A Prayer for Spiritual Elevation and Protection
  • Book Title:
 A Prayer For Spiritual Elevation And Protection
  • Book Author:
Ibn al-'Arabi
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A Prayer for Spiritual Elevation and Protection – Book Sample

Contents- A Prayer for Spiritual Elevation and Protection

Foreword by Michel Chodkiewiczix
1 The Dawr Today Contemporary contexts5
The United Kingdom9
2 A Prayer across Time Historical dimensions17
Transmitters of the prayer22
Chains and authorisations44
Windows onto Islamic culture and thought48
3 The Prayer for Spiritual Elevation and Protection Properties69
The text and its contents74
Translation and Arabic text79
Appendix: Manuscript copies and chains of transmission119

The Prayer for Spiritual Elevation and Protection

Many who have presented or transmitted the prayer during the last four hundred years have emphasised the importance of reciting it diligently and of taking it, as one puts it, ‘as a regular practice (wird)’. Several recommend that it be recited every morning and evening,3 and some in the morning only. Others add that it should also be re- cited in times of difficulty or distress.

One way to encourage regular reading has been to tie the prayer to the Awråd, as in some ijåzas associated with it among certain contemporary sufi circles discussed earlier. In one copy the prayer is integrated into a daily/nightly read- ing cycle, repeated fourteen times: an opening prayer (¢izb iftitå¢), a numbered interface text (¢ißår), Ibn ¡Arab¨’s wird for the day/night, the Dawr and a concluding prayer (¢izb al-ikhtitåm).5

Other copies incorporate it after the full complement of the Awråd: where this is not the case, the owner of an Awråd copy sometimes adds it by hand at the end. Yet there are many more cases where the prayer is not associated with the Awråd,8 and several copies offer specific advice concerning what should be recited before9 and after10 it without reference to the Awråd. Such recommendations typically encompass the ßalawåt, invocations of Divine Names and formulae emphasising God’s unique power, but there are many variations.11

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In more substantial treatments recommendations concerning recitation of the prayer are intertwined with a detailing of its spe- cial properties (khawåßß), for the latter are activated only through its proper use. Commentators and copyists outdo each other in

describing these. By way of illustration, a particularly comprehen- sive statement of the prayer’s properties by the AH 12th–13th cen- tury commentator al-Dåm¬n¨ (written in rhymed prose in Arabic) is given below.12

I ask Allåh…that [the prayer] may benefit whoever recites it with sincerity and firm inner belief, and that it may achieve their desired end for whoever perseveres in the benefits it contains, for He is the One who Bestows with Noble Generosity, the One who Knows the condition of those who recite.

Whoever uses what is in the prayer or recites it with complete inner belief may achieve their desired goal, but whoever recites it or uses its benefits while raising objections will gain nothing but distress and corruption. I include…some of the benefits of this great prayer, in respect to which the response will never fail provided that one has a pure heart. Among its benefits are the following:

Whoever reads it regularly and diligently morning and evening need not fear poverty, blindness or broken bones. He will be in God’s secure custody en route and at rest on land and at sea. He need not fear beasts of prey, loss of his possessions, accidents, aches and pains, illnesses, shadow companions (male and female), disobedient and insolent jinn, or malicious storm demons.

He need not fear the arrows of war, for he will always be victorious, never defeated. He need not fear any kind of enemy, human or jinn.14 He need not fear highway robbers, for Allåh will rip to utter shreds anyone who stands against him. If the one who recites the prayer boards a ship, he need not fear harm or malady, being taken captive, drowning, or any epidemic, be it airborne or earth-bound, on land or at sea, nor the ship being holed and torn apart.

Whoever recites the prayer will be safe from enemies and evil oppressors and from all the unjust and envious in all the worlds.16 He will be respected and well-liked by all who see him, and they will be unable to endure being away from him. He will be like the sun and the moon among the stars: the heavenly and earthly worlds will love him all his life.

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He will be protected from migraine, headache, throbbing and shooting pain, tooth, ear, eye and stomach ache, facial palsy, hemiplegia, convulsions, and every malady that afflicts humankind. He will be protected from devilish insinuations and thoughts, will have pleasant dreams, and will see only what gladdens him in all his days.

Whoever recites [the prayer] will be released from imprison- ment, constraint and captivity, especially if his reciting is deep- rooted and strong. [Reciting the prayer] makes childbirth easy for the divorcee, and through it every pressing need is met. It removes fevers and chills, and brings home strays and runaways. It reminds one of the Testimony of Faith (shahåda) at the time of death, and helps one in the questioning of the two angels, and in the fear caused by sudden death.

It awakens the heart from the slumber of heedlessness, and helps in sincere repentance and in erasing one’s lapses and errors. It elevates one to the highest stations, in this world and after death. It preserves one from association with the Evil One and from the serious afflictions that affect babies. It safeguards the one who recites it from all kinds of jinn, from colic and neuralgia, and from all winds, especially the  ill  wind  of  the  evening  and  morning.  

It  protects  against the sting of scorpions and the bite of vipers and snakes, against infectious diseases and plague, and whatever harms humankind. It  thwarts  black  magic  and  all  machinations,  and  the  knots  of ill-intent.

It repels from whoever recites it the army and soldiers of the enemy, bequeaths the memorising of knowledge and the  meanings  of  the  glorious  Qur¤an,  and  preserves  the  heart and  mind  from  thoughts  [insinuated  by]  the  accursed  [Satan]. If recited after ¡aßr it removes misery and poverty, especially if s¬rat al-Wåqi¡a is recited too, because this s¬ra is an irresistible force.23

We have mentioned just some of the benefits: strive for them, you who have freed yourself from bondage to habits. Benefit is in accordance with sincerity, faithfulness and firm inner belief; lack of benefit results from distrust and ignominious objecting…..

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