Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Jawaad (as) was only six years when his father Imam Reza (A.S.) was martyred and He (as) assumed the role of Imamat (Divine Leadership). Many Shia’hs were confused. Some thought that a six-year-old child could not become an Imam and the Imamat should be entrusted to an older man. ‘Ali ibn Asbaat has narrated that:
Once Abu Ja’ffar (reference to Imam al-Jawad) came to me, so I stared at him so as to be able to describe him to my people back at home when he (as) said, “O ‘Ali ibn Asbaat! Know for certain that just as Allah (SWT) has kept proofs and evidences for Prophethood, the same is also true for the Imamate; and He (SWT) has said: ‘And We gave him judgement while still a child’. (19:12) And He (SWT) has also said: ‘When he came of age, We gave him judgement and (sacred) knowledge’. (12:22) Therefore, it is very much possible that some receive judgement in childhood and some after attaining fourty years of age”. ] (Ithbaat al-Wasiyyah)
This projects the shinning reality that childhood or adulthood have nothing to do with the position of Imamat, which is like the position of Prophethood in most of its specifications, for both – Imamat and Prophethood are in the hands of Allah (SWT), Who entrusts with them whomsoever He chooses from among His people.
Qasim ibn ‘Abdul-Rahman belonged to the Zaydi school of thought. He has narrated that:
Once I was on my way to Baghdad when I saw many people rushing towards a place and gathering there. I asked, “What is happening here?” Somebody said, “The son of ar-Reza is here”. I said to myself, “By Allah! I must see him” and saw that he (as) was riding a mule. Having seen him, I said to myself, “May Allah curse the Shias who claim that obedience to this man is obligatory”.
As soon as this thought crossed my mind, the son of ar-Reza looked towards me and said, “O Qasim ibn ‘Abdul-Rahman! ‘And they (the people of Thamood) said: Are we to follow a lone human from ourselves?! Indeed then we would be in error and madness’. (54:24)”.
When I heard this, I said to myself, “By Allah! This man is a magician”. He (son of ar-Reza) once again looked up to me and said, “Has the Reminder been cast upon him from among us? Rather he is a self-conceited liar”. (54:25)
I left the place saying, “I bear witness that this man is the proof of Allah upon His creatures” and accepted him as an Imam. (Kashful-Ghummah)
A significant number of scholars and jurisprudents, who had been selected by the Shia’h milieus in Baghdad and other countries, came to Yathrib following the martyrdom of Imam ar-Reza (as) in order to ascertain the new Imam. They were about eighty in number. In Yathrib, they went to the house of Imam Abu ‘Abdillah as-Sadiq (as). A red rug was spread out for them. ‘Abdullah, the son of Imam al-Kadhim (as) came to them and sat at the head of their meeting, claiming himself to an Imam after ar-Reza (as) and the religious authority of the Ummah. A man stood up and called out to the scholars, “This is the son of the messenger of Allah. Whoever has a question, should ask him”. One scholar stood up and asked, “What do you think about the man who says to his wife: I divorce you as many times as there are stars in the sky?” Abdullah replied, “She is divorced thrice before the Gemini”, an answer, which is against the jurisprudence of the Ahlul-Bayt (as). All the scholars were astonished. Another scholar asked, “What is your opinion about a man who has sexual intercourse with an animal?” Abdullah replied, “His hand should be cut-off and he should be whipped a hundred times”, an answer, which is also contrary to the law of Allah (SWT).
All the present scholars were upset and very confused. In that state, suddenly a door near the front of the meeting opened. Muwaffaq, the servant emerged and then Imam al-Jawad (as) made his appearance. The loftiness of Imam al-Jawad (as) was such that all heads bowed to him submissively. People started praising him and a man introduced him as the rightful Imam after ar-Reza (as). The man who had asked the first question rose again and asked, “What do you think about the man who says to his wife: I divorce you as many times as there are stars in the sky?” Imam (as) said, “O Man! Read in the Book of Allah: ‘Divorce may be only twice; then (let there be) either an honourable retention, or a kindly release’. (2:229) And then it is at the third (that divorce becomes irrevocable)…”
The attendants marvelled the intelligence of the Imam and were certain that they had reached the aim, which they had sought. They also informed the Imam (as) about the fatwa, which his uncle had given earlier on. Imam (as) turned towards his uncle and said, “O uncle! Fear Allah and do not give any fatwa when there exists in the Ummah one who is more aware than you”. They then also asked the second question, “What is your opinion about a man who has sexual intercourse with an animal?” Imam (as) replied, “He should be subjected to a discretionary punishment, and the animal should be marked with a lasting mark on its back and taken out of the country so that the shame of it does not remain with the man”. (Hayaat Imam al-Jawad)
The Interpretation of Masajid
Abu Laylah was a chief justice in the court of Mu'tasim, the Abbasid caliph. One day, he came to his friend Zarqa in state of extreme anger and when asked the purpose of anger, Abu Laylah said,
O Zarqa! Today I was put to a very big test in which I failed. A thief, whose crime was established, was presented before Mu'tasim. So Mu'tasim asked, 'Quran says that I should cut the hands of this thief. You tell me from which part shall his hand be cut-off'. I said, ' Quran states that chop-off the hand of a thief and in the verse of wudhoo, it is mentioned that wash your hands till your elbow. So from elbow downwards is considered as hand therefore cut his hand from his elbow'.
