Imam Zayn ul-'Abidin, peace be on him, had special affairs in the blessed month of Ramadan. In it he did all things that drew him near to Allah. The narrators said: "He did all kinds of charity and good. He never said any word except saying: 'Glory belongs to Allah, I ask Allah's forgiveness, and Allah is Great.' When he broke his fast, he said: 'O Allah, if You will do, You do.'(Furu' al-Kafi, vol. 4, p. 88). He, peace be on him, did many acts in Ramadan. The following are some of them:
Every day in the Month of Ramadan, Imam Zayn al-'Abidin ordered a sheep to be slaughtered and cooked. When the food was ready, he said: "Bring the bowls." He ordered the food to be divided among the poor, the widows, and the orphans to the extent that there was nothing left for him, Hence he broke his fast with bread and dates. (Al-Mahasin, p. 396. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 46. p. 72).
His Freeing Salves
Among his deeds in the blessed month of Ramadan was that he freed many of his slaves. It is worth mentioning that he respected his slaves, treated them as he treated his children, and forgave them when they misbehaved toward him. The narrators said:
"'Ali b. al-Husayn did not punish a female slave nor did he punish a male salve when they committed a sin; rather he recorded the day when they committed sins. When the month of Ramadan was about to end, he gathered them and brought the book where he had written their sins and said to them: Raise your voices and say: O 'Ali b. al-Husayn, your Lord has counted against you all what you have done, as you have counted against us all what we have done. He has a book which speaks the truth and does not leave a small one nor a great one of what you have done, but numbers them all, and you will find present with Him all what you had done, as we have found present with you all what we had done.
Hence pardon and forgive (us), as you want the most powerful King (Allah) to pardon and forgive you.Hence forgive us, and He will forgive you and have mercy on you, and Your Lord never wrongs anyone. As you have a book which speaks the truth against us and does not leave a small one nor a great one, but numbers them all against us, Hence 'Ali b. al-Husayn, remember the abasement of your standing place before your Lord, the Just King, Who does not wrong (anyone) to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and Allah is sufficient to take account and to be a witness. Hence pardon and forgive (us), and the most Powerful King will pardon and forgive you, for He says: They should pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? "He (Zayn al-'Abidin) dictated to them these words which represent his absolute devotion and clinging to Allah. He stood, wept and said: "Our Lord, You have commanded us to pardon him who wrongs us. We have pardoned him who has wronged us, as You have commanded, Hence pardon us, for You are worthier of that than us and the commanded ones. You have commanded us not to dismiss any beggar from our doors.
Now, we have come to You as beggars and miserable. We have sat at Your courtyard and Your door seeking bounty and favor and giving, Hence do us a favor through it and disappoint us not, for You are more worthier of that than us and the commanded ones.
"My Lord, I have entertained (Your servants), Hence entertain me if I am of Your beggars. I have done (Your servants) a lot of good, Hence place me among the people of Your giving, O Generous!"
Then he turned his holy face, which became wet with the tears of his eyes, to his slaves and said to them with kindness and affection:
"I have forgiven you! Have you forgiven me my evil (acts)? I am full of evil, meanness, and oppression! I am the slave of the One Who is Powerful, Generous, Just, Beneficent, and Good-doer!"
What an angelic this soul is! Indeed, it represented the spirituality, beauties, qualities, and morals of the prophets!
The slaves interrupted him, saying: "We have pardoned you, O Our master!"
Hence he said to them: "Say: O Allah, pardon 'Ali b. al-Husayn as he has pardoned us! Release him from the Fire, as he has released our necks from slavery!"
They said that, and he said after them: "Amen, O Allah, Lord of the world's inhabitants! Go, surely I have pardoned you and released your necks, asking (Allah) to pardon me and release my neck!" When the day of 'Id al-Fitr came, he gave them excellent gifts to make them in no need of what was in the people's hands.(Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 46, pp. 103-104).
In the world of the pious there is no person like Imam Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, in piety, loyalty, and obedience to Allah, for he filled his holy heart with faith and knowledge of Allah.
Any how, in the month of Ramada`n, the Ima`m, peace be on him, did a lot of good to the weak, entertained the miserable refreshed the deprived, freed slaves, and other good deeds that brought him near to Allah.
His Supplication in the Early Morning
Imam Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, whispered to his Lord and prayed Him humbly and sincerely on every night in the Month of Ramadan with this great supplication, which is better known as the Supplication of Abi Hamza al-Thuma`li, for it was he who reported it on the Ima`m's authority.
