During his lifetime, Maimonides achieved fame throughout Jewish communites as well as in the non-Jewish community. Not only was he the recognized leader of Egyptian Jewry but also he was widely known for his extensive correspondence and his major works. Yet fame also brought him controversy and opposition. In particular, some Jews who denied the resurrection of the dead claimed to base their beliefs on the teachings of Maimonides. Eventually, Samuel ben Ali, the head of the talmudic academy in Baghdad, openly accused him of rejecting this cardinal belief of Judaism. In 1191, late in a long life of devoted service to the Jewish people, Maimonides wrote his Essay on Resurrection in order to defend himself against the charge of heresy. Even in this circumstance, however, he did not write solely for personal reasons.