Prayer In Times of Crisis

Here is a special short prayer from the Báb to chant in times of crisis with a full heart. It has really been helpful to us - as we sometimes get very worried about the health crisis the world is in now. And sometimes we need help to feel calm.  We chanted this recently and felt better.  We also did deep belly breaths and that helped separate emotion from the body in a way that was also very helpful. 

“Yá Allahu’l-Mustaghath”, … is an invocation revealed by the Bab. He prescribed it for recitation by His followers in times of trouble and difficulty. Shoghi Effendi has translated the word “Mustaghath” as “He who is invoked for help”.

One of the most powerful invocations, used by ‘Abdu'l-Bahá in His times of crisis, (prior to the end of WWI, when the Ottoman soldiers came to take Him to be executed, and when the Holy family was distraught from the absence of Bahá’u'lláh in the mountains of Sulaymaniyah.

The Báb also prescribed His followers to repeat it 2098 times as they never knew which day would be their last!  “`Abdu’l-Bahá told of the time in Bagdad when Bahá’u’lláh had retired to the mountains. His family did not know where He had gone and were extremely worried. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was a boy at that time and the absence of His Father was very difficult.

One night, `Abdu’l-Bahá recited and supplicated with all his heart saying “Ya Allah el Mustaghas! Ya Allah el Mustaghas!” all night. In the morning after, at the break of dawn, `Abdu’l -Bahá received a message which he understood to be about the return of Bahá’u’lláh. Ali Kuli Khan understood that the invocation of “Ya Allah el Mustaghas!” would be the prayer to utter in moments of need.

It seems that `Abdu’l-Bahá used this powerful prayer at different occasions. Marzieh Gail recounts the following (Arches of the Years, page 312). Shoghi Effendi also had the burden of the believers’ personal griefs. Florence once asked him for a very powerful prayer, and he answered, ‘What could be better than Yá Allahu’l-Mustaghath?’ … It was her understanding that this was the prayer repeated over and over by the Master, as He paced His garden when the Turkish ship was coming to take Him away.


In the same letter, The Universal House of Justice clarifies that “In the Writings of the Báb, “Mustaghath” refers to Bahá’u’lláh, and “the time of ‘Mustaghath‘” refers to the time of Bahá’u’lláh’s Dispensation… Mustaghath literally means “He Who is invoked”. It denotes the cycle of every Divine Manifestation, referred to in the Writings of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.” ~ The Universal House of Justice, 25 Nov. 1999

“It seems that the One being invoked for help is Bahá’u’lláh. Perhaps the following explanation of `Abdu’l-Bahá about the phrase “He is God”, can explain why Bahá’u’lláh is invoked.”

“In Paris, when Shoghi Effendi was on his way to the University in England, he told madam Kahn that shortly before the World War I ended, he used to accompany ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to Haifa, and each week they would spend 4 days usually looking after the shrines and to see about conditions in general.

One day the Master closed His door and Shoghi Effendi (he said) knelt outside it, leaning his head against it. For 8 continuous hours the Master paced in the room, praying only one prayer ... ‘Ya ALLAH-EL-MUSTAGATH!’

When Shoghi Effendi related this to Madame Ali Kuli-Khan she exclaimed ‘Why it was shortly after this that the European War ended!’ Shoghi Effendi smiled, but did not reply either yes or no.

In 1924, when she was leaving the presence of the Guardian at Haifa, en-route for Persia to America, she enquired if there were any prayers she could use for special help. The Guardian smiled and replied: ‘Is there any prayer better than ‘Ya Allah-el-Mustaghath’? showing he recalled their conversation in Paris.”

~ The above was given to Doris Lohse by Madame Khan in her own handwriting,

This is a copy of the original statement. Mustaghath literally means ‘He Who is invoked.’ It denotes the cycle of every Divine Manifestation, referred to in the Writings of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. See also glossary in Kitáb-i-Iqan.”

With regard to the number of times these words are to be repeated, the repetition of this invocation is not definitely fixed, and there is a great deal of flexibility concerning the repetition of this and other prayers. While the invocation is prescribed in the Writings of the Báb to be repeated 2098 times during occasions of great need, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in one Tablet states that this verse is to be repeated 95 times and, in another Tablet, 81 times.

Letters from the Guardian concerning this invocation, as well as other prayers, indicate that repetition is a matter of individual choice. In a postscript added in his own handwriting to a letter to an individual he stated: “There is no objection to saying “Yá Ilaha‘l-Mustaghath” any time you like and as often as you like.” ~ The Universal House of Justice, 25 Nov. 1999

Concerning the phrase “Yá Alláhu’l-Mustagháth”, this is an invocation revealed by the Báb. He prescribed it for recitation by His followers in times of trouble and difficulty. Shoghi Effendi has translated the word “Mustagháth” as “He Who is invoked for help”. This phrase can be correctly transliterated in two ways, as set out below:

“Yá Iláha’l-Mustagháth”, which has been translated as “O Lord of the time of ‘Mustagháth’”

“Yá Alláhu’l-Mustagháth”, which has been translated as “O Thou God Who art invoked”

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