Chapter 50: On Proof of Ar-Ridha’’s Rightfulness Due to the Acceptance by God the Honorable the Exalted of his prayers for the Barmakites

50-1 My father and Muhammad ibn Al-Hassan ibn Ahmad ibn al-Waleed - may God have Mercy upon them both - narrated that Sa’d ibn Abdullah quoted on the authority of Muhammad ibn Isa ibn Obayd, on the authority of Ali ibn al-Hakam, on the authority of Muhammad ibn al-Fudhayl, “In the year in which Harun got mad with the Barmakites1 and first ordered that Ja’far ibn Yahya be killed and Yahya ibn Khalid be imprisoned, and whatever else that happened to the Barmakites. Abul Hassan Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) was standing up on the Day of Arafat and he (a.s.) was praying and bowing his head. He (a.s.) was asked for the reason. The Imam (a.s.) said, “I was cursing the Barmakites before God the Highest for what they had done to my father (a.s.). God fulfilled my prayers today.” Then the Imam (a.s.) returned home. A short time later, Ja’far and (his father) Yahya (of the Barmakites) were faced with problems and the tables turned on them.

50-2 Muhammad ibn Musa - may God be pleased with him - narrated that Abdullah ibn Ja’far al-Hemyari quoted on the authority of Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Isa, on the authority of Al-Hassan ibn Ali al-Washsha’, on the authority of Mosafir (Abu Muslim - one of the companions of Imam Musa Al-Kazim (a.s.)), “I was with Abil Hassan Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) in Mina. Yahya ibn Khalid and a group of the Barmakites passed by. Then Imam Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, ‘These poor fellows do not know what will happen to them this year.’ The Imam (a.s.) then added, ‘O! It is amazing that Harun and I are like these two (fingers)’ while he was putting two of his fingers side by side.” Mosafir added, “By God, I did not understand what this meant until he was buried at the side of Harun.”

50-3 Abdul Wahid ibn Muhammad ibn Abdoos al-Neishaboori al-Attar narrated in Neishaboor in the year 352 A.H. (962 A.D.) that Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Qutayba quoted on the authority of Al-Fadhl ibn Shathan, on the authority of Safwan ibn Yahya, on the authority of Muhammad ibn Ya’fur al-Balkhi, on the authority of Musa ibn Mehran, “I heard Isa ibn Ja’far tell Harun (Ar-Rashid) when he was going from Raqqah to Mecca, ‘Do not forget what you have sworn to about the household of Abi Talib.


بابُ دَلالَتُهُ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فِي إِجابَة اللَّه عَزَّ وَجَلَّ دُعاءِه فِي آلِ بَرمَك

وَاَخبارِهِ‏ بِما يَجْرِي عَلَيْهِم وَبِأَنَّهُ لا يُصَلِّ إِلَيْهِ مِنَ الرَّشِيد مَكْرُوه

1 - حَدَّثَنا أَبي وَمُحَمَّدِ بْنِ الحَسَن بْنِ أَحْمَدِ بْنِ الوَلِيد - رحمهما اللَّه - قالا حَدَّثَنا سَعْدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّه عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عِيسَى بْنِ عُبِيْد قالَ حَدَّثَنا عَلِىِّ بْنِ ِلحكم عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ الفُضَيْلِ قالَ لَمَّا كَانَ فِي السَّنَةِ الَّتِي بَطَشَ هَارُونُ بِ‏آلِ بَرْمَكَ بَدَأَ بِجَعْفَرِ بْنِ يَحْيَى وَحَبَسَ يَحْيَى بْنَ خَالِدٍ وَنَزَلَ بِالْبَرَامِكَةِ مَا نَزَلَ كَانَ أَبُو الْحَسَنِ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ وَاقِفاً بِعَرَفَةَ يَدْعُو ثُمَّ طَأْطَأَ رَأْسَهُ فَسُئِلَ عَنْ ذَلِكَ فَقَالَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ أَدْعُو اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عَلَى الْبَرَامِكَةِ بِمَا فَعَلُوا بِأَبِي‏فَاسْتَجَابَ اللَّهُ لِيَ الْيَوْمَ فِيهِمْ فَلَمَّا انْصَرَفَ لَمْ يَلْبَثْ إِلا يَسِيراً حَتَّى بُطِشَ بِجَعْفَرٍ وَيَحْيَى وَتَغَيَّرَتْ أَحْوَالُهُمْ.

