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37) His Supplication in Giving Thanks

(37) وَ كَانَ مِنْ دُعَائِهِ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ إِذَا اعْتَرَفَ بِالتَّقْصِيرِ عَنْ تَأْدِيَةِ الشُّكْرِ

His Supplication when Confessing his Shortcomings in Giving Thanks

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

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

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

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

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

6- Thou showest gratitude for the paltry for which Thou showest gratitude1
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.

7- 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.

8- 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.

9- 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.

10- 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.

11- 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.

12- 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.

13- 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?

14- 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.

15- 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.

16- 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.2
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.

1. اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّ أَحَداً لَا يَبْلُغُ مِنْ شُكْرِكَ غَايَةً

إِلَّا حَصَلَ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ إِحْسَانِكَ

مَا يُلْزِمُهُ شُكْراً .

2. وَ لَا يَبْلُغُ مَبْلَغاً مِنْ طَاعَتِكَ وَ إِنِ اجْتَهَدَ

إِلَّا كَانَ مُقَصِّراً

دُونَ اسْتِحْقَاقِكَ بِفَضْلِكَ

3. فَأَشْكَرُ عِبَادِكَ عَاجِزٌ عَنْ شُكْرِكَ ،

وَ أَعْبَدُهُمْ مُقَصِّرٌ عَنْ طَاعَتِكَ

4. لَا يَجِبُ لِأَحَدٍ أَنْ تَغْفِرَ لَهُ بِاسْتِحْقَاقِهِ ،

وَ لَا أَنْ تَرْضَى عَنْهُ بِاسْتِيجَابِهِ

5. فَمَنْ غَفَرْتَ لَهُ فَبِطَوْلِكَ ،

وَ مَنْ رَضِيتَ عَنْهُ فَبِفَضْلِكَ

6. تَشْكُرُ يَسِيرَ مَا شَكَرْتَهُ ،

وَ تُثِيبُ عَلَى قَلِيلِ مَا تُطَاعُ فِيهِ

حَتَّى كَأَنَّ شُكْرَ عِبَادِكَ

الَّذِي أَوْجَبْتَ عَلَيْهِ ثَوَابَهُمْ وَ أَعْظَمْتَ عَنْهُ جَزَاءَهُمْ

أَمْرٌ مَلَكُوا اسْتِطَاعَةَ الِامْتِنَاعِ مِنْهُ دُونَكَ

فَكَافَيْتَهُمْ ،

أَوْ لَمْ يَكُنْ سَبَبُهُ بِيَدِكَ

فَجَازَيْتَهُمْ

7. بَلْ مَلَكْتَ يَا إِلَهِي أَمْرَهُمْ

قَبْلَ أَنْ يَمْلِكُوا عِبَادَتَكَ ،

وَ أَعْدَدْتَ ثَوَابَهُمْ

قَبْلَ أَنْ يُفِيضُوا فِي طَاعَتِكَ ،

وَ ذَلِكَ أَنَّ سُنَّتَكَ الْإِفْضَالُ ،

وَ عَادَتَكَ الْإِحْسَانُ ،

وَ سَبِيلَكَ الْعَفْوُ

8. فَكُلُّ الْبَرِيَّةِ مُعْتَرِفَةٌ

بِأَنَّكَ غَيْرُ ظَالِمٍ لِمَنْ عَاقَبْتَ ،

وَ شَاهِدَةٌ بِأَنَّكَ مُتَفَضَّلٌ عَلَى مَنْ عَافَيْتَ ،

وَ كُلٌّ مُقِرٌّ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ بِالتَّقْصِيرِ عَمَّا اسْتَوْجَبْتَ

9. فَلَوْ لَا أَنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَخْتَدِعُهُمْ عَنْ طَاعَتِكَ

مَا عَصَاكَ عَاصٍ ،

وَ لَوْ لَا أَنَّهُ صَوَّرَ لَهُمُ الْبَاطِلَ فِي مِثَالِ الْحَقِّ

مَا ضَلَّ عَنْ طَرِيقِكَ ضَالٌّ

10. فَسُبْحَانَكَ

مَا أَبْيَنَ كَرَمَكَ فِي مُعَامَلَةِ مَنْ أَطَاعَكَ أَوْ عَصَاكَ

تَشْكُرُ لِلْمُطِيعِ

مَا أَنْتَ تَوَلَّيْتَهُ لَهُ ،

وَ تُمْلِي لِلْعَاصِي

فِيمَا تَمْلِكُ مُعَاجَلَتَهُ فِيهِ .

11. أَعْطَيْتَ كُلًّا مِنْهُمَا مَا لَمْ يَجِبْ لَهُ ،

وَ تَفَضَّلْتَ عَلَى كُلٍّ مِنْهُمَا بِمَا يَقْصُرُ عَمَلُهُ عَنْهُ .

