Table of Contents

The Three Blessed Months

The Month of Rajab

Merits of Rajab

Many traditions reported from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) demonstrate the excellence and merits of the month of Rajab.1 In his books, al-Majalis and Thawab al-A’mal, Shaykh al-Saduq has reported that Abu-Sa’id al-Khidri quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

أَلاَ إِنَّ رَجَباً شَهْرُ اللهِ الأَصَمُّ وَهُوَ شَهْرٌ عَظِيمٌ، وَإِنَّمَا سُمِّيَ الأَصَمَّ لأَِنَّهُ لاَ يُقَارِبُهُ شَيْءٌ مِنَ الشُّهُورِ حُرْمَةً وَفَضْلاً عِنْدَ اللهِ، وَكَانَ أَهْلُ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ يُعَظِّمُونَهُ فِي جَاهِلِيَّتِهِمْ، فَلَمَّا جَاءَ الإِسْلاَمُ لَمْ يَزْدَدْ إِلاَّ تَعْظِيماً وَفَضْلاً. أَلاَ إِنَّ رَجَباً شَهْرُ اللهِ، وَشَعْبَانُ شَهْرِي، وَرَمَضَانُ شَهْرُ أُمَّتِي. أَلاَ فَمَنْ صَامَ مِنْ رَجَبٍ يَوْماً إِيـمَاناً وَاحْتِسَاباً إسْتَوْجَبَ رِضْوَانَ اللهِ الأَكْبَرَ.

Behold! The month of Rajab is the all-holy month of Almighty Allah and it is a great month. It has been described thus because no other month can reach its holiness and excellence before Almighty Allah. Although they were ignorant, the people of the pre-Islamic era used to hold this month in the highest regard, and when Islam came, this month increased even more in veneration and excellence. Behold! Rajab is the month of Almighty Allah, Sha’ban is my month, and Ramadhan is the month of my people. Behold! Whoever observes fasting on one day of this month, believing in its excellence and intending to seek the pleasure of the Lord, will bindingly win the Grand Pleasure of the Lord.

The Holy Prophet (S) then enumerated many rewards for those who fast for any number of days this month.2

Shaykh al-Saduq has also reported Imam Musa al-Kazim (‘a) as saying:

رَجَبٌ نَهْرٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ أَشَدُّ بَيَاضاً مِنَ اللَّبَنِ وَأَحْلَى مِنَ الْعَسَلِ، فَمَنْ صَامَ يَوْماً مِنْ رَجَبٍ سَقَاهُ اللهُ مِنْ ذَلِكَ النَّهْرِ.

Rajab is (the name of) a river in Paradise that is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey. Hence, if one fasts for even a single day in Rajab, Almighty Allah will allow him to drink from that river.3

رَجَبٌ شَهْرٌ عَظِيمٌ يُضَاعِفُ اللهُ فِيهِ الْحَسَنَاتِ وَيَمْحُو السَّيِّئَاتِ. وَمَنْ صَامَ يَوْماً مِنْ رَجَبٍ تَبَاعَدَتْ عَنْهُ النُّارُ مَسِيرَةَ سَنَةٍ، وَمَنْ صَامَ ثَلاَثَةَ أَيَّامٍ وَجَبَتْ لَهُ الْجَنَّةُ.

Rajab is a great month during which Almighty Allah doubles the rewards of good-actions and erases the punishments for evil-actions. If one fasts on one day in Rajab, Hellfire moves away from him, a distance of one year of walking. One who fasts for three days in Rajab will bindingly win Paradise.4

Through a number of chains of authority, some of which are valid, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِنَّ نُوحاً عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ رَكِبَ السَّفِينَةَ أَوَّلَ يَوْمٍ مِنْ رَجَبٍ، فَأَمَرَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ مَنْ مَعَهُ أَنْ يَصُومُوا ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمِ. مَنْ صَامَ ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمَ تَبَاعَدَتْ عَنْهُ النَّارُ مَسِيرَةَ سَنَةٍ، وَمَنْ صَامَ سَبْعَةَ أَيَّامٍ أُغْلِقَتْ عَنْهُ أَبْوَابُ النِّيرَانِ السَّبْعَةُ، وَمَنْ صَامَ ثَمَانِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ فُتِحَتْ لَهُ أَبْوَابُ الْجِنَانِ الثَّمَانِيَةُ، وَمَنْ صَامَ خَمْسَةَ عَشَرَ يَوْماً أُعْطِيَ مَسْأَلَتَهُ، وَمَنْ زَادَ زَادَهُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ.

On the first of Rajab, (Prophet) Noah (‘a) embarked on the Ark; he therefore ordered those who accompanied him to fast on that day. If one fasts on this day in Rajab, Hellfire will go away from him a distance of one year on foot. If one fasts for seven days of Rajab, the seven gates of the Fire will close in his face. If one fasts for eight days of Rajab, the eight gates of Paradise will be wide open before him. If one fasts for fifteen days, his request will be granted. If one fasts for more days, he will gain more rewards from Almighty Allah.5

Rites of Rajab

Shaykh al-Qummi, in Mafatih al-Jinan, has divided the rites of Rajab into two sections.

The first section comprises the general rites that one is advised to practice each day of the month. These rites are as follows:

Supplications

A number of supplications with highly regarded contents should be recited every day of Rajab as reported from Imam Zayn al-’Abidin, Imam al-Sadiq, and Imam al-Mahdi, peace be upon them all.6

Formulas of Ziyarah

There is a special formula of ziyarah that can be read when visiting the tombs of all the Holy Imams (‘a) which is known as al-ziyarah al-rajabiyyah (i.e. the ziyarah of Rajab).7

Litanies

Various formulas seeking forgiveness are reported for every day in Rajab, such as the following one, which should be repeated one hundred times followed by almsgiving:

I ask the forgiveness of Allah. There is no god save Him, He is alone without any partner, and I repent before Him.8

ا سْتَغْفِرُ ٱللّهَ ٱلَّذِي لاَ إِلٰهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ وَحْدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَا تُوبُ إِلَيْهِ.

The following litany is advised to be repeated one thousand times every day in Rajab:

There is no god save Allah.

لاَ إِلٰهَ إِلاَّ ٱللّهُ.

Another litany that is advised is repeating one hundred times every day in Rajab is the following:

Glory be to God, the All-majestic. Glory be to Him other than Whom none should be glorified. Glory be to the All-honorable, the All-dignified. Glory be to Him Who has dressed Himself with grandeur that fits none but Him.

سُبْحَانَ الإِلٰهِ ٱلْجَلِيلِ سُبْحَانَ مَنْ لاَ يَنْبَغِي ٱلتَّسْبِيحُ إِلاَّ لَهُ سُبْحَانَ ٱلا عَزِّ ٱلا كْرَمِ سُبْحَانَ مَنْ لَبِسَ ٱلْعِزَّ وَهُوَ لَهُ ا هْلٌ.

Reports advise that one who is incapable of fasting during the month of Rajab may repeat this litany one hundred times each day.9

Recitation of the Holy Qur'an

It is highly recommended to recite the Holy Qur'an in general and in particular to repeat Surah al-Tawhid ten thousand times throughout this month.10

Likewise, it is recommended to repeat the following Surahs and litanies three times each day and each night in the months of Rajab, Sha’ban, and Ramadhan:

Surah al-Fatihah, Ayat al-Kursi, Surah al-Kafirun, Surah al-Tawhid, Surah al-Falaq, Surah al-Nas, and the following litany:

سُبْحَانَ ٱللّهِ وَٱلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ وَلاَ إِلٰهَ إِلاَّ ٱللّهُ وَٱللّهُ ا كْبَرُ وَلاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِٱللّهِ ٱلْعَلِيِّ ٱلْعَظِيمِ.

All glory be to Allah; all praise be to Allah; there is no god save Allah; Allah is the Greatest; and there is neither might nor power save with Allah, the All-high the All-great.

The following invocation:

اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ.

O Allah, send blessings upon Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad.

The following supplication:

O Allah, (please do) forgive the believing men and women.

اَللَّهُمَّ ٱغْفِرْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ.

The following prayer of forgiveness, four hundred times:

I pray to Allah for forgiveness and I repent before Him.

ا سْتَغْفِرُ ٱللّهَ وَا تُوبُ إِلَيْهِ.

Whoever does the above, will have all his sins forgiven, no matter how many they are.

This rite combines recitations of the Holy Qur'an with litanies and supplications.

Multiform Prayers

On each night of Rajab, it is recommended to offer the following prayers:

A two-unit prayer, in each unit of which Surah al-Fatihah is recited once and Surah al-Tawhid one hundred times,

A ten-unit prayer, in each unit of which Surah al-Fatihah is recited once, Surah al-Kafirun once, and Surah al-Tawhid three times.

A sixty-unit prayer, of which a two unit prayer is offered on each night of the month In each unit Surah al-Fatihah is recited once, Surah al-Kafirun three times, and Surah al-Tawhid once. Upon completion, the hands should be raised towards the sky and the following litany recited:

لاَ إِلٰهَ إِلاَّ ٱللّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ ٱلْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ ٱلْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ وَهُوَ حَيٌّ لاَ يَمُوتُ بِيَدِهِ ٱلْخَيْرُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ ٱلنَّبِيِّ ٱلا مِّيِّ وَآلِهِ.

There is no god save Allah, the One and Only, without any partner. To him is the kingdom and to Him is all praise. He gives life and causes to die while He is Ever-living and never dies. In His hand is the good and He has power over all things O Allah, (please) bless Muhammad, the Meccan Prophet, and his Household.

It is then recommended to pass one’s hands over the face while saying the last sentence of this litany. A great reward awaits those who offer these prayers.11

The Second Section deals with devotional acts performed on the special nights and days of Rajab. The most important of these acts are as follows:

Acts of the First Night and Day of Rajab

On the first day of Rajab, it is recommended to fast. Next, say a special supplication on sighting the new moon (at night), then bathe, visit Imam Husayn (‘a) (at night and during the day) as has been previously instructed, and offer a twenty-unit prayer after the obligatory sunset prayer, in each unit of which Surah al-Fatihah and Surah al-Tawhid should be recited.

The first night of Rajab is one of the four nights (of the year) that should be spent in acts of worship.

On this night, a thirty-unit prayer, in each unit of which Surah al-Fatihah is recited once, Surah al-Kafirun once, and Surah al-Tawhid three times, should be offered. There is also another prayer of two units, in each unit of which Surah al-Fatihah is recited once and Surah al-Inshirah (No. 94) three times. A supplication reported from Imam al-Jawad (‘a) is said in addition to other acts.12

In addition to fasting on the first day of Rajab, the famous thirty-unit prayer of Salman al-Farsi is started on this day by offering ten units, the second ten units are offered on the fifteenth, and the third on the last day of the month. This highly regarded prayer is followed by a litany and a supplication.13

Salat al-Ragha'ib (Prayer of Desires)

On the first Thursday night of Rajab, after fasting during the day, it is highly recommended to offer the twelve-unit prayer known as Salat al-Ragha'ib, which is offered in the period between sunset and the early night prayer. Upon accomplishment of this prayer, it is recommended to repeat the invocation of Almighty Allah’s blessings upon the Holy Prophet and his Household seventy times:

اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ.

O Allah, send blessings upon Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad.

Then, one should prostrate and repeat the following litany seventy times:

Glorified (is He). Holy (is He). (He is) the Lord of the angels and the Spirit.

سُبُّوحٌ قُدُّوسٌ رَبُّ ٱلْمَلاَئِكَةِ وَٱلرُّوحِ.

Then, raise the head from the prostration and repeat the following litany seventy times:

O my Lord, (please) forgive (me), have mercy (upon me), and overlook (my wrongdoings) that You know. Surely, You are the Most High, the Greatest.

رَبِّ ٱغْفِرْ وَٱرْحَمْ وَتَجَاوَزْ عَمَّا تَعْلَمُ إنَّكَ اَنْتَ ٱلْعَلِيُّ ٱلاَعْظَمُ.

One may then return to the prostration position and repeat the same litany seventy times:

Glorified (is He). Holy (is He). (He is) the Lord of the angels and the Spirit.

سُبُّوحٌ قُدُّوسٌ رَبُّ ٱلْمَلاَئِكَةِ وَٱلرُّوحِ.

Then, one may pray to Almighty Allah to grant him his requests, which will be granted if Allah wills.

