Early childhood Al-Ridha was born in 148 Hijrah, and Al-Kadhim was 20 Yrs old by then Was born one month after his grandfather Al-Saadiq had died Al-Ridha grew up in the laps of righteousness and piety, with love and tender care. Al-Ridha is tutored by his father Kadhim early on Memorized the Quran and learned a great deal about Islam quite early
Al-Ridha in his Boyhood Al-Ridha displayed a photographic memory Early on Al-Ridha: Memorized the Holy Quran and learned the meaning of its various parts, and the historical background of some Ayahs And even learned many of the Ayah’s intricacies. He had an excellent teacher in his father.
Al-Ridha in his Boyhood Al-Ridha learned about the unfavorable circumstances surrounding Al-Kadhim due to Khalifa Al-Mansoor Enjoyed going out with his father Al ‑ Kadhim to the Prophet's Mosque He often saw his father praying, saying Du'aa, and crying, especially at the Prophet's Mosque Al-Ridha became the questioner, the investigator, the researcher, and his questions increased in complexity.
Al-Ridha in his Boyhood When Al-Ridha was 10 Yrs old Al ‑ Mansoor died. As Khalifa, Al-Mansoor was extremely hard on Ahlul Bayt: Dispatched many undercover agents for fear Imam Al- Saadiq might call for an uprising against his throne. Curtailed the activity of the Institute of Ahlul Bayt. Al-Mansoor was a highly suspicious and un-trusting man: Due to suspicion he incarcerated then bloodily murdered a large number of Al-Hasan's progeny He dispersed the rest of the family. That naturally led to a revolt against him.
Al-Ridha in his Boyhood Al-Ridha noticed that his father [Al-Kadhim] was cautious and prudent as long as Al-Mansoor was alive: Teaching during nighttime if the students ventured Had to be more of a listener unless he was asked. Al-Kadhim had to answer by quoting the Hadiths and give various Al-Ah'kaam only when asked. The oppressive environment caused by Al-Mansoor led to shrinkage of the Institute to a great extent. People were too scared to take risks, it was not humanly possible. Both Al-Ridha and his father had looked into the Jafr of the Corpus of Knowledge many times. It encouraged caution.
Al-Ridha in his teens Al-Ridha in his teens Al-Ridha observed that Khalifa Al-Mahdi was religious, and less restrictive than his father Therefore the Institute of Ahlul Bayt became reactivated There were many intellectual centers in the Islamic world. There were many intellectual centers in the Islamic world. They were centers of learning in Medina and Mecca (Hijaz), Kufa, Basrah, Egypt, and the emerging Qum Many scholars were sought after, but the majority referred to Ahlul Bayt's narration which was called the Golden Chain of Narration. Al-Ridha heard his father Al ‑ Kadhim saying: My narration is the same as that of my father who narrated from his father up to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
The Golden Chain of Narration Thousands of Hadiths were narrated and quoted through Al-Kadhim He often said, "My Hadith is the Hadith of my father, and his is the Hadith of his father, up to Ali, who directly narrated the Hadith from Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)." This is called the Golden Chain of Narration. These Hadiths were of immense importance, since they corrected the inaccuracies and set right the contaminations which had crept into this science. These Hadiths were of immense importance, since they corrected the inaccuracies and set right the contaminations which had crept into this science.
Golden Chain of Narration: (so far) The Golden Chain of Narration
Quoting their Forefathers The Golden Chain of Narration
Al-Ridha The youthful years of life: 20-31 Yr old 168-179H
Al-Ridha as a youth Al-Ridha as a youth By the age of 20 years Al-Ridha learned that Khalifa Al ‑ Mahdi (son of Al-Mansoor) had died. Imam Al-Kadhim was 40 years old by then Al-Ridha reflected back about the enormous material he had learned from Imam Al-Kadhim: Al-Ridha was keen about the immense value of the books left by Imam Ali, (al-Jaami'ah). He had actively but discretely participated in Discourses and teachings of Islam. He knew that Imam Al-Kadhim, was the ultimate knowledge reference of the Islamic world, Al-Marji'.
Ismah Emphasized Ismah: Ayah of Tat’heer: Surah 33 : Ayah 33. Ahlul Bayt are to be obeyed, not just revered; Imamah: was of immense importance. A designated Imam was Ma'soom, i.e., safeguarded by Allah from: 1.religious error, 2.sin, and 3.forgetfulness. Those who ignore the Imamah will have ignored a basic pillar in their faith.
