Martyrdom Anniversary of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir(A.S.) / Biography

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Thursday, 03 November 2011


imam-muhammad-baqir-ul-uloom--karbalaThe Fifth Infallible Imam of the Shi'ites in the World Imam Muhammad al-Baqir(A.S.) "The Initiator of Sciences and the Heir of the Knowledge of the Prophets" was martyred by poisoning on the seventh day of the month of Zee al-Hajjah in the year 114 Hijrah in the holy city of Madinah by the ruling Umayyad caliph. The Holy Imam(A.S.) was buried in the Baqi cemetery in the holy city of Madinah. On this sad and sorrowful occasion we extend our Heartfelt Condolences to all the followers and lovers of Holy Ahlul Bayt (A.S.) in the world.

Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S.)
Father:Imam Ali al-Sajjad(A.S.)
Mother:Umme Abdullah,the daughter of Imam Hasan(A.S.)
Kunniyat(Patronymic);Abu Jafar.
Laqab(Title):Al-Baqir
Birth:The Holy Imam(A.S.) was born in the holy city of Madina on first day of the month of Rajab in the year 57 A.H.
Martydom:The Holy Imam(A.S.) was martyred in Madina by poisoning in the year 114 A.H. and was buried at Baqi cemetery beside his holy father.
Imam Muhammad Baqir(A.S.)was the successor of his father, Ali b. al-Husayn(A.S.)his testamentary trustee (wasi), and the one who undertook (qaim) the office of Imam after him. He surpassed all of them through his outstanding merit (fadl) in traditional knowledge (ilm), asceticism and leadership.
He was the most renowned of them, the one among them who was most esteemed by both non-Shia (amma) and Shia (khassa), and the most able of them. None of the sons of al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, showed the same ability in knowledge of religion, traditions, the sunna, the knowledge of the Qur'an and the life of the Prophet (sira), and the techniques of literature, as Abu- Jafar (Muhammad al-Baqir) showed. The surviving Companions (of the Prophet), the leading members of the next generation (tabieun) and the leaders of the Muslim jurists reported the principal features (ma'alim) of religion on his authority.By virtue of his outstanding merit he became a signpost (of knowledge) to his family. Proverbs were coined about him and reports and verses were written to describe him.
Imam's Greatness
Concerning him al-Qurazi says:
O (you) who split open (baqir) knowledge (making it available)to the people of piety and the best of those who seek to answer the call of the Exalted.
Malik b. Ayan al-Juhni said in praise of him, peace be on him:
When the people seek for knowledge of the Qur'an, Quraysh rely upon him.
If someone asked where is the son of the daughter of the Prophet, you would gain through him the wide branches (of knowledge).
(You are like) stars which shine for night-travellers, (you are) like mountains which have inherited vast knowledge.
Birth:
He, peace be on him, was born in Medina, in 57 A.H. He was martyred in 114 A.H. (732) at the age of fifty-seven. He was a (leading)member of the Hashimite family within the Hashimites. He was a (leading) descendant of Imam Ali(A.S.). He was buried in (the cemetery of) al-Baqi'i in (Medina) the city of the Apostle, may God bless him and his family.
Received the Greetings Of the Holy Prophet of Islam(S.A.W.)
[Maymun al-Qaddah reported on the authority of Jafar b. Muhammad, on the authority of his father, peace be on them:]
I (i.e. al-Baqir) visited Jafar b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansari, may God be pleased with him. I greeted him and he returned my greeting. Then he said to me: "Who are you?" That was after he had lost his sight.
Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, I answered.
My young child, come close to me, he said. I went closer and he kissed my hand. Then he stooped down to my foot and kissed that. I turned away from him.
Then he said to me: "The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, recites his greeting to you."
Peace and God's mercy and blessings be on the Apostle of God," I said. "How is that, Jabir?"
He told me: "One day I was with him when he said to me: "Jabir, perhaps you will live until you meet one of my descendants called Muhammad b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, on whom God will bestow light and wisdom. Then recite to him my greetings."
The Initiator of Sciences
In the testamentary bequest (wasiyya) which the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, made to his children, mention was made of Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn and of his trusteeship. TheApostle of God, may God bless him and his family, named him and caused him to be known as the one who split open (religious) knowledge (ulum) as the narrators of tradition (ashab al-athar)report.
Thus it is reported on the authority of Jabir b. Abd Allah in a direct (mujarrad) tradition: The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, said to me:
It will happen that you will live until you meet one of my children descended from al-Husayn, peace be on him, called Muhammad, who will split wide open knowledge of religion. When you meet him, recite my greeting to him.
The Fifth Immaculate Imam
The Shia give an account of the tablet which Gabriel, peace be on him, brought down to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, from heaven. (The Apostle) gave it to Fatima, peace be on her. In it are the names of the Imams after (the Apostle) and in it is Muhammad b. Ali, the Imam after his father.
The Shia also report that God, the Mighty and High, sent down to His Prophet, the blessings and peace of God be on him, a document sealed with twelve seals. He ordered him to give it to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and to tell him to break the first seal,and he should act according to what is in (that part of the document).
At the time of his death, he should pass it to his son, al-Hasan, peace be on him, and tell him to break the second seal and act according to what is in (that part of) the document. At the time of his death he should pass it to his brother al-Husayn, peace be on him. He should tell him to break the third seal and act according to what is below it. Then at his death, he should pass it to his son, Ali b. al-Husayn al-Akbar (the elder) and he should instruct him in a similar way. Then Muhammad should pass it to his son right down to the last of the Imams.
They report also numerous designations (nusus) of him for the Imamate after his father on the authority of the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, on the authority of the Commander of the faithful and on the authority of al-Hasan, al-Husayn and Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them.
The people report (accounts) of his outstanding virtues and accomplishments which would be too numerous to include. We will mention what will be sufficient in meaning for our purposes, if God wills.
[Al-Sharif Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. Muhammad informed me: My grandfather (Yahya b. al-Hasan) told me: Muhammad b. al- Qasim al-Shaybam told us: Abd al-Rahman b. Salih al-Azdi told us on the authority of Abu Malik al-Juhni on the authority of Abd Allah b. Ata' al-Makki who said:]
I have never seen the scholars with anyone so much younger than them as I saw them with Abu Jafar Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn,peace be on them. I have seen al-Hakam b. Utayba, despite his eminence among the people, conduct himself before him as if he was a young boy conducting himself before his teacher.
Whenver Jabir b. Yazid al-Jufi reported anything on his authority, peace be on him, he used to say:
The trustee of the trustees (of the Apostle) and the heir of the knowledge of the prophets, Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, told me.
[Makhul b. Ibrahim reported on the authority of Qays b.al-Rabi, who said: I asked Abu Ishaq al-Sabi'i about rubbing the two shoes (in the ritual ablution), he said:]
I used to tell people to rub the two shoes (in the ritual ablution instead of rubbing the feet) until I met a man from the Banu Hashim, whose like I have never seen-Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on him. I asked about the rubbing and he forbade me to do it.
He said: "The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, never used to rub (the shoes). He used to say: 'The Book (which does not mention the practice) comes before (the introduction of the practice of) rubbing the shoes.'
[Abu Ishaq added: I have never rubbed them since he forbade me to do it. And Qays b. al-Rabi'i said: I have never rubbed them since I heard Abu Ishaq.]
Imam's Virtues
[Al -Sharif Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. Muhammad informed me: My grandfather (Yahya b. al-Hasan) told me on the authority of Yaqub b. Yazid, who said: Muhammad b. Abi 'Umayr told us on the authority of Abd al-Rahman b. al-Hajja;, on the authority of Abu 'Abd Allah (Ja'far al-Sadiq), peace be on him, who said:
Muhammad b. Munkadir used to say: "I did not use to think that the like of 'Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, could leave a successor because of the outstanding merit of 'Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, until I saw his son, Muhammad b. Ali. I wanted to advise him but he advised me."
My companions asked me: "What did he warn you of?" I told them: I went out to one of the suburbs of Medina at a time when it was hot. There I met Muhammad b. Ali, peace be on him. He was a well built man and he was leaning on two servant boys. Either they were black slaves of his or they were retainers of his. I said to myself:
Here is a venerable leader (shaykh) of Quraysh out at this time and in these circumstances seeking worldy (advantage). I must warn him.
So I approached him and greeted him. He returned my greeting with anger. The sweat was pouring down him.
