The abundance of Imam al-Jawad’s knowledge and sciences was astonishing and he was indeed the great miracle of Islam. He was skillful in different sciences and arts since he was too young. Scholars, jurisprudents, philosophers and theologians asked him about the deepest and most precise questions and he answered them all. They were astonished and confused for that and some of them believed in his imamate. It is naturally that there is no justification for this astonishing phenomenon save to believe in the imamate, which is the belief of the Shia that Allah has granted the imams of Ahlul Bayt (a.s) knowledge, wisdom and sound judgment as He has granted His Arch-Prophets and Messengers.
Here we shall talk briefly about the sciences, maxims and arts of Imam al-Jawad (a.s).
Imam Muhammad al-Jawad (a.s) narrated a group of traditions from the messenger of Allah through the series of his fathers. He also narrated from his grandfathers Imam Ali (a.s) and Imam as-Sadiq (a.s) and from his father Imam ar-Ridha’ (a.s).
Here are some traditions that he narrated from the Prophet (a.s):
1. He narrated that the messenger of Allah (a.s) had said, ‘Fatima has protected her honor and been abstinent and therefore, Allah has protected her and her progeny from the Fire.’1
2. He narrated from his grandfather Ameerul Mo’mineen (a.s) his saying, “The messenger of Allah (a.s) sent me to Yemen and recommended me by saying, ‘O Ali, he, who asks Allah for proper guidance, will not be disappointed and he, who consults with others, will not regret. O Ali, march in the darkness because the earth is crossed in the night and not in the day. O Ali, set out early in the morning in the name of Allah because Allah has blessed to my umma the carrying out of deeds in the early morning…’2
3. He narrated that the Prophet (a.s) had said, ‘Whoever blames the time, his blaming will last long.’3
4. He narrated from the Prophet (a.s) his saying, ‘Man is hidden under his tongue.’4
He narrated many traditions from his grandfather Ameerul Mo’mineen (a.s). For example, he narrated,
“Once, a man from Basra got up and said to Ameerul Mo’mineen, ‘Would you tell us about brothers?’
Imam Ali said, ‘Brothers are two kinds; brothers of trust and brothers of smile. As for the brothers of trust, they are like the hand, the wing, the kin and the money to you. If there is trust between you and your brother, you give him from your money, help him with your hand, make friends with his friends, be enemy to his enemy, keep his secrets, support him and show his good qualities.
O asking man, know that brothers of trust are rarer than the red sulfur. And as for the brothers of smile, you get your pleasure from them. Do not cut your relation with them and do not ask them for more from their consciences. Smile at them and be courteous to them as long as they do that to you.’5
Imam Ali had studied the psychology of the society and known the interiors of the selves and their intentions and tendencies and then he gave alive pictures on all the social sides such as friendship among people. He analyzed friendship in a real analysis that did not differ throughout history and ages.
He narrated from Imam as-Sadiq (a.s) a tradition that once, a man had asked his father some questions and he answered by saying, ‘…Say to them: was there any contradiction in the knowledge of Allah that the Prophet (a.s) had divulged? If they say ‘no’, then you would say to them: Does he, who legislate a verdict having contradiction, contradict the messenger of Allah? They will say “yes”. If they say “no”, they will contradict their first saying.
You would say to them: (but none knows its (the Qur'an’s) interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge). If they say: who are those who are firmly rooted in knowledge? You would say: It is he whose doings have no contradiction. If they say: who is he? You would say: it was the messenger of Allah (a.s)…if the messenger of Allah had not appointed a successor after him, he would have wasted those who would be the successors after him…he asked, ‘does the Qur'an not suffice you?’ He said, ‘Yes, if they find an interpreter to it.’ He asked, ‘Have the messenger of Allah not interpreted it?’ He said, ‘Yes, he have interpreted it to one man and declared to the nation the position of that man.
It was Ali bin Abu Talib…a muhkam6 is not two things but one thing. Whoever gives a judgment that has no contradiction, his judgment is from the judgment of Allah and whoever gives a judgment that has contradiction and sees that he is right; his judgment is after the judgment of the Satan…’7
Abdul Adheem bin Abdullah al-Hasani narrated that Abu Ja'far the second said to him, “I heard my father saying that his father Musa bin Ja’far said, ‘Once, Amr bin Ubayd came to Abu Abdullah (as- Sadiq) (a.s). When he offered greeting and took a seat, he recited this Qur’anic verse, (And those who shun the great sins and indecencies8) and kept silent.
Abu Abdullah (a.s) said to him, ‘What made you keep silent?’
Amr said, ‘I like to know the great sins from the Book of Allah the Almighty.’
Abu Abdullah (a.s) said, “O yes Amr! The greatest of sins is polytheism. Allah says, (Surely whoever associates (others) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden to him the Paradise)9 and being desperate of the mercy of Allah because Allah says, (…surely none despairs of Allah's mercy except the unbelieving people10) and then the feeling safe from the sudden punishment of Allah because Allah says, (But none feels secure from Allah's plan except the people who shall perish11).
From the great sins there are also undutifulness to parents because Allah has considered an undutiful one to his parents as arrogant and unblessed, and killing a person that Allah has forbidden except for a just cause because Allah says,
(And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is hell; he shall abide in it)12 and defaming a married woman because Allah says, (Surely those who accuse chaste believing women, who are unaware (of the evil), are cursed in this world and the hereafter, and they shall have a grievous chastisement)13 and eating the properties of the orphans for Allah says, (As for) those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustly, surely they only swallow fire into their bellies and they shall enter burning fire)14
and the fleeing from jihad (sacred war) for Allah says, ( And whoever shall turn his back to them on that day, unless he turn aside for the sake of fighting or withdraws to a company, then he, indeed, becomes deserving of Allah's wrath, and his abode is hell; and an evil destination shall it be)15 and eating usury because Allah says, (Those who devour usury will not stand except as stand one whom the Satan by his touch Hath driven to madness)16 and magic because Allah says, (…they taught men sorcery…then men learned from these two, magic…and surely they do know that he who bought it therein will have no (happy) portion in the Hereafter)17
and adultery because Allah says, (…and (who) do not commit fornication, and he who does this shall find a requital of sin. The punishment shall be doubled to him on the day of resurrection, and he shall abide therein in abasement)18
and the perjury oath because Allah says, ((As for) those who take a small price for the covenant of Allah and their own oaths, surely they shall have no portion in the hereafter)19 and embezzlement because Allah says, (Whoso embezzles will bring what he embezzled with him on the Day of Resurrection)20 and preventing the obligatory zakat because Allah says, (On the day when it shall be heated in the fire of hell, then their foreheads and their sides
and their backs shall be branded with it)21 and false testimony and the concealing of a testimony because Allah says, (…and do not conceal testimony, and whoever conceals it, his heart is surely sinful)22 and drinking alcohol because Allah has prohibited it, worshipping the idles, giving up the prayer intentionally or giving up any other obligation that Allah has imposed because the messenger of Allah says, ‘Whoever gives up the prayer intendedly will be free from the trust of Allah and His messenger’ and breaking the promise and the rapture of the relations with the kin because Allah says, (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 curse and they shall have the evil abode).23’
Then Amr went out weeping loudly and saying, ‘Perishes he who follows his own opinion and disputes with you on virtue and knowledge…’24
This tradition warns of committing sins and crimes that annul man’s conscience, threaten the social life with dangers and place obstacles in the way of the civilization and the progress of man.
At the time of Imam al-Jawad (a.s) many suspicions and illusions about monotheism had been raised by the spiteful enemies of Islam to shake the faith inside the hearts of Muslims and make them doubt about the beliefs of their great religion. Imam al-Jawad (a.s) had refuted many of those suspicions and accusations. Here are some examples on that:
1. Some philosophers and theologians came to Imam al-Jawad (a.s) and the following question was put forth: “Tell me about the Exalted Lord, He has names and attributes in His book. Are these names and attributes (equal) Him?’
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) said, ‘This question has two faces; if you say that He is His attributes, this will mean that he can be described by number and quantity and Allah is far above this. And if you say: these names and attributes have existed since no beginning, this will have two meanings; if you say they have existed with Him in His knowledge and He deserves them, you are right and if you say: their graphing, spelling and pronouncing have existed, this will give another meaning.
