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Supplication for Imam al-Mahdi's Health

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The Supplication of “Allāhumma kun li-waliyyik” or the Supplication for Imam al-Mahdi's Health is a supplication recited for the health of Imam al-Mahdi (a), the Twelfth Imam of the Shia. The supplication begins with “Oh Allah, be for your successor.” It is cited in Tahdhib al-ahkam from Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a).

In this supplication, God is asked to protect Imam al-Mahdi’s health and safety in different ways. The supplication is cited as a practice for the Night of al-Qadr (Ramadan 23), but it can be recited on other occasions as well. The chain of its transmission is mursal (that is, some of its transmitters are missing), but since it is cited in valid sources of hadiths and supplications, it is said to count as valid.

In most sources in which the supplication is cited, instead of Imam al-Mahdi’s name the phrase “such and such the son of such and such” (fulan ibn fulan) is mentioned, which is why it has been speculated that the supplication is indeed for any Imam during his imamate, rather than being exclusive to Imam al-Mahdi (a).

An exposition is written for the supplication in Persian by Muhsin Qara'ati under Sharh-i duʾa-yi salamati-yi Imam-i Zaman (a) (Exposition of the supplication for Imam al-Mahdi’s health).

The Text

The Supplication of “Allahumma kun li-waliyyik” is cited in different sources with slight differences. Here is the text of the supplication as cited in al-Shaykh al-Tusi’s Misbah al-mutahajjid:[1]

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
O Allah, be, for Your representative, the Hujjat (proof), son of Al­Hassan, اللّهُمّ كُنْ لِوَلِيّكَ الحُجّةِ ابْنِ الحَسَنِ
Your blessings be on him and his forefathers, صَلَوَاتُكَ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آبَائِهِ
in this hour and in every hour, فِي هذِهِ السَّاعَةِ وَفي كُلّ سَاعَةٍ
a guardian, a protector, a leader, a helper, a proof, and an eye. وَلِيّاً وَحَافِظاً، وَقَائِداً وَنَاصِراً، وَدَلِيلاً وَعَيْناً
until You make him live on the earth, in obedience (to You), حَتَّى تُسْكِنَهُ أَرْضَكَ طَوْعاً
and cause him to live in it for a long time.[2] وَتُمَتّعَهُ فِيهَا طَوِيلاً.

The supplication is also cited in Iqbal al-a'mal with additions.[3] In Tahdhib al-ahkam, the supplication is cited as quoted from Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a).[4]

Most sources in which the supplication is cited contain the phrase “fulan ibn fulan” (such and such the son of such and such).[5] Sayyid b. Tawus, a Shia scholar of hadith in the sixth/twelfth and seventh/thirteenth centuries, mentions “al-Hujjat-i Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Mahdi” instead of “fulan ibn fulan.”[6] Moreover, al-Kaf'ami's Misbah also mentions “Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Mahdi.”[7] Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi, a Shia scholar of hadith in the eleventh/seventeenth century, believes that apparently it is permissible to mention Imam al-Mahdi’s name instead of “fulan ibn fulan,” although it is preferable to mention one of his titles.[8] Because of the phrase “fulan ibn fulan,” some people have speculated that the supplication applies to all Shiite Imams, without being exclusive to Imam al-Mahdi (a).[9]

Time of Recitation

The opening phrases of the supplication imply that it is primarily recited on the eve of Ramadan 23, but it might be recited at any time and occasion. This is because the supplication is said to be recited in any position (standing, sitting, or prostrating) on the eve of Ramadan 23, and even throughout the Ramadan moth, or even all moments of one’s life.[10] Accordingly, the recitation of this supplication is said to be recommended at any time during day and night and in one’s Prayer.[11] Moreover, it is recommended after praising God and sending regards to the Prophet (s).[12]

The Content

In the supplication “allahumma kun li-waliyyik,” God is asked to protect Imam al-Mahdi’s health in different ways.[13] God is asked to be a “guardian,” “protector,” “leader,” “helper,” “guide,” and “eye” for Imam al-Mahdi (a).[14]

