The dua of Allahumma – kun le valiyeka’ is such a splendid dua which is continuously recited by the ardent devotees of Infallible Imams (A.S.), since their times. They are fulfilling their responsibility towards the master of the age and in turn are receiving spiritual and moral bliss. By the infinite grace of Almighty, this custom is prevalent among the Shias of the whole world. The
spiritual and transcendent effects of this Dua could be enhanced manifold if only we are aware of its meaning and interpretation. Keeping this purpose in view this article was written so that the devotees of Ahle-bayt, Shias and awaitees of Imam (A.S.), the world over may be benefitted from it. This article is based on seven topics. They are as follows
1. The authenticity of Dua :
The eminent Shia traditionalist Siqatul Islam Shaikh Abu Jaafer Mohammed bin Yaqub Kulaini (Exp. 329 A.H.) has recorded this Dua in his magnificent book ‘ Al-Kafi’ in the ‘chapter on fasting’ under the section of ‘The Duas of last ten days of Ramazan’, the fourth tradition being narrated by the reliable companion of Imam Ali Naqi (A.S.) viz Mohammed bin Esa bin Ubaid (Al-Kafi, Vol. 4, pg. 162). The great scholar Janab Sayed bin Tawoos (Exp. 664 A.H.) in his book ‘Mizmarus Sabaq’ (which is a complement to the book of Shaikh Abu Jaafer Tusi’ s work `Misbahul Mutahajjid’) quoted from the book ‘Amale Shahre Ramzan’ compiled by the erudite Abul Faraj Mohammed bin Ali alias Ibn Abi Qurrah, (a renowned traditionalist of fifth century hijri) who through his chain of narrations quoted from Ali bin Hasan bin Fazzaal who related from Mohammed bin Esa bin Ubaid and he narrated from the Infallible Imams (A. S.).
Based on this, in most of the references, this Dua is quoted from the reliable companion of Imam Ali Naqi (A.S.) viz Mohammed bin Esa who narrated from Infallible Imams (A. S.).
2. The contents of Dua :
The content matter of Shaikh Abu Jaafer Kulaini is different than that of Sayed bin Tawoos and Shaikh Kafami. Following are the versions of each of the traditionalists:-
- Shaikh Kulaini wrote that this dua should be recited in the blissful night of shabe-Qadr on the 23rd night of Ramzan in the state of prostration, standing, genuflecting or in any condition. Rather in whole of Ramzan whenever it is possible, whenever it comes to mind it should be recited after praises to Allah and salwaat on the Holy Prophet (S.A.) and his holy progeny. “Allahumma kun-le waliyeka Fulan bin Ful an fi hazehis S a’ate wa fi kulle sa’ah waliyan wa hafezan wa naseran wa daleelan wa qaedan wa aina (ainan) Hata Tuskenahu arzaka Tauan wa tomatte ahu fiha Tawilan”.
- Janab Sayed Tawoos after writing the said period of recitation and its mode relates the content as follows:-Allahumma kun-le waliyekal Qaem be Amrek al-Hujjat ibinile Hasanil-Mahdi Alaihe wa ala abaaehi Afzalahus-Salaate-was Salaam fi Hazehis Sa’ate wa fi kulle Sa’ah Waliyan wa Hafezan wa Qa’edan wa naseran wa dalilan wa muayyedan Hata Tuskenahu arzaka Tau’an wa tomatte’ahu fiha Tulan wa arzan wa Tajalahu wa zurriyatahu minal aimmatil warethena. Allaumman surho wantasir behi waj alin nasra minka lahu wa ala yadehi wajalin nasralahu wal fathaala wajhehi waleatuwajjehil amra ela ghairehi. Allahummazhirbehi deeneka wa sunnato nabiyeka hatta la yastakhfiya beshaiim-minal haqqe makhafata ahadim minal khalke. Allahumma inni arghabo elaika fi daulatin karima toizzo behal Islama wa ahlahu wa to zillo behan nifaqa wa ahlahn wa tajalna fiha minaddoate ila taateka wal qadate ila sabeelekawa atenafidduniya hasanatan wa fil akherate hasanataun wa qena azaban naar wajmaa lana khairad-daraine waqze anna jameea ma tohibbo fihema waj allana fi zalekal khiyarata berehmateka wa manneka fi afeyatin Ameen Rabbal Alameena wa zidna min Fazleka wa yadekal milaa fa inna kulla moatin yankoso min mulkehi wa ataoka yazeedo fi mulkika.
