On the anniversary of the birth of Imam al-Ridha (as), we look at an incident found in a reliable hadith, where the Imam (as) made a special supplication in his Qunoot that shook the ground. One line in the supplication is one of the most beautiful and deep lines found in any of the many supplications of the ahlulbayt (as), where al-Ridha (as) says: “Send Blessings upon the Prophet (s) as You honored the prayers for sending blessings upon him.” This line honours our beloved Prophet (sawa) in such a fascinating manner. Naturally we would think that the daily prayers which we are obliged to recite the salawat (Allahumma Salle `ala Muhammad wa Aale Muhammad) is a line that is said to honour the Prophet (sawa) and his family (as). However, al-Ridha (as) eloquently explains that the honour is in fact for the daily prayers, that it is has been blessed to have the salawat upon the Prophet (sawa) and his progeny (as) included within it ! Allahu Akbar.
Al-Ma’mun was informed that Abal Hassan Ali ibn Musa Al-Ridha (as) had held speech meetings, and the people were fascinated by his knowledge. Then Al-Ma’mun ordered his commissionaire Muhammad ibn Amr al-Toosi to fend off the people from attending the Imam’s (as) meetings. He also called Al-Ridha (as) in. When Al-Ma’mun saw Al-Ridha (as), he scolded and belittled him. Abul Hassan Al-Ridha (as) left there in an angry state. He (as) was moving his lips and saying, “I swear by the right of al-Mustafa (referring to the Prophet Muhammad (sawa)), al-Murtadha (referring to Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)) and the Master of Women (referring to the Blessed Lady Fatima (as)) that I will curse him in such a way so as to remove the Honorable the Exalted God’s protection and support from him so much that the dogs of this town will throw him out of here and belittle him and the chosen, the regular members of his court. Then Al-Ridha (as) went home and asked for some water to make ablutions. He made ablutions and said two units of prayers. Then in the second unit when it was time to say the hands raised-up supplications (Qunoot), he said:
“O God! O the Possessor of the Absolute Power, Extensive Mercy, Consecutive Blessings and Continued Good!
O the One for whose characteristics there can be no examples cited!
O the One for whose similitude there can be no examples cited!
O the One whom no assisted ones can overcome!
O the One who has created and provided sustenance; revealed and made eloquent; created and guided; destined and honored; organized and perfected; designed and beautified!
O the One who has provided for proofs so perfect; blessings so complete; rewards so plentiful!
O the One who is at such a zenith of Grandeur that it is beyond the ability of the viewers to see!
O the One who is at such a deep level of Delicacy that it is beyond the ability of the thoughts to understand!
O the One who is the Only one to rule, and there is no one to compete with You in the Domain of Thy Kingdom;
O the One who is Unique in Greatness and there is no one to compete with His Almightiness!
O the One due to whose Grandeur the minds of the intelligent ones are at a loss, and the eyes of the onlookers have lost their sight before seeing Him!
O the Knower of the thoughts of the mystics!
O the Witness to the viewing of those who see!
O the One for whom the faces have fallen down in prostration due to His Might; and the heads have bowed down due to His Majesty; and the hearts have beaten fearing His appalling presence; and the veins of the neck strongly pulsate due to fearing Him.
O the Initiator!
O the Innovator!
O the Powerful!
O the Impenetrable!
O the Sublime!
Send Blessings upon the Prophet (sawa) as You honoured the prayers for sending blessings upon him.
Take my revenge against those who have oppressed me, belittled me, and have fended off the Shiites from my door.
Make him taste the bitterness of humiliation and abasement as they made me taste it.
Fend him off from the Threshold of Mercy as filth and contamination is fended off!”
Abu Salt Abdul Salam ibn Salih al-Harawi said, “The quake shook the town before he had finished saying his prayers. The whole town was in turmoil. There was loud screaming and crying heard. There was a lot of dirt and dust. I did not move until my Master (as) had finished saying his prayers. Then Al-Ridha (as) told me, “O Aba Salt! Go to the roof and look around. There you will see a hustler who incites the rebels. She is wearing dirty clothes. The people of this town call her Samanah since she is dumb and rude. She is using a piece of cane on which she has tied a piece of red cloth and uses it as her flag. She tries to make an army out of the rebels, lead them and guide the rebels to attack Al-Ma’mun’s palace and the houses of the army heads.”
I went up onto the roof and looked around. I could only see people with sticks in their hands and others with broken heads. I saw Al-Ma’mun leave the Shahjan Palace wearing armor and running away. I saw nothing more but noted that the apprentice of the phlebotomist threw a rock from the roof hitting Al-Ma’mun on the head. His helmet fell off and his head broke. His skull got so much injured that it seemed as if his brain was about to fall out. One of those who recognized Al-Ma’mun told the person who had thrown the rock, “Woe be to you! This is the Commander of the Faithful!” I heard Samanah tell him, “Shut up you bastard! Today is not the day to treat the people according to their ranks. If he was really the Commander of the Faithful, he would not have made pimps masters of virgins. Then they forced Al-Ma’mun and his troops out of town with the utmost degradation.
Sanad: The above was narrated by Ali ibn Abdullah ibn al-Warraq, Al-Hussein ibn Ibrahim ibn Ahmad ibn Hisham al-Mo’addib, Hamza ibn Ahmad al-Alawi and Ahmad ibn Ziyad ibn Ja’far al-Hamadani – may God be pleased with them – on the authority of Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashem quoted on the authority of his father, on the authority of Abdul Salam ibn Salih al-Harawi. The following was also narrated by Abu Muhammad Ja’far ibn Nu’aym ibn Shathan – may God be pleased with him – on the authority of Ahmad ibn Idris, on the authority of Ibrahim ibn Hashem, on the authority of Abdul Salam ibn Salih al-Harawi.
Reference: `Uyoun Akhbaar al-Ridha (as), Volume 2, Chapter 42, Hadith #1 (See First Image below); Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 82, Page 257-259, Chapter 33, Hadith #3 (link)
Grading: al-Mohsini says this hadith is Mu`tabar (Reliable) [Mashra`at Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 2, Page 423 (See Second Image below)]