Brief Life History of Sayeda Fatima Zahra (s.a.) – Part #15

BRIEF LIFE HISTORY OF SAYEDA FATIMA ZAHRA (S.A.)-PART #15

Source: “Shia Islam AT A Glance” BY: Sheikh Abdul Jalil Nawee; and Shia Youth Inc. Website: www.Shia-youth.org.

EARLY LIFE:

Sayeda Fatima Zahra (s.a.) was born in Mecca on 20th Jamadi-us-Sani to  Khadija (s.a.), the first wife of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). There are differences of opinion on the exact date of her birth, but the widely accepted view is that she was born five years before the first Quranic revelations, during the time of the rebuilding of the Ka’aba in 605 A.D.

Sunnis scholars believe that Fatima Zahra (s.a.) had three sisters, namely Zainab, Umm Kulthum and Ruqayyah and two brothers, Tayyab and Qasim. Shias believe that Zainab, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum were actually the daughters of Hala, the sister of Khadijah, who were adopted by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Khadija, at her death. A strong reason given by the Shia scholars for this belief is the event of (Mubahala) mentioned in the Quran, in which there is no reference to the presence of any other female person, apart from Fatima (s.a.). Iranians celebrate Fatima Zahra’s birth anniversary (20th Jamadi us Sani) every year, which is also designated as Mother’s Day in that country. Following the birth of Fatima (s.a.), she was personally nursed, especially she was brought up by her father; contrary to local customs, where the newborn children were sent to “wet nurses” in surrounding villages.  She spent her early youth under the care of her parents in Mecca in the shadow of the tribulations suffered by her father at the hands of the Quraysh.

SAYEDA FATIMA’S (s.a.) TITLES:

Sayeda Fatima (s.a.) is given many titles by Muslims to show their admiration of her moral and physical characteristics. The most used title is “al-Zahra“, meaning “the shining one”, and she is commonly referred to as Fatima Zahra (s.a). She was also known as “al-Batul” (the chaste and pure one) as she spent much of her time in prayer, reciting the Qur’an and in other acts of worship. Besides, amongst numerous famous veneration titles, she has also been honored with the title of Umm-ul-Aaima (Mother of Imams).

A WOMAN OF STRONG CHARACTER:

Once, while Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was performing the salat (prayer) in the holy Ka’aba, Amr ibn Hishām (Abu Jahl) and his men poured camel’s dirt over him. Sayeda Fatima (s.a.), upon hearing the news, rushed to her father and wiped away the filth while scolding the men.

Following the death of her mother  Khadija (s.a.), Fatima (s.a.) was overcome by sorrow and found it very difficult to accept the mother’s death. She was consoled by her father, who informed her that he had received word from angel Gabriel that Allah the Almighty had built for her a palace in paradise.

MARRIAGE PROPOSAL:

Many of Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) companions, including Abu Bakr and Umar, asked for Fatima’s (s.a.) hand in marriage. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Fatima (s.a.) turned them all down, saying that he was awaiting a sign of her destiny.  Ali  ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) cousin, also had a desire to marry Fatima (s.a.). When he went to see Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), he could not vocalize his intention but remained silent. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) understood the reason for his being there and prompted Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) to confirm that he had come to seek Fatima (s.a.) in marriage. He suggested that Imam Ali (a.s.) had a shield, which, if sold, would provide sufficient money to pay the bridal gift (mahr). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) put forward the proposal from Imam Ali (a.s.) to Fatima (s.a.), who remained silent and did not reject the proposal like the previous ones. Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) took this to be a sign of affirmation and consent.

The actual date of the marriage is unclear, but it is estimated to have taken place in the 623, the second year of the hijra. Some sources say it was in the 622. The age of Fatima (s.a.) is reported to have been approximately 9 or 10, while Imam Ali (a.s.) was between 21 and 25. Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told Imam Ali (a.s.) that he had been ordered by God to give his daughter Fatima (a.s.) to Imam Ali (a.s.) in marriage. Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said to Fatima: “I have married you to the dearest of my family to me.” Imam Ali (a.s.) sold his shield to raise the money needed for the wedding, as suggested by Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself performed the wedding ceremony and two of his wives, Aisha and Umm Salama, prepared the wedding feast with dates, figs, sheep and other food donated by various members of the Madinan community. According to Shia scholars, their marriage possesses a special spiritual significance for all Muslims because it is seen as the marriage between the two greatest saintly figures surrounding Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Their marriage lasted about ten years and ended when Fatima (s.a.) died at the age of approximately 19. Although polygyny was permitted in Islam, Imam Ali (a.s.) did not marry another woman while Fatima (s.a.) was alive.

MARRIED LIFE:

After her marriage to Imam Ali (a.s.), the couple led a humble and simple life. Imam Ali (a.s.) had built a house not too far from Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) residence, where he lived with Fatima (s.a.).  Fatima (s.a.) did all household work by herself. The shoulder on which she carried pitchers of water from the well to the house was swollen and the hand with which she worked the hand mill to grind grain were often covered with blisters. Imam Ali (a.s.) worked to irrigate other people’s lands by drawing water from the wells. Another reference to their simple life comes to us from the Tasbih or rosary of Fatima  (s.a.), a divine formula that was first given to Fatima (s.a.) when she asked her father for a kaneez (servant girl) in order to help her with household chores. Her father asked her if she would like a gift, instead, that was better than a servant and worth more than everything in the world. Upon her ready agreement, he told her to recite at the end of every prayer the Great Exaltation: Allahu Akbar 34 times, the Statement of Absolute Gratitude; Alhamdulillah, praise be to Allah, 33 times; and the Invocation of Divine Glory, Subhan’Allah 33 times, totaling 100. This collective prayer is called the Tasbih of Fatima Zehra (s.a.).

HOLY PROPHET’S DECLARATION:

Shia scholars acknowledge an important declaration of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), “Fatima (s.a.) is a part of me, whatever pleases her, pleases me; and whoever offends her offends me”.

The Shia scholars further say this statement was used by Syeda Fatima (s.a.) herself, in defense of her claim for her property Fadak, when she spoke to Abu Bakr and Umar, who had forceably taken her property inherited by her from her father, stating that they had both displeased her and hence had displeased the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

QUR’ANIC VERSES OF PURIFICATION:

Some verses in the Qur’an are associated with Sayeda Fatima (s.a.) and her household by classical exegeses, although she is not mentioned by name. Two of the most important verses include the verse of purification which are the 33rd ayah, in sura al-Ahzab (Chapter #XXXIII) and the 61st ayah in sura Al-i-Imran (Chapter #III). In the first verse, the phrase “people of the house” (ahl-ul bayt) is ordinarily understood to consist of Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)Fatima (s.a.), her husband Imam Ali (a.s.) and their two sons, Hasan and Husain.  The second verse refers to an episode in which Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) proposed an ordeal of mutual adjuration (Mubahala) to a delegation of Christians. Fatima (s.a.), according to the “occasion for the revelation” of this verse, was among those offered by Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as one of the Mubahala participants.

AMONG THE OUTSTANDING WOMEN:

Muslim exegesis of the Qur’anic verse III:42, links the praise of Mary, the mother of Jesus (pbuh), with that of Fatima (s.a.), based on a quote attributed to Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that lists the four outstanding women of all times as:  1) Mary (mother of Prophet Jesus (pbuh), 2) Asiya (mother of Prophet Moses (pbuh), 3) Bibi Khadija,  and  4) Sayeda Fatima (s.a.).

Following the Farewell PilgrimageHoly Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) summoned Fatima and informed her that he would die soon, and also told her that she would be the next of his household to die. After Holy Prophet Mohammad’s (pbuh) death, Fatima (s.a.) was grief-stricken and remained so until she herself died less than six months later, on 13th, Jumadi ul-awwal (or 3rd Jamadiussani) 11 A.H.

AFTERMATH OF HOLY PROPHET’S DEATH:

For the few months that she survived following the death of her father, Fatima (s.a.) found herself at the center of political disunity. Differing accounts of the events surrounding the commencement of the caliphate existed. These were the main causes of the Shia and Sunni split.

According to the Sunni scholars, the majority of Muslims at the time of Prophet Muhammed’s (pbuh) death favoured Abu Bakr as the Caliph while a portion of the population supported Syeda Fatima’s (s.a.) husband, Imam Ali (a.s.). Following Abu Bakr’s selection to the caliphate after a meeting in SaqifahImam Ali (a.s.) did not give his bayt or allegiance to him (Abu Bakr) and isolated himself. Shia historians state that Umar called for Imam Ali (a.s.) and his companions to come out of his (Imam Ali’s) house and swear allegiance to Abu Bakr. When they did not, Umar broke in, crashing the front door, resulting in Syeda Fatima’s (s.a.) ribs being broken by her being  pressed between the door and the wall.  This injury also caused her to miscarry her son, Muhsin, which also led to her eventual death.

SAYEDA FATIMA’S (s.a.) POLITICAL INVOLVEMENTS:

Shias believe that Sayeda Fatima (s.a.) was involved in three significant political actions. First, after the conquest of Mecca, she refused her protection from Abu Sufian. Second, after Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) death, she defended Imam Ali’s (a.s.) cause, fiercely opposed the election of Abu Bakr, and had violent disputes with him and particularly with Umar. Third, she laid claim to certain property rights which were given to her legitimately by her father, and challenged Abu Bakr’s categorical refusal to cede them, particularly Fadak and a share in the produce of Khaybar.

DISPUTE OF FADAK:

One particular event is recounted in all of the histories of both Shia and Sunni Muslims: the dispute over the land Sayeda Fatima (s.a.) received from her father at Fadak. She will be remembered for her knowledge of her legal rights and her desire for justice which indicates that she was a woman involved in the affairs of society. After the death of her father, Fatima (s.a.) approached Abu Bakr and asked him to relinquish her share of the inheritance from Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) estate. Fatima (s.a.) expected the land of Fadak (situated 30 miles (48 km) from Medina) and a share in the produce of Khybar would be passed on to her as part of her inheritance. However, Abu Bakr rejected her request, citing a narration where Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stated that prophets do not leave behind inheritance and that all their possessions become sadaqah to be used for charity. Fatima (s.a.) was upset at this flat refusal by Abu Bakr and did not speak to him until her death. Shias contend that Fadak had been given to Fatima by Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Abu Bakr was wrong in refusing her to take possession of it. The controversy over Fadak is elaborated below.

Fadak was a fertile area with many fruit trees and farm land located in the valley of the Medina hills. It comprised of seven villages with considerable land revenue.  A peace treaty was made after the battle of Khayber according to which one-half of Fadak was to be retained by the landowners of Fadak and the other half was to be the property of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). After the Holy Prophet returned to Medina, Gabriel appeared and informed him that Allah had decreed, “Let Fadak be given to the Holy Prophet’s daughter Fatima” (s.a.).  Hence the Holy Prophet (pbuh) called Fatima (s.a.) and said, “Allah has commanded me to bestow Fadak as a gift to you” and he gave possession of Fadak to Fatima (s.a.). As long as the Holy Prophet (pbuh) lived, Fadak remained in possession of Hazrat Fatima (s.a.). She leased the land and its revenue was collected in three installments.  She used this amount for food for her and her children and distributed the rest to the poor people of Bani Hashim.

Upon the death of the Prophet (pbuh) on the 12th Rabi’awwal, 11 A.H. his daughter Fatima (s.a.) declared her claim to inherit Fadak as the estate of her father. The claim was rejected by Abu Bakr on instigation from Omar ibn al-Khattab on the grounds that Fadak was public property and arguing that the Prophet had “no heirs”.  Bibi Fatima (s.a.) had defended her claim for Fadak based on the Holy Quran and had stated that historically Prophet Sulaiman had inherited the wealth of Prophet Dawood and that the wealth was not considered property of the state and that similarly she had the right to inherit Fadak from her father, the Prophet (a.s.). Also, during Prophet Mohammed’s (a.s.) time, Fadak was his personal property, not a property of the State, hence she could inherit it, just as Prophet Sulaiman had inherited Prophet Dawood’s property.

Sources report that Ali (a.s.) together with Umm Ayman testified to the fact that Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) granted it to Fatima (s.a.) when Abu Bakr required  Sayeda Fatima (s.a.) to summon witnesses for her claim. Abu Bakr refused to accept Imam Ali (a.s.) as a witness. Various primary sources contend that Fadak was gifted by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) to Fatima (s.a.), drawing on the Qur’an as evidence. These include narrations of Ibn ‘Abbas who argued that when the Qur’anic verse on giving rights to kindred was revealed, Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) called to his daughter and gifted the land of Fadak to her.

Various scholars commenting on the Qur’an, Surat Al-Hashr (Chapter 59, verse 7), write that the Angel Gabriel came to the Prophet and commanded him to give the appropriate rights to “Thul Qurba” (near kin). When asked by the Prophet (pbuh) about who those “Thul Qurba” were referred to in that verse, Gabriel replied: “Fatima (s.a.)” and that by “rights” was meant “Fadak”, upon which the Holy Prophet (P) called Sayeda Fatima (s.a.) and presented Fadak to her.

ABU BAKR’S UNFAIR JUSTIFICATION FOR DENIAL:

Abu Bakr justified the usurpation of Fadak based on a well known hadith, La Nuris.  He said that he had himself heard the Holy Prophet (pbuh) say, “We prophets do not leave behind any legacy; whatever we leave as inheritance is charity” (i.e., the property of umma, the Islamic community). This statement is refuted in the book, Peshawar Nights, referred to above because Fadak was not an inheritance but a gift.  This reference also adds that the hadith La Nuris is not acceptable because the statement, “prophets do not leave behind any legacy or inheritance” is invalidated by the Quran which refers to several prophets, e.g., Prophet Dawood (David) and Sulaiman (Solomon) who had left wealth for their successors. In her defense, Fatima (s.a.) argued, “And Solomon was David’s heir (27:16)”. In her defense, she also cited the inheritance of Zakariyya in the holy Quran: “Therefore grant me from myself an heir, who shall inherit (also) of the house of Jacob” (19, 5-6). In her defense, Fatima Zehra (s.a.) cited seven sura’s from Koran to demonstrate that several prophets had granted inheritances to their progeny.

Note: The book, Peshawar Nights, adds that Abu Bakr and Umar could not respond to Fatima’s (s.a.) arguments and resorted to deception and abusive language.

HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS:

During the rule of Abu Bakr, Fadak was denied to Sayeda Fatima (s.a.), which led to her protest, and her angered Khutba in front of the people at the Prophet’s Mosque.

When Omar became Khalifa, the value of the land of Fadak along with its dates was, according to some account, 50,000 dirhams. Imam  Ali (a.s.) again claimed  Sayeda Fatima’s (s.a.) inheritance during Omar’s era but was denied with the same argument as in the time of Abu Bakr. Omar, however, restored the estates in Medina to `Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib and Ali (a.s.), as representatives of  Holy Prophet (pbuh)’s  clan, the Banu Hashim.

