Today is the 25th of Rajab, the martyrdom anniversary of the Prophet’s 7th Infallible Successor, Imam Musa al-Kazem (as) and we have prepared a special article in this regard. Excerpt of this article is as follows:

On 25th of Rajab, 183 AH when the news of the martyrdom of Imam Musa Kazem (as) spread in Baghdad, an old man started crying incessantly. When he was asked the reason, he recalled the day when his farmland was afflicted with pest and his entire crop was damaged. The old man said: “I lived honestly and never did I stretch out my hand towards the people, but since I was in debt, I wondered how I could repay my loan. I was in that state of perplexion when I saw Imam Kazem (as) approach and asked how much loss did I incur as a result of the destruction of the crop? I said 120 Dinars. The Imam smiled and handed me a purse containing 150 Dinars. The Imam’s kind and affectionate look, which was without any air of pride or superiority, fascinated me. I pressed his kind hands in gratitude. Although I was very shameful, I accepted his financial help and Imam Kazem (as) advised me never to be disappointed of God’s mercy. Now I am crying this day because a great man has left us. The one whose humbleness and kindness was a byword and who always cared about the needy.”

If we cast a fair and analytical glance at history, we will observe the dynamic role of Prophets and Imams in promoting justice and materializing human values. History is full of such examples by these men of God who stood steadfast against oppression. Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and his blessed Household are excellent exemplars of truth and rightfulness. No doubt Imam Musa Kazem (as) was such a shining luminary who continues to glow radiantly till this day as 'Bab al-Hawa’ej' or 'The Gateway of Needs,' although it is more than a millennium and two centuries since his passing away. He has certainly left a lasting legacy. He lived at a crucial juncture of history. His Imamate lasted 35 years, and his epithet Kazem meant Restrainer of Anger or Emotions, since he was subjected to very harsh treatment and periods of imprisonment by the tyrannical Abbasid regime. But even under such severe conditions he guided people and showed them the pure and pristine path of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). The ummah realized through his simple life and outstanding characteristics that he was the door of guidance compared to the misled ways of the Abbasid caliphs who squandered public treasury and committed every crime against the Muslims. The 7th Imam in spite of the restrictions spared no effort to enhance people’s awareness and uplift their intellectual status. He was no doubt the son and successor of Imam Ja’far as-Sadeq (as) whose famous school of Medina contained 4000 scholars including the Father of Chemistry, Jaber ibn Hayyan.

A string of Abbasid caliphs, beginning from his father’s assassin Mansour Dawaniqi tried to find excuses to torment Imam Musa Kazem (as). But they could not because of his prudence. The Abbasid tyrant Haroun ar-Rasheed was the worst of the caliphs. He was very much afraid of his own flimsy claim to rule the Muslim world and knew that as long as the Prophet’s rightful successor was alive, people would seriously question his caliphate. The more he tried to aggrandize himself through his Arabian Nights debaucheries the more the people became disgusted with his rule. Their sympathies lay with the Prophet’s Household. In view of these facts, he became furious and harassed the Imam under various pretexts. Imam Kazem (as) for his part undauntedly continued his campaign against the oppressors and the injustice in society. He forbade his famous companion Safwaan Jammaal, who was a camel owner for leasing his camel caravans to the Abbasid caliph. He said: "O’ Safwaan, you are good in every aspect except in one thing that is for leasing camels to Haroun. For, in order to collect your dues you are implicitly wishing that a tyrant like Haroun should flourish in society." The one who desires the survival of oppressors is considered one of them. Safwaan was deeply impressed by the 7th Imam’s words and discontinued leasing camels to the caliph even if that meant he would lose his earnings.

Imam Kazem (as) like his father and ancestors also groomed various scholars in different branches of science. One of these disciples was the brilliant rhetorician Hesham bin Hakam. In part of the advices of the 7th Imam, we read: "O’ Hesham, the one who does not take stock of his deeds every day is not from us. Since the person who has done good will strive to increase his good deeds and if he has done bad, he will seek forgiveness from God for his faults."

Imam Kazem (as) was the repository of divine wisdom and he encouraged Muslims and all human beings to acquire knowledge in line with the teachings of the Holy Qur’an. In one of his statement the Imam says: "Participate in the gathering of thinkers and keep close to them even though you find no place to sit and are forced to stand, for, God revives dead hearts under the blessing of wisdom in the same way that He revives the dead land through rainfall."

The Imam practices what he preached. His endurance was noteworthy and despite years of imprisonment he never yielded to the demands of the Abbasid caliphs. The famous historian Yaqoubi writes: During a long period of imprisonment in Haroun’s jail, a person suggested that the Imam write a letter to one of the officials to procure his release. In response, Imam Kazem (as) gave a clear and decisive answer, saying: "One day God revealed to Prophet David that: “If any servant seeks refuge in other than Me, I will deprive him of My mercy.”

Such steadfastness unnerved the Abbasids, and the cruel Caliph, Haroun ar-Rasheed, poisoned the food of the Imam in the jail of Baghdad. The dose proved fatal and the 7th Imam achieved martyrdom on this day in 183 AH. However, the caliph was afraid to admit his crime and he bribed the chief Qazi to testify that no bodily harm had befallen Imam Musa Kazem (as). His bier was placed on the bridge of Baghdad and people were coerced to come and witness that they were no signs of foul play on the body. 

The Imam was laid to rest in what has since grown into the town of Kazemayn in honour of the twin golden domed mausoleum, where the people from not only Iraq but from throughout the world come to pay respects and pray to God to grant them their needs, that are miraculously answered. Isn’t it one of the divine signs that the name of Imam Musa Kazem (as) has remained alive and immortal while there was not even a tombstone for the tyrant Haroun? We once again offer condolence to our dear listeners and end our programme with a wise saying from the 7th Imam that is testimony to the balance that Islam maintains between the worldly and spiritual affairs. The Imam says: "He is not from us one who gives up his material world for his religion or his religion for the life of this world. "