Jafar as-Sadiq RA, the son of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, son of al-Imam Zain al-Abidin (RA), son of al-Hussain (RA), son of Ali bin Abi Talib (RA) , Jafar as-Sadiq (RA) was born on the eighth of Ramadan in the year 83 H. His mother was the daughter of al-Qassim whose great grandfather was Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (RA) .
He spent his life in worship and acts of piety for the sake of Allah Almighty. He rejected all positions of fame in favor of uzla or isolation from the lower world. One of his contemporaries, Umar ibn Abi-l-Muqdam (RA), said, “When I look at Jafar bin Muhammad I see the lineage and the secret of the Prophet Muhammad united in him.”
He received from the Prophet (SWS) two lines of inheritance: the secret of the Prophet (SWS) through Ali (RA) and the secret of the Prophet through Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq . In him the two lineages met and for that reason he was called “The Inheritor of the Prophetic Station (Maqam an-Nubuwwa) and the Inheritor of the Truthful Station (Maqam as-siddiqiyya).” In him was reflected the light of the knowledge of Truth and Reality. That light shone forth and that knowledge was spread widely through him during his lifetime.
Jafar as-Sadiq (RA) narrated from his father, Muhammad al-Baqir (RA), that a man came to his grandfather, Zainul-Abidin (RA), and said, “Tell me about Abu Bakr!” He said, “You mean as-Siddiq?” The man said, “How do you call him as-Siddiq when he is against you, the Family of the Prophet ?” He replied, “Woe to you. The Prophet (SWS) called him as-Siddiq, and Allah accepted his title of as-Siddiq. If you want to come to me, keep the love of Abu Bakr and Umar in your heart.”
Jafar as-Sadiq (RA) said, “The best intercession that I hope for is the intercession of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (RA) .” From him is reported also the following invocation: “O Allah, You are my Witness that I love Abu Bakr and I love Umar and if what I am saying is not true may Allah cut me off from the intercession of Muhammad .”
He took the knowledge of hadith from two sources: from his father through `Ali and from his maternal grandfather al-Qassim (RA). Then he increased his knowledge of hadith by sitting with Urwa, Aata, Nafi and Zuhri (RA). The two Sufyans, Sufyan ath-Thawri and Sufyan ibn Uyayna, Imam Malik, Imam Abu Hanifa, and al-Qattan (RA) all narrated Hadith through him, as did many others from later Hadith scholars. He was a mufassir al-Qur’an or master in exegesis, a scholar of jurisprudence, and one of the greatest mujtahids (qualified to give legal decisions) in Madinah.
He was very handsome and had a radiant appearance. He had the perfect height, and was tan in complexion. He encompassed the exemplary qualities his forefathers. Haafiz Abu Nuaim Isfahani (RA) narrates in Khalifatul Abraar on the authority of Umar bin Midqaam, “When I used to look at Hadrat Imam Jaafar Saadiq, Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu, then I used to immediately feel that he was from amongst the descendants of the Prophets.”
He was without doubt the true successor to the Muslim empire and one of the greatest Imams of his era. Imam Jafar as-Saadiq Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu was a great Aabid and Sufi. Many secrets of Tasawwuf were explained by him. It is in Tabqaatul Abraar, that he received the authority of Hadith from his blessed father, from Imam Zuhri and Naaf’i and ibn Munkadir etc. and Sufyaan Sawri, Ibn Ainiyyah, Shu’ba, Yahya Al Qataan, Imam Maalik and his son Imam Moosa Kaazim (ridwaanullahi ta aala alaihim ajmaeen) attained this authority of Hadith from him. Allama Ibn Hajar Makki Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu writes in Sawaa’iq Muhariqa . “The exalted Imams such as Yahya Bin Saeed, Ibn Jareeh, Imam Maalik ibn Anas, Imam Sufyaan Sawri, Sufyan bin Ainiyyah, Imam Abu Hanifa and Abu Ayoob Sajistani (ridwaanullahi ta aala alaihim ajmaeen) took Hadith from him.” [Masaalik as-Saalikeen]
He was a very exalted and pious personality. His inner and outer appearance exuded brightness and radiance. He addressed the poor and the downtrodden with great love. Once he called all his servants and said, “Let us give our hands in the hands of one another and promise that whichever one of us first receives salvation on the day of Qiyaamah, he will intercede for the rest of us.” On hearing this, they said, “O Ibn Rasool SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam! For what reason do you need our intercession, when your beloved forefather Rasulullah SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam will intercede for the entire creation?”.