- Shaikh .Taqyuddeen Kafami has also written the above mentioned preface and manner of recitation for this dua and has quoted the dua as, follows:-“Allhumma kulewaliyeka Mohammad abnal Hasane Al Mahdiyye Fi hazissaate wa fi Kulle Sa’ah waliyan wa hafezan wa qaedan wa naseran wa dalilan wa aynan hatta tuskinahu arzaka tau’an wa tumattiahu fiha tawila”.
3. The Explanation:
Nowdays the dua which is frequently recited by the Shias is closer to the narration of Shaikh Kafami. Hence we are explaining this particular version so that majority of people should be benefitted from it.
‘Allahumma’: infact was ‘Ya Allah’ and according to the tradition the word Allah is formed by the `Al’ and ‘Ilah’ and word ‘Ilah’ is derived from `walah’ which implies amazement. In short it means ‘Allah is that God in whose recognition all are amazed and astonished. But due to God-gifted recognition everyone recognizes Him instinctively and affirms His existence.
‘Kun’: It is an imperative verb of `Kaana-Yakuno’ which means `Be’. With the help of this word we
are invoking Allah to provide Imam Mahdi (A.S.) with six things.
‘Le-Waliyeka’: Laam’ (Le) means for and `Waliye’ is similarizing adjective’ (Sifate-Mushabbeh). Which means ‘Guardian’ and ‘Leader’. Ka is addressed to Allah. `Waliyeka’ means that ‘Guard-
ian’ and ‘Leader’ who is appointed by You. It purports that the ‘Leadership’ and ‘Mastership’ of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) is conferred by Allah and He has made him Imam.
‘Al-Hujjat-Ibnil-Hasan’: According to the version of ‘Al-Kafi’, which is the most ancient version at this place the name of Hazrat Imam Mahdi (A. S.) is not particularly mentioned, merely Fulan Ibn Fulan’ is stated. So that Shias of every age could pray for the Imam of their times, preceding Imam Zaman (A.S.) and thus fulfill their responsibility towards the Imam of their time. But in the narration of Sayed Ibn Taoos it is narrated as ‘Hujjat Bin Al-Hasan Al-Mahdi’ and
in the version of Shaikh Kaf’ami it is related as Mohammad Ibn Al-Hasan-Al-Mahdi. It can be
inferred that this version is narrated by the scholars and they have replaced `Fulan bin Fulan’ by
the name of Imam. Hujjat ibn Al-Hasan is the title of Imam (A. S.) and Mohammad ibn-Al-Hasan is his name. Since in some traditions mentioning the name of Imam (A.S.) is prohibited hence it is better to remember him by his title of ` Hujjat Ibn Al-Hasan’.
‘Salwatoka’: Salwaat is derived from the word Salwa’ which means invocations for mercy of
Allah. The infinite mercy and grace of Allah is sought.
‘Alaihe wa-Ala-Aabaeh’: Ala means upon and `he’ is a pronoun, in both the places it refers to Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.).
‘Aaba’ : is a plural of ‘Ab’ which means the forefathers of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.). From the Holy Prophet (S.A.) upto Imam Hasan Askari (A.S.) all infallible predecessors of Imam (A.S.) are included in this word.
