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His Supplication when Confessing his Shortcomings in Giving Thanks

دُعَاؤُهُ فِي الشُّكْرِ

أللَّهُمَّ إنَّ أَحَداً لاَ يَبْلُغُ مِنْ شُكْرِكَ غَايَةً
O God, no one reaches a limit in thanking Thee
إلاّ حَصَلَ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ إحْسَانِكَ مَا يُلْزِمُهُ شُكْرَاً،
without acquiring that of Thy beneficence which enjoins upon him thanksgiving,
وَلا يَبْلُغُ مَبْلَغاً مِنْ طَاعَتِكَ وَإن اجْتَهَدَ
nor does anyone reach a degree in obeying Thee, even if he strives,
إلاَّ كَانَ مُقَصِّراً دُونَ اسْتِحْقَاقِكَ بِفَضْلِكَ،
without falling short of what Thou deservest because of Thy bounty.
فَأَشْكَرُ عِبَادِكَ عَاجِزٌ عَنْ شُكْرِكَ
The most thankful of Thy servants has not the capacity to thank Thee,
وَأَعْبَدُهُمْ مُقَصِّرٌ عَنْ طَاعَتِكَ،
and the most worshipful of them falls short of obeying Thee.
لا يَجبُ لأِحَد أَنْ تَغْفِرَ لَهُ بِاسْتِحْقَاقِهِ،
To none of them is due Thy forgiveness through what he himself deserves
وَلا أَنْ تَرْضَى عَنْهُ بِاسْتِيجَابِهِ،
or Thy good pleasure for his own merit.
فَمَنْ غَفَرْتَ لَهُ فَبِطَولِكَ،
When Thou forgivest someone, it is through Thy graciousness,
وَمَنْ رَضِيْتَ عَنْهُ فَبِفَضْلِكَ
and when Thou art pleased with someone, it is through Thy bounty.
تَشْكُرُ يَسِيرَ مَا شُكِرْتَهُ وَتُثِيبُ عَلَى قَلِيلِ مَا تُطَاعُ فِيهِ
Thou showest gratitude for the paltry for which gratitude is shown to Thee and Thou rewardest the small act in which Thou art obeyed,
حَتَّى كَأَنَّ شُكْـرَ عِبَادِكَ الَّذِيْ أَوْجَبْتَ عَلَيْهِ ثَوَابَهُمْ
so that it seems as if Thy servants' thanksgiving for which Thou hast made incumbent their reward
وَأَعْظَمْتَ عَنْهُ جَزَاءَهُمْ
and made great their repayment
أَمْرٌ مَلَكُوا اسْتِطَاعَةَ الامْتِنَاعِ مِنْهُ دُونَكَ
is an affair from which they could have held back without Thee,
فَكَافَيْتَهُمْ أَوْ لَمْ يَكُنْ سَبَبُهُ بِيَدِكَ فَجَازَيْتَهُمْ،
and hence Thou wilt recompense them, and whose cause is not in Thy hand, and hence Thou wilt repay them.
بَـلْ مَلَكْتَ يَا إلهِي أَمْرَهُمْ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَمْلِكُوا عِبَادَتَكَ،
Nay, my God, Thou hadst power over their affair before they had power to worship Thee,
وَأَعْدَدْتَ ثَوَابَهُمْ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُفِيضُوا فِي طَاعَتِكَ،
and Thou hadst prepared their reward before they began to obey Thee;
وَذَلِكَ أَنَّ سُنَّتَكَ الأِفْضَالُ،
and that because Thy wont is bestowal of bounty,
وَعَادَتَكَ الإحْسَانُ، وَسَبِيلَكَ الْعَفْوُ،
Thy custom beneficence, Thy way pardon.
فَكُلُّ الْبَرِيِّةِ مًعْتَرِفَةٌ بِأَنَّكَ غَيْرُ ظَالِم لِمَنْ عَاقَبْتَ،
So all creatures confess that Thou wrongest not him whom Thou punishest
وَشَاهِدَةٌ بِأَنَّكَ مُتَفَضِّلٌ عَلَى مَنْ عَافَيْتَ،
and bear witness that Thou bestowest bounty upon him whom Thou pardonest.
