Chapter 121

The birth of abu al-Hassan al-Rida (a.s.)

Abu al-Hassan al-Rida (a.s.) was born in the year the one hundred forty eight AH. He passed away in the month of Safar in the year two hundred and three at the age of fifty-five. All the views about this date are not the same but it is more accurate, if Allah would so will. He died in Tus in the town called Sanabad, that is within the reach of human voice from Nawqan. He was buried there. Al-Ma’mun had summoned him from Madina to Marw via Basra to Persia. When al-Ma’mun left for Baghdad he took The Imam (a.s.) he passed away in this town. His mother was ’Umm Walad called ’Umm al-Banin.


H 1228, Ch. 121, h 1

Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from ibn Mahbub from Hisham ibn Ahmar who has said the following.

"Once abu al-Hassan, the second asked me, "Do you know if anyone from Morocco (or the west) has arrived?" I replied, "No, no one has come." He said, "Yes, a man has come. Come with us." He rode and also rode and went until we reached the man. He was a man from Madina who had a few slaves with him for sale. I asked him to show the slaves for sale and he showed me seven slave-girls. Abu al-Hassan (a.s.) said, "I do not need any of these." Then he asked, "Show us more." The man said, "There is no more except one who is ill." The Imam (a.s.) said, "Why do you not show her to us?" The man refused and the Imam (a.s.) returned. The next day he sent me and said to ask him for how much is the girl who is ill and if he said for so and so amount say, "I pay." I went to him and he said, "I will not accept less than so and so amount for her." I said, "I take her." He said, "She is yours but tell me who was the man with you yesterday?" I said, "A man from the clan of banu Hashim." He asked from which family is he?" I said, "That is all I have." He said, "I like to tell you about this girl. I bought her in the far corner of the west (or Morocco). A woman from the followers of the Bible came and said, "What is she doing with you?" I said, "I have purchased her for my self." She said, "This girl should not be with one like you. This girl should be with the best of the people on earth. With such a one she will not live very long before giving birth to a boy whose like will not be born in the west or east of the earth." The narrator has said, "I brought her to the Imam (a.s.) and shortly afterwards she became the mother of Imam al-Rida (a.s.)."


H 1229, Ch. 121, h 2

Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from those he mentioned from Safwan ibnyh who has said the following.

"when abu Ibrahim (a.s.) passed away abu al-Hassan (al-Rida) (a.s.) spoke (about his Imamat) and we became afraid for him because of it. It was said to him, "You have declared a very great issue and we are afraid for you from this rebel." The Imam (a.s.) said, "Let him strive his best but he will find way against me."


H 1230, Ch. 121, h 3

Ahmad ibn Mihran, Allah grant him blessings, from Muhammad ibn Ali from al-Hassan ibn al-Mansur from his brother who has said the following.

"Once I went to see al-Rida (a.s.) in a house inside his house in the middle of the night. He raised his hand and it was as if there were ten lamps inside the house and a man asked permission for a meeting. He lowered his hand and then gave him permission."


H 1231, Ch. 121, h 4

Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from ibn Jumhur from Ibrahim ibn ‘Abdallah from Ahmad ibn ‘Abdallah from al-Ghifari who has said the following.