Corpus of Knowledge Corpus of Knowledge consists of the following: 1.Quran in chorological order 2.Tafseer (Mus’haf Fatima) 3.Hadith (Saheefa of Ali) 4.Ah’kaam 5.Al-Jafr 1.White Jafr: Prophets and early times 2.Red Jafr: Rules of war in Islam
Al-Ridha in his thirties I Numerous Piety-minded communities have evolved; headed by its leader called Aalim. They were each active and many were highly influential. To mention just a few there were: 1.The Shi'a (Imamah-Asserters), 2.Al-Hanafi 3.Al-Maaliki 4.As‘haab Al-Hadith 5.schools of Ibn Abbas, 6.schools of Ibn Omar, 7.Murji'ah, 8.Khariji, 9.Mu'tazila, 10.Jabriah, 11.Qadariyah, 12.Jah'miyyah
Al-Ridha in his thirties II By the Khilaafah of Haroon Al ‑ Rashid the Institute of Ahlul Bayt had grown to such an extent that it had held extreme power. By the Khilaafah of Haroon Al ‑ Rashid the Institute of Ahlul Bayt had grown to such an extent that it had held extreme power. It held a large sway and continued to be uncompromising with Benu Abbas and exposing the un ‑ Islamic activities of the Khalifa and his courtiers. It held a large sway and continued to be uncompromising with Benu Abbas and exposing the un ‑ Islamic activities of the Khalifa and his courtiers. The Institute had grown so influential and had such following that it frightened Al-Rashid. The Institute had grown so influential and had such following that it frightened Al-Rashid. The informants of the Khalifa were still around and their reports produced much distrust and suspicion. For the Khalifa it was a dilemma as to what to do.
Al-Ridha in his thirties III Al-Ridha asked his father Al-Kadhim about the caution: “Our Shi'a are dispersed in Egypt, Iraq, Persia, Yemen, and Syria. Our representatives collect the Zakat and Khums funds. “Our Shi'a are dispersed in Egypt, Iraq, Persia, Yemen, and Syria. Our representatives collect the Zakat and Khums funds. These funds are distributed to the poor and disadvantaged. These funds are distributed to the poor and disadvantaged. Why do we have to constantly be cautious.” Why do we have to constantly be cautious.” Al-Kadhim answered, “Son, the reputation of the Institute scares Khalifa Haroon Al-Rashid, since the Institute brings to mind that all of us, including the government should be Shari'ah- minded. Al-Rashid may cause me harm, and I advice you to be cautious, very cautious.”
Al-Ridha in his thirties IV Al-Rashid was returning from Haj, when he stopped in Medina. 1.Al-Rashid visited the tomb of Muhammad (pbuh) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, forgive me for what I intend to do.” 2.Then Al-Rashid gave orders to arrest Imam Al- Kadhim without charges and 3.Al-Ridha, the family, people in Medina and everywhere were extremely distressed and upset 4.This took place in 179H. Al-Kadhim was 51 Yr old and Al-Ridha was 31 Yr old.
Al-Ridha in his thirties V They did not know that Al-Rashid (being apprehensive of attempts to rescue Imam Al-Kadhim) had: 1.O rdered two camel‑domes to be prepared, in one of which he seated the Imam and sent him to Basrah escorted by a sizeable military detachment. 2.T he other dome was empty and it was sent to Baghdad with an equal number of soldiers. 3.T his was a move to confuse prospective rescuers and distract the attention of people by keeping the place of imprisonment unknown. The family of Al-Kadhim didn’t even know that the Marji’, the Imam himself, was taken away from amongst them
In charge while father in detention I Having taken the place of his father, Al-Ridha is in charge now at the age of 31: And as foretold by his father, Al-Ridha carried on the responsibilities of the Institute in the absence of his father. And as foretold by his father, Al-Ridha carried on the responsibilities of the Institute in the absence of his father. He was also extra cautious in dealing with others. He was also extra cautious in dealing with others. The atmosphere however continued to be tense and somber for the years of Al-Kadhim’s incarceration, That continued for four years Then they were jarred with the tragic news: that Imam Al-Kadhim had died while in prison.
