THE LIFE OF IMAM MUHAMMAD Al-JAWAD (a.s)

THE LIFE OF IMAM MUHAMMAD Al-JAWAD (a.s)0%

THE LIFE OF IMAM MUHAMMAD Al-JAWAD (a.s) Author:
Translator: The Islamic Ahl Al-Bayt ('a) Foundation
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
Category: Imam al-Jawad
ISBN: 978-964- 529- 789-1

THE LIFE OF IMAM MUHAMMAD Al-JAWAD (a.s)

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Translator: The Islamic Ahl Al-Bayt ('a) Foundation
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
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ISBN: 978-964- 529- 789-1
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THE LIFE OF IMAM MUHAMMAD Al-JAWAD (a.s)

THE LIFE OF IMAM MUHAMMAD Al-JAWAD (a.s)

Author:
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
ISBN: 978-964- 529- 789-1
English

CHAPTER THREE: IMAM AL-JAWAD'S SCHOOL AND HERITAGE

Disciples of Imam al-Jawad

A large number of master scholars and transmitters of Prophetic traditions surrounded Imam al-Jawad with the intention of deriving from the knowledge he had inherited from his grandfather the Holy Prophet (sawas). They therefore wrote down his discourses and guidelines as well as his magnificent wisdoms and literary masterpieces.

Thanks to these master scholars, the precious heritage of Imam al-Jawad, which is considered one of the intellectual fortunes of Islam, was saved.

Motivated by their religious faith that united them in protecting the verbal traditions of the Holy Imams (as), the Imams' disciples worked painstakingly to record these traditions to which scholars of the Shia Muslim jurisprudence have been resorting in deducing religious laws from the sources of Islamic legislation. In fact, had it not been for these writings and records, the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt School would not have had such advanced and magnificent jurisprudence, the genuineness and profundity of which have been confirmed by all jurists and intellectuals not only in the Muslim world but also in the rest of the world.

It is an object of pride to know that the disciples of the Holy Imams (as) spared no efforts in keeping close to the Holy Imams (as) and recording their words and discourses under the most critical circumstances when the tyrannical Umayyad and Abbasid authorities were severe to the Holy Imams (as) and banned any association with them so that the masses would not act upon their guidance and follow them.

The ruling authorities imposed such intensive pressure upon the scholars and transmitters of the Holy Imams' traditions that these transmitters did not dare to mention the name of the Imam from whom they reported openly; rather, they had to refer indirectly to him by mentioning one of his distinctive features or indirect epithets llest they suffer the death penalty or imprisonment at the hands of the ruling elite.

Because of the security siege that the Abbasid ruling authorities imposed on Imam al-Jawad (as), he instructed his disciples to undertake the tasks that were difficult for him and to move in the fields where it was impossible for him to move. Among the basic fields in which Imam al-Jawad (as) had clear-cut imprints were the movements of his disciples who followed his instructions, complied with his guidelines, and moved according to his commands.

The reason for our reference to Imam al-Jawad's disciples is their scientific and intellectual activities that embodied the tendencies of the attentive virtuous community that acted under the directions of the Imam (as).

Hereafter, we will refer to a number of disciples who acted as perfect examples of the activity and product of Imam al-Jawad's school:

1. A-Husayn ibn Sa'id al-Ahwazi: Also known as Ibn Hammad al-Ahwazi, Abu Sa‛id is a trustworthy transmitter of traditions. He reported from Imam al-Rida, Imam al-Jawad, and Imam al-Hadi, as.[358]

2. Al-Hasan ibn Sa'id al-Ahwazi: Al-Hasan, the brother of al-Husayn al-Ahwazi, was one of the disciples of Imam al-Rida and Imam al-Jawad.[359]

The two brothers al-Hasan and al-Husayn moved together with Imam al-Rida (as) and then with his son Imam al-Jawad (as). The also participated in compiling many books and played major roles in guiding a number of people to the true path of Islam. For instance, al-Hasan ibn Sa‛id introduced Ishaq ibn Ibrahim al-Hudayni and then ‛Ali ibn al-Raian to Imam al-Rida (as) and to the Ahl al-Bayt School. These two received the Ahl al-Bait's traditions from al-Hasan ibn Sa‛id and thus learned masterfully the science of transmission of hadith. Similarly, ‛Abdullah ibn Muhammad al-Hudayni and many others converted to Shia at the hands of al-Hasan ibn Sa‛id and served this school loyally. Both al-Hasan and al-Husayn compiled many books. Al-Hasan al-Ahwazi, for instance, is reported to have compiled about fifty books.[360]

Writing the biography of al-Husayn al-Ahwazi, Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Tusi says, “Al-Husayn ibn Sa‛id al-Ahwazi, the trustworthy, reported from al-Rida, Abu-Ja‛far al-Jawad, and Abu al-Hasan al-Hadi. Although he was originally from al-Kufah, he moved along with his brother al-Hasan to al-Ahwaz and then to Qum where he lived with al-Hasan ibn Aban before he passed away there. He compiled thirty books, which are as follows:

1. Kitab al-Wudu' (Book of Ritual Ablution).

2. Kitab al-Salah (Book of Ritual Prayer).

3. Kitab al-Zakah (Book of Poor-Rate).

4. Kitab al-Sawm (Book of Fasting).

5. Kitab al-Hajj (Book of Ritual Pilgrimage).

6. Kitab al-Nikah wa al-Talaq (Book of Matrimony and Divorce).

7. Kitab al-Wasaya (Book of Laws of Wills).

8. Kitab al-Fara'id (Book of Shares of Inheritance).

9. Kitab al-Tijarat (Book of Laws of Trade).

10. Kitab al-Ijarat (Book of Laws of Rent).

11. Kitab al-Shahadat (Book of Laws of Testimony).

12. Kitab al-Manaqib (Book of Meritorious Excellencies).

13. Kitab al-Ayman wal-Nudhur wal-Kaffarat (Book of Laws of Oath, Vow, and Expiation).

14. Kitab al-Bisharat (Book of Good News).

15. Kitab al-Hudud wa al-Diyat (Book of Penal Laws and Blood-money).

16. Kitab al-Zuhd (Book of Asceticism).

17. Kitab al-Ashribah (Book of Laws of Drinks).

18. Kitab al-Makasib (Book of Laws of Earnings).

19. Kitab al-Taqiiah (Book of Pious Camouflage).

20. Kitab al-Khumus (Book of Laws of the One-Fifth Rate).

21. Kitab al-Muruwwah wa al-Tajammul (Book of Etiquette of Civility and Courtesy)

22. Kitab al-Sayd wa al-Dhaba'ih (Book of Laws of Hunting and Slaughtering Animals).

23. Kitab al-Mathalib (Book of Vices).

24. Kitab al-Tafsir (Book of Qur'anic Exegesis).

25. Kitab al-Mu'min (Book of Qualities of True Believers).

26. Kitab al-Malahim (Book of Prophesized Events).

27. Kitab al-Mazar (Book of Etiquette of Pilgrimage to Holy Shrines).

28. Kitab al-Radd ‛ala al-Ghaliyah (Book of Refuting the Extremists).

29. Kitab al-Du‛a' (Book of Supplications).

30. Kitab al-‛Itq wa al-Tadbir (Book of Laws of Manumission of Slaves).[361]

3. Muhammad ibn Isma'il: Known as Ibn Buzaygh, Muhammad ibn Isma‛il is considered by Shaykh al-Tusi to have been one of the disciples of both Imam al-Rida and Imam al-Jawad.[362] In fact, with regard to his piety and religiousness, Ibn Buzaygh was one of the most virtuous disciples of the Holy Imams (as). A few lines about Ibn Buzaygh's affairs will be mentioned below:

A. With Imam al-Rida:

Ibn Buzaygh had a close association with Imam al-Rida (as) who had such great regard for him that when Ibn Buzaygh was once mentioned before him, the Imam (as) commented,“If there were only one like Ibn Buzaygh amongst you!” [363]

B. With Imam al-Jawad:

With Imam Muhammad al-Jawad (as) too, Ibn Buzaygh had a very close connection. He reported from the Imam some of his discourses concerning the religious laws. When he asked the Imam (as) to give him one of his garments so that he would use it as a shroud after his death, the Imam (as) did this and sent him one his garments.[364]

4. Ahmad ibn Abi-‛Abdullah al-Barqi: His full name was Abu Ja‛far ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid ibn ‛Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn ‛Ali al-Barqi. In his famous book of biography, Shaykh al-Tusi mentions this man twice; once under the name of Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid al-Barqi as one of the disciples of Imam al-Jawad (as),[365] and again as Ahmad ibn Abi-‛Abdullah al-Barqi as one of the disciples of Imam al-Hadi (as).[366]

One of the everlasting traces of this eminent man of letters was his famous book al-Mahasin, which has always been a reference book for historiographers, geographers, and biographers, as well as hadithists (scholars of the Prophetic traditions). From al-Mahasin, we can realize the greatness, vast knowledge and experience of al-Barqi in such fields of religious knowledge as reporting the traditions of the Holy Prophet and Imams. He was indeed one of the Shia master scholars.

5. 'Ali ibn Mahziyar: ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar is regarded as one of the most brilliant disciples of Imam al-Jawad (as) and one of the most eminent scholars of his age in virtue and piety. Below, a few details of his biography are presented:

Conversion to Islam:

Before having been guided by God to Islam, ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar was Christian. Once he converted to Islam, he showed exceptional loyalty to his faith.[367]

Devotional Acts:

As for his devotion and religious observance, he was unmatched in obedience to Allah the Almighty and in piety. He attained the pinnacle in devotional acts. It is reported that at sunrise, ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar prostrated himself before Allah the Almighty and he would not finish his prostration before he had prayed to God for one thousand of his brethren-in-faith the same as he prayed for himself. Due to such lengthy prostration, his forehead was like a camel's knee in hardness.[368]

Trustworthiness:

Biographers have unanimously agreed that ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar was trustworthy in transmitting reports from the Holy Imams (as). In this regard, al-Najjashi says,“‛Ali ibn Mahziyar was so trustworthy in transmitting reports that none could find any fault with him.” [369]

Compilations: Indicating his vast knowledge and the extent of his being well-informed, ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar was the author of a large number of books, some of which are as follows:

1. Kitab al-Wudu' (Book of Ritual Ablution).

2. Kitab al-Salah (Book of Ritual Prayer).

3. Kitab al-Zakah (Book of Poor-Rate).

4. Kitab al-Sawm (Book of Fasting).

5. Kitab al-Hajj (Book of Ritual Pilgrimage).

6. Kitab al-Talaq (Book of Divorce).

7. Kitab al-Hudud (Book of the Religious Penal Laws).

8. Kitab al-Diyat (Book of Laws of Blood-Money).

9. Kitab al-Tafsir (Book of Qur'anic Exegesis).

10. Kitab al-Fada'il (Book of Virtues).

11. Kitab al-‛itq wa al-Tadbir (Book of Laws of Manumission).

12. Kitab al-Makasib (Book of Laws of Earnings).

13. Kitab al-Mathalib (Book of Vices).

14. Kitab al-Du‛a' (Book of Supplication).

15. Kitab al-Tajammul wa al-Muruwwah (Book of Etiquette of Courtesy and Civility).

16. Kitab al-Mazar (Book of Etiquette of Pilgrimage to Holy Shrines).

17. Kitab al-Radd ‛ala al-Ghaliyah (Book of Refuting the Extremists).

18. Kitab al-Wasaya (Book of Laws of Wills).

19. Kitab al-Mawarith (Book of Laws of Inheritances).

20. Kitab al-Khumus (Book of Laws of the One-Fifth Rate).

21. Kitab al-Shahadat (Book of Laws of Testimony).

22. Kitab al-Fada'il al-Mu'minin wa Birruhum (Book of Virtues of the Believers and Piety to them).

23. Kitab al-Malahim (Book of Prophesized Events).

24. Kitab al-Taqiyyah (Book of Pious Camouflage).

25. Kitab al-Sayd wa al-Dhaba'ih (Book of Laws of Hunting and Slaughtering Animals).

26. Kitab al-Zuhd (Book of Asceticism).

27. Kitab al-Ashribah (Book of Laws of Drinks).

28. Kitab al-Nudhur wa al-Ayman wa al-Kaffarat (Book of Laws of Vow, Oath, and Expiations).

29. Kitab al-Huruf (Book of the Qur'anic Recitations).

30. Kitab al-Qa'im (Book of the Awaited Imam).

31. Kitab al-Bisharat (Book of Good News).

32. Kitab al-Anbiya' (Book of the Prophets).

33. Kitab al-Nawadir (Book of Odd Anecdotes).

34. Rasa'il ‛Ali ibn Asbat (Epistles of ‛Ali ibn Asbat).[370]

These books comprise a variety of branches of jurisprudence, doctrine, exegesis of the Holy Qur'an, and ethics, although most of them deal with Muslim jurisprudence. However, they indicate that ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar was one of the most eminent Muslim jurisprudents.

Imam al-Jawad's Epistles to 'Ali ibn Mahziyar:

Imam Muhammad ibn ‛Ali al-Jawad (as) is reported to have sent a number of epistles to his disciple ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar, which proved the close connection between the two as well as the high regard and standing of the latter with the Imam (as). One of these epistles reads as follows:“…I have received your letter and understood what you mentioned therein. In fact, your letter has filled me with delight. So, may Allah fill you with delight! I also pray God the Protector and Guardian to save you from the trickery of everyone who plots against you, if He so wishes.”

This epistle shows that ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar had given service to the Imam (as) that filled his heart with pleasure. In return for this service, the Imam (as) prayed to the Almighty to give abundant reward and incentive.

Another epistle reads as follows:“…Having received your letter, I understood what you mentioned therein with regard to these people of the city of Qum - may Allah release and relieve them. In fact, this news has gladdened me although you have always brought joy to me. May Allah please you by allowing you to Paradise, and may He be pleased with you due to my pleasure with you! I finally hope for amnesty and clemency of Allah, repeating these words: For us Allah suffices, and He is the best disposer of affairs.”

According to this epistle, ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar seemed to have saved the people of Qum from an ordeal that had afflicted them. This act of ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar pleased the Imam (as) who prayed to the Almighty to grant him a place in Paradise.

Another epistle of Imam al-Jawad to ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar reads,“… You may now return home. May Allah award you with the best abode in this world and the next world!”

In this epistle, Imam al-Jawad (as) ordered ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar to return home after he had accomplished the mission with which he was charged.

Another epistle reads,“… I pray to Allah to save you from any evil that may lie before or behind you and to save you in all of your affairs. So, enjoy this good news, for I do pray to Allah to protect you and I beseeched Him to decide the best for you when He decided to postpone your date which was on Sunday; so, He decided it to be on Monday instead. May Allah be your companion on your journey, may He guard your family members during your absence, may He help you carry out your missions, and may you be saved by His omnipotence!”

On another occasion, ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar wrote a letter to Imam al-Jawad (as), asking him to invoke God for more sustenance and granting him permission to use the money that was in his custody. Replying to his letter, Imam al-Jawad (as) wrote the following:“May Allah grant expansive sustenance for you and for your family members and dependants whom you have mentioned. Moreover, you will have more than expansive sustenance with me for you, ‛Ali. I now beseech Allah to make expansive sustenance and well-being join you during your journeys, to present well-being to you, and to cover you with it. Verily, He is responsive to prayers.”

Thus, Imam al-Jawad (as) permitted ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar to use the money he had in his custody and then prayed for him with the best prayer.

On another occasion too, ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar sent a letter to Imam al-Jawad (as) asking him to pray to the Almighty for him. So, the Imam (as) replied,“… As for the prayer you have asked for, you have not yet known the actual standing that you enjoy with me. Many a time have I prayed to the Almighty for you, mentioning you by name and even lineage, not to mention the very great care, love, and recognition that I have for you. So, May Allah keep on providing you with these things, may He be pleased with you, may He make you attain the best of what you bear in your mind, and may He allow you a place in the most elevated places of Paradise, out of His mercy. He is verily responsive to prayers. May Allah protect and guard you and may He defend you against all evils, out of His mercy. This epistle has been written with my own hand.” [371]

These epistles of Imam al-Jawad (as) to ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar give a brilliant portrait of the great standing and high regard that he had enjoyed in the sight of the Imam (as), proving that he was unmatched in piety and obedience to the Lord.

6. Safwan ibn Yahya: Safwan ibn Yahya, Abu Muhammad al-Bujali, the cloth merchant (Baia‛ al-Sabiri),[372] who was from Kufah city, was a trustworthy transmitter of the Holy Imams' traditions. His father reported traditions from Imam Ja‛far al-Sadiq (as), while he reported from Imam al-Rida (as) with whom he enjoyed high standing. Al-Kashi enlists him with the disciples of Imam Musa al-Kazim (as), adding that he believed in the Imamah of Imam al-Rida and Imam al-Jawad (as) after he had abandoned Waqifiyyah, a faction that appeared after the martyrdom of Imam al-Kazim (as) and believed that Imamah was suspended (waqf) on him.

Safwan was distinctive in asceticism and devotional acts. The Waqifiyyah had given him a large amount of money. ‛Abdullah ibn Jundub, ‛Ali ibn al-Nu‛man, and Safwan had covenanted that the alive among them would pray, fast, and pay the religious duties of the dead. So both ‛Abdullah and ‛Ali died before Safwan who, according to that covenant, kept on praying, fasting, and paying the zakat duty on their behalf. He therefore used to offer one hundred and fifty units of prayer each day, observe fasting three months every year, and pay the religious duty three times, once for himself and twice on behalf of his two friends. Besides, whenever he donated something, he would donate the same on their behalf.

One of our scholars reported that Safwan was asked by someone to carry two golden coins to his family in Kufah, but Safwan apologized saying,“My camels have been hired; so I must first of all obtain the permission of those who hired them.”

Among all of his contemporaries, Safwan was the most pious and most observant of devotional acts.

According to our scholars, Safwan compiled thirty books; yet, eleven of these are now known, which are as follows:

1. Kitab al-Wudu' (Book of Ritual Ablution).

2. Kitab al-Salah (Book of Ritual Prayer).

3. Kitab al-Hajj (Book of Ritual Pilgrimage).

4. Kitab al-Zakah (Book of Poor-Rate).

5. Kitab al-Nikah (Book of Laws of Matrimony).

6. Kitab al-Talaq (Book of Divorce).

7. Kitab al-Fara'id (Book of Shares of Inheritance).

8. Kitab al-Wasaya (Book of Laws of Wills).

9. Kitab al-Shira wa al-Bay‛ (Book of Laws of Purchase and Vendition).

10. Kitab al-‛Itq wa al-Tadbir (Book of Laws of Manumission of Slaves).

11. Kitab al-Bisharat wa al-Nawadir (Book of Good News and Odd Anecdotes).

In AH 210, Safwan ibn Yahya passed away. May Allah have mercy upon him.[373]

Having been informed of his passing away, Imam al-Jawad (as) prayed to the Almighty to show Safwan mercy, as he testified to his having been amongst the party of his Immaculate Fathers - as - the successful party of Allah.[374]

7. 'Abdullah ibn al-Salt: ‛Abdullah ibn al-Salt, Abu Talib al-Qummi was a manumitted servant of the Banu-Taym al-Lat ibn Taghlibah.

Hamdan ibn Ahmad al-Nahdi reported, saying: Abu-Talib al-Qummi reported to us, saying: I once wrote a letter to Abu-Ja‛far the son of al-Rida, asking him to permit me to mourn for his father Abu al-Hasan (al-Rida). Replying, Abu-Ja‛far (i.e. Imam al-Jawad) wrote,“You may mourn for me and for my father.” [375]

8. 'Ali ibn Asbat: ‛Ali ibn Asbat ibn Salim al-Kindi, the merchant of Indian clothes (Baia‛ al-Zatti), was from al-Kufah city. Introducing him, al-Kashi states that he was following the faction of Fatahiyyah, but ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar wrote a brief thesis refuting his faith:[376] “As ‛Ali ibn Asbat was following the Fatahiyyah faith, he exchanged correspondence with ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar concerning this faith. However, when the two referred their disagreement to Abu-Ja‛far al-Thani (Imam al-Jawad), ‛Ali ibn Asbat renounced his faith.

However, ‛Ali ibn Asbat had already reported from Imam al-Rida (as) and he was not only trustworthy but also one of the most trustworthy and honest transmitters of traditions. I therefore rely on his reports, which are numerous. He had also compiled many books, some of which are: (1) Kitab al-Dala'il (Book of Proofs), (2) Kitab al-Tafsir (Book of Qur'anic Exegesis), and (3) Kitab al-Mazar (Book of Pilgrimage to Holy Shrines), as well as a famous book on odd anecdotes.” [377]

9. Ibrahim ibn Abi-Mahmud al-Khurasani: According to al-Kashi, Ibrahim was one of the trustworthy transmitters who reported the traditions of Imam al-Jawad (as). He also reported from Imam Musa al-Kazim (as) and Imam ‛Ali ibn Musa al-Rida (as).[378]

10. Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Hamdani: One of the lofty persons, Ibrahim reported from Imam al-Jawad, his father Imam al-Rida, and his son Imam al-Hadi (as).

