Kunyat: Abu Ibrahim
Born: at Abwa (between Mecca and Medina) on Sunday the 7th Safar 128 A.H
Father’s name: Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq(A.S.).
Mother’s name: Hamida Khatoon.
Martyred:aged 55 years at Baghdad on Friday, 25th Rajab 183 A.H.
Poisoned by: Harun-al-Rashid.the ruling Abbasid caliph.
Buried:at Kazmain, Baghdad.
Name Epithet and Titles
Name “Musa”, epithet Abul Hasan and his famous title was Kazim. His matchless devotion and worship of God has also earned him the title of “Abd-e-Saleh” (virtuous slave of God). Generosity was synonymous with his name and no beggar ever returned from his door empty handed. Even after his martyrdom, he continued to be obliging and was generous to his devotees who came to his Holy tomb with prayers and behests which were invariably granted by God. Thus one of his additional titles is also “Bab-e-Qaza-ul-Hawaij” (the door to fulfilling needs).
The Holy Imam Moosa-e-Kazim(A.S.) was the son of Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq(A.S.) the sixth Imam. The name of his mother was Hamida who was the daughter of a noble man named Saed, hailing from the country of Berber(present Algeria).
The Holy Imam was born on 7th Safar 128 A.H. at a place called Abwa, situated between Mecca and Medina.
Imam Moosa-e-Kazim(A.S.) passed 20 years of his sacred life under the gracious patronage of his Holy father. His inherent genius and gifted virtues combined with the enlightened guidance and education from the Holy Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq(A.S.), showed in the manifestation of his future personality. He was fully versed with Divine knowledge even in his childhood.
Allama Majlisi relates that once Abu Hanifa happened to call upon the holy abode of Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq(A.S.) to ask him about some religious matters (Masail). The Imam was asleep and so he was kept waiting outside till the Imam’s awakening.
Meanwhile Imam Moosa Kazim(A.S.), who was then 5 years old, came out of his house, Abu Hanifa, after offering him his best compliments, enqired:
“O the son of the Holy Prophet! what is your opinion about the deeds of a man? Does he do them by himself or does God makes him do them?”
“O Abu Hanifa”, the five year old Imam replied at once, in the typical tone of his ancestors. “The doings of a man are confined to three possibilities. First, that God alone does them while the man is quite helpless. Second, that both God and the man do equally share the commitment. Third, that man does them alone. Now if the first assumption is true, it obviously proves the unjustness of God who punishes his creatures for sins which they have not committed. And if the second condition be acceptable, even then God becomes unjust if He punishes the man for the crimes in which he is equally a partner. But the undesirability of both these conditions is evident in the case of God. Thus we are naturally left with the third alternative to the problem that men are absolutely responsible for their own doings.”
The Holy Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq(A.S.) was martyred by the Abbasid caliph by poisoning on 15 Rajab 148 A.H. and with effect from the same date Imam Moosa-e-Kazim(A.S.) succeeded the Holy Office of Imamat as the seventh Imam. The period of his Imamat continued for 35 years. In the first decade of his Imamat, Holy Imam Moosa Kazim(A.S.) could afford a peaceful execution of the responsibilities of his sacred office and carried on the propagationof the teachings of the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.). But soon after, he fell a victim to the ruling kings and a greater part of his life passed in prison.
Imam Moosa-e-Kazim(A.S.) lived under the most crucial times in the regimes of the despotic Abbasid kings who were marked for their tyrannical and cruel administration. He witnessed the reigns of Mansur-e-Dawaniqi, Mahdi and Haroon-al-Rashid. Mansur and Haroon were the despotic kings who put a multitude of innocent descendants of the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) to the sword. Thousands of these martyrs were alive inside walls or put into horrible dark prisons during their lifetime. These depraved Caliphs knew no pity or justice and they killed and tortured for the pleasure the derived from human sufferings.
The Holy Imam was saved from the tyranny of Mansur because the king, being occupied with his project of constructing the new city of Baghdad, could not get time to turn towards victimising the Holy Imam. By 157 A.H. the city of Baghdad was built. This was soon followed by the death of its founder a year later. After Mansur, his son Mehdi ascended the throne. For a few years he remained indifferent towards the Holy Imam. When in 164 A.H. he came to Medina and heard about the great reputation of the Holy Imam, he could not resist his jealousy and the spark of his ancestral malice against the Ahl-ul-Bayt(A.S.) was rekindled. He somehow managed to take the Holy Imam along with him to Baghdad and got him imprisoned there. But after a year he realised his mistake and released the Holy Imam for jail. Caliph Mehdi was succeeded by Hadi who lived only for a year. Now in 170 A.H., the most cruel and tyrannical king Haroon-al-Rashid appeared at the head of the Abbasid Empire. It was during his reign that the Holy Imam passed the greater part of his life in a miserable prison till he was martyred.
Moral and Ethical Excellence:
As regards his morality and ethical excellence, Ibne-Hajar remarks, “The patience and forbearance of Imam Moosa-e-Kazim(A.S.) was such that he was given the title of Al-Kazim (one who swallows down his anger). He was the embodiment of virtue and generosity. He dovoted his nights to the prayers of God and his days to fasting. He always forgave those who did wrong to him.”
His kind and generous attitude towards the people was such that he used to patronise and help the poor and destitutes of Medina and provide for them cash, food, clothes and other necessities of sustenance secretly. It continued to be a riddle for the receivers of gifts throughout the Imam’s life-time as to who their benefactor was, but the secret was not revealed until after his martyrdom.
Time and circumstances did not permit the Holy Imam Moosa-e-Kazim(A.S.) to establish institutions to impart religious knowledge to his followers as his father, Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq(A.S.) and his grandfather, Imam Muhammad-al-Baqir(A.S.) had done. He was never allowed to address a congregation. He carried on his mission of preaching and guiding people quietly. He also became the author of a few books of which the most famous is “Musnad of Imam Moosa-e-Kazim(A.S.)”.
In 179 A.H. king Haroon-al-Rashid visited Medina. The fire of malice and jealousy against the Ahl-ul-Bayt was kindled in his heart when he saw the great influence and popularity which the Holy Imam enjoyed amongst the people there. He got the Holy Imam arrested while he was busy in prayer at the tomb of the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) and kept him in prison in Baghdad for a period of about 4 years. On the 25th of Rajab 183 A.H., he got the Imam martyred by poison. Even his corpse was not spared humiliation and was taken out of the prison and left on the bridge of Baghdad. His devotees however, managed to lay the Holy body of the Imam to rest in Kazmain (Iraq).
Imam al Musa al-Kazim(A.S.)
by Shaykh Mufid
taken from Kitab al-Irshad
(This is) an account of the Imam who undertook (the office) (al-qa’im) after Abu Abd Allah Ja’far b. Muhammad, peace be on them, (describing) who gave birth to him and the date of his birth. (It includes) the evidence for his Imamate, the age he reached and the period of his succession (khilafa), his death, its cause, and the place of his grave.
As we have mentioned before, the Imam after Abu Abd Allah Jafar, peace be on him, was Abu al-Hasan Musa b. Jafars the righteous worshipper (of God), peace be on him, because the qualities of outstanding merit and perfection were gathered in him, because of the designation (nass) by his father of the Imamate (being) for him, and his clear indication of it being his.
His birth took place at al-Abwa’ in the year 128 A.H. (745/6). He, peace be on him, died in the prison of al-Sindi b. Shahik on the 6th of (the month of) Rajab in the year 183 A.H. (799). He was then fifty-five years of age. His mother was a slave-wife named Hamida al-Barbariyya. The period of his succession and occupying the office of the Imamate after his father, peace be on them, was thirty-five years. His kunyas were Abu-Ibrahim, Abu al-Hasan and Abu Ali;. He is known as al-Abd al-Salah (the pious worshipper of God) and also he is described as al-Kazim (the restrained), peace be on him.
The Designation (Nass) of (Imam Musa) for the Imamate by his Father, Peace be on them.
Among the shaykhs of the followers of Abu Abd Allah, peace be on him, his special group (khassa), his inner circle and the trustworthy righteous legal scholars, may God have mercy on them, who report the clear designation of the Imamate by Abu Abd Allah Jafars peace be on him, for his son, Abu al- Hasan Musa, peace be on him, are: al-Mufaddal b. Umar al-Jufi, Mu’adh b. Kathir, Abd al-Rahman b. al-Hajjaj, al-Fayd b. al-Mukhtar, Yaqub al-Sarraj, Sulayman b. Khalid, Safwan al-Jammal, and others whom it would make the book too long to mention.
(That designation) is also reported by his two brothers, Ishaq and Ali, sons of Jafar, peace be on him. They were men of merit and piety and (therefore reliable witnesses) in so far as two such men did not differ on it.
[Musa al-Sayqal reported on the authority of al-Mufaddal b. Umar al-Jufi, may God have mercy on him, who said:]
I (i.e. al-Mufaddal b. Umar al-Jufi) was with Abu Abd Allah (Jafar), peace be on him. Abu Ibrahim Musa, peace be on him, came in. He was still a boy. Abu Abd Allah Jafar, peace be on him, said to him: “Indicate to those of your Companions whom you trust that the position of authority belongs to him Musa.”
[Thubayt reported on the authority of Muadh b. Kathir, on the authority of Abu Abd Allah Ja’far:]
I (i.e. Muadh b. Kathir) said to (Jafar): “I ask God, Who provided your father with you for this position, to provide you with one of your offspring for the same position before your death.”
“God has done that,” he answered.
“May I be your ransom, who is it?” I asked.
He indicated al-Abd al-Sarh (the pious worshipper of God) (i.e. Musa) to me. He was asleep.
“This one who is sleeping,” he said. He was at that time a boy.
[Abu Ali al-Arrajani reported on the authority of Abd al Rahman b. al Hajjaj, who said:]
I (i.e. Abd al-Rahman b. al-Hajjaj) visited Jafar b. Muhammad, peace be on them, in his house. He was in such-and-such a room in his house which he used as a prayer-room. He was praying there. On his right hand was Musa b. Jafar, peace be on them, following his prayer.
“May God make me your ransom,” I said, “you know how I have dedicated my life to you and (you know of) my service to you. Who is the master of the affair (wali al-amr) after you?”
He said: “Abd al-Rahman, Musa has put on the armour and it fitted him.”
“After that, I have no further need of anything,” I replied.
[Abd al-Ala reported on the authority of al-Fayd b. al-Mukhtar, who said:]
I (i.e. al-Fayd b. al-Mukhtar) said to Abu ‘Abd Allah Ja’far, peace be on him: “Take my hand away from the fire (of Hell). Who is (the Imam) for us after you?”
Abu Ibrahim (Musa) entered – at that time he was a boy. Then (Jafar) said: “This is your leader (sahib). Keep close to him.”
[Ibn Abi Najran reported on the authority of al-Mansur b. Hazim, who said:]
I (i.e. al-Mansur b. Hazim) said to Abu ‘Abd Allah, peace be on him: “(May I ransom you) with my father and mother. There is a great coming and going among men about (the succession). Since that is so, who is it?”
“Since that is so,” replied Abu ‘Abd Allah, peace be on him, “he is your leader.”
He tapped the right shoulder of Abu al-Hasan (Musa). He was at that time, as far as I know, about five years old. ‘Abd Allah b. Ja’far was sitting with us.
[Ibn Abi Najran reported on the authority of Isa b. ‘Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. Umar b. Ali b. Abi Talib, on the authority of Abu Abd Allah Ja’far, peace be on him:]
I (i.e. ‘Isa b. Muhammad) asked (Ja’far): “If something happened – may God not make me see such a thing – who should I follow?”
(Ja’far) pointed to his son, Musa.
“If anything happened to Musa, who should I follow?” I asked.
“His son,” he replied.
“If anything happened to his son?”
“Then his son.”
“If something happened to him,” I went on, “and he left a big brother and a small son?”
“His son; it is always thus,” he answered.
[Al-Fadl reported on the authority of Tahir b. Muhammad on the authority of Abu ‘Abd Allah Ja’far, peace be on him:]’
I (i.e. Tahir b. Muhammad) saw (Ja’far) blaming his son, ‘Abd Allah, and warning him. He was saying: “What stops you from being like your brother? By God, I see the light in (Musa’s) face.”
“Why is that?” asked ‘Abd Allah. “Is not my father and his father one and the same? Is not my origin and his origin one and the same?”
“He is from my soul and you are my son,” replied Abu ‘Abd Allah Ja’far, peace be on him.
[Muhammad b. Sinan reported on the authority of Ya’qub al- Sarraj), who said:]
I (i.e. Yaqub al-Sarraj) visited Abu ‘Abd Allah Jafar, peace be on him. He was standing by the head of Abu al-Hasan, Musa, peace be on him, who was in the cradle. He began to play with him for a long time. I sat down until he had finished. Then I stood up before him. He told me: “Approach your master (mawla) and greet him.”
I went near him and greeted him and he replied to me eloquently. Then he told me*: “Go and change the name of your daughter which you gave her yesterday. For it is a name which God dislikes.”
A daughter had been born to me and I had named her al-Humayra’.
“Pay attention to the command which he gave you,” Abu Abd Allah Jafar, peace be on him, told me. So I changed her name.
[Ibn Miskan reported on the authority of Sulayman b. Khalid, who said:]
One day Abu Abd Allah Jafar, peace be on him, called for Abu al-Hasan Musa while we were with him. He told us: “It is your duty (to follow) this man after me. By God, he is your leader after me.”
