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His birth and upbringing

Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was a pure branch from the tree of prophethood and a shiny bough from the tree of imamate. By him and his fathers Allah has consolidated Islam and exalted monotheism. Before talking about the aspects of his great personality, we talk about his pure origin, birth, and upbringing.

The origin and the birth

His father

The father of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was Imam Muhammad al-Jawad bin[1] Ali bin Musa bin Ja’far bin Muhammad bin Ali bin al-Husayn bin Ali bin Abu Talib (peace be upon them). It is the most exalted lineage in Islam. Humankind, throughout all its ages, has never had a lineage more honorable and more exalted than this lineage that has lit the world with the essence of Islam and faith. From this great, honorable family Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) came to the existence. His father, Imam al-Jawad (a.s.), was the wonder of the world through his talents and geniuses. He, after the death of his father Imam ar-Redha (a.s.), assumed the general religious authority and leadership of the nation while he was seven years


[1] Bin means “son of” and bint means “daughter of”.

 

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and some months. The Abbasid government seized this opportunity and charged Yahya bin Aktham, who was one of the great ulama at that time, to test Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) and refute him so that the fact that the imam was the most knowledgeable one of his age, which was and is one of the basic elements in the Shiite doctrine, would come to nothing. Yahya asked Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) before a big crowd of scholars, viziers, and officials of the Abbasid government about a jurisprudential question and Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) ramified the question into many branches. Yahya was astonished and he felt a failure and acknowledged the exceptional scientific abilities of Imam al-Jawad (a.s.). The news of this event and of others circulated in the meetings of Baghdad and everywhere.

His mother

Before we talk about the mother of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) we would like to say, as we have said many times before, that Islam has adopted the unity of society and struggled against all the means that might lead to disagreement or break that unity. In the light of this fact, the imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) walked. They did not differentiate between the White and the Black. They got married to bondmaids in order to do away with all kinds of racial segregation. Imam Ali bin al-Husayn Zaynul Aabidin (as-Sajjad) (a.s.) got married to a bondmaid who gave birth to Zayd the eternal martyr, and Imam Muhammad al-Jawad (a.s.) got married to a bondmaid who gave birth to Imam Ali al-Hadi (a.s.).

Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) bought this bondmaid and he himself educated her. She lived in the house of imamate with the Alawid women, the daughters of the messenger of Allah (a.s.), who were the example of honor, chastity, and purity. She was affected by their conducts and devoted herself to worship Allah. She spent her nights worshipping and reciting the Book of Allah.[1]


[1] Refer to Uyoon al-Mu’jizat.

 

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It sufficed her that she had given birth to a master from the masters of Muslims and an imam from the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) whom Allah has made safety and deliverance for people.

Historians disagreed on her name. Here are some of the names as mentioned by historians:

1. Sumana al-Maghribiyya[1] and known as Lady Ummul Fadhl[2]

2. Mariya al-Qubtiyya[3]

3. Yadash[4]

4. Haweet[5]

There are other sayings but the detailing in this point is not so important to the subject.

Great newborn baby

Ali al-Hadi (a.s.) was born in Siriya[6] in Yathrib (Medina)[7] and by this birth the world was delighted. No one had ever been born in that age more pious, more devoted, or more knowledgeable than him at all. He inherited all qualities of good, honor, and nobility.

Ceremonies of the birth

Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) performed the certain rituals for his blessed newborn son. He performed azan in his right ear and eqama in the left, circumcised him on the seventh day after the birth, cut the hair of his head, gave silver, as much as the weight of the hair, to


[1] Tathkiratul Khawas, p.39.
[2] Bihar al-Anwar, vol.13 p.126, ad-Durr an-Nadheem.
[3] Bahr al-Ansab, p.35.
[4] Mir’at az-Zaman, vol.9 p.553 (manuscript).
[5] Tareekh al-A’imma, p.16.
[6] A village established by Imam Musa al-Kadhim (s) about three miles from Medina.
[7] Al-Ittihaf bihubil Ashraf, p.67, Jawharatul Kalam fee Madh as-Sadah al-A’lam, p.151.

 

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the poor, and slaughtered a ram as aqiqa[1] as it was usual for the imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) with their children when being born.

