— 3.C.1 Muslim Response by Muzaffar Iqbal

(Response to 3.C.1 Lenten prayer attributed to St. Ephrem the Syrian, presented by John Klentos)

 

This reminded me of the following:

‘O God, show me the nature of things as they really are.’ This prayer, which reverberates throughout the history of the Islamic intellectual tradition and which was encapsulated by the 10t h/ 1 5t h century Persian poet and scholar `Abd al-Rahman Jami
(d. 1492) in his Lawahih (Flashes of Light),:

‘O God, deliver
us from the preoccupation with worldly
vanities, and show us the nature of things
as they really are. Remove from our eyes the
veil of ignorance, and show us things as
they really are. Show us not the non-existence
as existent, nor cast the veil of nonexistence
over the beauty of existence.
Make this phenomenal world the mirror to
reflect the manifestation of Thy beauty, not
a veil to separate and repel us from Thee.
Cause these unreal phenomena of the Universe
to be for us the source of knowledge
and insight, not the causes of ignorance
and blindness. Our alienation and severance
from Thy beauty all proceed from ourselves.
Deliver us from ourselves, and accord
to us intimate knowledge of Thee.’