[Al-Washsha’ reported on the authority of Ali b. al-Husayn, on the authority of Safwan al-Jammal, who said:]”
I (i.e. Safwan; al-Jammal) asked Abu Abd Allah Jafar, peace be on him, about the leader of this affair (sahib al-amr) (after him). He said: “The leader of this affair is one who does not fool and play.”
Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, approached. He was still small. He had a calf (destined) for Mecca and was saying to it:
“Prostrate yourself to your Lord.”
Abu Abd Allah Jafar, peace be on him, took him by the hand and embraced him saying: “May I ransom with my father and mother (you) who do not fool and play.”
[Yaqub b. Jafar al-Jufi reported: Ishaq b. Jafar al-Sadiq, peace be on him, told us:]
One day I (i.e. Ishaq) was with my father (Jafar) when Ali b. Umar b. ‘Ali asked him: May I be your ransom, to whom shall we and the people turn after you?”
He answered: ‘ “To the owner of two yellow clothes and two locks of hair. He who is coming out of the door to you.”
We did not wait long before two (little) hands appeared pulling the two doors so that they opened. In before us came Abu Ibrahim Musa, peace be on him. He was still a boy and was wearing two yellow garments.
[Muhammad b. al-Walid reported: I heard Ali b. Jafar b. Muhammad al-Sadiq, peace be on them, say:]
I (i.e. ‘Ali b. Jafar) heard my father, Jafar b. Muhammad, peace be on them, say to a group of his close associates and followers:
“Treat my son, Musa, peace be on him, with kindness. He is the most meritorious (afdal) of my children and the one who will succeed after me. He is the one who will undertake (qa’im) my position. He is God’s proof (hujja) to all His creatures after me.”
Ali b. Jafar remained firmly loyal to his brother Musa, peace be on him, devoted to him, and enthusiastic in taking the outlines of religion from him. He has a famous (book) Masa’il (questions) in which he relates the answers he heard from (Musa), peace be on him.
The reports of what we have mentioned are too numerous to be explained and described fully.
An Extract of the Proofs, Signs, Indications and Miracles which Abu al-Hasan Musa (presented).
[Abu al-Qasim Jafar b. Muhammad b. Qulawayh informed me, on the authority of Muhammad b. Ya’qub al-Kulayni, on the authority of Muhammad b. Yahya, on the authority of Ahmad b.Muhammad b. Isa, on the authority of Abu Yahya al- Wasiti, on the authority of Hisham b. Salim, who said:]
I (i.e. Hisham b. Salim) and Muhammad b. Numan (known as) Sahib al-Taq were in Medina after the death of Abu Abd Allah, peace be on him. The people had agreed that Abd Allah b. Jafar was the leader of the affair (sahib al-amr) after his father. We went to visit him and the people were with him.
We questioned him about how much poor-tax (zakat) had to be paid.
“Five dirhams on two hundred dirhams,” he answered.
“How much on a hundred dirhams?” we asked.
“Two and a half dirhams,” he answered.
“By God, you are declaring the doctrine of the Murji’a,” we said.
“By God,” he retorted, “I do not know the doctrine of the Murji’a.”
We, Abu Jafar al-Ahwal (i.e. Muhammad b. Numan) and myself, left, wandering without knowing where to go. We sat in one of the lanes in Medina weeping. We did not know where we should go or to whom we should turn. We spoke about (joining) the Murji’ites, the Qadarites, the Mu`tazilites, and the Zaydites.
We were in this situation when I saw a venerable man whom I did not know. He indicated to me with his hand. I was afraid that he was one of the spies of (the Abbasid caliph) Abu Jafar al-Mansur. There were spies in Medina for him (to find out) who the people agreed on to succeed Jafar. Then that man (i.e. the Imam) would be captured and executed. I was afraid that that man was one of them.
“Go aside,” I said to al-Ahwal, “I am afraid for myself. You be careful. He only wants me. He does not want you. Leave me, for you will lead (him) to yourself.”
(Al-Ahwal) went some distance away from me and I went over to the venerable man. That was because I thought that I would not be able to escape from him. As I followed him, I was certain of my own death until he brought me to the door of Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him. Then he left me and went away. There was a servant at the door. He said to me: “Come in, may God have mercy on you.”
I went in. There was Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him. He spoke to me before ( I could speak): “To me, to me; not to the Murji’ites, nor to the Qadarites, nor to the Mutazilites, nor to the Zaydites.”
“May I be your ransom,” I replied, “your father has gone.”
“Yes,” he answered.
“He has left through death,” I said.
“Yes,” he retorted.
“Then who is in charge of the people after him?” I asked.
“If God wills, He will guide you to that man,” he answered.
“May I be your ransom,” I said, “your brother Abd Allah claims that he is the Imam after his father.”
“Abd Allah intends that God should not be worshipped (properly),” he declared.
“May I be your ransom, who is in charge of us after him?” I asked (again).
“If God wills, He will guide you to that man,” he repeated.
“May I be your ransom, are you him?” I questioned.
“I am not saying that,” he replied.
I thought to myself that I had not used the correct method of questioning. So I said to him: “May I be your ransom, do you have an Imam over you?”
“No,” he replied. Something came to me which only God knew with regard to honouring and showing respect (to Musa). So I said to him: “May I be your ransom, may I question you like I used to question your father?”
“Question,” he said. “You will be informed but do not spread (the answer) around. For if you do spread it around, then slaughter will take place.”
I questioned him. Indeed he was like a sea (of knowledge) which could not be exhausted. I said to him: “May I be your ransom, the Shia of your father is lost (without a leader). May I put this matter to them and summon them (to follow) you? For you have taken (a promise of) secrecy from me.”
“Tell those of them whose righteousness you are familiar with,” he said, “but take (a promise of) secrecy from them. For if it gets spread around, there will be slaughter,” and he pointed to his neck with his hand.
I left him and met Abu Jafar al-Ahwal.
“What happened to you?” he asked.
“Guidance,’ I said and I told him the story.
Then we met Zurara and Abu Basir. They went to him, listened to his words and questioned him. They asserted his Imamate. We met wave after wave of the people. Everyone who went to him, declared (his Imamate) except for the group of Ammar al-Sabati. Abd Allah persisted in his claim but only a few of the people came to him.
[Abu al-Qasim Ja’far b. Muhammad b. Qulawayh informed me on the authority of Muhammad b. Yaqub on the authority of ‘Ali b. Ibrahim on the authority of al- Wafiqi who said:]
I (al-Wafiqi) had an uncle called al-Hasan b. Abd Allah. He was an ascetic and one of the most pious people of his time. The authorities were wary of him because of his earnestness and his vigour towards religion.
Sometimes he would approach the authorities concerning enjoining the good and forbidding the evil because of something which had angered him. They accepted that because of his righteousness. The state of affairs continued until one day he went into the mosque. There was Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him. He beckoned to him and (my uncle) went to him.
(Musa) said to him: “Abu Ali, nothing is more pleasing to me and gives me greater joy than the way you behave. Despite that, you do not have true knowledge (marifa). Seek for true knowledge.”
“May I be your ransom,” he said to him, what is true knowledge?”
“Go so that you may learn,” he told him. “Seek out traditions.”
“From whom?” he asked.
“From the jurists of Medina,” he answered, “and then bring the additions to me.”
He went and wrote down (what he learnt). Then he came and read to him.
However (Musa) invalidated all of it. He told him: “Go and learn.”
The man was concerned about (his own attitude to) his religion. He continued to search for Abu al-Hasan until he went to (visit) an estate of his. On the road he met him. He said to him: “May I be your ransom, I have sought for you (by begging) God. Guide me to what is necessary for me to know.”
Then Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him, informed him about the authority and rights of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and what it was necessary for him to know. (He told him of) the authority of al-Hasan, al- Husayn, Ali b. al-Husayn, Muhammad b Ali and Jafar b. Muhammad. Then he was silent.
(Al-Hasan) said to him: “May I be your ransom, who is the Imam today?”
“If I tell you,” he answered, “will you come close to me?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“I am he,” he said.
“Is there anything by which this could be proved?” he asked.
“Go to that tree,” he said – and he pointed towards one of the trees of Umm Ghaylan, “and tell it that Musa b. Jafar tells you to draw near.”
[He reported:] I went to it and I saw it furrow through the ground until it stopped in front of him. Then he indicated to it to go back and it went back.
He went up to him and cleaved to silence and worship. No one ever saw him talking after that.
[Ahmad b. Mihran reported on the authority of Muhammad b. Ali, on the authority of Abu Basir, who said:]
I (i.e. Abu Basir) said to Abu al-Hasan Musa b. Jafar, peace be on them: “May I be your ransom, by what is the Imam known?”
“By special characteristics,’ he answered. “The first of them is something by which preference has been given him by his father and an indication (has been made) by his (father) that he should be proof (hujja) (to the world). When he is asked (anything), he can answer it. If (a person) holds back from speaking to him, he may begin (the conversation) by telling him what will happen tomorrow and speaking to each person in his own tongue.”
Then he said: “Abu Muhammad (i.e. Abu- Basir) I will give you a sign before you rise to go.”
I did not wait long before a man from the people of Khurasan entered. The Khurasani spoke to him in Arabic and Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him, answered him in Persian.
“By God, what prevented me speaking to you in Persian was that I thought you were not fluent in it,” the Khurasani said to him. “Praise be to God,” he replied, “if I was not fluent enough to reply to you, I would not have the merit over you, by which I am entitled to the Imamate.”
Then he said: “Abu Muhammad, no speech of the people is hidden from the Imam, nor the language of birds, nor the speech of anything which has a soul.”
Abd Allah b. Idris reported on the authority of Ibn Sinan, who said:]
One day al-Rashid sent some robes to Ali b. Yaqtin to honour him. Among their number was a black woollen cloak adorned with gold like the robes of kings. Ali b. Yaqtin dispatched those robes to Musa b. Jafar, peace be on them.
Among their number he (also) sent that cloak. He added some money which he had already prepared specifically for him as the fifth of his money (khums – tax for the Imams) which he was going to pay him. When that reached Abu-al- Hasan Musa, peace be on him, he accepted the money and the robes but returned the cloak by the hand of the messenger to Ali b. Yaqtin. He wrote to him: “Keep it and do not let it leave your hands.
For an event will occur to you because of it when you will have the need of it with him (al-Rashid).” Ali b. Yaqtin was suspicious about it being returned to him and did not understand the reason for that. Some time later, Ali b. Yaqtin changed (his attitude) towards a servant who had a special position with him and he left his service.
The servant knew about Ali b. Yaqtin’s inclination towards Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him. He was acquainted with the money, garments and other things (Ali) had sent to (Musa) on every occasion. He (went and) informed on him to al-Rashid. He told (al-Rashid) that (Ali) maintained the Imamate of Musa b. Jafar and paid him a fifth of his money each year, and also that he had given him the cloak with which the Commander of the faithful (al-Rashid) had honoured him at such-and-such a time Al-Rashid burned with anger and was furious. He declared: “I will expose this situation. If the matter is as you say, his life will be destroyed.”
He immediately sent for Ali b. Yaqtin to be brought. When he appeared before him, he said: “What have you done with the cloak which I bestowed upon you?”
“Commander of the faithful,” (Ali) replied, “I still have it in a sealed chest and there I keep perfume with it. In the mornings I open it and look at it to gain blessings from it. I kiss it and then put it back in its place. Every night I do the same thing.”
“Bring it, immediately,” he ordered.
“Yes, Commander of the faithful,” he answered. He summoned one of his servants and told him: “Go to such-and-such a room in my house. Take the key for it from my custodian and open it. Open such-and-such a box and bring me the sealed chest which is in it.”
It was not long before the servant returned with the chest still sealed. He put it before al-Rashid and told him to break the seal and open it. When he opened it, he saw the cloak in it folded and laid out in perfume.
Al-Rashid’s anger became pacified and he said to `Ali b. Yaqtin: “Return it to its place and go away righteously. I will never disbelieve you again on the word of an informer.”
He ordered a magnificent gift to be sent after him and he had the informer flogged with a thousand lashes. After he had been flogged about a hundred lashes, he died.
[Muhammad b. Ismail reported on the authority of Muhammad b. al-Fadl, who said:]
The tradition concerning rubbing the two feet (mash al-rijlayn) in the ritual ablution (wudu’) was a subject of dispute among our companions – whether (it should be done) from the toes to the ankles or from the ankles to the toes. Ali b. Yaqtin wrote to Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him:
“May I be your ransom, our companions are in dispute over rubbing the feet. If you would think fit to write to me in your own handwriting what my practice should be with regard to it, I would carry it out, God, the Exalted, willing.”
Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, wrote back to him: “I have understood what you have mentioned about the dispute concerning ritual ablution. What I order you to do with regard to that is: you should rinse your mouth three times; you should sniff water into your nostrils three times; you should wash your face three times; you should rub between the interstices of the hair of your beard; you should wash your arms from the finger to the elbows; you should rub the whole of your head and the outside and inside of your ears; you should wash your feet up to the ankles three times. Do not transgress that for anything else.”
When the letter came to Ali b. Yaqtin, he was surprised at the details he had given in it which were different from what the group had agreed upon. He said: “My master (mawla) knows better what he has said and I will obey his command.”
