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: A DISPLAY OF IMAM JAWAD'S (AS) PERSONALITY

Undoubtedly the virtues of the twelve Imams (as), including Imam Jawad (as), are so many that they cannot be counted. Having been chosen for the post of Imamah by Allah the Exalted is itself a great blessing which is possessed only by these purified men. It is sufficient to distinguish them from other people. They are, therefore, suitable for the post of Imamah, are Divine Proofs for the people and they are the trustworthy people of His revelation.

Every Imam (as) had special virtues and honours. Unfortunately, the difficult conditions were not to the advantage of the virtues, magnificent qualities, greatness and knowledge of the Imams (as) and their followers, whose goal was not only to save but also to propagate the great Islamic heritage. Threats and physical mistreatment against the Imams (as), their followers and those who tried to make the people appreciate the pure conduct of their Imams (as) were enough to wipe out an extent of their great heritage and scientific production.

In this section, we will study the political and traditional aspects surrounding the life, virtues and good morals of Imam Jawad (as):

1. A Talking Newborn

According to historical accounts, immediately after his birth, Imam Jawad (as) announced Shahadatayn (the two testimonies). On the third day following his birth, he admitted the Oneness of Allah, praised Him, His Messenger Muhammad (sawas) and the Imams (as).

Hakimah daughter of Musa bin Ja’far (as) is quoted as saying:“When the mother of Abu Ja’far Jawad (as) became pregnant, I wrote to him [Imam al-Rida (as)]: Your slave girl, Sabikah, is with child.”

Imam al-Rida (as) replied:“She became pregnant at such and such a time, day and month. Therefore, when she gives birth to her child, stay beside her for seven days.”

When Sabikah had given birth to her child, the newborn started saying:“I bear witness that there is no God other than Him, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” [34]

On the third day of his birth, the newborn sneezed and said:“All praise belongs to Allah and peace be upon Muhammad and the guided Imams.”

She also said:“When the time of delivery by Khaizuran [the mother of Abu Ja’far (as)] was reached, Imam al-Rida (as) called me and said to me: “O Hakimah! Stay beside Khaizuran at the time of delivery and go with her and the midwife to the room of delivery.”

Then Imam (as) lit a candle in the room and closed the door. The time of delivery was approaching as Khaizuran's pain was increasing. There was a tub in front of her for delivering her child. Suddenly the candle was extinguished. I became sad seeing this. Suddenly, Abu Ja’far appeared in the tub. Something which resembled a thin cloth was covering his body whose light brightened the room. I took him in my lap and removed the cover from his body. When I had finished, Imam al-Rida (as) opened the door of his room, took the newborn child from me and laid him in the cradle. Then he said to me:“O Hakimah! Stay behind his cradle.”

On the third day, the newborn gazed at the sky for a while, then he looked to his right and then to his left after which he said:“I bear witness that there is no God other than Him, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

Full of awe, I went to Abu al-Hassan (as) and said to him:“I heard him saying wonderful things.”

Imam al-Rida (as) asked me: What did he say?

I told him about what I had just heard.

He said:“O Hakimah! You will see more wonderful things from him.” [35]

2. Becoming an Imam while a Child

Allah the Exalted wanted Imam Jawad (as) to be blessed with the post of Divine Caliphate over His creatures and be their leader from an early age. However, this was not something new; because Jesus Christ (as) and Solomon (as) had already shown complete ability for taking the charge of prophethood and leadership of the people at a young age. It was very hard for people to accept the leadership of a seven year old boy. Some people were astonished and doubtful about it. However, Imam Jawad (as) decided to remove their doubts about it. Therefore, with an affidavit from the history of the prophets (as), he made a reality clear to them which they formerly had no knowledge about. In the following lines, we will read some traditions regarding what took place:

1. The narrator said 'I said to Abu Ja’far the second:“They speak about (and question) your very young age. He said, “Allah informed David through inspiration to appoint Solomon as the executor of his will and successor while he was just a child minding sheep. The worshippers and scholars of the Israelites disliked it. Allah then inspired David to take the staffs of those who had objections and that of Solomon and place them in a room and seal them with each one's seals. On the next day, whichever staff would be found to have grown leaves and fruits the owner thereof would be the successor. David informed them of this matter and they all agreed.” [36]

2.“Once I saw Abu Ja’far (as) who had come out to me and I began to look at him from head to toe so I could describe him to our people in Egypt. I was watching him until he sat down and said, “O Ali, Allah has supported His argument against the people in the case of Imamat (Leadership with Divine Authority) just as He has done so in the case of the prophets.” He went on,“We gave authority to him (John) over the people during his childhood (19:12). When he attained maturity, God gave him strength, wisdom and knowledge. Thus, do we reward those who do good.” (12:22)“When he grew to manhood and became forty years old,” (46:15). It happens that wisdom comes to a prophet when he is just a child or it may come when he is forty years old.”[37]

