He wanted him to enjoy the shade of His mercy and His gardens. He wanted him to be happy through meeting his grandfathers, who passed the methods of justice and fairness in the earth. Name - Muhammad Title - Al-Baqir Kunyat - Abu Jafar Born - Tuesday 1st of Rajab 57 A.H. , at Medina Father's Name - Ali ibn Husain Mother's Name - Fatima binte Hassan Died - At the age of 59 years, at Medina, on Monday, 7th Zilhajj 116 AH. Poisoned by Hisham bin Abdul Malik Buried - Jannat-ul-Baqi . His Birth and his early Life He was born in Ku`fa,. He grew up in Ku`fa, the capital of the Shi'ites. He was obedient to the members of the house ( Ahl al-Bayt), and loved them very much. His Scientific Position He was among the most prominent and brilliant scholars of his time. He reported traditions on the authority of Imam Ali b. al-Husayn, Abu` Ja'far, and Abu Abd Allah, peace be on them. He had priority and importance with them. Ima`m Abu` Ja'far said to him: "Sit down in the Mosque of Medina. Give religious opinions to the people. I like to see persons similar to you among my Shi'ites. Imam Baqir was the foremost in all techniques of sciences of the Koran, jurisprudence, tradition, literature, language, and grammar. The Imam announced his own Death. The Imam felt the approach of his certain death. So, he hurried to his aunt, Fatima daughter of Imam al-Husayn, peace be on him. He announced his death to her, saying: "I have completed fifty-eight years.(1. Tadhkirat al-Khawas, p. 350. In Kashf al-Ghumma, vol. 2, p. 322, it has been reported on the authority of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, peace be on him, who said: [ My father Mohammed al-Baqir, peace be upon him, said] " Ali was killed at the age of fifty-eight, 'Ali b. al-Husayn died at the age fifty-eight. I am fifty-eight years old.). Fatima understood what the Imam meant. Her heart melted with sorrows for her nephew. For he was the rest of the members of his family, who were killed by the swords of aggression and error. The Imam completed fifty-eighty years full of misfortunes. Those years filled his heart with sorrow and sadness. His father, Imam Zayn al-'Abidin, and his grand father, Imam al-Hasan, peace be on them, departed life at the same age. Thus, the Imam felt that he was about to die. The Martyrdom of the Holy Imam(A.S). Imam Muhammad al-Baqir(A.S), did not die a natural death. Rather, some sinful persons, who did not believe in Allah and the hereafter, gave him poison to drink. The historians differed over which sinful person who committed such a crime. The following are some of the view: . Hisha`m b. al-Hakam gave the Imam poison to drink.(Bihar al-Anwar)1 This is the most acceptable view. For Hisha`m was the most spiteful person towards the family of the Prophet. His soul was full of malice and hatred towards Ahlul bayt. It was he who forced the great martyr, Zayd b. 'Ali, peace be on him, to revolt against him. That was when he scorned and abandoned Zayd. Surely, the great Imam Muhammad al-Baqir(A.S), shook the position of this tyrannical person (Hisha`m). That because the Imam's knowledge and outstanding merits were famous. So, the Moslems talked about his talents and abilities. Hence, Hisha`m killed the Imam to get rid of him. (Akhbar al-Duwal, p. 111). Ibra`him b. al-Walid gave the Imam poison to drink. Sayyid b. Tawu`s thought that Ibra`him b. al-Walid took part in murdering the Imam, (Bihar al-Anwar) This means that Ibra`him helped other persons to murder the Imam, peace be on him Some references have ignored the name of the person who assassinated the Imam, peace be on him. They have only mentioned that the Imam died of poisoning.( Nur al- Abbsar, vol. 131. Ibn Tolan, al-A'imma al-Ithna 'Ashar, p. 281) These are some of the views mentioned concerning murdering the Imam, peace be on him, with poison
The Lives and Maxims of the Prophets Quoted by Imam al-Baqir(A.S
Imam Abu Ja'far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, talked very much about the lives and maxims of the prophets. The specialists in these subjects have reported many traditions on his authority. The following are some of them:
1. Part of Allah's Revelation to Adam
The Ima`m, peace be on him, told his companions about the maxims and high moral standards Allah revealed to Adam. He, peace be on him said: "Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, revealed to Adam: 'I will gather all good for you in four words: one of them is for Me; one is for you; one is between Me and you; one is between you and people. As for the one that is for Me, it is that you should worship Me, and that you should not be a polytheist. As for the one that is for you, it is that I reward you for your act at the time when you are in need of the reward. As for the one that is between Me and you, is that you should pray to Me, and I shall answer you. As for the one that is between you and people, it is that you should satisfy people with what you satisfy yourself.
(Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p. 544)
2. Solomon's Maxim
Al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, told his companions about the wonderful maxim of Solomon, son of David. He, peace be on him, said: "Solomon, son of David, said: 'We have been given what has been given to people and what has not been given to them. We have been taught what has been taught to people and what has not been taught to them. However, we have found nothing better than fearing Allah during absence and presence, economizing during riches and poverty, the word of truth during pleasure and anger, and supplicating to Allah, the Great and Almighty in all circumstances.(Al-Khisal, p. 219)
This maxim has gathered good traits. For it summons people to fear Allah, to economize their daily bread. It prevents them from wasting their property. Moreover, it summons them to say the truth, to prefer it to all things, and to rely on Allah, the Most High, in whose hand is the fate of people.
3. A Maxim in the Torah
Al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, told his companions about a maxim in the Torah. He, peace be on him, said: "It has been written in the Torah: 'O Moses, I have created you, chosen you, strengthened you, commanded you to obey Me, and forbidden you from disobeying Me. If you obey Me, I will help you to obey Me. If you disobey, I will not help you to disobey Me. O Moses, My favor against you is that you should obey Me. My proof is against you when you disobey Me. (Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p. 274)
4. Why was Noah called the Grateful Servant?
Mohammed b. Moslem reported on the authority of Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir), peace be on him, who said: "Noah was called the grateful servant because he said during morning and evening: 'O Allah, the blessing and health in religion and the world are from You. You are unique, there is no partner with You. I praise and thank You for them till You be pleased (with me).( 'Illa al-Sharai', p. 29)
5. Noah's Prayer against his PeopleSudayr asked Ima`m Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir), peace be on him, about Noah's supplication against his people. He asked: "Do you know why Noah invoked Allah against his people when he said: 'My Lord, leave not upon the land any dweller from among the unbelievers. For sure if You leave them, they will lead astray Your servants, and will not beget any, but immoral, ungrateful (children)' Did he have knowledge of them?
The Ima`m, peace be on him, replied: "Allah revealed to him that no one of his people would believe (in Allah) except those who had believed (in Him) before. So, Noah recited this prayer against them.( 'Illa al-Sharai', p. 29)
6. Ismael was the first to speak Arabic
Ima`m Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir), peace be on him, told his companions that Ismael, Allah's Prophet, was the first to speak Arabic. He, peace be on him, said: "Ismael was the first to speak Arabic. He was ten years old.%%%(( Al-Bayan wa al-Tabiyyin, vol. 3, p. 290)
7. Allah whispered (words) to Moses
Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, related to his companions that Allah, the Most High, whispered (words) to Moses. He, peace be on him, said: "It has been written in the Torah that Allah, the Great and Almighty, whispered (words) to Moses, son of Imran:
'O Moses, fear Me during your secret affairs, I will conceal your defects. Praise Me during your lonesomeness and your delightful pleasures, I will remind you during your heedlessness. Restrain your anger from those over whom I have made you king, I will restrain my anger from you. Conceal my hidden secrets in your heart. Humor with My enemy and your enemy from among My creatures. Do not make them curse Me when you manifest My hidden secrets. So, you make My enemy and your enemy take part in cursing Me.(Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p. 226)
8. Al-Ba`qir denied that the Prophet was Illiterate
Ali b. Asba`t reported. He said: "I said to Abu` Ja'far: 'The people claim that the Prophet could neither read nor write.' So, he, peace be on him, denied that and said: 'How will that be? Allah, the Exalted, said: 'It is He (Allah) Who raised among the illiterates an Apostle from among themselves, who recites to them His communications and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom, although they were before certainly in clear error.' How did he teach them the Book and the Wisdom while he could neither read nor write?
