Imam Ali (AS) said, 'Generosity is a means of nearness [to Allah].

Martyrdom Anniversary of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s)

September 21, 2015

On the sad occasion of the martyrdom anniversary of the fifth Infallible Imam,  the fifth successor of the Prophet Muhammad ( sawa), Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s), World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League ( WABIL) extends condolences to the Imam of our time Imam Mahdi (atfs) and all believers.
 
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s) was born in Madinah on first of Rajab 57 Hijri, and was martyred by poison in Madinah on 7th Dhul Hijjah 114 Hijri (733CE) at the age of 57 years. His Imamate lasted 19 years.
 
Imam was a young child during the events of Karbala and witnessed the slaughter of his grandfather Imam Hussain (a.s) and endured captivity for over a year with all the Ahlul Bayt (as) at the hands of Yazid. Like his father Imam Ali ibn Hussain al-Zainul Abideen (as), his patience knew no bounds.

On the evidence of the most authentic Hadith narrated by Sunni and Shia historians, one of the companions of the Holy Prophet Jabir Ibn Abdallah Ansari was in the presence of the Holy Prophet. The Prophet told him,

“O Jabir, you will have a long life, and although you will go blind, but you will meet the 5th in line of my succesors whose name will be my name, who will walk like me , When you meet him, convey my salaams to him”.

As predicted by the Holy Prophet Jabir ibn Abdullah Ansari had a long life and became blind in his old age. But he devoutly waited for the time when he would meet the 5th Imam. Each morning he would come out from his house, sit by the road side and wait for the sound of the footsteps to recognize the 5th Imam. One day, the event came to pass, and he finally met Imam Baqir, giving him the Prophet’s greetings. How wondrous that meeting must have been for Jabir!

After the martyrdom of the 4th Imam in 95 Hijri, the so called "caliphs" in Damascus were so preoccupied with their conquests of foreign lands that they did not have time to worry about the people in Madinah, their loyalties or their hostilities.

They were also satisfied that the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt would not divulge in any rebellion against them due to the most peaceful and quite life of the 4th Imam Zainul Abedeen (as) . They left the people of Madinah to their activities in some peace. This was the time Imams of Ahlul Bayt were waiting for. Our 5th Imam opened a school to teach Qur’an and Hadith as it was taught by the Holy Prophet (saw) and Imam Ali (as). The Umayyad caliph Umar ibn Abdul Aziz  returned the Garden of Fadak to the Imam. It was through the wealth from Fadak that Imam set up his charities and schools.

Imam Muhammad al- Baqir was  held in high esteem for his learning and eloquence as well as on account of his noble birth. According to Ibn Khalikan, the Imam received the title of Baqir (Splitter of knowledge) due to his ample knowledge of Deen and his enthusiasm to teach to other people. Many historians like Yakubi asserts that the Imam split open knowledge, that is scrutinized it and examined the depths of it so that it can be spread to all people truly and correctly.

In his life of respectable and scholarly retirement at Madinah, the Imam was frequently called upon to explain particular teachings in regard to Imamate. The Imam discoursed fully on many topics such as the nature of the soul and Nafs, the nature and attributes of God, the qualities of the Ulama. He discouraged arguments about the divine nature, saying that it was not possible for men to understand it.

Despite being deprived of their rights, the Infallible Imams rose above the standards of commoners. Like Imam Ali (as) who guided the contemporary caliphs and offered sound advice concerning the affairs of the Muslims, all the Imams followed the same example and never hesitated to give well balanced pieces of advice to their contemporary rulers. Imam Baqir (as) was no exception. The Ummayad Government had till then no currency of its own. Imam Baqir (as) expressed his opinion that the Government ought to strike its own currency on one side of which it should stamp the statement “La Ilaha Illallah and on the other side “Muhammad Rasul Allah”.

The opinion of the Imam was unanimously approved and for the first time an Islamic coin was minted. Some of these coins were exhibited at the British Museum in 1988 at the event of the Islamic Art exhibition in London and a note shown that these coins were minted at the time of Walid Ibn Abdul Malik on the advice of the 5th Imam of Ahlul Bayt.
 
Hisham Ibn Abdul Malik succeeded Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz. He was a stone hearted and immoral man. He instructed Imam Baqir and his son Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) to go to him to Damascus intending to humiliate them in front of an audience. He called Imam Baqir to his presence and told him to shoot arrows in a competition ith skilled arrowsmen. Since the Imam led a secluded life, Hisham thought he might not have any connection with martial arts.  He did not know that each Infallible descendant of the Prophet had inherited the might of Imam Ali (as) and the courage of Imam Hussain (as). Imam Baqir (as) took the bow, handling it skillfully, and shot arrows on target to the astonishment of the elite present. Hisham allowed the Imam to return to Madinah, now concerned about his popularity.

While in Madinah Imam Baqir (as) continued with the progress of the Teachings. He had over 25000 students in these and 400 books of hadith and Islamic sciences were compiled under his supervision. However, Hisham , the tyrant caliph , could no longer bear Imam’s popularity. A poisoned saddle was presented to the Imam, which affected his entire body when he mounted it. After few days in pain the Imam Passed away on 7th of Dhul Hijjah 114 AH. He  was laid to rest underneath the same dome in Jannatul Baqii where Imam Hasan and Imam Zainul Abedeen were buried, now destroyed and razed to the grounds.

Imam left many wonderful sayings:

 "Our followers are of three kinds, one who follows us but depends on others, one who is like a glass involved in his own reflections, but the best are those who are like gold, the more they suffer the more they shine”.

 “I admonish you regarding five things; if you are wronged, do not commit wrong doing to others, if you are betrayed, do not betray anyone, if you are called a liar, do not be furious, if you are praised, do not be jubilant, if you are criticized do not fret and think of what is said in criticism, if you find in yourself what is criticized about you, then you are falling down in the eyes of God; when you are furious about the truth, it is much greater calamity then your falling down in the eyes of the people. And if you are opposite of what is said (in criticism) about you, then it is a merit you acquired without having to tire yourself in obtaining it.”

WABIL offers you all sincere condolences and reminds you all to follow the teachings that Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) left for our guidance.
 
Sayed Mohammad Al-Musawi
World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League (WABIL)
London, UK
Previous Article Next Article