Rafed English

The Imam’s prayer against al-Mutawakkil

Adapted from: "The Life of Imam ‘Ali al-Hadi, Study and Analysis" by: "Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi"

Imam Abul Hasan al-Hadi (a.s.) resorted to Allah and prayed Him with this holy du’a (known as the du’a of the wronged against the unjust) which was one of the treasures of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.);

“O Allah, I and so-and-so (he meant al-Mutawakkil) are two slaves from your slaves. Our forelocks (heads) are in your hand. You know our residence and depository, and know our resort and abode, and our inwards and outwards, and know our intentions, and encompass our consciences. Your knowing of what we show is as your knowing of what we conceal, and your knowing of what we hide is as your knowing of what we announce.

Nothing of our concerns is hidden from you, and no state of ours is kept secret before you. We have no shelter protecting us from you, and no refuge keeping us away from you. No escaper from us can escape from you, and no oppressor can protect himself by his power from you, nor his soldiers can defend him against you.

No defeater can defeat You by his might, and no mighty one can stand against You by his abundance. You overcome him wherever he goes, and subject him to wherever he resorts. The wronged come to your door, and the oppressed from us rely on you and turn to you.

They ask you for help when helpers fail them, and cry for Your support when supporters turn backs to them. They resort to You when shelters disappoint them, and knock Your door when doors are closed before them, and get to You when inadvertent kings hide from them. You are aware of them before they complain to You, and know what benefits them before they ask You for it. Praise be to You, the Hearing, the Seeing, the Kind, the mighty.

O Allah, it has been in Your eternal knowledge, clear judgment, running fate, irrefutable decision, and inevitable will in all Your creations; the happy one of them and the wretched, the good one and the bad, that if You have given to so-and-so (he meant al-Mutawakkil) a power over me and he wronged me by it, oppressed me, overcame me by the power You have given to him, and became haughty towards me by the position You have made to him, and Your gifts to him seduced him, Your patience with him made him be tyrannical, and so he did me a distress that I could not bear, and intended me with evil that I failed to tolerate.

I could not defend myself against him for my weakness, and could not take my right from him for my humbleness. So I left him to You and relied on You concerning him. I threatened him with Your punishment, warned him of Your domination, and frightened him of Your revenge, but he thought that Your patience with him was out of weakness, and Your giving him time was out inability.

Nothing prevented him and so he went far in his oppression, and exaggerated in his enmity, and exceeded in his tyranny daring before You my Lord, and exposing himself to Your wrath which You do not repel from the unjust, and ignoring Your punishment which You do not withhold from the oppressive.

O my Lord, here I am disabled before him, subjected under his rule, subjugated by his reins, defeated, oppressed, distressed, afraid, terrified, suppressed. I lost my patience, and remained helpless. Doors were closed before me except Yours, and directions were blocked before me except Yours. My affairs were confused to resist his hardships to me. My thoughts failed to remove his oppression. Whoever of Your people I asked for help disappointed me, and whoever of Your creation I relied on betrayed me.

I counseled with my advice and it told me to resort to You, and inquired my guide and it did not guide me save to You, so I turned to You my Lord humbly, servilely, submissively, knowing that there was no deliverance except near You, and no rescue except by You. Carry out Your promise of supporting me and responding to my supplication for You have said and Your saying is the truth that is not annulled or changed,

(and he who retaliates with the like of that with which he has been afflicted and he has been oppressed, Allah will most certainly aid him),48 and, glory be to You and sanctified are Your names, You said, (call upon Me, I will answer you),49

and so I do as You have ordered me not as a favor from me on You; how is that while it is You Who have guided me to that? My Lord, bless Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad and respond to me as You have promised me, O You Who do not fail the promise.

My Lord, I do know that You have a day on which you avenge on the unjust for the wronged, and I am certain that You have a time at which You take from the oppressor to the oppressed because none of resisters can resist You, and none of opponents can run off Your hold, and You fear none that may escape You, but my fear and intolerance fail me before Your patience, and the expectance of Your insight.

Your power over me, my Lord, is over all powers, and Your authority defeats all authorities. The return of everyone is to You even if You give him time, and the coming back of every oppressor is to You even if You respite him.

Your patience with so-and-so (he meant al-Mutawakkil) and Your respiting him harmed me, and despair was about to overcome me except for the trust I had in You and the certainty in Your promise. If it is in Your fate and eternal power that he will repent of oppressing me or refrain from harming me or change from what he has committed against me…

O Allah, bless Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad and put that in his heart at this very moment before removing Your blessings that You have endowed me with…and if it is in Your knowledge other than this that he will keep on oppressing me, then I ask You O the Helper of the wronged and oppressed to respond to my call.

Bless Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad and snatch him (al-Mutawakkil) from his shelter with the snatch of the Mighty, the Powerful, and surprise him in his inadvertence with the surprise of the Overcoming King! Deprive him of his ease and authority! Scatter his gathers and assistants from around him!

