News ID: 92554
Publish Date : 17 July 2021 - 21:31


By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz

“There is no single (Eid) al-Fitr or al-Adha in which Muslims do not renew their sorrows for the progeny of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA)… because they see their (the Ahl al-Bayt’s) rights in the hands of others.”
We are on the eve of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca and on the threshold of Eid al-Adha that celebrates Prophet Abraham’s success in his greatest test of faith in monotheism in offering his firstborn, Prophet Ishmael, as a sacrifice, which at the last moment was replaced by Archangel Gabriel with a ram from heaven on the Commandment of the Lord Most High.
Unfortunately, this year, like the year before, because of the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the world, the faithful from all over the globe have been deprived of performing pilgrimage to the Holy Ka’ba – the Symbolic House of the Unseen but Omnipresent God.
Today on the 7th of Zi’l-Hijja, however, we commemorate the anniversary of a tragic day on which in the year 114 AH (733 AD) the Godless Omayyad regime of Damascus martyred through poisoning an Infallible Heir of the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger, thus depriving him of performing the Hajj that year.
He was Imam Muhammad al-Baqer (AS), the grandson on either side (paternal and maternal) of the Prophet’s Two Blessed Grandsons, Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (AS) and Imam Husain (AS) the Immortal Martyr of Karbala – the Twin Leaders of the Youths of Paradise.
One of his famous sayings mentioned at the beginning of this column draws the attention of Muslims in every age and place towards the gross injustice done to the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt by seizing their political leadership of the Ummah.
As is clear by the wordings, he was lamenting the usurpation of the God-given religious, social and political rights of the Ahl al-Bayt by Godless persons who masqueraded as caliphs or rulers of the Muslim realm, and who continue to confound the Ummah’s fate through acts of terrorism to tarnish Islam’s image.
Imam Baqer (AS) needs no introduction. Born in 57 AH in Medina to Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS), he was the father of Imam Ja’far Sadeq (AS), the Reviver of the Prophet’s genuine Shari’ah, which is famous as Ja’fari Jurisprudence, and which in stark contrast to the violence of the Wahhabis, the sedition of the Salafis, and the terrorism of the Takfiris, is the most humanitarian code of conduct.
Even his own epithet “Baqer al-Uloum” or the Splitter and Spreader of Sciences was prophesied by the Prophet who also conveyed his “salaam” (or greetings) to his great-great-grandson through the loyal companion Jaber ibn Abdullah al-Ansari five decades before his birth.
Imam Mohammad al-Baqer (AS) was hardly four-years old when he had to witness the heartrending tragedy in Karbala, where besides his grandfather and granduncles (Hazrat Abbas and others), his own paternal and maternal uncles were brutally martyred by the Omayyads – Ali Akbar and the 6-month infant Ali Asghar on his father’s side, and Qassem and Abdullah on his mother’s side.
The tragedy did not end on the equally tragic evening of Ashura when the encampment of the Ahl al-Bayt was burnt down by the heartless hordes who after severing the heads of the martyrs trampled their bodies.
The next day the noble ladies and children of the Prophet’s Household were paraded as prisoners in Kufa and mocked in the court of the tyrannical governor, Obaidollah ibn Ziyad, before being forced-marched through circuitous routes to distant Damascus in Syria, where the self-styled caliph, Yazid ibn Mu’awiyya, burst into unbounded joy saying he has avenged the deaths of his infidel ancestors who had fallen in battle against the Prophet of Islam at Badr and Ohad. Then in confirmation of his own atheism, Yazid added: “The Hashemites had played the game of kingdom; there was neither any prophet nor any revelation from heaven.”
Yazid, stunned by the bold remarks of Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) in defence of the rights of the Ahl al-Bayt and the virtues of Imam Husain (AS), threatened to kill the 4th Imam as his courtiers watched in mute silence.