I said: "May God remove you, a venerable leader of Quraysh, out at this time in these circumstances seeking worldly (advantage). If death came upon you while you were in this condition (what would you do)?"
He made the two servant-boys let go of his hand and held himself up. Then he said: "By God, if death came upon me while I was in this condition, it would come upon me while I am fulfilling) an act of obedience to God, by which I make myself withdraw from you and from the (rest of the) people. I would only fear death if it came upon me while I was performing an act of disobedience against God."
Then I replied: "May God have mercy on you, I wanted to warn you and you have warned me."
Ahl Al-Dhikr
[Al-Sharif Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. Muhammad informed me: My grandfather (Yahya al-Hasan) told me: A shaykh from the people of al-Rayy, who was very old, told me: Yahya b. 'Abd al-Hamid al-Himmani told me on the authority of Mu'awiya b. Ammar al-Duhni, on the authority of Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn, peacebe on them:]
(Muhammad b. Ali was asked) about God's words: Ask the people of remembrance (ahl al-dhikr) if you do not know [XVI 43]. He said:
"We are the people of remembrance (ahl al-dhikr)."
The shaykh from al-Rayy said: I asked Muhammad b. Muqatil about these (words). He spoke about them according to his opinion and he said: "The people of remembrance (ahl al-dhikr) are all the religious scholars (ulama')."
I mentioned that to Abu Zura. He was astounded at his words.
Then I put before him what Yahya b. Abd al-Hamld had told me. He said: "Muhammad b. Ali, peace be on them, speaks the truth. They are the people of remembrance (ahl al-dhikr). By my life, Abu Jafar, peace be on him, is one of the greatest scholars (ulama')."
Abu Jafar, peace be on him, recounted reports of the beginnings of history (mubtada') and reports of the prophets. Stories of the campaigns of the Prophet (maghazi) were written on his authority.(Men) followed the practices of the Prophet (sunan) on his authorityand relied on him with regard to the rites of the pilgrimage which hereported on the authority of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family.
They (also) wrote a commentary of the Qur'an on his authority. Both the Shia (khassa) and the non-Shia (amma) report traditions on his authority. He debated with the exponents of individual reasoning (ahl al-ara') and the people learnt a great deal of theology (ilm al-kalam) from him.
[Al-Sharif Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. Muhammad informed me: My grandfather (Yahya b. al-Hasan) told me: Al-Zubayr b. Abi Bakr told me: Abd al-Rahman b. 'Abd Allah al-Zuhri told me:]
Hisham b. Abd al-Malik made the pilgrimage. He went into the Sacred Mosque leaning on the arm of Salim, his retainer. Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, was sitting in the mosque.
"Commander of the faithful," Salim said to (Hisham), "there is Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn"
"The man for whom the people of Iraq are ready to revolt?" he asked .
"Yes," replied (Salim).
"Go to him," (Hisham) told him, "and say to him:
The Commander of the faithful (i.e. Hisham) asks you: What is it that the people eat and drink until God has finished judging them on the Day of Resurrection?
Abu Jafar Muhammad, peace be on him, replied:
The people will gather on (earth which will be) like a loaf of pure bread. There, there will be rivers branching out.They will eat and drink until the account (with God) is settled.
Hisham realised that (Abu Jafar Muhammad) had overcome him.
So he said: "God is greater. Go to him and say to him: (Hisham) says to you: What will keep men away from food and drink on that day?"
"Those in the fire of Hell will be too occupied,"replied Abu Jafar, peace be on him, "but they will say to those who have not been distracted from it: Bestow upon us water and some of what God has provided for you [VII 50]. "
Hisham fell silent and did not reply.
* * *
Reports have come down that Nafi b. al-Azraq came to Muhammad b. Ali, peace be on them, and sat before him to ask him questions about what was permitted and what forbidden. Abu Jafar,peace be on him, said in the course of his answer:
Say to these deviators (from the true course): How did you make separation from the Commander of the faithful (Ali), peace be on him, lawful when you had earlier shed your own blood on his behalf and in obedience to him and (you were then close) to God through helping him? Then they will answer you: He allowed arbitration with regard to the religion of God. Say to them: God, the Exalted, allowed arbitration in the law (sharia) of His Prophet, may God bless him and his family, between two of His creatures. For He said:
Send an arbitrator from his family and an arbitrator from her family if they want reconciliation (to take place) between them with the agreement of God [IV 35].
The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, appointed Sad b. Muadh as an arbitrator over the tribe of Qurayza. He judged them according to what God had accomplished. Did you not know that the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, ordered the arbitrators only to judge according to the Qur'an and not to go beyond it? He stipulated the rejection of any of the laws of men which opposed the Qur'an. They said to him: 'You have appointed as arbitrator over yourself, men who will judge you.'
He replied: 'I have not appointed a creature as an arbitrator. I have only made the Book of God an arbitrator. Therefore where do the deviators find the wrong-doing in the matter of arbitration by the Qur'an, when he stipulated the rejection of whatever opposed it, unless they are persisting in a false accusation?
"By God", said Nafi b. al-Azraq, "these are words which I have never heard before and which have never occurred to my mind. It is the truth, God willing."
The scholars report that 'Amr b. Ubayd came to visit Muhammad b.Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, to test him with questions. He said: "May I be your ransom, what is the meaning of the words of Him, the Exalted:
Do not those who disbelieve realise that the heavens and the earth were ratq and we made them fitq? [XXI 30] What is this ratq and this fitq?"
"The heaven was ratq (means) that no rain came down from it,"
answered Abu Jafar, peace be on him, "and the earth was ratq (means) that no plants came out of it."
Amr stopped. He could not find any opposition. He went away but then came back.
"May I be your ransom," he said, "tell me of the words of Him, the Mighty and High: On whomsoever My anger alights, he falls (to disaster) [XX 82]. What is the anger of God, the Mighty and High?"
"The anger of God, Amr, is His punishment," replied Abu Jafar, peace be on him. "Whoever thinks that anything changes God, is an unbeliever."
In addition to what we have described of his merit in knowledge film), headship and leadership and the Imamate, there was the obvious excellence (of the man) to both the Shia (khassa) and the non-Shia (amma). He was recognised by all for his nobleness and well-known for generosity and kindness through the abundance of his help to the poor and his moderate temperament.
[Al-Sharif Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. Muhammad told me: My grandfather (Yahya b. al-Hasan) told me: Abu- Nasr told us: Muhammad b. al-Husayn told me: Aswad b. 'Amir told us: Hayyan b. Ali told us on the authority of al-Hasan b. Kuthayyir, who said:]
I (i.e. al-Hasan b. Kuthayyir) complained to Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Ali, peace be on them, of (my) need and the uselessness of brothers.
"Shame on the brother," he said, "(who is) a brother who looks after you when you are rich and separates from you when you are poor."
Then he ordered his servant-boy to take out a pouch in which were seven hundred dirhams.
"Spend this," he told me, "and when you have used it, tell me."
[Muhammad b. al-Husayn reported: Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr told us: They told us on the authority of Amr b. Dinar and Abd Allah b. Ubayd b. 'Umayr, who said:]
We (i.e. Amr b. Dinar and Abd Allah b. Ubayd) never met Abu-Jafar Muhammad b. Ali, peace be on them, without him giving us money, gifts and clothes. He used to say: "This is something which had been prepared for you before you met me."
[Abu Nuaym al-Nakhai reported on the authority of Mu'awiya b. Hisham on the authority of Sulayman b. Qarm, who said:]
Abu- Jafar Muhammad b. 'Ali, peace be on them, used to pay us five hundred dirhams to six hundred dirhams to a thousand dirhams as gifts. He never tired of bestowing generosity on the brethren, and on those who came to visit him, and on those who placed their hopes and trust in him.
It is reported on his authority, on the authority of his fathers, peace be on them, that the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, used to say: "The best of works are three: Looking after brothers with money; giving the people justice on your own account; and mentioning God in every circumstance."
[Ishaq b. Mansur al-Saluli reported: I heard al-Hasan b. Salih say:]
I (al-Hasan b. Salih) heard Abu Jafar Muhammad b. Ali peace be on them, say: "There is not anything that can be mixed with anything better than clemency (mixed) with knowledge."
It is reported on his authority, peace be on him, that he was asked about traditions which he put forward and did not support with a chain of authorities. He said: If I report a tradition without giving it a chain of authorities, then my chain of authorities for it is in fact my father on the authority of my grandfather on the authority of his father, on the authority of his grandfather, the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, on the authority of Gabriel, peace be on him, on the authority of God, the Mighty and High.
