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Ambition of Some Followers Deepens Division

The conflict among the two brothers was worsened by the incitement of some top rank politicians in each party, and there were many reasons for incitement and entrapment. On one hand, we find al-Fadl ibn al-Rabee', who caused the army to renege on its sworn promise of support for al-Mamoon in Khurasan as soon as al-Rashid died and marched with it to Baghdad in order to strengthen al-Amin's position, trying to aggravate the tension between al-Amin and his brother al-Mamoon, instigating the first to nullify the allegiance to al-Mamoon and change it to his son Mousa, depending in so doing on various means of incitement which in the end pushed al-Amin to assault his brother. Al-Fadl, by doing so, was trying to get rid of al-Mamoon as the regent for fear that should he come to rule, he would certainly seek revenge against him due to his going back on his promise to support al-Mamoon whom he slighted and the allegiance to whom he broke after the death of al-Rashid.89 

On the other hand, we find al-Fadl ibn Sahl, the Khurasani leader, who was appointed in his post by al-Mamoon, trying to secure the government for al-Mamoon by his brilliant methods after pledging to help him reach the throne and dethrone his brother al-Amin at any price and stand in the face of al-Amin's attempts to deprive him of his regency. Al-Fadl and his brother al-Hassan ibn Sahl, in addition to the rest of Khurasani leaders and chiefs, were aware of the precarious situation in which they would find themselves should destiny decide that al-Amin must have victory over his brother al-Mamoon especially since they had already declared their allegiance to al-Mamoon and reneged in their promise to al-Amin.


89 Ibn al-Athir, Vol. 5, p. 138.

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

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