About this prayer, the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said:

I swear this by Him Who grasps my soul in His Hand: no male or female servant (of Allah) offers this prayer but that Allah shall certainly forgive all his or her sins even if they are as much as the foam of seas. He/she shall gain the right to intercede for seven hundred persons from his/her relatives already sentenced to Hellfire.14

Prayer on the Bright (Moonlit) Nights of Rajab, Sha’ban, and Ramadhan

It has been reported that whoever offers this prayer will win the merits of the three months and will have all his sins, except polytheism, forgiven by Almighty Allah. Two units of this prayer may be offered on the thirteenth night, four units on the fourteenth, and six on the fifteenth. In each unit, Surah al-Fatihah, Surah Yasin (No. 36), Surah al-Mulk (No. 67) and Surah al-Tawhid are recited once. Each couple of units should be separated from the next couple by the Taslim statement.

On the fifteenth day of Rajab, the famous devotional act known as the Ummi-Dawud Rite may be done. This practice begins by fasting on the fifteenth day, reciting the Holy Qur'an and offering supplicatory prayers. Its advantage is that it contributes to having one’s requests granted by Almighty Allah, relieves one’s agonies, and saves one from the harm of tyrannical rulers. Details of this practice have been mentioned in Mafatih al-Jinan. It is highly recommended to fast on the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth of Rajab.

Rites of the Night of Mid-Rajab

On the fifteenth night of Rajab, it is recommended to take the ritual bath (ghusl), visit Imam Husayn (‘a), offer the second part of the prayer of Salman al-Farsi, offer another special prayer, and say a supplication that is dedicated to this day, and spend the whole night in devotional acts. Moreover, this night shares with the twenty-seventh night of the month in a special prayer.

Rites of the Twenty-Seventh Night and Day of Rajab

A previous reference has been made to this day, which is celebrated by the Shi’ah as the Day of the Divine Mission.

About the rewards of the rites that are practiced on the twenty-seventh night of Rajab, Imam al-Jawad (‘a) is reported to have said:

There is a night in Rajab, which carries for people goodness that is more beneficial to them than whatever is exposed to sunlight. It is the twenty-seventh night in the morning of which the Holy Prophet’s Divine Mission started. Verily, one who does acts of worship on this night will have the same reward as one who has worshipped Almighty Allah for sixty years.

When the Imam (‘a) was asked about the rites to be practiced on this night, he answered:

After you offer the Evening Prayer if you take a nap, you will wake up at any hour before midnight. You may then offer a twelve-unit prayer, in each unit of which you may recite Surah al-Fatihah and any other short Surah from the Mufassal, which begins with Surah Muhammad (No. 47) up to the end of the Holy Qur'an. You should separate each couple of units with the Taslim statement. After accomplishing this prayer, you should recite Surahs al-Fatihah, al-Falaq, al-Nas, al-Tawhid, al-Kafirun, al-Qadr, and Ayat al-Kursi each seven times. After all this, you should say the following doxology and supplication:

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ ٱلَّذِي لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَداً وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي ٱلْمُلْكِ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ وَلِيٌّ مِنَ ٱلذُّلِّ وَكَبِّرْهُ تَكْبِيراً اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي ا سْا لُكَ بِمَعَاقِدِ عِزِّكَ عَلَىٰ ا رْكَانِ عَرْشِكَ وَمُنْتَهَىٰ ٱلرَّحْمَةِ مِنْ كِتَابِكَ وَبِٱسْمِكَ ٱلا عْظَمِ ٱلا عْظَمِ ٱلا عْظَمِ وَذِكْرِكَ ٱلا عْلَىٰ ٱلا عْلَىٰ ٱلا عْلَىٰ وَبِكَلِمَاتِكَ ٱلتَّامَّاتِ ا نْ تُصَلِّيَ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ وَا نْ تَفْعَلَ بِي مَا ا نْتَ ا هْلُهُ.

All praise be to Allah, Who has not taken to Himself any son, and Who has no partner in sovereignty, nor has He any protecting friend through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence. O Allah, verily I beseech You in the name of Your Dignity on the pillars of Your Throne, and in the name of Your utmost Mercy in Your Book. I beseech You in the name of Your Name—the Greatest, the Greatest, the Greatest, and in the name of Your Mention—the Highest, the Highest, the Highest, and in the name of Your Words, the perfect, that You may bless Muhammad and his Household and do with me that which befits You.

You may then submit your desires.15

On this night too, it is recommended to perform the ritual bath, visit Imam ‘Ali (‘a), and offer the prayer to which an earlier reference has been made within the rites regarding the night of mid-Rajab.16

On the last day of Rajab, it is recommended to offer the rest of the units of the prayer of Salman al-Farsi, perform the ritual bath, and fast, for this deed contributes to having all the sins forgiven, both the past and the coming.17

The Month of Sha’ban

Merits of Sha’ban

Many traditions have been reported about the merits of the month of Sha’ban and the great rewards obtained from practicing devotional acts during it. The Holy Prophet (S), to whom this month is attributed, used to fast during this month and encourage others to imitate him by connecting the fasting of this month with the obligatory fasting of Ramadhan.

Shaykh al-Qummi has referred, yet briefly, to some of these traditions.

Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn Zayn al-’Abidin (‘a) used to gather all his companions at the beginning of Sha’ban and say to them, “O my companions, do you know what this month is? It is Sha’ban. The Holy Prophet (S) used to say, ‘Sha’ban is my month.’ You should thus fast during this month as a sign of your love for your Prophet (S) and as a sign of seeking nearness to your Lord. I swear by Him, Who grasps my soul in His Hand, that I heard my father Husayn (‘a), saying that he heard Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful (‘a), saying: ‘Any one who fasts during Sha’ban for the love of the Messenger of Allah (S) to seek nearness to Almighty Allah, Almighty Allah will love him, and draw him nearer to Himself on the Day of Resurrection, and definitely reward him with Paradise.’”18

Shaykh al-Tusi has narrated on the authority of Safwan al-Jammal that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) instructed him to urge all people that he knew to fast during Sha’ban.

“May Allah accept me as ransom for you! There is a reason for this instruction. Is there not?” asked Safwan al-Jammal.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) answered:

Yes, there is. When his eyes fell on the new moon of Sha’ban, the Messenger of Allah (S) ordered somebody to declare the following to the people of al-Madinah:

“O people of Yathrib, I bring the message of Allah’s Messenger (S) to you all. Verily, Sha’ban is my month; therefore, may Allah have mercy upon him who helps me undertake my month.”

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) then added:

The Commander of the Faithful (Imam ‘Ali) used to say, ‘I never missed fasting during Sha’ban since I heard the call of the Messenger of Allah (S) about this month. Furthermore, I shall never miss it as long as I am alive, Allah willing.’

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) further said:

To fast for two consecutive months is considered as Almighty Allah’s acceptance of one’s repentance.19

Isma’il ibn ‘Abd al-Khaliq narrated that when the subject of fasting during Sha’ban was once discussed in the presence of him, Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a) said:

The merits of fasting during Sha’ban are so great that even one who sheds inviolable blood is expected to be forgiven.20

Through a valid chain of authority, Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported that al-Halabi, once, asked Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) whether any of his fathers fasted during Sha’ban.

He was thus answered as follows:

The best of all my fathers did. That is, the Holy Messenger (S).21

According to another tradition also reported by Shaykh al-Kulayni through a valid chain of authority, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has said:

When they had some days to fast, the wives of the Holy Prophet (S) would postpone them to the month of Sha’ban so that they would not prevent him from getting what he might want from them. In Sha’ban, they and the Holy Prophet (S) would fast. The Holy Prophet (S) used to say, “Sha’ban is my month.”22

In man-la-yahdhuruhu’l-faqih, Shaykh al-Saduq has reported through a valid chain of authority from some scholars—and others from other chains of authority—that Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said:

Whoever fasts during the month of Sha’ban, his fasting will purify him of all oaths and vows made to commit disobedience including oaths uttered in anger. When a person regrets such oaths, this acts as an apology for them.23

In Thawab al-A’mal, Shaykh al-Saduq has also reported, through a valid chain of authority on the authority of Isma’il ibn Ziyad on the authority of Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), that the Holy Prophet (S) said:

شَعْبَانُ شَهْرِي، وَرَمَضَانُ شَهْرُ اللهِ وَهُوَ رَبِيعُ الْفُقَرَاءِ. وَإِنَّمَا جُعِلَ الأَضْحَى لِيَشْبَعَ مَسَاكِينُكُمْ مِنَ اللَّحْمِ فَأَطْعِمُوهُمْ.

Sha’ban is my month and Ramadhan is the month of Allah. It is also the springtime of the poor. The ‘«d al-Adhha Feast has been established so that the indigent among you may eat their fill of meat; therefore, you should serve them with meat.24

It has been also narrated that fasting during the month of Sha’ban is one of the means of gaining the Holy Prophet’s intercession on the Day of Resurrection25 and to fast during as many days as possible of this month improves one’s livelihood, protects against the evil of enemies, and allows entrance to Paradise.26

Rites of Sha’ban

As usual, Shaykh al-Qummi has divided the rites of Sha’ban into two sections: The first section involves the general rites that are practiced each day in the month without distinction, while the second section involves the particular rites that are dedicated to certain days and nights of the month.

The rites of the earlier section can be summarized thus:

Fasting

The most important and highlighted rite in the month of Sha’ban is fasting, which is the distinctive feature of this month, as understood by the abovementioned traditions.

Litanies

On every day of Sha’ban, it is highly recommended to say certain litanies, especially implorations seeking forgiveness. According to several traditions, it is greatly encouraged to implore Almighty Allah for forgiveness seventy times a day. One who practices it regularly will be included in the Holy Prophet’s group on the Day of Resurrection and gain the nearness of Almighty Allah. He will be granted remission of Hellfire and permission to pass the Discriminating Bridge (sirat) into Paradise and the Abode of Settlement and have all his sins forgiven by Almighty Allah, even if they be as many as the stars in the sky.

Other traditions have confirmed that to repeat the prayer seeking forgiveness seventy times a day in Sha’ban is equal to repeating it seventy thousand times during other months. The formula of this prayer may be one of the following:

I seek the forgiveness of Allah and I pray to Him for approval of my repentance.

ا سْتَغْفِرُ ٱللّهَ وَا سْا لُهُ ٱلتَّوْبَةَ.

ا سْتَغْفِرُ ٱللّهَ ٱلَّذِي لاَ إِلٰهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ ٱلرَحْمٰنُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ ٱلْحَيُّ ٱلْقَيُّوْمُ وَا تُوبُ إِلَيْهِ.

I seek forgiveness of Allah, there is no god save Whom, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful, the Ever-living, the Everlasting, and to Him I turn repentant.27

Another litany that is reported directly from the Holy Prophet (S) in Sayyid Ibn Tawus’s Iqbal al-A’mal is recommended to be repeated one thousand times every day during the month of Sha’ban for great reward:

لاَ إِلٰهَ إِلاَّ ٱللّهُ وَلاَ نَعْبُدُ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ ٱلدِّينَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ ٱلْمُشْرِكُونَ.

There is no god save Allah; and we serve none save Him, being sincere to Him in obedience, though the unbelievers are averse.28

Almsgiving

Because Sha’ban is described by some traditions as the springtime of the poor, it is highly recommended to give as many alms as possible during this month. Other traditions describe almsgiving in Sha’ban as follows:

Verily, if any one of you gives alms in Sha’ban, Almighty Allah will breed and multiply those alms in the very same way you breed your camels. Hence, these alms will be as huge as Mount Uhud on the Day of Resurrection.29

Moreover, to give alms in this month, even if they be as small as a half date, brings about release from Hellfire.30

Invocations of Blessings upon the Holy Prophet and his Household

During the month of Sha’ban, it is highly recommended to invoke Almighty Allah’s blessings upon the Holy Prophet and his Household as much as possible. In this respect, Ahmad ibn ‘«sa, in his book of al-Nawadir, has reported through a valid chain of authority that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

رَجَبٌ شَهْرُ الإسْتِغْفَارِ لأُِمَّتِي. أَكْثِرُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الإسْتِغْفَارِ، فَإِنَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ… وَأَكْثِرُوا فِي شَعْبَانَ مِنَ الصَّلَوَاتِ عَلَى نَبِيِّكُمْ… وَإِنَّمَا سُمِّيَ شَعْبَانُ شَهْرَ الشَّفَاعَةِ لأَِنَّ رَسُولَكُمْ يَشْفَعُ لِكُلِّ مَنْ يُصَلِّي عَلَيْهِ فِيهِ.