3.“Once Abu Ali ibn Hasan spoke to Abu Ja’far (as) saying, “My master, people refuse to accept your Imamat (Leadership with Divine Authority) because of your very young age.” He answered,“Why do they refuse to accept the words of Allah, the most majestic, the most gracious. Allah, the most majestic and most gracious, has said to His prophet (sawas); “(Muhammad), say, 'This is my way. I and all my followers invite you to God with proper understanding.' (12:108) By Allah, only Ali (as) followed him at that time and he was just nine years old. I also am nine years old.” [38]

3. Imam Jawad's (as) Knowledge

Only the most learned person of his era, with complete command and control over all aspects of religion, religious laws, political affairs, management and other social, political and religious needs of the people, is appropriate for the post of Imamah and Divine leadership of the people. Like his father and forefathers (as) before him, Imam Jawad (as) was also the best and the most learned person of his time. Despite his young age, he entered different fields of knowledge and showed his exceptional abilities. He would answer the most difficult religious and jurisprudential questions posed by the best scholars and learned people of his time with great care and accuracy. In this way, he showed his multidimensional scientific command. The scientific and religious debates which were held between Imam Jawad (as) and other scholars of his time resulted in the people's inclination towards the Household's school of thought, propagation and spread of Shia. Also, many scholars rejected their previous scientific perspectives and accepted the Imamah of Imam Jawad (as).[39]

Before talking about some of the branches of his knowledge, we should first mention the source of his divine knowledge which is, of course, one of the specialties of the Household (as):

1. Mas'udi quoted ‘Abd al-Rahman bin Muhammad who quoted Kaltham bin Imran:“I said to Imam al-Rida (as): You like children. Ask Allah to bless you with a son.”

Imam (as) replied:“I will have only one child and he will be my heir.”

When Imam Jawad (as) was born, Imam al-Rida (as) remained beside his cradle whispering to him all night long. After several nights, he said to Imam (as): May I be ransom! Many children have been born before [and no one has ever recited so many prayers in the ears of his child]. But you are reciting too many prayers in his ear?

Imam (as) replied:“Woe is to you! This is not praying but I am making him rich with knowledge and science.” [40]

2. We have already mentioned the explicit text about Imam Jawad's (as) talking when he was just a newborn; also the explicit text mentioning his post of Imamah at a very young age.[41]

3. Imam Jawad (as) said:“Imam Abu Ja’far Baqir (as) has said: “Certainly the successors (the Imams (as)) are the addressees and the Holy Spirit talks to them; however, they do not see him.” [42]

There is a tradition that after the martyrdom of Imam al-Rida (as), Abu Ja’far Imam Jawad (as) was taken to the mosque of the Prophet (sawas). He went to the minbar (pulpit), sat on the first step of the stair and started saying:“I am Muhammad son of Ali [bin Musa] al-Rida; I am Jawad; I am aware of people's genealogy while they are in the loins of their fathers. I am aware of your manifest and hidden affairs and what you want to achieve and what is going to happen to you more than anyone else.

I have gained [this knowledge] from the knowledge which has been given to us by the Creator of all creatures after He created the heavens and the earth. If the wrong people would not support each other; if the rulers were not led astray and if there were not a great number of doubtful people, I would say something which would make people even more stunned and astonished.”

Then he put his hand over his mouth and said [to himself]:“O Muhammad! Be silent the way your forefathers were before you.” [43]

The above lines point to the source of the great knowledge of the Household (as) including Imam Jawad (as). Now we will mention some of his scientific inheritances:

A. Monotheism

At the time of Imam Jawad (as), many suspicions and illusions about monotheism had been raised by the spiteful enemies of Islam to shake the faith inside the hearts of Muslims and make them doubt the beliefs of their great religion. However, their efforts were useless because Imam Jawad (as) refuted many of those suspicions and accusations. Here are some examples:

The narrator states:“I asked Abu Ja'far about the Oneness of Allah saying: “Can I think of Him (the creator) as a thing?”

1. The Imam replied,“Yes, but not as something well understood and clearly defined within limits. What may become a subject of your thoughts is different from Him. Nothing resembles Him and thoughts and imaginations cannot encompass Him. He is different from what can become the subject of thoughts and is different from whatever can be perceived in one's thoughts. You can think of Him as some thing but not well understood and clearly defined (under certain limits).” [44]

2. It has also been narrated that Abu Ja’far the second (as) was once asked:“Is it possible to say that Allah is a thing?”

