Iranians mark martyrdom anniversary of Imam Reza (AS)
World's Shias particularly Iranians across the country mark the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Reza (AS), the eighth Shia Imam and grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) on the last day of the mourning month of Safar.
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His name is (Ali), but according to the custom among the Arabs, he was called (Abul Hassan). Such names are called (nicknames).
In addition to names and nicknames, people are sometimes given another name called (title). The eighth Imam has several titles. Among the most famous of these titles are (Reza), (Alem Al-Muhammad), (Gharib Al-Ghoarba), (Shams Al-Shomous) and (Moin Al-Zoafa).
Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Reza (AS), the eighth Shi'ite Holy Imam was born on 11th Zee al-Qa'adah 148 A.H. in the holy city of Madinah.
He was the son of Imam Musa al-Kazem, while his mother was the pious lady, Hazrat Najma (peace upon her). In his youth, Imam al-Reza (AS) enjoyed such outstanding virtue and scholarship that people referred to him as a religious authority.
Imam Kazem (AS) referred people to him, saying: “My son’s writing is as my writing; his words are as my words, and his envoy is as my envoy; whatever he says is the very truth.”
Imam Reza (AS) holds a special position among Iranians since he spent his last years in Iran.
He had a wealth of knowledge and his scientific prominence was better evident in his confrontation with scholars of other religions. Meetings and gatherings where various scholars and scientists came together to express their views and opinions, flourished at that time. The rulers of that time, sometimes to show the glory of their court, sometimes in order to attract scholars to the court, and sometimes in order to overcome someone's opinion, held scientific meetings along with other councils. These circles, known as meetings (debates), were the best place to express one's scientific merits.
The whole life of Imam Reza (PBUH), whether when he had not yet reached the position of Imamate or after the martyrdom of his noble father Imam Musa Kazem (PBUH), he was responsible for the leadership of Shiites, during the rule of the Abbasids.
By claiming to belong to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and taking advantage of the people's feelings against the Umayyads, the Abbasids were able to oust them from power and sit on the throne of Muslims themselves. With the suppression of the Umayyads, they no longer had the power to pose a significant threat to the Abbasids. The Abbasids considered the only threat to their rule to be the Shiites who, obeying the infallible Imams, considered the rulers of that time unjust and tried to overthrow them.
Every year, millions of Shia Muslims visit the shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad to pay homage to him.
The holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in the holy city of Mashhad is one of the most extensively visited pilgrimage centers in the world and annually more than 20 million pilgrims and lovers of Holy Ahlul Bayt (AS) from all parts of the world visit the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS).
On the eve of the 8th Shia Imam’s martyrdom anniversary, a traditional ritual dubbed "Khutbe Khani" is usually staged at the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad.
Religious officials, servants of the shrine, and different groups of people participate in the ritual.