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Umm al-Fadl

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Umm al-Fadl
Murderer of Imam al-Jawad (a)
Full Name Umm al-Fadl bt. Ma'mun
Lineage Banu Abbas
Well-known Relatives Ma'mun (father)
Places of Residence Khorasan, Baghdad
Era Abbasid dynasty
Known for Wife of Imam al-Jawad (a)

Umm al-Faḍl (Arabic:اُمُّ الفَضل) the daughter of Ma'mun, was the wife of Imam al-Jawad (a). Based on some sources she martyred Imam al-Jawad (a). It is said she was persuaded by Ja'far b. Ma'mun to martyr Imam (a).


Al-Ma'mun, the Abbasid caliph, was the father of Umm al-Fadl. He was ruling in the time of Imam al-Rida (a). In 202/817-8, al-Ma'mun requested Imam al-Jawad (a) to be married to Umm al-Fadl, which was accepted by Imam al-Rida (a). It is said Imam al-Jawad (a) travelled to Khorasan to visit his father, and al-Ma'mun asked him to marry his daughter. However, al-Mas'udi stated Imam al-Jawad (a) married Umm al-Fadl when he was in Iraq; it took place after the martyrdom of Imam al-Rida (a).

According to al-Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Ma'mun was greatly fond of knowledge, manners and morality of Imam al-Jawad (a) and he asked him to marry his daughter. Imam al-Rida (a) specified the mahr of the marriage the same as Lady Fatima's (a). Several supporters of al-Ma'mun disapproved of this marriage as they were afraid caliphate would be handed from Abbasid to Alids. Imam al-Jawad (a) did not have any children from Umm al-Fadl.

Martyrdom of Imam al-Jawad (a)

Based on al-Mas'udi, al-Mu'tasim and Ja'far b. Ma'mun (brother of Umm al-Fadl) were planning to martyr Imam al-Jawad (a). Finally when Imam (a) arrived in Baghdad to meet Mu'tasim, Ja'far encouraged Umm al-Fadl to poison grapes and bring them for Imam al-Jawad (a) which led to martyrdom of Imam al-Jawad (a). However, al-Shaykh al-Mufid stated: "Although it is said Imam al-Jawad (a) was poisoned and martyred, it is not proved to me yet to testify martyrdom of Imam (a)." A number of sources stated that al-Mu'tasim himself poisoned Imam (a) by means of a secretary of his ministers.

Umm al-Fadl was repentant after this incident, but Imam (a) did not accept it and he cursed her. After the martyrdom of Imam al-Jawad (a), al-Mu'tasim brought Umm al-Fadl to his own palace, but she became severely sick and passed away after some time.