During Uthman’s Khilaafah, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, (his cousin), was made trustee of Fadak. Marwan spent  the income in wicked activities.

After Uthman, Imam Ali (a.s.) became Khalifa but did not overturn the decision of his predecessor. During Ali’s Khilaafah, Fadak was regarded to be under the control of the Prophet’s family, so the Khalifa did not make a formal declaration of personal possession in order to avoid resurrecting old feuds and jealousies and thus the avoiding of any disunity among Muslims.

Under the Umayyads (661 – 750 A.D.), Mu’awiyah, their first self-imposed ruler, the later did not return Fadak to Fatima’s descendants. This process was continued by later Umayyad Khalifas until the time of Khalifa Omar ibn Abd al-Aziz. When Omar ibn Abd al-Aziz, known as Omar II, became Khalifa in 717 A.D., the income from the property of Fadak was 40,000 dinars. Fadak was returned to Fatima’s descendants by an edict given by Omar II, but this decision was renounced by later Khalifas and may have been the cause of Omar II being killed as well.

Omar II’s successor, Yazid ibn Abd al-Malik (known as Yazid II) overturned his decision, and Fadak was again made public trust. Fadak was then managed this way until the Ummayad Khilaafah expired.

Under the Abbasi period (750 – 1258 A.D.), the last Umayyad ruler, Marwan II, was killed in a battle a few months after the Battle of the Zab of 750 A.D., thus ending the Umayyad Khilaafah. Historical accounts differ about what happened to Fadak under early Abbasid rulers. Most likely they collected its revenues and spent it as they pleased. There is, however, consensus among Islamic scholars that Fadak was returned to the descendants of Hazrat Fatima (s.a.) during Al-Ma’Moon’s reign (831-833 A.D.). Al-Ma’Moon based his decision upon review of a Committee, and even decreed his decision to be recorded in his diwans.

Al-Ma’Moon’s successor, al-Mutawakkil (847-861 A.D.), repossessed Fadak, confiscating it from the descendants of Hazrat Fatima (s.a.).  Al-Muntasir (861-862 A.D.), however, apparently maintained the decision of al-Ma’mun, thus allowing Fatima’s offspring to manage Fadak.  What happened thereafter is uncertain, but Fadak was probably seized again and managed exclusively by the rulers of the time as their own personal property.

SAYEDA FATIMA’S (s.a.) DEATH:

Shia believe that Sayeda Fatima (s.a.) died as a result of injuries sustained after her house was raided by Umar ibn al-Khattab whom shi’as accuse of ‘threatening to set fire to her house. The door was supposedly rammed open by one of the assailants knocking Fatima (s.a.) to the ground. This attack is said to have cracked her rib-cage whilst she was pregnant, causing her to miscarry. According to Shia tradition, Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) appeared in a dream and informed Fatima (s.a.) that she would he passing away the next day. Fatima (s.a.) informed her husband Imam Ali (a.s.) of her impending death, and asked him not to allow the oppressors to be involved in her janazah (burial) ceremonial prayers (prayers performed in congregation after the death of a Muslim) or take part in the burial. Upon hearing the news of Fatima’s (s.a.) death, Imam Ali (a.s.) fell unconscious. After recovering, he followed Fatima’s (s.a.) wishes and performed the janazah ceremonies. He buried her during the night on13 Jumada al-awwal 11 AH (632 AD). He also made three false graves to ensure her real grave could not be identified and desecrated. With him were his family and a few of his close companions. After her death, Imam Ali (a.s.) followed her wishes and buried her without informing the Medinan people.

Sayeda Fatima (s.a.) was survived by two sons, Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.), and two daughters, Zanab (a.s.)and Umm Kulthum (a.s.). Controversy surrounds the fate of her third son, Muhsin. Shias and some sunni scholars such as ibn Abi l-Hadid  say that she miscarried following an attack on her house by Abu Bakr and Umar who broke the door that crushed her between the door and the wall and broke her rib cage. She passed away six months after this incident.

Brief Life History of The Twelfth Imam – Part #14

BRIEF LIFE HISTORY OF IMAM MUHAMMAD MAHDI (A.S.)-PART #14

Source: “Shia Islam AT A Glance” BY: Sheikh Abdul Jalil Nawee; and Shia Youth Inc. Website: www.Shia-youth.org.
Assalam O Alykum,
If any reader missed reading any of the eleven Holy biographies, he/she can get access to it from Shia Youth Inc.’s website: www.shia-youth.org (select Homepage, Select Basic Education). All of the 12 Holy biographies have been posted to the website.  Next week part #15 will include A Brief Life History of Umm-ul-Aaima, Sayeda Fatima Zahra (s.a.), insha’Allah.
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Wassalam
Shia Youth Team.
____________________________________________________
BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS:

In Shiaism, Imam Muhammad Mahdi (a.s.) ( “The guided one”), the twelfth Imam is believed to be the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine, or nineteen years  before the Day of Judgment (yawmal-qiyamah,or the Day of Resurrection)[ and will rid the world of  all kinds of evil.

There is no explicit reference to the Mahdi (a.s.) in the Qu’ran, but references to him are found in hadith (the reports and traditions of Prophet Muhammad‘s (pbuh) teachings collected after his death). According to Jafaria Muslim Imams traditions, the Imam Mahdi’s (a.s.) tenure will coincide with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Isa), who is to assist the Imam Mahdi (a.s.) against the Masih ad-Dajjal (literally, the “false Messiah” or Antichrist).  Differences exist in the concept of the Mahdi between Sunni Muslims and adherents of the Shia tradition. For Sunnis, the Mahdi is Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) successor who is yet to come. For most Shia Muslims, the Mahdi was born but disappeared and will remain hidden from humanity until he reappears to bring justice to the world, a doctrine known as the OccultationFor Twelver Shia, this “hidden Imam” is Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (a.s.), the Twelfth Imam.

The term mahdi does not occur in the Quran, but it is derived from the Arabic root h-d-y, commonly used to mean “divine guidance”. The term al-Mahdi was employed from the beginning of Islam, but only as an honorific epithet and without any messianic significance.  In Shia Islam,  in the early 10th century, the doctrine of the Occultation, which declares that the Twelfth Imam did not die but was concealed by Allah (set) from the eyes of men, was expounded. The Mahdi became synonymous with the “Hidden Imam” who was thought to be in occultation awaiting the time that God has ordered for his return. This return is envisaged as occurring shortly before the final Day of judgment.   In fact, the concept of the “hidden Imam” was attributed to several Imams in turn.

SUNNI HADITH REFERENCES:

Sunni hadith make references to the Mahdi: Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is quoted as saying about the Mahdi:

“His name will be my name, and his father’s name my father’s name. Even if the entire duration of the world’s existence has already been exhausted and only one day is left before Doomsday, Allah will expand that day to such length of time as to accommodate the kingdom of a person from my Ahl-ul Bayt who will be called by my name. He will fill out the earth with peace and justice as it will have been full of injustice and tyranny (by then)”.

THE OCCULTATION:

Shia scholars claim that their twelfth Imam Muhammad Mahdi (a.s.) will appear before the day of Judgment, to restore justice and equity on earth. In Shia Islam, the Mahdi is associated with the belief in the Occultation, that the Mahdi is a “hidden Imam” who has already been born and who will one day return alongside Jesus to fill the world with justice. The promised Mahdi, who is usually mentioned in Shia Islam by his title of Imam-i ’Asr (the Imam of the “Period”)(a.s.) and Sahib al-Zaman (the Lord of the Age) (a.s.), is the son of the eleventh Imam. His name is the same as that of the Prophet of Islam. According to Shia Islam, Mahdi was born in Samarra on 15th Shaban, 255 A.H. and until 8 Rabi I , 260 A.H. lived under his father’s care and guidance when his father was martyred. By Shi’ism, belief in the messianic Imam is not just a part of their creed but it is the foundation of their creed.  Shias believe that after the martyrdom of his father, Imam Hasan al Askari (a.s.), Muhammad Mehdi  became the twelfth Imam and by Divine Command went into occultation (ghaybat). Thereafter, he appeared only to his deputies (na’ib) and even then only in exceptional circumstances.

THE IMAMAT WHILE IN GHAIBAT:

In Shias’ perspective, Imam (a.s.)  chose as a special deputy Uthman ibn Sa’id ’Umari, one of the companions of his father and grandfather, who was his confidant and trusted friend, for a short time. Through his deputy, Imam Mahdi would answer the demands and questions of the Shias. After Uthman ibn Sa’id, his son Muhammad ibn Uthman Umari was appointed this deputy. After the death of Muhammad ibn Uthman Umari, Abu’l Qasim Husayn ibn Ruh Nawbakhti was the special deputy, and after his death, Ali ibn Muhammad Simmari was chosen for this task.

A few days before the death of Ali ibn Muhammad Simmari in 327 A.H., an order was issued by Imam Mahdi (a.s.), stating that in six days, Ali ibn Muhammad Simmari would die. Henceforth, the special deputation of the Imam would come to an end and the major occultation (ghaybat-i kubra) would begin and would continue until the day God grants permission to the Imam to manifest himself.

TWO PARTS OF THE OCCULTATION:

In Shia view, the occultation of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is, therefore, divided into two parts: the first, the minor occultation (ghaybat-i sughra) which began in 260 A.H. and ended in 327 A.H., lasting about sixty seven years; the second, the major occultation, which commenced in 327 A.H. and will continue as long as Allah the Almighty wills it. In a hadith upon whose authenticity Shia and Sunni agree, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has said, “If there were to remain in the life of the world but one day, God would prolong that day until He sends in it a man from my community and my household. His name will be the same as my name. He will fill (all) the earth with equity and justice as it was filled with oppression and tyranny.”

SIGNS BEFORE IMAM MAHDI’S REAPPEARANCE:

Shias believe that the arrival of the Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will be signalled by the following portents:

  • The vast majority of people who profess to be Muslims will be so only in name, despite their practice of Islamic rites, and it will be they who (will) make war with the devoted followers of Imam Mahdi (a.s.).
  • Before his coming, will come the red death and the white death, killing two thirds of the world’s population. The red death signifies violence and the white death is plague. One third of the world’s population will die from the red death and the other third from the white death.
  • There will be a great conflict in the land of Syria, until it is destroyed.
  • Death and fear will afflict the people of the Middle East. A fire will appear in the sky and a redness will cover them.

Shia traditions also state that the Mahdi will be “a young man of medium stature with a handsome face” and black hair and beard. “He will not come in an odd year […] will appear in Mecca between the corner of the Kaaba and the station of Abraham and people will witness him there.

PRIOR IMAMS STATEMENTS ABOUT THE TWELFTH IMAM:

The Master of the Command was named as the Mahdi because he will dig out the Torah and other heavenly books from the cave in Antioch. He will judge among the people of the Torah according to the Torah; among the people of the Gospel according to the Gospel; among the people of the Psalms in accordance with the Psalms; among the people of the Qur’an in accordance with the Qur’an.

Abu Bashir says: When I asked Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.), “O son of the Messenger of God! Who is the Mahdi (qa’im) of your clan (ahl-ul bayt)?”, he replied: “The Mahdi will conquer the world; at that time the world will be illuminated by the light of God, and everywhere in which those other than God are worshipped will become places where God is worshiped; and even if the polytheists do not wish it, the only faith on that day will be the religion of God.

Sadir al-Sayrafi says: I heard from Imam Abu Abdullah Ja’far al-Sadiq that: Our modest Imam, to whom this occultation belongs [the Mahdi], who is deprived of and denied his rights, will move among them and wander through their markets and walk where they walk, but they will not recognize him.

Abu Bashir says: I heard Imam Muhammad al-Baqr (a.s.) say: ” When the Mahdi appears he will follow in the path of the Messenger of God. Only he [the Mahdi] can explain the works of the Messenger of God. The face of the Mahdi shall shine upon the surface of the Moon.”

PROPHET ISA (JESUS) TO ALSO REAPPEAR:

According to the Twelver Shias, the main goal of the Mahdi will be to establish an Islamic state and to apply Islamic laws that were revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  The Mahdi is believed to be the Twelfth ImamMuhammad al-Mahdi (a.s.).  They believe that the Twelfth Imam will return from the Occultation as the Mahdi with “a company of his chosen ones,” and his enemies will be led by Antichrist and the Sufyani. The two armies will fight “one final apocalyptic battle” where the Mahdi and his followers will prevail over evil.  After the Mahdi has ruled Earth for a number of years, Prophet Isa (Jesus) (pbuh) will return.

SUNNI AND SUFI SCHOLARS  VIEWS ON IMAM MAHDI (a.s.):

In 650/1252 Kamalal-Din Muḥammad b. Talha al-ʿAdawi al-Nisibini, a Shafi’i Muslim scholar composed his Maṭalib al-suʾul fi manaḳib al al-rasul answering Sunni objections to the belief that the Twelfth Imām was the Mahdi. The Sibt ibn al-Jawzi wrote Tadhkirat khawass al-umma bi-dhikr khasaʾis al-aʾimma collecting hadiths from Sunni sources about the virtues of Ali and his descendants, and at the end affirmed that the Twelfth Imam was the Expected Qaʾim and Mahdi. Among Sufi circles, Abu Bakr al-Bayhaḳī (458AH/1066CE) had noted that some Sufi gnostics (djamaʿa min ahl al-kashf) agreed with the Imami doctrine about the identity of the Mahdi and his ghayba (occultation). The Persian Sufi Sadr al-Din Ibrahim al-Hammuyi (late 7thAH/13th CE century) supported Imami doctrine on the Mahdi in his Faraʾid al-simtayn. The Egyptian Sufi al-Shaʿrani, while generally showing no sympathy for Shiʿism, affirmed in his al-Yawaḳit wa ’l-dj̲awahir (written in 958 AH/1551 CE) that the Mahdi was a son of Imam al-Hasan al-ʿAskari born in the year 255 AH/869 CE and would remain alive until his meeting with Prophet Jesus (pbuh).

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FREE ZIYARAAT PLAN Update: The Free Ziyaraat Plan Project is proceeding along satisfactorily, Alhumdolillah. The Draw #5 included 101 participants from nationwide. Since the project has achieved only 51% self sufficiency, Shia Youth Inc. makes an urgent request to all donors and community members to provide your donations to make the project fully self sufficient soon insha’Allah.  The DRAW #6 is Scheduled for August, 2020  Exact date being dependent upon availability of the Molana, will be announced soon.  For Draw #6 four Awards will be offered including two full packages with R.T. Air plus a fully paid Land Package.   Two Winners and two Alternate Winners will be randomly selected by the Molana, inshaAllah. Each Winner shall have 18 months to complete the Ziyaraat journey.  For more details or how to enter please visit website: www.Shia-youth.org
Shia Youth Inc. is a non profit organization having tax exempt status under IRS Section 501 3 (c). Additionally, His Eminence Syed Ali Sistani’s Office in USA has approved KHUMS Ijazah thus authorizing Shia Youth Inc. to collect KHUMS and provide authentic Marjaeya receipts to the Khums payers.  Shia Youth Inc. accepts all donations via PayPal (Friends &Family), Zelle, Bank transfers or by Checks mailed to: 
Shia Youth Inc., 15216 Rockport Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20905.

