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Peace be on Hussain, and on Ali son of Hussain, and on the children of Hussain, and on the friends of Hussain.
By Jerrmein Abu Shahba

The famous supplication of Salawat Sha’baniyyah is one of the most beautiful and valuable prayers which has been gifted to us by the mercy of the Almighty Allah (SWT) in the holy month of Sha’ban and was taught by Imam Zainul ‘Abideen (AS). It is also sometimes referred to as Dua Shajarat Al Nubuwwah (Supplication of the Tree of Prophethood) since the supplication commences with these profound words. It is reported through authentic sources that Imam Zainul ‘Abideen (AS) used to recite this supplication every day in Sha`ban at the time sun passes the merdian (Waqt az-Zawal) and on the night of 15th Sha’ban.

This supplication is composed of nearly 100 words and is one of the unique prayers which presents a multitude of ideas and condenses them in a few words. Each word and phrase speaks volumes of knowledge which may be dissected thoroughly. This supplication is commonly known as Salawat Sha’baniyyah since it begins by repeatedly sending benedictions (Salawat) on the Holy Prophet (SA) and his purified Ahlul Bayt (AS). The main theme of this prayer revolves around the virtues of Ahlul Bayt (SWT) as this is the month which Allah (SWT) dedicated to the Holy Prophet (SA). Every call for benediction is followed by presentation of a fabulous virtue and exceptional merit which only these divine guides possess due to their high rank and close position to Allah (SWT). After the servant recognizes the high status and lofty position of the Ahlul Bayt (AS), he then acknowledges their right of Wilayah and obedience over all believers and presents them as intercessors between him and his Lord.

The servant beseeches Allah (SWT) by the blessings of the month of Sha’ban which is honored due to its association with the Holy Prophet (SA). This special month which precedes the holy month of Ramadan also contains a very fateful night, the 15th night which marks the holy birth of the last Imam from the descendents of Imam ‘Ali (AS) who is the occulted Imam of our time. It is no wonder that this supplication of Salawat Sha’baniyyah is also recommended to recite on this extraordinary night as it reminds us again that this month has received its exceptional status because of the birth of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance), the 12th star which rose on that day to shine till the end of time just like the sun benefits the earth while it is behind the clouds! It is certainly not a coincidence that this same night of the 15th is also the night which the Almighty (SWT) takes decisions in the matters of sustenance, life and death and welfare of the people for the next year.

Next to the Night of Qadr, the 15th night of Sha’ban is the most auspicious night of the Islamic calendar (also known as Night of Bara’at). According to both Imam Al Baqir (AS) and As-Sadiq (AS), Allah (SWT) has promised to fulfill every legitimate desire put forward to Him on that night and He (SWT) bestows on His creation from His bounty and forgives them out of His grace and generosity.

With that in mind, the servant calls to Allah (SWT) by the sanctity of these divine luminary guides and prays to attain the pleasure and forgiveness of Allah (SWT) by the blessings of the Holy Prophet (SA) who is the owner of this holy month. If a believer recites this fantastic prayer daily during the month of Sha’ban while recognizing its true essence and significance, he will be more prepared to receive this special night of the 15th which highlights the climax and peak of blessings of this month! He will also ascend himself to a spiritual level that will make him more ready to embrace the holy month of Ramadan! The servant concludes the supplication by recognizing the fact that true happiness is to shadow the Infallible Imams (AS) and inhabit the heavens with them eternally while enjoying the proximity of the Almighty Creator. Indeed, true bliss is to taste the pleasure of unconditional love and continuous servitude to Allah (SWT) alongside His best of creation and model for mankind represented in the Holy Prophet (SA) and his purified Ahlul Bayt (AS).

A brief analysis of this precious supplication was attempted so that we may encounter some treasures in this short journey and walk away with valuable fruits to digest in our spiritual systems and enrich our minds and souls. The aim was to simply touch the water of vast knowledge so that perhaps some light may be shed on the apparent and hidden meanings of this supplication based on the Holy Qur’an and authentic narrations by the purified Ahlul Bayt (AS) as well as the interpretation of esteemed scholars and exegetists. The words of this discourse with Allah (SWT) serves more as a lesson for us which provides insight than just mere request for personal needs for the mundane world. It is a crash course designed to walk us quickly through the garden of Wilayah and help us recognize the essence and goal of our existence.

Praise be to Allah (SWT) who created the holy month of Sha’ban and specialized it with its unique honor that is associated with the manifestation of divine effulgence and heavenly guidance.

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