Glory be to Allah and He is far above to have anything or any associate with him. Allah has existed where there is no creation and then He created them to be the means between Him and His creatures to beseech and worship Him by them. They are his mention and He Who is mentioned by the mention is Allah the One and Only God Who has existed since no beginning.
The meanings of His attributes have existed and the meaning of them is Allah that separating and uniting do not befit him. It is a divisible thing that separates and unites and it is not possible to say that Allah is united nor is he many or few but He is the God in His essence and whatever other than the One is indivisible and Allah is the One that is indivisible. He is not thought to be many or few, much or little. Every indivisible thing is thought to be many or few and is a creature that has a creator.
Your saying that Allah has power over all things means that nothing at all fails Him. He is not said to be unable but all other than Him are unable. Also your saying that He is aware means that you deny ignorance from Him and ascribe ignorance to all other than Him. If Allah annihilates things, He annihilates graphs and spellings. He does not end and still exists Who has still been aware.’
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) discussed the essence of monotheism and said every attribute of Allah did not require muchness or littleness. No change takes place in His attributes and no divisibility in His essence. His attribute are His very essence.
The asker was astonished at the vast knowledge of Imam al-Jawad (a.s) on these complicated issues and he kept on asking him, ‘How is our Lord called All-hearing?’
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) said, ‘Nothing that is perceived by ears is unperceivable by Him though we do not describe Him of having the sensible hearing in the head. Also we call Him as All-Seeing because nothing that is seen by eyes is invisible to him such as colors, men and other things though we do not describe him of having eyes.
We call Him “Gentle” because He knows everything about gentle (tiny) things such as insects and things tinier than insects. He knows the position of their organs, reason, lust, copulation, sympathy with their descendants, communication with each other, and carrying food to their offspring in mountains, valleys and deserts. We know that their creator is gentle without manner because manner is for fashioned creatures.
Our Lord is called Mighty not for the might of violence available in creatures. If His might is the might of violence, He will be compared and there will be a possibility of increase, and that which undergoes increase is possible to undergo decrease, and that which is deficient is not God, and that which is not God is unable but our Lord is Exalted, High. He has no like, no opposite, no equal, no manner, no end and no dangers. It is prohibited for hearts to compare Him, for minds to limit Him, and for consciences to fashion Him. He is far above the aspects of His creatures and the features of His people, and exalted be He in high exaltation above that.’25
Imam al-Jawad (a.s), in these studies, proved that he was one of the great philosophers and theologians in Islam. We ask: in which school Imam al-Jawad (a.s) had studied philosophy and theology until he became one of the pillars of this art? He answered with accurate answers that great philosophers and thinkers were unable to answer like them. There is no justification for that except what the Shia believe in that Allah has granted him knowledge and virtue and given him judgment while yet young.
2. Muhammad bin Eesa asked Imam Abu Ja'far (a.s) about monotheism saying, ‘I imagine something…’
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) said to him, ‘Yes, He is not perceivable or limited. That which comes to your imagination is different from Him. Nothing is like Him and imaginations do not perceive Him. He is unlike what is imagined by minds…’26
Imagination does not get to Allah the Almighty in His essence and attributes because imagination perceives possible things and not the Necessary Being.
3. Al-Husayn bin Sa’eed said, ‘Once, Abu Ja'far the second (a.s) was asked: is it possible to say that Allah is a thing?’
He said, ‘Yes, when excluding Him from the two limits; the limit of ta’til (stripping Allah of His attributes) and the limit of tashbih (comparison).’27
4. Abu Hashim al-Ja’fari asked Imam al-Jawad (a.s) about this Qur’anic verse (Vision comprehends Him not, and He comprehends (all) vision)28 and Imam al-Jawad (a.s) said, ‘O Abu Hashim, the imagination of hearts is more accurate than the sight of eyes. You may perceive with your imagination Sind29 and India and other countries that you have not visited although you do not perceive them with your eyes. The imagination of hearts does not perceive Him, then how about the sight of eyes?’30
The essence of Allah cannot be perceived by the imagination of hearts (minds) though this imagination is so great, and cannot be perceived by eyes for they both (minds and eyes) are limited to time and place whereas the essence of Allah does not submit to time or place because it is He Who has created them. Mind with all its abilities is finite that it cannot discover the things that are not limited to time and place. Ash-Shafi’iy says, ‘Mind has a limit that it ends at like sight that it has a limit it ends at.’
5. Abu Hashim al-Ja’fari asked Imam Abu Ja'far al-Jawad (a.s), ‘What is the meaning of the One?’
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) said, ‘It is He Whom tongues have agreed on His oneness as Allah has said, (And if you ask them who has created the heavens and the earth, they will certainly say: Allah).31
The traditions reported from Imam al-Jawad (a.s) form a good source for the jurisprudents of the Twelver Shia to derive legal verdicts because they are a part of the Sunna which has been defined as “the sayings and doings of the infallible ones and their acknowledging of the doings of others”. A great number of traditions has been reported from Imam al-Jawad (a.s) and written down in the encyclopedias of jurisprudence and Hadith. We mention some of them here:
The studies of prayer with their branches are from the widest chapters of jurisprudent. From among the branches which Imam al- Jawad (a.s) had discussed are the following:
1. Sheikh as-Saduq mentioned a tradition from Yahya bin Imran who said, ‘I wrote to Abu Ja'far the second (a.s) asking him about the (fur of) squirrel, the (fur of) fennec and the silk. I said to him, ‘May I die for you! I like that you do not answer me with the taqiyya (reservation or dissimulation).’ He wrote to me with his handwriting saying to me that I could offer the prayer with them.’32
Jurisprudents took this tradition as an evidence on the permissibility of offering the prayers with the fur of these animals. There are other traditions showing the impermissibility of offering the prayers with the fur of these animals and it is not our business to prefer a group of these traditions to the other because it concerns the jurisprudential books and not this one.
2. Qassim as-Sayqal narrated, ‘I wrote to Imam ar-Ridha’ (a.s) telling him that I worked in making sheaths from the skins of dead donkeys and some of them stuck to my clothes which I offered prayers with. He wrote to me that I had to take a special dress for prayers. Then I wrote to Abu Ja'far (a.s) telling him that I had written to his father so-and-so and he answered me with so-and-so and that it was difficult for me and so I began making the sheaths from the skins of the wild animals that were slaughtered legally. He wrote to me saying, ‘All good doings are carried out with patience, may Allah have mercy upon you! If you make (the sheaths) from (the skins of) wild animals that are slaughtered legally, there is no objection to it.’33
3. Jurisprudents have concluded the permissibility of offering prayers with pure shoes made from the skins of legally slaughtered animals from the tradition narrated by Ali bin Mahziyar who said, ‘I saw Abu Ja'far (a.s) offer six rak’as behind the Maqam (standing place) of Abraham at midday on the day of Tarwiya (moistening) with his shoes on and he did not take them off.’34
Abdullah bin Razeen narrated that he saw Abu Ja'far the second (a.s) offer the prayer in the mosque of the messenger of Allah near the house of Fatima (a.s) after taking off his shoes and he saw him offer the prayer in the same place without taking off his shoes.
4. Jurisprudents have concluded the permissibility of supplicating Allah during the prayer according to the tradition narrated by Muhammad bin Ali bin al-Husayn that Imam Abu Ja'far (a.s) had said, ‘It is possible for one to supplicate his Lord by saying everything during the prayer.’35
Many traditions were reported from Imam Abu Ja'far (a.s) about the branches of the zakat. Jurisprudents have concluded the permissibility of paying the zakat from the price of a certain thing and not necessary from the thing itself according to the traditions narrated from Imam Abu Ja'far (a.s) by Muhammad bin Khalid al- Barqi who said, ‘I wrote to Abu Ja'far the second (a.s) asking him: Is it possible to pay money for the due zakat on wheat, barley and gold or I should pay from each one the due portion?’ Abu Ja'far (a.s) replied, ‘What is easy is paid.’36
The Twelver Shia believe in the obligation of the khums37 which is one of the most important Islamic taxes that cause the development of the Muslims’ economy and treat the problem of poverty, and a half of the khums, which is called the right of the imam, is spent on the Islamic foundations and the intellectual and scientific life in Islam.
