THE ELEVENTH CHAPTER
THE FIRST STAR
THE SUPERIORITY OF PRAYER
THE SUPERIORITY OF SUPPLICATION
A superior way of prayer and an easy method to achieve nearness to Allah is through supplication. The method of supplication, as prescribed by the Infallible Imams (a.s.), is that after offering the mandatory prayers, one must recite supplications depending on the time that can be taken out from the other duties.
The Creator of the Universe Himself says, “ Call Me ( through supplication) and I shall respond! Those who don’t believe in supplication are conceited people. Their place will be the Hell in the Hereafter. If man wants to call Allah and wishes the prayers to be answered, then he has to implicitly follow the Commandments of Allah.”
Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) said to Maisar, “ O Maisar! Offer prayer to Allah and don’t say that what is destined will happen. You should remember that Allah has absolute control over the destinies and supplication can change the fate of persons.”
Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) said, “ The best prayer is supplication and the worst enemy of Allah is a person who, in his pride, refuses to do supplication and invocation. To the contrary one who supplicates to Allah with due humility will get his prayers answered. It is like the door opening for a person who keeps knocking at it!”
Hazrat Ali (a.s.) says, “ Supplication is the dearest act of the creature in the consideration of Allah.”
The Prophet of Allah (a.s.) has said,” Supplication is the sword of the momin to subdue his adversaries. It is a pillar of the Faith that makes the structure of the Faith stronger. It illumines the Firmament and the earth.”
Imam Reza (a.s.) has said,” Supplication is sharper than the spear and the arrow. It wards away calamities. Supplicate, and supplicate the more! Supplication is the key to Allah’s Blessings. It is the cure for all pains and aches.
Hazrat Ali (a.s.) has said that for warding out the wave of calamities one should have access to supplication even before the calamitous situation arises. He also said that calamities visit the momins fast like the water falling down the hill. .In such situation the only alternative for the person will be prayer and supplication.
Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) says that three things are there for a person’s protection: 1. Prayer when a calamity comes. 2. Repentance after committing a sin. 3. Thanking Allah for the Bounties.
THE SECOND STAR
THE ETIQUETTE OF SUPPLICATION
Supplication is petitioning Allah for fufillment of ones legitimate desires. It is therefore necessary that the supplicant should be conversant with the meaning of the prayer and the etiquette of reciting the prayer. He must recite the supplication with dedication of heart and his attitude should be equally submissive if not more than what he adopts for asking a favor from a fellow human being.
When a person approaches another person for a favor, he keeps in mind certain things. Firstly, whatever he says, he says with full understanding. Whatever he plans in his mind to say, he communicates to the person verbatim. While supplicating to Allah, a person should have his specific purpose in his mind.
Hazrat Ali (a.s.) has said, “Allah doesn’t answer the prayer of a person whose prayer doesn't come from his heart.” Therefore, one should pray from the depths of his heart and should have a conviction that Allah will fulfill his wish..
When a person seeks help from another in time of difficulty, it is necessary that the person has to be known to him. It is an added advantage if the two have been acquainted with each other in the past. Similarly when one has to approach Allah for the grant of a wish, it is necessary that the person should have been offering thanks to the Almighty for His Bounties!
Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said that when a person wants Allah to help him in times of difficulty, he must make it a habit to supplicate to Allah before any such difficulty arises. He should not present himself to Allah as a total stranger when he needs help.
One person asked Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) that Allah exhorts people to ask for things and he would grant them. But he said that he keeps praying but the prayers remain unanswered. The Imam (a.s.) replied, “ Have you fulfilled the covenants you made with Allah? Have you observed the do’s and don’ts prescribed for you. If not, then how can you expect Him to grant your wishes?
When we expect favors from a person, we serve him meticulously to keep him in good cheer. Similarly those who are more particular in offering prayers to Allah, generally get their wishes granted.
Therefore the prayers of those who are closer to Allah get answered. For this one has to be pious, honest and truthful.
Another condition for the effectiveness of supplication is the state of understanding of the Almighty. Firmer the Faith of the supplicant, better the chance of his prayers getting answered.
Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) was asked by someone,”O son of the Prophet (a.s.)! We pray, but our prayers are not answered.” The Imam replied, “ Do you know Him whom you approach for granting your wishes!”
Beseeching and lamentation during supplication is very effective for acceptance of the prayers. The more humility a supplicant manifests, the more there will be the chance of Allah granting his wish. It is common knowledge that even in mndane affairs, the persons in power respond to those who appeal to them for help with humility and beseeching.
