Baháʼí Prayers for Prison
Lauded be Thy name, O my God! Thou beholdest me in the clutches of my oppressors.
Lauded be Thy name, O my God! Thou beholdest me in the clutches of my oppressors. Every time I turn to my right, I hear the voice of the lamentation of them that are dear to Thee, whom the infidels have made captives for having believed in Thee and in Thy signs, and for having set their faces towards the horizon of Thy grace and of Thy loving-kindness. And when I turn to my left, I hear the clamor of the wicked doers who have disbelieved in Thee and in Thy signs, and persistently striven to put out the light of Thy lamp which sheddeth the radiance of Thine own Self over all that are in Thy heaven and all that are on Thy earth.
The hearts of Thy chosen ones, O my Lord, have melted because of their separation from Thee, and the souls of Thy loved ones are burnt up by the fire of their yearning after Thee in Thy days. I implore Thee, O Thou Maker of the heavens and Lord of all names, by Thy most effulgent Self and Thy most exalted and all-glorious Remembrance, to send down upon Thy loved ones that which will draw them nearer unto Thee, and enable them to hearken unto Thine utterances.
Tear asunder with the hand of Thy transcendent power, O my Lord, the veil of vain imaginings, that they who are wholly devoted to Thee may see Thee seated on the throne of Thy majesty, and the eyes of such as adore Thy unity may rejoice at the splendors of the glory of Thy face. The doors of hope have been shut against the hearts that long for Thee, O my Lord! Their keys are in Thy hands; open them by the power of Thy might and Thy sovereignty. Potent art Thou to do as Thou pleasest. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the Beneficent.
Glorified be Thy name, O Lord my God! Thou beholdest my dwelling-place, and the prison into which I am cast, and the woes I suffer.
Glorified be Thy name, O Lord my God! Thou beholdest my dwelling-place, and the prison into which I am cast, and the woes I suffer. Glorified be Thy name, O Lord my God! Thou beholdest my dwelling-place, and the prison into which I am cast, and the woes I suffer. By Thy might! No pen can recount them, nor can any tongue describe or number them. I know not, O my God, for what purpose Thou hast abandoned me to Thine adversaries. Thy glory beareth me witness! I sorrow not for the vexations I endure for love of Thee, nor feel perturbed by the calamities that overtake me in Thy path. My grief is rather because Thou delayest to fulfill what Thou hast determined in the Tablets of Thy Revelation, and ordained in the books of Thy decree and judgment.
My blood, at all times, addresseth me saying: “O Thou Who art the Image of the Most Merciful! How long will it be ere Thou riddest me of the captivity of this world, and deliverest me from the bondage of this life? Didst Thou not promise me that Thou shalt dye the earth with me, and sprinkle me on the faces of the inmates of Thy Paradise?” To this I make reply: “Be thou patient and quiet thyself. The things thou desirest can last but an hour. As to me, however, I quaff continually in the path of God the cup of His decree, and wish not that the ruling of His will should cease to operate, or that the woes I suffer for the sake of my Lord, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, should be ended. Seek thou my wish and forsake thine own. Thy bondage is not for my protection, but to enable me to sustain successive tribulations, and to prepare me for the trials that must needs repeatedly assail me. Perish that lover who discerneth between the pleasant and the poisonous in his love for his beloved! Be thou satisfied with what God hath destined for thee. He, verily, ruleth over thee as He willeth and pleaseth. No God is there but Him, the Inaccessible, the Most High.”
Lauded be Thy name, O Thou Who beholdest all things and art hidden from all things! From every land Thou hearest the lamentations of them that love Thee
Lauded be Thy name, O Thou Who beholdest all things and art hidden from all things! From every land Thou hearest the lamentations of them that love Thee, and from every direction Thou hearkenest unto the cries of such as have recognized Thy sovereignty. Were their oppressors to be asked: “Wherefore have ye oppressed them and held them in bondage in Baghdád and elsewhere? What injustice have they committed? Whom have they betrayed? Whose blood have they spilled, and whose property have they plundered?” they would know not what to answer.
