Stories from the Life of Imam Ali al-Hadi (a.s.)

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Imam Hadi (a.s.) Hafiz and Aalim of Noble Qur’an in Childhood

Imam Hadi (a.s.) assumed the official role of Imamate at a very young age of 7 or 8 years. At that tender age, he (a.s.) 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 (a.s.) saw this, they were displeased with the situation. So, in conjunction with the Caliphate of the time, which was in opposition of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), they began looking for a person who was the most knowledgeable of the time yet a sworn enemy of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) so that Imam Hadi (a.s.) is put under his care for training and the Muslims, particularly the Shias do not get any access to him. Also anything that Imam Hadi (a.s.) said or did in his life would be according to the teachings that he had received from his teacher.

Finally, Ubaydullah Junaydi, a prominent scholar from Iraq and a sworn enemy of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) was appointed for the task. Ubaydullah Junaydi took our 10th Imam, Imam Hadi (a.s.) into his care and did not allow any Shia to visit him. This way, the guidance of Imam Hadi (a.s.) was suspended for his Shias.

After some time a person came to Ubaydullah Junaydi and asked him, “How is the Hashemite servant doing?” Ubaydullah Junaydi a sworn enemy of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) became extremely furious with the man and said to him, “Do not call him a Hashemite servant for

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He is not a servant but a leader of Banu Hashim. By Allah (s.w.t.)! 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 (s.w.t.)! He is not only the Hafiz of Noble Qur’an (Hafiz-e-Quran) but also possesses its knowledge. To be precise, he is the best of all on the face of this earth”.

Moral: Imams (a.s.) have a supreme knowledge so that they are able to answer whatever question is put to them. What age you are does not matter but how much you know matters. People will treat you like a child unless you can show them otherwise – through your knowledge and your Akhlaq (characters).

Imam Hadi (a.s.) attends the distressed

Once “Younas Naqqash” came terrified and trembling to see our 10th Imam, Imam Hadi (a.s.) and said, “O the son of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.)!

I am on the verge and threshold of death, you help my family.” Imam Hadi (a.s.) asked him as to what was the matter. Younas Naqqash said so, “one of the courtiers of Abbasid Caliphate has given me a gem to engrave a design upon it. During the work, the gem broke into two pieces. Tomorrow, he will send someone to collect the gem. If he comes to know about the matter he will kill me.”

Imam Hadi (a.s.) bent his head downward then he raised it saying,

“I prayed for you, be satisfied no harm will reach you from him, instead, this work will end to your benefit. Get up and go you will face no trouble tomorrow.”

The next day Younas Naqqash moved towards the house of that man with trembling legs along with one of the officials deputed. Not very long afterwards, the owner of the house arrived and said, “O Yunus Naqqash it was settled that you engrave a design over that gem but two of my daughters have a conflict upon this gem.” If it is possible, break the gem into two pieces, and engrave the design on each of the two parts of it.

I will give you a reward too, for that, Yunus Naqqash said, “Permit me to think about this matter.”

He came out of that place and returned happily to Imam Hadi (a.s.) and expressed his gratitude and thankfulness over the kindness he had shown to him.

Moral: No matter what trouble you are faced with always trust in Allah (s.w.t.) and ask for His help through the medium of the Imam of the time as He can make anything happen.

Imam Hadi (a.s.) and respect of Islamic Scholar

There was a great Shia Scholar in the days of our 10th Imam, Imam Hadi (a.s.). Once a Nasibi (a person who curses the Ahlul Bayt) had a debate with this scholar and the scholar defeated him through Qura’nic verses and Prophetic traditions.

One day this scholar came into a gathering, which consisted mostly of Alavids and people of Banu Hashim; and Imam Hadi (a.s.) was also present. In the centre of that gathering, Imam Hadi (a.s.) was seated and there was a huge pillow placed at that spot. As soon as Imam Hadi (a.s.) saw this scholar, he (a.s.) rose from his place and asked the scholar to come forward until the Imam Hadi (a.s.) made him sit next to him and offered him the pillow to relax.

One old man from Banu Hashim did not like this, so he complained saying, “O Son of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.)! How can you give preference to an ordinary person over a Sayyid who belongs to the progeny of Abu Talib and Abbas?” When the Imam Hadi (a.s.) heard this, he (a.s.) was extremely furious with the old man and started quoting verses from the Noble Qur’an to prove the supremacy of a scholar over everyone else. Imam Hadi (a.s.) asked the people present there:

“Do you believe the commands of Allah (s.w.t.) in the Noble Qur’an?”