The etiquette of supplication demands that the supplicant doesn’t reveal the purpose his prayer. The belief is that Allah prefers the individual prayer of a suppliant over that of a group.. However, if the suppliant feels that he is a sinner, he can join a group of persons of piety to make a supplication.. Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s) has said in this regard that if forty persons supplicate as a group on Friday, their prayers will definitely be answered. The Imam (a.s.) also said,” Whenever my revered father did supplication, he used to call all the members of the family to join in. He would recite the supplication and the rest would say,’ Aameen’! “
The timing of a supplication too is very vital for the effectiveness of the prayers. Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said that four times are most suitable for prayer: 1. When there is a sandstorm. 2 When it rains. 3. At the time when a battle is going on. 4. When a momin is martyred and the first drop of his blood falls to the ground.
Hazrat Ali (a.s.) has said that four timings are specific for supplications: 1. While reciting the Holy Quiran. 2. When one hears the call for prayer- Adhan. 3. When it rains. 4. When a battle is raging and momins get martyred.
The Prophet of Allah (a.s.) has said that the best time for supplication is near dawn (Sahr).
Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said “ Do your supplication before sun-rise. This is the time when the rivers of the Firmament are opened, sustenance is distributed and prayers are answered.”
Hazrat Ali (a.s.) has said,” If one wants to supplicate to Allah, three timings are the most suitable: 1.On Fridays before the congregational sermon is delivered. 2. At the time of sunset. 3. Before sunrise.( every day).
Imam Zain al Abedeen (a.s.) narrates that Hazrat Fatima Zehra (a.s.) heard the Prophet of Allah (a.s.) say that there is a particular time on Fridays when prayers are generally answered. When asked, what is that timing, the Prophet (a.s.) said that it is the time when the sun is half way to set.
Hazrat Ali (a.s.) said on Friday there will be a wind of Allah’s Blessing around sunset. The doors of the Heaven are open at that time. This is the best time for supplicating to Allah.
Crying and beseeching makes the supplication effective. If tears flow from the supplicant’s eye while he prays, or even one drop of tear comes out of the eye, the prayer will definitely be answered.
· Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said the creature nearest to Allah is one who, while prostrating in prayer, cries and if he has lost hope of his prayer getting answered he should raise his hands towards the Heaven as if importuning Allah for granting his wish.
The supplicant should give alms to poor and needy because these are the servants of Allah.They are like the janitors at a king’s palace. To reach the king, one has to please the janitors.
One should make others needs the medium of conveying his own prayers for acceptance. If one approaches a munificent person and places the needs of others ahead of his own requirement, the donor will be pleased with the concern of the person for others and fulfils his demand.
Therefore, the Prophet of Allah (a.s.) has said that when one prays, he should pray not only for himself but pray for others as well. Such prayers will be answered..
Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) says that a person remembers forty momins in his prayers, his own prayer too will be accepted.
The Prophet of Islam (a.s.) has said that a person’s prayer may not be accepted as soon as the prayer for the one who is away, and the person prays for him, from a distance.
Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) has said that the most acceptable prayer is one that is offered for a momin who is not present at the place.
The Prophet of Islam (a.s.) has said that when a person prays in general for the momins, Allah will keep in mind the numbers of momins past and those yet to come and fulfils his wishes accordingly. If the person’s actions qualify him for going to Hell, the spirits of the momins would plead with Allah for his pardon that he used to pray for them. Then Allah would pardon him and send him to Heaven
Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) has said when a momin prays for another who is not present, Allah will reward him a hundred times for this act.
For acceptance of the prayers, one should thank Allah for His Bounties before supplicating. This is the same way, when a person of status is approached for help, his past munificence is mentioned.with profuse thanks..
Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said, “ If you wish your prayers to be answered, you should first praise Allah, then say durood ( benediction) for the Prophet and his Holy Progeny (a.s.) that your prayers are answered soon.. It is like when one wants to approac a king, he makes presents to those who are close to him. Therefore it is essential that one offers benediction to the Prophet (a.s.) and his family. This benediction should always be repeated before and after any prayer is made. It is natural that when what is accepted before and after the prayer, the prayer too will be accepted!
The Prophet of Allah (a.s.) has said, “ Say benediction on me and my Ahl al Bayt so that the angels will say benediction for you. Benediction removes dissensions amongst people.
