Du’ al-Iftitah was taught by or twelfth Imam (a) to recite every night during the month Ramadhan, The Du’a is excellent for moulding man’s attitude towards his Creator as it discusses many aspects of the wretchedness of the human being, and the grace of Allah. The Du’as can be divided into two parts:
1) Man’s relationship with Allah, & 2) Divine leaders.
The first section of the Du’a describes different qualities of Allah, and reveals the graciousness and love of Allah for the human being. This section of the Du’a can further be divided into the following parts:
a) Praise of Allah: As is the etiquette of Du’a al-Ifttah begins with the raise and glorification of Allah. This is not because Allah needs to be praised before He answers our Du’as, but to remind the supplicant of the Supreme Being he is addressing, good consequently put the awe of Allah into hearts which are often heedless.
The beginning of the Du’a also places the supplicant between hope and fear the ideal attitude while praying. Allah is most merciful, but Is also severe in punishment. Humans are not to despair, nor to be too confident but constantly strive in His way.
b) Emphasis on the Oneness of Allah: Allah has no partner nor son, and has complete, undivided power and control over creation. the inhabitants of the skies and the heavens depend on Him. This Is to strengthen reliance of the supplicant on Allah, as there is none else he can turn to.
c) The Generosity of Allah: The treasures of Allah do not cease, and are always liberally bestowed on His creatures. The needs of the human beings are enormous, and by placing open the door of Du’a Allah has given them the keys to His treasures. His doors are always open, and no supplication to Him is rejected without some answer.
But man is often ungrateful, and always greedy. He expects that his du’as will always be immediately granted. When such Gratification is not forthcoming, he turns away, instead of reminding himself of all the favours he enjoys.
d) Relationship of Allah an the human being. A strange relationship Indeed! Although it is the human who need Allah, and should strive towards Him, it is Allah who invites and encourages him to come, who shows love and mercy and continues to favour him in many ways.
As the 4th Imam says in Du’a-e-Abu Hamza Shimali:
Praise be to Allah who answers me when I call Him, although I am reluctant when He calls me, and Praise is for Allah who gives me when I ask Him, although I am miserly when he asks me. This is worth pondering over for those who think of Allah as a tyrannical master imposing his rules over humans.
This section of the Du’a is an excellent lesson in the Islamic view point of the qualities of Allah. The God of Islam is a loving, gracious God who treats the human being better than he deserves. The root of the relationship between Allah and man is the love of the creator for His creatures. It is on man to search his heart for a reciprocal response.
The second section of the Du’a send blessings on the Holy Prophet (S) and The M’asumeen, and then discusses the role of the twelth Imam (a).
a) Salawat on the Prophet(s): After faith in Allah, the next most important part of religion is faith in His sent ones. Thus after acknowledging the greatness And graciousness of the creator, the Du’a teaches us to acknowledge the divine leaders as our guides towards Him. Blessings are sent to the Prophet(s) As a sign of love and appreciation for the Prophet(s) and as an acknowledgement that he is a human being and needs mercy and blessings from Allah. It also strengthens remembrance of the Prophet(s) and the inspiration to follow his path.
b) Blessing on the M’asumeen: After the Holy Prophet(s), his successors are remembered and prayed for. These are the true leaders of the Muslim ummah who were Divinely appointed by Allah. Belief in them, and love for them, is an important part of the Shi’a faith.
c) Role of the Twelfth Imam (a): In every era Allah has His representative who guides His creatures towards establishing truth and justice on earth. The Twelfth Imam is the leader of our time, who will come an Allah’s religion on earth. The last part of Du’s al-Iftitah talks about his coming, preparing believers for the anticipated establishment of the rule of Allah on earth.
Praying for help and victory for the twelfth Imam reminds us that we are waiting for him, and need to prepare for his coming. We become aware of our responsibilities in his ghaybat, and the importance of training ourselves as his helpers. We pray for the ultimate dream of a Muslim, a state in which the religion of Allah is paramount, and disbelief an hypocrisy are degraded.
Du’a al-Iftitah reminds us that both faith and action are necessary to be a true believer. Faith in Allah entails acting on His message brought by His messenger, and establishing His religion on earth. While that can only be done through the Imam, we should work and pray for his arrival. Human beings can only enjoy true justice and peace, and a fulfillment of all their needs under the leadership of a Divine leader.
Du’a al-Iftitah is not only a supplication for our needs, but a teaching of the roots of faith, and a planning for a way of life. It remains on us to plot the chart of our life as we recite this beautiful du’a during the nights of Ramadhan
O Allah, I begin the glorification with praise of Thee; Thou,
from Thy bounties, gives out freely the truth and
salvation; I know for certain that Thou art the most
merciful in disposition of forgiveness and mercy, [but]
very exacting at the time of giving exemplary punishment
and chastisement to wrongdoers, the Omnipotent in the
domain of absolute power and might.
