Origin of the Dua
Kumayl Ibn Ziyad Nakha’i was a confidant amongst the companions of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as.) and this sublime Du’a was first heard from the beautiful, though anguished, voice of Imam Ali.
According to Allama Majlisi (on whom be Allah’s Mercy) Kumayl had attended an assembly in the Mosque at Basra which was addressed by Imam Ali in the course of which the night of the 15th of Shaban was mentioned. Imam Ali said-“Whosoever keeps awake in devoutness on this night and recites the Du’a of Prophet Khizr, undoubtedly that person’s supplication will be responded to and granted. When the assembly at the Mosque had dispersed, Kumayl called at the house where Imam Ali was staying, and requested him to acquaint him with Prophet Khizr’s “Du’a”. Imam Ali asked Kumayl to sit down, record and memorise the “Du’a” which Imam Ali dictated to Kumayl.
Imam Ali then advised Kumayl to recite this “Du’a” on the eve of (i.e. evening preceding) every Friday, or once a month or at least once in every year so that, added Imam Ali, “Allah may protect thee from the evils of the enemies and the plots contrived by impostors. O’ Kumayl! in consideration of thy companionship and understanding, I grant thee this honour of entrusting this “Du’a” to thee.”
In the Name of Allah, the All-merciful, the All-compassionate
O Allah! Bless Muhammad and his progeny.
O Allah! I beseech Thee by Thy mercy which encompasses all things And by Thy power by which Thou overcometh all things and submit to it all things and humble before it all things And by Thy might by which Thou hast conquered all things And by Thy majesty against which nothing can stand up
And by Thy grandeur which prevails upon all things And by Thy authority which is exercised over all things And by Thy own self that shall endure forever after all things have vanished And by Thy Names which manifest Thy power over all things And by Thy knowledge which pervades all things And by the light of Thy countenance which illuminates everything O Thou who art the light!
O Thou who art the most holy! O Thou who existed before the foremost! O Thou who shall exist after the last!
O Allah! Forgive me my such sins as would affront my continency O Allah! Forgive me my such sins as would bring down calamity
O Allah! Forgive me my such sins as would change divine favours (into disfavours (O Allah! Forgive me my such sins as would hinder my supplication O Allah! Forgive me such sins as bring down misfortunes (or afflictions) O Allah! Forgive my such sins as would suppress hope
O Allah! Forgive every sin that I have committed and every error that I have erred O Allah! I endeavour to draw myself nigh to Thee through Thy invocation And I pray to Thee to intercede on my behalf And I entreat Thee by Thy benevolence to draw me nearer to Thee And grant me that I should be grateful to Thee and inspire me to remember and to invoke Thee
O Allah! I entreat Thee begging Thee submissively, humbly and awestrickenly To treat me with clemency and mercy, and to make me pleased and contented with what Thou hast allotted to me And cause me to be modest and unassuming in all circumstances
O Allah! I beg Thee as one who is passing through extreme privation and who supplicates his needs to Thee and his hope has been greatly raised by that which is with Thee
O Allah! Great is Thy kingdom and exalted is Thy greatness Thy plan is secret, Thy authority is manifest, Thy might is victorious and subduing and Thy power is prevalent throughout and it is not possible to escape from Thy dominion
O Allah! Except Thee I do not find any one able to pardon my sins nor to conceal my loathsome acts Nor have I any one except Thee to change my evil deeds into virtues There is no god but Thou glory and praise be to Thee I have made my own soul to suffer I had the audacity (to sin) by my ignorance Relying upon my past remembrance of Thee and Thy grace towards me
O Allah! My Lord! How many of my loathsome acts hast Thou screened (from public gaze) How many of my grievous afflictions (distresses) hast Thou reduced in severity And how many of my stumblings hast Thou protected, how many of my detestable acts has Thou averted, and how many of my undeserving praises hast Thou spread abroad!
O Allah! My trials and sufferings have increased and my evilness has worsened, my good deeds have diminished and my yokes (of misdeeds) have become firm And remote hopes restrain me to profit (by good deeds) and the world has deceived me with its allurements and my own self has been affected by treachery and procrastination
Therefore, my Lord! I implore Thee by Thy greatness not to let my sins and my misdeeds shut out access to my prayers from reaching Thy realm and not to disgrace me by exposing those (hidden ones) of which Thou hast knowledge nor to hasten my retribution for those vices and misdeeds committed by me in secret which were due to evil mindedness, ignorance, excessive lustfulness and my negligence
O Allah! I beg Thee by Thy greatness to be compassionate to me in all circumstances and well disposed towards me in all matters My God! My Nourisher! Have I anyone except Thee from whom I can seek the dislodging of my evils and understanding of my problems?
