His Supplication in Fear


O God,
           Thou created me without fault,
           nurtured me when small,
           and provided me with sufficiency.


O God,
           I found in the Book
                     which Thou sent down
                     and through which Thou gave good news to Thy servants,
           that Thou said,
                     O My servants who hare been prodigal against yourselves,
                     do not despair of God's mercy,
                     surely God forgives all sins,261
but there has gone ahead from me what Thou knowest
                     (and of which Thou knowest more than I)!
           O the shame of what Thy Book has counted against me!262


Were it not for the places
                     where I expectantly hope for Thy pardon,
                               which enfolds all things,
                     I would have thrown myself down [in despair]!
           Were anyone able to flee from his Lord,
                               I would be the most obligated to flee from Thee!
                     But not a secret in earth and heaven is concealed from Thee,
                               except that Thou bringest it.263
                     Thou sufficest as a recompenser!
                               Thou sufficest as a reckoner!264


           O God,
                     surely Thou wouldst seek me if I flee
                               and catch me if I run.
           So here I am before Thee,
                     abject, lowly, abased.
           If Thou chastisest me,
                     I am worthy of that,
                     and it would be, my Lord, an act of justice from Thee.
           But if Thou pardonest me,
                     anciently has Thy pardon enfolded me
                     and Thy well-being garmented me!


So I ask Thee, O God,
                     by Thy names stored in Thy treasury265
                     and Thy splendour masked by the veils!
           If Thou hast no mercy upon this anxious soul
                               and these uneasy, decaying bones -
                     he cannot endure the heat of Thy sun,
                               so how can he endure the heat of Thy Fire?
                     He cannot endure the sound of Thy thunder,
                               so how can he endure the sound of Thy wrath?


So have mercy upon me, O God,
           for I am a vile man
                     and my worth is little.
           Chastising me will not add the weight of a dust mote
                     to Thy kingdom.
           Were chastising me something that would add to Thy kingdom,
                     I would ask Thee for patience to bear it
                     and would love for it to belong to Thee;
           but Thy authority, my God, is mightier,
                     and Thy kingdom more lasting,
           than that the obedience of the obeyers should increase it
                     or the disobedience of the sinners diminish it!


So have mercy upon me,
                     O Most Merciful of the merciful!
           Show me forbearance,
                     O Possessor of majesty and munificence!
           And turn toward me,
                     Surely Thou art Ever-turning, All-compassionate!266