Intercession: calling Imam Musa al Kadhim Bab al Hawaij

Question 159: In a dua’a made at the Shahadat of Imam al Kadhim (AS), a reference to was made calling him ‘Bab al Hawaij’. Someone explaining it to me stated it meant he is a door to dua’as or prayers being heard or granted. When we are making dua’as after salah and try to call on the intercession of the Imams (AS), after saying salawat of course, are we to name the Imams (AS) and Rasullah (SAWS) by name for the ones that we want to intercede for us? Can we generally say “Ya abwab (doors) al Hawaj (in referencing that any of the imams that are referred to or known to intercede for dua’as to be answered)?

Answer 159: The believers have been asked to practice this method of tawassul in the Qur’an,[1] “Oh you who believe! Be wary of Allah (swt) and seek a means of nearness to Him…” Therefore, there is no contradiction between asking the Imams (AS) and Allah’s (SWT) apostles (SAWS) for something. The doctrine of tawhid, keeping in mind that if the Imams (AS) do something, it is with the permission of Allah (swt). Thus it is okay to say ‘Ya Ali Madad’ or ‘Abwab al Hawaj’ with such a mindset.

‘Bab al Hawaij’ means the door to fulfilling people’s needs. Many hadiths allow us to ask the Imams (AS) for help and a means of livelihood, making no difference between asking them during their lifetime and after. They are the mediators of Allah’s (SWT) grace and it is through them that Allah’s (SWT) grace flows to the rest of His creation, and they are of great respect to Him. The nickname of ‘Bab al-Hawaij’ is one of the most famous nicknames of Hadrat Abalfadl al-Abbas (PBUH) amongst the Shiites. All the Imams (AS) referred to ‘Bab al-Hawaij’ too.

When we make dua’as, instead of calling on the Imams (AS) by individual names can we just refer to any of them as ‘Bab Al Hawaij’ and ‘Abwab al Hawaij’, because the Imams (AS) are infallible and ‘Bab al-Hawaij’.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Name, Titles and Lineage of Imam Musa Kadhim (AS), answer 030.

Index: The unmarried daughters of Imam Kadhim as / Fatima Masumah sa, answer 027.

Index: Seeking one’s need from someone other than Allah, answer 005.

[1] . Surah Maidah, Verse 35.


Name, Titles and Lineage of Imam Musa Kadhim (AS)

Question 030: Can you please tell me the Name, Titles and Lineage of Imam Musa Kadhim (AS)?

Answer 030:  His holy name was Musa son of Ja’far, son of Muhammad Baqir, son of Ali (Zainul Abedin), son of Hussein, son of Ali, son of Abu Talib.[1] Imam Musa Kadhim (A.S.) was born in Abwa[2] (a place between Makkah and Medina) on Sunday seventh of Safar 128 A.H. According to the most famous report,[3] he was poisoned in the year 183 A.H.[4] in Harun al-Rashid’s prison where he succumbed to death and was martyred. He was then buried in the western part of Baghdad in a grave known as Quraish Cemetery.[5] That place is now known as Kadhemayn or al-Kadhemiyah.

Sheikh Mufid says: “In this graveyard Banu Hashim, tribal leaders and nobles used to be buried.”[6]

Imam Kadhim’s mother was called Hamidah Barbariyah.[7] She was also called Hamidah Musaffah[8] but Ibn Shahr Ashub is of the view that Hamidah Musaffah was the daughter of Sā’d Barbari nicknamed “Lu’lu’a”, mother of Musa bin Ja’far (AS).[9]
‘Abd Salih, Kadhim,[10] Sabir[11] and Amin[12] are some of the nicknames of the Imam. Indeed, among these nicknames, Kadhim is the most famous of them.[13]

Sheikh Mufid says, Aba Ibrahim, Abal Hasan and Aba Ali are the Imam’s patronymics.[14] Some have considered Abul Hasan, the First, Abu Ibrahim,[15] and Abu Ismail[16] as his patronymics.

For further information, please read the following answer:

Index: The unmarried daughters of Imam Kadhim as / Fatima Masumah sa, answer 027.

[1] . Ibn Toulun, Shamsuddin, Muhammad al-Aemmah al-Ithna Ashar, p. 89, Al-Razi Publications, Qom (date uknown).

[2] . Sheikh Mufid, al-Irshad fi Ma’refat Hujajillah ‘Alal ‘ibad, vol.2, p. 215, Congress on Sheikh Mufid, Qom, first edition, 1413 A.H; Tabarsi, Fazl bin Hasan, E’lam al-Wara be-A’lam al-Huda, vol.2, p. 6, Aalulbayt (AS) Institute, Qom, first edition, 1417 A.H.

[3] . According to some other reports, the Imam was martyred in the year 181 A.H. See, Amin Ameli, Sayyid Mohsen, A’ayan al-Shi’ah, vol.2, p. 5, Dar al-Ta’aruf, Beirut, 1403 A.H. According to some other reports, he was martyred in the year 186 (Kashefi Sabzewari, Mullah Hussein, Rawdhat al-Shuhada, p. 514, Navid Islam, Qom, third edition, 1382 ). Yet, according to another repot, he was poisoned to death in the year 188 A.H. (A’ayan a-Shi’ah, vol.2, p. 5).