He, peace be on him, (also) used to say: "The people cause us great trouble. We summon them but they do not answer us. If we abandoned them, they would be guided by no one."
He, peace be on him, used to say: "What is it that the people hate in us who are the family of the House of Mercy, the Tree of Prophethood, the Source of Wisdom, (the people) frequented by angels and (those upon whom) inspiration descended?"
The holy Imam (A.S.) was martyred and left behind seven sons. Each of his brothers had great merit, even though they did not attain his merit because of his position with regard to the Imamate, because of his rank with God with regard to closeness and love (wilaya), and because of his position with regard to succession (khilafa) of the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. The period of his Imamate and of his undertaking the position of his father in the succession (on behalf of) God, the Mighty and High, over His servants was nineteen years.
The Features of Imam Muhammad Baqir(A.S.)
The Birth of Imam Muhammad Baqir(A.S.)
The members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, received the baby with much rejoicing and pleasure. They were very happy with him, for he was in whom the elements of the two grandsons (of the Prophet), al-Hasan and al-Husayn , mixed. Those noble origins through which Allah strengthened the Arabs and the Moslems mixed in him, too. As for the noble backbones and the pure from which he branched, they are:
His Mother
As for his mother, she was a pure chaste woman. She was Fatima, the daughter of Imam al-Hasan, the Lord of the youth of Heaven. She was given the kunya of Umm 'Abd Allah (the mother of 'Abd Allah)(Thahdhib al-Lugha wa al-Asma' vol. 1, p. 87. Ibn Khullakan, Wafayat al-A'yan, vol. 3, p. 384. Al-Mahbar, p. 57. Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 60. A'yan al-Shi'a, 1/4/464).
She was among the Hashimite women. Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, called her al-Siddiqa (the very truthful one).(Abu al-Hasan al-'Amili, Diya' al-Amilin, vol. 2. Al-Dur al-Nazim, serial 2879).
Concerning her Imam Abu 'Abd Allah al-Sa`diq, peace be on him, said : "She was very truthful. No one in the family of al-Hasan looked like her.(Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 469).
It is enough for her highness that she was part of the plant of the sweet basil of the Apostle of Allah (i. e. Imam al-Hasan), and that she grew up "in the houses which Allah permitted to be exalted and that His name may be remembered in them."She brought up Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, in her pure lap. She poured upon him rays of her pure soul. She fed him with her noble ideas that became part of his qualities.
His Father
His father Imam Zayn al-Abidin(A.S.) was the Lord of the prostrators (in worship) and ornament of the worshipers. He was the best of all the Moslem figures in jurisprudence, knowledge, and religious piety. We will mention a brief study on his affairs in the following researches.
The Great Baby
The world shone on the birthday of the pure Ima`m (Mohammed al-Ba`qir). The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, had given good news to him before his birth. The members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, waited for him impatiently. That is because he was among the Ima`ms of Moslems. Namely the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, nominated those Ima`ms.
He made them leaders for his community and related them to the Koran. Ima`m Mohammed al-Ba`qir was born in Medina, on the third day of the month of Safar, in the year 56 A. H.1 It was said (that he was) on Friday, during the early days of the month of Rajab.( Dala'il al-Imama, p. 94. Farid Wajjdi, Da'irat al-Ma'arif, vol. 3, p. 563).
He was born three years before his grandfather, Ima`m Husayn, peace be on him, was killed. (Ibn al-Wardi, Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 184. Akhbar al-Duwal, p. 111. Ibn Khulakan, Wafayat al-A'yan, vol. 3, p. 314).
It was said (that he was born) four years, as he, peace be on him, said, (before the martyrdom oh his grandfather). (Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 60).
It was also said (that he was born) two years and some months (before the murder of his grandfather). 1The last date is unusual. No one accepts it.
The religious rituals such as adhan and iqama in his ears were performed for him when he was born. Other rites were also performed for him on the seventh day of his birth: His hair was shaved. The weight of his cut hair in sliver was given to the needy as alms. A ram was sacrificed for him and was given to the poor as alms.
He was born during the time of Mu'a`wiya. At that time the Islamic countries were full of oppression. Moreover, they were full of disasters and misfortunes. That was because of the oppression of Mu'a`wiya and the injustice of his governors who spread terrorism and oppression in the country. Ima`m al-Ba`qir talked about that dreadful injustice. We will mention his speech in this book.
His Name
His grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, named him Mohammed. He also gave him the Kunya of al-Ba`qir. That was ten years before al-Ba`qir was born. That was among the Prophet's prophecies, as some researchers said. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, knew from the unseen that his grandson would do such as proclaiming knowledge among his community. Thus, he gave good news to his community about him. He also sent him his greetings through the great Companion (of the Prophet), Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri. We will mention that in the following (chapters).
His Kunya
He had only one kunya. It was Abu` Ja'far. He was called by the name of his son, Ja'far al-Sa`diq, peace be on him, who renewed the life of this community and split open the fountains of wisdom in the earth.
His Nick-Names
As for his nick-names, they indicate the qualities of his great character and his high inclinations. They are as follows:
1. Al-Amin (the trusted one).
2. Al-Shabih (the one who was like the Prophet , may Allah bless him and his family).( Al-Dur al-Nazim fi Manaqib al-A'imma. Diya' al-Amilin, vol. 2. A'yan al-Shi'a, 1/2/464).
3. Al-Sha`kir (the grateful one).
4. Al-Ha`di (the one who guides).
5. Al-Sa`bir (the patient one).
6. Al-Sha`hid (the proof).(Jannat al-Khuld. Nasikh al-Tawarikh).
7. Al-Ba`qir (the one who split open knowledge). (Tadhkirat al-Huffaz, vol. 1, p. 124. Nazhat al-Jalis, vol. 2, p. 36. Mirr'at al-Jinan, vol.1, p. 247. Farid Wajjdi, Da'irat al-Ma'arif, vol.3, p. 563).
This is the most famous nick-name of his. He and his son, Ima`m al-Sa`diq, were given the nick-name of al-Ba`qirayn (the two ones who split open knowledge). They were also given the nick-name of al-Sa`diqayn (the two truthful ones).( Shaykh al-Turayhi, Jami'al-Maqal).
The historians and the biographers of the Ima`m have unanimously agreed on that he was given the nick-name of al-Ba`qir because he split open knowledge. Namely, he studied knowledge in detail. Thus, he understood its origin and its hidden (branches).( Ayun al-Akhbar wa Funun al-Athar, p. 213. 'Umdat al-Talib, p. 183).
Concerning him, Ima`m al-Reza said:
"O (you) who split open knowledge (making it available) to the people of piety and the best of those who seek to answer the call of the Exalted.
( Jawhart al-Kalam fi Madh al-Sada al--A'lam, p. 133).
It is as if that the people called him al-Ba`qir because of his great knowledge and his many sciences. It was also said that he was given the nick-name of al-Ba`qir because of his many prostrations (in worship). Thus, he split open his forehead.(Mir'at al-Zaman fi Tawarikh al-A'yan, vol. 5, p. 78).
Moreover, he was given the nick-name (of al-Ba`qir) because of these words of his:
"The truth called me for help after the untruth had gathered it in its abdomen. So, I split open its flank and brought out the truth from its hiding, so it appeared and spread after it had been hidden.(Mir'at al-Zaman fi Tawarikh al-A'yan, vol. 5, p. 78).
However, the first meaning is the most famous with the historians.
The Greetings of the Prophet to al-Baqir
The historians and the narrators have unanimously agreed that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, sent his greetings to his grandson, al-Ba`qir, through the great companion, Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri. Thus, Ja`bir was impatiently waiting for his birth to give him the message of his grandfather. When the Ima`m was born and became a grown-up, Ja`bir met him and gave him the greetings of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. The historians have reported that in various ways. The following are some of them:
1. Aba`n b. Taghlub reported on the authority of Abi 'Abd Allah, peace be on him, who said: "Indeed Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri was the last of the surviving Companions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. He devoted himself to us, we, the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt). He sat at the place of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. He wore a black turban.
He called out:' O you who will split open knowledge (baqir)! O You who will split open knowledge!' Thus, the people of Medina said: 'Ja`bir is hallucinating!' So, he (Ja`bir) said:'By Allah, I have never hallucinated. However, I heard the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, say:'Indeed, you will meet a man who belongs to me. His name is similar to mine. His qualities are similar to mine. He will split open knowledge thoroughly.
