Imam Musa, peace be on him, had good, pure children who were the best of the children of the Muslims in that time in fear of Allah, righteousness, behavior, piety, refraining from sins and false things in the world. Many of them led a perfect, religious life.
That is because the Imam directed them to the righteous direction, and poured into their souls ideals, faith in Allah, full dedication to the thought, and deeds for serving the truth. Concerning them Ibn al-Sabbagh has said: “Surely each of the children of Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, had a memorable excellence.”1
Al-Shaykh al-Tubrisi has said: “Surely each of the children of Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, had a famous excellence and a laudable deed.”2
They inherited from their forefather’s virtue, honor, and glory, so through their behavior they were wonderful examples for virtue and perfection. Some of them declared a revolt against the government of the ‘Abbasids that they might make happy the Muslims, save them from the tyranny and oppression of the ‘Abbasids, just as we will mention.
Before we mention their biographies, we have to mention that the genealogists and the traditionists have greatly differed over their number. That is as follows:
1. They were thirty-three; sixteen males, seventeen females.3
2. They were thirty-seven; eighteen males, nineteen females.4
3. They were thirty-eighty, twenty males, and eighteen females.5
4. They were forty, eighteen males, twenty-two females.6
5. They were sixty, twenty-three males, thirty-seven females.7
There are narrations other than these. The names of both males and females are as follows:
Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, Isma‘il, Ja‘far, Harun, Hamza, Muhammad, Ahmed, Qasim, ‘Abbas, Ibrahim, Hasan, ‘Abd Allah, Zayd, Husayn, al-Fadhl, Sulayman, Salim, Sa‘eed,8 ‘Aqeel, Ibrahim the elder, and ‘Abd Allah.9
Um ‘Abd Allah, Qusayma, Lubaba, Um Ja‘far, Umama, Kelthem, Burayha, Um al-Qasim, Mahmuda, Amina the elder, ‘Aliya, Zaynab, Ruqaya, Hasna, ‘A’isha, Um Salama, Asma’, Um Farwa, Aamina, Um Abeeha, Halima, Remla, Maymuna, Amina the younger, Asma’ the elder, Zayneb, Zayneb the elder, Fatima the elder, Fatima, Um Kulthum the elder, Um Kulthum the younger, Um Kulthum the youngest. Al-Ashnani (an author) has added to them: ‘Attfa, ‘Abbasa, Khadija the elder, Khadija,10 and Sarha.11
Accordingly, the number of the ladies from among his children is thirty-seven. Shaykh al-Aftuni has written a poem on their names, saying:
And his children are: ‘Ali the lamp, Ibrahim and al-‘Abbas comes after him.
And Qasim, Ja‘far, Muhammad, Harun, Isma‘il, then Ahmed.
And Hamza, Ishaq, ‘Abd Allah, Zayd, Sulayman, ‘Ubayd Allah.
Two Ruqays, Hasan, then Hasan, Zayneb, Um Salama (who were) endowed with insight.
Um Abeeha, with whom the number is complete. All of them are the children of noble mistresses, not ignoble. In his poem, al-Aftuni has mentioned twenty-two persons. He is among those who believe that they were twenty-two persons; this statement is very weak, for their number is more than that.
We will mention a brief account of those whose biographies we have found:
He is the eighth Imam from among the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt from whom Allah kept away the uncleanness and thoroughly purified. Through him Allah gave life to Islam and strengthened the Muslims. So the Imam, peace be on him, was among those who renewed the religion, defended it, and struggled for it. We will briefly talk about some of his affairs:
He, peace be on him, was born in Yethrib (Medina), in the year 148 A. H. It was said that he was born in Rabi‘ al-Awal 11, in the year 153 A. H.12 The Prophetic family celebrated that brilliant day with delight and happiness, for the best of the inhabitants of the earth after his forefathers came to them.
As for Imam Musa al-Kazim, peace be on him, he took his baby and performed on his behalf the rites of birthday. He said the adhan in his right ear and the iqama in his left ear. On the seventh day he sacrificed a ram on his behalf, shaved his hair, and gave to the needy silver equal to it.
He grew up under the care of Islam and was brought up in the school of faith. His father Imam Musa, peace be on him, undertook bringing him up. He poured into his soul his ideals, took care of him, had pity on, and drew to him the way through his behavior and guidance. Imam al-Ridha’ attained during his early life the highest kind of Islamic education, which took care of planting in souls the essence of virtue and perfection.
Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, had noble moral traits similar to those of his forefathers from among the pure Imams through which they were distinguished from the rest of the people. Ibrahim b. ‘Abbas has talked about the noble moral traits of the Imam, peace be on him, saying: “I have never seen, nor have I heard of someone better than Abu al-Hasan al-Ridha’;
I have witnessed of him what I have not witness of other than him. I never saw him angering anyone by something he said, nor did I ever see him interrupting anyone, nor refusing to do someone a favor he was able to do, nor did he ever stretch his legs before an audience, nor leaned upon something while his companion did not, nor did he ever call any of his servants or attendants a bad name, nor did I ever see him split or burst into laughter; rather his laughter was just a smile.
When he was ready to eat, he seated with him all his attendants, including the door man and the groom. He slept a little bit by night and fasted too much. He used to fast three days a month and said: ‘Surly such a kind of fasting is equal to eternal fasting.’ He did many favors and gave plentiful alms in secret; he did most of that during dark nights. Do not, therefore, believe anyone who claims that he saw someone else enjoying such an accomplishment.”13
Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, was like his forefathers in his scientific abilities and talents. The narrators have unanimously agreed on that he was the most knowledgeable of the people of his time. He gave religious verdicts to the people in the Mosque of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, while he was twenty and some years.
‘Abd al-Salam b. Salih al-Harawi has said: “I never saw anyone more knowledgeable than ‘Ali b. Musa al-Ridha’, peace be on him. Every scholar who met him admitted the same. Al-Ma’mun gathered once a large number of theologians, jurists and orators and he (al-Ridha’) surpassed them and every one of them in his own respective branch of knowledge, so much so that the loser admitted his loss and the superiority of the winner over him.
I have heard him saying: ‘I used to take my place at the theological center and the number of the learned scholars in Medina was quite large, yet when a question over-taxed the mined of one of those scholars, he and the rest would point at me, and they would send me their queries, and I would answer them all.’”
Muhammad b. ‘Isa took care of recording the questions about which Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, was asked; and they were eighteen thousand questions.14
Imam Musa, peace be on him, praised the talents and knowledge of his son Imam al-Ridha’. That was when he said to his sons: “This is your brother ‘Ali b. Musa, the learned scholar of Muhammad’s Household. Therefore, question him about your religions and memorize what he tells you.
For surely I have heard Ja‘far b. Muhammad, peace be on him, saying to me: ‘Most surely, the learned scholar of Muhammad’s Household is in your loins. Would I wish I had met him, for he is named after Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, meaning his grandfather Imam ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him.”15
Since the dawn of their history till this day of men, the Shi‘ites firmly and without doubt believe that the Imam should be the most knowledgeable of the people of his time, that he should have great scientific abilities and talents the like of which none should have. Al-Ma’mun, who was the most knowledgeable and cleverest of the ‘Abbasid kings, did not maintain that.
He believed that such an opinion was a kind of exaggeration. So he thought that the best way to disparage Imam al-Ridha’ was through entrusting the great scholars of different religions and creeds with questioning him about various kinds of sciences and arts. He thought that the Imam would be unable to answer them, and he (al-Ma’mun) would use that as means to spoil the Shi‘ite doctrine and to invalidate the belief in the Imamate. Of course, this is very reliable thinking.
As a result he gathered the Catholic archbishop, the High Rabbi, the leading Sabians of whom was ‘Umran the Sabian, the Hindu high priest, followers of Zoroaster and Festami, Nestus the Roman medical scientist, and the theologians of whom was Sulayman al-Merwazi. He ordered them to question Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him. They asked him about the basic philosophical and theological problems.
The Imam in detail answered them,16 and they admitted their incapability and their falling short. As for al-Ma’mun, he drew on himself disappointment and disgrace, for most of those scholars believed in the office of the Imamate; and the event increased the Shi‘ites in faith and made them sure of their beliefs.
As for those who narrated his traditions, they are his son Muhammad al-Jewad, Abu ‘Uthman al-Mazini al-Nehwi, ‘Ali b. ‘Ali, Ayyub b. Mansur al-Nisapuri, Abu al-Salt ‘Abd al-Salam al-Herewi, al-Ma’mun b. al-Rashid, ‘Ali b. Mehdi b. Sedeqa, who has a book on his authority, Abu Ahmed Dawud b. Sulayman b. Yusuf al-Qezwini, who has a book on his authority, ‘Amir b. Sulayman al-Ta’i, who has a big book on his authority, Abu Ja‘far Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Hayyan al-Tammar.
As for the Imams of hadith who narrated on his authority, they are Adam b. Abi Iyas, Nasr b. ‘Ali al-Jahghami, Muhammad b. Rafi‘al-Qushayri, and others.17
Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, has a wonderful intellectual legacy full of noble ideals and high values containing behavioral rules and educational programs. He also has interesting researches in philosophy, theology, the explanation of the Qur’an, medicine, and the like. We will mention some of his wise sayings and viewpoints:
1. He, peace be on him, said: “If one lacks five attributes, do not expect to gain anything good out of him for your life in this world or for the life to come: if his lineage is known to be untrustworthy, if his nature lacks generosity, if his temper lacks balance, if he lacks a noble conduct, and if he lacks fear of his Lord.”18
2. He, peace be on him, said: “No servant of Allah achieves true belief except when he acquires three attributes. He derives juristic deductions from the creed; he is wise regarding his livelihood; he is patient while facing calamities.”19
3. He, peace be on him, said: “One who struggles to satisfy the needs of his family shall have more rewards than those who make jihad in the way of Allah.”20
4. He, peace be on him, said: “Faith is in four (attributes): reliance on Allah, satisfaction with Allah’s decree, submission to Allah’s command, and entrustment to Allah. The righteous servant (the believer of Pharos’s family) said: And I entrust my affair to Allah.... So Allah protected him from the evil (consequences) of what they planned.(40:44-45)”21
5. He, peace be on him, said: “Regimen does not mean giving up a thing; rather it means reducing it.”
6. He, peace be on him, said: “Man feels aversion for three days: on the day when he is born and sees the world; on the day when he dies and sees the people in the hereafter; and on the day when he is raised to life and sees precepts he did not see in the world.
Allah greeted Yehya on these three days and removed his fear, saying: And peace be on him on the day he was born, and on the day he dies, and on the day he is raised to life.(19:15) ‘Isa b. Maryam greeted himself on these three days, saying: And peace be on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life.(19:33)”22
7. He, peace be on him, said: “If one walks behind another, he will subject the followed to tribulation and abase himself.”23
8. He, peace be on him, said: “Establishing justice and showing kindness make boons continue.”24
9. He, peace be on him, said: “Wealth is not accumulated except by five means: extreme miserliness, a long-standing optimism, an overwhelming care, a boycott of the relatives, and a preference of this life over the life to come.”25
10. He, peace be on him, said: “Assisting the weak is better for you than your act of charity.”26
11. He, peace be on him, said: “Whoever loves the disobedient, then he is disobedient; whoever loves the obedient, then he is obedient. Whoever helps the oppressive, then he is oppressive; whoever deserts the just, then he is unjust. There is no kinship between Allah and anyone. None can attain the friendship of Allah except through obedience.
(In this respect) Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said to the Banu ‘Abd al-Muttalib: ‘Give me your (good) deeds, not your ancestry and lineage.’ Allah, the Most High, said: So when the trumpet is blown, there shall be no ties of relationship between them on that day, nor shall they ask of each other. Then as for those whose good deeds are preponderant, these are the successful. And as for those whose good deeds are light, these are they who shall have lost their souls, abiding in hell.(23:101-103)”27
12. He, peace be on him, said: “Allah abhors heresy, the loss of one’s funds (through foolishness), and excessive questioning.”28
With this we will end our talk about the wise sayings narrated on the authority of Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him.
Many traditions narrated on the authority of Imam Musa, peace be on him, regarding the Imamate of his son al-Ridha’. The textual nomination was narrated on his authority by Dawud b. Kuthayr al-Raqqi, Muhammad b. Ishaq b. ‘Ammar, ‘Ali b. Yaqteen, Na‘eem al-Qabusi, al-Husayn b. al-Mukhtar, Ziyad b. Merwan, Dawud b. Sulayman, Nasr b. Qabus, Dawud b. Razeen, Yazid b. Sulat, Muhammad b. Sinan al-Makhzumi.29
The certain thing is that Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, was forced to accept the regency, for al-Ma’mun forced him to accept that and threatened him with killing if he refused to respond to him. So the Imam was unwillingly responded to him.30 Al-Ma’mun nominated the Imam to be his heir apparent due to some dangerous political factors that forced him to do that.
