The memories of his grandfather, Imam Husayn, stuck with him throughout his life. He grew up in the spiritually enlightening care of his father, Imam Zayn al-Abidin. The fifth Imam became known — by friend and foe, alike — for his knowledge, piety and virtue. Imam al-Baqir revealed more insight about the Islamic sciences than any other counterpart since the time of Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn.
These prominent scholars were from different schools of thought.
Muhammad al-Baqir - Wikiquote
Under the reign of Hisham, Imam al-Baqir was summoned to Damascus. The tyrant Hisham had been plotting to curtail the positive influence and prestige of Imam al-Baqir. Hisham attempted to surprise Imam al-Baqir with an archery match. The match would surely portray the elderly Imam in a humiliating position — or so the tyrant thought.
Imam al-Baqir was handed a bow and arrow. He then aimed at the target…The Imam hit the target on the bullseye. He took another arrow, released it…and split the arrow! But Imam al-Baqir reminds us of a very different aspect of religion…. On a hot, scorching day, there was a man who saw Imam Muhammad al-Baqir working. The burden of hard work was apparent on the Imam, as he leaned on a couple of servant helpers. A chief among the chiefs of Quraysh a major tribe — at this hour, in this condition — seeking after the worldly life?!
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The man approached Imam al-Baqir and greeted him. You will meet a man from my family who will have the same name and the same characteristics as mine. He will split open knowledge extensively. Abd Allah saw that the imam was still a child, and examined him to see if he had the features which Muhammad had described. Jabir asked, "Characteristics of the Messenger of Allah; by Him in whose hands is my soul, O boy, what is your name? According to al-Kafi, Imam Baqir stressed the importance of intelligence saying that Allah will hold everyone accountable on the day of judgement according to the degree of intelligence they received in the worldly life.
During the imamah of Muhammad al-Baqir, riots erupted throughout the Islamic world due to the Umayyad Caliphate 's oppression. Disagreements within the Umayyad party kept them occupied, and they left members of the household undisturbed for some time. However, tyranny in the Battle of Karbala had attracted many people to the imams. These conditions had permitted people particularly the Shiites to travel to Medina in large groups and visit the imam freely.
The possibility of spreading Islam which had not existed for the previous imams was available to the fifth imam, indicated by a number of traditions about the imam and scholars trained under him. After the death of Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin the fourth Imam , most of the Shiites agreed upon his son al-Baqir as the next imam; a minority favored another son of the imam Zayd ibn Ali , and became known as Zaidiyyah.
According to Ibn Khallikan , [c] Zaid Muhammad al-Baqir's brother , appealed for people to support his cause. According to Al-Masudi , he asked for advice from Muhammad al-Baqir; al-Baqir advised him not to rely on the people of Kufa , explaining how they had previously behaved toward the members of his household.
Zaid did not listen to his brother's advice, and led the people of Kufa in a fruitless riot.
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Zaid had also announced that the position of imam was conditional on his appearing publicly to assert his rights. Muhammad al-Baqir replied, "Your faith then is merely in your father , as such, for according to your theory he was not an imam, for he certainly never came forth to assert his claims.
The Fifth Imam, Muhammad Ibn ‘Ali al-Baqir (as)
Despite his non-involvement in political activities, the Umayyad rulers harassed Muhammad al-Baqir. Many Shia individuals and delegations came to Medina from Kufa to hear al-Baqir's teachings and ask him questions,  among which was who had the right to rule. At a gathering, al-Baqir delivered a sermon: One who obeys us is successful and one who opposes would be evil and wretched. When they arrived, he kept them waiting for three days; on the fourth he called them to court, where he was practicing archery with his officials.
In Ma'athiru'l-Baqir the imam discussed a number of topics, from the nature of the soul and the qualities of the Ulama to the attributes of God and the divine nature explaining that it was impossible for humans to understand it. A man asked him, "Should I think of anything to understand Allah? He is unlike whatever comes into your mind. Nothing resembles Him nor can any thought reach Him. A Nabi is a prophet who hears but does not see the angel, and the imam is like the Nabi.
Further, no one is able to claim that they have knowledge of the entire Quran, its apparent and hidden essence, except the executors of the will of the Holy Prophet. Umm al-Kitab , or The Archetype of the Book , is in the form of a discussion between the imam and three companions. Resembling the Infancy Gospel of Thomas , it illustrates the similarity between imamology and gnostic Christology. A major concept of this work is the description of the numinous experience. Its central motif is the psychological and philosophical explanation of spiritual symbols, with believers instructed to perform acts of self-purification and renewal.
Colors are used to symbolize theories and levels of consciousness which one must recognize in oneself.
- Baqir Muhammad, al-.
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Imam died on 7th Dhu al-Hijjah. According to the Shi'i account, the Caliph gave Zaid a saddle treated with poison; Zaid gave it to the Imam, who used it and died.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Fifth of the Twelve Shia Imams. Fifth imam of Twelver and fourth imam of Ismaili Shia. Medina , Umayyad Empire.