The Poetry of Prayer- صلاة مشيشة

Although not strictly speaking poetry, the famous prayer of the Maghribi Shaykh ‘abd as-Salaam ibn Mashish on the Prophet of Islam, joins beautiful and profound symbolism with an nearly equally profound beauty of sound.  Every poem seems tinged with prayer, and every sincere prayer bears the perfume of poetry, as these recitations show:




O my God (Allāhumma), bless him from whom derive the secrets and from whom gush forth the lights, and in whom rise up the realities, and into whom descended the sciences of Adam, so that he hath made powerless all creatures, and so that understandings are diminished in his regard, and no one amongst us, neither predecessor nor successor, can grasp him.

The gardens of the spiritual world (al-malakūt) are adorned with the flower of his beauty, and the pools of the world of omnipotence (al-jabarūt) overflow with the outpouring of his lights.

There existeth nothing that is not linked to him, even as it was said: “Were there no mediator, everything that dependeth on him would disappear!” (Bless him, O my God), by a blessing such as returneth to him through Thee from Thee, according to his due.

O my God, he is Thine integral secret, that demonstrateth Thee, and Thy supreme veil, raised up before Thee.

O my God, join me to his posterity and justify me by Thy reckoning of him. Let me know him with a knowledge that saveth me from the wells of ignorance and quencheth my thirst at the wells of virtue. Carry me on his way, surrounded by Thine aid, towards Thy presence. Strike through me at vanity, so that I may destroy it. Plunge me in the oceans of Oneness (al-ahadīyah), pull me back from the sloughs of tawhīd, and drown me in the pure source of the ocean of Unity (al-wahdah), so that I neither see nor hear nor am conscious nor feel except through it. And make of the Supreme Veil the life of my spirit, and of his spirit the secret of my reality, and of his reality all my worlds, by the realization of the First Truth.

O First, O Last, O Outward, O Inward, hear my petition, even as Thou heardest the petition of Thy servant Zachariah; succour me through Thee unto Thee, support me through Thee unto Thee, unite me with Thee, and come in between me and other-than Thee: Allah, Allah, Allah! Verily He who hath imposed on thee the Qu’an for a law, will bring thee back to the promised end (Qur’ān, 28:85).

Our Lord, grant us mercy from Thy presence, and shape for us right conduct in our plight (Qur’ān, 18:10).

Verily God and His angels bless the Prophet; O ye who believe, bless him and wish him peace (Qur’ān, 33:56).

May the graces (salawāt) of God, His peace, His salutations, His mercy and His blessings (barakāt) be on our Lord Muhammad, Thy servant, Thy prophet and Thy messenger, the un-lettered prophet, and on his family and on his companions, (graces) as numerous as the even and the odd and as the perfect and blessed words of our Lord.

Glorified be thy Lord, the Lord of Glory, beyond what they attribute unto Him, and peace be on the Messengers. Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds (Qur’ān, 37:180–182).”

(from Titus Burckhardt’s “The Prayer of Ibn Mashīsh.” Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 12, No. 1 & 2. (Winter-Spring, 1978).



اللهمَّ صلِّ على مَنْ منهُ انشقَّت الأسرارُ ، وانفلقَتِ الأنوارُ ، وفيهِ ارتقَتِ الحقائقُ ، وتنـزَّلتْ عُلومُ آدمَ فأعجزَ الخلائقَ ، ولهُ تضاءَلتِ الفُهومُ فَلمْ يُدْرِكْهُ منّا سابقٌ ولا لاحِقٌ ، فرياضُ الملكوتِ بزهرِ جماله مونِقةٌ ، وحياضُ الجبروتِ بِفيضٍ أنوارِهِ مُتدفّقةٌ ، ولا شيءَ إلا وهوَ به منوطٌ ، إذ لولا الواسِطةُ لذهَبَ كما قيلَ الموسوطُ ، صلاةً تليقُ بكَ مِنكَ إليهِ كما هو أهلهُ ، اللهمَّ إنّه سرُّكَ الجامعُ الدَّالُّ عليكَ ، وحِجابُكَ الأعظمُ القائمُ لكَ بينَ يديكَ ، اللهمَّ ألحقْنِي بنسبِهِ ، وحقِّقْنِي بحسَبِهِ وعرِّفني إِيَّاهُ مَعرفةً أسْلمُ بها مِن مواردِ الجهلِ ، وأكرع بِها مِنْ مَوارِدِ الفَضل . واحملني على سَبيلِهِ إلى حَضْرتِكَ حَمْلاً محفوفاً بِنُصْرَتِكَ ، واقذفْ بي على الباطل فأدمغَهُ ، وزُجَّ بي في بحار الأَحَدِيَّة ، وانشُلني من أَوْحالِ التَّوحيدِ ، وأغرقني في عين بحْرِ الوَحدةِ ، حتى لا أرى ولا أسمَعَ ولا أَجِدَ ولا أُحِسَّ إلا بها ، واجعلْ الحِجابَ الأعظمَ حياةَ رُوحي ، ورُوحَهُ سِرَّ حقيقتي ، وحقيقَتَهُ جامعَ عَوالمي ، بتحقيقِ الحقِّ الأوّلِ ، يا أَوّلُ يا آَخِرُ يا ظاهِرُ يا باطنُ ، اسمع ندائي بما سمعْتَ به نداءَ عبدِكَ زكريا ، وانصُرني بكَ لكَ ، وأيّدني بكَ لكَ ، واجمعْ بيني وبينَك وحُلْ بيني وبينَ غَيرِك ، اللهُ ، اللهُ ، اللهُ (( إنَّ الذي فرضَ عليْكَ القُرآنَ لرادُّكَ إلى معادٍ )) ، (( ربَّنا آتِنَا مِنْ لدُنْكَ رحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَداً ))  (ثلاثاً)


A recitation at the Shaykh’s grave:

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