To Serat e Mustaqeem – Graphic Chart And Slides




The following Slides are selected from the Slide Show included in the website
(A Correction: See Slide #4 instead of No.2)
(A Correction: See Legend in Slide #4 instead of 2)
 Next Week,  Brief Life History of The 11th Imam – Part #13, inshaAllah.
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Brief Life HIstory of The Tenth Imam -Part #12




Source: “Shia Islam AT A Glance” BY: Sheikh Abdul Jalil Nawee; and Shia Youth Inc. Website:

 Imam Alī Al-Naqi (a.s.) commonly called and  known as Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) was the tenth of the Twelve Imams after his father Imam Muhammad Al-Jawad (a.s.).  He

remained in Medina teaching until the age of 30 when he was summoned to Samarra by the Abbasid caliph al-Mutawakkil. There, he was treated roughly by the caliph and

his other successors until, according to Shiite accounts, he was poisoned through intrigue of al-Mu’tazz, the Abbasid caliph, in 254 A.H, and was buried in Sammarra, Iraq.


According to the most accurate reports, he was born on 2nd or 5th Rajab, 213 A.H. in a village near Medina called Sorayya  to the ninth Shiite Imām, Imam Muhammad al-Taqi (a.s.), (also known as Imam Muhammad al-Jawad (a.s.)), and Lady Samānah or Susan, who was originally a Berber  (from Northwest Africa). His father bestowed upon him the surname Abul-Hasan, after the surnames given to his grandfather Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.) and his great grandfather Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.). To differentiate between these three Abul Hasans, narrators usually call Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.), abul Hasan the first; Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.), Abul Hasan the second; and Imam al-Hadi (a.s.), Abul Hasan the third.


After his father’s death in 220 A.H. Imam Ali al-Hadi (a.s.) assumed the official role of Imamat at the age of 7 or 9. The followers of his father were in agreement on his Imamate, except for a minor group who gathered around his older brother, Musa, who, when he dissociated himself from them, they turned to Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). Historians have mentioned that after his father’s assassination at the order of Al-Mu’tasim, the Abbasid caliph ordered Umar bin al-Faraj to find a teacher in Medina for the young Imam (that must be one of the enemies of the Ahl-ul Bayt) in order to prevent Shiites from meeting him. He found al-Junaydi for this task, however, al-Junaydi often reported on the Imam’s intelligence saying that the boy would provide perspectives on literature and understanding of the Quran and the revelations within. Al-Junaydi, impressed by him, concluded that it could only be by divine causes that the boy could be so knowledgeable, as a result, he dropped the animosity he had held towards the family of the prophet. Throughout the later years of his Imamat, which coincided with the eight remaining years of the caliphate of Al-Mansur, and five years of the caliphate of next caliph Al-Wathiq, he lived peacefully in Medina engaging himself in teaching a large number of pupils mostly from IraqPersia, and Egypt. Later on, however, the new Caliph, Al-Mutawakkil, became suspicious of the young Imam and decided to watch him more closely.


After Motawakkel came to the throne, the governor of Medina,ʿAbdallāh ibn Moḥammad, wrote the caliph warning him about the activity of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) saying that he was given money with which he could buy weapons that could be used to revolt against the Caliph. When Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) learned of what Abdullah bin Muhammad had written the caliph, he sent a letter to Mutawakkil, defending himself against the accusations and complained about the governor.   Apparently convinced of the harmless piousness of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.), Motawakkel wrote back to Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) stating that he had deposed the governor. He nevertheless asked the Imam to come to Samarra (a military camp, not far from Baghdad, which was the capital of Abbasids at the time).  At the same time, Mutawakkil ordered Yahya ibn Harthama, the captain of the guard, to go to Medina both to investigate Abdullah’s claims and to bring al-Hadi to Samarra. Yahya then searched the Imam’s house and found nothing more than copies of the Quran and other religious books.  It is said that when the Imam approached Baghdad, many people gathered to see him. At Sammara, however, the caliph did not immediately receive him, though assigned a house for his staying.


Even though Mutawakkil had no reason to be suspicious of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.), he insisted that the Imam (a.s.) stay in Samarra under house arrest. According to Madelung, he was still able to move in the city and communicate with his followers, giving them instructions or receiving through them the annual Khums (the financial contributions of the faithful).

Yahya ibn Harthama, the captain of the guard, is narrated to have reported his experience as follows: “The Caliph Mutawakkil sent me to Medina with orders to bring Ali ibn Muhammad to answer certain accusations that had been made against him. When I arrived, his household made such wailing and lamentation as I had never heard. I tried to quiet them and assured them that I had received no orders to do him any harm. And when I searched the house where he lived, I found only a Quran, books of prayer and such things. So while I took him away, I offered him my services and showed him very high respect. But one day on the journey, when the sky was clear and the sun just rising, (imam) Ali (a.s.) put on a cloak when he mounted his horse and knotted the animal’s tail. I was surprised at this, but it was only a little while afterwards that a cloud came up and there was a regular torrent of rain. Then (Imam) Ali (a.s.) turned to me and said, I know that you did not understand what you saw me do, and that you imagine that I have had some unusual knowledge of this affair. It is not, however, as you supposed, but as I was brought up in a desert, I know the winds that come before rain. This morning the wind blew which does not deceive, and I noticed the odor of rain and so prepared for it. On our arrival in Baghdad, our first visit was to Ishak ibn Ibrahim, of the family of Tahir, who was the governor of the city. He said to me, O Abu Yahya, this man (Imam Ali  Naqi(a.s.)) is a descendant of the Apostle of God. You know Mutawakkil, and have influence with him, but if you urge him to kill this man, the Prophet (pbuh), himself will be your enemy. I replied that I saw nothing in the conduct of Imam Ali Naqi (a.s.) except what was altogether praiseworthy. I went on to Sammarra, where I saw Wasif, the Turk, for I was one of his intimate friends. I swear before God, he said to me, if a single hair of the head of this man falls, I will myself demand satisfaction. I was somewhat surprised at the attitude taken by these men, and when I informed Mutawakkil of what I had heard in praise of the Imam, he gave him a handsome present and treated him with all sorts of honor.”


Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) contributed to the books of argumentation that were compiled by Shiite scholars. Among these was a theological treatise on human Free Will and some other short texts and statements ascribed to Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) and are quoted by Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan ibn ʻAlī ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn Shuʻbah al-Harrānī.

It is said that once a scholar came in where Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) had a meeting with masters of Hashemite (a clan Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), had belonged to). Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) seated the scholar beside himself and treated him with great respect. The Hashemite protested saying: “why do you prefer him to the masters of Banu Hashim?’ Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) said: “Beware to be from those whom God has said about, Have you not considered those who are given a portion of the Book? They are invited to the Book of Allah that it might decide between them, then a part of them turn back and they withdraw.  Do you accept the Book of Allah as a judge?” asked Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). They all said, “O son of the messenger of God (pbuh), we do.” Then Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) tried to prove his stance by saying,

 “Has Allah not said Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge, in high degrees?  Allah does not accept for a knowledgeable believer but to be preferred to an unknowledgeable believer, just as He wants a believer to be preferred to an unbeliever. Allah has said, Allah will exalt those of you who believe and those who are given knowledge, in high degrees. Has He said, Allah will exalt those, who are given honor of lineage, in high degrees? Allah has said, Are those who know and those who do not know, alike?  Then, how do you deny my honoring him for what Allah has honored him?”


On one occasion, al-Mutawakkil organized a conference to be held in his palace with theologians and experts in  jurisprudence he had invited. He had asked Ya’qub ibn Isaak known as ibn as-Sikkit to ask Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) the questions that he didn’t think the Imam could answer. One of the questions was that, why did God  send Moses (pbuh) with the rod and white hand, send Jesus with the healing of the blind and leprous and giving life to the dead, and send Muhammad (pbuh) with the Quran and sword? Imam Al-Hadi’s (a.s.) answer goes as follows: “Allah sent Moses with the rod and white hand in a time where the predominant thing among people was magic. Therefore, Moses came to them with that and defeated their magic, dazed them, and proved authority over them. And Allah sent Jesus Christ (pbuh)with the healing of the blind and leprous and the giving of life to the dead by the will of Allah in a time where the predominant thing among people was medicine. Therefore, Jesus Christ came to them with that and defeated and dazed them. And Allah sent (Prophet) Muhammad (pbuh) with the Quran and sword in a time where the predominant things among people were sword and poetry. Therefore, (Prophet) Muhammad (pbuh) came to them with the Quran and sword and dazed their poetry, defeated their sword, and proved authority over them.”

Yahya bin Aktham was another scholar who was invited to try the imam (a.s.). It is said that after Imam al-Hadi’s (a.s.) answer to Yahya’s questions, he turned to al-Mutawakkil and advised him saying, “We do not like you to ask this man about anything after my questions to him … In showing his knowledge there will be strengthening to Rafida (the Shiite).” One of the questions is the following:

“Tell me why Imam Ali  (a.s.) (the first Shiite Imam) killed the people at (the battle of) Siffin …whether they were attacking or fleeing and he finished off the wounded, but on the day of al-Jamal (Battle of the Camel) he did not … Rather, he said, Whoever keeps to his house will be safe. Why did he do that? If the first decision was right, so the second would be wrong.”

Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) replied: “The Imam (a.s.) of the people of the Battle of the Camel was killed and they had no leader to refer to. They went back to their homes without fighting, deceiving, or spying. They were satisfied (after the defeat) not to fight any further. But the people of Siffin belonged to a prepared company with a leader who supplied them with spears, armor, and swords, caring for them, giving them good gifts, preparing great (amount of) monies for them, visiting their sick, curing their wounded, giving sumpters to their footers, helping their needy, and returning them to the fight…”

Whether or not it was possible to see God was one of the common issues discussed at the time of Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) who believed it was impossible to see Him. He argued that “seeing is not possible if there is no air (space) between the seer and the seen thing through which sight goes through. If there is no air and no light between the seer and the seen thing, there will be no sight. When the seer equals the seen thing in the cause of sight between them, sight takes place, but those who compare the seer (man) to Allah, they are mistaken because they liken Allah to man…for effects must relate to causes.”


Another issue that the Imam (a.s.) dealt with was the belief that God has a body (the embodiment of God). Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) chastised those who believed it and stated that, “He, who claims that Allah is a body, is not from us, and we are free from him in this world and the after-world…body (substance) is created, and it is Allah Who has created and embodied it.” To attribute Allah with embodiment is to characterize Him with need and to limit Him to a body. Essentially, it is wrong to equate God with created things due to His nature as our creator.  Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) also expressed strong feelings about the impossibility of describing God’s Essence. The rationale behind his objection was that God is so great that, as humans, we are incapable of conceiving how truly amazing He is, and that the only one that can truly describe God is God Himself. He then uses this as a segue into the belief that true Muslims, the Prophet (pbuh), and the infallible imams (a.s.) cannot be described either, because their obedience to God draws them closer to the Essence of God, and descriptions cannot wholly encompass their virtuous qualities that result from submitting to God.


Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) was given a vast number of descriptive names throughout his life, among which al-Naqi (the pure one), al-Hadi (the Guide) were the most famous. However al-Askari (military; due to the fact that the town he had to live in was a military camp), Faqīh (jurisprudent), al-Aalim (knowledgeable), and At-Tayyib (generous, kind-hearted, good-natured…) were also among his epithets.  It is said that Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) exhibited extreme generosity, though he himself, at times, had no money to pay with. An example of which is an account that describes how a nomadic man came to the imam (a.s.) to tell him of how he was heavily in debt and in need of assistance. Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.), being short of money himself, gave the man a note saying that he was in debt to the nomad, and instructed him to meet the Imam (a.s.) in a place where he had a meeting, and to insist that the Imam pay back the recorded debt. The nomad did as he was told, and the Imam (a.s.) apologized to the nomad in front of those at the meeting for being incapable of paying him back. The officials at the meeting reported the Imam’s debt to the caliph, al-Mutawakkil, who then sent the Imam 30,000 dirhams, with which he then presented to the nomad.


It is said that Mutawakkil showed courtesy toward the imam in Samarrah, and even preferred his judgment to other Faqihs; at the same time, however, he troubled and even tried to kill the Imam. Mutawakkil was envious of the Imam (a.s.) because Imam’s position was exalted among the public. He wanted to belittle the Imam. His vizier counseled him, recommending him to give up, because it would make the public blame and criticize him. But he paid no attention to his vizier. To try to humiliate the Imam, Motawakkil ordered that the Imam along with the officials and notables, (so that it wouldn’t look like the act was intended for the imam), dismount and travel on foot during a hot summer day, while the caliph remained mounted on his horse. Zuraqa the chamberlain of al-Mutawakkil has narrated that he saw the Imam who had almost suffered a heat stroke, was breathing and sweating hard, so he approached him to calm him down by saying “Your cousin (Mutawakkil) did not intend to hurt you particularly.” Al-Hadi looked at him and said “Stop that!” And then recited this Quranic verse, Enjoy yourselves in your abode for three days, that is a promise not to be belied.  The promise here refers to the punishment which is mentioned in the previous verse for unjust people . Zuraqa related that he had a Shiite teacher who had been among his intimate friends. Zuraqa says “when I went home, I sent for him. When he came to me, I told him about what I heard from the Imam. He changed color and said to me, Be careful and store all what you have! Al-Mutawakkil shall die or be killed after three days. I was affected by his speech and asked him to leave. Then I thought to myself and said that it would not harm me to take precautions. If something like that happened, I would have taken my precaution, and if not, I would lose nothing. I went to the house of al- Mutawakkil and took all my money. I deposited them with one of my acquaintances.” Within three days of that event, plotters assassinated the caliph; one of the assassins was actually his son, al-Muntasir. Another account of this prediction stated that the Imam (a.s.) was imprisoned by the caliph, and it was that act which provoked the Imam (a.s.) to foretell of his death.


In Twelver Shiism, Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) is described as being endowed with the knowledge of the languages of the Persians, Slavs, Indians and Nabataeans, in addition to foreknowing unexpected storms and accurately prophesying other events. In the presence of al-Mutawakkil, he unmasked a woman falsely claiming to be Zaynab (s.a.), daughter of Imam Ali (a.s.), by descending her into a lions’ cage in order to prove that lions do not harm true descendants of Imam Ali (a.s.) (a similar miracle is also attributed to his grandfather, Imam Ali ar-Ridha (a.s.)). Imam Al-Hadi’s (a.s.) miracles made some people to believe the claim of some Heretics like Ibn Hasakah who preached to people that Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) was in fact God, and that they themselves were prophets sent by the imam (a.s.) to guide the Muslims. It is quoted from Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) as denying them and instructing people about the extremists, saying “Desert them! May Allah curse them? Block them up into narrow passages and if you find any one of them, split his head with stone!”

Selected Sayings:

  • “Faith is that which hearts acknowledge and deeds prove, and Islam is that which tongues witness and marriage becomes lawful with.”
  • Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) narrated from his forefathers that the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Love Allah for the blessings He gives you, and love me for the love of Allah, and love my household for my love!”
  • “It suffices for you to have good manners by giving up what you hate of others.”
  • “He, who is certain of recompense (from Allah), will give generously.”
  • “If one of you gives (charity) with his right hand, let him conceal that from his left hand, and if he prays, let him conceal that.”


Madelung quotes Ebn Babuya as saying that Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was poisoned by Al-Mutawakkil or Al-Mu’tamid, though neither of them was a Caliph at the time of his death.

According to Allama Tabatabai, however, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was poisoned in the intrigue of Al-Mu’taz who was caliph at the time.  Most reliable sources say that Imam al-

Hadi (a.s.) died on 3rd Rajab, 254 A.H.  Al-Mu’taz sent his brother, abu Ahmad, to lead the funeral prayer. However, because of the large crowd of people who came to the

funeral and due to the crying and tumult, his corpse was returned to his house and was buried in its courtyard.

The tomb of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.), which became also the tomb of his son Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) afterwards, is an important place of Shiite pilgrimage in Sammarra Iraq. It was bombed in February 2006 and badly damaged.  While repairs were in progress after the first attack, another attack was executed on 13 June 2007, which led to the destruction of two minarets of the shrine.  Authorities in Iraq said Al Qaeda was responsible for the attack.


Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.)  lived almost 30 years of his life in Medina which was mostly peaceful. The remaining 12 years that he spent in Sammarra were rough,

troublesome and devastating. He married with Salil, and had four sons and a daughter, namely Hasan al-Askari, Hussain, Muhammad, and Jafar, and daughter Ailia.

Son Muhammad is said to have died before his father in Sammarra. His oldest son Hasan al-Askari became the 11th Imam after death of  his father.

