Imam Ahmed Al Mustali SA was the true heir to his father, the 18th Imam Al-Mustansir billah SA. One day before his birth, Imam Mustansir SA heard his elder sons, Nizar and Abdullah arguing, each claiming to be the heir to the throne of Imamat. Imam Mustansir SA rebuked them saying, “Do not aspire for what does not belong to you. The deserving one is still here,” and he pointed towards his back. When Imam Ahmed was born in 467 hijri, Imam Mustansir SA conveyed the good tidings throughout his kingdom, and proclaimed him to be the next Imam. Imam Ahmed was brought up on nobility and divinity. His father Imam Mustansir would seat him on his right and all his other sons on his left. He appointed him his successor and ordered all his sons and family to obey him. When Imam Mustansir expired and Imam Musta’li became the 19th Imam, his brother Nizar was the first to pledge allegiance. However, Nizar became jealous of the Imam’s status. Imam Ahmed SA reminded him of their father’s advice, and displayed miracles to prove that he is the true successor. The Imam’s other brother, Abdullah, who had also gone astray and had joined hands with Nizaar, repented upon seeing the miracles. However, Nizaar did not relent.
Later, he conspired Aftakeen, one of the slaves of the Commander in chief, Badrul Jamali, and from Iskandariya (Alexandria) both started rioting in the kingdom, looting and pillaging. All the while Imam SA showed restraint trying to establish hujjat on him. But Nizaar did not repent and instead continued with his plundering till he reached Qahera, the capital. Imam mounted his horse and advanced with a cavalry of only 25 men. When people saw the Imam emerging from his palace they were awed and most of them changed sides. A fierce battle took place. The Imam gained victory and both Nizar and Aftakeen were captured and executed.
Though Nizaar was killed, many of his believers survived in many places of the kingdom, and continue to do so. During the Imam’s reign, the Romans invaded Syria and killed a number of people. Most of those killed were those who followed Nizar. With the Imam’s command troops marched towards Syria and rid it of the Romans. Imam Ahmed Al Musta’li SA was succeeded by his son Imam Amir SA.