Imam al-Hadi (A.S.) as Ahl uz-Dhikr
The author of Ad-Dam’atus- Saakibah has related that:[One day, a non-Muslim, who had committed adultery with a Muslim woman was arrested and presented in the court of Mutawakkil, the Abbasid ruler. As soon as he entered the court, the non-Muslim said, “Do not pass the ruling of punishment for me for I have become a Muslim”.When Yahya bin Aktham, the Chief Justice heard this, he said, “Now that he has become a Muslim, the penalty cannot be enforced upon him”. One of the other scholars who was present at the time objected to this and said, “No! He is still liable for the punishment”. The argument over this issue continued for some time. When no solution was found, Mutawakkil wrote to Imam Muhammad al-Hadi (as) for his opinion. Imam (as) responded by writing: “He should be beaten to death”.Yahya bin Aktham was quite upset by this statement and said, “Nothing of this sort is mentioned in the Holy Quran. Imam al-Hadi (as) must therefore provide an explanation for this ruling”. In reply, Imam (as) wrote the following verse of the Holy Quran: “But when they saw our punishment they said: ‘We believe in Allah alone and we deny what we used to associate with Him.But their belief was not going to profit them when they had seen our punishment”. (40:84)When Mutawakkil read this, he rejected the opinions of all his scholars and followed the advice of our Imam (as).]The People of Dhikr:Allah (SWT) is commanding us: “So ask the people of Dhikr – Quran – if you do not know”. (16:43)Ahlud-Dhikr refers to the people of Quran, which means ‘People who have the knowledge and true understanding of the Holy Quran’. According to our Aqeedah, they are: The Holy Prophet (saww); His beloved daughter Sayyida Fatimah al-Zahra (as) and the 12 Holy Imams of the Ahlul-Bayt (as) – starting from Imam Ameer al-Mumineen (as) and ending with our 12th living Imam, Imam Sahibul-Amr (AJ)
Imam al-Hadi (A.S.) as Ahl uz-DhikrImam Ali al-Hadi (as) is also included among the Ahlud-Dhikr – people who have the knowledge and understanding of the Holy Quran. The author of Ad-Dam’atus- Saakibah has narrated an interesting incident about the childhood of this Imam (as). He writes: [Imam Ali al-Hadi (as) assumed the official role of Imamate at a very young age of 7 or 8 years. At that tender age, he (as) had become a point of reference for the Muslims. People would refer to him and seek his guidance in almost everything pertaining to their lives. When the enemies of Ahlul-Bayt (as) saw this, they were displeased with the situation. So, in conjunction with the government of the time, which was in opposition of Ahlul-Bayt (as), they began looking for a person who was the most knowledgeable of the time yet a sworn enemy of Ahlul-Bayt (as) so that the 10th Imam (as) is put under his care for training and the Muslims, particularly the Shia’hs do not get any access to him. Finally, ‘Ubaydullah Junaydi, a prominent scholar from ‘Iraq and a sworn enemy of Ahlul-Bayt (as) was appointed for the task. ‘Ubaydullah took our Imam (as) into his care and did not allow any Shia’h to visit him. This way, the guidance of our Imam (as) was suspended for his Shia’hs.One day a person came to ‘Ubaydullah Junaydi and asked him, “How is the Hashimite servant doing?” Junaydi, a sworn enemy of Ahlul-Bayt (as) became extremely furious with the man and said to him, “Do not call him a Hashimite servant for he is not a servant but a leader of Banu Hashim. By Allah! Despite his young age, he is more knowledgeable than I am. People think that I am disciplining him but the truth is that he is disciplining me. I swear by Allah! He is not only the Hafidh of Quran but also possesses its knowledge. To be precise, he is the best of all on the face of this earth”.]Incidents in His Life:There are numerous interesting incidents that have occurred during the lifetime of our 10th Imam (as). The following are two such incidents:INCIDENT ONE:In the tribe of Rabee’ah, there lived a Christian by the name of Yusuf bin Ya’qoob.One day, Mutawakkil, the Abbasid ruler, summoned this Christian to his court. Not knowing the