The reason for that was not that he inclined to the ‘Alawids and that he showed intense love and sympathy toward them, as some people say; that is unreal. Those who believe in this have not accurately, deeply, and inclusively understood the events. Al-Ma’mun did that dangerous affair because he was forced to do it.
I (the author) think that the most important political factors are as follows:
1. The ‘Abbasid government faced dangerous local revolts headed by the sons of Imam Musa, peace be on him, who were Ibrahim the elder, Zayd, and the like. They declared some revolts against the ‘Abbasid government because they suffered from tyranny, oppression, and persecutions.
The revolt was headed by Abu al-Saraya, who was like Abu Muslim al-Khuresani in determination, alertness, and intense courage. Most Islamic peoples responded to this revolt, and may Islamic regions such as al-Hijaz, the Yemen, part of Iraq, and others were controlled by the revolutionaries. We will in detail explain that in the chapters that follow.
Al-Ma’mun stayed awake at night to find some ways to get rid of that danger that was about to happen. After a serious thinking, he thought that the best way to put out the fire of the war and to get rid of his opponents was that he had to entrust the regency to Imam al-Ridha’ and to make him take part in the caliphate, that he might win the inclination of the revolutionists, make them refrain from mutiny and rebellion against him, and that he might win the inclination of the ‘Alawids who gave the Imam preference over them due to his knowledge, his merit, and his renouncing the world.
This political plan was very successful, for through it al-Ma’mun could put an end to the revolt and divided its headquarters as soon as he declared that. The revolutionaries withdrew from their intentions and determination; they declared their consent and delight with that, as well as they showed that they would support al-Ma’mun and submit to his supreme authority and government. As a result al-Ma’mun took a rest and felt secure from the most important dangers threatening his government.
2. Most commanders and leaders of the military unit’s al-Ma’mun employed to war against his brother al-Amin inclined to the ‘Alawids. Some historians say that they warred against al-Amin provided that al-Ma’mun should appoint Imam al-Ridha’ as his heir apparent, and he responded to them. If this was correct, then he was forced to respond to them out of fear of their revolt against him.
3. The terrible events that took place between al-Amin and al-Ma’mun required the public opinion to detest and hate al-Ma’mun, for his armies caused mischief in Baghdad; they destroyed its palaces and houses, and it lost its splendor, its embellishment, and its beauties. On Baghdad some poets composed elegiac poems of which is the following:
I wept blood for Baghdad when it lost the fresh, elegant life.
The enviers envied it, and its inhabitants were destroyed by the catapult.31
The country was subject to inclusive famine and lack of security. So the people of Baghdad felt terror and fear. They did not forget their ordeal during those days; rather they talked about it for tens of years.
The thing that increased the wrath of the general populace against al-Ma’mun is that his armies won a victory over his brother al-Amin and had no mercy on him. They did not pardon him; rather they killed him and his followers, cut off their heads and sent them to al-Ma’mun. The people were displeased with that a brother killed his brother.
They unanimously agreed on that that was a horrible crime, that the person who committed such a crime had no atom of mercy and nobility, and that he was not worthy of undertaking the affairs of the Muslims and of being a ruler over them. After these events al-Ma’mun intended to win the affection of the people and to change their wrath against him into love and consent.
So he decided to entrust the regency after him to the descendant of the Prophet and the learned scholar of the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, Imam al-Ridha’, for the Muslims unanimously agreed on showing love to him, magnifying him, admiring him, and that he was worthier of undertaking the affairs of the Muslims than those other than him.
Through that al-Ma’mun won the affection, respect, and praise of the general populace. Through that he also made them imagine that he established relationships with his womb relatives who were boycotted, gave security to the people who were afraid, and gave life to the family of the prophet who suffered from the tyranny and oppression of the ‘Abbasids.
These are some factors that moved al-Ma’mun to appoint Imam al-Ridha’ as his heir apparent. The Imam, peace be on him, was fully aware of this plan, so he vigorously refrained from accepting the succession after him. As he found no way to get rid of it, he accepted it according to some conditions, that he might show the people that he hated and renounced the government. The conditions are as follows:
1. He did not command nor order.
2. He did not give religious verdicts nor give legal decisions.
3. He did not appoint nor dismiss.
4. He did not change anything from how it was then.32
These conditions are evidence for that the Imam renounced the government, for they made him apart from it as well as they made him isolated from the political ruling board. If the Imam had come to know that that was real and that al-Ma’mun had been truthful, he would not have demanded those conditions, and would not have been far from any positive act for the government.
Any way al-Ma’mun showed his great delight at that and issued a royal decree on holding celebrations and spreading decorations all over the country. Then he ordered the black color which was the symbol of the ‘Abbasids to be removed from clothes and flags; he ordered it to be changed into green color which was the symbol of the ‘Alawids; he ordered Imam al-Ridha’’s name to be written in the dirham and the dinar; he gave to the people valuable prizes and huge gifts; he ordered the poets to praise and laud the Imam, so al-‘Abbas al-Khatib talked, lauded al-Ma’mun very much, and ended his speech with these words of him:
It is necessary for the people to have a sun and a moon, so you are the sun and this is that moon.33
The poets competed with each other for praising the Imam, peace be on him, and lauding al-Ma’mun. Abu Nu’as, the poet of the royal palace, did not take part in these competitions, so al-Ma’mun blamed him for that, saying to him:
“You have come to know of the social position of ‘Ali b. Musa al-Ridha’ and of that with which I have honored him. Therefore, why have you delayed your praising him while you are the poet of your time.” As a result Abu Nu’as carefully thought and wrote these immortal lines that go along with time, saying:
It was said to me: You are the most unique of all the people in some parts of the famous speech.
You have wonderful jewels of speech that produce pearls in the hands of him who attains it.
So why have you left praising (‘Ali) b. Musa and those qualities that have come together in him?
I said: I cannot find the right way to praise him whose grandfather was served by Jibril.
These wonderful poetry lines surpassed all the praising poems. Al-Ma’mun approved them; he and other than him admired them. He gave him an amount of money just as he gave all the other poets and preferred him to them.34
Abu Nu’as looked at the Imam and saw his face shone with the lights of the Imamate and fear of Allah. So he walked towards him and said to him: “O Son of Allah’s Apostle, I have composed some poetry lines on you, and I want you to hear them from me.” “Recite them,” replied the Imam. He recited them, saying:
Their clothes are clear and pure; blessings are called down upon them wherever they are mentioned.
Whoever is not an ‘Alawi when you trace back his ancestry, then he has no pride since the past time.
So when Allah created and perfected mankind, He purified and chose you, O People.
Therefore, you are the exalted chiefs; you have knowledge of the Book and of what has been mentioned in the suras.
Accordingly, the Imam said to him: “You have composed some poetry lines the like of which none has ever composed.” Then he said to his retainer:
-Have you anything of our expenditure?
-Three hundred dinars.
-Give it to him.
Then he said to his retainer: “Perhaps he has regarded them as little, give him the mule.”35 And he gave it to him.
The pledge of allegiance regarding the regency of the Imam, peace be on him, was taken from the people all over the Islamic countries. The orators sat on the pulpits to mention the Imam’s merits and knowledge and to invoke Allah for him. A Shi‘ite saw the Imam wearing a robe of honor and saw the standards waving over his head. He became delighted and happy.
That appeared on the expressions of his face. So the Imam asked him to draw nearer to him. When he approached, the latter secretly said to him: “Do not busy your mind of anything of what you see; do not be delighted at it. They will not go well with me!”36
That happened just as the Imam had predicted. Shortly after that, al-Ma’mun denied him and spared no effort to assassinate him just as we will mention.
Al-Ma’mun harbored malice against the Imam; his soul was full of enmity and evil against him. That is because the Imam’s merits appeared; the gatherings mentioned his achievements and his noble qualities; the people talked about his talents and abilities; they talked about nothing except about his outstanding merits and those of his forefathers.
The thing that made al-Ma’mun increased his malice against the Imam is that he asked him to lead the people in the ‘Id prayer, and he refused that. Al-Ma’mun insisted on that very much, so the Imam was forced to perform it according to some conditions. The Imam stipulated that he should go out to perform the prayer just as his grandfather Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and his grandfather Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, had done.
So al-Ma’mun said to him: “Go out as you wish.” He commanded the military commanders and all the people to go to Abu al-Hasan. They went to the door of Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him. When the sun rose, he, peace be on him, washed and put on a white turban of cotton. One end of it he made hang on his breast and the other between his shoulders. Then he said to his retainers: “Do whatever I do.”
He took his staff in his hand and walked; he refused to ride (any mount). Then he said four times: “Allah is greater!” The military commanders officially prepared; they carried weapons, and decorated themselves with the best decoration. The Imam, who looked like a full moon, went out and stopped at the door.
He said four times: “Allah is greater!” Then he said: “Allah is greater for His guiding us! Allah is greater for His giving us of the cattle quadrupeds! Allah is greater for His trying us!” The land was full of saying ‘Allah is greater’ and crying. For through the Imam Appearance and state, the people remembered his grandfather the Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, who came to save the world, and came to know of the error of those kings who showed arrogance and vainglory.
He, peace be on him, said: ‘Allah is greater,’ at every ten steps. The people thought that the heaven and the earth repeated these words after him. Maru was full of crying. Al-Ma’mun heard of that and became afraid of it. So al-Fadhl said to him:
“Commander of the faithful, if al-Ridha’ reaches the place of prayer for the festival in this way, the people will break out in rebellion. We are afraid for our lives. So send instructions to him to go back.” Al-Ma’mun thought that al-Fadhl’s opinion was right. He sent a letter to the Imam and asked him to go back. The Imam, peace be on him, went back without leading the people in prayer.37
This attitude showed the people the spirituality of the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. It also showed them their renouncing the world, their refusing the pomp of kingdom and super authority. The people greatly admired the qualities concerning which al-Behri has said:
When you came out, they remembered the Prophet. When you came out of the ranks, they said: “There is no god but Allah! Allah is greater!”
You reached the place of prayer shining with the light of guidance.
You walked with the walking of one who was humble before Allah and who showed neither vainglory nor pride.
If a yearning one affected other than that which he could do, then the pulpit would walk towards you.38
The narrators said: “The going out of the Imam to the place of the prayer in this way was among the strongest reasons that made al-Ma’mun harbor malice against him and moved him to assassinate him.”
The merits of Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, spread like light among the people; the gatherings were full of mentioning his achievements and noble deeds. The religious scholars came from all the countries and overcrowded at the door of his house to ask him to give them religious verdicts and to ask him about the mothers of questions in different fields such as Islamic jurisprudence, explanation of the Qur’an, theology, philosophy, medicine, and the like.
He, peace be on him, answered them from his abundant knowledge he inherited from his grandfather Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, who was the gate of the city of the knowledge of the Prophet, May Allah bless him and his family. The religious scholars spread among the people what they saw of his sciences and excellence.
So the people loved him and clung to him. The intelligence informed al-Ma’mun of that, and he burst with anger toward the Imam and harbored malice against him. So he ordered Muhammad b. ‘Amru al-Tusi to dismiss the people from the Imam and to prevent them from attending his gatherings.
Al-Ma’mun had fear for his kingdom and supreme authority. He was careful of that the people would break out in rebellion against him. As a result he decided to assassinate the Imam. He took some grapes and mixed them with poison, and then he asked the Imam to come. When the Imam came, he gave him a bunch of grape and said to him:
“O Son of Allah’s Apostle, I have never seen grape better than this!” The Imam looked at him and said to him: “Perhaps, there is grape better than it in the Garden!” He refused to take the bunch of grape from him. However, al-Ma’mun insisted on that and forced the Imam to have some of it. The Imam ate some of it and threw the rest away. He left the gathering, and al-Ma’mun asked him: “Where to?”
“To the place to which you have ordered me to go,” replied the Imam.
The Imam quickly went to his house. He suffered from severe pain, for the poison cut off his intestines. Meanwhile, he suffered painful loneliness and being away from his family and his homeland. Shortly after that, he passed away. That great soul ascended to its Creator!
It was of Allah’s Light! Allah created it to light with it the utter darkness, to guide the perplexed, to make the oppressed secure, and to make the fearful take refuge with it. However, the evil, tyrannical forces put out the light of the star and deprived man of making use of its light!
The Islamic world was afflicted with that great tragedy and lost much good out of his death. The exaltedness and glory of the Muslims came to an end. They missed him who showed affection to them, was kind to them, guided them to good, and sent them far from sins and evil acts.
As for al-Ma’mun, he impatiently looked forward for the death of the Imam. When he heard of his death, he affected sadness to cover the crime and said to the people: “I hoped I died before you, but Allah refused all things except what He willed!”39
He ordered him to be prepared for burial. When the Imam was washed and shrouded, he was carried to his final resting place.
