The Life of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin

By: Bāqir Sharif al-Qarashi

P. 449 – 469

The following is among his supplications in satisfaction when he looked upon the companions of the world:

“Praise belongs to Allah in satisfaction with Allah’s decision! I bear witness that Allah has apportioned the livelihoods of His creatures with justice and undertaken bounty for all His creatures. O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, tempt me not with what You have given to Your creatures and tempt them not with what You have withheld from me, lest I envy Your creatures and despise Your decision! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, delight my soul through Your decree, expand my breast through the instances of Your decision, give me a trust through which I may admit that Your decree runs only to the best, and let my gratitude to You for what You have taken away from me be more abundant than my gratitude to You for what You have conferred upon me! Preserve me from any imagining any meanness in someone who is destitute or imagining any superiority in someone who possesses wealth, for the noble is he whom obedience to You has ennobled and the exalted is he whom worship of You has exalted! So bless Mohammed and his Household, give us to enjoy a wealth which does not run out, confirm us with an exaltation which will never be lost, and let us roam freely in the kingdom of everlastingness! Surely You are the One, the Unique, the Eternal Refuge; You have not begotten, and equal to You is not any one![1]”

We will briefly talk about some wonderful contents of this great supplication.

1. The Imām, peace be on him, mentioned that Allah, the Exalted, apportioned the livelihoods of His creatures with justice and made them surpass each other in livelihood in accordance with His wisdom, for If they were equal in livelihood, they all would perish, as it is in the tradition.

2. The Imām, peace be on him, asked Allah not to tempt him with what He had given to His creatures and tempt them not with what He had withheld from him, lest he (the Imām) should envy His creatures.

3. The Imām, peace be on him, asked Allah to preserve him from imagining any meanness in someone who was destitute or imagining any superiority in someone who possessed wealth, for the noble was he whom obedience to Allah had ennobled.

His Supplication when he Looked upon Clouds

The following is one of his supplications when he looked upon clouds and lightening and heard the sound of thunder:

“O Allah, these are two of Your signs and these are two of Your helpers. They rush to obey You with beneficial mercy or injurious vengeance, so rain not down upon us from them the evil rain and clothe us not through them in the garment of affliction! O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, send down upon us the benefit of these clouds and their blessing, turn away from us their harm and their injury, strike us not through them with blight, and loose not upon usour livelihood any bane!

“O Allah, if You have incited them as vengeance and loosed them in anger, we seek sanctuary with You from Your wrath and implore You in asking Your pardon! So incline with wrath toward the idolaters and set millstone of Your vengeance turning upon the heretics! O Allah, take away the barrenness of our lands with Your watering, dislodge the malice from our breasts with Your providing, distract us not from You through other than You, and cut none of us off from the stuff of Your goodness, for the rich is he to whom You have given riches, and the safe he whom You have protected! No one has any defense against You, nor any means to bar Your penalty. You decide what You will for whom You will and You decree what You desire for any whom You desire! So to You belong praise for protecting us from affliction and to You belongs thanks for conferring upon us blessings, a praise which will leave behind the praise of the praisers, a praise which will fill the earth and the heaven! Surely You are the All-kind through immense kindnesses, the Giver of abounding favors, the Acceptor of small praise, the Grateful for little gratitude, the Beneficent, the Benevolent, Possessor of graciousness! There is no god but You; unto You is the homecoming.[2]”

In this supplication the Imām, peace be on him, talked about clouds and lightning, which were two of Allah’s signs and two of His helpers. Allah sends them to His creatures as a blessing through which He gives life to the land after it has died or as a vengeance through which He demolishes their houses and destroys their plants as well as He sends down upon them thunderbolts, hence the Imām pled to Allah to send down the evil rain upon His enemies from the idolaters, the unbelievers, and those who deviated from the Truth, and to single out the believers and the Muslims for the good rain.

