It means that when the supplicant, along with his supplications, prays for the Master of the Time (as) his prayer is accepted being accompanied with the prayer for His Eminence.
That which proves this matter is logic as well as Islamic texts:
First cause: Without any doubt the prayer of a slave for the master, Imam of the Time (aj) is definitely accepted because its exigency is present and its obstacle is absent and both the meanings are clear. Delay in the acceptance does not mean that it is not accepted. Thus if one begins his supplication with only the prayer for His Eminence, the Master of the Affair (as) it would be pertinent that the Most Merciful and Kind Lord accept it. And also the Almighty Allah has made it a rule that if a person is offered different types of goods in one transaction while some of the items are defective, he must either reject all or accept all and he cannot reject only the defective ones.
Second cause: Some sins and evils prevent the acceptance of prayer. So if one prays for his wishes along with the prayer of his master, the Master of the Time (aj), his prayer will be joined with that and the sins that prevent the acceptance of his prayer would be forgiven and there will not remain any obstacle to the acceptance of his prayer. And the Almighty Allah would accept it. And in the eighteenth point of excellence it will be mentioned that Dua for His Eminence as an addenda gets the sins forgiven.
Third cause: We previously mentioned among the benefits of praying for the Imam of the time (as) that His Eminence would pray in favor of one who prays for him and without any doubt the Dua of His Eminence for fulfillment of needs of someone demands their acceptance that is asked from the Almighty Allah.
Fourth cause: In Usool Kafi, in the merits of reciting the Salawaat on Muhammad and Aale Muhammad (S), it is directly narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) that he said:
“It is necessary for one who has a petition in the court of Allah that he should begin it be reciting the Salawaat on Muhammad and Aale Muhammad, then mention his need. And then he should conclude his supplication with reciting the Salawaat on Muhammad and his progeny as the Almighty Allah is much higher that He should accept the first and the last prayer and leave its middle because there is no obstruction in acceptance of Salawaat and Duroodon Muhammad and his progeny.”1
I say: The point of evidence in this tradition is that: The mentioned cause is general and it includes all supplications that comes in between two Duas, because Allah, the Mighty and the High is more kind than that He should accept both sides and leave the middle. In the first cause we mentioned that the Duaof believer for the early reappearance of his master is inevitably accepted, thus textual proof is that which supports the logical proof.
Fifth cause: It will be further explained that when a believer prays for his believer brother who is absent, the angels pray for him many times the same thing in his favor and it is known that the Dua of the angels is accepted since it has no impediments.
Sixth cause: In Usool Kafi through authentic chain of narrators it is narrated from His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) that he said:
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “When one of you supplicates, one should make it general so that it becomes more binding and confirmed. (and in another version it says) Then give generality to the Dua as it would make it more binding and confirmed.”2
I say: The Messenger of Allah (S) has said:
‘…one should make it general…”
It means that a general Dua is more binding and confirmed for the one who is praying from that he should only pray for himself without including the believers in it. The conclusion of the statement of His Eminence is: making a Dua general is a cause of its acceptance and achieving of its aim. And the explanation of the matter and proof of this tradition can be presented by stating that generality in Dua has two aspects:
One: The supplicant makes all the believing men and women partners in his supplication and includes himself in it. That is he prays together for himself as well as all the believing men and women. For example he says: O Allah, please forgive the believing men and women and fulfill the needs of the believing men and women. Or he says: O Lord, forgive us and fulfill our needs (accept our prayers) while keeping in mind himself and all the believing men and women.
Second: His prayer should be in a way that it includes benefits for all believing men and women – even though it may not be stated in words – like: Praying for peace and descent of heavenly bounties, growing of earthly bounties and keeping away of calamities etc. as their benefits favor all, this is also a way of giving generality to Dua, and Dua for an early reappearance of our master, the Master of the Time (aj) is of this type, therefore it is the implication of this hypothesis as is clear to those who understand.
Supposing if someone denies that this type of Dua has generality, it can be said: If the supplicant makes his intention general for believing men and women or clarifies this meaning, there does not remain any other doubt.
