The Life of Imam Muhammad ibn 'Ali al-Baqir

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This book provides a detailed biography of the life of the fifth Imam, Muhammad Baqir (as): the splitter of knowledge. It takes the reader into enlightening details of his birth, youth, his works and quotes, his respected family, socio-political conditions during his time and how he left this world.

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The Life of Imam Muhammad ibn 'Ali al-Baqir Author: Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi Translator: Jasim al-Rasheed First Edition 1999-1419 ISBN: 964 - 438 - 044 - 4 Published by: Ansariyan Publications
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Publisher's Preface

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Man performs material deeds. We can evaluate such deeds. Man sometimes performs immaterial deeds. We cannot evaluate them. Rather, it is Allah, the Exalted, Who evaluates them and rewards man according to them. The deeds of the pure Imams, peace be on them, were immaterial. Hence, we have no right to evaluate them, for they are far above evaluation. We only publish and submit them to people to make use of them.

Gentle reader, the book before you has been written by Shaykh Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi, who spared no effort to report the history of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. Mr. Ja’sim al-Rasheed has honestly translated the book from Arabic into English. The book is not a mere writing about the life of one of the Imams, peace be on them. Rather, it has skillfully been written about the history of Isla’m. So, we thank Allah for granting us success to translate and print and publish this valuable book.

We hope that the book will intercede with Allah for us on the Day of Judgment,

“The day on which property will not avail, nor sons except him who comes to Allah with a heart free (from evil).”(Ash-Shu’araa,26:88- 89)
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
“Surely Allah chose Adam and Noah and the descendants of Abraham and the descendants of Amran above the nations. Offspring, one of the other, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.” (Aal-‘Imraan, 3:33-34)
“Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.” (Al-Ahzab, 33:33)
“Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it except love for my near relatives. And whoever earns good, we give him more of good therein. Surely Allah is Forgiving, Grateful.”
(Ash-Shura,42:23)

Dedication

I dedicate (this book) to you... oh you who spread knowledge and light in the earth.
To you, oh Apostle of Allah.
To you, oh you who were the Last of the prophets.

This humble book is about the life of your grandson, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir. You called him Muhammad and gave him the nick-name as Baqir al-‘Ilm (the one who splits open knowledge). Thus, he renewed your religion and enlivened your practices (Sunna).

Therefore, no one is worthier of this dedication than you. Accept this and be kind to me through your pleasure. So, it will be my provision on the day when I meet Allah.

Introduction

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, peace be on him, was unique. For he belonged to the unique members of the pure family (of the Prophet). He was among the leading Imams of the House (ahl al-Bayt) peace be on them. He was among the most prominent of the men of thought and knowledge in Islam. The historians have unanimously agreed on his importance. For he played an important role in proclaiming the Islamic culture and founding the scientific movement in Islam. He dedicated himself to spread knowledge among the Muslims. That was when the intellectual lull included all the Islamic world, and when there was no scientific or intellectual renaissance. The Muslims led successive revolutions and popular uprisings. They sometimes wanted to get rid of the oppressive Umayyad regime, and they sometimes wanted to take the reins of government. Accordingly, they thoroughly neglected the scientific life. Thus, it had no existence in the arena of life.

Indeed Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, turned away completely from those political movements. He did not take part in any political act to oppose the standing regime then. He devoted himself to knowledge. So, he raised its standard, founded its bases, and fixed firmly its sources. Thus, he was the pioneer, teacher, and leader of this community during its cultural movement. He led it to wide steps in scientific studies. He played an important role in prospering the bright Islamic civilization throughout the generations that came after him. Imam Abu’ Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, was famous for jurisprudence. That is because jurisprudence represents the spirit of Islam, its essence, and its reaction with life. So, he took care to enliven it. Then he established his religious school that was full of main jurists such as Aba’n b. Taghlub, Muhammad b. Muslim, Barid, Abu’ Basir al-Asadi, al-Fadel b. Sayya’r, Ma‘ru’f b. Khrbudh, Zarara b. A‘yun and the like.

These main figures were among those on whose truthfulness and jurisprudence the community has unanimously agreed. It was they who wrote down the traditions of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. Were it not for them, that large intellectual wealth would be useless. The Islamic world is proud of this wealth. Besides this wealth is among the basic sources from which the Shi‘ite jurists conclude religious rules. The act that makes us boast of the life of the Imam is that he took care of these jurists. He praised them, strengthened their position, and summoned the community to resort to their religious opinions. He, peace be on him, said to Aba’n b. Taghlub: “Sit down in the mosque. Give religious opinions to the people. Indeed, I am glad to see among my followers the likes of you.”1

Indeed, he paid their expenses and what they needed during their life. He did that to make them dedicate themselves to gaining of knowledge, to achieve its rules exactly, and to write it down. Then, he asked his son, Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, to take care of the jurists. He asked him to spend on them to help them carry out their religious duties. Thus, they played a constructive role in writing the traditions which they heard from him. Besides they taught the religious deputations what they narrated from him. Indeed, his student, Ja’bir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi, reported seventy thousand traditions from him.2

Aba’n b. Taghlub also reported a large group (of traditions) from him. The jurisprudential encyclopedias are full of their narrations from him. All the chapters of jurisprudence - such as the acts of worship, contracts, punishments, and the like - are confirmed with narrations from him. Therefore, he founded and published the jurisprudence of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. Worth mentioning, the jurisprudence of the members of the House is the best Islamic jurisprudence.

The lectures and researches of the Imam were not confined to jurisprudence. Rather they included all kinds of sciences such as philosophy, theology, and medicine. As for the explanation of the Quran, it engaged his care wholly. Indeed, he appointed time for it. Most commentators (of the Quran) have written what the Imam adopted and what he narrated from his grandfathers concerning the explanation of the holy verses. He (the Imam) wrote a book about the explanation (of the Quran). Zyya’d b. al-Mundher, the spiritual leader of the Jarudi group, reported the book from him.3

This book denotes that and gives some examples of his explanations to some verses. Worth mentioning, the Imam, peace be on him, talked about the conditions of the prophets and the persecutions from which they suffered because of the oppressive rulers of their time. He also talked about their judgments and their morals. From him most researchers learned the situations of the prophets. Moreover, he, peace be on him, talked in an inclusive objective manner about the Prophet's life. He explained the circumstances of the great Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, his campaigns, and his wars.

The historians of the Prophetic life-such as b. Hisha’m, al-Wa’qidi, al-Halabi, and the like-reported them on his authority, on the authority of his grandfathers, peace be on them, on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. The Imam narrated a large group of traditions concerning behavior, good morals, and high qualities Muslims should follow to be an example to others. He reported in an inclusive way all the historic events that occurred during the early Islamic time. Al-Tabari has reported them from him in his book ‘Ta’rikh.’ He has also reported them from him in his book ‘al-Ansab.’

The Imam, peace be on him, debated with some Christian scholars, the Azraqites, the atheists, and the extremists. He passed all those debates successfully. The opponent admitted the Imam's scientific abilities. Namely, the opponent was feeble to debate with him. This book will indicate that. The Imam left behind him an immense intellectual wealth. It is regarded as one of the sources and among the mines the scientific wealth in the earth. It is difficult for me to write about all what has been narrated from him. For that needs writing several books. We have referred to only some of them. We have left the door open to him who wants to study inclusively his scientific wealth.

However, the historians have never seen an Imam like Muhammad al-Baqir. That is because he devoted all his life to the spread of knowledge among the people. He was as the narrators said: “He lived in Median (Yathrib). He was a trusty custodian. He was like the mountain or the sea.

The thinkers and prominent scholars learned from him jurisprudence and knowledge. So, he developed not only the life of this community but also of all people.”

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, peace be on him, was among the great men of thought and knowledge in Islam. He was also among the most prominent Imams of the Muslims. That is because he had great morals. He freed himself from selfish materialism.

Thus his behavior represents the essence of the Islamic thought that came to guide people and to educate their manners. The historians have unanimously agreed that the Imam was most times busy praising Allah and that he spent his nights praying to Him and whispering to Him in prayers. The Imam thoroughly renounced worldly desires. He inclined with his heart and his feelings towards Allah. He preferred His obedience to all things. He followed what caused him to be close to Allah. He did not yield to any desires. Rather he got rid of them completely. Thus, they had no power over him.

The Imam's life was similar to the life of his grandfather, the great Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, in all qualities. Whoever reads about his life is full of admiration.

During his childhood, Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, was liable to many tribulations. Indeed, he saw the tragedies of Karbala’'. He saw the pure family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, when they were tortured and killed. He saw the Umayyad Army murdering the innocent children, the women, and the old men. He saw that sinful army maiming the body of the great Imam (al-Husayn). He saw other tragedies that filled the heart with terror. He was among the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them when they were taken prisoners to b. Marjana (‘Ubayd Allah b. Zyya’d). The latter humiliated and disdained them very much. He showed his malice and he rejoiced at the murder of the progeny of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. Then he sent them to the sinful oppressive ruler, Yazid b. Mu‘a’wiya. The latter received them with much disdain and mistreatment.

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, peace be on him, understood fully those painful events. Thus, they filled his heart with stormy sorrow. They impressed deeply agony and sadness in his heart. They accompanied him throughout his life. Thus, his heart was full of bitter sorrow. So he died while he did not enjoy his life. Among the disasters that hit the Imam during his childhood was the Battle of al-Hirra. At that battle Yazid's Army violated the Holiness of Medina, the city of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. The army raped the women, seized properties, and killed people. It violated all the things which Allah had prohibited. No one was safe from the terrors of that painful disaster except Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him. That was because Yazid ordered his sinful swordsman Muslim b. ‘Aqaba, not to kill him. These sad pictures left in the self of the Imam continual feelings full of sorrow and sadness.

The time of (the Imamate) of the Imam was among the most critical times in Islam. During this time life was very disorderly. Thus, the country was liable to many revolutions. Those revolutions from the bad Umayyad politicians. That is because they did not take care of the interests of the Muslim nations. Rather they imposed heavy taxes on the Muslim community. They plundered its wealth and spent it on their pleasures. Moreover, they took exclusive possession of its affairs.

We must mention the government with which the Imam was contemporary. We also must study the political events that occurred during that time. In other words we must consider them carefully. That is because they had a close relationship with the cultural and social time when the Imam lived. The researcher must not ignore those events. That is because he is unable to understand fully the character of the person whom he wants to study.

It is an act of honesty for knowledge and the truth to show those events, to guide people to their references, and to discuss the references which were not based on the truth. Rather they were based on the desires that were far away from reality.

Indeed, we think that the study of such events will avail the reader very much.

The Arab library has never contained a study about this great Imam who is among the elements of culture and civilizational formation of this community. Indeed, it is not an act of loyalty to neglect the lives of our great Imams. That is because the living nations have immortalized their great men, praised them, and showed their scientific works. That is because these nations want to enliven their own originality and their noble values. Al-‘Aqqa’d said: “The European scholars have praised their great figures and studied the sides of their glory. Rather fanaticism sometimes motivated them to increase the sides of this greatness. They have created imaginations to justify the defect and to repair the shortcoming. That is because of the enthusiasm for the self and the excitement for seeking perfection. As for us, there are dams and fences between us and our great men. They have prevented our young men from making use of them.”

No one is worthier of praise than Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, peace be on him. That is because he was among the most prominent leaders of this community, and among the geniuses of the world. Among his works was that he freed the Arab Islamic criticism from the foreign domination. He made it independent from the Romanian Empire. We will mention that in detail in this book.

The old historians took care of studying the life of Imam Abu’ Ja‘far (Muhammad al-Baqir). For example, al-Jaludi, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz b. Yahya’ (died 304 A. H.), wrote a book. He called the book ‘Akhba’r Abi Ja‘far al-Baqir’.4 In the book he has mentioned his conditions and his affairs. However, we have not found the book among the manuscripts of which our library is full. Perhaps the book is in the other book cases in the world or it has become missing like the numerous manuscripts which the Arab Islamic world has lost.

Thank Allah! Success helped me. Thus, I studied the life of this great Imam. It is an act of truthfulness to say that I have not found a person more wonderful than him. That is because he represents all human values of which every person boasts. I devoted myself to reading a large group of manuscripts and books that have mentioned some of his works and his wise sayings. I firmly believe that the careful researcher will find more information than what I have written about his (the Imam's) life. That is because much information has remained secret for me. In other words I do not claim that I have thoroughly studied his life and that I have mentioned all his works. Rather I have shed light on his character. I have left the door open for other researchers to write about his life.

Before I end this introduction, I would particularly like to thank Sayyid ‘Abd al-Rasu’l b. Sayyid Ridha’ al-Husayni for financing the publication of this book. I ask Allah to grant him success in all his noble efforts. Indeed success is from Allah. He grants it to whomever He wills from His servants.

6 / 11 / 1977 - 1397 A. H.
Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi

  • 1. Al-Naja’shi, Ja’mi‘ al-Ruwa’t, vol.1, p.9
  • 2. Miza’n al-I‘tida’l, vol.1, p.383
  • 3. Shaykh al-Tu’si, Fihrast, p.98
  • 4. Al-Dhari‘a, vol.1, p.315. Al-A‘la’m, vol.7, p.153

Chapter 1: The Great Baby

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 Muslims 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).1 She was among the Hashimite women. Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, called her al-Siddiqa (the very truthful one).2

Concerning her Imam Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Sadiq, peace be on him, said : “She was very truthful. No one in the family of al-Hasan looked like her.”3 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 Imam al-Baqir, 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.

We have no information about the period which he spent with his mother. That is because the references have neglected that period. Besides we have no information about all of his affairs.

His Father

His father was the Lord of the prostrators (in worship) and ornament of the worshipers. He was the best of all the Muslim 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 Imam (Muhammad al-Baqir). 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 Imams of Muslims. Namely the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, nominated those Imams. He made them leaders for his community and related them to the Quran. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir was born in Medina, on the third day of the month of Safar, in the year 56 A. H.4 It was said (that he was) on Friday, during the early days of the month of Rajab.5 He was born three years before his grandfather, Imam Husayn, peace be on him, was killed.6 It was said (that he was born) four years, as he, peace be on him, said, (before the murder of his grandfather).7 It was also said (that he was born) two years and some months (before the murder of his grandfather).8 The 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‘awiya. 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‘awiya and the injustice of his governors who spread terrorism and oppression in the country. Imam al-Baqir 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 Muhammad. He also gave him the Kunya of al-Baqir. That was ten years before al-Baqir 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), Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari. We will mention that in the following (chapters).

His Kunya

He had only one kunya. It was Abu Ja‘far.9 He was called by the name of his son, Ja‘far al-Sadiq, 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).10

3. Al-Shakir (the grateful one).

4. Al-Hadi (the one who guides).

5. Al-Sabir (the patient one).

6. Al-Shahid (the proof).11

7. Al-Baqir (the one who split open knowledge).12 This is the most famous nick-name of his. He and his son, Imam al-Sadiq, were given the nick-name of al-Baqirayn (the two ones who split open knowledge). They were also given the nick-name of al-Sadiqayn (the two truthful ones).13

The historians and the biographers of the Imam have unanimously agreed on that he was given the nick-name of al-Baqir because he split open knowledge. Namely, he studied knowledge in detail. Thus, he understood its origin and its hidden (branches).14 Concerning him, Imam al-Ridha’ 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.”15

It is as if that the people called him al-Baqir because of his great knowledge and his many sciences. It was also said that he was given the nick-name of al-Baqir because of his many prostrations (in worship). Thus, he split open his forehead.16 Moreover, he was given the nick-name (of al-Baqir) 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.”17 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-Baqir, through the great companion, Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari. Thus, Jabir was impatiently waiting for his birth to give him the message of his grandfather. When the Imam was born and became a grown-up, Jabir 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. Aban b. Taghlub reported on the authority of Abi ‘Abd Allah, peace be on him, who said: “Indeed Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari 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: ‘Jabir is hallucinating!’ So, he (Jabir) 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 Jabir was walking through some streets of Medina, he passed by a street. Muhammad b. ‘Ali (al-Baqir) was in the street. When he looked at him he said: ‘O boy, come.’ The boy came. Then Jabir said to the boy: ‘Turn back.’ The boy turned back. Then Jabir 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 Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn.”Jabir kissed his head and said: ‘May my father 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: ‘Muhammad came back frightened to his father and told him about what had happened. His father said to him: ‘My little boy, has Jabir done it?’ Muhammad replied: ‘Yes.’ His father said: ‘Do not leave your house, my little boy.’”18 As for the contents of this report, they are as follows:

A. The qualities and features of Imam al-Baqir, 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 Muhammad and gave him the nick-name of al-Baqir. (The Prophet told the People that Imam Muhammad al-Baqir) would split open knowledge completely.

C. Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, feared for the safety of his son when Jabir 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 Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin. It counted his breaths against him. It wanted to know who would succeed him to punish him severely. So, the Imam, 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 ‘Asakir reported that Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, and his son, al-Baqir came to Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari. Jabir asked him: “Son of the Apostle of Allah, who is with you?” “My son, Muhammad, is with me,” replied Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin. Jabir embraced Muhammad. Then he wept and said: “My death is at hand. Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, sends you his greetings.” “What is that?” asked Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin. Jabir 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 Muhammad. Jabir, when you see him, give him my greetings. Jabir, know that al-Mahdi will be among his sons. Know, Jabir that you will stay for a short time after him.”19

3. Taj al-Din b. Muhammad, the head of Aleppo, reported on the authority of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, who said: “I came to Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah and greeted him. He said to me: ‘who are you?' That was after he had become blind. I said to him: ‘Muhammad 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, Jabir?’ 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 Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn on whom Allah will bestow light and wisdom. Then recite to him my greetings.’”20

4. Salah al-Din al-Safadi said: “Jabir walked in Medina and said: ‘Baqir, 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?’ ‘Muhammad 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: ‘Baqir, my death is at hand.’ He died at that night.”21

5. Some Isma‘ilis reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said to Jabir: “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. “Jabir did that.22

6. Al-Hafiz Nur al-Din al-Haythami reported on the authority of Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, who said: “Jabir 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.’”23

These are some reports that have unanimously agreed that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, ordered Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari to send his greetings to Imam al-Baqir, 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

Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari said that his features were similar to those of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.24 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.25 He had soft skin with moles. He had a thin waist. His voice was good. He always bowed his head.26

His Early Cleverness

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, was clever and genius during his childhood. The reporters said that Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari, though an old man, came to him, sat before him, and learned from him. Jabir admired the Imam's abundant knowledge and sciences. Thus, he said: “Baqir, you have been given wisdom while you are still a boy.”27

The Companions (of the Prophet) knew that the Imam 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 Imam al-Baqir, ask him, and tell me about his answer.” The man went to the Imam and asked him. The Imam, peace be on him, answered his problem. Thus, the man came back to ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar and told him about the Imam's answer. So, the latter admired the Imam, saying: “They are the knowledgeable members of the House.”28

Allah singled out the Imams 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 Imam was nine years of age when he was asked about difficult problems and answered them.

His Solemnity and His Prestige

The features of the Imam, peace be on him, represented the solemnity and the prestige of the prophets. Everybody respected and admired him. For example, Qattada, the jurist of the people of Basrah, met him. Still his heart trembled because of the Imam's solemnity. Thus, he said to him: “I sit before the jurists and b. ‘Abbas. My heart does not tremble because of them as it does because of you.”29

The Imam was the rest of Allah in His earth. Allah bestowed solemnity and prestige on His friends and His lovers. Their qualities appeared in the Imam's character. Among those who admired the Imam's solemnity was the Moroccan poet, who described the Imam, 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 Muhammad, we would say: Muhammad was the alternative to his grandfather.

He was similar to him in outstanding merits, but Gabriel did not bring him a message.30

The historians reported that nobody saw the Imam, peace be on him, laughing. When he laughed, he said: “O Allah, do not detest me.”31 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.”32 He wore the ring of his grandfather, Imam Husayn, peace be on him, whose inscription was: “Surely Allah attains His purpose.”33 This indicates that he devoted himself to Allah and cleaved to Him strongly.

His Residence

The Imam, 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.

  • 1. Thahdhib al-Lughat 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
  • 2. Abu al-Hasan al-‘Amili, Diya’ al-‘Amilin, vol.2. Al-Dur al-Nazim, serial 2879
  • 3. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.469
  • 4. Ibn Khullakan, Wafayat al-A‘yan, vol.3, p.314. Tadhkirt al-Huffaz, vol.1, p.124. Nazhat al-Jalis, vol.2, p.36
  • 5. Dala’il al-Imama, p.94. Farid Wajjdi, Da’irat al-Ma‘arif, vol.3, p.563
  • 6. Ibn al-Wardi, Tarikh, vol.1, p.184. Akhbar al-Duwal, p.111. Ibn Khullakan, Wafayat al-A‘yan, vol.3, p.314
  • 7. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.2, p.60
  • 8. Al-Husayn b. ‘Abd al-Wahab, ‘Yyun al-Mu‘jizat, serial, 975
  • 9. Dala’il al-Imama, p.94
  • 10. Al-Dur al-Nazim fi Manaqib al-A’imma. Diya’ al-‘Amilin, vol.2. A‘yan al-Shi‘a, 1/4/464
  • 11. Jannat al-Khuld. Nasikh al-Tawarikh
  • 12. 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
  • 13. Shaykh al-Turayhi, Jami‘ al-Maqal
  • 14. Yyun al-Akhbar wa Funun al-Athar, p.213. Umdat al-Talib, p.183
  • 15. Jawhart al-Kalam fi Madh al-Sada al-A‘lam, p.133
  • 16. Mir’at al-Zaman fi Tawarikh al-A‘yan, vol.5, p.78
  • 17. Ibid
  • 18. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, pp.496-470. Al-Kashi, Rijal, pp.27-28
  • 19. Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, vol.51, p.41
  • 20. Ghayat al-Ikhtisar, p.64
  • 21. Al-Wafi bi al-Wafayat, vol.4, p.102
  • 22. Masa’il Majmu‘a mina al-Haqa’iq al-‘Aliya wa al-Asrar al-Samiya, p.99
  • 23. Majjma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol.1, p.22
  • 24. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.469.
  • 25. Akhbar al-Duwal, p.111. Jawhart al-Kalam fi Madh al-Sada al-A’lam, 132
  • 26. A‘yan al-Shi‘a, 1/4/471
  • 27. Ilal al-Sharai, p.234
  • 28. Al-Manaqib, vol.4, p.147
  • 29. Ithbat al-Hudat, vol.5, p.176
  • 30. Al-Manaqib, vol.4, p.181
  • 31. Safwat al-Saffwa, vol.2, p.62. Tadhkirat al-Khawas, p.349
  • 32. Hulyat al-Awliya’, vol.3, p.189
  • 33. A‘yan al-Shi‘a, 1/4/169

Chapter 2: Under the Auspices of Al-Husayn and ‘Ali

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, grew up in the House of the message, the place of descent of the revelation, and the source of radiation in the world of Islam. His grandfather, Imam Husayn, peace be on him, and his father, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, fed him with noble ideals. They taught the ways of good and guidance that settled in themselves. Moreover, they taught him bright behavior and a sound direction to be an example to this community. The following is an account of his early life under the wing of his grandfather and his father.

Under the Care of his Grandfather

Imam Husayn, peace be on him, took care of educating his grandson. He bestowed upon him rays of his holy soul that illuminated the horizons of this world. The historians narrated that he seated him on his lap, kissed him very much, and said to him: “Indeed, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, sends you his greetings.”1

This was a hint from the grandfather to his grandson that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, wanted him to practice his leading role for his community. In other words he wanted him to split open the fountains of wisdom in the lands of his community, to proclaim knowledge all over them, and to guide his community to the right path. In his early life, Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, saw his grandfather, Imam Husayn, peace be on him, facing the critical situation.

That was when his grandfather was afflicted by the tyrant of his time and the pharaoh of this community, namely, Yazid b. Mu‘awiya, who endangered Islam, summoned Imam Husayn to pledge allegiance to him, and to yield to his rule. Thus, Imam Husayn, peace be on him, cried out at his face and continued his immortal movement to raise Allah's word high in the earth and to carry out his Islamic message with honesty and loyalty.

So, he sacrificed his life, the members of his house, and his companions to establish the glory of Islam, and to destroy his enemies and his opponents. His sacrifice was full of noble values and high ideals. It moved the people's sentiments and their feelings. It was abounding in positive results. It offered the most wonderful lessons about the sacrifice for the truth and the duty. It will be immortal forever. Moreover, it will represent man's honor and his high purpose.

The stages of that immortal tragedy took place before Imam al-Baqir while he was in his early life. He, peace be on him, said: “My grandfather was killed while I was four years of age. Indeed, I remember his murder and what hit us during that time.”2

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, reported many of its stages. Al-Tabari reported some of its pictures on his authority. A group of the prominent Companions (of the Prophet) wrote a book. They called the book ‘Maqtal al-Husayn’. In it, they have written what they heard from him and from other than him about the tragedies of Karbala'. Ibn al-Nadim has mentioned many of them in his book ‘al-Fihrast’. However, that immortal tragedy left great pain and sorrow in his soul. Its sorrows accompanied him throughout his life.

Under the Auspices of his Father

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, lived for more than 34 years under the care of his father, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him. He accompanied him throughout that period. He did not leave him. He was impressed by his bright guidance that represented the guidance of the prophets and of the apostles. The people did not see the likeness of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin in his God-fearingness, his piety, his asceticism, and his strong cleaving to Allah. We will mention some of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin's affairs and conditions. That is because his behavior had great influence on Imam al-Baqir's deep soul. They are as follows:

Admiration and Glorification

The intellectuals and the scholars admired and glorified Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin. They preferred him to others. The following are some of their words concerning him:

1. Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab

The solemnity of the Imam and his greatness astonished Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab. Thus, he said: “I have never seen (a person) better than ‘Ali b. al-Husayn. I have never seen him but I detest myself. I have never seen him laughing.”3

2. Al-Zuhri

Al-Zuhri adored the Imam. He said: “I have never seen a Qarashi (person) better than him.”4 He also said: “I have never seen (a person) more knowledgeable than ‘Ali b. al-Husayn.”5

3. Zayd b. Aslam

Zayd b. Aslam said: “I have never seen (a person) similar to ‘Ali b. al-Husayn.”6

4. ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz

When ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz heard of the death of the Imam, he said: “The lamp of the world, beauty of Islam and adornment of worshipers passed away.”7

5. Abu Hazim

Abu Hazim said: “I have never seen a Hashimi better than ‘Ali b. al-Husayn.”8

6. Malik

Malik said: “There was nobody similar to ‘Ali b. al-Husayn in the members of the House of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.”9

7. Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah

Among those who adored the Imam was the great Companion (of the Prophet), Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari, who said: “I have never seen a boy of the Prophets similar to ‘Ali b. al-Husayn.”10

8. Al-Waqidi

Al-Waqidi said: “‘Ali b. al-Husayn was the most wonderful of all the people in worship and the most pious of them for Allah, the Great and Almighty.”11

These words denote the impressions of these great figures concerning the Imam. They have unanimously agreed that he was at his time the best of all the family of the Prophet in knowledge and outstanding merits that represent man's absolute perfection.

His high Morals

As for his high morals, they were gifts from Allah. The perplexed person follows the right way with them. The straying person is guided by them. In this phenomenon, the Imam imitated his grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family who was distinguished from the prophets by his high morals.

The historians have unanimously agreed that the Imam, peace be on him, treated kindly those who mistreated him. He forgave them and bestowed liberally upon them to uproot from them aggression against others. The following are some of his attitudes towards them:

A. The historians said: “Isma‘il b. Hisham al-Makhzumi was the governor of Yathrib (Medina). He harbored hatred against the members of the House, peace be on them. He hurt Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin very much and abused his grandfathers on the pulpits to approach the rulers of Damascus. When al-Walid b. ‘Abd al-Malik became caliph, he removed Hisham from office because of a previous enmity. Then he ordered the people to take their rights from him. Hisham was very afraid of the Imam, peace be on him, for he mistreated him very much. So, he said: “I am afraid of no one but of ‘Ali b. al-Husayn. He is a righteous man. Thus, the ruler will hear his words concerning me. “However, the Imam ordered his companions and followers not to mistreat him. Rather, he went to him, smiled at him, asked him about his need during his critical situation, and then said to him: “Cousin, my Allah forgive you. Indeed, what has been done towards you has displeased me. So, summon us to what you like.”

Hisham was astonished. Thus, he said with admiration: “Allah knows where to put His mission.”12

Among his high morals is the following attitude that raises him to the level which no reformer has reached except his grandfathers. It also indicates his Imamate.

The historians reported that he slaughtered every day a ewe. He cooked the ewe and divided it among the poor and the deprived. One day his retainer carried a bowl of broth. The broth was boiling because of the intense heat. The retainer stumbled over a child of the Imam. Thus, the child died at once. So, the ‘Alid women wept loudly. The Imam was praying. When he had finished his prayers, he was told about the death of his child. However, he, peace be on him, hurried to the retainer. He found him shaking with fear. He met him with kindness and affection, and said to him: “You have doubts about ‘Ali b. al-Husayn. You have thought that he will punish you. Go, you are free for Allah. These are four thousand dinars as a gift for you. Excuse me for the fear that has hit you because of me.”13

How wonderful this soul is! It is superior to the good servants whose hearts Allah tested with belief. The Imam inherited these great morals from his grandfather, the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who established the standard of manners in the earth.

C. Among his high morals was that while he was going out of the mosque, a man from those who hated him began cursing and abusing him. Some of the Imam's companions and followers became angry with the man. However, the Imam, peace be on him, calmed them, and then he treated the man kindly, saying: “You do not know our affair completely. Do you have a need to help you against it?”

The man felt shame. He wished that the earth would hide him. Defeat and regret appeared on his face. The Imam, peace be on him, walked towards him. He gave him a shirt. Besides he ordered one thousand dinars to be given to him. Thus, the man said: “I bear witness that you are among the children of the prophets.”14

These are some of his attitudes that are full of mercy, clemency, and self- denial. Indeed the morals of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on him, are a school that is based on honor, nobility, and on everything through which man becomes high.

His Proclaiming Knowledge

After the tragedy of Karbala', Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, devoted himself to proclaiming knowledge among the people. He did not confine himself to the science of tradition and jurisprudence. Rather, he took care of ethics, literature, philosophy, and wisdom. Moreover, he supplied the Islamic thought with large abilities of knowledge, wisdom, and etiquette. His book called ‘al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya', his treatise on rights, the encyclopedias of tradition, and the books of ethics are full of them.

His Urging (the Muslims) to seek Knowledge

He, peace be on him, urged the Muslims to seek knowledge. He summoned them to strive to study knowledge because it is the creative means for their development and the prosper of their life. He, peace be on him said: “If people knew what is in seeking knowledge, they would seek it even through shedding blood and wading into the depth of the sea.”

He, peace be on him, advised some of his companions to spread knowledge. In addition he ordered them not to be proud towards the teacher. He, peace be on him, said: “Indeed if you are good in teaching the people and do not show pride towards them, Allah will increase you from His favor. If you prevent them from learning your knowledge, then it is incumbent on Allah, the Great and Almighty, to deprive you of knowledge and its splendor and to drop your position from the hearts.”15

His Honoring the Seekers of Knowledge

He, peace be on him, took care of the seekers of knowledge and raised their position. When he saw one of them, he said: “Welcome to the will of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. “Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, said: “When my father, Zayn al-‘Abidin, looked at the young men who sought knowledge, he made them nearer to him, saying: ‘Welcome to you, you are the deposits of knowledge. If you are the young men of people, you are about to be the elders of others.'”16

The Readers of the Quran cleaved to him

The readers of the Quran devoted themselves to Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin to learn from him sciences, knowledge, and manners of conduct. Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab talked about their cleaving to the Imam, saying: “Indeed, the readers of the Quran did not go to Mecca till ‘Ali b. al-Husayn went there. He went there and a thousand riders went with him.”17

His Freeing of Slaves

Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, felt pity for slaves. Thus, he bought them and their women. Then he released them all to enjoy freedom and dignity. When he released them, he gave them enough money to be in no need of people.

He adopted a group of slaves. Then he taught them various kinds of knowledge and sciences. A large group of them graduated from his school. They were among the great scholars at that time. That was the reason why the slaves headed the scientific movement during those times. That was also the reason why they followed the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, and joined every political movement that summoned the people to get rid of the Umayyad government and to return the caliphate to the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, who were the refuge for every poor and deprived person.

His Worship and his Piety

Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin was among the monks of this community in his worship and piety. He was given the nick-name of Dhi al-Thafanat (the one with calluses). That was because of his many prostrations (in prayer). He was also given the nick-name of al-Mujtahid (the hardworking one), Zayn al-‘Abidin (the ornament of the worshipers), and Sayyid al-‘Abidin (the Lord of the worshipers).18 The nick-name of al-Sajjad refers to his constant worship and his great cleaving to Allah. The historians reported that when he used to perform ritual ablutions, his skin would turn yellow. Thus, his family said to him: “What is that which hits you during the ablution? “He said to them: “Do you not know before whom I want to stand?”19

His son, al-Baqir, came to him. He found him worshipping Allah to the extent that he turned pale because of staying up at night, his eyes had white secretion because of weeping, his forehead festered because of much prostration (in prayer), and his legs swelled because of praying at night. So, his son burst into tears. However, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin was praying. When he saw his son, he ordered him to give him the parchments in which there was the (practice of) worship of his grandfather, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. His son gave him those parchments. He considered them carefully. Then he left them out of boredom and said: “Who is strong enough to perform the worship of ‘Ali b. Abi Talib?”20

When he, peace be on him, rose to pray before Allah, he turned toward the Great Creator with his heart and his feelings. No affair of this life made him busy. Imam al-Baqir said: “When my father rose to pray, he did not busy himself in other than it and did not hear anything, for he devoted himself to it. “One of his children fell and broke his hand. His family cried. Then they sent for the bone setter. He set the hand of the child who was crying because of the intense pain. The Imam did not hear anything. When he entered upon morning and saw the boy's splint hand, he asked about that. So, his family told him about that.21

Worship strained him very much. Indeed he overexerted himself for it. Thus, his family feared for his safety. They begged him to decrease his worship. However, he refused that. Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, said: “When Fatima, the daughter of the Commander of the Faithful, saw her nephew, ‘Ali b. al-Husayn, overexerting himself in worshipping, she went to Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari and said to him: “O Companion of the Apostle of Allah, indeed, we have rights with you. Among our rights with you is that when you see one of us overexerting himself, you must make him remember Allah and ask him to relieve himself. The nose of ‘Ali b. al-Husayn, the rest of his father, al-Husayn, has been torn. His forehead, his kneels, and his palms (of the hands) have become swollen. That is because he has overexerted himself in worshipping.”

So, Jabir went to Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin. He found him overexerting himself in worshipping at his mihrab. The Imam rose to receive Jabir. He seated him beside him and asked him very much about his condition. Then Jabir asked the Imam:

“O Son of the Apostle of Allah, do you not know that Allah has created Paradise for you and for those who love you and created Fire for those who hate you and show enmity towards you? So, why do you overexert yourself?”

The Imam answered Jabir with kindness and affection: “O Companion of the Apostle of Allah, do you not know that Allah has forgiven my grandfather, Allah's Apostle, his past and following faults? Still he overexerted himself for Allah. May my father and mother be ransom for Allah's Apostle, he worshipped Allah till his leg and his foot became swollen. It was said to him: ‘do you do that while Allah has forgiven you your past and following faults?' Thus, he said: ‘should I not be a grateful servant?' ”

When Jabir knew that the Imam insisted on overexerting himself, he said to him: “O Son of the Apostle of Allah, spare your life. That is because you are from the family through whom the tribulation is driven away, through whom the illness is cured, and through whom the sky rains.”

The Imam replied him with a faint voice: “I will continue the way of my father and of my grandfather. I will follow their example till I meet them.”

Jabir was astonished. Thus, he said to those who were around him: “No child of the prophets was like ‘Ali b. al-Husayn except Joseph, the son of Jacob. By Allah, the children of al-Husayn are better than the children of Joseph, the son of Jacob. Indeed one of them will fill the earth with justice as it had been filled with injustice.”22

Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin was the Imam of the pious and the repentant. Indeed he overexerted himself in his worshipping. He was loyal in his obedience. He cleaved to Allah to the extent that even saints did not do that.

His Alms and his Kindness

Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin was the kindest of all the people to the weak, the gentlest of them to the needy and the most merciful of them to the miserable. He preferred the poor to himself and his family. The historians have unanimously agreed that he carried a bag of bread on his back and divided it among the poor as alms. He said: “Indeed the secret alms put out the Lord's wrath.”23 He maintained one hundred families in Medina.24 He had kissed the poor person before he gave him the alms.25 He did that lest the poor should feel abasement.

The historians said: “When Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) washed his father, some of those who attended his washing saw that his kneels and the outside of his feet were like those of the he-camel. That is because the Imam prostrated (in prayer) very much. Meanwhile they looked at his shoulders and saw that they were similar to his knees and feet. Thus, they asked Imam al-Baqir about that. He, peace be on him, said: “If he was living, I would not tell you about that. Every day, he as far as possible fed a needy person up wards. When the night came, he looked at what remained from the food of his family at that day of theirs. He put the food into the bag. When the people became calm, he put the bag on his shoulder. He went through (the streets) of Medina. He intended to reach a group of people who did not ask the people for alms. He reached them while they did not know him. No one of his family knew that except me. I knew that he wanted to give alms secretly with his own hand. He said: “The secret alms put out the Lord's wrath.”26

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, reported some of his father's alms, saying: “Perhaps my father bought a silk garment for fifty dinars. He spent the winter wearing it. He entered the mosque wearing it. When the summer came, he ordered the garment to be given as alms or he ordered it to be bought to give its price as alms.27

Indeed Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin was unique in the history of mankind. That is because his moral criteria and his psychological merits raised him to the level which nobody reached except his grandfathers.

The Wonderful Poem of al-Farazdaq

Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, went to the Sacred House of Allah to perform the pilgrimage. Meanwhile Hisham b. ‘Abd al-Malik went there for the same purpose. The latter did his best to touch the Black Stone but he was unable to do that, for the people overcrowded around it. A pulpit was installed and he sat on it. He began looking at the circumambulation of the people. Then Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin came to perform his circumambulation. When the pilgrims saw him, they were astonished at his solemnity that was similar to the solemnity of his grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. The people were shouting loudly: “There is no god but God! Allah is great!” They made two queues for him. Happy was he who saw him, kissed his hand, and touched his shoulder. That is because the Imam was the rest of Allah in his earth. The Syrians were astonished when they saw that situation. That is because the pilgrims did not received Hisham, who was the nominated caliph after his father, warmly though the Syrians honored him and the policemen surrounded him.

One of Hisham's companions asked him: “Who is that man whom the people have honored very much?

Hisham burst into anger, shouted at the man, saying: “I do not know him!”

He claimed that he did not know the Imam lest the people should know him. Al-Farazdaq was there. He did not control himself. Thus, he said to the Syrians: “I know him.” “Who is he, Abu Firas?” asked the Syrians. Hisham shouted at al-Farazdaq, saying: “I do not know him!” “Yes, you know him,” replied al-Farazdaq.

Then he rose and composed the following poem whose effect was stronger than the hitting of the swords and the stabbing of the spears against Hisham. He said:

This is the son of Husayn and the son of Fatima the daughter of the Apostle through whom the darkness dispersed.

This is he whose ability the valley (of Mecca) recognizes, and whom the (Sacred) House (as do) the sanctuary and the area outside the sanctuary (al-hill).

This is the son of the best of Allah's servants. This is the pure pious man, the pure eminent man.

When Quraysh saw him, their spokesman said:

Liberality terminates at the outstanding qualities of this (man).

He belongs to the top of glory which the Arabs of Islam and non-Arabs fall short of obtaining.

When he comes to touch the wall of the Kaaba, it almost grasps the palm of his hand.

He takes care to be modest and he is protected from his terror. He only speaks when he smiles.

There is a cane in his hand. Its smell is fragrant from the hand of the most wonderful (of all the people), who is proud.

The prophets yielded to his grandfather's favor. The nations yielded to the favor of his community.

The light of guidance emanates from the light of his forehead. He is like the sun whose shining disperses darkness.

His tree belongs to the Apostle of Allah. Its elements, its natures, and its qualities are good.

This is the son of Fatima if you do not recognize him. The prophets of Allah were ended by his grandfather.

Allah honored and favored him from antiquity.

Your words ‘who is this?’ do not harm him. The Arabs and non-Arabs recognize him whom you deny.

Both his hands are relief. Their advantage has prevailed. The hands are equal. Nonexistence does not befall them.

He is the carrier of the burdens of the people when they are oppressed.

His qualities are good. The ‘yes’ is sweet with him.

He does not break the promise. His soul is blessed. His courtyard is wide. He is clever when he decides.

He is from the people whose love is religion, whose hate is unbelief, whose approach is refuge and protection.

If the God-fearing are numbered, they are their Imams. If it is said who are the best of the earth, it is said they are.

No generous man can reach their far purpose. No people, though generous, can compete with them (for generosity).

They are rain when a crisis happens. They are lions when fear becomes intense.

Poverty does not decreases the relief from their hands. That is the same, whether they are rich or poor.

Misfortune and tribulation are driven away through their love.

Kindness and the blessings are regained through it.

In every affair their praise is after the praise of Allah. The speech is ended by it.

Abasement refuses to stop at their space. Their natures are noble, and their hands are full of liberality.

None of mankind has within their souls such primacy as he does nor such grace as he does.

Whoever knows Allah, knows His friend. Religion is from the House of this man.

Hisham burst into anger. He wished that the earth would swallow him up. He was displeased to hear this poem called al-‘Asma'. That is because it indicated the high social rank of the great Imam. Besides it made the Syrians recognize him, for they did not recognize him nor did they recognize his grandfathers. Accordingly, Hisham ordered al-Farazdaq to be imprisoned at a place called ‘Asfan between Mecca and Medina. Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin heard of that, so he sent al-Farazdaq twelve thousand dirhams. However, al-Farazdaq returned them. He refused to accept them and said: “I said that concerning you as anger for Allah and His Apostle.” The Imam returned them and al-Farazdaq agreed to accept them. Then al-Farazdaq began dispraising Hisham.28

Deep Sadness

In this world nobody was afflicted with disaster as Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him. That is because he suffered from the fears of the disaster of Karbala'. He saw the stages of that tragedy that is immortal in the world of grief. He was ill, for illnesses and diseases attacked him. Those sad sights melted his heart. Thus, they moved him to weep continuously. His deep sadness increased in the course of days. So, sadness melted him. His sadness for his father became great to the extent that he mixed his food with his tears.29

Thus, some of his followers begged him to be patient, saying: “We are afraid that you will be among the perished. “However, the Imam answered them kindly: “I express my grief and my sadness before Allah. I know what you do not know. Indeed Jacob was a prophet. He had twelve children. Allah concealed on of his children. Jacob knew that his child was living. Still, he wept over him to the extent that his eyes became white because of sadness. For me, I looked at my father, my brothers, my uncles, and my companions. They were killed around me. So, how does my sadness end? When I remember the murder of the son of Fatima (Imam Husayn), I burst into tears. When I look at my aunts and my sisters, I remember the day when they escaped from tent to tent at the Battle of Karbala'. Nevertheless, the caller of the people shouted: ‘Burn the tents of the oppressive. ' ”

Those painful sights that occurred at Karbala' motivated his sadness and sorrow. So, he is numbered as one of the five weeping persons who have represented sadness and weeping in the arena of life for centuries.

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, witnessed that exhausting sadness that befell his father. Thus, he became very impatient. Perhaps he shared his father his weeping and his grief.

His Commandments to his Son al-Baqir

The great Imam supplied his son al-Baqir and all his children with educational commandments full of high manners and noble values. They achieve safety, rest, and tranquility to those who put them into practice. The following are some of them:

1. He, peace be on him, said to his son, al-Baqir: “O My little son, do not make friends with five (persons), and do not talk with them. Do not make friends with the sinner, for he sells you for a meal or less than it. I (al-Baqir) said: ‘My father, what do you mean by less than it?' He replied: ‘He wishes for it, then he will not obtain it. 'Do not make friends with the miser, for he abandons you when you are in need of him. Do not make friends with the liar, for he is like the mirage. He makes the near (things) far for you, and he makes the distant (things) near for you. Do not make friends with the fool, for he wants to avail you but he harms you. It was said: ‘A wise enemy is better than a foolish friend. 'Do not make friends with him who abandons his close relatives, for he is cursed at three places in Allah's Book: in the Chapter of Muhammad, Allah, the Most High, said:

“But if you held command, you were sure to make mischief in the land and cut off the ties of kinship! It is those whom Allah has cursed. So, He has made them deaf and blinded their eyes.” (Muhammad, 47: 22-23)

In the Chapter of al-Ra‘d, Allah, the Exalted, said:

“And those who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation and cut asunder that which Allah has ordered to be joined and make mischief in the land; (as for) those, upon them shall be a curse and they shall have the evil (issue) of the abode.” (Ar-Ra’d, 13:25)

In the Chapter of al-Ahzab, Allah, the Most High, said:

“Surely (as for) those who speak evil things of Allah and His Apostle, Allah has cursed them in this world and the hereafter, and He has prepared for them a chastisement bringing disgrace.(Al-Ahzab, 33:57) 30

In these commandments the Imam, peace be on him, warned Muslims of making friends with the above-mentioned persons whose morals are bad, for the psychological illnesses of such people pass along their friends. Indeed friendship has a great effect on forming the personal behavior of the individual.

2. He, peace be on him, recommended his son, al-Baqir, with these valuable commandments. He said to him: “Do good for everybody who asks you for it. If he is appropriate for it, then you are right in giving it. If he is inappropriate for it, then you are appropriate for it. If a man abuses you on your right hand and then the man moves to your left hand and apologizes to you, then accept his apology.”31

These commandments are full of the noble ethics which the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, adopted. They urged the Muslims to do good and asked them to forgive those who mistreated them. These are the most prominent qualities of them.

3. Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, said: “My father, ‘Ali b. al-Husayn, said to his children: ‘Be careful of small and big lies during seriousness and joking. That is because if the person tells a small lie, he will tell a big one.’”32

The Imam, peace be on him, urged his children to adopt good deeds. He planted noble qualities in themselves. He prevented them from practicing the deeds that corrupt man's behavior.

4. Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, recommended his son, Imam al-Baqir, to cleave to the following excellent commandments. He, peace be on him, said: “My little son, intellect is the guide of the soul. Knowledge is the guide of the intellect. Intellect is the translator of knowledge. Know that knowledge is more surviving, the tongue is more prattling, and that the reform of all the world is in two words- cleverness and heedlessness.33 For man does not neglects what he has already recognized. Know that the hours decrease your lifetime. You do not obtain a blessing but through leaving another blessing. Beware of the long hope.”34

These are some of his commandments. They are full of high morals, valuable wise sayings, and sound directions. The Imam did not put them for his children only. Rather he put them for all people regardless of their nationalities and their religions.

His Supplications for his Children

As for all his supplications, they represent an origin bright side of the sides of Islamic education. They are the best ways to educate souls and to improve morals.

The great Imam knew that black clouds of social, moral and religious deterioration prevailed in the community during his time. So, he put his supplications known as ‘al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya'. Through them he wanted to cure psychological diseases and to renew the mental and spiritual qualities of the community. The supplications are among the most valuable Islamic works after the Holy Quran and Nahjj al-Balagha.

Indeed Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin's supplications are full of knowledge, wise sayings, and spiritual Islamic belief. They supply the community with the teachings necessary to achieve its individual and social balance. Among his holy supplications for his children is the following. He, peace be on him, said:

O Allah, be kind to me through

The survival of my children,

Setting them right for me,

And allowing me to enjoy them!

O Allah, make long their lives for me,

Increase their terms,

Bring up the smallest for me,

Strengthen the weakest for me,

Rectify for me their bodies,

Their religious dedication,

And their moral traits,

Make them well in their souls, their limbs,

And everything that concerns me of their affair,

And pour out for me and upon my hand

Their provisions!

Make them pious, fearing, insightful, hearing,

And obedient toward You,

Loving and well-disposed toward Your friends,

And stubbornly resistant and full of hate

Toward all Your enemies!

Amen!

O Allah, through them strengthen my arm,

Straighten my burdened back,

Multiply my number,

Adorn my presence,

Keep alive my mention,

Suffice me when I am away,

Help me in my needs,

And make them loving toward me,

Affectionate, approaching, upright,

Obedient, never disobedient, disrespectful

Opposed, or offenders!

Help me in their upbringing, their education,

And my devotion toward them,

Give me among them from Yourself male children,

Make that a good for me,

And make them a help for me

In that which I ask from You!

Give me and my progeny refuge from the accursed Satan,

For You have created us, commanded us, and prohibited us,

And made us desire the reward of what You have commanded

And fear its punishment!

You assigned to us an enemy

Who schemes against us,

Gave him an authority over us

In a way that You did not give us an authority over him,

Allowed him to dwell in our breasts

And let him run in our blood vessels;

He is not heedless though we are heedless,

He does not forget though we forget;

He makes us feel secure from your punishment

And fill us with fear toward other than You.

If we are about to commit an indecency,

He gives us courage to do so,

And if we are about to perform a righteous work,

He holds us back from it.

He opposes us through passions

And sets up for us doubts.

If he promises us, he lies

And if he raises our hopes, he fails to fulfill them.

If You do not turn his trickery away from us,

He will misguide us,

And if You do not protect us from his corruption,

He will cause us to slip.

O Allah, so defeat his authority over us through Your authority,

Such that You hold him back from us

Through the frequency of our supplication to You

And we leave his trickery

And rise up among those preserved by You from sin!

O Allah, grant me my every request,

Accomplish for me my needs

Withhold not from me Your response

When You have made Yourself accountable for it to me,

Veil not my supplication from Yourself,

When You have commanded me to make it,

And be kind to me through everything that will set me right

In this world and the next,

In everything that I remember or forget,

Display or conceal,

Make public or keep secret!

In all of this, place me through my asking You among

Those who set things right,

Those who are answered favorably

When they request from You

And from whom is not withheld

When they put their trust in You,

Those accustomed to seek refuge in You,

Those who profit through commerce with You,

Those granted sanctuary through Your might,

Those given lawful provision in plenty from Your bound less bounty

Through Your munificence and generosity,

Those who reach exaltation after abasement through You

Those granted sanctuary from wrong through Your justice,

Those released from affliction through Your mercy,

Those delivered from need after poverty through Your riches,

Those preserved from sins, slips, and offenses through reverential fear toward You,

Those successful in goodness, right conduct, and propriety through obeying You,

Those walled off from sins through Your power,

The retainers from every act of obedience toward You,

The dwellers in Your neighborhood!

O Allah, give all of that through Your bestowal of success and Your mercy,

Grant us refuge from the chastisement of the burning,

And give to all the Muslims, male and female,

And all the faithful, male and female,

The like of what I have asked for myself and my children,

In the immediate of this world

And the deferred of the next!

Verily You are the Near, the Responder,

The All-hearing, the All-knowing,

The pardoner, the Forgiving,

The Clement, the merciful!

And give to us in this world good,

And in the next world good,

And protect us from the chastisement of the Fire!35

Indeed the great Imam put the methods of education and the ethics of Islam through this holy supplication, which is among the gifts of Prophethood, the fragrant smells of the Imamate, and the bright pages of the heritage of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them.

The Imam took care of this supplication to educate the morals of his children and to purify their souls from deviation from the right path and sins. He prayed for Allah to set right their religion, to protect them from committing what he prohibited, and to set right their conduct so that they would be the delight of his eye and a help for him to achieve the affairs of this life. It is natural for the father to be happy when his child is righteous. When the child deviates, he turns his parents' life into an unbearable inferno.

In Protection from Immortality

The great Imam overexerted himself in worship. He was very loyal to Allah. The people saw nobody like him in piety and intense cleaving to the religion. His life was a school for piety, belief, education, and reform. The people admired him very much, for he was the rest of the Prophethood and of Allah in His earth. Thus, they were happy to see him, to sit with him, and to talk with him.

This was difficult for the Umayyads who were the most malicious of all the people towards the Prophet's family. They were afraid of the Imam, for the people admired him very much, and talked about his vast knowledge. Among the most malicious towards him was al-Walid b. ‘Abd al-Malik. Al-Zuhri reported that al-Walid said: “I have no rest as long as ‘Ali b. al-Husayn is in this world.”36 When this spiteful person became caliph, he decided to kill the Imam.

Al-Walid poisoned the Imam

Al-Walid committed the most dangerous crime in Islam. He sent deadly poison to his governor of Medina (Yathrib). He commanded him to give the poison to the Imam to drink.37 His governor carried out that order. When the Imam was given the poison to drink, he suffered from severe pains. He remained alive for some days on the death bed expressing his grief to Allah. The people crowded to visit him. However, he, peace be on him, was praising Allah for granting him martyrdom at the hands of the worst of His creatures.

His Designation for the Imamate of al-Baqir

He, peace be on him, charged his son, al-Baqir, with the Imamate after him and designated him as the Imam. Al-Zuhri said: [I went to him to visit him. Then I said to him:] “If Allah's unavoidable order occurs, whom shall we follow after you?”

The Imam looked at me kindly and said to me: “This son of mine, pointing to his son al-Baqir, for he is my trustee, my inheritor, and the container of my knowledge. He is the origin of knowledge and the one who will split it open. ”

“Will you not designate your eldest son?”

“Abu ‘Abd Allah, oldness and youngness do not concern the Imamate. In this manner, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, nominated us. Thus, we have found it written in the tablet and the parchment. ”

“Son of the Apostle of Allah, did your Prophet entrust you to be the trustees (of authority) after him?”

“We have found twelve names in the parchment and the tablet. Their Imamate, their fathers' names, and their mothers' names have been written in the tablet.” Then he said: “Seven of the trustees will come forth from the back of Muhammad, my son. Al-Mahdi will be one of them.”38

Some prominent Shi‘ites came to him. He told them about the Imamate of his son al-Baqir. He appointed him as the authority and leader for the community of his grandfather. Then he gave him a basket and a box in which were the prophets' heritage and the weapon and the books of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.39

His Bequests to his Son al-Baqir

Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, entrusted his trustee and the Lord of his sons, Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, to carry out his bequests that are as follow:

1. He said to him: “Through this she-camel of mine, I performed the hajj twenty times. I have never whipped it. When it dies, bury it so as the beasts of prey do not eat its meat. That is because Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Allah numbers the camel from the blessings of Heaven when the pilgrim performs the hajj seven times through it. And He makes blessed its progeny. ”Imam al-Baqir carried that out.40

2. He advised him to carry out the following valuable bequest that denote some bright qualities of the members of the House (ahl al-Bait), peace be on them. He said to him: “I advise you with what my father advised me when death came to him. He said to me: “My little son, beware of oppressing him who has no supporter against you but Allah.”41

3. He entrusted him to wash and shroud him and to take care of all his affairs till he buried him in his final resting place.42

To the High Comrade

The Imam was in a critical condition, for the death pangs became more serious. The members of his House were told that he would move to Paradise in the darkness of the night. He fainted three times. When he got well, he read the chapter of al-Waqi‘a and the chapter of Inna Fatahna, and then he, peace be no him, said: “Praise belongs to Allah, Who has made good to us his promise, and has made us inherit the land; we abide in the garden where we please; so goodly is the reward of the workers.”43

Then that great soul ascended to its Creator as the souls of the prophets and of the apostles ascended. The angels of the Merciful surrounded it. Allah's favors, greetings, and pleasure surrounded it too. His soul ascended to Heaven after it had enlightened the horizons of this universe and the worlds of this world had shone through it. That is because it had left behind it noble practices through which the perplexed one and the straying one follow the right way.

His Preparation for Burial

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) prepared his father's body. When he washed his body, the people saw the places of his prostration (in prayer). They were similar to the camel's kneels because of his many prostrations for his Creator. The people looked at his shoulders. They looked like the camel's kneels too. Thus, the people asked al-Baqir about that. He told them that his father's shoulders were so because of the food bag he carried on them for the poor and the deprived.

After al-Baqir had washed his father's body, he shrouded it and prayed over it.

His Funeral

Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin was escorted to his final resting place in the manner which Medina (Yathrib) had never seen before. The pious and the sinners paid him the last hours. All the people wept over him, for they lost much good at his death. Moreover, they lost that high soul of which no soul was created. The people crowded around that holy body. They were happy to raise it. It was strange that Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab, one of the seven jurists in Medina, did not escort the Imam and did not pray over him. Hushrum, Ashja‘s retainer, blamed him for that. Sa‘id said to him: “To pray two raq‘as in the mosque is more lovable for me than to pray over this good man from the good House.44 Sa‘id was deprived of escorting the Imam who was the most pious human being Allah created after his pure grandfathers.

To his final Resting Place

The people were around the great body praising and glorifying Allah. They brought it to the (cemetery) of Baqi‘al-Gharqad. They dug a grave for it beside the grave of his pure uncle, Imam al-Hasan b. ‘Ali, the Lord of the youth of Heaven. Imam al-Baqir buried his father's body in its final resting place. He buried with it kindness, piety, clemency, and the spiritual qualities of the prophets and of the pious.

Then the people hurried toward Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, to condole him. The Imam, his bothers, and all the Hashimites thanked them for that.

After he had buried his father at the (cemetery) of Baqi al-Gharqad, Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, went home weeping The Hashimites, the children of the Companions (of the Prophet), and the notable Muslims surrounded him. They were weeping over Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin and mentioning his traits and his deeds. They were also mentioning with great sorrow the heavy loss that befell the Muslims at his death.

After his father's death, Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, undertook the spiritual leadership and the general authority of the Muslim world. The Imamate and the religious leader with the Shi‘ites passed to him.45 From that moment, he began to proclaim knowledge and to teach the scholars special lessons about the affairs of Islamic Law and the rules of religion. Most historians mentioned that he lived for 39 years under the protection of his father.46 The orientalist Roait M. Reynolds made a mistake when he mentioned that the Imam's age was 19 years when the Imamate passed to him.47 That has occurred because of the paucity of the studies on the affairs of Islamic history.

Fabrication

In his book ‘al-Tarikh', b. ‘Asakir reported some fabrications on the authority of Muhammad b. Ja‘far al-Samiry, who said: I heard Abu Musa, the educator, say: Qays b. al-Nu‘man said: “One day I went to some graveyards of Medina. Suddenly, I found a boy. The boy was sitting beside a grave and weeping loudly. Rays of light were coming out of his face. I walked toward him and said: “O Boy, what has made you sad to the extent that it has made you lonely at the graveyards and weep over the deed while you are in the inexperience of boyhood paying no attention to the difference of the times and the longing of grief? The boy raised his head and lowered it. He kept silent for an hour without giving an answer. Then he raised his head and said:

Indeed the boy is he whose intellect is young.

Neither youngness nor oldness has abased the wise from us.

Then he said to me: You have no ability to think. Your bowels are free from sorrow. You feel safe from the approach of death through the long hope. Indeed the thing that has made me lonely at the graveyard reminds me of the Words of Allah, the Great and Almighty: ‘And the trumpet shall be blown, when lo! From the graves they shall hasten on to their Lord. ‘So, I said: May my father and mother be ransom for you, who are you? He said: ‘The unhappiness of the fools is that their knowledge of the children of the prophets is little. I am Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn. This is the grave of my father. Which sociability is more sociable than his nearness? Which loneliness is with him? Then he composed, saying:

When my tears decrease at a misfortune,

I make weeping a cause for it.

Qays said: ‘I went away. I did not leave the visitation of the graves from that time.48’” This report was fabricated, for it denotes that the Imam was still young after his father's death. However, the historians have unanimously agreed that his holy age was 39 years. Thus, when we consider carefully this report, we understand that it is among the fabrications.

With this our talk about Imam Muhammad al-Baqir under the wing of his father and of his grandfather is over. He inherited from them the greatest thing which the branches inherit from the origins. He inherited from them knowledge, wisdom, and sound judgments.

  • 1. Tarikh Dimashq, vol.51, p.38. Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala’, vol.4, p.241
  • 2. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.2, p.61
  • 3. Ibid, vol.2, p.46
  • 4. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol.7, p.305
  • 5. Hulyat al-Awliya’, vol.3, p.309
  • 6. Tabaqat al-Fuqaha’, p.34
  • 7. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.2, p.48
  • 8. Hulyat al-Awliya’, vol.3, p.141
  • 9. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol.7, p.305
  • 10. Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, p.73
  • 11. Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol.9, p.104
  • 12. Wasilat al-Mal fi ‘Ad Manaqib al-Al, p.208
  • 13. Saffwat al-Safwa
  • 14. Wasilat al-Mal fi ‘Ad Manaqib al-Al, p.208
  • 15. Radi al-Din al-Tubrisi, Makarim al-Akhlaq, p.143
  • 16. Al-Dur al-Nazim, p.181. Al-Anwar al-Bahiya, p.103
  • 17. Bihar al-Anwar, vol.2, p.83
  • 18. Al-Dur al-Nazim, p.179
  • 19. Durr al-Abkar fi Safwat al-Akhyar
  • 20. A‘lam al-Wara, p.360
  • 21. Al-Dur al-Nazim, p.179
  • 22. Ahmed Fahmi, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, pp.72-73
  • 23. Hulyat al-Awliya’, vol.3, p.136
  • 24. Ibid
  • 25. Ibid
  • 26. Da‘a’im al-Islam, vol.2, p.188
  • 27. Ibid, p.156
  • 28. Nihayat al-Irab, vol.21, pp.327-331
  • 29. Hayat al-Imam al-Husayn, vol.3, p.327
  • 30. Al-Ithaf bi Hub al-Ashraf, p.282
  • 31. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, p.282
  • 32. Wasa’il al-Shi‘a, vol.3, p.232
  • 33. Many authors ascribed these golden words to Imam al-Baqir
  • 34. Al-Khazzaz, Kifayat al-Athar, p.319
  • 35. Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiya, supplication no.25
  • 36. Hayat al-Imam ‘Ali b. al-Husayn, p.426
  • 37. Ibn al-Sabbagh, al-Fusul al-Muhimma, p.233
  • 38. Ithbat al-Hudat, vol.5, p.264
  • 39. Ibid, p.268
  • 40. Al-Barqi, al-Mahasin, vol.2, p.635
  • 41. Al-Khisal, p.185
  • 42. Al-Khara’ijj, p.20
  • 43. Roudat al-Kafi
  • 44. Al-Kashi, Rijal, p.76
  • 45. Al-‘Aqd al-Farid, vol.5, p.204
  • 46. Ibn Abi al-Thaljj al-Baghdadi, Tarikh al-A’imma, p.5
  • 47. ‘Aqidat al-Shi‘a, p.123
  • 48. Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, vol.51, pp.44-45

Chapter 3: His Brothers and His Children

As for the research about the Sharifs from the brothers and children of Imam al-Baqir and about their relationship with him, it is necessary according to modern studies. That is because it denotes a side of his life under the wing of his family and it is numbered among the educational factors that affect the individual's character as the educationalists say. That is as follows:

His Brothers

As for the Imam's relationship with his brothers, it was very strong. Love and familiarity prevailed. It was far from bitter obscene language. It was said to him: “Which of your brothers is the most lovable to you?”

He, peace be on him, replied that he did not discriminate against anyone of them and that he loved them all and was loyal to them all. He said: “As for ‘Abd Allah, he is my hand with which I assault.1 As for ‘Umar, he is me eye through which I see. As for al-Husayn, he is clement. He walks calmly on the earth. When the ignorant address them, they say: greetings.”2

The Imam's brothers had all the noble qualities such as piety, God-fearingness, and righteousness. Their father, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, fed them from his guidance and bestowed on them rays from his soul. Thus, the rays enlightened their hearts through the true Islam and the true belief. Now, we will give a brief idea about their affairs:

Zayd the Martyr

As for Zayd the martyr, he filled the world with his knowledge and his outstanding qualities. He was among the notables of the Prophet's family who raised Allah's Words high in the earth and sacrificed their souls for Allah to establish Islamic justice, to repeat the Quranic government among people, and to end the social oppression which the Umayyad regime spread among the people. Now, we will mention some of his life and his affairs.

His Birth

Zayd the martyr was born in the year 78 A. H.3 It was said that he was born in the year 75 A. H.4 When his father, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, was given good news, he took the Holy Quran and opened it. Thus, the holy verse appeared:

“Surely Allah has bought of the believers their souls and their property for this, that they shall have the garden.,” (At-Tawba, 9:111)

He closed the Quran and then he opened it again, so this verse appeared:

“And reckon not those who are killed in Allah's way as dead; nay they are alive (and) are provided sustenance from their lord.” (Aal-‘Imraan , 3:169)

He closed the Quran and opened it, so this verse appeared:

“Allah has made the strivers with their property and their souls to excel the holders back a (high) degree.” (An-Nisaa’, 4:95)

The Imam was dazzled and began saying: “I have been condoled concerning this boy. Surely he will be among the martyrs.”5 The Imam, peace be on him, predicted the martyrdom and told his companions about it. Thus, they had no doubt about that.

His Early Life

Zayd grew up in the Houses of Prophethood and of the Imamate. His father, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, who was the best human being during his time, fed him with the essence of wisdom. He took care of his manners. He drew the way of guidance and good for him. He affected his behavior. Thus, his father's bright habits were impressed in his mind. The historians said: “Zayd's most prominent qualities were asceticism, piety, and conforming to the religion. He did not follow the leadership of himself. Rather he preferred the pleasure and obedience of Allah to all things. ”

From his childhood, Zayd had a close relationship with his brother al-Baqir who was the successor and trustee of his father and the inheritor of his knowledge. It is natural that this relationship had a great effect on his behavior and his character. That is because his behavior and his character were similar to those of his grandfathers whom Allah purified from uncleanliness and made far from them the sins of this world.

His Worship and his Piety

Zayd was loyal to Allah in worship and turned to Him in repentance. '‘Asim b. ‘Ubayd al-‘Umari said: “When Zayd was a young man in Medina, I saw him praise Allah to the extent that he fainted. Thus, the people said that he would not come back to this world.”6 With the people of Medina, he was known as the Ally of the Quran.7 The prostration (in prayer) affected his face8 because of his many prayers during whole the night.9 With his sentiments and his feelings, he turned his face toward Allah. Moreover, he followed everything that brought him near Allah in station.

His Knowledge and his Literature

Zayd was among the prominent scholars of his time. He was an encyclopedia of traditions, jurisprudence, the explanation (of the Quran), language, literature, and theology. Jabir asked Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, peace be on him, about Zayd. He, peace be on him, replied: “You asked me about a man who is full of belief and knowledge from the ends of his hair to his foot.”10

He, peace be on him, said: “Indeed Zayd was given abundant knowledge.”11 Zayd talked about his vast knowledge and education when he prepared himself to lead the community and to revolt against the Umayyad government. He said:

”By Allah, I did not go out nor did I make this uprising of mine till I have read the Quran, mastered the religious duties, have command of the sunna (the Prophet's practices), and morals, known the interpretation as I have known the Quran, understood the abrogating (verse) and the abrogated, the specific and general, the clearly defined and the ambiguous, and the necessary needs of the community. Indeed I know my Lord clearly.”12

Surely Zayd was among the most prominent jurists and among the greatest reporters of tradition. He learned his knowledge from his father, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, and from his brother, Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, who split open knowledge as his grandfather, the Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said. They fed him with all kinds of knowledge. Moreover, he learned from them the principles and branches of the thought and the explanation (of the Quran). Thus, he was among the first-class figures in his outstanding merits and knowledge.

Al-Shahristani thought that Zayd studied under Wasil b. ‘Ata' and learned al-i‘tizal (seclusion) from him. He said: “He (Zayd) wanted to know the principles and the branches to be endowed with knowledge, so he learned the principles from Wasil b. ‘Ata', the head of the Mutazilites. Worth mentioning, Wasil b. ‘Ata' thought that Zayd's grandfather, ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him, was not sure of correctness during his battles against the Companions of the Camel and the Syrians and that one of the two parties was wrong. For this reason, Zayd learned al-i‘tizal (seclusion) from him.”13

This idea is incorrect, for Zayd did not take his religious knowledge from Wasil. Rather he learned it from his father and his brother, who enlightened the scientific intellectual life of Islam.

The jurists and the heads of the Islamic Schools took their religious knowledge directly from the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, or from one of their students. So, why would Zayd go to Wasil to take knowledge from him?14 Shaykh Abu Zahra said: “Zayd met Wasil to debate with him. He was not his student, for they were of the same age. Zayd was grown-up. “He added: “Zayd learned the branches of the rules from his family. That was in Medina, the cradle of the science of the branches.”15

Zayd learned his religious knowledge from his father and his brother. He was among the prominent jurists during his time. Abu Khalid al-Wasity reported a group (of traditions) on his authority. They are about jurisprudence such as worships and transactions. He called them ‘Musnad Ahmed'. We have mentioned the criticisms of this book in our study on the beliefs of the Zaydis.

As for Zayd's literary position, he was among the first-class in literature and eloquence. He was similar to his grandfather, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, in eloquence.16 The historians said: “Zayd debated upon a bequest with Ja‘far b. al-Hasan. When they debated upon the bequest with each other, the people overcrowded around them to hear their debate. The people memorized and wrote Ja‘far's and Zayd's words. Then they learned them as they learned the obligatory religious duties, rare poetry, and proverbs.”17 Sibawayh quoted Zayd's poetry. Zayd's opponent, Hisham the tyrant, acknowledged his literary abilities and his skillful speech. He said: “Zayd has a sweet tongue and a strong style. He is appropriate for hiding the speech.”18 History and literature books are full of his wonderful wise sayings, which are among eloquent Arabic speech.

Imam al-Baqir admired Zayd

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, revered and admired his brother, Zayd. He showed the deepest affection and the sincerest love towards him. That is because Zayd was among the peerless men and was a living example of unique heroism. The historians reported examples of that affection and admiration. The following are some of them:

1. Imam al-Baqir said: “Indeed, Zayd, the mother who bore you was highborn. O Allah, strengthen my back by Zayd.”19 This indicates that the Imam revered and admired his brother, Zayd.

2. Sudayr al-Sayrafi reported: “I (Sudayr) was with Abu Ja‘far al-Baqir, peace be on him. Suddenly, Zayd b. ‘Ali entered. Abu Ja‘far patted him on the back and said to him: 'This is the Lord of the Hashimites. When he orders you, then obey him. When he asks you for the support, then support him.'”20 This indicates that the Imam summoned (the people) to support and defend him. He also regarded his uprising as legal.

3. The historians reported on the authority of a man from the Hashimites, who said: “We were sitting with Muhammad (al-Baqir) b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn. His brother, Zayd, was also sitting. Then a man from Kufa came in. Muhammad b. ‘Ali said to the man: 'You narrate original poetry. What did al-Ansari say to his brother?'“The man recited for the Imam some lines of poetry having noble qualities.

Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) put his hand on Zayd's shoulder and said to him: “My brother, these are your qualities. I ask Allah to protect you so as not to be killed in Iraq.”21

The above-mentioned lines denote that Zayd had a strong will and resolution. He was obedient to his brother. His qualities were noble. He was appropriate for carrying out great tasks. Nobody has such qualities but the matchless ones.

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, gave the highest qualities to his brother and granted him his loyal love. The factor of brotherhood did not motivate al-Baqir to treat his brother in such a way. That is because his spiritual position did not permit him to follow sentiments and desires. Rather he thought that his brother was among the most perfect human beings. So, he granted him such love and honor.

With Hisham b. ‘Abd al-Malik

Hisham bore malice against the Prophet's family and harbored hatred against them. He ordered his security agents to keep an eye on the ‘Alids and to know their political activities. His security agents informed him of Zayd's high social rank and his remarkable abilities. They told him that the people followed Zayd and that they looked forward to his government. Thus, Hisham plotted against him. He ordered his governor over Medina (Yathrib) to send Zayd to Damascus. When Zayd arrived in Damascus, Hisham did not receive him to weaken and disdain him.

When the Syrians saw that Zayd had high morals, eloquent speech, strong proofs, and religious devoutness, they followed him. Hisham heard of that, so he burst into anger. Then he asked the advice of some of his followers to abase and weaken Zayd before the Syrians. They said to him: “Permit all the people to come to meet you. Prevent Zayd from coming with them. Then let him enter after them all. When he enters and greets you, do not greet him and do not order him to sit down.”Hisham did that. He thought that such an action would decrease Zayd's importance and weaken his character. Some historians said: “Zayd came in and greeted Hisham. However, Hisham did not greet him. Thus, Zayd burst into anger. He addressed him violently, saying: ‘Cross-eyed, greetings! Indeed you see yourself appropriate for this name!’”22 These words destroyed the tyrant's might and abased his haughtiness. So, he shouted at Zayd, saying: “I have heard that you mention the caliphate and wish for it. Still, you are inappropriate for it. Moreover, you are the son of a slave-wife.”

Zayd opposed Hisham. He mocked at him. He brought proofs to refute Hisham's words, saying: “Surely, mothers do not hold back men from their aims. Indeed Ismael's mother was a slave for Isaac's mother. However, Allah appointed him prophet, made him the father of the Arabs, and brought out from his back the best of prophets, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family.”23

Hisham could not control himself because of these wonderful words. He shook all over. Thus, he attacked Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, saying: “What does your brother, the cow (al-baqara), do?”

Nobody uses these obscene words except the ignorant ones who have no proof. Zayd felt pain when Hisham abused his brother. So, he turned to the tyrant and said to him: “Allah's Apostle has called al-Baqir (the one who splits open knowledge). Why do you call him al-baqara (the cow)? That is because of the great difference between you and him. You will oppose him in the hereafter as you have opposed him in this world. So, he will enter Paradise and you will enter the Fire.”24

These words shook the tyrant's throne. They made the Syrians know that the tyrant was the worst creature and that he was not worthy of being a police man. He opposed Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. So, why was he the Caliph over the Muslims? Hisham was unable to control himself, so he ordered his police to take Zayd out of his meeting.25 Zayd went out. His heart was full of anger and pain. The tyrant (Hisham) began saying to his family: “Do you not claim that the members of this House have perished? No, by my life, the people whose descendant is this have not perished.”26

Zayd went out. He was very eager to announce his uprising against the Umayyad government that denied all human values and disdained the people's dignity. Zayd declared his uprising through his immortal words that became a motto and anthem for the revolutionists who entered the fields of armed struggle. He said: “If people hate the heat of the swords, they become low.”

This confrontation between Zayd and Hisham took place during the lifetime of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, peace be on him. The books have not mentioned the Year when this confrontation occurred. However, from that moment, Zayd decided to revolt against the Umayyad regime. Some of his followers said that they went to him and heard reciting the following words of the poet:

Whoever seeks the forbidden glory with the spear

lives glorious or the spears tear him.

When you gather together a clever heart and a sword

and a refusal soul, the oppressive will avoid you.

When a group of people invade me, I invade it.

O Family of Hamadan, am I oppressive in that?27

These lines of poetry indicate that Zayd decided to revolt against the Umayyad regime through entering the field of armed struggle. He chose this method to live glorious and noble, to make the oppressive avoid him, and to protect himself from the plot of the aggressors. Oh you! who are great revolutionary, you are not oppressive nor are an aggressor. Rather you are the one who saved and freed the Arabs and the Muslim community from oppression, injustice, and despotism.

The Legal Uprising

It is certain that Zayd was not joyful nor ungrateful nor oppressive nor corruptive when he announced his uprising. Rather he wanted to obtain Allah's pleasure and the hereafter. Surely he saw prevailing oppression and general injustice. He saw the Umayyad rulers violate all the things Allah prohibited. Thus, he revolted against them for Allah and the truth. The reporters said: “When Zayd decided to revolt (against the Umayyads), Jabir b. Zayd al-Ju‘fi came and said to him:‘ I heard your brother, Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), say:‘ Indeed my brother, Zayd b. ‘Ali, will revolt and he will be killed. He is right. Woe unto him who betrays him! Woe unto him who fight against him! Woe unto him who kills him. '”

So, Zayd said to him: “I cannot keep silent. That is because they have disobeyed Allah's Book. Moreover, they have believed in idols and false deities. I saw a man with Hisham. The man was abusing Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. Thus, I said to the man: ‘Unbeliever, woe unto you. When I meet you, I will kill you and send you quickly to the Fire. '“So, Hisham said to me: “Zayd, keep silent. He is our friend. “Then I (Zayd) said: “By Allah, if there was nobody except me and my son, Yahya, I will go out and fight against him till I have perished.”28

Imam Abu Allah al-Sadiq, peace be on him, praised his uncle (Zayd) very much. He also glorified his reformative uprising. “The narrators said: “Al-Sadiq said to his companions: ‘Do not say that Zayd disobeyed. Surely, Zayd was a religious scholar. He was very truthful. He did not summon you for himself. Rather, he summoned you to follow al-Ridha’ from the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. If he had appeared, he would have fulfilled what he had promised you. Surely, he revolted against the supreme authority to change it.”29 Al-Sadiq, peace be on him, gave ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Sayyaba a thousand dinars to divide them among the families of those who were wounded with Zayd.30

If the uprising had been illegal, Zayd would have not done that. That is because he was far above emotions and sentiments.