Jafar as-Sadiq (RA) acquired both the external religious knowledge as well as the internal confirmation of its reality in the heart. The latter was reflected in his many visions and miraculous powers, too numerous to tell.
MIRACLES of JAFAR AS-SADIQ (RA)
The Liar against Jafar as-Sadiq (RA)
One time someone complained to al-Mansur, the governor of Madinah, about Jafar . They brought him before Mansur and asked the man who had complained, “Do you swear that Jafar did as you say?” He said, “I swear that he did that.” Jafar (RA) said, “Let him swear that I did what he accused me of and let him swear that Allah punish him if he is lying.” The man insisted on his complaint and Jafar insisted that he take the oath. Finally the man accepted to take the oath. No sooner were the words of the oath out of his mouth than he fell down dead.
Dua of Jafar as-Sadiq (RA)
Once he heard that al-Hakm bin al-’Abbas al-Kalbi crucified his own uncle Zaid on a date palm. He was so unhappy about this that he raised his hands and said, “O Allah send him one of your dogs to teach him a lesson.” Only a brief time passed before al-Hakm was eaten by a lion in the desert.
Dhikr of Jafar as-Sadiq (RA) and Miracle of the Grapes & Robes
Imam at-Tabari (RA) narrates that Wahb (RA) said, “I heard Layth ibn Sad say, I went on pilgrimage in the year 113 H., and after I prayed the afternoon obligatory prayer (salat al-Asr) I was reading some verses of the Holy Qur’an and I saw someone sitting beside me invoking Allah saying ‘Ya Allah, Ya Allah…’ repeatedly until he lost his breath. He then continued by saying ‘Ya Hayy, Ya Hayy…’ until his breath was again lost. He then raised his hands and said, ‘O Allah, I have the desire to eat grapes, O Allah give me some. And my robe (jubba) is becoming so old and tattered, please O Allah grant me a new one.’ Laith bin Saad said that ‘He had hardly finished his words before a basket of grapes appeared in front of him, and at that time there were no grapes in season. Beside the basket of grapes there appeared two cloaks more beautiful than I had ever seen before.’ I said, ‘O my partner let me share with you.’ He said, ‘How are you a partner?’ I replied, ‘You were praying and I was saying Amin.’ Then Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (RA) said, ‘Then come and eat with me,’ and he gave me one of the two cloaks. Then he walked off until he met a man who said, ‘O son of the Prophet (SWS) , cover me because I have nothing but these tattered garments to cover me.’ He immediately gave him the cloak that he had just received. I asked that man, ‘Who is that?’ He replied, ‘That is the great Imam, Jafar as-Saddiq (RA).’ I ran after him to find him but he had disappeared.”
Robes of Jafar as-Sadiq (RA)
Once, some people saw that Hadrat Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu was wearing a very expensive robe. One of them walked up to him and said, “Huzoor! It is not good for the Ahle Bait to wear such expensive clothing.” He caught hold of the man’s hand and thrust it into his sleeves. The man was amazed when he found that a Hazret was wearing clothes make from sacks under his robe. Hazret Jafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu then said, “The one inside is for my Creator and the one on top is for the creation.”
A Man who Lost a 1000 Dinaars
A man once lost his purse which contained one thousand Dinaars. Imam Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu was walking close to him, so he held the hand of the Imam and accused him of stealing his money. Hadrat Imam Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu asked how much he had in his money bag, and the man said that he had one thousand Dinaars. Hadrat took him home and gave him one thousand dinaars from his wealth. The next day, the man found his money bag, and came rushing to Hadrat Imam Jaafar Saadiq Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu to return the money he had taken from him. Hazret Imam Jaafar, Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu said, “We do not take back what we have already given.” The man then asked some people who this person was, and he was told that it was Hazret Imam Jaafar as-Saddiq Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu. When he heard this, he became very sad and regretted his behavior. [Tazkirat al-Awliyah]
Debate with an Atheist:
Hazret Jaafar, Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu spent a lot of his time spreading the word of Allah and His Rasul, SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam. He always spoke against those who did not believe in Allah. An atheist from Egypt came to Hazret Jaafar Saadiq Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu whilst he was in Makkah. Hazret Jaafar as-Saddiq, Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu asked his name and he said that his name was Abdul Malik and he was also known as Abdullah.
