Imam Ali Ibn Musa Al Redha (as) (8th Imam)


The shrine above in Mashad Iran ,is open 24 hrs X 365 days & is visited by Millions.
Even at 3 am on a cold winter night there are possibly atleast 5000 visitors !
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Titles :
Gharib al-Ghuraba, Moeen-uz-Zoafa-e-wal-Fuqara, Shah-e-Khurasaan   | Agnomen :Abul-Hasan
Father :
Imam Moosa-e-Kazim(a.s.) - the 7th Imam
Mother :
Ummul-Baneen Bibi Najma
Birth :
At Madina on 11th of Zi-Qadah 148 AH (765 AD)
Martyred / Buried : in Mashhad at age 55, on 23rd Zi-Qadah 203 AH (817 AD) (17 Safar some traditions)

Son- Imam

Imam Mohammed Taqi Al Jawad-9th Imam
Cause of Death :
Martyred by Abbasid Khalifa Mamoon in Mashhad, Iran.-after 30 yrs of Imamate/Leadership

 

Imam Reza (A.S.), the eighth Imam was born on Thursday 11th Zee al-Qa'adah 148 A.H. / 29 December 765 A.D. in Madinah. The new-born child was named Ali by his holy father, Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.), the seventh Imam. He was divinely entitled "Reza" and his nickname was Abul Hasan.

 

For many times Imam Musa al-Kazem (A.S) explicitly introduced his eldest son "Ali" as his immediate successor to accede to the divine position of Imamat. Subsequent to the martyrdom of his father in Baghdad, on the 25th of Rajab 183 A.H. / 1 September, 799 A. D. in the prison of Abbasid caliph, Harun-al-Rashid, he attained the holy position of Imamat, when he was thirty five years old, and he held that divine position for twenty years.

 

Three Abbasid caliphs were his contemporaries: for the first ten years Harun al- Rashid, for next five years Amin and finally for the last five years Ma'mun. 

 

Why Ma'mun invited Iman Reza (A.S.) 

After the death of Harun (b, 766 A.D., r. 786-809 A.D.) in 193 A.H./ 809 A.D., Ma'mun fell into conflict with his brother Amin (b 787 A.D., r. 809-813 A.D.), which led to bloody wars and finally the assassination of Amin in 813 A.D./ 198 A.H., after which Ma'mun became caliph. The Umayyad and the Abbasid caliphs were afraid of the Holy Imams (A.S.), who were publicly recognized as the true and worthy successors of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.). The Holy Imams (A.S.) were therefore constantly persecuted and tortured by the ruling caliphs of the time.

 

Ma'mun thought of finding a new solution for these difficulties, which his Abbasid predecessors had not been able to solve. Ma'mun contrived to invite Imam Reza (A.S.) to Marw, (the city where Ma'mun's seat of caliphate was located) with the evil intention of making false friendship with His Holiness. Thus, the cruel Caliph intended to have a direct eye on His Holiness.

 

In order to have this decision put into effect, Ma'mun forcefully exiled Imam Reza(A.S) from Madinah to Marw. On his departure from Madinah, Imam Reza (A.S.) gathered the members of his family and enjoined them to shed tears for his last journey with no return. Holy Imam (A.S.) did not take any member of his household with him to Marw. His Holiness intended to make the people aware of the exile that Ma'mun had intended for him.

 

Towards Khorasan

According to Ma'muns' commands, the direction of Imam Reza (A.S.) caravan from Madinah to Marw was predetermined. He arrived in Marw on the 10th of Shawwal in 201 A.H. / 1 May 817 A.D. , via Basrah, Khorramshahr, Ahwaz , Rey, Neyshabur, Sanabad and Sarakhs.

 

Throughout his long journey, the Holy Imam (A.S.) was cordially received by the people living in those cities and villages on the route. When His Holiness arrived in Neyshabur he narrated a Hadith Qudsi before an estimated crowd of 120,000 which also included thousands of distinguished scholars and traditionists.