 Next Week, A Brief Life History of The 11th Imam – Part #13, insha’Allah. If any reader  missed any of the prior 11 Parts, please visit website:, select Homepage, select Category: Basic Education.
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Brief Life History of The 9th Imam – Part # 11

Source: “Shia Islam AT A Glance” BY: Sheikh Abdul Jalil Nawee; and Shia Youth Inc. Website:

Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s.) ibn ‘Alī ibn Mūsā like all other prior Imams (except the first Imam), was also a descendant of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He was also called Abu Ja’far, Ibn al-Ridha (“the son of al-Ridha); al-Jawād (“the generous”), and al-Taqī (“the pious”). In the largest branch of Shia Islam, the Twelver or Athnā‘ashariyyah branch, Imam Al-Jawād (a.s.) holds a sacred place as the ninth of the Twelve Imams. Imam Al-Jawad showed his divine knowledge right from the childhood. Caliph Al-Ma’moon was so much impressed of the Imam’s extensive and extra ordinary knowledge and vision that he offered Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) to marry his daughter. Unfortunately, he was also poisoned to death by Abbasid Caliph al-Mutasim at a very young age of 25.


Al-Jawad was born on 7th Rajab, 195 A.H., in Medina (which was then part of the Abbasid Empire). He was the oldest son of Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.). His mother whose name was Habibi was, according to some scholars, a bondmaid from Nubia (Sudan).

Imam Al-Jawad’s (a.s.) father, Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.), expected his son to take the position of Imamate after him. When al-Jawad was four, his father received summons from the Abbasid Caliph, al-Ma’mun, asking him to be al-Ma’mun’s successor. Imam Al-Ridha (a.s.) left the four-year-old al-Jawad behind in Medina to respond to the Caliph’s summons. The Shiites questioned whether a child of that age could take on his father’s responsibility as an Imamate if something happened to Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.). In response, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) used to tell the story of Prophet Jesus (pbuh), who had become a prophet at a much younger age.

As a young child, Muhammad al-Jawad earned the name al-Jawad (“the generous”). In his early life, when his father was away in Khorasan, (Iran), people used to gather by his door in hopes of being helped. Al-Jawad’s caregivers would make him leave his house through a gate to avoid being bothered by these people. Upon hearing this, his father wrote a letter advising his son not to listen to those who told him not to use the house’s main gate. He wrote that their advice came from stinginess and a fear that someone else might receive goodness (alms) from al-Jawad. Imam Al-Ridha (a.s.) wrote: “Whenever you want to go out, keep some gold and silver with you. No one should ask you for anything without your giving it to him. If one of your uncles asks you to be pious to him, do not give him less than fifty dinars, and you may give him more if you want. If one of your aunts asks you, do not give her less than twenty-five dinars, and you may give her more if you want….”


Imam Al-Jawad’s (a.s.) age at the time of his father’s death in Korasan, Iran, is unknown; some say he was eight, others say he was seven. With his father’s death, Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) became a young Imam. According to Shia beliefs, Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) did not act like a child, and he possessed extraordinary knowledge at a young age. Shia beliefs liken this to Prophet Jesus (pbuh), who was called to leadership and his prophetic mission while still a child.

Accounts appear to differ as to Imam al-Ridha’s (a.s.) death and subsequent events. One account states that al-Ma’mun poisoned Imam al-Ridha (a.s.), and then summoned al-Jawad from Medina to Baghdad in order to marry his daughter, Ummul Fadhl. This apparently provoked strenuous attempts by the Abbasids to forestall this course of action. According to scholars, caliph al-Ma’mun gave Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) one hundred thousand Dirham, and said, “Surely I would like to be a grandfather in the line of the Apostle of God (pbuh) and of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.).”

Another account states that al-Ma’mun’s first meeting with al-Jawad was coincidental. According to this account, al-Ma’mun was out hunting when he passed through a road upon which boys, among them Imam al-Jawad (a.s.), were playing. When al-Ma’mun’s horsemen approached, all of the boys ran away, except Imam al-Jawad (a.s.). This prompted al-Ma’mun to stop his carriage and ask, “Boy, what kept you from running away with the others?” Imam Al-Jawad (a.s.) replied, “The road was not so narrow that I should fear there would not be room for you to pass, and I have not been guilty of any offence that I should be afraid, and I considered that you were the sort of man who would not injure one who had done no wrong.” Shiite traditions say that the Caliph was delighted, and after he had traveled a short distance, one of his hunting birds brought him a small fish. Al-Ma’mun hid the fish in his fist, returned, and asked al-Jawad: “What have I in my hand?” Al-Jawad responded: “The creator of living things has created in the sea a small fish that is fished by the falcons of the kings and caliphs to try with it the progeny of al-Mustafa (pbuh). Shiite tradition says that Al-Ma’mun was pleased with this answer and asked the child about his lineage. Soon thereafter, the Caliph called together a large gathering during which Imam al-Jawad (a.s.)was asked many questions, and astonished everyone with his judgment and learning. After this, al-Ma’mun formally gave al-Jawad his daughter in marriage.


According to Shiite beliefs, Yahya ibn Aktham, the Chief Justice of the Abbasid Empire, was present at al-Ma’mun’s assembly, and wanted to try Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) in al-Ma’mun’s presence. He did so by asking a question concerning the atonement for a person who hunts game while dressed in pilgrimage garb (Ihram). In response, Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) asked first “whether the game killed was outside the sanctified area or inside it; whether the hunter was aware of his sin or did so in ignorance; did he kill the game on purpose or by mistake, was the hunter a slave or a free man, was he adult or minor, did he commit the sin for the first time or had he done so before, was the hunted game a bird or something else, was it a small animal or a big one, is the sinner sorry for the misdeed or does he insist on it, did he kill it secretly at night or openly during daylight, was he putting on the pilgrimage garb for Hajj or for the Umrah?…” This apparently astonished Abbasids who were critical of al-Ma’mun’s decision to marry his daughter to Imam al-Jawad (a.s.).

During the next annual pilgrimage (Hajj), a number of prominent men from around the Islamic world came to Medina to see Imam al-Jawad (a.s.), and another assembly was held. These men were skeptical of Imam al-Jawad’s (a.s.) youth and whether he truly was the Imam. Shiite belief holds that they were so impressed with the boy that their doubts were eliminated. Kulaini recounted that the superintendent of the Shrine gave Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) a test that “lasted for several days, in which he answered thirty thousand questions to their great amazement!”


