Negligence of Imam’s Role in Development, Growth of Islamic Sciences One Reason behind His Loneliness
One of the titles of Imam Reza (A.S.) is "Gharib al-Ghuraba" (The Most Lonely). Qom Seminary's Center of Studies and Answering Doubts has responded to the philosophy of imam's title as follows:
Political status: Ma'mun forcibly summoned and escorted imam from his headquarter, homeland, and from near the tomb of his grandfather Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) to Merv in order to monitor him, cut off his relation with Shiites, separate him from Shia and Bani Hashim and to imprison him in Merv. He seemingly emblazoned him with the robe of ruling and guardianship; while in latent, he banned imam from all matters.
Ma'mun did not give permission to Imam for holding study sessions and Friday and Eid prayers. He deployed spies around imam's house and place of residence; however, people thought that he was humble, obedient and devoted toward the Imam.
He prevented imam from bringing his family and his beloved son Abu Ja'far Imam Muhammad Taqi (AS) with him; so that he did not have any comrade and he was arrested alone in a house. In order to pretend and acquit himself from the charge of murdering imam, Ma'mun ripped his shirt off and hardly cried at imam's funeral and held mourning ceremonies. As the saying goes, for honoring and celebrating imam, he announced public mourning and a holiday.
Seeing Ma'mun's pretense and hypocrisy, people were deceived by his behavior and thought that imam had lived in comfort and had died a natural death.
There had also been a great cruelty toward imam by his friends, because the representatives of Imam Moussa ibn Jaafar (A.S.) (Imam Reza's father) after his martyrdom said that leadership is terminated by Imam Moussa ibn Jaafar (A.S.) and there is no other imam after him; so they are called "Waqifites" (stoppers). They were those who denied the leadership of Imam Reza (A.S.) because of arrogance, grudge and self-abandonment and rejected him who was the owner of this leadership. What loneliness is greater than such a reaction of the heads and confidants towards the Imam?
In addition, Waqifis invited the followers of his father, Imam Musa ibn Ja'far (A.S.), to follow them from then on; prevented people from following Imam Reza (A.S.); established their own party and a certain sect in Islam; and did the heresy in the religion. It was narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Nasr that Imam Reza (A.S.) stood in the midst of Bani Zarigh tribe, raised his voice and told me: "Oh Ahmed!"; I said: "Yes?"; he said:" When prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) passed away, people tried to extinguish the light of God, but God disclaimed and gave the light to imam Ali (A.S.). When Imam Musa Bin Ja'far passed away, Ali ibn Abi Hamza tried to extinguish the light of God, but God wanted to complete his light through this way." As a result of these cases and events, imam was very sad. By the loss of his friends and companions, the feeling of sadness and grief was added to his loneliness.
They denied not only the leadership of his son Imam Muhammad ibn Ali (A.S.), but they ignored him as being Imam Reza's (A.S.) son. They insulted imam to the extent which they said:" Ali ibn Musa does not have a son to be his successor, so he is not an imam." Relatives, uncles and cousins denied the leadership and succession of Imam Javad (A.S.); just like the oppositions they did with he himself.
Ali Ibn Jafar said:" Imam Reza's brothers and we_ his uncles_ told him:' we have never had a dark skin imam among us.' Imam Reza (A.S.) told us:' He is my son.' We said:' Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) believed in the job of physiognomy experts.' He accepted that the physiognomy experts would judge. When the experts came, we were sitting in a garden. Imam's siblings lined up and covered him with a woolen toga, put a farming hat on his head, gave him a shovel and told him:' Go into the garden and pretend as if you were a worker.' Then they brought Imam Muhammad Taqi and told the physiognomy experts: 'Who would be the father of this child?' Experts said:' None of these people is his father; but this man is his father's uncle, that one is his uncle, the other his aunt, and if his father would be present here, he would be the owner of the garden; because the child's steps are the same as his.' When Imam Reza (A.S.) returned to them from the garden, they said: 'He is the father of this child.'"
Another reason for the loneliness of Imam Reza (A.S.) is that his role in the growth and development of the Islamic Sciences had been neglected. His defense from the religion was unique. Islamic civilization had a giant leap by Imam Reza’s (A.S.) support of and contribution to the Islamic sciences. Imam lived at the time of growth and development of Islamic civilization and at that time, Ma'mun held meetings with the scholars of different religions and Imam superseded everyone in those debates. The scientific notation of Imam Reza (A.S.) obviously had an impact on all thoughts and sciences; but his prominence has never been reported in a tangible and concrete way on the works of historians of Abbasid era. This kind of approach toward Imam Reza's (A.S.) scientific services is the most evident type of oppression to him and shows his great loneliness. In addition to Imam Reza (AS), Imam Hussein (AS) also had been named by this title in the Nahieh Prayers by Imam Askari (AS). However, in one sense, all imams were lonely because they hadn't been recognized by the people the way they deserved.