Birth date

Most of historians agreed that Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was born in 212 AH[2] and it was also said that he was born in 214 AH[3] but they disagreed on the month and day of birth. Here are some of their sayings:

1. He was born on the twenty-seventh of Thul Hijja.[4]

2. He was born on the thirteenth of Rajab.[5]

3. He was born on Monday, the third of Rajab.

4. Some sources mentioned that he was born in Rajab but without mentioning the day. It has been mentioned in some du’as (supplications) that, “O Allah, I ask You by the ones born in Rajab, Muhammad bin Ali the second and Ali bin Muhammad al-Muntajab”.

Some historians did not mention the month and the day of his birth but said he was born in Medina.[6]

His name

His father Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) named him Ali like the blessed name of his two great grandfathers Ameerul Mo’minin Imam Ali (a.s.) and Imam Ali bin al-Husayn Zaynul Aabidin (a.s.). He resembled his grandfather Imam Ali (a.s.) in eloquence and


[1] Aqiqa is the name of the sacrifice on the seven day after the birth of a child.
[2] Usul al-Kafi, vol.1 p.497, al-Irshad, p.368, A’yan ash-Shia, vol.4 p.252.
[3] Al-Ittihaf bihubil Ashraf, p.67, Jawharat al-Kalam, p.151, Mir’at al-Janan, vol.2 p.159, Tareekh al-Khamees, vol.2 p.321.
[4] A’yan ash-Shia, vol.4 p.252.
[5] Tareekh al-Khamees, vol.2 p.321, Mir’at al-Janan, vol.2 p.159.
[6] Al-Ittihaf Bihubil Ashraf, p.67.

 

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rhetoric and his grandfather Imam Zaynul Aabidin in piety, worshipping, and asceticism.

His surname

Giving a surname to a child was a kind of honoring which helped his personality grow well towards perfection. The infallible imams (a.s.) noticed this important fact and therefore, they surnamed their children in their early childhood. The Arabs were proud of surname.

Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) surnamed his son Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) as Abul Hasan which was the same as the surnames of his two grandfathers Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) and Imam ar-Redha (a.s.). Narrators differentiated between these three imams in this surname by saying Abul Hasan the First (Imam Musa al-Kadhim), Abul Hasan the Second (Imam ar-Redha), and Abul Hasan the Third (Imam Ali al-Hadi).

His epithets

His epithets expressed the high qualities he had. His epithets are as follows:

1. An-Nasih (loyal); he was called so because he was the sincerest advisor to the nation.

2. Al-Mutawakkil (reliant on Allah); he disliked this epithet and ordered his companions not to call him with it. I think he hated this epithet because it was the epithet of the Abbasid caliph Ja’far al-Mutawakkil who had bitter grudge, spite, and enmity towards the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).

3. At-Taqiy (pious, devout); he was called so because he feared Allah and turned to Him. Al-Mutawakkil, the tyrant Abbasid caliph, tried his best to attract Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) to the fields of amusement and debauchery but he failed.

4. Al-Murtadha (being pleased with by Allah); it was his most famous epithet.


 

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5. Al-Faqeeh (jurisprudent); he was the most aware of his age in jurisprudence and he was the authority that jurisprudents and scholars referred to.

6. Al-Aalim (knowledgeable); he was the most knowledgeable one of people at that time not only in the Islamic laws, but all branches of knowledge and sciences.

7. Al-Ameen (trustee on religion and life)

8. At-Tayyib (generous, good-hearted, good-natured…)

9.  Al-Askari (military); he was called so because he resided in Surra Men Ra’a (Samarra’) which was called al-Askar.[1]

10. Al-Muwadhdhih (explainer of the verdicts of the Holy Book and the Sunna)

11. Ar-Rasheed (wise, prudent); he was called so because he was the wisest and most prudent of his time.

12. Ash-Shaheed (the martyr) because he was martyred at the hands of the enemies of Allah.

13. Al-Wafiy (loyal); he was the most loyal of his people, and loyalty was an element of his personality.

14. Al-Khalis (pure from every defect and bad)

His lineaments

He was brown[2] like his father Imam al-Jawad and grandfather Imam ar-Redha (peace be upon them). Narrators described that he was black-eyed, with thick hands, wide chest, hooked nose, pretty face, and good body odour. He was stout in body like his grandfather Imam Abu Ja’far al-Baqir (a.s.), neither short nor


[1] It is mentioned in Umdat at-Talib, p.188 and Ilal ash-Sharayi’, p.241, that the quarter where Imam al-Hadi (s) lived was called Askar and therefore he was called al-Askari.
[2] Noor al-Absar, p.164, Bihar al-Anwar, vol.13 p.127, Jawharat al-Kalam, p.151.

