Imam Abdullah SA is the son of Imam Mohammed bin Imam Ismail SA, and the eighth Imam in the line of succession. He is the first of the Aimmat Mastureen SA (the three Imam in seclusion). He is called “Al Radi”, and his kuniyat is “Abu Ali” (father of Ali).
Imam Abdullah SA resided in Nahawand after the passing away of his father Imam Mohammed bin Ismail SA The Abbasids were constantly on the hunt for him. When the hunt came agonizingly close, the Imam left the city and went into seclusion. He appointed his son Ali Al Lais, (Ali the Lion), to conduct matters of state.
During this time of turmoil, the supporters and followers of the Imam, though unaware of his whereabouts, did not deviate from the rightful path, except one named Ahmed bin Kayyal. The Imam excommunicated him, but Ahmed bin Kayyal persisted and proclaimed the Imamate for himself claiming to be Al Qaim. He was killed by his own followers.
The Imam SA resided in the city of Daylam during the days of seclusion. Thirty two of his most trusted followers accompanied him. The dawat of Imam Adbullah SA spread far and wide, attracting many followers.
Imam Abdullah SA left Al Daylam appointing his brother Husain bin Imam Mohammed SA to oversee matters of state. The Imam said: “He who obeys him, obeys me, and he who disobeys him, disobeys me.” Husain bin Imam Mohammed SA was proclaimed Imam by an eager follower. Husain bin Imam Mohammed SA clarified that he was merely a humble servant of the Imam and not the Imam himself.
The Imam remained safe in seclusion until a series of violent events led him to don the garb of a trader, leave his residence in Al Ahwaz and proceed to the city of Silmiyah, where he stayed until the end of his days. His name and the name of his successor, Imam Ahmed ul Mastur SA was kept from his followers, even his Duat, who dispersed far and wide in a desperate search for the Imam AS.
One dai called Al Mahdi bin Hurmuz was fortunate in his search. He had 4000 dinars from the people of Al Ayn, which they wished to present to the Imam. This dai disguised himself as a perfume seller and went from city to city, asking the citizens of each town if they knew of a man of such a description. When he reached Silmiyah he was directed to the palace of Imam Abdullah SA. He was allowed an audience with the Imam, and after he prostrated himself before his Maula, and presented that with which he was entrusted, he returned to his city.
Imam Abdullah SA resided in Silmiyah in seclusion until he passed away. He performed nass on his son Imam Ahmed SA and informed his Duat of his successor. .