A BRIEF LIFE SKETCH OF 10th IMAM A.S.
Ali ibn Mohammad - the 10th Holy Imam
Imam Muhammad at-Taqi al-Jawwad(a.s.) - the 9th Holy Imam
In Suryah ( in the environs of Medina ) , on Friday , 2nd (or 5th) Rajab, 214 AH (817 AD)
In Samarrah at the age of 42 on 3 Rajab 254 AH (868 AD)
Cause of Death/Burial :
Poisoned by al-Mu'tazz, the Abbasid caliph & buried in Samarrah
Initial Period - THE TENTH Holy Imam, like his father, was also elevated to the rank of Imam in his childhood. He was six years old when his father Imam Muhammad al - Jawad(a.s.) died. After the death of Ma'mun, Mu`tasim succeeded him, and was later followed by the caliph al-Wathiq. In the first five years of the reign of al-Wathiq, Imam Ali al-Hadi (an-Naqi(a.s.) ) lived peacefully. After al-Wathiq, Mutawakkil came to power. Being too occupied in State affairs, Mutawakkil did not get any time to harass the Imam and his followers for four years. But as soon as he freed himself from State affairs, he started to molest the Imam.
Conspiracy - The Holy Imam(a.s.) devoted himself to the sacred mission of preaching in Medina and did thus earn the faith of the people as well as their allegiance and recognition of his great knowledge and attributes. This reputation of the Imam evoked the jealousy and malice of Mutawakkil against him. The governor of Medina wrote to Mutawakkil that Imam Ali Naqi(a.s.) had been manoeuvring a coup against the government and a multitude of Shi'ites were pledged to his support. Although enraged by this news al-Mutawakkil still preferred the diplomacy of not arresting the Holy Imam(a.s.). Under the garb of pretended respect and love towards the Imam, he planned to put him under life imprisonment after inviting him to his palace.
Munafikat of the Rulers - Prior to his imprisonment, in a series of correspondence with the Imam(a.s.), he expressed the view that he was convinced of all the claims of the Imam(a.s.) and was ready to settle them amicably. He wrote to the Imam(a.s.) that having been acquainted with his great personality, his matchless knowledge and his peerless attributes, he was impatiently looking forward to the honour of seeing him , and he most cordially invited him to Samarrah. Although the Imam(a.s.) was well aware of Mutawakkil's treacherous intentions, he anticipating the fatal consequences of refusing the offer, reluctantly decided to leave Medina . But when the Imam(a.s.) arrived at Samarrah and al-Mutawakkil was informed about it, he took no notice of the Imam's arrival. when asked about where the Imam (a.s.) should stay, he ordered that the Imam should be put up in the inn meant for beggars, destitute and homeless people.
Psychological torture - Al - Mutawakkil who was a deadly enemy of the Ahlul-bayt a.s., removed the Imam(a.s.) from this inn and entrusted him to the custody of a stone-hearted brute named Zurafah. But, by the grace of Allah(swt), his (Zurafah's) enmity was, in a short time, transformed into love and devotion for the Imam(a.s.). When Mutawakkil learnt about it, he shifted the Imam(a.s.) into the custody of another cruel man called Sa'id . The Imam(a.s.) remained under his strict vigilance for a number of years , during which he was subjected to boundless tortures . But even in this miserable imprisonment the Imam(a.s.) kept devoting himself at all times to the worship of Allah(swt) .
Imam's pity & Taqwa - The watchman of the prison used to comment that Imam Ali al-Hadi(a.s.) seemed to be an angel in human garb. When Fath ibn Khaqan became the vizier of Mutawakkil, he being a Shi`ah could not stand the idea of the Imam's captivity. He endeavoured to have him released from imprisonment and arranged for his comfortable residence in a personally purchased house at Samarrah. Still Mutawakkil could hardly refrain from his antagonism to the Imam(a.s.) and he appointed spies to watch the Imam(a.s.) and his connections. But through all these attempts, his hope of creating some fabrication to prove the Imam's activity against himself could not be realized.
