Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, informed his followers of the Imamate of his son Musa, peace be on him, when the world shone with his birthday. On every occasion he told them of that and asked them to keep that a secret for fear for them and his son of the ruling authority. When the Imam, peace be on him, was seventy years old, a group of his followers hurried to him to ask him about the Imam after him to pledge allegiance to him and to resort to him in respect with the affairs of their religion. He answered them that the Imam after him would be his son Musa, peace be on him; the following is the presentation of these texts:
1. Al-Mufaddal Bin 'Umar
Al-Mufaddal Bin 'Umar al-Ju'fi was among the prominent Shi'ites and one of their famous, great figures. He asked Imam Ja'far b. Muhammed, peace be on him, about the Imam after him to follow him and to adopt his Imamate, and he, peace be on him, answered: "Mufaddal, the Imam after me is my son Musa, the hoped, awaited successor."
2. Yazid Bin Sulayt
Yazid Bin Sulayt was trustworthy and trusted. He was among the men of piety and knowledge. He and a group of his companions made the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah (Mecca). On his way, he met Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), who was accompanied by his sons and retainers. He hurried to the Imam to ask him about the Imam after him, saying: "May my father and mother be your ransom; you are the purified Imams; none escapes from death; who is the Imam after you?" The Imam, peace be on him, indicated with his hand to his son Musa and explained his ideals with which he was endowed. He said: "He has the knowledge of wisdom, understanding, generosity, knowledge of that which men need and of the affairs of their religion over which they differ. He has good manners and good neighborhood; he is one of Allah's gates; he has another (quality) that is the best of all these (qualities)."
-May my father and mother be your ransom, what is it?
-Allah, the Most High, will bring forth from him the succor of this community, its relief, its knowledge, its light, its understanding, and its wise man, the best baby and youth. Through him Allah will prevent bloodshed, correct discords, bring together the people of separation, make peace among (them), clothe the naked, satisfy the hungry, make the fearful safe, and send rain down. Men obey him; the best middle-aged one and young man; his words are a decision; his silence is knowledge; he explained to men that over which they differ."
The Imam, peace be on him, told them about that with which Allah had gifted his son such as that He placed among his progeny the rightly-guided one (Mahdi) of the family of Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family, of whom the Prophet and the Imams after him gave good news. He will set right crookedness, the regulations of the world and the religion. He will not come till corruption prevails, oppression becomes public, chaos spreads, deviation from the religion becomes famous, the earth is full of discords and disorders; may Allah bring about his early reappearance, place us among those who summon to him and support him.
The reason for al-Rashid detaining Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him,
imprisoning him and killing him is (contained in what is mentioned in the
[Ahmad ibn Ubayd Allah ibn 'Ammar reported on the authority of 'Ali ibn
Muhammad al-Nawfah on the authority of his father; and Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn
Sa'd (reported); and Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya: on the
authority of their teachers, who said:]'
The reason for the arrest of Musa ibn Ja’far, peace be on them, was that al-
Rashid had put his son in the care of Ja'far ibn Muhammad ibn al-Ash'ath and
Yahya. ibn Khalid ibn Barmak was jealous of that. He said (to himself): “If the
caliphate passes on to (the son), my dominion and that of my son will be
Therefore he deceived Ja’far ibn Muhammad - and the latter used to maintain
the belief in the Imamate - so that he managed to gain access to him and
establish friendly relations with him. His visits to his house were frequent and
he became acquainted with his affairs, which he would report back to al-Rashid
and he used to add to these reports that which would make (al-Rashid) feel
hatred towards him.
One day (Yahya ibn Khalid) asked some of those he trusted: “Would you
discover for me a member of the family of Abu Talib who is not in comfortable
circumstances, and then he would let me know what I need?”
