The Ghulāt were one of the deviant and misguided groups, which were active during the Imamate of Imam Hadi (‘a). While the Ghullāt considered themselves as being Shia, their ideology and beliefs were utterly deviant and outside the fold of the Shia creed. They had certain exaggerated beliefs in regards to the Imam (‘a) and considered him as a divine being.
Hishām ibn ‘Abd al-Malik, one of the caliphs during the time of Imam Baqir (‘a), was always fearful of the Imam’s (‘a) extraordinary rank and the people’s love towards him. Since he also knew that his followers considered him to be the Imam, he was perpetually working to prevent the spread of the spiritual influence of these followers, as well as an increase in their numbers.
How did Hishām react to the news that Imam Baqir ('a) had defeated the Christian Arch Bishop in debate?
Before Imam Baqir (‘a) left the city of Damascus, a particularly amazing opportunity presented itself to awaken the minds of the masses. Through this opportunity, the people were also allowed to see a manifestation of the Imam’s (‘a) learning and knowledge.
It was mentioned previously that Imam Baqir (‘a) lived contemporaneously with 5 of the Umayyid caliphs. We will mention the particularities of each during their time of rule and their administration of the society. This will make evident the social and political conditions and circumstances which Imam Baqir (‘a) lived in during his life.
Hishām ordered the governor of Medina to send for Imam Baqir (‘a) and his son, Ja’far ibn Muhammad (‘a) and to tell them to come to Syria. Without having a choice, the Imam (‘a) and his son (‘a) left for Damascus and they soon arrived there. Hishām had decided to set up an archery competition in order to embarrass the Imam (‘a). Hishām assumed that with the defeat of the Imam (‘a) in such a competition, he would be lowered in the view of the people. In addition, even though the Imam (‘a) had arrived in Damascus, he postponed their meeting for three days.
He is famously known for analyzing and explaining various intellectual issues. He brought about an extensive movement in learning and science, and laid the foundations for an Islamic university, which reached its zenith in the time of his son Imam Sadiq(‘a).
Imam Baqir (‘a) was born in the year 57 Hijrī, in the city of Medina. He was 39 years old at the time of the death of his father, Imam Zayn al-’Abidīn (‘a) (who passed away in 94 Hijrī). His name was Muhammad, while his kunya was Abū Ja’far, and his agnomens were Baqir and Baqir al-’Ūlūm.
The love that the Prophet (ṣ) had towards his daughter Fatimah (‘a) is an indication of the existence of these virtues within her.
From the context of this chapter, it can be understood that it is in reference to the Lady Fatimah (‘a) and the reason behind this is that the lineage of the Prophet (ṣ) spread throughout the world through her children.
The Lady Fatimah (‘a) delivered a fiery sermon in defense of Imam ‘Ali (‘a) even while she was bedridden with her illness.
From the verses of the Quran and the traditions, we can come to the conclusion that the Lady Fatimah ('a) was from the infallibles.
From the very beginning of Islam, the Lady Fatimah (‘a) was an aid and support for her father.
Imam Ṣādiq (‘a) was well known for his positive characteristics amongst his contemporaries
Abū Ḥanīfah, ‘Abdullah ibn Abī Sharmah, and Ibn Abī Laylā all went to meet with Imam Ja’far Ṣādiq (‘a)