The people escorted the Imam to his final resting-place in a way the like of which Khuresan never witnessed throughout its historical stages. Al-Ma’mun walked behind the great coffin; he was bare-footed and headed, saying at the top of his voice: “Your death has made a gap in Islam; Allah’s decree has overcome my decree in respect with you!”40
The sacred body was brought to the graveyard. A grave beside that of Harun al-Rashid was dug for it and buried in it. Along with it was buried clemency, knowledge, and generosity. A lamp from among the Imams of guidance was buried in the land of Tus. That pure land has become sacred and reached the zenith in honor and glory, for all the Muslims had surrounded it with a halo of honoring and sacredness.
Al-Ma’mun was asked about the reason for burying the Imam beside his father Harun al-Rashid, and he answered: “That may Allah forgive Harun due to his neighboring to al-Ridha’!” This is a weak thought, for every person is buried along with his own deeds; the honor of neighboring does not benefit him. For this reason Di‘bil al-Khaza‘i refuted al-Ma’mun, saying:
There are two graves in Tus: (The grave of the one who is) the best of all the people, and that of the most wicked of them; this is among the lessons.
The dirty one (Harun) does not take advantage of the grave of the pure one (al-Ridha’); and there is no harm on the pure one due to his being near to the dirty one.
How far! Every one is hostage to that which his hands earn; therefore take or leave whatever you wish! This is the thinking of justice and truth. Harun’s nearness and neighboring to the Imam will not avail him, for his hands were stained with the blood of the progeny of the Prophet; he spread among them killing and execution, and made sadness and mourning live in their houses.
With this brief account we will end our talk about the life of this great Imam; may success help us have the honor of making a research on his affairs and conditions.
The thing that urges man to search and investigate is that a group of historians believed that there was only one of the Imam’s children was named Ibrahim, and that the Imam had no other son called Ibrahim. Other historians believed that there were other sons of the Imam called Ibrahim. They mentioned that they were two: One was called Ibrahim the younger, and the other was named Ibrahim the elder.
This was investigated by the late Sayyid Bahr al-‘Ulum in his book al-Rijal. He has mentioned: “Apparently, there is only one of the children of Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, was named Ibrahim. This has been mentioned by al-Mufid’s al-Irshad, al-Tubris’s al-‘Alam, al-Sarawi’s al-Menaqib, and al-Arbali’s Kashif al-Ghumma. They have mentioned several children and have not mentioned except one man (named Ibrahim).”
He added: “Apparently, there are numerous Ibrahims just as it has been mentioned by the author of (the book) al-‘Umda and other than him from among the genealogists, for they are more knowledgeable than other than them in this respect.”41
The viewpoint of al-Hajja al-Sayyid Bahr al-‘Ulum is trustworthy, for the great figures who have mentioned Ibrahim have not mentioned that there are not numerous Ibrahims; likewise they have not mentioned all the children of the Imam; rather they have mentioned some of them.
Besides the genealogists have established that there are numerous Ibrahims; and they are more knowledgeable than other than them in these affairs. After this we have to return to talk about the affairs of this pure Sayyid, Ibrahim.
Ibrahim was a great master with great importance and was among the prominent religious scholars of his time. He narrated traditions on the authority of his forefathers.42 Ibn Shaddqam narrated on the authority of his grandfather that Ibrahim was a meritorious, perfect scholar, from among the Imams of the Zaydis, and was a great, generous Shaykh.43
Al-Shaykh al-Mufid has said: “Ibrahim was a generous Shaykh.”44 The proof of that he was with great importance is that Imam Musa, peace be on him, placed him among his testamentary trustees, that he might mention his name, honor him, and promote his position. We will mention some of his affairs:
A biographer has accused him of his being a Waqifite depending on the narration of Bakr b. Salih who has said: [I visited Ibrahim after the death of his father and asked him:]
-What is your opinion of your father?
-He is alive.
-What is your opinion of your brother Abu al-Hasan?
-He is trustworthy, truthful.
-He says that your father has died.
-He is most knowledgeable.
Ibrahim asked Bakr to tell him about the saying of his brother Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, concerning that, and he answered him that he thought that he had died. After he had heard that, he said: “He was more knowledgeable in what he said.” So Bakr asked him:
-Did your father appoint a testamentary trustee (of the Imamate)?
-Whom did he appoint as a testamentary trustee (of the Imamate)?
-Five of us, and he has given ‘Ali (al-Ridha’) precedence over us.45
This narration indicates that Ibrahim inclined to the Waqifites; similarly it indicates that he respected and admired his brother Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him. Al-Mamaqani, a researcher, made use of this narration and indicated that Ibrahim was reliable and had good intention. He has said: “Generally speaking, whoever carefully considers this narration comes to know that the man (Ibrahim) was very Allah-fearing.
That is because the vague error (shubha) was religious and did not require raising the hand from the truth in regarding his brother as trustworthy and truthful, admitting his father’s will, the testamentary trustees (of the Imamate) were a group, and Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, was given precedence over them.
If there was nothing in the man’s biography except this narration, then it would sufficient for him who is discerning and endowed with insight to be satisfied with Ibrahim’s justice and piety and with that his faith in the waqf was something accidental with him and disappeared.”46
Any way, many researchers have declared Ibrahim’s justice and innocence of this accusation.
Al-Kulayni has mentioned that Ibrahim and his brother al-‘Abbas disputed with Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, just as we will mention in al-‘Abbas’s biography. Of course, such a thing harms Ibrahim’s trustworthiness and justice. However, he has not mentioned whether Ibrahim the younger or the elder (had such a dispute with the Imam). Regardless of these deeds, none can criticize Ibrahim at all.
It is necessary for us to have, even if briefly, knowledge of the event of Abu al-Saraya, for it meets with more than one of the children of the Imam, peace be on him.
The great leader Muhammad b. Ibrahim, better known as al-Tabtaba’i,47 broke out that important revolt in its beginning, put its designs and plans. He saw that with which the Muslims were afflicted such as excessive oppression, and what the ‘Alawids suffered such as different kinds of punishment and exhaustion. He was very merciful and kind to the weak.
His pure soul moved him to declare the revolt. The historians mentioned that he was in one of the streets in Kufa. He saw an old woman following the loads of dates; she picked up what fell from them and put them into an old bag. He asked her about that, and she answered: “Surely I am a woman and has no husband to provide for me; and I have daughters who have no work; therefore I follow this way to feed myself and my children.”
When he heard that from her, he burst into tears, and said to her: “By Allah, you and the like of you will make me revolt against (the ‘Abbasids), and they will shed my blood!”48 Of course, such feelings and kindness to the poor moved him to demand their rights and to declare a revolt against the oppressors.
He managed the affairs; he contacted some Arab leaders and Muslim figures asking them to help him taking part in resisting the oppression and overthrowing the then standing government. He met the Arab leader Nasr b. Shith 49 and urged him to take part in the revolt. He mentioned to him the oppression and tyranny his family and his followers faced, saying: “Until when are you abased, deprived of your rights, and your followers wronged?”50
These words made him boil with anger and made him hurry to declare his revolt. Yet among the reasons that moved him to declare his revolt was the differences and division that took place among the ‘Abasids because of the discord that took place between al-Amin and al-Ma’mun. For they made the country lack stability and security, spread disorders among them and made them looked forward to someone to save them from that in which they were.
The revolt became very firm and dangerous when Abu al-Saraya joined it. Abu al-Saraya was an ‘Alawi; he showed great friendship and love for the ‘Alawids, felt pain for the violence and persecution that befell them, did his best to overthrow the ‘Abasid government and to hand it over to the ‘Alawids. We will briefly speak of the affairs of this inspired, great leader:
He was al-Sari b. Mansur, from among the Banu Shayban who were from among the children of Hani b. Mas‘ud. It was said that he belonged to the Banu Tamim, who lived in the Arab Peninsula. He resided for a period of time in the eastern part of the Euphrates. He took part in many battles and practiced their operations. He was on the side of the leader Yazid b. Mizyad in Armenia to fighting against the Khuramiya.
When Yazid died and his son headed the army, Abu al-Saraya joined him and accompanied him until he was removed (from the leadership of the army). After that Abu al-Saraya joined Ahmed b. Mizyad. Al-Amin sent Ahmed b. Mizyad to war against Hirthima, who declared rebellion and mutiny against (al-Amin). However, Hirthima asked Ahmed to meet him, that he might inform him of his affairs.
Ahmed met with Hirthima, and he explained to him the reasons for his going out in revolt (against al-Amin). He explained to him that the community suffered from the tyranny and oppression of the ‘Abasids. So Ahmed inclined to him and joined his camp. Then he headed for the Banu Shayban in the Arab Peninsula and asked Hirthima to give them salaries, so over two thousand horsemen joined him.
After al-Amin had been killed, Hirthima decreased the salaries of the army. This displeased Abu al-Saraya, and he decided to withdraw from him. Abu al-Saraya asked the permission of Hirthima to go to Mecca to perform the hajj, and he permitted him and gave him twenty thousand dirhams. Abu al-Saraya took the money and divided it among his companions.
Through that he could attract their hearts and feelings. Then he asked them to follow him to ‘Ayn al-Tamr. When they arrived at it, they killed the governor over it and confiscated his properties. Then they met another ‘Abbasi governor; they took his possessions and divided them among themselves.
Hirthima sent an army to war against Abu al-Saraya. When the two armies met, the army of Hirthima was defeated and suffered heavy causalities. Then Abu al-Saraya headed for al-Anbar51. When he arrived in it, he controlled the local administration. He killed its governor, Ibrahim al-Sharawi, and confiscated all his properties. Then he took his army and went on destroying the ‘Abbasid governors and their hirelings.
He arrived in al-Riqqa and met Ibrahim. As a result they decided to overthrow the ‘Abbasid government and to pledge allegiance to al-Ridha’ from among the family of Muhammad.52 Abu al-Saraya practiced some battles, went to war, and came to know of its methods. He was endowed with the strength of will, determination, and decision. Muhammad b. Ibrahim entrusted him with the general, military leadership. He had confidence in him; he trusted to him the affairs and plans of the revolt.
Muhammad and Abu al-Saraya agreed on the declaration of the revolt and overthrowing the ‘Abbasid government. So Abu al-Saraya headed his troops and advanced towards Naynawa; he headed for the grave of the master of the martyrs (al-Husayn), peace be on him. He visited the great Shrine for a long time. He recited the poetry lines of Mansur al-Nimri, saying:
May my own soul be sacrificed for al-Husayn when he left early in the morning for death, running, not returning.
That day attacked with its sword the shoulder of Islam.53
You hurried to death lest an urgent vengeance should befall the people.
Allah does not hasten when you hasten; Allah is not heedless of what you see.
She (Fatima) is wronged, and the Prophet, her father, turns (his) eye in all directions; (and he is) interested (in the tragedy).
Are there any brave men to rise for her through drawing their sharp swords and spears?
Then he said in a loud voice: “If there is anyone of the Zaydiya, let him rise!” So some people rose and came nearer to him, and he delivered a long sermon in which he lauded the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, mentioned their laudable deeds, and that with which they were singled out. Then he mentioned the deeds of the community toward them such as wronging them.
Then he mentioned al-Husayn, peace be on him, saying: “People, suppose that you were not present with al-Husayn and did not help him, then what has prevented you from (helping) him whom you have met and followed, while he will tomorrow go out (in revolt) to avenge his blood, his right and the heritage of his forefathers and to establish the religion of Allah?
What has prevented you from helping and supporting him? From this direction of mine, I am heading for Kufa to carry out Allah’s command, to defend His religion, and to help the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt)? So if you intend to go, then follow me!” Abu al-Saraya took his troops and headed for Kufa.
As for Muhammad, he declared the revolt on the day on which he and Abu al-Saraya had agreed. Many people pledged allegiance to him. He impatiently waited for the coming of Abu al-Saraya, to the extent that his companions were hopeless of him and blamed Muhammad for seeking help from him. Muhammad was sad because of Abu al-Saraya’s delay. While he was anxious and worried,
Abu al-Saraya and his army reached him. So he became very pleased. When Abu al-Saraya saw him, he dismounted his horse, walked towards him, and embraced him. They both went to Kufa. When they arrived in it, the people overcrowded, pledged allegiance to them, and showed their great delight with that. They pledged allegiance to them in a place in Kufa called Qasr al-Duratayn.54
When Muhammad had enough troops, he declared his revolt in the month of Jamadi al-Thaniya, in the year 199 A. H.55 the revolutionaries advanced towards Kufa and occupied it. They attacked its governor, al-Fadhl b. ‘Isa, and confiscated his possessions in the palace. As for Abu al-Saraya, he refused that and issued intense commands to prevent his fighters from looting and plundering and to put an eye on the mischief-makers.
Meanwhile he ordered them to return all the looted things to their owners. Al-Fadhl b. ‘Isa turned the back in flight. So the affair of Abu al-Saraya became strong, and he won a wonderful victory. Accordingly, the governor of Iraq, al-Hasan b. Sehl, sent an army of three thousands horsemen headed by Zuhayr b. al-Hasan to war against Abu al-Saraya.
When the army reached Kufa, Abu al-Saraya resisted it with strength and determination; he defeated it, forced it to withdraw, and controlled all its equipment.56 It was afflicted with failure and loss. Abu al-Saraya won a victory; his enemy was defeated. Fear and terror spread among the ‘Abbasids, and they were sure that the revolt was successful.