11. Ahmad ibn Abi-Nasr al-Bizanti: Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Abi-Nasr al-Bizanti al-Kufi, the eminent, enjoyed great regard from Imam al-Jawad and Imam al-Rida (as).[379]

12. Ahmad ibn Mu'afi: Ahmad was one of the disciples of Imam al-Jawad (as).[380]

13. Ja‛far ibn Muhammad ibn Yunus al-Ahwal: Ja‛afar was a disciple of Imam al-Jawad and his son Imam al-Hadi (as).[381]

14. Al-Husayn ibn Bashshar al-Mada'ini: Al-Husayn was a disciple of Imam al-Jawad, his father, and his grandfather (as).[382]

15. Al-Hakam ibn ‛Alya' al-Asadi

Al-Hakam was one of Imam al-Jawad's disciples.[383]

16. Hamzah ibn Ya‛li al-Ash‛ari

Known as Abu-Ya‛li al-Qummi, Hamzah was a trustworthy and celebrated person. He reported from Imam al-Jawad (as) and his father Imam al-Rida (as).[384]

17. Dawud ibn al-Qasim

Dawud ibn al-Qasim ibn Ishaq ibn ‛Abdullah ibn Ja‛afar ibn Abi-Talib, known as Abu-Hashim al-Ja’fari , lived in Baghdad. He was such an eminent and trustworthy person that he had a high regard with the Holy Imams (as). He was also a disciple of Imam al-Jawad, as he reported from him, his son Imam al-Hadi, and his grandson Imam al-Hasan al-‛Askari, as all.[385]

18. Salih ibn Muhammad al-Hamdani

Salih was a disciple of Imam al-Jawad and his son Imam al-Rida (as).[386]

19. ‛Abd al-Jabbar ibn al-Mubarak al-Nahawandi

‛Abd al-Jabbar was a disciple of Imam al-Jawad and his father Imam al-Rida (as).[387]

20. ‛Abd al-‛Azim al-Hasani

‛Abd al-‛Azim ibn ‛Abdullah ibn ‛Ali ibn al-Hasan ibn Zayd ibn al-Hasan ibn ‛Ali ibn Abi-Talib, known as Abu'l-Qasim, the devout and pious, was one of the choicest disciples of Imam al-Jawad, Imam al-Hadi, and Imam al-‛Askari, as. Imam al-Hadi (as) declared that visiting the tomb of ‛Abd al-‛Azim is as rewarding as visiting the tomb of Imam al-Husayn (as).[388]

21. ‛Uthman ibn Sa‛id al-‛Umari: Known as Abu-‛Amr, al-Samman, and al-Zaiat, ‛Uthman was a trustworthy and dignified disciple of Imam al-Jawad (as). He was a contemporary of Imam al-‛Askari and worked as a deputy of his.[389]

22. ‛Ali ibn Ja‛far: ‛Ali ibn Ja‛far ibn Muhammad ibn ‛Ali ibn al-Husayn was a pious, virtuous, and distinguished man of religion who reported frequently from the Holy Imams (as). He was a disciple of Imam al-Jawad after he had been a disciple of Imam al-Sadiq, Imam al-Kazim, and Imam al-Rida, as all.[390]

23. ‛Ali ibn Bilal al-Baghdadi: We know little of ‛Ali ibn Bilal other than that he was a disciple of Imam al-Jawad (as).[391]

24. Al-Fadl ibn Shadhan: Al-Fadl ibn Shadhan ibn al-Khalil, Abu-Muhammad al-Azdi al-Nayshaburi, was a trustworthy, lofty, and master scholar of jurisprudence and theology. Imam al-Hasan al-‛Askari invoked God's mercy upon him. He reported from Imam al-Jawad (as) and is said to have reported from Imam al-Rida (as).[392]

25. Muhammad ibn ‛Abd al-Jabbar: Muhammad ibn ‛Abd al-Jabbar, also known as Ibn Abi'l-Sahban was from the city of Qum. He was a disciple of Imam al-Jawad, his son Imam al-Hadi, and his grandson Imam al-‛Askari, as.[393]

26. Muhammad ibn ‛«sa al-Ash‛ari: His full name was Abu-‛Ali Muhammad ibn ‛«sa ibn ‛Abdullah ibn Sa‛d ibn Malik al-Ash‛ari, and he was known as the chief of the people of Qum (Shaykh al-Qummiyyin). He reported from Imam al-Jawad (as) and had heard directly from Imam al-Rida (as).[394]

27. Nuh ibn Shu‛ayb: Nuh ibn Shu‛ayb al-Baghdadi was a righteous and well-pleased master scholar of jurisprudence. He was also a disciple of Imam al-Jawad (as).[395]

28. Ya‛qub ibn Ishaq al-Sikkit: Famously known as Abu-Yusuf, Ya‛qub was a master lexicologist. He enjoyed a high regard with Imam al-Jawad (as) and his son Imam al-Hadi (as), as he was one of their elite disciples. He was martyred by al-Mutawakkil, the ‛Abbasid ruler, because of his loyalty to the Ahl al-Bait (as).[396]

29. Ya‛qub ibn Yazid: Ya‛qub ibn Yazid ibn Hammad al-Anbari, also known as Abu-Yusuf al-Katib, was a trustworthy and honest transmitter of traditions. He reported from Imam al-Jawad (as) and he was a disciple of his father Imam al-Rida (as).[397]

30. Abu al-Husayn ibn al-Hudayn al-Hudayni: Abu al-Husayn was a disciple of Imam al-Jawad and Imam al-Hadi, as.[398]

Shaykh ‛Azizullah al-‛Atarudi, who compiled the traditions that were reported from Imam al-Jawad (as) in a book which he entitled: Musnad al-Imam al-Jawad, listed the names of one hundred and twenty-one reporters who transmitted the traditions of Imam al-Jawad (as), among whom were his disciples, deputies, and select persons who formed a large group of master jurisprudents, men and women of distinction from the descendants of Imam ‛Ali ibn Abi-Talib, and poets who praised the Imam (as), as well as those who had the honour to serve him during the lifetime of his father, Imam al-Rida (as), and the time that followed.

As for Sayid Muhammad Kazim al-Qazwini, in his book: al-Imam al-Jawad min al-Mahd ila al-Lahd (Imam al-Jawad from Cradle to Grave), he mentions the names of two hundred and seventy-five men and women under the title: Disciples of Imam al-Jawad.

In fact, Imam al-Jawad (as) created a trend that included his disciples who were loyal to his mission and its goals and provided them for the community under a variety of titles, such as trustworthy transmitters of traditions, scholars of jurisprudence and theology, heralds of virtue and social reformation, and pioneers who led the movement of change in the midst of the declining conditions under which the Muslim community lived at that time.

By doing so, Imam al-Jawad (as) rendered a great service to Islam and its great all-comprehensive movement, sparing no efforts in achieving this goal despite the absence or deficiency of opportunities and available potential. Yet Imam al-Jawad (as) acted carefully and observed whatever was required by wisdom in order to challenge judiciously the great number of obstacles that were imposed on the Muslim community in these ages.

In spite of all these obstacles, Imam al-Jawad (as) was able to attain his goal through his disciples who worked actively and positively in spreading virtue, truth, uprightness, and true guidance among people by means of their reports from the Holy Imams (as) as well as their guidelines and precious written heritage that they provided to the community.

The Heritage of Imam al-Jawad

Of the Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bait (as), Imam al-Jawad lived the shortest, which was no more than twenty-five years. Nevertheless, if we compare the heritage that reached us from him with the political and social circumstances under which he and his partisans lived as well as the lifetimes of the Imams who lived before him, the average of which was twice the length of Imam al-Jawad's age, we learn that his heritage is rich and abundant in terms of variety and supremacy and the extent of the scientific level mentioned in the texts reported from him, and the significance that can be deduced from these texts. In fact, this significance is a glaring challenge if we keep in mind the fact that Imam al-Jawad (as) started to spread this scientific heritage from the first days of his blessed lifetime before he became Imam while he was less than ten years old.

Let us now refer to some aspects of Imam al-Jawad's heritage.

1. Qur'anic Exegesis

A. Dawud ibn Qasim al-Ja’fari is reported to have asked Abu-Ja‛far al-Thani (i.e. Imam al-Jawad),“May Allah accept me as ransom for you! What is meant by Samad?”

Answering him, Imam al-Jawad (as) said,“Samad means the Lord who is sought under all conditions, be they simple or complicated.” [399]

B. Abu-Hashim al-Ja’fari is also reported to have said: When I once asked Abu-Ja‛far al-Thani about the meaning of Wahid, he answered,“Wahid means the unanimity of all tongues in speaking of His Oneness, just as Allah the Almighty and All-majestic said, 'If you ask them who has created the heaven and the earth, they all say: It is Allah. (31:25)” [400]

C. Ja‛far ibn Muhammad al-Kufi is reported to have said: I asked Abu-Ja‛far Muhammad ibn ‛Ali al-Rida (as), saying,“O son of Allah's Apostle! Why was the Holy Prophet called ummi? Was it because he was unlettered and could not write?”

Answering me, the Imam (as) said,“Liars indeed are those who claim so! May Allah's curse be upon them! How can that be accurate while Allah the All-blessed and All-exalted says in His Decisive Book: 'It is He who has sent amongst the ummi people (i.e. people of Umm al-Qura, Makkah) a messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in scripture and wisdom, although they had been, before, in manifest error. (62/2)' Now, how can he instruct them about what he himself does not know? Nay! By Allah, the Apostle of Allah (sw) could read and write seventy-two (or seventy-three) languages. He was called the ummi, because he belonged to Makkah, which is Umm al-Qura. Referring to this fact, Allah the Almighty says in His book; 'we revealed to you an Arabic Qur'an that you may warn Umm al-Qura (i.e. the mother city) and those around it, (42/7)'.” [401]

It is noteworthy that Imam al-Jawad (as), through the models to which he referred in the previous narration, presented an applicable example of understanding the Qur'anic terms and concepts through the Qur'an itself - a method which is now known as explaining the Qur'an through the Qur'an.

In the previous narration, Imam al-Jawad (as) gave a new concept of the Arabic word ummi, which is in no violation of the fact that the Holy Prophet (sawas) did not learn reading and writing from a certain teacher; rather, his learning reading and writing without teachers is another miraculous point that may be added to the other miraculous features of his blessed life. Of course, learning writing and reading without a teacher and being characterized by the highest levels of capability for learning are two overwhelming proofs of his exceptional connection with Allah the Almighty and All Knowing Who

عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ ﴿٥﴾

“Taught man that which man did not know.” [402]

D. ‛Amr ibn Abi al-Miqdam is reported as saying: Explaining this holy Qur'anic verse:“…and that they (i.e. women) will not disobey you in any just matter…” , I heard Abu al-Hasan (Imam al-Rida) and Abu-Ja‛far (Imam al-Jawad) saying: The Apostle of Allah (sawas) once said to Lady Fatimah (as),“When I die, do not scratch your face as an expression of grief for me, nor let your hair down, nor shout with an expression of woe and doom, nor hire a (professional) mourner to wail for me.” After a while, he added,“This is the just matter meant by Allah the Almighty and All-majestic in this holy verse: '…and that they (i.e. women) will not disobey you in any just matter…''” [403]

E. Imam al-Jawad (as) is reported to have said: Allah the Almighty and All Majestic has said about the Grand Night (laylat al-qadr),'In this night, every absolute command coming from us becomes dis­tinguishable. (44:4) ' this means that every absolute and strong command is revealed on this night. Absolute and strong command (muhkam ) are not two things. It is only one thing. Whoever judges without disharmony and differences, his judgment is part of the judgment of Allah the Almighty and All-majestic. Whoever judges in a disharmonious manner with differences and considers it the rightful way of judging, has in fact judged with the judgment of the devil. It is certain that on the Grand Night, the explanation and clarification of all issues of the year are revealed to the person who possesses Divine Authority. On that Night, the person who possesses Divine Authority receives commands about himself, for so-and-so, and about the affairs of the people in such-and-such a place. It is also certain that for the man with Divine Authority, besides this, the knowledge of Allah the Almighty and All-majestic is revealed. The exclusive, the hidden, the wonderful, and the treasured knowledge of Allah comes to him every day just as it comes on the Grand Night in the form of commands.

