Beware of the Curse of the Oppressed
Source: Ain-al-Hayat, By: Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi
The Prophet of Allah (S) says, “Beware of the curse of the oppressed that it goes beyond the skies and Allah looks at him with kindness and says, ‘Raise his prayer, I shall accept it!’”
The Prophet (S) also said, “Prevent yourself from your father’s curse. It is sharper than the spear!”
It has come in the traditions that four types of prayer are not rejected by Allah::1. A father’s prayer for his son. 2. Prayer of the oppressed against the oppressor. 3. Prayer of the person who is on the minor pilgrimage (Umrah). 4. The prayer of a person who is fasting.
It is said that the prayers of five types of persons are not answered:
1. A husband, despite being capable of divorcing a nagging spouse by giving her the mehr (alimony), bears with her and doesn’t divorce her, but prays against her.
2. A person whose slave had escaped from his custody thrice but he doesn’t sell him and just curses him.
3. A person who doesn’t walk hurriedly away from a wall precariously about to fall and prays,’ O Allah! May the wall not fall on my head!’
4. A person who advances a loan to someone without taking any witnesses and then prays, ‘O Allah! Get back my money to me!’
5. An able bodied person capable of earning his livelihood, but doesn’t exert himself to earn, prays’ O Allah! Give me livelihood!’
The Prophet of Allah (S) has said, O Abu Dharr! If in a town only disobedient sinners are there with only three pious persons, Allah will not send curse to that place.
O Abu Dharr! Allah is proud and appreciative of three persons. The first: One who says the Adhaan (call for prayer) and Iqamah (the call to rise for prayer) while alone in a forest and offers his mandatory prayer. Allah asks the angels with pride to look at his sincere creature who has not forgotten the Creator even in the loneliness of the jungle. The second: One who does the Namaz al-Shab (the night prayers) and prostrates in the loneliness of the night despite being overwhelmed by sleep. Allah tells to the angels that the spirit of the sincere creature is with Him while he is in prostration. The third: A person on the battlefield steadfast fighting the enemies while his own comrades have fled with fear in their hearts!:. Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) narrates that offering mandatory prayers in the view of the people is preferable. Praying in the mosque is preferable to praying in the loneliness of the home. Similarly giving Zakat in the precincts of the mosque is better as it would encourage others to follow suit. The non-mandatory prayers and charity and alms to poor and needy is better given in privacy. This will preclude the chance of giving a feeling to the people that the person is proud of his status and the recipients of the help might also feel embarrassed if the help is preferred in public.
Then the Imam (as) said, “Offering namaz al-shab was the practice of the Prophet (S) and the pious persons followed suit. It removes pains and makes the faces radiant. One who offers these nightly prayers becomes good-natured and presentable. It boosts the means of livelihood of the person. The eight rakaat (genuflections) of namaz al-shab are the adornment of the Hereafter for one who offers these prayers. It gives light to the eyes and expels sadness.”
It is mentioned in the traditions that namaz al-shab enhances the radiance of the face and the fragrance of the body. It gives boost to the person’s livelihood. The person who offers these prayers finds means of discharging his debts.
In another tradition it is said that a household where the Qur’an is recited and the namaz al-shab is offered, the house appears to the people of the Firmament as if it is a shining star.
It is recorded that the Prophet of Allah (S) said while making a commentary on the verse: No doubt virtues obliterate the sins (11:114)
said that the verse means that when a mu’min offers the namaz al-shab, his sins committed during the day are obliterated.
The Prophet of Islam (S) has said, “Whosoever is given the privilege of offering namaz al-shab by Allah, remains awake in the nights and with total dedication offers the prayer duly purifying himself with ablution, Allah will arrange nine rows of angels to join the prayer behind him. Only Allah will know the number of angels in each of the nine rows. One end of each row of the angels will be in the North and the other in the South. When the person completes the prayer, virtues will be added to his list (inventory of acts) according to the number of angels who had offered prayers behind him.”
