Imam Sadiq (PBUH) was just martyred; however, due to the political situation at the time and fear over the life of the next Imam, he had introduced the Imam after him implicitly and indirectly. Therefore, there became a dispute among the Shiites over his successor.
Meanwhile, a group of Shiites from Neishabour had collected their Khums money to hand it over to their Imam. They chose a person named Muhammad ibn Ali Neishabouri to take their Khums to Medina. The total amount of Khums collected was about thirty thousand gold coins, fifty thousand silver coins, and some cloth. A woman named Shatitah Neishabouri took a single silver coin along with a piece of silk cloth which she had weaved herself and was worth only four silver coins to the representative and said to him, ”Verily Allah (SWT) is not ashamed of (fulfilling and explaining) the truth (1)”.
Besides these properties, the people of Neishabour submitted about seventy pieces of paper to Muhammad ibn Ali. At the top part of each paper, a religious question was written and the bottom of the pages was left blank for the answer. They folded the papers in couple, sealed them, and said to Muhammad ibn Ali, ”Give the papers to the Imam at night and get the answers back the next morning. If you find the packages sealed, open up five of them. If you realize that the Imam has answered the questions without opening the papers and removing the seals, you will not need to open the rest. You should know that that person is definitely the Imam, so you may leave the properties with him; if not, then return our properties to us”.
Muhammad ibn Ali left for Medina, and when he got there, he went to the house of Abdullah Aftah, the son of Imam Sadiq (PBUH). There, he tested Abdullah to see if he was the Imam. However, he came out confused and said with himself, ”O Allah! Guide me to my Imam”. As he was wondering, a person approached him and said,” Let us go to the one you are looking for”. That person took Muhammad to the house of Imam Kadhim (PBUH). When the Imam (PBUH) saw Muhammad, he said to him,” Why did you lose hope? Come to me as I am the guardian and proof of Allah (SWT); I already answered all the questions you have brought yesterday; please bring those questions, the silver coin of Shatitah which is in that pouch, and her piece of cloth which is in the other pouch”.
Muhammad became extremely surprised and astonished by Imam’s (PBUH) saying, and did what the Imam (PBUH) had ordered. Imam Kadhim (PBUH) took the silver coin and the cloth of Shatitah, and then said to Muhammad ibn Ali:
“Verily Allah (SWT) is not ashamed of (fulfilling and explaining) the truth. O Aba Ja’far (2)! Convey my greetings to Shatitah and give her this pouch of money (which contains forty silver coins). I also offer him a piece of my shroud, made from the cotton of Sayda (3), the village of Lady Fatimah (PBUH), and sewed by my sister Halima, the daughter of Imam Sadiq (PBUH). Tell Shatitah that she would be alive for nineteen days from the time you will reach Neishabour. So ask her to spend sixteen coins for herself and save the twenty four remaining ones for her debts and charity money. I shall pray on her (dead body) myself. As for the rest of the properties you have brought, give them back to their owners. Also, open these papers and see if I had already answered the questions before you entered”.
Muhammad ibn Ali narrates that,” The packages were sealed and untouched; I opened some of the letters; Imam Kadhim (PBUH) had answered all the questions in his own handwriting…”
When Muhammad ibn Ali returned to Neyshabur, he realized that all the people whose properties he was carrying had turned into the Fat’hi faith (4); however, only Shatitah had remained loyal to the Imamate of Imam Kadhim (PBUH); he conveyed the greetings of the Imam (PBUH) to Shatitah, handed in the money and the cloth to her, and explained the advices of Imam (PBUH) to her.
Shatitah was alive for the same nineteen days as Imam Kadhim (PBUH) had mentioned. When she passed away, Imam Kadhim (PBUH) arrived at her body riding a camel. When he finished preparations and the prayer on Shatitah, he got on his camel, turned towards the desert, and said to Muhammad ibn Ali,” Convey my greetings to my friends, and tell them that it is obligatory on me and all the other Imams to be present at your burial, wherever it might me. So (in order to benefit from this blessing) always have fear of Allah (SWT) (deep) inside your heart”.
Indeed the Imam of our time, Imam Mahdi (PBUH), will remain faithful to the promise of his grandfather; nevertheless, are we prepared for this glorious presence through obtaining correct beliefs and adhering to constant fear of Allah (SWT)? Are we practicing our obligatory financial duties, such as Khums and charity, non-financial duties, and refraining from forbidden acts?
(The above is a selection taken from “Bihar al-Anwar”, vol. 48, by Allamah Muhammad Baqir Majlisi)(5)
The Roshd Website offers condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 25th of Rajab, the anniversary of the martyrdom of the treasurer of wisdom and the heir of tranquility, Imam Musa ibn Ja’far al-Kadhim (PBUH).
1. What Shatitah meant from this statement was that I am not ashamed of having so little Khums money. What is important is that I have fulfilled my obligation.
2. Aba Ja’far is the nickname of Muhammad ibn Ali Neyshaburi.
3. Sayda is the name of a village.
4. Those who believed in the Imamate of the other son of Imam Sadiq (PBUH), Abdullah ibn Ja’far who was known as Aftah (which means a person who has a wide forehead) are known as those with Fat’hi faith.
5. In translating the above mentioned Hadith, the book of “The life of Imam Kadhim (PBUH)”, by Musa Khosravi has been consulted.