And as for the fact that Dua for the reappearance of our master, the Imam of the time (as) is a matter whose benefit is universal; there is no need of proving it, thus as we have already mentioned in Part Four of the book, the reappearance of His Eminence would be success for every believer and faithful, and display in every way of justice, decline of every type of ignorance, exposition of sciences, dispelling of sorrows, removal of maladies, spread of blessings, victory of the believers, destruction of oppressors, security of the inhabited lands and safety of the people…
As for the statement of the Holy Prophet (S) that:
“When one of you supplicates, one should make it general.”
It is having a few aspects:
1. It is that it implies: When a believer supplicates, he makes this supplication general for all believers and includes himself in it. So if he does this and supplicates for all of them, this Dua is guaranteed to be accepted and accepted soonest and is more effective than if it were only for himself. On the basis of this, making a Dua universal makes its acceptance sure and earlier.
The conclusion is that, if you say: O Allah, forgive the believing men and women, it would guarantee your forgiveness rather than when you say: O Allah, forgive me! And if you say: O Allah, hasten the reappearance of our master, the Imam of the time (as), it would guarantee your success and prosperity rather than when you say: O Allah, give me deliverance. Because the prayer for the reappearance of the Imam of the Age (aj) is in fact Dua for deliverance of all believing men and women.
2. It is that it would imply: When you want to pray for yourself, first of all you pray for all generally so that your Dua is sure to be accepted, that yourDua for all the believers in general is the cause of its acceptance and reaching your goal as mentioned in these words at the beginning of the verse:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ
“O you who believe! when you rise up to prayer, wash your faces…” (Qur’an, Surah Maidah 5:6)
(That is before the Prayer perform the ablution).
Also the verse:
فَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ
“So when you recite the Qur’an, seek refuge with Allah…” (Qur’an, Surah Nahl 16:98)
(That is when you want to recite the Qur’an)
The implication of the statement of the Messenger of Allah (S) that:
“When one of you supplicates one should make it general.”
Is that: When you want to supplicate for yourself you must supplicate for all the believing men and women in general then supplicate for yourself as this method would make your supplication sure to be accepted because preferring the people of faith in Dua makes it perfect for acceptance as mentioned in some traditions of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) that he said:
“One who gives preference to forty brothers and prays for them, then prays for himself, it will be accepted for them as well as him.”3
3. It is a common conjunction, that is every time you pray for yourself, before or after that pray for all your brothers also. This type is found more in use in Arabic language and common idiom as will be evident for educated people.
Seventh cause: There is a tradition that Thiqatul Islam Kulaini has mentioned in Usool Kafi from Muhammad bin Yahya Attar from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa from Ali bin al-Hakam from Saif bin Ameera from Amr bin Shimr from Jabir bin Yazeed Jofi from His Eminence, Abu Ja’far Baqir (as) that he said regarding the verse:
وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُوا وَيَنْشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُ
“And He answers those who believe and do good deeds, and gives them more out of His grace…” (Qur’an, Surah Shura 42:28)
There is a believer that prays for his brother who is not present, so the angels tell him:
And Allah, the Mighty and Powerful says:
“Twice of what you have asked will be there for you and what you have requested will be given to you due to the love you have for him.”4
I say: In our view the chain of narrators is authentic, but Allamah Majlisi has considered it weak in Miraat al-Uqool and apparently it is because of Amr bin Shimr; but many narrators have confirmed this report. However in my view following the research scholar, Noori in Mustadrak al-Wasail I consider this narrator reliable and trustworthy because some elders have narrated from him and there are other signs of his reliability while his connection withGhulat (extremists) is not proved.
In any case the evidence of this tradition is clear for our purpose and the words:
“Twice of what you have asked will be there for you...”
It shows that whatever you ask for your brother, you will be given more than that. And the words that:
“…and what you have requested will be given to you due to the love you have for him.”
They prove that by the blessings of praying for the brother who is absent what you ask for yourself will also be accepted. There is also a remote possibility that:
‘I bestow’ is a first person verb form. It means that I gave what you prayed for your brother who is absent and Allah is Wise.
Thus O one who wants to reach an aim do you know a believer whose faith is more perfect and whose belief more complete and who is more beloved and proximate to Allah, having a higher status with Him than your master, the Master of the Time (aj)? Then pray more for your master so that by the blessing of that Dua, your prayers are also accepted.
