We have discussed the acts of worship and their conditions and philosophy. After stating those generalities, we shall now deal with their manifestations and examine the most apparent form of servitude which is prayer (salah). First of all, we need to know the status of prayer from the perspective of the (Qur’an and hadith). Thereafter, we shall touch on its details and secrets. Let us recall some of the views of the school of revelation (maktab al-wahy) regarding prayer:
• Prayer has been one of the most important commands of the prophets (as) and one of the most apparent manifestations of worship. Hadhrat Luqman says to his son:
“O my son! Maintain the prayer.”1
• Prayer is a cure for forgetfulness and a means of remembrance of God:
“And maintain the prayer for My remembrance.”2
• The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Prayer is the covenant of Allah.”3
• Prayer is like solace for our Beloved Prophet (S), since he said: “My eyes find solace in prayer.”4
• Prayer is a means of seeking assistance in times of adversity and difficulty. God says:
“And take recourse in patience and prayer.”5
• Prayer is a cure for arrogance. ‘Ali (as) says: “Allah has laid down… prayer for purification from vanity.”6
• Prayer is a means of thanking God for His blessings:
“So pray to your Lord and offer sacrifice (in gratitude).”7
• Prayer is the physiognomy of our school (maktab): “Prayer is the physiognomy of your religion.”8
• Prayer identifies the school of Islam. The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Prayer is the banner of Islam.”9
• Prayer is a firm support of religion: “And it (prayer) is the pillar of your religion.”10
• Prayer is like a head for the body. The Prophet of Islam (S) said: “The position of prayer in religion is like that of the head to the body.”11
• Prayer is the key to paradise.12
• Prayer assesses people: “Prayer is a scale (mizan).”13
• Prayer is the basis of religion: “Islam is based on …prayer”14
• Prayer is the first question that will be asked on the Day of Resurrection: “The first thing to be accounted with respect to the servant (‘abd) is prayer.”15
• Prayer washes away sins. In a hadith, prayer is likened to a river in which man takes a bath five times a day and no dirt remains on his body.16
• Prayer is the relationship of the creature (makhluq) to the Creator (khaliq); it acquaints man’s spirit with God and familiarizes him physically with nature—water, earth, qiblah, sunrise, sunset, time, etc.
• Prayer is the only form of worship which cannot be abandoned even at the moment of drowning in time of and war. It is the loudest declaration of man’s obeisance to God and total freedom from the dominance of the powerful.
• Prayer revives the tradition of Ibrahim, Muhammad, Husayn, and the Mahdi (as).
• Prayer is a means of gaining nearness to God.17
• Prayer is the last injunction of the prophets (as) and the last injunction of Imam as-Sadiq (as) before his last breath. The Imam asked all his relatives and children to gather around him and then said, “Anyone who treats prayer lightly shall not be included in our intercession (shafa’ah) in the Day of Resurrection.”18
• Prayer is a pleasure for divine saints (awliya’) but a heavy burden for hypocrites (munafiqun):
وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلاَّ عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ
“And it (prayer) is indeed hard except for the humble.”19
• Prayer defeats all the wiles of Satan.20
Apart from the verses of the Qur’an and hadiths cited so far, the conduct of the divine saints also expresses the important status of prayer. Prayer has been part of the programs of the prophets (as). While in the cradle, Hadhrat ‘Isa (Jesus) (as) says that God has enjoined him to establish prayer and pay the poor-rate (zakat) so long as he is alive:
وَ أَوْصَانِي بِالصَّلوٰةِ وَ ٱلزَّكوٰةِ مَادُمْتُ حَيًّا
“And He has enjoined me to (maintain) the prayer and to (pay) the zakat as long as I live.”21
Imam al-Husayn (as) did not neglect prayer even at noontime on the day of ‘Ashura’ on the battlefield while facing the arrows of the enemies.
