Original title: Lawh-i Laylatu'l-Quds

Translated by Juan Cole

 

This tablet descended from the realm of holiness on the sacred night. His Word, exalted may He be:

He is the Most Glorious.

[1] Praise be to Thee, O my God.
I call upon Thee by thy name,
whereby Thou didst save Adam from Satan,
and didst deliver Noah from the deluge,
Abraham from the flames,
Moses from Pharaoh,
the Spirit of God (Jesus) from the Jews,
and Muhammad from the Abu Jahl of that time;

[2] And by thy name,
by means of which the breezes of thy munificence
wafted over the bodies of contingent beings
and the sun of thy loving-kindness rose
on all who dwell upon the earth and in the heavens;

[3] And by thy name,
whereby every poor one
standing before the gate of the city of thy wealth
gained self-sufficiency,
everyone abased before the manifestations of thy grandeur
gained honor,
and everyone remote from the wonders of thy grace and beneficence
drew nigh;

[4] And by thy name, whereby the Daystar dawned
above the horizon of thy glorious providence,
the pavilions of splendor were raised in the realm of thy charity,
and the trees of divine unity were planted
in the garden of thy benevolence;

[5] Then by thy name, whereby all faces turned
toward the Countenance of Oneness,
all souls advanced toward the shore
of thy majestic nearness and presence,
whereby the hearts of the Near Ones were launched
like birds into the atmosphere of thine imposing greatness,
and the intellects of the Sanctified Ones quaffed
from the chalice of thy sublimity.

[6] By thy name I beseech Thee to look, O my Beloved,
with thy generous gaze, upon these persons,
who are sleepless during this night
that Thou hast designated a festival for thy creatures,
wherein Thou shonest forth by thy name, the All-Merciful,
upon the entire contingent world, and wherein
the Beauty of thy divinity mounted the Throne of Forgiveness.

[7] Praise be to Thee!
I beseech Thee by this night, and by them
who remained wakeful during it
to send down upon them
the most perfect good,
the finest beneficence,
the richest treasure,
the most exquisite beauty,
the most evident revelation,
the soundest utterance,
the most enduring sovereignty,
the most flawless word,
the most ancient grace,
the most potent sign,
the Greatest Name,
the most ideal benevolence,
the most glorious glory,
the most sublime splendor,
the most mighty power,
the most clear authorization,
the most abiding Book,
the most fruitful fruits.

[8] For they have, O my God,
gathered around Thee on the Day
whereon all the inhabitants of earth
have scattered and deserted Thee.
They have set out for thy shrine
when all have turned away from it.

[9] I ask Thee at this time, O my God,
to transform their grief into a joy
that Thou bestowest upon them,
and their distress into a delight
that deriveth from Thee.
Then impart to them, O my God,
from the clouds of thy mercy,
showers whereby there shall grow in their breasts
the plants of wisdom and the herbs of the garden
of thy divine unity.

[10] Then render them, O my Beloved,
unswerving in thy love and thy cause
in such wise that were all the denizens of the heavens to hinder them,
they would pay no heed to any of them,
but would set out, both secretly and publicly,
toward the domain of thy loving-kindness and graciousness.
Then honor them, O my Beloved, with thy Most Great Presence
on the Day whereon Thou seatest Thyself, by thy beauty,
upon the Throne of Eternity,
the Day whereon the feet of the wise stumble
and all those dwelling on earth and in heaven are perturbed.

[11] Therefore, O My God, leave them not by themselves;
take their hands by the supremacy of thy grace,
then resurrect them in the presence of thy regal generosity.
Send them forth, O my Beloved, to that
which Thou didst desire for them by the majesty of thine eternity.
For this is that Good that shall never
have any peer or likeness in all creation;
and verily, Thou art powerful over all things.