 

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tall, with wide shoulders, big organs[1]…straight stature.[2]

His charm

Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) resorted to Allah the Almighty to protect his son Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) from troubles and adversities of time and from every evil. Every day he charmed him with this du’a that showed his devotedness to Allah:

“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, there is no power save in Allah, the Exalted, the Great. O Allah, the Lord of angels and Gabriel, prophets and messengers, the Omnipotent over the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth, and the Creator and Possessor of everything, protect me from the harm of our enemies, and whoever wants to do us wrong from the jinn and human beings. O Allah, blind their eyes and hearts and make between us and them screen, guard, and defender. You are our Lord and there is no power and might save in Allah. On Him we have relied and to Him we have turned and He is the Mighty, the Wise. O our Lord, save us from every evil, and from the evil of every living creature you have control on, and from the evil of everything that calms down on the day and the night, and from every bad, and from the evil of every evildoer. O Lord of the worlds and the Lord of messengers, have blessings on Muhammad and all his progeny and favor Muhammad and his progeny with the best of everything, and there is no power save in Allah, the High, the Great. In the name of Allah, and in Allah I believe, and from Allah I seek protection, and to Allah I resort, and with Allah I seek refuge, and by the glory and might of Allah I seek protection from the devils of the humans and the jinn, and from their footing, knighting, and running, and from their cunning and evil, and from the evil of what they do under night and under day, from far and from near, and from the evil of the present and the absent, and of the witness and the visitor alive or dead…and from


[1] Ma’athir al-Kubara’ Fee Tareekh Samarra’, vol.3 p.20.
[2] Jawharat al-Kalam, p.151.

 

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the evil of far people and close people, and from the evil of my self in its obsession, and from the evil of the devils, and the sense, touch, and dubiosity, and from the envy of the jinn and the humans.

And by the name, which the throne of Balqis[1] shook for, I protect my religion and self, and all those under my care from the evil of every figure or imagination, whiteness or blackness, statue or appearance, ally or not ally of whatever dwells in the air, cloud, darkness, light, shadow, hot, cold, seas, plains, badlands, ruins, building, hills, marshes, moors, churches, graveyards (of Christians), deserts and cemeteries, from the emanating who appear in the night and disappear on day, evening and morning, afternoon and sunset, and from the suspicious and accusers, and the talebearers in the night, the devils, the Pharaohs, Satan, and from their soldiers, wives, tribes, and clans, and from their backbiting, slandering, expectoration, maligning, magic, beating, playing, deceit, and from the evil of every wicked of magicians, the jinn, their wind, and all what they generate…and from the evil of every wicked coming or going, accidental or resisting, calm or moving, and the beating of a vein, and headache and fever…and from the evil of every living creature you have power on, You are on Right Path. O Allah, have blessing on Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad and much peace…’

Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) fed his great newborn son with this du’a so that he would receive live with confidence that the power which ran and managed this universe was but Allah the Almighty, the Creator of everything and the Maker of life and whatsoever else than Him had no power. Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) planted in his son the absolute faith in the powers of Allah, and taught him that resorting must be only to Allah Who saved from all misfortunes and distresses.


[1] She was a sovereign on Yemen.

 

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His upbringing

Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) grew up in a family different from all families in its noble conducts, high morals, and lofty virtues. Their young revered the old and the old respected the young. Historians mentioned wonderful pictures from the high conducts of the members of this great family. They said that Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) did never talk before his brother Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) as a kind of reverence. They said that Imam Zaynul Aabidin (a.s.) did not eat with his mother or nursemaid for fear that he might eat something that his mother or nursemaid had looked at to pick and then he might be undutiful to her. These morals were like the morals of the prophets that were and are not found in other than this great family.

Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) grew up under the wing of his father Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) who was the wonderful example of virtues and high morals. Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) shed lights from his soul on his son and planted his virtues into him. He always praised his son and showed his admiration of his talents and geniuses.

Historians said that when Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) wanted to go to Iraq, he seated Imam al-Hadi (a.s.), who was six years then, in his lap and said to him, ‘What do you like as present from the masterpieces of Iraq?’

Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) smiled and said, ‘A sword like a flame.’

Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) turned to his son Musa and said to him, ‘And you! What do you like?’

Musa said, ‘Some mats.’

Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) did not hide his admiration and he said to his son al-Hadi (a.s.), ‘Abul Hasan (al-Hadi) is like me…!’ He was delighted because this showed courage and valor which were from his and his fathers’ qualities.


