Birthday of the 5th Imam

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Birthday of the 5th Imam

In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate --

Congratulations to you all on the 1st of Rajab, the day of the blessed anniversary of Imam Mohammad Baqer (PBUH), the 5th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
This year the 1st of Rajab has coincided with June 4 the passing away anniversary of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (may his soul rest in peace). As a devout servant of the Prophet and the Infallible Imams, the Founder of the Islamic Republic always paid tribute to them, and urged the Muslim nation of Iran to mould their life on the immortal precedents set by the Immaculate Ahl al-Bayt.

Today before starting our exclusive feature on the 5th Infallible Imam, we will cite a few sentences from the Late Imam Khomeini in honour of the exemplary life of Imam Mohammad Baqer (PBUH), and the political awareness the 5th Successor of the Prophet strove to arouse amongst the masses of his days.

In one of his speeches Imam Khomeini said: Some of the Infallibles, (e.g. Imam Baqer – AS) have wanted a reciter of elegies to be stationed at Mena during the Hajj pilgrimage recite elegies in their names. That was not because Imam Baqer (AS) had needed elegies, rather, it has had political significance. It has also been narrated that Imam Mohammad Baqer (AS) had willed 800 Dirhams for his mourning and lamentation services.

The statements of the Late Imam Khomeini, which are clear proofs of his devotion to the cause of the Prophet and the Ahl al-Bayt, show that it is not repetitive, or in the words of certain elements 'copy paste', to emphasise at every opportunity the lasting legacy left to us by the Chosen of God. These are actually guidelines for us, and the more we repeat them and explain to our listeners the brighter shines the rays of faith in our hearts. Let us cite, or more properly repeat, here one of the famous sayings from the 5th Imam, which you might have heard in our programme before:

“I admonish you regarding five things; if you are wronged, do not commit wrong doing to others, if you are betrayed, do not betray anyone, if you are called a liar, do not be furious, if you are praised, do not be jubilant, if you are criticised do not fret and think of what is said in criticism, if you find in yourself what is criticised about you, then you are falling down in the eyes of God; when you are furious about the truth, it is much greater calamity then your falling down in the eyes of the people. And if you are opposite of what is said (in criticism) about you, then it is a merit you acquired without having to tire yourself in obtaining it.”

If the dynamic figure whose birth anniversary we celebrate today was the namesake of the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messengers of peace to mankind, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), his epithet conveys to humanity yet another message of Islam’s emphasis on peace and justice with scientific certitude. Born in the Prophet's city Medina on the 1st of Rajab in the year 57 AH, to Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) the son of the Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS), for his mother had the virtuous lady Hazrat Fatema (peace upon her), the daughter of Imam Hasan (AS).

That means he was descended from both sides from the Prophet. No wonder his epithet Baqer al-Uloum was given to him decades ago by his great forbear, the Prophet, who passed away 46 years before his birth. It was no ordinary epithet. It means the Cleaver of Knowledge, or more properly the Splitter and Spreader of Sciences.

On closer scrutiny of the life, times and teachings of Imam Mohammad Baqer (AS), we discover his wonderful role in splitting open the atoms of knowledge and directing the molecules towards such harmonious blending of spiritual values and science that the Omayyud regime (the superpower of the day), which like all arrogant powers schemed at fusion and friction between religion, state, society and the quest for peace, justice and knowledge, utterly failed in its bid to pound the ephemeral truth of Islam with its weapons of mass destruction – hypocrisy and falsity.

Thanks to the Prophet’s 5th infallible successor, whose divine mandate spread over 19 glorious years (95 to 114 AH), successive caliphs, from Waleed to Hisham bin Abdul-Malik, saw their godless policies come to naught when pitted in the most diabolical manner against the egalitarian values of Islam. Not only did their flimsy claim to the Prophet’s mantle failed to impress Muslims but also their territorial conquests from Spain, and North Africa to Central Asia and India, evaporated into thin air, while the legacy of Imam Mohammad Baqer (AS) lives on, inspiring scholars all over the world in the realms of faith, spirituality and all fields of science and humanitarian values.

The 5th Imam succeeded where his shortsighted enemies failed. He set in motion a chain reaction of such magnitude that civilization, in order to avert irreparable damage, has found the formula of diffusing the neutrons of ethical standards in all branches of science. As a result it has retained the conscientiousness to discern and defuse the explosively unethical attitudes that the evil minded pursue in their misuse of science and knowledge.

Thus, it is on the threshold of Imam Mohammad Baqer (AS) and the rest of the Infallible members of the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt that we discover the path to peace, prosperity and progress during the short span of our worldly life, and to salvation in the Hereafter.

After the tragedy of Karbala (where as a 4-year old boy he had seen his grandfather Imam Husain (AS) drink the elixir of martyrdom in defence humanitarian values), Imam Baqer (AS) had assisted his father Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) in laying the foundation of the famous academy of Medina that was to flower in the days of his son and successor, Imam Ja'far Sadeq (AS), one of whose pupils would be the celebrated Father of Chemistry, Jaber ibn Hayyan al-Kufi.

The 5th Imam spared no efforts to revitalize the Islamic ummah. He harboured no rancour against the enemies of him and his household. On his advice the regime set up the first mint in Islam to start coinage and thus prevent the flow of bullion to the Byzantines who had connived to Christianize the Muslims of Syria through supply of coins engraved with the icons. It was also his sagacious dialogue with the chief Christian hermit of Syria that convinced the latter of the truth of Islam and brought more believers to the Muslim fold. These are not discourses of the distant past.

The teachings of the 5th Imam, as that of all other members of the immaculate Ahl al-Bayt, remain immortal in our midst to instill in us the ingredients of faith and beneficial knowledge. It is in these bezels of wisdom that we discover the splitting of the atoms of sciences, over a millennium before the world stumbled on it through trial and error and then misused it for destructive purposes to terrorise humanity.

Therefore, the only way to revive the glory of Islam and present to mankind the genuine untainted and untarnished image of the real Muslim is to hold fast, as per the Prophet's instructions in the famous hadith of Saqalayn, to the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt including those of Imam Baqer al-Uloum (AS) so that the ummah is spared the consequences of deviationist tendencies that the ignorant have misconstrued as Islam.

The Late Imam Khomeini by repeatedly emphasizing on the position and the hadith of these dynamic personalities taught us that promotion of the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt, cannot be considered repetitive or copy paste.

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