He used to practise it in his ablution and was in conflict with the practice of all the Shi’a out of submission to the command of Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him.
Information was given to al-Rashid against ‘Ali b. Yaqtin and he was accused of being a Rafidite, who is opposed to (al-Rashid). Al- Rashid said to one of his close associates: “Much talk is coming to me about ‘Ali b. Yaqtin, and the suspicion of him being in opposition to me and being of Rafidite leanings. Yet I cannot see any deficiency in his service to me. I have examined him several times and have not been able to find any suspicious thing about him. I would like to examine his (position) without him being aware of it and thus being able to guard himself against me.”
He was told: “Commander of the faithful, the Rafidites oppose the general view (jamaa) with regard to ritual ablution and reduce its form. They do not accept washing the feet. Therefore examine him-without his knowledge – on his practice in ritual ablution.”
“Yes,” he replied, “this method will reveal his views.”
He left it for a while. Then when ‘Ali was away at his house doing some work, he came at the time for prayer. ‘Ali b. Yaqtin was alone in one of the rooms of the house in order to perform his ablution and prayer. Al-Rashid stood behind the wall where he could see ‘Ali b. Yaqtin without him seeing him. He (‘Ali) called for water for the ablution.
He rinsed his mouth out three times; he sniffed water into his nostrils three times; he washed his face three times; he rubbed between the interstices of his beard; he washed his arms to the elbows three times; he rubbed his head and his ears; and he washed his feet three times.
Al-Rashid watched him. When he saw him do that, he could not contain himself from looking down on him from a position where (‘Ali) could see him and calling to him: “Ali b. Yaqtin, those who claim that you are one of the Rafidites are liars.”
Thus (‘Alis) situation with (al-Rashid) was restored. A letter came to him from Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him: “Beginning from now ‘Ali b. Yaqtin, you will perform the ablution as God ordered it. Wash your face once as is mandatory and another time (as a voluntary act) within the ablution; similarly wash your arms from the elbows and rub the front of your head and the outer part of your feet with the remnants of the dampness from the ablutionary water (on your hands). What was feared for you has now been removed. Greetings.”
[Ali b. Abi Hamza al-Batayini reported:]
One day Abu al-Hasan Musa; peace be on him, left Medina for one of his estates outside the town. I (i.e. Ali b. Abi Hamza) accompanied him. He, peace be on him, was riding on a mule and I was on a donkey of mine. As we were going along one of the paths, a lion blocked our way.
I stared at it in terror but Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him, went forward without worrying about it. I saw the lion become subdued and mutter before Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him. Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him, stood as if he was listening to the muttering. The lion put its paw on the saddle of his mule. My soul trembled at that and I was absolutely terrified. Then the lion turned away to the side of the road. Abu al-Hasan turned his face toward the qibla (direction of Mecca) and began to pray. He moved his lips in such a way that I could not understand him. Then he indicated to the lion with his hand that it should go. The lion muttered for a long time and Abu al-Hasan said: “Amen, amen.”
The lion went away until it disappeared from our sight. Abu al Hasan, peace be on him, went straight on and I followed him. When we were far from the place, I came up to him and said: “May I be your ransom, what was that business of the lion? By God, I was frightened for you and surprised at its attitude towards you.”
“He came out to complain of the difficulty his lioness was having in giving birth,” Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him, told me. “He asked me to ask God to make it easier for her and I did that for him. He asked whether (I knew) in my heart if she would bear a male and I told him that. Then he told me: “Go in the protection of God. God will never impose on you, nor on your offspring, nor on any of your Shia, any trouble from wild beasts.’ I said: Amen.”
Reports of this kind are numerous. What we have set out of them is sufficient according to the scheme which has been set out, through the grace of God, the Exalted.
A Sample of his Virtues
Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, was the most religious of the men of his time, the most knowledgeable in law, the most generous and the noblest in spirit.
It is reported that he used to pray superogatory prayers throughout the night so that he would make them extend until the morning-prayer, then continue them until the sun rose. He would remain prostrating himself before God without raising his head from prayer and praising God until the sun came near to descending (from its midday zenith). Frequently when he used to pray he would say:
O God, I ask of you ease at death and forgiveness on the Day of Reckoning.
He would repeat that. Another of his prayers, peace be on him was:
How great is sin to You. Therefore let forgiveness seem good to You.
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, in which was money, flour and dates. He would bring that to them without them knowing in any way that it was from him.
[Al-Sharif Abu- Muhammad al-Hasan b. Muhammad b. Yahya informed me: My grandfather Yahya b. al-Hasan b. Ja’far told us: Isma’il b. Yaqub told us: Muhammad b. Abd Allah al-Bakri told us.]
I (i.e Muhammad b. ‘Abd Allah) came to Medina to ask for repayment of a debt and it made me weary. I said (to myself): “If I had gone to Abu al-Hasan Musa , peace be on him, and complained to him.”So I went to him at Naqma at his estate. He came out to me. With him was a servant carrying a basket in which there was some chopped-up meat. He had no one else with him. He ate and I ate with him.
Then he asked me what I wanted. So I told him my story. He went inside and it was only a short time before he came out to me. He told his servant to go and then he stretched out his hand towards me. He gave me a purse in which was three hundred dinars. Then he arose and turned away. I mounted my animal and went away.
[ Al-shar-if Abu Muhammad al-Hassan b. Muhammad on the authority of his grandfather (Yahya b. al-Hasan), on the authority of another of his colleagues and teachers, (who said:)]
A man from the family of Umar b. al-Khattab was in Medina trying to harm Abu al-Hasan Masa, peace be on him. Whenever he saw (Abu al-Hasan) he would curse him and curse `Ali, peace be on him. One day some of those who used to attend his gatherings said to him:
“Let us kill this sinner.”
He forbade them from (doing) that most firmly and rebuked them severely.
He asked about the descendant of Umar and was told that he had a farm on the outskirts of Medina. He rode out to him and found him at his farm. As he entered the farm with his donkey, the descendant of
Umar cried out:
“Do not tread on my sown land.”
Yet Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him, continued to tread on it with his donkey until he reached him. He dismounted and sat with him. He greeted him with a smile and laughed at him.
“How much have you paid to sow your land?” he asked.
“One hundred dinars,” (the other man) answered.
“How much do you hope to acquire from it?”
“I do not know the unknown,” was the reply.
“I only asked you about what you hope it would bring you,” retorted (Abu al-Hasan).
“I hope that it will bring me two hundred dinars,” he answered. Abu al-Hasan took out a purse in which was three hundred dinars and said:
“This is (the price) of what you have sown in its present condition (i.e. what you have spent to sow it and what you hope to gain from it.) May God provide you with what you hope for from it.”
The descendant of Umar kissed his head and asked him to forgive his (former) hasty words about him. Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him, smiled at him and went away.
In the evening he went to the mosque and found that descendant of ‘Umar sitting there. When the latter saw him, he called out: “God knows best where to put his (prophetic) mission.”
His companions jumped (in surprise) towards him and said to him: “What is the story (behind what you say), for you used to speak quite differently from this.”
“You have heard what I have said now,” he replied and began to speak on behalf of Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him. They opposed him and he opposed them.
When Abu-al-Hasan returned to his house, he said to those who attended his gatherings and who had asked about killing the descendant of ‘Umar: “Which was betterùwhat you wanted or what I wanted? I put right his attitude to the extent which you have now become acquainted with. I was sufficient for the evil that was in him.”
A group of the traditionists (ahl al-‘ilm) mention that Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him, always used to travel with two hundred to three hundred dinars to give away. The purses of Musa, peace be on him, were proverbial.
[Ibn Ammar and other narrators record:]
When al-Rashid set out to go on the pilgrimage and was approaching Medina, the leading men among the inhabitants met him. Musa b. Ja’far, peace be on them, came out to (al-Rashid’s group) on a mule.
“What ! Is this the animal on which you will meet the Commander of the faithful” al-Rabi’ asked him. “If you were seeking (something) on it, you would not obtain it and if you were being sought (while you were) on it, you would not escape.”
“It is beneath the vanity of horses and above the lowliness of asses and the best of matters are those which are moderate,” he replied.
When Harun al-Rashid entered Medina, he went to pay a visitation to (the tomb of) the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. The people went with him. Al-Rashid went forward to the tomb of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, and said:
“Greetings to you, Apostle of God! Greetings to you, cousin.”
He was seeking to show his proud position over the others by that. But then Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him, went forward to the tomb and said:
“Greetings to you, Apostle of God! Greetings to you, father.”
(The expression on) al-Rashid’s face changed and the anger in it became transparently obvious.
[Abu Zayd reported: ‘Abd al-Hamid told me:]
Muhammad b. al-Hasan asked Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, about attending al-Rashid while they were in Mecca.
“Is it permitted of the person consecrated as a pilgrim (muhrim) to be shaded (from the sun) by his camel train?” (Muhammad b. al-Hasan) asked him.
“It is not permitted for him if there is any choice available for him,” Musa, peace be on him, told him.
“Is it permitted for him to walk in the (natural) shade by choice?” Muhammad b. al-Hasan asked.
“Yes,” replied Musa.
Muhammad b. al-Hasan laughed at that. Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, said: “Does the sunna of the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, surprise you and are you scoffing at it? The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, took advantage of the (natural) shade during his state of ritual consecration (ihram) and walked in the (natural) shade while he was consecrated for the pilgrimage (muhrim). The laws of God, Muhammad, are not subject to analogy. Anyone who makes analogies of some of them on the basis of others, has strayed from the straight path.”
Muhammad b. al-Hasan was silent and did not ask any more questions.
The people have reported traditions on the authority of Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, and they have become very numerous; for, as we have said before, he was the most knowledgeable in the law during his time, and the most versed in the Book of God, the best of them in voice for recitation of the Qur’an. Whenever he recited, those who were listening to his recitation, would become sad and weep.
The people in Medina named him “the ornament of those who spend nights in prayer” (mutahajjidin). He was also called al-Kazim (the one who holds back) because of his restraint of anger and the patience (which he showed) in the face of the acts of the oppressors right up until the time he died, murdered in their prison and bonds.
Report about the Reason for him Being Martyred and a Sample of the Accounts about that
The reason for al-Rashid detaining Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, imprisoning him and killing him is (contained in what is mentioned in the following tradition).
[Ahmad b. Ubayd Allah b. ‘Ammar reported on the authority of ‘Ali b. Muhammad al-Nawfah on the authority of his father; and Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Sa’d (reported); and Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. Muhammad b. Yahya: on the authority of their teachers, who said:]’
The reason for the arrest of Musa b. Jafar, peace be on them, was that al- Rashid had put his son in the care of Ja’far b. Muhammad b. al-Ash’ath and Yahya. b. Khalid b. Barmak was jealous of that. He said (to himself): “If the caliphate passes on to (the son), my dominion and that of my son will be destroyed.” Therefore he deceived Jafar b. Muhammad – and the latter used to maintain the belief in the Imamate – so that he managed to gain access to him and establish friendly relations with him. His visits to his house were frequent and he became acquainted with his affairs, which he would report back to al-Rashid and he used to add to these reports that which would make (al-Rashid) feel hatred towards him.
One day (Yahya b. Khalid) asked some of those he trusted: “Would you discover for me a member of the family of Abu Talib who is not in comfortable circumstances, and then he would let me know what I need?”
He was directed towards ‘Ali b. Ismail b. Jafar b. Muhammad. Yahya b. Khalid took him some money. Musa, peace be on him, was friendly with `Ali b. Isma’il b. Ja’far b. Muhammad and he used to bring him gifts and treat him well.
Yahya b. Khalid sent to (‘Ali b. Ismail) requesting him to visit al-Rashid and drawing his attention to the kind treatment which he had given him. So he decided to do that. Musa, peace be on him, was concerned and summoned Ali.
“Where are you going, cousin?” he asked.
“Baghdad,” was the reply.
“Why are you doing that?” he enquired.
“I am in debt and I am poor,” he answered.
“I will pay your debt and act for you and carry out (what you need),” Musa, peace be on him, told him.
He did not pay attention to that and began to set about (preparations for his) departure. Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him, asked him to come and said to him: “Are you leaving?”
“Yes,” he replied, “I must do that.”
“Look, cousin,” he said to him, “fear God and do not give away any confidences against my children.”
He ordered him to be given three hundred dinars and four thousand dirhams.
(When he stood up in front of him, Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, spoke to those who were present: “By God, he will strive against my blood and he will confide against my children.”
“May God make us your ransom,” they said to him, “did you know this from his state when you were giving him gifts and being generous to him?”
“Yes,” he said, “my father told me on the authority of his ancestors, on the authority of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, that when kin cut themselves away, then they should be brought back, for if they cut themselves away, God will cut them off. I wanted to bring him back after he had cut himself off from me for if he cuts me off, God will cut him off.)
‘Ali b. Ismail set out until he reached Yahya b. Khalid. He gave him news of Musa b. Jafar, peace be on him, and (Yahya b. Khalid) reported to al-Rashid and added additional material to it.
Then he took him to al-Rashid. The latter asked him about his uncle and he gave information against him to (al- Rashid). He told him that money was being brought to him from east and west and that he had bought an estate named al-Yasir for thirty thousand dinars. Its (former) owner had said when he had brought him the money:
“I will not accept this kind of currency. I will only accept such-and-such a kind of currency.” Then he ordered that money be brought and then he gave thirty thousand dinars of the currency whose coinage he had asked for.
