S37 – His Supplication in Giving ThanksS37 – His Supplication in Giving Thanks

His Supplication when Confessing his Shortcomings in Giving Thanks



O God,

no one reaches a limit in thanking You

without acquiring that of Your beneficence

which enjoins upon him thanksgiving,



nor does anyone reach a degree in obeying You,

even if he strives,

without falling short of what You deserve

because of Your bounty.



The most thankful of Your servants

has not the capacity to thank You,

and the most worshipful of them

falls short of obeying You.



To none of them is due

Your forgiveness through what he himself deserves

or Your good pleasure for his own merit.



When You forgive someone,

it is through Your graciousness,

and when You are pleased with someone,

it is through Your bounty.



You show gratitude

for the paltry for which You show gratitude148

and You reward

the small act in which You are obeyed,

so that it seems as if Your servants’ thanksgiving

for which You have made incumbent their reward

and made great their repayment

is an affair

from which they could have held back without You,

and hence You will recompense them,

and whose cause is not in Your hand,

and hence You will repay them.



Nay, my God, You had power over their affair

before they had power to worship You,

and You had prepared their reward

before they began to obey You;

and that because Your wont is bestowal of bounty,

Your custom beneficence,

Your way pardon.



So all creatures confess

that You wrong not him whom You punish

and bear witness

that You bestow bounty upon him whom You pardon.

Each admits

that he has fallen short of what You merit.



Had Satan not misled them from Your obedience,

no disobeyer would have disobeyed You,

and had he not shown falsehood to them in the likeness of truth

no strayer would have gone astray from Your path.



So glory be to You!

How manifest is Your generosity

in dealing with him who obeys or disobeys You!

You show gratitude to the obedient

for that which You undertake for him,

and You grant a respite to the disobedient

in that within which You are able to hurry him.



You give to each of them

that which is not his due,

and You bestow bounty upon each

in that wherein his works fall short.



Were You to counterbalance for the obedient servant

that which You Yourself had undertaken,

he would be on the point of losing Your reward

and seeing the end of Your favor,

but through Your generosity You have repaid him

for a short, perishing term

with a long, everlasting term,

and for a near, vanishing limit

with an extended, abiding limit.



Then You do not visit him with a settling of accounts

for Your provision

through which he gained strength to obey You,

nor do You force him to make reckonings

for the organs he employed

to find the means to Your forgiveness.

Were You to do that to him,

it would take away

everything for which he had labored

and all wherein he had exerted himself

as repayment for the smallest of Your benefits

and kindnesses,

and he would remain hostage before You

for Your other favors.

So how can he deserve something of Your reward?

Indeed, how?



This, my God, is the state of him who obeys You

and the path of him who worships You.

But as for him who disobeys Your command

and goes against Your prohibition,

You do not hurry him to Your vengeance,

so that he may seek to replace

his state in disobeying You

with the state of turning back to obey You,

though he deserved from the time he set out to disobey You

every punishment which You have prepared

for all Your creatures.



Through each chastisement

which You have kept back from him

and each penalty of Your vengeance and Your punishment

which You have delayed from him,

You have refrained from Your right

and shown good pleasure

in place of what You have made obligatory.


So who is more generous, my God, than You?

And who is more wretched than he who perishes

in spite of You?

Indeed, who?

You are too blessed to be described

by any but beneficence

and too generous for any but justice

to be feared from You!

There is no dread that You will be unjust

toward him who disobeys You,

nor any fear of Your neglecting to reward

him who satisfies You.149

So bless Muhammad and his Household,

give me my hope,

and increase me in that of Your guidance

through which I may be successful in my works!

Surely You are All-kind, Generous.




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