Imam Ali bin Mousa al-Rida (PBUH), the eighth Imam of Shiites , is of the progeny of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and his eighth successor. At age 35 he became the leader of the Islamic union. His life was contemporary to the Abbasid reign and therefore, he suffered great difficulties made by the Abbasids. Finally, he was martyred by Ma"moon (the contemporary Abbasid Caliph) at the age of 55.
His name, title and honorary name
His name is Ali, his title is Abu al-Hassan, and his most famous honorary name is Rida, meaning Satisfaction.
According to his son, Imam Muhammad Taqi (PBUH), the ninth Imam, The glorious and mighty Lord named him Rida because Allah was pleased with him in the heavens and the Prophet of Allah and the Imams of guidance were pleased with him on earth. Also, his friends and relatives and even his enemies were satisfied with him because of his great moral qualities
One of his famous titles is Alim Al Muhammad (scholar of Prophet"s progeny). His success in the different disputes with the scholars of various religions indicates his high knowledge. We will discuss some incidents in this article. This ability and superiority in knowledge is a proof for his Imamat, as it can be inferred from his sayings.
His father and mother
His father was Imam Mousa al-Kadhim (PBUH), the seventh Imam. He was martyred by Haroon on 138 (AH). His mother was Najmah.
Imam Rida (PBUH) was born on in the year 148 on the 11th of Ziqadah in Medina. It is narrated from his mother that:
When I was pregnant, I didn't feel overweighed. When I was asleep, I heard the sound of praising Allah and the word of La Ilaha Illa Allah from my womb, but when I got up, I heard nothing.
Name: Ali Title: Al-Rida, Imam-e-Zamin
Designation: 8th Imam Kunyat: Abul Hasan
Father: Musa Ibne Ja"far Mother: Bibi Suttana/Umul Baneen
Born: 11th Dhul-Qida 148AH/765AD Died: 17/29th Safar 203 AH/818AD
Martyred: Poisoned by Mamoon Buried: Mashhad, Khorasan
Lived: 55 years
When Imam Rida, peace be on him, was born, the earth shined; waves of delight and happiness spread through the Household of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Household. As for Imam al-Kazim, he received with more delight the news of the birth of his blessed baby, so he hurried to his wife and congratulated her on her baby, saying:
"I congratulate you, Najma. It is a mark of nobility for you from your Lord!"
Imam al-Kazim took his blessed baby, folded it with a white piece of cloth, and performed the religious rites for it. He said the adhan in its right ear, said the iqama in its left ear, called for sweet water and rubbed its lower jaw with it, and then he returned it to its mother and said to her: "Take it, for it is the rest (baqiyat) of Allah on His earth."
The first picture which the Prophet’s grandson (Imam Rida, peace be on him) saw in the world of existence was that of his father, the Imam of the Allah-fearing and leader of the monotheists; and the first voice which he heard was:
"Allah is Great!"
"There is no god but Allah!"
These brilliant words are the secret of existence and song of the Allah-fearing.
Imam al-Kazim, peace be on him, named his blessed baby with the name of his grandfather Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, that he might get blessing seek good omen in this name, which stood for the greatest personality created in the world of Islam and had all good qualities of the world.