The Holy Household of Prophet Mohammad
By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi
Imam Al-Sadiq (P.B.U.H)
The sixth Imam of Shia Muslims and the longest living member of Prophet Mohammad’s holy household lived during an era, which was politically instable and ambiguous. That era marked the emergence of the Abbasid dynasty and collapse of the Umayyad dynasty, which gave a window of freedom to Imam Al-Sadiq. Therefore, he was able to gather hundreds of pupils and teach them numerous sciences and types of knowledge, to an extent where most of today’s modern essential sciences are derived from this man’s school and pupils.
However, the reign of enlightening and knowledge did not last long, as the Abbasids prevailed and crushed the Umayyad, and the amount of oppression against the holy household of Prophet Mohammad was multiplied. According to an Arab poet, he compares the Umayyad and Abbasids dynasty by saying: Swear to Allah, the oppression of Umayyad would not be one tenth of what the Abbasids did to the household of Prophet Mohammad.
This Imam, who lived and was martyred in Medina, suffered the most at the hands of Mansoor Al-Dawaniqi, who actually ordered the house of Imam Al-Sadiq to be attacked and burnt, while there were women and children inside. Finally he was poisoned in Medina by Al-Mansoor and buried beside his father and grandfather.
Imam Al-Kadhim (P.B.U.H)
Another member of Prophet Mohammad’s family who was humiliated, beaten, cussed, prisoned and finally poisoned, and even after his death, his body was thrown at a bridge in Baghdad. Imam Moosa Al-Kadhim, who became the seventh Imam of Shia Muslims, after his father Imam Al-Sadiq, spent over seventeen years in the prisons of Haroon Al-Abbasi. He was transferred from one prison to another, and each prison was another dilemma and affliction for this great man, even in one of the prisons, three hungry lions were entered to his cell, but once the lions came close to Imam Al-Kadhim, they would only lower their heads before him and bow at his feet.
Ultimately, Haroon Al-Abbasi decided to transfer Imam Al-Kadhim to a prison in Baghdad, which was administrated by a man hostile to the progeny of Prophet Mohammad, named Sindi Ibn Shahek. This man constantly beat the Al-Kadhim, humiliated him, cussed at thim, and placed him in a dungeon, where the Imam did not know day and night time. Finally, Haroon Al-Abbasi ordered Sindi to poison the Imam and after that his body was thrown on Al-Rasafa Bridge in Baghdad.
Imam Ali Al-Ridha
The eighth Imam of Shia Muslim and also known as the (Gharib), which means stranger in English, as he was exiled and martyred in a place far from him home town and away from his family members, while having no one from his family beside him. Imam Al-Ridha, who lived during the era of Abbasid civil war between Haroon’s sons (Al-Amin & Al-Ma’amoon), was later on forcibly exiled to Khorasan province in Iran, and forced to the crown-prince of the Caliph, although he was older than Al-Ma’amoon.
Although, Al-Ma’amoon had intended to use the appointment of Imam Al-Ridha as an approach to control his movements and activities, the results were opposite. The Abbasid family were angry with Al-Ma’amoon and the popularity of Al-Ridha was increasing constantly. Therefore, Al-Ma’amoon followed the footsteps of his father and poisoned Imam Al-Ridha and buried him beside the body of his father, Haroon Al-Abbasi in Khorasan Province, in what is known today as Mashhad. In addition, once the Imam Al-Ridha was martyred, the Abbasids started pursuing and punishing the family members of Imam Al-Ridha, as many of them were scattered through different regions and lands, where they lived in hidings and many others were killed and prisoned for years.
Imam Mohammad Al-Jawad (P.B.U.H)
Although, this Imam is considered to be one of the youngest Imams, when he assumed the position of Imamate, his legacy and biography is not different than his father and the previous Imams. Imam Al-Jawad was forced by Al-Ma’amoon to marry Um Al-Fadhl, who was the daughter of Al-Ma’amoon, and he was summoned to Baghdad at a later time, to under close supervision and he was placed under house arrest. Ultimately, Um Al-Fadhl’s brother, who was the next Caliph after Al-Ma’amoon, decided to get rid of the Al-Jawad. The Caliph, used the Imam’s wife (his sister) to poison him and he was left in the house for three days after his death. Imam Al-Jawad was buried in Baghdad beside his grandfather, Imam Al-Kadhim.
Imam Ali Al-Hadi (P.B.U.H)
Imam Al-Hadi lived during the time of one the Abbasid’s most cruel and barbaric caliph, named Al-Mutawakil. This man crushed numerous uprisings, which happened due to severe economic hardships, corruption and favoritism. Al-Mutawakil is known to be one of the most hostile individuals to the holy household of Prophet Mohammad, as tried to destroy the grave of Imam Al-Hussein in Karbala several times. Imam Al-Hadi was summoned by Al-Mutawakil to Samara, and he was placed under house arrest and close supervision, and his contact with the outside world was very limited and minimal.
Finally, Imam Al-Hadi was poisoned by the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mu’tazz, and he was buried in Samara, which was a military compound at the time.
Imam Hassan Al-Askari (P.B.U.H)
The eleventh Imam of Shia Muslims, and the father of Imam Al-Mahdi, who is still alive and in hiding (occultation) according to Shia doctrine. Imam Al-Askari, who spent almost his entire life in exile and house arrest, always criticized the corrupt policies of the caliph and extortion of the wealth by the Caliph and his surrounding circle. The contact with Imam Al-Askari was very minimal and limited to only certain individuals, who were among the close pupils and companions of him. Ultimately, Imam Al-Askari was martyred and poisoned by the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mu’tamid, and he was also buried in Samara beside his father, Imam Al-Hadi.