A Historic Incident - In the time of Mutawakkil there was a woman named Zaynab who claimed to be a descendant of Imam Hussain(a.s.). Mutawakkil sought the confirmation of Zaynab's claim from the Imam(a.s.) and said: "That as the beasts are prohibited to eat the flesh of the descendants of Imam Hussain(a.s.) he would throw Zaynab to the beasts and test her claim". On hearing this , Zaynab began to tremble and confessed that she was a fake. Mutawakkil then ordered the Imam(a.s.) to be thrown to the beasts to test the claim. To his great surprise , he witnessed the beasts prostrating their heads before the Imam(a.s.).
Ready to Help his Enemies - Once Mutawakkil happened to suffer from a serious malady which was eventually declared incurable by his physicians. When the Imam(a.s.) was approached for some remedy, he prescribed an application which resulted in a spontaneous cure.
Enmity of Rulers towards Ahlul Bayt a.s. - Once al-Mutawakkil was informed that the Imam(a.s.) was preparing a revolt against him. Thereupon, he ordered a detachment of the army to launch a raid on the Imam's residence. When the soldiers entered his house, they found him sitting on a mat, reciting the Holy Qur'an.
Shahadat of Imam - Not only Mutawakkil, but his successors' opposition to the Imam(a.s.) was fierce. After the death of Mutawakkil, Mustansir, Mus'tain and Mu'tazz carried on the same mission of harassment against the family of the Imam. Mu`tazz, understanding the uncontrollable and intense devotion of the people towards the Imam(a.s.) , eventually contrived the Imam's assassination. He got him poisoned through an ambassador which resulted in the Imam's death within a few hours. The martyrdom occurred on 3rd Rajab 254 AH, and his funeral prayer was conducted by his son, Imam Hasan al-Askari(a.s.). The Imam(a.s.) was only forty-two years old at the time of death. The period of his Imamate was thirty-five years . He is buried in Samarrah, Iraq.
a'adkhulu ya mawlaya ya aba muhammadin alhasanu bna Aliyyin
May I enter, O my master Abu-Muhammad al-Hasan the son of Ali?
اادْخُلُ يَا مَلاَئِكَةَ ٱللَّهِ
a'adkhulu ya mala'ikata allahi
May I enter, O angels of Allah
ٱلْمُوَكَّلِينَ بِهٰذَا ٱلْحَرَمِ ٱلشَّرِيفِ
almuwakkalina bihadha alharami alshsharifi
whom are assigned to manage this holy sanctuary?
You may then enter the holy shrine preceding your right foot to the left. When you stop on the tomb of Imam Abul-Hasan al-Hadi, peace be upon him, directing your face towards the tomb and your back towards the kiblah direction, you may repeat the following word one hundred times:
Allah is the Most Great.
You may then say the following words:
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا ابَا ٱلْحَسَنِ
alssalamu Alayka ya aba alhasani
Peace be upon you, O Abul-Hasan
عَلِيُّ بْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ
Aliyyu bna muhammadin
Ali the son of Muhammad,
the pious, right-directing,
and brightly shining light.