It is narrated also from the Prophet that Allah will infuse light in the heart of the pious person who stands in prayer during the late hours of the night. When the person utters, “Ya Rab, Ya Rab!”, Allah responds with “Labbaik, Labbaik!” and says, “O My creature! Ask for what you want from Me! Depend on Me that I am sufficient for the solution of your problems!” Then Allah tells to the angels, “Look! How My creature stands in My Presence in the dead of the night! That is the time when the thoughtless persons will be in their slumbers. You must bear witness that I have obliterated the record of all his sins!”
It is narrated in the traditions that the Prophet of Allah (S) has said, “Jibrael always exhorts me about the Namaz al-Shab so much that I worried perhaps the people in my Ummah might not get any sleep in the thought of this prayer.”
It is narrated from Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) that one who has faith in the Day of Reckoning and Allah will not let a night go when he has not performed the Namaz al-Shab.
It is narrated that a person approached Amir al Mumineen (as) and said, “O Imam! I am unable to offer the Namaz al-Shab!” Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali(as) said, “Your sins are preventing you from doing so.” And added, “Prophet Sulaiman (as)’s mother advised him,’ O son! Don’t sleep much in the nights! Such a habit will render a person a beggar (faqir) on the Day of Reckoning!’”
It is also narrated from Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) that a person asked him to tell about the superiority and significance of the Namaz al-Shab.” The Imam (as) replied: Be informed that when a person spends a tenth of the night in sincere supplication Allah would tell to the angels, “Write virtues in the name of My creature equivalent to the leaves and flowers in the trees that grow on the banks of the Nile.”
In another tradition it is mentioned that Allah orders the angels to write virtues in the record of a supplicant equal to the leaves in all the trees in the universe. The Imam (as) said, “One who spends a ninth part of the night in prayer, his Nama al-Aamaal will be placed in his right hand on the Day of Judgement!” “A person who spends an eighth part of the night in supplication, Allah will give him the status of a martyr who fought valiantly in the way of Allah and met with death.” “One who spends a seventh pary of the night in prayer, would rise from his grave with the face as radiant as the full moon and will cross the Bridge of Siraat with great ease!”
“One who spends a sixth of the night in supplication will get pardon of his sins from Allah and would be counted in the group of repentent people.” “One who spends a fifth of the night in prayer will find a place in the neighborhood of Prophet Ibraheem (as) in the Heaven.” “One who spends a fourth of the night in supplication will will rise with the group of successful people on the Day of Judgement and will cross the Bridge of Siraat like a breeze and enter the precincts of the Heaven.” “One who spends a third of the night in prayer Allah will endow him with such a status that every angel wishes to attain it. On the Day of Reckoning there will be Orders that he should have freedom to enter the Heaven through any of the gates he wished to use!”
“One who spent half the night in prayer will get so much reward that if the entire surface of the earth is made of gold and offered to that Mu’min in place of the Reward, he would refuse to accept it. This act of the person will be more valuable in the consideration of Allah than freeing seventy slaves from the progeny of Prophet Ismail (as).” “One who supplicates two thirds of the night, Allah will write virtues in his name equal to the grains of sand in a desert. The lowest number of virtues for such a person would be equal to ten times the size of the Mount Ohad.”
“One who supplicates the whole night, sometimes in prostration and at other in genuflection, sometimes reciting the Holy Qur’an and then uttering Allah’s names, Allah will reward him so much that all his sins would be pardoned and would be as innocent as a just born baby. The virtues written in the name of such a person will be equal to the creatures in the world. The grave of the person would be filled with light. Jealousy and greed would be obliterated from his heart.
He will be freed from the prosecution that takes place in the grave after death. He will be exempt from the Hellfire. He will be raised from the grave on the Day of Judgement who will be free of any fear of Retribution. Allah would say to the angels,’ Look at my creature who spent the full night in My Remembrance. Give him a place in the Jannat al Firdous and give him a hundred thousand cities in the Heaven and every city should be adorned with what he wishes to have! Give him much more than what has already been endowed on him!”
