The Du`ā  Saḥar

or

دعاء البهاء

Supplication of Glory-Beauty (al-bahā')

(Ramaḍān Dawn Prayer) of Imam Muhammad al-Bāqir.


       

Translated by Stephen N. Lambden

(University of Newcastle upon Tyne U.K.)

Revised  Ohio, September 2002 + October 2007.

                   

The following paragraph introduces the Du'ā al-Saḥar  in Muhammad Baqir Majlisī's  (d. 1111/1699-1700) Kitāb Zad al-ma'ād: ("Knapsack for the Eschaton")

As for the worthy, greatly respected supplication (du'a), it has been related that his highness [ the tenth] Imam [`Ali al-] Riḍā [d. 203/818] stated that this is a supplication that his highness [the fourth] Imam Muhammad Bāqir [d. c. 126/743]  would recite in the mornings. He would say that if people knew the greatness ('azamat)  of this supplication before God, the speed with which it would [enable the devotee to] be answered, they would certainly kill each other with swords in order to obtain it  And if I took an oath that the ism Allāh aI-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name of God) is in this prayer, I would be stating the truth.  Thus, when you recite this supplication, recite it with all concentration and humility and keep it hidden from other  than his people [i.e. non-Shi'is]... (Majlisī,  K. Zad,  mss. folio 63b).

    The prayer translated below is ascribed to the fifth Imam Muhammad al-Bāqir (d. c.126/743) and exists in several versions. The text can be found in numerous Twelver Shi`i devotional compilations often in sections dedicated to the Ramaḍān period. Perhaps its most famous printing is in the Mafatīḥ al-Jinān ("Keys of the Paradises") a very large (795 pages + indexes) devotional compilation by  the twelver Shī`ī scholar Shaykh `Abbās al-Qummī (d. 1319/1901). In various of the numerous editions and printings of this book the Du`ā' al-Saḥar  is referred to and indexed as the  Du`ā' al-Bahā' (lit. `The Supplication of Splendor-Glory-Beauty'). In introducing this supplication al-Qummī writes, outlining the pious actions to be carried out during Ramaḍān period,

"One should supplicate by means of the Mighty, Substantial Devotional (al-Du`ā' al-`azim al-sha`n) which has been transmitted by [the eighth Imam `Alī ] al-Riḍā' [d. 203/818]... He stated, "It is the Supplication (al-du`ā') of [the fourth Imam Muhammad] al-Bāqir [d.c. 126/743] for the dawn times (asḥār) of the month of Ramaḍān" (Mafatih, [reprinted] Beirut: Dār Iḥyā al-Turath al-`Arabī, 1422/2001, p.221).   

 Different versions of the Du`ā' al-Saḥar/Du`ā' al-Bahā'   are footnoted by al-Qummi in his Mafatih al-Jinan. He writes: "We are found a transmission from [Imam Ja`far] al-Sadiq [d.c. 148/765] in the Du`ā' yawm al-Mubahalah ["Supplication for the Day of Mutual Execration] which differs from the above [printed text]. Note also the differences between the recension (nakhsh) of the Shaykh [al-Ṭā`ifa = Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn Ḥasan al-Ṭūsī (d. 460/1067)] and the recension (nakhsh) of the Sayyid [Add] (p.221 fn.1). These two aforementioned Shi`i authorites, al-Ṭūsī and al-Sayyid [ADD] then cite somewhat different versions of the Du`ā' al-Saḥar/Du`ā' al-Bahā'. The naskh of the Sayyid is probably that contained in the مصباح المتهجد  Misbāḥ al-Mutahijjad [al-Kabir] ("The [Greater] Lamp of the Nightly Vigil") of  al-Ṭūsī.  Add here...

    As far as the  text of the Du`ā' yawm al-Mubāhalah  -- printed, for example, in the Mafatīḥ al-Jinān see ed. cited pp. 320-323 and the Miṣbāḥ of  Taqī al-Dīn al-Kaf`āmī (d. 900/1494-5) editions  Beirut, 1414/1994, pp. 911-918 and Beirut, 1425/2004, pp. 879-881) -- transmitted by Ja`far al- Ṣādiq see my note and translation at :

http://www.hurqalya.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/03-Biblical-islam-BBst/mubahala.htm

    The Du`ā' al-Saḥar is recited by Shi`i Muslims at dawn times during the fasting month of Ramaḍān. This amazing prayer was very precious to the Bab who quoted or re-revealed it numerous times in his Kitab-i Panj Sha`n (Book of the Five Grades) and Kitab al-asma’ (Book of Names). His naming of the months of the Babi-Bahā'ī year is closely related to various of the divine attributes found within this and related versions of the Dawn Prayer.