It is said: When you hear the Prophet (a.s.)’s name, offer benediction again and again. Because when a person says the benediction once, all the creatures would praise the person. Ignorant and unfortunate is the person who is not aware of this requirement. Allah, the Prophet (a.s.) and the Ahl al Bayt will be annoyed with such persons.
It is mentioned in a tradition that in the balance of actions, no act has so much weight as the benediction of the Prophet (a.s.) and the Ahl al Bayt. On the Day of Judgement, the actions of the men would be put in the balance, but since they will be light, the scale would tilt to the other side. Then the Prophet (a.s.) would put the benedictions uttered by the person on the side of the scale where his actions are there. Thus the balance will tilt in favor of the person!
There is another tradition that if one wishes to save his face from the Hellfire, then say the benediction ( Salawat) a hundred times after the morning prayer.
A person who says the benediction a hundred times after the Friday prayer, Allah will fulfill his sixty wishes--- thirty in this life and thirty in the Hereafter.
Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) says that on the eve of Friday the angels descend from the firmament and their number is equivalent to the particles in the atmosphere or the ants on the earth.These angels will have golden pens and tablets in their hands. . They will not record the actions of the persons who were not attended by the benediction to the Prophet till Saturday of the week. It is therefore advised that on the eve and the day of Friday, the benediction is repeatedly uttered. The Imam (a.s.) also said that it was the Prophet (a.s.)'s exhortation ( Sunnat e Muwakkidah) that one should repeat the benediction a thousand times on fridays and a hundred times on the week days.
Imam Reza (a.s.) has said,” If a person doesn’t have the means to pay expiation (Kaffarah) for his sins, he should utter benediction to the Prophet and his Ahl al Bayt (a.s.) that it will reduce the burden of his sins.
Imam Ali Naqi (a.s.) says, “ Allah has deemed Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) His friend because he used to excessively utter benediction to Mohammed (a.s.) and his Ahl al Bayt.
Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) says that one who says the benediction like this,
Salawatullahi alaihi was salawatu malaekatehi wa anbiaehi wa rusulehi wa jamie kalqehi ala Mohammadin wa aale Mohammedin wassalamu alaihi wa alaihim wa rehmatullahi wa barkatahu,
his sins would be obliterated and he would be as clean as he way at his birth.
Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) is quoted by an authentic source as having said, “ When one gets a sneeze, he should say:
Alhamdu lillahi rabil aalameena was salallahu Mohammedin wa ahl e baytehi
In another tradition it is said that when one hears the sound of sneezing by someone else, he should say the benediction mentioned above. He will never, then, get pain of the teeth or the eyes.
The Prophet of Islam (a.s.) has said,” One who does not say benediction on me and my progeny, will never get the fragrance of the Heaven although this smell reaches as far as the distance that can be traveled over a period of five hundred years.
Then the Prophet (a.s.) said,” One who says the benediction on me and my Ahl al Bayt, the doors to the Heaven will open for him and the angels say benediction on him a seventy times. If he has sinned, the sins will be obliterated like the leaves in the season of fall. Allah says,’ O creature! Saadaeka—I have accepted your prayers and I shall give you succor!’ Then Allah will order the angels to say benediction for the person a seventy times.” Then the Prophet (a.s.) says,” If someone sends benediction for me and not for my Ahl al Bayt, then seven curtains will obstruct it in the Firmament and Allah says,’ La labbaek wa la saadeeka—neither your prayer is acceptable nor shall succor come to you’”
Allah further says,’ O My angels! Don’t allow his prayers to reach the sky. Till he includes the Ahl al Bayt in his benediction for the Prophet (a.s.)’
In another tradition of the Prophet (a.s.) it is recorded,” When I am mentioned before a person, and he doesn’t say benediction for me and my Ahl al Bayt , his sins will not be pardoned and he will be denied Allah’s Rewards.
At another place the Prophet (a.s.) has said,” The most miserly and evil is the person who has not uttered my benediction when my name is mentioned to him.” Then the Prophet (a.s.) added,” One who forgets to send benediction for me has forgotten the way to the Heaven.”
Maalik Jehni narrates that he presented a flower to Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.). The Imam (a.s.) took it, smelled it, touched it to his eyes and said, “ When a person smells a flower, touches it with his eyes and says benediction to Mohammed (a.s.) and his Ahl al Bayt, before the flower leaves his hands, his deliverance would have been granted!”
Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said,” A person who says the benediction a hundred times, his wishes will definitely be fulfilled!”
The Prophet of Allah (a.s.) has said, “ Whosoever says the benediction on me a hundred times on Fridays, Allah will fulfil sixty of his wishes, thirty in this life and the other thirty in the Hereafter!” It is a Sunnat e Muwakkidah that a momin should say the benediction a thousand times on the eve and the day of Friday..
Imam Reza (a.s.) has said that if a person is unable to pay reparations for his sins, should say repeatedly the benediction for the Prophet (a.s.) and his Ahl al Bayt that his sins are pardoned by Allah. A person who says the benediction when he gets a sneeze, will never suffer from any ailment of the eyes or the teeth..
THE THIRD STAR
NON ACCEPTANCE OF PRAYERS
Although the Almighty has promised the creatures that their supplications would be answered, there are certain reasons for non-acceptance of some prayers.
Since He is Omnipotent and Omniscient, His will is dominant over all that happens. If the wishes of the people are in accord with His will, their prayers would most certainly be answered. For example, can a generous person, if asked, put a venomous snake in the hand of another person or give a bottle of poison that the other desires of consuming? The generous person knows the consequences of such actions and his denying acquiescence would be in the best interest of the prospective recipient. Similarly, some people pray to Allah for grant of such wishes that, if fulfilled, they might harmful for them. But these people are ignorant of the harmful consequences of what they wish to have. Allah is all-knowing and has the best interest of the creatures in view.. Someone might say, if Allah decides what is in the best interest of an individual, then what is the need of supplicating to Him. They think that we might as well leave everything to the wish of Allah.
The reply to such doubts is that there are three types of wishes of the people that come to the consideration of Allah:
1. There are certain wishes that are granted by Allah without ever asking for.
2. There are certain wishes that are not granted despite repeated supplications.
3. There are certain other wishes for granting of which one has to make supplications.
Since man, in most cases, cannot categorise the wishes, he has to pray and supplicate to Allah for fulfillment of all his desires and wishes. Men should know that supplication itself is a very superior prayer..
The other reason for supplication is that everything is governed by certain norms. For example, offering mandatory prayers is a means of ones salvation. True! But prayer too is subject to certain norms. If someone offers prayer without the mandatory ablution, his prayer would not be accepted although, as mentione earlier, prayer is a means of salvation of the person. Similarly for supplication there are certain norms to be observed. Unless a person supplicates with humility, tears (Giria), knowledge of Allah, regularity in prayers, abstention from bad deeds, fair means of sustenance, truthfulness in words and actions etc his wishes may not be granted. Therefore, for Allah to keep His promise to answer the prayers of his creatures, they have to abide by certain conditions.
The third reason is that Allah wants that the prayers are answered with some delay. Perhaps, immediate acceptance of the prayers of people is not in their best interests. Or perhaps Allah wants the creature to supplicate again, and again, in a tone of submission and capitulation so that his status in piety enhances. Certain other times the prayer is answered but there is delay in its taking effect. Hazrat Moosa (a.s.)’s prayer for the destruction of Pharoh tokk thirty years to fruition.
REASONS FOR DELAYED ACCEPTANCE OF PRAYERS
It is narrated through authentic sources that Ahmed bin Abi Nasr told to Imam Reza (a.s.) , “ O Imam! Several years passed that I have been supplicating, but my wish has not been granted till now. I am getting doubts in my mind because of this delay!”
The Imam (a.s.) said, “ O Ahmed! Keep your heart free of the Satanic doubts! It is the Satan who makes you doubt Allah’s Munificence. My ancestor, Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), said,’ It is necessary for a momin to pray the same way during times of hardship as he does when times are good. When the wishes are granted, he should not stop supplication. He should not tire of supplicating. In the eyes of Allah, prayer has a superior status. It is necessary that you remain calm and patient in difficult times. Ask for legitimate things from Allah. Don’t delay helping your kith and kin. Abstain from people’s differences and fights. Remember! We Ahi al Bayt keep cordial relations even with those who mean harm to us. By Allah! We pray for their welfare too! You should know that if a rich person gives some help to a needy person, the recepient becomes hopeful of getting more help from him. When Allah grants bounties to a person, he should remember that in return Allah wants him to meet certain norms.
Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) has said that the prayers of a momin are answered with some delay because Allah wants to hear His sincere creature again and again! The Imam (a.s.) asked a person if he would believ if he (the Imam) made a promise to him? The man said, “ O son of the Prophet (a.s.)! How could it be that I don’t believe you!” The Imam (a.s.) said, “ You are ready to trust the word of a creature like you, will you not believe in the promises that Allah has made to you?” Then the Imam (a.s.) added,” It is necessary that you believe in Allah’s promises. He has promised:
“Wa iza salaka ibadi anni fainni kharibun ujeebu daawat addaaee iza da aan”
O my friend! My creatures ask you questions about me; tell them I am near them I accept the prayer of one who prays
Then Allah says,” Don’t lose hope in Allah’s Mercies.” And said,” Allah promises you of great rewards and lots of bounties” It is imperative for you that you trust in Allah more than you can trust anyone else. When you have good thoughts in your heart, don’t give way to other doubts. Thus your sins will be pardoned.”
Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said, “Many a time Allah accepts people’s prayers but the benefits take time in reaching the supplicant. Allah instructs the two angels guardian over the person that the supplication has been accepted but he should not be given the benefits immediately that he continues to be suppliant for some more time. Allah will also mention to the angels that he likes the way the person supplicates.”
In another tradition the Imam (a.s.) has said,” Man is always in a good state and rightly keeps expecting Allah’s bounties unless he loses faith in the Munificence of Allah and stop praying for His mercy. He should not be in a hurry to get his prayers answered!“ The narrator asked, “ O Imam (a.s.)! What do you mean by the supplicant making hurry?" ”The Imam (a.s.) replied, " “When a supplicant complains that lot of time has elapsed ever since he initiated his supplication and the wish remains unfulfilled, then he is trying to hurry in the matter..”
Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has narrated that one day Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) was surveying the environs of Mount Bait al Muqdis for a pasture. He heard the voice of a person calling. He proceeded in the direction of the sound. He found a person in the process of offering his prayers. The height of the person was about twelve yards. When the person was through with the prayer, Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) asked him,” To whom were you offering the prayers?”
- The man replied,” I was offering my prayers to the Creator of the land and the skies.
- Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) asked, “ Where be your dwelling?
- The man pointed to a hill in reply.
- Hazrat Ibrahim(a.s.) said, "I too wish to visit your abode."
- He replied, "There is a river enroute that you cannot cross."
- Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) asked, “ Then how do you go across?”
- He said,” I can walk on the water.”
- Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) said, “ Perhaps Allah might endow to me the capability to walk on the water.”
- Consequently both of them walked across the girth of the river.
- Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) asked,” Tell me which is the greatest of all days?
- The man said,” The Day of Reckoning!”
- Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) said,” Come! Let us both pray to Allah for Deliverance on that fateful day.”
- The pious man said,” Why do you make me a partner in your prayer? I have been supplicating for the last three years and my wish has not been granted so far!”
- Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) asked,” What is your wish?”
- The man said,” On day I found a handsome lad grazing a flock. I asked him who owned the flock. The lad replied that the owner was Ibrahim Khalil ar Rehman. I prayed to Allah that if He had a Khalil (friend) on the earth, then He must give me the honor of setting eye on that revered personality. .But my prayer has remained unanswered.”
- Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) said,” Your wish has been fulfilled. I am Ibrahim Khalil Allah! The reason for the delay in answering your prayers was that Allah appreciated the way you modulated your supplication and He wanted to hear you making the call again and again. .Your repeated supplication enhanced your status in the consideration of Allah.”
The fourth reason for Allah not answering the prayers of a supplicant is that the wish that granting the wish might be against the person’s own interest. Allah has the intention of rewarding him with something more useful. As, for example, someone approaches a generous person for a pecuniary help of a certain amount. The generous person, after due consideration, which might take some time, helps him with an amount ten times more than the man expected! Therefore it is not the rejection of the prayer but, in fact, it is an enhancement in the generosity.
THE ADVANTAGES OF PRAYER
There are several benefits accruing from prayer. All the time spent in preparing for the nearness to Allah and supplication is a part of one’s prayer.
Dear reader! You must have observed that Allah attracts the ignorant creatures towards Himself by making innumerable promises. This can be explained by the simile of a king making the hawk sit on his arm with affection to train it to hunt. He gives a variety of food to the bird to befriend it. When the hawk is fully trained, he lets it go hunting and to return and perch on his arm. Another example is of parents training and educating their children and, in the process, informing them the myriad uses of learning and skills. When the child is not attentive, they give him pretty dresses and other goodies to attract him towards learning. When the child gets motivated, he himself tries to excel in the skills that the parents wanted him to acquire. Then, whatever comes in the way, the child continues making progress. Similar is the disposition of man.
