Al-Ash’ath b. Abd Allah narrated from Muhammad b. ‘Isa from Abu al-Hasan Al-Ridha’, peace be upon him, from Musa b. Ja’far, peace be upon him, who said: ‘When Abu al-Dawaniq [the caliph Abu Ja'far al-Mansur (d.136/754)] sent for Abu ‘Abd Allah, peace be upon him, intending to kill him, the governor of Medina took him [Abu ‘Abd Allah] to the caliph. Abu al-Dawaniq wanted him to be quick and, in his eagerness to kill him, found him slow to arrive.
‘When he came before him, he laughed and greeted him and made him sit by his side. He said: “O son of the Messenger of Allah, by Allah, I sent for you determined to kill you, but I looked at you and conceived a great affection tor you. By Allah, I have not found anyone from my family more beloved than you, nor one more likeable. But, O Abu ‘Abd Allah, what is this I hear about you disparaging us and speaking badly of us?” He replied: “O Amir al-Mu'minin [i.e. Abu al-Dawaniq], I have never spoken badly of you.” He [the caliph] smiled and said: “By Allah, you are more true, in my view, than all those who slander you concerning this. My seat is before you, and my ring. So be cheerful, and do not be afraid of me in your affairs, great and small, for I will not hold you back from anything.”
‘Then he commanded him to leave and gave him presents and gifts, but he [Abu ‘Abd Allah] refused to accept anything and said: “O Amir al-Mu'minin, I have wealth and sufficiency and much good. But if you are going to free me, you must [do the same] for those of my family who are left behind; remove from them the sentence of death.” He replied: “I have accepted that, O Abu ‘Abd Allah, and I have given orders for 100,000 dirhams [for you], so distribute it among them.” He [Abu ‘Abd Allah] said: “You have made close the ties of kinship, O Amir al-Mu’minin.”
When he left his presence, there walked before him the elders and the youth of the Quraysh from every tribe. With him was ‘Ayn Abu al-Dawaniq, who said to him: “O son of the Messenger of Allah, you gave a look of healing when you came into the presence of Amir al-Mu’minin, and he did not reproach you for anything except that your lips were moving with something, so what was that?” He replied: “When I looked at him, I said: ‘O He Who is not wronged and is Eternal, and with Him is the making close of the ties of kinship, bless Muhammad and his family and protect me from his evil by Your Power and Your Might’. By Allah, I did not add on [anything] to what you have heard.” Al-‘Ayn returned to Abu al-Dawaniq and informed him of his account. He [Abu al-Dawaniq] said: “By Allah, he had not completed what he said when what was in my heart of evil wickedness was removed.”’