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Ismaili History 421 - Martyrdom of Imam's son and brother

Ali al-Layth, the elder son of Wafi Ahmad had also converted a multitude of people. He was a generous and brave soldier, and fond of hunting and raised a small force of about two thousand men. Once he was on a hunting excursion with his friends in woods, where they were raided by the Abbasids force sent from Ray. He had a handful men with him, but fought valiantly until an arrow struck him in his throat and fell from his horse. He was arrested and beheaded and his head was sent to the Abbasid governor at Ray.
Hussain bin Muhammad was busy with his correspondence and the affairs of the community on other side. He was much frightened when the news about the murder of Ali al-Layth reached him. He decided to emigrate a safe place together with his associates. They were also ambushed by the Abbasids in the hills of Nihawand. Hussain bin Muhammad performed outstanding feats of bravery, and after a heroic resistance, he was killed with his associates with their families.

Ali al-Layth had a son, called Ahmad bin Ali al-Layth, a learned and highly talented. When his father was killed, his nurse concealed him and saved from the enemies. He took refuge in the village called Mahdi kad-gah in Khuzistan. With him there were those of his relatives from among the sons of Hussain bin Muhammad. When he grew up, he resolved to take revenge of his father's murder from the people closely involved. Hence he gathered around him those of the Shiites, who were supporting him. Thus, he is said to have mustered four thousand men around him. He proceeded with them and pitched his tents at Shaliba, near Damawand, where he posed himself as an Abbasid commander. He summoned the local inhabitants, assuring them to read an official letter received from the government for his commandership. When the people came, he, with his Shiite supporters, slaughtered them all. It is recounted that they were the people who had killed his father and Hussain bin Muhammad. After taking revenge, Ahmad bin al-Layth repaired to Asak, a village in the district of Ramhurmuz in Khuzistan.

Ahwaz (the Elymais of the Greeks) was a province in Abbasid realm, whom the Iranians coined in the form of Susiana. Ahwaz is an Arabic name (pl. of the sing. Huz, corresponding with Syriac Huzaye). It was bounded by Iraq on the west side, by the province of Faras, on the east and south, and on the north by the part of the province Jabal (now Luristan). Its capital was Suk al-Ahwaz (market of Ahwaz) and hence simply as al-Ahwaz.

It is most possible that Wafi Ahmad lived in Suk al-Ahwaz for a short period. When he received news of the misfortunes that befell his brother and son, he left Ahwaz, which was so far an unscathed place for him.

Wafi Ahmad next moved to Samarra with his son, Taqi Muhammad. Samarra lies on the east bank of the Tigris, half way between Takrit and Baghdad. The original form of the name is probably Iranian, and in this context, the following etymologies have been proposed: Sam-rah, Sai-Amorra and Sa-morra. The last two meaning the place of payment of tribute. On the Abbasid coins, it was written as Surra man ra'a(delighted is he who sees it). Samarra was founded in 221/836 by the Abbasid commander, Ashnas, two parsangs south of the village of Karkh-Fairuz. Between 221/836 and 276/889, seven Abbasid caliphs lived in Samarra. It seems that Wafi Ahmad found no proper respite at Samarra, therefore, he ultimately settled in Salamia, where he built a house and resided in the cloak of a local merchant.

There lived many eminent Hashimites in Salamia. Most of them belonged to the posterity of Aqil bin Abu Talib, but some of whom were related to the Abbasids. So Wafi Ahmad pretended to be one of these, and was regarded as one of the Hashimites. He however kept in secret his own real name and the name of his son.

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