Brief notes on Dua al-Iftitah
By: Ali Raza
Du' al-iftitah was taught by our twelth Imam (a) for believers to
recite every night during the month Ramadhan, The Du'a is excellent
for molding man's attitude towards his Creator as it discusses many
aspects of the wrethedness of the human being, and the grace of Allah.
The Dua can be divided into two parts:
1) Man's relationship with Allah,
2) Divine leaders.
The first section of the Du'a describes different qualities of Allah,
and reveals the graciousness and love of Allah for the human being.
This section of the Du'a can further be divided into the following
a) Praise of Allah: As is the etiquette of Du'a al-Ifttah begins with
the raise and glorification of Allah. This is not because Allah needs
to be praised before He answers our Du'as, but to remind the
supplicant of the Supreme Being he is addressing, good consequently
put the awe of Allah into hearts which are often heedless. The
beginning of the Du'a also places the supplicant between hope and fear
the ideal attitude while praying. Allah is most merciful, but Is also
severe in punishment. Humans are not to despair, nor to be too
confident butconstantly strive in His way.
b) Emphasis on the Oneness of Allah: Allah has no partner nor son, and
has complete, undivided power and control over creation. the
inhabitants of theskies and the heavens depend on Him. This Is to
strengthen reliance of the supplicant on Allah, as there is none else
he can turn to.
c) The Generosity of Allah: The treasures of Allah do not cease, and
are always liberally bestowed on His creatures. The needs of the human
beings are enormous, and by placing open the door of Du'a Allah has
given them the keys to His treasures. His doors are always open, and
no supplication to Him is rejected without some answer.
But man is often ungrateful, and always greedy. He expects that his
du'as will always be immediately granted. When such Gratification is
not forhtcoming, he turns away, instead of reminding himself of all
the favours he enjoys.
d) Relationship of Allah an the human being. A strange relationship
Indeed! Although it is the human who need Allah, and should strive
towards Him, it is Allah who invites and encourages him to come, who
shows love and mercy and continues to favour him in many ways.
As the 4th Imam says in Du'a-e-Abu Hamza Shimali:
Praise be to Allah who answers me when I call Him, although I am
reluctant when He calls me, and Praise is for Allah who gives me when
I ask Him, although I am miserly when he asks me. This is worth
pondering over for those who think of Allah as a tyrannical master
imposing his rules over humans.
This section of the Du'a is an excellent lesson in the Islamic view
point of the qualities of Allah. The God of Islam is a loving,
gracious God who treats the human being better than he deserves. The
root of the relationship between Allah and man is the love of the
creator for His creatures. It is on man to search his heart for a
The second section of the Du'a send blessings on the Holy Prophet (S)
and The M'asumeen, and then discusses the role of the twelth Imam (a).
a) Salawat on the Prophet(s): After faith in Allah, the next most
important part of religion is faith in His sent ones. Thus after
acknowledging the greatness And graciousness of the creator, the Du'a
teaches us to acknowledge the divine leaders as our guides towards
Him. Blessings are sent to the Prophet(s) As a sign of love and
appreciation for the Prophet(s) and as an acknowledgement that he is a
human being and needs mercy and blessings from Allah. It also
strengthens remembrance of the Prophet(s) and the inspiration to
follow his path.
b) Blessing on the M'asumeen: After the Holy Prophet(s), his
successors are remembered and prayed for. These are the true leaders
of the Muslim ummah who were Divinely appointed by Allah. Belief in
them, and love for them, is an important part of the Shi'a faith.
c) Role of the Twelfth Imam (a): In every era Allah has His
representative who guides His creatures towards establishing truth and
justice on earth. The Twelfth Imam is the leader of our time, who will
come an Allah's religion on earth. The last part of Du's al-Iftitah
talks about his coming, preparing believers for the anticipated
establishment of the rule of Allah on earth.
Praying for help and victory for the twelfth Imam reminds us that we
are waiting for him, and need to prepare for his coming. We become
aware of our responsibilities in his ghaybat, and the importance of
training ourselves as his helpers. We pray for the ultimate dream of a
Muslim, a state in which the religion of Allah is paramount, and
disbelief an hypocrisysre degraded.
Du'a al-Iftitah reminds us that both faith and action are necessary to
be a true believer. Faith in Allah entails acting on His message
brought by His messenger, and establishing His religion on earth.
While that can only be done through the Imam, we should work and pray
for his arrival. Human beings can only enjoy true justice and peace,
and a fulfillment of all their needs under the leadership of a Divine
Du'a al-Iftitah is not only a supplication for our needs, but a
teaching of the roots of faith, and a planning for a way of life. It
remains on us to plot the chart of our life as we recite this
beautiful du'a during the nights of Ramadhan.
better than wealth because it protects you while you have to
guard wealth. it decreases if you keep on spending it but the
more you make use of knowledge ,the more it increases . what you
get through wealth disappears as soon as wealth disappears but
what you achieve through knowledge will remain even after you."MORE