“In Praise of God” from Al-Sahifa Al-Sajjadiya

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SHAFAQNA-

Praise belongs to God,
أَلْحَمْدُ للهِ
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the First, without a first before Him,
الاوَّلِ بِلا أَوَّل كَانَ قَبْلَهُ،
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the Last, without a last behind Him.
وَ الاخِر بِلاَ آخِر يَكُونُ بَعْدَهُ
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Beholders’ eyes fall short of seeing Him,
،الَّذِي قَصُرَتْ عَنْ رُؤْيَتِهِ أَبْصَارُ النَّاظِرِينَ
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describers’ imaginations are not able to depict Him.
وَ عَجَزَتْ عَنْ نَعْتِهِ أَوهامُ اَلْوَاصِفِينَ
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He originated the creatures through His power with an origination,
ابْتَدَعَ بِقُدْرَتِهِ الْخَلْقَ اَبتِدَاعَاً،
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He devised them in accordance with His will with a devising.
وَاخْتَرَعَهُمْ عَلَى مَشِيَّتِهِ اخترَاعاً،
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Then He made them walk on the path of His desire,
ثُمَّ سَلَكَ بِهِمْ طَرِيقَ إرَادَتِهِ،
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He sent them out on the way of His love.
وَبَعَثَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ مَحَبَّتِهِ
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They cannot keep back from that to which He has sent them forward,
لايَمْلِكُونَ تَأخِيراً عَمَا قَدَّمَهُمْ إليْهِ
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nor can they go forward to that from which He has kept them back.
وَلا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ تَقَدُّماً إلَى مَا أَخَّرَهُمْ عَنْهُ،
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He assigned from His provision to each of their spirits
وَ جَعَلَ لِكُلِّ رُوْح مِنْهُمْ
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a nourishment known and apportioned.
قُوتَاً مَعْلُوماً مَقْسُوماً مِنْ رِزْقِهِ
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No decreaser decreases those whom He increases,
لاَ يَنْقُصُ مَنْ زادَهُ نَاقِصٌ،
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no increaser increases those of them whom He decreases.
وَلاَ يَزِيدُ مَنْ نَقَصَ منْهُمْ زَائِدٌ
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Then for each spirit He strikes a fixed term in life,
ثُمَّ ضَرَبَ لَهُ فِي الْحَيَاةِ أَجَلاً مَوْقُوتاً،
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for each He sets up a determined end;
وَ نَصَبَ لَهُ أَمَداً مَحْدُوداً،
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he walks toward it through the days of his span,
يَتَخَطَّأُ إلَيهِ بِأَيَّامِ عُمُرِهِ،
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he overtakes it through the years of his time.
وَيَرْهَقُهُ بِأَعْوَامِ دَهْرِهِ،
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Then, when he takes his final step
حَتَّى إذَا بَلَغَ أَقْصَى أَثَرِهِ،
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and embraces the reckoning of his span,
وَ اسْتَوْعَبَ حِسابَ عُمُرِهِ،
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God seizes him to the abundant reward
قَبَضهُ إلَى ما نَدَبَهُ إلَيْهِ
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or the feared punishment to which He has called him,
مِنْ مَوْفُورِ ثَوَابِهِ أَوْ مَحْذُورِ عِقَابِهِ،
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“That He may repay those who do evil for what they have done
لِيَجْزِيَ الَّذِينَ أَساءُوا بِمَا عَمِلُوا
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and repay those who do good with goodness” (53:31),
وَ يَجْزِىَ الَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا بِالْحُسْنَى
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as justice from Him (holy are His names,
عَدْلاً مِنْهُ تَقَدَّسَتْ أَسْمَآؤُهُ،
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and manifest His boons).
وَتَظَاهَرَتْ ألاؤُهُ،
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“He shall not be questioned as to what He does, but they shall be questioned” (21:23).
لاَ يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْأَلُونَ
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Praise belongs to God, for, had He withheld from His servants the knowledge
وَالْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي لَوْ حَبَسَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ مَعْرِفَةَ
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to praise Him for the uninterrupted kindnesses with which He has tried them
حَمْدِهِ عَلَى مَا أَبْلاَهُمْ مِنْ مِنَنِهِ الْمُتَتَابِعَةِ
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and the manifest favours which He has lavished upon them,
وَأَسْبَغَ عَلَيْهِمْ رمِنْ نِعَمِهِ الْمُتَظَاهِرَة
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they would have moved about in His kindnesses without praising Him,
لَتَصرَّفُوا فِي مِنَنِهِ فَلَمْ يَحْمَدُوهُ
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and spread themselves out in His provision without thanking Him.