Some reports have condemned Zayd's uprising. They have regarded it as illegal. However, our master sayyid Imam al-Khu'i has discussed Zayd's uprising. He has proven that the chain of the reporters is weak. So, nobody can rely on such a chain to defame Zayd's character and uprising.31

However, Zayd's uprising made intellectual social change in the Islamic society and made it ready to revolt against the Umayyad government. Few years passed, then the black standards waved in Khurasan. Then they crept to conquer the Islamic countries and to purify them from the hirelings of the Umayyad authority. Thus, they overthrew the Umayyad throne and put an end to its haughtiness and despotism.

The Great Uprising

Zayd revolted against the Umayyad rule through his faith that represented the essence and guidance of Islam. Indeed he saw a liar living, a truthful one was accused of lying, riches without piety, common injustice, and despotism in the affairs of the Muslims. So, he was unable to keep silent. Some of his Shi'ties said: “We went out with Zayd. When it was mid night and the Pleiades appeared, he said to us: ‘Do you not see the Pleiades? Do you thing that there is anyone who can reach them?'”

“No,”they replied.

“By Allah, I wish that my hand was attached to them and I fell on the ground or where I fell and cut into pieces and that Allah reformed the community of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family.”32

These words of his indicate his reformative nature and his great loyalty to the community of his grandfather, may Allah bless him and his family and his full dedication to general reform.

‘Isa b. ‘Abd Allah reported on the authority of his grandfather Muhammad b. ‘Umar b. ‘Ali, peace be on him, who said: “I was with Zayd b. ‘Ali when Hisham sent us to Yousif b. ‘Umar. When we left Hisham, we headed for Qadisiya (a province in Iraq). When we arrived there, Zayd said: ‘Isolate my provision from yours. ‘So, his son said to him: ‘What do you want to do?' 'I want to return to Kufa. By Allah, if I know that Allah is pleased with me when I strike fire with my hand to throw myself into it when it is ablaze, I will do so. However, I know that there is nothing that pleases Allah, the Great and Almighty, more than striving against the Umayyads.33

Zayd did not revolt against the Umayyads for the Caliphate or the supreme authority. Rather he revolted to obtain Allah's pleasure and the hereafter. He thought that striving against the oppressive was among the greatest things that would make him near him to Allah. Then he headed for Kufa, for it was the general center of the Shi‘ites who asked him to come to them to pledge allegiance to him to revolt against the Umayyad government and to overthrow it. The historians said that a group of his loyal companions warned him of going to Kufa and blamed him for having trust in the Kufans who were known for treason and breaking promises. However, he did not pay attention to that, for he found no strategic place for his uprising other than Kufa. He was reciting the following words of ‘Antara al-‘Absi:

She got up early in the morning to make me afraid of death.

It was as if I was in isolation from the accidents of life.

So, I answered her that death was a watering place and that

I would be surely watered by the glass of the watering place.34

These lines of poetry indicates that Zayd decided to enter the field of armed struggle and that he strove bravely to drink out of the glass of death to get rid of abasement, as his grandfather, Imam Husayn, the Lord of the free, and of the abstinent ones in Islam.

When Zayd arrived in Kufa, the Kufans received him warmly and hurried to pledge allegiance to him. The number of those who pledged allegiance to him was fifteen thousand people. It was said that their number was more than this. Moreover, the jurists, the judges, the great thinkers, and the prominent poets pledged allegiance to him. Among them were al-A‘mash, Sa‘d b. Kaddam, Qays b. al-Rabi‘, al-Hasan b. ‘Ammara, and the like.35 Abu Hanifa was asked about Zayd's going out, so he said: “His going out was similar to the going out of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, at the Battle of Badr.”He added: “If I had known that the people would not abandon him as they had abandon his father, I would have fought alongside him. However, I helped him with money.”36

As for the form of the pledge of allegiance which Zayd took from those who pledged allegiance to him, it is as follows: “I summon you to (follow) the Book of Allah, the Sunna (practices) of His Apostle, to strive against the oppressive, to defend the oppressed, to give to the deprived, to divide booty among its people, to pay the rights to their owners, to support the people of the truth, and the like.”37

This form gives a picture about the original principles for which Zayd revolted. They are:

1. He summoned (the people) to enliven the Book of Allah and the Sunna of His Prophet. That is because the Umayyad policy drove them away from life.

2. He summoned them to strive against the Umayyad oppressive rulers who led the Muslims through oppression and injustice and forced them to adopt what they hated.

3. He summoned them to defend the rights of the oppressed and to give to the deprived. Indeed this class of people were deprived of all their legal rights throughout the Umayyad rule.

4. He summoned them to divide equally booty and all financial rights among the Muslims. The Umayyads blundered such rights and spent them on their pleasures and their private desires.

5. He summoned them to support the righteous people who took care of the lawful affairs of the community. They were the guides from the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them.

Zayd revolted (against the Umayyads) to achieve these great aims in the Islamic homeland and to save the community from injustice, oppression, and severe punishments of the Umayyads.

The historians said: “Zayd had a large armed force. Their number was forty thousand people. Thus, he thought that he had to announce his uprising and to creep with his armies to occupy Kufa and to over throw the Umayyad government.

His armies started from Jabbanat Salim.38 They were hailing their great leader, Zayd. They were very eager to over throw Umayyad rule. They were shouting: Ya Mansur, amit. “O He who is victorious, bring death.”39

When Zayd saw the standards waving over his head, he said: “Praise belongs to Allah who has guided me. By Allah, if I do not enjoin (the people) to do good, I will feel shame of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, when I meet him at al-Hawd (holy water in Heaven).40 Then he addressed his armies, saying: “Cleave to the behavior of the Commander of the Faithful in Basrah and Syria. Do not follow the fugitive, do not kill the wounded, and do not open a closed thing.”41

The war broke out at a very cold night.42 That was in Muharram 23rd, in the year 122 A. H. Armed clashes occurred between Zayd's followers and the Umayyad armies headed by the Governor of Kufa, Yousif b. ‘Umar.

Treason and Perfidy

The Kufans betrayed Zayd after they had made a covenant with Allah to support and defend him. They abandoned him at the battle. They left him with the few of his companions in the field of armed struggle (jihad). When Zayd knew of their treason, he said:

“They have done towards me as they had done towards al-Husayn.”

The Kufans betrayed him as they had betrayed his grandfather, al-Husayn, before. Zayd was sure of the failure of his uprising. It seemed to him that the Kufans had no protection nor had they loyalty. Thus, he and his companions took part at the battle that happened in the streets of Kufa. He proved himself brave. The people did not see a knight braver than him.43

Under the Protection of Immortality

Zayd showed bravery and heroism which nobody can depict. He pursued the armies and inflicted on them heavy causalities. So, the Umayyad army was unable to resist Zayd's successive attacks. He attacked them and recited the following words of a poet:

I abase life and honor death.

I see them both unhealthy taste.

If one of them is necessary,

then I will walk towards death in a pretty way.

Surely Zayd preferred the glory of death to the abasement of life, as his grandfathers preferred that. He did not yield to abasement and enslavement. Rather, he died honorably under the shade of swords.

When it got dark, an arrow hit Zayd in the forehead.44 The arrow reached his noble brain that thought of nothing but of man's righteousness and happiness.

The disaster befell his companions. They were full of sorrow and sadness. Thus, they sent for a doctor. The doctor took the arrow out of Zayd's forehead. However, Zayd died immediately. With that the glowing candle that illuminated the way and made clear the purpose for the Muslims went out.

Zayd died as a martyr to achieve social justice in the earth, to secure equal chances for the Muslims, and to divide the blessings of the earth among the poor and the deprived whose rights the Umayyad authority denied.

The historians said: “Indeed Zayd's companions were perplexed at burning his body. That is because the Umayyad authority would maim it in a sinful way. After a discussion, they decided to bury his body in a river. They went to the river and stopped its water. They dug a grave in it and buried the pure body in it. They made the water flow on it. Then they went away weeping over the great leader who took care of the rights of the oppressed and the persecuted.

One of the spies of the authorities was among Zayd's companions. The spy saw their movements. Thus, he hurried to Kufa to tell its governor about the place of the grave. So, the governor ordered the grave to be dug up to take the body out of it. Thus, the body was taken out and carried to the Palace of Kufa. There the governor ordered the body to be hung upside-down at al-Kanasa Market. Then he ordered the head to be cut off to be sent as a gift to the Syrian tyrant, Hisham b. ‘Abd al-Malik. The cruel tyrant ordered the head to be put at his meeting. He ordered those who came to him to step on it with their shoes to abase it very much.45 Then he made the hens peck its brain. In this connection, the poet said:

Dismiss the rooster from Zayd's brain as long as the chickens did not tread on him.46

(He is) the grandson of the Prophet, the noblest of all Allah's creatures, the adornment of the delegations and pilgrims.

They carried running his head to Syria in the early morning.47

The tyrant (Hisham b. ‘Abd al-Malik) ordered the head to be hung on the gate of Damascus. Then the head was sent to Medina.48 It was installed at the grave of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, for a day and a night.49 Then it was sent to Egypt. All that was done to spread fear and terrorism among the people and to make them know that the authorities were able to suppress any anti-government opposition.

The tyrant of Damascus wrote to the assassin, Yousif b. ‘Umar, the governor of Kufa, to let Zayd hang. With that he intended to abase the ‘Alids and to disdain their Shi‘ites. It escaped him that such an action lighted the fire of revolution in their souls. Thus, they were ready to sacrifice their lives for their doctrines.

The Umayyads boasted of hanging Zayd's body. Al-Hakim b. ‘Ayyash, an Umayyad hireling, boasted of that, saying:

We have hung Zayd for you on the trunk of a date-palm.

We have never seen a Mahdi hung on the trunk.

You have compared ‘Uthman with ‘Ali owing to foolishness.

While ‘Uthman is better than ‘Ali.

A handful of earth is in al-Hakim's mouth. Surely Zayd was hung because he wanted to achieve the rights of the oppressed and the persecuted. He was hung because he wanted to establish social justice in the earth and to put an end to social oppression and the playing with the fate and blessings of the community.

When Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Sadiq heard of these lines of poetry, he felt pain very much. So, he raised his hands to supplicate (Allah), saying: “O Allah, if your servant is a liar, then empower your dog. “Allah accepted the Imam's supplication. A lion ate al-Hakim when he was walking in the streets of Kufa. When the Imam heard of that, he prostrated himself in prayer to thank Allah, saying: “Praise belongs to Allah who has fulfilled His promise.”50

Torturing Zayd's Supporters

When the Umayyad authority had suppressed Zayd's uprising, it went too far in spreading panic and fear in Kufa. It punished the innocent person because of the guilty one and the comer because of the fugitive. It resorted to punishing Zayd's supporters severely. It went to extremes in doing that. It tortured not only the men but also the women. That was forbidden even with the people who lived before Islam. However, the authorities regarded that as lawful to achieve their political aims. The historians said: “The bloody tyrant, Yousif b. ‘Umar, ordered a woman to be arrested, for the woman supported Zayd. When she stopped before him, he ordered her hand and her leg to be cut off. However, she asked them to cut off her leg first to gather her clothes. When they responded to her, they cut off her hand and her leg. So, she bled till she died. Then the bloody tyrant ordered her husband to be summoned to behead him.51 He also ordered a woman to be arrested, for the woman married her daughter to Zayd. He ordered her clothes to be torn. Then he ordered her to be whipped. She was whipped till she died. Then her body was thrown into the desert. A group of people took it and buried it in their cemetery.52

The tyrant committed many crimes of such a kind. All these crimes indicate that he had neither conscience nor feelings.

The Muslims' Discontent

The Muslims were annoyed when Zayd was killed. They harbored malice against the Umayyads who violated the holiness of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, when they killed Zayd. Worth mentioning, the Prophet ordered the community to treat his progeny kindly.

The Umayyads committed the Karbala' terrible massacre. Only few years after that, they murdered Zayd, who was among the notables of the Prophetic family. They were not content with his murder. Thus, they dug up his grave and hung his body on the trunk of a tree. They did not permit (his family) to bury his body. They did that to avenge themselves sinfully on the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. With that they disobeyed the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who ordered them to love his Household. Moreover, they disobeyed Islam that ordered them to respect the dead and not to maim them.

Zayd's painful disaster was among the heavy events from which the Muslims feared and which they regarded as great. Thus, their poets began praising Zayd to the extent that they depicted the sorrow and the agony that befell the Muslims. So, al-Fadl b. al-‘Abbas composed:

O Eye, shed abundant tears!

The grandson of the Prophet has been hanged at al- Kanasa.53

These are some lines of the poem. Through them the poet has depicted his deep sadness over the great martyr the Muslims lost. The poet asked his eyes to shed abundant tears. That is because the misfortune was great and heavy. Then he regarded as great taking out Zayd of his grave and hanging him. Though the Umayyads maimed the body of the great revolutionary, they were unable to force his pure soul that resisted falsehood, abominable deeds, and injustice and that it has resided in the gardens with the souls of the immortal martyrs who were killed at Karbala' to defend the rights of the oppressed and the persecuted. That made the misfortune easy for the poet. Then he blamed the Kufans for betraying Zayd, as they had betrayed before his grandfather, al-Husayn, peace be on him. Thus, treason was among the traits of the Kufans. It was said: “The Kufan does not fulfill (his promise).”

Abu Thumayla al-Abbar was among those who praised Zayd. He said:

You are always killed in the way of Allah.

The people are safe, while the members of the family of

Muhammad are killed or are made homeless.54

In these lines the poet has described his exhausting sorrow over Zayd, the great revolutionary. He has mentioned the heavy loss that was inflicted on the community when it lost Zayd. That is because the community wanted him to solve its hardships and crises. The poet added that Zayd illuminated the way for the free combatants through his martyrdom. He filled their hearts with content and pleasure through his mighty uprising that aimed at achieving the decisive affairs of his community. Through his martyrdom, Zayd obtained the maximum rank obtained by the glorious martyrs from his grandfathers who raised the banner of truth, which was stained with their pure blood. The poet added that Allah wanted Zayd to die a martyr and to behave among the people through the behavior of those who save and free their communities and their homelands. That is because being murdered for Allah was the nature of the ‘Alids. It has been reported on the authority of one of them: “Being murdered is our custom and martyrdom is our dignity from Allah.”

In his last lines, Abu Thumayla has mentioned the severe persecutions which the Umayyad rulers imposed on the ‘Alids. That is because the Umayyad rulers killed the ‘Alids, made them homeless, and filled them with fright. The bird spent the night peacefully while the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, did not spend their night peacefully because they were afraid of the Umayyads. He censured those who rejoiced at the murder of Zayd who revolted (against the Umayyads) to establish social justice in the earth. He also condemned those who pledged allegiance to him and then deserted him. That was when they entered the mosque of Kufa. Then Zayd asked them to support him and to defend his uprising. However, they did not respond to him.

Burning the Great Body

Zayd's body remained hung on the gallows. It was illuminating the way of freedom and dignity for the people. It urged them to refuse abasement and submission. It renewed in their souls the uprising against oppression and injustice. Thus, the authorities put guards around it. Their number was four hundred people. The authorities appointed a hundred guards to watch the body every night. It built a house for the guards around the trunk (of the date palm). That is because it thought that the people would take the body and bury it.55

Hisham died. Then al-Walid b. Yazid, the licentious one of the Umayyads, succeeded him. The latter wrote to the governor of Kufa, Yousif b. ‘Umar, to bring down the holy body from the gallows and to burn it with fire.56 The murderer carried out al-Walid's orders. Thus, the pure body was burnt, for Zayd wanted to purify the earth from the oppressive and to return man's dignity and rights.

When the great body had been burnt, Yousif b. ‘Umar, the licentious one, sprinkled it into the Euphrates. Then he said (to the Kufans): “By Allah, Kufans, I will make you eat it in your food and drink it in your water.”57

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, freed his community from the life of straying in the desert. However, the Umayyads rewarded him when they killed his progeny and his family. They maimed them sinfully, for they (the Prophet's progeny) wanted to achieve the community's rights, security, and welfare.

With al-Mas‘udi

Here one thing has remained. The great historian, al-Mas‘udi, has mentioned: “Zayd asked the advice of his brother, Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), when he wanted to go to Iraq to revolt against the Umayyads. Thus, the Imam advised him not to trust the Kufans, for they were perfidious and cunning. Indeed, they killed his grandfather, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be no him, stabbed his uncle al-Hasan, and killed his grandfather al-Husayn. However, Zayd insisted on asking (the Umayyads) for the truth. So, Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) said to him: 'I am afraid that you will be killed at al-Kanasa, in Kufa tomorrow. ‘Then Abu Ja‘far saw him off and told him that they would not meet each other.”58

These words of al-Mas‘udi make the person understand that Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) was alive when Zayd decided to revolt (against the Umayyads). Some of those who wrote about Zayd mentioned that, too. This is incorrect, for Imam Abu Ja‘far died in the year (114 A. H.)59, and Zayd was killed in the year (122A.H.). Perhaps al-Mas‘udi wanted to say that Zayd had a hunch of revolting against the Umayyads at that time. This is also incorrect. With this we end our talk about Zayd's life and his uprising that was the brightest of all the uprisings at that time and the most useful of them in serving the community.

Al-Husayn al-Asghar (the younger)

Al-Husayn the younger was Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin's son. His mother was a slave-wife (umm walad).60 He was among the glorious figures of the Prophetic family, for he was meritorious, pious, and talented. The following are some of his affairs:

His Religious Knowledge

He was among the prominent scholars of his time. He reported many traditions on the authority of his father, his aunt, Fatima, daughter of Imam al-Husayn, peace be on him, and his brother, Imam Abi Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him.61 His son, Muhammad, reported on his authority the tradition of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning the murder of his son, Imam al-Husayn, peace be on him.62

His Clemency and his Solemnity

Al-Husayn was clement and sober. The dignity of the pious and the righteous presented itself in him. The lineaments of light appeared on his face. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) described him, saying: “As for al-Husayn, he is clement. He walks on the earth in humbleness. When the ignorant address him, he says: Peace”63

His Devotion and his Piety

He was pious and devout. He feared Allah very much. Sa‘id, the companion of al-Hasan b. Sahib, said: “I did not see anyone who feared Allah more than al-Hasan b. Salih till I came to Medina. So, I saw al-Husayn b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn. I saw that nobody feared Allah more than he did. (It was) as if he had been taken into the fire (of Hell) and then taken out of it because of the intensity of his fear.”64

Ahmed reported on the authority of his father, who said: “I saw ‘Ali b. al-Husayn pray, so I said: ‘He will not put down his hand until his prayer for all creatures is answered.’”65

Al-Husayn grew up in the center of piety and devotion and in the origin of wisdom and virtue of Islam. His father, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, fed him with his ideals and his psychological perfect qualities. Thus, he was similar to his father in cleaving to Allah, refraining from this world, and conforming to the religion.

His Death

He died in Medina (Yathrib) at the age of about (57 years).66 It was said that he died at the age of (74 years).67 He was buried beside his father, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, and his brother, al-Baqir, at the (cemetery) of Baqi‘ al-Gharqad.

‘Abd Allah al-Bahir

He was the son of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him. He was Imam al-Baqir's full brother. He was among the glorious children of the pure Imams, for he was knowledgeable, pious, and devout. We will mention briefly some of his affairs:

His Nickname

He was nicknamed al-Bahir because he was handsome. The historians said: “(The people) looked at his handsomeness when he attended a certain meeting. Everybody respected and admired him.”68

His Religious Knowledge

He was among the prominent scholars. His father, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, took care of educating him. He fed him with his sciences and his outstanding qualities. The historians said: “He was among the jurists of the members of the house (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. “He reported many traditions on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. He related traditions to the people. Thus, they reported the traditions on his authority.69 He reported directly on the authority of his grandfather, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, and on the authority of his grandfather, Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him. ‘Ammara b. Ghuzayya, Musa b. ‘Aqaba, ‘Isa b. Dinar, and Yazid b. Abi Zyyad reported on his authority. Ibn Hayyan numbered him among the reliable (narrators). Al-Turmidhi and al-Hakim regarded his traditions as correct.70

His Authority over the Heirlooms of the Prophet

‘Abd Allah assumed on behalf of his brothers the heirlooms of the Prophet, peace be on him, and of Imam (‘Ali), the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him.71 He divided their revenues according to the will of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and of Imam (‘Ali), the Commander of the Faithful.

His Death

He died at the age of (57 years).72 The references have not mentioned the year when he died or the place where he was buried.

‘Umar al-Ashraf

He was the son of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him. His mother was a slave-wife. Al-Mukhtar bought her for a hundred thousand dirhams. Then he sent her to Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin. She bore him ‘Umar, Zayd, and ‘Ali.73 ‘Umar al-Ashraf was among the most meritorious people. His affairs are as follows:

His Kunya

He was given the kunya of Abu ‘Ali. It was said that he was given the kunya of Abu Ja‘far.74 The Shaykh (al-Tusi) said: “He was given the kunya of Abu Hafs.”

His Nickname

He was nicknamed al-Ashraf to distinguish him from ‘Umar al-Attraf, the uncle of his father. Sayyid al-Muhanna said: “(He was nicknamed so) because he obtained honor and outstanding merit from his grandfather, al-Husayn, peace be on him, who was born from the Mistress of the Women of the World, Fatima the Chaste, peace be on her, while ‘Umar al-Attraf obtained honor from his father, Imam (‘Ali), the Commander of the Faithful. “Our master, Imam al-Khu'i, commented on this, saying: “Through his lineage, his outstanding merit, his piety, ‘Umar al-Ashraf is more honorable than ‘Umar al-Attraf.”75

His Religious Knowledge

He was a meritorious (religious) scholar. The Shaykh (al-Tusi) numbered him among the companions of his brother, Imam al-Baqir. He reported on the authority of his father. Fatr b. Khalifa reported on his authority.76

His Authority over the Heirlooms of the Prophet

He undertook the heirlooms of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and of Imam (‘Ali), the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. Al-Husayn b. Zayd said: “I saw my uncle, ‘Umar, make a condition on him he bought (Imam) ‘Ali's heirlooms that he should break so-and-so in the wall and should not prevent those who entered them from eating.”77 This indicates his generosity, his nobility, and his humanity.

His Death

He passed away at the age of (65 years).78 The references have not mentioned the year when he died or the place where he was buried. They have neglected that.

‘Ali

He was Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin's son. He died at Yanbu‘ and was buried there.79 He was thirty years old.80 We have not found a full biography about his life. Biography and lineage references have neglected him. With this we end our talk about the righteous Sharifs from the brothers of the Imam.

Imam al-Baqir's Children

As for the Imam al-Bqir's children, they were from the good ones of the Prophetic family and from the glorious figures of the Muslims, for they were rightly-guided and righteous. Moreover, they refrained from the sins of the world. The Imam educated them with his noble morals. He planted in their souls his outstanding natures and his high ideals. Thus, they represented his great soul whose aroma prevailed the world. As for his pure male descendants, they are as follows:

1. Ibrahim

He was the son of Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him. His mother was Umm Hakim, the daughter of Usayd b. al-Mughira b. al-Akhnas al-Thaqafi.81 We have found no information about him.

2. Imam Ja‘far

He was the master of the children of his father, the leading Imam after him, among the glorious figures of this world, and the vanguard of the geniuses of the world. That is because he made an immense development on the intellectual and the scientific levels. Among them was his creation in chemistry. Jabir b. Hayyan, who was the glorious figure of the Arab east, studied this science under him. This science is regarded as the creative means for the technological progress in the world. Modern sciences have not discovered many of the chemical theories which the Imam made nor have the specialists known.82 Imam Ja‘far (al-Sadiq) is regarded among the early theologians and philosophers. Hisham b. al-Hakam, who is regarded as a wonderful example of these studies, studied under him.

Imam Ja‘far founded the rules and principles of the Islamic jurisprudence after his pure grandfathers. He took care of this science very much. Rather he devoted himself to it. The juristic encyclopedias are full of what has been reported on his authority. Thus, most chapters and branches has been reported on his authority. Moreover, he took care of other Islamic sciences, such as the science of tradition, interpretation (of the Quran), and morals. History has never known a person more knowledgeable and meritorious than him, except his grandfathers, peace be on them. If we want to talk in detail about his character, then we are in need of a big encyclopedia.

3.‘Abd Allah

He was the son of Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him. His mother was Umm Farwa, daughter of al-Qasim b. Muhammad b. Bakr.83 His father brought him up and took care of educating him. So, he was among the virtuous ‘Alids. He died a martyr. A sinful Umayyad gave him poison to drink. The historians said: “The Umayyad came to him. However, ‘Abd Allah was afraid of him and said to him: ‘Do not kill me. I will intercede for you with Allah.’”84

However, the Umayyad paid no attention to him and forced him to drink the poison. When he was given the poison to drink, his bowels were cut off. He remained alive for a short time, and then he passed away.85 He went as a martyr to Allah. He was similar to his grandfathers whom the evil powers and the sinful souls killed. Those evil souls killed them because they belonged to the original lineage that raised the banner of human dignity.

4.‘Ali

He was the son of Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him. He lived under the care of his father. He followed his father's guidance and behavior. Thus, he was an example of virtues and perfection. He was nicknamed al-Tahir (the pure one), for his soul was pure and his position was great. He died in a village, at al-Khalis near Baghdad. In his (book) al-Tarikh, Muhib al-Din b. al-Najar said: “The shrine of al-Tahir is in a village, at al-Khalis near Baghdad. An old grave has appeared in it. A stone is on it.

On the stone it has been written: In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. This is the shrine of al-Tahir ‘Ali b. Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him. “The rest of the stone broke down. So a dome of adobes has been built over it. There was a shaykh called ‘Ali b. Na‘im. The Shaykh was among the secretaries. He assumed writing the Divan of al-Khalis. So, he decorated the shrine and hung brass lamps in it. Then he built a wide courtyard around it. Thus, the shrine has become among the shrines which are visited.86 It was reported on the authority of the author of ' Riyad al-‘Ulama' that the grave of ‘Ali is in Kashan and that there is a great dome over it and that it has clear miracles.87

5.‘Abd Allah

His mother was Umm Hakim, daughter of Usayd b. al-Mughira al-Thaqafi.88 He died during the lifetime of his father.89 We have not found a full biography in the references which we have.

The Ladies of Virtue from his Daughters

As for the ladies of virtue from his daughters, they are as follows: Zaynab whose mother was a slave-wife. Umm Salama90 whose mother was a slave-wife. She was the mother of Isma‘il b. al-Arqat. Her son, Isma‘il, became ill. So, she hurried frightened to Imam al-Sadiq. He ordered her to go into the house and say two ruk‘as and supplicate with this supplication: “O Allah, surely you granted him to me while he was nothing. O Allah, I ask you to grant him to me. So, lend him to me.”91 She did that, and Allah healed him.

With this we end our talk about the righteous Sharifs from the children of the Imam, peace be on him.

  • 1. ‘Abd Allah was Imam al-Baqir’s full brother
  • 2. Safinat al-Bihar, vol.2, p.273
  • 3. Ibn ‘Asakir, al-Tahdhib, vol.6, p.18
  • 4. Al-Hada’iq al-Wardiya, vol.1, p.143
  • 5. Al-Roud al-Nadir, vol.1, p.52
  • 6. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p.128
  • 7. Ibid, p.130
  • 8. Ibid, p.128
  • 9. Al-Khara’ijj wa al-Jara’ih, p.328
  • 10. Imam Zayd, Muqaddamat al-Musnad, p.8
  • 11. Ibid, p.7
  • 12. Al-Maqrizi, Al-Khutat wa al-Athar, vol.2, p.440
  • 13. Al-Millal wa al-Nihal, vol.2, p.208
  • 14. Wafayat al-A‘yan, vol.5, p.60
  • 15. Muhammad Abu Zahra, Imam Zayd, p.225
  • 16. Al-Hada’iq al-Wardiya, vol.1, p.144
  • 17. Zahr al-Adab, vol.1, p.87
  • 18. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.2, p.390
  • 19. ‘Umdat al-Talib, vol.2, p.127
  • 20. Ibid
  • 21. Zahr al-Adab, vol.1, p.118
  • 22. Ibn ‘Asakir, al-Tahdhib, vol.6, p.22
  • 23. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil, vol.5, p.84
  • 24. Sharh al-Nahjj, vol.1, p.315
  • 25. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil, vol.5, p.84
  • 26. ‘Umdat al-Talib
  • 27. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p.129
  • 28. Taysir al-Matalib, pp.108-109
  • 29. Roudat al-Kafi
  • 30. Al-Majjlisi, al-Amali, p.54
  • 31. Mu‘jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol.7, pp.350-358
  • 32. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p.129
  • 33. Taysir al-Matalib, pp.108-109
  • 34. Al-Roud al-Nadir, vol.1, p.75
  • 35. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin
  • 36. Al-Kamil, vol.5, p.56
  • 37. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin
  • 38. Ansab al-Ashraf, vol.3, p.203
  • 39. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol.8, p.273
  • 40. ‘Umdat al-Talib, vol.2, p.127
  • 41. Al-Hada’iq al-Wardiya, vol.1, p.148
  • 42. Ansab al-Ashraf, vol.3, p.202
  • 43. Ibid
  • 44. Al-Muqrim, Zayd al-Shahid
  • 45. Ibn Abi al-Haddid, Sharh
  • 46. Al-Niza‘ wa al-Takhasum, p.7
  • 47. Ansab al-Ashraf, vol.3, p.292
  • 48. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol.8, p.77
  • 49. ‘Umdat al-Talib, p.258
  • 50. Al-Sira al-Halabiya, vol.1, p.327
  • 51. Ansab al-Ashraf, vol.3, p.255
  • 52. Ibid
  • 53. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, pp. 148-149
  • 54. Ibid, p.150
  • 55. Ansab al-Ashraf, vol.3, p.256
  • 56. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, pp. 147
  • 57. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.2, p.391
  • 58. Murujj al-Dhahab, vol.3, p.139
  • 59. Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol.4, p.217
  • 60. ‘Umdat al-Talib, vol.2, p.29
  • 61. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p.302
  • 62. Mu‘jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol.6, p.44
  • 63. Safinat al-Bihar, vol.2, p.273
  • 64. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p.302
  • 65. ‘Umdat al-Talib, vol.2, p.29
  • 66. Mu‘jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol.6, p.44
  • 67. ‘Umdat al-Talib, vol.2, p.29
  • 68. Ibid, p.127
  • 69. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p.300
  • 70. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol.5, p.324
  • 71. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p.300
  • 72. ‘Umdat al-Talib, vol.2, p.127
  • 73. Ibid
  • 74. Mu‘jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol.13, p.54
  • 75. Ibid
  • 76. Ibid
  • 77. Safinat al-Bihar, vol.2, p.273
  • 78. ‘Umdat al-Talib, vol.2, p.127
  • 79. Mu‘jam al-Buldan, vol.5, p.450. Yanbu‘ is to the right of Radwa for those who leave from Medina to the sea. It belonged to the sons of al-Hasan. It has abandunt fresh springs, water and plants. Some of them said that it was a fort with date-palms. In it there were the religious endowments of Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. His sons inherited them.
  • 80. ‘Umdat al-Talib, vol.2, p.129
  • 81. Mir'at al-Zaman fi Tawarikh al-A‘yan, vol.5, p.78. Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat, vol.5, p.320
  • 82. Dr. Muhammad Yahya al-Hashimi has mentioned that in his book Imam al-Sadiq Mulhim al-Kimya'
  • 83. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p.303
  • 84. In his speech:" I will be a helper for you against Allah." He meant that he would be an intercessor for him with Allah.
  • 85. Ghayat al-Ikhtisar, p.64. Safinat al-Bihar, vol.1, p.309
  • 86. Ghayat al-Ikhtisar, p.63
  • 87. Safinat al-Bihar, vol.1, p.309
  • 88. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p.303. Sayyid Kazim Yamani, al-Nafha al-‘Ambariya. It is among the manuscripts of Imam Kashif al-Ghita' Public Library. ‘Abd Allah has not been mentioned in Jamharat Ansab al-‘Arab nor has he been mentioned in ‘Umdat al-Talib nor has he been mentioned in Mir'at al-Zaman
  • 89. Al-Sirat al-Sawi, p.194
  • 90. Mir'at al-Zaman fi Tawarikh al-A‘yan, vol.5, p.78. Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat, vol.5, p.230. In al-Nafha al-‘Ambariya, his daughters were Zaynab the elder, Zaynab the younger, and Umm Kulthum
  • 91. Safinat al-Bihar, vol.1, p.309

Chapter 4: Admiration and Glorification

The learned, the scholars, the researchers, and the authors glorified Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him. They acknowledged his outstanding merits and his priority in knowledge to those other than him. They unanimously agreed that he was the greatest scholar whom the Islamic and the Arab world has ever known. The following are some of their words concerning him:

1. Imam al-Sadiq

Imam Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Sadiq, peace be on him said: “My father was then the best Muhammadan on the surface of the earth.”1

This means that Imam al-Baqir was then the best of all the Muslims in knowledge, devotion, conforming to the religion, and the like through which the Muslim person becomes high.

2. Muhammad b.al-Munkadir

Muhammad b. al-Munkadir was among those who were contemporary with Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin and his son, Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him. He stated his impressions of him, saying: “I did not think that ‘Ali b. al-Husayn would leave a successor similar to him in outstanding merits, abundant knowledge, clemency, etc., till I saw his son, Muhammad.”2

3. Sudayf al-Makki

Sudayf al-Makki was among the companions of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir). He communicated with him. He was among those who admired and glorified him. He said: “I have never seen a Muhammadan similar to him.”3

4. Hisham b. ‘Abd al-Malik

As for Hisham, he was among the most spiteful towards the Imam and among the most mortal enemies of his. Still, he acknowledge the high rank of the Imam and his great importance. Thus, he addressed him, saying: “O Muhammad, Quraysh will lead Arabs and non-Arabs as long as there are (persons) among them similar to you.”4

5. Al-Mansur al-Dawaniqi

(At an assembly), Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, talked about the Oa'im (the one who will undertake the office of the Imamate) of the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, and the Mahdi (the rightly-guided one) of the this community. Al-Mansur al-Dawaniqi was at the assembly. He was astonished at that. Thus, he told Sayf b. ‘Umayr about what he had heard of the Imam, saying: “If all the people of the earth tell me (about that), I will not accept (it) from them. However, he is Muhammad b. ‘Ali.”5 These words indicate that he admired and glorified the Imam. If the people of the earth had told him about that, he would have not accepted (it) from them nor would he have believed them. However, the Imam told him about it. So, al-Mansur acknowledged that the Imam was superior to all the people in truthfulness and reliability.

6. Abd Allah b.‘Ata'

Abd Allah b. ‘Ata' talked about the admiration, glorification, and humbleness of the scholars for the Imam (al-Baqir), peace be on him. He said: “I have never seen the scholars with (a person) inferior to them. (However, I have seen them) with Abi Ja‘far (al-Baqir), for they behaved humbly and modestly before him, knew his right and his knowledge, and learned from him. Although al-Hakam b. ‘Utayba was great and old, I saw him before al-Baqir to learn from him. He was like the boy before the teacher.”6 He added: “I saw al-Hakam with al-Baqir. He was like a helpless bird.”7

We must mention a brief idea about al-Hakam b. ‘Utayba to understand his scientific rank so that we are able to understand the vast sciences of Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, and his high rank with the scholars. The narrators said: “Al-Hakam was among the greatest and the most important scholars of his time. “Mujahid b. Rumi said: “I saw al-Hakam in the mosque of al-Khif. The scholars of the people were around him. “Jarir reported on the authority of al-Mughira, who said: “When al-Hakam came to Medina, the people left the praying-place of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, for him to pray at it.”8 Ibn Sa‘d said: “He was a reliable jurist and prominent scholar. He had many traditions.”Al-Hakam had vast knowledge and a high rank. Nevertheless he was like a powerless boy before Imam al-Baqir. Therefore, the Imam was the most knowledgeable of all the people of his time in all sciences. The Shi‘a believe in this and produce it as evidence in support of his abundant sciences.

7. Jabir b.Yazid

Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi was among the most famous Muslim scholars and among the greatest reporters of traditions. He was among those who studied under Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. He reported seventy thousand traditions on the authority of the Imam, as al-Dhahabi said. He was among those who knew the Imam's scientific position. Thus, when he narrated traditions on his authority, he said: “The trustee of the trustees and inheritor of the knowledge of prophets related to me.”9

8. Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah

The great companion (of the Prophet), Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari was famous for following the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. He loved them very much. It was he who sent the greetings of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, to Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, as we have already mentioned. He was among those who understood the high rank of the Imam, peace be on him. He glorified and respected the Imam from his childhood. When he addressed him, he said: “You are the son of the best of all the creatures. Your father is the Lord of the Youth of Heaven.”10

9. Ibn Hajar al-Haythami

Shahab al-Din, Ahmed b. Hajar al-Haythami, said: “Abu Ja‘far, Muhammad, was called al-Baqir. The word al-Baqir was derived from baqara al-ard, meaning he splits open the ground and lights the hidden things in it. Thus, the Imam brought to light hidden things, such as the treasures of sciences, the facts of the rules, the maxims, and the good things. He made them so clear that nobody misunderstands them except those with bad insight and corrupt interior. Concerning him it was said that he split open knowledge and collected it. He made famous his knowledge and raised it. His heart became clear. His knowledge and his deeds were honest. His soul became pure. His morals were noble. His times were spent in Allah's obedience. The tongues of describers fall short of depicting his marks in the positions of the gnostic. This quick talk is unable to encompass all his words on behavior and sciences.”11

These words display some bright sides of the life of Imam Abi Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. Among them was that he brought to light the treasures of sciences and the facts of the rules, while the people were unable to do that. We will talk about that in the researches that follow.

10. Ibn Kuthayr

Abu al-Fida', al-Hafiz b. Kuthayr, wrote Imam al-Baqir's biography. Concerning him he said: “Al-Baqir was among the leading members of the next generation. He had a great rank. He was among the great figures of this community in knowledge, deeds, leadership, and honor. He was called al-Baqir, for his split open knowledge and concluded the rules. He remembered Allah. He was humble and patient. He was among the progeny of the Prophet. He was of a noble lineage. He was cognizant of the hearts. He wept very much. He refrained from arguments and quarrels.”12

Ibn Kuthayr talked about the vast sciences of the Imam. (He also talked about) his worship, his patience, his much weeping because of his fear of Allah, and his refraining from the argument and the disputes. Because of these qualities, the scholars admired and glorified the Imam, peace be on him.

11. ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Hanbali

‘Abd al-Hamid b. al-‘Imad al-Hanbali wrote the Imam's biography. He said: “Al-Baqir was among the jurists of Medina. He was called al-Baqir because he widely split open knowledge. He was among the Twelve Imams according to the faith of the Imami (Shi‘a).”13

12. Al-Nabahani

Shaykh Yousif b. Isma‘il al-Nabahani said: “Muhammad al-Baqir b. ‘Ali, Zayn al-‘Abidin, b. al-Husayn was one of the Imams of our masters, the noble members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), and was among the prominent scholars.”14

13. Al-Qirmani

Ahmed b. Yousif Al-Qirmani wrote the Imam's biography. He said: “He was called al-Baqir, for his split open knowledge. He was, out of (all) his brothers, the successor and testamentary trustee of his father. He undertook (the office of) the Imamate after him. None of the sons of al-Hasan and al-Husayn showed the same ability in knowledge of religion, the laws, the knowledge of the Quran, the ways of life, and the techniques of literature, as Abi Ja‘far (al-Baqir) did. The surviving Companions (of the Prophet) and the leading members of the next generation reported the principal features of religion on his authority.”15

14. Al-Dhahabi

In many of his books, al-Dhahabi has written the Imam's biography. However, he was irregular in some of his words, which are as follows:

A. He said: “Al-Baqir was the best of the Hashimites at his time in outstanding merit, knowledge, and righteousness.”16

B. He said: “Al-Baqir was the lord of the Hashimites of his time. He was known as al-Baqir, for he split open knowledge. Thus, he knew its hidden origin.”17

C. He said: “Al-Baqir was among those who had knowledge, deeds, righteousness, honor, trust, and sedateness. He was appropriate for the succession (to authority). He was among the Twelve Imams whom the Imami Shi‘a respect and in whose infallibility and knowledge in all religion they believe.

“Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) was a qualified Imam. He recited Allah's Book. He was of great importance. However, he was not the same level with b. Kuthayr in the Quran, nor was he the same level with Abi al-Zannad and Rai‘a in jurisprudence, nor was he the same level with Qattada and b. Shahab in memorizing and knowing the traditions.”18 Al-Dhahabi deviated from the truth when he preferred b. Kuthayr, Abi al-Zannad, Rai‘a, Qattada, and b. Shahab to the Imam. Indeed these eminent men are not compared with his students, such as Zarara b. A‘yun, Muhammad b. Muslim, and Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi. This is because knowledge and outstanding merits which have been reported on their authority are much more than those which have been reported on the authority of Qattada and his group. The Imam (al-Baqir) debated with Qattada and defeated him. However, al-Dhahabi was narrow-minded. He bore malice and hatred against the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and their followers. He has mentioned that in many of his researches. How wonderful what has been said concerning him is!

You are today called al-Dhahabi.

This name was derived from dhihab al-‘aql (madness)

not from al-dhahab (gold).

15. Muhammad b. Abi Bakr

Muhammad b. Abi Bakr, known as b. Hammad Dakkin died 700 A. H., said: “Our master Imam Muhammad, son of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, showed an outstanding merit in knowledge, asceticism, and righteousness. He was of noble reputation and great importance. None of the sons of al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, showed the same ability in the knowledge of religion, traditions, the sunna, the knowledge of the Quran, the life of the Prophet, and the techniques of literature, as Abu Ja‘far showed. The scholars of religion, the surviving Companions (of the Prophet), the leading members of the next generation, and the heads of the jurists of the Muslims reported 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.”19

16. Muhammad al-Jazri

Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Jazri said: “Abu Ja‘far, Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, was called al-Baqir, for he split open knowledge. Thus, he knew it’s apparent and hidden (origins). He was the best of the Hashimites in knowledge, outstanding merit, and tradition.”20

17. Kamal al-Din al-Shafi‘i

Kamal al-Din al-Shafi‘i said: “He was the one who split open knowledge (al-baqir) and gathered it. Then he made it famous. His heart was clear. His act was honest. His soul was pure. His morals were noble. His times were spent in Allah's obedience. His foot was steady at the place of devotion. The features of closeness (to Allah) and the purity of kindness appeared on him. Thus, virtues competed with each other for him, and qualities were noble through him.”21

18. Idris al-Qarashi

Idris al-Qarashi said: “Muhammad b. ‘Ali (al-Baqir) was the first to get the honor of the two origins, and the birth of al-Hasan and al-Husayn came together for him. He grew up on the virtue, purity, leadership, mastership, and knowledge. He followed the behavior of his pure grandfathers. He moved through the degrees of virtues and went deeply into high glorious deeds.”22

19. Jamal al-Din

Jamal al-Din, Yousif b. Taghari Bardi al-Atabaki, said: “Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) b. ‘Ali, Zayn al-‘Abidin, b. al-Husayan, b. ‘Ali b. Abi Talib was the Lord of the Hashimites at his time. He was among the Twelve Imams in whose infallibility the Rafida (the Shi‘ites) believe.”23

20. Muhammad al-Sabban

Muhammad al-Sabban said: “As for Muhammad al-Baqir, he was the owner of sciences and was the brother of the details and the pleasant things. His miracles appeared. His hints in behavior were many. He was called al-Baqir, for he split open knowledge. Thus, he knew its hidden origin.”24

21. Ibn Abi al-Haddid

‘Abd al-Hamid b. Abi al-Haddid said: “Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Baqir was the Lord of the Jurists of Hijaz (Saudi Arabia). The people learned jurisprudence from him and his son, Ja‘far. He was called al-Baqir. Allah's Apostle nicknamed him so while he was not created yet. He (Allah's Apostle) announced good news to him. He promised Jabir to see him.”25

22. Shaykh al-Mufid

Shaykh al-Mufid said: “Al-Baqir Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. Al-Husayn, peace be on them, was out of (all) his brothers, the successor of his father, ‘Ali b. al-Husayn, his testamentary trustee, and the one who undertook the office of Imam after him. He surpassed all of them through his outstanding merit in traditional knowledge, asceticism, and leadership. He was the most renowned of them, the one among them who was most esteemed by both non-Shi‘a and Shi‘a, 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 Quran, the life of the Prophet, and the techniques of literature, as Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) showed. The surviving Companions (of the Prophet), the leading members of the next generation, and the leaders of the Muslim jurists reported the principal features 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.”26

23. Abu al-Hasan al-Tubrisi

Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Tubrisi said: “Indeed al-Baqir has become famous in the world, for he surpassed the creatures in knowledge, asceticism, and honor. None of the (grand) sons of the Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, showed the same ability in the knowledge of the Quran, the traditions, the life of the Prophet, sciences, wise sayings, and literature, as he showed. The great surviving Companions (of the Prophet), the leading members of the next generation, and the jurists of the Muslims visited him frequently. The reporters of the traditions narrated that Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, called him Baqir al-‘Ilm (the one who splits open knowledge).”27

24. Tajj al-Din

Tajj al-Din b. Muhammad, the head of Aleppo, said: “Abu Ja‘far, Baqir al-‘Ilm (the one who splits open knowledge), was the first for whom the birth of al-Hasan and al-Husayn came together. He had vast knowledge and plentiful clemency. Many traditions and abundant knowledge were reported on his authority.”28

25. Mahmud b. Whayb

Mahmud b. Whayb al-Baghdadi said: “His name al-Baqir was derived from baqara al-ard, meaning split open the ground and brought to light its hidden things. Thus, he brought to light the hidden things of the treasures of sciences, the facts of legal precepts and wisdom, and the pleasant things. He made them so clear that nobody misunderstands them except those with bad insight and corrupt interior. Concerning him, it was said that he split open knowledge and gathered it. He made famous his knowledge and raised it. Thus, his heart was clear. His knowledge and his deed were honest. His soul was pure. His morals were noble. His times were full of Allah's obedience. So, describers' tongues fall short of depicting his marks in the positions of the gnostic.”29

26. ‘Abbas al-Makki

Sayyid ‘Abbas b. ‘Ali al-Makki said: “Al-Baqir is among the Twelve Imams with the Imami (Shi‘a). He was a great scholar. He was called al-Baqir, for he widely split open knowledge.”30

27. Sayyid Kazim al-Yamani

Sayyid Kazim al-Yamani said: “Imam al-Baqir was the second grandson (of the Prophet) and the Fifth Infallible Imam in the opinion of those who believe in that. (He was) the fourth pious one in the opinion of all Muslim legal scholars. It was he who was given the kunya of Abu Ja‘far.”31

28. Ibn Taymiya

Ibn Taymiya said: “Muhammad al-Baqir was the greatest of all the people in asceticism and worship. The prostration (in prayer) split open his forehead. He was the most knowledgeable of the people of his time. Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, named him al-Baqir.”32 Ibn Taymiya mentioned the tradition which Jabir reported. However, he refrained from what he said. He denied that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, nicknamed (Muhammad) al-Baqir.

He said: “(This tradition) has no origin with the people of knowledge. Rather, it is among the fabricated traditions.”33 Surely, b. Taymiya bore malice and hatred against the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, and their followers. He ascribed all stories and fables to them. Indeed Allah, knowledge, and history will punish him for that. Perhaps the greatest punishment that has afflicted him is that all historians mistrust all his writings.

29. Al-Shaykhani

‘Abd al-Qadir al-Shaykhani said: “Muhammad al-Baqir was the most famous of all the people of his time, the most perfect of them in outstanding merits, and the greatest of them in nobility. None showed at his time the same ability in the knowledge of religion, traditions, the knowledge of the Quran, the life of the Prophet, and the techniques of literature, as he showed.”34

30. Al-Majlisi

Shaykh al-Majlisi said: “None of the sons of al-Hasan and al-Husayn showed the same ability in sciences, the interpretation (of the Quran), theology, religious opinions, the lawful, and the unlawful, as he (al-Baqir) showed. The surviving Companions (of the Prophet), the leading members of the next generation, and the leaders of the Muslim jurists reported the principal features of religion on his authority. Among the Companions (of the Prophet) was Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari. Among the leading members of the next generation were Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi, and Kaysan al-Sakhtyani, the leader of the Sufis.

Among the jurists were b. al-Mubarak, al-Zuhri, al-Awza‘i, Abi Hanifa, Malik, al-Shafi‘i, Zyyad b. al-Mundhir, and al-Nahdi. Among the authors were al-Tabari, al-Baladhari, and al-Khatib, in their books called ‘Tarikh'. (The principal features of religion have been also reported on his authority in various books, such as:) al-Muwatti', Sharaf al-Mustafa, al-Ibana, Hulyat al-Awliya', al- Sinan by Abi Dauwd, al-Musnad by Abi Hanifa, al-Targhib by al-Asfahani, al-Basit by al-Wahidi, al-Tafsir by al-‘Ayyashi, (al-Tafsir) by al-Zumakhshari, and Ma‘rifat al-Usul by al-Sama‘ani. They said: ‘Muhammad b. ‘Ali. ‘Perhaps they said: ‘Muhammad al-Baqir.'” 35

The speech of al-Majlisi refers to the scientific aspect of the character of the great Imam, who encompassed all the sciences. Thus, the Muslim scholars studied jurisprudence, history, interpretation (of the Quran), and the techniques of maxims and literature under him. This played an important role in developing Islamic thought.

31. Al-Nawawi

Al-Nawawi said: “(Muhammad) al-Baqir was a leading member of the next generation. He was a skillful Imam. (The Muslim scholars) have unanimously agreed on his greatness. He was numbered among the jurists and Imams of Medina.”36

32. Abu Zar‘a

Abu Zar‘a said: “Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) was among the greatest scholars.”37

33. Ibn ‘Anba

Jamal al-Din, Ahmed b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. al-Muhanna b. ‘Anba, said: “Muhammad al-Baqir had vast knowledge and plentiful clemency. His great position is more famous than calling (someone's) attention to it.”38

34. ‘Ali b.‘Isa al-Arbali

The minister, ‘Ali b. ‘Isa al-Arbali, talked about the high behavior of Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. Then he ended his talk, saying: “Indeed al-Baqir's virtues are too many to count, and his outstanding merits are too high to encompass. When his glorious deed are numbered, glorious and laudable deeds prostrate themselves before them. That is because his honor surpassed the limit and reached the end. His great rank overcame security and reached the highest degree. His place in knowledge and act raised a thousand banners for him. How many a mark of righteousness, an expression of leadership, a sign of generosity, enthusiasm, noble rank, high lineage, glorious origin, purity of mother and father he had. He learned liberality and purity through the strongest means. If he competed with the sky for highness, he would be higher than it. If he wanted the stars in their zenith, he would attain them.”39

35. Ahmed Fahmi

Shaykh Ahmed Fahmi said: “Imam al-Baqir is the fifth Imam with the Imami (Shi‘a). He, may Allah be blessed with him, was the most truthful of all the people, the best of them in splendor, and the most wonderful of them in language.”40

36. Farid Wajdi

Farid Wajdi said: “Al-Baqir was a noble scholar and great lord. He was called al-Baqir because he split open knowledge widely.”41

37. Abu Zahrah

Shaykh Abu Zahrah said: “His (Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin's) son, Muhammad (al-Baqir), was his heir in leading knowledge and obtaining guidance. So the scholars from all the Islamic countries came to him. All those who visited Medina went to Muhammad al-Baqir's house to learn from him.”42

38. Al-Talmasani

Al-Talmasani said: “Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. Abi Talib was Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq's father. He was called al-Baqir because he went deeply into knowledge. He was a just, reliable member of the next generation and famous Imam.”43

39. ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Halabi

‘Abd al-Qadir al-Halabi said: “Al-Baqir was the first ‘Alid who was between two ‘Alids. He was a member of the next generation with a great rank. He was a skillful Imam. (The Muslim scholars) have unanimously agreed on his Imamate and his greatness. (They) numbered him as one of the jurists and Imams of Medina.”44

These are some of the words which the great scholars and researchers made concerning Imam al-Baqir. They have recorded their admiration for the character of the Imam. They have also revealed some dimensions of his bright life. Among them are the following:

1. Imam al-Baqir surpassed all the scholars of his time in knowledge and outstanding merits. No one was similar to him in scientific abilities and talents. He surpassed in outstanding merit and knowledge his brothers, the children of his uncles, and all the children of the Prophetic family who were the source of light and awareness in the earth.

2. The scholars of his time lowered themselves before him. They recognized his high scientific rank and his high authority for the Islamic world.

3. Imam al-Baqir had vast knowledge not only in Islamic jurisprudence but also in all sciences, such as theology, philosophy, interpretation (of the Quran), history, maxims, and literature. With that he became the bright signpost of Islamic sciences.

4. He brought to light the hidden origins of some sciences, which the people did not know.

5. He was the first pioneer of the scientific movement of his time. Thus, the scholars quoted from his pure knowledge. The researchers, the authors, and the writers took from his vast sciences.

6. He conformed to religion very much. He was very pious and feared Allah to the extent that he became one of the Imams of the pious and the repentant.

  • 1. Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol.9, p.309
  • 2. Roudat al-Kafi.Words similar to these have been mentioned in al-Ithaf bi Hub al-Ashraf (p.53) and in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol.9, p.352
  • 3. Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p.297
  • 4. Diya' al-‘Amilin, part 11 on the Life of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir
  • 5. Al-Ghazali, al-Fara’id, vol.6, p.143
  • 6. ‘Uyyun al-Akhbar wa Funun al-Athar, p.14. Similar words have been mentioned in Hulyat al-Auliya' (vol.3, p.186), Shadhrat al-Dhahab (vol.1, p.149),Tarikh by b. ‘Asakir (vol.51,p.43), and Mir'at al-Jinan (vol.1, p.248)
  • 7. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol.2, p.133
  • 8. Ibid, p.134
  • 9. Ibn Shar Ashub, al-Manaqib, vol.4, p.180
  • 10. Bihar al-Anwar, vol.11, p.64
  • 11. Al-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqa, p.120
  • 12. Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol.9, p.309
  • 13. Shadharat al-Dhahab
  • 14. Jami‘ Karamat al-Awliya’, vol1, p.97
  • 15. Akhbar al-Diwal, p.111
  • 16. Tadhib al-Kamal, 3/Q4/262 (manuscript)
  • 17. Tadhkirat al-Huffaz, vol.1, p.124
  • 18. Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala’, vol.4, p.241
  • 19. Roudat al-A‘yan fi Mashahir Akhbar al-Zaman
  • 20. Ghayat al-Nihaya fi Tabaqat al-Qurra’, vol.2, p.202
  • 21. Matalib al-Sa'ul fi Manaqib Al al-Rasul
  • 22. ‘Uyyun al-Akhbar wa Funun al-Athar, p.212
  • 23. Al-Nijum al-Zahira, vol.1, p.273
  • 24. Is‘af al-Raghibin, p.316
  • 25. Ibn Abi al-Haddid, Sharh
  • 26. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p.293
  • 27. Alam al-Wara bi Alam al-Huda, p.268
  • 28. Ghayat al-Ikhtisar, p.401
  • 29. Jawhart al-Kalam fi Madh al-Sada al-A‘lam, p.132
  • 30. Nazhat al-Jalis, vol.2, p.36
  • 31. Al-Nafha al-‘Anbariya
  • 32. Minhajj al-Sunna, vol.2, pp. 114-115
  • 33. Ibid, p.123
  • 34. Al-Sirat al-Sawi, p.194
  • 35. Bihar al-Anwar, vol.11, p.84
  • 36. Tahdhib al-Lughat wa al-Asma’, vol.1, p.87
  • 37. A‘yan al-Shi‘a, Q1/4/485
  • 38. ‘Umdat al-Talib, vol.2, p.29
  • 39. Kashf al-Ghumma, vol.2, p.363
  • 40. Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, p.18
  • 41. Wajjdi, Da’irat al-Ma‘ari, vol.3, p.563
  • 42. Al-Imam al-Sadiq, p.22
  • 43. Al-Khafaji, Sharh al-Shafa, vol.1, p.292
  • 44. Al-Hadith al-Mufahhas ‘an Sharaf Nasl al-Imam ‘Ali, p.139

Chapter 5: The Qualities of His Character

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, had all the noble qualities that made him appropriate for undertaking the spiritual and the temporal leadership of this community. Each of his qualities raised him to the top which no one reaches except the unique people of the time. He was as the poet said:

He was from the Hashimites whose glory was as high as the sky.

They made the people die of jealousy.

They were the people for whom Allah wanted the noble

qualities of religion and this world to be without time.

Through his abilities and his talents the Imam was distinguished from the great men and the reformers. He was distinguished by his outstanding merits and his immortal deeds. He was distinguished by his clear lineage. He was distinguished by all that though which man becomes high. Among the things by which he was distinguished are as follows:

His Imamate

Allah endowed him with the Imamate and singled him out with the general authority on behalf of his grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. He was among his successors and his trustees whom the Prophet regarded as life-boats, the security of people, related to the Quran, and appointed as signposts (of knowledge) for his community to protect it from divisions, discords, and crises.

The Prophet, may bless him and his family, took intense precautions for the affair of his community. He appealed it not to be behind the caravan of the communities and the nations. He wanted glory and dignity for it. He wanted it to be the best community that was brought forth for the people. Thus, he took much care of the Caliphate and Imamate. He summoned the people to take care of it more than he summoned them to take care of any other religious obligations. That is because it is the solid base for developing his community in the intellectual, social, and political fields. He confined it to the pure Imams from the members of his House, who did not yield in all conditions to any material desire. Rather they preferred Allah's obedience and the interest of the community to all things.

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him talked about his Imamate subjectively and inclusively. We will mention it when we talk about his intellectual and scientific heritage. As for his Imamate, the general and the private nominations indicated it. Among them was the nomination of Imam (‘Ali), the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, and the Imamate of the pure Imams after him.1 There are other nominations for his Imamate. We will mention them in the chapters that follow.

Infallibility

Among the highest qualities of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, were infallibility and purity from deviation and atrocities.

Indeed, infallibility is a favor from Allah, the Most High. He grants it to whomever He wills from His servants whose hearts He tests with belief, whom He purifies and chooses to carry out His message and reform His creatures. Infallibility is among the firm beliefs with the Shi‘ites, and one of the basic principles for the Imamate with them. We will talk briefly about it:

The Definition of Infallibility

The Shi‘ite theologians gave various definitions of infallibility. Among them is the definition of Shaykh al-Mufid. He defined it as follows: Infallibility means refraining willingly from committing sins and abominations during the favor which Allah, the Most High, does for the person. The person who is singled out with the favor refrains from sins and leaving disobedience willingly.2 Concerning the definition of infallibility, scholar al-Hilli said: “It is a favor from Allah. He grants it to the person. With that, the person has no excuse to leave obedience and commit sins willingly.”3 The Shaykh of the sect, Shaykh Tusi, defined it: “Infallibility means that the person refrains from sins when he is able to commit them.”

In the light of these definitions, infallibility is the absolute perfection of the soul, its perfect freedom from all the inclinations of desire, conceit, and recklessness, and refraining from committing any crime or sin whether intentionally or unintentionally. It is natural that no one is distinguished by that except him whom Allah chooses to convey His message and to guide His creatures, whether the person is a prophet or an Imam.

The Evidence for Infallibility

The Shi‘ites produced enough undoubtable evidence in support of the infallibility of the Imam. Hisham b. al-Hakam, a Shi‘ite theologian, produced wonderful evidence in support of infallibility. He said: “Indeed there are four reasons for sins. There is no fifth reason for them. These reasons are: envy, anger, miserliness, and desire. The Imam had none of these qualities. It is impossible for the Imam to be miserly for this world, for this world was under his ring. He was the trustee of the property of the Muslims. So, why was he miserly? It was impossible for him to be envious. That is because the person envies those who are superior to him. There was no one superior to him. So, why did he envy those who were inferior to him? It was impossible for him to be angry for a certain affair of this world.

However, it was possible for him to be angry for Allah, the Great and Almighty. That is because Allah made it incumbent on the Imam to put punishments into practice. It was impossible for him (the Imam) to follow desires and prefer this world to the next world. That is because Allah made desirable the next world for him, as He made desirable this world for us. So, the Imam looked at the hereafter, as we look at this world. Thus, have you ever seen a person who prefers an ugly face to a pretty face, bitter food to delicious food, rough clothes to smooth clothes, and close immortal blessing to transient mortal world?”4

The Shi‘ites produced enough reliable, rational and traditional evidence in support of the necessary infallibility of the Imams. Their theological books are full of them.5 Donna Ledson said: “The Shi‘ite idea of infallibility has developed Islamic theology. Thanks to them for studying this matter not only in Islam but also in all the other religions.”6 They were the first to open the door of scientific argument and conversation based on the rational proofs that have fixed the affairs of their basic principles in the Imamate.

Doubts and Imaginations

Many doubts and imaginations have been raised about infallibility. The Shi‘ites have been accused of inactivity and exaggeration. Those who criticized them said: “Indeed the Imams were like other people. They obeyed Allah and disobeyed him. They committed sins intentionally or unintentionally. There was no difference between them and other people.

I firmly believe that the violent attacks against the cleaving of Shi‘ites to the infallibility of their Imams were launched to justify the Umayyad and the ‘Abbasid kings who had given themselves great qualities and noble titles. They claimed that they were the servants of the religion and the caliphs of Allah in his earth. Still, they committed sins and crimes. Therefore, infallibility is not a condition for him who undertakes the affairs of Muslims. The Shi‘ites have intensely denied that. They believe that the caliphate of those kings was illegal. That is because their deeds did not agree with the simplest rules of the Islamic religion. In other words, they went too far in practicing prostitution, amusement, and impudence. Moreover, their palaces became theaters for amusement, dance, and corruption. Thus, the poet said concerning al-Mahdi, the ‘Abbasid Caliph,:

Banu Umayya (the sons of Umayya), wake up,

for your sleep has become long.

Indeed the Caliph is Ya‘qub b. Dauwd.

O People, your caliphate has become lost.

Look for Allah's caliph between the flute and the lute.

The desire controlled the Caliph. Thus, he was between the flute and the lute. So, was it possible for him to be the Imam of the Muslims and caliph of Allah in the earth?

Islam took great care of the affair of the Islamic caliphate. That is because it is the important center for the happiness of the Muslims, their progress, and the development of their life. Thus, it is illogical to call those kings the caliphs of Allah in His earth, and His trustees (of authority) over His servants. Besides it is illogical to believe in the legality of their caliphate.

The Shi‘ites believe in the infallibility of their Imams, for their Imams were the most high example of man's perfection. The historians have unanimously agreed on that none of the Imams deviated from the right path or disobeyed Allah's orders and prohibitions. Didn't Imam (‘Ali), the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, say: “By Allah, if I was given the seven regions and what is under their orbits to disobey Allah through taking a grain of barley from the mouth of a locust, I would not do (that). “This is the infallibility which the Shi‘ites ascribe to their Imams, peace be on them. Thus, there is neither inactivity nor exaggeration in this infallibility.

Rather it was agreeing with the reality that indicated the behavior the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, who conformed intensely to the affairs of their religion, and preferred Allah's obedience to all things. Thus, the Holy Book has denoted their infallibility and their purity from deviation and sins. Allah, the Most High, said: “Allah only wants to keep away the uncleanliness from you, the members of the House, and purify you thoroughly. “The Great Prophet joined them to the Quran. He, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “I leave behind me among you two things which, if you cleave to them, you will never go astray that is the Book of Allah and my offspring from my family. They will never scatter (from you) till they lead you to me at the (sacred) waters of (Heaven). Falsehood does not come to the Holy Book from before it nor does it comes to it from behind it. Such is the pure family (of the Prophet). Otherwise the comparison between them is incorrect.

His Clemency

As for clemency, it was the most prominent quality of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. The historians have unanimously agreed that the Imam did not mistreat those who wronged him and were aggressive towards him. Rather he forgave them and treated them kindly. The historians have reported many examples of his clemency. Among them are:

1. An adherent of a revealed religion (kitabi) attacked the Imam, was aggressive towards him, and addressed him with bitter words: “You are baqar (cows).”

However, the Imam treated him kindly. He smiled at him, saying: “No, I am Baqir.”

The adherent went on attacking the Imam, saying: “You are the son of the cook.”

The Imam smiled at him. This aggression did not excite him. Rather he said to him: “That is her job.”

Still the adherent went on attacking the Imam, saying:

“You are the son of the black woman.... ”

The Imam did not become angry. Rather he treated him kindly, saying:

“If you are truthful, may Allah forgive you. If you are a liar, may Allah forgive you.”

Thus, the adherent admired the Imam's high morals that marked the morals of the prophets. Then he became Muslim.7

2. Among those wonderful examples of his clemency is a Syrian attended his assembly, listened to his lectures and admired them. Then the Syrian walked towards the Imam, saying: “Muhammad, I am afraid of your assembly. I do not love you. I say: No one is more hateful with me than you, the members of the House. I know that the obedience of Allah and the obedience of the Commander of the Faithful is through your hate. However, I think that you are an eloquent man with morals and good utterance. I visit you frequently because of your good manners!”

However, the Imam treated him kindly. Then the Syrians became righteous. He loved the Imam and followed him. He became a friend of the Imam till death came to him. Thus, he asked the Imam to pray over him.8

Through these high morals, the Imam followed the example of his grandfather, the Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, who could with his standard morals bring the hearts together, unify the feelings and the sentiments, and make the people follow the word of monotheism while they had been groups and parties. “Each party is rejoicing in that which is with them.”

His Patience

Patience was among the personal qualities of the pure Imams from the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. Indeed they were patient through the hardships of time and the misfortunes of the days. They bore the misfortunes which the creatures were unable to bear. At the plateau of Karbala', Imam Husayn, peace be on him, received the exhausting misfortunes, saying: “O Lord, I am patient towards Your decree. There is no god but You. “Imam al-Baqir, like his grandfathers, was patient towards the hardships and the misfortunes, of which are the following:

1. (The people of) authority disparaged his pure grandfathers. They cursed them openly on the pulpits and through the minarets (of the mosques). He, peace be on him, listened to that. However, he was unable to say even a word. He restrained his anger. He entrusted the affair to Allah to judge among his servants with the truth.

2. Among the hard misfortunes which the Imam endured was the headmen from the hirelings of the Umayyad authority who tortured severely and killed the followers of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. However, the Imam was unable to say even a word. That is because (the Umayyad) authority kept an intense eye on him. They surrounded him with their secret agents. They did not respond to any request from him concerning the affair of his followers.

3. Concerning the Imam's great patience, the historians reported that while he was sitting with his companions, he heard a loud cry from his house. One of his servants hurried to him and told him secretly (about the accident). However, the Imam, peace be on him, said to the servant: “Praise belongs to Allah for what he has given and praise belongs to Him for what he has taken. Prevent them from weeping. Prepare him for burial. Ask her to be calm and tell her: ‘No harm will hit you. You are free for Allah because of the fear that has controlled you.'

“Then the Imam went back to his conversation. The people were unable to ask him (about the accident). Then his servant came to him and said to him: We have prepared him for burial. Then, the Imam ordered his companions to pray over his son and to bury him. He told his companions concerning his son and said to them: ‘He fell off a slave-girl who was carrying him and died.’”9 States change and civilizations perish while these ‘Alid morals are immortal, for they represent the honor of humanity and its noble values.

4. The historians said: “The Imam had a son. The son became ill. Thus, the Imam feared for his safety, for he loved him very much. Then the son died. So, the patience of the Imam became calm. Thus, it was said to him: ‘We fear for your safety, son of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.’ However, the Imam answered with calmness and satisfaction with the decree of Allah, saying: ‘Indeed we pray to Allah in what He loves. If what we hate occurs, we do not oppose Allah in what He loves.’”10

Surely, the Imam habituated himself to patience. He faced the misfortunes of the world and the disasters of time with strong will and firm belief. He endured the misfortunes without boredom, for he was desirous of the reward from Allah.

His Honoring the Poor

Among his high morals was that he glorified the poor and raised their position lest the people should see the abasement of the need on them. The historians said: “He ordered his family not to say to the beggar: ‘Beggar, take this.’ Rather he ordered them to say: ‘Servant of Allah, you are blessed.’11 He also ordered them to call the beggars with their best names.”12

Surely, they are the morals of the Prophet, who came to make man high, to supply him with glory and dignity, and to save him from submission and abasement.

His Releasing the Slaves

The great Imam was fond of releasing the slaves and saving them from enslavement. He released a family of eleven slaves.13 He had sixty slaves. He released one-third of them when he was about to die.14

His Spending on his Companions

The most enjoyable thing for the Imam in this world was spending on his companions. He did not tire of spending on them and those who came to him and hoped from him.15 Moreover, he entrusted his son al-Sadiq to spend on his companions and his students. For he wanted them to devote themselves to proclaiming knowledge among the people.

His Alms to the Poor of Medina

The Imam, peace be on him, did a lot of charity and favor for the poor of Medina (Yathrib). His alms for them were counted. They amounted eight thousands dinars.16 He gave them a dinar as alms every Friday. He said: “The alms on Friday is better than it is on the other days.”17

His Generosity and his Liberality

As for generosity, it was among the basic elements of the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. Indeed, they lent a helping hand to the poor and the beggars. Concerning them, the poet said:

If there was a custom of glory before them

You would find it from them for miles.

If you came to them, you would see among their houses

generosity that protects you from the attitudes of beggary.

The light of prophethood and noble deeds is burning in the old

and the children from them.18

Concerning them, al-Kumayt said:

They are rains and lions. When the people become hungry,

they (the Imams) are the shelter of the nurses of the orphans.

Concerning them, al-Kumayt also said:

If a cloud arises from them in a land,

then the plant is not prohibited,

nor is lightning without rain.

How wonderful what was said is! For it is appropriate for them:

They are generous and those who were before them were generous, too.

Their children after them are generous.

The people are a land in generosity and liberality.

When the generous are numbered, they (the Imams) are a sky.

The Imam had a natural disposition for doing good, spending on the people, and making them happy. Ibn al-Sabbagh al-Maliki said: “Though Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn (al-Baqir) had knowledge, outstanding merits, leadership, and Imamate, his generosity was apparent in Shi‘a and non-Shi‘a, he was famous for generosity for all people, and he was known for favor and kindness in spite of his big family and his middle condition.”19

The historians said: “Imam al-Baqir was the least of the members of his House in money. Still, he was the greatest of them in provision.”20 In spite of that, he gave generously what he had to help the poor and the deprived. The narrators have mentioned many attitudes of his generosity. Among them are:

1. ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Ubayd and ‘Amru b. Dinar reported. They said: “When we met Abu Ja‘far Muhammad b. ‘Ali (al-Baqir), he gave us money and clothes. Then he said: ‘These had been prepared for you before you met me.’”21

2. Sulayman b. Qaram reported: “Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) gave us five hundred, six hundred, or one thousand dirhams. He was not tired of spending on the companions, those who came to him, and those who hoped from him.”22

3. Al-Hasan b. Kuthayr said: “I complained to Abi Ja‘far Muhammad b. ‘Ali (al-Baqir) of the need and the abandonment of the friends. He, peace be on him, was moved (by that). Then he said: ‘Bad is the friend who takes care of you when you are rich and abandons you when you are poor.' Then he ordered his servant-boy to take out a pouch in which were seven hundred dirhams. Then he said: ‘Spend these (dirhams). When you have used them, then inform me (of that).’”23

4. He, peace be on him, gave from a hundred to a thousand (dirhams) to the people who came frequently to his assembly. He liked sitting with them. Among them were ‘Amru b. Dinar and ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Ubayd. He gave them gifts and clothes. Then he said to them: We have prepared them for you since the beginning of the year.’”24

5. His retainer, Salma, reported: “His companions came to him. They did not leave him till he offered them delicious food and gave them good clothes and granted them dirhams. “Salma blamed him for that. Thus, he said to her: “Nothing is hoped in this world except the relatives and the companions.”25 He used to say: “The world is not good except for the gift of the companions and the relatives.”26 These are some of the attitudes which have been reported concerning his generosity and liberality. They indicate that kindness and charity were among his elements and qualities.

His Worship

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, was among the Imams of the pious. He knew Allah to the extent that this knowledge included all his heart. He devoted himself to his Lord through a repentant heart. He was very excellent at obeying Him. As for the aspects of his worship, they are:

A. His Reverence in his Prayers

The historians reported that when he prepared himself for prayers, his color became yellow out of fear of Allah.27 He knew the mighty of Allah, the Exalted, the Creator of the universe and Giver of life. Thus, the Imam worshipped him as the pious and the repentant did.

B. His many Prayers

He said many prayers. The reporters said: “He said one hundred and fifty ruk‘as by day and night.”28 His scientific affairs and his general authority for the community did not divert him from saying many prayers. That is because the prayers were the most lovable thing with him, for they were the relationship between him and Allah.

C. His Supplications during his Prostration

It has been mentioned in the tradition: “The servant is closer to his Lord when he is prostrate (in prayer). Thus, during his prostration, the Imam, peace be on him, headed for Allah through his heart and his feelings. He whispered a supplication to Him sincerely. Some supplications have been reported on his authority. The following are some of them:

1. Ishaq b. ‘Ammar reported on the authority of Abi ‘Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), who said: “I prepared bed for my father and waited for him till he came. When he went to his bed and slept, I went to my bed. One night he was late. After the people had slept, I went to the mosque to look for him. There was no one in the mosque except him. Suddenly, I saw him prostrating in the mosque. I heard him say:

“O Allah, glory belongs to You. You are my true Lord. O My Lord, I am prostrating my self in worship and slavery. O Allah, my deed is weak, so double it for me. O Allah, protect me from Your torment on the day when You raise Your servants from the dead. Forgive me. Indeed You are the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.”29

2. Abu ‘Ubayda al-Hadha' reported: While Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) was prostrating himself in worship, I heard him say:

“(O Allah), I ask You by Your beloved one, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, to change my sins into good deeds and reckon me easily.”

Then he said in the second prostration:

“I ask You by Your beloved one, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, to suffice me the provision of the world and weaken the terror before Paradise.”

Then he said in the third (prostration):

“I ask You by Your beloved one, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, to forgive me my few and many sins and accept the little work from me.”

Then he said in the forth (prostration)

“I ask You by Your beloved one, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, to make me enter Paradise, to make me among its dwellers, and to save me from the burning fire through Your mercy. May Allah bless Muhammad and his family.”30

These supplications denote his intense attachment to Allah, his great turn to Him in repentance, and his cleaving to His obedience.

D. His Supplication during his Personal Prayers

Some supplications which he said during his personal prayers have been reported on his authority. The following are some of them:

“O Allah, indeed, my enemy has followed his vigor, persisted on his enmity, and felt safe from the consequence through the clemency that has included him. Thus, he has dared against You and disobeyed You when he has separated himself from You. O Allah, You have moments of wrath at night when they are asleep, by day when they are heedless, openly when they play, and suddenly when they are forgetful. Indeed the strangling rope has become more intense, the shackle has become stronger, the hearts have been eliminated, the minds are disguised, patience has perished and its strings are about to break. Surely, You observe the oppressive and see the grieved. The passing of overtaking does not hurry You and the prohibition of the forbidder does not make You powerless. Rather You act carefully. Your argument is intense and irrefutable in all circumstances. The weakness of humanity and the feebleness of mankind are in Your servants. The supreme power of divinity, the kingdom of creation, the violence of deliberateness, and the punishment of perpetuation are for You.

“O Allah, if there is a reward in bearing patiently the cordiality of the supported one from the oppressive and the sadness of him who sees from those who alternate you, then grant me more support and a help of directing till the time when Your will is valid towards him whom You make happy and him whom You make unhappy. Do me a favor to submit to Your inevitable decrees and to bear Your issued determinations. Grant me love for what You love from the past and the next (things), the immediate and the postponed (things). (Grant me) preference to what You choose from the close and the remote (things). In spite of that, do not deprive us of the sentiments of Your mercy and Your good protection.”31

I do not think that there is a political document that showed the same ability in mentioning the situations of the country at that time as this supplication showed. That is because the Imam talked about the political crises from which the Muslims suffered during the days of the Umayyad government with which the Imam was contemporary, and especially as it concerns the tyrant, ‘Abd al-Malik b. Marwan, who did his best to abase the Muslims and to force them to follow what they hated. He appointed over them the tyrant, al-Hajjaj b. Yousif al-Thaqafi, who wasted their religion and world and made trouble in the earth. He poured all kinds of oppression on the Muslims to the extent that the insights missed the mark, the hearts rose up to the throats, and patience was over. Thus, the Imam asked Allah to save the Muslims from their critical situation and to punish severely the disobedient oppressive Umayyads.

