Makarim al-akhlaq (book)

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Makarim al-akhlaq
AuthorHasan b. Fadl al-Tabrisi
Original titleمَکارِمُ الْاَخْلاق
Series1 vol.
SubjectIslamic ethics
Publisheddifferent times printed in different countries

Makārim al-akhlāq (Arabic: مکارم الاخلاق) is a book in Arabic in Islamic ethics written by Al-Hasan b. al-Fadl al-Tabrisi. It is among the most famous works in ethics and one of the Shi'a sources in this field. The author has arranged the book in twelve chapters and has spoken about moral issues in different fields. After its publication, Makarim al-akhlaq drew the attention of scholars and was printed in different countries. But, in its print in Egypt, some distortions were made to the book, the copies of which were taken out from the market after the reaction of the scholars of Najaf.

The Author

Radi al-Din Hasan b. Fadl al-Tabrisi was among Shi'a scholars of the sixth/twelfth century and the son of Amin al-Islam al-Tabrisi, the author of Tafsir Majma' al-Bayan.

Goal of Writing

At the beginning of the book, the author speaks about the way he wrote the book and says that he intended to recount a bit of the praised morality of the Prophet (s) and Imams (a), their states, actions, manners in sitting and standing, journey and home and other issues in this regard for education and the life of people.

Chapters of the Book

This book has twelve chapters including the following:

  1. Morality and attributes of the Prophet (s)
  2. Hygiene and cleanliness in Islamic ethics
  3. Manners of bathing
  4. Hygiene of fingernails and trimming the hairs
  5. Manners and methods of Muslim men and women's beautification
  6. Attributes of the Islamic house and clothes
  7. Manners of eating and drinking
  8. Issues regarding marriage
  9. Manners of travelling
  10. Manners of supplication and its prime time
  11. Treating sick people and related issues
  12. Miscellaneous issues in ethics and individual and social rights

Distortion of Makarim al-Akhlaq

Attribution of Makarim al-akhlaq to Hasan b. Fadl al-Tabrisi is definite and the attention of scholars and existence of many copies approve that. Makarim al-akhlaq was printed in Iran, Lebanon and Iraq several times, but some distortions were made in its print in Egypt, without any mention of them. Muhummad Baqir Bahari Hamadani (d. 1333/1915) was among the people who mentioned these distortions and wrote a treatise titled Tasdid al-makarim wa tafdih al-zalim fi bayan tahrif Makarim al-akhlaq. In three chapters, he mentioned the changes, additions and omissions made to Makarim al-akhlaq. After the information about this print was spread, manuscripts and old copies of the book were taken out of the market and access. After the publication of Tasdid al-makarim, some Shi'a scholars including Habib Allah Rashti, Muhammad Hasan Mamaqani, Mirza Husayn Nuri, Husayn Quli Hamadani, Al-Sayyid Muhammad Kazim al-Yazdi, Shaykh Muhammad Taha Najaf, Muhammad Kazim Khurasani and Sayyid Muhammad Hasan Shirazi wrote their opinions in objection to the print in Egypt and published them in an appendix to the treatise of al-Tasdid.

In A'yan al-Shi'a, Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin has mentioned all the cases of distortion of the book and explained them:

  • In many cases, they omitted the name of Ali (a) and replaced it with the name of one of the two caliphs (Abu Bakr or Umar).
  • The phrase "Alayh-i al-Salam" (Peace be upon him) was omitted after the names of Imams (a) and replaced with "Radiy-a Allah-u anh" (May God be satisfied with him).
  • Names of Imams (a) were omitted and in many cases were replaced with "some scholars", "some wise men" and "some righteous persons".
  • The name of Lady Fatima al-Zahra' (a) was omitted in many cases and replaced with Aisha and Hafsa bt. Umar.


A copy transcribed in 1305/1887-8 was lithographed in 1311/1893-4 by the correction of Mir Muhammad Sadiq Husayni Khwansari, but they did not pay attention to its distortion and that it was a print in Egypt during its transcription and printing.

But later, after it was printed in Egypt three times, it was compared with those copies by the order of Mirza Abu l-Fadl Tehrani, the author of Shifa' al-sudur, and by the efforts of Shaykh Mahmud b. Mulla Salih Burujirdi and was printed by financial support of Sayyid Kazim Sarraf and all the corrected cases were mentioned at the end of the book.

The book has been printed in different countries many times.