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Infallible Imams' Acknowledgment on the Uprisings

Another issue is the confirmation of the armed struggles. The confirmation of the infallible Imams on some of the bloody uprisings is among the exciting chapters in their lives. This acknowledgement itself underlines the direction of the Imams' struggles. Such confirmations are seen in Imam Sadiq's remarks about Mo'alla bin Khonais when he was killed by Davoud ibn Ali, his remarks about Zaid, about Hosein ibn Ali (AS), about the martyrs of Fakh' event and so on. I have come across an astonishing tradition in Nour-ol-Thaqalayn' narrated by Ali ibn Aqaba: "I, along with Mo'alla, went to Imam Sadiq (AS). He said: I give you the glad tidings that one of the two best deeds (victory or martyrdom) awaits you; God may cure your heart (soul), may purify your heart (soul) from outrage, and may dominate you over your enemies; and this is the very divine promise that He said: And We cured the hearts of the believers.' If you pass away before attaining this victory, you will pass away as believers in the religion of God: the religion that Allah has approved for His holy Prophet (S) and Imam Ali (AS)."

This tradition is important because it speaks of struggle, victory, killing and being killed, particularly given that it is addressed to Mo'alla bin Khonais whose fate is known to us. Imam begins his comment without any introduction and speaks about an event or incident, but that incident is not definite. In this tradition, the Imam - alluding to the treatment of hearts (souls) by God either is praying for them, or maybe is pointing out to an event. We do not know if these two persons had come to the Imam after performing a task, or having been engaged in a clash of which the Imam had been fully aware; or perhaps the Imam Himself might have sent them to accomplish a mission.

However, in either case, the tone of Imam's remark underlines the fact that he supported aggressive, radical movements, which are frequent in the life of Mo'alla bin Khonais. Interestingly, Mo'alla was termed as "bab" (gate) of Imam Sadiq (AS). The concept of "bab" (gate) is noteworthy and should be studied.

There are some people who have been introduced in the traditions as the "gate" of the infallible Imams. Who are these people? Most of them were either killed or threatened to be killed. They include Yahya ibn Omm Tawil, Mo'alla bin Khonais, Jaber ibn Yazid Jo'fi, etc.

Another issue in the lives of the Imams is their imprisonment, exile and persecution. In my opinion this issue must be studied thoroughly.

Yet another issue is the straightforward and firm language as well as confrontation of the infallible Imams with the caliphs. A noteworthy point in this regard is that, if these honorable figures were conservative or compromising, they should have adopted a soft language, free from any confrontation as other clerics and ascetics of the time did. As you know there were a number of clerics and ascetics who were respected and welcomed by Haroun. He used to tell them: "All of you are very cautious; all of you look for a prey, except Amr ibn Obayd."

They used to advise the caliphs, and even sometimes these clerics used to make the caliphs cry; however, they were careful not to address the caliphs using concepts such as oppressor, outlaw, usurper, diabolic or similar concepts. But the infallible Imams were not influenced by the splendor and might of the caliphs; they did not keep silent.

Yet another issue is the violent measures employed by the caliphs against the Imams, which include those taken by Mansour against Imam Sadiq (AS) and the ones taken by Haroun against Imam Kazim (AS). I have already alluded to some of them.

Adapted from the book: "The Concept of Combat in the Life of Imams"

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