THE LIFE AT THE TIMES OF IMAM MUHAMMAD BAQIR
Imam Muhammad (Baqir) had the blessings and the nurture of his grandfather, Imam Husain. He witnessed the tragedy of
at the tender age of about three and a half years. He had sustained the thirst of three days when the Umayyad army had cut off the water supply to the camp of Imam Husain in Karbala . He was among the survivors of the massacre, and had endured the toilsorne joumey from Karbala Karbala to , followed by the year of captivation in the Umayyad prison along with his father and other members of the Able Bait. Damascus
In Madinah he lived a life of peace and piety, and remained under the patronage of his father Imam Ali Zain al-Abideen for thirty-four years. Imam Baqir grew under the care of his father and was appointed Imam by him before his martyrdom by poisoning in 95 AH by the Caliph Walid bin Abd al-Malik.
The reign of the Umayyad Caliph Walid bin Abd al-Malik ended at his death in 96 AH, and was succeeded by his brother Salaaming bin Abd alMalik. However, the rule of Sulayman lasted for only three years until 99 AH.
Umar bin Abd al-Aziz became the next ruler of the Muslim world. He was the onlyjust ruler the people saw in a long chain of Umayyad tyrants. He is popularly known as Umar, the pious. It was during his reign that the long standing claim of the fertile groves of Faddak, originally launched by
Fatima binte Muhammad was finally recognized by a ruler of the land, and was returned to the family of the rightful claimants. It was also by his orders that the ignoble tradition of throwing abuses on Imam Ali during the congregational prayers (started by Muawiyah bin Abu Sufyan) was finally discontinued.
The rule of Umar bin Abd al-Aziz was also short- lived and lasted for only two years. He was succeeded by Yazid bin Abd al-Malik who ruled the land between the years 1O1 AH and 105 AH. After him, a relatively longer reign of Hisham bin Abd al-Malik followed from the year 105 AH to 125 AH. The Umayyad rulers came and went, and did what pleased them, but the Imam continued his services to the believers and to the faith of Islam. He gathered a sizeable galaxy of students and learned disciples who took his message to the far comers of the Muslim world.
The jurist Abu Hanifa attended the school of leaming under the Imam in Madinah before returning to
. Abu Hanifa left Madinah with a tremendous respect and acclaim to the Imads knowledge of the Wan and the Sunnah. The Imam disagreed with Abu Hanifa on his method of resolving issues of Shatiyah (canonic law) by Raai (individual personal logic) or Qiyas (speculative derivation). Iraq
Hishain bin Abd al-Malik could not see the growing popularity of the Imam and had him martyred with poison in the year 114 AH. The Imam appointed his son Ja'far to take charge of the duties of the hnarnate to serve the faith and the faithful.
By the time of his martyrdom, he had spent twenty years of his life as the Imam of his time. A wealth of quotes and interpretations were collected by his followers.