It is important to discuss a few points before we begin the actual treatise:
First: We should know that gaining all the benefits, rewards and results that we have mentioned in Part Five is subject to the condition of regularity and excessiveness of praying for an early reappearance of our Master, because some of the mentioned benefits depend on following and emulating the Holy Imam (as) as mentioned in his blessed epistle: “And pray more for an early reappearance…” so refer to it again and ponder upon it.
Second: It is necessary for the supplicant to remove from himself all the factors that hinder acceptance of supplications. He must purify his self from undesirable traits and bad behavior, like inclination to materialism, pride, arrogance, jealousy, backbiting etc. It is so because supplication is the best form of worship, especially supplicating for an early reappearance of our Master, Hazrat Hujjat and his victory.
It therefore requires the supplicant to be free of all selfish motives and satanic instigations, since sincerity of intention is the most important matter that a person should abide by. That is why the verses of Qur’an and traditions of the Messenger of Allah (S) have emphasized it. May Allah give us and all the believers, the good sense, Insha Allah.
Third: Perfection of rewards and excellence of manners is related to acquiring of piety from the aspect of the saying of the Almighty:
إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللّهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ
Allah only accepts from those who guard (against evil). (Qur’an, Surah Maidah 5:27)
In the same way, piety also has different grades and levels. Acceptance also has a number of grades. On the basis of this, one who has stronger piety will have better consequences and special virtues from his supplications and in the same way all his worship acts – whether obligatory or recommended – will be subject to the same criteria.
إِنَّا لَا نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ مَنْ أَحْسَنَ عَمَلاً..
We do not waste the reward of him who does a good work. (Qur’an, Surah Kahf 18:30)
إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ..
Surely Allah does not waste the reward of the doers of good (Qur’an, Surah Taubah 9:120)
أَنِّي لاَ أُضِيعُ عَمَلَ عَامِلٍ مِّنكُم..
That I will not waste the work of a worker among you (Qur’an, Surah Aale Imran 3:195)
أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ نَتَقَبَّلُ عَنْهُمْ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَنَتَجاوَزُ عَن سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ فِي أَصْحَابِ الْجَنَّةِ وَعْدَ الصِّدْقِ الَّذِي كَانُوا يُوعَدُونَ
These are they from whom We accept the best of what they have done and pass over their evil deeds, among the dwellers of the garden; the promise of truth which they were promised. (Qur’an, Surah Ahqaf 46:16)
The sum total of the above verses along with the verse:
إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللّهُ...
…according to numerous traditional reports shows that the level of reward depends on the level of piety, and more explanation is not required here.
Fourth: From the above discussion it is known that rewards and recompenses are outcomes of praying more for the early reappearance of His Eminence (aj) – whether it be in Persian or Arabic or any other language – from the aspect of the arguments and traditional reports mentioned, like the saying of His Eminence (aj): “And pray more for the reappearance, as in it lies your success” and the saying of Imam Hasan Askari (as) that: “And give him the good sense of praying for His Eminence,” and other traditional reports.
Fifth: It does not make any difference whether the Dua is in poetry or prose just as there is no difference whether the supplicant has composed the text of the Dua himself or someone else has done it, as mentioned in the above discussion.
Sixth: It is allowed for one who is conversant with the language and who knows the value of Dua to compile it in Arabic language, by the proof of precedence of the first [that what has not been prohibited initially, is allowed] and by the argument of generalities and implications of commands for supplicating, without any restriction of language.
That which supports this matter is the statement of the Martyr (r.a.) in the ninth volume of Bihar, in which he relates from Amirul Momineen (as) that he said: The Messenger of Allah (S) said: Indeed, Dua wards off a calamity even if its occurrence is inevitable.
Washsha says: I asked Abdullah bin Sinan: Is there a particular Dua for this? He replied: I asked Imam Sadiq (as) and he said: Yes, there is a prescribed Dua for the deprived Shias, for every calamity. And as for those with insight, they have reached [to high ranks] and their prayer will not remain behind an obstacle.1
What we have stated above is also proved from the authentic tradition mentioned in Kafi, Tahdhib and Wasail, from Ismail bin Fadl that he said: I asked His Eminence, Abi Abdullah Imam Sadiq (as) regarding Qunoot and what is mentioned about it. He replied: It is that which the Almighty Allah makes your tongue utter and in that I don’t know of any specified thing.2 Since there is no difference between Qunoot and other than it.