For my people, Rajab is the month of praying for forgiveness; therefore, implore Almighty Allah for forgiveness in this month as frequently as possible. In Sha’ban, invoke Almighty Allah’s blessings upon your Prophet as many times as possible. The month of Sha’ban is called the month of intercession, because your Messenger will intercede for every one who invokes Almighty Allah’s blessing upon him in this month.31

Some traditions carry a wonderful formula of invoking Almighty Allah’s blessings upon the Holy Prophet and his Household in the month of Sha’ban along with a magnificent supplication through which the suppliant seeks the mediation of the Holy Prophet (S).32

Supplications and Whispered Prayers (Munajat)

There are special supplications and whispered prayers to be said on every day of Sha’ban. Although traditions have not referred to certain supplications in this respect, the Whispered Prayer (Munajat) that is reported by Ibn Khalawayh who ascribes it to Imam ‘Ali (‘a) and the Holy Imams (‘a) is familiarly known. This piece of whispered prayer, known as al-Munajat al-Sha’baniyyah, contains highly regarded Gnostic statements.33

The second section involves the rites to be done on special nights and days of Sha’ban. Books of ziyarah and recommended acts, as well as some traditions, reveal that there are five times in which special interest should be taken. These times are as follows:

First: The first night and day of Sha’ban

Much emphasis has been laid on fasting on the first day of Sha’ban. Sayyid Ibn Tawus has mentioned a prayer to be offered on the first three nights of this month.

Second: Thursdays of Sha’ban

There is a special two-unit prayer, in each unit of which Surah al-Fatihah is recited once and Surah al-Tawhid repeated one hundred times to be offered on the Thursdays of Sha’ban. Upon completion, the invocation of Almighty Allah’s blessings upon the Holy Prophet and his Household is repeated one hundred times. Once this prayer is offered, all the requests of this world and the Next World will be granted.

Third: The Third of Sha’ban

Shaykh al-Tusi, in Misbah al-Mutahajjid, has reported on the authority of Imam al-Hasan al-’Askari (‘a) the recommendation of fasting on the third of Sha’ban, which is the birth anniversary of Imam Husayn (‘a). On this day too, there is a special supplication to be said. In fact, this supplication involves statements of beseeching Almighty Allah in the name of Imam Husayn (‘a) and the Holy Imams (‘a). It also holds highly regarded contents that express loyalty to Imam Husayn (‘a) and the Holy Imams (‘a) and commitment to their course.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to recommend saying the supplication that Imam Husayn (‘a) said on ‘Ashura' after he had been surrounded by the enemies.34

Fourth: The mid-Sha’ban Night

Previous references given in the section regarding specific nights and days confirm the merits and rites of this night.

Fifth: The Last Days and the Last Night of Sha’ban

About these days, Imam al-Ridha (‘a) is reported to have said: If one fasts during the last three days of Sha’ban in order to attach it to the obligatory fasting of Ramadhan, Almighty Allah will determine that he has fasted for two consecutive months.35

Abu’l-Salt al-Harawi has narrated that when he visited Imam al-Ridha (‘a) on the last Friday of Sha’ban, the Imam said to him:

O Abu’l-Salt, the majority of the days of Sha’ban have passed. This is its last Friday. You should thus make up for what you have missed in this month by working hard in the rest. You may supplicate, implore forgiveness of Almighty Allah, recite the Holy Qur'an, and repent to Almighty Allah for your sins so that you arrive at the month of Ramadhan with pure sincerity to Him. You must fulfill all the trusts that you are responsible for settling, you must not bear malice against any of your brethren-in-faith, and you must give up any sin that you commit. Fear Almighty Allah and trust Him secretly and openly, for ‘If any one puts his trust in Allah, then Allah shall be a sufficient protector for him. Allah will surely accomplish his purpose. Verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.’(65:3)

In the rest of the days of Sha’ban, you may repeat much the following supplication, for Almighty Allah saves many people from Hellfire on account of the sanctity of this month:

O Allah, If You have not forgiven us in the past days of Sha’ban, (please do) forgive us in the rest of it.36

اَللَّهُمَّ إِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ غَفَرْتَ لَنَا فِيمَا مَضَىٰ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ فَٱغْفِرْ لَنَا فِيمَا بَقِيَ مِنْهُ.

Likewise, a supplication to be said on the last night of Sha’ban and the first night of Ramadhan is reported from Imam al-Sadiq (‘a).37

The Month Of Ramadhan

Merits of Ramadhan

Traditions have described Ramadhan as the most preferred of all months without exception. The Holy Qur'an reads:

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ(185)

The month of Ramadhan is that in which the Qur'an was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the distinction. (2:185)

Another reason is that it contains the Night of Qadr, which is more preferred than one thousand months. It is also a blessed night on which all divine decrees are decided.

Almighty Allah has imposed fasting during this month because of its excellence and high regard so that people pay more attention to it.

Ramadhan is thus the month of:

Fasting

Patience and devotional acts, because there are many supererogatory prayers and rites to be carried out during this month

Devotional confinement to mosques (i’tikaf)

The Holy Qur'an and the learning of religious laws and beliefs

Supplications, whispered prayers, and litanies

Almsgiving and generous spending

Struggle with the self and against enemies

Repentance

Forgiveness and mercy

Release from Hellfire and gaining of Paradise

One of the most magnificent texts about the merits and excellences of Ramadhan may be the Holy Prophet’s famous sermon that he (S) delivered on the last Friday of Sha’ban to make people realize the actual standing of the month of Ramadhan.

This sermon has been reported by Shaykh al-Saduq in his two books of al-Amali and ‘Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha through a highly valid chain of authority known as the Golden Chain of Authority:38

أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّهُ قَدْ أَقْبَلَ إِلَيْكُمْ شَهْرُ اللَّهِ بِالْبَرَكَةِ وَالرَّحْمَةِ وَالْمَغْفِرَةِ شَهْرٌ هُوَعِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَفْضَلُ الشُّهُورِ وَأَيَّامُهُ أَفْضَلُ الأَيَّامِ وَلَيَالِيهِ أَفْضَلُ اللَّيَالِي وَسَاعَاتُهُ أَفْضَلُ السَّاعَاتِ هُوَشَهْرٌ دُعِيتُمْ فِيهِ إِلَى ضِيَافَةِ اللَّهِ وَجُعِلْتُمْ فِيهِ مِنْ أَهْلِ كَرَامَةِ اللَّهِ أَنْفَاسُكُمْ فِيهِ تَسْبِيحٌ وَنَوْمُكُمْ فِيهِ عِبَادَةٌ وَعَمَلُكُمْ فِيهِ مَقْبُولٌ وَدُعَاؤُكُمْ فِيهِ مُسْتَجَابٌ فَسَلُوا اللَّهَ رَبَّكُمْ بِنِيَّاتٍ صَادِقَةٍ وَقُلُوبٍ طَاهِرَةٍ أَنْ يُوَفِّقَكُمْ لِصِيَامِهِ وَتِلاوَةِ كِتَابِهِ فَإِنَّ الشَّقِيَّ مَنْ حُرِمَ غُفْرَانَ اللَّهِ فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ الْعَظِيمِ وَاذْكُرُوا بِجُوعِكُمْ وَعَطَشِكُمْ فِيهِ جُوعَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَعَطَشَهُ وَتَصَدَّقُوا عَلَى فُقَرَائِكُمْ وَمَسَاكِينِكُمْ وَ قِّرُوا كِبَارَكُمْ وَارْحَمُوا صِغَارَكُمْ وَصِلُوا أَرْحَامَكُمْ وَاحْفَظُوا أَلْسِنَتَكُمْ وَغُضُّوا عَمَّا لا يَحِلُّ النَّظَرُ إِلَيْهِ أَبْصَارَكُمْ وَعَمَّا لا يَحِلُّ الاسْتَِماعُ إِلَيْهِ أَسْمَاعَكُمْ وَتَحَنَّنُوا عَلَى أَيْتَامِ النَّاسِ يُتَحَنَّنْ عَلَى أَيْتَامِكُمْ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ مِنْ ذُنُوبِكُمْ وَارْفَعُوا إِلَيْهِ أَيْدِيَكُمْ بِالدُّعَاءِ فِي أَوْقَاتِ صَلَوَاتِكُمْ فَإِنَّهَا أَفْضَلُ السَّاعَاتِ يَنْظُرُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِيهَا بِالرَّحْمَةِ إِلَى عِبَادِهِ يُجِيبُهُمْ إِذَا نَاجَوْهُ وَيُلَبِّيهِمْ إِذَا نَادَوْهُ وَيَسْتَجِيبُ لَهُمْ إِذَا دَعَوْهُ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ أَنْفُسَكُمْ مَرْهُونَةٌ بِأَعْمَالِكُمْ فَفُكُّوهَا بِاسْتِغْفَارِكُمْ وَظُهُورُكُمْ ثَقِيلَةٌ مِنْ أَوْزَارِكُمْ فَخَفِّفُوا عَنْهَا بِطُولِ سُجُودِكُمْ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى ذِكْرُهُ أَقْسَمَ بِعِزَّتِهِ أَنْ لا يُعَذِّبَ الْمُصَلِّينَ وَالسَّاجِدِينَ وَأَنْ لا يُرَوِّعَهُمْ بِالنَّارِ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ النَّاسُ لِرَبِّ الْعالَمِينَ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ مَنْ فَطَّرَ مِنْكُمْ صَائِماً مُؤْمِناً فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ كَانَ لَهُ بِذَلِكَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عِتْقُ رَقَبَةٍ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ لِمَا مَضَى مِنْ ذُنُوبِهِ.

O people, the month of Allah (Ramadhan) has come to you with blessings, mercy, and forgiveness. This is the noblest of the months to Him. Its days are the noblest of days. Its nights are noblest of the nights. It is the month in which you are invited to be Allah’s guests. You have been established as those honored by Him in this month. Your breathing in this month is considered words of His glorification, your sleeping is worship, your deeds are accepted by Him, and your supplications to Him are fulfilled. Then, ask Allah, your Lord, with sincere intentions and pure hearts to help you succeed in fasting this month and reciting His Book.

Whoever is deprived of Allah’s forgiveness in this great month is at a real loss. Remember the thirst and hunger of the Day of Resurrection through this thirst and hunger. Give charity to your poor and indigent ones, respect your elder ones, be kind to the younger ones, visit your relations of kin, watch your tongues, lower your eyes against what they are forbidden to look at, and guard your ears against what they are forbidden to hear. Be kind to other people’s orphans so that others may be kind to your orphans. Repent before Allah for your sins.

Raise your hands up towards Him in supplication at the times of prayer. These times are the noblest of the hours during which the Honorable and Exalted God looks upon His servants with mercy, responds when they make supplications to Him, replies to them when they call Him, and fulfills for them what they ask for. O people, you are tied down by your deeds. Free yourselves by means of supplications. Your backs are overburdened with your sins. Make them lighter by means of extended prostrations.

Know that the Sublime God has sworn by His Honor that He will not punish or throw into Hellfire those who pray and fall in prostration on the Day on which all the people will rise for the Lord of the Worlds. O people, the reward with the Honorable and Exalted God for whoever provides for the breaking of the fast of any believer in this month is like that of freeing a slave and the forgiveness of all past sins.

The people said, “O Prophet of God, not all of us are able to do that.”

