The 6th Imam, Jafar Ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (AS) was born in Madinah on 17th Rabiul Awwal 83 Hijiri (23.4.702 AD) and his period of Imamate was 34 years, according to al-islam.org.
Imam Jafar al Sadiq (AS) is his direct descendent through the lineage of Fatima al Zahra (SA) the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and he is the son of Imam Muhammad al Baqir (AS).
Imam al-Sadiq (AS) was one of those infallible characters who were created by God to be models of moral excellence. The particular virtues of the Imam which were recorded by the historians included hospitality, charity, the helping of the needy in secrecy, the fair treatment of poor relatives, forgiveness, patience, and fortitude.
Despite all atrocities against the Descendants of Imam Hasan (AS) by the then-Caliphs, Imam al-Sadiq (AS) went on silently propagating the teachings of Ahlul Bayt. As a result, even those who did not acknowledge him as an infallible Imam, nor knew his prestige or lineage, bowed before his knowledge and prided in being counted among his students.
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 re-shufflements in government.
It was due to the political strife between two groups viz., the Umayyads and `Abbasids for power that the 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.
Al-Mansur the second Abbasid Caliph employed scholars to implement his aims so that they may make the people believe in the religion of suppression and constraint. That is to say, they wanted to mold the belief of people and make them think that whatever poverty, woe, oppression, and excesses are going on, all these are from God and human beings do not have any interference to reshape it.
Imam Jafar al Sadiq (AS) could not watch the propagation of such a wrong and dangerous belief evidently, which was given to the people and taught in the name of Islamic culture and beliefs.
So, he started to teach people. The Shi’a jurisprudential school takes its name from Imam Jafar al Sadiq (AS). The jurisprudence taught by Imam al Sadiq (AS) was that of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) 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.
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 of their time.
Martyrdom of Imam
Al-Mansur who had been disappointed after using various means and ways, started deceiving the public and tried to show himself as the real heir of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and one of the persons fit for the post of Islamic caliphate.
Although al-Mansur did his best to bring Imam Jafar al Sadiq (AS) close to himself or make him silent by threatening him, he failed. So he decided to martyr Imam Jafar al Sadiq (AS).
Consequently, Imam Jafar al Sadiq (AS) was poisoned and martyred on the 25th of Shawwal, 148 Hijrah. His pure body was buried in the graveyard of Baqi in Madina.
Today, the legacy of Imam Jafar 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 exceed 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.
Reported by Amin Mohammadzadegan Khoyi