Miftah al-falah (book)
|Original title||مِفتاحُ الفَلاح|
|Subject||Daily Supplications and Deeds|
Miftāḥ al-falāḥ fī 'amal al-yawm wa l-layla min al-wājibāt wa l-mustaḥabbāt (Arabic: مِفتاحُ الفَلاح فی عَمَل الیَوم و اللَّیلَة مِنَ الواجِبات و المُستَحَبّات) is an Arabic book by al-Shaykh al-Baha'i (d. 1031/1621) in six parts concerning supplications as well as obligatory and recommended acts and manners for a Muslim. The book was very significant for scholars and many researches have been made about it.
- Main article: Baha' al-Din al-'Amili
Baha' al-Din al-'Amili (b. 953/1546 - d. 1030/1620 or 1031/1621), Muhammad b. 'Izz al-Din Husayn, known as Baha'i or al-Shaykh al-Baha'i. He was a scholar of fiqh, a philosopher, a mathematician, and a scientist in 10th/16th and 11th/17th centuries. He wrote 123 scholarly and literary works. In the Safavid period, he had occupied the highest religious position, that is, Shaykh al-Islam.
In the preface to his book, al-Shaykh al-Baha'i mentioned the book as Miftah al-falah. According to Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin, the book's title is Miftah al-falah fi 'amal al-yawm wa l-layla. According to Aqa Buzurg Tihrani, the book's title is Miftah al-falah fi l-a'mal wa l-ad'iya al-ibadiyya fi l-yawm wa l-layla. In later prints of the book, the title is Miftah al-falah fi 'amal al-yawm wa l-layla min al-wajibat wa l-mustahabbat.
Motivation for Writing
Al-Shaykh al-Baha'i wrote the book upon the request of some people in order for Muslims to have an instruction to act upon during a day and a night. Thus all obligatory (wajib) and recommended (mustahabb) prayers, wudu, taharat and the like are mentioned in the book.
Other issues include the manners of clothing, eating and drinking, the ways to recognize the fall of the sun (zawal al-shams), manners of brushing one's teeth, and the like.
In each chapter of the book, al-Shaykh al-Baha'i starts with reciting some hadiths, and then he explains the meanings of some difficult words therein and elaborates the unclear contents thereof.
Miftah al-falah consists of a short preface regarding the motivation for the writing of the book and a short introduction to each part. The author classified the practices of days and nights into six categories.
- Part 1: on practices, obligatory (wajib) or recommended (mustahabb), that are done between the call for the morning prayers and the sunrise.
- Part 2: practices that should be done from sunrise until noon and the fall of the sun.
- Part 3: practices that should be done from the fall of the sun until sunset.
- Part 4: practices that should be done until bedtime.
- Part 5: practices that should be done from bedtime until midnight (such as the mores of sleeping and Tasbihat Fatima al-Zahra (a)).
- Part 6: practices that should be done from midnight until the morning prayers.
- Epilogue: an exegesis of Sura al-Hamd.
A Dream About the Book
According to Shaykh 'Abbas Qumi in his Safinat al-bihar: Qadi Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad b. Taqi al-Din Isfahani—who was the judge of Isfahan and a scholar of fiqh and kalam and a mathematician in the period of Shah 'Abbas Safawi—said that he saw one of the Imams (a) in his dreams. The Imam told him to write down Miftah al-falah and comply with its instructions. He said: when I woke up, I asked scholars about the book, but they said that they never heard of such a book. At that time, al-Shaykh al-Baha'i had traveled to a part of Iran together with the Shah's army. When he returned to Isfahan, Qadi Mu'izz al-Din asked him about the book. Baha'i said: in this travel, I wrote a supplication book under Miftah al-falah and I have not told anyone about it. He then cried and gave his manuscript to Qadi. This was the first copy written from al-Shaykh al-Baha'i's manuscript.
- A translation into Farsi by Aqa Jamal al-Din al-Khwansari (d. 1125/1713).
- A translation by Muhammad Sharif b. Ahmad al-Jaylani under 'Urwat al-najah fi tarjuma miftah al-falah. In this translation, the epilogue of the book (an exegesis of Sura al-Hamd) was removed, and instead the supplications of each day of the book, ziyarah of the Infallibles (a) and well-known supplications like Kumayl Supplication and Samat Supplication were added to it.
- A translation of the book under Adab 'Abbasi by Sadr al-Din Muhammad b. Muhibb al-Tabrizi—al-Shaykh al-Baha'i's student—during the lifetime of Baha'i. A manuscript of the book is available in which Baha'i's comments were deleted.
- A translation under al-Tuhfa al-nawwabiyya by Sayyid Muhammad Ja'far Husayni in nine parts, the first six parts are just those of Miftah al-falah , and the last three parts are added to it, including the practices of Rajab, Sha'ban and Ramadan months.
- Minhaj al-najah fi tarjuma miftah al-falah by 'Ali b. Tayfur al-Bastami, written in 1062/1651.
- A translation by an anonymous person, a manuscript of which is available in Muhammad 'Ali Khwansari Library.
- An exposition by Aqa Jamal Khwansari.
- An exposition by Muhammad b. Sulayman al-Tunikabuni.
- Lisan al-sabah fi sharh kalam al-Baha'i fi awa'il miftah al-falah fi bayan al-fajrayn by Sayyid Mufti Mir 'Abbas.
- Falaq al-sabah fi sharh miftah al-falah by Shaykh Sulayman b. 'Abd Allah al-Bahrani (d. 1121/1709).
Fath al-miftah is a summary of the book written by one of al-Shaykh al-Baha'i's students.
Here are some commentaries on the book:
- Al-Shaykh al-Baha'i's own commentaries
- A commentary by Mulla Isma'il Khwaju'i (d. 1173/1759)
- A commentary by Muhammad Tahir Barfurushi Mazandarani
- A commentary by Muhammad Ja'far Yazdi.
- A commentary by 'Abd al-'Azim Imam.
- A commentary by Sayyid Husayn Husayni Mar'ashi Amuli, known as Khalifa Sultan, a student of al-Shaykh al-Baha'i.
Minhaj al-salah fi wajibat al-salawat al-yawmiyya wa mandubatiha wa zubda a'mal al-sunna wa l-ad'iya al-asabi' by Mulla Nazar 'Ali b. Muhammad Muhsin Gilani was written to supplement Miftah al-falah.
So far 300 manuscripts of the book have been identified:
- 137 manuscripts of the 11th/17th century
- 70 manuscripts of the 12th/18th century
- 34 manuscripts of the 13th/19th century
- 9 manuscripts of the 14th/20th century
- 48 manuscripts without dates.
- The material for writing this article has been mainly taken from مفتاح الفلاح in Farsi WikiShia.