Ahl al-Bayt

The Imprisonment of Imam Musa Kazim (as)

Imam Musa Kazim, peace be upon him, was the seventh infallible heir of Chief of Prophets Prophet Muhammad Ibn-e-Abdellah, peace be upon him and his descendants. During the time of rulers in his time, he went through many hard trials and bad luck. Harun, a cruel ruler, was one of them. Harun did everything he could to hurt and punish him. Peace be upon him, Imam spent his youth in Harun’s jails and died there.

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Imprisonment of Imam Musa Kazim (as)

According to the storytellers, one of the things that made Harun want to lock up the Imam musa kazim as was that he went to the tomb of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his children, with a group of nobles, important people, ministers, and high-ranking officials of his state and said, “Peace be on you, Apostle of Allah! Peace be with you, cousin.'”

By saying “cousin,” he was trying to show that he was better than the other people because he was related by blood to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and his children, as Imam Musa Kazim, peace be upon him, stood next to him. The great Prophet was welcomed by Imam Musa kazim as, who said, “Peace be on you, Apostle of Allah! Peace be on you, father!” Harun al-Rashid went crazy.

The look on his face changed, and it was clear to see that he was angry. Because the Imam Musa kazim was closer to the Prophet than he was and lived closer to him than others. Harun asked the Imam, “Why did you say that you were closer to Allah’s Prophet, peace be upon him and his descendants, than I was?”

The Imam Musa kazim as, peace be upon him, gave him a proof that couldn’t be argued with: “If Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him and his descendants, came back to life and asked you for your daughter’s hand in marriage, would you say yes?” Harun replied, “Allah deserves the glory…I want to show how proud I am of my place over Arabs and non-Arabs by doing this.”

The Imam Musa kazim, peace be upon him, kept proving that he was closer to the Prophet, peace be upon him and his children, than he was. He said, “However, Allah’s Messenger does not ask me for my daughter’s hand, and I do not marry her to him, because he is our father, not your father. Because of this, I am closer to him than you.”

Harun al-Rashid couldn’t find a way to counter the Imam Musa kazim’s point of view. So, he was angry with the Imam musa kazim. He went to the tomb of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his descendants, and said, “May my father and mother be your payment, O Apostle of Allah. I’m sorry for something I want to do.” I want to throw Musa Kazim Ibn-e-Jafar in jail because he wants to cause trouble in your town and make it bleed.”

Harun thought that apologising to the Prophet, peace be upon him and his descendants, for doing something wrong would help him and free him from this duty on the day when the wrongdoers would lose.

The next day, he told his men to arrest Imam Musa kazim, and they did so while he was praying by the head of his grandfather, the Prophet, peace be upon him and his descendants. They cut him off in the middle of his prayer and didn’t give him a chance to finish it. They tied him up and took him out of that holy place while he was crying bitter tears and moaning to his grandpa, saying, “I complain to you, O Allah’s Messenger!”

They put him in chains, set up two camel litters, and made him sit on one of them. The other litter was put on a different camel. Harun sent two groups of riders outside of Medina to take care of the camel babies.

The first group went to Baghdad, and the second group went to Basra. Harun wanted Imam Musa kazim to be in the second group because he didn’t want anyone to know where Imam Musa kazim was going (whether he was going to Baghdad or Basra) or who was riding with him.

The Imam Musa kazim met ‘Abd Allah, the son of the late al-Azdi, on his way to Basra. He gave him a letter and told him to give it to his replacement, Imam al-Reza’, peace be on him. He also told him that Imam al-Reza’ was the Imam after him.

Harun told the horses to take Imam to Basra and give him to Isa Ibn-e Ja’far Ibn-e Mansoor, who was in charge of the jails there.

Peace be upon him, Imam Kazim, in different jails:

1- Imam Musa Kazim as In Isa Ibn-e Ja’far’s prison


When the horses got to Basra, they gave Imam Kazim (peace be upon him) to Isa Ibn-e-Jafar. On the seventh day of Zul-Hijja, that happened. Imam was locked up in Basra for a year. Harun sent Isa Ibn-e-Jafar a letter telling him to kill Imam. When Jafar got Harun’s letter, he called some of his best and closest friends together, read the letter to them, and asked for their opinion. They told him, “Don’t kill Imam and ask Harun to let you off this job.”

Isa wrote a message to Harun in which he said, “It has been so long since Imam was in my jail. During that time, I tested him and had my spies watch his every move, but the only thing I could find out about him was that he was always praying. I even made plans for one of my secret guards to be able to hear him pray.

According to my secret guard, Imam wasn’t cursing you or me, wasn’t bad-mouthing our names, and wasn’t asking for anything but God’s gift and forgiveness. Send someone here so I can give Imam to him, or I’ll set him free because it hurts me a lot to keep him locked up.”

One of the spies is said to have told about the prayers he heard Imam, peace be upon him, say while he was in jail.”O God!” was prayed. You know that I’ve been asking you to give me time so I can work for you. You already did that. “All praise to You.”

2- In Fazlibn-e Rabi’s Prison

Harun sent someone to Basra to get Imam Musa kazim, peace be upon him, and then sent that person to Baghdad to give Imam to Fazlibn-e Rabi’ (one of the ministers).

Rabi’ did not put him in a public jail because he was afraid that the Imam’s high position and great personality would cause trouble and cause the public’s view to change. Imam spent a long time in Rabi’s jail in Baghdad.

The Imam, peace be upon him, devoted his life to obeying Allah and showing worship to Him. Fazl liked the way he worshipped.

