Al-Sahifa al-Kamilah al-Sajjadiyya (The Perfect Book of al-Sajjad)

11 July 2011
Al-Sahifa al-Kamilah al-Sajjadiyya
(The Perfect Book of al-Sajjad)

In the Name of God,the All-merciful, the All-compassionate.

 AL-SAHIFAT AL-SAJJADIYYA is the oldest Prayer manual in Islamic sources and one of the most seminal works of Islamic spirituality of the early period. It was composed by the Prophet's great grandson. The title Al-Sahifat al-Sajjadiyya means simply `The Book of al-Sajjad'. Al-Sajjad is one of the titles given to Zayn al-'Abidin and signifies `the one who constantly prostrates himself in prayer'. The book is often called Al-Sahifat al-Kamilat al-Sajjadiyya, that is, `The "Perfect", or "Complete", Book of al-Sajjad'. According to its commentator Sayyid `Alikhan Shirazi, the word kamila refers to the perfection of the style and content; some sources state that the adjective was added to differentiate it from another, incomplete version of the work, which is known among the Zaydis, but this seems less likely, given the manner in which the title is employed in the preface (verse 20). The Sahifa has been called by various honorifics, such as `Sister of the Qur'an', `Gospel of the Folk of the House', and `Psalms of the Household of Muhammad'.

His Supplication in the Morning and Evening
1  Praise belongs to God,
     who created night and day
          through His strength,

2               set them apart
                    through His power,

3               and appointed for each
                    a determined limit
                    and a drawn-out period.

4     He makes each of the two enter into its companion,
                    and makes its companion enter into it,
          as an ordainment from Him for His servants
                    in that through which He feeds them
                    and with which He makes them grow.

5     He created for them the night,
          that they might rest in it
                    from tiring movements
                    and wearisome exertions
          and He made it a garment for them
                    that they might be clothed
                    in its ease and its sleep,
          that it might be for them refreshment and strength,
                    that they might reach therein pleasure and passion.

6     He created for them the daytime, giving sight,
          that they might seek within it of His bounty,
          find the means to His provision,
          and roam freely in His earth,
                    searching for that through which
                              to attain the immediate in their life in this world
                              and to achieve the deferred in their life to come.

7     Through all of this He sets right their situation,
          tries their records,
          and watches their state in
                    the times for obeying Him,
                    the waystations of His obligations,
                    and the places of His ordinances,
          that He may repay those who do evil with what they have done
                    and repay those who do good with goodness.

8     O God,
          to Thee belongs praise
          for the sky Thou hast split into dawn for us,
                    giving us to enjoy thereby the brightness of daytime,
                    showing us sought-after nourishments,
                    and protecting us from the striking of blights.

9     In the morning we and all things, every one, rise for Thee,
          the heaven and the earth
          and what Thou hast scattered in each,
                    the still and the moving,
                    the resident and the journeying,
                    what towers up in the air and what hides under the ground.

10     We rise in the morning in Thy grasp:
          Thy kingdom and authority contain us
                    and Thy will embraces us.
          We move about by Thy command
                    and turn this way and that through Thy governing.

11               We own nothing of the affair
                    except what Thou hast decreed
          and nothing of the good
                    except what Thou hast given.

12               This is a fresh, new day,
                    over us a ready witness.
          If we do good,
                    it will take leave from us with praise,
          and if we do evil,
                    it will part from us in blame.

13     O God,
          bless Muhammad and his Household,
          provide us with the day's good companionship
          and preserve us against parting from it badly
                    by doing a misdeed
                    or committing a sin, whether small or great!

14               Make our good deeds within it plentiful
                    empty us therein of evil deeds,
                    and fill what lies between its two sides for us
                              with praise and thanksgiving,
                              wages and stores,
                              bounty and beneficence!

15     O God,
          ease our burden on the Noble Writers,73
          fill our pages for us
                    with our good deeds,
          and degrade us not before them
                    with our evil works!

16     O God,
          appoint for us in each of the day's hours
                    a share from Thy servants,
                    a portion of giving thanks to Thee,
                    and a truthful witness among Thy angels!

17     O God,
          bless Muhammad and his Household
          and safeguard us from before us and behind us,
                    from our right hands and our left hands
                    and from all our directions,74
          a safeguarding that will preserve from disobeying Thee,
                    guide to obeying Thee,
                    and be employed for Thy love!

18     O God,
          bless Muhammad and his Household
          and give us success in this day of ours,
                    this night of ours,
                    and in all our days,
          to employ the good,
          stay away from the evil,
          give thanks for favours,
          follow the Sunna's norms,
          avoid innovations,
          enjoin good behaviour,
          forbid the disapproved,
          defend Islam,
          diminish falsehood and abase it,
          help the truth and exalt it,
          guide the misguided,
          assist the weak,
                     and reach out to the troubled!

19     O God,
          bless Muhammad and his Household
          and make this
                    the most fortunate day we have known,
                    the most excellent companion we have accompanied,
                    and the best time in which we have lingered!

20               Place us among
                    the most satisfied of all Thy creatures
                              whom night and day have passed by,
                    the most thankful of them
                              for the favours Thou hast done,
                    the firmest of them
                              in the laws Thou hast set down in the Shari'a,
                    and the most unyielding of them
                              toward the prohibited acts
                              against which Thou hast cautioned!

