In the Presence of the Beloved (Commentaries on Du‘a’ al-Iftitah, Du‘a’ Abu Hamzah al-Thumali and Du‘a’ Makarim al-Akhlaq)

In the Presence of the Beloved (Commentaries on Du‘a’ al-Iftitah, Du‘a’ Abu Hamzah al-Thumali and Du‘a’ Makarim al-Akhlaq)0%

In the Presence of the Beloved (Commentaries on Du‘a’ al-Iftitah, Du‘a’ Abu Hamzah al-Thumali and Du‘a’ Makarim al-Akhlaq) Author:
Translator: Mansoor L. Limba
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
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In the Presence of the Beloved (Commentaries on Du‘a’ al-Iftitah, Du‘a’ Abu Hamzah al-Thumali and Du‘a’ Makarim al-Akhlaq)

Author: Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi
Translator: Mansoor L. Limba
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
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In the Presence of the Beloved (Commentaries on Du‘a’ al-Iftitah, Du‘a’ Abu Hamzah al-Thumali and Du‘a’ Makarim al-Akhlaq)

In the Presence of the Beloved (Commentaries on Du‘a’ al-Iftitah, Du‘a’ Abu Hamzah al-Thumali and Du‘a’ Makarim al-Akhlaq)

Author:
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
English

www.alhassanain.org/english

In the Presence of the Beloved

Commentaries on Du‘a’ al-Iftitah, Du‘a’ Abu Hamzah al-Thumali and Du‘a’ Makarim al-Akhlaq

Author(s): Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi

Translator(s): Mansoor L. Limba

Publisher(s): ABWA Publishing and Printing Center

www.alhassanain.org/english

We live in a world in which the fight for the material is omnipresent. We fight to obtain everything material but no matter how much we are never satisfied due to the fact that we always want something that we do not know what it is but that causes us to feel empty and in need. This emptiness can only be filled by seeking Allah swt.

The present book is a collection of lectures about dua delivered by Ayatollah Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi. It consists of four parts. The first part concentrates on the importance of supplication in general. The other three parts deal in detail about Dua al-Iftitah, Dua Abu Hamza at-Thumali and Dua Makarim al-Akhlaq.

Miscellaneous information:

In the Presence of the Beloved - Commentaries on Du‘a’ al-Iftitah, Du‘a’ Abu Hamzah al-Thumali and Du‘a’ Makarim al-Akhlaq Author: Professor Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi Translator and typesetter: Mansoor Limba Project supervisor: Translation Unit, Cultural Affairs Department Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly (ABWA) Editor: ‘Iffat Shah Proofreader: Majid Karimi Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center First Printing: 2010 Printed by: Layla Press Copies: 3,000 © Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly (ABWA) All rights reserved. www.ahl-ul-bait.org info@ahl-ul-bayt.org نام كتاب: بر درگاه دوست نويسنده: استاد محمّد تقي مصباح يزدي مترجم: منصور ليمبا زبان ترجمه: انگليسي

Notice:

