Al-Jawshan al-Kabir Supplication

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This article is an introduction to the al-Jawshan al-Kabir Supplication; to read its text see text:al-Jawshan al-Kabir Supplication.
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Al-Jawshan al-Kabīr (Arabic:الجَوْشَن الکَبیر) is a supplication cited from the Prophet (s). The supplication includes 100 sections containing 1001 names and attributes of God. The supplication was revealed to the Prophet (s) by Jabra'il (Gabriel). Today in Iran, this supplication is an essential part of Laylat al-Qadr rituals for Shiites. Some people write the supplication on their shrouds, as recommended by some hadiths.

Revealation to the Prophet (s)

Imam al-Sajjad (a) cited his father, Imam al-Husayn (a) who cited his father, Imam 'Ali (a) who cited the Prophet (s) as saying that in one battle, the Prophet (s) was wearing a heavy armor (jawshan) and it was bothering him. Jabra'il appeared for the Prophet (s) and saluted him, and then told him: "take off the armor and, instead, recite this supplication which brings safety for you and your people".[1] Hence, this is the reason for its appellation, "al-Jawshan al-Kabir" (the great armor).

Al-Kaf'ami has cited the "al-Jawshan al-Kabir supplication" in his al-Misbah[2] and al-Balad al-amin.[3]


The supplication has 100 sections, each containing 10 divine names and attributes, except for the 55th section that contains 11 such names and attributes. Thus the supplication contains 1001 divine names and attributes.[4] Each section ends with the recitation of the following sentence:

" سُبْحَانَک‏ یا لَا إِلَهَ‏ إِلَّا أَنْتَ‏ الْغَوْثَ‏ الْغَوْثَ‏ خَلِّصْنَا مِنَ‏ النَّارِ یا رَبِّ" You are exalted; there is no god except You. Help us! Help us! Relieve us from the Hell! O' Lord!

According to the book, al-Balad al-amin, at the beginning of each section, "Bism Allah al-Rahman al-Rahim" should be recited, and at the end of each, the following should be recited:

سُبْحَانَک‏ یا لَا إِلَهَ‏ إِلَّا أَنْتَ‏ الْغَوْثَ‏ الْغَوْثَ‏ صَلِّ عَلَی مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ وَ خَلِّصْنَا مِنَ النَّارِ یا رَبِّ یا ذَا الْجَلَالِ وَ الْإِکرَامِ یا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِینَ You are exalted; there is no god except You! Help us! Help us! Salute Muhammad and his household and relive us from the Hell! O' Lord! O' full of majesty and honor! O' the most merciful of the merciful!

In Zad al-ma'ad, some effects are mentioned for each section. For example, for the 3rd section, it says "for the request of victory and the increase of one's livelihood"; for the 24th section, it says: "to lighten one's heart and eyes".

In this supplication, most divine names and attributes come from the Qur'an. In each section, the names and attributes are rhymed.[5]

Repetition of Some Attributes

There are 6 names and attributes of God that appear in the supplication more than one time:

  • "Ya man lam yattakhidh sahiba wa la walad" (Arabic: یا من لم یتخذ صاحبة و لا ولدا) in sections 62 and 84;
  • "Ya nafi'" (Arabic: يا نافع) in sections 9 and 32;
  • "Ya man huwa bi-man rajah karim" (Arabic: یا من هو بمن رجاه کریم) in sections 18 and 96;
  • "Ya man huwa bi-man 'asah halim" (Arabic: یا من هو بمن عصاه حلیم) in sections 18 and 96;
  • "Ya man fadluh 'amim" (Arabic: یا من فضله عمیم) in sections 48 and 98;
  • "Ya anis man la anis lah" (Arabic: یا انیس من لا انیس له) in sections 28 and 59.

These are probably mistakes that happened when manuscripts of the supplication were written and were repeated in later documents.


Reciting Al-Jushan al-Kabir supplication in the holy shrine of Imam al-Rida (a) in Mashhad

According to a hadith, if a person recites the supplication when he or she leaves home, God will protect and reward him or her. And if a person writes the supplication on their shroud, they will be protected from the tortures of the grave. If a person recites it at the beginning of the month of Ramadan, God will give him or her the reward of Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Ordainment). And if a person recites it three times during the month of Ramadan, God will protect him or her in their lifetime.[6]

Al-Jawshan al-Kabir is a supplication that is usually recited by Shiites in Laylat al-Qadrs individually or as a group.


Some Shiite scholars wrote commentaries on or expositions of the al-Jawshan al-Kabir supplication.[7] The best-known of these is Mulla Hadi Sabziwari's exposition of the supplication that has a mystical and philosophical tone. His book, organized around each section of the supplication, appeals to many Farsi and Arabic poems. And for lexicological issues, the book refers to Qamus al-lugha by Firuzabadi. He also discussed many relevant issues of philosophy, mysticism, and theology.[8]


  1. Al-Kaf'ami, al-Misbah, p. 246; Al-Qummi, Mafatih al-jinan
  2. Al-Kaf'ami, al-Misbah, p. 247-260
  3. Al-Kaf'ami, al-Balad al-amin, p. 544-558
  4. Al-Kaf'ami, al-Misbah, p. 247-260
  5. Al-Kaf'ami, al-Misbah, p. 247-260
  6. Al-Kaf'ami, al-Misbah, p. 246-267
  7. Agha Buzurg. Al-Dhari'a, vol. 2, p. 66-67, vol. 5, p. 287, vol. 13, p. 247-248
  8. Sabziwari, Sharh al-asma', p. 33


  • Kaf'ami, Ibrahim b. 'Ali al-. Al-Balad al-amin wa al-dir' al-hasin. Beirut: 'Ala' al-Din al-A'lami, 1418 AH.
  • Kaf'ami, Ibrahim b. 'Ali al-. Al-Misbah. Qom: 1405 AH.
  • Qumi, Shaykh 'Abbas. Mafatih al-jinan.
  • Sabziwari, Hadi b. Mahdi (Mula Hadi). Sharh -al-asma'. Tehran: Najafquli Habibi, 1375Sh.
  • Tihrani, Agha Buzurg. Al-Dhari'a ila tasanif al-Shi'a. Beirut: Dar al-Adwa', 1403 AH.