Hadhrat Ibrahim (as) settled his wife and child in the wilderness of the desert of Makkah which had no water or plants at that time, saying:
رَّبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنتُ مِن ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِندَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ
“O Lord! I have settled part of my descendants in a barren valley, by Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may maintain the prayer.”22
Our infallible predecessors (as) used to tremble at the time of prayer and say: “It is the time to discharge the divine trust in the Divine Precinct and Court.23
Although some people say their prayers in order to be admitted to paradise or out of fear of the fire of hell, the Commander of the Faithful (as) used to perform prayer not for trade (gain) or release from hellfire but because of God being worthy of worship.24
In order to teach the importance of prayer, Islam has enjoined parents to persuade their children to pray before they reach the age of puberty, , starting from the age of eight, in whatever way they can and sometimes, also with the use of force because of their children’s heedlessness.25
Praying connects man with the Origin of the universe just like a pilot maintains a link with the control tower.
Prayer remits sins and erases their after-effects. After enjoining prayer, the Holy Qur’an states:
إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّـيِّئَاتِ
“Indeed good deeds efface misdeeds.”26
All humans, especially Muslims have rights upon each other. One of these human rights is to be thanked for the love and goodness shown to others. Even if we are not Muslims, we are duty-bound to be grateful for the love and attention we get from others. This right is identical in every language, race, nationality and country. Gratitude must be directly proportionate to the graciousness enjoyed. Just think, is there anyone who has more right to us than God? There can be no one because God’s favors and blessings are innumerable, and He Himself is the Most Generous Being of all.
God created us from a single cell and provided us with all that we need in order to survive, such as light, heat, earth, air, water, bodily limbs, instincts, strength, nature, plants animals, senses, intellect, emotions, etc. He sent the prophets (as) for our guidance and spiritual training through a set of laws.
He determined what was lawful (halal) and what was unlawful (haram) equipped and our “material” and “spiritual” lives with perfect means and methods. He made available the conditions for our worldly and otherworldly growth, advancement and bliss. Who is the one who does us more good than God and who deserves being worshipped more than God?
In the words of Sa’di, every breath that is inhaled extends life and of the air that is inhaled, energizes the inhaler. Thus, there are two blessings in every breath, and thanks-giving is obligatory for every blessing:
از دست و زبانِ كه برآيد كز عهده شكرش به درآيد
He endowed us with the guidance of the prophets (as) and the Infallibles (as). He made man conquer the world and nature and gave him the power to benefit from the gifts of nature, to discover the secrets of the world and to use them along the path of success and life.
Leaves and plants take the carbon in the atmosphere and release oxygen.
Rain drops make the atmosphere clean and fresh.
Sharks eat dead fishes in the sea and thus remove the foul smell from the water.
Every instant our eyes take varied and exact pictures of all things from different angles.
If our lips were not soft, we would not have the power to speak.
If tears were not salty, our eyes which are created from nerves would be destroyed.
If the water was bitter or salty, trees would not grow.
If the earth had no gravity; if the distance between the sun and earth were shorter; if at the time of birth we did know how to suck milk; if the kindness of mother and father did not exist; and thousands of other “ifs”… could we have survived?
However, we are not aiming to count the blessings of God as we cannot do that. God Himself said that if we tried to count His blessings we would not succeed in doing so.
If one million of us were enjoying these blessings from someone else, would we not have been indebted to, and thank him for the rest of our lives?
Our human duty and conscience demand that we express gratefulness for the divine favors, establish prayer and worship God in gratitude for all these blessings.
We should also worship God and we should become His servants because He created us. We should not become slaves of the East or West.
Prayer is an expression of gratitude to God, and every wise and conscientious person realizes the necessity of establishing prayer.
A dog expresses gratefulness for a bone given to it by wagging its tail, and if a thief or a stranger enters the house, it will attack him. If man is indifferent to all these favors of God and lacks the spirit of giving thanks which is manifested in the form of prayer, is he not lower than the dog in recognition of another’s worth?!
Question: Does God need our gratitude?