Unfortunately, the revolutionaries were afflicted with the death of the great leader Muhammad b. Ibrahim during that decisive period of time. Most sources have mentioned that he died a natural death; while some other sources have mentioned that Abu al-Saraya poisoned him and assassinated him, that he might get rid of him.
Most probably, he died a natural death, for the revolt was still at the beginning. It was impossible for Abu al-Saraya to assassinate him in the critical period of time, for he was not sure that the revolt would succeed.
Any way, Abu al-Saraya ordered Muhammad’s pure corpse to be prepared for burial. After it had been washed and shrouded, Abu al-Saraya and some Zaydis went out in the dark night. They carried the pure corpse and sent it to the Cemetery of al-Ghary. They buried it there.57
In the following morning, Abu al-Saraya gathered the people and announced the death of Muhammad and condoled them on his death. The people wept in loud voices, so Abu al-Saraya turned to them and said: “Abu ‘Abd Allah has appointed the one who looks like him as his testamentary trustee, who is Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali b. ‘Abd Allah. If you consent to him, then he is the consent; otherwise, choose (someone else) for yourselves.”
The people looked at each other and kept silent. So Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Zayd, a young ‘Alawi, said: “O Family of ‘Ali, surely the religion of Allah is not supported by failure, and the hand of this man (i.e. Abu al-Saraya) is not evil with us. For he has given vent to our anger and avenged (the blood of al-Husayn).”
Then he turned to ‘Ali b. ‘Ubayd Allah and asked him: “What do you say, Abu al-Hasan? For he advised us to choose you. Stretch out your hand to pledge allegiance to you.”
Then he said: “Surely, ‘Abd Allah (i.e. Muhammad b. Ibrahim), May Allah have mercy on him, chose me. He had confidence in himself, and he did his best to (accomplish) Allah’s right. (As for me), I will not refuse his will as a sign of neglecting his command, nor will I leave this (matter) as a sign of refraining from it.
However, I fear that I may busy myself with it and leave other things that are more praiseworthy and better than it in the final result. So undertake leadership, may Allah have mercy upon you. We have entrusted you with the leadership over us. We are satisfied with you and have confidence in you.”
Then he turned to Abu al-Saraya and asked him: “What do you see? Are you content with him?”
“If you are content, then I am content; and I say what you say,” replied Abu al-Saraya. Muhammad b. Muhammad stretched out his hand, and the people pledged allegiance to him. In the mean time he firmly organized the affairs of his government. For example, he appointed some governors over the Islamic cities conquered by Abu al-Saraya. That was as follows:
1. He appointed Isma‘il b. ‘Ali as governor over Kufa.
2. He appointed Ibrahim b. Imam Musa b. Ja‘far as governor over the Yemen.
3. He appointed Zayd b. Musa as governor over al-Ahwaz.
4. He appointed al-Abbas b. Muhammad as governor over Basrah.
5. He appointed al-Hasan b. al-Hasan al-Aftas as governor over Mecca.
6. He appointed Ja‘far b. Muhammad b. Zayd as governor over Wasit.58
He also appointed Rouh b. al-Hajjajj as commander over the police, and he entrusted the judiciary to ‘Asim b. ‘Aamir.
Currency was minted in Kufa and it was written in it this Holy Verse:
Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way in ranks as if they were a firm and compact wall (61:4).
The affairs went well with Abu al-Saraya, and the revolt spread in the regions of the Islamic world. The ‘Abbasids came to know of the danger that threatened them with the removal of their government overnight. The governor of Iraq, al-Hasan b. Sahl was afflicted with a quick failure, so he wrote to Tahir b. al-Husayn to send him to war against Abu al-Saraya. Also someone wrote him a letter in which he mentioned the following poetry lines:
Certainty uncovers the mask of doubt; and the sedate opinion is your best scheming.
Act carefully before he will execute against you an affair whose evil will move a hidden illness.
Do you entrust Tahir with fighting the people while he has believed in
Supporting them and showing obedience to them?
He will cause to you difficulties that lead to a violent war.
He will display the things hidden in his heart; when the hidden things
Appear, they will not disappear.
So take care of sureness, for its features have become luminous, while
Doubts have become dark.
Then do what you want through a decisive opinion; consider it carefully,
And leave that which does not occur.
When al-Hasan read these poetry lines, he changed his mind and wrote to Herthema b. A‘yun asking him to go quickly to him. He sent to him al-Sindi b. Shahik, but there was between al-Hasan b. Sahl and Herthema an enmity and mutual alienation. So when the letter reached him, he said: “We paved the way to the caliphate and cleared its sides for them, and then they took hold of the affairs and possessed alone the direction over us.
When they face a certain attitude because of their bad management and their losing the affairs, they intend to set it right through us. No, by Allah, we will not honor them until the Commander of the faithful (i.e. al-Ma’mun) come to know of their bad words and deeds.”
Al-Sindi turned away from him when he despaired of him. Then a letter from al-Mansur b. al-Mehdi came to him. When he read the letter, he responded and returned to Baghdad. When he arrived at al-Nehrwan, the people of Baghdad went out to receive him. At the head of them were the prominent figures and the military commanders. When they saw him, they dismounted.
He stopped at his house. Al-Hasan b. Sahl ordered the recorders of the army to be brought to him. They were brought to him and he chose what he liked of men. The Muslim public treasuries were opened for him. So Herthema gathered troops, to the extent that he had thirty thousands of horsemen and infantry soldiers.
When the number and equipment went well with him, he advanced towards Kufa. He passed through al-Meda’in, which was under the control of Abu al-Saraya. He controlled it and defeated its governor. Then he crept towards Kufa. The two armies met at the Palace of Ibn Hubayra. A battle took place between them.
Many followers of Abu al-Saraya were killed. Herthema insisted on fighting against Abu al-Saraya, and he responded to him. The troops of Abu al-Saraya scattered, and he was unable to defend Kufa, which was the capital and center of his revolt; so he was forced to leave it and to head for al-Qadisiya. Herthema occupied Kufa.
Abu al-Saraya left al-Qadisiya and headed for al-Sus. The people of al-Sus closed the gates at his face. He asked them to open them, and they opened them. The governor of al-Sus asked Abu al-Saraya to leave it, but he refused. A battle took place and a group of Abu al-Saraya’s followers were killed, so Abu al-Saraya escaped. He went to Khuresan and stopped at a village called Barqana.
The governor of Barqana went out for them. He held a meeting with them. He gave them security provided that he should send them to al-Hasan b. Sehal, and they responded to him. Immediately, he sent them to him. Al-Hasan b. Sehal was then in al-Meda’in. When the prisoners of war reached him, he ordered Abu al-Saraya to be killed.
After Abu al-Saraya had been killed, al-Hasan b. Sehal ordered his head to be crucified in the eastern part of Baghdad and his body to be crucified in the western part of it.59 The period of time between the revolt of Abu al-Saraya and his murder was ten months.60
Certainly, there is a close relationship between the event of Abu al-Saraya and Zayd, Ibrahim, and the like of them from among the children of the Imam. That is because many of them took part in it, but Zayd and Ibrahim were at the head of those who took part in it, for they were entrusted with authority over some Islamic countries. Several reports have been mentioned concerning what Ibrahim met when his movement failed and came to an end. The reports are as follows:
The first: When Abu al-Saraya appointed him as a governor over the Yemen, he went to it, and its people yielded to him after a short battle took place between the two parties.61
The second: He was an emir over the Holy Mecca. When he heard of Abu al-Saraya, he appeared in Mecca in the year 201 A. H. He summoned the people to himself and a great deal of them responded to him. So he undertook the authority there and killed many people of those who maintained the viewpoints of the ‘Abbasids.
He performed the hajj in that year. He was the first ‘Alawi to perform the hajj in that year. As a result al-Ma’mun was afraid of him, so he deceived him through appointing him as ruler over the Yemen. When Ibrahim went to San‘a’, he was deceived and taken as a prisoner of war by Ibn Fahan.62
The third: He was in Mecca when Abu al-Saraya was killed. When he heard of that, he went to the Yemen and controlled many areas of it and summoned the people to himself.63
The fourth: He dominated the Yemen; his government included the coast and the eastern top of the Yemen. He led the people in the hajj during the time of al-Ma’mun. He delivered a speech among the people in the Holy Shrine, and then he invoked Allah for al-Ma’mun and his heir apparent Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him.64
The fifth: He warred against al-Ma’mun. His army was defeated, and he went to Mecca. When al-Ma’mun went to Baghdad, Ibrahim went to him, and he gave him security.65
These some reports which have been mentioned in respect with him. Most probably, Ibrahim conquered the Yemen and controlled it. His determination collapsed when the movement of Abu al-Saraya failed. So he asked al-Ma’mun for security, and he gave it to him. The thing that confirms this is that Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, interceded for al-Ma’mun, who was in Khuresan, and he released him.66
The pure Sayyid Ibrahim passed away in Baghdad in the year 213 A. H., and it was said in the year 210 A. H.67 The biographers have unanimously agreed on that he died of poison, and that it was al-Ma’mun who poisoned him. The people escorted him to his final resting place in a great way. Ibn al-Sammak 68 lowered him into his grave and recited:
Al-Imam al-Murtada died poisoned, and the time has folded Virtues and sciences. He died wronged at al-Zawra’ just as his grandfather (al-Husayn) died Wronged in Karbala’’. The yellow sun lamented over his death, and the grieved moon stroke its Face.69
His pure body was buried beside the grave of his father Imam Musa al-Kazim, peace be on him. Al-Sayyid al-A‘raji has said: “Ibrahim was buried at al-Qadifa; there is a manifest dome over him. The people visit his grave and ask the blessing of it.
The general populace (‘amma) claim that the grave belongs to al-Murtada, ‘Alam al-Huda. This is an imagination, for al-Murtada was carried to the Holy Ha’r and was buried beside his brother and his father according to the unanimous agreement of the religious scholars. The one who is buried there is Ibrahim al-Murtada, al-Kazim’s son.”70
He was given the nickname of al-Murtada. He was the youngest of the children of his father. His mother was a Nubian and her name was Najiya.71 Al-‘Abddali, a genealogist, has said: “Ibrahim the youngest, al-Kazim’s son, was a learned and worshipful. He was not Abu al-Saraya’s companion; rather that was his brother Ibrahim the elder.”72 Some sources have mentioned that he appeared in the Yemen during the days of Abu al-Saraya.73
He was the grandfather of al-Murtada and al-Radi and of the noble Musawis.74 This is what we have found in his biography. He was buried in Karbala’’ six cubits behind the grave of his grandfather al-Husayn, peace be on him.75 It was said that he died in the eastern part of Baghdad and was buried in the cemetery of Bab Raz.76
His mother was a slave-wife. She was the mother of his two brothers Muhammad and Hamza. She was among the respected ladies. She was given the Kunya of Umm Ahmed. Imam Musa, peace be on him, was very kind to her. When he left Medina for Baghdad, he left with her the inheritances of the Imamate and said to her: “Whoever comes to you at any time and asks you for the trust, then know that I have died a martyr, that he is the successor after me and the Imam to whom obedience is obligatory on you and on all the people.”
He ordered his son al-Ridha’, peace be on him, to keep the house. When al-Rashid poisoned him in Baghdad, Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, went to her and asked her for the trust. Umm Ahmed asked him: “Has your father died a martyr?” “Yes,” he replied, “I buried him. Give me the trust my father gave to you when he went to Baghdad. I am his successor and the real Imam over all mankind and jinn.” Umm Ahmed wept and gave him the trust. Then she pledged allegiance to him.77
The following is an account on some of his affairs and conditions:
Imam Musa, peace be on him, took great care of his son Ahmed, and he had a high position with him. He preferred him to the rest of his children. He gave him one of his country estates.78 Apparently, he regarded him as one of his testamentary trustees.79 Isma‘il, son of the Imam, narrated the great care his father took to his brother Ahmed, saying: “My father and his son (Ahmed) went to one of his estates.
There was with Ahmed twenty men from among the servants and the attendants of my father. When Ahmed rose, they rose with him; and when he sat down, they sat down with him. Yet, my father looked after him; he was not heedless of him.” That the Imam took care of him and was not heedless of him is a proof of that he showed love and sincerity toward him.
Ahmed was Allah-fearing and righteous. He released a thousand slaves to seek nearness to Allah, the Most High.80 A poet composed a poem on that, saying:
Ahmed b. Kazim, the king of light and master of the great, released a thousand (slaves).
The proof of his righteousness and piety is that when the story of the death of Imam Musa became famous in Medina, the people gathered at the door of Ahmed’s house. The people went out along with Ahmed. They thought that he was the Imam after his father, for they saw his greatness, his worship, and his following the Islamic teachings. They thought that he was the successor and Imam after his father, so they pledged allegiance to him.
