Chapter 63: On What Abu Salt Al-Harawi Has Narrated About Ar-Ridha’ Being Martyred With Poisoned Grapes

63-1 Muhammad ibn Ali al-Majilawayh, Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al-Mutawakkil, Ahmad ibn Ziyad ibn Ja’far al-Hamadani, Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashem, Al-Husayn ibn Ibrahim ibn Tatana, Al-Husayn ibn Ibrahim ibn Ahmad ibn Hisham al-Mo’addib, and Ali ibn Abdullah al-Warraq - may God be pleased with them - narrated that Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashem quoted on the authority of his father that Abi Salt al-Harawi said, “I was standing in front of Abil Hassan Ali ibn Musa Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) when he told me, ‘O Aba Salt! Go into this mausoleum where Harun’s grave is located. Pick a handful of dirt from each corner and bring them to me.’ I went and did what Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) had asked me to do. Then when I stood up in front of Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) again, he (a.s.) was standing near the door. I handed him the dirt one handful at a time. He smelled each one and threw it away. Then he said, ‘Here they will dig up a grave for me. A rock will appear which they cannot remove, even if they bring all the mattocks in Khorasan.’

Then Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) said the same things about the dirt at the positions of the head and the feet of Harun. Then Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, ‘Give me that other handful of dirt.’ I handed him the dirt from the front of Harun’s grave. Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) took it and said, ‘This is the dirt that will be the dirt of my grave.’ Then Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, ‘They will dig a grave for me in this place. You must order them to dig it seven steps deep. Then you must ask them to extend the grave in one direction and construct a grave. If they refuse to do so and insist that it must be a usual type of grave, you will tell them that the grave must be as wide as the size of two arms long plus the span of one wide open hand. Indeed God will extend it as much as He wills. Once they do so, you will notice water there. Recite what I teach you and then the grave will be filled with water. You will see many small fish in it.

Then you must feed them with pieces of the bread which I’ll give you now. Once they eat it all up, a large fish will appear and eat up all the small fish until they all disappear. Then the large fish will disappear too. Then you must put your hand in the water and recite what I’ll teach you now. Then the water will drain away and nothing will be left. Do not do this except in the presence of Al-Ma’mun.’ Then Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) added, ‘O Aba Salt! Tomorrow I shall go to see this adulterer (referring to Al-Ma’mun)! If I leave there with a bare head, talk to me and I will respond. However, if when I return my head is covered, then do not talk to me.’”


بابُ ما حَدَثَ بِهِ أَبُو الصَّلتِ الهَرَوي عَن ذِكرِ وَفاةِ الرِّضا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ أَنَّه سُمَّ في عِنَبٍ‏

