|Author||Shaykh Abbas Qummi|
|Original title||مفاتیح الجنان|
|Language||Arabic & Farsi|
|Subject||Supplication, Ziyara, and ritual practices|
|En. title||Mafatih al-jinan: The Keys to the Gardens of Paradise|
|En. publisher||Iran, Qom: Ansariyan Publications|
Mafātīḥ al-jinān (Arabic: مفاتیح الجنان), (keys to the heavens) by Shaykh Abbas Qummi is the most popular book of supplication in the Shi'a world. It contains du'as, supplications, Ziyara texts, practices specific to certain days, months, and occasions, religious practices and manners, as well as some anecdotes narrated from the Prophet (s), Imams (a), and Islamic scholars.
Before Mafatih al-jinan, other du'a books were used by the Shi'ites. The compiler of Mafatih al-jinan has included content from other books including Iqbal al-a'mal by al-Sayyid b. Tawus, Misbah by al-Kaf'ami, and Zad al-ma'ad by al-'Allama al-Majlisi.
Mafatih al-jinan was very well received soon after it was published. Nowadays, it can be found in almost all houses, mosques, and Islamic centers.
The compiler has included his al-Baqiyat al-salihat to Mafatih al-jinan which has been published in the margin of various editions.
Also, two books of Mafatih-i nuwin and Mafatih al-hayat have been published. The former aims to improve the authenticity of Mafatih al-jinan and the latter to complete it.
'Abbas b. Muhammad Rida al-Qummi (b. 1294/1877-8 - d. 1359/1941), known as Shaykh Abbas Qummi and Muhaddith Qummi, was a Shiite scholar of the fourteenth/twentieth century. He was well-known in hadiths and history as well as preaching and orations. Shaykh Abbas Qummi wrote many books, the best-known of which are Mafatih al-jinan, Safinat al-bihar, and Muntaha al-amal. He died in Najaf in Dhu l-Hijja 22, 1359/January 21, 1941 and was buried in the Holy Shrine of Imam Ali (a). His son has quoted that his father wrote this book while he has wudu.
The author has composed Mafatih al-jinan to enhance the reliability of another book called Miftah al-jinan which was being vastly used at that time and included unauthentic du'as. Shaykh Abbas Qummi wrote at the end of the first print of his book: "My brothers in religion have asked me to collect authentic du'as of Miftah al-jinan and other authentic du'as and compile a book".
Structure and Content
Ziyara Ashura' • Ziyara Warith • Amin Allah • al-Jami'a al-Kabira • Al Yasin
Takbir • Tahmid • Tahlil • Tasbih • Tasbih of Lady Fatima (a) • Salawat • al-Yunusiyya • Istighfar
al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya • Mafatih al-jinan • Misbah al-mutihajjid • Iqbal al-a'mal • Miftah al-falah
|Days and Months|
Laylat al-Qadr • 15th Sha'ban • 'Arafa • Ramadan • Rajab • Dhu l-Hijja
First chapter: Du'as
This chapter includes: Ta'qibat (acts of worship after prayers), practices of days, nights, and days of the week, famous prayers such as the Prayer of the Prophet (s), the Prayer of Amir al-Mu'minin (a), the Prayer of Lady Fatima (a), and the Prayer of Ja'far al-Tayyar, Ziyara texts of Imams (a) on the days of the week, supplications including Munajat Khams 'Ashar of Imam al-Sajjad (a), Munajat of Imam Ali (a) in Mosque of Kufa, Du'a al-Simat, Du'a al-Kumayl, al-Jawshan al-Saghir, al-Jawshan al-Kabir, Du'a Makarim al-Akhlaq.
Second chapter: Practices of the Year
Al-Sha'baniyya Supplication (one of the recommended acts in the month of Sha'ban), Supplication of Abu Hamza Thumali, Du'a al-Iftitah, the famous Du'a al-Sahar, the practices of the Qadr nights (of the recommended acts of the month of Ramadan), and Du'a of Imam al-Husayn (a) on the day of 'Arafa (of the practices of the month of Dhu l-Hijja) are among the most well-known contents of this chapter.
