His Supplication in Asking Release

His Supplication when he Asked Release from his Sins or Pleaded in Seeking Pardon for his Defects


O God,
          O He through whose Mercy sinners seek aid!


          O He to the remembrance of whose beneficence the distressed flee!


          O He in fear of whom the offenders weep!


          O Comfort of every lonely stranger!
          O Relief of all who are downcast and distressed!
          O Aid of everyone abandoned and alone!
          O Support of every needy outcast!


Thou art He
                    who embracest everything in mercy and knowledge!94


          Thou art He
                    who hast appointed for each creature a share of Thy favours!


          Thou art He
                    whose pardon is higher than His punishment!


          Thou art He
                    whose mercy runs before His wrath!


          Thou art He
                    whose bestowal is greater than His withholding!


          Thou art He
                    by whose mercy all creatures are embraced!


          Thou art He
                    who desires no repayment by him upon whom He bestows!


          Thou art He
                    who does not overdo the punishment of him who disobeys Thee!


And I, my God, am Thy servant
                    whom Thou commanded to supplicate
          and who said:
                    I am at Thy service and disposal!
          Here am I, my Lord,
                    thrown down before Thee.


          I am he
                    whose back offenses have weighed down!
          I am he
                    whose lifetime sins have consumed!
          I am he
                    who was disobedient in his ignorance,
                    while Thou didst not deserve that from him!


Wilt Thou, my God,
          be merciful toward him who supplicates Thee,
                    that I should bring my supplication before Thee?
          Wilt Thou forgive him who weeps to Thee
                    that I should hurry to weep?
          Wilt Thou show forbearance toward
                    him who puts his face in the dust before Thee in lowliness?
          Wilt Thou free from need
                    him who complains to Thee of his indigent need with confidence?


My God,
          disappoint not him who finds no bestower
                    other than Thee,
          and abandon not him who cannot be freed from his need for Thee
                    through less than Thee!


My God,
          so bless Muhammad and his Household,
          turn not away from me
                    when I have turned my face toward Thee,
          deprive me not
                    when 1 have besought Thee,
          and slap not my brow with rejection
                    when I have stood before Thee!


Thou art He who has described Himself by mercy,
          so bless Muhammad and his Household
                    and have mercy upon me!
          Thou art He who has named Himself by pardon,
                    so pardon me!


Thou hast seen, my God,
          the flow of my tears
                    in fear of Thee,
          the throbbing of my heart
                    in dread of Thee,
          and the infirmity of my limbs
                    in awe of Thee.


          All this from my shame before Thee
                    because of my evil works!
          So my voice has become silent,
                    no longer crying to Thee,
          and my tongue has gone dumb,
                    no longer whispering in prayer.


My God,
          so to Thee belongs praise!
          How many of my haws Thou hast covered over
                    without exposing me!
          How many of my sins Thou hast cloaked
                    without making me notorious!
          How many faults I have committed, yet Thou didst not
                    tear away from me their covering,
                    collar me with their detested disgrace,
                    or make their dishonour plain
                              to those of my neighbours who search for my defects
                              and to those who envy Thy favour toward me!


          But that did not prevent me from passing on
                    to the evil that Thou knowest from me!


          So who is more ignorant than I, my God,
                    of his own right conduct?
          Who is more heedless than I
                    of his own good fortune?
          Who is further than I
                    from seeking to set himself right?
          For I spend the provision Thou deliverest to me
                    in the disobedience Thou hast prohibited to me!
          Who sinks more deeply into falsehood
                    and is more intensely audacious in evil than I?
          For I hesitate between Thy call and the call of Satan
                    and then follow his call
                              without being blind in my knowledge of him
                              or forgetful in my memory of him,


                    while I am certain that Thy call takes to the Garden
                    and his call takes to the Fire!


Glory be to Thee!
          How marvellous the witness I bear against my own soul
                    and the enumeration of my own hidden affairs!


          And more marvellous than that is Thy lack of haste with me,
                    Thy slowness in attending to me!
                    That is not because I possess honour with Thee,
           but because Thou waitest patiently for me
                    and art bountiful toward me
                    that I may refrain from disobedience displeasing to Thee
                    and abstain from evil deeds that disgrace me,
          and because Thou lovest to pardon me more than to punish!


But I, my God, am
          more numerous in sins,
          uglier in footsteps,
          more repulsive in acts,
          more reckless in rushing into falsehood,
          weaker in awakening to Thy obedience,
                    and less attentive and heedful toward Thy threats,
          than that I could number for Thee my faults
                    or have the power to recount my sins.


          I only scold my own soul,
                    craving Thy gentleness,
                              through which the affairs of sinners are set right,
                    and hoping for Thy mercy,
                              through which the necks of the offenders are freed.


          O God,
                    this is my neck,
                              enslaved by sins,
                    bless Muhammad and his Household
                              and release it through Thy pardon!
                    This is my back,
                              weighed down by offenses,
                    bless Muhammad and his Household
                              and lighten it through Thy kindness!


My God,
          were I to weep to Thee until my eyelids drop off,
          wail until my voice wears out,
          stand before Thee until my feet swell up,
          bow to Thee until my backbone is thrown out of joint,
          prostrate to Thee until my eyeballs fall out,
          eat the dirt of the earth for my whole life,
          drink the water of ashes till the end of my days,
          mention Thee through all of that until my tongue fails,
          and not lift my glance to the sky's horizons in shame before Thee,
          yet would I not merit through all of that
                    the erasing of a single one of my evil deeds!


          Though Thou forgivest me when I merit Thy forgiveness
                    and pardonest me when I deserve Thy pardon,
          yet I have no title to that through what I deserve,
                    nor am I worthy of it through merit,
          since my repayment from Thee
                    from the first that I disobeyed Thee
                    is the Fire!
          So if Thou punishest me,
                    Thou dost me no wrong.


My God, since Thou hast
          shielded me with Thy covering
                    and not exposed me,
          waited patiently for me through Thy generosity,
                    and not hurried me to punishment,
          and shown me clemency through Thy bounty,
                    and not changed Thy favour upon me
                    or muddied Thy kindly acts toward me,
          have mercy on my drawn out pleading,
                    my intense misery,
                    and my evil situation!


O God,
          bless Muhammad and his Household,
          protect me from acts of disobedience,
          employ me in obedience,
          provide me with excellent turning back [to Thee],
          purify me through repentance,
          strengthen me through preservation from sin,
          set me right through well being,
          let me taste the sweetness of forgiveness,
          make me the freedman of Thy pardon
                    and the slave released by Thy mercy,
          and write for me a security
                    from Thy displeasure!
          Give me the good news of that
                    in the immediate, not the deferred
                    - a good news I recognize -
          and make known to me therein a sign
                    which I may clearly see!


          That will not constrain Thee in Thy plenty,
                    distress Thee in Thy power,
                    ascend beyond Thy lack of haste,
                    or tire Thee in Thy great gifts,
                              which are pointed to by Thy signs.
          Verily Thou dost what Thou wilt,
                    Thou decreest what Thou desirest.
          Thou art powerful over everything.95