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Imam Reza [AS] in the insight of Sunni
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Imam Reza [AS] in the insight of Sunni

Imam Reza [AS] in the insight of Sunni

The eighth radius of divine Holy lights and the sun of Imamate and Guardianship was born on the eleventh day of month of zi al-qa’dah in the year 148 Hegira in “Medina”. His father is “Musa ibn Ja’far” [AS] and his mother is “Najmah Khatun”. The dignity and excellence of his parents are clear to everyone. He was named “Ali” but he was nicknamed “Reza”, at year 183 AD, when “Harun al-Rashid” martyred Imam “Kazim” [AS], his son became Imam at the age 35. At year 200 AD, when “Ma’mun Abbasid” brought Imam “Reza” [AS] to “Khorasan” by force, just 17 years had past of his Imamate. At the end of the month of “SAFAR” year 203 Hegira, “Ma’mun Abbasid” martyred him.

Following text mentions to the opinion of some of Sunni scholars about the high prestige of Imam “Reza” [AS].

Abi NUWAS [third century]

“Ibn Khalkan” mentions to his poem about Imam Reza:

قيل لي أنت أحسن الناس طرا 

في فنون من الكلام النبيه 

لك من جيد القريض مديح 

يثمر الدر في يدي مجتنيه 

فعلام تركت مدح ابن موسى 

والخصال التي تجمعن فيه 

قلت لا أستطيع مدح إمام 

كان جبريل خادما لأبيه 

وكان سبب قوله هذه الأبيات أن بعض أصحابه قال له ما رأيت أوقح منك ما تركت خمرا ولا طردا ولا معنى إلا قلت فيه شيئا وهذا علي بن موسى الرضا في عصرك لم تقل فيه شيئا فقال والله ما تركت ذلك إلا إعظاما له وليس قدر مثلي أن يقول في مثله ثم أنشد بعد ساعة هذه الأبيات:

مطهرون نقيات جيوبهم 

تجري الصلاة عليهم أينما ذكروا 

من لم يكن علويا حين تنسبه 

فما له في قديم الدهر مفتخر 

الله لما برا خلقا فأتقنه 

صفاكم واصطفاكم أيها البشر 

فأنتم الملأ الأعلى وعندكم 

علم الكتاب وما جاءت به السور

I was told that you’ve advantage over all people in Speaking.  many praise you. One who listens to it’s as if he’s picking jewel? Despite all these perfections and grate traits of the son of “Musa ibn Ja’far”, why have left praising him? I said in response: I’m incompetent to praise the one who “Gabriel” served his father.

The reason of this poem from “Abu Nuwas” was this that one day one of the companions of “Abu Nuwas” told him: I’ve not seen a flagrant guy like you, you’ve sung poem about anything even wine; but you’ve not sung about “Ali ibn Musa al-Reza” while you’re living at his time.

“Nuwas” said in response: swear to god I didn’t sing poem due to his greatness; because I’m not competent to sing poem about such personality, after a while he sang these verses:

They’re chaste people that whenever their name is said, they will be saluted, and anyone that his parentage doesn’t reach to the dynasty of “Ali”, they’ll have nothing to be proud of. When god created all creatures, selected you dynasty amongst all creatures, you’re the people of high position who have the interpretation of Quran with them.

“Ibn KHALKAN”, Vafiyat al-a’ayan, v 3, p 268,269/ al-ATABAKI”, Al-Nujum al-Zahirah, v 2, p 175

2: KHAZRAJI [died: 329 Hegira]

He writes about Imam “Reza” [AS]:

 علي بن موسى بن جعفر بن محمد بن علي بن الحسين بن علي بن أبي طالب الهاشمي أبو الحسن الرضا ... وكان سيد بني هاشم وكان المأمون يعظمه ويجله.

“Ali ibn Musa Ibn Reza” was the elder of “Bani Hashim” and “Ma’mun Abbasid” would always praise him.