'These words have motivated me to say what I say.' He (Abi Abd Allah) said: "One day while Ja`bir was walking through some streets of Medina, he passed by a street. Mohammed b. 'Ali (al-Ba`qir) was in the street. When he looked at him he said: 'O boy, come.' The boy came. then Ja`bir said to the boy: 'Turn back.'
The boy turned back. Then Ja`bir said: "By him in whose hand is my soul, (they are) the qualities of the Apostle of Allah. O Boy, what is your name?"The boy replied: "My name is Mohammed b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn."Ja`bir kissed his head and said: 'May my farther and mother be ransom for you, your grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, sends you his greetings.' Abi 'Abd Allah said: 'Mohammed came back frightened to his father and told him about what had happened. His father said to him: 'My little boy, has Ja`bir done it ?' Mohammed replied:'Yes.' His father said: 'Do not leave your house, my little boy.(Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, pp. 496-470. Al-Kashi, Rijal, pp. 27-28).
As for the contents of this report, they are as follows:
A. The qualities and features of Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, were similar to those of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.
B. It was the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, named his grandson Mohammed and gave him the nick-name of al-Ba`qir. (The Prophet told the People that Ima`m Mohammed al-Ba`qir) would split open knowledge completely.
C. Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, feared for the safety of his son when Ja`bir reported the tradition of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning him. That is because the Umayyad government imposed an intense observation on Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin. It counted his breaths against him. It wanted to know who would succeed him to punish him severely. So, the Ima`m, peace be on him, wanted the affair of his son to be secret lest the Umayyads should mistreat him or subject him to misfortunes.
2. Ibn 'Asa`kir reported that Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, and his son, al-Ba`qir came to Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri. Ja`bir asked him: "Son of the Apostle of Allah, who is with you?""My son, Mohammed, is with me,"replied Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin. Ja`bir embraced Mohammed. Then he wept and said: "My death is at hand. Mohammed, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, sends you his greetings."
"What is that?"asked Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin. Ja`bir replied: "I heard Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, say to al-Husayn b. 'Ali: 'A son will be born for this grandson of mine. The son will be the Lord of worshipers. On the Day of Judgment, a caller will call:'Let the Lord of worshipers stand up. So, 'Ali b. al-Husayn will rise. A son will be born for 'Ali b. al-Husayn. The son will be called Mohammed. Ja`bir, when you see him, give him my greetings. Ja`bir, know that al-Mahdi will be among his sons. Know, Ja`bir, that you will stay for a short time after him.(Ibn 'Asakir, Tarikh, vol 51, p. 41).
3. Taj al-Din b. Mohammed, the head of Aleppo , reported on the authority of Ima`m Mohammed al-Ba`qir, who said: "I came to Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah and greeted him. He said to me: 'Who are you?' That was after he had become blind. I said to him: 'Mohammed b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn.' He said: 'May my father and mother be ransom for you, come nearer to me.' I came nearer to him. He kissed my hand, and then he stooped down to my foot to kiss it.
However, I pulled it from him. Then he said: 'The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, recites his greeting to you.' 'Peace and Allah's mercy and blessings be on the Apostle of Allah,' I said. 'How is that, Ja`bir?' He said:'One day I was with him when he said to me: 'Perhaps you will live until you meet one of my descendants called Mohammed b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn on whom Allah will bestow light and wisdom. Then recite to him my greetigs.
(Ghayat al-Ikhtisar, p. 64).
4. Salah al-Din al-Safadi said: Ja`bir walked in Medina and said: 'Ba`qir, when will I meet you?' One day he passed through a street in Medina. A female slave gave him the boy who was in her lap. He said to the female slave: 'Who is this?' 'Mohammed b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn,' she replied. He embraced him, kissed his head and his hands, and then he said: 'My little boy, your grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, sends you his greetings.' Then he said: 'Ba`qir, my death is at hand.' He died at that night.(Al-Wafi bi al-Wafayat, vol. 4, p. 192).
5. Some Isma`'ilis reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said to Ja`bir: "You will meet a son of this son of mine. He appointed at al-Husayn. When you meet him, give him my greetings. Say to him: O you who will split open knowledge, split it completely."Ja`bir did that.( Masa'il Majmu'a mina al-Hada'iq al-'Aliya wa al-Asrar al-Samiya, p. 99).
6. Al-Ha`fiz Nu`r al-Din al-Haythami reported on the authority of Abu` Ja'far, peace be on him, who said: "Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah visited me while I was reading the Book. He said to me: 'Uncover your abdomen.' I uncovered my abdomen. He kissed it, and then he said: 'Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, ordered me to give you his greetings.(Majjma' al-Zawa'id, vol. 1, p. 22).
These are some reports that have unanimously agreed that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, ordered Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri to send his greetings to Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, knew from beyond the unseen that his grandson would spread knowledge among people and that he would split open wisdom and light in the earth.
His Features
Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri said that his features were similar to those of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.( Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 469).
His morals were also similar to the Prophet's high ones that distinguished him from the other prophets.
Some contemporary people have described Imam al-Baqir as follows: He was a man of medium height. He was brown.( Akhbar al-Duwal, p. 111. Jawhart al-Kalam fi Madh al-Sada al-A'lam, 132).
He had soft skin with moles. He had a thin waist. His voice was good. He always bowed his head.( A'yan al-Shi'a, 1/4/471).
His Early Childhood
Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, was clever and genius during his childhood. The reporters said that Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri, though an old man, came to him, sat before him, and learned from him. Ja`bir admired the Ima`m's abundant knowledge and sciences. Thus, he said: "Ba`qir, you have been given wisdom while you are still a boy.( 'Ilal al-Sharai', p. 234).
The Companions (of the Prophet) knew that the Ima`m was endowed with outstanding merits and abundant knowledge. So, they consulted him concerning the problems which they did not understand. The historians said that a man 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar about a certain problem. However, 'Abd Allah could not answer the problem.
So, he said to the man: "Go to that boy, he pointed at Ima`m al-Ba`qir, ask him, and tell me about his answer."The man went to the Ima`m and asked him. The Ima`m, peace be on him, answered his problem. Thus, the man came back to 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar and told him about the Ima`m's answer. So, the latter admired the Ima`m, saying : "They are the knowledgeable members of the House.( Al-Manaqib, vol. 4, p. 147).
Allah singled out the Ima`ms of the members of the House, peace be on them, with knowledge and outstanding merits. He granted them absolute perfection which He had granted to His prophets and His apostles. The historians said that the Ima`m was nine years of age when he was asked about difficult problems and answered them.
His Solemnity and His Prestige
The features of the Ima`m, peace be on him, represented the solemnity and the prestige of the prophets. Everybody respected and admired him. For example, Qatta`da, the jurist of the people of Basrah, met him. Still his heart trembled because of the Ima`m's solemnity. Thus, he said to him: "I sit before the jurists and b. 'Abba`s. My heart does not tremble because of them as it does because of you.(Ithbat al-Hudat, vol. 5, p. 176).
The Ima`m was the rest of Allah in His earth. Allah bestowed solemnity and prestige on His friends and His lovers. Their qualities appeared in the Ima`m's character. Among those who admired the Ima`m's solemnity was the Moroccan poet, who described the Ima`m, saying:
O you who was the son of him by whose tongue and eloquence people were guided and the revelation was sent down.
The Book talked about his outstanding merits. The Torah and the Bible announced his coming.
Were it not for the cessation of the revelation after Mohammed, we would say: Mohammed was the alternative to his grandfather.
He was similar to him in outstanding merits, but Gabriel did not bring him a message.( Al-Manaqib, vol. 4, p. 181).
The historians reported that nobody saw the Ima`m, peace be on him, laughing. When he laughed, he said: "O Allah, do not detest me.(Safwat al-Saffwa, vol. 2, p. 62. Tadhkirat al-Khawas, p. 349).
Indeed, he refrained from all that which contradicts solemnity and high character. Among his prominent qualities was that he always praised Allah. We will mention that when we talk about the aspects of his character.
The Inscription of his Ring
As for the inscription of his ring, it was: "All might is for Allah.( Hulyat al-Awliya', vol. 1.3, p. 189).
He wore the ring of his grandfather, Ima`m Husayn, peace be on him, whose inscription was: "Surely Allah attains His purpose.( A'yan al-Shi'a, 1/4/169).
