The Infallibles: Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al Baqir (as)

    The Infallibles: Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al Baqir (as)

    (This chapter will give) an account of the Imam after ‘Ali ibn al- Husayn, peace be on them, the date of his birth, the evidence for his Imamate, the age he reached, the period of his succession, the time and cause of his death, the place of his grave, and a summary of the reports about him.

    Al-Baqir Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, was out of (all) his brothers the successor of his father, ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, 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- Ja’far (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.

    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 ibn 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.

    He, peace be on him, was born in Medina, in 57 A.H. (676 7). He died 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 ‘Ali among the descendants of ‘Ali. He was buried in (the cemetery of) al-Baqi'i in (Medina) the city of the Apostle, may God bless him and his family.

    [Maymun al-Qaddah reported on the authority of Ja’far ibn Muhammad, on the authority of his father, peace be on them:]

    I (i.e. al-Baqir) visited Ja’far ibn '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 ibn ‘Ali ibn 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 ibn '‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, on whom God will bestow light and wisdom. Then recite to him my greetings.”

    In the testamentary bequest (wasiyya) which the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, made to his children, mention was made of Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn and of his trusteeship. The Apostle 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 ibn 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 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 ibn ‘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 ibn 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 ibn 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 ibn Muhammad informed me: My grandfather (Yahya ibn al-Hasan) told me: Muhammad ibn al- Qasim al-Shaybam told us: Abd al-Rahman ibn Salih al-Azdi told us on the authority of Abu Malik al-Juhni on the authority of Abd Allah ibn Ata' al-Makki who said:]

    I have never seen the scholars with anyone so much younger than them as I saw them with Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them. I have seen al-Hakam ibn 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 ibn 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 ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, told me.

    [Makhul ibn Ibrahim reported on the authority of Qays ibn 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 ibn ‘Ali ibn 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 ibn al-Rabi'i said: I have never rubbed them since I heard Abu Ishaq.]

    [Al -Sharif Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Muhammad informed me: My grandfather (Yahya ibn al-Hasan) told me on the authority of Yaqub ibn Yazid, who said: Muhammad ibn Abi 'Umayr told us on the authority of Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Hajja;, on the authority of Abu 'Abd Allah (Ja'far al-Sadiq), peace be on him, who said:]

    Muhammad ibn Munkadir used to say: “I did not use to think that the like of '‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, could leave a successor because of the outstanding merit of '‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, until I saw his son, Muhammad ibn ‘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 ibn ‘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 worldly (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.”

    [Al-Sharif Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn 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 ibn 'Abd al- Hamid al-Himmani told me on the authority of Mu'awiya ibn Ammar al-Duhni, on the authority of Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them:]

    (Muhammad ibn ‘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 ibn 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 ibn Abd al-Hamld had told me. He said: “Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, peace be on them, speaks the truth. They are the people of remembrance (ahl al-dhikr). By my life, Abu Ja’far, peace be on him, is one of the greatest scholars (ulama').”

    * * * * *

    Abu Ja’far, 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 authority and relied on him with regard to the rites of the pilgrimage which he reported 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 ibn Muhammad informed me: My grandfather (Yahya ibn al-Hasan) told me: Al-Zubayr ibn Abi Bakr told me: Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Abd Allah al-Zuhri told me:]

    Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik made the pilgrimage. He went into the Sacred Mosque leaning on the arm of Salim, his retainer. Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, was sitting in the mosque.

    “Commander of the faithful,” Salim said to (Hisham), “there is Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn 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 Ja’far 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 Ja’far 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 Ja’far, 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 ibn al-Azraq came to Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, peace be on them, and sat before him to ask him questions about what was permitted and what forbidden. Abu Ja’far, 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 ibn 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 ibn 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 ibn Ubayd came to visit Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn 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 Ja’far, 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 Ja’far, 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 ibn Muhammad told me: My grandfather (Yahya ibn al-Hasan) told me: Abu- Nasr told us: Muhammad ibn al-Husayn told me: Aswad ibn 'Amir told us: Hayyan ibn ‘Ali told us on the authority of al-Hasan ibn Kuthayyir, who said:]

    I (i.e. al-Hasan ibn Kuthayyir) complained to Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn CAli, 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 ibn al-Husayn reported: Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr told us: They told us on the authority of Amr ibn Dinar and Abd Allah ibn Ubayd ibn 'Umayr, who said:]

    We (i.e. Amr ibn Dinar and Abd Allah ibn Ubayd) never met Abu- Ja’far Muhammad ibn ‘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 ibn Hisham on the authority of Sulayman ibn Qarm, who said:]

    Abu- Ja’far Muhammad ibn '‘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 ibn Mansur al-Saluli reported: I heard al-Hasan ibn Salih say:]

    I (al-Hasan ibn Salih) heard Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn ‘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?”

