Nowadays, most historians study the lives of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) merely from the confined aspect of their personal lives, and even out of the context of their time. On the other hand, some others study the lives of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) from the political point of view, and evaluate their role in that regard. In fact, they even see the worship and the knowledge of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) through the glass of politics.
There is a compromise between these two methods in which the lives of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) is considered full of personal illuminations that transcend the borders of place and time, and deems them politically vast, compatible to the specific situation.
Although the majority of the Imams (PBUT) were not political rulers, all the kings and governors used to take refuge in them in all their difficulties, despite their continuous animosity towards the Imams (PBUT). Indeed, the Imams (PBUT) did not hesitate to serve Islam and rescue the nation from making mistakes. History has narrated us a good example of this issue in the case of Abdul Malik, the Umayyad caliph.
After Abdul Malik became the king, he was disturbed with the fact that the Romans used to depict the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit on paper. Therefore, he ordered the governor of Egypt to replace these depictions with the chapter of Tahwid (the 112th chapter of the Holy Quran)(1), and the 18th verse of its third chapter (2). When the Roman king became aware of the news, he wrote to Abdul Malik,” Making paper and what is depicted on it is the expertise of the Romans”.
When Abdul Malik read the letter, he did not respond to it, and even returned the gift the Roman king had sent with the letter. The very same incident was repeated several times, but Abdul Malik kept refusing the gift, even though the Roman king increased the gift every time. Eventually, the Roman king wrote to Abdul Malik,” Reverse the depictions on the papers to as it was, or I will order that your Prophet be insulted on the coins”.
When Abdul Malik read the letter, he became extremely angry, and since he did not come to a conclusion after discussing the issue with the Muslims around him, he asked for Imam Baqir (PBUH).
When Imam Baqir (PBUH) met Abdul Malik, he narrated the incident to the Imam (PBUH). Imam Baqir (PBUH) said to him,” Do not overreact to this issue, because it is simple for two reasons: First, the Almighty Allah (SWT) will not let the Roman king execute his threat of insulting the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP). Second, there is a solution to this problem”.
Abdul Malik asked,” What is the solution?”
Imam Baqir (PBUH) replied,” Call upon the artisans immediately and ask them to mint gold and silver coins with the 112th chapter of the Holy Quran on one side and the name of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP) on the other. Also, engrave the city and the date the coins were produced on their sides”.
Then, Imam Baqir (PBUH) taught Abdul Malik the details of designing the weight of the coins, minting them, and weighing gold and silver coins, and ordered him to provide all the Muslims throughout the country with the new minted coins.
Abdul Malik followed the order of Imam Baqir (PBUH), and sent a message to the Roman king saying that “Allah (SWT) prevented you from doing what you intended; I did such and such in the Islamic nation, and your coins are valueless now”.
After this, some of the Romans told their king,” In this situation, you have to execute your threat”. The Roman king replied,” I sent him those letters to make him angry; because I was more powerful, and the Roman coins were common. However, I can not overpower him now; because the Muslims do not trade with Roman coins, and it is not possible to execute my threat now”.
In this manner, the suggestion of Imam Baqir (PBUH) has remained effective till now.
(The above is a selection taken from “The life of Imam Baqir (PBUH)”, by Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Mudarrisi (with some changes))
The Roshd Website offers condolences to all the Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon the 7th of Dhi al-Hijjah, the anniversary of martyrdom of heir of the Divine knowledge and the knower of the realities of the creation, Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Baqir (PBUH).
1. “Say (O Muhammad): He is Allah, (the) One – Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need) – He begets not, nor was He begotten – And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.”
2. “Allah bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped but He.” (The Holy Quran, 3:18)