Bāqir al-‘Ulūm (Arabic: باقر العلوم) or al-Bāqir (Arabic: الباقر) is the most famous epithet of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a). In the book Ilal al-sharayi', it is narrated from Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju'fi that in answering the question why the fifth Imam (a) was called “al-Baqir”? He said, “Because, he (a) really split sciences.”
As mentioned in the book Wasilat al-khadim written by Fadl b. Ruzbihan, a Sunni scholar of the 9th/15th and 10th/16th centuries, the Prophet (s) granted the fifth Imam (a) the mentioned epithet; and it is mentioned in a narration by Imam al-Sadiq (a) that the Prophet (s) gave the epithet “al-Baqir” to his father Imam al-Baqir (a) as an exclusive merit. The Prophet (s) promised Jabir b. Abd Allah al-Ansari that “you will live [long] until you see my son Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn b. Ali b. Abi Talib (a), who has been blessed with the epithet al-Baqir in the Torah, and when you meet him, pass my greetings to him.”
Also, in another narration, in the book Tadhkirat al-khawas, written by Sibt b. al-Jawzi (d. 654/1256-7), it is said that the fifth Imam (a) was called al-Baqir because his forehead was dented due to frequent prostrations.
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- Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 46, p. 225.
- Ibn al-Jawzī, Tadhkirat al-khawāṣ, p. 302.
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