Eid Prayer
From: Anecdotes of the Pious Ones, #23 v. 1

Mamoon, the clever Abbasid Caliph gained the ruling power over the vast kingdom after he overthrew and destroyed his bother Mahammad Ameen. He was in Marv, when he ordered Imam Redha(as) in Madina to come to Marv (Which was part of Khurasan of that time.)

Imam Ridha (as) refused and excused himself multiple time. But Mamoon didn't accept and insisted. Imam realized that the Caliph won't give up.

Imam (as) left Madina and came to Marv. Mammon suggested that Imam take reign of caliphate. Imam (as) knew his political intention and rejected the offer.

This ordeal lasted for two months. The Caliph kept on insisting and the Imam continued to refuse. When Mamoon realized that Imam won't agree, he suggested that he become crown prince.

Imam accepted the offer with the conditions that he would not have any responsibility that it would be only a symbolic maneuver, Mamoon agreed.

Mamoon got people's allegiance in this action. He ordered that the currency should carry Imam's name and that the khutba's be in Imam's name.

When the Eid of Adhhar arrived, Mamoon ordered Imam to lead the prayer, so that he could gain more trust of the people.

Imam replied that the condition was that he would not have any official responsibility, thus excused himself.

Mamoon insisted again that he wants the issue of crown prince become an accepted concept in people's mind. Imam refused.

With further insisting of Mamoon, Imam replied: "I would prefer to be excused, but if I was to, then I would do it in the manner of the Prophet (PBUH & HF) and 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) .

Mamoon replied: "Do as you will."

In the morning of Eid, the commanders and other governmental officials, on the manners they had gained during the kingdom of the Caliphs, had groomed themselves in luxurious and fancy outfits while riding their horses. They came to Imam's door. People were awaiting Imam's arrival on a fancy ride, so that they would follow him to the Musalla.

Men and women had gone on their roofs to have closer look at the fancy of crown prince ride. All were awaiting the delightful ride.

But the Imam had accepted to lead only in the manner of the prophet (PBUH & HF) and Imam Ali (as) and not in the manner that became common practice after the Caliphs. Thus he performed his Ghusl (bath) and put on his white turban leaving one open end on his chest and another end between his shoulder bladed. He pulled up his shirt and walked bare footed. He asked his follower to do the same, then he held a stick with an iron end and came out saying: "Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar."

The people joined him in this Dhikr and repeated the Takbeer such that the earth and the sky seemed to resonate the same words. Then he paused at his door and said: " Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Allah is Great for he has provided our Sustenance through.

The people repeated these words, while crying as their emotions were strongly moved. The officials who had came well groomed in fancy outfits and rides and expected to see him in fancy attire, were so influenced by Imam's simplicity that they jumped off their horses and took out their boots and joined with the praises. Whoever would find a knife, would rip the laces of boots and take them off immediately.

Moments later the city of Marv was full of cries and screams, full of outburst of pure emotions.

Imam Ridha (as) would stop after ten steps and would say Takbeer for four times. And the people followed him with intense feelings.

The glory and beauty of truth had manifested such that the desire for apparent and worldly glory that the people were awaiting became a forgotten one. And they moved on towards the Musalla.

The news of the event reached Mamoon. He was afraid of a revolt against him. Thus he ordered Imam to return.

The Imam asked for his shoes and returned and said: "I had asked to be excused of this." [1]

[1] Bihar-al Anwar, v. 21 The states of Imam Ridha (as), p 39