 

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His early genius

The intelligence, geniuses, and talents Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) had in his childhood astonished the minds and amazed the intellect. He had a strong memory, excessive intelligence, and sharp wit. Historians have mentioned many examples on his intelligence. They mentioned that al-Mu’tasim, the Abbasid caliph, after he had assassinated Imam Muhammad al-Jawad (a.s.), charged Umar bin al-Faraj to go to Yathrib (Medina) in order to choose a teacher for Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) who was six years and some months then. He asked him to choose a teacher that must be one of the enemies of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) so that he would feed him with hatred towards the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). When Umar arrived in Yathrib, he met the wali there and informed him of his task. The wali and some others directed him to al-Junaydi who had intense grudge towards the Alawids. Umar sent for al-Junaydi who accepted the task. A monthly salary was assigned to al-Junaydi and he was charged to prevent the Shia from visiting or contacting with Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). Al-Junaydi began teaching Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) but he was astonished at the sharp wit and acute intelligence of him. One day, Muhammad bin Ja’far met al-Junaydi and asked him,

‘What about this boy (Imam al-Hadi) whom you teach?’

Al-Junaydi said to him angrily, ‘Do you say “this boy” and not “this sheikh”? I ask you by Allah; do you know anyone in Medina more aware in knowledge and literature than me?’

Muhammad bin Ja’far said, ‘No!’

Al-Junaydi said, ‘I mention some matters of literature and think that I have elaborated upon them, but he (Imam al-Hadi) opens sections of literature where I myself learn from him. People think that I teach him, but, by Allah, I learn from him…’

After some time Muhammad bin Ja’far met al-Junaydi again and asked him, ‘What about the boy?’


 

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Al-Junaydi said to him, ‘Let you not say so! By Allah, he is the best of the inhabitants of the earth and the best of the creatures of Allah. Many a time, when he wants to enter his room, I say to him, ‘You do not enter the room until you recite a sura.’ He says, ‘Which sura you want me to recite?’ I ask him to recite long suras and he recites them in a way that I have heard no recitation better than his. He recites the suras with a voice nicer than the pipes of Prophet David (a.s.). He has memorized the Qur'an from its beginning until its end and he knows its revelation and interpretation…’ Al-Junaydi added, ‘This young boy grew up in Medina between black walls. How did he get this wide knowledge? Glory be to Allah!’

Al-Junaydi gave up his enmity towards the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and believed in them and in their imamate.’[1]

Of course, there is no justification to this phenomenon except that which the Shia believe that Allah has endowed the infallible imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), whether young or old, with knowledge, wisdom, and virtue that He has not endowed anyone of His people with at all.

His gravity and reverence

He inherited gravity and reverence from his fathers. The mien of prophets and brightness of guardians appeared on him, and no one of his enemies or followers met him unless he revered and respected him highly.

Muhammad bin al-Hasan al-Ashtar al-Alawi said, ‘One day, I was with my father at the door of al-Mutawkkil (the Abbasid caliph) among a crowd of people. While we were waiting there, Abul Hasan (al-Hadi) came and all the people dismounted revering and honoring him until he entered the palace. Someone denied this reverence towards Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) and said, ‘Why do we dismount to this boy? By Allah, he is neither the noblest nor the


[1] Ma’athir al-Kubara’ fee Tareekh Samarra’, vol.3 p.95-96.

 

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eldest of us. By Allah, we do not dismount to him when he comes out.’

Abu Hashim al-Ja’fari replied to him, ‘By Allah, you shall dismount to him with meanness and lowness.’

When Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) came out, people began crying out with takbir and tahlil[1] and all of them stood up glorifying him. Abu Hashim turned to people and said, ‘Did you not claim that you would not dismount to him?’