All historians had explained that Ma’mun had asked Imam al-Jawad (a.s.)to marry his daughter Ummul Fadhl because he had been the pioneer of his contemporary elites. One year after marriage with Caliph Al-Ma’muns daughter, Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) came back to Medina with his wife and devoted his life to teaching. Imam Al-Jawad (a.s.) also married a slave girl named Sumaneh, who was of the Berber tribe from the Maghreb (Northwest Africa). She bore him a son and a successor, Ali al-Hadi, who would be the tenth Shiite Imam).


After al-Ma’mun’s death in CE 883, his successor, Al-Mu’tasim, became the new Caliph. Al-Mu’tasim did not like Imam al-Jawad (a.s.), and in 885 CE, he called Imam al-Jawad(a.s.) back to Baghdad. Imam Al-Jawad (a.s.) left his son Ali-al-Hadi with his mother Sumaneh in Medina while his (Al-Jawad’s) wife Ummul Fadhl accompanied him to Baghdad. They lived there for a year before Imam al-Jawad’s (a.s.) wife (Al-Ma’mun’s daughter), according to some sources, poisoned him, at the urging of the new Caliph Al-Mu’tasim.


Imam Al-Jawad (a.s.) married twice, first with daughter of Caliph Al-Ma’mun, and second with Sumantha who was a slave girl and later converted into Islam. Imam Al-Jawad had three children, two sons and one daughter, namely: Ali Al-Hadi, Musa al-Mubaraqa, and Hakimah Khatun. Imam Al-Jawad (a.s.) lived about 25 years. He died on 10th Ziqaad, 220AH in Kazimain, and burried in the Al-Kadhimiya Mosque, in Baghdad Iraq.
Selected Sayings
“Turning to God with the deep of the heart is much better than tiring the organs.”
“Do not anticipate matters before their time that you may regret. Do not live just with wishes that your hearts may be hard. Be merciful to the weak and ask for mercy from God by being merciful yourselves!”.
“Knowledgeable persons are strangers because of the many ignorant people around them.”
“Do not make an enemy of anyone until you know what there is between him and God! If he is good, God will not leave him to you, and if he is bad, then your knowing of his badness will make you safe from him and so you do not need to make him your enemy.”
“If the ignorant keep silent, people will not disagree.”
“Showing something before it becomes complete spoils that thing.”
“The blessing that is not thanked becomes a sin that is not forgiven.”
“Trusting in God is a price to every dear thing and a ladder to every high thing.”

Shia Youth Inc. is a non profit organization having tax exempt status under IRS Section 501 3 (c). Additionally, His Eminence Syed Ali Sistani’s Office in USA has approved KHUMS Ijazah thus authorizing Shia Youth Inc. to collect KHUMS and provide authentic Marjaeya receipts to the Khums payers. Any question, please email to: Shia Youth Inc. accepts all donations via PayPal (Friends &Family), Zelle, Bank transfers or by Checks mailed to:
Shia Youth Inc., 15216 Rockport Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20905


Results of Draw # 5 & Final List of Participants


May 30, 2020

Assalam O Alaikum,

This morning Molana Sheikh Abdul Jalil Nawee, after reciting Duas for safety and welfare of the Shia community especially the Free Ziyaraat Plan’s donors and participants, conducted opening of Draw #5 through a zoom conference meeting from his residence. Molana was provided Entry numbers (without names) of the participants as listed below. Based on random selection, Molana declared Entry # 152 as the Winner, and Entry Numbers 160 and 25 as the two Alternate Winners. Accordingly, Shia Youth Inc. here by heartily congratulates the following three lucky winners for receiving divine invitations to visit Karbala as soon as circumstances permit. The Winner will receive a Full package including R.T Air + Land Package (Value $2,200) and the two Alternate winners will receive Land Package (value $900) each. FZP’s next Draw #6 will be held in August, insha’Allah.


Alternate Winner- Br. SHAHID RIZVI (MARYLAND), ENTRY # 160

Alternate Winner – Sr. RUKHSANA SABIR (TEXAS), ENTRY # 25.