Tear his kingdom thoroughly, and separate his supporters with every separation! Divest him of Your blessing which he does not thank, and take the dress of Your glory off him which he does not reward with goodness! Crush him O You the Crusher of tyrants, and perish him O You Who had perished the ancient nations!

Trounce him O You the Trouncer of the unjust nations, and disappoint him O You the Disappointer of the transgressive parties! Overwhelm his old, destroy his kingdom, omit his trace, remove his mention, put out his fire, darken his day, cover his sun, destroy his life, increase his distress, degrade him, suppress him, hasten his death.

Do not let a rank to him unless You disgrace it, and no pillar unless You tear it down, and no unity unless You separate it, and no highness unless You demean it!…and show us his supporters, soldiers, beloveds, and relatives scattered everywhere, and separated after their unity, and masked after their power over the nation! Relieve the fearful and eager hearts with the disappearance of his rule and delight the confused nation and the lost people!

Remove by his disappearance the annulled laws, ignored verdicts, forgotten heritage, distorted traditions, deserted schools, averted mihrabs, and destroyed mosques!…Afflict him with a night that has no like, and an hour that there is no remedy from, and a disaster that there is relief from!…Expose his honor, and disturb his ease! Show him Your great assault, utmost revenge, Your power that is over all powers, and Your sovereignty that is mightier than his sovereignty!

Defeat him for me by Your strong power, abort his cunning by Your cunning, rout his will by Your will, sicken his body, orphan his children, decrease his life, disappoint his hope, remove his kingdom, increase his misfortunes, make him busy with his body, do not relieve him from his sorrow, take him into deviation, make his end into vain, make his blessing disappear, and his good luck to lowness, and his sovereignty to declination, and his end to the miserable end!

Make him die with his rage when You want to make him die, and let him live with his sorrow if You want to let him live! Keep me safe from his evil, slandering, backbiting, domination, and enmity! Look at him with a glance that destroys him, for You are stronger in might and stronger in inflicting punishment! And praise be to Allah the Lord of the worlds.”

This du’a is from the treasures of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) which they resorted to whenever an oppressor poured his spite on them, and Allah responded to them and brought down His wrath on their enemies.

This du’a shows the extent of the distresses and disasters Imam al-Hadi (a.s) suffered during the reign of al-Mutawakkil the Abbasid tyrant who saved no effort in oppressing the Alawids and their followers.

The death of al-Mutawakkil
Allah responded to the prayer of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) and revenged on his enemy severely. After this prayer al-Mutawakkil lived no more than three days.
A plot was arranged to assassinate al-Mutawakkil and to do away with him. The terms of the plot were made perfect and kept very secret and finally it succeeded and the plotters lost no one of them. The plotters were al-Muntasir, Waseef at-Turki (the Turk), and Bugha at-Turki.

Al-Muntasir (son of al-Mutawakkil) had spite and malice towards his father and the reason, as we think, belonged to two points;

The first, al-Mutawakkil despised his son al-Muntasir and exaggerated in that until he swelled his nose. Al-Muntasir was full of spite against his father. A day before his death, al-Mutawakkil brought al-Muntasir to his meeting and abused him one time and made him drink over his capacity another. He said to his vizier al-Fath bin Khaqan, ‘I shall be free from Allah and from my kinship to the messenger of Allah if you do not slap him (al-Muntasir).’

Al-Fath got up and slapped al-Muntasir twice. Al-Mutawakkil said to the attendants of his meeting, ‘Witness on me you all that I have deposed al-Muntasir (from the position of heir apparent).’ He said to al-Muntasir, ‘I have named you al-Muntasir and people named you al-Muntadhir for your foolishness, and now you are al-Musta’jil (reckless).’
Al-Muntasir said to his father, ‘If you ordered to behead me, it would be better for me than what you did to me.’ Then he left while being full of spite against his father and thinking of revenge. After that he carried out the plot of assassination.

The second, al-Mutawakkil was full of spite and hatred towards Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) whereas al-Muntasir was contrary to him. He had a great love to Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) and his progeny of the Alawids and this was the reason, as historians said, behind the killing of his father.
These three persons were the most important members in this plot. They held secret meetings and discussed the best ways to carry out their plan. They agreed on the following points:

1. To carry out the plot under the darkness of night

2. Closing the gates of the palace except the gate that led to the Tigris for fear of that supplies might come to al-Mutawakkil from the guards of the palace or from a unit of the army

3. Killing the prime minister al-Fath bin Khaqan

4. Rumoring among the public that al-Fath led a failed military coup and killed the caliph al-Mutawakkil but al-Muntasir suppressed the coup and killed al-Fath as revenge for the killing of his father. These were some steps of the plan that the leaders of the coup (the plotters) agreed on.


48. Qur'an, 22:60
49. Qur'an, 40:60


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