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  • Prayer of the Beloved Guiding Prophet

    This is my translation of this beautiful prayer that Doctor Dahesh wrote on August 13, 1942.

    The main reason I decided to translate this Spiritual Prayer is because — and over the course of the last few translations — I have come to realize that English cannot convey all the subtleties of the Arabic Language — and I am sure this would apply to Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. In fact, that is why perhaps the King James Bible reads very differently that more modern English versions.

    In Arabic, for example, there are verbs that do not exist in English.

    Let's take for example, the verb "بشر" pronounced "Bashh-sha-ra"

    For as long as I could remember, I translated it as "To Preach."

    Now, before I continue, I need to perhaps tell you why this verb is relevant to this conversation:

    Firstly, this verb appears in the "Prayer of Dahesh" hence, it is key.

    Secondly, Arabic does have a verb that means exactly "To Preach" or to deliver a sermon, teach, and so on. That word is: "وعظ" pronounced "Wa3atha" ...and for those who followed (and actually paid attention during) the Daheshist Symbol Series, the "3" —when writing phonetic Arabic using English— is a substitute for the letter ع or... "Ain" (that letter which is nearly impossible to pronounce)

    Thirdly, and when I finally decided to crack open the Arabic Dictionary and see for myself — and guess what — "Bashsh-sha-ra" did not not produce "To Preach!"

    What?!

    What I found out was that the verb is a composite of another verb and a word. In essence, it means "To delight and Inform [someone] of the بشرى 'Bushra' "

    Now, does "Bushra" mean?

    It means "Good News" or "Good Tidings" (or News that brings Joy). As we see, this has nothing to do with "preaching." And that is how I decided to offer my humble version of this prayer.
    The Prayer of Dahesh
    Translated by Mario Henri Chakkour

    O my Father and Father of the creations, have mercy upon our inherited weakness.

    Strengthen our hearts so that we believe in Your power and speak of Your miracles.

    Plant in our depths the seeds of love and compassion and mercy and tenderness.

    Keep away from us the trials that want our perdition, and to cause us to fall into the darkness of sins.

    Train our footsteps in the road of truth and light and certainty.

    Keep away from us the wicked thoughts, and do not let them draw near us.

    You are the Creator of the creations and all that is in them, for Your mercy and Your tenderness encompass all beings: known and unknown.

    Have mercy upon us O GOD, and do not punish us the way we merit for then we are eternally damned.

    Do not let greed seize us and then sweep us in his horrific current.

    Let content conquer our souls so that we only ask for nourishment and glorify You.

    Keep away from us the wicked and the scoffers at the Word of GOD, illuminate their eyes.

    Purify the souls of the sinners; send them an ember from Your Divine Lights for then they submit to Your greatness.

    Lift us from the horrific stumbles, and embrace all with the fountain of Your vigilant care.

    O compassionate Father!

    Each who threw his trust upon You, and acted by Your commandments,

    and sacrificed for the sake of Your Name, and despised his earthly desires,

    and repudiated the worldly, and took compassion upon the wretches, and declared the Good Tidings of Your Miracles,

    and believed in Your Beloved Guiding Prophet,

    for then he has happiness and Heaven, and light and glory.

    Over yonder where there is light and splendor, as he will be eternal with those who are eternal,

    and bask in Your purifying lights, forever and evermore.

    Amen.

    August 13, 1942
    Last edited by Mario; 12-10-2008, 03:52 PM. Reason: changing "Pure Lights" to "Purifying Lights"
    "Fail, to succeed."

  • #2
    Arabic version of "The Prayer of Dahesh"

    صلاة داهش

    يا
    أبي و أبا البرايا ، إرحم ضعفنا الموروث .

    شدد قلوبنا كي نؤمن بقدرتك و نحدث بعجائبك .

    إغرس في أعماقنا بذور الحب و الشفقة والرحمة والحنان .

    أبعد عنا التجارب التي تريد غوايتنا، و
    إسقاطنا في دياجير الخطايا .

    سدد خطواتنا في طريق
    الحق والنور اليقين .

