The Life of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin

By: Bāqir Sharif al-Qarashi

P. 408 – 448

In this supplication, the Imām, peace be on him, mentioned the followers of the messengers and those who attested to them, and then he mentioned the Companions of his grandfather, the Greatest Messenger, may Allah bless him and his Household, who supported Islam during its early days. He, peace be on him, said:

“O Allah, as for the followers of the messengers and those of the people of the earth who attested to them unseen (while the obstinate resisted them through crying lies)- they yearned for the emissaries through the realities of faith, in every era and time in which You did send a messenger and set up for the people a director from the period of Adam down to Mohammed (Allah bless him and his Household) from among the Imāms of guidance and the leaders of Allahfearing (upon them all be peace)- remember them with forgiveness and good pleasure!”

The Imām, peace be on him, praised the followers of the messengers and those who attested to them from the period of Adam down to the last of the prophets and their Lord, Mohammed, may Allah bless him and his Household. This is because they represented the true faith when the believed in Allah and attested to His messenger when he told them about the unseen creatures. They did not pay attention to the rumors of their enemies; rather they rejected them and waged war against them. Now, let’s listen to another part of this holy supplication. He, peace be on him, said:

“O Allah, as for the companions of Mohammed specially, those who did well in companionship, who stood the good test in helping him when he made them hear his messages’ argument, separated from mates and children in manifesting his word, fought against fathers and sons in strengthening his prophecy, and through him gained victory; those who were wrapped in affection for him, hoping for a commerce that comes not to naught in love for him; those who were left by their clans when they clung to his handhold and denied by their kinsfolk when they rested in the shadow of his kinship; forget not, O Allah what they abandoned for You and in You, and make them pleased with Your good pleasure for the sake of the creatures they drove to You while they were with Your Messenger, summoners to You for You. Show gratitude to them for leaving the abodes of their people for Your sake and going out from a plentiful livelihood to a narrow one, and (show gratitude to) those of them who became objects of wrongdoing and whom You multiplied in exalting Your religion.”

In this part, the Imām, peace be on him, lauded the Companions of his grandfather, the Greatest Messenger, may Allah bless him and his Household, who did well in companionship and stood the good test in supporting Islam and protecting its principles. They firmly believed in Islam, hence they suffered for it bitter difficulties and hardships of which are the following:

1. They abandoned their wives and their children who did not believe in Islām.

2. They fought their fathers and their sons who opposed Islam.

3. Their tribes abandoned them, for they embraced Islam and supported the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Household.

4. They faced economic hardships because of their support to Islam. These are some affairs from which the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Household, suffered. Let’s listen to another part of this supplication.

“O Allah, and give to those who have done well in following the Companions, who say, Our Lord forgive us and our brothers who went before us in faith, Your best reward; those who went straight to the Companions’ road, sought out their course, and proceeded in their manners. No doubt concerning their sure insight diverted them and no uncertainty shook them from following in their tracks and being led by the guidance of their light. As their assistants and supporters, they professed their religion, gained guidance through their guidance, came to agreement with them, and never accused them in what they passed on to them.”

“O Allah, and bless the Followers, from this day of ours to the Day of Doom, their wives, their offspring, and those among them who obey You, with a blessing through which You will preserve them from disobeying You, make room for them in the plots of Your Garden, defend them from the trickery of Satan, help them in the piety in which they seek help from You, protect them from sudden events that come by night and day-except the events which come with good- and incite them to tie firmly the knot of good hope in You, what is with You, and refrain from ill thoughts (toward You) because of what the hands of Your servants’ hold. Thus You may restore them to beseeching You and fearing You, induce them to renounce the plenty of the immediate, make them love to work for the sake of the deferred and prepare for what comes after death, make easy for them every distress that comes to them on the day when souls take leave from bodies, release them from that which brings about the perils of temptation and being thrown down in the Fire and staying forever within it, and take them to security, the resting place of the Allah-fearing.[1]”

The Imām, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Exalted to bless those who followed the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Household, while they did not see the Prophet, but they believed in him in their inner selves and followed the way of his Companions. No doubt prevented them from following them and their guidance, hence they raised up the Banner of the Unity of Allah, and spread among the people the principles and values of this religion, so the Imām asked Allah:

1. To preserve them from committing acts of disobedience.

2. To defend them from the trickery of Satan.

3. To help them to do good and to adhere to piety.

4. To Protect them from sudden events that come by night and day.

5. To tie firmly the knot of good hope in Him, that they might be free from need to the people.

6. To make them renounce the world and make them love to work for the sake of the next world. These are some contents of his supplication for the followers of the Companions of his grandfather, the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family.

His Supplication for himself and the People under his Guardianship

The following is one of the excellent supplications of the Imām, peace be on him. He would supplicate with it for himself and the people under his guardianship:

“O He the wonders of whose mightiness will never end! Bless Mohammed and his Household and prevent us from deviation concerning Your mightiness! O He the term of whose kingdom will never cease! Bless Mohammed and his Household and release our necks from Your vengeance! O He the treasuries of whose mercy will never be exhausted! Bless Mohammed and his Household and appoint for us a portion of Your mercy! O He whom eyes fall short of seeing! Bless Mohammed and his Household and bring us close to Your nearness! O He before whose greatness all great things are small! Bless Mohammed and his Household and give us honor with You! O He to whom all hidden tidings are manifest! Bless Mohammed and his Household and expose us not before You! O Allah, remove our need for the gifts of the givers through Your gift, spare us the loneliness of those who break off through Your joining, that we may beseech no one along with Your free giving, that we may feel lonely at no one’s absence along with Your bounty! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, scheme for us, not against us, device to our benefit, not to our loss, give the turn to prevail to us, not to others! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, protect us from Yourself! He whom You protect stays safe, he whom You guide knows, and he whom You bring near Yourself takes the spoils. O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household and spare us the cutting edge of time’s turning changes, the evil of Satan’s snares, and the bitterness of the sovereign’s aggression!”

In this part of his supplication, the Imām, peace be on him, started with praising the Great Creator, and then he asked Him to protect him from unbelief which makes man leave his humanity. After this he mentioned the mightiness of Allah. He asked Allah to bestow upon him His favors and boons, to remove his need for the gifts of the givers through His gift, to spare him the loneliness of those who break off through His joining, to spare him from the misfortunes of time, and save him from the evil of Satan’s snares and the bitterness of the sovereign’s aggression. This part is full of wonderful words and good style and is among the most beautiful rhetorical parts in Arabic literature. Now, let’s listen to another part of this supplication:

“O Allah, the spared are spared only through the bounty of Your strength, so bless Mohammed and his Household and spare us! The givers give only through the bounty of Your wealth, so bless Mohammed and his Household and give to us! The guided are guided only by the light of Your face, so bless Mohammed and his Household and guide us! O Allah, he whom You befriend will not be injured by the abandonment of the abandoners, he to whom You give will not be diminished by the withholding of the withholders, he who You guide will not be misled by the misguidance of the misguiders. So bless Mohammed and his Household, defend us from Your servants through Your might, free us from need for other than You through Your support, and make us travel the path of the Truth through the right guidance! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household and put the soundness of our hearts into remembrance of Your mightiness, the idleness of our bodies into giving thanks for Your favor, and the flow of our tongues into the description of Your kindness! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household and make us one of Your summoners who summon to You, Your guiders who direct to You, and You special friends whom You have singled out! O Most Merciful of the merciful![2]”

How wonderful this faith is! How great this love for Allah is! Have you seen how this Imām displayed love for Allah and sincerity to Him? He believed that Allah had power over all things, that those other than Him had neither force nor strength, hence he set his hope and expectation on Him, not on other than Him.

