Fadhl ibn Sahl Sarakhsi
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 2nd of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 202 AH, Fadhl ibn Sahl ibn Zaadaan Farrukh Sarakhsi, the powerful Iranian prime minister of Mamoun (the 7th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime), was slain under mysterious condition while in the bathhouse of the city of Sakakhs, which today straddles the Iran-Turkmenistan border.
Known for his craftiness in devising the plan to force Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), to leave Medina and come to Mamoun’s capital in the Khorasani city of Merv (presently in Turkmenistan), he was entrusted with both the military command and civilian administration with the title Dhu’r-Riyasatayn (Possessor of the Two Commands).
A convert to Islam from Zoroastrianism, Sahl and his brother, Hassan, were instrumental in consolidation of the caliphate of Mamoun, whose mother was Iranian. Sahl was the de facto ruler of the caliphate until the year before his death, having played a crucial role in the civil war between Mamoun and his brother Amin.
According to the historian Ibn Atheer, he was suspected of being a follower of the Prophet’s Household and was thus murdered – probably on the orders of Mamoun. Following his death the public turned against Mamoun, who pleaded with Imam Reza (AS) to use his influence to calm down the agitators.