The eyes of those who see fall short of seeing Him

All praise is due to God, the First, before Whom there was no 'first' and the Last, after Whom there shall be no 'last'. The eyes of those who see fall short of seeing Him; the imagination of those who praise Him fall short of describing Him. By His Power He created every creature de novo and He moulded them according to His Will. Then He made them walk along the path of His Intention and caused them to tread the way of His Love. They have no power to delay that towards which He hastens them nor are they able to hasten that which He delays for them.

He has ordained for every soul a definite quantity of subsistence, distributed out of the nourishment provided by Him. There can be no decrease of what He has increased and no increase of what He has decreased. Then He has ordained for each one a definite duration in respect to life and fixed for one a de fined limit towards which one proceeds through the days of one's life and arrives thereat in due course of the years of one's existence. And when one arrives at one's furthest limit, having fulfilled the allotted period of one's life, the Lord takes one away as the object of His Invitation, which is either abundant reward or frightful punishment, that He may, through His Justice, requite the wrongdoers for their actions and reward those who acted righteously with goodness. Holy are His Names and ever-recurrent are His Blessings. He shall not be questioned concerning what He does but others shall be questioned. All praise is due to God, for had He withheld the consciousness of His praiseworthiness from His creatures, they would have (ungratefully) enjoyed His Blessings for all that He has conferred upon them of His recurrent Favors.

They would have prospered in His Gifts without ever thanking Him. And were they to be such, they would certainly have gone beyond the bounds of humanity into the frontiers of beastliness. They would have conformed to the description which He has given in His Unique Book, saying, 'What are they except like brutes or even more aberrant from the Way'? Praise be to God for what He has taught us about Himself (for that He) inspired us with gratitude to Him, opened the doors of the knowledge of His God head for us, directed us towards the purity of belief in His Unity and restrained us from rebelling against or even from entertaining doubts concerning His Commands.

(We offer) a praise whereby we may live among those of His creatures who praise Him; whereby we may surpass those who seek to win His Sanction and Forgiveness; a praise whereby He may illuminate the darkness of the interval between death and the Day of Judgment for us and make resurrection easy for us; whereby He may exalt our positions at the time of the appearance of witnesses, on the Day where on every soul shall be rewarded according to what it has earned and they shall not be wronged; the Day whereon no friend shall be able to ward off anything from his friend, nor shall they be helped; a praise that rises from us towards the Highest of the High Heavens (mentioned) in the Written Book, witnessed by those nigh unto Gods; a praise whereby our eyes should remain cool when the sight of others is dazzled and whereby our faces should become bright when the countenances of others are darkened; a praise whereby we may be freed from the painful Fire of God (and led) towards His gracious environs; a praise, whereby we may move the angels nigh unto Him to pity us and whereby we may be joined with His Apostles in the Abode of Permanence that declines not and in a place of honor with Him.

Praise be to God who chose the beauties of creation for us, made the pure things of sustenance flow unto us and bestowed the distinction of dominion over all creation upon us so that His creatures are obedient to us because of His Power and pressed into our service because of His Authority.

Praise be to God who has closed the doors of want upon us except (wanting) fed us with wholesome sustenance, made us independent by His Grace and gave us wealth by His Kindness. Then He Commanded us to do certain things so that He may thereby test our obedience and forbade us to do certain things so that he may test our gratitude. But we deviated from the path of His Command and committed acts which make Him scold us, but He neither hurried us to punishment, nor hastened us to retribution . Nay, He kindly postponed it for us by His Mercy and He awaits our return to obedience with His gracious Forbearance. And praise be to God Who directed us to repentance, which we could never have obtained but by His Grace so that if we were not to reckon any of His Favors except this one, verily, His Favors unto us would still have been praiseworthy and His Goodness to us would still have been magnificent, for such was not His practice in regards to repentance with those who were before us.

Lo, He has lifted (the burden) from us which we had no power to bear. He has not imposed upon us duties beyond our ability and He has not commanded any thing except what is easy. Thus He has not left any one of us with any pretext or excuse for disobedience. So doomed shall be those of us who will let His Commands expire. Happy shall be those who will aspire towards Him.

Praise be to God with all the hymns by which He is praised by the angels who are nearest to Him, by His creatures who are most honorable in His Sight and by those adorers who are best approved by Him, a praise that excels all praise in the same way as the Lord excels all His creatures.

Then praise be to Him for each and every Favor bestowed by Him on us and on all His servants that have been or are to be; and equal in number to all the things encompassed by His Knowledge.

And for every Favor, let the number of praises be enhanced and multiplied many times, perpetually and interminably until the Day of Resurrection-praise of Him has no limit, no accounting of its numbers, no attaining its extent and no terminating its duration. (We offer) praise of a kind that constitutes a link between our service to Him and His Forgiveness of us; a cause of His good pleasure; a means towards His Forgiveness; a path to His Paradise; a protection from His Chastisement; a security from His Wrath; an aid in the performance of His service; a restraint from disobedience to Him; and an assistance in the repayment of our dues and obligations unto Him. Praise of a kind whereby we may be blessed among His blessed lovers and be included in the covenant of His martyrs who have fallen under the swords of His enemies . Lo, verily, He is the Lord, Most Praise worthy.

 

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Sahifa Sajjadiyya, Supplication 1