His Supplication when Confessing his Shortcomings

He, peace be on him, would supplicate with the following supplication when he confessed his shortcomings in giving thanks to Allah, the Exalted:

“O Allah, no one reaches a limit in thanking You without acquiring that of Your beneficence which enjoins upon him thanksgiving, nor does anyone reach a decree in obeying You even if he strives, without falling short of what You deserve because of Your bounty. The most thankful of Your servants has not the capacity to thank You, and the most worshipful of them falls short of obeying You. To none of them is due Your forgiveness through what he himself deserves or Your good pleasure for his own merit. When You forgive someone, it is through Your graciousness, and when You pleased with someone, it is through Your bounty. You show gratitude for the paltry for which You show gratitude and You reward the small act in which You are obeyed, so that it seems as if Your servant’s thanksgiving for which You have made incumbent their reward and made great their repayment is an affair from which they could have held back without You, and hence You will recompense them, and whose cause is not in Your hand, and hence You will repay them. Nay, my Allah, You had power over their affair before they had power to worship You , and You had prepared their reward before they began to obey You; and that because Your wont is bestowal of bounty, Your custom beneficence, Your way pardon. So all creatures confess that You wrong not him whom You punish and bear witness that You bestow bounty upon him whom You pardon. Each admit that he has fallen short of what You merit. Had Satan not misled them from Your obedience, no disobeyer would have disobeyed You, and had he not shown falsehood to them in the likeness of truth, no strayer would have gone astray from Your path.

“So glory be to You! How manifest is Your generosity in dealing with him who obeys or disobeys You! You show gratitude to the obedient for that which You undertake for him, and You grant a respite to the disobedient in that within which You are able to hurry him. You give to each of them that which is not his due, and You bestow bounty upon each in that wherein his works fall short. Were You to counterbalance for the obedient servant that which You Yourself had undertaken, he would be on the point of losing Your reward and seeing the end of Your favor, but through Your generosity You have repaid him for a short, perishing term, and for a near, vanishing limit with an extended, abiding limit. Then You do not visit him with a settling of accounts for Your provision through which he gained strength to obey You, nor do You force him to make reckonings for the organs he employed to find the means to Your forgiveness. Were You to do that to him, it would take him away everything for which he had labored and all wherein he had exerted himself as repayment for the smallest of Your benefits and kindness, and he would remain hostage before You for Your other favors. So how can he deserve something of Your reward? Indeed, how?

“This, my Allah, is the state of him who obeys You and the path of him who worships You. But as for him who disobeys Your command and goes against Your prohibition, You do not hurry him to Your vengeance, so that he may seek to replace his state in disobeying You with the state of turning back to obey You, though he deserved from the time he set out to disobey You every punishment which You have prepared for all Your creatures. Through each chastisement which You have kept back from him and each penalty of Your vengeance and Your punishment which You have delayed from him, You have refrained from Your right and show good pleasure in place of what You have made obligatory. So who is more generous, my Allah, than You? And who is more wretched than he who perishes in spite of You? Indeed, who? You too blessed to be described by any but beneficence and too generous for any but justice to be feared from You! There is no dread that You will be unjust toward him who disobeys You, nor any fear of Your neglecting to reward him who satisfies You. So bless Mohammed and his Household, give me my hope, and increase me in that of Your guidance through which I may be successful in my works! Surely You are All-kind, Generous.[3]”

It is necessary for us to shed light on the contents of this supplication, which are as follows:

1. The favors of Allah, the Exalted, toward His servants cannot be counted, so one cannot thank Him for them, whatever he thanks Him, for the organs through which he thanks Him have been created by Him, and they deserve giving thanks.

2. Though man worships and obeys Allah, he falls short of worshipping and obeying Him because of His (Allah’s) boundless favors to His creatures.

3. Allah bestows bounty upon the believers from among His servants through forgiving them and repays them Paradise for their works. This does not mean that they have rights against Him; rather it is He, the Exalted, who bestows favors upon them. This has objectively been established in theology.