Khums is obligatory in some cases as jurisprudents have mentioned such as the amount that is over the year’s expenditure of one and his family from the profits of trade, agriculture and other professions. Jurisprudents have taken their verdicts on that from the traditions narrated from Imam Abu Ja'far al-Jawad (a.s). Here are some of those traditions:
1. Ali bin Mahziyar narrated that Muhammad bin al-Hasan al-Ash’ari said, “One of our companions has written to Abu Ja'far the second saying, ‘Would you tell me about the khums; is it on all the profits that one gets from all kinds of professions and crafts? And how is that?’ Imam al-Jawad (a.s) wrote to him, ‘The khums is after provision38.’39
2. Ali bin Mahziyar said, “Abu Ja'far wrote to him a letter and I read it on the way to Mecca. He said, ‘That which I have made obligatory in this year which is the year of 220 AH only is for a certain meaning that I hate to explain all the meaning for fear of being spread. I shall explain to you some of it inshallah. My mawali40 - I pray Allah to reform them- or some of them neglected their duty. When I knew that, I wanted to purify them by my decision on the khums in this year.
Allah says, (Take alms out of their property, you would cleanse them and purify them thereby, and pray for them; surely your prayer is a relief to them; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing. Do they not know that Allah accepts repentance from His servants and takes the alms, and that Allah is the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful. And say: Work; so Allah will see your work and (so will) His Messenger and the believers; and you shall be brought back to the Knower of the unseen and the seen, then He will inform you of what you did).41
I did not impose that on them in every year. I do not impose anything on them except the zakat that Allah has imposed on them. I have just imposed the khums on them in this year in gold and silver which have been kept for a year and I have not imposed that on them in any provision, vessels, cattle, servants or any profit they have gained from trading or any garden except one garden that I shall explain to you about it. I have done that just to make it easy for my mawali as a favor from me because the rulers take much from their monies and oppress them.
But as for the loots and profits, they are obligatory on them in every year. Allah says, (And know that whatever thing you gain, a fifth of it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if you believe in Allah and in that which We revealed to Our servant, on the day of distinction, the day on which the two parties met; and Allah has power over all things).42 Loots, may Allah have mercy on you, are that which one gets in the wars. Profits are that which one gets in different professions and presents of a good value offered from one to another, and the inheritance that is got from neither a father nor a son, and when an enemy is annihilated and his possessions are taken, and like the money whose keeper is unknown, and the properties of the unbelieving Khuramites43 that my mawali have got.
You know that great monies have reached the hands of some of my mawali. Whoever has something of that (all the aforementioned items) has to give it to my agent and whoever is far and it is difficult to him to pay those monies, let him try to send them even later on, because the (good) intention of a man is better than his doing. As for that which has been imposed on the gardens and the yields in every year, it is the half of the sixth on him whose garden satisfies his needs, and he, whose garden does not satisfies his needs, does not have to pay the half of the sixth or anything else…”44
This true tradition is full of ambiguities and many of its points are not clear. It was accused of having several paradoxes which some jurisprudents tried to refute. The researcher and jurisprudent al-Bahrani said, ‘It is true that which some of our companions have mentioned that this tradition is too ambiguous and too problematic.’45
The Twelver Shia jurisprudents depended on the traditions of Imam al-Jawad (a.s) in deriving their fatwas on some branches and questions of the hajj.
1. Jurisprudents concluded the recommendation of the hajj to a young boy from a tradition narrated by Muhammad bin al-Fudhayl who said, ‘I asked Abu Ja'far the second (a.s) when a young boy would go to perform the hajj and he said, ‘When he replaces the milk teeth.’ Jurisprudents have detailed how a young boy would perform the hajj.46
2. Jurisprudents have given a fatwa that if a dissenter (from the Shia) performs the hajj and then he becomes a Shia, he does not have to repeat his hajj except if he violates one of the pillars of the hajj according to the Shia.47 A tradition was reported from Imam al-Jawad (a.s) determining that a dissenter had to repeat his hajj. Ali bin Mahziyar said, “Ibrahim bin Muhammad bin Imran al-Hamadani wrote to Abu Ja'far (a.s) saying to him, ‘I performed the hajj while I was a dissenter (from the Shia). I had not performed the hajj before. I came from the minor hajj into the major hajj.’ Imam al-Jawad (a.s) wrote to him, ‘Repeat your hajj!’48
3. Shia jurisprudents have agreed on that the minor hajj is the best kinds of hajj for one who wants to perform a mandob (recommended) hajj. They depended in that on the traditions narrated from Imam al-Jawad (a.s) and other imams of Ahlul Bayt (a.s). Ahmed bin Abu Nasr said, “Abu Ja'far (a.s) often said, ‘One, who performs the minor hajj and goes on to perform the major hajj, is better than a single one who leads al-hadiy.’49 He also said, ‘A hajji does not enter (into the major hajj) with a thing better than the minor hajj.’50
4. From the things that one must avoid in the hajj is the taking of shades by men when marching whereas women may take shades.51 Bakr bin Salih said, “I wrote to Abu Ja'far the second (a.s) saying to him, ‘My aunt is with me and she is my mate (on the camel). She becomes very hot when she wears the ihram.52 Do you see I can make shade over her and me?’ He wrote, ‘You can make shade over her alone.’53 These were some verdicts on the branches of the hajj that had reported from Imam al-Jawad (a.s).
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) was asked about some questions of vow and its concerns and he answered them all.
1. He was asked about one who vowed a hundred sacrifices or something that he could not carry out. He said, ‘The messenger of Allah (a.s) said, ‘This is from the steps of the Satan.’54
The ability to obedience- as jurisprudents says - is a condition for the validity of the takleef55 which is impossible to concern what cannot be carried out. Because the vow, in this question, could not be carried out therefore, the vow was unlawful.
2. A man from the Hashemites wrote a letter to Imam al-Jawad (a.s) saying in it, ‘I have vowed some years ago to go to the shore of the sea towards our side where the volunteers (of the mujahidin) stationed in Jeddah and other places on the shore. Do you see - may I die for you- that I must carry out my vow or not or I have to redeem it by doing some good or charity?’
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) answered him in a letter saying, ‘If one of the dissenters had heard your vow from you, so you carry out your vow if you fear that he may vituperate you; otherwise, you can redeem what you have intended through doing good and charity. May Allah guide us and you to what He likes and pleases.’56
This vow was not permissible and Imam al-Jawad (a.s) advised the man to spend the expense of his stationing in the camp on charity and helping the poor.
The Twelver Shia jurisprudents have given a fatwa that he, who breaks his covenant with Allah, must undergo one option of the expiation which is either to free a slave, fasting two successive months or feeding sixty needy persons. They depended in that on a tradition reported from Imam al-Jawad (a.s). Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Eesa narrated that there was a man who had promised Allah near the Black Rock (in the Kaaba) not to commit any sin at all but when he went back to his country, he began committing sins again. Abu Ja'far said, ‘He has to free a slave or fast or feed sixty poor persons and turn to Allah and ask Him to forgive him.’57
Imam Abu Ja'far was asked about many questions of entailment and he answered them and in the light of his answers jurisprudents gave their fatwas.
1. He was asked about the entailment on a family, whose members lived in different countries that whether the guardian of the entailment must take the share of each one from the income of the entailment to him (to the members of the family) or not. Imam al- Jawad (a.s) answered that the guardian did not have to do that and the income of the entailment concerned those who were present in the country where the entailment was. Here is the tradition of this question:
Ali bin Muhammad bin Suleiman an-Nawfali narrated, ‘I wrote to Abu Ja'far the second (a.s) asking him about the land which my father had entailed on the needy children of so-and-so who were too many and who lived in different places. He replied to me, ‘It is for those who are present in the country where the entailment is and you do not have to follow after those who are absent.’58
2. Ali bin Mahzyar narrated, “I wrote to Abu Ja'far the second (a.s) telling him, ‘So-and-so has bought a garden and entailed it. He made its fifth to you. He asks about your opinion on selling your share of the land or that he would take it for himself after estimating its price or he would leave it as an entailment. Imam al-Jawad (a.s) wrote to me, ‘Tell so-and-so that I order him to sell my share of the land and send me the price and this is my opinion inshallah, or he would take it after estimating its price if this is better to him.’59 Al-Hurr al- Aamily interpreted the tradition that Imam al-Jawad (a.s) had not received the land as it was understood from the tradition and so the selling would be permissible.