Then 'Ali b. Asba`t asked the Ima`m: "Why was he called al-Nabi al-Ummi?
The Ima`m replied: "Because he was ascribed to Mecca. That is according to the words of Allah, the Great and Almighty: 'That you may warn Umm al-Qura` and those around her.' Umm al-Qura` means Mecca. So, he was called Ummi.('Ilal al-Sharai', p. 125)
9. Noah and Iblis
Ima`m Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir), peace be on him, reported that a conversation took place between Allah's Prophet, Noah, peace be on him, and Iblis. That was when Noah invoked Allah against his people. The conversation is as follows:
Iblis: O Noah, you have done me a favor. Now, I want to reward you for it.
oah: By Allah, I hate to do you a favor. What is it?
Iblis: Yes. You had invoked Allah against your people, so He had drowned them. Thus, no one has remained for me to delude him. I am at rest till Allah creates another generation. Then, I will delude them.
Noah: What is the reward?
Iblis: Mention me during three situations. For I am very close to the servant during them. Mention me when you become angry. Mention me when you judge between two persons. And mention me when you are with a woman and there is no one with you.(Al-Khisal, p. 128)
Indeed, Iblis comes to man during these three situations. It is these situations that make man commit sins and disobey Allah. May Allah protect us from these evil situations.
10. The Death of Solomon
Ima`m Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir), peace be on him, narrated to Abu` Basir the death of Allah's Prophet, Solomon. He, peace be on him, said: "Solomon, son of David, commanded the jinn (unseen creatures) to build a glass dome for him. He was leaning on his staff and watching the jinn's work. He happened to turn around.
Suddenly, he saw a man in the dome. He asked the man: "Who are you?""It is who does not accept bribes nor fear the kings. I am the angel of death,"replied the man. Then, the Angel of Death made Solomon die. Solomon was still leaning on his rod in the dome. The jinn went on working and looking at him.
Then Allah, the Great and Almighty, commanded the wood worm to eat Solomon's rod. 'When he fell down, the jinn came to know plainly that if they had known the unseen, they would not have tarried in abasing torment.( 'Illa al-Sharai', p. 74)
11. Jacob's meeting with Joseph
Ima`m Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir), peace be on him, reported a story about Jacob's meeting with Joseph. He, peace be on him, said: "Jacob said to his sons: 'On this day of yours, you and all your family should go to Joseph.' Jacob and Joseph's aunt, the mother of Yamin, were with them.
Then, they headed for Egypt with happiness. It took them nine days to get there. When they met Joseph in the King's house, Joseph embraced his father, kissed him, and wept. Then, he seated his father and his aunt on the king's throne. Then, he entered his room. He darkened the eyelids with kohl, perfumed himself, wore the royal uniform, and went out. When they saw him, they bowed down for him. Then, they thanked Allah for that. Throughout those twenty years, Joseph did not darken the eyelids with kohl nor did he perfumed himself. He did that when Allah gathered him with his father and his brothers.
12. The Period of Jacob's Life in Egypt
Mohammed b. Moslem asked Ima`m Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir), peace be on him, about the period of Jacob's life in Egypt. So, the Ima`m, peace be on him, replied: "Jacob lived with Joseph in Egypt for two years."Then, Mohammed b. Moslem asked the Ima`m: "Who was the proof of Allah in the earth- Jacob or Joseph?"
The Ima`m, peace be on him, replied: "Jacob was the proof, and Joseph was the king. When Jacob died, Joseph put him in a coffin and carried him to the land of Sham. He buried him at Jerusalem. Then, Joseph became the proof after Jacob."Moreover, Mohammed asked the Ima`m: "Was Joseph an apostle and a prophet?"The Ima`m replied: "Yes. Do you not hear these words of Allah, the Great and Almighty: 'Indeed, Joseph had brought you the clear proofs before.
This is some of what was reported on the authority of al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, concerning the conditions and lives of the prophets.