He said:“Yes, when excluding Him from the two limits; the limit of ta'til (stripping Allah of His attributes) and the limit of tashbih (comparison).” [45]

3. The narrator says: I asked Imam Abu Ja’far al-Jawad (as):“What is the meaning of the One?”

Imam al-Jawad (as) answered:“It is He whom tongues have agreed on.” [46]

B. Interpretation of the Holy Qur'an

The Holy Qur'an has many dimensions such as the apparent dimension, the hidden aspect and its interpretation“but no one knows its interpretation except Allah and those firmly grounded in knowledge.” Certainly, by saying ‘those firmly grounded in knowledge,’ Allah outlines the Prophets (as) and the Infallible Imams (as). As soon as these great people found deviated people interpreting the Holy Book of Allah, they took it upon themselves to enter this field and reveal the false claims. Like other Infallible Imams (as), there are many explicit interpretational texts from Imam Jawad (as) about some of the verses of the Holy Qur'an.

Among the interpretational discussions of this great Imam (as) is the interpretation of the following two verses of the holy Qur'an:

مَا نَنسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ أَوْ نُنسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِّنْهَا أَوْ مِثْلِهَاۗ أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿١٠٦﴾ أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّـهَ لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِۗ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ ﴿١٠٧﴾

“For any verse that we abrogate or remove from memories, we bring another which is better than it, or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things? Do you not know that to Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth? And besides Allah you do not have any guardian or any helper.” [47]

Interpreting these two verses of the Holy Qur'an, Imam Jawad (as) said:“for any verse that we abrogate” means that we remove it from amongst the people; and“remove from memories” means that we let it be no longer and make it disappear from the minds and hearts of the people; even from the heart of Muhammad (sawas), because Allah has said addressing the Prophet (sawas):

سَنُقْرِئُكَ فَلَا تَنسَىٰ ﴿٦﴾ إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّـهُۚ إِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ الْجَهْرَ وَمَا يَخْفَىٰ ﴿٧﴾

“We shall have you recite [the Qur'an], then you will not forget [any of it], except that which Allah may wish. Indeed, He knows the overt and what is hidden.” [48]

This verse can be interpreted that if Allah wants it forgotten, He will remove it from people's memory.

The interpretation of the phrase“We bring another which is better than it” is that we replace it with something which is better.

Then Imam Jawad (as) said: 'The second case which replaces the first one is more beneficial for you; and there is a better policy in it for you as compared with the policy of the first one. It means that whatever we replace or remove is for your betterment.

Then Imam (as) said: Allah the Exalted said to Muhammad (sawas): ‘Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?’ This means that Allah has the power to remove whatever He wishes.'

Then he said:“Do you not know, O Muhammad (peace be upon you), that to Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth?” Therefore, this is He who is aware of the interests of everything and this is He who performs the affairs related to you with His knowledge” means that Allah is aware about the interests of His creatures; therefore, it is He who manages your interests.

When He says:“and besides Allah you do not have any guardian or any helper” , He is saying here that if Allah puts you in trouble and hardship, no one else will be able to help you.”[49]

In the above lines, the method which Imam Jawad (as) used for the interpretation of the Holy Book and which was to take assistance from the verses of the holy Book is manifest and clear.

When Imam Jawad (as) was asked about another verse of the holy Qur'an which states:

وَلِكُلٍّ وِجْهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَاۖ فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِۚ أَيْنَ مَا تَكُونُوا يَأْتِ بِكُمُ اللَّـهُ جَمِيعًاۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿١٤٨﴾

“Everyone has a cynosure to which he turns; so take the lead in all good works. Wherever you may be, Allah will bring you all together. Indeed Allah has power over all things.” [50]

Imam (as) answered in detail based on an interpretation of the verse which we will read in the following lines:

Abd al-Adhim bin Abdullah Hasani said:“I said to Muhammad bin Ali bin Musa (as): I hope that you are al-Qa'im of the holy Household (as) after whose appearance the earth is going to be filled with justice after its having been filled with oppression and injustice.”

Imam (as) said:“ O Abu al-Qasim, every one of us is Qa'im (executor) of the orders of Allah the Almighty and a guide to the religion of Allah, but the Qa'im by whom Allah will purify the earth from the people of unbelief and atheism and who will fill the earth with justice and fairness is he whose birth will be unknown to the people and who will disappear and it will not be permitted for people to call him by his name. His name and surname are like those of the messenger of Allah (sawas). The earth will be submitted to him and every difficulty will be made easy for him. His companions, who will number three hundred and thirteen men, exactly the same number of the men of Badr ,[51] will join him from the farthest parts of the world as Allah says: “Wherever you may be, Allah will bring you all together; surely Allah has power over all things.” When this number of loyal men join him, Allah will make him appear. And when his other companions come together and“aqd” (based on ten thousand people) is provided, he will rise with the permission of Allah and will kill the enemies of Allah in such a way that Allah will become happy.”

