A Response to the Hadith Qudsi, “Ya Ibaadi”
Number 24, Arbaeen Nawawiyya,
by Novid Shaid, 2002
Oh Allah! Oh Everlasting King!
Oh heirless Emperor! Oh Sovereign!
Oh You, who has forbidden oppression
For yourself, and outlawed transgression.
Oh You, without whom all become astray
Without whom, none can travel on the way
Oh You, who solely sates our appetites
Quenches our thirst and nourishes our insights,
Oh You, without whom all remain unclothed,
Without whom, our frailty lies exposed,
Oh You, who veils our mortifying sins,
Conceals our shame and saves us from ruin,
Conserve us from oppressing one another
Preserve us from transgressing one another
Innerve us with Your fitting gratefulness
Reserve for us Your loving gentleness
Maintain us on Your liberating road
Which reaches Your perpetual abode.
And feed us with revitalising fare
Bought with an income honourable and fair,
And wrap us in emancipating robes
Which free us of conceit and repel the cold,
And draw a clement cloak over our crimes
Shore-up our fragments with Your pillars sublime.
Oh Fearless One! We cannot cause you harm,
Oh Peerless One! It’s You who clears our qualms.
Oh Lord, we state this candid affirmation
Should all the beings of Your whole creation
Be servants of the highest moral station,
They wouldn’t boost Your kingdom in the slightest.
Oh Lord, we swear this earnest declaration
Should all the beings of Your countless nations
Be tyrants of the lowest moral station,
They wouldn’t shrink Your kingdom in the slightest.
Oh Allah! We sing Your acclamation,
Should every soul from time’s initiation
And every one to life’s ordained cessation,
Ask for their wants in one, vast congregation,
And should You answer every single prayer,
And meet the needs of all that gather there,
It wouldn’t drain Your bounty in the slightest.
So when our acts of righteousness are sewn,
Let us affirm Your goodness, not our own.
And when our sinful acts begin to swell
Give us the common sense to blame ourselves.
And make our repentance lasting and true,
Until we fear and love no one but You.
And peace and blessings on Your courtier
Who thrives in Your confidence without barrier.
Novid Shaid is an English Language and Literature teacher at a secondary school in Bucks, UK. I have written poetry, short stories and a play based around the subjects of Islam, Sufism, and also contemporary issues like war, multi-culturalism and surviving as a Muslim in the western world.