Month 13: Increasing Supplication for His (af) Presence

13. Increasing Supplication for His (af) Presence

Praying for others before praying for oneself is an act of selflessness that is beloved to God. In return, He removes trials (balā) from the supplicant, increases their sustenance (rizq), and readily accepts their prayer for themselves as well. Once when Lady Fatimah (a) was engrossed in prayer for others, Imam al-Hasan (a) asked her why she did not pray for herself. She replied, “O dear son, first the neighbours, then the household.” 1

We are encouraged to pray for the safety of the Imam (af). One might wonder what a duʿa for the safety of the Imam (af) means, when we know that God has willed for him to reappear before the people at the end of his occultation. However, our du’as still have a number of benefits: 

  1. Although the Imam (af) remains alive, he is not immune from illnesses and other difficulties. Just like the other Imams (a) he may fall ill, and our prayers for his wellbeing play a role in preventing this.
  2. Duʿa is a way to remember the Imam (af) and provide us with a spiritual connection to him. It is a way to manifest our love and concern for him. We should sincerely pray for him even before we pray for ourselves, and this in turn has an affect on the purity of our own souls.
  3. When we pray for the Imam (af), he in his generosity prays for our wellbeing also. As stated in Surah Rahman [55:60]:

هَلْ جَزَاءُ الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ

Is the compensation for goodness anything but goodness?

One of the famous supplications for the wellbeing of the Imam (af) we have been taught is:

O Allah, be for Your close servant, al-Hujjat b. al-Hasan (a), may Your blessings be on him and his forefathers, at this moment and at all times, a Guardian (Walī), a Protector (Ḥāfiẓ), a Leader (Qāʾid), a Helper (Nāṣir), a Guide (Dalīl) and a Watcher (ʿAyn); until you make him live (openly) in the earth in obedience (to You) and cause him to live (in comfort) in it for a long time. 2

In particular, we should pray for the faraj (reappearance) of the Imam (af), When we make this duʿa individually, it makes us ready ourselves for his reappearance; when made collectively, it encourages us to create a community that will be ready to welcome him.

Imam al-Sadiq (a) has stated, “Constantly pray for the faraj of the Imam (af) to happen as early as possible, because in it lies your own salvation.” 3

Let us look at how we can pray for our Imam (af) by using the easy-to-remember acronym IMAM!

I: Invoke Allah for the wellbeing of the Imam (af)

I need to pray for the Imam’s (af) wellbeing as I pray for my family’s. I should also take out sadaqa for his wellbeing.

M: Make the Imam (af) the focus of your prayers to God.

In my du’as, I must first and foremost remember the Imam (af); also my prayer for myself, my family and my community should include the Tawfiq to prepare for the coming of the Imam (af).

A: Ask Allah for the faraj of the Imam (af) everyday

If I pray for the reappearance of my Imam (af) everyday, it will remind me that I have a goal to work towards. I need to ensure that I am ready when he comes. 

M: Make a connection to the Imam (af) by praying for him 

It is through my connection to my Imam (af) that my connection to Allah will gain strength; the best way to connect to the Imam (af) is spiritually through my du’as for him.

 

1. Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, 13/428.

2. Tusi, Misbah al-Mutahajjid, 2/630.

3. Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, 53/177.

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