part 6


The sixth part of du’a starts with the entire Chapter of Sincerity from the Quran. In many mythologies around the world, deities come in groups, usually families, called pantheons. According to tradition, the Prophet Muhammad was asked about the lineage of the god he was preaching about. The chapter starts with the command to “say” (قل “qul” in Arabic), ensuring that this was a reply to the inquiry of God’s lineage. Muhammad also encouraged others to use this chapter to answer questions about God, saying that it is equal to one third of the Quran.

In this chapter, God is defined as singular (ا حد “ahad” in Arabic) but not one out of multiple, nor the collection of multiple (both وا حد “wahid” in Arabic). This distinction is to emphasize that not only is there no equal to God, but nothing even compares to God, a sentiment repeated at the end of the chapter. God is further described as perfect in every way, and then the chapter clarifies that God specifically does not have a lineage, nor any descendants.

five holy people

The “Five Holy People” are the immediate family members of the Prophet Muhammad: Fatima, his daughter; ‘Ali, his son-in-law and cousin; Hassan and Hussein, his grandsons; and Muhammad himself. According to tradition, he wrapped himself and these four family members in a blanket one night and prayed for their protection. As a result, God blessed them and their family with purity in the Combined Forces Chapter of the Quran. This purity is thought to continue through genealogical lines to the Imams.

lineage of imams

In many traditions, the Five Holy People are considered to share one spirit or light. This is the same light that is embodied in each of the Imams. Because of this, Imams are often held in the same regard as the Prophet and his close family. The names of all the imams are listed in order, each preceded by the title “Our Lord” (مولانا “mowlana” in Arabic). After the list, the name of the current Imam is said and all the Imams, as well as the Five Holy People are asked for forgiveness and mercy, through the power of God. Again, forgiveness is asked of God, but through the Imams. The listing of all the Imams meanwhile emphasizes the eternality of the Imamat line, something mentioned by the Prophet Muhammad when he appointed the Imamat, initially.

shaking hands

At the conclusion of the Du’a, members of the congregation shake hands with one another and wishing each other a meeting with the lord. This is intended to be a gesture of good faith and unity, showing support to other members of the congregation. Some interpretations equate the shaking of hands to the meeting of the lord, saying that unity within the congregation is itself divine.



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