Al-Mamoon Places the Imam Under Surveillance
Al-Mamoon was not satisfied with all of that; he went ahead and subjected the Imam (A.S.) to a strict surveillance whereby he was closely watching all his internal and external movements, and he indirectly defined the extent of his contacts with others; al-Rayyan ibn al-Salt narrates the following:"Hisham ibn Ibrahim al-Rashidi was the closest person to al-Rida (A.S.) before he was taken to the caliph's palace, and he was a courteous and brilliant scholar. Al-Rida (A.S.)'s contacts used to be transacted through him and under his supervision, and he used to collect all monies on his behalf before he, Abul-Hassan, was taken away. When he was taken away to the palace, Hisham ibn Ibrahim contacted Dhul-Riyasatayn and he tried his best to win his favour and started informing him and al-Mamoon about al-Rida (A.S.)'s movements, thus he won their confidence and did not conceal anything regarding the Imam (A.S.) from them. Al-Mamoon, therefore, appointed him as the Imam's chamberlain, and nobody could have audience with the Imam (A.S.) except whoever he liked, and he enforced a tight surveillance over the Imam (A.S.), so much so that none of his supporters could reach him without Hisham's approval, and he used to inform al-Mamoon and Dhul-Riyasatayn of anything and everything al-Rida (A.S.) said at home."107
Adapted from: "Imam al-Ridha (a.s.), A Historical and Biographical Research" by: "Muhammad Jawad Fadlallah"
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