The Official Website of Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

The Official Website of Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

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Imam Sajjad ('a) and the Old Man Who Wasn’t Aware of the Ahl al-Bayt

Question: What is the story of the old Syrian man and Imam Sajjad ('a)?
Concise answer:

When the captives were taken in to Syria, it has been narrated that an old man came close to the caravan and said: I thank God that he destroyed and killed you, and he made the cities safe from your men and he gave Yazīd victory over you! Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a) said to the old man: Oh old man, have you read the Quran?

Imam Sajjad ('a) and the Freeing of the Slaves

Question: How did Imam Sajjad ('a) change the society of his time through the freeing of numerous slaves?
Concise answer:

At the time of Islam’s revelation, slavery was a prevalent phenomenon, even in empires such as Rome. Since the abolishment of such a widespread and deep rooted phenomenon was not possible all at once, Islam opened various other routes towards its gradual abolishment. From one angle, Islam reduced the ways that people could be taken as slaves, and from the other angle, it made the freeing of slaves an Islamic institution

Divine Expediency: The Illness of Imam Sajjad ('a)

Question: Is it correct that Imam Sajjad ('a) can be known as the ‘Sick Imam’?
Concise answer:

Unfortunately, some people who are unaware of history, view the 4th Infallible (‘a) as the ‘Sick Imam’. They have a mental image of him as being physically pale and sickly, while psychologically they think of him as being depressed and forever gloomy.

A Brief Introduction in to the Life of Imam Sajjad ('a)

Question: Can you give an introduction in to the life of Imam Sajjad ('a)?
Concise answer:

He was the son of Imam Husayn ibn ‘Ali (‘a), the third Imam of the Shia world, and his mother was Shahr Bānūwiyah.

Ali bin Yaqtin and Imam Kazim ('a)

Question: Ali bin Yaqtin’s secret correspondence with Imam Kazim ('a)
Concise answer:

Ali bin Yaqtin who acted as Imam Musa al-Kazim’s secret agent in the palace of Harun, would secretly send the Imam his Khums, and occasionally, although extremely dangerous and risky, he would send the Imam financial aid.

Imam Kazim ('a) and Harun

Question: Imam Kazim ('a) 's method of dealing with Harun
Concise answer:

Harun was extremely unhappy by the fact that even with all his power and influence, he felt the hearts of the people were still with Imam Musa al-Kazim (‘a). He tried tirelessly and desperately to eradicate this spiritual influence and penetration of the Imam in the people’s hearts.

Biography of Imam Musa al-Kazim ('a)

Question: A short biography of Imam Musa al-Kazim ('a)
Concise answer:

Musa was son to the sixth Shiite Imam, Jafar al-Sadiq, and Hamidah. He was born in Abuwa, a small city on the outskirts of Medina.

Imam Kazim ('a) and prohibition of alcohol

Question: Imam Kazim ('a)'s proof for the prohibition of alcohol
Concise answer:

The Imam responded with the verse in which God addresses the Prophet (saww) saying “Say, ‘My Lord has only forbidden indecencies, the outward among them and the inward ones, and sin and undue aggression....”

The Lady Zaynab ('a) and her Fight against the Concept of Predestination

Question: What did the Lady Zaynab ('a) do in order to combat the concept of predestination?
Concise answer:

After the tragedy of Karbala, Yazīd’s agents began to use the Jabrīyah ideology, and publicized his apparent victory against Imam Husayn (‘a) as being the will of God. To these ends, ‘Ubaydullah ibn Zīyād gathered the people at Kūfah’s main mosque, so that there, they could be told of what had taken place. He gave himself an aura of religiosity and began to say to the people: ‘I praise God who made the truth victorious and aided Amīr al-Mu’minīn (Yazīd) and his companions, and killed the liar, the son of the liar!’

