The debate over Fadak ownership began immediately after the martyrdom of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). But the repercussions of the debate were felt for decades since the rulers were always anxious that Aal Muhammad (a.s.) would stake a claim over it.
The following incident involving Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) and Haroon underscores this reality.
Haroon al-Abbasi used to tell Imam Moosa Ibn Jafar (a.s.) take Fadak since I wish to return it to you. But he (a.s.) always declined the offer.
Haroon insisted on it upon which Imam (a.s.) said – I will not accept it until it is reinstated completely with all its limits.
Haroon asked – And what are its limits?
Imam (a.s.) – If I define its limits you will never return it.
Haroon – By your grandfather you must define it.
Imam (a.s.) – As for the first limit it is Aden (Yemen). Haroon’s face changed colour.
Haroon asked Imam (a.s.) to continue.
Imam (a.s.) – The second limit is Samarqand (Uzbekistan).
Haroon’s face turned even darker.
Imam (a.s.) – The third limit is Africa.
Haroon’s face turned black. He said – Continue.
Imam (a.s.) – The fourth limit is the sea coast along the peninsula and Armenia.
Haroon – There is nothing left for us.
Imam (a.s.) – I had already told you that if I define its limits you will never return it.
It was then that Haroon decided to kill Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.).
• Manaaqib Aal-e-Abi Talib (a.s.), vol. 4, p. 320