 

This historical and the most famous Hadith Qudsi in known as "Silsilat al-Dhahab." Imam Reza (A.S.) confirmed that worshipping God will be counted as a perfect procedure when it is based on the obedience of the Immaculate Holy Imams (A.S.). This historical statement of Imam Reza (A.S.) implied the presentation and assertion of the Imamat (Socio- religious leadership) of His Holiness.

 

Imam-e- Zaamin(A.S.)

The Eighth Shi'ite Imam, Imam Ali ibne Musa ar-Reza (A.S.) is also called as Imam-e-Zaamin(A.S.).When Muslims go on journeys they take with them something called "Imam-e-Zaamin" [another name for Imam Reza (A.S.)] which is some money tied in a cloth. This tradition probably came from the time of Imam Reza (A.S.) when people used to carry money with them especially because it had Holy Imam's (A.S.) name on it. As Ma'mun,the Abbasid caliph the contemporary of Imam Reza(A.S.), had coins minted with the name of Imam Reza (A.S.) on them, it was very easy for the Muslims to carry the name of Holy Imam (A.S.) with them, especially when they went on journeys.

 

 Imam Reza (A.S.) is also known as Imam-e- Zaamin (A.S.). Zaamin means "The Guarantor". One day when Imam Reza (A.S.) was on his historical journey from Madinah to Marw(Khurasan),while in a jungle the Holy Imam(A.S.) came across a hunter who was about to kill a deer. The deer was trying to get away and when she saw Holy Imam (A.S.), she said something to him.

 

Holy Imam(A.S.) asked the hunter to free the deer so that she could go and feed her little baby deer who were very hungry. Imam Reza(A.S.) also told the hunter that once the deer had fed her babies she would come back. The hunter allowed the deer to go because Holy Imam (A.S.) had told him to, but he did not think the deer would come back. However, Imam Reza (A.S.) waited with the hunter until the deer returned with her young ones. The hunter was amazed on witnessing this miraculous event and he set the deer free as a mark of respect for Imam Reza (A.S.).

 

After this historical event Imam Reza (A.S.) became famous as Imam Zaamin(A.S.). The most famous artist of the contemporary world, Ustad Mahmud Farshchiyan has depicted this historical event in this beautiful masterpiece iconography entitled "Zaamin-e-Aahu"(The Guarantor of the Deer).

 

Successorship to Caliphate

           Imam Reza (A.S.) was welcomed at Marw by the caliph himself and by his Prime Minister Fazl ibn Sahl and some distinguished Abbasid nobles in a place a few leagues outside the metropolis. After some days, Ma'mun offered Imam Reza (A.S.), first the caliphate, His Holiness seriously rejected Ma'mun's proposal.

       Then Ma'mun proposed Imam to accept the successorship to caliphate, the Imam Reza (A.S.) turned down this proposal also but he was finally forced to accept the successorship to caliphate. The Holy Imam (A.S.) put forward certain conditions that he would not interfere in governmental affairs or in the appointment or dismissal of government agents.

 

Ritual of Fitr Prayer

In the late Ramadan 202 A.H./ March 817 A.D., Ma'mun requested Imam Reza (A.S.) to conduct the religious service of the celebration of "Fitr Prayers" (Festival at the end of the month of Ramadan) in Marw. The Holy Imam (A.S.) accepted only with the condition to perform the related ritual just on the basis of the method of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.).

 

Early in the morning of the celebration day of "Fitr", Holy Imam (A.S.) appeared in plain clothing and bare-footed before that congregation and glorified God loudly; saying "Allah Akbar" (God in the Greatest of all.).

 

From every direction of the city the call "Allah Akbar" could be heard because the congregation present there followed His Holiness and shouted "Allah Akbar". Ma'mun was deeply alarmed by the magnificence and splendour of that demonstration and requested Holy Emam (A.S.) to cease the continuation of that ritual.

 

The Holy Imam's (A.S.) Scholarly Discourses

Ma'mun often managed sessions of debates to be held in his own royal palace and celebrated scholars of various religions were invited there to exchange and discuss their different views on religious issues, Imam Reza (A.S.) was always victorious in all those debates and soon his opponents recognized the scientific status of His Holiness.