His Supplication in Morning and Evening

This is one of the greatest supplications of the Imām, peace be on him. He would supplicate with it in morning and evening. It is full of reliable proofs for the existence of the Almighty Creator and His tremendous power. The following is its text:

“Praise belongs to Allah, who created night and day, through His strength, set them apart through His power, and appointed for each a determined limit and a drawn-out period. He makes each of the two enter into its companion, and makes its companions enter into it, as an ordainment from Him for His servants in that through which He makes them grow. He created for them the night, that they might rest in it from tiring movements and wearisome exertions and He made it a garment for them that they might be clothed in its ease and its sleep, that it might be for them refreshment and strength, that they might reach therein pleasure and passion. He created for them the daytime, giving sight, that they might seek within it of His bounty, find the means to His provision, and roam freely in His earth, searching for that through which to attain the immediate in their life in this world and to achieve the deferred in their life to come. Through all of this He sets their situation, tries their records, and watches their state in the times for obeying Him, the way stations of His obligations, that He may repay those who do evil with that they have done and repay those who do good with goodness.”

As for this part, it is one of the proofs for the Islamic Unity based on thinking and sense, for faith in Allah, according to the Islamic viewpoint, is a mere traditional phenomenon or an emotional inclination; rather it is based on the most reliable proofs and the best of them in awareness and originality.

In this part the Imām, peace be on him, considered carefully the universe and life and based on this his deep faith in Allah. He considered carefully night and day and concluded that they followed a wonderful, orderly movement, concerning which the Holy Qur’ān said: “Neither it is allowable to the sun that it should overtake the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day; and all float on in a sphere.” Who ordered this movement, created it, and ordained it with this accurate ordination? Without doubt, it is Allah, the Giver of life, who did this!

The Imām, peace be on him, mentioned the profits which man gain during his life from the march of night and day. Allah, the Most High, created for man the night, that he might rest in it from tiring movements and wearisome exertions and He made it a garment for His servants that they might be clothed in its ease and its sleep. As for the daytime, Allah, the Exalted, made it giving sight and light, that man might seek within it of His bounty and provision through agriculture, work, trade, and other works which help him earn his livelihood, that his life might continue on this earth on which he lives. Now, let’s listen to another part of this supplication:

“O Allah, to You belongs praise for the sky You have split into dawn for us, giving us to enjoy thereby the brightness of daytime, showing us sought-after nourishment, and protecting us from the striking of blights. In the morning we and all things, every one rise for You, the heaven and the earth and what You have scattered in each, the still and the moving, the resident and the journeying, what towers up in the air and what hides under the ground. We rise in the morning in Your grasp: Your kingdom and authority contain us and Your will embrace us. We move about by Your command and turn this way and that way through Your governing. We own nothing of the affair except what You have decreed and nothing of the good except what You have given. This is a fresh, new day, over us a ready witness. If we do good, it will take leave from us with praise, and if we do evil, it will part from us in blame.”

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, provide us with the day’s good companionship and preserve us against parting from it badly by doing a misdeed or committing a sin, whether small or great! Make our good deeds within it plentiful empty us therein of evil deeds, and fill what lies between its two sides for us with praise and thanks giving, wages and stores, bounty and beneficence! O Allah, ease our burden on the Noble Writers, fill our pages for us with our good deeds, and degrade us not before them with our evil works! O Allah, appoint for us in each of the day’s hours a share from Your servants, a portion of giving thanks to You and a truthful witness among Your angels! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, and safeguard us from before us and behind us, from our right hands and our left hands and from all our directions, a safeguarding that will preserve from disobeying You, guide to obeying You, and be employed for Your love!”

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, and give us success in this day of ours, this night of ours, and in all our days, to employ the good, stay away from the evil, give thanks for favor, follows the Sunna’s norms, avoid innovations, enjoin good behavior, forbid the disapproved, defend Islam, diminish falsehood and abase it, help the truth and exalt it, guide the misguided, assist the weak, and reach out to the troubled!

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, and make this the most fortunate day we have known, the most excellent companion we have accompanied, and the best time in which we have lingered! Place us among the most satisfied of all Your creatures whom night and day have passed by, the most thankful of them for the favors You have done, the firmest of them in the laws You have set down in the Shari’a and the most unyielding of them toward the prohibited acts against which You have cautioned! O Allah, I call You to witness -and You are sufficient witness- and I call Your heaven and Your earth to witness and Your angels and Your other creatures who inhabit them, in this my day, this my hour, this my night, and this my resting place, that I bear witness that You are Allah, other than whom there is no god, Upholding justice, Equitable in judgment, clement to the servants, Master of the Kingdom , Compassionate to the creatures, and that Mohammed is Your servant and Your messenger, Your chosen from among Your creatures. You did charge him with Your message and he delivered it; You did command him to counsel his community and he counseled it.

“O Allah, so bless Mohammed and his Household, more than You blessed any of Your creatures! Give him for our sake the best You have given any of Your servants, and repay him on our behalf better and more generously than You have any of Your prophets on behalf of his community! You are All-kind with immensity, the Forgiver of the great, and You are more merciful than every possessor of mercy! So bless Mohammed and his Household, the good, the pure, the chosen, the most distinguished![3]”

The Imām, peace be on him, spoke in this part about the submission of all things to Allah’s power and will, for it is He who makes them walk on the path of His desire. After this the Imām asked Allah to give him success to in order to employ the good, stay away from the evil, give thanks for favors, follow the Sunna’s norms, avoid innovations, enjoin good behavior, forbid the disapproved, defend Islam, diminish falsehood and abase it, help the truth and exalt it, guide the misguided, assist the weak, and reach out to the troubled, and other good works and noble moral traits through man become sublime. In this supplication, the Imām has chosen the most beautiful words and the purest of them. It is certain that there are no Arab words more eloquent and purer than this supplication except those of the Holy Qur’ān and of ‘Ali’s Nahjj al-Balāgha.

His Supplication for Good Outcomes

This is one of the Imām’s holy supplications. He supplicated Allah with it to be kind to him through good outcomes. This is its text:

“O He remembering whom brings honor to those who remember! O He thanking whom brings triumph to those who give thanks! O He obeying whom brings deliverance to those who obey! Bless Mohammed and his Household, and divert our hearts through remembering You from every act of remembrance, our tongues through thanking You from every act of thanksgiving, our limbs through obeying You from every act of obedience! If You have ordained for us idleness from these occupations, make it an idleness of safety, within which no ill consequence visits us or weariness overtakes us! Then the writers of evil deeds may depart from us with a page empty of the mention of our evil deeds, and the writers of good deeds may turn away from us happy with the good deeds of ours which they have written. And when the days of our life have passed by, the terms of our lifetimes have elapsed, and Your call, which must come and be answered, summons us forth, then bless Mohammed and his Household, and make the outcome of what the writers of our works count against us an accepted repentance, which afterwards gave us no rest in a sin that we committed or an act of disobedience that we performed! Remove not from us any covering with which You have covered over the heads of the witnesses on the day when records of Your servants are tried! Verily You are compassionate to him who supplicates You, the responder to him who calls upon You![4]”

Have you seen this sincerity to Allah and love for Him? The Imām asked Allah, the Exalted, to make his outcome an accepted repentance, that he might be safe from the terrors of the hereafter and chastisement of the Day of Resurrection, and delight at Paradise.