3. Ali bin Mahziyar narrated, ‘I wrote to Abu Ja'far (a.s) telling him that Is~haq bin Ibrahim had entailed his garden on the hajj and on his wife and the remainder on the poor. Muhammad bin Ibrahim witnessed on himself that he had some money to be distributed among our brothers, and from the Hashemites there were some ones who knew that they had a right in that money. Do you think it would be given to them if it was as charity because the entailment of Is~haq was charity…He wrote to me saying, ‘I understood- may Allah have mercy on you- that which you mentioned from the will of Is~haq bin Ibrahim and that which Muhammad bin Ibrahim witnessed on himself of and that which you undertook to take some of that money to the needy persons of the Hashemites. Take that to them- may Allah have mercy on you- because if they were in need, they would be worthier than the others for something that if I explain to you, you will understand it inshallah.’60
Al-Hurr al-Aamily put this tradition under the title ìthe permissibility of giving the poor persons of the Hashemites from charity except the zakat of the entailments that are entailed on the poor”.61
Many traditions have been reported from Imam Abu Ja'far al-Jawad (a.s) on the matter of marriage that jurisprudents have depended on in their fatwas. Among those traditions was that an uncle had no guardianship on his brother’s daughter in marriage. Muhammad bin al-Hasan al-Ash’ari said, ‘I wrote about some of my cousins to Abu Ja'far the second (a.s) telling him, ‘What do you say about a little girl whose uncle (father’s brother) had married her (to someone) and when she became adult, she refused that marriage?’ He wrote saying, ‘She is not to be forced to that and the matter is up to her.’62
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) was asked about the divorce that was contrary to the jurisprudence of Ahlul Bayt (a.s) and he replied that it was not lawful if the divorcee was from the followers of Ahlul Bayt (a.s) and he/she obeyed what they said. But, if the divorcee was not from the followers of Ahlul Bayt (a.s), his/her divorce would be permissible.
Here is the answer of Imam al-Jawad (a.s) to the question which Muhammad bin Ibrahim had asked him: “I understood what you mentioned about the matter of your daughter and her husband…see if he is from those who follow us and believe in our sayings, then his divorce is not valid because he did not do something he ignored, but if he is from those who do not follow us or believe in our sayings, then you are to take her from him because he has intended separation.’63
If the conditions that jurisprudents have mentioned are available in the suckling64 then the legal effects incumbent on a child of kinship will be the same on a child of suckling. It is mentioned in the tradition that ìSuckling is a bond like the bond of kinshipî.
From among the questions of suckling offered to Imam al-Jawad (a.s) is this one. Ali bin Mahziyar said, ìEesa bin Ja’far bin Eesa asked Abu Ja'far the second (a.s), ëSome woman suckled one of my sons. Is it lawful to me to get married to her husband’s daughter?’
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) said, ëHow a nice question you have asked! It is for this that people say: his wife is unlawful to him because of the ìmilk of manî, and this is the ìmilk of manî and nothing else.’ He said, ëThe girl is not the daughter of the woman who has suckled my son. She is the daughter of other than her.’ Imam al-Jawad (a.s) said, ëEven if they were ten from different mothers, it would be unlawful to you to get married to anyone of them. They are considered as your daughters.’65
Imam Abu Ja'far al-Jawad (a.s) was asked if an adulterer could get married to the woman he has committed adultery with and he replied that he could after the woman would undergo the iddah.66
Al-Hasan bin Ali bin Shu’ba narrated that Abu Ja'far al-Jawad (a.s) was asked about a man who had married a woman after committing adultery with her whether this marriage was lawful or not. Imam al- Jawad (a.s) said, ‘He would leave her until she passes the iddah from his sperm and from the sperm of other than him because she might commit adultery with other than him as she did with him. And then, he can get married to her if he wants. The example of this woman is like the example of a palm-tree; some man ate from its fruit unlawfully and then he bought it and ate from its fruit lawfully.’67
From the dangerous consequences of adultery is that the illegitimate child is not attached to his father and mother and he does not inherit them. Muhammad bin al-Hasan al-Ash’ari said, ‘One of our companions wrote to Abu Ja'far the second (a.s) about a man who committed adultery with a woman and then he got married to her after she became pregnant. She gave birth to a boy who extremely looked like the man. Imam al-Jawad (a.s) wrote with his hand and sealed it with his seal saying: ‘The child is a son of adultery and he does not inherit.’68
Shuf’a69 is one of the questions of jurisprudence. Imam al-Jawad (a.s) was asked about some of its rulings and he replied to them.
The reliable jurisprudent Ali bin Mahziyar said, ‘I asked Abu Ja'far the second (a.s) about a man who asked for a shuf’a of a piece of land and he went to bring the money but he did not come. What would the keeper of the land do? Would he sell the land or he would wait for the coming of his partner who wanted the shuf’a? Imam al- Jawad (a.s) said, ‘If the partner was with him (the keeper of the land) in the same country, he would wait for him for three days to bring the money otherwise, he could sell the land and hence the shuf’a would be invalid. But, if the partner asked for a period of time so that he could bring the money from another country, he would wait for him as far as the period of the travel from that country and then for other three days if he arrived in the country; otherwise, the shuf’a would be invalid.’70
Sheikh al-Hurr has mentioned this tradition under the title “If the money is in the same country, it is to be waited for three days and if it is in another country, it is to be waited for as much as the period of going (to that country) and coming back and for additional three days but if the period exceeds the limit, the shuf’a will be invalid”.
Imam Abu Ja'far al-Jawad (a.s) was asked about some branches of inheritance and he answered them all. Here we mention some of them:
1. Muhammad bin Ali bin al-Husayn narrated that al-Bizanti had said, “I said to Abu Ja'far the second (a.s), ‘Some man died and left a daughter and an uncle.’ He said, ‘His wealth is to the daughter.’ I said, ‘Some man died and left a daughter and a brother, or a nephew.’ He kept silent long and then said, ‘His wealth is to the daughter.’”71
2. Ali bin Mahziyar said, “I asked Abu Ja'far the second (a.s) about a house which was for a woman who had a son and a daughter. The son went to work in the sea and did not come back. The woman died and the daughter claimed that her mother had donated the house to her. She bought some shares of the house and one share remained beside the house of one of our companions.
He disliked buying this share because the son of that woman was absent. He feared it would be unlawful to buy it and he did not know anything about the absent son (whether alive or dead).’ Abu Ja'far (a.s) asked me, ‘Since when has he been absent?’ I said, ‘Since many years.’ He said, ‘He has to wait for ten years since the absence of the son and then he can buy it.’ I said, ‘If he waits for ten years of absence, will the buying of the house then be lawful?’ He said, ‘Yes, it will.”72
By here, talking about the jurisprudential questions that Imam al- Jawad (a.s) has been asked about and replied to come to an end. Those questions show clearly that Imam al-Jawad (a.s) was the only religious authority that all Muslims referred to concerning their religious affairs.
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) had declared the causes behind the legislation of some verdicts.
1. Muhammad bin Suleiman asked about the cause of the iddah of a divorced woman why it was for three menstruations or three months whereas the iddah of a widow was four months and ten days, and Imam al-Jawad (a.s) replied, ‘The iddah of a divorced woman is three months so that it will be certain that her womb has no fetus. But as for the iddah of widow, Allah has put a condition for (the benefit of) women and a condition on them. Allah has determined that it is not permissible for a husband to abstain from (sleeping with) his wife. Allah says, (Those who swear that they will not go in to their wives should wait four months).73
Allah has permitted no one not to sleep with his wife more than four months because He knows that woman cannot be patient for more than this period in this concern. And as for the condition that is on a woman when her husband dies, it is that she has to undergo the iddah for four months and ten days. Allah has taken from her after the death of her husband as that which He has taken for her from her husband during his life. Allah says, (And (as for) those of you who die and leave wives behind, they should keep themselves in waiting for four months and ten days)74.
