The following invocation is the teaching of Imam Ali (AS) to one of his students, Kumayl Ibn Ziad, which is usually recited every Thursday night. For the Arabic text of this invocation, please see the book named "Keys to Paradise." For more information please see the end.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. O' my God! I ask You, by Your mercy, which covers everything, by Your power, which overpowers everything, and to which everything submits and is humble, by Your might, by which You overcome everything, by Your glory, before which nothing stands, by Your magnificence, which fills everything, by Your authority, which rises over everything, by Your face (i.e., essence), which remains after the destruction of everything, by Your names, which fill the essence of everything, by Your knowledge, which encompasses everything, and by the light of Your face (i.e., essence), for which everything shines.
O' the Light, O' the Most Holy, O' the first of those who where first, and the last of those who will be last. O' God! Forgive me (my) sins, which tear apart modesty. O' God! Forgive me (my) sins, which bring down misfortunes. O' God! Forgive me (my) sins, which change prosperity. O' God! Forgive me (my) sins, which block out invocation. O' God! Forgive me (my) sins, which cut off hopes. O' God! Forgive me (my) sins, which bring down distress. O' God! Forgive me all sins that I have committed and all mistakes that I have made.
O' God! I approach You by Your remembrance, seek Your intercession through Yourself, and ask You by Your generosity, to bring me closer to You, to bestow on me the ability to thank You, to inspire me to Your remembrance. O' God! I ask You as a person who is submissive, humble, and obedient, to treat me kindly, to have mercy on me, and to make me satisfied, content with what You have allotted, and humble in all circumstances.
O' God! I ask You as a person, whose poverty is intense, who presents his need only to You, and whose desire is great for what You have.
O' God! Great is Your authority, exalted is Your place, unknown is Your plan, clear is Your command, overwhelming is Your might, continuous is Your power, and escape is impossible from Your domain.
O' God! I can not find anyone, who can forgive my sins, who can cover my ugly misdeeds, nor who can change my misdeeds to good, but You.
There is no God but You, glory and praise be to You. I have harmed myself, I dared (to sin) because of my ignorance, and I was confident in Your past remembrance of me, and Your continuous grace on me.
O' God! How many ugly deeds You have covered! How many heavy misfortunes You have lifted! How many stumblings You have prevented! How many disliked (objects) You have removed! How many graceful praises, which I was not worthy of it, You have made spread!
O' God! My distress is great, my sorry plight exceeded the limits, my deeds are short, my chains kept me down, and my high desires withheld me from gaining what was at hand. The world has deceived me by its illusion, and my soul by its disloyalty, and my postponement.
O' my Master! I ask You by Your might, not to let my ugly deeds and acts conceal my invocation from You. Thus do not disgrace me by exposing what is secret of my acts which only You are aware of, and do not rush the punishment of what I have done secretly, such as, my ugly deeds, my offenses, my continuous negligence, my ignorance, my numerous whims, and my foolishness.
O' God! By Your might, be compassionate to me in all circumstances, and have grace on me in all matters.
My God and my Lord! Whom can I ask, beside You, to remove my disadvantages, and to look into my affairs?
My God and my Protector! You have laid on me rules (to follow), but I followed my own whims. I did not take protection from the sham of my enemy. Therefore, he was able to deceive me through my desire, and the divine decree favored him in this matter.
Thus I have exceeded Your limits by violation of some of Your rules, and disobeyed some of Your commands. But Your praise is due on me in all these matters, and I have no argument against the judgment You passed on me. Your judgment and Your test on me became indispensable.
My God! I come to You after my faults and my wastefulness against myself, while apologizing, repentant, dejected, asking to discharge me from my sins, asking forgiveness, turning to You, confessing, yielding, and acknowledging my mistakes.
I do not find any way out from what I have done, nor any place to refuge to turn to, about my affairs, except Your acceptance of my apology, and Your entering me in to the range of Your mercy.