Supporting this matter is another traditional report that we have not quoted for the sake of brevity. If it is said: It is mentioned in Kafi and Faqih from Abdur Rahim Qaseer that he said: I came to His Eminence, Abi Abdullah Imam Sadiq (as) and asked: May I be sacrificed on you, I have compiled a Dua. He replied: Leave me from compilation of Dua. Whenever you face any problem you must take refuge in the Holy Prophet (S). Then recite two rakats prayers and gift its reward to the Messenger of Allah (S).3 That Imam Sadiq (as) has commanded leaving off compilation of Duas.
I will say: This matter is not absolutely prohibited according to the criteria we have mentioned previously. Any Dua is allowed but the best supplications are those that are prescribed by the Holy Imam (as) as they are aware of the true station of the Almighty and how He must be addressed to achieve the best results. They know the method of showing lowliness before Allah and the way of pleading that is best. So those supplications will definitely be accepted soonest, since even the angels are supposed to have learnt the method of divine glorification and praise from them as mentioned in traditional reports.
Seventh: Is it sufficient to think of what one intends to supplicate without saying it? Apparently it is not sufficient. Because according to intellectuals and scholars of Arabic, it is against the import of Dua. If it is said: In Usool Kafi, through an authentic chain of narrators it is narrated from Zurarah that Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) said: The angel does not write but that which may be understood. And Allah, the Mighty and Sublime has said:
وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعاً وَخِيفَةً..
And remember your Lord within yourself humbly and fearing and in a voice not loud… (Qur’an, Surah Araaf 7:205)
Thus no one but Allah knows the great reward of that which one recites to himself. 4On the basis of this just as remembrance in the heart has rewards; in the same way supplicating in the heart is also a kind of Zikr (remembrance).
I will say: Dua is the most special Zikr and since Zikr is opposite of greatness and unawareness, it testifies to the heart of the person, whereas Dua is opposite of silence, on the basis of this it cannot be proved except by uttering it by the tongue as we had mentioned at the beginning of this discussion.
Eighth: Shaykh Ja’far Kabir, in his book, Kashful Ghita, says: Supplicating in the standing position is better than supplicating in the sitting pose and supplicating in the sitting position is better than supplicating lying down.
Ninth: It was mentioned before that: Duas taught by the Holy Imam (as) are better and more appropriate to be recited, in light of the reasoning mentioned in Point No. 6. In addition to that there are traditions and verses that exhort us to emulate the Imams (as) and learn from them knowledge and value of obedience and worship. For example the saying of the Almighty:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي
Say: If you love Allah, then follow me. (Qur’an, Surah Aale Imran 3:31)
And the statement of the Almighty Allah:
فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ
So ask the followers of the Reminder… (Qur’an, Surah Nahl 16:42; Surah Anbiya 21:7)
Because Zikr, is the Messenger of Allah (S) himself according to the statement of Allah:
قَدْ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكُمْ ذِكْراً
Allah has indeed revealed to you a reminder. An Apostle who recites to you the clear communications of Allah. (Qur’an, Surah Talaq 66:11)
On the basis of this the infallible family of His Eminence are the people of Zikr, according to the exegesis of numerous verses that are mentioned at their places. In addition to that we have instructions to recite the Duas taught by the Holy Imam (as) and the sure rewards promised for their recitation and the various books on this topic. Also the fact that the Imams (as) repeated those supplications so that people may learn them and also recite themselves. There are other testimonies also that go on to prove that supplications taught by the Holy Imam (as) are better than supplications compiled by others.
From the above we can also say that the greatness of a saying depends on the greatness of the sayer and that is why it is said: The sayings of great people are the greatest of the sayings.
The conclusion is that: There is no doubt that Duas taught by the Holy Imam (as) have more precedence over the Duas a person has himself composed in his own way and language. But there are two traditional reports whose apparent connotation is against this and that is why we are compelled to clarify regarding them. The two traditional reports are mentioned by Muhaddith Amili in Wasailush Shia.
