***** THE WELCOME ***** Written by: Mostafa Rahman doust Translated and edited by: K. Najafi
***** In the Name of Allah *****
***** the Beneficent the Merciful *****
Abdollah shouted: “I know, I know! I know better than all of you. Be quiet, and leave my sight!”
His spies, who worked for him, backed away, leaving of the Medina.
Abdollah was the governor of Medina. It had been many years since ‘Motivakel’, the Abassi Calipheh, had appointed Abdollah as the governor of Medina. Motivakel had warned him to watch out and be careful of Imam Hadi (Aleihe Salaam).
Abdollah had a couple of spies who often went to Imam Hadi’s (A.S.) house, and brought back reports to Abdollah about what they heard and saw. They also gave Abdollah the names of Imam Hadi’s (A.S.) friends. However, day by day his friends and supporters increased, they were not afraid of what difficulties the govenor would pose for them. Abdollah soon realized this fact.
On that particular day, Abdollah’s men had told him that it was no longer possible to report all the names of Imam Hadi’s (A.S.) friends and supporters, because here were so many of them now. Abdollah, who became very angry on hearing this, began to shout and yell at his men. He then kicked them out of his room.
After that, Abdollah put his hands to his head and started thinking. He knew that the Calipheh did not want the people to be in contact with Imam Hadi (A.S.), but there was nothing he could do to stop them.
After some time of thinking, Abdollah decided to send a letter to Motivakel, the Abassi Calipheh. In that letter he wrote: “The love for Imam Hadi (A.S.) has spread much among the people of Medina. The people are attracted to him. We must keep in mind the fact that, the people believe that the Caliphate belongs to Imam Hadi (A.S.) and that one day, there might be an upraising against your Caliphate, which in that case, will take the city of Medina from your rule.”
Upon receiving this letter, Motivakel began to device a plan in which to prevent this from happening. He sent an army officer by the name of ‘Yahya’ to Medina with a letter to Imam Hadi (A.S.). He was given the responsibility of capturing Imam Hadi (A.S.) and taking him to another city by the name of ‘Samera’. In those days Samera was the capital of the Abassi Caliphate.
In the letter that Motivakel wrote to the Imam, it asked him to leave the city of Medina for the city of Samera. The Calipheh’s letter was written using beautiful words and with much respect. However among those beautiful words was still the request that he leaves Medina. Yahya along with some of his soldiers reached Medina, they gave Imam Hadi (A.S.) the letter. The Imam then informed his friends of the letter, they realized upon hearing of the letter and seeing Yahya and his soldiers that they would lose their beloved Imam.
The news of Imam Hadi’s (A.S.) forced leave from Medina to Samera quickly spread. In each and every town, people eagerly awaited the caravan that was to take their Imam to Samera. Everyone gathered to welcome him.
The caravan in which Imam Hadi (A.S.) traveled with, slowly came closer to the city of
‘Baghdad’. The people of Baghdad had been awaiting his arrival for a long time. They stood outside the town gates to get a quicker view of his arrival to Baghdad.
The turnout of people to welcome Imam Hadi (A.S.) was so great that it caused a disruption of work and trade. Everywhere was closed. All were in anticipation of his arrival. Even the governor, ‘Eshaq’, of Baghdad was forced to come out to welcome the Imam.
News of the people’s welcoming of Imam Hadi (A.S.) in each and every town, soon reached the ears of the Calipheh. He wrote a letter to Eshaq, ordering him to stop the Imam from proceeding any further, and to think of a way in delaying Imam Hadi (A.S.) so that he would not reach Samera during the daylight. For, the Calipheh wanted Imam Hadi (A.S.) to reach Samera at night, so that by then, the people would have become to tired to welcome him.
Eshaq did what Motivakel had ordered. Through his planning he was sure that the Imam’s caravan would not reach Samera until midnight.
Which is what happened. Imam Hadi’s (A.S.) caravan did not reach there until late that night, when all was covered in darkness. But Motivakel’s plan did not work, for since early that morning the town’s people had closed their shops and left the city in order to meet and welcome their Imam.
When the sky had darkened, and night fell, no one went home. Everyone stood their ground, waiting to welcome Imam Hadi (A.S.).
As soon as Imam Hadi was sighted outside the city of Samera a shouts of joy were heard throughout the city of Samera. All this sound of happiness reached Motivakel, the Abassi Caliph, who had remained inside his palace. He was still deep in thought as to how he could ruin the Imam’s reputation, thus weakening the people’s support of him. Imam Hadi (A.S.) entered the city along with the crowd of people who had come to welcome him. The crowd was so large, that the Imam could not be seen in the center of them. The Caliph’s soldiers were busy coming and going, taking care and watching out that the people would not take advantage of the moment, and revolt.
The Imam along with the Caliphs guards entered the palace. The Calipheh did not want to go to his welcome even-though Imam Hadi (A.S.) had come to him. He did not want his advisors or ministers to respect Imam Hadi (A.S.) But the Imam had such a look, that it demanded nothing else other than respect. The Imam’s manners and ways were such to cause a commotion; even in the Caliph’s own palace. All of the palace’s guards stood in a line to offer Imam Hadi (A.S.) their respect.
The Caliph was forced to go and welcome the Imam. But he ordered his men to find the most unsuitable place for Imam Hadi (A.S.) to reside in. That night the Calipheh’s guards took the Imam to a very poor and dirty area of the city. Imam Hadi (A.S.) stayed there for three or four nights. The Imam’s presence there caused the people to love and respect him even more than before. He bought a farm and began working on his farm. At nights the Imam went to help the poor and needy, but during the days he farmed and worked on his own farm, as well as seeing to the people’s problems. Day by day the people’s love grew more and more towards Imam Hadi (A.S.). Motivakel was tortured by the fact that no matter what he did, the love and respect of the people kept on growing for Imam Hadi (A.S.)