2 - حَدَّثَنا مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مُوسَى المُتَوَكِّل قالَ حَدَّثَنا عَبْدِ اللَّه بْنِ جَعْفَر الحِمْيَريُّ عَنْ أَحْمَدِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عِيسَى عَنْ الحَسَن بْنِ عَلِى الوَشَّاء عَنْ مسافر قالَ كُنْتُ مَعَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ بِمِنًى فَمَرَّ يَحْيَى بْنُ خَالِدٍ مَعَ قَوْمٍ مِنْ آلِ بَرْمَكَ فَقَالَ مَسَاكِينُ هَؤُلاءِ لا يَدْرُونَ مَا يَحُلُّ بِهِمْ فِي هَذِهِ السَّنَةِ ثُمَّ قَالَ هَاهْ وَأَعْجَبُ مِنْ هَذَا هَارُونُ وَأَنَا كَهَاتَيْنِ وَضَمَّ بِإِصْبَعَيْهِ قَالَ مُسَافِرٌ فَوَاللَّهِ مَا عَرَفْتُ مَعْنَى حَدِيثِهِ حَتَّى دَفَنَّاهُ مَعَهُ.

3 - حَدَّثَنا عَبْد الواحِدِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَبْدُوسٍ النِيْسابُوري العَطَّار بِنِيْسابُورَ سِنَةَ اثنتين‏خَمْسِينَ وَثَلاثِمائَةٍ قالَ حَدَّثَنا عَلِىِّ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ قُتَيْبَةَ عَنْ الفَضْلِ بْنِ شاذان عَنْ صَفْوان بن يَحْيَى عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ يعفور البلخي عَنْ مُوسَى بْنِ مِهْرانِ قالَ سَمِعْتُ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ يَحْيَىُ سَمِعْتُ عِيسَى بْنَ جَعْفَرٍ يَقُولُ لِهَارُونَ حَيْثُ تَوَجَّهَ مِنَ الرَّقَّةِ إِلَى مَكَّةَ اذْكُرْ يَمِينَكَ

You have sworn to chop off the head of anyone who claims to be a Divine Leader after Musa ibn Ja’far. Now this is his son Ali (Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.)) who is claiming to possess the Divine Leadership, and people are saying about him the same thing that they said about his father.’ Harun looked at him angrily and said, ‘So what? Do you think that I should kill them all2?’ Musa ibn Mihran added, “Once I heard this I went and informed Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) about this. Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, ‘What do I have to do with them? By God, they do not have the power to do anything to me.’”

50-4 Ahmad ibn Ziyad al-Hamadani - may God be pleased with him - narrated that Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashem quoted on the authority of Muhammad ibn Isa ibn Obayd, on the authority of Safwan ibn Yahya, “When Abul Hassan Musa ibn Ja’far (a.s.) passed away and Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) started to talk (about Divine Leadership), then we feared for his life and I told him, ‘You are expressing a great issue. We are afraid of this oppressor (Harun).’ Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, ‘He can struggle to do whatever he likes, but he cannot affect me at all.’” Safwan added, “A trustworthy person informed me that Yahya ibn Khalid (Al-Barmaki) told the oppressor (Harun), ‘This is his son Ali (Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.)) who has taken his position and is declaring that he himself is the (Divine) Leader.’ Harun replied, ‘What was the use of what we did to his father? Do you think that we should kill them all?’”

The author added, “Indeed all the Barmakites were all enemies of the Members of the Household of God’s Prophet (S) and displayed their animosity.”

  • 1. The Barmakites were a family of Iranian origin who started with Barmak who was in charge of an Idol-House called Nobahar in the city of Balkh. Barmak’s son was called Khalid. He started to work in the court of Abdul Malik ibn Marvan, and was able to attain a high position there. He accepted Islam during the era of Hisham ibn Abdul Malik. Later he became one of the heads of the army of Abu Muslim Khorasani. After the downfall of the Umayads, he went to Abul Abbas Saf’fah and became a minister. His son Yahya who was very intelligent was Harun Ar-Rashid’s teacher. It has been said that the majesty of the Abbasids was due to the wisdom of Yahya and his son Ja’far who was a minister in the court of Harun Ar-Rashid.
  • 2. The members of the Household of God’s Prophet (S)