Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Sadeq Rouhani became a marja when he was just 35 years old. It is said that he was granted this position by one of the most influential scholars of his time, Abul-Qasim al-Khoei. He remained a marja for 61 years until his demise on the 16th of December, 2022. His contributions to the Hawza Ilmiyya Qom will be forever remembered by the followers of Ahlulbayt across the globe.
While the usual impression is that the expertise of Maraje is limited to jurisprudence and laws, Ayatollah Rouhani’s expertise extends to providing spiritual solutions to many common problems as well. To cherish and honour his memory, let us look back on a few pieces of advice people gained from him during his lifetime.
Solution 1: How to free the heart from evil temptations?
Evil is tempting. It is designed to lure. It takes all kinds of guises to mislead.
So, what can a person do to eliminate sinful thoughts and inclinations? Ayatollah Rouhani has shared a ritual which, when performed along with the Night Prayer (Salat al-Layl), is considered to be highly beneficial in this regard:
Perform the Night Prayer (Tahajjud), and after the Witr Prayer, offer sajdah while reciting these lines five times:
سُبُوحٌ قُدُوسٌ رَبُّ المَلائِكَةِ وَالرُّوح
[Subbuhun Quddusun Rabbul Malaikati war-Rooh]
Then recite Ayatul Kursi till “Hum-Feeha-Khalidoun” while sitting. Now, offer sajdah again, just like before (reciting the same lines). Performing the Night Prayer in this manner purifies a person’s heart and grants him power over evil desires.
Based on narrations, he points out that the devil can take two forms: Human or Jinn. While Salawat guards against the former, the latter is warded off by reciting the Hawqala or the La Hawla. Ayatollah Rouhani recommends reciting them seven times after the Maghrib prayer, as suggested in some narrations, to block the influence of the two evil tempters.
Solution 2: Controlling one’s gaze
The eyes are one of the greatest blessings humans are endowed with. The beauty of God’s creations is seen through them. Yet, a single forbidden glance can be destructive to them.
Lowering the gaze is a challenge for most men. So what can be done to avoid it? Ayatollah Rouhani responds by quoting a hadith of the Holy Prophet,
“Whoever fills his eyes with forbidden sight, fills his eyes with fiery nails and accumulates fire until the Day of Resurrection, till the people’s accounts end and he is finally thrown into the fire.”(1)
In Rouhani’s opinion, humans can learn to lower their gaze only by vowing not to look. Looking at non-mahrams is akin to destroying one’s eyesight, the greatest blessing of God.
The Holy Prophet was asked about a man who would pass by non-mahram women; the Prophet replied,
“The first glance is your right, and the second glance is against you, and the third glance is a poisonous arrow from the arrows of evil. So whoever refuses to repeat it for the sake of Allah the Almighty is granted a faith that can be tasted and enjoyed.”(2)
Getting married is one solution: In some pieces of advice, it has been acknowledged that the treatment of forbidden sight is possible through the treatment of its cause, as its origin is often the excitation of lust. Therefore, if a person suppresses his lust through halal means, then haram is not needed.
Imam Ali has also hinted towards it in one of his speeches:
“One who sees a woman who excites him should go to his wife – for what he has seen is also in his wife. (By doing so), he doesn’t let the devil enter his heart and turns a blind eye to the woman. And if he doesn’t have a wife, then he should perform two units of prayer and praise Allah excessively and send Salawat upon the Prophet and his progeny and then pray for Allah’s grace and kindness that He provides him with a lawful wife that makes him needless.” (3)
Solution 3: Is there a prayer to hasten marriage?
When asked about this common issue, Ayatollah Rouhani recommends one of the prayers that many have found to be highly effective: the Jafar Tayyar prayer. The method for offering this lengthy but spiritually uplifting prayer can be found in the reference links.
Along with that, offering the Salat of Imam Ali, reciting Ziyarat Ashura for 40 days while dedicating its thawab to Lady Zaynab’s soul and repeating Ya Ali 14,000 times on a Thursday around midnight in seclusion are highly recommended by the late Marje for the fulfilment of any major need.
He also said that in his experience vowing (nazar) to do charity to seven Moosavi Saadat (descendants of Imam Musa al-Kazim) is also found to be effective for this particular problem.
Solution 4: Removal of adversities and difficulties
Like so many other scholars, Ayatollah Rouhani was also a staunch believer in the effectiveness of the Ziyarat Ashura.
Sometimes in life, people are faced with problems daily. And at other times, one problem may become so big that it may encompass their daily life.
In times of great difficulties, what prayer can be recited to invoke the mercy of Allah? Rouhani’s Answer: Recite Ziyarat Ashura for 40 days in the following manner:
- First, recite the Ziyarah of Imam Ali,
- Followed by 100 times Allahu Akbar
- Then recite the complete Ziyarat Ashura (including salutations and condemnations a hundred times each and the Dua in prostration).
This should be followed with 2 Rakah namaz and Dua Al-Qamah and, if repeated for 40 mornings in a row, casts away all hardships and calamities for good.