He took the pledge of allegiance from them and ascended the pulpit and delivered an eloquent sermon, saying: “O People, you have pledged allegiance to me, and I will pledge allegiance to my brother, ‘Ali b. Musa al-Ridha’. Know that he is the Imam and successor after my father. He is the friend of
Allah. Allah and His Apostle have made it incumbent upon you and me to obey him.” All those who were present yielded to his speech. They left the mosque headed by Ahmed. They stood before the Imam and admitted his Imamate.81 This tradition is a proof of his faith and piety. Some extinct Shi‘ite sects believed in his Imamate and claimed that he was the Imam after his father.
He was among the knowledgeable people of his time. He narrated many traditions on the authority of his father and of his grandfathers. He wrote the Holy Qur’an with his blessed hand.82 However, we have found nothing of his literary inheritance.
Some sources have mentioned that Ahmed was among those who took part in the movement of Abu al-Saraya. Ibrahim and Isma‘il, the two sons of Abi Sammal, have narrated, saying: “When the affair of Abu al-Hasan happened, we went to his son Ahmed for a time. When Abu al-Saraya went out in revolt, Ahmed went out with him. Muhammad b. Ahmed b. Usayd went to Ibrahim and Isma‘il and said to them:
‘This man (Ahmed) went out in revolt along with Abu al-Saraya, so what do you say?’ So they criticized him for that, withdrew from him, and said: ‘Abu al-Hasan is still alive, and we will follow him.’”83 Some traditionists believe that his going out in revolt with Abu al-Saraya defames his justice.84 However, we condemn that, for al-Shaykh al-Mufid and other prominent religious scholars have regarded him as trustworthy.
The famous narration is that he died a natural death. Mu‘in al-Deen, who died in 791 A. H., has mentioned that al-Sayyid al-Amir, Ahmed b. Musa, went to Shiraz and died there after the death of his brother ‘Ali al-Ridha’, peace be on him, during the days of al-Ma’mun.85
Some sources have mentioned that he died a martyr. That was when he heard that al-Ma’mun betrayed his brother Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him. He was very sad for him. So he left Baghdad to take vengeance on him. There was along with him three thousands from among the grandsons of the Imams.
They went to war against al-Ma’mun. When they arrived in Qum, the governor fought against them. So a group of his companions died as martyrs. As for Ahmed, he went to al-Ray, but its governor battled against him. Some of his companions died as martyrs. He and the rest went to Asfareen, a district of Khuresan. They stopped at a salty land between two mountains.
As a result the army of al-Ma’mun attacked them, fought against them, and killed them. As for Ahmed, he died as a martyr and buried there. People visit his grave there. Al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin, May Allah have mercy on him, has commented on that, saying: “This is something strange and contradicts the (reports that say) that his grave is in Shiraz.” He added: “This narration is similar to some fabricated stories.”86
Any way, it is well known that Ahmed died in Shiraz and buried there.87 His grave is better known as the grave of Sayyid al-Sadat. He is now called Shah Chragh (the King of Light).88 His grave remained hidden, but it appeared during the Emir Muqarrib al-Deen, Mas‘ud b. Badr, who built a building over it. It was said that Ahmed was found in his grave sound and unchanged; and there was in his finger a ring in which it was written: “Might belongs to Allah; Ahmed b. Musa.”
So the people recognized him through it. The Atabik, Abu Bakr, built over it a building higher than the first one. Lady Tashi, a righteous woman famous for worship and asceticism, rebuilt it. She built over the Holy Shrine a high dome and a high school beside it. Then she ordered her grave to be dug beside it. That was in the year 750 A. H.89
The famous explorer Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Tanji, better known as Ibn Batuta, talked about his visiting the Holy Shrine and about the honoring of the Iranian people to that Sacred Shrine. He has said under the title Mentioning the Holy Shrines in Shiraz: “Among them is the Shrine of Ahmed b. Musa, brother of al-Ridha’ ‘Ali b. Musa b. Ja‘far b. Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with them.
The people of Shiraz regard it as a great shrine. They ask the blessing of it and supplicate Allah through its excellence. Lady Tashi, mother of Sultan Abu Ishaq, ordered a large school to be built beside it.
There is in it a corner in which is food for visitors. The reciters of the Qur’an always recite the Qur’an. Among the habits of Lady Tashi was that she visited this Shrine every Monday night. On that night, the judges, the jurists, and the noble came together. Shiraz is the greatest of Allah’s earth in having noble people.
I have heard from the trustworthy that the number of the noble who have high ranks wherein one thousand, four hundred, and some is. Their head is ‘Azd al-Din al-Husayni. When the people are present in the Blessed Shrine, they recite and finish the Qur’an. The reciters recites (the Qur’an) with sweet voices.
Food, fruits, and candy are brought. When the people have finished eating, a preacher preaches to them. That is after the noon prayer until dinner. The Lady is in a room with a window towering over the Mosque. Then drums are beaten, and trumpets are blown at the gate of the Shrine just as this is done at the gates of the kings.”90
With this subject matter we will end our talk about the biography of this great Sayyid.
He was given the nicknames of al-Amir 91 and al-Amin.92 In his book al-Rijal, Shaykh al-Tusi has numbered him among the companions of Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him.93 In his al-Kafi, al-Kulayni has narrated a tradition narrated by Ishaq on the authority of his uncle and on the authority of his grandfather Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him.
Ishaq had daughters of whom was Ruqayya, who lived for a long time and died in Baghdad in the year 316 A. H. Among his grandsons is the pious one Abu Talib al-Mehlus, and Abu Ja‘far Muhammad al-Surani, who was killed in Shiraz.94
Ishaq died and buried in Medina in the year 240 A. H. Hemd Allah al-Mustawfi has mentioned that Ishaq died and buried in Sawa (a city in Iran).95
He was among the great religious scholars of his time and was at the head of those Allah-fearing and righteous. He was appointed by Abu al-Saraya as an Emir over Persia.96 When the movement failed, he lived in Egypt, and then his children and his grandsons lived in it. The proof for his high position and piety is that when Yehya b. Saffwan died, Imam Abu Ja‘far ordered him to pray over him and to represent him in (performing) that (payer).97
He wrote many books he narrated on the authority of his forefathers. Some of these books are the following:
1. Kitab al-Tehara (A Book on Purity).
2. Kitab al-Salat (A Book on Prayer).
3. Kitab al-Zekat (A Book on Zekat).
4. Kitab al-Soum (A Book on Fasting).
5. Kitab al-Hajj (A Book on Hajj).
6. Kitab al-Jana’iz (A Book on Funerals).
7. Kitab al-Talaq (A Book on Divorce).
8. Kitab al-Nikah (A Book on Marriage).
9. Kitab al-Hudud (A Book on the Punishments Stipulated in the Qur’an)
10. Kitab al-Du‘a’ (A Book on Supplication).
11. Kitab al-Sunan wa al-Aadaab (A Book on Traditions and Good Manners).
12. Kitab al-Ru’ya (A Book on Dreams).98
The greatest one of his books on which the traditionists depend is his book entitled al-Ja‘fariyat. Al-Nuri has mentioned: “Al-Ja‘fariyat is among the well-known, old books on which (the traditionists) depend.”99
Our great religious scholars have regarded his many books as a proof of praising him and of his abundant knowledge.100 Isma‘il died and buried in Egypt.101 However, Hamd Allah al-Mustawfi has mentioned that he was buried in a district of Shiraz.102
His Kunya was Abu al-Hasan. His mother was a slave-wife.103 He was known as al-Khawari, a village in Sacred Mecca. He often lived in the village, so he and his children were ascribed to it. So they were called al-Khawariyun. They were also called al-Shajariyun, for they stopped at the places with many trees.104 He had fourteen children: six males, and eight females.105
His mother was a slave-wife. He had very few children. Abu Nasr al-Bukhari has said: “Al-Hasan b. Musa had a boy called Ja‘far whose mother was a slave-wife. It is said that he had children; and something other than that was said.” Ibn Tabtaba and Abu al-Hasan al-‘Umari have said: “Al-Hasan b. Musa had only one boy called Ja‘far, who had three boys: Muhammad, al-Hasan, and Musa.”106 The books of history and genealogy have not specified when and where he died.
He was nicknamed al-Sayyid ‘Ala’ al-Din.107 He was a Sayyid of great importance and with a high social position. The proof of his high position is the narration of al-Bizanti, in which it has been mentioned that he asked Imam al-Jewad: “Which of your uncles is the kindest to you?” “Al-Husayn,” he replied. Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, said: “By Allah, he is truthful. By Allah, he is the kindest of them to him and the best of them.”108
Al-Husayn related, saying: “We are Hashimite young men. While we were sitting around my brother Abu al-Hasan al-Ridha’, peace be on him, Ja‘far b. ‘Umar al-‘Alawi passed by us. He was shabby. We looked at each other and laughed at his appearance. So Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, said to us: ‘In the near future, you will see that he has a lot of money and many followers.’”
He added: “After a month, he became the governor of Medina; his conditions became well. He along with retainers passed with us.”109 Al-Barqi has said: “Al-Husayn died in Kufa and buried at al-‘Abbasiya. His grave is near to Umm al-Ba‘rur. Those who are close to it call it the grave of al-Husayn.”110
The late Sayyid Ja‘far Aal Behar al-‘Ulum has said: “The grave of al-Husayn is in Shiraz. It has been mentioned by Shaykh al-Islam Shahab al-Din in his historical book entitled Shiraz Nama. The summary of what he has mentioned is as follows: ‘Qattlagh was a governor over Shiraz. He had a garden where the Shrine of the mentioned Sayyid was. The doorkeeper of that garden was among the men of religion and generosity.
On Friday nights he saw a light coming out of a hill in that garden. He told Qattlagh about that. The latter saw what the former had seen. When he asked about that place and discovered it, he came to know that it was a grave in which was a great body with perfect greatness, majesty, freshness, and beauty. There was a copy of the Qur’an in one of his hands, and in the other was a drawn sword.
Through the signs and comparisons, they came to know that the grave belonged to al-Husayn b. Musa. So he built for it a dome and a corridor. Apparently, this Qattlagh Khan is other than the one who fought against his brother Sayyid Ahmed. It is possible that the garden belonged to him; and the governor who ordered his shrine was someone other than him.
For Qattlagh is a nickname of a group (of people) such as Abu Bakr b. Sa‘d al-Zunki.’ He has also said: “Some of them wrote that al-Sayyid ‘Ala’ al-Din Husayn went to that garden, and they came to know that he belonged to the Banu Hashim, so they killed him in that garden. After a period of time, when the traces of the garden disappeared and nothing of it remained except a high hill, they recognized his grave through the mentioned signs.
That was during the reign of the Safawi State. A man called ‘Ali Mirza left Medina and lived in Shiraz. He was rich, so he built a high dome over him and endowed properties and gardens for him. When he died, he was buried beside the Shrine. Then the endowments were in the hand of his son Mirza Nizam al-Mulk, a minister in that state, and then after him they were in the hands of his grandsons. Shah Isma‘il al-Safawi ordered Sultan Khalil, the governor of Shiraz, repaired the Shrine and enlarged its previous building in the year 810 A. H.’”111
His Kunya was Abu al-Qasim. His mother was a slave-wife. He was knowledgeable, meritorious, perfect, solemn, great, with a sublime position and high rank, and respected by the Shi‘a (khassa) and non-Shi‘a (‘amma). He traveled along with his brother Imam ‘Ali al-Ridha’, peace be on him, to Khuresan. He devoted himself to serving him, did his best to achieve his objectives, sought his good pleasure, and obeyed his orders.
When he arrived in Su Sa‘d, a village in Tirtisber, some followers of al-Ma’mun attacked and killed him. His grave is in Bustan (garden). He had two boys; one of them was called ‘Ali, and the other was called al-Qasim Abu Muhammad, to whom belong the Safawi Sayyids.112Some sources have mentioned that his grave is in al-Ray near to the grave of the great Sayyid Shah ‘Abd al-‘Azim.113 It was said that he was buried in Qum.114
His mother was a slave-wife. He is better known as Zayd al-Naar (fire). He was a Zaydi in thought- that is to say that he maintained the doctrine of the Zaydis who believed in going out in revolt against the authority, not because of that he believed in the Imamate of him who went in revolt (against the authorities), just as they believed. He was a joker.115 The following are some of his affairs:
Those who wrote the biography of Zayd have unanimously agreed on that Zayd was among those who went in revolt along with Abu al-Saraya, and that he was appointed by him as a governor over Basrah. However, the narrations have differed over explaining his conditions after the failure of the revolt. The following are some of them:
The first (narration): When Zayd entered Basrah and overcame it, he burnt the house of the ‘Abbasids and set fire to their date-palms and all their possessions, so he was called Zayd al-Naar. Al-Hasan b. Sehl warred against him and won a victory over him and sent him to al-Ma’mun, and he was caused to come in to him in chains. So al-Ma’mun forgave him his sin and sent him to his brother al-Ridha’, who swore (by Allah) that he would never talk with him.116
The second (narration): When the revolt of Abu al-Saraya failed, Zayd disappeared. However, al-Hasan b. Sehal sought him, and he was showed the way to him. He imprisoned him, and he remained in the prison in Baghdad until Ibrahim al-Mehdi, known as Ibn Shakla, appeared. Then the people of Baghdad gathered around the prison and took him out of it.