I asked:“O my master! How will he come to know about the willingness of Allah?”

Imam (as) replied:“God will make his heart kind and when he enters the city of Madinah, he will bring out “laat” and“uzzi” and will burn them [and then Allah will be pleased with him.][52]

C. Imam Jawad (as) and the Propagation of Hadith

A Sahih Hadith with divine origin must be taken as the basic need for one's life, because the Prophet (sawas) of Allah taught his Ummah how to live their lives. The Prophet (sawas) did this in the form of short lines of Hadiths. The Imams (as) had the responsibility of interpreting them and making the people become aware of them. Imam Jawad (as) also played his role in this regard as did his father and forefathers. He narrated a group of traditions from the messenger of Allah through the line of these fathers. He also narrated from his grandfathers Imam Ali (as) and Imam Sadiq (as) and from his father Imam al-Rida (as). We shall now look at some of them.

1. He quoted the messenger of Allah (sawas) as saying:“Fatima has protected her honour and has been abstinent and therefore Allah has protected her and her progeny from the Fire.” [53]

2. He narrated from the Prophet (sawas):“Man is hidden under his tongue.” [54]

3. Also he narrated:“Once, a man from Basra got up and said to Amir al-Mu'minin: “Would you tell us about brothers?” Imam Ali said:“Brothers are of two kinds; brothers of trust and brothers of smile. As for the brothers of trust, they are like the hand, the wing, the kin and the money to you. If there is trust between you and your brother, you share your money, give him your hand, make friends with his friends, become enemy to his enemy, keep his secrets, support him and reveal his good qualities.[55] O asking man, know that brothers of trust are rarer than red sulfur. And as for the brothers of smile, you get pleasure from them. Do not cut your relation with them and do not ask them for more from their consciences. Smile at them and be courteous to them as long as they do the same to you.” [56]

4. When Imam Jawad (as) was asked about a pious person in this world, he answered with the following narration of Imam Sadiq (as):

[A pious person] is one who leaves out the halal in this world because of being asked for it and the haram because of fearing of being punished for it.”[57]

5. Once Imam Sadiq (as) was asked about death. Imam Jawad (as) replied: For a believer [death] is like a pleasant smell which removes all tiredness and pain from him; while for an infidel, it is like the sting of a snake and scorpion, but rather more painful.”[58]

6. Imam Jawad (as) is also reported as saying:“One of Imam al-Rida's (as) companions fell ill. Imam (as) went to visit him. Imam (as) asked the man: How are you feeling now?”

The man replied:“I felt death behind me.”

Imam (as) asked him:“How was it?”

He said: 'It was very difficult and painful.'

Imam (as) said:“That is not death which you felt, but rather you have just touched and felt something which comes to one before death and it has made you aware of part of the nature of death. [Be aware that regarding death] people fall into two categories: one reaches ultimate peace through death; while the second, by dying, enables people to be free of their cruelty and corruption. Thus, strengthen your faith in Allah and the promise divine guardianship so as to reach the state of peace and tranquillity.” [59]

D. Jurisprudential Traditions from Imam Jawad (as)

The Twelver Shi'a Jurisprudents warmly welcomed the traditions related to Imam Jawad (as) and have used them for the derivation of jurisprudential laws as these traditions are the reflections of the Infallibles'“sayings” ,“actions” or“keeping silence and agreeing upon some matters.” There are many traditions associated with Imam Jawad (as) in this regard. We shall mention a few:

The prayer

1. The narrator said:“I wrote to Abu Ja’far the second (as) asking him about the (fur of) squirrel, the (fur of) fennec [60] and silk. I said to him: “May I die for you! I like that you do not answer me with taqiyya (reservation or dissimulation).” He wrote to me by hand saying to me that I could offer the prayer with them.” [61]

Jurisprudents took this tradition as evidence of the permissibility of prayers being offered with the fur of these animals if slaughtered in the Islamic manner.[62]

2. The narrator said: “I saw Abu Ja’far (as) offer six rak'as behind the Maqam (standing place) of Abraham at midday on the day of Tarwiya (moistening) with his shoes on and he did not take them off.[63]

Jurisprudents have concluded the permissibility of offering prayers wearing pure shoes made from the skins of legally slaughtered animals.[64]

