“The etiquette of prayer” 1/2

Now that the importance of praying and its wonderful effects came to light, (by the previous number of this subject) we proceed to study the etiquette of praying. It is written in volume 93 of Bihar al-Anwar: “If you don’t observe the condition of praying, don’t expect your prayer to be answered.”

1. Prayer should start with the name of Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): “A prayer that starts with “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful” won’t be rejected.” *1

2. A prayer should include the praise and worship of Allah. Imam Sadiq (PBUH) says: “Any prayer that is offered without the praise and worship of Allah before it, is incomplete and fruitless.”*2

3. Salutation to Prophet Muhammad and his Progeny. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Your salutation to us makes both your prayer accepted and your deeds pure.”*3

4. Seeking intercession. It has come in Verse 35 of the Surah al-Ma’ida: “Seek the means of approach unto Him” (meaning Ahl-al-Bayt).

5. Confessing sins. Imam Sadiq (PBUH): “Prayer consists of praise of Allah and then confessing sins…”*4

(1. Bihar al-Anwar 93/313; 2. Al-Kafi 2/503; 3. Bihar al-Anwar 94/54; 4. Bihar al-Anwar 93/318)


The etiquette of prayers 2/2

The continuation of previous number↩️

6- It should not be out of negligence and it must be offered with deep attention. Imam Sadiq (PBUH): “Allah does not answer prayers of a neglectful person. So pray carefully and attentively.”*1

7- Purity of food, drink and clothes. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “One who wishes his prayers to be answered, his food and trade must be Halal (pure).”*2

8- Paying the rights of the people. Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said: “Allah says” “I swear by My Honor, I will never answer prayers of the oppressed one who has done the same to another one.””*3

9- Abandoning the sin which is obstacle to answering the prayers. Imam Baqir (PBUH) said: “A servant asks Allah a favor … Then the servant commits a sin and Allah tells the angels: “Do not grant his need and deprive him of it.””*4

10- Being optimistic to the acceptance of the prayer. It is said in a Hadith: “When you are praying, ask Allah with all your heart and soul, and then believe in the acceptance of it.”*5

11- Persistence and insistence on prayers. It is written in the Old Testament: “Do not get tired of praying because I (Allah) won't get tired of answering.”*6

(1& 5-Bihar al-Anwar 93/323; 2 & 6-Bihar al-Anwar 93/372; 3-Bihar al-Anwar 93/320; 4-Bihar al-Anwar 73/328.)


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The importance of continuity of prayer

Continuity of prayer and persistence in prayer, have important role to achieve the purposes and intentions. Most of the people can’t achieve their intentions by one-time prayer.

Example: For many simple diseases, a one-time treatment could end the problem. But when the disease becomes chronic, the treatment needs to be repeated. Hence, as we have to continue the treatment till the medicines work, for some intensions which need praying (like Imam Mahdi’s (PBUH) Reappearance), we have to continue praying till it occurs.

It is possible that some time, some people achieve their goals by a prayer or by saying one name of the Holy names of Allah, but this is very rare and common people should not count on it.

I persist asking you till you answer me; And let me see your face.


Prayer is necessary for the Reappearance…

After stating the etiquette of prayer, we say: the most important prayer during the Occultation is prayer for the Reappearance of our master, Imam Mahdi (PBUH). Because he is our master, the master of our era and time, but also the master and guardian of the whole world.

How don’t we care about him who is our leader and Imam? While this inattention, is in fact neglecting one of the foundations of the religion. Therefore, praying for him must be done before praying for ourselves, our family and our brothers.

Sayyed Ibn Tawus writes in the book of Jamal al-Usbu': "If anyone wants to give a reason for this (the importance of praying for the Reappearance), provided he knows Imam Sadiq (PBUH) and Imam Kazim (PBUH) in Islam and as Muslims, (despite living many years before Imam Mahdi’s birth, they gave praying for the Reappearance priority to their needs) praying of these two great characters would be a sufficient reason for him. 

(Extracted from the book “Sahifa al-Mahdi”)


Neglection in praying for the Reappearance

Sometimes this question might appears to some people that if praying for Imam Mahdi’s (PBUH) Reappearance is so important, then why great scholars don’t perform it, and if it was important, they would be pioneers… Sayyed Ibn Tawus, one of the great Shia scholars in the seventh century of Hijri calendar, who has visited Imam Mahdi (PBUH) as well, answered this question many years ago:

 “You may say that you know this person and that person who are among religious professors and they don’t perform this (praying greatly for the Reappearance), but I am well aware that these people are living in indifference and negligence towards our Imam and they neglect their duties towards him. In response to this objection, I tell you: “You do as I said; because this is an obvious and explicit principle: Anyone who leaves our Imam and neglects him, I swear by Allah, he has made an egregious mistake.