وَكُلٌّ مُقِرٌّ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ بِالتَّقْصِيْرِ عَمَّا اسْتَوْجَبْتَ،
Each admits that he has fallen short of what Thou meritest.
فَلَوْلا أَنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَخْتَدِعُهُمْ عَنْ طَاعَتِكَ ما عَصاكَ عاصٍ
Had Satan not misled them from Thy obedience, no disobeyer would have disobeyed Thee,
وَلَوْلا أَنَّهُ صَوَّرَ لَهُمُ البَاطِلَ فِي مِثَالِ الْحَقِّ
and had he not shown falsehood to them in the likeness of truth
مَا ضَلَّ عَنْ طَرِيْقِكَ ضَالٌّ.
no strayer would have gone astray from Thy path.
فَسُبْحَانَكَ مَا أَبْيَنَ كَرَمَكَ
So glory be to Thee! How manifest is Thy generosity
فِي مُعَامَلَةِ مَنْ أَطَاعَكَ أَوْ عَصَاكَ،
in dealing with him who obeys or disobeys Thee!
تَشْكُرُ للْمُطِيْعِ مَا أَنْتَ تَوَلَّيْتَهُ لَهُ،
Thou showest gratitude to the obedient for that which Thou undertakest for him,
وَتُمْلِي لِلْعَاصِي فِيْمَا تَمْلِكُ مُعَاجَلَتَهُ فِيْهِ،
and Thou grantest a respite to the disobedient in that within which Thou art able to hurry him.
أَعْطَيْتَ كُلاًّ مِنْهُمَا مَا لَمْ يَجِبْ لَهُ،
Thou givest to each of them that which is not his due,
وَتَفَضَّلْتَ عَلَى كُلٍّ مِنْهُمَا بِمَا يَقْصُرُ عَمَلُهُ عَنْهُ
and Thou bestowest bounty upon each in that wherein his works fall short.
وَلَوْ كَافَأْتَ الْمُطِيعَ عَلَى مَا أَنْتَ تَوَلَّيْتَهُ
Wert Thou to counterbalance for the obedient servant that which Thou Thyself hadst undertaken,
لاَوْشَكَ أَنْ يَفْقِدَ ثَوَابَكَ،
he would be on the point of losing Thy reward
وَأَنْ تَزُولَ عَنْهُ نِعْمَتُكَ
and seeing the end of Thy favour,
وَلكِنَّكَ بِكَرَمِكَ جَازَيْتَهُ
but through Thy generosity Thou hast repaid him
عَلَى الْمُدَّةِ الْقَصِيرَةِ الفَانِيَةِ بِالْمُدَّةِ الطَّوِيلَةِ الْخَالِدَةِ،
for a short, perishing term with a long, everlasting term,
وَعَلَى الْغَايَةِ الْقَرِيبَةِ الزَّائِلَةِ بِالْغايَةِ الْمَدِيدَةِ الْبَاقِيَةِ،
and for a near, vanishing limit with an extended, abiding limit.
ثُمَّ لَمْ تَسُمْهُ الْقِصَاصَ فِيمَا أَكَلَ مِنْ رِزْقِكَ
Then Thou dost not visit him with a settling of accounts for Thy provision
الَّذِي يَقْوَى بِهِ عَلَى طَاعَتِكَ،
through which he gained strength to obey Thee,
وَلَـمْ تَحْمِلْهُ عَلَى الْمُنَاقَشَاتِ فِي الآلاتِ
nor dost Thou force him to make reckonings for the organs
الَّتِي تَسَبَّبَ بِاسْتِعْمَالِهَا إلَى مَغْفِـرَتِكَ،
he employed to find the means to Thy forgiveness.
