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The Bustan of Sadi, tr. by A. Hart Edwards, [1911], at

p. 149


Concerning Prayer

Come, let us raise our hands in prayer, for tomorrow they will be powerless in the dust.

Think not that he who supplicates before the Door of Mercy, which is never shut, will turn away in hopelessness.

O Lord, regard us with compassion, for sin has entered among Thy servants.

O gracious God! by Thy bounty have we been sustained; to Thy gifts and loving kindness have we become habituated.

Since in this life Thou hast ennobled us above all things created, hope of similar glory have we in the world to come.

O God, humiliate me not by reason of Thy greatness; make me not ashamed by reason of my sins.

Let no one prevail over me, for it is better that I should suffer punishment from Thy hand.

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Let it suffice that I am ashamed in Thy presence; make me not ashamed before my fellow men.

If the shadow of Thy mercy fall upon me, mean is the dignity of the sky before mine eyes.

If Thou give to me a crown, I will raise my head: exalt me, so that no one may cast me down.


I tremble when I recall the prayer of one distracted in the temple of Mecca. Thus did he lament:

"Throw me not down, for no one will hold my hand to succour me. Whether Thou call me or drive me away, my head has no resting-place but Thy threshold. Thou knowest that I am poor and helpless; I am oppressed by my evil passions. Keep me from pollution, and forgive my sins. Close not mine eyes from the face of happiness; bind not my tongue when I recite the creed. Place the lamp of Faith before my way; make my hand short from doing evil.. From the sun of Thy goodness one ray suffices, for except in Thy rays I am not seen. Why

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should I weep because of my condition? If am weak, my refuge is strong."


A fire-worshipper turned his back upon the world and girt up his loins in the service of an idol. After some years he was overtaken by misfortune and wept at the feet of the idol, saying: "I am afflicted—help me, O idol! I am weary—have pity upon me."

Long did he continue in his lamentation, but no benefit did he derive. How can an idol accomplish the desires of a man when of itself it cannot drive away a fly?

The idolater frowned and said: "O thou, whose feet are bound to error! with folly have I worshipped thee for years. Help me to fulfil my wishes, or I will ask them of God."

While his face was yet besmeared with the dust of the idol's feet, the Almighty fulfilled his object.

A pious man was astonished when he heard this. Then did a voice from heaven speak into his ear, saying: "This old man prayed before

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the idol, but his prayer was not heard, If at the-shrine of God he were likewise spurned, what difference would there be between an idol and Him Who is eternal?"

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