On hearing this Hazret said, “Malik, whose servant you are, is he from the Kingdom of the Skies or the Kingdom of the earth, the Lord that is the Lord of your son, is he the Lord of the skies or the Lord of the Earths?” The atheist could not answer this question. Hadrat then said, “Did you ever journey under the earth? Do you know what is beyond it?” He replied in the negative and said, “I think there is nothing beyond it.” Hazret then said to him, “Thinking is not sufficient! However, have you ever flown into the skies and journeyed beyond the skies?” Again he replied in the negative.
Hazret said, “Did you ever travel the entire East and West and did you realise anything about the future from this?” Again he answered in the negative. Hazret said, “I am amazed, that you are not aware of the earth and what is beneath it, and the sky and what is beyond it, and in this state of ignorance, you still have the arrogance to reject the existence of Allah. O Ignorant man! There is no argument for one who is naive about that which is a reality. The sun, the moon, the night and day, are all in a specific pattern. Verily they are within some divine control. If they were free, then they would move as they willed and would sometimes go to an appointed spot and not return. Why is it that the night does not take the place of day and the day does not take the place of night? Do you not ponder upon the reality of the skies and the earth? Why does the sky not come to the earth and why is it that the earth is not flattened by the sky? There is definitely ONE, who has all this in His Divine Control. It is He (Allah) who is All Powerful. It is He, who is our and their Lord.” When the atheist heard this, he immediately accepted Islam and had faith in the existence of Allah.
From his knowledge he used to say to Sufyan ath-Thawri, “If Allah bestows on you a favor, and you wish to keep that favor, then you must praise and thank Him excessively, because He said, “If you are thankful Allah will increase for you”[14:7]. He also said, “If the door of provision is closed for you, then make a great deal of istighfar (begging forgiveness), because Allah said, “Seek forgiveness of your Lord, certainly Your Lord is oft-Forgiving” [11:52]. And he said to Sufyan, “If you are upset by the tyranny of a Sultan or other oppression that you witness, say “There is no change and no power except with Allah,” (la hawla wa la quwwata illa-billah) because it is the key to Relief and one of the Treasures of Paradise.”
A Mansion in Jannah:
Once, a man came to Hazret Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu before journeying for Hajj. He gave Hazret 10,000 dirhams, and asked him to purchase a mansion for him before he returned. Instead of purchasing a mansion, Imam Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu distributed the entire 10,000 dirhams in the way of Allah. After the man returned from Hajj, he went to meet Hadrat Imam Jaafar Saadiq Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu. Hazret Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu told him that he had purchased his mansion and then handed the title deed over to him.
The title deed read as follows : “One wall of the house is adjoined to the house of the Prophet SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam, the other wall is adjoined to the house of Hazrat Ali Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu, the third wall is adjoined to the house of Imam Hassan Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu and the fourth wall is adjoined to the house of Imam Hussain Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu.” The man took this title deed, and asked his family members to place it in his grave when he passed away. After his demise, his family members found the title deed on the top of his grave and on the rear of the title deed the following words were written, “Hazret Imam Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu was honest and loyal in what he said.” [Masaalik as-Saalikeen, Vol.1, Page 220]
Date Tree & Man Transformed into a Dog
Once, he was on his way to Hajj, when he stopped to rest under a date tree which was completely dried out. At the time of Chasht, he asked the tree to present him with some dates. Immediately, the tree became green and lush and full of dates. Hazret Imam Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu then ate from it. A villager was passing by and saw this. He saw this great karaamat and said that it was magic. Hazret Imam Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu said, “This is not magic. Almighty Allah has blessed me with such a quality, that he accepts all my duas. If I make dua, even you can be transformed into a dog.” Hazret had not yet completed what he was saying, when the villager began to resemble a dog. He quickly repented and asked Hazret Imam Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu to forgive him. Hazret made dua for him, and he was transformed to his normal self. [Masaalik as-Saalikeen, Vol.1, Page 223]
Khalifa Mansoor – The Throne & the Python:
Khalifa Mansoor once sent one of his ministers to summon Imam Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu to his Court. He informed his servants that when Imam Jaafar arrived, they should wait for him (Mansoor) to remove his crown. The moment he did this, they should martyr Hazraet Imam Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu. When the minister heard this, he was not pleased and thus tried to explain to Mansoor, how wrong it was to kill a pious person, who is also a Sayyid. The Khalifa did not take heed and had Hazret Imam Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu summoned. When Hazrat Imam Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu arrived, the servants waited for their cue, so that they may martyr Imam Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu. Instead, Mansoor woke up from his throne and rushed towards the Imam. He brought him towards his throne and allowed him to sit on it with great respect, whilst he sat on the ground in front of the great Imam. The servants and ministers were surprised to see this sudden change in plan. Mansoor then asked the Imam if he had any requests. Imam Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu said,”In future you should not summon me to your court, as I wish to remain engrossed in Ibaadat.”