Thou knowest full well, O my God, that their only crime is to have loved Thee. For this reason have their oppressors laid hold on them, and scattered them abroad. Aware as I am, O my God, that Thou wilt send down upon Thy servants only what is good for them, I nevertheless beseech Thee, by Thy name which overshadoweth all things, to raise up, for their assistance and as a sign of Thy grace and as an evidence of Thy power, those who will keep them safe from all their adversaries.
Potent art Thou to do Thy pleasure. Thou art, verily, the Supreme Ruler, the Almighty, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.
Thou beholdest, O my God, the Day-Star of Thy Word shining above the horizon of Thy prison-city, inasmuch as within its walls
Thou beholdest, O my God, the Day-Star of Thy Word shining above the horizon of Thy prison-city, inasmuch as within its walls He who is the Manifestation of Thy Self and the Day-Spring of the light of Thy unity hath raised His voice and uttered Thy praise. The fragrances of Thy love have thereby been wafted over Thy cities and have encompassed all the dwellers of Thy realm.
Since Thou hast revealed Thy grace, O my God, deter not Thy servants from directing their eyes towards it. Consider not, O my God, their estate, and their concerns and their works. Consider the greatness of Thy glory, and the plenteousness of Thy gifts, and the power of Thy might, and the excellence of Thy favors. I swear by Thy glory! Wert Thou to look upon them with the eye of justice, all would deserve Thy wrath and the rod of Thine anger. Hold Thou Thy creatures, O my God, with the hands of Thy grace, and make Thou known unto them what is best for them of all the things that have been created in the kingdom of Thine invention.
We testify, O my God, that Thou art God, and that there is no God besides Thee. From eternity Thou hast existed with none to equal or rival Thee, and wilt abide for ever the same. I beseech Thee, by the eyes which see Thee stablished upon the throne of unity and the seat of oneness, to aid all them that love Thee by Thy Most Great Name, and to lift them up into such heights that they will testify with their own beings and with their tongues that Thou art God alone, the Incomparable, the One, the Ever-Abiding. Thou hast had at no time any peer or partner. Thou, in truth, art the All-Glorious, the Almighty, Whose help is implored by all men.
Lauded be Thy name, O Lord my God! Thou seest me in this day shut up in my prison, and fallen into the hands of Thine adversaries, and beholdest my son
Lauded be Thy name, O Lord my God! Thou seest me in this day shut up in my prison, and fallen into the hands of Thine adversaries, and beholdest my son (The Purest Branch) lying on the dust before Thy face. He is Thy servant, O my Lord, whom Thou hast caused to be related to Him Who is the Manifestation of Thyself and the Day-Spring of Thy Cause.
At his birth he was afflicted through his separation from Thee, according to what had been ordained for him through Thine irrevocable decree. And when he had quaffed the cup of reunion with Thee, he was cast into prison for having believed in Thee and in Thy signs. He continued to serve Thy Beauty until he entered into this Most Great Prison. Thereupon I offered him up, O my God, as a sacrifice in Thy path. Thou well knowest what they who love Thee have endured through this trial that hath caused the kindreds of the earth to wail, and beyond them the Concourse on high to lament.I beseech Thee, O my Lord, by him and by his exile and his imprisonment, to send down upon such as loved him what will quiet their hearts and bless their works. Potent art Thou to do as Thou willest. No God is there but Thee, the Almighty, the Most Powerful.
Praised be Thou, O Lord my God! I implore Thee by Thine Ancient Beauty and Most Great Name, Whom Thou hast sacrificed that all the dwellers of Thine earth and heaven
Praised be Thou, O Lord my God! I implore Thee by Thine Ancient Beauty and Most Great Name, Whom Thou hast sacrificed that all the dwellers of Thine earth and heaven may be born anew, and Whom Thou hast cast into prison that mankind may, as a token of Thy bounty and of Thy sovereign might, be released from the bondage of evil passions and corrupt desires, to number me with those who have so deeply inhaled the fragrance of Thy mercy, and hastened with such speed unto the living waters of Thy grace, that no dart could hinder them from turning unto Thee, nor any spear from setting their faces towards the orient of Thy Revelation.