Confirming these words with a Qur'anic text, Imam al-Jawad (as) recited the following holy verse:“If all trees on the earth were pens, and the ocean, with seven more oceans, were ink, still these could not suffice to record all the Words of Allah. Allah is Majestic and All Wise, (31:27).” [404]

2. Discourses of Imam al-Jawad's (as) Theology

A. Duty of Protecting the Faith

Imam al-Hasan al-‛Askari (as) is reported to have quoted his father Imam al-Jawad (as) as saying,“As for those who take upon themselves providing for the orphans from among the descendants of the Holy Prophet (sawas) who are separated from their Imam, who are perplexed in ignorance, and who are (doctrinally) detained by the devils and our enemies who openly incur our animosity; and so they save these orphans from these enemies, release them from their perplexity, overpower the devils by refuting their evil aspirations (that they cast at these orphans), and overpower our enemies by means of facing them with arguments from the Lord and with reasonable proofs from the Imams, these people will most surely be preferred to the worshippers just like the preference of the heavens to the earth and the preference of the divine throne, divine chair, and divine curtains to the heavens. Moreover, their preference to the other servants of Allah is the same as the preference of the full moon to the faintest star in the sky.” [405]

B. Belief in Allah's Unity

Abu-Dawud ibn al-Qasim al-Ja’fari is reported to have asked Imam al-Jawad (as) about the meaning of the word ahad mentioned in this holy Qur'anic verse:“qul huwa allahu ahad (Say: He, Allah, is One.)”

Answering him, Imam al-Jawad (as) said,“The ahad is the One about whose oneness there is consensus. Have you not heard Him saying, 'If indeed you ask them who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon (to his law), they will certainly reply: Allah. (29/61)' Nevertheless, they then say that He has a partner and a wife!”

The reporter further asked,“What is the meaning of His saying: 'No vision can grasp Him, (6/103).”

The Imam (as) answered,“Abu Hashim, listen. The illusions of heart are most surely more precise than visions of eyes. Through your illusion, you may grasp countries like Sind and India as well as others that you have not visited. Yet, you cannot grasp so with your sight. As long as the illusions of hearts cannot grasp Him, how can visions?” [406]

C. Prophecy of the prophets

Al-Hasan ibn ‛Abbas ibn Huraysh is reported to have quoted Imam al-Jawad (as) as saying: The Apostle of Allah (sawas) said,“Verily, our souls meet the souls of the prophets at the Divine Throne every Thursday night. So, the knowledge of the successors (of the prophets; i.e. the Holy Imams) increase greatly every Friday.” [407]

D. Imamah

Imam al-Jawad (as) is reported to have said: Imam ‛Ali Amir al-Mu'minin (as) once said to Ibn ‛Abbas,“On the Grand Night, which occurs every year, all the affairs of that year are revealed to the Holy Prophet (sawas) and this will not cease to continue after his passing away; rather, it will continue by revealing these affairs to his representatives.”

Ibn ‛Abbas asked,“Who are these representatives?”

Imam ‛Ali (as) answered,“They are I and eleven persons from my offspring. They are Imams and they are spoken to by the angels.” [408]

E. Abu Hashim al-Ja’fari reported: I asked Imam al-Jawad (as) whether Allah might apply bada'[409] even to inevitable events.

“Yes, He may,” answered Imam al-Jawad (as).

“So,” we said,“we fear lest He will apply it to the advent of the Rising Imam (al-Mahdi)!”

Answering, the Imam (as) said,“The advent of the Rising Imam is a promise of Allah; and Allah never breaks His promises.” [410]

F. Banan ibn Nafi‛ reported Imam al-Jawad (as) as saying: We, the Imams, can hear sounds from the wombs of our mothers only after forty days of the pregnancy. When four months pass, Allah the All Exalted will remove the heights on the earth for us and the remotest thing will be made nigh to us so that nothing at all will be hidden from us, even the drops of rain, be they useful or harmful.[411]

G. ‛Amr ibn al-Faraj al-Rukhji is reported to have said that Imam al-Jawad (as) and he were on the bank of the River Tigris when he asked the Imam (as),“Your partisans (sh‛a) claim that you have full knowledge with every drop of the water of the Tigris as well as the weight of it. Is this true?”

The Imam (as) answered,“Does Allah the All Exalted have power to endow a mosquito that He created with the knowledge of these things?”

“Yes, He does.” answered I.

The Imam (as) commented,“So, I am more honourable in the sight of Allah the Almighty than a mosquito as well as many of His creatures.” [412]

3. Imam al-Jawad and Jurisprudence

A. Abu Khaddash al-Mihri reported that he was present when Imam al-Rida (as) received a man who asked him three questions, all of which were completely answered by the Imam. Shortly after that, Abu Khaddash visited Imam al-Jawad (as) and posed the same questions to the Imam (as) who gave the same answers that his father had given.“May Allah accept me as ransom for you,” said Abu Khaddash.“A bondmaid of mine who is the mother of one of my children breastfed one of my bondmaids with the milk with which she usually feeds my son. Is it now unlawful for me to marry that bondmaid?”

The Imam (as) answered,“The laws of breastfeeding are not applied when it is applied after weaning.”

“How is the ritual prayer performed in the two holy precincts (i.e. Makkah and al-Madinah)?” asked Abu Khaddash.

The Imam answered,“You may perform them in the shortened form or in the complete,” answered the Imam (as).

“Is it lawful for servants to enter the women?” asked Abu Khaddash.

The Imam (as) turned his face away as a sign of displeasure. Yet, he then asked al-Khaddash to come near him and he whispered in his ear,“What does a servant need of a woman more than copulation!” [413]

B. ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar reported that he wrote the following in a letter that he sent to Abu Ja‛far Muhammad ibn ‛Ali ibn Musa al-Rida (as):“May Allah accept me as ransom for you! I follow in congregational prayers an imam who believes in tajsim (corporealism: the belief that Allah is material and has a body) and another imam who follows the faith of Yunus ibn ‛Abd al-Rahman.”

The Imam's reply came as follows: Do not follow such people in prayers and do not give them any share of the zakat money; rather, you must clear yourselves from them. Allah is free from any obligation towards such people.[414]

C. Imam al-Jawad (as) was asked whether sailors on ships should perform their prayers in the shortened form. He answered: No, they should not, because the ships are their homes, since they cannot leave them.[415]

D. Salih ibn Muhammad ibn Sahl, Imam al-Jawad's deputy on the charity endowments of Qum, visited the Imam (as) and asked him to write off an amount of ten thousand that he had spent without obtaining the Imam's permission.“You are allowed with regard to that amount,” said the Imam (as). However, when Salih left, the Imam (as) commented: They allowed themselves to misappropriate the property that is due to the descendants of Muhammad the Prophet (sawas); the orphans, the destitute, the needy and the wayfarers amongst them and then came to us, asking to forgive them and write off what they misappropriated! Did they even think that I would not forgive them? Nay! By Allah, He shall interrogate them about this money extensively on the Resurrection Day.[416]

E. ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar is reported to have asked Imam al-Jawad (as) to explain to him the following holy Qur'anic verses and their like:“I swear by the night when it draws a veil, and the day when it shines in brightness, (92/1-2)” and“I swear by the star when it goes down. (53/1)”

Imam al-Jawad (as) explained: Allah the Almighty and All-majestic may swear by any of His creatures that He wishes, but it is not becoming for His creatures to swear by anything except Him.[417]

F. Imam al-Jawad (as) is reported to have said: When two men are equal in nobility and religiousness, the more eloquent of them will be the more preferred in the sight of Allah the Almighty and All-majestic.

When he was asked for the reason of such preference in the sight of Allah, the Imam (as) explained: This is because the more eloquent man can read the Qur'an as exactly as it was revealed and can pray to Allah without making any (grammatical) mistakes. In fact, prayers that are uttered with (grammatical) mistakes are not elevated to Allah the Almighty.[418]

4. Imam al-Jawad and History

A. ‛Allamah al-Majlisi reports Shaykh al-Saduq who, through his chain of authority, quotes ‛Abd al-‛Azim al-Hasani as saying: I wrote a letter to Abu Ja‛far al-Thani (Imam al-Jawad), asking him about Dhu'l-Kifl; his name and whether he was a messenger of Allah or only a prophet. The Imam (as) wrote back the following:

Allah the Almighty sent one hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets, out of whom three hundred and thirteen were messengers. Dhu'l-Kifl was one of these messengers, may Allah's blessings be upon them all. He lived after the prophet Solomon the son of David. Like the prophet David, Dhu'l-Kifl was a judge who used to pass judgments among people. He was never angry except when the matter was related to Allah the Almighty. His real name was ‛Uwayda. Allah the Almighty has made mention of him in His book where He says,“And make mention of Ishmael and Elisha and Dhu'l-Kifl. All are of the chosen ones. (38/48)” [419]

B. Al-Mas‛udi reported Imam Muhammad ibn ‛Ali al-Jawad (as) to have quoted his fathers as relating the following story:

One day, Imam ‛Ali Amir al-Mu'minin, accompanied by his son Imam al-Hasan and Salman al-Farsi, entered the mosque. Once he sat there, people gathered around him. Immediately, a good-looking and well-dressed man came towards him, offered salutation, and sat.“O Amir al-Mu'minin,” he said.“I am here to ask you about three matters; if you answer me the true answer, I will come to know for sure that you are the true successor of the Apostle of Allah, but if you fail to answer, then you are not different from the others.”

“Ask whatever you wish,” answered Imam ‛Ali (as).

The man started,“Tell me where the soul goes when one sleeps, how one can remember and forget, and how one can resemble one's paternal or maternal uncles.”

Turning his face towards his son, Imam ‛Ali (as) asked,“Abu-Muhammad, you may answer him.”

Answering these questions, Imam al-Hasan (as) said,“As for the first question, when one sleeps, his soul is hung to the wind, which is in turn still hung to the air until one moves to wake up. If Allah permits the soul to return to the body, the soul attracts the wind and the wind attracts the air, allowing the soul to return to its place in the body. But if Allah does not permit the soul to return to its holder, then the air attracts the wind, which attracts the soul, preventing it from joining the body of its holder until Allah the All-exalted resurrects the body.

As for remembering and forgetting, one's heart is put in a hollow that is covered by a sort of cover. If one forgets something but he says the Name of Allah, mentions Him, and invokes His blessings upon the Holy Prophet and his Household, the cover, which is like haze that overcast that hollow, is revealed, causing the heart to light up and allowing that person to remember what he had forgotten. However, when the person mentions Allah but fails to invoke His blessings upon the Prophet and his Household, that haze shuts the hollow, causing the heart to be dark and the man to forget what he has remembered.

As for resembling paternal or maternal uncles, when a husband copulates with his wife with a calm heart, peaceful veins, and undisturbed organs, his semen settles in the centre of the womb and the result will be a foetus that resembles his father and mother. But if the husband copulates with his wife otherwise, the semen runs in disorder and falls on certain veins. If it falls on one of the veins that carry the qualities of the paternal uncles, the foetus will resemble those paternal uncles, and if it falls on a vein inherited from the maternal uncles, the foetus will resemble those maternal uncles.”

Having heard these answers, the man expressed,“I bear witness - and I have always borne witness - that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness - and I have always borne witness - that Muhammad is the apostle of Allah, and I bear witness that you are the Apostle's successor, trustee, and assumer of his arguments.”

Referring to Imam ‛Ali (as), the man continued,“And I bear witness that you are the Apostle's successor and assumer of his arguments.”

