Imam Musa b. Ja'far al-Kazim (a)

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Musa b. Ja'far al-Kazim (a)
7th Shi'a Imam
Kazimayn.JPG
Kadhimiya, Iraq, the Holy Shrine of Imam al-Kazim (a) and Imam al-Jawad (a)
Born (745-11-12)12 November 745 CE
(Safar 7, 128)
Birthplace Abwa'
Beginning of Imamate Shawwal 25, 148/18 December, 765
Duration of Imamate 35 years
Martyrdom c. 5 September 799(799-09-05) (aged 53)
(Rajab 25, 183)
Deathplace Baghdad, Iraq
Cause of Death Death by Poisoning
Place of Burial

Kadhimiya, Iraq,

33°22′48″N 44°20′17.3″E / 33.38000°N 44.338139°E / 33.38000; 44.338139
Predecessor Ja'far b. Muhammad (a)
Successor Ali b. Musa (a)
Father Ja'far b. Muhammad (a)
Mother Hamida al-Barbariyya
Spouse(s) Najma, ...
Son(s) 'Ali (a), Ahmad, Hamza, Muhammad, Ishaq, Ibrahim, ...
Daughter(s) Fatima al-Kubra, ...
Other Titles Al-Kazim (the suppressor [of his rage]), al-'Abd al-Salih (the righteous servant), Bab al-Hawa'ij (gate to the wishes)
The Twelve Imams
'Ali, al-Hasan, al-Husayn, al-Sajjad, al-Baqir, al-Sadiq, al-Kazim, al-Rida, al-Jawad, al-Hadi, al-Askari, al-Mahdi

Mūsā b. Jaʿfar (a) (Arabic: موسی بن جعفر) titled as al-Kāẓim (الکاظم) was the seventh Imam of Shi'a, born in 128/745 in the village of Abwa' (between Mecca and Medina). After his father Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (a) was martyred during the power transition from Umayyads to Abbasids, he (a) became the Imam of Shi'a for thirty five years from 148/765 until 183/799. His imamate coincided with the caliphate of four Abbasid caliphs namely, al-Mansur, al-Hadi, al-Mahdi and al-Harun. He was imprisoned by al-Mahdi and al-Harun for a number of times. He (a) was finally poisoned and martyred on Rajab 25, 183/September 5, 799 in the prison of Baghdad by Sindi b. Shahak. Following his martyrdom, imamate was transferred to his son, Imam al-Rida (a).

The Sunni scholar, Ibn Hajar al-Haythami (d. 974/1567) said, "He (a) was called al-Kazim due to his great forbearance and was known to people of Iraq as Bab qada' al-hawa'ij 'ind Allah [the gate to requests before God] and the most pious, most knowledgeable, and most generous people of his time."

They say that he (a) had thirty seven children, most famous of whom were Imam al-Rida (a), Ahmad, Hamza, Muhammad, and the most famous daughter of him was Lady Ma'suma (a).

Lineage, Kunyas, and Titles

His lineage was, Musa b. Ja'far b. Muhammad b. Ali b. Husayn b. Ali b. Abi Talib (a). His mother was Hamida al-Barbariyya and his Kunyas were Abu Ibrahim, Abu l-Hasan al-Awwal, Abu l-Hasan al-Madi, and also Abu Ali.

He (a) was known as al-'Abd al-Salih due to his great piety and worshiping, and known as al-Kazim since he (a) forbore against maltreatment of others. His other titles were Bab al-Hawa'ij.

Family tree of Ahl al-Bayt (a)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Khadija
 
 
 
Muhammad
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lady Fatima
 
 
 
Imam Ali
 
 
 
 
Umm al-Banin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Husayn
 
Imam al-Hasan
 
Lady Zaynab
 
Umm Kulthum
 
Muhsin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al-'Abbas
 
Abd Allah
 
Uthman
 
Ja'far
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Muhammad
 
'Awn
 
Ali
 
Al-'Abbas
 
Umm Kulthum
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al-Hasan
 
Al-Qasim
 
'Abd Allah
 
Fatima
 
Zayd
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
'Abd Allah
 
Zaynab
 
Ibrahim
 
Al-Hasan
 
Hasan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Muhammad
 
 
Ibrahim
 
 
Idris
 
 
 
Nafisa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Sajjad
 
'Ali al-Akbar
 
 
'Ali al-Asghar
 
 
Fatima
 
Sukayna
 
Ruqayya
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Baqir
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Zayd
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Sadiq
 