4. It is Satan who turns men away from obeying Allah and incites them to disobeying Him. Had he not misled them from obeying Allah, no disobeyer would have disobeyed Him, and had he not shown falsehood to them in the likeness of truth, no strayer would have gone astray from His path.

5. Allah shows gratitude to His obedient servants and grants a respite to the disobedient from among them. He does not hasten punishing them. Had he hastened punishing them, He would not have left any of them on the earth.

6. Allah, the Exalted, will repay His righteous servants in the Abode of Subsistence; He will cause them to enter Paradise. These are some contents of this great supplication.

His Supplication when Someone’s Death was Announced to him

He, peace be on him, would supplicate with this supplication when someone’s death was announced to him or when he remembered death.

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, spare us drawn out expectations and cut them short in us through sincerity of works, that we may not hope expectantly for completing an hour after an hour, closing a day after a day, joining a breath to a breath, or overtaking a step with a step! Keep us safe from the delusions of expectations, make us secure from their evils, set up death before us in display and let not our remembering of it come and go! Appoint for us from among the righteous works a work through which we will feel the homecoming to You as slow and crave a quick joining with You, so that death may be our intimate abode with which we are intimate, our familiar place toward which we yearn, and our next of kin whose coming we love! When You bring it to us and send it down upon us, make us happy with it as a visitor, comfort us with its arrival, make us not wretched through entertaining it, degrade us not through its visit, and appoint it one of the gates to Your forgiveness and the key to Your mercy! Make us die guided, not astray, obedient, not averse, repentant, not disobedient or persisting, O He who guarantees the repayment of the good-doers and seeks to set right the work of the corrupt![4]”

Long expectations withhold man from doing good deeds and make him forget the next world, hence the Imām, peace be on him, sought refuge in Allah from them. He pleaded to Allah to set up death before him in display and let not his remembering of it come and go, that he might work for the Abode of Subsistence and be intimate with death when it came to him.

His Supplication in Asking for Covering

The following is his supplication in asking for covering and protection:

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, spread for me the bed of Your honor, bring me to the watering holes of Your mercy, set me down in the midst of Your Garden, stamp me not with rejection by You, deprive me not through disappointment by You, settle not accounts with me for what I have committed, make no reckoning with me for what I have earned, display not what I have hidden, expose not what I have covered over, weigh not my works on the scales of fairness, and make not my tidings known to the eyes of the crowd! Conceal from them everything whose unfolding would shame me and roll up before them all which would join me to disgrace with You! Ennoble my degree through Your good pleasure, perfect my honor through Your forgiveness, rank me among the companions of the right hand, direct me to the roads of the secure, place me in the throng of the triumphant, and through me let the sessions of the righteous thrive! Amen, lord of the world![5]”

In this supplication the Imām pleaded to Allah and humbly asked Him to spread for him the bed of His honor, to bring him to the watering holes of His mercy, and to set him down in the midst of His Garden, not to stamp him with rejection and deprive him through disappointment. Besides he asked Him to cover him over in the hereafter, to ennoble his degree through His good pleasure, and to perfect his honor through His forgiveness.

Depiction falls short of encompassing this great Imām’s real fear of Allah, and words are not able to embrace his piety, his perfection, and his intense turning to Allah in repentance.

His Supplication when he Looked at the New Crescent Moon

The following is his supplication when he looked at the new crescent moon:

“O obedient creature, speedy and untiring, frequenter of the mansions of determination, moving about in the sphere of governance! I have faith in Him who lights up darkness through you, illuminates jet-black shadows by You, appointed You one of the signs of His kingdom and one of the marks of His authority, and humbled You through increase and decrease, rising and setting, illumination and eclipse. In all of this You are obedient to Him, prompt toward His will. Glory be to Him! How wonderful is what He has arranged in your situation! How subtle what He has made for your task! He has made You the key to a new month for a new situation. So I ask Allah, my Lord and your Lord, my Creator and your Creator, my Determiner and your Determiner, my Form-giver and your Form-giver, that He bless Mohammed and his Household and appoint you a crescent of blessings not effaced by days and of purity not defiled by sins; a crescent of security from blights and of safety from evil deeds; a crescent of auspiciousness containing no misfortune, of prosperity accompanied by no adversity, of ease not mixed with difficulty, of good unstained by evil; a crescent of security and faith, favor and good-doing, safety and submission!

