Muhammed b. Maqlas al-Asadi, better known as Abu al-Khattab, was among the Imams of the atheists in the Arab and Islamic world. He spoiled the religion of the young Muslims. That was through his originating a belief through which he launched a war against all the Islamic regulations; the principles of his thought has been mentioned by al-Qadi, Abu Hanifa al-Maghribi, who said: "He (Abu al-Khattab) claimed that Ja'far b. Muhammed was Allah, be He raised far above his statement. When his companions were overburdened by performing the religious duties, they came to him and said: 'Abu al-Khattab, make light for us (the religious duties).' So he ordered them to leave them to the extent that they left all the religious duties and performed the prohibited. He permitted them to bear witness to each other through falseness. He said: "He who recognizes the Imam is permitted to perform all the forbidden things."
Abu al-Khattab's destructive beliefs appeared in Kufa at the time when the political disorders reached the zenith and the summons to the 'Abbasids was opening its way firmly and successfully. The conditions helped him gather around him some Kufan men to teach them his beliefs and to show them the plans of the summons, meeting, and appearance. When Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, heard of his heresy and unbelief, he disavowed him and openly cursed him, for he was among his companions and followers, then he renounced (his doctrine) after that. 'Isa al-Shalqani hurried to Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, to ask him about his opinion of this dangerous atheist, and he, peace be on him, answered: "Isa, what has prevented you from meeting with my son (Imam Musa) to ask him about all what you desire? Thus, 'Isa went to Imam Musa, who was then a young boy studying in his room. When the Imam, peace be on him, saw 'Isa, he had answered him before he asked him. He said to him: "Isa, surely Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, made a covenant through the prophets for the prophethood and they never turned away from it. He made a covenant through the testamentary trustees for religious obligations and they never turned away from it; He gave faith to a people for a time and then He deprived them of it; as for Abu al-Khattab, he is among those who were given faith and deprived of it."
'Isa admired the Imam's answer, so he rose for him embraced him and kissed his forehead and said: "May my father and mother be your ransom, offspring, one of the other; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing."
Then he turned to Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) and told him about the wonderful talents of his son Imam Musa, peace be on him. So Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) said to him: "Isa, If you ask this son of mine about what is between the two covers of the Qur'an, he will give you an answer to it with knowledge."
Then he ordered his son to be brought out of the study. At that time 'Isa believed that Musa, peace be on him, was an Imam, that he was the heir apparent and successor of his father over all the people. Yet another example of Imam Musa's immoderate cleverness is that he came to his father carrying a tablet (lawh) with him. His father made him sit in his lap and said to him: "My little son, write: Abandon ugly things and do not perform them!" When he wrote that, his father said to him: "My little son, complete it." He completed it saying: "If you perform good deeds to someone, then increase them." Then the Imam gave another statement to his son and ordered him to complete it, saying: "You will meet from your enemy all tricks." He completed it saying: "If the enemy schemes against you, do not scheme against him." The Imam became happy with his son' talents and genius; he embraced him, showed his admiration toward him, and said: "Offspring, one of the other!" Another example of the sings of his genius in his childhood is that which has been reported by Saffwan al-Jammal, who said: "I (Saffwan al-Jammal) asked Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, about the leader of this affair (after him). He said: 'The leader of this affair is one who does not fool and play.'"
Saffwan said: "While he was relating to me about that, Abu al-Hasan Musa, who was then a young boy, came towards us along with a young sheep. He addressed the young sheep, saying: 'Prostrate to your Lord!' So Abu 'Abd Allah, peace be on him, took and embraced him, and then he said to him: 'May my father and mother be ransom to you, O you who do not fool and play!'"