Man doesn’t understand the pleasures and the successes of the Hereafter. Therefore, the Almighty, with His kindness and indulgence invites men towards Himself thus:
“O my creatures! Come. Whatever you ask for, I shall give you! I have everything that can bring you closer to Me! They can thus accomplish their wants in the world and also in the Hereafter. What degree of Munificence that, notwithstanding the Omnipotence, I have, I am calling you closer to Me.. But the ignorant creatures are worrying futilely that their prayers have remained unanswered.!”
Therefore Allah says:
Innal insaana lerabbehi lakanoor
"Truly man manifests ungratefulness to his Creator"
Man wonders why his prayer remained unanswered. He doesn’t think that supplication is a part of the prayer required of him. When he made entreaty to Allah, he came closer to Him! He communicated his feelings and wishes to the Creator and the Sustainer! He heard Allah's ’labbaek (thy beck and call)! O supplicant! If you realize the true happiness of prayer and supplication, and the eyes of your heart fathom the mysteries of the attention Allah gives to your lamentations, you would sacrifice your own self not to talk of your mundane wishes! Imagine, a person gets the opportunity with a man in authority, say, a king! And that monarch looks with some attention at the visitor. In his wonderment the man might forget to make his submission to the worthy!
What a pity that when people supplicate before the Almighty Allah, they forget that they have an opportunity to address Allah who has the control of everything in the Universe.
Allah says,” O My creature! Pray and trust Me for your welfare!” And man in his ignorance behaves stubbornly. If he hadn’t a screen of negligence over his mind, he could understand the truth. Allah says,” O angels! Delay fulfilling his wishes! I like the voice in which he is supplicating. If man realizes this, he will submit himself totally to the wish of Allah and shun praying for mundane wishes.
THOSE WHOSE PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED
Authentic sources quote that Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said,” There are three types of persons whose prayers are answered:
1. Those who go on the holy pilgrame of Haj, their prayers are answered. It is advisable that people at home are taken good care of...
2. Those who do Jehad in the way of Allah. His family and children must be provided support in his absence.
3. The prayers of the sick are also answered. People should, therefore take care of the sick and should not upset them in any way.
Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) said that five prayers are such that Allah will certainly accept them:
1. Prayer by the Just Imam.
2. Prayer of the oppressed (mazloom).
3. The prayer of a pious son for his parents.
4. The prayer of pious parents for their son.
5. The prayer of a momin for his brothe momin in his absence.
- Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said,” Allah shall definitely accept six types of prayer:
1. Prayer of a pious father for his son.
2. Curse of a father for his disinherited (Aaq-shuda) son.
3. Curse of an oppressed person against a tyrant..
4. The prayer of one momin for another..
5. The prayer of an oppressed when he recieves a consideration from a cruel person..
6. Prayer for the pleasure of the Ahl al Bayt.
BEWARE OF THE CURSE OF THE OPPRESSED
The Prophet of Allah (a.s.) says,” Beware of the curse of the oppressed.that it goes beyond the skies and Allah looks at him with kindness and says,’ Raise his prayer, I shall accept it!’”
The Prophet (a.s.) also said,” Prevent yourself from your father’s curse. It is sharper than the spear!”
It has come in the traditions that four types of prayer are not rejected by Allah::1. A father’s prayer.for his son. 2. Prayer of the oppressed against the oppressor. 3. Prayer of the person who is on the minor pilgrimage (Umrah). 4. The prayer of a person who is fasting.
It is said that the prayers of five types of persons are not answered: 1. A husband, despite being capable of divorcing a nagging spouse by giving her the mehr (alimony), bears with her and doesn’t divorce her, but prays against her.. 2. A person whose slave had escaped from his custody thrice but he doesn’t sell him and just curses him. 3. A person who doesn’t walk hurriedly away from a wall precariously about to fall and prays,’ O Allah! May the wall not fall on my head!’ 4. A person who advances a loan to someone without taking any witnesses and then prays, ‘ O Allah! Get back my money to me!’ 5. An able bodied person capable of earning his livelihood, but doesn’t exert himself to earn, prays’ O Allah! Give me livelihood!’
