Imam Musa al-Kazim(a.s):Aseer-a-Baghdad
Imam Musa Kazim’s life represented a distinguished, historical and political period in the history of Islam. During that terrible era (148-183 A.H.)
Imam al-Kazim (A.S.) took on the responsibility of divine leadership (Imamate) which included the period of the life of Abbasid caliphs Mansoor, Mahdi, Hadi and Rasheed. It was the most prominent deviated period of the Abbasid rule.
Imam Reza(A.S.) lived under the wing of his father, Imam Musa al-Kazim, peace be on him, for twenty five years and some months.
He witnessed various kinds of ordeal and misfortune which befell his father, who worried and frightened the ‘Abbasid government, for he was the focus of the attention of the Muslims and the place of their hope for saving them from the ruling ‘Abbasid band, who went too far in wronging the people and forcing them (to do) what they disliked.
The high rank of Imam al-Kazim made the ‘Abba`sid kings sleepless, so they harbored malice against him, took all measures to persecute and torture him.
. Imam Musa al-Kazim(A.S.) and the Abbasid Caliphs
The Imam Kazim (A.S.) and Abu-Ja’far Mansoor:
Under the rule of Abu-Ja’far Mansoor, Alawites suffered beyond description. They were terrorized in the most heartbreaking way.
Abu-Ja’far Mansoor confiscated the property of the Alawites, threw them behind bars, and hunted them down. He used to weigh them down with shackles and chains by which they slowly died.
The Imam Kazim(A.S.) and Muhammad Mahdi:
After the death of Abu Ja’far Mansoor, his son, Mahdi sensed the brutality of the policy his father had taken and tried to soothe people’s pains at the beginnig of his caliphate. He released prisoners and gave back confiscated property. This decision applied, also, to the descendants of Abu-Talib. The property of Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad al-Sadiq (A.S.), taken by the Abbasid authorities, was turned back to his son, Imam Musa bin Ja’far (A.S.).
But fear of the strong personality of Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.) was eating away at Mahdi’s heart. He saw how the masses rallied around the descendants of Abu-Talib, and he was worried that there would be an uprising against his rule.
As a result,he ordered his governor, in Madinah, to send Imam Kazim (A.S.) to Baghdad.
As soon as Imam al-Kazim (A.S.) arrived in Baghdad, Mahdi ordered his guard to throw him in prison. But Allah would not forget his devoted servant. He guarded his servant against any evil.
A strange thing happened afterwards which caused Mahdi to withdraw his decision and set the Imam Kazim(A.S.) free.
The Imam (A.S.) and Harun Rasheed:
Imam Musa bin Ja’far (A.S.), like the other members of Ahlul-Bait (A.S.), their followers and the common people, lived in an atmosphere of oppression, terror, and intimidation. At any moment the could be thrown in jail or made homeless..
Dishonesty of one of Imam’s (A.S.) relatives
The nephew of Imam (A.S.) named Ali Bin Ismail was invited by the companions of Haroon to go to Baghdad and inform Haroon about the condition and state of Musa Ibn-e-Jaffar (A.S.).
Ismail arrived Baghdad and arrived to the house of Yahyah Barmaki and then went to see “Haroon” along with him and said to him, “Oh Haroon! Musa Ibn-e-Jaffar (A.S.) governs and rules Madina and ample amount of money is sent to him from all around and he has decided to rise and overthrow your government.”
In 179 A.H. the caliph,Harun, made a pilgrimage and began to visit Madinah and ordered the arrest of Imam al-Kazim (A.S.). Thus, the Imam (A.S.) was captured and sent to Basrah, whose governor was Isa bin Ja’far bin Mansoor. He (A.S..) stayed in prison for a year and, then, the Imam (A.S.) was sent to Baghdad and imprisoned there uner Fadl bin Rabi’ and in which he remained for a long time. After that, he was imprisoned under Sindi bin Shahak.
In Dark Prisons
Severe and tragic ordeals befell Imam Musa, peace be on him, who was similar to ‘Isa b. Maryam in fear of Allah, piety, and righteousness
Harun spared no effort to wrong and exhaust him. He went too far in punishing him though he knew that the Imam sought neither government nor authority. Rather he wanted to spread justice, truth, and ease among people.
He criticizes those rulers for their oppression, their tyranny, and their possessing alone the affairs of the Muslims.
Imam Musa, peace be on him, was the head of those who opposed Harun’s policy. We have several times mentioned his negative attitude toward Harun. As for Harun, he spared no effort to exhaust the Imam and to take vengeance on him. He imprisoned him in his prisons and veiled him from his Shi‘ites (followers).
