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Supplication of Umm Dawud

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This article is an introduction to the Supplication of Umm Dawud; to read its text see Text:Umm Dawud Supplication.

Umm Dāwūd or Istiftāḥ supplication (Arabic: دعاء أم داود) is a Ma'thura supplication and among Umm Dawud practices. Umm Dawud practices are recommended to be performed on Rajab 15th and Umm Dawud supplication is the last part of them.

Since Umm Dawud, the foster mother of Imam al-Sadiq (a) transmitted this supplication from him, it has become famous as Umm Dawud supplication. According to the report of al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Imam al-Sadiq (a) described this supplication very valuable.

Al-Shaykh al-Saduq's Fada'il al-ashhar, al-Shaykh al-Tusi's Misbah al-mutahajjid and Sayyid b. Tawus's Iqbal al-a'mal are among hadith sources of Umm Dawud supplication. This supplication is also mentioned in a Sunni hadith source.


Umm Dawud

Main article: Umm Dawud

The name of Umm Dawud was Fatima or Habiba. She became famous with the teknonym "Umm Dawud" because of his son, Dawud b. Hasan. Dawud is considered among the companions of Imam al-Baqir (a) or Imam al-Sadiq (a). Umm Dawud was al-Hasan al-Muthanna's wife and the foster mother of Imam al-Sadiq (a).


The story of Umm Dawud supplication is mentioned in details in al-Shaykh al-Saduq's Fada'il al-ashhar al-thalatha (merits of the three months) and Sayyid b. Tawus's Iqbal al-a'mal. It is mentioned below in brief:

Dawud, son of Umm Dawud was taken captive by al-Mansur al-Dawaniqi, the Abbasid caliph and was taken to Iraq and there was no information about him for a long time. For the freedom of her son, Umm Dawud frequently made supplications before God and also asked people of worship for help, but, it did not happen. One day, she went to Imam al-Sadiq (a) and Imam (a) asked about her son. Umm Dawud told the story. Imam al-Sadiq (a) told her to fast the three days of Rajab 13, 14 and 15 and to perform some practices at the noon of the third day. They later became famous as Umm Dawud practices; one of which is reciting Umm Dawud or Istiftah supplication Imam (a) taught her.

Based on these two reports, after performing Umm Dawud practices, she met the Prophet (s) in the dream and he (s) gave her the good news about the freedom of her son and after a while, her son returned home and said that he was released at Rajab 15th.


According to the report of al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Imam al-Sadiq (a) mentioned the merits of the supplication for Umm Dawud before teaching it to her, saying that it was a supplication for which God opens the doors of the sky, angels give good news of its acceptance and its reward] will not be less than the paradise.

Some famous scholars of Shi'a including al-Shaykh al-Tusi, Sayyid b. Tawus and Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi considered Umm Dawud supplication effective in removing afflictions, fulfillment of requests and removing oppression.

Manner of Recitation

Umm Dawud supplication is mentioned among Umm Dawud practices performed on Rajab 15th. This supplication is the last part of Umm Dawud practices and is recited after performing other practices. To perform Umm Dawud practices, one needs to fast the Ayyam al-Bid (literally means white days, Rajab 13, 14 and 15) first and performs ghusl at the noon of the third day. Then, after performing Zuhr prayer and Asr prayers and reciting some suras of the Qur'an, he should recite Umm Dawud or Istiftah supplication.


Umm Dawud supplication is mentioned in different Shi'a and one Sunni hadiths sources: the oldest one of which is al-Shaykh al-Saduq's Fada'il al-ashhur al-thalatha. But, in this book, only the chain of transmission of the supplication and its story are mentioned. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq refers to his other book, Amal al-Sunna, for the text of the supplication, which is said to have been lost.

Then, the second source is al-Shaykh al-Tusi's Misbah al-mutahajjid which, contrary to the previous book, does not contain the story of the supplication, but contains its text as one of the practices of Rajab 15th. The story of the supplication and its text are also mentioned in Sayyid b. Tawus's Iqbal al-a'mal. Al-Hakim al-Hasakani (d. 490/1058), a Sunni scholar, has also mentioned the supplication in Fada'il-u shahr Rajab.

Al-Kaf'ami's Balad al-amin and his Misbah, al-Allama al-Majlisi's Bihar al-anwar and Shaykh Abbas Qummi's Mafatih al-jinan are among sources which have quoted the text of the supplication from previously mentioned sources.

See Also