Imam Ja’far al Sadiq (as), an individual born in 8th century, has influenced the lives of hundreds of millions around the globe until today.
Despite the great number of lives he has impacted, still many do not know much about him. The world was first introduced to Imam Ja’far al Sadiq (as) on the seventeenth day of Rabi’ al-awwal 83 AH. He would go on and become one of the most influential figures in Islamic history. In this blog post, we will introduce six facts on the life and teachings of Imam Ja’far al Sadiq.
- Imam Ja’far al Sadiq (as) is the sixth holy Imam of the Shi’a school of Islam and is the direct descendent of the Holy Prophet.
Imam Ja’far al Sadiq (as) is the sixth successor after the Holy Prophet (sawa). He is his direct descendent through the lineage of Fatima al Zahra (sa) the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (sawa) and Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), the cousin and first successor of the Prophet. Imam Ja’far al Sadiq (as) is the son of Imam Muhammad al Baqir (as), son of Imam Ali al Sajjad (as), son of Imam Hussain (as), son of Fatima (sa), daughter of Prophet Muhammad (sawa).
- Imam Ja’far al Sadiq (as) holds a critical role in the development of Islamic knowledge.
Records indicate that Imam al Sadiq (as) had over four thousand students who would learn various subjects from him. This included both religious sciences such as jurisprudence, exegesis and Hadith as well as other sciences such as chemistry, medicine, mathematics and astronomy. Some of his students included Jabir Ibn Hayyan, the famous chemist, as well as key figures in Islamic knowledge such as Abu Hanifa, the leader of the Hanafi school in Islam. He was also praised by Malik ibn Anas, the leader of the Maliki school, as the most knowledgeable and pious scholar in their time.
- Imam Ja’far al Sadiq (as) is one of the four Imams of the Shi’a school who are buried in Al-Baqi Cemetery (Janatul Baqi) in Medina.
Jannatul Baqi is one of the holiest cemeteries in Islam. It holds the graves of many companions of the Holy Prophet (sawa) and four Imams of the Shi’a school namely, Imam Hassan al Mujtaba (as), Imam Ali al Sajjad (as), Imam Muhammad al Baqir (as) and Imam Ja’far al Sadiq (as). Jannatul Baqi was once a beautiful cemetery with white domes and golden pillars, built in the 1840s by the Ottoman Empire out of honour and respect for its sanctity. Unfortunately, since then it has been demolished. Every year on 8th Shawwal, the destruction of Jannatul Baqi is commemorated as International Baqi day.
- Imam Ja’far al Sadiq (as) was also a spiritual and moral guide
While Imam al Sadiq (as) is widely renowned and famously known for his role in Islamic sciences, he was also an extremely influential spiritual guide. The Lantern of the Path is a profound book attributed to Imam al Sadiq (as) covering topics such as worship, behaviour, the relationship between humans and God and is revered by many. The Imam is also praised and known for his endless teachings on morality from topics such as good conduct, manners, generosity and more.
- The Ja’fari school in Islam is named after him
The Shi’a jurisprudential school takes their name from Imam Ja’far al Sadiq (as). The jurisprudence taught by Imam al Sadiq (as) was that of the Holy Prophet (sawa) and the Imams preceding him. During the time of al Sadiq (as) he was able to spread the knowledge of his forefathers and hence the school is named after him.
- Imam Ja’far al Sadiq (as) was martyred on the 25th Shawwal
Devastatingly, Imam Ja’far al Sadiq (as) was martyred by poison on the order of the Caliph al-Mansur on 25th Shawwal. The tragic loss of Imam al Sadiq (as) is still mourned by millions around the globe. His young son, Imam Musa al Kadhum (as) became the Imam after him and continued to uphold the mission of their forefather, the Holy Prophet (sawa).
Today, the legacy of Imam Ja’far al Sadiq continues to be a vital part of Islam’s spiritual, intellectual and cultural life. He was a man whose influence and importance far exceeds that of most historical figures from any period or culture, still serving as a source of wisdom and inspiration for over 1.5 billion Muslims today.
To donate in honour of Imam Ja’far al Sadiq (as) click here.