Wa Habibi – Good Friday hymn in Arabic

crucifixion

Ever since I heard “Wa Habibi,” this Good Friday hymn has become one of my favorite songs. Arabic music has beautiful melodic qualities, and is part of our musical ancestry as Christians. (Our Lord’s mother tongue was, after all, Aramaic – the linguistic ancestor of both Arabic and modern Hebrew.)

“Wa Habibi” (My Beloved), here sung by Fairouz, has become a welcome aid to my prayer life. May it bless you, as well.

English translation:

My beloved, my beloved
What state are you in?
He who sees you, for you would cry
You are the one and only sacrifice

My beloved,
What blame have the nations put upon you?
They melted you with wounds,
To which no healing would do

When in the dark orchard at night
The God Creater kneeled and prayed
Life was praying with the One
Who gave life hope and prayer

The olive trees are crying
As the lips of men quiver
My beloved how will you go?
Has loyalty gone forever?

My beloved, my beloved
What state are you in?
He who sees you, for you would cry
You are the one and only sacrifice

6 comments

  1. Love this song, I have listened to it in multiple languages, the lyrics vary but the music is pristine and definitely my favourite Good Friday hymn.

  2. I have been listening to and loving this hymn all of my life. To me, it truly expresses what the Blessed Mother Mary must have felt at the crucifixion of our precious Lord. If it doesn’t touch your heart, nothing will.

  3. A more literal translation of this wonderful hymn using intermediate Arabic skills, online resources (Hans Wehr, Google Translate), and knowledge of the blessed person and events depicted. (Corrections/improvements welcome!)

    Oh my beloved, o my beloved, what a state you’re in!
    Whoever saw you grieved for you—you, you the Redeemer.
    Oh my beloved, what guilt justice has loaded on its children!
    To you wounds were increased for which there is no cure.
    When in the grove by night knelt the redeemer god,
    The world prayed to the one richest in prayer.
    The olive trees, he weeps and you cry out to him for healing.
    Oh beloved, how you go away—I see loyalty lost.

    • There is a beautiful Catholic hymn used on Good Friday called God of Mercy and Compassion. The music is the same, the sentiments very similar indeed. Very evocative.

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