Puzzling prayer

The text on this paper is apparently a prayer. Can any of you decipher it?

Puzzling prayer

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This entry was posted in Puzzles, Writing.

10 Responses to Puzzling prayer

  1. Wolfgang Kandagawa says:

    For what it’s worth, in the third line I recognise the sequence of letters “kāf-hā’-yā’-‘ayn-sād” (كهيعص) which also appears as the first verse of Surah 19 of the Qur’an (Maryam).

  2. hannah says:

    I’m terrible at reading Arabic handwriting, but here’s what I’ve got so far. My dictionary’s in storage, too, so I can’t look up some of the words.

    Line one: There is no god but you, all praise to you, …
    لا اله الا انت صبحنك …..
    Line two: against the oppressors …
    ضد الظالمين يا … في … يا دافيع …
    Line three: O defense of nights (?), O Hanan [female name], O … , Kohay’is [the word in the above comment, not sure what the vowel pattern is] is our surname
    يا دافع اليليات يا حنان يا… كهيعس كنياتنا
    Line four: …. is our protection, O one, O …., O preserver, O [obscured, but last word semantically has to do with respect]
    حمعسق حمياتنا يا واحد يا … يا حافظ يا ذال… كرام
    Line five: By God, the castle … to the path and from it comes …
    و على الله قصر قطمير لسبيل و منها جاء ….
    Line six: If … one thing, that he says to him, “Be …, be … of God!”
    اذا الاد شئا ان يقول له كن فيكون فيكفيكهم الله
    Line seven: He is the learned [something], and doesn’t [verb] him their [two of them] preservation, and he
    هو الشميع العليم و لا يوءده حفظهما و هو
    Line eight: is the greatest, the highest … presentation of the dear learned one, and preservation
    العلى العظيم … تقدير العزيز العليم و حفظ…
    Line nine: … from all of Satan’s… he…
    من كل شيطان … هو … مجيد في…
    Line ten: preserved… upon it the preservation.
    محفوظ … عليها حافظ
    Border: [nothing]
    يمليلخا مكثلينا مثلينا مرنوش ذمي معش شاذ يعش كفشططيوش

    Can anyone else do something with this?

  3. TJ says:

    It is a a talisman composed of verses from Quran and other phrases that are non-arabic, usually considered by people who deal with such thing to be tongues of djinn or demons, to summon them.

    Usually such talismans are not to be “read” but to be carried or other works might involve them, but not reading.

    I won’t go into the details of the phrases from Quran anyway, I think other contributors did already mention enough.

    The names on the border, out of the circle, they are said to be the names of the seven sleepers of Ephesus. As I read in some old books, it is claimed that the names of the saints can be used for some rituals to cure some physical pains or even protection. Another version for the first 2 names are: Tamlikha تمليخا and Mixilina مكسلينا , and the latter seems closer to the western resources about the seven sleepers of Ephesus, where the saint name is Maximilianus.

  4. TJ says:

    Line nine: من كل شيطان مارد
    i.e. (With security) from every froward devil. (check Quran:37/7, chapter of Al-Sáffát), Pickthall translation.

  5. TJ says:

    Too bad that I see this now, I will try to give full translation as much as possible hen I get back to Kuwait. I’m in Dublin right now and will be leaving to the airport in few minutes!

    cya all!

  6. Kate says:

    Hi,
    I sent in the prayer, which Simon so kindly posted up here, and I wanted to thank everyone who has contributed for having done so. The prayer was passed to us by a member of family, but very little information came with it. Thank you all for so generously imparting your knowledge. Kate

  7. TJ says:

    @Kate: Do you recognize from where it was brought? I would say Morocco, but of course it can be from any where (even from Iran).

  8. hannah says:

    I don’t think it was written by a native Farsi speaker – in Iran they are taught to shape their letters somewhat differently than they are here. But I would love to hear some of the backstory on this!

  9. Kate says:

    Hi,
    I’m afraid that I can’t give you much information at all. The family are from South Africa, but we understand that great grandfather came originally from Goa in India (and we are not entirely sure whether grandfather was born in India or South Africa, I’m researching this). It is possible that the prayer had nothing whatsoever to do with our family, and that it was a gift from a friend perhaps. Kate

  10. TJ says:

    If from South africa then … the closest origin might be also Zejibar or Zenzibar (Tanzania now?).
    Again, it is not a prayer, but a talisman.