Brief Life History of The Eleventh Imam – Part #13

BRIEF LIFE HISTORY OF  IMAM HASAN AL-ASKARI (A.S.) – PART #13

Source: “Shia Islam AT A Glance” BY: Sheikh Abdul Jalil Nawee; and Shia Youth Inc. Website: www.Shia-youth.org.

Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.)  was also called Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) and Imam Ibn al-Ridha (a.s.), and

is generally known as Imam al-Askari (a.s.) (Askar being the word for military cantonment). He lived mostly in the city of Samarra which was known as

 a garrison town. He was the eleventh Shia Imam after his father Imam Ali al-Hadi (a.s.).

EARLY LIFE:

Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) was born on 10th Rabbiussani, 232 A.H., which is about the time his father Imam Ali al-Hadi (a.s.), the tenth Imam, was suspected of being involved in plan against the Caliph Al-Mutawakkil, and was taken along with his family, to Samarra in the year 232 A.H. He was kept there under house arrest. Thus there is doubt as to whether his son, al-Askari, was born in Medina or Samarra. In Samarra, Imam al-Askari (a.s.) spent most of his time to peruse the Quran and the Sharia; and, according to sources, he must have occupied himself with languages too, for, in later years, it was known that he could talk Hindi with the pilgrims from IndiaTurkish with the Turks, and Persian with the Persians. According to Shia accounts, however, it is part of divine knowledge given to all Imams to be able to speak all human languages.

It is said that even as a child, Imam al-Askari (a.s.) was bestowed with divine knowledge. One day a man

passed by him, and saw that he was crying. The man told him he would buy a toy that he might play with, “No!”

said al-Askari, “We have not been created for play.” The man was amazed at this answer and said, “Then, what 

for we have been created?” “For knowledge and worship Allah.” answered the child. The man said “Where

have you got this from?”. Imam Al-Askari said, “From the saying of God, “Did you then think that We had created 

you in vain.” The man was confused, so he said, “What has happened to you while you are guiltless little child?”

Imam al-Askari said, “Be away from me! I have seen my mother set fire to big pieces of firewood, but fire is not

lit except with small pieces, and I fear that I shall be from the small pieces of the firewood of the Hell.”

Imam Al-Askari’s (a.s.) mother, as in the case of the majority of The Twelve Imams, was a slave girl who was honored after bearing children with the title Umm walad (mother of offspring). Her own name was Hadith, though some say she was called SusanGhazalaSalil, or Haribta.  Imam Al-Askari (a.s.) had other brothers, among them was Ja’far, who was also known as Ja’far al-Zaki or Jaffar-us-Sani. His other brother was called Husayn, who, together with Imam al-Askari (a.s.), were called “as-Sibtayn” after their two grandfathers Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husayn (a.s.) who were also called as-Sibtayn.

PERIOD OF IMAM Al-ASKARI’S IMAMATE:

Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) gained the Imamate after the death of his father through Divine Command, as Shia believe, and through the decree of the previous Imams, at the age of 22. During the seven years of his Imamate, Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) lived in dissimulation (taqiyah) without any social contact, for the Abbasid Caliphs were afraid of Shia who had reached a considerable population at the time. Besides, the Caliphs came to know that the leaders among the Shia believed that the eleventh Imam, according to numerous traditions cited by him and his forefathers, would have a son who was the promised Mahdi. So the caliphs of the time had definitely decided to put an end to the Imamate in Shiism once and for all.

IMAM’S HOUSE ARREST IN SAMRRA:

Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) lived almost his entire life under house arrest in Samarra and under supervision of Abbasid caliphs. He criticized the rulers for appropriating the wealth of the nation and extorting the people under their rule by not communicating with or cooperating with kings of his time. The state remained in a political crisis, as the Abbasid Caliphs were considered puppets of the Turks who ruled with terrorism. After the death of Imam al-Askari’s (a.s.) father, Imam Ali al-Hadi (a.s.), the Caliph Al-Mu’tazz summoned him to Baghdad, where he was kept in prison during the short rule of the next caliph, Al-Muhtadi. Most of his prison experiences, however, were in the time of the succeeding caliph, Al-Mu’tamid, who is known in Shia sources as the main oppressor of the Imam al-Askari (a.s.). The cause of the Imam’s death has largely been speculated to be due to poison administered by Caliph al-Mu’tamid.

IMAM TRAINED HUNDREDS OF SCHOLARS:

During their lifetimes, the Shia Imams trained hundreds of scholars whose names and works can be found in

biography books.  As for the eleventh Imam, however, the religious life during his time was in shambles, for he

was under house arrest and many non-believers took advantage of this to question religion. In spite of that, he

continued to speak out against those who questioned the Qur’an, the account of which could be found in a Tafsir

ascribed to him. As was the case when a philosopher by the name of Al-Kindi, who is considered as the first 

Muslim Philosopher, wrote a book entitled “The Contradiction of the Quran“. The news came to Imam al-Askari

(a.s.) who met one of al-Kindi’s disciples and said to him, “Is there no wise man among you to prevent your

teacher, al-Kindi, from that which he has busied himself with?”

The disciple answered that they were al-Kindi’s disciples and were not able to object. Later on, Imam Hasan al-

Askari (a.s.) instructed the disciple how to question al-Kindi. “Go to him, be courteous with him, and show him that you will help him in what he is in. When he feels comfortable with you, you say to him, ‘If someone recites the Quran, is it possible that he means other meanings than what you think you understand? He shall say that it is possible because he is a man who understands when he listens. If he says that, you say to him, How do you know? He might mean other than the meanings that you think, and so he fabricates other than its (the Qur’an’s) meanings…“. The disciple did as Imam al-Askari (a.s.) advised him; and Al-Kindi was shrewd enough to say, “…no one like you can get to this. Would you tell me where you have got this from?” And when he heard the true story, he said, “Now you say the truth. Like this would not come out except from that house (the Ahlul Bayt)…”. It is said that afterwards al-Kindi burnt his book.

LEGACY:

Imam al-Askari (a.s.) was very knowledgeable and despite being confined to house arrest for almost his entire life, he was able to teach others about Islam, and even compiled a commentary on the Quran that became known as Tafsir al-Askari. However, there was much suspicion regarding whether it truly was his or not. The Tafsir was accused by some to be weak in its chain of authorities (Sanad), which is an essential part of the transmission of a tradition (hadith). The Tafsir was also questioned because it contained a few inconsistencies and lacks eloquence which some claim ruin its validity by default. The main reason people questioned the validity of the Tafsir is the fact that the Imam was under constant watch by the Abbasid government who prevented any contact between him and the Shia so that it would make it impossible for such knowledge to be transferred.

STORY OF WIFE NARGIS KHATUN:

Various legends relate to Imam al-Askari’s (a.s.) wife, Narjis Khatun, the mother of the twelfth Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (a.s.). It is said that Imam al-Askari’s (a.s.) father, Imam Ali al-Hadi (a.s.), wrote a letter in the script of Rum and put it in a red purse, with 220 Dinars, and gave it to his friend Bashar ibn Sulaiman, instructing him to go to Baghdad to a ferry at the river where the boats from Syria were unloaded, and female slaves were sold. Bashar was told to look out for a ship-owner named Amr ibn Yazid, who had a slave girl who would call out in the language of Rum: “Even if you have wealth and the glory of Solomon, the son of David, I can never have affection for you, so take care lest you waste your money.” And that if a buyer approached her, she would say “Cursed be the man who unveils my eyebrow!” Her owner would then protest, “But what recourse do I have?; I am compelled to sell you?”. “You will then hear the slave answer”, said the Imam, “Why this haste, let me choose my purchaser, that my heart may accept him in confidence and gratitude.”

Bashar gave the letter, as he was instructed, to the slave girl; who read it, and was not able to keep her from crying afterwards. Then she said to Amr ibn Yezid, “Sell me to the writer of this letter, for if you refuse I will surely kill myself.” “I therefore talked over the price with Amr until we agreed on the 220 Dinars my master had given me,” said Bashar.  On her way to Samarra, the slave girl would kiss the letter and rub it to her face and body; and when asked by Bashar why she did so despite not knowing the writer of the letter, she said: “May the offspring of the Prophet (pbuh) dispel your doubts!” Later on, however, she gave a full description of the dream she had had, and how she had escaped from her father’s palace; which is a long story recorded in Donalson’s book, along with further discussion on the authenticity of this story.

IMAM’S DEATH:

Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.), according to some Shia sources, was poisoned at the age of 28 through the

instigation of the Abbasid caliph Al-Mu’tamid and died on the 8th Rabi’ al-Awwal 260 AH in his own house in

Samarra, where he was buried in the same place as his father, Al-Askari Mosque in Samarra, Iraq. As soon as the news of the illness of the eleventh Imam reached al-Mu’tamid, he sent a physician and a group of his trusted men to his house to observe his condition. After the death of the Imam, they had all his female slaves examined by the midwives and for two years were searching for the successor of the Imam until they eventually lost hope. Imam Al-Askari (a.s.) died on the very same day that his young son, Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (a.s.), who then was five years old or a little older, disappeared in the cave of Samrra, and started what was known as the Minor Occultation (Ghaibat e Sughra).

FAMILY LIFE:

Shias believe that Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) and wife Nargis Khatun had

a son whose birth, like in the case of the prophet Moses (pbuh), was concealed due to the difficulties of the time, and because of the belief that he was the promised Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (a.s.); an important Imam in Shia teachings believed to reappear at the end of time to fill the world with justice, peace and to establish Islam as the global religion. It is said that when his uncle, who became known as “Ja’far the liar” or the “false Ja’far,”  was about to say the prayer at Imam Hasan al-Askari’s (a.s.) funeral, “a fair child, with curly hair, and shining teeth” appeared and seized his uncle’s cloak insisting that he himself (the Imam) should say the prayer. Later, when a few days had passed, a group of Shia pilgrims came from Qum to visit Imam al-Askari (a.s.), who was dead. At this time, Ja’far claimed to be the next Imam. The pilgrims said they would accept him if he would prove himself by telling them their names and indicating how much money they had. While Ja’far was protesting against this examination, a servant of Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) appeared, saying that his master had sent him to inform them of their certain particular names and their specific amount of money. Ja’far searched everywhere but could not find the boy, Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.). The doctrine of his ghaibat, declares simply that Imam Mahdi (a.s.) has been “withdrawn by Allah (swt) from the eyes of men, that his life has been miraculously prolonged, that he has been seen from time to time, and has been in correspondence with others, and maintains a control over the welfare and fortunes of his people.”

IMAM AL-ASKARI (a.s.)’s SELECTED SAYINGS:

  • “If anyone of you is pious in his religion, truthful in his speech, gives deposit back to its owner, and treats people kindly, it shall be said about him: ―this is a Shiite.”
  • “Do not hasten towards a fruit that is not ripe yet for it has its time! …Trust in His (God’s) experience in your affairs and do not hurry for your needs at the beginning of your time that your heart may be distressed and despair may overcome you!”
  • “Worship is not abundant fasting and praying, rather worship is abundant pondering; it is the continuous thinking of God.”
  • “Anger is the key to every evil.”
  • “Humbleness is a blessing that is envied”.

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Brief Life History of The 12th Imam Next Week, insha’Allah.
FREE ZIYARAAT PLAN Update: The Free Ziyaraat Project is proceeding along satisfactorily, Alhumdolillah. Since the project, at present, is only 51% self sufficient, Shia Youth Inc. hereby makes an urgent request to all donors and community members to provide their generous donations to make the project fully self sufficient.  The DRAW #6 is Scheduled for August, 2020  Exact date will be announced soon.  Four Awards will be offered including two full packages with R.T. Air plus a fully paid Land Package, and two free Land Packages only.   Two Winners and two Altenate Winners will be randomly selected by the Molana, insha’Allah. Each Winner shall have 18 months to complete the Ziyaraat journey. For more details please visit website: 
www.Shia-youth.org. Any questions, please email: Shiayouth514@Gmail.com
Shia Youth Inc. is a non profit organization having tax exempt status under IRS Section 501 3 (c). Additionally, His Eminence Syed Ali Sistani’s Office in USA has approved KHUMS Ijazah thus authorizing Shia Youth Inc. to collect KHUMS and provide authentic Marjaeya receipts to the Khums payers.  Shia Youth Inc. accepts all donations via PayPal (Friends &Family), Zelle, Bank transfers or by Checks mailed to:
Shia Youth Inc., 15216 Rockport Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20905.

To Serat e Mustaqeem – Graphic Chart And Slides

 

TO SERAT E MUSTAQEEM

 GRAPHIC CHART AND SLIDES

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The following Slides are selected from the Slide Show included in the website
www.Shia-youth.org
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(A Correction: See Slide #4 instead of No.2)
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(A Correction: See Legend in Slide #4 instead of 2)
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Source: www.Shia-youth.org.
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 Next Week,  Brief Life History of The 11th Imam – Part #13, inshaAllah.
Any question or comment please email: Shiayouth514@gmail.com. Thank you,
Wassalam
Shia Youth Team
Shia Youth Inc. is a non profit organization having tax exempt status under IRS Section 501 3 (c). Additionally, His Eminence Syed Ali Sistani’s Office in USA has approved KHUMS Ijazah thus authorizing Shia Youth Inc. to collect KHUMS and provide authentic Marjaeya receipts to the Khums payers.  Khums is divided half and half between Marjaeya and Shia Youth Inc. Shia Youth Inc. accepts all donations via PayPal (Friends &Family), Zelle, Bank transfers or by Checks mailed to:
Shia Youth Inc., 15216 Rockport Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20905

Brief Life HIstory of The Tenth Imam -Part #12

 

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BRIEF LIFE HISTORY OF IMAM ALI AL-HADI (A.S.)-PART #12

Source: “Shia Islam AT A Glance” BY: Sheikh Abdul Jalil Nawee; and Shia Youth Inc. Website: www.Shia-youth.org.

 Imam Alī Al-Naqi (a.s.) commonly called and  known as Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) was the tenth of the Twelve Imams after his father Imam Muhammad Al-Jawad (a.s.).  He

remained in Medina teaching until the age of 30 when he was summoned to Samarra by the Abbasid caliph al-Mutawakkil. There, he was treated roughly by the caliph and

his other successors until, according to Shiite accounts, he was poisoned through intrigue of al-Mu’tazz, the Abbasid caliph, in 254 A.H, and was buried in Sammarra, Iraq.

