Father: Imam Muhammad Baqir (AS)
Kunniyat (Patronymic): Abu Abdulla
Laqab (Title): As Sadiq
Birth: He was born in Medina on Monday, 17th of Rabi-ul Aqqal 83 A.H
Martyrdom: He was poisoned by Mansur Dawaneeqi the Abbaside on the 15th Rajab 148 A.H, and died at the age of 65 in Medina.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) Birth
The Holy Imam Jafar Sadiq was the sixth in the succession of the twelve Apostolic Imams. His epithet was Abu Abdulla and his famous titles were as-Sadiq, al-Fadil and at-Tahir.
He was the son of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, the Fifth Imam, and his mother was the daughter of al-Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) Upbringing & Imamate
Imam Jafar Sadiq was brought up by his grand-father, Imam Zain ul-Abidin in Medina for twelve years and then remained under the sacred patronage of his father Imam Muhammad al-Baqir for a period of 19 years.
After the death of his Holy father in 114 A.H, he succeeded him as the Sixth Imam, and thus the sacred trust of Islamic mission and spiritual guidance was relayed down to his custody right from the Holy Prophet through the succession of the preceding Imams.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) Political Condition
The period of his Imamate coincided with the most revolutionary and eventful era of Islamic history which saw the downfall of the Umayyad Empire and the rise of the ‘Abbasid caliphate.
The internal wars and political upheavals were bringing about speedy reshufflements in government. Thus, the Holy Imam witnessed the reigns of various kings starting from Abdul Malik down to the Umayyad ruler Marwan al-Himar.
He further survived till the time of Abdul Abbas as-Saffah and al-Mansur among the ‘Abbasids. It was due to the political strife between two groups, the Umayyads and ‘Abbasids for power that Imam was left alone undisturbed to carry out his devotional duties and peacefully carry on his mission to propagate Islam and spreading the teachings of the Holy Prophet.
In the last days of the Umayyad rule, their Empire was tottering and was on the verge of collapse, and a most chaotic and demoralized state of affairs prevailed throughout the Islamic State. The ‘Abbasids exploited such an opportunity and availing themselves of this political instability, assumed the title of “Avengers of Banu Hashim”.
They pretended to have stood for the cause of taking revenge on the Umayyads for shedding the innocent blood of the Holy Imam Hussain. The common people who were groaning under the yoke of the Umayyads, were fed up with their atrocities and were secretly yearning for the progeny of the Holy Prophet to take power.
They realized that if the leadership went to the Ahl-ul-bayt, who were its legitimate heir, the prestige of Islam would be enhanced and the Prophet’s mission would be genuinely propagated. However, a group of the ‘Abbasids secretly dedicated their lives to a campaign for seizing power from the hands of the Umayyads on the pretext that they were seizing it only to surrender it to the Banu Hashim.
Actually, they were plotting for their own ends. The common people were thus deceived into supporting them and when these ‘Abbasids did succeed in snatching the power from the Umayyads, they tuned against Ahl-ul-bayt.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) Religious Condition
The downfall of the Umayyads and the rise of the ‘Abbasids constituted the two principal plots in the drama of Islamic history.
This was a most chaotic and revolutionary period when the religious morals of Islam had gone down and the teachings of the Holy Prophet were being neglected, and a state of anarchy was rampant.
It was amidst such deadly gloom that the virtuous personage of Imam Jafar Sadiq stood like a beacon of light shedding its lustre to illuminate the ocean of sinful darkness around. The world got inclined towards his virtuous and admirable personality.
Abu Salama Khallal also offered him the throne of the caliphate. But the Imam keeping up the characteristic tradition of his ancestors flatly declined to accept it, and preferred to content himself with his devotional pursuits and service to Islam.
On account of his great learning he was always triumphant in his many debates with the priests of rival orders like Atheists, Christians, Jews, etc.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) Knowledge & Teachings
The versatile genius of Imam Jafar Sadiq in all branches of knowledge was acclaimed throughout the Islamic world, which attracted students from far-off places towards him till the strength of his disciples had reached four thousand.
The scholars and experts in Divine Law have quoted many ahadith (traditions) from Imam Jafar Sadiq.
His disciples compiled hundred of books on various branches of science and arts, other than fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), hadith (tradition), tafslr (exegesis of the Holy Qur’an), etc.
The Holy Imam also imparted mathematics and chemistry to some of his disciples. Jabir ibn Hayyan Tusi, a famous scholar of mathematics, was one of the Imam’s disciples who benefited from the Imam’s knowledge and guidance and was able to write four hundred books on different subjects.
It is an undeniable historical truth that all the great scholars of Islam were indebted for their learning to the very presence of the Ahl-ul-bayt who were the fountain of knowledge and learning for all.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) Wafat / Martyrdom
The Imam devoted his whole life to the cause of religious preaching and propagation of the teachings of the Holy Prophet and never strove for power. Because of his great knowledge and fine teaching, the people gathered around him, giving devotion and respect that was his due.
This excited the envy of the ‘Abbasid ruler Mansur Dawaniqi who fearing the popularity of the Imam, decided to do away with him.
On the 15th of Rajab 148 A.H., the Governor of Medina by the order of Mansur, got the Imam martyred through poison.
The funeral prayer was conducted by his son Imam Mosa Kazim, the seventh Imam, and his body was laid to rest in the cemetery of Jannat-ul-Baqi’ in Medina.