What follows is a provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a prayer of ʻAbduʼl-Bahá written in honor of two Bahá’ís of Jewish background—Mullá ‘Áshúr (Háshim-i-Ghayúr) and his son, Áqá Sha‘bán—in response to a generous donation they had made to the construction of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár (House of Worship) in ‘Ishqábád (Ashgabat). Appended to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s prayer is a postscript by Ḥájí Mírzá Muḥammad-Taqí Afnán, the Vakílu’d-Dawlih, a maternal cousin of the Báb who superintended the construction of that House of Worship, indicating the receipt of this contribution. The original text of this prayer has yet to be published; this photocopy was supplied to me by Flor Toloui, the great-granddaughter of Mullá ‘Áshúr and the granddaughter of Áqá Sha‘bán. I am grateful to Naeem Nabiliakbar for helping me to read the full text in its original form, and also to Ruwa Pokorny for assisting me to better understand certain parts of the prayer.
O my Lord! Assist these benefactors to achieve every good in the kingdoms of earth and heaven, for they have spent their wealth on the establishment of a Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in the capital city, and with laudable endeavor, they have donated what Thou didst give them to the construction of Thy Frequented Fane. Theirs will be an ample reward, O Sustainer of every thankful thrall. Lord! Thou hadst promised unto Thy servants a tenfold reward for every goodly deed they perform;* ordain for these servants, therefore, that their tenfold reward be multiplied, and grant that blessings may embrace them on all directions, O Thou the Lord of Signs! Thou, in truth, art the Bestower, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful, and Thou, verily, art the Most Generous, the Most Merciful. Thine utterances regarding the due accorded to whosoever among the dwellers of earth and heaven riseth up in service to Thy Cause have been mentioned previously, O Lord of alms, Thou Who acceptest every good work and every act of charity!
He is God
On the date of 14 Jamádíyu’th–Thání 1321 AH [7 September 1903], a sum of 4,500 dinars from Áqá Sha‘bán, the son of Áqá Mírzá Háshim—upon them be the Glory of God—reached the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár.
—Muḥammad-Taqí Shírází [the Vakílu’d-Dawlih]
* cf. Qur’án 6:160.
A typescript of the original Arabic text of the prayer (all vocalization mine) and the original Persian text of the receipt appears below.