"I owed money to a man from the family of abu Rafi‘, slave of the Holy Prophet (s.a), called Tays. He demanded payment and pressed me hard and people also assisted him. When I found myself in such condition I prayed the morning prayer in the Mosque of the Messenger of Allah and then headed to al-Rida (a.s.) who was in al-‘Arid those days. When I almost reached his door he appeared on his donkey wearing a shirt and a gown. When I looked at him I felt shy. When he approached me he looked at me and I offered him the greeting of peace. It was the month of Ramadan. I said, "May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, I owe money to your slave, Tays and he has defamed me. I thought he will order him to stop pressuring me and by Allah, I did not tell him how much I owed nor I mentioned any amount. He ordered me to sit until he will return. I remained there until said my sun set prayer and I was fasting. I became depressed and I thought of returning home. At that time he appeared before me with people around him. He was surrounded by the beggars and would give them charity. He passed by and entered his house. Then he came out and called me inside. We both sat down and I began to speak to him about ibn al-Musayyib, the governor of Madina as I would speak to him about the governor often. When I finished he said, "I do not think you had any break fast yet. I said, "No, I did not break fast yet." He asked for food and ordered the boy to join me at the table. I and the boy had our meal and when we finished he said to me, "Lift up the furnishing and pick up whatever is underneath." I lifted it up and found Dinars therein. I picked them up and place in my pocket. He ordered four of his slaves to escort me to my house. I said, "May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, the spies of ibn al-Musayyib check around all the time and I do not like them to see me with your slaves. He said, "You are right, may Allah keep you rightly guided." He ordered them to return whenever I wanted them to do so." When almost reached my house and felt safe I asked them to go back I went home and asked for a lamp. I looked at the Dinars and there were forty-eight of them, I owed twenty eight to the man. Among them one Dinar caught my sight and picked it up and brought near the lamp. I found a clear mark on it that said, "Payment to the man twenty-eight Dinars and the rest for your self." By Allah, I did not know how much I owed him. All praise belong to Allah Who has granted honor to those who He has give authority."


H 1232, Ch. 121, h 5

Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from certain person of our people who has said the following. " Abu al-Hassan al-Rida came out of Madina in the year that Harun wanted to performed Hajj. When he arrived near the mountain called Fari‘ on the left going to Makka, abu al-Hassan looked at it and then said, "The builder at Fari‘ and he who would demolish will be cut in pieces." We had no idea what it meant. When he returned Harun arrived and camped at that place. Ja‘far ibn Yahya climbed the mountain and ordered to build a resting place for him. When he returned from Makka he climbed there and ordered to demolish what was built there. When he returned to Iraq he was cut in pieces."


H 1233, Ch. 121, h 6

Ahmad ibn Muhammad has narrated from from Muhammad ibn al-Hassan from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from Muhammad ibn Hamza ibn al-Qasim from Ibrahim ibn Musa who has said the following.

"I would urge abu al-Hassan al-Rida in a matter that I would demand from him and he would ask to give him time. One day he went out to receive the governor of Madina and I was with him. He came near the castle of so and so and stopped for rest among a few trees. Just the two of us and not a third was there. I said, "May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, this holy is upon us, by Allah, all I have is one Dirham only and nothing else." He scratched the earth with his whip firmly and with his hand picked up a mold of gold and said, "Use it and keep secret what you just saw."


H 1234, Ch. 121, h 7

Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from from Yasir al-Khadim and al-Rayyan ibn al-Salt all have said the following.

"When the matter of the deposed Caliph (Amin) ended and it was established for al-Ma’mun he wrote to al-Rida asking to come to Khurasan. Abu al-Hassan (a.s.) in reply presented certain reason to justify his disagreement to the proposal but al-Ma’mun continued writing until The Imam (a.s.) found it out to be unavoidable and that will not leave him alone. He (a.s.) then left for Khurasan when abu Ja‘far was only seven years old. Al-Ma’mun wrote to him, "do not travel through the mountains and Qum. Take the road through Basra, al-Ahwaz and Persia. The Imam (a.s.) arrived at Marw. Al-Ma’mun offered him to command and lead the task of Khilafat (Leadership) but abu al-Hassan (a.s.) declined. He then offered the Imam (a.s.) to accept the post of the crown prince . The Imam (a.s.) said that he may accept it under certain conditions. Al-Ma’mun said, "Say whatever conditions you like." The Imam (a.s.) wrote, "I will assume this post with the conditions that I will nor issue any order or prohibitions nor issue any fatwa or judgment nor any appointment or dismissal of officers or change anything in the current system. You must excuse me in all such matters. Al-Ma’mun agreed to all such conditions. The narrator has said that Yasir narrated to me saying, "When it was ‘Id (the holiday) al-Ma’mun asked al-Rida to attend the program, lead the prayer and deliver the sermon. Al-Rida (a.s.) replied him saying, "You know the conditions between us. They did not consist of any such matters. Al-Ma’mun sent the message, "I only want there by to build confidence in the people and they would know your distinction." He continued insisting until the Imam (a.s.) said, "O Amir al-Mu’minin, I would appreciate much if you would excuse me from such task and if you would still insist then I will out for this task in the manner that the Messenger of Allah and Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (a.s.) would do." Al-Ma’mun then said, "You may do as you would chose. Al-Ma’mun ordered the servants guides to lead a procession to the door of abu al-Hassan (a.s.) saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ Allah is great.

