Saturday, 7 July 2012

A short prayer by Subh-i-Azal invoking Light

Continuing to read carefully through the Princeton Bābī collection, I recently came across the following beautiful prayer by Ṣubḥ-i-Azal which is found on folios 84a-85a of volume 24 (formerly no. 242). The Arabic typescript given is by me from the the PDF of the mss. The prayer is quoted as an extensive appendix to the volume and is entitled Istidlālīya (Demonstrations/Proofs) which are rebuttals by the Azali Babi figure and Witness of the Bayān, Abā Waḥīd Ḥajjī Sayyid Muḥammad of Isfahān (murdered by the Baha'is in Acre 1869), to the claims of the Bahā’ī founder and patriarch Mīrzā Ḥusayn ʿAlī Nūrī Bahā’u’llāh (d. 1892). The PDF uploaded to the Princeton page was missing folio 85a-b so in early May 2012 I wrote the mss. librarians at Princeton and they graciously sent me a PDF of the folio missing from the PDF of the microfilms they have uploaded to the page. 
Note: this prayer by Subh-i-Azal is from his work entitled Ṣahīfa Abhajīya (The Epistle of Utmost Joy), a Baghdad era work. A photocopy of a ms. from the compilation INBA (Iranian National Baha'i Archives) #1 contains this work in the unmistakable handwriting of Ṣubḥ-i-Azal himself – this work has been mistakenly attributed to the Bāb in INBA vol.1 - and two-thirds of the prayer occurs on pp.58a-59b of the PDF and is entitled duʿā al-nūr (The Prayer of Light). Per the opening in the INBA ms., the prayer is meant to be recited at dawn and is held to possess nine forms of spiritual provision (rizq). One entire leaf of the ms. is missing from this INBA vol.1 compilation such that our prayer abruptly ends after the invocation yā nūr yā jamīl yā nūr (O Light, O Beauteous, O Light...). The Princeton copy appears to be the complete transcription. 31 May 2013

Here below is the Arabic typescript and my provisional translation of this prayer.

Princeton 242: now Islamic Manuscripts – Third Series – volume 24, 84a-85a.

Typescript and English translation 
by N. Wahid Azal

بسم الله البرّ العطوف
اللهمّ يا بديع يا منيع يا رفيع يا سلطان يا رحمن يا حيّ يا قيّوم يا ذا الجلال و الاكرام يا ذا الجمال و الاعظام يا ذا النّور و البهاء يا ذا الطلعة و العلاء يا ذا العزّة و الكبرياء يا ذا القدرة و البقاء يا نور يا قدّوس يا نور يا سبّوح يا نور يا قيّوم يا نور يا بدّوح يا نور يا اوّل يا نور يا آخر يا نور يا ظاهر يا نور يا باطن يا نور يا عالى يا نور يا قادر يا نور يا مُقدّر يا نور يا مُصوّر يا نور يا مُسهل يا نور يا مُسبّب يا نور يا ميّسر يا نور يا مفّرح يا نور يا مفرّج يا نور يا مكثّر يا نور يا مهوّر يا نور مطوّر يا نور مكوّر يا نور يا مهيّمن يا نور مهوّن يا نور يا مبيّن يا نور يا مُلقّن يا نور يا مكوّن يا نور يا شديد يا نور يا وحيد يا نور يا واسع يا نور يا رافع يا نور يا دافع يا نور يا وسيع يا نور يا شفيع يا نور يا سميع يا نور يا رفيع يا نور يا كائن يا نور يا كيؤن يا نور يا كيّان يا نور يا ديّان يا نور يا لقّان يا نور يا سبحان يا نور يا قدسان يا نور يا عظمان يا نور يا مُعطى يا نور مُعلى يا نور يا مغني يا نور يا مكنّز يا نور يا مسطّع يا نور يا مجمل يا نور يا منعم يا نور يا مفضّل يا نور يا فاضل يا نور يا ناعم يا نور يا ناور يا نور يا ساطع يا نور يا لامع يا نور يا وارث يا نور يا مبعث يا نور يا غيّاث يا نور يا مغيث يا نور يا مستغاث يا نور يا معين يا نور يا بصير يا نور يا باصر يا نور يا ناصر يا نور يا نصّار يا نور يا فاطر يا نور يا ساتر يا نور يا غافر يا نور يا قاهر يا نور يا ساخر يا نور يا جابر يا نور يا مطلع يا نور يا مفتح يا نور يا بدىّ يا نور يا بادىء يا نور يا جميل يا نور يا جليل يا نور يا فضيل يا نور يا نبيل يا نور يا صريخ يا نور يا غوّاث يا نور يا غوث يا نور يا بذّاخ يا نور يا باذخ يا نور يا شامخ يا نور يا سميع يا نور يا مقتدر يا نور يا مفطّر يا نور يا مهيّمن’ يا نور يا خير الفاتحين يا نور يا خير الناصرين يا نور يا خير الحاسبين يا نور يا خير الجامعين يا نور يا خير الرازقين اسئلك بنورك و بهائك و جمالك و جلالك ان تفتّح لنا ابواب فضلك و توسع في رزقنا من قبل و من بعد في كلّ حين من خزائن منّك و احسانك’ انّك وسعت رحمتك من في السّماوات و الارض و انّك كنت على كلّشئ قديراً