'Abd Allah
 
Ibrahim
 
'Ubayd Allah
 
'Ali
 
Yahya
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Kazim
 
Muhammad
 
Ali
 
Ishaq
 
Umm Farwa
 
'Abd Allah
 
Isma'il
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Rida
 
Ma'suama
 
Hamza
 
Ishaq
 
Ahmad
 
Ibrahim
 
Muhammad
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Jawad
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Hadi
 
 
Musa
 
 
 
 
Fatima
 
 
 
Amama
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari
 
 
Husayn
 
 
 
 
Muhammad
 
 
 
Ja'far
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Mahdi
 
 


Birth

Imam al-Kazim (a) was born on Sunday, Safar 7, 128/November 12, 745 or Safar 7, 129/November 1, 746 in the village of Abwa', between Mecca and Medina, when his parents, Imam al-Sadiq (a) and Hamida al-Barbariyya, were returning from Hajj. Some have mentioned his place of birth in Medina.

Wives and Children

Shi'a
Usul al-Din (Beliefs)
Main Beliefs TawhidProphethoodResurrection'AdlImamate
Other Beliefs 'IsmaWilayaMahdawiyya: Occultation (Minor Occultation, Major Occultation), Intizar, Zuhur, and Raj'aBada'
Furu' al-Din (Practical Orders)
'Ibadi Orders PrayerFastingKhumsZakatHajjJihad
Non-'Ibadi Orders Forbidding the EvilEnjoining the GoodTawalliTabarri
Sources of Ijtihad Qur'anSunnaReasonIjma'
Ethics
Virtues ForgivenessGenerosityGenerous help
Vices Greater SinsKibr'UjbGhururJealousy
Sources Nahj al-BalaghaAl-Sahifa al-SajjadiyyaLetter of Imam 'Ali to Imam al-Hasan
Challenging Issues
Succession of the Prophet (s)Shafa'aTawassulTaqiyyaMourningMut'aCompanions
Figures
Shi'a Imams Imam 'Ali (a)Imam al-Hasan (a)Imam al-Husayn (a)Imam al-Sajjad (a)Imam al-Baqir (a)Imam al-Sadiq (a)Imam al-Kazim (a)Imam al-Rida (a)Imam al-Jawad (a)Imam al-Hadi (a)Imam al-'Askari (a)Imam al-Mahdi (a)
Companions

Men: HamzaJa'far b. Abi TalibSalman al-FarsiMiqdad b. AswadAbudhar al-Ghifari'Ammar YasirMalik al-AshtarMuhammad b. Abi Bakr'Aqil'Uthman b. HunayfAbu Ayyub al-AnsariJabir b. 'Abd Allah al-AnsariIbn 'Abbas'Abd Allah b. Ja'farKhuzayma b. ThabitBilalYasir

Women: KhadijaLady Fatima (a)ZaynabUmm KulthumAsma' bt. 'UmaysUmm AymanUmm Salama
Scholars LitterateursScholars of UsulPoetsScholars of RijalFaqihsPhilosophersBibliographersExegetes
Shrines
Mecca: Al-Masjid al-Haram
Medina: Al-Masjid al-NabawiAl-Baqi'
Al-Quds: Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa
Najaf: Shrine of Imam 'Ali (a)Masjid al-Kufa
Karbala: Shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a)
Kadhimiya: Shrine of al-Kazimayn (a)
Samarra: Shrine of al-'Askariyyayn (a)
Mashhad: Shrine of Imam al-Rida (a)
Damascus: Zaynabiyya
Qom: Shrine of Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma
Shiraz: Shah Chiragh
Rey: Shrine of 'Abd al-'Azim al-Hasani
Eids
Eid al-FitrEid al-AdhaEid al-GhadirMab'athProphet's birthdayImams' birthdays
Mournings
FatimiyyaMuharram (Mournings of Muharram), Tasu'a, 'Ashura and Arba'in)
Events
MubahalaEvent of GhadirEvent of Saqifa Bani Sa'idaFadakEvents of Lady Fatima's HouseBattle of JamalBattle of SiffinBattle of NahrawanEvent of KarbalaHadith al-ThaqalaynAshab al-Kisa'Tathir VerseKilling Shi'as
Literature
Qur'anNahj al-balaghaal-Sahifa al-SajjadiyyaThe Four Books: (al-Istibsaral-KafiTahdhib al-ahkamKitab man la yahduruh al-faqih) • Mushaf of Fatima (a)Mushaf Imam 'Ali (a)Asrar-i Al-i Muhammad (s)Wasa'il al-Shi'aBihar al-anwaral-GhadirMafatih al-jinanMajma' al-bayanal-MizanOther Books
Sects
Ithna 'AshariyyaIsma'iliyyaZaydiyyaKaysaniyya

The number of Imam al-Kazim's (a) wives is not clear, but it is reported that most of them were concubines he (a) bought and either freed or married them, the first of whom was Najma, mother of Imam al-Rida (a).