We testify, O my Lord, that Thou art God and that there is none other God besides Thee. From everlasting Thou wast enthroned on the inaccessible heights of Thy power, and wilt unto everlasting continue to exercise Thy transcendent and unrestrained dominion. The hosts of the world are powerless to frustrate Thy will, nor can all the dwellers of the earth and all the inmates of heaven annul Thy decree. Thou truly art the Almighty, the Most Exalted, the Most Great.
Bless, O my God, those of the followers of the Bayán as have been numbered with the people of Bahá, who have entered within the Crimson Ark in Thy Name, the Most Exalted, the Most High. Thy might, verily, is equal to all things.
Thou beholdest, O my God, Thy servant who dwelleth in this prison-house, wholly detached from any one but Thee, his eyes turned in the direction of the Day-Spring of Thy mercy
Thou beholdest, O my God, Thy servant who dwelleth in this prison-house, wholly detached from any one but Thee, his eyes turned in the direction of the Day-Spring of Thy mercy, his heart longing for the wondrous manifestations of Thy grace. Thou, O my Lord, hast reckoned up the ills that have afflicted him in Thy path. Thou seest him compassed about with such of Thy creatures as have transgressed and rebelled against Thee, who have come in between him and Thy loved ones, who have fixed his abode in this land and wronged Thee, and who have hindered Thy servants from turning towards Thee.
For all these things I offer thanksgiving unto Thee, O my Lord! I implore Thee to assist me and them that love me to magnify Thy Word, and to endow us with such strength that the ills of this world and its tribulations will be powerless to hinder us from remembering Thee and from extolling Thy virtues. Powerful art Thou to do all things; resplendent art Thou above all things.
Every conqueror is but a serf whom Thy hand hath subjected, and the richest of the rich is as destitute before the immensity of Thy wealth. The noblest of nobles is humbled when faced with the manifestations of Thy glory, and the mightiest of potentates is a mere abject one when confronted with the compelling evidences of Thine authority.
Tear asunder, O my God, the veil of vain imaginings that hath obscured the vision of Thy people, that all may haste towards Thee, may tread the path of Thy pleasure, and walk in the ways of Thy Faith. We are, O my God, Thy servants and Thy bondsmen. Thou art sufficient unto us so that we can dispense with the world and all that is therein. We are wholly satisfied with all that hath befallen us in Thy path, and exclaim: “Praised be Thou, in Whose hand are the realms of revelation and of creation, and all the kingdoms of earth and heaven!”
Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! Thou seest me dwelling in this prison-house that lieth behind the seas and the mountains, and knowest full well what I have endured for love of Thee and for the sake of Thy Cause.
Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! Thou seest me dwelling in this prison-house that lieth behind the seas and the mountains, and knowest full well what I have endured for love of Thee and for the sake of Thy Cause. Thou art He, O my God, Who hath raised me up at Thy behest, and bidden me to occupy Thy seat, and to summon all men to the court of Thy mercy. It is Thou Who hast commanded me to tell out the things Thou didst destine for them in the Tablet of Thy decree and didst inscribe with the pen of Thy Revelation, and Who hast enjoined on me the duty of kindling the fire of Thy love in the hearts of Thy servants, and of drawing all the peoples of the earth nearer to the habitation of Thy throne.
And when, as bidden by Thee, I arose and called out, by Thy leave, all Thy creatures, the wayward among Thy servants opposed me. Some turned away from me, others disowned my claim, a few hesitated, while others were sore perplexed, notwithstanding that Thy testimony was set forth before the followers of all religions, and Thy proof demonstrated unto all the peoples of the earth, and the signs of Thy might so powerfully manifested as to encompass the entire creation.