12. وَ لَوْ كَافَأْتَ الْمُطِيعَ

عَلَى مَا أَنْتَ تَوَلَّيْتَهُ

لَأَوْشَكَ أَنْ يَفْقِدَ ثَوَابَكَ ،

وَ أَنْ تَزُولَ عَنْهُ نِعْمَتُكَ ،

وَ لَكِنَّكَ بِكَرَمِكَ جَازَيْتَهُ

عَلَى الْمُدَّةِ الْقَصِيرَةِ الْفَانِيَةِ بِالْمُدَّةِ الطَّوِيلَةِ الْخَالِدَةِ ،

وَ عَلَى الْغَايَةِ الْقَرِيبَةِ الزَّائِلَةِ بِالْغَايَةِ الْمَدِيدَةِ الْبَاقِيَةِ .

13. ثُمَّ لَمْ تَسُمْهُ الْقِصَاصَ فِيمَا أَكَلَ مِنْ رِزْقِكَ

الَّذِي يَقْوَى بِهِ عَلَى طَاعَتِكَ ،

وَ لَمْ تَحْمِلْهُ عَلَى الْمُنَاقَشَاتِ

فِي الْآلَاتِ الَّتِي تَسَبَّبَ بِاسْتِعْمَالِهَا إِلَى مَغْفِرَتِكَ ،

وَ لَوْ فَعَلْتَ ذَلِكَ بِهِ

لَذَهَبَ بِجَمِيعِ مَا كَدَحَ لَهُ

وَ جُمْلَةِ مَا سَعَى فِيهِ

جَزَاءً لِلصُّغْرَى مِنْ أَيَادِيكَ وَ مِنَنِكَ ،

وَ لَبَقِيَ رَهِيناً بَيْنَ يَدَيْكَ بِسَائِرِ نِعَمِكَ ،

فَمَتَى كَانَ يَسْتَحِقُّ شَيْئاً مِنْ ثَوَابِكَ

لَا مَتَى

14. هَذَا يَا إِلَهِي حَالُ مَنْ أَطَاعَكَ ،

وَ سَبِيلُ مَنْ تَعَبَّدَ لَكَ ،

فَأَمَّا الْعَاصِي أَمْرَكَ وَ الْمُوَاقِعُ نَهْيَكَ

فَلَمْ تُعَاجِلْهُ بِنَقِمَتِكَ

لِكَيْ يَسْتَبْدِلَ بِحَالِهِ فِي مَعْصِيَتِكَ

حَالَ الْإِنَابَةِ إِلَى طَاعَتِكَ ،

وَ لَقَدْ كَانَ يَسْتَحِقُّ فِي أَوَّلِ مَا هَمَّ بِعِصْيَانِكَ

كُلَّ مَا أَعْدَدْتَ لِجَمِيعِ خَلْقِكَ مِنْ عُقُوبَتِكَ .

15. فَجَمِيعُ مَا أَخَّرْتَ عَنْهُ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ

وَ أَبْطَأْتَ بِهِ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ سَطَوَاتِ النَّقِمَةِ وَ الْعِقَابِ

تَرْكٌ مِنْ حَقِّكَ ،

وَ رِضًى بِدُونِ وَاجِبِكَ ،

16. فَمَنْ أَكْرَمُ يَا إِلَهِي مِنْكَ ،

وَ مَنْ أَشْقَى مِمَّنْ هَلَكَ عَلَيْكَ

لَا مَنْ

فَتَبَارَكْتَ أَنْ تُوصَفَ

إِلَّا بِالْإِحْسَانِ ،

وَ كَرُمْتَ أَنْ يُخَافَ مِنْكَ إِلَّا الْعَدْلُ ،

لَا يُخْشَى جَوْرُكَ عَلَى مَنْ عَصَاكَ ،

وَ لَا يُخَافُ إِغْفَالُكَ ثَوَابَ مَنْ أَرْضَاكَ ،

فَصَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ ،

وَ هَبْ لِي أَمَلِي ،

وَ زِدْنِي مِنْ هُدَاكَ

مَا أَصِلُ بِهِ إِلَى التَّوْفِيقِ فِي عَمَلِي ،

إِنَّكَ مَنَّانٌ كَرِيمٌ .

  • 1. The commentator suggests that the expression shakartahu, 'for which Thou showest gratitude', which is found in most texts, means qabaltahu, 'which Thou acceptest'. He adds that another ancient text has shukir bihi, 'for which Thou art thanked', and that this is clearer and more appropriate in the context. Cf. the similar passages in 46.6-7.
  • 2. Allusion to such Qur'anic verses as:

    Whoso brings a good deed shall have ten the like of it; and whoso brings an evil deed shall only be recompensed the like of it; they shall not be wronged Cf. 40:40.

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