    He, peace be on him, died 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.

    An Account of His Brothers and an Extract from the Reports about Them

    Abd Allah ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, the brother of Abu-Ja’far Muhammad, peace be on him, was in charge of the endowments (sadaqat) of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, and the endowments (sadaqat) of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He was a man of merit and a jurist. He reported many traditions on the authority of his fathers, on the authority of the Apostle of God. The people told traditions on his authority and also gave historical reports (athar) on his authority. Among these is:

    [Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Dawud ibn Abd Allah al-Ja’far reported on the authority of Abd al-Aziz ibn Muhammad al- Darawardi, on the authority of Umara ibn Ghuzayya, on the authority of Abd Allah ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them:]

    He (Abd Allah ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn) said: The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, said: “The meanest of men is one whom when my name is mentioned by him is unwilling to ask for God's blessing on myself and my family.”

    [Zayd ibn al-Hasan ibn Isa reported: Abu Bakr ibn Abi Uways told us on the authority of Abd Allah ibn Siman, who said: I met Abd Allah ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, and he told me on the authority of his father, on the authority of his grandfather, on the authority of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him:]

    (The Commander of the faithful) used to have the right hand of the thief cut off for the first theft. If he stole again, he would have his left leg cut off. If he stole a third time, he would put him in prison for life.

    * * * * *

    Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, was a man of merit and of high-standing. He was in charge of the endowments (sadaqat) of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, and the endowments (sadaqat) of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He was pious and God-fearing.

    [Dawud ibn al-Qasim has reported: Al-Husayn ibn Zayd said :]

    I (Husayn ibn Zayd) saw my uncle, Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, stipulate to those who wanted to buy (produce from) the endowments of ‘Ali that if they made a hole in such and such a walls he would not stop anyone from entering it to take it from there.

    [Al-Sharif Abu Muhammad informed me: My grandfather told me: Abu al-Hasan Bakkar ibn Ahmad al-Azdi told us: Al-Hasan ibn al- Husayn al-Urani told us on the authority of Abd Allah ibn Jarir al- Qattan, who said:]

    I (Abd Allah ibn Jarir al-Qattan) heard Umar ibn '‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, say:

    The one who is excessive in his love for us is like the one who is excessive in his hatred of us. We have a right (to authority) through our relationship with our Prophet, blessing and peace be on him. It is a right which God has given us. Therefore whoever abandons it, abandons (something which is) great. Grant us the position which God has granted us. Do not say things about us which do not exist concerning us. If God punished us, then it would be for our sins. If God has mercy on us, then it is because of His mercy and favour.

    Zayd ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, was the outstanding brother after Abu Ja’far, peace be on him, and the one with the most merit. He was a devout worshipper, pious, a jurist, God-fearing and brave. He came out in revolt with the sword to enjoin the good and forbid the evil and to demand vengeance for al-Husayn, peace be on him.

    [Al Sharif Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Muhammad informed me: His grandfather (Yahya ibn al-Hasan) informed him on the authority of al-Hasan ibn Yahya, who said: Al-Hasan ibn al-Husayn told us on the authority of Yahya ibn Musawir, on the authority of Abu al-Jarud Ziyad ibn al-Mundhir, who said:]

    I (Abu al-Jarud) went to Medina. When I began to ask about Zayd ibn ‘Ali, peace be on him, I was told: “That man is an ally of the Qur'an.”

    [Hisham ibn Hisham reported:]

    I (Hisham) asked Khalid ibn Safwan about Zayd ibn ‘Ali, peace be on him, when (Khalid) was reporting traditions on his authority.

    “Where did you meet him?” I asked.

    “At al-Rusafa,” he answered.

    “What kind of man was he?” I asked.

    “(He was) just as you have been told,” he said. “He would weep out of fear of God until his tears became mixed with his running nose.”