وَرَحْمَةُ ٱللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ
wa rahmatu allahi wa barakatuhu
Allahs mercy and blessings be upon you.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا صَفِيَّ ٱللَّهِ
alssalamu Alayka ya Ľafiyya allahi
Peace be upon you, O sincerely attached friend of Allah.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا سِرَّ ٱللَّهِ
alssalamu Alayka ya sirra allahi
Peace be upon you, O confidant of Allah.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا حَبْلَ ٱللَّهِ
alssalamu Alayka ya habla allahi
Peace be upon you, O rope of Allah.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا آلَ ٱللَّهِ
alssalamu Alayka ya ala allahi
Peace be upon you, O household of Allah.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا خِيَرةَ ٱللَّهِ
alssalamu Alayka ya khiyarata allahi
Peace be upon you, O select of Allah.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا صَفْوَةَ ٱللَّهِ
alssalamu Alayka ya Ľafwata allahi
Peace be upon you, O choice of Allah.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا امِينَ ٱللَّهِ
alssalamu Alayka ya amina allahi
Peace be upon you, O trustee of Allah.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا حَقَّ ٱللَّهِ
alssalamu Alayka ya haqqa allahi
Peace be upon you, O proof of Allah.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا حَبِيبَ ٱللَّهِ
alssalamu Alayka ya habiba allahi
Peace be upon you, O most-beloved by Allah.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا نُورَ ٱلانْوَارِ
alssalamu Alayka ya nura al-anwari
Peace be upon you, O light of the lights.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا زَيْنَ ٱلابْرَارِ
alssalamu Alayka ya zayna al-abrari
Peace be upon you, O pride of the virtuous ones.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا سَلِيلَ ٱلاخْيَارِ
alssalamu Alayka ya salila al-akhyari
Peace be upon you, O descendant of the upright ones.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا عُنْصُرَ ٱلاطْهَارِ
alssalamu Alayka ya `unĽura al-athari
Peace be upon you, O essence of the purified ones.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا حُجَّةَ ٱلرَّحْمٰنِ
alssalamu Alayka ya hujjata alrrahmani
Peace be upon you, O argument of the All-beneficent God.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا رُكْنَ ٱلإِيـمَانِ
alssalamu Alayka ya rukna al-imani
Peace be upon you, O essence of the true faith.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا مَوْلَىٰ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
alssalamu Alayka ya mawla almu'minina
Peace be upon you, O master of the believers.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا وَلِيَّ ٱلصَّالِحِينَ
alssalamu Alayka ya waliyya alĽĽalihina
Peace be upon you, O guardian of the righteous ones.
allahumma kama ja`altahu nuran yastadi'u bihi almu'minuna
O Allah, as You have made him the source of light from which the believers derive light,
فَبَشَّرَ بِٱلْجَزِيلِ مِنْ ثَوَابِكَ
fabashshara biljazili min thawabika
and so he conveyed the good tidings of Your abundant reward,
وَأَنْذَرَ بِٱلأَلِيمِ مِنْ عِقَابِكَ
wa andhara bil-alimi min `iqabika
warned against Your painful punishment,
wa hadhdhara ba'saka
notified against Your prowess,
wa dhakkara bi'ayatika
reminded of Your sings,
wa ahalla halalaka
rendered legal that which You have deemed legal,
wa harrama haramaka
rendered illegal that which You have deemed illegal,
وَبَيَّنَ شَرَائِعَكَ وَفَرَائِضَكَ
wa bayyana shara'i`aka wa fara'idaka
explained Your laws and the duties towards You,
وَحَضَّ عَلَىٰ عِبَادَتِكَ
wa hadda `ala `ibadatika
encouraged on servitude to You,
wa amara bita`atika
enjoined obedience to You,
وَنَهَىٰ عَنْ مَعْصِيَتِكَ
wa naha `an ma`siyatika
and forbade disobedience to You,
so also (please) bless him
أَفْضَلَ مَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَىٰ أَحَدٍ
afdala ma sallayta `ala ahadin
with the most favorite blessings that You have ever bestowed
مِنْ أَوْلِيَائِكَ وَذُرِّيَّةِ أَنْبِيَائِكَ
min awliya'ika wa dhurriyyati anbiya'ika
upon any of Your intimate servants and descendants of Your Prophets.
يَا إِلٰهَ ٱلْعَالَمِينَ
ya ilaha al`alamina
O God of the Worlds!
Ziyarah of Imam `Ali al-Naqi and Imam al-Hasan al-`Askari
Method of Ziyarah
When you arrive in Samarra' (also called Surra-man-Ra'a; central Iraq) and intend to visit the two Imams (i.e. al-Hadi and al-`Askari), you may bathe yourself and commit yourself to all the etiquettes of entering the holy shrines. You may then walk with tranquility and gravity. When you are at the gate of the holy shrine, you may ask permission of entrance by saying the aforesaid forms of asking permission of entrance (i.e. Isti'dhan), which have been cited in the first pages of this section of the book. You may then enter the holy shrine and visit the two Imams with the following form of ziyarah, which is considered the most authentic:
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمَا يَا وَلِيَّيِ ٱللَّهِ
alssalamu `alaykuma ya waliyyy allahi
Peace be upon both of you, O representatives of Allah.