1- حَدَّثَنا مُحَمَّد بن عَلِيٍّ ماجَيلَويه ومُحَمَّد بن مُوسَى المُتِوَكِّل وأَحمَد بنِ زِيادِ بن جَعفَر الهَمداني وأَحمَد بن إِبراهِيم بن هاشِمٍ والحُسَين بن إِبراهِيم بن تاتانة والحُسَين بن إِبراهِيم بن أَحمَد بن هِشام المُوَدَّب وعَلِيٍّ بن عَبدُ اللَّه الوَرَّاقِ - رضي الله عنهم قالوا حَدَّثَنا عَلِيٍّ بن إِبراهِيم بن هاشِمٍ عَن أبِيهِ عَن أبي الصلت الهروي قالَ: بَيْنَا أَنَا وَاقِفٌ بَيْنَ يَدَيْ أَبِي الْحَسَنِ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ إِذْ قَالَ لِي يَا أَبَا الصَّلْتِ ادْخُلْ هَذِهِ الْقُبَّةَ الَّتِي فِيهَا قَبْرُ هَارُونَ وَائْتِنِي بِتُرَابٍ مِنْ أَرْبَعَةِ جَوَانِبِهَا قَالَ فَمَضَيْتُ فَأَتَيْتُ بِهِ فَلَمَّا مَثَلْتُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ قَالَ لِي نَاوِلْنِي هَذَا التُّرَابَ وَهُوَ مِنْ عِنْدِ الْبَابِ فَنَاوَلْتُهُ فَأَخَذَهُ وَشَمَّهُ ثُمَّ رَمَى بِهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ سَيُحْفَرُ لِي هَاهُنَا فَتَظْهَرُ صَخْرَةٌ لَوْ جُمِعَ عَلِيٍ‏هَا كُلُّ مِعْوَلٍ بِخُرَاسَانَ لَمْ يَتَهَيَّأْ قَلْعُهَا ثُمَّ قَالَ فِي الَّذِي عِنْدَ الرِّجْلِ وَالَّذِي عِنْدَ الرَّأْسِ مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ ثُمَّ قَالَ نَاوِلْنِي هَذَا التُّرَابَ فَهُوَ مِنْ تُرْبَتِي ثُمَّ قَالَ سَيُحْفَرُ لِي فِي هَذَا الْمَوْضِعِ فَتَأْمُرُهُمْ أَنْ يَحْفِرُوا إِلَى سَبْعِ مَرَاقِيَ إِلَى أَسْفَلَ وَأَنْ تَشُقَّ لِي ضَرِيحَهُ فَإِنْ أَبَوْا إِلا أَنْ يَلْحَدُوا فَتَأْمُرُهُمْ أَنْ يَجْعَلُوا اللَّحْدَ ذِرَاعَيْنِ وَشِبْراً فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى سَيُوَسِّعُهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَإِذَا فَعَلُوا ذَلِكَ فَإِنَّكَ تَرَى عِنْدَ رَأْسِي نَدَاوَةً فَتَكَلَّمْ بِالْكَلامِ الَّذِي أُعَلِّمُكَ فَإِنَّهُ يَنْبُعُ الْمَاءُ حَتَّى يَمْتَلِئَ اللَّحْدُ وَتَرَى فِيهِ حِيتَاناً صِغَاراً فَفَتِّتْ لَهَا الْخُبْزَ الَّذِي أُعْطِيكَ فَإِنَّهَا تَلْتَقِطُهُ فَإِذَا لَمْ يَبْقَ مِنْهُ شَيْ‏ءٌ خَرَجَتْ مِنْهُ حُوتَةٌ كَبِيرَةٌ فَالْتَقَطَتِ الْحِيتَانَ الصِّغَارَ حَتَّى لا يَبْقَى مِنْهَا شَيْ‏ءٌ ثُمَّ تَغِيبُ فَإِذَا غَابَتْ فَضَعْ يَدَكَ عَلِيٍّ الْمَاءِ ثُمَّ تَكَلَّمْ بِالْكَلامِ الَّذِي أُعَلِّمُكَ فَإِنَّهُ يَنْضُبُ الْمَاءُ وَلا يَبْقَى مِنْهُ شَيْ‏ءٌ وَلا تَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ إِلا بِحَضْرَةِ الْمَأْمُون.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ يَا أَبَا الصَّلْتِ غَداً أَدْخُلُ عَلِيٍّ هَذَا الْفَاجِرِ فَإِنْ أَنَا خَرَجْتُ مَكْشُوفَ الرَّأْسِ فَتَكَلَّمْ أُكَلِّمْكَ وَإِنْ خَرَجْتُ وَأَنَا مُغَطَّى الرَّأْسِ فَلا تُكَلِّمْنِي.

Aba Salt continued, “When the morning came, Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) put on his clothes and sat down, waiting in his prayer niche. Al-Ma’mun’s servant entered after a while and said, ‘The Commander of the Faithful (Al-Ma’mun) has called you in.’ Then Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) put on his shoes and cloak. He stood up and went. I followed Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) until he went to Al-Ma’mun. There was a dish of grapes in front of Al-Ma’mun and several dishes of fruit, too. There was a bunch of partially eaten grapes in his hand. There were still some grapes left on it. Once Al-Ma’mun saw Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.), he leaped towards him and hugged him. He kissed his forehead and had him sit down next to himself. Then he offered Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) the bunch of grapes that he was holding in his hands and said, ‘O son of God’s Prophet! Have you ever seen any better grapes?’ Then Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) told him, ‘It often happens that they are good grapes as if they are from Heaven.’ Then Al-Ma’mun said, ‘Have some.’ Then Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) told him, ‘Excuse me from eating them.’ Then he said, ‘You must eat. Why don’t you eat? Perhaps you are suspicious of me.’ Then Al-Ma’mun picked up the bunch of grapes, had a few grapes and then offered the bunch to Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.). Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) ate three grapes, put down the bunch and stood up. Al-Ma’mun asked him, ‘Where are you going?’ He (a.s.) said, ‘I am going to where you sent me.’ Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) pulled his cloak over his head and left.”