At this moment, the 4-year old boy, Imam Mohammad al-Baqer (AS), sprang to the defence of his father, and to the astonishment of the whole court spoke in flawlessly fluent Arabic, by pointing the glaring difference between Yazid’s court and the court of the Egyptian Pharaoh, although both were tyrants.
When asked about the difference, the boy replied: The fact the Pharaoh and his courtiers did not call for execution of Prophet Moses proves there was no illicitly-born person amongst them, while Yazid’s threats to kill the Prophet’s Rightful Heir and the silence of the onlookers, is proof of the illegitimacy of the whole court.
For the next 34 years, Imam Baqer (AS) grew up in the shadow of his father, safeguarding the genuine Muhammadan legacy of Islam, while a string of usurpers rose and fell, fighting each other for power of the state, such as the charlatan Abdullah ibn Zubayr, who during his ten-year rule in Hijaz violated the letter and spirit of the holy Qur’an through mismanagement of the Hajj and oppression of the Prophet’s Household, including a failed plot to burn alive all male members of the Hashemite clan – similar to what the Saudi usurpers do today.
In 95 AH, Imam Baqer (AS) formally assumed the Divine Trust of Imamate, and continued his father’s mission by expounding to the seekers of truth various issues such as exegesis of the Ayahs of the holy Qur’an, the accounts of the Prophets of the past, the nature of the material world, the delicateness of Nafs or the human soul, and how it should be safeguarded from deviation and pollution.
During the 19 years that he was God’s representative upon Earth, he spared no efforts to guide Muslims, even advising the regime to mint currency of its own instead of importing coins from the Roman Empire. In his era, five more Omayyad
usurpers masqueraded as caliphs, the last of whom was the tyrant Hisham ibn Abdul-Malik, whose prejudice against non-Arab Muslims caused him to double the taxes that they had to pay. Hisham, jealous of the Prophet’s progeny, wrote to his Governor of Medina instructing him to send Imam Baqer (AS) and his son Imam Jafar Sadeq (AS) to Damascus intending to humiliate them in front of an audience.
When they reached Damascus, he kept them waiting for three days. On the fourth day he called them in his presence. He sat on a throne surrounded by his armed guards. In the centre of the courtyard, a target was set on which marksmen were shooting arrows. Hisham asked Imam Baqer (AS) to shoot some arrows at the target, thinking that the Imam had no experience in martial arts. Imam Baqer (AS) said he should be excused, but Hisham kept insisting as he planned to ridicule the Imam. He did not know that each Infallible Heir of the Prophet was inheritor of the virtues of their ancestors, including the martial expertise of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS).
Imam Baqer (AS) took the bow, and to the astonishment of the marksmen, he shot a few arrows continuously, each piercing the other on the very centre spot of the target. Hisham outwitted, began to discuss the issues of the Imamate and the virtues of the Ahl al-Bayt, and when Imam Baqer (AS) recounted these God-given merits on the basis of the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s Hadith, he clearly saw that the stay of the Imam in Syria might lead to popular respect for Ahl al-Bayt. So he sent Imam Baqer (AS) to Medina, especially after the debate the Imam had with the chief Christian monk of Syria, who accepted Islam along with his flock.
The criminal Hisham now plotted the murder of the Prophet’s 5th Infallible Heir through a poison-laced saddle that fatally affected the Imam’s body. As a result, the 57-year old Imam couldn’t perform that year’s Hajj, and left for his heavenly abode, but not before making a Will to keep alive the legacy of the Ahl al-Bayt.
Part of the Will reads that a sum of 800 Dirhams be allotted to hold mourning ceremonies at Mena during the climax of the Hajj for ten years, so that pilgrims from the all over the world, become familiar with the merits of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt, and their sufferings at the hands of the usurpers of the caliphate.
After a few days in pain he attained martyrdom and was laid to rest in the Jannat al-Baqie Cemetery beside his father Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) and maternal grandfather, Imam Hasan Mujtaba (AS) in the mausoleum where later his son and successor, Imam Ja’far as-Sadeq (AS), was laid, and which alas was blasphemously destroyed by the Godless Saudis in 1925.

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