Then, the Holy Prophet (S) answered:

اتَّقُوا النَّارَ وَلَوْ بِشِقِّ تَمْرَةٍ. إتَّقُوا النَّارَ وَلَوْ بِشَرْبَةٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ. أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ مَنْ حَسُنَ مِنْكُمْ فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ خُلُقُهُ كَانَ لَهُ جَوَازاً عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ يَوْمَ تَزِلُّ فِيهِ الأَقْدَامُ وَمَنْ خَفَّفَ فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ عَمَّا مَلَكَتْ يَمِينُهُ خَفَّفَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ حِسَابَهُ وَمَنْ كَفَّ فِيهِ شَرَّهُ كَفَّ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ غَضَبَهُ يَوْمَ يَلْقَاهُ وَمَنْ أَكْرَمَ فِيهِ يَتِيماً أَكْرَمَهُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ يَلْقَاهُ وَمَنْ وَصَلَ فِيهِ رَحِمَهُ وَصَلَهُ اللَّهُ بِرَحْمَتِهِ يَوْمَ يَلْقَاهُ وَمَنْ قَطَعَ فِيهِ رَحِمَهُ قَطَعَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ رَحْمَتَهُ يَوْمَ يَلْقَاهُ وَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ فِيهِ بِصَلاةٍ كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَهُ بَرَاءَةً مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَنْ أَدَّى فِيهِ فَرْضاً كَانَ لَهُ ثَوَابُ مَنْ أَدَّى سَبْعِينَ فَرِيضَةً فِيَما سِوَاهُ مِنَ الشُّهُورِ وَمَنْ أَكْثَرَ فِيهِ مِنَ الصَّلاةِ عَلَيَّ ثَقَّلَ اللَّهُ مِيزَانَهُ يَوْمَ تَخِفُّ الْمَوَازِينُ وَمَنْ تَلا فِيهِ آيَةً مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِ مَنْ خَتَمَ الْقُرْآنَ فِي غَيْرِهِ مِنَ الشُّهُورِ. أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ أَبْوَابَ الْجِنَانِ فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ مُفَتَّحَةٌ فَسَلُوا رَبَّكُمْ أَنْ لا يُغَلِّقَهَا عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَبْوَابَ النِّيرَانِ مُغَلَّقَةٌ فَسَلُوا رَبَّكُمْ أَنْ لا يُفَتِّحَهَا عَلَيْكُمْ وَالشَّيَاطِينَ مَغْلُولَةٌ فَسَلُوا رَبَّكُمْ أَنْ لا يُسَلِّطَهَا عَلَيْكُمْ.

Fend off the Fire from yourselves (by providing for the breaking of the fast of any believer) even if it be with a piece of a date. Fend off the Fire from yourselves (by providing for the breaking of the fast of any believer) even if it be with a sip of water. O people, whoever behaves courteously in this month will easily cross the Discriminating Bridge on the Day of Judgment on which one’s steps are not firm. Allah will ease the reckoning of whoever takes it easy with those whom his right hand possesses (i.e. servants) in this month. On the Day one meets Him, Allah will withhold His Wrath from whoever controls his wickedness in this month. On the Day one meets Him, Allah will honor whoever honors an orphan in this month. On the Day one meets Him, Allah will shower His mercy upon whoever maintains family ties in this month. Allah will deprive of His mercy whoever breaks off his family ties in this month. He will record release from Hellfire for whoever offers even a single unit of recommendable prayers.

The reward of whoever carries out an obligatory duty in this month is seventy times as much as that of one who carries out the same duty in other months. The Balance of Deeds of whoever invokes Allah’s blessings upon me a lot will be more positive on the Day of Judgment on which the Balance of Deeds of some people will be negative. The reward of whoever recites one verse of the Qur'an in this month is like the reward of one who recites the whole Qur'an in other months. O people, the gates of Paradise are open in this month. Therefore, ask your Lord not to close them in your faces. Similarly, the gates of Hellfire are closed. Therefore, ask your Lord not to open them up to you. Satan is chained down. Therefore, ask your Lord not to let him overcome you.

The Commander of the Faithful (Imam ‘Ali (‘a)) said, “I stood up and said, ‘O Prophet of Allah, what are the noblest of deeds in this month?’

The Holy Prophet (S) said:

يَا أَبَا الْحَسَنِ أَفْضَلُ الأَعْمَالِ فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ الْوَرَعُ عَن مَحَارِمِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ.

O Abu’l-Hasan, the noblest of deeds in this month are abstaining from what the Honorable and Exalted God has forbidden…39

Delineation the merits of the month of Ramadhan is too vast to be covered in this book because this month holds a special significance and the traditions about its merits are numerous. However, the most important topics that are covered by the abovementioned sermon of the Holy Prophet (S), as well as the traditions of the Holy Imams (‘a) can be summarized in the following points:

1. One should take advantage of this blessed month in which all rites gain special meaning, quantity and quality. In this great devotional season, punishments for evil acts and rewards for kind acts are multiplied. Finally, a golden opportunity to change all past activities into righteous acts or even into the highest ranks of righteousness is available in this month.

2. Fasting during this month does not only mean abstaining from eating and drinking, but also from all forbidden evil acts in addition to turning away from all weaknesses and flaws.

3. In this month, diversity in devotional acts and a practical demonstration of the deeds that take one nearer to Almighty Allah are visible in the coming presentation of the devotional acts and rites of this month.

4. An all-inclusive and comprehensive practical course of worship has been set up in this month to accelerate the devotional practices to cover the entire time of this month.

5. As has been previously cited in our discussion of the Night of Qadr within the particular days and nights of the year, Almighty Allah, in this month in general and on the Night of Qadr in particular, makes crucial decisions about man’s destiny and the descent of His mercy upon His creatures.

6. In this month, man is spiritually, morally, and ethically equipped for resuming higher and more perfect activity after ‘«d al-Fitr.

All Muslims pay much attention to the month of Ramadhan. As a result, this month, in its totality, identifies Muslims and distinguishes them from all other nations and groups.

However, the course that has been established by the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) is still different in particularities and details from the devotional courses adopted by other Muslims for this month.

Rites of Ramadhan

The rites of Ramadhan can be divided into two main parts. We will try to restrict our discussion to mentioning the titles of these rites along with a reference to their contents, leaving the details, which are too many, to the famous Shaykh al-Qummi’s Mafatih al-Jinan.

The first part of the devotional acts of Ramadhan involves the common devotional acts that are practiced throughout this month without distinction as to the day.

The second part involves the devotional acts that are dedicated to certain nights or days of the month.

First Part: The Common Devotional Acts of Ramadhan

This part is further subdivided into four sections:

• Devotional Acts Common to the Nights and Days

• Devotional Acts Common to the Nights

• Devotional Acts Common to Early Dawn

• Devotional Acts Common to Daytime

Devotional Acts Common to the Nights and Days

Authors of books on supplications and devotional acts have mentioned a number of acts, some of which are as follows:

Supplications after each obligatory prayer or at all times

Shaykh al-Qummi has cited three supplications to be said after the obligatory prayers and one supplication to be recited at any time. This supplication is known as Du’a' al-Hajj.40

These four supplications comprise highly regarded contents, including implorations to gain divine permission to perform the ritual Hajj Pilgrimage, to observe the Night of Qadr as it should be observed, to be released from Hellfire, to gain Paradise, to have one’s sustenance expanded, and to concern oneself with solving the problems of Muslims and achieving their interests.41 Shaykh al-Kulayni and Shaykh al-Saduq, through a valid chain of authority, have mentioned another supplication with more details.42

Recitation of the Holy Qur'an

It is highly recommended to recite, read, and ponder over the Holy Qur'an as much as possible during the month of Ramadhan. According to some traditions, although it is recommended to read the whole Qur'an once every month during other days and months, it is more highly recommended to read the whole Qur'an once every three days in Ramadhan.43

Through a valid chain of authority, Shaykh al-Kulayni has stated that Imam Musa al-Kazim (‘a) deemed recommended reading the Holy Qur'an entirely once or even more every day or night of Ramadhan. Then, the Imam (‘a) mentioned a great reward for dedicating the reward of such entire recitation to the Holy Prophet and Imams (‘a). One of these rewards is the dedicator will be included with their group on the Day of Resurrection.44

Litanies

It is recommended to engage in repeating words of seeking forgiveness from Almighty Allah (istighfar), glorifying Him (tasbih), praising Him (hamd), and professing that He is the One and Only God (tahlil) and the Most Great (takbir). It is reported that when the month of Ramadhan begins, Imam Zayn al-’Abidin (‘a) would utter no other words than words of tasbih, istighfar, and takbir.45

Prayers

The Holy Imams (‘a) prepared a course of supererogatory prayers for the nights and days of this month, recommending offering them as much as possible.

Devotional Acts Common to the Nights of Ramadhan

Authors of books on supplications and devotional acts have mentioned a number of acts, some of which are as follows:

Breaking the Fast

As fasting ritually extends from dawn to dusk, it should be broken immediately after that by eating and drinking. It is however recommended to delay it after the performing of the obligatory sunset prayer. It is also recommended to break the fast with a date or a sweet food.

While breaking the fast, it is recommended to say a litany or a supplication the most famous formula of which is the following:

O Allah, For Your sake have I fasted, with Your sustenance have I broken my fast, and in You have I trusted.

اَللَّهُمَّ لَكَ صُمْتُ وَعَلَىٰ رِزْقِكَ ا فْطَرْتُ وَعَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْتُ.

Upon eating the first bite, it is recommended to say the following:

In the Name of Allah; the All-beneficent, the All-merciful. O Liberal in forgiving: (please) forgive me.

بِسْمِ ٱللّهِ ٱلرَّحْمٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ. يَا وَاسِعَ ٱلْمَغْفِرَةِ ٱغْفِرْ لِي.

Such matters bring about a great reward, such as forgiveness and gaining the rewards of all those who have fasted that day.

It is also recommended to recite Surah al-Qadr just before breaking the fast.46

Almsgiving

One of the highly recommended acts is to give alms during the nights of Ramadhan, and especially at the time of breaking the fast. When such alms are the food with which the fast is ordinarily broken, no matter how little the amount is, even if it is just a few dates or a drink of water, according to one’s capacity, it brings about a great reward. He gains the reward of the deeds done by that fasting person out of the power he has obtained from the food that he gave to him as alms, and winning the reward of manumitting thirty slaves. In addition, the supplication of the almsgiver will be responded to.47

Recitation of the Holy Qur'an

On the nights of Ramadhan, it is highly recommended to recite certain chapters of the Holy Qur'an, such as Surah al-Qadr one thousand times and Surah al-Dukhan (No. 44) one hundred times, when possible.48

Supplications

The most important formula of supplication said on the nights of Ramadhan is Du’a' al-Iftitah, which is an invocation of Allah’s blessings upon the Holy Prophet and his Household, a special supplication for the Awaited Imam al-Mahdi (‘a), and statements that are regarded as highly spiritual which encourage a person to engage in self-struggle.

Shaykh al-Qummi has also cited three other formulas of supplication for the nights of Ramadhan.49

Prayers

It is recommended to offer one thousand units of prayer that are distributed among the nights of Ramadhan and called the Ramadhan supererogatory prayers. Although there is more than one formula for the distribution of these units of prayer among the nights of Ramadhan, Shaykh al-Qummi, following Shaykh al-Mufid, has chosen a certain formula and described it as the most familiar. This formula is as follows:

On the first twenty nights of Ramadhan, twenty units of this prayer should be offered each night with an interval between each two units. To explain, eight units should be offered after the obligatory sunset Prayer and the others after the obligatory early night prayer. The total is thus four hundred units and the remainder is six hundred. These six hundred units should be offered on the three Nights of Qadr, which are the nineteenth, the twenty-first, and twenty-third of the month. Two hundred units should be offered on each of these three Nights. Thus, one thousand units will be completed.

It is also recommended to offer a two-unit prayer each night, reciting Surah al-Fatihah once and repeating Surah al-Tawhid three times. After completion of the prayer, the following litany may be said:

Glory be to Him Who watches over, never leaves anything undone nor is neglectful. Glory be to Him Who is Merciful and never does a thing in haste. Glory be to Him Who is vigilant and never forgets one thing over another. Glory be to Him Who is alert and steady, never engrossed with a thing so as to overlook another.

سُبْحَانَ مَنْ هُوَ حَفِيظٌ لاَ يَغْفُلُ سُبْحَانَ مَنْ هُوَ رَحِيمٌ لاَ يَعْجَلُ سُبْحَانَ مَنْ هُوَ قَائِمٌ لاَ يَسْهُو سُبْحَانَ مَنْ هُوَ دَائِمٌ لاَ يَلْهُو.

After this litany, it is recommended to repeat the following statement seven times:

سُبْحَانَ ٱللّهِ وَٱلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ وَلاَ إِلٰهَ إِلاَّ ٱللّهُ وَٱللّهُ ا كْبَرُ.

All glory be to Allah, all praise be to Allah, there is no god save Allah, and Allah is the Greatest.

After that, it is recommended to say the following supplication once:

Glory be to You, Glory be to You, Glory be to You. O All-Great, forgive my grave sins.

