Name: Muhammad bin Ali (a.s.)
Kunniyat (Patronymic): Abu 'Abdillah
Laqab (Title): Al Jawad
Birth: He was born at Medina in 195 A.H.
Martyrdom: He died of poison at Baghdad in the year 220 A.H. and is buried near
his grandfather at Kazimiyyah in Iraq.
The Prophet (PBUH) had said:
"My father be sacrificed on the mother of the 9th Imam who will be a pure and
Imam Musa Kazim (PBUH) had told one of his companions that his daughter-in-law (Sabika)
would be one of the most pious of women and to give her his salaams. She came
from the same tribe as the Prophet's wife - Mary Copt who bore the Prophet his
son Ibrahim (who died in infancy).
Imam Muhammad Taqi (PBUH) was born when his father was 45 years old. Till then
Imam Rida (PBUH) had constantly been taunted that he had no children. When the
9th Imam was born, a brother of Imam Rida (PBUH) was angry because he would lose
out in inheriting the Imam's property and in his jealousy spread a rumor that
Imam Rida (PBUH) was not the father. He was eventually proved wrong by a person
who could tell parentage.
The 9th Imam was 5 years old when his father was called to Tous by Ma'muon
Rashid to be his "crown prince". When Imam Rida (PBUH) was leaving he saw his
son putting sand in his hair. He asked why and the young Imam replied that this
was what an orphan did.
His titles, life & works
He became an Imam at the age of 9. Ma'muon Rashid thought that as all the rulers
before him had oppressed the Imams and their schemes had backfired that he would
try to bribe the Imams. He tried to make the 8th Imam his crown prince and give
him power and wealth but that also backfired.
He now tried to use power and wealth with the 9th Imam again but from a much
younger age thinking that he would be able to influence him. His main purpose
was also to make sure that the 12th Imam (whom he knew would bring justice to
the world) would be from his progeny and therefore intended to marry his
daughter Ummul Fazl to the Imam. Ma'muon still continued oppressing the family
and followers of the Ahlul-bayt (PBUT).
Ma'muon called the young Imam (PBUH) to Baghdad from Medina and offered his
daughter. This infuriated his family (Abbasids). To prove to them the excellence
of Imam even at a young age he arranged a meeting between Imam and the most
learned of men at that time -Yahya bin Athkam.
It was a grand occasion with some 900 other scholars present. Imam (PBUH) was
first asked by Yahya:
What is the compensation (kaffara) for a person in Ehraam who hunted and killed
Imam replied that there were many more details required before he could answer
Did the Muhrim (one in Ehraam) hunt in the haram or outside?
Did the Muhrim know Sharia or not?
Did he hunt intentionally or not?
Did he hunt for the first time or was this one of many times?
WPBUH he free or a slave?
WPBUH his prey a bird or an animal?
WPBUH it big or small?
Had he hunted by day or by night?
WPBUH he baligh or not?
WPBUH he repentant or not?
WPBUH his ehraam for Hajj or Umra?
Yahya was stunned. He looked down and started sweating.
Ma'muon asked the young Imam to answer the question, which he did, and then Imam
asked Yayha a question which he could not answer. The Abbasids admitted defeat
and Ma'muon took the opportunity to offer his daughter to Imam. Imam (PBUH) read
his own Nikah (the khutba of which is used today) with the Mehr of 500 dirhams.
Imam wrote a letter to Ma'muon that he would also give Ummul Fazl Mehr from the
wealth of The World to Come (Aakhira ). This was in the form of 10 supplications
which were for fulfilling any hajaat (desires) Thus his title is Al-Jawad (the
* These supplications are found in Mafatihul Jinaan (pg 447 - In margin)
Imam lived for a year in Baghdad with Ummul Fazl. She was very disobedient to
Imam. When she found out that Imam had another wife (from the progeny of
Ammar-e-Yasir) and that there were also children, she was jealous and angry
realizing that her father's plan had failed. She complained to her father who
also realized that his plan, to keep the 12th Imam in his progeny, had failed.
He was enraged and in his rage he drank heavily and went to the 9th Imam's house
and attacked Imam with a sword. Both Ummul Fazl and a servant saw the attack and
believed Imam was dead. Ma'muon on waking next morning realized the consequences
of his attack and was thinking of arranging the disposal of Imam's body when he
saw Imam well without a scratch on him. He was confused and asked Imam who
showed him an amulet which is called Hirze Jawad. Imam told him it was from his
grand mother Bibi Fatima Zahra (PBUH) and kept the wearer safe from all except
the angel of death. Ma'muon asked Imam for it and Imam gave him one.
Now Ma'muon was scared and tried a new tactic. He tried to deviate Imam by
sending him beautiful girls and musicians. When he realized nothing was working
he let Imam return to Medina.
Imam used this time to prepare the masails of Taqleed and Ijtihaad in
preparation for the 12th Imam knowing that both the 10th and the 11th Imam would
spend most of their lives in prison. He also prepared the people of Medina
teaching true Islam knowing that this would be the last time they would be able
to receive guidance directly from an Imam for a long time.
Ummul Fazl continuously complained of Imam to her father who sent her letters
Ma'muon died in 218 a.h. and was succeeded by his brother Mo'tasam Billah. He
openly announced that all Shias were not Muslims. He said it was required for
people to kill and prosecute Shias and to destroy property belonging to Shias.
Ummul Fazl now started complaining to her uncle who was sympathetic to her.
Mo'tasam called Imam to Baghdad. He asked Imam to pass judgment of how to punish
a thief. Imam said only fingers could be cut as the palms were for Allah (PBUH
in Qur'an - it is one of the wajib parts to touch the ground during sajda). PBUH
this decision was contrary to the decision of the other Scholars and it
strengthened the position of the Shias. The other scholars complained to
Death & Burial
With instigation from both the scholars and Ummul Fazl, Mo'tasam sent poison
which Ummul Fazl put in Imam's drink and gave it to him. Imam died on 29th
Dhulqa'ada at the age of 25 years and is buried near his grandfather in
Kadhimain. His son the 10th Imam, Imam Hadi (PBUH) buried him.
Summary of Imam's Work
It is he who prepared and wrote books for the masails of Ijtihaad and Taqleed
which were essential to prepare believers for the ghaibat of the 12th Imam.