So he (Zayd) went to Medina, burnt the houses, killed a group of people, and summoned the people to pledge allegiance to Muhammad b. Ja‘far b. Muhammad. So al-Ma’mun sent an army to him, and it arrested him and took him to him. He said to him:
“O Zayd, you went out in revolt in Basrah, and you left to start with the houses of our enemies from among the Banu Umayya, Thaqeef, Ghani 117 and its inhabitants, and the family of Ziyad. You intentionally burnt the houses of your cousins.” He said to him: “O Commander of the faithful, I made a mistake in all the directions. If I returned to go out in revolt, I would start with our enemies.”
So al-Ma’mun laughed and sent him to his brother al-Ridha’, peace be on him, and said to him: “I have left his crime to you; therefore, educate him well.” When Zayd stood before the Imam, he scolded him and released him and swore (by Allah) that he would not talk with him as long as he lived.118
The third (narration): When Abu al-Saraya was killed, the Talibiyyin scattered; some of them disappeared in Baghdad, and some of them disappeared in Medina. Zayd was among those who disappeared. Al-Hasan b. Sehal sought him, and he was shown the way to him. When Zayd was brought to him, he ordered him to be imprisoned.
Then he ordered him to be brought out of prison and to be beheaded. So al-Hajjajj b. Khuthayma opposed him, saying: “O Emir, I think that you must not hasten to invite me to come to you, for I have a piece of advice.” So he responded him to that, and he said to him:
-O Emir, has a command concerning what you are going to do come to you from the Commander of the faithful?
-So why are you going to kill the cousin of the Commander of the faithful without asking his permission, his command, and asking his opinion of him? Then he related to him the story of ‘Abd Allah b. al-Aftas, (which is as follows): Al-Rashid ordered Ja‘far b. Yehya to imprison ‘Abd Allah b. al-Aftas, but Ja‘far killed him without asking his permission. He sent him his head along with Nouruz gifts on a tray.
Al-Rashid ordered Mesrur al-Kabir to kill Yehya b. Ja‘far and said to him: “When Ja‘far asks you about the crime for which you are going to kill him, say to him: ‘I will kill you because you had killed my cousin ‘Abd Allah b. al-Aftas you killed without asking my permission.’” Then al-Hajjajj asked al-Hasan:
“O Emir, do you feel secure that an event may take place between you and the Commander of the faithful, and he protested against you in the same way through which al-Rashid protested against Yehya b. Ja‘far?” So al-Hasan said to al-Hajjajj: “May Allah reward you good.” Then he ordered Zayd to be returned to prison, and he remained in prison until Ibrahim b. al-Mehdi appeared in Iraq. So the people in Baghdad attacked the prison and released Zayd. However, the police arrested him and sent him to al-Ma’mun, and he sent him to his brother al-Ridha’, who released him.119
The fourth (narration): When Zayd went in revolt in Basrah, al-Ma’mun sent him al-Hasan b. Sehal, and he won a victory over him and sent him in chain to al-Ma’mun, who was in Maru. Then al-Ma’mun said to his brother al-Ridha’: “Your brother revolted against us and did what he had done; before him Zayd b. ‘Ali b. Zayn al-‘Abidin had revolted against us.
Now, we have pardoned him as a sign of honoring you. We have given him to you. Were it not for that you had a great position, we would crucify him. The thing he has done is not simple.” So Imam al-Rida, peace be on him, said to him: “Do not compare Zayd to Zayd b. ‘Ali, for the latter was among the religious scholars of the family of Muhammad.
He was angry for the religion of Allah, and went out in revolt to struggle against the enemies of Allah, to the extent that he died a martyr.” Then the Imam ordered Zayd to be released and swore (by Allah) not to talk with him.120 These are some narrations that show Zayd’s conditions after the failure of the revolt of Abu al-Saraya.
They are different over explaining his conditions, but they agree on that al-Ma’mun released him and forgave him, that Zayd was not punished by the authorities, and that he was not liable to any detested thing.
The relationship between Zayd and Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, was not good. That is because a narration has been narrated from Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, in which he disparaged him and degraded his importance. Al-Hasan b. Musa b. ‘Ali al-Washsha’ al-Baghdadi narrated, saying: “I was in Khuresan (as a guest) with ‘Ali b. Musa al-Ridha’, peace be on him.
His brother Zayd was in his gathering. He was talking with a group of people in competing with them in glory, saying: ‘We…. We…!’ As for Abu al-Hasan (al-Ridha’), he was busy talking with a group of people. When he heard Zayd’s statement, he became displeased, and his condition changed. So he turned to Zayd and said to him:
‘O Zayd, have you been deluded by the statement of the Kufan narrators who said that Fatima guarded her chastity, so Allah prevented her progeny from (entering) the Fire? No, by Allah, (that will be for none) except for al-Hasan, al-Husayn, and her womb relatives. Musa b. Ja‘far, peace be on him, obeys Allah, fasts by day, and performs prayers by night, while you disobey Him.
Then you want to be equal to him on the Day of Resurrection and to be dearer than him with Allah. Surely ‘Ali b. al-Husayn said: ‘The one from among us who performs good deeds will have double reward; and the one from among us who performs evil deeds will have double chastisement.’”
Then he, peace be on him, turned to al-Hasan and asked him: “How do you read this verse: He said: O Nuh, surely he is not of your family; surely he is (the doer of) other than good deeds?” (11:46)
Al-Hasan replied: “Some people read: Surely he is (the doer of) other than good deeds. And some of them read: Surely he is not a good deed. Therefore, whoever reads it as: Surely he is not a good deed, then he negates him from his father.” The Imam, peace be on him, said: “No, he was his father’s son, but when he disobeyed Allah, the Great and Almighty, He (Allah) negated him from his father. So are those who are of us and do not obey Allah, the Great and Almighty, are not of us. If you obey Allah, the Great and Almighty, then you are of us.”121
Al-Hasan b. al-Jahm reported, saying: “I visited al-Ridha’, peace be on him, and was with him his brother Zayd b. Musa. The Imam turned to him and scolded him, saying: ‘O Zayd, fear Allah, for we attained what we have attained through fear of Allah. So whoever does not fear Allah, he is not of us, nor are we of him.
O Zayd, beware of insulting our Shi‘ites through whom you assault, so the light of your face goes. O Zayd, the people have detested our Shi‘ites, showed enmity toward them, regarded their blood and properties as lawful because of their love for us and their faith in following us. So if you perform evil deeds toward them, then you will wrong yourself and invalidate your right.”122 In other narrations Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, has shown his displeasure with him.
Those who wrote the biography of Zayd have differed over the time of his death. So it was said that he died during the days of al-Ma’mun, and that it was he who poisoned him, and he died of it.123 It was said that he lived until the end of the Caliphate of al-Mutawakil and died in Saamrraa’.124 It was said that he died during the days of al-Musta‘een.125 As for his grave, according to the first viewpoint, is in Selhad, a village in Asfehan. A dome has been built over it, and it has a shrine.126
In his book al-Rijal, al-Shaykh al-Tusi has numbered him as among the companions of Imam al-Kazim, peace be on him, and he has said: “Al-‘Abbas is trustworthy. Some traditionists have condemned his being trustworthy due to his dispute with Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, without any right.
In Usool al-Kaafi, Chapter on the Textual Nomination of the Imamate of Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, al-Kulayni has narrated the will of his father Imam Musa, peace be on him. We will mention its text in the following chapters of this book. In it the Imam required his children not to open it. When he, peace be on him, died, one of his children brought a suit against Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, before the judge of Medina, and he ordered Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, and his brothers to be brought.
When they were brought, al-‘Abbas addressed the judge, saying: “May Allah set you right and make (us) enjoy you, surely at the bottom of this letter a treasury and jewels. He (Imam al-Ridha’) wants to veil it and to take it alone. Our father has left every thing for him and has left us dependent. Were it not for that I prevented myself, I would openly tell you about a certain thing.”
These rude words angered Ibrahim b. Muhammad, and he said to him: “Therefore, by Allah, you telling about something we do not accept from you, nor do we believe you in it. Then you are with us blamed and cast away. We know that you are a liar young and grown-up. Your father was more knowledgeable (than us) of you, if you were good. You father knew you outwardly and inwardly. He did not entrust you with two dates.”
Ishaq b. Ja‘far seized him by the neck and said to him: “Surely you are stupid, weak, and foolish along with that which issued from you yesterday.” The people unanimously agreed on blaming and scolding him. As a result the judge turned to Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, and said to him:
“O Abu al-Hasan, rise. That is enough lest you father should curse me today. No, by Allah, none is more knowledgeable of a son than his own father. No, by Allah, in our viewpoint, your father is not light in his reason, nor is he weak in his opinion.” Accordingly, al-‘Abbas turned to the judge and asked him:
-May Allah set you right, open the letter and read what is in its bottom.
-That is enough lest your father should curse me.
-I will open it.
-That is up to you. Al-‘Abbas rose without shame. He took the will and opened it. He found that he was excluded from the will and that the only one whom the will included was Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him. Al-‘Abbas was exposed and was befallen by abasement and humiliation. So Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, turned and said to al-‘Abbas and his brother:
“O My brother, surely I know what has incited you to do that; it is the debts against you.” Then he, peace be on him, turned to his retainer Sa‘eed and ordered him to repay the debts against his brother and to spend on them. He said to them: “By Allah, I will not leave helping you and showing kindness to you as long as I walk on earth; therefore, say whatever you wish.”
However, al-‘Abbas said to him: “You give us something of the surpluses of our properties; what we have with you is more!” The Imam, peace be on him, answered him with clemency, mercy, and pardon, saying to him: “Say whatever you wish, for the honor is yours; so if you do well, then that is for you with Allah; and if you do evil, surely Allah is Merciful, Forgiving.
Most surely, you know that on this day of mine I have no child nor inheritor other than you. If I have banned or saved up something of which you think, it will be for you and return to you. By Allah, since the death of your father, I have spent all things in the way you see.”
Yet, al-‘Abbas said: “By Allah, it is not so; and Allah has not given you an opinion over us, but you clearly envy us!” Then he said some rude words, so Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, said to him: “There is neither force nor strength save through Allah, the Most High, and the Great!
As for me, my brother, I take care of delighting you. O Allah, You know that I like to set them right, am kind to them, visit them, merciful to them, take care of their affairs by day and night; therefore reward me good through that. If I am other than that, then You are the Knower of the unseen.
So reward me with that which I deserve, evil for evil, and good for good. O Allah, set them right and set right for them (their souls); drive away Satan from us and them; help them obey you; grant them success to (attain) Your guidance. As for me, my brothers, I take care of delighting you and do my best to set you right; and Allah is a witness of what we say.”
However, al-‘Abbas answered him with vainglory and impudence: “I know your tongue well; and your spade has no clay with me!”127 In this manner the narrators have mentioned al-‘Abbas; and only Allah knows the real condition. Al-‘Abbas had a boy called al-Qasim, whose mother was a slave-wife called Nedam. He hid himself from the authorities in Sura.
He planted vegetables and lived on their returns. None recognized him there. The people surrounded him, for he was ascetic and worshipful. When they asked him about his name and lineage, he refused to give it to them. Al-‘Abbas married a woman, and the woman born him a female. A man called ‘Isa visited him. The man wanted to go to Mecca to perform the hajj. When he wanted to say good-by to al-‘Abbas, he asked him about his need, and he said to him:
-I have a need with you.
-What is it?
-I want you to take my daughter to Medina. When you arrive in it, ask (the people) about the street so-and-so. When you enter it, leave the girl there and go away.
‘Isa traveled to Mecca. When he arrived in Medina, he left the girl in the specified place. The girl went to a house and knocked at the door. The door was opened for her, and she came in. Shortly after that, the people in the house cried loudly. ‘Isa asked them about the reason for their crying, and they said to him: “Al-Qasim b. al-‘Abbas has died; and this is his daughter.”
He was astonished at that. When he returned home, the people told him about the death of al-Qasim. He told them that al-Qasim was Imam Musa’s grandson, and then he told them about the affair of al-Qasim’s daughter. Accordingly, a group of believers built a dome over his pure grave, which people visit up to now.
His mother was a slave-wife. He was known as al-‘Awkalani; and his children were called al-‘Awkalaniya. Concerning him, ‘Ali b. Ibrahim narrated, saying: “When Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, died, we went to Mecca to perform the hajj. Many Shi‘ites from all countries were present to look at Abu Ja‘far. His uncle ‘Abd Allah b. Musa came in. He was a noble, old man wearing coarse garments.
