Thou guided me
but I diverted myself,
Thou admonished me
but my heart became hardened,
Thou tried me graciously
but I disobeyed.
Then, when Thou caused me to know it,
I came to know that from which Thou hadst turned
so I prayed forgiveness
and Thou released,
and I returned
and Thou covered over.
So Thine, my God,
is the praise!
I plunged into
the valleys of destruction
and settled in the ravines of ruin,
exposing myself to Thy chastisements
and the descent of Thy punishments!
with Thee is the profession of Unity,
my way of coming to Thee that I associate nothing with Thee,
nor do I take along with Thee a god;
I have fled to Thee with my soul -
in Thee is the place of flight
for the evildoer,
the place of escape
for him who has squandered the share of his soul
and seeks asylum.
How many an enemy has
unsheathed the sword of his enmity toward me,
honed the cutting edge of his knife for me,
sharpened the tip of his blade for me,
mixed his killing potions for me,
pointed toward me his straight-flying arrows,
not allowed the eye of his watchfulness to sleep toward me,
and secretly thought of
visiting me with something hateful
and making me gulp down the bitter water of his bile!
So Thou looked my God, at
my weakness in bearing oppressive burdens,
my inability to gain victory over him who aims to war
and my being alone before the great numbers
of him who is hostile toward me
and lies in wait for me
with an affliction
about which I have not thought.
Thou set out
at once to help me
and Thou braced up my back!
Thou blunted for me his blade,
made him, after a great multitude, solitary,
raised up my heel over him,
and turned back upon him what he had pointed straight.
So Thou sent him back,
his rage not calmed,
his burning thirst not quenched!
Biting his fingers,
he turned his back in flight,
his columns having been of no use.
How many an oppressor has oppressed me with his tricks,
set up for me the net of his snares,
appointed over me the inspection of his regard,
and lay in ambush for me,
the lying in ambush of a predator for its game,
waiting to take advantage of its prey,
while he showed me the smile of the flatterer
and looked at me with the intensity of fury!
So when Thou
saw, my God,
(blessed art Thou and high exalted)
the depravity of his secret thoughts
and the ugliness of what he harboured,
Thou threw him on his head into his own pitfall
and dumped him into the hole of his own digging.
So he was brought down low, after his overbearing,
by the nooses of his own snare,
wherein he had thought he would see me;
and what came down upon his courtyard
- had it not been for Thy mercy -
was on the point of coming down upon me!
How many an evier has
choked upon me in his agony,
fumed over me in his rage,
cut me with the edge of his tongue,
showed malice toward me by accusing me of his own faults,
made my good repute the target of his shots,
collared me with his own constant defects,
showed malice toward me with his trickery,
and aimed at me with his tricks!
So I called
upon Thee, my God,
seeking aid from Thee,
trusting in the speed of Thy response,
he who seeks haven in the shadow of Thy wing
will not be mistreated,
and he who seeks asylum in the stronghold of
will not be frightened.
So Thou fortified me against his severity through Thy power.
a cloud of detested things Thou hast dispelled from me,
a cloud of favour Thou hast made rain down upon me,
a stream of mercy Thou hast let flow,
a well-being in which Thou hast clothed me,
an eye of mishap Thou hast blinded,
and a wrap of distress Thou hast removed!
a good opinion Thou hast verified,
a destitution Thou hast redressed,
an infirmity Thou hast restored to health,
and a misery Thou hast transformed!
All of that was favour and graciousness from Thee,
and in all of it I was occupied
with acts of disobeying Thee.
My evildoing did not hinder Thee
from completing Thy beneficence,
nor was I stopped
from committing acts displeasing to Thee.
Thou art not questioned as to what Thou dost!258
Thou wert asked,
and Thou bestowed.
Thou wert not asked,
and Thou began.
Thy bounty was requested,
and Thou didst not skimp.
Thou refused, my Master, everything but
and I refused everything
but plunging into what Thou hast made unlawful,
transgressing Thy bounds,
and paying no heed to Thy threat!
So Thine is the praise, my God,
the All-powerful who is not overcome,
and the Possessor of patient waiting who does not hurry!
This is the station of one who confesses to lavishness of favours,
counters them with shortcomings,
and bears witness to his own negligence.
so I seek nearness to Thee through
the elevated rank of Muhammad
and the radiant degree of 'Ali,
and I turn to Thee through them
so that Thou wilt give me refuge
from the evil of [so and so],259
for that will not constrain Thee in Thy wealth,
nor trouble Thee in Thy power,
and Thou art powerful over everything!260
So give me, my God,
by Thy mercy and Thy lasting bestowal of success,
that which I may take as a ladder
with which to climb to Thy good pleasure
and be secure from Thy punishment,
O Most merciful of the merciful!