Third chapter: Ziyaras
Some information regarding the manners of travel, rituals of ziyara, and also [the text of] asking permission for entering holy shrines have been mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.
The first ziyara, which has been mentioned in this chapter, is the Ziyara of the Prophet (s) which is followed by the Ziyara of Lady Fatima (a) and the Ziyara of the Imams (a) of Baqi' (those Imams who are buried in the Baqi' cemetery).
In addition to the ziyaras of the twelve Imams (a), this chapter contains ziyaras of the offspring of Imams (a), some Shi'a scholars and noble people such as Hamza, Muslim b. 'Aqil, Fatima bt. Asad, martyrs of the Battle of Uhud, Salman al-Farsi, etc. The recommended practices for some famous mosques, such as Masjid al-Kufa and Mosque of Sa'sa'a b. Sawhan, have also been explained in this chapter.
The longest section of this chapter is the Ziyaras of Imam al-Husayn (a). This section contains the most famous Ziyaras of Imam al-Husayn (a) such as Ziyara Ashura, Ziyara al-Arba'in, and Ziyara Warith.
After the Ziyaras of Imam al-Mahdi (a), the Ziyaras of Prophets (a), the Ziyara of Lady Ma'suma (a), and the Ziyara of 'Abd al-'Azim al-Hasani have been mentioned. The last content of this chapter, which was the last content of the first edition of Mafatih al-jinan, is the Ziyara of the Graves of the Faithful and the related du'as.
Sources of the Book
Here are some of the sources referenced and mentioned by Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi when writing his Mafatih al-jinan:
- Ithbat al-hudat written by Al-Hurr al-'Amili
- Al-Ihtijaj written by Ahmad b. 'Ali Tibrasi
- Al-ikhtiyar written by Ibn Baqi
- Arba'at ayyam written by Mir Damad
- Al-uzriyya known as ha'iyya written by Shaykh Kazim Uzri
- I'lam al-wara written by Shaykh Tabrisi
- Iqbal al-a'mal written by Sayyid b. Tawus
- Al-Amali written by al-Shaykh al-Tusi
- Al-aman written by Sayyid b. Tawus
- Bihar al-anwar written by Allama Majlisi
- Al-Balad al-amin written by Kaf'ami
Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi mentions other sources in Mafatih al-jinan as well, including: Tarikh-i 'Alam Aray-i 'Abbasi written by Mirza Iskandar Beyg-i Munshi; Tuhfat al-za'ir written by 'Allama Majlisi; Tahdhib al-ahkam written by Shaykh al-Tusi; Jami' al-Akhbar; Jamal al-Usbu' written by Sayyid b. Tawus.
In the second edition of Mafatih al-jinan, Shaykh Abbas Qummi attached a section named Mulhaqat to the book. In this part, eight new pieces of content have been attached to the book, that the author believed was a necessity for the readers:
- The Du'a for the farewell of the month of Ramadan
- The Sermon of Eid al-Fitr
- Ziyara Jami'at A'immat al-Mu'minin
- Du'a after Ziyaras
- The Ziyara for the farewell after visiting the holy shrines of Imams (a)
- A sealed message for making requests
- Du'a at the time of Occultation of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)
- The manners of vicarious ziyara.
To prevent other things from being added to Mafatih al-jinan, he had asked God, the Prophet (s), and the Imams (a) to curse anybody that added anything to the book. Although Shaykh Abbas Qummi did not allow any content to be added to Mafatih al-jinan, publishers attached a second addendum to Mafatih al-jinan. Here is how the publishers explain this addition: “since the author of Mafatih mentions only the first part of certain supplications because of their length, without mentioning the rest, we mention the rest of those supplications so that people who have this book do not need to refer to another book. And since no ziyara is mentioned for Imamzadas in Mafatih, here we mention a ziyara for Imamzadas…”. One such addition is Imam al-Husayn’s (a) and Imam al-Jawad’s (a) supplications after prayers as well as Hadith al-Kisa'.
- The first chapter provides a selection of the practices of days and nights, including some manners of daily life, du'as recommended for certain hours of the day, and instructions for the night prayer.
