Supplication of Kumayl

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Supplication of Kumayl
Other namesSupplication of Khidr
SubjectKnowing God and requests for forgiveness of sins
Issued byImam Ali (a)
NarratorKumayl b. Ziyad al-Nakha'i
Shi'a sourcesMisbah al-mutahajjidIqbal al-a'malZad al-ma'ad
MonographsAnis al-laylal-Misbah al-munirSharh-i du'a-yi Kumayl
TimeEves of Friday15th of Sha'ban


Supplication of Kumayl (Arabic: دعاء کميل) is a supplication narrated by Kumayl b. Ziyad al-Nakha'i from Imam Ali (a).

This supplication contains great and noble messages for knowing God and requests for forgiveness of sins. Al-Allama al-Majlisi considered the supplication of Kumayl best of supplications. This supplication is among common supplications Shia recite on the eve of 15th of Sha'ban and eves of Friday.


Kumayl b. Ziyad b. Nuhayk al-Nakha'i from the tribe of Nakha' was among the Followers and among the special companions of Imam Ali (a) and Imam al-Hasan (a). He spent 18 years of his life at the time of the Prophet (s). He was among the Shia who gave allegiance to Imam Ali (a) in the first days of his caliphate and participated in the battles of Imam Ali (a) including the Battle of Siffin. He is also considered Sahib al-Sirr ("owner of the secret") of Imam Ali (a). Kumayl was among the ten people who were exiled to Syria at the time of 'Uthman.[1] In 82/701-2, Kumayl was killed by the order of al-Hajjaj b. Yusuf al-Thaqafi.[2] Since he narrated this supplication from Imam Ali (a), it is known as the supplication of Kumayl.


The reference of the supplication of Kumayl is al-Shaykh al-Tusi's Misbah al-mutahajjid.[3] Al-Shaykh al-Tusi has brought this supplication as "Supplication of Khidr" in the practices of the month of Sha'ban. He said that "it is narrated that Kumayl b. Ziyad al-Nakha'i saw Imam Ali (a) reciting this supplication on the eve of 15th of Sha'ban in prostration." He then narrates the famous supplication of Kumayl. Al-Sayyid b. Tawus in his Iqbal al-a'mal,[4] al-'Allama al-Majlisi in Zad al-ma'ad[5] and al-Kaf'ami[6] in the practices of Sha'ban have mentioned this supplication. Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi in Mafatih al-jinan[7] has mentioned supplication of Kumayl from Misbah al-mutahajjid. Al-Allama al-Majlisi[8] introduced the supplication of Kumayl as the best supplication.


Supplication of Kumayl contains great messages for knowing God and forgiveness of the sins.

Imam Ali (a) begins this supplication with the name of God and in some parts asks Him in His mercy, power, grandeur, glory, greatness, kingdom, essence, names, knowledge and light. Then, he (a) calls God, "O the Light, O the Most Holy, O the First of firsts and O the Las of lasts" and mentions the consequences of human beings' actions and asks God's forgiveness.

In the next part, Imam (a) seeks nearness to God by remembering Him, asks God for intercession and nearness to Him. He (a) then asks God to teach him gratitude, reminds him of God's remembrance and asks God to fill him with awe and humbleness and expresses the greatness of his love to the Truth in some sentences.

Imam (a) then mentions the worldwide order of God and introduces Him the Forgiving Merciful.

In other parts, Imam (a) refers to the fault-covering attribute of God, repelling afflictions, saving from slips, and the needlessness of the servant to praises and admirations. He (a) also mentions human beings' weaknesses and flaws and the greatness of punishment and faults; and complains to God about them and asks His help for removing them. Imam (a) makes entreaty to God's glory and asks Him some requests and mentions the temptations of Satan. He (a) also mentions the eternity of the mercy of God and says that God would not burn monotheists and worshipers.

Then, Imam (a) compares the trials of this world and the punishment in the hereafter and says, "O my master, even if I endure your punishment, who do I endure your distance?!" Then, he (a) mentions the servant's hope in the mercy of God and says, "Is a believer the same as an unbeliever?" and at the end, asks some requests from God by calling God's attributes.


In Iqbal al-a'mal,[9] after narrating from al-Shaykh al-Tusi in Misbah al-mutahajjid, al-Sayyid b. Tawus mentions another narration, where Kumayl b. Ziyad says, "One day, I was sitting in the mosque of Basra together with my master, Imam Ali (a) and a group of his companions were also there. Imam (a) was asked about the meaning of the verse, 'Every definitive matter is resolved in it.' [10] Imam (a) said, "It is the eve of 15th of Sha'ban. By God, who has the life of Ali (a) in His hand of power, there is no servant but that all the good and the bad to happen to him until the end of the year will be destined for him in that night. The request of any servant who keeps that night vigil through worship and recites supplication of Khidr will be fulfilled."

Kumayl said, "when Imam (a) went to his house, I went to him at night. He (a) asked, 'for what reason have you come?' I said, 'I have come to take the supplication of Khidr from you.' Imam (a) said, 'O Kumayl, If you memorize this supplication, recite it on every eve of Friday, every month, every year or at least once in your lifetime so that your affairs would be sorted out. May God helps you, your income will increase and of course you will not move away from forgiveness. O Kumayl, the while you are with us, has brought you this opportunity to be granted such blessings. O Kumayl write, 'O God, I ask You for Your mercy, …".

Jurisprudential Ruling

A person with janaba or a menstruating woman is better to be cautious to avoid reciting verse 18 of Quran 32 (Sura al-Sajda) which has appeared in the text of this supplication since this sura is among the four suras which contain a verse reciting or hearing of which obligates one to prostrate.[11] However, some jurists have ruled that this part of the supplication is haram to be recited by a person with janaba or a woman in her monthly period.[12]


According to Sayyid Ibn Tawus in his book Iqbal al-a'mal,[13] the time to recite Kumayl Supplication is mid-Sha'ban and Friday eves. In Iran, Shiites have a tradition to collectively recite this supplication in religious places on mid-Sha'ban and on Friday eves.


  1. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī, translated by ?, vol. 6, p. 2195, 2199.
  2. Nāẓimzāda Qummī, Aṣḥāb-i Imām ʿAlī (a), p. 1011-1018.
  3. Ṭūsī, Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid, p. 584.
  4. Sayyid b. Ṭāwūs, Iqbāl al-aʿmāl, p. 220.
  5. Majlisī, Zād al-maʿād, p. 60.
  6. Kafʿamī, al-Balad al-amīn wa l-dirʿ al-ḥaṣīn, p. 267; Kafʿamī, al-Miṣbāḥ, p. 737.
  7. Qummī, Mafātīḥ al-jinān, p. 112.
  8. Majlisī, Zād al-maʿād, p. 60.
  9. Sayyid b. Ṭāwūs, Iqbāl al-aʿmāl, p. 220.
  10. Quran 44:4.
  11. Ṭabāṭabāʾī Yazdī, al-ʿUrwat al-wuthqā, vol. 1, p. 513-514.
  12. Khomeinī, Taʿlīqa ʿalā ʿurwat al-wuthqā, p. 141.
  13. Sayyid b. Ṭāwūs, Iqbāl al-aʿmāl, p. 220.


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