[4] . Sheikh Mufid, al-Irshad fi Ma’refat Hujajillah ‘Alal ‘ibad, vol.2, p. 215; Tabarsi, Fazl bin Hasan, E’lam al-Wara be-A’lam al-Hoda, vol.2, p. 6; Muhaddith Arbili, Kashf al-Ghummah fi Ma’refat al-Aemmah, vol.2, p. 747, Al-Radhi Publications, Qom, first edition, 1421 A.H.; Imad al-Tabari, Hasan bin Ali, Tuhfat al-Abrar fi Manaqib al-Aemmah al-Athar (AS), p. 168, Mirath Maktub, Tehran, first edition, 1376 (Solar calendar).

[5] . Ibn Shahr Ashub Mazandarani, Manaqib Aal Abi Talib, vol.4, p. 323 and 324, Allamah Publications Institute, Qom, 1379 A.H.

[6] . Sheikh Mufid, al-Irshad fi Ma’refat Hujajillah ‘Alal ‘ibad, vol.2, p. 342.

[7] . Ibid, p. 215, E’lam al-Wara Bi A’alam al-Wara, vol.2, p. 6; Husseini Ameli, Sayyid Taaj al-Din, Al-Tatimmah fi Tawarikh al

Aemmah (AS), p. 106, Be’athat Institute, Qom, first edition, 1412 A.H.

[8] . E’lam al-Wara Bi A’alam al-Wara, vol.2, p. 6.

[9] . Manaqib Aal Abi Talib, vol.4, p. 323.

[10] . Al-Irshad fi Ma’refat Hujajillah ‘Alal ‘ibad, vol.2, p. 215 and 216.

[11] . Ibn Abi al-Thalj Baghdadi, Tarikh Ahlulbayt, p. 131, Aalulbayt (AS), Qom, first edition, 1410 A.H.

[12] . Manaqib Aal Abi Taib, vol.4, p. 323, Shafe’I, Muhammad bin Talhah, Matalib al-So’ul fi Manaqib Aal al-Rasul, p. 289, Al-Balagh, Beirut, first edition, 1419 A.H.

[13] . Ibid, al-Tatimmah fi Tawarikh al-Aemmah (AS), p. 105.

[14] . Al-Irshad fi Ma’refat Hujajillah ‘Alal ‘ibad, vol.2, p.215.

[15] . Manaqib Aal Abi Taib, vol.4, p. 323.

[16] . Qarashi, Baqir Sharif, Hayat al-Imam Musa bin Ja’far (AS), vol.1, p. 49, Dar al-Balaghah, Beirut, first edition, 1413 A.H.


The unmarried daughters of Imam Kadhim as / Fatima Masumah sa

Question 027: I have a question regarding Imam Musa Kadhims (as) unmarried daughters. I was recently in conversation with some of my Shia family about the fact that our Imam (as) had 18 daughters, but they never married. Is this true? If it is true, please give an explanation as to the reason(s) why the daughters never married. I was told that one reason is that there were no Sadat around to marry them, is this true?

Answer 027: There have been mentioned some different opinions regarding the daughters of Imam Musa Kadhim (as) and why his daughters never married. We need to evaluate the reasons to see which are considered sahih.

First Theory – The will of Imam Musa Kadhim (as): It is said that Imam Musa Kadhim (as) has expressed a will to his daughters to not get married! This opinion is supported by Ibn Wadih Ya’qui, as he has said, “Imam Musa Kadhim (as) had eighty sons and twenty three daughters. His sons were: Ali Ridha, Abraham, Abbas, Qasim, Ismael, Jafar, Aaron, Hasan, Ahmad, Muhammad, Ubaid allah, Hamzah, Zaid, Abdullah, Isaac, Hussain, Fadhl and Solomon.”

Imam Musa Kadhim (as) has expressed a will to his daughters not to get married. None of them got married except Umm Salama as she got married to Qasim bin Muhammad bin Jafar bin Muhammad in Egypt. This presented a severe problem between Qasim and his family. Qasim took an oath that he only recited a temporary marriage contract in order to become mahram to her, in order to go to Hajj and never had any sexual relations with her.[1]

