REFLECTIONS ON THE LIFE OF IMAM MUHAMMAD BAQIR
Imam Baqir was a complete reflection of the life of his father in sincerity, piety, knowledge and worship. His superlative conduct is considered to be the criterion for these fine qualities in the human being.
The greatest of the learned are dwarfed by the grandeur of his wisdom and knowledge. He earned the title of al-Baqir as a result of the depth of his knowledge.
He is well known for his depth of knowledge and for the vastness of his quotes and interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. This material was collected by his students and companions and is available for guidance today.
Abu Hanifa, a famous jurist of his time and an Imam to a large sector of the Sunni Muslims, was a student of Imam Baqir. He acknowledged the superior knowledge of the Imam on the Qur'an and the Sunna.
THE INSTITUTION OF MAJALIS
The majalis (religious gatherings specifically intended to educate masses about the mission of Imam Husain) are the tradition of Zainab binte Ali who held her first majalis while the captives were still in Damasus. Although they were continued by Imam Ali Zain al-Abideen during his times, Imam Muhammad Baqir formalized them into an institution of leaming. Since then they have served as a unique method of propagating the Truth to the masses throughout the ages.
As the followers and the devotees of Ahle Bait visited the Imam they enquired about the tragedy which the members of Ahle Bait had to sustain. The Imam took the opportunity to retell the causes of the conflict, the events of the suffering, and in the process, was able to teach and preach Islam to them. Since the people came already receptive to listen and to learn the Imam was able to spread the Message of Islam with case and continuity. This institution of majalis has evolved with time, and has continued to be an effective vehicle for the dissemination of the teachings of the school of the Ahle Bait.
1. The best combination is knowledge with forbearance.
2. Three things are counted the best of deeds in the world and hereafter:
(i) forgiveness over someone's cruel behavior;
(ii) kindness to someone who has broken relations with you;
(iii) tolerance to someone's foolish behavior.
3. One who does listen to the call of his conscience cannot benefit from advice from others.
4. There are many who say, "may Allah see the down fall of your enemies," although Allah may Himself be that person's enemy!
5. To seek help from the newly made rich is like retrieving a coin from the snake's mouth: that there is need for it but not without danger!
6. There is vast wealth in four things:
(i) keeping your deprivation a secret to yourself,
(ii) giving charity without announcing it;
(iii) not making your pain apparent to others;
(iv) not making your troubles public.
7. The best of public behavior is to sit at a lower level than your status, wish well to one you see ahead of you, and not indulge in wasteful arguments even when you know you are right.
8. Modesty and Faith are two intertwined jewels. If you lose one, the other goes with it.
9. Keep away from laziness and inipatience. A lazy person cannot deliver the dues of others, and the impatient person lacks the elements of forbearance.
IO. To give sadaqa (a form of charity) in the morning is to protect you from the mischief of shaitan (devil).