21     O God,
          I call Thee to witness
          - and Thou art sufficient witness -
          and I call Thy heaven and Thy earth to witness
                    and Thy angels and Thy other creatures who inhabit them
                    in this my day,
                    this my hour,
                    this my night,
                    and this my resting place,
          that I bear witness
                    that Thou art God,
                              other than whom there is no god,
                              Upholding justice,
                              Equitable in judgement,
                              Clement to the servants,75
                              Master of the kingdom,76
                              Compassionate to the creatures,

22                         and that Muhammad is Thy servant and Thy messenger,
                              Thy chosen from among Thy creatures.
                    Thou didst charge him with Thy message
                              and he delivered it;
                    Thou didst command him to counsel his community
                              and he counselled it.
23     O God,
          so bless Muhammad and his Household
                    more than Thou hast blessed any of Thy creatures!
          Give him for our sake the best Thou hast given any of Thy servants,
          and repay him on our behalf better and more generously
                    than Thou hast repaid any of Thy prophets
                    on behalf of his community!

24     Thou art All-kind with immensity,
          the Forgiver of the great,
          and Thou art more merciful
                    than every possessor of mercy!
          So bless Muhammad and his Household,
                    the good, the pure, the chosen, the most distinguished!

His Supplication in Seeking Refuge from Hateful Things, Bad Moral Qualities, and Blameworthy Acts

1     O He through whom the knots of detested things are untied!
           O He through whom the cutting edge of hardships is blunted!
           O He from whom is begged the outlet to the freshness of relief!

2     Intractable affairs yield to Thy power,
           means are made ready by Thy gentleness,
           the decree goes into effect through Thy power,
           and all things proceed according to Thy desire.

3     By Thy desire they follow Thy command
                     without Thy word
           and by Thy will they obey Thy bans
                     without Thy prohibition.

4     Thou art the supplicated in worries
                     and the place of flight in misfortunes;
           none of them is repelled unless Thou repellest,
                     none is removed unless Thou removest.
5     Upon me has come down, My Lord,
                     something whose weight burdens me
           and upon me has fallen
                     something whose carrying oppresses me.

6     Through Thy power
                     Thou hast brought it down upon me
           and through Thy authority
                     Thou hast turned it toward me.

7     None can send away what Thou hast brought,
           none can deflect what Thou hast turned,
           none can open what Thou hast closed,
           none can close what Thou hast opened,
           none can make easy what Thou hast made difficult,
           none can help him whom Thou hast abandoned.

8     So bless Muhammad and his Household,
           open for me, my Lord, the door of relief through Thy graciousness,
           break from me the authority of worry by Thy strength,
           confer the beauty of Thy gaze upon my complaint,
           let me taste the sweetness of benefaction in what I ask,
           give me from Thyself mercy and wholesome relief,
           and appoint for me from Thyself a quick way out!

9     Distract me not through worry
           from observing Thy obligations
           and acting in accordance with Thy prescriptions.

10     My capacity has been straitened, my Lord,
                     by what has come down on me,
           and I am filled with worry
                     by carrying what has happened to me,
           while Thou hast power to remove what has afflicted me
                     and to repel that into which I have fallen.
           So do that for me
                     though I merit it not from Thee,
                     O Possessor of the Mighty Throne! 

His Supplication in Seeking Asylum with God
1     O God,
           if Thou willest,
                     Thou wilt pardon us through Thy bounty
           and if Thou willest,
                     Thou wilt chastise us through Thy justice.

2     So make our ways smooth to Thy pardon
                               through Thy kindness
                     and grant us sanctuary from Thy chastisement
                               through Thy forbearance,
                     for none of us has the endurance for Thy justice
                     and none of us can reach deliverance without Thy pardon!

3     O Richest of the rich!
           Here we are, Thy servants, before Thee.
           I am the neediest of the needy toward Thee,
                     so redress our neediness
                               through Thy plenty
                     and cut us not off from our hopes
                               through Thy withholding,
                     lest Thou makest wretched him who seeks felicity through Thee
                               and deprivest him who seeks help from Thy bounty!

4     Then to whom would we return after Thee?
           Where would we go from Thy gate?
                     Glory be to Thee!
           We are the distressed,
                     the response to whom
                               Thou hast made incumbent,
                     the people from whom
                               Thou hast promised to remove the evil.

5     That thing most resembling Thy will
                     and that affair most worthy for Thee in Thy mightiness
                     is showing mercy to him who asks Thee for mercy
                               and helping him who seeks help from Thee.
                     So show mercy upon our pleading with Thee
                               and free us from need when we throw ourselves before Thee!

6     O God,
           Satan will gloat over us if we follow him
                     in disobeying Thee,
           so bless Muhammad and his Household
           and let him not gloat over us
                     after we have renounced him for Thee
                     and beseeched Thee against him!

His Supplication for Good Outcomes
1     O He remembering whom brings honour
                    to those who remember!
          O He thanking whom brings triumph
                    to those who give thanks!
          O He obeying whom brings deliverance
                    to those who obey!
          Bless Muhammad and his Household,
          and divert our hearts through remembering Thee
                    from every act of remembrance,
          our tongues through thanking Thee
                    from every act of thanksgiving,
          our limbs through obeying Thee
                    from every act of obedience!

2     If Thou hast ordained for us idleness from these occupations,
          make it an idleness of safety, within which
                    no ill consequence visits us
                    or weariness overtakes us!
          Then the writers of evil deeds may depart from us
                    with a page empty of the mention of our evil deeds,
          and the writers of good deeds may turn away from us
                    happy with the good deeds of ours which they have written.

3     And when the days of our life have passed by,
          the terms of our lifetimes have elapsed,
          and Thy call, which must come and be answered,
                    summons us forth,
          then bless Muhammad and his Household
          and make the outcome of what the writers of our works
                    count against us
                    an accepted repentance,
                    which afterwards gave us no rest
                              in a sin that we committed
                              or an act of disobedience that we performed!

4               Remove not from us any covering
                    with which Thou hast covered over the heads of the witnesses
                    on the day when the records of Thy servants are tried!

5     Verily Thou art compassionate to him who supplicates Thee,
          the responder to him who calls upon Thee!