Table of Contents

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