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

We shall continue discussing the conclusion of part five in which the Dua reads:

وَمِنْ خِذْلانِ الاَقْرَبِينَ النُّصْرَةَ 
the desertion of the close ones with help,
وَمِنْ حُبِّ المُدارِينَ تَصْحِيحَ المِقَةِ
the attachment of flatterers with reformed regard
وَمِنْ رَدِّ المُلابِسِينَ كَرَمَ العِشْرَةِ
the rejection of associates with good behaviour,
وَمِنْ مَرارَةِ خَوْفِ الظَّالِمِينَ حَلاوَةَ الاَمَنَةِ
and the bitterness of the fear of oppressors
with the sweetness of security.

As part five of this beautiful dua of Imam Sajjad (as) concludes, it becomes clear that his plea to Almighty Allah (swt) is the reformation of the self.

Although the Imam (as) requests for the removal of negative traits from his personality, He also requests for the perfection of the goodness that already exists within him! In this manner, we are taught never to be satisfied with the degree of Akhlaq we may achieve in life, but rather continuously strive towards higher levels of morality.

Then Imam Zainul Abideen (as) then continues:

وَمِنْ خِذْلانِ الاَقْرَبِينَ النُّصْرَةَ 
“the desertion of the close ones with help,”

This line connects with the concern of maintaining family relationships that was mentioned in previous lectures. In this instance the Imam (as) asks Allah (swt) to bless him with his family’s assistance and companionship in times of difficulty. This relationship is not only important in ensuring the protection of the moral fabric of the society, but – as pointed out by the Imam – is vital in achieving happiness and perfection in the personal sphere of life as well.


وَمِنْ حُبِّ المُدارِينَ تَصْحِيحَ المِقَةِ

“the attachment of flatterers with reformed regard”

In order to understand what the Imam (as) is requesting in this section of the dua, we first need to delve into the meaning of the term “Mudaraat.” This word is usually translated to “act kindly”, however, this attitude does not stem from true compassion but rather being tolerant towards another individual. Although one may not have much fondness of this individual, “Mudaraat” is shown towards him as an act of graciousness, but not as a genuine expression of love.

Mudaraat itself is a praiseworthy attribute. Being accommodating towards different opinions and personalities has been commended in the traditions of the Ahlulbait (as) so much so that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has said: “My Lord has commanded me to be polite with the people like He commanded me to perform my obligations (fardh).” In the same way that the Prophet (SAW) has been commanded to perform salaah, hajj, zakah and other compulsory actions, he has been commanded to be tolerant towards other people. Although the enemies of the Prophet (SAW) treated him disrespectfully, his only response was through kindness.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran in Surah Taha verses 43-44:

اذْهَبَآ إِلَي فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَي

“Go, you both, unto Pharaoh! verily he has transgressed (the bounds).”

فَقُولاَ لَهُ قَوْلاً لَّيّـِناً لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَي
“Yet speak gently to him, perhaps he may get admonished or fear (Allah).”

What is to note in these ayah is that Prophets Musa and Haroon (as) are commanded to speak to Firown with gentle words. Even though Firown has killed numerous innocent men and children from the tribe of Bani Israel, Allah still instructs his Prophets to practice Mudaraat.


Another aspect of Mudaraat is known as Taqiyyatul Mudaraat. “Taqiyya” in the school of the Ahlulbait (as) usually means to conceal one’s faith due to the fear of safety, however, in this instance there is a more specific meaning. Taqiyyatul Mudaraat means that one should not act in a manner that causes him to be different to an extent that those around him feel uncomfortable and displeased.

The intention of this kind of Mudaraat is to avoid being problematic and ensuring that there is a general atmosphere of content. It is through this fundamental concept that the unity of the entire Muslim ummah is achieved – through compromising and being tolerant towards others. This of course does not mean that true beliefs should be forgotten, but rather they need to be practiced accordingly.

In addition to this, Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) has said: “I warn you not to do something that people will blame us (Ahlulbait) because of your actions, for the blame of the bad child always goes to the father.”

Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) emphasised this aspect of Taqiyyatul Mudaraat with those who differed with the Ahlulbait (as) by instructing his followers: “Be present in their masajid, visit their sick people and attend their funerals.”

These two ahadith show the importance of maintaining unity within the broader society, and also warns against any isolationist tendencies that may arise.

The final point of Mudaraat to note is that it should not be constantly expected within a friendship. Imam Ali (as) has said: “The worst of your brothers is he who always needs Mudaraat from you.” Although Mudaraat is a beautiful habit to inculcate within oneself, one should not be expect others to continually praise them.

Now what Imam Zainul Abideen (as) is asking from Allah is not simple politeness from others, but he rather desires their true love towards himself.

The dua then continues:
وَمِنْ رَدِّ المُلابِسِينَ كَرَمَ العِشْرَةِ
the rejection of associates with good behaviour,
This specific request continues with the theme of behaving with the public in the best of manners.


Imam Sajjad (as) thereafter says:

وَمِنْ مَرارَةِ خَوْفِ الظَّالِمِينَ حَلاوَةَ الاَمَنَةِ
“and the bitterness of the fear of oppressors with the sweetness of security.”

The Imam (as) lived in a time in which fear had controlled the way people had led their lives. This latter part of Umayyad control was particularly brutal as any forms of resistance to the government often led to execution or imprisonment. Considering this atmosphere that the Imam (as) finds himself in, he requests Almighty Allah (swt) to bless him with security.

The hadith of the Ahlulbait (as) says: “There are two favours of Allah that are only valued when they are lost – good health and security.”

The Quran in this respect has also been clear – one of the main objectives of Islamic governance is to establish peace and security for society. When Prophet Ibrahim (as) had settled in Makkah, one of his numerous prayers mentioned in Surah Ibrahim verse 35 was:

وإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبّ‌ِ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ ءَامِناً 
“And (remember) when Abraham said: ‘My Lord, make this city secure.”

Furthermore, Allah (swt) in Surah Quraysh says:

الَّذِي أَطْعَمَهُم مِّن جُوعٍ وَآمَنَهُم مِّنْ خَوْفٍ
“Who fed them against hunger and secured them from fear.”

From these ayah in the Quran, it becomes clear that one of the primary aims of Prophets was to provide security and safety.

The truly unfortunate reality of history, however, was that the Ahlulbait (as) never enjoyed an atmosphere of peace. If they were not imprisoned or killed, they were kept under strict surveillance and their movements were continuously monitored. One such example that is narrated is that of Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) when he was walking with Imam Musa al Kadthim (as) in the streets of Madina. Imam Kadthim (as) was then stopped in the marketplaces and was requested to identify who his father was, which he refused to do. This shows the extent to which Ahlulbait (as) were suppressed because of their fear of the oppressive regime. It is for this same reason that Imam Sadiq (as) emphasized Taqiyya as being an essential feature towards the survival of the religion.

To be continued…….