 

Imam Reza (A.S.) directed Muslims to the right path and removed deviated views of the antagonists who endeavoured to distort Islam. In this way the Holy Imam (A.S.) safeguarded and propagated the principles of Islam.

 

The Golden Dissertation in Medicine

The Most Precious Islamic Legacy in the Science of Medicine:

Among such books written by Imam Reza(A.S.) is Al-Risala al-Dahabiyya fil Tibb (the Golden Dissertation in Medicine) for which sources are counted reaching sometimes to Muhammad ibn Jumhoor, and sometimes to al-Hassan ibn Muhammad al-Nawfali who was accepted as trustworthy by al-Najjashi who described him as "highly esteemed and trustworthy; he narrated one text about Imam Reza (A.S.)," which could be "the golden dissertation in medicine".

 

The Holy Imam's (A.S.) Martyrdom

The vicious caliph was scared of the ever-increasing Holy Imam's (A.S.) popularity. Thus he decided to eliminate the Holy Imam (A.S.). In 203 A.H./ 818 A.D., Ma'mun first imprisoned Imam Reza (A.S.) in Sarakhs.

 

Then the Imam Reza (A.S.) was taken to Sanabad and confined in the palace of Humaid bin Qahtabah. During the morning of the last day of the month of Safar 203 A.H./ 818 A.D., the Holy Imam (A.S.) was poisoned by Ma'mun in that palace.

 

The Holy Imam (A.S.) was seized with intensive pain and languor and in the evening of the same day, the holy soul of the innocent Holy Imam (A.S.) departed to heaven. The Holy Imam (A.S.) was buried in the solitude of night at the same place of the palace which His Holiness had prophesied during his first visit to Humaid bin Qahtabah's palace at Sanabad in 201 A.H. / 817 A.D.

 

Mashhad :The Land of Miracles

Once a small village called Sanabad soon transformed into a great metropolis by the presence of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.) called as Mashhad al-Reza (tomb sanctuary of Imam Reza (A.S.)., also briefly called Mashhad which is also one of the most extensively visited pilgrimage centers in the world. Miracles regularly occur at the holy shrine of Imam Reza(A.S.) and hence the holy city of Mashhad is also famous as "The Land of Miracles "

 

The Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.)

The magnificent and marvelous buildings and structures in the holy shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.), comprises one of the oldest and most beautiful religious and historical monuments in the world.

 

The grand complex of the holy shrine is round in structure which includes six courtyards (Sahn), twenty - three porches (Riwaq), the Gowharshad Mosque, Razavi University of Islamic Sciences, Islamic Research Foundation, Museums, the Central Library Complex, Offices, Hospital, Inn and the buildings for performing ablutions. The present surface area of the holy shrine is 267079 square meters
.

Merits of Imam Reza's (A.S.) Ziyarah

There are many traditions concerning the merit of Imam Reza's (A.S.) ziyarah (pilgrimage) in general, and in some its thawab (spiritual reward) is concerned to be equal to that of the martyrdom of the martyrs of Badr, and in still other traditions its thawab is considered equal to that of a hajj pilgrimage.

 

Miraculous Healing

The holy shrine of Imam Reza(A.S.) is the sacred threshold where miracles  occur regularly.Till now  thousands of seriously and incurable patients has been miraculously healed at the holy shrine by Emam Reza(A.S.)

 

Naqqar Khanah(Beating Kettle-Drums) in the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza(A.S.)

 Beating kettle-drums (Naqqarah) was customary in olden times upon the occurence of an important event or the attendance of people in royal courts. In 860 A.H./ 1455 A.D., when Baisonqor, Shahrukh Mirza's son, the Timurid Sultan, came to Mashhad from Herat kettle-drums were beaten to announce his presence in the holy shrine of Imam Reza(A.S.).

He was visiting the holy shrine in order to find a cure for his illness which the physicians were unable to cure. Baisonqor was miraculously healed in the holy shrine  of Imam Reza(A.S.) and the kettle-drums were beaten once again, and since then, this practice is performed everyday in the holy shrine before sunrise and sunset (except the mourning periods). The kettle-drums are also beaten when any sick pilgrim gets miraculously healed at the holy shrine.

