Father: Imam Zain ul-Abidin(AS)
Mother: Fatima Bint Hasan – known as Umme-e-Abdulla
Kunniyat (Patronymic): Abu Jaffar
Laqab (Title): Al Baqir
Birth: He was born in Medina on Tuesday, 1st of Rajab 57 A.H
Martyrdom: He was poisoned by Hisham bin Abdul Malik on the 7th Zilhajj 116 A.H, and died at the age of 59 in Medina.
Imam Muhammad Baqir (AS) Birth
The Holy Imam Muhammad al-Baqir is the Fifth Apostolic Imam. His epithet was Abu Ja’far and he was popularly titled “al-Baqir” and his mother was the daughter of Imam Hasan. Thus, he was the only Imam who was connected with Hazrat Fatima Zahra, both from his paternal and maternal sides.
Imam Muhammad Baqir (AS) Upbringing and Karbala
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir was brought up in the holy lap of his grandfather Imam Hussain, for three years. For 34 years he was under the gracious patronage of his father, ‘Ali Zain ul-Abidin.
The Holy Imam was present in Karbala’ at the time of the gruesome tragedy of the wholesale massacre of his grandfather Imam Hussain and his companions.
He also suffered with his father and the ladies of the House of the Prophet (Ahl-ul-Bayt) the heartless captivity and imprisonment at the hands of the devilish forces at the command of Yazid ibn Mu’awiyah.
Imam Muhammad Baqir (AS) post-Karbala
After the tragedy of Karbala, the Imam passed his time peacefully in Medina praying to Allah and guiding the people to the right path. The downfall of the Umayyads had begun since Yazid, the son of Mu’awiyah, had slaughtered Imam Husayn. Yazid himself had completely realized the evil consequences of his deeds even during the short period of his rule.
His son Mu’awiyah, the second, refused to accept the caliphate saying:
‘I cannot favour such a throne which has been erected on the basis of oppression and tyranny.’
Imam Muhammad Baqir (AS) Divine Knowledge
Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, a famous scholar belonging to the Sunnite School says:
“Imam Muhammad al-Baqir has disclosed the secrets of knowledge and wisdom and unfolded the principles of spiritual and religious guidance. Nobody can deny his exalted character, his God-given knowledge, his divinely-gifted wisdom and his obligation and gratitude towards spreading of knowledge. He was a sacred and highly talented spiritual leader and for this reason he was popularly titled ‘al-Baqir’ which means ‘the exponder of knowledge ‘.
Kind of heart, spotless in character, sacred by soul and noble by nature, the Imam devoted all his time in submission to Allah (and in advocating the teachings of the Holy Prophet and his descendants). It is beyond the power of a man to count the deep impression of knowledge and guidance left by the Imam on the hearts of the faithful.
His sayings in devotion and abstinence, in knowledge and wisdom, and in religious exercise and submission to Allah are so great in number that the volume of this book is quite insufficient to cover them all.” (Sawayed-e-Mohreqa, p. 120)
Imam Muhammad Baqir (AS) Imamate
The Holy Imam managed to collect the teachings and reforms of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl-ul-Bayt in the form of books. His pupils compiled books on different branches of science and arts under his instructions and guidance.
In the excellence of his personal purity and godly traits, the Holy Imam Muhammad al-Baqir was a model of the Holy Prophet and his great grandfather, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. His admonitions created a spiritual sensation among the Muslims in general. He was not only hospitable even to his worst enemies but also used to continually exhort them to the right path.
He urged people to earn their livelihood by their own hard work.
The Holy Imam gave much importance to convening majalis (meetings) in commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. Kumayt ibn Zayd al-Asadi, one of the most famous and highly talented poets of that time, used to recite the elegy of Imam Hussain in those majalis.
Such type of majalis were also greatly encouraged by Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq and Imam ‘Ali Reza, the Sixth and the Eighth Imams.
Imam Muhammad Baqir (AS) Wafat / Martyrdom
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir continued his preaching peacefully till 114AH. On the 7th Dhi’l-hijjah when he was fifty-seven years olds Hisham ibne Abdul Malik, the then ruler, got him martyred through poison.
The funeral prayers for this Holy Imam were conducted by his son Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq, the Sixth Imam, and his body was laid to rest in Jannat-ul-Baqi’ in Medina