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 TWO: IMAM JAWAD (AS) AND THE NECESSITIES OF THE PIOUS GROUP

In this section, a number of topics will be studied such as:

1. Imam Jawad (as) against the Doubts Regarding his Imamah

Imam Jawad (as) took charge of Imamah and leadership of the people and started practising his divine responsibilities at a young age. The presence of a young Imam was not something new, because there had been Jesus (as) who was asssigned a prophet when he was only in his cradle. Although the early Imamah was not something new, doubts were coming into the minds and hearts of some of the companions of the Household (as) and those believing in the matter of their Imamah after the death of the Prophet (sawas); and they asked questions about how it was that a little boy could become Imam. All the same, Imam Jawad (as) was successful in answering all the questions which were being asked in this regard with wisdom, knowledge and experience and those doubts which were forming in the minds of the people who did not even mention them.

The affair of the succession of a little boy as an Imam and the caliph of the Prophet (sawas) was doubtful for some of the companions and followers of the Household (as). Certainly, the questions which they put to Imam al-Rida (as) about this matter were being answered by his son in the form of traditions and other ways, the news of which also reached the heads of the Shia living elsewhere such as Egypt, Hijaz, Iraq, Iran and other countries.

Doubting his Imamah was something which needed to be removed from the minds of the people; let us not forget that these doubts were increasing after the death of Imam al-Rida (as). The following traditions will make clear the doubtful atmosphere of those days as well as the efforts by Imam Jawad (as) for the removal of this atmosphere:

Sayid Murtaza mentions in his book: When Imam al-Rida (as) passed away, Imam Jawad (as) was just a child of seven. The Shia of Baghdad and other cities became confused about the affair of Imamah and started disagreeing with each other. A group of the Shia like Raian bin al-Salt, Safawan bin Yahya, Muhammad bin Hakim, Abd al-Rahman bin Hajjaj, Yunus Abd al-Rahman and other great men and reliable Shia gathered at the house of Abd al-Rahman bin Hajjaj in“Barka Zilol” . They discussed the matter of the Imamah and began to weep for they had just lost Imam al-Rida (as). Yunus bin Abd al-Rahman said to them:“Stop your weeping and start thinking about whom we should consult until this child grows up.”

At this time Raian bin al-Salt stood, took his collar and started slapping him on the face. He said to him: You are displaying your faith and religiousness for us while you are pagan in your heart! [Beware that] If it is decreed by Allah the Almighty, then a one-day-old child can be better than an old man, but if it is not decreed by Allah, then even if one lives for one thousand years, he will be considered as a common person. This is worth pondering over.

The other people who were present also condemned him. When the season for pilgrimage of Hajj came, a significant number of scholars and jurisprudents of Baghdad and other countries came to Yathrib following the death of Imam al-Rida (as) in order to ascertain the new imam. They were about eighty men, as historians have mentioned in their books. When they arrived in Yathrib, they went to the house of Imam Abu Abdullah Sadiq (as). The house of the Imam (as) was empty of people. They entered and sat on a rug. At that time, Abdullah the son of Imam Musa Kazim (as) came to them and sat at their head. A man stood up and called out to the ulama,“This is the son of the messenger of Allah (sawas). Whoever has a question let him ask it.” Many questions were asked but all the answers were wrong. The Shia were very sad to see all this. The jurisprudents stood and were about to leave the gathering. They were saying to themselves:“If Abu Ja’far was able to answer these questions, we would not be hearing such wrong answers from Abdullah.”

While they were in this state, a door near the front of the meeting was opened from which emerged Muwaffaq the servant telling the people the news of Abu Ja’far's (as) appearance. The ulama and the jurisprudents stood up out of respect and began glorifying him. He wore two cloths and had a turban, and a lock of hair hanging towards his ears, and he was wearing shoes. The people stayed where they were. The man who had asked the first question asked it for the second time. Imam (as) gave him the right answer. The attendants were very pleased to see this. They prayed for Imam (as) and praised him for his knowledge. The one who asked told Imam al-Jawad (as) of the fatwa of his uncle Abdullah the son of Imam Kazim (as) concerning the same matter. Imam al-Jawad (as) turned to his uncle and said: There is no God but Him. It is very hard for you to be in the presence of Allah on the Day of Resurrection and hear Him saying: Why did you give such fatwa about which you did not know anything while there existed in the Ummah one who was more aware than you?[293]

It has been narrated that after Imam Al-Rida's (as) martyrdom, the young Abu Ja’far (as) was brought into the Prophet's (sawas) mosque. He sat on the first step of the pulpit and started saying: I am Muhammad son of Ali [bin Musa] al-Rida; I am Jawad; I am aware of the people's genealogy while they are in the loins of their fathers. I am aware of your manifested and hidden affairs and to what you want to achieve and to 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 had created the heavens and earth. If the wrong people would not support each other; if the rulers were not astray and if there were not a great number of doubtful people, I would say something which would make the people stunned and astonished more than ever.[294]

It has been narrated from Isma'il bin Bazi' that he said:“I asked Abu Ja’far (as): Is it possible for an Imam (as) to be less than seven years old?

He said: “Yes, even less than five years.” [295]

Ali ibn Asbat said the following: 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 looking 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 has said:

وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِيًّا ﴿١٢﴾

“We gave authority to him (John) over the people during his childhood.” [296]

وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَاسْتَوَىٰ آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًاۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿١٤﴾

“When he attained maturity, God gave him strength, wisdom and knowledge. Thus do we reward those who do good.” [297]

حَتَّىٰ إِذَا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَبَلَغَ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً

“When he grew to manhood and became forty years old.” [298]

It comes to pass that wisdom comes to a prophet when he is merely a child or it may come to a prophet when he is forty years old.”[299]

Obviously the authentication of his Imamah at a young age and the scientific challenges with Yahya bin Aktham, the chief justice of the Abbasid government and other famous old jurisprudents were divine miracles; which also shows his great connection with Allah the Honorable the Exalted. Moreover, these discussions show the invisible help which Allah had blessed him with. In the next chapters, we will study his branches of knowledge related to the holy Qur'an.