The narrator has said that Yasir al-Khadim narrated to me this. "People lined up waiting for the Imam (a.s.) on the roads and roof tops, men women and children. The guides and people from the army gathered at the door of abu al-Hassan (a.s.). At sun rise the Imam (a.s.) took a shower, wore a white turban made of cotton. He let one end of the turban hang over his chest and the other end between his shoulder on his back. He tied his belt and asked his followers, "Do as I have done." He picked up an arrow shaped staff and came out and we were along with him. He was bare foot and his gown was raised half way between his feet and knees and so were his other (long) clothes. When he walked and we walked along with him he raised his head towards the sky and Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) four times. It seemed to us as if the sky and the walls responded to him. the guides and the people at the door were ready and armed and decorated with the best dresses. When we appeared before them in such fashion and al-Rida (a.s.) appeared to them he stood at the door shortly and then said, "Allahu Akbar (Allah is great). Allahu Akbar (Allah is great). Allahu Akbar (Allah is great). Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) for guidance that He has granted us. Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) that has granted us the cattle. All praise belongs to Allah that He has granted us blessings. We all would raise our voices. Yasir al-Khadim has said that the whole Maw shock with the weeping, cries and shouts when they looked at abu al-Hassan (a.s.). Many of the guides fell from their horses who would kick and throw their boots when they saw abu al-Hassan barefoot. He would walk about ten steps and pause and say Allahu Akbar three times. Yasir al-Khadim has said that to us it seemed as if the sky, earth and mountains would respond to him. The whole Marw had become one voice loud and tearful. Information of this was reported to al-Ma’mun and Sahl ibn al-Fadl, who had two official posts, said to him, "Amir al-Mu’minin, if al-Rida would reach the place of prayer in this manner people will into his devotees. Ask him to return home." Al-Ma’mun sent his people to ask abu al-Hassan to return home. He asked to bring his shoes and wore them and rode back home."


H 1235, Ch. 121, h 8

Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from Yasir al-Khadim who has said the following.

"When al-Ma’mun left Khurasan for Baghdad along with him came Fadl, Dhu al-Al-Ri’asatayn and we came out with abu al-Hassan (a.s.)

Fax l ibn Sahl had received a letter from his brother Z assan, while we were on our journey. Hassan had said in the letter, "I studied the Zodiac changes this year according to the astrological calculations. I found out in the month of so and so on a Wednesday you will feel the test of iron and fire. I urged you to go to a Turkish bath with Ma’m7 n and Imam 2 (a.s) and perform phlebotomies and stain your hands with blood which, will help remove this misfortune from you.