They said, ‘By Allah, we could not control ourselves until we dismounted.’[2]

Hearts revered and honored him, and this reverence did not come out of authority or rule, but it resulted from his devotedness to Allah, asceticism in the worldly life, and utmost piety. He came out of the meanness of disobedience of Allah to the honor of obedience. From the great reverence of people towards him, was that whenever he came to al-Mutawakkil in his palace, everyone in the palace hastened to serve him. They competed to raise the curtains, open the doors, etc., and they did not ask him to do anything by himself.[3]  

The Alawids’ reverence towards him

All the Alawids agreed on revering and honoring Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) and acknowledging his leadership and virtue. Among them was the uncle of his father Zayd the son of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) who was a respectable old man. One day, Zayd asked Umar bin al-Faraj, who was the doorkeeper of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.), to ask permission for him. He was permitted to come in to have honor of meeting Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). Zayd came in to Imam al-Hadi (a.s.), who was in the front of the meeting. He sat before


[1] Takbir is the saying “Allahu Akbar-Allah is great” and tahlil is the saying “la illaha illallah-there is no god but Allah”.
[2] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 13, p.131, A’yan ash-Shia, vol.4 p.274-275.
[3] Bihar al-Anwar, vol.13 p.129.

 

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Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) as a manner of honoring, glorifying, and believing in his imamate. The next day, Zayd came to the meeting of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) who was not present yet. Zayd sat in the front of the meeting. When Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) came, Zayd jumped and seated Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) in his place, although Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was too young then and Zayd was too old.[1]

Relation of the People of the Book to him

The reverence towards Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was not limited to Muslims. People of the Book other than Muslims believed in his high position near Allah. When they faced a misfortune, they carried gifts to Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) and took him as means to relieve their misfortunes.

Hibatollah bin Abu Mansor al-Musily said that Yousuf bin Ya’qob the Christian had had relation with his father. Once, he came to his father as guest and his father asked him why he had come to Baghdad. He said, ‘It was sent for me to meet al-Mutawakkil and I did not know what for, but I bought myself with one hundred dinars that I gave to Ali bin Muhammad bin ar-Redha (Imam al-Hadi).’ Hibatollah added, ‘My father congratulated him, and then he left Baghdad towards Surra Man Ra’a.[2] He stayed there for some days and then came back delightedly. My father asked him about his travel and he replied, ‘I arrived in Surra Man Ra’a, which I had not visited before. I liked to take the one hundred dinars to the son of ar-Redha (Imam al-Hadi) before I would go to meet al-Mutawakkil. I asked about him and it was said to me that al-Mutawakkil had prevented him from going out and that he kept to his house. I feared to visit him and refrained from asking about him. It came to my mind that I would ride on my sumpter and go to the town so that I might know something about him without asking. Walking in the streets and markets, I got to a house that it came to my mind it might be the house of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). I


[1] Ma’athir al-Kubara’, vol.3 p.94.
[2] Samarra’, the capital of al-Mutawakkil the Abbasid caliph.

 

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asked my servant to see whose house it was. The servant asked and it was said to him that it was the house of the son of ar-Redha. My servant knocked the door and a black servant came out towards me and said, ‘Are you Yousuf bin Ya’qob?’ ‘Yes!’ I replied. He said, ‘Dismount!’ I dismounted from my sumpter and he took me into a vestibule. He went in and then came out asking me, ‘Where are the one hundred dinars?’ I gave them to him and he took them to the imam. After a while, he came and permitted me to come in. I came in. Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was alone. He looked at me kindly and compassionately and said, ‘Is it not yet for you?-he meant (to be guided).’ 

I said, ‘O my master, a sufficient proof has appeared to me!’

Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) said, ‘How far! You will not be a Muslim, but your son will and he will be from our Shia. O Yousuf, there are some people claiming that our guardianship does not benefit ones like you. Go to what you have come to! You shall see what you like.’

Yousuf was astonished at the miracle he saw from Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). He went to al-Mutawakkil and got all that he wanted.

Hibatollah said, ‘Yousuf died and I met his son who was a good Muslim following the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). He told me that his father was still Christian when he died, and that he (the son) became a Muslim after the death of his father. He often said, ‘I am the good tiding of my master’’.[1]

The people of the Book believed in Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) and found in his life a continuity to the lives of prophets and saints.

What authors say about him

All those, who wrote the life of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.), saw honor, dignity, knowledge, piety, and charisma in his great personality and showed their admiration and high regard to him. Here are


[1] Bihar al-Anwar, vol.13 p.133.

