There is a question that occupies the minds of many of us; what will remain of us in this world after we are long gone? Have we left this world and the generations followed by us a worthy legacy? Or we will soon be forgotten? Or even worse, we have left so much evilness and destruction that would never be wiped away from the face of this world? Looking at the lives of prominent figures, throughout the history of Islam, we realize how much effort they have put into spreading a valuable message and leaving behind an enduring legacy for future generations. Despite being under the restraint and pressure of the Caliphs of his time, Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam of Shias and one of Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH&HP) grandchildren, has left Muslims with the most considerable amount of religious content which turned into an essential point of reference for them until the present.
In what follows, we will have a look at the life of Imam Sadiq (AS), this praised personality.
Ja'far b. Muhammad b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn b. 'Ali b. Abi Talib (AS), known as Imam Sadiq (AS), was born on April 20, 702, in Medina. His father was Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (AS), and his mother was Umm Farwa, the daughter of al-Qasim, son of Muhammad b. Abi Bakr . He had the opportunity to spend twelve years of his life with his grandfather, Imam Sajjad (AS), and thirty-one years with his father. His title al-Sadiq, which literally means "truthful," was given to him, since he avoided any direct involvement in the uprisings of his time .
Imam Sadiq (AS) had ten children, among whom was Imam Musa al-Kazim (AS), who was born on 745 A.D.
After the martyrdom of Imam Baqir (AS), Imam Sadiq (AS) was chosen as the leader of Shia Muslims, which lasted thirty-four years. The period of Imam Sadiq (AS) 's leadership coincided with the reign of the last five Umayyad caliphs, including Hisham b. 'Abd al-Malik, Valid b. Yazid b. 'Abd al-Malik, Yazid b. Valid b. 'Abd al-Malik, Ibrahim b. Valid b. 'Abd al-Malik and Marwan b. Muhammad.
While Imam Sadiq (AS) witnessed a period of hardship and restrain under the reign of Hisham, after some years due to the weakening of Umayyads, which finally led to the fall of this dynasty, he found the chance to engage in scholarly activities and promote the actual Islamic teachings. He held many secret gatherings and meetings in which up to four thousand people attended, Imam Sadiq (AS) transferred his knowledge to his students, which later quoted many Hadiths from him and turned into authentic sources for future Muslim scholars .
After the fall of the Umayyad dynasty, Imam Sadiq (AS) witnessed the rise of Abbasid caliphs and lived during the reign of two of them, including al-Saffah and al-Mansur al-Dawaniqi. During the time of the first Abbasid caliph, al-Saffah, which was a period of instability and social and political upheavals, being engaged mostly in abolishing the remaining of Umayyad dynasty and their followers, provided Imam Sadiq (AS) with an excellent chance to go on with his scholarly and religious efforts and attract as many students as he could.
Nevertheless, with the coming of al-Mansur to the throne, a period of total suppression and severe restraint began. During his realm, people lived in utter terror, and any kind of opposition was punished severely. Therefore, al-Mansur considered Imam Sadiq (AS) and his followers as a threat to his throne, and since Imam Sadiq (AS) was a public figure respected by all the people, he couldn't hurt him directly. So, he tried to weaken Imam's (AS) reputation and social status by enticing his students to engage in a debate with Imam Sadiq (AS) and defeat him. But all their efforts were futile .
Al-Mansur made many attempts to bring harm to Imam Sadiq (AS) and summoned him a few times to his court, intending to assassinate him, yet he wasn't successful. Imam Sadiq (AS) generally didn't tend to meet al-Mansur and attend his court. Al-Mansur was offended by Imam Sadiq's (AS) manner and one day asked him, "Why don't you come to meet me in my court like others?" and Imam (AS) answered, "I didn't do anything to be afraid of you, and you don't benefit us in the hereafter so that I would have hope in you. This position of you is not a blessing to be congratulated by me, and you don't find it a disaster to be comforted by me. So why would I attend you?" 
During Imam Sadiq's (AS) life, some religious groups formed, which deviated from the true teachings of Islam and Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH&HP) tradition. To oppose these movements and save Islam from such deviations, Imam Sadiq (AS) held many debates with the heads of these groups and tried to bring their falsehood into the light. Or he would send his students to have discussions with them. He always advised his students and followers to be wary of such deviatory movements and cut all ties with them.
As it was mentioned above, Imam Sadiq (AS) enjoyed an excellent opportunity to spread his knowledge among as many people as he could, which resulted in the transmission of a significant number of hadiths from him to the future generation. Therefore, most of the hadiths in fiqh or theology are from Imam Sadiq (AS) . Due to his significant role in spreading the true Islamic teachings, Twelver Shiism is often called Ja'fari School . Moreover, he held many dialogues and debates with theologians and scholars of different sects and religions, and even atheists, in which he managed to prove the authenticity of his stance. Some of the most famous students of Imam al-Sadiq (a) are Zurara b. A'yan, Burayd b. Mu'awiya, Jamil b. Darraj, 'Abd Allah b. Muskan, 'Abd Allah b. Bukayr, Hammad b. 'Uthman, Hammad b. 'Isa, Aban b. 'Uthman, 'Abd Allah b. Sinan, Abu Basir, Hisham b. Salim, Hisham b. al-Hakam.