    Many of the Shi'a believed in his Imamate. The reason for their belief was because of his coming out (in revolt) with the sword calling on support for the one who is acceptable from the family of Muhammad, may God bless him and his family. Therefore they thought that he intended that for himself. However that was not his intention because he knew of the right of his brother, peace be on him, to the Imamate before him, and of his bequest of trusteeship (wasiyya) at his death to Abu Abd Allah (i.e. Ja’far al-Sadiq), peace be on him.

    The reason for Abu al-Hasan Zayd ibn ‘Ali, may God be pleased with him, coming out (in revolt) is also more than his determination which we have already mentioned, to seek (vengeance) for the blood of al-Husayn, peace be on him. He had visited Hisham ibn Abd al- Malik. Hisham had gathered the Syrians for him and ordered them to press around him in the assembly so that it was not possible for him to come close to him. Zayd said to him:

    None of the servants of God are above being warned to show fear towards God, nor can any of them be excluded from showing fear towards God. I am warning you to show fear towards God, Commander of the faithful (i.e. Hisham). So show fear towards Him.”

    You are the one who thinks yourself entitled to the caliphate, Hisham replied to him, “and (you are) the one who hopes for it. But that is not for you. You have no mother. (At least) your mother was only a servant-girl.

    “I do not know anyone greater in rank with God than a prophet whom He has sent,” retorted Zayd. “(Yet such a prophet) was the son of a servant-girl. So if he had been unable to carry out His purpose, He would not have sent him. (That prophet) was Isma'il ibn Ibrahim (Ishmael, son of Abraham), peace be on them. Prophethood is greater in rank with God than the mother of the caliphate, Hisham. Furthermore, a man should not be ignored whose father is the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, and who is the son of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be on him.”

    Hisham jumped up from his assembly. He summoned his servant and said: “Don't let this man spend the night in my camp.”

    Zayd left saying that he would never have forced anyone to take up the sword if they had not humiliated him. When he arrived at Kufa, its inhabitants gathered around him and they soon pledged allegiance to fight on his behalf. Then they broke their pledge to him and handed him over. He, may God have mercy on him, was killed and his body (was left) hanging on a cross among them for four years. None of them denounced it, nor did they help him with hand or tongue.

    When he was killed, the full report of that was sent to Abu Abd Allah al-Sadiq, peace be on him. He was very sad when it became clear to him (what had happened). He set apart a thousand dinars of his own money for the families of those of (Zayd's) followers who were killed with him.

    That is reported by Abu Khalid al-Wasiti. He said: Abu Abd Allah, peace be on him, handed me a thousand dinars and told me to divide it among the families of those killed with Zayd. Four dinars of this reached the family of Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, the brother of Fudayl al-Rassan.

    His death was on Monday on the 2nd of (the month) of Safar in the year 120 A.H. At that time he was forty-two years of age.

    * * * * *

    Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, was a man of merit and pious. He reported many traditions on the authority of his father ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, and his aunt Fatima, daughter of al-Husayn, peace be on him, and his brother, Abu Ja’far, peace be on him.

    [Ahmad ibn Isa reported: My father told us:]

    I (Isa) used to see al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, pray. I would say: “He will not put down his hand until his prayer for all creatures is answered.”

    [Harb ibn al-Tahhan reported: Said, the follower of al-Hasan ibn Salih, told me:]

    I (Said) never saw anyone with greater fear (of God) than al- Hasan ibn Salih. until I went to Medina and saw al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them. I have never seen greater fear (of God) than his. (It is) as if he had been taken into the fire (of Hell) and then taken out of it because of the intensity of his fear.

    [Yahya ibn Sulayman ibn al-Husayn reported on the authority of his uncle, Ibrahim ibn al-Husayn, on the authority of his father, al- Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on them, who said:]

    Ibrahim ibn Hisham al-Makhzumi was governor of Medina. He used to gather us (the family of the Prophet) every Friday near the pulpit. Then he would attack ‘Ali, peace be on him, and curse him. One day I (al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn) was present. The place was very full so I was close to the pulpit. I dozed off and saw (in a dream) that the grave had opened and out of it had come a man in a white cloak. He said to me:

    O Abu-Abd Allah (i.e. al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn), does not what this man is saying make you sad?

    “By God, yes”, I replied

    “Open your eyes,” he told me, and see what God is doing with him.”

    Behold as he mentioned ‘Ali, he was thrown from the pulpit and died, may God curse him.

    Taken from Kitab al Irshad (The Book of Guidance) By Sheikh al Mufid

    Contributed by Br. ‘Ali Abbas, abbas@seas.gwu.edu

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