 

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some sayings of historians and scholars about him:

1. Abul Falah al-Hanbali

Abdul Hayy Abul Falah al-Hanbali says, ‘Abul Hasan bin Ali al-Jawad bin ar-Redha bin Musa al-Kadhim bin Ja’far as-Sadiq al-Alawi al-Husayni, who is known as al-Hadi, was a jurisprudent, worshipping imam. He was one of the imams whom the Shiite exaggerators believe to be infallible like prophets…’[1]

2. Al-Yafi’iy

Al-Yafi’iy says, ‘Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was worshipful, jurisprudent, imam…’[2]

3. Abul Fida’

He says, ‘Ali at-Taqiy (pious) is one of the twelve imams of the Shia. He is Ali az-Zakiy bin Muhammad al-Jawad…’[3]

4. Ibn as-Sabbagh al-Maliki

He says, “Someone of scholars said, ‘The virtue of Abul Hasan has established its domes on the galaxy, and stretched its ropes on the stars. No excellence is counted, unless to him is its end and no nobility is mentioned, unless to him are its details and totality, and no high quality is regarded, unless his proofs appear on it. He deserved all that due to the essence of liberal qualities that he alone had, and glory that governed his lofty nature which was purified from any blemish, and so his nature and morals were pleasant, his conducts were fair, and his qualities were virtuous. His gravity, calmness, certainty, chastity, honesty, and wit were like the Prophet’s and Ali’s. He had a pure soul and high determination that no one of men resembled him in, and he lived a coarse life of asceticism that no human participated him in or looked forward to it.[4]


[1] Shatharat ath-Thahab, vol.2 p.128-129.
[2] Mir’at al-Janan, vol.2 p.160.
[3] Tareekh Abul Fida’, vol.2 p.47.
[4] Al-Fusul al-Muhimmah, p.268.

 

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5. Ibn Shahrashub

He says, ‘He (Imam al-Hadi) was the best and most truthful of people. He was the wittiest from near and the most perfect from far. When he kept silent, gravity appeared on him, and when he spoke, splendor appeared on him. He was from the house of prophethood and imamate, and the abode of guardianship and caliphate. A branch from the lofty tree of prophethood was he, and a fruit from the tree of the mission was he…’[1]

6. Al-Qutb ar-Rawandi

He says, ‘As for Ali bin Muhammad al-Hadi, all qualities of imamate have gathered in him. His virtue, knowledge, and good merits have been perfected. All his morals were extraordinary like the morals of his fathers. He spent the night worshipping towards the Qibla wearing a wool garment and sitting on a mat. If we mention his high qualities, the book shall be prolonged with them.’[2]

7. Ath-Thahabi

He says, ‘Ali bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Musa bin Ja’far bin Muhammad bin Zaynol Aabidin bin as-Sayyid ash-Sharif al-Alawi al-Husayni was jurisprudent and one of the twelve imams. The Twelver Shia call him al-Manari.’[3]

8. Ibn Hajar

He says, ‘Ali al-Hadi was the heir of his father’s knowledge and generosity.’[4]  

9. Ibn Anbasah

He says, ‘Ali al-Hadi is surnamed as al-Askari because he lived in Surra Man Ra’a which was called al-Askar. His mother was Umm Walad (bondmaid) who was absolutely virtuous and noble…’[5]


[1] Al-Manaqib, vol.4 p.401.
[2] Al-Kharayij.
[3] Tareekh al-Islam, vol.5.
[4] As-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah.
[5] Umdat at-Talib fee Ansab Aal Abi Talib, p.188.

 

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10. Muhammad bin Talha

Muhammad bin Talha ash-Shafi’iy says, ‘As for the qualities of Ali al-Hadi, ears did never receive more pleasant than them that they surrounded him as precious pearls in their shells. What witnessed for Abul Hasan Ali al-Hadi was that his soul was described with invaluable descriptions, and that it was in the position of prophethood in its honor of ranks and honor of roots…’[1]

11. Aagha Buzurg at-Tahrani

This great researcher says, ‘Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was the best of his brothers. He inherited the knowledge and generosity of his fathers. The imamate moved and was limited to him from among his brothers because he had all the conditions of imamate. The conditions of imamate are knowledge, justice, qualifiedness, soundness of senses and organs that does not affect one’s determination and action, being Arab from Quraysh, besides being from the Hashemites…’[2]  

12. Khayruddeen az-Zarkali

He says, ‘Ali al-Hadi bin Muhammad al-Jawad bin Ali ar-Radhiy bin Musa bin Ja’far al-Husayni at-Talibi was the tenth of the twelve imams for the Shia and one of the pious virtuous…’[3]

These are some words said by scholars and ulama showing their admiration towards Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) and some of his high qualities for he was the highest religious authority in the Islamic world.


[1] Matalib as-Sa’ool.
[2] Shajarat as-Sibtayn, (manuscript).
[3] Al-A’lam, vol.5 p.140.