First Tradition: It is narrated from Zurarah that he said: I asked His Eminence, Imam Sadiq (as): Teach a Dua to me. He said: The best Dua is that which you say by your tongue.5
Second Tradition: It is narrated from the book of Abdullah bin Hammad Ansari through his own chain of narrators that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) said to a person who asked him to teach a Dua: The best Dua is that which you say by your tongue.6
I say: It is possible that in both the cases the narrator is Zurarah only and the narrator has quoted from him in the second instance also. But nevertheless both the traditional reports have a number of aspects:
Aspect One: It is that the words, ‘that which you say by your tongue’ imply the excellences of imams, their traditional reports, dissemination of commands of Shariah by them, having debates with their enemies, presenting arguments against the opponents, as this matter is better than Dua, in view of the good effects it has on safeguarding the religious heritage and elevating the signs of certainty and calling the people to follow the Holy Prophet (S) as their benefits reach to the general public.
That which supports this is a traditional report mentioned in Usool Kafi, through the author’s own chain of narrators from Muawiyah bin Ammar that he said: I asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as): There is a man who narrates your traditions and spreads them among the people gladdening their hearts, especially those of your Shias. Whereas there is another person, who is an ardent worshipper but he does not narrate your traditions, which of them is better? The Imam said: One who is a narrator of our traditions; as he strengthens the hearts of our Shias, is better than a thousand ardent worshippers. Now since Zurarah was always busy in disseminating the teachings of the Holy Imam (as) he was ordered in this way and he was told that what he was doing was better than what he was asking (Dua).
The soul of the matter is: ‘Dua’, according to the lexicon, has two meanings:
1. To call Allah, the Mighty and Sublime to accept a request. And 2. To call the people to the Almighty Allah. On the basis of this Dua is of two types. And when the narrator asked for the first type, the Imam (as) encouraged him to the second type, and told him that the second was better, as he said: The best Dua is that which you say by your tongue. It is a subtle aspect which can only be discerned if one is conversant with the sayings of Imams and one who has the ability to ponder upon them.
Aspect Two: It implies the same meaning as is mentioned by the Imams (as). Thus the Imam (as) meant to say: What comes to your mind is better than the taught supplications. So you mention that which comes to your mind, because this matter takes the condition of the heart and it is controlled by Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.
Aspect Three: It implies supplications that are recited with sincerity and humility, which is better than those recited without these factors, even though they may have been taught by the Holy Imam (as). On the basis of this the aim of Imam’s statement is to highlight the importance of sincerity and attention to the court of the Almighty.
And the true aim of Dua is this only. And since that which is said by the tongue is from the source of the heart, the Imam (as) has mentioned it in that way. The conclusion is that there is a real connection between Dua and sincere attention whether the Dua is taught by the Holy Imam (as) or one that is not narrated from them. It does not prove that this Dua is better than those taught by the Holy Imam (as). Rather it proves that Dua with sincerity and attention is the best in whatever words it may be.
Tenth: It is obligatory to follow the method of Duas that is taught by the Holy Imam (as) because just like the other worship acts, it is conditional [since it is related from the Imams]. On the basis of this to oppose the method taught by them intentionally is heresy. But reciting some parts otherwise is not unlawful according to the rule that, that which is not initially prohibited may be considered lawful.
Eleventh: From what is stated above, another point also becomes clear. It is not allowed to add anything to the Duas taught by the Holy Imam (as). As for adding something with the aim of divine remembrance has two aspects:
1. It is allowed, in view of some traditional reports that state that Zikr of Allah is good in all conditions. That is why it is also allowed in the ritual prayers. Therefore it should also be allowed in Dua.
2. It is not allowed, in view of the traditional report that is mentioned in Usool Kafi through correct, rather authentic chain of narrators, from Alaa bin Kamil that he said: I heard Imam Sadiq (as) say: the aim of…
وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعاً وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ
And remember your Lord within yourself humbly and fearing and in a voice not loud… (Qur’an, Surah Araaf 7:205)
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ وَيُمِيتُ وَيُحْيِي وَهُوَ حَيٌّ لاَ يَمُوتُ بِيَدِهِ الْخَيْرُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَیْءٍ قَدِیرٌ.
