Martyrdom of Imam Musa al-Kazim (as)
Dated: April 23, 2017
On the sad occasion of the martyrdom anniversary of the seventh Infallible imam, Imam Musa ibn Jafar, al-Kazim (as), World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League (WABIL) extends its condolences to the Imam of our time Imam Mahdi (atfs), the Ahlul Bayt (as), all righteous scholars and all believers.
Imam was born in Madina on 7th Safar 128 Hijri (744 CE) and was martyred in Baghdad Iraq on 25th Rajab 183 Hijri (799 CE) at the age of 55. His parents were the sixth Imam, Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (as) and lady Hamida Khatoon (sa). The period of his Imamate was 35 years.
Imam Musa (as) lived through the time of great political tumult, seeing the Abbasids take over rule from the Umayyads. At the age of 20 the Imam was designated as the seventh divinely appointed Infallible imam. He lived through the reign of four Abbasid caliphs, all desperate to justify their usurped rule. At times the Imam was left in peace in Madinah, where he continued the spreading of the faith by teaching at the university set up by his grandfather imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as). However on many occasions he was summoned to Baghdad and imprisoned.
Imam Musa Ibn Ja’far (as) was one of the illustrious Imams who God had set a paragon of moral excellence in. Each member of this noble family possessed virtues. Naturally in some individuals a particular virtue is dominant and more conspicuous. The seventh Imam excelled in tolerance and forgiveness, so much so that he was entitled al-Kazim, the suppressor of anger.
Never was he heard speaking roughly or harshly to anyone. Even in the most unpleasant situations, he was seen smiling bearing the pain gracefully. This was in accordance with the saying of his ancestor Imam ‘Ali (as) that the faithful keeps his grief confined in his heart with a smile on his face.
As to what may have led to his final imprisonment, we find that it is stated by Al-Fakhri that Harun Rashid (l.a) feared false reports that suggested that due to the Imam’s popularity he was organising a revolt. Harun had gone for pilgrimage: he had Imam arrested in Madinah, took him (as) with him to Makkah and then to Basrah where he was imprisoned for one year, then moved him to Baghdad under the watchful eye of the cruel prisoner al-Sindi. The Imam spent 19 years of his life in prison in a tiny cell with one piece of bread to eat daily. In fact this period of Imam’s life was a huge sacrifice, for while the attention of the rulers was focused on the Imam, it gave respite to his Shias to escape the death threats and genocide in the Arabia and move out further afield to Iran and India, thus settling there and spreading the faith.
Eventually Harun sent orders for Imam to be executed but declared his death as natural. His body was left on the bridge of Baghdad for all to come and see (this was a ploy to bring out Imam’s Shias who in turn would be rounded up and executed as they were considered a threat to the rulers). Imam was buried in the Quraish cemetery on the south side of Baghdad. Over time this became a place of pilgrimage with a town developing around it named after the Imam as Kazimiya.
Some of Imam's well-known sayings are:
1. Always say the right thing although it may lead to your loss.
2. Whenever you get a pious leader and ruler (then) thank God for this boon.
3. Be tough and strict with the cruel so that you may take the right of the oppressed from him.
4. The best of generosity is the help to the oppressed.
5. The world is soft and beautiful like a snake but there is a (disastrous) killer poison hidden inside it.
May we follow the example of Imam Musa al-Kazim (as) and live our lives under the shade of his teachings.
Sayed Mohammad Al-Musawi
World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League (WABIL)