2. Imam Jawad (as) the Cultural Builder of the Pious Group

The Imams (as) with their wise positioning and activities made their targets achievable. They had made the realization of honour of Islam and the Muslims the goal of their lives. Imam Jawad (as) also followed the path of his father and forefathers (as). Despite all the difficulties, he tried his best to provide the Islamic nation with honour. In this section we will read about Imam's (as) activities in different fields including preparing the Islamic Ummah and the forefronts of this religion:

A. Establishment of Thought

Imam Jawad (as) paid great attention to Muslim belief. This is what we can easily find in his scientific and doctrinal heritage; the heritage which has the original elements of pure belief. Here we will mention two examples:

Calling towards Pure Monotheism

Monotheism is the base of Islamic belief. Every Muslim's true belief in the oneness of Allah provides the base for his other beliefs and doctrines. Therefore, Imam Jawad (as) tried to make the topic of Monotheism manifest to the people. His discussion with Dawud bin Qasim Ja’fari is a great example of that.

Dawud bin Qasim Ja’fari says: I said to Abu Ja’far the second (as): What is the meaning of the One in the verse saying:

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّـهُ أَحَدٌ ﴿١﴾

“Say, He is Allah, the One.” [300]

Imam Jawad (as) said: It is He whom tongues have agreed on His oneness as Allah has said:

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّـهُ

“And if you ask them who has created the heavens and the earth, they will certainly say: Allah.” They [who say these words] will say that: Allah has a partner and a spouse.” [301]

I said: What is the meaning of the verse saying:

لَّا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الْأَبْصَارَ

“Vision comprehends Him not, and He comprehends (all) vision?” [302]

Imam Jawad (as) said: O Abu Hashim, the imagination of hearts is more accurate than the sight of eyes. You may perceive with your imagination Sind and India and other countries that you have not visited although you do not perceive them with your eyes. [In case of Allah, it is not so because even] the imagination of hearts does not perceive Him, then how about the sight of eyes?[303]

Imam (as) was 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).[304]

Abu Hashim Ja’fari also narrated: I was in the presence of Abu Ja’far the second (as) when a person said to him: Tell me about the Exalted Lord, He has names and attributes in His book. Are these names and attributes (equal) Him?

Imam Jawad (as) said: This question has two faces; if you say that He is His attributes, this will mean that He can be described by number and quantity and Allah is far above this. And if you say: these names and attributes have existed since no beginning, this will have two meanings; if you say they have existed with Him in His knowledge and He deserves them, you are right and if you say: their script, spelling and pronunciation have existed, this will give another meaning. Glory be to Allah and He is far above to have anything or any associate with him. Allah has existed where there was and is no creation and then He created them to be the means between Him and His creatures for them to beseech and worship Him. They are His mention and He who is mentioned by the mention is Allah the one and only God who has existed since no beginning.

The meanings of His attributes have always existed and separating and uniting them does not befit Him. Something divisible has the capability to separate and unite and it is not possible to say that Allah is united nor that He is many or few but He is God in His essence; and whatever is other than One is divisible and Allah is the One that is indivisible. He is not thought to be many or few, much or little. Every divisible thing is thought to be many or few and is a creature that has a creator.

Your saying that Allah has power over all things means that nothing at all fails Him. He is not said to be unable but all other than Him are unable.

Also, your saying that He is aware means that you deny ignorance from Him and ascribe ignorance to all other than Him. If Allah annihilates things, He annihilates script and spelling. He does not end and still exists who has ever been and always will be, aware.

The person asking kept on: How is our Lord called All-Hearing?

Imam Jawad (as) said: Nothing that is perceived by ears is unperceivable by Him though we do not describe Him as having the sensible hearing in the head. Also we call Him All-Seeing because nothing that is seen by eyes is invisible to Him such as colours, men and other things though we do not describe Him as having eyes. We call Him ‘gentle’ because He knows everything about gentle (tiny) things such as insects and things tinier than insects. He knows the position of their organs, reason, lust, copulation, sympathy with their descendants, communication with each other, and carrying food to their offspring in mountains, valleys and deserts. We know that their creator is gentle without manner because manner is for fashioned creatures.

Our Lord is called mighty not for the might of violence available in creatures. If His might is the might of violence, He will be compared and there will be a possibility of increase, and that which undergoes increase is possible to undergo decrease, and that which is deficient is not God, and that which is not God is unable but our Lord is exalted, high. He has no like, no opposite, no equal, no manner, no end and no danger. It is prohibited for hearts to compare Him, for minds to limit Him, and for consciences to fashion Him. He is far above the aspects of His creatures and the features of His people, and exalted be He in high exaltation above that.[305]

Standing against Exaggeration

Exaggeration about the Household of the Prophet (sawas) was one of the most dangerous affairs which the people were facing. To remove this deviant phenomenon, the Imams (as) rejected the thoughts and ideas of those people who were exaggerating about the purified family of the Prophet (sawas). They ordered their followers to keep themselves away from the group of ghulat. Like his father and forefathers (as), Imam Jawad (as) also paid great attention to this phenomenon and thought. He was very careful not to let the seeds of exaggeration be spread in society and betray the simple people. The proofs and examples of this trend are listed in those stories which historians have mentioned in their books. For example, Husayn bin Muhammad Ash'ari narrated: One of the companions, Abdullah bin Razin, has said to me: I was living in Madinah. Abu Ja’far came to the mosque of the Messenger of Allah (sawas) every day at noon. First he went to the rock - which was placed at the entrance of the mosque - and stood beside the holy tomb of the Prophet (sawas) paying salam to him. Then he went to the house of Lady Fatima (peace be upon her), took off his shoes and offered noon prayers. One day, I was betrayed by Satan. When he went down, I took up some soil from where his footprints were.

I waited for him to come so that I would do what I had planned. At noon, the Imam (as) seemed to be coming on his mount. Unlike other days, he did not dismount but went towards the rock near the door of the mosque. When he reached there, he dismounted. Then he went into the mosque, paid his respects to the Prophet (sawas) and went back to where he had to offer his prayer. He offered his prayer in the same way for some days. This time, I thought to myself: when he takes off his shoes, I will take some soil from when he puts his foot. The next day, he came at noon and entered the mosque. First he went beside the holy tomb of the Prophet (sawas), then paid salam and then went to where he offered his prayers. But this time, he did not take off his shoes. He repeated this action for some days.

