Muḥammad b. ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib known as Imām al-Bāqir (a) and Bāqir al-'Ulūm, was the fifth Imam of the Shi'a, whose period of Imamate lasted nineteen years.

The period of the imamate of Imam al-Baqir (a) was contemporary with the weakening of the Umayyad government and the struggle among them for power. In this period, Imam al-Baqir (a) made a great scientific movement which reached its peak at the time of his son Imam al-Sadiq (a). He (a) was greater than anyone in knowledge, piety, grandeur, and merits. His narrations in religion, conduct of the Prophet (s), Qur'an sciences, moral conduct, and manner is more than what is remained from the children of Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a). Thus, during his imamate, a great step was taken towards organization of Shi'i thought in different fields including ethics, fiqh, kalam, exegesis, etc
Great scholars from the Sunni school of thought have attested to his scholarly and religious fame


Companions and Students

The situation at that time prepared a foundation that Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a) benefitted highly from. That opportune situation was the result of weakness of the Umayyad government. Internal crises of their political system did not allow the rulers to suppress the voices of Ahl al-Bayt (a) and isolate them as previous rulers had done. This situation helped Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a) to give jurisprudential, exegesis-related, ethical opinions in fiqh and hadith books.[citation needed] This enabled personalities such as, Muhammad b. Muslim to narrate 30,000 hadiths[28] and Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju'fi narrated 70,000 hadiths from Imam al-Baqir (a).[29] From the viewpoint of Shi'a scholars, the most prominent fiqh scholars of the beginning centuries of Islam were six people who were all companions of Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a): Zurara b. A'yan, Ma'ruf b. Kharrabudh al-Makki, Abu Basir al-Asadi, Fudayl b. Yasar al-Basri, Muhammad b. Muslim and Burayd b. Mu'awiya al-'Ijli.[30]
In his book about rijal, al-Shaykh al-Tusi counted companions of Imam al-Baqir (a) and people who narrated from him as 462 men and two women.[citation needed] Some of the companions and students of Imam al-Baqir (a), regarding credit and reliability are approved by both Sunni and Shi'a, a group of them have not been accepted by Sunni rijal scholars due to their deep Shi'a tendencies and have only been accepted by Shi'a scholars.[citation needed] However, there should be no claim that Imam al-Baqir (a) was free from restrictions which governments imposed on the Ahl al-Bayt (a); rather, undoubtedly the ruling atmosphere of the life of Imam al-Baqir (a) was in a state of Taqiyya. At that point, because of the specific culture which was inflicted upon the society as a result of the ruling
of unjust governments, leaving Taqiyya would mean abandoning scientific activities and preaching principle teachings of religion.[citation needed]
الموسوعة الالكترونية لمدرسة اهل البيت عليهم السلام - المترجمة