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Khamsa 'Ashar Supplication

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This article is an introduction to the Khamsa 'Ashar Supplication; to read its text see text:Khamsa 'Ashar Supplication.
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Khamsa ʿAshar supplication (Arabic:المناجاة الخمسة عشر) is a compilation of fifteen supplications transmitted from Imam al-Sajjad (a). These supplications are mentioned in al-Sahifa al-thaniya al-Sajjadiyya, Bihar al-anwar and Mafatih al-jinan. The general theme of these supplications is ethical and mystical discussions. Several books have been written as commentaries on these supplications.

Chain of Transmission

Khamsa 'Ashar Supplications have been mentioned in al-Sahifa al-thaniya al-Sajjadiyya, Bihar al-anwar and Mafatih al-jinan. 'Allama Majlisi said, "I saw these supplications in some books of companions who narrated from Imam al-Sajjad (a)"; however, he did not mention the names of any of those books and did not mention the chain of their transmission either. Also in al-Sahifa al-thaniya al-Sajjadiyya, al-Shaykh al-Hurr al-'Amili considered these fifteen supplications among Imam al-Sajjad's (a) supplications and attributed them to him with no doubt. Since the complete chain of transmission is not mentioned, Khams 'Ashar Supplications are considered Mursal, but their containing messages and concepts are in agreement with principles and teachings of the Qur'an and other ma'thura supplications, and 'Allama Majlisi and al-Shaykh al-Hurr al-'Amili have mentioned them without having any doubt about their chain of transmission or messages; therefore, they are reliable and authentic.

In the Views of Great Scholars

Muhammad Taqi Majlisi, father of 'Allama Majlisi, said, "It is recommended that a wayfarer towards God makes a habit of reciting Khams 'Ashar Supplications."

Some pupils of Sayyid Ali Tabataba'i, the author of Riyad, quoted from him that he used to say, "it is some years now that I have been reciting this supplication and due to recitation of these supplications, God has shined upon my heart, as many beams of wisdom, knowledge and love as they cannot be counted and I have experienced the fulfillment of supplications; and spiritual wayfarers and worshippers make a habit of reciting these supplications."

Several commentaries have been written on these supplications.

The Time of Reciting each of Supplications

In Bihar al-anwar, 'Allama Majlisi has mentioned the recommended time to recite Khams 'Ashar Supplications, but Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi has not mentioned the times for reciting them in Mafatih al-jinan.

The Order of Reciting Supplications

To Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli, the compilation order of Khams 'Ashar Supplications is notable and scholars of ethics should arrange the order of these supplications. He believes that:

"…the compilation order of some supplications is noteworthy; as for example, in the current order of Imam al-Sajjad's (a) Khams 'Ashar Supplications, the first supplication is 'the supplication of repenters' and the last one is 'the supplication of ascetics'; while, if these 15 supplications are assumed as 15 stages or stations, 'the supplication of ascetics' would rather be among the first supplications, not among the last ones; i.e. a person would first repent and practice ascesis to leave vices behind and then would acquire virtues, the greatest of which is 'the love for meeting God’ and beyond it is 'love of God’. The same way a scholar in fiqh or usul organizes issues in fiqh or usul, a scholar of ethics should find out about the stages of spiritual journey through supplications using expert studies. Thus, the way scholars of ethics should organize, verses, hadiths and the conduct of the Infallible Ones (a), they should also organize supplications and Dhikrs as well, because determining the stages and levels of supplications requires scholarly discussions."