O' my God! Then accept my apology, have mercy on my intense disadvantage, and free me from the solid chains. O' my Lord! Have mercy on my weak body, the thinness of my skin, and my delicate bones. O' He has began my creation, my remembrance, my upbringing, my welfare and my nourishment, Be generous to me as You were in the beginning, and be kind to me as You were before.
O' my God, my Master, and my Lord! How could You see me punished with Your fire,
after my belief in Your unity, after my heart recognizing You, after my tongue speaking continuously in Your remembrance, after my heart has been bound to Your love, after my true confession, and my humble invocation to Your divinity?
No, How impossible it is! You are too generous to abandon one whom You have raised, or to push away (from Your mercy) one whom You have already brought near, or to drive away one whom You have given shelter, or to leave to misfortune one whom You have enriched and blessed.
O' my Master, my God! I wish I could know, how would You impose fire on faces, which fall down prostrating to Your magnificence, and on hearts, which surely acknowledge Your divinity, and on tongues which have sincerely pronounced Your unity and thanked You with Your praise, and on minds, which acquired knowledge until became humble, and on limbs, which hurried to praise You and which obediently moved to place of Your worship, introducing Your forgiveness, (while) yielding (to it). No. Never! Such a suspicion can never be directed to You, nor we have heard of such a thing from Your grace.
O' the Most Generous! O' Lord! You know my weakness to endure a small portion of worldly misfortune, its punishment, and difficulties, which fall upon its inhabitants, while that is a misfortune and difficulty whose duration is short.
How then can I bear the misfortune of the hereafter and the occurrence of its tremendous difficulties while it is a misfortune whose duration will be long, whose situation will continue, and there will be no decrease for its inhabitants because it can not be but from Your wrath, vengeance, and anger for which neither Heavens nor Earth can stand?
O' my Master! How can I endure it, while I am Your servant, the weak, the insignificant, the low, the poor, and the humble.
O' my God, my Lord, my Master, and my Protector! About which should I complain to You, and about what should I outcry and weep, for the grievous punishment and its intensity, or for the length of misfortune and its duration?
Therefore if You send me to Your enemies for punishment, gather me with misfortune people, and separate me from those who love You and those who adore You, Then O' my God, my Master, my Nourisher, my Lord!
suppose that I would be patient on Your punishment, how then, would I be patient on my separation from You? and suppose that I would be patient on the heat of Your fire, how then, would I be deprived of looking into Your honor? or how would I abide in fire, while I hope for Your forgiveness?
O' my Master and my Protector! Thus, truly I swear by Your might, that if You leave me with the power of speech, among the inhabitants of Hell, I would cry to You like those who cry out of hope, I would scream like those who scream for serious help, I would weep like those who have lost (hope), and I would call You saying: "O' the Protector of believers! O' the utmost hope of those who know You! O' the Helper of those who appeal for help! O' the beloved of trustfuls! O' the Lord of the worlds!"
O' my God! Glory and praise be to You. How would You hear the voice of a submissive servant, who is imprisoned (within the fire) because of his disobedience, tasted the flavor of its punishment for his resistance, blocked within the layers of Hell for his sins and crimes, while he cries as one who hopes for Your mercy, calls You by the language of the people who believe in Your unity, and seek refuge to You by Your divinity!
O' my protector! Then how can (Your servant) remain in pain while he hopes Your indulgence that was in the past? or, how can the fire hurts him while he has hope in Your favor and compassion? or, how can the flames burn him while You hear his voice and see his place? or, how can the exhaling (of fire) covers him while You know his weakness? or, how can he be immersed in its layers while You know his sincerity? or, how can the flames torture him while he calls You "O' my Lord!"? or, how possible can it be to leave him in the fire while he hopes for Your grace to free him?!
No. Never. Such an idea can not be attributed to You, nor it is known of Your grace, nor it is similar to the way You have treated the believers in Your unity by Your kindness, and Your generosity.