Imam Baqir's(A.S.) Commandments
It is related that Imam Al-Baqir(a) said to Jabir:
O Jabir, you should win five matters from the people of your time: They will not know you when you are present (in a gathering), they will not miss you when you are absent, they will not seek your consult when you witness a matter, they will not listen to you when you provide an opinion, and they will not give you in marriage when you betroth.
I advise you to cling to five matters: you should not oppress him who oppressed you; you should not cheat him who cheated you; you should not be angry when you are belied; you should not be happy when you are praised; and you should not be miserable when you are dispraised. Think of the dispraise that is said about you. If it is true, then it will be more catastrophic for you to be disregarded by Allah than being disregarded by people when you decline the right. If it is incorrect, then it will be a reward that you gained without exerting any effort.
You should know that if all the people of your region say unanimously that you are bad, this should not shake you, and if they all say unanimously that you are good, this should not please you and make you one of our followers. To be our follower, you should measure yourself according to the criteria of Allah's Book.
If you take its path, abstain from what it warns, desire for what it urges, and fear of what it cautions, then you should be stable and glad. In this case, whatever is said against you will not injure you.
If you oppose the instructions of the Quran, then in what are you proud? The faithful believer should engage himself in fighting against his desires for overcoming his passions. Once, he wins and opposes his passion for Allah's sake, and once his passions overcome him. Thus, he follows his whims, but he will live again as Allah grants him a new life and will remember as Allah pardons his flaws.
As he seeks the refuge of repentance and God-fearing, he will be supplied with guidance and knowledge as much as he fears Allah. This is because Allah says: Surely those who guard against eivl, when a visitation from the Shaitan afflicts them then become intelligent, then lo! They see. (Holy Qur'an 7:201)
O Jabir, regard Allah's few sustenance as very much so as to be able to thank Him suitably. Regard your many acts of obedience to Allah as few so as to lower yourself (before Allah) and seek His pardon. Refute the present evil by the present knowledge. Use the present knowledge for achieving honesty in your deeds. In the honesty of deeds, protect yourself against the great inadvertence through the tension of wakefulness by the sincerity of fear. Beware of the content of ornamentation with the presence of life.
Be careful of the adventures of the whims by referring to the indications of the mind. Stop at the overcome of the whim by seeking the guidance of knowledge. Spare the well-intended deeds to the Day of Judgment. Push yourself into the fields of satisfaction by guarding against acquisitiveness. Refute the great acquisitiveness by the preference of satisfaction. Obtain the sweetness of abstinence through the disregard of hope.
Cut off the causes of avarice with the coolness of despair. Block the path of arrogance with self-realization. Conclude to self-satisfaction by the sound commendation to Allah. Seek the physical relaxation through freedom from card. Obtain the freedom from care through fewness of mistakes. Attain soft heartedness by the very much mentioning of Allah in seclusions. Get the illumination of heart from the continuance of sadness. Protect (yourself) against the Shaitan by the honest God-Fearing.
Beware of the false expectation, because it traps you in serious fear. Adorn for Allah through sincerity of deeds. Approach Allah by means of asking for meeting Him as soon as possible. Beware of negligence, because it is an ocean in which the unsuccessful ones will sink. Beware of inadvertence, because it is the source of hard-heartedness. Beware of slowness in matters that are unexcused, because it is the path of the regretful.
Remember the past sins through the tense sorrow and the plenty of seeking forgiveness. Meet Allah's mercy and pardon by the good review with Him. Seek the aid of the well-intended supplications and the secret beseeching in darkness for achieving the good review with Allah. Reach the great thankfulness through regarding the little sustenance as great and regarding te many acts of obedience to Allah as few. Bring the increase of graces through the great thanking.
Beg to the great thanking through fearing the vanishing of graces. Seek the continuance of honor throught killing avarices. Refute the humility of greed by the honor of despair. Get the honor of despair from the strength of mind. Supply for yourself from this world through the disregard of hope. Take the initiative in seizing the opportunities whenever they are available. No opportunity like the leisure times with good health. Beware of trusting the dishonest. Evil is a custom such as the custom of having food.
