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Al-Mamoon Calls Imam ar-Ridha (a.s.) to Him

Having evaluated the general status of the political policies of his government, which were surrounded with tumultuous events starting with Baghdad going back against its promise of support to him and passing by the Shi'a Alawide throngs surrounding his base of government in Khurasan and ending with the Alawide rebellions in Iraq, Hijaz and Yemen, al-Mamoon thought of curing this weak point by a brilliant acceptable political move which would be something to divert the attention of the Alawides and the Shi'a residents of Khurasan and, at the same time, a terrible threat to the Abbaside throngs in Baghdad that would guarantee influence for his position and control over all parties, and this could not be achieved without naming Imam Ali ibn Mousa al-Rida (A.S.) as the successor to the throne. And so it happened; he sent letters to the Imam (A.S.) ordering him to go to Marw. The Imam (A.S.) refused, and a great deal of correspondence ensured between both men till al-Mamoon convinced him finally and through his own special ways to go there, sending him a special force to escort him on his way which included al-Dhahhak, or, according to al-Mufid and Abul Faraj al-Asbahani, al-Jalloudi. History books do not say much about that trip except small bits and pieces which do not provide us with a clear vision of its nature and mission.

Adapted from: "Imam al-Ridha (a.s.), A Historical and Biographical Research" by: "Muhammad Jawad Fadlallah"

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