SHAFAQNA – Imam Al-Sajjad (as) considers seven sins which prevent the acceptance of supplications by the Almighty: 1. Bad intentions, 2. Hidden vices, 3. Hypocrisy with religious brothers, 4. Doubtfulness about acceptance of supplications, 5. Postponing the prayers, 6. Leaving goodness and alms giving, which make people close to Allah, 7. Speaking rudely with people and using obscene words.43
Intention means one’s decision and goal. Islam demands people to have good intention towards all humans and even animals and other entities, and to wish for goodness, prosperity, and health for everyone. Islam recommends humans to do good to others and to solve their problems, as much as possible. Good intentions and wishes for others is so valuable that it is rewarded! It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (as):
A poor Muslim asks Allah: ‘O Lord! Grant me wealth to do goodness and alms giving so and so!’ If Allah knows his intention as truthful, He gives that servant as much reward as if he had practiced all his good intentions, since Allah is Generous!44
It is also narrated: “A hungry man crossed a sand hill and thought to himself: ‘If these sand grains were food, I would have divided them among people.’ Allah revealed to the prophet of that time: ‘Tell the man that Allah has accepted his good intention for alms giving, and rewarded him as if he had granted the food equivalent to that of the sand grains, to the people.’”45
One should avoid having bad intentions towards other humans and beings, because corrupted intentions makes the heart rigid and leads to the committing sins and oppressing Allah’s servants.
Vices such as mistrust, hatred, self-admiration, negligence, insolence, arrogance, stinginess, greed, jealousy, and loving Allah’s enemies are harmful sins that avoid the acceptance of prayers, in addition to worldly and heavenly chastisement.
Being suspicious of Allah, His friends, and the Muslims is an obscene, although hidden sin, which is recorded in the book of deeds, accounted for on the Day of Resurrection, and chastised severely. The exception to this are the one who can repent in this world.
I swear by God who has no partners that no good of this world or the Hereafter has been granted to any believer, except due to his good opinion about God, his good behavior, and his avoidance of gossiping and slandering. And I swear by God who has no partners that God will not punish anyone after repentance and seeking forgiveness except due to his bad opinion about God, insufficient hope in God, bad behavior, and gossiping about believers. I swear by God who has no partners that there are no believers who have a good opinion about God and receive anything less than they expect from Him. This is so since God is Benevolent and has authority over all that is good, and is ashamed is one of his servants have a good opinion about Him and He acts on the contrary. Therefore have a good opinion about God and be inclined to Him.47
A believer who has the virtues of belief, good morality and behavior should be hopeful of Allah’s Mercy and avoid any doubts about Him.
The sinners can repent and compensate for their sins. Since the Almighty has promised to forgive the sinners for their repentance, in His Book, the sinners should not be doubtful about the acceptance of their repentance by Allah. Instead, they should wholeheartedly believe in Allah’s Blessing toward them to become subjected to His Mercy.
The invaluable narrator of traditions, Allama Majlisi, explains about the tradition of optimism and pessimism about Allah, saying: “One should be optimistic about Allah’s forgiveness when he repents. One should know that when he turns to Allah, He would accept him. When he prays rightly he should be aware that Allah would answer his prayer. When he asks Allah to help him, he should believe that Allah would suffice him. And when he does something for Allah he should know that Allah would accept his deed. This is optimism, and anyone who is pessimistic about Allah has done a major sin, which would bring about chastisement.48“
A Muslim believer should interpret other Muslims’ conducts optimistically, however negative they may seem. He has no right to be doubtful about others’ behaviors. For instance, if one sees a Muslim in a sinful circle where unlawful deeds like gambling and wine exist, he is not allowed to assume that the believer is involved in the wrongdoing. Rather, as recommended by the Prophet (S) and his household (as), he should calm down and say to himself: “How fortunate is my believer brother! Allah has blessed him to be present in this circle in order to enjoin good and forbid evil and save the wrongdoers. I wish I had the opportunity to be in his place so that I could cure the patients of sin and release the captives of Satan, hence I, too, could receive Allah’s reward.”
Every Muslim should have affection towards other humans, except for those that Allah permits otherwise. One’s hatred towards other people deprives him from strengthening ties of kinship, beneficence, and charity. Hatred towards people makes one’s heart, mind, and thought rigid and dark, and removes Allah’s Mercy.
Admiring oneself or pride in one’s own deeds is an obscene sin. Mankind is but a servant of Allah; his life and death is in His hands, his sustenance is from Allah, his worship is a blessing from Allah, and every good deed he does is by Allah’s wish. Therefore, human should not take pride in what he does. Imam Sadiq (as) stated:
مَنْ دَخَلَهُ العُجْبُ هَلَكَ.
Anyone who admires himself would be annihilated.53
He also narrated: “A wise man came to a pious servant of Allah and told him: ‘How do you pray?’ The pious answered: ‘How dare you ask this question from someone like me? I worshipped Allah such and such, from the start.’ The questioner asked: ‘How do you cry?’ He answered: ‘I cry to such an extent that my tears flow.’ The wise man said: ‘You’d better laugh while you are afraid of Allah and not cry while you admire yourself. In fact, Allah would not accept the deeds of anyone who is proud of himself.’”54
The Messenger of Allah (as) stated: “Almighty Allah told Prophet David (as): ‘O David! Give good tidings to the sinners and warn the pious! David asked Allah: ‘Why should I do so?’ The Almighty answered: ‘Tell the sinners that I am the Forgiver and would accept their repentance. And warn the righteous of taking pride in their deeds, because if I account for people’s deeds no one would be saved from My chastisement.’”55
So woe to the praying ones who are unmindful of their prayers; who do good to be seen and withhold the necessaries of life. (107:4-7)
Someone asked the Messenger of Allah (S): “How can we reach salvation?” The Prophet (S) replied: “You should avoid saying prayers for attracting people’s attention.”56
It is narrated that when someone is killed in holy war, another gives his wealth away for Allah, and a third one recites Qur’an, Allah calls on them: ‘You lied during the holy war for you wanted others to say that you were brave. You lied in your alms giving for you wanted people to think you were very generous. And you lied in reciting the Qur’an for you wanted to be known by others as a reader of Qur’an.’ The Prophet (S) then said: ‘Such people are not rewarded and their hypocrisy wipes away their deeds.’”57
A tradition narrated from the Prophet of Islam (S) reads:
The scariest thing for you is the minor idolatry… showing off!59
The Messenger of Allah (S) further said:
إنَّ اللهَ لا يَقْبَلُ عَمَلاً فِيهِ ذَرَّةٌ مِنْ رِياءٍ.
Allah would not accept any deed in which there is even a tinge of showing off.60
Shaddad Ibn Aws says: “I saw the Prophet (S) crying and asked him the reason. He said: ‘I am scared of my nation’s hypocrisy. They would not worship stone idols, the sun, or the moon, but they are hypocrites in what they do.’”61
Being arrogant before the truth, the giver of advice, the people, Allah’s rules, or His Prophets is a satanic attitude.
Satan got deprived of Allah’s Mercy, for his arrogance before Him and was thus cast out, cursed, and doomed to chastisement. An arrogant is so unfortunate that he is away from Allah’s Mercy.
إِنَّهُ لا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْتَكْبِرِينَ.
… verily He loveth not the arrogant. (16:23)
It suffices for an arrogant that the punishment which the Qur’an has determined, is for him to dwell in the Inferno:
فَلَبِئْسَ مَثْوَى الْمُتَكَبِّرِينَ.
Woeful indeed will be the lodging of the arrogant. (16:29)
Considering oneself better than others and as the center of attraction, together with arrogance against Allah’s rules, His worship, and the reality is a major sin which brings about Allah’s doomed punishment.
Boasting about one’s knowledge, deeds, worship, ancestry, beauty, wealth, strength, or plentiful friend is an obscene act.
In the Inferno, surely there is a place for the arrogant called ‘Saqar’. It complaints about its extreme hotness to Allah and asks permission for breathing; it burns the whole inferno as it breathes.64
‘Abd Al-A’la says: “I asked Imam Sadiq (as): ‘What is arrogance?’ He stated:
أعْظَمُ الكِبْرِ أنْ تُسَفِّهَ الحَقَّ.
‘The highest degree of arrogance is belittling the truth and other people.’
I asked again: ‘How does one belittle the truth?’ Imam (as) answered:
يَجْهَلُ الحَقَّ وَيَطْعَنُ عَلَى أهْلِهِ.
‘Belittling the truth is misunderstanding it and reproaching those who support it.’65
When humans are neglectful of the realities they are easily deluded by material issues, which is an obscene and dangerous deed.
Those who are deceived by the worldly wealth deny the fact that this world is transitory; that one day they would be placed in graves, their body be devoured by insects, their soul would be entangled by their wrongdoing in the purgatory and chastised in the Hereafter. These people consider this world as concrete and the Hereafter as abstract; they stick to the passing world and forget about the permanent one; they believe in the worldly pleasures and doubt about the heavenly rewards. They don’t accept Allah’s promise revealed to one hundred and twenty four thousand prophets(as) and the infallible Imams (as). They don’t want to be believers nor avoid the sins and do virtues.
The negligent individuals are heedless of the Qur’anic fact that the Hereafter is the consequence of apparent and hidden acts of this world. As the Prophet of Islam (S) states, this world is a place of action, the outcome of which is granted in the other world. This world and the other world are therefore not separate entities; the hereafter is, in other words, a reflection of this world. But alas the ignorant do not understand.
The believers, who are negligent of the Qur’anic verses, are deluded by their conception of Allah’s Mercy. They think that since Allah’s blessings and His Mercy are expanded for all beings there is no need to worship and serve Allah and no need to take trouble in avoiding sins. They think that their sins are very little in proportion to Allah’s Forgiveness and Mercy, and think: ‘we would be saved due to our belief in Allah and affection to His prophets and the infallible Imams; our sins would not lead us away from Allah’s Mercy and bring about His punishment’. These individuals are heedless and do not know that Satan deceives people with these apparent ideas.
A smart person is the one who opposes his carnal soul, and do well for his Hereafter. A foolish person is the one that follows his carnal soul and foolishly hopes Allah’s Mercy.66
Such people are negligent that the Generous Allah whose Mercy embraces all things, has promised to severely chastise habitual and arrogant sinners, and those who have no good deeds. Allah has given good tidings to the righteous and brave Muslims that only they are subjected to Allah’s Mercy.
It is so obscene that humans benefit from all the material and spiritual blessings that Allah has bestowed on them, yet some of them do not donate part of their wealth and give no charity.
Human wealth that is gained by legal means is a divine trust from which he is allowed to spend according to his dignity and needs. Allah has ordered one to give his additional possessions away to the poor and the unfortunate. The human himself as well as everything that he possesses are Allah’s belonging and every belonging should be spent by its owner’s permission. If the servant spends the wealth based on his own impulses, he should certainly expect the Owner’s punishment.
Excessive accumulation of wealth, which is possible only by stinginess and doing evil in business, is opposing Allah’s Will which is a major sin, and a cause for misfortune and hard heartedness. It also deprives human from Allah’s Mercy and brings about His chastisement in the Hereafter.
Meanness is an evil attribute and an obscene vice, which is criticized in the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s traditions. The Qur’anic verses and the traditions represent a stingy individual as an unthankful servant, who is doomed to punishment.
You are wrong. Because an oppressor can repent, ask for Allah’s forgiveness, and return people’s material rights. But when someone shows meanness he avoids alms giving, charity, hosting guests, and spending in Allah’s way. Paradise is forbidden for the stingy.72
The Messenger of Allah (S) stated:
خَصْلَتَانِ لا تَجْتَمِعَانِ فِي مُسْلِمٍ: البُخْلُ وَسُوءُ الخُلُقِ.
A Muslim does not have two attributes; meanness and bad temper.73
Intense desire for wealth or property and accumulating them more than one’s needs causes mental disorder for humans. It makes one neglect Allah’s rules and moral bonds, and hence lose his humanity. The greedy individuals burn people’s properties and rights as fire, and possess their wealth unlawfully.
Remembering Allah and His chastisement in the Hereafter, observing moral codes, loving other people, and observing their rights keeps one from being polluted with greed for material wealth.
