Reflections on the Munajat of Imam Ali in the Mosque of Kufa 2

Reflections on the Munajat of Imam Ali in the Mosque of Kufa 2

وَاَسْاَلُكَ الاْمانَ يَوْمَ لا يَنْفَعُ الظّالِمينَ مَعْذِرَتُهُمْ وَلَهُمُ اللَّعْنَةُ وَلَهُمْ سُوءُ الدّارِ،

And I ask You for protection on the day when the unjust shall not benefit from their excuse and for them is curse and for them is the evil abode(1).(2)

وَاَسْاَلُكَ الاْمانَ يَوْمَ لا تَمْلِكُ نَفْسٌ لِنَفْس شَيْئاً وَالاْمْرُ يَوْمَئِذ للهِ،

And I ask You for protection on the day when no soul shall control anything for (another) soul and the command on that day shall be entirely God's(3).(4)

وَاَسْاَلُكَ الاْمانَ يَوْمَ يَفِرُّ الْمَرْءُ مِنْ اَخيهِ وَاُمِّهِ وَاَبيهِ وَصاحِبَتِهِ وَبَنيهِ لِكُلِّ امْرِئً مِنْهُمْ يَوْمَئِذ شَأْنٌ يُغْنيهِ

And I ask You for protection on the day when a man shall flee from his brother, and his mother, his father, his spouse, and his children, each one of them on that day will have a concern which will occupy him(5).(6)

وَاَسْاَلُكَ الاْمانَ يَوْمَ يَوَدُّ الْمجْرِمُ لَوْ يَفْتَدي مِنْ عَذابِ يَوْمَئِذ بِبَنيهِ وَصاحِبَتِهِ وَاَخيهِ وَفَصيلَتِهِ الَّتي تُؤْويهِ وَمَنْ فِي الاْرْضِ جَميعاً ثُمَّ يُنْجيهِ

And I ask You for protection on the day when the guilty will wish to redeem himself from the chastisement of that day by (sacrificing) his children, and the near of kin who gave him shelter and all those that are in the earth (wishing) that this might deliver him.(7).(8)

Based on these phrases, the Day of Judgment will be so horrible that a person will want to escape from all his beloved ones and is even be ready to sacrifice them to get rid of the severe punishment of that day. The situation is so severe that a mother would ask the angles of punishment to take her beloved child instead of her. The same is true with one's parents and children.

This is not surprising as we see that impious people, when confronted with difficulties, forget their parents or children in this world and are ready to escape the difficulties at the expense of their beloved ones. Thus, in the next world, when such people encounter the unimaginable severity of God's punishment, they will do the same. As mentioned before, this is the situation of non-believers. As for the believers, they never forget their parents and children even in the most difficult situation of the next world.

Regarding this, the Holy Quran says:

الْأَخِلَّاءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقِينَ 

"On that day, friends will be one another's enemies, except for the God-wary.(9)

Thus, the God-wary will not be one another's enemies, since their friendship is not based on Satanic desires. If a friendship is based on worldly affairs or sinful matters, on the Day of Judgment, it will turn into enmity. If, however, it is based on taqwa, it will survive the tests of the Day of Judgment. A believer will be concerned about his family and friends even on that great day.

Based on some narrations, this situation may occur: in the Hereafter, a person will be allowed to enter Paradise, however, his family members are not righteous enough to accompany him to the Paradise. At this time, the believer will tell God that whatever he has done in the world, he has done for himself and his family, and he asks God to let them be with him. Then, God will tell the angels to let his family join him without reducing his good deeds in return for this favor.

The text of the hadith is as follows:

وأخرج الطبراني وابن مردوية ، عن ابن عباس ان النبي صلى الله عليه وأله قال: إذا دخل الرجل الجنة سال عن ابويه وذريته وولده ، فيقال انهم لم يبلغوا درجتك وعملك فيقول: يا رب قد علمت لي ولهم ، فيومر بالحاقهم به. وقرا بن عباس في قوله: والذين أمنوا واتبعتهم ذريتهم

The same idea has been mentioned in the Quran:

وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَاتَّبَعَتْهُمْ ذُرِّيَّتُهُمْ بِإِيمَانٍ أَلْحَقْنَا بِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَمَا أَلَتْنَاهُمْ مِنْ عَمَلِهِمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ ۚ كُلُّ امْرِئٍ بِمَا كَسَبَ رَهِينٌ

"The faithful and their descendants who followed them in faith We will make their descendants join them, and We will not stint anything from] the reward of [their deeds. Every man is a hostage to what he has earned.(10)

Thus, a clever believer does good deeds while intending the reward to be, not only for himself, but also for his family, for his friends, and even for the whole community as well.

