Ma’mun (the Abbasid caliph) did everything to drag Imam Jawad (PBUH) to the grounds of corruption and to tarnish his image in the eyes of people; but he failed every time. One of his tricks was the marriage between his daughter Umm Fadhl and Imam Jawad (PBUH).

One may ask, why did Imam Jawad (PBUH) agree to marry his daughter? To find the answer, we should look into the religious movement which Prophet’s progeny (PBUT) lead and the state of this movement at the time of Imam Reza (PBUH) and his son, Imam Jawad (PBUH).

During Ma’mun’s rule, the religious movement managed to infiltrate the government and was able to grow well while the Imams (PBUT) did not surrender their principles. In other words, they never accepted to rule, and thus they did not cooperate with the government. For example, Imam Reza (PBUH) accepted to be Ma’mun’s successor with the condition that he (the Imam) would not be involved in the government’s affairs.

When Imam Jawad married Umm Fadhl, he became the son in-law of the caliph and he utilized this opportunity for his mission. One question that may arise is what it really meant to be the caliph’s son in-law?

Whoever was given a position at the palace of caliphs, would find himself as a ruler of some city/area or at least as a judge in the society. But Imam Jawad (PBUH) did not seek any of these positions. In fact, he pursed two objectives through this marriage:

First, becoming son in-law of the caliph made it more difficult for Ma’mun to murder him.

Second, Imam Jawad (PBUH) was able to protect key members of the Shia movement through his influence in the caliph’s palace.

Nonetheless, he would not hide his dissatisfaction with the status quo. Imam Jawad (PBUH) was not happy to live in the Abbasid palace while being far away from the difficulties of his followers and the Islamic society. If he had the possibility to depart from the city of Baghdad, he would not have stayed there for a long time.

One of Imam’s companions narrates: I went to Baghdad to visit Imam Jawad (PBUH) and thought about his luxurious life style; I told myself: With such comfortable life, this man would never go back to his hometown! Meanwhile, Imam’s face turned pale; he turned to me and said, “Eating an old bread and hard salt in the Prophet’s shrine (city of Medina, the birthplace of Imam Jawad) is much more pleasant for me than the comfort I have right now.”(1)

Imam Jawad (PBUH) showed clearly his lack of interest in his life in the Ma’mun palace, but due to his higher goal of protecting the religion of Allah and propagating authentic Islamic knowledge, he decided to stay in Baghdad. Therefore, he was forced to stay in Ma’mun’s palace and to work toward more important goals while accepting the environmental conditions.

(The above is a selection taken from “Guiders of the Path of Light – The Life of Imam Muhammad Taqi (PBUH)” by Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Taqi al-Mudarresi

Roshd Website offers its condolences to all and especially to you dear friend on the last day of the month of Dhi Qa’dah, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Jawad (PBUH).

Footnote:

1. Al-Khara’ij, vol. 1, p. 381