Among the Imām's debates with the rhetoricians and men of religions is that which took place between him and 'Ali b. al-Jahm, who asked the Imām, peace be on him, saying: "Do you believe in the infallibility of the prophets?"
"Yes," replied the Imām.
He opposed the Imām with these verses, saying:
"What do you say about these words of Allah, the Great and Almighty: And Adam disobeyed his Lord, so his life became evil (to him), these words of Him, the Great and Almighty: And (remember) Dhā al-Nūn when he departed in wrath; he imagined that We had no power over him, His words, the Great and Almighty, concerning Yūsuf: And (with passionate lust) did she desire him, and he would have desired her, His words, the Great and Almighty, concerning Dāwud: And Dāwud was sure that We had tried him, and His words, the Exalted, concerning His Prophet, Mohammed, may Allah bless him and his family: And you concealed in your soul what Allah would bring to light?  "
The Imām criticized 'Ali b. al-Jahm for interpreting the verses according to his viewpoints without knowledge of their explanation and interpretation. He recited to him their interpretation, saying: "Woe unto you, 'Ali! Fear Allah. Do not ascribe transgressions to the prophets, and do not interpret Allah's Book according to your opinion, for Allah, the Great and Almighty, says: And none knows its interpretation except Allah and those deeply grounded in knowledge.'"
The Imām began interpreting these verses, saying: "As for these words of Him, the Great and Almighty, concerning Adam: And Adam disobeyed his Lord, so his life became evil (to him), surely Allah, the Great and Almighty, created Adam as argument on His earth and vicegerent in His land. He did not create him for the Garden. Adam's transgression took place in the Garden, not on earth, and his infallibility in question should be on earth, that the ordinations of Allah's command may be complete. When he was descended to earth and was appointed as an argument and vicegerent, he was protected from transgression with these words of Him, the Great and Almighty: Allah did indeed choose Adam and Nūh, the family of Ibrāhim, and the family of 'Umrān above all people.
"As regarding His words, the Great and Almighty: And (remember) Dhā al-Nūn when he departed in wrath; he imagined that We had no power over him; the meaning of he imagined that We had no power over him is that he realized that Allah was not going to sustain him. Have you not heard these words of Him, the Exalted: But when He tries him (differently), then straitens to him his means of subsistence?  Had he thought that Allah was unable to overpower him, then he would have committed apostasy (kufr).
"As for His words, the Great and Almighty, concerning Yūsuf: And (with passionate lust) did she desire him, and he would have desired her, they are that she wanted to commit a sin while he desired to kill her if she forced him; therefore, Allah saved him from the deed of killing her and its terrible consequences, and this is His words, the Great and Almighty: Thus (it was) that We might turn away from him evil and indecency, meaning killing and fornication."
The Imām turned to 'Ali b. al-Jahm and asked him: "What did those before you say about him?"
'Ali b. al-Jahm started reciting to the Imām what had been handed down from them on interpreting the verse, saying: [They said:] "Surely Dāwud, peace be on him, was praying in his mihrab. Iblis appeared in front of him in the form of the most beautiful bird. Dāwud cut his prayer and went to take the bird. The bird went out to the house, and then it went out to the top (of the house). Dāwud descended looking for it. The bird alighted in the house of Uryah b. Hanān. Dāwud followed the tacks of the bird, and suddenly there was Uryah's wife washing. When he looked at her, he fell in love with her. As for Uryah, he had been on a raid. Dāwud wrote to his companion: 'Place Uryah in front of the coffin,' and he was placed in front of it. Uryah defeated the polytheists. Dāwud find that difficult, so he wrote to him again in order to place Uryah in front of the coffin. Uryah was placed in front of it and he was killed, so Dāwud married his wife."
In this narration fornication and the forbidden have been attributed to one of the prophets of Allah, the Most High. Besides the narration contains a fable which is that Dāwud followed the bird. As for the Imām, peace be on him, he was displeased with this narration when he heard it and said: "We belong to Allah and to Him is our return! You have ascribed one of Allah's prophets to neglecting his prayers and (accused him of) going out and looking for the tracks of the bird, fornication and killing!"
'Ali b. al-Jahm asked the Imām to explain the matter to him, saying: "Son of Allah's Apostle, what was Dāwud's sin?"
The Imām told him about the true story of Dāwud, saying: "Dāwud thought that he was more learned than the rest of Allah's creatures, hence Allah, the Great and Almighty, sent him some angels and they climbed the mihrab and said to him: When they entered in upon Dāwud and he was frightened at them, they said: Fear not; two litigants, of whom one has acted wrongfully towards the other; therefore, decide between us with justice, and do not act unjustly, and guide us to the right way: Surely this is my brother; he has ninety-nine ewes and I have a single one; but he said, make it over to me, and he has prevailed against me in discourse. Dāwud hurried to decide the case for the plaintiff when he said: Surely he has been unjust to you in demanding your ewe (to add) to his own ewes. He did not asked the plaintiff for the evidence for that; nor did he turn to the defendant and asked him: 'What do you say?' It was an error only within the framework of the case and was not as you thought. Have you not heard that Allah, the Great and Almighty, say: Dāwud, surely We have made you a ruler in the land; so judge between men with justice and do not follow desire."
Ibn al-Jahm asked the Imām to tell him about the story of Dāwud with Uryah, saying: "Then, son of Allah's Apostle, what is Dāwud's story with Uryah."
The Imām, peace be on him, started explaining to him Dāwud's story, saying: "In the days of Dāwud, a widow never get married after the death of her husband. Dāwud, peace be on him, was the first man whom Allah permitted to marry the widow whose husband had been killed. Accordingly, he married Uryah's wife after he had been killed, and her waiting period had been over. This made the people accused Dāwud of killing Uryah."
As for Mohammed, peace be on him, and these words of Him, the Great and Almighty: And you concealed in your soul what Allah would bring out to light, and you feared men, and Allah had a greater right that you should fear Him , surely Allah made His prophet know the names of his wives in this world and the next, and that they were the mothers of the believers. One of them whom Allah made him know was Zaynab daughter of Jahsh, who was then the wife of Zayd b. Hāritha. He (the Prophet) concealed her name in his soul and did not declare it, lest a hypocrite would say: 'He (the Prophet) says that one of his wives, who are the mothers of the believers, is in a man's house (i.e. she is still the man's wife). He feared the words of the hypocrites, hence Allah, the Great and Almighty, said to him: and you feared men, and Allah had a greater right that you should fear Him, namely in your own soul. Allah, the Great and Almighty, never undertook marrying any of His creatures except marrying Hawuā' (Eve) to Adam, and Zaynab (daughter of Jahsh) to Allah's Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, by the virtue of His words: But when Zayd had accomplished his want of her, We gave her to you as a wife, and Fātima to 'Ali, peace be on him."
When 'Ali b. al-Jahm heard that, he wept and said: "Son of Allah's Apostle, I am going to return to Allah, the Great and Almighty, in repentance and will never say after this day of mine anything about the prophets of Allah except what you have mentioned."