This day, the residents of paradise will be absorbed in their own joys of bliss. Reclining each on a lofty divan, together with his spouse and shades that please.(36:55-56)
Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim. Al-hamdulillah rabb al-'alameen, wal salaat wa-salam 'ala sayiddina wa 'adheemina, wa habibi quloobina wa shafi' nufoosina Aba al-Qasim Muhammad. [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. Wa 'ala Ahli baytihi al-tayibeen al-tahireen wa as-habihi al-ghurr al-mayameen. Al-hamdulillah alladhi ja'alana min al mutamisikeen bi wilayat sayyidi wa mawlay Ali ibn abi Talib. [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. Al-hamdulillah alladhi hadaana li hadha wa makunna linahtadiya law la an hadaana Allah. Amma ba'ad yaqul Allah fi kitabihil kareem: Bismillah al-rahman al-rahim, Qul la as'alakum 'aleyhi ajran illal mawadata fil qurba(42:23).
The first of our salawat in honour of Rasul Allah Muhammad, sala Allahu 'aleyhi wa aalih wa salam. [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. The second, in honour of Amir al-Mu'mineen Ali ibn abi Talib. [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. The third with your loudest voices in honour of the Imam of our time Imam Sahib al-'asr wal zaman. [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
Respected scholars, brothers and sisters, salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. [wa aleikum assalam, wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh] Imam Musa ibn Ja'far, salawat Allah wa salamuhu 'aleyh, [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad] was born on the 7th of Safar in the 128th year after Hijra, and died on the 25th of Rajab in the 183rd year after Hijra. A man from whose life many a lesson may be learned and many an outstanding principal may be derived, and a man revered for his patience, his humility, his piety as well as his justice, and a stand against oppression.
Imam Musa ibn Ja'far unfortunately has not been studied in the way he should be. There are many who know of his existence, but not many who know about his impact, both spiritually in terms of the legacy he left behind for the religion of Islam, but at the same time, in terms of his own character, from which there are so many lessons that can be learned, which can be applied to our everyday lives. When people go and visit his shrine in Baghdad, it is unbelievable to see the number of people who visit his shrine without knowing absolutely anything about his life. There are many who will go towards the shrine, stand there and pay their salutations and regards. But you do not see the same emotion shown by them as they show in other places of pilgrimage. And the reason is that many people do not know much about the life of Imam Musa ibn Ja'far. Had a person studied the life of Imam Musa ibn Ja'far in depth, then he would show a much greater respect and more emotion than the little emotion that is shown by people who have not studied his life.
You find many who go to the shrine in Kadhimayn and will admit that we have been to that shrine, but we do not know much about his life. We stand there, we ask God to forgive us, we ask God to help us, without really having studied the person or the persons buried in that shrine. Therefore tonight, let us examine this man who was tortured more than any other of the Imams of 'aali Muhammad, and see what impact his life has on our lives today. The Imam, as we said, was born on the 7th of Safar. That is why normally the wilada or the birth of Imam Musa ibn Ja'far is hardly celebrated in our communities because Safar is normally a time of grief, it is a time when the family of the Prophet was taken towards the land of Sham, and therefore many of our mosques that period, the forty day period, or in some cases the sixty eight day period until the Prophet's martyrdom, you find that many of our mosques will not necessarily honour his birth.
He was born on the 7th of Safar in an area by the name of Al-Abwa'. Al-Abwa' was between Mecca and Medina. Muffadhal bin Umar narrates that Imam al-Sadiq, salawatullah wa salamuhu 'aleyh [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad] had a home which was a place where he would visit on his journey, for example, towards Hajj, or on his journey from Mecca back to Medina. Muffadhal bin Umar says this place was in an area called Al-Abwa'. He says, I used to remember seeing Imam al-Sadiq in the middle of the hottest day ploughing the earth and working. I would say to him, 'Imam, a man of your knowledge and a man who everybody is willing to work for. Why are you working like this? Why don't you let us do the work for you?' To which our sixth Imam replied to Muffadhal by saying, 'And what is the shame in me earning a lawful living just like everybody else?' There were prophets who all worked. Prophet Idris was a tailor. Prophet Musa, for example, had a job in terms of being a shepherd, let us say. Prophet Dawood used to make the iron and work with iron. Prophet Jesus was a carpenter. The Holy Prophet himself worked for Khadija. Our sixth Imam said that 'when I come to Al-Abwa' I plough the earth so I earn a lawful living for myself as well. Just because I am a man of knowledge does not mean I can't earn a living as well. I, like you, want to earn a living. I, like you, want to be someone who can afford to buy what you are buying as well.'
And in fact, it was in this area Al-Abwa', that Imam al-Sadiq, the narration tells us was sitting with Abu Baseer. Abu Baseer said we had our breakfast. He says Imam al-Sadiq used to have the most grand breakfast. As in, he would make you eat and he would want you to eat and he would give you all the dishes. He said all of a sudden someone came to Imam al-Sadiq and said to him, 'Your wife Hameeda is now facing the moments of labour and she wants you to be by her side.' Imam al-Sadiq left them. He went towards Hameeda, then he came back later and he said, 'I have glad tidings. That Allah has given me the best gift. And that is a son whose face resembles the face of Nabi Musa 'aleyhi as-salam, and therefore I have decided to name him Musa'. The only Imam of the Imams of Ahlulbayt, who you find is named after a Prophet of God previous to the Holy Propeht is Imam Musa ibn Ja'far.
Therefore you find Imam Musa ibn Ja'far, his father was Ja'far bin Muhammad. His mother was Hameeda. Hameeda was from North Africa. Someone asks the question, why would Imam al-Sadiq marry a woman from Africa? As in, does not Imam al-Sadiq have enough women to choose from in Medina? And on top of that, Imam al-Sadiq is a Syed. He is from the line of Amir al-mu'mineen. Aren't Syeds only meant to marry Syedas?