His Supplication in Seeking Repentance

He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this supplication asking Allah, the Exalted, to be kind to him through repentance and forgiveness:

“O Allah, three traits have prevented me from asking You and one trait has urged me on: I am prevented by a command You have commanded in which I have been slow, a prohibition You have prohibited toward which I have hurried, and a favor through which You have favored for which I have not given sufficient thanks. I am urged to ask You by Your gratuitous bounty upon him who turns his face toward You and comes to You with a good opinion, since all Your beneficence is gratuitous bounty and every one of Your favors a new beginning! So here I am, my Allah, standing at the gate of Your might, the standing of the lowly, the surrendered, asking You in my shame, the asking of the destitute, the pitiful, admitting to You that at the time of Your beneficence I surrendered not save through abstaining from disobedience toward You and in none of my states was I ever without Your Kindness. Will it profit me, my Allah, to admit to You the evil of what I have earned? Will it save me from You to confess the ugliness of what I have done? Or will You impose upon me in this my station Your displeasure? Will You hate hold fast to me in the time of my supplication? Glory be to You! I do not despair of You, for You have opened the door of repentance toward Yourself. Rather, I say, the words of a lowly servant, having wronged himself and made light of his Lord’s inviolability, and whose sins are dreadful, great, whose days have parted, fled, until, when he sees the term of his works expired and the limit of his lifetime reached and knows with certainty that he has no escape from You, no place to flee from You, he turns his face toward You in repeated turning, makes his repentance toward You sincere, stands before You with a pure and purified heart, then supplicates You with a feeble, quiet voice. He is bowed before You, bent, his head lowered, thrown down, his legs shaking in fear, his tears flooding his cheeks. He supplicates You: O Most Merciful of the merciful! O Most Merciful of those toward whom seekers of mercy keep on turning! O Tenderest of those around whom run seekers of forgiveness! O He whose pardon is greater than His vengeance! O He whose good pleasure is more abundant than His anger! O He who seeks His creatures’ praise with excellent forbearance! O He who has accustomed His servants to the acceptance of their repeated turning! O He who seeks to heal their corruption through repentance! O He who is pleased with the easy of their acts! O He who recompenses with the much their little! O He who made himself accountable to them to respond to supplication! O He who pledged Himself by His gratuitous bounty to give them excellent repayment! I am not the most disobedient of those who have disobeyed You and whom You have forgiven, nor am I the most blameworthy to offer excuses which You have accepted, nor am I the most wrongdoing of those who have repented to You and to whom You have returned. I repent to You in this my station, the repentance of one remorseful over what preceded from him hastily, apprehensive of what has gathered around him, pure in shame for that into which he has fallen, knowing that pardoning great sins is nothing for You, overlooking enormous misdeeds is not difficult for You, putting up with indecent crimes does not trouble You, and the most beloved of Your servants to You is he who refrains from arrogance before You, pulls aside from persistence, and holds fast to praying forgiveness! I seek refuge in You from persistence, I pray forgiveness from You for shortcomings, I seek help from You in incapacity!

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, dispense with what is incumbent upon me toward You, release me from what I merit from You, and grant me sanctuary from what the evildoers fear! For You are full of pardon, the hoped-for source of forgiveness, well known for Your forbearance. My need has no object but You, my sin has no forgiver other than You-could that be possible? I have no fear for myself except from You; You are worthy of reverential fear, and worthy to forgive! Bless Mohammed and his Household, grant my need, answer my request favorably, forgive my sin, and give me security from fear for myself! You are powerful over everything, and that is easy for You. Amen, Lord of the worlds![5]”

In this supplication the Imām, peace be on him, has opened a new door to conversation with Allah, the Exalted. I (the author) think that none knew or used such a door to conversation in the Arab words except the supplication which have been handed down from Imām ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. The Imām (Zayn al-‘Ābidin) displayed before Allah the factors which prevented him from asking Him as well as he presented what urged him to ask him. He mentioned this in a detailed exiting manner, asking Him, the Exalted, for repentance, pardon, and mercy. He asked him with the words of one fearful, lowly, and miserable. He bent, lowered his head, shook (in fear), and burst into tears. He pled to Allah, asked Him to forgive him for falling short of fulfilling His rights against him, and showed remorse over His affairs which he neglected. He, peace be on him, addressed Allah, the Exalted in such a manner, while he, peace be on him, was Sayyid al-Sājidin (the Lords of those who prostrate themselves in prayer), Imām of the Allah-fearing, and Leader of the monotheists. What an angelic soul this is! It became small and melted out of honoring and magnifying the Great Creator!

His Supplication when Sick

He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this great supplication when he was sick or visited by distress or an affliction. The following is its text:

“O Allah, to You belongs praise for the good health of my body which lets me move about, and to You belongs praise for the ailments which You cause to arise in my flesh! For I know not, my Allah, which of the two states deserves more my thanking You and which of the two times is more worthy for my praise of You: the time of health, within which You make me delight in the agreeable things of Your provision, through which You give me the joy to seek the means to Your good pleasure and bounty, and by which You strengthen me for the acts of obedience which You have me success to accomplish; or the time of illness through which You put me to the test and bestow upon me favor: lightening of the offenses that weigh down my back, purification of the evil deeds into which I have plunged, incitement to reach for repentance, reminder of the erasure of misdeeds through ancient favor; and, through all that, what the two writers write for me: blameless acts, which no heart had thought, no tongue had uttered, and no limb had undertaken, rather, as Your bestowal of bounty upon me and the beneficence of Your benefaction toward me.

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, make me love what You have approved for me, make easy for me what You have sent down upon me, purify me of the defilement of what I have sent ahead, erase the evil of what I have done beforehand, let me find the sweetness of well-being, let me taste the coolness of safety, and appoint for me a way out from my illness to Your pardon, transformation of my infirmity into Your forbearance, escape from my distress to Your refreshment, and safety from this hardship in Your relief! You are gratuitous bountiful in beneficence, ever gracious in kindness, the Generous, the Giver, Possessor of majesty and munificence![6]”

The Imām, peace be on him, firmly believed that Allah, the Exalted, had power over health, safety, and maladies. He thought that it was Allah who gave well-being and tried with malady whomever He wished of His servants, yet the Imām, peace be on him, thanked his Lord for both states: He thanked Him for well-being, the agreeable things of provision, activity to seeking His good pleasure, and strength to obeying Him. Also he thanked for malady, for he thought that illness would decrease one’s sins and crimes, meanwhile he wanted to draw the attention of people to repentance. After this he asked Him to give him well-being and safety, to save him from hardships, and to relieve him.

His Supplication when he asked Release from his Sins

This is one of the Imām’s outstanding supplications. He supplicated with it when he asked release from his sins or pleaded in seeking pardon for his defects, as it has been mentioned in al-Sahifa al-Sajjādiya. The following is its text:

“O Allah, O He through whose Mercy sinners seek aid! O He to the remembrance of whose beneficence the distressed flee! O He in fear of whom the offenders weep! O Comfort of every lonely stranger! O Relief of all who are downcast and distresses! O Aid of everyone abandoned and alone! O Support of every needy outcast!

