Piety of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.)

It is mentioned in Faslul Khitab that at the time of sunrise he used to go into a prostration for the Creator and he used to so much prolong this prostration that it extended upto noontime. Due to intensive worship he had become so lean and emaciated that people barely recognized him. It seemed as if only a white cloth was lying on the prayer mat. Seeing the level of his worship, once Harun Rashid said: You are the monk and the pious one of Bani Hashim.
During the period he was in prison, it was customary for him to complete his morning prayer, recite the additional supplications and devotions and then go into a prostration and remain thus till noon. After the decline of the sun from its zenith he used to raise his head and perform the Noon (Zuhr) Prayer. Then he spent the whole day in worship. At night he slept for a few moments and spent the rest of the night in worship. After the Noon (Zuhr) and Afternoon (Asr) prayers he used to go into prostration and remain in this position till sunset. As soon as it was evening he stood up for the evening (Maghrib) prayer. After the evening prayer he recited the supplications till the time of the Night (Isha) prayers. Again after the Night (Isha) prayers he began to recite supplications and invocations. When he finished all this he broke his fast and used to eat a little food then go into prostration of thanks. Then after sleeping for a little while he was engrossed in the Midnight prayer till it was the time for Morning Prayer.
One day Harun Rashid sent a very attractive slave girl to the prison to seduce the Imam in any way possible. She came to the prison and employed all the tactics but to no avail. The Imam was not even slightly attracted by her. On the other hand the intensive worship of the Imam and his devotional recitations in the court of Allah had such profound effect on the maid that she began to regret her own evil intentions and became engrossed in Allah's worship. When Harun was informed of this he summoned her and asked, "Why did you not perform the job I sent you for?" She said, "O Chief! Listen! This man is not human. He is an angel. How could I have attracted him? I had gone to attract him towards myself but on the contrary his spirituality affected me." After that, the slave girl receded into seclusion and spent the rest of her life in worship.

Valour Of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s)
After being on throne for sometime, the Abbaside Caliph, Mahdi realized that in the presence of the Family of the Holy Prophet (S) people would scarcely value his spiritual or temporal status. Thus he began to devise ways to arrest the Imam (a.s). In 144 A.H. he went to Hajj with a lot of ostentatious arrangements. The Holy Imam had also arrived for Hajj. In the very days of Hajj, Mahdi dispatched a slave of his to the Imam and summoned him to his presence. When the slave arrived he found Imam (a.s) engrossed in the worship of Allah. When he concluded his prayers, the slave conveyed the caliph's message and waited for the Imam's reply. The Imam (a.s) said, "Tell Mahdi, that right now I am in the service of such a glorious Emperor Who is the Creator and Master of all the worlds. I don't have time to meet him (Mahdi). I will see after completing the Hajj." Mahdi found this reply very distasteful. Finding this a good opportunity, his officials and agents began to tell him that Musa Ibne Ja'far intended to revolt against him. "He has raised a battalion of his Shias to fight you. He is collecting Khums and Zakat funds to use in war." Hearing all this, Mahdi was further infuriated. After Hajj again he summoned the Holy Imam. He arrived. He accorded no honor to the Holy Imam and did not even invite him to be seated.
The Imam did not like these bad manners, and without his permission he seated himself next to him. Mahdi said tauntingly, "I had summoned you before but you did not oblige. Are such the manners of the family of the Prophet?" The Imam replied with utmost daring, "For me the command of Allah had more importance than your instructions. This is the sanctuary of Allah. Herein the ruler and subjects, the rich and the poor, all are same." He said, "I have heard that you are raising an army against me?" "No", said the Imam, "Whoever has conveyed to you thus is a liar and an enemy of us, Ahl ul-Bayt. We Ahl ul-Bayt never like mischief and turmoil." He said, "Is my obedience not incumbent on you?" "Not at all!" replied the Imam, "Allah has made our obedience incumbent on all as we are Ulil Amr." Mahdi said, "I desire to keep you at Baghdad with me, so that people of that region may also benefit from your knowledge." Imam (a.s) said, "It would be unbearable for me to leave the Holy House." But Mahdi did not relent and at last he took the Imam (a.s) along with him to Baghdad and put him in prison.
The above incident clearly shows the valour and courage of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s)
Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) was having a very high degree of piety and abstinence. Harun Rashid used to say that he had not seen among the Bani Hashim anyone more austere than Musa Ibne Ja'far. His dress, food and household belongings, all seemed to be ascetic. A better part of his life, that is fifteen years, were spent in prison. The prison guards used to be mesmerized seeing his austere way of life.

