Muhammad ibn Ali (a.s.)
Umm Abdullah, the daughter of Imam Hasan (a.s.).
Birth: He was born at
Madina in the year 57 A.H.
He died of poisoning in Madina in 114 A.H. and is also buried at Baqi
near his father.
Birth and Imamate
Imam Muhammad baqir (pbuh)
was born in the 57th year of the Hijra, on Friday the first day of the month
of Rajab, in the city of Medina. His honored father is Imam Sajjad (pbuh)
and his revered mother, Fatima, daughter of Imam Hasan (pbuh). He was the
only Imam who was Alawiite from both the side of the Mother
and the Father. Imam Sajjad (pbuh), according to the command of Allah and
the decree of the Prophet (pbuh), appointed his son, Imam Muhammad baqir (pbuh),
to Imamate and leadership of the people in the 95 A.H. He remained Imam for
the rest of his life until 114 A.H. and the total period of his Imamate is
19 years. Allama Hajr Makki writes in Sawa’eq-e-Moharaqa (Page 120) that He
was the true copy of his father Imam Sajjad (pbuh) in knowledge, piousness
and prayers & supplications.
Meaning of baqir
baqir is a derivate of the
word "Baqara" which means to open up or to expand. Imam Mohammad baqir (pbuh)
was named as such since he introduced and spread the knowledge and teachings
of various dimensions and implemented the knowledge streams in a manner
which had never been seen earlier. Allama Noor Allah Shostri says in
Majalis-al-Momineen (Page 117) that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said that Imam
Mohammad baqir (pbuh) will introduce, spread and open up knowledge just like
the ground is opened up for cultivation. Imam Muhammad baqir (pbuh)
instructed people in percepts of religion, taught exegesis of Quran, taught
them the ethics of life, and used to strive very hard to educate culture and
guide the people. During the course of his life, he taught the people
thousands of theological and religious principles, as well as scientific
subjects, and his teachings have been handled down to us.
Imam Muhammad baqir (pbuh),
like the other Imams, in knowledge and science had no equal. Great learned
men benefited from his knowledge and science and used to ask him to solve
Presence in Karbala
Imam Mohammad baqir (pbuh)
was about two and a half years old when he had to accompany Imam Hosein (pbuh)
and the rest of his family members on the journey to Karbala. After the
tiring journey from Medina to Karbala, he witnessed the shocking and tragic
events ofKarbala and then the heart-rupturing events inSyria and Iraq. After
one year of detention in Damascus he returned in 62 A.H. to Medina when he
was 4 years.
His traditions and students
During the Imamate of the
Imam baqir, as a result of the injustice of the Umayyads, revolts and wars
broke out in some corner of the Islamic world every day. Moreover, there
were disputes within the Umayyad family itself which kept the caliphate busy
and to a certain extent left the members of the Household of the Prophet
alone. From the other side, the tragedy of Karbala and the oppression
suffered by the Household of the Prophet , of which the Fourth Imam was the
most noteworthy embodiment , had attracted many Muslims to the Imam. These
factors combined to make it possible for people and especially the Shiites
to go in great numbers toMedina and to come into the presence of the Imam.
Possibilities for disseminating the truth about Islam and the sciences of
the Household of the Prophet, which had never existed for the Imams before
him, were presented by Imam baqir. The proof of this fact is the innumerable
traditions recounted from the Fifth Imam and the large number of illustrious
men of science and Shiite scholars who were trained by him in different
Islamic sciences. These names are listed in books of biographies of famous
men in Islam.
Meeting with Jabir bin
It is a proven fact
that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) had informed about the birth of Imam Mohammad
baqir (pbuh) about 64 years before his birth.
Sheikh Saduq states in his book Amali (page 353) -
Imam Jafer Sadiq (pbuh) narrates that one day Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said
to Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari "you will stay alive until you meet my son
Mohammad bin Ali bin Hosein bin Ali bin Abi Talib (pbuh)who is
mentioned in the Torah as baqir. Give him my salutation (salam)
when you meet him". One day when Jabir visited Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (pbuh),
he saw the young boy sitting next to the Imam (pbuh). He addressed the young
boy and asked him to come closer and show his back. Then he proclaimed that
by God, that young boy had the features and traits of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
Then he asked Imam Sajjad (pbuh) who the young boy was and Imam (pbuh)
replied that he was his son and the successor to the Imamate and his name
was Mohammad baqir (pbuh). Hearing this, Jabir rose up and kissed the young
Imam and said "Son of Prophet (pbuh), may I be taken ransom for you, accept
the salutation (salam) of Prophet (pbuh). He asked me to convey it to you".