Mu'tasim then asked other learned people in his court for their opinion. Someone said, 'In the verse of Tayammum, hand has been mentioned till the wrist so cut the thief's hand from his wrist'. After a lot of discussion and debate, Mu'tasim then put the same question to the Imam of the Shias, Muhammad ibn Ali, who happened to be present at the time. At first, he refused to comment but when Mu'tasim insisted, he said, "You will only cut-off the fingers of the thief because Quran says: “Indeed the places of prostration are for Allah” meaning parts of the body placed on the ground during Sajdah. Since the thief is also a Muslim who offers prayers, he will need his palms during Sajdah. So you have to leave that and cut only his fingers".
O Zarqa! Mu'tasim was so pleased with this answer that he praised the Imam of the Shias and we felt discredited. O Zarqa! I am aware that whoever harms this young man will burn in the hell-fire but I will not rest till I have taken my revenge against him.
Having said this, Zarqa returned to Mu'tasim to provoke him against the Imam (as). He said to him, "What have you done? People, as it is believe in him as the true Imam and do not believe in you. Why did you give him preference over us? Now you have confirmed to the people through your action that indeed he is on truth and you are on falsehood". Mu'tasim was so affected by this, that shortly after this incident; he poisoned Imam Al-Jawad (as). (Bikhre Moti)
His Narrations from His Father
Abdul Adheem bin Abdullah al-Hasani narrated that Abu Ja’ffar the Second [Imam Muhammad Taqi (A.S.)] said to him, “I heard my father saying that his father Musa bin Ja’ffar said, ‘Once, Amr bin Ubayd came to Abu Abdullah as-Sadiq (a.s). When he offered greeting and took a seat, he recited this Quranic verse, “And those who shun the great sins and indecencies”. (42:37) and kept silent.
Abu Abdullah (a.s) said to him, ‘What made you keep silent?’
Amr said, ‘I like to know the great sins from the Book of Allah the Almighty.’
Abu Abdullah (a.s) said, ‘O yes Amr! The greatest of sins is polytheism.
Allah says, “Surely whoever associates (others) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden to him the paradise”. (5:72)
And being desperate of the mercy of Allah because Allah says, “…surely none despairs of Allah’s mercy except the unbelieving people”. (12:87)
And then the feeling safe from the sudden punishment of Allah because Allah says, “But none feels secure from Allah’s plan except the people who shall perish”. (7:99)
From the great sins there are also undutifulness to parents because Allah has considered an undutiful one to his parents as arrogant and unblessed, and killing a person that Allah has forbidden except for a just cause because Allah says, “And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is hell; he shall abide in it”. (4:93)
And defaming a married woman because Allah says, “Surely those who accuse chaste believing women, who are unaware (of the evil), are cursed in this world and the hereafter, and they shall have a grievous chastisement”. (24:23)
And the eating the properties of the orphans for Allah says, “(As for) those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustly, surely they only swallow fire into their bellies and they shall enter burning fire”. (4:10)
And the fleeing from jihad (sacred war) for Allah says, “And whoever shall turn his back to them on that day, unless he turn aside for the sake of fighting or withdraws to a company, then he, indeed, becomes deserving of Allah’s wrath, and his abode is hell; and an evil destination shall it be”. (8:16)
And eating usury because Allah says, “Those who devour usury will not stand except as stand one whom the Satan by his touch Hath driven to madness”. (2:275)
And magic because Allah says, “…they taught men sorcery…then men learned from these two, magic…and surely they do know that he who bought it therein will have no (happy) portion in the Hereafter”. (2:102)
And adultery because Allah says, “…and (who) do not commit fornication, and he who does this shall find a requital of sin. The punishment shall be doubled to him on the day of resurrection, and he shall abide therein in abasement”. (25:68-69)
And the perjury oath because Allah says, “(As for) those who take a small price for the covenant of Allah and their own oaths, surely they shall have no portion in the hereafter”. (3:77)
And embezzlement because Allah says, “Whoso embezzles will bring what he embezzled with him on the Day of Resurrection”. ( 3:161)
And preventing the obligatory Zakat because Allah says, “On the day when it shall be heated in the fire of hell, then their foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it”. (9:35)
And false testimony and the concealing of a testimony because Allah says, “…and do not conceal testimony, and whoever conceals it, his heart is surely sinful”. (2:283)
And drinking alcohol because Allah has prohibited it, worshipping the idols, giving up the prayer intentionally or giving up any other obligation that Allah has imposed because the messenger of Allah says, ‘Whoever gives up the prayer intended will be free from the trust of Allah and His messenger’ and breaking the promise and the rapture of relations with the kin because Allah says, “And those who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation and cut asunder that which Allah has ordered to be joined and make mischief in the land; (as for) those, upon them shall be curse and they shall have the evil abode”. (13:25)
Then Amr went out weeping loudly and saying, ‘Perishes he who follows his own opinion and disputes with you on virtue and knowledge…’ (Bihar al-Anwaar)
This tradition warns of committing sins and crimes that annul man’s conscience, threaten the social life with dangers and place obstacles in the way of the civilization and the progress of man.