Eighth cause: As mentioned earlier and as will be said ahead, among the benefits of praying for an early reappearance of His Eminence, is the perfection of faith, getting certainty, obtaining deliverance from doubts of the doubters and deviant ones and these factors would be responsible for having your supplications accepted, just as weakness of faith and doubts in the principles are obstacles in the acceptance of Dua. Thus when the servant prays for his master, the Master of the Time (as), his certainty becomes stronger and his belief more perfect, and when he achieves this condition, the Almighty Allah accepts his prayers.
To prove this matter let us read a traditional report that is reliable, and almost equal to authentic that Thiqatul Islam Kulaini has narrated from Muhammad bin Muslim from Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) and Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) as follows:
I (narrator) asked: We see some people who are very zealous and sincere in prayers but they have not accepted right faith (Shiaism), would it be of any use to them? He (the Imam) replied: O Muhammad this is like those families of Bani Israel, such that when one of them prayed for forty nights his prayers were inevitably answered. But a person from them performed arduous worship for forty nights but his supplication was not answered. So he went to Isa bin Maryam (as) and complained to him about his position so that he may pray for him.
Isa bin Maryam (as) performed the ablution, recited the Prayer and beseeched the Almighty and the Almighty Allah revealed to him: O Isa, this servant of Mine is approaching Me through a path other than what I have specified. He is praying to Me while he harbors doubt about your prophethood. Even if he prays so much that his neck is severed and his finger joints shatter, I would not accept it.
Imam said: So Isa (as) looked at that man and said: Are you calling the Lord while you have doubt in His Prophet? The man replied: O Spirit of Allah and His Word, by Allah, what you say is right, now pray that Allah removes this condition from me. Thus Isa (as) prayed for him; the Almighty Allah approved his repentance and accepted his prayer and he went back to his family.5
Ninth cause: Allamah Majlisi says in Miraat al-Uqool regarding the fact that the supplication which is not accompanied with Salawaat on Muhammad and Aale Muhammad remains veiled –:
The aim of the creation of the jinns and humans and all the beings from the beginning till the end were the Messenger of Allah (S) and the Ahle Bayt (as) as the great intercession in the world and the hereafter belongs to them only and through their medium, blessings descend on all the creatures. Because there is no miserliness in the giver, rather the defect is in the recipients. They (as) are deserving of all divine graces and holy blessings, so when they are bestowed a blessing, it comes down to the other creatures also.
On the basis of this, if the supplicant desires to receive divine blessings he should recite Durood on them as this Dua is never rejected, as the giver is beneficent and the recipient is worthy and through their auspiciousness the supplicant, rather all the creatures would benefit by divine grace. Just as if there is a nomad Bedouin in the house of a nobleman and if the nobleman were to arrange a very elaborate feast for him it would seem to be a very odd thing, but on the contrary if the nobleman is having as a guest, a person of great importance, like a diplomat etc. and in the honor of this diplomat the nobleman arranges a special banquet and the nomad also participates in the dinner, there would not be any problem. Rather it would be considered bad manners to disallow the poor man sharing the food.6
I say: It is clear that this example applies perfectly to the matter of praying for our master, the Master of the Time (aj) and people of perception can easily understand this.
Tenth cause: It is the same that Allamah Majlisi has mentioned:
The Family of the Messenger of Allah (S) is a medium between us and the Almighty Allah for conveying the laws to us. Because we have no access to divine revelation, court of God and heavenly sphere. Thus there must be messengers who can serve as connection between us and the Lord. And they must be such that they should have divine aspects as well as human qualities so that they could have contact with the giver of grace and also the recipients so that whatever they take from the Lord, they may convey to the creatures.
Therefore the Almighty Allah appointed among the people His messengers and prophets who apparently have human forms but internally have morals, behavior, knowledge and pure souls. They said to the people: We are human beings like you, so that they may not despise them and accept them and be friendly with them. In the same way in addition to this all the bounties and their perfections also are through their medium between the Lord and other creatures. Thus every blessing first reaches them, then it is distributed to the creatures. And reciting Salawaat on them is a prayer for grace from the mine of grace to the location of its distribution on all the creatures according to their capability and eligibility.
I say: This aspect is also currently in the topic of our discussion, and these ten points explain that the (other lawful prayers) of one who prays for our master Qaim (aj) will be surely accepted.