Two Versions of “Say: God sufficeth all things..."
In an email dated 8 January 1996 to the Universal House of Justice, Mr. xxxx notes what appear to be two different versions of a prayer by the Bab which are in the Sacred Writings and asks if they represent two different translations of the same prayer or if they are different prayers. His question was referred to the Research Department and the following is our response.
The prayers by the Bab in question are:
Say: God sufficeth all things above all things, and nothing in the heavens or in the earth but God sufficeth. Verily, He is in Himself the Knower, the Sustainer, the Omnipotent.
(Bahá’í Prayers: A Selection of Prayers Revealed by Bahá’u’lláh, the Bab,and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1991), page 29.
Say: God sufficeth all things above all things, and nothing in the heavens or in the earth or in whatever lieth between them but God, thy Lord, sufficeth. Verily, He is in Himself the Knower, the Sustainer, the Omnipotent.
(Selections from the Writings of the Bab (Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1982), page 123.
Mr. xxxx will be interested in the following extract from a letter dated 28 March 1982 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly in response to a similar question:
The Research Department has been unable, so far, to find the original of the Prayer of the Bab which appears in the American and British Prayer Books, beginning “Say: God sufficeth...”. The very similar prayer appearing on page 123 of “Selections from the Writings of the Bab” is the closest that has as yet been found. It is not yet certain, therefore, whether these are two translations of the same original or whether they are two different prayers. The House of Justice states that both versions may be used for the time being. Universal House of Justice, Two versions of the Prayer of the Bab “God Sufficeth...", 14 February 1996)