Aba Salt added, “I did not talk to Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) until he entered the house and said, ‘Shut the doors.’ They shut the doors. Then Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) laid in bed. I stayed in the yard for a while in a sad and depressed state. Then I saw a handsome young man, who was the closest-looking person to Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) I have ever seen, enter the house. I rushed ahead and asked him, ‘Sir! The doors are closed. How did you get in?’ He (a.s.) answered, ‘He (God) who passed me through closed doors brought me here from Medina.’ I asked, ‘Who are you?’ He (a.s.) replied, ‘I am the Proof of God for you. O Aba Salt! I am Muhammad ibn Ali (Imam ar-Ridha’’s son)’ Then he (a.s.) went to his father (a.s.). He (a.s.) entered the room and asked me to go in with him. When Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) saw him, he leaped towards him. Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) hugged him and put his hands over his shoulders. Then Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) kissed him on the forehead and went back to his couch with him. Muhammad ibn Ali (a.s.) went over to him, kissed him and quietly told him things which I could not hear. However, I could see some foam on Ar-Ridha’’s (a.s.) lips that was even whiter than snow. Aba Ja’far (a.s.) wiped it off with his tongue.

قَالَ أَبُو الصَّلْتِ فَلَمَّا أَصْبَحْنَا مِنَ الْغَدِ لَبِسَ ثِيَابَهُ وَجَلَسَ فَجَعَلَ فِي مِحْرَابِهِ يَنْتَظِرُ فَبَيْنَا هُوَ كَذَلِكَ إِذْ دَخَلَ عَلَيْهِ غُلامُ الْمَأْمُونِ فَقَالَ لَهُ أَجِبْ أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَلَبِسَ نَعْلَهُ وَرِدَاءَهُ وَقَامَ وَمَشَى وَأَنَا أَتَّبِعُهُ حَتَّى دَخَلَ عَلَى الْمَأْمُونِ وَبَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ طَبَقٌ عَلَيْهِ عِنَبٌ وَأَطْبَاقُ فَاكِهَةٍ وَبِيَدِهِ عُنْقُودُ عِنَبٍ قَدْ أَكَلَ بَعْضَهُ وَبَقِيَ بَعْضُهُ فَلَمَّا أَبْصَرَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ وَثَبَ إِلَيْهِ فَعَانَقَهُ وَقَبَّلَ مَا بَيْنَ عَيْنَيْهِ وَأَجْلَسَهُ مَعَهُ ثُمَّ نَاوَلَهُ الْعُنْقُودَ وَقَالَ يَا ابْنَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ مَا رَأَيْتُ عِنَباً أَحْسَنَ مِنْ هَذَا فَقَالَ لَهُ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ رُبَّمَا كَانَ عِنَباً حَسَناً يَكُونُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ فَقَالَ لَهُ كُلْ مِنْهُ فَقَالَ لَهُ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ تُعْفِينِي عَنْهُ فَقَالَ لا بُدَّ مِنْ ذَلِكَ وَمَا يَمْنَعُكَ مِنْهُ لَعَلَّكَ تَتَّهِمُنَا بِشَيْ‏ءٍ فَتَنَاوَلَ الْعُنْقُودَ فَأَكَلَ مِنْهُ ثُمَّ نَاوَلَهُ فَأَكَلَ مِنْهُ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ ثَلاثَ حَبَّاتٍ ثُمَّ رَمَى بِهِ وَقَامَ فَقَالَ الْمَأْمُونُ إِلَى أَيْنَ فَقَالَ إِلَى حَيْثُ وَجَّهْتَنِي وَخَرَجَ مُغَطَّى الرَّأْسِ فَلَمْ أُكَلِّمْهُ حَتَّى دَخَلَ الدَّارَ فَأَمَرَ أَنْ يُغْلَقَ الْبَابُ فَغُلِقَ ثُمَّ نَامَ عَلَى فِرَاشِهِ وَمَكَثْتُ وَاقِفاً فِي صَحْنِ الدَّارِ مَهْمُوماً مَحْزُوناً فَبَيْنَا أَنَا كَذَلِكَ إِذْ دَخَلَ عَلَيَّ شَابٌّ حَسَنُ الْوَجْهِ قَطَطُ الشَّعْرِ أَشْبَهُ النَّاسِ بِالرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَبَادَرْتُ إِلَيْهِ وَقُلْتُ لَهُ مِنْ أَيْنَ دَخَلْتَ وَالْبَابُ مُغْلَقٌ فَقَالَ الَّذِي جَاءَ بِي مِنَ الْمَدِينَةِ فِي هَذَا الْوَقْتِ هُوَ الَّذِي أَدْخَلَنِي الدَّارَ وَالْبَابُ مُغْلَقٌ فَقُلْتُ لَهُ وَمَنْ أَنْتَ فَقَالَ لِي أَنَا حُجَّةُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكَ يَا أَبَا الصَّلْتِ أَنَا مُحَمَّد بْنُ عَلِيٍّ ثُمَّ مَضَى نَحْوَأَبِيهِ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَدَخَلَ وَأَمَرَنِي بِالدُّخُولِ مَعَهُ فَلَمَّا نَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ وَثَبَ إِلَيْهِ فَعَانَقَهُ وَضَمَّهُ إِلَى صَدْرِهِ وَقَبَّلَ مَا بَيْنَ عَيْنَيْهِ ثُمَّ سَحَبَهُ سَحْباً فِي فِرَاشِهِ وَأَكَبَّ عَلَيْهِ مُحَمَّد بْنُ عَلِيٍ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ يُقَبِّلُهُ وَيُسَارُّهُ بِشَيْ‏ءٍ لَمْ أَفْهَمْهُ وَرَأَيْتُ فِي شَفَتَيِ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ زُبْداً أَشَدَّ بَيَاضاً مِنَ الثَّلْجِ وَرَأَيْتُ أَبَا جَعْفَرٍ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ يَلْحَسُهُ بِلِسَانِهِ.