This version is published on behalf of www.alhassanain.org/english

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Transliteration Symbols 9

Foreword 10

Note 11

Preface 12

Notes 13

Part 1: Introduction, Discussions about Supplication 14

What is the essence of supplication [du‘a’]? 14

The independent effect of supplication 16

Is supplication in conflict with the law of causation? 17

Does supplication make people lazy and lax? 20

Effects of supplication 23

Educational effects 23

Other effects 24

1. Knowledge of God 24

2. Acquisition of excellent morality 24

3. Purity and cleanliness 25

4. Suppression of the self 25

Conditions for the acceptance of supplications 25

God’s Mastership [wilayah] over the faithful 30

The essential desirability of supplication 31

Etiquettes of supplication 31

Types of supplicants 34

Motives behind supplication 37

The meaning of arrogance in supplication 39

Transmitted supplications 40

Need to reflect on religious laws and repercussions of disrespectful acts 43

Notes 48

Part 2: Commentary on Du‘a’ al-Iftitah 51

First Discourse: Ramadan 51

Ramadan as a golden opportunity 51

How to make the most of Ramadan 52

Attention to supplication 52

Ramadan and iftitah 52

Praising God as the beginning of supplication 53

Choosing the correct path and divine approval 53

God’s mercy and wrath a blessing in disguise 54

The need for fear and hope 54

The ability to worship as a favor of God 55

His servant’s sin and the perpetuity of God’s grace 56

Second Discourse: The Essence of Supplication 56

Recounting the blessings of God 56

Perpetuity of blessings lies in the hand of God 58

The need to reflect on the blessings of God 58

1. Fear of punishment as a divine blessing 59

2. Religious duties as divine blessings 59

Wisdom behind the delay in the acceptance of supplications 59

Third Discourse: Sincerity 60

Man’s arrogance and indifference to God 60

The value of getting closer and fervently praying to God 61

The ever-open doors of God’s mercy 62

Presence of heart needed in worship 63

Love and affection as a product of gnosis [ma‘rifah] 64

Fourth Discourse: Hope 64

Hope and reliance on God 64

Imam ‘Ali’s (‘a) saying about pinning one’s hope on God 65

Fifth Discourse: Waiting for the Advent of Imam al-Mahdi (‘atfs) 67

Waiting for the advent of Imam al-Mahdi (‘atfs) 67

The motive behind “waiting” 68

Learning from previous communities (the fate of those who are waiting [muntazirin] 70

