By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz
"Peace on you, O’ Representative of Allah and the Son of His Representative! Peace on you, O’ the Decisive Argument of Allah and the Son of His Decisive Argument!
"Peace on you, O’ Light of Allah in the darkness of the (ignorant) world! Peace on you, O’ Guide who showed the right path! Peace on you, O’ Symbol of religion and piety! Peace on you, O’ Treasurer of the wisdom of the Prophets!
"Peace on you, O’ Vicegerent of the guardians of the past, Peace on you, O’ Depository of the manifest revelations! Peace on you, O’ Possessor of certitude knowledge! Peace on you, O Treasury of the Messenger’s knowledge!
"Peace on you, O Murdered Martyr! Peace on you, O Son of the Messenger of Allah, and the Son of his Successor! Peace you, O my Lord Musa bin Ja’far.”
The above phrases are part of the special "ziyarah” or standard form of salutation the venerable descended of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), who was martyred on the 25th of the sacred month of Rajab on the orders of Abbasid tyrant, Haroun Rasheed, through a fatal dose of poison while languishing in the dungeon of Baghdad.
Named Musa (AS) in honour of Prophet Moses (AS), he acquired the epithet of "Kazem” or the "Patient one who refrains from anger”, in view of the vicissitudes of life through which he passed during the 35 years of his mission as the Prophet’s 7th Infallible Heir.
Born in Abwa, between the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in the year 128 AH (745 AD), he was only 55 years old when Haroun, while immersed in pleasures in Raqqa in Syria, sent a fast-paced emissary to Baghdad to instruct the despicable jailor, Sindi bin Shahak, to kill the Prophet’s Heir in such a way that no sign would remain of any foul deed on the body of the victim.
It is an irony of Islamic history that charlatans, debauchees, apostates, and infidels, masqueraded as caliphs and made Muslims forcibly obey their will by distorting the tenets of religion, while the Divinely-designated heirs of the Prophet and the inheritors of the pure and pristine "Sunnah wa Seerah” (practice and behaviour) of the Messenger of God, were persecuted.
After having martyred Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS), the assassin had the court mullahs testify with signatures on a long scroll that no foul act had been done and the venerable prisoner had died a natural death. Sindi then left the corpse on the bridge over the River Tigris, unattended.
Were the people of Baghdad Muslims? Didn’t they know that the corpse was that of the son and successor of Imam Ja’far as-Sadeq (AS)? Why didn’t they oppose the Abbasids?
The answers are obvious. Muslim conscience had died long ago, ever since the caliphate was hijacked at Saqifa Bani Sa’da in Medina by a group of usurpers, while the Prophet still lay unburied, and while his bereaved Ahl al-Bayt, whose authority and purity God himself has vouchsafed in the holy Qur’an, were busy in the state of mourning and the last rites of the Seal of Messengers.
So there is nothing to be surprised at the attitude of self-styled Muslims, whether in the past when the Chosen Ones of God expire, or in the present when innocent and defenceless men, women, and children are either mercilessly bombed by aircraft in Yemen, or torn to pieces by terrorist bomb blasts in Afghanistan.
The faithful, however, remain undaunted. They adhered firmly the God-given political and spiritual rights of Imam Ali (AS) as proclaimed by the Prophet, and provided burial to the 7th Imam in Baghdad, while assisting his son and successor, Imam Reza (AS), who miraculously came from Medina to conduct the last rites of his father.
These days as well, despite the dastardly acts of the Takfiri heretics and their terrorist masters, the Americans, the faithful are flocking to the shrine of Imam Musa Kazem (AS), in Kazemain, north of Baghdad, in millions to pay homage.
It will not be out of context to cite a passage from Imam Kazem’s (AS) lengthy sermon to his disciple, the master theologian Hisham ibn Hakam, regarding God-given wisdom and authority.
"O Hesham, the Commander of the Faithful (Imam Ali – AS) used to say: "No one should sit in the forefront of a session except those who can answer when they are questioned, speak when others cannot, and have the most satisfying opinion. He who does not enjoy these three characters and allows himself to sit in the forefront of a session is surely idiot.”
These are mind-stimulating words indeed. The above passage instantly turns our attention towards not only the Mosque of Kufa where Imam Ali (AS) – as the Divinely-designated Vicegerent of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) – used to enlighten minds and souls, but also towards the fate of those in history who ended up becoming eternally-damned idiots by making the fatal mistake of usurping the caliphate and sitting in the place of the Ahl al-Bayt.
Thus, as an Heir of the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Prophet, the 7th Imam spared no efforts to spread the truth even if it meant speaking directly to a tyrannically murderous caliph, such as Haroun, who longed for lasting glory, but ended up in the bowels of hell with no sign on earth of his rotten grave, while his victim reigns supreme from Baghdad, where the Shi’a and Sunni Muslims alike, salute at the sight of Imam Kazem’s (AS) shrine with the words: "Ya Bab al-Hawa’ej” (O’ Gateway of Boons).
Here is another passage from the "ziyarah” of Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS) as food for thought:
"I bear witness that you carried and delivered that for which Allah has commissioned you, protected that which was entrusted to you, prescribed that which Allah has made lawful, forbade that which Allah has made unlawful, made clear the Divine rules, studied and interpreted the Book of Allah, exercised self-control for the sake of Allah, strived in the cause of Allah, leaving no stone unturned till the inevitable came unto you.
"I have taken refuge near your grave; your "Zarih” is my sanctuary. You are my advocate before Allah, I am a friend of your friends, I am averse to your enemies, well acquainted with your rank and the guidance you adhered to, mindful of the depravity of your opponents and of the waywardness in which they are wandering.”