Accordingly, the Imam spent a long time in prisons until he passed away. He was a stranger and martyr. He suffered from the bitterest pain and misfortunes.
Harun commands ‘Isa to assassinate the Imam
The news that the Imam, peace be on him, was detained in Basrah became famous. The people reported his traditions. They were sad and sorrowful. So Harun feared that discords and disorders would happen. Accordingly, he commanded ‘Isa to assassinate the Imam, peace be on him, that he might get rid of him and to take a rest.
The Imam is carried to Baghdad
Al-Rashid ordered the Imam to be carried to Baghdad. The police and some guards carried the Imam in chain to it. They quickly took him and headed for it. When they arrived in it, they informed al-Rashid of that, and he ordered him to be detained.
The Imam, peace be on him, was tired of prison and was displeased with that long period of time. Exhausting pain and bitter misfortunes encompassed him. That is because he was veiled from his family and his children. He was transferred from one prison to another. The police and the spies watched him lest his Shi’ites should visit him. As a result he resorted to Allah, the Most High, to save him from that ordeal.
Companions of Imam al-Kazim (A.S)
Muhammad bin Abi Umair Azadi, historians say, one of the companions of Imam al-Kazim (A.S..) imprisoned in the prisons of Rasheed for about ten years. He was one of the most trustworty men and well-known for his asceticism, devoutness and worship. He was severely punished.
It is, also, narrated that among close companions of Imam al-Kazim (A.S.) were: Ali bin Hashim bin Barid, Abdulla bin Alqama, and Mukhawwal bin Ibrahim Sahdi. All of them were imprisoned by Rasheed in his prison called Matbiq. There, they remained 12 years.”
Harun decides to kill the Imam
When the Imam’s renown spread, his merits and achievements were famous in Baghdad, al-Rashid be came displeased with him. He was afraid of him, so he decided to kill him.
Harun sends a Salve Girl to the Imam
Harun chose a very beautiful slave girl. He ordered one of his special associate to send the slave girl to the Imam, peace be on him. He thought that the Imam would be fascinated by her.
When she reached him, Imam, peace be on him, said to the messenger of Harun: “Rather, you are happy with your gift! I am in no need of this (slave girl) and the likes of her!”
So the messenger took the slave girl and returned to Harun. He informed him of the words of the Imam, so he boiled with anger and said to him:
“ Leave the slave girl with him and go away.”
That person informed the Imam of Harun’s statement. He left the slave girl with him and returned to Harun. Harun sent a servant of his to the prison, that he might watch the slave girl. When he reached her, he found her prostrating herself in prayer for her Lord. She did not raise her head and said during her prostration: “Most Holy! Most Holy!”
So the servant went to Harun quickly and told him about her condition. Harun said: Bring her to me!”
She was brought to him. She was shaking all over and looking towards the heaven. She was remembering and glorifying Allah. So Harun asked her:
-What is the matter with you?
-My matter is wonderful! I was standing and he was standing and performing prayers by day and night. After he had finished his prayers, I asked him: “Have you any need to give it to you?”
-So the Imam said: “ What is my need with you? “
- ” I have been brought to you to grant your needs. “
The Imam said: “What are those?” He indicated with his hand to a direction. I turned. Suddenly I saw a garden full of flowers.
I could not reached its end from its beginning with my eye, nor could I reached its beginning from its end. In it there were sitting places furnished with embroideries and silk. There were male and female servants.
I have never seen the like of their faces in beauty, nor have I seen the like of their clothes. They were wearing green silk, crowns, pearls, and corundum. In their hands were ewers, handkerchiefs, and all kinds of food. So I prostrated myself in prayer and continued so until this servant made me rise. I saw myself where I was.
Harun harbored malice against her, so he said to her:
-“ O Wicked! Perhaps you had slept and dreamt of that! “
-No, by Allah, my master, I had seen that before I prostrated myself in prayer. So I prostrated myself in prayer for that.
As a result al-Rashid turned to his servant and ordered him to arrest the slave girl and to conceal the event lest the people should hear of it.
So the servant took her and detained her in his house. However, she devoted herself to the acts of worship and prayer. She dedicated herself to the acts of worship until she died.
Imam Musa suffered from the severest kinds of misfortunes and punishment. He was shackled, harassed, and harmed. After al-Rashid had poured upon him all kinds of painful disasters, he gave him a deadly poison and put an end to him. So the Imam went to his Lord as a happy martyr.
Finally al-Rashid ordered him to be poisoned and assassinated.
