Muhammad al-Baqir

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If one considered life as a simple loan, one would perhaps be less exacting. We possess actually nothing; everything goes through us.
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Muhammad ibn ‘Alī al-Bāqir (676 - 743 AD) (Arabic: محمد ابن علي الباقر ), was the fifth Twelver Shī‘ah Imām, grandson of Husayn, and second generation grandson of Muhammad. According to Shi'ites and most Sunni's he was the greatest scholar of his time. He was given the title "Baqir al-‘Ulūm" ("revealer / splitter of knowledge and wisdom"), due to his ample knowledge of religion and his enthusiasm to teach to other people. Muhammad al-Baqir became a teacher, and he is remembered for his knowledge in both religious and judicial matters. His son, Jafar al-Sadiq was also a student of his.

General Quotes

  • Take the good speech from whoever said it even if his practice was not accordingly.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.75, p.170
  • The parable of a man greedy of this world is the parable of the silk worm: the more it winds the thread round itself the farther it becomes from salvation, until it dies of grief.
    • Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī - Book of Faith and Infidelity, vol.3, p.202 & vol.2, p.316
  • Being sociable and affable with people brings kindness and friendship.
    • Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p.306
  • There is no strength higher than overcoming carnal desire.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.75, p.165

Regarding Knowledge & Wisdom


  • Learn knowledge and science from him who teaches it, even if he doesn't practice what he preaches.
    • Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p.299
  • There is no pain worse than ignorance and lack of intellegence.
    • Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p.165
  • Opposition of one's desires is the sign of the highest level of wisdom in a human being.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p.164


  • On the Day of Judgement, God will interrogate people according to the wisdom he has granted them.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.1, p.106
  • Knowledge and science is the fruit of paradise; in times of threat it is one's ally, in exile it keeps one company, and in solitude it is one's intimate friend and companion.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p.55
  • The person who teaches one chapter of guidance to the people will have a reward similar to all those who would act upon it, and nothing would be lessened or subtracted from the reward of those who practise it; and the one who teaches a chapter of misguidance, he will have the burden (wrath) similar to each one who acts upon it, and nothing will be lessened from their burden of sin (wrath of Allah).
    • Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p.297

Religious Wisdom

  • Consider the world as an abode where in you have dropped down for an hour, then you have got to leave it and go ahead; or (suppose it is) like the wealth which you lay hands upon in a dream and become over-joyed and glad. Then you wake up to find yourself empty handed.
    • Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p.287
  • Whoevers tongue utters the truth, his practise becomes purified; and the one whose intention is decent and good, his sustenance increases; and whoever adopts good attitude and decent behavior with his family, his life span lengthens.
    • Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p.295
  • Three things destroy a man: considering his own deeds to be really great, forgetting the sins that have been committed, considering his own opinion to be the highest.
    • Al Khisaal. vol.1, p.112
  • Fasting is a shield against (hell) fire. Charity and dole remove and finish sin, as does the remembrance of Allah in the midnight.
    • Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī, vol.2, p.23
  • The scholar whose knowledge is made use of and benefited from, is worthier and more virtuous than seventy thousand worshippers and adorers.
    • Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p.294
  • By Allah no one is our Shī‘ah except that he has piety for Allah (guards himself against sin) and obeys him. They (the Shī‘ah) are not known and recognized except for their humility, modesty, fear of Allah, trustworthiness, plenty of remembrance of Allah, fasting, service, kindness to the parents, looking after the poor neighbours and afflicted people, mentioning them with nothing except goodness and beneficence; and they are the trustees for their tribes in all the affairs.
    • Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī, vol.2, p.84
  • Beware of sluggishness, annoyance and impatience, since they are the keys of all the evils. The person who commits sluggishness and slackness never at all discharges any rights (obligations); and the one who gets annoyed and restless, does never at all remain patient over the right (God's decree on him).
    • Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p.295
  • Indeed, the most terrifically sorry of all the people on the day of resurrection, will be the servant who defines and shows the way of justice to the people, while he himself opposes it.
    • Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p.298
  • Goodness to parents, and paying visits to ones own relatives, will ease the accounting on the Day of Judgement.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.74, p.86
  • Indeed, when a man earns wealth from a haraam (prohibited source) - neither Hajj, nor Umra, nor strengthening of his blood kinship, is ever at all accepted or approved. By God, Almighty.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.75, p.375
  • Indeed, faithful is the one who - when pleased and glad, his pleasure does not make him enter into sin and falsehood; and when unhappy and angry, his anger does not oust him from the world of righteousness; and when he gains power, his power does not make him commit excess, nor opression, nor make him go for a thing upon which he does not have any right.
    • Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī, vol.2, p.234
  • There is no servant except that there exists a white spot upon his heart. So when he commits a sin, a black spot arises into that white spot. Then when he repents, this black spot moves away. But if he continues on committing sins, the blackness of this spot increases till such time that it overwhelms and overrides the whiteness. When the whiteness is all covered over (by the blackness), the owner of it (the heart) does never at all return towards beneficence and goodness. And This is what Allah means when he says: "Nay! rather, what they used to do has become like a rust upon their hearts." (Qur'an, 83:14)
    • Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī, vol.73, p.332
  • The person who loves for the sake of Allah, and detests and despises for the sake of Allah, and gives for the sake of Allah, is among those whose faith has achieved completion.
    • Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī, vol.2, p.124
  • There are three hinges out of the completion of values, of this world and the here-after:
    • 1) Forgiving the one who has committed excess and aggression against you.
    • 2) Joining the one who cuts off relations and ties with you.
    • 3) Forbearance and tolerance for the one who committed a folly, and showed poor behavior and misconducts towards you.
      • Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p.293
  • I admonish you regarding five things:
    • 1) If you are wronged, do not commit wrong doing to others;
    • 2) If you are betrayed, do not betray anyone;
    • 3) If you are called a liar, do not be furious;
    • 4) If you are praised, do not be jubilant;
    • 5) If you are criticised, do not fret and think of what is said in criticism - if you find in yourself what is criticised about you, then you are falling down in the eyes of God; when you are furious about the truth, it is a much greater calamity then your falling down in the eyes of the people. And if you are opposite of what is said (in criticism) about you, then it is a merit you acquired without having to tire yourself in obtaining it.
      • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.75, p.162


  • Our followers are of three kinds: one who follows us but depends on others; one who is like a glass involved in his own reflections; but the best are those who are like gold, the more they suffer the more they shine.
  • There is no drop more loved by God than a teardrop that falls in the dark of the night from fear of God, meant solely for Him and no one else.

See Also

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