Al-Rashid listened to that from him and then ordered him to be given two hundred thousand dirhams, with which he sought to make a living in one of the areas. He chose one of the provinces of the east.
His messengers were sent to bring the money and he waited there for its arrival. One day he went into the toilet, when he was suffering from dysentery and as a result of it the whole of his stomach came out. He fell down. They tried to put it back but they could not. He was aware of his situation when the money was brought to him while he was in the pangs of death. He said: “What can I do with it? I am about to die.”
That year al-Rashid went on the pilgrimage. He began it at Medina and there he had Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, arrested. It is reported that when he came to Medina, Musa, peace be on him, received him with a group of the nobles. They had gone out to meet him and then Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him, had gone on to the mosque as was his custom. Al-Rashid waited until night and then went to the tomb of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. He said: “Apostle of God, I apologise to you for something I want to do. I want to imprison Musa b. Ja’far because he is intending to bring division into your community and to cause the shedding of its blood.”
Then he ordered him to be taken from the mosque and brought before him. He had him put in chains and called for two awnings to be brought He had (Abu al-Hasan) put in one of them on a mule and he had the other awning put on another mule. The two mules left his house carrying the two awnings which were closed.
With each one went cavalry. The cavalry divided and some of them went with one of the two awnings on the road to Basra and the other on the road to Kufa. Al-Rashid only did that in order to confuse the people about what had happened to Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him. He ordered the men who were with the awning in which was Abu al-Hasan to hand him over to ‘Isa b. Jafar b. al-Mansur, who was governor of Basra at that time.
He was handed over to him and he kept him in detention with him for a year. (Then al-Rashid wrote to him demanding (Abu al-Hasan’s) blood. ‘Isa b. Ja’far summoned some of his close associates and trusted colleagues and sought their advice about what al-Rashid had written to him. They advised him to hold back from doing that and to ask to be excused from it. ‘Isa b. Ja’far wrote to al -Rashid saying:
The affair of Musa b. Jafar and his stay under my detention has been going on for a long time. I have become well-acquainted with his situation. I have set spies on him throughout this period and I have not found him (do anything except) open his mouth in worship. I set someone to listen to what he said in his prayers. He has never prayed against you or against me. He has never mentioned us with malice. He does not pray for himself except for forgiveness and mercy. Either you send someone whom I can hand him over to or I will let him free. I am troubled at detaining him.
It is reported that one of the spies of ‘Isa b. Ja’far reported to him that frequently he used to hear him say in his prayers while he was detained:
O God, You know that I used to ask you to give me free time to worship You. O God, you have done that. To You be praise.
Al-Rashid directed that he should be handed over by ‘Isa b. Ja’far and taken to Baghdad. There he was handed over to al-Fadl b. al-Rabi’. He remained with him a long time. Then al-Rashid wanted him to carry out some matter in (Abu al-Hasan’s) affair and he refused. So he wrote to him to hand over to al- Fadl b. Yahya.
He received him from the former. (He put him in one of the rooms of one of his houses and set a watch over him. He. peace be on him. was occupied in worship; he used to keep the whole night alive with formal prayer, recitation of the Qur’an, personal prayer and effort. He would fast most days. His face never turned away from the mehrab (which showed the direction of prayer towards Mecca.)
Al-Fadl b. Yahya made him comfortable and treated him with honour. That was communicated to al-Rashid while he was at al-Raqqa. He wrote to him denouncing him for making Musa, peace be on him, comfortable and ordering him to kill him. He held back from doing that and would not carry it out. At that al-Rashid became very angry. He summoned Masrur, the servant, and told him: “Go by the messenger-service (barid) immediately to Baghdad. Then go directly to Musa b. Ja’far. If you find him in comfort and ease, then deliver this letter to al-Abbas b. Muhammad and order him to submit to what is in it.”
He handed another letter to him for al-Sindi b. Shahik, ordering him in it to obey al-‘Abbas b. Muhammad. Masrur set out and arrived at the house of al- Fadl b. Yahya without anyone knowing what he wanted. Then he went to Musa, peace be on him, and found him as al-Rashid had been informed. He went directly to al-‘Abbas b. Muhammad and al-Sindi b. Shahik. He delivered the two letters to them.
The people did not wait long before the messenger went running to al-Fadl b. Yahya. He rode back with him. He went along perplexed and shocked until he reached al-‘Abbas b. Muhammad. Al-‘Abbas called for whips and two small platforms (aqabayn) to be brought.
Then he ordered al-Fadl to be stripped. Al-Sindi flogged (al-Fadl) in front of (al-‘Abbas). (Al-Fadl) left with his colour changed completely from what it had been when he entered. He began to greet the people to right and to left.
Masrur wrote to al-Rashid with the news and the latter ordered that Musa, peace be on him, should be handed over to al-Sindi b. Shahik. Al-Rashid had a large assembly. He said: “People, al-Fadl b. Yahya has disobeyed me and opposed (giving) the obedience due to me. You have seen me curse him so you curse him.”
The people cursed him from every side until the room and the building shook with the (sound of) cursing him.
The news reached Yahya b. Khalid. He rode to al-Rashid and entered by another door from that which the people used so that he came to him from behind without him being aware. Then he said:
“Commander of the faithful, look at me.” Al-Rashid heard him with great fear, he said: “Al-Fadl is only a young man and I will take care of him for you in the way you would wish.”
(Al-Rashid’s) face brightened and he went forward to the people saying: “Al- Fadl disobeyed me in something and I have protected myself against him. Now he has repented and returned to obeying me. Therefore now take him as a friend.”
“We are the friends of those you befriend and the enemies of those whom you are against,” they answered. “We have made him our friend.”
Yahya b. Khalid departed on the messenger-service and reached Baghdad. There the people were disturbed and spreading disquieting rumours. He gave the impression that he had come to improve the administration of the Sawad and to look into the affairs of the tax-collectors. He occupied himself with some of those matters for a few days. Then he summoned al-Sindi b. Shahik and gave him his instructions with regard to (Musa). (He carried out his instructions.
What he commissioned al-Sindi to do was to kill him, peace be on him, with poison which he put in the food he brought him. It is said that he put it in dates. (Musa) ate some of them and then felt the effect of the poison. He remained for three days in a fever from it and died on the third day.
When Musa died, al-Sindi b. Shahik brought the jurists and notable men of Baghdad in (to see) him. Among them were al-Haytham b. Ali and others. They saw that there was no mark of any wound on him, nor (any evidence) of strangulation. (Al-Sindi) made them give testimony that he had died normally. They testified to that. He was taken out and he was put on the bridge at Baghdad. Then an announcement was made: “This man Musa b. Ja’far, peace be on him, has died. So come and look at him”
The people began to come and look into (Musa’s) face while he was dead. For a group had claimed during the life of Musa that he was the awaited Imam (al- Muntazar) who would continue to undertake the Imamate for the rest of time (al-qa’im). They made his imprisonment the period of absence (al-ghayba) which had been reported concerning the last Imam (al-qai’im). Yatya b. Khalid ordered it to be announced at his death: “This is Musa b. Jafar whom the Rafidites claim is the last Imam (al-qa’im) who will not die. So (come and) look at him.”
The people saw that he was dead. Then he was carried away and buried in the cemetery of Quraysh at the Tin Gate. This cemetery had been used for Banu Hashim and the nobles of the people for a long time.
It is reported that when he was about to die, he asked al-Sindi b. Shahik to bring him his retainer (mawla) from Medina who was staying at the house of al-Abbas b. Muhammad at the cane-market (mashra at al-qasb). The latter should wash and shroud his body. (Al-Sindi) did that.
Al-Sindi (later) reported:
I (i.e. al-Sindi) asked him to permit me to shroud him but he refused. He said: “I am a member of the House (of the Prophet). The giving of dowries for our women, the performing of pilgrimages on behalf of those of us who have not made the pilgrimage, and the shrouding of our dead can only be performed by one of our retainers (mawlas) who is pure. I already have my shroud and I want the washing and preparation (of my body) to be carried out by my retainer so-and-so.”
That was done for him.
History of the Holy Shrine of Imam Musa al-Kazim(A.S.)
and Imam Muhammad Taqi al-Jawad(A.S.)
Anyone approaching Baghdad from the north or the west will be impressed by the sight of the four golden minarets at Kadhmayn, the Shrine of the Two Imams, Imam Musa al-Kadhim and Imam Muhammad Taqi al-Jawad, peace be upon them.
They are respectively the Seventh and the Ninth of the Twelve Imams, at whose tombs we are accustomed to seek healing and to invoke their intercession for the forgiveness of our sins and the fulfilment of our needs.
The present building dates back only to the beginning of the sixteenth century and has been kept in excellent repair.
This building represents the restoration of Shah lsmail I (1502 – 24), though when the Turkish Sultan, Suleman the Great, captured Baghdad and remained there for four months in 1534, he visited this sacred place, and is said to have contributed to the further ornamentation of the Shrine at Kadhmayn. The tiles for the double cupola, however, were provided in 1796 by Shah Agha Muhammad Khan, who was the first of the Persian Kadjar dynasty. In 1870, Nasr-al-Din Shah had these golden tiles repaired on one of the domes and on the minarets. It is interesting that the dates of all these alterations are clearly indicated by inscriptions.
If we bear in mind that the Two Imams who are buried here died in the beginning of the eighth century, it will be evident that there are seven hundred years of the history of their tomb to account for, previous to the comparatively modern restoration of Shah Ismail I. The Imams lived in the early days of Baghdad, while the walls of Mansur’s round city on the western side of the Tigris were still standing.
There were cemeteries to the north-west that went by various names – that at the Syrian Gate, that of the Abbasids, and that of the Straw Gate.1 The Two Imams were buried immediately to the west of this latter cemetery, but by the time Yakubi wrote, the whole northern district was designated in a general way as the cemetery of the Kuraish.2 Both of these Imams were poisoned at the instigation of the reigning Caliphs, but it is significant that in the case of Imam Muhammad Taqi, the funeral service was read by a representative of the royal family,3 which undoubtedly distinguised the Imam as an important person, at whose grave some sort of a mausoleum would be built.
But as to the importance attached in the early times to the visit to this tomb, the only information available is on the authority of traditions that have been attributed to the Eighth and Tenth Imams. These traditions are answers they are said to have given when they were asked by their followers concerning the merit of pilgrimage to Kadhmayn. It is related that the Imam Ali Reza, whose life in Baghdad was during the caliphate of Haroon al-Rashid, told his Shia followers to say their prayers of salutation to his father, the Imam Musa al-Kadhim, “Outside the walls of the Shrine, or in the nearby mosques,” if the Sunni authority and prejudice in Baghdad was too great for them to do so at the tomb itself.
From this we infer that a building of some sort was recognised at that early date as marking the tomb of the Imam Musa and that it was surrounded by a wall. Further statements are said to have been made a few years later by the Imam Ali Naqi, whose period in the Imamat began during the later part of the Caliphate of Mu’tasim, and who enjoyed greater indulgence that was shown to the Shias until the period of reaction against them and the Mu’tazalites under the Caliph Mutawakkil. The following particular instructions for visiting this Shrine have been given by Majlisi.
When you wish to visit the tomb of Musa ibn Jafar and the tomb of Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Musa, first you must bathe and make yourself clean, then anoint yourself with perfume and put on two clean garments, after which you are to say at the tomb of the Imam Musa: –
Peace be upon thee, O Friend of God!
Peace be upon thee, O Proof of God!
Peace be upon thee, O Light of God!
O Light in the dark place of the earth!
Peace be upon him whom God advances in thy regard,
Behold I come as a pilgrim, who acknowledges your right,
Who hates your enemies and befriends your friends,
So intercede for me therefore with your Lord.
“You are then free,” said the Imam Ali Naqi, “to ask for your personal needs, after which you should offer a prayer in salutation to the Imam Muhammad Taqi, using these same words.”
Majlisi, who has included these traditions in his instructions for modern pilgrims to this Shrine, makes the observation in explanation of the unusual – brevity of the prescribed prayer, “that it was necessary in those times to take great care in dissimulation (taqiyah) that the Shias should not suffer injury.”4
Another tradition that dates from the same century in which these two Imams died is attributed to a certain Hasan ibn Jamhur, who said:
“In the year 296 A.H., when Ali ibn Ahmad al-Frat was Vizier, I saw Ahmad ibn Rabi”, who was one of the Caliph’s writers, when his hand had gotten infected so that it had bad odour and turned black.
Everyone who saw him had no doubt but that he would die. In a dream, however, he saw Hazrat Ali, and said to him: “O Amiru’l Momineen, will you not ask God to give me my hand?” Hazrat Ali answered, `go to Musa ibn Jafar and he will ask this for you from God.’ In the morning they got a litter and carpeted it, gave him a bath and anointed him with perfume.
They had him lie down in the litter and covered him with a robe. Then they carried him to the tomb of Imam Musa, whose intercession he sought in prayer. The afflicted man took some of the earth from the tomb and rubbed it on his arm upto the shoulder and then bound the arm up again. The next day, when he opened the bandage, he saw that all the skin and flesh of the arm had fallen off, and that only the bones and veins and ligaments remained, and the bad odour had also ceased, When the vizier heard of this he took the men to testify as what had happened. In a short time the healthy flesh and skin grew back again, and he was able to resume his work of writing.”.