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, place us among the most satisfied of those over whom the crescent has risen, the purest of those who have looked upon it, the most fortunate of those who have worshipped You under it; give us the success during (the new month) to repent, preserve us within it from misdeeds, guard us therein from pursuing disobedience to You, allot to us within it thanksgiving for Your favor, clothe us during it in the shields of well-being, and complete for us Your kindness by perfecting therein obedience to You! Surely You are All-kind, Praiseworthy. And bless Mohammed and his Household, the good, the pure.[6]”

In this supplication the Imām, peace be on him, talked about one of Allah’s signs; it is the moon- the beautiful, wonderful body-with which Allah has adorned the heaven of this world, for which He has created the mansions of determination, that it may move within them regularly and accurately. Hence its rising, its setting, its illumination and its eclipse are proofs for the existence of the Almighty Creator and His great determination. The Imām asked Allah to appoint it a crescent of blessings, security from blights, safety from evil deeds, and auspiciousness containing no misfortune, etc.

His Supplication in Repelling the Trickery of Enemies

An example of his supplications in repelling the trickery of enemies and diving away their severity is this great supplication, which is also called al-Jawshan al-Saghir. It is worth mentioning that this supplication is other than al-Jawshan al-Saghir narrated on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Household. The supplication is as follows:

“O Allah, You guided me but I diverted myself, You admonished me but my heart became hardened, You tried me graciously but I disobeyed. Then, when You caused me to know it, I came to know that from which You had turned (me) away, so I prayed forgiveness and You released, and I returned and You covered over. So Yours, my Allah, is the praise! I plunged into the valleys of destruction and settled in the ravines of ruin, exposing myself to Your chastisements and the descent of Your punishments! My mediation with You is the profession of Unity, my way of coming to You that I associate nothing with You, nor do I take along with You a god; I have fled to You with my soul-in You is the place of flight for the evildoer, the place of escape for him who has squandered the share of his soul and seeks asylum. How many an enemy has unsheathed the sword of his enmity toward me, honed the cutting edge of his knife for me, sharpened the tip of his blade for me, mixed his killing potions for me, pointed toward me his straight-flying arrows, not allowed the eye of his watchfulness to sleep toward me, and secretly thought of visiting me with something hateful and making me gulp down the bitter water of his bile! So You looked, my Allah, at my weakness in bearing oppressive burdens, my inability to gain victory over him who aims to war against me, and my being alone before the great numbers of him who is hostile toward me and lies in wait for me with affliction about which I have not thought. You set out at once to help me and You braced up my back! You blunted for me his blade, made him, after a great multitude, solitary, raised up my heel over him, and turned back upon him what he had pointed straight. So You sent him back, his rage not calm, his burning thirst not quenched! Biting his fingers, he turned his back in flight, his columns have been of no use. How many an oppressor has oppressed me with his tricks, set up for me the net of his snares, appointed over me the inspection of his regard, and lay in ambush for me, the lying in ambush of a predator for its game, waiting to take advantage of its prey, while he showed me the smile of the flatterer and looked at me with intensity of fury! So when You saw, my Allah (blessed are You and high exalted) the depravity of his secret thoughts and the ugliness of what he harbored, You threw him on his head into his own pitfall and dumped him into the hole of his own digging. So he was brought down low, after his overbearing, by the nooses of his own snare, wherein he had thought he would see me; and what came down upon his courtyard-had it not been for Your mercy-was on the point of coming down upon me! How many an envier has choked upon me in his agony, fumed over me in his rage, cut me with the edge of his tongue, showed malice toward me by accusing me of his own faults, made my good repute the target of his shots, collared me with his own constant defects, showed malice toward me with his trickery, and aimed at me with his tricks! So I called upon You, my Allah, seeking aid from You, trusting in the speed of Your response, knowing that he who seeks haven in the shadow of Your wing will not be mistreated, and he who seeks asylum in the stronghold of Your victory will not be frightened. So You fortified me against his severity through Your power. How many a cloud of detested things You have dispelled from, a cloud of favor You have made rain down upon me, a stream of mercy You have let flow, a well-being in which You have clothed me, an eye of mishap You have blinded, and a wrap of distress You have removed! How many a good opinion You have verified, a destitution You have redressed, an infirmity You have restored to health, and a misery You have transformed! All of that was favor and graciousness from You, and in all of it I was occupied with acts of disobeying You. My evildoing did not hinder You from completing Your beneficence, nor I was stopped from committing acts displeasing to You. You are not questioned as to what You do! You were asked, and You bestowed. You were not asked, and You began. Your bounty was requested, and You did not skip. You refused, my Master, everything but beneficence, kindness, graciousness, and favor, and I refused everything but plunging into what You have made unlawful, transgressing Your bounds, and paying no heed to Your threat! So Yours is the praise, my Allah, the All-powerful who is not overcome, and the Possessor of patient waiting who does not hurry! This is the station of one who confesses to lavishness of favors, counters them with shortcomings, and bear witness to his own negligence.

