News ID: 333281
Publish Date: 23 January 2012 - 08:47
Navideshahed: On Tuesday, as we wind up the two-month period of mourning for Imam Husain (AS) and the immortal martyrs of Karbala, we also commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Imam of the blessed household of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). Now we present you an exclusive article on the Imam who reposes in peace in the capital of Khorasan, in northeastern Iran.

On Tuesday, the holy city of Mashhad is the cynosure of all eyes. Millions of people from all over Iran and from other parts of the world have converged on this city in Khorasan to pay homage at the most blessed spot in the country. They are the honoured guests of the Prophet's 8th Infallible Successor, whose martyrdom anniversary we are commemorating today. Millions of others who could not make the journey have their hearts glued to the sprawling golden-domed shrine, where angels descend from heaven to salute Imam Reza (AS) and to give tidings to the true believers who make the pilgrimage from far and near. Surely, the glory of those exalted by God Almighty cannot be the least marred even if vandals and terrorists desecrate their shrines and bar the faithful from visiting them.

Imam Reza (AS) needs no introduction. His name was Ali (AS), and he was born on the 11th of Zil-Qa'dah in the city of Medina in the year 148 AH, some 16 days after the martyrdom through poisoning of his grandfather, Imam Ja'far as-Sadeq (AS), who had predicted that his grandson Ali ibn Musa (AS), will be laid to rest in the distant land of Khorasan. Similar sayings are also related from Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and from Imam Ali (AS) regarding the resting place of Imam Reza (AS), and the rewards, both in this world and in afterlife, for pilgrims visiting his shrine. Imam Reza's (AS) mother was the most virtuous lady of her time, Taktum, also known as Najma, who was originally from Nubia. He was 35 years old, when his father, Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS) was martyred in the prison of Baghdad by the Abbasid tyrant, Haroun Rashid. For the next ten years, the 8th Imam had to endure the reign of terror of Haroun, at whose death the empire was split up between his sons Amin and Mamoun. For five years the impetuous Amin made a mockery of Islam and the laws of God, before he was killed by his crafty brother Mamoun in the war to become the supreme ruler. Imam Reza (AS) spent 17 years of his 20-year imamate in Medina enlightening the Muslims, a factor that alarmed the articulate Mamoun, whose capital was in distant Khorasan in the city of Marv, which is presently in the Republic of Turkmenistan.

Mamoun, afraid of the popularity of the 8th Imam, forced him to come to his capital, and there against his will declared him as heir-apparent, in an act that was designed to deceive the ummah. He even struck coins in the Imam's name, as part of his vain plot to tarnish the image of imamate. The Imam was the least perturbed and in the almost three years he was in Khorasan, he admirably maintained the simple lifestyle of the Ahl al-Bayt and endeared himself to the people even more. According to Ibrahim bin Abbas, an official of the Abbasid caliphate, who has left an eyewitness account of Imam Reza’s (AS) impeccable character: He never irritated others by verbal or practical teasing; he did not interrupt others’ speeches and waited till they finished speaking before speaking himself; he never turned down the requests of others; he never stretched his legs in the presence of others; he was never angry at his servants; he never spit his saliva out in the presence of others; at meals all his servants including porters and even the stablemen were served in his attendance; he used to stay up all night invoking Allah the Almighty; he used to fast most of the days, and would always gave alms in secret.

It is not possible for a brief radio programme to focus on the memorable life of a personality as immortal as Imam Reza (AS). Here we cite an account given by Ibn Sekkit, a great literary scholar of his era, who was to be martyred in a most cruel manner by the Godless Abbasid caliph Mutawakkel. Ibn Sekkit says: "I once asked Imam Reza (AS), as to why Allah decreed different miracles for each prophet? He sent Moses with miracles of the staff and the white palm; Jesus with the power to heal; and Muhammad (SAWA) with the miracle of eloquence?"

The Imam replied: “When Allah appointed Moses as a Prophet, magic and supernatural acts were common among people than science. Moses, therefore, was given a miracle that people had never seen before and could not comprehend it. With this miracle, he was able to expose the works of the magicians -- as mere trickery -- and give them convincing proof (of God's monotheism). In the days of Jesus, diseases without cure were widespread. Science and medication was highly in demand. So Jesus was granted the miracle of healing all diseases, a power not known to the people, for he restore the dead to life, and heal genetic blindness and leprosy. However, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) was appointed at a time when poetry and eloquence in language was at its peak among the people. With the revelation of the Holy Qur'an and its teachings, Allah established the undeniable proof of His Majesty.

