for when the heart is heavy
by Aqeela Naqvi
Dua’a Sabah – An Early Morning Prayer
In the name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful:
Oh He who extended the morning’s tongue in the speech of its dawning, dispatched the fragments of the dark night into the gloom of its stammering, made firm the structure of the turning spheres in the measures of its display and beamed forth the brightness of the sun through the light of its blazing! Oh He who demonstrates His Essence by His Essence, transcends congeneity with His creatures and is exalted beyond conformity with His qualities!
Oh He who is near to the passing thoughts of opinions, far from the regards of eyes and knows what will be before it comes to be! Oh He who has put me at ease in the cradle of His security and sanctuary, awakened me to the favors and kindness that He has bestowed upon me and held from the claws of evil with His hand and His force!
Bless, oh God, the guide to You in the darkest night, him who, of Thy ropes, clings to the cord of the longest nobility, him whose glory is evident at the summit of stout shoulders and whose feet were entrenched in spite of slippery places in ancient time; and [bless] his household, the good, the chosen, the pious,
And open for us, oh God, the leaves of morning’s door with the keys of mercy and prosperity! Clothe me, oh God, with the most excellent robes of guidance and righteousness!
Plant, oh God, through Your tremendousness, the springs of humility in the watering place of my heart! Cause to flow, oh God, because of Your awesomeness, tears of moaning from the corner of my eyes! And chastise, oh God, the recklessness of my clumsiness with the reins of contentment! My God, if mercy from You does not begin with fair success for me, then who can take me to You upon the evident path?
If Your deliberateness would turn me over to the guide of hope and wishes, then who will annul my slips from the stumbles of caprice? If Your help should forsake me in the battle with the soul and Satan, then Your forsaking will have entrusted me to where there is hardship and deprivation. My God, do You see that I have only come to You from the direction of hopes, or clung to the ends of Your cords when my sins have driven me from the house of union?
So what an evil mount upon which my soul has mounted – its caprice! Woe upon it for being seduced by its own opinions and wishes! And destruction be upon it for its audacity toward its Master and Protector! My God, I have knocked upon the door of Your mercy with the hand of my hope, fled to You seeking refuge from my excessive caprice and fixed the fingers of my love to the ends of Your cords.
So pardon, oh God, the slips and errors I have committed and release me from the foot-tangling of my robe. For You are my Master, my Protector, my Support and my Hope and You are the object of my search and my desire in my ultimate end and stable abode. My God, how could You drive away a poor beggar who seeks refuge in You from sins, fleeing? Or how could You disappoint one seeking guidance who repairs to You threshold, running?
Never! For Your pools are full in the hardship of drought, Your door is open for seeking and penetration and You are the goal of requests and the object of hopes. My God, these are the reins of my soul I have bound them with the ties of Your will. These are the burdens of my sins I have averted them with Your pardon and mercy. And these are my caprices that lead astray – I have entrusted them to the threshold of Your gentleness and kindliness.
So make this morning of mine, oh God, descend upon me with the radiance of guidance, and with safety in religion and this world, and my evening a shield against the deception of enemies and a protection against the destructive blows of caprice.
Verily You are able over what You will! You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You seize the kingdom from whom You will; You exalt whom You will, and You abase whom You will; in Your hand is the good; You are powerful over all things. You make the night enter into the day, and You make the day to enter into night; You bring forth the living from the dead, and You bring forth dead from the living; and You provide whomsoever You will without reckoning.
There is no god but You! Glory be to You, oh God, and Yours is the praise! Who knows Your measure without fearing You? Who knows what You are without awe of You? Through Your power You have joined disparate things, through Your gentleness You have cleaved apart the daybreak and through Your generosity You have illumined the dark shrouds of night. You have made waters, sweet and salt, flow forth from hard shining stones, sent down out of rain-clouds water cascading and appointed the sun and moon a blazing lamp for the creatures, without experiencing in that which You originated either weariness or effort.
So, oh He who is alone in might and subsistence and dominates His slaves with death and annihilation, Bless Muhammad and his household, the Godfearing, answer my supplication hear my call, destroy my enemies and actualize through Your bounty my hope and desire.
Oh best of those who is called to remove affliction and object of hope in every difficulty and ease! I have stated my need, so do not reject me, oh my master, despairing of Your exalted gifts. Oh All-generous! Oh All-generous! Oh All-generous! By Your mercy, oh Most Merciful of the merciful! And God bless the best of His creatures, Muhammad, and all his household!
My God, my heart is veiled, my soul deficient, my intelligence defeated, my caprice triumphant, my obedience little, my disobedience much and my tongue acknowledges sins.
So what am I to do?
Oh He who covers defects! Oh He who knows the unseen things! Forgive my sins, all of them, by the sacredness of Muhammad and the household of Muhammad! Oh All-forgiver! Oh All-forgiver! Oh All-forgiver!
By Your mercy, oh Most Merciful of the merciful