The Historical Speech of the Lady Zaynab ('a) in Syria

Question: What type of a speech did Zaynab ('a) deliver in the palace of Yazīd?
Concise answer:

When Zaynab (‘a) saw the bloodied head of Imam Husayn (‘a) in the gathering that Yazīd had organized, she cried out in a grief stricken voice and said: Oh Husayn, oh beloved of the Prophet of God (ṣ), oh child of Mecca and Minā, oh son of Fatimah Zahra’, the master of all the men of the world, oh son of the daughter of Muhammad Muṣṭafā.

The Lady Zaynab ('a) and the Awakening of the People of Kufah

Question: How did Zaynab awaken the people of Kufah to what they had done?
Concise answer:

At this point in time, Zaynab (‘a) had lost six or seven of her brothers; her son had been killed, ten of her nephews had been killed, and she and what was left of her family had been taken captive by the forces of Yazīd. In spite of all of this, she was put in a position where she had to defend herself and fight against what had happened to her and her family.

The Role of the Lady Zaynab ('a) in Disgracing Yazīd

Question: How did Zaynab disgrace Yazīd when she was taken to Syria as a captive?
Concise answer:

Oh son of the freed ones! Is this justice that your wives, daughters, and servants are sitting in the seats of honor, while you have enslaved the daughters of the Prophet (ṣ), disrespected them, stifled their cries, and allowed strangers (unrelated men) to take them from one city to another on the backs of camels?

A Brief Introduction in to the Life of Imam al-Jawad ('a)

Question: How can the life of Imam al-Jawad ('a) best be summarized?
Concise answer:

The Ninth Imam (‘a) was named Muhammad, his Kunyah was Abū Ja’far, and his titles were Taqī and Jawad; he was born in the holy month of Ramaḍān/Rajab in the year 195 Hijrī in the city of Medina.

The Imamate of Imam al-Jawad ('a) during his Childhood and the Surprise of Some Shias

Question: How did the Shias accept the Imamate of Imam al-Jawad ('a) at a young age?
Concise answer:

In spite of all that was mentioned in regards to fulfillment of the imamate in one’s youth, still the issue of Imam al-Jawad’s (‘a) age was not yet fully resolved. Not only was it not yet resolved for many of the ordinary Shias, but it was also debated and discussed by some of the scholars and notables as well.

Imam Hadi ('a) and the Ghullāt

Question: How did Imam Hadi ('a) combat the Ghullāt?
Concise answer:

The Ghulāt were one of the deviant and misguided groups, which were active during the Imamate of Imam Hadi (‘a). While the Ghullāt considered themselves as being Shia, their ideology and beliefs were utterly deviant and outside the fold of the Shia creed. They had certain exaggerated beliefs in regards to the Imam (‘a) and considered him as a divine being.

The Policy of Hishām ibn 'Abd al-Malik against Imam Baqir (‘a)

Question: How did Hishām ibn 'Abd al-Malik act towards the Imam ('a)?
Concise answer:

Hishām ibn ‘Abd al-Malik, one of the caliphs during the time of Imam Baqir (‘a), was always fearful of the Imam’s (‘a) extraordinary rank and the people’s love towards him. Since he also knew that his followers considered him to be the Imam, he was perpetually working to prevent the spread of the spiritual influence of these followers, as well as an increase in their numbers.

The Accusation of Hishām ibn 'Abd al-Malik that Imam Baqir ('a) was Inclined towards Christianity

Question:

How did Hishām react to the news that Imam Baqir ('a) had defeated the Christian Arch Bishop in debate?

Concise answer:

Before Imam Baqir (‘a) left the city of Damascus, a particularly amazing opportunity presented itself to awaken the minds of the masses. Through this opportunity, the people were also allowed to see a manifestation of the Imam’s (‘a) learning and knowledge.

The Ummayad Caliphs during the Era of Imam Baqir ('a)

Question: Which of the Umayyad caliphs ruled during the time of Imam Baqir ('a)?
Concise answer:

It was mentioned previously that Imam Baqir (‘a) lived contemporaneously with 5 of the Umayyid caliphs. We will mention the particularities of each during their time of rule and their administration of the society. This will make evident the social and political conditions and circumstances which Imam Baqir (‘a) lived in during his life.