2. He, peace be on him, prayed to Allah with this supplication in his personal prayers: “Through Your favor and generosity. O You Who knows the obsessions of inner selves, the hidden places of consciences, and the facts of thoughts. O You Who is present for every unseen, remember every forgotten (person), have power over all things, see all (the creatures), the slowness has become far, the moment of death has approached, the deed has become weak, and the hope is full of doubt.

“O Allah, You are the last as You are the first. You destroy whom You originate and turn into wear. You entrust their deeds to them and make them carry their burdens till the time of their resurrection from their raise from the dead when the trumpet will be blown, the sky split open with the light, and coming out of the place of resurrection to the yard of the gathering. Their eyes will not revert to them and their hearts vacant. They will run into the worry of their past deeds. They will be asked for a long time when they had lived. There they will be reckoned for what they had committed. Their books will be wide open around their necks. They shall bear their burdens on their backs. There will be neither escape nor refuge from the punishment. The proof will confute them. So, they will live in the perplexity of the destination and the whisper of the noise. They will be deviated from the destination except him who Allah promised good. So, he will be safe from the fearful sight and the great coming. And he was not among those who disobeyed (Allah) in the world. He did not annoy Allah's friends nor did he enslave them nor did he possess alone their rights.

“O Allah, indeed the hearts have risen up to the throats, the souls have come up to the throats, and the lives have come to an end because of waiting (for Your ease), not because of the paucity of insight nor because of the accusation of a decree, but because they have disobeyed You, opposed Your orders and prohibitions, played with Your friends, and supported Your enemies.

“O Allah, therefore, approach that which has become close, bring that which has become imminent, achieve the thoughts of those who are certain (of You), and make the believers achieve their hopes in establishing Your justice, supporting Your religion, and showing Your proof.”32

This Holy Supplication denotes that Allah has vast knowledge. He encompasses all things whether they are seen or unseen. It also denotes the hereafter. Moreover, it indicates that people will be raised from the dead on the Day of Judgment to be reckoned by Allah. They will carry on their backs the sins of what they had done in the world. They will be asked about what they had committed. They will be reckoned for what they had done. No one will be safe from that fearful sight except those whom Allah promised good, those who had not mutinied against (Allah) in the world nor had they enslaved Allah's servants. Worth mentioning, in this supplication, the Imam confronted the Umayyad rulers possessed alone the property of Allah and enslaved his servants. Thus, the hearts had risen up to the throats because of their oppression and tyranny, as the Imam, peace be on him, said.

His Pilgrimage

When Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, made the pilgrimage to Mecca, he dedicated himself to Allah and turned to Him in repentance. The marks of humility and obedience appeared on his face. His retainer, Aflah, reported: [I performed the hajj with Abi Ja‘far, Muhammad al-Baqir. When he entered the mosque, he wept loudly. So, I said to him:]

“May my father and mother be ransom for you, the people are waiting for you. If you please, weep quietly.”

However, the Imam paid no attention to him. Rather he said to him: “Aflah, woe unto you! I am weeping loudly in order that Allah may look at me through his mercy. So, I will win it tomorrow.”

Then the Imam circumambulated the Kaaba, and he came to pray behind the standing place (of Prophet Abraham). When he ended (his prayers), the place of his prostration became wet out of the tears of his eyes.33 One time when he, peace be on him, performed the hajj, the pilgrims surrounded him and crowded around him. They asked him for legal opinions concerning the affairs of their religion. The Imam answered them. Thus, the people admired his vast knowledge. They asked each other about him. So, one of his companions introduced him to them, saying:

“This is the one who has split open the knowledge of the apostles. This is the one who has explained the ways. This is the best one who became firmly established in the backs of the owners of the ship. This is the (grand) son of Fatima, the Chaste. This is the (grand) son of Muhammad, Khadija, ‘Ali, and Fatima. This is the standing signpost of religion.”34

The references have not mentioned the number of his pilgrimages to the Sacred House of Allah, for they have neglected that.

His Whispered Prayer with Allah

The Imam, peace be on him, said whispered prayers with Allah in the darkness of night. Among what he said in his whispered prayer is:

“You have ordered me, but I have not followed Your order. You have prevented me, but I have not followed Your prevention. Here I am, Your servant before You.”35

His Praising Allah

The historians said: “He always remembered Allah. His tongue praised Allah constantly. He walked and praised Allah. He spoke to the people, but that did not divert him from praising Allah. He gathered his children and ordered them to praise Allah till the sun rose. He also ordered them to recite the Quran. He ordered those who could not read to praise Allah.”36

His Renouncing Worldly Pleasures

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, renounced all the worldly pleasures. He turned away from the ornament of life. He did not furnished his house. Rather he spread out a mat at his sitting-place.37 He looked deeply at life. He considered carefully all its affairs. Thus, he renounced its pleasures and devoted himself to Allah through a repenting heart. Jabir b. Zayd al-Ju‘fi said: Muhammad b. ‘Ali (al-Baqir) said to me:

“Jabir, I am grieved and my heart is busy.”

“What is your grief? What has made your heart busy?” asked Jabir.

The Imam, peace be on him, spoke to him about what had made him grieved and made him renounce this world, saying:

“Jabir, whoever enters the religion of Allah, the Great and Almighty, through a pure heart, it (Allah's religion) diverts him from other than Allah.

Jabir, what is the world? What may it be? Isn't it a mere riding animal you ride or a garment you wear or a woman you marry?”38

Many words have been reported on his authority. They urge (people) to renounce worldly pleasures, and to cleave to Allah. Meanwhile they warn them of the vanities and sins of the world. We will mention that in this book. With this, we end our talk about some of the aspects of the Imam's bright character.

  • 1. Al-Saffar, Basa’ir al-Darajat, p.108
  • 2. Sharh ‘Aqa’id al-Saduq, p.114
  • 3. Tawfiq al-Tatbiq, p.16
  • 4. ‘Aqidat al-Shi‘a, p.317
  • 5. Al-‘Allama al-Hilli, al-Alfayn
    Al-Shaykh al-Mufid, Awa’il al-Maqalat fi al-Madhahib al-Mukhtara
    Al-‘Allama al-Hilli, Minhajj al-Karama
  • 6. Nazariyat al-Imama lada al-Shi‘a al-Ithna ‘Ashariya, p.134
  • 7. A‘yan al-Shi‘a, 4/Q1/504
  • 8. Bihar al-Anwar, vol.11, p.66
  • 9. ‘Uyyun al-Akhbar wa Funun al-Athar, p.218
  • 10. Tarikh Dimashq, vol.51, p.52. Ibn Qutayba, ‘Uyyun al-Akhbar, vol.3, p.57
  • 11. ‘Uyyun al-Akhbar, vol.3, p.208
  • 12. Al-Bayan wa al-Tabiyyin, p.158.
    A‘yan al-Shi‘a, Q1/4/472
  • 13. Sharh Shafiyat Abi Firas, vol.2, p.176
  • 14. Ibid
  • 15. Ibid
  • 16. Ibid
  • 17. A‘yan al-Shi‘a, Q1/4/471
  • 18. Zahr al-Adab, vol.1, p.94
  • 19. Al-Fusu al-Muhimma, p.227
  • 20. A‘yan al-Shi‘a, Q1/4/171
  • 21. Al-Irshad, p.299
  • 22. Ibid
  • 23. Safwat al-Safwa, vol.2, p.63
  • 24. ‘Uyyun al-Akhbar wa Funun al-Athar, p.217
  • 25. A‘yan al-Shi‘a, Q1/4/506. Safwat al-Safwa, vol.2, p.63
  • 26. Ibid
  • 27. Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, vol.51, p.44
  • 28. Tadhkirat al-Huffaz, vol.125.
    Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, vol.51, p.44.
    Hulyat al-Awliya’, vol.3, p.182
  • 29. Furu‘ al-Kafi, vol.3, p.323
  • 30. Ibid
  • 31. Muhajj al-Da‘awat, p.51
  • 32. Ibid, p.52
  • 33. Safwat al-Safwa, vol.2, p.63
  • 34. Ibn Shahr Ashub, al-Manaqib, vol.4, p.183
  • 35. Nur al-Absar, p.130
  • 36. A‘yan al-Shi‘a, 4/Q1/471
  • 37. Da‘a’im al-Islam, vol.2, p.158
  • 38. Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol.9, p.310

Chapter 6: His Talents and His Genius

The talents and genius of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, resulted in great abilities of knowledge that included all sciences, such as the tradition, philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, high maxims, and standard morals. Moreover, it included the events the Imam had predicted before they occurred. Then they happened on the arena of life. His knowledge was vast. Though the scholars learned a lot of his pure knowledge, he found narrowness in himself because of his many sciences for which he found no way to proclaim. He, as the narrators said, heaved deep sighs and said with grief:

“If I found (carriers) for my knowledge which Allah, the Great and Almighty, has given to me, I would proclaim monotheism, Islam, religion, and Islamic laws. How can I do that? My grandfather, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, found no carriers for his knowledge for his knowledge. Thus, he sighed deeply on the pulpit and said: ‘Question me before you lose me, for there is much knowledge among the ribs.’”1

The historians and the narrators have unanimously agreed that the Imam was the richest of all the thinkers and the scholars of his time in scientific abilities and talents. Besides, the biographers have mentioned that he proclaimed knowledge and discovered its treasures and facts, as we have mentioned in the previous chapters. Before discussing the sciences which he discovered, it is necessary for us to present some important points concerning the topic.

The Scientific Life at his Time

The scientific movement at the time of the Imam was afflicted with much inactivity and dullness. In other words, it had no shade on the arena of life. That is because the political parties turned the people away from knowledge. The high houses pounced upon winning the government. So, they threw their human and financial powers into astonishing, horrible, violent battles that afflicted the community with heavy causalities and disasters.

The members of the community launched armed attacks against each other. So, they turned away from knowledge and thought. In other words, they abandoned that light which Islam brought for mankind, and abandoned its orders to follow it to achieve their aims in life, such as security, welfare, and development.

The Bright Role of the Imam

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, came to a world full of discords, disturbances, and events. He saw that the Islamic community had lost all of its qualities. It lost all the characteristics which Allah wanted for it, such as unity, perfection, and development in the fields of knowledge and production. So, through his spiritual leadership, the Imam did his best to renew the glory of the community and to rebuild its cultural entity. Thus, he proclaimed knowledge and thought. He refrained from practicing all political activities, and devoted himself to knowledge only. The orientalist, Rowit M. Ronaldson, said: “He (al-Baqir) lived honored. He dedicated himself to knowledge during his isolation in Medina. The people came to him to ask him about the Imamate.”2

Some notables of the community went to the Imam to study knowledge under him. Among them was the great scholar, Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi. When the Imam met him for the first time, he asked him:

-Where are you from?
- From Kufa.
- From which tribe?
- From Ju‘f.
- What has brought you here?
- Seeking knowledge.
- From whom?
- From you.3

Then knowledge-loving deputations came to the Imam frequently to learn knowledge and sciences from him. Shaykh Abu Zahra said: “All the scholars who went to (Medina), the city of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, went to him to learn the principal features of religion from him.”4 The jurists learned from him the lawful and the unlawful.5

However, the Islamic world took from the Imam all the elements of its development and progress. The cultural movement that depended on the Imam was not confined to his time only. Rather it included all the times that followed him. Thus, the scientific life appeared, and sciences developed very much. For this reason, the scientific life in Islam prospered.

Surely, the cultural life in Islam is indebted to this great Imam, for he renewed and led it throughout history.

The Sciences the Imam Discussed

The Imam studied several sciences, and then he taught them to the scholars in the Mosque of the Prophet or in the yard of his house. Among these traditions are the following:

The Tradition

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be no him, took great care of the traditions which were reported on the authority of his grandfather, the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, and on the authority of his pure grandfathers, peace be on them. That is because the tradition is the second source of the Islamic law after the Holy Quran. It is of great importance in the Islamic law, for it specifies the general (verses) of the Book, limits its absolute (verses), it distinguishes its abrogated (verses) from its abrogating (ones), and its vague (verses) from its clear (ones). The tradition also denotes the jurisprudential rules concerning worships and dealings. It gives the general rules which the jurists use to conclude the religious opinion. It has bright rules for individual and social behavior. It has rules for organizing the family and preserving it from committing sins. Moreover, it has all what people need for their individual and social life. For this reason, Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, took care of tradition and adopted it positively. Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi reported seventy thousand traditions on the authority of the Imam. Aban b. Taghlub reported a large group of them on his authority. Great figures from the Companions reported a large group of traditions on his authority.

The important thing is that Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, took care of understanding the meanings of the tradition. He regarded understanding the meanings of the tradition as a criterion for preferring the narration. Yazid al-Razzaz reported on the authority of his father on the authority of Abu Abd Allah on the authority of his father, who said:

“Know the positions of the Shi‘ites according to their narration and their knowledge. Indeed knowledge is understanding the narration. Through understanding the narration, the believer reaches the maximum degree of belief. I looked at a letter that belonged to ‘Ali. I found in the letter that the value and importance of the person depend on that he should know that Allah will reckon people according to the reason He has given to them in the world.”6

That the narrator understands the meanings of the narration indicates his high scientific rank.

As the Imam took great care of the tradition, he put certain rules to distinguish the correct tradition from the incorrect one when they contradict each other. We will mention that when we talk about the science of the fundamentals which the Imam treated.

The Reports of the Imams

As for the traditions which were reported on the authority of the pure Imams, peace be on them, they do not denote the personal ideas of the Imams. Rather, they denote the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and his ideas. Thus, the Shi‘ites have added the Imams' traditions to the Sunna (practices of the Prophet). Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, referred to that in two traditions he told Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi.

1. He, peace be on him, said to Jabir: “If we speak to you according to our idea, we will be from the perished. However, we speak to you according to the traditions we gather on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, as they gather their gold and silver.7

2. He, peace be on him, said to Jabir: “By Allah, Jabir, if we speak to the people according to our opinion, then we will be from the perished. However, we speak to them according to the traditions we report on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. We inherit the traditions successively. We gather them as they gather their gold and silver.”8

Therefore, the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, did not ascribe the traditions to themselves. Rather they ascribed them to their grandfather, the Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. Thus, it is they who preserved the Prophet's scientific heritage. In other words they gathered it as the people gathered their gold and silver.

The Traditions of Imam al-Baqir

As for the traditions which Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and on the authority of Imam (‘Ali), the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, they are of two kinds:

1. (Ahadith) mursala; they are the traditions which the Imam recorded without mentioning the chain of the narrators. The Imam attributed the tradition directly to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, or Imam (‘Ali), the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. The Imam, peace be on him, was asked about the chain (of the narrators), he said: “When I report a tradition, I do not mention the chain (of the reporters), for I report it on the authority of my father, Zayn al-‘Abidin, on the authority of his father al-Husayn, the martyr, on the authority of his father, ‘Ali b. Abu Talib, on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, on the authority of Gabriel, on the authority of Allah, the Great and Almighty.”9

2. (Ahadith) musnada; they are the traditions which the Imam recorded on the authority of his pure grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.

Whether the Imam's traditions are mursala or musnada, they are proof with the Shi‘ites without difference. That is if the chain (of the narrators who reported) on his authority is correct; otherwise they are treated like the other traditions that may be weak or reliable or acceptable.

His Traditions from the Prophet

As for his traditions from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, they sometimes concern Islamic jurisprudence. The encyclopedias of jurisprudence and traditions have mentioned them. They sometimes concern behavior and morals. Some of them also concern the outstanding merits and obligatory love of the pure family (of the Prophet). The following are some of the Imam's traditions from the Prophet:

1. The Imam, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “The virtue of knowledge is more lovable with Allah than the virtue of worship. The best (thing) in your religion is piety.”10

This tradition summons and urges people to seek knowledge, for knowledge is better than worship of which its owner makes no use. The tradition also urges people to refrain from what Allah has forbidden and to turn away from the sins that corrupt the person and deviate him from the right path.

2. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “Adding clemency to knowledge is better than adding a thing to a thing.”11

Indeed knowledge and clemency raise the level of the person. They distinguish him from other than him, for there is nothing better than these two qualities.

3. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “There is obedience over every obedience. However, when (the person) is killed for Allah, then there is no obedience over that. There is disobedience over every disobedience till the person kills one of his parents. If he kills one of them, then there is no disobedience over that.”12

Surely, the maximum degree of obedience is martyrdom for Allah. If the person is killed for that, then he will reach the maximum degree of obedience. Also the maximum degree of sin and disobedience is that when the person kills one of his parents. If he does that, then he will reach the maximum degree of sin and disobedience.

4. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “It is an act of generosity to reclaim property.”13

The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, urges the capitalists to invest their capitals to improve the general economy, to increase the individual income, and to meet the needs of the country. Meanwhile he prevents them from wasting and freezing capitals. That is because such acts harm the economy of the country.

5. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family said: “Indeed Allah, the Blessed and Most High, has given me and my community a gift which He had not given to any of the communities. It is dignity from Allah to us.”So, his Companions said: “O Apostle of Allah, what is that?”He said: “It is breaking the fast and shortening the prayers during the travel.”14

Indeed shortening the prayers and breaking the fast during the travel are among the favors of Allah, the Glorified, for this community. That is because the traveler suffers from tiredness during the travel. If Allah made it obligatory on the traveler to fast and complete the prayers, then He would add tiredness to his tiredness.

6. He, peace be on him, said: A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and said to him: “Why do I not like death?”The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Have you a property?”The man said: “Yes.”The Prophet said: “Have you offered it?”The man said: “No.”The Prophet said: “For this reason, you do not like death.”15

Surely, if this person had offered his property for the hereafter and striven for it, he would have loved it to take the reward of what he had done. However, he had done nothing to approach him to Allah. So, he hated death and meeting Allah, the Most High.

7. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Indeed the wicked of my community are those who are honored for their wickedness. Indeed whom the people honor to avoid his wickedness does not belong to me.”16

Surely, the wicked of this community are those who are honored and respected not for a virtue in them or for kindness they do for the people, but to avoid their evil or for fear of their oppression. Thus, such a kind of people do not belong to Islam that has brought mercy and kindness for people.

8. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “The head of intellect after the belief in Allah, the Great and Almighty, is showing love to people.”17

How wonderful and beautiful this wisdom is! Surely, showing love to people through meeting their needs or doing good for them or saving them from oppression results in spreading love among people and strengthening the links among them. This is what Islam wants to establish its society.

9. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “O Group of the readers of the Quran, fear Allah, the Great and Almighty, in respect with His Book. I am responsible and you are responsible. I am responsible for conveying the message. You will be asked about undertaking the responsibility of the Book of Allah and my Sunna (practices).”18

In this tradition (the Prophet) summons the readers of the Quran and all the men of religion to play an important role in guiding people and informing them of Allah's orders and prohibitions.

10. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “I and ‘Ali were created from the same light.”19

Indeed Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and ‘Ali, peace be on him, were created from the same light that has illuminated the horizons of the universe. They are the source of thought and awareness of this community. They are the pioneers of people for all what they become high through.

11. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Allah's anger and my anger are intense against him who sheds my blood and hurts me in respect with my family.”20

Woe unto the traitorous group that did not keep the will of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, in respect with his family and his progeny! That is because this group killed them, cut off their limbs, took their women and children as prisoners, and violated their sacredness.

12. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “My (grand) father Abraham and ‘Ali will be gathered together. A caller will call: O Muhammad, the best (grand) father is your (grand) father and the best bother is your brother.”21

Indeed, blessed is that pure fatherhood of Abraham, the friend of the Merciful (Allah), and that truthful brotherhood of the Imam, the Commander of the Faithful, towards the great Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. On the day when the people will be gathered together on the land of the truth and justice, a caller will call Abraham and ‘Ali to show their outstanding merits and their high rank with Allah.

13. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said to ‘Ali: “Were it not for you, the believers would not be known after me.”22

The Imam, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, is the criteria of faith, the truth, and justice. No one believes in him except those who believe in their Lord, their homeland, and their community. No one disbelieves in him except those who disbelieve in justice and the interest of their community, turn away from praising Allah, and take his communications as mockery.

14. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “My daughter Fatima will be raised from the dead. Blood stained clothes will be with here. She will cling to the pillar of the throne and say: O Almighty, judge between me and the killer of my son (i. e. al-Husayn). By the Lord of the Kaaba, He (Allah) will give a judgment in favor of my daughter.”23

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, announced several times the murder of his great grandson, Imam Husayn, peace be on him, among the people. In this tradition, he announces that his part, the Mistress of the Women of the World, Fatima the Chaste, peace be on her, will raise on the Day of Judgment with her son's shirt stained with his pure blood. She will request the Just Judge (Allah) to judge between her and his killer. Woe unto him against whom the pure family will bring suit on the day when the liars will be losing.

15. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Indeed Allah created the progeny of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, from ‘Ali's back.”24

Surely, blessed is that progeny through whom Allah strengthened the word of truth, through whom He illuminated the way, through whom He made clear the aim, and whom He made guides to His obedience and leaders to His way.

16. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Whoever performs his ritual ablution properly, performs his prayers well, pays the zakat (alms) of his property, stops his anger, prevents his tongue, does his favor, asks (Allah) to forgive him his sins, and is loyal to the members of my House meets the facts of belief and the doors of Paradise are open for him.”25

Indeed these deeds approach the servant to his Creator. The person reaches the fact of belief and is worthy of the gardens through them.

17. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Bear two strange (things): accept the word of wisdom from the fool and forgive the word of foolishness from the wise man.”26

It is strange that the fool says a wise word. If he says it, we must put it into effect regardless of him. It is also strange that the wise man says a foolish word, for he is wise and perfect. However, if he says it, we must not blame him for it.

18. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “(The people are) ungrateful for two blessings: security and good health.”27

Surely, the people are ungrateful for these two blessings while life is not good without them. Moreover, they do not thank Allah for them.

19. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “If two kinds (of people) from my community are righteous, my community is righteous. When they are corrupt, my community is corrupt. It was said: O Apostle of Allah, who are they? He said: the jurists and the rulers.”28

Surely, social righteousness depends on the righteousness of these two kinds of people. When they are righteous, the community is happy and achieves its aims. When they deviate from the laws of the truth and justice, the community will suffer from a quick decline in all fields.

20. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “The smell of the garden is found from the walk of five hundred years. However, neither the disobedient one nor the cuckold finds it. It was said: O Apostle of Allah, who is the cuckold? He said: He whose wife commits adultery and he knows (that).”29

Indeed the person who disobeys his parents and the cuckold who has no honor are not worthy of Paradise that is the abode of the prophets and the righteous. Rather they are not worthy of anything except that they are shackled in the Fire.

21. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “There is no good in livelihood except for two men: an obeyed scholar and an aware listener.”30

Surely, good in this world is for the scholar whom the people obey when he orders them to follow noble values and high ideals. When the scholar finds such a kind of people, he is successful in conveying his message and achieving his aims. Good in life is also for the listener who is aware of the noble objectives in the message of the righteous and puts them into practice.

22. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Whoever helps the poor and treats the people with justice is a true believer.”31

Indeed, to help the poor materially and spiritually indicates strong perfect faith. To treat the people with justice also indicates that the person is noble and is free from selfishness and all psychological diseases. This is the reality of faith and essence of Islam.

23. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “The parents are ungrateful for their son when the son is righteous as the son is ungrateful for them.”32

Surely, ungratefulness is not confined to the son when he is ungrateful for his parents. Rather, it includes the parents when they treat their son illegally. Thus, they commit a sin when they treat him in such a way.

24. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “The believer does not spend an expense more lovable with Allah, the Great and Almighty, than saying the truth during consent and anger.”33

How wonderful this wisdom is! It is the rule of Islam that orders people to prefer the truth and justice to anything else.

25. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Two kinds of my community have no share in Islam. (They are): the extremists and the fatalists.”34

As for the extremists, the claim that the Imam, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, is Allah, the Exalted, or the son of Allah. The Shi‘ites say that they do not belong to them. Rather, the Shi‘ites say that they are unbelievers and are treated like them.

In satirizing them, Sayyid al-Himyari said:

(They) are the people who have gone too far in loving ‘Ali.

Woe unto them!

They say: He (‘Ali) is the son of Allah. Great is our Creator.

He has neither son nor father.35

As for the fatalists, they say that all good and evil are from Allah. (That happens) through his determination and will.36 They have no share in Islam.

26. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Whoever has three qualities or one of them will be in the shade of the throne of Allah, the Great and Almighty, on the Day of Judgment, the day when there will be no shade except His shade. (These qualities are): He should treat people with justice. He should do no thing till he knows that (his deed) pleases Allah or angers Him. He should find no fault with his Muslim brother till he frees himself from that fault. For when he frees it from a fault, he finds another fault in it. It is enough for the person that his soul diverts him from the people.”37

This tradition summons the persons to cleave to high moral standards and good behavior towards people. It warns him of mentioning the faults of people.

27. He, peace be on him said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Lying is good in three (cases): the trick during war, your promise to your wife, and making peace between (two) people. Truthfulness is bad in three (cases): tale bearing, your telling the person about his wife with what he hates, and your accusing the person of lying (when he tells) about good. Sitting with three (kinds of people) deadens the heart: sitting with the low, conversation with women, and sitting with the rich.”38

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, permitted telling lies in these cases because of the interests that result from them. The scholars said: “Telling lies is not the perfect cause of ugliness. Rather it is a necessity for it. So, when the interests that remove its ugliness are found, the person is permitted to it. Truthfulness is also ugly in these cases because of evil that arises from it.

28. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Every eye will weep on the Day of Judgment except three eyes: the eye that weeps out of the fear of Allah, the eye that blinks at what Allah has prohibited, and the eye that stays awake at night for Allah.”39

29. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “The quickest good in reward is benefaction and the quickest evil in punishment is oppression. It is enough fault for the person that he looks at what the people have while he has it, that he disgraces the people with what he cannot leave, and that he hurts his friend with that which does not concern him.”40

This tradition urges people to do good, to be careful of evil and aggression against people, and to censure the person who looks for the faults of people and does not look for his own faults.

30. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “No staying up at night but for three (cases): spending the night in (reciting) the Quran or in seeking knowledge or in directing the bride to her husband.”41

31. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Whoever does not have three (traits) does not belong to me nor does he belong to Allah, the Great and Almighty. It was said: O Apostle of Allah, what are they? He said: clemency through which

he drives back the ignorance of the ignorant, good manners through he lives among the people, and piety that prevents him from disobeying Allah, the Great and Almighty.”42

This tradition summons the Muslim person to build his character according to noble foundations such as clemency, good manners, and refraining from what Allah has prohibited.

32. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Three (groups of people) have the right to intercede with Allah, the Great and Almighty: the prophets, the scholars, and the martyrs.”43

33. He, peace be no him, said: The Apostle of Allah bless him and his family, said: “Belief is appreciation with heart, acknowledgment with tongue, and action with limbs.”44 Belief is not a word on everybody's lips. Rather, it is an affair settled in the depth of the heart and inner self. It motivates man to act out of conviction and loyalty.

34. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said to Abu Dharr: “O Abu Dharr, beware of begging, for it is present abasement and quickens poverty. There will be a long reckoning concerning it on the Day of Judgment. O Abu Dharr, you will live by yourself, die by yourself, and enter Paradise by yourself. Some Iraqis will be happy because of you. They will wash and prepare you for burial. Do not beg with the palm of your hand. When a thing comes, then accept it. Then he, may Allah bless him and his family, said to his Companions: Shall I tell you about your wicked ones?”

“Yes, O Apostle of Allah.”

“Those who go about with slander, sow division among the friends, and find fault with the innocent.”45

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, advised Abu Dharr to cling to abstinence and self-esteem. He, may Allah bless him and his family, recognized from behind the unseen that this great reformer would suffer from severe punishments and persecutions because of carrying out his immortal reformative message. Thus, Abu Dharr was indignant with the Umayyads who turned away from the rights of the community and possessed alone its wealth. So, they inherited successively the property of Allah and enslaved His servants. Thus, Abu Dharr defended the rights of the oppressed and the persecuted and showed their sufferings. So, the Umayyads were unable to bear him. Accordingly, they banished him to al-Rabadha and imposed a house arrest. He lived at that barren area. Then this great revolutionist died of hunger. He was banished from the home of Allah and of His Apostle. However, the Umayyads possessed the gold of the land and the wealth of the community. They spent them on their pleasures.

Abu Dharr sacrificed his life for achieving social justice, finding equal opportunities for the people, removing poverty and oppression, and returning the government of the Quran and the justice of Islam to them.

35. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “O ‘Ali, four (persons) whose supplication is not refused are: the just Imam, the father (who invokes Allah) for his son, the man who invokes (Allah) for his absent brother, and the oppressed one to

Allah, the Great and Almighty, says: By My Greatness and Might, I will support you even after a while.”46

36. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said to ‘Ali: “O ‘Ali, indeed, Allah, the Great and Almighty, looked thoroughly over the people of the earth and chose me from them. Then He looked over them a second time and chose you from them after me. Then He looked over them a third time and chose from them the Imams from your children. Then He looked over them a forth time and chose Fatima from the women of the world.”47

Surely, Allah, the Most High, chose His great Prophet and his testamentary trustees, the pure Imams, from His creatures. He made them keepers for His knowledge, store for His wisdom, pillars for His monotheism, signpost (of knowledge) in His earth, and guides for His pleasure and obedience. May Allah bless them all.

37. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Whoever has four (attributes) is in Allah's great light: the protection of his affair is that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Apostle of Allah. When a misfortune hits him, he says: to Allah we belong and to Him is our return. When he gains good, he says: praise belongs to Allah. When he commits a sin, he says: I ask Allah's forgiveness and turn to Him in repentance.”48

38. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “Whoever has four (traits), Allah spreads His protection over him and makes him enter the garden through His mercy: good manners through which he lives among people, leniency towards the grieved, piety for the parents, and kindness to the slave.”49

This tradition summons the people to cleave to good manners, good behavior among the people, and leniency and mercy towards the afflicted (with disaster) and the unfortunate.

39. He, peace be on him reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, who said: “Four (acts) deaden the heart: sin after sin, much talk with the women, disputing with the fool, (You say and he says, he never returns to good), and sitting with the dead. It was said to him: Who are the dead? He said: All the extravagant.”50

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, warned (his community) of these affairs, for they deaden the conscience and stiffen the heart. However, Islam has taken great care of man's conscience. Meanwhile Islam wants man to be aware, free, educated, and merciful.

40. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said in his testamentary bequest to the Imam, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him: “O ‘Ali, act through four: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, and your life before your death.”51

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, summoned (his community) to do good and to seize the opportunity to do what approaches the servant to his Creator before it is too late, so man loses the blessings which Allah has prepared for him in the eternal abode.

41. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, peace be on him, who said: “Among the signs of unhappiness are: the impudence of the eye, the cruelty of the heart, the intensity of greediness in seeking livelihood, and the persistence of the sin.”52

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, warned (the community) of these things that make man far from his Lord and throw him into great evil.

42. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said on his pulpit: “Indeed the best names are: ‘Abd Allah, ‘Abd al-Rahman, Haritha, and Hammam. The worst names are: Derar, Murah, Harb, and Zalim.”53

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, ordered the Muslims to call their children with blessed names and prevented them from calling them with evil names.

43. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “The servant will be asked about four (things) on the Day of Judgment before his legs disappear: in what he used up his age, in what he wore out his youth, from where he earned his money and in what he spent it, and our love, we, the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt).”54

Indeed Allah, the Exalted, will ask man on the Day of Judgment about all the affairs of his life in this world. He will ask him about whether he had used up his age in the obedience and pleasure of Allah to reward him or he had used it up in committing sins and oppressing the creatures to punish him. He will especially ask him about in what he had worn out his youth. He will ask him about whether he had lawfully earned his money to reward him or he had unlawfully earned it to punish him. He will also ask him about his love for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, for they are the source of light and good in the earth. If he (man) loves them, he will be successful; otherwise he will be unsuccessful.

44. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers, who said that the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, addressed the people on the last Friday of the month of Sha‘ban. He thanked Allah, praised Him, and then said:

“O People, indeed, a month will shade you. In it there is a night (that) is better than a thousand months. It is the month of Ramadan. Allah has imposed the fasting in it (on you). He has made performing a prayer willingly in a night of it as performing prayers willingly in seventy nights in months other than it. He has made (the reward) of him who does willingly good and kindness as the reward of him who carries out a commandment of the Commandments of Allah. Whoever carries out a commandment of the Commandments of Allah is like him who carries out seventy commandments in (months) other than it. It is the month of patience. The reward of patience is the garden. It is the month of help. It is the month in which Allah increases the livelihood of the believer. Whoever breaks the believer's fast, with that, has with Allah, the Great and Almighty, releasing a slave and forgiving his past sins.

“It was said to him: O Apostle of Allah, not all of us are able to break the believer's fast. He said: Indeed Allah, the Blessed, is generous. He gives this reward to those of you who have nothing to break someone's fast except milk mixed with water or a drink of fresh water or few dates. Whoever helps his slave in it, Allah will commute his punishment. It is the month whose beginning is mercy, whose middle is forgiveness, and whose end is answer and releasing from fire. In it you are in need of four qualities: Two qualities through which you please Allah. Two qualities are necessary for you. As for the two (qualities) through which you please Allah, they are: Testify that there is no god but Allah, and that I am the Apostle of Allah. As for the two (qualities) that are necessary for you, they are: In it ask Allah for your needs and Paradise. In it ask Allah for good health and seek refuge with Him from the Fire.”55

Surely, the month of Ramadan has holiness and sacredness with Allah. Thus, Allah has preferred it to the other months. In it the Apostle summoned the people to obey (Allah) and to do good and kindness to the poor. He distinguished it very much from the other months.

45. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said to ‘Ali in his testamentary bequest: “O ‘Ali, four (things) are in vain: eating after fullness, the lamp in the moon, planting in the salt ground, and doing a favor for the people who are not worthy of it.”56

46. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “I summon (my community to follow) five (practices) till death: I will eat with the slaves at the foot (of the mountain). I will ride the donkey with saddle. I will milk the she-goat with my hand. I will greet the boys so as to be a practice (Sunna) after me.”57

These affairs were among the high morals through which the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, became the Lord of all the prophets and made the people believe in Islam.

47. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “Whoever sells and buys should refrain from five qualities; other wise he should refrain from selling and buying: usury, swearing (by Allah), concealing the defect, praising when he sells, dispraising when he buys.”58

In the light of this tradition, the jurists have given religious opinions in the Chapter on Sale as follows:

1. The seller and the buyer should understand the affairs of dealings to avoid the usurious dealings that are among the great prohibitions in Islam.

2. They should avoid swearing (by Allah) during the dealing. If they are truthful, it is hateful for them to do that. If they are liars, they commit a sin and a prohibition.

3. They should not conceal the defect whether in the cost or in the goods. When concealment occurs and then it is discovered, the deceived one has the right to repudiate the dealing.

4. The seller should avoid praising his commodity.

5. The buyer should avoid dispraising what he has bought when it is sound.

48. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers, who said that a man came to the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, and asked him:

- O Apostle of Allah, what is knowledge?
- Listening.
- Then what?
- Listening to it.
- Then what?
- Memorizing it.
- Then what?
- Putting it into practice.
- Then what?
- Proclaiming it.59

49. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said to his Companions: “Feel shame before Allah very much. They said: What shall we do? He said: If you want to do (that), then no one of you should spend the night but he is in fear of Him. He should keep the head and what it has contained and the abdomen and what it has included. He should recall the grave and death. Whoever likes the hereafter should leave the embellishment of the world.”60

Indeed man can accomplish shame through fearing his Lord, holding back his tongue from telling lies, preventing his eyes from looking at the unlawful, and recalling the grave and the fright therein. When man does that, he feels shame before Allah.

50. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, was asked about the best servants. So, he said: “When they do good, they are cheerful (about it). When they misbehave, they ask Allah's forgiveness. When they are given, they thank. When they are tested, they are patient. When they are angered, they forgive.”61

51. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers, who said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said to ‘Ali in his commandment:

“O ‘Ali, there are six qualities in fornication: three of them are in the world, and the others are in the hereafter. As for those in the world, they take away glory, hasten ruin, and stop livelihood. As for those in the hereafter, (they will lead to) evil reckoning, the wrath of the Merciful (Allah), and immortality in the Fire.”62

Indeed fornication is a social catastrophe that destroy morals. Thus, Islam has intensely forbidden it and threatened those who commit it with various kinds of torment in the hereafter.

52. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “Monopoly is in six things: Wheat, barley, dates, raisins, (cooking) fat, and (animal) oil.”63

Monopoly is among the factors that paralyze the economic movement in the country and spread poverty and need among the people. Islam has severely forbidden monopoly, and ordered the rulers of the Muslims to price commodities so as not to harm the people.

53. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “Ill-gotten property is the price of the dead animal, of the dog, and of wine. (It is) the prostitution rate, the bribery in government, and the wage of the magician.”64

Islam has forbidden spending money on these affairs, for they ruin morals and spread corruption in the earth.

54. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfather on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “Allah and every prophet with accepted (prayers) have cursed six (persons): the one who increases the Book of Allah, the one who accuses the determination of Allah of lying, the one who leaves my practices (sunna), the one who regards as lawful what Allah has prohibited concerning the members of my House (ahl al-Bayt), the one who dominates through tyranny to degrade those whom Allah has consolidated, to strengthen him whom Allah has lowered, and to possess alone the booty the Muslims gain without fighting and regards it as lawful.”65

55. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said to ‘Ali: “O ‘Ali, seven things of the sheep are prohibited: blood, the penis, the bladder, the spinal cord, the glands, the spleen, and the gall bladder.”66

Islam has forbidden these parts to preserve public health and to guard society against diseases. Modern medicine has proved that they harm public health. Thus, it advises people to refrain from eating them.

56. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said to ‘Ali: “O ‘Ali, indeed, Allah has given me seven qualities concerning you: You and I are the first to whom the grave will split open. You will be the first to stop with me on the path. You will be the first to be clothed when I will be clothed and to live when I will live. You will be the first to dwell with me in the highest gardens. You will be the first to drink with me from the pure drink that is sealed (to others), whose sealing is musk.”67

57. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostles of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “Allah, the Great and Almighty, is not worshipped with a thing better than reason. The believer is not wise till ten qualities come together in him: good from him is hoped, evil from him is safe, regards little good from other than him as much, regards his own good as little, is not tired of seeking knowledge throughout his life, is not fed up with those who request needs from, humbleness is more lovable for him than high rank, poverty is more lovable for him than riches, his portion of the world is food, the tenth (quality), what is the tenth (quality)? When he sees someone, he says: he is better and more pious than me. People are two men- one man is better and more pious than him, the other is more evil and lower than him. So, if he sees the one who is better and more pious than him, he should behave humbly towards him to follow him. If he sees the one who is more evil and lower than him, he should say: perhaps the good of this (person) is hidden, and his evil hidden. May (Allah) make his final result good. If he does that, his glory becomes high and he is the lord of the people of his time.”68

This traditions, like the other Prophetic traditions, urges (people) to reform their souls and to educate them with good manners and deeds to be the source of guidance for people.

58. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “Ten (persons) are cursed because of wine: the one who plants it, the one who guards it, the one who presses it, the one who gives it, the one who drinks it, the one who carries it, the one to whom it is carried, the one who sells it, the one who buys it, and the one who takes its price.”69

Islam has strictly prohibited all the above-mentioned cases of wine. That is because wine is among the social catastrophes that harm public health and corrupt values and morals.

59. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “Blessing is ten parts: ten parts are in trade and one part is in the skins (i. e. sheep).”70

60. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Islam has been built on ten parts: Testifying that there is no god but Allah- it is the religion, the prayer- it is the religious duty, fasting - it is the garden, zakat (alms)- it is purity, the hajj- it is the Islamic law, jihad (armed struggle) - it is invasion, enjoining (people) to do good deeds - it is the fulfillment, forbidding (them) from doing bad deeds - it is the proof, unity - it is familiarity, and infallibility - it is obedience.”71

61. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “When you ask Allah, then you ask Him with the palm of the hand. When you ask him for protection, then do not ask him with the outside of the hand. ”72

62. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “If my community does fifteen qualities, the tribulation will afflict it: if they steal properties successively, regard the deposit of booty and zakat (alms) as loss, the men obey their wives and disobey theirs mothers, treats his friend with kindness and turns away from his brother, the voices become loud in the mosques, a man is honored out of fear of his evil, the leader of the people is the lowest of them, silk is worn, wine is drunk, female singers and stringed instruments are adopted, and the last

(generation) of this community curses the earlier (generation) of it, after that, they must look forward to three qualities: red wind, transformation, and humiliation.”73

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, warned (his community) of these affairs, for they ruin nations and peoples. If the Islamic community commits them, then Allah will punish it.

63. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “Whoever spends the night tired from earning the lawful spends the night forgiven.”74

Islam has also urged the community to earn its livelihood lawfully. It has regarded such a kind of livelihood as jihad and honor for its owner. Whoever strives to earn (the livelihood) of his family spends the night forgiven.

64. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, was asked about the best creatures. So, he, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “When they do good, they are cheerful. When they are given, they are grateful. When they are tested, they are patient. When they are angered, they forgive.”75

Whoever has these qualities is the best of all the people and the most honorable than them. In other words he possesses the rein of his soul and his reason controls his desire.

65. He, peace be on him said, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “You are unable to encompass the people with your money, so encompass them with your ethics.”76

How high this wisdom is! It makes people love each other and unifies their feelings and sentiments. The power of money is unable to achieve that. However, morals are the strongest factor in building society on sound bases.

66. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, passed by a group of people raising stones, so he said: “What is this?” “With that we know the strongest of us,”they said. “Shall I tell you about the strongest of you?”asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. “Yes,”they said. He, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “The strongest of you is he whose content enters him in neither sin nor falsehood when he is pleased, he whose discontent does not prevent him from saying the truth when he is displeased, who he does not take other than his right when he is powerful.”77

Islam takes care of only the strength of conscience towards the truth. As for the boast of the muscles is among the customs of the pre-Islamic times. However, Islam has forbidden them.

67. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Sitting with the people of religion is the honor of here and the hereafter.”78

Sociology has proven that man has an effect on the environment. Meanwhile the environment has an effect on him. Thus, it is natural that the righteous have an effect on those who makes friends with them. They protect them from practicing evil habits and make them love doing good. So, with that, they obtain the honor of here and hereafter.

68. He, peace be on him, said: [The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said:] “Indeed this religion is strong. So, go deeply into it gradually. Do not make the servants of Allah hate worshipping Allah.”79

69. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “Whoever wants to seek access through me (to Allah) and that there will be a hand for him, through which I intercede for him (with Allah) on the Day of Judgment, then he should keep in contact with the members of my family and make them happy.”80

70. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said to ‘Ali: “O ‘Ali, I am the city of knowledge and you are the gate. He who claims that he can reach the city not through the gate tells lies.”81

71. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of Umm Salama on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “The hajj is the jihad of every weak (person).”82

72. He, peace be on him, said: [The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said:] “Whomever Allah moves from the abasement of sins to the glory of (religious) devotion, then He (Allah) makes him rich without money, strong without a tribe, and entertains him without a close friend. Whoever fears Allah, Allah makes everything afraid of him. Whoever does not fear Allah, Allah makes him afraid of everything. Whoever is satisfied with the little livelihood of the property of Allah, He (Allah) is satisfied with his little deed.”83

73. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “Indeed I and twelve members from my family, of whom ‘Ali is the first, are the stakes through which Allah prevents the earth and its people from sinking. If the twelve members from my family depart, the earth and its people will sink.”84

74. He, peace be on him, said: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Twelve chiefs are from my family. They narrate traditions. Among them will be the one who will undertake (bring about) the truth (al-Qa'm bi al-Haqq).”85

With this we end our talk about the traditions Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfather, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.

His Traditions on the Authority of the Imam, the Commander of the Faithful

On the authority of his grandfathers, Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, reported a group of the maxims of his grandfather, Imam (‘Ali), the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. The following are some of them:

1. He, peace be on him, said: A man from the people of Basrah rose and said to Imam (‘Ali), the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him:

“O Commander of the Faithful, tell us about the brothers (i. e. friends).”

The Imam, peace be on him, answered him: “The brothers are of two kinds: the reliable brothers and the laughing brothers. As for the reliable brothers, they are the hand, the wing, the family, and the property. If you have a reliable brother, then sacrifice for him your property and your body, be sincere to those who are sincere to him, make an enemy of those who make an enemy of him, conceal his secret and defect, and show his good (deeds). O Questioner, know that they are less than red sulfur. As for laughing brothers, you obtain your pleasure from them. Do not stop that from them. Do not request what is beyond that from the most lowly of them. Give them what they give you such as cheerfulness and sweet words.”86

As for the laughing brothers at this time, they are the overwhelming majority. Ambitions, interests, and desires move them. As for the aspects of their friendship, they are cheerfulness and smooth words, as Imam ‘Ali said.

2. He, peace be on him, said: The Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, said: “The temptations are three (kinds): the love of women- it is the sword of the Satan, drinking wine- it is the brain of the Satan, the love of the dirham and the dinar- it is the arrow of the Satan. Whoever loves women does not make use of his livelihood. Whoever likes drinking (wine) is deprived of Paradise. However loves the dirham and the dinar is the slave of the dinar. He, peace be on him, added: Jesus, son of Marry, said: The ailment of religion is in the dinar. The (religious) scholar is the doctor of religion. When you see the doctor perform the ailment against himself, then accuse him. Know that he is not loyal to other than him.”87

3. He, peace be on him, in ‘Ali's letter there are three qualities: Their owner will never die till he sees their evil results: oppression, estranging blood relatives, and false oath through which (the person) fights with Allah. Linking blood relatives is the quickest obedience in reward. Perhaps the people are sinners. However, they link each other. Thus, their properties grow. They treat each other with kindness. So, their lives increase. False oath and estranging blood relatives make houses empty of their people. They disturb blood relatives. Disturbing blood relatives stops birth.”88

This paragraph of the letter of Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, is full of commandments on kindness, religious devotion, and what does general good for man in this life.

4. He, peace be on him, said: The Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, said: “Religion depends on four (persons): The scholar who proclaims and uses it. The rich one who does not refrain from granting his favor to the people of the religion of Allah. The poor one who does not sell his life in the hereafter for his life in this world. The ignorant one who does not abstain from seeking knowledge. If the scholar conceals his knowledge, the rich one refrains from granting his money, the poor one sells his life in the hereafter for his life in this world, and the ignorant one abstains from seeking knowledge, then the world moves backward. So, many mosques and the different bodies of a certain group of people should not tempt you. It was said: How will (we) live at that time? He, peace be on him said: Associate with them apparently and oppose them internally. The person will have what he earns. He will be with those whom he loves. Nevertheless, wait for the ease from Allah, the Great and Almighty.”89

Indeed such kinds of people are able to reform the world when they shoulder their responsibilities and carry out their religious duties. However, if they deviate from that, life will move backward and all the high values in it decline.

5. He, peace be on him, said: The Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, was questioned: “How much is between truth and falsehood.”He, peace be on him, replied: “Four fingers.”He put his hand on his eyes and ears, and then he said: “What your eyes see is true. Most of what your ears hear is false.”90

6. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of his grandfathers on the authority of the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, who said: “The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, mentioned ten qualities concerning me. Each is more lovable for me than what the sun rises over. He said to me: You are my brother here and in the hereafter. You are the closest of all the creatures to me in the standing. You are my helper and successor and inheritor about my family and property. You are the carrier of my standard here and in the hereafter. Your friend is mine. My friend is Allah's. Your enemy is mine. My enemy is Allah's.”91 Allah, singled out Imam (‘Ali), the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, with many outstanding merits. He granted him many favors. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, mentioned some of them in this tradition.

7. He, peace be on him, said: [The Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, said:] “The pious have signs. They are known with them: truthful talk, paying the deposit, fulfilling the promise, little pride, miserliness, consideration for blood relatives, having pity on the weak, little sleeping with women, doing favors, good manners, vast clemency, adopting knowledge that bring (them) closer to Allah, the Great and Almighty. ‘A good final state and a goodly return shall be theirs.’”92

8. He, peace be on him said: [The Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him said:] “Indeed ambitions control the hearts of the ignorant. Desires take them as security. Tricks cling to them.”93

This tradition pictures the condition of the ignorant. It includes their qualities of which are: ambitions control their feelings and sentiments. Desires take their hearts as security. Tricks convince them easily, for they have little experience and knowledge.

9. He, peace be on him, said: [The Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him said:] “All good has been gathered in three qualities: thinking, silence, and speech. So, every thinking that has no viewpoint is inattention. Every silence that has no idea is heedlessness. Every speech that has no praise (of Allah) is nonsense. Therefore, a good final state shall be for him whose thinking is a viewpoint, silence is an idea, and speech is praise (of Allah), who weeps over his sin, of whose evil people are safe.”94

These are the qualities of those who know their Lord and turn to Him in repentance. They are appropriate for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, and those who follow them.

10. He, peace be on him, said: The Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, said: “We, the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), are the tree of the Prophet, staying place of (Divine) Message, descending place of angels, sources of knowledge.”95

11. He, peace be on him, said: [The Commander, peace be on him, said:] “The one who acts with oppression, the one who supports him, and the one who is satisfied with him are three partners.”96

His Narration from his Grandfather al-Husayn

He (Imam al-Baqir), peace be on him, reported on the authority of his father on the authority of his grandfather Imam Husayn, peace be on him, who said: [I heard my grandfather Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, say:]

“Act according to Allah's obligations to be the most pious of all people. Be satisfied with Allah's apportionment to be the richest of all people. Refrain from what Allah has forbidden to be a believer. Be a good friend of him who makes friends with you to be a Muslim.”97

His Narration from his Father

He reported on the authority of his father ‘Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on him, who said: “He whose eyes shed tears for the murder of al-Husayn, Allah will settle him at the highest place in the garden. The believer whose eyes are filled with tears for the persecution our enemy practiced against us, Allah will settle him in the seat of honor. The believer who suffers from persecution for us and then his eyes shed tears for us, Allah will not punish him on the Day of Judgment and make will him safe from the wrath of the Fire.”98

His Narration from Jabir al-Ansari

He, peace be on him, reported a group of traditions and events on the authority of Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah. Among them are:

1. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of Jabir, who said: “Indeed, when Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, stopped at al-Safa (a hill in Mecca near the Kaaba), he exclaimed three times: ‘Allah is Great’, and then he said: ‘There is no god but Allah. He is One. There is no partner with Him. Supreme power and praise belong to Him. He has power over all things.’ He (the Prophet) did that three time. He did the like of that at al-Marwah (a hill near the Kaaba).”99

2. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of Jabir, who said: “Indeed, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, wore a ring on his right finger.”100

3. He, peace be on him, asked Jabir about what had happened between ‘Ali and ‘A'isha. So, Jabir said: “One day I went to ‘A'isha and asked her about her opinion concerning ‘Ali. She bowed her head. Then she raised it and composed:

When gold is rubbed against a touchstone

its adulteration appears without doubt.

Corruption is in us, and ‘Ali, the purified gold,

is like the touchstone among us.”101

His Narration from ‘Umar

He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of ‘Umar b. al-Khattab, who said: [I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, say:] “Every means and lineage will break on the Day of Judgment except my means and lineage.”102

His Narration from b. ‘Abbas

He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Abbas, who said: [‘Ali looked at the faces of the people, and then he said:] “Indeed I am the brother of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and his helper. You know that I was the first to believe in Allah and his Apostle. Then you entered Islam one by one after me. I am the cousin of Allah's Apostle may Allah bless him and his family, his brother, and his partner in his lineage. (I am) the father of his (grand) sons, and his son-in-law (being married to his) daughter, the mistress of his children and of the women of the garden. You know that when we went out with Allah's Apostle and came back, he loved and trusted me more than you. I was the most intense of you in defeating the enemy and affecting the equipment. You know when he sent me to Bara'a. He made the Muslims associate with each other as brothers. He chose nobody other than me. Then he said to me: ‘You are my brother and I am your brother in this life and the hereafter.’ He took the people out of the mosque and left me. Then he said to me: ‘Your position to me is as Aaron with Moses, except that there will be no prophet after me.’”103

His Narration from Zayd b. Arqam

He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of Zayd b. Arqam, who said: [We were sitting before the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. He, peace be on him, said:] “Shall I show you him whom if you ask for advice you will not go astray nor will you perish?” “Yes, O Allah's Apostle,”they said. He said: “This.” He pointed to ‘Ali b. Abi Talib. Then he said: “Associate with him as brothers, help him, believe him, and be loyal to him. Indeed Gabriel has told me about what I have said to you.”104

His Narration from Abi Dharr

He, peace be on him, reported a group of sayings of the great reformer, Companion (of the Prophet), Abi Dharr. Among them are the following:

“O you who seek knowledge, do not let your family and your money divert you from your soul. On the day when you leave them, you will be like the guest. (You will) spend the night among them, then you will leave them to other than them. Here and hereafter are like the house from which you move to other than it. There is nothing between death and raising from the dead except a short sleep, then you will wake up. O You who seek knowledge, indeed, the heart without knowledge is like the ruined house.”105

These are some of the traditions which have been reported on his authority. They concern the rules of conduct, morals, and the outstanding merits of the pure family that is equal to the Holy Book.

The Exegesis of the Holy Quran

Among the sciences which Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, presented during his lectures was the exegesis of the Holy Quran. Indeed he devoted a time of his times to it. He discussed all of its affairs. The scholars of exegesis, though they had different opinions and trends, studied under him. Thus, he was the most brilliant explainer in Islam. Among his studies on the Quran are the following:

The Virtue of Reciting the Quran

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, urged (the community) to recite the Holy Book, for it is the abundant source that guides people to righteousness, enlivens their hearts, and supplies them with abilities of light and awareness. He, peace be on him, reported what his grandfather Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said concerning the virtue of reciting the Quran. He, peace be on him, said: [Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said:] “Whoever recites ten verses on a night is not written among the heedless. Whoever recites fifty verses is written among those who praise (Allah). Whoever recites a hundred verses is written among the obedient. Whoever recites two hundred verses is written among the humble. Whoever recites three hundred verses is written among the successful. Whoever recites five hundred verses is written among the strivers. Whoever recites a thousand verses, a hundredweight of gold is written for him.”106

Traditions similar to this have been reported on the authority of the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. They urge Muslims to recite the Quran and to consider carefully its verses and to understand their secrets. Without doubt the verses of the Quran develop intellect, educate souls, protect them from deviation, and guide them to the right path.

Repetition of Reciting the Quran

As for repeating and reciting the Quran with a good voice, it penetrates the depth of the heart and inner self. It reacts with sentiments, for the Quran has maxims and sciences necessary for life.

The Imams of the members of the House (ahl al Bayt), peace be on them, took care of reciting the Holy Quran. Thus, Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, was the best of all the people in reciting the Quran with a good voice.107

Abu Basir reported: I said to Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir): “When I recite the Quran loudly, Satan comes to me and says: with this (recitation) you want to please your family and the people.”Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, said: “Recite the Quran in an intermediate recitation. Let your family listen (to that). Read the Quran with a good voice. Indeed Allah likes reciting the Quran with a good voice.”108

The Quran far above Falsehood

The Holy Quran is the great miracle of Islam. “(This is) a Book, whose verses are made decisive, then are they made plain, from One Wise, All-aware.” “(This Book), there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil).”There is no contradiction in its rules nor is there any incompatibility in its verses. “And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy.” “Surely this Quran guides to that which is most upright.” “Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it.”

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, explained this verse, saying: “Falsehood does not come to it from before the Torah nor before the Bible and the Zabur (David's psalms). Nor from behind it means that no Book will come after it to abrogate it.”In a narration from al-Sadiq, peace be on him: “There is no falsehood in what the Quran has told about the past nor is there falsehood in what it has told about what will happen in the future.”

The Imam dispraised those who distort the Quran

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, dispraised those who distort Allah's Book. It is they who interpret its verses according to their own desires. Thus, he, peace be on him, wrote a letter to Sa‘d al-Khayr: “Among their neglecting the Book is that they have rectified its letters and distorted its penal law. Indeed they see the Quran but they do not conform to it. The ignorant admire memorizing the narration. The religious scholars are sad when they leave the care.”109

Figurative Usage in the Quran

Figurative usages are famous in the language of Arabs. They are famous in many matters such as figurative predication, figurative word. Among them is the chapter on allusions. It is said that allusions are more eloquent than direct expressions. These expressions are among the nice usage and beauties of this language. The Holy Quran has a large group of figurative usage. Among them is the following Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“He said: O Iblis! What prevented you that you should do obeisance to him whom I created with My two hands?” (Saad, 38:75)

The meaning of the word hand is the special organ. However, this is impossible for Allah, the Most High. That is because the hand is in need of a body, while this is rationally impossible for Allah, the Exalted. Muhammad b. Muslim asked Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) about that. So, he, peace be on him, replied: “The word hand (yad) in the speech of Arabs means power and blessing. Allah, the Exalted, said: “And remember Our servant Dauwd with hands.”He said: “And the sky We built it with hands.”It is said: “So-and-so has many hands with me, favors and kindness. He has a white hand with me, meaning blessing.”110

This means that the word hand (yad) is not used in its real meaning. Rather it is used in other than it, either figuratively or truly. That is because it includes all these meanings the Imam mentioned.

The Basmalah is Part of the Suras of the Quran

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, and all the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, believed that the basmalah (i. e., in the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful) is part of the chapters of the Holy Quran. A large mass of the Muslim scholars and readers followed them in that.111 Yahya b. Abi ‘Umran al-Hamadani wrote a letter to Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. In the letter he mentioned: “May I be your ransom, what is your opinion of a man (who) started his prayers with: In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, in the mother of the Book (i. e., the first sura of the Holy Quran), and when he reached to a sura other than the mother of the Book, he left it (the basmalah)? The ‘Abbasid (man) said: There is no harm in that.”So, the Imam, peace be on him, replied to him with a letter in which he mentioned: “He (i. e., the man who left the basmalah) should repeat it twice in spite of him (the ‘Abbasid man).112 The traditions of the two parties (Sunna and Shi‘a) have unanimously agreed on that the basmalah is part of the suras of the Holy Quran. Those who deny that are irregular.

The Quran was revealed in Seven Letters

The commentators have made known that the Quran was revealed in seven letters. They claimed that Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, said: “The Quran was revealed in seven letters.”113 The ideas in this connection are so many that Abu Hatam has mentioned that they are thirty-five.114

It is necessary for us to give a brief idea about the meanings of the seven letters to know whether they are truly attributed to Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, peace be on him, or not.

The Seven Letters

There are various views about the meanings of the seven letters. The following are some of them:

1. The seven letters are: promise, threat, order, prohibition, stories, controversy, and proverbs. Ibn ‘Atiya weakened this idea. He said: “These are not called letters.”115

2. They are the differing words that have close meanings such as aqbil and halum (come! come on!), ‘ajjil and asri’ (be quick). Al-Tabari chose this meaning.116 However, this meaning is untrue. That is because man, according to this meaning, has the right to read the Quran in various ways. So, this will lead to a big difference such as adding a verse or omitting it. That is because the differing words bring about differing sentences, as al-Qurtubi said.117

3. They are the seven chapters which the Quran brought: the prevention, the order, lawful, the unlawful, the clearly defined (verses), the ambiguous (verses), and the proverbs.118 These chapters are not called letters. Besides the prevention and the unlawful are one chapter. They are therefore not seven chapters.

4. They are the classical dialects from the dialects of the Arab. They are differing in the Quran. So, some of the Quran was revealed in the dialect of Quraysh; some of it in the dialect of Hudhayl; some of it in the dialect of Hawzan; some of it in the dialect of the Yemen; some of it in the dialect of Kinana; some of it in the dialect of Tamim; some of it in the dialect of Thaqif. This idea is ascribed to al-Bayqahi, al-Abhari, and the author of al-Qamus. However, ‘Umar opposed this idea when he said that the Quran was revealed in the dialect of Madar.119

5. They are seven recitations. Our master, the Professor, opposed that when he said that the famous recitations are more than seven.120

These are some of the opinions. Our master, the Professor, numbered ten opinions. However, he disproved them and proved that they did not lead to any result. Abu Shama wrote a book on these meanings and refuted most of them.

The Imam denied the Seven Letters

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, denied the seven letters. What was attributed to him that he reported them is incorrect. In the (book) al-Sahih, Zarara reported on the authority of the Imam, who said: “Indeed the Quran is one. The One (Allah) revealed it. However, the reporters have brought about these differences.”121 It was reported on the authority of the Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, that he denied that. Al-Fudayl b. Yasar asked him: “Surely, the people say: The Quran was revealed in seven letters.”So, al-Sadiq, peace be on him, said: “The enemies of Allah have told lies. However, the Quran was revealed in one letter from the One and Only.”122

The Method of Exegesis

The trends of the commentators of the Holy Quran are different. In that they followed differing methods. Among them are:

The Exegesis through the transmitted Sayings

By that we mean interpreting the Quran through the traditions reported on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and the Imams of guidance. Most Shi‘ite commentators followed this method. Among them were al-Qummi, al-‘Askari, and the like. Their proof was that the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, were professional in the real knowledge of the Quran. Those other than them had no share in that.

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, referred to that when he said: “No one can claim that he has the deep and the surface (knowledge) of the Quran except the testamentary trustees of authority.”123 It is therefore the testamentary trustees of the authority who had the deep and surface knowledge of the Book. The proofs have unanimously agreed that it is incumbent on the explainers to refer to them on interpreting the Quran. Shaykh al-Tusi said: “Interpreting the Quran is not permitted except through the authentic traditions from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and the Imams whose words were similar to those of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.”124

The Exegesis through the Opinion

By that we mean following the hypothetical rational considerations that belong to the approbation.125 The Mu‘tazilite and the Batanian commentators adopted that. They did not follow the traditions reported on the testamentary trustees of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, in their exegesis. Rather, they depended on the rational approbation. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, prevented them from that. Qattada, the famous jurist, came to the Imam. So, the Imam said to him:

“Are you the jurist of the people of Basrah?”
“Yes, such they claim.”
“I have heard that you interpret the Quran.”
“Yes.”

So, the Imam blamed him for that, saying:

“O Qattada, If you interpret according to your own opinion, then you will be perished and perish (the people). If you interpret it according to the opinions of the men, then you will be perished and perish (the people). Qattada, woe unto you! Those who have been addressed in the Quran know it.”126

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, confined the knowledge of the Holy Book to the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. That is because they knew the clearly defined (verses), the ambiguous (verses), the abrogating (verses), and the abrogated (verses). The people other than them had not such knowledge. It was reported on the authority of the Imams, peace be on him, who said: “There is nothing farther from the mind of the men than the exegesis of the Quran. The beginning of the verse is on a thing and its end is on other thing. It is a coherent speech with various meanings.”127

As for following the surface of the Book is not numbered of the exegesis through the opinion which is forbidden. Some traditionalists opposed its proof. They cleaved to proofs which the fundamentalists refuted.128

Imam al-Baqir's Exegesis

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, wrote a book on the exegesis of the Holy Quran. Muhammad b. Ishaq al-Nadim mentioned the book in his book al-Fihrast when he mentioned the books written on the exegesis of the Holy Quran. He said: “Abu al-Jarud Zyad b. al-Munzir, the head of the Jarudiya, reported the book of al-Baqir Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn.”Sayyd Hasan al-Sadr said: “A group of the reliable Shi‘ites reported the book from him from the days of his righteousness. Among them was Abu Basir Yahya b. al-Qasim al-Asadi. ‘Ali b. Ibrahim b. Hashim al-Qummi mentioned it in his book al-Tafsir on the authority of Abu Basir.129 The narrators said: “Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi wrote a book on the exegesis of the Holy Quran. He learnt the exegesis from the Imam.”130

Examples of al-Baqir's Exegesis

The explainers reported many verses of the Holy Quran interpreted by the Imam. The following are some of them:

1. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“These shall be rewarded with the ghurfa (house) because they were patient.”
(Al-Furqan,25:75)

Al-Baqir, peace be on him, said: “The ghurfa (house) is the garden. It is a reward for them, for they were patient towards poverty in the world.”131

2. The Words of Allah, the Most High:

“And to whomsoever My wrath is due he shall perish indeed.” (Taha, 20:81)

Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, was asked about the wrath of Allah. So, he peace be on him, replied: “His dismissal and His punishment.”132

3. The Words of Allah, the Exalted,

“And most surely I am most forgiving to him who repents and believes and does goods, then continues to follow the right direction.” (Taha,20: 82).

The Imam, peace be on him, interpreted “following the right direction”as following the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt). Then he said: “By Allah, if a person worships Allah throughout his life between the corner (of the Kaaba) and the standing place (of Abraham) and does not follow us, Allah will throw him down on his face into the fire.”133

4. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“O Apostle, deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord.” (Al-Ma’ida, 5:67)

He, peace be on him, said: “By that Allah meant what He revealed to the Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning the outstanding merits of ‘Ali.”134 He, peace be on him, reported that Allah revealed to His Apostle to appoint ‘Ali successor. However, he was afraid that that would be difficult for a group of his Companions. So, Allah, the Most High, revealed this verse to encourage him to carry out His order.135

5. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“Leave Me and him whom I created alone.” (Al-Muddathir, 74:11)

This verse was revealed concerning al-Walid b. al-Mughira al-Makhzumi, who accused the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, of magic. The people called al-Walid the alone. Thus, the verse was revealed to threaten him. Muhammad b. Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), who said: “The alone is the illegitimate child.”Zarara said: “Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) was told that one of the Hashimites said in his oration: “I am the son of the alone.”So, the Imam said: “Woe unto him! If he knew who the alone was, he would not boast of him.”Thus, we said to him: “Who is he?”He said: “The unfathered child.”136

6. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“The angels and Gabriel descend in it by the permission of their Lord.” (Al-Qadr, 97:4)

He, peace be on him, said: “The angels and the recorders descend to the lower world. They record the affairs that hit people within a year. That is up to Allah's will.”Allah makes to pass away and establishes what He pleases, and with Him is the mother of the Book.”137

7. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“So, they shall be thrown down into it, they and they erring ones.” (Al-Shu‘ara’,26:94)

The meaning of the verse is that the erring ones and the atheist powers will be thrown all together into the fire. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, said: “The verse was revealed concerning the people who described just things with their tongues, and then they did other than them.”138

8. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“And they did not do Us any harm, but they made their own souls suffer loss.”
(Al-Baqara, 2:57)

Interpreting this verse, the Imam, peace be on him, said: “Allah is not oppressed, for He is Great and Powerful. However, He mixed us with Himself. So, He regarded the oppression against us as oppression against Him and our authority as His authority. So, He said: ‘Only Allah is your authority and His apostle and those who believe.’”He meant the Imams from us. In another place He said: “And they did not do Us any harm, but they made their own souls suffer loss.”139

9. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“So, ask the people of the reminder if you do not know.” (Al-Anbiya’, 21:7)

Muhammad b. Muslim said: I said to Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir): “Some of us claim that this verse concerns the Jews and the Christians.”He said: “Therefore they summon you to their religion.”Then he, peace be on him, pointed to his chest and said: “We are the people of the reminder and we are the people who are questioned.”140

10. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“Are those who know and those who do not know alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful.” (Az-Zumar, 39:9)

He, peace be on him, said: “It is we who know and our enemy is he who does not know. Our followers are the men of understanding.”141

11. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“Nay! These are clear communications in the breasts of those who are granted knowledge.” (Al-‘Ankabut, 29:49)

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) said that “those who are granted knowledge”concerns the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them.142 Abu Basir reported that Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) recited this verse and pointed with his hand to his chest.143

12. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“(Remember) the day when we will call every people with their Imam.” (Al-Isra’, 17:71)

Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, who said: When this verse was revealed, the Muslims said: “O Allah's Apostle, are you not the Imam of all people?”He, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “I am the Apostle of Allah for all people. However, there will be Imams over the people. They will be from my Household. They will assume the Imam over the people. However, the people will accuse them of lying. The Imams of unbelief and misguidance and their followers will oppress them. So, whoever supports, follows, and believes them will belong to me, be with me, and meet me. Whoever oppresses them, accuses them of lying will not belong to me nor will he be with me. Moreover, I will disown myself of him.”144

13. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“Then We gave the Book for an inheritance to those whom We chose from among Our servants, but of them is he who makes his soul suffer a loss, and of them is he who takes a middle course, and of them is he who is foremost in deeds of goodness by Allah's permission.” (Fatir, 35:32)

Salim asked Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) about this verse. So, he, peace be on him, said: “He who is foremost in deeds of goodness is the Imam. He who takes a middle course is he who knows the Imam. He who makes his soul suffer a loss is he who does not know the Imam.”145 Zyad b. al-Munzir reported on the authority of the Imam, peace be on him, who said: “As for him who makes his soul suffer a loss is he who does a good deed and another bad one. As for him who takes a middle course is he who worships (Allah) very much. As for those who are foremost in deeds of goodness are ‘Ali, al-Hasan, al-Husayn, and those who died martyrs from the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family.”146

14. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“Surely in this are signs for those who examine” (Al-Hijr, 15:75)

He, peace be on him, said: The Commander of the Faithful said: “Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, was the one who examined. I, after him, and the Imams from my progeny are the ones who examine.”147

15. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“And that if they should keep to the (right) way, We would certainly give them to drink of abundant water.” (Al-Jinn, 72:16)

He (al-Baqir), peace be on him, said: “By that Allah meant that if they should keep to the authority of ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, and the testamentary trustees of authority from his sons, and obey their orders and prohibitions, He would certainly give them to drink of abundant water, namely He would fill their hearts with belief. The (right) way is the belief in the authority of ‘Ali and the testamentary trustees.”148

16. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“Say: Allah is sufficient as a witness between me and you and whoever has knowledge of the Book.” (Ar-Ra‘d, 13:43)

Barid b. Mu‘awiya asked Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, about those whom the Words of Allah the Exalted: “And whoever has knowledge of the Book” concern. So, he, peace be on him, said: “He meant us. ‘Ali was the first of us, the most meritorious of us, and the best of us after the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.”149

17. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“But indeed We have given to Abraham's children the Book and the wisdom, and We have given them a grand kingdom.” (An-Nisa’, 4: 54)

Barid al-‘Ajali asked Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, about this verse. So, he, peace be on him said: “He made Abraham's children Apostles, Prophets, and Imams. Why do they accept that in the family of Abraham and refuse to accept it in the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family?”Barid said: “What is the meaning of ‘And We have given them a grand kingdom?’”The Imam replied: “llah made them Imams. Whoever obeys them obeys Allah. Whoever disobeys them disobeys Allah. That is the grand kingdom.”150

18. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“And I breathed into him of My spirit.” (Al-Hijr, 15:29)

The Imam, peace be on him, was asked about the spirit. So, he said: “It is the power.”151

19. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“Were it not for that he had seen the manifest evidence of his Lord.” (Yousif, 12:24)

The Imam, peace be on him, said to Jabir al-Ju‘fi: “What do the Iraqi jurists say concerning this verse?”Jabir replied: “He (Joseph) saw Jacob biting his thumb.”Thus, the Imam, peace be on him, said: [My father related to me on the authority of my grandfather, ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, who said:] “As for the manifest evidence which Joseph saw when she made for him and he made for her was that she went to an idol crowned with pearls and corundum in the house to cover it with a white garment so that it would not see her or she felt shame of it.”So, Joseph asked her: “What is this?”She replied: “It is my lord. I feel shame of it when it see in this manner.”So, Joseph said: “Do you feel shame of an idol that does not avail nor does it harm nor does it see? Then why do I not feel shame of my Lord Who has the power over every soul? By Allah, you will never obtain that from me.”That is the manifest evidence.152

These are some of the verses which Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, interpreted. With this we end our talk about his exegesis of the Holy Quran.

Theology

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) researched many theological matters during his lectures. He was asked about the most complicated matters in this science. He answered them. Worth mentioning, the time of the Imam was the most sensitive of all the times. That is because the Islamic conquer included most areas of the world and the peoples of the earth. That moved a wave of spite in the souls of the enemies of Islam, from the helpless peoples and other than them. Thus, they launched a propagating campaign against the Islamic thought. They proclaimed doubts and imaginations among the children of the Muslims. Meanwhile the Umayyad governments encouraged anti-Islam thoughts. No one has mentioned that the Umayyad rulers resisted these thoughts and prevented them from spreading among the Muslims. In the meantime nobody was ready to save the Muslims from these thoughts except Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, who refuted them with strong proofs. We will mention that in detail when we talk about the time of the Imam.

However, the following are some of the theological researches which the Imam did:

Monotheism

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, studied the most important matters of monotheism. He uncovered them. He refuted the doubts and imaginations which were raised about them. Among what he studied are:

Allah is not attained through Reason

The unquestionable thing is that man is unable to know with all his intellectual the reality of Allah, for reason has limited imaginations. Al-Shafi‘i said: “Indeed reason has a limited end as the eye has.”

All things which man senses are found at a certain place and time. Reason cannot imagine beings without a place or things without time. Thus, reason is unable to attain the reality of Allah, for neither time nor place can encompass it. In other words, Allah created the time and the place. Besides reason is unable to understand the reality of many things in the universe. Among them is the unseen reality which reason has not understood yet.

The conceptualization of the heart, though it has vast imagination, is unable to attain the essence of Allah. The eye is unable to attain it, too. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, stated that when he was asked about these words of Allah, the Exalted:

“Vision comprehends Him not, and He comprehends (all) vision.” (Al-An‘am, 6:103)

He, peace be on him: “The conceptualization of hearts are keener and sharper than the perceptions of the eyes. Through the conceptualization of the heart you can perceive countries like Sind, Hind (India) and other cities which you have never visited, although you have not seen them with your eyes. How can your eyes see Him when the conceptualization of your heart cannot attain Him?”153

Indeed the eye shall come back confused and fatigued when it tries to perceive the essence of Allah, the Most High, the Creator of the cosmos, and giver of life. Ibn Abi al-Haddid said:

O Miracle of the cosmos, thinking has become unsound concerning You.

Whenever my thinking moves toward You a span of the hand, it escapes for a mile.

You have perplexed men of understanding and confused intellect.154

There is nothing remoter than attaining the essence of Allah, the Exalted, for reason is unable to attain it. Thus, ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Abi al-Najran asked Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, about Allah, the Most High. He said: “Should I think of anything (to understand Allah)?” The Imam, peace be on him, replied: “Yes, but you have to imagine a thing which the mind cannot contain and which is without limit. He is unlike whatever comes into your mind. Nothing resembles Him nor can any thought reach Him. How can He be perceived when He is totally different from whatever is conceived and is the reverse of whatever is imagined. (Because Allah cannot be limited through the limitations of the mind or the senses.) Certainly, the thing which cannot be encompassed by the mind and which is without limits is that which should be imagined.”155

The Eternity of the Necessary Being

As for the Eternity of the Necessary Being, it is among the keenest theological and philosophical studies. A man asked Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him: “Tell me from when your Lord has been in existence?”The Imam replied: “Woe unto You! The question when and how long arises only in respect of things that (previously) were non-existant. Verily, my lord, the Blessed and Exalted, has always been Ever-living, without time or modality. Coming into existence does not apply to Him Who exists eternally nor does ‘how He exists’ apply to His existence nor does ‘where He exists’ apply to him, for He is neither in a thing nor on a thing. He did not invent a place for His location, nor was there any enhancement in His might after He had created the universe, nor had He been weak before its creation, nor was He alone before His act of creation, nor does He resemble anything that can be remembered, nor was He without dominion before creating the universe, nor will He be bereft of dominion after the universe passes away. He is Ever-living, Self-subsisting, the Almighty Lord without the category of life. He was the Almighty Lord before creating things, and He is the Absolute Lord after the creation of the universe. None of the categories of ‘how’ or ‘where’ or ‘when’ or ‘how much’ nor any ‘limit’ apply to his existence. He is not recognized by resemblance with anything nor does He become decrepit due to His endless existence. Nothing can strike awe in Him.

Rather, all things are awe-struck by fearing Him. He was in existence before the appearance of life as such. Neither is He in existence such as can be described, nor can it be confined to any state and condition. He does not rest anywhere nor does He abide at a place that is in the neighborhood of another place. However, He is known as Living, the Lord whose might and dominion will never end. He has created of His own will whatever and whenever He desired. He can neither be confined, nor fractioned, nor can He be destroyed. He is the First without any modality and the Last without any space. ‘And all things are perishable except His face.’ ‘His are the creation and the command. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of all beings.’

