While we face questions on different matters, if we search for answers diligently with taking into account certain principles and rules, we would definitely reach a fair conclusion. 

During the time, the question of Imamate has been always one of the most important concerns of the Islamic society. And always Shiites of different periods have tried to search for, and identify their Imam with regards to what the Holy Quran and the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) have taught them.  

The Twelver Shiites, from one hand look to Imamate as a divine subject, therefore the age factor, for example if the Imam is too young, does not influence their probe. On the other hand, what counts is the emergence of the divine traits in Imam, which must be present in the knowledge of the Imams (PBUT).  In fact the Imams (PBUT) have always been able to fully convince the Shiites with their answers to whatever questions the Shiites have had. Therefore despite the many reasons proving the Imamate of the Imams, the Shiites have always used to probe this trait in priority. Shiite posed different questions, and only when they felt that the Imam was able to answer any question, they would accept him as an impeccable Imam.     

Pertaining to Imamate of Imam Jawad (PBUH), the same rule applies. After the demise of Imam Reza (PBUH), a widespread worry caused some Shiites to go after Abdullah Ibn Musa, the brother of Imam Reza (PBUH). However, because the Shiites would not accept Imamate of a person without the right signs, some Shiites posed some questions before him, and when they realized that he was unable to answer some of their problems, they left him. However, most Shiites accepted Imamate of Imam Jawad (PBUH). Nevertheless, some reminded the matter of his small age to Imam Jawad (PBUH) himself, but according to the Shiites’ belief that the Holy Quran points up the prophethood of Yahya Ibn Zakariyya in his childhood, and the prophethood of Prophet Jesus (PBUH) in infancy shows that knowledge is possible to be present in the Deputy of Allah (SWT) before adulthood without education and learning by the will of Allah (SWT).         

The knowledge of Imam Jawad (PBUH) became more obvious in debates with the antagonists and clergymen from different religions and schools. These debates were arranged by Ma’mun and Mu’tassim to weaken him and the Shiites, if Imam Jawad (PBUH) failed to answer.  But through all the debates the outcome was against what the antagonists hoped for, and in the end of the sessions the scientific superiority of Imam Jawad (PBUH) became more apparent.   

Following these events, the scientific superiority of the Imam, not only among the Shiites, but also among the adversaries got evident. Therefore Ma’mun, who was one of the sworn enemies of him, admits the advantage and virtue of the Imam (PBUH).

When Ma’mun decided to forcefully marry his daughter to Imam Jawad (PBUH), the Abbasids got irritated and worried that the Caliphate might get out of the hands of the Bani Abbas, and said, “Muhammad Ibn Ali is small of age, and has no knowledge about the religion and Fiqh. The Caliph should let him get educated in religion, then later decide on different matters.”   

Ma’mun said, “Woe on you! I know this young man better than you. He is from descents that have Devine knowledge which gets revealed from divine inspiration. In knowledge and virtue, his fathers were all needless from education and ordinary learning. Although he is young, I chose him because I am sure of his superiority to all the knowledgeable and virtuous.”     

So the rich knowledge and wisdom of Imam Jawad (PBUH) was evident to the public to the extent that counted as a measure of right and wrong. Therefore the Shiites, first from the texts which were narrated from the Prophet (PBUH&HP) and the previous Imams (PBUT), and from the other hand the appearance of divine knowledge in Imam Jawad (PBUH), were able to recognize their Imam. Therefore even the unreal claimants could not impede them from reaching the truth. 

But what about us? What is really our measure in judging between right and wrong? Have we realized the path to truth by the principles of the Holy Quran and guidance of Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT)?

(Taken from the book “Intellectual and Political Life of the Shiite Imams (PBUT)” by Scholar Rasul Ja’farian)

Condolences to all the Shiites and lovers of Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT), the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the fountain of knowledge and blessing, Ali ibn Muhammad al-Jawad (PBUH).

10 – 12 – 2007

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