6. the Results

Al-Ma'mun had achieved his immediate and urgent objectives but had failed to achieve his strategic objective. Al-Rida (A) had achieved his immediate and urgent objectives, and was successful in achieving his strategic objective as well.

  1. Al-Ma'mun had achieved his aim of restraining revolutionary activities against the 'Abbasid regime, whether within groups following the principle of nass , or within the dissenting opposition who did not accept that principle. Providing the revolution with revolutionaries depended, in both the cases, on the hostile Muslim population. They saw in the acceptance of the heir apparency by al-'Imam al-Rida (A) a clear sign for the need to establish a truce between themselves and the regime, and so realized that armed revolutionary activity during that period was unreasonable. Perhaps some revolutionary leaders had also reconciled with that because they no longer had the means to arouse the people and to mobilize them for the revolution.

  2. Al-Ma'mun had achieved his aim of creating a wider base for the political acknowledgement of his caliphate, since the allegiance to al-Rida (A) necessitated a renewal of allegiance to al-Ma'mun and an allegiance by many who had not previously acknowledged him. Thus, as a result of the allegiance to the successor, a united stand was taken by all during al-Ma'mun's rule. We may notice here what al-Ma'mun wrote in the document of heir apparency: "The family (Ahl al-Bayt) of the Amir al-Mu'minin (i.e. al-Ma'mun) paid allegiance to the Amir al-Mu'minin and to al-Rida (A) after him, as did the commanders and troops of the city, and all the Muslims."

He clearly asked for a renewal of allegiance to himself on this occasion, not only for allegiance to the heir apparent. However, he demanded sole obedience to himself from those who paid allegiance, as he stated in his document: "And hasten to obedience to Allah and obedience to the Amir al-Mu'minin". He did not include his successor in this statement and this reveals some of the hidden aspects in his plan.

  1. He achieved his aim of creating great confusion among his enemies in the 'Abbasid household and their Arab supporters, who were partisans of al-'Amin. This made them too weak to resist him and struggle against his regime. They became fragmented, since the people moved away from them, and the popular base which no longer had an issue to fight over, broke up.

These were the urgent and immediate aims of al-Ma'mun on which the survival and stability of his rule depended. The continuance of revolutionary activities against him, the existence in many regions of the empire of many groups of Muslims who had not paid allegiance to him, and the conspiracies of the 'Abbasid household against him - these were factors which could have led to the downfall of his regime. Al-Ma'mun achieved these aims and ensured the stability and survival of his regime. Al-'Imam al-Rida (A) also achieved his urgent and immediate aims by accepting the heir apparency, the allegiance of death. His aims justified this, and all or most of them were realized.

On the strategic level, however, al-Ma'mun had failed while al-Rida (A) had been successful.