وَتَوَسَّعُوا فِي رِزْقِهِ فَلَمْ يَشْكُرُوهُ،
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Had such been the case, they would have left the bounds of humanity
وَلَوْ كَانُوا كَذلِكَ لَخَرَجُوا مِنْ حُدُودِ الانْسَانِيَّةِ
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for that of beastliness
إلَى حَدِّ الْبَهِيمِيَّةِ،
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and become as He has described in the firm text of His Book:
:فَكَانُوا كَمَا وَصَفَ فِي مُحْكَم كِتَابِهِ
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“They are but as the cattle—nay, but they are further astray from the way”! (25:46)
( إنْ هُمْ إلا كَالانْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ سَبِيلا )
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Praise belongs to God, for the true knowledge of Himself He has given to us,
وَالْحَمْدُ لله عَلَى مَا عَرَّفَنا من نفسه
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the thanksgiving He has inspired us to offer Him,
وَأَلْهَمَنَا مِنْ شُكْرِهِ
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the doors to knowing His Lordship He has opened for us,
وَفَتَحَ لَنَا من أبوَابِ الْعِلْمِ بِرُبُوبِيّته
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the sincerity towards Him in professing His Unity to which He has led us,
وَدَلَّنَا عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الاِخْلاَصِ لَهُ فِي تَوْحِيدِهِ
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and the deviation and doubt in His Command from which He has turned us aside;
وَجَنَّبَنا مِنَ الالْحَادِ وَالشَّكِّ فِي أَمْرِهِ،
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a praise through which we may be given long life among those of His creatures who praise Him,
حَمْداً نُعَمَّرُ بِهِ فِيمَنْ حَمِدَهُ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ
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and overtake those who have gone ahead toward His good pleasure and pardon;
وَنَسْبِقُ بِـهِ مَنْ سَبَقَ إلَى رِضَاهُ وَعَفْوِهِ
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a praise through which He will illuminate for us the shadows of the interworld,
حَمْداً يُضِيءُ لَنَا بِهِ ظُلُمَاتِ الْبَرْزَخِ
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ease for us the path of the Resurrection,
وَيُسَهِّلُ عَلَيْنَا بِهِ سَبِيلَ الْمَبْعَثِ
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and raise up our stations at the standing places of the Witnesses
وَيُشَرِّفُ بِهِ مَنَازِلَنَا عِنْدَ مَوَاقِفِ الاشْهَادِ
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“on the day when every soul will be repaid for what it has earned – they shall not be wronged” (45:21);
يَوْمَ تُجْزَى كُلُّ نَفْس بِمَا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لا يُظْلَمُونَ
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“the day a master shall avail nothing a client, and they shall not be helped” (44:41);
(يَوْمَ لاَ يُغْنِي مَوْلىً عَنْ مَوْلىً شَيْئاً وَلاَ هُمْ يُنْصَرُونَ)
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a praise which will rise up from us to the highest of the ‘Illiyun
حَمْداً يَرْتَفِعُ مِنَّا إلَى أَعْلَى عِلِّيِّينَ
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“in a book inscribed, witnessed by those brought nigh” (83:20-21),
فِي كِتَاب مَرْقُوم يَشْهَدُهُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ،
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a praise whereby our eyes may be at rest when sight is dazzled,
حَمْداً تَقَرُّ بِهِ عُيُونُنَا إذَا بَرِقَت الابْصَارُ
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our faces whitened when skins are blackened,
وَتَبْيَضُّ بِهِ وُجُوهُنَا إذَا اسْوَدَّتِ الابْشَارُ،
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a praise through which we may be released from God’s painful Fire
حَمْداً نُعْتَقُ بِهِ مِنْ أَلِيمِ نار الله
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and enter God’s generous neighbourhood,
الى كَرِيمِ جِوَارِ اللهِ
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a praise by which we may jostle the angels brought nigh
حَمْداً نُزَاحِمُ بِهِ مَلاَئِكَتَهُ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ
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and join the prophets, the envoys,
وَنُضَامُّ بِـهِ أَنْبِيآءَهُ الْمُـرْسَلِيْنَ
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in a House of Permanence that does not remove,
فِي دَارِ الْمُقَامَةِ الَّتِي لا تَزُولُ
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the Place of His Generosity that does not change.
