Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari, the old and great companion of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP), who had become old and decrepit, was on his deathbed. His shining face was a clear sign of his sincerity and purity.
Imam Baqir(PBUH) went to visit Jabir in his house. So he sat beside Jabir and said to him with kindness, “O Jabir! How are you?”
Jabir replied,” I am in a condition that I prefer being old over being young, and I love death more than life, and I like illness more than well-being”. (He meant to say that he was patient and resistant against any difficulty of hardness).
Imam Baqir (PBUH) said to Jabir,
”But I like whatever Allah (SWT) likes. If He wants me to become old, I like it; or if He wants me to be young, I like that. Illness or well-being, death or life, whichever He likes, I like the same.”
When Jabir heard this, he became happy, kissed Imam Baqir(PBUH), and said, ”The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP) was right when he said to me,” You will be alive and shall meet my son Baqir. So convey my greetings to him…”” (1)
Even though Jabir was full of experience and knowledge at that old age and had faced so many difficulties and hardships in his life, he assumed that the highest level of faith is that one prefers illness over well-being or being old over being young. Therefore, he wanted to tell Imam Baqir (PBUH) that “I have reached a level that not only the difficulties do not disturb me, in fact I am more eager towards them”. However, Imam Baqir (PBUH) taught this sincere old man a higher concept, namely being satisfied with what Allah (SWT) wills. Imam Baqir(PBUH) taught Jabir that after fulfilling the duties and endeavoring to perform the responsibilities, one should be satisfied with what Allah (SWT) has willed for him/her, be it pleasant or not.
(The above is a selection taken from “A Look into the Life of Imam Baqir (PBUH)”, by Muhammad Muhammadi Ishtihardi (with some additions))
The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 3rd of Safar, the birthday anniversary of the fifth Divine guardian and the spreader of knowledge, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir(PBUH).
1. A’yan al-Shia, vol. 15, p. 141; Majaalis al-Mu’minin