Entry Slot Participants
100 Molana Sh. Abdul Jalil – xx
26 Abbas Lakhani
36 Abid Khoyee (MI)
13 Ali Akbar Khoyee (MI)
58 Ali Rizvi Sachay
11 Altaf Lakhani
49 Asad Hussain (NY)
173 Azhar Khan
174 Azhar Khan
146 Azher Husain
71 Dr. Akhtar Naqvi (MD)
24 Faizan Naqvi
68 Farzad Moosvi
37 Feroz Merchant, (CA)
83 Hasan Kassamali
113 Hasan Peerbhoy (CA)
2 Hasan Zaidi
4 Hassan Zaidi
12 Hyderali Lakhani
18 Irfan Sabir (TX)
66 Jawad A Mir
8 Jawed Rizvi
21 Jawed Rizvi
90 Jawed Rizvi
91 Jawed Rizvi
141 Jehangirali
10 Kassamali Lakhani
48 Kumail Raza (PA) Student
19 Minhas Sabir (TX)
14 Mohammad H. Rehmatulla(TX)
42 Molana Rafiq Naqvi -xx
1 Molana Sakhawat Husain -xx
172 Muhammad A. Naqvi
107 Munawwar Rajan
3 Mustafa Sabir
147 Qamar Abidi
110 Qamar Hasan
202 Qamar Hasan
53 Rafiq Panna
55 Rafiq Panna
56 Raza Mir
57 Raza Mir
34 Raza Peerbhoy (CA)
46 Sajjad Premjee (CA)
160 Shahid Rizvi
161 Shahid Rizvi
63 Shan-e-Ali Haider
136 Shoeb Mukhi
47 Sr Syeda Raza (PA)
64 Sr. Amber Zehra Haider
150 Sr. Anamta Raza (PA) Student
92 Vacant
43 Sr. Anjum Naqvi -xx
17 Sr. Atiqua Sabir (TX)
159 Sr. Batool Manekia (TX)
170 Sr. Erum Salman
166 Sr. Erum Salman
169 Sr. Erum Salman
168 Sr. Erum Salmanyes
175 Sr. Farozan Jivraj
177 Sr. Farozan Jivraj
163 Sr. Fatema Rashid
142 Sr. Huzoor Rizvi
20 Sr. Maniha Sabir (TX)
213 Sr. Maria Abbas
72 Sr. Midhat Zehra Naqvi
27 Sr. Mumtaz Lakhani
38 Sr. Muzmila Merchant (CA)
157 Sr. Naseem Hasan
178 Sr. Rabab Ali
179 Sr. Rabab Ali
25 Sr. Rukhsana Sabir (TX)
148 Sr. Salmah Zainab Khabir
88 Sr. Samana Rajan
96 Sr. Samena Sabir
50 Sr. Sehar Sabir (NY)
84 Sr. Shamim Kassamali
89 Sr. Shavia Rajan
45 Sr. Sukaina Premjee (CA)
109 Sr. Taliba
23 Sr. Uzra Khoyee (MI)
28 Sr. Zainab Khoyee (MI)
35 Sr. Zehra Peerbhoy (CA)
15 Sultan Noorani
59 Sultan Noorani
73 Syed Abbas Jafri
74 Syed Abbas Jafri
164 Syed Abbas Jafri
165 Syed Abbas Jafri
125 Syed Haider (FL)
126 Syed Haider (FL)
22 Syed Hedayat Rizvi
86 Syed Hedayat Rizvi
156 Syed Husain
151 Syed Zaidi
152 Syed Zaidi
153 Syed Zaidi
154 Syed Zaidi
114 Syed Zulfiqar Rizvi
16 Turab Sabir, (TX)
143 Zain Baqar
144 Zain Baqar
145 Zain Baqar
67 Zeeshan Rajan
149 Zilley H. Naqvi

Note: xx -Denotes Aalim / Ulemaa not contesting.

Any question or comments, please forward by email to: Shia youth

Thank you.
Shia Youth Team

Brief Life History of The 10th Imam – Part #10


Source: “Shia Islam AT A Glance” BY: Sheikh Abdul Jalil Nawee; and Shia Youth Inc. Website:

 Imam Alī ibn Mūsā al-Rezā (a.s.)  is commonly known as Ali al-Ridha (a.s.). He was a descendant of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and  was an Imam of an extra ordinary knowledge according to the Shia scholars and Sufis.

On the eleventh of Ziqaad 148 AH (December 29, 765 CE), a son was born in the house of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) (the seventh Imam) in Medina, who took over the position of the Imamate, after his father. He was named Ali and titled al-Ridha, however, in the Shia sources he is commonly called Abu’l-Ḥasan al-Sānī in order not to be confused with his father, Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.), who was known as Abu’l-Ḥasan al-Awwal. He was born one month after the death of his grandfather, Imam Ja’far as-Sādiq (a.s.) and brought up in Medina, under the direction of his father, Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.). His mother, Najmah, was also a pious and distinguished lady in Medina. It is said that the boy al-Ridha required a great deal of milk, so that when his mother was asked whether her milk was sufficient, she answered, “it is not because my milk is not sufficient, but he wants it all the time, and consequently I am falling short in my prayers.” She was originally a Berber (from the Maghreb i.e. Northwest Africa). She was purchased and freed by Bibi Hamidah Khatun, the wife of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.), and, like Bibi Hamidah, Najmah Khatun was also a notable Islamic scholar.


The eighth Imam had received the Imamate, after the death of his father, through Divine Command and the decree of his forefathers, especially Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.), who would repeatedly tell his companions that his son Ali Reza would be the Imam after him.  As such, Makhzumi, a scholar says one day Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) summoned and gathered us and entitled him as “his executor and successor.”

Another scholar, Yazid ibn Salit, has also related a similar narration from the seventh Imam when he met him on his way to Mecca“Ali, whose name is the same as the First and the fourth Imam, is the Imam after me.” said the Imam (a.s.). However, due to the extreme choking atmosphere and pressure prevailing in the period of Imam Musa al-Kazim (a.s.), he added, “What I said must remain (restricted) up to you and do not reproduce it to anybody unless you know he is one of our friends and companions.” The same is narrated by Ali bin Yaqtin, from Imam Musa al-Kazim (a.s.) who has said “Ali is the best of my children and I have conferred on him my epithet”  .  According to Wāqedī, even in his youth, Ali al-Ridha would transmit Hadith from his father and his uncles and give Fatwa in the mosque of Medina. Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.) was not looked upon favorably by caliph Hārūn Rashīd; and the people of Medina were disallowed from visiting and learning from him. 


 According to Shia scholars, he was twenty or twenty-five years old when he succeeded his father as Imam in Medina, and it was about eighteen years later, when the Caliph Al-Ma’mun “undertook to ingratiate himself with the numerous Shia parties by designating Ali ar-Ridha as his successor to the Caliphate.”

After the death of Harun al-Rashid in 809, Harun’s two sons began fighting for control of the Abbasid Empire. One son, Al-Amin, had an Arab mother and thus had the support of Arabs, while his half-brother Al-Ma’mun had a Persian Shia mother and the support of Persia.  After defeating his brother, al-Ma’mun faced many insurrections from the followers of the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) family in many areas.

