“10th Rajab” Birth Anniversary of the 9th Holy Imam, Imam Muhammad Taqi Al-Jawad (a.s)

  • BIOGRAPHY

Name: Muhammad bin Ali (a.s.)

Mother: Sakina

Kunniyat (Patronymic): Abu Abdillah

Laqab (Title): Al Jawad

Birth: He was born at Madina in 195 A.H.

Martyrdom: He died of poison at Baghdad in the year 220 A.H. and is buried near his grandfather at Kazimiyyah in Iraq.

 

The Prophet (PBUH) had said:

“My father be sacrificed on the mother of the 9th Imam who will be a pure and pious Nubian.”

 

Imam Musa Kazim (PBUH) had told one of his companions that his daughter-in-law (Sabika) would be one of the most pious of women and to give her his salaams. She came from the same tribe as the Prophets wife – Mary Copt who bore the Prophet his son Ibrahim (who died in infancy).

Imam Muhammad taqi (PBUH) was born when his father was 45 years old. Till then Imam Reza (PBUH) had constantly been taunted that he had no children. When the 9th Imam was born, a brother of Imam Reza (PBUH) was angry because he would lose out in inheriting the Imams property and in his jealousy spread a rumor that Imam Reza (PBUH) was not the father. He was eventually proved wrong by a person who could tell parentage.

 

  • Childhood

The 9th Imam was 5 years old when his father was called to Tous by Mamuon Rashid to be his “crown prince”. When Imam Reza (PBUH) was leaving he saw his son putting sand in his hair. He asked why and the young Imam replied that this was what an orphan did.

 

The Wisdom of Imam Muhammad al-Jawad(AS) from Chilhood

 

From his early childhood al-Imam al-Jawad had a special relationship with Allah, and in his position as Imam he answered the religious problems of the people, guided them and led them. Great scholars would come to him and ask the solutions to the most difficult problems, and the Imam would answer their queries with ease.

Those of the people who were ignorant of the Imams special position before Allah were amazed at his know ledge. They would assume the Imam to be just. like any other child, and would say:

How can such a young lad have. gained such knowledge? How is it that his knowledge is superior to the knowledge of all these great scholars?” These people did not realize that the Imam had not gained his knowledge in the ordinary way but that it was given to him specially by Allah.

They did not realize that Allah grants a special connection with Him to whoever He pleases, young or old, and makes that person the most learned of all mankind. Al-Imam al-Jawad was endowed with all the best human qualities while still a child.

For this reason, the people called him al-“Taqi” which means pious, and al-Jawad” which means generous and merciful He was aware and enlightened and strove to enlighten others. For this reason, Allah blessed him Al-Imam al-Jawad lived during the time of the cruel Abbasid tyrant, al-Mutasim, who realized that if al-Imam al-Jawad succeeded in awakening the people they might turn against him and put an end to his power.

He was afraid of this and was terrified by the Imams charisma and popularity. He summoned the Imam from his home in Madinah to Baghdad. the capital of the Abbasid Empire, and after a few months he had the Imam martyred through poison. At the time of his martyrdom al-Imam al-Jawad was just 25 years old. The Imams sacred body was buried alongside that of his grandfather. al-Imam Musa al-Kazim (AS).

on the outskirts of Baghdad, at a place today known as Kazimayn. Eternal peace be upon him.

 

  • A Letter to a Governor

One of al-Imam al-Jawads companions reports: I performed the Hajj with al-Imam al-Jawad (AS), and when the Hajj was over I went to see the Imam to say my farewell. Before I left I said to the Imam:

“The government has levied a very heavy tax upon me and I am unable to pay it. Please, will you write a letter to the governor of our city, and recommend him to act leniently towards me”.

Imam replied that he did not know the governor, and could not therefore write and advise him. But he is one of your friends and followers. If you write to him he will definitely accept your counsel.” Al-Imam al-Jawad picked up a pen and wrote:

“In the name of Allah, the Merciful and the compassion ate. Peace be with you and with all Allahs righteous servants. O governor! Power and authority are trusts from Allah which He has invested in you for you to serve the people.

You must use this power to help your brothers in religion. The only things that remain with you are good deeds and the help which you grant to your brothers, the Muslims. Know that on the Day of Resurrection Allah will review all your deeds and not the slightest action will be hidden from Him.

yours Muhammad ibn Ali Al-Jawad

I took the letter, made my final farewells and set off for my city. When I arrived, news of the letter I was carrying had already reached the governor.

He came to meet me and I gave him the letter. He took it respectfully, kissed it, and then he opened it. After reading it he inquired about my occupation, and just as I had wanted he behaved kindly and leniently towards me.

In fact, from that moment on, he behaved justly and kindly with all the people.