This indicates that he devoted himself to Allah and cleaved to Him strongly.
His Residence
The Ima`m, peace be on him, resided in Medina throughout his
life. He did not leave it for another city. In it, he was the first teacher and great pioneer for scientific cultural movements. He used the Prophetic Mosque as school for him. There he gave his lectures to his students.
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Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S.)
Father:Imam Ali al-Sajjad(A.S.)
Mother:Umme Abdullah,the daughter of Imam Hasan(A.S.)
Kunniyat(Patronymic);Abu Jafar.
Laqab(Title):Al-Baqir
Birth:The Holy Imam(A.S.) was born in the holy city of Madina on first day of the month of Rajab in the year 57 A.H.
Martydom:The Holy Imam(A.S.) was martyred in Madina by poisoning in the year 114 A.H. and was buried at Baqi cemetery beside his holy father.
Imam Muhammad Baqir(A.S.)was the successor of his father, Ali b. al-Husayn(A.S.)his testamentary trustee (wasi), and the one who undertook (qaim) the office of Imam after him. He surpassed all of them through his outstanding merit (fadl) in traditional knowledge (ilm), asceticism and leadership.
He was the most renowned of them, the one among them who was most esteemed by both non-Shia (amma) and Shia (khassa), and the most able of them. None of the sons of al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, showed the same ability in knowledge of religion, traditions, the sunna, the knowledge of the Qur'an and the life of the Prophet (sira), and the techniques of literature, as Abu- Jafar (Muhammad al-Baqir) showed. The surviving Companions (of the Prophet), the leading members of the next generation (tabieun) and the leaders of the Muslim jurists reported the principal features (ma'alim) of religion on his authority.By virtue of his outstanding merit he became a signpost (of knowledge) to his family. Proverbs were coined about him and reports and verses were written to describe him.
Imam's Greatness
Concerning him al-Qurazi says:
O (you) who split open (baqir) knowledge (making it available)to the people of piety and the best of those who seek to answer the call of the Exalted.
Malik b. Ayan al-Juhni said in praise of him, peace be on him:
When the people seek for knowledge of the Qur'an, Quraysh rely upon him.
If someone asked where is the son of the daughter of the Prophet, you would gain through him the wide branches (of knowledge).
(You are like) stars which shine for night-travellers, (you are) like mountains which have inherited vast knowledge.
Birth:
He, peace be on him, was born in Medina, in 57 A.H. He was martyred in 114 A.H. (732) at the age of fifty-seven. He was a (leading)member of the Hashimite family within the Hashimites. He was a (leading) descendant of Imam Ali(A.S.). He was buried in (the cemetery of) al-Baqi'i in (Medina) the city of the Apostle, may God bless him and his family.
Received the Greetings Of the Holy Prophet of Islam(S.A.W.)
[Maymun al-Qaddah reported on the authority of Jafar b. Muhammad, on the authority of his father, peace be on them:]
I (i.e. al-Baqir) visited Jafar b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansari, may God be pleased with him. I greeted him and he returned my greeting. Then he said to me: "Who are you?" That was after he had lost his sight.
Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, I answered.
My young child, come close to me, he said. I went closer and he kissed my hand. Then he stooped down to my foot and kissed that. I turned away from him.
Then he said to me: "The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, recites his greeting to you."
Peace and God's mercy and blessings be on the Apostle of God," I said. "How is that, Jabir?"
He told me: "One day I was with him when he said to me: "Jabir, perhaps you will live until you meet one of my descendants called Muhammad b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, on whom God will bestow light and wisdom. Then recite to him my greetings."
The Initiator of Sciences
In the testamentary bequest (wasiyya) which the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, made to his children, mention was made of Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn and of his trusteeship. TheApostle of God, may God bless him and his family, named him and caused him to be known as the one who split open (religious) knowledge (ulum) as the narrators of tradition (ashab al-athar)report.
Thus it is reported on the authority of Jabir b. Abd Allah in a direct (mujarrad) tradition: The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, said to me:
It will happen that you will live until you meet one of my children descended from al-Husayn, peace be on him, called Muhammad, who will split wide open knowledge of religion. When you meet him, recite my greeting to him.
The Fifth Immaculate Imam
The Shia give an account of the tablet which Gabriel, peace be on him, brought down to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, from heaven. (The Apostle) gave it to Fatima, peace be on her. In it are the names of the Imams after (the Apostle) and in it is Muhammad b. Ali, the Imam after his father.
The Shia also report that God, the Mighty and High, sent down to His Prophet, the blessings and peace of God be on him, a document sealed with twelve seals. He ordered him to give it to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and to tell him to break the first seal,and he should act according to what is in (that part of the document).
At the time of his death, he should pass it to his son, al-Hasan, peace be on him, and tell him to break the second seal and act according to what is in (that part of) the document. At the time of his death he should pass it to his brother al-Husayn, peace be on him. He should tell him to break the third seal and act according to what is below it. Then at his death, he should pass it to his son, Ali b. al-Husayn al-Akbar (the elder) and he should instruct him in a similar way. Then Muhammad should pass it to his son right down to the last of the Imams.
They report also numerous designations (nusus) of him for the Imamate after his father on the authority of the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, on the authority of the Commander of the faithful and on the authority of al-Hasan, al-Husayn and Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them.
The people report (accounts) of his outstanding virtues and accomplishments which would be too numerous to include. We will mention what will be sufficient in meaning for our purposes, if God wills.
[Al-Sharif Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. Muhammad informed me: My grandfather (Yahya b. al-Hasan) told me: Muhammad b. al- Qasim al-Shaybam told us: Abd al-Rahman b. Salih al-Azdi told us on the authority of Abu Malik al-Juhni on the authority of Abd Allah b. Ata' al-Makki who said:]
I have never seen the scholars with anyone so much younger than them as I saw them with Abu Jafar Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn,peace be on them. I have seen al-Hakam b. Utayba, despite his eminence among the people, conduct himself before him as if he was a young boy conducting himself before his teacher.
Whenver Jabir b. Yazid al-Jufi reported anything on his authority, peace be on him, he used to say:
The trustee of the trustees (of the Apostle) and the heir of the knowledge of the prophets, Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, told me.
[Makhul b. Ibrahim reported on the authority of Qays b.al-Rabi, who said: I asked Abu Ishaq al-Sabi'i about rubbing the two shoes (in the ritual ablution), he said:]
I used to tell people to rub the two shoes (in the ritual ablution instead of rubbing the feet) until I met a man from the Banu Hashim, whose like I have never seen-Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on him. I asked about the rubbing and he forbade me to do it.
He said: "The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, never used to rub (the shoes). He used to say: 'The Book (which does not mention the practice) comes before (the introduction of the practice of) rubbing the shoes.'
[Abu Ishaq added: I have never rubbed them since he forbade me to do it. And Qays b. al-Rabi'i said: I have never rubbed them since I heard Abu Ishaq.]
Imam's Virtues
[Al -Sharif Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. Muhammad informed me: My grandfather (Yahya b. al-Hasan) told me on the authority of Yaqub b. Yazid, who said: Muhammad b. Abi 'Umayr told us on the authority of Abd al-Rahman b. al-Hajja;, on the authority of Abu 'Abd Allah (Ja'far al-Sadiq), peace be on him, who said:
Muhammad b. Munkadir used to say: "I did not use to think that the like of 'Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, could leave a successor because of the outstanding merit of 'Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, until I saw his son, Muhammad b. Ali. I wanted to advise him but he advised me."
My companions asked me: "What did he warn you of?" I told them: I went out to one of the suburbs of Medina at a time when it was hot. There I met Muhammad b. Ali, peace be on him. He was a well built man and he was leaning on two servant boys. Either they were black slaves of his or they were retainers of his. I said to myself:
Here is a venerable leader (shaykh) of Quraysh out at this time and in these circumstances seeking worldy (advantage). I must warn him.
So I approached him and greeted him. He returned my greeting with anger. The sweat was pouring down him.
I said: "May God remove you, a venerable leader of Quraysh, out at this time in these circumstances seeking worldly (advantage). If death came upon you while you were in this condition (what would you do)?"
He made the two servant-boys let go of his hand and held himself up. Then he said: "By God, if death came upon me while I was in this condition, it would come upon me while I am fulfilling) an act of obedience to God, by which I make myself withdraw from you and from the (rest of the) people. I would only fear death if it came upon me while I was performing an act of disobedience against God."