About Imam's (a) children, there are different historical reports. According to al-Shaykh al-Mufid, Imam al-Kazim (a) had thirty seven children. Al-Shaykh al-Mufid listed the names of his eighteen sons and nineteen daughters as below,

  1. Imam al-Rida (a)
  2. Fatima al-Kubra; mother of 'Ali and Fatima was a concubine named Najama,
  3. Ibrahim
  4. 'Abbas
  5. Qasim; whose mothers were concubines
  6. Isma'il
  7. Ja'far
  8. Harun
  9. Husayn; mother of him, Harun, Ja'far, and also Isma'il was a concubine;
  10. Ahmad
  11. Muhammad
  12. Hamza; the mother of his, Muhammad, and Hamza was a concubine
  13. 'Abd Allah
  14. Ishaq
  15. 'Ubayd Allah
  16. Zayd
  17. Al-Hasan
  18. Al-Fadl
  19. Sulayman
  20. Fatima al-Sughra
  21. Ruqayya
  22. Hakima
  23. Umm Abiha
  24. Ruqayya al-Sughra
  25. Kulthum
  26. Umm Ja'far
  27. Lubaba
  28. Zaynab
  29. Khadija
  30. 'Illiyya
  31. Amina
  32. Husna
  33. Burayha
  34. 'A'isha
  35. Umm Salama
  36. Maymuna
  37. Umm Kulthum

In the list above, the two girls with the name of Fatima (Fatima al-Kubra and Fatima al-Sughra) are mentioned among the children of Imam al-Kazim (a). The grave of a daughter of Imam al-Kazim (a) with the name of Fatima in Qom is among the famous pilgrimage sites of Shi'a, who was Fatima al-Kubra. In the works of Shi'a hadith scholars (who lived shortly after the time of the infallibles (a) including al-Shaykh al-Saduq and Ibn Quluwayh al-Qummi), there are several narrations about the reward for visiting her shrine, addressing her as Fatima, daughter of Musa (a). According to some reports, Fatima al-Sughra is buried in Baku, known as Bibi Haybat.

Imamate

After the martyrdom of his father in 148/765, Imam al-Kazim (a) became the imam of Shi'a for next thirty five years. It is narrated in some sources that Imam al-Sadiq (a) introduced five people, including the Abbasid caliph himself (al-Mansur al-Dawaniqi), in order to foil his plot of killing the next Imam. Although Imam al-Sadiq (a) had introduced the next Imam to his special disciples, the situation was still unclear for the Shiites. In this period, even some of the outstanding companions of Imam al-Sadiq (a) such as Mu'min al-Taq and Hisham b. Salim al-Jawaliqi had become doubtful. First they turned to 'Abd Allah al-Aftah who had claimed to be Imam and asked his about zakat, but his answers were not convincing so they met Musa b. Ja'far (a), asked the same question, were convinced by his answers and accepted his imamate.

Proofs for Imamate

Some certain close scholars and trusted friends of Imam al-Sadiq (a) have narrated his words about the imamate of Imam al-Kazim (a), including Mufaddal b. 'Umar al-Ju'fi, Mu'adh b. al-Kathir, 'Abd al-Rahman b. Hajjaj, Fayd b. Mukhtar, Ya'qub al-Sarraj, Sulayman b. Khalid, and Safwan al-Jammal.

There is a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a) saying, "God gave me a son who is the best of God's creatures." Or in another narration, he (a) is reported saying, "I wish I had no children other than him so that I shared my love with no one else but Musa."

Contemporary Rulers

Imam al-Kazim (a) was contemporary with four Abbasid caliphs during his imamate,

Contemporary Shi'a Sects

Some Shi'a of the time of Imam al-Sadiq (a) believed in the imamate of Isma'il and although he passed away while Imam al-Sadiq (a) was alive, they did not believe his demise and still believed in his imamate. After martyrdom of Imam al-Sadiq (a), some who were disappointed of the imamate of Isma'il considered his son Muhammad b. Isma'il as Imam and were later known as Isma'ilids.

