The Sad Story of Imam Kazim (Pbuh)'s Martyrdom
The persons of distinction among the companions of Imam Kazim (Pbuh) state the reason of his arrest (which was a command from Harun Al-Rashid, the fifth Abasid Caliph) as following:
“ Harun let his son (Mohammad Amin) be with Ja’far –Ibn-Mohammad Ibn- Ash’ath (one of Shias and believers of Imam Kazim (Pbuh)’s Imamate) to be his student and Ja’far train and educate him.”
Yahy Ibn- Khalid Barmaky could not stop his jealousy toward Ja’far and said to himself “ if Harun’s son inherits the caliphate, the administration of my children and mine (in another words the administration of Barmakids in Harun’s court) will be overthrown.
Yahya planned a plot against Ja’far (through so -called friendship so that he makes him get trapped in Harun’s trap). He established a friendship with Ja’far and got close to him .He often went to Ja’far’s home, watched his deeds carefully and reported them secretly to Harun , adding some more things to it in order to provoke Harun against Ja’far.
This was the case till one day Yahya asked some of his reliable companions if they knew anyone from Abutalib’s progeny who was poor so that he could help him doing some researches and searches they introduced Ali Ibn-e Ismael Ibn-e Ja’far Sadiq(Imam Sadiq’s grand son and Imam Kazim (Pbuh)’s nephew ) to him.Ali Ibn-e Isamail was in Medina . Yahya sent him a considerable amount of money and encouraged him to go to Harun.
Moreover he promised him another privilege and in this way he was prepared to leave for Baqhdad. Imam Kazim (Pbuh) was informed about it, and summoned Ali.” Where are you going? My nephew.” asked he. "I am going to Baqdad”, answered he. “ Why are you doing so?” asked Imam. “I owe to so many people and I am so poor. I am going there to earn some money”, said he.
“ I shall pay for all of your debts and I shall be good to you.” Ali did not pay all any attention to his uncle’s words and decided to go to Baqhdad. Imam Kazim (Pbuh) summoned him for the second time and asked him if he wished to go then. “Yes “ replied he.
“ My dear nephew! Please pay attention to what I say, be afraid of God and do not orphan my children”, said Imam Kazim (Pbuh). Then Imam commanded to give him three hundred Dinars and four thousand Drachmas. Ali left Imam.
” I bring God as my witness that his effort leads to my bloodshed and orphaning my children.” Addressed Imam his companions.
“ Our lives would be sacrificed for you! You know this however you help him and are good to him?” asked Imam’s companions.
Imam Kazim (Pbuh) answered: “ Yes. According to my fathers’ words, the holy prophet stated : when the bounds of relativity
has been torn and then it has been repaired and for the second time it has been torn , God will cut it.” I want to repair it after it
has been torn so that in the case of another tearing situation God would cut it.”
It is said that Ali Ibn-e Ismail traveled to Baqhdad and met Yahya Barmaky. Through the meeting Yahya asked about every aspect about Imam which he liked the most. He added to what ever he heard and informed Haroon of them after which he took Ali to Harun. Harun asked Ali about his Uncle Musa Ibn-e Ja’far (Pbuh).
He slandered and backbit about Imam and he told a lie: “ The money and the properties are brought to Musa Ibn-e Ja’far (Pbuh) from the east and the west of the world. He has bought a farm costing thirty thousand Dinars which is called “Yasir”. When the money was delivered to the owner of the farm he said that he did not like this kind of money, he preferred another one. According to Imam ‘s command he was given another kind of thirty thousand Dinars. When Harun heard those lies he ordered to award him two hundred thousand Drachma so that he could settle in another area and live comfortably.
Harun and Imam Kazim’s arresting
In the same year Harun al Rashid left for Mecca to perform Hajj ceremony, first of all he went to Medina and at the same time he ordered to arrest Imam Kazim (Pbuh). It is narrated that when Harun entered Medina, Imam with the companionship of some of Medina’s persons of distinction went to welcome him.
Then Imam Kazim (Pbuh) went to mosque as usual. At night Harun came beside the holy prophet ‘s grave.” Oh, the messenger of God! I apologize for, I have decided to put Musa Ibn-e Ja’far in the jail. Because he wants to separate your people and make them disintegrated and shed their blood.”, he said hypocritically. Then, he ordered to arrest Imam (Pbuh) and take him to his place of settlement. They put him in chain.
They arranged two camel-litters, make him sit on one of the two camel-litters, which was placed upon the camel, placing the other one on another camel. With the camel-litters Harun sent some horsemen who were divided into two groups outside Medina .One group left for Baqhdad and the other one left for Basra. Imam was in the second group and this was Harun’s wish for, he did not want people to know anything about Imam’s destination (Whether he goes to Baqhdad or Basra) and no one could realize his accompanying horsemen. He ordered the horsemen to deliver Imam to Isa Ibn-e Ja’far Ibn-e Mansoor at the time of their arrival in Medina. Issa ibn-e Ja’far was the head of the prisons who lived in Basra.
Imam Kazim (Pbuh)’s Martyrdom
At this time Harun held a ceremony in his palace in which so many men holding civil and military posts took part. Here come his words at the time of addressing his guests:
“ Oh! The people Fazl Ibn-e Yahya is disobeying me and I want to curse him, you do the same thing.” “Damn on Fazle Ibn-e Yahya”; shouted the audience. Their crying caused the doors and walls of Haroon’s palace to shiver. Fazl ‘s father (Yahya) received the news. He went hurriedly to Haroon’s palace and he entered through the special gate (for special persons) so that Haroon could not notice his presence there. And then he told Haroon "Is it possible that His Majesty pay attention to my words?"
Haroon listened to him angrily."Fazl is an inexperienced young man .I make it up and do the unfinished job," he continued.
Harun got very happy and addressed people "Fazl disobeyed me in one case and I cursed him now he repents and comes back to me so love him!", " We cherish everyone who cherishes you and we hate everyone who hates you. So; right now we cherish Fazl " , reacted the audience. Hereafter, Yahya Ibn-e Khalid went hurriedly to Baqhdad. People were shocked because of his unexpected arrival and this was the top story of the day. However Yahya pretended in such a way that he was there to control the affairs of the city and agents’ and governors’ tasks. In doing so and trying to sound truthful, he was dealing with the related matters.
Then, he summoned Shahak (the cruel executioner) and ordered him to murder Imam Kazim (Pbuh). He obeyed Yahya’s command which was determined to kill Imam. The plot is as follows: Adding poisons to Imam’s food and let it be beside him. Some said that he inserted the poison into some dates. Shortly after eating the food, Imam felt the symptoms due to consuming poison in him. He suffered for three days and on the third day he returned to God and was martyred.
The story of burying Imam Kazim’s body
The Imam’s body was buried in QUREISH’s cemetery in "Babbottin" section. This cemetery exclusively belonged to Banihashem tribe and the persons of distinction. It is said that Imam at the time of his martyrdom, said to Shahak that he had a friend who lived in Baqhdad near Abbas Ibn-e Mohammad’s house who was originally from Medina and asked him to tell him to come and be responsible for my ceremonial bath and shroud. “I asked Imam to let me cover him with shroud,” said Shahak.
Imam did not let him do so:" We are a family whose wives’ marriage- portion, the expense of the first Hajj ceremony and shrouds of our dead are supplied with our purest properties". Said Imam. “I have shroud of my own, I just want my friend to care for my ceremonial bath and burying”, he Continued.
His friend was summoned and he did so.