In charge while father in detention II By now Al-Ridha had to limit his activity more or less to administering the affairs of the Institute. The Institute of Ahlul Bayt was restricted due to the pressure put on it by Benu Abbas. The Shi'a were spread over vast areas of the Ummah. The Emergence of and changes in the Piety-minded societies was fast taking place. The Conversion of much of the indigenous Christian, Jewish, and Zoradusht population to Islam was going strong. The Continued need for the effort of Ahlul Bayt to explain the Ideal Islam as Muhammad (pbuh) had taught it, but under different conditions than any time before.
Al-Ridha is the Imam: 35 Yr old Al-Kadhim was 55 years old when he died in 183H Al-Ridha is the Imam at age of 35 years. Imamah means a designation (Nass) by the Almighty sent down to Muhammad (pbuh) through Jubra'eel, then passed down from one Imam to the subsequent one. Previously Al-Kadhim had given Al-Ridha the trust of the Corpus of Knowledge that came down from Ali. Previously Al-Kadhim had given Al-Ridha the trust of the Corpus of Knowledge that came down from Ali. Now Al-Ridha is in possession and in charge of them. Now Al-Ridha is in possession and in charge of them. Emphasizing the service of Allah, piety, perfection of character, and good works in the society. Emphasizing the service of Allah, piety, perfection of character, and good works in the society. Musa Al-Kadhim died away from his home and the loved ones.
After the death of Al-Rashid (193H) Al-Ridha intensified his works for Islam since he was not hampered during this period: the activity of the Institute (Al-Howza Al-Ilmiyyah) was at much higher level than before. taking advantage of the circumstances, students and scholars of various fields flocked to Medina to learn at the hands of Al-Ridha. The popularity of and sentiment for Ahlul Bayt was quite high among people especially Iraq and Khurasan. Al-Jawaad was born to Al-Ridha. Al-Jawaad was born to Al-Ridha.
Al-Ridha’s Person Appearance: Al-Ridha had an appearance commanding reverence and high esteem. He had a radiant countenance, a cheerful look with repose. Discourse Capacity: People held Imam Al-Ridha in utmost regard and were very attracted by his discussions. It is said that one authority had registered about 18,000 Fiqh intricacies (questions) which Al-Ridha had answered and clarified. Personal Habits: Al-Ridha's care for the feeling of his subordinates was such that at meal time he used to insist on calling on all his servants, attendants, and employees to sit with him to eat.
Al-Kadhim says of Al-Ridha Al-Kadhim was quoted saying to his sons, “This is your brother Ali [Al-Ridha], the erudite of Aali Muhammad (pbuh), ask him about your religion and memorize what he says. My father had told me that your brother (Al-Ridha) is alike with Imam Ali.” Al-Kadhim was also quoted saying, Ali [Al-Ridha] is the oldest of my children, and certainly he is the most devout and the most loved by me; and the two of us had looked into the Jafr, while no one is allowed to look into the Jafr except a Prophet or Prophet's appointee.”
Similarities with Al-Kadhim Al-Ridha loved to pray, say Du'aas, and do Sujood frequently Al-Ridha used to perform Salat frequently, especially Tahajjud. Al-Ridha used to often fast voluntarily during the year. To perform Haj or Omrah Al-Ridha used to accompany Al- Kadhim traveling on foot, often walking for 25 ‑ 30 days. Al-Ridha used to go at night to distribute food, flour, and money to poor people without anyone knowing about him. It is said that Imam Al-Ridha was instrumental in freeing about 1,000 slaves during his lifetime. Al-Ridha used to buy slaves as soon as he could afford, then give them their freedom.
Birth of Al-Jawaad Year 195H: Two years after Haroon Al-Rashid had died Al-Jawaad was born. Year 195H: Two years after Haroon Al-Rashid had died Al-Jawaad was born. His father (Imam Al-Ridha) was about 45 years old and married for sometime. His father (Imam Al-Ridha) was about 45 years old and married for sometime. Al-Jawaad was raised with utmost care and gentleness by his family, under the exclusive tutelage of his father, Al-Ridha. Al-Jawaad was raised with utmost care and gentleness by his family, under the exclusive tutelage of his father, Al-Ridha. Al-Jawaad showed signs of brilliance early on, and he learned a great deal at the hands of his father.
Character Al ‑ Ridha was renowned for being: the most pious of men in his time, the most knowledgeable in Shari'ah and Fiqh (Islamic Law), and the most generous and the noblest. His nobility, goodness, virtue, and integrity were proverbial, no wonder he was so popular.