Returning to Imam al-Hasan (as), the man went on,“And I bear witness that your brother al-Husayn is your father's and your successor and the assumer of his argument after you. I bear witness that ‛Ali ibn al-Husayn is the successor of al-Husayn, Muhammad ibn ‛Ali the successor of ‛Ali ibn al-Husayn, Ja‛far ibn Muhammad the assumer of Allah's command and His argument-person after his father, Musa ibn Ja‛far the assumer of Allah's command after his father Ja‛far, ‛Ali ibn Musa the assumer of Allah's command after his father, Muhammad ibn ‛Ali the assumer of Allah's command after his father, ‛Ali ibn Muhammad the assumer of Allah's command after his father Muhammad ibn ‛Ali, al-Hasan ibn ‛Ali the assumer of the position of his father ‛Ali ibn Muhammad, and finally I bear witness that a man from the descendants of al-Husayn ibn ‛Ali, whose name must not be mentioned; rather, he can be mentioned by his epithet (kunyah) until Allah allows to make prevalent his affair so that he will fill the earth with justice and equality after it will have been filled with injustice. Finally, peace and Allah's mercy and blessings be upon you, O Amir al-Mu'minin.”

Once the man had finished speaking, he left.

“Abu-Muhammad,” Imam ‛Ali (as) asked his son.“Follow that man and see where he is determined to go.”

Carrying out his father's command, Imam al-Hasan (as) went out, but once he set foot out of the mosque, he did not understand where the man had gone. He returned to his father and informed him of what had just happened.

“Do you know who that man was?” asked Imam ‛Ali (as).

“Allah, His Apostle, and Amir al-Mu'minin know best,” answered Imam al-Hasan (as).

“That man was al-Khidr,” stated Imam ‛Ali (as).[420]

C. Abu-Ja‛far al-Mashhadi reported Imam al-Jawad (as) as relating that one day, the Holy Prophet (sawas) sent Salman to Lady Fatimah's house for something. Relating the story, Salman said: I stopped at the door for a while and then I raised my voice with salutation. I could hear Fatimah reciting the Holy Qur'an quietly while the quern was rotating and grinding wheat but there was nobody there except her. Upon hearing this, I returned to the Apostle of Allah (sawas) and told him what I had heard. He smiled and said,“Salman! As for my daughter Fatimah, Allah the Almighty has filled her heart and organs with faith and certitude; she therefore devoted herself to acts of obedience to Him. In return, He ordered an angel, whose name is Rawfa'il (or Rahmah, according to another version of this narration), to rotate the quern on behalf of her. Thus has Allah provided her with provisions in this world and in the next world.” [421]

D. Abu-Nu‛aym al-Hafiz reported from Ahmad ibn Ishaq from Ibrahim ibn Na'ilah who reported Ja‛afar ibn Muhammad ibn Mazid as saying: I was in Baghdad when Muhammad ibn Mandah ibn Mihrbazdh suggested,“Would you mind if I let you visit the son of al-Rida?” “Of course not,” I answered. So, once we visited the son of al-Rida (as), we saluted him and sat down. Muhammad asked him about the tradition of the Holy Prophet (sawas) that reads,“Fatimah guarded her chastity; therefore, Allah forbade hellfire to consume her offspring.” Commenting on this tradition, he (i.e. Imam al-Jawad) said,“This tradition is exclusive to al-Hasan and al-Husayn, may Allah be pleased with them.” [422]

E. Through his chain of authority, Shaykh al-Saduq reported ‛Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim, from his father, from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Abi-Nasr al-Bizanti who said: I said to Abu-Ja‛afar Muhammad ibn ‛Ali ibn Musa,“Some of your dissidents claim that it was al-Ma'mun who gave your father the name of Rida (the pleased), because he accepted him as his heir apparent.”

He answered,“Liars and indecent are these people! It was Allah the All Blessed and All Exalted who gave the name of Rida to my father, because my father is pleased by Allah the Almighty and All Majestic in His heavens and pleased by His apostle and the Imams who came after him - blessings of Allah be upon them - on His lands.”

I asked,“Is it not that each one of your forefathers was pleased by Allah, His apostle, and the Imams?”

“Yes, it is,” answered the Imam (as).

I further asked,“Then why was this name (Rida) given to your father exclusively?”

He answered,“This is so because my father was pleased and accepted by his enemies who were in disagreement with him in the same way as his partisans who were in accord with him accepted him. None of his forefathers had this characteristic before him. Therefore, he was give the name of Rida from amongst them.” [423]

5. Imam al-Jawad and Medicine

The Holy Imams (as) comprehended a great variety of sciences, including medicine and wisdom. This because Allah endued them with His favours, acquainted them with His unseen knowledge, conferred His light upon them, and inspired them with His knowledge, and also because they were the inheritors of the sciences of their grandfather, the seal of the prophets and the chief of the apostles; the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household).

They sometimes used to heal the ailing with such various means like the Holy Qur'an, prayers, amulets, talismans and alms. At other times, they instructed the ailing to keep clean and pure and to practise public preventative health. At other times, they also prescribed certain herbs, plants, and other medical drugs which affectively contributed to healing these ailing persons, which indicates that the Holy Imams (as) were experienced in diagnosing diseases without resorting to laboratory tests, radiography, and similar modern medical technologies. It also indicates that they were fully acquainted with the specifications of these drugs and their direct influence on diseases, which proves the accuracy of their diagnoses of various diseases.

It is worth mentioning that modern medicine, making use of huge means, has just proven the accuracy of the treatments and diagnoses of diseases reported in the traditions of the Holy Imams (as) that trace back to many centuries ago. Moreover, a large number of physicians have depended on these traditions in treating many diseases. For instance, cupping and phlebotomy have become both main and auxiliary treatments and the curative means of many diseases.

In their researches and studies, many western physicians and orientalists have testified to the truths comprised by the traditions reported from the Holy Imams (as), agreeing that the laws of medicine in totality have been summed up in one Qur'anic verse that reads,“Eat and drink: but waste not by excess, (7/31).”

The following few lines give an idea about cupping and phlebotomy:

Phlebotomy, which means to cut a vein, is the process of making an incision in a vein so as to drain out an amount of blood. In the present day, this process of bloodletting has reached perfection by using a wide-head needle so that blood is taken directly from the vein. The blood that is drained out through this process, which must take the shortest time possible, is usually from 300 to 500 cm3.

The difference between phlebotomy and cupping is that in the former, the blood of a vein is drained out whether it is pure or impure; while in cupping, only the impure blood is drained by creating local suction on the skin and applying heated cups to it the function of which is to absorb the fine veins and the blood capillaries that are disseminated in the flesh.

Another difference is that phlebotomy reduces the quantity of blood, creating a need for blood compensation and other matters that help create new blood, while cupping purifies and leaches blood without causing the body to lose a large quantity of it; rather, it mobilizes the blood circulation and creates general reactivity. So, unlike phlebotomy, cupping does not debilitate the body.

In the main, cupping is used for alleviating the blood circulation and releasing the body of the poisons of excrements, fat, and secretions. From ancient times, cupping had been practised as a seasonal duty and as a curative treatment of such diseases like thrombosis, heart failure, and anomalies of the encephalic arteries.

Concerning the importance of cupping, the Holy Prophet (sawas) is reported to have said,“I recommend you to practise cupping; lest your blood will overstep you and cause you death.” [424]

Galen, the famous Greek physician, said,“Your blood is your slave. Many times has it happened that a slave killed his master; so release it, but when it proves itself as obedient, only then may you keep it.” [425]

Numerous traditions have been reported concerning the importance and curability of cupping.

Associated with cupping is the medicinal leech. The process of leeching stands for the application of a living leech to the skin in order to initiate blood flow or deplete blood from a localized area of the body. This worm, which lives in water and has the capability of absorbing blood, has proven its ability to treat many diseases of blood veins, because it enjoys a special ability to absorb the impure blood and let clear air penetrate under the skin during the process of absorption.

As for phlebotomy, it is the exclusive treatment for the following pathological cases:

1. Hypofunction of the left atrium, which leads to pneumonic swelling, causing dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing).

2. Cerebral high blood pressure, which is a result of thickness of the blood (hypercoagulability).

3. Increase in the number of the early erythrocytes.

4. Pneumonia (inflammation and consolidation of the lung tissue as a result of infection, inhalation of foreign particles, or irradiation).

Phlebotomy is practised on certain veins that have certain names, such as the zahir vein and the akhal vein. The Holy Prophet and Imams are reported to have specified certain times for practising phlebotomy.

As for cupping, it is practised on certain locations in the body, such as the fontanel (i.e. the crown of the head) and the upper back. According to traditions reported from the Holy Prophet and Imams, cupping should be practised at certain times, too.

Al-Husayn ibn Ahmad al-Taymi reported that Imam al-Jawad (as) called for a phlebotomist during the reign of al-Ma'mun, the ‛Abbasid ruler, and asked him to practice phlebotomy on the zahir vein.“I have no idea where this vein is,” expressed the phlebotomist, “nor have I ever heard of it.

So, Imam al-Jawad (as) showed him the location of that vein. As the phlebotomist started an incision, a yellowish liquid flowed so heavily from it that it filled a basin. The Imam (as) then instructed the phlebotomist to hold that place so that the yellowish liquid would be emptied from the basin. The same process was repeated and the same liquid flowed from that vein. When he had finished, Imam al-Jawad (as) asked him to tie his hand and gave him one hundred dinars (golden coins) as his wage.

Surprised by the situation, the phlebotomist received his wage and hurried to his master Yuhanna ibn Bakhtyashu‛ the physician,[426] relating the whole story to him.

The physician said,“I have never heard of such a vein since I studied medicine. However, we can ask so-and-so, the bishop, because he is too old to ignore such things. Otherwise, there is no-one else to resort to for this information.”

They both visited the bishop and related the story to him. The man bowed his head, thinking about the matter, before he concluded,“That man must be a prophet or a descendant of a prophet.” [427]

According to Rijal al-Kashi (pp. 729, H. 804), ‛Ali ibn Ja‛far, Imam al-Rida's uncle who lived a very long life, said to Imam al-Jawad (as) when the physician was about to incise his vein (for phlebotomy),“My master, let the physician first incise my vein so that I will experience the sharpness of the knife before you do.”