In the Name of God the All-Good, the All-Giving!
O my God, O Wondrous, O Invulnerable, O Elevated, O Ruler, O Compassionate, O Alive, O Peerless! O Possessor of Majesty and Grace! O Possessor of Beauty and the uttermost Mightinesses! O Possessor of the Light and the Splendour! O Possessor of the Visage and the crowning Highnesses! O Possessor of the Tremendousness and the ultimate Greatnesses! O Possessor of the Power and the Subsistence! O Light, O Holy! O Light, O Glorified! O Light, O Peerless! O Light, O Baddúḥ! O Light, O First! O Light, O Last! O Light, O Manifest! O Light, O Hidden! O Light, O High! O Light, O Capable! O Light, O Predestiner! O Light, O Giver of Form! O Light, O Giver of Ease! O Light, O Giver of Cause! O Light, O Facilitator! O Light, O Giver of Joy! O Light, O Giver of Relief! O Light, O Giver of Increase! O Light, O Destroyer! O Light, O Developer! O Light, O Encircler! O Light, O Protector! O Light, O Alleviator! O Light, O Exemplifier! O Light, O Prompter! O Light, O Giver of Being! O Light, O Intense! O Light, O One! O Light, O Pervasive! O Light, O Elevator! O Light, O Repeller! O Light, O Vast! O Light, O Healer! O Light, O Hearer! O Light, O Sublime! O Light, O Existentiator! O Light, O Entifier! O Light, O Cosmocrator! O Light, O Judge! O Light, O Ultimate Encounter! O Light, O Glorified! O Light, O Sanctified! O Light, the Most Mighteous of the Mighty! O Light, O Bestower! O Light, O Exalter! O Light, O Self-Sufficient! O Light, O Maker of Treasures! O Light, O Giver of Radiation! O Light, O Adorner! O Light, O Benefactor! O Light, O Eminent in Beneficence! O Light, O Distinguished! O Light, O Giver of Grace! O Light, O Giver of Light! O Light, O Dazzling! O Light, O Irradiator! O Light, Inheritor! O Light, O Causer! O Light, O Helper! O Light, O Aider! O Light, O Aid Invoked! O Light, O Specifier! O Light, O Seeing! O Light, O Seer! O Light, O Victorious! O Light, the Most Victorious! O Light, O Creator! O Light, O Coverer! O Light, O Forgiver! O Light, O Triumphant! O Light, O Irradiant! O Light, O Compelling Predestiner! O Light, O Well-Informed! O Light, O Unlocker! O Light, O Dawning! O Light, O Commencer! O Light, O Beautiful! O Light, O Majestic! O Light, O Gracious! O Light, O Noble! O Light, O Helper! O Light, O Succorer! O Light, O Succoring! O Light, O Splendiferous! O Light, O Splendid! O Light, O Lofty! O Light, O Hearing! O Light, O Competent! O Light, O Fashioner! O Light, O Protector! O Light, O Best of all the Victorious! O Light, O the Best of all Reckoners! O Light, O Best of all Comprisers! O Light, O Best of all Sustainers! I ask Thee by Thy Light and Thy Splendour and Thy Beauty and Thy Majesty That Ye open to us the gates of Thy grace and expand for us our sustenance from before and after in every moment from the treasuries of Thy Bounty and Elegances! Verily thy mercy encompasseth whatsoever is in the Heavens and in the earth, for verily Thou art powerful over all-things!


INBA 1 (partial)

Princeton 24

Princeton 3