    أبعد عنا الأفكار الدنيئة ، و لا تدعها تقرب منا .

    أنت خالق البرايا و ما فيها، فرحمتك و حنانك
    يسعان كل الكائنات: معلومها و مجهولجها .

    أشفق علينا يا الله ، و لا تحاسبنا مثلما نستحق فنهلك .

    لا تدع الطمع يستولي علينا فيجرفنا بتياره الرهيب .

    دع القناعة تحتل أرواحنا فلا نطلب سوى القوت فنمجدك .

    أبعد عنا الأشرار و الهازئين بكلام الله
    ، أنر بصائرهم .

    طهر أرواح الخطأة ؛ وأرسل لهم قبساً من أنوارك الإلهية
    فيخشعوا لعظمتك .

    أقلنا من العثرات الرهيبة ،
    و
    اشمل الجميع بعين عنايتك الساهرة .

    أيها الأب العطوف !

    كل من ألقى اتكاله عليك ، و عمل بوصاياك ،
    وضحى من أجل اسمك ، و
    احتقر رغباته الأرضية ،
    ونبذ الدنيويات ، وعطف على البؤساء ، وبشر بعجائبك ،
    و آمن بنبيك الحبيب الهادي ،
    فله السعادة والسماء ، و النور و السناء .

    هنالك حيث الضياء و البهاء ، إذ يخلد مع الخالدين ،
    و يتنعم بأنوارك الوضاءة ، حتى أبد الآبدين .

    آمين .

    ١٣ آب ١٩٤٢



    Last edited by Daheshville; 11-30-2008, 10:35 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Mario for the wonderful effort

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Chad View Post
        Thanks Mario for the wonderful effort
        Thank you Chad. Because this (in my view) is a "work-in-progress" please do not hesitate to point out any issue(s), errors, omissions, etc.
        "Fail, to succeed."

        Comment


        • #5
          hi everyone,

          thanks for the translation and i have some corrections i can see here to some words,
          by the way Mario, you may have experienced like me that during translation you will see the piece you are translating different from the way you understood it before .

          O my Father and Father of the creations (! father of all creatures isn't more suitable here ?) , have mercy upon our inherited weakness.

          Strengthen our hearts so that we believe in Your power (! willingness ! might fit here since power means 'kowa' ) and speak of Your miracles.

          Plant in our depths the seeds of love and compassion and mercy and tenderness.

          Keep away from us the trials
          (!tests! is like the exact meaning of 'altajarob')that want our perdition ( ' to seduce us' perdition might a consequence of seductiveness so i think that's why you went directly to 'perdition') , and to cause us to fall into the darkness of sins.


          Train ('emend' the verb in arabic come from the noun السديد that means in arabic 'الصحيح ') our footsteps in the road of truth and light and certainty.

          Keep away from us the wicked thoughts, and do not let them draw near us.

          You are the Creator of the creations and all that is in them, for Your mercy and Your tenderness encompass all beings: known and unknown.

          Have mercy upon us O GOD, and do not punish us the way we merit for then we are eternally damned.

          Do not let greed seize us and then sweep us in his horrific current.

          Let content (satisfaction can also be placed here) conquer our souls so that we only ask for nourishment and ('to' can be placed in stead of 'and' here , maybe 'to' is like the 'ل' in arabic but 'and' is not the 'الفاء الرابطة' , 'and' is like 'و ') gorify You.

          Keep away from us the wicked and the scoffers at the Word of GOD, illuminate their eyes ( 'foresights' ).

          Purify the souls of the sinners; send them an ember from Your Divine Lights for then they submit to Your greatness.

          Lift us from the horrific stumbles, and embrace all with the fountain of Your vigilant care (i used to think that it is eye instead of fountain because of الساهرة that means staying up awake late at night and and awake means the eyes are still open, how can you relate fountain to الساهرة ,actually we have here a metaphor and it's impossible to translate verbatim a metaphor , so we can make the nearest approach to it , now your line have the same meaning and i can say ' and include all with your eye that is awaken and caring' now these are the exact words but but you can see that your line is more poetic and it's up to you because you used to tell me that you want the exact translation ) .

