, is the praise! I plunged into the valleys of destruction and settled in the ravines of ruin, exposing myself to Your chastisements and the descent of Your punishments! My mediation with You is the profession of Unity, my way of coming to You that I associate nothing with You, nor do I take along with You a god; I have fled to You with my soulin You is the place of flight for the evildoer, the place of escape for him who has squandered the share of his soul and seeks asylum. How many an enemy has unsheathed the sword of his enmity toward me, honed the cutting edge of his knife for me, sharpened the tip of his blade for me, mixed his killing potions for me, pointed toward me his straight-flying arrows, not allowed the eye of his watchfulness to sleep toward me, and secretly thought of visiting me with something hateful and making me gulp down the bitter water of his bile! So You looked, my Allah, at my weakness in bearing oppressive burdens, my inability to gain victory over him who aims to war against me, and my being alone before the great numbers of him who is hostile toward me and lies in wait for me with affliction about which I have not thought. You set out at once to help me and You braced up my back!
You blunted for me his blade, made him, after a great multitude, solitary, raised up my heel over him, and turned back upon him what he had pointed straight. So You sent him back, his rage not calm, his burning thirst not quenched! Biting his fingers, he turned his back in flight, his columns have been of no use. How many an oppressor has oppressed me with his tricks, set up for me the net of his snares, appointed over me the inspection of his regard, and lay in ambush for me, the lying in ambush of a predator for its game, waiting to take advantage of its prey, while he showed me the smile of the flatterer and looked at me with intensity of fury! So when You saw, my Allah (blessed are You and high exalted) the depravity of his secret thoughts and the ugliness of what he harbored, You threw him on his head into his own pitfall and dumped him into the hole of his own digging. So he was brought down low, after his overbearing, by the nooses of his own snare, wherein he had thought he would see me; and what came down upon his courtyardhad it not been for Your mercywas on the point of coming down upon me!
How many an envier has choked upon me in his agony, fumed over me in his rage, cut me with the edge of his tongue, showed malice toward me by accusing me of his own faults, made my good repute the target of his shots, collared me with his own constant defects, showed malice toward me with his trickery, and aimed at me with his tricks! So I called upon You, my Allah, seeking aid from You, trusting in the speed of Your response, knowing that he who seeks haven in the shadow of Your wing will not be mistreated, and he who seeks asylum in the stronghold of Your victory will not be frightened. So You fortified me against his severity through Your power. How many a cloud of detested things You have dispelled from, a cloud of favor You have made rain down upon me, a stream of mercy You have let flow, a well-being in which You have clothed me, an eye of mishap You have blinded, and a wrap of distress You have removed!
How many a good opinion You have verified, a destitution You have redressed, an infirmity You have restored to health, and a misery You have transformed! All of that was favor and graciousness from You, and in all of it I was occupied with acts of disobeying You. My evildoing did not hinder You from completing Your beneficence, nor I was stopped from committing acts displeasing to You. You are not questioned as to what You do! You were asked, and You bestowed. You were not asked, and You began. Your bounty was requested, and You did not skip. You refused, my Master, everything but beneficence, kindness, graciousness, and favor, and I refused everything but plunging into what You have made unlawful, transgressing Your bounds, and paying no heed to Your threat! So Yours is the praise, my Allah, the All-powerful who is not overcome, and the Possessor of patient waiting who does not hurry! This is the station of one who confesses to lavishness of favors, counters them with shortcomings, and bear witness to his own negligence.
“O Allah, so I seek nearness to You through the elevated rank of Muhammad and the radiant degree of ‘Ali, and I turn to You through them so that You will give me refuge from the evil of (so and so), for that will not constrain You in wealth, nor trouble You in power, and You are powerful over everything! So give me, my Allah, by Your mercy and Your lasting bestowal of success, that which I may take as a ladder with which to climb to Your good pleasure and be secure from Your punishment, O Most merciful of the merciful!58”
This documentary supplication gives an account of the political enemies who persecuted the Imam and their plots against him by day and night, for they harbored malice against him, yet Allah, through His bounty, saved him from their evil plans, and punished them severely.