“O Allah, so I seek nearness to You through the elevated rank of Mohammed and the radiant degree of ‘Ali, and I turn to You through them so that You will give me refuge from the evil of (so and so), for that will not constrain You in wealth, nor trouble You in power, and You are powerful over everything! So give me, my Allah, by Your mercy and Your lasting bestowal of success, that which I may take as a ladder with which to climb to Your good pleasure and be secure from Your punishment, O Most merciful of the merciful![7]”

This documentary supplication gives an account of the political enemies who persecuted the Imām and their plots against him by day and night, for they harbored malice against him, yet Allah, through His bounty, saved him from their evil plans, and punished them severely.

His Supplication in Fear

He, peace be on him, would supplicate with great supplication in fear:

“O Allah, You created me without fault, nurtured me when small, and provided me with sufficiency. O Allah, I found in the Book which You sent down and through which You gave good news to Your servants, that You said, O My servants who have been prodigal against yourselves, do not despair of Allah’s mercy, surely Allah forgives all sins, but there has gone ahead from me what You know (and of which You know more than I)! O the shame of what Your Book has counted against me! Were it not for the places where I expectantly hope for Your pardon, which enfolds all things, I would have thrown myself down (in despair)! Were anyone able to flee from his Lord, I would be the most obligated to flee from You! But not a secret in earth and heaven is concealed from You, except that You bring it. You suffice as a recompenser! You suffice as a reckoner! O Allah, surely You would seek me if I flee and catch me if I run. So here I am before You, abject, lowly, abased. If You chastise me, I am worthy of that, and it would be, my Lord, an act of justice from You.

But if You pardon me, anciently has Your pardon enfolded me and Your well-being garmented me! So I ask You, O Allah, by the names stored in Your treasury and Your splendor masked by the veils! If You have no mercy upon this anxious soul and these uneasy, decaying bones-he cannot endure the heat of Your sun, so how can he endure the heat of Your Fire? He cannot endure the sound of Your thunder, so how can he endure the sound of Your wrath? So have mercy upon me, O Allah, for I am a vile man and my worth is little. Chastising me will not add the weight of a dust mote of Your kingdom. Were chastising me something that would add to Your kingdom, I would ask You for patience to bear it and would love for it to belong to You; but Your authority, my Allah, is mightier, and Your kingdom more lasting, than that the obedience of the obeyers should increase it or the disobedience of the sinners diminish it! So have mercy upon me, O Most Merciful of the merciful! Show me forbearance, O Possessor of majesty and munificence! And turn toward me, surely You are Ever-turning, All-compassionate! [8]”

In this great supplication the Imām, peace be on him, pleaded to Allah, the Exalted, and asked Him to have mercy on him and to forgive him. He also showed his fright and fear of Allah’s chastisement. This soul cannot resist the sun’s heat, so how can it resist and endure the fire and terrors of Hell?

