Sayyid Ali al-Sistani, received the outgoing United Nations Special Envoy to Iraq, Mr. Jan Kubis,…
A Message from the Representative of the Jurist on the Eve of the 15th of Shaban to the North American Muslim Community
بسم الله الرّحمن الرّحيم، الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلّى الله على سيّدنا ونبيّنا محمّد وآله الطّاهرين، لا سيّما بقية الله في الأرضين سيّدنا وإمامنا الحجّة بن الحسن المهدي المنتظر عليه السّلام
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise is due to God, the Lord of the worlds, and may peace and blessings be upon our master Prophet Muhammad and his impeccable progeny, especially the remaining [proof] of God on the earths, our master and leader al-Hujjat al-Mahdi al-Muntadher (p)
Almighty God says in chapter 9, verse 51 of the Holy Quran:
قُلْ لَّنْ يُصِيبَنَا إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّـهُ لَنَا
“Muhammad, say, ‘Nothing will happen to us besides what God has decreed for us.’”
Dear believers in North America,
May peace be upon you all, and the mercy and blessings of God.
In these difficult times, mankind is going through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has so far infected almost 1.5 million and taken the lives of over 80 thousand people per official statistics. Besides following the guidelines of the healthcare professionals and public health officials, it is highly important to follow the advice of our religious authority as well. His Eminence al-Sayyid al-Sistani has provided guidance on how to deal with the difficult circumstances being faced due to this dangerous pandemic. As such, it is recommended to do the following:
- Help families that are affected by the current situation due to businesses being closed and restrictions being placed on the movement of people. Those who are financially able to share what they can should do so within reason. And, you may use your religious dues (khums and zakat) where it is applicable as well.
- Care for those who are infected with the virus, regardless of their race, gender, religion, sect, or background, and seek to provide them with what they need. However, remember to always do this while following the strict guidelines of the health officials.
- The youth should seek to help by volunteering their time to official organizations that are helping people who need it most. For example, delivering food. However, please remember that all such work should follow the official guidelines of the government and should not increase the risk for anyone.
- It is very important to take appropriate precautions during this pandemic. Believers should do this without panicking, and they should use the fullest prevention measures and treatments according to what the health officials instruct. They should stay away from any unproven methods of dealing with this virus. Please, adhere to the guidelines of social distancing and remain in your homes as much as possible so that we can prevent the spread of this virus together.
- Resort to Almighty God and plead with Him to remove this affliction. In addition, believers should strive to perform more good deeds, such as reciting the glorious Qur’an and supplications narrated from the Holy Prophet and his purified household (pbut), especially the seventh supplication of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya, which is reported from Imam Ali ibn al-Hussain Zayn al-Abidin al-Sajjad (p). All of this, as Almighty God says in the Holy Quran [13: 28], will prevent anxiety and bring comfort (أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ).
Respected sisters and brothers, we are passing through an outstanding night, the eve of mid-Shaban, the eve of the birth anniversary of our master, Imam al-Mahdi (may God hasten his return). He is the divinely appointed leader, Savior, and awaited one – all humanity is waiting for him to provide salvation and restore justice. In these challenging times, it’s highly recommended to strengthen our connection to God by begging and asking Him to hasten the return of Imam al-Mahdi (p), as well as improve our relationship with him (p) by reciting the specific supplications of mid-Shaban; this includes the specific supplication for preventing pandemics such as the following Duaa. This Duaa should be recited 21 times right after Maghrib prayer on the eve of mid-Shaban (the 15th night), and should be read before talking to anyone:
بسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ، اللَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَليمٌ حَليمٌ ذُو اَناةٍ، وَ لا طاقَةَ لَنَا بِحُكْمِكَ، يَا اللهُ يَا اللهُ يَا اللهُ! الأمَانَ الأمَانَ الأمَانَ مِنَ الطَّاعُونِ وَ الْوَبَاءِ وَ مَوْتِ الفَجْأَةِ وَ سُوءِ القَضَاءِ وَ شَمَاتَةِ الأعْدَاءِ، رَبَّنَا اكْشِفْ عَنَّا الْعَذَابَ إنَّا مُؤْمِنُونَ إنَّا مُوقِنُونَ، بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ.
[الرضوي، التحفة الرضويّة، ص ١٦٥]
In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful. O God, You are all-Knowing, all-Forbearing, and the Possessor of patience, and we have no strength to bear Your decree [of punishment], O God O God O God! [We plead you for] Safety Safety Safety from plague[s] and epidemic[s], and sudden death, and predestined tribulation, and [the] gloat of enemies. O Lord, remove the torment from us, we are believers and we are certain in Your Mercy, O the Most Merciful.
[Al-Radhawi, al-Tuhfa al-radhawiyah, p. 165]
Dear sisters and brothers, let us share the happiness of this noble event with everyone. And, at the same time, we should try our best to continue participating in the important religious events online to increase our knowledge and strengthen our belief by listening to qualified religious scholars. In these difficult times you might see a rise in misinformation about the end of times, or the signs of Imam al-Mahdi’s return, and so on. In such critically sensitive matters, please, only rely on religious authorities because they are the most knowledgeable regarding these issues. Otherwise, it might cause more fragmentation and lead our community into chaos.
Stay home, be safe and healthy, and do not forget us in your Duaa. God bless you all.
والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Sayyid M.B. Kashmiri
Representative of the Jurist