How can I praise Thee, O Lord...
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.’¹