“O Questioner, woe unto you! Surely, my Lord can never be encompassed by the imagination. Doubts cannot descend upon him. Nor can He be affected (by anything). Nor is He anybody's neighbor. Nor can events happen to Him. He can neither be questioned about anything nor is He ashamed of anything.

“Slumber seize Him not, neither sleep. To Him belong all that is in the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and all that is underneath the soil.” 156
(Al-Baqarah, 2:255)

This wonderful paragraph of the speech of the great Imam has encompassed the eternity of the Necessary Being and His Unity. It has deemed Him far above comparison with His creatures which genus and species limit, and which are in need of the cause in their existence and non-existence. Moreover, they are in need of time and place. Allah is far above all that, for He is the first and the last, outward and inward, and He knows all things. A researcher asked the Imam: “Who is Allah?” He replied: “The One and Only.” It was said to him: “How is He?” He answered: “He is a Powerful King.” It was said to him: “Where is He?” He replied: “He is watching.” So, the researcher said: “I am not asking you about this.” He said: “These are the attributes of Allah. Other than them are the attributes of creatures.”

They wanted to know the essence of Allah through their senses and reason. They did not know that He was far above what reason attains and what conceptualization perceives. There is no god but He, the Ever living, the Self-subsisting.

However, in this speech, the Imam, peace be on him, discussed the most important theological matters which no one of the Muslim theologians and philosopher had discussed before him except his grandfather Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. As for encompassing and explaining the speech of the Imam, peace be on him, it needs a detailed study. The Muslim philosophers have taken care of the points which the Imam has mentioned in his speech. They have produced evidence in support of them.157

Talking about the Essence of Allah is forbidden

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, prevented Muslims from talking about the essence of Allah, the Most High. That is because that depends on a deep philosophy which the reason of the simple people is unable to understand. In other words they have little knowledge. Thus, they fall into the tricks of the Satan. Then they go out of belief and come into polytheism. In this connection the Imam, peace be on him, said: “Talk about all things, but do not talk about the essence of Allah.”158

He, peace be on him, said: “Talk about the creation of Allah, but do not talk about Allah Himself, for that increases the owner of the talk nothing except perplexity.”159

Indeed talking about the essence of Allah increases man nothing except perplexity and throwing destructive manners and doubts. As for thinking of the creation of Allah and considering carefully the universe, they will lead man to belief in Allah. That is because the creation of all creature indicates the Great Creator. Darwin said: “It seems that all the creatures that live in the earth belong to one eternal shape. The Creator has breathed life into them.”160 It is false to say that chance has created all these worlds. It is impossible for chance to find a well-woven regulation that depends on knowledge. Why does chance not create the plane and modern sets which thinking and science have found?

The Knowledge of Allah

The knowledge of Allah has encompassed all things. The knowledge of Allah is the same before and after the creation of things. That is because He has created them. He knows what souls and hearts have. Muhammad b. Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, who said: “Allah, the Great and Almighty, was there when nothing else existed. He has been eternally knowing whatever come into being. And His knowledge of a thing before it comes into being is exactly the same as it is after its being.”161

The Essence of Monotheism

Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi asked Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, to teach him something of monotheism. So, he, peace be on him, said: “Indeed Allah, whose names are blessed and Who is Exalted in the transcendence of His Essence, is the One (the only One). He is unique in Oneness, and He attributed Oneness to Himself when He was alone. Then, He made His Unity evidently known to His creatures. Thus, Allah is One, Unique, Self-dependent, and All-holy. All things worship Him and turn to Him in repentance. And His knowledge embraces all things.”162

The Attributes of Allah

Surely, the attributes of the Wise Creator are exactly the same as His Essence. There is no number among them, as it has been proved in theology. Some Iraqis deviated from the right path. So, they proclaimed that Allah, the Most High, heard with other than with He saw, and saw with other than with He heard. In that He is similar to His creatures. Muhammad b. Muslim told Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on, about that. So, the Imam said: “They have told lies, become atheists, and likened (Allah to His creatures). Far is Allah above that. Indeed He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. He hears with what He sees, and sees with what He hears.”

Then Muhammad b. Salim said: “They claim that He sees according to what they think.”So, the Imam, peace be on him, refuted their claims, saying: “Be Allah Exalted, the one who has the attribute of the creature perceive, but Allah is not such.”163

Doubt and Unbelief

Surely, the doubt and unbelief in Allah, the Creator of the skies and the earth, have bad final results. Among them is that no deed is accepted from the one who doubts Allah and the one who disbelieves in Him. Their deeds will not avail them on the Day of Judgment. For this reason, the Imam, peace be on him, said: “The deed with doubt and unbelief is useless.”164

With this we end our talk about the words of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, on monotheism.

The Imamate

The Imamate is a breath of Allah's spirit. It is a favor of His favors. He has bestowed it on man to lead him to belief and good and to guide him to the right path. The Shi‘ites believe that it is among the fundamentals of the religion and the pillars of Islam. That is because it is the strong base on which Islamic social justice depends. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, talked about many dimensions of the Imamate. The following are some of them:

The Critical Need for the Imam

The Imamate is a necessity of Islamic life. The affairs of society are not righteous without it. Muslims have unanimously agreed that it is obligatory and necessary. Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi asked Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, about the need for the Prophet and the Imam. Thus, he, peace be on him, said: “The world remains righteous. That is because Allah, the Great and Almighty, does not punish the people of the earth as long as the Prophet or the Imam is among them. Allah, the Great and Almighty, said: ‘Allah does not punish them as long as you are among them.’ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said: ‘The stars are safety for the people of the sky, and the members of my family are safety for the people of the earth. If the stars went away, what the people of the sky hate would hit them. If the members of my House went away, what the people of the earth hate would afflict them.’

By the members of his House, he meant the Imams whose obedience Allah, the Great and Almighty, joined to His obedience when He said: ‘O You who believe, obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority among you.’ They were infallible and purified. They did not commit sins nor did they disobey (Allah). They were supported, successful, and guided (to righteousness). Through them Allah gives people. Through them the country is prosperous. Through them rain comes down from the sky. Through them the blessings of the earth comes forth. Through them the people of sins are given time and are not punished and tortured quickly. Gabriel did not separate himself from them (the Prophet's Household) nor did they separate themselves from him. They did not separate themselves from the Quran nor did it separate itself from them. Allah's blessings be on them all.”165

The speech of the Imam, peace be on him, is full of the words concerning the need for the Imamate, for it leads the world to righteousness and reforms the deviation from religion. The Imam praised the pure Imams from the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. He underlined that they were safety for the people of the earth, and that through them the tribulation is driven away, rain comes down from the sky, and the blessings of the earth come forth.

To know the Imam is obligatory

The traditions reported on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and on the authority of the custodians of the sciences of the pure Imams have agreed that to know the Imam of the time is obligatory, and that whoever dies and does not him is like those who died before Islam, as the Prophetic tradition stated. In this respect, many traditions were reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. The following are some of them:

1. Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi reported. He said: [I heard Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, say:]

“Surely, he who knows Allah, the Great and Almighty, and worships Him is the person who knows Allah and recognizes His Imam from among us, ahl al-Bayt, and he who does not know Allah, the Great and Almighty, and does not recognize the Imam from us, ahl al-Bayt, knows and worships other than Allah.”166

2. Muhammad b. Muslim reported. He said: [I heard Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, say:]

“Everyone who is obedient to Allah, the Great and Almighty, in worship in which he exerts effort, but does not have an Imam (appointed) by Allah, his deeds are unacceptable, and he is astray and bewildered. Allah detests his deeds. Such a person is like a sheep which has strayed away from its flock and its shepherd, and which runs in this and that direction the whole day. When the night descends on it, it sees some flock of sheep with a shepherd. It goes towards it and is deceived. It passes that night with that flock in their resting-place. When the shepherd herds the flock, that sheep refuses to recognize the flock and the shepherd. It runs in bewilderment seeking its shepherd and its flock. Then it sees another flock of sheep with its shepherd. Again the sheep turns towards it and is deceived by the second flock. The shepherd shouts: ‘Join your shepherd and your flock. You are lost from, and bewilder over, your shepherd and your flock.’ So, the sheep runs away in fear, bewilderment and loss, having no shepherd to guide it to a pasture or back to its own place. Being like this, a wolf takes advantage of its being lost, and eats it. Thus is it, by Allah, O Muhammad, he who wakes up in this community without having an Imam (appointed) by Allah, the Great and Almighty, who is manifest and just, wakes up astray and lost. If such a person dies in this condition, he dies the death of unbelief and hypocrisy. O Muhammad, know unjust Imams and their followers have been expelled from the religion of Allah. They are misguided and they misguide. So, the deeds which they perform are as ashes whereon the wind blow strong upon a tempestuous day. They have no power over what they have earned- that is the far error.”167

Indeed the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, must be known. That is because they were the custodians of the revelation and the trustees of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, and his successors over his community. They were unlike the Umayyad and the ‘Abbasid kings who committed all sins and spread oppression and corruption in the earth.

To obey the Imam is obligatory

To obey the Imam is a religious obligation. Allah, the Most High, has mentioned that in the Quran:

Obey Allah and obey the apostle and those in authority among you. (Al-Nisa’, 4:59)

Many traditions have mentioned that. Zarara reported on the authority of Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, who said: “The apex of the thing, the height of it, the key to it, the gate to everything and the good pleasure of (Allah), the Most Merciful, the Blessed, is to obey the Imam after knowing him.”Then he said: “Surely, Allah, the Blessed, the Most High, says: ‘Whoever obeys the Apostle, surely obeys Allah. And whoever turns his back- We have not sent you to be a watcher over them.’”168

The Right of the Imam against People

The Imam has a right against people. Meanwhile people have a right against the Imam. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, talked about that when Abu Hamza asked him:

-What is the Imam's right against people?
-His right against them is to listen and obey (him).
-What is their right against them?
-He divides among them equally and treats the subjects with justice.169

Indeed the right of the Imam against people is that they should listen to him and carry out his orders, for he strives to achieve their happiness and righteousness. As for their right against him is that he should divide equally the properties of Allah among them. He should not prefer one group of people to the other. He should treat them with justice that is the shade of Allah in the earth.

The Dignity of the Imam

Surely, the Imam has a dignity and high position with Allah. No one of Allah's servants is able to obtain such a dignity and high position. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, talked about that. He, peace be on him, said to Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi:

“Surely, Allah took Abraham as a servant before He took him as a prophet. He took him as a prophet before He took him as an apostle. He took him as an apostle before He took him as a friend. He took him as a friend before He took him as an Imam. When He gathered these things for him, He said to him: ‘O Abraham, I am going to appoint you as an Imam over the people. ‘Abraham regarded the Imamate as great, so he said: ‘And of my offspring.’ He (Allah) said: ‘My covenant does not include the unjust.’”170

The meaning of this tradition is that the Imamate is the highest rank with Allah. The prophets and the apostles were unable to obtain it. However, Allah singled out His friend Abraham with it. He also singled out the pure Imams from the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), who were the custodians of the revelation, the doors of guidance and mercy for this community.

Accepting the Leadership of the Imams of ahl al-Bayt

Surely, accepting the leadership of the pure Imams is part of Islam and proof for belief. The Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, proclaimed this holy religious obligation among his community. He made it incumbent on the community to adopt it. He took more care of it than any other religious obligation. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, said:

“Islam has been built on five (pillars): the prayers, zakat (alms), fasting, the hajj, and accepting the leadership (of my family). He did not proclaim a thing more than he proclaimed the leadership (of his family). However, people have adopted four (pillars) and left this (leadership).”171

It is incumbent on all Muslims to follow the good Imams who are the source of light in the earth. In other words Muslims must follow the legal precepts and the rules of morals which have reported on their authority.

Al-Baqir praised the Imams

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, praised the good Imams in many of his traditions. He talked about their high rank. The following are some of his traditions:

1. He, peace be on him, said: “We are the custodians of Allah's affairs, treasurers of Allah's knowledge, and inheritors of Allah's revelation. It is we who know Allah's Book by heart. Our obedience is an obligation. Love towards us is belief, and spite towards us is unbelief. He who loves us is in the garden, and he who hates us is in the fire.”172

2. He, peace be on him, said: “We are the friends of Allah, we are Allah's choice, we are the trustees of Allah, we are the store of the inheritance of the prophets, we are the proofs of Allah, we are the strong rope of Allah, we are the right path of Allah. Allah, the Exalted said:

“And (know) that this is My path, the right one, therefore follow it, and follow not (other) ways.” (Al-An’aam, 6:153)

We are Allah's mercy for the believers. With us Allah started (Islam), and with us Allah will end (it). Whoever cleaves to us is safe. Whoever disobeys us goes astray. We are the noble honored leaders. Whoever knows us, recognizes our right, and obeys our order is from us and belongs to us.”173

3. He, peace be on him, said: “We are the treasurers of Allah's knowledge, we are the custodians of Allah's affairs. With us He started Islam, and with us He will end it. From us, you learn (Islam). By Him Who split open the seed and created the breath, Allah has never (put) His knowledge in anyone except us, and (no one) attains what Allah has except through us.”174

4. He, peace be on him, said: “We are the people of the House of mercy, the tree of Prophethood, the source of wisdom, the place of angels, and the landing place of the revelation.”175

5. He, peace be on him, said: “By Allah, we are Allah's treasurers in His heaven and on His earth. We are the treasurers, not of gold nor of silver, but of His knowledge.”176

6. He, peace be on him, said: “We are the treasurers of Allah's knowledge. We are the expanders of Allah's revelation, and we are the strong Proof for those who are under heaven and on the earth.”177

Many traditions were reported on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning the outstanding merits which Allah granted to the pure Imams. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, regarded them as the fountains of wisdom, and the inheritors of the sciences of prophets. He singled them out with all noble deeds. This is true. There is no doubt in it.

Whoever studies their ways of life full of guidance, righteousness, and noble deeds believes that they were the lords of creation, the trustees of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and the custodians of his sciences. There is no exaggeration or deviation from the truth in this opinion. Allah endowed His prophets with knowledge, wisdom, and sound judgments. However, they were not better than the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. That is because they were loyal to Allah. For the sake of His obedience and religion, they made sacrifices which no reformer in the earth has made.

The Number of the Imams

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, mentioned the number of the pure Imams, who were the successors of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, over his community, his testamentary trustees, and the custodians of his sciences. The following are some of what was reported on his authority:

1. Zarara reported on the authority of Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, who said: “The Imams are twelve. Among them al-Hasan and al-Husayn, and then the Imams from al-Husayn's children.”178

2. Abu Basir reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, who said: “We are twelve Imams.”179

3. Abu Basir reported that the Imam said: “There will be nine Imams after al-Husayn. The ninth of them will be their Qa'im (i. e., the one who will undertake the office of the Imamate).”180

The great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, announced that. In this connection, many traditions were reported on his authority. Salman, the Persian, reported. He said: “We were with Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. Al-Husayn b. ‘Ali was (sitting) on his thigh. He gazed at his face, and then he said: ‘O Abu Abd Allah, you are a lord of our lords. You are an Imam, the son of an Imam, and brother of an Imam, father of Imams whose ninth will be their Qa'im, the most knowledgeable of them, the wisest of them, and the most meritorious of them.’”181

‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar reported. He said: “I heard Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, say: ‘There will be twelve successors after me.’”182 Shaykh Abu Abd Allah, Ahmed b. ‘Ayyash, commented on this tradition, saying: “This stipulated number was not of those who came after Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, nor was it of the Umayyad successors, for their number was over twelve, nor was it of those who came after them, for their number was more than them. No sect of this community has claimed this number for its Imams except the Imami (Shi‘ites). This indicates that the number they have mentioned is correct.”183

Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, numbered the Imams and mentioned their names one by one till he ended at al-Qa'im (the one who will under take the office of the Imamate).184 Thus, the poet composed:

Indeed the Imams are nine and three,

as it was reported from al-Hadi (the one who guides),

the bringer of good news, the warner.

There is neither increase nor decrease in them,

as it was said (their number) as the number of the months.

Prophethood was confined to people,

and the Imamate was also confined to people.185

The poet ‘Abd Allah b. Ayyub al-Khuraybi addressed Imam al-Jawad after his father's death, saying:

O You who is the son of the murdered one,

O You who is the son of the roots of the soil,

May his origin and roots be good.

O You who is the son of the eight Imams,

who went westward, and father of the three (Imams),

who went eastward,

Indeed you are the east and the west,

The Book has come to confirm that.186

It is sure that the successors of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, were twelve. Many successive traditions were narrated concerning them. They were the good Imams from the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. They represented the guidance and reputation of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.

The Sufferings of the Imams

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, talked to Hamran about the tyrants who inflicted tribulations and misfortunes on the pure Imams. He told him that if the Imams, peace be on them, had asked Allah to dispel those tribulations and misfortunes, He would have responded to them. However, they had not asked him to obtain that noble rank with Him. He, peace be on him, said: “O Hamran, Allah, the Great and Almighty, tested the Imams. The tyrants supported each other against them. So, if they had asked Allah to drive that away from them and insisted on removing the tyrants and their kingdom, He would have answered them. Then the period of the kingdom of the tyrants would have ended. O Hamran, that which had hit them was not because of a sin they had committed nor was a punishment for disobedience towards Allah. However, they wanted to obtain ranks and dignity from Allah. Therefore, do not believe that concerning them.”187

Al-Baqir urged Reporters and Traditionalists to proclaim the Glorious Deeds of the Imams

He, peace be on him, urged reporters and traditionalists to spread the remarkable deeds and outstanding merits of the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, for they are the good example to this community. Sa‘id al-Iskafi said: “I said to Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir): ‘I sit down to narrate and mention your right (to authority) and your outstanding merits.’”So, the Imam, peace be on him, thanked him for his efforts, and then said to him: “I wish that there was a narrator like you at every thirty cubits.”188

The Knowledge of the Imams

Since the beginning of their history till this day of people, the Shi‘ites have believed that Allah endowed the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, with knowledge, wisdom, and sound judgments, as He endowed His prophets and apostles with that. “That is Allah's favor. He gives it to whoever He wills.”

The historians and the narrators have unanimously agreed on that the Imams, peace be on them, had great scientific abilities which no one of the people had, and that they exceeded all the scholars in abilities and genus.

There is no blame for this claim, for there are many proofs for it. Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, was the lord and leader of this family. Did he not say on the pulpit of Kufa: “Question me before you lose. Question me about the ways of the sky, for I am more knowledgeable in them than the ways of the earth?”That means that his knowledge and sciences exceeded the affairs of this planet, on which man lives, to the affairs of the space, the galaxies, and other planets. Moreover, this means that his knowledge encompassed the mysteries of the universe and the obscure things in nature.

Did this great Figure not say: “If the cushion (on which a judge sits) was folded for me (to sit on), I could give judgments to the people of the Torah by their Torah, to the people of the Gospels by their Gospels, to the people of the Psalms by their Psalms, and to the people of the Furqan (i. e., the Quran) by their Furqan.”This indicates clearly that Imam ‘Ali had comprehensive knowledge of all laws and religion. Besides he had knowledge of the legal precepts in those Divine Books.

Is ‘Ali not the owner of Nahjj al-Balagha, which is the richest world book people have ever known after the Holy Quran. This is the leader of the pure family. He was the gate of the city of knowledge of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. He was his testamentary trustee (of authority), for he exceeded all the scholars of the world in talents and sciences. All the pure Imams, peace be on them, had such vast knowledge. Among them was Imam ‘Ali b. Musa al-Kazim, peace be on him. Al-Ma'mun designated him as his successor. Then he summoned all the scholars of the world to come to Khurasan to test the Imam. He wanted them to debate with him to show his feebleness. Then he would be able to destroy the Shi‘ite doctrine and to refute the Shi‘ites who thought that the Imam was the most meritorious of the people of his time and the most knowledgeable of them.

When the scholars met in Khurasan, al-Ma'mun gave them a lot of gifts and summoned them to carry out his task. ‘Ali b. ‘Isa prepared many questions for them to ask the Imam. He said that the Imam was questioned about twenty-four thousand problems. The problems were about various sciences such as astronomy, stars, medicine, physics, philosophy, theology, and the like. However, the Imam answered them. So, the scholars who met the Imam believed in his Imamate. Then ‘Ali b. ‘Isa said: “Do not believe those who say that Allah has created a person better than ‘Ali b. Musa.”189

Imam Muhammad al-Jawad, ‘Ali b. Musa's son, assumed the office of the Imamate after his father's death. He was twenty years of age. Al-Ma'mun respected and glorified him. The ‘Abbasids were jealous of him. So, they talked to al-Ma'mun about his affair. However, al-Ma'mun made them know his Imamate. He told them that Allah endowed the Imam with knowledge and merits and distinguished him from all creatures. However, the ‘Abbasids did not believe that. So, he ordered them to test the Imam. Thus, they hurried to Yahya b. Aktham, who was then the outstanding judge in Baghdad. They asked him to examine the Imam, peace be on him. He compiled with their request. They held a science meeting in the ‘Abbasid Palace. Eminent scholars attended the meeting. Then Yahya b. Aktham came and asked them about the most complicated problems.

However, the Imam, peace be on him, branched those problems and asked Yahya which branch he wanted. Thus, Yahya was astonished at the Imam. Feebleness appeared on his face. So, he asked the Imam to answer those branched problems. The Imam, peace be on him, answered them, and the meeting was over. All those who attended the meeting were satisfied with his scientific abilities. All the historians reported the event. For example, b. Hajar reported it in his book ‘al-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqa'. How do explain these scientific abilities of Imam al-Jawad when he was so young?

However, the knowledge of the Imams, peace be on them, was exactly as that of the prophets. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, mentioned that. He said to one of his followers:

-What do the Shi‘ites think of ‘Ali, Moses, and Jesus?
- May I be ransom for you, about what are you asking me?
- I am asking you about knowledge.
- By Allah, he is the most knowledgeable of them.
- Do they not say: “Indeed ‘Ali had exactly the same knowledge Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, had?”
- However, they do not prefer any apostle to Uli al-A‘zm (Arch-Prophets).
- Debate with them on Allah's Book.
- At which place of it?
- Allah, the Exalted, said to Moses:

“And We ordained for him in the tablets admonition of every kind.” (Al-A‘raf, 7:145)

He said to Jesus:

“And that I may make clear to you part of what you differ in.” (Az-Zukhruf, 43: 63)

However, He said to Muhammad:

“And bring you as a witness against these.(An-Nahl, 16:89)

He also said in the same verse: “And We have revealed the Book to you explaining everything clearly.”190

The traditionalists have unanimously agreed that the Imams took their knowledge from their grandfather, the Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. The prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, bequeathed his sciences to his testamentary trustee (of authority) and the gate of the city of his knowledge, Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. Then the pure Imams from his children inherited them after him.

Al-Baqir predicted Events

The historians and the narrators have unanimously agreed that the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, predicted many bloody fights and events. Then they occurred on the arena of life, as the Imams predicted. Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, predicted that Mu‘awiya would expose the great Companion, Hajr b. ‘Adi, to various kinds of persecutions. Thus, Hajr suffered from those persecutions. He, peace be on him, predicted that the government of Marwan b. al-Hakam would last for a short time. He, peace be on him, said: “Indeed he (Marwan) will carry the standard of his error when his temples become white. He will have authority (lasts) as the dog licks its nose.”191 He, peace be on him, predicted the government of the ‘Abbasids. Al-Mubarrad reported: “When ‘Ali b. ‘Abd Allah b. al-‘Abbas was born, his father brought him to Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him. The Imam said to ‘Abd

Allah: ‘What have you named him?’ Is it possible for me to name him before you name him?' asked Abd Allah. So, the Imam said: ‘I have named him with my name and given him my kunya. He will have authority.’”192 He, peace be on him, predicted the murder of his son, the lord of martyrs, Imam Husayn, peace be on him. Al-Asbagh reported: “We came with ‘Ali, peace be on him. We passed by the place of the grave of al-Husayn, peace be on him. So, ‘Ali said: ‘Their camels will kneel down here. Their baggage will be in this place. Their blood will be shed over there. Young men from the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, will be killed on this ground. The sky and the earth will weep over them.’”193 He, peace be on him, also predicted man's technological inventions that will happen in the end of the time.

These predictions were not confined to only Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. Rather they included all the Imams from the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. For example, Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, said to al-Mansur al-Dawaniqi: “The boys from your children will play with it (i. e., the caliphate).”194 He, peace be on him, said to his cousin, ‘Abd Allah b. al-Hasan: “You will not assume the caliphate. Rather al-Saffah will undertake it.”All these predictions took place.

Ibn Khaldun recognized these predictions of the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. He said: “If the miracle happens for other than them (the Imams), then what do you think of those (the Imams) who had knowledge, religion, signs from prophethood, and good branches testify their noble origin? Islamic law has decided that people are unable to see the unseen except those whom Allah make see in sleep or spiritual office. Ja‘far (al-Sadiq) and the like from the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt) predicted many of those (unseen events). They, Allah knows better, depended on the spiritual authority in predicting that. They were the most appropriate of all the people for these noble ranks and the given miracles.”195

As for the events which Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) foresaw, they are as follow:

1. He foresaw the government of the ‘Abbasids. Abu Basir said: “I was with Muhammad (al-Baqir) b. ‘Ali when al-Mansur and Dawud b. Sulayman came to him. That was before the government of the ‘Abbasids. Dawud came to the Imam and greeted him. The Imam, peace be on him, said to him: ‘What prevented (al-Mansur) al-Dawaniqi from coming?’ Dawud b. Sulayman apologized (to the Imam on behalf of him). Then he said: ‘He has turned away (from you).’ The Imam, peace be on him, told Dawud about al-Mansur's future, saying: ‘In the future this man will be a ruler over the creation. He will persecute the men. He will govern over the east and west (of the earth). His life will be long. No one will gather properties as he will do.’”

Dawud hurried to al-Mansur. He brought him the good words of the Imam. So, al-Mansur walked quickly toward the Imam to understand his words concerning him. He apologized to the Imam for being so rude. He said: “Nothing has prevented me from sitting with you but the esteem for you.”Then he asked the Imam about what he had told Dawud. Thus, the Imam, peace be on him, said: “That will happen.” Al-Mansur asked the Imam for more explanations, saying:

“Will we rule before you rule?”
“Yes.”
“Will one of my children rule after me?”
“Yes.”
“Which will be longer- the Umayyad period or ours?”
“Yours will be longer. Your boys will play with government as they do with the football. My father had told me about that.”

Al-Mansur went away happy. He was sure that he would assume authority. He always remembered the Imam's words. When he became caliph, he admired the Imam's prediction.196

(Al-Mansur) al-Dawaniqi said: “My brother Abu al-‘Abbas and I escaped from the Umayyads. We passed by the Mosque of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. Muhammad (al-Baqir) b. ‘Ali was sitting there. He, peace be on him, said to a man sitting beside him: ‘Those two (persons) will undertake authority.’ He pointed with his hand to us. The man came and told us about the Imam's words. So, we went to the Imam and said to him: ‘O son of Allah's Apostle, what you have said?’ He, peace be on him, said: ‘You will shortly assume this authority. However, you will mistreat my progeny. Then woe unto you!’”197 That happened as the Imam, peace be on him, predicted. When al-Mansur became caliph, he mistreated the descendants of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. He punished them severely. During the time of this tyrant, the descendants of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, suffered from various kinds of persecution to an extent that they did not suffer from such persecution during the time of the Umayyad. Generally speaking, throughout his days, they suffered from disasters, pains, and tortures.

2. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, predicted that the Black Stone would be put into the Great Mosque in Kufa.198 That happened during the days of the Karmatnians. They took it from the Kaaba and put it into the Mosque of Kufa. They thought that the hajj would depend on it. So, it would be performed in the Mosque of Kufa. Thus, the Black Stone remained there for about twenty years, and then it was brought back to its place.

3. He, peace be on him, foretold that Nafi‘ b. al-Azraq would invade Medina (Yathrib), and that he would permit his soldiers to profane it. Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, said: “My father was at a general meeting. He bowed his head, and then he raised it and said: ‘O People, a man along with four thousand (soldiers) will enter your city. They will fight against you with the sword for three successive days. They will kill your fighters. You will be unable to face that tribulation. That will happen in the next year. Therefore, be on the alert. Know, what I have told you will surely happen.’ However, the people of Medina paid no attention to the Imam's words. They said: ‘That will never happen.’ In the next year Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) took his family along with a group of the Hashimites and went out of Medina. Then Nafi‘ b. al-Azraq came. He was accompanied by four thousand (soldiers). He entered Medina and permitted his (soldiers) to profane it for three days. So, they killed many people.”199 Thus, the people of Media understood the Imam's truthful prediction.

4. He, peace be on him, foresaw that his brother Zayd would die a martyr. Zayd b. Hazim reported. He said: “I was with Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. Zayd passed by us. So, Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) said to me: ‘Have you not seen this? He will revolt (against the government) in Kufa. He will be killed. His head will be sent about.’”200 Few days after that, Zayd was killed in Kufa and his head was sent about to countries and cities.

5. He, peace be on him, foretold that the house of Hisham b. ‘Abd al-Malik would be demolished. It was the largest house in Medina (Yathrib). He built it of oil stones. The Imam, peace be on him, said: “By Allah, the house will be demolished. The oil stones will be rare.”Abu Hazim said: “When I heard that, I was astonished at it. Then I said: ‘Who will demolish the house which Hisham, the Commander of the Faithful, has built?’ Then Hisham died. So, al-Walid assumed the Caliphate after him. He ordered the house to be demolished, and then he ordered the oil stones to be moved from it. So, they became rare in Medina (Yathrib).”201

6. Al-Fudayl reported. He said: “I asked Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir): ‘We have heard that the family of Ja‘far (al-Sadiq) will have one standard and the family of al-‘Abbas will have two standards. Do you have knowledge of that?’”The Imam, peace be on him, said:

“As for the family of Ja‘far, they will have nothing nor will my family. As for the family of al-‘Abbas, they will undertake a great kingdom. In it they will make friends with the strangers and abandon the relatives. Their authority will be rude. There will be no mercy in it. When they feel safe from Allah's punishment, He will destroy then all. Then no house will gather them together nor will an ear hear them. That is due to the Words of Allah, the Great and Almighty:

“Until when the earth puts on its golden ornament.”202 (Yunus, 10:24)

These are some of the Imam's predictions. They indicate that the Imam, peace be on him, had vast knowledge, and that he encompassed these affairs which Allah, the Exalted, had given to the prophets and their trustees. It is natural that the person is in need of fixed belief and steadfast conviction to accept this phenomenon concerning the Imams, peace be on them. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, mentioned that when he said: “Indeed our speech is difficult and regarded as difficult. (No one) accepts it except a close angel or a sent prophet or a servant whose heart Allah tests for belief.”203

These are some of the theological researches the Imam, peace be on him, carried out and some of the unseen he foresaw. He has other researches in this respect. We will mention them when we talk about his time.

Jurisprudence

As for the jurisprudence of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, most of it was taken from the two Imams al-Baqir and his son al-Sadiq, peace be on them. The Imami jurisprudence encyclopedias - such as al-Hada'iq, al-Jawahir, and Mustamsak al-‘Urwat al-Withqa- are full of the traditions reported on their authority. Imami jurists depend on them when they conclude legal precepts and give religious opinions. As for traditions in the encyclopedias- such as Wasa'il al-Shi‘a, al-Tahdhib, Man La Yahdarahu al-Faqih, and the like- most of them were taken from them. These encyclopedias are regarded as important references for Islamic jurisprudence, for they are wonderful and rich in traditions.

Imam al-Baqir and his son al-Sadiq, peace be on them, did their best to proclaim Islamic jurisprudence. They took care of it at the time when the Muslim community was absorbed in the political events. Moreover, the governments at those times neglected completely religious affairs. Thus, Muslim communities were unable to understand their religious affairs. Dr. ‘Ali Hasan said: “When we studied the historical texts, we have concluded many examples of this phenomenon (i. e. neglecting religious affairs) that included rulers, scholars, and people in the first century. By that we mean that they had no knowledge of religious affairs and were irresolute in them even in worship. Among that is when b. ‘Abbas delivered a sermon on the pulpit of Basrah in the end of (the month) of Ramadan. He said: ‘Take out the alms of your fasting.’ However, the people did not know that. Thus, he said: ‘Is there anybody from Medina here? Let him stand up to teach his bothers, for they do not know anything about the obligatory zakat fitir.’204

This proves that the people in the Muslim countries did not know in detail their religious affairs. Moreover, the Syrians did not know even the number of the obligatory ritual prayers. So, they asked the Companions (of the Prophet) about it.205 ‘Umar b. Abd al-‘Aziz did not know the times of the prayers. Some scholars did not know either. They thought that there was a certain year for that. However, the government opposed that. For this reason, it has been mentioned in the tradition: ‘Rulers will come in the rest of time. They will deaden the prayers. Therefore, perform the prayers at their limited times.’ The early historians were unable to explain this condition for us, for they found imposed ways before them. That was the Umayyads had changed the times of the prayers according to their opinions.

“Indeed, during the time of the Umayyads, who paid no attention to religious affairs, the people had little knowledge of jurisprudence and religious affairs. No one knew these religious affairs except the people of Medina.”206207

Imam al-Baqir and Imam al-Sadiq played an important role in proclaiming jurisprudence and explaining the rules of Allah's law. They offered a great service for the Muslim world. Were it not for them, Muslims would lose their great religious wealth.

However, during those times, no one was more knowledgeable than the two Imams, peace be on them, in the affairs of the Islamic law and the precepts of religion. So, the children of the Companions (of the Prophet) and of the next generation, and the heads of the Islamic doctrines-like Abu Hanifa and Malik- hurried to the two Imams to learn sciences from them. A large group of jurists- like Zarara b. A‘yun, Muhammad b. Muslim, and Aban b. Taghlub- studied under Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. Thanks to them the Imam's traditions were written. Besides they gave religious opinions to the Muslims. With that Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, was able to renew Islam and preserve the religious wealth.

Worth mentioning, the Shi‘ites were the first to write down jurisprudence. Mustafa ‘Abd al-Razaq said: “It is natural that the Shi‘ites were the first to record jurisprudence, for their belief in the infallibility of their Imams urged them to write down their judgments and religious opinions.”208 With that the Shi‘ites took part in preserving the Islamic heritage. It is necessary for us to consider carefully the jurisprudence of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. That is because they took it from the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.

Its Characteristics

The jurisprudence of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, has wonderful characteristics. They have put it in the top of Islamic and non-Islamic jurisprudence. The following are some of them:

Its Connection by the Prophet (may Allah bless him and his family)

The important characteristic of the jurisprudence of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, is that it is directly connected by the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. That is because the way to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, were the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, from whom Allah took away uncleanliness, whom He purified thoroughly, and whom the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, regarded as life boats, safety for people, and equal to the Holy Quran, according to the successive traditions reported on his authority.

Without doubt, they, peace be on them, were the closest of all the people to Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and the most knowledgeable of them in his law and its rules. So, their narration, if it is reported on their authority in a correct way, is the most correct of all narrations and the nearest of them to reality. This urged the Imami jurists to rely only on the narrations of the Imams in concluding legal precepts. That is because the Imams' narrations have reliable original proofs on which jurisprudence depends.

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, talked about the narrations of the Imams, peace be on them. He said that the traditions did not belong to them. Rather, they belonged to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. He, peace be on him, said: “If we talked according to our opinions, then we would go astray as those who had gone astray before us. However, we talk according to the proof which Allah explained to His prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, so the latter explained it to us.”209

He was asked about the tradition which he mentioned and did not attribute to (a certain authority). So, he, peace be on him, said: “When I mention a tradition and do not ascribe it (to a certain a authority), then my authority concerning it is my father Zayn al-‘Abidin on the authority of his father al-Husayn, the martyr, on the authority of his father ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, on the authority of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, on the authority of Gabriel on the authority of Allah.”210 Is there an authority brighter or more correct than this authority? Can the Muslim who seeks Allah's pleasure and the hereafter find a way safer than this way to Allah?

Its Flexibility

The jurisprudence of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, goes along with life, keeps abreast with development, does not deviate from the natural disposition, and meets all needs of life. Praise belongs to Allah. In it there is neither sin nor narrowness nor harm nor mischief. Rather, it contains general interests and balanced rules. All of the jurists have admired it. They have testified that it is rich in deep genus and creative legislation.

Indeed the jurisprudence of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, helps researchers find the legislative power that leads people to cultural scientific development. It is a proof for absolute justice and pure truth, for it has solutions for all the problems of society.

It has opened a Door to Ijtihad

The jurisprudence of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, is distinguished from the rest of Islamic jurisprudence by opening a door to Ijtihad (concluding religious opinions). That proves the originality of the jurisprudence of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), its reaction with life, and its continuous solutions to man's affairs in general. In other words it gives solutions to new discoveries and inventions which people face at this time, such as artificial vaccination and transplanting organs. The great Muslim scholars of al-Azhar have felt that they are in need of opening a door to Ijtihad. Thus, they have supported the Shi‘ites in this respect. Ahmed Amin said: “The Muslims have showed their feebleness when they have believed in closing the door to Ijtihad. That is because there will be no qualified mujtahid (one who gives religious opinions) among the people. This is the opinion of some of those who imitate (others), for their confidence in themselves is weak, and they mistrust the people.”211

Sayyid Rasheed Ridha’ said: “We think that there is no advantage in leaving Ijtihad. As for the harms of leaving Ijtihad, they are many. All that has resulted from neglecting intellect, stopping the way of knowledge, and refraining from exploiting thinking. Indeed the Muslims have neglected all knowledge when they have abandoned Ijtihad. So, they have come to what we see.”212

Indeed Islam, praise be to Allah, blames intellect for inactivity. It summons man to enter the fields of thinking and knowledge. It is not an act of wisdom to close the door to Ijtihad to impose imitation (on people). Ijtihad is possible. It depends on logic and proof. As for closing the door to Ijtihad, it was at a certain time. The governments standing at those times imposed it (on people), as the researchers said.

It resorts to the Judgment of Reason

The Imami jurists, unlike the jurists of the other Islamic doctrines, have regarded reason as one of the four fundamentals (necessary for) concluding religious precepts. They have glorified it to the extent that they have regarded it as Allah's inward messenger, among the things with which (Allah), the Merciful is worshipped, and through steadfastness is obtained. It is natural (for jurists) to resort to the judgment of reason when they have no tradition concerning the problem. Indeed reason occupies a large area in the science of fundamentals on which Ijtihad depends.

Muslim jurists rely on this science to conclude religious opinions. In the light of the judgment of reason they have decided that the premise of the obligation is obligatory, and that the order to carry out a certain thing calls for forbidding the opposite thing. They have decided that the absolute conjecture is a proof according to the judgment (of reason), not according to the discovery. When they face two opposite traditions, they resort to the judgment of reason. When reason confirms one of them, they adopt it. Moreover, reason decides other problems. This urges us to boast of the vitality and originality of Imami jurisprudence.

With this we end our talk about the characteristics of Imami jurisprudence.

Jurisprudential Problems

I cannot mention all the jurisprudential problems reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. Surely, that needs writing a vast jurist encyclopedia. That is because all the chapters and researches of jurisprudence have been narrated on his authority. However, I will mention a brief study on some of the problems which have been reported on his authority. They are as follows:

The Rules of Fighting in Islam

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, talked about the rules of fighting in Islam when one of his followers asked him about the battles of Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. So, he said to him:

“Allah sent Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, with five swords: three of them will not be sheathed till war comes to an end. War will not come to an end till the sun rises in the West. When the sun rises in the West, all the people will be believers on that day. Then such belief will not avail the person who had not believed (in Allah) before or had not done good with his belief. The forbidden sword, and the sheathed sword whose drawing is for other than us, and whose belongs to us.

“As for the three unsheathed swords, they are: the first sword is against the Arab polytheists. Allah, the Great and Almighty, said:

“So, when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush.” (Atl-Touba, 9:5)

‘However, if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, then they are your brethren in religion.’213 Nothing is accepted from these people except killing or embracing Islam. Their properties are regarded as war booty, and their families are taken as prisoners. Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, practiced that when he took them as prisoners, forgave them, and accepted ransom from them.

“The second sword is against the non-Muslim subjects. Allah, the Glorified, said: ‘And you speak to men good words.” (Al-Baqara, 2:83)

This verse was revealed concerning the non-Muslim subjects. However, this verse was abrogated by these words of Allah:

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the jizya (tax) in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.” (At-Touba, 9:30)

Nothing is accepted from the non-Muslim subjects who live in the land of Islam except jizya or being killed. Moreover, their property is regarded as war booty, and their families are taken as prisoners. However, when they accept to pay jizya (tax), then it is forbidden for us to take them as prisoners and to regard their property as war booty. Furthermore, it is lawful for us to marry from their women. It is lawful for us to take as prisoners those who are at the war-area and to regard their properties as war booty. It is unlawful for us to marry from their women. Nothing is accepted from them except adopting Islam and paying jizya or killing.

“The third sword is against non-Arab polytheists such as the Turkish, the Daylam, and the Khazar. Allah, the Great and Almighty, said:

“So, when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates.” (Muhammad, 47:4)

“As for His words: ‘And afterwards either set them free.’ He means after taking them as prisoners. ‘Or let them ransom (themselves).’ He means the ransom between them and the people of Islam. Nothing is accepted from these people except killing or entering Islam.

“As for the forbidden sword, it is the sword against the people of aggression and interpretation. Allah said:

“And if two parties of the believers quarrel, then make peace between them. However, if one of them aggresses against the other, then fight that which has aggressed until it returns to Allah's command.” (Al-Hujurat, 49:4)

When this verse was revealed, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said: ‘Indeed one of you will fight on (the basis of) interpretation as I fight (on the basis) of revelation.’ So, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, was asked: ‘Who is he?’ Thus, he said: ‘The one who mended the sandals (i. e., the Commander of the Faithful).’ ‘Ammar b. Yasir said: ‘I fought beside Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. I carried this standard three times.’214 This is the fourth time. By Allah, if they fought against us and reached al-Sa‘afat at Hajr215, we would know that we were right and they were wrong.’ The Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, treated them in this manner as Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, treated the people of Mecca. That was on the day when he conquered Mecca. Indeed he did not take their families as prisoners. Then he (Allah's Apostle) said: ‘Whoever closes his door is safe. Whoever lays down his weapons is safe.’ Such said the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, at the Battle of Basrah. He commanded his fighters, saying: ‘Do not take their children as prisoners. Do not kill the wounded. Do not chase those who escape. Who closes his door and lays down his weapons is safe.’

“And the sheathed sword: As for the sheathed sword, it is the sword through which the punishment is inflicted (for wrongdoing). Allah, the Great and Almighty, said:

“The soul for the soul and the eye for the eye.” (Al-Ma’ida, 5:47)

The blood heirs draw this sword, and we decide its rule.

“Allah sent Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, to carry these swords. So, whoever denies them or one of them, denies what Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, has revealed to His Apostle, Muhammad.”216

Wiping the two Light Leather Boots (khuffayn) with Water

The jurists of the Muslim doctrines have permitted the two light leather boots (khuffayn) to be wiped with water during performing the ablution. They have not considered the touching of the hand on the outward part of the two feet.217 As for the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, they considered the wiping and did not permit other than it. Al-Rabi said: “I asked Abu Ishaq about the wiping. So, he said: ‘I saw the people wipe (the two light leather boots) with water. Then I met a Hashmite called Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn. I had never seen a man like him. Thus, I asked him about wiping (the two light leather boots) with water. He prevented me from that, and then he said: ‘The Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, had not wiped (the two light leatherboots) with water. He said: ‘The Book had come before wiping the two light leather boots (with water).’”218

The great Book has proved touching the outward of the two feet. Allah, the Most High, said: “O You who believe, when you rise up to prayer, wash your faces and your hands as far as the elbows, and rub your heads and your feet to the ankles.”The verse clearly denotes the opinion of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them.

Touching the Vestibule of the Vulva does not invalidate Wudu’

Al-Shafi‘i believed that touching the vestibule of the vulva was among the things that invalidated wudu’. In that he cleaved to what had been reported on the authority of b. ‘Umar, Sa‘d b. Abu Waqas, Abu Hurayra, ‘A'isha, and Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab, who said: “Touching the vestibule of vulva is among the things that invalidate wudu’.”As for Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, and all the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, did not believe in that. Zarara reported on the authority of Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, who said: “Neither the kiss nor touching the woman's body nor touching the vestibule of the vulva invalidates wudu’.”219 Besides invalidating ritual purity requests a proof.

Raising the Voice during the quiet Prayer

The Jurists of the Muslim doctrines believed that raising the voice intentionally during the quiet prayer or lowering it during the loud prayer was not among the things that invalidated the prayer. As for the jurists of the doctrine of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, they believe that it is among the things that invalidate the prayer. Zarara reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, when he was asked about the man who performed the quiet prayers loudly and the loud prayer quietly. Thus, he, peace be on him, said: “If he did that intentionally, then he invalidated his prayer. So, he must repeat it. If he did that when he was forgetful or heedless or did not know (that), then nothing was against him. Thus, his prayer was perfect.”220

Asking Allah to bless Muhammad and his Family in Tashahhud

Most Muslim jurists believe that it is obligatory to ask Allah to bless the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, in tashahhud (i. e., I bear witness that there is no god apart from Allah, Who is unique and without partners. I also bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Apostle. O Allah, bless Muhammad and his family.) Jabir al-Ju‘fi reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, who said: “Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said: ‘He who performs a prayer and does not ask Allah to bless me and my family, his prayer is not accepted from him.’”221

These are some of the jurisprudential problems which Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, stated. Most chapters of jurisprudence in the fundamentals and branches were taken from him, as we have already mentioned.

Science of Fundamentals

Among the sciences which Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, split open was the science of fundamentals (‘Ilm al-Usul). It is among the greatest Islamic sciences after jurisprudence. That is because Ijtihad (concluding religious opinions) depends on it. The mujtahid (one who is capable of concluding religious opinions) is unable to have the talent of Ijtihad without studying the chapters of this science.222 The researchers and the scholars have unanimously agreed that Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, was the first to establish this science. Sayyid Hasan al-Sadr said: “Imam Abu Ja‘far, Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Baqir, peace be on him, was the first to open the chapters of this science and to split open its problems.

Then his son Abu ‘Abd Allah, peace be on him, came after him to continue it. Then they dictated its rules and problems to a group of their students. Then the later generations regulated its chapters in books such as Usul Al al-Rasul, al-Fusul al-Muhima fi Usul al-A'imma, and al-Usul al-Asilah. The reliable narrators reported all these chapters on the authority of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them.”223

The following are some of the fundamentals which Imam Abu Ja‘far al-Baqir, peace be on him, established or reported on the authority of his pure grandfathers, and to which Muslim jurists resort to give religious opinions when they find no tradition concerning the legal precept. Though most of them are jurisprudential rules, the scholars of these fundamentals have mentioned them in detail in the science of fundamentals (‘Ilm al-Usul). However, we will mention them here.

Presumption of Continuity (Istishab)

It is one of the four fundamentals to which the doubter resorts during an action. The reason for his doubt is either that the text (tradition) does not exist or the text is general or the texts (traditions) are contradictory. The texts are invalid when they are equal, namely they are not superior to each other. Presumption of continuity happens when conviction precedes doubt. The Imam, peace be on him, said that presumption of continuity was evidence. That was when he was asked about the doubts in the prayer. Some jurisprudence encyclopedias have mentioned these problems. Among them is Wasa'il al-Shi‘a.

The Rule of Passing (Qa‘idat al-Tajawiz)

This rule means that the doubt occurs in the subsequent act.224 For example, the person may doubt his recitation after he has bowed down. Concerning this rule, many traditions were narrated on the authority of Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, and his son Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him. They denote that the person should pay no attention to this doubt and to go on with his praying.

The Rule of Finishing (Qa‘idat al-Faragh)

This rule means that the act is correct at the time of doubt.225 This rule was reported on the authority of Muhammad b. Muslim on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, who said: “If you doubt all that which you have already completed, then let it as it is.”226 A true tradition which Muhammad b. Muslim reported on the authority of al-Baqir, peace be on him, also proved that. In this tradition it has been mentioned: “If doubt occurs after the time of the prayer has passed, one should ignore the doubt and not repeat (the prayer)” 227 In the light of this reliable true tradition, the Imami Shi‘ites have given a religious opinion. This religious opinion says that one should pay no attention to the doubt that occurs in the acts of the prayer which he has completed.

The Rule of Removing Harm

Among the important rules in Islamic law is the rule of removing harm. Shaykh al-Ansari said: “It means removing the legal precept that leads to harm. “The jurists have mentioned many legal precepts regarding this rule. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, underlined this rule when he, peace be on him, said to Zarara: “Samra b. Jundub228 had a date-palm in the house of a man from the Ansar. The man's house was facing the gate of the garden. Samra entered the man's house without permission. Thus, the man spoke to Samra to ask his permission before entering.

However, Samra refused that. So, the man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and told him about that. Then Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, sent for Samra and ordered him to ask the man's permission. However, Samra refused that. So, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, asked him to sell the date-palm at a good price. Still, Samra refused to sell it. Then Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said to him: ‘You shall have a date-palm in the garden.’ Nevertheless, Samra refused that. So, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said to the (Ansari) man: ‘Go and uproot the date-palm and throw it at him229, for there is no harm.’”230 The fundamentalists have mentioned the meaning of this rule and explained its words and the precepts that result from it.

The Remedy of Contradiction

Many contradictory traditions on the same matter have been reported on the authority of the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. It was impossible for them to say such contradictory traditions. There are two reasons for this contradiction. The first is that they said such contradictory traditions for precautionary dissimulation (taqiya). For the tyrants of that time spared no effort to oppress the pure Imams. They punished them and their followers severely. They ordered their spies to keep an eye on them to prevent them from contacting people. Thus, the pure Imams led a critical life. They were questioned about a certain problem.

However, they doubted the questioner. Meanwhile they were afraid of those who attended their assembly. So, they gave religious opinions according to the opinion of the people to avoid punishment. We will talk in detail about this matter in the chapters that follow. The other reason for this contradiction is that one of the two traditions was fabricated and attributed to them. Noteworthy, many traditions were fabricated during those times. We will mention that when we talk about the problems of the time of the Imam. It was difficult for the pious narrators to distinguish the true traditions from the fabricated ones. They went to Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, and asked him about that. So, he, peace be on him, offered remedies for that. Among them are the following:

Publicity (al-Shuhra)

By publicity we mean the narration not the religious opinion. If one of the two contradictory traditions is famous among the narrators, then it should be put into effect. As for the irregular rare tradition, it should be ignored. The Imam, peace be on him, said to Zarara: “O Zarara, put into practice the tradition that is famous among your companions. Leave the irregular rare one.”231 This means that one should leave the irregular, rare tradition, and should rely on the tradition that is famous among the reporters.

The Tradition should be harmonious with the Book and the Sunna

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, suggested a second way to know the contradictory traditions. This way is that one should compare the two contradictory traditions with the Book and the Sunna (the Prophet's practices). If one of the two contradictory traditions is harmonious with the Book and the Sunna, then one should put it into effect and leave the other. Al-Baqir, peace be on him, said to one of his companions: “Do not believe (the traditions) which are reported on our authority except those that are in harmony with Allah's Book and the Sunna of His Apostle.”

Preferring the Tradition through the Qualities of Narrators

The third way to know the authentic tradition is that one should check the narrators qualities such as trust and justice. Thus, the narration of the qualified narrator should be put into effect. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, said to Zarara: “Put into effect the narration of the narrator who is more just and reliable with you than the other.”

This narration denotes that the truthfulness and justice of the reporter is among the necessary ways to check the two contradictory traditions. With this we end our talk about the fundamental rules which Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, explained during his researches and lectures.

Economic Researches

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, presented during his lectures and his behavior the most important economic research. The following are some of them:

The Necessity of Improving Livelihood

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, urged the Muslim community to strive hard to seek a livelihood. Thus, man is able to afford his family a luxurious life. Meanwhile he is able to avoid poverty and unhappiness. In this connection, the Imam, peace be on him, said: “Whoever strives hard to seek livelihood, becomes tranquil, his provision becomes light, and his family leads a life of ease and comfort.”

He, peace be on him, said: “Through wide morals livelihood is good.”

Indeed, if man strives hard to seek livelihood, he is able to secure an economic life full of welfare, blessings, tranquillity, and stability.

Warning from Laziness

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, warned the Muslims community from laziness. That is because laziness paralyzes economic life, freezes man's abilities, and spreads corruption in the earth. He, peace be on him, said: “Laziness damages the religion and the world.”232

Laziness damages the religion, for it prevents man from mentioning the Lord's name and His obligations and His duties. Rather, the lazy person neglects religious obligations. So, which harm is greater than this harm? Laziness damages the world, for the lazy person always inclines to inactivity and wishes for a miserable life full of needs and poverty. He does not enter the fields of work that secure for him welfare and happiness.

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, warned one of his children from laziness. He said to him: “Beware of laziness and boredom, for they are the key for all evil things. Whoever is lazy, does not carry out a right (work). Whoever is tired, is impatient toward a right (work).”233

Surely, Islam wants man to work, produce, respect people's rights, associate with them, and perform the obligations imposed on him. However, when the person is afflicted by the disease of laziness, he neglects Allah's and people's rights.

Al-Baqir detested those who left Work

Imam Abu Ja‘far al-Baqir, peace be on him, detested those who left work. He thought that leaving work would weaken production, increase unemployed, and spread economic crises in the country. He, peace be on him, said: “I hate the jobless person who lies on his back and says: O Allah, give me. He asks Allah to do him a favor, while the small ant comes out of its society to seek its livelihood.”234

Work is Obedience to Allah

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, thought that work was obedience to Allah. So, he himself cultivated his own land. Muhammad b. al-Munzir said: “I went out to one of the suburbs of Medina. There I met Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) Muhammad b. ‘Ali, peace be on him. He was a well-built man and he leaning on two servant boys. Either they were black slaves of his or they were retainers of his. So, I said to myself: Glory belongs to Allah. Here is a venerable leader (shaykh) of Quraysh out at this time and in these conditions 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 to him: May Allah make you righteous, does a venerable leader of Quraysh go out at this hour for worldly (advantage)? What would you do if death came upon you at this hour?”

However, the Imam answered him with Islamic words: “Let death come upon me when I am obedient to Allah, the great and Almighty. I work to prevent my soul and my family from you and the people. I fear death when it comes upon me and I am disobedient to Allah.”

So, Muhammad felt shame. He was unable to answer the Imam. Thus, he said to him: “You are right. May Allah have mercy on you. I wanted to warn you, but you have warned me.”

Indeed work is obedience to Allah, as the Imam said. For work prevents the soul and the family from asking people for alms.

With this we end our talk about the economic researches which the Imam, peace be on him, did. We also end our talk about the sciences which he presented in his research during his lectures.

Knowledge and Scholars

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, talked very much about the importance of knowledge. He urged Muslims to seek knowledge, for it is the first pillar on which the lives of nations and peoples depend. He, peace be on him, praised the virtue of scholars, for they are the source of culture and guidance for the community. The following are some of what has been reported on his authority in this respect:

The Virtue of Knowledge

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, glorified knowledge. He summoned Muslims to cling to it. He urged them to seek it. He lauded those who sought it. He said: “Learn, for learning is protection. Seeking knowledge is worship, studying it is glorification (of Allah), looking for it is jihad, teaching it (to others) is alms, and giving it to those who are appropriate for it is proximity (to Allah). Knowledge is the signpost of the garden. It is an intimate in lonesomeness, a companion in exile, a friend in estrangement, a guide to ease, a help against affliction, adornment with friends, and a weapon against enemies. By it Allah promotes some people to make them Imams (leaders) for good. So, (people) follow their example and report their works. All wet and dry things, the whales and vermin of the see, and the animals and livestock of the land ask (Allah) to bless them.”235

No words glorify knowledge, praise scholars, and embrace its fruits and advantages as these golden words do. Thus, they are worthy of writing in the institutes and universities of knowledge.

The Virtue of the Scholar

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, lauded the virtue of the scholar. He explained his social rank, and the plentiful reward which Allah has prepared for him. The following are some of the sayings which have been reported on his authority:

A. He, peace be on him, said: “The scholar of whose knowledge (people) make use is better than seventy thousand worshipers.”236

B. He, peace be on him, said: “Whoever teaches a door of guidance, will have the same reward of those who put it into practice. Nothing of the rewards of those (who put guidance into practice) will be decreased. Whoever teaches a door of error, will have the same burdens of those who put in into effect. Nothing of the burdens of those (who put error into effect) will be decreased.”237

C. He, peace be on him, said: “The servant who goes early in the morning to seek knowledge goes into mercy thoroughly.”238

Associating with Scholars and the Pious

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, urged Muslims to associate with scholars and the pious to make use of their guidance and behavior. He, peace be on him, said: “Indeed association with him whom I trust is more reliable with me than a year's work.”239

Discussing Knowledge

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, summoned Muslims to discuss knowledge with each other, for that opens new doors to knowledge and science. He, peace be on him, said: “Discussing knowledge is studying, and studying is a good prayer.”240

Rules for the Student

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, suggested wonderful rules for the student. He, peace be on him, said: “When you sit with a scholar, then listen to him more than speaking to him. Learn good listening as you learn good speech. Do not interrupt (the scholar) while he is busy talking.”241

Proclaiming Knowledge

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, summoned scholars to proclaim and spread knowledge. So, no one will be ignorant. He, peace be on him, said: “The zakat (alms) of knowledge is that you teach it to the servants of Allah.”242 He, peace be on him, also said: “Whoever learns knowledge will have the same reward of him who teaches it, and will be better than him. Learn knowledge from scholars. Then teach it to your brothers as the scholars have taught it to you.”243

The Imam urged Muslims to learn

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, urged Muslims to learn (knowledge) and to ask scholars about it. He, peace be on him, said: “Knowledge is a treasure and the key is the question. Then, may Allah have mercy on you, ask (scholars). Indeed four persons will be rewarded out of knowledge: the questioner, the speaker, the listener, and the one who loves them.”244

Understanding the Religion

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, summoned Muslims to understand deeply the religion and to know the lawful and the unlawful. He, peace be on him, said: “All perfection is in understanding deeply the religion, patience towards misfortune, and taking livelihood into account.”245

Surely, understanding the religion deeply maintains man's balance and behavior. It prevents man from committing ugly things. In the mean time it prevents him from deviating from the religion.

Putting Knowledge into effect

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, urged scholars to put their knowledge into practice. He, peace be on him, said: “When you hear knowledge, then put it into effect. Let your hearts be wide. For the person with the heart that does not encompass his abundant knowledge makes Satan powerful over him. If Satan disputed with you, then dispute with him through what you know. Surely, the deception of Satan is weak.”Ibn Abu Layla asked him: “What is the thing which we know?”So, he, peace be on him, replied: “Dispute with Satan through the manifest strength of Allah, the Great and Almighty.”246

Action coupled with knowing Allah is accepted

Knowing Allah is a condition in accepting an act. So, the one who acts and does not know Allah nor does he know the duty which he performs, then his action is useless. Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, said: “No act is accepted except through knowing (Allah). No knowledge (of Allah) is accepted except through an act. Whoever knows (Allah) his knowledge leads him to the act. He who does not know (Allah), his action is invalid.”247

The Imam dispraised Boasting of Seeking Knowledge.

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, dispraised those who boasted of seeking knowledge. He urged the scholars to do their best to seek nearness to Allah and to wish for the hereafter through seeking knowledge. He, peace be on him, said: “He who seeks knowledge to vie with the scholars for glory or to dispute with the foolish or to know the prominent figures, then he shall occupy his place in the Fire. Indeed leadership is inappropriate for anyone except those who are appropriate for it.”248

Surely, these corrupt ambitions invalidate the reward which Allah has prepared for the religious scholar, who is the propagator of Allah in the earth. Therefore, if the religious scholar wants success in this world and happiness in the next world, then he should seek knowledge to please Allah.

Giving Religious Opinions without Knowledge

Several traditions on giving religious opinions without knowledge were reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, for such opinions mislead people. The following are some of them:

A. Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, said: “Whoever gives people religious opinions without having knowledge and guidance, the angels of the Merciful (Allah) and the angels of torment will curse him, and he will shoulder the sins of those who put his religious opinions into effect.”249

B. He, peace be on him, said: “Say what you know. When you do not know, say: Allah knows best. If the person singles out a verse from the Quran (to misinterpret it), he falls down as far as the sky is from the earth.”250

C. Zarara asked Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him: “What is Allah's right against the servants?”The Imam, peace be on him, replied: “They should say what they know and refrain from saying what they do not know.”251

D. He, peace be on him, said: “If the scholar is asked about a certain thing and he does not know that thing, he should say: Allah knows more. Other than the scholar has no right to say that.”252

The Qualities of the Scholar

In many of his traditions, Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, talked about the qualities of scholars. The following are some of them:

A. He, peace be on him, said: “The servant who envies those who are superior to him and scorns those who are inferior to him is not a scholar.”253

Indeed the servant is a scholar when his soul is free from envy, which is among the greatest psychological catastrophes. It is envy that throws people into the tribulation, for it brings about misfortunes. However, the servant is not a scholar when he scorns those who are inferior to him. This means that he does not make use of knowledge, which summons him to respect people and treat them with high morals. Surely, the Prophet, may Allah bless him, was sent to complete high moral standards. So, when the scholar follows bad manners, he deviates from the laws and morals of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.

B. He, peace be on him, said: “The true jurist is he who renounces this world, wishes for the hereafter, and cleaves to the Sunna (practices) of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.”254

C. He, peace be on him, said: “If you see the scholar love the rich, then he loves (the life in) the world. If you see him associate with the Sultan (ruler) without a necessity, then he is a thief.”255

When the scholar loves the rich, he wishes for their properties and to make use of them. This is not among the morals of the scholars whom Allah has commanded to wish for what He has, not for what the others have. As for association with the Sultan without a necessity, it proves that the scholar is not true and that he is a thief, as the Imam said. Mahmud al-Warraq satirized the religious scholars who made friends with the Sultan, saying:

They rode their horses and went in groups to the Caliph's house.

They arrived there in the early morning and stayed till evening to obtain high ranks.

When they got the nice condition they requested,

(When) the Caliph became glad with what the leaf contained,

(When) they harmed those who were inferior to them through oppression and violent conduct,

they broke the Caliph's promise through the

oppression of fearful ways.

They sold truthfulness for treason and bought carrion for safety.

They hoard fat and weakened those absurd deposits.

The graves of the people became narrow. And their high palaces became wide.

From the possessors of politeness,knowledge, and wise opinions

to the analogy of Abu Hanifa are in agreement on the gathering of the tradition.

When the fascinating world charms a person, the person does not make use of knowledge.256

He forgets Allah and takes shelter in the world through weak means.

Abu al-‘Atahiya also satirized them:

They looked for the vanities of the world

and forgot the grandson of the Prophet.257

With this we end our talk about the traditions reported on the authority of the Imam, peace be on him. They concern the virtue of knowledge. They praise scholars. Moreover, they are about the high moral standards which scholars should follow to be an example to the community.

Traditions on Faith

In his traditions, Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, analyzed the essence and ranks of faith. In them he talked about the qualities of the pious and Allah's favors for them. The following are some of the traditions which have been reported on his authority:

The Essence of Faith

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, limited the essence of faith when he said: “Faith is steadfast in the hearts, and certitude is notions. Then certitude passes through the heart, so it becomes (as strong) as the lumps of iron. And it goes out of the heart, so it becomes (as worn) as the worn rag.”258

Indeed, when faith settles in the depth of hearts and inner selves, they become as strong as the lumps of iron. So, they bear difficulties and hardships. Such steadfast belief was the most prominent quality of prophets, the great, and the righteous, who sacrificed their lives for their doctrines and opinions.

However, when certitude comes out of the heart, it becomes as old as the old rag. Thus, the person loses his will and becomes empty of feelings and sentiments.

The Ranks of Faith

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, talked about the ranks of faith, saying: “Indeed the believers have various ranks: one of them has one (rank); one of them has two (ranks); one of them has three (ranks); one of them has four (ranks); one of them has five (ranks); one of them has six (ranks). If you impose two (ranks) on the possessor of the one (rank), he cannot bear them. If you impose three (ranks) on the possessor of the two (ranks), he will not bear them. If you impose four (ranks) on the possessor of the three (ranks), he will not bear them. If you impose five (ranks) on the possessor of the four (ranks), he will not bear them. If you impose six (ranks) on the possessor of the five (ranks), he will not bear them. If you impose seven (ranks) on the possessor of the six (ranks), he will not bear them. Such are the ranks (of faith).”259

Surely, the ranks of faith (in Allah) and knowledge of Him vary. Thus, Allah, the Exalted, informed some of His prophets of the secrets of the universe and existence, and the events that occurred in the world. However, He did not inform some other prophets of that, for they were unable to bear that. Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, was the gate of the city of the knowledge of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and the store of his secrets and maxims. He informed Maytham al-Tammar, a companion of his, of the misfortunes that would happen at the time of the Umayyads. He informed him of many secrets and the events that would occur at the rest of time.

However, he did not inform ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Abbas, the great scholar of the community, of that. For he, peace be on him, was sure that ‘Abd Allah was unable to bear that. The tyrants exposed the prophets and the righteous to many tribulations. These tribulations were various according to their various ranks of faith. The greatest of them in tribulation was the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. For the tyrants of Quraysh hurt him to the extent that no community had hurt the prophets of Allah before. Moreover, he, may Allah bless him and his family, was hurt after his death. That was when the members of his House were liable to terrible persecutions. Only fifty years passed after his death. Nevertheless, the heads of his grandsons were on the spears. His granddaughters were taken as prisoners and moved from one country to another. So, which tribulation is greater than this?

The Qualities of the Pious

In a group of his traditions, Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, talked about the high qualities of the pious. The following are some of the traditions which were reported on his authority:

A. He, peace be on him, said: “The pious are the easiest of the people of the world in provision, and most of them in help. When you forget, they remind you. When you mention your (need), they help you. They believe in the right of Allah. They undertake the affairs of Allah.”260

These are the qualities of the unique ones who are the strength and ideals of people, who lead them to the way of guidance.

B. He, peace be on him, said: “When the believer is pleased, his pleasure does not make him enter sin and falsehood. When he is indignant, his wrath does not drive him out of saying the truth. When the believer is strong, his strength does not take him out to exceed what is right.”261

The believer should have strong a character and behavior. Moreover, he should follow the truth in all circumstances.

C. He, peace be on him, said: “Riches and glory wander about the heart. When they reach the place where the trust (in Allah) is, they settle in it.”262

Al-Yafi‘i composed poetry about this wisdom, saying:

Riches and glory wander about the believer's heart.

When they find the trust (in Allah) in the cavity of the heart, they reside in it.

So, the slave is submissive to Allah.

When they (riches and glory) do not find it (trust in Allah), they depart.263

D. The difference between faith and Islam: Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, talked about the difference between faith and Islam. He said: “Faith is in the heart. Islam regulates marriage, inheritance, etc. It prevents blood from being shed. Faith is the partner of Islam, while Islam is not the partner of faith.”264 Faith settles in the hearts of the pious and of those who turn to Allah, the Most High, in repentance. Through faith they fear Allah and are afraid of His punishment. So, they leave no obligation nor do they commit any sin. As for Islam, it is the word of monotheism. When it enters the depth of the heart, the Muslim becomes a believer. To this meaning the holy verse refers:

“The dwellers of the desert say: We believe. Say: You do not believe, but say we submit; and faith has not entered your hearts yet.” (Al-Hujurat, 49:14)

In another tradition, al-Baqir, peace be on him, mentioned the difference between faith and Islam. He, peace be on him, said: “Faith is acknowledgment and action; Islam is acknowledgment without action.”265

F. Allah's gift for the believers: Allah granted the believers many of His favors. Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, talked about these favors of Allah, saying: “Indeed Allah has given the believers three qualities: glory in his religion in the world, success in the hereafter, and dignity in the hearts of people.”266

These are some of the Imam's traditions concerning the essence of faith.

With the Shi‘ites

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, and all the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, took great care of their Shi‘ites. They wanted them to follow their guidance and behavior. They wanted them to be pious in their earnings. Moreover, they wanted them to cleave to the affairs of their religion to be an example to all Muslims. For the Shi‘ites have bright Islamic abilities. With these abilities they are able to illuminate the way to the perplexed, and to show the great position of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them.

It was reported on the authority of Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, who said to one of his Shi‘ites: “Be an adornment for us. Do not be a disgrace for us. So, people say: May Allah have mercy on Ja‘far b. Muhammad. For he has educated his Shi‘ites.”Imam Musa b. Ja‘far, peace be on him, knew that one of his Shi‘ites misbehaved and committed what Allah prohibited. So, he, peace be on him, gave him this wonderful piece of advice: “The good (thing) from everyone is good, and from you is better. The ugly (thing) from everyone is ugly, and from you is uglier, for you follow us, and we are the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt).”267

As for Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, he took great care of his followers (Shi‘ites). He educated them. He gave them high pieces of advice and noble teachings. He asked them to follow his teachings and pieces of advice. The following are some of his commandments:

His Commandments to his Shi‘ites

It is incumbent on those who adopt the doctrine of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, to follow these immortal commandments. They should put into effect their bright items to be an example to people. This is the text of his commandments:

“O People of our Shi‘ites, listen and understand our commandments and our covenant to our followers. Be truthful in your talk. Fulfill your oath to your friends and your enemies. Help each other with your properties. Love each other with your hearts. Give alms to your poor. Come together in your affairs. Do not cheat nor betray anyone. Do not have doubts after certitude. Do not escape out of cowardice after intrepidity. Do not turn away from the people whom you love. Your desire should not be for the love of other than you nor should your love be for other than you nor should your act be for other than your lord nor should your faith and purpose be for other than your Prophet. Ask for the help of Allah, be patient. Indeed the earth belongs to Allah. He gives it to His servants whom He wants. And the final result is for the pious.”

He, peace be on him, added:

“Indeed, our Shi‘ites, the friends of Allah and the friends of His Apostle, are those who tell the truth when they speak. They fulfill (the promise) when they promise. They pay (the deposit) when they are deposited. They endure with justice when they are forced to endure. They give when they are asked for the obligation. And do justice when they are asked (to do it). Our Shi‘ites are those whose ears do not pass over their knowledge. Our Shi‘ites are those who do not praise those who find fault with us, nor do they make friends with those who hate us, nor do they associate with those who betray us. When our Shi‘ites meet a believer, they honor him. When they meet an ignorant person, they leave him. Our Shi‘ites are those who do not growl as the dog does, nor are they greedy as the crow is, nor do they ask anyone (for alms) except their brothers even if they die of hunger. Our Shi‘ites are those who believe in our doctrine, separate themselves from their beloved ones for us, approach the strangers who love us, and turn away from the strangers who hate us.”

One of those who were sitting with the Imam admired these words concerning the Shi‘ites. Thus, he asked the Imam:

“Where are such as these (people)?”

The Imam replied:

“They are in the ends of the lands. It is they whose livelihood is easy, who are delighted. When they are present, no one knows them. When they are away, no one misses them. When they become ill, no one visits them. When they propose (marriage), no one marries them. When they enter a way, they do not deviate from (it). When the ignorant ones address them, they say: peace. And they pass the night prostrating themselves before their Lord and standing.”

One of those who were sitting with the Imam blamed the Shi‘ites who were contemporary to the Imam, saying:

“Oh son of Allah's Apostle, what about those who follow you with their tongues while their hearts are contrary to that?”

Thus, the Imam replied:

“The tribulation will bring about droughts against them to destroy them utterly, spites to ruin them completely, and disunion to kill them. By Him who supported us at the hands of His angels, no one except Allah will kill them at their hands. Therefore, cleave to acknowledgment when you speak (to people). Leave quarreling, for it divides you. Beware, He (Allah) will raise you from the dead before the fixed time. So, your blood will appear, your souls will go, those who will come after you will dispraise you, and you will be an example to the beholders. Indeed the best of the people in action is the one who leaves the people of the world- such as the father, the friend, and the adviser- and associates with his brothers in Allah even if they are Abyssinians or Negroes. No one of the believers will be raised a Negro from the dead. Rather they will be as white as hail. They will be washed with the water of the gardens. They will win immortal Paradise. They will sit with the close angels, and accompany the prophets. No servant is more honorable with Allah than the servant who is rendered homeless for Allah till he meets Allah. Such are our Shi‘ites who are the warners in the earth. They are lamps, signs, and light for those who seek what they seek. They are the leaders of the people of obedience to Allah. They bear witness against those who oppose their summons. They are tranquillity for those who come to them. They are kind to those who follow them. They are generous, forgiving, and merciful. So, such are their attributes in the Torah, the Bible, and the Holy Quran.

“The learned man is from our Shi‘ites when he keeps his tongue, obeys his leaders, shows enmity towards his enemies with his heart, knows their defects, does not show them what is in his heart, looks at their bad deeds with his own eye, and hears their offenses with his own ear. Those who hate his enemies are his friends. And those who love his enemies are his enemies. ”

So, one of those who were present asked the Imam: “May my father and mother be ransom for you, what is the reward of the one whom you have described when he walks peacefully, gets up peacefully, and spends the night protected? What is his rank and his reward?”

Thus, the Imam, peace be on him, said: “The Sky commanded him to be protected, the Earth commanded him to be honored, and the Light commanded him to be believed.”

So, it was said to the Imam:

“What is his attribute in the world?”

He, peace be on him, replied: “When he is asked (for alms), he gives. When he is invited, he accepts. When he seeks (something), he obtains (it). And when he supports an oppressed person, he strengthens him.”268

I think that no commandments were reported on the authority of the Imams of the pious such these commandments that raise man to the level of the righteous and the pious. For they summon man to cleave to high moral standards and to refrain from bad manners. If Muslims put them into effect, they would be the lords of nations and leaders of people.

Indeed these commandments are among the treasures of Islam. They contain the aspects and essence of Islam. They denote that Islam has good, mercy, and guidance for all people. So, the Muslim must follow them throughout his life.

The Early Shi‘ites

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, praised the foremost Shi‘ites. He mentioned their high moral standards and their high good qualities. He, peace be on him, said:

“Our friends and Shi‘ites were the best of their period. The Imam of the mosque in the district was from among them. The caller to prayers (mu'azin) in the direction to the Kaaba (Qibla) was from among them. The possessor of the deposit was from among them. The possessor of the trust was from among them. The religious scholar whom the people asked about their religious affairs was from among them.”269

These commandments show the qualities of the early Shi‘ites, such as asceticism, piety, religious devotion, and cleaving to the religion. So, the people trusted them. They prayed behind them. Moreover, they regarded them as custodians over their properties and religion. Generally speaking, the early Shi‘ites were famous for piety and righteousness. It was reported that a Shi‘ite stood before the judge as a witness. However, the judge refused to accept the Shi‘ite's testimony, for he belonged to the Rafida. So, the Shi‘ite burst into tears. Thus, the judge was astonished at him. He thought that the Shi‘ite wept for his refused testimony. He asked him about that. So, the Shi‘ites replied: “You have deviated from the truth. You have ascribed me to this sect. No one joins it except the prophets and the righteous.”

The Attributes of the Shi‘ites

In many of his traditions, Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, mentioned the high qualities which those who believe in the doctrine of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, should follow. The following are some of the traditions reported on his authority:

1. He, peace be on him, said: “Our Shi‘ites fear Allah and obey Him. They are humble and pious. They pay the trust. They praise Allah very much. They perform the prayers and the fasting. They obey the parents. They take care of the poor neighbors, the needy, the debtors, and the orphans. They are truthful in talking. They recite the Quran. They hold back their tongues from (speaking against) people except good. Thus, they are the custodians of their tribes over all things.”270

No one has such qualities except the righteous and the pious who fear Allah, and are afraid of His punishment.

2. He, peace be on him, said: “The Shi‘ites of ‘Ali, peace be on him, sacrifice their lives for our authority. They love each other, for they love us. They visit each other to enliven our affair. When they become angry, they do not do wrong. When they are pleased, they do not go too far (in pleasure). They are a blessing for him who is their neighbor them. And they are peace for him who associates with them.”271

The Shi‘ites who have such qualities are blessing and mercy for those who are their neighbor. They are a safety and a peace for those who associate with them. For they do nothing except good for all people.

3. He, peace be on him, spoke to Abu al-Muqdam about the high moral standards of the Shi‘ites of Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. He, peace be on him, said: “O Abu al-Muqdam, the Shi‘ites of ‘Ali are pale, thin, and withered. Their lips are faded, their abdomens are slim, their colors are changeable, and their faces are yellow. When it becomes dark, they use the ground as a bed and receive the earth with their foreheads. Their prostration is much, their tears are many, their supplications are many, and their weeping is plentiful. The people become happy and they become sad.”272

These are the attributes of the Shi‘ites of whom were ‘Ammar b. Yasir, Abu Dharr, Hijr b. ‘Adi, Maytham al-Tammar, and the like.