The supplication is among the outstanding supplications of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt) , peace be on them. It represents the absolute return and devotion to Allah. It contains exhortations that prevent the soul from clinging to haughtiness and desires and, in addition, it is distinguished by beautiful style, wonderful words, and eloquent performance. Moreover, it displays lowliness, humility, and submission to Allah, the Glorified. The other supplications do not contain such matters. We will quote some brilliant paragraphs of it, for it is well-known and widespread in supplication books.
Before mentioning some paragraphs of this supplication, we'd like to say that this supplication has occupied an important position in the hearts of the good and the righteous from among the Muslims, Hence they recite it in the early morning of every night in the month of Ramadan, to the extent that they have memorized it by heart. The following is some paragraphs of it:
"My Allah, educate me not with Your punishment, and scheme not against me with Your power! How can I find good, My Lord, and it cannot be found but through You? How can I find salvation, and it cannot be found but through You? Good-doers cannot do without Your help and Your mercy, nor can evil-doers! Those who misbehave before You, show audaciousness toward and, do not make You Pleased are unable to dissent from Your power! O my Lord, through You I have recognized You. It was You who guided me to Yourself and summoned me to Yourself! Were it not for You, I would not know what You were."
Have you noticed how the Monk of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt) , peace be on them, whispered to his Lord, pleaded to Him, and argued with Him in this manner full of faith and knowledge? Let's listen to another part of this holy supplication: "O Lover of him who loves You, O Delight of the eye of him who seeks refuge in You and devotes himself to You! You are the Benefactor, and we are the evil-doers!
Hence, my Lord, forgive us our ugly acts through the beautiful things You have! Which ignorance, my Lord, Your magnificence does not embrace? Which time is longer than Your slowness? What is the worth of our deeds in comparison with Your favors? How can we regard our works as may and compare them to Your generosity? How do the sinners regard Your ample mercy as narrow? O All-forgiving! O All-merciful! Hence, by Your might, if You rebuked me, I would not leave Your door, nor would I refrain from praising You because I have knowledge of Your magnificence and generosity!"
In this manner the Imam, peace be on him, continued praising and pleading to the Great Creator, asking Him for forgiveness and good pleasure. Listen how he whispers to Him:
"O Allah, whenever I say: I have prepared myself, worn the cloak, stood in prayer before You, and whispered to You, You make me sleepy when I pray, and deprive me of whispering to You when I whisper (to You)! Why whenever I say: I have set right my inner self and my assembly has come close to the assembly of the repenters, a tribulation befalls me, slip my foot, and prevents me from serving You?
My Master, You may have dismissed me from Your door and put me aside from serving You, or You may have seen me disdaining Your Sacredness, Hence You have removed me, or You may have seen me turning back on You, Hence You have detested me, or You may have found me in the standing place of the liars, Hence You have rejected me, or You may have seen that I am ungrateful (to You) for Your favors, Hence You have deprived me (of them), or You may have missed me among the assemblies, Hence You have deserted me, or You may have seen me among the heedless, Hence You have disappointed me of Your mercy, or You may have seen that I get along with the assemblies of the unemployed, Hence You have placed me among them, or You may do not like listening to my supplication, Hence You have driven me away from You, or You may have punished me because of my sin and crime, or You may have punished me on account of my little modesty! Hence if You pardon (me), my Lord, You have often pardoned those sinners before me, for Your generosity, my Lord, is far above punishing the neglectful!"
The Imam, peace be on him, presented those affairs which prevent man from clinging to Allah during his prayers and whispered prayers. The following is some of them:
1. Disdaining Allah's rights, that is when man makes little of them.
2. Turning away from Allah.
3. Telling lies which is the junction of vices and grave sins.
4. Ungratefulness for graces which Allah bestows upon His servant.
5. Turning away from sitting with the true religious scholars who remind men of the hereafter and urge them to do good deeds.
6. Forgetting the remembrance of Allah and of death lead man to misery and ruin.
7. Sitting with the unemployed who spend their times in playing and lose their life spans in trivial affairs, Hence sitting with them leads to turning away from Allah.
These are some affairs which send man far from Allah and turn him away from doing good, may Allah protect us from them. Now, let's listen to another paragraph of this supplication: "O My Allah and my Master! If You demanded my sins, I would demand Your pardon! If You demanded my meanness, I would demand Your generosity! If You made me enter the Fire, I would tell the people of the Fire about my love for You! O My Allah and my Master!
If You forgive only Your friends and those who obey You, then to whom shall the sinners go? If You show generosity only to those who are sincere to You, then whom the evildoers seek for help! My Allah! If You made me enter the Fire, then Your enemy (the accursed Satan) would be pleased with this! If You made me enter the Garden, then this would please Your Prophet! I, by Allah, know that the pleasure of Your Prophet is more lovable for You than that of Your enemy!"
