Tenth lesson

10) Imam al-Rida

Ali b. Musa  (b. 148/765 – d. 203/818) is the eighth Imam of Twelver Shia. His teknonym was Abu l-Hasan and his most famous title was al-Rida. He (a) was Imam for twenty years. Imam al-Rida (a) was born in Medina and was martyred in Tus.

Al-Ma’mun al-‘Abbasi brought Imam al-Rida (a) to Khorasan by force and despite Imam’s will made him heir apparent. The debate sessions al-Ma’mun al-Abbasi held between Imam al-Rida (a) and personalities of other religions and schools of thought are famous.

He was martyred by al-Ma’mun in Tus. The holy shrine of Imam al-Rida (a) is located in Mashhad and every year millions of Muslims from different countries visit it.

His lineage is mentioned as ‘Ali son of Musa son of Ja’far son of Muhammad son of ‘Ali son of Husayn son of ‘Ali b. Abi Talib. His teknonym was Abu l-Hasan. His most famous title was al-Rida. Imam al-Jawad (a), in a hadith, said Allah gave his father title “al-Rida”. Al-Sabir, al-Radi, and al-Wafi are among his titles. He is also known as “the knowledgeable among the progeny of the Prophet (s)”. It is reported that Imam al-Kazim (a) would address his children saying: “Your brother, Ali b. Musa, is the the knowledgeable among the progeny of the Prophet (s).”