The Prophet of Allah (a.s.) has said, O Abu Dhar! If in a town only disobendient sinners are there with only three pious persons, Allah will not send curse to that place.
O Abu Dhar! Allah is proud and appreciatve of three persons. The first: One who says the Adhan (call for prayer) and Iqamah (the call to rise for prayer) while alone in a forest and offers his mandatory prayer. Allah asks the angels with pride to look at his sincere creature who has not forgotten the Creator even in the loneliness of the jungle. The second: One who does the Namaz e Shab (the night prayers) and prostrates in the loneliness of the night despite being overwhelmed by sleep. Allah tells to the angels that the spirit of the sincere creature is with Him while he is in prostration. The third: A person on the battlefield steadfast fighting the enemies while his own comrades have fled with fear in their hearts!: .
Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) narrates that offering mandatory prayers in the view of the people is preferable. Praying in the mosque is preferable to praying in the loneliness of the home. Similarly giving Zakat in the precincts of the mosque is better as it would encourage others to follow suit. The non-mandatory prayers and charity and alms to poor and needy is better given in privacy. This will preclude the chance of giving a feeling to the people that the person is proud of his status and the recepients of the help might also feel embarrassed if the help is proferred in public.
Then the Imam (a.s.) said,” Offering namaz e shab was the practice of the Prophet (a.s.) and the pious persons followed suit. It removes pains and makes the faces radiant. One who offers these nightly prayers becomes good-natured and presentable. It boosts the means of livelihood of the person. The eight rakaat (genuflections) of namaz e shab are the adornment of the Hereafter for one who offers these prayers. It gives light to the eyes and expels sadness.”
It is mentioned in the traditions that namaz e shab enhances the radiance of the face and the fragrance of the body. It gives boost to the person’s livelihood. The person who offers these prayers finds means of discharging his debts.
In another tradition it is said that a household where the Quran is recited and the namaz e shab is offered, the house appears to the people of the Firmament as if it is a shining star.
It is recorded that the Prophet of Allah (a.s.) said while making a commentary on the verse:
“Innal hasanate yuzhibnal sayyiaat”
No doubt virtues obliterate the sins
Said “that the verse means that when a momin offers the namaz e shab, his sins committed during the day are obliterated.”
The Prophet of Islam (a.s.) has said,” Whosoever is given the privilege of offering namaz e shab by Allah, remains awake in the nights and with total dedication offers the prayer duly purifying himself with ablution, Allah will arrange nine rows of angels to join the prayer behind him. Only Allah will know the number of angels in each of the nine rows. One end of each row of the angels will be in the North and the other in the South. When the person completes the prayer, virtues will be added to his list (Nama e Aamaal) according to the number of angels who had offered prayers behind him. “
It is narrated also from the Prophet that Allah will infuse light in the heart of the pious person who stands in prayer during the late hours of the night. When the person utters, “Ya Rab, Ya Rab!”, Allah responds with “ Labbaek, Labbaek!” and says,” O My creature! Ask for what you want from Me! Depend on Me that I am sufficient for the solution of your problems!” Then Allah tells to the angels, “ Look! How My creature stands in My Presence in the dead of the night! That is the time when the thoughtless persons will be in their slumbers. You must bear witness that I have obliterated the record of all his sins!”
It is narrated in the traditions that the Prophet of Allah (a.s.) has said,” Jibraeel always exhorts me about the Namaz e Shab so much that I worried perhaps the people in my Ummah might not get any sleep in the thought of this prayer.”
It is narrated from Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) that one who has faith in the Day of Reckoning and Allah will not let a night go when he has not performed the Namaz e Shab.”
It is narrated that a person approached Ameer al Momineen (a.s.) and said, “ O Imam! I am unable to offer the Namaz e Shab!” Hazrat Ali(a.s) said, “ Your sins are preventing you from doing so.” And added,” Hazrat Sulaiman (a.s.)’s mother advised him,’ O son! Don’t sleep much in the nights! Such a habit will render a person a beggar (faqir) on the Day of Reckoning!’”