The Master of the pious and Imam of the knowers (Zayn al-'Abidin), peace be on him, asked the sympathy of the Great Creator, whose mercy embraces all things. He asked Him to pardon His disobedient servants and to show good pleasure toward them, for His munificence is not confined to the believers and the obedient. With these little paragraphs we will end our speech about the supplication of the Imam in the early morning of the blessed month of Ramada`n.
His Supplication in Bidding Farewell to the Month of Ramadan
Imam Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, felt pain when the days of the Month of Ramadan came to an end, for this month is the spring of the obedient, and he used to recite this great supplication:
"O Allah, O He who desires no repayment! O He who shows no remorse at bestowal! O He who rewards not His servant tit for tat! Your kindness is a new beginning, Your pardon gratuitous bounty, Your punishment justice, Your decree a choice for the best! If You bestow, You stain not Your bestowal with obligation, and if you withhold, You withhold not in transgression. You show gratitude to him who thanks You while You have inspired him to thank You.
You reward him who praises You while though You have taught him Your praise. You cover him whom, if You willed, You would expose, and You are generous toward him from whom, if You willed, You would withhold. Both are worth of Your exposure and with holding, but You have founded Your acts upon gratuitous bounty, channeled Your power into forbearance, received him who disobeyed You with clemency, and disregarded him who intended wrongdoing against himself.
You await their turning back without haste and refrain from rushing them toward repentance, Hence that the perisher among them may not perish because of You and the wretched may not wretched through Your favor, but only after Your prolonged excusing him and successive arguments against him, as an act of generosity through Your pardon, O Generous, and an act of kindliness through Your tenderness, O Clement!"
Another paragraph of this holy supplication:
"It is You who have opened for Your servants a door to Your pardon, which You have named 'repentance'. You have placed upon that door a pointer from Your revelation, lest they stray from it: You have said (blessed are Your names), Repent toward Allah with unswerving repentance! It may be that your Lord will acquit you of your evil deeds and will admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow, upon the day when Allah will not degrade the Prophet and those who have faith along with him, their light running before them and on their right hands, and they say: 'Our Lord, complete for us our light, and forgive us! Surely You are powerful over everything.'
What is the excuse of him who remain heedless of entering that house after the opening of the door and the setting up of the pointer? It is You who have raised the price against Yourself to the advantage of Your servants, desiring their profit in their trade with You, their triumph through reaching You, and their increase on account of You, for You have said (blessed is Your Name and high are You exalted), those brings a good deed shall have ten the like of it, and whosoever brings an evil deed shall only be recompensed the like of it.
You have said, the likeness of those who expend their wealth in the way of Allah is as the likeness of a grain of corn that sprouts seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains; Hence Allah multiplies unto whom He wills.
You have said, Who is he that will lend to Allah a good loan, and He will multiply it for him manifold, and You have send down in the Qur'a`n similar verses on the multiplying of good deeds. It is You who have pointed them through Your speech from Your unseen and Your encouragement in which lies their good fortune toward that which -had You cover it from them- their eyes would not have perceived, their ears would not have heard, and their imaginations would not have grasped, for You have said, Remember me and I will remember you, be thankful to Me and be you not thankless towards Me!
You have said, If you are thankful, surely I will increase you, but if you are thankless, My chastisement is surely terrible. And You have said, Supplicate Me and I will respond to you; surely those who wax too proud to worship Me shall enter Gehennam utterly abject.
Hence You have named supplicating You 'worship' and refraining from it 'waxing proud', and You have threatened that the refraining from it would lead entrance into Gehannam in utter abjection. Hence they remember You for Your kindness, they thank You for Your bounty, they supplicate You by Your command, and they donate for You in order to seek Your increase; in all this lies their deliverance from Your wrath and their triumph through Your good pleasure.
Were any creature himself to direct another creature to the like of that to which You Yourself have directed Your servants, he would be described by beneficence, qualified by kindness, and praised by every tongue. Hence to You belong Praise as long as there is found a way to praise You and as long as there remains for praising words by which You may be praised and meanings which may be spent in praise.
O He who shows Himself praiseworthy to His servants through beneficence and bounty, flooding them with kindness and graciousness! How much Your favor has been spread about among us, Your kindness lavished upon us, and Your goodness singled out for us! You have guided us to Your religion which You have chosen, Your creed with which You art pleased, and Your path which You have made smooth, and You have shown us proximity to You and arrival at Your generosity!"