Then Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) placed his hand within his attire over his heart and brought out something like a sparrow. Then Aba Ja’far (a.s.) swallowed it. Then Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) passed away. Then Abu Ja’far said, ‘O Aba Salt! Stand up. Go and bring me water and the wash basin from the cabinet.’ I answered, ‘There is no wash basin in the cabinet and there is no water there either.” However, Aba Ja’far (a.s.) said, ‘Go and do what I ordered you to do.’ I went to the cabinet, and saw that both water and the wash basin were available there. I brought them out. Then I tied up my robe to my waist and took off my footwear to get ready to wash Imam Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.). But Aba Ja’far (a.s.) told me, O Aba Salt! Move aside. There is someone else here who will assist me.’’ Then Aba Ja’far (a.s.) performed the ceremonial burial ablutions for Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) and told me, Go to the cabinet and bring me the basket in which there is a shroud and embalmment.’ I went to the cabinet. There I saw a basket which I had never seen before. I picked it up and brought it to him. Aba Ja’far (a.s.) shrouded the Imam (a.s.) and prayed for him. Then he (a.s.) told me, ‘Bring me that coffin.’ Then I asked, ‘Should I go to a carpenter and have him make a coffin?’ Aba Ja’far (a.s.) said, ‘No. Go to the cabinet. There is a coffin there.’ I went to the cabinet and found that there was a coffin there which I had never seen before. I picked it up and brought it to him.

Aba Ja’far (a.s.) lifted Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) after praying for him and placed him in the coffin. He put Ar-Ridha’’s (a.s.) feet side by side and said two units of prayers. Then before finishing his prayers the ceiling of the room was rent asunder and the coffin was flown out of the room from the ceiling. Then I said, ‘O son of the Prophet of God (Aba Ja’far)! Now Al-Ma’mun will come here and demand Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) from us. What should we do?’ Aba Ja’far (a.s.) said, ‘O Aba Salt! Be quiet! The body will return. God will unite the body and the spirit together of any Prophet who dies in the East and any of his Trustees who die in the West.’ Aba Ja’far (a.s.) had not finished talking when the ceiling was again rent asunder, and the coffin and the body descended. Then Aba Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ali (a.s.) stood up, brought the corpse out of the coffin and placed it in bed as if it had neither been washed nor shrouded.

