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Prayer of Imam al-Mahdi (a)

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Prayer of Imām al-Mahdī (a) is a mustahab prayer (Supererogatory Prayer) according to Shias. It consists of two rak'as (units), in each of which the verse, “إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ” (Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek), from Sura al-Hamd, is recited 100 times. Performing this prayer is also recommended as one of the practices of Jamkaran Mosque.

How to Say the Prayer

Like other Supererogatory Prayers, Imam al-Mahdi's (a) prayer consists of two rak'as (units). In each rak'a, when reciting Sura al-Hamd, the worshipper should recite 100 times the verse “إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ”, and should then recite Sura al-Tawhid. According to some sources, the phrases of ruku' (bowing) and sujud (prostration) should be recited 7 times, but other sources do not mention any specific number of recitations for its ruku' and sujud.

When the prayer is finished, tahlil, i.e. the phrase, "لا إلهَ اِلّا الله" (there is no god except Allah), should be recited once, and then Tasbih of Lady Fatima (a) should be recited. Then the worshipper should go to the position of sujud and recite the salawat for 100 times.

In the story of Hasan b. Muthla regarding the construction of the Jamkaran Mosque, the divine reward for saying Imam al-Mahdi's prayer in the Jamkaran Mosque is said to be equal to saying it in the Ka'ba.

Chain of Narrators

Sayyid b. Tawus (d. 664/1265-6) cited the prayer in two of his books: in his Jamal al-usbu' with no chain of narrators, and in his Muhaj al-da'awat by citing one of the Letters of Imam al-Mahdi (a) cited in Kunuz al-najah written by Amin al-Islam al-Tabarsi. Here is the chain of the narrators of this letter: Ahmad b. al-Darbi from Khazama from Abu 'Abd Allah Husayn b. Muhammad al-Bazufari from al-Nahiya al-Muqaddasa (that is, Imam al-Mahdi (a)).

Taqi al-Din al-Kaf'ami (d. 905/1499-1500) also cited the prayer in his al-Balad al-amin from Kunuz al-najah.

In his Bihar al-anwar, 'Allama Majlisi cited the story of Hasan b. Muthla and the construction of the Jamkaran Mosque, and then cited the prayer of Imam al-Zaman from the book, Tarikh Qom (History of Qom).

The following sources do not cite this prayer as a hadith:

For one's Requests from God

A letter is cited in Muhaj al-da'awat and al-Balad al-amin from Imam al-Mahdi (a) to the effect that if one has a request from God, then one should perform a ghusl on Thursday night after the midnight and should then perform this prayer and should recite a specific supplication for this prayer and asked God to respond to his or her request. This prayer is cited in Mafatih al-jinan.

Sayyid b. Tawus said in his Jamal al-usbu' that one should recite the Faraj Supplication after saying this prayer. According to authors of Danishnama Imam Mahdi (Imam Mahdi's (a) Encyclopedia), each of the prayer and the supplication have their own independent chains of narrations, and their combination is prescribed by Sayyid b. Tawush himself.