Allah has prepared a full array of blessings for humans. He has set some methods for them to obtain their definite sustenance through working and activities; hence He has guaranteed their sustenance. No one dies except that he eats the last mouthful that Allah has set for him. What is the reason for such worldly greed then?
When Noah (as) took off his ship, Satan came to him and said: ‘No one on the earth has done a greater favor for me than you; you asked chastisement for the wrongdoers from Allah and caused me comfort. I inform you of two characteristics; avoid envy that did what it did to me, and avoid greed that did what it did to Adam.’78
Prophet Muhammad (S) said:
A greedy person has seven major calamities: a thought that harms his body and has no use, a grief that is endless, a pain that accompanies him in his happiness and is not cured but with death, a fear that finally strikes him, a sadness that bitters his joy, a sin that brings about Allah’s punishment, except that He forgive him, a chastisement that he cannot avoid.79
One of the most obscene qualities of mankind is jealousy. Islamic scholars believe that jealousy is observing a blessing with someone and wish for its removal from them! Jealousy is, in fact, discontent with Allah’s wise fate in giving blessings to other people. Pride, self-admiration, longing for mastery, and stinginess are factors that cause jealousy in human heart.
Surely, jealousy removes belief as the fire burns wood.85
He also said:
آفَةُ الدِّينِ الحَسَدُ وَالعُجْبُ وَالفَخْرُ.
The plague for the belief is jealousy, self-admiration, and pride.86
Imam Sadiq has narrated:
The Prophet (S) has sought refuge to Allah from six things: suspicion, disbelief, pride, wrath, oppression, and jealousy.87
Imam Sadiq (as) said as well:
Moses was praying and talking to Allah when he saw a man under the shade of Allah’s Empyrean. He called: ‘O Lord! Who is this man who has been shadowed by Your Highest Heaven?’ He was replied: ‘He is one of those who was not jealous of what Allah had bestowed upon others.’88
Befriending Allah’s enemies is caused by an ill heart. One should love goodness and Allah’s friends, and hate wickedness and the wrongdoers. If someone acts vice versa then, he is ill hearted. He should cure his illness with the Qur’anic verses; otherwise he should expect its adverse consequences in this world and the Last World.
The holy Qur’an, the Prophet (S), and his disciples were hard to the disbelievers and kind to their religious brothers:
You shall not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day to be loving to anyone who opposes Allah and His Messenger, although they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their clan. (58:22)
Hypocrisy and double standards with religious brothers is so repulsive and impure that the Dominant Allah, in His Qur’an, has deliberated the most severe chastisement and the worst place in Hell for the hypocrites.
The Hypocrites are those who express their belief before the believers, but turn against them in their absence. The hypocrites are in constant relationship with the disbelievers to place the believers into trouble, and transfer their secrets to the disbelievers. Thus, hypocrisy is an endless disease that is impossible to cure.
The hypocrite’s belief is on his tongue and his disbelief is in his heart. His heart and mind are polluted, his morality poor, his thoughts satanic, and his personality is dangerous and grotesque.
In addition to the Qur’anic verses that show the hypocrite’s signs in various chapters, there are important traditions in the hadith books, some of which appear here:
Imam al-Ridha (as), in reply to Muhammad Ibn Fudhayl, wrote about the hypocrites:
The double faced people who are deceitful in relation to Allah, the religion, the Prophet (S), and the Muslims are not considered among the Prophet’s disciples and the believers. They pretend to be believers and hide their disbelief and lying. May Allah curse them all!89
The prayer is a comprehensive worship and the most beautiful ritual for expressing service and humility to the Lord of the worlds.
The Qur’anic verses and the traditions have revealed invaluable facts about the prayer. Prayer prohibits human from engaging in wrongdoing and unlawful things. Establishing prayers is a sign of the believers. All the prophets(as) would establish prayers regularly. The prophets recommended their family members to offer prayers, too.
Observing the prayers is an obligation. Prayer is amongst the religious laws, the cause of Allah’s content, and the Prophet’s manner. After the acceptance of and insight into the religion, prayer is the core of Islam. Everything has a value, and the worth of the religion is its prayer. Prayer is a major barrier against satanic inspirations. Prayer brings about the guarantee of Allah’s Mercy. The dearest deed before Allah is prayer. It is the last recommendation of the Prophet (S) before his demise, and the light of his eyes. It makes the servant closer to Allah. Prayer is the pillar of the religion. Saying prayers while observing all its conditions leads to forgiveness. The first deed that is observed by Allah in the Hereafter is prayer. The first thing, which is accounted for, is prayer. It removes pride from human heart. The prayer with that of piety is accepted and helps one to stay away from sins.
The preference of prayer at its appropriate time is like the preference of the Hereafter to this world, and it is regarded as more precious than wealth and children by the believer.
One who does not say prayers is away from Allah’s Mercy and the intercession of the mediators. He is a disbeliever and would be placed among the Christians and Jews in the Last Day. One who despises the prayer is ignored by Allah and His Prophet (S). Leaving, despising, or delaying the prayer holds back supplications.
’Abed, a pious man from the clan of Moses, implored Allah to grant him a child for thirty years, but his prayer was not answered. He went to the covenant of an Israelite prophet and said: ‘O prophet of Allah! Ask Allah to give me a child. I have asked Allah for it, but I have no child yet.’
That prophet prayed and then said: ‘O ‘Abed! My supplication for you was accepted. You will soon have a child. But Allah has inclined that your child’s wedding night would be the last night of his life.’
‘Abed came home and told the story to his wife. His wife said: ‘We asked Allah to grant us a child to relax with him, but when he reaches puberty he will cause us to suffer. Nonetheless we should be happy with Allah’s fate.’ Her husband answered: ‘We are both old and unable. We might die in his puberty, so that we would not suffer from his death.’
After nine months, Allah endowed them with an endearing son. They were greatly troubled in raising him until he reached his youth and asked his parents for a decent wife. His parents neglected his request to be able to live with him more. Finally, they could not help but arrange a wedding for him. On the wedding night, they were waiting for their son’s fate – his death. The bride and groom spent that night safely and remained alive for a week. The parents delightfully went to their prophet and asked the reason. The prophet said: ‘It is a surprise! What I told you about your son was Allah’s revelation to me. We should see what your son has done that Allah has removed the misfortune from his fate.’ Then the trustee Gabriel descended and said: ‘Allah sends peace to you and says: Tell the son’s parents: Their son’s fate was what you had told them, but the son did a good deed that changed his fate. He was eating on his wedding night when a poor old woman came to him and asked for food. The young man gave his own special food to her. The old woman ate the food, which seemed pleasant to her. Then she raised her hands towards Me and said: ‘O Lord! Increases his lifetime!’ As the creator of the world, I added eighty years to the young man’s age, due to the supplication of that woman. My servants should know that no one is a loser in dealing with Me and I destroy no one’s reward.’94
The power of speech can bring about great rewards for one by saying the truth, guiding people towards it, or solving their problems. However, it may also impart illogical and untrue things, and commit sins like backbiting, accusation, spreading rumors, and saying obscene utterances, and hence bring about doomed chastisement for humans. Muslim notables have said:
The tongue’s weight is little, but its charge is great.
The Prophet of Islam (S) stated:
إنَّ أكْثَرَ خَطَايَا ابْنِ آدَمَ فِي لِسَانِهِ.
Most of human faults are surely caused by his tongue.95
Imam Sadiq (as) said:
Among the signs of Satan interfering with human activities is that he is scurrilous; he is not afraid of what he says and what is said about him.96
When someone, who is broken, has lost a dear one, or is afflicted by any other trouble, pleads with his religious brothers for removing his grief, it is human ethics and compassion which makes it necessary for one to reduce the sorrow of such a person. Those who hear the pleading of a grief-stricken person but do not rise to help him are not only unbelievers but also inhumane. The Messenger of Allah (S) stated:
مَنْ أصْبَحَ لا يَهْتَمُّ بِأمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ فَلَيْسَ بِمُسْلِمٍ.
One who spends the night without attempting to solve Muslims’ problems is not considered a Muslim.99
Attending to the Muslims’ affairs and giving help and support to them, especially to those who plead for help is the recommendation of the Almighty, His Prophet (S) and the infallible Imams (as). Imam Sadiq (as) said:
One who removes the grief of a believer Muslim, Allah would remove his sorrow in the Last Day, raising him from the grave while he is delightful. And one who removes a believer’s hunger Allah would feed him with heavenly fruits. One who satisfies a believer’s thirst Allah would grant him rahiq-i makhtum (a sealed intact drink).100
Anyone who answers the pleading of his Muslim brother when he is thirsty and sorrowful, helping him to remove his sorrow and get his wish Allah records seventy two blessings for him. One of the blessings is given to him in this world for arranging his life, and saves the remaining seventy one blessings for his fear in the Last Day.101
No faithful Muslim helps an oppressed one except that his help is preferred to a month of fasting and seclusion for worship in Masjid al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque in Mecca). No believer Muslim helps his religious brother while he is able to do so, except that Allah would help him in this world and in the Hereafter. And no believer Muslim leaves his religious brother while he can help that brother, except that Allah would leave him in the world and in the Hereafter.106
Enjoining to Good and Forbidding Evil are two divine duties. Practicing these two duties is obligatory for anyone who has the necessary conditions; that is, he knows the good and the evil, and does good and avoids evil himself. Abandoning these two duties is a cardinal sin and brings about tribulations.
Enjoining to good and forbidding evil are two important aspects of religion which, throughout history, all prophets were appointed to specifically establish.
If these two tasks are discarded, the movement of prophet hood would stop, the religion would be annihilated, and negligence, corruption, and misguidance would spread everywhere. The cities would collapse and the people would perish.
Avoid blocking the people’s way by sitting on the road. People said: We cannot help it; we have no other place to talk. The Prophet (S) answered: If you cannot help it, you should observe the rights of the roads. The disciples asked: What are the rights of the road? He replied: Not looking at strange passing women, not annoying the passing people, answering people’s greetings, and enjoining to good and forbidding evil.109
All the speeches of man are to his harm except his invocation to Allah and his enjoining good and forbidding evil.110
Imam al-Baqir (as) stated: “Allah revealed to Prophet Shu’ayb (as): ‘I will chastise a hundred thousand people from your tribe; forty thousand of the evil doers and sixty thousand of the pious ones.’ Shu’ayb said: ‘O Lord! The wrongdoers should certainly be chastised, but why would You punish the pious ones too?’ The Almighty revealed to him: ‘The pious men were not well wishers to the wrongdoers, did not forbid them from evil doing, did not oppose them, and did not become enraged to them because of My Wrath.’111
A man from Khath’am tribe came to Prophet Muhammad (S) and said: “O Prophet! Inform me of the best Islamic rite!” The Messenger (S) said: “Belief in Allah.” The man said: “What is the best act after that?” He was answered: “Observing the kinship ties.” The man asked again: “What is next?” The Prophet (S) responded: “Enjoining to good and forbidding evil.” The questioner asked again: “Which deed is more hated by Allah?” The Messenger said: “Polytheism, then cutting kinship ties, and then enjoining to evil and forbidding from good.”112
O Allah! Forgive me every sin I have committed and every mistake I have made!
When the attraction of wrongdoing is still attached to the human heart it causes occasional wrongdoing. The researchers call this wrongdoing zanb (sin). To them, khati’a (mistake) is the frequent committing of sins at all times and places, and is the result of the increasing attraction and the steadying of wrongdoing in human heart.
After asking forgiveness for all the sins that tear apart defenses, bring down adversities, alter blessings, hold back supplications, and bring about tribulations, the human beseecher in Allah’s presence implores his Lord: “Forgive all my sins and mistakes I have done during my lifetime, either major or minor sins, intentional or unintentional ones, hidden or apparent, in childhood, adolescence or adulthood. No one can forgive all the sins except You, because You are the Merciful and the Generous One Who stated in Your Qur’an:
Human’s excessive belonging to material issues, to the extent that they become like that of a hard veil between him and his Lord, extreme inclination to sensual desires, being drowned in mere enjoyments, spending every minute of valuable life for gaining wealth, accompanying the negligent people, leaving goodness and charity, wastage of food, cloth, and property, inattention to the relatives and friends, negligence in doing obligatory deeds, committing unlawful acts, and lack of knowledge, are all signs of the human being resident in the ruins which is remote from Allah.