          O compassionate Father!

          Each who threw his trust upon You, and acted by Your commandments,

          and sacrificed for the sake of Your Name, and despised his earthly desires,

          and repudiated the worldly, and took compassion upon the wretches, and declared the Good Tidings of Your Miracles,

          and believed in Your Beloved Guiding Prophet,

          for then he has happiness and Heaven, and light and glory.

          Over yonder where there is light and splendor, as he will be eternal with those who are eternal,

          and bask in Your pure lights ('shining lights' i think they meant something else in the internet dictionary and that is ( التوضي ) and it means purifying by washing yourself before your prayer like in the Islamic prayer , here he's describing the strength of the light) , forever and evermore.

          Amen.

          August 13, 1942
          Last edited by boxfox; 12-10-2008, 10:05 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by boxfox View Post
            hi everyone,

            thanks for the translation and i have some corrections i can see here to some words,
            by the way Mario, you may have experienced like me that during translation you will see the piece you are translating different from the way you understood it before .
            You're welcome and thank you for your corrections. If I may, I have some comments to your comments.


            Originally posted by boxfox View Post
            O my Father and Father of the creations (! father of all creatures isn't more suitable here ?) , have mercy upon our inherited weakness.
            The word Baraaya is from Bariyyat (برية) (the Shaddeh is on the Yaa2 and not on the Raa2 like in Barriyat — the Wild) which is from the verb "Bara2a" برأ which means خلقه من العدم "Created him from nothing" which also gives us البرئ (The Creator) and Al Bariyyat whose Plural is Al Baraayat, which means "Al KhAlk." الخلق

            Originally posted by boxfox View Post
            Strengthen our hearts so that we believe in Your power (! willingness ! might fit here since power means 'kowa' ) and speak of Your miracles.
            "Kudrat" means: Power . Please refer to your "Al Munjed" Dictionary.

            القوة على الشيء والتمكن من فعله أو تركه

            "Having power over something and being capable of doing it or letting go of it"

            You need to check your English Dictionary. "Willingness" is not the word.

            Originally posted by boxfox View Post
            Keep away from us the trials
            (!tests! is like the exact meaning of 'altajarob')that want our perdition ( ' to seduce us' perdition might a consequence of seductiveness so i think that's why you went directly to 'perdition') , and to cause us to fall into the darkness of sins.
            Please look up the word TRIALS. The "Merriam-Webster" dictionary says:
            1 a : the action or process of trying or putting to the proof : TEST b : a preliminary contest (as in a sport)
            2 : the formal examination before a competent tribunal of the matter in issue in a civil or criminal cause in order to determine such issue
            3 : a test of faith, patience, or stamina through subjection to suffering or temptation; broadly : a source of vexation or annoyance
            4 a : a tryout or experiment to test quality, value, or usefulness
            Originally posted by boxfox View Post
            Train ('emend' the verb in arabic come from the noun السديد that means in arabic 'الصحيح ') our footsteps in the road of truth and light and certainty.
            Here, we're looking for a *verb* that means (technically speaking) "to make sure something is correct, or that a path is followed correctly, etc."

            So it's a verb and not a noun or adjective.

            Please look up the definition of the verb "To Train"
            2 : to direct the growth of (a plant) usually by bending, pruning, and tying
            3 a : to form by instruction, discipline, or drill b : to teach so as to make fit, qualified, or proficient
            4 : to make prepared (as by exercise) for a test of skill
            5 : to aim at an object or objective : DIRECT *trained his camera on the deer* *training every effort toward success*

            Originally posted by boxfox View Post
            Let content (satisfaction can also be placed here) conquer our souls so that we only ask for nourishment and ('to' can be placed in stead of 'and' here , maybe 'to' is like the 'ل' in arabic but 'and' is not the 'الفاء الرابطة' , 'and' is like 'و ') gorify You.
            I would rather not use "Satisfaction" for a host of reasons. The main reason is that "Satisfaction" typically denotes power.

