Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya

Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Ḥasan al-Muthannā ibn al-Ḥasan al-Mujtaba ibn 'Ali ibn Abi Talib[1] or Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya (Arabic: محمد بن عبد الله بن الحسن بن الحسن بن علي الملقَّب النفس الزكية‎, "The Pure Soul"), was a descendant of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, through his daughter Fatimah. Known for his commanding oratory skills, amiable demeanor, and impressive build, he led the Alid Revolt (762–763) in Medina, a failed rebellion, against the second Abbasid Caliph, Al-Mansur. He and a few hundred soldiers faced against a large Abbasid force under Isa ibn Musa, and he was killed on December 6, 762 CE (145 AH).


Initially, he hoped to rebel against Umayyad rule, when the children of Hashim paid their allegiance to him at Abwa. Among them were Ibrahim al-Imam, As-Saffah and Al-Mansur. But it soon became clear that Abbasid rule was established, so those who had paid allegiance to him deserted him, and another group of Shiites flocked around him.[2]


Muhammad was an inspirational figure to many throughout the caliphate who believed that he was destined for glory due to his ancestry. For years he disguised himself and travelled stealthily, since his professed relationship to the Prophet meant that he posed a threat to the established political order. He was eventually able to amass a sizable but ragtag army and seize the city of Medina. He then left Medina in the year 145 A.H and took over Mecca and Yemen. He was murdered in Medina a few months later.[2]

Revolt in 762–763Edit

Medina was an exceptionally poor place for any large-scale insurrection due to its dependence on other provinces for goods, and his motley army of devotees were no match for the Caliph's imperial soldiers. Despite the advantage held by the Abbasid troops, Muhammad refused to step down in the hours before battle, utilizing the historic trenches dug by the Prophet to fortify the city decades earlier.[3]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Imam Reza (A.S.) Network".
  2. ^ a b Firaq al-Shi’ah (The Shi'ah Groups), by Abu Muhammad al-Hasan bin Musa al-Nubakhti, pg.62, and Al-Maqalat wa al-Firaq, by Sa'ad Ibn Abdillah al-Ash'ari al-Qummi (d. 301), pg.76
  3. ^ Hugh Kennedy. When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World. Da Capo P, 2004, 21-26, ISBN 978-0-306-81480-8
  4. ^ a b c Elad, Amikam (2015). The Rebellion of Muhammad Al-Nafs Al-Zakiyya in 145/762: Talibis and Early Abbsis in Conflict. p. 2.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Ibn Sa'd, Muḥammad; Bewley, Aisha (2000). The Men of Madina, Volume 2. p. 197.
  6. ^ a b c d Ibn Sa'd, Muḥammad; Bewley, Aisha (1995). The Women of Madina. p. 298.
  7. ^ a b Walbridge, Linda S. (2001). The Most Learned of the Shi'a: The Institution of the Marja' Taqlid. p. 102. ISBN 9780195343939.
  8. ^ a b van Gelder, Geert (2005). Close Relationships: Incest and Inbreeding in Classical Arabic Literature. p. 19. ISBN 9781850438557.
  9. ^ a b Al-Tabari, Muhammad ibn Jarir; Williams, John Alden (1995). The History of al-Tabari, Volume XXVIII: Abbasid Authority Affirmed. p. 95.
  10. ^ a b Al-Tabari, Muhammad ibn Jarir; Landau-Tasseron, Ella (1998). The History of al-Tabari, Volume XXXIX: Biographies of the Prophet's Companions and their Successors. p. 76.