EARLY LIFE:

According to the most accurate reports, he was born on 2nd or 5th Rajab, 213 A.H. in a village near Medina called Sorayya  to the ninth Shiite Imām, Imam Muhammad al-Taqi (a.s.), (also known as Imam Muhammad al-Jawad (a.s.)), and Lady Samānah or Susan, who was originally a Berber  (from Northwest Africa). His father bestowed upon him the surname Abul-Hasan, after the surnames given to his grandfather Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.) and his great grandfather Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.). To differentiate between these three Abul Hasans, narrators usually call Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.), abul Hasan the first; Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.), Abul Hasan the second; and Imam al-Hadi (a.s.), Abul Hasan the third.

IMAM AL-HADI (a.s.) ASSUMES IMAMAT AT YOUNG AGE:

After his father’s death in 220 A.H. Imam Ali al-Hadi (a.s.) assumed the official role of Imamat at the age of 7 or 9. The followers of his father were in agreement on his Imamate, except for a minor group who gathered around his older brother, Musa, who, when he dissociated himself from them, they turned to Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). Historians have mentioned that after his father’s assassination at the order of Al-Mu’tasim, the Abbasid caliph ordered Umar bin al-Faraj to find a teacher in Medina for the young Imam (that must be one of the enemies of the Ahl-ul Bayt) in order to prevent Shiites from meeting him. He found al-Junaydi for this task, however, al-Junaydi often reported on the Imam’s intelligence saying that the boy would provide perspectives on literature and understanding of the Quran and the revelations within. Al-Junaydi, impressed by him, concluded that it could only be by divine causes that the boy could be so knowledgeable, as a result, he dropped the animosity he had held towards the family of the prophet. Throughout the later years of his Imamat, which coincided with the eight remaining years of the caliphate of Al-Mansur, and five years of the caliphate of next caliph Al-Wathiq, he lived peacefully in Medina engaging himself in teaching a large number of pupils mostly from IraqPersia, and Egypt. Later on, however, the new Caliph, Al-Mutawakkil, became suspicious of the young Imam and decided to watch him more closely.

CALIPH SUMMONED IMAM TO SAMMARRA:

After Motawakkel came to the throne, the governor of Medina,ʿAbdallāh ibn Moḥammad, wrote the caliph warning him about the activity of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) saying that he was given money with which he could buy weapons that could be used to revolt against the Caliph. When Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) learned of what Abdullah bin Muhammad had written the caliph, he sent a letter to Mutawakkil, defending himself against the accusations and complained about the governor.   Apparently convinced of the harmless piousness of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.), Motawakkel wrote back to Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) stating that he had deposed the governor. He nevertheless asked the Imam to come to Samarra (a military camp, not far from Baghdad, which was the capital of Abbasids at the time).  At the same time, Mutawakkil ordered Yahya ibn Harthama, the captain of the guard, to go to Medina both to investigate Abdullah’s claims and to bring al-Hadi to Samarra. Yahya then searched the Imam’s house and found nothing more than copies of the Quran and other religious books.  It is said that when the Imam approached Baghdad, many people gathered to see him. At Sammara, however, the caliph did not immediately receive him, though assigned a house for his staying.

IMAM PUT UNDER HOUSE ARREST:

Even though Mutawakkil had no reason to be suspicious of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.), he insisted that the Imam (a.s.) stay in Samarra under house arrest. According to Madelung, he was still able to move in the city and communicate with his followers, giving them instructions or receiving through them the annual Khums (the financial contributions of the faithful).

Yahya ibn Harthama, the captain of the guard, is narrated to have reported his experience as follows: “The Caliph Mutawakkil sent me to Medina with orders to bring Ali ibn Muhammad to answer certain accusations that had been made against him. When I arrived, his household made such wailing and lamentation as I had never heard. I tried to quiet them and assured them that I had received no orders to do him any harm. And when I searched the house where he lived, I found only a Quran, books of prayer and such things. So while I took him away, I offered him my services and showed him very high respect. But one day on the journey, when the sky was clear and the sun just rising, (imam) Ali (a.s.) put on a cloak when he mounted his horse and knotted the animal’s tail. I was surprised at this, but it was only a little while afterwards that a cloud came up and there was a regular torrent of rain. Then (Imam) Ali (a.s.) turned to me and said, I know that you did not understand what you saw me do, and that you imagine that I have had some unusual knowledge of this affair. It is not, however, as you supposed, but as I was brought up in a desert, I know the winds that come before rain. This morning the wind blew which does not deceive, and I noticed the odor of rain and so prepared for it. On our arrival in Baghdad, our first visit was to Ishak ibn Ibrahim, of the family of Tahir, who was the governor of the city. He said to me, O Abu Yahya, this man (Imam Ali  Naqi(a.s.)) is a descendant of the Apostle of God. You know Mutawakkil, and have influence with him, but if you urge him to kill this man, the Prophet (pbuh), himself will be your enemy. I replied that I saw nothing in the conduct of Imam Ali Naqi (a.s.) except what was altogether praiseworthy. I went on to Sammarra, where I saw Wasif, the Turk, for I was one of his intimate friends. I swear before God, he said to me, if a single hair of the head of this man falls, I will myself demand satisfaction. I was somewhat surprised at the attitude taken by these men, and when I informed Mutawakkil of what I had heard in praise of the Imam, he gave him a handsome present and treated him with all sorts of honor.”

LEGACY:

Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) contributed to the books of argumentation that were compiled by Shiite scholars. Among these was a theological treatise on human Free Will and some other short texts and statements ascribed to Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) and are quoted by Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan ibn ʻAlī ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn Shuʻbah al-Harrānī.

It is said that once a scholar came in where Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) had a meeting with masters of Hashemite (a clan Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), had belonged to). Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) seated the scholar beside himself and treated him with great respect. The Hashemite protested saying: “why do you prefer him to the masters of Banu Hashim?’ Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) said: “Beware to be from those whom God has said about, Have you not considered those who are given a portion of the Book? They are invited to the Book of Allah that it might decide between them, then a part of them turn back and they withdraw.  Do you accept the Book of Allah as a judge?” asked Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). They all said, “O son of the messenger of God (pbuh), we do.” Then Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) tried to prove his stance by saying,

 “Has Allah not said Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge, in high degrees?  Allah does not accept for a knowledgeable believer but to be preferred to an unknowledgeable believer, just as He wants a believer to be preferred to an unbeliever. Allah has said, Allah will exalt those of you who believe and those who are given knowledge, in high degrees. Has He said, Allah will exalt those, who are given honor of lineage, in high degrees? Allah has said, Are those who know and those who do not know, alike?  Then, how do you deny my honoring him for what Allah has honored him?”

CALIPH ORGANIZED QUESTIONING CONFERENCE IN HIS PALACE:

On one occasion, al-Mutawakkil organized a conference to be held in his palace with theologians and experts in  jurisprudence he had invited. He had asked Ya’qub ibn Isaak known as ibn as-Sikkit to ask Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) the questions that he didn’t think the Imam could answer. One of the questions was that, why did God  send Moses (pbuh) with the rod and white hand, send Jesus with the healing of the blind and leprous and giving life to the dead, and send Muhammad (pbuh) with the Quran and sword? Imam Al-Hadi’s (a.s.) answer goes as follows: “Allah sent Moses with the rod and white hand in a time where the predominant thing among people was magic. Therefore, Moses came to them with that and defeated their magic, dazed them, and proved authority over them. And Allah sent Jesus Christ (pbuh)with the healing of the blind and leprous and the giving of life to the dead by the will of Allah in a time where the predominant thing among people was medicine. Therefore, Jesus Christ came to them with that and defeated and dazed them. And Allah sent (Prophet) Muhammad (pbuh) with the Quran and sword in a time where the predominant things among people were sword and poetry. Therefore, (Prophet) Muhammad (pbuh) came to them with the Quran and sword and dazed their poetry, defeated their sword, and proved authority over them.”

Yahya bin Aktham was another scholar who was invited to try the imam (a.s.). It is said that after Imam al-Hadi’s (a.s.) answer to Yahya’s questions, he turned to al-Mutawakkil and advised him saying, “We do not like you to ask this man about anything after my questions to him … In showing his knowledge there will be strengthening to Rafida (the Shiite).” One of the questions is the following:

“Tell me why Imam Ali  (a.s.) (the first Shiite Imam) killed the people at (the battle of) Siffin …whether they were attacking or fleeing and he finished off the wounded, but on the day of al-Jamal (Battle of the Camel) he did not … Rather, he said, Whoever keeps to his house will be safe. Why did he do that? If the first decision was right, so the second would be wrong.”

Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) replied: “The Imam (a.s.) of the people of the Battle of the Camel was killed and they had no leader to refer to. They went back to their homes without fighting, deceiving, or spying. They were satisfied (after the defeat) not to fight any further. But the people of Siffin belonged to a prepared company with a leader who supplied them with spears, armor, and swords, caring for them, giving them good gifts, preparing great (amount of) monies for them, visiting their sick, curing their wounded, giving sumpters to their footers, helping their needy, and returning them to the fight…”

Whether or not it was possible to see God was one of the common issues discussed at the time of Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) who believed it was impossible to see Him. He argued that “seeing is not possible if there is no air (space) between the seer and the seen thing through which sight goes through. If there is no air and no light between the seer and the seen thing, there will be no sight. When the seer equals the seen thing in the cause of sight between them, sight takes place, but those who compare the seer (man) to Allah, they are mistaken because they liken Allah to man…for effects must relate to causes.”

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ATTRIBUTES OF ALLAH:

Another issue that the Imam (a.s.) dealt with was the belief that God has a body (the embodiment of God). Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) chastised those who believed it and stated that, “He, who claims that Allah is a body, is not from us, and we are free from him in this world and the after-world…body (substance) is created, and it is Allah Who has created and embodied it.” To attribute Allah with embodiment is to characterize Him with need and to limit Him to a body. Essentially, it is wrong to equate God with created things due to His nature as our creator.  Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) also expressed strong feelings about the impossibility of describing God’s Essence. The rationale behind his objection was that God is so great that, as humans, we are incapable of conceiving how truly amazing He is, and that the only one that can truly describe God is God Himself. He then uses this as a segue into the belief that true Muslims, the Prophet (pbuh), and the infallible imams (a.s.) cannot be described either, because their obedience to God draws them closer to the Essence of God, and descriptions cannot wholly encompass their virtuous qualities that result from submitting to God.

IMAM’S NUMEROUS EPITHETS: 

Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) was given a vast number of descriptive names throughout his life, among which al-Naqi (the pure one), al-Hadi (the Guide) were the most famous. However al-Askari (military; due to the fact that the town he had to live in was a military camp), Faqīh (jurisprudent), al-Aalim (knowledgeable), and At-Tayyib (generous, kind-hearted, good-natured…) were also among his epithets.  It is said that Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) exhibited extreme generosity, though he himself, at times, had no money to pay with. An example of which is an account that describes how a nomadic man came to the imam (a.s.) to tell him of how he was heavily in debt and in need of assistance. Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.), being short of money himself, gave the man a note saying that he was in debt to the nomad, and instructed him to meet the Imam (a.s.) in a place where he had a meeting, and to insist that the Imam pay back the recorded debt. The nomad did as he was told, and the Imam (a.s.) apologized to the nomad in front of those at the meeting for being incapable of paying him back. The officials at the meeting reported the Imam’s debt to the caliph, al-Mutawakkil, who then sent the Imam 30,000 dirhams, with which he then presented to the nomad.

CALIPH MUTWAKKIL ASSASINATED BY HIS SON:

It is said that Mutawakkil showed courtesy toward the imam in Samarrah, and even preferred his judgment to other Faqihs; at the same time, however, he troubled and even tried to kill the Imam. Mutawakkil was envious of the Imam (a.s.) because Imam’s position was exalted among the public. He wanted to belittle the Imam. His vizier counseled him, recommending him to give up, because it would make the public blame and criticize him. But he paid no attention to his vizier. To try to humiliate the Imam, Motawakkil ordered that the Imam along with the officials and notables, (so that it wouldn’t look like the act was intended for the imam), dismount and travel on foot during a hot summer day, while the caliph remained mounted on his horse. Zuraqa the chamberlain of al-Mutawakkil has narrated that he saw the Imam who had almost suffered a heat stroke, was breathing and sweating hard, so he approached him to calm him down by saying “Your cousin (Mutawakkil) did not intend to hurt you particularly.” Al-Hadi looked at him and said “Stop that!” And then recited this Quranic verse, Enjoy yourselves in your abode for three days, that is a promise not to be belied.  The promise here refers to the punishment which is mentioned in the previous verse for unjust people . Zuraqa related that he had a Shiite teacher who had been among his intimate friends. Zuraqa says “when I went home, I sent for him. When he came to me, I told him about what I heard from the Imam. He changed color and said to me, Be careful and store all what you have! Al-Mutawakkil shall die or be killed after three days. I was affected by his speech and asked him to leave. Then I thought to myself and said that it would not harm me to take precautions. If something like that happened, I would have taken my precaution, and if not, I would lose nothing. I went to the house of al- Mutawakkil and took all my money. I deposited them with one of my acquaintances.” Within three days of that event, plotters assassinated the caliph; one of the assassins was actually his son, al-Muntasir. Another account of this prediction stated that the Imam (a.s.) was imprisoned by the caliph, and it was that act which provoked the Imam (a.s.) to foretell of his death.

IMAM AL-HADI (a.s.)’s MIRACLES:

In Twelver Shiism, Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) is described as being endowed with the knowledge of the languages of the Persians, Slavs, Indians and Nabataeans, in addition to foreknowing unexpected storms and accurately prophesying other events. In the presence of al-Mutawakkil, he unmasked a woman falsely claiming to be Zaynab (s.a.), daughter of Imam Ali (a.s.), by descending her into a lions’ cage in order to prove that lions do not harm true descendants of Imam Ali (a.s.) (a similar miracle is also attributed to his grandfather, Imam Ali ar-Ridha (a.s.)). Imam Al-Hadi’s (a.s.) miracles made some people to believe the claim of some Heretics like Ibn Hasakah who preached to people that Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.) was in fact God, and that they themselves were prophets sent by the imam (a.s.) to guide the Muslims. It is quoted from Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) as denying them and instructing people about the extremists, saying “Desert them! May Allah curse them? Block them up into narrow passages and if you find any one of them, split his head with stone!”

Selected Sayings:

  • “Faith is that which hearts acknowledge and deeds prove, and Islam is that which tongues witness and marriage becomes lawful with.”
  • Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) narrated from his forefathers that the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Love Allah for the blessings He gives you, and love me for the love of Allah, and love my household for my love!”
  • “It suffices for you to have good manners by giving up what you hate of others.”
  • “He, who is certain of recompense (from Allah), will give generously.”
  • “If one of you gives (charity) with his right hand, let him conceal that from his left hand, and if he prays, let him conceal that.”