Al-Baqir's Commandments to Shi‘ites

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, supplied Shi‘ites with excellent commandments and valuable teachings. The following are some of them:

A. Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi reported. He said: “We went in a group to Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him. We ended our ritual prayers. Before we saw him off, we had said to him: ‘O Son of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, command us.’” He, peace be on him, said: “Your strong one should help your weak one. Your rich one should be kind to your poor one. The man should be loyal to his brother as he is loyal to himself. Keep our secrets. Do not force the people to follow us. Consider carefully our affair and what has been mentioned on our authority. If you find it in agreement with the Quran, then put it into effect. If you find it contrary to the Quran, then leave it. If you doubt the affair, then stop and ask us to explain it to you.”273

Al-Baqir, peace be on him, commanded the Shi‘ites to cling to high moral standards. He guided them to what reformed their life in this life and the hereafter. He also commanded them to compare the traditions reported on the authority of the Imams with the Quran. So, they were able to put into effect the traditions that were in harmony with the Quran. Meanwhile, they were able to leave the traditions that were contrary to the Quran. He ordered them to do that because many traditions were fabricated. Those who were indifferent to religion fabricated these traditions to defame the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, and to distort their precepts.

B. He, peace be on him, said: “Cling to piety, hard work, and truthful talk. Pay the trust to him who trusts you, whether he is righteous or a sinner. If the murderer of ‘Ali b. Abi Talib gave a trust to me, I would pay the trust to him.”274

Are there commandments higher and nobler than these valuable commandments that lead man to good behavior among people?

C. He, peace be on him, sent one of his companions to some of his Shi‘ites, and ordered him to tell them the following:

He, peace be on him, said: “Recite my greetings to my Shi‘ites. Order them to fear Allah, the Great. Their rich one should visit their poor one. Their sound one should visit their ill one. Their living one should attend the funeral of their dead one. They should meet each other in their houses. Indeed their meeting each other enlivens our affair.

“May Allah have mercy on the one who enlivens our affair and puts into effect the best of it. Say to them: We will suffice nothing for them with Allah except through the good deed. They will not obtain our intercession but through piety and hard work. Indeed the most intense of all people in regret on the Day of Judgment is the one who describes a certain deed, and then he does other than it.”275

Al-Baqir, peace be on him, advised Shi‘ites to do all kinds of good, to support each other, and to refrain from discord and division.

D. He, peace be on him, said: “May Allah have mercy on the servant who makes people love us, and does not make them hate us. By Allah, if they report what we say on our authority- if they do not distort it nor do they change it against us according to their opinions, no one will comment on it. However, the one of them who hears the word, and then he adds ten (words) to it and explains it according to his own opinion. Therefore, may Allah have mercy on the servant who hears some of our hidden secret, and then he buries it in his heart. By Allah, Allah will not bring together our followers and our enemies in one house.”276

In this tradition, al-Baqir, peace be on him, warns Shi‘ites from distorting or changing the traditions of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. For that will harm and defame them.

Love for Ahl al-Bayt

In a group of his traditions, Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, spoke to some of his companions about the love for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. He denoted that a great reward from Allah would result from the love for them. The following are some of his traditions on that:

A. Some of his Shi‘ites from Khurasan came to him. He, peace be on him, looked at a man of them. He saw that the man's feet split open. So, he, peace be on him, asked him: “What is this?” “O Son of Allah's Apostle, the remote distance (has brought it about). By Allah, nothing has brought me from where I came except the love for you, ahl al-Bayt,”replied the man.

“Be cheerful! By Allah, you will be raised from the dead with us,”said the Imam, peace be on him.

The Khurasani man was so happy that he asked:

“O Son of Allah's Apostle, will I be raised from the dead with you?”

The Imam, peace be on him, replied: “Yes. The servant who loves us, Allah will raise him from the dead with us. Religion is nothing except love (for us). Surely, Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, said in His Book: ‘Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins.’”277

B. Ziyad al-Aswad came to Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. He came to him from a remote distance and a far-off place. He walked so much that his feet split open. So, Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, asked him: “Ziyad, what is this?”

“My master, I came on the back of a weak young camel. So, I walked all the road. I had nothing to buy a camel. I added a thing to a thing so that I have bought this young camel,”Ziyad replied.

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, felt pity for him. He wept for him. Then Ziyad said to him: “May Allah make me ransom for you. By Allah, I have extremely committed sins. Perhaps I said: ‘I have perished!’ Then, I remember my love for you, ahl al-Bayt. With that I wish for forgiveness.”So, the Imam turned to him, and then he said to him with kindness and affection:

“Glory belongs to Allah. Religion is nothing but love (for us). Indeed Allah, the Blessed and Exalted said in His Book:

“Allah has endeared the faith to you and has made it seemly in your hearts.”
(Al-Hujurat, 49:7)

He said:

“If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you.” (Aa-l ‘Imraan, 49:31)

He said:

“They love those who have fled to them.” (Al-Hashr, 59:9)

A man from the desert came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and said to him: ‘O Allah's Apostle, I love those who pray but I do not pray. I love those who fast but I do not fast.’ So, Allah's Apostle said to him: ‘You are with those whom you love.’ Whom do you seek? By Allah, If something occurred to people, they would not resort to anyone except us. And we would not resort to anyone except our Prophet. You are with us. Be cheerful, be cheerful! By Allah, Allah will not make you equal to other than you.278

C. He, peace be on him, said: “Surely, the garden longs for and its light becomes intense for the coming of the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, and their followers (Shi‘ites). If a servant worshipped Allah between the rukn (the corner of the Kaaba) and the maqam (the standing place of Abraham) to the extent that his bodily members cut off, Allah would not accept his worship unless he adopts our authority and loves us.”279

D. He, peace be on him, said to a group of his Shi‘ites: “The one of you who becomes happy when his soul reaches here. He pointed to his mouth with his hand. The angel of death comes down to him and says to him: ‘As for what you wish for, it has been given to you. As for what you fear, you are safe from it.’ He will open the door of his abode in the garden and say to him: ‘Look at your abode in the garden! Those are Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, ‘Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn. They are your friends.’ This is what the words of Allah, the Great and Almighty, confirm280:

“Those who believe and guard (against evil), they shall have good news in this world's life and in the hereafter.” (Younis, 10:63-64)

In this connection, many traditions were reported on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and the pure Imams. The books of traditions have mentioned them.

Why have Shi‘ites been called rafida?

Abu Basir related. He said: [I said to Abu Ja‘far:]

“May I be ransom for you. We have been given a name. Through the name, the rulers have regarded as lawful our blood, our properties, and our torture.” He, peace be on him, asked:

“What is it?”
“The Rafida”

He, peace be on him, answered: “Allah has given you this name.”281

This name has become a signpost for the Shi‘ites who spare no effort to spread social reform in the earth. However, those who have no morals find fault with them. The Shi‘ites boast of it, for it has become a proof for their love of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, “from whom Allah has taken away uncleanliness and whom He has purified completely.”Imam al-Shafi‘i boasted of this name when he said:

If the love for the family of Muhammad is rafd,

then let jinn and men (thaqalan) testify that I am rafidi.

Al-Baqir's Supplication for his Shi‘ites

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, was very loyal to his followers (Shi‘ites). So, he supplicated for them with this supplication:

“Oh Near, not slow! Oh Most Merciful of all merciful! Make protection for my Shi‘ites against the Fire. Be pleased with them. Forgive them their sins. Make easy their affairs. Conceal their defects. Forgive them the cardinal sins that are between You and them. Oh You Who is not afraid of oppression! Oh You Who slumber does not overtake, nor sleep! Relieve my worry, and remove my grief!”282

He, peace be on him, recited the following supplication for his Shi‘ites:

“O Allah, If I have pleasure and love (with you), then forgive me and those who follow me from my brothers and my Shi‘ites. Make good that which is in my loins. By Your mercy, oh Most Merciful of the merciful.”283

The Lives and Maxims of the Prophets

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, talked very much about the lives and maxims of the prophets. The specialists in these subjects have reported many traditions on his authority. The following are some of them:

Part of Allah's Revelation to Adam

The Imam, peace be on him, told his companions about the maxims and high moral standards Allah revealed to Adam. He, peace be on him said: “Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, revealed to Adam: ‘I will gather all good for you in four words: one of them is for me; one is for you; one is between me and you; one is between you and people. As for the one that is for me, it is that you should worship me, and that you should not be a polytheist. As for the one that is for you, it is that I reward you for your act at the time when you are in need of the reward. As for the one that is between me and you, is that you should pray to me, and I shall answer you. As for the one that is between you and people, it is that you should satisfy people with what you satisfy yourself. ’” 284

Solomon's Maxim

Al-Baqir, peace be on him, told his companions about the wonderful maxim of Solomon, son of David. He, peace be on him, said: “Solomon, son of David, said: ‘We have been given what has been given to people and what has not been given to them. We have been taught what has been taught to people and what has not been taught to them. However, we have found nothing better than fearing Allah during absence and presence, economizing during riches and poverty, the word of truth during pleasure and anger, and supplicating to Allah, the Great and Almighty in all circumstances. ’” 285

This maxim has gathered good traits. For it summons people to fear Allah, to economize their daily bread. It prevents them from wasting their property. Moreover, it summons them to say the truth, to prefer it to all things, and to rely on Allah, the Most High, in whose hand is the fate of people.

A Maxim in the Torah

Al-Baqir, peace be on him, told his companions about a maxim in the Torah. He, peace be on him, said: “It has been written in the Torah: ‘O Moses, I have created you, chosen you, strengthened you, commanded you to obey me, and forbidden you from disobeying Me. If you obey Me, I will help you to obey me. If you disobey, I will not help you to disobey Me. O Moses, My favor against you is that you should obey me. My proof is against you when you disobey Me. ’” 286

Why Noah was called the Grateful Servant?

Muhammad b. Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, who said: “Noah was called the grateful servant because he said during morning and evening: ‘O Allah, the blessing and health in religion and the world are from You. You are unique, there is no partner with You. I praise and thank You for them till You be pleased (with me).’”287

Noah's Prayer against his People

Sudayr asked Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, about Noah's supplication against his people. He asked: “Do you know why Noah invoked Allah against his people when he said: ‘My Lord, leave not upon the land any dweller from among the unbelievers. For sure if You leave them, they will lead astray Your servants, and will not beget any, but immoral, ungrateful (children)’ Did he have knowledge of them?”

The Imam, peace be on him, replied: “Allah revealed to him that no one of his people would believe (in Allah) except those who had believed (in Him) before. So, Noah recited this prayer against them.288

Ismael was the first to speak Arabic

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, told his companions that Ismael, Allah's Prophet, was the first to speak Arabic. He, peace be on him, said: “Ismael was the first to speak Arabic. He was ten years old.”289

Allah whispered (words) to Moses

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, related to his companions that Allah, the Most High, whispered (words) to Moses. He, peace be on him, said: “It has been written in the Torah that Allah, the Great and Almighty, whispered (words) to Moses, son of Imran: ‘O Moses, fear me during your secret affairs, I will conceal your defects. Praise me during your lonesomeness and your delightful pleasures, I will remind you during your heedlessness. Restrain your anger from those over whom I have made you king, I will restrain my anger from you. Conceal my hidden secrets in your heart. Humor with My enemy and your enemy from among my creatures. Do not make them curse me when you manifest my hidden secrets. So, you make my enemy and your enemy take part in cursing Me.’” 290

Al-Baqir denied that the Prophet was Illiterate

‘Ali b. Asbat reported. He said: “I said to Abu Ja‘far: ‘The people claim that the Prophet could neither read nor write.’ So, he, peace be on him, denied that and said: ‘How will that be? Allah, the Exalted, said: ‘It is He

(Allah) Who raised among the illiterates an Apostle from among themselves, who recites to them His communications and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom, although they were before certainly in clear error.’ How did he teach them the Book and the Wisdom while he could neither read nor write?”

Then ‘Ali b. Asbat asked the Imam: “Why was he called al-Nabi al-Ummi?”

The Imam replied: “Because he was ascribed to Mecca. That is according to the words of Allah, the Great and Almighty: ‘That you may warn Umm al-Qura and those around her.’ Umm al-Qura means Mecca. So, he was called Ummi.”291

Noah and Iblis

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, reported that a conversation took place between Allah's Prophet, Noah, peace be on him, and Iblis. That was when Noah invoked Allah against his people. The conversation is as follows:

Iblis: O Noah, you have done me a favor. Now, I want to reward you for it.

Noah: By Allah, I hate to do you a favor. What is it?

Iblis: Yes. You had invoked Allah against your people, so He had drowned them. Thus, no one has remained for me to delude him. I am at rest till Allah creates another generation. Then, I will delude them.

Noah: What is the reward?

Iblis: Mention me during three situations. For I am very close to the servant during them. Mention me when you become angry. Mention me when you judge between two persons. And mention me when you are with a woman and there is no one with you. 292

Indeed, Iblis comes to man during these three situations. It is these situations that make man commit sins and disobey Allah. May Allah protect us from these evil situations.

The Death of Solomon

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, narrated to Abu Basir the death of Allah's Prophet, Solomon. He, peace be on him, said: “Solomon, son of David, commanded the jinn (unseen creatures) to build a glass dome for him. He was leaning on his staff and watching the jinn's work. He happened to turn around. Suddenly, he saw a man in the dome. He asked the man: “Who are you?”“It is who does not accept bribes nor fear the kings. I am the angel of death,”replied the man. Then, the Angel of Death made Solomon die. Solomon was still leaning on his rod in the dome. The jinn went on working and looking at him. Then Allah, the Great and Almighty, commanded the wood worm to eat Solomon's rod. ‘When he fell down, the jinn came to know plainly that if they had known the unseen, they would not have tarried in abasing torment.’”293

Jacob's meeting with Joseph

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, reported a story about Jacob's meeting with Joseph. He, peace be on him, said: “Jacob said to his sons: ‘On this day of yours, you and all your family should go to Joseph.’ Jacob and Joseph's aunt, the mother of Yamin, were with them. Then, they headed for Egypt with happiness. It took them nine days to get there. When they met Joseph in the King's house, Joseph embraced his father, kissed him, and wept. Then, he seated his father and his aunt on the king's throne. Then, he entered his room. He darkened the eyelids with kohl, perfumed himself, wore the royal uniform, and went out. When they saw him, they bowed down for him. Then, they thanked Allah for that. Throughout those twenty years, Joseph did not darken the eyelids with kohl nor did he perfumed himself. He did that when Allah gathered him with his father and his brothers.”294

The Period of Jacob's Life in Egypt

Muhammad b. Muslim asked Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, about the period of Jacob's life in Egypt. So, the Imam, peace be on him, replied: “Jacob lived with Joseph in Egypt for two years.”Then, Muhammad b. Muslim asked the Imam: “Who was the proof of Allah in the earth- Jacob or Joseph?”The Imam, peace be on him, replied: “Jacob was the proof, and Joseph was the king. When Jacob died, Joseph put him in a coffin and carried him to the land of Sham. He buried him at Jerusalem. Then, Joseph became the proof after Jacob.”Moreover, Muhammad asked the Imam: “Was Joseph an apostle and a prophet?”The Imam replied: “Yes. Do you not hear these words of Allah, the Great and Almighty: ‘Indeed, Joseph had brought you the clear proofs before.’”295

This is some of what was reported on the authority of al-Baqir, peace be on him, concerning the conditions and lives of the prophets.

On the Prophet's Life

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, reported many things about the affairs of the Prophet's life. The following are some of them:

The Prophet borrowed Weapons from Safwan

Al-Tabari reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, who said: “Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, decided to advance against Hozan to fight with them. He was told that Safwan b. Umayya, who was a polytheist then, had breast-plates and weapons. So, he sent for him. Then, he said to him: ‘O Abu Umayya, lend me these weapon of yours to meet my enemy with them tomorrow.’ Safwan asked: ‘Muhammad, do you want to take them by force?’ ‘Rather, a gratuitous loan,’ replied the Prophet. ‘There is no harm in this,’ said Safwan. So, Safwan gave the Prophet a hundred breast-plates with equivalent weapons.”They (the narrators) claimed that Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, asked Safwan to carry them for him. So, the latter did that.

Imam Abu Ja‘far said: “One year passed. However, the loan was guaranteed.”296 The Imam concluded a jurisprudential rule from this. That is the loan should be guaranteed when it is misused. So, whoever borrows a thing, he should guarantee the thing till he returns it to its owner.

Khalid marched to Bani Judhayma

Ibn Hisham reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, who said: “When Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, conquered Mecca, he sent Khalid b. al-Walid to bani (the sons of) Judhayma. He sent him to summon them to believe in Allah, not to fight with them. However, Khalid attacked them. They were afraid of him, so they carried their weapons. When Khalid saw that, he said to them: ‘Lay down your weapons.’ The people trusted him, so they did that. However, Khalid betrayed them. He ordered them to be tied. Then, he killed some of them. When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family heard of that, he was full of sadness. Then, he raised his hands to supplicate, saying:

“O Allah, I disown what Khalid has done!

“Then, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, summoned Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, and said to him: Go to those people. Solve their problem. Put under your feet the order of those who lived before Islam.’ Thus, ‘Ali went to them. He had money with him. He paid blood money. He recompensed them for their damaged properties to the container in which the dog licked. Still, he had some money with him. Then, he asked them: ‘Is there any rest of blood money or property not paid to you?’ ‘No’, they replied. However, he gave them the rest of money, and then he came back to Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. He told him about that. So, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said to him: ‘You are right.’ Then, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, stood in the direction of the Kaaba, raising his hands and saying: ‘O Allah, I disown what Khalid has done.’ He repeated that three times.”297

The Life of Imam ‘Ali

In many of his traditions, Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, talked about the life of his grandfather, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, the pioneer of fairness and justice. The following is one of his traditions:

Zarara b. A‘yun reported on the authority of his father, on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, who said: “When ‘Ali, peace be on him, performed the morning prayer, he went on praying till the sun rose. When the sun rose, the poor, the needy, and other people gathered about him. Then, he taught them Islamic jurisprudence and the Quran. He appointed a time to end that assembly of his. One day, he ended his assembly and passed by a man. The man hurt his feelings with a rude word. Thus, the Imam came back (to the mosque). He went up on the pulpit. He ordered the prayer to be general. When the people gathered, he thanked Allah and praised Him, blessed His Apostle, and then he said: ‘O People, there is nothing more hateful and more harmful with Allah than the ignorance and foolishness of an Imam. He who has no preacher of his own self, Allah will not protect him. Whoever is just of his own accord, his life will increase nothing but glory. Indeed, humbleness for obeying Allah is nearer to Him than haughtiness for disobeying Him.’ Then he asked: ‘Where is the one who has already spoken?’ He (the man) was unable to deny that. Then, he said: ‘Here I am, Commander of the Faithful. If you wanted (to punish me), you would. If you forgave and pardoned (me), then you were worthy of that.’ ‘I have forgiven and pardoned (you),’ replied the Imam.”298

The Commander of the Faithful predicted the Murder of al-Husayn

Many traditions were reported on the authority of the Commander of the Faithful concerning the murder of his son, Imam Husayn, peace on him. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, reported one of those traditions. He, peace be on him, said: “‘Ali, peace be on him, delivered a sermon in Kufa. He said: ‘Question me before you lose me. By Allah, if you question me about the group (of people) that will misguide a hundred (persons) and guide a hundred (persons), I will tell you about its caller and its leader.’ Then a man rose and said: ‘Tell me the number of the hair in my head and in my beard.’ Thus, ‘Ali said: ‘By Allah, my friend (i. e., Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family) told me that there was in every hair in your head an angel cursing you, that there was in every hair in your beard a Satan deluding you, that there was in your house a lamb (baby) who would kill the grandson of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, whose name would be Sinan b. Anas al-Nakha‘i.’”299

Then, this prediction of the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, occurred. That was when this wicked person, Sinan b. Anas, was among those who killed the grandson of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.

The Characteristics of the Commander of the Faithful

Ishaq b. ‘Abd Allah b. Abu Farwah asked Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, about the characteristics of his grandfather, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. So, he, peace be on him, replied: “He was a man with intense brownness, great eyes, and a big abdomen. He was bald. He was nearer to shortness.”300

The Events of Siffin

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, reported many events about the (Battle of) Siffin. Nasr b. Muzahim, al-Tabari, b. Abu al-Haddid, and other historians reported these events on his authority. The following are some of them:

Raising the Siege from the Water

Mu‘awiya had taken his fighters and headed for Siffin before the Imam's army went there. He decided to occupy the Euphrates. He surrounded it with many fighters to prevent the Imam's fighters from drinking water. When the Imam's fighters came, they saw Mu‘awiya's fighters occupying the Euphrates. Thus, they were unable to reach it. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, reported the way how the fighters of the Imam, peace be on him, could raise the siege from the Euphrates. He, peace be on him, said: “Al-Ash‘ath called ‘Amru b. al-‘As. He said to him: ‘O Bin al-‘As, woe unto you! Let us drink water. By Allah, if you do not do that, we will fight with you.’ ‘By Allah, we will not leave the river till we fight against you. Then, our Lord will know today who is more patient.’ So, al-Ash‘ath, al-Ashter, the wise companions of Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him, along with twelve thousand fighters dismounted from their horses. They attacked ‘Amru, Abu al-A‘war, and the Syrians who were with them. They removed them from the river to the extent that the horses of ‘Ali's fighters entered the water.”301

Worth mentioning, when ‘Ali's fighters recaptured the river, they wanted to prevent the Syrians from drinking water. However, the Imam did not permit them to do that. Rather, he treated the Syrians kindly and let them drink water.

Mu‘awiya and ‘Amru b. al-‘As

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, narrated a talk that took place between Mu‘awiya and ‘Amru b. al-‘As. He, peace be on him, said: “Mu‘awiya asked ‘Amru b. al-‘As to prepare the ranks of the Syrians. Then, ‘Amru said to him: ‘I must rule when Allah kills b. Abi Talib and the country yields to you.’ ‘Are you not the ruler of Egypt?’ asked Mu‘awiya. ‘Will Egypt be a recompense for the garden? Will the murder of b. Abi Talib be the recompense for the ever lasting torment or the fire?’ asked ‘Amru. ‘Abu ‘Abd Allah, you shall have your rule when (‘Ali) b. Abi Talib is killed. Speak slowly. Do not let the people hear your words,’ replied Mu‘awiya. So, ‘Amru said to the Syrians: ‘Arrange your ranks. Lend Your Lord your skulls. Ask Allah, your Lord, for the help. Fight against the enemy of Allah and your enemy. Kill them. May Allah kill and destroy them. And be patient. Indeed the earth belongs to Allah. He causes such of

His servants to inherit it as He pleases. And the final result will be for the pious.’”302

With deception and error Mu‘awiya was able to fight with Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, the pioneer of wisdom and justice in the earth.

Imam ‘Ali delivered a Sermon at Siffin

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, reported the sermon which his grandfather, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, delivered at Siffin. In the sermon, Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him, talked about the high moral standards of the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and the heavy loss that inflicted mankind when he, may Allah bless him and his family, died. In the sermon, the Imam also talked about his rank and position with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. Then, in it, he summoned the Muslims to wage holy war against his enemy, Mu‘awiya b. Abi Sufyan. The following is the text of the sermon:

“Praise belongs to Allah for His overabundant blessings for all His creatures whether they are righteous or the sinners, and for His strong proofs over his creatures whether they are obedient or disobedient. If He has mercy (on them), then it is out of His bounty and favor. If He tortures (them), that is out of what their hands earn. Indeed, Allah does not wrong the servants. I thank Him for the good tribulation and the manifest blessings. I ask Him to help us with what has befallen us from the affairs of here and the hereafter. I believe in Him and trust in Him. Allah is sufficient as a protector. I bear witness that there is no god apart from Allah, Who is unique and without partners. I also bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Apostle. He sent him with guidance and the religion of truth. He settled him for that. He (the Prophet) was worthy of that. He chose him over all the creatures to convey His message. He made him as a mercy from Him over His creatures. He (the Prophet) was, as His knowledge of him, compassionate and merciful. He was the noblest of all the creatures of Allah in lineage, the most handsome of them in sight, the most generous of them in the soul, the most obedient of them to the parents, the most clinging of them to blood relations, the best of them in knowledge, the heaviest of them in clemency, the most faithful of them (in fulfilling) the promise and the most honest of them in agreement. Neither a Muslim nor an unbeliever had a complaint against him. Rather he was wronged, and he forgave. He was powerful, and he pardoned and forgave till he, may Allah bless him and his family, passed away. He was obedient to Allah. He was patient toward what had inflicted him. He struggled for Allah as His is due till certitude came to him. Thus, his departure was the greatest disaster that befell all the people of the earth, whether they were righteous or sinners. Then he left among you Allah's Book that enjoins you to obey Allah and prohibits you from disobeying him. Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, made a covenant for me. So, I will not deviate from the covenant.

Now, you are present before your enemies. You know that their leader is a hypocrite, the son of a hypocrite. He leads them to the fire. The cousin of your Prophet is with you and among you. He guides you to the garden and summons you to obey your Lord. He has put into effect the sunna (practices) of your Prophet. He who prays before every praise (of Allah) is not equal. No one preceded me in prayer with Allah's Apostle. I am from the people who took part (at the Battle) of Badr. Mu‘awiya is a released prisoner (of war), the son of a released prisoner. By Allah you are right, and they are wrong. The people have gathered for their falsehood. Do not separate yourselves from your right. So, their falsehood will overcome your right. ‘Fight them. Allah will punish them by your hands.’ If you do not do that, Allah will punish them by the hands of other than you. So, his companions answered him, saying: ‘O Commander of the Faithful, lead us to our enemy and your enemy, if you want that. By Allah, we want no one other than you. We will die with you and live with you.’ So, he (Imam ‘Ali) said to them: ‘By Him in whose hand is my soul, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, looked at me before I hit (the enemies) with my sword. So, he said: ‘There is no sword but Dhu al-Faqar. There is no youngman but ‘Ali.’ Then, he said: ‘O ‘Ali, your position to me is as Aaron had with Moses, except that there will be no Prophet after me. O ‘Ali, your life and your death will be with me.’ ‘By Allah, I have never told lies nor has (anyone) accused me of lying. I have never gone astray (nor anyone) has misled me. I have never forgotten what he has entrusted to me. I say it word by word. I know my Lord clearly. For I follow the clear path.’”303

The Day of al-Harrir

The Day of al-Harrir was the greatest of all the days of (the Battle of) Siffin, and the most critical of them in the situation. The historians have called it the Greatest Day. For the fire of war burnt, and its heat became intense on that day. So, fright and death spread over the people. Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, talked about that day, saying: “When the Greatest Day came, Mu‘awiya's companions said: ‘By Allah, we will not leave the field till we die or Allah grants us victory.’ And the companions of ‘Ali, peace be on him, said: ‘We will not leave the field till we die or Allah grants us victory.’ So, they started fighting early in the morning on a day. It was a long hot day. They threw arrows at each other to the extent that there were no more arrows. They stabbed each other to the extent that the spears were broken. Then the people dismounted their horses. They advanced against each other. Then they hit each other to the extent that the swords were broken. Then the knights fought against each other with swords and iron bars. So, the listeners heard nothing except the mumble of the people, the clashing of the swords at the field, and the biting of the mouths. Then, the sun was eclipsed. The fighting was intense. The standards and banners got lost. The time of four prayers passed. No on prostrated himself in worship to Allah, except saying ‘Allah is Great’. So, during those critical moments, the old men shouted: ‘O People of Arabia, fear Allah regarding the women and the girls.’”

When Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, reached these words, he wept.304 For those painful memories, whose awe melted the hearts, moved him. He remembered the disaster of his grandfather, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, when he was afflicted by that traitorous group of people who spared no effort to eradicate Islam, to remove its achievements, and to renew the pre-Islamic practices in the earth.

Among the ugliest tricks in human history was that of ‘Amru b. al-‘As, who raised copies of the Quran. Rawahost Milar regard it as the ugliest and the worst trick in human history.305 Imam ‘Ali's army was about to win a victory. Mu‘awiya's army suffered from heavy causalities, so Mu‘awiya was about to escape. However, he asked the advice of ‘Amru b. al-‘As. The latter advised the former to raise copies of the Quran. Al-Ash‘ath b. Qays, who was a wicked cunning person in the army of Imam ‘Ali, cooperated with ‘Amru b. al-‘As to weave this trick.

Imam Abu Ja‘far talked about the number of the copies of the Quran. He, peace be on him, said: “They received ‘Ali carrying a hundred copies (of the Quran). Each wing (of their army) carried two hundred copies. So, all the copies were five hundred.”

Moreover, a group of Mu‘awiya's army called at the Iraqi camp: “O People of Arabia, keep Allah in view in respect of the women, the girls, and the children. Tomorrow, beware of the Romans, the Turkish, and the Persians when you perish. Keep Allah in view in regard of your religion. This is Allah's Book between you and us.”Imam ‘Ali was displeased with that trick. So, he said: “O Allah, You know that they do not want the Book. So, judge between us and them. Indeed, You are the manifest true judge.”306

This trickery aborted the victory which Imam ‘Ali's army won. Furthermore, it led the Imam's army to discords. For example, al-Ash‘ath b. Qays was about to mutiny against the government of the Imam. However, the realized that critical situation. Thus, he showed matchless slowness and patience. Accordingly, he unwillingly commanded his fighters to stop fighting. In the mean time, he commanded Malik al-Ashtar, the leader of his military forces, to withdraw from the battle field, while he was about to win the final victory.

The Document of the Arbitration

Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him, was forced to accept the arbitration that saved the government of Mu‘awiya and toppled the government of Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him. The leaders of the discord in the army of Imam ‘Ali competed with the Syrians to write the conditions to end the battle for a time so that the two arbitrators would meet. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, reported the text of the document. Then the historians reported it on his authority. The following is the text of the document:

“In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, Mu‘awiya b. Abi Sufyan, the judge of ‘Ali b. Abi Talib over the Iraqis, those who are with him from his followers (Shi‘ites) from among the believers and the Muslims, the judge of Mu‘awiya b. Abi Sufyan over the Syrians, and those who are with him from his followers (Shi‘ites) from among the believers and the Muslims have agreed on this:

“We have yielded to the decree of Allah, the Exalted, and His Book. Nothing brings us together but He. Indeed, the Book of Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, is among us, from its beginning to its end. We enliven what the Quran enlivens and deaden what the Quran deadens. If the two arbitrators find that in the Book of Allah, they should follow it. If they do not find it (in the Quran), they should follow the unified just Sunna. The two arbitrators are ‘Abd Allah b. Qays and ‘Amru b. al-‘As. The two arbitrators will impose a commitment on ‘Ali, Mu‘awiya, and the two armies that they (the two arbitrators) must be two custodians over their souls, and their properties. The community must support them.”307

The two parties signed this document that did not prevent Mu‘awiya from requesting the blood of ‘Uthman, which he used as means to mutiny and aggress against the government of Imam ‘Ali. Surely, Mu‘awiya was indifferent to ‘Uthman. For ‘Uthman asked Mu‘awiya for help when the revolutionists besieged his house. However, Mu‘awiya kept silent till ‘Uthman was killed. When the latter was killed, the former used his murder as means to achieve his ambitions.

With this, we will end our talk about the narrations of Imam Abu Ja‘far regarding the events (of the Battle of), that made the Muslims liable to great disasters and misfortunes and threw them into great evil.

The Tragedy of Imam Husayn

The Muslims were very afraid of the tragedy of Imam Husayn, peace be on him. For, through this tragedy, the members of the Umayyad Army violated the sacredness of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, when they killed his grandsons and attacked his family. They intended to eradicate the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. They committed the ugliest crimes against them. People have never seen such crimes throughout the stages of this life.

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, was a young man when he attended the Battle of Karbala'. Thus, he saw those great disasters that befell the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. The Umayyads drew the events of that tragedy into his inner self. So, he and his father, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, remembered them throughout their lives.

The Muslim scholars and narrators came to Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. They questioned him about the tragedy of Karbala'. So, he, peace be on him, supplied them with all details about it and they wrote them down.

Thus, the scholars at that time wrote about sixty thousand books on his authority. All the books have the title (Maqtal al-Husayn).

The Narration of ‘Ammar al-Dihni

Al-Tabari reported that ‘Ammar al-Dihni came to Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, to question him about the murder of al-Husayn and he, peace be on him, answered him. Al-Tabari reported the narration in a disorderly manner. However, we have organised the paragraphs of the narration. We have mentioned some ideas about it at the end. The following is the text of the narration:

[Zakariya b. Yahya al-Darir informed me. He said: Ahmed b. Janab al-Musaysi, who was given the kunna of Abu al-Walid, informed us. He said: Khalid b. Yazid b. Asad b. ‘Abd Allah al-Qasri informed us. He said: ‘Ammar al-Dihni informed me. He said: I (i. e., ‘Ammar al-Dihni) said to Abu Ja‘far: Tell me about the murder of al-Husayn as if I had been present with him.]

He (i. e., Abu Ja‘far), peace be on him, said: “Mu‘awiya died. Al-Walid b. ‘Uttba b. Abi Sufyan was (a governor) over Medina. He sent for al-Husayn b. ‘Ali. He (al-Husayn) said to him: ‘Delay me and be kind (to me).’ So, he delayed him. Then he (al-Husayn) went to Mecca. Then, the Kufans came to him. They said to him: ‘We will sacrifice our souls for you. We will not attend the Friday (prayer) with the governor. So, come to us.’ Al-Nu‘man b. Bashir al-Ansari was (the governor) of Kufa. Al-Husayn sent for his cousin, Muslim b. ‘Aqil b. Abi Talib, and said to him: ‘Go to Kufa and think about what they have written to me. If it was true, I would go to them.’ So, Muslim walked on till he arrived in Medina. He took two guides there. They led him through the desert. They were so thirsty that one of the guides died. So, Muslim wrote to al-Husayn to ask permission to return. Thus, al-Husayn wrote to him: ‘Go to Kufa.’ Then, Muslim walked on till he arrived in Kufa. There he stopped at a man called b. ‘Awsaja.308 When the Kufans heard of his coming, they went to him to pledge allegiance to him. Then twelve thousand persons pledged allegiance to him. A man from those who were inclined to Yazid b. Mu‘awiya rose and said to al-Nu‘man b. al-Munzir: ‘You are weak.’ So, al-Nu‘man said to him: ‘To be weak and to obey Allah is more lovable with me than to be strong and disobey Allah.’

“So, the man wrote to Yazid about the words of al-Nu‘man. Thus, Yazid summoned a retainer of his called Sargon. Yazid used to seek his advice. He told him about the story. Thus, Sargon said to: ‘Would you accept (the advice) from Mu‘awiya if he was alive?’ ‘Yes,’ replied Yazid. ‘Then, accept (it) from me. No one can (govern) Kufa except ‘Ubayd Allah b. Zyyad. So, appoint him over it,’ advised Sargon. Yazid was indignant with ‘Ubayd Allah. He tried to remove him from Basrah. So, he wrote to him to please him. Then, he appointed him governor over Kufa and Basrah. Then, he wrote to him to look for Muslim b. ‘Aqil to kill him if he found him.

“‘Ubayd Allah and the prominent figures from Basrah came to Kufa. He was veiled. When he passed by an assembly of the Kufans, he said: ‘Peace be on you.’ ‘And on you be peace, son of the daughter of the Apostle of Allah,’ they said. They thought that he was al-Husayn b. ‘Ali, peace be on them. When he stopped at the palace, he summoned a retainer of his. He gave him three hundred thousand (dirhams) and said to him: ‘Go and look for this person to whom the Kufans are pledging allegiance. Tell him that you are from Hams and that you have come for this affair and that you give him this sum of money to be strong.’ So, the retainer looked for Muslim b. ‘Aqil. At last he met an old man from Kufa, who supported the pledge of allegiance (to Muslim). He asked the old man about Muslim. So, the old man said to him: ‘Your meeting with me has pleased me and it has displeased me. As for that which has pleased me from that, it is what Allah has guided you to. As for that which has displeased me, it is that our affair has not become strong yet. Then the old man led the retainer to Muslim. Thus, the retainer handed the sum of money to Muslim and pledged allegiance to him. Then he came back to ‘Ubayd Allah and told him about that.

“When ‘Ubayd Allah b. Zyyad came, Muslim left the house where he was and moved to the house of Hani b. ‘Urwa al-Muradi. Then, Muslim wrote to al-Husayn b. ‘Ali, peace be on him. He told him that twelve thousand persons from Kufa had pledged allegiance to him. Besides he ordered him to come (to Kufa). ‘Ubayd Allah said to the notables from the Kufa: ‘Why did Hani b. ‘Urwa not come with those who came to me?’ So, Muhammad b. al-Ash‘ath and a group of his people went to Hani. While Hani was standing at the door of his house, they came and said to him: ‘The Emir has mentioned you and found you slow. So, set off to him.’ They insisted on him till he rode with them. He walked till he came to ‘Ubayd Allah. Shurayh, the judge, was with ‘Ubayd Allah. When ‘Ubayd Allah looked at Hani, he said to Shurayh: ‘The fool's legs have brought him to you.’ Hani greeted ‘Ubayd Allah. However, ‘Ubayd Allah asked him: ‘O Hani, where is Muslim?’ ‘I do not know,’ replied Hani. So, ‘Ubayd Allah ordered his retainer, who handed the dirhams (to Muslim), to come out. When the retainer saw Hani, he affirmed him. So, Hani said: ‘May Allah make the Emir righteous. By Allah, I did not invite him to come to my house. However, he came and stopped at me.’ ‘Bring him,’ commanded ‘Ubayd Allah. ‘By Allah, if he was under my own feet, I would not raise them from him,’ answered Hani. ‘Bring him nearer to me,' commanded ‘Ubayd Allah. So, he was brought nearer to him. Then, ‘Ubayd Allah hit him on the eyebrow and split it. Hani tried to draw the sword of a police-man. However, he was prevented from that. ‘Allah has made your blood lawful,' said ‘Ubayd Allah. Then he ordered him to be imprisoned by the palace.”309

After this al-Tabari reported a speech regarding the details of the event. Then he mentioned the speech of Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, who said: “While Hani was in prison, Madhhaj (the tribe of Hani) heard of that. Suddenly, ‘Ubayd Allah heard noise at the gate of the palace. ‘What is this?' he asked. ‘Madhhaj,' they answered. So, ‘Ubayd Allah said to Shurayh: ‘Go out to them and tell them that he has imprisoned him to question him.' Then he sent a spy after Shurayh to hear his words. Shurayh passed by Hani. So, Hani said to him: ‘O Shurayh, fear Allah. ‘Ubayd Allah will kill me. ‘However, Shurayh walked on till he stopped at the gate of the palace and said to (Madhhaj): 'There is no harm on Hani. The Emir (‘Ubayd Allah) has imprisoned him to question him. ‘So, Madhhaj said: ‘He is truthful. There is no harm on your leader. ‘Thus, they scattered. Then Muslim heard of that. So, he declared his slogan. Thus, four thousand Kufans gathered around him. Then he placed his vanguard at the head and mobilized the right and the left wings (of his fighters). He was in the middle. Then he marched to ‘Ubayd Allah. For this reason ‘Ubayd Allah sent for leading Kufans. He gathered them around him in the palace. When Muslim arrived at the gate of the palace, the leading Kufans spoke to their tribes and held them back. Then Muslim's companions slipped away. Thus, only five hundred of them remained with him. When it got dark, they slipped away too.

“When Muslim found himself alone, he frequented in the streets. He saw a door. He knocked the door. A woman came out. He said to the woman: ‘Give me water.' She gave him water. She entered and remained for awhile, and then she came out. She saw Muslim sitting at the door. She said to him: ‘O Servant of Allah, indeed your sitting is doubtful. Stand up.' ‘I am Muslim b. ‘Aqil. Have you a shelter?' asked Muslim. ‘Yes,' she replied. Her son was the retainer of Muhammad b. al-Ash‘ath. So, he went to Muhammad and told him. Then Muhammad went to ‘Ubayd Allah and told him. So, ‘Ubayd Allah commanded ‘Ubayd Allah b. Hurayth al-Makhzumi, the commander of the police, and ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Muhammad b. al-Ash‘ath to arrest Muslim. Unexpectedly, they surrounded Muslim in the house. When Muslim knew of that, he went out drawing his sword. He fought them. Then ‘Abd al-Rahman gave him security. He took him by the hand and brought him to ‘Ubayd Allah. ‘Ubayd Allah ordered Muslim to be taken to the top of the Palace. There Muslim was beheaded and his body was thrown down to the people. Then ‘Ubayd Allah ordered Hani to be taken to al-Kanasa. Hani was hanged there. In this connection their poet said:

If you do not know what death is,

then look at Hani and (Muslim) b. ‘Aqil in the market- place.

The command of the governor struck them (down).

and they became legends for those who travel on every road.

Is Asma' riding in safety a mount which moves at walking place

while Madhhajj urged him to seek vengeance?310

Then al-Tabari mentioned other narrations on the authority of Abi Mukhnif and the like regarding the details of the events. After that, he said: [Khalid b. Yazid b. ‘Abd Allah al-Qasri in formed us. He said: ‘Ammar al-Dihni in formed us. He said: I (i. e., ‘Ammar al-Dihni) to Abu Ja‘far tell me about the murder al-Husayn as if I had attended it. He (Abu Ja‘far) said:]

“Then al-Husayn b. ‘Ali came according to the letter which Muslim b. ‘Aqil sent to him. When there were three miles between him and al-Qadisiyah (a city in Iraq), al-Hur b. Yazid al-Timimi met him and asked him: ‘Where do you want to go?' ‘I want to go to that city,' replied al-Husayn. ‘Go back. I have left behind me nothing good for you,' said al-Hur. Al-Husayn tried to return. The brothers of Muslim b. ‘Aqil were with him. So, they said: ‘By Allah, we will not return till we have taken vengeance or we are killed.' ‘There is no good in life after you,' said al-Husayn. Then al-Husayn marched, so the foremost horses of ‘Ubayd Allah met him. When he saw that, he went to Karbala'. He dismounted and camped at a land full of reeds to face (his enemy) in one direction. His companions were forty-five knights and a hundred men. ‘Ubayd Allah b. Zyyad had appointed ‘Umar b. Sa‘d b. Abi Waqqas a governor over Ray. He said to him: ‘I want you to fight this man on behalf of me.' ‘Leave me,' said ‘Umar b. Sa‘d. However, ‘Ubayd Allah refused to leave him. ‘Give time for this night,' said ‘Umar b. Sa‘d. Thus, ‘Ubayd Allah delayed him. Then, ‘Umar thought of his order. When he entered upon the morning, he went to ‘Ubayd Allah. He was satisfied with what he had been ordered. So, ‘Umar b. Sa‘d headed for al-Husayn. When he came to al-Husayn, al-Husayn said to him: ‘Choose one of three: either you leave me, then I will go where I came from or you leave me, so I will go to Yazid or you leave, so I will go to the border cities. ‘Umar accepted that. Then ‘Ubayd Allah wrote to him: ‘No, he must put his hand in mine.' Al-Husayn said to him: ‘Ten young men from my family (have been killed).' Then an arrow came and hit his son who was on his lap. He began rubbing the blood from him and saying ‘O Allah, judge between us and the people who summoned us to support us and then they killed us.'

Then he ordered a garment to be brought to him. He tore the garment and wore it. Then he went out with his sword. He, peace be on him, fought till he was killed. A man from Madhhajj killed him. The man cut off his head and sent it to ‘Ubayd Allah, saying:

Fill my stirrup with silver or gold,

for I have killed the veiled king.

I have killed the best of all people in father and mother,

and the best in lineage.

“Then ‘Ubayd Allah ordered the man to send the head to Yazid. Abu Barza al-Aslami was with Yazid. When the head was put before Yazid, he began hitting the head on the mouth with his cane, and reciting.

“We will split the skull of proud men (who came) against us; they were very disobedient and oppressive.

“So, Abu Barza said to him: ‘Raise your cane. By Allah, I saw Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, kiss him on the mouth.’ Then ‘Umar b. Sa‘d sent to ‘Ubayd Allah al-Husayn's womenfolk and children. No one of the family of al-Husayn b. ‘Ali, peace be on him, remained alive except his womenfolk and an ill boy. Thus, ‘Ubayd Allah ordered the boy to be killed. So, Zaynab threw herself on him and said: ‘By Allah, you will not kill him till you kill me.’ Thus, ‘Ubayd Allah felt pity for her, and then he left the boy.

“Then ‘Ubayd Allah prepared them and sent them to Yazid. So, Yazid gathered his Syrian followers. They entered and congratulated him on the victory. Then a man of them called Azraq Ahmar looked at a female servant of their womenfolk and said: ‘O Commander of the Faithful, give me this (female servant).' So, Zaynab said: ‘No, by Allah, you have no dignity nor him till he comes out of the religion of Allah.' Al-Azraq repeated that again. Thus, Yazid said to him: ‘Then Yazid prepared them and sent them to Medina. When they entered Medina, a woman from the family of ‘Abd al-Mutalib received them. The woman was weeping and saying:

What would you say if the Prophet asked you: ‘What have you,

the last of the (religious) communities, done

with my offspring and my family after my departure from them?

They are prisoners and slain and have been stained with their own blood.

What sort of reward is this for my advice, that you

should oppose me by doing evil to my blood relations?’311

With this the narration of ‘Ammar al-Dihni about the tragedy of Karbala' on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, has come to an end.

Criticisms

This narration has faced many criticisms. The following are some of them:

1. ‘Ammar al-Dihni asked Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, to tell him in detail about the murder of Imam Husayn, peace be on him, as if he been present with him. As for the answer, it is brief. Many events have not been mentioned. Most stages of that tragedy have been summarized. Thus, this answer does not match the question which Ammar asked to get detailed information.

2. In this narration, it has been mentioned that Imam Husayn, peace be on him, asked ‘Umar b. Sa‘d for three affairs when he met him. He asked him:

A. to let him go back to Medina (Yathrib).

B. to let him go to Yazid.

C. to let him go to the border cities.

Certainly, the last two requests are incorrect. For, if Imam Husayn, peace be on him, had mentioned them, the Umayyad Army would not have fought against him. ‘Aqba b. Sam‘an accompanied the Imam from Medina to Mecca, and then to Iraq. He was with him till he was killed. Concerning the fabrication of this narration, he said:

“I accompanied al-Husayn from Medina to Mecca, and then to Iraq. I did not separate myself from him till he was killed. I heard all his words. I did not hear from him what the people hand down. He did not say that he wanted to put his hand in Yazid's hand nor did he say that he wanted to go to the border cities. He did not say that in Medina nor in Mecca nor in Iraq nor at his camp. He never said that till he was killed. Yes, I heard him say: ‘I will go to this wide land to wait for what the people reach.'”312

As this narration has these items, then we cannot attribute it to Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him. It is possible that some items have been added to this narration and some were omitted from it. Thus, it is disorderly. Therefore no one can rely on it.

With this we end our talk about the traditions reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far concerning the Prophet's life and all the events that occurred at the early time of Islam.

Imam al-Baqir's Valuable Commandments

Many commandments were reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him. Some of them were to his children; some of them were to his companions. They are full of noble values and high ideals. They are rich in rules of conduct and good guidance that protects man from bad practices and deviation from the truth. The following are his commandments:

His Commandments to his Son al-Sadiq

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, supplied his son al-Sadiq with a group of valuable commandments. The following are some of them:

1. He, peace be on him, said: “O My little son, indeed, Allah has hidden three things in three things. He has hidden his pleasure in His obedience. So, do not scorn anything of obedience. Perhaps His pleasure is in it. He has hidden His wrath in His disobedience. So, do not scorn anything of disobedience. Perhaps His wrath is in it. And He has hidden His friends among His creatures. So, do not scorn anyone. Perhaps he is a friend.”313

These commandments are full of high moral standards. They urge people to obey Allah. They warn them intensely from disobeying Him. Moreover, they urge them to respect each other.

2. Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, related to Sufyan al-Thawri some of his father's commandments. He said to him: “O Sufyan, my father ordered me (to do) three, and prevented me (from doing) three. Among what he said to me is: ‘O My little son, he who makes friends with a bad friend is not safe. Whoever enters into evil affairs is accused. He who does not restrain his tongue is regretful. Then he recited to me:

(If you) habituate your tongue to good words,

you will have a high rank with it.

It is authorized to take the good and the bad

(things) you have established for it.

So, think of the way to habituate it.'”314

These commandments are among the most wonderful maxims, and among the best commandments of the righteous to their children. For they have all the necessities of the rules of conduct and virtues.

His Commandments to one of his Children

Imam al-Baqir gave commandments to one of his children. They are as follows: “O My little son, when Allah bestows a blessing on you, say: praise belongs to Allah. When an intense affair befalls you, then say: There is neither power nor might but through Allah. When your daily bread is slow (in coming) for you, then say: I seek Allah's forgiveness.”315

His Commandments to ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz

When ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz became caliph, he asked Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, to give him useful commandments to manage his government. So, the Imam, peace be on him, said: “I advise you to fear Allah, and to regard the young one of the Muslims as your son, the middle one of them as your brother, and the old one of them as your father. So, have mercy on your son, treat your brother kindly, and obey your father. When you do a favor, then go on (doing) it.”316

‘Umar admired this maxim, saying: “By Allah, you have gathered things. If we put these things into effect and Allah helps us with them, good will continue for us, Allah willing.”317

These valuable words have brought together just political affairs. When the head of the state rules his subjects with justice and fairness and regard them as the members of his family, then the government and the people are happy and good continues for them.

His Commandments to Jabir al-Ju‘fi

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, supplied his knowledgeable student, Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju‘fi, with immortal commandments full of high moral standards and ideals through which man becomes sublime when he puts them into effect. The following are some of them:

“I commend you to (follow) five (commandments): When (people) wrong you, then do not wrong them. When they betray you, then do not betray them. When they accuse you of lying, then do not be angry. When they praise you, then do not be happy. When they dispraise you, then be patient. Think of what they say against you. If you know that what they say against you is in yourself, then do not be angry out of the truth. For to become low with Allah, the Great and Almighty, is more disastrous than to become low with the people. If you are contrary to what they say against you, then you obtain a reward while your body is not tired.

“Know that you are not our friend when you become sad when all the people of your city say that you are an evil man. If they say that you are a righteous man that should not delight you. However, you should compare yourself with Allah's Book. If you follow its way, refrain from its prohibition, wish for its arousal of an interest, and afraid of its frightening, then be steadfast and cheerful. For what (people) say against you does not harm you. If you are dissenting to the Quran, then noting of your self should deceive you. Indeed the believer should take care of himself to overcome its caprice. For he sometimes straightens its crookedness and opposes its caprice out of the love for Allah. His soul sometimes overcomes him. Then he follows his caprice. So, Allah refreshes him, and he becomes refreshed. Allah abolishes his stumble, so he remembers and resorts to repentance and fear. So, he increases in insight and knowledge, for the fright in him is increased. That is because Allah says:

“Surely those who guard (against evil), when a visitation from the Satan afflicts them, they become mindful, then lo! they see.” (Al-A‘raf, 7:200)

“O Jabir, regard as much the little livelihood from Allah to be loyal to gratefulness. Regard as little your obedience to Allah to belittle yourself and to ask (Allah's forgiveness). Drive away the present evil from yourself through the present knowledge. Put into effect the present knowledge sincerely. Guard against the great heedlessness during the sincere act through the intense watchfulness. Bring the intense watchfulness through the truthful fear. Be careful of the hidden adornment through the present life and beware of the rashness of caprice through the guidance of reason. Stop during the overcome of caprice through seeking knowledge. Save the good deeds for Judgment Day. Take the field of satisfaction through avoiding greediness. Remove the great greediness through preferring satisfaction (to it). Bring the sweetness of asceticism through the shortness of hope. Sever the means of greediness through the coolness of despair. Close up the way of conceit through knowing the soul. Get to the rest of the soul through soundness of the authorization. Seek the rest of the body through giving rest to the soul. Come to the rest of the soul through making few mistakes. Seek the mercy of the heart through praising (Allah) very much in private.

Bring the light of the soul through the continuity of sadness. Remain wary of Iblis through the truthful fear (of Allah). Beware of the false hope, for it throws into the truthful fear. Adorn yourself for Allah, the Great and Almighty, through honesty in acts. Show love to him through the quick change. Be careful of postponement, for it is a sea in which the perished drown. Be cautious of heedlessness, for the cruelty of the heart is in it. Remain wary of slowness in what you have no excuse, for the regretful resort to it (the excuse). Recall the past sins through the intense regret and asking (Allah's) forgiveness very much. Seek Allah's mercy and forgiveness through the good repetition (of the past sins).

Seek the help (of Allah) against the good repetition through the sincere supplication and whispered prayer in the darkness. Reach the great gratefulness through regarding the little livelihood as much and regarding obedience as little. Bring the increase of blessings through the great gratefulness. Make use of the great gratefulness through fearing the vanishing of blessings. Seek the continuity of glory through deadening greediness. Push away the abasement of greediness through the glory of despair. Bring the honor of despair through aspiration. Supply yourself with (provisions) from this world through the shortness of hope. Hasten to seize the purpose during the possibility of the opportunity. There is no possibility like the past days with the soundness of the bodies. Be careful not to trust the dishonest, for evil has violence as the violence of food.

“Know that there is no knowledge like seeking safety, no safety like the safety of the heart, no reason like opposing the desire, no fear like the protective fear, no hope like the helping hope, no poverty like the poverty of the heart, no riches like the riches of the soul, no power like the victory over caprice, no light like the light of certitude, no certitude like your belittling the world, no knowledge like your knowledge of yourself, no blessing like health, no health like the assistance of success, no honor like aspiration, no asceticism like the shortness of hope, no desire like the competition for the ranks, no justice like equity, no aggression like injustice, no injustice like following caprice, no obedience like performing the obligations, no fear like sadness, no disaster like the lack of reason, no lack of reason like the littleness of certitude, no littleness of certitude like the loss of fear (of Allah), no loss of fear like the littleness of sadness for the loss of fear, no disaster like your disdaining the sin and your satisfaction with the condition in which you are, no virtue like jihad, no jihad like striving against caprice, no power like restraining anger, no offense is like the love of eternity, and no abasement like the abasement of greediness. Beware of negligence during the possibility of the opportunity, for it is the field that brings about loss to its people.”318

These wonderful commandments full of valuable maxims are proofs for the Imamate of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. They have illuminated a great part of his talents and genius. If he had nothing except these commandments, they would be sufficient evidence for his greatness and his limitless scientific abilities. For the Imam considered carefully the depth of the soul, understood it thoroughly, and analyzed its dimensions. Thus, he knew the psychological diseases and catastrophes that afflict man.

Indeed man has been afflicted by ignorance, conceit, haughtiness, greediness, avarice, long hope, and the like. Surely, all these diseases urges man to sink into offenses and sins. So, he deviates from the right path and straight behavior. The Imam, peace be on him, studied these diseases and prescribed decisive remedies for them. If man puts into effect these commandments, he will be ideal and educated. Moreover, he will protect his soul and cling to his Creator to whom he will return. Were it not for lengthiness, we would explain these commandments in detail and indicate the maxims and secrets in them.

His Commandments to a Muslim

A Muslim came to Imam al-Baqir. The Muslim asked the Imam to give him some commandments to follow. So, the Imam, peace be on him, advised him, saying: “Prepare your necessary things, offer your provisions, and be a custodian over your soul.”319

Surely, the Imam led the Muslim to what approached him to Allah and secured safety for him in the immortal abode. If man prepares his necessary things, he will secure his religion and the hereafter.

His Commandments to one of his Companions

One of the companions of the Imam, peace be on him, wanted to travel. So, the Imam, peace be on him, supplied him with these valuable commandments. He said to him:

“Do not walk bare-footed. Do not dismount from your horse at night to relieve nature unless your feet are in the sandals. Do not urinate into a crack. Do not taste or smell a plant unless you know what it is. Do not drink out of a water skin unless you know what it is in it. Be careful of the one whom you know. Do not accompany the one whom you do not know.”320

The Imam, peace be on him, advised his companion to follow health methods and moral lessons that secured for him health and safety.

As for the Imam's commandments concerning health and prevention from diseases, they are as follows:

1. The Imam advised the Muslim not to walk bare-footed. For walking without sandals makes man liable to germs that may enter his body through the pores of his feet, such as the germs that bring about Bilharzia.

2. He advised him not to dismount his horse and walk bare-footed at night to relieve nature. For he might be liable to the stings and bitings of the creatures that had hidden them selves in the earth. So, they would come and sting or bite him while he did not know.

3. He advised him not to urinate into a crack. For some deadly animals might hide themselves in the crack. Thus, they would come out and kill him.

4. He advised him not to eat any plant in the desert. For some plants might be poisonous. So, if he had eaten them, they would have poisoned him or made him ill.

5. He advised him not to drink out of the water skin unless he knew what was in it. For it might have some bad drink. So, if he had drunk it, it would have killed him or made him sick.

As for the moral lessons, they are as follows:

1. He advised him to be careful of the unknown people. He advised him not to reveal his secrets for them. He advised him to accompany them well out of fear of them. Traveling usually discovers the true nature of a person and reveals his hidden secrets. Many friends travel together. They love each other. When they come back, they curse each other. So, during traveling, the righteous person must remain wary of those whom he knows and those whom he does not know.

2. He advised him not to travel with those whom he did not know. For such a journey might cause many difficulties for him or it might cause his death. Many times, that befell travelers who traveled with those whom they did not know.

His Preaching

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, preached to his companions as the prophets preached to their communities. He warned them from the deception and delusions of the world. He enlightened them on the attack of time and the disasters of days. He summoned them to think deeply about what they would come to when they would leave the world for the dark graves and the lonely narrow spaces within the graves, where nothing would avail them except their good deeds. The following are some of his preaching:

1. He, peace be on him, said: “O People, you are targets in this world. Deaths compete with each other for you. No one of you receives a new day of his lifetime but through ending another day of his appointed time. Which meal has no lump (in the throat)? Which drink has no lump (in the throat)? Set right what you will go to with what you will depart from. As for today, it is booty. As for tomorrow, you do not know to whom it belongs. The people of the world are traveling. They will untie their baggage in (a place) other than it. Origins have left us. We are their branches. So, what is the survival of the branch after its origin?

“Where are those whose lifetimes were longer than yours, and whose desires were farther than yours? O Son of Adam, what you cannot repel, has come to you. What does not come back, has left you. So, do not number the livelihood that goes away as livelihood. You have nothing of it except the pleasure that approaches you to your death and brings you nearer to your appointed time. So, you look like the missing lover and torn blackness. So, take care of your own soul. Leave other than it. Ask Allah for help, and He will help you.”321

2. Some of his Shi‘ites came to him. He preached to them and warned them from the punishment of Allah. However, they paid no attention to his preaching. That displeased him. So, he bowed his head for a while, and then he raised it. He admonished them and preached to them again, saying:

“Surely, if part of this speech of mine came into the heart of one of you, he would be dead. Indeed you are ghosts without souls and flies without a lamp. You look like big pieces of wood clad with garments, and mutinous idols. Do you not take gold from stone? Do you not take light from the brightest light? Do you not take pearls from the sea? Take the good word from him who says it even if he does not put it into effect. That is because Allah says:

“Those who listen to the word, then follow the best of it; those are they whom Allah has guided.” (Az-Zumar, 39:18)

“O Conceited one, woe unto you! Would you not praise Him Whom you gives something perishable and He gives you something remaining? (Give) one perishable dirham for ten dirhams to a hundred fold from the All-Generous (Allah). Allah has given you a reward from Him. It is He Who feeds you, waters you, clothes you, heals you, suffices you, and protects you from those who frighten you. Who protects you by day and night, fulfills your urgent need, and tests you according to reason? It seems that you have forgotten the nights of your aches and fear. You asked Him, and He responded to you. So, He is worthy of gratefulness for His favor. However, you have forgotten Him concerning him whom He has mentioned. Woe unto you! You are a thief from among the thieves of sins. You hasten to desires and commit sins. You do that through your ignorance. It seems that you’re not under the oversight of Allah. Or it seems that Allah does not watch you.

“O Seeker of the garden, how long your sleep is! How weak your walking is! How weak your intention is! By Allah, you are invoked and wanted. O You who escape from the Fire, how quick you’re walking to it! How fast you are in earning that which will throw you into it!

“Look at those lines of graves by the yards of the houses. They (the dead) are near in their lines and their graves. However, they are far in their meeting. They lived long, and then they were ruined. They associated (with people), and then they were forced to dwell deserted places. They were tranquil, and then they were disturbed. They were hopeless, and then they passed away. Therefore, no one is near and far, far and near, living and ruined, sociable and lonely, tranquil and disturbed, inhabitant and departed, except the people of the graves.

“O Son of the three days, (I mean) your day when you were born. Your day when you will come down into your grave. And your day when you will come out (of your grave to meet) your Lord. How important this day will be! O Possessors of the admirable appearance and of thirst-quenching and kneeling camels, why do I see your bodies sound and your hearts ruined? By Allah, if you saw what you would meet and what you would come to, you would say:

“Would that we were sent back, and we would not reject the communications of our Lord and we would be of the believers.” (Al-An‘am, 6:27)

Allah, the Great and Almighty, said:

“And if they were sent back, they would certainly go back to that which they are forbidden, and most surely they are liars.” 322 323 (Al-An’aam, 6:28)

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, blamed these people when they turned away from his preaching and directions. He wanted to set right their behavior. He wanted them to follow righteousness to gain good here and in the hereafter. He gave them these effective preaching to make them obey Allah. For Allah is able to do good for them and to deprive them of that.

He preached to them with these lessons to which souls submit, and of which hearts are afraid.

3. Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, preached to one of his companions. He informed him of the reality of this life. He, peace be on him, said to him: “Regard the world as a house where you live, and then you leave the house. Or regard (it) as perfection you obtain in your sleep. When you wake, you find nothing of it.”324

Indeed if man thinks about the world through this correct opinion, he will be free from conceit, selfishness, greediness, and other psychological diseases that deviate him from the right path.

4. Among his preaching is this: “If the eye is bathed in tears, Allah will protect its owner from the Fire. If the tear flows down the cheek, neither miserliness nor abasement will befall its owner. There is a punishment for everything except the tear. For Allah, the Most High, forgives the seas of sins through it.”325

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, summoned Muslims to weep out of fear of Allah. Weeping is among the signs of faith. It shows the relationship between the servant and his Lord and Creator.

5. Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, said: “Man should mention death very much. If he mentions death very much, he will refrain from the world.”326

Surely, if man mentions death, he will renounce the world and refrains from its vanities and pleasures.

6. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, was asked about the most ascetic of all the people. So, he, peace be on him, replied: “It is he who pays no attention to the world.”Then he was asked: “Who is the most hopeless of all the people?”“It is he who sells the remaining (life) for the transitory (life),”he replied. Then he was asked: “Who is the most important of all the people?” “It is he who thinks that the world is not important,”he answered.327

7. He, peace be on him, preached to his companions, saying: “Allah, the Exalted, says: ‘O Son of Adam, I have done you three favors: I have concealed what your family does not know. For, if they knew it, they would not take care of you. I have given to you generously. Now, I ask you for a loan, but you have offered no good. I have had mercy on you in the third one, but you have offered no good.’”328

These are some examples of the Imam's valuable preaching. He, peace be on him, reported them to cure and educate souls. This educational phenomenon is among the most prominent values in the teachings of the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them.

The Virtue of Reason

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, talked about the virtue of reason. He denoted that it was the greatest of all things which Allah, the Exalted, created. He, peace be on him, said:

“When Allah created reason, He tested it. Then He ordered it to come forward and it came forward. Then He ordered it to go back and it went back. Then Allah said: ‘I swear by my power and majesty that no creation of Mine is dearer to me than you are, and I have made you perfect in those whom I love. Lo! To you are my orders and prohibitions. And for you are my rewards and retributions reserved.'”329

Surely, through reason, the value of man becomes high. Were it not for reason, there would be no difference between man and the animal. Reason is among the fundamental conditions necessary for performing the religious duties, as the jurists say.

Cleverness

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, praised cleverness. He regarded it as the only source of man's happiness and righteousness. He, peace be on him, said: “The goodness of all coexistence and living together is a full measure. Two thirds of the measure are cleverness. And one third of it is heedlessness. Nothing has a portion of good and righteousness except cleverness. That is because man feigns inattention to the things which he realizes and knows.”330

How wonderful this maxim is! A religious scholar commented on it, saying: “Indeed, it has gathered together all the righteousness of the affairs of the world.”

Contemplation

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, summoned Muslims to think things over. He, peace be on him, said: “Through thinking (things) over, the fruitful opinion is concluded.”331

This word is among the wonderful maxims. Man can come to a correct genuine opinion through considering things carefully. He can conclude scientific facts and inventions through contemplating things. It is impossible for him to come to that without contemplation.

Noble Manners

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, took care of spreading high moral standards among people. For they are necessary for building a Muslim society. Tradition books are full of his wise words. The following are some of them:

Kindness

As for kindness to people, it plays an important role in strengthening social ties and spreading love and friendship among people. Islam has urged Muslims to cling to kindness to people. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, said: “Continuous kindness is the best means with me.”332

The most lovable things with the Imam, peace be on him, was continuing kindness to people, for he wanted to plant love and affection in their hearts through it.

Fairness

In many of his traditions, Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, urged Muslims to treat people with fairness. Among what he said is the following:

A. He, peace be on him, said: “Indeed, Allah singles out people from among His creatures for fairness. He makes them love fairness. He makes them love fair acts. Then He orders the seekers of fairness to go to them. Then He makes it easy for them to do fairness, as He makes it easy for rain (to come down) to the arid land to enliven it and its people. Allah singles out people from among His creatures to be enemies of fairness. He makes them hate fairness. And He makes them hate fair acts. He prevents the seekers of fairness from going to them, as He prevents rain from (coming down) to the arid land to ruin it and its people. And what Allah forgives is more (than this).”333

B. He, peace be on him, said: “Fair acts prevent evil deaths (from happening). Every fair act is alms. The people of fairness here are the people of fairness in the hereafter. The people of the abominable acts here are the people of the abominable acts in the hereafter. The people of the fair acts will be the first to enter the garden. The people of the abominable acts will be the first to enter the Fire.”334

Kindness should be Equivalent to Fairness

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, ordered his companions to repay fairness with much more kindness. He, peace be on him, said: “Whoever does a favor like that which is done for him returns like for like. Whoever doubles the favor is grateful. Whoever thanks (people for their favors) is generous. He who knows that what he does is for his own interest should not find people slow in their gratefulness (for him), nor should he ask them for more love (for him). So, do not ask other than you to thank you for what you do for your own interest, and through which you protect your honor. Know that the one who asks you for a need does not honor himself when he asks you (for a need). So, honor yourself through fulfilling his need.”335

When the Imam, peace be on him, had ordered his companions to return like for like, he summoned them to do kindness for kindness. He ordered them not to ask people for a reward. For they did that for their own interests and honor.

Rules of Conduct

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, urged his companions to treat people according to the rules of social conduct. Among these rules are the following:

Cheerfulness

He, peace be on him, asked his companions to meet people with cheerfulness and good words. He, peace be on him, said: “Good words and cheerfulness lead to love and nearness to Allah. Bad words and frowning lead to hate and remoteness from Allah.”336

Treating people kindly

He, peace be on him, urged his companions to treat people kindly. He, peace be on him, said: “Say to people the best (words) which you want them to say to you. For Allah hates the one who curses and abuses and defames the believers. He detests the one who uses an obscene language and insists on begging. He loves the one who is modest, clement, and chaste.”337

Muslim’s Rights

He, peace be on him, denoted the rights which Islam legislated for the Muslim towards his Muslim brother. He, peace be on him, said: “Love your Muslim brother. Love for him what you love for yourself. Hate for him what you hate for yourself. When you are in need of (a certain thing), then ask him for that. When he asks you for (a certain need), then give (it) to him. If you spare no good for him, he will spare no good for you. If you help him, he will help you. If he is absent, then keep him during his absence. If he is present, then visit him, and respect him. For he is from you, and you are from him. If he admonishes you, then do not leave him till his hate comes to an end. If good befalls him, then thank Allah for that. If a tribulation afflicts him, then help him.”338

If Muslims put into effect these excellent teachings, they will be the strongest of all the peoples of the world, and nations will not invade them, enslave them, and plunder their wealth. However, they have deviated from these true teachings, so they have become weak humble parties. “Each party is happy with that which it has.”

Fulfilling the Muslim’s Need

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, summoned the Muslims to fulfill the needs of their Muslim brothers. He warned them from leaving them. He, peace be on him, said: “If the servant refrains from helping his Muslim brother and does not strive to fulfill his need, he will be afflicted by the need causing a sin not a reward. If the servants refrains from spending on that which pleases Allah, then he will be afflicted by spending a hundred fold on that which displeases Allah.”339

Relations with Womb Relatives

Islam takes care of the relations with womb relatives. It summons Muslims to cling to them, for they strengthen the family and lead the community to fruitful results. Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, urged the Muslims to cleave to them. He, peace be on him, said: “Relations with blood relatives increase acts, develop properties, repel the tribulation, make easy the reckoning, and postpone the fixed term (of death).”340

Alms

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, underlined alms. He mentioned the advantages which the one who gives alms obtains. He mentioned that before his companions. He, peace be on him, said: “Shall I tell you about the thing that drives away the ruler and the Satan from you?”

“Yes, tell us to do it,”replied Abu Hamza.

He, peace be on him, said: “Give alms early in the morning. For it blackens the Satan's face and breaks the greediness of the oppressive ruler on that days of yours. Love each other for Allah. Help each other with the good deeds. For such deeds put end to the Satan and the oppressive ruler. Insist on asking Allah for forgiveness, for such insistence erases sins.”341

Pity for the Orphan

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, urged the Muslims to feel pity for the orphan and to have affection for the weak. He, peace be on him, said: “Whoever has four (qualities), Allah will build a house for him in the garden. The one who shelters the orphan, has mercy on the weak, feel compassion for his parents, and treats his slave gently.”342

Good Qualities

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, talked about the good qualities that draw the servant nearer to Allah and make him far from His wrath and punishment. He, peace be on him, said: “Whoever has four (qualities), his Islam is perfect, is helped with his faith, his sins are erased, and meets Allah, the Great and Almighty, while He is pleased with him. If he has sins from his head to his feet, Allah forgives him his sins. They are: Loyalty to Allah, the truthfulness of the tongue with the people, shame of the ugly (things) with Allah and people, and good manners towards the family and people. The believer who has four (qualities), Allah, the Exalted, will make him live in the rooms on the rooms in the most high gardens. It is he who shelters the orphan, has mercy on him, and is like the father for him. It is he who has mercy on the weak, helps them, and suffices them. It is he who spends on his parents, treats them gently, and pleases them. And it is he who helps and suffices his slave.”343

The Imam, peace be on him, ordered man to do all things that drew him nearer to his Lord. He guided him to the good deeds which Allah loved, for which He rewarded him very much, and for which He did him many favors.

Silence

The Imam, peace be on him, summoned the Muslims to cling to silence. He ordered them to refrain from saying useless words. He, peace be on him, said: “Indeed, this tongue is the key of all good and evil. So, the believer must seal his tongue as he seals his gold and silver. For Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said: ‘May Allah have mercy of the believer who restrains his tongue from all evil. For that is alms from him for himself. No one is safe from sins unless he restrains his tongue.'”344

Bad Qualities and Deeds

The Imam, peace be on him, warned the Muslims from having bad qualities and abominable deeds. The following are some of the traditions reported on his authority:

1. He, peace be on him, said: “If some haughtiness enters the person's heart, some of his reason decreases.”345

He, peace be on him, said: “The haughty one quarrels with Allah about His gown.”346

Indeed, haughtiness results from ignorance and the decrease of reason. If man knows that he will be a mass of mean earth after death, he shows no haughtiness towards Allah's creatures.

2. The Imam, peace be on him, dispraised the hypocrite person, who is double-faced and double-tongued. He, peace be on him, said: “Bad is the servant who is double-faced and double-tongued. He flatters his brother when he is present. He backbites him when he is absent. He envies him brother when he is given. He betrays him when he is afflicted by a tribulation.”347 These qualities denotes that such a person has an evil soul, that he has no morals, and that he has no faith in his Lord.

3. The Imam, peace be on him, warned the Muslims from having the following qualities. He, peace be on him, said: “Bad is captivity after victory, depression after the misfortune, rudeness with the poor, cruelty with the neighbor, miserliness towards the relative, disagreement with the friend, misbehavior towards the family, impudence through the power, greediness during poverty, backbiting the friend, telling lies, the slander, perfidy from the ruler, the rage from the generous. Whoever asks more than his right is worth of deprivation. Setting right the one who does not know dignity is through disgracing him. The careful one rises (in rank). The cautious one finds (good).”348

Whoever refrains from these qualities is endowed with high moral standards and is among the unique people.

4. The Imam, peace be on him, prevented the Muslims from practicing the following qualities. He, peace be on him, said: “The owner of three traits will not die till he sees their evil results: oppression, cutting off ties of relations, and binding oath through which he fights with Allah. Indeed the quickest obedience in reward is the relations with womb relatives. Perhaps some people are sinners. However, they visit each other. So, their properties increase and they become rich. Binding oath and cutting off ties of relations leave houses empty of their people.”349

5. The Imam, peace be on him, hated the people who were endowed with the following traits. He, peace be on him, said: “Four (traits) lead to the quickest punishment: The person whom you treat with kindness but he mistreats you. The person who you do not oppress but oppresses you. The person to whom you are loyal but he betrays you. The person who visits his relations but they end their relationship with him.”350

6. The Imam, peace be on him, prevented the Muslims from drinking wine. For it is among the mortal sins. He, peace be on him, said: “Indeed the one who is alcoholic is like the one who worships the idol. Wine makes him shake, and destroys his manhood. It makes him violate the prohibitions such as shedding blood and committing fornication.”351

Surely, wine is the source of all sins and offenses. It is among the social catastrophes that defame man and leads him to commit all the prohibitions. As for its bodily damages, we have talked about them in one of our books.

7. The Imam, peace be on him, dispraised the person who used obscene language. He, peace be on him, said: “Surely, Allah detests the one who uses obscene language.”352

Backbiting and Slander

The Imam, peace be on him, made a distinction between backbiting and slander. He, peace be on him, said: “It is an act of backbiting to say concerning your brother what Allah conceals for him. As for the manifest traits of him such as fury and hastiness, there is no harm in mentioning them. As for slander, it is that you say concerning your brother what he has not.”353

Anger and its Remedy

The Imam, peace be on him, warned the Muslims from anger. He provided a remedy for it. He, peace be on him, said: “Indeed this anger is an ember from Satan. The ember is burnt in the heart of the son of Adam (i. e., man). When one of you becomes angry, his eyes become red and his jugular veins become swollen. Thus, Satan enters him. When he becomes angry, he must sit on the ground. With that he removes the cunning of Satan.”354

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, underlined the affair of anger. He warned the Muslims of its final results. Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, said: “My father said: 'There is nothing more intense than anger. Perhaps the person becomes angry. So, he kills the soul which Allah has forbidden and defames the chaste woman.”355

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, said: “The person sometimes becomes angry and continues his anger till he enters the Fire.”356

Vanity

The Imam, peace be on him, said: “I wonder at the one who is vain and boastful. He was created from a sperm. Then he becomes carrion. Between this and that, he does not know what will be done for him.”

Al-Baqir’s Supplications

There is wonderful heritage in the supplications of the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. There are treasures of valuable maxims and morals in them. These supplications represent the absolute inclination of the Imams, peace be on them, to Allah. They represent their relation with Him and their devotion to him. They also represent the spiritual qualities which the Imams had such as asceticism, pity, and cleaving to religion. Moreover, they are rich in ethics, philosophy, and theology. Many supplications were reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. The following are some of them:

1. Abu Hamza al-Thumali reported this supplication on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. He called it al-Jami‘(the conclusive). This supplication is as follows: “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. I bear witness that there is no god apart from Allah, who is unique and without partners. I also bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Apostle. I have believed in Allah, all His Apostles, and all what Allah revealed to His Apostles. Allah's promise is true. Meeting Him is true. Allah is truthful. The Apostles conveyed (their messages). Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Glory belongs to Allah whenever a thing glorifies Allah, and as He wants (His creatures) to glorify Him. Praise belongs to Allah whenever a thing praises Allah, as He wants (His creatures) to praise Him. There is no god but Allah whenever a thing says: there is no god but Allah, as He wants (His creatures) to say: there is no god but Allah. Allah is great whenever a thing says: Allah is great, and as He wants (His creatures) to say: Allah is great.