Fax l ibn Sahl wrote about it to al-Ma’mun requesting him to request His Holiness Imam Ali ibn 72 al-2 (a.s) to also join them on the appointed day. Al-Ma’m7 n informed the Holy Imam of the contents of that letter and demanded the consent of His Holiness. In reply to the caliph’s letter Imam al- (a.s) wrote, "I will not go to the Turkish bath tomorrow. You and Fadl also must not go there tomorrow." He sent that letter to the Imam (a.s.) twice. Abu al-Hassan (a.s.) wrote to him, "O Amir al-Mu’minin, "I will not go to the Turkish bath. I have seen in a dream the Holy Prophet (a.s) enjoining me not to go to that Turkish bath. You and Fadl also must not go to the Turkish bath." Al-Ma’mun replied the letter saying, "You have spoken the truth and so has the Messenger of Allah. I will not go to the Turkish bath tomorrow and Fadl knows best." The narrator has said that Yasir said, "When the night fell al-Rida (a.s.) told us to say, "We seek refuge in Allah against the misfortune in this night. We continued saying the expression. When al-Rida (a.s.) prayed the Morning Prayer he asked me to climb at the roof and to listen if there is anything. When I climbed I heard a great deal of commotion and crying and it was increasing. We saw al-Ma’mun enter from the door that opened to his quarter from the quarter of abu al-Hassan (a.s.) and he said, "My master, abu al-Hassan, may Allah grant you good reward for the death of Fadl. He refused to cancel his decision for the bath and he went to the Turkish bath. A group of people attacked him with swords and killed him. Three of the attackers were arrested and one of them was the son of his maternal uncle, the son of Dhul al-Qalamayn. He then said that the police and the guides and the people of Fadl present at the door of al-Ma’mun said, "He has murdered him." They killed him. They meant al-Ma’mun thereby." "We revenge him." They set the door on fire." Al-Ma’mun said to abu al-Hassan (a.s.), "My master, please come out to them to calm them down and ask them to disperse."

The narrator has said that Yasir said, "Abu al-Hassan (a.s.) rode and asked me to ride also. When we were out of the door of the house he looked at the people who were crowded. He made hand gestures to asked them to disperse." Yasir has said, "People began to fall one on the other and to whoever, that he would make a hand gesture he would run and pass by."


H 1236, Ch. 121, h 9

al-Husayn ibnmmd has narrated from Mu‘alla ibnmd from Musafir and from al-Washsha’ from Musafir who has said the following.

"When Harun ibn al-Musayyib decided to fight Muhammad ibn Ja‘far, abu al-Hassan (a.s.) told me to go to him and say, "Do not go our tomorrow. If would do so you will be defeated and your people will be killed." If he would ask, "How do youknow that?" Say, "I saw it in my dream." The narrator has said that he went to him and said, "May Allah make of service to you, do not go out tomorrow to fight. If would do so you will be defeated and your people will be killed." He asked, "How do you know this?" I said, "I saw it in my dream." He said, "A slave goes to sleep (to dream) and his behind is not even washed." He went out to fight. He was defeated and his people were killed." The narrator has said that Musafir narrated, "I was in the presenceof al-Rida (a.s.) in Mina, Makka that Yahya ibn Khalid passed by and he covered his head from the dust. The Imam (a.s.) said, "Poor people do not know what will happen to them this year." I, by Allah, could not understand themeaning of his statement until we buried him (Yahya ibn Khalid)."


H 1237, Ch. 121, h 10

Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad from Ali ibnmd al-Qasani who has said the following.

"A Certain person of our people has said that he wanted to deliver an amount of propertyto al-Rida (a.s.). It was a large amount. When he saw it he did not become happy. I became depressed and said to myself, "I delivered this property to him but he did not become happy." The Imam (a.s.) called, "O boy, bring water and the receptacle." The narrator has said that the Imam thensat on the chair and made a hand gesture to the boy to pure water on his hand." The narrator has said that from his hand gold began to fall in the receptacle. He then turned to me and said, "One who would be as this he does not become happy for what you would deliver to him."


H 1238, Ch. 121, h 11

Sa‘d ibn ‘Abdallah and ‘Abdallah ibn Ja‘far all have narrated from Ibrahim ibn Mahziyar from his brother Ali ibn Mahziyar from al-Hassan al-Husayn ibn Sa‘idfm Muhammad ibn Sinan who has said the following.

"Ali ibn Musa (a.s.) died at the age of forty nine and few months in the year two hundred and two AH. He lived for nineteen years and two or three month after the death of Musa ibn Ja‘far (a.s.)."