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It is imperative to discuss, before we begin with discussing the biography and life of Imam Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah, who exactly are the Ahlul Bayt and what is incumbent upon us regarding them.
The Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are all those whose ancestry meets with that of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at their common grandfather Hashim, and they are the progenies of ‘Abbas, ‘Ali, Jafar, and ‘Aqil. In addition, the wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are all part of the Ahlul Bayt on account of them being married to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Loving all of them is incumbent upon us as they are the relatives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has instructed us to do so, as is reported in the narration recorded by Imam Muslim rahimahu Llah, with his chain of narration from Yazid ibn Hayyan:
I went along with Hussain ibn Sabrah and ‘Umar ibn Muslim to Zaid ibn Arqam and, as we sat by his side, Hussain said to him, “Zaid, you have been able to acquire a great virtue that you saw Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, listened to his words, fought by his side in (different) battles, offered prayer behind him. Zaid, you have in fact earned a great virtue. Zaid, narrate to us what you heard from Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”
Zaid said, “I have grown old and have almost spent my age and I have forgotten some of the things which I remembered in connection with Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, so accept whatever I narrate to you, and which I do not narrate do not compel me to do that.”
He then said, “One day Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood up to deliver sermon at a watering place known as Khumm situated between Makkah and Madinah. He praised Allah, extolled Him and delivered the sermon and exhorted (us) and said, ‘Now to our purpose. O people, I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) from my Lord and I, in response to Allah’s call, (would bid good-bye to you), but I am leaving among you two weighty things: the one being the Book of Allah in which there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to it.’ He continued exhorting (us) (to hold fast) to the Book of Allah and then said, ‘The second are the members of my household I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family.’”
Hussain said to Zaid, “Who are the members of his household? Aren’t his wives the members of his family?”
Thereupon Zaid said, “His wives are the members of his family (but also) the members of his family are those for whom acceptance of Zakat is forbidden.”
Hussain asked, “Who are they?”
Zaid answered, “‘Ali and the offspring of ‘Ali, ‘Aqil and the offspring of ‘Aqil, Jafar and the offspring of Jafar, and ‘Abbas and the offspring of ‘Abbas.”
Hussain said, “These are those for whom the acceptance of Zakat is forbidden?”
Zaid replied, “Yes.”
There are some who ignorantly restrict the members of the Ahlul Bayt to a few select individuals, loving them only and revering them exclusively, while they discard the rest of the Ahlul Bayt. In fact, they go to the extent of maligning them. It appears as if they are unaware that love necessitates obedience. So, whoever claims to love the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the proof of this love will be found in the manner in which he follows the guidance and instructions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The one who claims to love him yet remains far from his noble practices is just a false claimant. The same goes for those who claim to love the Sahabah and Ahlul Bayt, it is imperative that they follow in their footsteps too in order for their claim to be true. So, we love those whom they love, believe as they have believed, and follow their practices and their path. The one who claims to love the Sahabah or the Ahlul Bayt but acts contrary to their teachings is in fact a miskin (orphan), who has not understood the reality of love. His claims will only lead him to further misguidance and deviation. He may think that he is upon good, due to him loving the Ahlul Bayt, but he is extremely far from the Truth.
As for our—the Muslims—belief? We love every member of the Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and we revere them, on account of their relation to the Prophet and our love for him salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Those of the Ahlul Bayt who were renowned for their knowledge, piety, and eminence; we love them for two reasons. On account of their piety and secondly for their relation to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
In this treatise, we will endeavour to the best of our abilities to discuss the life of a saint from the Ahlul Bayt, viz. Imam Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah, and illustrate the manner in which he followed the teachings of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam never opposing him, but rather making the teachings of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the governing factor of his life. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala be pleased with him.