سُبْحَانَكَ سُبْحَانَكَ سُبْحَانَكَ. يَا عَظِيمُ ٱغْفِرْ لِيَ ٱلذَّنْبَ ٱلْعَظِيمَ.

Then, it is recommended to invoke blessings upon the Holy Prophet and his Household ten times:

O Allah, (please do) send blessings upon Muhammad and upon his Household.

اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَىٰ آلِهِ.

About this prayer, Shaykh al-Kaf’ami has mentioned that whoever offers it will have seventy thousand of his sins forgiven by Almighty Allah.50

Devotional Acts Common to Early Dawn

Authors of books on supplications and devotional acts have mentioned a number of acts, some of which are as follows:

Having the Early Dawn Meal (Suhur)

It is highly recommended to eat or drink something at early dawn, preferably flour or dates. For this meal, there are some etiquettes, one of which is to recite Surah al-Qadr.

Supplications and Whispered Prayers

Supplications and whispered prayers are the most important deeds of early dawn. The most significant and famous supplication is known as Du’a' al-Baha', which involves statements of glorification of Almighty Allah and imploring in the name of His attributes. About this supplication, which is reported from Imam al-Ridha (‘a) to be ascribed to his grandfather Imam al-Baqir (‘a), it is reported that it contributes to granting one’s requests.

In addition, there is the most magnificent supplication that is reported by Abu-Hamzah al-Thumali carrying his name.

Abu-Hamzah al-Thumali has reported that Imam ‘Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-’Abidin (‘a) used to pray the whole night throughout Ramadhan. During the last hour of night, he used to say the following supplication:

O Allah, do not discipline me by means of Your punishment and do not subject me to Your planned strategy…

إِلٰهِي لاَ تُؤَدِّبْنِي بِعُقُوبَتِكَ وَلاَ تَمْكُرْ بِي فِي حِيلَتِكَ…

Very long, eloquent, refined in style and composition, this supplication holds highly considerable contents and a variety of diction. It plays a vital role in spiritual education, evolution and perfection, and reinforces one’s relationship with Allah. It also teaches one how to talk to Him confidentially and how to praise and glorify Him.

Furthermore, this supplication presents the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) and confirms their matchless knowledge, leadership, and vital role in the lives of Muslims. It also demonstrates their course in building a virtuous community and their supreme goals, one of which is to create a morally and spiritually perfected group in society.

In addition to these two supplications, there are others to be said at early dawn and can be found in Mafatih al-Jinan.51

Devotional Acts Common to Daytime

Authors of books on supplications and devotional acts have mentioned a number of acts, some of which are as follows:

Supplication

A set of texts and supplicatory formulas have been reported to be said during the daytime of Ramadhan. The most important of these is the supplication that begins with the following statement:

اَللَّهُمَّ هٰذَا شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِي اَنْزَلْتَ فِيهِ القُرْآنَ هُدَىً لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلفُرْقَانِ…

O Allah, this is the month of Ramadhan in which You revealed the Qur'an, guidance for humankind and clear proofs of true guidance and distinction (between the right and the wrong)…

This supplication has been reported by Shaykh al-Tusi, in Misbah al-Mutahajjid, and Sayyid Ibn Tawus, in Iqbal al-A’mal.52

There is also another supplication the first statements of which are similar to the statements of the previously mentioned supplication of Du’a' al-Baha'. However, this supplication then moves to invoke blessings upon the Holy Prophet, his Household, the prophets, and the angels. It then presents statements of praying for and praising the Holy Prophet (S).53

Litanies and Doxologies

Litanies, statements of glorification enumerating the attributes of Almighty Allah are to be said on every day of Ramadhan. In this regard, a ten-passage litany explaining the hearing, sight, creation, knowledge, and kingdom of Almighty Allah, as well as many other similar matters, is to be repeated every day in Ramadhan.54

Invocations of Blessings

Shaykh al-Tusi and Sayyid Ibn Tawus have cited a wonderful piece invoking Almighty Allah’s blessings upon the Holy Prophet and his Household, as well as praising and commending them, to be said every day in Ramadhan. This invocation begins with the following statement:

{إِنَّ ٱللّهَ وَمَلاَئِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَىٰ ٱلنَّبِيِّ يَا اَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُوٱ صَلُّوٱ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوٱ تَسْلِيماً.} لَبَّيْكَ يَا رَبِّ وَسَعْدَيْكَ وَسُبْحَانَكَ…

“Verily, Allah and His angels send blessings upon the Prophet, O you who believe, call for Divine blessings on him and salute him with a becoming salutation.” Here I am at Your service, my Lord! Doing that which pleases You, and glory be to You…55

Second Part: Devotional Acts Dedicated to Certain Nights and Days

This part can be subdivided into the following sections:

The Devotional Acts of Welcoming the month of Ramadhan

The Devotional Acts of the Bright Nights

The Devotional Acts on the Nights of Qadr

The Devotional Acts on the Last Ten Nights

The Devotional Acts on Certain Days of Ramadhan

Devotional Acts on the First Night and Day

Islam and the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have devoted special attention to the first night and day of Ramadhan and confirmed a number of matters to be done on this night and day, the most important of which are the following:

Watching the New Moon

Authoritative traditions narrate that the Holy Prophet (S) and his Household (‘a) used to watch for and welcome the new moon of the month—a procedure that has become one of the highly regarded recommendable acts.56 In this respect, many supplicatory formulas reported from the Holy Prophet (S) and the Holy Imams (‘a) have been mentioned for this procedure. However, the forty-third supplication of al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah may be presented as the most magnificent formula in this respect.57

Ritual Bathing

On the first night of Ramadhan, it is recommended to perform the ritual bath and ceremonially purify oneself by immersing oneself in a flowing river or pouring thirty handfuls of water on the head.

Visiting Imam Husayn (‘a)

It is also highly recommended to perform visitation of Imam Husayn (‘a) this night from close (at his holy shrine) or by reading his ziyarah from afar.

Supererogatory Prayers

The supererogatory prayers of Ramadhan should be started this night. Another two-unit prayer, in each unit of which Surah al-Fatihah and Surah al-An’am (No. 6) are recited may be offered. Upon accomplishment, it is recommended to beseech Almighty Allah’s protection against fears and ailments.

Supplications

Many supplicatory formulas have been reported to be read on the first night of Ramadhan. One of these is the supplication reported by Ibn Tawus from Imam al-Jawad (‘a). This supplication begins with the following statement:

اللَّهُمَّ يَا مَنْ يَمْلِكُ ٱلتَّدْبِيرَ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ.

O Allah, O He Who controls the management of all affairs, and has power over all things!

The two Du’a' al-Jawshan al-Kabir and Du’a' al-Hajj supplications are also reported to be read on this night.

All the previous devotional acts for the first night of Ramadhan are also performed on the first day of Ramadhan, although with some different formulas for prayers and supplications, except watching for the new moon and visiting Imam Husayn (‘a).

‘Allamah al-Majlisi states that Shaykh al-Kulayni, Shaykh al-Tusi, and others have reported through a valid chain of authority that Imam al-Kazim (‘a) used to say a special supplication on the first of Ramadhan. This supplication begins with the following statement:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي اَسْئَلُكَ بِٱسْمِكَ ٱلَّذِي دَانَ لَهُ كُلُّ شَيْءٍ وَبِرَحْمَتِكَ ٱلَّتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ…

O Allah I beseech You, in the name of Your name before which everything kneels down and in the name of Your mercy which encompasses everything…58

Devotional Acts on the Bright Nights of Ramadhan

A special prayer, mentioned within the devotional acts of Rajab, is common to the bright (i.e. moonlit) nights of the three months. Therefore, the fifteenth night of Ramadhan is included.

In addition, it is recommended to perform the ritual bath and offer other prayers on the bright nights of Ramadhan. However, the fifteenth night is distinguished by visiting Imam Husayn (‘a) and offering some prayers. One of these prayers is a ten-unit one, offered at the tomb of Imam Husayn (‘a) after the obligatory early night prayer. This prayer is, of course, different from the eight-unit night prayer. Another prayer to be offered this night is a hundred-unit prayer, in each unit of which Surah al-Fatihah is recited once and Surah al-Tawhid ten times.59

Rites of the Nights of Qadr

In the previous discussion of the particular days and nights of the year, we mentioned both the common and the private rites of the three Nights of Qadr. We also pointed out the significance of the Night of Qadr.

Devotional Acts of the Last Ten Nights of Ramadhan

The last ten nights of Ramadhan enjoy such a special significance that the Holy Prophet (S) used to roll up his bed and prepare himself for worship on these nights. To devote one’s efforts to devotional acts on these ten nights denotes an acceleration of the devotional movement of Ramadhan, especially when we take into consideration the fact that the Night of Qadr is one of these ten nights.

Some devotional acts and special supplications are devoted to these nights. For each night, a special supplication has been reported in addition to other supplications that are common to the ten nights. One of these is the supplication that begins with the following statement:

اَللّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ قُلْتَ فِي كِتَابِكَ ٱلْمُنْزَلِ: ”شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِي اُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْآنُ“…

O Allah, You have said in Your revealed Book: “The month of Ramadhan in which the Qur'an was revealed…”

On the twenty-seventh night, it is recommended to take the ritual bath and to repeat the following supplication throughout the night:

اللَّهُمَّ ٱرْزُقْنِي ٱلتَّجَافِيَ عَنْ دَارِ ٱلْغُرُورِ وَٱلإِنَابَةَ إِلَىٰ دَارِ ٱلْخُلُودِ وَٱلاِسْتِعدَادَ لِلْمَوْتِ قَبْلَ حُلُولِ ٱلْفَوتِ.

O Allah, (please) provide me with alienation from the abode of delusion, turning to the abode of eternity, and readiness for death before it is too late.

On the last day and night of Ramadhan, some special devotional acts, bidding this month farewell, have been reported:

• Performing the ritual bath on the last night

• Visiting Imam Husayn (‘a)

• Reciting Surahs al-An’am (No. 6), al-Kahf (No. 18), and Yasin (No. 36)

• Repeating the forgiveness-seeking prayer one hundred times

• Saying a number of supplications, the most favorable being the forty-fifth supplication of al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah and the following one reported from Imam al-Sadiq (‘a):

اللَّهُمَّ لاَ تَجْعَلْهُ آخِرَ ٱلْعَهْدِ من صِيَامِي لِشَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ وَاَعُوذُ بِكَ اَنْ يَطْلُعَ فَجْرُ هٰذِهِ ٱللَّيْلَةِ إِلاَّ وَقَدْ غَفَرْتَ لِي.

O Allah, (please) do not determine my observance of fasting in this month of Ramadhan to be the last of my observances of fasting. I seek Your protection against this day dawning before You forgive me.

This supplication contributes to having one’s sins forgiven.

Particular Acts of Days and Nights

Quoting ‘Allamah al-Majlisi in Zad al-Ma’ad, Shaykh al-Qummi has mentioned special prayers to be offered on each night of Ramadhan and special supplications to be said on each day in Mafatih al-Jinan.60

This vast and diverse devotional course intends to make man attain self-perfection and serve Almighty Allah on earth and be qualified and prepared for the crucial decisions that are made about this community on the Night of Qadr. The night of ‘«d al-Fitr is the night of the fulfillment of promised rewards.

Hajj and the First Ten Days of Dhu’l-Hijjah

Hajj is one of the most important devotional acts of Islam. According to some traditions, it follows the ritual prayer with regard to its significance and favorability in the list of the Islamic devotional acts. Moreover, Hajj has been described as one of the two jihads (i.e. holy struggle).

In this respect, Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported through a valid chain of authority that ‘Abdullah ibn Yahya al-Kahili heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) quoting the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

هُوَ أَحَدُ الْجِهَادَيْنِ، هُوَ جِهَادُ الضُّعَفَاءِ.

Hajj is one of the two jihads. It is the jihad of the weak.

Commenting on this saying, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) says:

وَنَحْنُ الضُّعَفَاءُ. أَمَا إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ شَيْءٌ أَفْضَلَ مِنَ الْحَجِّ إِلاَّ الصَّلاَةَ، وَفِي الْحَجِّ هَهُنَا صَلاَةٌ وَلَيْسَ فِي الصَّلاَةِ قَبْلَكُمْ حَجٌّ.