The crafty Mamoun, who was terrified of the popularity of the 8th Imam amongst the Muslims, fatally poisoned him through a bunch of grapes. As a result, the Imam left the mortal world in the year 203 AH, and was laid to rest at the spot which soon grew into a centre of pilgrimage as Mashhad ar-Reza or the Place of Martyrdom of Imam Reza (AS). Over the centuries it has been shortened to Mashhad, and is the most holy spot in Iran. Here we present you a piece of poetry on the 8th by Iran’s English-language poet, Dr. Hasan Najafi:

“See how young and old linger here
Sounds surround the grave far and near
And court the loving pity’s ear
Hear in this golden tomb the pilgrims cheer
And you, Imam Reza, in the earthy bed
Creature for reward the tears in love shed.
Here one finds truth because the Imam is true
All here call for fresh delight to fancy’s view.
Eschews getting polluted the belief and its source
Your birth gives wealth of faith with double force.
Cast a look where his glories shine
And bids every bosom claiming he is mine.
O blest pilgrimage, friend to life’s decline
Companion in my grave that alone is mine.
To seek your charity enough a call
You watch, you listen, and you feel for all.
It’s the belief at the time of death you attend
And command the grave to be in eternal blessings
A sigh of love, in love, heaves the heart,
As my lines a secret hope impart,
Drink life and fragrance as they flow,
Love of Imam Reza shall lift you from below to above.
I strike in rapture and play the strings
My love to Imam Reza blooms into several springs.
Blest be that grave where cheerful is the dead,
In your love lived, in your love died, in your love is laid.
Fools are they who ignore this link of faith and deny,
Truth prevails from his lips with prophetic sway.
In the bed where parting life is laid
Your love is the need -- in sorrow, guilt, pain one is dismayed.
The glittering towns with splendour crowned
The farms where summer spreads profusion round
Worth nothing if not in your love drowned
I die and not an arm to save
Your love blooms – I enter a garden, a grave.
Your love is a necessary luxury faith supplies
As around the world each needful product flies.
See he is no more but still directs our view
To find out the truth the Prophet persuaded us to pursue.
An abridgment of all that the Prophet had, you have;
You are the Spoken Qur'an God gave to us to save.
It is the constancy of the Book, Divine Message, in every age sought,
Hence, Imam Reza -- alive or not -- not a transitory thought.
Suppose me dead and then suppose
Imam Reza has come to aid me, he is so close.

