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Life and thoughts of Imam Ali Ar-Reza
According to Hijri Calander, today is Martyrdom Day of Imam Ali Ar-Reza (AS) and I'm sharing some important features of his life and thoughts.
Imam Ali Ar-Reza is also called abu al-Hasan and is commonly known as Ali al-Reza (c. 29 December 765 - 23 August 818). He was descendant of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the eighth Imam of Muslims (especially Ithna Assharee - the twelver Shia Muslims) after his father Imam Musa al-Kazim (AS).

He lived in a period when Abbasid caliphs and he faced great difficulties in his life. The Caliph Al-Mamun was facing the rebellions from his subjects and most of them were lead by Bani Hashim (the tribe of Prophet descendents).

The Caliph thought out a remedy for this problem by appointing Al al-Ridha as his successor, through which he could involve the Imam in worldly affairs. However, according to Shiite view, when Al-Ma'mun saw that the Imam gained even more popularity, he decided to correct his mistake by poisoning him. The Imam was buried in a village in Khorasan where afterwards gained its new name, Mashad, the place of martyrdom.

Most of the Muslims around the world follow a tradition of sporting a frilled band around the arm before they embark upon an important journey. This band is knows as Imam Zamin.

The most recent Imam Zamin that was seen recently was tied to the arm of Mrs. Benazir Bhutto just before she was killed. Normally the decorated band or sequin is fixed with some monetary coin inside it that relates to Imam's Guardianship, which is tied to the right arm. Later this money is used to buy the sweets for distribution once the person reaches the destination.

Imam Ali Ar-Reza (A.S.) is also known as Imam-e-Zaamin (A.S.). Zaamin means 'The Guarantor'. When Muslims go on journeys they take with them something called 'Imam-e-Zaamin' which is some money tied in a cloth. This tradition probably came from the time of Imam Reza (A.S.) when people used to carry money with them especially because it had Holy Imam's (A.S.) name on it.

As Ma'mun, the Abbasid caliph the contemporary of Imam Reza (A.S.), had coins minted with the name of Imam Reza (A.S.) on them, it was very easy for the Muslims to carry the name of Holy Imam (A.S.) with them, especially when they went on journeys.

One day when Imam Reza (A.S.) was on his historical journey from Madinah to Marw (Khurasan), while in a jungle the Holy Imam (A.S.) came across a hunter who was about to kill a deer. The deer was trying to get away and when she saw Holy Imam (A.S.), she said something to him.

Holy Imam (A.S.) asked the hunter to free the deer so that she could go and feed her little baby deer that were very hungry. Imam Reza (A.S.) also told the hunter that once the deer had fed her babies she would come back.

The hunter allowed the deer to go because Holy Imam (A.S.) had told him to, but he did not think the deer will come back. But Imam Reza (A.S.) waited with the hunter until the deer returned with her young ones.

The hunter was amazed on witnessing this miraculous event and he set the deer free as a mark of respect for Imam Reza (A.S.). After this historical event Imam Reza (A.S.) became famous as Imam Zaamin (A.S.).

Here are some important sayings of Imam Ali Ar-Reza (AS):

1. Starting meal with salt prevents seventy types of ailments, one of which is leprosy.

2. Food should be taken when it is at moderate temperature. Start eating from the sides of the plate and not from the middle.

3. Doing seven things without doing the seven other things is self-mockery: asking for forgiveness from Allah verbally without repenting with the heart; asking for Allah's help without undertaking any effort; making a firm resolution to do something without taking due precautions; asking Allah for Paradise without enduring the related hardships; beseeching deliverance from the Hell-fire without refraining from lusts; remembering Allah without anticipating to encounter Him. Faith has four pillars: Trusting and relying upon Allah & contentment and pleasure with the Divine will. Submission to the ordain and ordinance of Allah. Delegation and turning over (the affairs) to Allah. (Total submission and reassignment to Allah). And faith means performing and discharging the obligatory duties and avoiding the committing of forbidden acts, and faith is the recognition and knowing (Allah) through the heart and admitting and confessing through the tongue and practicing through the parts of body (physically).

4. To be in the company of villains will result in suspecting the good.

5. He who reveals his poverty before others will disgrace himself.

6. One who torments his neighbour is not one of us.

7. The oldest brother holds the position of the father.

8. The friend of each person is his intellect & his enemy is his ignorance. Showing Love towards the people is half of intellect.

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