WAFI AHMAD (197-212/813-828)

Abdullah bin Muhammad, surnamed ar-Radi, Nasir or al-Wafi (True to one's word) was also known as ar-Radi Abdullah al-Wafi or Wafi Ahmad, was born in 149/766. The tradition relates that Wafi Ahmad was locally known as attar (druggist) in Nishapur and Salamia as well, a surname he earned after his profession in drug and medicine as a protection against his real position. He was however represented by his hujjat, Abdullah bin Maymun (d. 260/874). It is also learnt that he was called Muhammad bin Ismail among the Ismailis, who lived at remote distance and had not seen the Imams. He, being the son and successor of Imam Muhammad bin Ismail is admittedly asserted in the work of Tabari (3rd vol., p. 2218). His mother was Fatima, the daughter of Sarah, sister of Ishaq bin al-Abbas.

The Abbasid caliph Amin (193-198/809-814) was murdered after ruling for 4 years and 8 months, thereupon, his foster brother, Mamun Rashid (198-218/814-833) became the next caliph, who transferred his capital to Khorasan in early period of his rule, and as a result he followed a mild attitude with the Alids. After coming to Baghdad, Mamun Rashid changed his mind, and followed the doctrines of Mutazilite. He was however a bitterest foe of the Ismailis.

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