SHAFAQNA- Imam al-Hadi (A.S) suffered pressing misfortunes and distresses from the Abbasid tyrants. They spared no effort in oppressing and harming him. Al-Mutawakkil was the most spiteful towards Imam al-Hadi (A.S) from among all the Abbasid caliphs. He oppressed him too much. He moved the Imam from Yathrib to Samarra’ and imposed on him house arrest, and surrounded his house with policemen who watched even his breaths.
Al-Mutawakkil prevented ulama, jurisprudents, and narrators from meeting him, taking from his knowledge and narrating his fatwas and opinions. Doing this, al-Mutawakkil committed a terrible crime against knowledge. He imposed economic blockade against the Imam and prevented people from taking the legal dues, which came from the different Islamic countries, to him. He left the Imam in a pressing neediness. He ordered his men to search the house of the Imam from time to time that they might find arms or books objecting to the Abbasid rule so that al-Mutawakkil might find an excuse to kill the Imam but nothing was found.
Sometimes, he ordered his men to bring him the Imam in whatever state he was. Once, the Imam was brought while al-Mutawakkil was drunk and before him there were vessels and cups of wine and he was surrounded by groups of male and female singers, but the Imam was sharp with him and began advising him, reminding him of the afterlife, and scolding him for the corruption he was in. When al-Mutawakkil saw the Imam insist on keeping away from him, refuse to associate with him, and devote himself to Allah, he ordered his men to arrest and put him into prison.
Narrators said that some man heard Imam al-Hadi (A.S) saying from inside the prison, ‘I am more exalted near Allah than the she-camel of (Prophet) Salih. Then he recited this Qur’anic verse, (“Enjoy yourselves in your abode for three days, that is a promise not to be belied“). [Qur’an, 11:65] After three days, the tyrant was killed by his son al-Muntasir. [Alam al-Wara, p.363]
After the death of al-Mutawakkil, the distress of Imam al-Hadi (A.S) did not end. The Abbasid government kept on watching him and plotting day and night to do away with him. The Abbasids bore malice towards him because he was highly regarded and sanctified by the entire nation, whereas the Abbasids got no respect or regard like that. Besides that there was a big part of the nation believing in the Imamate of Imam al-Hadi (A.S) and believing that he was worthier of the Islamic caliphate than the Abbasids who indulged in pleasures and lusts and governed the nation, like the Umayyads, with violence, oppression, and haughtiness.
Imam al-Hadi (A.S) became a heavy burden on al-Mu’tamid the Abbasid caliph after he saw people talk about the virtues, knowledge, asceticism, and piety of the Imam and prefer him to all other Muslim ulama. He became angry, envious, and spiteful against the Imam His ill will led him to commit the worst crime in Islam. He inserted fatal poison to the Imam, who, after having the poison, kept to bed. The poison reacted in all his body and he suffered intolerable pains. The Shia and the notables of the state visited him, and the all were covered with deep sorrow.