Crying, mourning, weeping and lamenting are innate to every living creature. Mourning and tears of every individual are a manifestation of his painful, dejected and restless heart. It is possible that the anguished person may be helpless in expressing his grief in words, but his tears come to his rescue. When he cries his heart becomes light. Just as a person who is unwell finds comfort after medication, in the same way when a person cries without restraint the burden of his sorrow seems light and he finds solace. Crying and mourning are the standards that Allah has bestowed to his servants so that they measure the divine love in their hearts. It is for this very reason that among our religious responsibilities, mourning and grieving play a central and fundamental role. However this lamenting should be based on sincerity and genuineness.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has proclaimed that wilayat (mastership) and love (of his Ahle Bait [a.s.]) are the recompense of his Prophethood. For the sake of this Mastership one should be ready to sacrifice one’s most treasured belongings. The love of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) should supersede all other affections only then will the recompense of Prophethood be fulfilled.
Mourning and weeping are the signs of the intense love that a person feels for his beloved. When we cry out in pain and when someone responds to our lamentations then tears start flowing down the face and we learn a method of fulfilling our religious obligation.
Mourning and crying is one of our religious duties whose foundation is honesty, sincerity and truthfulness. In this era of the major occultation (ghaibat) of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.), this religious obligation’s importance increases manifold. Along with the ways and manner of mourning that have been enumerated by our Imams (a.s.), traditions have also emphasized their importance. Dua-e-Nudbah holds a special significance among all the duas (supplications) that the lovers of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) recite while crying for and remembering him (a.s.). Our Imams (a.s.) have enumerated the merits of this dua and have stressed that we should not be negligent in its recitation on Idd-ul-Fitr, Idd-uz-Zoha, Idd-e-Ghadeer and Fridays.
This exquisite supplication reveals many divine secrets and invites man to ponder, thereby giving him the strength to soar high. It is worth paying attention to the fact that Idd-ul-Fitr is the day when a person gets his reward (from Allah) for having fasted for a month. The word Idd itself signifies joy and happiness. Then why is the reciting of Dua-e-Nudbah recommended on this joyous day Same is for Idd-uz-Zoha, Idd-e-Ghadeer. Crying and Idd But try to read this dua on these days. Ponder over the profound meanings of all its phrases. They are a treasure of spirituality. One feels the fragrance of Ahle Bait (a.s.) in them.
Just as without movement there is no life, similarly without intense anguish and distress, one cannot acquire one’s desired object. Hence, besides searching, exploring and being restless for obtaining something, one also has to mourn intensely. If on the day of Idd, our aim is happiness and joy, then its demands too will be high and extraordinary. By reciting Dua-e-Nudbah, we have to kindle that noble and dignified emotion and reach the pinnacle of happiness.
A tired and weary traveler is always on the lookout of a tree which will provide him with shade and an opportunity to rest. These instances of rest and relaxation are important to him and provide him with the strength and vigor to continue his onward journey. In the journey of life, the days of Idd are like that tree. The true sweetness of Idd is only felt when the love of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) pervades the depths of the heart. What a great bounty is this Dua-e-Nudbah! What a gift for the lovers of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) from the infallible Imams (a.s.)! The greatness of this dua can be gauged from the words of the great scholar Allamah Dawood Ilhami. In his book ‘Aakhrin Umeed’ he writes,
‘The truth is that Dua-e-Nudbah is the pinnacle of eloquence, literature and knowledge. It is a dua full of wisdom and faith and it awakens the latent sentiments of man. And if we ponder over its meanings, then we will realize that this fountain-head of divine revelation has the power to energize the people to stand up against injustice and oppression.’
Today, the whole world is changing its colors. It does not seem that this world has changed gradually. Rather it seems that suddenly it has discarded it’s old clothing and has enrobed itself with tyranny and bloodshed. Dangerous discoveries and inventions are constantly manifesting themselves. While the Muslim nations are busy celebrating Idd by praying namaz in spotless and fragrant clothes, we find that somewhere else misguided and deviated individuals have their hands smeared in blood by placing bombs in mosques and other sacred places. Orphaned children, widowed women, old parents – all of them are looking forward to a savior who shall rescue them from these tortuous times. Then, it is necessary for the one who is fortunate to celebrate Idd in these violent and gory times, that he must earnestly ponder upon the philosophy of sending of Prophets (a.s.) and Apostles (a.s.) as mentioned in the initial part of Dua-e-Nudbah. He must reflect on the immense and magnificent bounty that Allah, the High, sent to this world in the form of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) who is mercy for the worlds. And when the nation began to turn towards polytheism, deviation and kingship, he (s.a.w.a.) appointed Ameerul Momeneen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) as his successor. Then one after other, this world was blessed by the infallible guides (a.s.). They came into this world with their eternal light and never deprived their followers of the cool shade of their affection and benevolence. The last of the guides viz. Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.), went into occultation and the Muslim nation now awaits his reappearance. The believers face numerous hardships in this period, but due to the benevolence and blessings of the last Imam (a.t.f.s.) they are able to confront and tackle all these difficulties. The lamp of the religion of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is shining brilliantly only due to the invisible help and support which the followers of truth continually receive from him (the last Imam [a.t.f.s.]). Today, everyone is awaiting a great reformer who shall come and break the back of oppression, rebellion and tyranny. Someone who shall govern the whole world and will have his fingers on the pulse of every individual. This is the desire of every person because everyone is a witness to the excessive atrocities being perpetuated in this world. However in spite of this only one true sect (that of the Shia Ithna Ashaaris) has steadfastly gathered around that “strong hope” and is keenly awaiting his reappearance.
