Imam Muhammad al-Baqir was born at Medina on Tuesday, 3rd Safar, 57 A.H. His mother was the daughter ofImam Hasan. Thus Imam Muhammad al-Baqir combined in himself the families of Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn.
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir became imam after his father in 95 A.H. He is said to have been very learned, and many of his sayings are reported. Because of his vast knowledge, he was given the title of al-Baqir, which means ‘the exponder of knowledge’.
A very famous tradition during the time of the Imam is reported as follows:
[Al -Sharif Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. Muhammad informed me: My grandfather (Yahya b. al-Hasan) told me on the authority of Yaqub b. Yazid, who said: Muhammad b. Abi ‘Umayr told us on the authority of Abd al-Rahman b. al-Hajja;, on the authority of Abu ‘Abd Allah (Ja’far al-Sadiq), peace be on him, who said:] Muhammad b. Munkadir used to say: “I did not use to think that the like of ‘Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, could leave a successor because of the outstanding merit of ‘Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, until I saw his son, Muhammad b. Ali. I wanted to advise him but he advised me.” My companions asked me: “What did he warn you of?” I told them:
I went out to one of the suburbs of Medina at a time when it was hot. There I met Muhammad b. Ali, peace be on him. Hewas a well built man and he was leaning on two servant boys. Either they were black slaves of his or they were retainers of his. I said to myself:
Here is a venerable leader (shaykh) of Quraysh out at this time and in these circumstances seeking worldy advantage. I must warn him.
So I approached him and greeted him. He returned my greeting with anger. The sweat was pouring down him. I said: “May God remove you, a venerable leader of Quraysh, out at this time in these circumstances seeking worldly (advantage). If death came upon you while you were in this condition (what would you do)?”
He made the two servant-boys let go of his hand and held himself up. Then he said: “By God, if death came upon me while I was in this condition, it would come upon me while I am (fulfilling) an act of obedience to God, by which I make myself withdraw from you and from the (rest of the) people. I would only fear death if it came upon me while I was performing an act of disobedience against God.”
Then I replied: “May God have mercy on you, I wanted to warn you and you have warned me.”
A few sayings by the Imam:
> “Knowledge is a treasure and the key is the question. Then, may Allah have mercy on you, ask (scholars). Indeed four persons will be rewarded out of knowledge: the questioner, the speaker, the listener, and the one who loves them.
> Respect people who had performed Hajj and Umrah, because you are obliged to respect them
> “The alms on Friday is better than it is on the other days
> God has provided 120 types of blessings around Kaaba, 60 of these blessings will be given to circumambulators, 40 of them will be given to prayers and 20 of these blessings will be for people who look at Kaaba.