Know that no knowledge like seeking safety, no safety like the safety of heart, no intelligence like opposing the whims, no fear like the fear of him who avoids sinning, no hope like the hope of the supporter, no poverty like the heart poverty, no richness like self-sufficiency, no strength like overcoming the whims, no illumination like the illumination of conviction, no conviction like belittling the worldly pleasures, no knowledge like self-realization, no grace like good health, no health like supporting for prosperity, no honor like willpower, no abstinece like disregard of hope, no diligence like competition for (attaining) the (highest) ranks, no justice like fairness, no aggression like prejudice, no prejudice like accordance with the whims, no obedience like performing the obligatory rites, no fear like grief, no misfortune like unintelligence, no unintelligence like littleness of conviction, no littleness of conviction like loss of fear, no jihad like struggling against the whims, no power like stopping the rage, no disobedience like love of survival, and no humility like the humility greed.
Beware of the negligence of given opportunities, because it is a field of loss.
More Words to Jabir
Jabir narrated: one day, Imam al-Baqir(A.S.)went out saying, "O Jabir, by Allah, I am grieved and my heart is so engaged." "What grieves you and in what is your heart engaged? May Allah make me your sacrifice. Is it for the world?" I asked.
He(A.S.) answered: No, Jabir, it is the grief for the care of the world to come. He whose heart is occupied by the pure reality of faith will be far away from the worldly pleasures. The adornment of this world is only playing and fun. The Last Lodge is the true life.
O Jabir, The faithful believer should not incline and feel secure with the adornment of the world. You should know that the seekers of the worldly affairs are the people of inadventence, deception, and ignorance, while the seekers of the life to come are the faithful believers, who work and abstain pondering (over things), learning lessons, and test. They never tire of mentioning Allah.
You should know, Jabir, that the true rich men are the God-fearing people. They are sufficed with the little worldly means. Their burdens are light. They remind you, if you forget, of charity, and help you do it. They postponed their lusts and desires and preferred the acts of obedience to their Lord. They looked for the course of charity and the loyalty to the disciples of Allah; then loved, pursued, and followed them.
Consider this world as a lodging in which you reside for one hour only and then you will leave, or as a funds that you got in dream and made you happy, but when you woke up it was nothing. I exemplified for you so that you will be intelligent, as you will practice it, if Allah prospers you.
Retain, O Jabir, these matters of religion and the Lord's words of wisdom that I am entrusting with you. Offer advice for yourself and look in the standings that Allah has deposited with you in your life. In the same way, you will find your pledge with Him when you will be returned to Him. See if the world is the opposite of what I have described for you, you should shift to the lodging of the blame, today. It happens that one gets what he desires from the worldly affairs, but it becomes the source of misfortune and unhappiness for him. Likewise, it happens that one disliked a matter of the world to come, but when he got it, it was the source of happiness for him.
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir's (A.S.) Knowledge of the Holy Qur'an
On the Recitation of the Holy Qur'an
Imam Ja’ffar as-Sadiq (as) has said, “Imam al-Baqir (as) was the best recitor (of Quran) during his time. Whenever he (as) was engrossed in worship at night and recited the Holy Quran loudly, the passer-bys would stop (near the house) and get absorbed in his recitation”. (Quran-o-‘Itrat)
Imam al-Baqir (as) used to urge the people to recite the Holy Quran for it is the abundant source that guides people to righteousness, enlivens their hearts, and supplies them with abilities of light and awareness. He (as) has said, “The Apostle of Allah (saww) has said: ‘Whoever recites ten verses on a night is not written among the heedless. Whoever recites fifty verses is written among those who praise (Allah). Whoever recites a hundred verses is written among the obedient. Whoever recites two hundred verses is written among the humble. Whoever recites three hundred verses is written among the successful. Whoever recites five hundred verses is written among the strivers. Whoever recites a thousand verses, a hundred weight of gold is written for him”. (Al-Bayaan)
