Imam Muhammad At-taqi (a)
Our 9th Imam, Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (A) had an uncle called Ali ibne Jaffar, who was a very knowledgeable, pious old man. Whenever he went to the mosque, people would surround him and ask him questions.
One day Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (A) arrived at the mosque. When his uncle who was sitting in the middle of a large group of people saw him, he immediately got up and kissed the hand of Imam (A).
Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (A) asked his uncle to sit down, to which his uncle replied that he could not sit while Imam (A) was standing. When Ali ibne Jaffar returned among his friends, after Imam (A) had left, his friends told him that it was wrong for him to show so much respect to that child (Imam (A) as he was an old man and the uncle of the child.
Ali ibne Jaffar replied that he was showing respect to the child because of who he was. He continued that Imamate is an office and a station from Allah, and Allah did not deem him an old man fit and capable for the leadership of the Ummah, but considered the child capable for it. Therefore they should all obey his (Imam (A)) commands.
- The age of a person is not important but what kind of person they are.
- Only Allah knows everything about everyone and therefore only Allah is allowed to judge people, and say what they do and do not deserve.
When our 9th Imam, Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (A) was a young man, Ma'mun had arranged a question - answer session between Imam (A) and Yahya bin Athkam, who was supposed to be the most learned of men at that time.
The court was full of people from near and far everyone wanted to see what the outcome would be.
Yahya asked the first question which was:What would be the kaffara of a person in Ihram who hunted and killed his prey?
Imam Muhammad at-Taqi answered that he would have to be given a lot more detail before he could even begin to answer the question.
- Was the person in Ihram Baligh or not?
- Was the person a free man or a slave?
- Did he know the laws of sharia on hunting or not?
- Was his Ihram for Hajj or Umra?
- Did he hunt intentionally or not?
- Was this the first time or one of many?
- Did the person in Ihram hunt inside the Haram of the Ka'ba or outside.
- Did he hunt in the day or at night?
- Was the prey big or small?
- Was the prey a bird or an animal?
- Was the person sorry or not?
Yahya was shocked and did not know what to say.
Ma'mun asked Imam (A) to answer Yahya's question for all of the above conditions, which Imam (A) did.
It was then Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (A) to ask Yahya a question, which he did and which Yahya could not answer; so Imam (A) again gave the answer.
To answer a fiqh question is not as easy as you may think; this is why Ulema spend years of their lives learning and researching. And why we have to do Taqlid of a Marja'.(Just like we take the advice of a doctor when we are ill, we should take the advice of a Marja' in religious affairs.)
Once when our 9th Imam, Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (A) was only a child, he was walking down a street, when Ma'mun and his soldiers came by. All the other children on the street ran away but Imam (A) did not.
Ma'mun stopped his coach and asked Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (A) why he did not run away like the others.
Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (A) answered that he had done nothing wrong and that the road was big enough for the both of them.
Ma'mun asked Imam (A) who he was; and Imam (A) told him. Ma'mun asked Imam (A) what he was holding in his closed hand.
Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (A) knew that it was a little fish without seeing it.
Moral: You should not be scared of anything or anyone as Allah is the strongest and will look after you.
When our 9th Imam, Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (A) was only 9 years old, his father our 8th Imam, Imam Ali ar-Ridha (A) was killed by the king Ma'mun.
Ma'mun decided that he would try to buy (bribe) Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (A) into his way of life because Imam (A) was still only a child.
Ma'mun took Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (A) to his palace and gave him what ever money could buy, but Imam (A) was not interested, because he knew Allah could give him much much more.
No matter how much Ma'mun gave him Imam (A) did not do anything against Allah's commands as Ma'mun wished.
Whatever anyone gives you always remember that Allah can give you so much more but only if you are a good Muslim and do as Allah tells you.