Then Aba Ja’far (a.s.) said to me, ‘O Aba Salt! Stand up and open the door for Al-Ma’mun.’’ Then I opened the door. Al-Ma’mun and his servants were standing at the door. He entered while he was in a sad state and crying. He tore his shirt and hit himself on the head.

ثُمَّ أَدْخَلَ يَدَهُ بَيْنَ ثَوْبَيْهِ وَصَدْرِهِ فَاسْتَخْرَجَ مِنْهُ شَيْئاً شَبِيهاً بِالْعُصْفُورِ فَابْتَلَعَهُ أَبُو جَعْفَرٍ وَمَضَى الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَقَالَ أَبُو جَعْفَرٍ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ يَا أَبَا الصَّلْتِ قُمِ ائْتِنِي بِالْمُغْتَسَلِ وَالْمَاءِ مِنَ الْخِزَانَةِ فَقُلْتُ مَا فِي الْخِزَانَةِ مُغْتَسَلٌ وَلا مَاءٌ فَقَالَ لِي انْتَهِ إِلَى مَا آمُرُكَ بِهِ فَدَخَلْتُ الْخِزَانَةَ فَإِذَا فِيهَا مُغْتَسَلٌ وَمَاءٌ فَأَخْرَجْتُهُ وَشَمَّرْتُ ثِيَابِي لاغَسِّلَهُ مَعَهُ فَقَالَ لِي تَنَحَّ يَا أَبَا الصَّلْتِ فَإِنَّ لِي مَنْ يُعِينُنِي غَيْرَكَ فَغَسَّلَهُ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِيَ ادْخُلِ الْخِزَانَةَ فَأَخْرِجْ لِيَ السَّفَطَ الَّذِي فِيهِ كَفَنُهُ وَحَنُوطُهُ فَدَخَلْتُ فَإِذَا أَنَا بِسَفَطٍ لَمْ أَرَهُ فِي تِلْكَ الْخِزَانَةِ قَطُّ فَحَمَلْتُهُ إِلَيْهِ فَكَفَّنَهُ وَصَلَّى عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِيَ ائْتِنِي بِالتَّابُوتِ فَقُلْتُ أَمْضِي إِلَى النَّجَّارِ حَتَّى يُصْلِحَ التَّابُوتَ قَالَ قُمْ فَإِنَّ فِي الْخِزَانَةِ تَابُوتاً فَدَخَلْتُ الْخِزَانَةَ فَوَجَدْتُ تَابُوتاً لَمْ أَرَهُ قَطُّ فَأَتَيْتُهُ بِهِ فَأَخَذَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ بَعْدَ مَا صَلَّى عَلَيْهِ فَوَضَعَهُ فِي التَّابُوتِ وَصَفَّ قَدَمَيْهِ وَصَلَّى رَكْعَتَيْنِ لَمْ يَفْرُغْ مِنْهُمَا حَتَّى عَلا التَّابُوتُ فَانْشَقَّ السَّقْفُ فَخَرَجَ مِنْهَا التَّابُوتُ وَمَضَى فَقُلْتُ يَا ابْنَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ السَّاعَةَ يَجِيئُنَا الْمَأْمُونُ وَيُطَالِبُنَا بِالرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَمَا نَصْنَعُ فَقَالَ لِيَ اسْكُتْ فَإِنَّهُ سَيَعُودُ يَا أَبَا الصَّلْتِ مَا مِنْ نَبِيٍّ يَمُوتُ بِالْمَشْرِقِ وَيَمُوتُ وَصِيُّهُ بِالْمَغْرِبِ إِلا جَمَعَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى بَيْنَ أَرْوَاحِهِمَا وَأَجْسَادِهِمَا فَمَا أَتَمَّ الْحَدِيثَ حَتَّى انْشَقَّ السَّقْفُ وَنَزَلَ التَّابُوتُ فَقَامَ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَاسْتَخْرَجَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ مِنَ التَّابُوتِ وَوَضَعَهُ عَلَى فِرَاشِهِ كَأَنَّهُ لَمْ يُغَسَّلْ وَلَمْ يُكَفَّنْ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِي يَا أَبَا الصَّلْتِ قُمْ فَافْتَحِ الْبَابَ لِلْمَأْمُونِ فَفَتَحْتُ الْبَابَ فَإِذَا الْمَأْمُونُ وَالْغِلْمَانُ بِالْبَابِ فَدَخَلَ بَاكِياً حَزِيناً قَدْ شَقَّ جَيْبَهُ وَلَطَمَ رَأْسَهُ.

