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Brief Points about Imam Ali al-Ridha (A.S)

The Eighth Holy Imam Ali Al-Ridha (A.S) son of the Imam Musa al-Kadhim (A.S) and lady Najmah. He died, by poisoning mixed in his fruit by Al-Ma'mun.
His body was prepared for burial by his son the Imam Mohammad AI-Jawad (A.S) and he was buried in Mashhad, Khorasan in Iran, where his shrine stands now.
It is needless to speak of his achievements in vast knowledge, virtue, nobility, generosity, moral perfections, humbleness and worship of Allah (S.W.T).
Ma'mun Al-Abbassi, then the Caliph asked him to take charge of the administration of the Muslim government but he did not accept it because he knew that things will not go the way he liked them to go.
It was just like the case of his great grandfather the Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (A.S) who did not accept the post of leadership with the condition set by the counsel that he should run the government according to the book of Allah (S.W.T), the traditions of The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H&H.P) and the policies of the two previous Caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Al-Khattab.
Imam Ali (A.S) couldn't of course and didn't accept such an offer but Othman accepted it. Hence he was appointed the third Caliph, over Imam Ali (A.S)!
When the Eighth Imam (A.S) did not accept the post of the leadership of the Muslim government, Ma'mun then asked him to be his successor and the Imam (A.S) reluctantly accepted it with the condition that he will not be asked to take part in any governmental tasks and policies, , during the life time of Ma'mun.
Because quite simply, Ma’mun’s government policies were completely contrary to Islam principles and the teachings of The Holy Prophet Mohammad Al-Mustafa (P.B.U.H&H.P).
Some examples of his vast knowledge came to light when Ma'mun invited the scholars of different schools of thought to attend a seminar of debate over the theological issues and matters of the doctrines of faith.
For his worship he would stay up for many nights and read the whole book of Holy Koran in just over three days. Very often he would fast and also pray a thousand prayers in twenty four hours.
He was very generous to everyone especially the poor. He would help the needy during the night so that no one would recognize him.
Imam Ali Al- Ridha (A.S) never did any injustice to any one in words or deeds. He was not loud spoken but always spoke softly with a polite manner and was cordial with everyone. He always sat very politely and never slouched in the presence of others. He would call all the members of his family and servants to have dinner or lunch together.

Taken from: Almujtaba Islamic Articles Page

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