He decided to perform Hajj; however, his intention was not to benefit from it, but to show off his power; nevertheless, he was negligent that he had to circumambulate the sanctuary of the Absolute Power. As he entered Masjid al-Haram, the guards started opening the way for him so that he could perform the rituals. In fact, nobody dared to precede Harun al-Rashid (1), the Abbasid Caliph, in the rituals.

Meanwhile, another person who was also circulating around the Kaaba was pushed away by a guard. In return, he shouted with a loud voice that could be heard by Harun, ”Allah has made all his servants equal in this place”, and then he recited the following verse from the Holy Quran with the same stress: “We have made equally for all men, (for) the dwellers therein and (for) the visitors…”(2)

The man continued performing his rituals without any fear from the Caliph, as he was confident in Someone else. He actually preceded the Caliph in all the rituals. When the Caliph noticed the man’s courage and bravery, he sent someone after him. The man responded by saying, ”I have no business with him. If he needs me, he has to come to me”. After hearing this respond, Harun said, ”He is right”, and went to him.

First, Harun greeted him and got the response. Then, he said to the man, ”Woe on to you! You have harmed the Caliph of the Muslims”. Then, he continued, ”I have a question for you. If you can not answer it, I will punish you”. The man replied, ”I am ready to answer”.

Harun asked, “What is your duty to Allah (SWT)?”

The man replied, ”1, 5, 17, 34, 94, 153, 1 out of 12, 1 out of 40, 1 out of 200, 1 in lifetime, and one for one”. Harun laughed mockingly and said, ”I ask you about obligatory deeds and you count numbers for me?” The man answered, ”Do you not know that religion is all about taking accounts, and if it were no accounts in religion, Allah (SWT) would not hold his slaves accountable?” Then he recited the following verse from the Holy Quran:” …And though there be the weight of a grain of mustard seed (of good or bad deeds), (yet) will We bring it, and sufficient are We to take account” (3).

Next, he continued by saying, ”As for the one, it is the religion of Islam; the five refers to the five prayers in a day; the 17 means the number of Rak’ats of prayers per day; thirty four is the number of Sajdahs (prostrations) ninety four refers to the number of Takbirs (glorification) in prayers; and One hundred and fifty three is the number of Tasbihs (sanctification) in the prayers of a day. As for one out of twelve, I referred to the fasting of one month, the month of Ramadan, out of the twelve months in each year; one out of forty specifies the portion of Zakat (alms) each person has to pay; five out of two hundred mentions the portion of money that has to be offered to the poorA; once in lifetime refers to the obligatory Hajj each Mustati (one who can afford) person has to perform once in his/her lifetime; and the one for one specifies that whoever kills a person has to be killed, as Allah (SWT) says,” … life for life…”(4)”

At this point, Harun became excited from the man’s answer…After that, as the man exited Masjid al-Haram, a group followed him and asked about his name. It was then revealed that the honorable man was Musa ibn Ja’far, Imam Kadhim (PBUH).

When Harun got the news, he said, ”I swear to God I knew that such a person could be no one but the fruit of the blessed tree (of Prophethood)” (5).

 (The above is a selection taken from “The Practical Lifestyle of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT)”, by Sayyid Kadhim Arfa’)

The Roshd Website offers condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 25th of Rajab, the anniversary of the martyrdom of the 7th star of Wilayah, the door of requests, Imam Musa ibn Ja’far (PBUH).


1. Harun was the most powerful of Abbasid Caliph whose kingdom spread half of the world then. Imam Kadhim (PBUH) was severely poisoned and martyred by this oppressor Caliph

2. The Holy Quran, (22:25)

3. The Holy Quran, (21:47)

4. The Holy Quran, (5:45)

5. Manaaqib of Ibn Shahr Ashub, vol. 4, p. 312

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