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Al-Mutawakkil and poets

Adapted from: "The Life of Imam ‘Ali al-Hadi, Study and Analysis" by: "Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi"

Once, al-Mutawakkil asked ‘Ali bin al-Jahm (the poet) about the best of poets and he mentioned to him some poets of the pre-Islamic and the Islamic ages, but al-Mutawakkil paid no attention and turned to Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) asking him about the best of poets. Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) said, ‘Al-Humani where he says:

“A group from Quraysh vied in glory with us.
When we disputed,
the call of cells judged to us against them with what we liked.
You find us silent while the witness of our preference to them
is of orotund voice in every mosque.
Ahmad, the messenger of Allah is our grandfather,
And we are his sons like shining stars.”
Al-Mutawakkil turned to Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) and asked him, ‘O Abul Hasan, what is the call of cells?’

Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) said, ‘It is: “I witness that there is no god but Allah, and witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”.17 Is Muhammad my grandfather or yours?’
Al-Mutawakkil became angry and he said with a trembling tone, ‘He is your grandfather and we do not deny that.’18
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) left and left sorrow eroding the heart of the tyrant who found no way to answer the Imam.


17. The call of cells is the azan in the mosques
18. Al-Manaqib


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