Treatment for tertian fever and quartan fever

1. Al-Hasan ibn Shadhan reported Imam al-Jawad (as) to have quoted his father, who was asked for a treatment for tertian fever[428] and quartan fever, as saying,“Honey is mixed with black cumin and three spoonfuls of the mixture are licked. This prescription cures fever. These two (i.e. honey and black cumin) are the two blessed things. About honey, Allah the Almighty says, 'There issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colours, wherein is healing for men (16/69).' About black cumin, the Apostle of Allah (sawas) said, 'There lies in black cumin a cure for every malady except death.' These two are neither hot nor cold, nor they are characterized by any specific feature; rather, they are a cure wherever they are used.” [429]

2. Al-Hasan ibn Shadhan reported Imam al-Jawad (as) to have said,“The best treatment for quartan fever is to have honey mixed faludhaj with extra saffron [430] ,and nothing else should be had on that day.” [431]

Treatment for jaundice

Muhammad ibn Yahya reported from Muhammad ibn ‛«sa, from ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar who said that he was invited to lunch by Imam al-Jawad (as) who served him grouse, saying,“The flesh of this bird is blessed. My father liked it. He used to prescribe it to those affected with jaundice.[432] As a treatment, they should eat its flesh grilled.” [433]

Treatment of hernia

Ahmad ibn Ibrahim ibn Riyah reported al-Sabbah ibn Muharib as saying: I was present with Abu-Ja‛far the son of al-Rida when someone informed him that Shabib ibn Jabir was affected with a violent hernia that paralyzed even his face and eyes. Prescribing a medicine, Imam al-Jawad (as) said,“Five mitigals [434] of dianthus are put in a dry vessel the neck of which is tied well before it is coated with clay and placed in sunlight for a whole day in summer or two days in winter. The dianthus is then taken out and crushed softly. It should be then mixed with rainwater until it becomes deliquescent. The person suffering the hernia may then lie down on his back and the dianthus powder is spread over on the rupture. He should keep lying down until the dianthus powder has dried out, because only then will Allah heal him and he will regain the best of health, by the permission of Allah the All-exalted.”

Some of our friends hurried to the affected person to convey this glad news to him. When he used that prescription, he was restored to the best of health.[435]

Treatment for permanent menstruation

Muhammad ibn Yahya reported from Muhammad ibn ‛«sa, from ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar who said that a bondmaid was affected by such permanent menstruation that it did not cease at all until she was on the verge of death. Abu-Ja‛far (Imam al-Jawad) ordered that she should be fed with lentil flour.[436] The bondmaid's menstrual flow ceased and she was restored to health once she was served with the lentil flour soup.[437]

Treatment for stomach flu and palpitations

Muhammad ibn ‛Ali Zanjawayh the physician reported ‛Abdullah ibn ‛Uthman to have said: I complained to Abu-Ja‛far Muhammad ibn ‛Ali ibn Musa (as) about stomach flu and palpitations (rapid and strong heartbeat) with which I was affected.

He asked,“Why do you not use the medicine of my father, which is useful for treating all diseases?”

“Son of the Apostle of Allah,” I said.“What is that medicine?”

He answered,“It is very familiar among our partisans (the Shia).”

I asked,“My master and lord! Please consider me one of your partisans and describe this medicine to you so that I will use it for myself and teach it to the people.”

The Imam (as) started,“You may take equal quantities of saffron,[ 438] pyrethrum ,[439] spikenard ,[440] cardamom ,[441] henbane ,[442] white hellebore,[443] and white pepper ,[444] and a double quantity of euphorbia gum [445] and crush the whole quantity very gently. Then, you may sieve it out by a piece of silk cloth and knead it with foamless honey that should be twice as the weight of the powder. Those affected by palpitations may be given that product to drink. As for those who are affected with stomach flu, they can use this mixture after cooking it with cumin [446] water. If they do, they will be restored to health by the permission of Allah the Almighty.”[ 447]

Treatment for Renal Calculi

Muhammad ibn Hakkam reported Muhammad ibn al-Nadr, the teacher of Imam al-Jawad's sons, as saying: One day, I complained to Imam al-Jawad (as) about the pain that I suffered because of renal calculi.

He (as) suggested,“Why have you not yet used the all-healing medicine of my father?”

I said,“My master and lord, please prescribe it for me.”

The Imam (as) said,“We have it here with us.” He then asked one of his bondmaids to bring him the green jar. When the bondmaid did so, the Imam (as) took out a small quantity from it and said,“You may mix this amount with cooked rue [448] juice or radish [449] juice. If you do, you will be restored to health.”

I mixed it with rue juice and drank; I have not felt that pain since.[450]

6. Imam al-Jawad and Supplication

The following is a set of magnificent supplicatory prayers that Imam al-Jawad (as) reported on the authority of his fathers who reported them from the Holy Prophet (sawas) to whom they were revealed by Allah the Almighty. They are considered as psalms of Imam al-Jawad that comprise his supplicatory and confidential prayers.

Sayyid Ibn Tawus reported: Muhammad ibn Harith al-Nawfali, the servant of Imam Muhammad al-Jawad (as), reported that when al-Ma'mun, the ‛Abbasid ruler, decided to give his daughter in marriage to Imam Muhammad ibn ‛Ali (as), the Imam (as) wrote this letter to him:

Every wife must be given a dowry from the property of her husband. As for us (i.e. the Holy Imams), Almighty Allah has put off our properties to give them to us in the other world just as He has given you your properties in advance in this worldly life. I thus decide to dower your daughter with“the means to the response to the petitions.” A number of confidential prayers, my father has given me these supplicatory means and said that he had received them from his father Musa, who told that he had received them from his father Ja‛far, who told that he had received them from his father Muhammad, who told that he had received them from his father ‛Ali, who told that he had received them from his father al-Husayn, who told that he had received them from his brother al-Hasan, who told that he had received them from his father ‛Ali ibn Abi-Talib, who told that he had received them from the Holy Prophet Muhammad, who told that he had received them from Archangel Gabriel who said, 'Muhammad, the Almighty Lord conveys His greetings to you and says that He is carrying to you the keys to the treasures of this world and the other world. He thus advises you to use them as the means to the response to your petitions. Through these confidential prayers, you can attain your desires and succeed in winning your requests. Therefore, do not use them in worldly requests rather than the other-worldly; lest you lessen the value of your other-worldly prizes. These means are ten supplicatory prayers by which you can knock at the doors of your desires and they will be opened wide before you, and you can ask for things, and you will be given access to them.'

These confidential prayers[451] are as follows:

A. Confidential Prayer for Guidance to the Best

O Allah, my prayer to guide me with regard to the choose the best matter amongst those different options, which I have asked You to guide me to do the desirable and accessible, grant abundant gifts, gratify the requests, make easy the gains, guide to the most excellent way, drive to the most praiseworthy consequences, and guard me from dreadful calamities. O Allah, I pray You to guide me to the best choice with regard to what I am determined to do to which my reason has directed me. O Allah, (please) smooth its progress to me, make easy its difficulty, save me from what concerns me, repel from me what is terrible, and, O Lord, change its bad consequences into good end results, its dreadful parts into safety, its unlikely gains into possible ones, and its barrenness into fertility. O Allah, release Your response to me, make successful my appeal, grant me my need, cut off whatever hinders it, and halt its misfortunes. O Allah, give me the pennon of triumph, the true guidance to the best of what I have asked You for, the abundant gain of what I have prayed to You for, and the bestowals of favours in what I have hoped from You for. O Allah, attach all that to success, adorn it exclusively with righteousness, make clear before my eyes the reasons for guiding me to this choice and the factors of winning it, tighten the grip around the throat of its difficulties, and refresh its dying easiness. O Allah, acquaint me with its confusable matters, release its detained affairs, and make firm its foundations so that it will come carrying gains, removing debts, bringing about swift benefits, and perpetuating its effect. Verily, You always have more to give and take the initiative to magnanimous conferrals.

B. Confidential Prayer for True Repentance

O Allah, it is my hope for Your expansive mercy that has motivated me to ask for accepting my true repentance, and it is my hope for Your forbearance and leniency that has encouraged me to beg for Your security and pardon. O my Lord, I have committed sins, which are worthy of encountering Your punishment, and [I have committed] wrongdoings, which have been observed by the eyes of eradication and due to which I deserve Your painful chastisement despite Your justice, and because I have committed these wrongdoings, I earn Your annihilating punishment. I am thus afraid that these wrongdoings will obstruct You from responding to me and will make You refuse to grant me my requests, since they are violative enough to abolish my petition and to cut off the factors of achieving my desires, because their burdens have pressed heavily upon my back and their loads have been too heavy for me to carry. But when I recalled Your forbearance, O my Lord, with the wrongdoers, Your forgiveness to the sinful, and Your mercy to the disobedient, I, carrying my trust in You and relying on You, came towards You, throwing myself in Your Presence, complaining about my grief to You, praying to You, O my Lord, for what I do not deserve from You; that is relief from my distress, and for what I do not earn from You; that is alleviation of my anguish, declaring my true repentance before You, O my Lord, and putting my trust in You, O my Master. O Allah, s0 (please) bestow upon me with relief from You, confer upon me with creating for me an easy way out, lead me, out of Your clemency to the straightest path, make me, out of Your omnipotence, deviate from the crooked path, release me, out of Your acceptance of my true repentance, from the prison of ordeals, set me free from my capture, out of Your mercy, provide me with favours, out of Your pleasure, give to me generously, out of Your benevolence, steady me, O my Lord, from my slip, relieve me from my agony, have mercy upon my sobbing, do not make my prayer inaccessible, and by accepting my repentance, (please) strengthen my back, confirm my strength, set aright all my affairs, grant me long life, and have mercy upon me on the day of my resurrection and the time of my restoring to life. Verily, You are all-magnanimous, all-generous, all-forgiving, and all-merciful. And (please) send blessings upon Muhammad and his Household.

C. Confidential Prayer for Help in Travel

O Allah, I intend to travel; so, choose for me the best in my journey, make clear before me and inspire to me the right understanding of the most accurate attitude, release my determination by means of straightforwardness, include me with safety during my journey, furnish me with abundant fortune and honour, and preserve me with excellent safeguard and watching. O Allah, send away from me the inconvenience of journeys, make easy for me the difficulty of roughness, unwrap before me the rug of covering the stations, bring nearer to me remote watering places, and make spaces to be longer between the steps of our mounts, so that the remote distances will be nearby and the rough roads will be smooth. O Allah, make me find in this journey success over evil omens, endue me with achievement of wellbeing, safeguard against failure, guidance to survive dangers, incentives to gain adequacy, and good opportunity to be protected against authorities. O Allah, cause my journey to be a reason for winning marvelous security and obtaining profits. Make night cover me against banes and daytime defend me against perishing things. Out of Your omnipotence, (please) hold back robbers from reaching me and, out of Your power, guard me against beasts so that safety will accompany me on my journey, wellbeing will attend me, good omens will be driven along with me, easiness will embrace me, difficulty will depart from me, triumph will agree with me, and security will associate with me. Verily, You are the Lord of bestowals, conferrals, power, and might, and You have power over all things and You know and regard all of Your servants.

D. Confidential Prayer for Sustenance

O Allah, send forth on me the bails of Your sustenance in abundance, make the clouds of Your favoring rain on me heavily, keep continuous the drizzle of Your gifts to me plenteously, let the superfluity of Your graces to me fall on my neediness increasingly, make me in ceaseless need for Your magnanimity, make me dispense with those who are in want for what is possessed by You, medicate the malady of my poverty with the remedy of Your favours, refresh my dead dearth with Your conferrals, give as alms to my scarcity Your profuse gifts, and give to my shortage Your generous grants. O my Lord, pave the way of sustenance towards me, strengthen its foundations with me, make the fountains of Your expansive mercy gush out for me, make the rivers of opulent living flow before me, out of Your clemency, cause the land of my poverty to be barren, fertilize my barren harsh paucity, hold off all obstacles against my gaining sustenance, and cut off any relationship between destitution and me. O Allah, target at me the most productive arrows of opulent sustenance and endow me with the most perpetual affluent living. O Allah, equip me with the shirts of opulence and garments of comfort, for, O my Lord, I expect You to do me the favour of removing my distress, to bestow upon me with the grace of cutting off the impediment, to endue me with the errand of eliminating my impoverishment, and to confer upon me connecting my cord to Your generosity through facilitation of my affairs. O Allah, make the sky of Your sustenance shower me with large quantities of the water of Your heavy clouds, make me too rich to need Your creatures through Your repetitive conferrals of favours, throw deadly shots at the vulnerable spots of my financial deprivation, carry the riding of my misfortune on my behalf on the swiftest riding animals, and strike my distress, on behalf of me, with the exterminating sword. O my Lord, present me with expansive favours, supply me with ever-growing properties, safeguard me against the distress of paucity, grasp against me the evil of aridity, extend before me the carpet of fruitfulness, serve me with copious doses of the water of Your sustenance, pave before me many paths of Your massive abdications, surprise me with wealth and money through which You may refresh me from scarcity, start my mornings with solvency, and start my evenings with the ability to meet my liabilities. Verily, You are the Lord of great bestowal, massive favours, and plentiful conferral, and You are the All-Magnanimous and All-Generous.