I was, moreover, opposed by mine own kindred, although, as Thou knowest, they were dear to me and I had desired for them that which I had desired for mine own self. These are the ones who, when learning that I had been cast into prison, perpetrated against me what no man else on earth had perpetrated.
I entreat Thee, therefore, O my God, by Thy name by which Thou hast separated between truth and denial, to purify their hearts of all evil suggestions, and to enable them to draw nigh unto Him Who is the Day-Spring of Thy names and Thine attributes.
Thou knowest, O my God, that I have severed every tie that bindeth me to any of Thy creatures except that most exalted tie that uniteth me with whosoever cleaveth unto Thee, in this the day of the revelation of Thy most august Self, that hath appeared in Thy name, the All-Glorious. Thou knowest that I have dissolved every bond that knitteth me to any one of my kindred except such as have enjoyed near access to Thy most effulgent face.
I have no will but Thy will, O my Lord, and cherish no desire except Thy desire. From my pen floweth only the summons which Thine own exalted pen hath voiced, and my tongue uttereth naught save what the Most Great Spirit hath itself proclaimed in the kingdom of Thine eternity. I am stirred by nothing else except the winds of Thy will, and breathe no word except the words which, by Thy leave and Thine inspiration, I am led to pronounce.
Praise be to Thee, O Thou Who art the Well-Beloved of all that have known Thee, and the Desire of the hearts of such as are devoted to Thee, inasmuch as Thou hast made me a target for the ills that I suffer in my love for Thee, and the object of the assaults launched against me in Thy path. Thy glory beareth me witness! I can, on no account, feel impatient of the adversities that I have borne in my love for Thee. From the very day Thou didst reveal Thyself unto me, I have accepted for myself every manner of tribulation. Every moment of my life my head crieth out to Thee and saith: “Would, O my Lord, that I could be raised on the spear-point in Thy path!” while my blood entreateth Thee saying: “Dye the earth with me, O my God, for the sake of Thy love and Thy pleasure!” Thou knowest that I have, at no time, sought to guard my body against any affliction, nay rather I have continually anticipated the things Thou didst ordain for me in the Tablet of Thy decree.
Behold, then, O my God, my loneliness among Thy servants and my remoteness from Thy friends and Thy chosen ones. I beseech Thee, by the showers of the clouds of Thy mercy, whereby Thou hast caused the blossoms of Thy praise and utterance and the flowers of Thy wisdom and testimony to spring forth in the hearts of all them that have recognized Thy oneness, to supply Thy servants and my kindred with the fruits of the tree of Thy unity, in these days when Thou hast been established upon the throne of Thy mercy. Hinder them not, O my Lord, from attaining unto the things Thou dost possess, and write down for them that which will aid them to scale the heights of Thy grace and favor. Give them, moreover, to drink of the living waters of Thy knowledge, and ordain for them the good of this world and of the world to come.
Thou art, verily, the Lord of Bahá, and the Beloved of his heart, and the Object of his desire, and the Inspirer of his tongue, and the Source of his soul. No God is there but Thee, the Inaccessible, the Most High. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the Most Exalted, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
Praised be Thou, O my God! Thou seest me shut up in this Prison, and art well aware that I have entered it solely for Thy sake and for the sake of the glorification of Thy word and the proclamation of Thy Cause.
Praised be Thou, O my God! Thou seest me shut up in this Prison, and art well aware that I have entered it solely for Thy sake and for the sake of the glorification of Thy word and the proclamation of Thy Cause. I cry out to Thee, this very moment, O Thou Who art the Lord of all worlds, beseeching Thee, by Thine undoubted Name, to attract the hearts of Thy servants unto the Day-Spring of Thy most excellent titles and the Dawning-Place of Thy most resplendent signs.
But for the troubles that touch me in Thy path, O my God, how else could my heart rejoice in Thy days; and were it not for the blood which is shed for love of Thee, what else could tinge the faces of Thy chosen ones before the eyes of Thy creatures? I swear by Thy might! The ornament that adorneth the countenance of Thy dear ones is the blood which, in their love for Thee, floweth out of their foreheads over their faces.