Because would you believe in some of our communities today, you have some people who, when their son wants to get married, if their son is a Syed, from the line of the Propeht, they will say to him, 'You can only find a Syeda like you.' The son says, 'Well Dad, I found a girl who is a good girl with good piety, with humility, with forbearance, who is generous.' 'No, we are Syeds. We only marry Syeds.' If Imam al-Sadiq believed in this, why did Imam al-Sadiq marry a lady from North Africa? Imam al-Sadiq could have easily turned around and said, 'I am the son of Muhammad al-Baqir, who was the son of Zainul Abideen, who is the son of Ali ibn al-Husayn, who was the son of Husayn, who was the son of Ali.' He could have easily said, 'I am from that line. I have to marry only from that lineage.' On the contrary, Imam al-Sadiq ends up marrying someone from North Africa, let us say from the area between Morocco and Tunisia. Imam al-Sadiq could have easily turned around and said 'I am from Madina'. But Imam was highlighting to us, in Islam we do not have this thing where you only marry someone from your cast. There is no such thing. In Islam you can marry someone who is of your religion, but of a different cultural background, someone whose race may be different to your race. When Imam marries someone from North Africa, someone could easily turn around and say, 'Imam al-Sadiq, why are you marrying people of different races? We are Arabs. We only marry Arabs.'
On the contrary, the Imam, what was he trying to show us? The Imam was trying to show us, never reach a stage in your communities where you have an inch of racism in your ways. Imagine today in Africa there are Africans who turn around and say to you, 'I am a servant of yours, but my lineage goes back to Imam Musa ibn Ja'far's mother. What does your lineage go back to?' You find that that is quite a strong statement, but Imam Musa ibn Ja'far's mother is Hameeda. Hameeda is from North Africa. You find, therefore, that this Hameeda, Imam al-Sadiq used to praise her very highly. Imam al-Sadiq used to say 'Hameeda, Allah is pleased with her and she is pleased with whatever Allah has given her.' And further than this, Imam al-Sadiq used to also say to the ladies of Medina, 'Whenever you have a question to ask, do not ask me, ask my wife Hameeda because my wife answers in exactly the same way I answer.'
Imagine. Hameeda can answer a question like Imam al-Sadiq. At what level must Hameeda be? Do you know what level? It is when a husband and wife's relationship moves forward together. In our communities today, either the husband is too religious and the wife is not, or the wife is too religious and the husband is not. And what you find, unfortunately, is this causes a bit of friction at home. Sometimes the balance does not need to mean both of them have to be religious. But that both of them are trying to become more and more religious. Today sometimes what you find, one is too religious, the other is not interested in the religion. And there becomes a friction at home.
Imam al-Sadiq when he married Hameeda, he could have easily said, 'I am the Imam, I am knowledgeable. You just act as my wife.' No, this wife of mine, both of us will become religious together. Both of us will gain knowledge off each other. Both of us will bounce off each other with our understanding of Islam. And therefore, you find when you had a mother who was knowledgeable and a father who was knowledgeable, then naturally the young Imam Musa al-Kadhim would come out extremely knowledgeable.
Imam Musa al-Kadim at the age of five was teaching Abu Hanifa lessons about Islam. Would you believe this or not? If you go to Pakistan and India and you ask the people, what is your jurisprudence? And they reply to you, we are Hanafi. Say to them, did you know not only that Imam al-Sadiq taught Abu Hanifa, but that if Imam al-Sadiq used to be busy, Imam al-Kadhim at the age of five, used to answer on his behalf. Abu Hanifa comes home one day to Imam al-Sadiq, he knocks on the door and Imam al-Kadhim emerges. When Imam al-Kadhim emerges, Abu Hanifa says to him 'Is your dad here?' He says to him 'Yes, he is. He is just a bit busy.' Abu Hanifa said 'Then I will wait.' Imam al-Kadhim said 'No. Is there anything I can help you with?' Abu Hanifa said 'No, no, I think your dad can answer it for me.' He said 'No no. Ask me.' He said 'Young man Musa, when we commit a sin, is it Allah who makes us sin? Is it us and Allah? Or is it us alone who commits a sin?' It is a question many of us ask, isn't it? When I commit a sin is Allah making me sin? Is it me and Allah? Or do I have the freedom of choice?
Imam Musa ibn Ja'far said, 'Oh Abu Hanifa.' And know one thing - that Abu Hanifa was at an old age when Imam Musa ibn Ja'far answered him with this. He said to him 'Oh Abu Hanifa, if it is Allah who makes us commit a sin, then it is not fair He puts us in hell when He made us commit the sin. If it is us and Allah, once again, it is not fair that we are punished when He was part of the crime. Therefore, it is us who have been given the choice of free will. We can either stay away from sin or we can continue sinning.' Imagine Abu Hanifa at his old age, Imam Musa ibn Ja'far at the age of five is already answering questions for him.
Then on another occasion you find, Abu Hanifa comes to Imam al-Sadiq one day. He says to him 'Ja'far bin Muhammad. I saw your son Musa al-Kadhim praying today. I saw him, but I do not think he knows how to pray properly.' Imam al-Sadiq looked at him, he said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'When I walked past him in Salaah, when someone walked past him in Salaah, he did not stick his hand out.' Our brothers in other schools in Islam, if you walk past them in Salaah, do not be surprised if their hand comes out like that. The reason is understandable, that they say that you should not walk past someone in Salaah. Try and walk behind them. Sometimes you will walk past inadvertently, you will see someone who will put their hand out like that. So he said to Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, he said to him 'Musa al-Kadhim, the young boy does not know how to read his prayers properly. Go and teach him.' Imam al-Sadiq said, 'Oh Abu Hanifa, why don't you go and teach Imam al-Kadhim. Teach, you go and teach him'. Abu Hanifa said very well. He came to Imam Musa ibn Ja'far. Imam is young, five years old. He said to him, 'Young man, I need to teach you about salaah'. Musa ibn Ja'far said to him, 'Go ahead'. He said 'When someone walks past you in your salaah, you must put your hand out and block them when they walk past you. Because I just saw someone walk past you now and you did not bother blocking them. Imam Musa ibn Ja'far said, 'Oh Abu Hanifa, Allah says that He is closer to me than my jugular vein. While I was praying, I was so focused on my Lord, I did not see any human being walk past me.'