E. Confidential Prayer for Seeking Protection

O Allah, I pray for Your protection against the striking mishaps of tribulation and the horrors of unbearable adversity. So, O my Lord, protect me against the blows of affliction, veil me from the sways of ordeals, save me from surprising punishments, and shelter me from the removal of blessings and the slipping of steps. O Allah, place me inside the fence of Your almightiness and the barrier of Your haven against unexpected overtaking of calamities and against swift sudden misfortunes. O Allah; O my Lord, (please) cause the lands of ordeals to sink down, cause the yards of crises to quake, cast a shadow on the sun of misfortune, uproot the mountains of evil, remove the vicissitudes of time, and drive back the obstacles in all affairs. (Please) take me to the ponds of safety, carry me on mounts of honour, make Your excuse of my transgressions to be my companion, and include me with Your covering of my defects. O my Lord, grant me liberally Your elegances, Your removal of my tribulations, and Your fending off of my adversities. (Please) ward off from me the thoraxes of Your chastisement, repel from me Your painful punishment, safeguard me from the ups and downs of days, rescue me from the evil end results of affairs, guard me against all anticipated matters, split the rock of tribulation in my affairs, and paralyze its hand lest it reaches me as long as I am alive. Verily, You are the All-glorious Lord who originates, produces, and does whatever He wills.

F. Confidential Prayer for Accepting Repentance

O Allah, I have come to You with the integrity of sincere repentance, the confirmation of a valid determination, the prayer of a limpid heart, and the declaration of a clear-cut statement. So, O Allah, accept from me my sincere repentance, the approaching of my swift turning to You, and the deadly blows of my fear of Your punishment. O my Lord, meet my repentance with abundant reward, generous final return, absolvement of castigation, warding off penalty, winning of returning to You, and covering with screen [against sinning]. O Allah, erase my fixed sins, wash out all my defects by accepting my repentance, and make my repentance polish my heart, to diagnose the insight of my mind, to rinse my filth, to purify my bodily impurity, to set aright my inner self, and to urge my insight to act upon it [i.e. my repentance] immediately. O my Lord, admit my repentance, because it emanates from my sincere intention and from the most accurate and purest form of my perception. It [i.e. my repentance] also involves perfect determination of my inner self, an attempt to keep my soul pure, my firmness to turn to You in repentance, and my decision to run for obeying Your orders. O Allah, by means of my repentance, (please) drive away the darkness of insistence on sinning from me, erase the burdensome sins that I have committed, and dress me in the clothing of piety and the garments of true guidance, for I am determined to remove the rein of acts of disobedience to You from my neck and to strip the shirt of sinning from my body, holding fast to Your omnipotence, O my Lord, seeking Your help against myself by Your almightiness, entrusting with You my repentance from breaching my covenant with You by Your protection of me, taking refuge in Your haven against that You may disappoint me, believing that there is neither might nor power except with You.

G. Confidential Prayer for Help in Undertaking Hajj

O Allah, (please) grant me success to go on hajj pilgrimage, which You have imposed upon whoever is capable of going on it, appoint for me in it a guide and a director to it, make accessible for me the remote paths, help me carry out its rituals, prevent fire from consuming my body due to my entering into the state of ritual consecration, and increase my power and my endurance on my hajj journey. O my Lord, grant me the opportunity to present myself in Your presence and to hasten my steps to You and grant me success in obtaining abundant gain. My Lord, grant me opportunity to attach the situation of the grand hajj to Muzdalifah, the holy monument, deciding it to be a step nearer towards Your mercy and a path towards Your paradise. Help me to stop at the situation of the Holy Monument and the situation of ritual consecration. Prepare me to carry out the rituals, to immolate the offertory camels, causing their blood to gush forth and their throats to be cut, and make me shed the poured blood (of these animals), offer the slaughtered offertory animals, cut off their throats exactly as You have instructed, and submit them as offerings exactly as You have prescribed. O Allah, make me present myself at the Feast Prayer, hoping for what You have promised to give, fearful of what You have threatened Your punishment, shaving or cutting short the hair of my head, exerting all efforts to obey You painstakingly, and throwing at the statues seven pebbles after seven. O Allah, make me enter the court and the yard of Your house, the place of Your security, Your Ka‛bah, and to give to the poor, the beggars, and the needy who ask from You. O Allah, endue me generously with abundant reward after my return and in my journey back. O Allah, seal my performance of the rituals of hajj and the termination of my cries with the statements of response to You with acceptance from You and with clemency that You show me. O most merciful of all those who show mercy!

H. Confidential Prayer for Removing Persecution

O Allah, the persecutions against Your servant have become so prevalent in Your lands that they have put an end to justice, interrupted all ways, eradicated the right, thwarted truthfulness, enshrouded charity, demonstrated evil, extinguished piety, removed true guidance, dislodged decency, planted harm, promoted corruption, strengthened obstinacy, spread out prejudice, and exceeded all bounds. O Allah! O my Lord, nothing can eliminate all that except Your authority and nothing can deliver from it except Your obliging favours. O Allah! O my Lord, (please) mutilate persecution, demolish the mountains of oppression, stagnate the business of evil, grant victory to those who deter from it, harvest the roots of the people of prejudice, and attire them with shrinkage after escalation. O Allah, afflict them with inaction immediately, send down on them exemplary punishments, and put to death the life of wickedness so that the terrorized will be secured, the terrified will calm down, the hungry will become full, the lost will be guarded, the fugitive will find a place of settlement, the escapee will return home, the poor will be satisfied, the refugee will be sheltered, the old will be respected, infants will be shown mercy, the wronged will be treated fairly, the wrongdoers will be humiliated, the distressed will be relieved, agonies will be driven away, the populace will find rest, discrepancy will be wiped out, knowledge will be exalted, peace will be prevalent, dispersion will be amassed, faith will be strengthened, and the Qur'an will be practically recited. Verily, You are the Master, the Munificent, and the Favourer.

I. Confidential Thanksgiving Prayer

O Allah, all praise be to You for driving away the imminent misfortunes and the overwhelming harms, for relieving from the calamitous hardships, and for the succession of the profuse blessings. All praise be to You for Your pleasant bestowals, praiseworthy conferrals, and great boons. All praise be to You for Your very great benevolence, torrential welfare, and easy-to-do obligations and for Your driving away of difficulties. All praise be to You, O Lord, for multiplying the little thanksgiving, enduing with abundant rewards, excusing the heavy burdens, accepting the improper apologies, lessening the exorbitant loads, making easy the difficult situations, and dispelling horrible matters. All praise be to You for Your dispelling the misfortunes, Your granting abundant charity, Your driving away terrifying matters, and Your removing oppressive issues. All praise be to You for the little mandates, much alleviation, the strengthening of the feeble, and the assisting of the distressed. All praise be to You for Your long-term respite, Your incessant favours, Your chasing off fruitlessness, Your praiseworthy deeds, and Your continuous donations. All praise be to You for putting off the looming punishment, shunning sudden chastisement, paving the way back to You, and sending down the rain of the clouds. Verily, You are the All Tender, the All Bountiful.

J. Confidential Prayer for Granting the Requests

Whoever You have ordered to pray to You is worthily required to pray to You and whoever You have promised to respond to his prayers is worthily required to hope for Your response. O Allah, I have a request [that I need You to grant] that I am too short to fulfil, too powerless to do, and too weak to attain. My soul that is prone to evil and my deceiving archenemy from which I am suffering have beguiled me into shunning wishing for Your help in this request. O Allah, so (please) grant my request the most blissful success, direct it towards the path of prosperity, expand my breast with hopeful petition for Your relief, facilitate my affairs through the ways of welfare, and establish for me triumph through making me attain what I have hoped for and gain what I have wished for. O Allah, (please) grant me access to the fulfillment of my requests through attainment of my wish and achievement of my desire. O Allah, in the name of Your Nobility, (please) protect me against disappointment, despair, despondency, and frustration. O Allah, You are full of plentiful gifts, You are true to Your words, You have power over all things, and You know and regard all of Your servants.

7. Sermons of Imam al-Jawad

Al-Hasan ibn ‛Ali ibn Shu‛bah al-Harrani, the author of Tuhaf al-‛Uqul, has dedicated a chapter in his book to the narrations that reported the sermons of Imam Muhammad ibn ‛Ali al-Jawad (as), yet without referring to the chains of authority of these reports. These sermons are quoted below:

Short Maxims of Imam al- Jawad

1. Imam al-Jawad (as) instructed a man who asked him for advice, saying,“Become steadfast, embrace poverty, reject lust, oppose your passions, and know that you cannot be out of Allah's sight; so, consider how you behave.”

2. Allah revealed the following to one of His prophets: It is true that your asceticism will give you comfort and your devotion to Me will endear you to Me; but did you antagonize My enemies and cherish My saints?

3. It is related that highway robbers once stole a large amount of cloth that belonged to Imam al-Jawad (as); so the chief of the caravan sent a letter to the Imam informing him of the incident. The Imam answered:

Our souls and riches are only part of the pleasant gifts and deposited loans of God. He makes us enjoy some of them pleasantly and delightfully and seizes whatever He will but then compensates for them with rewards and merits. He whose intolerance overcomes his steadfastness will waste these rewards. God protect us against this.

4. Whoever detested a matter that he witnessed is regarded as if he were absent from it; and whoever was absent from a matter that he loved is regarded as if he has witnessed it.

5. Whoever listens to a caller has served him. If that caller was calling on behalf of Allah, the listener has then served Allah. But if the caller was calling on behalf of Satan, the listener has then served Satan.

6. Abu Hashim al-Ja’fari related: On the wedding day of Imam al-Jawad (as) and Ummul-Fadl the daughter of al-Ma'mun, I said to the Imam,“Master, the blessing of this day is clearly great for us.” Yet, he answered,“O Abu Hashim, (you should say instead:) Allah's blessings on this day have been great for us.”

“Yes, master,” I said.“What should I say about the day?”

The Imam answered,“You should say only good things about the day so that you will be given at least part of these good things.”

“Yes, master,” I said.“I will follow this instruction completely.”

The Imam said,“You will be guided to the true guidance and you will see only the good if you adhere to this instruction.”

7. In one of his letters to a disciple of his, Imam al-Jawad (as) wrote the following:“We are only taking from this world. He whose belief and religion are the same as his companion will surely accompany him wherever he goes. The next world is surely the abode that lasts forever.”