“KAZRAJI Al-ANSARY”, summery of “Tahzib al-Kamal”, v 1, p 278

MASUDI [died: 346 H]

He writes about the greatness of Imam “Reza” [AS] quoted by “Ma’mun Abbasid”:

ووصل إلى المأمونُ أبو الحسن علي بن موسى الرضا، وهو بمدينة مَرْوَ، فأنزله المأمون أحسنَ إنزال، وأمر المأمون بجميع خواص الأولياء، وأخبرهم أنه نظر في ولد العباس، وولد علي رضي الله عنهم، فلم يجد في وقته أحداً أفْضَلَ ولا أحَقَّ بالأمر منعلي بن موسى الرضا، فبايَعَ له بولاية العهد، وضرب اسمه على الدنانير والدراهم.

And “Ali ibn Musa Al-Reza” wen to “Ma’mun” in the province of “Marv”, “Ma’mun” welcomed him as best as possible, and ordered his all friends and companions and made them aware that he’s searche about all “Bani Abbas” and the children of “Ali ibn Abi-Talib” and at this time, he’s found no one better and more competent than “Ali ibn Musa al-Reza” for the matter of Imamate. So he swore him an allegiance as his successor and made dinar and dirham coin, carving the name of Imam “Reza” on it.

Al-MASUDI, Muruj al-Zahab, v 2, p 48

Like this text has been quoted in blowing resources:

“Al-ZAHABI al-SHAFI’I”, seir al-a’alam al-nabala’, v 9, p 392

Ibn HABBAN [died: 354 H]

He writes Imam “Reza” [AS]:

على بن موسى الرضا وهو على بن موسى بن جعفر بن محمد بن على بن الحسين بن على بن أبى طالب أبو الحسن من سادات أهل البيت و عقلائهم وجلة الهاشميين ونبلائهم يجب أن يعتبر حديثه.

“Ali ibn Musa al-Reza” is the son of “Musa ibn Ja’far”. His surname is “Abu al-Hasan” and is amongst the elders of prophet’s [PBUH] “Ahl al-Bayt” and “Bani Hashim”, he’s descent and honorable and it’s compulsory to accept his Hadith.

“Muhammad ibn Abu Hayyan”, Al-Thuqat, v 8, p 456

He writes about pilgrimaging Imam “Reza” [AS]:

وقبره بسناباذ خارج النوقان مشهور يزار بجنب قبر الرشيد قد زرته مرارا كثيرة وما حلت بي شدة في وقت مقامى بطوس فزرت قبر على بن موسى الرضا صلوات الله على جده وعليه و دعوت الله إزالتها عنى إلا أستجيب لي وزالت عنى تلك الشدة وهذا شيء جربته مرارا فوجدته كذلك.

And the grave of “Ali ibn Musa al-Reza” is well-known and is a place for worshiping in “San abad” out of the “Nuqan” region. I’ve pilgrimaged his graved several times and when I was in “Tus”, whenever I faced hardship, I would go to “Ali Ibn Musa Al-Reza” [AS] shrine and would ask god removing that hardship, my prayer would definitely get fulfilled and that hardship would get removed, I’ve experienced it several times.

“Ibn Habban”, Al-Thuqat, v 8, p 457

HAKIM NISHAPURI [died: 405 H]:

He says about the excellence of pilgrimaging Imam “Reza” [AS]:

ابو الحسن الامام الشهيد ... استشهد بسناباد من طوس ... و قال الرضا رضى اللّه عنه: «من زارنى على بعد دارى اتيته يوم القيمة [فى ] ثلث مواطن اخلّصه من اهوالها، اذا تطايرت الكتب يمينا و شمالا و عند الصراط و عند الميزان.»

“Ali ibn Musa al-Reza Abu al-Hsan” is martyred Imam… who got martyred in “Tus”… and Imam “Reza” may god be pleased of him, said: anyone who pilgrimages me while I’m away of my home town [in Mashhad, Tus] I’ll come to him on the day od resurrection in three places and save him/her of threats. 1: when deed paper of some is given to their right hand and some other one to their left hand, 2: while going through “bridge of Sirat” 3: when it’s time for accounting deeds.

