Story No. 412 – IMAM REDA (AS): IMAM-E-ZAAMIN (Guarantor)
There is a hadith of the Holy Prophet Mumammad (saw) that when you travel, you should give charity (Sadaqah). So is it not better to give the money of Imam-e-Zaamin before you go on your journey rather than when you get back, so that it may reach the poor quicker.
It is said that the Sura Tawheed (Sura Ikhlas), if written and cut into two halves, one given to the traveller and the other left at his home, will always come together again and so ensure the safe journey of the traveller.
The king at the time of our 8th Imam, Imam Reda (as) was Mamoon Rashid son of Haroon Rashid. Mamoon Rashid had forced Imam Reda (as) to take the position of his heir apparent (i.e. Imam Reda (as) was supposed to take over as king after Mamoon Rashid); because he wanted to be accepted by the Shias. Although Imam Reda (as) did not want to take this position, Imam Reda (as) made full use of it to preach Islam openly. To show to the people how much he thought of Imam Reda (as), Mamoon Rashid changed the colour of his court from black to green [the colour of the Imam Reda (as)], Mamoon Rashid also had new coins made with Imam Reda’s (as) name on it.
Each Imam (as) is remembered for a specific thing: EX: 4th Imam, Imam Zainul Abideen (as) – In illness. 6th Imam, Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) – For sustenance. And in the same way our 8th Imam, Imam Reda (as) is called upon when someone is about to go on a journey.
The eight Imam, Imam Reda (as) is also called as Imam-e-Zaamin. When Muslims go on journeys they take with them something called Imam-e-Zaamin (another name for Imam Reda (as)) which is some money tied in a cloth. This tradition probably came from the time of Imam Reda (as) when people used to carry money with them especially because it had Holy Imam’s (as) name on it. As Mamoon Rashid, the Abbasid caliph the contemporary of Imam Reda (as), had coins minted with the name of Imam Reda (as) on them, it was very easy for the Muslims to carry the name of Imam Reda (as) with them, especially when they went on journeys.
Imam Reda (as) is also known as Imam-e-Zaamin (as). Zaamin means “The Guarantor”.
One day when Imam Reda (as) was on his historical journey from Madina to Marw (Khurasan), while in a jungle Imam Reda (as) came across a hunter who was about to kill a deer. The deer was trying to get away and when she saw Holy Imam Reda (as), she said something to him. Holy Imam Reda (as) asked the hunter to free the deer so that she could go and feed her little baby deers who were very hungry. Imam Reda (as) also told the hunter that once the deer had fed her babies she would come back. The hunter allowed the deer to go because Holy Imam Reda (as) had told him to, but he did not think the deer will come back. But Imam Reda (as) waited with the hunter until the deer returned with her young ones. The hunter was amazed on witnessing this miraculous event and he set the deer free as a mark of respect for Imam Reda (as). After this historical event Imam Reda (as) became famous as Imam-e-Zaamin (as).
The famous artist of the contemporary world, Ustad Mahmud Farshchiyan has depicted this historical event in this beautiful masterpiece iconograph entitled “Zaamin-e-Aahu” (The Guarantor of the Deer).