 

Astan Quds Razavi

The Holy Shrine of Imam Reza(A.S.) is administered by an efficient organization known as Astan Quds Razavi.The Astan Quds Razavi is under the supervision of the Chief Reverend Custodian appointed directly by the Paramount Leader of Islamic Republic of Iran.

 

During the last twenty-six years the Astan Quds Razavi under the capable and efficient administration of Ayatullah Abbas Waiz Tabasi,the Reverend Chief Custodian of the holy shrine of Imam Reza(A.S.) has been transformed and extended on a grand scale unprecedented in the 1200 years old long history of the shrine of Imam Reza(A.S.).During last 25 years the holy shrine of Imam Reza(A.S.) has been extended four times more than its total expansion during last 1200 years.

 

Ahadith of Imam Reza(A.S.)

1. He who compares and likens Allah to his creations is a polytheist and the one who attributes something which has been forbidden for HIM is an infidel (Wasail ush Shia, Vol 18, P557)

 

2. Faith is to one grade superior and sublime to Islam and piety is one degree superior to faith and certitude and certainty is one step superior to faith and nothing more elegant and excellent than certitude has been bestowed upon the sons of Adam (A.S.) (Bihar ul Anwar Vol 78, P 338)

 

3. Faith has four pillars: Trusting and relying upon Allah, and contentment and pleasure with the divine will, and submittance to the ordain and ordinance of Allah, and delegation and turning over (the affairs) to Allah. i-e (total submission and resignment to Allah). (Bihar ul Anwar Vol 78,P 338)

 

4. And faith means performing and discharging the obligatory duties and avoiding the committing of forbidden acts and faith is the recognition and knowing (Allah) through the heart and admitting and confessing through the tongue and practicing through the parts of body (physically).

(Tuhaf ul Aqool, P 422)

 

5. One day Imam Reza (A.S.) mentioned Quran and so he described the magnanimity and glory of its authority and its miraculous saying, "That is the firm cable of Allah and firmest handhold and the ideal and model path, it guides and leads toward paradise and is the saviour from the fire (of Hell).

 

 It does not corrode and wear out by the passage and flow of time. More over, it's continuous repetition and recitation through the tongue does not devalue and depreciate it, since, it is not made to exist for a certain age and period apart from other ages and periods. Instead, it has been made a proof and logic for all human beings. Falsehood does neither find passage in the front and afore of it nor from it's back side.

 

It has been descended (revealed) by Allah, the All wise, All praise worthy. (Bihar ul Anwar Vol 92, P 14)

 

6. Rayyan says I said to Imam Reza (A.S.) "What do you say about Quran?" So he replied "It is the speech of Allah, do not exceed and move ahead of it and do not seek guidance from other than it, otherwise, you would go astray. (Bihar ul Anwar Vol 92, P 117)

 

7. "Indeed Imamate is the rein of religion and the system of Muslims and the righteousness and welfare of the world and the honour and glory of faithful, Verily, Imamate is the growing and ongoing root of Islam and it's elevated and sublime branch.

 

Services, alms, fasting, Hajj and Jehad (the holy war) attain completion and perfection and the Allah's bounds, sanctions, and ordinances get executed, and the frontiers and boundaries (of Islamic lands) get safe and secure, through Imam. (Usul Kafi, Vol 1, P 200)

 

8. About the workers and officials of sultan (king, ruler). Becoming part of the officials of them and providing of help and assistance to them and putting in endeavour to fulfill their needs and requirements is the equivalent to infidelity. And looking intentionally and purposely at them is one of the great sins which deems one fit to deserve the hell fire.

(Bihar ul Anwar Vol 75, P 374)

 

9. Allah may take pity and be merciful to the servant who resurrects and revives our affair so I said "And how is it that your affair gets revived?" He responded", By learning our knowledge and teaching them to the people. (Wasail ush Shia, Vol 18, P 102)

 

10 - A faithful will not become (real) faithful till such time he acquires three qualities: A way of Allah's treatment, the Prophet's rule and a rule of his Wali. However, the Allah's treatment is the concealing of his secret. Allah said "The Knower of the unseen!So He does not reveal His secret to any. Except to him whom He chooses as an apostle.