I thought to myself: I will not get what I am looking for here, so I must go to the door of the bathhouse. Therefore, I started searching for the bathhouse where the Imam (as) used to go to take a bath. I was told: he goes to the bathhouse which is in Baqi' and which belongs to one of the descendents of Talha. One day when Abu Ja’far decided to go to the bathhouse, I also went towards it and waited for him at the door of the bathhouse. I started talking to the owner of the bathhouse. The owner said to me: Quickly go to the bathhouse if you want to because after some time you will not get a chance to.

I asked him: Why?

He said: Ibn al-Rida [Imam Jawad (as)] is going to come.

I asked: Who is Ibn al-Rida (as)?

He said: He is a pious person from the Household of the Prophet (as).

I asked: Can't anyone else go to the bathhouse when he comes to take a bath?

He said: I make the bathhouse empty when he comes.

I was still talking to the owner of the bathhouse when Abu Ja’far arrived along with his servants. There was a mat in the hands of one of his servants. The slave entered the dressing room before Imam (as) and spread out the mat. Imam (as) reached the door of the bathhouse. He paid salam. He entered the bathhouse with his mount and then sat down on the mat. I said to the owner of the bathhouse: Did you call this man a pious person?

He said: By God I haven't seen such behaviour from him till now and this is the first time I am seeing him behaving in such a manner.

I said to myself: By God I have hurt him and I will never try to get what I have been intending. I made a promise to myself about it. The same day, Abu Ja’far came to the mosque of the Prophet (sawas) on the back of his mount. He paid salam to the Prophet (sawas); went where he used to offer his prayer; took off his shoes and started offering his prayer.[306]

B. Strengthening the Scientific Bases

Another field in which Imam Jawad (as) showed his activities was to take the sciences to the peak and the level of their perfection which were founded by his father and forefathers (as). For this and by answering the scientific and jurisprudential questions of the Shia and the Islamic nation of that time, he provided them with a treasure of great knowledge; the most important of which was related to the perfection of scientific methods and tools.

Perfection of Methodolgy of Juriprudence

Theological principles are thought to be a part of the common method for the understanding and deduction of religious rulers. Here we will briefly mention the method of Imam Jawad (as) in this regard:

According to his scientific method, the deduction of theoretical rules from the apparent meanings of the verses of the holy Qur'an is not permissible; it becomes permissible only when the interpreter is fully aware of the Imams' (as) interpretation in this regard.

Imam Jawad (as) narrated a tradition from Imam Sadiq (as) that, once, a man had asked his father some questions and he answered by saying: Say to them: Was there any contradiction in the knowledge of Allah that the Prophet (sawas) had divulged? If they say ‘No, there was no contradiction’, then you would say to them: Does he, who legislates a verdict having contradiction, contradict the messenger of Allah? They will say ‘yes.’ If they say ‘no’, they will contradict their first saying. You would say to them: But none knows its (the Qur'an's interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge. If they say: Who are those who are firmly rooted in knowledge?' You would say: It is he whose doings have no contradiction. If they say: Who is he? You would say: It was the messenger of Allah (sawas)…if the messenger of Allah had not appointed a successor after him, he would have wasted those who would be the successors after him…he asked, 'Does the Qur'an not suffice for you?' He said, 'Yes, if they find an interpreter to it.' He asked, 'Has the messenger of Allah (sawas) not interpreted it?' He said, 'Yes, he has interpreted it to one man and declared to the nation the position of that man. It was Ali bin Abu Talib (as).’[307]

Also he said:“A muhkam is not two things but one. Whoever gives a judgment that has no contradiction, his judgment is from the judgment of Allah and whoever gives a judgment that has contradiction and sees that he is right; his judgment is after the judgment of Satan.” [308]

Among his scientific methods, one was to follow the Hadiths of the Imams (as) which had been mentioned in authentic books. Here we will read one of the traditions:

Muhammad bin Hasan bin Abu Khalid Shanbula narrated: “I said to Abu Ja’far the second (as): May I be ransom for you, our Shaykhs (religious scholars) have narrated different Hadiths from Abu Ja’far [Imam Muhammad Baqir (as)] and Abu Abdullah [Imam Sadiq (as)]. Since they dissimulated, therefore, they hid their books and we did not get a chance to hear their traditions. Their books reached us only when they had passed away. [What is our responsibility regarding the books now?]

Imam (as) said: Repeat them as they are the truth [and exaggeration and false things have not been mixed up with them.][309]

Permissibility of acting according to one's own thinking by he who has asked his Imam's (as) permission:

Rijal al-Kashshi quotes Khayran Khadim as saying: I sent eight Dirham for my master and asked him [through a letter]: May I be ransom for you, there is a person indebted to you - or he thinks of himself to be indebted. He comes to me and asks about his responsibility. My opinion is that he should give in secret to me whatever he wants.

The Imam (as) said: Act according to your own opinion because your opinion is my opinion; and he who follows you has certainly followed me.[310]

According to his scientific method, it is not permissible to give fatwa without having the knowledge about what fatwa is being pronounced.

The reaction of Imam Jawad (as) against his uncle Abdullah bin Musa - which we have just read - was giving fatwas without having knowledge. When Imam Jawad (as) came to know about it, he said to him: There is no God but Him. It is very hard for you to be in the presence of Allah on the Day of Resurrection and hear Him say: 'Why did you give such fatwa about something which you did not know anything about while there existed, in the Ummah, one who was more aware than you?[311]

Imam Jawad's (as) Answers to Jurisprudential and Scientific Questions

Imam Jawad's (as) answers which he gave to jurisprudential and scientific questions played a vital role in strengthening the base of scientific structure of the pious group. A number of them are given below:

Hathis bin Hathin says: I wrote to Abu Ja’far (as): May I be ransom for you; your companions and followers have disagreed about the time of morning prayers. Some of them offer their prayer at the time of first fajr when the dawn is in a horizontal position while the second group offers their prayer only when the fajr becomes nearer to the earth and when the dawn is in a vertical position. I do not know which one is better and is more valuable. O my master, may I be ransom. It will be better if you make me know the best and virtuous time for the morning prayers; and [it will be very kind of you to make me aware about] the nights with full moon and the nights covered with clouds, how should I offer my prayer? Also, make the time for the morning prayers during a journey and when at home clearer for me.

