Imam-asws Muhammad-asws Ibn Ali-asws

5th Imam’s Kuniya is Abu Jafar-asws

Imam Abu Jafar-asws’s ‘Nazool’ is in the year 57 A.H on the 1st of Rajab. The 5th Imam-asws was martyred in the year one 114 at the age of 57 on the 7th of Zilhajj.  The Imam-asws was buried in Al-Baqi’ cemetery, Madina, near the Holy grave of his-asws father, Imam Ali-asws Ibn Al-Hussain-asws. Imam-asws’s mother was Umm ‘Abd Allah, daughter of Imam Al-Hassan-asws Ibn Ali-asws Ibn Abu Talib-asws.

Imam Abu Jafar-asws (Imam Mohammed Baqir-asws) has said: ‘Once, my mother was sitting next to a wall. The wall began to break apart and we heard an intense crumbling noise. Syeda-asws pointed out with her-asws hands saying: “No, for the sake of Al-Mustafa-saww[1], Allah-azwj has not Granted you permission to fall.” The wall remained hanging in the air until my-asws mother-asws moved away from that place. My father-asws gave one hundred Dinars as charity in appreciation and as an expression of gratitude for Allah-azwj’s favour.’

Abu al-Sabbah narrates: ‘Once Abu ‘Abd Allah-asws (Imam Jafar e Sadiq-asws) mentioned his grandmother and said: “She-asws was a truthful person. No lady was ever found in the descendants of Al-Hassan-asws like her (in excellence).”’[2]

Abu Jafar-asws (Imam Mohammed Baqir-asws) has said: ‘Jabir Ibn ‘Abd Allah AI-Ansari was the last surviving companions of Rasool Allah-saww. He was a devout (firm) follower of our Ahl Al-Bayt-asws. He would sit in the Masjid of Rasool Allah-saww wearing a black turban. He would call, “O Baqir Al-Ilm, O Baqir Al-Ilm (a person of deep knowledge).”

‘The people of Medina would say: “Jabir is hallucinating.” He would say: “No, by Allah-azwj, I do not hallucinate, but I heard Rasool Allah-saww say: ‘You will soon meet a man-asws from me-saww whose name will be as my-saww name and his-asws manners as my-saww manners. He-asws will be the revealer of the (Divine) knowledge.’”

‘Jabir would still come and go, and one day in one of the roads of Medina, when passing, he found a few young boys, (and), among them, Imam Muhammad-asws Ibn Ali-asws.  He looked at him-asws and called him-asws (Imam Muhammad-asws Ibn Ali-asws) to himself. The boy-asws came to him and then he said: “Go back.” The boy-asws went back. Then he said: “I swear by the One in Whose hand is my life, (that I see) manners as the manners of Rasool Allah-saww. O (little) boy-asws, what is your name?” He-asws replied: “My-asws name is Muhammad-asws Ibn Ali-asws Ibn al-Hussain-asws.” Jabir came forward and began to kiss his-asws head and say: “May I be sacrificed for you, Rasool Allah-saww, your great-great grandfather-saww, told me to convey his-saww greetings of peace to you-asws and would speak of all that (I see in you-asws).”’

The Imam-asws has said: ‘Then Imam Muhammad-asws Ibn Ali-asws Ibn Al-Hussain came to his father-asws and he-asws was anxious. He-asws explained to him-asws about Jabir. His father-asws asked: “Did Jabir really do this?” He-asws replied: “Yes, he did so.” The Imam-asws said: “My son-asws, stay at home (and do not expose yourself-asws to the enemy).” Jabir thereafter would come to him-asws in the mornings and in the evenings and the people of Madina would say: “It is so strange that Jabir, the only surviving companion of Rasool Allah-saww, comes to a boy-asws on both ends of the day every day.” Very shortly, Imam Ali-asws Ibn Al-Hussain-asws passed away (was martyred).  Imam Muhammad-asws Ibn Ali-asws then normally went to visit Jabir out of respect for his being a companion of Rasool Allah-saww and spoke to people from Allah-azwj.’[3]

Abu Basir once asked from Imam Mohammed Baqir-asws: ‘Are you the heir of the Rasool Allah-saww’?’ He-asws said: ‘Yes, we-asws (Ahl Al-Bayt) are his-saww heir.’ He then asked: ‘Was Rasool Allah-saww the heir of the prophets-as and did he-saww know all that they-as knew?’ The Imam-asws (the 5th Imam-asws) said: ‘Yes, it is true.’ He then asked: ‘Do you-asws have the power to bring the dead back to life and cure the lepers, and the blind?’