وَمَحَلِّ كَرَامَتِهِ الَّتِي لاَ تَحُولُ
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Praise belongs to God, who chose for us the good qualities of creation,
وَالْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي اخْتَارَ لَنَا مَحَاسِنَ الْخَلْقِ
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granted us the agreeable things of provision,
وَأَجرى عَلَيْنَا طَيِّبَاتِ الرِّزْقِ
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and appointed for us excellence through domination over all creation;
وَجَعَلَ لَنَا الفَضِيلَةَ بِالْمَلَكَةِ عَلَى جَمِيعِ الْخَلْقِ
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every one of His creatures submits to us through His power
فَكُلُّ خَلِيقَتِهِ مُنْقَادَةٌ لَنَا بِقُدْرَتِهِ،
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and comes to obey us through His might.
وَصَآئِرَةٌ إلَى طَاعَتِنَا بِعِزَّتِهِ
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Praise belongs to God, who locked for us the gate of need except toward Him.
وَالْحَمْدُ لله الَّذِي أَغْلَقَ عَنَّا بَابَ الْحَّاجَةِ إلاّ إلَيْهِ
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So how can we praise Him? When can we thank Him? Indeed, when?
فَكَيْفَ نُطِيقُ حَمْدَهُ أَمْ مَتَى نُؤَدِّي شُكْرَهُ؟ لا، مَتى؟
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Praise belongs to God, who placed within us the organs of expansion,
وَالْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي رَكَّبَ فِينَا آلاَتِ الْبَسْطِ
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assigned for us the agents of contraction,
وَجَعَلَ لَنَا أدَوَاتِ الْقَبْضِ،
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gave us to enjoy the spirits of life,
وَمَتَّعَنا بِاَرْواحِ الْحَياةِ
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fixed within us the limbs of works,
وَأثْبَتَ فِينَا جَوَارِحَالاعْمَال
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nourished us with the agreeable things of provision,
وَغَذَّانَا بِطَيِّبَاتِ الرِّزْقِ ،
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freed us from need through His bounty,
وَأغْنانَا بِفَضْلِهِ
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and gave us possessions through His kindness.
وَأقْنانَا بِمَنِّهِ
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Then He commanded us that He might test our obedience
ثُمّ أَمَرَنَا لِيَخْتَبِرَطاعَتَنَا،
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and prohibited us that He might try our thanksgiving. So we turned against the path of His commandments
وَنَهَانَا لِيَبْتَلِيَ شُكْرَنَا فَخَالَفْنَا عَنْ طَرِيْقِ أمْرِهِ
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and mounted the backs of His warnings.
وَرَكِبْنا مُتُونَ زَجْرهِ ِ
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Yet He hurried us not to His punishment,nor hastened us on to His vengeance, ,
فَلَم يَبْتَدِرْنابِعُقُوبَتِه وَلَمْ يُعَاجِلْنَا بِنِقْمَتِهِ
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No, He went slowly with us through His mercy, in generosity, and awaited our return through His clemency, in mildness.
بَلْ تَانَّانا بِرَحْمَتِهِ تَكَرُّماً، وَانْتَظَرَ مُراجَعَتَنَا بِرَأفَتِهِ حِلْماً.
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Praise belongs to God, who showed us the way to repentance,
وَالْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي دَلَّنَاعَلَى التَّوْبَةِ
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which we would not have won save through His bounty.
الَّتِي لَمْ نُفِدْهَا إلاّ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ،
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Had we nothing to count as His bounty
فَلَوْ لَمْ نَعْتَدِدْ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ
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but this, His trial of us would have been good,
إلاّ بِهَالَقَدْ حَسُنَ بَلاؤُهُ عِنْدَنَا،
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His beneficence toward us great,
وَ جَلَّ إحْسَانُهُ إلَيْنَا،
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His bounty upon us immense.
وَ جَسُمَ فَضْلُهُ عَلَيْنَا
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For such was not His wont in repentance
فَمَا هكذا كَانَتْ سُنَّتُهُ فِي التَّوْبَةِ
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with those who went before us.
لِمَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَنَا
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He has lifted up from us
لَقَدْ وَضَعَ عَنَّا
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“what we have not the strength to bear”(2:286) ,
مَا لا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ،
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charged us only to our capacity,
وَلَمْ يُكَلِّفْنَا إلاّ وُسْعاً،
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imposed upon us nothing but ease,
وَ لَمْ يُجَشِّمْنَا إلاّ يُسْراً
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and left none of us with an argument or excuse.
وَلَمْ يَدَعْ لاَحَـد مِنَّا حُجَّةً وَلاَ عُذْراً
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So the perisher among us is he who perishes in spite of Him
فَالْهَالِكُ مِنَّا مَنْ هَلَكَ عَلَيْهِ
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and the felicitous among us he who beseeches Him.
وَ السَّعِيدُ مِنَّا مَنْرَغِبَ إلَيْهِ
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And praise belongs to God with all the praises of
وَ الْحَمْد للهِ بِكُلِّ مَا حَمِدَهُ بِهِ
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His angels closest to Him,
أدْنَى مَلائِكَتِهِ إلَيْهِ
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His creatures most noble in His eyes,
وَ أَكْرَمُ خَلِيقَتِهِ عَلَيْهِ
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and His praisers most pleasing to Him;
وَأرْضَىحَامِدِيْهِ لَدَيْهِ
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a praise that may surpass other praises
حَمْداً يَفْضُلُ سَآئِرَ الْحَمْدِ
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as our Lord surpasses all His creatures.
كَفَضْلِ رَبِّنا عَلَى جَمِيعِ خَلْقِهِ
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Then to Him belongs praise,
ثُمَّ لَهُ الْحَمْدُ
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in place of His every favour upon us
مَكَانَ كُلِّ نِعْمَة لَهُ عَلَيْنَا
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and upon all His servants, past and still remaining,
وَ عَلى جَمِيعِ عِبَادِهِ الْمَاضِينَ وَالْبَاقِينَ
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to the number of all things His knowledge encompasses,
عَدَدَ مَا أَحَاطَ بِهِ عِلْمُهُ مِنْ جَمِيعِالاشْيَآءِ
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and in place of each of His favours,
وَ مَكَانَ كُلِّ وَاحِدَة مِنْهَا عَدَدُهَا
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their number doubling and redoubling always and forever, to the Day of Resurrection;
أَضْعافَاً مُضَاعَفَةً أَبَداً سَرْمَداً إلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ
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a praise whose bound has no utmost end,
حَمْداً لاَ مُنْتَهَى لِحَدِّهِ
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whose number has no reckoning,
وَ لا حِسَابَ لِعَدَدِهِ
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whose limit cannot be reached,
وَ لاَ مَبْلَغَ لِغَايَتِهِ
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whose period cannot be cut off;
وَ لا انْقِطَاعَ لاَمَدِهِ
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a praise which will become a link to His obedience and pardon,
حَمْدَاً يَكُونُ وُصْلَةً إلَى طَاعَتِهِ وَعَفْوِهِ
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a tie to His good pleasure,
وَ سَبَباً إلَى رِضْوَانِهِ
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a means to His forgiveness,
وَذَرِيعَةً إلَى مَغْفِرَتِهِ
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a path to His Garden,
وَ طَرِيقاً إلَى جَنَّتِهِ
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a protector against His vengeance,
وَخَفِيْراً مِنْ نَقِمَتِهِ
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a security against His wrath,
وَ أَمْناً مِنْ غَضَبِهِ
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an aid to obeying Him,
وَ ظَهِيْراً عَلَى طَاعَتِهِ
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a barrier against disobeying Him,
وَ حَاجِزاً عَنْ مَعْصِيَتِهِ
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a help in fulfilling His right and His duties;
وَعَوْناً عَلَى تَأدِيَةِ حَقِّهِ وَ وَظائِفِهِ
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a praise that will make us felicitous among His felicitous friends,
حَمْداً نَسْعَدُ بِهِ فِي السُّعَدَاءِ مِنْ أَوْلِيَآئِهِ
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and bring us into the ranks of those martyred by the swords of His enemies.
وَنَصِيرُ بِهِ فِي نَظْمِ الشُّهَدَآءِ بِسُيُوفِ أَعْدَائِهِ
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He is a Friend, Praiseworthy!
إنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ

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