His Supplication in Pleading to Allah

“My Allah, I praise You-and You are worth of praise-for Your benefaction toward me, the lavishness of Your favor toward me, and Your plentiful bestowal upon me, and for showing bounty toward me through Your mercy and lavishing Your favor upon me. You have done well toward me and I am incapable of thanking You. Were it not for Your beneficence toward me, and the lavishness of Your favors upon me, I would not have the taking of my share nor would my soul have been set right, but You began with beneficence toward me, provided me sufficiency in all my affairs, turned away from me the toil of affliction, and held back from me the feared decree.

” My Allah how many a toilsome affliction which You have turned away from me! How many a lavish favor with which You have gladdened my eye! How many a generous benefaction of Yours which is present with me! It is You who responded to my supplication at the time of distress, released me from my slip in stumbling, and took my enemies to task for doing wrong to me. My Allah, I did not find You a miser when I asked of You nor a withholder when I desired from You. No, I found You a hearer of my supplication and a bestower of my requests; I found Your favors toward me lavish in my every situation and in my every time. So You are praised by me and Your benefaction honored. My soul, my tongue, and my intelligence praise You, a praise that reaches fulfillment and the reality of thanksgiving, a praise that attains to Your good pleasure-so deliver me from Your displeasure! O my cave when the ways thwart me! O He who releases me from my stumble! Were it not for Your covering my shameful defects, I would be one of the disgraced. O my confirmer through help! Were it not for Your helping me, I would be one of the overcome! O He before whom kings place the yoke of lowliness around their necks, fearing his penalties! O worthy of reverent fear! O He to whom belong names most beautiful! I ask You to pardon me and to forgive me, for I am not innocent that I should offer excuses, nor a possessor of strength that I should gain victory, nor have I any place of flight that I should flee! I ask You to release me from my stumbles, and before You I disavow my sins, which have laid my waste, encompassed me, and destroyed me! I flee from them to You, my Lord, turning repentantly, so turn toward me, seeking refuge, so grant me refuge, asking sanctuary, so abandon me not, requesting, so deprive me not, holding fast, so leave me not, supplicating, so send me not back disappointed! I have supplicated You, my Lord, as one miserable, abased, apprehensive, fearful, quaking, poor, driven to have recourse to You. I complain to You, my Lord, of my soul-which is too weak to hurry to that which You have promised Your friends or to avoid that against which have cautioned Your enemies-and of the multitude of my concerns, and of my soul’s confusing thoughts.

“My Allah, You have not disgraced me through secret thoughts or destroyed me because of my misdeeds! I call upon me, and You respond, even if I am slow when You call upon me. I ask You everything I want of my need, and I deposit with You my secret wherever I may be. I supplicate no one besides You, and hope for no one other than You. At Your service! At Your service! You hear him who complains to You! You receive him who has confidence in You! You save him who holds fast to You! You give relief to him who seeks shelter in You! My Allah, so deprive me not of the good of the last world and the first because of the paucity of my thanksgiving and forgive me the sins of mine which You know! If You chastise, I am the wrongdoer, the neglecter, the negligent, the sinner, the derelict, the sluggard, the heedless of the share of my soul! And if You forgive me-You are the Most Merciful of the merciful![9]”

This holy supplication contains the Imām’s pleading to the Almighty Creator and his submission to Him confessing His great favors and lavish boons, and asking Him for pardon, forgiveness, and repentance.