He-asws said: ‘Yes, we do have such powers by the permission of Allah-azwj.’  Then he-asws said to me: ‘Come closer to me, O Abu Mohammed.’ He went closer to the Imam-asws and he-asws rubbed his face eyes and he saw the Sun, the Skies, the Earth, the houses and all things in the town.

Then the Imam-asws asked: ‘Do you like to live this way, you will have what others have and be responsible for whatever they will be held responsible for on the Day of Judgement or would you like to live as before and enter into the Paradise (without accountability)?’ He said: ‘I would like to live as I lived before.’ The 5th Imam-asws rubbed his eyes and he found himself as before.’[4]

Once, Imam Abu Jafar-asws (Imam Mohammed Baqir-asws) was taken to Al-Sham (Damascus), to the court of Hisham Ibn ‘Abd al-Malik. When he-asws arrived at his door he (Hisham) instructed his people from the Amawids[5]: ‘When I finish humiliating Imam Muhammad-asws Ibn Ali-asws and stop, then each of you, one after the other, should reprimand and insult him-asws.’ He then ordered for mam Muhammad-asws Ibn Ali-asws to come in his presence. When Imam Abu Ja’far-asws arrived, he made a gesture with his hand to all of them and offered a general greeting. He then sat down. This increased the disappointment of Hisham because he did not address him-asws as the Caliph and sat down without his permission.

Hisham then began to reprimand and scold him-asws. He said to him, among other things, ‘O Muhammad-asws Ibn Ali-asws, why is it that one or the other from you-asws cause disunity among the Muslims and call people to follow him-asws thinking that he-asws is the Imam-asws? It is nothing but because of his ignorance and foolishness.’ He scolded him-asws as much as he wanted. When he became quiet others, one after the other, began to annoy and displease the Imam-asws.

When they all became quiet, he-asws stood up and asked: ‘O people, what is it that you want and where are you headed? Through us-asws, Allah-azwj Granted you guidance to the first one among you and through us-asws the last among you can receive guidance. You do have a temporary power but to us-asws belongs the future power and there will be no power after our-asws power; to us-asws belongs the final good end as Allah-azwj has Said, “The final victory is for the pious ones.” (7: 128)’

He (Hisham) ordered him-asws to be imprisoned. In the prison whoever he-asws spoke to would sympathize with the 5th Imam-asws. The guard came to Hisham and said: ‘O chief, I am afraid for you from the people of al-Sham (Damascus). They may remove you from this position,’ and then gave him the full report.

Hisham then ordered the Imam-asws to be sent to Madina along with his-asws Shias and Hisham’s people (his army) escorted the Imam-asws (to Madina). Hisham ordered his army to not allow the Imam-asws and his people to go to market places. They were denied food and water. They travelled for three days without food and water until they arrived at Madyan. They (the Imam-asws and his-asws Shias) were left behind the locked doors therein. The Shias of the Imam-asws complained to him-asws of hunger and thirst. The Imam-asws then climbed a hill above them and said loudly: ‘O people of Madyan, the town of unjust people. I am ‘Baqiya-tul-Allah’ (the Power that Allah-azwj has Kept in reserve) as Allah-azwj has Said: “If you are true believers then you must know that the profit (the reserved power) which Allah has left for you is better for you (than what you may gain through deceitful ways). I am not responsible for your deeds.”’ (11:86)