 

More over, the Sunnah and rule of the Prophet (S.A.W.) is conciliation with the people. So Allah commanded the Prophet (S.A.W.) to conciliate with the masses saying.  "Take to forgiveness and enjoin good."  

 

Nevertheless, the rule of his Wali is "Exercising patience and endurance in (the times of) adversities, poverty and apprehensions." (Usul Kafi, Vol 2, P 241)

 

11. The intellect of a Muslim man does not mature and complete until he has ten qualities: -

 

1) Benevolence and benefaction be expected and hoped from him.

2) And people be secure and peaceful from his evil doing.

3) He considers the small amount of benefaction from others as abundant and plentiful.

4) And takes plenty of his own benevolence and goodness to be a meagre amount of it.

5) He does not get tired and exhausted by the demands and requirement asked to be fulfilled.

6) He does not get fatigued and restless from seeking knowledge for all the length of his life.

7) He loves poverty more than the plentifulness and affluence, on the course of Allah.

8) And he loves disgrace and abjectness of the way of Allah more than the honour on the course of His enemy.

9) And anonymity is more liked by him than fame.

Then he Holy Imam(A.S) said. "The tenth one and what is the tenth?

The person asked him (A.S.) "What is that?" Imam (A.S.) reflected, "He does not see a person but that he says "He is better and more pious than myself."

(Bihar ul Anwar Vol 78, P 336)

 

12. He who takes himself to account is benefited and the one who gets negligent and careless about himself bears loss. And the one who fears (Allah) becomes peaceful. And that one who takes lesson becomes most clear sighted and discerning. And he who become most clear sighted understands and he who understands and comprehends becomes knowledgeable and informed.

(Bihar ul Anwar Vol 78, P 352)

 

13. A person asked Imam Reza (A.S.) "Who are the best of servants?

So he responded "Those men that when they perform good deed they become glad and when they perform a bad deed they ask the forgiveness (of Allah) and when they are granted they thank (for it). And while they get afflicted and grieved they exercise patience. And when they get enraged and angry they forgive. (overlook other faults). (Tuhaf ul Aqool, P 445)

 

14. And avoiding the cardinal and grave sins and these are murdering and killing the soul that Allah has forbidden...

 

And committing adultery, and stealing and drinking (wine) and opposing (annoying) the parents, and running away fleeing the battle front (in Jehad) and misappropriating and eating the wealth of orphans oppressively and eating the carrion (flesh of dead creature) and drinking blood and taking meat of pig (pork) and eating the meat of animals which are slaughtered without Allah's name being taken at the time of slaughtering them.

 

And eating (taking) interest after the clear cut ordain and the illicit and forbidden (wealth), and the arrow shuffling and gambling, and diminishing reducing in measures and weights and accusing the chaste (virtuous) women and sodomy and giving of false witness and disappointment with the commiseration of Allah and considering oneself safe from the plan of Allah. (fearlessness from Allah's plan) and dismay from the blessing and commiseration of Allah and helping and assisting the aggressors and tyrants and reliance and trust upon them. And taking false oath and retention of rights without being hard up and telling lie.

 

And pride and arrogance and spending lavishly and wasting and squandering (of resources) and dishonesty and depreciating and belittling Hajj and combating and standing up against the representatives of Allah. And involvement and libidinous pleasures) And insisting upon committing sins. (Aoyun Akhbar ur  Reza(A.S.), Vol 2, P 127)

 

15. There are some grades of self-conceit. One among them is that the evil acts of a servant gets decorated to him and he takes them for good deeds and boasts and gluts about them and considers them as nice acts performed by him. And one of them is that a servant acquires faith and belief upon Allah and then boasts of a favour conferred upon Allah, where as, Allah has done him a favour in it. (Bihar ul Anwar Vol 78, P 336)

 

