Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) turned his back on all pleasures of this worldly life and lived absolutely an ascetic life. He kept to worship, piety, and asceticism. He paid no attention to worldly pleasures and preferred the obedience of Allah to everything else. His house in Yathrib and his house in Surra Man Ra’a had no furniture. Once, the policemen of al-Mutawakkil broke into his house and searched it but found nothing of worldly furniture. They also searched his House in Surra Man Ra’a and found him wearing a wool garment and sitting on sand and pebbles. Nothing was between him and the ground.
As-Sibt bin al-Jawzi said, ‘‘Ali al-Hadi had no interest in this worldly life. He kept to the mosque. When they searched his house, they did not find in it save copies of the Holy Qur'an, books of du’a, and scientific books.’
He lived in the light of the noble life his fathers had lived; in asceticism and turning away from the material pleasures of this life except that which concerned the truth. His grandfather Amir’ul- Mu’minin (a.s.) was one of the most ascetic men in this life. During his rule as the caliph of Muslims his shoes were from the fibers of palm tree and he himself mended them with his hands.
His belt also was from fibers of palm tree. He suffered hunger out of asceticism and in order to comfort the poor. His wife the head of the women of the world Fatima az-Zahra’ (a.s.) also turned away from the worldly life and lived in a small house with no furniture and her hands were hardened by the quern. In this path did all the infallible Imams walk. They divorced this life and turned their backs on its pleasures. They turned to Allah devotedly and did all that which took them nearer to Allah.