Imam (as) wrote back to me in his own handwriting: May Allah bless you. Fajr is the time when a white line becomes clear but not so high. The time for offering prayers during journeys and when at rest is when you become sure about the dawn and the morning's appearance. [And you should know] may Allah bless you that Allah has not left His creatures doubt about this matter as He has said:

وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ

“And eat and drink until the white streak becomes manifest to you from the dark streak at the crack of dawn.” [312]

Therefore, the crack of dawn is Fajr when eating and drinking becomes haram for those observing fast and it is the right time to offer the morning prayers.”[313]

Reciting Basmalah during the Prayer

Yahya bin Abi Imran Hamdani narrated: I wrote a letter to Abu Ja’far (as): May I die for you, a person recited Basmalah during his prayer only for the al-Fatihah, not for the Surat following it. Abbasid[314] has said: There is no harm in doing so. What do you say about this?

Imam (as) replied in his own writing: Despite what Abbasid has said, say Basmalah twice.[315]

Forced Marriage

Ali bin Mahziyar quotes Muhammad bin Hassan Ash'ari as saying: What do you say about a little girl whose uncle (father's brother) had married her (to someone) and when she became adult, she refused that marriage?

Imam (as) wrote saying: She is not to be forced to that and the matter is up to her.[316]

Endowment

Ali bin Muhammad bin Sulayman al-Nawfali narrated: I wrote to Abu Ja’far the second (as) asking him about the land which my father had entailed on the needy children of so-and-so who were too many and who lived in different places.

He replied to me: It is for those who are present in the country where the entailment is and you do not have to follow after those who are absent.[317]

The Witnessing of Spouse and Stranger

Muhammad bin Sulayman asked Imam Jawad (as) to explain how when a husband accused his wife of adultery his witness would be as four witnesses before Allah and when someone other than the husband accused the wife of that man whether he was one of her relatives or not, he would prove his accusation with clear evidence or otherwise he would undergo legal judgment by being whipped. Imam Jawad (as) said, “Abu Ja’far (Imam al-Baqir) was asked so and he said, 'When a husband accuses his wife of adultery and says that he has seen her (commit adultery) with his eyes, his witness will be as four witnesses before Allah and if he says that he has not seen her, he will be asked to prove his accusation by clear evidences; otherwise, he will be treated as others. It is so because a husband comes to his wife day and night in a way that neither her father nor her son does. It is possible for him to say that he has seen her (commit sin). But, if someone other than the husband says he has seen that wife (commit adultery), it will be said to him: what has made you be in the position where you alone could see her commit adultery? You are accused and you must undergo the legal punishment that Allah has determined on you.

Then he said: For the husband to bear witness it is necessary for him to swear to Allah four times as four witnesses; and each oath will be as one witness.[318]

What we just mentioned were some examples of Imam Jawad's (as) guidance which took place because of the letters written to him or because of the questions which were asked of him; the purpose behind all these was to enrich the Shia and his companions with the knowledge of religious matters.

C. Strengthening the Educational Structure

Nourishing the Islamic morals in the people and society was one of the most basic affairs towards which Imam Jawad (as) paid great attention. For training the Islamic nation, he narrated for his followers and the Islamic Ummah the Hadiths of his forefathers, especially the ones belonging to the Amir al-Mu'minin (as) which were filled with educational messages. In this article we will read about some of Imam Jawad's (as) own sayings along with what he mentioned from his forefathers (as) as the guiding principles for the Islamic nation.

Wisdom throughout Practice

Imam Jawad (as) wanted to bring awareness among the Shia regarding the necessity of wisdom in practical fields and observing the role of time in making the issues clear. According to him, all affairs needed to be made practical in appropriate times and underestimating this affair in any ways meant an incomplete affair. He said in this regard: To make something [program or plan] manifest before it becomes final and confirmed means its destruction [and failure].[319]

In another guiding sentence, he reminds us that troubles and hardships are like an illness which has its own phases and cannot leave before these phases have been completed. Everyone is compelled to experience a phase and no one can reduce their time. Certainly, Imam (as) did not mean the people to leave their efforts against these hardships and to free themselves from these troubles; but what he meant was to plan something useful to reduce the period of the hardships or even remove them, if possible. When Qais bin Sa'ad arrived in the presence of Imam Jawad (as) from Egypt, Imam Jawad (as) said to him after quoting his grandfather Amir al-Mu'minin Ali (as): O Qays! The difficulties and hardships have an end which they are compelled to reach. Therefore, a wise [person] should endure the difficulties and hardships unless they are gone; because any kind of quick planning will increase their severity.”[320]

Also, relating to the elements which lead the action of a man towards perfection, he quoted his grandfather Imam Ali (as) who had said: There are four things which help a man to face endurance: health, wealth, wisdom and opportune.[321]

Interaction with Cruel ones

Imam Jawad (as) insisted on the Muslims keeping away from oppressors and being united among themselves. He called on the Muslims to leave the oppressors. About being with the cruel ones or feeling any kind of inclination towards them, Imam Jawad (as) quoted a narration from Amir al-Mu'minin (as) who said: The cruel person, the person favouring a cruel person and the one who agrees with his cruelty are all partners in the cruel act.[322]

He also quoted the Commander of the faithful (as) as saying: He who considers a bad action a good and favourable one is a partner in that action.[323]

According to Imam Jawad (as) following the deviated ones is like listening to the words of Satan. Therefore, he insisted on refraining from following the deviated people. He said: He who listens to a caller is serving him. If the caller was God's representative, he is then serving God. If the caller was the Shaytan's representative, he is then serving Shaytan.[324]

