Written by H118
Tuesday, 28 September 2010 23:14
Islamic Articles -
Imam Ali Al-Ridha (A.S.)
Imam ' Ali ar-Rida was brought up under the holy guidance of his father for 35 years. His own insight and brilliance in religious matters combined with the excellent training and education given by his father made him unique in his spiritual leadership. Imam ar- Rida was a living example of the piety of the great Prophet and the chivalry and generosity of Imam 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.)
Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.) was well aware of the aggressive designs of the government in power against the Imamat and therefore, during his lifetime he declared Imam ar-Rida as his successor in the presence of hundred and seventy-one prominent religious divines and called upon his sons and his family to submit to him and refer to him in all matters after him .He left behind a written document declaring the succession of Imam ar-Rida duly signed and endorsed by not less than sixteen prominent persons. On theÂ day of demise of Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.) Imam Musa al-Rida was declared as the Eight Imam of the Muslim world.
Among those of his coterie and trustworthy authorities, and men of piety, traditional knowledge and jurisprudence of his Shia, who reported the nomination of Imam al-Rida (A.S.) a few of them are the following: Dawud b. Kathir al- Raqqi, Mohammad b. Ishaq b. Ammar, Ali b. Yaqtin, Nu'aym al-Qabusi, Al-Hussayn b. al Mukhtar, and Ziyad b. Marwan etc.Kitab al Irshad.p. 461
[Abu al-Qasim Ja'far b. Mohammad b. Qulawayh informed me on the authority of Muhammad b. Yaqub on the authority ofÂ Ahmad b. Mihran on the authority of Muhammad b. Ali on the authority of Muhammad b. Sinan, and Isma'il b. Ghiyath al-Qasri, on the authority of Dawud al-Raqqi, who said]
"I (i.e. Dawud al-Raqqi) said to Abu Ibrahim (Musa), peace be on him,: "May be I your ransom, I have grown old. So take my hand and save me from hell-fire,: Who is our leader (sahib) after you?"
"This is your leader after me", he said and pointed his son, Abu al-Hasan (al-Rida), peace be on him" Ibid p. 462.
[Abu al-Qasim Ja'far bin Muhammad informed me on the authority of Muhammad b.Yaqub al-Kulaini, on the authority of al-Husayn b. Muhammad, on the authority of Mu' alla b. Muhammad, on the authority of Ahmad b. Muhammad b. ' Abdallah, on the authority of al-Hasan, on the authority of Ibne Abi ' Umayr, on the authority of Muhammad b. Ishaq b. 'Ammar, who said:]
"I (i.e. Muhammad b. Ishaq b. 'Ammar) said to Abu al-Hasan the first (i.e.Musa), peace be on him: " Show me from whom I will takeÂ (instructions) in my religion."
The son of mine, 'Ali," he said. "My father took my hand and took me to the tomb of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. He said to me that God, may his name be exalted, had said: I make you a khalifa on earth (II 230) and that when God, the ExaltedÂ say anything, carry it out." IbidÂ p. 462.
[Abu al-Qasim Ja'far b. Muhammad informed me on the authority of Muhammad b. Yaqub, on the authority of a number of companions, on the authority of Ahmad b. Muhammad b. 'Isa, on the authority of Mu'awiya b. Hukaym on the authority of Nu'aym al-Qabusi, on the authority of Abu al-Hasan Musa:]
(Abu al-Hasan Musa) said: "My son Ali, the eldest of my children, is the son most preferred by me and the one most loved by me. He examined the leather case (Jafr) with me. Only a prophet or the testamentary trustee (Wasi) of a prophet may examine it" Ibid. p. 463.TWO INSTANCES OF HIS PREDICTIONS:
[Abu al-Qasim informed me on the authority of Muhammad b. Ya-qub, on the authority of Ali b. Ibrahim, on the authority of his father, on the authority of some of his colleagues, on the authority of Ab al-Hasan al-Rida,peace be ob him:]
He (i.e. al-RidaÂ p.u.h.) left Medina to make pilgrimage in the year is which Harum made the pilgrimage. He came to mountain called Farâ€™i on the left of the road. Abu al-Hasan (al-Rida) peace be on him, looked at the mountain and said: â€œFari, the one who destroys ( a resting place in you) will be cut limb from limb.â€ We did not know what that meant. When Harun reached that place he stopped there. Jaâ€™far b. Yaâ€™hya went up the mountain and ordered a resting-place to be set up for him. On his return from Mecca ,Jaâ€™far b .Yahâ€™ya went back up the hill and ordered it to be destroyed. WhenÂ he got to Iraq, Jaâ€™far b. Yaâ€™ha was cut limb from limb. Ibid. p.468.
[Abu al-Qasim Jaâ€™far b. Muhammad informed me on the authority of Muhammad b. Yaqub, on the authority ofÂ al-Hussayn b. Muhammad, on the authority of Muâ€™lla b. Muhammad, on the authority ofÂ Muâ€™safir who said:]
â€œI (i.e. Musafir) was with Abu al-Hasan al-Rida, peace be on them, at Mina. (Al-Fadl) b. Yahya b. Khalid passed by and covered his face (to escape) from the dust. Al-RidaÂ , peace be on him, said: â€œ Wretched ones who do not know what will happen to them during this year!â€. Then he added: â€œthe most surprising ( thing will be what happens to )Harun. The two of them (i.e. Al-Fadl b.) Yahya b. Khalid and Harun) will be like these two.â€ Then he joined his two fingers together.