Imam Jafer Sadiq (pbuh) states that his father burst into tears on hearing
this and said "Jabir my salutation to my grand father until this sky and
earth survives. You conveyed the salam of my grandfather to me so I convey
my salam to you as well".
Imam Mohammad baqir and Abu
The founder of the
Hanafi School of thought, Imam Abu Hanifa was a disciple and student of Imam
Mohammad baqir (pbuh) for a long period. He used to study
fiqh and ilm-e-hadees and other branches of
knowledge from the Imam (pbuh) and both Shiite and Sunni scholars agree that
most of his knowledge was derived and obtained from Imam Mohammad baqir (pbuh).
Allama Shabrawi Shafaee writes that on several occasions Imam Mohammad baqir
(pbuh) tested Abu Hanifa on matters of fiqh and Abu Hanifa could not answer
them and then Imam baqir (pbuh) explained the reasoning and logics to him.
Abu Hanifa was also an
associate of his son Imam Jafer Sadiq (pbuh) and benefited a lot from his
knowledge as well.
His Death and burial
In 100 A.H., Hasham bin Abdul
Malik became the Caliph. He was a known enemy of the Ahle Bait (pbuh) and he
did not waste any opportunity to bring hardship to the Ahle Bait (pbuh).
Allame Majlisi writes that during the last days of his caliphate, Hasham
came toMecca for Hajj. Imam Mohammad baqir (pbuh) and his son Imam Jafer
Sadiq (pbuh) were also present. Hasham was informed that Imam Jafer Sadiq (pbuh)
delivered a sermon among the Hajis that he and his father were the Allah"s
vicegerent and His command on earth and whoever was their friend and well
wisher will go to heaven and whoever is their enemy will be destined to
hell. This infuriated Hasham and when he reached Damasacus, he ordered the
governor ofMedina, Ibrahim bin Walid to send the two Imams (pbuh) to his
court. Hasham had planned to malign the Imams in his court but the Imams (pbuh)
overturned his plans which further ignited his enmity and he ordered the
Imams (pbuh) to be jailed. While in the jail, Imam Mohammad baqir (pbuh)
gave sermons to the other prisoners which created an atmosphere of great
enthusiasm and devotion towards the Imam (pbuh) and against Hasham and
sensing the gravity of the situations and the risk of a revolt, Hasham
ordered the release of the Imam (pbuh). He then ordered the governor of
Medina that Imam Mohammad baqir (pbuh) should be poisoned as he is becoming
a constant threat (Jala-ul-Ayoon Page 262). The governor ofMedina - Ibrahim
bin Walid carried out the orders and poisoned the Imam (pbuh) in 114 A.H.
Imam Muhammad baqir (pbuh),
lived in this world for a period of 57 years, and in the 114th year of the
Hijra, on the seventh day of the month of Zil-Hijjah, in Medina he left this
world. His body was buried in Baqi cemetry alongside the graves of Imam
Hasan (pbuh) and Imam Sajjad (pbuh) inMedina.
His last will and
Before his martyrdom, Imam
Mohammad baqir (pbuh) instructed his son Imam Jafer Sadiq (pbuh) about
several issues and said to him that he is hearing the voice of his father
who is calling him (Noor ul Absar Page 131). He gave special instructions
for his kafan and burial since only an Imam can say the prayers of an Imam (Shawahi-un-Nabowah
page 181). Allama Majlisi states that in his will, he also mentioned that
800 Dirhams should be spent on his mourning and arrangement should be made
thatthe Hajj pilgrims would commemorate his martyrdom inMedina for
the next 10 years. scholars also mention that in his will, the Imam
(pbuh) also mentioned that his kafan should be opened after his burial and
his grave should not be higher that 4 fingers.