O Allah, Thou has given me permission to invoke Thee and
beseech Thee, so listen, O Hearer, to my words of praise,
and give a favourable reply to my supplication, and
minimize my falling into misery, O the often-forgiving.
O my Allah, many a trouble Thou hath removed; many a
sorrow hath Thou dispelled; many a misery hath Thou
mitigated; and at all times Thou spreadeth out mercy, and
cutteth short the tightening circles of misfortunes.
All praise be to Allah, Who has not taken unto Himself a
wife, nor a son, and Who has no partner in sovereignty,
nor any protecting friend through dependence. Magnify
Him with all magnificence.
All praise be to Allah, with full gratitude for all his bounties.
All praise be to Allah, Who has no opposition to His rule,
nor any challenge to His commands.
All praise be to Allah, Who has no counsel to meddle with
His operation of creation, nor is there anything similar to
Him in His greatness.
All praise be to Allah, Whose commandments operate in
Creation; His glory is evident through love and kindness.
His distinct overflowing generosity is freely available
through His unlimited bestowals which do not exhaust His
resources, and He does not swell the numerous benefits
except because of generosity and kindness. Verily He is
O Allah, I ask for some from much, in the midst of my
very many needs for which I entirely depend on Thee,
and, since eternity, Thou art able to do without it but for
me it is a titanic effort and for Thee is very easy and
O Allah, truly, when Thou pardon my sins, overlook my
mistakes, take a lenient view of my disorderly conduct,
cover up my foul actions, show consideration in spite of
my many transgressions committed willfully or
negligently, I am tempted to ask for that which I do not
deserve, from Thee Who, through Thy mercy, gives me
the daily bread provides me with that which is suitable for
me, through Thy control; and distinguishes me with a
favourable reply to my requests.
So I persist in calling out, believing in Thee, and I invoke
Thee, talking familiarly, not afraid, nor shy, but assured of
Thy love and kindness whenever I turn to Thee
A temporary setback, and I, out of ignorance, begin to
despair, although perhaps slowing down may be a blessing
in disguise. because Thou alone knows [all] the
consequences. I know no generous master who is more
accommodating to dissatisfied servants that Thou art to
O Lord, Thou giveth an invitation but I turn it down. Thou
becometh familiar with me but I do not care for Thee.
Thou loveth me but I do not correspond to Thee as if Thou
are overreaching me. Yet Thou doth not abstain from
bestowing favours and blessings on me from Thy mercy
and generosity so have mercy on Thy ignorant servant
Verily Thou art generous and kind.
Praise be To Allah the owner of sovereignty, Who sets the
course of the skies and the stars controls the winds,
causes the daybreak, and administers authority, the Lord
of the worlds.
Praise be to Allah for His indulgence in the wake of His allawareness.
Praise be to Allah for His amnesty ensuing from His
Praise be To Allah for the respite He allows In spite of
He is able to do what He wills.
Praise be to Allah, the creator of all the created beings,
Who makes sustenance freely available, starts the day,
the owner of glory, might, favours, and bounties, Who is
far away, invisible, and nearest, so near that He is fully
aware of the whispered secrets, the Blessed, the Praised.
Praise be to Allah, Who has no equal to challenge Him, nor
is there an image comparable to Him, nor a helper to
He tames the powerful by His force, and disgraced are the
terrible before His greatness; so He, through His power,
fulfils that which He wills.
Praise be to Allah, Who gives answer to me whenever I
call Him; covers up my shortcomings yet I disobey Him;
gives me the largest part of the bounties yet I want more.
Many favours He has sanctioned; many terrible dangers
He has averted; and many blossoming joys he has made
available for me. Therefore, I sing His praises and recite
Praise be to Allah. None can disclose anything hidden by
Him; none can shut the doors kept open by Him; no one
who makes a request is sent away disappointed by Him;
and no one who looks long and attentively is deluded in
Praise be to Allah, Who gives protection to the frightened;
comes to the help of the upright; promotes the cause of
the weak and the enslaved; annihilates the autocrats;
destroys rulers and appoints the ‘awaited savours’ in their
Praise be to Allah, Who breaks everything belonging to the
oppressors; puts an end to the tyrants; watches over the
fugitives; brings assistance to those who cry out for help;
meets and clears up the demands of the needy
beseechers; supports the faithful.