We are the weak. Verily, there is nothing better than Hajj except the ritual prayer; however, there is prayer in the Hajj but there is no Hajj in the prayer.61

Hajj is also the support of the religion and the foundation of its existence. It is thus reported:

لاَ يَزَالُ الدِّينُ قَائِماً مَا قَامَتِ الْكَعْبَةُ.

This religion is kept existent as long as the Ka’bah is still standing.62

The Hajj has a historical root that extends to the time before the existence of Adam (‘a) on earth although the divine call to perform Hajj as an obligatory duty upon all people actually began at the time of Prophet Abraham (‘a).

In this regard, Shaykh al-Kulayni, through a valid chain of authority, has reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

لَمَّا أَفَاضَ آدَمُ مِنْ مِنَى تَلَقَّتْهُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ فَقَالَتْ: يَا آدَمُ، بُرَّ حَجَّكَ. أَمَا إِنَّا قَدْ حَجَجْنَا هَذَا الْبَيْتَ قَبْلَ أَنْ تَحُجَّهُ بِأَلْفَيْ عَامٍ.

When Adam (‘a) returned from Mina (as a ritual practice), he was received by the angels who said to him, “Make lawful your Hajj, for we have been going on Hajj to this house two thousand years before you.”63

Through another valid chain of authority, Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

لَمَّا أُمِرَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ وَإِسْمَاعِيلُ عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلاَمُ بِبِنَاءِ الْبَيْتِ وَتَمَّ بِنَاؤُهُ، قَعَدَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ عَلَى رُكْنٍ ثُمَّ نَادَى: هَلُمَّ الْحَجَّ. فَلَوْ نَادَى هَلُمُّوا إِلَى الْحَجِّ لَمْ يَحِجَّ إِلاَّ مَنْ كَانَ يَوْمَئِذٍ إِنْسِيَّاً مَخْلُوقاً، وَلَكِنَّهُ نَادَى: هَلُمَّ الْحَجَّ. فَلَبَّى النَّاسُ فِي أَصْلاَبِ الرِّجَالِ: لَبَّيْكَ دَاعِيَ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. لَبَّيْكَ دَاعِيَ اللهِ. فَمَنْ لَبَّى عَشْراً يَحِجَّ عَشْراً، وَمَنْ لَبَّى خَمْساً يِحِجَّ خَمْساً، وَمَنْ لَبَّى أَكْثَرَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَبِعَدَدِ ذَلِكَ، وَمَنْ لَبَّى وَاحِداً حَجَّ وَاحِداً، وَمَنْ لَمْ يُلَبِّ لَمْ يَحِجَّ.

When the construction of the House was completed by Abraham (‘a) and Ishmael (‘a) by the command of Almighty Allah, Abraham (‘a) sat in a corner and called out, “Come you all to the Hajj.” If he had called out, “Come to the Hajj,” none would have come except the human beings of that time, but when his call was, “Come you all to the Hajj,” all people even the unborn in the loins of their fathers responded to him, saying, “We do respond to the caller of Allah. We do respond to the caller of Allah…” Thus, those who repeated this statement of response ten times will go on Hajj ten times. Those who repeated it five times will go on Hajj five times and so every one will go on Hajj as many times as he repeated this statement. Likewise, he who repeated it once only will go on Hajj once only and who had not responded will not go on Hajj at all.64

Performing the Hajj Pilgrimage is obligatory only once upon any adult who possesses the expenditure of the Hajj journey along with an amount sufficient to provide livelihood to one’s dependents, and that such a journey will not cause disorder in one’s livelihood or personal conditions. At the same time, it is highly recommended to go on Hajj as many times as possible—an act that is preferred to many other devotional acts.65

It is also impermissible to suspend the Hajj or to leave the Holy Ka’bah unvisited. In this regard, it is obligatory upon the supreme religious authority to force people to perform this religious duty and fund their journeys if they cannot find money to do so.

Detailed guidance on the performance of this duty is available in books on the practical laws of Hajj, known as manasik al-Hajj (Rites of the Hajj).

Categories of the Ritual Hajj

To a great extent, all Muslims unanimously agree upon classifying the ritual Hajj into three categories and upon the basic details of each category. This is of course one of the divine blessings with which Muslims are endued and one of the matters that expresses their unity.

The categories of Hajj are thus three:

1. Hajj al-Tamattu’: The most significant and preferred category of Hajj, Hajj al-Tamattu’ is obligatory upon every adult person (old enough to carry out religious duties) who is capable of carrying out this duty and whose place of dwelling is more than ninety kilometers away from the city of Makkah. Referring to such people, the Holy Qur'an says:

ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ أَهْلُهُ حَاضِرِي الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ(196)

This is for him whose family is not present in the Sacred Mosque. (2:196)

In the Muslim jurisprudential terminology, they are called ahl al-afaq (People of the Horizons).

2. Hajj al-Ifrad: This category of Hajj is obligatory upon those who live near Makkah and are present in the Sacred Mosque. In it the performer (of Hajj) is required to enter into the state of Ihram (i.e. put on two ceremonially white pieces of cloth and pledge to abandon the forbidden acts that violate one’s Hajj or ‘Umrah). They start either from the Miqat (the starting points for Hajj) or from their houses and then perform a single ‘Umrah (i.e. minor Hajj) only. This category of Hajj is different from the earlier in the point that it does not require offering a sacrifice to the Holy Ka’bah or slaughtering an animal. Additionally, entering into the state of Ihram for this category of Hajj is different from the earlier category.

3. Hajj al-Qiran: This category of Hajj is similar to the abovementioned one with one difference. The pilgrim is required to mark the offering that he must offer to the Holy Ka’bah from the first moment of entering the state of Ihram until he slaughters it at Mina on the Day of ‘«d al-Adhha.

Rites of Hajj al-Tamattu’

In brief, in Hajj al-Tamattu’ a pilgrim enters the state of Ihram to perform the ‘Umrat al-Tamattu’66 from one of the five places known as Mawaqit (sing. Miqat) and which had been marked out by the Holy Prophet (S) for the people of the remote horizons as follows:

(1) Masjid al-Shajarah, which is also called Dhul-Halifah or Abyar ‘Ali: the starting point (i.e. Miqat) from which the people of Madinah and those who pass by it start their ritual Hajj.

(2) Al-Juhafah: the starting point from which the people of Sham (currently Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine) and those passing by it start their Hajj.

(3) Wadi-’Aqiq: the starting point from which the people of Iraq and those passing by it start their Hajj.

(4) Qarn al-Manazil: the starting point from which the people of al-Ta'if (a city in western Saudi Arabia, in al-Hijaz Province) and those passing by it start their Hajj.

(5) Yalamlam: the starting point from which the people of the Yemen and those passing by it start their Hajj.

Entering into the state of Ihram means to take off one’s ordinary clothes and put on two unstitched pieces of cloth worn as shirt and apron. Then, the pilgrim utters the statement of Talbiyah (i.e. responding to the call of Hajj), which is in the following form:

لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ. لَبَّيْكَ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ. إنَّ الْحَمدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لكَ والْمُلْكَ. لاَ شَرِيكَ لَكَ.

Here I am responding to You, O Allah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Surely, praise, grace, and kingship are Yours. You have no partner.

A pilgrim must also abstain from a set of matters some of which are inherently forbidden while others are not, such as touching women, using perfume, wearing clothes other than the two pieces of Ihram, covering the head with anything, engaging in disputes, hunting, and others.

A pilgrim must then present himself in Makkah to circumambulate the Holy Ka’bah seven times, beginning and ending at the corner on which the Black Stone is placed. Then, he must offer the two-unit prayer of circumambulation at the place known as the Station of Abraham (‘a) (Maqam Ibrahim).

Afterwards, he must go to al-Safa to begin performing the rite of Sa’y67 from al-Safa to al-Marwah, two small hillocks between which a pilgrim must run slowly seven times; four times from al-Safa to al-Marwah and three times the other way so as to end up at al-Marwah.

The next rite is to have his hair cut short and his nails trimmed.

Immediately after performing this rite, a pilgrim may release himself from the state of Ihram and return to his normal state. However, he must wait for the time of Hajj to begin. Once it begins, he is required to enter into a new state of Ihram for the Hajj from the holy city of Makkah on the eighth of Dhu’l-Hijjah. On this day, he must leave for Mount ‘Arafat and stay there from midday to the sunset of the ninth of Dhu’l-Hijjah. This rite is known as halting at ‘Arafat.

After sunset, he must come down this mountain and move towards the Holy Monument (i.e. al-Mash’ar al-Haram) where he must stay until sunrise.

On the tenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah, he must come to Mina to perform the rite of stoning the ‘Aqabah statue (jamarat al-’aqabah) with seven small pebbles that he must gather from the Holy Precinct of Makkah and the Holy Monument. He must then sacrifice an animal offering, which must be a sheep, a cow, or a camel, and then shave or have the hair of his head cut short. Only then, can he release himself from the state of Ihram and do all the legal things that have been made forbidden to him as long as he was in the state of Ihram, except touching women and using perfumes.

He must then come to the Holy House again, circumambulate it seven times, offer a two-unit prayer at the Station of Abraham (‘a), and run seven times between al-Safa and al-Marwah. Only then can he use perfume.

In order to have intimacy made lawful for him, he must perform another seven-round circumambulation, known in the jurisprudential terminology of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) School as Tawaf al-Nisa' and in the terminology of the other Muslim schools as Tawaf al-Wada’ (Farewell Circumambulation).

On the eleventh and twelfth nights of Dhu’l-Hijjah, a pilgrim is required to spend half of the night (either from nightfall to midnight, or from midnight to its last hour, at least) at Mina, although it is recommended, and even obligatory under certain circumstances, to spend the thirteenth night there, too.

On the eleventh and twelfth days, and even the thirteenth day for those who spent the last night at Mina, a pilgrim must stone the three statues (known as al-jamarah al-sughra, al-jamarah al-wusta, and jamarat al-’Aqabah) with seven pebbles each.

This is a summary of the method and obligatory rites of Hajj al-Tamattu’ according to the jurisprudence of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), although there are further details, manners, recommended acts, and even duties to which a pilgrim may be exposed while performing this category of Hajj. However, there is no space to mention all these in this book.

This method is largely followed by the other Muslim sects with the exception of a very few details, options, and advancing or delaying in the performance of certain rites and in the rulings appertaining to certain acts of a pilgrim.

Distinctive Features of Hajj

Under this title, we can refer to three features by which the worship of Hajj is distinguished from the other devotional acts.

First: Hajj comprises several sorts of devotional acts, such as prayer, fasting, jihad, and almsgiving. The ritual circumambulation of the Holy House is a sort of prayer, in addition to the ritual prayer that follows each practice of circumambulation, known as Salat al-Tawaf (Circumambulation Prayer). Entering into the state of Ihram, which imposes abstaining from certain good things and desires, is a sort of fasting. Sacrificing and offering an animal to the Holy Ka’bah is a sort of almsgiving.

The hardships undergone by a performer of Hajj, such as the hardship of taking long journeys to Makkah and the exhaustive efforts that come from carrying out the rituals of the Hajj, are a sort of jihad. Besides, the ritual Hajj involves other devotional acts, such as halting at a mountain, stoning the three statutes, that represent Satan, with pebbles, and having one’s hair cut short or shaved. All these devotional acts are distinctive, unlike all other acts of worship.

Second: Hajj is a large collective practice and Muslims of various social classes and from every remote path gather on certain days to perform this religious duty collectively and respond to the divine call of Prophet Abraham (‘a). They all move on the same highland and in a unified form to express the actual equality of all human beings and practically achieve the perfect unity of the Muslim nation.

Third: The purpose behind the practice of this worship is wide-ranging at both the individual and collective level and in various aspects, including the material, spiritual, social, political, economic, educational, and moral.

Although explanation of this point requires elaborative discourse, it seems possible to explain it by citing some traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) that deal with some of the spiritual and material aspects and the holy purpose of this worship.

