Who is Twelfth Imam ?
The time of Twelfth Imam's absence
1079 Year and 11 Month and 28 Day

twelve imam . twelfth imam . امام زمان عج . الامام الثانی عشر . الإمام الثاني عشر

twelfth imam, twelve imam , الامام صاحب الزمان ، امام مهدی ، امام دوازدهم . منجی ، ظهور ، savior ،Appearance . مسیح ، Christ . آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse . اسلام ، شیعه ، islam, shia . جنگهای آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse Wars . الإمام الثاني عشر . h2

twelfth imam, twelve imam , الامام صاحب الزمان ، امام مهدی ، امام دوازدهم . منجی ، ظهور ، savior ،Appearance . مسیح ، Christ . آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse . اسلام ، شیعه ، islam, shia . جنگهای آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse Wars . الإمام الثاني عشر . h3

twelfth imam, twelve imam , الامام صاحب الزمان ، امام مهدی ، امام دوازدهم . منجی ، ظهور ، savior ،Appearance . مسیح ، Christ . آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse . اسلام ، شیعه ، islam, shia . جنگهای آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse Wars . الإمام الثاني عشر . h4

twelfth imam, twelve imam , الامام صاحب الزمان ، امام مهدی ، امام دوازدهم . منجی ، ظهور ، savior ،Appearance . مسیح ، Christ . آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse . اسلام ، شیعه ، islam, shia . جنگهای آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse Wars . الإمام الثاني عشر . h5
twelfth imam, twelve imam , الامام صاحب الزمان ، امام مهدی ، امام دوازدهم . منجی ، ظهور ، savior ،Appearance . مسیح ، Christ . آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse . اسلام ، شیعه ، islam, shia . جنگهای آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse Wars . الإمام الثاني عشر . h6

Imam Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Baqir (a)



Muḥammad b. ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib (Arabic: محمد بن علي بن حسین بن علي بن أبي طالب) (b. 57/677 – d. 114/733) known as Imām al-Bāqir (a) and Bāqir al-'Ulūm, was the fifth Imam of the Shi'a, whose period of Imamate lasted nineteen years.

The period of the imamate of Imam al-Baqir (a) was contemporary with the weakening of the Umayyad government and the struggle among them for power. In this period, Imam al-Baqir (a) made a great scientific movement which reached its peak at the time of his son Imam al-Sadiq (a). He (a) was greater than anyone in knowledge, piety, grandeur, and merits. His narrations in religion, conduct of the Prophet (s)Qur'an sciences, moral conduct, and manner is more than what is remained from the children of Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a). Thus, during his imamate, a great step was taken towards organization of Shi'i thought in different fields including ethicsfiqhkalamexegesis, etc.

Great scholars from the Sunni school of thought have attested to his scholarly and religious fame.

Lineage

Muhammad b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn b. 'Ali b. Abi Talib, known as Imam al-Baqir (a) was the fifth Imam of the Shi'a faith, son of Imam al-Sajjad (a), the fourth Imam of the Shi'a faith. His mother was Umm 'Abd Allah, daughter of Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba (a).[1] Hence he is called Hashimite among Hashimites, 'Alavi among 'Alavis, and Fatimi among Fatimis.[2]

Naming, Kunya, and Titles

Many years before Imam al-Baqir (a) was born, the Prophet (s) named him Muhammad and titled him as Baqir. A narration from Jabir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansari and others corroborates with this.[3]

His titles were,al-Baqir, al-Shakir (the thankful to God), and al-Hadi (the guide), the former of which is his most famous title. The meaning of "al-Baqir" is "splitter." Al-Ya'qubi wrote that, "He (a) was named al-Baqir since he split knowledge."[4] His famous kunya is Abu Ja'far.[5] In hadith references, he (a) is mostly referred to as Abu Ja'far al-Awwal.

[Expand]Family tree of Ahl al-Bayt (a)

 

Birth

Imam al-Baqir (a) was born on Friday Rajab 157/May 10, 677 in Medina.[6] Some have reported his birth to have been on Safar 3/December 16 of the same year (57/676)[7]. He was a small child and present in the Event of Karbala[8].

Wives and Children

In narrations, Umm Farwa is mentioned as the wife of Imam al-Baqir (a), who was the mother of Imam al-Sadiq (a). Also narrations mention another woman called Umm Hakim, daughter of Usayd al-Thaqafi as a wife of Imam (a), who was the mother of two of the Imam's (a) children and another wife of Imam (a) who was a concubine and the mother of three other children of Imam (a)[9].