For a complete nullification of the oppressors and to condemn their behaviour, Imam Jawad (as) mentioned the concept of religiousness in the eyes of Allah - Who has mentioned it in the form of a Divine Hadith to one of His prophets (as) - saying: God revealed to one of His prophets: Your asceticism will give you comfort. Your devotion to Me will endear you to Me. But, did you antagonize My enemies and cherish My disciples?[325]

According to this tradition, religiousness is proved only with the companionship of the divine guardians and by showing enmity towards the enemies of God; it is also proved by showing no feelings of respect for such people. For creating the spirit of fighting against cruel ones in the Muslims, Imam Jawad (as) quoted the Commander of the faithful Ali (as), which included the words he said to Abu Dharr Ghifari. In this narration, Imam Ali (as) said to Abu Dharr: O, Abu Dharr! You showed anger in the name of Allah therefore have hope in Him for whom you became angry. The people were afraid of you in the matter of their (pleasure of this) world while you feared for your faith.

By Allah even if these skies and earth were closed to some individual and he feared Allah, then Allah would open them for him. Only rightfulness should attract you while wrongfulness should detract you.[326]

Social Activities

The higher the social position of a man and the more his influence in society, the more activities are expected of him. With this in mind, Imam Jawad (as) made the leading faithful ones aware of the importance of their activities in society. We shall mention some of these activities here:

The more a person gains respect and achieves a high position in society, the higher people's expectations of him will be as they ask him to solve their problems. On this basis the narrations and traditions of the Household (as) are like a divine blessing which are provided to the people. Imam Jawad (as) quoted his grandfather, the Commander of the Faithful (as), which was first narrated by his forefathers (as) in which the Commander of the Faithful (as) said: Whenever God's blessings increase towards a person, his responsibilities in removing the people's needs also become stronger and heavier. Therefore, whoever does not carry the burden of people's needs (and does not entrust the people with what Allah has given him), certainly he will spoil and destroy his (divine) blessings.[327]

In the opinion of the Imams (as), the level of constancy and permanence of the blessings which Allah has given a person is related to the level of his services which he provides to the needy and the poor. Imam Jawad (as) quotes another narration which is related to the same concept. The Commander of the Faithful (as) said: There are the servants of Allah whom He has blessed with His blessings. As long as they keep bestowing it [in the way of Allah for removing the needs of the people], they will have these blessings; but when they stop giving them, Allah will take them back from them and give them to others.[328]

Also, he quoted the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (as) as saying: The righteous are in need of their good deeds more than the needy because their good deeds will bring them pride, reward and permanence of their name. Therefore, whenever a person does something good, he has started it in his own favour; that is why he does not need to ask other people for thanks.[329]

Thanking a person doing good is another thing which has been much insisted on by the Imams (as). Imam Jawad (as) quoted the Commander of the Faithful (as) in this regard, too, saying: Ingratitude for blessings summons unpleasantness and wrath; and he who thanks you for what he has taken from you in fact has given you more than what you have given to him.”[330]

Relation between the people of the society and friendly interaction among friends are among the social problems and Islamic thinking which were insisted on by Imam Jawad (as); and the Imam (as) made the people know about the ways and methods of how to achieve them. He quoted his grandfather the Commander of the Faithful (as): Love is gained through three qualities: justice in interaction, care in trouble and submitting to it and consulting the heart and thoughts.

The Imam (as) said of relations between friends and interaction between religious brothers:

Let doubts not corrupt you about the friendship of your friend whom you have chosen with complete belief. He who gives his religious brother advice in secret certainly has showed respect for him; but whoever gives his friends advice in the presence of other people, certainly he has flawed his friendship. The good people are brought on the right path by doing good, while the bad and wicked persons are brought on the right path by punishment. Death is the best protector. There is always a battle between reason and ignorance in every person till the age of eighteen. When the man reaches this age, the one with a higher level in him overcomes his life.

Whenever Allah the Honorable the High blesses someone with His blessings and the person thinks the blessings belong only to Allah, Allah will write a good deed in the book of his deeds before he thanks Allah for what He has given to him. And whenever a person commits a sin, but if he knows that Allah is well aware of his sin and He is the One who can punish him or forgive him for his evil deed, certainly Allah will forgive him before he regrets his wrong deed.[331]

Imam Jawad (as) also insisted on the necessity of choosing a pious companion for oneself, because companions are very influential and their company, whether good or bad, affects a person. He quoted the Commander of the Faithful (as) in this regard: Companionship with ignorant ones corrupts one's morals; and companionship of a pious person is the reason for goodness and good morals. The creatures of Allah are different and every person behaves according to his own qualities and specialties. People are each other's brothers. So the brotherhood of whosoever is for someone other than Allah, is the reason for enmity. Allah the Honorable, the High has said in this regard:

On that day some of the friends, except the pious ones, will be the enemies of some others.[332]

Also he quoted the Commander of the Faithful (as) as saying: The holy Prophet (sawas) sent me to Yemen and, for an advice, said to me: O Ali, he who asks [Allah] for good will never go astray, and he who asks for other's advice will never regret it.

Also he said: He who finds a brother on the way to Allah and chooses him has certainly found a place in paradise.[333]

In this manner, Imam Jawad (as) mentioned all aspects of social life and the mutual duties of the people. With the help of spiritual examples, he mentioned that having sincere brothers who accept one's friendship only with divine attraction, is a great freedom and such brothers should be benefited from and they should be asked for advice and counsel.

Imam Jawad's (as) Advice

Imam Jawad (as) always wanted the faithful ones to have hope in their hearts so as to make them able to face and fight challenges. Imam (as) tells the people about the end of the story of the cruel ones mentioning how in the end they will be punished and the government will be handed over to the oppressed; this was something which transformed the oppressed into a great power.

Imam Jawad (as) also quoted his grandfather the Commander of the Faithful (as) in this regard saying: Judgment Day for the oppressors is harder than the day of cruelty and oppression for the oppressed.[334]

He also said: Tolerance at the time of hardship by a faithful one is the most useful weapon against the cruel and oppressor.