Then I replied: "May God have mercy on you, I wanted to warn you and you have warned me."
Ahl Al-Dhikr
[Al-Sharif Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. Muhammad informed me: My grandfather (Yahya al-Hasan) told me: A shaykh from the people of al-Rayy, who was very old, told me: Yahya b. 'Abd al-Hamid al-Himmani told me on the authority of Mu'awiya b. Ammar al-Duhni, on the authority of Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn, peacebe on them:]
(Muhammad b. Ali was asked) about God's words: Ask the people of remembrance (ahl al-dhikr) if you do not know [XVI 43]. He said:
"We are the people of remembrance (ahl al-dhikr)."
The shaykh from al-Rayy said: I asked Muhammad b. Muqatil about these (words). He spoke about them according to his opinion and he said: "The people of remembrance (ahl al-dhikr) are all the religious scholars (ulama')."
I mentioned that to Abu Zura. He was astounded at his words.
Then I put before him what Yahya b. Abd al-Hamld had told me. He said: "Muhammad b. Ali, peace be on them, speaks the truth. They are the people of remembrance (ahl al-dhikr). By my life, Abu Jafar, peace be on him, is one of the greatest scholars (ulama')."
Abu Jafar, peace be on him, recounted reports of the beginnings of history (mubtada') and reports of the prophets. Stories of the campaigns of the Prophet (maghazi) were written on his authority.(Men) followed the practices of the Prophet (sunan) on his authorityand relied on him with regard to the rites of the pilgrimage which hereported on the authority of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family.
They (also) wrote a commentary of the Qur'an on his authority. Both the Shia (khassa) and the non-Shia (amma) report traditions on his authority. He debated with the exponents of individual reasoning (ahl al-ara') and the people learnt a great deal of theology (ilm al-kalam) from him.
[Al-Sharif Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. Muhammad informed me: My grandfather (Yahya b. al-Hasan) told me: Al-Zubayr b. Abi Bakr told me: Abd al-Rahman b. 'Abd Allah al-Zuhri told me:]
Hisham b. Abd al-Malik made the pilgrimage. He went into the Sacred Mosque leaning on the arm of Salim, his retainer. Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, was sitting in the mosque.
"Commander of the faithful," Salim said to (Hisham), "there is Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn"
"The man for whom the people of Iraq are ready to revolt?" he asked .
"Yes," replied (Salim).
"Go to him," (Hisham) told him, "and say to him:
The Commander of the faithful (i.e. Hisham) asks you: What is it that the people eat and drink until God has finished judging them on the Day of Resurrection?
Abu Jafar Muhammad, peace be on him, replied:
The people will gather on (earth which will be) like a loaf of pure bread. There, there will be rivers branching out.They will eat and drink until the account (with God) is settled.
Hisham realised that (Abu Jafar Muhammad) had overcome him.
So he said: "God is greater. Go to him and say to him: (Hisham) says to you: What will keep men away from food and drink on that day?"
"Those in the fire of Hell will be too occupied,"replied Abu Jafar, peace be on him, "but they will say to those who have not been distracted from it: Bestow upon us water and some of what God has provided for you [VII 50]. "
Hisham fell silent and did not reply.
* * *
Reports have come down that Nafi b. al-Azraq came to Muhammad b. Ali, peace be on them, and sat before him to ask him questions about what was permitted and what forbidden. Abu Jafar,peace be on him, said in the course of his answer:
Say to these deviators (from the true course): How did you make separation from the Commander of the faithful (Ali), peace be on him, lawful when you had earlier shed your own blood on his behalf and in obedience to him and (you were then close) to God through helping him? Then they will answer you: He allowed arbitration with regard to the religion of God. Say to them: God, the Exalted, allowed arbitration in the law (sharia) of His Prophet, may God bless him and his family, between two of His creatures. For He said:
Send an arbitrator from his family and an arbitrator from her family if they want reconciliation (to take place) between them with the agreement of God [IV 35].
The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, appointed Sad b. Muadh as an arbitrator over the tribe of Qurayza. He judged them according to what God had accomplished. Did you not know that the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, ordered the arbitrators only to judge according to the Qur'an and not to go beyond it? He stipulated the rejection of any of the laws of men which opposed the Qur'an. They said to him: 'You have appointed as arbitrator over yourself, men who will judge you.'
He replied: 'I have not appointed a creature as an arbitrator. I have only made the Book of God an arbitrator. Therefore where do the deviators find the wrong-doing in the matter of arbitration by the Qur'an, when he stipulated the rejection of whatever opposed it, unless they are persisting in a false accusation?
"By God", said Nafi b. al-Azraq, "these are words which I have never heard before and which have never occurred to my mind. It is the truth, God willing."
The scholars report that 'Amr b. Ubayd came to visit Muhammad b.Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, to test him with questions. He said: "May I be your ransom, what is the meaning of the words of Him, the Exalted:
Do not those who disbelieve realise that the heavens and the earth were ratq and we made them fitq? [XXI 30] What is this ratq and this fitq?"
"The heaven was ratq (means) that no rain came down from it,"
answered Abu Jafar, peace be on him, "and the earth was ratq (means) that no plants came out of it."
Amr stopped. He could not find any opposition. He went away but then came back.
"May I be your ransom," he said, "tell me of the words of Him, the Mighty and High: On whomsoever My anger alights, he falls (to disaster) [XX 82]. What is the anger of God, the Mighty and High?"
"The anger of God, Amr, is His punishment," replied Abu Jafar, peace be on him. "Whoever thinks that anything changes God, is an unbeliever."
In addition to what we have described of his merit in knowledge film), headship and leadership and the Imamate, there was the obvious excellence (of the man) to both the Shia (khassa) and the non-Shia (amma). He was recognised by all for his nobleness and well-known for generosity and kindness through the abundance of his help to the poor and his moderate temperament.
[Al-Sharif Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. Muhammad told me: My grandfather (Yahya b. al-Hasan) told me: Abu- Nasr told us: Muhammad b. al-Husayn told me: Aswad b. 'Amir told us: Hayyan b. Ali told us on the authority of al-Hasan b. Kuthayyir, who said:]
I (i.e. al-Hasan b. Kuthayyir) complained to Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Ali, peace be on them, of (my) need and the uselessness of brothers.
"Shame on the brother," he said, "(who is) a brother who looks after you when you are rich and separates from you when you are poor."
Then he ordered his servant-boy to take out a pouch in which were seven hundred dirhams.
"Spend this," he told me, "and when you have used it, tell me."
[Muhammad b. al-Husayn reported: Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr told us: They told us on the authority of Amr b. Dinar and Abd Allah b. Ubayd b. 'Umayr, who said:]
We (i.e. Amr b. Dinar and Abd Allah b. Ubayd) never met Abu-Jafar Muhammad b. Ali, peace be on them, without him giving us money, gifts and clothes. He used to say: "This is something which had been prepared for you before you met me."
[Abu Nuaym al-Nakhai reported on the authority of Mu'awiya b. Hisham on the authority of Sulayman b. Qarm, who said:]
Abu- Jafar Muhammad b. 'Ali, peace be on them, used to pay us five hundred dirhams to six hundred dirhams to a thousand dirhams as gifts. He never tired of bestowing generosity on the brethren, and on those who came to visit him, and on those who placed their hopes and trust in him.
It is reported on his authority, on the authority of his fathers, peace be on them, that the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, used to say: "The best of works are three: Looking after brothers with money; giving the people justice on your own account; and mentioning God in every circumstance."
[Ishaq b. Mansur al-Saluli reported: I heard al-Hasan b. Salih say:]
I (al-Hasan b. Salih) heard Abu Jafar Muhammad b. Ali peace be on them, say: "There is not anything that can be mixed with anything better than clemency (mixed) with knowledge."
It is reported on his authority, peace be on him, that he was asked about traditions which he put forward and did not support with a chain of authorities. He said: If I report a tradition without giving it a chain of authorities, then my chain of authorities for it is in fact my father on the authority of my grandfather on the authority of his father, on the authority of his grandfather, the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, on the authority of Gabriel, peace be on him, on the authority of God, the Mighty and High.
He, peace be on him, (also) used to say: "The people cause us great trouble. We summon them but they do not answer us. If we abandoned them, they would be guided by no one."
He, peace be on him, used to say: "What is it that the people hate in us who are the family of the House of Mercy, the Tree of Prophethood, the Source of Wisdom, (the people) frequented by angels and (those upon whom) inspiration descended?"