"O Allah, among the choicest of those duties and the most special of those obligations You have appointed the month of Ramadan, which You have singled out from other months, chosen from among all periods and eras, and preferred over all times of the year through the Qur'a`n and the Light which You sent down within it, the faith which You multiplied by means of it, the fasting which You obligated therein, the standing in prayer which You encouraged at its time, and the Night of Decree which You magnified therein, the night which is better than a thousand months.
Through it You have preferred us over the other communities and through its excellence You have chosen us to the exclusion of the people of the creeds. We fasted by Your command in its daylight, we stood in prayer with Your help in its night, presenting ourselves by its fasting and its standing to the mercy which You have held up before us, and we found through it the means to Your reward. And You are full of what is sought from You, munificent what is asked of Your bounty, and near to him who strives for Your nearness.
This month stood among us in a standing place of praise, accompanied us with the companionship of one approved, and profited us with the most excellent profit of the world's creatures. Then it parted from us at the completion of its time, the end of its term, and the fulfillment of its number.
Hence we bid farewell to it with the farewell of one whose parting pains us, whose leaving fills us with gloom and loneliness, and to whom we have come to owe a safeguarded claim, an observed inviolability, and a discharged right."
Another part of this great supplication:
"Hence we say: Peace be upon you, O greatest month of Allah! O festival of His friends! Peace be upon you, O most noble of accompanying times! O best of months in days and hours!
Peace be upon you, month in which expectations come near and good works are scattered about! Peace be upon you, comrade who is great in worth when found and who torments through absence when lost, anticipated friend whose parting gives pain! Peace be upon you, familiar who brought comfort in coming, thus making happy, who left loneliness in going, thus giving anguish! Peace be upon you, neighbor in whom hearts became tender and sins became few!
Peace be upon you, helper who aided against Satan, companion who made easy the paths of good-doing! Peace be upon you-How many became freedmen of Allah within you! How happy those who observed the respect due to you! Peace be upon you-How many the sins you erased! How many the kinds of faults you covered over! Peace be upon you-How drawn out were you for the sinners! How awesome were you in the hearts of the faithful!
Peace be upon you, month with which no days compete! Peace be upon you, month which is peace in all affairs! Peace be upon you, you whose companionship is not disliked, you whose friendly mixing is not blamed! Peace be upon you, just as you have entered upon us with blessings and cleansed us of the defilement of offenses! Peace be upon you. You are not bid farewell in annoyance nor is your fasting in weariness!
Peace be upon you, object of seeking before your time, object of sorrow before your passing! Peace be upon you- How much evil was turned away from us through you! How much good flowed upon us because of you! Peace be upon you and upon the Night of Decree which is better than a thousand months! Peace be upon you- How much we craved you yesterday! How intensely we shall yearn for you tomorrow! Peace be upon you and upon the bounty which has now been made unlawful to us and upon your blessings gone by which have now been stripped away from us!"
Another part of this great supplication:
"O Allah, we are the people of this month. Through it You have ennobled us and given us success because of Your kindness, while the wretched are ignorant of its time. Made unlawful to them is its bounty because of their wretchedness. You are the patron of the knowledge of it by which You have preferred us, and its prescribed practices to which You have guided us. We have undertaken, through Your giving success, its fasting and its standing in prayer, but with shortcomings, and we have performed little of much.
"O Allah, Hence to You belongs praise, in admission of evil doing and confession of negligence,1 and to You belongs remorse firmly knitted in our hearts and seeking of pardon sincerely uttered by our tongues. Reward us, in spite of the neglect that befell us in this month, with a reward through which we may reach the bounty desired from it and win the varieties of its craved stores!
Make incumbent upon us Your pardon for our falling short of Your right in this month and make our lives which lie before us reach the coming month of Ramada`n! Once You have made us reach it, help us perform the worship of which You are worth, cause us to undertake the obedience which You deserve, and grant us righteous works that we may fulfill Your right in these two months of the months of time.
"O Allah, as for the small and large sins which we have committed in this our month, the misdeeds into which we have fallen, and the offenses which we have earned purposefully or in forgetfulness wronging ourselves thereby or violating the respect due to others, bless Mohammed and his Household, cover us over with Your covering, pardon us thorough Your pardoning, place us not before the eyes of the gloaters because of that, stretch not toward us the tongues of the defamers, and employ us in that which will alleviate and expiate whatever You disapprove from us within it through Your clemency which does not run out.