The Shia of al-Ma’mun’s era, like the Shia of today’s Iran, made up a large population of al-Ma’mun’s Iran. They regarded the Imams as their leaders who must be obeyed in all aspects of life, spiritual and terrestrial. They believed in Imams as the real caliphs of the Islamic Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh). The Abbasids, like the Umayyads before them, realized this as a big threat to their own caliphate, since the Shias saw them as usurpers. Allamah Tabatabaei writes in his book Shi’ite Islam, that in order to quiet the many Shia rebellions around his government, al-Ma’mun summoned Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) to Khorasan and wanted to offer him the role of Crown Prince.  The main reasons for this offer were: (1) to prevent the Shias and relatives of Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) from rebelling against the government, seeing as they would then be fighting their own Imam; (2) to cause the people to lose their spiritual belief and inner attachment to the Imams, because the Imam would then be associated with the corrupt government of al-Ma’mun.  Thirdly, he intended it to fool other Shias into believing that his government was not so bad after all, because Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) would then come into power after Ma’mun. And fourthly, he wanted to keep a close watch over the Imam of the Shias himself, so that nothing could happen without al-Ma’mun’s knowledge.


Word spread quickly among al-Ma’mun’s circles that al-Ma’mun was not sincere in his offer to make Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha (a.s.) the Crown Prince, and it was a political move. Al-Ma’mun also became paranoid and thought that Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) would see through it as well, and so would his Shias. In order to quiet the doubts of the people, al-Ma’mun first offered Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) the caliphate itself. Al-Ridha knew the real reason of this offer, and politely refused it, and said:

“If this caliphate belongs to you, then it is not permissible for you to take off the garment in which Allah has clothed you and to give it to other than you. If the caliphate does not belong to you, then it is not permissible for you to give me that which does not belong to you.” Al-Ma’mun kept trying to make his offer seem sincere and kept re-offering the caliphate, and finally moved on to his real plan to make him Crown Prince. When Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) also declined this position, al-Ma’mun threatened him saying, “Your ancestor Ali was chosen by the second caliph to be in a six member council to elect the third caliph, and ordered to kill any one of the six who didn’t comply. If you do not accept the position of Crown Prince in my government, I will follow through on the same threat”. Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said he would accept, under the condition that none of the affairs of government would be his. He would neither appoint anyone, nor dismiss anyone. He would not rule, or pass laws. He would only be Crown Prince in name. Al-Ma’mun became happy that Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) had accepted and would stay out of his way in governing, and agreed to the condition. Al-Ma’mun even changed the black Abbāsid flags to green,  the traditional color of Shia, Prophet Mohammad‘s (pbuh) flag and Imam Ali‘s (a.s.) cloak. He also ordered to mint coins with names of both Al-Ma’mun and Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.) on them.


When Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) was summoned to Khurasan and reluctantly accepted the role of successor to al-Ma’mun,  al-Ma’mun summoned the Imam’s brother, Zayd, who had revolted and brought about a riot in Medina to his court in Khorasan. Al-Ma’mun kept him free as a respect and honor to Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.) and overlooked his punishment. One day, however, when Ali al-Ridha (a.s.) was delivering a speech in a grand assembly, he heard Zayd praising himself before the people, saying I am so and so. Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.) asked him saying:

“O Zayd, have you trusted upon the words of the grocers of Kufa and are conveying them to the people? What kind of things are you talking about? The sons of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and Fatimah Zahra (s.a.) are worthy and outstanding only when they obey the command of Allah (swt), and keep themselves away from sin and blunder. You think you are like Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.), Imam Ali ibn Husain (a.s.), and other Imams? Whereas, they took pains and bore hardships on the way to Allah and prayed to Allah day and night. Do you think you will gain without pain? Be aware, that if a person out of us the Ahl al-Bayt performs a good deed, he gets twice the reward. Because not only he performed good deeds like others but also that he has maintained the honor of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). If he practices something bad and does a sin, he has performed two sins. One is that he performed a bad act like the rest of the people and the other one is that he has negated the honor of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). O brother! The one who obeys Allah is from us, the Ahl al-Bayt, and the one who is a sinner is not ours. Allah said about the son of Noah who cut the spiritual bondage with his father, “He is not out of your lineage; if he was out of your lineage, I would have (saved) and granted him salvation.”


Al-Ma’mun was very interested in working on various sciences translated into Arabic. Thus he arranged debates between the Imam and Muslim scholars and the leaders of religion sects who came in his presence.   One of the discussions was on Divine Unity with Sulaiman al-Mervi; a scholar from Khorasan; another discussion with Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Jahm was devoted to the sinlessness of the Prophets, which led to another debate on the same subject which Ma’mun took a great part in it himself. Many of these debates are recorded in the collections of Shia hadiths, like Oyoun Akhbar Al-Ridha. The following is an example of these debates which took place between the Imam and an unbeliever(Zindīq).

(The Imam) said to him (Zindīq), “Dost thou see that if the correct view is your view then are we not equal? All that we have prayed, fasted, given of the alms and declared of our convictions will not harm us. If the correct view is our view then have you not perished and we gained salvation?” the Man said. “Then let me know, how is He and where is He?” Abu-l-Hasan (the Imam) (a.s.) answered, “surely the opinion thou hast adopted is mistaken. He determined the ‘where’, and He was, when there was no ‘where’; and He fashioned the ‘how’, and He was, when there was no ‘how’. So He is not known through ‘howness’ or ‘whereness'” The man said, “So then surely He is nothing if He cannot be perceived by any of the senses.”Imam Abu-l-Hasan (a.s.) said, “when our senses fail to perceive Him, we know for certain that He is our Lord …” The man said, “Then tell me, when was He?” Imam Abu-l-Hasan (a.s.) said, “Tell me when He was not, and then I will tell you when He was…” The man said, “Then why has He veiled Himself (from men)?” Imam Abu-l-Hasan (a.s.) replied, “Surely, the veil is upon creatures because of the abundance of their sins. As for Him, no secret is hidden from Him during the day or the night…”