Some signs of prostration were between his two eyes. He sat down, and Abu Ja‘far came out wearing a fine, flaxen shirt 128 and a white pair of sandals. ‘Abd Allah rose for him, received him, and kissed him on the forehead. The Shi‘ites rose as a sign of honoring and magnifying for him. Abu Ja‘far sat on a chair. The people looked at each other, for the Imam was still young. He was then nine years old. One of the people asked ‘Abd Allah:
-May Allah set you right, what is your opinion of a man who fornicates an animal?
-His right hand is cut off; and he is flogged the prescribed punishment. When Imam al-Jewad heard this verdict that disagreed with Islamic Law, he became angry and said to him:
-O Uncle, fear Allah. Surely, it is something so great that on the Resurrection Day you will stand before Allah, the Great and Almighty, and He will ask you:
-Why did you give to the people a religious decision without knowledge?
-Did your father not say that?
-My father was asked about a man who exhumed a woman and fornicated her. So my father said: “His right hand is cut off because of exhuming (the grave), and he is flogged the prescribed punishment of fornication. That is because the sacredness of the dead woman is similar to that of a living one.”
-You are right, my master. I ask Allah’s forgiveness.
The people admired the Imam. They questioned him, and he answered them. This narration indicate that ‘Abd Allah hastened and made a mistake in the religious verdict, but he showed remorse and was humble before the Imam. This deed removes from him that criticism and promote him to the level of (Allah’s) friends and of those Allah-fearing. Our sources have not mentioned when and where he died.
His mother was a slave-wife. He had three daughters, whose names are: Asma’, Zaynab, and Fatima. He had also eight sons whose names are: Muhammad al-Yemeni, Ja‘far, al-Qasim, ‘Ali, Musa, al-Hasan, al-Husayn, and Ahmed.129 To him belong many ‘Alawi houses of great importance and position. He died and buried in Kufa.130
He was a branch of the pure branches of the Imamate and was a gust of the sacred gusts of the Prophethood. He was the unique of his time in his piety, righteousness, his ordeal, and his tribulation. We will mention some of his affairs as follows:
A. The Imam loves him: Imam Musa, peace be on him, showed great affection and love for his son al-Qasim. That is because he came to know that his son was rightly-guided, righteous, virtuous, and gifted with unique abilities. He, peace be on him, praised him and preferred him to the rest of his children except his son Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him.
Yazid b. Sulayt narrated, saying: “I asked Imam Musa, peace be on him, to appoint the Imam after him, and he, peace be on him, said: ‘O Abu ‘Ammarah, I want to tell you that I have appointed my son ‘Ali. If the affair was up to me, I would appoint my son al-Qasim, for I love him and have piety on him, but that is up to Allah, the Most High.’”131
Imam Musa, peace be on him, showed this love for al-Qasim, for he thought that he was the best of his children in piety, fear of Allah, and clinging to the religion. Among the aspects of his honoring him is that he entrusted him with carrying out some of his tasks. Sulayman al-Ja‘fari narrated: “I heard Abu al-Hasan (Musa) saying to his son al-Qasim: ‘My little son, arise and recite Surat al-Saffaat by the head of your brother until you complete it.’ Al-Qasim recited it.
When he reached these words of Him, the Exalted: Then ask them whether they are stronger in creation or those (others) whom We have created (37:11), the boy died. So the people prepared him for burial. Then Ya‘qub b. Ja‘far said to the Imam. When one was about to die, you ordered us to recite Surat Yasin by him. Now, you have ordered us to recite Surat al-Saffaat. He, peace be on him, said: ‘When it is recited by someone about to die, Allah hasten his rest.’”132
This tradition indicates that Imam Musa, peace be on him, had great confidence in al-Qasim and preferred him to those other than him. Of course such preference resulted from his merits and his achievements.
When Harun al-Rashid went too far in pursuing, murdering, and exhausting the ‘Alawids, al-Qasim fled Yethrib (Medina). He hid himself and concealed his name, that he might not be recognized. He reached Sura and resided there as a stranger and far from his household and his homeland. He had fear for himself. He hid his own affairs lest someone should recognize him. The trustworthy sources have not mentioned anything about his life and what he met in his exile.
Al-Qasim lived in Sura throughout his short-termed lifetime. He suffered from loneliness and fear of the authorities. Suspicions surrounded him. The painful sufferings of his household came to his mind. The most painful thing that hurt him was the heavy misfortune that befell his father Imam Musa, peace be on him, his imprisonment in dark prisons, making his brothers homeless, and other disasters and misfortunes.
Sadness melted his heart; and illness made him weak, to the extent that death approached him while he was at the dawn of youth and bloom of life. When he felt that death was close at hand, he introduced himself to the people, for he then had no fear. Then he passed away.
Alas! What bitter and horrible ordeals and misfortunes the children of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, met! The Muslims in that area wept bitter tears because they fell short of paying attention to the rights of the grandson of their Prophet, for they were ignorant of him. Then they buried his pure corpse in its final resting place.
They buried along with him knowledge, piety, and righteousness. As for the year of his death, we have not found it. Most probably, he died during the days of Harun al-Rashid. We are not sure that he died during the time of al-Ma’mun, for the ‘Alawids did not hide themselves during his time.
As for his Holy Shrine, it is now in Sura called al-Buq‘a al-Tayyiba (the Good Ground), at al-Qasim district. This district has been ascribed to his Holy Name; it is one of the districts of al-Hashimiya, which is a district of Babil Province (previously al-Hilla). Al-Hamawi has mentioned: “Surely, the Holy Shrine is at Shusha.” He has said in respect with specifying it:
“It is in the land of Babil, beyond the Hilla of the Banu Mizyad. At it is the grave of al-Qasim b. Musa b. Ja‘far, and near to it is the grave of Dhu al-Kifl.”133 Safy al-Din134 and al-Zubaydi135 said the same thing as he said. This is a clear mistake, for the one who is buried in this ground is al-Qasim b. al-‘Abbas b. Imam Musa, peace be on him.
This has been mentioned by Ahmed b. ‘Anba,136 a genealogist, and al-Hajja al-Sayyid al-Qezwini.137 Without doubt these Sayyid genealogists are more knowledgeable of the graves of their forefathers than others. As for what al-Mejjlisi 138 has mentioned that the grave of al-Qasim is near to al-Ghari, he meant the figurative nearness, not the real one, just as al-Shaykh al-Mamaqani 139 has mentioned.
The Holy Dome was rebuilt and lighted by electric lamps by the one knowledge and virtue have lost, great ‘Allama, late Shaykh Qasim Muhyyi al-Din. It is worth mentioning that al-Qasim had no children; just as some genealogists have mentioned.140
The great Sayyid ‘Ali b. Tawus has mentioned that paying a visitation to the Holy Shrine of al-Qasim is desirable. He has compared it to that to the grave of al-‘Abbas b. Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and to that to ‘Ali the elder, son of Imam al-Husayn, peace be on him. He has mentioned the special visitation to it.141
It has been ascribed to Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, that he said in respect with the visitation to al-Qasim: “Whoever cannot pay a visitation to me, let him visit my brother al-Qasim.” Al-Sayyid ‘Ali b. Yehya b. Haddeed al-Husayni has composed a poem on this tradition, saying: O Sayyid concerning whom a truthful statement has been mentioned and our trustworthy (traditionists) narrate.
Through an authentic chain of authorities it has been mentioned from his Brother on the side of his mother and father. Surely, I have guaranteed Aden Gardens for him who visits me without Doubt. And if he cannot visit my grave, for he cannot reach it, then let him visit, if He can, the grave of my brother al-Qasim and praise him well.142 With this brief account we will end our talk about the life of this great Sayyid. That is because our sources have not given us a detailed picture of his noble life.
His Kunya was Abu Ibrahim. He was generous, great, and venerable. He was better known as al-‘Aabid due to his too much ablution and prayers. He performed an ablution and prayed ever night. He slept a little bit and then he rose to worship Allah, the Most High, until the light of morning shone. One of the followers of his father has said: “When I see Muhammad, I remember the words of Allah, the Exalted: They used to sleep but little in the night.(51:17)”143
The narrators have mentioned that he entered Shiraz and disappeared in it. He sold copies of the Holy Qur’an and released a thousand slaves.144 He had seven children, males and females. The females are: Mrs. Hekima, Kelthem, Burayha, and Fatima. The males are: Ja‘far, Muhammad, and Ibrahim. As for Ibrahim, he is better known as al-Mujab.145
The historians have said: “Ibrahim greeted the grave of al-Husayn, peace be on him, and he heard a voice from the grave returning his greeting.”146 He revolted against the ‘Abbasids and controlled the Arab Peninsula. He was buried by the grave of his grandfather Imam al-Husayn, peace be on him. Priding himself on him and his grandfather Imam Musa, peace be on him, one of his children has said:
From where do the people have the like of my grandfather Musa and his Son al-Mujab?
When he addressed the grandson (of the Prophet), and he answered him with the most honorable answer.147 Ibrahim had one son called Muhammad.148 The pure Sayyid Muhammad died and was buried in Shiraz. His grave was hidden until the time of Bek b. Sa‘d b. Zunki. Who built over it a dome in the district called Bagh Ghattlagh.
The grave was rebuilt several times during the time of Sultan Nadir Khan. In the year 1296 A. H., it was rebuilt by al-Nawwab Uways b. al-Nawwab al-A‘zam Shah Zada Ferhad al-Qajari.149 In the present time Muhammad has a shrine people visit and ask the blessing of it. The good Sayyids, and kind, righteous people live near to it. They make vows to it.150
His mother was a slave-wife. He had eight children; none of them had children except his son Ahmed.151 It was said that he had no children.152 It was said that the ‘Abbasi government practiced pressures on him; so clashes took place between him and the police. He was wounded and went to Shahristan. There he lived in a village with farms. He became healthily weak; so the owner of the farms treated him until he got well.
There he resided for a period of time until his affairs became famous. While he was having food, the police of al-Ma’mun attacked and killed him. He was buried there. The famous narration is that he died in one of the villages of Taliqan, and he was buried there.153 He has a shrine people visit. The shrine was founded in the year 853 and on it has been written: “This is the grave of the son of the Imam, son of the Sultan of the Allah-fearing and Imam of the friends (of Allah), Musa al-Kazim.”154
These are the entire biographies of some sons of the Imam, peace be on him. Our resources have not mentioned the rest of them. Some other sources have mentioned the names of other sons of the Imam, other than those we have mentioned. Many books of genealogy have neglected their names and biographies.
The following are their names along with a brief account on some of their affairs:
Al-Shiblenji has mentioned him and said: “To him belongs the lineage of our master, our protector, the great Shaykh, the one brought nigh, one who gathered together the two honors, the honor of lineage, and the honor of knowledge of Allah, and literature, possessor of the manifest miracles,
Abu al-Hasan, father of the young people, ‘Ali b. ‘Umar, b. Muhammad b. Sulayman b. ‘Ubayd b. ‘Isa b. ‘Alawi b. Muhammad b. Hemham b. ‘Awn b. Musa al-Kazim b. Ja‘far al-Sadiq b. Muhammad al-Baqir b. ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Abidin b. al-Husayn b. ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him. A virtuous poet has composed a poem on this lineage, saying:
‘Ali b. Faruq Abu Muhammad, then Sulayman, al-Ridha’ the directed one.
‘Ubayd, ‘Isa, ‘Alawi, Muhammad, Hemham, ‘Awn, Kazim, the supported one.
Ja‘far al-Sadiq, say Muhammad, Zayn, Husayn, and ‘Ali al-Sayyid.155
To him belongs al-Sayyid Khaja Mu‘in al-Din al-Sengeri.156
20. Shams Ahmed b. Muhammad al-Jilani al-Nejefi, 157
A genealogist, has mentioned him. Al-Sayyid al-Rawdati has mentioned the tree of his children.158
To him belong the Khalkhali Sayyids; their tree has been established.159
He had two sons better known as the two brave Sayyids; they have a tree. He died in Tejrish (Iran). His grave is built; and there is a huge building around it.160 With this Sayyid we will end our talk about the males from among the children of the Imam, peace be on him.
Now, we have to mention the biographies of some ladies from among his daughters:
She died in Egypt. People visit her grave there. The doorkeeper of her shrine narrated one of her miracles (as follows): “A person brought him some oil and asked him to kindle it to make light for one night. The doorkeeper put it into lamps, but nothing of it was kindled. He was astonished at that.
He dreamt of lady Aamina saying to him: ‘Return his oil to him and ask him from where he brought it? That is because we accept nothing except good things.’” In the morning the owner of the oil came, and the doorkeeper said to him:
-Take your oil!
-Nothing of it was kindled. I dreamt of her, and she said to me: “We accept nothing but good things.”
-The Lady is truthful. Surely I am a man who is mekkas161.
Then he took the oil and went away.162
Her brother Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, ordered her to go to al-Khayzaran, mother of Imam al-Jewad, when she gave birth to him. She narrated the way in which he was born and the miracle that happened to him at that time.163
She is better known as al-Sayyida Ma‘suma. She and her two sisters Zaynab and Um Kulthum narrated a tradition about the excellence of their grandfather (Imam ‘Ali) the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and about the excellence of his followers.164 She loved her brother Imam al-Ridha’ very much. When al-Ma’mun asked Imam al-Ridha’ to go to Maru to entrust him with the regency, Fatima followed him in the year 201 A. H.
