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Al-Rashid Evaluates his Sons

Al-Rashid was aware of the intellectual differences among his sons, but he could not clearly express it out of his respect for the feelings of his favourite wife and to safeguard the status of her son. He is quoted as having said: "I am aware of the fact that Abdullah is gifted with determination like that of al-Mansour, with asceticism like that of al-Mehdi, and with dignity like that of al-Hadi. Had I wished to link him to the fourth (meaning himself), I would have done so and preferred Muhammad over him. I am aware of the fact that he follows his own inclination, wastes what is in his possession, and shares slave and free women in his views. Had it not been for the mother of Ja'fer, and the inclination towards the Banu Hashim, I would have preferred Abdullah over him."

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

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