The Zakat (paying alms)

Many traditions were reported from Imam Abu Ja’far (as) about the branches of the zakat. Jurisprudents have concluded the permissibility of paying the zakat from the price of a certain thing and not necessarily from the thing itself according to the traditions narrated from Imam Abu Ja’far (as). Imam was asked:“Is it possible to pay money for the due zakat on wheat, barley and gold or I should pay from each one the due portion?” [65]

Abu Ja’far (as) replied:“That which is easily paid.” [66]

The Hajj

Like the rules mentioned above, hajj also has certain laws mentioned by Imam Jawad (as). There are also many traditions stemming from Imam Jawad (as) from which the Jurisprudents have benefited while proclaiming fatwas about secondary rules. Here we will mention two of them:

1. Jurisprudents[67] concluded the recommendation of the hajj to a young boy from a tradition narrated thus:“I asked Abu Ja’far the second (as) when it would be acceptable for a young boy to go to perform the hajj and he said: “When he replaces his milk teeth.”

2. Shi'a jurisprudents have agreed that the minor hajj is the best kind of hajj for one who wants to perform a mandub (recommended) hajj. They based this on the traditions narrated from Imam al-Jawad (as):“Abu Ja’far (as) often said: “One, who performs the minor hajj and goes on to perform the major hajj, is better than a single one who leads al-hadiy.” He also said:“A hajji does not enter (into the major hajj) with anything better than the minor hajj.” [68]

E. Causes of verdicts the philosophy

Imam al-Jawad (as) declared the causes behind the legislation of some verdicts.

Muhammad bin Sulayman asked regarding the cause of the (iddah) waiting period of a divorced woman as to why it was for three menstruations or three months whereas the (iddah) waiting period of a widow was four months and ten days, and Imam al-Jawad (as) replied:“The (iddah) waiting period of a divorced woman is three months so that it will be certain that her womb contains no fetus. But as for the iddah of a widow, Allah has put a condition for (the benefit of) women and a condition on them. Allah has determined that it is not permissible for a husband to abstain from (sleeping with) his wife. Allah says:

لِّلَّذِينَ يُؤْلُونَ مِن نِّسَائِهِمْ تَرَبُّصُ أَرْبَعَةِ أَشْهُرٍ

“Those who swear that they will not enter their wives should wait only four months.” [69]

Allah has permitted no one to abstain from sleeping his wife more than four months because He knows that woman cannot be patient for more than this period in this respect. And as for the condition that is on a woman when her husband dies, it is that she has to undergo the iddah for four months and ten days. Allah has taken from her on the death of her husband that which He has taken for her from her husband during his life. Allah says:

وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَاجًا يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ وَعَشْرًا

“And (as for) those of you who die and leave wives behind, they should keep themselves in waiting for four months and ten days.” [70]

These ten days have not been mentioned except in connection with the four months. It is known that the limit of patience of women in abstaining from copulation is four months; therefore, Allah has necessitated this period for her.”[71]

4. His Worship

Imam al-Jawad (as) was the truest worshipper of his time, the most reverent to Allah and the sincerest in obeying Him, just as all the pure imams among his forefathers had been, devoting their lives to Allah and having accomplished all that might take them closer to Allah. The forms of his worship were as follows:

A. His Offering Recommended Worships

Imam al-Jawad (as) used to recommend many forms of worship (nawafil). Narrators of traditions have reported that he would offer two rak'as (units of prayer), in each of which he would recite the sura of al-Fatiha and the sura of al-Ikhlaas seventy times.[72] On the first day of a new month, Imam Jawad (as) offered two rak'as: in the first rak'at he would recite sura al-Fatiha once and sura al-Ikhlaas thirty times. In the second rak'at, he would recite sura al-Fatihah once and sura al-Qadr thirty times. Then he would offer a vow and charity and in this way bought good health for himself through the month. It is said:“When Abu Ja’far the second was in Baghdad, he fasted in the middle and on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and all his servants fasted with him. He ordered us to offer a prayer that was twelve rak'ats. In each rak'at we had to recite sura al-Fatihah and another sura, and when we finished the prayer, we recited the suras of al-Fatiha, al-Ikhlaas, al-Falaq and al-Naas four times each, and ‘la ilaha illallahu wallahu akbar, subhanallah wa al-hamdulillah, wa la hawla wa la quwwata illabillah al-aliy al-adhim’ four times.” [73]

B. His hajj

Imam Abu Ja’far al-Jawad (as) performed the hajj many times. There is a tradition in which the narrator tells us:“I saw Abu Ja’far the second (as) in 254 AH bid farewell to the House (the Ka'aba); he circumambulated the House and kissed the Yemeni Corner at every turn. At the seventh turn, he kissed the corner and the Black stone and rubbed his hand (over the stone) and then rubbed his face with his hand. Then he came to the Temple (of Abraham) and offered a prayer of two Rak'ats behind it. He went to the back of the Ka'aba, removed his clothing from his chest and remained a long while supplicating Allah. He then went out through the gate of al-Hannatin and departed.”

