Imam Mohammad al-Jawad
Imam al Jawad was the son of Imam Retha, his mother was an African women who was known to be the most pious woman of her time. Imam Al Jawad became an imam at the age of eight years and he was famous for the knowlege he had at that age. The Imam having knowlegde at such a young age finally helped people realise that the knowledge of the imams is not learnt or normal, but rather it is from Allah.
At the time of birth of Imam Jawad, the calipha was called al Mamun who had killed his father Imam Retha.
Mamum first met the Imam Jawad when he was nine years old. One day, the young Imam was standing silently by the road side where some children were playing. The Caliphs and his guards were passing by the street, they were all on their horses and as they approached, all the children ran away. Mamum noticed that they all ran away exept for one boy, the young Imam al Jawad had remained standing in his place.
Mamun noticed the brave young boy and stopped his carriage and asked, “Young man, why did you not run away like the other children?”The Imam replied calmly, “ Neither had I committed a crime, nor was I blocking the way. Why should I have run away or be afraid? And I also know that you will not cause any unnecessary trouble when your way is not blocked. "Mamun was surprised with this mature reply and asked, “ What is your name?”
“Muhammad,” came the reply. Whose son are you? asked Mamun. "I am the son of ‘Ali ibn Musa (as) replied the brave young Imam ."
After this incident Mamun started to keep a very close eye on the young imam and noticed that he had amazing knowledge far better than his own elderly scholars. One day, he decide to make a contest to test the knowledge of the imam against all of the scholars he had. 900 scholars were put against imam Al Jawad and many people who did not know the Imam were excited to see how this boy would perform.
At the very front of the crowd that had gathered, the Chief of Justice called Yahya was put in front. There was total silence among the audience who waited to hear the debate. Silence was broken by Yahya who said asked Imam Jawad the first question which was:
“What is punishment for a person who hunts a game while he is dressed in the pilgrimage clothes (‘Ahram).”
Yahya was very proud of the question he had asked, he was sure that the young Imam would not be able to answer it and he sat back waiting for the Imam to say he did not know the answer.
However, what Yahy did not know was that the Imam was so knowledgeable that he knew that the question Yahya had asked was not a complete question. Therefore the Imam replied by saying.
“Your question is utterly vague and lacks definition. You should first clarify whether the game killed was outside the sanctified area or inside it; whether the hunter was aware of his sin or did so in ignorance; did he kill the game purposely or by mistake, was the hunter a slave or a free man, was he adult or minor, did he commit the sin for the first time or had he done so before, was the hunted game a bird or something else, was it a small animal or a big one, is the sinner sorry for the misdeed or does he insist on it, did he kill it secretly at night or openly during daylight, was he putting on the pilgrimage garb for Hajj or for the Umra? Unless you clarify and define these aspects, how can you have a definite answer?”
The audiance was astonished. Not only did the Imam answer in the best way, but also showed that the Cheif of Justice Yahya did not have a good undersanding of the topic he asked the question about. After this the Imam became very famous and people started to understand that his knowledge and wisdom is from Allah.
Al Mamun decided that he wanted his daughter Um al Fazl to marry Imam Al-Jawad so that his grandchild can be from the prophet's family and so that he can get the glory of being the father in-law of an Imam. Imam Jawad was therefore forced to marry Um Al Fazl at the age of 16.
However Allah did not give them any children because Um Al Fazl was not a good person or a lover of Ahlul Bayt. Imam Al Jawad married again to a good woman who gave birth to his son Imam Ali al Hadi but this left Um al Fazl angry and jealous.
When al-Mamun died, the next calipha decided that Imam al-Jawad was off no use to the ruling family and so he asked Um al Fazl to poison Imam al Jawad. She poisoned him and he died at the age of 25.