These ten days have not been mentioned except with the four months. It is known that the utmost patience of woman in abstaining from copulation is four months; therefore, Allah has necessitated this period for her and on her.’75
2. Muhammad bin Suleiman asked Imam al-Jawad (a.s) about the cause for that when a husband accused his wife of adultery his witness would be as four witnesses before Allah and when other than the husband accused the wife of that man whether he was one of her relatives or not, he would prove his accusation with clear evidence or otherwise, he would undergo the legal limits by being whipped. Imam al-Jawad (a.s) said, “Abu Ja'far (Imam al-Baqir) was asked so and he said, ‘When a husband accuses his wife of adultery and says that he has seen her (commit adultery) with his eyes, his witness will be as four witnesses before Allah and if he says that he has not seen her, he will be asked to prove his accusation by clear evidences; otherwise, he will be treated as others. It is so because a husband comes to his wife day and night in a way that neither does her father nor does her son do. It is possible to him to say that he has seen her (commit sin). But, if other than the husband says he has seen that wife (commit adultery), it will be said to him: what has made you be in the position where you alone could see her commit adultery? You are accused and you must undergo the legal punishment that Allah has determined on you…”76
The thing that cannot be denied or concealed is the good news that the Prophet (a.s) had given to his nation about the rise of the great reformer, the awaited imam who will restore the religion and achieve the great justice under his fair rule where the wronged and oppressed will live safely and peacefully, the truth and goodness will prevail allover the world, social injustice will disappear and all the humankind will live without any kind of wrongdoing or oppression. His rule will be the continuity of the government of the Prophet (a.s) and the government of Imam Ali (a.s) who was the pioneer of the truth and justice in the earth.
The belief in the necessity of the coming of the awaited imam (may Allah hasten his reappearance) is a part of the mission of Islam and an important element in the Islamic beliefs. Islam, in its real concept, must prevail in the earth and the worldly principles must disappear because they have caused misfortunes and disasters to man and brought him troubles and problems. Allah must save His peoples from all these evils at the hand of this great imam.
Anyhow, many true traditions have been reported from the Prophet (a.s) and the infallibles imams (a.s) confirming the inevitable rise of the awaited imam who is from the pure progeny of Prophet Muhammad (a.s). Imam al-Jawad (a.s) was one of these imams who had given good news about the rise of the awaited imam, al-Mahdi (a.s).
1. Abdul Adheem bin Abdullah al-Hasani said, ‘Once, I went to my master Muhammad bin Ali bin Musa (al-Jawad) (a.s) intending to ask him about al-Qa’im77 whether he was al-Mahdi or another one. Before I uttered a word, he said, ‘O Abul Qassim, al-Qa’im of us is al-Mahdi who must be awaited in his occultation and must be obeyed in his appearance.
He is the third of my progeny. By Allah Who has sent Muhammad with prophethood and singled us out with imamate, if there will be only one day in the world, Allah will prolong that day until al-Qa’im will appear to fill the earth with fairness and justice as it has been filled with injustice and oppression. Allah will prepare the affairs to him as He has prepared the affairs to Moses where he went to bring a fire and came back to be the prophet of his nation.’ Imam al-Jawad (a.s) added, ‘The best deed of our Shia is the awaiting for deliverance.’78
2. Abdul Adheem al-Hasani said, “I said to Muhammad bin Ali, ‘I wish you were the Qa’im of Ahlul Bayt (a.s) who will fill the earth with justice and fairness as it has been filled with injustice and oppression.’
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) said, ‘O Abul Qassim, every one of us is Qa’im (executor) of the orders of Allah the Almighty and a guide to the religion of Allah, but the Qa’im by whom Allah will purify the earth from the people of unbelief and theism and who will fill the earth with justice and fairness is he whose birth will be unknown to people and who will disappear and it will be impermissible for people to call him by his name. His name and surname are like those of the messenger of Allah (a.s). The earth will be submitted to him and every difficulty will be easy to him. His companions, who will be three hundred and thirteen men as the number of the men of Badr79, will join him from the farthest parts of the world as Allah says, (wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together; surely Allah has power over all things)80. When this number of loyal men will join him, Allah will make him appear.’81
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) informed about some aspects of the awaited imam such as his occultation and the number of his companions after his reappearance that was as the number of the companions of the Prophet (a.s) on the day of Badr. The Prophet (a.s), with those few men who were armed with faith and loyalty, could defeat the heads of the ignorance of the pre-Islamic era and destroy the powers of oppression and raise the word of Allah high in the earth. So will be his great guardian the awaited imam (a.s). He, with his few faithful companions, will change the way of life and spread political and social justice allover the earth. He will achieve the greatest victories for humanity and do away with all the manifestations of ignorance that have prevailed in these ages where people have submitted to material pleasures and ignored the spiritual values and noble ideals. We pray Allah to make us live the bright days of the rule of Imam al- Mahdi (a.s).
Imam Abu Ja'far al-Jawad (a.s) has given some high and meaningful advices inviting to believe in Allah, trust in Him and rely on Him.
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) says, ‘Whoever trusts in Allah, Allah makes him happy and whoever relies on Allah, Allah suffices his needs. The trust in Allah is a fort which no one takes refuge in except the believers, and the reliance on Allah is a protection from every evil and a refuge from every enemy.’82
These golden words have the most wonderful thing people need in their lives. It is the trust in Allah, the Creator of the universe and the Giver of life.
He says, ‘Whoever is satisfied with Allah, people need him and whoever fears Allah, people love him.’83
Whoever is satisfied with Allah, will not need anyone other than Him and people will need him because he will be a guide and a source of giving to them.
He urged on the devotion to Allah Whose abundant gifts and mercy do not stop, for whoever devotes himself to other than Him will lose and be disappointed.
He says, ‘Whoever devotes himself to other than Allah, Allah entrusts him to him (to that one).’
The essence of faith is to turn to Allah with the deep of the heart and the inners of the soul. Of course, this is much more important than tiring the organs with worships. Imam al-Jawad (a.s) says, ‘Turning to Allah with the deep of the heart is much better than tiring the organs.’84
1. Imam al-Jawad (a.s) says, ‘From the good morals of someone is his refraining from harming others, from his generosity is his dutifulness to that who loves him, from his patience is the littleness of complaining, from his sincerity is his forbidding (others) from that which he does not please, from his kindness to his brother is avoiding scolding him in the presence of those whom he dislikes, from his true companionship is his looking over the expenses and from the signs of his love is his much agreeing and little disagreeing.’85
With these wonderful words Imam al-Jawad (a.s) has established the bases of the nobilities of character and good morals and has invited to the friendship and companionship that are based on intellect and leniency.
2. He says, ‘It is from the perfect magnanimity of one that he does not meet anyone with that which he dislikes…and from his reasonability and fairness is that he accepts the truth when it appears to him.’
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) himself often and always tried and invited to satisfy the needs of people because it would lead to good consequences one of which is the continuity of blessings.
He says, ‘Allah has some people whom He singles out with His blessings and these blessings are still with them as long as they spend from them (on needy people). If they prevent these blessings, Allah takes them back from them and gives them to other than them.’86
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) confirms this in another tradition. He says, ‘Whenever the blessings of Allah are plentiful to someone, the needs of people to him are great, and he, who does not undertake this responsibility, will cause these blessings to disappear.’87
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) has established correct programs to the good manners and behaviors among people. He says,
1. ‘Three features cause love; being fair in association, comforting in misfortunes and having a good heart.’88
2. ‘There are three things that whoever has had will not regret; avoiding hastiness, consulting with others and relying on Allah when determining. He, who advises his brother secretly, does him good and he, who advises his brother openly, does him wrong.’89
3. ‘The title of the page of a believer is his good morals and the title of the page of a happy one is the good praise to him. Gratefulness is the adornment of narration, humbleness is the adornment of knowledge and good manners are the adornment of reason. Beauty is in the tongue and perfection is in the mind.’90
These words have the principles of wisdom and the bases of morals and manners. If he has not said except these words, they would be enough to prove his imamate, for how could a young man in the early years of his youth utter such immortal maxims that great scholars could not do?