Generosity Of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s)
Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) got very few opportunities to express his generosity because he spent a good part of his life in prison. That is almost fifteen years. As a poet says: The Imam's imprisonment was so prolonged, That his youth and old age passed in prison.
In spite of this he was always helping the needy believers. One day an applicant came to him and pleaded that he was indebted for 400 dirhams. The Imam furnished him the amount. Then he said that his clothes were completely worn out. The Imam gave him his own dress. Now he said that he had no mount to ride on. The Imam gave him a horse. After that the man said that he did not know the way. The Imam sent his slave along with him. Finally the man said, "Master! I have no need for all these things. I had only come to test the generosity of Ahl ul-Bayt. I am actually a very wealthy man, and I have brought these 5000 dirhams for you. It is by way of Khums payment." The Imam smiled, took the money and at that very moment summoned the needy Sadat (Syeds) and distributed it all among them.

Patience Of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s)
The author of Rawzatus Safa writes that a descendant of Umar was the governor of Medina. He used trouble Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) greatly, and mentioned unbecoming remarks about Amir'ul-Mu'minin (a.s). The close companions of the Imam requested many times to permit them to slay this man. But every time the Imam restrained them and said, "Do not do that without my permission."
One day the devotees of the Imam said that they could no longer bear the insults and high-handedness of the Governor. "For God's sake allow us to take revenge from him." The Imam said, "All right, tell me where his house is and where you can find him?" The people informed him. At once the Imam mounted a horse and headed for his house. There was a blooming and green field that belonged to the governor. The Imam steered his horse inside the field and began to trample it. Someone reported this to the governor who came out at once and began using abusive language. The Imam did not pay any attention and continued to ride the horse all over the field. When the crop was absolutely destroyed the Imam came to the man and asked how much he had spent on it. He said: Two hundred dinars. The Imam gave him three hundred dinars and said, "Take this amount now and also be hopeful of the future crop. If Allah wills this time the harvest would be much more than your expectations." Seeing the excellent behavior of the Imam, the fellow got up, kissed his hands and began to ask forgiveness of his past misbehavior. He said, "Indeed no one in the world is better or even equal to the descendants of the Prophet." After this, the Imam returned home and related the whole incident to his companions.
Then he asked them, "Now tell me whether this act of mine was better or what you had intended?" They all said that what the Imam had done was much better. The Imam actually trampled his field so that he may know that by the auspiciousness of the steps of Ahl ul-Bayt of the Prophet there is increase in the fertility of fields. Their trampling was much beneficial than ordinary greenery.

Humility Of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s)
All his life long Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) never spoke with anyone in a harsh and caustic manner. He never hurt the feelings of others. He used to meet every high and low person in a humble way, and he fulfilled the needs of people with utmost sincerity. Pride and arrogance was never seen in his behavior.
Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty). (Surah Hujurat 49:13)
He pointed out towards a Negro slave and said, "From the aspect of my relationship with the Prophet alone, I do not consider myself better than this slave. However, if I perform a good deed I would be better than him on the basis of that deed."
On the basis of his humility and respect, Imam Reza (a.s) used to meet the poorest of the poor without any sort of formality. Mamun did not like this, and one day he objected to it. The Imam said, "I can forsake the heir-apparency but I cannot give up my poor brethren."