There is no god, except Allah, the One, there is no partner for Him. For Him is the Kingdom and for Him is the praise. He enlivens and causes death, He causes death and enlivens. And He is powerful over everything.
The narrator says: While repeating the prayer I added the words of “bi yadihil khair”. The Imam (as) said: It is right, but you recite as I have told you to. Say ten times: “I seek the refuge of Allah, the all-hearing and all- knowing” at the time of sunrise and sunset, and he did not give any more details. In this tradition, the Imam has especially instructed not to add anything, whether it be with the intention of Zikr or otherwise since it is necessary to follow the Holy Imams (as) perfectly. It is so because they are the people of Zikr and we have been ordered to ask them and do as they say. This point is also proved from what is mentioned in Kamaluddin quoting from Abdullah bin Sinan that Imam Sadiq (as) said: “After this, a time will come when you will not be able to see the Imam of the time. In that period no one will be saved except the one who recites “Dua-e-Ghareeq”. The narrator inquired as to what is Dua-e-Ghareeq. Imam (as) replied:
يا الله يا رحمن يا رحيم يا مقلب القلوب ثبت قلبي على دينك
“O Allah! O Beneficent! O Merciful! O the One Who transforms the hearts! Make my heart steadfast upon Your religion!”
The narrator repeated the Dua in this way:
يا الله يا رحمن يا رحيم يا مقلب القلوب والأبصار ثبت قلبي على دينك
O Allah! O Beneficent! O Merciful! O the One Who transforms the hearts and the sights! Make my heart steadfast upon Your religion!
The narrator added “Moqallebal Quloob. Wal Absaar”. Imam (as) told him, “Indeed, Allah is the one Who changes the hearts and the visions”, but you say only “Ya Muqallebal Quloob Sabbit Qalbee Ala Deenek!”7
In Wasail it is narrated from Khisal, through the author’s own chain of narrators from Ismail bin Fadl that he said: I asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) regarding the verse:
وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا
And glorify your Lord by the praising of Him before the rising of the sun and before its setting. (Qur’an, Surah Taha 20:130)
He said: It is obligatory on every Muslim to say ten times before sunrise and ten times after sunset:
There is no god, except Allah, the One, there is no partner for Him. For Him is the Kingdom and for Him is the praise. He enlivens and causes death. In His hands is good. And He is powerful over everything.
The narrator says: I recited: “He enlivens and causes death, He causes death and enlivens.”
The Imam said: O so and so, indeed Allah is such that “He enlivens and causes death, He causes death and enlivens.” But recite as you have been told to.8
I say: It is possible to reconcile these two aspects as follows: Every Dua and Zikr has a special effect. Like medicines and pharmaceutical formulae. But these effects are not derived except through that particular method and formula. The same is the case of Duas and Zikr, which do not produce the desired effects except through the methods taught by the Holy Imams (as).
It was from this aspect that the Imam (as) said: “Indeed, Allah is the one Who changes the hearts and the visions”, but you say as I have told you. On the basis of this the command is instructive and it has no contradiction with proofs for justification of additions in supplications with the intention of absolute Zikr, (pay attention). Or that we should adopt the best aspect of Dua - as we have mentioned in the proofs for recommended acts - and this is in the condition that we consider the command to be absolute.
Twelfth: To make a statement in the middle of a Dua taught by the Holy Imams (as) is allowed according to the original justification. Whether this matter contradicts with the desired effect or not? Apparently if it is within a limit such that it cannot be perceived to be a contradiction, it is not necessary; otherwise the supplication has to be started again. Because the instructions that we have received from the Holy Imams (as) regarding Duas do not lay a condition of silence in between them.
On the basis of this it should be considered what the general parlance says, in that same condition, there is no doubt that saying something in between the Dua is against the decorum of Dua. Thus it is appropriate that we follow the method accurately. Here it becomes clear that if one has made a vow that he would not say anything during the Dua, it is necessary for him to fulfill the vow, as not speaking up during the Dua hold our attention as is very much obvious.
