Imam Musa Kazim's Knowledge
His lifetime was contemporary with the government of the Abbasid caliphs. During his lifetime, he suffered greatly from the oppression and torture of the caliphs in his time. He was put in prison for many years of his lifetime.
Imam Kadhim (AS) was not only superior to all the scholars and scientists of his time in knowledge, but he was also famous for his moral virtues and high humane characteristics. These superiorities became so well known that almost all scholars who familiarized themselves with Imam Kadhim’s (AS) glorious life have praised him highly.
Famous Sunni scholar Ibn Hajar Haithami says in regards to Imam Kadhim (AS):
“Musa al-Kadhim was the heir of his father’s knowledge, excellence, and perfection. He was titled “Kadhim” because of his forgiving heart and patience towards the ignorant people. Furthermore, during his lifetime, no one was similar to him in divine knowledge, worldly knowledge, and in forgiveness.”(1)
It has been narrated in the book al-Tawhid(2) by Sheikh Sadouq: Hisham ibn Hakam (the great student of Imam Sadiq (AS) and Imam Baghir (AS)) has said that there was a great Christian scholar named "Burayhah". Burayhah was Christian for about seventy years. He was seeking the truth and was in search of the right sect in Islam. He would discuss and research about each sect, but every time he talked with a group of Muslims he was not satisfied with their beliefs.
He would say, "if your leaders were the right and true leaders, then you should have known at least some truth." Continuing to seek for the truth, he heard about the Shiite faith and its well-known scholar Hisham ibn-Hakam. After debating with Hisham he asked: “Whom do you follow, obey, and truly believe in?" Hisham introduced Imam Sadiq (AS) and described his character to Burayhah.
Burayhah then became eager to see Imam Sadigh (AS) so he prepared himself for a trip from Iraq to Madinah with Hisham. As they were going to visit Imam Sadiq (AS), in the corridor of the house of Imam Sadiq (AS), they met Imam Kadhim (AS) who was a child at the time. Hisham and Burayhah greeted Imam Kadhim (AS). Hisham explained the story of Borayhah for him.
Imam Kadhim asked Burayhah: “O Borayhah! How much are you aware of your book (the Bible)?"
Borayhah answered: "I am aware of my book."
Imam asked: “How much do you believe in its interpretation?"
He asked: "I believe in it as far as I know about it."
The Imam began reciting some of the verses of the Bible.
Burayhah was so affected that he said, “Jesus would recite the Bible just as you have recited it. No other than Jesus had read it as such". He then continued, "I have been looking for someone like you for over fifty years.”
Burayhah and his servant then became Muslims at that moment. Then Hisham, Burayhah, and the servant went to Imam Sadiq (AS). Hisham explained the whole story for the Imam.
Imam Sadiq (AS) recited this verse of the holy Quran: “They were descendants one of another, and Allah is Hearer, Knower."(3)
1. Ibn Hajar , Sawa’igh al-Muhraghah ,(Cairo), P.203
2. P. 271
3. (The holy Quran, 3:34)