         Bahā'-Allāh likewise several times commented upon this Arabic prayer and frequently alluded to it. Certain passages within his Tablets addressed to Samandar (e.g. Ayat-i bayyinat, No. 152 see below), for example,  quote sections of the first line of this prayer . Thus, referring to Samandar in one Tablet Baha’u’llah says,

if the substance of this letter were sent to the beloved of the inmost heart of his eminence Samandar, may the fire of divine love be upon him, through all of the Bahā' (glory) at its most splendid (abha-hu) ...  (Ayat-i bayyinat, No. 152 pp.[318-9], 319).

Another slightly variant example is found within a section of  text extant within a mss. Tablet of Baha'u'llah to Hadrat-i ism-i Zayn [al-Muqarrabin] dated 18th Dhu'l-Hijjah 1300 (=18th October 1883 CE):

"... His eminence Ism-Allah jim-mim ["J" "M" = Jamal = Jamal-i Burujirdi (?)], upon him be of the fullness of Bahā' (Splendor) at its most Splendid (abhā'-hu)..." (Brit. Library mss. Or 15700, 4).

 The first line of the Dawn Prayer of Muhammad al-Baqir contains no less than five terms derived from the same triliteral root from which the verbal noun bahā'  and the superlative abhà (all-glorious) is derived, including bahiyy (= `resplendent', `radiant', `glorious', `luminous', etc.). Bahā'-Allāh drew attention to this in a number of his Arabic and Persian scriptural Tablets. For an example see: URL:

 http://www.hurqalya.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/BAHA'-ALLAH/l-%60Abbas%20Astarabadi.htm

Its opening line is as follows:

دعاء البهاء

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ بَهَائِكَ بِأَبْهَاهُ

 ...وَكُلُّ بَهَائِكَ بَهِيٌّ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ بِبَهَائِكَ كُلِّهِ

O my God!

I beseech Thee by Thy Bahā' (Splendor) at its most splendid (abhā')

for all Thy Splendor (bahā') is truly resplendent (bahiyy).

I, verily, O my God!

beseech Thee by the fullness of Thy Splendor (bahā').

 

        That this prayer contained the al-ism al-a`zam (Greatest Name [of God]) was specifically stated by the certain of the Shī`ī Imams -- though exactly which name of God is not specified. Shī`ī Muslims thus believe that this prayer is very powerful on account of the Greatest Name being within it. So too Bahā'īs who identify the Greatest Name with its first major divine attribute al-bahā' (= "splendour", "glory", "radiance"...). That person who reads it is supposed to have their wishes granted by God. In one of his Tablets Baha-Allah has  referred to this Du`ā saḥar  of Muhammad al-Baqir  as the Lawh-i baqā ("The Tablet of Eternity") and stated that all should have recognized him on account of the opening words (cited above and below also).

 

                                                                                   

 

The Du`ā saḥar  (Dawn Prayer)

of

Muhammad al-Bāqir (d. c.126/743) for the Ramaḍān, Fasting period.

Trans. Stephen N. Lambden.

The translation below retains the rendering of initial words as selected by Shoghi Effendi Rabbani (c. 1896-1957) the Guardian of the Bahā'i religion and attempts to give some indication of the rhythmic nature of the original.

 

[1]

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ بَهَائِكَ بِأَبْهَاهُ،

 وَكُلُّ بَهَائِكَ بَهِيٌّ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ بِبَهَائِكَ كُلِّهِ

O my God!

I beseech Thee by Thy Bahā' (Splendor) at its most Splendid (abhā')

for all Thy Splendor (bahā') is truly resplendent (bahiyy).

I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the fullness of Thy Splendor (bahā').

[2]

اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ جَمَالِكَ بِأَجْمَلِهِ  وَكُلُّ جَمَالِكَ جَمِيلٌ  

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ بِجَمَالِكَ كُلِّهِ

 

O my God!

I beseech Thee by Thy Jamāl (Beauty) at its most beautiful (ajmal)

for all Thy Beauty (jamāl) is truly beauteous (jamīl).

I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the whole of Thy Beauty (jamāl).

[3]

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ جَلاَلِكَ بِأَجَلِّهِ  وَكُلِّ جَلاَلِكَ جَلِيلٌ  

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ بِجَلاَلِكَ كُلِّهِ

 

O my God!

I beseech Thee by Thy Jalāl (Glory) in its supreme Glory (ajall)

for all Thy Glory (jalāl) is truly Glorious (jalīl).

I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the totality of Thy Glory  (jalāl).

 

[4]

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ عَظَمَتِكَ بِأَعْظَمِهَا  وَكُلُّ عَظَمَتِكَ عَظِيمَةٌ

 اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أِسْأَلُكَ بِعَظَمَتِكَ كُلِّهَا

O my God!

