Arabic: (FULL NAME:) ‘abū l-hassani ¢alī bni mūsā
Arabic: (HONORARY TITLE:) ¢alī r-ridā
(Madina 765- Tus 818) Eighth Imam of the Twelver Shi’i Islam (799- 818)
Ali ar-Rida’s Imamate coincided with a great reversal of fortune for the Shi’i. He attained the Imamate at the age of 35 after the brutal persecution and martyrdom of his father, Musa al Kazim, at the hands of Caliph Harun ar-Rashid.
After Harun’s death, however, events rapidly evolved, and after a civil war between Harun’s sons al-Amin and al-Ma’mun ended in al-Ma’mun’s victory.
Ali ar-Rida was called to al-Ma’mun’s capital at Marv in northeastern Iran, where he was named al-Ma’mun’s heir apparent and the black Abbasid banners were changed to the Alid green. Unfortunately, Ali ar-Rida was not destined to the Caliphate, and on his way to Iraq with Ma’mun, he died suddenly at Tus. According to some accounts he was poisoned.