The holy Imam (A.S.) was martyred and left behind seven sons. Each of his brothers had great merit, even though they did not attain his merit because of his position with regard to the Imamate, because of his rank with God with regard to closeness and love (wilaya), and because of his position with regard to succession (khilafa) of the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. The period of his Imamate and of his undertaking the position of his father in the succession (on behalf of) God, the Mighty and High, over His servants was nineteen years.
The Features of Imam Muhammad Baqir(A.S.)
The Birth of Imam Muhammad Baqir(A.S.)
The members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, received the baby with much rejoicing and pleasure. They were very happy with him, for he was in whom the elements of the two grandsons (of the Prophet), al-Hasan and al-Husayn , mixed. Those noble origins through which Allah strengthened the Arabs and the Moslems mixed in him, too. As for the noble backbones and the pure from which he branched, they are:
His Mother
As for his mother, she was a pure chaste woman. She was Fatima, the daughter of Imam al-Hasan, the Lord of the youth of Heaven. She was given the kunya of Umm 'Abd Allah (the mother of 'Abd Allah)(Thahdhib al-Lugha wa al-Asma' vol. 1, p. 87. Ibn Khullakan, Wafayat al-A'yan, vol. 3, p. 384. Al-Mahbar, p. 57. Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 60. A'yan al-Shi'a, 1/4/464).
She was among the Hashimite women. Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, called her al-Siddiqa (the very truthful one).(Abu al-Hasan al-'Amili, Diya' al-Amilin, vol. 2. Al-Dur al-Nazim, serial 2879).
Concerning her Imam Abu 'Abd Allah al-Sa`diq, peace be on him, said : "She was very truthful. No one in the family of al-Hasan looked like her.(Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 469).
It is enough for her highness that she was part of the plant of the sweet basil of the Apostle of Allah (i. e. Imam al-Hasan), and that she grew up "in the houses which Allah permitted to be exalted and that His name may be remembered in them."She brought up Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, in her pure lap. She poured upon him rays of her pure soul. She fed him with her noble ideas that became part of his qualities.
His Father
His father Imam Zayn al-Abidin(A.S.) was the Lord of the prostrators (in worship) and ornament of the worshipers. He was the best of all the Moslem figures in jurisprudence, knowledge, and religious piety. We will mention a brief study on his affairs in the following researches.
The Great Baby
The world shone on the birthday of the pure Ima`m (Mohammed al-Ba`qir). The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, had given good news to him before his birth. The members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, waited for him impatiently. That is because he was among the Ima`ms of Moslems. Namely the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, nominated those Ima`ms.
He made them leaders for his community and related them to the Koran. Ima`m Mohammed al-Ba`qir was born in Medina, on the third day of the month of Safar, in the year 56 A. H.1 It was said (that he was) on Friday, during the early days of the month of Rajab.( Dala'il al-Imama, p. 94. Farid Wajjdi, Da'irat al-Ma'arif, vol. 3, p. 563).
He was born three years before his grandfather, Ima`m Husayn, peace be on him, was killed. (Ibn al-Wardi, Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 184. Akhbar al-Duwal, p. 111. Ibn Khulakan, Wafayat al-A'yan, vol. 3, p. 314).
It was said (that he was born) four years, as he, peace be on him, said, (before the martyrdom oh his grandfather). (Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 60).
It was also said (that he was born) two years and some months (before the murder of his grandfather). 1The last date is unusual. No one accepts it.
The religious rituals such as adhan and iqama in his ears were performed for him when he was born. Other rites were also performed for him on the seventh day of his birth: His hair was shaved. The weight of his cut hair in sliver was given to the needy as alms. A ram was sacrificed for him and was given to the poor as alms.
He was born during the time of Mu'a`wiya. At that time the Islamic countries were full of oppression. Moreover, they were full of disasters and misfortunes. That was because of the oppression of Mu'a`wiya and the injustice of his governors who spread terrorism and oppression in the country. Ima`m al-Ba`qir talked about that dreadful injustice. We will mention his speech in this book.
His Name
His grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, named him Mohammed. He also gave him the Kunya of al-Ba`qir. That was ten years before al-Ba`qir was born. That was among the Prophet's prophecies, as some researchers said. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, knew from the unseen that his grandson would do such as proclaiming knowledge among his community. Thus, he gave good news to his community about him. He also sent him his greetings through the great Companion (of the Prophet), Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri. We will mention that in the following (chapters).
His Kunya
He had only one kunya. It was Abu` Ja'far. He was called by the name of his son, Ja'far al-Sa`diq, peace be on him, who renewed the life of this community and split open the fountains of wisdom in the earth.
His Nick-Names
As for his nick-names, they indicate the qualities of his great character and his high inclinations. They are as follows:
1. Al-Amin (the trusted one).
2. Al-Shabih (the one who was like the Prophet , may Allah bless him and his family).( Al-Dur al-Nazim fi Manaqib al-A'imma. Diya' al-Amilin, vol. 2. A'yan al-Shi'a, 1/2/464).
3. Al-Sha`kir (the grateful one).
4. Al-Ha`di (the one who guides).
5. Al-Sa`bir (the patient one).
6. Al-Sha`hid (the proof).(Jannat al-Khuld. Nasikh al-Tawarikh).
7. Al-Ba`qir (the one who split open knowledge). (Tadhkirat al-Huffaz, vol. 1, p. 124. Nazhat al-Jalis, vol. 2, p. 36. Mirr'at al-Jinan, vol.1, p. 247. Farid Wajjdi, Da'irat al-Ma'arif, vol.3, p. 563).
This is the most famous nick-name of his. He and his son, Ima`m al-Sa`diq, were given the nick-name of al-Ba`qirayn (the two ones who split open knowledge). They were also given the nick-name of al-Sa`diqayn (the two truthful ones).( Shaykh al-Turayhi, Jami'al-Maqal).
The historians and the biographers of the Ima`m have unanimously agreed on that he was given the nick-name of al-Ba`qir because he split open knowledge. Namely, he studied knowledge in detail. Thus, he understood its origin and its hidden (branches).( Ayun al-Akhbar wa Funun al-Athar, p. 213. 'Umdat al-Talib, p. 183).
Concerning him, Ima`m al-Reza said:
"O (you) who split open knowledge (making it available) to the people of piety and the best of those who seek to answer the call of the Exalted.
( Jawhart al-Kalam fi Madh al-Sada al--A'lam, p. 133).
It is as if that the people called him al-Ba`qir because of his great knowledge and his many sciences. It was also said that he was given the nick-name of al-Ba`qir because of his many prostrations (in worship). Thus, he split open his forehead.(Mir'at al-Zaman fi Tawarikh al-A'yan, vol. 5, p. 78).
Moreover, he was given the nick-name (of al-Ba`qir) because of these words of his:
"The truth called me for help after the untruth had gathered it in its abdomen. So, I split open its flank and brought out the truth from its hiding, so it appeared and spread after it had been hidden.(Mir'at al-Zaman fi Tawarikh al-A'yan, vol. 5, p. 78).
However, the first meaning is the most famous with the historians.
The Greetings of the Prophet to al-Baqir
The historians and the narrators have unanimously agreed that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, sent his greetings to his grandson, al-Ba`qir, through the great companion, Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri. Thus, Ja`bir was impatiently waiting for his birth to give him the message of his grandfather. When the Ima`m was born and became a grown-up, Ja`bir met him and gave him the greetings of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. The historians have reported that in various ways. The following are some of them:
1. Aba`n b. Taghlub reported on the authority of Abi 'Abd Allah, peace be on him, who said: "Indeed Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri was the last of the surviving Companions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. He devoted himself to us, we, the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt). He sat at the place of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. He wore a black turban.
He called out:' O you who will split open knowledge (baqir)! O You who will split open knowledge!' Thus, the people of Medina said: 'Ja`bir is hallucinating!' So, he (Ja`bir) said:'By Allah, I have never hallucinated. However, I heard the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, say:'Indeed, you will meet a man who belongs to me. His name is similar to mine. His qualities are similar to mine. He will split open knowledge thoroughly.
'These words have motivated me to say what I say.' He (Abi Abd Allah) said: "One day while Ja`bir was walking through some streets of Medina, he passed by a street. Mohammed b. 'Ali (al-Ba`qir) was in the street. When he looked at him he said: 'O boy, come.' The boy came. then Ja`bir said to the boy: 'Turn back.'
