Our fifth Imam is Muhammad al-Baqir (a). He was the son of Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a). He was born in Madina in the year 57 A.H.
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a) was the man of many qualities of greatness, reverence and piety. He was the greatest scholar of his time. His life was the best model of good manners and piety. He used to work on his farm. He put in hard labour so as to earn enough to support his family, and to help the poor and the needy.
It was his greatest desire that people should acquire knowledge. For this purpose, he had set up a study circle where he taught people the Islamic Law. Imam al-Baqir (a) disclosed the secrets of knowledge and wisdom and unfolded the principles of spiritual and religious guidance. Later his students and disciples became great scholars themselves, and performed an important role in the propagation of knowledge and guidance of the people.
The collection and arrangement of Islamic Jurisprudence commenced during the time of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a). He also commented upon and explained the contents of the Qur'an, the Hadith of the Holy Prophet and other branches of knowledge. After him his son Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (a) and other Imams continued this task.
It is beyond the power of a man to recount the deep impression of knowledge and guidance left by the Imam on the hearts of the faithful. His sayings about devotion and abstinence, knowledge and wisdom, and religious exercise and submission to Allah are great in number.
The greatest good is to impart knowledge to others.
1. How did Imam al-Baqir (a) earn livelihood for his family?
2. What steps did the Imam take to promote knowledge?
3. When did the collection and arrangement of Islamic Jurisprudence commence?