It is the effect of the profound words of Imams (a.s.) that Dua-e-Nudbah in addition to being at the peak of literary perfection also includes all the important milestones of history – from Be’sat (announcement of the prophethood of Holy Prophet [s.a.w.a.]) till Ghadeer-e-Khum (announcement of the Imamat of Hazrat Ali (a.s.)). Then comes the decisive statement of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) ‘O Ali! If you would not be there, it would not have been possible to recognize the believers after me.’ This single assertion is the benchmark of faith (Imaan) and leads to a tumultuous surge of emotions among the people – both individually and collectively.
This sect that is nourished in the shelter of the mastership of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) gets the strength to rise up each time that it falls. This dua narrates about the period of the caliphate of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and the Imamat of the remaining eleven guided Imams (a.s.). Through its beautiful but heart-rending and anguished narration, it kindles the love and affection for Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his noble progeny (a.s.) in the hearts of the reciter as well as the listeners. ‘Where is Hasan (a.s.) Where is Husain (a.s.) Where are the offspring of Husain (a.s.)’ – meaning the Imams (a.s.) after Imam Husain (a.s.) who were the lamps of guidance. Or at another place, we find the phrase ‘Where is the one who will grant honor to his friends and disgrace his enemies’ In this way when the person utters the words ‘Yaa Sahebaz Zamaan’, he realizes the power and authority of Imam Zamana (a.s.) and his heart takes refuge in his master.
The Shias of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) – in their life as well as their death – bear the seal of the mourning for Hazrat Imam Husain (a.s.). Every Shia child bears the stamp of azadari in his heart and will continue doing so till the Day of Judgment and even before that day i.e. during the reign of Imam-e-Zamaana (a.t.f.s.). The sorrow for Imam Husain (a.s.) is emphatically covered in this couplet
‘The adornment of the heart is the pain of Husain, the adornment of the lips is the feet of Husain. The adornment of the eyes is the tears for Husain, the adornment of the head is the feet of Husain.’
When such a mourner of Hazrat Imam Husain (a.s.) recites Dua-e-Nudbah and comes across the intense and powerful phrase,
‘Where is the one who shall avenge the blood of the martyrs of Karbala‘
then only a painful heart can fathom its intensity.
‘The style of this dua, the figures of speech, the magnificent words, the extraordinary forms of articulation, the manner of expression of faith and certitude, all this is a proof that this dua has been conferred with a special attention of Imams (a.s.). We are not intending to write an exegesis (tafseer) of this dua over here. Inshallah, we will try to explain and throw light upon every word and phrase from the aspect of literature, wisdom, faith and cognition in some other article. We will suffice ourselves with a few phrases from this dua:
O the son of the great oceans (i.e. great leaders)
O the son of radiant moons
O the son of illuminating lamps
O the son of complete sciences.
O the son of Allah’s bounties that are common for all
O the son of Taha and clear verses
O the son of Yasin and Zaariyat
O the son of Tur and Aadiyaat
O the son of the Straight Path
In the end the dua concludes with the following words
‘(O Allah!) You quench our thirst from the pond of his ancestor – may Allah’s mercy be upon him and his progeny, by his hands so that we become satiated, refreshed and cheerful and never feel thirsty. O most merciful among the merciful ones!
O Allah! Since ages this nation is mourning the thirst of the son of Zahra (s.a). My Lord! Please send the son of Zahra – Hazrat Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.), who shall avenge the blood of Hazrat Imam Husain (a.s.).
In the end, let us give a few references concerning the chain of narrators of this dua so that our esteemed readers are totally convinced that this dua is authentic and repels difficulties and calamities. Reciting this dua grants calmness to the heart by the permission of Allah and is a cause of numerous manifestations and wonders.
1. ‘Al-Mazaarul Kabeer’ by Mohammed bin Jafer al – Mashhadi. He was a famous scholar and traditionalist (Mohaddis) of the sixth century of hijri
2. ‘Mazaarul Qadeem’ by Shaikh Tabarsi. He was a contemporary of the author of the book al – Ehtejaaj.
3. ‘Misbah – uz – Zaaer’ by Syed Raziuddin ibn Tawoos. He was a famous scholar of the seventh century hijri who was known for his piety and steadfastness and also for his efforts in the compilation of traditions.
Allamah Majlisi in his book Behaar-ul-Anwaar, vol 102, pg 102 narrates that
‘In all the three books mentioned above, Mohammed bin Ali bin Yaqub bin Ishaq bin Abi Qurrah narrates from Mohammed bin Hasan bin Sufyan al-Bazoofari, – who lived during the minor occultation – who narrates from one of the special representatives (Naeb-e-Khaas) of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) that he (a.s.) has commanded the people to recite this dua’
Allah is the One who is closer to us than our jugular vein and He is aware of what is concealed in our hearts. He is also aware how close we are to our Imam (a.s.).
O Allah! Grant us the love of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). Make our crying and mourning for our Imam (a.s.) during the major occultation, sincere and effective. Enlist us among the servants and helpers of the son of Imam Husain (a.s.). Aameen!