After the martyrdom of Imam al-Sadiq (a), some others followed 'Abd Allah al-Aftah and were known as Fatahiyya. Among other sects of the time of Imam (a) were Nawusiyya, following a person called Nawus who considered Imam al-Sadiq (a) as the last Imam, and another group who believed in the imamate of Muhammad b. Ja'far, known as Dibaj.

After the martyrdom of Imam al-Kazim (a), some people did not believe in the imamate of Imam al-Rida (a) and stopped following anyone after Imam al-Kazim (a) and believed in him being the al-Mahdi and the Upriser and were called Waqifids. The movement of Mahdism is of course among the essential principles of Shi'a adopted from narrations of the Infallibles (a) which suggests that a person called "al-Qa'im" [Upriser] and "Mahdi" will rise from among the progeny of the Prophet (s) and will spread justice in the world.

Shi'a Uprisings at the Time of Imam al-Kazim (a)

The first uprising was the one lead by al-Husayn b. Ali b. al-Hasan b. al-Hasan b. Ali b. Abi Talib known as Shahid Fakh against the Abbasids and it was unsuccessful. Although, Imam al-Kazm (a) did not order his Shi'a to rebel, but he (a) was aware of its formation and was in contact with al-Husayn b. Ali. Imam's (a) advice about endeavoring at war and jihad and informing him of his martyrdom shows Imam's (a) awareness about the uprising of Shahid Fakh. Among other uprisings of 'Alawis are the uprisings of Yahya b. 'Abd Allah and Idris b. 'Abd Allah.

Arrest and Imprisonment

There are different reports about the cause of Imam al-Kazim's (a) arrest which clarify Imam's (a) position among the Shi'a. According to historical reports, the cause of Imam's (a) capture was the malicious slander against Imam (a) to Harun al-Rashid made by Yahya al-Barmaki or one of Imam's (a) brothers. Imam al-Kazim (a) was imprisoned twice by Harun, about the first term of which there is no report but the second term was 179/795 to 183/799 which led to Imam's (a) martyrdom. Harun al-Rashid arrested Imam (a) in 179/795 in Medina. Imam (a) was imprisoned in the prison of Basra, known as the prison of 'Isa b. Ja'far on the Dhu l-Hijja 7/15 March. He (a) was then moved to the prison of al-Fadl b. al-Rabi' in Baghdad. The prisons of al-Fadl b. Yahya and Sindi b. Shahak were the prisons in which the Imam (a) was until the end of his life.

Martyrdom

Martyrdom Anniversary of Imam al-Kazim 2016

Imam al-Kazim (a) was martyred on Rajab 25, 183/September 5, 799 in the prison of Sindi b. Shahak in Baghdad. After Imam's (a) martyrdom, Sindi ordered to put the body of Imam (a) on the bridge of Baghdad and announced to people that Imam (a) had died a natural death. There are different reports about the martyrdom of Imam al-Kazim (a). Most historians have reported the martyrdom of Imam al-Kazim (a) following poisoning and have introduced Yahya b. Khalid and Sindi b. Shahak as his killers; however, some have said that Imam (a) was suffocated to death by wrapping in the carpet and some others believed in pouring melted lead in Imam's (a) throat as the cause of his martyrdom.

Burial Place and the Reward for Ziyarah

An old photo of the Holy Shrine of al-Kazimayn (a).Photo is taken by British Air Force in 1335/1917 during World War I.

After finding about Imam's (a) martyrdom, the Shi'a gathered for a funeral and buried his body in the Quraysh cemetery of Kadhimiya. Imam al-Rida (a) said, "anyone who visits my father's grave is like the one who visits the graves of the Prophet (s) and Ali b. Abi Talib (a)." In another narration, he (a) is narrated saying that the reward given for visiting the grave of his father is like the reward given for visiting the grave of Imam al-Husayn (a).

Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi's Word Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi quoted from al-Hasan b. Ibrahim Abu Ali al-Khallal, Shaykh of Hanbalis of his time, saying that, "no problem I faced and then went near the grave of Musa b. Ja'far (a) and entreated him, except that God, the Almighty, facilitated towards what I liked it."

Companions and Narrators

The names of many companions and narrators have been mentioned in authentic traditions who narrated from Imam al-Kazim (a). Al-Shaykh al-Mufid said, "Imam al-Kazim (a) was the horizon of his time and people narrated many traditions from him." Al-Shaykh al-Tusi counted the number of narrators and companions of imam al-Kazim (a) as 272 people, including,

References

Further Reading

Kadhimiya, Iraq, the Holy Shrine of Imam al-Kazim (a) and Imam al-Jawad (a)