8. Delay in repentance is deception; excessive procrastination is perplexity; arrogance against Allah is perdition; and insistence on committing sins is challenge of Allah's unexpected retribution.'No one can consider himself secure from the retribution of Allah except those who are lost.' [452]

9. A cameleer who had taken Imam al-Jawad (as) from al-Madinah to al-Kufah begged him for more money although the Imam had already given him four hundred dinars (i.e. golden coins). At this, the Imam (as) expressed,“How strange this is! You should have known that Allah's increasing gifts never cease unless His servant ceases showing gratitude to Him.”

10. To put a matter into effect before preparing for it properly leads to spoiling it.

11. A true believer has a constant need for success from Allah, self-preaching, and acceptance of those who tend to give advice.

12. Through his chain of authority, Shaykh al-Mufid reported from ‛Ali ibn Mahziyar who reported Bakr ibn Salih as saying: My son-in-law wrote the following letter to Abu-Ja‛afar Imam al-Jawad (as):“My father is Nasibi (i.e. notorious antagonist of the Ahl al-Bait) and has wretched views about the Ahl al-Bayt. I have experienced much hardship and pressure from him. I write to request a special prayer for me, may I be your ransom, and to ask you to advise me what my line of action should be. Should I confront him or comply with his whims?”

Imam al-Jawad (as) wrote back:“I have understood your letter and what you have mentioned about your father. God willing, I shall never forget you in my prayers. And it is better to be compliant rather than resorting to open confrontation. For with every hardship, there is ease. Be patient, for the end result is always in favour of those who are mindful of duties towards Allah. May Allah keep you firm on the path of those whom you have accepted as authorities. You and we are all entrusted in the care of Allah, and with Him, no trust is lost!”

Bakr said: After that, Allah caused a change of heart in his father; so, he in turn became compliant to the son.[453]

13. Meeting with one's brethren-in-faith widens the intellect and fertilizes wisdom, even though it may be infrequent.[454]

14. Abu-Hashim al-Ja’fari reported that he heard Imam al-Jawad (as) saying,“In Paradise, there is a door known as ma‛ruf (favor), none can enter Paradise from that door except those who do favours to others.”

Abu-Hashim continued: Upon hearing these words, I praised Allah the Almighty secretly and felt happy, because I used to grant people their needs. Immediately, the Imam (as) looked at me and said,“Yes, keep on doing so, because the people of favour in this world will be the people of favour in the hereafter. May Allah include you, Abu-Hashim, with them and show you mercy! [455]

15. Abu Hashim al-Ja’fari also reported that Muhammad ibn Salih al-Armani asked Imam al-Jawad (as) to explain this holy Qur'anic verse to him:“Allah's is the command before and after. (30/4)”

The Imam (as) answered,“This verse means that the whole command belongs to Allah alone before He issues it and after He issues whatever He wishes.”

I said to myself,“This is the very interpretation of Allah's statement: 'Surely, His is the creation and the command. Blessed is Allah, the Lord of the world. (7/54)”

I then addressed the Imam, saying“I bear witness that you are indeed the argument of Allah and the son of His argument against His servants.[ 456]

16. Whoever complies with his fancies has in fact given his enemies what they wished to get.[457]

17. The slips of those who always commit immoralities are never excused.[458]

18. Unappreciated blessings are just like unforgettable sins.

19. How can he whose protector is Allah be lost? How can he who is chased by Allah escape Him? And as for anyone who resorts to someone other than Allah, Allah will leave him alone with that one.

20. If you behave sedately, you will achieve your goal or at least be close to achieving it.

21. Whoever is unaware of what he receives (i.e. of words and deeds), will be shocked by the results (i.e. the advantages and disadvantages).[459]

22.“Whoever gives himself over to confidence before experience, will have exposed himself to perdition and a tiresome end result.”

23. Whoever moves away from compliance (i.e. willingness to please), will come close to misfortune.

24. Beware of befriending the wicked, for they are like an unsheathed sword: its visage is good but its impact is bad.

25. Dignity of true believers lies in their dispensing with people.

26. You must never feel injured due to the wrath of those whose pleasure lies in injustice.

27. To be the trustee of the traitorous is complete treason.([460] )

28. He who acts without knowledge (of what he is doing) will thwart more than doing well.

29. Devoting a deed to Allah the All-exalted with pure intention is more acceptable than tiring the organs doing it.

30. Whoever blames his friend (in a nice manner) without suspecting his friendship is required to please him (by means of apology) before his friend asks him to do so.

31. To put trust in Allah is the price of every precious thing and a scale that rises to all excellences.

32. When the predestined fall, the space becomes too narrow.

33. Whoever does not deal with his friend in terms of good faith will doubt his donations.

34. He who refrains from giving you good advice lest he stops against your desires, is in fact your enemy.

35. Desires are sought through earnest entreaty, although they are subjected to the will of Allah. Wellbeing is always the best of His donations.

36. Do not incur the animosity of anyone before you recognize the status he enjoys in the sight of Allah the Almighty; for if he is virtuous, then Allah shall never give him up to you; and if he is sinful, then to know this truth about him is enough to prevent you from antagonizing him.

37. Never pretend to be a saint of Allah in public but an enemy of Him in secret.

38. Self-restraint should be parallel to feelings of fear.

39. Vicissitudes of time unveil even the most latent secrets.

40. You should remain patient and keep yourself dignified if you were deprived of something, as you must be aware that you will not benefit from it anyway.[461]

41. Abu-Ja‛far (Imam al-Jawad) is reported to have quoted his father relating Imam ‛Ali (as) as saying: When the Apostle of Allah (sawas) ordered me to go to Yemen, he gave these teachings to me: O ‛Ali, he who chooses the best among many choices will never feel perplexed; and he who seeks others' consultation will never feel regret. O ‛Ali, do not miss the early dawn hour, for the earth seems easier at night than in daylight. O ‛Ali, begin your journey in the early morning in the Name of Allah, for Allah the All-exalted has decided to bless my people who begin their works in the early morning.[462]

42. Whoever acquires a brother-in-faith has won a house in Paradise.

43. Even if the heavens and the earth are restricted over a servant (of Allah) who then acts piously to Allah, He will most surely make for him an outlet from them.

44. Verily, whoever puts his trust in Allah, he will be shown delight by Him.

45. Whoever commits his soul to Allah, He will save him from everything.

46.“Putting one's confidence in Allah is a fortress to which none resorts except true believers.”

47. Trusting in Allah saves from all evils and guards against all enemies.

48. Religiousness is dignity. Knowledge is treasure. Silence is light. The utmost of asceticism is abstinence from prohibitions. Nothing ruins religion more effectively than innovation. Nothing ruins men more than greed. Subjects are set aright through their leaders only. Misfortunes are dispelled by supplication.

49. Whoever embarks upon patience, he/she will be guided directly up-to the final result of victory. Whoever insults and becomes offensive towards others, he/she will be answered back with an insult. Whoever plants trees of piety will harvest the fruits of hope.

50. Four things help one work hard: health, self-sufficiency, skill, and success (granted by Allah).

51. Some servants of Allah are endued exclusively and permanently with His favours as long as they give part of them as alms. But if they refrain from doing so, Allah will take these favours from them and give them to others.

52. Those who do favours to others are in fact in more need of these favours than those to whom they are done. This is because the favourers gain rewards for doing favours and also gain pride and a good reputation. So, whenever one does a favour, one has in fact done that favour to himself first.

53. Whoever puts his hope in someone will fear him. Whoever is ignorant of something will try to find fault with it. Opportunities come clandestinely. Much grief causes bodily ailments. The title of a true Muslim's record is their nobility of character.

54. Praise and approval is the title of the record of the truly happy.

55. Beauty lies in tongues, while perfection lies in intellect.

56. Chastity is the charm of poverty, thanksgiving the charm of richness, patience the charm of suffering misfortunes, modesty the charm of honourable lineage, eloquence the charm of speech, good learning the charm of narrating, gentleness the charm of teaching, politeness the charm of sapience, gaiety the charm of nobility, pretending to forget favours the charm of doing them, reverence the charm of prayers, supererogation the charm of satisfaction, and avoiding interference in others' affairs the charm of devoutness.

57. To avoid facing anyone with what he/she dislikes is sufficient indication of perfect chivalry. To abstain from harming others is a sign of your morality; to act kindly towards those toward whom you have duties is a sign of your liberality; to prefer others to yourself is a sign of your nobility; to stop complaining is a sign of your patience; to treat people fairly even in personal issues (i.e. when you are the wronged party) is a sign of your wisdom; to accept the truth as soon as it manifests itself is a sign of your impartiality; to warn others against whatever you do not accept against yourself is a sign of your advisability; to stop reproaching people before their rivals even when you are sure of their mistakes is a sign of your good neighbourliness; to avoid blaming others in the presence of those whom they dislike is a sign of your lenience; to accede to your friend and avoid opposing him is a sign of your sincerity in friendship; to appreciate the favours of those who do you favours is a sign of your gratitude; to realize your real esteem is a sign of your modesty; and to shun mentioning the faults of others and engage yourself in rectifying your own faults is a sign of your uprightness.

58. He who practices wrongdoing personally, he who helps him, and he who is pleased with his deed - these three are partners in that deed.

59. The day of justice is more unbearable in the sight of the wrongdoer than the day of injustice in the sight of the wronged.

60. Whoever fails to come to things from where they should come from, will fail to find any way out. Greed is always enchained by humility. Whoever seeks to live a long life must prepare for himself a heart that can tolerate misfortune.

61. The knowledgeable are always strangers, because they are surrounded by numerous ignorant ones.

62. To face misfortune with patience is a misfortune for those who gloat over your grief.

63. One's death lies between one's jaws. Good opinion is gained only when attached to deliberation. Bad opinion and immature opinion are indeed the worst supporters and the worst helpers.

64. Amicability (of others) can be attained through three characteristics: fairness in association, supporting in misfortune, and dealing with others on terms of wholeheartedness.

65. People are of different manners; and everyone acts according to his manner. People are also friends of one another. Yet friendship that is based on any other foundation than love for Allah will eventually turn into rivalry. Thus says Allah the Almighty and All-majestic: 'The friends shall on that day be enemies one to another, except the pious. (43/67)'

66. Whoever approves of a vice, will have a share in it.

67. Ingratitude of favours brings about (Allah's) wrath. He who rewards you by thanksgiving has in fact given you more than what he took from you.

68. Do not allow suspicion to ruin your relationship with a friend who deals with you kindly due to his certainty of your uprightness. Whoever advises a friend of his secretly has in fact acted kindly towards him, but whoever advises him in public, has in fact done harm to him.

69. A truly honourable man is he who has been honoured by knowledge, and a true chief is he who acts piously towards his Lord.

70. Do not deal with things before they attain their climax, lest you become sorry. Do not allow time to be prolonged for you, lest your hearts become hardened. Rather, show mercy to the weak amongst you and ask Allah for mercy as a reward for your having shown mercy to them.

71. The least punishment of one who puts his hope in a wicked person is to be deprived of what he had hoped for.

72. Man's death due to sinning is more hideous than his death due to the termination of his life. Likewise, man's living with kind acts is more delightful than his living his life.[463]