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The late founder of the Islamic Republic through his historic speeches recommended to follow footsteps of the infallible Imams, the truthful successor of the holy prophet, who revived genuine Islamic teachings and values.
Imam al-Jawad (PBUH) was born on 10th day of the month of Rajab, in the year 195 A.H. in Madina - the city of his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.), under the care of his father, Imam Ali bin Musa al-Reza (PBUH) who was qualified with the leadership (Imamate) and its qualifications, a lofty status, the position of leadership in the ummah and in the sciences of Islamic Shari'a and its laws.
The Imam (A) was born in a period full of events and political situations, conflicts, and the tension of events of the Abbasid caliphate between Amin and Ma'moon, the two sons of Harun Rashid.
Those political events and the situations of the conflict which was going on between the two brothers, the Abbasid caliphs, never ended without reflecting their effects on the life of Imam al-Reza (A) attracted the attention of the Muslims -in the city of his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) - including religious scholars, jurisprudents, governors, and common people. Thus, the political view of the caliph, Ma'mun, was directed towards him and, therefore, summoned him to the capital of his rulership (Merv) in the year 200 A.H. and appointed him as heir so that the caliphate would be transferred to him after Ma'mun's death.
The Imam Reza (A) was forced to leave Madina and move towards the city of 'Merv' (in Khurasan - Iran) to accept Ma'mun's invitation after many refusals and abstentions. Before moving to merv, he took with him, his son, Imam Muhammad al-Jawad (A), then, he (A.) started out from Madina towards Mecca in order to pay a visit to the Sacred House (Ka'ba) and, also, to say farewell to it.
Imam al-Reza (A) performed the hajj (pilgrimage) with his son, al-Jawad, who was only four years at that time.
Indeed, the young Imam expressed his adherence and love for his father by his insistence to stay under the care of the holy embrace. It was difficult for him to return home (Madinah), alone, and depart from his father, who wrote, in his farewell letter to the Sacred House, that he would not return.
The moments of farewell ended and the hour of departure approached; the young Imam al-Jawad(A) returned home (to Madinah), bearing the yearnings of love, the adherence of a son for his father; his father moved towards the city of Merv while his heart departed to Madina, following the procession of the beloved al-Jawad.
When Imam Muhammad al-Jawad (A) was born, the same questions were sent to Imam al-Rida in order for them to know who would be the Imam after al-Reza (A). Was not Muhammad al-Jawad (A) a child? And how could he bear the responsibility of the leadership and its affairs if he was at this age? Indeed, Imam al-Reza (A) always confirmed that the Imam after him would be his son, Muhammad Taqi al-Jawad (A), and the one who was most qualified.
Ibn Qulawaih, on the authority of Kulaini, on the authority of Hussein bin Muhammad, on the authority of Khariani, on the authority of his father, said:
"I (i.e. Khayrani's father) was standing in front of Abul-Hassan al-Reza (A), in Khurasan. Someone asked him: 'My master, if something happens, to whom will authority belong?"
"To Abu Ja'far (al-Jawad), my son," he replied. The speaker indicated that the age of Abu Ja'far was too young. So, Abul-Hassan al-Reza (A), replied: "Allah, may He be praised, sent Jesus, son of Mary, to be an apostle, a prophet, the bringer of a revealed law (Shari'a), to begin (his mission) when his age was younger than that of Abu Ja'far(al-Jawad), peace be upon him."
Narrated Mu'ammar bin Khallad that he heared Imam al-Reza (A), saying: "When he mentioned something and, then, said: 'What need have you for that? Here is Abu Ja'far, whom I have brought into my meetings and whom I have made to be my successor.' Then, he added: 'We are the family of the House (Ahlul-Bayt). Our young inherit from our old, like one feather (on a wing) followed by the next.'"
Allamah Majlisi narrated, in his book 'Uyoon Mu'jizat', a description of certain events of that critical period from the age of leadership, and which included the following text:
"... it was pilgrimage season. Some jurisprudents (Fuqaha') of Baghdad and other nations and their religious scholars, numbering 80, went to Medina to perform Hajj ceremonies and, then, they intended to see Abu Ja'far Imam Jawad(A). When they reached the house of Ja'far al-Sadiq (A), because of its emptiness, entered it and sat on a big carpet.
"Then, Abdulla bin Musa (Imam al-Reza's brother) came and sat at the head of the meeting. A caller stood and said: "This is the son of the Messenger of Allah, therefore, whoever has any question, he may ask him." He (Abdulla bin Musa i.e. Imam al-Jawad's nephew) was questioned about things, to which he inappropriately answered. His answers caused the Shi'a to be bewildered and grieved, therefore, the jurisprudents were confused among themselves and started leaving the pleace and telling each other that if Abu Ja'far (the Imam) was present, he would have been able to answer all the questions addressed to Abdulla bin Musa.
"Then, a door was opened at the front of the meeting and Muwafaq, the Imam's servant, entered and said: "This is Abu Ja'far Imam Jawad (A)." All those who were present stood up, welcomed and greeted him, then the Imam (A) entered.
He (A) sat while all people kept silent. Then, the questioner stood up and asked the Imam (A) different questions, to which he (A) answered perfectly and correctly. His answers caused those present to be happy, give thanks and praise the Imam.
They told him: "Indeed, your uncle, Abdulla, gave verdicts so and so." He (A) said: "There is no god but Allah, o my uncle, Abdulla, gave verdicts so and so." He (A) said: "There is no god but Allah, O my uncle! It is great to stand tomorrow (on the resurrection day) before His hands and He will say to you: 'Why did you give verdicts (issue religious decrees) to My servants about things you did not know, while there was someone among people who had more knowledge than you.'"
Even religious scholars and jurisprudents confirmed their declaration for the Imam Jawad's being qualified with the position of leadership. The vivid declaration of Imam al-Reza (A), for his leadership, and the acknowledgement of the famous traditionist, Ali bin Ja'far, are, also, proofs for the Imam's qualification for the position of leadership.
He became an Imam at the age of nine. Mamun thought that as all the rulers before him had oppressed the Holy Imams and their schemes had backfired that he would try to bribe the Holy Imams. He tried to make the 8th Imam his heir apparent and give him power and wealth but that also backfired.
He now tried to use power and wealth with the 9th Imam again but from a much younger age thinking that he would be able to influence him.
His main purpose was also to make sure that the 12th Imam (whom he knew would bring justice to the world) would be from his progeny and therefore intended to give his daughter Ummul Fadl to the Imam for a wife. Mamun still continued oppressing the family and followers of the Ahlul-Bayt (A).