Sincere attempts to distance Imam al-Rida (a.s.) from danger
Contrariwise, there were sincere attempts to distance Imam al-Rida (A.S.) from danger which were undertaken by some of his followers who had tasted the bitterness of pain during the adversity suffered by his father Imam al-Kazim (A.S.) who suffered a great deal of oppression and persecution at the hands of the stubborn tyrant Haroun al-Rashid. Those attempts required the Imam (A.S.) to cease publicly promoting his mission and to distance himself from the situations which would clearly attract the attention of the government to him and become a cause for its revenge and desire to eliminate him. But the Imam (A.S.) who was confident of his stance did not pay attention to those attempts, and he was of the view that they were simply unnecessary due to some knowledge he had learned from his forefathers which assured him that al-Rashid would not be able to harm him in any way.
For example, Safwan ibn Yahya is quoted saying: "When Abul-Hassan Mousa (A.S.) passed away and al-Rida (A.S.) started preaching his mission, we were worried about his life and we said to him, `You have declared something of great magnanimity, and we worry about your safety because of this tyrant.' He said, `Let him try his best, for he shall not have the means to hurt me.'"74
Muhammad ibn Sinan said: "During the reign of Haroun, I said to Abul-Hassan al-Rida (A.S.), `You have made yourself well-known because of this matter and followed in the footsteps of your father while Haroun's sword is dripping with blood.' He said, `What made me bold in this regard is that the Messenger of God (S.A.W.) had said: `If Abu Jahl harms even one hair on my head, then bear witness that I am not a Prophet,' and I tell you that if Haroun took one hair away from my head, then bear witness that I am not an Imam.'"75
74 Al Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 487. It is also mentioned in Al 'Uyoon, Al Manaqib and Al Irshad.
75 Rawdat al-Kafi, p. 257.
Adapted from: "Imam al-Ridha (a.s.), A Historical and Biographical Research" by: "Muhammad Jawad Fadlallah"
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