You are He who embrace everything in mercy and knowledge! You are He who has appointed for each creature a share of Your favors! You are He whose pardon is higher than his punishment! You are He whose mercy runs before His wrath! You are He whose bestowal is greater than His withholding! You are He who by whose mercy all creatures are embraced! You are He who desires no repayment by him upon whom He bestows! You are He who does not overdo the punishment of him whom disobeys You! And I, my Allah, am Your servants whom You commanded to supplicate and who said: I am at Your service and disposal! Here am I, my Lord, thrown down before You. I am he whose back offenses have weighed down! I am he whose lifetime sins have consumed! I am he who was disobedient in his ignorance, while You did not deserve that from him! Will You, my Allah, be merciful toward him who supplicates You, that I should bring my supplication before You? Will You forgive him who weeps to You that I should hurry to weep? Will You show forbearance toward him whom puts who puts his face in the dust before You in lowliness? Will You free from need him who complains to You of his indigent need with confidence? My Allah, disappoint not him who finds no bestower other than You, and abandon not him who cannot be freed from his need for You through less than You! My Allah, so bless Mohammed and his Household, turn not away from me when I have turned my face toward You, deprive me not when I have besought You, and slap not my brow with rejection when I have stood before You! You are he who has described Himself by mercy so bless Mohammed and his Household, and have mercy upon me! You are he who has named Himself by pardon, so pardon me! You have seen, my Allah, the flow of my tears in fear of You, the throbbing of my heart in dread of You, and the infirmity of my limbs in awe of You. All this from my shame before You because of my evil works! So my voice has become silent, no longer crying to You, and my tongue has gone dumb, no longer whispering in prayer.”

This part of supplication shows the Imām’s firm faith in Allah and his strong devotion to Him. He entrusted all his affairs to Him, clung to Him during all his worries, and asked Him for pardon, repentance, and good pleasure. Now, let’s listen to another part of this supplication.

“My Allah, so to You belongs praise! How many of my flaws You have covered over without exposing me! How many of my sins You have cloaked without making me notorious! How many faults I have committed, yet You did not tear away from me their covering, collar me with their detested disgrace, or make their dishonor plain to those of my neighbors who search for my defects and to those who envy Your favor toward me! But that did not prevent me from passing on to the evil that You know from me! So who is more ignorant than I, my Allah, of his own right conduct? Who is more heedless than I of his own good fortune? Who is further than I from seeking to set himself right? For I spend the provision You deliver to me in the disobedience You have prohibited to me! Who sinks more deeply into falsehood and is more intensely audacious in evil than I? For I hesitate between Your call and the call of Satan and then follow his call without being blind in my knowledge of him or forgetful in my memory of him, while I am certain that Your call takes to the Garden and his call takes to the Fire! Glory be to You! How marvelous the witness I bear against my own soul and the enumeration of my hidden affairs! And more marvelous than that is Your lack of haste with me, Your slowness in attending to me! That is not because I possess honor with You, but because You wait patiently for me and are bountiful toward me that I may refrain from disobedience displeasing to You and abstain from evil deeds that disgrace me, and because You love to pardon me more than to punish! But I, my Allah, am more numerous in sins, uglier in footsteps, more repulsive in acts, more reckless in rushing into falsehood, weaker in awakening to Your obedience, and less attentive and heedful toward Your threats, than that I could number for You my faults or have the power to recount my sins. I only scold my own soul, craving Your gentleness, through which the affairs of sinners are set right, and hoping for Your mercy, through which the necks of the offenders are freed.”

The Imām, peace be on him, never committed sin throughout his life; rather he devoted himself to his religion, taking great care of his conduct. As he was very fearful of Allah, turned to Him in repentance, and dedicated himself to Him, he placed himself in the station of the sinners, hoping for pardon, salvation, and deliverance. Now, let’s listen to the last part of this supplication.

“O Allah, this is my neck, enslaved by sins, so bless Mohammed and his Household and release it through Your pardon! This is my back, weighed down by offenses, so bless Mohammed and his Household and lighten it through Your kindness! My Allah, were I to weep to You until my eyelids drop off, wail until my voice wears out, stand before You until my backbone is thrown out of joint, prostrate to You until my eyeballs fall out, eat the dirt of the earth for my whole life, drink the water of ashes till the end of my days, mention You through all of that my tongue fails, and not lift my glance to the sky’s horizons in shame before You, yet would I not merit through all of that the erasing of a single one of my evil deeds! Though You forgive me when I merit Your forgiveness and pardon me when I merit Your pardon, yet I have no title to that through what I deserve, nor I am worthy of it through merit, since my repayment from You from the first that I disobeyed You is the Fire! So if You punish me, You do me no wrong.

“My Allah, since You have shielded me with Your covering and not exposed me, waited patiently for me through Your generosity, and not hurried me to punishment, and shown me clemency through Your bounty, and not changed Your favor upon me or muddied Your kindly acts toward me, have mercy on my drawn out pleading, my intense misery, and my evil situation! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, protect me from acts of disobedience, employ me in obedience, provide me with excellent turning back (to You), purify me through repentance, strengthen me through preservation from sin, set me right through well-being, let me taste the sweetness of forgiveness, make me the freeman of Your pardon and the slave released by Your mercy, and write for me a security from Your displeasure! Give me the good news of that in the immediate, not the deferred-a good news I recognize-and make me known to me therein a sign which I may clearly see! That will not constrain You in Your plenty, distress You in Your power, ascend beyond Your lack of haste, or tire You in Your great gifts, which are pointed to by Your signs. Verily You do what You will, You decree what You desire. You are powerful over everything.[7]”

The Imām, peace be on him, did his best to seek nearness to Allah and prepared for his life in the next world a marvelous station: In the field of worship, he performed all the superfluous and desirable prayers, and in the field of good deeds, he helped the miserable and the deprived, yet he thought that he fell short of obeying Allah, following the prophets and their trustees (of authority) who were very sincere in obeying and worshipping Allah, still they felt that their worship and obedience to Him was not important.

His Supplication in Seeking Refuge from the Instigations of Satan

He would supplicate with this great supplication when he mentioned Satan and sought refuge in Allah from him and from his enmity and trickery.

“O Allah, we seek refuge in You from the instigations of the accursed Satan, his trickery, and his traps, from trust in his false hopes, his promises, his delusions, and his snares, and lest he should make himself crave to lead us away from Your obedience and to degrade us through our disobeying You, and lest what he has shown us as beautiful be beautiful for us and what he has shown us as detestable weigh down upon us. O Allah, drive him away from us through Your worship, throw him down through our perseverance in Your love, and place between us a covering that he cannot tear away and a solid barrier that he cannot cut through! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, distract Satan from us with some of Your enemies, preserve us from him through Your good guarding, spare us his treachery, turn his back toward us, and cut from us his trace! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, give us to enjoy guidance the like of his misguidance, increase us in piety against his seduction, and make us walk in reverential fear contrary to his path of ruin! O Allah, assign him no place of entrance into our hearts and do not allow him to make his home in that which is with us! O Allah, cause us to recognize the falsehood with which he tempts us, and once You have caused us to recognize it, protect us from it! Make us see what will allow us to outwit him, inspire us with all that we can make ready for him, awaken us from the heedless slumber of relying upon him, and help us well, through Your giving success, against him! O Allah, saturate our hearts with the rejection of his works and be gentle to us by destroying his stratagems! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, turn his authority away from us, cut his hope from us, and keep him from craving us!”

The accursed Satan is the first enemy of man. He makes him follow evil inclinations and thoughts, turns him away from the straight path, adorns for him the acts of disobedience, and makes him love crimes and sins, hence the Imām, peace be on him, asked Allah to save him from Satan, his trickery, his traps, from trust in his false hopes, his promises, his delusions, and his snares through which he deludes men, throw them into ruin, and send them far from Allah’s favors and mercy. Now, let’s listen to the rest of the supplication:

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, and place our fathers, our mothers, our children, our wives, our siblings, our relatives, and the faithful among our neighbors, male and female, in a sanctuary impregnable to him, a guarding fortress, a defending cave! Clothe them in shields protective against him and give them arms that will cut him down! O Allah, include in that every one who witnesses to You as Lord, devotes himself sincerely to Your Unity, shows enmity toward him through the reality of servanthood, and seeks help from You against him through knowledge of the divine sciences!

