Designated as having “a special potency and significance,” the Long Healing Prayer or “Lawḥ-i-Anta’l-Káfí” calls on 119 names of God in second-person invocations, supplicating spiritual forces for healing, protection, and guidance. While acknowledging those elements of Islamic worship with which this prayer engages, the author explores the originality and deep coherence of the prayer as expressed by its rhyme schemes, frequent alliterations, and structures organized around the number nineteen. Overall, this article aims to shed light on how the prayer functions as an invitation to meditate on God’s names—names which not only give shape to the human capacity to recognize an ultimately unknowable God, but also represent for Bahá’ís the underlying significance of spiritual and physical reality in a metaphysics of unity and wholeness.
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Copyright © 2021 Daniel Azim Pschaida