Imam Musa Al-Kazim (a.s.): The Symbol of Patience and Struggle


The Imam (a.s.)’s suffering

Allah says in His Glorious Book: “Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! And to purify you a (thorough) purifying.” (33:33).

The death anniversary of the oppressed and captivated Imam, Musa Bin Ja’afar Al-Kazim, is on the 25th of Rajab. He eventually died having been poisoned in the last jail Ar-Rashid transferred him to.

We know that the Imams of the Members of the House suffered a lot with the Umayyads, just like they did with the Abbasids. The caliphs noted from their experiences and observations how the Members of the House (a.s.) were the scientific, spiritual, and moral guides for the people who referred to them whenever they faced certain Islamic or scientific complexities. Moreover, people used to be blessed by them, as much as they considered them to be sacred and great; therefore, the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs feared for their thrones from the widespread popularity of the Members of the House (a.s.) in the Islamic world.

Al-Ma’moun’s love to the Members of the House

Some biographers narrate that Al-Ma’moun used to love the Members of the House and when asked about the reason, he answered: “From my father, Haroun Ar-Rashid.” Astonished, the people said: “How could that be, knowing that he was known for his enmity to them?” he said: “I was young and I was at my father’s house, Musa Bin Ja’afar came for a visit, so my father ordered everyone to welcome him, and so he did. He welcomed him, embraced him, and seated him in his place and sat between his arms in respect and glorification, then he left the same way he was welcomed, and I asked my father: “who is that man whom you welcomed as such?” He answered: “if people knew who that man and his fathers and the members of his house were, they would not let us retain our positions, so I asked him: “why, then, do not we give it to them?” He answered: “Power is blind. You are my own son and if it were you who contested me over it, I would have cut your head off.”

Once, Ar-Rashid visited Al-Madina and stood before the Prophet (p.)’s shrine and said: “Peace be upon you, cousin”, he was seeking to show his proud position over the others by his blood relation with the Prophet. Imam Al-Kazim interrupted him and said to the Prophet (p.): “Peace be upon you, father.” So, Al-Rashid asked: “How is that?” The Imam said: “If the Messenger (p.) was brought back to life, would you give him your daughter in marriage?” Ar-Rashid answered that he would be honored, so the Imam said: “

But I would not marry him my daughter, for she is his daughter as well.”

Haroun Ar-Rashid imprisoned the Imam at one of his relatives’ prisons for quite a while, and asked the warden to listen to what he says, so he was told that the Imam spent his day worshipping Allah and calling Him: “O God! I have asked you to dedicate me to worshipping You. I am thankful to You for granting me (my wish).” Then, the warden wrote to Ar-Rashid saying that either he takes the Imam away, or he would set him free. So, he was transferred to Baghdad where he was moved from one prison to another, until someone poisoned him and he passed away.

On this anniversary, we would like to highlight the high status of Imam Al-Kazim (a.s.). At-Talib’s O’mda book says: “Imam Musa Al-Kazim (a.s.) was of great virtues, and he was steadfast and a good-doer”…In his book, “Kitab Al-Irshad”, Sheikh Al-Mufid says that the Imam “was the most religious of the men of his time, the most knowledgeable in religious law, the most generous and the noblest in spirit. It is also reported that he used to pray superogatory prayers throughout the night, so that he would make them extend until the morning prayer, then he would continue them until the sun rose. He used to weep so much out of fear of God that his beard would be wet with tears. He was the kindest of men to his family and his kin. He used to search out the poor of Medina during the night and take them a basket full of money, flour and dates. He would bring that to them without them knowing, in any way, that it was from him”…

It was narrated that one time, Imam Al-Kazim (a.s.) came across an ugly looking black man. The Imam greeted the man, sat beside him and talked with him for a long time. Then, the Imam asked the man if he wanted anything and told him that he was ready to help him realize what he wished for. So, the people asked him, in wonder: “O son of the Messenger of God, do you sit with someone and ask him what he needs, while he is in much need for you?! The Imam (a.s.) answered: “You should know that he is, after all, a creature of God, your brother in faith as per the command of the Holy Quran, and your neighbor in the lands of Allah. We are joined with him by the best of fathers, Adam; and the best of religions, Islam. Maybe one day he will be of a certain need to us. So, he would remember how modest we were.” He continued to say: “

We connect with who does not deserve to be connected with usfearing that, one day, we might end up with no friends.”

The Imam’s wills

In his (a.s.) will to his sons, Imam Al-Kazim said: “O sons, I entrust you with this will; if you abide by it, you will not get lost. If someone came to you and said something bad in your right ear, and then turned to the left ear and apologized, saying: “I have said nothing”, then accept his apology.” In his will to Hisham Al-Hakami, the Imam said: “O’ Hisham! The Commander of the Faithful, used to say to his friends: I recommend you to fear Allah in private and in public, to be just while you are content and while you are angry, to seek to earn your living whether you are rich or poor, connect with whoever boycotted you, forgive whoever was unjust to you, feel compassionate towards who deprived you… Be generous in nature, for Allah does not enter into heaven he who is stingy, or to hell he who is generous.”

Ibn Hamdoun said in his “Tazkara” book: “Imam Musa Bin Ja’afar said: “I found the knowledge of people in four things: firstly, that you know your Lord – recognition of Allah – Secondly, that you know what He has given you – the blessings for which you should be grateful – thirdly, that you know what He wants from you – what He ordered you to do and the way He wanted it to be done, in order to be worthy of His forgiveness – and fourthly that you learn what expels you from your religion – such as the false beliefs and big sins.

The Imam (a.s.) used to tell his sons that they ought to divide their time as follows: “Put in endeavor and exercise effort to schedule your time into four parts: the first part is for worshipping, the second should be for earning a living, the third is for socializing with trustworthy friends who know all your weaknesses and are loyal to you deep down in their hearts, and the fourth is for lawful pleasures. And with this part of time you get the strength of vigor for the three other parts of time.”Man ought to provide his soul what it desires and loves, provided that the means are Halal, in order to strengthen himself before the big responsibilities.

The Imam (a.s.) also used to say: “He is not one of us, he who does not hold himself accountable everyday. If he finds that he has done good, he would ask Allah for more and thank Him for guiding him to do so; and if he finds that he has done evil, he would ask Allah for forgiveness and repent.”

The Imams (a.s.) lead us to Allah

Our Imams are the Imams of right guidance, and they are the ones who lead us to Allah and His arguments on people. They were the light that opened up the peoples’ minds, hearts and lives. Moreover, we ought to abide by their rule and commit to their love and model after them, for they are the ones who lead us to Allah and they are the Messenger (p.)’s successors.

Many people and scientists have narrated about Imam Al-Kazim (a.s.), including Ahmad Bin Hanbal, the Imam of the Hanbalis, who said: “Imam Musa Bin Ja’afar said to me that his father, Ja’afar Bin Muhammad, told him that his father, Muhammad Bin Ali, told him, that his father, Ali Bin Al-Hussein, told him that his father, Al-Hussein Bin Ali, told him that his father Ali Bin Abi Talib said: “The Messenger of Allah (p.) said to me…” Then, Ahmad Bin Hanbal said: “Had this series of narrations been shown to an insane person, he would have returned to sanity”, because these people represent the peak of all the meanings of science, spirit, and right guidance.

We ought to follow the people whose sayings and Hadiths cite their grandfather who, in turn, cites Gabriel who narrates God’s sayings.

Peace be upon Imam Musa Bin Ja’afar, the day he was born, the day he passed away, and the day he will be brought back to life.

Source : Bayynat

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