The narrator says:“In 219 AH I saw him bid farewell to the House at night. He kissed the Yemeni Corner and the Black Rock at every turn. At the seventh turn, he went to the back of the Ka'aba near the Yemeni Corner and on the rectangular rock. He removed his robe from his abdomen, kissed the rock and rubbed it. He went to the Temple, offered a prayer behind it and then he left and did not come back to the House. He remained at the back wall (al-Multazam) of the Ka'aba during the period of circumambulation of some of our companions who circumambulated seven or eight turns.” [74]

C. His Supplications

Supplications and ritual prayers have great status and importance in Islamic culture, especially the culture of Ahl al-Bayt (as). In the school of thought of Ahl al-Bayt ritual prayers are not only supplications but they are filled with great knowledge, showing that man is nothing before God's power and is only a pauper in His court. Imam al-Jawad (as) had many supplications showing the extent of his devotion to Allah the Almighty. From his supplications we shall only mention a few as follows:

“O, Lord, You are the First without being classified under a numeric category, and the Last without being restricted in a limiting end, You have created us without being forced or compelled to do so, and have brought us into being without having any need of us, and have willingly invented us according to Your wisdom, but then have texted us with Your commands and prohibition. You have equipped us with tools, given us gifts of organs, and you have ordered us to adhere to Your orders and commands, as You ordered after having left us free, forbidding us from doing prohibited acts to warn us [from committing bad things]. Indeed You have given so much, and asked for so little, yet when Your orders are violated, You are patient, as when Your elevated status is ignored, even though You were generous.” [75]

Some of his Supplications after having Performed Prayers

“I've accepted Almighty Allah as My Lord, and Islam as my religion, and the Qur'an as my Holy book, and Muhammad (sawas) as my Holy Prophet, and Ali (as) as my Imam, and al-Hasan, al-Husayn, Ali bin al-Husayn, Muhammad bin Ali, Ja’far bin Muhammad, Musa bin Ja’far, Ali bin Musa, Muhammad bin Ali, Ali bin Muhammad, al-Hasan bin Ali and al-Hujjah bin Hasan bin Ali (as), as my Imams.

O, Lord, Your Wali is al-Hujjah (as), as he is your perfect sign, so please protect him from all different kind of evils, prolong his life, and make him - he, who will struggle to win for Your religion - victorious with Your command, and show him what he desires so that he will be content with Your bounties, and be proud of his achievement and be honoured amongst his family members, his progeny, his family, his enemies as well as his followers. O, Lord, show him what he loves to see from them, and make him proud and satisfied with them, and make us and other believers satisfied with his achievements!”[76]

Some of his Supplications in the Morning and Evening and for the Fulfilment of Anything Desired

The narrator says:“I wrote to Imam Jawad (as) asking him for a prayer. Imam al-Jawad (as) wrote to me: “In the morning and in the evening say: “Allah, Allah, Allah is my Lord, the Beneficent, the Merciful. I do not associate anything with Him” and if you add more to this, it will be good for you. Supplicate Allah with this to satisfy your need because everything is by the will of Allah the Almighty and Allah does whatever He likes.” [77]

5. His Miracles

Imam Jawad's (as) life was an undeniable miracle of God; because he took the responsibility of Imamah and leadership of the Muslim Ummah at a time when he was only seven years old. Naturally to some groups of ignorant people this was not acceptable. Therefore it was necessary for the Imam (as) to show something miraculous so that their doubts about his Imamah and leadership were assuaged. That is why on various occasions Allah allowed Imam (as) to perform various miracles so that he could indicate the Proof of God to the people. Allah wanted to make his friends happy and his enemies dumb. Here we shall mention a few of these miracles:

1. Abu Hashim Dawud bin Qasim Ja’fari narrates:“Once I went to Abu Ja’far (as) and I had three charters with me that was not signed with any name. I was uncertain whose ones they were and so I was distressed. He (Abu Ja’far) took one of them and said: “This is Raian bin Shabib's” and took the other and said: this is Muhammad bin Hamzah's” and when taking the third one he said:“this is of so-and-so.” I was astonished. He looked at me and smiled.