Majlisi adds the comment that “in every period there have been so many miracles (mu’jizaat) and demonstrations of power (karamat) at the tomb of these two saints that there is no need to describe cases of the past. In our own times there are so many instances occuring and recurring that to recount them would be a lengthy process.”5
After the Abbasid caliphs had fallen more under the authority of the commanders of their armies of Turkish mercenaries, there was a rising of the Buyids (or Buwaihids) in Persia; and in A.D. 946 the Caliph Mustakfi was blinded by the Buyid Prince, Mu’izzu’d Dawla, who set up the blinded Caliph’s son, al-Muktaddir, as a nominal ruler while he exercised the actual authority himself.
Ibn Athir has related that “the Buyids were fanatical adherents of Ali and firmly convinced that the Abbasids were usurpers of a throne that rightfully belonged to others.”6 They did not take over the Caliphate, but in addition to retaining for themselves the authority and perquisites of the government of the provinces, they proclaimed the first ten days of the month of Muharram as a period of public mourning for Husain,7 and they frequently enriched the sanctuary at Kadhmayn with their gifts. The Caliph Tai’ is reported to have led the Friday prayers in the Kadhmayn mosque,8 so that in the period of the revival of the Shia influence under the protection of the Buyids, we are certain that the Kadhmayn Shrine was regularly visited by pilgrims and served as “the rallying place of the Shia party.”
It was during this period that the four great works of the Shia tradition were compiled. Kulaini died in Baghdad in A.D. 939, after completing his monumental work, the Compendium of the Science of Religion (al-Kafi fi Ilm ad-din), which is perhaps the most highly esteemed of all the Shia source books.
Ibn Babuwaihi had come to Baghdad from Khorasan in 966 A.D., where he devoted himself to teaching and writing. His `Every Man His Own Lawyer’ (Kitab man la yadhuruhu’ l-Faqih), is also one of the four most authorative books on Shia law and tradition. And sixteen years after the death of Ibn Babuwaihi, Al-Tusi also came from Khorasan to teach in Baghdad, where he wrote the remaining two of the four great books of traditions that lie at the basis of Shia theology and jurisprudence, `The Correcting of judgments’ (Tahzhib al-Ahkam) and the `Examination of Differences in Traditions’ (Al-Istibsar).
At this time of greater boldness on the part of the Shias, riots with the Sunnis were not infrequent in Baghdad. In one of these disturbances in 1051 A.D. the Sunni leader was killed in a fight that had ensued when the Shias ventured to put an inscription laudatory of Ali above one of the city gates. The indignation of the Sunnis was so great that in the tension of the situation after their leader’s funeral, they went as a mob into the Shrine of Kadhmayn and plundered the tombs of the two Imams.
After carrying off the gold and silver lamps and the curtains which adorned these sanctuaries, the rioters on the following day completed their work by setting fire to the buildings. The great teak-wood domes above the shrines of the Imams Musa and Muhammad were entirely burnt.9 This fact that the domes were at first of teak-wood has something to do doubtless with the number of times they were burned.
It was shortly after the burning of the Shrine in 1051 A.D. that the Seljuk Sultans displaced the Buwaihids as military dictators in Persia and “Protectors” of the Caliphs in Baghdad. They learned what they knew of Islam in the distinctively Sunni atmosphere of Bukhara. Nevertheless, when they came to Baghdad, no injury was done to the Shrine at Kadhmayn. And when Sultan Malik Shah visited it in 1086, it had apparently been repaired from the damages of the fire of thirty-five years before.10
Ibn Jubayr, who gives a detailed description of Baghdad in 1184, A.D. in his Travels,11 mentions the tomb of Musa ibn Jafar, but he does not speak of it as Kadhmayn, and he makes no reference to the tomb of the Imam Muhammad Taqi, which would suggest that Shia influence was at that time at such low ebb that this shrine, so close to the city of Baghdad had, been abandoned as a place of regular pilgrimage.
Notwithstanding, before another hundred years had passed when the domes of the Shrines had again been destroyed by fire, we find that its repair was regarded as of sufficient importance to be the one and only enterprise that the shortlived Caliph Zahir had been able to undertake. And Ibn Tiktaka who mentions this repair of the domes in his Kitab al-Fakhri,12 is known to have succeeded his father as supervisor of the sacred towns of the Shias in the vicinity of Baghdad, so that it is possible that the minority community, while by no means free, may have enjoyed certain prescribed and restricted rights. Their headquarters however, were no longer in Baghdad but in Hilla, and greater importance was given to Najaf and Kerbala as places of pilgrimage.
When the Mongols came with their overwhelming force in 1258, they wrought almost complete devastation in and around Baghdad.
There is said to have been an understanding, however, that the holy cities of the Shias should be spared, and in fact Kadhmayn was the only one of these shrines that suffered. This was perhaps to the destruction of the western part of the city first. It may have been during the subsequent siege of the fortress on the eastern side of the Tigris that the deputation of Shias from Hilla arrived and arranged with Khulagu Khan for the special protection of Najaf and Kerbala. However that may be, we know that the city of Baghdad was utterly ruined by the Mongols, and that the tombs of Kadhmayn were burned. “Nearly all the inhabitants, to the number, according to Rashid ad-Din, of 800,000 (Makrizi says 2,000,000) perished, and thus passed away one of the noblest cities that had ever graced the East – the Cynocure of the Muhammadan world, where the luxury, wealth and culture of five centuries had been concentrated…
The booty captured, we are told, was so great that Georgians and Tartars succumbed under the load of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, rich stuffs, gold and silver vessels, etc., while as to the vases from China and Rashan (i.e., procelain), and those made in the country of iron and copper, they were deemed scarcely of any value, and were broken and thrown away. The soldiers were so rich that the saddles of their horses and mules and their most ordinary utensils were inlaid with stones, pearls and gold. Some of them broke off their swords at the hilt and filled up the scabbards with gold, while others emptied the body of a Baghdadian, refilled it with gold, precious stones and pearls, and carried it off from the city.”13
The death of the last of the Abbasid Caliphs, Mustasim, has been so celebrated in literature that what actually happened is obscure.
There are numerous accounts of how Khulagu Khan was disgusted when he saw that in his avarice the Caliph had gathered gold which he had been unwilling to spend either in defence of the city or to effect favourable terms of capitulation. Marco Polo relates the story that when Khulagu Khan entered Baghdad he found to his astonishment a town that was filled with gold and silver, and in his indignation he gave orders that the avaricious Caliph should be “shut up in this same town, without sustenance; and there, in the midst of his wealth, he soon finished a miserable existence.”14
This story is based on the narrative of Mirkhond, of joinville, and of Makakia, the Armenian historian, and as Howarth remarks it has provided “one of those grim episodes which Longfellow delighted to put into verse”:-
I said to the Caliph, “Thou art old,
Thou hast no need of so much gold;
Thou should’st not have heaped and hidden it here,
Till the breath of battle was hot and near,
But have sown through the land these useless hoards,
To spring into shining blades of swords,
And keep thine honour sweet and clear.”
Then into his dungeon I locked the drone,
And left him there to feed all alone,
In the honey cells of his golden hive;
Never a prayer, nor a cry, nor a groan,
Was heard from those massive walls of stone,
Nor again was the Caliph seen alive.
One notable fact in this connection is that the life of the Caliph’s vizier in Baghdad was spared. He was Muayid-ud-din Alkamiya who was known to have been favourable to the Shias, and who was also reported to have sent his submission to Khulagu, and had invited him to invade the country. However, this may be, the Caliph was put to death on the 21st February, 1258. Wassaf and Novairi say he was rolled up in carpets and, then trodden under by horses so that his blood should not be spilt. This was in accordance with the `yasa’ of Jingis Khan, which forbade the shedding of the blood of royal persons.
But the Caliph’s vizier, whose life was spared, “retained his post as vizier, the reward doubtless of his dubious loyalty.” Various prominent Persians, as distinguished from Arabs or Turks were appointed to important positions in the new administration of affairs, and among the first buildings to be rebuilt was the Shrine of the two Imams, at Kadhmayn.15
After the fall of the last of the Abbasid Caliph, Baghdad was never rebuilt on its former scale of grandeur. The Il-Khans, Who were the descendants of Khulagu, held the city for 82 years, not as a capital, however, but merely as the chief town of the province of Iraq. It was near the close of their period of authority that the traveller Mustawfi visited Baghdad (1339) A.D., and at that time he mentioned seeing the Shrines of al-Kadhim and of his grandson, Taqi, the seventh and ninth Imams. He observed that Kadhmayn was a suburb by itself, about six thousand paces in circumberence.16
About that time the Mongol tribe of Julayr wrested the power from the Il-Khans, and their chief, Shaikh Hasan Buzurg, made his residence in Baghdad in 1340, as the town best suited for his tribal headquarters.
Fifty odd years later, in connection with his widespread conquests, Timur spent three months in Baghdad. It happened to be in the summer that he besieged and captured the city, and the Persian chronicler in the Zafar Nameh remarks that “the heat was so intense, that as for the fish in the water, the saliva boiled in their mounts: and as for the birds in the air, from the fever heat their livers were cooked and they fell senseless.”
The horrors of the taking of the city are described in graphic detail. So thoroughly had all avenue of escape been closed that when the wind accelerated the flames that filled the air, there were many people who threw themselves into the water, to escape the fire or sword. It was a time when the slave market was such that an old man of eighty and a child of twelve sold for the same price and the fire of hate waxed to such a heat that the garment of the wealthy merchant and the rags of the sick beggar burned the same way. Individual soldiers in bands of the troops had been each commissioned to each get a head, but some who were not content with one head got all they could tie to their belts.
It is mentioned, however, that some of the men of learning and rank as were granted his protection and shared his bounty, but the general carnage was hideous. When the inhabitants had been thus almost annihilated, their habitations were dealt with. Only the mosques, the schools, and the dormitories were spared. Accordingly, we read that Timur left Baghdad on account of “vile odour of the carcases of the dead.”17
Nevertheless, when Timur took his departure, we are told that he ordered that the city should be rebuilt. The shrine at Kadhmayn, however, was not restored. After the death of Timur, there was a brief reoccupation of Baghdad by the Julayrs, who were displaced by the “Black Sheep” Turkomans, who held the city from 1411-1469. They in turn were driven out by their rivals, the “White Sheep” Turkomans.
It was therefore after a long period of neglect, when the city had been held by successive generations of half savage tribes, that Shah Ismail I, of the Safawi dynasty captured Baghdad in 1508, and it was in 1519 that he completed the rebuilding of the Shrine at Kadhmayn much as it stands today. With the rise of Shah Ismail there is an interesting and significant story of the revival of Persian Shia Power, which belongs in the history of Ardebil in Azerbaijan rather than in a description of the Shrine of the “Two Kadhims” in Baghdad.
We are told that frequently from twenty-five, to thirty thousand pilgrims visit the Shrine in one day.
If viewed from a point of vantage, this Shrine with its twin domes of gleaming gold is one of the most beautiful sights in Baghdad; and if studied in its historical associations throughout the last eleven hundred years, it affords a thrilling resume of the changing fortunes of the far-famed city of Arabian Nights.
1. Ibn Sa’d, Tabakat, VII, ii, pp. 68, I. 18; 99, I. 21; & 80, I. II.
2. Yakubi, Tarikh, edit, Houtsma, Vol. 11, P. 499.
3. Kulaini, Usul al-Kafi P. 203.
4. Majlisi, Toafatu’s- Za’irin, pp. 308 fi.
5. Majiisi, op. cit., p. 309.
6. Ibn al-Athir, Kamil, viii, p. 177.
7. Browne, Persian Literature in Modern Times, p. 31.
8. Le Strange, Baghdad during the Abbasid Caliphate, p. 162.
9. Le Strange, Op. cit., p. 164.
10. Le Strange, Op. cit., p. 163.
11. Ibn Jubayr, Travels, Wright’s text revised by de Goeje, P. 226.
12. lbn Tiktaka, Kitab al- Fakhri, p. 163.
13. Howarth, History of the Mongols, iii, pp. 126, 127.
14. Travels of Marco Polo the Venitian, ch. viii.
15. Howarth, Op. cit. pp. 127-131.
16. Mustawfi, Nuzhatu’l-Qulub, Eng. trans. Gibb Mem. series, vol. XXIII, ii, p. 42.
17. Zafar Nameh, by Sharifu’d-din Ali Yazdi, edt. Calcutta 1887-8, vol. II pp. 363-369.
Encyclopaedia of Islam, art. “Kadhmayn”.
His Commandment for Husham ibn Hakam
Allah the Elevated protends good to the people of reason and understanding in his Book. He says: Give the glad news to those of Our servants who listen to the words and only follow the best ones. Tell them that they are those whom Allah has guided. They are the people of understanding. Holy Qur’an(39:17-18)
O Husham-bin-Al-Hakam, Allah the Majestic has certainly submitted his arguments to people perfectly through minds, explained everything completely to them, and led people to His godhead through the guides. He says: Your Lord is the only Lord. There is no god but He, the Beneficent and Merciful. The creation of the heavens and the earth, the alternation of nights and days, the ships that sail in the sea for the benefit of the people, the water that Allah sends from the sky to revive the dead earth where He has scattered all kinds of animals, the winds of all directions, and the clouds rendered for service between the sky and the earth are all evidence (of His existence) for those who use their reason. Holy Qur’an (16:163-4).