16. Had Allah not frightened people by paradise and hell even then it would have been obligatory for them to obey Him and not commit His disobedience because of his favours and kindnesses upon them. And His granting them the beneficiences to start with, whithout any of their rights. (Bihar ul Anwar Vol 71, P 174)

 

17. If it is asked why people were ordered to fast? It would be answered so that they may know the trouble of hunger and thirst and thus get the idea about the poverty (hunger and thirst) of the Hereafter. And the fast keeper may get humbled, belittled, humiliated, destitute, indigent (more over) they may get the reward of Allah and be patient and forbearing in the wake of the (trouble) they face from hunger and thirst with knowing of Allah and sincerity. So fasting will be the cause of their getting reward. More over, this will bring about the control of lustful desires and become the admonition in this world.

 

And make them submit to the performance and offering of what has been made obligatory for them and guides them to (the affairs of) Hereafter.

Nonetheless, they by keeping fast understand and comprehend the severeness and extremity and the amount of hardships and miseries that the poor and afflicted ones have to bear in this world. So they give away the obligatory amounts which Allah has made obligation for them to pay out of their wealths.

(Bihar ul Anwar Vol 96, P 370)

 

18. The Jamaat prayers (the collective and assembly prayers) have only been made so that the sincerity, oneness of Allah and the adoring and worshipping of Allah gets obvious, known, apparent & common. Because the show of it will complete the proof of the oneness of Allah to the people of East and West. And will make the hypocrite and the one who has disrespecting attitude, humble and respectful to something which is the cause of admitting and acknowledging the apparent of Islam and the submission to it.

 

And to the effect that the witnesses of people upon the Islam (being Muslim) of each other becomes lawful and possible.

 

Moreover, it becomes the (cause of) cooperation & co- working of them upon good acts and piety and their taking distance from plenty number of evil acts forbidden by Allah.

(Aoyun Akhbar ar Reza(A.S.), Vol 2, P 109; Al-Hayat Vol 1, P 233)

 

19. Indeed Allah has commanded three things (in Quran) which are proximate with three others. He ordered the prayers and alms. So the one who offers prayer and does not pay alms, his service is not accepted from him.

 

And He ordered His thanks giving with that of the parents. So the one who does not thank his parent has not thanked Allah. And He commanded fear of Allah and connecting with the kinship. So the one who does not connect with the blood relations is not afraid of Allah.   (Aoyun Akhbar ar Reza(A.S.), Vol 1, P 258)

 

20. Do not let the good deeds and Ijtehad and endeavour in worship go, depending and trusting upon the love of the Muhammad's (S.A.W.) house hold.  (Bihar ul Anwar Vol 78, P 347)

 

21. Be careful of greed and jealousy, since, these (vices) have perished the previous nations. And beware of stinginess because it is a calamity which will not be found in a free man and a faithful.

This (vice) is against and controversial to faith. (Bihar ul Anwar Vol 78, P 346)

 

22. Silence is a door among the doors of wisdom. Indeed, silence begets and attracts love it is the proof of all the beneficences. (Bihar ul Anwar Vol 78, P 355)

 

23. Behave with the friend humbly and with the enemy carefully and the general people, with smiling and blooming face. (Bihar ul Anwar Vol 78, P 355)

 

24. Allah dislikes futile (useless) talk and squandering the wealth and begging (asking things). (Bihar ul Anwar Vol 78, P 335)

 

25. The miser does not have any comfort and so do the jealous not have any joy and felicity and the (kings) (rulers) do not have faithfulness and trust worthiness and the liar does not have any manlihood (forbearance).(Bihar ul Anwar Vol 78, P 345)

 

Imam Al Ibn Musa Ar Reza(as) sayings

Doing 6 things without doing the other 6 things is self-mockery. 
* Asking forgiveness from Allah verbally without repenting with the heart. 
* Asking for Allah's help without undertaking any effort. 
* Making a firm resolution to do something without taking due precautions. 
* Beseeching deliverance from hell fire without refraining from lusts. 
* Asking Allah for paradise without enduring related hardships. 
* Remembering Allah without anticipating to encounter him. 
Imam Raza (AS) also said,
"Nothing will weigh more heavier in the mizan than good morals" 
* "Listening to Music is one of the major sins" 
* "Meet one another so that affection may increase"