Thou beholdest, O my God, how every bone in my body soundeth like a pipe with the music of Thine inspiration, revealing the signs of Thy oneness and the clear tokens of Thy unity. I entreat Thee, O my God, by Thy Name which irradiateth all things, to raise up such servants as shall incline their ears to the voice of the melodies that hath ascended from the right hand of the throne of Thy glory. Make them, then, to quaff from the hand of Thy grace the wine of Thy mercy, that it may assure their hearts, and cause them to turn away from the left hand of idle fancies and vain imaginings to the right hand of confidence and certitude.
Now that Thou hast guided them unto the door of Thy grace, O my Lord, cast them not away, by Thy bounty; and now that Thou hast summoned them unto the horizon of Thy Cause, keep them not back from Thee, by Thy graciousness and favor. Powerful art Thou to do as Thou pleasest. No God is there but Thee, the Omniscient, the All-Informed.
Unto Thee be praise, O Lord my God! I beseech Thee by Thy Most Great Name Who hath been shut up in the prison-town of Akká
Unto Thee be praise, O Lord my God! I beseech Thee by Thy Most Great Name Who hath been shut up in the prison-town of Akká, and Who—as Thou beholdest, O my God—hath fallen into the hands of His enemies, and is threatened by the swords of the wicked doers, to make me steadfast in His Cause, and to direct mine eyes continually towards His court, in such wise that nothing whatsoever will have the power to turn me back from Him.
I testify, O my Lord, that He hath surrendered His life in Thy path, and hath wished for Himself nothing but tribulation in the love He beareth to Thee. He hath endured all manner of vexations that He may manifest Thy sovereignty unto Thy servants, and exalt Thy word amidst Thy creatures. As the adversities deepened, and the troubles sent down by Thee compassed Him on every side, He became so impassioned by His thought of Thee, that the hosts of all them that had disbelieved in Thee and repudiated Thy signs ceased to affright Him.
I implore Thee, O my Lord, by Him and by whatsoever pertaineth unto Him, to set my affections upon Him even as He hath set His own affections upon Thyself. I testify that His love is Thy love, and His self Thy self, and His beauty Thy beauty, and His Cause Thy Cause.
Deny me not, O my Lord, what is with Thee, and suffer me not to be forgetful of what Thou didst desire in Thy days. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, the All-Wise.
Thou seest, O my Lord, my dwelling-place in the heart of this mountain and Thou dost witness my forbearance.
Thou seest, O my Lord, my dwelling-place in the heart of this mountain and Thou dost witness my forbearance. Verily I have desired naught else but Thy love and the love of those who love Thee. How can I extol the effulgent beauty of Thy Lordship, conscious as I am of my nothingness before the habitation of Thy glory? Yet the sorrow of solitude and loneliness prompteth me to invoke Thee through this prayer, perchance Thy trusted servants may become aware of my lamentations, may supplicate unto Thee on my behalf, and Thou wouldst graciously answer their prayers as a token of Thy grace and Thy favour. I bear witness that there is no God but Thee, inasmuch as Thou art invested with sovereignty, grandeur, glory and power which no one among Thy servants can visualize or comprehend. Indeed Thou shalt, by virtue of that which is inherent in Thine Essence, ever remain inscrutable unto all except Thyself.
How can I praise Thee, O Lord, for the evidences of Thy mighty splendour and for Thy wondrous sweet savours which Thou hast imparted to Me in this fortress
How can I praise Thee, O Lord, for the evidences of Thy mighty splendour and for Thy wondrous sweet savours which Thou hast imparted to Me in this fortress, in such measure that nothing in the heavens or on the earth can compare with them? Thou hast watched over Me in the heart of this mountain where I am compassed by mountains on all sides. One hangeth above Me, others stand on My right and My left and yet another riseth in front of Me. Glory be unto Thee, no God is there but Thee. How often have I seen rocks from the mountain hurtling down upon Me, and Thou didst protect Me therefrom and preserved Me within the stronghold of Thy divine Unity.