Second Section of Munajaat

After mentioning his worries, Imam Ali (a) introduces himself and his Lord, in the second part of the munajat, by using various attributes: By mentioning his own attributes, he confesses to his weaknesses and defects before God, who has all attributes of perfection and excellence. In each case, after mentioning one attribute for himself and one attribute for his Lord, Imam Ali (a) declares that only God and no one else can have mercy on him. He starts this section with the following phrases:

مَوْلايَ اَنْتَ الْمَوْلى وَاَنَا الْعَبْدُ وَهَلْ يَرْحَمُ الْعَبْدَ اِلاَّ الْمَوْلى، مَوْلايَ يا مَوْلايَ اَنْتَ الْعَزيزُ وَاَنَا الذَّليلُ وَهَلْ يَرْحَمُ الذَّليلَ اِلاَّ الْعَزيزُ، مَوْلايَ يا مَوْلايَ اَنْتَ الْخالِقُ وَاَنَا الْمخْلُوقُ وَهَلْ يَرْحَمُ الْمخْلُوقَ اِلاَّ الْخالِقُ ، مَوْلايَ يا مَوْلايَ اَنْتَ الْمُعْطي وَاَنـَا السّائِلُ وَهَلْ يَرْحَمُ السّائِلَ اِلاَّ الْمُعْطي

My Master, O my Master! You are the Master and I am the servant, and who can have mercy on the servant except the Master?
My Master, O my Master! You are the Possessor and I am the possessed, and who can have mercy on the possessed except the Possessor?
My Master, O my Master! You are the Mighty and I am the low, and who can have mercy on the low except the Mighty? My Master, O my Master! You are the Creator and I am the created, and who can have mercy on the created except the Creator?
My Master, O my Master! You are the Magnificent and I am the insignificant, and who can have mercy on the insignificant except the Magnificent?(11).(12)

The other attributes that the Imam (a) mentions for himself and for his Lord respectively are as follows:

• The Giver and the beggar

• The Ever-living and the one who will die

• The Provider of sustenance and the one in need of sustenance

• The Generous and the stingy

• The Reliever (of affliction) and the afflicted

• The Great and the insignificant

• The Guide and the one lost

• The Ruler and the one on trial

• The Proof and the confused

• The Forgiver and the sinner

• The Victor and the defeated

• The Cherisher and the cherished

• The Sublime and the humble.

Third Section of Munajat

Having mentioned his worries and concerns about the Hereafter and having stated that no one can save him except God, Imam Ali (a) implores his Lord:

مَوْلايَ يا مَوْلايَ اِرْحَمْني بِرَحْمَتِكَ، وَارْضَ عَنّي بِجُودِكَ وَكَرَمِكَ وَفَضْلِكَ يا ذَا الْجُودِ وَالاْحْسانِ وَالطَّوْلِ وَالاْمْتِنانِ، بِرَحْمَتِكَ يا اَرْحَمَ الرّاحِمينَ .

My Master, O my Master! Have mercy on me, through Your mercy, and be pleased with me, through Your generosity, and Your grace and Your favours. O Possessor of generosity and favour and might and gratitude, by Your mercy, O most Merciful of the Merciful!(13)

The concept of Divine Mercy plays a key role here. God shows much mercy toward His servants throughout their lives, so Imam Ali (a) expects such Merciful God not to deprive him of His mercy when he desperately needs it. God's mercy showers upon us even before our creation. He puts mercy in the hearts of our parents so that they love and take care of us. Then, His mercy continues to be with us throughout our lives. Thus, we do not expect our Lord to leave us alone in the Hereafter.

Therefore, Divine Mercy is the key which can open every lock. If one has any problem in his life, he should ask God to solve it by His vast mercy. Definitely, God is always there to help, but He helps those who ask for His help. If we confronted the most generous person but did not ask him for help, he would not help us. Therefore, God showers His mercy on those who appreciate it.

Of course, in this world, His mercy includes even those who do not appreciate it. In the Hereafter, however, it will cover only those who deserve it.

Bibliography

Kaf'ami, Ibrahim b. Ali al-. Al-Balad al-Amin. Beirut: Mu'assassat al- A'lami li al-Matbu'at, 1997.

Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir. Bihar al-Anwar. rd. Beirut: Dar Ihya' al- Turath al-'Arabi, 14 A.H.

Sources

This supplication has been narrated in following sources:

• Al-Balad al-Amin by Ibrahim ibn 'Ali al-'Amili al-Kaf'ami ( 4 -9 A.H), pp. 19-

• Bihar al-Anwar by 'Allamah Majlisi (1 7-111 A.H), vol. 91 pp. 1 9-111

• Ibid., vol. 97 pp.419-4

The Author: Mohammad Ali Shomali
International Institute for Islamic Studies, Qom, Iran
Spiritual Quest Winter and Spring 2013. Vol. 3. No. 1

NOTES:

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1. The Quran 40:52 .

2. Majlisi 14 A.H, 91:1 9

3. The Quran 82:19.

4. Majlisi 14 A.H, 91:1 9

5. The Quran 80: 34-37.

6. Majlisi 14 A.H, 91:1 9

7. The Quran 70:11-16.

8. Majlisi 14 A.H, 91:1 9-1

9. The Quran 4 :67

10. The Quran 52:21

11. Bihar Al- Anwar, vol. 91 p. 11

12. Majlisi 14 A.H, 91:11

13. Majlisi 14 A.H, 91:111