“O Allah, undo what he ties, unstitch what he sews up, dislocate what he devises, frustrate him when he makes up his mind, and destroy what he establishes! O Allah, rout his troops, nullify his trickery, make his cave collapse, and rub his nose in the ground! O Allah, place us in the ranks of his enemies and remove us from the numbers of his friends, that we obey him not when he entices us and answer him not when he calls to us! We command everyone who obeys our command to be his enemy and we admonish everyone who follows our prohibition not to follow him! O Allah, bless Mohammed, the Seal of the Prophets and Lord of the emissaries, and the folk of his house, the good, the pure! Give refuge to us, our families, our brothers, and all the faithful, male and female, from that from which we seek refuge, and grant us sanctuary from that through fear of which we seek sanctuary in You! Hear our supplication to You, bestow upon us that of which we have been heedless, and safeguard for us what we have forgotten! Through all this bring us into the ranks of the righteous and the degrees of the faithful! Amen, Lord of the worlds![8]”

The Imām, peace be on him, asked the Great Creator to be kind to him through placing his father, his mother, his children, his wife, his siblings, his relatives, and the faithful among his neighbors, male and female, in a sanctuary impregnable to Satan, a guarding fortress, a defending cave. He asked Allah to include in that everyone who witnesses to Him as Lord and devotes himself sincerely to His Unity. Moreover he asked Allah to undo what Satan ties, unstitch what he sews up, dislocate what he devises, frustrate him when he makes up his mind, and destroy what he establishes.

His Supplication in Asking for Water during a Drought

During a drought, he, peace be on him, would supplicate with this outstanding supplication.

“O Allah, water us with rain, unfold us Your mercy through Your copious rain from the driven clouds, so that Your goodly earth may grow on all horizons! Show kindness to Your servants through ripening of the fruit, revive Your land through the blossoming of the flowers, and let Your angels-the noble scribers-be witness to a beneficial watering from You, lasting in its abundance, plenty in its flow, heavy, quick, soon, through which You revive what has vanished, bring forth what is coming, and provide plentiful foods, through heaped up, wholesome, productive clouds, in reverberating layers, the rain’s downpour not without ease, the lightning’s flashes not without fruit! O Allah, give us water through rain, helping, productive, fertilizing, widespread, plentiful, abundant, bringing back the risen, restoring the broken! O Allah, give us water with a watering through which You will make the stone hills pour, fill the cisterns, flood the rivers, make the trees grow, bring down prices in all the lands, invigorate the beasts and the creatures, perfect for us the agreeable things of provision, make grow for us the fields, let flow for us the teats, and add for us strength to our strength!

“O Allah, make not the cloud’s shadow over us a burning wind, allow not its coldness to be cutting, let not its pouring down upon us be a stoning, and make not its water for us bitter! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, and provide us with the blessings of the heavens and the earth! You are powerful over everything![9]”

I (the author) think that there are no Arab words more wonderful and eloquent than this description in the supplication of Imām , peace be on him. He descried the reality of clouds with the most accurate qualities. He showed that clouds gave life to the earth, made inclusive changes in the laws of nature, and hence they profited both man and animal. This great Imām, like his fathers, was given inclusive words and sound judgment.

His Supplication when something Made him Sorrow

He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this great supplication when some thing made him sorrow and offenses made him worry. The following is its text:

“O Allah, O Sufficer of the isolated and weak and Protector against terrifying affairs! Offenses have isolated me, so there is no one to be my companion. I am too weak for Your wrath and there is no one to strengthen me. I have approached the terror of meeting You and there is no one to still my fear. Who can make me secure from when You have filled me with terror? Who can come to aid me when You have isolated me? Who can strengthen me when You have weakened me? None can grant sanctuary to a vassal, my Allah, but a lord, none can give security to one dominated but a dominator, none can aid him from whom demands are made but a demander. In Your hand, my Allah, is the tread of all that, in You the place of escape and flight, so bless Mohammed and his Household, give sanctuary to me in my flight, and grant my request!

“O Allah, if You should turn Your generous face away from me, withhold from me Your immense bounty, forbid me Your provision, or cut off from me Your thread, I will find no way to anything of my hope other than You nor be given power over what is with You through another’s aid, for I am Your servant and in Your grasp; my forelock is in Your hand! I have no command along with Your command. Accomplished is Your judgment of me, just Your decree for me! I have not the strength to emerge from Your authority nor am I able to step outside Your power. I cannot win Your inclination, arrive at Your good pleasure, or attain what is with You except through obeying You and through the bounty of Your mercy. My Allah, I rise in the morning and enter into evening as Your lowly slave. I own no profit and loss for myself. except through You. I witness to that over myself and I confess to the frailty of my strength and the paucity of my stratagems. So accomplish what You have promised me and complete for me what You have given me, for I am Your slave, miserable, abased, frail, distressed, vile, despised, poor, fearful, and seeking sanctuary!

The great Imām believed in the absolute power of Allah, the Exalted, and thought that all things were in the grasp of Him, the Most High, for He is the Possessor, the All-dominating, the All-overcoming, whose command none repels. The Imām emptied himself from all his outstanding merits and confessed obedience to Allah showing his feebleness, weakness, misery, and inability to do anything except through the help of Him, the Exalted. Now, let’s listen to the last parts of this supplication.

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household and let me not forget to remember You in what You have done for me, be heedless of Your beneficence in Your trying me, or despair of Your response to me, though it keep me waiting whether I be in prosperity or adversity, hardship or ease, well-being or affliction, misery or comfort, wealth or distress, poverty or riches!

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, make me laud You, extol You, and praise You in all my states so that I rejoice not over what You give me of this world nor sorrow over that of it which You withhold from me! Impart reverential fear of You to my heart, employ my body in that which You accept from me, and divert my soul through obedience to You from all that enters upon me so that I love nothing that displeases You and become displeased at nothing that pleases You! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, empty my heart for Your love, occupy it with remembering You, animate it with fear of You and quaking before You, strengthen it with beseeching You, incline it to Your obedience, set it running in the path most beloved to You, and subdue it through desire for what is with You all the days of my life! Let my provision in this world be reverential fear of You, my mercy be toward Your mercy, and my entrance be in Your good pleasure! Appoint for me a lodging in Your Garden, give me strength to bear everything that pleases You, make me flee to You and desire what is with You, clothe my heart in estrangement from the evil among Your creature, and give me intimacy with You, Your friends, and those who obey You! Assign to no wicked person or unbeliever a kindness toward me or a hand that obliges me, nor to me a need for one of them! Rather make the stillness of my heart, the comfort of my soul, my independence and my sufficiency lie in You and the best of Your creatures! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, make me their comrade, make me their helper, and oblige with yearning for You and doing for You what You love and approve! You are powerful over everything and that is easy for You.[10]”

In these parts, the Imām, peace be on him, expressed his great trust and faith in Allah, asking Him not to let him forget to remember Him in what He had done for him, be heedless of His beneficence in His trying him, or despair of His response. He asked Him to make his laud and praise for His pleasure in all states. He asked him to empty his heart for His love, occupy it with remembering Him, animate it with fear of Him, set it running in the path most beloved to Him, let his provision in this perishing world be reverential fear of Him, and make Paradise his abode and final station.

The Imām, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Most Exalted, to clothe his heart in estrangement from the evil among His creature, and give him intimacy with Him, His friends, and those who obeyed Him, and to assign to no wicked person or unbeliever a kindness toward him or a hand that obliged him, nor to him a need for one of them! The Imam entrusted all his affairs to Allah, the Most High, for He freed him from need to all His creatures.

His Supplication in Hardship

The Imām, peace be on him, would supplicate with this holy supplication in hardship, effort, and difficult affairs.