Glorified and exalted art Thou, and praise be unto Thee for whatsoever Thou lovest and desirest, and thanks be unto Thee for that which Thou hast decreed and preordained. From time immemorial Thy tender mercy hath been sent down and the process of Thy creation hath been and ever is ceaseless. Thy handiwork is unlike the work of anyone besides Thee, and Thy goodly gifts are unparalleled by the gifts of anyone other than Thyself.
Praise be unto Thee, O My Beloved, and magnified be Thy Name. Ever since the hour I set foot upon this fortress till the moment I shall have departed therefrom, I behold Thee established upon Thy seat of glory and majesty, sending down upon Me the manifold tokens of Thy bountiful favour and grace. Thou beholdest that My dwelling place is but the heart of the mountains, and Thou discernest naught in My Person except the evidences of abasement and loneliness.
Lauded be Thy Name; I render Thee thanks for every instance of Thine inscrutable Decree and offer My praise for every token of Thy tribulations. Having suffered Me to be cast into the prison, Thou didst turn it into a garden of Paradise for Me and caused it to become a chamber of the court of everlasting fellowship.
How numerous the verses Thou didst send down unto Me, and the prayers Thou didst hear Me offer unto Thee. How diverse the revelations which Thou didst call into being through Me and the experiences Thou didst witness in Me.
Magnified be Thy Name. Manifold trials have been powerless to deter Me from yielding thanks unto Thee and My shortcomings have failed to keep Me back from extolling Thy virtues. The infidels had purposed to turn My abode into one of disgrace and humiliation. But Thou hast glorified Me through My remembrance of Thee, hast exalted Me through My praise of Thee, hast graciously aided Me through the revelations of Thy oneness, and hast conferred upon Me a great honour through the effulgent splendours of Thine ancient eternity. To the fire Thou dost command, ‘Be thou a soothing balm unto My Servant’, and to the prison, ‘Be thou a seat of tender compassion to My Servant, as a token from My presence’. Yea, I swear by Thy glory; to Me the prison hath proved to be naught but the most delightful garden of Paradise and hath served as the noblest spot in the realm above.
Praised and glorified art Thou. How often did adversities descend upon Me and Thou didst temper them and avert them through Thy gracious favour; and how many times were commotions stirred up against Me at the hand of the people, while Thou didst cause them to subside through Thy tender mercy. How numerous the occasions when the Nimrods kindled fires wherewith to burn Me, but Thou didst make them balm for Me; and how manifold the instances when the infidels decreed My humiliation and Thou didst turn them into marks of honour for Me…
Verily Thou art the highest aspiration of every earnest seeker and the Goal of the desire of them that yearn after Thee. Thou art He Who is ready to answer the call of such as recognize Thy divine unity, and He before Whom the faint-hearted stand in awe. Thou art the Helper of the needy, the Deliverer of the captives, the Abaser of the oppressors, the Destroyer of the wrong-doers, the God of all men, the Lord of all created things. Thine are the kingdoms of Creation and Revelation, O Thou Who art the Lord of all the worlds.
O All-Sufficient One! Thou dost suffice Me in every hardship that may descend upon Me and in every affliction that may wax great before Me. Thou art My sole Companion in My loneliness, the Delight of My heart in My solitude and My Best Beloved in My prison and in My Abode. No God is there but Thee!
Whomsoever Thou dost suffice shall not be put to grief; whomsoever Thou dost protect shall never perish; whomsoever Thou dost help shall never be abased; and he unto whom Thou turnest Thy gaze shall never be far removed from Thee.
Write down for us then whatsoever is of Thee, and forgive us for what we are. Verily Thou art the Lord of power and glory, the Lord of all the worlds. ‘Far be the glory of Thy Lord, the Lord of all greatness, from what they impute to Him, and peace be upon His Apostles, and praise be unto God, the Lord of all the worlds.’