Haroun ar-Rashid, the Fifth Caliph of the usurper Abbasid Dynasty
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 2nd of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Akher, in 193 AH, Haroun ar-Rashid, the 5th caliph of the usurper Abbasid Dynasty, died in Khorasan, in northeastern Iran, and was buried in Tous, in what is now the city of Mashhad, after a tyrannical rule of 23 years, during which he cruelly martyred over 60 descendents of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), including the most noblest of them all, the 7th Infallible Imam, Musa al-Kazem (AS). Haroun was born to Mahdi al-Abbasi in Rayy, which is a suburb of modern Tehran today, and his mother was a Yemeni concubine of dubious character, named Khayzaran. He seized power after the suspicious death of his elder brother Hadi al-Abbasi.
He consolidated his rule over the vast realm from North Africa up to the borders of China and India, largely through the administrative abilities of the Iranian Barmakid family, whose head Yahya Barmaki was made prime minister, followed by his sons. The crafty Haroun gradually liquidated the Barmakids and behaved ruthlessly with the followers of the Prophet’s Household and other Muslims who opposed his immoral and illegitimate rule.
He died in Khorasan at the age of 45 years while on his way to suppress a rebellion in Kabul, in what is now Afghanistan. Today there is no sign of his rotten grave, while the sprawling golden-domed mausoleum of Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), in Mashhad, beckons millions of pilgrims from all over the world, as testimony to the triumph of the Ahl al-Bayt over the usurper caliphs.