O Abu Dharr! Every spot of land where one puts his head down in prostration will bear witness on the Day of Judgement. There is no resting place where travellers tarry for rest that will not pray for their safety if they had offered their prayers in that place. The place will curse a person if he had committed any act contrary to the dictates of Allah while tarrying there.
O Abu Dharr! There is no dawn or dusk when places don’t call each other: “O my neighbor! Did any passerby talk of Allah while staying with you!? Did any traveller put his forehead down in prostration?” Some places would affirm that the travellers did prostrate in prayer and the others would own that they just rested and went their way. The place confirming about the visitors offering prayers while visiting it would proudly feel that it had the privilege of people offering prayers to Allah while being its guests.
Remember! Forgetfulness has so much engulfed the human race that the inanimate things are more adept at praying to Allah. The inanimate things, although in posession of very feeble senses, busy themselves in prayer.
Someone asked Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) whether one should offer optional (Naafila) prayers at one place or at different places. The Imam (as) replied that it is better to offer these prayers at different places that these places will bear witnerss to the act on the Day of Reckoning.
It is narrated that when people assemble at a place and don’t praise the Prophet and his Holy Progeny (as), such assembly will be the harbinger of retribution of the concourse on the Day of Reckoning
O Abu Dharr! When Allah created the land and trees grew on it, there was no tree from which the progeny of Adam had not derived benefit. The land and its flora kept providing benefits to man that he praised Allah for His Bounties. But the misguided said, “God has a son!” When this happened, the earth had a cataclysm and the benefits that the trees provided to man faded away. The Qureish believed that the angels are God’s daughters. The Jews thought that Aziz (of Egypt) was God’s son.The Christians said, “Jesus is the son of God.”
It is narrated from authentic sources that Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) has said: Allah has not created any tree that did not give fruits. But when people started saying that God has a son, half the flora went barren of fruits. And when people started being polytheist, many a tree grew thorns.
It is narrated from the Prophet of Islam (as): Allah deputed a messenger to a nation. He preached with them for forty year. He invited them to have faith in Allah, but none of the people agreed. The people of the place used to congregate on a festive occasion at a ground. On one such occasion the Messenger too went to the assemblage and said, “O people! Have faith in Allah! He is one and only and has no partners!”
The people said, “O person! If you are the messenger of Allah, ask Him to give us fruits of the color of our robes!” That day the people were wearing orange colored dresses. The Messenger went a little distance from there and brought back a dried branch of a tree. He offered prayer and the dried branch became fresh and green. It put on orange fruits. The people saw and ate the fruits. Those who got convinced of the existence of Allah found that the stone of the fruit was sweet. But the others who still had doubts, found the stones bitter.
The Prophet of Islam (as) has said, “O ‘Ali (as)! There are three things that sooth the hearts of the Mu’mins: 1. Meeting brother Mu’mins. 2. Breaking of the fasts. 3. Offering the late night prayers (Tahajjud)” The Prophet (S) added, “O ‘Ali (as)! In my view offering two Rakaat of the night prayers is better than everything in the world. O ‘Ali (as)! A Mu’min has an elevated status! When he dies, the angels lament in the Heaven because he was like a rampart for a city for the other Mu’mins against the evil intent of the Satan, the innovators and the infidels.”
Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) said, “We are incapable of praising Allah that He is beyond our comprehension! Similarly we cannot enumerate the qualities of the Prophet of Islam (as) because Allah says, ‘His praise is My praise, his injunction is My injunction, his obedience is My obedience!’ Similarly we Ahl-ul-Bayt cannot be praised that Allah has kept us free of all defects and rendered us pure. Also Mu’mins cannot be praised that when a Mu’min meets another, his sins fall away as do the leaves in autumn!”