This a ruin in which nothing is found but fraud, humbleness, devil hood, plunder, hypocrisy, lying, backbiting, slander, usury, betray, robbery, adultery, murder, proud, greed, stinginess, jealousy, hatred, enmity, wrath, and wrongdoing.
In this ruin, the treasure of humanity is seized by Satan, the precious life is wasted, the asset of the human spirit is destroy, he is arrested by nihilism, ungratefulness, and disbelief, and entangled in permanent loss and misfortune.
This ruin is the one in which the dealing is controlled by the Satan. Most people of this ruin are apparently humans, but animals in reality. They are engaged in useless acts, away from belief and reality, and stuck to whims and conjectures. Like a disbeliever’s grave, it is full of ornaments in appearance, but really full of severe chastisement.
It is a religious and logical obligation for the prisoner of the ruins of remoteness to release himself from the material belongings and set out to the union country. By means of Allah’s remembrance, he can reach this union place of knowledge, virtues, trust, honesty, truth, serving, worship, compassion, piety, contentment, patience, reliance on Allah, perseverance, charity, and justice. In the country of union, he can taste the sweetness of nearness to Allah, be adorned with the divine ethics, and accompany the prophets(as), the truthful, and the martyrs.
The holy Qur’an comments on this informed and divine migration from all the evil to all the goodness:
Whosoever migrates for the cause of Allah will find much refuge and abundance in the earth, and whoso forsakes his home, a fugitive unto Allah and His messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then incumbent on Allah. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. (4:100)
Remembrance of Allah is contrary to negligence. A person negligent of his Creator is not afraid of wasting his lifetime, committing unlawful deeds, violating other people’s rights, being deprived of worship, gaining unlawful wealth, and getting entangled in misfortunes.
A person who remembers Allah, on the other hand, is quite aware that his Lord has sent the prophets(as), revealed the heavenly books for guiding His servants, and set the Paradise for virtues and the Hell for vices. Such a servant spends his life in worshipping Allah, serving other people, avoiding the unlawful things, observing people’s rights, being pious, acquiring knowledge, obtaining sustenance lawfully, solving problems of his believing brothers, fulfilling their needs, and helping the poor, and in all his endeavors, he only seeks Allah’s content.
This remembrance of Allah, which is an internal tendency, gives human one to do virtues, achieve Allah’s nearness and taste the sweetness of worshipping the Almighty and serving His people.
Prophet Jonah’s tribe who had neglected Allah got subjected to Allah’s chastisement. But then they remembered Allah again by the guidance of a pious wise man. They got tearful, repented, ran away to the desert, and hence sent the thundering cloud of chastisement away. They reached Allah’s closeness and spent the rest of their lives worshipping and serving Allah. They also died to benefit from His Mercy and His Paradise in the Hereafter.
Those sinners who moved away from misguidance to righteousness ended well. They compensated for their dark past by worshipping. They could only reach such a position by Allah’s remembrance. Their repentance from their previous wrongdoing is a model for others and presents Allah’s argument for everyone.
Eminent figures like Asiyah (the wife of Pharaoh), the people of the Cave(Ashab-e Kahf), Bohlul Nabbash, Horr Ibn Yazid, and Fudhayl Ayyaz who have illuminated the history with their purified hearts, are among those who remembered Allah to save themselves from misfortune and Satan’s deceit. They moved from a humble position to the high place of Allah’s nearness and Mercy.
It is We who have sent down the Remembrance, and We watch over it. (15:9)
The holy Qur’an includes rules and teachings which, if, applied, guarantees human prosperity in this world and the Hereafter. It is a perfect Book to be modulated in life. Everything that a human needs in his life can be found in the Quran. Qur’an guides humans to the best and the most permanent path and gives good tidings of generous rewards to those who follow it. Sincere attention to Qur’an and deep pondering in its verses removes ignorance and brings about wisdom.
Following the goodness and avoiding the evil that is mentioned in the Qur’an causes salvation and greatness. Following the Qur’an adorns human with every virtue and prohibits him from every vice, immunizing him against the worldly and heavenly dangers. From the past knowledge to the future forecast, the healing of problems, and the arrangement of everything in life, originates only from the Qur’an.
The Messenger of Allah (S) used the benefits from the holy Qur’an to make the best people in the history out of the most ignorant ones. He saved the pagan Arabs from the Hell and moved them to the Paradise of guidance and prosperity. The Prophet (S) stated:
When the adversities made the issues ambiguous for you, as darkness of the night, follow Qur’an, because its intercession and its complaint are accepted. Anyone who follows Qur’an would be taken to the Paradise by it, and anyone who ignores Qur’an would be taken to the Hell by it.113
If the humans from East to West die altogether, I would not be fearful, as long as Qur’an is with me.114
It is true; for Imam Al-Sajjad (as) in whose spirit Qur’anic verses had been embellished as well as realized, there remained no room for fear in solitude. Hence he observed Allah with his spiritual insight, his spirit was illuminated with ethical verses. He practiced the rules stated in verses precisely and sincerely. He was so familiar with the verses about the Hereafter, as if he saw himself on top of the peak of salvation.
Qur’anic verses are treasure sites; so when each site is opened you’d better ponder carefully in it.115
One who ponders in Qur’anic verses and observes spiritual meanings of them, and then practices Qur’anic orders and matches his behavior to them, would gain power to seek Allah’s nearness. Through Qur’an, which is Allah’s remembrance, he will be placed in Allah’s nearness and will benefit from seeing His Magnificence forever.
Al-Baqir Al-Olum (as), the fifth Imam, has narrated an important tradition that includes major issues and lofty meanings. The late Koleyni, in his Al-Kafi, has narrated this tradition as the opening to the chapter which is on excellence of Qur’an. Imam al-Baqir (as), explaining about the verse:
Prayer forbids indecency and dishonor. Allah’s remembrance is greater. (29:45)
وَنَحْنُ ذِكْرُ اللهِ، وَنَحْنُ أكْبَرُ.
And we are Allah’s remembrance, and we are greater.116
“Remembrance” for sure means the Prophet (S) and twelve infallible Imams, who are the successors of Prophet’s belief, morality, knowledge, and insight. They are expositors of Qur’an, transmitters of rules, protectors of religion, and Allah’s trustees among people. These twelve Imams are actual manifestations of the Qur’an and human’s guides toward salvation and liberation in the world and the Hereafter. They are the reminders of reality, caches of knowledge, and realization of Allah’s attributes. Since infallible Imams are speakers of Qur’an, Imam al-Baqir (as) stated:
We are Allah’s remembrance, and we are greater.
Human belief is not complete without accepting their guardianship and science. Without obedience to their orders, one’s morality would be corrupted. And without inclusion in their leadership, his deeds would be insufficient. His world would be unorganized and his Last Day would be covered by Allah’s Wrath.
The Prophet of Islam (S), in the last moments of his life, told his nation:
I will leave two invaluable things among you; Qur’an and my Household. These two would not be separated from each other to be presented to me beside the River in Paradise. If you resort to these two precious things, you would never go astray after me.117
It is important to note that purifying the heart from the vices and adorning it with divine meanings and names, as well as keeping these virtues from Satan’s assault, continuous presence before Allah, awareness of His existence in every minute of life, practicing every obligatory deed, and doing anything for the wellness of people, are all “remembrance” of Allah.
Some of the pious persons, as well as some traditions suggest that the word ‘remembrance’ in Qur’anic verses and traditions denotes interior realities and practical deeds. ‘Remembrance’ is, in fact, actualization of Qur’an, Prophet’s prophet hood, and Imams traditions. And there is no way to seek Allah’s pleasure, but through His remembrance. If we refresh Allah’s remembrance in our hearts, practice Qur’anic verses, and follow the Prophet and Imams (as) whole-heartedly, we can gain Allah’s favor and attain prosperity.
When human heart embraces divine meanings and names of Allah, the impact of these meanings on his soul, mind, heart, and all organs becomes evident. Then a hot and sweet affection occupies his heart, and he becomes an instance of:
أَشَدُّ حُبّاً لِلَّهِ.
(Those of faith) are overflowing in their love for Allah. (2:165)
One who reaches this position is regarded as
رِجَالٌ لا تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَلا بَيْعٌ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ.
Men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from the Remembrance of Allah. (24:37)
This is a comprehensive position for humans, which places them in Allah’s succession on the earth.
It is in this high position that human is safe from Satan’s fraud. Nothing can distract him from Allah. He would know, want, and find nothing above Allah.
The Imam of the believers, ‘Ali (as), stated heartily:
I saw nothing except that I saw Allah before it, with it, an after it.
And trained by his divine insight and understanding, Sayyid Al-Shohada’, Imam Hossayn (as), who was in extreme thirst and hunger on ‘Ashura, surrounded by calamities, laden with seventy one of his martyred companions, and hearing the sound of weeping women and girls of the Household (as), put his bloody face on the earth, before his Beloved and said:
O Allah! I am happy with Your Wish, patient with Your examination, and surrendered to Your Order. There is no deity for me except You.
وَأَسْتَشْفِعُ بِكَ إِلَى نَفْسِكَ
I seek intercession from You with Yourself
This part of the valuable supplication denotes two facts. First, the supplicant has reached the peak of detachment from the world. Thus he ignores every worldly means and turns his heart to Allah and His Mercy. An intercessor should be one who is acceptable, and since there is no doubt in acceptance of Allah’ intercession, the supplicant would seek intercession from Allah with Himself.
Second, the supplicant considers himself so much drenched in sins and disobedience that no intercession is beneficial for him, except the intercession of Allah himself, which saves him from wrongdoing, and releases him from the consequences of committing sins, and hence makes him subjected to Allah’s Mercy. Therefore, the supplicant, with a broken heart says miserably:
The insightful people very well know the fact that intercession is the help of a powerful person towards a weak one, who has minimum knowledge, belief, good deeds, and virtuous morality, and his weakness has caused to engage in wrongdoing. His offence is not, of course, one that had abolished his belief completely, but that has reduced his progress toward spiritual perfection, and deprived him from attaining Paradise. The Almighty has set the intercession position, out of Mercy, so that a powerful intercessor can help a sinful believer, by his own spirituality, save him from wrongdoing and the consequent chastisement in the Hereafter.
As a result, the intercession of the pious intercessors would not benefit the disbelievers, the polytheists, the hostile, and the hypocrites, as it is rightly mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
Every soul will be held in pledge for its deeds, except the Companions of the Right Hand. They will be in Gardens of Delight; they will question each other. And ask of the Sinners: ‘What led you into Hell-Fire?’ They will say: ‘We were not of those who prayed; nor were we of those who fed the indigent; but we used to talk vanities with vain talkers; and we used to deny the Day of Judgment, until there came to us the Hour that is certain.’ Then will no intercession of any intercessors profit them. (47:38-48)
Intercession-help of a powerful believer to a weak one who still shows signs of spirituality- is the last phase one the Day of Judgment, and either prevents one from being sent to Hell, or brings one out from it. The reasons for the effectiveness of intercession are Allah’s embracing mercy, the high position of the intercessor, and the worth of the sinful believer118.
Based on the Qur’anic verses and the traditions of Prophet’s Household (as), one who is hopeful of intercession should possess belief and good deeds, to the extent necessary to be able to compensate for his faults via the divine Mercy in the world, and recompense his disability via intercession in the Hereafter, and reach Paradise. Or if he was sent to Hell for his burden of sins he can exit the Hell because of intercessions.
The Qur’anic verses and traditions reveal that the intercessors, in this world and the next world, are belief, righteousness, repentance, Qur’an, prophets, Imams, martyrs, righteous believers, and theological scholars. As these intercessors save the disbelievers from ignorance and help them become believers in the world; in the Hereafter, too, they help the wrongdoers to compensate for their faulty deeds and are thus rescued.
Therefore, intercession has its own sphere in Islam. It is an Islamic principle whose refrainer is out of the sphere of Islam.