He says, ‘The people of favor are in need of doing it (favor) more than the people who are in need of it because they will have its reward, pride and mention. Whatever favor man does it benefits him first.’91
Many sermons have been reported from Imam al-Jawad (a.s). Here are some of them:
1. He says, ‘he delaying of repentance is self-deceit, long procrastination is confusion, claiming excuses before Allah is perishment and the insisting on sins is feeling safe from the punishment of Allah (But none feels secure from Allah's plan except the people who shall perish)92.’93
2. Once a man asked him to advise him of some things and he said, ‘Make patience as your pillow, embrace poverty, refuse desires, contradict fancy, and know that you are always under the eye of Allah! See how you will do…’94
3. Imam al-Jawad (a.s) wrote this short letter to one of his followers. It was full of preaching and guidance. He said, ‘As for this life, we acknowledge it, but he, whose desire is like the desire of his companion and he believes in his religion, will be with him wherever he is, and the afterlife is the abode of eternity.’95
These are some of his sermons that call for doing all that may take man closer to his Lord and take him away from His punishment. These sermons warn of following the evil desires inside man that lead him towards dangers and perishment and throw him into the fields of vices and crimes. Imam al-Jawad (a.s) has cared much for preaching people and guiding them to the right path as his fathers had done before. This phenomenon is the shiniest one we read in their lives and biographies.
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) exchanged letters on different matters with some of those who believed in his imamate. Here are some of those letters:
1. He sent a letter to a man from al-Heerah (in Iraq) saying after mentioning the name of Allah,
‘Praise be to Allah Who has picked out from His creatures, chosen from His people and singled out from among His prophets Muhammad and sent him as a bearer of good tidings and a warner and a guide to His path which whoever walked in was saved, whoever preceded reneged and whoever deviated from perished. The blessings of Allah be on Muhammad and his progeny.
And then, I recommend the people of response to fear Allah Who has made to whoever fears Him a deliverance from his misfortune. Allah the Almighty has made to his guardian what He has made to Himself and to His prophet in His Book with eloquent Arabic language…I have been informed that some people claimed our love and fabricated in the religion of Allah and the religion of His angels.
They were ungrateful to the blessings and they bore their sins and the sins of those who imitated them. The Satan occupied them and made them forget the mention of Allah and what they had inherited from the good ancestors who saw the truth and kept to it and did not prefer a vile, transient worldly life to an eternal afterlife. Where will the falsifiers go? A day will come to them when their falsehood will disappear from them and the means of deceit will cease. That is the day of regret where the hearts will be in the larynxes. Praise be to Allah Who does whatever He likes and He is the Knowing, the Aware.’96
The sources available did not refer to the names of those persons who had deviated from the truth. We do not know the reasons that made them reject the way of Ahlul Bayt (a.s) and embrace another religion.
2. Bakr bin Salih said, “One of my kin wrote a letter to Abu Ja'far the second saying, ‘My father is an enemy to Ahlul Bayt (a.s) having a malicious thought towards them. I met distresses and difficulties from him. Would you please pray Allah for me? What do you see I shall do, may I die for you? Shall I talk to him openly or I shall humor him?’
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) replied to him after mentioning the name of Allah,
‘I understood your letter and what you mentioned about the case of your father. I shall not stop praying Allah for you inshallah. To humor your father is better to you than talking to him openly. Surely with difficulty there is ease. Be patient for the end is to the pious. May Allah fix you on the guardianship of those whom you follow. We and you are the deposit of Allah Who does not waste His deposits.’97
This letter shows that a child must be dutiful to his father even if he is an enemy to Ahlul Bayt (a.s). It also orders a child to be patient with the difficulties and misfortunes he meets from his father. With these high morals the infallible imams (a.s) recommended their followers to be good examples to people.
3. Ibrahim bin Muhammad was the deputy of Imam al-Jawad (a.s) in Hamadan (in Iran) to teach the people the principles of their religion and to receive the legal dues from them and send them to Imam al- Jawad (a.s). Once, he sent the dues he received from the people there to Imam al-Jawad (a.s) and Imam al-Jawad (a.s) sent him this letter.
‘The amount has arrived. May Allah accept from you and be pleased with them (those people) and make them with us in this life and in the afterlife. I have sent you so-and-so dinars and so-and-so clothes. May Allah bless you and bless all His gifts to you. I have written to al-Nasr ordering him to refrain from resisting and objecting to you and informed him about your position to me. I have also written to Ayyob ordering him to do the same and I have written to my followers and allies in Hamadan ordering them to obey you, to submit to your orders and that there is no deputy other than you.’98
This letter shows the trust of Imam al-Jawad (a.s) in his deputy Ibrahim and his supporting to him. He has written to the opponents of Ibrahim ordering them to submit to him and to obey his orders in order to strengthen his position.
Allah has opened the door of repentance to His people and invited them to purify their souls and save themselves from the great sins and crimes they commit.
Ahmed bin Eesa mentioned a tradition from his father that a man, who had dealt with usury for a long time, went to Abu Ja'far al- Jawad (a.s) and told him about the major sin he had committed. Imam al-Jawad (a.s) said to him, ‘Your deliverance is in the Book of Allah. Allah says, (He unto whom an admonition from his Lord comes, and (he) refrains (in obedience thereto), he shall keep (the profits of) that which is past).99
The admonition is repentance. He might ignore the prohibition (of usury) and then he knew it. That which has passed is permissible and that which remains must be dealt with carefully.’100
As for the monies he has taken out of usury without any right, he must pay them back to their owners because he will not be free from them just by repenting and the tradition talks about the obligatory verdict.
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) narrated from his fathers (a.s) that Allah had revealed to one of His prophets, “As for your asceticism in this life, it is that you hasten to comfort and as for your devotedness to Me, it makes you mighty by Me; but have you resisted an enemy of Me and supported a guardian of Me?” 101
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) talked about that which a believer needed in this life by saying, ‘A believer needs a success from Allah, an adviser from inside himself and accepting (the advices of) those who advises him.’102
Imam Abu Ja'far al-Jawad (a.s) has a collection of wonderful words which are considered as one of the mines of the Islamic heritage and the wonderful intellectual treasures in Islam. They have the origins of wisdom, the bases of morals and the extract of experiments.
1. He says, ‘Do not anticipate matters before their time that you may regret. Do not live just with wishes that your hearts may be hard. Be merciful to the weak and ask for mercy from Allah by being merciful yourselves!’
This tradition has some important points:
a. forbidding from hastiness in dealing with matters before they become clear because it leads to regret and loss
b. Forbidding from living with wishes because it makes one hard-hearted and away from Allah
c. Urging on being merciful to the weak and charitable to the needy because it is the key to the mercy of Allah
2. He says, ‘Three things take one to the contentedness of Allah; asking Allah for forgiveness often and always, being lenient and giving charity. And there are three things that whoever has, will not regret; avoiding hastiness, consulting with others and relying on Allah when determining something.’
This tradition is rich with what takes man closer to his Lord. It invites man to keep on asking Allah for forgiveness, to be lenient and to give charities often and always because Allah loves these qualities and by them man gets to the contentedness of Allah. The tradition also talks about that which makes man happy in this life. It invites man to be characterized by these three aspects:
a. Avoiding hastiness because it causes man many problems and distresses. One of the poets says,
‘A slow one may achieve some of his needs
and hasty one may miss his aim.’
b. Consulting with others on the affairs and avoiding despotism because man often mistakes
c. Relying on Allah when determining to do something and avoiding hesitation for it causes worry and upset to man’s mentality and personality
3. He says, ‘How will he, whom Allah secures, be lost and how will he, whom Allah pursues, be safe?’
In this tradition there is an invitation for man to be closer to his Lord and to trust in His powers. It is impossible for one, whom Allah secures, to be lost and it is impossible for one, whom Allah pursues, to be safe.
4. He says, ‘The day of justice on the oppressor is severer than the day of injustice on the oppressed.’
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) warns from practicing injustice and oppression against people because surely Allah will avenge on the unjust whether sooner or later. The day of justice when a wrongdoer will be punished will be much severer than the day when an oppressed one is wronged.
