The activities of all Imams are one and the same. According to their circumstances and the demand of that particular time they acted accordingly. So we cannot frame them in the terms presently known to us such as ‘radicals’, ‘liberals’, ‘extremists’, ‘moderates’ and so on. Each one adopted a strict policy to avoid any division among the Shias. Likewise, the Prophet (S) and Ali Bin Abi Talib.
Of course, we notice the actions of some as being conservative while the other’s as extremist. Their school of thought was the same although it might have posed as being different as per the circumstances of the time. They were strict followers of the instructions of the Quran such as;
“Take to forgiveness and enjoin good and turn aside from the ignorant” (7:199)
“The good is not at equity with evil. Do what is good.”
“Whosoever offends you, you too offend him in the same which he has offended you.”
“Pity should not overtake you in the religion of God.”
In general the situation and the environmental condition in the era of the Imams caused them to act for the safeguard and protection of Islam. The Shia did adhere to the original line of Islam, which the Imams knew and defined for all. As they were better qualified to know the position and to rescue the religion from taking a different turn, they did not move an inch in their advices and admonishment; and that few were called Shia. Imam Sadiq did nothing new except that he explained and taught the religious boundaries obligations, duties etc. which was, of course, for all but only Shia acted thereon and adhered thereto.