‘Fee-Hazehis-Sa’ate-Wa-Fi-Kulle-Sa’ah’: S a’ ah’ is derived from the word `Sau’, which hints at time, hour or age. Hence the phrase implies `at this hour and every time’.
‘Waliyan’: As it was said that it means `Guardian’ and ‘Master’. By this it is intended that ‘O God
You be the ‘Guardian’ and ‘Master of Imam (A.S.) and handle his affairs’.
‘Wa Hafezan’: The word ‘Hafiz’ is a derivative of word ‘Hifz’, which means protection from every danger, calamity and hardship. This word points toward the recognition of Allah. Since all the Prophets and Imams (Peace be upon them all) were role-model for the mankind hence despite all their powers, knowledge and wisdom they were humans. They were eating food, marrying, falling sick and afflicted by other worldly difficulties. Even they had to pass through childhood, youth, old age and finally embraced death… or were killed at the hands of the enemies In this dua we are supplicating with Allah to protect our beloved Imam (A.S.) from all sorts of difficulties and hardships.
‘Wa-Qaedan’: `Qaed’ is a derivative of word `Qud’, which means ‘Leadership’ and Guide’. According to the dictionary it refers to ‘the person who holds the reins of horse and walks in the forefront’. Since leader’ also leads the people hence he is called Qaed’ `
‘Wa-Naseran’: ‘Nasir’ is derived from the word ‘Nasr’, which means ‘help’ and ‘assistance’.
‘Wa-Daleelan’: ‘Daleel’ is from the roots of ‘Dalla-yadullo’ , which means ‘Guidance’ . It is for
this reason that Guide is called ‘Daleel’
‘Wa-Aynan’: It means ‘Protector’.
‘Hatta Tuskinahu-arzaka-T au’an’ : ‘Hata’ means `until’, ‘Tuskin’ is from Sukoon’. ‘Tau`aa’ means ‘obedience’’, ‘Arzaka’ means ‘your earth’. Hence it means that ‘Until he remains on earth (the inhabitants) should be obedient to him.’ After the reappearance of Imam (A.S.), the whole earth will be ruled and governed by Imam (A. S.).
‘Wa Tumattiahu-Fiha-Tawila’ : ‘Tumattio’ is from ‘Mata’, which means to be ‘favoured’ .
‘Fiha’ is pointing towards the earth, ‘Tawila’ means ;prolonged’, this means that the duration
of his rule should prolong. This sentence clearly shows that ‘Bada’ can occur in the duration of the
rule of Imam (A.S.) and the stipulated period (7 years, 9 years, 40 years or 70 years) could be
increased. No duration is the final word.
Through these sentences of Dua we are asking for eight things for Imam (A.S.) from Allah. The concluding phrases of dua are the actual spirit of Dua and infact the virtual aim of the Dua. These eight things are:-
a) The Guardianship of Allah for Imam (A.S.).
b) The protection of Allah.
c) The Leadership of Allah for him.
d) The aid and assistance of Allah.
e) The Guidance of Allah.
f) The vigilance and security of Allah.
g) The dominion of Imam (A.S.) on earth.
h) The elongation of his rule.
This is absolutely evident that seeking these things for Imam (A.S.) from Allah does not mean that, God-forbid he has been forsaken by God. Or he is needy of our supplication. The purpose of this dua is that the bounties and graces of Allah are infinite and unlimited hence by constant supplication it may be enhanced because these favours may be unlimited according to our thinking but for Allah they are limited. As in the case of Salwaat on Mohammad (S.A.) and his Holy Progeny, we are seeking enhanced blessings and mercy of Allah on them through Salwaat and this Salwaat is that Dua which is never rejected.
These invocations are real application of monotheism. Man may attain the highest peak of glory and achieve the exalted grades but will always remain in need of his Creator. At no stage he can become independent of Allah. As Allah, Himself has said:
“0 Ye men! You are all destitutes towards Allah and Allah is affluent the Praised One.”
