Imam Jawad (A.S.): The Treasure of Knowledge and Source of Wisdom
There were strenuous efforts on every occasion to hold the personality of Imam Jawad (A.S.) in contempt. This fact was so obvious that it is narrated that:” Ma’moon1 would touch upon all deceitful acts in order to belittle Aboo Ja’far’s (Imam Jawad (A.S.)) character. All of Mamoon’s efforts however would fail.”2
In spite of all these efforts, Ma’oon would fail and the Imam would gain a higher popularity and power amongst the people. This would even scare the military who had control over the reins of government. Imam Jawad (A.S.) successfully protected Imamah (divine leadership) from the harsh and dangerous situation it had fallen in. He was able to secure the pillars of religion, encourage reason and proof, and give light and guidance to the dark path. He proved the trueness of the claim of his father –Imam Reza (A.S.) - about him: “No infant has been born as blessed and good as this infant in Islam.” 3 In another text it has been recorded that Imam Reza (A.S.) said, “This newborn infant is him whom no other like him has been born to be so full of blessings for our followers.”4
Indeed, as days would pass by, the popularity of the Imam would rise and his star would continue shining. Even though his age would count him as a child, he had reached the status of Imamah during childhood years. Enemies and friends all could not help but admit and witness to his knowledge and excellence. Despite Ma’oon’s efforts to embarrass Imam Jawad (A.S.) in different scientific and theoretical assemblies, those assemblies would on the contrary show the vast amount of Imam’s knowledge.
Sibt ibn Jouzi, one of the famous Sunni scholars, said “He (Imam Jawad (A.S.)) was like his father in knowledge, asceticism, and generosity.” 5
Jahidh Mu’tazili Uthmani lived in Basrah and was not a follower of Imam Ali (A.S.) and his progeny. He had a long hand in knowledge and the sciences, and is the author of many books about science and the techniques of his time. He lived in the same era as Imam Jawad (A.S.) and his children. Jahidh has placed Imam Jawad (A.S.) in the ten “Talebyun” and has said about them, “each of them is a knowledgeable. They are ascetic, devotee, brave, generous, chaste, and pure.” 6
The other scholars have said many similar things about Imam Jawad (A.S.), which will not be stated in this piece. All in all Imam Jawad (A.S.) was highly respected by his friends and common people. When Imam Jawad (A.S.) wanted to enter the capital city of Baghdad, people would run to high altitudes just to see the Imam. It was as if seeing the Imam even if it meant from afar was a huge important event for them.
Another way to familiarize ourselves with the greatness of Imam Jawad (A.S.) is by seeing the great respect of the elders for him. The uncle of his father who was the son of the sixth Imam was a man named Ali ibn Ja’far al-Sadiq. Ali ibn Ja’far was himself of the great religious scholars, and yet he would very highly respect Imam Jawad (A.S.).
Muhammad ibn Hassan narrates, ‘For two years I was with Ali ibn Ja’far and would record and write the narrations he had heard from his brother (Imam Moosa ibn Ja’far (A.S.)). One of the days that I was sitting in his presence, Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Jawad (A.S.) entered Masjid al-Nabi7. Ali ibn Ja’far hurried toward the Imam without even wearing his shoes or cloak. He kissed the Imam’s hand and revered him.
The Imam said, “Uncle! Please sit, may Allah bless you.”
Ali ibn Ja’far said, “My Master! How shall I sit when you are standing?”
When Ali ibn Ja’far returned to his small gathering, the people around him began reproaching him for what he did. They said, “You are the uncle of his father, why do you act as such?”
Ali ibn Ja’far told them, “Remain silent!” He then held his beard and said, “When Allah has not made this white beard worthy and deserving, but has made this young man worthy of the status of Imamah, then how can I deny his virtue?”…’ 8
(Selection taken from the book, “The Political Life of Imam Jawad (A.S.)” by Allamah Ja’far Murtada Ameli)
1- The Abbasid Caliph
2- Al-Kuleini, Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 494: Narrated by Muhammad ibn Rayan
3 - Allamah Majlesi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 50, p. 20, narrated by Imam Reza (A.S.)
4- Al-Kuleini, Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 321: Narrated by Imam Reza (A.S.)
5 - Sibt ibn Jouzi, Tadhkirat al-khawas, p. 358-359
6 - Jahidh Mu’tazili Uthmani, Athar al-Jahidh, p. 235
7 - The Mosque of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) located in Medina
8 - Al-Kuleini, Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 322