He also said: Showing tolerance in the face of hardship is a great hardship for the tyrant and oppressor.[335]

By quoting his grandfather the Commander of the Faithful (as), Imam Jawad (as) showed the faithful the right path to achieve the great targets which every person has to seek in his life. He quoted the Commander of the Faithful (as) saying: He who believes in God, Allah also shows him the path of happiness. He who believes in Allah, will find Him enough in all his deeds. Believing in Allah is like a castle whose protection is only enjoyed by the faithful; and depending on Allah is the way to be rid of every evil and this stops every kind of enmity. Religiousness is honour, wisdom and treasure; and silence is a light; piety is the highest level of religiousness. Nothing can destroy religion more than innovation and nothing can destroy a person more than greed. With a guardian, the people become united and through prayer, calamities are removed. He who rides the horse of tolerance is victorious. In the case of one who backbites, someone else will come and will backbite him. He who abuses will be abused; and he who plants the plant of piety will soon receive its fruit.[336]

Encouraging Knowledge

By quoting his grandfather the Commander of the faithful (as) and by mentioning the greatness and the high position of the ulamas, Imam Jawad (as) called all the people towards knowledge and education and he encouraged them in this. What we shall read are some examples of what he said on the value of gaining knowledge:

The Commander of the faithful (as) said: Acquire knowledge, as acquiring knowledge is obligatory and searching for it is recommended. Knowledge is a sign of relation between the religious brothers, the sign of generosity, the present of gatherings and a good companion of exile.[337]

Also he said: Knowledge is of two kinds: knowledge which has been developed inside men and the knowledge which has been heard and gained. If knowledge is not developed inside men and is only gained, it will be of no use. He who knows the value of knowledge cannot delay its increase. It is the beauty of speaking and the perfection of mind and reason.

He also quoted from the book of the Commander of the faithful (as): A human being can be compared to a weighing scale more than anything else whose pan becomes heavy with the help of knowledge and becomes light because of ignorance.[338]

Also he said: In case of doubt [in your mind], consult the ulamas who have the knowledge of brighter ways and strong documents. For he who goes astray on the way to reach the right ways, the remedies are of no use. A greedy person is always in wretchedness; and he who wants to live in this world forever must provide a very strong heart against adversity [for he will face difficulties at every step].[339]

Imam Muhammad Jawad (as) felt sorry for the spread of ignorance and the increase in ignorant people and the problems of the ulamas which they faced with them. According to Imam (as), the questions which were asked by the ignorant people not only put the ulamas in trouble but also caused disputes among the people. He quoted his grandfather the Commander of faithful (as) in this regard. Imam Ali (as) said: Because of the increase in ignorant people, the ulamas are alone and hopeless.[340]

Also he quoted Imam Ali (as): If an ignorant person keeps silence [and does not raise questions based on his ignorance] the people will never disagree with each other.[341]

Encouraging Repentance

Among other important things which Imam Jawad (as) insisted on was the matter of repentance, returning to God and the ways and methods of how to repent. By quoting Imam Ali (as), he called the people to repentance. For example:

The Commander of the faithful (as) said: Repentance has four pillars: regret in the heart; asking for forgiveness on the tongue, physical practice and deciding not to return to sinning.

And three things take human beings to the willingness of God: Asking for forgiveness to a great degree, being kind and humble and giving much charity.[342]

He also insisted on the necessity of hastening to repentance and refraining from delay in this regard. He said: Delaying repentance is deceiving one's own self and delaying it for a long time is foolishness. Making pretexts against Allah is devastation and insisting on committing sins brings a feeling of safety against Allah's stratagem. Then he recited this holy verse:

أَفَأَمِنُوا مَكْرَ اللَّـهِۚ فَلَا يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللَّـهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ ﴿٩٩﴾

[343]

“Did they think they will remain safe against Allah's stratagem.” [344]

3. Perfection of the pious group's structure and readying them for the period of occultation

We will mention this discourse in various paragraphs:

A. Establishment of Representatives and Taking Perfectly Measured Actions

The creation and then the organising of the pious group and putting forward their own activities through this group were among very important targets of the Imams (as). This purified family established the group of pious people for the first time during the time of Imam Ali (as) who continued their efforts to take this group to perfection till the time of Imam Hasan Askari (as) and Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his appearance). Also they continued to extend the boundaries of their activities. What made the completion and perfection of this structure necessary was the severe observation of the government and the keen eye which they had put on the activities of the Household (as). In such a time, the companions, reliable people and the students of the Imams (as) were tried wholeheartedly to attain some of the Imams' targets. On the other hand, the enhancement of the pious group and their gatherings throughout the Islamic world were great steps towards increasing the boundaries of their representatives.

It is necessary to keep in mind that the establishment of representative organizations and having some representatives themselves was known to be one of the necessities of the Imams' activities; and these were the men who had to provide the Imams (as) with their help in the case of developing relations with the Shi'ah and fixing their activities fast.

The observation of Imam al-Rida (as) and after him of Imam Jawad (as) had made the necessity of organization more important. Let us not forget that at that time Imam Jawad (as) was completely under observation and any kind of connection with his followers and the Shia needed great and minute planning.

After the rulers of his time accepted his Imamah and accepted him as the religious leader of Islamic Ummah - whose knowledge he gained from his father and forefathers (as) - the calculated actions and activities of Imam Jawad (as) appeared to be finished. However, research into Imam Jawad's (as) life clarifies and confirms great attention and firmness. In fact, Imam's (as) every action and activity was related to another action and was according to the time which mentioned the target of the Imam (as) in that particular field.

When we talk about the methods of activities in the eyes of Imam Jawad (as), his great attention to his activities and the way of developing relationships with representatives and the group of pious people also come to mind. To elucidate this statement we shall give some examples of his relations with his followers and others:

B. Secret Letter-writing

Certainly, Imam Jawad's (as) relations with his companions and followers remained constant. It was necessary that a part of Imam Jawad's (as) connection with his companions would remain secret, because there was a possibility that the name of the senders of the letters would become known. We can see that Imam Jawad (as) was under observation even in his own home by his wife Umm al-Fadhl. Another manner of Imam Jawad's (as) connection with his companions was that the letters which he got from his companions did not have any name and address on them; Imam Jawad (as) guessed them by his own method.