It is also narrated from Hazrat Ali (a.s.) that a person asked him to tell about the superiority and significance of the Namaz e Shab. The Imam (a.s.) replied, “ Be informed that when a person spends a tenth of the night in sincere supplication Allah would tell to the angels, “ Write virtues in the name of My creature equivalent to the leaves and flowers in the trees that grow on the banks of the Nile.” In another tradition it is mentioned that Allah orders the angels to write virtues in the record of a supplicant equal to the leaves in all the trees in the universe. The Imam (a.s.) said,” One who spends a ninth part of the night in prayer, his Nama e Aamaal will be placed in his right hand on the Day of Judgement!” “A person who spends an eighth part of the night in supplication, Allah will give him the status of a martyr who fought valiantly in the way of Allah and met with death.” “ One who spends a seventh pary of the night in prayer, would rise from his grave with the face as radiant as the full moon and will cross the Bridge of Siraat with grteat ease!” “ One who spends a sixth of the night in supplication will get pardon of his sins from Allah and would be counted in the group of repentent people.” “ One who spends a fifth of the night in prayer will find a place in the neighborhood of Hazrat Ibraheem (a.s.) in the Heaven.” “ One who spends a fourth of the night in supplication will will rise with the group of successful people on the Day of Judgement and will cross the Bridge of Siraat like a breeze and enter the precincts of the Heaven.” “ One who spends a third of the night in prayer Allah will endow him with such a status that every angel wishes to attain it. On the Day of Reckoning there will be Orders that he should have freedom to enter the Heaven through any of the gates he wished to use!” “ One who spent half the night in prayer will get so much reward that if the entire surface of the earth is made of gold and offered to that momin in place of the Reward, he would refuse to accept it. This act of the person will be more valuable in the consideration of Allah than freeing seventy slaves from the progeny of Hazrat Ismail (a.s.).” “ One who supplicates two thirds of the night, Allah will write virtues in his name equal to the grains of sand in a desert. The lowest number of virtues for such a person would be equal to ten times the size of the Mount Ohad.” “ One who supplicates the whole night, sometimes in prostration and at other in genuflection, sometimes reciting the Holy Quran and then uttering Allah’s names, Allah will reward him so much that all his sins would be pardoned and would be as innocent as a just born baby. The virtues written in the name of such a person will be equal to the creatures in the world. The grave of the person would be filled with light. Jealousy and greed would be obliterated from his heart. He will be freed from the prosecution that takes place in the grave after death. He will be exempt from the Hellfire. He will be raised from the grave on the Day of Judgement who will be free of any fear of Retribution. Allah would say to the angels,’ Look at my creature who spent the full night in My Remembrance. Give him a place in the Jannat al Firdous and give him a hundred thousand cities in the Heaven and every city should be adorned with what he wishes to have! Give him much more than what has already been endowed on him!”
O Abu Dharr! Every spot of land where one puts his head down in prostration will bear witness on the Day of Judgement. There is no resting place where travelers tarry for rest that will not pray for their safety if they had offered their prayers in that place. The place will curse a person if he had committed any act contrary to the dictates of Allah while tarrying there.
O Abu Dharr! There is no dawn or dusk when places don’t call each other: “ O my neighbor! Did any passerby talk of Allah while staying with you !? Did any traveler put his forehead down in prostration?” Some places would affirm that the travelers did prostrate in prayer and the others would own that they just rested and went their way. The place confirming about the visitors offering prayers while visiting it would proudly feel that it had the privilege of people offering prayers to Allah while being its guests.
Remember! Forgetfulness has so much engulfed the human race that the inanimate things are more adept at praying to Allah. The inanimate things, although in possession of very feeble senses, busy themselves in prayer.
Someone asked Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s) whether one should offer optional (Naafila) prayers at one place or at different places. The Imam (a.s.) replied that it is better to offer these prayers at different places that these places will bear witness to the act on the Day of Reckoning.
It is narrated that when people assemble at a place and don’t praise the Prophet and his Holy Progeny (a.s.), such assembly will be the harbinger of retribution of the concourse on the Day of Reckoning
O Abu Dharr! When Allah created the land and trees grew on it, there was no tree from which the progeny of Adam had not derived benefit. The land and its flora kept providing benefits to man that he praised Allah for His Bounties. But the misguided said, “ God has a son!” When this happened, the earth had a cataclysm and the benefits that the trees provided to man faded away. The Qureish believed that the angels are God’s daughters. The Jews thought that Aziz ( of Egypt) was God’s son. The Christians said, “ Jesus is the son of God”.
It is narrated from authentic sources that Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said, “ Allah has not created any tree that did not give fruits. But when people started saying that God has a son, half the flora went barren of fruits. And when people started being polytheist, many a tree grew thorns.