I beseech Thee by thy `Azimat (Grandeur) at its supreme Grandness (a`zam)

for all Thy Grandeur (`azamat) is truly Grandiose (`azim).

I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the fullness of Thy Grandeur (`azamat).

[5]

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ نُورِكَ بِأَنْوَرِهِ، وَكُلُّ نُورِكَ نَيِّرٌ  

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ بِنُورِكَ كُلِّهِ

O my God!

I beseech Thee by Thy Nūr (Light) through all of its Lights (anwār)

for all Thy Light (nūr) is truly Luminous (nayyīr).

I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the whole of Thy Light (nūr).

[6]

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ رَحْمَتِكَ بِأَوْسَعِهَا  وَكُلُّ رَحْمَتِكَ وَاسِعَةٌ

 اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ بِرَحْمَتِكَ كُلِّهَا

O my God!

I beseech Thee by thy Raḥmat  (Mercy) by virtue of its All-Encompassing nature (awsa`)

for all of Thy Mercy (raḥmat) is indeed All-Embracing ( wāsi`a).

I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the whole of Thy Mercy  (rahmat).

[7]

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ كَلِمَاتِكَ بِأَتَمِّهَا وَكُلُّ كَلِمَاتِكَ تَامَّةٌ

 اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ بِكَلِمَاتِكَ كُلِّهَا ِ  

O my God!

I beseech Thee by Thy Kalimāt (Words) at their most Perfect (atamm)

for all Thy Words (kalimāt) are truly Complete (tāmmat).

I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the totality of Thy Words (kalimāt).

[8]

 اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ مِنْ كَمالِكَ بِاَكْمَلِهِ وَ كُلُّ كَمالِكَ كامِلٌ

اَللّـهُمَّ  اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِكَمالِكَ كُلِّهِ

O my God!

I beseech Thee by Thy Kamāl (Perfection) in its absolute Perfectness (akmal)

for Thy Perfection (kamāl) is truly Perfect (kāmil).

I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the completeness of Thy Perfection (kamāl).

[9]

اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ مِنْ اَسمائِكَ بِاَكْبَرِها وَ كُلُّ اَسْمائِكَ كَبيرَةٌ  

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ  بِاَسْمائِكَ كُلِّها

O my God!

I beseech thee by thy Asmā' (Names)  by virtue of their supreme Greatness (akbar)

for all Thy Names (asmā') are truly Great (kabīr).

I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the totality of Thy Names (asmā').

[10]

اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ مِنْ عِزَّتِكَ باَعَزِّها وَ كُلُّ عِزَّتِكَ عَزيزَةٌ

اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِعِزَّتِكَ كُلِّها

O my God!

I beseech thee by Thy `Izzat (Might) at its utmost Mightiness (a`azza)

for all Thy Might (`izzat) is truly Mighty (`azīz).

I, verily, O my God!

beseech Thee by the fullness of Thy Might (`izzat).

[11]

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ مِنْ مَشِيَّتِكَ بِاَمْضاها وَ كُلُّ مَشِيَّتِكَ ماضِيَةٌ  

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِمَشِيَّتِكَ كُلِّها

O my God!

I beseech thee by Thy Mashiyya[t] (Will) at its most Conclusive (amḍā)

for all of thy Will (mashiyya[t]) is truly conclusive (māḍiyat).

I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the totality of Thy Will (mashiyya[t]).

[12]

  اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ مِنْ قُدْرَتِكَ بِالْقُدْرَةِ الَّتي اسْتَطَلْتَ بِها عَلى كُلِّ شَيْء وَ كُلُّ قُدْرَتِكَ مُسْتَطيلَةٌ  

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ كُلِّها

O my God!

I beseech thee by Thy Qudrat (Power) through the Power (qudrat) of which Thou overshadoweth

 all things for all of Thy Power (qudrat)  is truly All-Subduing (mustatīlat).

I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the fullness of Power (qudrat).

[13]

اَللّـهُمَّ  اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ  مِنْ عِلْمِكَ بِاَنْفَذِهِ وَ كُلُّ عِلْمِكَ نافِذٌ

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ كُلِّهِ

O my God!

I beseech Thee by Thy `Ilm (Knowledge) at its most Acute (anfad)

for all of Thy Knowledge (`ilm) is truly Penetrating (nāfid).

I, verily, O my God!  beseech Thee by the whole of Thy Knowledge (`ilm).

[14]

 اَللّـهُمَّ  اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ مِنْ قَوْلِكَ بِاَرْضاهُ وَ كُلُّ قَوْلِكَ رَضِيٌّ

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِقَوْلِكَ كُلِّهِ

O my God!

