Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) in the Books of the Ahle Tasannun

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Some Muslims allege that the Shias exaggerate the position of the infallible Imams (a.s.) of the Ahle Bait (a.s.). Their foremost accusation is that the Imams (a.s.) never claimed Imamat and it is only the Shias who have elevated them to the position.


We will prove how baseless these claims are by briefly reviewing what noted scholars of the Ahle Tasannun (erroneously referred to as ‘Sunnis’) have to say about the seventh Imam Moosa al-Kazim (a.s.).

1. His Imamat
2. His Virtues
3. His Worship
4. His Martyrdom
5. Lessons for the Muslims

Back to TopHis Imamat

Scholars of the Ahle Tasannun have testified to Imam Moosa al-Kazim’s (a.s.) Imamat, thereby disproving the claim of the skeptics who deny the divine position of the infallible Imams (a.s.).

  1. Faiz Ibn al-Mukhtar recounts: I asked Abu Abdillah Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) – Please guide me and rescue me from the fire. Who is the Imam after you? At the time, Moosa al-Kazim (a.s.), who was just a young boy entered the room. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) informed: He is your master, hold on to him.
  • Al-Fusool al-Muhimmah fi Ma’rifah Umoor al-A’immah p. 213
  1. Muhammad Ibn Idris Ibn Munzir Abi Hatim al-Raazi (exp. 275 A.H.)

‘He was trustworthy and very truthful and an Imam from the Imams of the Muslims.’

  • Al-Jarh wa al-Ta’deel vol. 8 p. 138
  1. Ibn Abi Haatim al-Raazi (exp. 327 A.H.)

After affirming the Imamate of Imam Sadiq (a.s.), he writes about Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) – He was very truthful.

  • Al Jarh wa al-Ta’deel, vol. 8 p. 139
  1. Ibn Taymiyyah (exp. 728 A.H.)

‘Moosa Ibn Jafar (a.s.) is known for his worship and pious actions.’

He adds:  Jafar (a.s.) was followed by Moosa Ibn Jafar (a.s.). Abu Haatim Al-Raazi writes about him that he was reliable, truthful and from among the Imams of the Muslims.

  • Minhaaj al-Sunnah vol. 3 p. 124

Shams al-deen Zahabi (exp. 748 A.H.)

‘The Imam, the leader, al-Sayyed Abu al-Hasan al-Alawi, father of Imam Ali Ibn Moosa al Reza (a.s.) al-Madani…’

  • Seyar A’laam al-Nubalaa, vol. 6 p. 270

Ibn Sabbaagh al-Maaliki (exp 855 A.H.)

‘He was among the scholars, al Kazim, an Imam of high Stature, the foremost, the proof, the scholar, with nights in worship and days in fasting…’

  • Al-Fusool al-Muhimmah fi Ma’rifahUmoor al-A’immah p. 221

Back to TopHis Virtues

The Ahle Tasannun scholars have widely documented the virtues and excellence of Imam Moosa al-Kazim (a.s.). Below is an illustrative listing of their statements:

  1. Muhammad Ibn Umar al-Raazi (called by his followers as Fakhruddeen) (exp. 604 A.H.)

‘How many great scholars existed in their midst like al-Baqir, al-Sadiq, al-Kazim, al-Reza…’

  • Tafseer Mafaateeh al-Ghaib (famous as Tafseer-e-Kabeer), vol. 32 p. 125
  1. Ibn Atheer (exp. 630 A.H.)

‘And he was given the title of al-Kazim because he returned evil with goodness and this was his permanent disposition.’

  • Al-Kaamil fi al-Taarikh vol. 6 p. 14
  1. Sibt Ibn Jawzi (exp. 654 A.H.)

‘He was Moosa – generous, forbearing and he was called al-Kazim because whenever he heard that someone bore him ill-will, he sent money for him…’

  • Tazkerah al-Khawaas p. 312
  1. Ibn Abi al-Hadeed (exp. 655 A.H.)

‘And from our men is Moosa Ibn Jafar Ibn Muhammad (a.s.) and he was titled ‘the righteous servant’ (al-Abd al-Saaleh); he combined in his person jurisprudence, religion, worship, forbearance and patience…’

  • Sharh Nahj al-Balaaghah vol. 15 p. 291
  1. Shams al-Deen Zahabi (exp. 748 A.H.)

‘He was righteous, knowledgeable, worshipper, generous, forbearing and of high stature.’

  • Al-Ebar vol. 1 p. 222
  1. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani (exp. 852 A.H.)

He records on the authority of Yahya Ibn Hasan Ibn Jafar – ‘Moosa Ibn Jafar (a.s.) was called the righteous servant due to his excessive worship and endeavours…and his characteristics are too many.’

  • Tahzeeb al-Tahzeeb vol. 7 p. 393
  1. Ibn Hajar al-Haithami (exp. 974 A.H.)

‘Moosa al-Kazim and he was the inheritor of his (Imam Sadiq’s a.s.) knowledge, recognition, perfection and excellence. He was called al-Kazim due to his excessive restraint and forbearance. He was famous among the people of Iraq as Baab Qazaa al-Hawaaej (Gateway to Fulfillment of Needs) near Allah. He was the most devout, most knowledgeable and the most generous person of his era…’

  • Al-Sawaaiq al-Muhriqah p.307-08
  1. Abdullah Ibn Muhammad Ibn Aamir al-Shabraawi al-Shaafe’ee (exp. 1171 A.H.)

‘He was among the greatest, most generous and his father Jafar (a.s.) loved him dearly…’

  • Al-At’haaf be Hubb al-Ashraaf p. 141

Back to TopHis Worship

Khateeb al-Baghdadi documents that while Imam Kazim (a.s.) was imprisoned by Sindi: ‘…he used to be engaged in worship after the night (Isha) prayers right till the end of the night and would be immersed in prayers till the time of the morning prayers. Thereafter, he would be engrossed in remembering Allah till sunrise. He would prepare himself for worship till the sun came out and the day progressed. He ate a little. He rested a bit till a little before noon, then performed ablutions and till the dusk (asr) prayers remained in worship. He sat facing the Qiblah and offered the sunset (maghrib) prayers. This was his daily schedule…’

  • Taarikh al-Baghdad vol. 13 pp. 27, 31

Back to TopHis Martyrdom

Sibt Ibn Jawzi records: Haroon himself came down to Medina and took Moosa al-Kazim with him to Baghdad. At the time of his demise (martyrdom), he (a.s.) was in his prison. He (a.s.) died on 25th Rajab, 183 A.H.

Back to TopLessons for the Muslims

The list of the aforementioned references – which is only an extract – tells Muslims about the status and majesty of Imam Moosa al-Kazim (a.s.) and his superior claim to caliphate and Imamat.

In the face of such overwhelming evidence, Muslims are duty-bound to accept Imam Moosa al-Kazim(a.s.) as their leader and caliph. When none existed like him in the world or even the heavens for that matter, why are the Muslims squandering their beliefs and hereafter over disgraceful leaders like Haroon or for that matter even Ismail Ibn Jafar, who was long dead before Imam Jafar al-Sadiq’s (a.s.) martyrdom.

Even if the Muslims don’t wish to accept Imam Moosa al-Kazim (a.s.) as their Imam, in the very least they should not criticize the Shias for taking him as a proof and guide. They must not condemn the Shias for visiting the grave of Imam Moosa al-Kazim(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.

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