Answer: Never! Appreciation of a favor is a virtue for us and a sign of our sense of justice, and not a sign of God’s need of our thanks. If a teacher says to his student, “You have to acknowledge my efforts (in teaching you) and study hard, the teacher does not mean that he is in need of his student’s acknowledgment and seriousness in studies. It is rather to enhance the excellence of the student himself.
Question: If we are supposed to thank God for His blessings, why must we perform prayer?
Answer: Once we admit the essential need for expressing gratitude, the manner of doing so must be according to the procedure outlined by God. Once it is determined that it is necessary for a patient to consult a doctor, the manner of taking the medicine is according to the doctor’s prescription.
So, we must express gratitude according to the will of God. As soon as a pilot consents to take flight in whatever part of the world he may be he has to contact the control tower using the English language. So, we have to learn the manner of giving thanks from the command of God and the ways of the divine saints.
Question: Is it proper to express thanks for blessings, even if one is living in the midst of unpleasant circumstances?
Answer: First of all, many of our troubles are the result of our own making. For example, by not observing health instructions, we become sick. Due to laziness and apathy, we experience stagnation in life. Foolishly choosing a friend can cause troubles, etc.
Secondly, unpleasant circumstances are also good because they urge man to strive more and make his talents blossom.
Thirdly, we should look at bitterness alongside sweetness and look at afflictions alongside numerous blessings.
Fourthly, sometimes hardships and afflictions bring about spiritual elevation, reevaluation of the self, and a renewal of faith in hearts broken by expecting from ‘other-than-God’.
Negligence of prayer means curtailing the establishment of a relationship with the Creator of the universe, and this has painful consequences in this world and in the hereafter. In the hereafter, the inhabitants of heaven will ask the dwellers of hell, “What made you inhabit the hellfire?” One of their answers shall be:
لَمْ نَكُ مِنَ الْمُصَلِّينَ
“We were not among those who prayed.”28
In another place, the Glorious Qur’an addresses those who are careless and heedless of their prayer, sometimes performing it and at other times not performing it, thus:
فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ ٭ الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلَاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ
“Woe to them who pray—those who are heedless of their prayers.”29
The Messenger of Allah (S) has said:
مَنْ تَرك ٱلصّلاة مُتعمّدًا فَقَد كَفر.
“He who consciously neglects prayer has become an infidel.”30
The Holy Prophet (S) has also said:
بَيْنَ ٱلعَبدِ وَ بَيْنَ ٱلكُفر تَرْكُ ٱلصَّلاةِ.
“That which lies between faith and disbelief is the negligence of prayer.”31
Giving value to prayer is a sign of faith in God, and heedlessness is caused by weakness of love and loss of interest in spiritualities. Hadhrat ‘Ali (as) said: “Verily, the worst of thieves among people is he who steals his prayer.”32
In another place, Imam ‘Ali (as) said: “Those who treat prayer lightly are like women who abort their fetuses; they can neither be called pregnant nor having children.”33
And the Imam (as) also said: “He who treats prayer lightly and ruins it will also ruin other affairs.”34
The Prophet of Islam (S) said: “He who spoils his prayer shall be with Qarun and Haman on the Day of Resurrection. Woe unto him who does not take care of his prayer!”35
The Apostle (S) also said:
God shall take away the blessings, benefits and goodness from the life and wealth of the one who treats prayer lightly. There will be no reward for his deeds; his supplications will not be heard. At the time of death, he will depart from this world with the feeling of hunger, thirst and remorse. He will be tortured, chastised and pressurized in purgatory (barzakh).36 On the Day of Resurrection, he will be called strictly to account.37
He (S) also said: “He who treats prayer lightly is not of my ummah (community).”38
The Holy Prophet (S) is also reported to have said:
“When a person pays attention to other than God during prayer, God says to him: “To whom you are paying attention? Do you have a deity other than Me? Is there any protector other than Me? Are you attached to a compassionate being other than Me? I am the Most Compassionate… If you will pay attention to Me, My angels and I will pay attention to you.”39
We have said that it is possible for an act to be proper but not accepted like a saleable item without a buyer. In the hadiths, the prayers of some individuals have been considered unacceptable because of various reasons, examples of which follow below:
Imam as-Sadiq (as) said: “The prayer of those who are indifferent to the barefooted and displaced people of the society, is not accepted.”40
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “The prayer of those who live on unlawful earnings is like constructing castles on sand.”41
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “The prayer of a wife who enjoys the income of her husband but does not discharge her divine obligation is not accepted.”42
In most instances, the payment of zakat (poor-rate) has been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an alongside the establishment of prayer, and it has been stated in many hadiths that the prayer of those who do not give their zakat will not be accepted.43 One day, the Messenger of Allah (S) entered the mosque and asked nine people to leave the mosque for not paying zakat. He then offered his prayers. Yes, a relationship with God must be built on a relationship with the deprived.