Do you think that Imams are neglectful towards the importance of praying for Imam Mahdi’s (PBUH) Reappearance like you and disdain it? Don’t refrain from praying greatly for him.”

(Selected from the book of “Sahifeh of Mahdieh”)


 “D” like Dua al-Faraj

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said: “When torture and persecution were prolonged on the Israelites, they  cried and moaned to God on forty mornings. Then, God made a revelation to Moses and Aaron to make the Israelites free from the Pharaoh’s wickedness. God subtracted 170 years (out of 400 years) for Moses’ reappearance.”

Then he said: “If you do the same (cry, moan and pray) for sure God will precipitate the Reappearance. But if you don’t, the Reappearance will be delayed till the last possible time.” (Tafsir Ayyashi, volume 2)

The scholar Musavi Esfahani, the writer of the book Mekyal al Makarem, wrote;

“This hadith tells us that the Reappearance of Imam Mahdi (PBUH) could be precipitated and could be delayed. One of the factors which can precipitate the Reappearance is the efforts of the believers to pray for expediting the Reappearance.

(Part 5. benefit no.22 )


The one who does not pray for the Reappearance…

Abu Harun says: “I was at a meeting held by Imam Sadiq (PBUH). He told the audience: “Why do you abase us?” A man from Khorasan stood up and said: “I seek refuge in Allah from abasing you or anything related to you.” Imam said: “Yes you are one of those who have abased me.”

The man from Khorasan said: “I seek refuge to Allah if I have abased you.”

Imam said: “Woe is to you! When we were near Juhfa, didn’t you hear that a person told you: “Give me a ride for a mile, I swear by Allah I am dead tired and unable to walk.”

I swear by Allah you did not even raise your head and humiliated him by what you did; And anyone who humiliates a Muslim, has humiliated us and has spoiled Allah’s honor.””

(Rawza Kafi, Hadith 73)

Not granting a Muslim's request -when he asks us to help him- is the same as humiliating him.

Imam Mahdi (PBUH) has asked all of us to pray for his Reappearance. (Kamal al-Din, ch. 45, Hadith 4)

If we do not grant his request and do not pray for the Reappearance, we have abased him and all of Ahl al-Bayt. Can we still say: “Prayers for the Reappearance is only Mustahab (recommended)?”


The astonishing narration…

Imam Musa al-Kadhim (PBUH) said: “When one of the believers comes to the other for asking about some needs, this is the blessing from God which has been sent towards him. So if he accepts and fulfills those needs, he joins our guardianship, and this guardianship is connected to the God’s guardianship.

And if he rejects to fulfill a believer’s needs despite being capable to fulfill those need, God will put a snake made of fire in his grave which will bite him till the judgment day; it does not matter whether he will be forgiven or punished eventually (It means even if he finally goes to heaven, he should bear such torment in inferno as a result of rejecting a believer’s need.)”

(Usul al-Kafi, Ketab al-Iman-wal-Kufr, the chapter about fulfilling the needs of a believer)

Imam Mahdi (PBUH) as the most completely faithful person of the world has repeatedly asked us to “Pray for the Reappearance”. Alas, if we remain indifferent and finally ...


Betraying Allah, the Prophet and Ahl Al-Bayt

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said: “Anyone of our companions who one of his (religious) brothers asks him for help in any issue, but he doesn't try as much as he can, he has betrayed Allah and his Prophet (Muhammad) and the believers.”

Abu Basir says: “I said: who do you mean by the believers? He said: From Imam Ali's era to the last one of them.” (Usul al-Kafi, al-Iman and al-Kofr book)

In explanation of this narration, scholar Majlesi writes: “Probably, “the believers” refers to Imams, just the same as many narrations which the word “believer” in verses of Quran is interpreted to Imams; because they are the true believers; and it is possible to include other believers also. (Mar’at al-Oqul, v11)

Imam Mahdi (PBUH) has asked all his Shias and lovers for help and asked for numerous prayers for the Reappearance. If we do not try in praying for the Reappearance as much as we can, seal of betrayal will be on our deeds letter.


Source: Mahdiaran Channel (@Mahdiaran); http://islampfr.com