            For example, " I am satisfied that you did the job right"

            Content, or contentment, however, refers to a state of being where we are simply happy with what we have and that we are not looking for anything more. It's passive.

            Originally posted by boxfox View Post
            Keep away from us the wicked and the scoffers at the Word of GOD, illuminate their eyes ( 'foresights' ).
            Absolutely not Boxfox. Please lookup the definition of "Foresight."

            These people ("The Wicked and scoffers...") can barely see what is in front of them (theoretically), are we supposed to ask God to allow them to see the future?

            Originally posted by boxfox View Post
            Lift us from the horrific stumbles, and embrace all with the fountain of Your vigilant care (i used to think that it is eye instead of fountain because of الساهرة that means staying up awake late at night and and awake means the eyes are still open, how can you relate fountain to الساهرة ,actually we have here a metaphor and it's impossible to translate verbatim a metaphor , so we can make the nearest approach to it , now your line have the same meaning and i can say ' and include all with your eye that is awaken and caring' now these are the exact words but but you can see that your line is more poetic and it's up to you because you used to tell me that you want the exact translation ) .

            There is an adjective. "Al Saahirat"

            Which of the two words is that adjective referring to? Is it "3ain" or "3inaayat?"

            If the prayer meant to say "Al 3inaayat Al Saahirat" then, "3ain" is the "fountain" (or source) of that "3inaayat" (care).

            Originally posted by boxfox View Post
            Over yonder where there is light and splendor, as he will be eternal with those who are eternal,

            and bask in Your pure lights ('shining lights' i think they meant something else in the internet dictionary and that is ( التوضي ) and it means purifying by washing yourself before your prayer like in the Islamic prayer , here he's describing the strength of the light) , forever and evermore.

            Amen.

            August 13, 1942
            Please check the "Al Munjed" Dictionary and look for the verb Wada2a ... Actually, the word should be "Purifying" or "Cleansing"...
            Last edited by Daheshville; 12-10-2008, 07:34 PM.
            "Fail, to succeed."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by boxfox View Post
              Lift us from the horrific stumbles, and embrace all with the fountain of Your vigilant care (i used to think that it is eye instead of fountain because of الساهرة that means staying up awake late at night and and awake means the eyes are still open, how can you relate fountain to الساهرة ,actually we have here a metaphor and it's impossible to translate verbatim a metaphor , so we can make the nearest approach to it , now your line have the same meaning and i can say ' and include all with your eye that is awaken and caring' now these are the exact words but but you can see that your line is more poetic and it's up to you because you used to tell me that you want the exact translation ) .



              Let me retrace my steps...

              First, "Al saahirat"... Yes, it means "Does not sleep"

              But I wanted one word that closely gives the same meaning. And that led me to "Watchful"

              And here is the Merriam-Webster Definition of "Watchful"

              1 archaic a : not able or accustomed to sleep or rest : WAKEFUL b : causing sleeplessness c : spent in wakefulness : SLEEPLESS
              2 : carefully observant or attentive : being on the watch
              ñwatch£ful£ly \-f*-l*\ adverb
              ñwatch£ful£ness noun
              synonyms WATCHFUL, VIGILANT, WIDE-AWAKE, ALERT mean being on the lookout especially for danger or opportunity. WATCHFUL is the least explicit term *the watchful eye of the department supervisor*. VIGILANT suggests intense, unremitting, wary watchfulness *eternally vigilant in the safeguarding of democracy*. WIDE-AWAKE

              And, here is an interesting phrase I saw in Al Munjid:

              There is loooong list of definitions when it comes to "3ain"

              Definitely "fountain" (Yanboo3)

              Now, check this out, and under "Saahirat"

              "Saahoor 3ainu Almaa2" = "Manba3uha"

              That's probably why, subconsciously, I thought that the meaning had to do with "Source" or "Fountain" and not "Eye."

              Hope this helps.
              "Fail, to succeed."

              Comment


              • #8
                One more thing...

                and right under it... I am reading

                "Rajulon Suhaaru Al3ayn": That means "Sleep cannot overcome him.

                But I am still looking to resolve the dilemma...