The phrase “in this hour” in the supplication refers to the Night of al-Qadr (Ramadan 23), and the phrase “in every hour” is an expression of constant care for Imam al-Mahdi (a).[15]

According to Hasan b. Sulayman al-Hilli, a Shia scholar in the eighth/fourteenth century, the phrase “make him live on the earth, in obedience” is an indication of Imam al-Mahdi's Reappearance when he overtakes the power on the earth, since his right to government is usurped during his Occultation.[16] Moreover, al-Hilli believes that the phrase “make him to enjoy on the earth for a long time” refers to rajʿa after Imam al-Mahdi’s martyrdom.[17] According to Muhsin Qara'ati, this phrase is a request for a long period of global government by Imam al-Mahdi (a).[18]

Chain of Transmission and Validity

In sources of hadith and supplications, the supplication of “allahumma kun li-waliyyik” is transmitted only through Muhammad b. 'Isa b. 'Ubayd.[19] There are disagreements over his reliability.[20] Al-Najashi believes that he was a reliable transmitter of hadiths,[21] and al-Shaykh al-Tusi believes that he was unreliable.[22] Al-'Allama al-Hilli believes that overall this transmitter should count as reliable.[23] According to al-Allama al-Majlisi, the chain of the transmission of this supplication is mursal (that is, some of its transmitters are missing).[24] However, Muhsin Qaraʾati suggests that there is evidence by which the validity of the supplication is corroborated, including its citation in al-Kafi[25] and Tahdhib al-ahkam,[26] as well as other authentic sources such as al-Mazar al-kabir by Ibn al-Mashhadi,[27] al-Misbah by al-Kaf'ami,[28] and Iqbal al-a'mal by Sayyid b. Tawus,[29] in addition to its consistency with reason and other transmitted evidence. Furthermore, almost all of its sentences and phrases appear in other supplications as well.[30]

Why Praying for Imam al-Mahdi’s Health?

According to Muhsin Qara'ati, the Twelfth Shiite Imam has a biological life just like other Infallible Imams (a), and thus, he is susceptible to diseases and other troubles. For this, it is recommended to pray for his health.[31] Moreover, the supplication is concerned with the protection of the Imam in order to discharge his mission and his task of imamate, both during his Occultation and after his Reappearance, since it requires a special divine grace to be able to carry such a cumbersome burden.[32] Further, there are supplications transmitted from the Imams (a) in which God is asked to protect Imam al-Mahdi’s health.[33]

Monograph

The book, Sharh-i duʾa-yi salamati-yi Imam-i Zaman (Exposition of the supplication for Imam al-Mahdi’s health) by Muhsin Qaraʾati (and edited by Hasan Silmabadi) is an exposition of the chain of transmission and text of the supplication for Imam al-Mahdi’s health. After preliminary remarks and a discussion of the supplication’s chain of transmission, the author explains its terms and phrases.[34] The book ends with advantages of reciting the supplication of Imam al-Mahdi’s health and the conditions for the supplication to be answered.[35] The author believes that the supplication has been mistakenly known as the Supplication of the Relief (duʿaʾ al-faraj).[36] The book is published in Qom by the Cultural Foundation of the Promised Mahdi.