Therefore, you find at that young age, Imam Musa ibn Ja'far from the student of his dad and his African mother Hameeda, was able to achieve this prowess, and that is why many people were in awe of the young Imam Musa ibn Ja'far, I tell you. Many people used to love him because they saw a young man who had all the pleasures of the world in front of him, but went towards Allah, subhana wa ta'ala. The Holy Prophet used to say Allah loves to see nothing more than a youth who turns away from all of these forbidden acts and turns towards Allah, subhana wa ta'ala. Imam Musa ibn Ja'far at a young age, you find that there was a small house. People would say when we walk past the small house, we would know that the young Musa ibn Ja'far would be in that house and we could hear him reciting his prayers in the most beautiful voice. And you could see the tears coming down from his eyes and you would hear him say 'Ya Muhsin qad ataak al musee'. Oh doer of good and Oh You who is all good, the sinner has come to You.
You find here, that from that young age he was in this small house. And you know what the irony is? Imam Musa ibn Ja'far in that small house. And you had the Caliphs of his time in the largest of palaces. Imam Musa ibn Ja'far in that small house, and the Caliphs - do you know how many Caliphs he lived under? He lived under the Caliph Al Safaah, Al Mansur and under Al-Hadi and under Mahdi and under Haroon al-rasheed. All of them had palaces. Wallah, if you go to Baghdad, go and see the palaces of all of these Khulafaa'. You see, for example, Dar al-raqeeq. You see Qasr al-khuld. You see Qasr al-Shakiriya. All of these palaces, and Imam Musa ibn Ja'far had a small house. Today in Baghdad, I ask you, those people, where are all their palaces? And look at the Grand Palace of Imam Musa ibn Ja'far 'aleyhi as-salam.
Imam Musa ibn Ja'far therefore at that young age, he had that ability where he was already in his closeness and his piety and his worship of Allah subhana wa ta'ala. And that is why, what do you find? You find Imam Musa ibn Ja'far was twenty years old when his father died. When Imam al-Sadiq died, Mansoor tried to play a trick which Imam al-Sadiq destroyed him in. Mansoor, when Imam al-Sadiq died, decided that these Imams have to be killed off from the beginning. There is no point letting them live. So Mansoor wrote to his governor in Medina. He said, I have heard the news that Ja'far ibn Muhammad has died. Find out in his wasiyya who has he written to be the leader after him and behead the person. The governor in Medina was called Suleiman. Suleiman got the will of Imam al-Sadiq. When he got the will, Suleiman said, 'Let me look. Who has he written? Okay Imam al-Sadiq has done this. Make sure you pray salaah, make sure you bury me, make sure...make sure.... and my successor is, my successors are five. Mansoor al Dawaneeqi. SubhanAllah. I tell you these Imams, wallah we have them as a source of pride. Successor number one, Mansoor al Dawaneeqi. Number two, Suleiman, (the one who is reading it). This person, his face became blue after he read this. Successor number three, Abdullah. Successor number four, Hameeda. Successor number five, Imam Musa ibn Ja'far. Now Suleiman is thinking, what do I do? As in, number one Mansoor is saying behead whoever is on this list. And I am on this list, and Mansoor is on the list, and Musa ibn Ja'far is on the list and also Hameeda Imam al-Sadiq's wife is on the list, Abdullah is on the list. So he wrote back to Mansoor al Dawaneeqi.
Mansoor al Dawaneeqi said, 'Has there any post come? Has any post come?' The servants said 'Yes, one letter came.' He said 'Get it to me quickly, quickly.' The letter is 'Imam al-Sadiq has written down who is his successor is meant to be.' Mansoor is like 'Continue, what does it say? What does it say?' 'Mansoor al Dawaneeqi number one, Suleiman number two, Abdullah -' Mansoor said, 'Wait, wait. What are you talking about?' They said, 'Master, you said behead whoever it is, you are one of them.' Mansoor said 'Very well, leave these people alone. Leave them. Because if I have to behead the others, that means I have to get someone to behead me as well if we are going to act out the will.' Al-hamdulilah Imam Musa ibn Ja'far when this happened, was allowed to begin his Imamma at the age of 20.
And what did you find when he began his Imamma? The first thing people noticed in his Imamma was that he was a man who was able to restrain his anger, however much disrespect you showed him. Because I tell you when we say his title is al-Kadhim, do you know what al-Kadhim means? In the Qur'an in chapter 3 verse 134, there is the verse which says: wal kaadhimeen al-ghaydha(3:134). Kadhim means the one who is able to restrain his anger in a moment of difficulty. Imam Musa ibn Ja'far when they called him al-Kadhim, do you know why? Because when he received the Imammat at the age of 20, there were people who used to insult him and curse him. And never in his life did he ever reply back to them. And that is why each one of us should be a Kadhim. There is no point saying: Al salamu alayka Ya Musa ibn Ja'far if we do not have al-Kadhim in our life. How many of us have an anger problem? When you look in the mirror sometimes, don't you admit you have an anger problem? And then when you have that anger problem, ask yourself, why am I not like my Imam Musa ibn Ja'far al-Kadhim, when he was al-Kadhim, Allah praised him by saying he is a man when he is angry, he restrains.
Because one day Imam Musa ibn Ja'far is walking. This man came up to him and said to him 'Curse on your father and on you.' Honestly, how do you reply to people like this, I do not know, is this a human or an animal? 'Curse be on you and on your father.' The companions of Imam Musa ibn Ja'far wanted to approach the man, Imam said 'Wait, wait, wait, leave him. Finish. He said to me, curse on me and my father. Leave him.' A couple of days later, Imam Musa ibn Ja'far said 'How do you think we should approach this man?' And it is vital when we hear these stories of the Ahlul Bayt, let us implement their attributes in our life, please. Al-Kadhim - restraining our anger. He asked his companions, 'How should we treat this man who cursed Imam al-Sadiq and cursed me?' They said 'Imam, we should punish him. We should attack him. We should confiscate his -' He said no. He said 'Leave this man to me.' A few days later, Imam walked towards the garden of this man. He inquired about him, they said he is in his garden. Imam walked towards the garden of this man. When he walked towards this garden, as he entered the garden, the man said, 'What are you doing here, you son of -.' Imam looked at him and said, 'What is the problem?' He said, 'You have already damaged my garden with your footsteps.' The Imam said to him, 'How much have you spent on this garden?' He said, 'One hundred dinars.' He said, 'How much do you expect to make from it?' He said, 'Two hundred dinars.' He said 'Here, take.' When the man counted, it was exactly three hundred dinars. The man looked at Imam al-Kadhim and said, 'But look at the way I cursed you. I cursed Ja'far al-Sadiq and I cursed you.' He said, 'We the Ahlul Bayt have been taught to instill akhlaq not only in the lives of the people, but in our life as well. I could easily reply back to you, but I want you to understand that as humanity, we can never survive if each one of us is going to attack each other like that.'
