By Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider delivered at the Ahlul Bait (a.s) Islamic Centre, Ottery, Cape Town.

We continue our discussion of part six of Dua Makarimul Akhlaaq as the Holy Imam (as) begins to conclude:

وَهَبْ لِي مَكْراً عَلى مَنْ كايَدَنِي
Grant me craftiness against one who deceives me,
وَقُدْرَةً عَلى مَنْ اضْطَهَدَنِي
power over one who oppresses me,
وَتَكْذِيباً لِمَنْ قَصَبَنِي
refutation of one who accuses me falsely,
وَسَلامَةً مِمَّنْ تَوَعَّدَنِي
and safety from one who threatens me.
وَوَفِّقْنِي لِطاعَةِ مَنْ سَدَّدَنِي
Give me the success to, obey one who directs me to what is proper
وَمُتابَعَةِ مَنْ أَرْشَدَنِي،
and follow one who guides me to what is right

Imam Zainul Abideen (as) then continues towards establishing justice in his life but through different perspectives.


وَهَبْ لِي مَكْراً عَلى مَنْ كايَدَنِي
“Grant me craftiness against one who deceives me
وَقُدْرَةً عَلى مَنْ اضْطَهَدَنِي
power over one who oppresses me”

“Makr” in this instance has been translated to mean “craftiness,” however the true meaning of this word is when one instigates a plan to divert the opposition from their aims. Makr has been extensively used in the Quran, and has even been ascribed to Allah (swt) himself.

In verse 30 of Surah Anfal, the Quran reads:

وَيَمْكُرُونَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللَّهُ ۖ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ
“They devised and Allah devised, and Allah is the best devisers.”

In this famous ayah that is frequently quoted, it may appear that Allah (swt) is the best of deceivers!

Therefore, Allamah Tabatabai (ra) in his Tafsir Al-Mizan analyses the use of Makr with respect to Allah’s (swt) actions and concludes that Allah (swt) is in fact well aware of our deception. When we try to delude others in our interactions with them, Allah (swt) reminds us through this verse of the Quran that he is fully informed of our deception towards others. While we may be able to trick others, we should realise that we cannot trick Allah (swt).

The struggle for power and the rise of the Abbasid Caliphate was deeply entrenched in trickery, and hence the Imam (as) requested that he be bestowed with Makr.

One such example of deception was during the time of Imam Jafar Sadiq (as). Mansur Dawaniqi – the caliph of the time – had sent enormous quantities of gold to Madina with the intention that they should be given to the Ahlulbait (as) as Khums from the Shia of Khorasan (Iran). Mansur had also insisted that the messenger should return with numerous receipts for these payments, particularly from Imam (as) himself.

The messenger narrates that when he requested the receipt from Imam Sadiq (as), the Imam (as) removed the material veils and showed him the very conversation that ensued between the Caliph and himself! The Imam (as) then simply said: “Do you think you can do your Makr and we will not understand?” If the Imam (as) were to issue the receipt, he would be CONFIRMING running his own parallel government internally, and this is therefore subject to death!

The deception of the enemies of the Ahlulbait (as) was of such a degree that Imam Sajjad (as) pleaded to be blessed with the ability to see though the plans of the tyrannical rulers.


The dua then continues:

وَتَكْذِيباً لِمَنْ قَصَبَنِي
“refutation of one who accuses me falsely,”

Unfortunately, in this instance as well, the Ahlulbait (as) were continuously subject to the fabrications of numerous ahadith which degraded their spiritual status in the eyes of the public.

When Imam Ali (as) had been martyred in the state of prostration and this news had reached Damascus, people were surprised that the Imam (as) was in the mosque. The public had been indoctrinated to the extent that not only did they question their divinely appointed status, but rather their basic acceptance of Islam had come under scrutiny. Even further this, hatred towards Imam Ali (as) reached its climax when he was cursed during jumu’ah khutbahs and seen as an open enemy towards Islam itself.

After the tragic event of Karbala, when the caravan of Imam Zainul Abideen (as) reached Damascus and the public started insulting the family of the Prophet (SAW), it was Imam (as) who refuted all their accusations and thus the propaganda of Bani Ummaya began to collapse. This intellectual uprising of the Ahlulbait (as) in the court of Yazid shook the pillars of their reign, and hence Imam Sajjad (as) asked Allah (swt) for the distinctive ability to refute the accusers.

In applying this beautiful concept to today’s age, we see that Muslims in general are constantly being abused for following a religion that supposedly practices violence, hatred and a misogynistic outlook towards the broader society. While this may materialise in the form of social media and verbal abuse, our Imam (as) teaches us that we should refute them through using one’s rationality.

The dua of the Holy Imam (as) continues:

وَسَلامَةً مِمَّنْ تَوَعَّدَنِي
“and safety from one who threatens me.”

In these concluding lines of part six of Dua Makarimul Akhlaq, the Imam (as) continues to ask Allah (swt) for assistance against his opposition.


وَوَفِّقْنِي لِطاعَةِ مَنْ سَدَّدَنِي
“Give me the success to, obey one who directs me to what is proper
وَمُتابَعَةِ مَنْ أَرْشَدَنِي،
and follow one who guides me to what is right”

After beseeching Almighty Allah (swt) to bless him with craftiness, the Imam (as) then introduces an alternative solution to the deception of others – being under the guidance of the correct leadership. In the current political climate we find ourselves in, there are various different perspectives that are constantly being bombarded towards the public, leaving the masses misguided. The Imam (as) therefore asks for the obedience of a truthful leader that will promote his growth in life.