• Abbas

Imam Ali Raza a.s

Name :

Ali ar-Riza(a.s.) - the 8th Holy Imam

Title :

Gharib al-Ghuraba, Moeen-uz-Zoafa-e-wal-Fuqara, Shah-e-Khurasaan

Agnomen :


Father :

Imam Moosa-e-Kazim(a.s.) - the 7th Holy Imam

Mother :

Ummul-Baneen Bibi Najma

Birth :

At Madina on 11th of Zi-Qadah 148 AH (765 AD)

Martyred :in Mashhad at age 55, on 23rd Zi-Qadah 203 AH (817 AD)

Cause of Death/Buried :

Martyred by Abbasid Khalifa Mamoon in Mashhad, Iran and buried there.

Imam Ali Riza's Profile in Urdu

Birth and Demise

Historians disagree a great deal about the year of his birth and even in determining the month as well, and they also disagree about determining the year and the month of his death. Their disagreements are not confined to the limit of a short span of time but they may be five years apart, and the disagreement is so confusing that it is very difficult to determine clearly such matters; however, we shall point out the statements recorded in this regard without favouring any of them due to the lack of purpose of such favouring which naturally requires research and investigation and a proof for selecting what seems to be the most accurate.

He was born in Medina on Friday, or Thursday, Zi-Qadah 11, or Zil-Hijjah, or Rabi'ul-Awwal, of the Hijri year 148 or the year 153. He died on Friday, or Monday, near the end of the month of Safar, or the 17th of Safar, or Ramzan 21, or Jamadi-al-Awwal 18, or Zil-Qadah 23, or the end of Zi-Qadah, of the year 202 or 203 or 206. In his 'Uyoon Akhbar al-Rida, al-Saduq states: "What is accurate is that he died on the 13th of Ramadan, on a Friday, in the year 203."

What is most likely is that his death took place in the year 203 as stated by al-Saduq. It is the same year in which al-Mamoon marched towards Iraq. To say that he died in 206 is not to agree with the truth because al-Mamoon marched towards Baghdad in the year 204, and the Imam died while he was heading in the same direction.

His early Life

Imam Ali ar-Riza(a.s.) lived in the care of his father for almost 35 years. He imbibed from his father his knowledge, morals and good manners. He was, thus, the most acknowledged scholar and the most qualified to be the leader and the guide of Muslims. He would later lead and feed the school of Ahl al-Bayt(a.s.) with knowledge and religious sciences.

Every Imam made public the name of the Imam who would succeed him so that Muslims would know and follow him, ask him about what they did not know from the shari'ah and Islamic sciences, and receive his guidelines and teachings. Imam Musa Kazim(a.s.), accordingly, explained the position of his son Imam Ali ar-Riza(a.s.), emphasizing that he was the inheritor of his office, the trustee of his school and the Imam to whom Muslims should refer after him. Imam Musa al-Kazim(a.s.) was well aware of the aggressive designs of the government in power against the Imamate and therefore, during his lifetime he declared Imam al-Riza(a.s.) as his successor in the presence of 171 prominent religious men and called upon his sons and his family to submit to him and refer to him in all matters after him. He also left behind a written document declaring the succession of Imam ar-Ridha duly signed and endorsed. by not less than 16 prominent persons. All these necessary steps were taken by the great Imam to avoid any confusion that may have arisen after his death.

Period of Imamate and conditions

The period of his imamate coincided with the caliphate of Harun al-Rashid and then his sons Amin and Ma'mun. After the death of his father, Ma'mun fell into conflict with his brother Amin which led to bloody wars and finally the assassination of Amin, after which Ma'mun became the caliph. Until that day the policy of the Abbasid caliphate toward the Shi'ites had been increasingly harsh and cruel. Every once in a while one of the supporters of Imam Ali(a.s.) (alawis) would revolt, causing blood wars and rebelions which were of great difficulty and consequence for the caliphate

The Shi'ite Imams would not cooperate with those who carried out the these rebellions and would not interfere with their affairs. The Shi'ites of that day, who comprised a considerable population, continued to consider the Imams as their religious leaders to whom obedience was obligatory and believed in them as the real caliphs of the Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf). They considered the caliphate to be far from the sacred authority of their Imams, for the caliphate had come to seem more like the courts of the Persian kings and Roman emperors and was being run by a group of people more interested in worldly rule than in the strict application of religious principles. The continuation of such a situation was dangerous for the structure of the caliphate and was a serious threat to it.

Government's Attitude Towards the Imam