When Mutiwakkil (the Abbasid Caliph) whom his hatred to the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) and their followers is evident, became the Caliph feared that Imam Hadi (PBUH) rise against him. Therefore he bade Imam Hadi (PBUH) to reside near him to keep him under his scrutiny so that if necessary impose pressure on him easier, and whenever needed murder him. However, Imam (PBUH), by the will of Allah (SWT), prudently decided to use the opportunity to infiltrate his influence into the government and the inner circle of the Caliph, and he succeeded in doing so. Incidents such as the following can illustrate the aspects of influence of Imam Hadi (PBUH) in the court. 

In the court of Mutiwakkil, some had gossiped about Imam Hadi (PBUH) and had said that he had received letters and arms from him followers at Qum, and that he had plans to overthrow Mutiwakkil and seize power.           

Mutiwakkil sent some of his soldiers to the house of Imam Hadi (PBUH). They attacked his house at night, but could not find anything, and found Imam (PBUH) in a room alone sitting on the soil, wearing a woolen cloth in prayers, and reciting the Holy Quran. The soldiers took him to the Castle straight away, and said to Mutiwakkil, “Nothing was found at his house, and we saw him sitting to the direction of Qiblah, and reciting the Holy Quran.” Mutiwakkil was drinking wine and there was a glass of wine in his hands. When he saw Imam (PBUH), he sat Imam next to him offering him his glass of wine.  

Imam Hadi (PBUH) said, “By Allah my flesh and blood have never tasted wine, excuse me.”

Mutiwakkil exempted him, then said, “recite a poem for me.”

Imam (PBUH) answered, “I know very few poems.”

Mutiwakkil said, “No problem.” Imam (PBUH) while sitting close to Mutiwakkil started reciting the following verses:

 “Atop the summits of rocks guarding them, died and the summits could not save them.”

 “After times of glory and honor, they were pulled down from their fortress, and settled in holes; oh, what a bad place they descended to!”     

An exclaimer shouting after their burial: “where are those bracelets and thrones and silk wears?

Where are those pampered faces before the curtains and bowers?”

Then while it is asked about them, the grave speaks for them fluently, “these are the faces that the worms pace on them.”

For a long time they drank and enjoyed merrymaking, and today after all the enjoyments they are to be eaten.”(1)

Mutiwakkil heard these poems and started to weep until he had his beard wet. The audience cried too. Then they returned Imam Hadi (PBUH) to his house with great respect.

Imam Hadi (PBUH) with this deep poem gave an awakening warning to the negligent, for death sees no exceptions. Then is when wealth or rank or whatever counts as dignity in this world won’t help. Truly, remembrance of death and the passing days is the best notice.

(Selection taken from the book “Guiders of the path of light –Life of Imam Hadi (PBUH)”, by Ayatullah Sayyed Muhammad Taghi al-Modarresi (with little changes))

Roshd Website offers its condolences to you dear friend upon the 3rd of Rajab, the anniversary of the martyrdom of the guiding Imam, Imam Ali ibn Muhammd al-Hadi (PBUH).

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