- The second chapter covers recommended prayers such as, prayers presented to the Infallibles (a), Prayer of Burial Night, prayers for requests, prayers for seeking help, and prayers for the days of the week. The Instruction and various kinds of Istikhara (asking God to guide one to good) are also mentioned in this chapter.
- The third chapter provides solutions for pains, difficulties, limb aches, fever, etc. through various du'as are mentioned specifically for the removal of pain and different illnesses.
- The fourth chapter is a selection of du'as from the book of al-Kafi. The du'as of this chapter are mostly for solving the scarcity of one's sustenance and problems of the world.
- The fifth chapter mentions some Hirz's (protective and effective supplications) and short du'as for increasing income are mentioned, which are selected from Muhaj al-da'awat and al-Mujtana.
- The sixth chapter mentions the benefits of certain suras, verses, and various du'as. The fruits of some Qur'anic suras and verses which are beneficial for daily problems are mentioned in this chapter such as, du'a for meeting a person in a dream, du'a for studying, manners of 'Aqiqa, and performing Istikhara with the Qur'an.
It concludes with a brief explanation regarding the rules of burial rites and funeral procedures.
Presently, Mafatih al-jinan is being published by a multitude of publishers in various forms, and it seems almost impossible to state the number of all the published editions.
Since the Mafatih al-jinan in full form is a large book, and it is not easy to be carried, many publishers have frequently published selections of it.
This book has been copied by some great calligraphers such as Tahir Khushnivis, Misbahzada, Mirza Ahmad Zanjani Katib, etc. in Naskh and Nasta'liq (two calligraphic styles). Tahir Khushniwis has written this book in neat calligraphy five times.
There are several ways to access Mafatih al-jinan published online on various websites.
Since Mafatih al-jinan is sometimes needed in various situations, for example, whilst traveling, developers have designed various apps for devices, including cellphones and tablets.
Mafatih al-jinan has been translated into many languages including Farsi, English, French, Turkish, Urdu, Spanish, and Bahasa Indonesia.
Mafatih al-jinan has been translated to English at least four times, but only the translation by Badr Shahin is a complete translation and has been published by Ansariyan Publications.
Mafatih al-jinan also has a French translation titled "Les Clés du Paradis" (Keys to the Heaven).
Mafatih-i nuwin (Modern Mafatih)
Mafatih-i nuwin, which is actually the modified version of Mafatih al-jinan, has been collected and published by Ayatollah Makarim Shirazi, one of the Shi'a marja's. Sayyid Hashim Rasuli Mahallati translated this book.
Ayatollah Makarim's goal, as he mentioned in the preface of the book, has been to make the book well-suited to the current time and remove some content over which there have been disagreements.
A free online version of Mafatih-i nuwin has been published on the official website of the author, Ayatollah Makarim Shirazi: Online Mafatih-i nuwin (farsi)
- Adding an introduction about du'a, its status, and the reasons for its acceptance or refusal.
- Adding introductions to each section of du'as and ziyaras.
- Mentioning the references of du'as and ziyaras in the footnotes.
- Removing some similar practices and selecting the best ones.
- The new order of contents.
- Removing some less authentic contents.
- Studying the content of du'as and ziyaras and not just sufficing to the sources for selecting them.
- First chapter: surahs of the Qur'an
- Second chapter: famous du'as and supplications such as Munajat Khams 'Ashar (Fifteen Whispered Prayers quoted from Imam al-Sajjad (a)), Poetic supplication of Amir al-Mu'minin (a), Qur'anic du'as, Du'a al-Kumayl, al-Jawshan al-Kabir, al-Jawshan al-Saghir, Du'a al-Tawassul, Du'a Makarim al-Akhlaq
- Third chapter: ziyaras which have been provided in twelve sections
- Fourth chapter: the practices of Islamic months from Muharram to Dhu l-Hijja. This chapter also includes the practices of the solar months such as Nowruz and Roman months such as Niysan.
- Fifth chapter: the practices of nights, days, and days of the week in ten sections. One section provides ziyaras of Imams (a) on the days of the week.