They all said, “Yes!”

Then the Imam Hadi (a.s.) said, “Hasn’t Allah (s.w.t.) said: ‘Allah will raise those who have faith and those who have been given knowledge in rank…’?

(Noble Qur’an, 58:11)

Then know that just as Allah (s.w.t.) loves a believer over an unbeliever, similarly, He loves a believer with knowledge over a believer without knowledge. (Now tell me) Hasn’t Allah (s.w.t.) also said, ‘Say (O Muhammad): Can those who know and those who do not know be equal? Verily only the men of understanding take the heed’?

(Noble Qur’an, 39:9)

Then why are you people trying to stop me from giving preference to one who has been preferred by Allah (s.w.t.)? This Scholar has utilized his knowledge, which Allah (s.w.t.) has blessed him and defeated our enemy with it.

This act is better than any family ties and relationships in my eyes”.

Imam Hadi (a.s.) explains Maal al-Kaseer from Noble Qur’an

Once Al-Mutawakkil was poisoned so he kept a vow (Nazr) saying that, “If I recover fully then I will spend ‘Maal al-Kaseer’ in the cause of Allah (s.w.t.)”. Maal al-Kaseer means ‘plenty of money’, but Al-Mutawakkil did not specify the amount.

When he finally recovered, Al-Mutawakkil called for his scholars, informed them about his vow and sought their guidance on the amount which he should pay so that it should be regarded as Maal al-Kaseer. He got different answers. One said that he should pay

1000 dirham; the other said he should pay 10,000 dirham and the third said that the money should amount to 100,000 dirham. Al-Mutawakkil was confused and did not know which scholar’s advice he should follow.

One of the courtiers, whose name was Hasan, said, “O Al-Mutawakkil! If you allow me then I shall acquire a correct answer to your question”. Al-Mutawakkil said to him, “Alright, go then and acquire for me a correct answer. If you satisfy me, I will gift you 10,000 dirham other wise I will have you whipped”.

The courtier came to our 10th Imam, Imam Hadi (a.s.) who was under surveillance. As soon as the Imam Hadi (a.s.) saw him, he (a.s.) said,

“You have come to ask me about Maal al-Kaseer. Go and tell Al-Mutawakkil it is 80 dirham”.

When Al-Mutawakkil heard this, he asked for a proof. Imam Hadi (a.s.) told the courtier,

“Allah (s.w.t.) says in the Noble Qur’an to His Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.): ‘Allah (SWT) rendered you with victory in many places’

(Noble Qur’an, 9:25)

When we counted the places of victory, they were 80 in number. This therefore, shows that the interpretation of ‘Kaseer’ is eighty”. When Al-Mutawakkil heard this, he was satisfied and extremely pleased. As promised, the courtier was awarded with 10,000 dirham.

Imam Hadi (a.s.) and the cruel Al-Mutawakkil 

During the time of our 10th Imam, Imam Hadi (a.s.) Al-Mutawakkil, the cruel fell very ill. The doctors could not make him better. Al-Mutawakkil’s mother was very sad and asked Imam Hadi (a.s.) to help him. Imam Hadi (a.s.) told her what medicine to use to make her son, Al-Mutawakkil better and when she used what Imam Hadi (a.s.) had told her to use, Al-Mutawakkil became well again. All the doctors were very surprised. Although Al-Mutawakkil was a cruel, bad man, Imam Hadi (a.s.) still helped him, because his mother had come to him for help.

Moral: If anyone ever asks you for help you should help them even if they are not very nice.

{Imam Ali b. Mohammad al-Hadi (a.s.) informed: Our Wilayat protects our Shia even if they are caught in the waves of the sea or in the darkness of the desert or if they are surrounded by lions, wolves, and the enemies from amongst the men and the jinn. Our Shia will be safe with our Wilayat. So entrust Allah and be loyal in your Wilayat of your pure Imams, and travel whenever you want and wherever you want.}

(Al-Amaali, p. 277; Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 56, p. 124; vol. 92, p. 2; Mustadrak al-Wasaail, vol. 8, p. 242)