وَلَـوْ فَعَلْتَ ذلِكَ بِهِ
Wert Thou to do that to him,
لَذَهَبَ بِجَمِيْعِ مَا كَدَحَ لَهُ
it would take away everything for which he had laboured
وَجُمْلَةِ مَا سَعَى فِيهِ،
and all wherein he had exerted himself
جَزَاءً لِلصُّغْرى مِنْ أَيادِيْكَ وَمِنَنِكَ،
as repayment for the smallest of Thy benefits and kindnesses,
وَلَبَقِيَ رَهيناً بَيْنَ يَدَيْكَ بِسَائِرِ نِعَمِكَ
and he would remain hostage before Thee for Thy other favours.
فَمَتَى كَانَ يَسْتَحِقُّ شَيْئاً مِنْ ثَوَابِكَ ، لا ، مَتَى؟.
So how can he deserve something of Thy reward? Indeed, how?
هَذَا يا إلهِي حَالُ مَنْ أَطَاعَكَ وَسَبِيلُ مَنْ تَعَبَّدَ لَكَ،
This, my God, is the state of him who obeys Thee and the path of him who worships Thee.
فَأَمَّا الْعَاصِيْ أَمْرَكَ وَالْمُوَاقِـعُ نَهْيَكَ
But as for him who disobeys Thy command and goes against Thy prohibition,
فَلَمْ تُعَاجِلْهُ بِنَقِمَتِكَ لِكَيْ يَسْتَبْدِلَ بِحَالِهِ فِي مَعْصِيَتِكَ
Thou dost not hurry him to Thy vengeance, so that he may seek to replace his state in disobeying Thee
حَالَ الاِنَابَـةِ إلَى طَـاعَتِـكَ،
with the state of turning back to obey Thee,
وَلَقَـدْ كَـانَ يَسْتَحِقُّ فِي أَوَّلِ مَـا هَمَّ بِعِصْيَانِكَ
though he deserved from the time he set out to disobey Thee
كُلَّ مَا أَعْدَدْتَ لِجَمِيعِ خَلْقِكَ مِنْ عُقُوبَتِكَ،
every punishment which Thou hast prepared for all Thy creatures.
فَجَمِيعُ مَا أَخَّرْتَ عَنْهُ مِنْ الْعَذَابِ،
Through each chastisement which Thou hast kept back from him
وَأَبْطَأتَ بِهِ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ سَطَوَاتِ النَّقِمَةِ وَالْعِقَابِ تَرْكٌ مِنْ حَقِّكَ،
and each penalty of Thy vengeance and Thy punishment which Thou hast delayed from him, Thou hast refrained from Thy right
وَرِضىً بِدُونِ وَاجِبِكَ،
and shown good pleasure in place of what Thou hast made obligatory.
فَمَنْ أكْرَمُ يَا إلهِي مِنْكَ
So who is more generous, my God, than Thou?
وَمَنْ أَشْقَى مِمَّنْ هَلَكَ عَلَيْـكَ، لا ، مَنْ؟
And who is more wretched than he who perishes in spite of Thee? Indeed, who?
فَتَبَارَكْتَ أَنْ تُوصَفَ إلاّ بِالإحْسَانِ،
Thou art too blessed to be described by any but beneficence
وَكَـرُمْتَ أَنْ يُخَافَ مِنْكَ إلاّ الْعَدْلُ،
and too generous for any but justice to be feared from Thee!
لا يُخْشَى جَوْرُكَ عَلَى مَنْ عَصَاكَ،
There is no dread that Thou wilt be unjust toward him who disobeys Thee,
وَلاَ يُخَافُ إغْفَالُكَ ثَوَابَ مَنْ أَرْضَاكَ.
nor any fear of Thy neglecting to reward him who satisfies Thee.
فَصَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّد وَآلِهِ وَهَبْ لِيْ أَمَلِي،
So bless Muhammad and his Household, give me my hope,
وَزِدْنِي مِنْ هُدَاكَ
and increase me in that of Thy guidance
مَا أَصِلُ بِهِ إلَى التَّوْفِيقِ فِي عَمَلِي،
through which I may be successful in my works!
إنَّكَ مَنَّانٌ كَرِيمٌ.
Surely Thou art All-kind, Generous.

'Supplication in Giving Thanks ' is tagged in Sahifa-e-Sajjadiya collection. See other dua's from Sahifa-e-Sajjadiya