21 Dec 2013
Shahadat Anniversary of Imam Ali Ibne Moosa al- Ridhaa [Alaihimussalaam]
The Last Will of Imam Reza(A.S.)
The Ima`m, peace be on him, summoned Harthema b. A'yun in the darkness of the night. When Herthama came, the Ima`m said to him:
"O Herthama, this is the time of my departure to Allah, the Exalted, and of my joining my grandfather and my fore-fathers, peace be on them; the fixed term has come; this tyrannical one (i.e. al-Ma'mu`n) has decided to kill me with squeezed grapes and pomegranates. He will have needles prodded into the grapes at the place of their storks; he will put some poison on the hand of one of his retainers and order him to knead pomegranates with it, that they may be stained with poison. He will summon me on the next day, bring the grapes and pomegranates near to me, and ask me to eat them. I will eat them, so the decision is valid and the decree is present.
"When I die, he (al-Ma'mu`n) will say: 'I will wash him with my hand.' When he says that, be alone with him and say to him on my behalf: 'He (al-Reza`) said to you: 'Do not wash, shroud, and bury me. For if you do that, He (Allah) will hasten for you the punishment which He has delayed from you, and the painful thing of which you are cautious will befall you.' So surely he will refrain (from doing that)."
The Ima`m added, saying: "When he (al-Ma'mu`n) let you wash me, he will sit on one of his lofty houses in order to tower over the place where I will be washed. So, O Herthama, do not wash me until you see that a white tent is installed beside the house. When you see that, then carry me (while I am wearing) my garments in which I am, place me from behind the tent, and stop behind it; someone other than you will be with you; do not remove the tent from me lest you should see me and be destroyed.
"He (al-Ma'mu`n) will tower over you and say to you: 'O Herthama, do you not claim that none washes the Ima`m except an Ima`m like him? So who will wash Abu` al-Hasan 'Ali b. Mu`sa` (al-Reza`) while his son Mohammed is in Madinah, in the country of al-Hija`z, and we are at Tu`s?
"If he says that, say to him: 'We say: Surely none must wash the Ima`m except an Ima`m like him. If an aggressor transgresses and washes the Ima`m, the Ima`mate of the Ima`m will not be invalid because of the transgression of the one who washes him, nor will the Ima`mate of the Ima`m after him be invalid because he is prevented from washing his father.
If Abu` al-Hasan 'Ali b. Mu`sa` al-Reza`, peace be on him, had been allowed (to live) in Medina, his son Mohammed would have washed him apparent and uncovered. None will now wash him except a hidden one.' When the tent is raised, you will see that I have been wrapped in my shrouds. Then put me into my coffin and carry me. When he (al-Ma'mu`n) wants to dig my grave, he will make the grave of his father Harun al-RashÃ¯d as qibla for my grave, and that will never occur.
When they strike the ground with the picks, they will dig nothing of it even the clipping of a finger-nail. When they do their best and it was difficult for them to do that, then say to them: 'He (al-Rida`) has ordered me to strike one pick in the qibla of the grave of his (al-Ma'mu`n's) father, Ha`ru`n al-RashÃ¯d.'
When you strike (with the pick), you will make it reach a dug grave and a standing shrine. When the grave is open, then do not lay me in it until the white water gushes out of the shrine wherein and it becomes full of water. When the water sinks, then lay me in that grave and bury me in that shrine. "
(Uyun Akhbar al-Reza, vol. 2, p. 247. Nur al-Absar, p. 145.)
The Ima`m ordered Herthama to memorize his words, and he responded to what the Ima`m wanted. On the following day, al-Ma'mu`n sent for the Ima`m. When the Ima`m came, al-Ma'mu`n rose for him, embraced him, kissed him on the forehead, seated him beside him, conversed with him, ordered one of his retainers to bring him grapes and pomegranates.
Herthama said: "I became impatient and shook (with fear)." Al-Ma'mu`n gave a bunch of grapes to the Ima`m and said to him: "O son of Allah's Messenger, I have never seen grapes better than these."
"Perhaps, there are grapes better than them in the Garden," retorted the Ima`m.
Al-Ma'mu`n asked the Imam to have some grapes , and he refrained from having them, so al-Ma'mu`n shouted at him: "Perhaps, you are accusing as of something."
The Ima`m ate three grapes, then he threw them away and rose, so al-Ma'mu`n asked him: "Where are you going?"
"To my house," replied the Ima`m.
The Ima`m went in a hurry to his house. The poison acted on all parts of his body, and he was sure of the coming down of the fatal misfortune. Al-Ma'mu`n sent for him and asked him for sincere advice, and he, peace be on him, said to his messenger: "Say to him (al-Ma'mu`n): He (al-Reza`) advises you not to give anyone anything for which you must repent. "
The poison circulated through all parts of the Ima`m's body, and he suffered from severe aches. He came to know that he was about to meet his Lord. So he recited some verses of the Holy Qur'a`n, asked Allah's forgiveness, and supplicated for the believers, male and female. The narrators have said:
"When he was in a critical condition, his household and his companions refrained from having food and drink."
So he, peace be on him, turned to Ya`sir and asked him: "Have the people eaten anything?"
He answered him with a faint voice with sad tones, saying: "Who can eat while you are in a critical condition?"
He, peace be on him, rose, and then he said: "Bring me the food; he seated all his servants around the food; and reviewed them one by one. When they had finished eating, he ordered them to carry him to his womenfolk. When they had finished eating, he fainted.(Uyun Akhbar al-Reza, vol. 2, p. 241).
In the darkness of the night, the Ima`m recited some verses of the Holy Qur'a`n, and the last verse which he recited was these words of Him, the Exalted: Say: Had we remained in your houses, those for whom slaughter was ordained would certainly have gone forth to the places where they would be slain. And the command of Allah is a decree that is made absolute.
Then his pure soul set out for its Creator ; it was surrounded by the angels of the Merciful (Allah) and was received in the Gardens of Everlastingness by the souls of the prophets and the testamentary trustees.
The world became dark because of losing him and the hereafter became bright on account of his arrival. His death caused a misfortune to the scholars, the jurists, and the thinkers who took from his sciences; likewise, his death caused a misfortune to the populace, for they lost the one who took care of their interests and strove for their affairs.
The Ima`m moved to the Domain of Holiness after he had delivered the message of his Lord, for he did not take part in any positive work for the government of al-Ma'mu`n, and refused all kinds of cooperation with it, so he was able to prove that it was illegal, and that it was not standing on the law of Allah, the Most High; therefore, he subjected himself to all kinds of persecution, to the extent that al-Ma'mu`n put an end to him.
Hearing the sad news of Imam Reza (A.S.) martyrdom, De'bel Khozaee, the celebrated Arab poet wrote an elegy in praise and commemoration of His Holiness. The following is a translated theme of the purport of that famous ode:
"Two graves are located in Toos. One belongs to the best man (Imam Reza (A.S.) while the other is occupied by the worst creature (Harun, Ma'mun's father). This serves as an example for others.
That wicked spirit can gain no benefit from its nearness to the pure body of the Holy Imam (A.S.), and the sacred remains of His Holiness will not be polluted by its foul neighbor."
Contributed by Farzand-e-Shaheed.