Critique: It should be said in reply to Yaqoubi’s opinion: This will is contrary to the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (saws) and the way of Infallibles (pbuth) as they have never issued such a ruling. The text of the Imams (as) will is in regards to other thing than Yaqoubi has asserted. In order to judge about it we need to at first review this will as follows:
اُشْهِدُ هُمْ اَنّ هَذِهِ وَصِيَّتي … اَوصَيْتُ بها اِلي عَلَيٍٍّ اِبْني … و اِنْ اَرادَ رَجَلٌ مِنْهَم اَنْ يُزَوِّجَ أختَهُ فَلَيْسَ لَهُ اَنْ يُزَوِّجَها الاّ بِاِذْنِهِ وَ اَمْرِهِ … وَ لا يُزَوِّجَ بَناتي اَحَدٌ مِنْ اِخْوتِهِنَّ وَ مِنْ اُمّهاتِهِنَّ وَ لا سُلْطانٌ وَ لا عَمِلَ لَهُنّ اِلاّ بِرأيِهِ وَ مَشْوَرتهِ ، فَاِنْ فَعْلُوا ذلِکَ فَقَدْ خالَفُوا الله تَعالي وَ رَسُولَهُ (ص) وَ حادُّوهُ في مُلْکِهِ وَ هُوَ اَعْرَفُ بِمنالحِ قَوْمِهِ اِنْ اَرادَ اَنْ يَزَوِّجَ زَوَّجَ، وَ اِنْ اَرادَ اَنْ يَتْرَکَ تَرَکَ.

I call to witness that this is my will to my son Ali (Imam Ridha (as)). If one of your sisters want to get married they can’t do it without your (Ali) permission and consultation. If one of them got married without your permission, indeed she would oppose Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saws) and dispute in the kingdom of Allah (swt). Imam Ridha (as) is well aware of the interests of his family regarding the marriage affair. If he wants to marry his sister to anyone he deems it advisable, he would do it and if not, he would refuse.[2] It is clearly mentioned in this will that Ali bin Musa al-Ridha (as) is Allah’s (swt) HUjjat after him, (Imam Kadhim (as)). The sisters must obey him in everything including getting married. Imam Ridha (as) is well aware of the interest of his family. It never spoke of not getting married at all. This means that their marriage must be done under the supervision of Imam Ridha (as).

Therefore, Yaqoubi’s opinion is baseless and unreliable, according to some of scholars.[3]

Second Theory – Matchless: This means that Imam Musa bin Jafar’s (as) daughters, especially Lady Masoomah (sa) were at the highest level of scientific and spiritual perfection that nobody were equal to them. Equality is one of the marriage conditions, in which both the man and woman are supposed be at such equal level to one another; they have never got married.

Critique: This theory is unreliable as well, because this is not the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (saws) to not allow their daughters to get married for such a reason. They always said that a believing man and woman are equal in rank. There is a hadith from the Holy Prophet (saws) where he has said, “Whenever a suitor comes to marry your daughter and you approve of his piety and trustworthiness, let her get married to him, even if he is not equal to your daughter. If you don’t do that, it will cause corruption in the land”.[4]

Note: There were many decent young men, such as Imam Hasans and Hussains (pbuth) children, and also among the Shia Muslims who could be well suited for the Imams (as) daughters as potential husbands.

Third Theory – Repression/Political Problems: The violent repression had been used by Haroun al-Rashid to restrict Imam Kadhim (as) was on high level that nobody dared to refer to the Imam (as) in order to ask about canonical problems. How is it possible for those who wanted to get married to the Imams (as) daughters and be continuously in touch with the Imam (as)? The Imam (as) would be tortured by Haroun al-Rashid if he had established such a simple relationship. Haroun was a cruel and oppressive, although he pretended to be religious. A historian has said, “Haroun shed many tears while he was listening to sermons, but when he became angry he was such a tyrant.[5] It is said that Haroun had 2000 female slaves and that 200 of them were dancing and singing for him.[6]The Shia at that time were oppressed by Harun, such as Ali bin Yaqtin, who had to do Taqiyya. All his movements were controlled.[7]

When the Imam was imprisoned, the suitors’ motivation have been decreased. A dreadful condition was obtained there after the Imam (as) had been killed and nobody dared to establish communication with Imam Ridha (as) as he was also under control at that time. Therefore, it seems that the third theory is the real answer of this question, however we are not completely sure about it.

[1] . Yaqoubi History, Ahmad bin Abi Yaqoub (ibn Wadheh), Wezarat Farhang wa Amoozesh Aali, translated by Muhmmah Ibrahim Ayati, Vol. 2, Pg. 421.

[2] . Biharul Anwar, Dar e Ihya al-Torath al-Arabi, Vol. 48, Pg. 276 – 280; Oyoun al-Akhbar, Vol. 1, Pg. 26; Awalem, Vol. 21, Pg. 475; Usul al-Kafi, Vol. 1, Pg. 317.

[3] . Hayat (the Life) al-Imam Musa bin Jafar), Qorashi, Vol. 2, Pg. 497.

[4] . Montakhab (selected) Mizan al-Hikmat, Pg. 234; Biharul Anwar, Darel Kutub al-Islamiyah, Vol. 103, Pg. 237, Hadith 25.

[5] . Al-Aghani, Abul Faraj Esfahani, Beirut, Dare Ihya al-Torath al-Arabi, Vol. 5, Pg. 241).

[6] . Tarikh Tamaddon Islam (History of Islamic Civilization), Jurji Zaydan, translated by Ali Jawahir Halam, Amir Kabir Institution, Pg. 162).

[7] . al-Irshad, Sheikh Mufid, Basirati Qom, Pg. 293; Sheblanji, Noor al-Anwar, Pg. 150.