Friday, April 25, 2008


Munajat is a conversation between the lover and the Beloved. It is therefore no ordinary kind of conversation. It is a mutual conversation that entails secrecy and intimacy. Only those who are close to each other secretly whisper to one another. Our holy traditions introduce the canonical prayer as munajat. The Holy Prophet (s) is reported to have said: “O mankind surely when the worshipper (musalli) prays, he whispers (yunaaji) unto his Blessed and Almighty Lord; therefore he must know that with which he whispers.” Whispering to Allah is a phenomenon both encouraged as well as understood. However, very few qualify to be whispered by Allah. Imam al-Sadiq ('a) is reported to have said: "When the Prophet (s) was taken for the nocturnal ascent (mi'raj) and he reached the station where Almighty Allah wanted him to, his Lord Whispered to him." [Bihar al-Anwar, v.18, p.341]. Jabir bin 'Abdillah al-Ansari narrates that the Holy Prophet (s) called Ali ('a) in the battle of Ta'if, and whispered to him. So the people complained and said 'The Prophet (s) whispered to Ali alone, and did not whisper to us.’ Thereupon the Prophet (s) stood and praised Allah and said: ‘O people, surely you claim that I whispered to 'Ali; I swear by Allah, I did not whisper to him; rather it is Allah Who Whispered to Him.’ [Bihar al-Anwar, v. 39, p. 153]. These were examples of the infallibles, for whom such states are understandable. Can other human beings too attain a level in which they have the privilege of being whispered by Almighty Allah? Imam 'Ali ('a) is reported to have said: “In all the periods and times when there were no prophets, there have been persons with whom Allah, precious are His bounties, whispered in their hearts and spoke in the essence of their intellects”. Therefore it is feasible for other human beings to experience such moments of ecstasy as well. One of the instances that raises a person so high that Allah whispers to him is when one sincerely embarks to visit the grave of Imam al-Husayn ('a). If he enjoys sufficient receptivity, he would have the privilege of being whispered by his All-Beloved Creator. Imam al-Sadiq ('a) is reported to have said: “Surely when a person comes out to visit the grave of al-Husayn ('a), for the first step that he takes when leaving his family, his sins are forgiven; thereafter for every step that he takes, he is sanctified until he comes to the grave. When he reaches al-Husayn's grave, Allah Whispers to him, and Says: My Servant, ask Me, and I shall give you, and call me and I shall respond to your call…[Wasa'il al-Shi'a, v.14, p.420]