- Sixth chapter: the manners, requirements, and recommended follow-up practices (Ta'qibat)
- Seventh chapter: recommended prayers. This chapter comprises of two sections. One section contains prayers specific to the fourteen Infallibles (a) and the other one covers other famous prayers such as the Ja'far al-Tayyar Prayer, the prayer at the night of burial, and the prayer on the first day of the lunar months.
- Eighth chapter: du'as for solving material and spiritual difficulties and the instructions of 'Aqiqa
- Ninth chapter: Istikhara and manners of performing it
- Rulings and practices about the deceased people
The book is written as edited by Muhammad Hadi Yusufi Gharawi and published by Ahl al-Bayt (a) World Assembly Press. The book provides a full treatment of the chains of transmissions of supplications and ziyaras in Mafatih al-jinan.
Here are some of the characteristics of this book:
- Refinement of the chains of transmissions of supplications and ziyaras in Mafatih al-jinan, and the elimination and substitution of some of these.
- Mention of the sources of supplications and ziyaras
- Reference to historical sources in some cases.
Since Mafatih al-jinan covers mostly individual acts of worship, Ayatollah Jawadi Amuli has composed and published the book of Mafatih al-hayat [literally meaning "keys to life"] based on hadiths regarding social and family relationships as well as daily life. This book is sometimes introduced as the second volume of Mafatih al-jinan.
Some Years before the publication of Mafatih al-hayat, Ayatollah Jawadi Amuli, the author, during a Friday Prayer sermon in Qom said: "We need a second volume for Mafatih al-jinan, which has not been written yet. God bless Shaykh Abbas Qummi and other scholars, but prayers; Dhikrs and ziyaras are not the only part of the religion."
This book comprises of six chapters:
- Interaction of the human with himself
- Interaction of a human with other humans
- Interaction of people with the Islamic government
- Interaction of the human with animals
- Interaction of the human with the environment
- Ending chapter
Mafatih al-hayat was very well received after its publication. By the sixth day after its publication in the International Book Exhibition of Tehran, the book was sold out, and the publisher began to sell the next copies of the book in advance.
- Ṭāliʿī, "Sālshumār-i ḥayāt wa āthār-i muḥaddith-i Qummī", p. 13-48
- Qummī, Mafātīḥ al-jinān, p. 28.
- Qummī, Mafātīḥ al-jinān, p. 12.
- Sulṭānī, "Ishāra bi pāriʾī az manābiʿ Mafātīḥ", p. 450.
- Sulṭānī, "Ishāra bi pāriʾī az manābiʿ Mafātīḥ", p. 451.
- Sulṭānī, Ishārih bih pārih-ī az manābiʿ-i Mafātīḥ al-jinān, p. 459-472.
- Qummī, Mafātīḥ al-jinān, p. 869.
- Qummī, Mafātīḥ al-jinān, p. 869.
- Qummī, Mafātīḥ al-jinān, p. 985.
- Qummī, Mafātīḥ al-jinān, p. 903.
- Ṭāliʿī, "Sālshumār-i ḥayāt wa āthār-i muḥaddith-i Qummī". p. 31.
- Makārim Shīrāzī, Mafātīḥ-i nuwīn, p. 16.
- Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Mafātīḥ-i nuwīn. Qom: Intishārāt-i Imām ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, 1390 Sh.
- Qummī, ʿAbbās. Mafātīḥ al-jinān. Translāted to Farsi by Ḥusayn Anṣārīyān. Qom: Dār al-ʿIrfān, 1388 Sh.
- Sulṭānī, Muḥammad ʿAlī. 1389 Sh. "Ishāra bi pāriʾī az manābiʿ Mafātīḥ al-jinān." Kungira-yi Buzurgdāsht-i Muḥaddith-i Qummī.
- Ṭāliʿī, ʿAbd al-Ḥusayn. 1389 Sh. "Sālshumār-i ḥayāt wa āthār-i muḥaddith-i Qummī." Kungira-yi Buzurgdāsht-i Muḥaddith-i Qummī.