Thirteenth: It is allowed to omit sentences from Duas according to the original command. But if you think that the saying of the Almighty Allah:
وَلَا تُبْطِلُوا أَعْمَالَكُمْ
And do not make your deeds of no effect. (Qur’an, Surah Muhammad 47:33)
…proves that nothing must be reduced from a Dua? In reply we shall say: It is possible that the implication of prohibition of making the deed invalid is over, and also that a person after completing a deed does something that makes it invalid, like adopting pride and selfishness, or to hurt others or resort to polytheism etc., that make the deeds invalid in light of the following verses of Qur’an:
لاَ تُبْطِلُواْ صَدَقَاتِكُم بِالْمَنِّ وَالأذَى
Do not make your charity worthless by reproach and injury. (Qur’an, Surah Baqarah 2:264)
وَلَقَدْ أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ لَئِنْ أَشْرَكْتَ لَيَحْبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ
And certainly, it has been revealed to you and to those before you: Surely if you associate (with Allah), your work would certainly come to naught. (Qur’an, Surah Zumar 39:65)
It is also possible that prohibition to do something novel is invalid in the instance when it is said: ‘Make the mouth of the well small, that is make it small from the beginning.’ And ‘we point out to it, that is consider it unusable’ and ‘I made the house wide; that is I made it on a broad foundation’ It implies that ‘do not destroy your deeds’. And apparently, since one of the angles of knowledge would be mentioned, the possibility also becomes remote. Thus we have to conclude that it is allowed to shorten the Dua.
Fourteenth: It is recommended to recite aloud the supplication for hastening the reappearance of His Eminence, the seal of the successors, the Imam of the Time (as). Especially in assemblies that are organized for this very purpose because it is a kind of according respect to the signs of Allah and it is these same expressions of religion about whom it is said:
وَمَن يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ
And whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the piety of hearts. (Qur’an, Surah Hajj 22:32)
Also in view of the Imam’s words in Dua Nudbah:
إلى متى أحأر فيك يا مولاي، وإلى متى.
How long am I to bewail for you, O my Master! And how long (Qur’an, Surah Nahl 16:53)
and with which…
It is mentioned in Qamoos: Jaa-a-ra on the weight of ma-na-a, Jaaran or Jauran: Raise up your voice in Dua and call for help with humility.
In Majmaul Bahrayn it is said: The saying of Allah:
To Him do you cry for aid.
It is said: The people cried in a plaintive voice in beseeching Allah. In the same way is the tradition: “As if I can see Musa (as) supplicating in a loud voice.” Thus Jaur means to supplicate fervently in a loud voice.
Fifteenth: It is recommended that supplicating sessions should be in congregation in view of a tradition of Usool Kafi which is mentioned through his own chain of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) that he said: No group of forty person prays together to Allah for a purpose but that He does not fulfill their request.9 And if forty persons are not available, four persons must supplicate Allah ten times and their request will be fulfilled.
And if even four persons are not available, and only one person recites it forty times, Allah, the High and the Mighty will accept his request.2 And in the same book it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) that he said: Whenever my respected father faced a serious problem he used to gather the women and children and supplicate, while they said: Amen.10
Sixteenth: It is allowed, rather it is recommended to gift the reward of Dua for His Eminence, to the departed souls in view of the traditions that generally mention gifting of rewards to the dead. In the same way it is allowed, rather recommended, to perform these Duas as their proxy like in the case of other recommended deeds.
