A brief commentary on Dua al-Iftitah
From: Ali Raza
Du' al-iftutah was taught by or twelth Imam (a) for Shi'as to recite every
night during the month Ramadhan, The Du'a is excellent for moulding man's
attitude towards his Creator as it discusses many aspects of the wrethedness
of the human being, and the grace of Allah. The Du's can be divided into two
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 parts:
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
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 reciprocal response.
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 leader.
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
Dua Abu Hamzah Thumali
Abu Hamzah Thumali (RA) was a close companion of Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (AS). This dua narrated to Abu Hamzah Thumali by the 4th Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (AS).He has related that during the month of Ramadhan Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (AS) used to spend a greater part of the night in prayers and when it used to be the time of Seher he recited the following dua. This dua has been recorded in the book Misabh.
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