Imam ‘Ali (‘a) is reported to have said:

فَرَضَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَجَّ بَيْتِهِ الحَرَامِ، الَّذِي جَعَلَهُ قِبْلَةً لِلاَْنَامِ، يَرِدُونَهُ وُرُودَ الاَنْعَامِ، وَيأْلَهُونَ إِلَيْهِ وُلُوهَ الحَمَامِ. جَعَلَهُ سُبْحَانَهُ عَلاَمَةً لِتَوَاضُعِهمْ لِعَظَمَتِهِ، وَإِذْعَانِهِمْ لِعِزَّتِهِ، وَاخْتَارَ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ سُمَّاعاً أَجَابُوا إِلَيْهِ دَعْوَتَهُ، وَصَدَّقُوا كَلِمَتِهُ، وَوَقَفُوا مَوَاقِفَ أَنْبِيَائِهِ، وَتَشَبَّهُوا بمَلاَئِكَتِهِ المُطِيفِينَ بِعَرْشِهِ، يُحْرِزُونَ الاْرْبَاحَ فِي مَتْجَرِ عِبَادَتِهِ، وَيَتَبَادَرُونَ عِنْدَهُ مَوْعِدَ مَغْفِرَتِهِ. جَعَلَهُ سُبْحَانَهُ لِلاِسْلامِ عَلَماً، وَلِلْعَائِذِينَ حَرَماً، فَرَضَ حَجَّهُ، وَأَوْجَبَ حَقَّهُ، وَكَتَبَ عَلَيْكُمْ وِفَادَتَهُ، فَقَالَ سُبْحَانَهُ: وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ (97)

Allah has made obligatory upon you the pilgrimage (Hajj) to His sacred House, which is the turning point for the people who go to it as beasts or pigeons go towards spring water. Allah, the Glorified, made it a sign of their supplication before His Greatness and their acknowledgment of His Dignity. He selected from among His creation those who upon listening to His call responded to it and testified to His word. They stood in the position of His Prophets and resembled His angels who surround the Divine Throne securing all the benefits of performing His worship and hastening towards His promised forgiveness. Allah the Glorified made it (His sacred House) an emblem for Islam and an object of respect for those who turn to it. He made obligatory its pilgrimage and claim on you, holding you responsible to discharge it.

Thus, Allah the Glorified said, “And (purely) for Allah, is incumbent upon mankind, the pilgrimage to the House, for those who can afford to journey thither. And whoever denies, then verily, Allah is Self-sufficiently independent of the worlds. (3:97)”68

Within the famous tradition that al-Fadhl ibn Shadhan has reported from Imam al-Ridha (‘a) with regard to the logic for the religious duties, Imam al-Ridha (‘a) has said:

…فَإِنْ قَالَ فَلِمَ أُمِرَ بِالْحَجِّ؟ قِيلَ لِعِلَّةِ الْوِفَادَةِ إِلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَطَلَبِ الزِّيَادَةِ وَالْخُرُوجِ مِنْ كُلِّ مَا اقْتَرَفَ الْعَبْدُ تَائِباً مِمَّا مَضَى مُسْتَأْنِفاً لِمَا يَسْتَقْبِلُ مَع مَا فِيهِ مِنْ إِخْرَاجِ الأَمْوَالِ وَتَعَبِ الأَبْدَانِ وَالاشْتِغَالِ عَنِ الأَهْلِ وَالْوَلَدِ وَحَظْرِ الأَنْفُسِ عَنِ اللَّذَّاتِ شَاخِصاً فِي الْحَرِّ وَالْبَرْدِ ثَابِتاً ذَلِكَ عَلَيْهِ دَائِماً مَعَ الْخُضُوعِ وَالاسْتِكَانَةِ وَالتَّذَلُّلِ مَعَ مَا فِي ذَلِكَ لِجَمِيعِ الْخَلْقِ مِنَ الْمَنَافِعِ فِي شَرْقِ الأَرْضِ وَغَرْبِهَا وَمَنْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ مِمَّنْ يَحِجُّ وَمِمَّنْ لا يَحِجُّ مِنْ بَيْنِ تَاجِرٍ وَجَالِبٍ وَبَائِعٍ وَمُشْتَرٍ وَكَاسِبٍ وَمِسْكِينٍ وَمُكَارٍ وَفَقِيرٍ وَقَضَاءِ حَوَائِجِ أَهْلِ الأَطْرَافِ فِي الْمَوَاضِعِ الْمُمْكِنِ لَهُمُ الاجْتَِماعُ فِيهَا مَعَ مَا فِيهِ مِنَ التَّفَقُّهِ وَنَقْلِ أَخْبَارِ الأَئِمَّةِ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّلاَمُ إِلَى كُلِّ صُقْعٍ وَنَاحِيَةٍ كَمَا قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: "وَمَا كَانَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لِيَنْفِرُوا كَافَّةً فَلَوْلَا نَفَرَ مِنْ كُلِّ فِرْقَةٍ مِنْهُمْ طَائِفَةٌ لِيَتَفَقَّهُوا فِي الدِّينِ وَلِيُنْذِرُوا قَوْمَهُمْ إِذَا رَجَعُوا إِلَيْهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَحْذَرُونَ" (122) فَإِنْ قَالَ فَلِمَ أُمِرُوا بِحَجَّةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ لا أَكْثَرَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ. قِيلَ، لأَِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَضَعَ الْفَرَائِضَ عَلَى أَدْنَى الْقَوْمِ قُوَّةً كَمَا قَالَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: "لِيَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ" (28) يَعْنِي شَاةً لِيَسَعَ لَهُ الْقَوِيُّ وَالضَّعِيفُ وَكَذَلِكَ سَائِرُ الْفَرَائِضِ إِنَّمَا وُضِعَتْ عَلَى أَدْنَى الْقَوْمِ قُوَّةً وَكَانَ مِنْ تِلْكَ الْفَرَائِضِ الْحَجُّ الْمَفْرُوضُ وَاحِداً ثُمَّ رَغَّبَ بَعْدُ أَهْلَ الْقُوَّةِ بِقَدْرِ طَاقَتِهِمْ.

…If he asks, ‘Why have we been ordered to go on the Hajj pilgrimage?” It is said: This is because it is a form of going towards Allah the Exalted and Majestic, asking him for numerous rewards, departing from all evils that one has committed, being repentant for all that he has done in the past, and starting anew what he will do in the future. The Hajj pilgrimage is also done so that one expends his wealth, puts himself to physical trouble, experiences separation from his spouse and children, avoids lust and pleasure, and suffers from the troubles of the trip in the hot and cold weather, in fear, for a long interval in humility, submission, and humbleness.

In addition, the Hajj pilgrimage carries great benefits for all people (such as learning to desire Almighty Allah, fear Him, abandon hardheartedness, make continuous reference to Him, and not lose one’s hope and expectation). It reminds people of fulfilling their duties towards their Lord and towards all people: people who live in the deserts or at sea, partake in the Hajj pilgrimage or not, import goods, do business, sell or buy, are dealers or needy, rent riding animals or are too poor to rent any riding animals to go on the Hajj pilgrimage.

It also includes the fulfillment of the needs of the people who live in the vicinity where the Hajj pilgrims gather. It includes the training of individuals in the narration of the traditions from the Immaculate Imams (‘a) from one region over to another region. Almighty Allah has said, “If a contingent from every expedition remained behind, they could devote themselves to studies in religion and admonish the people, when they return to them, that thus they may learn to guard themselves against evil. (9:122)”

He has also said, “So that they may witness advantages for them. (22:28)” If he asks, “Why have we been ordered to go on the Hajj pilgrimage once and not more?” It is then said: It is because Almighty Allah established the obligatory deeds taking into consideration the weakest people as He, the Exalted and Majestic, has said, ‘…He must make an offering, as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it…’ This refers to a sheep that both the rich and the poor can offer. The other obligatory deeds are established considering the weakest people. One of the obligatory deeds is to go on the Hajj pilgrimage, which is obligatory once in one’s lifetime. God has encouraged the rich people to perform it as often as they can.69

Characteristics of the Ahl al-Bayt’s View of Hajj

It seems proper to refer, yet briefly, to the Ahl al-Bayt’s view of the Hajj and their understanding of the role that this worship can play in the life of the Muslim nation in general and the virtuous community in particular. Hajj, in its capacity as a religious duty, unites the words of Muslims and expresses the concord and entity of the Muslim nation.

The following distinctive features can add to the general understanding of all Muslims regarding Hajj:

Great Interest

The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) took great interest in Hajj. They have discussed all the affairs and details of Hajj and given vivid explanations about its reality, history, excellence, value, role, and goals. They have also discussed in detail the laws appertaining to the rites and categories of Hajj and presented the various problems and their solutions in the light of the laws of Islam.

By making a simple and swift comparison between the traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) about Hajj and the traditions that are reported from others, we can obviously notice the difference. Comparatively, the number of traditions in which the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have discussed the questions of Hajj and transmitted, both directly and indirectly, the Holy Prophet’s words and deeds in this regard is quantitatively70 and qualitatively many times as much as the traditions that are reported from the other Muslim schools in the same field.

The following two samples will confirm this obvious truth:

The tradition that the major Sunni reference books of Hadith report from Imam al-Baqir (‘a) on the authority of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah al-Ansari presents many details about the Holy Prophet’s last Hajj (known as the Farewell Pilgrimage) that cannot be found in any other tradition mentioned in these reference books. This tradition represents a jurisprudential basis for all Muslim schools of jurisprudence in the field of the laws of Hajj.71

Shaykh al-Saduq, through a valid chain of authority, has reported that Zurarah ibn A’yun once said to Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), “May Allah accept me as ransom for you! I have been asking you about the laws of Hajj for forty years and you have always given me answers.”

The Imam (‘a) answered:

بَيْتٌ حُجَّ إِلَيْهِ قَبْلَ آدَمَ بِأَلْفَيْ عَامٍ تُرِيدُ أَنْ تُفْنِيَ مَسَائِلَهُ فِي أَرْبَعِينَ عَاماً؟

A house to which pilgrimages were made two thousand years before the creation of Adam (‘a)—do you expect that you can learn all about it in forty years only?72

This answer obviously shows the wide-ranging scope of the Holy Imam’s practical interest in the topic of Hajj, just as they show their great interest in the historical aspect of this worship.

Comprehensiveness of the Devotional Content of Hajj

Not to speak of their vast concentration on Hajj, we notice that the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) also took much interest in the devotional contents of all of its rites and laws. We cannot find a performer of Hajj practicing any rite without a supplication or a litany before, during, or after it. More precisely, supplications and litanies accompany a performer of Hajj from the time he intends to perform Hajj until he returns home. Hundreds of traditions deal with this topic.73

In a coming chapter, we will discuss some details of the vast devotional contents of Hajj.

Visiting the Holy Prophet (S), the Holy Imams (‘a), and Places of Worship

Performers of Hajj complete this obligatory devotional act by visiting the Holy Prophet’s (S) tomb and mosque—an act common to all Muslims.74 However, the Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have given this topic much more significance with regard to both quantity and quality.

With regard to quantity, they encourage their followers to visit the tombs of the Holy Imams (‘a) buried in the al-Baqi’ Cemetery: Imam Hasan ibn ‘Ali (al-Mujtaba), Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (Zayn al-’Abidin), Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Ali (al-Baqir), and Imam Ja’far ibn Muhammad (al-Sadiq), peace be upon them all.

They also recommend visiting the tomb of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra' (‘a)—the veracious and pure—the daughter of the Holy Prophet (S). She is said to have been buried in her house75 that is adjacent to the Holy Prophet’s Mosque.

In addition, the Holy Imams (‘a) have recommended visiting the tombs of the Holy Prophet’s wives, Lady Fatimah bint Asad (Imam ‘Ali’s mother), the other righteous companions of the Holy Prophet (S), and the martyrs of the Battle of Uhud, topping the list being Hamzah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, the Holy Prophet’s (S) uncle.

In addition to the previous, there is much interest in visiting mosques and other places where the Holy Prophet (S) offered prayers and said supplications and particular places where historical events or bestowing of divine gifts took place. The following mosques top this list:

Mosque Qaba

Mosque al-Fath

Mosque al-Qiblatayn

Mosque Uhud

Imam ‘Ali Mosque

Salman al-Farsi Mosque

Lady Fatimah al-Zahra' Mosque

Mosque al-Ghumamah (the cloud)

Other places the Holy Imams (‘a) have recommended visiting are:

Ummu-Ibrahim’s Chamber (known as mashrabat ummi-ibrahim).

Al-Abtuh in the holy city of Makkah where there are the tombs of Lady Khadijah (‘a) (the Mother of the Believers: the Holy Prophet’s first wife and Lady Fatimah al-Zahra'‘s mother), Abu-Talib (‘a), and other righteous personalities of the early age of Islam.