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمَا يَا حُجَّتَيِ ٱللَّهِ
alssalamu `alaykuma ya hujjatay allahi
Peace be upon both of you, O Arguments of Allah (against His created beings).
O Allah, (please do) hasten the Relief of Your representative and the son of Your representative
وَٱجْعَلْ فَرَجَنَا مَعَ فَرَجِهِمْ
waj`al farajana ma`a farajihim
and cause our relief to accompany his relief,
يَا ارْحَمَ ٱلرَّاحِمِينَ
ya arhama alrrahimina
O most merciful of all those who show mercy.
You may then pray for yourself and your parents painstakingly. You may choose any supplication to say.
If you can reach their tombs, you may offer a two-unit prayer there. If you can only reach the mosque, you may offer the prayer there and pray Almighty Allah for anything you wish, for He is nigh and responding.
This mosque is adjacent to the house of the two Imams, peace of Allah be upon them, where they used to perform the prayers.
The aforesaid form of ziyarah has been cited according to the book of Kamil al-Ziyarah. However, Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Mashhadi, Shaykh al-Mufid, and al-Shahid, in their books on forms of ziyarah, have recorded it with little difference. After the phrase:
to include me with your group in Paradise, out of His mercy…
They added the following: You may then approach towards the two tombs, throw yourself on them, kiss them, and place your two cheeks on them. When you raise your head, you may say the following words:
اَللَّهُمَّ ٱرْزُقْنِي حُبَّهُمَا
allahumma irzuqni hubbahuma
O Allah, (please do) grant me love for them,
وَتَوَفَّنِي عَلَىٰ مِلَّتِهِمَا
wa tawaffani `ala millatihima
and make me die following their course…
Up to the end of the aforesaid form of ziyarah.
They then added: You may now offer four units of prayer next to the side of the Imam’s head. Then, you may offer any other prayers... etc.
Bidding Farewell to the two imams
When you intend to bid farewell to the two holy Imams, you may stop at the holy tomb and say the following words:
اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمَا يَا وَلِيَّيِ ٱللَّهِ
alssalamu `alaykuma ya waliyyay allahi
Peace be upon both of you, O Allah’s representatives.
I entrust you both with Allah
وَاقْرَا عَلَيْكُمَا ٱلسَّلاَمَ
wa aqra'u `alaykuma alssalama
and invoke His peace upon you both.
آمَنَّا بِٱللَّهِ وَبِٱلرَّسُولِ
amanna billah wa bilrrasuli
We believe in Allah, in the Messenger,
وَبِمَا جِئْتُمَا بِهِ وَدَلَلْتُمَا عَلَيْهِ
wa bima ji'tuma bihi wa dalaltuma `alayhi
and in that which you both have come with and instructed.
اَللَّهُمَّ ٱكْتُبْنَا مَعَ ٱلشَّاهِدينَ
allahumma iktubna ma`a alshshahidina
O Allah, write us down with those who bear witness.
اَللَّهُمَّ لاََ تَجْعَلْهُ آخِرَ ٱلْعَهْدِ
allahumma la taj`alhu akhira al`ahdi
O Allah, (please) do not decide this visit
مِنْ زِيَارَتِي إِِيَّاهُمَا
min ziyarati iyyahuma
to be the last visit of mine to them;
وَٱرْزُقْنِي ٱلْعَوْدَ إِِلَيْهِمَا
warzuqni al`awda ilayhima
rather, grant me more chances to re-visit them
and include me with both of them,
وَمَعَ آبَائِهِمَا ٱلطَّاهِرِينَ
wa ma`a aba'ihima alttahirina
with their immaculate fathers,
وَٱلْقَائِمِ ٱلْحُجَّةِ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِهِمَا
walqa'imi alhujjati min dhurriyyatihima
and with the Rising, Argument Imam from their offspring.