O Husham, Allah the Majestic provides the people’s having a manager as the evidence on the acknowledgment of Him. He says: Allah has made the day and the night, the sun and the moon, and all the stars subservient to you by His command. In this there is evidence of the truth for people of understanding. Holy Qur’an (16:12).
Ha Mim. I swear by the illustrious Book. We have made it an Arabic reading test so that perhaps you may understand. Holy Qur’an (43:1-3).
Of the evidence of His existence are His showing you lightening which gives you fear and hope and his sending water down from the sky, which revives the earth after its death. In this there is evidence (of the truth) for the people of understanding. Holy Qur’an (30:24)
O Husham, Allah then preaches to the people of reason and makes them desirous to the world to come. He says: The worldly life is but useless amusement and sport (compared to) the life hereafter, which is far better and is only for the pious. Will you not then understand? Holy Qur’an (6:32)
Whatever you (people) have been given are only the means for enjoyment and beauty of the worldly life, but the means of enjoyment (which you will receive from Allah) in the life to come will be better and everlasting. Will you then not take heed? Holy Qur’an (28:60)
O Husham, Allah then warns the unintelligent against His chastisement. He the Majestic says: Then we totally destroyed the others. You pass by (their ruined town) in the morning and at night. Will you then not understand? Holy Qur’an (37:136-138)
O Husham, Allah then expounds that mind is always favoring knowledge. He says: These are parables, which We tell to human being, but only the learned ones understand them. Holy Qur’an (29:43)
O Husham, Allah then dispraises those who are incapable of understanding. He says: When some people are asked to follow the revelations of Allah, they say, “We would rather follow what our fathers have followed,” even though their fathers had no understanding and could not find the true guidance. Holy Qur’an (2:170)
The wickedest beasts in the sight of Allah are the deaf and the dumb who have no understanding. Holy Qur’an (8:22)
If you ask them, “Who has created the heavens and the earth,” they will certainly say, “Allah has created them.” Say, “It is only Allah who deserves all praise, but most of them do not know. Holy Qur’an (31:25)
Allah then dispraises the majority. He says: Most of the people in the land will lead you away from Allah’s guidance if you follow them. Holy Qur’an (6:116)
But many of them are ignorant. Hence, most of them have no feeling.
O Husham, Allah then praises minority. He says: Very few of My servants are grateful. Holy Qur’an (34:13)
… Except for the righteously striving believers who are very few. Holy Qur’an (38:24) and “No one believed in him, except a few.” Holy Qur’an (11:40)
O Husham, Allah then mentions the people of the reasonable understanding in the best way of praise and describes them in the best wording. He says: Allah gives wisdom to anyone whom He wants. Whoever is given wisdom, certainly, has received much good. Only people of reason can grasp this. Holy Qur’an (2:269)
Allah also says: This is a reminder for everyone who has a heart. Holy Qur’an (50:37) “Heart” in the previous Verse stands for the capability of understanding. Allah also says: We gave wisdom to Luqman Holy Qur’an (31:12) ‘Wisdom’ stands for understandability and intelligence.
O Husham, Luqman said to his son: “Show modesty before the right and you will be the most reasonable. O son, this world is a deep ocean, faith the cargo, depending upon Allah its sail, reason its captain, knowledge its guide, and patience the anchor.”
O Husham, everything has its evidence. The evidence of being intelligent is pondering (over things) and the evidence on pondering is silence. Likewise, everything has its pack animal, and modesty is the pack animal of the intelligent. It is sufficient ignorant to ride on that which you are told not to ride.
O Husham, if people tell that you have a pearl in your hand while you are sure it is a nut, not pearl, this should not advantage you. If people tell that you have a nut in the hand while you are sure it is a pearl, not nut, this also should not harm you.
O Husham, the main reason beyond Allah’s sending prophets and messengers is that people will understand the commandments of Allah and His messengers. The best responsive people will be the most understanding, the most knowledgeable of Allah’s commandments will be the most intelligent, and the most intelligent then will be the most high-ranking in this world and the world to come.
O Husham, for every servant (of Allah), there is an angel invested with full power over him. Whenever that servant shows modesty for the sake of Allah, the angel will elevate him, and whenever he shows arrogance, the angel will humiliate him.
O Husham, Allah has two arguments against people: one is explicit and the other is implicit. The explicit arguments of Allah are the messengers, prophets, and imams. The implicit arguments are the minds.
O Husham, the true intelligent is he whose legal-gotten provisions do not divert him from thanking Allah and whose illegal-gotten provision do not overcome his steadfastness.
O Husham, as for those who extinguish the illumination of thinking with the long expectations, erase the novels of wisdom with the curious wording, and extinguish the lights of learning with the personal whims, they will back their whims to ruin their brains. Those who ruin their minds will surely devastate their worldly and religious affairs.
O Husham, how come do you expect that Allah will accept your deeds while you are involving your mind with matters that are away from Allah’s commandments and you are complying with your whims and letting them overcome your mind?
O Husham, steadfastness against seclusions is a proof on willpower. He who understands the commandments of Allah, the Blessed the Exalted, will surely withdraw from the people of the worldly pleasures. He will also be desirous for that which Allah has promised and will regard Allah as the sociable in seclusion, the companion in loneliness, the fortune in poverty, and the supporter instead of the clan.
O Husham, the creatures have been formed for obeying Allah. No safety is obtained without obedience. The course of obedince is knowledgeability and the course of knowledgeability is learning. Learning is possible through mind. There should be a godly scholar who is the source of knowledge. Such scholars can be recognized through the mind.
O Husham, the few deeds of the intelligent will be accepted and doubled, while the many deeds of the followers of passions and the ignorant will be regected.
O Husham, the true intelligent is that who agrees to have minimum worldly needs with wisdom. He does not agree to have little wisdom with all of the worldly pleasures. Therefore, his trade has been profitable.
O Husham, if you think it is fortunate for you to have only what suffices you then you will be sufficed with the least needs of this world. If you think it is not sufficient for you to have the minimum needs of this world then all the worldly pleasures will not suffice you.
O Husham, the intelligent have left the pleasures of this world. How is it then for the sins? The abstinence from the worldly surplus pleasures is recommendable while the desistance from committing sins is obligatory.
O Husham, the intelligent have abstained from the worldly pleasures and desired for the world to come because they have known that world, as well as the world to come, is demanding and demanded. The world will surely trace the seeker of the world to come to give him his provisions perfectly. The world to come will trace the seeker of the worldly pleasures when death overcomes him to deprive him of the pleasures of this world and the world to come.
O Husham, as for those who desire for being rich without fortune, having peace of mind against envy, and enjoying safety of the religion, they are advised to beseech to Allah imploringly for granting them perfect intelligence, for the intelligent will surely satisfy themselves with only what is sufficient for them. Consequently, he who satisfies himself with only what is sufficient for him will be surely rich. Those who do not satisfy themselves with what is sufficient for them will never obtain richness.
O Husham, as describing the manners of virtuous people, Allah the Majestic mentions that they are used to saying: Lord, do not cause our hearts to deviate from Your guidance, and grant us mercy. You are the Most Awarding One. Holy Qur’an (3:8) This is because they realized that hearts might be deviated or might regain their blindness and ruination.
He who does not understand Allah’s Commandments will not fear Him. Similarly, he who does not understand Allah’s commandments will not have a mind that in founded on constant knowledge that he considers and finds its factuality. Except those whose words and implicit beliefs agree with their deeds and appearances, no one can enjoy the previous characters. Allah has referred to the implicit affairs of the mind only through indicative appearances.
O Husham, Amirul Muminin [Ali(A.S.)] used to say: “The most favorable way of worshipping Allah is making use of mind”.
Mind is not perfect for a man unless he enjoys many qualities: he should save people from his atheism and evil and make them expect his reason and good. His wealth should be offered and he should avoid useless wording. His food should be his share from the worldly pleasures. He should never stop seeking knowledge. He should prefer humility and modesty with Allah to credit and honor with others. He should regard any favor tha he does as little and see all people better than him and he is the most vicious among them. The enjoyment of such qualities is surely the perfection of intelligence and the perfection of personality.
O Husham, the deeds of the truthful will be purified, the provisions of the well-meaning will be increased, and the age of those who treat their friends and folks charitably will be elongated.
O Husham, do not speak wording of wisdom before the ignorant so that you will not wrong it. Do not prevent the wise from receiving the wisdom lest you will wrong them.
O Husham, as they left wisdom for you, you should leave the worldly pleasures for them.
O Husham, those who lack personality are surely lacking the religion and those who are unintelligent are surely lacking personality. The most high-ranking people are those who disregard the worldly pleasures completely. Paradise is the only price of your bodies; do not sell them with anything other than Paradise.
O Husham, Amirul Muminin [Ali(A.S.)] used to say: “No one should sit in the forefreont of a session except those who can answer when they are questioned, speak when others cannot, and own the most successful opinion. He who does not enjoy these three characters and allow himself to sit in the forefront of a session is surely idiot.
[Imam] Hasan ibn Ali(A.S.) used to say: “You should seek needs only from their proper people.” ‘O son of the Messenger of Allah,’ some asked him, ‘Who are the proper people on needs?’ He answered: They are those whom Allah mentions in His Book and says about them: Only the people of reason take heed. Holy Qur’an( 38:19) They are the owners of mind.
[Imam] Ali ibn-al-Husain (A.S.) used to say: “to sit with the virtuous will invite to virtue, to sit with the scholars will increase the mind, the obedience to the just rulers is the perfection of honor, the investment of the wealth is the perfection of personality, to guide the seeker of counsel is fulfilment of the rights of favors, and the desistance from harm is a sign of the perfection of mind. It will, sooner or later, achieve physical relaxation.
O Husham, the intelligent should not talk to the individuals that he anticipates they will belie him, ask from individuals that he anticipates they will not give, promise of things tha he cannot do, hope for things that harm him, or take the initiative in doing what he anticipates he will not be able to accomplish.
Amirul Muminin(A.S.) used to say to his companions: I command you to fear Allah in secret and in public, be fair in both states of satisfaction and rage, earn provisions in richness and poverty, regard them who ruptured their relations with you, pardon them who oppressed you, and treat them who ignored you kindly. All your sights should be learning lessons,all your silence should be pondering over things, all your wordings should be mention of Allah, and all your nature should be generosity, for no stingy will be in Paradise and no generous will be in Hell.
O Husham, Allah will compassionate them who feel properly embarrassed from Him by keeping the head with what it contains (like the eye, the ear, and the tongue) and the abdomen with what is in it, retain death and misfortune, and realize that Paradise is surrounded by misfortunes and Hell is surrounded by the appetites.
O Husham, for those who abstain from engaging themselves in people’s honors, Allah will protect them from slipping on the Day of Resurrection. For those who save people from (The results of) their rage, Allah will save them from His wrath on the Day of Resurrection.
O Husham, the intelligent should never tell lies even if it accords him whim.
O Husham, in the wisp of the Prophet’s sword, there is written: The most insolent of people is that who beats other than the one who beat him and kill other than the one who killed him. He who votes for other than his true masters is disbelieving in what Allah has revealed to His Prophet Muhammad(S.A.W.). As for those who bring a heresiarch matter or shelter an originator of a heresay, Allah will not accept their remuneration or apology on the Day of Resurrection.
O Husham, after the acknowledgment of Allah, the best acts of the offertory to Allah are the prayers, piety to the parents, and evasion of envy, self-conceit, and pride.
O Husham, get ready for your coming days and prepare the answers for them. You will be inevitably judged and interrogated. Learn lessons from this world and its people. This life is surely long and short. You should act as if you can see the rewards of your acts in your hands, so that you will be urged acting so more importunately. Understand Allah’s commandments and learn from the changeability of this world and its manners. The coming days of this world are certainly as same as those which passed away; therefore, you should take examples from these days.
[Imam]Ali ibn-al-Husain(A.S.) used to say:
All things that are under the sunlight in the east and west, in oceans and lands, and plains and mountains; all these are just like a shadow for the true disciples of Allah and the people of the acknowledgment of Him. Is there no free man who will leave this valueless world to its people? Paradise is the only price of your bodies; hence, you should avoid selling them with any other price. He who satisfies themselves with the worldly pleasures is surely satisfying himself with the worthless.
O Husham, all people look at the stars, but no one can realize their ways and places except those who have full acquaintance with astronomy. In like fashion, you all study wisdom, but no one can benefit by it except those who apply it practically.
O Husham, the Jesus(A.S.) said to his disciples:
O bad servants, the height of a palm tree terrifies you as you remember its thorns and the difficulty of climbing it, but you forget its good fruits and benefits. The same thing is said about the world. As you remember the supplies of the acts of the world to come, you remember its long time and forget the bliss, illumination, and fruits that you will obtain there. O bad servants! To find the sweetest taste of wheat, you should first full its grains, clean and mill them properly. The same thing is said about faith. To find the best taste of faith and to benefit by its results, you should first have it as sincere and perfect as possible.
Truly I say to you: If you have found a torch the fuel of which is tar, in a gloomy night, you will surely seek its light disregarding its malodor. In a like manner, you should receive the wisdom from anybody with whom you find it, disregarding the scope of his desire for it.
Truly I say to you, O slaves of this world! You will not attain the honor of the world to come unless you abstain from whatever you desire. Never postpone repentance to tomorrow. Before tomorrow, there is a day and a night during which Allah’s act is coming and going.
