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Old 07-01-2016, 05:58 AM   #1
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Need help on the long obligatory prayer

Greetings.


I am currently learning the 3 obligatory prayers. I haven't begin to memorize the long one, but I've read the translation already, and I would like to adapt one line from it.

At one point in the prayer, it is said :

Quote:
I testify unto that whereunto have testified all created things, and the Concourse on high, and the inmates of the all-highest Paradise, and beyond them the Tongue of Grandeur itself from the all-glorious Horizon, that Thou art God, that there is no God but Thee, and that He Who hath been manifested is the Hidden Mystery, the Treasured Symbol, through Whom the letters B and E (Be) have been joined and knit together.
Now, I am not satisfied with this version of the prayer for my personnal practice, because the letters composing the word "Be" are being translated here. My wish is simply to replace the mention of the English letters to that of the original arabic letters.

Can someone please indicate me what letters are originally inscribed in this prayer (I don't know in what language it was first revealed, but I assume it's in Arabic), and what word it is supposed to make, please ?
For instance, if instead of B and E, it is Ba and Alif, I shall say "Ba and Alif".

Thank you very much.
 
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:04 AM   #2
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Dear GoaForce,

A very accurate question. Generally, unauthorized translations are perfectly ok for private use. Here indeed something important is lost in translation.

gnat
 
Old 07-01-2016, 07:47 AM   #3
Jcc
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The letters B and E refer to the word "be", as in, to exist, or that God has called all things into existence. In French is has been translated "celui que tu as manifesté est le mystère caché, le symbole précieux par qui les lettres S-O-I-S (sois) furent jointes et liées. "
 
Old 07-01-2016, 07:52 AM   #4
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@JCC

Hello.
Yes, I know that already, for I have two official French translations at disposal. But it doesn't invalidate my question.
I believe that words contain an immense power, so the more that the World was created through the Word (and this very excerpt from the prayer is a hint to that fact). So I rather refer to the original Arabic word, unaltered by translation, to get that energy from the tongue of Baha.

@Gnat

Hi !

Exactly.
 
Old 07-01-2016, 11:25 AM   #5
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The question you are asking requires some explanation and background. Before I go into the explanation, know that no meaning has been lost in this translation. It is immaculate. In-fact this is the second time, regarding the translation of Obligatory Prayers, that I have become completely amazed of how brilliantly Shoghi Effendi had done this task. The first time was when I realized that Shoghi Effendi condensed two statements of Short Obligatory from Arabic into just one statement in English. In Arabic one of the two statements talks about aajzi (humility) of a person and quw'wat (Might or Glory) of God and the second statement talks about the za'af (weakness; especially that which arises from old age) of the person and iqtadar (Power; especially that arises from ruler-ship) of God. I would have translated both these statements from Arabic into English as: "I testify at this moment, to my humility and Thy might; to my weakness and Thy power." But the Guardian condensed it into one single statement: "I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might." He did that because what matters are not the words but the spirit behind those words. As I have observed, The Guardian did not try to translate every statement but instead he focused on delivering the essential meaning.

In the case regarding the Long Obligatory Prayer, again, Shoghi Effendi has delivered the essential meaning by translating those words from Arabic. Instead if he had used the original Arabic words it would have had created a much vague meaning for those not familiar with Arabic.

The original words used in Arabic are kaf (ک) and noon (ن ). They combine to form kun (کن). It orginates from Quran where the words used are: kun fayakūn (کن فيكون).
Quote:
بَدِيعُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ وَإِذَا قَضَىٰ أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ
Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, "Be," and it is. (Quran 2:117)
kun fayakūn (کن فيكون) means "Be, and it is". It signifies that God only says kun (Be) and whatever He has commanded happens (fayakūn). It is used in reference to Allah’s Glorious creation powers. There was nothing in the beginning and then God said kun! It signifies the beginning. It points towards our origin. There are also verses in the Quran that use kun and fayakūn separately.

In the translation if Shoghi Effendi had written "through Whom the letters kaf and noon have been joined and knit together" it wouldn't have made any sense at all. It is not the letters kaf and noon that have any significance. It is what their combination means in Arabic what is important. So, it is very intelligent of Shoghi Effendi to have used the words B and E as it is their combination in English which means the same thing as the combination of Kaf and noon in Arabic i.e. Be (Kun).

The verse kun fayakūn (کن فيكون) is quite popular among Muslims and there were many Sufi mystics who wrote poetry regarding this majestic verse. Even today it is quite popular, to the extent that in 2009 A. R. Rahman, Mohit Chauhan, Javed Ali used it in their song for the film Rockstar:

Last edited by arcane; 07-01-2016 at 11:55 AM.
 
Old 07-01-2016, 12:45 PM   #6
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Hello Arcane !

Thank you a lot for your very detailed explanation !
Yes indeed, it seemed that the Guardian was a very skilled translator, for I feel that there is a lot of might and spirit in the translation.
Actually, my concern was not about the translation. It was about getting the original Quranic word, and also about having something better than the French translation (because in French, this part of the prayer does not sound well to my ears : there are four letters to be summoned : S-O-I-S, and the spelling of each of them create a kind of artificiality).

Okay, so I will say Kaf and Noon.

Blessings to you, Mister !
 
Old 07-01-2016, 01:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoaForce View Post
Hello Arcane !

Thank you a lot for your very detailed explanation !
Yes indeed, it seemed that the Guardian was a very skilled translator, for I feel that there is a lot of might and spirit in the translation.
Actually, my concern was not about the translation. It was about getting the original Quranic word, and also about having something better than the French translation (because in French, this part of the prayer does not sound well to my ears : there are four letters to be summoned : S-O-I-S, and the spelling of each of them create a kind of artificiality).

Okay, so I will say Kaf and Noon.

Blessings to you, Mister !
I would be interested as to why combine - Why no say it in the Original Language for the whole prayer or with the English Translation for the whole prayer?

Regards Tony
 
Old 07-01-2016, 02:16 PM   #8
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@Tony

I don't feel at ease with praying in English. My soul speaks in French.
 
Old 07-02-2016, 01:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoaForce View Post
@Tony

I don't feel at ease with praying in English. My soul speaks in French.
Then french it is

Regards Tony
 
Old 07-04-2016, 05:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoaForce View Post
@Tony

I don't feel at ease with praying in English. My soul speaks in French.
Good for you. My soul speaks a language that I've never managed to learn.

gnat
 
Old 09-02-2016, 04:07 PM   #11
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I adore you, gnat
 
Old 09-02-2016, 04:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Neal View Post
I adore you, gnat
Oh dear, the gnat is blushing, as you can notice to the left

gnat
 
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