“O Allah, You have charged me concerning myself with that which belongs more to You than to me. Your power over it and over me is greater than my power, so give me in myself what will make You pleased with me and take for Yourself Your good pleasure in my self’s well-being! O Allah, I have endurance for effort, no patience in affliction, no strength to bear poverty. So forbid me not my provision and entrust me not to Your creatures, but take care of my need alone and Yourself attend to sufficing me! Look upon me and look after me in all my affairs, for if You entrust me to Your creatures, they will frown upon me, and if You make me resort to my kinsfolk, they will refuse to give me; if they give me, they will give me little and in bad temper, making me feel long obliged and blaming me much. So through Your bounty, O Allah, free me from need, through Your mightiness, lift me up through Your boundless plenty, open my hand, and with that which is with You, suffice me!

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, rid me of enemy, encircle me against sins, make me abstain from things unlawful, give me not the boldness of disobedient acts, assign me love for that which is with You and satisfaction with that which comes to me from You, bless me in that which You provide me, that which You confer upon me, and that through which You favor me, and make me in all my states safeguarded, watched, covered, defended, given refuge, and granted sanctuary!

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, and let me accomplish everything which You have enjoined upon me or made obligatory for me toward You, in one of the ways of Your obedience, or toward one of Your creatures, though my body be too frail for that, my strength too feeble, my power not able to reach it, and my possessions and what my hand owns not encompass it, and whether I have remembered it or forgotten it. It, my Lord, is among that which You have counted against me while I have been heedless of it in myself. Let me perform it through Your plentiful giving and the abundance which is with You-for You are Boundless, Generous-so that nothing of it may remain against me, lest You would wish to settle accounts for it from my good deeds or to compound my evil deeds on the day I meet You, my Lord!”

Consider carefully these paragraphs of this supplication and you will find deep faith in Allah, perfect sincerity to Him, and absolute freedom from all material inclinations. The Imām asked Allah, the Exalted, to include him in His care and favors and to be kind to him through:

1. Not trying him with that toward which he had neither force nor strength.

2. Not afflicting him with poverty and neediness, for they were the hardest of all the disasters in this world’s life.

3. Not entrusting him to His creatures, whether near or far, for they disdained him who was in need of them.

4. Ridding him from envy, which was one of the most evil inclinations.

5. Preventing him from committing sins and acts of disobedience.

6. Making him cling to piety and Allah-fearingness.

7. Making him desire for that which was with Him.

8. Making blessed his property and children

9. Safeguarding him in all his states and affairs, covering him over, and protecting him from the evil.

10. Granting him success for performing his past duties and obligations. These are some of the Imām’s requests. Now, let’s listen to the rest of this supplication.

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, and provide me with desire to serve You for the sake of my state in the hereafter, such that I know the truthfulness of that (desire) in my heart, be dominated by renunciation while in this world, do good deeds with yearning, and remain secure from evil in fright and fear! And give a light whereby I may walk among the people!, be guided in the shadows, and seek illumination in doubt and uncertainty! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, and provide me with fear of the threatened gloom and yearning for the promised reward, such that I may find the pleasure of that for which I supplicate You and the sorrow of that from which I seek sanctuary in You!

“O Allah, You know what will set my affairs right in this world and the next, so be ever gracious toward my deeds! O Allah, bless Mohammed and Mohammed’s Household and provide me with what is Your right when I fall short in thanking You for that through which You have favored me in ease and difficulty, health and sickness, such that I may come to know in myself repose in satisfaction and serenity of soul in that which You have made incumbent upon me in whatever states may occur: fear and security, satisfaction and displeasure, loss and gain!

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, and provide me with a breast safe from envy, such that I envy none of Your creatures in anything of Your bounty and such that I see none of Your favors toward any of Your creatures in religion or this world, well-being or reverential fear, plenty or ease, without hoping for myself better than it through and from You alone, who has no associate! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, and provide me in this world and the next with caution against offenses and wariness against slips in the state of satisfaction and wrath, such that I may remain indifferent toward that which enters upon me from the two states, work toward Your obedience, and prefer it and Your good pleasure over all else in both friends and enemies. Then my enemy may stay secure from my wrongdoing and injustice and my friend may despair of my inclination and the bent of my affection. Make me one of those who supplicate You with sincerity in ease with the supplication of those who supplicate You with sincerity in distress! Verily You are Praiseworthy, Glorious.[11]”

These paragraphs contain some of the Imām’s psychological desires when he asked Allah:

1. To serve Him for the sake of his state in the hereafter.

2. To make him renounce this world.

3. To help him in doing good deeds.

4. To giving him a light whereby he might walk among the people, be guided in the shadows, and seek illumination in doubt and uncertainty.

5. To make him fear the terrors on the Day of Resurrection and yearn for the abundant repayment He (Allah) had prepared for His pious, righteous servants.

6. To save him from envy, which was among the most dangerous psychological blights.

7. To provide him with guarding against sins and slips. These are some contents of this part of the supplication.

His Supplication when he asked Allah for Well-Being

The Imām, peace be on him, would supplicate with this holy supplication when he asked Allah for well-being and thanked Him for it:

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, and clothe me in Your well-being, wrap me in Your well-being, fortify me through Your well-being, honor me with Your well-being, free me from need through Your well-being, donate to me Your well-being, bestow upon me Your well-being, spread out for me Your well-being in this world and the next! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, and make me well with a well-being sufficient, healing, sublime, growing, a well-being that will give birth to well-being in my body, a well-being in this world and the next! Oblige me through health, security and safety in my religion and body, insight in my heart, penetration in my affairs, dread of You, fear of You, strength for the obedience which You have commanded for me, and avoidance of the disobedience which You have prohibited for me!

“O Allah, oblige me through the hajj, the ‘umra, and visiting the grave of Your Messenger (Your blessings, mercy, and benedictions upon him and upon his Household, upon them be peace) for as long as You caused me to live, in this year of mine and in every year, and make that accepted, thanked, and mentioned before You and stored away with You! Make my tongue utter Your praise, Your thanksgiving, Your remembrance, and Your excellent laudation, and expand my heart toward the right goals of Your religion! Give and my progeny refuge from the accursed Satan, the evil of venomous vermin, threatening pests, swarming crowds, and evil eyes, the evil of every rebel satan, the evil of every refractory sovereign, the evil of every living in ease and served, the evil of every weak or strong, the evil of every born high or low, the evil of every small or great, the evil of every near or far, the evil of every, jinn or man, who declares war on Your Messenger and his Household, the evil of every crawling creature that You have taken by the forelock! Surely You are on a straight path.

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household and if some one desires ill for me turn him away from me, drive away from me his deception, avert from me his evil, send his trickery back to his own throat, and place before him a barricade, so that You may bind his eyes toward me, deafen his ears toward my mention, lock his heart toward recalling me, silence his tongue against me, restrain his head, abase his exaltation, break his arrogance, abase his neck, disjoint his pride, and make me secure from all his injury, his evil, his slander, his backbiting, his faultfinding, his envy, his enmity, his snares, his traps, his foot soldiers, and his cavalry! Surely You are Mighty, Powerful![12]”

The most valuable thing in this world’s life is well-being and soundness from maladies, hence the Imām, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Most High, to give him to enjoy this favor to be strong enough to serve Him, to perform His obligations, and to refrain from prohibited things and acts of disobedience. He asked Him to oblige him through the hajj, the ‘umra, and visiting the grave of the Greatest Messenger (may Allah bless him and his Household) and the graves of his grandsons, the pure Imāms, who were the ships of deliverance and security for mankind. He sought protection in Him from the evil of men and jinn.