O believers! Fear Allah and believe in His Messenger, and He will give you a twofold portion of His Mercy, and He will appoint for you a light whereby you walk, and forgive you; Allah is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate. (57:28)
‘If a servant repents sincerely, Allah would love him and cover his faults in the world and the Hereafter.’ I asked Imam Sadiq (as): ‘How will Allah cover them?’ Imam (as) replied: ‘He will make the two angels, in charge of that servant, forget all about his sins they have recorded, and will reveal to his body organs to do so. So the servant would meet Allah while there is no record of his sins.’119
When calamities surround you like the darkness of night seek refuge in Qur’an, for Qur’an is an intercessor whose intercession would be accepted. And it is a complainer whose complaint would be confirmed.120
Many traditions are mentioned in Bihar al-Anwar, Mahajjat Al-Bayza’, and other valuable tradition books to which the readers can refer.
And I ask You through Your Munificence, to bring me nearer to Your Mercy, to bless me with gratitude to You and to inspire me with Your remembrance.
The Commander of the Believers (as), in these divine phrases, asks Allah three positions which belong to His devoted servants; the positions of nearness, the gratitude and the remembrance.
Obtaining these three positions is, undoubtedly, not possible but through Allah’s Benevolence and His Mercy. If He does not provide benefits and interest to gain to his devotee servants and means for gaining these heavenly positions, and help him not in eliminating dark veils and reaching light ones, the servant would not reach the positions. That is why the supplicant asks His Munificence and Mercy, so that these attributes of Allah would be apprehended in his life, in order to help him reach heavenly positions.
For understanding just a small aspect, of Allah’s Munificence and Mercy and their effect on human life, it is deserved to take a look at some phrases from the valuable ‘Arafa supplication of Imam Husayn (as), so that we will understand that by resorting to Allah’s Mercy and ignoring any other worldly sources, one can gain spiritual positions:
Therefore, praise is for Thee, and also gratitude. O He who overlooked my lapses, relieved me from anxiety and grief, answered to my call, covered up my shortcomings, exempted me from (the consequences of) my wrongdoing, let me have that which I had asked for, helped me to get the better of my adversary, and (how many of) Thy bounties, favors and blessings, I asked for and got, cannot be counted. O my Lord-Master. Thou (it is) who: bestowed benefits, overwhelmed with bounties, granted favors, treated with kindness, gave more and more, brought to fullness, made available means of sustenance, rendered (things and events) convenient and useful, donated endowments, relieved from privation, imported, strength and influence, allowed to take refuge in Thy sanctuary; arranged supplies adequate to wants, showed the right path, watched over, covered up, cancelled penalty, made allowances, implanted fearlessness and fortitude, made a present of honor and glory, assisted by aid, strengthened by encouragement, lent a helping hand, gave occasion to succeed, restored health, kept up well-being and welfare, gave respect and did favors. Thou gives blessings, and high rewards, so, praise is for Thee, for ever, thanks are for Thee, in unbroken succession, till eternity.121
It is worthy as well to review parts of Abu Hamza Thomali supplication, which was the prayer of Imam Zayn Al-Abidin (as) on Ramadan nights. It helps get a bit of Allah’s Munificence:
O my Master! I am the little that You have brought up And I am the ignorant that You have taught And I am the straying that You have guided And I am the humble that You have given rise And I am the afraid that You have given security And I am the hungry that You have satiated And I am the thirsty that You have watered And I am the naked that You have dressed And I am the poor that You have given affluence And I am the weak that You have strengthened And I am the lowly that You have given mighty And I am the ill that You have cured And I am the beggar that You have donated And I am the sinner that You have covered And I am the guilty that You have excused And I am the valueless that You have evaluated And I am the helpless that You have backed And I am the expelled that You have boarded.122
A devotee servant can thus reach Allah’s nearness by resorting to His Munificence and Mercy.
This is the last and the highest position of Allah’s devoted servants. Through Allah’s Munificence and Mercy, the servant avoids unlawful acts, continues doing good deeds, obeys Allah’s Messenger and his Household (as), accompanies Allah’s friends, and hence gradually reaches His nearness. Reaching the nearness of Allah is possible for all servants through worshipping and obeying Him. When the servant attains nearness, his heart would be filled with the essence of belief, and everything other than Allah gets ignored by him. Such a servant would be Allah’s successor on the earth, and would act godly, on his part, as is stated in a divine tradition:
My servant! Obey Me so that I will set you an example of Myself, in terms of Power and Inclination. I say ‘Be!’ to something, and it becomes immediately, then you will say ‘Be!’ to something and it becomes immediately, too.123
I am an alive King who never dies. Obey Me, My servant, so that I would set you, too, as an alive king who never dies.124
The insightful persons believe that the purpose of all worships, prayers, and obedience is reaching Allah’s nearness. If one performs his worships, with all obligatory conditions combined with the same purpose, he would be at a closer proximity to Allah, and his inclination would be lost in Allah’s Will. In his heart, there would remain nothing but Allah’s Will, so now he may do Godly deeds, if he wants.
When the servant moves toward his Lord through worship and obedience, he gets subjected to Allah’s Mercy and Glorious names for each step that he takes forward. But His Mercy approaches the servant considerably faster than the servant’s approach towards Him, hence we read in another Divine tradition:
When one approaches Me as far as a span I would approach him as far as a cubit, and if he walks to Me, I would run to him.125
Therefore the result of worship and obedience is nearness to Allah, and the position of Allah’s ‘favorite servants’ is considered as a high position in Qur’anic verses and the traditions. To the insightful people, all deeds and attributes of Allah’s favorite servants are transient, in comparison to Allah’s; their speech is a ray of His Divine Speech; and their will is Allah’s Will. This view is based on significant Divine traditions narrated by the Prophet (S) and his Household (as), like the following:
The Almighty says: My favorite servants seek nearness to Me through Nafila (recommended prayers) to the extent that I would love him. This way, I become his ear to hear, his eye to see, his tongue to talk, his heart to think, so that when he calls Me I would answer him, and when he requests Me I would grant him.126
The speech of Allah’s pious servants has an equal stance as heavenly revelation. So when some of them speak they are asked: ‘Are you talking on behalf of someone?’ They would answer: ‘My heart talked to me from my mind, my mind from my inside, and my inside talked to me from my Lord.’127
The highest such position belonged to the Prophet of Islam (S), so he said:
مَنْ رَآنِي فَقَد رَأى الحَقَّ.
One who sees me has undoubtedly seen the Truth.128
My great Fiqh wa Osul professor, the late Ayatollah Hajj Shaykh Abulfazl Najafi Khansari, was sick. Some months before his demise, I went to meet him and asked him to tell me any wonders that he could recall of his late professor, the late Hajj Sayyid ‘Ali Qazi. He said: “One night, we went to the Kufah mosque, along with the professor and some of his other students. We began worshipping beside him and beseeched the Almighty. We, then, got ready to exit the mosque. Suddenly, a big and dangerous snake approached us. Everybody got frightened except our professor, who was always calm. With his usual tranquility, he turned to the snake and said: ‘Die!’ The snake remained still as a stick, and we went out of the mosque peacefully. After a while, a friend of ours went back to see if the snake had died by the professor’s call. He struck the snake to find it dead and returned to us to head for Najaf. The professor turned to him and said: ‘The snake died with my command. It was not necessary for you to investigate about it.’”
Mirza Tahir Tonekaboni, a contemporary philosopher, said: “I came out of Sepahsalar school in Tehran’s Baharestan square and saw a sayyid man on the other side of the street. I recognized him to be a previous classmate of mine, so I went upto him to greet him. Then I took him to my room at the school. It was cold and I poured him a cup of tea. He asked me to go to Qom with him for pilgrimage but I told him that it was difficult since it was such a cold night, but he insisted until I accepted it. Suddenly he said this is Qom! I found myself in the holy shrine of Hazrat Ma’suma (sa). I picked an object from there and put it in my pocket to be assured of our presence there. After finishing our pilgrimage, he said this is Tehran! And I found ourselves sitting in my warm room in the school and that object was still with me.”
Jabir Ja’fi was Imam al-Baqir’s disciple and Imam Sadiq (as) knew him as his father’s companion in the world and the Hereafter. Some people went to him and asked his help in building a mosque. Jabir said: “I won’t help in building a place in which a believer man falls down and dies!” The people left him regarding him to be stingy as well as a liar! The next morning they began building the mosque. In the evening though, the builder fell down the scaffold and died. The people then found out that Jabir was not stingy nor a liar.131
‘Ala’ Ibn Sharik says: Husham Ibn Abdul Malik invited Jabir Ja’fi and I accompanied him. On the way, we crossed a shepherd and his cattle. A sheep from his cattle bleated. Jabir laughed at it. I asked him the reason to which he said: “This sheep is telling its lamb to leave this district, because a wolf picked its lamb last year.” I was surprised and went to the shepherd to investigate about it. I asked him to sell me that lamb, but he refused and said: “The sheep once had the best milk, but hasn’t given milk since last year, as a wolf took its lamb. This year it has a lamb and milk again.” Then we moved until we reached Kufah Bridge. There we met a man with a ruby ring. Jabir took his ring to have a look at it and then threw it into the rivers of Forat. The owner of the ring got very unhappy. Then Jabir stretched his hand towards the water and the water came to him, bringing the ring with it. Jabir took the ring from the water and gave it to its owner!132
Raghib Isfahani says: “Gratitude has three levels; hearty, verbal, and practical. Hearty gratitude is knowing the blessing as well as the Provider of the blessing. Verbal gratitude is confessing to the blessings. And practical gratitude is consuming the blessing in the ways which Allah has ordered.
The Almighty revealed to Moses (as): O Moses! Be grateful to Me as I deserve it! Moses said: O Lord! How should I be grateful to You, as You deserve it, while I thank You for Your blessings by my tongue that is another blessing of You? The Almighty stated: O Moses! You are grateful now, as you understood that even your tongue is My blessing.136
We read in ‘Arafa supplication of Imam Husayn (as):
If I crave for more, taken up with greed to have an idea about Thy bounties, given and to be given (with the help of expert accountants), we shall neither be able to fence in the sum total, nor reckon, (nor) agree with each other; also from where and how all that was made available!137
My Lord! How can I thank You while my thank is itself another blessing of Yours for which I should thank You again? He was answered by the Almighty: O David! If you know that you have every blessing from Me, you have already thanked for it.
The aforementioned traditions involve verbal gratitude. The highest level of gratitude, which is the practical one, is certain belief, doing good deeds, being virtuous, and avoiding all sins.
Musmi’ Ibn Abdul Malik says: “In the land of Mina, we were eating grapes in the presence of Imam Sadiq (as), when a poor man came and asked Imam (as) for help. Imam (as) said: ‘Give him some grapes!’ Offered with grapes, he rejected it and asked for money. Imam (as) told him: ‘May Allah grant you!’ The poor man went and returned after a while and asked for the grapes. Imam Sadiq (as) told him again: ‘May Allah grant you!’ Then another poor man came to us and asked for help. Imam Sadiq (as) gave him three beans from the grape brunch. The man took them and said: ‘All praise belongs to the Lord of the worlds who fed me.’ Imam Sadiq (as) gave him two handfuls of grape for the second time. The man thanked Allah again. Then Imam (as) turned to his servant and asked him: ‘How much money do you have with you?’ The servant brought twenty drachmas and Imam (as) gave it to the poor man. Once more, the man said: ‘All Praise belongs to Allah who granted me blessings; the One deity.’ Afterwards, Imam Sadiq (as) put off his own cloak and gave it away to him and told him: ‘Put on this garb!’ Having put on the cloak, the poor man said: ‘All Praise is for Allah who dressed me. May Allah grant you reward!’ The poor man thanked Imam Sadiq (as) and went away.”138
The great philosopher and pious scholar, Mullah Mohsin Fayz al-Kashani, in his book Wafi narrates from an infallible Imam: “When a servant finishes his prayer and then genuinely reflects and thanks his Lord for all His blessings, Allah addresses His angels: ‘My servant ended his obligatory prayer and is now appreciating Me. What should I grant him?’ The angels reply: ‘Lord! Grant him his wishes!’ They are then addressed: ‘I granted him his wishes.’ Then the angels ask Allah to save the servant in the Last Day, expand his sustenance, and bestow on him righteous children. As long as that servant is thanking Allah in his obeisance, Allah addresses the angels and they pray. Then the angels say: ‘Lord! We asked You to grant Your servant whatever goodness we knew.’ They are then addressed: ‘I know what to grant him next; he appreciated Me, and I will thank him by opening the doors of Blessings to his life.’”
