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موسى الكاظم (Arabic)
c. 4 September 799 (aged 53)
(25 Rajab 183 AH)
Cause of death
Musa ibn Ja'far
765 – 799 CE
Ummul Banīn Najmah
and 3 others
Mūsá al-Kādhim was born during the power struggles between the Umayyad and the Abbasid. Like his father, he
was assassinated by the Abbasids. He bore three notable children: the eighth Imām, Ali al-Ridha, and two
daughters, Fāṭimah al-Ma‘sūmah and Hajar Khatun. In total from all his wives he bore 37 children, 19 daughters and
18 sons. This is why most of the Sayyid population are Kādhimī Sayyids, or otherwise known as Mūsawī Sayyids,
and trace their lineage back to the Prophet Muhammad, through one of Imam Musa al-Kadhim's children who were
not his successor, Imam Ali Al-Ridha.
Musa ibn Ja‘far al-Kadhim (Arabic: موسى بن جعفر الكاظم) (November 6, 745 AD - September 1, 799 // Safar 7, 128 AH
– Rajab 25, 183 AH) was the seventh of the Twelve Imams and regarded by Sunnis as a renowned scholar.
He was the son of the sixth Imam, Ja‘far aṣ-Ṣādiq and his mother wasHamidah Khātūn, a student and former slave
of East African descent. His wife Najmah was also a former slave purchased and freed by Hamidah, his mother.
The Festival of Imam Musa al-Kadhim celebrates his life and death.
· 7 Quotes
· 11 Books
Mūsá al-Kādhim was born in Abwa between Mecca and Medina. His mother was of East African origin. Medieval
Muslim geographers referred to East Africa as 'Barbary' which has led to the common mistake that the Imam's
mother was a Berber. After his mother was freed, his father trained her as an Islamic scholar.
Imam Musa ibn Ja'far's physical appearance is disputed among narrators of tradition. There are traditions that
Similarly, Shaqiq al-Balakhi states,
"He had a good face, was very brunet and weak-bodied."
In terms of skin color, some narrations point out the Imam Musa had a black color. While other narrations
Imam Musa has "The kingdom belongs to Allah only" inscribed on his ring. According to Sharif al-Qarashi, the
Musa al-Kadhim became the seventh Shi’ah Imam at the age of 21. According to the Kitab al-Irshad of
Among the shaykhs of the followers of Abu Abd Allah Ja'far al-Sadiq, peace be on him, his special group
(khassa), his inner circle and the trustworthy righteous legal scholars, may God have mercy on them,
who report the clear designatio of the Imamate by Abu Abd Allah Jafars peace be on him, for his son,
Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, are: al-Mufaddal b. Umar al-Jufi, Mu'adh b. Kathir, Abd al-Rahman
b. al-Hajjaj, al-Fayd b. al-Mukhtar, Yaqub al-Sarraj, Sulayman b. Khalid, Safwan al-Jammal...
[That designation] is also reported by his two brothers, Ishaq and Ali, sons of Jafar, peace be on him.
Some Shi‘ah believe that the eldest son of Imam Ja‘far, namely Isma'il ibn Jafar, received the Imamate rather than
Mūsá al-Kādhim. The Twelvers believe he predeceased his father and therefore was never appointed Imam, and
this is affirmed in the most respected contemporary history book of the Ismailis themselves, written by historian
Farhad Daftary, a twelver Shi'a in the employ of the current Ismaili Imam, Aga Khan IV. The descendents of the
supporters of Isma'il's Imamate today comprise the Ismaili, which includes several independent groups, which
include the Bohras, and Nizari Aga Khanis.
Other Shia believed that Imam al-Sadiq's eldest surviving son Abdullah al-Aftah was the Imam to succeed his father.
This sect was known as the Aftahiyya/Fathiyya/Fathites.
In 795, Harun al-Rashid imprisoned Imam Mūsá al-Kādhim; according to Twelver Shia tradition, four years later, he
ordered Sindi ibn Shahiq to poison the Imām. Imam Mūsá al-Kāżim's body is now said to rest within
A group of Shia rejected the death of Musa al-Kadhim. They were called the Waqifite Shia. They believed Imam
Musa was the Mahdi, particularly the Imam Mehdi and was alive, but in occultation. This group no longer exists
today, and it has been determined that the represented Imam Musa al-Kadhim while he was imprisoned and brought
the khums back to him, started this sect so they could get money from the Shias, on the pretense that they were
giving it to Imam Musa al-Kadhim. Until Imam Ali al-Ridha finally had his only son, Imam Muhammad al-Taqi, there
were many Shias who were doubtful of the Imamate of Ali ibn Musa.
The number of children that Imam Musa al-Kadhim had is disputed by various traditions and historical documenting.
They are as followed:
Traditionally, the Shia believe that Imam Musa al-Kadhim had 73 children, however this is not verifiable as only 37
have been recorded by Shia scholars.
The following are the names of his children which are documented.
· Ibrahim, Abbas
· Zayd, Hasan
· Fatima al-Sughra
· Ruqaya al-Kubra
· Ruqaya al-Sughra
· Umm Abeeha
· Umm Kulthum
· Umm Salma
· Umm Ja'far
· Hajar Khatun