He, peace be on him, would supplicate with great supplication in fear:
“O Allah, You created me without fault, nurtured me when small, and provided me with sufficiency. O Allah, I found in the Book which You sent down and through which You gave good news to Your servants, that You said, O My servants who have been prodigal against yourselves, do not despair of Allah’s mercy, surely Allah forgives all sins, but there has gone ahead from me what You know (and of which You know more than I) ! O the shame of what Your Book has counted against me! Were it not for the places where I expectantly hope for Your pardon, which enfolds all things, I would have thrown myself down (in despair) ! Were anyone able to flee from his Lord, I would be the most obligated to flee from You! But not a secret in earth and heaven is concealed from You, except that You bring it. You suffice as a recompenser! You suffice as a reckoner! O Allah, surely You would seek me if I flee and catch me if I run. So here I am before You, abject, lowly, abased. If You chastise me, I am worthy of that, and it would be, my Lord, an act of justice from You.
But if You pardon me, anciently has Your pardon enfolded me and Your well-being garmented me! So I ask You, O Allah, by the names stored in Your treasury and Your splendor masked by the veils! If You have no mercy upon this anxious soul and these uneasy, decaying boneshe cannot endure the heat of Your sun, so how can he endure the heat of Your Fire? He cannot endure the sound of Your thunder, so how can he endure the sound of Your wrath? So have mercy upon me, O Allah, for I am a vile man and my worth is little. Chastising me will not add the weight of a dust mote of Your kingdom. Were chastising me something that would add to Your kingdom, I would ask You for patience to bear it and would love for it to belong to You; but Your authority, my Allah, is mightier, and Your kingdom more lasting, than that the obedience of the obeyers should increase it or the disobedience of the sinners diminish it! So have mercy upon me, O Most Merciful of the merciful! Show me forbearance, O Possessor of majesty and munificence! And turn toward me, surely You are Ever-turning, All-compassionate! 59”
In this great supplication the Imam, peace be on him, pleaded to Allah, the Exalted, and asked Him to have mercy on him and to forgive him. He also showed his fright and fear of Allah’s chastisement. This soul cannot resist the sun’s heat, so how can it resist and endure the fire and terrors of Hell?
“My Allah, I praise Youand You are worth of praisefor Your benefaction toward me, the lavishness of Your favor toward me, and Your plentiful bestowal upon me, and for showing bounty toward me through Your mercy and lavishing Your favor upon me. You have done well toward me and I am incapable of thanking You. Were it not for Your beneficence toward me, and the lavishness of Your favors upon me, I would not have the taking of my share nor would my soul have been set right, but You began with beneficence toward me, provided me sufficiency in all my affairs, turned away from me the toil of affliction, and held back from me the feared decree.
“ My Allah how many a toilsome affliction which You have turned away from me! How many a lavish favor with which You have gladdened my eye! How many a generous benefaction of Yours which is present with me! It is You who responded to my supplication at the time of distress, released me from my slip in stumbling, and took my enemies to task for doing wrong to me. My Allah, I did not find You a miser when I asked of You nor a withholder when I desired from You. No, I found You a hearer of my supplication and a bestower of my requests; I found Your favors toward me lavish in my every situation and in my every time. So You are praised by me and Your benefaction honored. My soul, my tongue, and my intelligence praise You, a praise that reaches fulfillment and the reality of thanksgiving, a praise that attains to Your good pleasureso deliver me from Your displeasure! O my cave when the ways thwart me! O He who releases me from my stumble! Were it not for Your covering my shameful defects, I would be one of the disgraced. O my confirmer through help! Were it not for Your helping me, I would be one of the overcome! O He before whom kings place the yoke of lowliness around their necks, fearing his penalties!
O worthy of reverent fear! O He to whom belong names most beautiful! I ask You to pardon me and to forgive me, for I am not innocent that I should offer excuses, nor a possessor of strength that I should gain victory, nor have I any place of flight that I should flee! I ask You to release me from my stumbles, and before You I disavow my sins, which have laid my waste, encompassed me, and destroyed me! I flee from them to You, my Lord, turning repentantly, so turn toward me, seeking refuge, so grant me refuge, asking sanctuary, so abandon me not, requesting, so deprive me not, holding fast, so leave me not, supplicating, so send me not back disappointed! I have supplicated You, my Lord, as one miserable, abased, apprehensive, fearful, quaking, poor, driven to have recourse to You. I complain to You, my Lord, of my soulwhich is too weak to hurry to that which You have promised Your friends or to avoid that against which have cautioned Your enemiesand of the multitude of my concerns, and of my soul’s confusing thoughts.