This is a long debate, entitled, The Veil, full text of which could be found in the A Shiite Anthology translated by William Chittick.
  According to some accounts, Ma’mun’s main objective from holding the meetings was that he was hoping that the Imam won’t be able to give an answer to every question asked of him. It is related from al-Nawfali who quoted the Imam as saying, “Would you (al-Nawfali) like to know when al-Ma’mūn will feel remorseful? …When he hears me argue with the people of the Torah quoting their own Torah, with the people of the Gospel quoting their own Gospel, with the people of the Psalms quoting their own Psalms, with the Zoroastrians arguing in their Persian language, with the Romans in their own Latin… then al-Ma’mūn will realize that he will not achieve what he aspires…”

Selected Sayings of the 8th Imam:

  • “Everyone’s friend is his reason; his enemy is his ignorance.”
  • “Worship is not abundant prayer and fasting; rather it is abundant reflecting on the affair of Allah, the Great and Almighty.”
  • “Faith is a degree above Islam; Allah-fearingness is a degree above faith; and nothing less than Allah-fearingness has been divided among men.”
  • “Faith is four pillars: trust in Allah, satisfaction with Allah’s decree, submission to Allah’s command, and entrusting (affairs) to Allah.”
  • “If one lacks five attributes, do not expect to gain anything good out of him for your life in this world or your 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.”[


Caliph Al-Ma’mun thought he would solve the problems of Shia revolts by naming Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) as his successor. After finally being able to persuade Imam al-Rida (a.s.) to accept this position, al-Ma’mun realized his mistake, for Shia began to gain even more popularity. Moreover, the Arabs in Baghdad were furious when they heard that al-Ma’mun had not only appointed the imam as his successor, but had sent out commands that the Abbasid‘s black flag should be changed to green in honor of the Imam. They were afraid that the empire would be liberated from them. They got together, therefore, to depose Ma’mun and gave allegiance to Ibrahim ibn al-Mahdi, who was the uncle of Ma’mun.  When Ma’mun heard this, Imam al Ridha (a.s.) advised him to solve the problem by dismissing him from his position but he (Ma’mun) did not heed and decided to return to Baghdad and assert his rights.    However, when they reached the town of Sarakhs, his vizier was assassinated, and in a couple of days, when they reached Tus, Ma’moon poisoned imam al Ridha (a.s.). Then Muhammad Taqi (a.s.), imam’s son, was designated and became the 9th Imam. Ma’moon ordered that he (Imam al Ridha (a.s.) be buried next to the tomb of his own father, Harun al-Rashid, and showed extreme sorrow in the funeral ritual and stayed at the place for three days.  According to Madelung, the unexpected death of both the vizier and the successor, “whose presence would have made any reconciliation with the powerful ʿAbbasid opposition in Baghdad virtually impossible, must indeed arouse strong suspicion that Ma’mun had had a hand in the deaths.” The more popular record about his death is that he passed away on 17 Safar, 202 AH, at the age of 50. However, the precise day is not agreed upon among the scholars. The Imam was buried in a village in Khorasan, which afterwards gained its new name, Mashhad, meaning the place of martyrdom.


Imam Al-Ridha (a.s.) received significant praises from Shia as well as Suni scholars. Shams ad-Din adh-Dhahabi, a Syrian Islamic historian praised Imam al-Ridha by saying “He (Imam al-Ridha) is Imam Abu’ al-Hasan. He was the master of the Hashemites of his time; he was the most clement and the noblest of them. Caliph al-Ma’mun honored him, yielded to him, and magnified him to the extent that he appointed him as his successor. Millions of Shia Muslims visit every year to Mashhad (Iran) pay tributes to the Holy shrine of Imam al-Ridha (a.s.), which is at present one of the most visited holy sites in Shi’ite Islam.

Following are the 8th Imam’s noteworthy works:

Al-Risalah al-Dhahabiah (The Golden Treatise) is a treatise on medical cures and the maintenance ofgood health, which is said to have been written in accordance with the demand of al-Ma’mun. It is regarded as the most precious Islamic literature in the science of medicine, and was known as Golden Treatise because Ma’mun had ordered it to be written in gold ink.

Sahifah is a collection oh hadith attributed to Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.).

Uyun al Akhbar ar Reda is a book which contains every thing including all important events that have been related and gathered together about the 8th Imam.

Feqh al-Reza, also called al-Fiqh al-Radawi, is also attributed to Imam al-Ridha (a.s.). It was not known till made authentic by Mohammad Baqir Majlisi in 1000 AH.


Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) although borne in Medina (Arabia) but spent most of his life in Mashhad (Persia). He married twice, first with Sabikah, and afterwards with aka Khayzuran. He had six children, five sons and one daughter, namely Mohammad  al-Taqi, Hasan, Husain, Jafar, Ibrahim, and Fatima. 


 Next Week, A Brief Life History of The 9th Imam – Part #11, inshaAllah.
FREE ZIYARAAT PLAN Update:   The DRAW #5 is Scheduled for Saturday May 30, 2020, insha’Allah. It will be conducted by Sheikh Abdul Jalil. Results of the Draw will be posted to website:, on the same day. To see results, please select Homepage, select Category: Inserts/Messages…Wish Good Luck to all of the participants.

(The list includes about 100 participants).

Shia Youth Inc. is a non profit organization having tax exempt status under IRS Section 501 3 (c). Additionally, His Eminence Syed Ali Sistani’s Office in USA has approved KHUMS Ijazah thus authorizing Shia Youth Inc. to collect KHUMS and provide authentic Marjaeya receipts to the Khums payers.  Khums is divided half and half between Marjaeya and Shia Youth Inc. Shia Youth Inc. accepts all donations via PayPal (Friends &Family), Zelle, Bank transfers or by Checks mailed to:
Shia Youth Inc., 15216 Rockport Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20905