The number of the children of Imam al-Baqir (a) was seven, including five sons and two daughters:

  1. Ja'far
  2. 'Abd Allah: the mother of these two was Umm Farwa, daughter of Qasim b. Muhammad.
  3. Ibrahim
  4. 'Ubayd Allah: the mother of him and Ibrahim was Umm Hakim, daughter of Usayd al-Thaqafi. No children remained from these two sons.
  5. 'Ali
  6. Zaynab: the mohter of the these two was a concubine.
  7. Umm Salama: the mother of whom, was a concubine.[10]

Imamate

Imam al-Baqir (a) became the Imam in 95/713 after his father was martyred and had the responsibility of leading the Shi'a until his martyrdom in 114/733 (or 117/735).

Proofs of Imamate

Jabir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansari narrated, in his response to a question about Imams after Imam 'Ali (a), the Prophet (s) said, "al-Hasan (a) and al-Husayn (a), the two Masters of the Youths of Paradise, then the Master of Worshippers of his time 'Ali b. al-Husayn (a), then al-Baqir, Muhammad b. 'Ali (a), whom you will see, O Jabir..."[11]

Also, Imam al-Sajjad (a) frequently attracted attention towards his son, Imam al-Baqir (a). For example, when his other son 'Umar asked him about why Imam al-Sajjad (a) paid more attention to Imam al-Baqir (a), Imam (a) answered, "It is because the imamate will remain in his descendants until the day our Upriser rises and will fill the world with justice and equality. So, he [al-Baqir] is both Imam and the father of Imams (a)."[12]

Al-Shaykh al-Mufid said Imam al-Baqir (a) was superior to all his brothers in knowledge, piety, and dignity. He had a higher position in relation to his siblings. Everyone praised him with glory and he was respected by the Suuni and Shi'a scholars. He (a) had knowledge of religion, the Qur'an, ethics, and morals to such a great extent that even these had not been formerly taught by any of the children of al-Hasan (a) and al-Husayn (a). The rest of the companions of the Prophet (s), noble ones among the Followers, and highest ranking of fiqh scholars have narrated from him. His position in merits and nobility reached a level of being exemplary among the people of knowledge. They wrote works and composed poems to praise his personality[13].

Contemporary Rulers

Contemporary rulers with Imam al-Baqir (a)
Imam al-Baqir's (a) Imamate 95-114

 

His imamate was contemporary with five Umayyad caliphs:

  1. Al-Walid b. 'Abd al-Malik (86/705 – 96/714-5)
  2. Sulayman b. 'Abd al-Malik (96/714-5 - 99/717-8)
  3. 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz (99/717-8 - 101/719-20)
  4. Yazid b. 'Abd al-Malik (101/719-20 -105/723-4)
  5. Hisham b. 'Abd al-Malik (105/723-4 - 125/742-3)

Apart from 'Umar b. Abd al-'Aziz who somehow was just, the other caliphs did not exemplify justice, instead they showed great injustice and oppression towards the people, especially the Shi'a. There was a great deal of corruption, discrimination, and tendencies for revenge in their courts.[citation needed]

Scientific Movement

From 94/712-3 to 114/732-3, there was a period of different schools of fiqh emerging and narrating many hadiths about exegesis. This was because of the weakening of the Umayyad government and the conflicts among statesmen over power. Sunni scholars, Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri, Makhul al-Shami, Hisham b. 'Urwa, etc. were active in narrating hadiths and issuing Fatwa, and other groups tried to spread their own beliefs such as KhawarijMurji'aKaysaniyya, and Ghulat.[citation needed]

Before this time, Shi'a jurisprudential viewpoints were clarified in a few issues like adhan, taqiyya, funeral prayer, .... By the begining of Imam al-Baqir's (a) imamate a great scientific movement by him emerged in Shi'a which reached its peak at the time of his son, Imam al-Sadiq (a). He (a) was superior to all nobles of Banu Hashim in knowledge, piety, dignity, and merits. His narrations in religion, conduct of the Prophet (s), Qur'an sciences, moral conduct, and manners are more than what remained from the children of Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a) until then.[14] It was in this period that Shi'a started to well establish its culture -including fiqh, exegiseis, and ethics.[15]


Imam al-Baqir (a) strongly rejected reasoning of the followers of analogy (qiyas) in fiqh[16] and took sharp stances against other Islamic sects and this way tried to separate the authentic ideological domain of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) in different fields from other sects. Regarding Khawarij, he (a) said, "Khawarij suffered out of ignorance; while religion is more lenient and flexible than how they know it."[17]

The scientific fame of Imam al-Baqir (a) was not only known in Hijaz but also had spread in Iraq and Khurasan. There is even a report saying about the Imam (a), "I saw people of Khurasan had circled around him and asked him their scientific questions."[18]

Exegesis

Imam al-Baqir (a) had dedicated a part of his time to explain exegesis issues, by holding exegesis sessions and answering the questions of scholars and other people. It is said that Imam al-Baqir (a) wrote a book in exegesis of the Qur'an which Ibn Nadim has mentioned in his al-Fihrist.[19]

Imam (a) considered the knowledge of the Qur'an only held by the Ahl al-Bayt (a), since it is only they who can distinguish the clear issues in the Qur'an from unclear ones and the abrogating from the abrogated. Such power is not held by anyone other than the Ahl al-Bayt (a) and thus Imam al-Baqir (a) said, "Nothing is farther than exegesis of the Qur'an from the intellect of people; since, a verse which is a cohesive speech, the beginning of which happens to be about one issue and the end of it about another issue and this cohesive speech is interpreted from different aspects."[20]

Hadith

Imam al-Baqir (a) paid particular attention to hadiths (or traditions) from the Prophet (s) to the extent that Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju'fi narrated 70,000 traditions from the noble Prophet (s) from him (a). Also, Aban b. Taghlib and other students of Imam al-Baqir (a) narrated a great number of this tremendous legacy from the Imam (a).[citation needed]

Imam al-Baqir (a) did not suffice to only narrating and spreading traditions, but he (a) also encouraged his companions to strive in understanding traditions and learning their meanings. In a statement, he (a) said:

"Know the levels of our Shi'a by the number of hadiths from the Ahl al-Bayt (a) they narrate and their knowledge to them, which is the knowledge to hadith (dirayat al-hadith); and it is through understanding of hadiths that the faithful reach highest levels of faith."[21]

Kalam

At the time of Imam al-Baqir (a), the emerging foundations and expression of different beliefs and thoughts were easier, due to opportunity and the lack of pressure and control by the government which also caused deviant thoughts to spread in the society. Under these circumstances, Imam al-Baqir (a) had to announce authentic Islamic beliefs, denounce and reject false beliefs, and answer related questions. Therefore, he (a) held his theological discussions with the direction towards the mentioned issues. Among such issues was the inability of human intellect to understand the truth of God[22], eternal existence of the Necessary Existent[23], and the necessity to obey Imam[24].

Other legacies left behind by Imam al-Baqir (a) are jurisprudential[25] and historical legacies[26].

Debates

Imam al-Baqir's (a) debates with different people over different issues were among his scientific activities. Some of his debates are as listed below:

Fighting with Israelites [Beliefs Imported in Islam]

Jews were among the present groups in society at the time of Imam al-Baqir (a) and they had a deep influence over the culture at that time. Some of the Jewish scholars pretended to become Muslims and others remained openly Jewish. Their influence spread in the Islamic society and thus, they became the authorities of some simple-minded people. Imam's (a) reaction included fighting with the Jews and their malicious instigation in Islamic culture, and renouncing their invented false hadiths about divine prophets (a) or issues which tarnished the true face of the Prophets (a). Below is an example:

Zurara b. A'yan narrated that, "I was sitting before Imam al-Baqir (a) while he (a) was facing Ka'ba, he said, 'Looking at the Ka'ba is an act of worship.' At that time, a man called 'Asim b. 'Umar came to Imam (a) and said Ka'b al-Ahbar says, 'Every morning, Ka'ba prostrates towards Jerusalem.' Imam (a) said, 'What do you think about the opinion of Ka'b al-Ahbar?' The man answered, 'His talk is right.' Imam al-Baqir (a) said, 'You and Ka'b al-Ahbar are both incorrect,' then, while very disappointed, he said, 'God has not created a monument more beloved than Ka'ba on earth".[27]

Companions and Students

The situation at that time prepared a foundation that Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a) benefitted highly from. That opportune situation was the result of weakness of the Umayyad government. Internal crises of their political system did not allow the rulers to suppress the voices of Ahl al-Bayt (a) and isolate them as previous rulers had done. This situation helped Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a) to give jurisprudential, exegesis-related, ethical opinions in fiqh and hadith books.[citation needed]

This enabled personalities such as, Muhammad b. Muslim to narrate 30,000 hadiths[28] and Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju'fi narrated 70,000 hadiths from Imam al-Baqir (a).[29]

From the viewpoint of Shi'a scholars, the most prominent fiqh scholars of the beginning centuries of Islam were six people who were all companions of Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a): Zurara b. A'yan, Ma'ruf b. Kharrabudh al-MakkiAbu Basir al-AsadiFudayl b. Yasar al-Basri, Muhammad b. Muslim and Burayd b. Mu'awiya al-'Ijli.[30]

In his book about rijalal-Shaykh al-Tusi counted companions of Imam al-Baqir (a) and people who narrated from him as 462 men and two women.[citation needed]

Some of the companions and students of Imam al-Baqir (a), regarding credit and reliability are approved by both Sunni and Shi'a, a group of them have not been accepted by Sunni rijal scholars due to their deep Shi'a tendencies and have only been accepted by Shi'a scholars.[citation needed]

However, there should be no claim that Imam al-Baqir (a) was free from restrictions which governments imposed on the Ahl al-Bayt (a); rather, undoubtedly the ruling atmosphere of the life of Imam al-Baqir (a) was in a state of Taqiyya. At that point, because of the specific culture which was inflicted upon the society as a result of the ruling of unjust governments, leaving Taqiyya would mean abandoning scientific activities and preaching principle teachings of religion.[citation needed]

Martyrdom

 
The historical dome of Imams of al-Baqi' which was destroyed by Wahhabis in 1925. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a) is one of the four Imams of the Shia buried here.
 
Map of al-Baqi' Cemetery (move the mouse pointer over image to enlarge)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Imam al-Baqir (a) passed away on Dhu l-Hijjah 7114/January 28, 733[31]. There are other opinions about the year of his demise.

There are different narrations and historical opinions regarding the person who martyred Imam al-Baqir (a). Some sources have mentioned Hisham b. Abd al-Malik as the one who martyred him[32]. Some have accused Ibrahim b. al-Walid as the person who poisoned the Imam (a)[33]. Some narrations have considered Zayd b. al-Hasan as the person who facilitated the plot for martyring the Imam (a). In either case, Imam al-Baqir (a) was martyred during the caliphate of Hisham b. 'Abd al-Malik[34], because his caliphate was from 108/726-7 until 125/742-3 and the last year ever mentioned for the martyrdom of Imam al-Baqir (a) is 118/736.[citation needed]

Although the reports are seemingly different, it is not impossible that they could all be correct to a certain degree. There lies a possibility that several people cooperated in the martyrdom of Imam al-Baqir (a), as the reports refer to each of them. Regarding the violent behavior of Hisham b. 'Abd al-Malik towards Imam al-Baqir (a) and the undeniable enmity of Umayyads with Imam Ali's (a) descendants, there is no doubt that Hisham had strong motivation to play a role in the martyrdom of Imam al-Baqir (a) even if it was indirectly. Clearly, to have made his plot materialize, Hisham would have used trustworthy people. Therefore, he employed Ibrahim b. al-Walid who was an Umayyad and an enemy of the Ahl al-bayt (a), who could use a person who could easily enter the home of Imam al-Baqir (a). Through him, the scheming plot of Hisham unfolded and Imam (a) was martyred.[citation needed]

Imam al-Baqir (a) was buried beside his father's grave and the grave of al-Hasan b. 'Ali (a), his father's uncle, in Al-Baqi' Cemetery[35].

In the Views of Scholars

Imam al-Baqir's (a) personality was not only outstanding in the views of the Shi'a but in the views of Sunni scholars he (a) was a unique personality too. Below, some examples are mentioned:

Ibn Hajar al-Haytami wrote, "Abu Ja'far Muhammad al-Baqir (a) had disclosed so many hidden treasures of sciences, truth behind rulings, and points of wisdom that are not hidden except to ignorant or ill-wishers and thus they have called him Baqir al-'ilm [splitter of knowledge]. He is a great source and the one who establishes knowledge. He (a) spent his life in worship of God and in the ranks of mystics, he reached a status beyond description. He (a) has many words in the journey towards God and Islamic teachings"[36]

'Abd Allah b. 'Ata' who was a distinguished scholar at the time of Imam (a) said, "I saw scholars not humbled before anyone, more humble than I saw them before Abu Ja'far (a)."[37]

About Imam al-Baqir (a), al-Dhahabi wrote, "He (a) is among those who have gathered knowledge, its observation, dignity, honor, reliability and serenity and he (a) was qualified for caliphate".[38]