Imam Sadiq was famous for his piety, knowledge, abundant and devoted worship, and great generosity . It is reported that he spent a significant part of his time praying, fasting, or saying dhikr (remembrance) .
Many narrations are reported about his generosity and kind manner toward people who lived in poverty. For instance, "it is reported that the Imam (AS) gave four hundred dirhams to a beggar, and when he thanked the Imam (a), he (a) gave him his ring, which was worth 10,000 dirhams. According to another report, the Imam would put some bread, meat, and money in a bag and would take it to the houses of the poor and divide it among them, without letting them know who he was. Abu Ja'far al-Khath'ami reports that Imam al-Sadiq (a) gave him a bag of money and asked him to give it to someone from Banu Hashim without telling him from where the money was coming. When Abu Ja'far gave the money to that man, he prayed for the sender and told him that this person always sends him money, but Imam al-Sadiq (a) never sends him anything even though he is rich!" 
Imam Sadiq (AS) was martyred on 765 A.D. at the age of sixty-three, poisoned by order of al-Mansur al-Dawaniqi. He was buried in the al-Baqi' Cemetery beside his father, Imam Baqir (AS), his grandfather Imam Sajjad (AS), and his uncle Imam Hasan (AS) .
- Mufīd, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-. Al-Irshād fī maʿrifat ḥujaj Allāh ʿalā l-ʿibād. Vol.2, P.180.
- Pākatchī, Aḥmad. 1389 Sh. "Imām Jaʿfar Ṣādiq (a)". Dāʾirat al-Maʿārif-i Buzurg-i Islāmī 18:180-220.
- Shahīdī, Sayyid Jaʿfar. Zindigānī-yi Imām Ṣādiq Jaʿfar b. Muḥammad (a), p. 47.
- Al-Suyuti, History of the Caliphs, p. 208-209.
- Baha' al-Din 'Ali b. 'Isa al-Irbili, Kashf al-ghumma fi ma'rifat al-a'imma, vol.2, p.208.
- Kulaynī, Muḥammad b. Yaʿqūb al-. Al-Kāfī. vol. 1, p. 79, 80, 171-173.
- Baha' al-Din 'Ali b. 'Isa al-Irbili, Kashf al-ghumma fi ma'rifat al-a'imma, vol.2, p.691.
- Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 47, p. 16.
- Imam sadiq
- Ibn Shahrāshūb, Manāqib Āl Abī Ṭālib, vol. 4, p. 210.
Imagine one of your ordinary days in which you go out in the morning to go to work or the university or anywhere else. You attend some gatherings. You see men and women around you interacting and greeting on different occasions and in various manners, more frequently shaking hands.
You are a member of this community too, and you also used to greet different people with whom you had interactions every day and perhaps it was not important for you if the person you shake hands with is a man or a woman. But now, as a Muslim, you must know that shaking hands in Islam with the opposite gender is forbidden. If this has raised a question in your mind, we will be discussing the issue here.
As a scientific fact, everything we do, or we say, or any other kind of action we perform via every part of our body from legs up to the eyes, or even any thought passing into our minds has energy in itself. Once we bring something into existence, such as an utterance or an action, hence its specific kind of energy, it will never go to an end; but it is transformed and transferred to different targets, leaving its influence on them and first on ourselves.
Thus in our interactions, we are producing some kind of energy. So when people from the opposite genders confront each other and shake hands or kiss or hug each other, as a kind of greeting, what kind of energy is being interchanged between them?
God has put some kind of desire in human’s nature by which the opposite sexes are attracted to each other. When women and men who are non-Mahrams, greet each other in any way involving touching their bodies or looking at one another in such a way that arises this desire, they will be leaving a negative effect on each other; although it may feel pleasant.
Once this instinct is provoked, to satisfy their sensual needs, people may go further in their relationships and may be driven into immoral and sinful acts. The final result would be regret, distrust among people and broken families and other mental and physical consequences. Because in Islam’s viewpoint, sensual desires must only be satisfied among spouses. Due to this and some other reasons we might not know, God has set some rules regarding the quality of relationships between women and men. Following these rules will make concepts like marriage and family meaningful.
One might say that we do not have any bad intentions in our relationships with those who are considered non-Mahram for us. We can control our desires when confronting them and nothing sinful happens. But the prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and his family who were the purest ones of all time obeyed these rules too.
They avoided any kind of interaction with non-Mahrams that are considered to be Haram.
When people came to the prophet for Bay’ah (to swear allegiance), he shook hands with men, and for women, a container of water was brought in which the prophet put his hand and took his hand out and then women put their hands in the water to make their pledge .
A Muslim is only allowed to touch the body of those of the same gender and those of the opposite gender who are Mahram for him/her.
A man can only look at the face and hands of a non-mahram woman if they do not have decorations and on the condition that it is not for pleasure [i].
