He is Imam Mohammad Baqer (PuH), whose birth anniversary we do not celebrate with rejoicings, out of respect for the seasonal months of mourning commemorating the tragic martyrdom anniversary of his grandfather, Imam Husain (PuH). In fact, as a barely 4-year old boy, the 5th Imam was present in Karbala and at this tender age, was made prisoner, along with his father, Imam Zain al-Abedin, his mother, Fatema the daughter of Imam Hasan Mojtaba (PuH), his grand aunts, Hazrat Zainab and Hazrat Omm Kolthoum and his aunt of his own age, Hazrat Ruqaiyya (peace upon them all), who attained martyrdom in the dungeon of Damascus these days. Please stay with us for a special feature on Imam Mohammad Baqer (PuH), who after expounding the genuine practice and beahviour of the Prophet, has bequeathed to us the proper manner of saluting his grandfather, the Immortal Martyr of Karbala.
“O Aba Abd-Allah, your martyrdom was a great calamity and the cause of great distress for us and all followers of Islam! It was a tremendous calamity that befell the heavens and which affected all the denizens of the heavens!
“May Allah’s curse be on those who instituted a regime of wrongdoing and injustice against you Ahl al-Bayt! May Allah’s curse be on those who sidelined you from your rightful station and withheld from you the status that Allah had assigned you! May Allah’s curse be on those who slew you, and may His curse be on those who paved the way for them making it possible to wage war against you! Before God and you, I repudiate them, their supporters, their followers and those who befriend them!”
The passages you listened to are part of the famous Ziyarah or standard form of salutation, for the Day of Ashura, that is, Moharram 10. It is obvious that the Addressee is the Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS). The addressor could be anybody who turns in the direction of the shrine of the Chief of Martyrs, whether from far or near, to recite this Ziyarah.
But the question that comes to mind is that: Who was the First Addressor of such a remarkable Ziyarah whose phrases and sentences are food for thought as they refer to the divinely-decreed status of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet of Islam, and invokes God’s curse upon those who slew the grandson of the Seal of Messengers, as well as those who paved the way for emergence of the Godless rule of the Omayyads? A good question indeed! The answer should be obvious to those who keep proper track of days and the occasions with which these are associated.
Today the 3rd of the month of Safar ought to awaken our conscience. If in the year 61 AH, this date was marked with official festivities in Damascus to celebrate the entry into the court of the tyrant Yazid, of the enchained children and women-folk of the Prophet’s Household, very soon the 3rd of Safar turned into a day of repudiation for the Omayyads and all their associates.
In other words, today the birth anniversary of a blessed member of the Ahl al-Bayt, who as a 4-year boy was among the captives standing before the golden tray that contained the severed head of his grandfather, whose sacred lips Yazid was desecrating with a cane, makes us realize that the famous Ziyarat-e Ashura was taught to us by no less a personality than Imam Muhammad al-Baqer (AS).
Born in Medina in 57 AH, he was descended on both sides from the Prophet. Imam Baqer (PuH), whose period of imamate or divinely-decreed authority was 19 years – from 95 AH to 114 AH – spared no efforts to spread the pure and pristine message of his great-great-grandfather, the Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). And the best way of keeping alive the legacy of the “Mercy unto the creation” that was being distorted by the ungodly terrorists in power who were masquerading as Muslims, was to institutionalize, immortalize and universalize the mourning ceremonies for Imam Husain (AS).
Imam Baqer (AS) did this in a novel way, because he knew that the only way to enlighten the Muslim masses with monotheism, divine justice, the philosophy of prophethood and imamate, and the rendezvous of all humanity with Judgement Day, were the gathering to commemorate the heartrending tragedy of Karbala. As the 5th Infallible Heir of the Prophet, he would elaborate on various dimensions of Islam. He used to instruct a special group of persons to hold mourning ceremonies for Imam Husain (AS) during the pilgrimage in Mecca, so that people coming from various parts of the world, would become aware of the Great Sacrifice of the Prophet’s grandson for the safeguarding Islam and humanity.
As part of these efforts, the Imam whose epithet “Baqer al-Uloum” means “Splitter and Spreader of Sciences,” stressed the importance of saluting his grand-father in the proper manner. Thus, he taught his companion, Alqama al-Hadhrami, saying: “With face turned towards the shrine of Imam Husain (AS), first send salaams upon him and imprecate (la’n) his killers. Then after performing a two-rak’at prayer, recite it.”
Here is another passage from this Ziyarah which reads:
“O Allah, this day was celebrated as an auspicious occasion by the Omayyads and the son of her (Hind) who ate the livers of the martyrs, the accursed son of the one cursed by You and Your Prophet (SAWA)… O Allah, curse Abu Sufyan, Mu'awiyah, and Yazid son of Mu'awiyah; may Your curse be on them forever and ever.”