His Supplication when his Provision was Stinted

He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this supplication when his provision was stinted and the means of his daily bread was difficult.

“O Allah, You have tried us with distrust in our provisions and the expectation of long lives, until we begged for provisions from those who are provided and craved in our expectations the life-spans of the long-lived! So bless Mohammed and his Household, give us a true certainty that will suffice us the burden of seeking, and inspire us with a sincere trust that will release us from the hardship of exertion! Let Your clear promise in Your Revelation which You have followed in Your Book with Your oath cut off our worry about the provisions for which You have made Yourself responsible and sever our occupation with everything whose sufficiency You have guaranteed! For You have said-and Your word is the most truthful truth-and You have sworn-and Your oath is the most kept and fulfilled-In the heaven are your provision and everything you are promised! And then You have said: So by the Lord of heaven and earth, it is as surely true as that you have promised![13]”

In this supplication the Imām talked about two psychological aspects. They are:

1. When man faces stinted provision and narrow paths, he accuses Allah of this and attributes it to Him.

2. Man has been afflicted by long expectation and subsistence in this world, hence he foolishly considers the life-spans of the long-lived and thinks that he will live as they did. This opinion has bad results of which is that man neglects the affairs of his life in the next world and devotes himself to this world’s life, hence the Imām, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Exalted, to give him a true certainty that would suffice him the burden of seeking, and inspire him with a sincere trust that would release him from the hardship of exertion.

His Supplication for Help in Repaying Debts

He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this supplication for help in repaying debts.

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household and release me from a debt which make me lose face, confuses my mind, disrupts my thinking, and prolongs my occupation with attending to it! I seek refuge in You, my Lord, from worry and thought about debt, from the distraction and sleeplessness of debt; so bless Mohammed and his Household and give me refuge from it! I seek sanctuary in You, my Lord, from debt’s abasement in life and its ill effects after death, so bless Mohammed and his Household and give sanctuary from it through a bountiful plenty or a continually arriving sufficiency! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, prevent me from extravagance and excess, put me on the course of generous spending and moderation, teach me excellent distribution, hold me back through Your gentleness from squandering, allow me to attain my provisions through lawful means, direct my spending toward the gateways of devotion, and take away from me any possession which will bring forth pride in me, lead to insolence, or drag me in its heels to rebellion! O Allah, make me love the companionship of the poor and help me be their companion with excellent patience! Whenever You take away from me the goods of this perishing world, store them for me in Your abiding treasuries! Make this world’s broken pieces which You have conferred upon me and its goods which You have quickly granted to me a way to reach Your neighborhood, a link to Your nearness, and a means to Your Garden! Verily You are Possessor of bounty abounding, and You are the Munificent, the Generous.[14]”

This holy supplication includes the following points:

1. The Imām, peace be on him, asked Allah and pleaded to Him to release him from debt, which results in harm and pain of which are the following:

A. It makes one lose face, especially when he is unable to repay it.

B. It confuses mind and disrupts thinking, for the indebted always think about how to repay it and get rid of it.

C. It forces the indebted to practice many works to repay it and get rid of it.

D. It abases the indebted in life, for they show lowliness before the creditors.

E. It continues after the death of the indebted until it is repaid, hence the Imām, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Most High, to give him sanctuary from it through a bountiful plenty or a continually arriving sufficiency, that he might get rid of the pain and harm of debt.

2. The Imām, peace be on him, asked Allah, the Exalted, to prevent him from extravagance and excess which ruined and wasted possessions.

3. He, peace be on him, asked Allah to teach him to distribute his possessions in an excellent manner.

4. He asked Allah, the Most High, to provide him with legal provision.

5. He asked Allah, the Most High, to make his spending toward the gateways of devotion and what pleased Him, the Exalted.

6. He asked Allah, the Exalted, not to try him with riches which would bring forth pride in him, lead to insolence, or drag him in its heels to rebellion.

7. The Imām asked Allah to make him love the companionship of the poor and help him be their companion with excellent patience. These are some contents of this great supplication.

His Supplication in Mentioning and Asking for Repentance

The following is among his supplications in mentioning and asking for repentance:

“O Allah, O He whom the depiction of the describers fails to describe! O He beyond whom passes not the hope of the hopers! O He with whom is not lost the wage of the good-doers! O He who is the ultimate object of the fear of the worshippers! O He who is the utmost limit of the dread of the Allahfearing! This is the station of him whom sins have passed from hand to hand. Offenses’ reins led him on, and Satan has gained mastery over him. He fell short of what You have commanded through neglect and he pursued what You have prohibited in delusion, like on ignorant of Your power over him or one who denies the bounty of Your beneficence toward him, until, when the eye of guidance was opened for him and the clouds of blindness were dispelled, he reckoned that through which he had wronged himself and reflected upon that in which he had opposed his Lord. He saw his vast disobedience as vast and his great opposition as great. So he turned to You, hoping in You and ashamed before You, and he directed his beseeching toward You, having trust in You. He repaired to You in his longing with certitude and he went straight to You in fear with sincerity. His longing was devoid of every object of longing but You, and his fright departed from every object of fear but You. So he stood before You pleading, his eyes turned toward the ground in humbleness, his head bowed before Your might in lowliness; he revealed to You in meekness those secrets of his which You counted better than he; he sought help from You before the dreadful into which he has fallen in Your knowledge and the ugly which has disgraced him in Your judgment: the sins whose pleasures have turned their backs and gone and whose evil consequences have stayed and stuck fast. He will not deny Your justice, my Allah,if You punish him,nor will he consider Your pardon great if You pardon him and have mercy upon him, for You are the Generous Lord for whom the forgiveness of great sins is nothing great!”

As for this part, it contains confessing the Unity of Allah and praising Him as One whom the depiction of the describers fails to describe. How can the possible being- limited in existence, senses, knowledge, ability, and activities-encompass the Necessary Being, whose knowledge and power has no bound?

The Imām, peace be on him, shed light upon the sinners from among Allah’s servants. He humbly regarded himself as one of them. He indicated that pleasures plunged them into disobeying the Commands of Allah, the Exalted, that when they came to their consciousness, bitter thoughts would attack them, and felt remorse, and that they would flee to Him asking Him for pardon, forgiveness, and good pleasure. Now, let’s listen to another part of this great supplication.

“O Allah, so here I am: I have come to You obeying Your command (for You have commanded supplication and asking the fulfillment of Your promise, for You have promised to respond): You have said: Supplicate Me and I will respond to you. O Allah, so bless Mohammed and his Household, meet me with Your forgiveness just as I have met You with confession, lift me up from the fatal infirmities of sins just as I have let myself down before You, and cover me with Your covering just as You have shown no haste to take vengeance on me! O Allah, make firm my intention to obey You, strengthen my insight in worshipping You, give me the success of works which will wash away the defilement of offenses, and take me when Your prophet Mohammed (upon him be peace).

“O Allah, I repent to You in this my station from my sins, great and small, my evil deeds, inward and outward, my lapses, past and recent, with the repentance of one who does not tell himself that he might disobey or secretly think that he might return to an offense. You have said, my Lord, in the firm text of Your Book, that You accept repentance from Your servants, pardon evil deeds, and love the repenters, so accept my repentance as You have promised, pardon my evil deeds as You have guaranteed, and make obligatory toward me Your love as You have stipulated! To You, my Lord, belongs my stipulation that I will not return to that is disliked by You, my guarantee that I will not go back to what You blame, and my covenant that I will stay away from acts of disobedience to You.

“O Allah, You know better what I have done, so forgive me what You know and turn me through Your power to what You love. O Allah, counted against me are claims that stay in my memory and claims I have

forgotten, while all of them remain in Your eye that does not sleep and Your knowledge that does not forget! So compensate their owners, lighten their load upon me, lift up their weight from me, and preserve me from approaching their like!