Among his-asws people was an old man who went to them (the people of the town) and said: ‘By Allah-azwj, this is the call of Shu’ayb-as, the Prophet of Allah-azwj. If you do not go to this man, you will be killed from the above and below (By Allah-azwj’s Wrath). Believe me and obey me this time, but you may reject me next time. I am giving you a good piece of advice.’ At that, they came out quickly to Muhammad-asws Ibn Ali-asws and his people (with food and water). The news reached Hisham Ibn ‘Abd al-Malik, who summoned the old man and he was taken to the court, but no one knows what happened to him.[6]

Imam Mohammed Baqir-asws spent between three to four years in the life-time of Imam Hussain-asws, 39 years in the company of his-asws father Imam Ali-asws bin Hussain-asws and 18 or 19 years executing responsibilities of an Imam-asws prior to being martyred.[7]

The Umayyad Caliph Hisham Ibn Abdul Malik arrested the Imam-asws on several occasions with the intention of disturbing and humiliating him-asws, but could not find any evidence to prosecute the Imam-asws.  In the end, he sent a poison-impregnated saddle as a gift. They insisted that the Imam-asws ride on a horse mounted with it. After a short ride, poison spread in the Imam-asws’s body. After a few days in pain, the Imam-asws left for the better world on the 7th of Zilhajj 114 Hijri, and was buried alongside the graves of Imam Hassan-asws and Imam Sajjad-asws in Baqi cemetery, Medina.[8]

Our sixth Imam-asws says: ‘My-asws father-asws said to me-asws: ‘O Ja’far-asws! Dedicate to me-asws from my-asws such and such wealth for the lamenters to cry upon me-asws (after my departure from this world) for ten years at Mina (a place pilgrims go to during Hajj) in the days of Mina’ (during the days of Hajj).[9]

Bequest of the 5th Imam-asws:

‘From Abu Abdullah-asws (6th Imam) having said: ‘My-asws father-asws wrote in his-asws bequest that I‑asws should enshroud him-asws in three clothes – one of them being a cloak of his-asws which he‑asws used to pray Salaat in on the day of Friday, and another cloth, and a shirt. I-asws said to my‑asws father-asws, ‘Why did you-asws write this?’

فَقَالَ أَخَافُ أَنْ يَغْلِبَكَ النَّاسُ وَ إِنْ قَالُوا كَفِّنْهُ فِي أَرْبَعَةٍ أَوْ خَمْسَةٍ فَلَا تَفْعَلْ وَ عَمِّمْنِي بِعِمَامَةٍ وَ لَيْسَ تُعَدُّ الْعِمَامَةُ مِنَ الْكَفَنِ إِنَّمَا يُعَدُّ مَا يُلَفُّ بِهِ الْجَسَدُ.

He-asws said: ‘Out of fear that the people might overcome you and if they were to say, ‘Shroud him-asws in four, or five (clothes)’, do not do it, and turban me-asws with a turban, and do not count the turban as being from the shroud. But rather, count what the body is wrapped with’’.[10]

‘Abu Ja’far-asws bequeathed with three hundred Dirhams for mourning him-asws, and he-asws used to view that to be from the Sunnah, because Rasool-Allah-saww said: ‘Take food to the family of Ja’far-as, for they are too pre-occupied (with their grief)’’.[11]

[1] Prophet Mohammedasws name

[2] Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, Chapter on Imam Abu Jafarasws, h 1.

[3] Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, Chapter on Imam Abu Jafarasws, h 2.

[4] Ibid, h 3.

[5] The children of Bani Umayyad (the descendants of Umayyad) who were the enemies of the children of the Rasool Allahsaww.

[6] Ibid, h 5.

[7] Bihar ul Anwar, vol. 4, pg. 9

[8] Ibid, h 6.

[9] الكافي (ط – الإسلامية)، ج‏5، ص: 117, Al Kafi – V 5 – The Book of Subsistence Ch 35 H 1

[10] Bihar Al-Anwaar – V 46, The book of History – Muhammad Al Baqir-asws, Ch 1 H 24

[11] Bihar Al-Anwaar – V 46, The book of History – Muhammad Al Baqir-asws, Ch 1 H 10