Sixth Discourse: The Imam of the Age (‘atfs) 72

The Apostle (S) and the Imams (‘a) with the most valuable blessings 72

Heedlessness of the Imam of the Age (‘atfs) 73

Our duty during this period of occultation 75

Notes 76

Part 3: Commentary on Du‘a’ Abu Ḥamzah al-Thumali 78

First Discourse: The Supplication of Abu Ḥamzah al-Thumali 78

The Supplication of Abu Hamzah al-Thumali 78

Ontological relationship between God and His creatures 78

Occupations as a hindrance to grasping the ontological relationship 79

Paying attention to His kindness increases one’s love for God 80

Second Discourse: Paying Attention to the Attributes of Allah 82

Paying attention to the Attributes of Allah at the time of supplication 82

Manifestations of the Most Beautiful Names of Allah 82

Confession of sin brings nearness to God 83

Third Discourse: The Divine Presence 86

Being in the Divine Presence as higher than worship of the common man 86

Reasons behind man’s failure 87

The consequence of actions 88

Fourth Discourse: Fear and Hope 89

Fear and hope as a requisite of faith 90

Perfect expression of the state of fear and hope in Imam al-Sajjad (‘a) 90

Way of nurturing love for God 91

Fifth Discourse: Remembrance of Allah 94

Remembrance of Allah 94

The essence of Allah’s remembrance 94

Peace of mind lies only in the remembrance of Allah 95

Remembrance of Allah under all conditions 98

Sixth Discourse: The Heart 100

Some features of the heart 100

The value of the heart 101

The spiritual life of man 102

The difference in the levels of life 103

Seventh Discourse: Degrees of Remembrance of Allah 104

Different degrees of the remembrance of Allah 104

Attachment to the world as a hindrance to the remembrance of Allah 106

Man’s attitude toward material and spiritual deficiencies and needs 107

Worldly allurement as a hindrance in the attainment of spiritual life 108

Eighth Discourse: Provisions for the Hereafter 109

The reason behind man’s negligence of the hereafter 109

Nearness to God as the best provisions for the hereafter 110

How can we have intimacy with God? 112

Ninth Discourse: Faith 113

The value of faith 114

Sin and its danger to faith 115

Some effects of faith 116

1. Certainty 116

2. Contentment with God’s decree 118

Notes 120

Part 4: Commentary on Du‘a’ Makarim al-Akhlaq 124

First Discourse: Invoking Blessings on the Apostle (S) 124

Supplication of the righteous 124

Invoking blessings on the Apostle (S) for the acceptance of supplication 125

Way of attaining the most perfect faith and highest decree of certainty 125

The difference between faith and belief 126

Reasons behind the peoples’ opposition to their respective prophets 127

Signs of certainty 128

The best of intentions and deeds 128

The best worship 129

Second Discourse: Human Responsibility 130

Human responsibility 131

Purpose of creation according to the Qur’an 132

Perpetual guidance 135

Third Discourse: Good and Evil 137

Turning evil and defects into good and merits 138

Seeking help to repel evil and attract good 139

Goodness in exchange for the badness of others 139

Keeping one’s honor 140

Fourth Discourse: The Night of Ordainment 143

The holiness of certain places and periods in the Qur’an 143

The virtue of the month of Ramadan and the Night of Ordainment 144

Refuting the alleged improbability of the revelation of the Qur’an in one night 148

Notes 150

Transliteration Symbols

Foreword

The legacy of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), preserved by their followers, is in the custody of their school of thought, which forms a complete system that covers the various branches of Islamic learning. This school has been able to train minds that were favorably disposed to drink from this spring and present the Islamic nation with great scholars who emulated the missionary life of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a). For centuries, these scholars provided convincing answers in response to questions that were posed by people from different schools of thought and intellectual tendencies, both from within and outside the Muslim nation.

In line with its responsibilities, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly has undertaken to defend the sacred message of Islam and reveal its true nature, which unfortunately has been adulterated by followers of other sects and proponents of ideologies that are in opposition with Islam. This organization, following in the footsteps of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) and their followers, strives to respond to constant challenges and remain in the forefront of the struggle.

The intellectual experiences of the scholars of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) school in this regard are unparalleled, as they contain scientific investigation, which depends on rational proof and shuns personal opinion and chauvinism, thus, accepted by all people possessing an unimpaired natural disposition.

The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly endeavors to present, to the seekers of truth, a new round of these rich experiences by publishing a series of works written by contemporary writers who are followers of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) school of thought, including those who received divine grace and embraced this noble school. In addition, this organization undertakes the edition and publication of beneficial works of past Shi‘ah scholars, to ensure sufficient resource material for the seekers of truth. The purpose of this effort is to put the facts possessed by the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) school at the disposal of the whole world, at a time when minds are globally moving towards perfection and speedily correlating.

It is hoped that readers will not deprive the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly of their valuable views and suggestions as well as constructive criticism in this area.

We also invite scholars, translators and other institutions to assist us in propagating the pure Muhammadan (S) Islam.

We ask God, the Exalted, to accept this trivial effort and enhance it further under the auspices of His vicegerent on earth, Hadrat al-Mahdi (may Allah, the Exalted, expedite his glorious advent). It is appropriate here to express our utmost gratitude to Professor Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi for writing the book1 and to Mr. Mansoor Limba for translating it, as well as to all our honorable colleagues in accomplishing this task, especially the dear ones in the Translation Office for performing their responsibility.

Cultural Affairs Department

Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly

Note

1. – Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi, Bar Dargah-e Dust, compiled and edited by ‘Abbas Qasimiyan (Qum: Imam Khomeini Educational and Research Institute, Winter 1382 AHS/ 2003), 335 pages.

Preface

أَلْحَمْدُ للهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ

وَصَلَّى اللهُ عَلىٰ سَيِّدِنَا وَنَبِيِّنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ الطَّاهِرِيْنَ وَلَعْنَةُ اللهِ عَلىٰ أَعْدَائِهِمْ أَجْمَعِيْنَ

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, and may the blessings of Allah be upon our Master and Prophet, Muhammad, and his pure progeny, and may the curse of Allah be upon all their enemies.

