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Story 10: Imam Baqir (‘A) And A Christian

Imam Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a) had the title of ‘Baqir’, meaning ‘the one who analyzes’. He was called ‘Baqir ul-ulum’ which means ‘the one who analyzes knowledge’.

A Christian, in mockery, tried to play on the word Baqir, mispronouncing it as "baqar". He said to him, “You are a baqar!” (i.e. You are a cow!)

Without expressing any annoyance or anger, the Imam (‘a) replied calmly: “No, I am not baqar, but I am Baqir.”

The Christian said, “You are the son of a lady cook.”

The Imam (‘a) said in reply, “It was her job and is not considered an insult or disgrace to her dignity.”

The Christian said, “Your mother was black, immodest and had an abusive tongue.”

The Imam (‘a) said, “If what you attribute to my mother is true, I pray to Allah to forgive her and absolve her sins; and if it is a lie, may Allah forgive you for your lies and slander.”

Observing such a clemency from a person who had the authority to subject a non-Muslim to punishment, was sufficient to provoke a transformation in the soul of the Christian and invite him towards Islam. Later, he accepted Islam and became a Muslim.1

  • 1. Bihar ul-Anwar, v. 11, p. 83