“O Allah, but I cannot be faithful to my repentance without Your preservation, nor can I refrain from offenses without Your strength. So strengthen me with a sufficient strength and attained to me with a defending preservation! O Allah, if any servant repents to You while in Your knowledge of the unseen he will break his repentance and return to his sin and offense, I seek refuge in You lest I be like that! So make this my repentance a repentance after which I will need no repentance and a repentance which will obligate the erasing of what has gone by and safety in what remains!”

In this part the Imām stood humble, lowly, and broken-hearted before the Great Creator, hoping that He would response to him, give him forgiveness and good pleasure, lift him up from the fatal infirmities of sins, and cover him over with His beautiful covering, for he had repented to Him sincerely, returned to Him, been sincere in obeying Him, decided not to return to any detested and dispraised thing, and to follow the path that would lead him to His good pleasure. The Imām insisted on asking Allah to accept his repentance, to safeguard him from all sins, and to erase all his sins. Now, let’s listen to the rest of this great supplication.

“O Allah, I seek pardon from You for my ignorance, and I ask You to disregard my evil acts! So join me to the shelter of Your mercy through graciousness and cover me with the covering of Your well-being through bounteousness! O Allah, I repent to You from everything opposed to Your will or far from Your love-the thoughts of my hearts, the glances of my eye, the tales of my tongue-with a repentance through which each bodily part will by itself stay safe from ill consequences with You and remain secure from Your painful penalties feared by transgressors! O Allah, so have mercy on my being alone before You, the pounding of my heart in dread of You, the trembling of my limbs in awe of You! My sins, my Allah, have stood me in the station of degradation in Your courtyard. If I remain silent, none will speak for me; if I seek an intercessor, I am not worthy for intercession.

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, make Your generosity intercede for my offenses, follow up my evil deeds with Your pardon, repay me not with the punishment that is my proper repayment, spread over me Your graciousness, wrap me in Your covering, and do with me what is done by a mighty man, when a lowly slave pleads to him and he shows him mercy, or a rich man when a poor slave submits himself and he raises him to wealth! O Allah, I have no protector against You, so let Your might be my protector! I have no intercessor with You, so let Your bounty be my intercessor! My offenses have set me quaking, so let Your pardon give me security! Not all that I have said rises up from my ignorance of my evil footsteps or forgetfulness of my blameworthy acts in the past, but in order that Your heaven and those within it and Your earth and those upon it may hear the remorse which I have professed to You and the repentance through which I have sought asylum with You. Then perhaps one of them, through Your mercy, may show mercy upon my evil situation or be seized by tenderness for my evil state. There may come from him for my sake a supplication to which You give ear more than to my supplication or an intercession surer with You than my intercession through which I may be delivered from Your wrath and attain to Your good pleasure!

“O Allah, if remorse is a repentance toward You, them I am the most remorseful of the remorseful! If refraining from disobedience is a turning back to You, then I am the first of those who turn back! If praying for forgiveness alleviates sins, surely I am one of those who pray for Your forgiveness! O Allah, as You have commanded repentance and guaranteed acceptance, as You have urged supplication and promised to respond, so bless Mohammed and his Household, accept my repentance, and return me not to the returning place of disappointment in Your mercy! Surely You are Ever-turning toward the sinners, All-compassionate toward the offenders who turn back!

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household just as You have guided us by him! Bless Mohammed and his Household just as You have rescued through him! Bless Mohammed and his Household, with a blessing that will intercede for us on the Day of Resurrection, the day of neediness toward You! You are powerful over everything, and that is easy for You![15]”

Have you seen this pleading and devotion to Allah? The Imām melted out of fear of Allah, while he was the Lord of the Allah-fearing, Imām of those who turned to Allah in repentance, and Leader of the monotheists.

It is certain that the Imām, peace be on him, did not commit any sin throughout his lifetime. His life shone with the light of piety and faith, but he wanted to teach the community brilliant lessons about the true Islamic principles, which summoned the people to Allah through opening a door to repentance. Hence one who has irregular conduct and has turned away from the straight path should not despair of Allah’s mercy, for the door to repentance is open when he repents to Allah, turns to him in repentance, and uproots from his own soul the inclination to sin and disobedience.

His Supplication in Asking for the Best

The following is his supplication in asking for the best:

“O Allah, I ask You the best in Your knowledge, so bless Mohammed and his Household and decree for me the best! Inspire us with knowledge to choose the best and make that a means to being pleased with what You have decreed for us and submitting to what You have decided! Banish from us the doubt of misgiving and confirm us with the certainty of the sincere! Visit us not with incapacity to know what You have chosen, lest we despise Your measuring out, dislike the place of Your good pleasure, and incline toward that which is further from good outcome and nearer to the opposite of well-being! Make us love what we dislike in Your decree and make easy for us what we find difficult in Your decision! Inspire us to yield to that which You bring upon us by Your will, lest we love the delay of what You have hastened and the hastening of what You have delayed, dislike what You love, and choose what You dislike! Seal us with that which is most praised in outcome and most generous in issue! Surely You give generous gain, bestow the immense, do what You will, and You are powerful over everything.[16]”

This supplication indicates that the Imām, peace be on him, entrusted all his affairs to Allah. He asked Him for the best in all his important matters and asked Him for guidance. If Allah decreed for him the best, he would do them; otherwise he would leave them.

His Supplication when he was Afflicted

The following is his supplication when he was afflicted or saw someone afflicted with the disgrace of sin:

“O Allah, to You belong praise for Your covering after Your knowledge and Your pardon after Your awareness! Each of us has committed faults, but You have not made him notorious, done indecencies, but You have not disgraced him, and covered over evil deeds, but You have not pointed to him. How many are Your prohibited acts which we have performed, Your commandments of which You have told us which we have transgressed, the evil deeds which we have earned, the offenses which we have committed! You see them to the exclusion of all observers; You have the power to make them public above all the powerful! By giving us safety You have veiled their eyes and stopped their ears. So make the shameful things You have covered over and the inward reality You have concealed our admonisher, a restrainer upon bad character traits and committing offenses, and a striving toward the repentance that erases (sins) and the praiseworthy path! Bring the time of striving near! and visit us not with heedlessness of You! Surely we are the beseechers, the repenters of sins. And bless, Your chosen, O Allah, from Your creation, Mohammed and his descendants, the friends selected from among Your creatures, the pure, and make us listeners to them and obeyers, as You have commanded![17]”

In this supplication the Imām, peace be on him, spoke about Allah’s favors toward the sinners from among His servants, for He did not expose them when they committed sins nor did He make them known among the people, lest their social position should decline; rather He covered them with His great covering, that they might return to the path of the truth and refrain from disobedience.

[1] Ibid., Supplication no. 4.
[2] Al-Sahifa al-Sajjādiya, Supplication no. 5.
[3] Ibid, Supplication no. 6.
[4] Ibid, Supplication no. 11.
[5] Ibid, Supplication no. 12.
[6] Ibid, Supplication no. 15.
[7] Ibid, Supplication no. 16.
[8] Ibid, Supplication no. 17.
[9] Ibid, Supplication no. 19.
[0] Ibid, Supplication no. 21.
[11] Ibid, Supplication no. 22.
[12] Ibid, Supplication no. 23.
[13] Ibid, Supplication no. 29.
[14] Ibid, Supplication no. 30.
[15] Ibid, Supplication no. 31.
[16] Ibid, Supplication no. 33.
[17] Ibid, Supplication no. 34.
Source: maaref-foundation.com


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