“O Allah, I ask You (to give me) the keys of good, its ends, its laws, its precedents, its advantages, its blessings, what its knowledge has exceeded me, and what my memorization falls short of counting it. O Allah make clear for me the means of its knowledge. Open for me its doors. Bestow upon me the blessings of your mercy. Grant me protection from the Cursed Satan, for he wants to deviate me from your religion. Purify my heart from doubts. Do not busy my heart with my world. (Do not) distract (my heart) from the later reward of the hereafter through my sooner livelihood. Make my heart busy with memorizing the thing whose ignorance you do not accept from me. Make my tongue obedient to all good. Purify my heart from hypocrisy. Do not make it flow in my joints. Make my deeds sincere to you.

“O Allah, I seek refuge with you from evil, all outward and inward ill-deeds, their heedlessness, and all what the stubborn ruler desires for me. You know that and you are able to keep it away from me.

“O Allah, I seek refuge with you from the misfortunes of the jinn and men. (I seek refuge with You) from their storms, their followers, their calamities, their tricks, seeing the sinners from among the jinn and men, and deviating from my religion so my life in the hereafter is corrupt. That will be a damage from them against me in my daily bread. Or intentional tribulation from them hits me. Thus, I have no ability for the tribulation nor have I patience to bear it. So, My Lord, do not test me with its sufferings. For that will prevent me from praising you and divert me from worshipping you. You are the Preserver, the Protector, the repeller, and the Guarder from that all.

“O Allah, I ask You (to grant me) ease in my livelihood as long as You keep me alive in a livelihood through which I can obey You, through which I can reach Your pleasure, and through which I will get to the everlasting life tomorrow. Do not provide me with the means of subsistence that makes me oppressive nor do you test me with poverty through which I become miserable to press me. Give me an abundant share in my life in the hereafter, and ample easy daily-bread in my life in this world. Do not make the world a prison against me. Do not make me sad when I leave it. Take me out of its temptations and be pleased with me. Make my deeds acceptable and my efforts laudable in it.

“O Allah, whoever desires evil for me-desire (it) for him! And whoever deceives me-deceive him. Turn away from me the worries of those who drive their worries in me. Plan against those who plan against me. Indeed, you are the best of planners. Tear out for me the eyes of the unbelievers, the oppressors, and the envious tyrants.

“O Allah, send down to me from you tranquillity and sobriety. Clothe me your well-fortified shield. Protect me with your preventive shelter. Make me (live) through your useful health. Accept as true my words and deeds. Bless for me my children, my family, and my property. Forgive me what I have brought forward, what I have delayed, what I have neglected, what I have (done) intentionally, what I have (done) slowly, and what I have concealed, through your mercy, O Most Merciful of all the merciful.”357

This supplication denotes the intense devotion of the Imam to Allah. He relied on Him in all his affairs. He sought refuge in Him from the temptations and deception of the world. For he was afraid that the world would prevent him from remembering Allah, the Most High.

2. Al-Rabi‘ reported on the authority of ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Abd al-Rahman, on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, who said: “Shall I teach you a supplication? We, the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), recite the supplication when a certain affair grieves us, and when we are afraid of the evil of Satan.”

“Yes, may my father and mother be ransom for you,” replied Abd Allah.

“Say: O You Who were before all things! O You Who created all things! O You Who will remain after all things! Bless Muhammad and his Household. Then mention your need....”358

Other traditions were reported on the authority of the Imam. They show his high soul, and his strong relationship with his Creator.

Imam al-Baqir urged Muslims to Supplication.

The Imam, peace be on him, urged Muslims to supplicate to Allah. He, peace be on him, said: “Surely, Allah hates that people insist on each other for their request. However, He, Exalted be His name, loves that for Himself. He wants them to ask Him for what He has (with insistence).”359

Wonderful Maxims

Short wonderful maxims were reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. They are full of noble morals and are useful. The following maxims are some of them.

1. He, peace be on him, said: “If you can deal with anyone and do him a favor, do that.”

2. He, peace be on him, said: “Flatter the hypocrite with your tongue. Make your love sincere to the believer. When a Jew associates with you, associate well with him.”

3. He, peace be on him, said: “Nothing is mixed with a thing better than (mixing) clemency with knowledge.”

4. He, peace be on him, said: “Assume the truth. Leave that which does not concern you. Avoid your enemy. Be careful of your friends except the trusty one who fears Allah. Do not make friends with the sinner. Do not inform him of your secrets. Ask the advice of those who fear Allah.”

5. He, peace be on him, said: “The friendship of twenty years is kinship.”

6. He, peace be on him, said: “The decree of Allah is good for the believer.”

7. He, peace be on him, said: “He for whom Allah does not make a preacher from his own self, the preaching of people do not avail him.”

8. He, peace be on him, said: “He whose outward (deeds) are heavier than his inward (deeds), his scales are light.”

9. He, peace be on him, said: “How many a person meets a person and says to him: may Allah ruin your enemy, and he has no enemy except Allah.”

10. He, peace be on him, said: “He who disobeys Allah does not recognize Him.” Then the Imam composed:

Do you disobey the Lord and show your love (for Him)?

By your life, this is an innovation among deeds.

If your love was truthful, you would obey him.

Indeed the lover obeys him whom he loves.

11. He, peace be on him, said: “The need with the one who has recently gotten property is like the dirham in the mouth of the snake. You need him, and you are in danger.”

12. He, peace be on him, said: “Know the love in the heart of your brother through what he has in your heart.”

13. He, peace be on him, said: “Faith is love and hatred.”

14. He, peace be on him, said: “Four (acts) are among the treasures of kindness: Concealing the need, concealing the alms, concealing the pain, and concealing, the misfortune.”

15. He, peace be on him, said: “He whose tongue is truthful, his acts grow. He whose intention is good, his daily-bread increases. He whose kindness to his family is good, Allah prolongs his life.”

16. He, peace be on him, said: “Whoever gets a brother in Allah in addition to faith in Allah and faithfulness to his brotherhood seeking Allah's pleasure gets a ray from Allah's light, safety from the punishment of Allah, a pilgrimage (to Mecca) through which he will be successful on the Day of Judgment, everlasting honor, and increasing reputation. That is because the believer is neither mawsool nor mafsool from Allah, the Great and Almighty.”He was asked: “What is the meaning of mawsool and mafsool?”He, peace be on him, replied: “Mawsool meaning the believer is not connected to (Allah). Mafsool meaning the believer is not separated from (Allah).”

17. He, peace be on him, said: “It is sufficient cheat for the person is that he sees from the people the vague affair of his own soul. Or he finds faults with other than him through what he cannot leave. Or he hurts his friend through that which does not concern him.”

18. He, peace be on him, said: “Humbleness is that you should be satisfied with the humble sitting-place, that you should greet whomever you meet, and that you should leave the dispute even if you are right.”

19. He, peace be on him, said: “The believer is the brother of the believer. So, he should not abuse him nor should he deprive him (of his rights) nor should he doubt him.”

20. He, peace be on him, said: “He to whom clumsiness is apportioned, faith is veiled from him.”

21. He, peace be on him, said: “Indeed Allah has punishments in the hearts, the bodies, the daily-bread, and the worship. However, the cruelty of the heart is the most intense punishment.”

22. He, peace be on him, said: “On the Judgment Day, a caller will call: ‘Where are al-Sabirun (the patient)?' So, a group of people will rise. Then a caller will call: ‘Where are al-Mutasabbirun?' Thus, a group of people will rise.”He was asked: “Who are al-Sabirun and al-Mutasabbirun?”He, peace be on him, replied: “Al-Sabirun are those who are patient with performing the religious duties. Al-Mutasabbirun are those who are patient with the prohibitions.”

23. He, peace be on him, said: “Allah says: ‘O Son of Adam, refrain from what I have prohibited, so you are the most pious of all people.'”

24. He, peace be on him, said: “The best worship is the abstinence of the private parts and the abdomen.”

25. He, peace be on him, said: “Modesty and faith are coupled with each other. If one of them goes away, the other will follow it.”

26. He, peace be on him, said: “Allah gives this world to both the righteous and the sinners. However, He gives this religion to His close friends only.”

27. He, peace be on him, said: “Allah gives the world to those whom He loves and those whom He detests. However, He gives religion to those whom He loves only.”

28. He, peace be on him, said: “If the beggar knew what was in begging, he would never beg anyone. If the begged one knew was in prevention, he would never prevent anybody.

29. He, peace be on him, said: “Some blessed rich servants belong to Allah. They associate with people. People live under their wing. Some wicked servants belong to Allah. They do not associate with people. People do not live under their protection. They are like grass -hoppers.”

30. He, peace be on him, said: “Allah likes spreading greetings.”360

31. He, peace be on him, said: “Everything has a catastrophe. The catastrophe of knowledge is forgetfulness.”361

32. He, peace be on him, said: “O Allah, help with the world through riches, and with the hereafter through piety.”362

33. He, peace be on him, said: “The person increases in opinion when he gives sincere advice.”363

34. He, peace be on him, said: “The weapon of the ignoble person is ugly words.”364 A poet composed this wonderful maxim, saying:

Al-Baqir al-Murtada, the descendant of the Imam, peace be on him, was truthful when he said: “Ugly words are the weapon of the ignoble.”365

35. He, peace be on him, said: “Thunderbolt strikes the believer and the unbelievers. However, it does not strike the person who praises (Allah).”366

36. He, peace be on him, said: “The best deeds are three: Praising Allah in all conditions, treating people with justice, and giving the friend money.”367

37. He, peace be on him, said: “Regard the good deed as small. Do it quickly, and conceal it.”368

38. He, peace be on him, said: “In the Sunna (the Prophet's practices) and the religion, it is not an act of truthfulness to turn away from the generous.”369

39. He, peace be on him, said: “How wonderful good deeds are after evil deeds! How shameful evil deeds are after good deeds!”370

40. He, peace be on him, said: “The person may earn money through four (sources). They are unfaithful act, usury, treason, and theft. Such money is not accepted in four (acts). They are zakat, alms, pilgrimage (to Mecca), and omra.”371

41. He, peace be on him, said: “Allah, the Great and Almighty, refuses to accept the pilgrimage and omra performed through ill-gotten gains.”372

42. He, peace be on him, said: “He whose outward (deeds) are heavier than his inward (deeds), his balance is light.”373

43. He, peace be on him, said: “Lying destroys faith.”374

44. He, peace be on him, said: “I had a companion. The companion regarded the world as small. Thus, I regarded him as great.”375

45. He, peace be on him, said to his companions: “Do you enter your hands in the bags of your companions and take what you want?”“No,”they replied. “You are not our companions as you say,”he, peace be on him, explained. 376

46. He, peace be on him, said: “Kindness may make the father go to extremes. This is the worst father. Negligence may make the child disobey (his parents). Such a child is the worst.”377

47. He, peace be on him, said: “Preach to your companions, and respect them. Do not attack each other.”378

48. He, peace be on him, said: “Sins make misfortunes strike the servant.”379

49. He, peace be on him, said: “Allah decreed that He would not take the blessing He bestowed on the servant. However, when the servant commits a sin, he is worthy of the adversity.”380

50. He, peace be on him, said: “If there is no love in my heart for the saints of Allah and no hatred for His enemies, nothing will avail me, even if I fast throughout the day, pray throughout the night, and spend all my money for Allah.”381

51. Zarara asked Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him: “What is the meaning of al-Hanafiya?”He, peace be on him, replied: “It is the nature Allah has created in men. He has created it in them to make them recognize Him.”382

52. Imam Abu Ja‘far was asked: “Is there a thing better than gold?”He, peace be on him, answered: “Yes, the one who gives it.”383

53. He, peace be on him, said: “The tribulation of the people against us is burdensome. When we ask them (to follow us), they do not respond to us. When we leave them, they do not follow other than us.”384

54. He, peace be on him, said: “The chasteness of the abdomen and private parts is the best (quality) through which Allah is worshipped.”385

55. He, peace be on him, said: “Be patient towards misfortunes. Do not transgress (Allah's) rights. Do not give the person a thing that harms you more than it avails you.”386

56. He, peace be on him, said: “Our followers obey Allah.”387

57. He, peace be on him, said: “The friend may take care of you when you are rich, and abandon you when you are poor. How bad such a friend is!”388

58. He, peace be on him, said: “Kindness to friends is the best help in the world.”389

59. He, peace be on him, said: “Whomever is given ethics and kindness is given good and rest. Besides His state is good here and the hereafter. Whomever is deprived of them, that will be a way to evil and tribulations, except him whom Allah protects.”390

60. He, peace be on him, said: “Allah (sometimes) makes a person recognize the truth. So, the person can remain on the top of a mountain. He can eat from the plants of the earth till death comes to him. Still, he faces no problem.”391

61. He, peace be on him, was asked: “The people of the garden will enter the garden through their deeds. Will Allah release (some people) from the Fire?”“Surely, Allah will release (some people) from the Fire,”he replied.392

62. He, peace be on him, said: “He who has no precautionary dissimulation has no good.”393

63. He, peace be on him, said: “If you want to know that you have good, consider carefully your heart. Does your heart love obedience to Allah? Does it detest the disobedience to Him? If it is so, you have good and Allah loves you. Does it detest the obedience to Allah? Does it love the disobedience to Him? If it is so, you have no good and Allah detests you. The person is with his lover.”394

64. He, peace be on him, said: “Among the steps of Satan are the oath for divorce, the vow for sins, and the swearing by other than Allah, the Exalted.”395

65. He, peace be on him, said: “When the abdomen is full, (the person) becomes tyrannical.”396

66. He, peace be on him, said: “Allah detests the full abdomen.”397

67. He, peace be on him, said: “Whoever seeks the world to be chaste with the people, to maintain his family, and to help his neighbor, will meet Allah, the Great and Almighty, and his face will be like the full moon.”398

68. He, peace be on him, said: “Our talk is difficult. It is difficult (for people) to understand it. No one bears it except a close angel or a prophet or a servant whose heart Allah has tested for faith.”399

69. He, peace be on him, said: “I hate the person whose words are more than his knowledge. I also hate the person whose knowledge is more than his reason.”400

With this we will end our talk about some of the Imam's wise words that represent genuine creative thinking.

Did al-Baqir write poetry?

The references did not mention that Imam Abu Ja‘far al-Baqir, peace be on him, wrote poetry. Rather they mentioned that he split open many doors to knowledge, that he founded most of its rules, and that he was given wisdom and sound judgments. However, Sayyid ‘Ali Sadr al-Madani ascribed the following lines of poetry to him.

I wonder at the one who admires his form

while he had been a sperm before.

Tomorrow, after his good form, he will be dirty carrion in the grave.

In spite of his admiration and haughtiness,

He carries stool between his two sides.401

It is no matter whether the Imam, peace be on him, wrote poetry or not. Surely, he was the foremost eloquent person of the period. The large group of his first-class eloquent wise words proves that.

Now I want to end the talk about the talents of Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him. It is an act of truthfulness to say that I have mentioned few examples of his knowledge and sciences. I do not say that I have encompassed them. It is difficult for me to do that. Thus, I have left the door open for other researchers to discover the other bright dimensions of his life. For it was a personal extension to his outstanding grandfathers, who illumined the cultural life for people.

  • 1. Safinat al-Bihar, vol.2.
  • 2. ‘Aqidat al-Shi‘a, p.123.
  • 3. Al-Manaqib, vol.3, p.331.
  • 4. Al-Imam Zayd, p.22
  • 5. ‘Uyyun al-Akhbar wa Funun al-Athar, p.213
  • 6. Nasikh al-Tawarikh, vol.2, p.219.
  • 7. Ibid, p.217
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. A‘lam al-Wara, p.270
  • 10. Al-Khisal, p.4
  • 11. Ibid, p.5.
  • 12. Ibid, p.10
  • 13. Ibid, p.11
  • 14. Ibid, p.14
  • 15. Ibid.
  • 16. Ibid, p.15
  • 17. Ibid, p.17
  • 18. Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, p.616
  • 19. Al-Khisal, p.31
  • 20. Ibn al-Maghazili, Manaqib ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, p.40
  • 21. Ibid, p.42.
  • 22. Ibid, p.44
  • 23. Ibid, p.64
  • 24. Yanabi‘ al-Mawadda, p.266
  • 25. Ibn al-Maghazili, Manaqib ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, p.40
  • 26. Al-Khisal, p.34
  • 27. Ibid, p.35
  • 28. Ibid, p.36
  • 29. Ibid
  • 30. Ibid, p.41
  • 31. Ibid, p.47
  • 32. Ibid, p.58
  • 33. Ibid, p.60
  • 34. Ibid, p.71
  • 35. Al-‘Aqd al-Farid, vol.5, p.277
  • 36. Safinat al-Bihar, vol.2, p.409
  • 37. Al-Khisal, p.78
  • 38. Ibid, p.84
  • 39. Ibid, p.94
  • 40. Ibid, p.106
  • 41. Ibid, p.108
  • 42. Ibid, p.138
  • 43. Ibid, p.147.
  • 44. Ibid, p.164
  • 45. Ibid, p.167
  • 46. Ibid, p.180
  • 47. Ibid, p.188
  • 48. Ibid, p.203
  • 49. Ibid, p.205
  • 50. Ibid, 208
  • 51. Ibid, p.217
  • 52. Ibid, p.221
  • 53. Ibid, p.228
  • 54. Ibid, p.231
  • 55. Ibid,p.236
  • 56. Ibid, p.240
  • 57. Ibid, p.247
  • 58. Ibid, p.260
  • 59. Ibid, p.262
  • 60. Ibid, p.267
  • 61. Ibid, 288
  • 62. Ibid, p.292
  • 63. Ibid, p.300
  • 64. Ibid
  • 65. Ibid, p.308
  • 66. Ibid, 310
  • 67. Ibid, p.311
  • 68. Ibid, p.403
  • 69. Ibid, p.414
  • 70. Ibid, p.415
  • 71. Ibid, p.416
  • 72. Al-Bayan wa al-Tabiyyin, vol.2, p.263
  • 73. Ibid, p.262.
  • 74. Al-Saduq, p.257.
  • 75. Ibid, p.9
  • 76. Ibid, p.11.
  • 77. Ibid, p.18
  • 78. Ibid, p.54
  • 79. Usul al-Kafi
  • 80. Wasilat al-Mal fi ‘Ad Manaqib al-Al, p.61
  • 81. Ibn al-Maghazili, al-Manaqib, p.85
  • 82. Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala’, vol.4, p.242
  • 83. Al-Sirat al-Sawi
  • 84. Al-Karajiki, al-Istinsar, ‘ala al-A’imma al-Athar, p.8
  • 85. Ibid
  • 86. Al-Khisal, p.49
  • 87. Ibid, p.109
  • 88. Ibid, p.119
  • 89. Ibid,p.180
  • 90. Ibid, p.215
  • 91. Ibid, p.398
  • 92. Ibid, p.454
  • 93. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.23
  • 94. Al-Khisal, p.95
  • 95. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.220
  • 96. Al-Khisal, p.103
  • 97. Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p.178
  • 98. Kamil al-Ziyarat, p.108
  • 99. Tarikh Dimashq, vol.51, pp.37-38
  • 100. ‘Illal al-Sharai‘, p.158
  • 101. Al-Sirat al-Sawi, p.119
  • 102. Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat, vol.8, p.463
  • 103. Al-Khawarizmi, al-Manaqib, p.226
  • 104. Al-Maghazili, p.245
  • 105. Nasikh al-Tawarikh, vol.2, p.204
  • 106. Al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, p.25
  • 107. Usul al-Kafi
  • 108. Al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, p.210
  • 109. Al-Wafi, p.274
  • 110. Nasikh al-Tawarikh, vol.1, p.434
  • 111. Tafsir al-Alusi, vol.1, p.39
  • 112. Furu‘ al-Kafi, vol.3, p.312
  • 113. Ghayat al-Nihaya fi Tabaqat al-Qurra’, vol.2, p.202
  • 114. Al-Qurtubi, Tafsir, vol.1, p.9
  • 115. Nazra ‘Amma fi Tarikh al-Fiqh al-Islami, p.67
  • 116. Al-Tabari, Tafsir, vol.1, p.15
  • 117. Al-Qurtubi, Tafsir, vol.1, p.36
  • 118. Al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, p.183
  • 119. Ibid, p.185
  • 120. Ibid, p.191.
  • 121. Usul al-Kafi
  • 122. Ibid
  • 123. Al-Wafi, vol.2, p.130
  • 124. Al-Tibyan, vol.1, p.4
  • 125. Al-Ansari, Fara’id al-Usul
  • 126. Al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, p.267
  • 127. Fara’id al-Usul, p.28.
  • 128. Ibid
  • 129. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Fihrast, p.98
  • 130. Al-Njashi
  • 131. Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol.9, p.301
  • 132. Al-Fusul al-Muhimma, p.227
  • 133. Majjma‘ al-Bayan (Beirut), vol.7, p.23
  • 134. Khasa’is al-Wahi al-Mubin, p.30
  • 135. Majjma‘ al-Bayan, vol.4, p.223
  • 136. Majjma‘ al-Bayan, vol.11, p.378
  • 137. Da‘a’im al-Islam, vol.1, p.334
  • 138. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.47
  • 139. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.146
  • 140. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.211
  • 141. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.212
  • 142. Majjma‘ al-Bayan, vol.7, p.288
  • 143. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.212
  • 144. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.215
  • 145. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.214
  • 146. Majjma‘ al-Bayan, vol.7, p.409
  • 147. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.219
  • 148. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.220
  • 149. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.229
  • 150. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.206
  • 151. Tafsir al-Burhan, p.55
  • 152. Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol.9, p.310
  • 153. The tradition has been ascribed to Imam al-Jawad
  • 154. Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol.13, p.51
  • 155. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.82
  • 156. Ibid, pp.88-89
  • 157. The great Muslim Philosopher, Sadr al-Din al-Shirazi, has discussed that objectively in his book ‘al-Shawahid al-Rabawiya’
  • 158. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.92
  • 159. Ibid
  • 160. Al-Nishu’ wa al-Irtiqa’, p.47
  • 161. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.107
  • 162. Ibid, p.123
  • 163. Ibid, p.108
  • 164. Jami‘ al-Sa‘adat, vol.1, p.117
  • 165. ‘Illal al-Sharaiya‘, pp.123-124
  • 166. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.181
  • 167. Ibid, pp.183-184
  • 168. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.185
  • 169. Ibid, p.405
  • 170. Ibid, p.175
  • 171. Ibid, p.183
  • 172. Manaqib Al Abi Talib, vol.2, p.336
  • 173. ‘Yyun al-Mu‘jizat, p.34
  • 174. A‘lam al-Wara, p.270
  • 175. Roudat al-Wa‘izin, p.270
  • 176. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.192
  • 177. Ibid
  • 178. Al-Karajiki, al-Istinsar, p.17
  • 179. Ibid
  • 180. Al-Khisal, p.388
  • 181. Ibn Hamdun (died 401 A.H.), Muqtadab al-Athar
  • 182. Ibid
  • 183. Ibid
  • 184. Al-Saffar, Basa’ir al-Darajat, p.108
  • 185. Ghayat al-Ikhtisar, p.131
  • 186. Muqtadab al-Athar
  • 187. Nasikh al-Tawarikh, vol.2, p.202
  • 188. Al-Kashi, Rijal, p.187
  • 189. ‘Yyun Akhbar al-Ridha’
  • 190. Nazariyat al-Imama lada al-Ithna ‘Ashariya, p.147
  • 191. Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat, vol.5, p.30
  • 192. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol.7, p.358
  • 193. Al-Riyad al-Nadira, vol.2, p.222
  • 194. Ithbat al-Wasiya, p.182
  • 195. Al-Muqaddama, pp.232-234
  • 196. Jami‘ Karamat al-Auliya’, vol.1, p.97
  • 197. Dala’il al-Imama, p.96
  • 198. Al-Maqrizi, Itti‘az al-Hunafa’, p.245
  • 199. Nur al-Abbsar, p.130
  • 200. Ibid, p.131
  • 201. Dala’il al-Imama, p.110
  • 202. Ithbat al-Hudat, vol.5, p.310
  • 203. A‘lam al-Wara
  • 204. Ibn Hazm, al-Ahkam fi Usul al-Ahkam, vol.2, p.131
  • 205. Abu Dauwd, vol.1, p.142. Al-Nisa’i, vol.1, p.42
  • 206. Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat, vol.1, p.47
  • 207. Nazra ‘Ama fi Tarikh al-Fiqh al-Islami, p.110.
  • 208. Tamhid Li Tarikh al-Falsafa al-Islamiya, p.202
  • 209. A‘lam al-Wara, p.270
  • 210. Ibid
  • 211. Youm al-Islam, p.189
  • 212. Al-Wihda al-Islamiya, p.99
  • 213. Ibid, 11
  • 214. The great Companion (of the Prophet), ‘Ammar b. Yasir, carried the standard during three (battles). They were the Battle of Badr, the Battle of Uhd, and the Battle of Hunayn. Abu Sufyan, the leader of the Umayyads, headed those battles
  • 215. Hajr is a town in the Yemen. It is also the name of all the land of Bahrain
  • 216. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, pp.288-290
  • 217. Al-Khilaf, vol.1, p.18
  • 218. Roudat al-Wa‘izin, p.243
  • 219. Al-Khilaf, vol.1, p.23
  • 220. Ibid, p.130
  • 221. Ibid, p.131
  • 222. Kifayat al-Usul
  • 223. Al-Shi‘a wa Funun al-Islam, p.95
  • 224. Haqa’iq al-Usul, vol.2, p.547
  • 225. Ibid
  • 226. Mustamsak al-‘Irwat al-Withqa, vol.7, p.350
  • 227. Ibid, p.349
  • 228. Sammra b. Jundub, the lying companion, was among Mu‘awiya's hirelings. He helped him to spread oppression and terrorism. Zyyad b. Abih appointed him governor over Basrah. He killed many innocent people. The historians said that he killed eight thousand people. In al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol.6, p.632, Aba Sawar al-Adawi said :" Sammra killed in the early morning forty-seven men from my people. They were from those who collected the Quran." We have talked in detail about his crimes in our book ‘ Hayat al-Imam al-Hasan, vol.2, p.186-191.'
  • 229. Al-Hadhdha' reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, who said:" Sammra, I do not see you but harmful. Go, so-and-so. Uproot it and throw it at his face."
  • 230. Idah al-Kifaya, vol.3, p.439
  • 231. Abi Jumhur al-Ihsa’i, Ghawali al-Li‘am
  • 232. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul
  • 233. Ibid
  • 234. Al-‘Amal wa Huqquq al-‘Amil fi al-Islam, p.139
  • 235. Ibn Hamdun, al-Tadhkira, p.26
  • 236. Jami‘ Bayan al-‘Ilm wa Fadlah, vol.1, p.32
  • 237. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.34
  • 238. Nasikh al-Tawarikh, vol.2, p.205
  • 239. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.34
  • 240. Ibid, p.41
  • 241. Nasikh al-Tawarikh, vol.2, p.205
  • 242. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.41
  • 243. Nasikh al-Tawarikh, vol.2, p.205
  • 244. Al-Khisal, p.223
  • 245. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.32
  • 246. Ibid, p.45
  • 247. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, p.294
  • 248. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.47
  • 249. Ibid, p.42
  • 250. Ibid
  • 251. Ibid
  • 252. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, p.297
  • 253. Ibid, p.294
  • 254. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.70
  • 255. Abi Zahra, al-Imam al-Sadiq, p.24
  • 256. Jami‘ Bayan al-‘Ilm wa Fadla, vol.1, p.201
  • 257. Ibid
  • 258. Hulyat al-Auliya’, vol.3, p.180
  • 259. Usul al-Kafi
  • 260. Shadharat al-Dhahab, vol.1, p.149
  • 261. Al-Khisal, p.101
  • 262. Safwat al-Safwa, vol.2, p.61
  • 263. Mirr’at al-Jinan, vol.1, p.248
  • 264. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, p.297
  • 265. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, p.297
  • 266. Al-Khisal, p.133
  • 267. Hayat al-Imam Musa bin Ja‘far
  • 268. ‘Yyun al-Akhbar wa Funun al-Athar, pp.223-225
  • 269. Da‘a’im al-Islam, vol.1, p.71
  • 270. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, p.295
  • 271. Ibid, p.300
  • 272. Al-Khisal, p.413
  • 273. Diya’ al-‘Amilin, vol.3
  • 274. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, p.299
  • 275. ‘Yyun al-Akhbar wa Funun al-Athar, p.223
  • 276. Ibid
  • 277. Ibid, p.226
  • 278. ‘Yyun al-Akhbar wa Funun al-Athar, p.226
  • 279. Ibid, p.227
  • 280. ‘Yyun al-Akhbar wa Funun al-Athar, p.227
  • 281. Al-Barqi, al-Mahasin, p.119
  • 282. Muhajj al-Da‘awat, p.18
  • 283. Al-Kaf‘ami, Musbah, p.161
  • 284. Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p.544
  • 285. Al-Khisal, p.219
  • 286. Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p.274
  • 287. ‘Ilal al-Sharai‘, p.29
  • 288. Ibid, 31
  • 289. Al-Bayan wa al-Tabiyyin, vol.3, p.290
  • 290. Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p.226
  • 291. ‘Ilal al-Sharai‘, p.125
  • 292. Al-Khisal, p.128
  • 293. ‘Ilal al-Sharai‘, p74
  • 294. Majjma‘ al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, vol.6, p.264
  • 295. Ibid, p.166
  • 296. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol.3, p.73
  • 297. Ibn Hisham, al-Sira al-Nabawiya, vol.2, pp.429-430
  • 298. Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol.4, pp.109-110
  • 299. Ibid, vol.2, p.386
  • 300. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol.5, p.153
  • 301. Ibn Abi al-Haddid, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol.3, p.324
  • 302. Waqq‘at Siffin, p.267
  • 303. Ibid, pp.354-356
  • 304. Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol.2, pp.212-213
  • 305. Al-‘Aqida wa al-Shari‘a fi al-Islam, p.190
  • 306. Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol.2, p.212
  • 307. Ibid, pp.233-234
  • 308. The historians know that Muslim was the first to stop at al-Mukhtar’s house
  • 309. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol.5, pp.347-349
  • 310. Ibid, pp.349-351
  • 311. Ibid, pp.389-390
  • 312. Hayat al-Imam al-Husayn, vol.3, p.129
  • 313. Al-Fusul al-Muhimma, p.29
  • 314. Al-Khisal, p.157
  • 315. Al-Bayan wa al-Tabiyyin, vol.3, p.280
  • 316. Abi ‘Ali al-Qali, al-Amali, vol.2, p.308
  • 317. Tarikh Dimashq, vol.51, p.38
  • 318. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, pp.284-286
  • 319. Tarikh Dimashq, vol.51, p.38
  • 320. Ibn Hamdun, Tadhkirat, p.27
  • 321. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, p.299
  • 322. Ibid,28
  • 323. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, pp.291-292
  • 324. Mirr’at al-Jinan, vol.1, p.149
  • 325. Akhbar al-Duwal, p.11
  • 326. Jami‘ al-Sa‘adat, vol.2, p.61
  • 327. Al-Bayan wa al-Tabiyyin, vol.3, p.161
  • 328. Al-Khisal, p.131
  • 329. Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p.10
  • 330. Al-Mubarrad, al-Kamil, vol.1, p.76
  • 331. Jami‘ al-Sa‘adat, vol.1, p.165
  • 332. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, pp.296
  • 333. Ibid, p.295
  • 334. Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p.225
  • 335. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, p.300
  • 336. Ibid, p.296
  • 337. Ibid, p.300
  • 338. Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p.288
  • 339. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, p.292
  • 340. Ibid, p.298
  • 341. Ibid
  • 342. Al-Khisal, p.204
  • 343. Al-Durr al-Nazim, p.191
  • 344. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, p.298
  • 345. Safwat al-Safwa, vol.2, p.61
  • 346. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul
  • 347. Al-Saquq, al-Amali, p.30
  • 348. Ibn Hamdun, Tadhkirat, p.60
  • 349. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, p.294
  • 350. Al-Khisal, p.210
  • 351. Al-Bihar, vol.16. p.771
  • 352. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, p.296
  • 353. Ibid, p.298
  • 354. Jami‘ al-Sa‘adat, vol.1, p.289
  • 355. Ibid
  • 356. Ibid
  • 357. Muhajj al-Da‘awat, pp.213-215
  • 358. Ibid, p.215
  • 359. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul
  • 360. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, pp.292-300
  • 361. Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol.9, p.310
  • 362. Al-Bayan wa al-Tabiyyin, vol.3, p222
  • 363. Ibn Qutayba, ‘Yyun al-Akhbar, vol.1, p.300
  • 364. Hulyat al-Auliya’, vol.3, p.300
  • 365. Al-Ithaf bi Hub al-Ashraf, p.53
  • 366. Hulyat al-Auliya’, vol.3, p.181
  • 367. Ibid, p.183
  • 368. Al-Akhbar al-Muwaffaqiyat, p.400
  • 369. Al-Marzbani, al-Mardda, 2/B
  • 370. Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p.224
  • 371. Ibid, p.296
  • 372. Ibid
  • 373. Ibid
  • 374. Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, p.339
  • 375. Mirr’at al-Jinan, vol.1, p.248
  • 376. Safwat al-Safwa, vol.2, p.63
  • 377. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.2, p.53
  • 378. Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, p.173
  • 379. Ibid, p.269
  • 380. Ibid, p.273
  • 381. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.3, p.61
  • 382. Al-Bihar, vol.12, p.87
  • 383. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.3, p.61
  • 384. A‘lam al-Wara, p.27
  • 385. Jami‘ al-Sa‘adat, vol.2, p.16
  • 386. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.3, p.61
  • 387. Al-Shiblanji, Nur al-Absar, p.131
  • 388. Ibid
  • 389. Is‘af al-Raghibin, p.316
  • 390. Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol.9, p.311
  • 391. Ahmed bin Fahd al-Hilli, al-Tahsin, p.225
  • 392. Al-Durr al-Nazim, p.191
  • 393. ‘Ilal al-Sharai‘, p.51
  • 394. Ibid, p.117
  • 395. Majjma‘ al-Bayan, vol.1, p.252
  • 396. Jami‘ al-Sa‘adat, vol.2, p.5
  • 397. Ibid
  • 398. Ibid, p.21
  • 399. A‘lam al-Wara
  • 400. Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol.7, p.92
  • 401. Anwar al-Rabi‘, vol.6, p.300

Chapter 7: Kuthayr ‘Azzah and Al-Kumayt

The two famous poets, Kuthayr ‘Azzah and al-Kumayt al-Asadi, had close relationships with Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. For they believed in his Imamate. They regarded obedience to him as obligatory. Thus, they devoted themselves to him. So, they were famous for that. We will mention some of their affairs and their close relationship with the Imam, peace be on him.

Kuthayr ‘Azzah

As for Kuthayr ‘Azzah, he was Abu Hamzah al-Khuzai al-Madani. He was among the Arab lovers. He fell in love with ‘Azzah, daughter of Jamil. He had many stories with her. The biographers have mentioned them. Ibn Ishaq said: “Kuthayr was the best Muslim poet in poetic talents.”1

His Obedience to the Members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them.

Kuthayr was very obedient to the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. He devoted his life to them. He did not hide his obedience to them from the Umayyads. ‘Abd al-Malik b. Marwan asked him to swear by Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, to tell him about the one who was more than him in love. So, Kuthayr replied: “If you ask me to swear by you, I will tell you.”Marwan did that. So, Kuthayr told him about the love of some lovers.2

His Obedience to al-Baqir

Kuthayr loved Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, very much. He obeyed him and believed in his Imamate. The historians said: “A man saw Kuthayr riding (his horse). Meanwhile the man saw Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, waking. So, he blamed Kuthayr, saying: ‘Why are you riding (your horse) and Abu Ja‘far is waking?'”

“He ordered me to do that. I prefer his obedience to his disobedience. So, I have ridden (the horse),” 3 replied Kuthayr.

This answer proves Kuthayr's good manners and perfect faith. For obedience to the Imam was obligatory. Thus, he had no way to disobey him.

Kuthayr praised the Sons of Marwan

Kuthayr praised the sons of Marwan very much. Thus, they glorified and honored him.4 He composed poems to praise them. The poems have been mentioned in his Divan. However, he was not serious in praising them. He did not believed in what he said. Rather, he praised them to get their money and gifts. He mocked them. He likened them to snakes and scorpions. The historians reported that he came to Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him. Thus, the Imam, peace be on him asked him: “Are you from our followers? Why do you praise Marwan's household?”

Kuthayr answered: “I mock them. I liken them to snakes and scorpions. Have you not heard my poem concerning ‘Abd al-‘Aziz b. Marwan.

Abd al-Malik understood that, so he said to his brother ‘Abd al-‘Aziz: “He did not praise you. Rather, he likened you to snakes.”‘Abd al-‘Aziz reported that to me. So I said to him: “By Allah, I will liken him to the snake. Then he will not deny that. Then I composed a poem concerning him.”

When I read the poem before ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, he gave me many gifts. For he did not understand what I said. 5

Accordingly, Kuthayr was not serious when he praised the sons of Marwan. He did not believe in what he said. Rather, he mocked them. Moreover, he deceived them to take money from them. For they took the money illegally. Kuthayr had no way to take money except through this way.

His Death

Kuthayr died in the year 105 A. H. He died on the same day when ‘Ukrima died. (The people) prayed over them at one place. Then the people said: “The most knowledgeable of people in jurisprudence and poetry has died.”6 Then the people escorted the deceased to their final resting place. Among them was Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him.

Fabricated Narration

Some historians have mentioned a narration, but we think that the narration is among the fabricated narrations. The historians reported the narration on the authority of Yazid b. ‘Urwa, who said: “The women prevailed at the funeral. They wept over him and mentioned ‘Azzah during their weeping. So, Muhammad b. ‘Ali (Abu Ja‘far) said: ‘Open the way for me to go to the coffin.’ So, we pushed the women away from the coffin. Abu Ja‘far hit the women with his sleeve. Then he said: ‘O girl friends of Joseph, go away! Thus one of the women came to the Imam and said to him: ‘O Son of the Apostle of Allah, you are right. We are the girl friends of Joseph. We were better than you towards him. ‘Abu Ja‘far said to one of his retainers: ‘Keep her till we come back.' When they had buried Kuthayr, he ordered the woman to be brought. He, peace be on him said to her: ‘Were you who said that you were better than us?' 'Yes, son of the Apostle of Allah, will you make me safe from your anger?' asked the woman. ‘You are safe from my anger. So, explain that,' replied the Imam. So, the woman explained: ‘O Son of the Apostle of Allah, we summoned Joseph to pleasures such as food, drink, and enjoyment. However, you, men, threw him into the well, sold him for low prices, and imprisoned him in prison. Therefore, who are more merciful for him- you or we?' The Imam admired the woman. Thus, he said to her: ‘What a generous woman you are! You overcome all women. Have you a husband?' ‘I have a man whose husband is I,' she replied. The woman went away. A man from the people, who knew the woman, said: ‘This is Zaynab al-Ansariya, the daughter of Mu‘ayqib.'”7

Criticisms

1. Why did the women gathered around Kuthayr's corpse? Why was it difficult for the Imam to reach him? Why did he order the women to be pushed away? This narration is incorrect. For women were not permitted to take part in such ceremonies. Rather, she was ordered not to leave her house.

2. The Imam was rude with the ladies who gathered around the corpse. This makes the fabrication of this narration sure. That is because the Imam, peace be on him, was the ideal example for high manners and noble morals. So, he was far above obscene words.

3. A conversation took place between the Imam and the Ansari lady. He asked her whether she had a husband. This also makes us sure of the fabrication of the narration. Is this appropriate for the Holiness of the Imam. Accordingly, this narration is imaginary. With this we will end our talk about the biography of Kuthayr ‘Azzah.8

Al-Kumayt Al-Asadi

Al-Farazdaq said: “Al-Kumayt was the poet of the first and the last.”9 ‘Ukrima al-Dabbi said: “Were it not for his poetry, there would be no translator for the language nor would there be a tongue for explanation.”10

He was the foremost thinker and writer of the period. He played an important role in developing Arab culture and Islamic scientific movement. The following are some bright sides of his life.

His Birth and his Early Life

Al-Kumayt was born in the year 60 A. H. It was the year when the Muslim community was bereaved of Imam Husayn, the Lord of martyrs, peace be on him.11 So, that tragedy impressed him. It reacted on his feelings and sentiments. That appeared in his poetry through which elegized Imam al-Husayn, peace be on him.

As for his early life, it was in Kufa, the capital of the Shi‘ites, and the place of revolts against the Umayyads. He was brought up on the love for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. So, the love for them was among his elements.

His Talents

Al-Kumayt was among the unique in history. He was among the prominent figure in the Arab nation. He was endowed with noble talents and high qualities. A historian numbered his qualities as ten. The historian said: “Al-Kumayt had ten qualities, of which no poet had. He was the orator of Asad's (tribe). He was the jurist of the Shi‘ites. He was a memorizer of the Holy Quran. He was steadfast. He was a writer with good calligraphy. He was a genealogist. He was disputatious. He was the first to debate (with others) on Shi‘ism. He was a bowman. No one from Asad's sons was better than him in sharpshooting. He was a pious brave knight. Moreover, he was famous for open Shi‘ism.”12

His Poetry

As for his poetry, it is among the masterpieces of Arab literature. It is the most wonderful of all that Arab poets have composed. In his poetry, he did not incline to joking and impudence. With that he separated himself from the poets of Umayya and the ‘Abbasid periods. For they used their intellectual talents in amusement, futility, and corrupt manners.

As for al-Kumayt, he devoted his poetry to his masters from the Hashimites. Thus, proclaimed their noble deeds and their outstanding merits through wonderful Arab poetry.

The historians said: “Al-Kumayt did not announce his poetry till he was satisfied with it or sure of it. For this reason his poetry has become masterpieces showing creation, art, and thinking. As for (his poems called) al-Hashimiyat, they are greater than limitation and evaluation. He has inserted in them the evidence for his doctrine, which is indisputable and undoubted. (His poems called) were among the cultural means at those times. For they are rich in thinking and literature. They were reported in the clubs and the assemblies. So, the people memorized them.”

Al- Kumayt and al-Farazdaq

The historians reported that al-Kumayt composed his (poems called) al-Hashimiyat. However, he concealed them. He did not announce them among the people. For he wanted to ask the advice of al-Farazad b. Ghalib, the great Arab poet, about them. So, he went to him. When he met him, he said to him:

“O Abu Firas, you are the chief of (the tribe of) Madar and their poet. I am your nephew, al-Kumayt b. Zayd al-Asadi.”

“You are truthful. You are my nephew. What is your need,”al-Farazdaq asked.

“I have composed poetry. I want to submit it to you. If it is good, order me to announce it. If it is bad, order me to conceal it. And you will be the first to conceal it for me,” answered al-Kumayt.

So, al-Farazdaq admired his politeness. Then he said him:

“As for your reason, it is good. I hope that your poetry is as equal as your reason. Recite to me what you have written. ”

Thus, al- Kumayt recited him his wonderful (poem), saying:

“I am delighted. I am not delighted for the beautiful women”

Al-Farazdaq interrupted him, saying: “My nephew, for what you are delighted?”

“I am not delighted for play. Does the old man play?” replied al-Kumayt.

“Yes, my nephew, play. You are at the time of play,”said Al-Farazdaq.

“Neither a house nor the trace of the house divert me.

Nor does a finger dyed with henna make me delighted,” said al-Kumayt.

Al-Farazdaq admired this poetry. Then he asked: “My nephew, what has made you delighted?”

“Nor do the antelopes that pass me on the right hand in the evening (delight me).

(I am not delighted) whether a sounded-horned (antelope) or a one broken-horned (antelope) passes,” said al-Kumayt.

“Yes. Do not be pessimistic,” said Al-Farazdaq.

“However, the people of outstanding merits, piety, the best of the children of Eve (has delighted me). The good are sought,” said al-Kumayt.

This high wonderful poetry moved Al-Farazdaq, so he said:

“Woe unto you! Who are they?”

Al-Kumayt said: “(I am delighted at) the white group (the Hashimites). Through love for them I seek nearness to Allah. ”

Al-Kumayt controlled the feelings and sentiments of Al-Farazdaq.

“Relieve me! Woe unto you! Who are they?” shouted Al-Farazdaq.

So, al-Kumayt said: “(They are) the Hashimites, the family of the Prophet. I am satisfied with them. I always become angry for them. I have made my soul obedient to them out of love (for them). I receive them with pleasure.”

This poetry controlled the feelings of Al-Farazdaq. So, he said:

“My nephew, announce, and then announce (your poetry). By Allah, you are better in poetry than those who passed away and those who are still alive.”13

The Characteristics of his Poetry

The poetry of al- Kumayt is distinguished by the religious values through which he sincerely expressed his feelings towards his masters, the Hashimites. For he showed sincere affection and love for them. The unquestionable proofs imposed that on him.

As for the characteristics of his poetry, the following are some of them:

1. His poetry concerning the Hashimites is not mere sentiment. Rather, it depends on dispute and satisfaction. Shawqi Dayf said: “Thus, al- Kumayt's poetry does not express only feelings. Rather, it also expresses thoughts. Moreover, it expresses the ability of the Arab reason to dispute and to convince.”14 “Perhaps, it expresses thoughts more than it expresses sentiments.”15 These are two lines of his wonderful poems. They represent this trend:

They said:

We have inherited it (the caliphate) from father and mother.

Neither mother nor father had given it to them by will.

They think foolishly they have obligatory right on the people.

However, the right of the Hashimites is more obligatory.16

With these two lines al-Kumayt condemned the persons who usurped illegally the caliphate. For they singled out a right for them and imposed the right on the people. They claimed that they belonged to Quraysh, the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. So, they seized the caliphate. However, the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, satisfied perfectly this condition. For they were the nearest people to him. After these two lines, al-Kumayt praised the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. Then he mentioned the right of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, to the caliphate. He said:

They (the Umayyads) said:

He (the Prophet) is not inherited.

Were it for his successors, Bakil, Arhab, ‘Akk, Lakhm, al-Sikun,

Himyar, Kinda, al-Hayyan, and Taghlub would equally take part in it (the caliphate).17

With these two lines, al-Kumayt wanted to refute the Umayyads, who said that no one would inherit the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. The Explainer of the poems called al-Hashimiyat said: “If this was true, the above-mentioned tribes would equally take part in the caliphate.”Thus, the caliphate would not be confined to Quraysh. This is logical thinking. Through these proofs, al-Kumayt became a jurist. He composed his poetry as the knowledgeable jurist did. For he was knowledgeable in discussing and proving the problems, as Dr. Yousif Khulayf said.18

2. Al-Kumayt quoted some verses from the Quran when he praised the Hashimites. Addressing the Hashimites, he said:

We have found a verse concerning you in the verses beginning with Ha Mim.

The pious and the non-pious from us have explained it.

In other than the verses beginning with Ha Mim, there are successive verses concerning you.

They are as signposts (of knowledge) for the possessor of tiring doubt.19

In the first line, al-Kumayt meant these Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“Say I demand not, of you any reward for it (the toils of preaching), except the love of my relations.” (Ash-Shura, 42:23)

In the second line, he meant these Words of Allah, the Most High:

“People of the House, surely, Allah intends to keep off from you every kind of uncleanliness, and to purify with a thorough purification.” (Al-Ahzab,33:33)
“And give to the near of kin his due.” (Al-Isra’, 17:26)
“And know that whatever thing you acquire in war, a fifth of it is for Allah and for the Apostle and for the near of kin.” (Al-Anfal, 8:41)

Al-Kumayt confirmed the outstanding merits of his masters, the Hashimites, with verses from the Holy Quran. For “falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it.”

3. Al-Kumayt's poetry on praising the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, is truthful in language, and strong in sentiment. It is free from worldly pleasures. It is full of pure of pure faith. Al-Kumayt composed such kind of poetry to seek Allah's pleasure and the hereafter. The following words of his prove that:

“(I am delighted at) the white group (the Hashimites). Through the love for them I seek nearness to Allah.”

Al-Kumayt's love for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt) was sincere. For he found no other means to seek nearness to Allah except the sincere love for them.

4. Al-Kumayt composed poetry on the Hashimites. In this poetry, he did not depend on the laudable deeds and the outstanding merits he heard. Rather, he depended on his own observations. For he was contemporary with them. So, he recognized their ideals that spread throughout the world. Thus, he adored them. He was like those who adored and admired virtue. Al-Kumayt's poetry was a live picture. It showed the real state of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. For “Allah kept off from them every kind of uncleanliness, and purified them with a thorough purification.”These are some characteristics of the poetry. As for its techniques, they require elaboration. However, we have preferred shortness to elaboration in most of this research.

His firm Doctrine

Al-Kumayt had firm faith in his doctrine. He based his doctrine on unquestionable ideas. So, he was the poet of the Shi‘ite doctrine. He expressed the Shi‘ite ideas and fundamentals. The narrators mentioned that he was the first to split open the door to the pleas for Shi‘ites in his poems called al-Hashimiyat. He was their tongue. He defended them. He offered pleas on behalf of them. His poems called al-Hashimiyat pictured the cultural and the ideological sides of the Shi‘ite doctrine. They encompassed clearly the affairs of the Imamate, which was regarded as among the basic elements in the Shi‘ite doctrine.

Al-Kumayt and Imam al-Baqir

Al-Kumayt devoted himself to Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him. So, he was his special poet. He recited to him some of his poems called al-Hashimiyat, which he wrote about the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. They impressed the Imam, peace be on him. So, the Imam thanked him for that. He asked Allah to forgive al-Kumayt and to be pleased with him.

Al-Kumayt thought there was no one worth of obedience and respect except his master, Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him. He came to him and said:

There passed away those in whose protection (the people) lived.

No one has remained except the gloating (over other's misfortune) and the envious.

Only one (person) has remained in the earth. It is he who is wanted.

It is you who is that one (person).20

His longing for seeing the Imam.

Al-Kumayt lived in Kufa. He longed very much for seeing the Imam. So, he traveled to Medina (Yathrib). When he stood before the Imam, he recited to him his poem. In his poem, al-Kumayt described his longing for him. In it he said:

Longing for you has affected me.

So, I covered many places to see you.

O You who are the best one,

to you is my obedience and humbleness.

You are my hope.

Thus, the person strives to come to his hope.

You are the followers of Allah.

You have pictures in my eyes and in my ears.

You order (people to do good deeds) and forbid

(them from doing evil deeds).

You are not tired of asking Allah for good.

You respond to the one who asks you.21

These lines show his great obedience to the Imam and his longing for him.

Al-Kumayt elegized al-Husayn

Al-Kumayt was born in the year when Imam Husayn, the father of the free, peace be on him, was killed. When he grew up and understood life, he knew that the fears of that immortal tragedy perplexed the people. Thus, they recalled in their assemblies the burdensome misfortunes of Imam Husayn, peace be on him. So, those disasters moved the feelings and sentiments of al-Kumayt. They filled his soul with stormy pains. His soul melted for Imam Husayn. Thus, he elegized him with many poems. The narrators said that he composed a poem to bewail al-Husayn. Then he went to Imam Abu Ja‘far to recite it before him. When he came to him, he said to him:

“O Son of the Apostle of Allah, I have written some lines of poetry about you. Do you permit me to recite them?”

“These are the white days.22 Reciting poetry during them is abominable,” replied Imam Abu Ja‘far.

“They are especially on you,” explained al-Kumayt.

“Recite what you have,”said the Imam.

Thus, al-Kumayt recited:

The time made me smile, and it made me weep.

The time has changed.

Nine (persons) were betrayed in Karbala'.

When the Imam heard this elegizing about his grandfather, he burst into tears. His son, Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq, peace be on him, and the ‘Alid women burst into tears too.

Al-Kumayt went on reciting, saying:

Six (persons) with whom no one competed.

They are the sons of Aqil, the best of knights,

and ‘Ali, their good lord.

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, went on weeping. Then he told al-Kumayt about the abundant reward Allah had prepared for those who mentioned the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, and had mercy on them.

Then al-Kumayt went on:

Who was delighted at what afflicted you?

Or who was gloating over it one day?

After that glory, you have become lowly.

Then, I cannot repel oppression when it covers me.

So, the Imam, peace be on him, took al-Kumayt by the hand and invoked Allah for him, saying:

“O Allah, forgive al-Kumayt his past and present sins!”

Finally, al-Kumayt asked:

When will the Truth rise among you?

When will your Mahdi, the second, rise?

So, the Imam turned to him. He told him about Imam al-Mahdi, may Allah quicken his appearance. He said: “He is the awaited Imam. He will fill the earth with justice and fairness as it was filled with oppression and tyranny.” “When will he appear?” asked al-Kumayt. The Imam, peace be on him, replied: “Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, was asked about that. So, he answered: ‘He is like the Hour (of Resurrection), which will unexpectedly come to you.'”23

A Poem of his Poems called al-Hashimiyat

Al-Kumayt recited one of his poems called al-Hashimiyat before Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him. It is the most wonderful of Arab poetry. It clearly describes his personal impressions of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. For he observed their noble deeds and ideals. In this poem he said:

My heart does not yearn for youth, nor does it yearn for night dreams nor does it long for beautiful women whose cheeks are as white as the white antelope.

However, my hidden and manifest love is for the

Hashimites,

who are the best of all people, who are near to generosity,

who are far from oppression,

who are right when the people are wrong,

who has established the rules of Islam,

who are the sufficient defenders when the war breaks out,

who are the rain when drought hits the people,

who are the shelter for the orphans' mothers,

who are the sufficient leaders in all conditions,

who are the doctors of the doubters,

who are able to take vengeance.

They are like the camels that carry water for the people.

They are like the seas that quench thirst.

They are good, righteous, truthful, and liberal.

Their faces are bight. Their grandfathers are generous.

Their lineage is clear.

They are knowledgeable chiefs.

Their honor is shining.

They are noble chiefs.

They are clement. They are just in behavior. They skillful in the critical affairs.

They are the best of all the people in speech and bravery.

In the beginning of his poem, al-Kumayt mentioned that he loved, and that love controlled his feelings and sentiments. For whom is this strong love? Surely, it is not for the beautiful women, who charm the people with their beauty. Rather it is for those who are the best of all people in importance and the highest of them in position. It is for the Hashimites, in whom all the elements of honor and glory came together. They were the best of all people in talents and cleverness. Al-Kumayt confined his obedience and love to them. He did not depend on feelings and sentiments when he loved his masters, the Hashimites. Rather, he found them a wonderful example, of which no one had in the history of mankind. He saw, observed, and felt the outstanding merits that promoted them to the highest height, namely the height of thinking and leadership in Islam.

Al-Kumayt adored his masters, for he observed the following outstanding merits:

1. They were the sources of generosity and liberality. They gave generously all what they had to refresh the deprived and to save the poor.

2. They were the source of justice. They did not prefer close relatives to common people. Rather, the people were equal with them. They did not know patronage and the other considerations, which people put into effect out of their sentiments and desires.

3. They were the bravest of all creatures. Fright did not pass through their souls. They took part in many battles. They showed extreme courage, of which no one saw throughout history. For example, Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, is known for his bravery. Imam Husayn, peace be on him, showed unique courage at the Battle of ‘Ashura’. All the members of the Prophet's family had such an outstanding merit. They had courage, of which no one of the people had.

4. They were the shelter of the orphans and the deprived people when drought hit them. The people found no one to have mercy on them except the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them.

5. They were the custodians over the affairs of the people. In other words, the people consulted them when they faced with difficult affairs. They also resorted to them when crises and events struck them. There was no one who could solve such difficulties except the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. They had excellent reason and correct opinions. So, they were able to solve the difficulties and crises of the people.

6. They were wise and skillful in curing psychological diseases. Thus, they could removed the germs of deviation from the truth. They studied the essence of man. So, they knew why he inclined to greediness, caprice, and deviation from the truth. Then they gave him excellent directions to cure his psychological diseases. You find in their words wonderful maxims and preaching. They said them to reform and educate the people.

7. They were the noble chiefs, who created wisdom to enlighten people. Thus, the thirsty (for wisdom) resorted to them. Those who wanted life depended on their generosity and liberality.

8. They were the seas that quenched the thirst of those who were about to perish. They were the source of happiness and good for man.

9. They were the best of all people in goodness, truthfulness, generosity, handsomeness, noble grandfathers, importance, and lineage.

10. They were more important than the people, more just than them, and more skillful than them in the critical affairs.

11. Throughout history, they exceeded the people in truthful talk, genuine thinking, and fruitful ideas.

After these lines, al-Kumayt went on mentioning the laudable and the outstanding merits of his masters, the Hashimites, whom he adored. He said:

(They are) beneficiary, givers, feeders without miserliness.

(They are) helpers, very obliging, very forgiving, clement toward the army that devours all things.

They are able to take vengeance and leave it,

even if they are angered with ugly words.

They untie their garments on the day of disturbance.

They are generous Abtahis. They are as manifest as the stars.

They are Ghalibis Hashimites. They have knowledge from the All-Knowing (Allah).

They are honest in their positions. Thus, they raise their heads high.

When war burns, and the knight walks toward the knight,

they are the lions in war.

They are the lions of war, the rain of drought, cheerful, and eloquent.

They are not prattling in the assembly nor are they silent out of confutation.

They are chiefs. They defend the women when the battle is like the battles (of Arabs).

They have the sense of honor. They are courageous at the battle.

They are not unarmed in the battles nor are they sluggish.

They put into effect the most reliable affair out of their piety.

They were the first to respond to the message (of the Prophet).

They perform the pilgrimage (to Mecca).

In these lines, al-Kumayt presented the ideal qualities of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. They are as follows:

1. They earned money. They generously gave this money. They wanted neither reward neither thankfulness.

2. When they were wronged, they were able to take vengeance. However, they left vengeance. For they preferred what Allah has to vengeance. The ugly words of their enemies did not anger them.

3. They were full of clemency. So, they were patient toward every disturbance.

4. They were the chiefs of Quraysh. They were generous. So, they were like the stars or the signposts which the straying follow.

5. They belonged to Ghalib b. Fihr, the lord of the Arabs. So, they belonged to Hashim. They got knowledge, of which no one got. Allah, the Most High, endowed them with that knowledge.

6. They were honest in their positions. They were free from sins, mistakes, and defects. So, they raised their head.

7. They showed extreme courage when the battle started. So, they received death with smiling lips.

8. They were not talkative in the assemblies. They talked when there was a necessity to talk. They kept silent when silence was necessary, namely without confutation.

9. They protected their families from oppression during the most critical battles of the Arabs.

10. They were bold during the battles. They were the lions of the battles. They lighted the fire of the battles. They threw themselves into it. They were neither armless nor were they slow in the battles. Rather, they were signposts, leaders, and chiefs.

11. Finally, al-Kumayt gave a perfect picture of the character of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. He mentioned that they depended on the most reliable affairs, and that they refrained from doubts. For they were very pious. Then he mentioned that they were the first to respond to the true message, which the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, announced. For Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, was the first to believe in Islam. He was the first to defend the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and his message.

After praising the ‘Alids, al-Kumayt satirized their enemies, the Umayyads. He said:

They (the ‘Alids) are leaders. However, they are not like those who treat people as they treat the animals.

They are not like ‘Abd al-Malik, al-Walid, Sulayman, and Hisham, whose opinions towards their subjects are like those of the shepherd toward their sheep in the darkness.

Thus, when they (the caliphs) die, their reputation dies, too.

When they live, they do not treat people with justice.

This is the strongest and the most truthful satire of the Umayyads. In these lines, al-Kumayt unveiled the Umayyad politicians, who regarded the people as sheep. They did not believe in the rights of the people. Rather they exposed them to painful tortures. Then al-Kumayt mentioned that the Umayyad kings would have no reputation. For they violated all the rights of the people. They did not establish justice. Thus, the people would not mention them with good. Rather, they would mention their oppression, tyranny, and severe punishments.

Then al-Kumayt went on praising the Hashimites, saying:

They are near to every goodness. They far from every defect.

They are the most merciful of all the people. They are the most clement of them.

They have lent a helping hand to people. They have held back the hand of

oppression and ignorance from them.

They have put into effect moderation, and gone on it.

Noble deeds and ancient lineage belong to them.

They are the family of the one with truthful talk, Abu al-Qasim, the branch of the noble chiefs.

These lines picture the high ideals of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. For they were near to every goodness and far from every ugly deed. They fulfilled all promises. They had mercy on the people. They were the most clement of all the people. These outstanding qualities and others have made people incline to them, adore them, and admire them.

In his wonderful poem, al-Kumayt went on praising the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, saying:

He was the most perfect human being from his birth till his death.

He belonged to the noblest lineage.

He immigrated from Mecca to Medina (Yathrib), and resided there.

The delusions of the world did not deceive him.

He guided us to Paradise, so he saved us from the Fire.

Through him, Allah removed ignorance from people.

After praising the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, al-Kumayt praised the great martyr, Ja‘far al-Tayyar, the cousin of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. He also praised the immortal martyr, Hamza, the uncle of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, saying:

The one who is adorned by two wings (i. e, Ja‘far), and the son of Hala (i. e, Hamza), the lion of Allah, the brave defender, are from them (the Hashimites).

There is no cousin like this nor is there an uncle like this, who is the lord of uncles.

Then al-Kumayt praised the lord of the trustees, the gate of the city of the knowledge of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, saying:

Al-Tajwabi (i. e., Abd al-Rahman b. Muljim) ruined the throne of the community

through (murdering) the trustee (i. e., Imam ‘Ali).

He (Imam ‘Ali) was chaste, glorious, good, and skillful in solving the affairs.

He was the trustee (of authority), the ruler, and the knight.

He sometimes fought against the polytheists, and sometimes with the Kharijites.

Then al-Kumayt mentioned Imam Husayn, the lord of martyrs, and the plant of sweet basil of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. He said:

The trustee of the trustee, the owner of the sound plan,who ruined the enemies on the day of the enmity.

Then al-Kumayt mentioned the tragedy of Imam Husayn, peace be on him. For that tragedy has saddened the souls. He said:

Many low people killed him at al-Taf (a place near Kufa).

When Imam Abu Ja‘far heard this line, he burst into tears. Then he said to al-Kumayt, as Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said to Hassan: “The Holy Spirit supports you as long as you defend, the members of the House (ahl-al-Bayt).”24

Then al-Kumayt mentioned Abu al-Fadl al-‘Abbas, the son of the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. For he sacrificed his soul for his brother, Imam Husayn, the lord of the free, peace be on him. He said:

And Abu al-Fadl, indeed, their pretty remembrance, is the cure of selves from illnesses.25

Finally, al-Kumayt said:

Allah has made pure my love (for the Hashimites).

When al-Kumayt had finished reciting his wonderful poem, Imam Abu Ja‘far turned to the direction of the Kaaba. He invoked Allah for al-Kumayt, saying:

“O Allah, have mercy on al-Kumayt, and forgive him (his sins).”

The Imam repeated this supplication three times. Then he said to al-Kumayt: “O Kumayt, take this one hundred thousand (dirhams). I have collected it from household.”However, al-Kumayt refused to accept the money. He said that he wanted a reward from Allah, the Exalted. Then he asked the Imam, peace be on him, for a shirt. So, the Imam gave him a shirt.26

Al-Kumayt saw off the Imam. Then he went to ‘Abd Allah b. al-Hasan. He recited to him his wonderful poem. So, ‘Abd Allah admired the poem, and then he said to al-Kumayt: “O Abu al-Mustahal, I have a country estate. I have been given four thousand dinars for it. This is the contract of it. I asked some witnesses to testify to that.”

Then ‘Abd Allah gave the contract to al-Kumayt. However, the latter refused to accept it, saying: “May my father and mother be ransom for you, I had composed poetry concerning other than you. I had wanted the world for it. By Allah, what I have said regarding you is for the sake of Allah. So, I will take neither money nor rewards for what I do for Allah.”

Then ‘Abd Allah insisted on that. So, al-Kumayt took the contract and went away. Some days passed. Then he came to ‘Abd Allah and said to him:

“I have a need.”
“What is it? I will fulfill all your needs.”
“Every need?”
“Yes.”
“Accept this contract. And return the country estate.”

Al-Kumayt gave ‘Abd Allah the contract. So, the latter accepted it. Then ‘Abd Allah b. Mu‘awiya b. ‘Abd Allah b. Ja‘far rose. He took a bag and gave it to four of his retainers. He entered the houses of the Hashimites, saying:

“O Hashimites, this is al-Kumayt. He says poetry about you while the people have kept silent towards your outstanding merits. He has exposed his blood to the Umayyads. Then reward him for that.”

Thus, the ‘Alids put dirhams and dinars into the bag. Moreover, the ‘Alid ladies took off their ornaments and put them into the bag. So, ‘Abd Allah collected one hundred thousand dirhams. Then he brought it to al-Kumayt and said to him:

“O Abu al-Mustahal, we have brought you a small reward. We are in the state of our enemy. We have collected this sum of money. The ornaments of the women are with it. Make use of it against your time.”

However, al-Kumayt refused to accept the money, saying:

“May my father and mother be ransom for you. When I praise you, I want nothing except Allah and His Apostle. I will take no reward from the world. Return the money to its people.”

Abd Allah spared nothing to convince al-Kumayt to accept the money. However, the latter refused to accept it.27

His Poem called al-Lamiya

Al-Kumayt recited before Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, his poem called al-Lamiya. This poem moved the feelings and sentiments of the Imam. For, in this poem, al-Kumayt mentioned the painful political events at that time. He also mentioned the persecutions from which the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, suffered. In the beginning of the poem, he said:

Does the one who commits sins, follows his caprice, pays no attention to wisdom, consider carefully the final results? Does the one whose heart evil and mistreatment control understand the truth?

Does the community wake for its own affair, rise from its lull and slumber, so it takes off the garment of laziness and cowardice, and removes the oppression and tyranny that have befallen it?

The silence (of the people) towards oppression has become long. If this oppression was changed, their silence would be better for them.

In these lines, al-Kumayt summoned the Muslims to end their silence. He warned them from lull and laziness. Then he encouraged them to revolt against the Umayyads, who persecuted the people.

In this wonderful poem, al-Kumayt said:

The (religious) precepts have been canceled.

It seams that we follow a religion other than our religion.

Our words are those of the leading prophets.

However, our deeds are those of the people

who lived before Islam.

We are satisfied with the world,

from which we do not want to separate our souls.

Yet, in it, we die and are killed.

We cling to it. It is like a shield of which we are afraid.

In the first line, al-Kumayt mentioned that the Umayyads stopped the religious precepts and the Islamic fundamentals. Thus, it seemed that the Muslims followed a religion other than the religion of Islam.

In the second line, he dispraised the Umayyad rulers. For their words were of the righteous. Still, their deeds were contrary to their words. Rather, their deeds were of the people who lived before Islam.

In the last two lines, he ascribed that state of the Muslims to their love for the world. So, they did not revolt against the Umayyad government. Then al-Kumayt said:

The people are neglected. They are like the camels that graze without a driver.

O Politicians, answer what we ask you about. By my life, there are eloquent ones among you.

Are you the people of the Book? Do you rule the people according to it?

In the first line, al-Kumayt said that the Umayyads neglected the affairs of the people. So, the people became like the neglected camels, which had no driver to take care of them. In the last two lines, he asked those politicians if they were the people of the Book, and if they ruled the people according to it. If they were so, then why did they deviate from the religion? Why did they neglect its teachings? Then al-Kumayt went on asking the Umayyads about that negligence. He ascribed oppression and tyranny to them. He numbered their bad qualities. Then he summoned the Muslims to revolt against them. Then he mentioned Imam Husayn, the father of the free, peace be on him, saying:

Their swords selected al-Husayn and his companions, as the one who selected plants.

Their horses were covered with blood from the family of Muhammad.

The Prophet of Allah was absent from among them. His absence was a misfortune that befell people.

Al-Kumayt's words and sentiments were truthful when he elegized al-Husayn, peace be on him. His lines moved Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, very much. Then al-Kumayt said:

The fighters hit him (al-Husayn) through the bow of other than them.

The first (Hisham) gave error to the last.

In this line, al-Kumayt said that the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, were liable to many disasters. The previous people were responsible for such disasters. For they helped the Umayyads seize the authority and rule over the Muslims. When Imam Abu Ja‘far heard this line, he was full of sadness. So, he raised his hands towards the sky. Then he invoked Allah for al-Kumayt, saying: “O Allah, forgive al-Kumayt.”28

With this, we will end our talk about al-Kumayt's poem called Lamiya. In this poem it was mentioned that he elegized Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him. In it he said:

I will die for the Truth, as Abu Ja‘far died.

Surely, al-Kumayt composed this line after the death of Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him. Then the line has been added to his poem called al-Lamiya.

His Poem called al-‘Ayniya

The following is another wonderful poem of his poems called al-Hashimiyats. Al-Kumayt came to Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, to recite this poem before him. He said to him: “I have written poetry. If I reveal it, I will be killed. If conceal it, I am afraid of Allah, the Most High.” Then he recited for the Imam, peace be on him, this wonderful poem:

Sleeplessness has dismissed sleep from your eye.

And a care brings tears from it.

The care has controlled the heart. It moves the illness and sadness (in the heart), which has been prevented from happiness.

That is for the missing of the chiefs from Quraysh.

In these lines, al-Kumayt described his continuous cares. For they made him sleepless. They made him know nothing except sadness and sorrow. For he always thought about the disasters and misfortunes that befell his ‘Alid masters. Those disasters and misfortunes burnt his heart. They filled him with sorrow and sadness.

In his poem called al-‘Ayniya, al-Kumayt described his master, Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. He said:

With the Most Merciful (Allah), he (the Prophet) discloses al-Mathani (Surat al-Fatiha).

Abu Hasan (Imam ‘Ali) was a chosen one for him.

His cousin who degraded his own caprice.

He hastened to please his Creator.

The Prophet chose him, irrespective of those who refused to mention his outstanding merits.

He announced his authority on the day of Ghadir Khum.

However, the men pledged allegiance to each other.

They forgot his right and wronged him.

In these lines, al-Kumayt mentioned Imam ‘Ali, the commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He mentioned that the Imam, peace be on him, supported the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, when he announced his bright message. The Imam protected him from the oppressive aggressors. From that he wanted nothing except Allah's pleasure and the hereafter. The Imam, peace be on him, had outstanding spiritual abilities. So, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, chose him. He made him his helper and the successor after him. He announced that in the general meeting he held at Ghadir Khum. He announced his Imamate and his succession (to authority) after him. In this connection, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “Whoever I am the master of, this man, ‘Ali is his master. O Allah, befriend whoever befriends, be hostile to whoever opposes him, support whoever supports him and desert whoever deserts him.”29 Thus, Allah and His Apostle pledged allegiance to Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, and the first leader of the Islamic Message. However, the people paid no attention to this homage. They ignored their pledge of allegiance to the Imam and forgot his high rank. So, they held a meeting under the shelter (saqifa). History books have mentioned in detail this event.

Then al-Kumayt went on reciting his wonderful poem, saying:

Even you are afraid of the sword and the whip, say to the Umayyads wherever they are:

Fie on the time when I am cowardly and obedient to you.

May Allah make him hungry whom you have satisfied.

May He make full him whom you have made hungry through your tyranny.30

In these lines, al-Kumayt mentioned the Umayyads. He invoked Allah against their hirelings. He asked Allah to starve them and to deprive them of His mercy. For they were full of the money and gifts of the Umayyds. Meanwhile he invoked Allah for those whom the Umayyads wronged. He asked Him to enrich them and to make them lead a happy life. Then al-Kumayt mentioned the Hashimites. He said that they were the leaders of the community. So, they would let the community live in comfort.

The historians said: “When Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, heard this poem, he admired it. Then he said: ‘O Allah, be sufficient to al-Kumayt. '”

The Imam repeated this supplication three times. So, Allah saved al-Kumayt from the prison of the Umayyads.31

His firm Struggle

Al-Kumayt struggled firmly for his beliefs and fundamentals. In the most critical circumstances, he proclaimed the laudable deeds and outstanding merits of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. He summoned the people to support them. In the meantime he summoned them to revolt against the tyrannical Umayyads. He played an important role in shaking and overthrowing the Umayyad entity. The following is some of his efforts in this connection:

1. His praising ahl al-Bayt

Al-Kumayt praised the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, very much. He numbered their noble deeds and their outstanding qualities in his poems called al-Hashimyat, which are the most valuable masterpieces in Arab literature. Worth mentioning, his poems played an effective role in enlightening the Muslims. The made them detest the Umayyads.

Al-Kumayt praised the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. However, the Umayyds officially prevented the people from praising them. Rather, they forced the people to curse them on the pulpits. They ordered the teachers to make their pupils detest them. They formed committees to make traditions to defame them. Moreover, they punished severely those who mentioned their laudable deeds. So, al-Kumayt endangered himself when he praised the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. For he resisted the desires of the authority. Besides, he opposed its policies.

2. His dispraising the Umayyds

Al-Kumayt played a dangerous role in opposing the Umayyds. For he dispraised their kings. He numbered their bad deeds. In his poetry, he pictured them as the worst creatures. The people memorized what he composed about them. So, they turned away from the Umayyads. They were indignant with them. Thus, his dispraise was among the factors that overthrew the Umayyd government. Among his words on them are:

Even you are afraid of the sword and the whip, say to the Umayyads wherever they are:

Fie on the time when I am cowardly and obedient to you.

May Allah make hungry him whom you have satisfied.

May He make full him whom you have made hungry through your tyranny.

He recited these lines before Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him. So, the Imam asked Allah to forgive al-Kumayt and to be pleased with him.32 Al-Kumayt also dispraised Hisham b. ‘Abd al-Malik. He said:

Our words are those of the leading prophets.

However, our deeds are those of the people

who lived before Islam.33

Al-Kumayt also dispraised the supporters and the hirelings of the Umayyads. For example, he dispraised al-Hakim b. ‘Ayyash al-Kalbi. He prided himself of dispraising the Umayyads.

So, his son al-Mustahal hastened to him and blamed him for boasting of the Umayyads, saying:

“Father, you dispraised and defamed al-Kalbi. Then you boasted of the Umayyads. Yet you have regarded them as unbelievers. Would you boast of ‘Ali and the Hashimites, whom you follow? ”

So, al-Kumayt replied:

“My little son, al-Kalbi has devoted himself to the Umayyads, the enemies of ‘Ali. If I mentioned ‘Ali, al-Kalbi would leave mentioning my name, and he would dispraise him. Thus, I would expose ‘Ali to dispraise.”

Thus, al-Kalbi refrained from answering al-Kumayt. However, he let sorrow and sadness hurt him.”34

3. His moving Tribalism between the Yemenis and the Nazaris

Al-Kumayt played a dangerous role in destroying the Umayyad state. He spared no effort to stir up discord between the Yemenis and the Nazaris, the most important of the Arab tribes in number and influence and supporting the Umayyad government. In his poems, al-Kumayt dispraised the Yemenis. He numbered their defects. Al-Mas‘udi reported the reason al-Kumayt dispraised the Yemenis. He said that al-Kumayt visited Abd Allah b. al-Hasan. The latter asked the former to compose poetry to sow division among the Arabs to overthrow the Umayyad state. So, al-Kumayt accepted that. Then he composed wonderful poems. In them, he glorified the Yemenis, and mentioned their laudable deeds. Meanwhile he dispraised the Qahtanis.

His poetry had great effects on the hearts. Thus, it moved malice and hatred between the two tribes. Di‘bil al-Khuza‘i, the Poet of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, supported the Qahtanis. I think that there was a secret agreement between al-Kumayt and Di‘bil. For they were among the poets of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them.

So, each tribe mentioned its own laudable deeds. Meanwhile they defamed each other. Thus, enmity took place between them. Then the enmity included the people of the villages and the desert. Accordingly, their hearts were full of malice and hatred. Discords occurred between the two families. Marwan b. Muhammad al-Ju‘di, the last Umayyad king, sided with the Nazaris. The Yemenis deviated from the Umayyads. Then they joined the ‘Abbasids. With that the Umayyad state collapsed.35 Ahmed Amin said: “A short time after al-Kumayt, the Umayyad state was overthrown.”36

His Arrest

Al-Kumayt satirized the Yemenis. His satire became famous. The people talked about it in their assemblies and clubs. Khalid b. ‘Abd Allah al-Qasri, the governor of Kufa heard of it. He sided with the Yemenis. He said: “By Allah, I will kill al-Kumayt.”The historians said: “Khalid b. ‘Abd Allah al-Qasri bought a very beautiful slave girl. He made her memorize al-Kumayt's poems called al-Hashimiyat. After she had memorized them, he gave her as a gift to Hisham b. ‘Abd al-Malik. He wrote to him about al-Kumayt's stories and satire against the Umayyads. He sent him al-Kumayt's poem, in which he said:

O Lord, victory is sought through You.