Praise be to Allah. In his awe-inspiring fear the heavens
and its dwellers tremble and shiver; the earth and its
inhabitants shake and quiver; the oceans and all that
floats and swims in its waters flow together in excitement
Praise be to Allah, Who has guided us to this. We could
not truly have been led aright if Allah had not guided us.
Praise be to Allah, Who creates but is not created; gives
subsistence but needs no provisions; gives food to eat but
takes no nourishment; makes the living dead and brings
the dead to life; and He is the everliving, there is no death
for Him; in His hands is all the good.
And He is able to do all things. O Allah, send blessings on
Muhammad, Thy servant, Messenger, confidant, friend,
beloved intimate, mercy unto all the created beings,
bearer of Thy sacraments, quotient of Thy messengers,
the most superior, the exquisite, the most handsome, the
most perfect, the upright, the more prospering, the more
pleasant, the thoroughly purified, the sublime; who has
more and better blessings, advantages, mercies,
affections and salutations than Thou made available to
any one of Thy servants, prophets, messengers, friends,
and those honoured by Thee from among Thy created
O Allah send blessings on ‘Ali the Leader of the Faithful,
the successor to the Messenger of the Lord of the worlds,
Thy servant, Thy beloved representative, brother of Thy
Messenger, Thy decisive argument over mankind, Thy
most important sign, the great news from Thee.
O Allah, send blessings on the truthful pure Fatima, the
chosen leader of the women of the worlds.
O Allah, send blessings on the sons of ‘the mercy unto the
worlds’, the leaders and guides, the Imams al-Hasan and
al-Husayn, the leaders of the dwellers of Paradise.
O Allah, send blessings on the Leaders of the Muslims, ‘Ali
ibn al-Husayn, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, Jafar ibn Muhammad,
Musa ibn Jafar, ‘Ali ibn Musa, Muhammad ibn’Ali, ‘Ali ibn
Muhammad, al-Hasan ibn’Ali, and his son, the rightly
guided Guide, Thy decisive argument over Thy servants,
Thy trustworthy confidant on Thy earth; blessings,
numerous, and for ever.
O Allah, send blessings on the Custodian of thy
commandments, the vigilant Guardian, the reliable Patron,
the awaited Justice, surrounded by Thy favourite angels,
assisted by the Holy Spirit.
O Lord of the worlds. O Allah, send him to call the people
unto Thy Book for establishing Thy religion, and make him
succeed in the earth, as Thou caused those who were
before him to succeed, and establish for him his faith
which Thou has approved for him, and give him in
exchange safety after fear. He serves Thee.
He ascribes nothing as partner unto Thee.
O Allah, give him power and authority, and through him
strengthen the people. Give him the necessary assistance,
and through him support the people, and make him
prevail over allya final decisive victory, and delegate him
Thy controlling authority.
O Allah, give currency to Thy religion, and the way of life
of Thy Prophet, through him till nothing which is just and
genuine is kept concealed from any human being.
O Allah, we ardently desire that in [his] kind, just, and fair
era, Thou should reactivate Islam and stimulate its
followers, and humble and humiliate the imposters and
their double-dealing, and include us among those who
invite people unto Thy obedience, and lead them to Thy
approved path, and give us the good of this world and the
world to come.
O Allah, let us bear out and hold up that which Thou
maketh known to us as the truth, and let us be fully aware
of that which we fall short of doing.
O Allah, through him, set in order our disorder; gather
and unite our flock; stitch together our sundered
separation; turn our want and poverty into sufficiency; lift
us up from our degradation; free us from our misery; pull
us out from our debts; help us to get out from the ditch of
cares and sorrows; fill the gap created by confusion
among us; let our difficulties be easy to deal with; refine
our substance and style; untie our ropes and straps; let
our efforts succeed well and secure success; make us
fulfill our promises; give answers to our prayers; listen to
our requests; cause us to obtain the good of this world
and the hereafter; give us much and more than our
expectations, O the best of givers and bestowers; and
cleanse our hearts, unburden our emotions from hate and
anger, and, in the event of dispute in the matter of truth,
show us the right path.
Verily, Thou guides whoever Thou will to the right path.
Let us, through him, get the better of Thy enemies and
our opponents, O True God. Be it so.
O Allah, we feel uneasy about and are disturbed by the
departure of our Prophet, Thy blessings be on him and on
his family, the absence of our guardian-friend, too many
enemies, our numerical scarcity, widespread disorder, and
the vicissitudes of time.
So send blessings on Muhammad and on his family, and
help us to overcome this state of affairs at once.
Disperse the ominous clouds hanging over our heads; lend
a helping hand to achieve success; bring in the rule of
justice and fair play; make us bright, free from grief; and
take care of us. Through Thy mercy, O most Merciful.