AL TAWHID JOURNAL ARTICLE Heir Apparency

 

BRIEF ARTICLE QUL.ORG.AU

http://www.qul.org.au/library/our-imams/9-imam-ali-reda-reza

Imam Ali Reda / Reza

Father: Imam Musa Kazim (AS)
Mother:Ummul Baneen Najma
Kunniyat (Patronymic): Abdul Hasan
Laqab (Title): Ar-Reda / Ar-Reza
Birth: He was born in Medina on Thursday, 11th of Zil-kad 148 A.H 
Martyrdom: He was poisoned by Mamoon the Abbaside Caliph on the 17th Safar 203 A.H, and died at the age of 55 at Meshad in Khorasan.
 

Imam Ali Reda / Reza (AS) Birth & Upbringing

Hazrat Imam Ali Reza was born at Medina on the 11th Zil-kad 148 A.H, and is known as Abdul Hasan.
Imam Ali Reza was brought up under the holy guidance of his father for 35 years. His own insight and brilliance in religious matters combined with the excellent training and education given by his father made him unique in his spiritual leadership.
Imam Reza was a living example of the piety of the great Prophet and the chivalry and generosity of Imam 'Ali ibn Abi Talib.

Imam Ali Reda / Reza (AS) Successorship

Imam Musa Kazim was well aware of the aggressive designs of the government in power against the Imamate and therefore, during his lifetime he declared Imam Reza as his successor in the presence of 171 prominent religious divines and called upon his sons and his family to submit to him and refer to him in all matters after him.
He also left behind a written document declaring the succession of Imam Reza duly signed and endorsed by not less than sixteen prominent persons. 
All these necessary steps were taken by the great Imam to avoid any confusion that may have arisen after his death.

Imam Ali Reda / Reza (AS) Imamate

Imam Musa Kazim was poisoned while he was still in prison and expired on 25th Rajab 183 AH, and on the same day Imam Reza was declared as the Eighth Imam of the Muslim world. 
Imam Reza had the great task before him of coming out with the correct interpretation of the Holy Qur'an; specially under the most unfavourable circumstances prevailing under the government of Harun Rashid. 
Many belonging to the faith were imprisoned and those who were free and could not be jailed faced untold atrocities and sufferings.
Imam Reza, of course, stamped his impression upon his age by carrying on the mission of the Great Prophet in a peaceful manner even during the most chaotic periods, and it was mostly due to his efforts that the teachings of the Holy Prophet and his descendants became widespread.

Imam Ali Reda / Reza (AS) Great Qualities

Imam Reza had inherited great qualities of head and heart from his ancestors. He was a versatile person and had full command over many languages. Ibene-Asir Jazeri penned very rightly that Imam Reza was undoubtedly the greatest sage, saint and scholar of the second century (AH). 

Once, on his way to Khurasan, when he (the Imam) was brought by force by the guards of Mamoon from Medina, he arrived on horseback at Nayshabur. Myriads of people gathered round him and all roads were over crowded as they had come to meet and see their great Imam. Abu Dhar'ah ar-Razi and Muhammad ibn Aslam at-Tusi, the two great scholars of the day, stepped out of the crowd and begged the Imam to halt there for a moment so that the faithful may be able to hear his voice. They also requested the Imam to address the gathering.
The Imam granted the request and in his brief address told the mammoth gathering the real interpretation of 'La ilaha illa Allah'. 
Quoting Allah, he continued to say that the kalimah is the fortress of Allah and whoever entered the fortress saved himself from His wrath. He paused for a moment and continued that there were also a few conditions to entitle the entrance to the fortress and the greatest of all conditions was sincere and complete submission to the Imam of the day; and very boldly and frankly explained to the people that any disloyalty to the Prophet and his descendants would withdraw the right of the entrance to the fortress.
The only way to earn Almighty Allah's pleasure was to obey the Prophet and his progeny and that was the only path to salvation and immortality. 

