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Sixteenth supplication of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya

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This article is an introduction to the Sixteenth supplication of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya; to read its text see text:Sixteenth supplication of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya.

The sixteenth supplication of al-Ṣaḥīfa al-Sajjādīyya (Arabic: الدعاء السادس عشر من الصحيفة السجادية) is a supplication transmitted from Imam al-Sajjad (a), which he recited when he asked for divine forgiveness and pardon. In this supplication, the Imam introduces God and His attributes, enumerating his efficiencies toward God. Moreover, he points to the precedence of God's mercy over His wrath as well as God's patience toward His servants. In this supplication, ignorance is characterized as the root of sins. Recourse is made to God so that He may help us overcome the troubles and He may forgive our sins.

This supplication is expounded thoroughly in such commentaries as Riyad al-salikin (in Arabic) by al-Sayyid 'Ali Khan al-Madani and Diyar-i ashiqan by Husayn Ansarian and Shuhud wa shinakht by Hasan Mamduhi Kirmanshahid (in Farsi).


The main theme of the sixteenth supplication of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya is the request for divine pardon and His forgiveness of our sins. In this supplication, Imam al-Sajjad (a) seeks to attract God's mercy by appealing to the servant's essential destitution and to God's absolute self-sufficiency and grace.[1] Below are the doctrines of the sixteenth supplication within 34 sections[2]:

  • Hopefulness of sinners for divine mercy
  • Recourse to appropriate names and attributes of God in order to overcome the troubles
  • The poor taking refuge to remembrance of divine benefaction
  • The wrongdoers weeping out of fear from divine punishment
  • Divine mercy and knowledge embracing everything
  • The share of creatures from divine blessings
  • God's forgiveness being above His punishment (the precedence of His mercy over His wrath)
  • The precedence of God's bestowment over His deprivation
  • God not expecting anything from His servants in exchange for His blessings
  • God's retributions being in conformity with His justice
  • God's command to pray and to comply with His orders
  • Ignorance as the root of disobedience
  • To plea with ultimate humility, and reference to human need
  • Asking God for His grace and mercy
  • God's treatment of His repenting servants
  • Fear from God
  • Embarrassment before God because of innumerable human flaws
  • Gratitude to God for His preservation of one's reputation
  • The human inclination to badness and his ignorance of his interests
  • Certainty about the Heaven and the Hell
  • Confession before God
  • God's patience in the punishment of His servants
  • Seeing sins as great before God
  • Sins are forgiven in virtue of divine grace, rather than what people deserve
  • Sweetness of forgiving
  • God does whatever He wishes to do.[3]


In the commentaries of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, such as Riyad al-salikin by Sayyid Ali Khan al-Madani,[4], Fi zilal al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya by Muhammad Jawad Mughniya,[5] Riyad al-'arifin by Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Darabi,[6] Afaq al-ruh by Muhammad Husayn Fadl Allah,[7] the sixteenth supplication is explicated. The words used in the supplication is also elucidated in lexical commentaries such as Fayd Kashani's Ta'liqat 'ala l-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya[8] and 'Izz al-Din al-Jaza'iri's Sharh al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya[9]

The sixteenth supplication of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya is expounded in such commentaries as Diyar-i ashiqan by Husayn Ansarian,[10] Shuhud wa shinakht by Muhammad Hasan Mamduhi Kirmanshahi,[11] Sharh wa tarjumi-yi Sahifi-yi Sajjadiyya by Sayyid Ahmad Fihri,[12] and some other books in Persian.


  1. Mamdūḥī Kirmanshāhī, Shuhūd wa shinākht, vol. 2, p. 80.
  2. Translation and commentary of Sixteenth supplication of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya
  3. Anṣārīyān, Diyār-i āshiqān, vol. 5, p. 373-480; Mamdūḥī Kirmanshāhī, Shuhūd wa shinākht, vol. 2, p. 80-115.
  4. Madanī Shīrāzī, Rīyāḍ al-sālikīn, vol. 3, p. 101-170.
  5. Mughnīya, Fī zilāl al-Ṣaḥīfa, p. 209-226.
  6. Dārābī, Rīyāḍ al-ʿārifīn, p. 193-211.
  7. Faḍl Allāh, and Āfāq al-rūḥ, vol. 1, p. 361-388.
  8. Fayḍ al-Kāshānī, Taʿlīqāt ʿalā l-Ṣaḥīfa al-Sajjādīyya, p. 41-43.
  9. Jazā'irī, Sharh al-Ṣaḥīfa al-Sajjādīyya, p. 96-102.
  10. Anṣārīyān, Diyār-i āshiqān, vol. 5, p. 373-480.
  11. Mamdūḥī Kirmanshāhī, Shuhūd wa shinākht, vol. 2, p. 80-115.
  12. Fihrī, Sharḥ wa tarjuma-yi Ṣaḥīfa al-Sajjādīyya, vol.2 p. 125-155.


  • Anṣārīyān, Ḥusayn. Dīyār-i Āshiqān: tafsīr-i jāmiʿ al-Ṣaḥīfa al-Sajjādīyya. Tehran: Payām-i Āzādī, 1372 Sh.
  • Dārābī, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad. Rīyāḍ al-ʿārifīn fī sharḥ al-Ṣaḥīfa al-Sajjādīyya. Edited by Ḥusayn Dargāhī. Tehran: Nashr-i Uswa, 1379 Sh.
  • Faḍl Allāh, Sayyid Muḥammad Ḥusayn. Āfāq al-rūḥ. Beirut: Dār al-Mālik, 1420 AH.
  • Fihrī, Sayyid Aḥmad. Sharḥ wa tarjuma-yi Ṣaḥīfa al-Sajjādīyya. Tehran: Nashr-i Uswa, 1388 Sh.
  • Fayḍ al-Kāshānī, Muḥammad b. al-Murtaḍā al-. Taʿlīqāt ʿalā l-Ṣaḥīfa al-Sajjādīyya. Tehran: Muʾassisat al-Buḥūth wa l-Taḥqīqāt al-Thiqāfīyya, 1407 AH.
  • Jazāʾirī, ʿIzz al-Dīn. Sharḥ al-Ṣaḥīfa al-Sajjādīyya. Beirut: Dār al-Taʿāruf li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1402 AH.
  • Madanī Shīrāzī, Sayyid ʿAlīkhān. Rīyāḍ al-sālikīn fī sharḥ al-Ṣaḥīfa Sayyid al-Sājjidīn. Qom: Muʾassisat al-Nashr al-Islāmī, 1435 AH.
  • Mughnīya, Muḥammad Jawād al-. Fī zilāl al-Ṣaḥīfa al-Sajjādīyya. Qom: Dār al-Kitāb al-Islāmī, 1428 AH.
  • Mamdūḥī Kirmanshāhī, Shuhūd wa shinākht, vol. 1, p. ; tarjuma wa sharḥ Ṣaḥīfa-yi Sajjādīyya. Qom: Būstān-i Kitāb, 1388 SH.