Success comes from Allah [swt] and Allah [swt] knows Best
اللهم صلي على محمد و ال محمد الأئمة و المهديين و سلم تسليما كثيرة
O’Ahmad O’Abdullah O’Mahdi from You O’Ahlul Bayt is Goodness And in You O’Ahlul Bayt is Goodness And Upon You O’Ahlul Bayt is Goodness
Labayk Ya Hussain
Muhammad ibn Ali Al Baqir
Muhammad ibn Ali Al Baqir [as] is the fifth of the twelve Imams [pbut], his father was Imam Ali Zainulabideen [as] and his mother was Fatima bint Hassan [sa]. Imam Muhammad al Baqir [as] is known by the title Baqir which means the one who splits open knowledge.
The world shone on the birth of the pure Imam Muhammad Al Baqir [as]. The Prophet [saw] had given good news about him before his birth. The members of the House ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, waited for him impatiently. Imam Mohammed Al Baqir was born in Medina, on the third day of the month of Safar, in the year 56 A. H. It was said that he was born on Friday, during the early days of the month of Rajab. He was born few years before his grandfather, Imam Hussain [as] , was
killed. He was born during the time of Mu‘awiya l.a. At that time the Islamic countries were full of oppression. Moreover, they were full of disasters and misfortunes. That was because of the oppression of Mu‘awiya l.a and the injustice of his governors who spread terrorism and oppression in the country. Imam Al Baqir [as] talked about that dreadful injustice.
It has been narrated that Prophet Muhammad [sawas] sent his greetings to his grandson, Al Baqir [as], through the great companion, Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari. Thus, Jabir was impatiently waiting for his birth to give him the message of his grandfather. When the Imam [as] was born and became a grown up, Jabir met him and gave him the greetings of the Prophet [sawas], may Allah bless him and his family.
Aban b. Taghlub reported on the authority of Abï Abd Allah, peace be on him, who said: “Indeed Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari was the last of the surviving Companions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. He devoted himself to us, we, the members of the House Ahl al-Bayt. He sat at the place of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. He wore a black turban. He called out:‘ O you who will split open knowledge (baqir)! O You who will split open knowledge!’ Thus, the people of Medina said: ‘Jabir is hallucinating!’ So, he (Jabir) said:‘By Allah, I have never hallucinated. However, I heard the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, say:‘Indeed, you will meet a man who belongs to me. His name is similar to mine. His qualities are similar to mine. He will split open knowledge thoroughly. ‘These words have motivated me to say what I say.’
The Qualities of Muhammad Al Baqir [as]
The qualities and features of Imam Muhamamd al Baqir [as] were similar to those of the Prophet, Muhammad [sawas]. It was the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, named his grandson Mohammed and gave him the nick-name of al-Baqir. The Prophet told the People that Imam Mohammed al-Baqir would split open knowledge completely.
According to Allamah Jami when a person saw a seven year old boy traveling alone towards the Holy Mecca he was
astonished and he asked: Son, who are you, where are you headed and what provisions are you carrying for your journey?
The boy replied: My journey is from God to God; my provision is piety and my name is Muhammad Ibne Ali Ibne Husain Ibne Ali Ibne Abi Talib
Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari said that his features were similar to those of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. His morals were also similar to the Prophet's high ones that distinguished him from the other prophets. Some contemporary people have described Imam al-Baqir as follows: He was a man of medium height. He was brown. He had soft skin with moles. He had a thin waist. His voice was good. He always bowed his head.
Imam Muhammad Al Baqir [as] was the man of many qualities of greatness, reverence and piety. He was the greatest scholar of his time. His life was the best model of good manners and piety. He used to work on his farm. He put in hard labour so as to earn enough to support his family, and to help the poor and the needy. It was his greatest desire that people should acquire knowledge. For this purpose, he had set up a study circle where he taught people the Islamic Law. Imam Al Baqir [as] had disclosed the secrets of knowledge and wisdom and unfolded the principles of spiritual and religious guidance. He also commented upon and explained the contents of the Qur'an, the Hadith of the Holy Prophet [sawas] and other branches of knowledge. It is beyond the power of a man to recount the deep impression of knowledge and guidance left by the Imam [as] on the hearts of the faithful. His sayings about devotion and abstinence, knowledge and wisdom, and religious exercise and submission to Allah are great in number.
