After the martyrdom of Imam Reza (PBUH), Ma’mun tried very hard to prevent the society from discovering that he had poisoned the Imam. He pretended to mourn the death of the Imam. The Shiite community however, had realized that it was indeed Ma’mun who had martyred the eighth Imam. They were very hurt and upset for this realization. Hence, Ma’mun knew his reign was in danger, and began to devise yet another plot against the Shiites.
Ma’mun pretended to love and care for Imam Jawad (PBUH), the son of Imam Reza (PBUH). He planned for a forced marriage between his daughter and Imam Jawad (PBUH), in an effort to legalize his government. He had done the same with the forceful deputyship of Imam Reza (PBUH) during his lifetime. Ma’mun relocated Imam Jawad (PBUH) from Medina to Baghdad in the year 204 AH (one year after the martyrdom of Imam Reza (PBUH)), and planned for the marriage of the Imam with his daughter Umm al-Fadhl.
This marriage, which Ma’mun insisted on, had a completely political motivation. Ma’mmoon desired to obtain the following results through this marriage:
1- Sending his daughter to Imam Jawad’s (PBUH) house gave him the ability to closely monitor the Imam’s activities. Many historical sources have recorded incidents in which Ma’mun’s daughter spied on the Imam to her father.
2. With this marriage Ma’mun wanted to associate Imam Jawad (PBUH) with his palace which was full of unlawful activities, hoping to somehow involve the Imam with the corruption. He was aiming to distort the sacred image and infallible character of the Imam in the eyes of the public.
3- Ma’mun clearly aimed to fool the public; as he had seldom said: “I opted for this marriage so that my daughter could bear Imam Jawad’s child, and I would become the grandfather of a child who is related to the Prophet and Ali ibn Abitalib (PBUT).”(1) Thankfully, Ma’mun’s deception was without any result as Umm Fadhl never bore any child and all Imam Jawad’s (PBUT) children were from his other spouse. (2)
4- Ma’mun wanted to prevent the Shiite community from uprising and show his love to the Ali’s (PBUH) progeny by means of this marriage.
Since Imam Jawad (PBUH) –without any doubt– knew Ma’mun’s ill-intentions, and his role in the martyrdom of Imam Reza (PBUH), it is not too far off to say Imam Jawad’s (PBUH) main reason of accepting the marriage to Ma’mun’s daughter was an acceptance under pressure, since such marriage was only to Ma’mun benefit and had none for Imam Jawad (PBUT).
The life of Imam Jawad (PBUH) confirms the force imposed and extreme reluctance in his marriage with Ma’mun’s daughter, his life in Ma’mun’s palace, and his move to Baghdad. For instance, Hussain Makari who was one of Imam Jawad’s (PBUH) companions narrated: “I went to see Imam Jawad (PBUH) in Baghdad; I saw his life and passed these lines in my head: ‘Now that the Imam has reached a comfortable life, there is no way he will return to his homeland, Medina.’ ”
Imam Jawad (PBUH) sunk his head for a moment. He then looked up with great disappointment and said: “Oh Hussain, the barley bread and rough salt near the Prophet’s shrine is much more pleasant for me than my current situation.”(3)
Accordingly the Imam however, didn’t stay in Baghdad and moved to Medina with his wife, Umm Fadhl, and continued to live there.
Thus, Imam Jawad (PBUH) was forced to live with the daughter of his father’s murderer. Ma’mun died in the year 218 AH and his brother Mu’tasim replaced him. Mu’tasim ordered the Imam to move back to Baghdad. Hence Imam Jawad (PBUH) entered Baghdad during Muharram of year 220 AH. Then Mu’tasim along with Umm Fadhl and Ja’far (Ma’mun’s son) plotted the scheme to kill the Imam. Umm Fadh finally poisoned her own husband, Imam Jawad (PBUH) based on the by her uncle and brother’s insistence.
This is how Imam Jawad (PBUH) was martyred at the end of Dhi al-Qa’da in year 220; he was buried in Baghdad besides his grandfather, Imam Kadhim (PBUH). Therefore, the marriage which was forced on Imam Jawad (PBUH) to mislead the public and monitor the Imam at the same time had succeeded in its plot to removing the Imam from the path of the caliphs. The role of Umm Fadhl in martyrdom of the Imam is a proof for the deceptiveness of this marriage.
(The above is a selection taken from “The Life of the Leaders” by Mahdi Pishwayi, with minor changes)
The Roshd Website offers condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon the
last day of Dhi al-Qa’da, the anniversary of the martyrdom of
the leader of the pious, the ninth Imam,
Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Jawad (PBUH).
1. Tarikh Yaqubi, vol. 3, p. 189
2. Manaqib Ibn Shahr Ashoob, vol. 4, pg. 380
3. Al-Khara’ij, vol. 1, p. 381