It does not seem impossible that there was a code between Imam (as) and the sender of the letter by which Imam (as) came to know who the sender was. However, this assumption becomes possible only if we do not say that Imam (as) knew the senders of the letters through his divinely-given power and omniscience; because“if Imam (as) wants to know something, Allah will make him aware of that thing.” [345]

Abu Hashim Dawud bin Qasim Ja’fari says:“Once, I went to Abu Ja’far (as) and I had three charters with me that were 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 another and said: This belongs to Muhammad bin Hamza” , then he took the third one saying:“This is from so-and-so. I was astonished. He looked at me and smiled. [346]

According to what is mentioned in Mawsu'at al-Imam al-Jawad (as), 72 of his letters were mentioned.” [347]

C. His Social Activities

Imam Jawad (as) did not leave society but he was always beside the people. He knew about their necessities and demands and felt them in his mind and heart. Certainly, this was also the part of life of other Imams (as) too. Following his father and forefathers (as), Imam Jawad (as) was not careless towards the needs and demands of society. Here we will mention a tradition which is the continuation of the above-mentioned one.

Abu Hashim says: Abu Jaf'ar (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.[348]

This story clearly mentions that Imam Jawad (as) was well aware of the people's needs and requirements and tried to improve them.

D. Training his Followers

Another important issue which Imam Jawad (as) handled himself was the training of the Shia on the basis of religious teachings. One such case was the training of the great famous poet Di'bil Khuza'i. Di'bil says: I arrived in the presence of Imam al-Rida (as). He ordered to give me some gift. I took the gift, but did not praise Allah for that. Imam (as) said to me: Why did you not praise Allah for it?

In later years, I arrived in the presence of Imam Jawad (as), he gave me some presents then as well. When I took them, I said: All praise belongs to Allah.

Abu Ja’far (as) said: Now you have been trained.[349]

This and other similar stories show the great care and attention of Imam Jawad (as) towards his followers' cultural and spiritual perfection.

4. Making Grounds for Imam Hadi's (as) Early Imamah

Among the other responsibilities of the Imams (as) was to inform the people about the next Imam (as) to some extent and call them towards accepting his Imamah. Like his forefathers (as), Imam Jawad (as) also had this responsibility on his shoulders. Therefore, Imam Jawad (as) also mentioned the Imam (as) after him among the leading Shia and his followers calling them towards accepting his Imamah. Here we will cite some examples of how he mentioned the early Imamah of his son among his companions and followers:

Khairani whose father was one of the nearest persons of Imam Jawad (as) and because of the post Imam Jawad (as) had given to him, always remained with him, narrates: Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa Ash'ari - who was one of the greatest jurisprudents of his time and who was from Qum - came every morning to my father to ask about the condition of Imam Jawad (as) who was ill in those days. But whenever a messenger of Imam Jawad (as) came to meet my father and gave him the Imam's (as) messages, Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa would go outside and let my father talk to the messenger in secret, which shows the confidence of Imam Jawad (as) in him - my father.

One night the messenger of Imam Jawad (as) arrived. Ahmad bin Muhammad went out and my father also started talking with the messenger in secret. Ahmad bin Muhammad went far away and then returned back and stood at a certain place where he could listen to their discussion. At that time, the messenger of Imam Jawad (as) said to my father: Your master has sent regards to you and he has said: I am going on my journey to the next world; and after me my son Ali will be the next Imam. After me, he has the same rights over you, which I had after my father. Then the messenger left my father and went away. Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa came in and asked from my father: What did the messenger of Imam (as) tell you? My father replied: All is well. Ahmad bin Muhammad said: I heard what he said to you. Then he told my father everything he had heard. My father said to him: Allah the Exalted has made this work Haram for you, because He has said: Do not investigate, but now that you have heard our conversation, keep it with you as witness. Who knows some day we may need your testimony. But be aware and do not tell this news to anyone unless the right time comes.

The next day, my father wrote in black and white what he had heard from the messenger on ten pieces of paper and after having written it he put the papers into envelopes and sealed them. Then he gave the envelopes to ten Shia and told them: If I die before telling you anything about these letters, open them and act upon what has been written in there.

Khairani says: When Abu Ja’far Imam Jawad (as) was martyred, my father stayed at home and did not leave. The chiefs of the Imamiyyah caste gathered around Muhammad bin Faraj Rakhji and started discussing who would be the next Imam. Muhammad bin Faraj Rakhji wrote a letter to my father and said that the Shia chiefs had gathered around him and if he was not afraid that they would be known otherwise, he would bring all of them to my father's house. Therefore he asked my father to come to his house and join them.

My father mounted his horse and went towards them. There he found a group who had gathered around Muhammad bin Faraj. They said to my father: What is your opinion about this matter? My father looked at those ten people to whom he had given the ten letters and said: Bring those letters. They brought the letters and broke their seals. My father said: What that has been written in these letters is the same thing about which I was ordered. Some of the people said: We were pleased to know if there is another witness except these letters and your sayings so that he also could confirm your statement.

My father told them: Allah the Exalted has already provided what you have demanded for. This person, Abu Ja’far Ash'ari is the witness that I have heard exactly the same thing which I have written down in these letters. He asked Abu Ja’far Ash'ari to witness what he had heard. At first Abu Ja’far refused to witness. When my father saw it, he challenged him for cursing each other (Mubahilah) and threatened him from Allah the Exalted. When Abu Ja’far saw the situation was so critical, he said: Yes, I have heard this with my ears. But I denied witnessing because I wanted the greatness of giving the good news about the next imam to be given to an Arab - because the father of Khairani was not Arab. It was then that every person who was present did not leave the gathering before confessing about the Imamah of Abu al-Hasan Imam Ali Hadi (as).[350]

Ismail bin Mihran says: When Imam Jawad (as) was taken to Baghdad from Madinah for the first time, I said to him: I am afraid for you during this journey. If something happens to you, who will be the next Imam (as)?