His Supplication in Imploring Allah

He, peace be on him, used to implore Allah with this supplication:

“O Allah, from whom nothing is concealed in earth or heaven! How should what You have created, my Allah, be concealed from You? How should You not number what You have made? How should what You govern be absent from You? How should one who has no life except through Your provision have the ability to flee from You? How should one who has no road except in Your kingdom escape from You? Glory be to You! He among Your creatures who fears You most knows You best, he among them most bent in humility is most active in obeying You, and he among them whom You provide while he worships another is most contemptible before You! Glory be to You! He who associates others with You and denies Your messengers diminishes not Your authority. He who dislikes Your decree cannot reject Your command. He who denies Your power keeps himself not away from You. He who worships other than You escapes You not. He who dislikes meeting You will not be given endless life in this world. Glory be to You! How mighty is Your station, overpowering is Your authority, intense Your strength, penetrating Your command! Glory be to You! You have decreed death for all creatures, both him who professes Your Unity and him who disbelieves in You; each one will taste death, each one will come home to You. Blessed are You and high exalted! There is no god but You, You alone, who have no associate. I have faith in You, I attest to Your messengers, I accept Your Book, I disbelieved in every object of worship other than You, I am quiet of anyone who worships another!

“O Allah, I rise in the morning and enter the evening making little of my good works, confessing my sins, admitting my offenses; I am abased because of my prodigality against myself. My works have destroyed me, my caprice has ruined me, my passions have deprived me. So I ask You, my Master, the asking of him whose soul is diverted by his drawn out expectations, whose body is heedless because of the stillness of his veins, whose heart is entranced by the multitude of favors done for him, whose reflection is little concerning that to which is coming home; the asking of him whom false expectation has overcome, caprice has entranced, and this world has mastered, and over whom death has cast its shadow; the asking of him who makes much of his sins and confesses his offense; the asking of him who has no Lord but You, no friend besides You, no one to deliver him from You, and no asylum from You except You.

“My Allah, I ask You by Your right incumbent upon all Your creatures, by Your mighty name with which You commanded Your messengers to glorify You, and by the majesty of Your generous face, which ages not, nor changes, nor alters, nor passes away, that You bless Mohammed and the Household of Mohammed, that You free me from need for all things through worshipping You, that You distract my soul from this world through fear of You, and that You turn back toward Your abundant generosity through Your mercy! To You I flee, You I fear, from You I seek aid, in You I hope, You I supplicate, in You I seek asylum, in You I trust, from You I ask help, in You I have faith, in You I have placed my confidence, and upon Your munificence and Your generosity I rely.[10]”

This supplication gives an account of the perfect knowledge of the Imām, peace be on him, his great faith in Allah. The following are some of its contents:

1. The knowledge of Allah, the Most High, is boundless; it encompasses all things, and no weight of a dust mote in the earth or the heaven escapes it.

2. All the creatures are in need of Allah, the Exalted; they cannot be free from need to Him for a moment, for they are in His Kingdom, His grasp, and His authority.

3. Those who know Allah, especially the scholars, fear Him, the Most High, obey Him, worship Him more than the other creatures, hence Allah, the Exalted, said: “The scholars from among His servants fear Allah.”

4. Those who serve other than Allah, associate others with Him, and deny His messengers are the lowliest of all the people, most of them in loss, and least of them in understanding and awareness.

5 Allah, the Exalted, has decreed death for all creatures, each one will come home to Him, that He may repay those who do good with goodness, and repay the unbelievers with what their hands have done.

6. In this supplication the Imām has declared his absolute faith in Allah, the Most High, attest to His messengers and prophets, and renunciation from any god other than Allah.

7. The Imām expressed his absolute submission to Allah, the Exalted, and his humbleness before Him, asking Him for dignity and pardon.

