Imam Ali al-Hadi (as) assumed the official role of Imamate at a very young age of 7 or 8 years. At that tender age, he (as) had become a point of reference for the Muslims. People would refer to him and seek his guidance in almost everything pertaining to their lives. When the enemies of Ahlul-Bayt (as) saw this, they were displeased with the situation. So, in conjunction with the government of the time, which was in opposition of Ahlul-Bayt (as), they began looking for a person who was the most knowledgeable of the time yet a sworn enemy of Ahlul-Bayt (as) so that Imam al-Hadi (as) is put under his care for training and the Muslims, particularly the Shia’hs do not get any access to him.


Finally, ‘Ubaydullah Junaydi, a prominent scholar from ‘Iraq and a sworn enemy of Ahlul-Bayt (as) was appointed for the task. ‘Ubaydullah took our Imam (as) into his care and did not allow any Shia’h to visit him. This way, the guidance of Imam al-Hadi (as) was suspended for his Shia’hs.


One day a person came to ‘Ubaydullah Junaydi and asked him, “How is the Hashimite servant doing?” Junaydi, a sworn enemy of Ahlul-Bayt (as) became extremely furious with the man and said to him, “Do not call him a Hashimite servant for he is not a servant but a leader of Banu Hashim. By Allah! Despite his young age, he is more knowledgeable than I am. People think that I am disciplining him but the truth is that he is disciplining me. I swear by Allah! He is not only the Hafidh of Quran but also possesses its knowledge. To be precise, he is the best of all on the face of this earth”.

                                                                         (Al-Dam’ah al-Saakibah)




The people of Madayin wrote to Imam Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hadi (as) inquiring from him about the period of Mutawakkil’s rule. Imam (as) responded through the following verse of the Holy Quran: “You will sow for seven consecutive years. The leave in the ear whatever (grain) you harvest, except a little you eat. Then after that there will come seven hard years which will eat up whatever you have set aside for them – all except a little which you preserve (for seed). Then after that will come a year wherein the people will be granted relief and provided with rains therein”. (12:47-49) Therefore, Mutawakkil was killed in 115 AH.




Once Mutawakkil, the Abbasi ruler was poisoned, so he kept a vow that: “Should I recover, I will give MAALUL-KATHEER in the cause of Allah (SWT).” MAALUL-KATHEER in Arabic means ‘plenty of money’. Mutawakkil vowed to give plenty of money but he did not specify the amount. Eventually, when he recovered, Mutawakkil invited some scholars to his court; mentioned to them about his vow sought their guidance on the amount that could be considered by Islam as MAALUL-KATHEER. He got different answers from them. One scholar said, “It is 1000 dirhams.” The other said, “It is 10,000 dirhams.” The third scholar said, “It should be 100,000 dirhams.”


Mutawakkil was in a dilemma and did not know whom to follow. In the end, one of the courtiers said,  “O Mutawakkil! If you allow me, I will get you a correct answer for your question.” Mutawakkil looked at him with surprise but he saw his courtier appeared quite confident of himself. After thinking for a while, he said, “Alright then! Go and fetch me a correct answer. If you satisfy me, I will gift you 10,000 dirhams otherwise I shall have you whipped.”


The man left the court of Mutawakkil and arrived at the doorstep of the Ulil-Amr of his time, who was no other than Imam Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hadi (as). At that time, our Imam (as) was under surveillance. As soon as he saw this man, the Imam (as) said to him: “You have come to ask me about MAALUL-KATHEER. Go and tell Mutawakkil that it amounts to (only) 80 dirhams.” When Mutawakkil heard this, he was not convinced. He therefore asked for a proof from the Holy Quran. Imam (as) told the man: “(Tell Mutawakkil) that Allah (SWT) tells His prophet in the Holy Quran: “Allah has certainly rendered you victory in many situations”. (9:24)


When we counted those situations, they were 80 in number. This, therefore, shows that the meaning of KATHEER is 80!” Mutawakkil was so pleased with this reply that he rewarded the person with 10,000 dirhams as promised. (Ahsanul-Muqaal)



There was a great Shia’h Scholar in the days of our 10th Imam (as). Once a Nasibi (a person who curses the Ahlul-Bayt) had a debate with this scholar and the scholar defeated him through Quranic verses and Prophetic traditions.


One day this scholar came into a gathering, which consisted mostly of Alavids and people of Banu Hashim; and Imam al-Hadi (as) was also present. In the centre of that gathering, Imam (as) was seated and there was a huge pillow placed at that spot. As soon as the Imam (as) saw this scholar, he (as) rose from his place and asked the scholar to come forward until the Imam (as) made him sit next to him and offered him the pillow to relax.


One old man from Banu Hashim did not like this, so he complained saying, “O Son of the Prophet! How can you give preference to an ordinary person over a Sayyid who belongs to the progeny of Abu Talib and Abbas?”


When the Imam (as) heard this, he (as) was extremely furious with the old man and started quoting verses from the Holy Quran to prove the supremacy of a scholar over everyone else.


Imam (as) asked the people present there: “Do you believe the commands of Allah in the Quran?”


They all said, “Yes!”


Then the Imam (as) said, “Hasn’t Allah (SWT) said: ‘Allah will raise those who have faith and those who have been given knowledge in rank…’? (58:11) Then know that just as Allah loves a Mumin over a non-Mumin, similarly, He loves a Mumin with knowledge over a Mumin without knowledge. (Now tell me) Hasn’t Allah (SWT) also said, Say (O Muhammad): Can those who know and those who do not know be equal? Verily only the men of understanding take the heed’.? (39:9) Then why are you people trying to stop me from giving preference to one who has been preferred by Allah (SWT)?? This Scholar has utilized his knowledge, which Allah (SWT) has blessed him and defeated our enemy with it. This act is better than any family ties and relation in my eyes”. 





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