The above-mentioned incident speaks clearly of the great popularity of Imam Reza, and the love, loyalty and respect the Muslims gave their beloved Imam

Imam Ali Reda / Reza (AS) Political Condition

Mamoon, the king, was conscious of the fact that he would not survive for long if he also did not express his loyalty to the great leader and his intelligence department had made it clear to him that the Iranian people were truly and sincerely loyal to the Imam and he could only win them over if he also pretended to give respect and sympathetic consideration to Imam Reza. 
Mamoon was a very shrewd person. He made a plan to invite Imam Reza and to offer him the heirship to the throne. 
The Imam was summoned by a royal decree and was compelled, under the circumstances, to leave Medina - where he was living a quiet life - and present himself at the royal court of Mamoon.

On his arrival, Mamoon gave him a royal reception and offered him the heirship, commenting in no uncertain terms that he (Mamoon) was a usurper of the rights of the Imam, and begged him to accept the offer.
The Imam at first rejected the offer saying that he was not interested in holding worldly power and he was quite satisfied in carrying on the missionary work and living a quiet life in Medina.
Mamoon knew that the final rejection of his offer by the Imam would lead him to extreme unpopularity and pestered the Holy Imam to accept.
Imam Reza then very reluctantly agreed to the demand and wrote the following remarks on the document of succession:
I accept the heirship of Mamoon on the condition that he admits our rights to the direct succession of the Prophet. I can foresee that that there is a catch in it but do not want to disappoint the mover of the proposal until he proves to be unworthy of his commitment.
 

Imam Ali Reda / Reza (AS) Wordly Successorship

Imam Reza was the Eighth Imam and Mamoon could not help holding him in great esteem because of the Imam's piety, wisdom, knowledge, modesty, decorum and personality.
Therefore, he decided to nominate him a the rightful heir to the throne. Earlier in 200 AH he had summoned the 'Abbasids. Thirty-three thousand 'Abbasids responded to the invitation and were entertained as royal guests. 
During their stay at the capital he very closely observed and noted their capabilities and eventually arrived at the conclusion that not one of them deserved to succeed him. 
He therefore spoke to them all in an assembly in 201 AH telling them in categorical terms that none of the 'Abbasids deserved to succeed him. He demanded allegiance to Imam Reza from the people in this very meeting and declared that royal robes would be green in future, the color which had the unique distinction of being that of the Imam's dress.
A Royal decree was published saying that Imam Reza will succeed Mamoon. 
Even after the declaration of succession when there was every opportunity for the Imam to live a splendid worldly royal life, he did not pay any heed to material comforts and devoted himself completely to imparting the true Islamic conception of the Prophet's teachings and the Holy Qur'an.
He spent most of his time praying to God and serving the people.
 

Imam Ali Reda / Reza (AS) Remembrance of Karbala

Taking full advantage of the concessions given to him by virtue of his elevated position in the royal court, he organized the majalis (meetings) commemorating the martyrdom of the martyrs of Karbala'. 
These majalis were first held during the days of Imam Muhammad Baqir and Imam Jafar Sadiq, but Imam Reza gave the majalis a new impetus by encouraging those poets who wrote effective poems depicting the moral aspects of the tragedy and the suffering of Imam Hussain and his companions.

Imam Ali Reda / Reza (AS) Wafat / Martyrdom

Mamoon had been very scared of the growing popularity of the Imam and he had appointed him as his heir to the throne only for the fulfillment of his own most ambitious and sinister designs and getting the Imam's endorsement to his tricky plans.
But the Imam naturally refused to give his endorsement to any such plans which were against the teaching of Islam. 
Mamoon therefore became very disappointed with him and decided once and for all to check his growing popularity and ensuring his own survival by acting according to the old traditions of killing the Imam.
Wanting to do it in a more subtle manner, he invited the Imam to dinner, and fed him poisoned grapes. 
The Imam died on 17th Safar 203 A.H, he was buried in Toos (Mashhad) and his Grand Shrine speaks well for the great personality the Imam possessed. 

Myriads of Muslims visit his Shrine every year to pay their homage to this Imam.