People would call him Al-Kahdim. Another person would say, Wallah, I saw him as al-Kadhim when one day in his house, someone dropped water all over his 'abaa' and the person looks at him and said, Bismillah al-rahman al-rahim al kadhimeen al ghaydh (3:134). Imam said, I have restrained my anger. Wal 'aafeen an ilnas. Imam said, I have forgiven you. Wallahu yuhibul muhsineen. Imam said, I have freed you for the sake of Allah, subhana wa ta'ala.
That attribute of Imam al-Kadhim was at the beginning of his life and later he would need it when he was imprisoned for more than 15 years of his life. But it was that attribute where people would then respect him in his knowledge. Do you know why? If your akhlaq is good, people will listen to your knowledge. If your knowledge is good without akhlaq, no one will listen to you. Imam Musa ibn Ja'far first had to establish to the people that you can see my morals. Now, trust me, when I have knowledge, I am sincere in giving you this knowledge.
And that is why one day Imam Musa ibn Ja'far is walking, he goes past a house where music is being played. When he walks past the house where music is being played, he sees the lady sweeping the floor outside the house. He says, 'May I ask you a question?' She says, 'Go ahead.' He said, 'Is the owner of the house a free man or a slave?' She said to him, 'Of course, he is a free man.' Imam replied, 'Yes, definitely because if he was a slave, he would know which Master was watching him.' She heard him and she thought, you know, I have never thought about it like this. If truly I am an abd of Allah, then how am I not respecting my Master by playing music at home? Do you know what the narrations say? She went back in the house. Her husband said to her, 'What happened?' She said, 'Oh, I was just talking to someone outside.' The husband said, 'What did the person say?' She said, 'I do not know, he looked like a very humble man. And he just asked me a question.' The husband said 'What was the question?' She said 'The question was, is the owner of the house where music is being played, is the owner of the house a free man or a slave? So I said to him he is a free man.' So he said, 'What did he say then?' She said, 'I heard him say, yes, definitely he is a free man because if he was a slave, he would know that the Master was watching him.' That person said, 'Can you describe him to me?' She said, 'Yes, he had this complexion and this look and this beard and this height.' He said 'That is Musa ibn Ja'far.' He ran out of the house without even wearing his slippers. He ran and looked for Imam Musa ibn Ja'far until he found him. He said, 'Oh Imam, forgive me. Wallah, I have never thought of music the way you said it. In the past I heard people say music is haram, but it did not convince me. But the way you described it makes sense. How can I play music in a house when I claim to be a servant of Allah subhana wa ta'ala?' That person, do you know what the Imam said to him. He said 'Do not worry. If you regret it and you perform tawba, Allah will forgive you.' That person today, the Sufis respect him very highly. They call him Bishar al Hafi. Al-Hafi in Arabic means the one who walks barefooted. They call him Hafi because he ran out of his house to Musa ibn Ja'far barefooted.
But look at the lesson Imam Musa ibn Ja'far taught. He did not say to him, straight to the face, music is haram, you are going to be punished if you listen to music. No. He said, how in Salaah are you saying that you are an 'abd of Allah, yet in your house you are listening to the people who oppose Allah, subhana wa ta'ala. Today in Muslim households, or in Muslim weddings, or in Muslim gatherings, music - it is normal for a Muslim to come and play music. And when you see them and you say, 'What is this music that is being played?' They say, 'Well you know what, at the end of the day, it is a celebration day and it is a one off occasion.' I remember one scholar saying that they said to me when I asked them on the first son's wedding, 'What is this?' The father said, 'You know, it is my first son, please.' When it was the second son, the father said, 'You know, it is my second son.' When it was the third son the father said, 'You know, this is the last one. And that is it. There is none after this.' You want to begin your first day in halal or in haram? You find Musa ibn Ja'far said 'In the house, is the person free or a slave? If he is a slave of Allah, he would never play such a thing.' In other words, what did you find? Whenever Imam Musa ibn Ja'far would advise, there was a rational side to his advice.
But truly that aspect of him being al-Kadhim was needed in his life. Why? Because I tell you, the amount of oppression they showed the Shi'a at that time was phenomenal. There has never been a period in Islamic history when the Shi'a of Aali Muhammad have been oppressed like when Imam Musa ibn Ja'far was Imam. I tell you if you were to read the Khulafaa' who he had to live under, Shi'a could not even practice their faith. Do you know how the Shi'a had to practice? They had to employ taqiyya. Taqiyya is when you conceal your belief because you are in a state of life or death. Amongst the people who had to perform taqiyya because of that time, you found many of the great companions of Imam al-Kadhim, Ibrahim al-Ju'ffee, Ahmed al-Halabi, Ahmed al-Bazanti, amongst others, had to conceal their faith because of Imam Musa ibn Ja'far and because of the Caliphs of the time. Because you know what these Caliphs were doing? These Caliphs were terrorizing any Shi'a of Aali Muhammad. Do you know Imam al-Ridha has a hadith, when I read it, I could not believe the hadith. And tomorrow, inshaAllah we will discuss Imam al-Ridha.
Imam al-Ridha says that if it was not for the events of Karbala, the worst tragedy to have affected our Ahlul Bayt was the tragedy of Fakh. When I read Fakh, I decided to go and do my research, what is the tragedy of Fakh? For Imam al-Ridha to say the worst tragedy which affected our Ahlul Bayt was the tragedy of Fakh. Du'bal bin Ali al-Khuza'i even has poetry about their graves in Fakh. Do you know what happened in Fakh? After Al-Mansoor died, who became the Caliph? You had the brothers, you had Hadi and Mahdi. Hadi al-Abassi had a governor in Medina who used to oppress the Shi'a so much that he made them every morning and every evening, if you were a Shi'a living in Medina, you had to come to his palace and sign up. Sign up - what does sign up mean? Means you literally just have to come sign your name, so he knows what you are doing or where you are hiding or what your movements are. Every Shi'a - man, woman, child, has to come in the morning, has to come in the evening and sign in the palace.