Truly I say to you: Those who are not indebted are surely less grievous than the indebted even if they defray their debts properly. In the same way, those who avoid committing sins are more relaxing and less grievous than the committers of sins even if they purely repent and return to Allah. The insignificant sins are the traps of the Shaitan who persuades you to disregard such sins until they are amassed and surround you.
Truly I say to you: In wisdom, people are of two kinds; one is that who says the wisdom utterly and applies it to his deeds, and the other is that who says it utterly but wastes it through his evildoing. How difference between the two! Blessed are the scholars by deeds. Woe to the scholars by words.
O bad servants! betake the mosques of your Lord as prisons of your bodies and foreheads. Make your hearts the residences of God-fearing. Do not be certainly the foundest of the worldly pleasures, and the most tolerant is the most asbtinent.
O bad slaves! Do not behave like the swift gledes, the sly foxes. the perfidious wolves, or the wild lions with their preys. Your conducts with people are in this form. You hurry to some, cheat others, and betray others.
Truly I say to you. It is useless to have a sound physique while the interior is corrupted. Hence, your sound bodies should not admire you when your hearts are tainted. It is also useless to purify your skins when your hearts are dirty. Do not be like sieves that let the good flour pass and hold the bran. Likewise, you should not speak of wisdom while treason is filling in your hearts.
O slaves of this world! Your like is the lamp when it gives light to others and burns itself.
O sons of Israel! Compete with each other in attending the scholars’ sessions even if you will have to kneel. Allah will surely enliven the dead hearts by the illumination of wisdom like the rainfall when it enlivens the derelict lands.
O Husham, the following is written in the Bible:
Blessed be those who treat each other mercifully, for they will be treated mercifully on the Day of Resurrection. Blessed be the makers of peace between people, for they will be exclusively favored on the Day of Resurrection. Blessed be the pure-hearted, for they will be the pious on the Day of Resurrection. Blessed be the modest in this world, for they will be scaling the pulpits of majesty on the Day of Resurrection.
O Husham, fewness of wording is a great wisdom. You should keep silent, for it is a good charity, a little burden, and lightness of the sins. Fortify the door of self-possession because patience is the door of self-possession.
Allah the majestic surely hates those who laugh motivelessly and those who walk aimlessly. The rulers should be acting like the shepherds whose eyes are not turned away from their herd.They also should not treat their subjects arrogantly. Be ashamed of Allah in secrets in the same way as you feel ashamed from people in public. You should know that the wording of wisdom is the believers’ lost. Adhere to the knowledge before it is removed. The removal of knowledge is the absence of its people.
O Husham, learn whatever you ignore and teach the ignorant your knowledge. Respect the scholars for their knowledge and avoid disputing with them, and disrespect the ignorant for their igonorance and do not dismiss them. You should approximate and teach them.
O Husham, the favors that you do not thank Allah for are as same as the sins for which you will be punished.
Amirul Muminin(A.S.) said: There are the slaves of Allah whose hearts are broken due to fearing Him. Hence, they keep silent while they are eloquent and intelligent. They compete with each other on offering the pure deeds to Allah. They do not content with their many deeds and do not accept for themselves the few deeds. They see themselves as vicious while they are good and virtuous.
O Husham, pudency is a part of faith and faith is a part of Paradise while obscenity is a part of aversion and aversion is in Hell.
O Husham, speakers are one of three: winning, safe, or perishing. The sinning speakers are those who mention Allah. The safe speakers are those who keep silent. The perishing speakers are those who are engaged in bad wording. Allah has certainly forbidden Paradise from including the impudent speakers of bad wording who do not care for what they say and what is said about them.
Abu-Dharr used to say: O seeker of knowledge, the tongue is the key to both good and evil. You should seal your mouth as you seal your gold and currencies.
O Husham, the worst servants (of Allah) are those who are two-faced and two-tongued. They are those who praise their friends when they meet them and backbite them when they are absent. They envy their friends who obtain graces and disappoint them when they are suffering a misfortune.Charity is the foremost in rewarding and oppression is the foremost in punishment. The most vicious servants of Allah are those whom you hate to sit with for their obscenity. Except the harvest of the tongues, nothing overturns people on their noses in Hell. To leave what does not concern you is a sign of the proper Islam.
O Husham, you will not be true believer unless you are fearful (of Allah’s punishment) and hopeful (for Allah’s reward). You will not be true fearful and true hopeful unless you avoid what you fear and work for what you hope.
O Husham, Allah the Majestic says: I swear by My majesty, glory, might, potency, magnificence, and elevation, for the servants who prefer My biddings to their biddings, I will install opulence in their minds, make the world to come their concern, take the charge of saving their livelihood, make their provisions in the heavens and the earth, and guarantee their shares of profits in every transaction.
O Husham, anger is the key to every evil. The most perfect faithful believers are the most well-mannered. If possible, you should associate only with those whom you have done favors.
O Husham, cling to lenience, for lenience is felicity and clumisiness is evil portent. Lenience, charity, and well mannerism boom the lodgings and increase the provisions.
O Husham, Allah says: Can any thing else be a response to a favor but a favor? Holy Qur’an (55:60)
This holy saying is applicable to the believers and the disbelievers and the charitable and the lecherous. He whom has been done a favor should reward for it. To do favor to that who did you favor is not a suitable reward, because he will have the merit of commencing with doing the favor before you.
O Husham, the like of this world is the snake – its is soft to the touch but bearing poison in the interior. The intelligent men fear the snake while the boys hurry to take it by the hands.
O Husham, be tolerant in the acts of obedience to Allah and be steadfast against the acts of disobedience to Him. This world is no more than an hour. You will not fine the pleasures of what has passed away and you will not be able to recognize what is coming. Be patient in that hour and you will attain bliss.
O Husham, the like of this world is the seawater – it leads the thirsty to more thirst until it kills him.
O Husham, beware of aggogance. He who feels arrogant, even if as small as a grain of mustard seed, in the heart will not see Paradise. Pride is Allah’s dress and Allah will surely overturn those who try to take off His dress on the faces in Hell.
O Husham, he who does not settle and account with himself every day, so that he would seek more of the good deeds and seek Allah’s forgiveness and acceptance of repentance for the bad deeds, is not one of us.
O Husham, the world came to the Jesus(A.S.) in the form of a blue lady. He asked her, ‘How many men did you marry?’ ‘Many,’ answered the world. ‘Did they all divorce you?’ asked Jesus(A.S.). ‘No,’ she replied, ‘ I killed all of them.’ Jesus(A.S.) said, ‘Woe to the rest of your husbands. Why do they not learn lessons from the past ones?’
O Husham, the light of the body is in the eyes. If the sight is luminous, the whole body will be bright.The light of the spirit is in the brain. If the servant is intelligent, he will be having acknowledgment of his Lord. If he has acknowledgment of his Lord, he will see his religion obviously. If he ignores the affairs of his Lord, he will be having no religion. Like the body that does not live without a living soul, the religion does not live without the true intendment. The true intendment is proved through mind only.
O Husham, plants grow in plain, not rocky, lands. In the same way, wisdom will grow in the hearts of the modest, not the arrogant, because Allah has made modesty the instrument of the mind and made arrogance the instrument of ignorance. Do you not notice that he who raises the head to the ceiling will have his head broken? Likewise, he who hands down will enjoy the shades and the protection of the ceiling. Similarly, Allah will disgrace those who do not behave humbly to Him and will exalt those who humble themselves for Him.
O Husham, how ugly poverty after richness is! How ugly the commitment of sins after religiousness is!Moreover, to leave the adoration of Allah after worship is uglier than the previous.
O Husham, except for either a heedful listener or a speaker of knowledge, life is surely worthless.
O Husham, Allah has not distributed among the servant anything better than intelligence. The sleep of the intelligent is preferred to the staying up of the ignorant. Allah specified intelligence as a qualification of the prophets so that their minds will be preferred to all of the efforts of the diligent ones together. A servant will not fulfill any of Allah’s rights before he understands it.
O Husham, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) said: You should approach the silent believer, because he will surely provide you with wisdom. The faithful believer should talk very little and act very much. The hypocrite talks very much and acts very little.
O Husham, Allah the Exalted revealed to David the Prophet(A.S.): ask My servants not to make between them and Me scholars that are seduced by the worldly pleasures. They will surely preclude the servants from mentioning Me and block the way to the adoration and supplication to Me. Such scholars are the bandits of My servants. The least thing that I will do to them is that I will take the charm of the adoration and supplication to Me from their hearts.
O Husham, the angels of the heavens and the angels of the earth will curse those who feel self-conceit. He who treats his friends arrogantly and haughtily is certainly opposing Allah. He who claims falsely is dragging himself away from his good.
O Husham, Allah the Exalted revealed to prophet David(A.S.): O David, warn and advise your companions against the foundness of passions. The hearts of those who are fond of passions are certainly screened from Me.
O Husham, beware of showing pride against my disciples and using your knowledge against them lest, Allah will hate you and, then, neither your world nor will your world to come stead you. Regard this worlds as a temporary lodging that you are waiting for leaving it.
O Husham, to sit to the religious is the honor of this world and the world to come and to counsel with the intelligent and the well-wishers is good omen, blessing, rationality, and success from Allah. Beware of opposing the advise of the intelligent and the well-wishers so as to avoid perdition.
O Husham, beware of associating with everybody except the intelligent and the trustful. You should be friendly with these two persons only. You should escape the others like escaping from beasts. The intelligent should be too ashamed from Allah to associate others in the intent of his deed, because Allah is the only endower of the graces. If you encounter two matters that you igonore which of them is the most correct and acceptable, you should leave the matter that is more favorable to the whim. The very much rightness lies in opposing the whims. Beware of challenging the wisdom and giving it to the people of ignorance.
Husham said: I asked the Imam(A.S.), ‘What should I do if I find somebody seeking wisdom but his mind is too narrow to receive it?’
He (A.S.) answered: You should, in this case, deliver wisdom to him so kindly. If his hearts is too narrow to receive it, you should avoid seditious matters. You should also avoid the answers of the arrogant. Knowledge will be disgraced if it is given to the unconscious.
Husham said; What should I do if I cannot fine a person who asks about wisdom properly?’ I asked.
The Imam (A.S.) answered: You should take the opportunity of the ignorance of wisdom so as to be saved from the seditious wording and the great sedition of the answer. You should also realize that Allah did dot elevate the modest people according to the measure of their modesty, but He elevate them according to their fear, but He secured them out of His compassion and mercy. What do you think about the Compassionate the Merciful Who curries favor with those who harm His disciple? How will He then behave to those whom are hurt due to their adherence to him? What do you think about the Oft-Returning the Merciful Who accepts the repentance of his enemies? How will He then behave to those who accept Him and suffer people’s enmity for His sake?
O Husham, the fear of the world to come will vanish from the hearts of those who favor the worldly pleasures. He who favors the worldly affairs whenever he receives more knowledge will be remoter and remoter from Allah and Allah will consequently intensify His wrath on him.
O Husham, the true intelligent is that who avoids what he cannot do. Most of succes lies in opposing the passion. For those who depend upon hopes, their deeds will be worse.
O Husham, if you consider the march of the death, you will be diverted from hopes.
O Husham, beware of greed. Never expect having what is in people’s hands. Deaden your expectation from the creatures. Certainly, greed is the key to humiliation. It reduces the mind, kills the acts of personality, soils the honors, and cancels knowledgeability. Abide by adherence and depending upon Allah. Strive your whims so as to precent your essence from ruination. This is as obligatory as striving the enemies.
Husham said: I asked the Imam(A.S.) about the kind of enemies whom should be striven before others.
He answered: You should begin with the nearest to you, the most inimical, the most harmsul, the most aggressive, and the most hidden despite his closeness to you. It is Iblis who is instigating your enemies against you and the source of the hearts’ ill inspirations. You should regard him as the most antagonistic enemy and you should be more tolerant in striving him than he is as he is trying to lead you to perdition. He is surely less supported than you are and less harmful despite his great evil, provided that you cling to Allah so as to be guided to a straight path.
O Husham, Allah is surely doing great favors to those whom He endows with a mind that controls their whims, knowledge that controls their ignorance, and opulence that controls their poverty.
O Husham, beware of this world and its people. People are four classes: one is falling behind as he is embracing his whims, one is self-conceited due to his knowledge and the more he learns, the more arrogant he becomes. He towers up conceitedly before the less knowledgeable due to his being more learned. One (of the four classes) is ignorant worshipper who behaves disgracefully with the less dutiful and desires for being respected and reverenced. The fourth in heedful, knowledgeable, and knowing, but he cannot drag people to the straight path because he is either powerless or beaten. He is also grievous because he cannot practice his knowledge. This one is the most ideal and the most intelligent of people.
O Husham, discern the mind and its soldiers and the ignorance and its soldiers and you will be guided.
Husham said: I said, ‘May Allah make me your sacrifice. We will not know unless you instruct us.
Hence, the Imam (A.S.) answered: O Husham, the first thing of the mystical creatures that Allah created was the mind. He was on the right side of the Divine Throne. As Allah asked him to go, he went. As He asked him to come, he came. Hence, Allah the Majestic said: I created you as great and preferred you to all of My creatures.