[12] Praise be to Thee, my Beloved.
I ask Thee by thy hidden name,
then by thy concealed description
and thine impregnable mystery,
not to deprive them of the billowing seas of thy unicity.
Bring them, O my Goal, aboard the ship of thy grandeur,
nor deprive them, O my Desire, of that which is with Thee.
Then reveal to them what will
soothe their breasts,
delight their hearts,
render their souls upright,
cause their tongues to speak forth,
cause their hearts to soar,
solace their eyes,
give hearing to their ears,
and endue their yearning with ardent passion,
that they might be attracted
by the breezes of thy glorious verses,
to which none hath attained save those
whom Thou didst single out
for the mystical knowledge of thy Self;
whom Thou didst select to receive
the treasures of thy resplendent unity;
whom Thou didst advance in order to make manifest
thy cause and thy sovereignty;
whom Thou didst render the dawning-point
of thy Being in thy lands,
the rising-place of thine eternity among thy creatures
and the manifestation of thy divinity between thy heaven and thy earth.

[13] Thou art, verily, powerful to do as Thou desirest
and exalted in accomplishing thy will.
None can resist thy command or repulse thy decree.
Thou doest what Thou willest by thine authority
and decreest what Thou desirest by thy seal.
Verily, Thou art the All-Seeing, the Omniscient, the Giving,
the Bestower, the Beloved, the Gracious.

[14] Then bless, O my God, those who have
believed in Thee and in thy signs
and in thy beauty that gleameth forth
between thy earth and thy heaven.
Then sever them, O my God, from all besides Thee,
and entice them to the court of thy grandeur.
Verily, Thou art the Forgiving, the Loving, the Reviver,
the Resuscitator, the Mighty, the All-Conquering, the Omnipotent.

[15] Praise be to Thee, O my God.
I beseech Thee by thy name whereby the oceans of thy names
have swelled in the realm of thine attributes,
so that the sun of thy decree might appear in the East
above the horizon of thy judgment;
and whereby the moon of thy plan hath striven to rise above
the horizon of the realm of thy command,
to gather these persons together, O my Beloved,
under the shade of the tree of thy oneness.
Then nourish them in secret, O my God,
with the wonders of the favor bestowed by thy uniqueness;
that they may taste thereof,
just as they sought aid publicly
from the wonders of the bounties of thy divinity.

[16] Then send down upon their hearts, O my Beloved,
what will purify them from all else save Thee
and bring them nigh unto the hidden sanctuary
of thy good-pleasure and the source of thy will,
that they might not speak save with love for Thee
nor draw a breath save with devotion to Thee
nor turn their faces toward any direction
save the realm of thy compassion and generosity,
nor raise their hands save toward the heaven of thy glory and nobility,
nor open their eyes save to the marvels
of the effulgence of the lights of thy joy.

[17] Yes, my Beloved: give them to drink of the cup of life
from the hand of this Youth in this garden,
that they may be severed from the temple of Satan
and be agreed upon thy cause in these times,
and may make mention of Thee at eventide and sunrise
in the shade of thy grace, O Benefactor,
O Revealer of the Bayan and Countenance of the All-Praised
and Creator of the contingent world.

[18] Then I beseech Thee, O my Beloved,
to remove all contention from among them,
and clothe them in the garment of thy loving-kindness
and the robe of thy kindness,
in such wise that they shall not speak
save of the wonders of the tokens of thy self-subsistence,
nor shall there waft from them anything save that by which
contingent beings will be guided to the court of thy love,
that they might ascend into the atmosphere of nearness to thy unity
and soar into the expanse of thy sacred uniqueness;
and that they might thereby be united in the precincts of thy mercy,
becoming as one soul before the city of thy grandeur.

[19] Then I beseech Thee, O my God,
to cleanse their hearts from the grime of contingent things,
and the dust of beings
so that the mirrors of their hearts might be polished
and therein can be reflected the marvels
of the light of thy scintillating beauty.
Verily, Thou art the Giving, the Unshakeable, the Omniscient,
and Thou art powerful over all things.

Notes

An introduction to Tablet of the Sacred Night can be found on Juan Cole's site.