“My Allah, You have not disgraced me through secret thoughts or destroyed me because of my misdeeds! I call upon me, and You respond, even if I am slow when You call upon me. I ask You everything I want of my need, and I deposit with You my secret wherever I may be. I supplicate no one besides You, and hope for no one other than You. At Your service! At Your service! You hear him who complains to You! You receive him who has confidence in You! You save him who holds fast to You! You give relief to him who seeks shelter in You! My Allah, so deprive me not of the good of the last world and the first because of the paucity of my thanksgiving and forgive me the sins of mine which You know! If You chastise, I am the wrongdoer, the neglecter, the negligent, the sinner, the derelict, the sluggard, the heedless of the share of my soul! And if You forgive meYou are the Most Merciful of the merciful!60”
This holy supplication contains the Imam’s pleading to the Almighty Creator and his submission to Him confessing His great favors and lavish boons, and asking Him for pardon, forgiveness, and repentance.
He, peace be on him, used to implore Allah with this supplication:
“O Allah, from whom nothing is concealed in earth or heaven! How should what You have created, my Allah, be concealed from You? How should You not number what You have made? How should what You govern be absent from You? How should one who has no life except through Your provision have the ability to flee from You? How should one who has no road except in Your kingdom escape from You? Glory be to You! He among Your creatures who fears You most knows You best, he among them most bent in humility is most active in obeying You, and he among them whom You provide while he worships another is most contemptible before You! Glory be to You! He who associates others with You and denies Your messengers diminishes not Your authority.
He who dislikes Your decree cannot reject Your command. He who denies Your power keeps himself not away from You. He who worships other than You escapes You not. He who dislikes meeting You will not be given endless life in this world. Glory be to You! How mighty is Your station, overpowering is Your authority, intense Your strength, penetrating Your command! Glory be to You! You have decreed death for all creatures, both him who professes Your Unity and him who disbelieves in You; each one will taste death, each one will come home to You. Blessed are You and high exalted! There is no god but You, You alone, who have no associate. I have faith in You, I attest to Your messengers, I accept Your Book, I disbelieved in every object of worship other than You, I am quiet of anyone who worships another!
“O Allah, I rise in the morning and enter the evening making little of my good works, confessing my sins, admitting my offenses; I am abased because of my prodigality against myself. My works have destroyed me, my caprice has ruined me, my passions have deprived me. So I ask You, my Master, the asking of him whose soul is diverted by his drawn out expectations, whose body is heedless because of the stillness of his veins, whose heart is entranced by the multitude of favors done for him, whose reflection is little concerning that to which is coming home; the asking of him whom false expectation has overcome, caprice has entranced, and this world has mastered, and over whom death has cast its shadow; the asking of him who makes much of his sins and confesses his offense; the asking of him who has no Lord but You, no friend besides You, no one to deliver him from You, and no asylum from You except You.
“My Allah, I ask You by Your right incumbent upon all Your creatures, by Your mighty name with which You commanded Your messengers to glorify You, and by the majesty of Your generous face, which ages not, nor changes, nor alters, nor passes away, that You bless Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad, that You free me from need for all things through worshipping You, that You distract my soul from this world through fear of You, and that You turn back toward Your abundant generosity through Your mercy! To You I flee, You I fear, from You I seek aid, in You I hope, You I supplicate, in You I seek asylum, in You I trust, from You I ask help, in You I have faith, in You I have placed my confidence, and upon Your munificence and Your generosity I rely.61”
This supplication gives an account of the perfect knowledge of the Imam, peace be on him, his great faith in Allah. The following are some of its contents:
1. The knowledge of Allah, the Most High, is boundless; it encompasses all things, and no weight of a dust mote in the earth or the heaven escapes it.
2. All the creatures are in need of Allah, the Exalted; they cannot be free from need to Him for a moment, for they are in His Kingdom, His grasp, and His authority.
3. Those who know Allah, especially the scholars, fear Him, the Most High, obey Him, worship Him more than the other creatures, hence Allah, the Exalted, said: “The scholars from among His servants fear Allah.”