‘Abd Allah al-Qazwïni has narrated: “I (i.e. ‘Abd Allah al-Qazwïni) visited Fazlibn-e-Rabï’. He told me to get closer to him while he was sitting on top of his house. I moved closer to him until I was right next to him. Then he told me, “Look at the house.” Abd Allah was taller than the house, so Fazl asked him, “What do you see in the house?”

I can see a piece of clothing thrown on the ground.Abd Allah thought about it, took a good look, and then said, “A man praying on his knees.”

-Do you know who he is?

I can’t do it.

-There’s your boss.

-Which master?

-Are you trying to act like you don’t know who Ali is?

I’m not making it up, but I don’t know who my boss is.

-That is Abu’ al-Hasan, Musa Kazim Ibn-e-Jafar.

Abd Allah was one of the people who took Imam Musa kazim’s leadership. Then Fazl told him about his worship, saying, “I (Fazl) visit him day and night. I never found him in any other condition than the one I’m describing. He prays the morning prayer and then says his own prayers for an hour, or until the sun comes up. He keeps getting on his knees until the sun is almost at its highest point of the day. He has asked a servant to tell him that the sun is almost going down. I don’t know when the guard will say, “The sun is almost going down.”

“All of a sudden, he stands up and starts praying without washing again, so I know that he doesn’t sleep or snooze while he’s on his knees. He keeps praying until the afternoon prayer is over. After he prays in the afternoon, he makes one prostration. Then he keeps praying and says his own prayer until he says the prayers for evening and night. After he prays at night and in the evening, he breaks his fast by eating roasted meat that is brought to him. Then he does the routine washing again and gets down on his knees to pray.

He then lifts his head and goes to sleep. Then he stands up, does the routine washing again, and prays until daybreak. I don’t know when the guard will suddenly say, “The day has come!” and then say the dawn prayer. Since he’s been given to me, this is how he acts.”

These are the things Imam Musa Kazim did to praise Allah. He was the leader of those who feared Allah and repented to Allah. He loved Allah and did what Allah said.

When ‘Abd Allah found out that Fazl loved the Imam’s acts of prayer, he told Fazl, “Fear Allah! Don’t kill the Imam like Harun told you to,” in other words, don’t carry out Harun’s order. Don’t cause something that takes away blessing. You know that if someone does something bad for someone else, that person’s blessing goes away.”

Fazl agreed with what ‘Abd Allah said. He said, “They sent for me more than once and told me to kill him, but I didn’t listen to them.” Fazl didn’t kill the Imam or put him in danger because he was afraid of Allah’s anger and penalty in this world and the next.

Harun told Fazl in a message to bring him to Fazlibn-e Yahya.

3- In Fazlibn-e Yahya Barmaky’s prison

Fazlibn-e Yahya met Imam and let him stay in one of his rooms. He then hired watchmen to keep an eye on him. They said that Imam was always praying and that he linked day and night by praying and reading the Quran. He was busy praying and fasting for a long time, but he never turned his face away from where he was praying.

Fazl had a lot of respect for Imam because of how he behaved. Harun had heard about all of these things. He was in a place near Baghdad at the time. He sent Fazl a letter telling him that Imam had to be killed and that Fazl could not respect him. Fazl didn’t do what Harun told him to do, and he didn’t kill Imam. Harun heard the news about the problem. He got very angry and told Masroor Khadim, one of his most cruel men, to go to Baghdad and talk to Musa Kazim Ibn-e-Jafar right away. “If you think he’s okay, give this letter to Abbas Ibn-e Mohammad and tell him to do what it says,” he told her.

4- In Sandi Ibn-e Shahak’s prison

Harun gave Masroor Khadim another letter and told him that it had to be given to Sandi Ibn-e Shahak, a cruel Jewish jailer. In the letter, it said that Sandi Ibn-e Shahak had to listen to Abbas Ibn-e Mohammad no matter what.

Masroor Khadim went to Baghdad and walked into the house of Fazl Ibn-e Yahya. No one could figure out why Masroor was there. He went right to Imam, and he was told that Imam was good. So, he took Harun’s letters to Abbas Ibn-e Mohammad and Sandi Ibn-e Shahak.

Not long after that, Abbas’s representative rushed to Fazl’s house. Fazl was scared, so he went with Abbas’s representative to his house. Abbas asked for a number of things that looked like whips and boards. Then he told Yahya to take off his clothes, and Sandi Ibn-e Shahak beat him one hundred times while Abbas was there to see it. Fazl left Abbas’s house after that. Masroor Khadim sent Harun a letter in which he told Harun everything that had happened in the case. Harun told Khadim to give Imam Kazim to Sandi Ibn-e Shahak because he thought Sandi was the right person to kill and torture Imam Kazim, peace be upon him. So it was.

Reports say that poison was put in some dates that were given to the holy Imam. Soon after he ate these, Imam, peace be upon him, felt sick because he had eaten poison. He went through pain for three days, and on the third day, he went back to God and was killed for his faith. It was Rajab 25.

Then, Harun said that the holy body of Imam Musa Kazim, a grandson of the Chief of Prophets, should be put on Baghdad Bridge, tied up.

Sheikh Mohammed Mulla said, “Error (Baatil) is happy about his death, and right (Haq) has held a funeral for him! His coffin is on the Bridge of al-Rasa’fa, and angels have gathered around him to look at him.”

  • Faizan e Imam Musa Kazim
  • Imam Musa al-Kazim(AS) and the Abbasid Caliphs
  • Imam Musa Kazim’s Knowledge – Islam Guidance

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