A prayer by Ameen Rihani
translated from the Arabic by Suheil Bushrui
O Immortal Majesty! Bestow upon me a portion of Thy glory!
O Eternal Light! Assist me with a shaft of They refulgence!
O Illimitable Potency! Imbue me with a measure of Thy might!
I am the Source of immortal Life,
The Fountain-head of Love and Power;
I am alive in thee, attentive unto thy supplications.
Thou are the whole of life,
Both in the beginning and in the end,
And I, truly, find my life in Thee.
I am the Source of human understanding,
And I shall increase thine understanding
That thou art a part of Me.
O God! Assist me to devote my powers.
Whether spiritual, intellectual or physical,
In the pathway of Truth, of Love, and of Wisdom.
O son of man! I, in truth, do hearken unto thee,
Accord thee freedom in thine actions,
And bestow upon thee My grace.
O Eternal Fountain,
From whence well forth the lights of love,
From whence gush forth the streams of life and well-being!
I open unto Thee my heart and my mind,
And lay bare my soul before Thee.
Deny me not, then, Thine overflowing bounties,
Nor remove me from Thy copious fountains.
My fountains are amidst the stars,
And in that which binds them one unto another,
And in the strength and health that grow therefrom,
And in the flowers that blow therein,
And in the scent they breathe of love and beauty
--All these are before thine eyes and beneath thy grasp,
The grasp of the discerning mind and of the immortal soul.
Thou art my Lord and there is no God besides Thee.
I am the pulse of life within thee,
The spirit of love within thee,
The light of wisdom within thee.
Be thou faithful thereunto,
They are the reality of Divinity, whether sought as Truth or as
* * * * * * * * * *
Ameen Rihani (1876-1940)
Ameen Rihani was a Lebanese who achieved fame both as a writer in English and in his native tongue, Arabic. Born in Freike, not far from Beirut, he emigrated to the United States at the age of twelve, returning to his homeland many times, and during the 'twenties and 'thirties, traveling extensively throughout the Arab World.
Besides much manuscript material which remains unpublished, Rihani produced ten books in English, including verse translations. The Quatrains of Abul-Ala' (1903) and The Lazumiyat of Abul-Ala' (1918); two volumes of verse, Myrtle and Myrrh (1904) and A Chant of Mystics (1921); a collection of essays, The Path of Vision (1921); The Descent of Bolshevism (1920); three travel books, Ibn Saoud of Arabia, His People and His Land (1928), Arabian Peak and Desert (1930) and Around the Coasts of Arabia (1930); and a philosophical novel, The Book of Khalid (1911); the last two works being his best known. In writing all these books Rihani's motive was the same: to promote peace and to encourage a proper understanding between East and West. As an Arab with an intimate knowledge of and sympathetic attitude to the West, he was particularly well-fitted to undertake the role of cultural mediator, a fact recognized by both parties when he was called upon to represent the interests of the Arabs at the Peace Conference held at the Hague in 1919.
This prayer, now translated into English, was an attempt on the part of Ameen Rihani to write an invocation which all faiths might find acceptable and be able to share and recite in unity.
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