4. Those who serve other than Allah, associate others with Him, and deny His messengers are the lowliest of all the people, most of them in loss, and least of them in understanding and awareness.
5 Allah, the Exalted, has decreed death for all creatures, each one will come home to Him, that He may repay those who do good with goodness, and repay the unbelievers with what their hands have done.
6. In this supplication the Imam has declared his absolute faith in Allah, the Most High, attest to His messengers and prophets, and renunciation from any god other than Allah.
7. The Imam expressed his absolute submission to Allah, the Exalted, and his humbleness before Him, asking Him for dignity and pardon.
The following is his supplication in abasing himself before Allah, the Great and Almighty:
“My Lord, my sins have silenced me, and my words have been cut off. I have no argument, for I am the prisoner of my own affliction, the hostage to my works, the frequenter of my own offense, the confused in my intended way, the thwarted. I have brought myself to a halt in the halting place of the abased sinners, the halting place of the wretched and insolent, those who think lightly of Your promise. Glory be to You! What insolence I have insolently shown toward You! What delusion with which I have deluded myself! My master, have mercy on my falling flat on my face, the slipping of my foot, grant me my ignorance through Your clemency, and my evildoing through Your beneficence, for I admit my sin and confess my offense: Here are my hand and my forelock! I am resigned to retaliation against my soul! Have mercy on my white hair, the depletion of my days, the nearing of my term, my frailty, my misery, and the paucity of my stratagems!
My Master, and have mercy upon me when my trace is cut off from this world, my mention is effaced among the creatures, and I join the forgotten, like the forgotten ones! My Master, and have mercy upon me at the change of my form and state when my body decays, my limbs are scattered, and my joints are dismembered! O my heedlessness toward what was wanted from me! My Master, have mercy upon at my mustering and uprising and on that day, appoint my standing place with Your friends, my place of emergence with Your beloved ones, and my dwelling in Your neighborhood! O Lord of the worlds!62” In this supplication the Imam, peace be on him, has announced his turning, devotion, and clinging to Allah. He asked Him for mercy and forgiveness when he left this world for the next.
His great supplication for the removal of worries is as follows:
“O Reliever of worry! O Remover of grief! O Merciful in this world and the next and Compassionate in both! Bless Muhammad and his Household, relieve my worry, and remove my grief! O One, O Unique, O Eternal Refuge! O He who has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not any one! Preserve me, and take away my affliction!”
Here you should recite the Throne Verse (2: 255), the two Suras of Taking Refuge (113-114), and Unity (112). Then say:
“O Allah, I ask You with the asking of him whose neediness is intense, whose strength is frail, whose sins are many, the asking of one who finds no helper in his neediness, no strengthener in his frailty, no forgiver of his sin other than You, O Possessor of majesty and munificence! I ask of You a work through which You will love him who works it and a certainty by which You will profit him who is certain with the truth of certainty concerning the execution of Your command!
“O Allah, bless Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad, take my soul while it is firm in sincerity, cut off my need for this world, make my desire for what is with You become a yearning to meet You, and give me true confidence in You! I ask of You the good of the writ that has been made and I seek refuge with You from the evil of the writ that has been made. I ask of You the fear of the worshippers, the worship of those humbly fearful of You, the certainty of those who have confidence in You, and the confidence of those who have faith in You. O Allah, make my desire in my asking like the desire of Your friends in their asking, and my fear like the fear of Your friends! Employ me in Your good pleasure through works in which I will not leave aside anything of Your religion fearing any of Your creatures!
“O Allah, this is my need, so make my desire for it great, within it make manifest my excuse, through it instill me with my argument, and by means of it make well my body! O Allah, some rise in the morning having trust or hope in other than You. I rise in the morning and You are my trust and hope in all affairs, so decree for me those which are best in outcome and deliver me from misguiding trials, O Most Merciful of the merciful! And Allah bless our chief, Muhammad the Messenger of Allah, the chosen, and his Household, the pure!63”
With this we will end our speech about al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya, which is one of the most important sources in Islam.
- 1. Al-Dhari‘a fi Tasanif al-Shi‘a, vol. 15, p.18.