The boy turned back. Then Ja`bir said: "By him in whose hand is my soul, (they are) the qualities of the Apostle of Allah. O Boy, what is your name?"The boy replied: "My name is Mohammed b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn."Ja`bir kissed his head and said: 'May my farther and mother be ransom for you, your grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, sends you his greetings.' Abi 'Abd Allah said: 'Mohammed came back frightened to his father and told him about what had happened. His father said to him: 'My little boy, has Ja`bir done it ?' Mohammed replied:'Yes.' His father said: 'Do not leave your house, my little boy.(Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, pp. 496-470. Al-Kashi, Rijal, pp. 27-28).
As for the contents of this report, they are as follows:
A. The qualities and features of Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, were similar to those of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.
B. It was the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, named his grandson Mohammed and gave him the nick-name of al-Ba`qir. (The Prophet told the People that Ima`m Mohammed al-Ba`qir) would split open knowledge completely.
C. Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, feared for the safety of his son when Ja`bir reported the tradition of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning him. That is because the Umayyad government imposed an intense observation on Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin. It counted his breaths against him. It wanted to know who would succeed him to punish him severely. So, the Ima`m, peace be on him, wanted the affair of his son to be secret lest the Umayyads should mistreat him or subject him to misfortunes.
2. Ibn 'Asa`kir reported that Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, and his son, al-Ba`qir came to Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri. Ja`bir asked him: "Son of the Apostle of Allah, who is with you?""My son, Mohammed, is with me,"replied Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin. Ja`bir embraced Mohammed. Then he wept and said: "My death is at hand. Mohammed, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, sends you his greetings."
"What is that?"asked Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin. Ja`bir replied: "I heard Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, say to al-Husayn b. 'Ali: 'A son will be born for this grandson of mine. The son will be the Lord of worshipers. On the Day of Judgment, a caller will call:'Let the Lord of worshipers stand up. So, 'Ali b. al-Husayn will rise. A son will be born for 'Ali b. al-Husayn. The son will be called Mohammed. Ja`bir, when you see him, give him my greetings. Ja`bir, know that al-Mahdi will be among his sons. Know, Ja`bir, that you will stay for a short time after him.(Ibn 'Asakir, Tarikh, vol 51, p. 41).
3. Taj al-Din b. Mohammed, the head of Aleppo , reported on the authority of Ima`m Mohammed al-Ba`qir, who said: "I came to Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah and greeted him. He said to me: 'Who are you?' That was after he had become blind. I said to him: 'Mohammed b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn.' He said: 'May my father and mother be ransom for you, come nearer to me.' I came nearer to him. He kissed my hand, and then he stooped down to my foot to kiss it.
However, I pulled it from him. Then he said: 'The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, recites his greeting to you.' 'Peace and Allah's mercy and blessings be on the Apostle of Allah,' I said. 'How is that, Ja`bir?' He said:'One day I was with him when he said to me: 'Perhaps you will live until you meet one of my descendants called Mohammed b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn on whom Allah will bestow light and wisdom. Then recite to him my greetigs.
(Ghayat al-Ikhtisar, p. 64).
4. Salah al-Din al-Safadi said: Ja`bir walked in Medina and said: 'Ba`qir, when will I meet you?' One day he passed through a street in Medina. A female slave gave him the boy who was in her lap. He said to the female slave: 'Who is this?' 'Mohammed b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn,' she replied. He embraced him, kissed his head and his hands, and then he said: 'My little boy, your grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, sends you his greetings.' Then he said: 'Ba`qir, my death is at hand.' He died at that night.(Al-Wafi bi al-Wafayat, vol. 4, p. 192).
5. Some Isma`'ilis reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said to Ja`bir: "You will meet a son of this son of mine. He appointed at al-Husayn. When you meet him, give him my greetings. Say to him: O you who will split open knowledge, split it completely."Ja`bir did that.( Masa'il Majmu'a mina al-Hada'iq al-'Aliya wa al-Asrar al-Samiya, p. 99).
6. Al-Ha`fiz Nu`r al-Din al-Haythami reported on the authority of Abu` Ja'far, peace be on him, who said: "Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah visited me while I was reading the Book. He said to me: 'Uncover your abdomen.' I uncovered my abdomen. He kissed it, and then he said: 'Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, ordered me to give you his greetings.(Majjma' al-Zawa'id, vol. 1, p. 22).
These are some reports that have unanimously agreed that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, ordered Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri to send his greetings to Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, knew from beyond the unseen that his grandson would spread knowledge among people and that he would split open wisdom and light in the earth.
His Features
Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri said that his features were similar to those of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.( Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 469).
His morals were also similar to the Prophet's high ones that distinguished him from the other prophets.
Some contemporary people have described Imam al-Baqir as follows: He was a man of medium height. He was brown.( Akhbar al-Duwal, p. 111. Jawhart al-Kalam fi Madh al-Sada al-A'lam, 132).
He had soft skin with moles. He had a thin waist. His voice was good. He always bowed his head.( A'yan al-Shi'a, 1/4/471).
His Early Childhood
Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, was clever and genius during his childhood. The reporters said that Ja`bir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri, though an old man, came to him, sat before him, and learned from him. Ja`bir admired the Ima`m's abundant knowledge and sciences. Thus, he said: "Ba`qir, you have been given wisdom while you are still a boy.( 'Ilal al-Sharai', p. 234).
The Companions (of the Prophet) knew that the Ima`m was endowed with outstanding merits and abundant knowledge. So, they consulted him concerning the problems which they did not understand. The historians said that a man 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar about a certain problem. However, 'Abd Allah could not answer the problem.
So, he said to the man: "Go to that boy, he pointed at Ima`m al-Ba`qir, ask him, and tell me about his answer."The man went to the Ima`m and asked him. The Ima`m, peace be on him, answered his problem. Thus, the man came back to 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar and told him about the Ima`m's answer. So, the latter admired the Ima`m, saying : "They are the knowledgeable members of the House.( Al-Manaqib, vol. 4, p. 147).
Allah singled out the Ima`ms of the members of the House, peace be on them, with knowledge and outstanding merits. He granted them absolute perfection which He had granted to His prophets and His apostles. The historians said that the Ima`m was nine years of age when he was asked about difficult problems and answered them.
His Solemnity and His Prestige
The features of the Ima`m, peace be on him, represented the solemnity and the prestige of the prophets. Everybody respected and admired him. For example, Qatta`da, the jurist of the people of Basrah, met him. Still his heart trembled because of the Ima`m's solemnity. Thus, he said to him: "I sit before the jurists and b. 'Abba`s. My heart does not tremble because of them as it does because of you.(Ithbat al-Hudat, vol. 5, p. 176).
The Ima`m was the rest of Allah in His earth. Allah bestowed solemnity and prestige on His friends and His lovers. Their qualities appeared in the Ima`m's character. Among those who admired the Ima`m's solemnity was the Moroccan poet, who described the Ima`m, saying:
O you who was the son of him by whose tongue and eloquence people were guided and the revelation was sent down.
The Book talked about his outstanding merits. The Torah and the Bible announced his coming.
Were it not for the cessation of the revelation after Mohammed, we would say: Mohammed was the alternative to his grandfather.
He was similar to him in outstanding merits, but Gabriel did not bring him a message.( Al-Manaqib, vol. 4, p. 181).
The historians reported that nobody saw the Ima`m, peace be on him, laughing. When he laughed, he said: "O Allah, do not detest me.(Safwat al-Saffwa, vol. 2, p. 62. Tadhkirat al-Khawas, p. 349).
Indeed, he refrained from all that which contradicts solemnity and high character. Among his prominent qualities was that he always praised Allah. We will mention that when we talk about the aspects of his character.
The Inscription of his Ring
As for the inscription of his ring, it was: "All might is for Allah.( Hulyat al-Awliya', vol. 1.3, p. 189).
He wore the ring of his grandfather, Ima`m Husayn, peace be on him, whose inscription was: "Surely Allah attains His purpose.( A'yan al-Shi'a, 1/4/169).
This indicates that he devoted himself to Allah and cleaved to Him strongly.
His Residence
The Ima`m, peace be on him, resided in Medina throughout his
life. He did not leave it for another city. In it, he was the first teacher and great pioneer for scientific cultural movements. He used the Prophetic Mosque as school for him. There he gave his lectures to his students.
 End item/ 129

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