The talents and genius of Imam Muhammad al Baqir [as] resulted in great abilities of knowledge that included all sciences, such as the tradition, philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, high maxims, and standard morals. Moreover, it included the events the Imam [as]had predicted before they occurred. Then they happened on the arena of life. His knowledge was vast. Though the scholars learned a lot of his pure knowledge, he found narrowness in himself because of his many sciences for which he found no way to proclaim. He, [as] the narrators said, heaved deep sighs and said with grief: “If I found (carriers) for my knowledge which Allah, the Great and Almighty, has given to me, I would proclaim monotheism, Islam, religion, and Islamic laws. How can I do that? My grandfather, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, found no carriers for his knowledge for his knowledge. Thus, he sighed deeply on the pulpit and said: ‘Question me before you lose me, for there is much knowledge among the ribs.’”
Imam Muhammad al Baqir [as] had all the noble qualities that made him appropriate for undertaking the spiritual and the temporal leadership of this community. Each of his qualities raised him to the top which no one reaches except the unique people of the time. He was as the poet said: He was from the Hashemites whose glory was as high as the sky. They made the people die of jealousy. They were the people for whom Allah wanted the noble qualities of religion and this world to be without time. Through his abilities and his talents the Imam was distinguished from the great men and the reformers. He was distinguished by his outstanding merits and his immortal deeds. He was distinguished by his clear lineage.
Calamities faced by Imam Muhammad al Baqir [as]
From a young age Imam Muhammad al Baqir [as] bore hardships of Karbala and Kufa and did not lose patience and forbearance at any point of time. Although even great men cannot bear such calamities; so what can be said about children? He especially underwent thirst for three days in the field of Karbala and then continuous hunger and thirst on roads and prisons of Kufa and Syria.
In 75 A.H. he accomplished the first historical feat, which cannot be erased from history of Islam. Till that year Roman coins were accepted as currency in Muslim dominions and Christians were propagating their beliefs through these coins. Abdul Malik during his rule discontinued the use of these coins and ordered that Muslim Kalimah should be inscribed on the coins henceforth. The Caesar of Rome heard of this; he restrained it and also tried to bribe them. But Abdul Malik did not accept; after which he threatened him that if you deface my coins and inscribe Kalimah on them, I would have abuses on Islam and Prophet of Islam inscribed on coins and make them current. Abdul Malik did not know what to do and under advice of some of his friends consulted Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and the Imam said: Restrain the ambassador of Rome and mold new coins of such and such and design and such and such weight. Testimony of oneness of God should be inscribed on one side and on the other testimony of Prophet hood and the year of issue should be mentioned. And they should be introduced as currency immediately and the Roman coins should be declared as useless. Thus Abdul Malik followed this advice and after all this was accomplished, the Roman ambassador was released and the Caesar informed that Roman coins have become defunct in Islamic territories and new coins have been introduced so Islam does not face any kind of risk and all this was accomplished according to the advice of Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.). The Caesar was absolutely bewildered and he realized that other than the family of Prophet [sawas] no one can be successor of this divine policy which has once again defeated Christianity and declared the truthfulness of Mubahila.
Despite all these favors, when Walid the son of Abdul Malik ascended to the throne, he wrought untold persecutions on Bani Hashim and even decided that their house should be demolished and added to the Prophet [sawas] mosque and if they are not willing to hand them over willingly they should be torched. Thus once more, the scene of historical fire and wood was seen at the door of Hasan Muthanna, after which Bani Hashim vacated the houses and they were razed, whereas the family members of Umar l.a were not made to surrender Hafasa’s l.a house and their possession was allowed to be continued. This occurred in 91 A.H.
