The social-political life of the Imams (A.S.) is exemplary in the way of feeling responsibility for protecting religion and increasing knowledge. Their stability in the fundamentals of religion in addition to their attention to the current situation of society has allowed researchers and historians to distinguish the similarities and differences in the lives of the Imams (A.S.).Â
Following the martyrdom of Imam Reza (A.S.), the Abbasid Dynasty became more publicly intolerable toward the Infallible Imams (A.S.). Maâ€™mun summoned Imam Jawad (A.S.) to Baghdad and forced the Imam to marry Maâ€™munâ€™s daughter (which was against the Imamâ€™s will). Through this marriage, Maâ€™mun had settled for an even deeper spying system in the house of Imam Jawad (A.S.). Not only did he intend to gain more control over the Imam, but he had also intended to further reform his bad reputation as the killer of Imam Reza (A.S.).Â
At the time of Imam Hadi (A.S.), the situation became even worse. The ambitious rulers, who were no longer from the Arab race, were divided into different internal groups based on their tribe and race. The very first result of this division was the decline in the magnificence status of the caliphate. The dispute amongst the slaves, the Turks, and the Arabs within the Abbasid Dynasty had become clearly apparent. The fact that the short period of Imamate of Imam Hadi (A.S.) was contemporary to the government of six different Abbasid Caliphs reveals best the instability of the dynasty. Moreover, the governors became more sensual and luxuriated in this period; thus, oppression and obstinacy became widespread, resulting in the immense dissatisfaction of people.
Amongst those six rulers, Mutawakkilâ€™s intelligence, policies, harsh judgmental verdicts, sensuality, immoralities, and hatred towards Amir al-Muâ€™minin (A.S.) surpassed not only the other five contemporary caliphs, but also all other rulers who ruled during the Abbasid and Umayyad Dynasty; and as a result put his reign into a very critical position. The most important examples showing his hatred towards the Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.) are as follows:
1. Through having a group perform sarcastic plays about Amir al-Muâ€™minin in his palace, he intended to sabotage Imam Aliâ€™s (A.S.) character and transfer his hatred of Amir al-Muâ€™minin to the people. This act was even objected by Mutawakkilâ€™s son, Muntasir.Â
2. He ordered for the destruction of the shrine of Imam Hussain (A.S.) and converting it into a farm. He also ordered to punish the pilgrims, and prepare inspection stops in order to prevent people from visiting the shrine of Imam Hussain (A.S.).Â
3. He ordered for economic besiege of the Alawis and the lovers of Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) in order to destroy them all.Â
4. In order to stray people from the affair of Imamat and have control over his opposition, Mutiwakkil tried to introduce Musa, brother of Imam Hadi (A.S.), who was a weak person as the leader of the Shiites.Â
5. He summoned Imam Hadi (A.S.) and forced him to reside in Samarra, a city used solely for military purposes.Â
Nevertheless, using his intelligence and divine sharpness, Imam Hadi (A.S.) not only survived the treacheries, but also through residing in Samarra, was able to nullify the false propaganda made against him by the associates of the Caliph. Preventing the Caliph any opportunity to object, Imam Hadi (A.S.) was also able to organize, stabilize, and strengthen the representation system, which was first established by Imam Jawad (A.S.). Moreover, through his written teachings, he prepared the Shiites for the upcoming occultation of Imam Mahdi (A.S.).Â
Besides that, Imam Hadi (A.S.) protected the different fields of Islamic thought, namely Fiqh (jurisprudence) and Aqaâ€™id (beliefs), by attending the technical discussions usually held in the Abbasid court. With his answers, he prevented the spread of deviation amongst the Muslims.
One of the most brilliant activities of Imam Hadi (A.S.) was his severe and tense struggle against the Ghulat (exaggerators). This struggle was so important that it could be compared to Imam Aliâ€™s (A.S.) fight against the Khawarij. The struggle finally ended in the defeat of the nuisance, proven that it can only be done by an Infallible Imam.