“HAKIM NISHAPURI”, history of neishabur,

SAMA’NI [died: 562 H]

He writes:

والرضا كان من أهل العلم والفضل مع شرف النسب.

“Ali ibn Musa al-Reza” [AS] is scholar and has virtue and his parentage is honorable.

“Al-SAM’ANI”, al-Ansab, v 3, p 74

Ibn JUZI [died: 597 H]

He writes:

وكان يفتي في مسجد رسول الله صلي الله عليه وآله وهو بن نيف وعشرين سنة.

And “Ali ibn Musa al-Reza” would give “Fatwa” at prophet’s [PBUH] mosque, while he had 20 years old.

FAKH RAZI [died: 604 H]

He’s amongst Sunni Shafi’i-faith scholars, after discussing about the cause of revelation of Sura AL-KUTHAR, he says that one of the instances of “Kuthar” is the offsprings of “Fatimah” [AS]:

والقول الثالث : الكوثر أولاده قالوا : لأن هذه السورة إنما نزلت رداً على من عابه عليه السلام بعدم الأولاد ، فالمعنى أنه يعطيه نسلاً يبقون على مر الزمان ، فانظر كم قتل من أهل البيت ، ثم العالم ممتلىء منهم ، ولم يبق من بني أمية في الدنيا أحد يعبأ به ، ثم أنظر كم كان فيهم من الأكابر من العلماء كالباقر والصادق والكاظم والرضا عليهم السلام والنفس الزكية وأمثالهم.

And third quotation [about the Tafsir of KUTHAR] is that: “KUTHAR” means prophet’s [AS] offspring. The said: because this sura was revealed rejecting the guy who would find fault with for lack of having child. So it means that because of prophet [PBUH], god has given offsprings to him who have remained during the time, look that how many people of prophet’s [PBUH] “Ahl al-Bayt” were killed! While the world is full of them! But no one is left from “Bani Umayyah” who’s worthy to be said about. Then look that how many elders and scholars are amongst them [prophet’s “Ahl al-Bayt] such as: Shiites Imams [AS] Imam Baqir, “Sadiq”, “Kazim” and “Reza” and “Nafs Zakiyyah”and …

Al-Razi Shafi’I, Mafatih al Ghayb, v 32, p 117

Ibn ATHIR [died: 606 H]


He writes in “Javami’ al-Asul” about the multiplicity of the virtues of Imam Reza [AS]:

علي بن موسى الرِّضا هو أبو الحسن ، علي بن موسى بن جَعْفَر بن محمد بن علي بن الحسين بن علي بن أبي طالب الهاشمي، المعروف بالرِّضا ... وإِليه انتهت إِمامة الشِّيعة في زمانه. وفضائله أكثر من أن تُحْصى ، رحمة الله عليه ورضوانه.

“Ali ibn Musa ibn Reza; he’s “Abu al-hasan”, “Ali ibn Musa ibn Ja’far ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Al-Hussain ibn Ali ibn Abi-Talib” and is “Hashemi”, known as “Reza”…. And Shiite Imamate would lead to him at his time and his virtues couldn’t be collected due to multiplicity, may god rest his soul.

“Ibn Athir”, Mu’jam jami’ al-osoul, v 12, p 715

ZAHABI [died: 748 H]   

He’s a Sunni scholar and writes about Imam Reza [AS]:

علي الرضى الإمام السيد أبو الحسن علي الرضى بن موسى الكاظم بن جعفر الصادق بن محمد الباقر بن علي بن الحسين الهاشمي العلوي المدني... وكان من العلم والدين والسودد بمكان ... وقد كان علي الرضى كبير الشأن أهلا للخلافة.

“Ali al-Reza” is Imam. “Abul Hasan Ali al-Reza” the son of “Musa al-Kazim” is “Hasemi, Alavi”, born in “Medina” …. He had high position in terms of knowledge and religion and dignity …. And he was competent for caliphate.