Character II Imam Al-Ridha was uncommonly hospitable and a generous person, 1.Was famous for helping others when in need. 1.Was famous for helping others when in need. 2.The needy and disadvantaged, and those under financial pressure were gladly assisted. 2.The needy and disadvantaged, and those under financial pressure were gladly assisted. 3.Al-Ridha's generosity was better expressed during the darkness of the nights, so that no one would see him when giving. Al-Ridha held the poor with respect and paid special attention to those who worked for him, blacks and whites alike, insisting on eating with them at meal time. The ones who were within close reach were his guests.
Character III Majlis: Imam Al-Ridha was the first to officially commemorate Karbala event. Al-Ridha also stressed Karbala and its significance for Islam, and its long ‑ term influence for saving Islam from being misinterpreted or misrepresented. Al-Ridha also stressed Karbala and its significance for Islam, and its long ‑ term influence for saving Islam from being misinterpreted or misrepresented. Imam Al-Ridha stressed on people to: 1.hold Majlis on the anniversary of Karbala, 2.visit the tomb of Imam Al ‑ Husain that had become a shrine by then, 3.understand the endeavor of Imam Al ‑ Husain, and 4.understand and emulate the works of Al ‑ Husain.
Al-Ridha As Imam: to Khurasan: 51-55 Yr old 199-204H
During Al-Ma’Moon’s Reign Al-Ma'Moon urged Imam Al-Ridha to accept the Khilaafah or Vice-regency. After an initial refusal Imam Al-Ridha, so pressured, agreed to be the Khalifa-in-succession (Vice-regent), with conditions 1.That Al-Ridha does not carry out tasks in the administration. 2.That Al-Ridha does not appoint or dismiss any official. 3.That Al-Ridha would give counsel and advice when asked. Al-Ma'Moon gave Al-Ridha his sister in marriage. Imam Al-Ridha died within 3 years after the agreement as Khalifa Al-Ma'Moon was on his way moving to Baghdad.
On the Way to Khurasan Travel from Medina to Khurasan took 3 months Along the route crowds rushed excitedly to welcome the `Son of the Prophet's daughter'. Along the route crowds rushed excitedly to welcome the `Son of the Prophet's daughter'. All were anxious for his speeches, advice, quotes of the Hadith and other matters. All were anxious for his speeches, advice, quotes of the Hadith and other matters. In one town the people were crying and wailing, wanting the blessings of being near Imam Al-Ridha When they calmed down, Imam Al-Ridha gave a short speech about the faith. When they calmed down, Imam Al-Ridha gave a short speech about the faith. They counted the scribes [like reporters of today] and they exceeded 20,000 in number.
Al-Ma’Moon welcomes Al-Ridha Al-Ridha arrived in Ramadhan, the year 201H It was 3 years after the end of the civil war between Al- Amin and Al-Ma'Moon. It was 3 years after the end of the civil war between Al- Amin and Al-Ma'Moon. Al-Jawaad was about 7 years old, and he probably was with his father. Al-Jawaad was about 7 years old, and he probably was with his father. The area was mountainous, lush, uncommonly cold Along with his entourage and dignitaries Khalifa Al- Ma'Moon came out with welcoming arms. Along with his entourage and dignitaries Khalifa Al- Ma'Moon came out with welcoming arms. Imam Al-Ridha and Khalifa Al-Ma'Moon began to negotiate Al-Ma'Moon offered Al-Ridha the Khilaafah but Imam Al- Ridha refused it.
Al-Ridha at Maru I Together Al-Ridha and Khalifa Al-Ma'Moon started to hold court to hear complaints and grievances of the common man —and to present solutions. Together Al-Ridha and Khalifa Al-Ma'Moon started to hold court to hear complaints and grievances of the common man —and to present solutions. People began to aggregate often, ask more boldly, and they received fitting and deserved justice. People began to aggregate often, ask more boldly, and they received fitting and deserved justice. They left happy and very content with the judgment. They left happy and very content with the judgment. They liked the congenial atmosphere, loved the sense of justice, and were grateful for the verdicts.
Al-Ridha at Maru II Al-Ma'Moon had an intellectual bend, and there was a need to clarify many Islamic concepts Al-Ma'Moon often invited scholars or other leaders to visit the headquarters to present their point of view. Scholars came from near and far, traveled hundreds of miles to take advantage of the encouraging mood. As a result, sessions were frequently held to discuss and argue various points of view. People knew that Al-Ridha was the man to ask, he was the ultimate Marji' (Authority). They flocked to these sessions, especially scholars and leaders of: As'haab Al-Hadith, Mu'tazila, Fiqh leaders, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and others.