O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, redress our being afflicted by our moth, bless us in this day of our festival and our fast - breaking, make it one of the best of days that have passed over us, the greatest in attracting Your pardon, and the most effacing toward sins, and forgive us our sins, both the concealed and the public."
let's read on the last paragraphs of this supplication:
"O Allah, with the passing of this month, make us pass forth from our offenses, with its departure make us depart from our evil deeds, and appoint us thereby among its most felicitous people, the most plentiful of them in portion, and the fullest of them in share!
O Allah, when any person observes this month as it should be observed, safeguards its inviolability as it should be safeguarded, attends to its bounds as they should be attended to, fears its misdeeds as they should be feared, or seeks nearness to You with any act of nearness-seeking which makes incumbent upon him Your good pleasure and bends toward him Your mercy, give to us the like (of that) from Your wealth and bestow it upon us in multiples through Your bounty, for Your bounty does not diminish, Your treasuries do not decrease but overflow, the mines of Your beneficence are not exhausted, and Your bestowal is the bestowal full of delight.
"O Allah, bless Mohammed and his Household, and write for us the like of the wages of him who fasted in it or worshipped You within it until the Day of Resurrection! O Allah, we repent to You in our day of fast-breaking, which You have appointed for the faithful a festival and a joy and for the people of Your creed a time of assembly and gathering, from every misdeed we did, ill work we sent ahead, or evil thought we secretly conceived, the repentance of one who does not harbor a return to sin and who afterwards will not go back to offense, an unswerving repentance rid of doubt and wavering. Hence accept it from us, and fix us within it!
"O Allah, provide us with fear of the threatened punishment and yearning for the promised reward, Hence that we may find the pleasure of that for which we supplicate You and the sorrow of that from which we seek sanctuary in You! And place us with among the repenters, those upon whom You have made Your love obligatory and from whom You have accepted the return to obeying You!
O Most Just of the just! O Allah, show forbearance toward our fathers and our mothers and all the people of our religion, those who have gone and those who will pass by, until the Day of Resurrection! O Allah, bless our prophet Mohammed and his Household, as You have blessed Your angels brought nigh, bless him and his Household, as You have blessed Your prophets sent out, bless him and his Household, as You have blessed Your righteous servants-and better than that, O Lord of the worlds!- a blessing whose benediction will reach us, whose benefit will attain to us, and through which our supplication may be granted! You are the most generous of those who are beseeched, the most sufficient of those in whom confidence is had, the most bestowing of those from whom bounty is asked, and You are powerful over everything!"(Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya, Supplication no 45).
On the Day of Fast-Breaking
Imam Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, received the Day of Fast-Breaking with supplication to Allah, asking Him to accept his fast, his acts of worship, and his good works in the month of Ramadan, and to grant him pardon and good pleasure. In the early morning, he gave on his behalf and of his family the Zakat of al-Fitra (alms of fast-breaking). He also performed the prayer of the 'Id. When he had finished his prayer, he faced the qibla (the direction of Kaaba) and supplicated Allah with this great supplication:
"O He who has mercy upon him toward whom the servants show no mercy! O He who accepts him whom the cities will not accept! O He who looks not down upon those who have need of Him! O He who disappoints not those who implore Him! O He who slaps not the brow of the people of boldness toward Him with rejection!
O He who collects the little that is given to Him and He shows gratitude for the paltry that is done for Him! O He who shows gratitude for the small and rewards with the great! O He who comes close to him who comes close to Him! O He who invites to Himself him who turns his back on Him! O He who changes not favor and rushes not to vengeance!
O He who causes the good deed to bear fruit Hence that he may make it grow, and overlooks the evil deed Hence that he may efface it! Hopes turn back with needs fulfilled short of the extent of Your generosity, the cups of requests fill up with the overflow of Your munificence, and attributes fall apart without reaching Your description. For to You belongs the highest highness above everything high, and the most glorious majesty beyond every majesty! Every majestic before You is small everything eminent beside Your eminence vile!
Those who reach other than You are disappointed, those who present themselves to other than You have lost, those who stay with other than You have perished, and those who retreat -except those who retreat to Your bounty- are desolate! Your door is open to the beseechers, Your munificence free to the askers, Your help near to the help-seeker!
The expectant are not disappointed by You, those who present themselves despair not of Your bestowal, the forgiveness-seekers become not wretched through Your vengeance! Your provision is spread among those who disobey You, Your clemency presents itself to those hostile toward You, Your habit is beneficence toward the evildoers, and Your wont is to spare the transgressors, Hence much Hence that Your lack of haste deludes them from returning, and Your disregard bars them from desisting!
You act without haste toward them Hence that they will come back to Your command and You disregard them confident in the permanence of Your kingdom, Hence You seal him who is worthy of it with felicity, and You abandon him who is worthy of it to wretchedness!"