O Lord, reliance is on You.

It is a long poem. In it al-Kumayt elegized Zayd b. ‘Ali, the great martyr, and his son al-Husayn b. Zayd, the immortal martyr. In it, he also praised the Hashimites. When Hisham received the poem and read it, he became very angry. He wrote Khalid a letter, in which he ordered him to cut off al-Kumayt's tongue and hand. So, Khalid b. ‘Abd Allah al-Qasri ordered the police to arrest al-Kumayt. The police arrested him and imprisoned him. He remained in prison for some days. During them he suffered from persecutions.37

His Escape from Prison

Al-Kumayt remained in prison. He was afraid and worried. Cares and troubles controlled him. He did not know the time of his execution. The historians said: “Al-Kumayt had a close friend called Aban b. al-Walid al-‘Ajali. The Umayyads had appointed Aban governor over Wasit. When Aban heard of al-Kumayt's news, he wrote him a letter. In the letter, he said: ‘You will be executed. Send for your wife. Put on her clothes, and order her to stay in prison.' He gave the letter to his retainer and ordered him to go quickly to al-Kumayt. Al-Kumayt did that and escaped from prison.”38

Al-Kumayt received Forgiveness

The authorities sought for al-Kumayt everywhere, but could not find him. For he hid himself from them. Al-Kumayt intended to praise Hisham and the Umayyads to save himself from them. He had sent his nephew, Ward, to Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, to ask his permission before he did that. Thus, the Imam, peace be on him, permitted him. Then Ward came back to his uncle and told him about the Imam's pleasures.39 So, al-Kumayt and a group of the Asadis headed for Damascus. When they arrived in it, they went to a group of the chiefs of Quraysh. They told them about the matter.

They accepted that, and then they except al-Kumayt went to ‘Unbisa b. Sa‘id b. al-‘As. They said to him:

“O Abu Khalid, Allah has given you this noble deed. This is al-Kumayt b. Zayd, the poet of Madar. The Commander of the Faithful (i. e., Hisham) ordered him to be killed. However, he escaped. He has come to you and us.”

‘Unbisa responded to them. He went to Moslima b. Hisham and said to him: “O Abu Shakir, I have brought you a noble deed through which you reach the pleiades.”“What is it?”asked Moslima. They told him about the matter. So, Moslima protected al-Kumayt.40 That became famous. When Hisham heard of it, he summoned his son Moslima and asked him: “Why have you protected al-Kumayt without an order from the Commander of the Faithful?”

“I have been waiting for the calmness of his anger,” replied Moslima.

“Bring him immediately,” Hisham commanded.

Moslima left the assembly of his father. He went to al-Kumayt and said to him: “O Abu al-Mustahal, the Commander of the Faithful has commanded me to bring you to him.”

“Abu Shakir, do you want to submit me to him?” asked al-Kumayt.

“No,” replied Moslima.

Moslima paved the way to his salvation. He said to him: “Mu‘awiya b. Hisham has recently died. He (Hisham) is very sad for him. When the night comes, sit by his grave. I will send you his children. When he summons you, ask them to tie their clothes to your clothes. Ask them to say: This man has sought protection with the grave of our father. We are worthy of protecting him.”Then Moslima left al-Kumayt and went away. When it got dark, al-Kumayt headed for the grave and sat by it. When Hisham entered upon morning, he came to the grave of his son. Then he asked: “Who is that over there?”“Perhaps, he is a seeker of protection with the grave,”they replied. “Everyone is given protection except al-Kumayt,”Hisham said. It was said to him: “He is al-Kumayt.”He ordered him to be brought. He was brought. The children had tied their clothes to his clothes. When Hisham looked at them, he burst into tears. Then the children said: “O Commander of the Faithful, he has sought protection with the grave of our father. My father has died. Forgive al-Kumayt for him and us.”So, Hisham wept.

Then al-Kumayt praised Hisham with some lines of poetry. So Hisham said: “Poetry should be like these lines. I am pleased with you”

Al-Kumayt thanked him for that. He asked him to prevent Khalid b. ‘Abd Allah al-Qasri from pursuing him. Hisham accepted that. Then he ordered forty thousand dirhams and thirty garments to be given to al-Kumayt. Then he wrote to Khalid to release al-Kumayt's wife and to give her twenty thousand dirhams and thirty garments. So, Khalid did that.41

Al-Kumayt could overcome the events with his cleverness, his eloquent words, and his strong character. He showed neither weakness nor fear before the tyrannical ruler, Hisham. Rather he showed sold will and firm determination. He was not satisfied with safety and salvation. Rather, he asked Hisham to prevent Khalid, the governor of Kufa, from pursuing him.

Admonition and Apology

Al-Kumayt came to Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him. The Imam welcomed him, sat beside him, smiled at him, and blamed him in a friendly manner, saying:

“O al-Kumayt, is it you who said:

Now I have joined the Umayyads?”

Thus, al-Kumayt apologized to the Imam for that. He answered as the knowledgeable jurist did:

“Yes, I have said that. I do not want the world through these words. For I have recognized your outstanding merits.”

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, was pleased with al-Kumayt. Then he said to him: “If you said that out of precautionary dissimulation, there would be no harm on you. For precautionary dissimulation is lawful.42 That occurred for he asked no permission from the Imam to praise the Umayyads. Al-Kumayt sincerely loved the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. He was obedient to them. Many tribulations befell him for them. Namely, he was liable to the wrath and adversities of the Umayyads. He ended part of his lifetime in prison. There he was full of fright. From that he wanted nothing except Allah's pleasure and the hereafter.

To Paradise

Al-Kumayt was a brave man. He defended the rights of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. Thus, Allah willed to grant him martyrdom at the hand of the most wicked ones of His creatures. That was as follows: Khalid al-Qasri, who punished al-Kumayt severely, was removed from the office. Then Yousif b. ‘Amr was appointed ruler over Iraq. So, al-Kumayt went to him to praise him with a poem. Meanwhile he dispraised Khalid al-Qasri. However, Yousif's guards sided with him. So, they stabbed al-Kumayt in the abdomen with their swords.43 He went out of Yousif's room. He fainted, and then he recovered. He was heard say: “O Allah, Muhammad's family! O Allah, Muhammad's family!”44 Then he passed away.

  • 1. Al-Darajat al-Rafi‘a fi Tabaqat al-Shi‘a, p.587
  • 2. Wafayat al-A‘yan, vol.3, p.266
  • 3. Al-Murtada, al-Amali, vol.1, p.283
  • 4. Al-A‘lam, vol.6, p.72
  • 5. Akhbar Shu‘ara’ al-Shi‘a, p.62
  • 6. Wafayat al-A‘yan, vol.1. p.269
  • 7. Al-Darajat al-Rafi‘a, p.590
  • 8. Al-Aghani, vol.8, p.25
  • 9. Ibid, vol.15, p.115
  • 10. Roudat al-Jinan, vol.6, p.59
  • 11. Al-Ghadir, vol.2, p.211
  • 12. Khazanat al-Adab, vol.1, p.99
  • 13. Al-Aghani, vol.15, p.124
  • 14. Al-Tatawir wa al-Tajjdid, p.241
  • 15. Ibid, p.240
  • 16. Al-Hashimiyat, pp.41-42
  • 17. Ibid, p.42
  • 18. Hayat al-Shi‘r fi al-Kufa, p.713
  • 19. Al-Hashimiyat, p.40
  • 20. Roudat al-Jinan, vol.6, p.56
  • 21. Ta’sis al-Shi‘a li ‘Ulum al-Islam, 189
  • 22. The days of bright nights are the thirteenth, the fourteenth, and the fifteenth. Their nights are called bright because the moon shines throughout them
  • 23. Al-Ghadir, vol.2, p.200
  • 24. Qasas al-‘Arab, vol.2, p.269. Murujj al-Dhahab, vol.2, p.195
  • 25. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p.84
  • 26. A‘yan al-Shi‘a, 1/4/515-516
  • 27. Murujj al-Dhahab, vol.2, p.195
  • 28. Al-Marzbani, Akhbar Shu‘ra’ al-Shi‘a, p.72
  • 29. The Tradition of al-Ghadir is repeatedly narrated by successive narrators. All Muslims have unanimously on its narration. All (the books called) al-Sihah have mentioned it
  • 30. Al-Hashimiyat, pp.81-82
  • 31. Akhbar Shu‘ara’ al-Shi‘a, pp.72-73
  • 32. Mu‘jam al-Shu‘ara’, p.348
  • 33. Ibid
  • 34. Al-Aghani, vol.15, p.129
  • 35. Hayat al-Imam Musa b. Ja‘far, p.1, p.315
  • 36. Duha al-Islam, vol.3, p.206
  • 37. Al-Aghani, vol.15, p.114
  • 38. Muqaddamat al-Hashimiyat, p.17
  • 39. Ibid
  • 40. Al-Ghadir, vol.2, p.206
  • 41. Al-Aghani, vol.15, pp.115-119
  • 42. Ibid, p.126
  • 43. Ibid, p.121
  • 44. Ibid, p.130

Chapter 8: Insignificant Kings

Imam al-Baqir was contemporary with Umayyad kings. The research about those kings is regarded as among the requirements of the formal research according to modern studies. For such a research pictures political, social, and intellectual life then. That time was very sensitive, for the believers suffered many persecutions.

Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, was still young when the Umayyad dynasty declined. That was during the time of Yazid, son of Mu‘awiya. Yazid spared no effort to abase the Muslims. He forced them to obey, and then he persecuted them. So, during his days, the Islamic world was full of disasters and tragedies.

Then the Marwani dynasty succeeded the Umayyad dynasty. Now we will mention the lives of the Marwani kings, with whom Imam Abu Ja‘far was contemporary. We will honestly mention their policy. The first of the Marwani kings was:

Marwan bin al-Hakam

Marwan bin al-Hakam was the first to assume the Islamic caliphate, the center of Justice in Islam. He had committed evil deeds against Islam. All the narrators mentioned that he had no good quality. He was inappropriate for this religious office. Rather he was the enemy of Allah, of His Apostle, and of the Muslims. We will briefly mention some of his affairs.

The Prophet cursed him

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, cursed Marwan b. al-Hakam when he (Marwan) was in the loins of his father. That is according to the narration of ‘A'isha, who said: “However, Allah's Apostle cursed the father of Marwan when Marwan was in his loins.”1 When ‘Abd Allah b. al-Zubar circumambulated the Kaba, he said: “By the Lord of this Building, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, cursed al-Hakam and his son.”2

The reporters said: [The people of Medina brought their new-born babies to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. When Marwan was born, he was brought to the Prophet. So, he, may Allah bless him and his family, said:] “It is the cursed one, the son of the cursed one.”3 Al-Hakam b. Abi al-‘As passed by the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. Then the Prophet said: “My community will face grief from the one in the lions of that (person).”4 Through the unseen, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, knew that Marwan would endanger his community. So, he cursed him, and warned the Muslims of keeping in contact with him.

His father was banished from Medina

Al-Hakam was the most spiteful person towards Allah's Apostle, Allah bless him and his family, and the most harmful of them towards him. In other words he hurt the Prophet as Abu Lahab did.5 He mocked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. He passed from behind him, slandered him, imitated him, and frowned at him. When the Prophet performed the prayer, al-Hakam stood behind him and pointed to him with his fingers.6 The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, saw him, so he invoked Allah against him, saying: “O Allah, make him shake!” So, al-Hakam shook at his place.7

The Prophet, Allah bless him and his family, was very displeased with al-Hakam, so he ordered him to be banished from Medina. He said: “This cursed person should not live with me at the same place nor should his sons.” So, al-Hakam was banished from Medina to Ta‘if, where he and the members of his family remained. They suffered lull and abasement. Poverty and hunger stroke them. When Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, died, ‘Uthman hurried to Abu Bakr and asked him to return al-Hakam and his family to Medina. However, Abu Bakr refused that, saying: “I will not shelter the persons whom Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, dismissed.” When ‘Umar became caliph, ‘Uthman talked to him about them. However, ‘Umar refused that and said as Abu Bakr did. When ‘Uthman became caliph, he brought them back to Medina.8 Then, he enriched them, and made them his ministers.

During the Days of ‘Uthman

When ‘Uthman became caliph over the affairs of the Muslims, he approached Marwan b. al-Hakam. He made him his minister and his private adviser. Thus, Marwan managed the affairs of the state while ‘Uthman had neither will nor choice.

‘Uthman gave much money to Marwan, so Zayd b. Arqam, the treasurer, was indignant with that. He gave the keys to ‘Uthman and wept. So, ‘Uthman asked him: “Why do you weep when I help my womb relatives?”

“I weep because you have taken this money in return for what you spent in the way of Allah during the lifetime of Allah's Apostle, Allah bless him and his family. One hundred dirhams is enough for Marwan.” So, ‘Uthman said: “O Son of Arqam, give me the keys. We will find a person other than you.”9 “Then ‘Uthman gave Marwan one hundred thousand ounces of gold or silver.”10

These gifts made the Muslims displeased with ‘Uthman. So, they overthrew his government.

His Inclinations and his Qualities

As for the inclinations and qualities of Marwan, they are as follows:

A. He was envious. Malik b. Hubayra al-Sukuni said to al-Husayn b. Numayr: “By Allah, if Marwan becomes caliph, he will envy you for your whip and your sandals and the tree under which you sit.”11

B. He was shallow in idea and opinion. It was he who caused ‘Uthman's death. The historians said: “The revolutionists surrounded ‘Uthman. They asked him to resign from office or to dismiss the Umayyads. Then Marwan came out to them. He said to them: May the faces be distorted out of abasement! Have you come to plunder us? These words moved sentiments and lighted the fire of the war and caused the death of ‘Uthman.” If Marwan had had reason, he would have not spoken to the revolutionists in such a manner.

C. He was ungrateful. The two Imams (al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them) did him many favors. They saved him from death at the Battle of the Camel. They interceded for him with Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. The Imam accepted their intercession for him. However, Marwan mistreated them. For example, he prevented the people from burying Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him, besides Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. Al-Walid summoned Imam Husayn to pledge allegiance to Yazid. Marwan advised al-Walid to kill the Imam if he had refused to pledge allegiance to Yazid. The historians said that he rejoiced when Yazid killed Imam al-Husayn peace be on him.

D. He was perfidious. He broke his promises. He pledged allegiance to Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, then he deserted him. He broke his pledge of allegiance to Imam Ali and revolted against him. Al-Hasan and al-Husayn said to their father, Imam ‘Ali: “Marwan will pledge allegiance to you.” However, the Imam, peace be on him, said: “I am not in need of his pledge of allegiance. It is a Jewish hand. If he pledged allegiance to me with his hand, he would desert with his forefinger.”

E. He supported falsehood and error. He joined the party of ‘A'isha, then he pledged allegiance to Mu‘awiya. He was called khayt batil (the thread of falsehood).12

This shameful surname was given to his children after him. In this connection Yahya b. Sa‘id composed poetry to satirize ‘Abd al-Malik b. Marwan, who killed ‘Amru b. Sa‘id al-Ashraq.13

Marwan was fond of cursing the Commander of the faithful.

Marwan was fond of cursing Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He cursed him on the pulpit every Friday when he was the governor of Medina. Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him, knew of that, however, he kept silent. He did not enter the mosque but during the time of the iqama. Marwan was displeased with that, so he sent persons to curse Imam al-Hasan and his father in his house.14

We do not wonder that Marwan cursed Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, the pioneer of justice and wisdom in the earth. For no one cursed and hated Imam ‘Ali except those who were like Marwan, who paid no attention to honor and humanity.

His Caliphate

Marwan became caliph in the year 64 A.H.15 That was when Mu‘awiya b. Yazid abdicated the caliphate, for he wanted to save his religion from the succession he inherited illegally from his father, Yazid. He abdicated that authority the Umayyad based on the sword, and wasting the properties of the Muslims. He exposed his father and his grandfather in the sermon in which he declared his abdication from the authority. In his sermon he said:

“Indeed, my grandfather, Mu‘awiya, usurped illegally the authority from the one who was more appropriate for it. For he (Imam ‘Ali) was a close relative to Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. He was the best of all the emigrants (muhajirin) in position. He was the first to believe in him. He was the cousin of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. He was his son-in-law, being married to his daughter. The Prophet made him a husband for her, for he (Imam ‘Ali) chose her. He made her a wife for him (‘Ali), for she chose him. So, they were the rest of Allah's

Apostle, the last of the prophets, may Allah bless him and his family. So, my grandfather committed what you have known. You have committed with him what you have known.16 Then, my grandfather died. He is in his grave full of sins. Then, my father assumed the caliphate. He was inappropriate for it. He followed his caprice. Then, he died. Now, he is in his grave full of sins.”

Mu‘awiya b. Yazid wept, and then he said: “We have known his (Yazid's) evil final result. For he killed the family of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. He violated the sacred city (Mecca), and destroyed the Kaba.”17

With this sermon, Mu‘awiya b. Yazid ruined the authority of the family of Abu Sufyan. The historians said that he renounced his father. For he was the noblest Umayyad caliph in history.

Marwan would not dream of the caliphate. For he decided to pledge allegiance to ‘Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr. However, ‘Ubayd Allah b. Zyyad prevented him from that.18 Al-Husayn nominated him for the caliphate. He said that he saw a lamp hanging in the sky, that whoever assumed the caliphate would take the lamp, and that no one would take it except Marwan.19 Then, he told the Syrians about that, so they responded to him. Then, Ruh b. Zinba‘ addressed the Syrians, saying:

“O People of Syria, this is Marwan b. al-Hakam. He is the Shaykh of Quraysh. He is the avenger of the blood of ‘Uthman. He fought against ‘Ali b. Abi Talib at the Battle of the Camel and of Siffin. So, pledge allegiance to the great one.”20

So, the mob competed with each other to pledge allegiance to Marwan. Thus, Marwan became the first caliph of the Marwani state, which exposed the Muslims to oppression and poverty.

His Death

Marwan's caliphate did not last long. It was as short as the dog licks its nose, as Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, said.21 As for the cause of his death, some references have ascribed it to his wife.22 When he died, a period of treason, falsehood, and error ended.

‘Abd al-Malik bin Marwan

He was recognized as caliph during the lifetime of his father. When his father died, the people of Egypt and Syria renewed the pledge of allegiance to him.23 The historians said: “He had affected worship and had been inclined to asceticism before he became caliph. When he became caliph, he closed the Holy Quran and said: ‘This is a separation between you and me.’”24 He was truthful when he said that. For he separated himself from Allah's Book and the Sunna (practices) of His Apostle. Moreover, he committed deeds contrary to Islam and the Quran. We will mention some of his affairs.

His Qualities

‘Abd al-Malik bin Marwan had no noble inclination nor had he a good quality. He was like his father. The historians said that he had the worst qualities. Among his qualities are the following:

1. Tyranny

‘Abd al-Malik was a tyrannical king. Concerning him, al-Mansur said: “‘Abd al-Malik was tyrannical. He paid no attention to what he did.25 He was a murderer. He knew neither mercy nor justice.” After he had killed b. al-Zubayr, he made a speech. In the speech he said: “If any one asked me to fear Allah, I will behead him.”26 He refrained from mentioning the name of Allah. He was the first to prevent the people from speaking in the presence of the caliphs.27

2. Perfidy

‘Abd al-Malik was perfidious. He broke his promises. For example, he promised to hand over the caliphate to ‘Amru b. Sa‘id al-Ashdaq. However, he broke that. Rather, he killed 'Amru. Then he threw his head at his companions.28 He did not conform to the close relations between him and 'Amru. He was full of love for authority. Some poets composed poems to describe his perfidy.29

‘Abd al-Malik was afraid of al-Ashdaq. For the latter intended to overthrow the government of the Marwanis. However, Allah punished him, for he was tyrannical. Moreover, he terrified the Muslims and shed their blood.

3. Cruelty and Uselessness

‘Abd al-Malik was cruel and useless. His heart was empty of mercy and kindness. The historians said: “He shed blood unjustly. He admitted that.” Umm al-Darda' said to him: “I heard that you drank wine after the worship.”

“By Allah, yes. Moreover, I drank blood.”30

He filled the houses of the Muslims with terrorism and sadness. After he had killed b. al-Zubayr, he delivered a speech. In the speech he showed his cruelty and his evil intention, saying: “I will cure the illnesses of this community with the sword. Thus, it will be straight.”31

4. Miserliness

‘Abd al-Malik was very miserly, so he was called Rashah al-Hijarah (the ooze of the stone).32 During the days of his government, the community suffered from hunger and poverty. Thus, he was empty of ideals and noble qualities.

‘Abd al-Malik transferred the Hajj to Jerusalem

Bin al-Zubayr kept in contact with the Syrians and provoked them against ‘Abd al-Malik. The latter was afraid of that, so he prevented the Syrians from performing the hajj. Thus, the Syrians asked him: “Why do prevent us from performing the hajj? Is it not a religious duty Allah has imposed on us?” He replied: “Ibn Shahab al-Zahri reported on the authority of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: ‘The Muslim should not make the pilgrimage (to any place) except to three mosques. They are the Sacred Mosque (in Mecca), my mosque (in Medina), and the Mosque of Jerusalem.’”

With that ‘Abd al-Malik diverted the Syrians from making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah. He transferred the hajj to Jerusalem. For he made use of the Rock in it. He reported about the Rock: “Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, put his foot on the Rock when he ascended to the sky. He replaced it with the Kaba. He built a dome over it. He appointed custodians over it. Then he ordered the people to circumambulate it as they circumambulated the Kaba.”33

‘Abd al-Malik disparaged his Predecessors

‘Abd al-Malik disparaged his Predecessors, namely the Umayyad rulers. He disparaged them in the speech he made in Medina. In the speech he said: “By Allah, I am not the weak Caliph, namely ‘Uthman. I am not the flattering Caliph, namely Mu‘awiya. I am not the idiot Caliph, namely Yazid.” Ibn Abi al-Haddid commented on these words, saying: “They were his predecessors and leaders. Through them, he occupied that rank. He assumed that leadership, for they preferred him (to others). Had it not been for the previous custom, the mobilized armies, and the standing creatures, he would have been the farthest of Allah's creatures from that rank. He would have been the nearest of them to the place of destruction if he had desired that honor.”34

‘Abd al-Malik appointed al-Hajjaj as Governor

‘Abd al-Malik made the most grievous fault when he appointed al-Hajjaj b. Yousif al-Thaqafi as governor. Al-Hajjaj is the worst person mankind has ever known throughout history. However, ‘Abd al-Malik entrusted the affairs of the Muslims to him. He granted him wide-range powers. He made him behave according to his desires and inclinations, which followed noting except the thinking of violence and despotism.

This sinful criminal (al-Hajjaj) went too far in punishing, forcing, and abasing the people. He made them submit to oppression and injustice. He created in the country, under his influence, an atmosphere of crises the people had never seen. We will mention what was said about him, some of his characteristics, and his deeds through which he blackened history. That is as follows:

The Prophet's prophecy

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, predicted that his community would be oppressed by al-Hajjaj. Asma', daughter of Abu Bakr reported. She said: [I heard Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, say:] “Allah will fill a corner of the corners of the fire with the hypocrite of Thaqif (i.e., al-Hajjaj). For, he (al-Hajjaj) will throw stones at the Kaba. May Allah curse him.”35

The Prophecy of the Commander of the Faithful

Imam (‘Ali), the Commander of the faithful, the gate of the city of knowledge of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, told the Muslims about the oppression of al-Hajjaj. The historians said: “Imam (‘Ali), peace be on him, invoked Allah against the Kufans. That was when they deserted him and mutinied against him. He, peace be on him, said: “O Allah, I trusted them (the Kufans), but they have deserted me. I advised them, but they cheated me. O Allah, empower the young man of Thaqif (al-Hajjaj) over them. (Make) him rule over their blood and properties with the rule of the Pre-Islamic times.”36

So, Allah empowered al-Hajjaj of the Kufans. Thus, al-Hajjaj persecuted them and forced them to submit to abasement and slavery.

Habib b. Thabit reported. He said: [The Commander of the faithful said to a man:] “You will not die till you see the Young man of Thaqif.” “Who is the young man of Thaqif?” He, peace be on him, said: “On the Day of Judgment, it will be said to him (al-Hajjaj): Sit down in a corner of the corners of the fire. He will rule for twenty years or twenty and some years. He will commit all sins to disobey Allah. If there will be only one sin, and there will be a door between him and the sin, he will break the door to commit the sin. He will kill the persons who obey37 him with the ones who disobey him.”38

The Indignant with al-Hajjaj

The scholars and the good ones of the Muslims were indignant with al-Hajjaj. The following is some of their words about him:

1. ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz

‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz was indignant with al-Hajjaj. Concerning him, he said: “If every community brought its evil one and we brought al-Hajjaj, we would overcome it.”39

2. ‘Aism

‘Aism said: “al-Hajjaj violated all the things Allah forbade.”40

3. Al-Qasim

Al-Qasim b. Mukhaymira said: “al-Hajjaj violated the rules of Islam one by one.”41

4. Zadhan

Zadhan was indignant wit al-Hajjaj. So, he said: “al-Hajjaj was empty of his religion.”42

5. Tawus

Tawus said: “I wonder at him who calls al-Hajjaj a believer.”43

Other words similar to these show that al-Hajjaj was evil, and that he was among the atrocities of history.

Some of al-Hajjaj's Characteristics

Al-Hajjaj was distinguished by all abominable qualities and evil inclinations. For his soul was full of evil and malice towards people. The following is some of his characteristics

A. Al-Hajjaj was created for crime and mistreating the people. He knew neither kindness nor good. When he wanted to make the pilgrimage (to Mecca), he appointed over Iraq a person called Ahmed. Then, he addressed the people, saying: “I have appointed Ahmed over you. I have ordered him to treat you contrary to the commandments of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, to the Ansar. He (Allah's Apostle) ordered (his deputy) to accept from their good ones and to forgive their evil ones. As for me, I have ordered him not to accept from your good ones and not to forgive your evil ones.”44

B. Among the most prominent qualities of this tyrannical person was blood shed. Al-Dimyari said: “Al-Hajjaj was impatient towards bloodshed.

He told (the People) that the best of his pleasures was bloodshed, and committing things other than him were unable to.”45 He went to far in murdering the people illegally. He killed one hundred and twenty thousand persons.46 It was said that he killed one hundred and thirty thousand persons.47 He officially admitted bloodshed illegally when he said: “By Allah, I think that there is no one on the surface of the earth bolder than me in shedding blood.”48 ‘Abd al-Malik blamed him for that. However, he did not pay attention to him.49 Al-Hajjaj murdered the reciters (of the Quran) and the worshipers. For they supported the revolt of b. al-Ash‘ath. Among the persons he killed was Sa‘id b. Jubayr, who was one of the devout scholars of Kufa.

When al-Hasan al-Basri heard of the murder of Sa‘id b. Jubayr, he said: “By Allah, Sa‘id b. Jubayr died while people all over the earth were in need of his knowledge.”50

C. Among his qualities is that he had bad manners. He showed neither cheerfulness nor gentle manners towards his associates.51 He was so rude that people were displeased with him. Generally speaking, he indulged in crime and sin. These are some of the features of his character and of his qualities.

His Unbelief

A group of the main Muslim figures decided al-Hajjaj's unbelief. Among them were Sa‘id b. Jubayr, al-Nakha‘i, Mujahid, ‘Aism b. Abi al-Najud, al-Sha‘bi, and the like.52 The proof for his unbelief is that he unlawfully shed the blood of the Muslims, and that he spread fear and terrorism among the people. If he was a Muslim, he would not do that. Some declarations were reported on his authority. The declarations supply proof for his unbelief. Some of them are as follows:

Disdaining the Prophet

Al-Hajjaj disdained the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. He preferred ‘Abd al-Malik b. Marwan to him. Addressing Allah, the Exalted, before the people, he said: “Which is better- Your Apostle or Your caliph (‘Abd al-Malik)?”53 Moreover, he punished and mocked the people who visited the grave of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. In this connection, he said: “Woe to them! They visit sticks and decayed bones. Will they not visit the palace of the Commander of the faithful, ‘Abd al-Malik? Do they not know that the Caliph is better than the Prophet?”54 Al-Daynwari commented on these words of al-Hajjaj, saying: “They regarded al-Hajjaj as unbeliever because of these words. For in them, he accused Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, of lying. However, authentic traditions were reported on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: ‘Allah, the Great and Almighty, forbade the earth from eating the bodies of prophets.’”55

Al-Hajjaj's declarations and deeds supply proofs for his unbelief and desertion of the religion. They show that he had no relation with Allah. If he had respected Allah and believed in the hereafter, he would not have done such deeds, which made him far from Allah and brand him and the Umayyads with infamy.

Some of al-Hajjaj's Crimes

The rule of this wicked person was full of crimes and offenses. The following is some of them:

He punished the Shi‘a severely.

This tyrannical and sinful person severely punished the followers of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. He spread murder among them and filled their houses with sadness. ‘Abd al-Malik wrote to him: “Protect me from the blood of the Banu ‘Abd al-Mutalib. For their blood will not end the war. I saw that the Banu Harab were deprived of their government when they killed al-Husayn b. ‘Ali.”56

However, al-Hajjaj went on pursuing the followers of the ‘Alids. Thus, he killed them and shed their blood. So, the people preferred unbelief to following ‘Ali.57 The historians said: “The best means to approach al-Hajjaj was to slander Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. Some mean people came to him and said to him: ‘O Emir, our parents oppressed us when they called us ‘Ali. We are poor. We are in need of the Emir.’”

Al-Hajjaj was pleased with this, so he said: “As you have entreated me, I will appoint over so-and-so.”58

However, during the time of this criminal person, the Shi‘ites were liable to swords and spears. He punished them severely and killed them everywhere. Moreover, he imprisoned them in dark prisons. He spread among them an atmosphere of terrorism. The Shi'ites had never seen such an atmosphere even at the days Zyyad, the tyrannical, and his son ‘Ubayd Allah.

The critical Conditions of Kufa

During the days of this tyrant, Kufa was in a critical period. For he killed the people out of doubts and accusations. He punished the innocent to frighten the evil-doers. He killed those who were obedient to him along with the disobedient. He delivered a severe sermon in Kufa. He did not praise Allah nor did he lauded him nor he blessed the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. Among his words are the following:

“O People of Iraq, O People of division, hypocrisy, and apostasy, the Commander of the faithful (‘Abd al-Malik) has appointed me as a governor over you. He has given me a whip and a sword. The whip has dropped and the sword has remained.”59 Then he said: “By Allah, I can see ambitious eyes, long necks, and ripen heads. So, it is time to harvest them. In deed, it is I who will cut them off. It is as if I look at flowing blood between the turbans and the beards.”60

This criminal person carried out his threats. He drew his sword and cut off the heads. He spread matchless fear and terrorism. So, Abu al-Asadi said to him: “By Allah, the people showed no fear of any Emir as they have shown of you.”61 The people were so afraid that they thought of their souls and began shaking of fear, as some of them said.62

The Iraqis were liable to a critical tribulation during the time of al-Hajjaj. For he subjected them to painful torture.

He attacked the Kaba with Catapults

Among the crimes of this tyrannical person is that he led a huge army to fight against b. al-Zubayr. Thus, he besieged the Sacred House for six months and seventeen nights. He ordered the Holy Kaba to be attacked with catapults. So, it was attacked from the mountain of Abu Qays.63

The siege lasted till ‘Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr was killed. Then he ordered ‘Abd Allah's head to be cut of and sent to ‘Abd al-Malik. Then ‘Abd al-Malik ordered (his men) to raise the head and walk all over the country.64 Al-Hajjaj did not respect the Sacred House of Allah. For every person who enters this House is safe. However, he violated the sacredness of the House. Yazid b. Mu‘awiya had also violated its sacredness before.

His Prisons

This tyrannical person ordered roofless prisons to be built. Such prisons did not protect the prisoners from heat or cold. He ordered the prisoners to be tortured severely. He ordered them to be drawn on the broken Persian reeds to bleed their bodies. The historians said: “Fifty thousand men and thirty women died in his prisons out of torture. He imprisoned men and women in his prisons.”65 Besides, thirty-three innocent persons were in his prisons.66 He said to the prisoners: “Go away into it and speak not to Me.”67 He likened the prisoners to the people of the fire. He also likened himself to Allah, the Exalted, to show his might and haughtiness.

One of the reciters of the Quran reported: “Al-Hajjaj read the Sura of Hud: ‘Surely, he is not a good ‘amalun.’ He was unable to read exactly the word ‘amalun (deed). Then, he said: ‘Bring me a reciter of the Quran.’ So, they brought me. Al-Hajjaj left his assembly. I was imprisoned. Al-Hajjaj forgot me. After six months, he visited the prison. When he came to me, he asked me: ‘Why have you been imprisoned?’ I answered: ‘May Allah make the Emir righteous, because of the son of Noah.’ So, he smiled at me. Then he released me.”

His Death

Allah destroyed this wicked criminal, who filled the country with disasters. Canker attacked his stomach. Allah empowered bitter cold over him. He was surrounded by fire. However, he did not feel the fire. Pains frequently attacked him. Then, he complained of his condition to al-Hasan al-Basri. Thus, al-Hasan said to him: “I had prevented you from torturing the righteous. However, you went on that.” So, al-Hajjaj said to him: “O Hasan, I do not ask you to ask Allah to relieve me. Rather, I ask you to ask Him to make me die and not to prolong my torture.”68 This criminal person suffered from the agony of death till he perished.69 Then his evil soul went to the fire. When he died, oppression was over. When al-Hasan al-Basri heard of his death, he said: “O Allah, You have made him die. So, make his practices die also.”70

The Muslims were very happy to hear his death. Then they began cursing him.

‘Abd al-Malik and al-Akhtal

Al-Akhtal was the poet and spokesman of the Umayyads. He drank wine. Yet ‘Abd al-Malik loved him very much.

‘Abd al-Malik asked al-Akhtal to be Muslim. So, the latter said: “Make wine lawful for me. Abrogate the fasting of Ramadan for me, then I will be Muslim.” Thus, ‘Abd al-Malik said to him: “If you become Muslim and fall short of performing anything of Islam, I will cut off your neck.” Still, he went on drinking wine. ‘Abd al-Malik spent a lot of money on him to obtain his praise.71

Al-Akhtal praised ‘Abd al-Malik on many occasions. Hence, ‘Abd al-Malik thanked him for that. Al-Akhtal came to ‘Abd al-Malik wearing a gold necklace and cross. Nevertheless, ‘Abd al-Malik called him the poet of the Commander of the faithful, the poet of the Umayyads, and the poet of the Arabs.72

Imam al-Baqir and ‘Abd al-Malik

The Muslims at that time were afflicted by a fatalist. The fatalist corrupted the Muslims' religion. They were unable to refute his views. ‘Abd al-Malik thought that there was no one to refute the fatalist except Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him. So, he wrote a letter to his governor over Medina. In the letter, he ordered the Imam to be brought to Damascus. The governor of Medina submitted ‘Abd al-Malik's letter to Imam al-Baqir. However, the Imam told him that he was unable to go Damascus, for he was an old man. Yet, the Imam sent his son Ja‘far al-Sadiq to carry out this task. Then, Imam al-Sadiq went to Damascus. When he arrived there, ‘Abd al-Malik said to him: “This fatalist has tired us. I want to gather you with him, for he has defeated everyone.” Then ‘Abd al-Malik ordered the fatalist to be brought. When the fatalist came, the Imam asked him to recite al-Fatiha. The fatalist became astonished. Then, he read al-Fatiha. When he came to these words of Him, the Exalted: “You do we serve and You do we beseech for help,” the Imam asked him: “Whom do you ask for help? If you are a fatalist, then what is your need of knowledge?” The fatalist was unable to answer the Imam.73 Then, Imam al-Sadiq went on refuting the views of the fatalist.

‘Abd al-Malik ordered Imam al-Baqir to be arrested.

‘Abd al-Malik ordered his governor of Medina (Yathrib) to arrest Imam al-Baqir and send him to Damascus. However, his governor hesitated about answering him. He thought that it was an act of wisdom to close what ‘Abd al-Malik had ordered. So, he answered him as follows: “This letter of mine is not disobedience to you nor is it refusal to carry out your order. However, I think it is better for me to consult you in the letter. I want to advise you. I feel pity for you. You want the man (Imam al-Baqir). Yet, there is no one on the surface of the earth nowadays better than him in chastity, asceticism, and piety. He recites (the Quran) in his prayer niche. Hence, birds and animals gather around him. For they admire his voice. His recitation (of the Quran) is very much like the flutes of David's family. He is the most knowledgeable of all the people. He is the most merciful of them. He is the most outstanding of them in worshipping. Thus, I do not encourage the Commander of the Faithful to arrest him. For ‘Allah does not change what is in a people till they change what is in themselves.’” This letter shows the bright qualities of Imam Abu Ja‘far al-Baqir, peace be on him. Among his qualities in the letter are as follows:

1. Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, was the chastest of all the people of the world.

2. He was the most ascetic of all the people of the world.

3. He was the most pious of all the people in refraining from what Allah forbade.

4. He was the most outstanding reciter of the Quran.

5. He was the most knowledge of all the people in the precepts of religion, the affairs of Islamic law, and all sciences.

6. He was the most merciful of all the people towards the poor.

7. He was the most obedient of all the people to Allah.

The Shi‘a have believed in the Imams, for they had all the above-mentioned qualities. So, the Shi‘a do not exaggerate about the Imams nor do they deviate from the true logic.

When ‘Abd al-Malik received the above-mentioned letter, he changed his mind. Then, he canceled the arrest of Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him. He thought that his governor's view was right.74

Imam al-Baqir freed Islamic money.

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, offered an excellent service to the Islamic world. For he freed Islamic money from the domination of the Roman Empire, where Islamic money was made and had the Roman symbol. Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, made Islamic money independent with an Islamic symbol. Thus, he cut off the relationship between Islamic money and the Romans. The reason for that was that ‘Abd al-Malik looked at a book embroidered in Egypt. He ordered the book to be translated into Arabic The book was translated. The Christian symbol (Father, Son, and the Spirit) was written on the book. ‘Abd al-Malik denied that. So, he wrote to his governor of Egypt, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz b. Marwan, to abolish that. Moreover, he ordered him to force the embroiderers to embroider books, clothes, and the like, with the Islamic motto: “Allah bears witness that there is no god but He.”

He also wrote to his governors all over the Islamic counties to abolish the books with Roman mottoes and symbols in their countries. He ordered them to punish those who had such books and clothes. The embroiderers wrote that on their books and clothes. Such books and clothes spread throughout the Islamic countries. Then, they were carried to Rome. So, the Roman Emperor became very angry. Thus, he wrote to ‘Abd al-Malik, saying: “Books and clothes had been embroidered with the Roman mottoes and symbols before you abolished them. If your predecessors were right, then you are wrong. If they were wrong, then you are right. Choose one of these two views. I have sent you a gift appropriate for your position. I would be grateful to you if you would adopt the previous embroidery.”

‘Abd al-Malik read the letter. Then he told the messenger that he had no answer to the letter. He also refused to accept the gift. So, the messenger went back to the Roman Emperor and told him about ‘Abd al-Malik's words. Hence, the Emperor wrote again to ‘Abd al-Malik and doubled the gift for him. In the letter he asked him to return the previous mottoes and symbols. However, ‘Abd al-Malik refused to receive the letter and the gift. He insisted on his view. The messenger went back to the Roman Emperor and told him about what had happened. Accordingly, the Emperor wrote a threatening letter. The letter read as follows: “You have disparaged my letter and my gift. You have not helped me with my need. I thought that you had regarded the gift as small. So, I had doubled it for you. However, you went on your view. So, I increased it three times. I swear by Jesus Christ to order you to return the old-fashioned money; otherwise I will ordered the dinars and the dirhams to be engraved to abuse your Prophet. You know that the dinars and the dirhams had been minted in my country. No one of them had been minted during Islam. When you read the letter, prevent your head from sweating. I want you to accept my gift and to change the style (of money) into the previous one. That will be as a gift to show love towards me. So, the relationship between you and me will continue.”

When ‘Abd al-Malik read the Emperor's message, he became perplexed. In this connection, he said: “I think that I am the most unlucky baby born in Islam, for I will make this unbeliever (the Roman Emperor) curse Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. This dishonor will remain to the end of the world. The Roman Emperor has threatened me to mint money. Such money will be passed around the world.”

‘Abd al-Malik gathered the people. He asked them about the affair. However, no one was able to give him a decisive answer. Then, Ruh b. Zinba‘ said to him: “You the person who is able to solve this affair. You want to leave him intentionally.” ‘Abd al-Malik blamed him for that, saying: “Woe unto you! Who is he?”

“He is al-Baqir, who is from the members of the House of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family,” replied Ruh b. Zinba‘

So, ‘Abd al-Malik submitted to Ruh b. Zinba‘. He believed his view. He knew that he ignored Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him. Immediately, he wrote to his governor of Medina (Yathrib). He ordered him to send the Imam to him. Moreover, he ordered him to treat the Imam kindly and to give him four hundred thousand dirhams. When the governor received the letter, he carried out ‘Abd al-Malik's orders. Thus, Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, went to Damascus. When he arrived there, ‘Abd al-Malik received him warmly. Then he told him about the Roman Emperor's threats. Thus, Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, said: “Do not regard this affair as great. It nothing for two reasons. The first is that Allah, the Great and Almighty, will not allow the Roman Emperor to carry out his threat concerning Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. The other is that there is a solution for this affair.”

So, ‘Abd al-Malik asked the Imam: “What is the solution?”

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, answered: “At this hour, summon some makers. Order them to make coins of dirhams and dinars. Then order them to engrave the Sura of al-Tawhid in one face and the name of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, in the other face. Then order them to mention the year and country of minting. Order them to make a dirham of ten weights and a dinar of seven weights.”

‘Abd al-Malik accepted that. He ordered the coins to be minted as Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, described. When the Roman Emperor found out about this, he kept silent. Thus, all his efforts were in vain. Accordingly, Muslims passed the coins Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, designed till the time of the Abbasids.75

Ibn Kuthayr said: “Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, suggested the coins.”76

However, the Islamic world thanked Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) for freeing its money from the domination of the Romans.

The Death of ‘Abd al-Malik

Then ‘Abd al-Malik became ill. He was neither safe nor calm. His abominable deeds came to him. For he oppressed the Muslims and shed their blood for his government. Then he hit his head with his hand, saying: “I wish I earned my daily bread day by day. I wish I worshipped and obeyed Allah, the Great and Almighty.”77

Before his death, ‘Abd al-Malik appointed his son al-Walid as caliph. He advised him to treat al-Hajjaj well. In this respect, he said to him: “Walid, take care of al-Hajjaj. It was he who paved the way for you to sit in the pulpits. He is your sword and your hand against your enemies. Do not listen to the words of the ones who slander him. You are in need of him while he is in no need of you. When I die, summon the people to pledge allegiance to you. Use your sword against the persons who refuse to pledge allegiance to you.”78

These enjoinments show the evil intention of ‘Abd al-Malik even at the last hour of his lifetime. For he advised his successor to take care of al-Hajjaj, who filled the country with sadness. Then, he advised him to kill the persons who would refuse to pledge allegiance. Then ‘Abd al-Malik died after these enjoinments. His death was on Wednesday, the fifteenth of Shawal, in the year 86 A. H.79 Al-Hasan al-Basri was asked about ‘Abd al-Malik. So, he said: “What shall I say about a man of whose bad deeds was al-Hajjaj.”80

Al-Walid bin ‘Abd al-Malik

Al-Walid became caliph after the death of his father, ‘Abd al-Malik. The historians said: “Al-Walid had no noble quality. He was inappropriate for the caliphate. Rather, he was an oppressive tyrant.81 He committed grammatical mistakes in Arabic. He made a speech in the mosque of the Prophet. He said: “Ya ahlu al-Madina (O People of Madina).” However, he had to say: “Ya ahla al-Madina.”

One day he made a speech and said: “Ya laytuha kanat al-Qadiya (O would that it had made an end (of me).” However, he had to say: “Ya laytaha kanat al-Qadiya.”82 Thus, his father blamed him for his grammatical mistakes, saying: “No one will become a ruler over Arabs except the one who speaks their language well.” So, al-Walid gathered the grammarians and remained in a house for six month. Then he came out of the house while he was more ignorant in grammar than he had been before.83

‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz dispraised the government of al-Walid, saying: “Al-Walid was one of the persons who filled the earth with oppression.”84 The historians said: “Al-Walid married and divorce many women. Thus, he married sixty-three women. Besides. He married many slave-women.”85

Al-Walid built the big mosque of Damascus, known as the Umayyad mosque. He spent six million gold dinars on the mosque.86 He widened the mosque of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, then he decorated it with mosaic. Thus, the mosque included the rooms of the Prophet's wives and all the houses around it.87

During the time of al-Walid, al-Hajjaj killed Sa‘id b. Jubayr. The murder of Sa‘id was one of the dangerous events that terrified the Islamic world.

The period of his caliphate was nine years and seven years. He died at Dir Marwan. He was forty-five years old.88

Sulayman bin ‘Abd al-Malik

He became caliph after the death of his brother, al-Walid. That was in the month of Jamadi al-Akhira, in the year 96 A. H. He punished severely the family of al-Hajjaj. Then, he ordered ‘Abd al-Malik b. al-Muhalab to torture them.89 He removed from the office all the governors of al-Hajjaj. On one day, he released eighty-one prisoners from his (al-Hajjaj's) prison. Then, he ordered them to go to their families. He found in the prison thirty thousand innocent men and thirty thousand innocent women.90

Sulayman was unjust in collecting land taxes. So, he wrote a letter to his governor of Egypt, Usama b. Zayd al-Tanwakhi: “Milk the milk till it cease, and milk the blood till it terminates.” Then Usama came to him bringing him what he had collected of land taxes, and said to him: “I did not come to you till I exhausted the subjects. I did my best for that However, I think you have to be kind to them and to have mercy on them. Decrease their land taxes to the extent that you are able to develop your country. Do that, for you will get much more land taxes in the next year.” However, Sulayman shouted at him, saying: “May your mother lose you. Milk the milk till it cease. When it ceases, then milk the blood.”91 These words show that Sulayman had neither mercy nor affection for his subjects. So, he deadened the economic movement, and spread poverty in the country.

His Death

The historians said: “Sulayman was self-conceited. He wore his excellent clothes and said: ‘I am a young king. I am grand, generous, and a giver.’ One of his slave-girls appeared before him. Thus, he said to her: ‘How do you see the Commander of the faithful?’ ‘I see him the wish of the soul and the delight of the eye. However, the poet said,’ replied the slave-girl.

‘What did the poet say?’ he asked.

He said:

If you remained (alive), you would be the best enjoyment.

However, man will not remain.

Allah knows best, we do not doubt you.

However, you are mortal.

Sulayman, there is no defect in your appearance.

But you are mortal.

These lines of poetry shook Sulayman. So, his tyranny and self-conceit vanished. The historians said: “Sulayman died after a short time.”92 The period of his caliphate was two years, five months, and five days. He died on Friday, the twentieth of the month of Safar, in the year 99 A. H.”93

‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him said: “‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz was the most glorious one of the Umayyad house. He was the master of their kings. He was the high-born one of the Umayyads.”94 He became caliph according to the pledge of allegiance of Sulayman b. ‘Abd al-Malik to him. That was one Friday, the tenth of the month of Safar, in the year 99 A. H.95 During his short caliphate, the people felt security and welfare. For he removed from them the oppression and tyranny of the Marwanis. He was skillful, for experiences educated him. He had balanced reason. He followed a wise policy with Muslims. The Muslims had never seen such a policy before. He did the Alwids many favors. People mention his favors throughout history. The following is some of his favors:

He prevented the People from Cursing Imam ‘Ali.

From its early days, the Umayyad government ordered the people to curse Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. The Umayyads thought that cursing Imam ‘Ali would help their government to continue. For the principles of Imam ‘Ali and his laudable deeds, such as political and social justice, would urge the people to mutiny against their oppressive tyrannical policy.

With his awareness and his genus thinking, ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz realized that the policy his fathers followed against Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him, was not wise. For such a policy caused the Umayyads many difficulties and through them into great evil. Thus, ‘Umar decided to remove this error. He ordered his governors all over the Islamic countries to prevent people from cursing Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. Then he ordered them to replace the cursing of the Imam with: “Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to the relatives.”

‘Umar himself justified the reason for abandoning the practices of his fathers who defamed Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him. In this connection, he said: “When my father made a speech and defamed ‘Ali, he stammered. So, I said to him: Father, why do you stammer in your speech when you come to the name of ‘Ali? ‘Have you known that?’ he asked. ‘Yes,’ I replied. Thus, he explained: ‘My little son, if the people around us knew ‘Ali as we know him, they would scattered from us and followed his (‘Ali's) sons.’”96 Accordingly, ‘Umar abolished the cursing of Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him. All the people admired this laudable deed. They always praised him. They mentioned his unique bravery in opposing his predecessors. The great poet, Kuthayr ‘Azzah, came to him and recited the following lines of poetry:

You have become caliph, but you have not cursed ‘Ali.

You are not afraid of any creature.

You have not followed the words of a criminal.

You have spoken with the plain truth.

Rather, you have explained the verses of guidance with your speech.

You are truthful in doing your favors.

So, every Muslim is satisfied (with you).97

Kuthayr had not praised an Umayyad king with such a wonderful poem. For this poem raised ‘Umar to the level of the unique Immortal persons.

Kuthayr started his poem with the laudable deed of ‘Umar, who prevented the people from cursing Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. Then, he mentioned his policy based on kindness to the subjects. Moreover, the Muslims loved the policy of ‘Umar. So, they were ready to sacrifice their souls for him to prolong his lifetime.

‘Umar commented these lines of poetry, saying: “Therefore, we have become successful.”98 He was successful, for he pleased his conscience. He did not betrayed the community through cursing the leader of its message and its matchless hero, Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him.

Al-Sharif al-Radi praised and lauded ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz:

O Son of ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, if the eye wept for an Umayyad young man, it would weep

for you.

However, I want to say: You are good

though your house was not good.

You have freed us from cursing.

So, if reward was possible, I would

reward you.99

In these lines of poetry, al-Sharif al-Radi thanked ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz for preventing the people from cursing Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him.

He gave the Alids their Rights.

From its early days, the Umayyad government spared no effort to deprive the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, of their right. It spread poverty among their houses. Thus, the Alids suffered from poverty. However, when ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz became caliph, he gave them their full rights. He wrote to his governor of Medina (Yathrib) to divide ten thousand dinars among them. His governor asked him: “‘Ali has many children from Quraysh, among which of his children shall I divide the money?” Then ‘Umar wrote to him: “When this letter of mine comes to you, divide ten thousand dinars among the children of ‘Ali from Fatima, may Allah be pleased with her. For they had been deprived of their own rights.”100 This was the first gift to be given to the Alids during the days of the Umayyads.

He returned Fadak

‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz achieved a generous initiative when he returned Fadak (country estate) to the Alids. Noteworthy, the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, was deprived of Fadak, for it had been confiscated for many generations. His returning Fadak has been reported in many ways. The following is some of them:

1. ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz visited Medina, the city of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. He ordered his caller to call: “Whoever has a complaint should attend!” So, Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, came to ‘Umar, who stood for him and received him warmly. Thus, the Imam, peace be on him, said to him: “The world is a market. The people buy from it what benefits and harms them. How many a people bought what harmed them. However, death came to them before they had entered upon morning. So, they left the world blamed. For they did not take what would avail them in the hereafter. Then, what they had gathered has been divided among those who will not thank them, and they have come to the One Who will not excuse them. By Allah, we had better consider carefully their bad deeds to refrain from (doing) them. Therefore, fear Allah. Put two (things) in yourself: Look at what you love to be with you when you will meet your Lord, for He will put it before you. Look at what you hate to be with you when you meet your Lord, so throw it behind you. Do not wish for the unsalable commodity of those who had been before you. Then, you hope that He will forgive you. Open the doors. Make easy the veil. Treat the oppressed with justice. Punish the oppressive. Whoever has three (qualities), his belief in Allah is perfect: When he is satisfied, his satisfaction does not enter him into falsehood. When he becomes angry, his anger does not take out of the truth. When he is powerful, he does not take what does not belong to him.” Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, preached to ‘Umar with these valuable words. He advised him to follow high standard morals and good deeds. However, the Imam, peace be on him, did not mention the complaint of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, concerning Fadak and the like.

When ‘Umar heard these words of the Imam, peace be on him, he ordered a pen and a piece of paper to be brought to him. Then, he wrote the following: “In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. This is what ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz has answered to the complaint of Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. ‘Ali b. Abi Talib concerning Fadak.”

2. When ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz became caliph, he summoned Quraysh and the prominent figures of the people. Then, he said to them: “In deed Fadak was in the hand of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. He put it where Allah had taught him. Then Abu Bakr controlled it. Then ‘Umar (b. al-Khattab) controlled it. Then Marwan controlled it. Then it has come to me. However, it does not belong to my property. I call you to witness that (it is not my property), and that I have returned it as it was at the time of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.”101

This narration shows that ‘Umar did not return Fadak to the Alids. Rather, he put it where Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, had put it. It is well-known that Allah's Apostle allotted it to his daughter Fatima, the mistress of the women of the world, peace be on her. Thus, Fatima owned Fadak during the lifetime of her father, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. However, the people confiscated it to support their political interests.

3. When ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz returned Fadak to the Alids, the Umayyads harbored malice against him. Thus, they said to him: “You have harbored malice against the deed of the two Shaykhs (i. e., Abu Bakr and ‘Umar). You have slandered them. You have ascribed them to oppression and usurpation.” Then ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz said: “It has be come correct to me and to you that Fatima, daughter of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, demanded of Fadak, for it was in her hand. She did not tell lies to Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. ‘Ali, Umm

Ayman, and Umm Salama testified that. Fatima is truthful with me in what she said, the she did not supply proof of that. She is the mistress of the women of Heaven. Today I will return Fadak to its inheritors. With that I want to approach to Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. I hope that Fatima, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn will intercede (with Allah) for me on the Day of Judgment. If I had been in the place of Abu Bakr and Fatima claimed that, I would have believed her complaint.” Then, ‘Umar handed over Fadak to Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him.102

These are some of the narrations which have been mentioned concerning how ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz returned Fadak to the Alids. He opposed his predecessor, who harbored malice towards the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them.

‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz and Imam al-Baqir

There were several meetings between Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, and ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. The following is some of them:

Imam al-Baqir predicted of ‘Umar's Caliphate.

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, foretold of the caliphate of ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. That was before ‘Umar became caliph. Abu Basir said: “I was with Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, in the mosque. Then, ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz entered. Thus, the Imam said: ‘That young man will be a caliph He will show justice.’ However, the Imam slandered ‘Umar's caliphate, for there was a person more appropriate for the caliphate than ‘Umar.”103

‘Umar honored Imam al-Baqir

When ‘Umar became caliph, he honored Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. He sent Funun b. ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Uttba b. Mas‘ud- he was one of the Kufan worshipers- to Imam al-Baqir to ask him to go to Damascus. The Imam, peace be on him, responded to him and went to Damascus. When the Imam arrived in Damascus, ‘Umar received him warmly. Conversations took place between them. The Imam visited ‘Umar for several days. When he wanted to return to Medina (Yathrib), he went to ‘Umar's palace to see him off. He introduced himself to the chamberlain, who told ‘Umar of the Imam. The chamberlain came and called out: “Where is Abu Ja‘far? He is permitted to enter.” However, the Imam did not enter. For he thought the chamberlain did not mean him. So, the chamberlain returned to ‘Umar and told him that the Imam was not present. “What did you say?” asked ‘Umar. “Where is Abu Ja‘far?” the chamberlain replied. “Go and call: Where is Muhammad b. ‘Ali?” ‘Umar ordered the chamberlain. The latter did that. Thus, the Imam rose and entered. He talked to ‘Umar, then he said to him: “I want to see you off.” “Preach to me,” ‘Umar asked the Imam.

Thus, the Imam, peace be on him, said: “Fear Allah. Regard the old man as father, the young man as brother, and the man as brother.”

‘Umar admired these commandments of the Imam. In this connection, he said: “By Allah, you have gathered (good commandments) for me. If I put them into effect and Allah helps me with that, good will last for me, Allah willing.” Then, the Imam left ‘Umar. When he wanted to travel, ‘Umar's messenger came to him and said: “‘Umar wants to come to you.” The Imam waited till ‘Umar came. When ‘Umar came, he sat before the Imam to honor him. Then, the Imam saw him off.104

‘Umar exchanged letters with Imam al-Baqir.

The Umayyad secret agents told ‘Umar that Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, was like the rest of his fathers, who raised the banner of truth and justice in the earth. ‘Umar wanted to test the Imam. He wrote to him. So, the Imam answered him with a letter in which were sermons and pieces of advice. Then, ‘Umar said: “Bring me his (al-Baqir's) letter to Sulayman.” The letter was brought to him. In it was laud and praise. ‘Umar sent the letter to his governor of Medina (Yathrib). He ordered him to show the letter to the Imam along with his letter to ‘Umar. Moreover, he ordered him to record what the Imam, peace be on him, would say in this respect. The governor submitted the two letters to the Imam. So, the Imam said: “Sulayman was tyrannical. I wrote to him what is written to tyrants. Your leader showed an affair. So, I wrote to him what is appropriate for him.” The governor wrote these words of the Imam to ‘Umar. When ‘Umar read them, he admired the Imam. Thus, he said: “Allah always does favors for the members of this House.”105

These are some of the Imam's meetings with ‘Umar. They show that ‘Umar had genius thinking when he honored and respected the Imam.

Baseless Accusation

Several baseless accusations were made against ‘Umar. He was accused of not knowing the times of the obligatory prayers. Dr. ‘Ali Hasan reported this claim on the authority of some references.106 This claim is untrue. For ‘Umar was pious. He sat with religious scholars and jurists. Surely, he knew the times of the obligatory prayers.

Criticisms

‘Umar faced some criticisms. The following is some of them:

1. He recognized the country estates, which the caliphs and the previous ones from his house, controlled. Without doubt, these country estates were illegally taken.

2. His governors of the Islamic cities spared no effort to oppress the people and to deprive them of their properties. Addressing ‘Umar, Ka‘ab al-Ash‘ari said:

You maintain your followers. However, the governors of your land are wolves in the country. They will not respond to what you summon till you cut off necks with the sword.107

While ‘Umar was addressing the people from the pulpit, a person interrupted him, saying:

Those whom you appointed over the countries have left your Book and regarded as lawful the forbidden.108

3. He adopted the giving of the chiefs. He did not change that. However, Islamic principles refuse that. For they force the Muslim ruler to treat all Muslims with justice.

4. He increased the giving of the Syrians to ten dinars. However, he did not do the same with the Iraqis.109 There is no justification for this discrimination in treatment that opposes Islam.

These are some of the criticism that face the policy of ‘Umar. They are regarded as many for him. For he adopted justice in his policy, as the biographers said.

His Death

Illnesses attacked ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. The historians said: “‘Umar refused to take any medicine. It was said to him: ‘You must take medicine.’ ‘If my healing was in rubbing my ear, I would not rub it. The best One to Whom I will go is my Lord,’ he replied.”110 Some references mentioned that the Umayyads gave him poison to drink. For they knew that his day would become long. Thus, they would lose government. They thought that there would be an appropriate person for the caliphate. Accordingly, they killed him quickly.111

‘Umar died at Dir Sam‘an, in the month of Rajab, in the year 101.112 ‘Umar left behind him good behavior. All people admire such behavior.

Yazid bin ‘Abd al-Malik

Yazid bin ‘Abd al-Malik became caliph according to the pledge of allegiance of his bother, Sulayman, to him. He ruled the people with the policy of ‘Umar for forty days. However, the Umayyads found that difficult for them. They brought him forty old men. They bore witness before him that the caliphs would face neither reckoning nor punishment.113 So, Yazid abandoned the policy of ‘Umar. He ruled the people with violence and tyranny. He removed the governors of ‘Umar from their offices. Then, he wrote a decree to his governors. The decree read as follows: “‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz was self-conceited. Leave what you have known from his time. Return the people willingly or unwillingly to their previous classes.”114 So, oppression and tyranny prevailed all over the country. Noteworthy, Yazid b. ‘Abd al-Malik was ignorant. He harbored hatred against religious scholars. He disdained them. He called al-Hasan al-Basri the ignorant shaykh.115

Yazid was excessive in playing and impudence. He fell in love with Habbaba. One day, he drank wine and said: “Let me fly.” “To whom will you leave the community?” Habbaba asked him. “To you,” he replied.116 She went with him to Jordan. He threw a grape at her. The grape entered her mouth. She choked and became ill. Then she died. He did not bury her. However, he kissed her. He looked at her and wept. The people spoke to him concerning her. So, he permitted them to bury her. Then, he returned to his house sad.117 Al-Mas‘udi said: “Yazid sat by the grave of Habbaba, saying:

The soul will leave you and your love out of despair not out of patience.”118

It was said that Yazid dug the grave of Habbaba to see her.119 In this connection, he had many shameful attitudes. I will not mention them. He died in the year 105.

Hisham bin ‘Abd al-Malik

Hisham became caliph on the day when his brother Yazid died. That was on Friday, the twenty-fifth of the month Shawwal, in the year 105. He was called the Ahwal of the Umayyads. He harbored malice against the high-born figures. He was a miser. Thus, he said: “Add the dirham to the dirham to make money.”120 He collected money of which no Caliph had collected.121 He said: “The caliphate needs money as the patient needs medicine.”122 He entered fruit garden. His companions began eating fruit. So, he ordered his retainer to uproot the fruit trees and to grow olive-trees instead of them to prevent every person from eating fruit.123 He had a green outer garment. He wore the garment when he was Emir, then he wore it when he became caliph.124 Al-Ya‘qubi said: “Hisham was miserly, rude, oppressive, cruel, merciless, and impudent.”125 He detested the Alids. It was he who killed Zayd b. ‘Ali. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, suffered from many persecutions during his time. The following is some of them:

Imam al-Baqir in Damascus

Hisham, the tyrannical, ordered his governor of Medina (Yathrib) to send Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, to Damascus. In this connection, the historians have mentioned to narrations:

The first narration: Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, arrived in Damascus. Hisham knew of his arrival. Thus, he ordered his retinues to scold the Imam. Then, the Imam, peace be on him, came to Hisham. He greeted the people, but did not greet Hisham as caliph. So, Hisham was enraged. He walked towards the Imam, peace be on him, and said to him: “O Muhammad b. ‘Ali, you have divided the Muslims. You have summoned (the people) for yourself. You have claimed that you are the Imam out of foolishness and the paucity of knowledge.”

Hisham kept silent. However, his hirelings began defaming the Imam and mocking him.

So, Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, said: “O People, where do you go? Where they want to (lead) you? With us Allah guided the first of you. With us He will terminate the last of you. You have early reign. But we have later reign. There will be no reign after our reign. For we are the people of the final result. The final result will be for the pious.”126

Then the Imam, peace be on him, went out. He filled their souls with sadness and sorrow. For they were unable to refute his rational words.

Imam al-Baqir made a Speech in Damascus.

The Syrians crowded around Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him. They said: “That is the son of Abu Turab (i. e., Imam ‘Ali).” They showed malice and enmity towards him. However, the Imam, peace be on him, decided to guide them to the right path. He wanted them to know the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. He rose among them to make a speech. He praised Allah and lauded Him. He blessed Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and then he said: “The people of discord, the progeny of hypocrisy, and the food of the fire kept away from the luminous Moon, the abounding Sea, the piercing Metro, the Metro of the believers, and the right Path. Before we alter faces then turn them on their backs, or curse them as we cursed the violators of the Sabbath, and command of Allah shall be executed.” Then, after a speech of his, he said: “Do you mock the brother of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family? (He meant Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him.) Do you slander the Commander of religion? Which of the ways do you follow after him? Which sadness do you pay after him? How far! By Allah, he (Imam ‘Ali) became prominent with priority (in Islam). He won with the outstanding qualities. He dominated the purpose. He overcame the perfidy. So, the eyes faded away from him. The necks yielded to him. He was the branch of the high progeny.”127

We think that these are extracts from Imam al-Baqir's speech. However, they showed the laudable deeds and outstanding qualities of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, to that society that harbored malice against them.

Imam al-Baqir was arrested.

The outstanding merits of Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, spread among the Syrians. Hence, Hisham ordered him to be imprisoned. However, the prisoners gathered around the Imam. They began to learn his sciences and his excellent morals. The prison manager was afraid of the discord. So, he told Hisham about that. Thus, Hisham ordered the Imam to be released and to be returned to his homeland.128

The second narration: Lut b. Yahya al-Asadi reported this narration on the authority of ‘Ammara b. Zayd al-Waqidi, who said: “One year, Hisham b. ‘Abd al-Malik made a pilgrimage (to Mecca). In the year Imam Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Baqir and his son Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq, peace be on them, also made a pilgrimage. There was a gathering of people. Muslima b. ‘Abd al-Malik was among them. Before that gathering, Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq, peace be on him, said: ‘Praise belongs to Allah Who appointed Muhammad as prophet with the Truth. He has honored us with him. We are the chosen ones of Allah over His creatures. We are the best of His servants. Whoever follows us is happy. Whoever opposes and disobeys us is unhappy.’”

Hence, Muslima b. ‘Abd al-Malik hurried to his brother Hisham and told him about the words of Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq, peace be on him. However, Hisham kept that secret. He did not mistreat the two Imams in Saudi Arabia (Hijaz). Then he came back to Damascus. When he arrived there, he wrote to his governor of Medina (Yathrib) to send the two Imams to Damascus. When they arrived in Damascus, ‘Abd al-Malik prevented them from meeting the people for three days. For he wanted to disdain them. On the forth day, he permitted them to meet the people. His assembly was full of the Umayyads and all his retinues. His associates installed a target which the Umayyads were shooting at.

Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, said: “When we entered, my father was before me and I was behind him. Hisham called out: ‘Muhammad, shoot with the oldest ones of your people.’ My father said: ‘I am old enough to shoot. I think you have to forgive me.’ Hisham cried out: ‘By Him Who supported us with His religion and His Prophet Muhammad, my Allah bless him and his family, I will not forgive you.’ Hisham thought that Imam al

Baqir would fail in shooting. So, he would be able to degrade him before the Syrians. Thus, he ordered an Umayyad old man to hand the Imam his bow and arrow. The Imam took them. He shot an arrow at the target and hit it in the center. He did that nine times. Hisham became angry. He did not control himself. Thus, he said: ‘O Abu Ja‘far, you are the best archer of all Arabs and non-Arabs in shooting. But you say that you have become an old man.’ Then, Hisham felt regret for praising the Imam. He bowed his head. Imam al-Baqir was standing. When his standing became long, he became angry. When he became angry, he looked at the sky. When Hisham saw the anger of the Imam, he rose for him, embraced him, and sat him on his right, turned to him, and said to him: ‘Quraysh will go on ruling Arabs and non-Arabs as long as they have the like of you. How good you are! Who taught you this archery? How long did it take you to learn it? Does Ja‘far shoot as you do?’”

Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, said: “We inherit perfection from each other.”

Hisham burst with anger. He bowed his head. Then he raised his head and began saying: “Are we not the children of ‘Abd Manaf? Are our lineage and yours not one?”

Imam al-Baqir answered Hisham's claims, saying: “We are so. However, Allah singled us out with His hidden secret and His pure knowledge. He singled no one out except us.”

Then Hisham asked: “Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, belonged to the tree of ‘Abd Manaf. He sent him to all people, the white, the black, and the red. How have you inherited what other than you has not inherited? Allah sent His Apostle to all people. For Allah, the Great and Almighty, said: ‘And Allah's is the heritage of the heavens and the earth.’ So, from where have you inherited this knowledge? There will be no prophet after Muhammad. Moreover, you are not prophets.”

Imam al-Baqir answered him with the strongest proof, saying: “From the words of Him, the Exalted, to His Prophet: ‘Do not move your tongue with it to make haste with it.’ Allah, the Most High, ordered the Prophet to single us out with it. Then these words of Him: ‘And that a retaining ear might retain it.’ Hence, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said: ‘O ‘Ali, I asked Allah to make it your ear.’ For this reason, ‘Ali said: ‘Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, taught me a thousand doors of knowledge and he opened from each (of these) doors a thousand (more) doors.’ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, singled him out with knowledge, as Allah singled his Prophet out with it. Thus, we inherited knowledge with the exception of our people.”

Hisham became displeased. So, he turned angrily to the Imam al-Baqir, and said to him: “‘Ali knew the unseen world. Allah did not tell anyone of His unseen knowledge. Why did ‘Ali say that?”

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, answered him through the brilliant life of Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. In this connection, he said: “Allah sent down a Book to His Prophet. Between the two covers of the Book is what was and what will be till the Day of Judgment. In the words of Him, the Exalted: ‘We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly everything.’ In the words of Him, the Exalted: ‘And we have recorded everything in a clear writing.’ In the words of Him, the Exalted: ‘We have not neglected anything in the Book.’ Allah commanded His Prophet to teach ‘Ali his secret knowledge. Thus, the Prophet ordered ‘Ali to collect the Quran after him, and to wash him. The Prophet said to his companions: ‘It is forbidden for my companions and my people to look at my intimate parts except my brother ‘Ali. He is from me, and I am from him. What is for me is for him. What is (incumbent) on me is (incumbent) on him. He will pay my debt and fulfill my promises.’ Then he said to his companions: ‘‘Ali will fights on (the basis of) the interpretation of the Quran as I fought (on the basis) of its revelation.’ No one had the perfect and general interpretation of the Quran except ‘Ali. So, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said: ‘The best one of you in giving judgments is ‘Ali.’ Namely, he is your judge. ‘Umar b. al-Khattab said: ‘Had it not been for ‘Ali, ‘Umar would have perished.’”

Hisham bowed is head. He had no way to answer Imam al-Baqir. Hence, he said to him: “Ask you need.”

The Imam, peace be on him, said: “I left my family lonely when I went out.”

Hisham said: “May Allah remove their lonesomeness through your returning to them. Do not stay any more. Go from this day of yours.”129

This narration does not mention the arrest of Imam al-Baqir in Damascus. Besides, the first narration has neglected all what has been mentioned in the second narration.

Imam al-Baqir and a Priest

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, was in Syria. He met a priest. The priest was one of the main Christian scholars. A debate took place between them. The priest recognized his inability to debate with the Imam. The debate read as follows: Abu Basir said: [Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, said:] “I went to Syria. While I was going to one of the Umayyad caliphs, I saw some people walking. I asked them: Where are you going? ‘We are going to a matchless scholar. He will tell us about the interest of our affair,’ they replied. I followed them till they entered a large building. In the building were many people. After a short time, an old man came out. The old man was leaning on two persons. His eye-brows fell over his two eyes. He tied them. When he sat down, he looked at me and began asking me:

- Are you from us or from the blessed community?
- I am from the blessed community.
- Are you from its scholars or from its ignorant ones?
- I am not from its ignorant ones.
- Are you who say that you will go to the garden and eat and drink and do not discharge feces?
- Yes.
- Supply proof of that.
- Yes. That is the fetus. In its mother, it eats from her food, drinks from her drink, but does not discharge feces.
- Did you not say that you are not from its scholars?
- I said: I am not from its ignorant ones.
- Tell me about the hour that is neither from day nor from night.
- This hour is from the sun rise. We do not number it from our night nor from our day. At it the sick die.

The priest was out of breath. Then, he went on asking the Imam:

- Did you not say that you are not from its scholars?
- I said: I am not from its ignorant ones.
- By Allah, I will ask you about a difficult question.
- Give me what you have.
- Tell me about the two men who were born at one hour and died at one hour. One of them lived for one hundred and fifty years. The other lived for fifty years.
- They were ‘Uzayr and ‘Uzayrah. One of them lived for fifty years. Then Allah made him die for one hundred years. It was said to him: “How long have you tarried?” He said: “I have tarried a day or a part of a day.” The other lived for a hundred and fifty years. Then they both died.

Then, the priest cried out among his companions: “By Allah, I will not speak to you. You will not see my face for twelve months.”130 The priest thought that he would refute Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. Then, the Imam, peace be on him, left the assembly. Hence, the Syrians talked about his outstanding merits and his scientific abilities.

Hisham ordered the Shops to be closed in the Face of Imam al-Baqir.

Hisham, the tyrannical, ordered Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, to leave Damascus. For he was afraid that the people would admire the Imam. Accordingly, the public opinion would be against the Umayyads. Hence, he ordered the city markets and trade shops to be shut in the face of the Imam. He ordered their owners not to sell any commodity to the Imam. For he wanted to hurt and destroy the Imam, peace be on him. The caravan of the Imam, peace be on him, walked. Hunger and thirst exhausted it. It passed some cities. The people of the cities hurried to close their stores in the face of the Imam.

When the Imam understood that, he went up on a mountain there. Then, he shouted out, saying: “O People of the city whose people are oppressive, I am the abiding one of Allah. Allah, the Exalted, says: ‘What remains with Allah is better for you if you are believer. And I am not a keeper over you.’” When the Imam finished these words, an old man from the city said to his people: “O people, by Allah, this is the prayer of (Prophet) Jethro (Shu‘ayb). By Allah, if you do not go to market for this man (Imam al-Baqir), you will be punished from over your heads and from under your feet. Believe me this time and obey me. For I am an adviser for you.”

So, the people of the city responded to the old man's summons, for he advised them. Then, they hurried to open their stores. Thus, Imam al-Baqir bought what he wanted.131 Accordingly, Hisham's trick against the Imam, peace be on him, failed. He heard of the failure of his plot. However, he went on plotting against the Imam. At last, he gave the Imam poison to drink. We will mention that at the end of the book. With this we will end our talk about the kings whom Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, coincided.

