Imam Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Musa known as Imam al-Jawad (a) was the ninth Imam of Twelver Shia, his kunya was Abu Ja’far and he is mentioned in hadith sources as Abu Ja’far al-Thani (the second Abu Ja’far).
He (a) was born on Rajab 10, 195/April 12, 811 in Medina and was Imam for 17 years. He was martyred when he (a) was 25 years old and was buried in Kadhimiya beside the grave of his grandfather Musa ibn Ja’far (a). He was the youngest Imam when he was martyred.
Because Imam al-Jawad was an 8 year old child, some Shia Muslims followed Abd Allah ibn Musa and some others followed Waqifids. But most Shia Muslims accepted the imamate of Imam al-Jawad (a) due to his scientific superiority in spite of his age. At that time, due to restrictions made for Imam (a), his connections with Shia Muslims were mostly made through agents.
Scientific debates of Imam al-Jawad (a) in his childhood age with religious scholars of different Islamic sects in theological issues such as the position of caliphs and in jurisprudential issues such as hajj rituals are among well-known debates of Imams (a).
According to Shia accounts, Imam al-Jawad (a) was poisoned by his wife and died at age 25, the shortest-lived of the Twelve.