When she arrived in Sawa, she became ill. She asked about the distance between Sawa and Qum, and it was said to her that it was ten leagues (about thirty miles). So she asked the people to carry her to Qum, and they carried her to it. She stopped at the house of Musa b. Khazrajj al-Ash‘ri. It was said that the people of Qum received her. When she arrived there, Musa b. Khazrajj al-Ash‘ri took the reins of her she-camel and led her to his house.
She remained with him for seventeen days, and then she died. He ordered her to be washed and shrouded. Then he prayed over her and buried her in a ground belonged to him. Then he built over her shrine a shelter of mats made of reed. Then Zaynab, daughter of Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Jewad, ordered a dome to be built over it.165
Al-Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qumi has narrated a tradition on the excellence of paying visitation to her grave, saying: “I visited Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, and he said: ‘Surely Allah has a Sacred City, which is Mecca; His Apostle has a Sacred City, which is Medina; the Commander of the faithful has a Sacred City, which is Kufa; and we have a Sacred City, which is Qum.
A woman called Fatima of my children will be buried in it. Whoever pays a visitation to her will enter the Garden.’” He, peace be on him, said that before the birth of Imam Musa.166 It has been mentioned in a book of history that the dome over her Sacred Shrine was built in the year 529 A. H. by the late lady Shah Bikem, daughter of ‘Imad Bik. As for the gold and other jewels on her grave, they belong to Sultan Feth ‘Ali Shah al-Qajari.167
Her grave is in the middle of an old mosque, at Bad Kuba.168 These are the entire biographies of the ladies and gentlemen from among his children we have found. Certainly all virtues and achievements gathered together in the lives of the Imam’s children. The lives of some of them were full of revolt and wrath against the oppressive; so they went to the fields of struggle and combat to save the community from its bitter conditions and from the horrible dictatorship in its affairs and economy.
However, the circumstances did not go well with them; so their revolts failed. It is worth mentioning that al-Ma’mun did not take decisive measures toward them; rather he pardoned them, that he might please the general populace who had piety on the children of their Prophet, showed great love and affection for them. With this we will end our speech of this chapter.
- 1. Al-Fusool al-Muhimma, p. 256, (Iran Edition).
- 2. A'lam al-Wara.
- 3. Tuhaf al-Azhar wa Zulal al-Anhar.
- 4. Sihah al-Akhbar. Al-Fusool al-Muhimma, p. 256. Al-Bihar.
- 5. Kashf al-Ghumma, p. 243. Tadhkirat al-Khawas, p. 84.
- 6. Sir al-Silsila al-'Alawiya.
- 7. Al-Mujjdi. 'Umdat al-Talib. Menahil al-Darb fi Ansab al-'Arab.
- 8. 'Umdat al-Talib.
- 9. Ahsan al-Kibar.
- 10. Al-Mujjdi.
- 11. Tuhfat al-Azhar.
- 12. Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 486.
- 13. Kashf al-Ghumma, vol. 3, p. 107.
- 14. Ibn Shar Aashub, al-Menaqib, vol. 4, p. 351.
- 15. Kashf al-Ghumma, vol. 3, p. 107.
- 16. Al-Menaqib, vol. 107.
- 17. Tehdhib al-Tehdhib, vol. 7, p. 387.
- 18. Tuhaf al-'Uqool, p. 446.
- 19. Ibid.
- 20. Ibid.
- 21. Ibid.
- 22. Noor al-Abbsar, p. 140.
- 23. Al-Yaqubi, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 181.
- 24. 'Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha’, vol. 2, p. 24.
- 25. Ibid.vol. 1, p. 276.
- 26. Tuhaf al-'Uqool, p. 446.
- 27. 'Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha’, vol. 2, p. 235.
- 28. Tuhaf al-'Uqool, p. 243.
- 29. Al-Menaqib, vol. 4, p. 367. Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, pp. 311-319.
- 30. 'Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha’, vol. 2, pp. 140-141. Keshf al-Ghumma. Al-Menaqib.
- 31. Tarikh al-Khulafa', p. 299.
- 32. Al-Menaqib, vol. 4, p. 363.
- 33. 'Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha’, vol. 2, p. 146.
- 34. Ibid.p. 143. Wefeyat al-A'yan, vol. 2, p. 433.
- 35. 'Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha’. Wefeyat al-A'yan.
- 36. Al-Fusool al-Muhimma, p. 271.
- 37. Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, pp. 189-190. Al-Menaqib, vol. 4, pp. 371-372. Keshf al-Ghumma.
- 38. Al-Menaqib, vol. 4, p. 473.
- 39. Keshf al-Ghumma, vol. 3, p. 123.
- 40. 'Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha’, vol. 2, p. 241.
- 41. Bahr al-'Ulum, Rijal, pp.424-432.
- 42. Taaj al-Din, Ghayat al-Ikhtisar.
- 43. Tuhfat al-Azhar.
- 44. Al-Irshad.
- 45. Usool al-Kafi. 'Uyun Akhbar.
- 46. Tanqeeh al-Maqal, vol. 3, p. 34.
- 47. Ibn Khaldun, Tarikh, vol. 4, p. 8.
- 48. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 339.
- 49. Nasr b. Shith was a head of one of the Arab tribes that lived in Iraq. He had an 'Alawid inclinations.
- 50. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 519.
- 51. A city in Iraq.
- 52. Ibn Khaldun, Tarikh, vol. 7, p. 243.
- 53. The poet has linked Islam to a camel.
- 54. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 533.
- 55. Ibn Khaldun, Tarikh. In the book Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, it has been mentioned: "He declared the revolt in the month of Jamadi al-Ula."
- 56. Al-Khudari, p. 239. In the book Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, it has been mentioned: "'Abdus b. 'Abd al-Samad was the commander of the army."
- 57. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 539.
- 58. Ibid. pp. 532-533.
- 59. Ibid., p. 549.
- 60. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 10, p. 231.
- 61. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 534.
- 62. Tuhfat al-Azhar.
- 63. Tarikh al-Duwal al-Islamiya.
- 64. Mukhtasar Akhbar al-Khulafa'.
- 65. A'yan al-Shi'a, vol. 5, p. 481.
- 66. Tuhfat al-Azhar.
- 67. Mukhtasar Akhbar al-Khulafa'.
- 68. Ibn al-Sammak's full name is Abu al-'Abbas Muhammad b. Sabeeh. He was the retainer of the Banu 'Ijil, an ascetic Kufan. He had good speech and wise sayings. He met a group of the first stage of Islam and reported traditions from them such as Hisham b. 'Urwa, al-'Amash. He narrated traditions from Ahmed b. Hanbel and the like. He went to Baghdad during the time of al-Rashid. He stayed in it for a period of time. He died in Kufa. This has been mentioned in the book al-Kuna wa al-Alqab.
- 69. Mukhtasar Akhbar al-Khulafa'.
- 70. Menahil al-Darb fi Ansab al-'Arab.
- 71. Tuhfat al-Azhar. 'Umdat al-Talib, p. 190.
- 72. A'yan al-Shi'a, vol. 5, p. 482.
- 73. Al-Nafha al-'Anbariya.
- 74. A'yan al-Shi'a.
- 75. Ibid.
- 76. Menahil al-Darb fi Ansab al-'Arab, p. 397.
- 77. Tuhfat al-'Alam, vol. 2, p. 87.
- 78. Al-Irshad, p. 77.
- 79. A'yan al-Shi'a.
- 80. Al-Irshad. Tuhfat al-'Alam.
- 81. Tuhfat al-'Alam.
- 82. Lub al-Ansab.
- 83. Al-Keshi, Rijal, p. 294.
- 84. Ma'rifat Akhbar al-Rijal.
- 85. Al-Kuna wa al-Alqab, vol. 2, p. 317.
- 86. A'yan al-Shi'a, vol. 1, p. 286-287.
- 87. Fulk al-Najat, p. 337.
- 88. Jami' al-Ansab, p. 77. Muntaha al-Alqab. Al-Kuna wa al-Alqab.
- 89. Sadd al-Azrar, p. 292.
- 90. Tuhfat al-Nuzzar fi Ghara'ib al-Amsar wa 'Aja'ib al-Asfar, vol. 1, p. 127.
- 91. Al-Mujjdi. 'Umdat al-Talib.
- 92. Bahr al-Ansab.
- 93. Tanqeeh al-Maqal, vol. 1, p. 132.
- 94. Jami' al-Ansab, p. 47.
- 95. Ibid.
- 96. Ibid.
- 97. al-Keshi, Rijal.
- 98. Al-Nejashi, Rijal. Al-Fihrast. Ibn Shahrashub, al-Ma'lim.
- 99. Mustadrakat al-Wasa'il. The late Sayyid Abu al-Hasan depended on this very much.
- 100. Al-Ta'liqa. Ibn Dawud, Rijal.
- 101. Tuhfat al-'Alam, vol. 2, p. 34.
- 102. Jami' al-Ansab.
- 103. Tuhfat al-Azhar.
- 104. Menahil al-Darb, p. 567.
- 105. Al-Mujjdi.
- 106. 'Umdat al-Talib. Bahr al-Ansab.
- 107. Tuhfat al-'Alam, vol. 2, p. 31.
- 108. Al-Bihar, vol. 13, p. 45.
- 109. Ibid., p. 66.
- 110. Tarikh al-Kufa, p. 56.
- 111. Tuhfat al-'Alam, vol. 2, p. 31-33.
- 112. Tuhfat al-Azhar.
- 113. Fulk al-Najat, p. 337. Zendigan Hazrat Musa b. Ja'far (a Persian book).
- 114. Nasikh al-Tawarikh (a Persian book).
- 115. Al-'Uyun.
- 116. 'Umdat al-Talib. Bahr al-Ansab.
- 117. Ghani is a tribe of Ghattfan.
- 118. Jami' al-Ansab, p. 65.
- 119. Al-Bihar, vol. 3, p. 65. 'Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha’, vol. 3, p. 65.
- 120. Tuhfat al-Azhar.
- 121. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 13, p. 65. 'Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha’, p. 346.
- 122. 'Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha’, pp. 348-349.
- 123. Al-'Umda.
- 124. 'Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha’, p. 347.
- 125. Jamharat Ansab al-'Arab, p. 55.
- 126. Tuhfat al-Azhar.
- 127. Tanqeeh al-Maqal, vol. 2, p. 130.
- 128. Al-Bihar, vol. 13, p. 129.
- 129. Al-Mujjdi.
- 130. Tarikh al-Kufa, p. 56.
- 131. Usool al-Kafi.
- 132. Ibid.
- 133. Mu'jam al-Buldan.
- 134. Marasid al-Ittila'.
- 135. Tajj al-'Aroos, vol. 4, p. 318.
- 136. 'Umdat al-Talib, p. 219.
- 137. Fulk al-Najat, p. 336.
- 138. Bihar al-Anwar.
- 139. Al-Mamaqani.
- 140. Bahr al-Ansab, p. 53.
- 141. Musbah al-Za'ireen. Al-Sayyid Muhsin al-'Amili, Mifftah al-Jannat, vol. 2, p. 151.
- 142. Al-Sayyid 'Abd al-Razzaq Kammuna, Meshahid al-'Itra al-Tahira.
- 143. Al-Fusool al-Muhimma, p. 256.
- 144. Tuhfat al-'Alam, vol. 2, p. 31.
- 145. Tanqeeh al-Maqal, vol. 3, p. 192.
- 146. Ghayat al-Ikhtisar. 'Ayan al-Shi'a, vol. 5, p. 463. Tedhikart al-Ansab.
- 147. 'Ayan al-Shi'a, vol. 5, p. 463.
- 148. Tanqeeh al-Maqal, vol. 3, p. 192.
- 149. Tuhfat al-'Alam, vol. 2, p. 31.
- 150. Jami' al-Ansab, p. 108.
- 151. Al-Mujjdi.
- 152. Jami' al-Ansab, p. 55.
- 153. Ibid.
- 154. Zendigani Hezret Musa b. Ja'far, p. 260.
- 155. Noor al-Abbsar, p. 138.
- 156. Kenz al-Ansab, p. 74.
- 157. Sirajj al-Ansab, vol. 44.
- 158. Jami' al-Ansab, p. 9.
- 159. Ibid., p. 44.
- 160. Kenz al-Ansab.
- 161. The mekkas was the one who took things illegally.
- 162. Noor al-Abbsar, p. 180.
- 163. Ibn Sharashoob, al-Ma'lim.
- 164. Safinat al-Bihar, vol. 1, p. 729.
- 165. Al-Bihar, vol. 2, p. 312.
- 166. Tuhfat al-'Alam, p. 36. Al-Bihar.
- 167. Tuhfat al-'Alam, p. 37.
- 168. Ibid.