The phrases of remembrance that Allah inspires on the servant after purification of his heart are different from those found in books. The inspired remembrance leads to salvation in this world and the next world and manifests facts for the pious servants that are hidden to other ignorant servants. It is not merely words, rather the means for reaching the nearness of Allah. By inspiration through the words of remembrance, human comes to discern his Lord better, and becomes prepared to devote himself to his Beloved, saying, like Imam Husayn (as):
تَرَكْتُ الخَلْقَ طُرّاً فِي هَواكا
وَأيْتَمْتُ العِيَالَ لِكَيْ أرَاكَا
فَلَوْ قَطَّعْتَنِي بِالحُبِّ اِرْباً
لَمَا مَالَ الفُؤادُ اِلَى سِوَاكَا
I have left all Your creatures for your sake.
And I have orphaned my family to meet You
If You tear me to pieces in love,
My heart shall never incline to other than You!”
The inspired remembrance is the one uttered by Imam Al-Sajjad (as) in Khamsa ‘Ashar supplication:
A pious believer who always remembers Allah is placed in five illuminated states; his entrance is light, his exit is light, his speech is light, his food is light, and his view in the Day of Judgment is towards light.140
For pious favorite servants of Allah, nothing is more sweat than His remembrance, and Allah’s remembrance does not appear deeply in one’s heart except that his heart is cleansed from worldly affections. This purification is only possible through worshipping and avoiding sins and vices.
O Allah! Verily I ask You with the asking of a submissive, abased and lowly man to show me forbearance, to have mercy on me and to make me satisfied and content with Your apportionment, and humble in every state.
If a supplication is done in the darkness of night with a humble heart, a submissive appearance and tearful eyes, it is undoubtedly more probable to be accepted. The Almighty revealed to Prophet Moses (as):
O son of Imran! Bring to My Presence submission of your heart, humbleness of your body, and tears of your eyes in the darkness of night and then call Me, you would then find Me near and compliant.141
In this section of Kumayl supplication, the supplicant humbly asks Allah four requests and he should hope that his humbleness and submission would bring his supplication to compliance. These four requests are: 1. Allah’s forbearance toward him, 2. His Mercy for him, 3. Satisfaction with Allah’s apportionment, and 4. Humbleness in all states of his life.
The supplicant should bear in mind that based on the principle of
إِنْ أَحْسَنتُمْ أَحْسَنتُمْ لأَنفُسِكُمْ.
If you do good, you will do good for your own souls. (17:7)
Anyone who does good has done it to himself for gaining Allah’s forbearance is not possible but through lenity to His servants, and gaining His Mercy is only possible through compassion to all the Muslim believers and anyone who deserves it. One who is not lenient and merciful to others would not be subject to Allah’s forbearance and Mercy.
Islam has forbidden all Muslims from hostility and jealousy towards each other and cutting ties of kinship, and invited everyone to lenience and compassion toward others. It has considered the believers as moral brothers and presented valuable rights of brotherhood in this regard that are recommended and sometimes obligatory for them to be observed.
Making moral and brotherhood relationships and continuing it, results in purity from moral vices. Human vices, such as pride, egotism, greed, stinginess, and jealousy avoid compassion and mercy among people and families.
The Messenger of Allah (as), in a significant tradition, has warned people against moral vices and encouraged them to observe brotherhood rights:
Do not be hostile toward each other, and not be angry with each other, do not be jealous of each other, do not cut ties of friendship, and befriend each other! Muslims are brothers, a Muslim does not oppress his Muslim brothers, does not deprive him from his compassion and his wealth, and does not leave him alone.142
In the Hereafter, a sinner man is called to account and no virtue is found in his letter of deeds to save him. He is asked: ‘Have you ever done a good deed?’ He replies: ‘No, but I lent people money from my wealth and I told the young people around me to be lenient with wealthy debtors and leave poor ones.’ Then the Almighty would say: ‘I am more lenient than him.’ So Allah would forgive his sins.146
Hammad Ibn Othman says: “Someone came to Imam Sadiq (as) and complained about one of Imam’s disciples. That disciple came there after a while and Imam (as) asked him: ‘Why does this man complain about you?’ He said: ‘He is complaining about me because I collected the money I had lent him to the last drachma.’ Imam Sadiq (as) got angry and then said: ‘Do you suppose it not bad to get your money back completely? Allah has described the behavior of believers in the Holy Qur’an:’ Those who… fear the terrible reckoning. (13:21)’ Do you think they fear Allah’s oppression on them in reckoning their deeds? No, by Allah that they do not fear except evil reckoning. Anyone who does this has done a bad deed.’”
The Messenger of Allah (S) stated:
Beware that there are containers of Allah’s Mercy on the earth, which are people’s hearts. The most favorite of these containers are the purest, strongest, and the most lenient ones. Favorite hearts are pure of sins, strong in belief, and lenient with religious brothers.147
Anyone who does not have these three things has accomplished no deed; the piety that prevents him from wrongdoing, the morality that leads him to be lenient with people, and the patience that stands against the ignorance of the foolish.149
Much was said about Allah’s Mercy on the first chapter of the book. It was pointed out that Allah’s specific Mercy is subjected to people who are obedient to Him and merciful to His servants. They should avoid annoying and oppressing other people and violating their rights. They should always keep in mind the principle:
Allah’s mercy has one hundred aspects, one of which He has revealed among his creatures like humans, jinns, animals, and birds and they have affection for each other by that single aspect of Mercy. Allah will have Mercy on his servants on the Day of Judgment by the other ninety nine aspects.158
The Almighty Allah would reveal to the believers on the Last Day: Did you like My countenance? They would confirm it. Allah would ask them the reason, and they would say: Because we were hopeful of Your forgiveness. Then Allah would say: I obliged My forgiveness for you.159
The Almighty Allah is more compassionate to His servant than a kind father.161
Based on the words of the infallible Imams (as), it is understood that what attracts Allah’s Compassion is indeed worship, obedience, avoiding sins, and kindness to others. It is narrated from the Prophet (S):
Allah would compassionate the compassionate people. Compassionate anyone on the earth, so that Allah would compassionate you.162
The author of Anis al-Layl quoted from the book Zinat al-Majalis that Moses, in his prayers,(as) asked Allah: “What attribute of mine made You content with me?” He was replied: “When you were grassing Jethro’s sheep on a summer day, a lamb ran away from the cattle. You chased it a long way until you got tired and thirsty. When you found the lamb you caught it and told it: ‘You have caused suffering for yourself and me.’ Then you took it back to the cattle. Because of your kindness to that lamb I chose you as My prophet and appointed you as My messenger.”163
Someone told the Prophet (S): “I would like my Lord to have Mercy on me.” He was responded:
The hidden and apparent creatures who have been created, placed in their right positions and set towards their right goals by the Wisdom, Will and Mercy of the Sacred Entity has also been provided with sustenance in accord with their lifestyle, dignity and activities for acquiring sustenance.
Surely your Lord outspreads and straitens His provision unto whom He wills; surely He is aware of and sees His servants. (30:17)
The Benevolent has set different ways for His servants to get Halal (lawful) sustenance, like ranching, farming, business, industry, and other beneficial professions that are the result of thought and activity. He has set no one’s sustenance through unlawful activities, such as theft, plunder, looting, bribery, and usurpation. In fact, what they get unlawfully is diminished from their lawful sustenance.
The Holy Qur’an and traditions have encouraged people to gain sustenance through legal works. They consider the expansion or narrowness of lawful sustenance as Allah’s expedience, which should be accepted wholeheartedly by humans.
Islam has obliged seeking lawful sustenance, considering it as a great worship. Suffering the body and enduring difficulties in this way is also considered the key and path to many values. Many traditions are narrated from the Prophet (S) in this regard:
Worship has ten sections nine sections of which are in seeking lawful sustenance.181
However, human sustenance is a reality that is provided on earth and everyone has been set with a definite amount. This definite amount is either extended or narrowed, according to Allah’s expedience. The extendedness of one’s sustenance does not imply his amiability before Allah nor does one’s narrow sustenance mean that he is disfavored; rather the extension or the narrowing of sustenance is Allah’s test of gratitude for the rich and of patience for the poor. Thus the grateful and patient servants would be rewarded in this way. The rich would also be rewarded by granting to the poor and the poor by maintaining face and patience for the certain fate.
One who has an extended sustenance should know that if he does not spend his money in true and lawful paths would be subjected to worldly and heavenly chastisement. The one who has a narrow sustenance should also consider that if he does not tolerate poverty, he would also be chastised. Imam ‘Ali (as) states:
… And Allah destined people’s sustenance and made it extended for some and narrow for others and he divided sustenance among people justly to test anyone He will with expansion and narrowness of sustenance, thus examine the rich for gratefulness and the poor for tolerance of difficulty.182
The Muslim believer should, on the other hand, be content with Allah’s fair distribution of sustenance and not be angry at his portion of sustenance. The believers should follow their leader, Imam ‘Ali (as), who prayed Allah for safety in this world and the next world.
Fight against your greed, which leads you to the unlawful and destroys your belief, by means of your contentment with Allah’s sustenance, as you take revenge from your enemy by retaliation.188
The teachings of the infallible Imams (as) signify that greed and avarice does not increase lawful sustenance and wealth, but it rather leads to unlawful acts that weaken belief, destroy moral principles, and disgraces humans. On the other hand, contentment with lawful sustenance and predestined life, is an infinite treasure and a guarantee for human world and Hereafter. The Messenger of Allah (S) sates:
Be content with what Allah has set as your sustenance and do not look at others’. Do not greed people’s wealth and do not wish what you cannot gain. Undoubtedly, one who is content is satisfied and gets reward in the Hereafter. And the discontent did not satisfy.192
Modesty is a great moral virtue that helps humans reach spiritual positions. It is so great a trait that Amir Al-Mo’minin asks it from Allah in the Kumayl supplication. If one applies it to all his deeds, he can obtain goodness in this world and the Hereafter, be safe from Allah’s chastisement, and reach His nearness.
Modesty should be considered in two aspects; one is before Allah and the other is before the people.
Being modest before Allah is to accept all His orders regarding worldly and heavenly issues wholeheartedly which are stated in the Qur’an, Prophet’s tradition, and Imams’ speech. Then these orders should be applied to real life expereinces.
Modesty before the people is not boasting about one’s self to his Muslim brothers and consider oneself superior to them. Modesty is chastening no one, respecting and helping anyone, and forgiving others’ mistakes.
Modesty is contentment with your seating position which may not be according to your position, that you say hello to everyone you see, that you avoid arguments in discussions even if you are right. Modesty is the core of every goodness.197
The great Prophet of Islam (S) united with the poor and the needy with humility. He greeted everyone, even the children, sat on the ground, befriended people in the streets and bazaars, and asked them about their lives. He rode a regular roadster, milked the sheep, washed his clothes, ate with his servants, and lived ordinarily among other people.
Prophet Solomon (as) was granted with such splendor and greatness that no one else in this regard was his counterpart on earth, but he was so modest and just that even a weak ant could judge his behavior and take its right from him.
One day an ant was moving on Solomon’ hand when he took the ant and put it down on the ground. He did not think the ant might object to this. However, the enormity of his modesty even dared the ant to speak before him: “What are you proud of? Why are you such an arrogant person? Don’t you know I am a servant of Allah just as you are? Are we different from each other in terms of His worship that you have behave towards me in this way?” Solomon was deeply affected by the ant’s frankness. He got anxious about Allah’s judgment on the Day of Resurrection and thus fainted. When he was sober again he called the ant. But Solomon didn’t mean to punish the ant for its frank criticizing. He was a divine man of prophethood and was adorned with all ethical goodness and humane perfection. He was actually happy with the ant’s initiative, because it showed that everyone in his kingdom was free to voice their opinions and oppose. He asked the ant: “What made you oppose me so frankly?” The ant said: “My body is very fragile, so when you took me and dropped me on the ground, pain ran through my entire body and this made me oppose you.” Solomon said: “I apologize for bothering your body. I didn’t do it on purpose, though, so please forgive me!”
