“The Loftiest Pearl” [ad-dawr al-a’la], also known as the “Orison of Protection” [hizb al-wiqaya], is a much-loved litany in Sufi circles. Its remarkable power and exalted beauty is widely acknowledged. It is said that whoever reads it with sincerity of heart and utter conviction, while making a specific plea, will have their wish granted. The one who recites this prayer is described as the sun and the moon amongst the stars.
This transcendent litany belongs to the corpus of treasures unveiled by our master and guide who is lovingly revered as the Red Sulphur [al-kibrit al-ahmar], the Spiritual Master par excellence [al-shaikh al-akbar], and the reviver of the community and religion [muhyi-l milla wa-d din]. He is the luminous Muhyi-d Din Muhammad ibn Al-‘Arabi Al-Hatimi Al-Andalusi Al-Ta’i, may Allah sanctify his secret, illuminate his mausoleum, and benefit us in both abodes by his virtue!
Two of the notable devotional compendiums where this litany is found are:
- majmu’at al-ahzab of Ahmad Ziya’uddin Gumushanevi al-Naqshbandi
- al-fuyudat ar-rabbaniyya of Isma’il Muhammad Sa’id al-Qadiri
Many notable contemporary savants and saints of the Levant, Turkey and elsewhere possess the invaluable license [ijaza] to recite and distribute this precious jewel. The key to unlocking the secrets of this litany lie in those authorisations.
This litany has also been made popular in the West by the active promulgation of the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society (MIAS). They have also released a micro-film of the litany which is used as an amulet [ta’wiz].
In his foreword to the English appreciation of this litany, Michel Chodkiewicz writes:
These prayers (salawat, ahzab, awrad) [of ibn ‘Arabi], transmitted from master to disciple, are much more than pious litanies. These are inspired invocations, each structured around a series of Divine Names. Every Name conceals secrets and powers that are its own: it must arise at a precise moment in the recitation in order for it to be effective. Such effectiveness is not magic, however. It presupposes that certain conditions are satisfied, the most important of which is purity of intention…
It is one of these prayers, al-dawr al-a’la (known also as the hizb al-wiqaya), which can be found at the centre of the little book before you.
— Taji-Farouki, S. A Prayer for Spiritual Elevation and Protection. Oxford: Anqa Publishing, 2006.
In al-fuyudat ar-rabbaniyya, the merits and properties of this litany are described as follows:
If someone learns it by heart, he will be safe from all earthly and heavenly tribulations, and protected from all satanic afflictions and injuries, as well as those caused by the jinn and humans. It is useful as a shield against disaster and the plague, against the sandstorm, and against sorcery and difficulty in childbearing. It contributes to the solution of knotty problems. It is a firm fortress, a secure refuge, and a trustworthy safeguard against the cunning plots of one’s enemies, and a valuable aid to victory over them, both outwardly and inwardly.
This is especially true of someone who is diligent in reciting it after the obligatory dawn prayer [salatu-l fajr]. Obedience will be paid to him from both the higher and the lower reaches of the universe. He will experience the marvels and wonders that result from effectiveness of speech. People will flock toward him, and they will approach him with love, admiration, affection, honour and veneration, because this is one of Allah’s amazing secrets, and one of His extraordinary guarded treasures.
It is strictly necessary, however, at the time of its recitation, for there to be presence of heart, sincerity of intention, and diligent concentration. True benefits reside in true convictions, so you must recognise its worth, for then you will experience its blessed grace and goodness, if Allah (exalted is He) so wills. It is also necessary to recite the following before and after embarking on its recitation:
- 1 x the Opening Chapter [al-fatiha] (Al-Qur’an. 1)
- 1 x the Verse of the Pedestal [ayatu-l kursi] (Al-Qur’an. 2:255)
- 1 x the first 3 verses of suratu-l An’am (Al-Qur’an. 6:1-3)
- 3 x suratu-l Inshirah (Al-Qur’an. 94)
- 3 x salutations upon the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace [salawat]
— Al-Qadiri, Isma’il M. Emanations of Lordly Grace (Al-Fuyudat Ar-Rabbaniyya). Trans. Muhtar Holland. Florida: Al-Baz Publishing, 2000.
Success is from Allah.
And Allah is the Guide.