Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Jawaad (as) was only six years when his father died and He (as) assumed the role of Imamate (Divine Leadership). Many Shia’hs were confused. Some thought that a six-year-old child could not become an Imam and the Imamate should be entrusted to an older man. ‘Ali ibn Asbaat has narrated that:


[Once Abu Ja’ffar (reference to Imam al-Jawad) came to me, so I stared at him so as to be able to describe him to my people back at home when he (as) said, “O ‘Ali ibn Asbaat! Know for certain that just as Allah (SWT) has kept proofs and evidences for Prophethood, the same is also true for the Imamate; and He (SWT) has said: ‘And We gave him judgement while still a child’. (19:12) And He (SWT) has also said: ‘When he came of age, We gave him judgement and (sacred) knowledge’. (12:22) Therefore, it is very much possible that some receive judgement in childhood and some after attaining fourty years of age”. ] (Ithbaat al-Wasiyyah)


This projects the shinning reality that childhood or adulthood have nothing to do with the position of Imamate, which is like the position of Prophethood in most of its specifications, for both – Imamate & Prophethood are in the hands of Allah (SWT), Who entrusts with them whomsoever He chooses from among His people.



Qasim ibn ‘Abdul-Rahman belonged to the Zaydi School of Thought. He has narrated that:


[Once I was on my way to Baghdad when I saw many people rushing towards a place and gathering there. I asked, “What is happening here?” Somebody said, “The son of ar-Ridha is here”. I said to myself, “By Allah! I must see him” and saw that he (as) was riding a donkey. Having seen him, I said to myself, “May Allah curse the Shia’hs who claim that obedience to this man is obligatory”.


As soon as this thought crossed my mind, the son of ar-Ridha looked towards me and said, “O Qasim ibn ‘Abdul-Rahman! ‘And they (the people of Thamood) said: Are we to follow a lone human from ourselves?! Indeed then we would be in error and madness’. (54:24)”.


When I heard this, I said to myself, “By Allah! This man is a magician”. He (son of ar-Ridha) once again looked up to me and said, “Has the Reminder been cast upon him from among us? Rather he is a self-conceited liar”. (54:25)


I left the place saying, “I bear witness that this man is the proof of Allah upon His creatures” and accepted him as an Imam.] (Kashful-Ghummah)

A significant number of scholars and jurisprudents, who had been selected by the Shia’h milieus in Baghdad and other countries, came to Yathrib following the death of Imam ar-Ridha (as) in order to ascertain the new Imam. They were about eighty in number. In Yathrib, they went to the house of Imam Abu ‘Abdillah as-Sadiq (as). A red rug was spread out for them. ‘Abdullah, the son of Imam al-Kadhim (as) came to them and sat at the head of their meeting, claiming himself to an Imam after ar-Ridha (as) and the religious authority of the Ummah. A man stood up and called out to the scholars, “This is the son of the messenger of Allah. Whoever has a question, should ask him”.  One scholar stood up and asked, “What do you think about the man who says to his wife: I divorce you as many times as there are stars in the sky?” Abdullah replied, “She is divorced thrice before the Gemini”, an answer, which is against the jurisprudence of the Ahlul-Bayt (as). All the scholars were astonished. Another scholar asked, “What is your opinion about a man who has sexual intercourse with an animal?” Abdullah replied, “His hand should be cut-off and he should be whipped a hundred times”, an answer, which is also contrary to the law of Allah (SWT).


All the present scholars were upset and very confused. In that state, suddenly a door near the front of the meeting opened. Muwaffaq, the servant emerged and then Imam al-Jawad (as) made his appearance. The loftiness of Imam al-Jawad (as) was such that all heads bowed to him submissively. People started praising him and a man introduced him as the rightful Imam after ar-Ridha (as). The man who had asked the first question rose again and asked, “What do you think about the man who says to his wife: I divorce you as many times as there are stars in the sky?” Imam (as) said, “O Man! Read in the Book of Allah: ‘Divorce may be only twice; then (let there be) either an honourable retention, or a kindly release’. (2:229) And then it is at the third (that divorce becomes irrevocable)…”


The attendants marvelled the intelligence of the Imam and were certain that they had reached the aim, which they had sought. They also informed the Imam (as) about the fatwa, which his uncle had given earlier on. Imam (as) turned towards his uncle and said, “O uncle! Fear Allah and do not give any fatwa when there exists in the Ummah one who is more aware than you”. They then also asked the second question, “What is your opinion about a man who has sexual intercourse with an animal?” Imam (as) replied, “He should be subjected to a discretionary punishment, and the animal should be marked with a lasting mark on its back and taken out of the country so that the shame of it does not remain with the man”.

                                                                          (Hayaat Imam al-Jawad)



Abu Laylah was a chief justice in the court of Mu’tasim, the Abbasid caliph. One day, he came to his friend Zarqa in state of extreme anger and when asked the purpose of anger, Abu Laylah said,


[O Zarqa! Today I was put to a very big test in which I failed. A thief, whose crime was established, was presented before Mu’tasim. So Mu’tasim asked, ‘Quran says that I should cut the hands of this thief. You tell me from which part shall his hand be cut-off’. I said, ‘ Quran states that chop-off the hand of a thief and in the verse of wudhoo, it is mentioned that wash your hands till your elbow. So from elbow downwards is considered as hand therefore cut his hand from his elbow’.


Mu’tasim then asked other learned people in his court for their opinion. Someone said, ‘In the verse of Tayammum, hand has been mentioned till the wrist so cut the thief’s hand from his wrist’. After a lot of discussion and debate, Mu’tasim then put the same question to the Imam of the Shia’hs, Muhammad ibn Ali, who happened to be present at the time. At first, he refused to comment but when Mu’tasim insisted, he said, “You will only cut-off the fingers of the thief because Quran says: “Indeed the places of prostration are for Allahmeaning parts of the body placed on the ground during Sajdah. Since the thief is also a Muslim who offers prayers, he will need his palms during Sajdah. So you have to leave that and cut only his fingers”.


O Zarqa! Mu’tasim was so pleased with this answer that he praised the Imam of the Shia’hs and we felt discredited. O Zarqa! I am aware that whoever harms this young man will burn in the hell-fire but I will not rest till I have taken my revenge against him]


Having said this, Zarqa returned to Mu’tasim to provoke him against the Imam (as). He said to him, “What have you done? People, as it is believe in him as the true Imam and do not believe in you. Why did you give him preference over us? Now you have confirmed to the people through your action that indeed he is on truth and you are on falsehood”. Mu’tasim was so affected by this, that shortly after this incident, he poisoned Imam Al-Jawad (as).  (Bikhre Moti)







Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s