Home / All / The Condition of the ‘Alawīs during the Time of Imam al-Hādī (‘a)

The Condition of the ‘Alawīs during the Time of Imam al-Hādī (‘a)

During this time period, the ‘Abbāsid government sought to create enmity against the Alawīs in the wider society, and therefore, scatter the Alawī forces.

Whenever the government felt the smallest potential danger from the Alawīs, it would initiate a disproportionate and merciless response. The reason behind the severity of their actions was that the ‘Abbāsids felt their government to be weak and easily overturned, in spite of their widespread programs of control over the society. Therefore, they were greatly in fear of these Alawī movements.

During this time, the Alawīs invited the people under the leadership of a ‘s e l e c ted individual from the family of Muḥammad (ṣ)’ and specifically did not name any single individual to the leadership position of their movement. The reason behind this was that the leaders of the movement knew that their Imams (‘a) were in the midst of the fortress city of SāmaraÞ. There, they were closely watched and naming any of them to this position would have certainly resulted in their murder. These movements were a reaction to the widespread oppression and tyranny which had taken over the Muslim society, and they had a direct relationship to the amount of pressure exerted over the society. For example, during the period of Muntaṣir’s rule, there were no revolts. This was because Muntaṣir was inclined to a certain degree towards the family of the Prophet (ṣ) and during his time, no one engaged in the harassment of the Shia.

History has recorded 18 revolts from the year 219 until 270 Hijrī. These revolts were all suppressed and defeated by the ‘Abbāsid government.
The Reasons behind the Defeats

The reason behind the defeats of these various revolts can from one angle be argued to have been caused by weak leadership and command, and from another angle, by weaknesses in the supporters of these aforementioned leaders. Virtually all of the leaders of these revolts lacked a correct and complete program of action and therefore, disorganization and chaos appeared in their work. From a third angle, their revolts could not be justified as 100% Islamic in orientation. Due to this, they were not sanctioned by the respective Imams (‘a) of their time.

Of course, it must be mentioned that a segment of the people who participated in these revolts were sincere and true Shias, who fought to the death for their high minded Islamic ideals. Unfortunately, the number of such individuals was usually small in proportion to the revolt, and the majority of the revolters were people who did not possess clear Islamic goals. They had simply risen as a reaction against the oppression and tyranny that had been inflicted upon them, and wished to change the prevailing situation. When these individuals felt the first indications of defeat or impending death, they quickly disbanded from around their leaders and became scattered.

As mentioned above, many of these revolts were not sanctioned by the Imams (‘a). The reason behind this was that either they were not 100% Islamic in their orientation or because various problems appeared either in their overall goals or in their leaders. Sometimes, there were problems in their program of action and in their planning, whereby their defeat was completely predictable. Therefore, if the Imams (‘a) had openly sanctioned these revolts, then, when they were in turn defeated, the very foundation of the Shia movement would have been exposed to grave danger.


About Ali Teymoori

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