Therefore, I am certainly sure that had You not judged to punish unbelievers in You, and to leave Your enemies in the fire that lasts for ever, then You have made the fire totally cool and peaceful, and no one would have any place in it, neither permanently, nor even for a short time.
But You have sworn by Your sanctified Names that You will fill it with all unbelievers, from the unseen (Jin) and mankind, and that You keep Your enemies there forever. You, great be Your praise, have said in the beginning, and by Your generosity extended the grace, that: "Is he who a believer like the one who is not? No, they can not be alike." (Quran: 32:18)
O' my Lord and my Master! I ask You, then, by the power, which You have enforced, by Your divine decree, which You have made a necessity, governed, and overpowered whom You have imposed (the power) on, that, You forgive me at this night, and this moment, all crimes, which I have dealt with, all sins, which I have committed, all ugly deeds, which I have kept secret, all foolishness, which I have done, whether kept it secret, or disclosed, covered or uncovered, and, all evils, which You have ordered the noble scribes to record, those whom You authorized to keep what is done by me, and made them witnesses on me beside my limbs, then, (after all) You are the observer above them, the witness of what remains hidden from them, and what You did hide by Your mercy, and (You have) covered by Your grace, and that You increase my share of all good things, which You have sent down,
or good deeds, which You have favored, or Kindness, which You have spread, or means of living, which You have made available, or sins, which You forgive, or mistakes, which You conceal.
O' Lord, O' Lord, O' Lord, my Master, my Protector, and the Master of my freedom! O' He who has my forehead in His hands, O' He who knows my disadvantages and my poverty, O' He who is well acquainted with my misery and neediness, O' Lord, O' Lord, O' Lord! I ask You by Yourself, by Your Holiness, by Your great attributes, and names, that, You make my times of days and nights alive by Your remembrance, and joined to Your service, my deeds accepted by You. So that my deeds and my remembrances all become one harmonic effort, and my (life be in an) eternal state, devoted to Your service.
O' my Master! O' He only on Him I depend! O' He only to Him I complain about my situation! O' Lord, O' Lord, O' Lord! Strengthen my limbs for Your service, intensify (my) determination through all parts of my body, grant me eagerness in Your fear, and continuous service to You, in order to move towards You among those who are first in their fields, be prompt toward You among those who are first, yearn toward Your nearness among those who are eager, become close to You like the closeness of those who are sincere, fear You like those who are certain, and join the believers near You.
O' God! Whoever wishes me evil, wish him the same, Whoever wants to harm me, harm him, put me among the best of Your servants, the closest in status to You, the most privileged to You. Indeed, that can not be attained without Your grace. Grant me generously by Your generosity, have sympathy for me, by Your glory, protect me by Your mercy. Make my tongue dedicated to Your remembrance, and my heart subservient to Your love. Bestow blessings on me by Your excellent fulfillment, prevent my stumbling, and forgive my lapses. Indeed You have commanded Your servants to worship You, ordered them to call upon You, and assured them Your fulfillment(of their requests). Therefore, O' Lord! I raise my face to You, and I extend my hands toward You.
O' Lord! By Your might, then, answer my invocation, make me attain my request. By Your grace, do not cut off my hope, and protect me from the harms from the unseen and the mankind among my enemies.
O' He who is quickly pleased! Forgive he who has nothing but prayer. Indeed, You do what You please. O' He whose Name is remedy, whose remembrance is healing, and whose obedience is prosperity! Have mercy on he, whose capital is hope, and whose weapon is weeping.
O' He who provides complete blessing, and, who removes misfortunes! O' the Light of those who are distressed in darkness! O' He who knows without learning! Bless Mohammad and The Members of his House, and do for me what You are worthy of doing.
May Allah bless His Messenger, and the blessed Leaders among his descendants, and bestow upon them an endless peace and tranquillity.