Al-Mamoon Pretends to be a Star Gazer
It is interesting that chance should play a major role in the execution of al-Mamoon's plan to eliminate al-Fadl, and it may even have been a deliberate "chance" arranged by al-Mamoon himself, and we do not think that is unlikely.
While on his way to Baghdad, al-Fadl, who was in the company of al-Mamoon, received a letter from his brother al-Hassan ibn Sahl in which he said, "I have looked in the changing of this year according to the calculation of the stars and I found out that you will in such and such month, on a Wednesday, taste the pain of red-hot iron and of the burning fire, and I am of the view that you should today go in the company of al-Rida (A.S.) and the commander of the faithful to the bath-house to take a bath and then pour blood over your body so that the ill luck of this omen leaves you." Al-Fadl, therefore, sent a letter to al-Mamoon asking him to go with him to the bath-house, and to request Abul-Hassan (A.S.) to join them too.
Adapted from: "Imam al-Ridha (a.s.), A Historical and Biographical Research" by: "Muhammad Jawad Fadlallah"
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