Hence these supplication never imply that the Holy Prophet (S.A.) and his Holy Progeny (A.S.) are in need of our dua, rather it purports that they are in need of the blessings of Allah and this is monotheism in true sense. Hence, through this dua not only are we asking for increased blessings of Allah for our Imam (A.S.) but we are also expressing our affection and adherence towards this holy family through this dua.
4. The Literal translation of dua.
0 Allah! This time and every time for your friend, Hazrat Hujjat Ibn Al Hasan (peac be upon them), be a Guardian, a Protector, a Leader. a Helper, a Guide and a Securer until you confer upon him the dominion on this earth and all the inhabitants of the earth become obedient to him and favour him for a very prolonged duration.
5. The Occasion of Dua.
It was mentioned earlier that this dua is a part of a particular Aamal of the 23rd night of Ramazan. But it can be recited anytime in the whole of Ramazan or wherever it is remembered. Although it is included in the Aamale-Shabe-Qadr, it is not particular with this night alone. It can be recited anytime round the year. Keeping this thing in view, it can be recited in standing, sitting or prostrating positions at any time. Hence this auspicious dua should be recited in Qunoot, Taakibate-Namaz, Nawafil or whenever we get an opportunity for the same. Our responsibility does not cease with recitation for once, rather it should be constantly recited.1
6. The Manner of Recitation.
No particular manner or mode has been suggested in the traditions in context with the recitation of this Dua. Only this much is said that after praises to Allah and salwaat on the Holy Prophet (S.A.) and his holy progeny this dua should be recited, Hence at least this much should be observed by us.
7. The Effects of Dua.
This dua is full of invocations seeking favour of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) and it also has many spiritual effects:-
- It increases contact, love and hearty attatchment with Imam (A.S.) and as much it is recited that much love is increased. Also, love towards Ahle Bayt increases which results in moral reformation in this world and salvation in the hereafter. Imam Ali Reza (A.S.) relates from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) that:
“The one who desires to meet Allah in such state where his belief is perfect and his
Islam is complete must love Hazrat Hujjat Sahebuzzaman, (A.S.).”
(Behar, Vol. 36, pg. 296, tradition no. 125).
- The recitation of this dua reminds of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) and it is one of the duties of a
Muslim of every age to remember the Imam of his time regularly and not to forget him even for a second. Thus we can fulfill our responsibility by reciting this dua. It is said in Dua-e-Nudbah that:-
“May my life be sacrificed for you Though you are away from our eyes, no gathering is devoid of your remembrance. May I be your ransom. Though you may be far away from us, your remembrance is not.”
- This dua is for the safety and wellbeing of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) because it is in the Power of Allah to accept the dua, change the circumstances, destiny, Bada etc. Hence we are asking for enhanced protection and security from Allah .We are always praying and wishing that Hazrat Wali-e-Asr (A.S.) should remain safe and secure from all sorts of calamities and hardships. No grief or sorrow should strike him. This is the least which a friend desires for his beloved. While the same desire is intense for the Ahle bayt (A.S.).
- If we will pray regularly for Imam (A. S.) then certainly he too will respond and reciprocate to our feelings and remember us in his duas because he is a generous master, the son of a generous father. What else can be imagined as a greater bounty or blessing than the dua of Imam (A.S.)?
The conclusion is that it is imperative upon all of us to regularly recite this dua . Through the medium of this dua we must ask from Allah for the best of bounties and favours of Imam (A.S.). Also, we should desire that Hazrat should remain safe and secure under the impregnable tutelage of Allah, and ask Allah to enlighten our spirit and gladden our heart by the remembrance of Imam (A.S.) and invoking salwaat on him.
1 In 1398 A.H. Late Ayatullah Aqae Sayyed Abul Qasim Khui (A.M.) said in Najaf to a scholar
from Tehran that “For the last 50 years I am reciting this dua regularly in the Qunoot of all my daily obligatory prayers.”