He said, ‘O descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (S)! O my Master! Your death is a great calamity for me.’ Then Al-Ma’mun entered and sat next to Ar-Ridha’’s (a.s.) head and said, ‘Start to prepare him.’ Then Al-Ma’mun ordered that a grave be dug. I (i.e. Aba Salt) dug at the location that Imam Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) had ordered me before to do so. Exactly whatever Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) had said would appear appeared. One of Al-Ma’mun‘s asked him, ‘Don’t you say and don’t you believe that he was a Divine Leader?’ Al-Ma’mun replied, ‘Yes. He would not be a Divine Leader unless he is superior to all the people.’ Then Al-Ma’mun ordered that a grave be dug for Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) facing the direction of the Qibla.”

Aba Salt added, “Then I said, ‘Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) has ordered me to dig down about seven steps. Then I must extend the grave for his tomb in one direction.’ Al-Ma’mun ordered the workers, ‘Do as Aba Salt says except for the tomb. Dig a usual type of grave.’ However, once Al-Ma’mun saw that the water appeared, the fish showed up, and the other things happened, Al-Ma’mun said, ‘Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) continuously showed us miracles during his lifetime. We even see miracles after his death.’ One of the ministers who was there asked, ‘Do you know what Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) is informing you about?’ Al-Ma’mun replied, ‘No.’ The minister said, ‘Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) is trying to make you understand that the rule of you - the Abbasids - and your population and the extent of your rule is like these fish, until your time is over and your death arrives. Then you will lose your reign. Then God the Highest will designate a man from the Members of the Holy Household of the Prophet (S) as the ruler over you who will destroy all of you - from the first to the last one of you.’ Al-Ma’mun replied, ‘You are right.’

Then Al-Ma’mun turned towards Aba Salt and said, ‘O Aba Salt! Tell me the words you recited which caused the big fish to swallow the little fish. Teach them to me.’ I replied, ‘By God, I have forgotten them now.’ I had said the truth but he ordered that I be thrown into jail. They buried Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) and I stayed in jail for one year. I had a very hard time in jail. One night I could not go to sleep. I stayed up and prayed to God the Blessed the Highest. I kept mentioning Muhammad (a.s.) and his Household (a.s.). I kept asking God for a happy ending. Before finishing my prayers Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ali (a.s.) entered and said, ‘O Aba Salt! Is your breast straitened?1’ Then I said, ‘By God! Yes.’ Then Aba Ja’far (a.s.) said, ‘Stand up and leave here along with me.’

