Islamo-Biblica and Islamic Devotional Texts and Literatures

Ṣalāt, Namāz, Du`a, Munājāt, Ziyārat-nāmah.

Islamo-Biblica  and Islamic Devotional Texts and  Literatures: Ṣalāt, Namāz, Du`a, Munājāt, Ziyārat-nāmah.



  • The well-known Sufi theological disclosure which commences, “I [God] was a hidden treasure” (kuntu kanzan makhfiyan)  believed to have been revealed to the biblical-qur’anic David and a prophetological prayer attributed to his mother (umm Dāwūd) (see below):

O my God! Blessings be upon [1] Hābīl (Abel), [2] Shīth (Seth), [3] Idrīs (Enoch), [4] Nūḥ (Noah), [5] Hūd [6 ] Ṣalīḥ [7] Ibrāhīm (Abraham), [8] Ismā’īl (Ishmael) and [9] Isḥāq (Isaac) [10] Ya`qūb ( Jacob),  [11] Yūsuf (Joseph), [12] and the tribes [of Israel]  (al-asbāt) [13] Lūṭ (Lot), [14] Shu`ayb, [15] `Ayyūb (Job), [16] Mūsā (Moses), [17] Hārūn (Aaron), [18] Joshua, [19] Mīshā (Mūshā) [2nd] Moses, son of Manasseh), [20] Khiḍr, [21] Dhū‑l-Qarnayn ("Alexander the Great”+)  [22] Yūnūs (Jonah), [23] llyās (Elijah), [24] Iyasu` [al-Yasa` b. Akhṭūb] (Elias), [25] Dhu'l-Kifl, [26] Tālūṭ  (Goliath), [27] Dā’wūd (David), [28] Sulaymān (Solomon), [29] Zakā’riyya (Zachariah), [30] Yaḥyā (John [the Baptist]), [31] T-W-R-KH (Torakh = Turk?) [32] Mattā (Matthew), [33] Irmīyā (Jeremiah) [34] Hayaqoq (Habbakuk), [35] Danyāl (Daniel ) [36] `Azīz ("Mighty") [37] `Īsā’ (Jesus),  [38] Shimūn (Simon), [39] Jirjīs (St. George) [40] the Apostles [of Jesus] (al-ḥawarīyyīn), [41] the successors' [`Followers' of Jesus?] (al-/ffibã`), [42] Khalid [b Sinan]), [43] Hanzalah and [44] Luqman “ (Majlisī,  Biḥār 2 11:59).


          This prophtological supplication is among very many devotional pieces which are attributed to pre‑Islamic figures in Shī`ī devotional and related compilatiions.  It will be seen that this lengthy prophetological beatitude listis over forty messengers and related figures in a loose and sometimes eccentric chronological order. Islamic devotion to the Israelite and related prophets, largely unmentionedin the Qur’ān, would seem to be implied here.



Numerous Shī`ī texts including works associated with visitation Ziyārāt   likewise contain hagiographical glorifications of cities or regions sacred to Shī`ī Muslims. This in the light of their having been in various ways been sanctified, by containing, for example,  the shrine of an Imām, pre‑Islamic prophet, saint or a learned individual. Pre‑Islamic prophets often figure in legends about the ancient sacred history of various regions associated in one way or another with Islamic histiry. An example of this would be the association of Adam, Abraham , Ishmael and others with the Ka`ba at Mecca. Places often become sanctified through having or being given importance as the home, resting  place or burial site of great sages, prophets and saints.

            The opposite also happens. When an Islamic Imam or worthy dies somewhere that location is understood to have in one way or another had a significant past.  Najaf, for example, lies 6‑7 miles west of Kūfa in Iraq where Imām `Alī was buried.  It thus became exceedingly holy.  Aside from the idea that Adam and Noah were buried there Ja`far al‑Ṣādiq, for example,  is reckoned to have taught that

`The land of Najaf is a part of the mountain in which God spoke to Moses, sanctified Jesus, and chose Abraham as his friend and Muhammad as His beloved’ (cited Abū’l‑Ḥasan al‑Daylamī Irshād al‑qulūb, trans. Algar, Eir. III:815).

            This is reminiscent of what the  second Shaykhī leader Sayyid Kāẓim, for example, has to say in commenting upon the secrets of Mt. Sinai (jabal ṭūr sīnā),

"Mount Sinai, outwardly and inwardly it is the hill of Najaf (rubwa al‑najaf) " for the Sinai in Syria is  a reconstituted outgrowth of  Sinaitic Najaf which is part of that mountain on which God converesed with Moses, sanctified Jesus and took Abraham for his friend (Rashtī, al‑ṭutunjiyya, 65ff).

The translocation of sacred topograohy is an important aspect of Shī`ī mystical geography which has left some influence on .and Bābī‑ Bahā’ī hagiography. The Bāb often referred to the `arabat  (Shī`ī shrine region in Iraq) as the al‑arḍ al‑muqaddas (the "Holy Land"). In various alwāḥ,  for example, BA* mystically‑exegetically relocated Jerusalem identifying it with the "new Jerusalem" of his (Ar.)  haykal (Temple,  Person) with the body of his person and new religion.  This is particularly evident in his Sūrat al‑haykal  (Sura of the Temple) which exists in several Arabic recensions (late 1860‑early 1870s) the texts of the last of which was written up at BA*’s direction as an Arabic  pentalpha (ADD) representative of the eschatological Temple, the "New Jerusalem"  anticipated in the Bible (Zech. 6:12‑13; Rev. 21:1ff.1 and now located in the Acre‑Haifa region where BA* resided for more than two decades.

Finally, it might be noted that traditions contained in Faḍā’il and related texts influenced aspects of the very positive Bahā’ī attitude to Palestine‑Israel, the `Holy Land’. This is well evidenced, for example,  in `Abd al-Baha's commentary on the Islamic basmala  where he glories and exalts over the superlative greatness of the Sanctified [Holy] Land (al‑arḍ al‑muqaddas), In very  lofty terms he refers to it as this "mighty  land" (al‑quṭr al‑`aẓīm)  and  "noble clime" (al‑iqlīm al‑karīm) extoled (man`¬t)  by the tongue of the prophets and messengers (al‑anbiyā’ wa’l‑mursalīn)"  for therein was witnessed the ẓuh¬r al‑rabb bi‑majd al‑aẓīm  (theophany of the Lord  with great glory", the eschatological advent of Baha'-Allah, the "glory of God" (`Abd al-Baha', Makātib1:55).

          1 Lists of major faḍā’il works can be found in several Arabic and English works including, for example, Hasson, 1979:9‑10 (fourteen Arabic Faḍā’il and associated works listed). See further the anthology of prophetic ḥaḥādīth , Faḍā’il bayt al‑maqdīs wa’l‑khalīl faḍ ā’il al‑Sham  compiled in the 430s/1130s by Abū al‑Ma`ālī al‑Maqdīsī (ed. Livne‑Kafri, 1995) and  Eliad’s, Medieval Jerusalem .. (1995).

          1It was at this mosuqe around 1970 that M.J. Kister discovered Wāsitī’s Faā’il al‑Quds.

          1 In the Hebrew Bible the Sumerian loan word (Heb)  XXX (hechal) is cognate with Arabic  XXX (haikal) in which langauge it has a wide range of senses.