His Supplication in Abasing himself before Allah

The following is his supplication in abasing himself before Allah, the Great and Almighty:

“My Lord, my sins have silenced me, and my words have been cut off. I have no argument, for I am the prisoner of my own affliction, the hostage to my works, the frequenter of my own offense, the confused in my intended way, the thwarted. I have brought myself to a halt in the halting place of the abased sinners, the halting place of the wretched and insolent, those who think lightly of Your promise. Glory be to You! What insolence I have insolently shown toward You! What delusion with which I have deluded myself! My master, have mercy on my falling flat on my face, the slipping of my foot, grant me my ignorance through Your clemency, and my evildoing through Your beneficence, for I admit my sin and confess my offense: Here are my hand and my forelock! I am resigned to retaliation against my soul! Have mercy on my white hair, the depletion of my days, the nearing of my term, my frailty, my misery, and the paucity of my stratagems! My Master, and have mercy upon me when my trace is cut off from this world, my mention is effaced among the creatures, and I join the forgotten, like the forgotten ones! My Master, and have mercy upon me at the change of my form and state when my body decays, my limbs are scattered, and my joints are dismembered! O my heedlessness toward what was wanted from me! My Master, have mercy upon at my mustering and uprising and on that day, appoint my standing place with Your friends, my place of emergence with Your beloved ones, and my dwelling in Your neighborhood! O Lord of the worlds![11]” In this supplication the Imām, peace be on him, has announced his turning, devotion, and clinging to Allah. He asked Him for mercy and forgiveness when he left this world for the next.

His Supplication for the Removal of Worries

His great supplication for the removal of worries is as follows:

“O Reliever of worry! O Remover of grief! O Merciful in this world and the next and Compassionate in both! Bless Mohammed and his Household, relieve my worry, and remove my grief! O One, O Unique, O Eternal Refuge! O He who has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not any one! Preserve me, and take away my affliction!”



“O Allah, I ask You with the asking of him whose neediness is intense, whose strength is frail, whose sins are many, the asking of one who finds no helper in his neediness, no strengthener in his frailty, no forgiver of his sin other than You, O Possessor of majesty and munificence! I ask of You a work through which You will love him who works it and a certainty by which You will profit him who is certain with the truth of certainty concerning the execution of Your command!

“O Allah, bless Mohammed and the Household of Mohammed, take my soul while it is firm in sincerity, cut off my need for this world, make my desire for what is with You become a yearning to meet You, and give me true confidence in You! I ask of You the good of the writ that has been made and I seek refuge with You from the evil of the writ that has been made. I ask of You the fear of the worshippers, the worship of those humbly fearful of You, the certainty of those who have confidence in You, and the confidence of those who have faith in You. O Allah, make my desire in my asking like the desire of Your friends in their asking, and my fear like the fear of Your friends! Employ me in Your good pleasure through works in which I will not leave aside anything of Your religion fearing any of Your creatures!

“O Allah, this is my need, so make my desire for it great, within it make manifest my excuse, through it instill me with my argument, and by means of it make well my body! O Allah, some rise in the morning having trust or hope in other than You. I rise in the morning and You are my trust and hope in all affairs, so decree for me those which are best in outcome and deliver me from misguiding trials, O Most Merciful of the merciful! And Allah bless our chief, Mohammed the Messenger of Allah, the chosen, and his Household, the pure![12]”

With this we will end our speech about al-Sahifa al-Sajjādiya, which is one of the most important sources in Islam.

[1] Ibid, Supplication no. 35.
[2] Ibid, Supplication no. 36.
[3] Ibid, Supplication no. 37.
[4] Ibid, Supplication no. 41.
[5] Ibid, Supplication no. 42.
[6] Ibid, Supplication no. 43.
[7] Ibid, Supplication no. 49.
[8] Ibid, Supplication no. 50.
[9] Ibid, Supplication no. 51.
[10] Ibid, Supplication no. 52.
[11] Ibid, Supplication no. 53.
[12] Ibid, Supplication no. 54.

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