The prayer of one who is impious, or does not perform his ruku’ (kneeling down) and sujud (prostration) properly, is not accepted.44
Haqin wa haqib refers to a person who holds his urine and feces, and in doing so, exerts pressure on himself and experiences physical stress. In addition to being harmful to health, this practice disrupts one’s concentration in prayer. Imam as-Sadiq (as) said: “The prayer of such a person is not accepted.”45
Sometimes, it is possible that the people do not accept the prayer leader in a mosque and for selfish reasons, he refuses to leave the mosque or his position. Such a case will naturally lead to quarrels and disruptions in the congregational prayer. It is stated in traditions that the congregational prayer of such persons is considered unacceptable.46
The manner of prayer of the holy saints is both inspiring and instructive, and a model for their followers. We shall survey some examples of their manner of prayer:
The sound of adhan (call to prayer) was so attractive and delightful to the Messenger of Allah (S) that at the time of prayer, he would say to Bilal (the one calling to prayer): “O Bilal! Relieve us (from grief, anguish and pain).”47 And the Prophet (S) used to say: “He who hears the adhan but remains indifferent is unkind.”48
At the time of prayer, ‘Ali (as) used to turn pale and start trembling, saying: “The time of prayer has come—the time of the trust offered by God to the heavens, the earth and the mountains, but they refrained from shouldering it.”49
This act of shouldering the burden of the divine trust is the greatest honor of man. In the words of Hafiz,50
آسمان بار امانت نتوانست كشيد قرعه فال به نام من ديوانه زدند
At the time of prayer, when Imam as-Sajjad (as) would reach the point of reciting “maliki yawmi’d-din” (You are the Master of the Day of Judgment) (in Surah al-Fatihah), he would repeat it so many times that listeners would imagine that he was on the verge of death.51 And while in prostration (sujud), he would sweat profusely.
Imam al-Baqir (as) said: “My father (Imam as-Sajjad) used to perform a thousand rak’ahs of prayer day and night.”52
Whenever the time of prayer arrived, it seemed as if the Messenger of Allah (S) knew no one for he would enter a strange spiritual state.53 He used to say: “Hunger can be satiated and thirst can be quenched, but my desire for prayer can never be satisfied.”54
During the Battle of Siffin, ‘Ali (as) remained watchful of the sun’s position in the sky. ‘Abd Allah ibn al-’Abbas asked the reason for this. The Imam said: “I do not wish to miss offering the prayer as soon as its time begins.” “Now, on the battlefield?!” asked Ibn al-’Abbas (in astonishment). The Imam replied, “Yes!”55
Yes, just as fishes are not tired of swimming, divine saints (awliya’) are not tired of worship and prayer. Rather, with every act of worship, they find more pleasure being in the Presence of God.
It is narrated that during the month of Ramadhan, the late ‘Allamah Amini (author of the book, Al-Ghadir) used to perform a thousand rak’ahs of prayer every night.56 This is supposed to be the method of someone who has learned the lesson of love from the saints of Allah. At the time of prayer, the upright servants and divine saints used to establish prayer with much fervor, apply perfume, wear the best of clothes, welcome the prayer and experience fear and dread lest they do not earn the favor of God, or they do not have the necessary amount of humility and attention in prayer.
