Published on 9th
Imam Ali an-Naqi al-Hadi
than the good deed is the one who performs it. And more
beautiful than the beauty (of speech) is the sayer of it
(decent words). And superior to the knowledge is it's bearer
and carrier. And worse than the evil is it's attracter.
more horrible than the horror is the one who rides it."
- Imam Ali an-Naqi al-Hadi (a)
The beautiful words of our Holy Imam abu'l Hasan Ali an-Naqi
al-Hadi ('a) have inspired the Shi'ah from the time he was born
until today, and will continue to do so. His words are the
words of Allah's Apostle (s) and his descendents, the Holy
Ahlul Bayt ('a).
As his titles indicate, the
('a) is a
Pure One (Naqi) and a Guide (Hadi). He is the son of Imam
Mohammad al-Jawad al-Taqi and his Mother's name is Sumanah. He
was born in Surya, Medina, on the 2nd Rajab in 212 AH (the
disputed date being 15th Zul Hijah) and he continued to live
in the Apostle's city, Medina, for the first half of his life.
At the age of 6 years, his Father
martyred, leaving Imam an-Naqi ('a) as the next divinely chosen
guide. As the Imam of his age, he and his family were left in
relative peace by the ruling Abbasid Caliphs, al-Wathiq and
Mutawakkil for about 10 years. This changed when Mutawakkil,
who was the 10th Abbasid Caliph, began to harass the Imam ('a)
as a result of the jealousy and enmity felt towards this
righteous descendent of Rasoolullah ('s).
Samarra in Iraq
To achieve his sinful goals, Mutawakkil
summoned Imam an-Naqi ('a) to Samarra in Iraq. The Imam (a) was
more than fully aware of the evil intentions of the Caliph,
but considered the dangerous consequences of his not accepting
the summons, and prepared to leave Medina.
Pleasant Gardens and Flowing Rivers
('a) arrival in Samarra, the Imam ('a)
was put into the Inn of al-Sa'alik for one day. On this day,
Salih bin Sa'id visited Imam an-Naqi (a) and said:
"May I be your ransom, in every
matter they are only concerned to extinguish your light and
to diminish you so that they have put you to stay in this
hideous inn - the Inn of al-Sa'alik."
('a) replied: "Here you are,
Ibn Sa'id" and indicated with his hand. Suddenly, Ibn
Sa'id found himself amid pleasant gardens and flowing rivers
and gardens in which were perfumed plants and beautiful
maidens like veiled pearls. He has stated that his sight
became confused and his amazement was great.
The Imam continued:
"This is where we are. This belongs
to us, Ibn Sa'id. We are not in the Inn of al-Sa'alik."
Shortly after his arrival in Samarra, the Imam
('a) was imprisoned under the cruel, stone-hearted Zurafah, who
to the Caliph's displeasure, soon grew to love the Imam ('a)
and became a devoted follower of the Ahlul Bayt ('a). This man
was then replaced by another custodian who was a cruel man
named Sa'id. In this prison, the Imam ('a) experienced years of
cruel treatment and torture.
After some time, the Caliph Mutawakkil,
obtained a new advisor, Fath ibn Khaqan, who was Shi'ah. This
Shi'ah could not bare to see the holy Imam ('a) imprisoned any
longer and arranged for his release and his comfortable
residence in a personally purchased house. Mutawakkil was
still greatly displeased with this and continued with his
malicious intended actions against the Imam ('a).
Mutawakkil stated that as
prohibited to eat the flesh of the descendents of Imam Husayn
('a)" then he would throw Imam an-Naqi ('a) to the
beasts to test if he was truly a descendent of Imam Husayn
('a). He did so, and to all amazement, it was witnessed that
the beasts prostrated their heads before the Imam ('a).
('a) received a message that the
Caliph had fallen extremely ill almost to the point of death,
suffering from boils covering his body. His advice was sought
as to the cure for the Caliph's illness and his reply message
"Take the dregs of the fat from a
sheep. Mix it with rose-water and put it on the boils. It
will be beneficial, if God permits."
The Caliph's Mother had promised that if her
son was preserved, then she would give of her wealth to the
Imam (a). Upon receiving the Imam's ('a) suggestion for the
treatment, the people scoffed and laughed, however they did
follow the directions. The solution was placed over the boils,
which caused them to open and expel their contents, resulting
in the full cure of the Caliph's illness. His Mother was
delighted at the news and sent 10,000 dinars to the Imam (a)
as was her promise.
Of the numerous ahadith quoted from the holy
Imam Naqi ('a), he is quoted as having said:
"Remember when you are on your
deathbed and your body is lying before your family members,
then there is no physician to prevent you (from death) nor a
friend to avail you". (Bihar-ul-Anwar,
Vol. 78, p370)
Holy Imam (a) remained
living in Samarra until his martyrdom on the 3rd Rajab, 254 AH
after 35 years of Imamate. Like his many forefathers, he was
poisoned by the ruling Caliph, al-Mu'tazz, and died at the age
of 42 years, with his funeral rights being conducted by his
son, Imam Hassan al-Askari (a) who was the Imam after him
The children Imam Naqi
were Imam Hassan al-Askari ('a), al Husayn, Muhammad, Ja'far
and his only daughter Aisha.
Other ahadith quoted from the
Imam (a) are:
"Beware of Jealousy
for its effect will appear upon you and shall not effect
your enemy." (Ayan u Shia,
Vol 2, p39.)
"People are respected
in this world for possessing wealth and in the Hereafter for
possessing righteous deeds." (Bihar-ul-Anwar, Vol 78, p368.)
"Whosoever has the
fear of Allah, people fear him and the one who obeys Allah,
people obey him." (Tuhful Aqool, p472.)
A Group of Translators (2000) A Brief
History of The Fourteen Infallibles, Ansariyan
Publications, Qum, Islamic Republic of Iran.
Ayatullah Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani (1998)
A Bundle of Flowers, Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a)
Library, Isfahan, Islamic Republic of Iran.
Islamic Propagation organisation [Turkey]
(1373 AH) Fascinating Discourses of 14 Infallibles (a),
Ansariyan Publications, Qum, Islamic Republic of Iran.
Shaykh al-Mufid (1981) Kitab al-Irshad,
Muhammadi Trust, London, England.