Abu Baseer came to Imam al-Baqir (as) and said, “When I recite the Quran loudly, Shaytan comes to me and says: ‘You simply want to please your family and the people through recitation’.” Imam (as) said, “Recite the Quran in intermediate recitation. Let your family listen (to that). Read the Quran with a good voice. Indeed Allah likes recitation of the Quran with good voice”. (Al-Kaafi)
Maymoon Qadaah has reported that:
[Imam al-Baqir (as) once told me, “Recite the Quran”. I asked, “Where should I begin from?” Imam (as) answered, “From the ninth chapter”. As I began to search the chapter, Imam (as) said, “Recite Surah Yunus”. I started reciting this chapter and when I reached the verse that reads: ‘Those who are virtuous shall receive the best reward and an enhancement. Neither dust nor abasement shall overcast their faces.’ (10:26) Imam (as) said, “The Holy Prophet (saww) has said: ‘I am extremely surprised as to why I do not turn pale when I recite the Holy Quran’.”] (Quran-o-‘Itrat)
Ayatullah Shaykh Ali Karimi states:
It should be noted that according to the present arrangement of Quran, Surah Yunus is the 10th Chapter. However, if Surah al-Baqarah is considered as the first Surah of the Holy Quran (as stated by some scholars) or if Surah al-Tawbah (9th Chapter) is considered as part of Surah al-Anfaal (8th Chapter) (as some scholars strongly believe) then Surah Yunus shall be considered as the 9th Chapter. (Quran-o-‘Itrat)
His Knowledge of the Holy Qur'an
One of the titles of the fifth Imam of Ahlul-Bayt (as) is that of al-Baqir. Al-Baqir in Arabic has its roots from Baqr, which means ‘to split open’ or ‘to rip open’ or ‘to cut open’. Imam (as) was called al-Baqir because of his profound knowledge of everything including the Holy Quran, which he (as) had inherited from his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah and which, he (as) split open to impart to others.
Imam al-Baqir (as) himself has been quoted saying: “We have been taught the language of the birds and bestowed with knowledge of everything”. (Manaqib Aali Abi Talib)
Jabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari (r.a.) has narrated:
[The Holy Prophet (saww) had told me, “O Jabir! I hope you be alive till you meet a son from the progeny of my grandson al-Husayn whose name shall be Muhammad. He will split open the knowledge of religion and impart it to others. O Jabir! When you meet him, convey my salutation to him”.
Thereafter, I always searched for this young man. Finally, when I met him, I witnessed the attributes in him, which the Messenger of Allah had described to me. I conveyed the salutation of his grandfather to him and said, “O Baqir (Splitter)! You are the Baqir in truth. You are for certain the one who will split open the knowledge”.] (Ahsan al-Muqaal)
Do Not Interpret the Holy Qur'an With Your Opinion
Qutadah bin Da’amah visited Imam al-Baqir (as) and the following conversation ensued between them.
Imam (as): “O Qutadah! Are you the scholar of the people of Basra?”
Qutadah: “This is what the people say”.
Imam (as): “Do you interpret the Quran with knowledge or with ignorance?”
Qutadah: “Of course I interpret it with knowledge”.
Imam (as): “Alright then, if you are interpreting the Quran with knowledge, I will ask you a question”.
Qutadah: “Please do so”.
Imam (as): “Tell me what does Allah (SWT) mean in the following verse: ‘…And We had ordained the course through them: Travel through them in safety, night and day’.?”
Qutadah: “This refers to one who departs from his home with the intention of visiting the sacred mosque (Masjidul-Haraam). He gathers his provision for the journey and hires his transport all through Halaal means. Such a person is in safety until he returns to his family”.
Imam (as): “O Qutadah! Take the oath of Allah and tell me. Do you know of any person who has departed from his home for the House of Allah and arranged for his provision and paid for his transportation all through Halaal means yet robbers attacked him, took away his possessions and physically injured him?”
Qutadah: “Yes! Indeed I know of such a person”.
Imam (as): “O Qutadah! Woe unto you! (In such a case) if you are interpreting the Quran with your own opinion then you are misled and have misled the people. And if you are interpreting it from what you have heard from others, then again you are misled and have misled the people. Woe unto you O Qutadah! This verse refers to one who departs for the House of Allah after arranging his provisions and paying for his transportation from Halaal means and in addition, he is also cognizant about our rights (the rights of Ahlul-Bayt) then Allah (SWT) will most certainly incline his heart towards us, just as He (SWT) says: ‘So make the hearts of a part of the people fond of them…’ (14:37) By Allah! We are the answered prayer of Ibrahim (as). Whoever inclines his heart towards us, his Hajj shall be accepted otherwise not. O Qutadah! If one performs Hajj in this manner (as stated) then on the Day of Judgement he shall be safe and protected from the Hell-fire”.