Observance of some rules related to prayer (such as brushing the teeth (miswak), cleanliness, attention to God, etc.) is contributory in the perfection of this act of worship. Imam al-Baqir (as) has said:
عَلَيْكَ بِالْأقْبَالِ عَلىٰ صَلاَتِكَ فَإِنَّمَا يُحْسَبُ لَكَ مِنْهَا مَا أَقْبَلْتَ عَلَيْهِ.
“Pay attention to God while in prayer because what is accepted in prayer is that which is said with attention.”57
The Imam (as) continued: “During the prayer, do not play with your hand, head and face because all these things cause deficiency in prayer, and do not perform prayer while in a state of sluggishness, sleepiness and weariness because such a prayer is that of hypocrites (munafiqun).”58
In a hadith, the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said:
رَكْعَتَانِ مِنْ رَجُلٍ وَرعٍ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ أَلْفِ رَكْعَةٍ مِن مَخْلَطٍ.
“A person’s two rak’ahs of prayer with piety (wara’) are superior to a thousand rak’ahs of prayer with heedlessness.”59
Imam as-Sadiq (as) said: “At the time of prayer, neglect the world and all it contains; focus all your attention on God; and remember the day when you will be brought in front of the court of divine justice.”60
The same Imam (as) also said: “Sometimes, fifty years of prayer may pass without even a single prayer being accepted.” And we also read in a hadith: “Some stand in front of God and pray in such a manner that if they talk in a similar manner with their neighbor, he will not answer them.”61
The Messenger of Allah (S) is reported to have said: “Two rak’ahs of prayer of a person who brushed his teeth are superior to seventy rak’ahs of the one who did not brush his teeth.”62
In the numerous verses of the Qur’an in which prayer is mentioned, there are also other accompany commands, such as paying zakat, giving charity, enjoining what is good, forbidding what is evil, and spending (in the way of Allah) by attending to the deprived. This shows the universality of the devotional laws of Islam that alongside connection with the Lord, economic and social issues as well as tackling with the poor, and enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil are also raised and no issue can prevent paying attention to other issues.63
And it is here that the verse,
“Indeed the prayer prevents indecencies and wrongs,”64
becomes clearer and more understandable, and it is obvious that implementing this divine precept will prevent the corruption of Muslim society.
Prayer has been mentioned in the hadiths as “ascension of the believer” (mi’raj al-mu’min). This ascension and flight, however, is not in the open space of the sky but in the sphere of spirituality and servitude, and it is aimed at attaining “nearness to God”, not reaching mountain peaks thousands of feet above the ground.
One may compare the spiritual flight and mystical ascension of the one praying with the flight of an airplane in the sky:
1. Most of the force and pressure is applied at the time of the aircraft’s take off. In worship and prayer, the main difficulty is to overcome carnal desire and commence the act of worship.
2. The importance of both flights lies in a safe and risk-free landing. Worship also has value if its ending is wholesome and without the blemish of self-conceit (‘ujb) and arrogance (ghurur).”
3. For its energy, the airplane is in need of pure and special fuel. The spiritual ascension of the one praying also necessitates pure attention and negation of all other servitudes. By raising his hands up to the bottom of his ears he negates and refuses everything other than God, and thus attains the purity of intention.
4. The pilot must be physically and mentally sound for the flight. In the prayer and to be in the Presence of God, “a sound mind and heart” are also necessary.
5. The aircraft flies by means of two wings. In prayer also, along with the discharging of the “right of Allah” (haqq Allah) one must also discharge the “right of men” (haqq an-nas). Along with “yuqimuna’s-salat” (establish your prayer), the Qur’an in most cases has also “yu’tuna’z-zakat” (pay your alms-rate).
6. In order to fly, the airplane covers a long distance on the ground to acquire the ability to take off. The preliminaries of prayer, the adhan, iqamah, and recommended invocations (dhikr) are also the groundwork of this spiritual flight. (The supplications after the ritual prayer and subsequent invocations also constitute the movement on the ground after landing.)