He was directed towards 'Ali ibn Ismail ibn Ja’far ibn Muhammad. Yahya ibn
Khalid took him some money. Musa, peace be on him, was friendly with `Ali ibn
Isma'il ibn Ja'far ibn Muhammad and he used to bring him gifts and treat him
[Abu al-Qasim Ja'far ibn Muhammad ibn Qulawayh informed me on the authority
of Muhammad ibn Yaqub on the authority of 'Ali ibn Ibrahim on the authority of
al- Wafiqi who said:]
I (al-Wafiqi) had an uncle called al-Hasan ibn Abd Allah. He was an ascetic
and one of the most pious people of his time. The authorities were wary of him
because of his earnestness and his vigour towards religion. Sometimes he would
approach the authorities concerning enjoining the good and forbidding the evil
because of something which had angered him. They accepted that because of his
righteousness. The state of affairs continued until one day he went into the
mosque. There was Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him. He beckoned to him and (my
uncle) went to him.
(Musa) said to him: “Abu Ali, nothing is more pleasing to me and gives me
greater joy than the way you behave. Despite that, you do not have true
knowledge (marifa). Seek for true knowledge.”
“May I be your ransom,” he said to him, what is true knowledge?”
“Go so that you may learn,” he told him. “Seek out traditions.”
“From whom?” he asked.
“From the jurists of Medina,” he answered, “and then bring the additions to
He went and wrote down (what he learnt). Then he came and read to him.
However (Musa) invalidated all of it. He told him: “Go and learn.”
The man was concerned about (his own attitude to) his religion. He continued
to search for Abu al-Hasan until he went to (visit) an estate of his. On the
road he met him. He said to him: “May I be your ransom, I have sought for you
(by begging) God. Guide me to what is necessary for me to know.”
Then Abu al-Hasan, peace be on him, informed him about the authority and
rights of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and what it was
necessary for him to know. (He told him of) the authority of al-Hasan, al-
Husayn, Ali ibn al-Husayn, Muhammad b Ali and Ja’far ibn Muhammad. Then he was
(Al-Hasan) said to him: “May I be your ransom, who is the Imam today?”
“If I tell you,” he answered, “will you come close to me?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“I am he,” he said.
“Is there anything by which this could be proved?” he asked.
“Go to that tree,” he said - and he pointed towards one of the trees of Umm
Ghaylan, “and tell it that Musa ibn Ja’far tells you to draw near.”
[He reported:] I went to it and I saw it furrow through the ground until it
stopped in front of him. Then he indicated to it to go back and it went
He went up to him and cleaved to silence and worship. No one ever saw him
talking after that.
[Abu al-Qasim Ja’far ibn Muhammad ibn Qulawayh informed me, on the authority
of Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni, on the authority of Muhammad ibn Yahya, on
the authority of Ahmad ibnMuhammad ibn Isa, on the authority of Abu Yahya al-
Wasiti, on the authority of Hisham ibn Salim, who said:]
I (i.e. Hisham ibn Salim) and Muhammad ibn Numan (known as) Sahib al-Taq were
in Medina after the death of Abu Abd Allah, peace be on him. The people had
agreed that Abd Allah ibn Ja’far was the leader of the affair (sahib al-amr)
after his father. We went to visit him and the people were with him. We
questioned him about how much poor-tax (zakat) had to be paid.
“Five dirhams on two hundred dirhams,” he answered.
“How much on a hundred dirhams?” we asked.
“Two and a half dirhams,” he answered.
“By God, you are declaring the doctrine of the Murji'a,” we said.
“By God,” he retorted, “I do not know the doctrine of the Murji'a.”
We, Abu Ja’far al-Ahwal (i.e. Muhammad ibn Numan) and myself, left, wandering
without knowing where to go. We sat in one of the lanes in Medina weeping. We
did not know where we should go or to whom we should turn. We spoke about
(joining) the Murji'ites, the Qadarites, the Mu`tazilites, and the Zaydites.
We were in this situation when I saw a venerable man whom I did not know. He
indicated to me with his hand. I was afraid that he was one of the spies of (the
Abbasid caliph) Abu Ja’far al-Mansur. There were spies in Medina for him (to
find out) who the people agreed on to succeed Ja’far. Then that man (i.e. the
Imam) would be captured and executed. I was afraid that that man was one of
“Go aside,” I said to al-Ahwal, “I am afraid for myself. You be careful. He
only wants me. He does not want you. Leave me, for you will lead (him) to
The miracles of Imam Musa Kazim have been mentioned by many learned divines of
the Sunni Community.
