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In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
Mr. Aghili, the university teacher and English translator of the valuable book, Odatool-Daee has requested me to write a few words as publisher's note. In compliance with his request, I should quote the Holy Quran as saying "It is He who has raised up from among the common people a Messenger from among them, to recite His signs to them and to purify them and to teach them the Book and the Wisdom." and the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) as saying: "Surely I was delegated to perfect moral virtues". Strangely enough, purification of self-precedes wisdom. Hence purification enjoys a sublime position. Yet the question is how we can possibly purify ourselves and attain moral virtues. Our Imams believe that Dua is the essence of prayer and a weapon for believers. There are hundreds of sayings like This which recommends Dua with the view to attaining prosperity and perfection.
In this line, Ansarian Publications has decided to have books translated and to publish books the first of which you dear readers have in hand.
It is well to mention that the section on "The Attributes of Allah" has been taken from the book "Allah (The Concept of God in Islam)" by the honourable scholar, Yasin T. al-Jibouri who had already elaborated "The Best Names of God". I would like to express my thanks to him and wish him further success.
Your scholarly comments on the book is most welcome.
All Praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad and his pure progeny.
I had the pleasure of getting familiar with the honourable manager of Ansarian Publications whom I greatly admire for his services to Islam, in the Holy City of Qum where I have the honor of teaching at Azad University. It was Mr. Ansarian who encouraged me to translate into English the Persian version of Allameh Helli's Odatto-Daee, a book which greatly appealed to me due to its spiritual content. This is my first experience of the kind. Therefore, I hope the spirituality of the book will make up for the poor translation. Hence, experts' comments are welcome by the translator so as to be considered in the future editions. The translation of this book is dedicated to the pure souls of my parents, may their souls rest in peace for ever. Towards the end, I would like to express my thanks to my dear friend, Mr. Ali Karami for his excellent typing of the book and his admirable patience.
Ahmad Ibne Mohammad Ibne Fahd Assadi Heli was born in the city of Helleh, Iraq in the year 757 A.H. After acquiring higher knowledge of Islam in the same city, he came a religious authority establishing "Zeinabieh Helli" Theological School where he served as a teacher and from whose source of knowledge students benefitted a lot.
In addition to teaching, he authored 47 books and treatises on such topics as Jurisprudence, ethics, discourse and history.
It is said that once in his dream, Ibne Fahd saw Imam Ali (A.S.) and Seyyed Mortadha Alamolhoda dressed in green silk walking in the holy shrine of Najaf with the hand of Seyyed in the hand of the Imam. Ibne Fahad went forth and greeted them. The Imam and Seyyed too greeted him. Then Seyyed Mortadha turned to him, saying: "Bravo to you for helping the Ahlol-Bayt (the Household of the Holy Prophet of Islam)." Then he asked about Fahd's books and when Ibne Fahad gave the names, Seyyed said to him:
"Write a book to ease the paths leading to Allah and begin it with the following sentences: In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. Praise is due to Allah, the Holy One who is Absolute and Independent from similar creatures."
When he woke up from sleep he started writing the book "Tahrir" with the sentences of Seyyed in its preface.
Ibne Fahd and the book Oddatol Daee (The Asset of Supplicant) and Nejahol-Sa-ee (provision of striver)
In this book, the etiquette of Dua (Supplication) in terms of time, place and the supplicant have been discussed and the main question as to why our prayers are not answered despite the fact that God has promised to answer our prayers has been sufficiently dealt with. Furthermore, such topics as rules governing charity, the virtue of acquiring knowledge, the duty of Islamic scholars and researchers, the parents-children mutual duties, the etiquettes of business, as well as the duty of wife towards her husband have been mentioned.
To sum it up, the honorable reader will finally judge that the book is somehow unrivaled. This book has a preface, six chapters, some guidelines and an epilogue as follows:
Introduction: Definition of Dua (Supplication)
Chapter one: How to invite others to Du
Chapter two: How prayers are answered?
Chapter three: Who is a supplicant?
Chapter four: How to supplicate
Chapter five: Zekr (Remembrance of Allah)
Chapter six: Recitation of the Holy Quran
Guidelines: The importance of piety and keeping away from sin
Epilogue: Allah's Attributes (Best Names)
The author completed this book in the year 801 A.H. at the age of 44. It is noteworthy that he has summarized the book under the tittle "The Assets of Supplicant".
Allameh Hilli passed away in the year 841 A.H. at the age of 84 and was buried near the holy shrine of his master, Imam Hossein (A.S.) in Karbala and his tomb recently repaired in a street named after him is visited by his devotees.
All the praise be to Allah who hears all calls, repels afflictions, removes darkness and bestowes light, gives hope to hearts and makes His blessing perfect. His Generosity is Great and the sustenance He gives is infinite.
He raised the heavens and prepared everything for human beings.
Greetings to the last of the prophets, Mohammad (SAW) whom God has chosen from among Prophets and made him His proof among those living in the heavens and the earth. Also greetings to his household who were born of pure parents and people have been commissioned to follow them. Greetings to them as long as the heavens and the earth stand till the Day of Judgment.
Beyond all doubt, one of the greatest blessings and graces of god is that He not only has taught us how to pray and to speak to Him but he has invited and encouraged us to do so. He placed in human heart the inner desire and attraction for supplication. In addition, He has also placed in invocations and Duas the key to His Blessings in begging Him the means of keeping away from the inner and outer Satan.
God has set such ways and means as special supplications, qualifications of supplicants, conditions of Dua, as well as its time and place in order for the prayers to be answered.
This book consists of an introduction and six chapters with the title "Odattol Daee va Nejaholsaee", literally meaning "The Asset of supplicant and the prosperity of striver"
Definition of Dua (Supplication) and its exhortation
Dua in Arabic means "To call", and "To invoke" and in the Islamic terminology, it means a humble prayer by a modest person to a superior.
Since the purpose of the present book is to exhort dear readers to Dua (supplication) and to become familiar with the creator and His Blessings, we have to mention certain Hadiths. Sheikh Sadoogh has quoted the pure Imam (A.S.) as saying:
*۱_ من بلغه شيء من الخير فعمل به كان له من الثواب ما بلغه و إن لم يكن الامر كما نقل إليه *
1. "If someone hears that doing a certain deed is praiseworthy and he does it, God will give him the same reward even if it is not so."
Safwan too has quoted Imam Sadeq (A.S.) as saying:
*۲_ من بلغه شيء من الخير فعمل به كان له أجر ذلك و إن كان رسول الله لم يقله *
2. "If someone hears that a certain deed is praiseworthy, and he does it, the Providence will give him the same reward even if the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) has not confirmed it".
Sheikh Koleini has quoted Imam Sadeq (A.S.) as saying:
*۳_ من سمع شيئا من الثواب على شيء فصنعه كان له أجره و إن لم يكن على ما بلغه *
3. "If someone hears that doing a deed is praiseworthy and he does it, he will have the reward even if that news is not authentic."
Quoting Jaber Ibne Abdullah Ansari, the Sunnis too have quoted the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) as saying:
*۴_ من بلغه عن الله فضيلة فأخذها و عمل بما فيها إيمانا بالله و رجاء ثوابه أعطاه الله تعالى ذلك و إن لم يكن كذلك *
4. If a person is told that a certain deed is praiseworthy with god Almighty and he does it to receive the reward, God will give him the same reward, even if it is not authentic.
Thus both Shi-ites and Sunnis have consensus on this matter.
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