In that time, the cousins of Imam Musa ibn Ja'far, Husayn bin Ali al-Kheyr, Hasan al-Aftas, this governor of Medina, the governor of Hadi, caught Hasan al-Aftas and whipped him two hundred times in public for being a follower of Ahlul Bayt. And on top of that, he spread out to the people that this man, because we caught him drinking, we have to punish him and we need to parade his body on a donkey. Husayn bin Ali al-Kheyr, cousin of Imam Musa al-Kadhim, went to this governor. He said, 'Listen, number one, I know my cousin was not drinking. Number two, the punishment for drinking alcohol in Islam is 80 lashes. Why have you punished him 200 lashes? Number three, in Islam, you do not parade a body on a donkey.' That person said to him, 'Who are you to speak to me like that? You and your Shi'a can not even practice your faith in my time. You have to come to my palace in the morning and in the evening. Get out.'
This Husayn bin Ali al-Kheyr decided to tell all the Shi'a 'Rise, let us not sit and watch. This person is torturing us and we should not just sit there and watch this oppression.' The narration was that Hasan al-Aftas went to the top of this man's palace. He removed him. He said, 'Hayya 'ala al salah, hayya 'ala al falah, hayya 'ala kheyr il 'amal. Everyone, rise.' The family of Ahlul Bayt rose under the leadership of Husayn, and Husayn's sister Zainab. Do you see how history repeats itself? A hundred years after Karbala, Husayn from the grandsons, Zainab from the grand daughters, this Husayn raises all of Aali Muhammad, two hundred and thirty two members of Aali Muhammad went to rise against these people. And you know what that Husayn told Zainab? SubhanAllah how history repeats itself. Husayn told Zainab, he said to her 'My sister Zainab, when the blood reaches your ankles, then this paper of our followers let it go with the blood, because we do not want our followers if we die, to be caught.'
When Husayn got killed, that governor, do you know what he did? He took all the children of Aali Muhammad who survived. He took them to Baghdad, to the Khalifa of the time, Al-Hadi. All these children were sitting in front of Al-Hadi. Imagine you have got lots of children of Ahlul Bayt. Grandchildren of Bibi Fatima. All of them in front of Al-Hadi. Al-Hadi looked at them, he said, 'Who are these?' They said the grandkids of Fatima al-Zahra. He said, 'Oh, they are the ones related to Musa ibn Ja'far?' They said yes. He said, 'Very well, bring me a sword.' They said to him 'What are you going to do?' He said, 'I want you to make them all stand next to each other. Let us see how many heads I can cut at the same time.' Today, you have followers of Ahlul Bayt who say it is hard for me to be religious. I tell them you do not know an inch of those who came before you. He got his sword and he beheaded them one by one, the grandchildren of Fatima al-Zahra. Imam al-Ridha said, were it not for the incident of Karbala, the worst incident to affect us was the incident of Fakh. 'Wa ukhara bi Fakh', graves which survived in Fakh.
When this Hadi, he told everyone there, he said, 'I swear, this whole uprising is because of Musa ibn Ja'far.' Abu Yusuf al-Qadhi was there, he said, 'No, Musa ibn Ja'far - I could swear on my children - Musa ibn Ja'far did not tell anyone to rise. This Hadi said, 'Do not worry, I will find Musa ibn Ja'far and I will kill him.' The narrations, what do they say to us? The narrations say the people of Musa ibn Ja'far said to him that 'Imam', do you know who said this to him? Yaqteen, the father of Ali bin Yaqteen. Yaqteen said 'Imam, be careful. This Al-Hadi al-Abbasi wants to come and find you and wants to kill you.' The narrations come and say to us that Imam Musa ibn Ja'far said 'Let me just recite salaah.' He want to recite salaah. Then he recited Dua Jawshan al-Sagheer. Then after finishing Jawshan al-Sagheer he said to him, 'Do not worry, you will hear news shortly that Al-Hadi al-Abbasi has just died. The news then came, Al-Hadi al-Abbasi just passed away.
After Al-Hadi, Al-Mahdi. After Al-Mahdi, the worst Caliph to treat an Imam of Ahlul Bayt, Harun al-Rashid. Harun al-Rashid, if he found out you were Shi'a, you were beheaded. Harun al-Rashid would not allow anyone to come out and say they were Shi'a. Do you know how they used to have majalis in those days? Look at us today, al-hamdulillah, thousands of people sitting in a lecture, listening to the majalis of Ahlulbayt. Do you know in those days what they would do? You would sell butter. While you are selling the butter, you teach your fellow Shi'a about Ahlul Bayt. As soon as the guard of Harun al-Rashid walks past, you then say, 'Okay, three kilograms of butter, I will get it for you. Do not worry.'
And that is why some of the greatest companions of Imam al-Kadhim, when Haroon al-Rashid put Imam al-Kadhim in prison, some of his greatest companions had to come and ask him, what shall we do? Amongst them, Bahlool. You think Bahlool is a simple companion? Bahlool was a student of Imam al-Sadiq and Imam al-Kadhim. Bahlool came to Imam al-Kadhim in prison. Him and two other companions, they came to Imam al-Kadhim, they said 'Imam, you are in prison. What shall we do? We, your followers? How do we spread your words.' Imam said 'Jeem'. Imam said 'Jeem.' The first one thought Jeem, part of the Arabic alphabet, alif, ba', ta', tha', Jeem. The first one thought Jeem means Jabal, mountain. So he went to live in the mountains. The second one thought Jeem - Jala' 'an il watan. So he went to live in another country. Bahlool said, I know what Jeem is. Jeem is Junoon. I am going to act majnoon, crazy. But in my insanity, I will spread the word of Musa ibn Ja'far. Do you know what a sacrifice it is to act insane so you protect the teachings of an Imam? Do you know what sacrifice that is? I don't think we know. We do not know what that sacrifice is, brothers and sisters.