Abu Hashim continues: Abu Ja’far (as) gave me a sack with three hundred dinars in it and ordered me to give it to one of his cousins. Then he said:“He will say: Tell me about any trader who will buy something for me with this money.”

I took the sack of dinars to him and he said to me:“O Abu Hashim! Tell me about any trader who will buy something for me with this money. And I did so.” [78]

Abu Hashim is quoted as saying:“A cameleer asked me to ask Imam Jawad (as) to give him work. I went to Imam (as) for the same purpose. When I went there I found him eating food with some other people. Therefore I was unable to mention the cameleer's request. Imam (as) asked me to join them and eat some food.

Without saying anything further, he said to his slave: “O slave! Give some work to the cameleer whom Abu Hashim has brought to us.”

2. Abu Hashim also says: One day I entered a garden with him. I said:“May I die for you! I am prepared to eat clay. Would you please pray to Allah for me?” He kept silent. Three days later, he said to me:“O Abu Hashim, Allah has taken the eating of clay away from you.' After that, eating clay became too disgusting to me. [79]

3. Ali bin Asbat says:“Abu Ja’far appeared among us immediately after his father's death. We looked at him so that we could observe his visage and tell others about it. He sat down and said: “O Ali! As Allah has said as the last ultimatum in the case of the prophethood :

وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِيًّا

“And we blessed him with prophethood and sufficient talent in his childhood.” [80]

Also He has given His final ultimatum in the Imamah.” [81]

4. It has been narrated:“When Abu al-Hasan al-Rida (as) left the world, I wanted four thousand dirhams from him (as I had lent these to him) and I alone knew this. However, Abu Ja’far sent someone and called me to come to him the next day.

The next day I went to him and he said to me: Abu al-Hasan (as) has left the world and you want four thousand dirhams from him.

I said: yes.

There was a rug. He lifted one side of it and withdrew some money. I counted this and it was exactly four thousand dirhams.” [82]

5. Also he is quoted as saying:“I was in Madinah; and always had contact with Abu Ja’far [in Madinah] as well as with Abu al-Hasan (as) in Khurasan. The members of the family and uncles of the Abu Ja’far's father went to see him and paid their regards to him. One day Abu Ja’far (as) called his slave girl and said to her: “Tell them to prepare for mourning.”

When Imam's (as) relatives left the gathering, I said to myself: It would be better if I had asked him, 'Whom should we mourn?'

The narrator continues: The next day when they gathered around Imam (as), he said the same words. They asked him: Whose mourning is this?

Abu Ja’far (as) said:“This mourning is for the best creature of Allah on the surface of the earth.”

After some days, we received the news regarding Abu al-Hasan al-Rida (as) from Khurasan.

According to the courier, the day of Imam al-Rida's (as) martyrdom was the same day on which Imam Jawad (as) had asked his companions to mourn for Imam al-Rida (as).[83]

6. It has been narrated:“Abu Ja’far wrote to me: “Bring me the khums. I shall take this from you only this year.” It was shortly after that that Allah took him to be near Him.”[84]

6. His Asceticism and Great Social Attitudes

Imam Jawad was a young man to whom al-Mamun paid much attention. Al-Mamun had given him a property of about one million Dirhams. On the other hand, the Shi'a had a strong belief in his Imamah and sent their religious dues to him. The properties coming from Qum and other places were completely under the authority of Imam Jawad (as). However he did not spend any of this property for his personal affairs but distributed it among the hopeless, the needy and the deprived.

Husayn al-Mukari saw Imam Jawad (as) in Baghdad while he was surrounded by honour and glorification in the official and public milieus. He thought to himself that Imam Jawad (as) would not go back to his homeland in Yathrib and he would reside in Baghdad where he lived in ease and luxury. Imam Jawad (as) knew Husayn's intention and so he went to him and said: “O Husayn, the bread of barley and the ground salt in the sanctum (Madinah) of my grandfather, the messenger of Allah, is more beloved to me than where you see me now.'[85]

Imam Jawad (as) did not like the position of luxury and ease the state had given to him. He was like his forefathers who had cast aside a worldly life and turned towards Allah, thinking of no other than Him. We will now mention some of his qualities:

A. His Generosity

Imam Abu Ja’far (as) was a most generous and open-handed person. He was called Jawad (the generous) because of his excessive generosity, open-handedness, charity and kindness to people. Historians have mentioned many examples of his generosity such as:

One year, Ahmad bin Hadid and some of his companions set out to perform the hajj. On their way, some robbers attacked them and robbed them of all the monies and luggage they had. When they arrived in Yathrib, Ahmad bin Hadid went to Imam Jawad (as) and told him what had happened to him and to his companions. Imam Jawad (as) gave him some clothes and a sum of money to be distributed among his companions. This sum of money was as much as that which had been robbed from them.[86]

Imam al-Jawad (as) had saved them from their distress and recompensed them for what had been taken from them.