Vice-regency of Al-Ridha Vice-regency of Al-Ridha was announced on Salat Jumu’ah, and ordering the preachers to pray in Du'aa for both Al-Ma’Moon and Al-Ridha before the sermon. Changing the money coinage in the name of Al- Ridha. Many such coins exist even today in some museums. Changing the official color of the dress and flags to green rather than black (the symbol of Benu Abbas). Condemning the detractors from Ahlul Bayt. Giving back Fadak to Ahlul Bayt. Officially establishing Majlis for Karbala all over. Officially establishing Majlis for Karbala all over.
The 3 years in Maru Al-Ridha in Maru was teaching, advising, and counseling, Numerous sayings and many books have been written about that. Despite being in the hub of the Khalifa Court, no change in behavior was ever noticed about him: Despite being in the hub of the Khalifa Court, no change in behavior was ever noticed about him: 1.he continued to be the same pious man with humility, 2.who cared for his subordinates and loved them for the sake of Allah. 2.who cared for his subordinates and loved them for the sake of Allah. 3.Continued on calling his servants and attendants at meal time to eat together with him 4.On the day before Eid Al-Adha Imam Al-Ridha distributed most of his funds to the poor, and needy.
Trouble in Baghdad Baghdad revolts, Al-Ridha advices Al-Ma’Moon to move his capital to Baghdad From Maru the government officials, all the high-ups, the leaders of the armed forces, and the Justices moved en masse toward Baghdad. From Maru the government officials, all the high-ups, the leaders of the armed forces, and the Justices moved en masse toward Baghdad. After a few days the Wazir (Prime minister) was attacked by some people and killed. When the crowd reached another town of Khurasan Imam Al-Ridha fell ill with fever. When the crowd reached another town of Khurasan Imam Al-Ridha fell ill with fever. It so happened that this town was the same town in which the father of Al-Ma'Moon (Haroon Al-Rashid) was buried.
Al-Ridha dies: 203H The 55 year old Al-Ridha was sick for three days His condition worsened, he fainted, collapsed, then died. It is reported that his condition was caused by poisoning through Al-Ma'Moon. Al-Ma'Moon showed grief and anguish. Al-Ma'Moon insisted to be among those who carried the coffin, crying, grieving, and looking miserable. Al-Ma'Moon insisted to be among those who carried the coffin, crying, grieving, and looking miserable. Finally Al-Ridha was buried by the side of Al-Ma'Moon's father, Haroon Al-Rashid, the very one who imprisoned Al-Ridha's father (Imam Al-Kadhim). It is said that Khalifa Al-Ma'Moon stayed at the site of the grave for 3 days mourning the loss of Al-Ridha, eating very little.
Contemporary Khulafaa During his Lifetime, Imam Al-Ridha was contemporary to the Following Rulers of Benu Abbas Benu Abbas: Al ‑ Mansoor, brother of Al-Saffah Al-Mahdi, son of Al-Mansoor Al-Haadi, son of Al-Mahdi Al-Rashid, son of Al-Mahdi Al-Amin, son of Al-Rashid Al-Ma'Moon, son of Al-Rashid
Select sayings of Al-Ridha #1 Among the qualities of the scholar is [to be] forbearing, knowledgeable, and to speak little, for such is the door to wisdom which brings forth affection and leads to good results. Your best friend is your intellect, and your worst enemy is your ignorance. The generous person is: close to Allah, close to paradise, close to people, and is far from Hellfire. The stingy is far from paradise, far from people, and close to Hellfire. For the pious person Salat is the means to be close to Allah. For the pious person Salat is the means to be close to Allah.
Select sayings of Al-Ridha #2 A Mu'min [believer] is one who delights in performing a good deed, and if he offends he will ask forgiveness. A Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands other Muslims are safe [meaning safe from his disposition and domination]. And he is not our adherent the person who does not secure his neighbor from wrongful act. The person who does not thank the benefactor from among the created, does not thank Allah. When prostrating you are closest to Allah; for Allah has commanded in the Quran: “Prostrate, [O man], to be near [Me].” Faith is based on four foundations: a) to rely on Allah, b) to accede to the decree of Allah, c) to submit to the orders of Allah, and d) to entrust Allah.