The people had not seamlessly witnessed such supplications for years. When the crowd found Imam passionate and headed to the Lord’s presence in tears in order to perform the “Eid” prayers, they chanted with him in cries and in a full state of spirituality and humbleness: “Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest because He has guided us, and (we) gratefully thank Him for the blessings He endowed us with…” (1)
Verily, the Caliphs had long been performing Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha prayers. However, their way of praying had changed gradually, and had deviated from the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH&HP) rules. Little by little, the life and the approach of the Caliphs had become akin to the luxurious and glorious courts of Sassanid Kings and Roman Emperors. The Caliph attended the Eid prayer with royal splendor and pride while carrying a gold sword and riding horses that wore gold or silver necklaces. The army also walked after him; it was as if the soldiers were marching.
But this time the situation unfolded differently. Imam Reza (PBUH) was meant to lead the Eid prayer, but with a pivotal condition though!
Ma’mun (the caliph) had insisted on the Imam to lead the prayer. Imam stated, “At the outset, I set the condition that my succession to the throne would remain solely nominal and I would not intervene in any affairs.” Ma’mun replied back, “Oh no, I am pleading with you. Are you avoiding the prayer? This work has nothing to do with the people, so it should not lead you to believe that it involves tyranny. At least, please only lead this prayer.” Imam said, “Under one condition I will do it: I will perform the prayer using the rules of my grandfather and my father, and not yours”. Ma’mun, who had previously intended to delegate it to Imam Reza (PBUH) in order for the people to believe that the Imam is really implicated in the state affairs, said, “Alright; perform the prayers in whatever way you prefer.”
The day of Eid arrived. Addressing his companions, Imam stated, “Wear your ordinary outfits, bare your feet. Roll up your sleeves and lift up your cloak, and recite the supplications that I’m uttering. You should be in the state of humbleness. We are headed to the Allah’s presence, so direct your attention to Him. In the supplications, bear Allah in mind.” Imam then tied his turban just like the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) did, and wore his cloths in the manner that the Prophet wore his. He carried his cane like the Prophet and stepped out of the house in a modest and humble fashion. Upon his exit from the house, he began chanting, “Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest because He has guided us, and (we) gratefully thank Him for the blessings he endowed us with”.
Imam was continuing with this rite, and the associates were repeating after him. The chant gradually permeated the city of Marv. Imam was shouting, “Allah is the Greatest” and the city was uniformly shouting “Allah is the Greatest”. Even the army commanders and the heads of tribes – who were sent by Ma’mun to follow Imam Ali ibn Musa (PBUH) in prayers, and who had equipped themselves, had worn luxurious garments, and had come riding on their excellent horses in line with previous years’ style- unwittingly jumped off their horses and left them alone.
Right before the crowd passed through the city gate, the spies informed Ma’mun that if this trend continued, his government would be overthrown. Therefore, the soldiers approached Imam and told him not to bother and requested him to return as the caliph himself would be leading the prayer.
Truly, the prayer of Eid al-Fitr had been a part of Allah’s (SWT) book and the Sunnah of the Prophet and had turned inane and futile. Hence, Imam said “I would be ready to perform the prayer but in accordance with the rules of my grandfather and my father, not those of your grandfather and your father.”
And all of us hope for the day which we say the prayer of Eid al-Fetr behind our live and occulted Imam, Imam Mahdi (PBUH). Is fulfillment of this hope close or we should be still patient and await the reoccurrence of our Imam?
(The above is a selection from “The Truth about Hussain’s (PBUH) Revolt”by Late Scholar Murtada Mutahhari, with minor changes)
Roshd website congratulates all Muslims and especially you, dear friend, on the arrival of Eid al-Fitr,the feast of servitude and submission to Allah (SWT).
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1. This phrase is a part of rituals of the day of Eid.