In such a way that a believer recites Dua for hastening of reappearance of the Imam of the Time (as) and pleads to the Almighty on behalf of his parents or deceased relatives; rather on behalf of all the deceased believers. There are numerous traditions that generally and particularly advise such a course of action. For example, in Wasail, it is narrated from Hammad bin Uthman that he says in his book: Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) said: One who performs a deed on behalf of a dead believer is rewarded twice that by the Almighty Allah and the departed one is also grateful to him. 11
It is narrated from Umar bin Yazid that he said: Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) said: Whoever performs a deed on behalf of departed believers is rewarded twice by Almighty Allah and the departed ones are also grateful to him. 12
It is narrated from Hammad bin Uthman that he said: Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) said: Indeed, the Prayer, Fasting, Sadaqah, Hajj, Umrah and every good deed benefits the departed souls, so much so that sometimes a dead is squeezed by the grave, and then he is given ease and told: This is due to the deed performed on your behalf by your so and so son, or your so and so brother in faith.13
It is mentioned from Hisham bin Saalim that he said: There was a companion and student of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) and Imam Musa Kazim (as) who said: I asked the Imam if Dua, Sadaqah, Fasting and similar things reach the dead? He replied: Yes. I (the narrator) asked: Does he knows who has sent it to him? He replied: Yes. Then he said: In such a way that sometimes he is in anger and due to this deed he becomes satisfied.14
It is narrated from Alaa bin Zarin that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) said: It is necessary to do the Qadha of Hajj, Fasting and emancipating of slaves on behalf of the departed soul.15
It is narrated from Bazanti from Imam Ali Reza (as) that he said: It is necessary to do the Qadha of Hajj, Fasting, emancipating of slaves and other good deeds on behalf of the departed soul.16
The author of Faakhir has said: Among the matters that all are unanimous about is that the Holy Imams (as) have stated that Qadha must be performed of all good deeds on behalf of the dead.
Other traditional reports are also present but we have refrained from their mention for the sake of brevity. Our contention is also supported by that which has come in Dua:
اللهم بلغ مولاي صاحب الزمان (عليه السلام) عن جميع المؤمنين والمؤمنات في مشارق الأرض ومغاربها
O Allah, convey to the master, the Master of the Time, (greetings) from all the believer men and women in the easts of the earth and its west…
Seventeenth: It is allowed, rather it is recommended, that this valuable deed must also be performed on behalf of the departed souls, especially ones parents and relatives as proved from various traditions. Some of which are as follows: In Wasail, it is narrated from Ali bin Abi Hamza that he said: I asked Imam Musa Kazim (as): Shall I perform Hajj, Prayer and Sadaqah on behalf of my alive and departed relatives and friends? He replied: Yes. On his behalf, pay Sadaqah, perform prayer as he will be rewarded due to it.17
Sayyid bin Tawoos, as is mentioned about him, after quoting this tradition, says: The above tradition should be applied to instances in which proxy of the living ones is allowed.
It is narrated from Muhammad bin Marwan that he said: Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) said: What stops a person from among you to perform good deeds on behalf of your parents, whether dead or alive? Perform the ritual prayers on their behalf, pay Sadaqah, do the Hajj and keep fasts. What you do for them will be recompensed to them and you will also get its equal reward. Thus, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, in view of that good deed, increases it many times for you.18
The author of Wasail says: Prayer on behalf of the living is restricted to the Prayer of Tawaf and Ziarat on the basis of proof that will be presented in due course.19
I say: Apparently, what he implies is based on the traditional report of Abdullah bin Jundab that he said: I wrote this question to His Eminence, Abul Hasan (as): There is a person who would like to keep a third of all his good deeds and prayers for himself and dedicate the rest to his parents; or can he dedicate all his recommended deeds for them? What is the command if one of them is alive and the other, dead? Imam (as) wrote in reply: As for the dead, it is allowed and as for the alive, nothing is allowed, except good deeds and favor.20
Presently we do not mean to discuss whether there exists or does not exist justification for performing recommended prayers on behalf of the living, as this is not the occasion to discuss that in detail. Here we would only like to state that it is preferable to recite supplication for an early reappearance of our master, the Master of the Time (as) and the tradition mentioned above proves this point.