  • 1. Al-Qurtubi, Tafsir, vol.16, p.197
  • 2. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol.6, p.90
  • 3. Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol.4, p.479
  • 4. Asad al-Ghaba, vol.2, p.34
  • 5. Ibn Hisham, Sira, vol.2, p.25
  • 6. Ansab al-Ashraf, vol.1, p.27
  • 7. Al-Fa’iq, vol.2, p.305
  • 8. Ansab al-Ashraf, vol.5, p.67
  • 9. Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol.1, p.67
  • 10. Al-Sira al-Halabiya, vol.2, p.87
  • 11. Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol.3, p.337
  • 12. Asad al-Ghaba, p.348
  • 13. Ansab al-Ashraf, vol.5, p.144
  • 14. Tathir al-Jinan, p.142
  • 15. Ibn al-Athir, vol.3, p.328
  • 16. Jawahir al-Matalib fi Manaqib al-Imam ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, p.133
  • 17. Al-Nijum al-Jahira, vol.1, p.164
  • 18. Murujj al-Dhahab, vol.3, p.31
  • 19. Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol.3, p.327
  • 20. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.3, p.3
  • 21. Ibn Abi al-Haddid, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol.2, p.53
  • 22. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.3, p.4
  • 23. Ibn Kuthayr, Tarikh, vol.8, p.260
  • 24. Ibid
  • 25. Al-Maqrizi, al-Niza‘ wa al-Takhasum, p.8
  • 26. Al-Siyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa’, p.219
  • 27. Ibid, p.218
  • 28. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.3, p.16
  • 29. Al-Siyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa’, p.218
  • 30. Al-Tabari, Tarikh
  • 31. Ibn Kuthayr, Tarikh, vol.9, p.64
  • 32. Al-Quda‘i, Tarikh, p.72
  • 33. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.2, p.311
  • 34. Ibn Abi al-Haddid, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol.15, p.257
  • 35. Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol.2, p.45
  • 36. Nihayat al-Irab, vol.21, p.334
  • 37. Ibid
  • 38. In al-Kamil it has been mentioned: “He will kill those who disobey him through those who obey him.”
  • 39. Nihayat al-Irab, vol.21, p.334
  • 40. Ibn Kuthayr, Tarikh, vol.9, p.132
  • 41. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol.2, p.311
  • 42. Ibid
  • 43. Ibid
  • 44. Murujj al-Dhahab, vol.3, p.86
  • 45. Al-Dimyari, Hayat al-Hayawan, vol.1, p.86
  • 46. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol.2, p.211
  • 47. Al-Dimyari, Hayat al-Hayawan, vol.1, p.170
  • 48. Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol.6, p.66
  • 49. Murujj al-Dhahab, vol.3, p.74
  • 50. Al-Dimyari, Hayat al-Hayawan, vol.1, p.171
  • 51. Murujj al-Dhahab, vol.3, p.81
  • 52. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol.2, p.211
  • 53. Al-Maqrizi, al-Niza‘ wa al-Takhasum, p.27
  • 54. Ibn Abi al-Haddid, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol.15, p.242
  • 55. Al-Dimyari, Hayat al-Hayawan, vol.1, p.170
  • 56. Al-‘Aqd al-Farid, vol.3, p.149
  • 57. Ibn Abi al-Haddid, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha
  • 58. Hayat al-Imam al-Husayn bin ‘Ali, vol.2, p.336
  • 59. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.3, p.68
  • 60. Murujj al-Dhahab, vol.3, p.68
  • 61. Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol.6, p.66
  • 62. Ibid
  • 63. Ibn ‘Asakir, Tahdhib, vol.4, p.50
  • 64. Al-Siyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa’, p.84
  • 65. Al-Dimyari, Hayat al-Hayawan, vol.1, p.170
  • 66. Mu‘jam al-Buldan, vol.5, p.349
  • 67. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol.2, p.212
  • 68. Wafayat al-A‘yan, vol.6, p.347
  • 69. He died in the month of Ramadan. It was said that he died in the month of Shawal, in the year 95 A. H. At that time, he was fifty-three or four years of age. Wafayat al-A‘yan, vol.1, p.437
  • 70. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol.2, p.213
  • 71. Al-Akhtal, Diwan, p.98
  • 72. Al-Aghani, vol.8, p.287
  • 73. Al-‘Ayyashi, Tafsir, vol.1, p.23
  • 74. Al-Durr al-Nazim, p.188
  • 75. Al-Dimyari, Hayat al-Hayawan, vol.1, pp.63-64
  • 76. Al Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol.9, p.68
  • 77. Ibid
  • 78. Al-Siyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa’, p.220
  • 79. Al Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol.9, p.68
  • 80. Abi al-Fida’, Tarikh, vol.1, p.209
  • 81. Al-Siyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa’, p.223
  • 82. Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol.4, p.138
  • 83. Ibid
  • 84. Al-Siyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa’, p.223
  • 85. Al-Anafa fi Ma’athir al-Khilafa, vol.1, p.133
  • 86. Al-Zargali, al-A‘lam, vol.9, p.141
  • 87. Al-Anafa fi Ma’athir al-Khilafa, vol.1, p.133
  • 88. Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol.4, p.138
  • 89. Ibid
  • 90. Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, vol.5, p.80
  • 91. Al-Jahshyari, p.32
  • 92. Murujj al-Dhahab, vol.3, p.113
  • 93. Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol.4, p.151
  • 94. Al-Siyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa’, p.230
  • 95. Nihayat al-Irab, vol.21, p.355
  • 96. Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol.44, p.154
  • 97. Al-Aghani, vol.8, p.148
  • 98. Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol.4, p.654
  • 99. Ibn Abi al-Haddid, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol.1, p.357
  • 100. Al-Manaqib, vol.4, pp.207-208
  • 101. Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol.4, p.164
  • 102. Safinat al-Bihar, vol.2, p.272
  • 103. Ibid, p.172
  • 104. Tarikh Dimashaq, vol.51, p.38
  • 105. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.2, 48
  • 106. Nazra ‘Amma fi Tarikh al-Fiqh al-Islami, p.110
  • 107. Hayat al-Imam Musa b. Ja‘far, vol.1, p.305
  • 108. Ibid
  • 109. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.2, 48
  • 110. Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol.4, p.161
  • 111. Al-Inafa fi Ma’athir al-Khilafa, vol.1, p.142
  • 112. Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol.4, p.161
  • 113. Ibn Kuthayr, Tarikh, vol.4, p.232
  • 114. Al-‘Aqd al-Farid, vol.3, p.180
  • 115. Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol.5, p.95
  • 116. Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol.4, p.191
  • 117. Ibid
  • 118. Murujj al-Dhahab, vol.3, p.191
  • 119. Al-Inafa fi Ma’athir al-Khilafa, vol.1, p.146
  • 120. Al-Bukhla’, p.150
  • 121. Akhbar al-Duwal, vol2, p.200
  • 122. Ansab al-Ashraf
  • 123. Al-Bukhala’, p.105
  • 124. Al-Adab al-Sultaniya
  • 125. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol.2, 393
  • 126. Bihar al-Anwar, vol.11, p.75
  • 127. Al-Manaqib, pp.203-204
  • 128. Bihar al-Anwar, vol.11, p.75
  • 129. Diya’ al-‘Amilin, vol.2
  • 130. Al-Durr al-Nazim, p.190
  • 131. Al-Manaqib, vol.4, p.690. Al-Bihar, vol.11, p.75

Chapter 9: The Time of Imam Al-Baqir

As for the talk about the time of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, and mentioning the most prominent events that occurred during it, they are numbered, according to modern studies, among methodical researches of which the researcher is in need. For studying a certain time has a strong effect on discovering the behavior of the person on whom the research is done, and on understanding his cultural and social qualities.

The time of Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, was the most critical and sensitive of all the Islamic times. For many Islamic sects grew during it. They were among the most dangerous intellectual and social phenomena at that time. Besides the political parties attacked each other to the extent that they stopped Islam from spreading and deviated it from its way to another way without a ray of light and awareness.

However, we will talk about all the aspects of life at that time. We will leave none of them. That is as follows:

The Islamic Sects

At that time many Islamic sects grew. Some of them grew, as the researchers said, according to the command and support of the Umayyad government. There were several reasons for that. The most important one of them was that the Umayyad government wanted these sects to support it and to justify its attitude and its tendencies. We will briefly mention some of these sects. We will be honest to the truth as far as possible.

The Mu‘tazilites

The Mu‘tazilites played a dangerous role in the history of the intellectual and social life at that time. They left far-range effects on the intellectual Islamic life. Among them was the foundation of the ideological bases on which Sunni theology stood.1 Cold Zihar thought that the Mu‘tazilites were the first to enter and maintain the rational tendency.2 It is necessary for us to give a brief idea about the history of the Mu‘tazilites, their beliefs, and the attitude of Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, towards their leaders.

The History of the Mu‘tazilites

Zahdi Jar Allah thought that the theological school of the Mu‘tazilites started in the beginning of the second history A. H. That was in the city of Basrah, which was the center of knowledge and literature in the Islamic state.3 However, this school, as a political movement, was founded before this date. That was when the people pledged allegiance to Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. So, a group of people retired from pledging allegiance to him. Among them were Sa‘d b. Abi Waqqas, ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar, Usama b. Zayd, and Muhammad b. Muslima al-Ansari. Hence, they were called the Mu‘tazilites (the ones who retired from). They also did not support Imam ‘Ali in the Battle of the Camel and Siffin. Moreover, al-Ahnaf b. Qays retired from the war. Then, he said to his people: “It is better for you to retire from the discord.”4 Therefore, the Mu‘tazilites appeared as a political thought at that time. As for their theological school, it appeared in the last years of the first century A. H.

The Mu‘tazilites and Policy

The Mu‘tazilites had religious tendencies and theological methods. They supported the rule standing at those times. Their leaders supported the authorities and justified their political behavior. Though the leaders of the Mu‘tazilites affected asceticism and worship, they followed the governments standing at those times. The reason for that is that they adopted the Imamate of the mafdul (the less excellent). They said that it was permitted to prefer him to the fadil (the most excellent).

They embraced this view to justify the caliphate of the Umayyads and the like, who assumed the leadership of government though there were persons more knowledgeable than them in the affairs of religion and the precepts of Islamic law. With that they obtained the absolute support and respect of the Umayyads. After the end of the Umayyad government, they joined the Abbasid government. Al-Mansur al-Dawaniqi turned away from the religious scholars. He was cruel towards them. He showed enmity towards them and knowledge.

However, he admired ‘Amru b. ‘Ubayd, the spiritual leader of the Mu‘tazilites. The Abbasid kings also respected and honored Ahmed b. Abi Dawud, the second leader of the Mu‘tazilites. Concerning him al-Mu‘tasim said: “By Allah, we adorn with the like of this (Ahmed), rejoice at his nearness. He is loyal to us.”5 Al-Mu‘tasim visited Ahmed when he became ill. But he visited none of his brothers and his relatives. When he was asked about his visit to Ahmed, he replied: “Of course, I visit this person. For he rewards me and thanks me. He has availed me in my religion and my world.”6

The Italian orientalist, Nilino, and the orientalist, Nisboh, thought that the start of the i‘tizal (retirement) was from a political origin.7

Ahmed Amin said: “Surely, the boldness of the Mu‘tazilites in criticizing the men was a strong support for the Umayyads. For criticizing and analyzing the opponents and using reason in judgment for them or against them remove, at least, the thought of glorifying ‘Ali, which was spread among the masses of the people.”8

However, the Umayyad and the Abbasid governments respected and honored the Mu‘tazilites because of their support to them.

The Mu‘tazilites and the Christians

It is not logical to say that the beliefs of the Christians had an effect on the Mu‘tazilites, and that the beliefs of the Mu‘tazilites were similar to that of the Christians who followed Greek philosophy. Daybu believed in that. In this connection, he said: “There are separate proofs for that a group of the early Muslims, who believed in preference, studied under Christian teachers.”9 Dr. Nu‘man al-Qadi inclined to that. In this respect, he said: “An Iraqi Christian was the first to talk about fate. The Christian became Muslim, and then he returned to his religion. Ma‘bid al-Jahni and Ghaylan al-Dimashqi learned from him.”10 What Dr. al-Qadi has mentioned is not a proof for what he believed in. For the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, were the first to talk about fate. They explained it and supplied proof of what they believed in. Suppose that an Iraqi Christian was the first to speak about doom, this does not mean that the Christian had ideological effects on the Mu‘tazilites. To say the truth, the Christians had no effects on the religious and the philosophical views of the Mu‘tazilites.

The Fundamental Doctrines

As for the general ideological fundamentals in which the Mu‘tazilites believed, they were five basic fundamentals. Whoever adopted them was a Mu‘tazilite. Whoever denied one of them or increased them was not a Mu‘tazilite.11 They are as follows:

1. Oneness of Allah.

The strongest one of the five principles, on which the Mu‘tazilites agreed, is tawhid, or belief in the oneness and uniqueness of Allah. They said that Allah was not similar to His creatures. They thought Allah was neither body nor accident nor essence, and that neither time nor space encompassed him. They refused everything opposing the Oneness of Allah, the Exalted, and His eternity. They denied that Allah had attributes other than himself.12 In this respect, they said: “The existence of eternal attributes outside the Self (of Allah) leads to the existence of an eternal thing other than Himself. This requires multiplicity. This is impossible for Him, the Exalted.”13 Moreover, they interpreted the verses that shows apparently the incarnation of Allah. Among these verses is: “The hand of Allah is on their hands.” They simplified the explanation, and supplied wonderful reliable proofs of it.

2. Divine Justice

This is the second doctrine of the fundamental doctrines of their faith. It is Divine Justice. “Allah is not in the least unjust to the servants.” He does not wrong them. They had many theological studies about The justice of Allah, the Exalted. Among them are the negation of fate, proving the freedom, will, and preference of man. It is man who finds his acts according to his freedom and his preference. That is because Allah is just and beyond all injustices. Allah does not punish a person whom he forces to perform a certain act. For whoever forces a person to perform a certain act and punishes him is unjust. Hence, Allah is far above injustice. For He, the Exalted, said: “Allah is not in the least unjust to the servants.” “Allah does not wrong them.”

Therefore reward and punishment follow the act. They do not follow anything else.

In the Divine Justice, the Mu‘tazilites discussed the things that are rationally good or bad. The believed that Allah was just, and that He did only good things to His servants. This urged them to discuss the acts. In this connection, they asked: “Are the acts good in themselves? Or do they acquire their goodness and ugliness through an order from Allah?” They believed that goodness and ugliness were in the things themselves. The thing is not good through an order from Him. Rather, He ordered it to be performed for its goodness. Besides the thing is not ugly through an order from Him. Rather, he forbids it because of its ugliness. For this reason, the Mu‘tazilites glorified reason, and opened the way before its maturity and promotion, as some of the researchers said.14

3. Promise and Threat

This is the third doctrine of their fundamental doctrines. It means that Allah is truthful (in fulfilling) His promise and threat on the Day of Judgment. Nothing will change His words. The people of the garden will be driven to the garden through their deeds. The people of the fire will be driven to the fire through their deeds, too. According to this, they denied the intercession (with Allah) for anybody on the Day of Resurrection.15 Moreover, they denied the verses and the traditions about it.

4. Rank between two Ranks

This doctrine means that the person who commits the major sin is neither believer nor unbeliever. Rather, he is a sinner. Hence, they regarded transgression as a third independent rank from belief and unbelief. They regarded it between them. Wasil b. Ata' decided that when he said: “Belief is good qualities. When they come together, the person is called believer. It is the name of praise. The sinner has not gathered good qualities. He is not worthy of the name of praise. Therefore, he is neither believer nor unbeliever. That is because the shahada and all good deeds are found in him. There is no way to deny them. However, if he leaves the world and insists on the major sin without repentance, he will be among those who will be immortal in the fire.”16 ‘Amru b. ‘Ubayd followed Wasil in that. Al-Hasan al-Basri also followed them in that. Noteworthy, he had insisted on that the person who committed a major sin was a sinner believer.17

5. Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

This is the fifth doctrine of their fundamental doctrines. They thought that it was incumbent on every Muslim to enjoin good and to forbid evil with the sword. They called that jihad (armed struggle). If they were unable to carry that out with the sword, they had to use other than it. They had no difference in resisting both the unbelievers and the sinners.18 However, the Mu‘tazilites did not use this doctrine against the Umayyads who deviated from Islam and abased the Muslims and forced them to follow what they hated.

These are the fundamentals doctrines of the Mu‘tazilites. They have many important scientific branches. They have been mentioned in the theological books.

The Shi‘a and the Mu‘tazilites

Some orientalists said that the Shi‘a quoted many of their theological beliefs from the Mu‘tazilites, and that they constituted intellectual unity. Among them is Coldzihr, who said: “I‘tizal or retirement has been firmly established in the books of the Shi‘a till this day of ours. So, it is a grievous mistake, whether from the viewpoint of religious history or literary history, to say that no material trace has remained for i‘tizal or retirement after the decisive victory which the Ash‘arite beliefs won. The Shi‘a have many ideological books to which they resort and to follow their examples. They are standing proof that refutes this claim. We may regard the Shi‘ite ideological books as the books of the Mu‘tazilites.”19

Among those who held this view is Adam Mitiz, who said: “The Shi‘a had no private theological doctrine in the forth century A. H. Hence, they quoted the fundamentals and styles of theology from the Mu‘tazilites. Ibn Babawayh al-Qummi, the greatest Shi‘ite scholar in the forth century A. H., followed in his book ‘Ilal al-Sharaiy‘ the method of the Mu‘tazilites. As for the faith and doctrine, the Shi‘a are the inheritors of the Mu‘tazilites.”20 This view has no scientific originality. However, the Shi‘a have not relied on any Islamic sect. For the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, supplied them with rich abilities about theological studies and the like. They were the first to open the door to this science.

Besides they were the foremost to discuss the researches of Divine oneness, and the like. For example, Nahjj al-Balagh of Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, is full of wonderful sermons that praise the Greatness of the Creator and consider Him too exalted for the attributes of creatures. Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyah of the great Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, is rich in these researches. Many traditions were reported on the authority of the Imams of guidance, peace be on them. In the traditions, the Imam refuted atheists and the like. All that supplies proof that the Shi‘a were the first to study theology. So, how do they rely on the Mu‘tazilites? Shaykh al-Mufid said: “No Shi‘ite theologian jurist has taken theology from the Mu‘tazilites.”21

Dr. ‘Urfan ‘Abd al-Hamid said: “As for the scholars of the Shi‘a in the past and present, they denied the claim of quotation and imitation and refuted those who believed in them. In my opinion, that is natural logical and necessary matter for those who believe in the Imami doctrine, which says that the general skeleton of the Shi‘ite teachings stands on the traditions reported on the authority of the infallible Imam. So, the text of the doctrine requires dismissing every possibility of the outside effects. Rather, it denies them. For the Shi‘ite doctrine is an intellectual unity standing by itself and is taken from the teachings of the Imam.”22

Generally accepted Matters

The Shi‘a and the Mu‘tazilites agreed on some matters from the five fundamental doctrines such as Divine Justice. Imam Kashif al-Ghita' said: “What makes the Mu‘tazilites similar to the Shi‘a is their view: Among the attributes of Him, the Exalted, is justice which the Ash‘arites deny. On this stands the matter of rational goodness and ugliness in which the Imamis and the Mu‘tazilites believe, and which the Ash‘arites also deny. For this reason, the two parties are called the ‘adliyah (the ones who believe in Divine Justice).23

Generally unaccepted Matters

The Shi‘a disagreed radically with the Mu‘tazilites on many matters. The following is some of them:

1. The Imamate of the Mafdul

The Mu‘tazilites said that it was permitted to follow the Imamate of the mafdul (the less excellent) and to prefer him to the fadil (the most excellent). However, the Shi‘a refused that thoroughly, and regarded it as disobedience to thinking and deviation from the Quran, which refuses to make them equal. Allah, the Exalted, said: “Are those who know and those who do not know equal?” The Shi‘a think that all the crisis from which the community suffered resulted from preferring the mafdul (the less excellent) to the fadil (the most excellent). However, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, nominated the best one of his family and his companions,

Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, to be his successor. He took the pledge of allegiance to him at Ghadir Khum. However, the political ambitions moved the people to remove him from the caliphate and to nominate a person other than him. This led to bad effects on the community throughout history.

However, this sensitive point is among the basic differences between the Shi‘a and the Mu‘tazilites.

2. Intercession

The Mu‘tazilites said that none of the friends of Allah had the right to intercede with him for any person. Allah will reward man due to his act. If his acts were good, he would get good. If they were evil, he would get evil. The intercession of anybody would not avail him. The Shi‘a opposed that. They thought that the friends of Allah, such as the pure Imams, will have the right to intercede with Allah on the Day of Judgment. That is to show their outstanding qualities and their excellent position with Allah. If they had no right to intercede with Allah, then what would distinguish them from other people on that day?

These are some of the differences between the Shi‘a and the Mu‘tazilites. Violent debates occurred between the leading figures of the Shi‘a and of the Mu‘tazilites.

Imam al-Baqir and the Leaders of the Mu‘tazilites

The main leaders of the Mu‘tazilites met Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. They debated with him. They are as follows:

1. Al-Hasan al-Basri

Al-Hasan al-Basri went to Medina (Yathrib). He met Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, and said to him:

- I have come to ask you about certain matters from the Book of Allah.
- Are you not the jurist of the people of Basrah?
- It may be said so.
- Is there a person in Basrah to learn from?
- No.
- Do all the people of Basrah learn from you?
- Yes.
- You have assumed a great affair. I have heard something concerning you. I do not know whether it is right or wrong.
- What is it?
- They said that you said: Allah created the servants and entrusted their affairs to them.

Al-Hasan al-Basri bowed his head. He was unable to answer the Imam. So, the Imam asked him:

Do you know him to whom Allah said in His Book: “You are safe.” Is there fear for him after the words from Him?

- No.
- I will present a verse for you. I will end addressing you. I think that you will give it another meaning. If you did that, you would destroy yourself and others.
- What is it?
- Do you know what Allah meant when he said:

“And We made between them and the towns which We had blessed (other) towns to be easily seen, and We apportioned the journey therein: Travel through them nights and days, secure.” (Saba’, 34:18)

I heard that you gave the people a legal opinion when you said: “It is Mecca.”

“Yes,” replied al-Hasan al-Basri.

The Imam supplied proof of explaining the verse. So, al-Hasan was unable to answer him. Then, the Imam prevented him from embracing authorization. He told him that authorization was invalid.24

2. Imam al-Baqir refuted al-Hasan al-Basri.

‘Uthman al-‘Ama came to Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, and said to him: [Al-Hasan al-Basri said:] “The fire will hurt the stomachs of the persons who conceal knowledge.” The Imam denied that and said: “Therefore, the believer of the family of Pharaoh will perish. Allah praised him for that. Knowledge has been concealed since Allah, the Great and Almighty, sent Noah. Let al-Hasan go to the right and left. By Allah, he will not find knowledge in anywhere except here.” He pointed to his holy chest.25

3. Imam al-Baqir and ‘Amru bin ‘Ubayd

‘Amru b. ‘Ubayd was the spiritual leader of the Mu‘tazilites. Al-Mansur al-Dawaniqi respected and honored him.26 He came to visit Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, 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 realize that the heavens and the earth were rataq and We made them fitq?” (Al-Anbiya’, 21:30)

What is this rataq and this fitq? “The heaven was rataq (means) that no rain came down from it,” answered Imam Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, “and the earth was fitq (means) that no plants came out of it.”

‘Amru 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 Most High:

and to whomsoever My wrath is due be shall perish indeed.” (Taha, 20:81)

What is the anger of Allah?”

“The anger of Allah is His punishment,” replied Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, “Whoever thinks that anything changes Allah is an unbeliever.”27

The Murji'a

The Murji'a appeared on the Islamic arena during Umayyad era. They played a dangerous role in formulating the political events at those times. They supported and defended the Umayyad government. It is necessary for us to give an outline about them and to explain the attitude of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, towards them. That is as follows:

The Meaning of the Murji'a

The researchers differed over the meaning of the Murji'a. For they differed over understanding the word from which the Murji'a was derived. The following is some of their views:

A. Some of them thought that the word murji'a was derived from the verb arja'a, which means he gives (someone) time and delays (him). They were called the Murji'a, for they postponed the affair of those who disagreed on the caliphate to the Day of Judgment. They did not judge any of them.28

B. Some of them thought that the Murji'a was derived from the verb arja'a, meaning hope. For they did not decide that the one who committed a major sin would be from the people of the fire or from the people of the garden. Rather, they postponed the decision concerning him to the Day of Judgment. With that they gave hope for forgiveness. In other words, they hoped that Allah would forgive every Muslim.29

C. It was said that they were called the Murji'a, for they thought that the heart and the tongue confirmed faith, and that they delayed act.30 They thought that Allah would save the believers because of their hearty faith, though they did not pray and fast. With this they advanced faith and postponed act. Ahmed Amin favored the first view.31 Yankilson favored the second view.32

The Growth of the Murji'a

We firmly believe that the Umayyads ordered this sect to formed. Then they spread its beliefs among the people. For this sect regarded as legal the caliphate of the Umayyads. Meanwhile, it said that Allah would decide on the Day of Judgment the grievous events which the Umayyads made, and that no one had the right to criticize their acts.

The Murji'a was formed for political reasons. The main leaders of the Murji'a obeyed the Umayyad and the Abbasid kings. Al-Ma'mun said: “Al-Irja' or postponement is the religion of the kings.”33 This sect did not oppose the ugly deeds of the Umayyad kings. So, it deviated from the true Islam.

Shawqi Dayf said: “The views of the Murji'a served the Umayyad house. The Shi‘a and other pious people thought that this house deviated from religion. So, they thought that the Muslims had to replace it with the ‘Alid House. The Murji'a disagreed with the Shi‘a on this opinion. For they did not want to prefer Muslim to Muslim. They did not want to judge any person with piety or without piety. It was enough for the Muslim to be Muslim. No one had the right to judge his act.34

Ukhudabakhsh said: “The Murji'a made an agreement with the Umayyad government for livelihood.”35

The Murji'a was among the hirelings of the ruling authorities at that time. They played a positive role in supporting the Umayyad and justifying its policy standing on oppression and tyranny.

The Shi‘a and the Murji'a

There was an intense disagreement between the Shi‘a and the Murji'a. For they differed over the succession after the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. The Shi‘a thought that Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, was the direct successor after the Prophet. Besides they thought that the Umayyad government was illegal, and that the Muslims had to destroy it. However, the Murji'a thought that the Umayyad government was legal, and that no one had the right to revolt against it.

There was a strong conflict between the two sects. For the Shi‘a vexed the Murji'a when they mentioned ‘Ali, peace be on him, in their clubs and assemblies. In this connection, a Shi‘ite poet said:

If you are pleased to see the Murji'a die with their illness before their death,

then renew mentioning ‘Ali's name before them, and bless the Prophet, and the members of his house.36

The Shi‘a criticized the Murji'a for preferring the caliphs to Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. They regarded them as narrow-minded.

Muharib b. Dithar al-Hadhli, main leader of the Murji'a, tried to refute the Shi‘a in a poem.37 Mansur al-Nimri, a Shi‘ite poet, answered him in a poem, too.38

The Shi‘a criticized and mocked the Murji'a for postponing Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, and making equal between him and ‘Uthman and Mu‘awiya and the Kharijites. Al-Sayyid al-Himyari refuted their views in a poem.39

Grimar's Claims

Grimar thought that there were relationships between the principles of the Murji'a and the teachings of the Eastern Church. He tried to show that through the beliefs of the Murji'a, which said that the sinners would not be abiding in the fire. This is in what the fathers of the Eastern Church oppose the western church. He also thought the calm belief of the Murji'a agreed with the teachings Yohanna al-Dimashqi, who was busy doing religious studies when the Murji'a appeared, and who was very famous in the capital of the Umayyad caliphs. Moreover, Grimar underlined that the beliefs of the Murji'a had close ties with the religious philosophy of the Eastern Church.40

As for this view, it is very weak. For the theological studies prospered in early time in Islam. No study of them was taken from Christianity or the like. Dr. Yousif Khulayf said: “I think that the irja' or postponement, such as asceticism, was not Christian in growth and tendency. Rather, it was Islamic in growth and tendency. This does not mean that Christianity had no effect on it and supplied it with some of its trends. However, it has clear Islamic qualities.41

The Definition of Faith

The Murji'a believed that faith was certitude by the heart, and that words and deeds were not important. If man believed (in Allah) with his heart, then he was a believing Muslim. That did not depend on his prayers, his fasting, and his pilgrimage (to Mecca). These religious duties were not important. With that they opposed the Mu‘tazilites, who thought the one who committed a major sin was neither a believer nor unbeliever. Rather, he was in a rank between the two ranks. They also opposed the Kharijites, who said that the one who committed a major sin was an unbeliever. In this connection, these words of them are famous: “No sin harms belief. No obedience avails unbelief.”42 So, they said that the Christians and the Jews were unbelievers. They took care of them and did not want to hurt their feelings. For the Umayyad palace was full of the Christians and the Jews who occupied high offices in the Umayyad state.43

Imam al-Baqir and ‘Amru al-Masir

‘Amru b. Qays al-Masir believed in the irja' or postponement. He and a companions of his went to Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. He said to the Imam: “We do not dismiss our followers from faith because of sins.” The Imam refuted his corrupt claims, saying: “O Son of Qays, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said: ‘The believer does not commit fornication nor does he steal.’ You and you friend go wherever you wish.”44 The Murji'a limited faith in this way that opposed the traditions reported on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. For the person who believes in Allah and the hereafter does not commit fornication nor does he steal. Rather it is the unbeliever who commits such sins. Faith prevents the soul from committing sin. Therefore, whoever commits sins has no faith.

Abu Hanifa and the Irja'

Some sources mentioned that Abu Hanifa believed in the irja' or postponement, and that his religious school stood on it.45 Muhammad b. ‘Amru said: [I heard Abu Mishir say:] “Abu Hani was the head of the Murji'a.” ‘Amr b. Sumayd said: [I heard my grandfather say: I said to Abu Yousif:]

- Was Abu Hani from the Murji'a?
- Yes.
- Was he a Jahami?
- Yes.
- Why did you keep silent?
- Abu Hani was a teacher. We accepted his good words and left his ugly words.46

This accusation caused Abu Hanifa many slanders. Some ruling circles launched a bitter slanderous campaign. However, we are not sure of such an accusation.

The Kharijites

The sect of Kharijites were one of the oldest revolutionary sects that appeared on the arena of the political life in Islam. It appeared when Mu‘awiya was defeated and was about to escape. Hence, he resorted to raising copies of the Quran asking Imam ‘Ali to use it as a referee. As the Kharijites had no political and social awareness they hurried to the Imam and asked him to accept that. The Imam told them that it was a military trick, that the Umayyads did not believe in the Quran, and that they did not respect Allah. However, the Kharijites disobeyed him. They unanimously agreed on that they would remove him or stop the war operations. Then they drew their swords in his face.

Meanwhile, the vanguards of the Imam's army headed by the great commander, Malik al-Ashtar, was about to win victory and capture Mu‘awiya b. Abi Sufyan. So, a discord was about to occur among the army of the Imam. Thus, the Imam responded to them and ordered the battle to be stopped. Then, the document of arbitration was written between the two sides. Noteworthy, the document did not state that ‘Ali was the Commander of the Faithful. Afterwards, the stupid Kharijites understood that they followed a plain error, and that the Umayyads deceived them when they raised copies of the Quran. Hence, the refused the arbitration. They were so displeased with it that they asked the Imam to announce his repentance and to go on the battle. However, the Imam refused to accept this weak view from them. He was not ready to violate the truce and to announce his repentance. Rather, it was they who committed such a sin when they disobeyed the Imam and shouted: “No one has the right to rule except Allah.”

These words were their official motto. When Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him, heard these words, he said: “They are true words, but they want to achieve falsehood through them.” However, the rule was for the sword not for Allah. They illegally spread killing among the people. They also spread corruption in the earth. Imam ‘Ali spared no effort to convince them of their corrupt, but all his efforts were in vein. They insisted on aggression and error. The Imam was forced to fight against them. Thus, the Battle of al-Nahrwan took place. Most of the Kharijites were killed at that battle. Shame and dishonor accompanied them. Their blood was shed while they were in plain error. Muslims were indignant with them. The poets satirized them. Among them was al-Kumayt.47

Their blood was shed, for they fought against the truth and wanted to enliven falsehood. This is what Sayyid Hayder showed in his poems.48

Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, uprooted them at the Battle of al-Nahrwan. He killed their main leaders. However, some of them escaped. Hence, they began to proclaim their beliefs that summoned the people to mutiny against the standing rule. They led many bloody revolutions in the Islamic countries. Many people were killed during those revolutions. The historians have mentioned them in details.

Their Religious Views

The Kharijites stood alone in their views that deviated from Allah's book and the Sunna of his Prophet. The following is some of their views:

1. They regarded as unbelievers Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him, Mu‘awiya, the two arbitrators (‘Amru b. al-‘As and Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari), and the Companions of the Camel (‘A'isha, Talha, and al-Zubayr).

2. They regarded as unbelievers those who committed major sins. They decided that such sinners would be immortal in the fire.

3. They said that it was permitted for the non-Qurayshi persons to be caliphs. With that they opposed all the Sunnis who unanimously agreed on that the caliph should be from Quraysh. They (the Kharijites), said that the Imam should not be appointed through nomination and designation. With that they opposed the Shi‘a who believed in the nomination (of the Imam). Moreover, they said that it was possible for the world to remain without an Imam. If the world was in need of an Imam, then the slave, the free, the Egyptian, and the like had the right to be caliph.49 They had other views the books of the sects and the like have mentioned them.

Imam al-Baqir and Nafi‘

Nafi‘ al-Azraq, one of the main leaders of the Kharijites, came to Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, and questioned him about some religious matters. When he had finished his questions, the Imam said to him: “Say to these rebels (the Kharijites), with what did you regarded as lawful the separation from the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him? Had you not shed your blood before him to obey him and to approach Allah through supporting him? They will say to you: He (Imam ‘Ali) had appointed an arbitrator in the religion of Allah. Say to them: Allah had also chosen two persons from his creatures (to be arbitrators). That was when He said:

“And if you fear a breach between the two (the man and the woman), then appoint an arbitrator from his family and an arbitrator from her family. If they both desire an agreement, Allah will effect harmony between them.” (An-Nisa’, 4:35)

Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, appointed Sa‘d b. Ma‘adh as an arbitrator between himself and the Banu Qurayza. So, Sa‘d decided between them according to the words of Allah, the Great and Almighty. Did you not know that the Commander of the Faithful ordered the two arbitrators to decide according to the Quran and not to exceed it? He stipulated that he should refuse the judgments contrary to the Quran. The Kharijites asked Imam ‘Ali: Whom have appointed as an arbitrator over you? He replied: I have not appointed a creature as an arbitrator (over me). Rather, I have appointed the Book of Allah as an arbitrator.”

Nafi‘ admired the words of Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him. Then he said: “I have never heard such words before. They are true, Allah willing.”50

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, had other debates with the Kharijites on The Oneness of Allah. We will mention them when we talk about the atheist views that invaded the Muslim countries at that time.

The Shi‘a

I want to be sincere to the truth when I will talk about the Shi‘a. I also want to be neutral when I will speak of their beliefs. For the Shi‘a has suffered until now from baseless accusations. That is as follows:

The Meaning of the Shi‘a

In Arabic the Shi‘a means the followers or the supporters. Then this name (the Shi‘a) has included all those who follow and support Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him, and the members of his house. So, this name concerned them.51 Shaykh al-Mufid said: “In Arabic, Shi‘ism means to follow and obey sincerely the followed one. Allah, the Great and Almighty said: The one who was of his followers (Shi‘a) asked him for help against the one who was of his enemies.52

So, He distinguished between them according to following and enmity. The reason for Shi‘ism (following) to one of them is obedience as it is in this clear verse. When the definite article the is added to the word shi‘a, then the word refers to the followers of the Commander of the Faithful, the blessings of Allah be on him and his family.”53

The word Shi‘a refers to those who believe in the Imamate of the Commander of the Faithful and his succession after the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. They have unanimously agreed on that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, entrusted succession to the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him.

The Beginning of Shi‘ism

We firmly believe that it was the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who started Shi‘ism. That was when he addressed Imam ‘Ali, saying: “O ‘Ali, you and your followers (Shi‘a) will come to me very thirsty at the (sacred) waters (of Heaven).”54

Imam Kashif al-Ghita' said: “The leader of the Islamic law (the Prophet) was the first to plant the seed of Shi‘ism in the field of Islam. Namely the seed of Shi‘ism was put alongside the seed of Islam.”55

Al-Noubakhti said: “The Shi‘a was the first of the sects. It was the sect of ‘Ali b. Abi Talib. It was called the Shi‘a of ‘Ali at the time of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and after him. They (the Shi‘a) were known for their obedience to him and their belief in his Imamate.”56

Shaykh Muhammad al-Husayn al-Mudafar said: “Shi‘ism started on the day when the great savor, Muhammad, the blessing of Allah be on him, called at the top of his voice: There is no god but Allah. When these words of Him: Tell your close relatives, came down to the Prophet, he gathered the Banu Hashim and asked them: ‘Which of you will be my brother, my inheritor, my trustee, and my successor among you after me?’ None of them answered. So, the Prophet said: ‘This is my brother, my trustee, my helper, my inheritor, and my successor among you after me. Listen to him and obey him.’ The summons of the leader of the message to follow Abu al-Hasan (Imam ‘Ali) was side by side with the summons to the twofold testimony. Then Abu Dharr al-Ghifari was among the followers (Shi‘ites) of ‘Ali, peace be on him.”

In Khitat al-Sham,57 Muhammad Kurd ‘Ali said: “A group of the main companions were known for their following ‘Ali at the time of Allah's Apostle. Among them was Salmam al-Farsi, who said: ‘We pledged allegiance to Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, to be sincere to the Muslims and to follow and obey ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him.’ Among them was Abu Sa‘id al-Khudari, who said: ‘He (the Prophet) ordered the people (to perform) five (duties). However, they performed four (duties), and left one (duty). When he was asked about the four (duties), he replied: (They are) the prayers, zakat (alms), fasting the month of Ramadan, and the pilgrimage (to Mecca).’ Then he was asked about the one (duty) which they left, he answered: (It was) the succession of ‘Ali b. Abi Talib (to authority).”58

Shi‘ism started at the time of the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. Thus, it was he who put its fundamentals. That was when he nominated the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, as successor after him. There are many proofs for that. The following is some of them:

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, was the leader of a message and summons. He came to free and save all the world. He spared no effort to carry out the message of his Lord. He plunged into fears. He was engaged in battles. He suffered from many persecutions from which no social reformer in the earth suffered. So, was it possible for him to leave the authorities in chaos after him? Was it possible for him to ignore the affairs of the succession on which the fate of his community depended? Surely, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, took care of the succession after him. Hence, he designated the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, as successor after him. With that he wanted to protect his community from division and discord. He wanted to preserve its interests. Moreover, he wanted his community to go on conveying his brilliant message to all the people.

2. The leadership of the community was in need of outstanding qualities. All these outstanding qualities came to gather in the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. He was the most knowledgeable of all the people in the affairs of the Islam message. He was the gate of the city of knowledge of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. He was the most knowledgeable of the community in giving legal decisions. He was the most ascetic of all the people. For he renounced all the pleasures of life, and he divorced his world three times. Moreover, he was the most just of all the people. So, was it possible for the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, to ignore this Imam who had these outstanding qualities?

3. Many traditions were reported on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. All the Muslims have narrated the traditions and underlined that they are authentic. Among these traditions are: the tradition of the grilled bird, the tradition of the house, the tradition of al-Ghadir, the tradition of al-Thaqalayn, the tradition of the boat, and the like. All these traditions and the like have mentioned the outstanding qualities of Abu al-Husayn (Imam ‘Ali), peace be on him. Whoever considers carefully these traditions understands why the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, appointed the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, as successor after him.

4. Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him, refrained from pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr. The main Companions (of the Prophet) also refrained from pledging allegiance to him. Among them were Abu Dharr, ‘Ammar b. Yasir, Salman al-Farisi, Khalid b. Sa‘id, and the like. They told him that Imam ‘Ali was the worthier of him of the position of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. Khalid b. Sa‘id said to Imam ‘Ali: “We will pledge allegiance to you. By Allah, none of the people is worthier than you of the position of Muhammad.”59

Fatima the chaste, daughter of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, was indignant with Abu Bakr. That was when he occupied the office and position of the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. She made a famous speech. In the speech she summoned (the Muslims) to revolt against the government of Abu Bakr. For she, peace be on her, was sure of that her father appointed Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him, as successor after him. The historians said that Fatima asked Imam ‘Ali to bury her in the darkness of night, and that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar should not attend her funeral.

5. All the Muslim figures knew that Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him, was the testamentary trustee of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. Among them were Khuzayma b. Thabit, the man with two testimonies, ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Ju‘ayl, ‘Abd Allah b. Abu Sufyan b. al-Harth b. ‘Abd al-Mutalib, Hijr b. ‘Adi al-Kindi, al-Ash‘ath b. Qays al-Kindi, al-Nu‘man b. ‘Ajlan, al-Fadl b. Abbas, and Hassan b. Thabit.60

The Fable of ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’

Some spiteful persons have attributed Shi‘ism to ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’. They said: “It was ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’ who founded Shi‘ism. He created its fundamentals and propagated them.” The following is some of them:

1. Al-Malti

Al-Malti was one of those who believed in this fable. He said: “‘Abd Allah b. Saba’ founded Shi‘ism.”61 Moreover, he accused all the Shi‘ite sects of unbelief. However, he did not supply any proof of what he mentioned. Rather, he regarded his view as axiomatic. However, his view is among the views that have no importance in the scientific studies.

2. Al-Nashshar

Dr. al-Nashshar was one of those who harbored malice against the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, and hated their followers. In this connection, he said: “The Jews were the real founders of the excessive Shi‘ite faith. Some of their scholars adopted Islam. Then they came to the Islamic world. They made use of removing ‘Ali from the caliphate through the idea of the infallible Imam or the seal of the trustees. Islamic belief books have unanimously agreed on that it was ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’, who was the first to summon (the people) to the idea of holiness which was ascribed to ‘Ali, was a Jew before Islam.” The Dr. added: “Surely, this idea did not appear at the time of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. Rather, it appeared during the caliphate of ‘Uthman at the hand of ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’. It was among the hidden trends that intended to destroy the Islamic world.”62

3. Shaykh Abu Zahra

Shaykh Abu Zahra was among those who believed in this fable. In this respect he said: “The greatest tyrant, ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’, was the first to summon (the people) to believe in the authority and trusteeship of ‘Ali and the return of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. The Shi‘ite doctrine grew during those discords.”63

These views are among the farces of human intellect. They have branded their owners with infamy. For they have slandered the greatest Islamic sect that take care of the rights of the persecuted, raise the banner of human dignity, and records laudable deeds for Islam and Muslims. Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, and the leading members of his children headed this sect. The main Muslim figures joined this sect. Among them were ‘Ammar b. Yasir, Abu Dharr, Salman al-Farsi, Hijr b. ‘Adi, and the like. They enlighten the intellectual life in Islam. So, why do the people accuse the Shi‘ite sect of that ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’ was the first to form it? However, some researchers said that ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’ was a baseless, fabricated, imaginary person.64

One of the orientalists doubted intellectually the existence of ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’. Namely he doubted his effect on the Shi‘ite doctrine. In this connection he said: “However, the modern research has shown that this is an anticipation for the events and a picture with which it was acted in the past. The traditionalists of the second century A.H. imagined it from their prevailing circumstances and ideas at that time.”

After studying the sources critically, Filhauzin Fred Linder said: “The next generation fabricated the plot and the summons and ascribed them to ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’.”

Kaitani said: “The Arab scholar could not imagine such a plot with such thinking and organization. For, in 35 A. H., he was known for his tribal regime standing on the paternal authority. However, it reflects clearly the circumstances of the first Abbasid age.”65

Dr. Taha Husayn said: “The talk of ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’ was fabricated. It was created at the time when there were arguments between the Shi‘a and other Islamic sects. The opponents of the Shi‘ites wanted to insert a Jewish element in the fundamentals of this doctrine to plot against them (the Shi‘ites) and to defame them.”66

However, the fable of ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’ was fabricated to defame and slander the Shi‘a. Moreover, there is no relation between the Shi‘a and ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’ and the persons who deviated from the truth.

The Shi‘a and Excessiveness

The Shi‘a has been unjustly accused of excessiveness towards their Imams. However, they are innocent of this accusation. We must mention a brief talk about that.

The Meaning of Excessiveness

As for the meaning of excessiveness, it is that the pure Imams, peace be on them, are ascribed to divinity. Some of the excessive persons said that ‘Ali, peace be on him, was the son of Allah.

In satirizing them, Sayyid al-Himyari said:

(They) are the people who have gone too far in loving ‘Ali.

Woe unto them!

They say: He (‘Ali) is the son of Allah. Great is our Creator.

He has neither son nor father.67

.Al-Mufid b. Sa‘id said to Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, “Confess that you know the unseen so that I might come to you to Iraq.” However, the Imam, peace be on him, scolded and dismissed him. Then, al-Mufid went to Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq, peace be on him, and said to him as he said to his father. Hence, the Imam said: “I seek protection in Allah.”68

The Shi‘a have renounced the Excessive

The Shi‘a have denounced the excessive. They do not numbered them from the Muslim sects. They regard them as unbelievers. It was reported on the authority of Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, who said to Razzam: “Say to the excessive ones: Turn to Allah in repentance. For you are sinners, unbelievers, and polytheists.” Concerning ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’, he, peace be upon him, said: “May Allah curse ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’. He accused the Commander of the Faithful of divinity. By Allah, the Commander of the Faithful worshipped Allah willingly. Woe unto those who ascribe fabrications to us. When I mention ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’, every hair in my body stands. He said a great affair. What is wrong with him? May Allah curse him. By Allah ‘Ali was a righteous servant. He did not get the dignity from Allah but through the obedience to Allah and His Apostle. Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, did not get the dignity from Allah but through the obedience to Him.”69

Kathir al-Nawa said: [I heard Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, say:] “Allah and His Apostle have renounced al-Mughira b. Sa‘id and Banan b. Sam‘an. For they have ascribed fabrications to us, the ahl al-Bayt.”70

The Shi‘ite jurists have unanimously agreed on that the excessive are impure. They treat them as they treat the unbelievers. For example, the Muslim woman is not permitted to marry from them and the Muslim man is not permitted to marry from them.

Imam Shaykh Muhammad al-Husayn Al Kashif al-Ghita' said: “As for the Shi‘a, they renounce those sects.”

As for the Imami Shi‘ites in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, India, Syria, and the like, they regard the excessive as unbelievers.

The Shi‘ite View concerning the Imams

As for the Shi‘ite view of the Imams, peace be on them, it is moderate. There is neither extremism nor excessiveness in love for them. The Shi‘a believe that the Imams are the honored servants of Allah. They say nothing contrary to Allah's words. They act according His orders. They are the people of the remembrance. They are the successors. The are the abiding ones of Allah in His earth. They are the best of His creatures. They are the containers of His knowledge. Allah protected and purified them completely from sins.

Their Leader, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, described them, saying: “They are the life of knowledge and death of ignorance. Their clemency tells you of their knowledge, their outward of their inward, and their silence of their wise thinking. They do not oppose right nor do they differ with each other over it. They are the pillars of Islam and asylums of protection. With them right has returned to its position and wrong has left its place and its tongue is severed from its root. They have understood religion attentively and carefully, not by mere heresy or from narrators. For the narrators of knowledge are many but its understanders are few.”71

The poet of Islam, al-Kumayt, described them, saying:

However, my hidden and manifest love is for the Hashimites,

who are the best of all people, who are near to generosity,

who are far from oppression

who are right when the people are wrong,

who has established the rules of Islam,

who are the sufficient defenders when the war breaks out,

who are the rain when drought hits the people,

who are the shelter for the orphans' mothers,

who are the sufficient leaders in all conditions.72

The Love of the Shi‘a for the Imams

The hearts of the Shi‘a are full of love for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. They think that such love is among the important religious duties. For many verses and traditions urge them to do that. Among them are: the Verse of Love, the tradition of al-Thaqalayn, the tradition of the boat, and the like. The Shi‘a has believed in such love since the beginning of their history. For example, Abu al-Aswad al-Du'ali answered those who blamed him for his love for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, saying:

Do you blame me for the love for the

of Muhammad?

May a stone be in your mouth!

(I do not worry) whether you leave your

blame or increase (it).

Whoever does not cling to love for them

should confess the love for the one who

is not rightly-guided.73

Some people criticized Abu al-Aswad for his love for the members of the House. So, he answered them with these lines of poetry:

I love very much Muhammad, Abbas, Hamza, the trustee (Imam ‘Ali), and Ja‘far.

They are the children of the uncle of the Prophet.

They are the most lovable with me of all the people.74

Some people blamed ‘Abd Allah b. Kuthayr al-Sahmi for his love for the members of the House. They regarded his love for them as sin. Hence, he answered them with these lines of poetry, saying:

Is it regarded as sin that I love them?

Rather, love for them is an expiatory gift.75

Harb b. al-Mudhir b. al-Jarud was satisfied with little food of his world, for he was ascetic in the world. He announced his victory when he loved the members of the House, peace be on them. He said:

My love is for the relations of the Prophet Muhammad.

For he (the Prophet) did not demand of us any reward except the love of his relations.76

The Shi‘a love the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, because they seek nearness to Allah, the Exalted, through it. They hope that they will be safe from the torment on the Day of Resurrection through the love for the Prophet's relations. Sayyid al-Himyari said:

I want to be safe (from chastisement) on the Day of Judgment through love for the guide Abu Hasan (Imam ‘Ali).77

Al-Farazdaq thought that his love for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, was religion, and that hating them was unbelief. He said:

He is from the people whose love is religion

whose detest is unbelief and whose nearness

is salvation and protection

When the people of piety are numbered, they

(ahl al-Bayt) are their Imams.

Or (when) it said: Who is the best of the

people of the earth? It is said: They (ahl al-Bayt) are.

Al-Kumayt also showed his love for the members of the House, peace be on them, in many of his poems.78

The Aspects of Love for the Imams

As for the aspects of the love of the Shi‘a for the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, they are as follows:

1. The Shi‘a take the fundamentals and branches of religion from the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. They think that it is obligatory to follow their words and deeds because they are of the obligatory Sunna. With that the Shi‘a has made their ideological frame, namely with what was reported on the authority of the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. In the legislative matters, they do not depend on the other Islamic doctrines. This is not because of partiality or fanaticism. However the authentic traditions, which were reported on the authority of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and his family) urged them to do that. They also urged them to confine themselves to the doctrine of the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them.

Imam Sharaf al-Din said: “We are not partial or fanatic when we follow the fundamentals (of a doctrine) other than the Ash‘arite doctrine and the branches (of a doctrine) other than the four doctrines. We do not doubt the religious opinions (ijtihad) of the Imams of the doctrines. (We do not doubt) their justice, their honesty, and their great knowledge and deeds).

“However, the religious proofs have forced us to follow the doctrine the doctrine of the Imams from the members of the House of prophecy, the place of the (prophetic) mission and angels, and the landing place of inspiration and revelation. So, we have followed them in the branches and beliefs of religion, the principles and rules of jurisprudence, the sciences of the Sunna and the Book, and the sciences of ethics and behavior and manners. We have followed the proofs that concern the Sunna (practices) of the Lord of prophets and apostles, peace be on him and his family.

“If the proofs permitted us to oppose the Imams from the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, or if we were able to get the intention of nearness to Allah, the Glorified, when we follow a doctrine other than their doctrine, we would follow the doctrine of the Sunnis.”79

Then he added: “I think that no one dare to prefer them (the Imams of the doctrines) in knowledge and acts to our Imams, who are the Imams of the pure family, the life-boats of the community, the door of its hitta, its safety against discords in religion, the signposts of its guidance, and the valuable ones (thiql) of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: ‘Do not precede them so as not to perish. Do not fall behind them so as not to perish. For they are more knowledgeable than you.’ However, it was policy. I wish you knew what it required at the beginning of Islam.”

The Shaykh of al-Azhar confirmed this bright part of the speech of Imam Sharaf al-Din when he said: “Rather, it might be said that your twelve Imams are better to be followed than the four Imams. For all the twelve Imams followed one doctrine. They purified and decided it. However, the differences among the four (Imams) are famous in all chapters of jurisprudence. So, its ways are not encompassed and done well. It is well-known that what one person purifies is unequal to what twelve Imams purify.”80

It is natural that this aspect, to which the Shi‘a have cleaved and which they have announced in all fields, has neither excessive nor extreme love. Rather, it is righteous and moderate.81

2. Among the aspects of love of the Shi‘a for their Imams is that they mark their anniversaries, praise their outstanding merits, spread their high moral standards, hold funeral orations, and visit their graves.

The Shi‘a and the Companions (of the Prophet)

The Shi‘a have been accused of defaming the Companions (of the Prophet). This is a pure fabrication. For the Shi‘a respect the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and love them very much. They think that every Muslim should respect them. For they supported Islam during its early days. Moreover, they spread Islam with their efforts and armed struggle. Hence, we must talk about them and the attitude of the Shi‘a towards them.

The Definition of the Companions

The Companions were those who accompanied the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, believed in him, and died for his guidance and religion. The Companion was not the one who saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. For this definition will include all the children and the unbelievers who saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. This definition will also exclude who did not see the Prophet because the lost their sight.

The Position of the Companions

The Companionship with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, has a great position with Allah, the Exalted. However, it did not protected (the Companions) from errors nor did it save them from the fire. Hence, the good deed is the only authentic measure with Allah. Whoever believes (in Allah) and does good, the garden will be his shelter. Whoever deviates from the truth after he has known guidance, the fire will be his shelter.

For Allah, the Most High, said: “And that man shall have nothing but what he strives for. And that his striving shall soon be seen.” “So, he who has done an atom's weight of good shall see it. And he who has done an atom's weight of evil shall see it.”

Allah, the Exalted, based His reward on good deeds and His punishment on evil deeds. So the Companions and the others are equal with Allah. The nearest one to Allah is the one who obeys Him. The farthest one from Allah is the one who disobeys him. The following is some views of the main Shi‘ites concerning the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family:

Sayyid ‘Ali Khan

Sayyid ‘Ali Khan al-Madani said: “We think that the justice of the Companions (of the Prophet) is similar to that of others. Their mere companionship (with the Prophet) does not make necessary faith and justice nor does it save (the Companions) from the punishment of the fire and the wrath of the Almighty (Allah). However, certain faith and sincere heart should accompanied it. When we know that (some Companions) had faith and justice and took care of the bequest of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning his family, and died for that, we follow them. For we seek nearness to Allah through their love. Among them were Abu Dharr, ‘Ammar, and Salman al-Farisi. When we know that the companion retreated from his faith and showed enmity towards the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), we show enmity towards him and renounce for Allah. However, we keep silent towards the unknown (Companion).”82

This view is very reliable. We love and respect the good Companions to seek nearness to Allah. We detest the Companions who deviated from the truth to seek nearness to Allah Who has ordered us to keep aloof from falsehood.

Imam Sharf al-Din

Imam Sharaf al-Din said: “Whoever consider carefully our view about the Companions (of the Prophet) knows that it is moderate. Our view is not as excessive as that of the excessive ones who accused all the Companions of unbelief. Our view is not as excessive as of those who have regarded them all as reliable. The excessive ones said: ‘All the Companions (of the Prophet) were unbelievers.’ The Sunnis said: ‘All the Muslims who heard and saw the Prophets were just.’

“As for us, we think that the mere companionship (with the Prophet), though excellent quality is not enough for justice. Thus, the Companions were similar to the other men. There were just men among them. They were their great figures and their scholars. There were aggressors, criminals, hypocrites, and unknown ones among them. Hence, we regard their just ones as proofs, and then we follow them in here and in hereafter.

“Some of the Companions mutinied against the trustee and brother of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, (i.e., Imam ‘Ali). Among them were b. Hind, b. al-Nabigha, b. al-Zarqa', b. ‘Aqaba, b. Artat, and the like. We do not respect such companions. Besides their traditions are worthless. We give no answer about the unknown (Companions) till we understand their affairs. This is our view concerning the traditionalists from the Companions. The Book and the Sunna are between us. They indicate this view. It is also mentioned in detail in the principles of jurisprudence.

“However, the Muslim majority (jimhur), went too far in glorifying those whom they have called Companions. Hence, they have become immoderate when they have regarded the strong and the weak ones from the Companions as proof. They have followed every Muslim who heard from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, or saw him. They rebuke those who oppose them in this excessiveness.

“They blame us when we refuse to accept the traditions of many Companions. That is because we openly criticize such Companions or say that they are unknown. (We do that) to carry out the religious duty that urges us to purify the religious matters and to look for the authentic traditions of the Prophet.

“For this reason they doubt us, accuse us of what they say. All that is out of ignorance. If they resorted to their reason and depended on the rules of science, they would know that there was no proof for the justice of the Companions. If they consider carefully the Holy Quran, they would find it full of mentioning the hypocrites. It is sufficient to read the Sura of al-Tawba and al-Ahzab.”83

The view of Imam Sharaf al-Din represents deep thinking and original evidence. For the Shi‘a do not behave emotionally towards the Companions (of the Prophet). Rather, they consider carefully their deeds. So, they admire the Companions who contributed in building Islam and stood firm before the events that troubled the Muslims very much after the death of their Prophet. Moreover, the Shi‘a pay no attention to the Companions who deviated from Islam and showed enmity towards Allah and His Apostle. Among them were al-Hakam, Marwan b. al-Hakam, al-Walid b. ‘Aqaba, Dhi al-Thidya, Tha‘laba b. Hatib, and the like.

The Attitude of Imam al-Baqir towards the Companions

As for Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, he honored and respected the good Companions (of the Prophet). Meanwhile he disdained the bad ones from them. Concerning slandering them, the Imam reported many traditions on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. He also mentioned the fabricated traditions that praised them. That is as follows:

1. He, peace be on him, reported on the authority of ‘Abd Allah b. Abi Nafi‘, on the authority of Abu Hurayra, on the authority of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “On the Day of Judgment, a group of my companions will come to me. However, they will be dismissed from (the sacred) waters (of Heaven). So, I will say: My Lord, they are my companions. However, He will say: ‘You do not know what they had done after you. They had retreated (from their religion).’”84

Traditions similar to this are numerous. Among them is what Ahmed reported in his Musnad on the authority of ‘Abd Allah b. Mas‘ud, on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who said to his Companions: “I will be before you at (the Sacred) waters (of Heaven). I will be disputed for groups (of my companions). However, I will be overcome. Hence, I will say: O My Lord, they are my companions. Thus, He will say: ‘You do not know what they had done after you.’”85

Al-Tirmidhi reported on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “Men from my companions will be taken to the right and to the left. So, I will say: O My Lord, they are my companions. Thus, he will say: ‘You do not know what they had done after you. They retreated (from their religion) when you left them.’ Hence, I will say as the good Servant said: ‘If You torture them, they are Your servants.’”86

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, told some main Companions (of the Prophet) about the traditions which were fabricated at the time of Mu‘awiya, who entrusted some committees to fabricate traditions to praise some companions and to defame the ‘Alids. Aban asked the Imam to mention some of the fabricated traditions. Thus, the Imam, peace be on him, mentioned some of them as follow:

“The two lords of the old men of Heaven are Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.”87

“The angels talk to ‘Umar.”

“The Angel teaches ‘Umar.”

“Tranquillity comes out of ‘Umar's tongue.”

“The angels feel shame of ‘Uthman.”

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, mentioned more than one hundred fabricated traditions. The people regarded them as true while they were false.88

The Shi‘ite Political Thoughts

The Shi‘a have adopted political thoughts since the beginning of their history. Among them are political justice, social justice, human rights, abolishing racial discrimination, and the like.

The Shi‘ite political thoughts depend on Islam which came to spread pure justice, to develop life, to educate man and to prosper his life. Now, we will talk briefly about some of the Shi‘ite political thoughts. They are as follows:

Economic Welfare

The Shi‘a believe in the necessity of preparing economic welfare for all people. They regard poverty as a social disaster. So, they think that poverty should be removed from the community by all means. Islam urges Muslims to do that. For this reason, Abu Dharr, the great Muslim leader, revolted against the Umayyad government that deprived the Muslims of their wealth to spread poverty among them. In this connection Abu Dharr said his immortal words: “I wonder at the one who does not find his daily-bread and does not come out drawing his sword.”

The Umayyad government was unable to bear Abu Dharr. For he inflamed the feelings and sentiments of the people. He provoked the people to revolt against the Umayyad governments. Hence, the Umayyads banished him to al-Rabadha, a desert in Saudi Arabia (al-Hijaz). There he suffered from poverty and hunger. However, the gold of the earth was in the hands of the Umayyads.

Among the original objectives of the revolt of Imam Husayn, peace be on him, was that he wanted to save Islamic economy from the Umayyads. Noteworthy, the Umayyads played with Islamic wealth. They used it to satisfy their desires and to support their influence and government. However, Islam orders the rulers to take care of state properties. It orders them to spend such money on developing the public life of the individual and society. Moreover, it prevents them from spending money on the projects that harm the Muslims.

Abolishing Racial Discrimination

Islam has abolished racial discrimination since the beginning of its history. It has regarded it as a social necessity of which life is in need. For racial discrimination shows that the society is backward. In this connection the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “An Arab is not preferred to a non-Arab nor is a white (person) preferred to a black (person). You all belong to Adam, and Adam belongs to earth.”

In his political commandments to Malik al-Ashtar, Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, said: “People are two kinds. (They are) either your brother in religion or the like of you in creation.” The Imam, peace be on him, carried these words of his completely when he became caliph. He divided gifts equally among the Arabs and the non-Arabs. He did not preferred the Arabs to the non-Arabs. So, the non Arabs followed him, loved him, and sacrificed their souls for him.

Spreading Justice

Islam has taken care of spreading justice among people. For example, the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, spread all the concepts of justice among the people. Imam ‘Ali also did that when he became caliph. He speared no effort to establish political and social justice. He treated both his relations and others with justice. During his time, the people confirmed his just practices. Islamic history is full of his just acts. Hence, political and social awareness has prospered throughout history.

Revolt against Oppression

The revolt against oppression and the oppressive is among the basic principles of the Shi‘a. For this reason, the main leaders of this Shi‘ite sect revolted against the Umayyad and the Abbasid governments. Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, was the first to revolt against them. Then his sincere student, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, the Companion of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, revolted against them, too.

When Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful peace be on him, became caliph, his government assumed the crucial affairs of the community. It also took care of justice, fairness, and welfare.

During his short-term government, the Imam created genuine awareness in the souls of his followers. Such awareness moved them to revolt against the tyrannical rulers. So, Hijr b. ‘Adi, the great leader, and his companions revolted against Mu‘awiya However, the central government in Kufa was unable to bear the violent attacks of Hijr and his companions. Hence it arrested them, and then it sent them to Syria. There, at the Marjj of Adhra', they were executed. They died martyrs for their great Islamic message that came to spread justice and to establish fairness among the Muslims.

Then, Imam Husayn, peace be on him, the grandson of the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, raised the flag of the revolt against the tyrannical ruler of his time, Yazid, the grandson of Abu Sufyan, the mortal enemy of Islam.

However, the great Imam (al-Husayn) died martyr for social reform and distributing the blessings of the earth among the poor.

With his immortality, the father of the free (Imam Husayn) has changed the face of Arabic and Islamic history. He has made the Muslims refuse the life of abasement and lead the life of glory and honor. For them, he has opened doors to glory and struggle. Hence, his grandsons and the grandsons of his brothers have led many revolts against oppression throughout Islamic history. They have raised the mottoes of justice and fairness among Muslims.

Al-Wardi said: “The Shi‘a were the first to hold the revolutionary Islamic views against oppression. The essence of revolt lies in their theories. The Shi‘a believe in the Imamate. This belief move them to criticize and oppose the ruling class throughout history. It also make them think that every government is usurping and oppressive except when an infallible Imam assume it. Hence, the Shi‘a always revolt (against governments).”89

The Shi‘a led many revolts during the Umayyad and Abbasid regimes. For they wanted to destroy all kinds of oppression and corruption through achieving social justice in the earth. So, the Shi‘a is the best of all Islamic sects and doctrines in striving for the word of truth and justice in the earth.

Boldness and Intrepidity

The leaders of the Shi‘a were full of boldness and intrepidity. So, they were not afraid of any government. They did not submit to any tyrannical ruler. Rather, they resisted bravely all the oppressive rulers throughout Islamic history. For example, b. Marjana (‘Ubayd Allah b. Zyyad) killed the Lord of the youth of Heaven (Imam Husayn), peace be on him. He rejoiced at murdering him. Then he cursed him and his father (Imam ‘Ali) before the people. Among the people was ‘Abd Allah b. Afif al-Azidi, the companion of Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him. He was blind then. Thus, he stood in front of b. Marjana and shouted: “O enemy of Allah, you are the liar and your father and the (man) who appointed you and his father. O Ibn Marjana, you kill the sons of Prophets and take the place of men of truth on the pulpit.”

Another example of the brave Shi‘ite leaders was al-Kumayt b. Zayd al-Asadi. He was so great a poet that he resisted the Umayyads through his poetry. He cursed them openly. Hence, the Umayyads persecuted him. They imprisoned and tortured him. However, he went on spreading his beliefs and principles.

Among those who supported the truth and disdained the Umayyads was al-Farazdaq. That was when he praised Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him, and dispraised Hisham b. ‘Abd al-Malik, who ignored the position of the Imam and said that he did not know him. Al-Farazdaq said to him:

This is he whose ability the valley of (Mecca) recognizes, and whom the (Sacred) House recognizes (as do) the sanctuary and the area outside the sanctuary (al-hill).

This is the son of the best of Allah's servants. This is the pure pious man, the pure eminent man.

Your words, who is that? do not harm him. The Arabs and the non-Arabs know him whom you deny.

So, the Umayyads imprisoned and tortured him.

Hisham b. ‘Abd al-Malik disdained the great martyr, Zayd b. ‘Ali, peace be on him. So, the latter revolted against the former.

During the Abbasid era, a poet appeared. The poet was one of the brilliant Arab poets. He was Di‘bil al-Khuza‘i. He sacrificed his life for Allah. He was indignant with the Abbasid regime, which was as oppressive as the Umayyad. He satirized al-Rashid, al-Amin, al-Ma'mun, al-Mu‘tasim, and Ibrahim b. al-Mahdi. He said: “I have carried my piece of wood on my shoulder for forty years. I have found none to hang me on it.”

Indeed, the history of the Shi‘a is full of heroic attitudes, revolts against oppression, indigence with tyranny, and struggles for the rights of the persecuted.90

The Shi‘a faced Troubles

During those times, the Shi‘a faced many troubles and hardships. For the Umayyads punished and tortured them severely. They treated them cruelly. They persecuted them officially during the Umayyad government. Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, reported the troubles and hardships the Shi‘a faced during the time of Mu‘awiya. He said: “Our Shi‘ites were killed in every city. The hands and the legs were cut off out of accusation. Whoever loved and followed us was imprisoned or his property was plundered or his house was demolished.”91

The Kufan Shi‘ites faced much more troubles and hardships than the other Shi‘ites. The great poet ‘Abd Allah b. Amir, known as al-Abli, described his troubles and hardships out of his love for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on him. He said:

They made me homeless when I praised ‘Ali.

They thought that such praise was a dangerous illness in me.

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir) was asked: “What is your situation?”

“All the people are safe because of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family while I am afraid because of him,” Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, replied.92

When al-Mughira had died, Mu‘awiya appointed Zyyad b. Abih as governor over the Shi‘a. Zyyad deviated from his religion. Hence, he was indignant with the Shi‘a. Thus, he cut of their hands and their legs and knocked out their eyes. He pursued them every where and hanged them on the trunks of the date palms.93 Generally speaking, he committed the following crimes against the Shi‘a:

1. He demolished their houses.

2. He refused to accept their testimony.

3. He imprisoned them.

4. He murdered them.

The historians said: “Al-Fadl b. Dukayn became a Shi‘ite. His son came to him weeping. Dukayn asked his son: ‘What has made you weep?’ ‘Father,’ the son replied, ‘the people say that you have become a Shi‘ite.’”94

The Umayyads punished severely those who were accused of Shi‘ism. The historians said: “Ibrahim b. Hirthima came to Medina. One of the Alids came and greeted him. So, Ibrahim said to him: ‘Go away from me. If the Umayyads saw you greeting me, they would kill me.’”95

Moreover, the Umayyads ordered their governors to kill the babies who were named ‘Ali. When ‘Ali b. Rabah heard of that, he was afraid. So, he said: “May Allah curse those who called me ‘Ali.” Then, he called himself ‘Ulay.96

Precautionary Dissimulation

The Umayyad and Abbasid governments went too far in troubling and killing the Shi‘ites. Hence, the Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, legislated precautionary dissimulation, which means “Concealing the truth, concealing the belief in it, hiding (beliefs) from the non-Shi‘a, and leaving supporting them. For that harms religion and the world.”97

The Imams legislated precautionary dissimulation to prevent the blood of the Shi‘a from being shed. For the Umayyads and the Abbasids regarded shedding their blood as lawful.

The Imams ordered the Shi‘a to use precautionary dissimulation as a basic rule for political and social behavior. Had it not been for this rule, the Umayyads and the Abbasids would have destroyed all the Shi‘ites.

The Imams of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, strongly ordered their followers (Shi‘ites) to conceal their beliefs and love for them. For they feared for their lives. In this connection, Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, said: “Taqiya or precautionary dissimulation is my religion and the religion of my fathers. He who has no taqiya has no faith.”98

This wise plan protected the doctrine of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. Had it not for it, the Umayyads and the Abbasids would have removed the traces of their doctrine. In this connection, Shaykh al-Tusi said: “No sect was troubled as the Shi‘a. They suffered from fear all the time. So, they cleaved to precautionary dissimulation (taqiya).”99

The Shi‘a were politically aware when they resorted to precautionary dissimulation. With that they were able to protect their beliefs from their strong malicious opponents.

The Unity of the Shi‘a

Some authors said that the Shi‘a were distinguished by a general unity at the time of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. There was no ideological differences among them during the time of the Imam. Rather, these differences took place after his death.100 However, the Kaysaniya, who believed in the Imamate of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiya, appeared during the days of Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him. As for the Zaydis, the Isma‘ilis, and the Waqifiya, they appeared after his death.

With this we will end our talk about the Shi‘a and all the Islamic sects. As for the talk about the qualities of the Shi‘a in detail, we have prepared a certain study a bout that. May Allah grant us success to publish it as soon as possible, Allah willing.

Scientific Life

The Arabs before Islam belonged to numerous tribes. They moved from one place to another seeking rain pastures. The majority of them led a poor desert life.

When Islam came, their life changed. They left the Bedouin life and followed the civilized life. Most of their situations then changed, too. Their tribal feelings changed into Islamic brotherhood, which had no fanaticism nor tribal customs.

When the Muslims became stable, they began spreading culture and knowledge among the people. That is because culture and knowledge were necessary for developing the society. The Umayyads paid no attention to scientific life. However, two schools were established in Medina (Yathrib), the homeland of culture and knowledge. They are as follows:

The School of the Next Generation

This school took care of Islamic sciences. As for its members, they were Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab, ‘Urwa b. al-Zubayr, al-Qasim b. Muhammad b. Abi Bakr, Abu Bakr b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. al-Harith b. Hisham, Sulayman b. Yasar, ‘Ubayd Allah b. ‘Uttba b. Mas‘ud, Kharija b. Zayd.101

It is necessary for us to talk briefly about the above-mentioned great figures. They are as follows:

Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab

His real name is Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab b. Hazn al-Qarashi al-Makhzumi. He was born two years after the caliphate of ‘Umar.102 We will mention some of his affairs:

His Scientific Position

He was one of the main scholars of his time. Qattada said: “I have never seen a person more knowledgeable than Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab in the lawful and the unlawful.”103 Muhammad b. Sa‘id reported on the authority of Makhul, who said: “I traveled all over the land seeking knowledge. However, I have not found a person more knowledgeable than Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab.”104 Ibn al-Madani said: “I do not think that there is a person among the next generation more knowledgeable than Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab.”105 Al-Layth reported on the authority of Yahya b. Sa‘id, who said: “Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab was called the Narrator of ‘Umar. He memorized his (‘Umar's) judgments more than the people did.”106

Words similar to these have been mentioned. They showed that Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab had a high scientific position, and that he was one of the excellent scholars of his time.

Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab reported many traditions on the authority of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin. He learned from him many matters concerning the lawful and the unlawful.

His Reliability

The biographers differed over his (Sa‘id's) reliability. Some of them said that he was reliable depending on the traditions concerning him. The others slandered him and said that he was unreliable. Our master, professor al-Khu'i inclined to stop concerning his affair. For the chain of authorities about praising and dispraising him is incomplete.107

‘Umar b. Maymun reported on the authority of his father, who said: “I came to Medina. I asked about the most knowledgeable of all the people of Medina. Then, I had been guided to Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab.”108 This means that the Umayyad government ordered Maymun to go to Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab, and that it took care of the latter.

Abu Ishaq said: “At that time, the person came to ask about religious opinions. However, the people sent him from one assembly to another till he reached the assembly of Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab. For they hated to give religious opinions.”109

Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab was fond of love poetry. He recited it in the mosque of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.110

His Death

Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab died in Medina (Yathrib), in the year 94 A. H. It was said that he died in the year 93 A. H. That was during the caliphate of al-Walid. When he died, he was 75 years of age.111

‘Urwa bin al-Zubayr

His real name is ‘Urwa b. al-Zubayr b. al-Awam al-Madani. He was one of the seven jurists of Medina. He was the most knowledgeable of all the people in the traditions of ‘A'isha. He understood all of her narrations and traditions.112 For she was his aunt. He was present with his father al-Zubayr, who fought against Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, (at the Battle of the Camel). ‘Urwa was 13 years old. So, the Imam regarded him as young.113

‘Abd al-Malik b. Marwan praised ‘Urwa very much. Concerning him, he said:” Whoever is pleased to look at a man from the people of the garden, he must look at ‘Urwa b. al-Zubayr.”114

‘Urwa said: “If you see the person doing a good deed, know that he has other good deeds. When you see him doing an evil deed, know that he has other evil deeds.”115

His Death

He died in the year 91 or 92 A. H.116

‘Ubayd Allah bin ‘Abd Allah

His real name is ‘Ubayd Allah b. ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Uttba b. Mas‘ud al-Hadhli. He was given the kunya of Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Madani. Al-‘Ajali said: “‘Ubayd Allah b. ‘Abd Allah was blind. He was one of the jurists of Medina. He belonged to the next generation. He was reliable, righteous, and knowledgeable. He was the teacher of ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz.”117 He was fond of love poetry.118 He died in the year 99 A. H.119

‘Abd al-Rahman b. al-Harith al-Makhzumi

He was given the kunya of Abu al-Harith al-Madani. He reported (traditions) on the authority of a group of (people). Among them were Zayd b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn, al-Hasan al-Basri, Hakim b. Hakim, and the like. Al-Nisa'i said: “He is not reliable.” However, b. Sa‘d said: “He is reliable.” Ahmed said: “He is neglected.” ‘Ali b. al-Madani regarded him as a weak (traditionalist). He died at the beginning of the caliphate of Abu Ja‘far al-Mansur.120

Sulayman bin Yasar al-Hilali

He was given the kunya of Abu Ayyub al-Madani. He reported traditions on the authority of Umm Salama and‘A'isha. He was one of the scholars of the people after Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab. He died in the year 107 A. H. When he died, he was 73 years of age.121

Kharija bin Zayd b. Thabit al-Ansari al-Najjari

He was given the kunya of Abu Zayd al-Madani. He reported on the authority of a group (of people). A group of (people) reported on his authority.

Ibn Sa‘d said: “Kharija was reliable. He reported many traditions.”122 Al-Dhahabi did not mention him with the memorizers of the traditions.

Al-Qasim bin Muhammad bin Abu Bakr

He was given the kunya of Abu Muhammad. He reported on the authority of his father and his aunt, ‘A'isha, and the ‘Abadila. A group of people reported on his authority.

Al-Bukhari said: “His father was killed, so he remained an orphan under the care of ‘A'isha.” He added: “He (al-Qasim) was the best of the people of his time.”

Abu al-Zanad said: “I have never seen (a person) more knowledgeable than him in the Sunna, nor have I seen (a person) cleverer than him.”123

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, married his (al-Qasim's) daughter, and she born him Imam Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Sadiq, peace be on him.

Shaykh al-Tusi sometimes numbered him as one of the companions of al-Sajjad, and he sometimes numbered him as one of the companions of al-Baqir, peace be on him.

Al-Qasim died in the year 102 A.H.124

With this we will end our talk about the seven jurists who formed a school called the School of the Next Generation.

The School of the Ahl al-Bayt

It was the first ideological school to be established in Islam. It spared no effort to develop the life of the Muslims. It was not confined to Islamic legislation. Rather, it took care of knowledge and sciences such as philosophy, wisdom, medicine, chemistry, theology, policy, administration, economy, and the like.

This school played an important role in recording sciences. Noteworthy, the first and the second Caliph prevented (the Muslims) from recording traditions. For they claimed that such an act would have an effect on the Book of Allah. However, this claim is baseless.

Sayyid Husayn al-Sadr said that the Shi‘a were the first to take care of jurisprudence. He mentioned some of the Shi‘ite authors. Among them is ‘Ali b. Abu Rafi'. He was one of the main Shi‘ites at the time of Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. He was the secretary of the Imam. He wrote a book on the techniques of jurisprudence.

Among the authors was Salim b. Qays al-Hilali al-Kufi. He was one of the companions of Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him. His life coincided with the time of al-Hajjaj, namely during the period of the Umayyad government. Al-Hjjaj, the criminal, tried to kill him. So, he sought protection with Aban b. ‘Ayyash. When death came to him, he gave his book to Aban. It was the first Shi‘ite book to appear. Aban b. ‘Ayyash reported the book.125

However, the school of the ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, took care of all sciences. It was not confined to a certain science. Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, was the first to establish it. Then, the pure Imams from his children took care of it. Then, Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, took care of it. Many scholars came to Imam al-Baqir to study under him. Reliable scholars reported many sciences on his authority. We will mention that when we talk about the companions and reporters of Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him.

We have mentioned this school in detail in our book “The Life of Imam Musa bin Ja‘far.” It has been also published in “A‘yan al-Shi‘a” and the “al-Adwa' Magazine.”

Public Cultural Life

As for the public cultural life at the time of Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, it was very shallow. There was no measure for the morals and ideals which Islam had brought. Rather, the people returned to their customs before Islam. They vied in fathers and lineage with each other. This phenomenon can be easily seen in the poetry of that time. The poets vied in lineage with each other. So, they satirized each other. An example of this is al-Farazdaq and Jarir. Their poetry is full of satire.

Al-Kumayt, the poet of the ‘Alids, seized this opportunity. He praised laudable deeds of his people from Madar. He preferred his people to the Qahtaniyyin. With that he could create a discord among the tribes. So, he played an important role in overthrowing the Umayyad government.126

Di‘bil al-Khuza‘i defended the Qahtaniyyin. I think that al-Kumayt and Di‘bil agreed with on another on that to sow the seeds of discord among the tribes to weaken them. Di‘bil composed a poem of six hundred lines as an answer to al-Kumayt's poem.127

The Nazariya vied in glory with the Yemaniya. Hence, tribalism moved both the people of the cities and the people of the desert to the extent that the country was full of discords.128

However, the general style of the literature of that time was boasting and satire. It represented neither aware