Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ibn Arabi's Thursday Morning Prayer


These are excerpts from Al-Awrad al-Yawmiyya (Daily Prayers) of Sheikh Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi (1165 - 1240 CE). Translated by Pablo Beneito and Stephen Hirtenstein, Anqa Publishing 2000.

Ibn Arabi's works are known to be complex. Ibn Arabi being Ibn Arabi, his du'a is not an ordinary du'a, it is laden with pearls of haqiqah and makrifah. In fact, it requires one to understand tawhid (unity) at a high degree for one to comprehend his du'a. Nevertheless, I present it here so that we could derive some benefits from this Sheikhul al-Akbar, bi-iznillah.
* Lisan al-Din's related post: Ibn Arabi on the Art of Making Du'a

O my God, You are Self-Standing by Your own Essence; encompassing with Your Qualities; Revealed through Your Names; manifest in Your acts; and hidden by virtue of what is only known to You! You are Alone in Your Majesty, as You are the One, the Unique; and You have singularised Yourself, as You permanently endure in eternity without beginning or end. You, You are God, who by virtue of Oneness is the Only One referred to in iyyaka. With You there is none other than You; in You there is none but You.

I ask of You, O God, for annihilation in Your subsistence, and for subsistence through You, not with You. There is no god but You!

O my God, cause me to be absent (from myself) in Your Presence, annihilated in Your Being and extinguished in Your Contemplation. Sever me from all that severs me from You; occupy me with You alone by turning me away from all that distracts me from You. There is no god but You!

O my God, You are the Truly Existent, while I am the fundamentally non-existent. Your subsistence is by virtue of Your Essence; mine is only accidental. So, my God, lavish your True Existence upon my fundamental non-existence, that I may be as I was when I was not at all, and You may be as You are, as You always have been! There is no god but You!

You are the One who accomplishes whatever you desire, while I am a servant for You, one among some of the servants. O my God, You have desired me and You have desired through me - thus I am the desired and You the Desirer. May You be what is desired through me, so that You Yourself become the Desired and I the desirer! There is no god but You!

O my God, You are unmanifest in all that is unseen; manifest in every concrete reality; heard in every account, be it true or false; known in the degree of Unity and Duality. You are the One named by the Names which have been brought down in revelation, so that You are veiled from being seen by the eye, and concealed from being grasped by the intelligence.

O my God, how often do I cry out to You as one who calls, when (in truth) You are the One who calls for the caller! How often do I secretly whisper to You as one who confides intimacies, when You are the One who confides for the confider!

O my God, if union is the essence of separateness, and closeness the very soul of distance, if knowledge be the site of ignorance, and recognition the seat of non-recognition, what then is the destination and where the starting-point of the path?

O my God, You are what is sought behind the aim of every seeker, what is acknowledged in the eye of the denier, what is truly close in the separation of the one who distances (himself). Yet here conjecture has supplanted understanding - who is distanced from whom? Who is favoured by whom? Beauty says "You alone", while Baseness "the One who rendered good and beautiful all that He has created". The former is an end at which journeying comes to a halt, and the latter is a veil by virtue of imagining there is other (than you).

O my God, acts of obedience do not profit You, nor do acts of disobedience harm You. In the hand of Your Almighty Sovereignty lies the command of hearts and forelocks, and to You is returned the whole affair, without distinguishing between obedient or disobedient.

O my God, for You rational evidence does not substantiate You, nor logical proof verify You!
O my God, for You Eternity without beginning and without end coincide in Your Reality!
O my God, what is this "You" and "I"? What is this "He" and "She"?

O my God, should I search for You in plurality or in unity? How long will I have to wait for You? And how can this be done when a servant has no preparedness nor support without You?

O my God, my subsistence through You lies in my annihilation, (but is my annihilation) from myself, or in You or through You? Is my annihilation thus realised through You, or imagined through me, or conversely, or even both at once? And is my subsistence in You likewise?

O my God, my silence is a dumbness necessitating deafness, and my speaking is a deafness necessitating dumbness! Perplexity in all, yet there is no perplexity (in You).

In the Name of God, my Lord is God. In the Name of God, God suffices me. In the Name of God, it is by God. In the Name of God, I place my trust in God. In the Name of God, I ask of God. In the Name of God, there is no power nor strength save through God.

Our Lord, in You we place our trust; to You we turn; to You is the homecoming.

O God, I ask You to grant me the mystery of Your Order and the grandeur of Your Decree; of the all-embracing grasp of Your Knowledge; of the special prerogatives of Your Will; of the efficacy of Your Power; of the permeation of Your Hearing and Sight; of the self-subsistent presence of Your Life; and of the necessary character of Your Essence and Qualities.

O God, O God, O God! O First, O Last! O Manifest, O Hidden! O Light, O Truth, O Most Evident! O God, distinguish my secret heart with the secrets of Your Oneness! Sanctify my spirit with the sanctified revelations of Your Qualities! Purify my heart with the pure knowledges of Your Divinity!

O God, instruct my intellect in the sciences of Your Private Knowledge, and perfume my soul with the virtues of Your Lordship! Assure my senses by extending illuminating rays from the Presences of Your Radiant Light! Liberate the quintessential gemstones of my corporeality from the constraints of gross nature, from the condensity of sense-perception and from the confinement of place and (phenomenal) world!

O God, transport me from the descending steps of my created being and nature to the ascending light of Your Truth and essential Reality. You are my Friend and Master: in You I die and from You I take life. It is You alone whom we adore and it is You alone we ask for aid.

Look upon me, O God, with that regard by which You arrange all my stages in a harmonious progression, and by which You purify the inner heart where my secrets appear, by which You elevate the spirits of my remembrance to the Highest Assembly, and by which You intensify the shining of my light.

O God, make me absent from the whole of Your creation and unite me to You through Your True Reality. Preserve me in the contemplation of the dispositions of Your Order in the myriad worlds of Your Differentiation.

O God, it is You that I turn to for aid; You that I turn my face to; You that I ask of; and You, and no other than You, that I truly desire! I do not ask of You other than You; nor do I seek of You aught but You alone!

O God, I beseech You to respond to that through the most august intercessor, the greatest excellency, the nearest beloved, the most protective friend, Muhammad the elect, the serenely pure and completely agreed to (by God), the chosen prophet. For him I ask that You bless him with the Blessing of everlasting eternity without beginning or end, the constant, subsistent, divine and lordly Blessing. (Accomplish this) in such a way that You make me witness the reality of his perfection, that I may be consumed by the contemplation of the knowledges of his essence. (And may this Blessing) be likewise upon his family and companions, for You are the Master of that!

There is no power nor strength save through God, the High, the Magnificent. And praise be to God, Lord of the universes.
* Purchase 'The Seven Days of the Heart' from Anqa Publishing (£13.95)
* New from Anqa: 'The Four Pillars of Spiritual Transformation' - Ibn 'Arabi's Hilyat al-abdal, on the value of silence, seclusion, hunger and vigilance.

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