When Solomon, a powerful king and a divine prophet, behaves even a little imperfectly he gets sad and apologizes a weak ant. The ant told Solomon: “I forgive you, provided that your longing for this world is not for mere enjoyment but you desire wealth for helping your people and not wasting it and to support any deprived person who seeks help from you.”
Solomon whose heart was full of mercy and compassion toward those inferior to him, accepted the terms stipulated by the ant, so the ant forgave him.201
When reading this part of the supplication, the supplicant should observe two facts, based on the Qur’anic verses and the traditions. The first fact is that there is no Owner and no Absolute Sufficient, except Allah. The second one is that the essence of humans and all other creatures’ is based on need and dependence
It is He, who established the world independently and created all kinds of creatures in it with their needs, placing them in their appropriate positions. He is the One who created His creatures, out of Mercy and none of them can oppose Him but surrender to His supreme Power. He can annihilate all His creatures at once, just as He had created them before. His Mercy is so expanded that everyone needs it and should be hopeful of it.
While the obvious needs of the creatures are on one hand, the continuation of Allah’s Compassion in all ages and conditions are on the other, which are clear arguments for Allah’s Independence. He is the Creator, the Owner, the Provider, the Generous, the Forgiver, the Shaper, and the Merciful and has no partner.
Those who are engaged in and satisfied with worldly position and wealth are unaware of their need and dependence to Allah. They feel independent that is in fact the result of their ignorance. It also takes them away and deprives them of supplicating to the Almighty for beseeching their needs. In fact, their life is unfortunate and devoid of divine blessings, like the savages and the beasts.
The Holy Qur’an states about the Absolute Independent:
O people! All of you are dependent upon Allah, and only He is the Needless. (35:15)
Is human essence anything but need and poverty? What power does he have in continuing life, quitting it, gaining advantages, or preventing disadvantages? Allah has created him and granted him continuity in life. He grants him advantages and removes disadvantages from him. So why shouldn’t he go to his Lord and wholeheartedly call for help on a Friday night?
The most beautiful and beneficial state of a human is the state of praying in which he requests from Allah, the Needless.
وَأَنزَلَ بِكَ عِنْدَ الشَّدَائِدِ حَاجَتَهُ
O Allah! I ask You with the asking of one who has stated to You in difficulties his need.
The Merciful obviously knows all about His servant’s needs and wants, and is aware of his difficulties, and can very fulfil or remove them. But He wishes for His servant (based on the Qur’anic verses,) to state his needs, pray to Him, and worship Him, so that Allah solves his problems and difficulties, eliminates calamities, and saves him from misfortunes. Then He would fulfill His servant’s demand, out of Mercy, loading him with His blessings.
It is Allah’s desire for his servant to state his needs which is in fact a form of worship and obedience to Him. Isn’t it the case that Allah has ordered His servants to pray and has guaranteed fulfilling it?
Praying, supplicating, and stating the wants are not only one form of worshipping and obeying Allah but are, in fact, the core of worship.
Allah does not wish His servant to turn to sources other than Him, in case of difficulties and calamities in order ask his needs from them, or request the solution of his problem.
In a Divine tradition, narrated in various lofty books, important issues and valuable facts are stated in this regard:
Is My servant hopeful of those other than Me, when facing difficulties to resolve them for him, while eliminating all the problems is in My Hands? Is My servant hopeful of others but Me, to fulfill his needs and wants and save him from poverty, while the Generous and the Beneficent is Me and accomplishing all the exigencies is in My Power and Mercy?
Why is it that I see My servant ignorant of Me, while I have always granted him everything he wanted, out of Mercy? Why has he turned from Me and referred to others now when he is so much in need?
I am the Deity except Whom there is no other deity. I grant without demand, Would I not grant if I am demanded?!
Is the vast ocean of Mercy and Generosity not from Me? Are the world and the Hereafter not in My Hands?!x
If all the beings in the heavens and the earth ask Me to grant them demand as big as all the heavens and the earth, My Kingdom would not be reduced even to the extent of a fly. Woe to the one who turns attention from Me, demanding his needs from those except Me!202
وَعَظُمَ فِيمَا عِنْدَكَ رَغْبَتُهُ
O Allah, I ask You with the asking of one whose craving for what is with You has become intense.
Amir al-Mu’minin, Imam ‘Ali (as) was completely aware of what is with Allah. It was based on this awareness that when supplicating, he put his face to the ground and stated humbly: My craving of what is with You is intense.
What is with Allah which every deserved servant of Him can benefit from, would take more than human life as well as hundreds of volumes of books to be explained, and still not a drop of Allah’s vast sea of Mercy would described. Here we give a brief account of what is with the Almighty, so that it adds to our enthusiasm for reaching it.
The Compassionate Allah, out of Mercy, has invited all His servants to perform obligatory deeds, such as praying, fasting, Hajj, Jihad, almsgiving, charity, serving people, observing people’s rights, and avoiding engagement in wrongdoing. He has necessitated for Himself rewarding the servants for their deeds. Allah has declared in the Holy Qur’an:
These shall be granted their reward twice, because they are steadfast and they repel their evil with good and spent out of what We have given them. (28:54)
The rewards of those who believe and do good deeds are permanent and everlasting and only Allah is capable of granting them. The traditions have mentioned parts of Allah’s rewards. Some of these traditions, which are in fact explanations of Qur’anic verses are presented here. Imam ‘Ali (as) has stated:
ثَوَابُ عَمَلِكُمْ أفْضَلُ مِنْ عَمَلِكُمْ.
The rewards of your good deeds are superior to the deeds themselves.203
ثَوَابُ الصَّبْرِ أعْلَى الثَّوَابِ.
The greatest reward is the reward for patience (over obedience, calamities and wrongdoing).204
The pilgrim who spends a night in Mecca is like one who is attempting in various cities. One who prostrates in Mecca is like martyr in Allah’s way. One who looks after the pilgrim’s family in his absence has an equal reward as the pilgrim, and it is as if he has touched al-Hajar al-Aswad (the Black Stone).
On the Day of Resurrection, Allah orders to take a servant to Hell. The believer men and women say: ‘O Lord! This person always prayed for us, so accept our intercession for him! So Allah accepts their intercession about him and he is saved.’211
One of the realities from Allah is Paradise, for which the believers and good doers are enthusiastic. The Merciful Allah has invited all His servants to this permanent abode. He has stated belief, piety, good deeds, and observing lawful and avoiding unlawful deeds for reaching it.
And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord; and a Garden, the extensiveness of which is as the heavens and the earth; it is prepared for those who believe in Allah and His apostles, that is the grace of Allah. (57:21)
Based on the Qur’anic verses and the traditions of the Prophet and his Household (as), paradise is the reward for belief, good deeds, piety, and avoiding unlawful acts. On the other hand, one who is away from these facts and is polluted with disbelief and other sins, does not deserve to enter paradise and would rather be placed in Hell and deprived of Allah’s Mercy and countenance.
And as for the believing men and the believing women, they are guardians of each other; they enjoin good and forbid evil and keep up prayer and pay the poor rate, and obey Allah and His Apostle; Allah will show Mercy to these; Surely Allah is Mighty, Wise. Allah has promised to the believing men and the believing women gardens, beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and goodly dwelling in gardens of perpetual abode; and best of all is Allah’s goodly pleasure- that is the grand achievement. (9:71-72)
There are ten things with which anyone who meets Allah would enter paradise; testifying that there is no deity but Allah, that Muhammad is His Prophet, and that he has brought Qur’an from Allah, establishing prayers, paying zakat, fasting in Ramadan, Hajj, befriending Allah’s friends, hating His enemies, and avoiding anything intoxicant.215
The holy Qur’an and the traditions have extensively mentioned Allah’s Mercy toward His servants, inviting everyone to obtain this Mercy by resorting to belief, good deeds, piety, charity, and repentance from sins.
Forgiveness means pardoning for the wrongdoing in order to avoid the chastisement. The Almighty has set this fact for the regretful sinners, who wish to return to His Kingdom, out of Mercy, and has admired Himself for this lofty attribute, stating:
Allah’s orders are obligatory and out of expedience and wisdom. His takes pleasure in Mercy and Forgiveness. He rules with knowledge and awareness and forgives patiently.218
A Berduin told the Messenger of Allah: “O Prophet of Allah! Who would account for people’s deeds?” The Prophet (S) answered: “The Almighty would.” The Arab man said: “By the Lord of Kaaba then we would be saved.” The Prophet asked: “Why do you think so?” He replied:
Allah’s Forgiveness would rush to anyone who avoids what Allah has forbidden.220
Some facts that are only with Allah like reward, paradise, mercy and forgiveness have inspired the pious servants intensely with a great urge to reach for what is with Him.
اللَّهُمَّ عَظُمَ سُلْطَانُكَ
O Allah! Great is Your Kingdom.
Allah’s Kingdom is essential and real. Other sovereignties are conventional and temporary, but Allah’s is permanent, unlimited, and endless. His Kingdom embraces hidden and apparent beings, as well as their apparent and hidden characteristics. There is no kingdom but His Kingdom. All others are in need and have nothing of their own.
Allah’s Argument and Proof is great and no one can compete with it. Wisdom, Prophethood, Qur’an, and Imamate are His proofs with which He would reason with all the beings on the Day of Resurrection, refusing their false excuses for committing sins and avoiding good deeds.
O Allah! Lofty is Your Being.
The Holy God has rightly praised Himself in the Holy Qur’an as:
لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ.
Nothing like a likeness of Him. (42:11)
He is away from every fault and error. He owns all the perfect and magnificent attributes. His attributes are the same as His Essence, and His essence is the same as His attributes. The Glorious Names and Lofty Attributes only belong to Him. The establishment of all the beings is by means of His Guardianship, His Mercy, His Power, His Will, and His Knowledge. His Power is above all other powers; His Might is above everyone’s might. That is why His Being is Lofty and His Status is superior to everything.
O Allah! Your Contrivance is hidden.
Contrivance means deceitfulness with regards to Allah’s beings, which is used for deceiving others. Applying the word in this meaning to the Almighty Allah is not right, as it is the attribute of the incapable and unwise human, and incapability and ignorance is not part of the Holy Essence of Allah. His Holy Essence is wholly Knowledge, Might, Mercy, and Generosity. All the beings are in need of Him and He is the One Needless.
Contrivance with regards to the Almighty Allah, means chastisement and punishment. He would use it for those who deserve it, while they have no escape from it.
Allah’s chastisement for those who commit sins arrogantly and ignorantly are in different ways. One way is that it is gradual in which case as the ignorant sinner increases his wrongdoing, Allah adds to his blessings, so that the servant’s ignorance would be enhanced by the increased blessings. As a result the sinner would forget repentance. Then suddenly chastisement befalls without the sinner’s attention and awareness, entangling him, and avenging him. In fact, the sinner would face the hidden contrivance.
In fact, sometimes Allah wills to give His servant blessings and goodness. That servant commits sins; Allah would give him blessings, and the servant becomes warned and repentant. Sometimes, on the other hand, He wills evil for a servant. Then He grants blessings to him after his wrongdoing, so the servant gets entertained by the blessing and hence more ignorant. He would thus forget repentance and his sins continue due to the blessings. This is the sense of Allah’s saying: ‘We draw them near to destruction by degrees from whence they know not. (4:182)’221
O Allah! Your Command is manifest.
Allah’s Command by which all the beings were created and were emerged in the world, is one of the first in its genesis. Another kind of Allah’s Command is the religious one where the blessing of the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet’s heart. Another manifestation of Allah’s religious Command is His Rules about the lawfulness and unlawfulness of actions, which have been declared to all human beings by the Prophets, heavenly Books and Imams (as).
وَغَلَبَ قَهْرُكَ وَجَرَتْ قُدْرَتُكَ
Your Dominance is overwhelming; Your Power is ever-operating.
Allah’s Dominance and Power was explained in detail at the beginning of the book.
وَلا يُمْكِنُ الْفِرَارُ مِنْ حُكُومَتِكَ
And escape from Your Domain is impossible.
The Almighty Allah embraces everything and every being wholly and in its entirety; nothing is outside His embracing Authority.
