Al-Mamoon Reveals His Intentions
Al-Mamoon himself revealed to us the far-sighted implication of his choice for regent in a letter to Banu Hashim answering their objections regarding the promise of regency to the Imam in which he said: "As regarding my intention behind choosing Ali ibn Mousa (A.S.) as the regent, although he is qualified for it, out of my own selection of him, the reason for that is my desire to safeguard your lives and protect your properties by establishing permanent friendly ties between us and them, and it is a method I employed to honour the descendants of Abu Talib and to heel their wounds with very little of what they are entitled to. You claim that I desired that they would be the recipients of benefits thereof and to be in charge, while I have in mind the interest of your posterity and children after you even while you are unaware, blindly stumbling, not knowing what plans others have in store for you."94
He does not wish to transfer the government from Banu al-Abbas to the descendants of Abu Talib, as the Abbasides imagined; rather, he aimed by such an action to contain the consequences which might cause a great deal of trouble for the government. In other words, he aimed by taking such a political action, to retain a position of strength for the Abbasides.
94 Al-Bihar, Vol. 49, p. 208 quoting Ibn Maskawayh's book Nadeem al-Fareed
Adapted from: "Imam al-Ridha (a.s.), A Historical and Biographical Research" by: "Muhammad Jawad Fadlallah"
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