Al-Iftitah Supplication

Priority: c, Quality: b
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This article is an introduction to the al-Iftitah Supplication; to read its text see text:al-Iftitah Supplication.
Al-Iftitah Supplication
SubjectTheologyHope and fear
Issued byImam al-Mahdi (a)
NarratorMuhammad b. 'Uthman
Shi'a sourcesMisbah al-mutahajjidIqbal al-a'malMisbah al-Kaf'amial-Balad al-aminZad al-ma'adMafatih al-jinan
MonographsTa'ammulat fi du'a' al-Iftitah by Muhammad Taqi Madarrisi
TimeAt the nights of the month of Ramadan


Al-Iftitāḥ Supplication (Arabic: دعاء الافتتاح) is a supplication that is narrated by Muhammad b. 'Uthman, one of the Four Deputies. The Shi'a recite this supplication during the nights of the month of Ramadan. It comprises lofty themes about God, and few scholars have written commentaries on this supplication. The last paragraph of this supplication points out aspects such as expressing affection for the Islamic government in the light of the Reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (a) and describing the goal of the Islamic rule and our responsibilities in it.

Chain of Transmission

The al-Iftitah supplication is narrated by al-Sayyid b. Tawus in Iqbal al-a'mal[1], al-Shaykh al-Tusi in Misbah al-mutahajjid[2], al-Kaf'ami in Misbah[3] and al-Balad al-amin[4], al-Majlisi in Zad al-ma'ad[5] and Shaykh 'Abbas Qumi in Mafatih al-jinan[6]. The narrator of this supplication is Muhammad b. 'Uthman who narrates it from Imam al-Mahdi (a). Even though this supplication is not actually narrated by an infallible Imam, but by considering the fact that certain individuals like Muhammad b. 'Uthman, one of the Four Deputies of the Imam al-Mahdi (a), regularly recited this supplication, and by examining the lofty themes of this supplication, and al-Sayyid b. Tawus's reliance on it, one becomes confident that this supplication is from the Imam al-Mahdi (a) or other Imams (a).[7]


The name of this supplication is "al-Iftitah" (beginning) because this supplication begins with the praise of God in this manner: "O God, I begin the glorification of you by praising you."[8]

Reward and Time of Recitation

Al-'Allama al-Majlisi has stated in his Zad al-ma'ad: "From an authentic chain, it has been narrated by Imam al-Mahdi (a), that he has written to his Shi'a telling them to recite this supplication during every night of the month of Ramadan as the angels listen to the supplication in this month and ask forgiveness for the one who is reciting it."[9]


  • The al-Iftitah supplication begins with the praise of the Almighty, then touches upon choosing the right path and the approval of God, His mercy and anger, the necessity of hope and fear, the blessing of worship, God's grace upon the servant, the servant's sinning and His continued grace, a reminder of God's mercy, the lasting of blessings being in God's hands and the necessity of pondering over His blessings.
  • Other parts explain God's wisdom for delaying the acceptance of supplication, man's arrogance and heedlessness towards God, the importance of affection towards and praying to God, and point towards the perpetually open doors to God's mercy. It reads: God never banishes his servant from Him and does not close the doors of His mercy, and does not render him hopeless.
  • The last passages of this supplication, which have been heavily emphasized upon, are regarding expressing one's affection towards the Islamic government that will establish itself under the rule of Imam al-Mahdi (a) upon his reappearance. Alongside these stanzas, the goal of the Islamic rule and our responsibilities concerning it has also been explained. The supplication urges to take lessons from the past nations and emphasizes that Prophet Muhammad (s) and the infallibles (s) after him are the most precious blessing of God.


  • Shahab al-Din Buzchilu'i Araki (b. 1313/1895-6), one of the students of Hakim Sabziwari has written a commentary on the al-Iftitah supplication. This commentary is published by Anjuman-i Tablighat-i Islami, Tehran, in 1324/1906-7.
  • The book Bar dargah-i dust is the commentary on the verses from the al-Iftitah supplication and the supplication of Abu Hamzah al-Thumali, and is compiled from the moral lectures of Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi.
  • Ta'amulat fi du'a al-iftitah written by Muhammad Taqi Madrasi is another commentary on this supplication.
  • Tarjuma wa sharh-i du'a-yi iftitah written by Muhammad Rida Mahdawi Kani delves into the translation and commentary of this supplication.


  1. Sayyid b. Ṭāwūs, Iqbāl al-aʿmāl, p. 322-325.
  2. Ṭūsī, Misbāḥ al-mutahajjid, p. 402-404.
  3. Kafʿamī, al-Miṣbāḥ fī l-adʿīyya, p. 770-773.
  4. Kafʿamī, al-Balad al-Amīn, p. 271-274.
  5. Majlisī, Zād al-maʿād, p. 86-89.
  6. Qummī, Mafātīḥ al-Jinān, p. 321.
  7. Mahdawī Kanī, Tarjuma wa sharḥ-i duʿā-yi Iftitāḥ, p. 2.
  8. Mahdawī Kanī, Tarjuma wa sharḥ-i duʿā-yi Iftitāḥ, p. 2.
  9. Majlisī, Zād al-maʿād, p. 86.


  • Kafʿamī, Ibrāhīm b. ʿAlī al-. Al-Balad al-amīn wa l-dirʿ al-ḥaṣīn. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1418 AH.
  • Kafʿamī, Ibrāhīm b. ʿAlī al-. Al-Miṣbāḥ fī l-adʿīyya wa l-ṣalawāt wa l-zīyārāt. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1414 AH.
  • Mahdawī Kanī, Muḥammad Riḍā. Tarjuma wa sharḥ-i duʿā-yi Iftitāḥ. Tehran: Daftar-i Nashr-i Farhang-i Islāmī, 1386 Sh.
  • Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Zād al-maʿād. Beirut: ʿAlāʾ l-Dīn al-Aʿlamī, 1423 AH.
  • Qummī, Shaykh ʿAbbās. Mafātīḥ al-Jinān. Tehran: Markaz-i Nashr-i Farhangī-yi Rajāʾ, 1369 Sh.
  • Sayyid b. Ṭāwūs, ʿAlī b. Mūsā. Iqbāl al-aʿmāl. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1417 AH.
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī, 1418 AH.