Recruiting and Training the Cadres
We come across some references to the recruitment and training of the cadres in the words of Imam Sajjad (as). There are a number of lengthy speeches of Imam Sajjad in the Tuhaf ul-Uqul. Unfortunately, I did not have time to search for his lengthy speeches in other books. I guess that there is not any lengthy speech, similar to those two, three lengthy traditions mentioned in Tuhaf ul-Uqul, in other books, though there are a number of his short speeches. The nature and theme of these traditions underline the nature of the task Imam Sajjad (as) was trying to accomplish.
One of the said three traditions had been addressed to the public, for it begins with "O people". In this speech, the Imam advises the people to heed Islamic teachings. He says: "When man is laid to rest in the grave, he is asked about his Creator, his Prophet, his religion and his Imam." This was a soft tone, suitable for the masses who were living within the realm of the Imam's propagation.
There is another tradition of the Imam, which begins with another theme. Its content shows that it had been addressed to a particular group. The tradition begins as follows: "God may protect us against the plots of the oppressors, inequity of the envious, and pressure of the tyrants. Beware, the satanic powers may not deceive you."1 This speech had not been delivered for the public; it was meant for a particular group.
The third tradition was meant for a limited number of the elite. Probably, the addressees of this tradition were a group of the companions who knew the secrets of the Imamate, were aware of Imam's goal-oriented attempts, and were among the confidantes of the Imam. The tradition addressing to the companions, begins as such: "The characteristics of those who are pious in their worldly affairs and are interested in the hereafter are: they give up the friendship and companion of those who do not pursue what we follow."2
We can infer from these traditions that the Imam during the said period or during various periods had two, three kinds of teachings and statements while addressing different groups of the people. In some of them, he alludes to the ruling system and the illegal rulers, while in others he only enumerates the general principles and Islamic issues.
This is a brief account of Imam Sajjad's life. During this 35-year period, he rescues the ignorant people from the clutches of their carnal desires on the one hand, and from the domination of the oppressive systems as well as the trap of pretentious clerics of the Caliphate system, on the other. He trains a group of faithful, pious people who constitute a base for the future tasks. Of course, the details of the life of his holiness require several hours of discussion.