Notes

  1. Ṭūsī, Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid, vol. 2, p. 630-631.
  2. Duas.org
  3. Ibn Ṭāwūs, Iqbāl al-aʿmāl, vol. 1, p. 85.
  4. Ṭūsī, Tahdhīb al-aḥkām, vol. 3, p. 102-103.
  5. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 162; Ṭūsī, Tahdhīb al-aḥkām, vol. 3, p. 103; Ṭūsī, Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid, vol. 2, p. 630-631; Ibn al-Mashhadī, al-Mazār al-kabīr, p. 612; Kafʿamī, al-Balad al-amīn, p. 203.
  6. bn Ṭāwūs, Iqbāl al-aʿmāl, vol. 1, p. 85.
  7. Kafʿamī, al-Miṣbāḥ, 586.
  8. Majlisī, Rawḍat al-muttaqīn, vol. 3, p. 449.
  9. Qarāʾatī, Sharḥ-i duʿāyi salāmatī-yi Imam-i Zaman(a), p. 48.
  10. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 162; Ṭūsī, Tahdhīb al-aḥkām, vol. 3, p. 102-103; Ṭūsī, Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid, vol. 2, p. 630; Ibn al-Mashhadī, al-Mazār al-kabīr, p. 612; Kafʿamī, al-Balad al-amīn, p. 203; Ibn Ṭāwūs, Iqbāl al-aʿmāl, vol. 1, p. 85.
  11. Qarāʾatī, Sharḥ-i duʿāyi salāmatī-yi Imam-i Zaman(a), p. 35-36.
  12. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 162; Ṭūsī, Tahdhīb al-aḥkām, vol. 3, p. 102-103; Ṭūsī, Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid, vol. 2, p. 630; Ibn al-Mashhadī, al-Mazār al-kabīr, p. 612; Kafʿamī, al-Balad al-amīn, p. 203; Ibn Ṭāwūs, Iqbāl al-aʿmāl, vol. 1, p. 85.
  13. Qarāʾatī, Sharḥ-i duʿāyi salāmatī-yi Imam-i Zaman(a), p. 61.
  14. Qarāʾatī, Sharḥ-i duʿāyi salāmatī-yi Imam-i Zaman(a), p. 61.
  15. Qarāʾatī, Sharḥ-i duʿāyi salāmatī-yi Imam-i Zaman(a), p. 57.
  16. Ḥillī, Mukhtaṣr al-baṣāʾir, p. 460.
  17. Ḥillī, Mukhtaṣr al-baṣāʾir, p. 460-461.
  18. Qarāʾatī, Sharḥ-i duʿāyi salāmatī-yi Imam-i Zaman(a), p. 87-91.
  19. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 162; Ṭūsī, Tahdhīb al-aḥkām, vol. 3, p. 102-103; Ṭūsī, Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid, vol. 2, p. 630; Ibn al-Mashhadī, al-Mazār al-kabīr, p. 612; Kafʿamī, al-Balad al-amīn, p. 203; Ibn Ṭāwūs, Iqbāl al-aʿmāl, vol. 1, p. 85.
  20. Ḥillī, Rijāl al-ʿallāma al-Ḥillī, p. 142.
  21. Najāshī, Rijāl al-Najāshī, p. 333.
  22. Ṭūsī, al-Rijāl al-Ṭūsī, p. 391.
  23. Ḥillī, Rijāl al-ʿallāma al-Ḥillī, p. 142.
  24. Majlisī, Mirʾāt al-ʿuqūl, vol. 16, p. 394; Majlisī, Malādh al-akhyār fi fahm tahdhib al-akhbār, vol. 5, p. 106.
  25. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 162, h. 4.
  26. Ṭūsī, Tahdhīb al-aḥkām, vol. 3, p. 102, h. 37.
  27. Ibn al-Mashhadī, al-Mazār al-kabīr, p. 612.
  28. Kafʿamī, al-Miṣbāḥ, p. 586.
  29. Ibn Ṭāwūs, Iqbāl al-aʿmāl, vol. 1, p. 85.
  30. Qarāʾatī, Sharḥ-i duʿāyi salāmatī-yi Imam-i Zaman(a), p. 26-29.
  31. Qarāʾatī, Sharḥ-i duʿāyi salāmatī-yi Imam-i Zaman(a), p. 62.
  32. Qarāʾatī, Sharḥ-i duʿāyi salāmatī-yi Imam-i Zaman(a), p. 67.
  33. Ṭūsī, Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid, vol. 1, p. 409 & 413 and vol. 2, p. 405.
  34. Qarāʾatī, Sharḥ-i duʿāyi salāmatī-yi Imam-i Zaman(a), p. 5-6.
  35. Qarāʾatī, Sharḥ-i duʿāyi salāmatī-yi Imam-i Zaman(a), p. 93-103.
  36. Qarāʾatī, Sharḥ-i duʿāyi salāmatī-yi Imam-i Zaman(a), p. 7.

References

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