7. In flying, the first mistake is also the last mistake and is accompanied by crashing and annihilation. In worship also, polytheism (shirk), self-admiration (‘ujb) and ostentation (riya’) will lead astray. By committing a single mistake, Iblis who had a record of six thousand years of worship was cast out and accursed till eternity!
8. Every pilot makes a move on the order of the control tower. Prayer and worship are also according to the order, and even a single minute before or after the appointed period or against the law will render them invalid.
9. The pilot rests between flights, while the aircraft goes through its routine maintenance. Along with invocation and worship, sometimes man is also in need of rest and lawful enjoyments as well as engagement in earning a livelihood, and a person like the Messenger of Allah (S) would sometimes say, “kallimini ya humayra.”(O, Humeyra, come and chat with me).
10. For the pilot’s communication with the control tower, there is only one officially recognized language. The contact of the one praying with God is only through Arabic and in the devotional act of Hajj, the state of ihram65 commences with the recital of “labbayk allahumma labbayk” (Here I come, O Lord, here I come).
11. Prior to flying, directions based on the weather forecast, map-reading, determination of direction, etc. need to be followed. In worship, preliminary pieces of information are also necessary, and worship without knowledge and jurisprudence is worthless. Even in trade, familiarity with the laws of God is also needed, let alone in prayer and worship.
12. The higher the pilot, ascends the more the ground seems to become small for him. The more a holy man is acquainted with the greatness of God, anything other than God becomes more trivial in his sight. In the words of the Commander of the Faithful (as):
عَظُمَ ٱلْخَالِقُ فِي أَنْفُسِهِم فَصَغْرَ مَادُوْنَهُ فِي أَعْيُنِهِم.
“The greatness of the Creator is seated in their heart, and so, everything else appears small in their eyes.”66
13. The bigger the airplane, the smoother the flight and the more comfortable the passengers will be. In prayer and worship also, that which is done in congregation (the large gathering of people in the congregation and Hajj) has more reward and the possibility of its being accepted is greater.
14. Usually, there is a co-pilot accompanying the pilot for emergencies. In the congregational prayer also, there are just and pious individuals standing in the first row so that in case a problem (affecting the ability of the Imam to continue leading the prayer) arises, one of them can assume leadership of the prayer up to the end.
15. In physical flight, when the pilot and passengers are in the sky, they are away from and uninformed of their domestic problems and concerns. In spiritual flight also, when the soul is at its zenith, the attention to material things become insignificant, so much so that an arrow pulled from the foot of Hadhrat Amir (‘Ali) (as) was not felt at all.
16. In flight, descending from the summit is called “lessening the altitude” although it is still high in relation to those that are on the ground. Although the worship of the saints of Allah is always high in relation to the prayer and worship of common people, for them this “lessening of the altitude” by coming down from the pinnacle is a sort of shortcoming and degradation, and they always asked forgiveness (istighfar) for it. This is the meaning of
حَسَنَاتُ ٱلأَبْرَارِ سَيِّئَاتُ ٱلْمُقَرَّبِيْن.
“The good qualities of the pious are blemishes for the anointed ones.”
To conclude, prayer is the uninterrupted attention of the worshipper toward the Creator of the universe and the heart’s detachment from worldly desires is regarded as a flight by the people of gnosis (ahl al-ma’rifah)—a flight higher than the flight of birds in the air or the flight of aircraft in the earth’s atmosphere and beyond.
What causes man’s descent is his attachment to material things and carnal desires?
In the words of Sa’di,
طيران مرغ ديدى؟ تو ز پاى بندِ شهوت بدر آى تا ببينى طيران آدميت
- 1. Surah Luqman 31:17.
- 2. Surah Ta Ha 20:14.
- 3. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 279.
- 4. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 77, p. 77.
- 5. Surah al-Baqarah 2:45.
