The Eternal Beacon

The pure body of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) was laid to rest in Baghdad in the cemetery allocated for the Hashimites and the honourable Muslim men, called the "Graveyard of Quraish" or the "Graveyard of Bani-Hashim." It is located in the north of Baghdad. Originally, it was a piece of land set aside by al-Mansoor, after the foundation of Baghdad, as a cemetery for the tribe of Quraish. Formerly it was called "al-Shoonizi al-Saghir," but later people came to name it "Cemetery of Quraish," and the spot where the tomb of the Imam lies was called "Mashhad Babul -Tibn" (Mausoleum of the Gateway of Chopped Straw), because it was near Babul-Tibn which lead to the west of the tomb close to the river of Tigris.

This area, historic studies maintain, didn't grow as a place of great historical value in Islam and as a city of religious importance until it had embraced the body of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.). People gradually came to this area to permanently settle near Imam Musa bin Ja'far (a.s.), particularly the Alawites and followers of Ahlul-Bait (a.s.). The area expanded and the city grew[104,105.] Great scholars and fuqaha', leading people from the Alawites and common people were buried there. Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) is now a beacon and his tomb is a place to which people yearn, and by its side souls find rest. Thanks to its blessings, wishes are granted, and hence the nickname Babul-Hawaij (Gateway to the Fulfillment of Needs). After his death, Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) remained great and illustrious as he was during his life.

People of all walks of life paid great attention to the tomb of Imam Musa (a.s.). Great men, ulama', rulers, sultans, and rich people contributed to the establishment of a high edifice on the tomb.

The shrine built on the tomb is virtually a marvellous piece of beauty and perfect art, a tableau reflecting Islamic culture throughout the ages, in the arts of calligraphy, decoration, and architecture. His memory is always remembered, and his glory is eternal. Successive generations pay him tribute as he is properly worthy of it.

From the darkness of dungeons, his body was pulled out, and laid on a bridge in Baghdad with the state police maligning him, unfairly attributing to him all kinds of falsehoods and lies which were the clear expression of the hate and oppression directed at Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) by the rulers of Baghdad. At the time, no one loyal to him was able to get near the corpse or prepare it for burial in accordance with the Islamic obligatory rituals.

The corpse was visible for the people to look at, but the murderers and tyrants were in their towers, among their maids and servants, proud of their temporary power, clinging to their swords and spears. They thought, the way all murderers and oppressors do, that the curtain was drawn on this historic chapter, and that this shining page of history of Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) had melted in the depths of cells and dungeons.

Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) had actually went out of his prison only to make way for the oppressors and murderers to "live" there forever. He answered the call of his Lord, contented and pleased. The earth hugged his pure body. There a shrine went up as a historic document, eternal and everlasting, relating to the Muslim generations the story of the prolonged struggle of Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) with their foes throughout the history of Islam. It warns the oppressors of every age that the bond, prison, hangman's noose and executioner's sword cannot subdue the will of right, or hide the landmarks of guidance in the cells of prisons and on the pages of distorted history. It gives great lessons to the cowardly, the defeated, and those with weak faith, who avoid fighting the oppressors and find satisfaction in humiliation and servitude, that the faithful should always stand steadfast and determined in defending their beliefs.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.