Pir 'Abdullah Ansari was one of the great Persian Sufi
teachers of the 11th century. In a little book called
Munajat, Pir Ansari recorded a number of insightful prayers
which show the way that he thought about prayer, and the way
that we too can humble our little self unto the Greater
As is the case with many Sufi teachings, these
prayers have multiple levels of meaning. On the surface
they show the need for humility, but when one looks deeper, the prayers
give us hope and courage, because they remind us that God is the ultimate
Teacher, Guide and Friend
who desires to express love, harmony and beauty through our
On the surface, the prayers seem to be asking for
something, but on a deeper level they are a celebration of
the precious gifts which have already been granted to each
of us, if only we have the wisdom to rise above our
habitual self-centered viewpoint and embrace the great flow
of wonder, peace and might which is being showered upon us
in every moment by the beneficent and ever-merciful Divine
In glory Thou art merciful, in perfection
Neither need of space nor wish for time hast
No being is like Thee, nor art Thou like any.
Clearly Thou art within the soul,
and the soul lives
by what Thou art...
Pir-i Ansari has drained a cup of
the Wine of Love;
Like Majnun, he wanders drunken and
bewildered over the world.
O God, by the mercy of the Name that Thou
And by the honor of those qualities which are
Come to my rescue, since Thou alone has the
O God let my eye see naught but how Thou
dost nourish and sustain me,
And my heart choose
naught but the way of Thy servitude.
O God, when I consider Thee, I am a king
there is a crown upon my head,
when I consider myself, I am one of the bereft,
upon my head is dust.
O God, I confess my weakness and my
I am aware of Thy kindness and thy
O God, the pure must beseech Thy
What must the impure do?
O God, could I have forgiven sins from the
I would never have committed one.
O God, all fear Thee, but Thy Abdullah
For from Thee comes all good and from
him all evil.
O God, how can I avoid my fate?
where shall I run from what shall be?
O God though my sins are inordinate,
forgiveness is unlimited.
O God, with Thy favor there is no need for
refuge at any threshold.
Ahead lies danger, and I
have no way back.
Take my hand, for other than Thee I
have no refuge.
O God, what virtue is this that accompanies Thy
With what privilege hast thou brought them
into the world,
That whosoever found Thee would know
And whosoever knew them would find Thee!
O God, whatever Thou hast offered I have bought;
From the two worlds I have chosen Thy friendship alone.
O God, beside Thy love all fires are cold;
Without Thy love all favor is pain.
O God, though the night of separation is dark,
yet I am satisfied,
For the morning of union is near.
O God, though Satan misguided Adam,
Who gave him
his daily bread?
O God, lift this veil from the Way
abandon us not to ourselves.
O God, out of Mecca came Abu Jahl (an enemy of
And from a temple of idols Abraham,
It is a matter of grace, all else is pretext.
O God what Thou hast sewn I have worn,
And what Thou hast poured into my cup I have drunk;
Naught of this, for all my striving, was of me.
O God... my heart sings always of its longing for
The soul in my body breathes for Thee,
if someday a plant grows upon my grave,
will emanate the fragrance of Thee.
Khwājah 'Abd Allāh Ansārī, Munājāt,
The Intimate Prayers, trans Lawrence Morris and Rustam
Sarfeh, New York, 1975
For bibliographical information about
the life and times of Khwajah 'Abdullah Ansari, see: