HAZRAT IMAM MOHAMMAD BAQER (A.S.), THE 5TH IMAM

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Stories Of Imam Baquer

Name : Muhammad

Title : al-Baqir (One who Dissects Knowledge)

Kuniyat : Abu Ja'far

Father : Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A)

Mother : Bibi Fatimah binte Hasan (A)

Birthdate : 1st Rajab 57 A.H. in Madina

Imamat : From 95 A.H. to 114 A.H.

Martyrdom : 7th Zilhaj 114 A.H.

Buried : Madina, Saudi Arabia.

Imam (A) enjoys the unique position of having both paternal and maternal grandfathers as Imams. His mother, Fatimah, was the daughter of Imam Hasan (A). The Holy Prophet (S) had told his companion, Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, that he would live to see the Fifth Imam (A) whose name would be Muhammad. He asked him to convey his Salaams to this Imam (A), which Jabir managed to do shortly before he died.

Imam (A) was brought up for 3 years by his grandfather, Imam Husain (A). He was present in Karbala at the time of martyrdom of Imam Husain (A) and his friends. He also spent a year in the prison of Damascus with his father and the rest of the children and ladies of the martyrs of Karbala. He lived for 20 years in Madina after the death of his father.

Imam (A) was left in relative peace by the rulers because the Bani Umayyah were busy in trying to control the rebellions and wars that were breaking out all over the Muslim empire. Taking advantage of this opportunity, Imam (A) set up and conducted classes on the teachings of the Holy Prophet (S) and the Ahlul Bayt (A). Under his guidance, his pupils compiled various books on different branches of science and arts. Imam (A) also began to teach new sciences like Mathematics and Chemistry for the first time in Arabia.

Imam A) gave much importance to holding Majalis where the event of Karbala would be remembered. At the same time, practical instructions about the teachings of Islam would also be given.

These meetings were also encouraged by Imam Ja'far Sadiq (A) and Imam Ali Riza (A) in later years.

One of the Caliphs at the time of Imam (A) was Waleed bin Abdul Malik. Once, the ruler of Rome wrote to Waleed saying that the Roman coins, which were also used by Muslims, would now carry anti-Islamic phrases. The Caliph decided that a new Dinar coin should be minted.

A problem arose as to what phrase should be used on the new coin. When consulted, Imam (A) suggested that the phrase "Laa Ilaha Illallah" be printed on one side, and "Muhammadur Rasulullah" on the other. This advice was accepted, and the first Islamic coin was thus minted.

Once a Christian asked Imam (A) to give a similar example to the Muslim belief that the fruits of heaven are not reduced by eating. Imam (A) replied that it was like a lamp, no matter how many other lamps were lit by the first lamp, the original light would not be reduced.

Imam (A) continued to preach peacefully until 114 A.H. Then, the Caliph of the time, Hisham bin Abdul Malik, turned his attention to him. He had heard of the fame and following of Imam (A) and he was scared and jealous of the influence that Imam (A) had over the Muslims, especially in Madina. He therefore arranged with Zayd bin Hasan to deliver a saddle coated with poison to Imam (A).

Zayd brought the saddle with a letter from Hisham. On seeing the saddle, Imam (A) remarked that it was a pity that Zayd was involved in this terrible plan. However, demonstrating his contentment in the Will of Allah, Imam (A) rode on the saddle. The poison took effect immediately. His condition steadily grew worse for three days.

Just before his death, he called the people of Madina and told them that his son Ja'far (A) would be the Imam after him, and that he should give him Ghusl and Kafan. Imam (A) breathed his last on 7th Zilhajj 114 A.H. at the age of 57 years and was buried in Jannatul Baqee next to his father.

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