  IMAM POISONED TO DEATH BY CALIPH AL-MU’TAZ:

Madelung quotes Ebn Babuya as saying that Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was poisoned by Al-Mutawakkil or Al-Mu’tamid, though neither of them was a Caliph at the time of his death.

According to Allama Tabatabai, however, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was poisoned in the intrigue of Al-Mu’taz who was caliph at the time.  Most reliable sources say that Imam al-

Hadi (a.s.) died on 3rd Rajab, 254 A.H.  Al-Mu’taz sent his brother, abu Ahmad, to lead the funeral prayer. However, because of the large crowd of people who came to the

funeral and due to the crying and tumult, his corpse was returned to his house and was buried in its courtyard.

The tomb of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.), which became also the tomb of his son Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) afterwards, is an important place of Shiite pilgrimage in Sammarra Iraq. It was bombed in February 2006 and badly damaged.  While repairs were in progress after the first attack, another attack was executed on 13 June 2007, which led to the destruction of two minarets of the shrine.  Authorities in Iraq said Al Qaeda was responsible for the attack.

FAMILY LIFE:

Imam Al-Hadi (a.s.)  lived almost 30 years of his life in Medina which was mostly peaceful. The remaining 12 years that he spent in Sammarra were rough,

troublesome and devastating. He married with Salil, and had four sons and a daughter, namely Hasan al-Askari, Hussain, Muhammad, and Jafar, and daughter Ailia.

Son Muhammad is said to have died before his father in Sammarra. His oldest son Hasan al-Askari became the 11th Imam after death of  his father.

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 Next Week, A Brief Life History of The 11th Imam – Part #13, insha’Allah. If any reader  missed any of the prior 11 Parts, please visit website: Shia-youth.org, select Homepage, select Category: Basic Education.
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Brief Life History of The 9th Imam – Part # 11

BRIEF LIFE HISTORY OF IMAM MUHAMMAD TAQI AL-JAWAD (A.S.) – PART 11
Source: “Shia Islam AT A Glance” BY: Sheikh Abdul Jalil Nawee; and Shia Youth Inc. Website: www.Shia-youth.org.

Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s.) ibn ‘Alī ibn Mūsā like all other prior Imams (except the first Imam), was also a descendant of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He was also called Abu Ja’far, Ibn al-Ridha (“the son of al-Ridha); al-Jawād (“the generous”), and al-Taqī (“the pious”). In the largest branch of Shia Islam, the Twelver or Athnā‘ashariyyah branch, Imam Al-Jawād (a.s.) holds a sacred place as the ninth of the Twelve Imams. Imam Al-Jawad showed his divine knowledge right from the childhood. Caliph Al-Ma’moon was so much impressed of the Imam’s extensive and extra ordinary knowledge and vision that he offered Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) to marry his daughter. Unfortunately, he was also poisoned to death by Abbasid Caliph al-Mutasim at a very young age of 25.

EARLY LIFE:

Al-Jawad was born on 7th Rajab, 195 A.H., in Medina (which was then part of the Abbasid Empire). He was the oldest son of Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.). His mother whose name was Habibi was, according to some scholars, a bondmaid from Nubia (Sudan).

Imam Al-Jawad’s (a.s.) father, Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.), expected his son to take the position of Imamate after him. When al-Jawad was four, his father received summons from the Abbasid Caliph, al-Ma’mun, asking him to be al-Ma’mun’s successor. Imam Al-Ridha (a.s.) left the four-year-old al-Jawad behind in Medina to respond to the Caliph’s summons. The Shiites questioned whether a child of that age could take on his father’s responsibility as an Imamate if something happened to Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.). In response, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) used to tell the story of Prophet Jesus (pbuh), who had become a prophet at a much younger age.

As a young child, Muhammad al-Jawad earned the name al-Jawad (“the generous”). In his early life, when his father was away in Khorasan, (Iran), people used to gather by his door in hopes of being helped. Al-Jawad’s caregivers would make him leave his house through a gate to avoid being bothered by these people. Upon hearing this, his father wrote a letter advising his son not to listen to those who told him not to use the house’s main gate. He wrote that their advice came from stinginess and a fear that someone else might receive goodness (alms) from al-Jawad. Imam Al-Ridha (a.s.) wrote: “Whenever you want to go out, keep some gold and silver with you. No one should ask you for anything without your giving it to him. If one of your uncles asks you to be pious to him, do not give him less than fifty dinars, and you may give him more if you want. If one of your aunts asks you, do not give her less than twenty-five dinars, and you may give her more if you want….”

IMAM AL-JAWAD ASSUMES IMAMAT AT YOUNG AGE:

Imam Al-Jawad’s (a.s.) age at the time of his father’s death in Korasan, Iran, is unknown; some say he was eight, others say he was seven. With his father’s death, Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) became a young Imam. According to Shia beliefs, Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) did not act like a child, and he possessed extraordinary knowledge at a young age. Shia beliefs liken this to Prophet Jesus (pbuh), who was called to leadership and his prophetic mission while still a child.

Accounts appear to differ as to Imam al-Ridha’s (a.s.) death and subsequent events. One account states that al-Ma’mun poisoned Imam al-Ridha (a.s.), and then summoned al-Jawad from Medina to Baghdad in order to marry his daughter, Ummul Fadhl. This apparently provoked strenuous attempts by the Abbasids to forestall this course of action. According to scholars, caliph al-Ma’mun gave Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) one hundred thousand Dirham, and said, “Surely I would like to be a grandfather in the line of the Apostle of God (pbuh) and of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.).”

Another account states that al-Ma’mun’s first meeting with al-Jawad was coincidental. According to this account, al-Ma’mun was out hunting when he passed through a road upon which boys, among them Imam al-Jawad (a.s.), were playing. When al-Ma’mun’s horsemen approached, all of the boys ran away, except Imam al-Jawad (a.s.). This prompted al-Ma’mun to stop his carriage and ask, “Boy, what kept you from running away with the others?” Imam Al-Jawad (a.s.) replied, “The road was not so narrow that I should fear there would not be room for you to pass, and I have not been guilty of any offence that I should be afraid, and I considered that you were the sort of man who would not injure one who had done no wrong.” Shiite traditions say that the Caliph was delighted, and after he had traveled a short distance, one of his hunting birds brought him a small fish. Al-Ma’mun hid the fish in his fist, returned, and asked al-Jawad: “What have I in my hand?” Al-Jawad responded: “The creator of living things has created in the sea a small fish that is fished by the falcons of the kings and caliphs to try with it the progeny of al-Mustafa (pbuh). Shiite tradition says that Al-Ma’mun was pleased with this answer and asked the child about his lineage. Soon thereafter, the Caliph called together a large gathering during which Imam al-Jawad (a.s.)was asked many questions, and astonished everyone with his judgment and learning. After this, al-Ma’mun formally gave al-Jawad his daughter in marriage.

IMAM ASTONISHED CHIEF JUSTICE BY HIS ANSWERS:

According to Shiite beliefs, Yahya ibn Aktham, the Chief Justice of the Abbasid Empire, was present at al-Ma’mun’s assembly, and wanted to try Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) in al-Ma’mun’s presence. He did so by asking a question concerning the atonement for a person who hunts game while dressed in pilgrimage garb (Ihram). In response, Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) asked first “whether the game killed was outside the sanctified area or inside it; whether the hunter was aware of his sin or did so in ignorance; did he kill the game on purpose or by mistake, was the hunter a slave or a free man, was he adult or minor, did he commit the sin for the first time or had he done so before, was the hunted game a bird or something else, was it a small animal or a big one, is the sinner sorry for the misdeed or does he insist on it, did he kill it secretly at night or openly during daylight, was he putting on the pilgrimage garb for Hajj or for the Umrah?…” This apparently astonished Abbasids who were critical of al-Ma’mun’s decision to marry his daughter to Imam al-Jawad (a.s.).

During the next annual pilgrimage (Hajj), a number of prominent men from around the Islamic world came to Medina to see Imam al-Jawad (a.s.), and another assembly was held. These men were skeptical of Imam al-Jawad’s (a.s.) youth and whether he truly was the Imam. Shiite belief holds that they were so impressed with the boy that their doubts were eliminated. Kulaini recounted that the superintendent of the Shrine gave Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) a test that “lasted for several days, in which he answered thirty thousand questions to their great amazement!”

IMAM’S LIFE AFTER MARRIAGE:

All historians had explained that Ma’mun had asked Imam al-Jawad (a.s.)to marry his daughter Ummul Fadhl because he had been the pioneer of his contemporary elites. One year after marriage with Caliph Al-Ma’muns daughter, Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) came back to Medina with his wife and devoted his life to teaching. Imam Al-Jawad (a.s.) also married a slave girl named Sumaneh, who was of the Berber tribe from the Maghreb (Northwest Africa). She bore him a son and a successor, Ali al-Hadi, who would be the tenth Shiite Imam).

IMAM AL-JAWAD (a.s.) POISONED BY CALIPH AL-MU’TASIM:

After al-Ma’mun’s death in CE 883, his successor, Al-Mu’tasim, became the new Caliph. Al-Mu’tasim did not like Imam al-Jawad (a.s.), and in 885 CE, he called Imam al-Jawad(a.s.) back to Baghdad. Imam Al-Jawad (a.s.) left his son Ali-al-Hadi with his mother Sumaneh in Medina while his (Al-Jawad’s) wife Ummul Fadhl accompanied him to Baghdad. They lived there for a year before Imam al-Jawad’s (a.s.) wife (Al-Ma’mun’s daughter), according to some sources, poisoned him, at the urging of the new Caliph Al-Mu’tasim.

FAMILY LIFE:

Imam Al-Jawad (a.s.) married twice, first with daughter of Caliph Al-Ma’mun, and second with Sumantha who was a slave girl and later converted into Islam. Imam Al-Jawad had three children, two sons and one daughter, namely: Ali Al-Hadi, Musa al-Mubaraqa, and Hakimah Khatun. Imam Al-Jawad (a.s.) lived about 25 years. He died on 10th Ziqaad, 220AH in Kazimain, and burried in the Al-Kadhimiya Mosque, in Baghdad Iraq.
Selected Sayings
“Turning to God with the deep of the heart is much better than tiring the organs.”
“Do not anticipate matters before their time that you may regret. Do not live just with wishes that your hearts may be hard. Be merciful to the weak and ask for mercy from God by being merciful yourselves!”.
“Knowledgeable persons are strangers because of the many ignorant people around them.”
“Do not make an enemy of anyone until you know what there is between him and God! If he is good, God will not leave him to you, and if he is bad, then your knowing of his badness will make you safe from him and so you do not need to make him your enemy.”
“If the ignorant keep silent, people will not disagree.”
“Showing something before it becomes complete spoils that thing.”
“The blessing that is not thanked becomes a sin that is not forgiven.”
“Trusting in God is a price to every dear thing and a ladder to every high thing.”
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Brief Life History of The 10th Imam – Part #10

BRIEF LIFE HISTORY OF IMAM ALI AL-RIDHA (A.S.)-PART #10

Source: “Shia Islam AT A Glance” BY: Sheikh Abdul Jalil Nawee; and Shia Youth Inc. Website: www.Shia-youth.org.

 Imam Alī ibn Mūsā al-Rezā (a.s.)  is commonly known as Ali al-Ridha (a.s.). He was a descendant of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and  was an Imam of an extra ordinary knowledge according to the Shia scholars and Sufis.

EARLY LIFE:
On the eleventh of Ziqaad 148 AH (December 29, 765 CE), a son was born in the house of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) (the seventh Imam) in Medina, who took over the position of the Imamate, after his father. He was named Ali and titled al-Ridha, however, in the Shia sources he is commonly called Abu’l-Ḥasan al-Sānī in order not to be confused with his father, Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.), who was known as Abu’l-Ḥasan al-Awwal. He was born one month after the death of his grandfather, Imam Ja’far as-Sādiq (a.s.) and brought up in Medina, under the direction of his father, Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.). His mother, Najmah, was also a pious and distinguished lady in Medina. It is said that the boy al-Ridha required a great deal of milk, so that when his mother was asked whether her milk was sufficient, she answered, “it is not because my milk is not sufficient, but he wants it all the time, and consequently I am falling short in my prayers.” She was originally a Berber (from the Maghreb i.e. Northwest Africa). She was purchased and freed by Bibi Hamidah Khatun, the wife of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.), and, like Bibi Hamidah, Najmah Khatun was also a notable Islamic scholar.

IMAM AL-RIDHA’s (a.s.) IMAMAT:

The eighth Imam had received the Imamate, after the death of his father, through Divine Command and the decree of his forefathers, especially Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.), who would repeatedly tell his companions that his son Ali Reza would be the Imam after him.  As such, Makhzumi, a scholar says one day Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) summoned and gathered us and entitled him as “his executor and successor.”

Another scholar, Yazid ibn Salit, has also related a similar narration from the seventh Imam when he met him on his way to Mecca“Ali, whose name is the same as the First and the fourth Imam, is the Imam after me.” said the Imam (a.s.). However, due to the extreme choking atmosphere and pressure prevailing in the period of Imam Musa al-Kazim (a.s.), he added, “What I said must remain (restricted) up to you and do not reproduce it to anybody unless you know he is one of our friends and companions.” The same is narrated by Ali bin Yaqtin, from Imam Musa al-Kazim (a.s.) who has said “Ali is the best of my children and I have conferred on him my epithet”  .  According to Wāqedī, even in his youth, Ali al-Ridha would transmit Hadith from his father and his uncles and give Fatwa in the mosque of Medina. Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.) was not looked upon favorably by caliph Hārūn Rashīd; and the people of Medina were disallowed from visiting and learning from him. 

AL-MA’MUN DESIGNATES IMAM AL-RIDHA (A.S.) AS HIS SUCCESSOR:

 According to Shia scholars, he was twenty or twenty-five years old when he succeeded his father as Imam in Medina, and it was about eighteen years later, when the Caliph Al-Ma’mun “undertook to ingratiate himself with the numerous Shia parties by designating Ali ar-Ridha as his successor to the Caliphate.”

After the death of Harun al-Rashid in 809, Harun’s two sons began fighting for control of the Abbasid Empire. One son, Al-Amin, had an Arab mother and thus had the support of Arabs, while his half-brother Al-Ma’mun had a Persian Shia mother and the support of Persia.  After defeating his brother, al-Ma’mun faced many insurrections from the followers of the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) family in many areas.