All the beings have come to existence by His Will, so He has been present before other beings and they continue existence by His Mercy and blessings. He is with all the creatures, and finally they would all return to Him. Hence He would exist after all the beings. How can then the creatures escape from His Domain?
An important valuable tradition reads: “Someone came to Imam Husayn (as) and said: ‘I am a sinner, but cannot continue to be a sinner. So preach me!’ Imam (as) stated:
‘Do five things and then commit any sin you want! First, don’t eat Allah’s sustenance and commit sins. Second, Go outside the domain of Allah’s Authority and commit sins. Third, go where Allah would not see you and commit sins. Fourth, when the death angel comes to you send him away and commit sins. Fifth, When the Hell angel wants to throw you into the Hell, don’t enter it and commit sins.’222
If man wants to escape from anything he should escape from his own ignorance and go toward knowledge, from unknown to the apparent, and escape from the creatures to the Creator, so that he would benefit from worldly and heavenly advantages, divine paradise, and permanent prosperity. Such an escape is, in fact, moving from wrongdoing to common sense, from the world to the Hereafter, from the Hell to the Paradise, and at last from Satan to Allah.
But whoever repents after his wickedness and reforms himself, then surely Allah will turn him mercifully; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (5:39)
وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ.
Be careful of your duty to Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving Merciful. (8:69)
One who repents from his previous sins, avoids major sins after repentance, does not insist on committing minor sins, compensates his delayed obligatory deeds, and recompenses people’s property that is due on him would get completely subjected to Allah’s Mercy and Forgiveness.
The Messenger of Allah (S) lists the signs of a real repentant as follows:
Allah is not to open up the doors of gratitude to His servant but close the doors of increased blessings. He is not to allow him to supplicate, but limit fulfillment of his supplication. And He does not intend to open the doors of repentance, but close the doors of His forgiveness.224
Among the important attributes of the Almighty Allah is concealing the wrongdoings of a servant who commits sins in private, who does not want anyone to know of his wicked acts.
The All-Merciful has called himself Sattar Al-‘Uyub or the concealer of faults, so that His servants know that He would save their honor in case they commit a crime. However if a sinner becomes brash as to sin in public, saving his face before others would be meaningless.
It is narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S) who said:
One who repents Allah would accept his repentance and order his organs to cover sins from his sight. He would order the earth segments to make him neglect his sins, and makes the Writers forget what they have written in that servant’s letter of deeds.225
Mu’awiyat Ibn Wahab quotes Imam Sadiq (as) as saying:
‘If a servant repents sincerely, Allah would love him and cover his faults in the world and the Hereafter.’ I asked Imam Sadiq (as): ‘How will Allah cover them?’ Imam (as) replied: ‘He will make the two angels, in charge of that servant, forget all about his sins they have recorded, and will reveal to his body organs to do so. So the servant would meet Allah while there is no record of his sins.’226
In the Qur’anic exegesis book, Minhaj al-Sadiqin, we read:
On the Day of Resurrection, the servant is brought before the Almighty, Who orders to place him in a dome. Then Allah would address that servant: ‘My Servant! You benefited from My blessings for committing sins, and as I increased My blessings for you, you increased your wrongdoing.’ So the servant bends his head from shyness. He is then addressed: ‘My servant! At the same time as you committed sin I forgave you and removed all your sins.’ Another servant is brought before Him afterwards and counted for his deeds until he becomes tearful. The Almighty says: ‘My Servant! When you committed sins joyfully I did not embarrass you; how do I chastise you now that you are weeping? I forgive you and let you come into My Paradise!’
And keep up prayer at the two ends of the day and in the first parts of the night; surely good deeds take away evil deeds. (11:114)
Numerous facts are mentioned in important scientific and research-based books about transformation of wicked acts to good acts, some of which are philosophical, while the others are mystical. But stating all of them here required a lot more space and time.
The authors of Tafsir Nemuneh say that transforming wicked acts to good ones has some exegeses, all of which can be acceptable.
When a human repents from previous sins and renews his belief in Allah, a great revolution occurs throughout his existence. It is because of this alternation that all his sins are transformed to become good deeds. If he had committed murder in the past it would be replaced with defending the oppressed people and fighting the oppressors in future. If he were an adulterer previously, he would then become pious and chaste through repenting and being regretful for his former sins.
After repentance, Allah would remove the servant’s sins, out of Mercy, replacing them with good acts. Abu-Dhar has narrated from the Messenger of Islam (S) who said:
On the Last Day, Allah orders to account for the servant’s minor sins, and covering his major sins. He confesses to what he has committed of the minor sins, but he is afraid of his major sins. If Allah wills to have Mercy on him then, He would replace any sin of him with a good act. Therefore the servant professes: ‘My Lord! I had committed many major sins that are not present today.’
Abu-Dharr says: At this point, the Prophet (S) smiled in a way that his teeth appeared, then he recited this verse:
These are they of whom Allah changes the evil deeds to good ones, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (25:70)227
The third possibility is that the sins are not the deeds that the humans do, but rather the wicked effects of the sins on human soul and mind. When he repents, those wicked effects are removed from his soul, transforming them to good effects; and this is the meaning of transformation of wicked acts to good acts.228
لا إِلَهَ إِلاّ أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ وَبِحَمْدِكَ
There is no deity but You! Glory be to You, and Yours is the Praise!
The phrase ‘There is no deity but You’ is termed Tahlil, ‘Glory be to You’ is labeled Tasbih, and ‘Praise is Yours’ is called Tahmid.
If someone utters Tahlil while believing in it sincerely and wholeheartedly, removing any other deity from his thought and life, he is a real monotheist. He would then be safeguarded by Allah and away from worldly and heavenly defamation. Such a servant would therefore be sent to Paradise on the Last Day, while Allah is content with him, the angles love him and the prophets, the righteous, and the martyrs are his companions.
The reality of Tahlil is realized when the human becomes aware of Allah’s Divine Attributes and Glorious Names via the Holy Qur’an, the teachings of the prophets, especially from Prophet Muhammad and his Household (as). He is pure of impurities, attempts in fulfilling the obligations, and sincerely serves Allah’s servants.
By following this path, the human soul and body confesses Allah’s uniqueness and calls out:
Be aware that everything is fictitious except Allah and every blessing is certainly temporary.
Indeed is there any dweller in the world of existence to be worshipped and asked for sustenance? Is there anyone except Him to solve the problems, remove calamities, forgive the sins, and conceal the wicked acts?
The remembrance of Allah by Tahlil, Tasbih, and Tahmid is in fact appropriate for this section of the Kumayl supplication, as the supplicant, knows his destitution and weakness, and confesses to his sins stating that: I found no one to forgive my sins and conceal my wicked acts. Because he knows well that this is only possible by Allah’s Power.
The servant who sincerely utters Tahlil and practically denies any other deity except Allah, would certainly and definitely obey and worship Allah and no one else. Such a servant is preparing the cost of paradise, while placing himself in the secure fort of the Compassionate.
Imam al-Ridha (as) has narrated from his noble ancestors who have narrated from the Messenger of Allah who cited from the Almighty:
One who confesses to the Unity of Allah sincerely would enter Paradise and his sincerity takes him away from what Allah has declared unlawful.233
A man came to the fifth infallible Imam, Imam al-Baqir (as) and asked about the Prophet’s tradition about the cost of Paradise. Imam (as) said: “It is true.” That man returned from the house of Imam al-Baqir (as), but then the Imam ordered him to return. Then he stated:
There are some conditions for Tawhid and I – who is the infallible Imam, selected by Allah, obeying whom is obligatory in every aspect – am among its conditions.234
However, the only way for human salvation is belief in Tawhid (Allah’s Unity) and its conditions. In other words, when a human knows Allah as the only deity Who possesses and gives sustenance to everything in the world, and confesses to it verbally, accepting the prophet hood of the prophets and the Imamate of the infallible Imams, as well as the Holy Qur’an, he has for sure resorted to the only key of salvation.
After confessing to the Unity of Allah, every good act of the human would be accepted, and if he does something wicked, he would be forgiven after regret and repentance. Without Tawhid, however, no good deed is accepted and even the smallest sins are not forgiven.
If the believers in Allah’s Unity gets subjected to chastisement in the Hereafter for wrongdoing, they would then be saved for the blessing of Tawhid. Important traditions have been cited in authentic tradition books, one of which is narrated here.
The Prophet of Islam (S) said to Gabriel, the angel of revelation who is the nearest to Allah: Describe the Inferno for me. Gabriel described its residents and positions one by one until the first position and then kept silent. The Prophet (S) asked Gabriel: Who are the residents of the Hell’s first position? He answered: “The chastisement of them is easier than that of other positions’ residents, who are the sinners from your nation. The Prophet (S) said: Will anyone from my nation go to the Hell? The nearest angel said: Only those who have committed major sins without repenting.
The Prophet (S) began crying and continued to do so for three complete days. His daughter Hazrat Zahra (s.a) came to visit him on the fourth day who found him laying his face on the ground, with so many tears, that the soil under his face had turned to mud. She asked him the reason. The Prophet (S) replied: Because the Trustee angel has informed me that the first floor of the Inferno is resided by the sinners from my nation. Hadrat Fatima (s.a) said: Did you ask Gabriel how the sinners would be taken to the Hell? Her honorable father answered: Yes! He said that the sinner men and women will be held by their hair and taken to Hell. Then as they would approach the Hell and see its agent they would cry out and ask him to let them cry for their misery. When the agent of Hell allows them to do so, they weep until their eyes are drained from tears, and they now shed blood instead. The agent would say: You should cried in such a manner in the world for the fear of today’s account.
Afterwards, the agent of the Inferno takes them to the Hell. The sinners would cry: “la-ilaha illa allahu” so the fire withdraws from them saying: How can I cover these sinners when they have confessed to Allah’s Unity. The agent orders the fire to cover them, but the Almighty addresses: Do not burn their faces since they have prostrated to worship Me and do not burn their hearts because they have borne thirst in Ramadan. So they would remain in the Inferno as long as Allah wills. Then Gabriel is asked of the Muslim sinners’ state. The agent of Hell shows them to Gabriel. They would observe Gabriel in a pleasant way and would ask his identity. They are answered: He is the angel who brought Muhammad (S) revelations in the world. Hearing the Prophet’s name, the captives of the Hell would cry: Greet the Prophet (S) for us and tell him that the Muslim sinners are in the Hell.
Gabriel would deliver their message to Prophet Muhammad (S) who would then prostrate to Allah and ask Him to forgive those sinners for his sake. The Prophet (S) would be replied: I forgave them for your sake.” So the Prophet would remove them from Hell, while they resemble firewood. Then he would take them into ‘Ein Al-Hayat to drink from its water and wash their inner and apparent impurities. On their forheads this phrase is depicted: Liberated from the Fire by the Compassionate.
When they are brought to Paradise, its residents are informed: These are liberated from the Hell.
The liberated ones would say: O Lord! You had Mercy on us and brought us into Paradise, now remove this sign from our foreheads. So Allah would accept their request and remove their foreheads’ signs.”
There is not a single thing but glorifies Him with His praise, but you do not understand their glorification. (17:44)
The reason why Tasbih is mentioned in this part of the supplication is may be because, since the servant has acknowledged his wrongdoing, which keeps him away from his nearness to Allah, the best way for being delivered is glorifying Allah. So it is the very position to praise Allah, so that He would save Him from the darkness and bring him to close to him. When the Prophet Jonah (as) was entangled in the darkness of the fish belly in the dark night:
So he called out in the darkness: There is no god but Thou; glory be to Thee. Surely I have been a wrong-doer. So We responded to him and delivered him from the grief and thus do We deliver the believers. (21:87-88)
The author of the exegesis book Minhaj Al-Sadiqin, explaining about this verse, has narrated the Prophet (S) who said:
‘Allamah Majlisi in his excellent book, Bihar al-Anwar, has narrated a valuable tradition about glorifying Allah: “When something made the Prophet (S) happy, he used to say: Praise be to Allah for this! And when some occurrence grieved him, he said: Praise be to Allah in all states!”239
Though I recognized You well by watching and contemplating on Your wonderful creations and signs in the world, hearing the facts about You from the researchers, and reading books on You, I did not come towards You, did not obey Your rules, did not worship You, did not ask You requests, and became ignorant of You. This was a mistake I have always committed and thus, wronged myself.