We today, when you ask us to be religious, 'I am not ready yet'. Ready, do you think anyone is waiting for you? This ship has sailed. If you have studied the lives of the Imams and you are still thinking 'I am not ready yet.' Move away. Rather look at someone like Bahlool, and say Bahlool has to act insane to preserve the teachings, and Wallah Bahlool, the way he used to act, you would see a man who acts insane but his words are words of wisdom. One day, Bahlool is sitting down on the throne of Harun al-Rashid and he is jumping up and down, jumping, jumping. The people came, they started hitting him. 'Bahlool, get off.' And he kept on jumping and jumping on the throne. All of a sudden they came, they hit him and they removed him. He began to cry. Harun al-Rashid walked in. He looked at Bahlool crying. He said 'Why is Bahlool crying?' The guards said, 'Oh, our master. He is crying because he was sitting on your throne. And how dare anyone sit on the throne of our master?' Harun said 'Bahlool, is that why you are crying?' He said no. He said 'Then why?' He said I cry for someone like you. How could you sit on the throne of the sons of Fatima al Zahra? What will you answer your Lord on the day of judgment?' And then all of a sudden he will run away on a broomstick.
Harun al-Rashid would look at him and think, this guy is crazy, but will also know the bullet hit. On another occasion, Bahlool tells Harun al-Rashid 'Give me the keys to the prisons of Baghdad, please give me them.' Harun al-Rashid said 'What you want to do with them?' He said 'I just want to play, I just want to play.' Harun said, 'Okay take them.' An hour later, the guards come, 'Harun, there is trouble'. Harun would say, 'What is the trouble?' He says 'All the prisoners have been released.' Harun would say, 'Oh my God, Bahlool. Where is Bahlool?' They said 'He is in the graveyard, he is sitting down.' Harun al-Rashid came up to him, he saw Bahlool crying, he is like 'Bahlool, didn't I tell you do not mess about with these keys? Why did you release them?' Bahlool said, 'Please, I am sorry, please.' Bahlool then said, 'Is there any way I can be forgiven?' Harun al-Rashid said yes. Bahlool said 'What is it?' He said, 'If you make sure they are all caught, then I will forgive you.' Bahlool said, 'Very well, let us stay in this graveyard because there will be a day when all of them will come here.'
Harun al-Rashid one day tells Bahlool, 'Bahlool, you are insane. I know you are crazy, but sometimes you say some extraordinary things. I do not know where you got them from.' He does not know he got them from Musa al Kadhim. He said to him 'Bahlool, you know there is Siraat, on the day of judgment, on Qiyama. How will it feel when we are on that Siraat to heaven or hell?' Bahlool said 'I do not know.' He said 'No no tell me.' He said 'Okay, I do know.' He said 'What is it?' He said, 'Get me a pot.' He said 'Okay, I will get you a pot.' He brought the pot. He said 'Put some water on the pot.' He put some water on the pot. He then said to him, 'Light a fire under it, let it boil.' Harun al-Rashis says 'Okay, we boiled water, there is fire.' Bahlool said 'Now put a plate on top of it, on top of the pot.' Harun al-Rashid said 'Okay, I will put this big plate.' Bahlool said 'Now we have to play a game.' He said 'What is it?' He said, 'I have to stand on the pot and I have to say what I eat every day and what I drink every day and what I own in this dunya. And I have to say it, but I can't get off. Even though the fire is under me. And then you have to get on and you have to say what you eat and what you drink and what you own in this dunya.' So Bahlool got on. He said 'My name is Bahlool. I eat a bit of bread. I drink a bit of water and I don't own anything in this dunya.' And he got off. 'Now it is your turn.' 'My name is Harun al-Rasheed. I drink alcohol and I drink, and I also eat, I eat, I eat.' Then he jumped off. Bahlool said, 'What is wrong? We did not even get to the things you own and you jumped off already.' So he said to him 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I just boiled a bit of fire and you could not handle it. How will you handle the Siraat when Allah asks you about your life?'
In other words, this Bahlool, do you think he acted insane because he wants to? No human wants to act insane. But he knew Imam Musa ibn Ja'far told him so he preserves the teachings of Ahlul Bayt. Likewise Ali bin Yaqteen. Ali bin Yaqteen was the minister for Harun al-Rashid. First, when he came towards Ahlul Bayt, he wrote a letter to Imam al-Kadhim. He said, 'Imam, how do us, the followers of Ahlulbayt do our wudu'? Imam Musa al-Kadhim wrote back to him, he said, 'We perform our wudu' by washing our face and then washing our hands and then wiping our heads and then washing our feet.' Ali bin Yaqteen said 'When I read the letter, I am like, washing our feet? We do not wash our feet. We wipe our feet.' But Imam Musa ibn Ja'far would not make a mistake. So what do I do? Do I wash or do I wipe? Someone who was jealous of Ali bin Yaqteen told Harun al-Rashid, 'I think, I think that Ali bin Yaqteen is a lover of Musa al-Kadhim.' Harun al-Rasheed said to him 'Why?' He said, 'Because I have seen him talk about him and he talks about him in a pleasant way.' Harun al-Rashid said 'Ali bin Yaqteen would never leave my way. This is not true.' That person said 'No, it is, I promise you it is.' Harun al-Rasheed said 'Very well, tomorrow I will find out.' The person said 'How?' He said, 'We will go and spy on Ali bin Yaqteen in wudu'.
You know there is a moment in your life where you either unconditionally submit to your Imam or you pick and choose what of Islam you like, isn't it? Ali bin Yaqteen is reading a letter where Musa ibn Ja'far says to him 'Wash.' Ali bin Yaqteen knows you have to wipe. But if Musa ibn Ja'far says wash, then you have to wash. Harun al-Rashid is watching through the window. Ali bin Yaqteen is doing his wudu', washes his face, washes his hands, wipes his head, and now the crunch time. Do I listen to my Imam or do I make up my own Islam? As he is coming to his feet, he says I have to listen to my Imam. He began washing his feet. Harun al-Rashid said, 'I told you he has not joined Musa al-Kadhim. Look, he washes his feet like we wash our feet.'
