Monday, November 10, 2008

Imam Reza Birthday

Photo by Fars
Today is the birthday of Imam Reza.You know that he is one the most beloved Imam’s of the Shia people of the Islamic world. Imam Reza’s shrine is in Mashhad, Iran, and because of that, he is very respectable among Iranian people and every day, many pilgrims travel to Mashhad city to ask their pleas heard by their holly Imam.Today is the birthday of Imam Reza. He was born in Madina 11th Zeeqaad 148 Hijri (1.1.766 AD) and passed away in the city of Mashhad, Iran on 17th Safar 203 Hijri (26.5.819 AH).Imam Reza (AS) was 35 years old when his father died in prison of Harun al-Rashid in Baghdad and the responsibilities of the Imamat devolved on him. At that time Harun Al-Rashid was the absolute ruler of Baghdad and the descendants of Imam Ali (AS) were passing as ever, through trials and tribulations because of the tyranny of the Abbasid ruler. Yet Imam Reza (AS) carried on the responsibility of administering the Divine Law of Shari’ah as taught by the Holy Prophet and Imams of the Ahlulbayt after him.After putting an end to the life of Imam Musa Ibn Jaa’far (AS) Harun al-Rashid lived for ten years. He had less tolerance for the existence of Imam Ali Reza (AS), then he did for his revered father. But he also knew that his Government had already lost face due to its prolonged maltreatment and eventual assassination of Imam Musa Ibn Ja’afar (AS) or perhaps the tyrant felt the stings of conscience which kept him from harassing the 8th Imam. It is said that once Yahya Barmaki, his Prime Minister, in order to gain the ruler’s favour, informed Harun that Imam Ali Ibn Musa (AS) claimed Imamat in the same way his father had done, Harun coldly replied, “We have already inflicted cruelties on his father, do you expect me to annihilate this family altogether.Political wranglings in Baghdad between the two sons of Harun were rocking the Empire. His elder son Amin who had an Arab mother had the support of the Arabs and most of the Abbasid elders, while the younger son Mamun had a Persian mother and was supported by the Persians. To console both factions Harun took a pledge from both his sons that after his death Amin will rule the Arab part of the Empire while Mamoun will rule the Persian side. When Harun died in far away Tus, the most northern town of his Persian Empire, Mamoun was with him and buried him there. Amin in Baghdad immediately proclaimed himself the Caliph of the whole empire and immediately deposed Mamoun from the rulership of the Persian Province. Mamoun’s main concern was to subdue the persian province under any circumstances. He realised that the majority of Persians favoured the teachings of Ahlulbayt and if somehow he could persuade the Imam of the Ahlulbayt in Madina to side with him, he could confirm his rule there. Once he felt secure on that side of the Empire, he would then rise against his brother and easily depose him.Imam Ali Reza (AS) died and was buried far off from Madina, the home of his forefathers of the Ahlulbayt of the Prophet. In Sanabad, about a mile from the village where he died, they placed him in a grave inside the tomb of Harun al- Rashid who was buried there ten years ago. Mamoun’s ambitions to get the Empire under his feet was almost accomplished for he knew that the army under his command would not run away from him at this juncture.

Reference of the text : siasatrooz