Solution 5: The most effective ritual for increasing sustenance
Ayatollah Rouhani was asked about the best prayer for increasing sustenance, such as getting out of abject poverty or the burden of loans and mortgages. Since the Ayatollah had worked with so many esteemed scholars, his answer was not just his experience alone but also the experience of many others he’d known. So what was his answer?
He quoted from Allama Majlisi, who has quoted it through his chain of narrators from Imam Sajjad, a unique prayer ritual. This prayer ritual involves the recitation of Surah Waqi’a for fourteen consecutive nights. It is preferred to start on the first of the lunar month and end it on the 14th night, the full moon. And it is recommended to perform it on a Monday that coincides with the first of the lunar month (though you can start it from any night and day of the week).
The complete method goes like this: Recite Surah Waqi’a once on the first day, twice on the second day, thrice on the third, and so on until reciting it fourteen times on the 14th day. It is ideal to complete the recitations before sunset.
Also, recite this dua after the surah recitation every day:
اَللّهُمَّ اِنْ کانَ رِزْقی فِی السَّماءِ فَأنْزِلْهُ وَ اِنْ کانَ فِی الْاَرْضِ فَأخْرِجْهُ وَ اِنْ کانَ بَعيداً فَقَرِّبْهُ وَ اِنْ کانَ قَريباً فَيسِّرْهُ وُ اِنْ کانَ قَليلاً فَکَثِّرْهُ وَ اِنْ کانَ کَثيراً فَبارِکْ لی فيهِ وَ أرْسِلْهُ عَلی اَيدی خِيارِ خَلْقِکَ وَ لا تُحْوِجْنی اِلی شِرارِ خَلْقک. وَ اِنْ لَمْ يکُنْ فَکَوِّنْهُ بکَينُونِيَّتِکَ وَ وَحْدانِيتِکَ، اَللّهُمَّ انْقُلْهُ اِلَيّ حَيثُ اَکُونُ وَ لا تَنْقُلْنی اِلَيهِ حيثُ يکُونُ، اِنَّکَ عَلی کُلِّ شَیْءٍ قَديرٌ. يا حَی يا قَيومُ، يا واحِدُ يا مَجيدُ، يا بَرُّ يا رَحيمُ يا غَنی، صَلِّ عَلی مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَ تَمِّمْ عَلَينا نِعْمَتَکَ، وَ هَنِّئْنا کَرامَتَکَ، وَ اَلْبسْنا عافيتَکَ
Transliteration: Allahumma in kana rizqi fil-sama’i fa anzilhu wa in kana fil-ardi fa akhrijhu wa in kana ba’idan fa qarribhu wa in kana qareeban fayassirhu wa in kana qalilan fakathirhu wa in kana kathiran fabarik li fihi wa arsilhu ‘ala aydi khayri khalqika wa la tuhwijni ila shirari khalqika. Wa in lam yakun fakawwinnahu bikaynuniyyatika wa wahdaniyyatika, Allahumma inqulhu ilayya haythu akoonu wa la tanqulni ilayhi haythu yakunu, innaka ‘ala kulli shay’in qadir. Ya Hayyu ya Qayyum, ya Wahidu ya Majid, ya Barru ya Rahimu ya Ghani, salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ali Muhammadin, wa tammim ‘alayna ni’mataka, wa hannina karamataka, wa albisna ‘afiyataka.
Translation: O Allah, if my sustenance is in the heavens, send it down for me; and if it is on the earth, bring it forth for me; and if it is far away, draw it near to me; and if it is nearby, make it easy for me; and if it is little, increase it for me; and if it is much, bless it for me and send it to me through the hands of the best of Your creation, and do not leave me to rely on the worst of Your creation. And if it does not exist, then create it for me by Your power and Your Oneness, O Allah. Transfer it to me wherever I may be, and do not transfer me to it wherever it may be, for You have power over all things. O Living, O Self-Sustaining, O One, O Majestic, O Kind, send blessings upon Muhammad and his family, and complete Your blessings upon us, and make us happy with Your generosity, and grant us good health.
And on the Thursdays in between, recite this dua:
یا ماجِدُ ، یا واحِدُ ، یا جَوادُ ، یا حلیمُ ، یا حَنّانُ ، یا مَنّانُ ، یا کَریمُ اَسْألُک تُحْفَةً مِنْ تحَفِکَ تَلُمُّ بها شَعْثی وَ تَقْضی بها دَیْنی وَ تُصْلِحُ بها شَأنی برَحْمْتِکَ یا سَیِّدی
This prayer routine that follows the waxing moon is known to bring unusual growth to wealth and sustenance. It increases Rizq, creates opportunities, and steers a person out of financial difficulties.
These were just some of the ways we can solve our problems by invoking Allah through prayers taught to us by those close to Him. As we explore the ways of the sages, we should also try to walk in their footsteps. So that with each word and act, we can get one step closer to the Ahlulbayt.