In this study the author examines some aspects of authority in the movement of the Shiʿite leader al-Mukhtār (d. 67/687). The notion of religious aesthetics as developed by Birgit Meyer is used as an analytical tool. It is argued that al-Mukhtār accomplished his political endeavour partly by introducing and controlling three “aesthetic forms” which functioned as “media” between the people and the deceased ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib: his claim to act on behalf of ʿAlī’s son Ibn al-Ḥanafiyya, whom he called al-mahdī, “the rightly guided”; his call to revenge for the killing of ʿAlī’s son Ḥusayn; and his exhibiting of a chair that he claimed had belonged to ʿAlī. The accounts of these three media, the author furthermore argues, have an historical foundation. Finally he holds that through these media al-Mukhtār was able to channel the needs and aspirations of many of the Shiites of Kufa into political action.