The month of Shehrullah al Mu´azzam is upon us once again. Our days are spent cleansing our bodies and purifying souls, while, our nights are spent in ´ibaadat. Rasulullah SA states, ‘spread goodwill and peace by reciting salaam, engage in feeding others, ensure good relations with kin and pray namaaz at night while others sleep; you will enter jannat in peace. Of the countless salaams we pray throughout each night of Shehrullah, Shafa´, Watr and Julus hold a unique significance.
Allah Ta´ala and His Awliyaa’ Kiraam AS have always emphasized the importance of praying these salaams. Rasulallah SA stated that while “Watr is not compulsory, it is sunnat.” Moulana Ali AS instructs “Never forget to pray watr namaz.” “If the sun rises, and you have not yet prayed Watr, do so regardless.” Watr should be prayed whether you are at home or travelling.
Shafa´ consists of two rak´at, Surat al-‘Aa´ala is to be recited in the first and Surat al-Kafiroon in the second. Shafa´ is followed by Watr, the only namaz which has one rak´at. In this rak ´at, Surat al-Ikhlaas is recited. Just as ‘Allahumma Inna Nahmadoka’ is prayed during Fajar namaz, one prays a qunoot in Watr. However, in Watr, after completing your ruk´u one raises their hands to their ears, recites “sam´e allaho leman hamedah rabbana laka al-hamd” and then prays the qunoot: Allahumma Innaka Tara. After doing so, he says “Allaho Akbar” and goes into sajdah. Julus is also two rak ´at which is prayed in a seated position.
‘Allahumma Innaka Tara’, prayed by Ahl al-Bayt AS, is a beautiful and earnest expression of devotion to Allah Ta´ala, which begins with the following supplication:
‘O! Allah Ta’ala, you see us but we cannot behold you. You reside in the loftiest of places. Your hands hold the reins of life and death. O Allah, we request your protection lest we stray from the righteous path. Each of our good deeds is for you, and they lead us closer to you; we march towards you; we crane our necks towards you; we extend our hands towards you; and we do du´aa’. O Allah, our hearts move in your direction, our eyes are lowered in reverence of Your greatness, and we humble ourselves before You.
In the second part of the qunoot, we present our grievances to Him, lamenting the dominance of those who wish to harm us.
‘Our numbers are few and our hearts are not in unison. Nevertheless, we are grateful to you. O Allah, we beseech you to pray salawaat upon Aimmat Tahereen AS and aid them in each of their endeavors and by virtue of them all those who profess their mohabbat.
After expressing our gratitude for Imam al-Zaman AS, we beseech Allah to:
‘…unite our hearts in the taa´at of Imam al-Zaman, and protect us from enemies. May the faith in our hearts stay forever strong and firm. Shower us with blessings, radiance, knowledge and understanding. Always lead us towards Siraat-e-Mustaqeem, the one true path to jannat. Ameen. O Allah, in life and in death, we beseech you for hasanaat (meritorious deeds), and we seek salvation from hellfire’.
Throughout this holy month, we engage in countless hours of ‘ibaadat, even during the darkest hours of night. Shafa´, Watr and Julus become part of our daily routine. However, when the month comes to an end, let the instructions and words of Allah Ta´ala, Rasulallah SA, Moulana Ali AS and Imam J´afar al-Sadiq encourage us to adhere to the principles of ´ibaadat so that we may continue to pray these salaams throughout the year until the month of Shehrullah dawns upon us once more.