The Skill of Imam Baqir ('a) in Archery

Question: What is the story related to the shooting competition of Imam Baqir ('a) in the gathering of Hishām ibn 'Abd al-Malik?
Concise answer:

Hishām ordered the governor of Medina to send for Imam Baqir (‘a) and his son, Ja’far ibn Muhammad (‘a) and to tell them to come to Syria. Without having a choice, the Imam (‘a) and his son (‘a) left for Damascus and they soon arrived there. Hishām had decided to set up an archery competition in order to embarrass the Imam (‘a). Hishām assumed that with the defeat of the Imam (‘a) in such a competition, he would be lowered in the view of the people. In addition, even though the Imam (‘a) had arrived in Damascus, he postponed their meeting for three days.
 

Imam Baqir ('a): The Founder of a Great Movement of Learning

Question: What was the rank of Imam Baqir ('a) in respect to science and learning?
Concise answer:

He is famously known for analyzing and explaining various intellectual issues. He brought about an extensive movement in learning and science, and laid the foundations for an Islamic university, which reached its zenith in the time of his son Imam Sadiq(‘a).

A Brief Introduction in to the Life of Imam Baqir ('a)

Question: How was the life of Imam Baqir ('a) like?
Concise answer:

Imam Baqir (‘a) was born in the year 57 Hijrī, in the city of Medina. He was 39 years old at the time of the death of his father, Imam Zayn al-’Abidīn (‘a) (who passed away in 94 Hijrī). His name was Muhammad, while his kunya was Abū Ja’far, and his agnomens were Baqir and Baqir al-’Ūlūm.

The Intellectual Rank of the Lady Fatimah ('a)

Question: Why is it important to understand the intellectual rank of the Lady Fatimah ('a)?
Concise answer:

The love that the Prophet (ṣ) had towards his daughter Fatimah (‘a) is an indication of the existence of these virtues within her.

Fatimah ('a) and Kawthar

Question: Who is the first verse of Surah Kawthar referring to?
Concise answer:

From the context of this chapter, it can be understood that it is in reference to the Lady Fatimah (‘a) and the reason behind this is that the lineage of the Prophet (ṣ) spread throughout the world through her children.

The Defense of Wilāyah Even While Bedridden with Her Illness Through Injuries.

Question: How did the Lady Fatimah ('a) defend Imam 'Ali's ('a) position while she was ill?
Concise answer:

The Lady Fatimah (‘a) delivered a fiery sermon in defense of Imam ‘Ali (‘a) even while she was bedridden with her illness. 

The Infallibility of Fatimah ('a)

Question: Was Fatimah ('a) infallible?
Concise answer:

From the verses of the Quran and the traditions, we can come to the conclusion that the Lady Fatimah ('a) was from the infallibles.

How Fatimah ('a) Aided the Prophet (ṣ)

Question: How did the Lady Fatimah ('a) aid her father, the Prophet (ṣ)?
Concise answer:

From the very beginning of Islam, the Lady Fatimah (‘a) was an aid and support for her father.

Imam Ṣādiq (‘a) According to his Contemporaries

Question: How did the contemporaries of Imam Ṣādiq (‘a) view him?
Concise answer:

Imam Ṣādiq (‘a) was well known for his positive characteristics amongst his contemporaries

The Debate of Imam Ṣādiq (‘a) With Abū Ḥanīfah

Question: How has the debate of Imam Ṣādiq (‘a) with Abū Ḥanīfah been narrated in the sources of the Ahl al-Sunnah?
Concise answer:

Abū Ḥanīfah, ‘Abdullah ibn Abī Sharmah, and Ibn Abī Laylā all went to meet with Imam Ja’far Ṣādiq (‘a)