Muhammad b. al-Imam al-Hadi (a)
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|Muhammad b. al-Imam al-Hadi (a)|
|Name||Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Muhammad|
|Epithet||Al-Sayyid Muhammad, Sabu' al-Dujayl|
|Father||Imam 'Ali b. Muhammad al-Hadi (a)|
|Mother||Hudayth (or Sulayl)|
|Place of Birth||Sarya village near Medina|
|Demise||Jumada l-Thania 29,252/July 21,866|
|Place of Burial||The city of Balad, 50 kilometers south of Samarra|
Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad b. al-Imam ʿAlī al-Hādī (a) (Arabic: أبوجعفر محمد بن الإمام علي الهادی ), known as al-Sayyid Muḥammad (Arabic: السید محمد), and also known among the natives as Sabu' al-Dujayl (Arabic: سبع الدُجَیل; the lion of Dujayl), was the senior son of Imam al-Hadi (a). Because of his remarkable moral virtues, many Shiites and others thought that he would inherit imamate from Imam al-Hadi (a). However, his death during the life of his father refuted such ideas.
Al-Sayyid Muhammad's mausoleum is located in the city of Balad, 50 kilometers south of Samarra. The place is respected by Shiites, especially in Iraq. Many karamat (supernatural wonders) have been reported about him.
Birth, lineage, and children
|Family tree of Ahl al-Bayt (a)|
Al-Sayyid Muhamamd was born in 228/842-843 in Sarya village near Medina. According to the most widely accepted view, he was Imam al-Hadi's (a) first child and was older than Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a). His mother was called Hudayth (or Sulayl).
According to a quote from the book, Bahr al-ansab, al-Sayyid Muhammad had 9 sons some of whom are buried in Khuy and Salmas in Iran. His progeny continued only through two of his sons, Ahmad and 'Ali.
Abu Ja'far al-Sayyid Muhammad was morally virtuous and courteous. These virtues made many Shiites believe that he was going to be the next Imam after his father, Imam al-Hadi (a).
Al-Kalani wrote about him that "I met Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. 'Ali at a very young age, and I saw no one more courteous, generous, and neater than him. At that time, Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a) was a child in Hijaz and Abu Ja'far admired him so much. Abu Ja'far always accompanied his brother, Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a), and never parted his company. He undertook his training and education."
Since al-Sayyid Muhammad was very virtuous, Shiites believed that he would be the next Imam. However, when he died during the lifetime of Imam al-Hadi (a), he let them know about Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a) being the next Imam.
In 252/866, al-Sayyid Muhammad decided to visit the Ka'ba. When he arrived in Balad (near Samarra in Iraq), he became sick, and died in Jumada l-Thania 29/July 21. Shiites buried him in Balad. Some people conjectured that he was poisoned by Abbasids.
- When al-Sayyid Muhammad passed away, we went to Imam al-Hadi's (a) house. We saw that a rug is spread out, and people sat around. We estimated the population: besides emancipated slaves and other people, there were 150 people from the Abu Talib household, Banu Hashim and Quraysh. Suddenly Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a) came in, having torn apart his clothes out of the grief for his brother's death. He stood beside his father. We did not know him then. After an hour, Imam al-Hadi (a) told him: "O' my son! Offer your praise to God, since He offered you something." Imam al-Hasan (a) cried and said: "praise be to Allah, the lord of the worlds. We only praise Him for His blessings on us, and we are from God and to Him we return". I asked: who is this? And people said: he is Hasan, the son of Imam al-Hadi (a). He looked 20 years old at that time. Thus we learned that he was going to be the next Imam after his father.
The Muhammadiyya sect
After al-Sayyid Muhammad's death, some Shiites who were advocates of his imamate said that he was not dead and was still alive, since Imam al-Hadi (a) introduced him for imamate and an Imam never lies, and no bada' can be said to have happened. Thus he is the successor of Imam al-Hadi (a), and his father hid him from people lest he is hurt.
No exact information is available about when the building on the grave was first constructed. However through reconstructions of the shrine carried out from 1379-1384/1959-1964, it was found out that the first construction of the mausoleum dates back to the 4th/10th century by 'Adud al-Dawla al-Daylami. After that in the 10th/16th century, the first building was constructed by Shah Isma'il Safawi after the conquest of Baghdad.
The tablet on the mausoleum's darih (the netted silver box on the grave) reads as follows:
- This is the mausoleum of the great al-Sayyid Abu Ja'far Muhammad, the son of Imam al-Hadi (a) who is of a high place, and Shiites believed that he would be the next Imam after Imam al-Hadi (a), and when he died, Imam al-Hadi (a) pointed out that Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a) was his successor. When Imam al-Hadi (a) migrated from Medina to Samarra, al-Sayyid Muhammad was still a child, and he joined his father in Samarra when he was mature. He stayed in Samarra for a while until when he decided to return to Medina. When departed from Samarra by 9 parasangs and arrived in the village of Balad, he became sick and died there.
Many karamat (supernatural wonders) have been seen from al-Sayyid Muhammad. In his book, al-Najam al-thaqib, Mirza Husayn al-Nuri counts him as a possessor of frequent karamat, maintaining that people of Iraq and even Bedouin Arabs were afraid of swearing in his name. For example, if someone is accused of having lifted something, they would rather return the thing than swearing to al-Sayyid Muhammad.
Some scholars have written about his karamat; one example is Mahdi Al 'Abd al-Ghaffar al-Kishmiri's essay in this regard. 'Allama Sayyid Mirza Hadi Khurasani reported Sayyid Hasan Al Khuja—a servant of the shrine of Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a)—as saying that:
- I was sitting in the courtyard of Abu Ja'far al-Sayyid Muhammad's shrine. I noticed that an Arab entered the courtyard with one of his hands tied around his neck. I went to him and asked for his condition. He said: "last year, I went to my sister's house. I saw a sheep in the yard. I wanted to slaughter the animal and eat it. My sister told me that the sheep was vowed to al-Sayyid Muhammad. I ignored her and slaughtered the sheep. After three days my hand began to become lame, and it deteriorated on a daily basis. I did not notice the reason for this until recently. Now I regret what I have done and I have come here in order to be healed." He and his companions entered the shrine and started moaning and crying. After an hour I saw him moving his hand. He prostrated out of praise for God, and vowed to bring a sheep every year and slaughter it for al-Sayyid Muhammad.
A Book About al-Sayyid Muhammad
Hayat wa karamat Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. al-Imam 'Ali al-Hadi (a) (the life and karamat of Abu Ja'far) written by Muhammad 'Ali Urdubadi (b. 1312/1894 d.1380/1960 in Arabic regarding the life of al-Sayyid Muhammad. A Farsi translation of the book by Ali Akbar Mahdipour is published as Sitari-i Dujayl (the start of Dujayl). At the end of the translation, there are appendixes such as the biography of the author, children of al-Sayyid Muhammad, a bibliography, and the praying that should be recited when visiting al-Sayyid Muhammad's shrine. The book has two parts: the first concerns the life of al-Sayyid Muhammad and the second concerns his karamat.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from محمد بن علی الهادی (ع) in Farsi Wikishia.