Forbearance Of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s)
This much is sufficient to prove his forbearance that his title itself was "Kazim", which denotes one who controls his anger. Yaqub Ibne Dawood says: When the soldiers of Harun arrested him from the tomb of the Prophet and took him forcibly, the Imam neither uttered a word of complain against the oppressors nor a single word of disrespect. He accompanied them with absolute tranquility and patience. The author of Sawaiqul Mohreqa writes that Imam Kazim (a.s) was extremely kind-hearted and he used to forgive people, even the most serious sins. The writer of Faslul Khitab says: Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) was a very righteous, generous, forbearing, respectable and a knowledgeable person.

Forgiveness Of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s)
When Harun gave Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) into the captivity of Yahya Barmaki, he appointed a nasty slave of his to guard the Imam. This slave was of an extremely audacious and injustice-loving nature. He used to talk with the Imam in the most insulting manner. However, the Imam always acted with kindness and never retaliated with a harsh word. When he observed this behavior of the Imam for some days, he began to be devoted to his spiritual excellences. Finally he became one of the most ardent followers of the Imam. Instead of being harsh he used to behave with the Imam in the most gentle manner. When Harun got this information he demanded an explanation. The slave said, "Under no circumstances can I be harsh to this chosen guide. I can sacrifice my life but I cannot bear anything against my Imam."

Affection Of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s)
During the period Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) resided in Medina many trouble-afflicted people visited him and mentioned their woes. The Imam listened to each of their problems in an affectionate way and rendered them whatever help he could. One day a person told him that the Governor of Medina was inimical to him and was finding excuses to harass him. "Please petition him on my behalf." In spite of the fact that the governor was inwardly inimical to the Imam, the Imam went to him and petitioned him on behalf of that person saying, "I have never approached you for my personal matters, but when I heard the woes of that person I became restless, and I have come to you to consider about him." The governor was so much affected by the Imam's words that from that day he became very kind to that person."

Hospitality Of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s)
Since a major part of the life of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) was spent in captivity, we don't find in books of history any incident regarding his hospitality. We present the following couplet so well depicting the Imam's condition: It was the limit of imprisonment The youth and old age of the Imam passed in prison.

Imam Musa Kazim’s (a.s) Kindness To Relatives
Ali Ibne Hamzah says: An Alawi Sayyid was hawking some wares placed in a round tray. I was full of pity at his condition. I came to Imam Musa Kazim (a.s). I had not said anything but the Imam told me, "A Sayyid's son is hawking at such and such place. Give him these eighteen dirhams and tell him on my behalf to invest them in his trade and profit thereby. It is sufficient for his whole life." I said in surprise, "Master! I had intended to invite your attention to his plight but you have furnished assistance to him before I could say anything." Imam said, "O Ali Ibne Hamzah! We are not ignorant of the condition of our kinsmen and we consider kindness towards them incumbent." So I delivered the money to that young man. Taking the money the youth began to weep. When I asked the reason he said, "Why shouldn't I weep when I have received the news of my death in the near future?" I asked him how that was? He said, "One day Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) had told me that when he sends money to me through Ali Ibne Hamzah, I should know that my death is near."

Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) Kind Behavior To Slaves
A slave girl of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) fell sick and her illness was prolonged. Everyone was fed up of her care. But Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) continued to be affectionate to her. Every morning and evening asked her what she felt like eating, and whatever she desired was brought for her. She used to invoke blessings for the Imam. Finally she passed away in that illness. The Imam wept profusely at her funeral and performed her last rites in the same way as he would do for a relative.

Contentment Of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s)
When Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) was under arrest of Harun Rashid half of the food he received was returned everyday, and the Imam ate very less. The warden thought that Imam did not like the prison food so one day he brought some delicious foods for the Imam from his own house. When they were served to the Imam he refused to eat anything. When he asked the reason he said, "We are not fond of delicious foods. We like only the diet that has been our family diet. We are content and thankful for plain and austere food."

 

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