My God! My Master! Thou decreed a law for me but instead I obeyed my own low desires And I did not guard myself against the allurements of my enemy He deceived me with vain hopes whereby I was led astray and fate helped him in that respect Thus I transgressed some of its limits set for me by Thee and I disobeyed some of Thy commandments;
Thou hast therefore a (just) cause against me in all those matters and I have no plea against Thy judgement passed against me I have therefore become (justifiably) liable to Thy judgement and afflictions
But now I have turned Thee, my Lord, after being guilty of omissions and transgressions against my soul, apologetically, repentantly, broken heartedly, entreating earnestly for forgiveness, yieldingly confessing (to my guilt) as I can find no escape from that which was done by me and having no refuge to which I could turn except seeking Thy acceptance of my excuse and admitting me into the realm of Thy capacious mercy
O Allah! Accept my apology and have pity on my intense sufferings and set me free from my heavy fetters (of evil deeds) My Nourisher! Have mercy on the infirmity of my body, the delicacy of my skin and the brittleness of my bones O’ Thou!
Who originated my creation and (accorded me) my individuality, and (ensured) my upbringing and welfare (and provided) my sustenance (I beg Thee) to restore Thy favours and blessings upon me as Thou didst in the beginning of my life
O’ my God! My master! My Lord! And my Nourisher! What! Wilt Thou see me punished with the fire kindled by Thee despite my belief in Thy unity?
And despite the fact that my heart has been filled with (pure) knowledge of Thee and when my tongue has repeatedly praised Thee and my conscience has acknowledged Thy love and despite my sincere confessions (of my sins) and my humble entreaties submissively made to Thy divinity?
Nay, Thou art far too kind and generous to destroy one whom thyself nourished and supported, or to drive away from
Thyself one whom Thou has kept under Thy protection, or to scare away one whom Thy self hast given shelter, or to abandon in affliction one Thou hast maintained and to whom Thou hast been merciful
I wish I had known o’ my Master, my God and my Lord! Wilt Thou inflict fire upon faces which have submissively bowed in prostration to Thy greatness, or upon the tongues which have sincerely confirmed Thy unity and have always expressed gratitude to Thee, or upon hearts which have acknowledged Thy divinity with conviction, or upon the minds which accumulated so much knowledge of Thee until they became submissive to Thee, or upon the limbs which strove, at the places appointed for Thy worship, to adore Thee willingly and seek Thy forgiveness submissively?
Such sort (of harshness) is not expected from Thee as it is remote from Thy grace, o’ generous one! O’ Lord! Thou art aware of my weakness to bear even a minor affliction of this world and its consequence and adversity affecting the denizen of this earth, although such afflictions are momentary, short-lived and transient
How then can I bear the retributions and the punishments of the hereafter which are enormous and of intensive sufferings, of prolonged period and perpetual duration, and which shall never be alleviated for those who deserve the same as those retributions will be the result of Thy wrath; and Thy punishment which neither the heavens nor the earth can withstand and bear! My Lord!
How can I, a weak, insignificant, humble, poor and destitute creature of Thine be able to bear them?
O’ my God! My Lord! My King! And Master! Which of the matters shall I complain to Thee and for which of them shall I bewail and weep? shall I bewail for the pains and pangs of the punishment and their intensity or for the length of sufferings and their duration?
Therefore (my Lord!) If Thou wilt subject me to the penalties (of hell) in company of Thy enemies and cast me with those who merited Thy punishments and tear me apart from Thy friends and those who will be near to Thee, then my God, my Lord and my Master, though I may patiently bear Thy punishments, how can I calmly accept being kept away from Thee?
I reckon that though I may patiently endure the scorching fire of Thy hell, yet how can I resign myself to the denial of Thy pity and clemency? How can I remain in the fire while I have hopes of Thy forgiveness?
O’ my Lord! By Thy honour truly do I swear that, if Thou wilt allow my power of speech to be retained by me in the hell, I shall amongst its inmates cry out bewailingly unto Thee like the cry of those who have faith in Thy kindness and compassion And I shall bemoan for Thee (for being deprived of nearness to Thee) the lamentation of those who are bereaved, and I shall keep on calling unto Thee: “Where art Thou o’ Friend of the believers! O’ (Thou who art) the last hope and resort of those who acknowledge Thee and have faith in Thy clemency and kindness; o’ Thou who art the helper of those seeking help! O’ Thou who art dear to the hearts of those who truly believe in Thee! And o’ Thou who art the Lord of the universe.”
My Lord! Glory and praise be to Thee, wouldst Thou (wish) to be seen (disregarding) the voice of a muslim bondman, incarcerated therein (the hell) for his disobedience and imprisoned within its pits for his evildoings and misdeeds, crying out to Thee the utterance of one who has faith in Thy mercy and calling out to Thee in the language of those who believe in Thy unity and seeking to approach Thee by means of Thy epithet “the Creator, the Nourisher, the Accomplisher and the Protector of the entire existence”?
My Lord! Then how could he remain in torments when he hopefully relies upon Thy past forbearance, compassion and mercy?
And how can the fire cause him suffering when he hopes for Thy grace and mercy and how can its roaring flames char him when Thou hearest his voice and sees his plight? And how can he withstand its roaring flames when Thou knowest his fraility? And how can he be tossed about between its layers when Thou knowest his sincerity?
