أَلْحَمْدُ للهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ
وَصَلَّى اللهُ عَلىٰ سَيِّدِنَا وَنَبِيِّنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ الطَّاهِرِيْنَ وَلَعْنَةُ اللهِ عَلىٰ أَعْدَائِهِمْ أَجْمَعِيْنَ.
﴿ وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ ﴾
“When My servants ask you about Me, [tell them that] I am indeed nearmost. I answer the supplicant’s call when he calls Me. So let them have faith in Me, so that they may fare rightly.”1
In the ups and downs of life and the bitter and sweet experiences, man sometimes feels such a spiritual emptiness that cannot be filled by any material thing. Even if the power of all the powerful, the wealth of all the wealthy, and all the means of enjoyment and merrymaking in the world are at his disposal, none of them can fill this spiritual vacuum.
In such a state, he confides in his best friend, the nearest of kin or the dearest one. Sometimes, he finds no one to trust and confide in and prefers to seclude himself. The only means of achieving peace of mind is being close to one’s confidant and opening one’s heart to one’s beloved.
If man feels sad after being contaminated by sins and offenses and abhors himself and experiences self-alienation and the deadening of his heart, in whom should he confide or seek refuge? It is here that he must seek refuge in his Creator, the Source of all good and pure, the Initiator of love and sincerity, and find solace in His remembrance and love by prostrating on His threshold.
Which tranquility and pleasure can be greater for the humble servant than being in the presence of the Esteemed Deity, purifying his impure self with the limpid water of conversation with Him, and soothing his stormy soul with the remembrance of the One and Only. This is the best, most excellent and sweetest fruit of supplication [du‘a’].
Du‘a’ is commonly interpreted as “petition and imploration”, but its true meaning is “the lover’s call to his Beloved, their private communion, and their companionship and togetherness in the ecstasy of truth-seeking mystics.”
When the meek and humble servant realises that the sinful abode of his heart is away from the Manifestation of purity and good, he searches for the way to be close to the Friend and join the assembly of the Beloved, and look for the place where he could have private audience with his Lord and hear the voice saying,
﴿ فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ﴾
“I am indeed near [all My servants].”2
In the company of the Friend, distance has no meaning at all:
﴿ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ ﴾
“And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.”3
When the servant attains such a state, experiences nearness or proximity to the Truth (God), and comes a step closer to His assembly, then the Worshipped Being [ma‘bud] becomes his Lover [muhibb], and it is this servant who becomes the Truth’s beloved [ma‘bud] and hears the voice:
﴿ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي ﴾
“I answer the supplicant’s call when he calls Me. So let them have faith in Me.”4
We hope that we can also join the mystics in their assembly of supplication and ask nothing from Him but His Sacred Essence, for the acquisition of His gnosis [ma‘rifah] is the highest form of acceptance of a servant’s supplication.
The present book which is the transcript of some lectures about supplication by His Eminence Prof. Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi consists of four parts. The first part deals with the general subjects of supplication.
The other three parts consist of the slightly modified transcription of a series of 15 lectures by His Eminence at Mahdiyyah of Qum in Ramadhan 1398 AH (August 6 – September 4, 1978).
Since the audience comprised of various strata of people, the quality of the lectures was commensurate with its level of understanding, yet containing very useful and valuable points. It is known to all that a lecturer is incapable of explaining verbally what he can explain in writing.
These parts deal with commentaries of Du‘a’ al-Iftitah, Du‘a’ Abu Hamzah al-Thumali and Du‘a’ Makarim al-Akhlaq, respectively.
It is hoped that the faithful will find the book beneficial and worth reading.
Sha‘ban 21, 1418 AH
1/Dey/1376 AHS – 22/December/1997
- 1. – Surat al-Baqarah 2:186. In this volume, the translation of Qur’anic passages is adapted from Sayyid ‘Ali Quli Qara’i, The Qur’an with a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation (London: Islamic College for Advanced Studies Press, 2004). [Trans.]
- 2. – Surat al-Baqarah 2:186. In this volume, the translation of Qur’anic passages is adapted from Sayyid ‘Ali Quli Qara’i, The Qur’an with a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation (London: Islamic College for Advanced Studies Press, 2004). [Trans.]
- 3. – Surat Qaf 50:16.
- 4. – Surat al-Baqarah 2:186.