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Ibrahim b. Imam al-Kazim (a)

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Descendant of Imam
Ibrahim b. Imam al-Kazim (a)
Role Governor of Yemen and Mecca
Epithet Jazzar
Father Imam al-Kazim (a)
Place(s) of Residence Yemen, Mecca, Baghdad
Demise 210/825
Place of Burial Kadhimiyya

Ibrāhim b. Mūsā b. Jaʿfar (Arabic: ابراهيم بن موسی بن جعفر) (d.210/825) the son of Imam Musa b. Ja'far (a), known as Jazzar and titled as Murtada was an Imam (leader) of Zaydi Shi'ites. He took oath of allegiance to Ibn Tabataba when he launched an uprising. After the death of Ibn Tabataba, Ibrahim was appointed as the governor of Yemen by Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Zayd al-Alawi or Abu l-Saraya. However after some time he left Yemen and moved to Mecca. Then he was appointed again as the governor of Yemen and after some time the governor of Mecca by al-Ma'mun, the Abbasid caliph. He was eventually poisoned and killed in Baghdad in 210/825. Al-Majlisi regarded him as a reliable hadith transmitter.


Al-Ya'qubi, Ibn Babawayh, al-Shaykh al-Mufid, Ibn Shahr Ashub and others mentioned Ibrahim as a son of Imam Musa b. Ja'far (a). But some stated that Imam (a) had two sons named Ibrahim, Ibrahim Akbar (older) who ruled over Yemen and Ibrahim Asghar (younger) known as Murtada.

Family tree of Ahl al-Bayt (a)
Lady Fatima
Imam Ali
Umm al-Banin
Imam al-Husayn
Imam al-Hasan
Lady Zaynab
Umm Kulthum
Abd Allah
Umm Kulthum
'Abd Allah
'Abd Allah
Imam al-Sajjad
'Ali al-Akbar
'Ali al-Asghar
Imam al-Baqir
Imam al-Sadiq
'Abd Allah
'Ubayd Allah
Imam al-Kazim
Umm Farwa
'Abd Allah
Imam al-Rida
Imam al-Jawad
Imam al-Hadi
Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari
Imam al-Mahdi

According to Ibn 'Inaba, Ibrahim did not have any children, but some mentioned that he had two sons named Musa and Ja'far. Other sources stated that he had nine children. Some sources described Ibrahim as a generous and brave man.


Ibn Zuhra regarded him a hadith narrator who narrated hadiths from his father. Al-Majlisi regarded him as a reliable hadith narrator. Ibrahim was known as Jazzar as he killed and caught a large number of people in his attacks to Yemen.

Pledge of Allegiance to Ibn Tabataba

In 198/814 Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Alawi known as Ibn Tabataba launched an uprising to support al-Sirri b. Mansur al-Shaybani known as Abu l-Saraya (d. 200/815), who rebelled in Kufa. The majority of Alawis and Talibis as well as Ibrahim b. Musa took oath of allegiance to him. After some time, Ibn Tabataba passed away and then Abu l-Saraya took oath of allegiance to Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Zayd or Muhammad b. Zayd. Each of his companion accepted to seize a city. Ibrahim joined Muhammad and they conquered Yemen. Some sources stated that he was appointed as the governor of Yemen by Abu l-Saraya.

Ruling over Yemen

Ibrahim b. Musa was living in Mecca in the time of the uprising of Ibn Tabataba and then the rise of Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Zayd and Abu l-Saraya. When he found out about the uprisings, he was told to capture Yemen. He gathered his supporters and relatives and moved to Yemen. Ishaq b. Musa b. 'Isa b. Mahan was ruling over Yemen by the order of al-Ma'mun in that time. When he was informed that Ibrahim and his supporters reached near Sana'a, he left Yemen along with his relatives and moved to Mecca.

Ibn Kathir mentioned that Ibrahim fought a lot of battles in Yemen, but he did not mentioned the details and opponents of him. According to al-Tabari Ibrahim b. Musa send a descendant of 'Aqil b. Abi Talib as Amir al-Hajj (the leader of Hajj pilgrim caravan) to accompany his army to Mecca who face al-Mu'tasim the bother of Ma'mun.

Dismissal from Ruling

Different reports have been made on the reasons behind dismissal of Ibrahim b. Musa from ruling over Yemen:

  • Al-Ya'qubi stated that Hasan b. Sahl was appointed by al-Ma'mun to govern Iraq. When he came to Mada'in, he appointed Hamduya b. 'Ali b. 'Isa b. Mahan as the governor of Yemen. Ibrahim fought against him and he was defeated. Then he returned back to Mecca.
  • Ibn Khaldun stated that al-Ma'mun sent his army to Yemen to capture the region, they took a large number of grand figures of Yemen to al-Ma'mun's palace. Muhammad Ziyad b. 'Abd Allah b. Abi Sufyan was in charge of administration of Yemen by al-Ma'mun. Al-Ma'mun ordered him to fight against Alawis and capture Yemen.
  • Also some sources stated that Ahmad b. Yazid b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Qushaybi the poet from Yemen opposed Ibrahim b. Musa. When Ibrahim attacked Yemen, he enslaved al-Qushaybi. Later he fled from prison and wrote poems to encourage people of Yemen against Ibrahim. As a result, people led by 'Abd Allah b. Mahan rebelled in Yemen and they threw Ibrahim out of Yemen.

Staying in Mecca

Ibrahim b. Musa left or fled from Yemen and moved to Mecca. In that time, Yazid b. Muhammad b. Hanzala al-Makhzumi, appointed by Hamduya b. 'Ali b. 'Isa b. Mahan or 'Isa b. Yazid al-Jalawdi was ruling in Mecca. He faced Ibrahim near Mecca but he was defeated and then killed. Then Ibrahim entered Mecca and took control of the city.

When Hamduya b. 'Ali b. 'Isa b. Mahan was in charge of Yemen, he was dismissed by al-Ma'mun and he appointed Ibrahim b. Musa as the governor of Yemen one more time. al-Ma'mun also ordered al-Jalawdi to accompany Ibrahim to face Hamduya b. 'Ali who did not follow the order of Ma'mun. Al-Jalawdi refused to do so, and Ibrahim attacked Yemen with his supporters. At first, he defeated Hamduya's son and killed a large number of his troops then he marched toward Sana'a to face Hamduya. They battled near the city and Hamduya managed to defeat Ibrahim.

Ruling over Mecca

In 202/817 al-Ma'mun appointed Ibrahim b. Musa as the governor of Mecca and entitled him as Amir al-Hajj. In Hajj ceremony, he asked people to take oath of allegiance to his brother Imam al-Rida (a) as the Crown Prince.

Staying in Baghdad

'Isa b. Yazid al-Jalawdi who was appointed as the governor of Yemen after Ibrahim b. Musa by Ma'mun, came to Mecca and sent Ibrahim to Baghdad. Then he put 'Ubayd Allah b. Hasan al-Alawi in charge of the city. According to sources, Ibrahim and Alawis were disunited. When he entered Baghdad he asked for mercy, or maybe Imam al-Rida (a) asked al-Ma'mun to have mercy on his brother.


Ibrahim stayed in Baghdad until 210/825 He was poisoned and passed away in Baghdad. Ibrahim is buried in Kadhimiyya shrine which was known as Quraysh cemetery.