and said, ‘May I sacrifice my life for you, how can one know the Imam?’

Abu Basir Narrates: I once visited Imam Kazem

 The Imam replied that there are a few characteristics to consider:

1. For one, the previous legitimate divine chosen Imam should have introduced him to the people as his successor and as God’s appointed leader; just as the Prophet of Allah (PBUH&HP) introduced and assigned Imam Ali (PBUH) as the divine chosen Imam, similarly every Imam must introduce the next appointed Imam to the people.

2. That he be able to respond to your every question.

3. That you remain silent, while the Imam speaks (uttering your intention)

4. Inform people about future events.

5. Speak to everyone in his own language.

I asked: “My life! An Imam must speak in every language?!”

He replied: “Indeed, he can even speak the language of creatures that fly(1), I will show you proof before you leave.”

No long passed before I saw a man from Khorasan visit the Imam, and speak to him in Arabic; the Imam responded in Farsi however, and the man said, “but I did not speak to you in Farsi, for I thought to myself that you may not know Farsi well?”

Imam Kazem (PBUH) answered, “Praise be to Allah!  If I am unable to respond to you in the best manner, then what virtue will I have over you?”

It was then that the Imam said to me, “O’ Abu Muhammad! An Imam is one whom the words of people, animals, birds, and all those that have souls are not hidden from him.  One who lacks these virtues will not be an Imam.”

 (The above is a selection taken from “Ithbat al-Wasiya”, by Ali ibn Hussain Mas’oudi)

Roshd offers its condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend on the 25th of Rajab, Martyrdom of the manifestation of light and wisdom, inheritor of peace and calmness, the seventh Imam, Imam Musa ibn Ja’far al-Kazem (PBUH).


1. The Holy Quran (27:16) mentions this feature for the representative of Allah (SWT) and quotes from Prophet Solaiman that: “And Sulaiman was Dawood’s heir, and he said: O men! we have been taught the language of birds, and we have been given all things; most surely this is manifest grace.”

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