                Is the "3ain" that is "Saahirat" or is it the "3inaayat" that is "Saahirat"?

                Because that will greatly affect the translation:

                And let's assume he's is referring to "Eye that does not sleep"

                "Embrace us with the watchful Eye of your Caring" ?
                "Embrace us with the Eye of your Watchful Caring" ?

                or...

                "Embrace us with the fountain of your watchful Care" ?
                "Fail, to succeed."

                Comment


                • #9
                  seems like the 20 years in america made you forgot arabic , i am not going to claim that i am expert in the arabic language .
                  man for real you use a dictionnary to translate, this is litterature not science, all i can say go read gibran khalil gibran in english and arabic the same pieces and you will understand what i am saying, by the way we we can also say ' enlight our sights ' , 'illuminate' is like a scientific expression ,
                  by the way did you use to speak armenian or arabic in your house where you were raised , because i used to go to 'Borj Hammoud' (that is an area in Beirut full with Armenians) and the people there speaks amenian between themselves and arabic with non armenians.

                  thanks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by boxfox View Post
                    seems like the 20 years in america made you forgot arabic , i am not going to claim that i am expert in the arabic language .
                    man for real you use a dictionnary to translate, this is litterature not science, all i can say go read gibran khalil gibran in english and arabic the same pieces and you will understand what i am saying, by the way we we can also say ' enlight our sights ' , 'illuminate' is like a scientific expression ,
                    by the way did you use to speak armenian or arabic in your house where you were raised , because i used to go to 'Borj Hammoud' (that is an area in Beirut full with Armenians) and the people there speaks amenian between themselves and arabic with non armenians.

                    thanks.
                    For the record, I have been living in America for almost 30 years.

                    Secondly, there is a difference between correcting a couple of my mistakes and saying "You are using the Dictionary to Translate" .

                    This is what we call a "Blanket statement" like the one you made about my Armenian ethnic background to make a correlation that I find a tad on the presumptuous side. And, I don't mind telling you that you have a very selective memory about anything I allegedly "told" you.

                    Do me a favor: from now on, unless you have it in writing, please quote me no more. It does not help when I have to waste one single minute trying to correct the record.

                    As for your "blanket statement," this puts in question my abilities in this case, in the minds of the non-Arabic audience.

                    In other words, you just basically said that I am inept and the translation is worthless.

                    You may think that this is not what you were aiming for, but I assure you that is exactly what the American public is going to think.

                    Well, it's true. I use the dictionary. Many dictionaries as a matter of fact.

                    And, sometimes, I spend hours on a word or a phrase.

                    My main reason is that the words I am translating are sacred to me.

                    Those who think the Doctor's work is mere literature are free to think that way.

                    I don't. To me, the work of the Doctor is our Gospel.
                    Last edited by Daheshville; 12-12-2008, 12:04 AM. Reason: Typo
                    "Fail, to succeed."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Trust me Mario, your reputation and credibility are completely intact amongst the non Arabic community. It has been made very clear by you numerous times that your intent in translating the Dr.’s work is to create as direct and literal of a translation of his words from Arabic in to English as possible…in effect capturing the simple, unique flow of his writing style… even if it might not aesthetically coincide with various “stylists” that may try to modernize or contemporize the work… or get it to read like someone else’s style.

                      That will surely enough happen in time (kind of like the Tyndale Bible)… but at least when that is out of our control, let the modernizations occur from a working base of a direct, literal flow and English translation…. Not from an English translation that has already been interpreted in to Kahlil Gibran’s style or any one else’s for that matter.