Imam directed them, that do not worry if I am in prison, you can be my representatives when I am away. And that is why when people today say to me, Syed Ammar, we are with an Imam who is in ghayba. We already had an Imam called Musa ibn Ja'far in ghayba. And you know why he put him in prison? You know why Harun al-Rasheed put him in prison? Two acts, two reasons. The first reason is Harun al-Rashid looks at Imam Musa ibn Ja'far one day, he said to him 'Why do you, the sons of Ali ibn abi Talib, think you are better than us, the sons of Abbas?' Remember these are cousins. Imam al-Kadhim is from the line of Abu Talib. Harun al-Rasheed is from the line of Abbas. Abu Talib and Abbas are brothers, but sometimes cousins can hate each other, not just love each other. The narrations state that Harun al-Rashid said 'Why do you think you are better than us?' Imam Musa ibn Ja'far said 'Harun, we come from Abu Talib. You come from Abbas. Rasul Allah's father Abdullah is from the same father and mother as Abu Talib whereas Abbas, his mother is different.' Harun al-Rashid said then 'But Abu Talib died and Abbas remained alive. And the heritage of Rasul Allah remains with Abbas, not Abu Talib.' Imam al-Kadhim said 'Yes, but the heritage of Rasul Allah remains in his child, not in his uncle, and we are the sons of Fatima.' At that moment, Imam al-Kadhim said 'Oh Harun al-Rashid. If Rasul Allah came to propose for your daughter, would you give your daughter to him?' Harun al-Rashid said 'Yes, it would be my honor.' Imam said 'But he would not for us because he is the father of our mother. He would never come to us. Therefore, our line is a straight connection, whereas yours is an indirect connection.'
Harun al-Rashid was not happy with this. It brought an envy, but he still needed the rumour to be spread. Do you know who he paid to spread the rumor about Imam al-Kadhim? Imam's brother Ismail had a son called Ali. You know, today in the Muslim world, we have different sects. We have the Zaidis, the Ismai'lis, we have the Imami Ithna-asheris. And Isma'il was the brother of Imam al-Kadhim, but from a different mother. The narrations, what do they say to us? The narrations say to us, Isma'il had a son by the name of Ali. Yahya al-Barmaki, he told this Ali, that we will pay you a certain amount of money.
And by the way, Isma'il died before Imam al-Sadiq. Isma'il died before Imam al-Sadiq. Some of the Shi'a of the time believed because Isma'il is the eldest son, that means he should be the Imam after. And even if he is dead, his son should be the Imam. Whereas we say in the school of Ahlul Bayt, it does not mean because you are the eldest son, you should be the Imam. It is who Allah has chosen who should be the Imam.
Ali ibn Isma'il, Yahya al-Barmaki told him, 'We will pay you a certain amount of money if you come from Medina to Baghdad and you spread rumors about Musa ibn Ja'far. The narrations say Ali bin Isma'il, Imam Musa ibn Ja'far's nephew, just before he left, the Imam said to him 'Where are you going?' He said, 'I am going to Baghdad.' He said, 'Why?' He said, 'I have debts which I need to pay.' Imam said, 'Ali, I will pay your debts. You don't need to go to Baghdad.' The narrations say Ali said, 'No, I want to go. Give me a piece of advice, oh my uncle.' Imam said, 'Do not be the cause of the bloodshed of me and my family.' And then he said 'Ali, here is three hundred dinars.' One of Imam's companions said 'Imam, why did you give him 300 dinar? Don't you know this man, what he is going to do?' Imam said 'Rasul Allah used to say, look after your relatives. If you look after your relatives, if your relatives do evil to you later, that is Allah's concern, not yours.' You do good to your relatives. What they do after, Allah will judge them.
You know this Ali, he went all the way to Harun al-Rashid. Harun al-Rashid was sitting down, Yahya al-Barmaki was sitting down. Harun al-Rashid said, 'What is it Ali?' He said, 'You know this Musa ibn Ja'far. He is sitting in Medina. He is collecting weapons and he is raising an army to kill you.' All for money. Imam Musa ibn Ja'far did not raise any army, he did not have any weapons. Harun al-Rashid said 'Oh people, did you hear this?' They said yes. He said, 'Now do you allow me to put him in my prisons?' The people said yes. Ali bin Isma'il, Imam al-Kadhim's nephew said, 'Can I have my envelope?' They gave him the envelope. When he went out to open the envelope, do you know how much was in the envelope? Two hundred dinars. How much did Imam al-Kadhim give him? Three hundred. When he saw the two hundred, he could not believe it. He choked and he died at that moment.
He let down his uncle and from there, Harun al-Rashid took over Imam al-Kadhim's life. Imam al-Kadhim, they moved him from prison to prison - more than 15 years he spent in prison. The first prison was in Basra, then they took him to Qantara prison, then they took him to the prison of Fadhl ibn al-Rabie. Do you know Fadhl ibn al-Rabie, do you know one day what he said? You know Imam Musa al-Kadhim, when he first entered prison, you know what his first words were? 'Ya Allah, all my life I have asked You to give me the honour of worshiping You in a place alone. I now thank you that You have given me this honor.'
Would you say that if you were in prison, would you? Ya Allah all my life, I have asked You to let me be in a place where I could worship You alone, now thank You? Would you say that? Prison makes a human being get destroyed sometimes. Fadhl ibn al-Rabie, when Imam Musa al-Kadhim was moved from Basra prison, then to Qantara prison, then to Fadhl ibn al-Rabie's prison, Fadhl ibn al-Rabie told Ahmed al-Qazwini, he said to him 'Ahmed, come with me to my prison.' So he came. He said, 'What do you see in the prison?' He said, 'I see a white robe.' He said, 'No, no, look closer.' He said, 'No, I see a white robe.' He said, 'No, that is Musa ibn Ja'far in sujood. The whole time in prison he stays in his sujood.' He said 'Harun al-Rashid sent the most beautiful girl in the whole of Arabia into Musa ibn Ja'far's prison. And when she entered the prison, she said to Musa ibn Ja'far 'Oh man, whatever you want from me, I will give you.' And he did not reply. 'Whatever you want I will give you.' And he did not reply. The third time she said, 'Please, whatever you want, I will give you. The khalifa has sent me.' She says that he turned around to me and he said, 'Oh lady, why would I want what you offer when Allah has offered more?' He said by the time the guards entered the prison, they saw Musa ibn Ja'far in sujood and the lady behind him in sujood. And he sent people into the prison who didn't speak Arabic. They came out as Muslims. He said, 'What is wrong with you? You people were meant to kill Musa ibn Ja'far.' They said 'The man started speaking to us in our language. And we became Muslims from his words.' Fadhl ibn al-Rabie used to say, 'How can I torture a man, in the daytime he is fasting, in the night he is praying.'