reason, this Christian was extremely terrified. Since he was aware that Imam al-Hadi (as) was the most pious and saintly person of their time, the Christian set aside 100 Ashrafis to gift to the Imam (as) in hope of receiving protection from Allah (SWT). He took the money with him and proceeded to Samarrah.Samarrah was a new place for this Christian. Neither did he know anyone there nor was he familiar with the place. When he arrived in Samarrah, he was aware that Imam (as) was under house arrest and being a Christian, it would be all the more difficult for him to enquire about the Imam (as). Not knowing what to do, he climbed on his donkey and left the donkey free to take him anywhere in hope that he will find a solution to his problem.The donkey moved on its own with the Christian seated on it until it came and stopped outside a house. The Christian tried his level best to move the donkey further but it would not barge. When the Christian asked a passer-by about the house, he was told that it belonged to the ‘Ali ibn Muhammad (as) – the Imam of the Rafidhis. The Christian told himself, “God is great! This is sufficient for me to understand the status of this man”. Suddenly a black slave appeared from the house and asked, “Are you Yusuf bin Ya’qoob?” The Christian replied, “Yes” and said to himself, “This is the second proof. No one here knows me, how did this man call me by my name”. The slave asked the Christian to come and wait at the doorstep of the house while he went inside. After sometime, he appeared again and said, “The 100 Ashrafis, which you have brought along, give it to me. The Christian handed the envelope to the slave who took it inside. The Christian said to himself, “This is the third proof”.Finally, the slave appeared again and invited the Christian to enter the house. Imam (as) was sitting on a humble mat and as soon as he (as) the Christian, he (as) asked, “O Yusuf! Hasn’t the time of your guidance come yet?” This Christian said, “My Master! Today I have found such evidences that are sufficient for me to believe in you”. Imam (as) said, “Hayhaat! What you have spoken is far-fetched. You will never become a Muslim! However, your such and such son is our Shia’h. O Yusuf! People say that our Mastership and friendship does not benefit people like you. They are liars! People like you also benefit from our friendship. Now go for the purpose you have taken the trouble to come here and you will be successful.”It is narrated that as the Imam (as) had predicted, the Christian was successful in his trip and no harm befell upon him from Mutawakkil. He died as a Christian but one of his sons accepted Islam and became a great follower of the Ahlul-Bayt (as). (Ahsan al-Muqaal)The learning point for us from this incident is that people who give out money or give any offerings in the name of our Aimmah (as) with hope of getting their wishes fulfilled are not wrong. If such an action can benefit non-Muslims, why can’t it benefit the followers of Ahlul-bayt (as).INCIDENT TWO:One day a person had a disagreement with his brothers about the four (4) fasts that are highly recommended to be kept every year. So they came to Imam al-Hadi (as). At that time Imam (as) was at a place called Surya on his way to Samarrah. As soon as he (as) saw them, Imam (as) told them, “You have come here to ask me about the four (4) recommended fasts in a year”. They said, “Maula! You are right. Indeed we have come to ask you the same question”.Imam (as) said to them, “The four fasts are: 17th Rabi’ al-Awwal – the day when the Holy Prophet (saww) was born; 27th Rajab – the day the Holy Prophet (saww) proclaimed his prophethood; 25th Dhul-Qa’dah – the day the earth was spread and 18th Dhul-Hijjah – the day of Ghadeer”. (Ahsan al-Muqaal)
His MartyrdomImam Al-Hadi (as) was poisoned by Mo’taz – the Abbasid ruler. He (as) passed away on 3rd Rajab 254 AH. His son Imam Hasan al-‘Askary (as) performed the pre-burial rites and burried him at the particular sacred spot in his special chamber, where his tomb is now situated in Samarrah, Iraq.
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