 

 

  • His titles, life & works

He became an Imam at the age of 9. Mamuon Rashid thought that as all the rulers before him had oppressed the Imams and their schemes had backfired that he would try to bribe the Imams. He tried to make the 8th Imam his crown prince and give him power and wealth but that also backfired.

He now tried to use power and wealth with the 9th Imam again but from a much younger age thinking that he would be able to influence him. His main purpose was also to make sure that the 12th Imam (whom he knew would bring justice to the world) would be from his progeny and therefore intended to marry his daughter Ummul Fazl to the Imam. Mamuon still continued oppressing the family and followers of the Ahlul-bayt (PBUT).

Mamuon called the young Imam (PBUH) to Baghdad from Medina and offered his daughter. This infuriated his family (Abbasids). To prove to them the excellence of Imam even at a young age he arranged a meeting between Imam and the most learned of men at that time -Yahya bin Athkam.

It was a grand occasion with some 900 other scholars present. Imam (PBUH) was first asked by Yahya:

What is the compensation (kaffara) for a person in Ehraam who hunted and killed his prey?”

Imam replied that there were many more details required before he could answer the question:

Did the Muhrim (one in Ehraam) hunt in the haram or outside?

Did the Muhrim know Sharia or not?

Did he hunt intentionally or not?

Did he hunt for the first time or was this one of many times?

Did he free or a slave?

Did his prey a bird or an animal?

Did it big or small?

Had he hunted by day or by night?

Did he baligh or not?

Did he repentant or not?

Did his ehraam for Hajj or Umra?

Yahya was stunned. He looked down and started sweating.

Mamuon asked the young Imam to answer the question, which he did, and then Imam asked Yayha a question which he could not answer. The Abbasids admitted defeat and Mamuon took the opportunity to offer his daughter to Imam. Imam (PBUH) read his own Nikah (the khutba of which is used today) with the Mehr of 500 dirhams. Imam wrote a letter to Mamuon that he would also give Ummul Fazl Mehr from the wealth of The World to Come (Aakhira ). This was in the form of 10 duas which were for fulfilling any hajaat (desires) Thus his title is Al-Jawad (the generous one).

* These duas are found in Mafatihul Jinaan (pg 447 – In margin)

Imam lived for a year inBaghdad with Ummul Fazl. She was very disobedient to Imam. When she found out that Imam had another wife (from the progeny of Ammar-e-Yasir) and that there were also children, she was jealous and angry realizing that her fathers plan had failed. She complained to her father who also realized that his plan, to keep the 12th Imam in his progeny, had failed. He was enraged and in his rage he drank heavily and went to the 9th Imams house and attacked Imam with a sword. Both Ummul Fazl and a servant saw the attack and believed Imam was dead. Mamuon on waking next morning realized the consequences of his attack and was thinking of arranging the disposal of Imams body when he saw Imam well without a scratch on him. He was confused and asked Imam who showed him an amulet which is called Hirze Jawad. Imam told him it was from his grandmother Bibi Fatima Zahra (PBUH) and kept the wearer safe from all except the angel of death. Mamuon asked Imam for it and Imam gave him one.

Now Mamuon was scared and tried a new tactic. He tried to deviate Imam by sending him beautiful girls and musicians. When he realized nothing was working he let Imam return toMedina.

Imam used this time to prepare the masails of Taqleed and Ijtihaad in preparation for the 12th Imam knowing that both the 10th and the 11th Imam would spend most of their lives in prison. He also prepared the people of Medina teaching true Islam knowing that this would be the last time they would be able to receive guidance directly from an Imam for a long time.

Ummul Fazl continuously complained of Imam to her father who sent her letters back.

Mamuon died in 218 a.h. and was succeeded by his brother Motasam Billah. He openly announced that all Shias were not Muslims. He said it was required for people to kill and prosecute Shias and to destroy property belonging to Shias.

Ummul Fazl now started complaining to her uncle who was sympathetic to her. Motasam called Imam toBaghdad. He asked Imam to pass judgment of how to punish a thief. Imam said only fingers could be cut as the palms were for Allah (PBUH in Quran – it is one of the wajib parts to touch the ground during sajda). PBUH this decision was contrary to the decision of the other Scholars and it strengthened the position of the Shias. The other scholars complained to Motasam.

 

  • Death & Burial

With instigation from both the scholars and Ummul Fazl, Motasam sent poison which Ummul Fazl put in Imams drink and gave it to him. Imam died on 29th Dhulqaada at the age of 25 years and is buried near his grandfather in Kadhimain. His son the 10th Imam, Imam Hadi (PBUH) buried him.

 

  • Summary of Imams Work

It is he who prepared and wrote books for the masails of Ijtihaad and Taqleed which were essential to prepare believers for the ghaibat of the 12th Imam.