Imam looked at me with a smile on his face and said: What you have thought about is not going to happen this year. But when Imam was (as) taken to Baghdad for the second time by Mu'tasim, I met him and asked: May I be ransom! Now that you are going, please us who will be the next Imam? I observed that Imam Jawad (as) started weeping. He wept so much that his beard and moustache became wet. Then he looked at me and said: This time you should be afraid for me. Therefore, you should know that after me the Imamah will belong to my son Ali.[351]

Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Wasiti is quoted as saying: I heard Ahmad ibn Abu Khalid, stating that he (The Imam (as)) had appointed him as witness to bear testimony to this documented will in the following words.” Ahmad ibn abu Khalid, the slave of Abu Ja’far, bears testimony that Abu Ja’far, Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Musa ibn Ja’far ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali ibn abu Talib (as) is asked to bear testimony. Testimony to the fact that he has appointed his son, Ali, the executor of his directive wills regarding himself and his sisters. He has placed the affairs of Musa in his charge until when he attains maturity. He has appointed 'Abdullah ibn al-Musawir as the overseer to his legacy, his estate, property, expenditures and slaves etc., until Ali ibn Muhammad reaches the age of maturity. At such time 'Abdullah ibn al-Musawir will transfer the overseeing position to him (Ali ibn Muhammad (as)). He thereafter will take charge of his own affairs and sisters'. The management of the affairs of Musa will also be left to him. Musa will take charge of his own affairs after the two (overseers) according to the conditions set forth by the father of the two of them in the matters of his charitable charities. This has been documented on Sunday 3rd Dhul-Hijjah, in the year two hundred twenty. Ahmad ibn Abu Khalid has transcribed his own testimony in his own hand. He has asked al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah ibn al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali ibn abu Talib (as). He also known as al-Jawani has a testimony just like the testimony of Ahmad ibn Abi Khalid at the beginning of this document. He also has written his testimony in his own hand and the witness to bear testimony in the document is Nasr, the servant, and he has written his bearing testimony in his own hand.[352]

After mentioning the above three narrations, the late Tabari says: There are many traditions in this regard. However, the consensus of the Shia about his Imamah and the absence of the people thinking the Imamah to belong to someone other than him make us not consider the rest of the narrations. Because of the Imams' fear of their enemies and their dissimulation for keeping themselves safe from any kind of harm the Shia demanded their explicit texts in their own handwriting. As we mentioned before, the strongest reason for the presence of an Imam is the mind and reason. Another proof is the traditions which mention the Imams (as) to be from the offspring of Imam Husayn (as). The misleading and false ideologies of other castes are also another strong reason which insists on the presence of an Imam.”[353]

5. Imam Jawad (as) and the 12th Imam

The issue of the last Imam is the most important element in Islam. Not one person can be found among the true followers of the Prophet (sawas) and the Imams (as) who has not called people towards this fact.

Imam Jawad (as) also followed the same path regarding the messianic issue. He mentioned this problem among the Islamic Ummah to deepen this thought in their minds and hearts about the promised Mahdi (may Allah hasten his appearance). Here we will mention some of the traditions and narrations about the issue of Mahdi as stated by Imam Jawad (as):

Hazrat Abdul 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 it has been filled with oppression and injustice.

Imam (as) said: 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 people and who will disappear and it will be impermissible for people to call him by his name. His name and nickname are like those of the messenger of Allah (sawas). The earth will be submitted to him and every difficulty will be easy to him. His companions, who will be three hundred and thirteen men as the number of the men of Badr (313), will join him from the farthest parts of the world as Allah says:

أَيْنَ مَا تَكُونُوا يَأْتِ بِكُمُ اللَّـهُ جَمِيعًاۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

“Wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together; surely Allah has power over all things.” [354]

When this number of loyal men will join him, Allah will make him appear. And when his other companions come together and aqd (based on ten thousand people) will be 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.”[355]

Abu Turab Abdullah Musa al-Riwani narrated: Abd al-Adhim Hasani bin Abdullah bin Ali bin al-Hasan bin Zayd bin al-Hasan bin Ali bin Abi Talib (as) said to us: I arrived in the presence of my Master Muhammad bin Ali bin Musa bin Ja’far bin Muhammad bin Ali bin al-Hussain bin Ali bin Abi Talib (as) and asked him about al-Qa'im whether he was al-Mahdi or another one. Before I uttered a word, he said, 'O Abul Qasim, al-Qa'im of us is al-Mahdi who must be awaited in his occultation and must be obeyed after his appearance. He is the third of my progeny. By Allah Who has sent Muhammad with prophethood and singled us out with Imamah, if there will be only one day in the world, Allah will prolong that day until al-Qa'im appears, to fill the earth with fairness and justice as it has been filled with injustice and oppression. Allah will prepare the affairs for him as He has prepared the affairs for Moses where he went to bring a fire and came back to be the prophet of his nation.' Imam al-Jawad (as) added, 'The best deed of our Shia is awaiting deliverance.[356]

Hamdan bin Sulayman narrated that Saqr bin Abi Dulaf said: I heard of Abi Ja’far Muhammad bin Ali al-Rida (as) saying: The imam after me is my son Ali (as). His order is as my order, his saying is as my saying and obedience to him is as obedience to me. The Imam after him will be Hassan (as). His order will be his father's order, his saying will be his father's saying and obedience to him will be obedience to his father. Then Abu Ja’far (as) kept silence.

I asked: O son of the Prophet (sawas)! Who will be the Imam after Hassan (as)?

Abu Ja’far wept and said: “After Hasan his son, Qa'im, will be the Imam who is to be awaited.

I asked: O son of the Prophet saw (as)! Why is he called Qa'im?

He said: It is said because he will rise after his memories are gone from the minds of the people and after the people who have accepted his Imamah will leave thinking so.

I asked: Why is he called the awaited?

The Imam (as) said: Because he has a long occultation and the sincere people will wait for him to reappear. The doubtful ones will deny him and will laugh at his name or the news of his reappearance.

His occultation is not predictable and negates the timing fixed by some people. Those who want him to appear soon will be destroyed and those who will wait for him to appear will be rescued.[357]