“Al-Zahabi Shafi’i”, Seir al-a’alam al-Nabala’, v 9, p 387 and 392

وابنه علي بن موسى الرضا كبير الشان له علم و بيان و وقع في النفوس صيره المامون ولي عهده لجلالته.

And his [Musa ibn Ja’far] son, “Ali ibn Musa al-Reza” [AS] had high position. He had knowledge and was eloquent, and would influence to the hearts. “Ma’mun” put him as his crown prince due to his glory.

Al-Zahabi Safi’I, seir al-A’alam, v 13, p 121

SAFDI [died: 768 H]

He’s a Sunni scholar and says about the prestige of Imam “Reza” [AS]:

علي بن موسى بن جعفر بن محمد بن علي بن الحسين بن علي بن أبو طالب أبو الحسن الرضا ... وهو أحد الأئمة الاثني عشر كان سيد بني هاشم في زمانه.

“Ali ibn Musa ibn Ja’far”, known as “Reza”… he was one of Shiite twelve-Imams and was the elder of “Bani Hashim” at his time.

“Al-Safdi”, Al-Vafi, v 22, p 154

YAFI’I [died: 768 H]

“Yafi’I Shafi’I” writes about Imam “Reza” [AS]:

وفيها توفي الامام الجليل المعظم سلالة السادة الاكارم أبو الحسن على بن موسى الكاظم بن جعفر الصادق بن محمد الباقر بن زين العابدين على بن الحسين ابن على بن ابى طالب أحد الائمة الاثنى عشر اولى المناقب الذين انتسبت الامامية اليهم.

And at year 203 Hegira, honorable glorified Imam, “Abu al-Hasan Ali Ibn Musa”, passed away. He was one of twelve-Imams, has many virtues.

“Yafi’I”, Mira’t al-Janan, v 2, p 10

Abu al-Mahasin Birdi Yahiri [died: 874 H]

He writes:

وفيها توفي علي الرّضى ابن موسى الكاظم بن جعفر الصادق بن محمد الباقر بن علي زين العابدين بن الحسين بن علي بن أبى طالب، الإمام أبو الحسن الهاشمىّ العلوىّ الحسينىّ، كان إماما عالما ... وكان علي هذا سيد بني هاشم في زمانه وأجلّهم، وكان المأمون يعظمه ويبجله ويخضع له و يتغالى فيه.

At year 203 Hegira, “Ali ibn Musa al-Reza” son of “Musa al-Kazim ibn Ja’far” passed away. He was Imam and scholar and was the elder of “Bani Hashim” at his time. “Ma’mun” would always glorify him and was modest before him and would exaggerate about him.

Al-Atabaki, Al-Nujum al-Zahirah, v 2, p 174, 175

SAMHUDI [died: 911 Hegira]

He’s amongst “Shafi’I” scholars and says about Imam Reza [AS]:

وکانت مناقبه عليه وصفاته سنية ... وکراماته کثيرة ومناقبه شهيرة ... و کان رضي الله عنه قليل النوم، کثير الصوم، وکان جلوسه في الصيف علي حصير وفي الشتاء علي جلدة شاة.

“Ali ibnMusa al-Reza” [AS] was glorious, dignified… and his virtues are grate and his traits are good and his breath his is holy and he was “Hashimi”. His life style was based on prophet’s [PBUH] manner. His benevolences are more than what could be counted and are more well-known than what could be said.

Al-Shibravi al-Shafi’i, Al-Ethaf, p 58

NABHANI [died: 1350 Hegira]

He says in his book:

علي الرضا بن موسي الکاظم بن جعفر الصادق أحد أکابر الأئمة ومصابيح الأمة، من أهل بيت النبوة و معادن العلم و العرفان و الکرم و الفتوة. کان عظيم القدر، مشهور الذکر.