Then Allah created ignorance from the gloomy salty ocean and asked it to go, and it went. But when Allah asked it to come, it refused. Hence, Allah cursed it because it had behaved arrogantly.
Allah then arranged seventy-five soldiers for the mind. The ignorance, seeing what Allah had given honorably to the mind, felt malicious and said: O Allah, this is a creature as same as I, but you honored and supported him while I, its opposite, am powerless. Support me with soldiers like him.
Allah the Exalted answered: Yes, I will, but if you disobey Me, I will take your soldiers and you out of My mercy.
As the ignorance agreed to the condition. Allah gave it seventy-five soldiers. Within the seventy-five soldiers of the mind was goodness, which is the supporter of the mind. In the other side, Allah made evil as the supporter of the ignorance.
The Soldiers of the Mind and the Ignorance
The soldiers of the mind and the ignorance are faith and disbelieving, belief and unbelief, sincerity and hypocrisy, hope and despair, justice and prejudice, satisfaction and displeasure, thanks and ingratitude, moderation and greed, trust and acquisitiveness, compassion and rudeness, knowledge and ignorance, chastity and profligacy, abstinecne and desirousness, lenience and clumsiness, self-respect and taunt, modesty and arrogance, deliberation and rashness, composure and imprudence,silence and chatter, submission and challenge, compliance and defiance, pardon and malice, mercy and coarseness, conviction and suspect, forbearance and bigotry, overlooking and revenge, opulence and neediness, pondering and inadvertence, consciousness and oblivion, relation and alienation, contentment and avidity, giving and deprivation, amicability and enmity, loyalty and betrayal, obedience and disobedience, succumbing and daring, affluence and scarcity, understanding and idoicy, recognition and denial, humoring and nastiness, purity and cheating, concealment and divulging, piety and irreverence, factuality and falseness, favor and bad turn, circumspection and publicizing, fairness and injury, God-fearing and envy, cleanness and dirtiness, pudency and insolence, temperance and excess, rest and fatigue, ease and difficulty, good health and ailment, sufficiency and over indulgence, wisdom and capriciousness, sense of worth and levity, pleasure and grief, repentance and insistence, attention and negligence, supplicaton and disdain, activity and laziness, delight and discontent, harmony and disagreement, and courtesy and foolishness.
O Husham, these good attributed cannot come together in a personality other than the personalities of the prophets, their successors, or faithful believers who passed Allah’s exam of faith. The other believers should have some of the soldiers of the mind so that they will have a perfect intelligence and get rid of the soldiers of ignorance. Only then they may catch the highest rank of the prophets and their successors. Allah may lead you and us to His obedience.
Imam Musa al-Kazim’s(A.S.) Words of Wisdom
1 – The nafilas are the offertories of every believer to Allah.
2 – Hajj is the jihad of every weak.
3 – Everything has its tax and the tax of the body is the recommendable fasting.
4 – After the acknowledgment of Allah, the best worship is expecting the Relief.
5 – He who supplicates to Allah before he praises Him and blesses the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) is as same as throwing an arrow without the existence of a string.
6 – He who is certain of the reward will give generously.
7 – The moderate will never be needy.
8 – Moderation is the half of the livelihood.
9 – Amicability is half of the intelligence.
10 -Very much care drives into senility.
11 – Hastiness is the true clumsiness.
12 – Fewness of the dependants is one of the two facilities.
13 – To depress the parents is impiety to them.
14 – As for those who beat the hand on the thigh or strike the hands together in misfortunes, their rewards will be cancelled.
15 – No one will gain the reward of suffering a misfortune unless he who forbears it and says: We are Allah’s, and to Him we will return.
16 -Favors are worthless unless they are done to the highborn or the religious.
17 -Allah aids in as much as the need and endows with steadfastness in as much as the misfortune.
18 – The graces will persist for the moderate and the satisfied. The graces will be removed from the immoderate and the exaggerative.
19 -The fulfillment of the trusts and honesty bring earnings, while treachery and fabrication cause poverty and hypocrisy.
20 – When Allah wills to punish a worm, He gives it two wings so that it will fly and a bird will kill it.
21 – The believers’ favors are worthless unless they are disregarded, veiled, and provided as soon as possible. He who disregards his favors is surely revering his friend to whom he has done the favor, he who considers his favors is surely disgracing his friend to whom he has done the favor, he who covers up the favors that he does is surely honoring his deeds, and he who fulfills his promises as soon as possible is surely giving pleasant gifts.
Short Maxims of Imam Musa al-Kazim(A.S.)
1 – Anyone who acknowleges Allah should not complain when his earnings are delayed and should not suspect the acts of Allah.
2 – As a man asked him about conviction, Imam Al-Kazim(A.S.) answered: the conviction is to depend upon Allah, submit to Him, consent to His acts, and entrust Him with the affairs.
3 – Abdullah-bin-Yahya said: Within the supplication that I wrote to Imam Al-Kazim(A.S.), there was the sentence, ‘Praise be to Allah as much as the utmost of His knowledge.’ The Imam answered my missive saying: Do not say, ‘the utmost of his knowledge,’ because His knowledge has no limits. You may say, ‘the utmost of His satisfaction.’
4 – As a man asked him about the munificent, Imam Al-Kazim(A.S.) answered: Your question has two references. If you refer to the created munificent, I can tell you that he is the one who fulfills what Allah has imposed upon him, while the miserly is the one who witholds what Allah has imposed upon him. If you refer to the All-munificent Allah, I can tell you that He is the All-munificent whether He gives or not. If He gives, he gives you what is not yours, and if He does not give, He deprives you of what in not yours.
5 – Imam Al-Kazim(A.S.) said to one of his adherents: Fear Allah and say the truth even if it will cause you to perish, for your salvation lies in telling the rtuth. Fear Allah and leave the wrong even if it will save you, for your perdition lies in telling the wrong.
6 – As his agent swore he had not betrayed him, Imam Al-Kazim(A.S.) said to him: To betray me and waste my wealth are the same. However, betrayal is more harmful for you.
7 – Beware of depriving anyone in fields of obedience to Allah lest, you will lose two folds in fields of disobedience to Allah.
8 – The believer is like the two pans of a balance-the more faith he enjoys the more misfortunes he faces.
9 – Imam Al-Kazim(A.S.) said as he stopped near a grave: It is quite proper to leave the first of a matter the end of which is this (grave). It is also quite proper to fear the end of a thing the first of which is this (grave).
10 – He who speaks in the Essence of Allah will perish, he who seeks power will perish, and he who feels self-conceited will perish.
11 – The supplies of this world and the religion are difficult. Whenever you extend your hand towards any source of the worldly supplies, you will found out that a sinful has preceded you there. When you intend to obtain a source of the religious supplies, you will not find anyone helping you.
12 -Four deeds are originated from extreme solicitude. They are eating soil, crumbling the clay, clipping the nails with the teeth, and biting the hair of the beard. Looking at three things improves the sight. They are verdure, flowing water, and handsome faces.
13 -Good neighborhood is not the abstinece from harm. It is to tolerate the harm (of the neighbors).
14 – Do not take liberties with your friend. You should keep any quantity of respect among you lest you will lose pudency.
15 – Imam Al-Kazim(A.S.) said to one of his sons: O son, let not Allah see you committing an act of disobedience against which he warned you, and let Him not miss you in an act of obedience to him of which He ordered you. Keep serious and do not convince yourself that you are worshipping and obeying Allah perfectly, because no one can achieve perfection in the fields of worshipping Allah. Beware of joking because it extinguished the illumination of your faith and disgraces your personality. Beware of indolence and laziness because they both prevent you from receiving your shares of the pleasures of this world and the world to come.
16 -When injustice predominates over the right, it is unacceptable to expect good from anybody before investigation.
17 -Kissing on the mouth is not acceptable except for the wife and the little child.
18 – Try to divide your time into four parts. The first part should be dedicated to (secret) supplication to Allah, the second to seeking earnings, the third to associating with the friends and the trusty people who show you your defects and treat you sincerely, and the fourth to your legal pleasures. Through this part, you can manage the other three parts. Do not think of poverty and long age. He who thinks of poverty will be stingy and he who thinks of long age will be acquisitive. Offer a share of the worldly pleasures to yourselves by enjoying moderately the legal pleasures that do not injure your personalities. Make such pleasures help you fulfill your religious duties perfectly. It is said that, “As for those who neglect the legal worldly pleasures completely and adhere to the religious duties or neglect the religious duties and adhere to the worldly affairs, they are not from us.
19 -Learn the religious question, for jurisprudence is the key of intelligence, the perfection of worship, and the means to the high standings and the respectful positions in this world and the world to come. The priority of the knowledgeable over the worshipper is as same as the priority of the sun over the stars. Allah will not accept the deeds of those who avoid learning the religious questions.
20 – Imam Al-Kazim(A.S.) said to Ali-bin-Yaqtin: The expiation of working with the (unjust) rulers is to treat the friends with kindness.
21 – Whenever people perpetrate unprecedented sins, Allah will inflict upon them unexpected misfortunes.
22 – In the time of the just ruler, you should thank and he will gain rewards, In the time of the unjust ruler, you should tolerate and he will burden the punishment of the sin.
23 – Abu-Hanifa related: After I had performed the hajj I went to Medina to visit Abu-Abdillah As-Sadiq(A.S.). I entered his house and sat in the entrance waiting for his permission. After a while, a male toddler went out. “O boy,” I asked, “where should the stranger excrete in your country?” The boy asked for a respite before he sat to a wall and spoke: You should be away from riversides, places were fruits fall, yards of mosques, and roadbeds. You should also hide agaist a wall, lift up your dress, avoid turnng the face or the back to the Qiblah and then you can excrete any where. I was highly admired by the wording of that boy. I therefore asked about his name. “I am, Musa-bin-Ja’far-bin-Mohammed-bin-Ali-bin-Al-Hussein-bin-Ali-bin-Abi Talib”, answered he. I then asked him about the source of the acts of disobedience to Allah, He answered: the source of any sin is unquestionably one of three: either the Allah, the Allah and the servant, or the servant. If Allah is the source of sins – yet. He is not-, then it is improper for Him to punish the servants for what they did not commit. If Allah and the servants are together the source of sin-yet this is not accurate-, then it is improper for the stronger partner to wrong the weak partner. If the servant is the source of the sins-and this is quite accurate-, then the Lord may pardon out of His generosity and liberty of punish for the commitment of such a sin. After I had heard so, I left before I could meet Abu-Abdillah since that wording was sufficient for me.
24 – Abu-Ahmed Al-Khurasani asked Imam Al-Kazim(A.S.) whether atheism preceded polytheism or the opposite. “You have not been accustomed to ask such questions,’ answered the Imam, ‘I do not know that you intrude yourself in the theological discussions.’ Abu-Ahmed confessed that it had been Husham-bin-Al-Hakam who ordered him to put such a question before the Imam. The Imam, then, answered: Atheism preceded polytheism. The foremost atheist was Eblis about whom Allah says: He refused and he was proud, and he was one of the unbelievers-atheists. Holy Qur’an( 2:34) Atheism is one thing while polytheism is not. Polytheism is to believe in one (god) and associate others with him.
25 – As he noticed two men reviling at each other, Imam Al-Kazim(A.S.) commented: The first person to revile is the more wrongful. He should burden-the inconvenience-of his sin as well as the sin of the other unless the other was the aggressor.
26 – On the Day of Resurrection, a caller will summon those whose rewards should be presented by Allah individually. Except those who forgave and reformed themselves, no one will attend.
27 – The liberal well-mannered ones are in the shelter of Allah Who will not abandon them until they reside in Paradise,. Prophets of Allah are all liberal. My fatehr incessantly commanded me to hold on liberality and noble manners untill he departed.
28 – As-Sindi-bin-Shahek narrated: When Imam Al-Kazim(A.S.) was dying, I offered to enshroud him. He answered: We, the prophet’s family, should cover the expenditure of our first pilgrimage, the dowries of our women, and our coffins from our legal fortunes.
29 – Imam Al-Kazim(A.S.) said to Fadhl-bin-Younus: Convey the good, say the good, and do not be yes-man. “What is yes-man?” asked Fadhl, and the Imam instructed: Do not say, ‘I am with people,’ or ‘I am like others,’ for the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) said: O people, they are only two ways-either good or evil. Do not prefer the way of evil to that of good.”
30 – Imam Al-Kazim(A.S.) passed by an ugly villager, greeted him, sat with him, talked with him for a considerable time, and then asked him to settle his needs when he would be in need for him. Some said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger, how do you sit with this one and ask him to settle your needs while he is in need for you?” The Imam(A.S.) answered: He was one of Allah’s servants, a brother in the Book of Allah, and a neighbor in the lands of Allah. He and we enjoy the same best father-Adam(A.S.) and the same best religion that is Islam. Perhaps, our need will some day be in his hand and we will have to sit modestly before him. Imam Al-Kazim(A.S.) then recited a poetic verse: We regard even those who do not deserve our regard so that we will not be friendless.
31 – Asking for-financial-help is acceptable only in blood money that is imposed on an insolvent, heavy debts, and extreme poverty.
32 -The best kind of alms-giving is to help the weak.
33 -The astonishment of the ignorant at the intelligent is greater than the astonishment of the intelligent at the ignorant.
34 -For the steadfast, the misfortune is one, while it is two for the impatient.
35 -Only the sufferers of injustice can realize its intensity.