I beseech Thee by Thy Qawl (Speech) at its most Delightful (ardā)

for all Thy Speech (qawl)  is especially Pleasing (raḍiyy).

I, verily, O my God!  beseech Thee by the whole of Thy Speech (qawl).

[15]

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ مِنْ مَسائِلِكَ بِاَحَبِّها اِلَيْكَ وَ كُلُّ مَسائِلِكَ اِلَيْكَ حَبيبَةٌ

 اَللّـهُمَّ  اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِمَسائِلِكَ كُلِّها

O my God!

I beseech Thee by Thy Masā'il (Questions) which are most Agreeable (ahabb) of Thee

for all of Thy Concerns (masā'il) are truly beloved (habīb).

I, verily, O my God!  beseech Thee by the whole of Thine affairs (masā'il).

 

[16]

اَللّـهُمَّ  اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ مِنْ شَرَفِكَ بِاَشْرَفِهِ وَ كُلُّ شَرَفِكَ شَريفٌ  

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِشَرَفِكَ كُلِّهِ

O my God!

I beseech thee by thy Sharaf (Honour) which is most Honourable (sharaf) 

for all of Thine Honour (sharaf) is truly Honoured (sharīf).

I, verily, O my God!  beseech Thee by the whole of Thine Honour (sharaf).

 

[17]

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ مِنْ سُلْطانِكَ بِاَدْوَمِهِ وَ كُلُّ سُلطانِكَ دائِمٌ

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِسُلْطانِكَ كُلِّهِ

O My God!

 I beseech thee by thy Sulṭān ("Sovereignty") at its most Permanent (adwam)

for the whole of Thy Dominion (sulṭān)  is truly Enduring (dā'im).

I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the absoluteness of Thy Sovereignty (sulṭān).

 

[18]

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ مِنْ مُلْكِكَ بِاَفْخَرِهِ وَ كُلُّ مُلْكِكَ فاخِرٌ  

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِمُلْكِكَ كُلِّهِ

 

O my God!

I beseech Thee by Thy Mulk (Dominion) at its most Magnificent (afkhar)

for the whole of Thy Dominion (mulk) is truly Excellent (fākhir).

I, verily, O my God!  beseech Thee by the whole of Thy Dominion (mulk).

[19]

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ مِنْ عُلُوِّكَ بِاَعْلاهُ وَ كُلُّ عُلُوِّكَ عال  

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِعُلُوِّكَ كُلِّهِ

 

O my God!

I beseech Thee by Thy `Ulūww (Sublimity) at its most Lofty (a`lā)

for the whole of Thy Sublimity (`ulūww) is truly Lofty (`āl[īn]).

I, verily, O my God!  beseech Thee by the fullness of Thy Sublimity (`ulūww).

[20]

  اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ مِنْ مَنِّكَ بِاَقْدَمِهِ وَ كُلُّ مَنِّكَ قَديمٌ

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِمَنِّكَ كُلِّهِ

 

O my God!

I beseech Thee by Thy Mann (Benevolence) at its most Immemorial (aqdam)

for the totality of Thy Benevolence (mann) is truly Pre-existent (qadīm).

I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the whole of Thy Benevolence (mann).

 

[21]

اَللّـهُمَّ  اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ مِنْ اياتِكَ بِاَكْرَمِها وَ كُلُّ آياتِكَ كَريمَةٌ  

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِآياتِكَ كُلِّها

O God!,

 I  beseech thee by thy āyāt  (Verses/Signs)  at their most Distinguished (akram)

for all Thy Verses (āyāt) (verses) are truly Precious (karīm).

I, verily, O my God!  beseech Thee by the totality of Thy Verses (āyāt).

 

[22]

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِما اَنْتَ فيهِ مِنَ الشَّأنِ وَالْجَبَرُوتِ ، وَاَسْاَلُكَ بِكُلِّ شَأْن وَحْدَهُ جَبَرُوت وَحْدَها  

 اَللّـهُمَّ اِنّي اَسْاَلُكَ بِما تُجيبُني بِهِ حينَ اَسْاَلُكَ فَاَجِبْني يا اَللهُ  

 

I, verily, beseech Thee, O my God!

by that whereby Thou hast Standing (sha'n)  and Omnipotence (jabarūt)

and I supplicate Thee by virtue of every single quality (shan)  and dimension of Power (jabarūt)

that Thou do indeed answer me by virtue of the foregoing at the very moment I request of Thee!

Wherefore do Thou answer me, O my God!

 

 

[Then ask thy requirement  for this is surely a thing decreed].

 


 

 

DU`A AL-BAHA   Ramaḍān DAWN PRAYER