5. He says, ‘Nothing destroys religion like heresies do. Nothing degrades gravity like greediness does. By the ruler the subjects become good and by supplication misfortunes are discharged.’
These words show some religious, social and political sides:
a. The heresies that are ascribed to religion distort its truth and harm its spiritual and intellectual essence.
b. Greediness degrades the dignity of man and takes him to dark abysses in the ignorant corners of this life.
c. If a ruler is good, his people will be good and developed spiritually, socially, intellectually and economically.
d. Supplication to Allah discharges misfortunes and disasters.
6. He says, ‘Know that piety is honor, knowledge is a treasure and silence is a light.’
There is no doubt about these facts that Imam al-Jawad (a.s) has said. Fearing Allah brings man honor, knowledge is the greatest and most precious treasure in this life and silence is a light because it gives one many advantages and keeps him safe from many troubles and problems.
7. He says, ‘When two men are equal in religiousness and honor, the better of them to Allah is the politer of them…by his reciting the Qur'an as it has been revealed and supplicating Allah with correct language because a solecistic supplication does not go up to the Heaven.’
This tradition considers politeness as one of the best qualities of man and that it takes man closer to Allah and that one of the essential morals is reciting the Qur'an without solecism. Imam al-Jawad (a.s) denies solecism even in supplications saying that a solecistic supplication is not accepted by Allah.
8. He says, ‘He, who reviles (others), is answered and he, who becomes rash, is stricken.’
It is a wonderful word that expresses the very social reality. He, who reviles people, is certainly answered with the same, and he, who is rash, meets perishment and destruction.
9. He says, ‘Knowledgeable persons are strangers because of the many ignorant people around them.’
Scientists and scholars are strangers in a society that is prevailed by ignorance because their knowledge and sciences are not appreciated by the ignorant. Rather, the ignorant mock at the scientist and this is the worse estrangement for the scientists.
10. He says, ‘He, who wants to live long, has to prepare a patient heart for misfortunes.’
When man wants to live long, he has to be so patient with the misfortunes and bad events he meets. Being impatient with misfortunes man makes himself liable to diseases and perishment.
11. He says, ‘He, who acts without knowledge, damages more than he does good.’
12. He says, ‘He, who has a brother (friend) in the way of Allah, will have a house in Paradise.’
13. He says, ‘He, who follows his desirers, pleases his enemy.’
One, who follows his desires, fancies and lusts, carries out the aims of his enemy. If he obeys Iblis, he will be far from Allah and this is the goal of Iblis. Following the desires degrades man in the society which makes the enemies pleased.
14. He says, ‘The rider of lusts, his slip is not forgiven.’
He, who submits to his lusts, becomes a captive to them. He will not be forgiven or excused.
15. He says, ‘The honor of a believer is in his unneediness to people.’
16. He says, ‘Let the guardian of Allah in the openness not be an enemy to Him in privacy.’
He, who pretends to be faithful before people and disobeys Allah secretly, is a liar and hypocrite.
17. He says, ‘Be patient with what you hate in the way of the truth and refrain from what you like if it leads you to desires!’
18. He says, ‘He, who conceals guidance from you just for the sake of his desires, is your enemy.’
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) talks about some agents and followers of governments who conceal from the rulers what the nation needs for reform and development. In fact, these are enemies even if they show sincerity and kindness.
19. He says, ‘Beware of accompanying an evildoer because he is like a drawn sword whose look is nice but its effect is bad!’
20. He says, ‘Needs are requested by hope and they come down by fate.’
The needs of people are requested through the expectation from Allah and they are satisfied by the fate of Allah. The will and efforts of man have nothing to do with that.
21. He says, ‘Good health is the best of blessings.’
22. He says, ‘When fate is decided, the wide space becomes narrow.’
When Allah determines to take the life of someone, the space, in spite of its greatness, becomes narrow for that someone.
23. He says, ‘Do not make an enemy of anyone until you know what there is between him and Allah! If he is good, Allah will not leave him to you, and if he is bad, then your knowing of his badness will make you safe from him and so you do not need to make him your enemy.’
24. He says, ‘Being cautious of something is as much as fearing from it and being greedy to something is as much as getting from it.’
Being cautious of committing sins, for example, is as much as fearing Allah. If someone fears Allah too much, he abstains from committing any sin totally and if his fear is weak, he slips in sins and crimes. As for greediness, if someone gets too much from something, his greediness to that thing is great and vice versa.
25. He says, ‘It is enough for someone to be a traitor that he is loyal to traitors.’
26. He says, ‘No one thanks Allah for a blessing that Allah has given to him, unless he deserves more blessings before he utters the words of thanking.’
Allah, Who has all the goodness in His hand, has promised to give whoever thanks Him more goodness and blessings. Allah says, (If you are grateful, I would certainly give to you more).103 Allah gives more to His people when they intend to thank Him and before they utter the words of thanking.
27. He says, ‘Whoever hopes in a dissolute, the least of his punishment is that he will be deprived (of blessing) and his needs will not be satisfied.’
Man must not hope except in his Creator; otherwise, Allah will deprive him of blessings and will not satisfy his needs and requests.
28. He says, ‘Man’s death by sins is more than his death by fate and his life by charity is more than his life by age.’
Imam al-Jawad (a.s) refers to the moral life that he who commits sins and crimes is considered as dead among the alive people and he who does good to his nation and country remains alive and his mention is immortal even if he dies.
29. He says, ‘Who misses good manners, means (of good results) will fail him.’
30. He says, ‘He, who approves a vice, is a participant in it.’
Whoever approves a bad doing bears its sin and burden and is considered as a partner with the doer.
31. He says, ‘He, who conceals his griefs, makes his body ill.’
32. He says, ‘Four things assist man in his work; good health, wealth, knowledge and success.’
33. He says, ‘The doer of injustice, the supporter on it and the one who agrees on it (against others) are participants in it.’
These three kinds of people are the same in undertaking the responsibility of injustice and they all are punished for it. Some are directly responsible for injustice and the others indirectly by agreeing with the unjust on their injustice.
34. He says, ë’Being patient with misfortunes is a misfortune to those who rejoice at others’ misfortunes.’
35. He says, ‘If the ignorant keep silent, people will not disagree (with each other).’
36. He says, ‘The murder of man is between his two jaws.’
The end of man is often due to the thoughts he adopts. Many free people in the world are killed because of their criticism to the tyrants and unjust rulers.
37. He says, ‘People are different and each one acts according to his own form.’
People are different in their tendencies and ways of thinking and each of them acts according to his thoughts and beliefs.
38. He says, ‘People are brothers. The brotherhood that is not in the way of Allah turns into enmity, for Allah says, (Friends on that day will be foes one to another, save those who kept their duty (to Allah).104’
If friendship is not based on the true love that is for the sake of Allah, and in stead it is based on personal advantages, it turns to enmity and hatred when the advantages of friends are influenced by some effects.
39. He says, ‘Being ungrateful to the blessings causes detestation.’
It causes detestation from Allah and from people.
40. He says, ‘He, who rewards you with gratefulness, gives you more than he takes from you.’
Rewarding a good doer by thanking him and spreading his virtues is, in fact, more than his giving because it makes a good mention to him among people which is the greatest gain to man.
41. He says, ‘He, who advises his brother secretly, does him good and he, who advises him openly, does him wrong.’
Advising a brother or a friend secretly indicates sincerity and truthfulness of advising, but if it is openly it may cause defame.
42. He says, ‘Whenever Allah gives a blessing to someone who knows it is from Allah, Allah will write on that someone’s name the gratefulness to that blessing before he will praise Allah, and when someone commits a sin and he knows that Allah sees him and that Allah may punish him if He likes or forgive him if He likes, Allah will forgive him before he will ask Allah for forgiveness.’
43. He says, ‘A honorable, with all honor is he whose knowledge honors him, and glory, all the glory is for him who fears Allah his Lord.’
44. He says, ‘He, who witnesses something and denies it, is like one who is absent from it, and he, who is absent from something but accepts it, is like one who witnesses it.’
