Know Your Imam: Muhammad ibn Ali al-Jawad

August 6, 2006

The ninth Imam from the Prophet’s immaculate household was the son of the one known as Al-Ridha, Ali ibn Musa (peace be upon them). When his father died, he was still a child, yet he demonstrated knowledge and wisdom far beyond any other scholar of his time. The caliph al-Mamun, used to bring scholars from all over the world to Baghdad to challenge the Imam, and they were easily defeated.

Abu Yahya al-Sin’ani relates how he was with Abu al-Hasan al-Ridha when he had his small son brought in, and he said, “There has never been born a child of greater blessing for our followers than him.” (al-Kafi)

Safwan ibn Yahya said, “I said to al-Ridha, ‘We used to ask you [what you wanted] before Allah granted you Abu Ja’far, and you would reply, ‘May Allah grant me a baby boy.’ Allah has granted this to you and our hearts are filled with joy. May Allah preserve you, but when your life comes to an end, who is to take over?” Then al-Ridha pointed to Abu Ja’far, who was standing in front of him. I then said, “May I sacrifice myself in your service — this boy is only three years old!”
“What does that matter to him?” replied al-Ridha. “Did not ‘Isa (Jesus) demonstrate his proof when he was less than three years old?” (al-Kafi)

Ibn Talhah calls Abu Ja’far Muhammad “the second”, for Abu Ja’far Muhammad al-Baqir, his great-grandfather came before him. Abu Ja’far al-Jawad (the Generous) was given this title when he was still a teenager because of the excellence and worthiness of his character. He has two other titles: the Contented and the Chosen One. Al-Tabarsi states that his titles are the God-Fearing, the Elect, and the Chosen. The Iraqis refer to him as the Generous (al-Jawad), and this is the name mentioned on his grave, which lies next to that of his grandfather, Imam Musa. (al-Muhajjah al-Bayda)]

Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Jawad was born on the 10 of Rajab in the year 195 A.H. He died at the age of 25 and was laid to rest next to his grandfather, Imam Musa b. Ja’far. They were both known for suppressing their anger in the face of adversity, so the place where they are buried is known as Al-Kadhimayn.



  1. Mash Allah, I love learning about our Imams! Thanks. It’s a little hard to keep them straight sometimes, because they each had several different titles, but, ensha Allah, I hope to et to the point where I can keep them straight anyway.

  2. Masha’Allah, I am also still learning all of them in order. I know up to the 6th imam really well, and then I can kinda stumble through to the 10 and I of course know the 12. LOL Masha’Allah it is a beautiful thing to know them and know their contributions. Keep up hubby

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