One of the duties during the period of Ghaybat is to recite Salawaat and salutations upon Imam Mahdi (as). There are several reasons for the same.
Some of these are given below:
Salawaat is a kind of prayer. Therefore whatever applies to supplication or praying for Imam (as) is applicable here as well. The traditions exhorting us to pray for Imam (as) also support the importance of this duty. Actually the aim of reciting Salawaat is to pray to Allah to bestow mercy upon Imam (as).
Therefore we can recite Salawaat for Imam Mahdi (as) and say, “Allahumma Salle Ala Maulana Wa Sayyidina Saheb az Zamaan,” (O Allah! Bless our Master and our Chief, the Master of the Age) or similar words.
By reciting the above words, we mean to invoke Divine mercy for all the affairs connected with Imam (as). Thus in this request to the Almighty Allah we pray that He protect the Imam and remove every kind of sorrow and grief from him and from the hearts of his Shiahs and friends and also hasten his reappearance. From this we actually intend to please the Imam due to his victory over the enemies of faith, establishment of justice on the earth, success of his followers and believers in obtaining Paradise…from the different types of wide mercy of Allah that He has specialized his friends with it and its count is known by none except Him, and is concealed in this Salawaat of ours.
We beseech the Almighty to include us among the companions of the Imam and his friends in the world and the hereafter who have been specially chosen for his blessings; and Allah is the acceptor of supplications.
The arguments in favor of reciting the Salawaat upon the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and Ahle Bayt (as) apply here as well. Some traditions on the benefits of reciting Salawaat are given below:
Holy Prophet (sawa) said, On the Day of Judgment, the most beloved in my eyes will be one who recited more Salawaat upon me and my family (as) (Jame al-Akhbaar, published in Isfahan, 1365 AH, page 67)
Ibne Babway Shaykh Sudooq (ar) reports a tradition from Imam Baqir (as) in his celebrated book in which the Imam narrates that the Holy Prophet (sawa) said, One who recites Salawaat upon me, but not on my progeny, will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise. Know that the fragrance of Paradise can be felt at a distance of 500 years from Paradise. (Amali Shaykh Sudooq, page 20; Rawzatul Waezeen volume 2 page 323)
Allah revealed upon Hazrat Musa (as), O Musa (as), would you like to seek proximity to me through your words and speech, your vision and insight and also through your body and soul. Musa (as) replied, O my Lord! I would very much like that. That is my objective; who would not love such proximity to You? Allah replied, if you wish to achieve this level of proximity, grace and merit, then recite more Salawaat upon my beloved, Mohammed Mustafa (sawa) for reciting Salawaat is the cause for My mercy, light and guidance. (Majmua Lit Taef; Rawzatul Ulama)
It is narrated from Ibne Abbas that Holy Prophet (sawa) said, I saw Hamza and Jafar (at-Tayyar) in my dream such that they were sitting with a plate of fruit in front of them. I went up to them and said, may by parents be sacrificed upon you! Which action did you find more beneficial (for the hereafter)? They replied, may our parents be sacrificed upon you – we found the following actions to be most beneficial – reciting Salawaat, quenching the thirst of the thirsty and the love of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (as). (Beharul Anwar volume 94 page 70 tradition no. 63)
In addition to the above, in quite a few supplications of the Purified Imams (as) like Dua Nudbah and Ziyarat Ale Yaseen, we find the mention of Salawaat upon Imam Mahdi (as).
In a supplication narrated through Amari there is special emphasis on asking the Almighty Allah to give us Taufeeq to recite Salawaat on the Holy Imam (as).
All the traditions generally highlight the importance of reciting Salawaat on the Imam of the Time (a.t.f.s.), especially the traditional report quoted by Sayyid Ibne Tawoos in Jamalul Usboo narrating from Imam Hasan Askari (as) in which he has advised reciting Salawaat on all Imams, each with a special Salawaat; in that the following special Salawaat is mentioned for Imam Mahdi (as) (Refer Salawaat after Ziyarat Ale Yaseen)
O Allah! Send blessings upon Your Wali and the son of Your Wali. One whose obedience You made incumbent and rights obligatory. You removed all impurities from him and purified him a thorough purification. O Allah! Help him and by it help Your religion and thereby help Your Awliya (friends) and his friends and by it help his Shiahs and his helpers and include us among them. O Allah! Take them in Your refuge from the mischief of every oppressor and transgressor, and from mischief of all Your creatures. And protect him from the front, the back, from right and left and protect him and grant security to him from every calamity that comes to him from every direction. And through him protect (the religion of) Your Messenger and the Progeny of Your Messenger. And make evident through it justice through his hands and bestow him with special help. And help those who help him and degrade his opponents. And through him destroy the oppressor and infidels and annihilate the disbelievers, the hypocrites and all the apostates whether they are from the east or the west from the dry land or from the seas, from the plains or from hilly areas. And by him fill up the earth with justice and make apparent the religion of Your Messenger (Peace be upon him and his progeny). O Allah! Include us among his helpers and assistants and followers and Shiahs. And make apparent in my life all that the Aale Muhammad are eager for and fulfill their hopes as regards their enemies (degrade their enemies). O the rightful God, the Lord of the worlds! (accept my supplication). (Jamaal al-Usboo page 493)
- Read More: Duties of Shiahs in Ghaybat