It is mentioned in the prophetic traditions that “to every one is that which he intends” that if someone witnesses something but denies it he will be free from its sin as if he has been absent from it and if someone is absent from something but accepts it, its good or evil will be recorded on him.
45. He says, ‘He, who listens to a speaker, worships him. If the speaker speaks on behalf of Allah, he (the listener) worships Allah and if the speaker speaks on behalf of Iblis, he worships Iblis.’
When someone listens to a speaker, believes in him and follows him, he worships Allah if the speaker speaks on behalf of Allah; otherwise, he worships the Satan.
46. He says, ‘Showing something before it becomes complete spoils that thing.’
Spreading a political or social idea before it becomes complete and compact may destroy it before it appears to existence.
47. He says, ‘The blessing that is not thanked becomes a sin that is not forgiven.’
Being ungrateful to the blessing is one of the sins that are not forgiven because it wastes the charity that should be appreciated.
48. He says, ‘He, who gives up humoring, comes closer to misfortunes.’
Whoever does not humor people harms himself and meets troubles.
49. He says, ‘He, who trusts to tranquility before experience, exposes himself to perishment and bad end.’
Whoever trusts in something before testing and trying it exposes himself to problems and losses.
50. He says, ‘He, who does not know the entries, the exits will fail him.’
51. He says, ‘Let him, who when becomes angry oppresses (others), not deceive you.’
This tradition warns of communicating with the unjust who oppress people when they become angry.
52. He says, ‘Time uncovers hidden secrets.’
Whenever time passes, the secrets of nature and the unknown facts of the universe will be known.
53. He says, ‘Whoever blames (others) without suspicion his blame is accepted without angriness.’
54. He says, ‘The best worship is devotedness.’
55. He says, ‘Trusting in Allah is a price to every dear thing and a ladder to every high thing.’
In the previous words, Imam al-Jawad (a.s) has dealt with different issues in sociology, psychology, morals and the results of different experiences in life that may benefit all the people.
- 1. Nuzhat al-Jalees, vol.2 p.11, al-Wafi bil-Wafiyyat, vol.4 p.106, al-A’imma al-Ithna Ashar, p.103.
- 2. Mir’aat al-Jinan, vol.2 p.81, Nuzhat al-Jalees, vol.2 p.111, al-Wafi bil- Wafiyyat, vol.4 p.106, al-A’imma al-Ithna Ashar, p.103.
- 3. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 12 p.101.
- 4. Ibid.
- 5. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 8 p.58.
- 6. Muhkam is the verse whose sense is clearly established.
- 7. Wassa’il ash-Shia, vol.18 p.131.
- 8. Qur'an, 42:37.
- 9. Qur'an, 5:72.
- 10. Qur'an, 12:87.
- 11. Qur'an, 7:99.
- 12. Qur'an, 4 93.
- 13. Qur'an, 24:23.
- 14. Qur'an, 4:10.
- 15. Qur'an, 8:16.
- 16. Qur'an, 2:275.
- 17. Qur'an, 2:102.
- 18. Qur'an, 25:68-69.
- 19. Qur'an, 3:77.
- 20. Qur'an, 3:161.
- 21. Qur'an, 9:35
- 22. Qur'an, 2:283.
- 23. Qur'an, 13:25.
- 24. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 12 p.128-129.
- 25. At-Tawheed, p.142-143.
- 26. At-Tawheed, p.164.
- 27. At-Tawheed, p.64
- 28. Qur'an, 6:103
- 29. A province in Pakistan.
- 30. At-Tawheed, p.69. This tradition was ascribed to Imam al-Baqir (s) but it is a wrong ascription.
- 31. Qur'an, 31:25, 39:38.
- 32. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 3 p.253.
- 33. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 3 p.489.
- 34. Ibid., p.303.
- 35. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 7 p.263.
- 36. Ibid., vol. 6 p.131.
- 37. Khums means a fifth. It is a tax on properties and incomes to be paid under certain conditions.
- 38. It means that one would, first, insure enough provision to him and his family for a year and then the khums is taken from the further money and some certain possessions.
- 39. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 6 p.348.
- 40. Mawali are the freed slaves who still follow their master. The single form is mawla.
- 41. Qur'an, 9:103-105.
- 42. Qur'an, 8:41.
- 43. A sect having bad beliefs.
- 44. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 6 p.350.
- 45. Al-Hada’iq an-Nadhira.
- 46. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 8 p.37.
- 47. Al-Lum’ah ad-Damashqiyyah, vol.2 p.177.
- 48. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 8 p.43.
- 49. Al-Hadiy is everything that is offered to the Kaaba and especially the sacrifices offered in the season of the major hajj.
- 50. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 8 p.177.
- 51. Al-Lum’ah ad-Damashqiyyah, vol.2 p.324.
- 52. A special garment worn by the hajjis during offering the rituals of the hajj.
- 53. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 9 p.153.
- 54. Ibid., vol. 16 p.221.
- 55. Takleef denotes the fact of an imposition on the part of God of obligations on his creatures, of subjecting them to a law.
- 56. Tahtheeb al-Ahkam, vol.8 p.311.
- 57. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 16 p.248.
- 58. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 13 p.308.
- 59. Ibid., p.304.
- 60. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 13 p.322.
- 61. Ibid., vol. 9 p.213.
- 62. Ibid., vol. 14 p.207.
- 63. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 15 p.320.
- 64. If a woman suckles a child of other parents for certain period and under certain conditions, the child will be considered as her son or daughter (in suckling) and will be the brother or sister of her children.
- 65. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 14 p.296.
- 66. The period of abstention from sexual relations imposed on a widow after the death of her husband and a divorced woman since the moment of divorce or a woman whose marriage has been annulled before remarrying.
- 67. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 15 p.476.
- 68. Ibid., vol. 17 p.567.
- 69. Shuf’a: the right of the co-owner to buy out his partner's share which is for sale.
- 70. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 17 p.324.
- 71. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 17 p.446.
- 72. Sheikh al-Hurr comments on this by saying, ‘The permissibility of selling after ten years does not require the death of that son because the (legal) ruler can sell a property of an absent person if there is an advantage in it. Some of our jurisprudents have said that.’
- 73. Qur'an, 2:224.
- 74. Qur'an, 2:234.
- 75. Wassa’il ash-Shia, vol.15 p.452, Ilal ash-Sharayi’, p.172, al-Mahasin, p.303.
- 76. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 15 p.594.
- 77. Al-Qa’im is an attribute of Imam al-Mahdi, the awaited imam.
- 78. Ikmaluddeen wa Itmam an-Ni’mah, vol.2 p.48-49, al-Kifayah wen- Nusoos, a manuscript in Kashif al-Ghita’ Library.
- 79. Badr was a battle between the polytheists and the Prophet (s) whose companions in the fighting were three hundred and thirteen men.
- 80. Qur'an, 2:148.
- 81. Ikmaluddeen wa Itmam an-Ni’mah, vol.2 p.49, al-Kifayah wen-Nusoos
- 82. Al-Fusul al-Muhimmah by ibn as-Sabbagh, p.373.
- 83. Jawharat al-Kalam, p.150.
- 84. Ad-Durr an-Nadheem, p.223.
- 85. Al-Ittihaf bihubbil Ashraf, p.77, ad-Durr an-Nadheem, p.223.
- 86. Al-Fusul al-Muhimmah by ibn as-Sabbagh, p.258.
- 87. Ibid.
- 88. Jawharat al-Kalam, p.150.
- 89. Al-Ittihaf bihubbil Ashraf, p.78.
- 90. Al-Ittihaf bihubbil Ashraf, p.78.
- 91. Ad-Durr an-Nadheem.
- 92. Qur'an, 7:99
- 93. Tuhaf al-Uqool, p.456.
- 94. Ibid, p.456.
- 95. Tuhaf al-Uqool p.456.
- 96. Ad-Durr an-Nadheem, p.322-323.
- 97. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 12 p.112.
- 98. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 12, p.162.
- 99. Qur'an, 2:275.
- 100. Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 12 p.433.
- 101. Tuhaf al-Uqool, p.455-456.
- 102. Tuhaf al-Uqool, p.457.
- 103. Qur'an, 14:7.
- 104. Qur'an, 43:67.