Muhammad b. al-Imam al-Hadi (a)

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Muhammad b. al-Imam al-Hadi (a)
Al-Sayyid Muhammad's mausoleum in the city of Balad, 50 kilometers south of Samarra
Al-Sayyid Muhammad's mausoleum in the city of Balad, 50 kilometers south of Samarra
TeknonymAbu Ja'far
EpithetSabu' al-Dujayl
Well-Known AsAl-Sayyid Muhammad
Religious AffiliationImammiyya
FatherImam 'Ali b. Muhammad al-Hadi (a)
MotherHudayth (or Sulayl)
Place of BirthSarya village near Medina
Place(s) of ResidenceMedina
DemiseJumada II 29,252/July 17, 866
Place of BurialThe city of Balad, 50 kilometers south of Samarra

Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad b. al-Imam ʿAlī al-Hādī (a) (Arabic: أبوجعفر محمد بن الإمام علي الهادي), (b. 228/842-3 - d. 252/866), known as al-Sayyid Muḥammad (ألسَّیِّد مُحَمَّد), and also known among the natives as Sabu' al-Dujayl (سَبُعُ 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 (acts of wonders) have been reported about him.

On Shawwal 1, 1437/July 7, 2016 his mausoleum has been attacked by takfiri terrorists.

Birth, lineage, and children

Al-Sayyid Muhamamd was born in 228/842-3 in Sarya village near Medina.[1] According to the most widely accepted view, he was Imam al-Hadi's (a) first child and was older than Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a).[2] His mother was called Hudayth (or Sulayl).[3]

When Imam al-Hadi (a) was summoned by al-Mutawakkil al-'Abbasi to Samarra, Muhammad (who was about 5 years old at that time) stayed in Sarya.[4]


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.

Family tree of Ahl al-Bayt (a)
'Abd Allah
Lady Fatima
Imam Ali
Umm al-Banin
Imam al-Husayn
Imam al-Hasan
Lady Zaynab
Umm Kulthum
Abd Allah
Umm Kulthum
'Abd Allah
'Abd Allah
Imam al-Sajjad
'Ali al-Akbar
'Ali al-Asghar
Imam al-Baqir
Imam al-Sadiq
'Abd Allah
'Ubayd Allah
Imam al-Kazim
Umm Farwa
'Abd Allah
Imam al-Rida
Imam al-Jawad
Imam al-Hadi
Imam al-'Askari
Imam al-Mahdi

Moral virtues

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 al-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. Imam al-'Askari 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 his father, Imam al-Hadi (a) let them know about Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a) being the next Imam.


In 252/866, al-Sayyid Muhammad decided to visit the House of God.[5] When he arrived in Balad (near Samarra in Iraq), he became sick, and died on Jumada II 29/July 17. Shiites buried him in Balad.[6] Some people conjectured that he was poisoned by Abbasids.

When he died, Imam al-Hadi (a) held a mourning ceremony for him. Some people from Banu Hashim, including Hasan b. Hasan al-Aftas reported that:

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.[7] 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 al-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.[8]

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.


Darih of al-Sayyid Muhammad b. al-Imam al-Hadi (a)

The mausoleum of al-Sayyid Muhammad is located in the city of Balad in "Salah al-Din" province, 85 kilometers north of Baghdad. Today the place is frequently visited by Shiites.[9]

No exact information is available about when the building on the grave was first constructed. However through reconstructions of the shrine carried out from 1379-1384/1959-1965, it was found out that the first construction of the mausoleum dates back to the 4th/10th century by 'Adud al-Dawla al-Daylami.[10] After that in the 10th/16th century, the first building was constructed by Shah Isma'il Safawi after the conquest of Baghdad.[11]

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 nine parasangs and arrived in the village of Balad, he became sick and died there.

Terrorist Attack

On Shawwal 1, 1437/July 7, 2016 his mausoleum has been attacked by takfiri terrorists.[12] Terrorists belong to ISIS first launched mortars to the mausoleum, then some of them did suicide attack and blew themselves up.


Many karamat (acts of 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. 1312/1895 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.


  1. Badāwī, Sabʿ al-Dujayl l-Tablīgh wa al-Irshād, p. 2.
  2. Mufīd, al-Irshād
  3. Badāwī, Sabʿ al-Dujayl l-Tablīgh wa al-Irshād, p. 2.
  4. Badāwī, Sabʿ al-Dujayl l-Tablīgh wa al-Irshād, p. 2.
  5. Badāwī, Sabʿ al-Dujayl l-Tablīgh wa al-Irshād, p. 4.
  6. Ibn Ṣūfī, al-Majdī fī ansāb al-ṭālibīn, p. 325.
  7. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 50, p. 245.
  8. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 50, p. 246.
  9. Sayyid Muhammad,
  10. Faqīh Baḥr al-ʿUlūm and Khāmayār, Ziyāratgāh-hāyi Iraq, vol. 1, p. 520.
  11. Faqīh Baḥr al-ʿUlūm and Khāmayār, Ziyāratgāh-hāyi Iraq, vol. 1, p. 520-521.
  12. The photos of explosion in Sayyid Muhammad's tomb,


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