When Qutadah heard this, he said, “By Allah! I will henceforth interpret the Quran as you have taught”. Thereupon, Imam al-Baqir (as) added, “O Qutadah…only he truly understands the Quran whom the Quran addresses”. (Rawdhat al-Kaafi)
An Interesting Incident
Hisham bin Abdul-Malik called Imam al-Baqir (as) to Shaam. When the Imam (as) arrived at the doorstep of Hisham’s palace, he (as) was made to wait outside while Hisham talked to his courtiers and the members of Umayyad clan saying, ‘When you see me stop after abusing him, I want each and everyone of you present here to abuse him’. Thereafter, Hisham allowed Imam (as) to enter.
Imam al-Baqir (as) entered the court of Hisham and after greeting everyone loudly at once; he (as) took a seat. Hisham was very disappointed that the Imam (as) neither took his permission to sit nor had he (as) addressed him as Khalifa, so he looked towards him and abused him. Hisham also accused Imam (as) saying, ‘O Muhammad son of Ali! Someone or the other from amongst you (Ahlul-Bayt) keeps disuniting the Muslims and inviting them towards him. And because of ignorance and insanity, he keeps considering himself as the Imam.’ After saying all that he wanted, Hisham fell quiet and as instructed, all those present began to verbally abuse the Imam (as). Finally, when everyone had spoken, Imam al-Baqir (as) said, “O people! Where are you heading to? And where are you being dragged to? It is through us that the Exalted Lord guided your predecessors and it will only be through us that people after you shall be guided. If in the present time you have the leadership then know that in future we shall be the leaders – and ours shall the final and exceptional leadership – because we are the outcome mentioned by Allah: ‘…And the outcome will be in favour of the Godwary’. (28:83)
Hisham imprisoned Imam al-Baqir (as). There was not a single prisoner who did not immensely benefit from Imam (as)’s knowledge. When Hisham was made aware of Imam (as)’s popularity in the prison and cautioned about its consequences, he ordered the Imam (as) to be returned to Madina. He also insisted that Imam (as) should be treated roughly and denied water and food during the journey. No one should entertain him in any way.
For three days, Imam (as) and those who had accompanied him were denied food and water. When they arrived at Madyan, the gates of the city were shut to disallow them an entry. The companions complained of extreme hunger and thirst. Thereupon, the Imam (as) climbed a nearby mountain and called out loudly, “O the unjust inhabitants of the city! I am BAQIYYATULLAH (what Allah has left behind for you as a clear proof). Allah, the Exalted says: ‘That which is left to you by Allah is better, should you be faithful, and I am not a keeper over you’. (11:86)
In the city of Madyan lived a very old man. When he heard this call, he said, “O people! By Allah! This call is of Shu’ayb – the Prophet of God. By Allah! If you do not respond to his call, Allah will punish you from the heavens and the earth…” Hearing this, the inhabitants rushed in aid of Imam al-Baqir (as) and his companions. Later on when Hisham was informed about what had transpired, he ordered the arrest of the old man and nobody knows what happened to him thereafter.] (Al-Kaafi)
Imam al-Baqir(A.S.) Freed Islamic Money
from the Domination of the Roman Empire
Ima`m Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir), peace be on him, offered an excellent service to the Islamic world. For he freed Islamic money from the domination of the Roman empire, where Islamic money was made and had the Roman symbol.
Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, made Islamic money independent with an Islamic symbol. Thus, he cut off the relationship between Islamic money and the Romans. The reason for that was that 'Abd al-Malik looked at a book embroidered in Egypt. He ordered the book to be translated into Arabic The book was translated. The Christian symbol (Father, Son, and the Spirit) was written on the book.
