Prayer Extolling the Transcendance of God

Introduction

The following prayer was revealed by Abdu’l-Baha in Persian, and is rich in both poetic devices and Aristotelian terminology. It stands unique among the prayers of the Master by virtue of its sole purpose being to confess utter powerlessness in extolling the transcendent Divinity. Drawing from His vast lexicon, Abdu’l-Baha penned a prayer that is eloquent in its expression and penetrating in its purport.

The following provisional translation has benefitted from the invaluable counsel of Naeem Nabiliakbar.

View interlinear file with the original Persian

 

 


Prayer Extolling the Transcendence of God

Provisional Translation by Joshua Hall

He is the All-Glorious, the Resplendent

O Divine Providence, O Thou the Ever-Forgiving! How am I to let loose my tongue in praise of Thee, and therewith extol and worship Thee? To give voice to any word in Thy praise is in itself to fall short, and to write anything is proof of ignorance in this most difficult matter.

The tongue is but an instrument composed of material elements; utterance is but one amongst contingent attributes. With but a material instrument and contingent utterance, how is it that one could describe and laud the Ineffable?

Such as I utter and such as I seek are of the conceptions of the realm of man, and abide within the compass of human domain. How are the fruits of mortal musing to attain unto the heights of divinity? How can the spider of vain imaginings, with the silk spun of idle fancies and limited understanding, weave its web unto the realm of sanctity?

There is nothing to avail, save to confess powerlessness, and there is no excuse, but to acknowledge inability. Thou art the Self-Sufficing, the Transcendent, sanctified above all conceived by the most consummate of minds.

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