The Shia of al-Ma’mun’s era, like the Shia of today’s Iran, made up a large population of al-Ma’mun’s Iran. They regarded the Imams as their leaders who must be obeyed in all aspects of life, spiritual and terrestrial. They believed in Imams as the real caliphs of the Islamic Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh). The Abbasids, like the Umayyads before them, realized this as a big threat to their own caliphate, since the Shias saw them as usurpers. Allamah Tabatabaei writes in his book Shi’ite Islam, that in order to quiet the many Shia rebellions around his government, al-Ma’mun summoned Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) to Khorasan and wanted to offer him the role of Crown Prince.  The main reasons for this offer were: (1) to prevent the Shias and relatives of Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) from rebelling against the government, seeing as they would then be fighting their own Imam; (2) to cause the people to lose their spiritual belief and inner attachment to the Imams, because the Imam would then be associated with the corrupt government of al-Ma’mun.  Thirdly, he intended it to fool other Shias into believing that his government was not so bad after all, because Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) would then come into power after Ma’mun. And fourthly, he wanted to keep a close watch over the Imam of the Shias himself, so that nothing could happen without al-Ma’mun’s knowledge.

AL-MA’MUN’s OFFER A POLITICAL ONE:

Word spread quickly among al-Ma’mun’s circles that al-Ma’mun was not sincere in his offer to make Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha (a.s.) the Crown Prince, and it was a political move. Al-Ma’mun also became paranoid and thought that Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) would see through it as well, and so would his Shias. In order to quiet the doubts of the people, al-Ma’mun first offered Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) the caliphate itself. Al-Ridha knew the real reason of this offer, and politely refused it, and said:

“If this caliphate belongs to you, then it is not permissible for you to take off the garment in which Allah has clothed you and to give it to other than you. If the caliphate does not belong to you, then it is not permissible for you to give me that which does not belong to you.” Al-Ma’mun kept trying to make his offer seem sincere and kept re-offering the caliphate, and finally moved on to his real plan to make him Crown Prince. When Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) also declined this position, al-Ma’mun threatened him saying, “Your ancestor Ali was chosen by the second caliph to be in a six member council to elect the third caliph, and ordered to kill any one of the six who didn’t comply. If you do not accept the position of Crown Prince in my government, I will follow through on the same threat”. Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said he would accept, under the condition that none of the affairs of government would be his. He would neither appoint anyone, nor dismiss anyone. He would not rule, or pass laws. He would only be Crown Prince in name. Al-Ma’mun became happy that Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) had accepted and would stay out of his way in governing, and agreed to the condition. Al-Ma’mun even changed the black Abbāsid flags to green,  the traditional color of Shia, Prophet Mohammad‘s (pbuh) flag and Imam Ali‘s (a.s.) cloak. He also ordered to mint coins with names of both Al-Ma’mun and Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.) on them.

IMAM AL-RIDHA (a.s.) ACCEPTS ROLE OF A SUCCESSOR:

When Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) was summoned to Khurasan and reluctantly accepted the role of successor to al-Ma’mun,  al-Ma’mun summoned the Imam’s brother, Zayd, who had revolted and brought about a riot in Medina to his court in Khorasan. Al-Ma’mun kept him free as a respect and honor to Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.) and overlooked his punishment. One day, however, when Ali al-Ridha (a.s.) was delivering a speech in a grand assembly, he heard Zayd praising himself before the people, saying I am so and so. Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.) asked him saying:

“O Zayd, have you trusted upon the words of the grocers of Kufa and are conveying them to the people? What kind of things are you talking about? The sons of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and Fatimah Zahra (s.a.) are worthy and outstanding only when they obey the command of Allah (swt), and keep themselves away from sin and blunder. You think you are like Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.), Imam Ali ibn Husain (a.s.), and other Imams? Whereas, they took pains and bore hardships on the way to Allah and prayed to Allah day and night. Do you think you will gain without pain? Be aware, that if a person out of us the Ahl al-Bayt performs a good deed, he gets twice the reward. Because not only he performed good deeds like others but also that he has maintained the honor of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). If he practices something bad and does a sin, he has performed two sins. One is that he performed a bad act like the rest of the people and the other one is that he has negated the honor of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). O brother! The one who obeys Allah is from us, the Ahl al-Bayt, and the one who is a sinner is not ours. Allah said about the son of Noah who cut the spiritual bondage with his father, “He is not out of your lineage; if he was out of your lineage, I would have (saved) and granted him salvation.”

AL-MA’MUN ENGAGES IN SPIRITUAL DISCUSSIONS:

Al-Ma’mun was very interested in working on various sciences translated into Arabic. Thus he arranged debates between the Imam and Muslim scholars and the leaders of religion sects who came in his presence.   One of the discussions was on Divine Unity with Sulaiman al-Mervi; a scholar from Khorasan; another discussion with Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Jahm was devoted to the sinlessness of the Prophets, which led to another debate on the same subject which Ma’mun took a great part in it himself. Many of these debates are recorded in the collections of Shia hadiths, like Oyoun Akhbar Al-Ridha. The following is an example of these debates which took place between the Imam and an unbeliever(Zindīq).

(The Imam) said to him (Zindīq), “Dost thou see that if the correct view is your view then are we not equal? All that we have prayed, fasted, given of the alms and declared of our convictions will not harm us. If the correct view is our view then have you not perished and we gained salvation?” the Man said. “Then let me know, how is He and where is He?” Abu-l-Hasan (the Imam) (a.s.) answered, “surely the opinion thou hast adopted is mistaken. He determined the ‘where’, and He was, when there was no ‘where’; and He fashioned the ‘how’, and He was, when there was no ‘how’. So He is not known through ‘howness’ or ‘whereness'” The man said, “So then surely He is nothing if He cannot be perceived by any of the senses.”Imam Abu-l-Hasan (a.s.) said, “when our senses fail to perceive Him, we know for certain that He is our Lord …” The man said, “Then tell me, when was He?” Imam Abu-l-Hasan (a.s.) said, “Tell me when He was not, and then I will tell you when He was…” The man said, “Then why has He veiled Himself (from men)?” Imam Abu-l-Hasan (a.s.) replied, “Surely, the veil is upon creatures because of the abundance of their sins. As for Him, no secret is hidden from Him during the day or the night…”

THE DEBATE:
This is a long debate, entitled, The Veil, full text of which could be found in the A Shiite Anthology translated by William Chittick.
  According to some accounts, Ma’mun’s main objective from holding the meetings was that he was hoping that the Imam won’t be able to give an answer to every question asked of him. It is related from al-Nawfali who quoted the Imam as saying, “Would you (al-Nawfali) like to know when al-Ma’mūn will feel remorseful? …When he hears me argue with the people of the Torah quoting their own Torah, with the people of the Gospel quoting their own Gospel, with the people of the Psalms quoting their own Psalms, with the Zoroastrians arguing in their Persian language, with the Romans in their own Latin… then al-Ma’mūn will realize that he will not achieve what he aspires…”

Selected Sayings of the 8th Imam:

  • “Everyone’s friend is his reason; his enemy is his ignorance.”
  • “Worship is not abundant prayer and fasting; rather it is abundant reflecting on the affair of Allah, the Great and Almighty.”
  • “Faith is a degree above Islam; Allah-fearingness is a degree above faith; and nothing less than Allah-fearingness has been divided among men.”
  • “Faith is four pillars: trust in Allah, satisfaction with Allah’s decree, submission to Allah’s command, and entrusting (affairs) to Allah.”
  • “If one lacks five attributes, do not expect to gain anything good out of him for your life in this world or your life to come: if his lineage is known to be untrustworthy, if his nature lacks generosity, if his temper lacks balance, if he lacks a noble conduct, and if he lacks fear of his Lord.”[

IMAM POISONED TO DEATH:

Caliph Al-Ma’mun thought he would solve the problems of Shia revolts by naming Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) as his successor. After finally being able to persuade Imam al-Rida (a.s.) to accept this position, al-Ma’mun realized his mistake, for Shia began to gain even more popularity. Moreover, the Arabs in Baghdad were furious when they heard that al-Ma’mun had not only appointed the imam as his successor, but had sent out commands that the Abbasid‘s black flag should be changed to green in honor of the Imam. They were afraid that the empire would be liberated from them. They got together, therefore, to depose Ma’mun and gave allegiance to Ibrahim ibn al-Mahdi, who was the uncle of Ma’mun.  When Ma’mun heard this, Imam al Ridha (a.s.) advised him to solve the problem by dismissing him from his position but he (Ma’mun) did not heed and decided to return to Baghdad and assert his rights.    However, when they reached the town of Sarakhs, his vizier was assassinated, and in a couple of days, when they reached Tus, Ma’moon poisoned imam al Ridha (a.s.). Then Muhammad Taqi (a.s.), imam’s son, was designated and became the 9th Imam. Ma’moon ordered that he (Imam al Ridha (a.s.) be buried next to the tomb of his own father, Harun al-Rashid, and showed extreme sorrow in the funeral ritual and stayed at the place for three days.  According to Madelung, the unexpected death of both the vizier and the successor, “whose presence would have made any reconciliation with the powerful ʿAbbasid opposition in Baghdad virtually impossible, must indeed arouse strong suspicion that Ma’mun had had a hand in the deaths.” The more popular record about his death is that he passed away on 17 Safar, 202 AH, at the age of 50. However, the precise day is not agreed upon among the scholars. The Imam was buried in a village in Khorasan, which afterwards gained its new name, Mashhad, meaning the place of martyrdom.

IMAM WAS WIDELY PRAISED:

Imam Al-Ridha (a.s.) received significant praises from Shia as well as Suni scholars. Shams ad-Din adh-Dhahabi, a Syrian Islamic historian praised Imam al-Ridha by saying “He (Imam al-Ridha) is Imam Abu’ al-Hasan. He was the master of the Hashemites of his time; he was the most clement and the noblest of them. Caliph al-Ma’mun honored him, yielded to him, and magnified him to the extent that he appointed him as his successor. Millions of Shia Muslims visit every year to Mashhad (Iran) pay tributes to the Holy shrine of Imam al-Ridha (a.s.), which is at present one of the most visited holy sites in Shi’ite Islam.

LEGACY: 
Following are the 8th Imam’s noteworthy works:

Al-Risalah al-Dhahabiah (The Golden Treatise) is a treatise on medical cures and the maintenance ofgood health, which is said to have been written in accordance with the demand of al-Ma’mun. It is regarded as the most precious Islamic literature in the science of medicine, and was known as Golden Treatise because Ma’mun had ordered it to be written in gold ink.

Sahifah is a collection oh hadith attributed to Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.).

Uyun al Akhbar ar Reda is a book which contains every thing including all important events that have been related and gathered together about the 8th Imam.

Feqh al-Reza, also called al-Fiqh al-Radawi, is also attributed to Imam al-Ridha (a.s.). It was not known till made authentic by Mohammad Baqir Majlisi in 1000 AH.

IMAM AL-RIDHA (a.s.)’s FAMILY LIFE: 

Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) although borne in Medina (Arabia) but spent most of his life in Mashhad (Persia). He married twice, first with Sabikah, and afterwards with aka Khayzuran. He had six children, five sons and one daughter, namely Mohammad  al-Taqi, Hasan, Husain, Jafar, Ibrahim, and Fatima. 

 

 Next Week, A Brief Life History of The 9th Imam – Part #11, inshaAllah.
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Brief Life History of Imam Musa Al-Kadhim (a.s.) – Part # 9

BRIEF LIFE HISTORY OF IMAM MUSA AL-KADHIM (A.S.)- Part #9

 Imam Musâ ibn Ja‘far al-Kâdhim  (a.s.), also called Abul Hasan, and al-Kadhim (the one who controls his anger), was the seventh Shiite Imam after the death of  his father Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.). He is regarded even by Sunnis as a renowned scholar, and was a contemporary of the Abbasid caliphs Al-MansurAl-HadiAl-Mahdi and Harun al-Rashid.

EARLY LIFE:

Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) was born in Medina during the conflict between the Abbasids and Umayyads, and was four years old when As-Saffah, the first Abbasid Caliph, took the throne. His mother, Hamidah, was a former slave from either Berbery or Andalusia. Al-Kadhim was brought up in a large family, with several sisters and  brothers. His oldest brother, Ismail predeceased his father, Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.), who held the position of Imam. According to Twelver Shiites, Musa was chosen by divine order and decree of his father as the next Imam.

According to some sources, Imam al-Kadhim (a.s.) was religiously minded as a child. Muhammad Baqir Majlisi relates an incident where Abū Ḥanīfa called on Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) to ask his advice. While there, he encountered al-Kadhim, who was then five years old. Abu Hanifa asked al-Kadhim the question meant for his father, saying: “Boy, from who does disobedience (issue)? Does it issue from Allah or from the servant?” Al-Kadhim answered, saying: “Neither it issues from God and nor from the servant at all, so God does not punish the servant for what he does not do; or it issues from the servant and God, and God is a stronger partner. Therefore, the stronger partner has no right to punish the weak for a sin in which they are equal; or it issues from the servant and not from God. So if He wills to pardon (him), (He will pardon him), and if He wills to punish (him), (He will punish him); and God is He whose help is sought.” Upon hearing this, Hanifa left, saying that the answer had been good enough for him. In another incident, Abū Ḥanīfa complained to Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.), saying: “I have seen your son, Musa, pray while the people were passing (walking) before him. He did not prevent them from that.” The Imam ordered his son to be brought before him, and asked him whether it was true. Imam Al-Khadhim (a.s.) replied

             “Yes, father, the One to Whom I pray is nearer to me than them; Allah, the Great and  Almighty, says: We are nearer to him than the jugular vein.

 On hearing this response, the Imam rose, hugged his son, and said; “May my father and mother be your ransom, O he in whom secrets have been deposited!”

IMAM AL-KADHIM’s IMAMAT:

Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) was said to be a gentle and tolerant man. He was called Imam al-Kadhim (a.s.) because he was kind, forgiving and generous toward the people who treated him in a bad manner or were unfriendly towards him. Ibn Khallikan said “that when a man had spoken ill of him he sent him a purse of money.” An example of such an incident concerned a man who cursed Imam al-Kadhim’s (a.s.) grandfather, Imam Ali (a.s.). The Imam’s followers intended to kill the man, but Imam al-Kadhim (a.s.) prevented them. He went to the man’s farm in the outskirts of Medina. He approached him, but the man shouted at him not to walk on his plants. The Imam paid no attention and when he reached him, sat beside him and treated him kindly; asking how much had the man paid to sow his land. “One hundred dinars,” said the man. “How much do you hope to acquire from it?” asked the Imam. “I do not know the unknown,” said the man. “I only asked you about what you hope it would bring you,” insisted the Imam. The man answered “two hundred dinars”, and the Imam gave him three hundred dinars, saying, “This three hundred dinars is for you, and your plants are as they are.”