﴿ وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ ﴾

“When My servants ask you about Me, [tell them that] I am indeed nearmost. I answer the supplicant’s call when he calls Me. So let them have faith in Me, so that they may fare rightly.” 1

In the ups and downs of life and the bitter and sweet experiences, man sometimes feels such a spiritual emptiness that cannot be filled by any material thing. Even if the power of all the powerful, the wealth of all the wealthy, and all the means of enjoyment and merrymaking in the world are at his disposal, none of them can fill this spiritual vacuum.

In such a state, he confides in his best friend, the nearest of kin or the dearest one. Sometimes, he finds no one to trust and confide in and prefers to seclude himself. The only means of achieving peace of mind is being close to one’s confidant and opening one’s heart to one’s beloved.

If man feels sad after being contaminated by sins and offenses and abhors himself and experiences self-alienation and the deadening of his heart, in whom should he confide or seek refuge? It is here that he must seek refuge in his Creator, the Source of all good and pure, the Initiator of love and sincerity, and find solace in His remembrance and love by prostrating on His threshold.

Which tranquility and pleasure can be greater for the humble servant than being in the presence of the Esteemed Deity, purifying his impure self with the limpid water of conversation with Him, and soothing his stormy soul with the remembrance of the One and Only. This is the best, most excellent and sweetest fruit of supplication[du‘a’] .

Du‘a’ is commonly interpreted as“petition and imploration” , but its true meaning is“the lover’s call to his Beloved, their private communion, and their companionship and togetherness in the ecstasy of truth-seeking mystics.”

When the meek and humble servant realises that the sinful abode of his heart is away from the Manifestation of purity and good, he searches for the way to be close to the Friend and join the assembly of the Beloved, and look for the place where he could have private audience with his Lord and hear the voice saying,

﴿ فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ﴾

“I am indeed near [all My servants].” 2

In the company of the Friend, distance has no meaning at all:

﴿ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ ﴾

“And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.” 3

When the servant attains such a state, experiences nearness or proximity to the Truth (God), and comes a step closer to His assembly, then the Worshipped Being[ma‘bud] becomes his Lover[muhibb] , and it is this servant who becomes the Truth’s beloved[ma‘bud] and hears the voice:

﴿ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي ﴾

“I answer the supplicant’s call when he calls Me. So let them have faith in Me.” 4

We hope that we can also join the mystics in their assembly of supplication and ask nothing from Him but His Sacred Essence, for the acquisition of His gnosis[ma‘rifah] is the highest form of acceptance of a servant’s supplication.

The present book which is the transcript of some lectures about supplication by His Eminence Prof. Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi consists of four parts. The first part deals with the general subjects of supplication.

The other three parts consist of the slightly modified transcription of a series of 15 lectures by His Eminence at Mahdiyyah of Qum in Ramadhan 1398 AH (August 6 – September 4, 1978).

Since the audience comprised of various strata of people, the quality of the lectures was commensurate with its level of understanding, yet containing very useful and valuable points. It is known to all that a lecturer is incapable of explaining verbally what he can explain in writing.

These parts deal with commentaries of Du‘a’ al-Iftitah, Du‘a’ Abu Hamzah al-Thumali and Du‘a’ Makarim al-Akhlaq, respectively.

It is hoped that the faithful will find the book beneficial and worth reading.

‘Abbas Qasimiyan

Sha‘ban 21, 1418 AH

1/Dey/1376 AHS – 22/December/1997

Notes

1. – Surat al-Baqarah 2:186. In this volume, the translation of Qur’anic passages is adapted from Sayyid ‘Ali Quli Qara’i, The Qur’an with a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation (London: Islamic College for Advanced Studies Press, 2004). [Trans.]

2. – Surat al-Baqarah 2:186. In this volume, the translation of Qur’anic passages is adapted from Sayyid ‘Ali Quli Qara’i, The Qur’an with a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation (London: Islamic College for Advanced Studies Press, 2004). [Trans.]

3. – Surat Qaf 50:16.

4. – Surat al-Baqarah 2:186.