Shaikh Abdullah ibn Muhammad Aamayree Sibraawee Shafei
in his book ‘Ittayhaf,’ mentions that when Imam Musa Kazim was in prison during
the time of Caliph Haroon al Rashid, Kazi Abu Yusuf and Muhammad ibn Hasan
Shaybani (Both learned divines of the Sunni community and followers of Abu
Hanifa) visited the Imam at night to ask him about some urgent problems. The
guard of the prison came to the Imam and told him that as his duty was over, he
was going home and would return the next day. Then before leaving, he asked the
Imam if he had any work which needed to be done. The Imam answered in the
negative and the guard departed.
After the guard left, the Imam told his
guests that the guard would die tonight. They were shocked to hear this and in
the excitement forgot to clarify their problems, and left the prison. On the way
they were saying there was no doubt that the Imam knew the hidden secrets, but
to verify this statement they deputed someone to go to the guard’s house and
wait outside to find out the truth of the Imam’s statement. In the middle of the
night, the person who was sent to watch, heard the sound of crying, and upon
making inquiries, he was informed that the prison guard had died. He returned to
Kazi Abu Yusuf who had sent him, and informed him of this. All were
wonder-struck and fully realized the powers of the Imam.
Ali ibne Rashid and other tradition writers mention that the Shias of Naishapur
gather together and made Mohammad Bin Ali their deputy to go and give Imam Musa
Kazim 30000 Dinars, 50000 Dirhams and 2000 pieces of clothes. A lady by the name
of Shatita gave to this deputy on her behalf to give to the Imam a knitted piece
worth 4 Dirhams and a 1 Dirham coin and she told Muhammad bin Ali ‘Innallah la
yestahee minal haqqay’, meaning Allah is proud of the Truth (Haq) even if the
amount be small.’ A bag was given containing 70 letters with a request for some
religious clarifications and an empty bag was given for bringing back replies.
Each envelope was tied with a string and sealed. He was instructed to take
the envelopes in the night to the Imam and collect them the following morning.
He was asked to open five letters to see whether the Imam had replied to the
queries. If he had replied to these letters then he was the true Imam and the
money and clothes should be given to him, or else to bring back everything that
he had taken. When Muhammad Bin Ali reached Medina, people asked him to go to
Abdulla Atfah. He went to Abdulla and when he returned from there he was very
dejected and said, ‘Where to go. ‘Shall I go to a Jew or shall I go to a
Christian,’ and said, ‘O Allah show me the way to the right path-guide me, O
Allah.’ I was standing in this confusion, when a slave approached me and said
that he would take me to the one whom I wanted to see. So saying he took me to
Imam Musa Kazim. When the Imam saw me, and although he had never seen me before,
addressed me as Abu Ja’far, and asked me why I was so sad and dejected over not
finding him and why I desired to go to the homes of the Jews and Christians?
‘Come, I will make you comfortable and relieve you of your worries. I am the
representative of God on this earth and the friend of God. Did not Abu Hamza
guide you when you were waiting outside the mosque of our beloved Prophet? I
have already answered all your questions yesterday.’ Then the Imam asked for the
bag in which was kept the Dirham belonging to Shatita which was correct in
weight, which I had kept in the same bag containing the other Dirhams. The Imam
also requested for the knitted piece given by Shatita, which was kept in the bag
with the other clothes sent for him. Muhammad Bin Ali said, “When I heard this I
was amazed and astonished, and handed over the knitted piece and the Dirham
given by Shatita to him. I did exactly as instructed by the Imam and when he had
the knitted piece and Dirham in his hands he turned towards me, and recited the
same verse as Shatita ‘Innallaha la yestahee minal haqqay’. Then he said, ‘O Abu
Ja’far, convey my salaams to Shatita, and give her this bag containing 40
Dirhams; then the Imam gave me a piece of coffin cloth and asked me to tell
Shatita that my sister Halima has worked on it and the thread used in it is from
my grand mother Fatima, the daughter of the Holy Prophet.”