And how can the guards of hell threaten him when he calls out to Thee? “My Lord”, and how would Thou abandon him therein (the hell) when he has faith in Thy grace to set him free?
Alas! That is not the concept (held by us) of Thee nor has Thy grace such a reputation nor does it resemble that which Thou hast awarded by Thy kindness and generosity to those who believe in Thy unity I definitely conclude that hadst Thou not ordained punishment for those who disbelieved in Thee, and hadst Thou not decreed Thy enemies to remain in hell,
Thou wouldst have made the hell cold and peaceful and there would never have been an abode or place for any one in it; but sanctified be Thy Names, Thou hast sworn to fill the hell with the disbelievers from amongst the jinns and mankind together and to place forever Thy enemies therein
And Thou, exalted be Thy praises, hadst made manifest, out of Thy generosity and kindness, that a believer is not like unto him who is an evil-liver.
My Lord! My Master! I, therefore implore Thee by that power which Thou determineth and by the decree which Thou hast finalised and ordained whereby Thou hath prevailed upon whom
Thou hast imposed it, to bestow upon me this night and this very hour the forgiveness for all the transgressions that I have been guilty of, for all the sins that I have committed, for all the loathsome acts that I have kept secret and for all the evils done by me, secretly or openly, in concealment or outwardly and for every evil action that Thou hast ordered the two noble scribes to confirm whom Thou hast appointed to record all my actions and to be witnesses over me along with the limbs of my body, whilst Thou observeth over me besides them and wast witness to those acts concealed from them?
Which Thou in Thy mercy hast kept secret and through Thy kindness unexposed and I pray to Thee to make my share plentiful in all the good that Thou dost bestow; in all the favours that Thou dost grant; and in all the virtues that Thou dost allow to be known everywhere; and in all the sustenance and livelihood that Thou dost expand and in respect of all the sins that Thou dost forgive and the wrongs that Thou dost cover up O’ Lord! O’ Lord! O’ Lord!
O’ my God! My Lord! My King! O’ Master of my freedom! O’ Thou who holdeth my destiny and who art aware of my suffering and poverty,
O’ Thou who knoweth my destitution and starvation, o’ my Lord! O’ Lord, o’ Lord! I beseech Thee by Thy glory and Thy honour, by Thy supremely high attributes and by Thy names to cause me to utilise my time, day and night, in Thy remembrance, by engaging myself in serving Thee (Thy cause) and to let my deeds be such as to be acceptable to Thee, so much so that all my actions and offerings (prayers) may be transformed into one continuous and sustained effort and my life may take the form of constant and perpetual service to Thee
O’ my Master! O’ Thou upon Whom I rely! O’ Thou unto Whom I express my distress!
O’ my Lord! My Lord! My Lord! Strengthen my limbs for Thy service and sustain the strength of my hands to persevere in Thy service and bestow upon me the eagerness to fear Thee and constantly to serve Thee
So that I may lead myself towards Thee in the field with the vanguards who are in the fore rank and be swift towards Thee among those who hasten towards Thee and urge eagerly to be near Thee and draw myself towards Thee like them who sincerely draw themselves towards Thee and to fear Thee like the fear of those who believe firmly in Thee and thus I may join the congregation of the faithful congregated near Thee (for protection)
O’ Allah! Whosoever intendeth evil against me, let ill befall on him and frustrate him who plots against me and assign for me a place in Thy presence with the best of Thy bondsmen and nearer abode to Thee, for verily that position cannot be attained except through Thy grace and treat me benevolently, and through Thy greatness extend
Thy munificence towards me and through Thy mercy protect me and cause my tongue to accentuate Thy remembrance and my heart filled with Thy love and be liberal to me by Thy gracious response and cause my evils to appear fewer and forgive me my errors.
For verily, Thou hast ordained for Thy bondsmen Thy worship and bidden them to supplicate unto Thee and hast assured them (of Thy) response
So, my Lord! I look earnestly towards Thee and towards Thee, my Lord! I have stretched forth my hands therefore, by Thy honour, respond to my supplication and let me attain my wishes and, by Thy bounty, frustrate not my hopes and protect me from the evils of my enemies, from among the jinns and mankind o’ Thou! Who readily pleased, forgive one who owns nothing but supplication for Thou doest what Thou willest o’ Thou!
Whose Name is the remedy (for all ills) and Whose remembrance is a sure cure for all ailments and obedience to Whom makes one self sufficient; have mercy on one whose only asset is hope and whose only armour is lamentation O’ Thou! Who perfecteth all bounties and Who wardeth off all misfortunes!
O’ Light! Who illuminateth those who are in bewilderment! O’ Omniscient! Who knoweth without (acquisition of) learning! Bless Mohammed and the Descendants of Mohammed and do unto me in accordance with that which befitteth Thee,
and deal with me not in accordance to my worth May the blessings of Allah be bestowed upon His Apostle and the Rightful Imams from his Descendants and His peace be upon them plentifully