When he heard these words, his body began to tremble and he allowed the Imam to leave with respect. When the Imam left, the minister asked about the sudden change in plan and Mansoor said, “When Imam Jaafar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu entered my court, I saw a huge python with him. The python had its one lip over my throne and one under my throne, and it spoke to me and said that if I tried to ever harm the Imam, then he would consume me with my throne, and that is why I behaved in the manner which I did.”
This is only a sample of the many anecdotes and stories of the miraculous powers (karamat) of Jafar as-Sadiq .
Hazret Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) was famed for his depth and breadth of knowldege. In addition to his knowledge of Islamic sciences, Hazret Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) was well educated in natural sciences, mathematics, philosophy , astronomy , anatomy , chemistry (alchemy), and other subjects. The foremost Islamic alchemist Jabir bin Hayyan (known in Europe as Geber) was his most prominent student. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (RA) was known for his liberal views on learning, and was keen to debate with scholars of different faiths and of different beliefs. Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) is quoted by many sources as having said “My knowledge extends to only two years. The two I spent with Imam Jafar Sadiq”. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (RA) also attained a surpassing knowledge in astronomy and in the science of medicine. It is said that he wrote more than five hundred books on health care which were compiled and annotated by another great scholar and scientist of Islam, Jabir bin Hayyan.
“The Nun [letter “n”] at the beginning of Surat 68 represents the light of Pre-eternity, out of which Allah created all creations, and which is Muhammad . That is why He said in the same surat [verse 4]: ‘Truly Thou art of a sublime nature’ – that is: you were privileged with that light from pre-eternity.”
“Allah Almighty and Exalted told the lower world, “Serve the one who serves Me and tire the one who serves you.”
“Prayer is the pillar of every pious person; Pilgrimage is the Jihad of every weak one; the Zakat of the body is fasting; and the one who asks for Allah’s grants without performing good deeds is like one trying to shoot an arrow without a bow.”
“Open the door of provision by giving donation; fence in your money with the payment of zakat; the best is he who wastes not; planning is the foundation of your life, and to act prudently is the basis of intellect.”
“Whoever makes his parents sad has denied their rights on him.”
“The jurists are the trustees of the Prophet … If you find the jurists sticking to the company of the Sultans, say to them, ‘This is forbidden,’ as the jurist cannot express his honest opinion under the pressure of the Sultan’s proximity.”
“No food is better than God-fear and there is nothing better than silence; no enemy is more powerful than ignorance; no illness is greater than lying.”
“If you see something you don’t like in your brother try to find from one to seventy excuses for him. If you can’t find an excuse, say, ‘There might be an excuse but I don’t know it.’”
“If you hear a word from a Muslim which is offensive, try to find a good meaning for it. If you don’t find a good meaning for it, say to yourself, ‘I do not understand what he said,’ in order to keep harmony between Muslims.”
Jafar as-Sadiq (RA) ق passed away in 15th or 20th Rajab (according to different sources) 148 AH/765 CE. He was buried in Jannat al-Baqi, in the same graveyard as that of his father, Muhammad al-Baqir (RA) ق, his grandfather, Zainul-Abidin (RA) ق, and the uncle of his grandfather, Hasan ibn Ali (RA) . He passed the secret of the Golden Chain to his successor, Grandsheikh Tayfur Abu Yazid al-Bistami (KS), more commonly known as Bayazid al-Bistami (KS).
Bir hurmati Habib bir hurmati Anzalta Surat al-Fatiha.