Because Dua for the Imam (as) is without any doubt the best of the good deeds. And this tradition proves that performing a good deed on behalf of others is a meritorious act, even on behalf of those who are alive. In the same way the traditional report of Muhammad bin Marwan proves that doing good on behalf of the parents, whether dead or alive, is a good act. And apparently the mention of Prayer, Sadaqah and Hajj is by way of example. On the basis of this what we have mentioned can also be supported by the following lines of Dua Ahad:
اللهم بلغ مولاي صاحب الزمان (عليه السلام) عن جميع المؤمنين والمؤمنات في مشارق الأرض ومغاربها، وبرها وبحرها، وسهلها وجبلها حيهم وميتهم، وعن والدي، وولدي وعني من الصلوات والتحيات
O Allah, convey to the master, the Master of the Time, from all the believer men and women in the easts of the earth and its west. In its lands and its seas, in its plains and its mountains, their living and their dead, and from my parents and my children and from me, from the blessings and greetings…
From all that we have discussed so far we can conclude that it is a good thing to recite supplications for an early reappearance of Imam Mahdi (aj) and for his victory on behalf of the alive from our people. Rather it is good to recite all types of supplication on their behalf. Especially on behalf of those who have a right upon us. And it is also proved that to perform all good deeds on behalf of the dead is a very meritorious act. And one who is performing these acts will become eligible for different kinds of rewards.
If it is said: The tradition of Abdullah bin Jundab does not clearly mention deeds by proxy, it is possible that it implies gifting the reward of good deeds, favors and prayer?
I will say: Apparently at the beginning the query is about gifting of reward and then it is mentioned: “Or that he may only give the recommended…” This query is regarding proxy as will become clear if you ponder on it a little.
Eighteenth: From what we have mentioned in the two points above it will be known that supplicating on behalf of the believers for an early reappearance of our master, the Master of the Time (as) brings rewards in addition to the benefits that we have mentioned above. They are as follows:
1. Multiplication of the good deeds and merits, as proved from traditions quoted in the previous pages.
2. It is a favor on the believers and a way to remove chastisement from their dead or increase in their rewards, as is very much clear.
3. It is effective in advancing the time of the advent and victory of His Eminence, because it is of the position that it has been performed on behalf of all the believers. And from what we have stated in the very beginning, supplicating in congregation would be really effective in advancing the advent, Insha Allah.
Nineteenth: It is recommended to pray for the friends and companions of His Eminence (aj) on the basis of general traditions that exhort us to pray for the believers. It is also supported by what is mentioned in favor of help and cooperation in piety and good deeds. Thirdly, the supplications taught by the Holy Imams (as) also contain prayers for the friends and helpers of the Imam (as). Some of them will be mentioned in the third point in this same section, Insha Allah.
Twentieth: It is recommended to pray for the destruction of his enemies and the humiliation of their opponents as mentioned in Duas and traditions. It is also recommended to lay curse on them on the basis of the rule of seeking immunity from the enemies as also following the Almighty Allah, the Holy Prophet (S) and the Holy Imams (as) in light of what they have mentioned in their sayings.
For example in Bihar, it is narrated from Ali bin Asim Kufi from Imam Hasan Askari (as) that he said: My father related from his forefathers from the Messenger of Allah (S) that he said: One who is (physically) too weak to help us, Ahle Bayt (as) but in private he recites curse on our enemies, the Almighty Allah makes his voice reach all the angels from the earth to the heavens. So when this man curses the enemies these angels also join him in cursing them. Then he curses the enemies again.
The angels say: O Allah, send blessings on this man, because he is doing what he is capable of and if he had been capable he would have done more also. Allah will say: Your request has been accepted and I have sent blessings on him and made him the greatest of the doers of good.21
- 1. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 94, Pg. 89
- 2. Furu Kafi, Vol. 3, Pg. 340; Wasailush Shia, Vol. 4, Pg. 908
- 3. Furu Kafi, Vol. 3, Pg. 476; Man Laa Yahzarul Faqih, Vol. 1, Pg. 559
- 4. Usool Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 502
- 5. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 1, Pg. 33
- 6. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 1, Pg. 33
- 7. Kamaluddin, Shaykh Sadooq, Vol. 2, Pg. 351
- 8. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 4, Pg. 1236
- 9. Usool Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 487
- 10. Usool Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 487
- 11. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 369, Tr. No. 24
- 12. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 369, Tr. No. 25
- 13. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 368, Tr. No. 15
- 14. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 366, Tr. No. 7
- 15. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 369, Tr. No. 20
- 16. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 369, Tr. No. 5
- 17. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 368, Tr. No. 9
- 18. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 365
- 19. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 365
- 20. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 368, Tr. No. 16
- 21. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 27, Pg. 223. In another tradition the same thing is related from Imam Sadiq (as).