The Imam then headed for the mosque of the holy prophet, where he saw that the man was already sitting there. When he saw the Imam, the man stood up and called out the verse: “Allah knows best where to put his (prophetic) mission.”  His companions were surprised at this change, but the man recited to them the noble deeds of the Imam and invoked Allah for him. Hence, the Imam turned to his companions and said: “Which was better – what you wanted or what I wanted? I have put right his attitude to the extent you have now become acquainted with.” Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) was also called Abdu’ al-Salih (the Holy Servant) because his interests lay in religious rather than political matters. He was known to distribute money in the town of Medina despite his family being poor.

TIGHT RESTRICTIONS BY ABBASID CALIPHS:

The Shiite Imams frequently had to deal with persecution, and sometimes resorted to the practice of taqiyya, a form of religious dissimulation, for protection. When Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) was poisoned, the Caliph Al-Mansur wanted to end the imamah, and so he wrote to the governor of Medina to behead the person that Imam al-Sadiq Ibn Baqar (a.s.) had named as his successor in his last testament. When he read the testament, however, the governor of Medina saw that the Imam had chosen four people rather than one: the caliph himself, the governor of Medina, the Imam’s older son Abdullah al-Aftah, and Musa, his younger son. As a result, Mansur was unable to end the imamate. However, unlike his father who had been able to teach freely in Medina, Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) lived with tight restrictions set by Abbasid caliphs, such as al-Mansur and Harun al-Rashid. Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) never accepted Harun’s government, because he believed al- Rashid sought to destroy Islam by erasing the truth and effacing justice. Therefore, he forbade his Shi’ites from cooperating with Harun, excluding those Shia’s who, through their jobs, could help the believers and save them from oppression.

CALIPH HARUN AL- RASHID PRAISED IMAM AL- KADHIM (a.s.):

Caliph Harun al-Rashid, an opponent of the Imam, said that Imam al-Kadhim (a.s.) had the qualities of a true Imam, and that he was better suited to inherit the Caliphate from Muhammad than al-Rashid. When his son al-Ma’mun asked him why he magnified the Imam, he said that Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) was “the Imam of the people, the proof of Allah’s mercy to His creation and His caliph among His servants”. “I am”, Harun said, “outwardly the Imam of the masses by force and through oppression, while Musa ibn Ja’far is the Imam in truth.” However, he said that he would not deliver the Caliphate to the Imam: “by Allah, if you yourself attempt to take such caliphate from me, I shall take it away from you even if that means gouging your eyes, for power is blind.” He advised his son to get true knowledge from the Imam, saying: “This (Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.)) is the inheritor of the knowledge of the Prophets …. If you desire sound knowledge, you will find it with this.” It is interesting to note that afterwards when al-Ma’mun inherited the Caliphate from al-Rashid, he (al Ma’mun) insisted on giving it to Imam Musa al-Kadhim’s (a.s.) son, Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.), the eighth Shiite Imam, arguing that he found “no person on the face of earth more learned than this man.”

DIVISION AMONG SHIITES:

After the death of Imam al-Kadhim’s (a.s.)father, Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.), the sixth Imam, the majority of Shiites followed Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.), while another group followed Isma’il, Imam al-Sadiq’s (a.s.) eldest son, who had pre-deceased the Iman. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) had  tried hard to clarify that his son Isma’il will not have been the next Imam after his death because the Shi’a maintain that the infallibility of the Imam is a basic rule in the Imamate. “The theologians have defined the Imamate, saying: ‘Surely the Imamate is a grace from Allah, Who grants it to the most perfect and best of His servants’. This latter group separated afterwards from the majority of Shiites and became known as Ismailis. Some of them are also called the Seveners because they considered Ismail as their last Imam. Smaller groups accepted either Abdullah al-Aftah or Muhammad, other sons of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.), as the Imam. Finally, another group considered Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) to be the last Imam, and were called the Sixers because they believed only in the first six imams. After the death of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.), the majority, Shia  Ithna Ashari or the Jaferia Shia, followed his son, Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s).

AN INCIDENT WITH CALIPH AL-RASHID:

One of the stories about Imam Ali al-Ridha (a.s.) concerns an incident where Caliph al-Rashid and the Imam were together before the tomb of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in Medina. To show his family ties to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), al-Rashid had said, “Salutation unto thee, O Prophet of God, unto thee who art my cousin!” In response, the Imam said, “Salutation unto thee, o my dear father!” which made al-Rashid furious. “Abul-Hasan, such glory as thine is truly to be vaunted of” said al-Rashid. Later, al-Rashid found the opportunity to question him, asking why he had permitted people to ascribe him to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and to call him: “O Sons of Allah’s Apostle“, while he was actually the son of Ali (a.s.), and that one is ascribed to his father, and that Fatimah, his mother, was a container, and that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was his grandfather on the side of his mother. The Imam replied, asking “If the Prophet (pbuh) was raised from the dead and proposed to your daughter, would you respond to him?” “Rather I would through that pride myself on the Arabs, the non-Arabs, and Quraysh,” answered al-Rashid. “But he would not propose (to my daughter) and I would not marry (her) to him,” said the Imam, “because he begot me and did not beget you.” Al-Rashid, however, was not satisfied with this answer, insisting that “the progeny belongs to the male and not to the female”, and that the Imams were Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) daughter’s children.

The Imam quoted from the Quran, stating that in the Quran, God had said: “and of his descendants, (prophets) David and Solomon, JobJosephMoses and Aaron; and thus do We reward those who do good. And (prophets) Zechariah and John the Baptist, and Jesus and Elias: All in the company of the righteous”  “Who is (Prophet) Jesus’s father, O Commander of the faithful?” asked the Imam. “(Prophet) Jesus had no father,” said al-Rashid. The Imam (a.s.) argued that God had ascribed (Prophet) Jesus to the descendants of the prophets through Mary; “similarly, we have been ascribed to the descendants of the Prophet through our mother Fatimah,” said the Imam (a.s.). Nevertheless, al-Rashid asked the Imam to give him more evidence and proof, so he put forward another quote from the Quran, reciting the verse: “But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come, let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and ourselves and yourselves, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.” Then he said: “None claims that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) made someone enter under the cloak when he challenged the Christians to a contest of prayer to God (mubahala) except Ali (a.s.), Fatimah (s.a.), al-Hasan (a.s.), and al-Husain (a.s.). Therefore the explanation of the verse is: Our sons are al-Hasan (a.s.) and al-Husain (a.s.); our woman is Fatimah (a.s.); ourselves is Imam Ali (a.s.).

INCIDENT WITH  BISHR AL-HAFI:

 Another incident concerns Bishr al-Hafi, ( a Muslim saint  popularly known as Bishar The Bare Foot who led a righteous life under the influence of  Ahmed ibn Hanbal). Once in the midst of the noise, music, alcoholic drink and frivolity, Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) happened to pass by his house in Baghdad. Imam Al-Kadhim (a.s.) saw a slave girl coming out of the house carrying some sweepings. He turned to the slave and asked her: “Is the owner of this house free or a servant?” “He is free,” she replied. “You are right,” responded Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.), “if he was a servant, he would fear his Lord.” The slave girl came into the house while al-Hafi was still at the wine table: “What delayed you?” asked al-Hafi. She informed him of what had happened between her and the Imam. It is said that al-Hafi rushed to the door barefooted but the Imam had already left, so he left in search of the Imam, and when he found him, asked him to repeat his words. Al-Hafi was so taken aback by the Imam’s words that he fell on the ground and began to cry. “No, I am a slave, I am a slave.” From then on, he would walk without shoes and people would call him Bishr al-Hafi (The barefooted one). When asked why he did not wear shoes, he would say that he was guided while he was barefoot, so he would remain in that condition till death.

INCIDENT WITH A MONK:

A final incident concerned a monk, Al-Abbas, who said to Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) that people admired those who ate simple food, wore coarse clothes, and showed reverence. For that reason, the Imam reminded him of Joseph (Yusuf), who had been a prophet; however, Joseph had worn silk mantles decorated with gold, and sat on the thrones of the Pharaohs. “The people were in no need of his clothes, but they were in need of his justice,” said the Imam. “An Imam is required to be just and fair; when he says something, he says the truth; when he promises something, he fulfills his promise; when he passes a judgement, he judges equitably. Allah has not forbidden wearing a particular type of clothes or eating a particular type of food earned through a lawful way; rather He has forbidden the unlawful, little or much.” Then he recited the verse: “Say: Who has forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah which He has produced for His servants, and the agreeable things of the sustenance.”

IMAM’S FIRST IMPRISONMENT:

Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) was imprisoned multiple times during his lifetime. The first time, Caliph al-Mahdi had him arrested and brought to Baghdad. According to Ibn Khallikan, “This Caliph had a dream in which Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.) appeared to him and said, ‘O Muhammad, were ye ready, therefore, if ye had been put in authority, to commit evil in the earth, and to violate the ties of blood?'”  Al-Fadl ibn al-Rabi’ says: “He sent for me at night and that put me in great dread. I went to him and found him chanting the above verse and no man had a finer voice than he. He said to me, ‘Bring me Musa ibn Ja’far.’ I did so and he embraced him, seated him by his side and said to him, ‘Abul-Hasan, I have just seen in a dream the Commander of the Faithful, Ali ibn Abu Talib, and he has recited to me such and such a verse; give me the assurance that you will not revolt against me or against any of my children.’ He answered, ‘By Allah, I am incapable of revolting.’ ‘You say the truth!’ replied the Caliph, ‘give him three thousand pieces of gold and restore him to his family in Medina.’ I arranged the affair of his departure that very night, lest some obstacle should turn up, and before morning, the man was (free) on his journey.”

SECOND IMPRISONMENT:

Imam Al-Kadhim’s (a.s.) second imprisonment was a result of his argument with al-Rashid over descent from Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  Al-Khuzai, the head of the palace guards, narrated a dream the Caliph supposedly had, which made him release the Imam: “A messenger came to me (Al-Khuzai) from al-Rashid,” he said, “at an hour in which I never before received his visits; he pulled me from the place where I was, and would not even allow me to change my clothes. This put me in great fear. When I arrived at the palace, I found the Caliph sitting up in his bed. I saluted him, but he kept silent for some time; so my mind was much troubled and my fears greatly augmented. At length, he said, ‘Do you know why I sent for you at such an hour?’ I answered, ‘By Allah, I do not, Commander of the Faithful.’ ‘Know,’ said he, ‘that I just had a dream in which it seemed to me as if an Abyssinian came to me with a javelin in his hand and said to me: “Let Imam Musa ibn Ja’far (a.s.) be set at liberty this very hour, otherwise, I shall slay thee with this javelin.” Therefore go and set him free.’ I replied, ‘Commander of the Faithful, shall I then liberate Imam Musa the son of Ja’far (a.s.)?’ ‘Yes,’ said he, ‘go and set Imam Musa ibn Ja’far (a.s.) at liberty. Give him thirty thousand dirhems and say to him, in my name, if you would like to remain with us you will obtain from me whatever you desire, but if you prefer going to Medina, you have permission to do so.’ I went to the prison and found the Imam waiting for me. ‘Whilst I was asleep,’ he said, ‘behold the Apostle of God came to me and said, “O Musa, thou hast been imprisoned unjustly; so recite the words I am going to repeat to thee, for assuredly thou shalt not pass all this night in prison.'”

FINAL IMPRISONMENT AND DEATH:

Al-Fakhri states the reason for his final imprisonment was that “there were some of the relatives of Imam Musa ibn Ja’far (a.s.) who were envious of him and carried false reports about him to caliph al-Rashid, saying, ‘The people are paying him the Khums, or one-fifth of their property, on accepting the Imamah, and he is about to come forth against you.’ They brought this report to al-Rashid so frequently that it made him anxious and agitated. In that year, al-Rashid went on the pilgrimage, and when he arrived in Medina, he arrested Imam Musa ibn Ja’far (a.s.), and brought him to Baghdad in a litter, and imprisoned him under the care of al-Sindi ibn Sha’hik.

Al-Fakhri adds “Al-Rashid was at Rakka when he sent orders that the Imam should be put to death. They then brought a number of reputable men to Karkh to act as coroners and to testify publicly that he had died a natural death. He, then, was buried in the cemetery of Quraish on the south side of Baghdad.” The implication made by the Shi’a is that he was poisoned. The place he was buried was a cemetery, but soon this place became the focus of pilgrimage to the grave of the Imam (a.s.). A town grew around the graveyard. The name of the town became Kadhimiya (the town of the Imam Kadhim (a.s.)). A reputed school of theology was founded in this town; the school is still a source of learning for many students from all over the world.

IMAM AL-KADHIM’S (a.s.) SELECTED SAYINGS:

  • “Allah has two proofs over men: outward proof and inward one. As for the outward proof, it is the messengers, the prophets, and the Imams. As for the inward proof, it is reason.”
  • “Little work from a scholar is doubly accepted; much work from the men of low desire and ignorance is refused.”
  • “Try hard that your time may be four hours: one hour is for supplicating Allah, one hour for the affairs of the livelihood, one hour for associating with the brothers (friends) and the reliable ones who let you know your defects and who are inwardly loyal to you, and one hour for that you are alone with yourselves (and) for non-forbidden things. Through this hour you have power over the three hours.”
  • “Tell yourselves of neither poverty nor a long lifetime, for whoever tells himself of poverty becomes miserly. Whoever tells himself of a long lifetime becomes greedy.”
  • The generous and polite is under the protection of Allah; He does not leave him until He makes him enter the Garden. Allah sends out none as a prophet except the generous.
  • “Misfortune is one for the patient and two for the impatient.”
  • “Silence is among the doors to wisdom; it brings about love and is a proof of all good things.”
  • “Good neighbor is not refraining from harm, but good neighbor is showing patience toward harm.”
  • When Harun al-Rashid threw him into the dark cells of prisons, he thanked Allah, saying: “O Allah, you know that I used to ask You to give me free time to worship You. O Allah, You have done that. To You be praise.”
  • “How base is the world for people, unless God give them joy; and how great is this life, if God is not angry with them.”

IMAM’S FAMILY: 

Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) lived 55 years. His birth and death dates are 7th Safar 128 AH and 25th Rajab 183 AH respectively.  He married with Ummul Banin Najmah and three others. He had over 35 children including about 16 daughters. Ali al-Ridha was his eldest son who subsequently became the 8th Shiite Imam. Festival of Imam Musa al Kadhim (a.s.) is a Twelver Shia Muslim festival dedicated to the memory of the Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) . It occurs on the seventh day of the month of Rajab in the Islamic calendar. It is widely celebrated in Iran.

                                                  Next Week, A Brief Life History of The 8th Imam – Part #9, inshaAllah.
FREE ZIYARAAT PLAN Update:   The DRAW #5 is Scheduled for May 30, 2020, insha’Allah. Last date to enter is May 28, 2020.  Total Entries received are over 80.  One Winner and two Alternate Winners will be randomly selected by the Molana. Each Winner shall have 18 months to complete the Ziyaraat journey.  Any one who is interested to participate in the Draw  to please visit website: www.Shia-youth.org , select Homepage, select Free Ziyaraat Plan.