According to historical accounts regarding the generosity of Imam al-Jawad (as) his charity even extended to animals.

Muhammad bin al-Walid al-Kirmani narrated:“One day, I had a meal with Abu Ja’far the second (as). When I finished eating and the dishes were removed, the servant went to pick up the crumbs that were on the ground. Abu Ja’far (as) said to him: “Leave whatever lies in the desert even if it is a leg of a sheep, and pick up what is on the floor inside the house!” [87]

Imam Jawad (as) ordered his servant to leave the food that was in the desert for the birds and beasts.

B. Being Benevolent

Being benevolent and merciful to people was another prominent quality of Imam al-Jawad (as). Historians have mentioned many stories about his benevolence, and we mention some here:

Ahmad bin Zakariyya al-Saydalani narrated that a man from the people of“Bust” or from Sajistan[88] had said,“I accompanied Abu Ja’far in the year when he went to perform the hajj at the beginning of the rule of al-Mu'tasim. I said to him when we were at the meal: “May I die for you! Our wali believes in you and loves you. There is a land tax I must pay to his diwan. If you please, may I die for you, will you write to him telling him to be kind to me.”

He said:“I do not know him.” I said:“May I die for you! He is one of your admirers and followers and your letter to him will benefit me.”

Imam al-Jawad (as) responded and wrote this letter:“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. The bearer of my letter has mentioned your belief. You will not be rewarded for your deeds except those which you do correctly. Do good to your brothers and know that Allah the Almighty will ask you about everything even to the weight of an atom and a mustard seed.”

When the man went back to Sajistan, he found that the wali al-Husayn bin Abdullah al-Nayshaburi, who knew about the letter that Imam al-Jawad (as) had sent him had come to receive him from two leagues away The wali took the letter and kissed it. He considered it as an honour to him. He asked the man about his need and the man told him. He said to the man: “Do not give me any tax as long as I am in my position.' Then he asked him about his family and children to know their number and then he gave them presents. The man did not pay the tax as long as the wali was alive, and the wali did not stop giving him gifts.[89]

This story is just an example of Imam's (as) blessings and good actions.

C. His Comforting the People

Imam Jawad (as) continued the way of his father and forefathers (as). He possessed all their good qualities. Like them, he also helped the people in their troubles and tried to comfort them. There is a historical saying: Ibrahim bin Muhammad al-Hamadani had received a grievance from the wali and he wrote to Imam al-Jawad (as) telling him about what had happened to him. Imam al-Jawad (as) felt pain and replied to him in a letter:“May Allah hasten your victory over him, who has wronged you, and save you from his burden (troubles). Be certain that the help of Allah will come soon inshallah and the good afterlife will be yours and praise Allah very much.” [90]

He often comforted afflicted and distressed people. Once he sent a letter to a man who had been afflicted by the death of his son. He said in the letter:“In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. You mentioned your distress on losing your son and mentioned that he was the most beloved of your children. Thus when Allah the Almighty takes a child he takes the purest one in the family, so that the reward of the afflicted ones is increased. May Allah increase your reward, comfort you and strengthen your heart, He is Mighty and Powerful. May Allah give you a descendant soon and I hope that He has done so inshallah.” [91]

This emotional letter showed the extent of the sympathy of Imam al-Jawad (as) towards people and his comfort in their joys and sorrows.

Also it is narrated about him that“a man of the Shi'a wrote to Imam al-Jawad (as) bemoaning the pain and sorrow that occupied him after the death of his son and the Imam replied to him in a letter of comfort saying:

“Did you not know that Allah the Almighty chooses from the properties and the children of a believer the most precious ones to reward him in return?” [92]

Imam al-Jawad (as) participated with people in their joy and distress comforted them in their misfortunes and disasters and helped the poor and the weak. Through this benevolence and charity Imam al-Jawad (as) occupied the hearts and made people love him and be sincere to him in the fullest sense of the word.

Imam al-Jawad (as) was one of the most wonderful examples of virtue and perfection on earth. People had never before seen his equal in knowledge, piety, devotion and godliness. He was unique in his virtues and morals which were the secret of his Imamah.

The Islamic circles admired Imam al-Jawad (as) and wondered at his talents and intellectual and scientific abilities which were infinite. These talents and abilities confirmed the faith and certainty of the Shi'a and their belief that the Imam must be the most aware, most knowledgeable, most virtuous and most pious of the people of his time.[93]