'Abd al-Malik denied that. So, he wrote to his governor of Egypt, 'Abd al-'Aziz b. Marwa`n, to abolish that. Moreover, he ordered him to force the embroiderers to embroider books, clothes, and the like, with the Islamic motto: "Allah bears witness that there is no god but He." He also wrote to his governors all over the Islamic counties to abolish the books with Roman mottoes and symbols in their countries. He ordered them to punish those who had such books and clothes. The embroiderers wrote that on their books and clothes. Such books and clothes spread throughout the Islamic countries.
Then, they were carried to Rome. So, the Roman Emperor became very angry. Thus, he wrote to 'Abd al-Malik, saying: "Books and clothes had been embroidered with the Roman mottoes and symbols before you abolished them. If your predecessors were right, then you are wrong. If they were wrong, then you are right. Choose one of these two views. I have sent you a gift appropriate for your position. I would be grateful to you if you would adopt the previous embroidery.
Abd al-Malik read the letter. Then he told the messenger that he had no answer to the letter. He also refused to accept the gift. So, the messenger went back to the Roman Emperor and told him about 'Abd al-Malik's words.
Hence, the Emperor wrote again to 'Abd al-Malik and doubled the gift for him. In the letter he asked him to return the previous mottoes and symbols.
However, 'Abd al-Malik refused to receive the letter and the gift. He insisted on his view. The messenger went back to the Roman Emperor and told him about what had happened. Accordingly, the Emperor wrote a threatening letter. The letter read as follows: "You have disparaged my letter and my gift. You have not helped me with my need. I thought that you had regarded the gift as small. So, I had doubled it for you. However, you went on your view. So, I increased it three times. I swear by Jesus Christ to order you to return the old-fashioned money; otherwise I will ordered the dinars and the dirhams to be engraved to abuse your Prophet. You know that the dinars and the dirhams had been minted in my country. No one of them had been minted during Islam. When you read the letter, prevent your head from sweating. I want you to accept my gift and to change the style (of money) into the previous one. That will be as a gift to show love towards me. So, the relationship between you and me will continue.
When 'Abd al-Malik read the Emperor's message, he became perplexed. In this connection, he said: "I think that I am the most unlucky baby born in Islam, for I will make this unbeliever (the Roman Emperor) curse Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. This dishonor will remain to the end of the world. The Roman Emperor has threatened me to mint money. Such money will be passed around the world.
'Abd al-Malik gathered the people. He asked them about the affair. However, no one was able to give him a decisive answer. Then, Ru`h b. Zinba`' said to him: "You the person who is able to solve this affair. You want to leave him intentionally." 'Abd al-Malik blamed him for that, saying: "Woe unto you! Who is he?"
"He is al-Ba`qir, who is from the members of the House of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family," replied Ru`h b. Zinba.
So, 'Abd al-Malik submitted to Ru`h b. Zinba`'. He believed his view. He knew that he ignored Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him.
Immediately, he wrote to his governor of Medina (Yathrib). He ordered him to send the Ima`m to him. Moreover, he ordered him to treat the Ima`m kindly and to give him four hundred thousand dirhams. When the governor received the letter, he carried out 'Abd al-Malik's orders. Thus, Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, went to Damascus.
When he arrived there, 'Abd al-Malik received him warmly. Then he told him about the Roman Emperor's threats. Thus, Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, said: "Do not regard this affair as great. It nothing for two reasons. The first is that Allah, the Great and Almighty, will not allow the Roman Emperor to carry out his threat concerning Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. The other is that there is a solution for this affair.
So, 'Abd al-Malik asked the Ima`m: "What is the solution?
Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, answered: "At this hour, summon some makers. Order them to make coins of dirhams and dinars. Then order them to engrave the Sura of al-Tawhid in one face and the name of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, in the other face. Then order them to mention the year and country of minting. Order them to make a dirham of ten weights and a dinar of seven weights.
'Abd al-Malik accepted that. He ordered the coins to be minted as Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, described. When the Roman Emperor found out about this, he kept silent. Thus, all his efforts were in vain. Accordingly, Moslems passed the coins Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him, designed till the time of the Abbasids.(Al-Dimyari, Hayat al-Hayawan, vol. 1, pp. 63-64)
Ibn Kuthayr said: "Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, suggested the coins.(Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 9, p. 68)
However, the Islamic world thanked Ima`m Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir) for freeing its money from the domination of the Romans.