By God I did not understand the meaning of his statement until we buried (Harun) to gather with (al Fadl) . Ibid. 469.
PERIOD OF HIS IMAMAT AND MAMUNâ€S TRICKS TO DIVERT HIM:
The period of his Imamat coincided with the caliphate of Harun and then his son Amin and Maâ€™mun. After the death of his father, Maâ€™mun fell into conflict with his brother Amin which lead to bloody wars and finally assassination of Amin, after which Maâ€™mun became Caliph. Until that day the policy of the Abbasid caliphate towards Shiâ€™ites had been increasingly harsh and cruel. Every once in a while one of the supporters of Ali (alawis) would revolt, causing bloody wars and rebellions which were of great difficulty and consequence for the caliphate.
The Shiâ€™ite Imams would not cooperate with those who carried out these rebellions and would not interfere with their affairs. The Shiâ€™ites of that day, who comprised a considerable population, continued to consider the Imams as their religious leaders to whom, obedience was obligatory and believed in them as the real caliphs of the Holy Prophet. They considered the caliphate to be far from the sacred authority of their Imams, for the caliphate had come to seem more like the courts of the Persian kings and Roman emperors and was being run by a group of people more interested in worldly rule than in strict application of religious principles.
Maâ€™mun (the then Caliph) thought ofÂ finding a new solution for these difficulties which the seventy year old policy of the Abbasids predecessors had not been able to solve. To accomplish this end heÂ first proposed to the Imam to become caliph and when vehemently refused to accept it then he chased him to be his successor. This would have solved his two problems: first of all to prevent the descendents of the Prophet from rebelling against the government themselves, and secondly, to cause the people to loose their spiritualÂ belief and inner attachment to the Imams. This would be accomplished by having the Imams become engrossed in worldlyÂ matters and the politics of the caliphate itself, which had always been considered by the Shiâ€™ites to be evil and impure. In this way their religious organization would crumble and they would no longer present any dangers to the caliphate..Shia, Allama Saiyed Muhammad Husain Taba Tabai , Ansarian Publication, P.O.Box 55 Qum IRI.pp. 205-206.
The Imam (A.S.) reluctantly, accepted to beÂ Maâ€™munâ€™s successor in the year 200 A.H./814 A.D.on hearing from Al-Maâ€™mun through a letter in which he wrote â€œIf you refuse what I have offered . then youÂ must accept being the heir after meâ€. The Imam (A.S.) refused him vigorously, he was again summoned and Maâ€™mun told him that â€œI thought it appropriate to invest the authority over the Muslims in you and to relieve myself of the responsibility by giving it to you.â€ The response of the Imam (A.S.) was â€œthe Commander of the faithful, I have no ability or power for that.â€ Then I will designate you as successor after me,â€ retorted al-Maâ€™mun. Then the Imam replied in affirmative in the following words:â€ I will agree to what you want of me as succession is concerned,â€ on the condition that I donor command, nor order, nor give legal decision, nor judge, nor appoint, nor dismiss, nor change anything from how it is present.â€ AlÂ Maâ€™mun accepted the conditions put by the Imam (A.S.). Kitab al-Irshad Shaikh Mufid. pp.469-470REPORTS ABOUT HIS MARTYRDOM:
Whenever al-Rida Ali b. Musa, peace be on them, was alone with al-Maâ€™mun he used to point out many warnings; he would endeavor to make him fear God and show him the foul crimes he had committed during his caliphat. Al-Maâ€™mun will pretend to accept it but inside him began to hate it and find it difficult to bear. One day al-Rida, peace be on him visited al-Maâ€™mun and saw him performing the ablutions for prayer. A servant was pouring water on his hand. The Imam (A.S.) said â€œCommander of the faithful, do not let any one participate in your act of worship to your Lordâ€,
Al-Maâ€™mun sent the servant away and finished his ablutions by himself. However, that increased his rage and anger. Also, al Rida, peace be on him, used to disparage al-Hasan and al-Fadl b. Sahl before al-Maâ€™mun whenever the latter mentioned the two, he would describe them both in the same terms and would (encourage him) not to listen to their advice. They were both aware of that and they began to seek favor for themselves with (al-Maâ€™mun) against (al-Rida); they would mention anything which isolate al-Rida from al-Maâ€™mun and make the latter fear peopleâ€™s attitude towards him. They continued in this way until they had changed (al-Maâ€™munâ€™s) opinion of (al-Rida) and made himÂ act to kill him. Ibid. P. 477.
[It is reported on the authority of Muhammad b. al-Jahm that he said:]
â€œAl-Rida,peace be on him, used to like grapes. He (al- Ma;mun) got some for him and had needles prodded into them at the place of their storks. I (Muhammad b. al-Jahm) took them from him and they were brought to (al-Rida) and he ate them, while he was ill with illness and then he expired.His death was kept secret by Maâ€™mun for a day and night and then he announced his death to the family of Abu Talib.
He left the only child, Imam Muhammad b. Ali Al-Jawad, who became Imam after him at the age ofÂ 7 years.