Then after that they took him to the prison of Fadhl ibn Yahya, until at the end they took him to the prison of al-Sindi. Al-Sindi, do you know what his prison was? May Allah bless the soul of Imam Musa ibn Ja'far for all those years in prison. You know what his prison was? The other prisons, they were tight spaces. Al-Sindi's prison was the type of prison where it is a narrow pole and they make you stand inside it so that you can not sit. And on top of that pole, they put a rock so that you could not know the difference between day and night. And Imam Musa ibn Ja'far used to say to the guards, 'I do not know the difference between the day and the nights. When you want to pray your salaah, I beg you, come and tell me so I could at least attempt to pray my salaah.' And do you know there is a hadith, which is a hadith which hurts you, that the one day they removed the rock, the time when they would remove the rock from the top of his pole where he was in, he tried to look outside for some of the daylight. All of a sudden a man came and smacked him and hit him with his legs. And they began to kick the face of Imam Musa ibn Ja'far.
Do you know how many people visit Imam Musa ibn Ja'far and do not cry by his grave? Do you know? Because they say we do not know anything about his life. No Imam of Ahlul Bayt was tortured like Musa ibn Ja'far. No Imam. Aba Abdillah, there is no day like Aba Abdillah's, but there are no years like Imam Musa al-Kadhim's. And at the end, Imam Musa al-Kadhim in prison is the only Imam, and I say Ya Allah, I do not know how much they tortured Imam al-Kadhim in prison. But imagine an Imam, normally Imams of Ahlul Bayt can take anything. Imagine Imam al-Kadhim, in his last du'a in prison 'Ya Allah, all my years I asked You to allow me to worship You alone and I thank You for that honour. But Ya Allah, I beg you now release me from the prison of Harun.'
So Ibn Suwaid narrates, Ali bin Suwaid narrates, I came to Imam al-Kadhim, I got through to his prison. I spoke to him, I said 'Imam Musa ibn Ja'far, when are you coming out? Your Shi'a are waiting.' And Imam Musa ibn Ja'far said 'Oh Ali, on Friday in the morning on the bridge of Baghdad, I will be out'. You know where I am heading. Ali says 'I went and told all our Shi'a, Imam Musa ibn Ja'far is going to be released. Let us all gather on Friday on the bridge of Baghdad.' He says, 'On the Friday, we went to the Bridge of Baghdad and we heard a man saying there is a Janaza here.' He said, 'We went and we saw a body lying on the ground on the bridge of Baghdad.' He said, 'We came towards the body. We were wondering, whose body is this? When we came near the body, we saw it was Imam Musa ibn Ja'far's body on the bridge.' He says, 'We came near the body.' He said, 'I had a doctor who was a Christian. I said to the doctor, Oh, doctor, come and look at this body. When the doctor came and looked at this body, the doctor looked at me and he said, does this man have any family? I said to him, why? He said, because they should ask for blood money. I said, Why? He said, because the poison has surrounded his whole body.'
And that is why I tell you a story which I know of first hand. Sheikh Ahmed al-Wa'ilee may Allah bless his soul, one of the greatest reciters in Islamic history. He himself narrates, 'In Baghdad one day I came home, my daughter, I saw her and I saw my wife crying. What is the problem? My daughter was playing with glass and the glass went through the eye and the whole eye opened up. So I went and got a doctor and the doctor said, your daughter will never see with this eye again.' He said, 'I straightaway thought, I am going to Imam Musa ibn Ja'far's grave in Baghdad.' May Allah grant you all that honour of that ziyara. He said 'I went to the grave of Imam Musa ibn Ja'far, I stood by the grave. I said, 'Oh Imam, I have heard it said you are Bab al-Hawa'ij, show me now. My daughter's eye is cut. She cannot see.' He says, 'Wallah I returned home and my wife was smiling. I said to her, What is it? She said, Look at your daughter. He said, 'I looked at my daughter, her eye was back in the same state again.' He said 'That day I realized the meaning of Bab al-Hawa'ij Imam Musa ibn Ja'far. That when the Christian doctor came back, he saw her eye, he said I could not believe that the eye has come back like this. The eye was completely cut and now it is back to normal.'
Therefore, do not forget, on a night like this to ask through Imam Musa ibn Ja'far. Ask your hawa'ij on a night like this, raise your hands, brothers and sisters, raise your hands if you can. Raise your hands, and we pray to Allah to raise us with Imam Musa ibn Ja'far. The man who in his ziayara we say 'Oh man who was put in the prisons of Harun al-Rashid'. We pray to Allah, subhana wa ta'ala for all our Muslim brothers around the Islamic world, especially our brothers in Bahrain and all our brothers who are facing hardship in the world today. We pray to Allah to raise us with Imam Musa ibn Ja'far 'aleyhi asalam, to allow us to receive his intercession in this world and the hereafter. For all our brothers who are ill, we pray to Allah in the name of the one who was ill at Karbala Imam Zainul Abideen.
We pray to Allah with the following du'a: Bismillah al-rahman al-rahim Aman yujeebul mudhtarra idha da'aah wa yakshiful soo', Aman yujeebul mudhtarra idha da'aah wa yakshiful soo, Aman yujeebul mudhtarra idha da'aah wa yakshiful soo, Aman yujeebul mudhtarra idha da'aah wa yakshiful soo, Aman yujeebul mudhtarra idha da'aah wa yakshiful soo.(27:62) InshaAllah tomorrow we will continue with the biography of Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha. We pray to Allah, subhana wa ta'ala with Suratul Fatiha, but before it the loudest of your salawat. [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]
This day, the residents of paradise will be absorbed in their own joys of bliss. Reclining each on a lofty divan, together with his spouse and shades that please.(36:55-56)