In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Supplications and salutations to the virtuous are appreciated by the Glorious Lord.
Supplicating for God's blessings are the best mode of worship and expression of humility before the Omnipotent Lord. Beseeching the Almighty-out of fear of the One and Only One-is a source of solace and calm conscience. Supplication wards off calamity and even decreed events. Supplication protects a person from enemies and increases livelihood manifold. Supplication is a means of blessing and of attaining a lofty status. And reciting salutations to the virtuous helps forge a bond with God's most immaculate and respected human beings. It also assists in the supplication's acceptance.
Imam Jafar Sadeq (a.s.) said: "A supplicant should take care that one's income is pure and no oppression has been committed against people."
He also said: "The Almighty says: I swear by My Honor, the prayer of an oppressed who continues to live under the same oppression will not be accepted."
This anthology of supplications, salutations and sayings has been gathered from reliable sources of traditions by Javad Qayyoumi Esfahani. Since the complete collection is related to the flag-bearer of guidance, the torch of salvation, the avenger of Karbala and the inheritor of Hazrat Fatima (s.a.), namely the Leader of the Age Imam Mahdi (a.s.), this anthology has been named 'Sahifa Al-Mahdi (a.s.)'. May this be a blessed step for similar anthologies and books from the shining stars of infallibility and guidance-in the not-too-distant future-to be presented to the lovers of divine mysticism from the clear fountainhead of the household of revelation and prophethood (Peace be upon them all).
Islamic Publications Office
Affiliated to the Association of Qom Seminary Instructors
Imam Rida's (AS) Supplication Recommended for Recitation in the Friday Prayer's Qunut:
"O God, help the work (of the glorious reappearance) of your distinguished servant and vicegerent, just as you helped your messengers and prophets in a worthy manner. Make your angels rally around him and empower him with the angel of revelation. Safeguard him from front and behind from all evil and change his anxiety into tranquillity, because he worships You alone and takes no one as Your partner. Do not allow any of Your creations to have an upper-hand over him and allow him to launch a war against Your enemies. Consider me among his followers, as You have power over all things." (Sources: Mesbah Al-Mutahajjed-page no. 367, Jamal Al-Osbou'-page no. 256, Bihar Al-Anwar-89:251)
A Short Profile of Imam Mahdi (a.s.):
With the dawn of 15th Shaban, 255 A.H., the all-encompassing sunshine gave new life to humankind and the whole universe. Despite the endeavors of deniers, the divine promise was fulfilled at last and Imam Mahdi (a.s.) was born. This auspicious event marked the defeat of the efforts of Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs, as well as his adversaries, who had risen to extinguish the Light of God. When God's Will decrees a thing, nobody can stand in its way. Is it possible for God's decisive promise to remain unrealized or for rebellious impostors to revolt against God's definitive order? In the light of that dawn, Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) saw the celestial and shining face of his son who shall live a long life and fulfill God's good tidings and pledges.
Imam Askari (a.s.), until his martyrdom in 260 AH, kept his son far from the reach of enemies and strangers, and only virtuous Shias had the honor of meeting him. When the divine task of guardianship reached the last jewel of the prophet's household, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) refrained from appearing in public. However, certain trusted people were able to meet him, inform him of Shias' problems and convey his guidelines and commands back to the people. With regard to faith, piety and loyalty, these were eminent Muslims who formed a link between Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and the people. From among these Muslims, four were well-known and special deputies. Known as Navvab-e Arba, these deputies were Usman bin Saeed Umari, Mohammad bin Usman bin Saeed Umari, Husain bin Rouh Naubakhti and Ali bin Mohammad Simari.
The four deputies were intermediaries of blessings for the people until 329 AH whereupon, by God's Will, Imam Mahdi's (a.s.) major occultation began. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household) and the Imams of his household had predicted that this event would a period of trial for Muslims until, by God's Command, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will reappear to fulfill the divine objectives. With the start of major occultation, the deputyship of Navvab-e Arba came to an end and whoever claims to be an intermediate or deputy, as declared by the Imam, is a liar. In the traditions of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), the benefit of occultation has been likened to the sun concealed by clouds which continues to be a source of sustenance for all living beings. Similarly the Imam-veiled by occultation-is the source of existence of the world. During the major occultation, although many people have had the privilege of meeting Imam Mahdi (a.s.), none claimed to be his deputy. They witnessed the sun and their hearts were filled with faith in Imam Mahdi (a.s.). This honor was not restricted to distinguished Shia scholars; rather pious and common people also succeeded in meeting the Imam. Surprisingly, even sinners, who truly repented their sins, have been able to achieve this noblest of successes. Similarly, during the period of occultation, eminent Islamic scholars received letters issued by Imam Mahdi (a.s.) containing solutions to problems as well as guidelines. Shias are presently living in the most sensitive era. In traditions, the invisibility of the Imam of the Age (a.s.) has been mentioned as the most difficult and severe test of God, and the faith of believing Shias has been compared to those of the small number of believers in Prophet Noah (a.s.) who remained steadfast after a severe trial.
The Savior in Other Religions:
Although Shias are not alone in their faith in a savior, they are forerunners in this regard. Aspirations for the victory of the virtuous in administering the world and leading a divine, united movement are common to believers in divine religions. And what has made Shias a leader of this caravan is the greater illumination of different aspects of this belief in their school of thought. Characteristics such as strategy, leadership and issues related to the establishment of a global government in all its manifestations have been outlined. As a result, this has given rise to real anticipation, accompanied by readiness and dynamism in Shias. Some past and present thinkers have proposed similar plans for the future, of which Aristotle's City reflects the ancient belief. Utopia and Sun City are also examples of efforts to design a heaven-like future. Shias are pioneers in seeking solutions to the problems of the Muslim world in light of divine guidance.
We are living in the age of Imam Mahdi's (a.s.) major occultation. So what are our responsibilities? Undoubtedly our prime duty is to know Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and to become closer to him. Knowing him is of such importance and sensitivity that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household) said: "One who dies without knowing the Imam of one's age is like one who has died in the Age of Ignorance."
Death in the Age of Ignorance means dying outside the pale of faith and Islam. And one who fails to recognize the Imam of one's time has been introduced as an unbeliever. Another responsibility of Shias during the major occultation is waiting for the Imam's reappearance which has been repeatedly pointed out by the Imams of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). A 'waiting' person is one who is ready for the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.s.), possesses the characteristics and qualities of the Imam's companions and has no qualms about sacrificing his life and assets in the Imam's Way. In this respect, Imam Sadeq (a.s.) says: "One who awaits our order is like one who gives life in the path of God."
In the honor of Imam Mahdi's (a.s.) companions, another tradition quotes Imam Sadeq (a.s.) as saying: "One who is zealous about the companionship of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) should wait and act piously and in a noble manner. Such people when they die before the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will have the reward of being his companion. Hence strive and wait. You deserve this, O Forgiven Ones!"
We should pray to God to make us one of those who await the Imam. Our acts should also be a testimony of our claim. First we should make efforts to know the Imam and testify the same for other people. We should guide those who deny or oppose the Imam and acquire the attributes of his companions, await his coming and enrich one's life by dedicating it to him. During the major occultation, Shias should cherish a zeal for the Imam in their mind, his love in their heart, thoughts focused on making efforts in his way, their prayers should be sending benedictions upon him, their supplications should be for his reappearance and their whole being yearning for him. The present work is an insignificant endeavor in familiarizing people about Imam Mahdi (a.s.) in the hope of offering a small gift to the Solomon of the Age (a.s.).
* Javad Qayyoumi-Isfahani 1994