                      And Boxfox…that fact that Mario mentions he uses a dictionary, or many as the case may be…don’t be so simplistic as to assume that all he is doing is a dry, technical translation…
                      Last edited by Johnson; 12-12-2008, 06:02 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ok, when i first quoted Mario with what i saw nine corrections i expected him to not reconsider with the first 6 of them since mario understood them in arabic and i was giving suggestions in english , but i never expected to fight for the last three because mario didn't understand them in arabic initially, because frankly these you can't find them in the dictionnary , i even doubted my self and asked a guy i know who'se all arabic language expert, and he was astonished with the mistackes especially the last three , i mean i told you the last one i quoted, in the dictionary have 2 meanings and you took the wrong one , now to solve this issue i suggest if you mario have an arabic speaking friend in america , go and ask him about it , and as you said it's a work in progress , until you come back with the results i hope you take what i am doing as help because i can agree with every thing mario do if that makes him happy because the real friend is the one who warn his friend about his mistakes not the one who agrees with him all the time .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mario View Post

                          Those who think the Doctor's work is mere literature are free to think that way.

                          I don't. To me, the work of the Doctor is our Gospel.
                          ok but how can you understand doctor's work if you don't have a clue about litterature , the doctor uses what is called in arabic ( adab wejdani )and don't criticise me i don't know its translation , and he used also Homer and Ovid litterature who the famous old greek poets , plus when he was traveling he we used the the litterture of traveling (Adab al ra7alat)
                          Last edited by boxfox; 12-12-2008, 09:19 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Box, I really don’t know what this ongoing thing is with you…I don’t know if its cultural or social… but you just have a relentlessly unsavory way about what you write here that just doesn’t stop.

                            Frankly, I think you know exactly what you are doing… and I am going to politely ask you to stop it.

                            This entire discussion has become something about things having NOTHING to do with the translating of Dr. Dahesh’s work.

                            You are constantly given subtle guides in regards to etiquette here that you are either just ignoring or just don’t have the capacity to understand.

                            Mario is very open to the discussion in the vein of trying to find the right and closest translation to the Dr.’s work… and open to any and all feedback. It is NOT about agreeing or disagreeing… it is about DISCUSSING and finding the best possible translation and interpretation.

                            You however, constantly bring in this tone that is wholly inappropriate to what we are talking about here. Here again… you in your inimitable way bring in to the discussion insulting phrases such as...

                            Originally posted by boxfox View Post
                            how can you understand doctor's work if you don't have a clue about litterature
                            So again, rather than discussing the meaning of a word and all of its nuances to find the right one, you go right to
                            Originally posted by boxfox View Post
                            you don't have a clue about litterature
                            (and by the way, "literature" has only one "t") Do you see that a comment like this that you made has more to do about YOU and who you are, and what YOU are about and where you are coming from than anything else? And that to those that live outside of what's in YOUR head might, just might, find that totally insulting and completely off topic to anything that truly matters here?

                            That would be like me telling you how awful your English grammar and spelling is to my eyes and ears so why are you trying to participate in this discussion in the first place when you obviously can't begin to keep up? I would never say that, because one it would be rude and inappropriate, and two because our ONLY goal here is to accurately translate the words left to us by Dr. Dahesh... not battle out our "issues". This is not about who is right or wrong... or who made "mistakes" (your word) in the translations... this is about having a POLITE and RESPECTFUL discussion as to truly find what is best.

                            This has been explained to you time and time again… and still you do not get it… you still think this is about "agreeing" with Mario or "not agreeing" with Mario… and you go so far as to say that
                            Originally posted by boxfox View Post
                            the real friend is the one who warn his friend about his mistakes not the one who agrees with him all the time .
                            That is a very quaint saying... however, I think one needs to evaluate the deeper meaning of what the word "friend" truly means in the first place...

                            If you do really consider Mario a "friend"... then please talk to him like one on here... I think he has earned that from you. If you are earnest about finding truth and honesty and accuracy in translating Dr. Dahesh's writings... that is great... on the other hand, the insulting stuff you write in an effort to make any point you may have totally overshadows what may otherwise be your good intentions.

                            Please Boxfox… if you mean well, that is great… but otherwise, please, please, rethink and reassess your ways.
                            Last edited by Johnson; 12-13-2008, 07:13 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for for this splendid translation

                              Translation is always a tricky subject. Frequently the problem is knowing both sides of the conversion well. If I do not perceive the message as intended, everything is lost.

                              This prayer for me is timely. After weeks, or maybe longer, of things going to hell, this is a welcome release.

                              Comment

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