Abu-Talib’s Col (where the Holy Prophet (S), along with his relatives from the Hashemites, were put under a harsh siege by the polytheists of Makkah at the beginning of his promulgation of Islam).

Hira' Cave (where the Holy Prophet (S) used to worship Almighty Allah secretly before he received the divine revelation).

Al-Arqam House (where the first group of Muslims, led by the Holy Prophet (S) met secretly to discuss the affairs of Islam).

Dar al-Nidwah (the place where the chiefs of Quraysh would meet to discuss the latest issues).

The Holy Imams (‘a) also recommended visiting all sites that were connected with the history of Islam and reminded Muslims of the dignity, honor, sacrifices, and difficulties that faced the divine mission of promulgating Islam to establish a good link between them and the great history of their religion. They hoped this would arouse their spirit of determination and renaissance, and create the qualities of independence, and self-respect in them.76

With regard to quality, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) look at visiting the Holy Prophet (S) and Imams (‘a) as perfection and completion of the ritual Hajj. Many traditions declare and confirm this fact openly. In this connection, Imam al-Ridha (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِنَّ لِكُلِّ إِمَامٍ عَهْداً فِي عُنُقِ أَوْلِيَاءِهِ وَشِيعَتِهِ، وَإِنَّ مِنْ تَمَامِ الْوَفَاءِ بِالْعَهْدِ وَحُسْنِ الأَدَاءِ زِيَارَةَ قُبُورِهِمْ. فَمَنْ زَارَهُمْ رَغْبَةً فِي زِيَارَتِهِمْ وَتَصْدِيقاً بِمَا رَغِبُوا فِيهِ كَانَ أَئِمَّتُهُمْ شُفَعَاءَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.

The disciples and followers of every Imam (‘a) are connected to him with a binding covenant that they must fulfill. Among the items of an excellent fulfillment of these covenants is indeed the visiting of the Imams’ (‘a) tombs. Hence, if one visits their tombs willingly and with the intention of accomplishing their desire, the Imams (‘a) will intercede for that person on the Day of Resurrection.77

Isma’il ibn Mahran has reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

إِذَا حَجَّ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَخْتِمْ حَجَّهُ بِزِيَارَتِنَا; لأَِنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ تَمَامِ الْحَجِّ.

Any one of you who goes on Hajj must conclude his Hajj by visiting us because this is the finalization of Hajj.78

Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful (‘a), is reported to have said:

أَتِمُّوا بِرَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ حَجَّكُمْ إِذَا خَرَجْتُمْ إِلَى بَيْتِ اللهِ; فَإِنَّ تَرْكَهُ جَفَاءٌ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُمْ، وَأَتِمُّوا بِالْقُبُورِ الَّتِي أَلْزَمَكُمُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ زِيَارَتَهَا وَحَقَّهَا، وَاطْلُبُوا الرِّزْقَ عِنْدَهَا.

When you go on pilgrimage to the House of Allah, finalize your Hajj by visiting the Messenger of Allah (S) because to avoid doing this is a type of alienation from him, while you are ordered to avoid alienating yourself. Also, finalize your Hajj by visiting the tombs that Almighty Allah has ordered you to visit and to carry out your duties towards them. Seek sustenance at these tombs.79

In al-Kafi, Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported Imam al-Baqir (‘a) as saying

تَمَامُ الْحَجِّ لِقَاءُ الإِمَامِ.

The acme of Hajj is to visit the Imam (‘a).80

  • 1. - Rajab is the seventh month in the Islamic (lunar) calendar. It comes after Jumada al-Thaniyah (II) and before Sha`ban. In addition to Muharram, Dhu’l-Qa`dah and Dhu’l-Hijjah, Rajab is one of the Four Sacred Months in Islam.
  • 2. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:352, H. 9.
    According to several traditions, Ramadhan is the month of Almighty Allah—known by all Muslims. It is, therefore, probable that a mistake had taken place in the recording of this tradition with regard to this topic specifically.
  • 3. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:350, H. 3.
  • 4. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:350, H. 4.
  • 5. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:348, H. 1 & 2 as quoted from Shaykh al-Saduq’s man-la-yahdhuruhul-faqih, al-Muqni`, al-Muqni`ah, Thawab al-A`mal, and al-Khisal, and Shaykh al-Tusi’s Misbah al-Mutahajjid and Tahdhib al-Ahkam, as well as many other reference books.
    Al-Hurr al-`Amili, in Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, and Shaykh al-Qummi, in Mafatih al-Jinan, have referred to another number of traditions about the excellence and merits of Rajab as well as the rewards of imploring Almighty Allah for forgiveness, and performing acts of worship in it.
  • 6. - Shaykh `Abbas al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 132-137.
  • 7. - Shaykh `Abbas al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 136.
  • 8. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:359, H. 3.
  • 9. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:358, H. 1.
  • 10. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:361, H. 6.
  • 11. - Shaykh `Abbas al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 138.
  • 12. - Shaykh `Abbas al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 140-141.
  • 13. - Shaykh `Abbas al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 142.
  • 14. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 5:233. See also Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 139.
  • 15. - Shaykh `Abbas al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 148.
  • 16. - Shaykh `Abbas al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 149.
  • 17. - Shaykh `Abbas al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 154.
  • 18. - Shaykh `Abbas al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 154.
  • 19. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:378, H. 33 as quoted from Shaykh al-Tusi’s Misbah al-Mutahajjid.
  • 20. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:360, H. 1.
  • 21. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:372, H. 11 as quoted from Shaykh al-Saduq’s Thawab al-A`mal.
  • 22. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:360, H. 1, 2 as quoted from Shaykh al-Kulayni’s Furu` al-Kafi and other reference books.
  • 23. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:362, H. 7 as quoted from Shaykh al-Saduq’s man-la-yahdhuruhul-faqih, Ma`ani al-Akhbar, and Thawab al-A`mal, Shaykh al-Kulayni’s al-Kafi, and Shaykh al-Tusi’s Misbah al-Mutahajjid and Tahdhib al-Ahkam.
  • 24. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:372, H. 12 as quoted from Shaykh al-Saduq’s Thawab al-A`mal.
  • 25. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:373, H. 16.
  • 26. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:375, H. 24.
  • 27. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:378-380, H. 1, 2, 4, 5, & 6.
  • 28. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:378-380, H. 8.
  • 29. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:378-380, H. 3 & 7.
  • 30. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:378-380, H. 1.
  • 31. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:381, H. 10.
  • 32. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:365, H. 18; Shaykh `Abbas al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 156.
  • 33. - Shaykh `Abbas al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 156-169.
  • 34. - Shaykh `Abbas al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 164-165.
  • 35. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:370, H. 8.
  • 36. - Shaykh `Abbas al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 171.
  • 37. - Ibid.
  • 38. - The Golden Chain of Authority (al-Salsalah al-Dhahabiyyah) reads as follows:
    Imam al-Ridha (‘a) has reported on the authority of his father, Imam al-Kazim (‘a), on the authority of his father, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), on the authority of his father, Imam al-Baqir (‘a), on the authority of his father, Imam Zayn al-`Abidin (‘a), on the authority of his father, Imam Husayn (‘a), on the authority of his father, Imam `Ali (‘a), on the authority of the Holy Prophet (S) who said…
  • 39. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 7:226, H. 20.
  • 40. - Sayyid al-Borujerdi, Jami` Ahadith al-Shi`ah 9:74 as quoted from Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi and Shaykh al-Kaf`ami’s al-Misbah.
  • 41. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 176-177.
  • 42. - Sayyid al-Borujerdi, Jami` Ahadith al-Shi`ah 9:71, H. 163.
  • 43. - Sayyid al-Borujerdi, Jami` Ahadith al-Shi`ah 9:13, H. 26, as quoted from Shaykh al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi.
  • 44. - Sayyid al-Borujerdi, Jami` Ahadith al-Shi`ah 9:178, as quoted from Shaykh al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi.
  • 45. - Ibid. Such reports indicate the general state of the Imam (‘a) in this month. Of course, the Imams (‘a) would repeat these devotional words as long as they would not contradict carrying out more important devotional acts or deeds, such as working towards settling necessary daily activities.
  • 46. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 178.
  • 47. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 178.
  • 48. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 179. Seemingly, to repeat Surah al-Qadr is equivalent to the litanies of Ramadhan or replacing the required recitation of the Holy Qur'an for those who cannot recite it in such a condensed manner. However, Almighty Allah knows best.
  • 49. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 179-183.
  • 50. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 183-184.
  • 51. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 184-202.
    It is worth mentioning that on each night of Ramadhan, at early dawn, or after that, it is obligatory to remember fasting the next day.
  • 52. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 202.
  • 53. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 207.
  • 54. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 213-214.
  • 55. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 210.
  • 56. - Moreover, Shaykh al-Qummi has mentioned that this procedure has been deemed obligatory by some scholars.
  • 57. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 215.
  • 58. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 217-121.
    Although it is reported that Imam al-Kazim (‘a) recommended praying to Almighty Allah with this supplicatory formula on the first day of the year, experts have understood that the Imam (‘a) meant the first day or night of Ramadhan.
  • 59. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 223.
  • 60. - Shaykh al-Qummi, Mafatih al-Jinan, pp. 238-242. On page 242, Shaykh al-Qummi has mentioned a notice to be worth considered.
  • 61. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 8:77, H. 2 as quoted from Shaykh al-Kulayni, Furu` al-Kafi.
  • 62. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 8:14, H. 5 as quoted from Shaykh al-Kulayni, Furu` al-Kafi and reported through a valid chain of authority.
  • 63. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 8:5, H. 6 as quoted from Shaykh al-Kulayni, Furu` al-Kafi.
  • 64. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 8:5, H. 9.
  • 65. - In many traditions, Hajj is preferred to manumission of slaves, giving of alms, and even holy struggle against enemies. It is recommended to prefer going on Hajj for one’s personal worldly affairs. In view of such matters and more details, the Hajj, in the sight of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), enjoys high value and a distinctive particularity. See Sayyid al-Borujerdi, Jami` Ahadith al-Shi`ah 10:149-216 Section: Merits of the Hajj.
  • 66. - `Umrat al-Tamattu` is the lesser Hajj (pilgrimage) to Makkah made independently or at the same time of the ritual Hajj, and consisting of a number of devotional rituals performed within the city. `Umrat al-Tamattu` must be connected to the ritual Hajj.
  • 67. - Sa`y is the ritual of running between Hill al-Safa and Hill al-Marwah seven times.
  • 68. - Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 1.
  • 69. - Shaykh al-Saduq, `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha 1:126.
  • 70. - For instance, the author of Jami` Ahadiih al-Shi`ah has cited eight hundred and thirty one traditions about the history, excellence, and general affairs of the Hajj.
  • 71. - Mansur `Ali Nasif, al-Taj al-Jami` lil-Usul 2:153 as quoted from Sahih Muslim and Sunan Abi-Dawud.
  • 72. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 8:7, H. 12 as quoted from Shaykh al-Saduq’s man-la-yahdhuruhul-faqih.
  • 73. - For instance, al-Hurr al-`Amili, in Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 8:248-338 have dedicated sixty eight sections of his book to discussing the details of the Hajj.
  • 74. - Exceptions are the Wahhabis who deem forbidden preparing for visiting the Holy Prophet’s tomb. However, they deem it acceptable for those who are present at al-Madinah. According to their laws, it is lawful to prepare oneself for visiting the Holy Prophet’s Mosque at Madinah and then visiting the Holy Prophet’s tomb may come in the margin of visiting his mosque.
  • 75. - About the burial place of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra' (‘a), there are many probabilities, the most apparent of which is that she was buried in her house. However, there is another probability that she was buried in al-Baqi` Cemetery. The disagreement about the burial place of this veracious and pure lady resulted from the historical fact that she, owing to certain political reasons, willed her burial place to be unknown to people and specifically asked Imam `Ali (‘a), her husband, not to allow Abu-Bakr and `Umar to participate in her funeral ceremony because she died without forgiving them. This fact has been reported by all Muslims.
  • 76. - Unfortunately, it can be noticed that there is currently an attempt through well-organized campaigns to eradicate these traces and cast screens upon them. The perpetrators hope that by attracting attention away from these places they will succeed in making the pilgrims forget them.
  • 77. - `Allamah al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 97:116, H. 1.
  • 78. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 14:324, H. 1.
  • 79. - `Allamah al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 97:139, H. 2.
  • 80. - Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 4:549, H. 2.