Shia Youth Inc. is a non profit organization having tax exempt status under IRS Section 501 3 (c). Additionally, His Eminence Syed Ali Sistani’s Office in USA has approved KHUMS Ijazah thus authorizing Shia Youth Inc. to collect KHUMS and provide authentic Marjaeya receipts to the Khums payers.  Khums is divided half and half between Marjaeya and Shia Youth Inc. Shia Youth Inc. accepts all donations via PayPal (Friends &Family), Zelle, Bank transfers or by Checks mailed to: Shia Youth Inc., 15216 Rockport Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20905

 

Brief Life History of Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq (a.s.) Vol 2

IMAM JA’FAR AL-SADIQ  IBN IMAM  MUHAMMAD AL-BAQIR  (A.S.) – PART #8 (VOL. 2)

Source: “Shia Islam AT A Glance” BY: Sheikh Abdul Jalil Nawee; and Shia Youth Inc. Website: www.Shia-youth.org.

Note: The Life History of The 6th Imam is Continued from Vol 1 ( See  www.shia-youth.org, Cat: Basic Education, for Vol 1, Part #7 or Prior Parts #1- #7).

 TAQIYYAH: 

Imam Al-Sadiq (a.s.) adopted Taqiyyah as a defensive tool against the violence and threats that were directed against him and the Shiites. Taqiyya was a form of religious dissimulation, or a legal dispensation whereby a believing individual can deny their faith while they are in fear or at risk of significant persecution. In other words, Taqiyya says that it is acceptable to hide one’s true opinions if by revealing them, one puts oneself or others in danger. The doctrine was developed by Imam al-Sadiq(a.s.), and served to protect the Shiites when Al-Mansur, the Abbasid caliph, conducted a brutal and oppressive campaign against Alids and their supporters. According to Moezzi, in the early sources, Taqiyya means “the keeping or safeguarding of the secrets of the Imams’ teaching.” “Divergence of traditions” is, therefore, sometimes justified by Shiite imams as a result of the need for using Taqiyya. “He who is certain that we [the imams] proclaim only the truth (Al-Haqq), may he be satisfied with our teaching,” asserts Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.); “and if he hears us say something contradictory to what he heard earlier, he should know that we are acting only in his own interest.” Practicing Taqiyya also had an esoteric significance for those who believed that their teachings should not be comprehensible to ordinary Ulama (scholars), and so hid their more profound teachings.

IMAM’S LEGACY:

According to Haywood, half a dozen religious works bear Imam al-Sadiq’s (a.s.) name as an author, though none of them can be firmly described as being written by Imam al-Ṣadiq (a.s.). It is probable that Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) was an author who left the writing to his students. Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq (a.s.) is also cited in a wide range of historical sources, including al-Tabarial-Yaqubi and Al-MasudiAl-Dhahabi recognizes his contribution to Sunni tradition and Isma’ili scholars such as Qadi al-Nu’man[  recorded his traditions in their work.

Ketāb al-jafr is a commentary on the Holy Qur’an which, according to Ibn Khaldun, was first written on the skin of a young bull, which allowed Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) to reveal the hidden meaning of the Qur’an. Various versions of his will, and a number of collections of legal dicta, are attributed to him as well. There are many reports attributed to him in the early Shiite Hadith collections such as Muhammad ibn Ya’qub al-Kulayni‘s Kitab al-Kafi, where they are featured as central sources of Imami doctrine. “Al-haft wa’l-aẓella” and “Ketāb al-ṣerāṭ” which are containing “secret revelations” to Mofażżal are also attributed to Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.), and had an important role in the elaboration of the esoteric doctrine of the Nosayris, for whom Imam al-Ṣadiq (a.s.) is an influential figure.

DISCOVERIES OF IMAM AS-SADIQ (a.s.):

Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq presented numerous scientific discoveries, a few of which are described below:

Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) besides being a religious leader, was a scientist, a philosopher, and a dedicated teacher.  He used to teach Theology, Philosophy, Science, and Literature. He was the first scholar in the world who separated science from Philosophy. .

Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) had attacked the theories of famous world philosophers and scientists like Aristotle, Ptolemy, Euclid, and Lavoisier when he was a student in the Academy of his father, Imam Mohammad al-Baqar (a.s.) who died in 114 Hijra.  At that time, there were no scientific, mathematical, or philosophical books or research papers available in Madina for anyone to study or review.

Aristotle was a great thinker and a philosopher. His books Arganan and Physics, are the most precious literary treasures of mankind. His theory that earth was stationary and the sun and stars rotated around it, was widely supported by Ptolemy, the Egyptian Geographer and Astronomer. In the year 94 Hijra, when a model of the then assumed solar system was brought from Egypt to Madina, Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.), at that time a 11 year old boy, openly criticized and rejected that Theory. While rejecting the theory of rotation of sun, moon and planets around the earth, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said that:

“When the sun, during its rotation around earth, passes through 12 Constellations in one year, and remains in each constellation for 30 days, why does it disappear from the sight during night time? It should remain visible from the earth during day time as well as night time.”  This was a very strong objection by a boy of 11 years of age”.

At the age of 12, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) also rejected the Theory of Four Elements of Aristotle and proved it to be totally wrong. Criticizing the theory, he said:

            “I wonder how a man like Aristotle could say that in the world there are only four elements Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. The Earth is not an element. It contains many metals which are elements.  He said Water, Fire and Air were also not elements”.

Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) was the first person to discover that one of the elements contained by air produces acidity which helps combustion. Without the presence of this material, a combustible material will not burn. He also said this element is essential for breathing and that it supports human life. This was also an important discovery.  Later on the future scientists confirmed the discovery and named this element as Oxygen..

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) described another important theory. This discovery is about the origin of the Universe. He said :

The Universe was created out of a tiny particle, which had two opposite poles, one with negative charge and other with positive charge. That particle produced Atom. In this way matter came into being. Then the matter diversified. The diversification was caused by density or rarity of the Atoms”.

In the 2nd century of the Hijra it was only in the Muslim countries that the people had the freedom to say and write freely about the heavenly bodies. That is why, Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (a.s.) could discuss his new theories about the sun, moon and stars. At that time the scientists who had discovered the Laws of Planetary Motion had failed to discover as to what causes day and night phenomena. It is therefore highly surprising that Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (a.s.) who lived in Madina, which was not a center of knowledge and learning, made an important discovery in the field of Astronomy. He clearly stated that the earth rotates on its own orbit, completing one full orbit in one day, thus creating day and night. He said one half of the earth that faces the sun creates the day and the other half not facing the sun creates the night..

As regards the shining stars in the Universe, Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) said:

 “Each star is a small universe within the great universe. It is a collection of heavenly bodies like a sun and its satellite. They are all in perpetual motion so that they may not fall down and breakup. If their movement stops, the universe will come to an end. The perpetual motion supports life. It is by the Will of Allah that the eternal motion never stops and life cycle continues.”  He further clarified that there are a few stars that are bigger than the sun and a lot brighter than the sun.

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) also taught his students the science of medicine. His research and his theories had great impact on science of medicine. During the second and third centuries of Hijra most of the physicians in the Middle East followed the methods of diagnosis and treatment prescribed by him.

 In cases where condition of a patient was such that physician could not determine whether the patient is alive or dead, Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq had suggested that a small incision should be made in his body, specially between his two fingers. If blood comes out, it was a sign that he was alive. There is an historical evidence that his theory was put to test and was found correct.

In addition to his vast knowledge of other subjects, Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) was well versed in the History of Christianity. He knew the origin of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches and the main cause of differences among Christians and their division into many sects. He did not want the divisive element to enter into Shia Theology, and diivide Shias like Christians. It was for that reason that he emphasized Shi’a unity stating that the Holy Prophet (pbuh), and the divinely appointed Leaders (Imams), possessed the divine knowledge relevant to the Universe and all other creations.

In the Eleventh century, Catholic Church was deadly against Astronomy, Philosophy, and other Sciences, and did not preserve any books written by the Philosophers of Greece, Rome and Alexandria. The Greek Philosophers would have been burnt alive if they dared to write about any of the sciences. Whatever ancient books and literature that were available, Muslims translated them in Arabic and preserved them in their libraries. Accordingly, Muslims became the real source of civilization in Europe. About nine hundred years ago, a majority of the Europeans were uneducated,  lived uncivilized life, and had no noble quality and character. Due to ignorance and illiteracy, there was not a single library in Europe. It was their contact with Muslims that changed their life style and became civilized. Muslims had big libraries and many large centers of knowledge and learning. It was Islamic civilization and culture that influenced European life and its culture. In the year 1130 A.D. a Translation Bureau was established in Italy where all books of famous Muslim writers were translated and preserved. These translations opened the eyes of Europeans, and opened a new gate to conduct scientific and philosophical research again in Europe. .

Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) had attacked the theories of famous philosophers Aristotle and Ptolemy when he was a student in the Academy of his father, Imam Mohammad al-Baqar (a.s.), who died in 114 Hijra. At that time there were no scientific, mathematical, or philosophical books or research papers. Accordingly Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (a.s.) knew that Muslim world would be flooded with books of  the philosophers of Greece and Alexandria and that Muslims would blindly accept everything as Gospel truth. Thus, many of their false and fallacious theories would catch their imagination, corrupt their minds, and keep them under total darkness for centuries, which actually did happen. For example, the theory of Aristotle and Ptolemy that earth was center of the Universe and that the sun and stars rotated around it, was generally accepted by the Muslims as correct. Therefore, Imam Mohammad al-Baqar (a.s.) and after his death Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) explained the correct theories of Universe and other creations to their students, and advised them  to spread their teachings and  the correct theories as presented by the two leaders, among other Muslims, and their generations. 

Marveling at the creation of Allah The Almighty, Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) remarked:

            Allah, by His Knowledge and Power, created every living being and endowed each one of them with special power and instinct so that it may succeed in its struggle for survival. How wonderful are his creations. He created animals which can survive in severe cold weather of the frigid regions of the Poles and He created animals, which can live, prosper and propagate in the scorching heat of the tropics and sandy deserts. Many animals, which live in very cold region, sleep during long winters without eating and drinking, and also without having any adverse effect on their health. The hearts of these animals beat 5,000 times per hour when they are awake, and about  60 or 70 times while they sleep during winter. As regards the animals which live in deserts, like camels,  can survive for several days in deserts without water.  Allah gave special power to camels by which they can sense availability of water in deserts from a significant distance. “

Shi’as believe Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) was one of the divinely appointed Imam who had unlimited knowledge of all creations. Whatever theories and research he put forward about Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Medicines was through his divine knowledge. Every physician and scholar who reads his theories will realize and acknowledge that Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) was a genius and fully capable of making important discoveries using his great intellectual power. On one occasion, someone asked him as to when the Universe came into being, he replied that it was always there. He further added that the Universe is eternal.

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has to his credit a number of maxims, sayings, and short quotations. Many of them have spread throughout the world. His following Maxim gained great popularity:

            ‘When someone is in pain, he thinks of himself”.

This maxim is so correct that it gradually spread all over the world. This maxim is so precise, true and exact that a Canadian scholar considered it as a Law of Psychology, and said that when we have some pain in our body we cannot forget ourselves, however, when we have no pain, mental or physical, we tend to forget ourselves.

IMAM’S FAMILY LIFE:

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) married Fatimah binte Al-Hasan, a descendent of of his ancestor Al-Hasan ibne Imam Ali (a.s.), with whom he had two sons, Isma’il and Abdullah al-Aftah. Following  Fatimah’s death, Imam as -Sadiq purchased a Barbery slave named Hamidah Khatun.  He freed her, trained her Islamic values and traditions, and then married her. She borne him two more sons, Musa al-Kadhim (the 7th Twelver Imam) and Muhammad al-Dubaj. Hamidah Khatun was revered by Shias especially by women, for her wisdom. She was known as Hamidah the Pure. Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) had six other children namely, Ishaq, Ali al-Uraidhi, Al-Abbas, Fatimah, Umm Farwah, and Asmaa.

SELECTED QUOTATIONS OF IMAM AS-SADIQ (a.s.):

  • “The most perfect of men in intellect is the best of them in ethics.”
  • “Whoever attacks a matter without knowledge cuts off his own nose.”
  • “To forbid generosity is mistrust in Allah.”
  • “Three (things) with which Allah does not increase the Muslim person but glory: To forgive him who wrongs him; to give him who deprives him, to visit him who abandons him.”[
  • “(Religious) scholars are the trustees of prophets unless they come to the doors of supreme rulers.”
  • “The richest of rich is he who is not captive for greed.”
  • “Nothing is better than silence, no enemy is more harmful than ignorance, and no illness is more dangerous than telling lies.”
  • “Verily, envy eats belief as fire eats wood.”
  • “Three (things) cause affection: Religion, modesty, and generosity … three (things) cause hatred: hypocrisy, self-admiration, and oppression.”
  • “Charity is the Zakat (alms) of blessings, intercession is the Zakat of dignity, illnesses are the Zakat of bodies, forgiveness is the Zakat of victory, and the thing whose Zakat is paid is safe from taking (by Allah).”
  • “If the ill-natured (person) knows that he tortures himself, he will be tolerant in his manners.”
  • “He who answers all that he is asked, surely is mad.”
  • “Whomsoever God removes from the degradation of sin to the exaltation of piety, he it is whom God makes rich without property and noble without the help of family.”
  • “Whoever fears God, God makes all things fear him; and whoever does not fear God, God makes him fear all things.”

Next Week, A Brief Life History of The 7th Imam – Part #8, inshaAllah.
FREE ZIYARAAT PLAN (Update):   The DRAW #5 is Scheduled for May 30, 2020, insha’Allah. Last date to enter is

 May 28, 2020.  Total Entries received 61.( A tentative list of participants will be published on Monday, May 18, 2020). One Winner and two Alternate Winners will be randomly selected by the Molana. Each Winner shall have 18 months to complete the Ziyaraat journey. For more details please visit website: www.Shia-youth.org. To purchase Entries, select  Free Ziyaraat Plan, select Entry numbers, and make Payment @$25 per Entry number. Note: Entries purchased for Draw #5 shall also be valid and included free for Draw #6.

Shia Youth Inc. is a non profit organization having tax exempt status under IRS Section 501 3 (c). Additionally, His Eminence Syed Ali Sistani’s Office in USA has approved KHUMS Ijazah thus authorizing Shia Youth Inc. to collect KHUMS and provide authentic Marjaeya receipts to the Khums payers.  Khums is divided half and half between Marjaeya and Shia Youth Inc. Shia Youth Inc. accepts all donations via PayPal (Friends &Family), Zelle, Bank transfers or by Checks mailed to: Shia Youth Inc., 15216 Rockport Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20905