Imam Musa-e-Kazim A.S alwayscarried a smile on His face. On the 25th of Rajab this holy Imam was martyred brutally inside the prison of Baghdad after tolerating countless hardships. The wicked kings of Bani Abbas such as , Mansoor Dawaneqi , Mehdi-bin-Mansur , Hadi-bin-Mehdi and Haroon Rashid were all disrespectful to the Ahlul-Bayt and their grade of enmity and envy coloured their hands with the blood of the holy Imams.
How was the Imam poisoned?
The famous thing is that al-Rashid brought fresh dates and put a deadly poison into them. He ordered al-Sindi to offer them to the Imam and to force him to eat some of them.
It was said that al-Rashid ordered al-Sindi to undertake that. So he took fresh dates, put poison into them, and offered them to the Imam. The Imam ate ten fresh dates, and al-Sindi said to him:
-Increase (dates) more than that!
However, the Imam looked at him and said:
-“ That is enough to you! You have reached what you need! ’’
When the Imam, peace be on him, ate those poisoned fresh dates, his body was poisoned. He suffered from severe pain and painful aches. Sorrow and sadness surrounded him.
The pain due to the poison melted his heart and cuthis bowels into pieces. He was very sad because his sacredness was violated, he felt loneliness, and did not see his dear and beloved ones, while he was about to die.
Haroon tried to exhibit and show the death of Imam (A.S.) as a normal and natural death. by the help of false witnesses. So that by these craftiness and tricks he might get himself cleared off that crime and also stop his partisans and disciples from revolt and uprising.
The Imam is put on the Bridge
. Then, it was taken and laid on the bridge of Karkh in Baghdad with the herald calling out for people, “This is Musa bin Ja’far(A.S.). He is dead. Come and look at him.”
The passers-by watched him. The police surrounded his Holy Body and uncovered his face for the people. They intended to violate his sacredness, to degrade his dignity, and to slander him.
The Imam remains on the Bridge for three Days
The Imam remained on the bridge for three days. His Holy Body was not buried The Imam is put on the Bridge.
Imam Musa al-Kazim, the Prophet’s descendant, was put on the bridge. The police surround him and uncovered his face, so the close, the far, and passers-by looked into his face while he was dead.
In this manner the tyrant (i.e. Ha`ru`n al-Rashïd) tried to abase the Shï’ites, to disdain their sacred beliefs, and to hurt their feelings.
They carried him while the iron round his legs rang and the hills sighed for him!
Sulayman was the uncle of the Caliph and the most notable figure in the ‘Abbasid family.
Sulayman’s sons along with their boys and their guards set out towards the police and took the holy corpse from their hands.The police did not resist them Sulayman was the uncle of the Caliph.
The people came from everywhere and escorted Mu`sa` al-Ka`zim, the Ima`m of the Muslims, master of the Allah-fearing and the worshippers.
The Shï’ites went out striking their chests and shedding tears. The ladies from among their womenfolk went out weeping and wailing for the Ima`m.
The funeral processions walked through the streets of Baghdad, sang the songs of sorrow and sadness, and asked some people to carry censers in front of the coffin of the Ima`m.
The people from among different classes went out to escort the Imam of the Muslims and master of the Allah-fearing.
The Shi‘ites went out weeping and striking their chests. They were sad and sorrowful. Sulayman relieved their sorrows and removed their sufferings. As for the reasons that urged Sulayman to escort the Imam with that great escort and to bury him in the manner the like of which Baghdad had never witnessed.
Devotees of the 7th Imam A.S managed to bury the holy Imam A.S. The funeral prayer were conducted by Imam Ali Raza A.S , the holy son of Imam Musa-e-Kazim A.S. Peace be upon him.
In his Final Resting Place
The masses surrounded the Holy Coffin. They competed with each other for carrying it and getting the blessing of it. They brought it to the cemeteries of Quraysh.
A grave had been dug there. Sulayman b. Ja‘far took the body of the Imam and lowered it into his grave. He was astonished and weak. After he had finished burying the Imam, the people walked towards him and condoled him on his painful misfortune. He was standing and thanking them.
The people left while they were numbering the Imam’s virtues and laudable deeds, mentioning the ordeals and misfortunes he met.. He did not follow Harun, nor did he flatter him. Rather he was the strongest front in showing enmity to him. For that he suffered all kinds of harm and pain until he passed away in a dark prison. So he won martyrdom.
Allah has made his name immortal, his life a model, his shrine as a refuge for those afflicted with disaster and a shelter for those grieved.
السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا مَوْلاَيَ مُوسَى بْنَ جَعْفَرٍ