Imam Musa al-  

         Kathum

Imam Musa al Kathum (a.s) was born in Medina, the home town of his father Imam al Sadiq (a.s). The rulers in his time were the Abbasid Caliphs who knew that the true leaders chosen by Allah were the Imams (a.s). This gave them a lot of fear and anxiety because they were always worried that the people and the Imams would take the power away from them.

This constant worry made them always very suspicious of Imam Kathum (a.s) although he lived a very peaceful life. He was often called to travel to Iraq so they can question him. On many occasions he was imprisoned with no real charges. There was nothing Imam al Kathum (a.s) could do to stop the injustice of the Caliphs, but he dealt with the injustices he faced with such patience and grace that he came to be known as "al Kathum"- the suppressor of anger. 

 

Once, while he was in Medina, Imam al Kathum (a.s) was harrassed by an official. The Imam's (a.s) friends asked if they can stand up for him but he said no. When the Official became very rude, the Imam (a.s) went to visit him and treated him with such kindness that the man felt ashamed and changed his behaviour. However it is important to mention that when some rude people are treated nicely, they become even more rude, however the Imam (a.s) was very wise and knew when to be kind and when to be firm. 

 

As time went by, a relative of the Imam (a.s) became very jealous of him, and he sent false news to the Caliph called Harun al-Rashid that the people wanted Imam al Kathum (a.s) to rule. Harun therefore forced Imam al Kathum (a.s) to leave Madina for the last time. He kept the Imam in prison in Baghdad and ordered the cruellest prison guard to watch him everyday.  

 

Finally, Harun poisoned Imam al Kathum (a.s). Harun tried to trick the people of Baghdad and say that the Imam (a.s) died naturally, but the people found out the truth because of the markes of torture and of shackles around his limbs. Imam al Kathum (a.s) was loved so much that people started building shops and houses around his grave. So many people wanted to live where he was burried that the area became a large town called Kathumia and today it is a popular pilgrimage site in Iraq. 

 

Imam Musa al Kathum (a.s) was an Imam 35 years and this was for the longest time out of all of the 11 Imams.