Lesson twenty six: the ninth Imām and the eleventh infallible figure, Imām Jawād (‘a)

Lesson twenty six:
the ninth Imām and the eleventh infallible figure, Imām Jawād (‘a)

He was called Muḥammad and his best known epithets are Jawād and Taqī. His father was Imām Riḍā and his mother was called Sabīkah. He was born on Rajab 10, 195. He assumed leadership in 203 at the age of 9.  Of course, as we noted earlier, the leadership of Imām is a divine position that is assigned by God and the Prophet and has nothing to do with age. That is, the great Prophet has determined that after the eighth leader, Imām Riḍā, his son, Muḥammad ibn ‘Alī should succeed and therefore, Imām Riḍā introduced him as the successor.

One day, when Imām Jawād (‘a) entered the great Prophet’s mosque, ‘Alī ibn Ja‘far, the son of Imām Ja‘far, who was the uncle of his father was sitting there, and as Imām walked into the mosque, he rushed toward Imām barefoot and without his cloak, and bowed to him and kissed his hand and stood by him respectfully. Imām Jawād asked him to be seated. ‘Alī ibn Ja‘far replied, “How could I sit while you are standing?”

Following the departure of Imām Jawād (‘a), some people who had witnessed this went up to ‘Alī ibn Ja‘far and reproached him and said, “You are the uncle of his father and he is the grandson of your brother, why do you honor him? (He should respect you) ‘Alī ibn Ja‘far held his white beard in his hand and said, “When God has not deemed me with my white beard worthy of the position of leadership and has regarded him deserving of the leadership despite his young age, then how do you tell me not to accept it. I seek refuge in God from what you are saying.” (He is our Imām and it is incumbent upon us to submit to him and to honor him).[57]

Yaḥyā ibn Aksam says, “One day, I entered the mosque of the Prophet and was paying tribute to his tombstone when I noticed Imām Jawād there.” I posed some questions and he answered them all very well and then I said, “I have a question but I don’t dare to raise it.” He said, “Before posing your question, I will say it. Your questions is, who will be the leader of Muslims after my father, Imām Riḍā?” I said, “By God! That was my question.” He said, “After my father, I will be the Imām and God’s proof.”[58]

He was poisoned to death at the order of Mu’taṣim ‘Abbasī, on the last day of Dhu’l-Qa‘dah of 220 at the age of 25. He was buried next to his grandfather, Imām Mūsā in Baqdād (Kāẓimayn).

Some remarks by the Imām

Someone asked Imām to advise him, Imām said, “Will you take it?”

He replied, “Yes.” Then Imām expressed remarks with this theme,

Quit lustful desires and oppose your evil ego. Beware that God sees you constantly so watch what you are doing and how you are doing.[59]

[57] ‘Uṣūl al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 322.
[58] Ithbāt al-Hadāt, vol. 6, p. 167 and Al-Anwār al-Bāhiyah, p. 129.
[59] Tuḥaf al-‘Uqūl, p. 455.