Issue No. 918 - 22/Muharram/1432 AH
Corresponding to December 28, 2011 AD
* Mihrab Platform:
Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya1– Psalms of the Household of Muhammad
Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya – Psalms of the Household of Muhammad
The main axes of the subject:
- Defining Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya
- Some contents of Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya
We will explain some facets of Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, the work of Imam al Sajjad (a.s.).
Exporting the subject:
Part of the prayers that Imam al Sajjad (a.s.) recited in the morning and evening reads: “O God, bless Muhammad and his Household and give us success in this day of ours, this night of ours, and in all our days, to employ the good, stay away from the evil, give thanks for favors …”
- What is the Al-Sahifa al-Kamila?
Also known as al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya and al-Sahifa al-Oula, it is a group of supplications that were transmitted from Imam Zein al Abideen, Ali bin al Husayn (peace be upon them). It is one of the recurrences of the scholars since it was authorized and accounted during each stage and time. Scholar al Tahrani says, “The companions gave attention to its narration and it was especially recommended during their vacations.2 Besides, people took good care of its narration and regulated its pronunciation and copying.”3
Its source goes back to Imam al Baqir (a.s.) and Zeid al Shahid (RIP), the son of Imam Zein al Abideen, quoted from their father Ali Bin al Husayn (a.s.). Its interpretations, as mentioned by Sheikh al Tahrani in his book al-Thare'a, number more than sixty.
Moreover, other sheets have been composed, gathering his supplications. Some of those sheets included the falling prayers. These sheets are:
* Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya the second: considering that the complete famous Sahifa was the first one, compiled by Sheikh al Horr al A'mali in his book Wasa’el al Shia.
* Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya the third: by Mirza Abdullah Bin Eisa Bin Muham-mad Saleh al Tabrizi, known as “Sahib Riyad al Ulama’a”, and stated in it the falling prayers that were quoted from the complete Sahifa.
* Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya the fourth, fifth and sixth: the compilers stated in it the falling prayers from their preceding compilers.4
2- Some contents of Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya:
We cannot deny the fact that the contents of the Imam’s supplications in al Sahifa al Sajjadiyya come in second after the words of the almighty and in first before the words of the creature. It is – as said “Gospel of the Folk of the House, and Psalms of the Household of Muhammad. And that it tops the words of the creature whereas it is below the words of the creator.”5
His supplications have several facets: some are of a worshiping type with a dogmatic and spiritual mark. Some are social. Some are political. And some are dogmatic such as the numerous reciting of sending blessings on Muhammad and the household of Muhammad. It harmonizes with the course of the reformative movement that was led by the Imam (a.s.) during hard circumstances. Hence, with his pointing ability, he managed to provide his supplications – coupled with their spiritualistic devoutness – a social and political content of several aspects. The Imam (a.s.) would include within his supplications invisible messages to his Shia, which were incomprehensible to the supporters of the ruling regime.
“Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya expresses a great communal or social work that was necessitated upon the Imam by that period, adding to it being a unique divine legacy that continued throughout history to play as a source of generosity, a torch of guidance and a school of morals and education. Humanity continues with its need to such Muhammadi and Alawi legacy.”6
Here are some of the concepts that the Imam addressed within his supplications:
- Opening al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya with praise and commendation: Some of his supplications began with praising and commending Allah (The Exalted), hence he (a.s.) would say:
“Praise belongs to Allah, the First, without a first before Him, the Last, without a last behind Him. Beholders' eyes fall short of seeing Him, describers' imaginations are not able to depict Him. He originated the creatures through His power with an origination; He devised them in accordance with His will with a devising. Then He made them walk on the path of His desire, He sent them out on the way of His love.
- Knowing Allah with his unification: Imam al Sajjad (pbuh) says: “Intellects are incapable of grasping the core of Thy beauty, eyes fail before gazing upon the glories of Thy face, and Thou hast assigned to Thy creatures no way to know Thee save incapacity to know Thee!”7
And he (a.s.) says: “Praise belongs to Allah, the First, without a first before Him, the Last, without a last behind Him. Beholders' eyes fall short of seeing Him, describers' imaginations are not able to depict Him.”8
- Loving Allah (The Exalted) - “The Whispered Prayer of the Lovers.” Imam Ali Bin al Husayn (a.s.) describes his love and devotedness to Allah (The Exalted), hence he says: “My God, who can have tasted the sweetness of Thy love, then wanted another in place of Thee? Who can have become intimate with Thy nearness, then sought removal from Thee? O Furthest Wish of the hearts of the yearning! O Utmost Limit of the hopes of the lovers! I ask from Thee love for Thee, love for those who love Thee, love for every work which will join me to Thy nearness, and make my love for Thee lead to Thy good pleasure, and my yearning for Thee protect against disobeying Thee! O Most Merciful of the merciful!”
- Divine justice: Imam al Sajjad (a.s.) points to the system of justice through his supplication using short phrases, yet they include a deep inception of the justice issue. Hence he (a.s.) says: “But I know that there is no wrong in Thy decree and no hurry in Thy vengeance. He alone hurries who fears to miss, and only the weak needs to wrong. But Thou art exalted, my God, high indeed above all that!”9
- The prophet and the holy leaders (Imams) Allah sends peace upon all of them: The Imam worked through his supplications on reciting numerous prayers upon the prophet and his household as well as mentioned the Imams (a.s.). He did so in order to demonstrate the grand stature of the messenger and his struggle in the way of Allah (The Exalted).10 Hence he says: “Praise belongs to God who was kind to us through Muhammad (God bless him and his Household) to the exclusion of past communities and bygone generations, displaying thereby His power, which nothing can render incapable, though it be great, and appointed us witnesses over those who deny, and increased us by His kindness over those who are few. O Allah, bestow thy grace over Muhammad, the entrusted by Thee with Thy revelation, the distinguished by Thee among Thy creatures, the devoted to Thee among Thy servants, the imam of mercy, the leader of goodness, and the key to blessings…”
Conclusion: We can say that the supplications of Imam al Sajjad (a.s.), especially the blessed al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya expresses a great communal or social work that was necessitated upon the imam by that period, added to it being a unique divine legacy that continues throughout history to play as a source of generosity, a torch of guidance and a school of morals and education. Humanity continues with its need to such Muhammadi and Alawi legacy. The need continues to rise against Satan’s increase of enticement coupled with this world of seductions.11
1- Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya,
known also as al-Sahifa al-Kamila, is one of the oldest prayer manuals and one
of the most seminal works Ali the son of Husayn (a.s.), known as Imam al Sajjad
2- Scholar al Tahrani, book al Thare'a, Vol. 15, P. 18.
3- Sayyid al Amin, book A’ayan al Shia, Vol. 1, P. 638.
4- Review book al Thare'a by Sheikh al Tahrani, and the introduction of the complete Sahifa, Imam Mahdi Association, Qum, 1418 H. There is also History of the Islamic legislation, P. 92-93
5- Described by sheikh Tantawi as transmitted from the introduction of al- Sahifa by scholar al Mar’ashi. Tantawi said: It is unfortunate that until now we did not observe the immortal value of the traces of the prophet and his household. Each time I observe it I find it to be above the words of the creature and blow the words of the creator
6- Muhammad Baqir al Sadr, introduction of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya
7- Mafateeh al Jinan, P.2
8- Same previous source, P. 33
9- Same previous source, P. 60
10- Yanzor, Hatim, Fawzi, Previous source, P. 86
11- Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, the introduction of Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al Sadr, P. 15-16