The 5th of Rajab marks the date of birth of the 10th Imam in Prophet Muhammad’s (S.A.W.W.) progeny, Imam Ali Naqi (A.S.). He was born ‘Ali’ to Imam Muhammad Taqi (A.S.) and Hazrat Samanah Khatoon (S.A.). His father Muhammad Taqi (A.S.) was the son of Ali Raza (A.S.), son of Musa-e-Kazim(A.S.), son of Jafar-e-Sadiq (A.S.), son of Muhammad-e-Baqar (A.S.), son of Ali Zain-ul-Abideen (A.S.), son of Imam Husain (A.S.) who is the brother of Hasan (A.S.) and son of Ali (A.S.) and Fatima (S.A.), the son-in-law and daughter of the Prophet (S.A.W.W.), respectively.
Imam Ali Naqi (A.S.) spent most of his life under the tyrannical rule of Mutawakkil (L.A.), the Yazid of the Abassids (L.A.). He wasn’t more than 8 years old when his father Muhammad Taqi (A.S.) was poisoned by Mu’tasim Billah (L.A.), Mutawakkil’s (L.A.) father. He became Imam at such a small age and had the longest period of Imamate till his martyrdom at the age of 42 in Samarrah due to poisoning by Mo’taz Billah (L.A.) of the Abassids (L.A.). He spent half of the period of his Imamate teaching his followers and the other half under imprisonment by the Abassid (L.A.) Caliphs.
Titles and Kunniyat
The two most famous titles of Imam are Naqi (Pure) and Haadi (Guide). His kunniyat is Abul Hasan (father of Hasan). His son Hasan Askari (A.S.) became Imam after him.
The Ring on Imam’s finger
Each Imam used to wear a ring on his right hand however each Imam had a special Dua engraved on its stone. The 10th Imam had two such prayers which included, â€œAllah is my Lord and He is my protection from His creations.â€ The other ring had the following line inscribed upon it, â€œMaintaining and safeguarding oneâ€™s promises is of the etiquette of the servants (of Allah).â€
Example of Imam’s Knowledge of ‘All and Everything’
In the tribe of Rabeeâ€™ah, there lived a Christian by the name of Yusuf, son of Yaqoob.
One day, Mutawakkil, the Abassid ruler, summoned this Christian to his court. Not knowing the reason, this Christian was extremely terrified. Since he was aware that Imam Ali Naqi (A.S.) was the most pious and saintly person of their time, the Christian set aside 100 ashrafis to gift to the Imam (A.S.) in hope of receiving protection from Allah. He took the money with him and proceeded to Samarrah.
Samarrah was a new place for this Christian. Neither did he know anyone there nor was he familiar with the place. When he arrived in Samarrah, he was aware that Imam (A.S.) was under house arrest and being a Christian, it would be all the more difficult for him to inquire about Imam (A.S.). Not knowing what to do, he climbed on his donkey and left the donkey free to take him anywhere in hope that he will find a solution to his problem.
The donkey moved on its own with the Christian seated on it until it came and stopped outside a house. The Christian tried his level best to move the donkey further but it would not budge. When the Christian asked a passer-by about the house, he was told that it belonged to Ali (A.S.), son of Muhammad (A.S.).
The Christian told himself, â€œGod is great! This is sufficient for me to understand the status of this manâ€.
Suddenly a black slave appeared from the house and asked, â€œAre you Yusuf, son of Yaqoob?â€
The Christian replied affirmatively and said to himself, â€œThis is the second proof. No one here knows me, how did this man call me by my name?â€
The slave asked the Christian to come and wait at the doorstep of the house while he went inside. After sometime, he appeared again and said, â€œThe 100 ashrafis, which you have brought along, give them to me.”
The Christian handed the envelope to the slave who took it inside. He said to himself, â€œThis is the third proof!â€
Finally, the slave appeared again and invited the Christian to enter the house. Imam (A.S.) was sitting on a humble mat and as soon as he saw the Christian, he asked, â€œO Yusuf! Hasnâ€™t the time of your guidance come yet?â€
The Christian replied, â€œMy Master! Today I have found such evidences that are sufficient for me to believe in youâ€.
Imam (A.S.) said, â€œWhat you have spoken is far-fetched. You will never become a Muslim! However, your son is our follower. O Yusuf! People say that our Mastership and friendship does not benefit people like you. They are liars! People like you also benefit from our friendship. Now go for the purpose you have taken the trouble to come here and you will be successful.â€
As the Imam (A.S.) had predicted, the Christian was successful in his trip and no harm befell upon him from Mutawakkil. He died as a Christian but one of his sons accepted Islam and became a great follower of the Ahle-Bayt (A.S.).
(Source: Ahsan al-Muqaal)
One day a person had a disagreement with his brothers about the four fasts that are highly recommended to be kept every year. So they came to Imam Ali Naqi (A.S.). At the time Imam (A.S.) was at a place called Surya on his way to Samarrah.
As soon as he saw them, Imam (A.S.) told them, â€œYou have come here to ask me about the four recommended fasts in a yearâ€.
They replied, â€œMaula! You are right. Indeed we have come to ask you the same questionâ€.
Imam (A.S.) said to them, â€œThe four fasts are: 17th Rabi-ul-Awwal â€“ the day when the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.) was born; 27th Rajab â€“ the day the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.) proclaimed his Prophethood; 25th Zeqaâ€™ad â€“ the day the Earth was spread and 18th Zilhajj â€“ the day of Ghadeerâ€.
(Source: Ahsan al-Muqaal)
Sayings of Imam
“Do not expect honesty and purity of intention from someone who has suffered from your malice; do not expect loyalty from one to whom you have been disloyal; do not expect goodwill from someone whom you regard with ill-will: his heart towards you is the same as your heart towards him.”
“Others will fear him who fears Allah. He who obeys Allah will be obeyed. He who obeys Allah will not care for the dissatisfaction of the creatures. He who enrages the Creator should be sure of encountering the dissatisfaction of the creatures.”
“You should present thorough obedience to those who present for you their thorough love and advice.”
“Do not feel secure from those who disgraced their personalities.”
“He who feels secure from Allah’s unexpected retribution and painful penalty will feel arrogant until Allah’s act and inevitable decree (death) will befall him. He whomever receives evidence from his Lord will belittle the worldly misfortunes even if he is cut into pieces.”
“There are definite places in which Allah likes the servants to supplicate to Him. One of these places is the shrine of Husain(A.S.), Sayyed-ush-Shuhada (Master of all Martyrs).”
One example of Imam’s generosity is that he paid 30,000 dirhams to an Arab man of Kufah, saying to him, â€œWe pay your debts.â€
The man then, thanking the Imam (A.S.), said: â€œSir, the debts I owe are only about one-third of the amount you gave me!â€
The Imam (A.S.) added, â€œThen spend the rest on your family and your people!â€
The man in astonishment of the Imamâ€™s (A.S.) generosity said, â€œAllah knows whom to entrust with His Message of Divine Guidance!â€
Imam Ali Naqi (A.S.) was poisoned by Moâ€™taz. He left the world on 3rd Rajab 254 AH. His son Imam Hasan Askari (A.S.) performed the pre-burial rites and buried him at the particular sacred spot in his special chamber, where his tomb is now situated in Samarrah, Iraq, also the site of disappearance of his grandson, Imam Mehdi (A.S.).