I recognized Your prophets by reading their history and knew them as the guides to salvation, who are sympathetic to human beings, deliverers of people from Satanic temptations, and advisers. As I was a Muslim, this knowledge of mine was deeper in the case of the Prophet of Islam (S); however, I ignored them, resorted to sources other than them, followed stranger traditions, and did not appreciate the prophets. I was not grateful for this blessing of Yours and insisted on my miserable way of life, following the misguidance path. This way, I always wronged myself.
I got familiar with Your Holy Book, Qur’an, through participating in religious gatherings and reading Islamic books and divine teachings. I found out that Qur’an has been revealed from You to the Prophet of Islam (S) in order to guide all Your servants. I knew that this Book is the most comprehensive one including the most fruitful topics, wise rules, useful teachings, startling advises, and the most excellent instructions. Nevertheless, I neglected its signs and facts and lived a negligent life, hence I wronged myself severely.
I got to know the noble Imams via various ways and realized that they are Your proofs among the people, and guides to the truth. Being perfect humans, they are the successors of the Prophet (S) in his nation. The Prophet (S) has introduced them as the leaders of the people after himself, who would teach people the Islamic teachings, help differentiate between the truth and the futile, and explain the Qur’anic verses. Though they faced many difficulties, hostilities and calamities, and were all martyred by the enemies of Islam, the Infallible Imams did not neglect their great responsibility of guiding the people even for a moment. They stated divine rules and religious orders for the people, which were collected in four hundred strong books for the future generations. But I ignored all these facts, disobeyed my Imams who are the sources of guidance, and went astray. I insisted on my misguidance and deviance, resorted to worldly sources, and preferred the ignorant people, who have misguided from the east to the west of the earth, to my infallible and benevolent Imams (as). This was the wrong I committed.
I knew well that the great book of Nahj al-Balaghah is but a tinge of Imam ‘Ali’s knowledge, in which there is everything necessary for the guidance of humans towards Allah, salvation and a purified life. Its sermons, letters, and maxims are brimming with Divine teachings, to the extent that it is called Qur’an’s counterpart. I was also aware of al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah, including fifty four supplications of Imam al-Sajjad (as), in which all the human responsibilities before the Almighty have been stated. All the Shi’a Imams have recommended reference to this invaluable book.
I was aware that the Divine rules and the Islamic teachings are stated in the precious books such as Al-Kafi, Tahdhib al-Ahkam, al-Istibsar, man-la-yahdharuhu’l-faqih, Tuhaf al-’Uqul, Rawdhat al-Wa’izhin, al-Wafi, al-Shafi, Bihar al-Anwar, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah, Rawdhat al-Muttaqin, and Jami’ Ahadith al-Shi’ah and a thousand more, but did not bother myself reading them for my bliss in this world and the Hereafter. Instead I spent my days and nights reading useless and irreligious magazines, wasted my valuable time, and only harmed myself. I have always been audaciously ignorant.
Since I did not follow the path of knowledge and remained deprived of religious cognition, I continued life ignorantly and got entangled in sins. I could not think of my ultimate station, the account of my deeds, the Hell and the Paradise, hence I began opposing You. My ignorance made me audacious in engaging in wrongdoing.
Lord! When I was inside my mother’s womb, I was wholly under Your Mercy. Your Mercy turned the impure semen into a perfect human, with every necessary organ. Then You enabled my mother to bear me healthily, and prepared my food in her breasts. You also endeared me to my parents, so that I could grow up gradually under their protection. Then You organized the rest of my life.
Lord! This compassion which was solely from You made me proud. It made me think I would still benefit from Your Mercy if I engaged in wrongdoing, without any punishment. I should not have become proud because of Your blessings; I should have not committed sins.
Now that I have become aware of my miserable life and terrible condition, I have turned to You wholeheartedly. I confess to my sins and my audacity in wronging myself. Based on the Qur’anic teachings and Prophet’s traditions, I know that my confession of my sins is in fact my repentance and return to salvation.
By Allah, He doest not expect but two attributes from His servants; that they confess to His blessings so that He would increase them, and that they confess to their sins so that He would forgive them.241
The Commander of the Believers, Imam ‘Ali (as) has stated:
اَلمُقِرُّ بِالذَّنْبِ تَائِبٌ.
One who confesses to his sins is considered as the one who repents.242
Mansur Ibn Ammar says: One night I went out and passed a house from which I heard the weeping and beseeching of a young man, who called his God in this manner: “Lord! When I committed sins it was not for opposing or disobeying you. My carnal soul took over me; Satan deceived me, so I wronged myself and made myself subjected to Your wrath.” Hearing this, I recited this verse through the door:
O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones; over it are angels stern and strong, they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them, and do as they are commanded. (66:6)
When I read this verse the young man cried out and I went away. The next morning I passed that house again and saw an old woman who was weeping and said: “I had a son who cried at nights from Allah’s fear. Last night someone came and recited a verse of punishment before the door. Then my son cried out and passed away.” I told her: “I recited that verse last night. May I wash his body before being buried?” She allowed me, so I saw him wearing a piece of cloth around his neck. When I opened the cloth, I saw on his neck written in green: “We have washed this young man with the water of repentance!”244
‘Abd al-Wahid Ibn Zayd, who was among the corrupted wrongdoers, passed the preaching circle of Yusuf Ibn Husayn one day, who was saying at that very moment: “The Compassionate Allah has invited the sinners toward Himself, out of Mercy, as if He needs them.” Hearing this statement, ‘Abd al-Wahid took off his clothes and ran to the cemetery. On the first night, Yusuf Ibn Husayn dreamed of a herald, calling on behalf of Allah: “Go find the sinful young man!” That is give him the tidings of Our forgiveness! Yusuf began looking for the young man until he found him in the cemetery on the third day. The young man had his head on the ground and was weeping and beseeching Allah. When he saw Yusuf beside himself, he said: “You have been sent three days ago, but you only came today.” He then passed away.
O Allah! O my Protector! How many ugly things You have concealed! How many tribulations You have warded off! How many stumbles You have removed! How many ordeals You have averted! And how much beautiful praise, for which I was unworthy of, You have spread about me.
When uttering the phrase “my Protector” in the middle of a Thursday night, the supplicant feels a pleasure which is unique in the world. That is why Prophet Moses (as) states in his prayer to Allah:
I have something in my poverty that does not exist in all Your Property. Allah addressed him: What is that thing, Moses? He replied: I have a Lord like You.245
Concealing the ugly deeds is one of the greatest blessings and a unique mercy from Allah towards His servant. When Allah hides the ugly things of His believing servant in this world, He would certainly pay more attention to His repented servant in the Hereafter, concealing his sins more than before. It is narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S):
No deed or ugly thing of a servant is concealed in this world except that it is concealed in the Last Day too.246
In the supplications quoted and recommended by the Prophet (S) and his infallible Household (as), there is continuous reference to Allah being theConcealer of Faults. In these supplications, there are always good tidings for the repented sinner that the Merciful Allah would avoid letting his face down in this world and the Hereafter, hide his faults and sins, and inform no one of his wrongdoing.
As an instance, a tradition is quoted here from the closing section of the valuable book ‘Uddat al-Da’i by Ibn Fahad al-Hilli:
Once Gabriel, the trustee angel, descended to the Prophet of Islam (S), smiling and with good tidings. He greeted the Prophet (S) who responded to his greeting. Then Gabriel said: “The Almighty has sent a gift for you.”
The Messenger of Allah asked: “What is that gift?”
He replied: “There are some words of the Empyrean’s treasures which Allah has endeared specially for the Empyrean.”
Prophet Muhammad (S) asked again: “What are those words?”
O the One who revealed the goodness and concealed the badness. O the One who reprimanded no one for wrongdoing and let no one’s face down. O the One whose forgiveness is great, whose pardon is good, and whose Mercy is extended. O the one who has applied his Power in Mercy. O the Owner of any secret and the ultimate source of any complaint. O the one whose forbearance is magnanimous and whose blessings are great. O the Bestower of blessings before the necessary deserve for them. O my Lord, my Protector, and the end of my tendency! O Allah! I ask You not to destroy my creation by the Fire.
The Messenger of Allah asked Gabriel: “What is the recompense of these words?”
Gabriel said: “Beware that the whole knowledge is exclusive in these words. If all the angels of the seven Heavens and the seven earths attempted to describe this supplication until the Day of Resurrection, they will be able to describe but one part out of one thousand parts of it.”
When the servant says: “O the One who revealed the goodness and concealed the badness,” Allah would conceal his sins, have mercy on him in the world, maintain his well-being in the next world, and cover him with thousand veils in the two worlds.
And when the servant says: “O the One who reprimanded no one for wrongdoing and let no one’s face down,” the Almighty would not account for his deeds on the Day of Resurrection, and would not uncover his secrets on that day.
When the servant says: “O the One whose forgiveness is great,” Allah would forgive his sins, even if they are as many as the waves of the sea.
When he says: “O the One whose pardon is good,” Allah would even forgive his wine-drinking, theft, and other major sins.
When he says: “O the One whose Mercy is extended,” the Merciful Allah would open seventy doors of Mercy on him, so that he would be subjected to Allah’s Mercy until the last day of his life.
When the servant says: “O the one who has applied his Power in Mercy,” Allah would extend his Power to him out of Mercy.
When the servant says: “O the Owner of any secret and the ultimate source of any complaint,” Allah would grant him the recompense of the grief-stricken, poverty-stricken, patient or blind man until the Day of Resurrection.
If the servant says: “O the one whose forbearance is magnanimous and whose blessings are great,” the Almighty would fulfill all his wishes and the wishes of all other servants for him.
If the servant says: “O the Bestower of blessings before the necessary deserve for them,” Allah would recompense him as if he is grateful of His blessings.
If the servant says: “O my Lord,” his Lord would say: “My angels! Beware that I forgave him, and I granted him recompense equal to the number of all My creatures, either in the Paradise or the Hell, in the heavens or the earth, the sun or the moon, the star and the raindrops, different kinds of beings in the mountains, on the soil, and on the Empyrean.”
And if he says: “O my Protector,” Allah would fill his heart with belief.
When the servant says: “O the end of my tendency!” the Almighty would grant him the wishes of all the other creatures.
And if the servant says: “O Allah! I ask You not to destroy my creation by the Fire,” Allah says: “My servant wants to become free from the Fire. O My angels! I delivered him, along with his parents, brothers, family, and neighbors from the Fire and accepted his intercession for a thousand of those who deserved to be put into Fire.”
So Gabriel said: “O Muhammad! Teach these words to the believers and not to the hypocrites. This supplication is accepted for the supplicant and for those present in Allah’s House, when it is circumambulated.”247
It should be noted that this great recompense and wonderful reward is not rare of Allah’s extended Mercy, unlimited Beneficence, and infinite treasure of rewards.
Imam ‘Ali (as), following the phrase, “How many ugly things You have concealed,” states: “How many tribulations You have warded off; such as earthquake, storm, flood, fire, accident, famine, and calamities. How many stumbles You have removed, which could destroy my belief, my ethics, my benefactions, and my face among people. How many ordeals You have averted, which could destroy my calmness, bring anxiety in my life, and put pressure and difficulty in my heart and mind. How much beautiful praise, for which I was unworthy of, You have spread about me, though I had committed so many sins; so my parents and my closed ones thought highly of me and praised me, while I did not deserve it.
اَللّهُمَّ عَظُمَ بَلائي وَأَفْرَطَ بي سُوءُ حالي، وَقَصُرَتْ بي أَعْمالي وَقَعَدَتْ بي أَغْلالي
O Allah my tribulation is tremendous, my bad state is excessive, my acts are inadequate, and my fetters have tied me down.
The above-mentioned phrases are the entreaties of a patient of sins and a captive of disobedience and material wants before an experienced Omniscient physician. The Merciful physician has invited the patient Himself, out of beneficence, to cure him of his tribulations and free him of his material desires.
http://en.shafaqna.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/is-29.jpg612530catherinehttp://en.shafaqna.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/new-logo-s-2.pngcatherine2018-01-04 19:43:292018-01-04 19:49:33Factors that Hinder the Acceptance of Supplications