“Ali al-Reza”, “Ali ibn Musa al-Kazim” son of “Ja’afar al-Sadiq”, he title is “Reza”, the eighth Imam of Shiite twelve-Imams and is amongst “Ahl al-Bayt” AS] scholars.

Al-Zarkuli, al-a’alam, v 5, p 26

The story of “Silsilah al-Zahab” Hadith

“Ibn Hajar HEITHAMI” writes about this Hadith:

ولما دخل نيسابور كما في تاريخها وشق سوقها وعليه مظلة لا يرى من ورائها تعرض له الحافظان أو زرعة الرازي ومحمد بن أسلم الطوسي ومعهما من طلبة العلم والحديث ما لا يحصى فتضرعا إليه أن يريهم وجهه ويروي لهم حديثا عن آبائه فاستوقف البغلة وأمر غلمانه بكف المظلة وأقر عيون تلك الخلائق برؤية طلعته المباركة فكانت له ذؤابتان مدليتان على عاتقه والناس بين صارخ وباك ومتمرغ في التراب ومقبل لحافر بغلته فصاحت العلماء معاشر الناس أنصتوا فأنصتوا واستملى منه الحافظان المذكوران فقال حدثني أبي موسى الكاظم عن أبيه جعفر الصادق عن أبيه محمد الباقر عن أبيه زين العابدين عن أبيه الحسين عن أبيه علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنهم قال حدثني حبيبي وقرة عيني رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم قال ( حدثني جبريل قال سمعت رب العزة يقول لا إله إلا الله حصني فمن قالها دخل حصني ومن دخل حصني أمن من عذابي ) ثم أرخى الستر وسار فعد أهل المحابر والدوى الذين كانوا يكتبون فأنافوا على عشرين ألفا  وفي رواية أن الحديث المروي ( الإيمان معرفة بالقلب وإقرار باللسان وعمل بالأركان ) ولعلهما واقعتان قال أحمد لو قرأت هذا الإسناد على مجنون لبرىء من جنته.

When Imam “Reza” [AS] arrived at “Neishabur”, his camel stopped there and Imam was in carrier and no one would see his face, two leaders of Hadith in “Neishabur” named “Abu Zara’ RAZI” AND Muhammad Ibn Aslam TUSI” and other scholars of Hadith science [they were uncountable] welcomed Imam. “Abu Zara’” and “Muhammad ibn Aslam” begged Imam to show his face and quote Hadith for them from his fathers. At this time his Camel stopped and Imam ordered his servants to shut the curtain till people can see him, and people became infatuated and would shout out of happiness while some were on the ground crawling and some other would kiss the soil under the carrier. Scholars of the city shouted and asked people to calm down and “Abu Zara’” and “Muhamamd ibn Aslam” asked Imam “Reza” [AS] quoting hadith for them, Imam said: my father “Musa ibn Ja’far” quoted from his father “Ja’far al-Sadiq” [AS] and him from his father “Muhammad Baqir” and him from his father “Zein al-Abidin” and him from his father “Hussein” [AS]and him from his father [Ali ibn abi Talib” [AS] who said: Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] said: “Gabriel” quoted for me that god has said: “there is no god but Allah” is my fortress. Anyone who says this sentence will enter my fortress and if anyone enters this fortress will be safe”. After quoting this Hadith, Imam “Reza” [AS] shuts the curtain and moves. About twenty thousand people wrote this Hadith.

It’s written in another Hadith that quoted narrative by Imam “Reza” [AS] was as follow: Faith is: knowing by heart, confession by tongue and practicing.

Of course, maybe both narratives were quoted by Imam “Reza” [AS] in two separated events. “Ahmad” said: if these narratives are read for an insane guy, he’ll definitely survive of his insanity.

“Al-HEITHAMI”, Al-Savae’q al-Muhraqah, V 2, p 594, 595


Spiritual personality of Imam “Reza” [AS] is so high that if even books are written about his virtues,  even one droplet of endless waves couldn’t be depicted.


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