Muslim scholars and historians lavished fulsome praise and adulation on Imam Muhammad Ibn Ali al-Taqi al-Jawad (a.s.). While all infallibles from the lineage of Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) were referred as ‘Ibno Reza’ by scholars, Imam Jawad (a.s.) being the direct son of Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) occupies a special position.
Imam Reza (a.s.) had already predicted about him (a.s.):
…no child will bestow greater blessings on the Shias than him.
- Al-Kafi v 1 p 321, v 2 p 102
Imam Jawad (a.s.) has been highly regarded by Muslim scholars with some of their comments listed here:
- Ibn Sabbagh al-Maliki, the reputed Ahle Tasannun scholar, narrates from Safwaan b. Yahya:
I asked Imam Reza (a.s.) – Before Allah had given you Abu Jafar (Imam Jawad a.s.) I had asked you about the Qaim after you. You had replied then – Allah has not given me a son as yet.
But now Allah has given you a son and our eyes are brighter due to him. Allah forbid, if we are deprived of you, to whom should we refer in your absence?
Imam Reza (a.s.) pointed at Abu Jafar (a.s.), while he was three years then.
I asked – While he is not older than three years?
Imam Reza (a.s.) – There is no problem with that. Esa (a.s.) was raised as a Proof, while he was less than three years old.
- Al-Fusool al-Muhimmah fi Marifah al-Aimmah p. 247 by Ibn Sabbaagh al-Maaliki
Ibn Taymiyyah, the forerunner of modern Salafim/Wahhabism, said – Muhammad bin Ali al-Jawad (a.s.) was from the famous personalities of Bani Hashim and was acknowledged for generosity and majesty and was therefore named al-Jawad.
- Minhaaj al-Sunnah vol. 4 p. 68
Sibt bin Jawzi said – He (Imam Jawad a.s.) was on the path of his father in knowledge, piety, abstinence and generosity.
- Tazkerah al-Khawaas p. 321
Muammar Ibn Khallaad narrates:
I heard Imam Reza (a.s.) reply to a question – You will not face any need with regards this affair (Imamat) since Abu Jafar is here and I have appointed him in my place.
Then Imam Reza (a.s.) said: The small ones of our Ahle Bait inherit every minute thing from our elders.
- Mataalib al-So’ool fi Manaaqib al-Rasool (s.a.w.a.) vol. 2 p. 87 by Muhammad Ibn Talhah Shaafe’ee (exp. 652 A.H.)
Lessons for Muslims
The list of references cited here is an extract of a much longer list. It tells Muslims about the status and majesty of Imam Jawad (a.s.) and his superior claim to caliphate and Imamat.
With such overwhelming evidence, Muslims are duty-bound to accept Imam Jawad (a.s.) as their leader and caliph. Even if they don’t wish to accept Imam Jawad (a.s.) as their Imam, in the very least they should not criticize the Shias for taking him as a proof and guide. And they must not condemn Shias for visiting the grave of Imam Jawad (a.s.) and other Imams (a.s.) and for taking them as a medium to acquire divine proximity. The Imams (a.s.) have a high position near Allah and having been martyred in His Way, they are very much alive and are being sustained by their Lord.