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The Dua of Imam Ali Zainulabedeen – I

Every sunrise in Shehre Ramadan brings with it the promise of mercy (rehmat), absolution (maghfera) and salvation from hellfire. Morning prayers are a time for retrospection and repentance.

The dua of Imam Ali Zainulabedeen AS, recited after Fajr Namaaz in Shehre Ramadan, is a testament to his name Zainulabedeen, ‘the grace of all worshippers’. In its beautiful narration it invokes the deepest feelings of devotion and supplication. It is a guide of those deeds, morals and actions that bring us closest to Allah. When prayed together rhythmically in a masjid or markaz, one is infused with sense of fulfillment and exaltation.

Praise to Allah for guiding us to pay gratitude to Him and thereby rewarding us for that gratitude. Praise to Allah for bestowing us with Deen and leading us towards the paths that entail His benevolence. Praise to Allah for making His month the month of Shehre Ramadan one of those paths, a month of fasting, of Islam, of piety, of cleansing and of Qiyam (namaaz). During this month, The Quran Majeed was revealed to Rasulullah SAW. The significance of Shehre Ramadan far exceeds that of any other month. Hence, Allah ta’ala has prohibited food, drink and other actions which are allowed in other months. And Allah has determined the time of its occurrence so that no man however mighty can prepone or postpone it. In addition to that, Allah has gifted it a night worth more than a thousand nights, the night of Lailatul Qadr; a night in which the angels and Ruh keep descending from the sky until the break of dawn.

In the second part of the dua, Imam AS seeks Allah’s aid to comprehend the importance of Shehre Ramadan. Fasting does not just mean an empty stomach. Imam AS invokes Allah to assist us to fast with all parts of our body and to use them only for that which pleases Him. So that, our ears may not be distracted by music; our eyes not attracted towards frivolous activities; our hands not long for things that are frowned upon; our feet not march towards places that are forbidden; that we not eat except that which is halal; that we speak not except good: so that all our deeds are assured us of His reward and we are protected from His punishment. That all our deeds be devoid of ego and self-aggrandizement; that our only intent be Allah who has no partner.

(In essence, Imam AS defines fasting as an absolute abstinence and refrain from all actions prohibited in the Quran and Hadith, even those actions which are frowned upon. A fast, thus, not only cleanses the food tract, but the body as a whole and eventually the soul. The pleasant feeling associated with fast-break by a Mumin is testament to this ‘clean slate’ state of his soul. Rasulullah SAW has stated, “A person who fasts has double jubilation; one when he breaks his fast and the other at his death.”)

The third part of the dua beseeches Allah for guidance in other aspects of Ibadat, chief among them mainly namaaz; so that we pray each namaaz on its specific time, observing all its obligations (hudood) and doctrines, with tahaarat and utmost humility.

(It is narrated that when Imam Ali Zainulabedeen AS engaged himself in prayer, his humility, devotion and submission to Allah was such that he would turn pale. When asked he replied that it was due to the fear of the Almighty before whom he stood.)

Imam AS asks Allah to help us saegaurd our wealth by paying zakat and to cleanse our money by honouring that obligatory pillar of Iman. The term zakat itself signifies ‘cleansing.” Only after offering wajebaat, is the rest of his wealth halal for a Mumin to consume.