Hisham Ibne Abdul Malik went to Hajj in the final period of his rule and by chance Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) were also present there. When Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) recited a sermon on the excellence of Ale Muhammad (a.s.), Hisham was infuriated and when he came back to Syria he had the Imams [as] summoned to his court. When they arrived, he did not give audience to them for three days. When they came on the fourth day, he challenged them to a competition of archery. Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said that he was aged, but Hisham was adamant. So he took the bow and shot the arrow at the target accurately and said: We Aale Muhammad (a.s.) cannot be compared to anyone. Hisham said: You people make such claims. Your grandfather Ali, also claimed to have unseen knowledge. Imam asked: What is surprising about it? Everything is mentioned in Quran and Quran is placed in the heart of the manifest Imam and he was the manifest Imam. Hisham said to his courtiers that he would insult Muhammad Baqir [as] and when I fall silent, you should start insulting him. Thus the same thing happened. When all had concluded their antics, the Imam said: O King, God has given us honor and none can insult the one whom God has honoured and the end is only for the pious. Hisham was enraged and he ordered that the Imam should be imprisoned. In the prison, the Imam delivered such a sermon among the prisoners that its echo was heard outside as well and people said to Hisham: If he remains in this area, there would be a revolution. So he sent the Imam to Medina and ordered that no food or water should be given during the journey. Imam (a.s.) started the journey and when he reached Madain, people refused to give him provisions. He decided to climb the mountain and curse the people. A man reminded the people: Prophet Shuaib had invoked curse at the same place; beware divine punishment is about to fall. So the people were frightened and they gave the rations and the Imam [as] continued his journey.
After being released from the prison in Syria, he was going to Medina when at one place he found that a great crowd had gathered. So the Imam [as] went and asked for its reason.People said: It is the day of the audience of the Christian scholar. After sometime that monk came out of the hermitage and was bewildered on seeing the Imam. He asked: To which community do you belong? Imam (a.s.) replied: The mercified community. He asked: Are you from its scholars or ignorants? He replied: I am not ignorant. He asked: Have you come to ask something? He replied: No. He said: Can I ask you some questions? He replied: Sure. He asked: What time of the day is not counted among the hours of the world? He replied: It is the time between the rising of dawn and sunrise, which is counted both a part of a day as well as the night. It is the time when the ill gets some relief and the one who had spent the night wakefully gets sleep and religious people become more eager to worship the Almighty. He said: You say that despite enjoying foods and drinks of Paradise one would not excrete; is there an example of this in the world? Imam (a.s.) replied: The unborn child gets nourishment in the womb and he does not excrete. Then he asked: The bounties of Paradise would not decrease by using them. Is there an example of this? He replied: One lamp illuminates thousand of lamps and there is no decrease in light. He asked: Who are those two persons who were born together and died together, but the age of one of them was fifty years and the age of the other was a hundred and fifty years? He replied: They were Aziz and Uzair, Almighty Allah made Uzair die for a hundred years and then made him alive again, and now when both died together there was a difference of a hundred years between them. The monk fell silent at this reply and he said: In his presence no one has the right to say anything and now I would not reply to anyone’s query. saying this he declared his acceptance of Islam.
Martyrdom of Imam Muhammad al Baqir [as]
Imam Muhammad al Baqir [as] felt the approach of his certain death. So, he hurried to his aunt, Fatima daughter of Imam al Hussain [as]. He announced his death to her, saying: "I have completed fifty eight years. Fatima understood what the Imam [as] meant. Her heart melted with sorrows for her nephew. The Imam [as] completed fifty eighty years full of misfortunes. Those years filled his heart with sorrow and sadness It has been reported on the authority of Imam Jafar al Sadiq [as], who said: My father Mohammed Al Baqir [as]said " Ali was killed at the age of fifty eight, 'Ali b. al-Hussain died at the age fifty eight. I am fifty eight years old. Tadhkirat al-Khawas, p. 350. In Kashf al-Ghumma, vol. 2, p. 322, Imam Muhammad al Baqir [as] did not die a natural death. Rather, some sinful person, who did not believe in Allah [swt] and the hereafter, gave him poison to drink. Before his martyrdom, Imam Muhammad al Baqir [as] instructed his son Imam Jafar al Sadiq [as] about several issues and said to him that he is hearing the voice of his father who is calling him. He gave special instructions for his kafan and burial since only an Imam can say the prayers of an Imam. In his will he also mentioned that 800 Dirhams should be spent on his mourning and arrangement should be made the Hajj pilgrims would commemorate his martyrdom in Medina for the next 10 years. (Shawahi-un-Nabowah page 181).