- 6. Nahj al-Balaghah (Subhi Salih), Saying 252; (Faydh al-Islam), Saying 244.
- 7. Surah al-Kawthar 108:2.
- 8. Furu‘ al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 270.
- 9. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 279.
- 10. Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol. 1, p. 172.
- 11. Nahj al-Fasahah, Statement 3075.
- 12. Nahj al-Fasahah, Statement 1588.
- 13. Furu‘ al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 267.
- 14. Wasa’il ash-shi’ah. vol. 1, p. 4.
- 15. Nahj al-Fasahah, Statement 979.
- 16. Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 3, p. 7.
- 17. Furu‘ al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 265.
- 18. Furu‘ al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 264.
- 19. Surah al-Baqarah 2:45.
- 20. Fihrist ‘Azr al-Hikam, under “salah” (prayer).
- 21. Surah Maryam 19:31.
- 22. Surah Ibrahim 14:37.
- 23. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 81.
- 24. Nahj al-Balaghah, Saying 237.
- 25. Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 3, p. 13.
- 26. Surah Hud 11:114.
- 27. Golestan al-Sa‘di, preface.
- 28. Surah al-Muddathir 74:43.
- 29. Surah al-Ma‘un 107:4-5.
- 30. Muhajjah al-Baydha’, vol. 1, p. 301.
- 31. Nahj al-Fasahah, Statement 1098.
- 32. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 84, p. 242.
- 33. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 84, p. 284.
- 34. Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 3, p. 19.
- 35. Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 3, p. 19.
- 36. Barzakh, literally means an isthmus, is the interval between the death of the individual and the general resurrection. It is mentioned in the Qur’an (23:100): “And after them shall be a barzakh until the day they shall be raised.” (Trans.)
- 37. Safinah al-Bahar, vol. 2, p. 43.
- 38. Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 3, p. 15.
- 39. Mustadrak al-Wasa’il, vol. 1, p. 173.
- 40. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 84, p. 242.
- 41. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 84, p. 258.
- 42. Nahj al-Fasahah, Statement 54.
- 43. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 84, p. 317.
- 44. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 84, pp. 253, 258.
- 45. Muhajjah al-Baydha’, vol. 1, p. 354.
- 46. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 84, p. 317.
- 47. Muhajjah al-Baydha’, vol. 1, p. 377.
- 48. Nahj al-Fasahah, Statement 132.
- 49. Tafsir Safi, vol. 2, p. 370.
- 50. Khwajah Shams ad-Din Muhammad Hafiz Shirazi (ca. 1325-1391) was the fourteenth century Persian lyric bard and panegyrist, and commonly considered as the preeminent master of the ghazal form. (Trans.)
- 51. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 84, p. 247.
- 52. Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 1, p. 68.
- 53. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 84, p. 258.
- 54. Mustadrak al-Wasa’il, vol. 1, p. 174.
- 55. Safinah al-Bahar, vol. 2, p. 44.
- 56. As narrated by Ayatullah Murwarid in Mashhad.
- 57. Muhajjah al-Baydha’, vol. 1, p. 354.
- 58. Muhajjah al-Baydha’, vol. 1, p. 354.
- 59. Nahj al-Fasahah, Statement 1672.
- 60. Muhajjah al-Baydha’, vol. 1, p. 382.
- 61. Al-Wafi, vol. 2, p. 13.
- 62. Nahj al-Fasahah, Statement 1669.
- 63. One may refer to the following verses of the Qur’an: wirh respect to this, Surah al-Baqarah, verse 83; Surah al-Anfal, verse 3; Surah at-Tawbah, verse 71; Surah Luqman, verse 17; Surah al-Muzammil, verse 20; and many other verses.
- 64. Surah al-‘Ankabut 29:45.
- 65. Ihram: the special two-piece seamless attire worn by pilgrims. Also, the state of ritual consecration during which the pilgrim should abstain from certain acts, such as not combing, not shaving, and observing sexual continence. (Trans.)
- 66. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon 191 (Khutbah al-Muttaqin or Hammam).