See also

Notes

  1. Jump up Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 155
  2. Jump up Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 158; Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 8, p. 390.
  3. Jump up Qummī al-Rāzī, Kifāyat al-athar, p.144-145.
  4. Jump up Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 289.
  5. Jump up Ṭabarī, Dalāʾil al-Imāma, p. 216
  6. Jump up Ṭabarī, Dalāʾil al-Imāma, p. 215; Ṭabrisī, Iʿlām al-wara, vol. 1, p. 498.
  7. Jump up Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 46, p. 212.
  8. Jump up Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī,vol. 2, p. 289.
  9. Jump up Mufīd, Al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 524.
  10. Jump up Ṭabrisī, Iʿlām al-wara,Translated by ʿAzīz Allah ʿAṭārudī, p. 375.
  11. Jump up Qummī al-Rāzī, Kifāyat al-athar, p.144-145.
  12. Jump up Qummī al-Rāzī, Kifāyat al-athar, p. 237
  13. Jump up Mufīd, al-Irshād , vol. 2, p. 157.
  14. Jump up Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 507.
  15. Jump up Jaʿfarīyān, Ḥayāt-i fikrī wa sīyāsī-yi imāmān-i Shīʿa, p. 295.
  16. Jump up Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa , vol. 18, p. 39.
  17. Jump up Jaʿfarīyān, Ḥayāt-i fikrī wa sīyāsī-yi imāmān-i Shī'a, p. 299.
  18. Jump up Kulaynī,al-Kāfī, vol. 6, p. 357; Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 46, p. 357.
  19. Jump up Ibn Nadīm, al-Fihrist, p. 59; Sharīf al-Qurashī,Ḥayāt al-imām Muḥammad al-Bāqir, vol. 1, p. 174.
  20. Jump up Pīshwāyān-i hidāyat, p. 320.
  21. Jump up Sharīf al-Qurashī,Ḥayāt al-imām Muḥammad al-Bāqir, vol. 1, p. 140-141.
  22. Jump up Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 82.
  23. Jump up Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p.88-89.
  24. Jump up Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 185.
  25. Jump up Pīshwāyān-i hidāyat, p.341-347.
  26. Jump up Pīshwāyān-i hidāyat, p.330-334.
  27. Jump up Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 46, p. 354.
  28. Jump up Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 11, p. 83.
  29. Jump up Muḥammad ʿAlī Muḥammad al-Dakhīl, Aʾimmatunā , vol. 1, p. 347.
  30. Jump up Ibn Shahrāshūb,Manāqib, vol. 4, p. 211.
  31. Jump up Nawbakhtī, Firaq al-Shīʿa, p. 61.
  32. Jump up Kafʿamī, al-Miṣbāh, p. 691.
  33. Jump up Ṭabarī, Dalāʾil al-Imāma, p. 216; Ibn Shahrāshūb, Manāqib, Vol. 4, P. 228.
  34. Jump up Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 289.
  35. Jump up Nawbakhtī, Firaq al-Shīʿa, p. 61; Kulaynī, Al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 372; Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 158; Ṭabarī, Dalāʾil al-Imāma, p. 216; Ṭabrisī, Iʿlām al-wara, p. 259; Sibt Ibn Jawzī, Tadhkirat al-khawāṣṣ, p. 306; Kaf


twelve imam . twelfth imam . امام زمان عج . الامام الثانی عشر . الإمام الثاني عشر

twelfth imam, twelve imam , الامام صاحب الزمان ، امام مهدی ، امام دوازدهم . منجی ، ظهور ، savior ،Appearance . مسیح ، Christ . آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse . اسلام ، شیعه ، islam, shia . جنگهای آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse Wars . الإمام الثاني عشر

twelfth imam, twelve imam , الامام صاحب الزمان ، امام مهدی ، امام دوازدهم . منجی ، ظهور ، savior ،Appearance . مسیح ، Christ . آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse . اسلام ، شیعه ، islam, shia . جنگهای آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse Wars . الإمام الثاني عشر

twelfth imam, twelve imam , الامام صاحب الزمان ، امام مهدی ، امام دوازدهم . منجی ، ظهور ، savior ،Appearance . مسیح ، Christ . آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse . اسلام ، شیعه ، islam, shia . جنگهای آخرالزمان ، Apocalypse Wars . الإمام الثاني عشر یا صاحب الزمان عج ادرکنی . یا قائم آل محمد عج ادرکنی