وَهُوَ يَقُولُ يَا سَيِّدَاهْ فُجِعْتُ بِكَ يَا سَيِّدِي ثُمَّ دَخَلَ وَجَلَسَ عِنْدَ رَأْسِهِ وَقَالَ خُذُوا فِي تَجْهِيزِهِ فَأَمَرَ بِحَفْرِ الْقَبْرِ فَحُفِرَتِ الْمَوْضِعُ فَظَهَرَ كُلُّ شَيْ‏ءٍ عَلَى مَا وَصَفَهُ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَقَالَ لَهُ بَعْضُ جُلَسَائِهِ أَلَسْتَ تَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ إِمَامٌ قَالَ بَلَى قَالَ لا يَكُونُ إِلا مُقَدَّمَ النَّاسِ فَأَمَرَ أَنْ يُحْفَرَ لَهُ فِي الْقِبْلَةِ فَقُلْتُ أَمَرَنِي أَنْ أَحْفِرَ لَهُ سَبْعَ مَرَاقِيَ وَأَنْ أَشُقَّ لَهُ ضَرِيحَهُ فَقَالَ انْتَهُوا إِلَى مَا يَأْمُرُ بِهِ أَبُو الصَّلْتِ سِوَى الضَّرِيحِ وَلَكِنْ يُحْفَرُ لَهُ وَيُلْحَدُ فَلَمَّا رَأَى مَا ظَهَرَ مِنَ النَّدَاوَةِ وَالْحِيتَانِ وَغَيْرِ ذَلِكَ قَالَ الْمَأْمُونُ لَمْ يَزَلِ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ يُرِينَا عَجَائِبَهُ فِي حَيَاتِهِ حَتَّى أَرَانَاهَا بَعْدَ وَفَاتِهِ أَيْضاً فَقَالَ لَهُ وَزِيرٌ كَانَ مَعَهُ أَتَدْرِي مَا أَخْبَرَكَ بِهِ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ قَالَ لا قَالَ إِنَّهُ أَخْبَرَكَ أَنَّ مُلْكَكُمْ يَا بَنِي الْعَبَّاسِ مَعَ كَثْرَتِكُمْ وَطُولِ مُدَّتِكُمْ مِثْلُ هَذِهِ الْحِيتَانِ حَتَّى إِذَا فَنِيَتْ آجَالُكُمْ وَانْقَطَعَتْ آثَارُكُمْ وَذَهَبَتْ دَوْلَتُكُمْ سَلَّطَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى عَلَيْكُمْ رَجُلاً مِنَّا فَأَفْنَاكُمْ عَنْ آخِرِكُمْ قَالَ لَهُ صَدَقْتَ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِي يَا أَبَا الصَّلْتِ عَلِّمْنِي الْكَلامَ الَّذِي تَكَلَّمْتَ بِهِ قُلْتُ وَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ نَسِيتُ الْكَلامَ مِنْ سَاعَتِي وَقَدْ كُنْتُ صَدَقْتُ فَأَمَرَ بِحَبْسِي وَدَفْنِ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَحُبِسْتُ سَنَةً فَضَاقَ عَلَيَّ الْحَبْسُ وَسَهِرْتُ اللَّيْلَةَ وَدَعَوْتُ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى بِدُعَاءٍ ذَكَرْتُ فِيهِ مُحَمَّداً وَآلَهُ صَلَوَاتُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَسَأَلْتُ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى بِحَقِّهِمْ أَنْ يُفَرِّجَ عَنِّي فَلَمْ أَسْتَتِمَّ الدُّعَاءَ حَتَّى دَخَلَ عَلَيَّ أَبُو جَعْفَرٍ مُحَمَّد بْنُ عَلِيٍ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَقَالَ يَا أَبَا الصَّلْتِ ضَاقَ صَدْرُكَ فَقُلْتُ إِي وَاللَّهِ قَالَ قُمْ فَأَخْرَجَنِي.

Then Aba Ja’far (a.s.) placed his hands to the chains on me and they all opened up. He (a.s.) took my hands and brought me out of jail, while the prison guards were watching us but did not have the power to say a word. Then Aba Ja’far (a.s.) told me, ‘Go. I entrust you to God! Know that you will never again encounter Al-Ma’mun. Neither will Al-Ma’mun ever find you.’”

Aba Salt added, “Al-Ma’mun has not found me up until now.”

63-2 Al-Hakim Abu Ali Al-Husayn ibn Ahmad al-Bayhaqi narrated that Muhammad ibn Yahya al-Sowli quoted on the authority of Abu Thakwan that he had heard Ibrahim ibn Al-Abbas say, “The pledge of allegiance to Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) occurred on the fifth day of the (Arabic) month of Ramadhan in the year 201 A.H. (815 A.D.). Al-Ma’mun married off his own younger daughter - Umm Habib - to Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) at the beginning of the year 202 A.H. (816 A.D.). He died in Toos in the year 203 A.H. (817 A.D.), while Al-Ma’mun was going to Iraq in the (Arabic) month of Rajab.”

And someone other than Al-Bayhaqi narrated that Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) died when he (a.s.) was forty-nine and a half years old. The correct information is that he died in the year 203 A.H. (817 A.D.) on a Friday during the last ten days of the (Arabic) month of Ramadhan - nine days before the end of the month.

  • 1. It means, ‘has your heart become distressed?’