Ali ibn Yaqtin

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Ali ibn Yaqteen Bin Musa al-Baghdadi
Father Yaqteen
Birth 742
Death 798
Ali ibn Yaqtin (Arabic: علي بن يقطين) was a close companion of Imam Musa al-Kadhim who served as a minister for the Abbasid caliph Haroon al-Rashid. He kept his faith hidden and used his position in the government to help the Shi'ites who were generally persecuted during the Abbasid reign.


Ali ibn Yaqteen was born in the year 742 (124 A.H) in Kufa, to a Shi'ite family. His father Yaqteen was placed under an arrest warrant by Marwan, but he escaped and migrated to Medina with his wife and two sons, Ali and Ubayd Allah. When the Umayyad dynasty came to an end, they migrated to Baghdad. Yaqteen work with the Abbasid caliphs al-Saffah, al-Mansur, and al-Mahdi, but kept his belief in the Imamate concealed from them. While Ali ibn Yaqteen first started his business as a chemist, after Yaqteen passed away, Ali ibn Yaqteen eventually took over important administrative roles in the Abbasid government.

After serving as an officer under al-Mahdi, he got close to Haroon al-Rashid and was subsequently appointed minister during his reign. Ali sought the permission of Imam al-Kadhim to leave and resign from this position, but the Imam responded:

Do not do that. We feel friendliness with you, and your brothers feel exaltedness through you; may Allah redress through you a heart-broken one or break through you the flame of hate of those opponents from His friends. O Ali, the expiatory gift of your works is showing kindness to your brothers. Guarantee me one (thing), and I will guarantee you three (things). Guarantee me that you grant the needs of our followers and ennoble them, I will guarantee you that no ceiling of a prison will shade you, the edge of the sword will not reach you, and poverty will never enter your house. O Ali, whoever delights a believer, he firstly begins with Allah, secondly with the Prophet, and thirdly with us.[1]

In another statement, the Imam says to him, “O Ali, certainly Allah has placed his friends among the friends of the oppressive to defend his friends; and you, Ali, are of them.” Ali was able to help many Shi'ite families without explicitly revealing his faith, due to his position as a minister.

Ali ibn Yaqteen is considered one of most reliable narrator of traditions and has narrated many traditions from Imam al-Kadhim. He passed away in Baghdad, in the year 798 (182 A.H) at the age of 57, while Imam al-Kadhim was being held prisoner under the orders of Haroon al-Rashid.


  1. Kitab al-Makasib, by Shaykh Murtada al-Ansari
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