In the Quran, we read: “Say to the believers, that they cast down their eyes and guard their private parts… And say to the believing women, that they cast down their eyes and guard their private parts, and reveal not their adornment, save such as is outward…” (24:30-31). Non-Mahrams must be careful with their speaking, too. In another part of Quran, we read: “…be not abject in your speech, so that he in whose heart is sickness may be lustful, but speak honorable words.” (33:32). In these verses of the Holy Quran, the danger of arousing sexual desires through speaking and looking has been warned. However, there are no limits to touching, looking, and talking between spouses.
And some exceptions may occur. For example, if a doctor of the same gender is not available, one can go to a doctor from the opposite gender and touching and looking is permitted in this case. But only in case of necessity and as much as needed.
Most probably it will be hard for you to find an excuse to refuse to shake hands with non-mahrams especially those with whom you had usual interactions before. Because in your society this may result in a misunderstanding about your attitude toward people.
When a non-mahram wants to shake a hand with you, if you politely say that due to religious matters you can't shake hands but you are pleased to meet them, in most cases, they will accept it from you without being offended. This would be better rather than falsely mentioning illness and other things. But if you explained your reason honestly and someone reacted badly, you do not need to bother yourself convincing that person.
To conclude, shaking hands, kissing, hugging, and every other kind of greeting and interaction between non-Mahrams which involves touching and also looking at each other on purpose, and talking with each other in a tempting manner are Haram in Islam.
[i] Refer to the article “The Islamic etiquette of looking” for more information.
- shakin hands in islam
- Mohammad ibn Jarir Tabari, “Tarikh-e Tabari,” vol.3, p.61-62.
Many of us experience situations in our daily life when we get oppressed by other people, or we witness an act of injustice. We might prefer to keep silent to prevent the probable consequences, not realizing that this may keep us away from immediate harm, but it will be followed by greater consequences and damages later on.
One may ask how keeping silent against oppression and injustice will harm us later on? And what would have happened if Imam Hussain (AS) paid allegiance to Yazid, instead of putting himself and his family in such a horrible situation?
This article tries to explain the importance of standing against oppression and injustice by learning lessons from Imam Hussain (AS)’s uprising.
As we know, Imam Hassan (AS) remained silent and signed a peace treaty with the ruler of his time, Muawiaya. The main reason was that although Muawiaya had started to bring some changes in some of the rules of Islam, he still preserved his Islamic attitudes in public. Therefore, being in peace with him did not lead to so much damage to religion. But his son Yazid had no intention even to present an Islamic behavior in the Islamic society. Yet, Muawiaya chose him as the ruler after himself.
If Imam Hussain (AS) kept silence and paid allegiance to Yazid, it would have meant that he approved of his behavior. As a result, all the rulings and laws of Islam that the Prophet (PBUH&HP) had suffered to teach people for a more prosperous life would gradually disappear over time.
As Yazid forced Imam Hussain (AS) to pay allegiance to him, he notified his reasons for which he could not accept Yazid’s ruling over the Islamic society. The most important reason was that he was not behaving as a Muslim and had stood up against Allah’s orders.
It is clearly mentioned in the Quran that it is prohibited for Muslims to accept the ruling of a non-Muslim or a non-believer:
“O! You who have faith! Do not take those who take your religion in derision and play, from among those who were given the Book before you, and the infidels, as friends, and be wary of Allah, should you be faithful.” (5: 57)
However, Imam Hussain (AS) did not mean to start a war, and therefore, he took his family and left Medina for Mecca. Yazid knew that Imam had a significant impact on Muslims’ decisions and was afraid that Imam’s decision would spread among the Muslims and lead to their uprising against him. Thus, he sent his people to bring the Imam (AS) and to take his allegiance.
Imam left Medina for Kufah and then to Karbala. He was surrounded by the massive army of Yazid and had to choose. Should he have paid allegiance by force and teach a lesson to people that all he did to stand against oppression and injustice was wrong? Or should he have done what he did?
Based on his ideology and belief, and the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) that he had grown up with, Imam Hussain (AS) chose never to surrender against the injustice acts of Yazid. He, therefore, did not give up his duty to stand against injustice and along with his companions and sons, defended his household until they were all martyred.
The beauty and magnificence of his free spirit and his uprising started to spread throughout the world after his martyrdom.
He reached his goal to conserve the true religion of Islam and the pathway to prosperity by unveiling the real character and aims of those who desired to rule over the nation.
After the event of Karbala, his message on ‘standing against injustice and being free-spirited’ spread all over the world. He became a symbol for all those who care about their spirit, don’t want to accept oppression, tyranny, and injustice for the sake of their benefits in the short life of this world; people like Gandhi, the great leader of India.
From Imam Hussain's (AS) lifestyle, we learn that neglecting some mistakes may bring significant harm to society and, consequently, to our lives. Therefore, we should be wise and realize in our daily life to speak justice where oppression is taking place. That might be in our relations with our family members, our colleagues, or on a larger scale with those in power.
“Prophets and Imams (PBUT) are vivid examples and leaders that true believers should practically follow and not just worship. The example of Imam Hussain (AS) teaches us the lesson of standing against tyranny and injustice, the movement of honorable believers who preferred martyrdom to humiliation, and who have shown us what it means not to surrender.”