- 2. Al-Balagh Magazine, no. 7, first year, p.54, an essay by Dr. Husayn ‘Ali Mahfu`z.
- 3. Al-Balagh Magazine, no. 7, the first year, p. 54, an essay by Dr. Husayn ‘Ali Mahfu`z.
- 4. Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya, Supplication no. 28.
- 5. Ibid., Supplication no. 1.
- 6. Ibid., Supplication no. 6.
- 7. Ibid.
- 8. Al-Sahifa al-Khamisa al-Sajjadiya, pp. 13-14.
- 9. Ibid, Supplication no. 53.
- 10. Ma‘alim al-Falsafa al-Islamiya, pp. 190-191.
- 11. Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya, Supplication no. 20.
- 12. Ibid., Supplication no. 27.
- 13. Ibid., Supplication no. 1.
- 14. God and Modern Science.
- 15. Al-Balagh Magazine, no. 6, 1st year, p. 56.
- 16. See Sharh al-Sahifa no. 56.
- 17. Al-Dhari‘a fi Tasanif al-Shi‘a, vol. 13, pp. 354-359.
- 18. Ibid., vol. 15, p. 18. Roudat al-Jinan, vol. 7, p. 97.
- 19. A‘yan al-Shi‘a, 4/Q1/500.
- 20. Al-Dhari‘a fi Tasanif al-Shi‘a, vol. 15, p. 19.
- 21. Ibid.
- 22. Ibid.
- 23. Safwat al-Safwa, vol. 2, p. 52. Durrar al-Abkar, p. 70. Siyar ‘Alam al-Nubala’, vol. 4, p. 237. Al-‘Aqd al-Farid, vol. 3, p. 155. He increased it: “And provide me with helping those whom provision You have decreased through the plentiful (provision You have provided) me with.”
- 24. Akhbar al-Diwal, p. 109. Ibn al-Sabbagh, Al-Fusu`l al-Muhimma, p. 192.
- 25. Al-Dhahabi, Tarikh al-Islam, vol. 2, p. 266. Siyar ‘Alam al-Nubala’, vol. 4, p. 23. Tarikh Dimashaq, vol. 36, p. 152.
- 26. Al-Qutb al-Rawandi, Da‘wat (manuscript), p. 49.
- 27. Al-Kaf‘ami, al-Junnah al-Waqiya and al-Janna al-Baqiya (two manuscripts) al-Sayyid al-Hakim’s Library, no. 1272.
- 28. Al-Qutb al-Rawandi, Da‘wat, p. 27.
- 29. Furu`’ al-Kafi, vol. 6, p. 294.
- 30. Al-Himyari, Qurb al-Isnad, p. 3.
- 31. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 46, p. 101.
- 32. Ibn Tawus, Falah al-Sa’il.
- 33. Al-Hurr al-‘Amili, Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya, pp. 159-160.
- 34. Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya, Supplication no. 2.
- 35. Ibid., Supplication no. 4.
- 36. Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya, Supplication no. 5.
- 37. Ibid, Supplication no. 6.
- 38. Ibid, Supplication no. 11.
- 39. Ibid, Supplication no. 12.
- 40. Ibid, Supplication no. 15.
- 41. Ibid, Supplication no. 16.
- 42. Ibid, Supplication no. 17.
- 43. Ibid, Supplication no. 19.
- 44. Ibid, Supplication no. 21.
- 45. Ibid, Supplication no. 22.
- 46. Ibid, Supplication no. 23.
- 47. Ibid, Supplication no. 29.
- 48. Ibid, Supplication no. 30.
- 49. Ibid, Supplication no. 31.
- 50. Ibid, Supplication no. 33.
- 51. Ibid, Supplication no. 34.
- 52. Ibid, Supplication no. 35.
- 53. Ibid, Supplication no. 36.
- 54. Ibid, Supplication no. 37.
- 55. Ibid, Supplication no. 41.
- 56. Ibid, Supplication no. 42.
- 57. Ibid, Supplication no. 43.
- 58. Ibid, Supplication no. 49.
- 59. Ibid, Supplication no. 50.
- 60. Ibid, Supplication no. 51.
- 61. Ibid, Supplication no. 52.
- 62. Ibid, Supplication no. 53.
- 63. Ibid, Supplication no. 54.