The End
Source: IRIB World Service

On Tuesday, the holy city of Mashhad is the cynosure of all eyes. Millions of people from all over Iran and from other parts of the world have converged on this city in Khorasan to pay homage at the most blessed spot in the country. They are the honoured guests of the Prophet's 8th Infallible Successor, whose martyrdom anniversary we are commemorating today. Millions of others who could not make the journey have their hearts glued to the sprawling golden-domed shrine, where angels descend from heaven to salute Imam Reza (AS) and to give tidings to the true believers who make the pilgrimage from far and near. Surely, the glory of those exalted by God Almighty cannot be the least marred even if vandals and terrorists desecrate their shrines and bar the faithful from visiting them. Imam Reza (AS) needs no introduction. His name was Ali (AS), and he was born on the 11th of Zil-Qa'dah in the city of Medina in the year 148 AH, some 16 days after the martyrdom through poisoning of his grandfather, Imam Ja'far as-Sadeq (AS), who had predicted that his grandson Ali ibn Musa (AS), will be laid to rest in the distant land of Khorasan. Similar sayings are also related from Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and from Imam Ali (AS) regarding the resting place of Imam Reza (AS), and the rewards, both in this world and in afterlife, for pilgrims visiting his shrine. Imam Reza's (AS) mother was the most virtuous lady of her time, Taktum, also known as Najma, who was originally from Nubia. He was 35 years old, when his father, Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS) was martyred in the prison of Baghdad by the Abbasid tyrant, Haroun Rashid. For the next ten years, the 8th Imam had to endure the reign of terror of Haroun, at whose death the empire was split up between his sons Amin and Mamoun. For five years the impetuous Amin made a mockery of Islam and the laws of God, before he was killed by his crafty brother Mamoun in the war to become the supreme ruler. Imam Reza (AS) spent 17 years of his 20-year imamate in Medina enlightening the Muslims, a factor that alarmed the articulate Mamoun, whose capital was in distant Khorasan in the city of Marv, which is presently in the Republic of Turkmenistan. Mamoun, afraid of the popularity of the 8th Imam, forced him to come to his capital, and there against his will declared him as heir-apparent, in an act that was designed to deceive the ummah. He even struck coins in the Imam's name, as part of his vain plot to tarnish the image of imamate. The Imam was the least perturbed and in the almost three years he was in Khorasan, he admirably maintained the simple lifestyle of the Ahl al-Bayt and endeared himself to the people even more. According to Ibrahim bin Abbas, an official of the Abbasid caliphate, who has left an eyewitness account of Imam Reza’s (AS) impeccable character: He never irritated others by verbal or practical teasing; he did not interrupt others’ speeches and waited till they finished speaking before speaking himself; he never turned down the requests of others; he never stretched his legs in the presence of others; he was never angry at his servants; he never spit his saliva out in the presence of others; at meals all his servants including porters and even the stablemen were served in his attendance; he used to stay up all night invoking Allah the Almighty; he used to fast most of the days, and would always gave alms in secret. It is not possible for a brief radio programme to focus on the memorable life of a personality as immortal as Imam Reza (AS). Here we cite an account given by Ibn Sekkit, a great literary scholar of his era, who was to be martyred in a most cruel manner by the Godless Abbasid caliph Mutawakkel. Ibn Sekkit says: "I once asked Imam Reza (AS), as to why Allah decreed different miracles for each prophet? He sent Moses with miracles of the staff and the white palm; Jesus with the power to heal; and Muhammad (SAWA) with the miracle of eloquence?" The Imam replied: “When Allah appointed Moses as a Prophet, magic and supernatural acts were common among people than science. Moses, therefore, was given a miracle that people had never seen before and could not comprehend it. With this miracle, he was able to expose the works of the magicians -- as mere trickery -- and give them convincing proof (of God's monotheism). In the days of Jesus, diseases without cure were widespread. Science and medication was highly in demand. So Jesus was granted the miracle of healing all diseases, a power not known to the people, for he restore the dead to life, and heal genetic blindness and leprosy. However, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) was appointed at a time when poetry and eloquence in language was at its peak among the people. With the revelation of the Holy Qur'an and its teachings, Allah established the undeniable proof of His Majesty. The crafty Mamoun, who was terrified of the popularity of the 8th Imam amongst the Muslims, fatally poisoned him through a bunch of grapes. As a result, the Imam left the mortal world in the year 203 AH, and was laid to rest at the spot which soon grew into a centre of pilgrimage as Mashhad ar-Reza or the Place of Martyrdom of Imam Reza (AS). Over the centuries it has been shortened to Mashhad, and is the most holy spot in Iran. Here we present you a piece of poetry on the 8th by Iran’s English-language poet, Dr. Hasan Najafi: “See how young and old linger here Sounds surround the grave far and near And court the loving pity’s ear Hear in this golden tomb the pilgrims cheer And you, Imam Reza, in the earthy bed Creature for reward the tears in love shed. Here one finds truth because the Imam is true All here call for fresh delight to fancy’s view. Eschews getting polluted the belief and its source Your birth gives wealth of faith with double force. Cast a look where his glories shine And bids every bosom claiming he is mine. O blest pilgrimage, friend to life’s decline Companion in my grave that alone is mine. To seek your charity enough a call You watch, you listen, and you feel for all. It’s the belief at the time of death you attend And command the grave to be in eternal blessings A sigh of love, in love, heaves the heart, As my lines a secret hope impart, Drink life and fragrance as they flow, Love of Imam Reza shall lift you from below to above. I strike in rapture and play the strings My love to Imam Reza blooms into several springs. Blest be that grave where cheerful is the dead, In your love lived, in your love died, in your love is laid. Fools are they who ignore this link of faith and deny, Truth prevails from his lips with prophetic sway. In the bed where parting life is laid Your love is the need -- in sorrow, guilt, pain one is dismayed. The glittering towns with splendour crowned The farms where summer spreads profusion round Worth nothing if not in your love drowned I die and not an arm to save Your love blooms – I enter a garden, a grave. Your love is a necessary luxury faith supplies As around the world each needful product flies. See he is no more but still directs our view To find out the truth the Prophet persuaded us to pursue. An abridgment of all that the Prophet had, you have; You are the Spoken Qur'an God gave to us to save. It is the constancy of the Book, Divine Message, in every age sought, Hence, Imam Reza -- alive or not -- not a transitory thought. Suppose me dead and then suppose Imam Reza has come to aid me, he is so close. The End Source: IRIB World Service
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