His Supplication in Giving Thanks

His Supplication when Confessing his Shortcomings in Giving Thanks


O God,
          no one reaches a limit in thanking Thee
                    without acquiring that of Thy beneficence
                    which enjoins upon him thanksgiving,


          nor does anyone reach a degree in obeying Thee,
                    even if he strives,
                    without falling short of what Thou deservest
                    because of Thy bounty.


          The most thankful of Thy servants
                              has not the capacity to thank Thee,
                    and the most worshipful of them
                              falls short of obeying Thee.


          To none of them is due
                    Thy forgiveness through what he himself deserves
                    or Thy good pleasure for his own merit.


          When Thou forgivest someone,
                              it is through Thy graciousness,
                    and when Thou art pleased with someone,
                              it is through Thy bounty.


          Thou showest gratitude
                              for the paltry for which Thou showest gratitude148
                    and Thou rewardest
                              the small act in which Thou art obeyed,
          so that it seems as if Thy servants' thanksgiving
                    for which Thou hast made incumbent their reward
                              and made great their repayment
                    is an affair
                              from which they could have held back without Thee,
                                        and hence Thou wilt recompense them,
                              and whose cause is not in Thy hand,
                                        and hence Thou wilt repay them.


          Nay, my God, Thou hadst power over their affair
                              before they had power to worship Thee,
                    and Thou hadst prepared their reward
                              before they began to obey Thee;
                    and that because Thy wont is bestowal of bounty,
                              Thy custom beneficence,
                              Thy way pardon.


          So all creatures confess
                              that Thou wrongest not him whom Thou punishest
                    and bear witness
                              that Thou bestowest bounty upon him whom Thou pardonest.
          Each admits
                    that he has fallen short of what Thou meritest.


          Had Satan not misled them from Thy obedience,
                              no disobeyer would have disobeyed Thee,
                    and had he not shown falsehood to them in the likeness of truth
                              no strayer would have gone astray from Thy path.


So glory be to Thee!
          How manifest is Thy generosity
                    in dealing with him who obeys or disobeys Thee!
          Thou showest gratitude to the obedient
                              for that which Thou undertakest for him,
                    and Thou grantest a respite to the disobedient
                              in that within which Thou art able to hurry him.


          Thou givest to each of them
                               that which is not his due,
                    and Thou bestowest bounty upon each
                              in that wherein his works fall short.


          Wert Thou to counterbalance for the obedient servant
                    that which Thou Thyself hadst undertaken,
          he would be on the point of losing Thy reward
                    and seeing the end of Thy favour,
           but through Thy generosity Thou hast repaid him
                    for a short, perishing term
                              with a long, everlasting term,
                     and for a near, vanishing limit
                               with an extended, abiding limit.


          Then Thou dost not visit him with a settling of accounts
                     for Thy provision
                              through which he gained strength to obey Thee,
          nor dost Thou force him to make reckonings
                    for the organs he employed
                              to find the means to Thy forgiveness.
          Wert Thou to do that to him,
                     it would take away
                               everything for which he had laboured
                              and all wherein he had exerted himself
                    as repayment for the smallest of Thy benefits
                                                  and kindnesses,
                    and he would remain hostage before Thee
                                                  for Thy other favours.
          So how can he deserve something of Thy reward?
                    Indeed, how?


This, my God, is the state of him who obeys Thee
                    and the path of him who worships Thee.
          But as for him who disobeys Thy command
                    and goes against Thy prohibition,
                    Thou dost not hurry him to Thy vengeance,
          so that he may seek to replace
                    his state in disobeying Thee
                    with the state of turning back to obey Thee,
          though he deserved from the time he set out to disobey Thee
                     every punishment which Thou hast prepared
                    for all Thy creatures.


          Through each chastisement
                    which Thou hast kept back from him
          and each penalty of Thy vengeance and Thy punishment
                    which Thou hast delayed from him,
          Thou hast refrained from Thy right
                    and shown good pleasure
                              in place of what Thou hast made obligatory.


          So who is more generous, my God, than Thou?
                    And who is more wretched than he who perishes
                              in spite of Thee?
                    Indeed, who?
          Thou art too blessed to be described
                              by any but beneficence
                    and too generous for any but justice
                              to be feared from Thee!
          There is no dread that Thou wilt be unjust
                              toward him who disobeys Thee,
                    nor any fear of Thy neglecting to reward
                              him who satisfies Thee.149
          So bless Muhammad and his Household,
                    give me my hope,
                    and increase me in that of Thy guidance
                              through which I may be successful in my works!
           Surely Thou art All-kind, Generous.