An introduction of 8th infallible Hazrat Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S)
Birth of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S)
The sun of the existence of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) arose from the lap of his mother Umm-e-Farwah on the 17th of Rabiul Awal, 83rd year Hijrah, in the city of Madina. Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) has the same birth date as that of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) has three titles; they are As-Sadiq, Al-Fadil and At-Tahir. His father Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S) was much happy and pleased by the birth of his son.
His mother Umm-e-Farwah was the grand daughter of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, who was one of the companion of Imam Ali (A.S). Imam Ali (A.S) repeatedly said about him that, "Muhammad is my spiritual and moral son." Asma Bint Umais was the mother of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, and she was considered to be a pious woman. She was continuously in the service of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (SA) and took pride in it. After the martyrdom of her husband Jafar ibn Abi Talib in the Battle of Mu'tah, Asma Bint Umais married Hazrat Abu Bakr and after his death, married to Imam Ali (A.S).
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) said about her mother, "My mother was one of the pious, faithful and devoted women." Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) was 15 years of age when his grandfather Imam Sajjad (A.S) was martyred and 34 years old when his father Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S) was martyred. Consequent upon the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (A.S) the government of Bani Umayyah was shaken which turned the people into their enemy and pessimist about them. This opened the avenue for the formation of Bani Abbasid government. The gap in between these two powers opened the way for the propagation of Shia ideology and school of thought. Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) could, through a learning movement, propagate the learning's of Islam in such a way to extend and make it reach all the people in the World.
The Characteristic distinctions of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S)
We all know that the conduct of men is the reflection of their inner character and everyone can be recognized by his conduct.
There are only a very few people who do not spill out their conduct and whatever they have in their interior and do not exhibit it. Whatever they have in their hearts kindles the exterior of the electric lamp like an electric switch.
Whole of the life of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S), like the other Imams (A.S), was the enlightened lesson of the real and true Islam. He himself was considered to be the example and specimen of the Islamic ethic, moral and conduct. You cannot find a father and a son among all the people, of all the tribes who may resemble each other from all the angles of ideas, thoughts, character and conduct. But the family of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) and his successors all were on the same line and performed their heavenly duty with one aim, one ideology, and did not have any kind of difference in speech, character and ethical conduct. About the ethical value and virtue of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S), it is sufficient that out of four thousands of his students even a single one did not object or criticize upon the moral character and conduct of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S), and did not find a weak point in it.
He was a practical example and specimen for the Muslims with respect to eating, relaxing and resting, walking, speaking, and conducts with others.
He had the same social conduct with his friends as he had with his children.
Imam Jafar Sadiq's (A.S) talk with a deceitful pious looking man
One day a pious looking forgoer named Sufian stopped Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) and said, "You are from the family of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), how is it that you put on such a precious dress?"
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) said, "Oh Sufian, look there is a rough shirt underneath this dress and I have put on this shirt over it so that those whose minds are in their eyes do not think that I am a poor needy and distressed one. But you have put on a soft dress underneath this rough dress, so that you may deceive others that you are a devoted ascetic. Oh Sufian! Do not be so narrow minded."
The next day, Sufian saw that Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) was working in an agricultural field besides the labors and was sweating. He went ahead and said, "I am surprised about you. Why are you so greedy about the world and perspiring in this old age and working?"
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) said, "How happy I would be if I meet the God (die) in this condition that I am working hard and getting the expenditure of life by putting myself in inconvenience and I do not get myself loaded upon others."
What a miserable people are those who feed themselves upon the income of others and reach the seat of power through them and instead of service and love think all are indebted to them and are always demanding from others. Their outer form is obviously decorated and deceiving, like that of Sufian, but inwardly they are stinking and wicked.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) forbearance and fortitude
The incidents and difficulties, which come into human life can, measure and find out the extent of his energy and faith. The difficulties, which cropped up in the life of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) and the patience and forbearance, which, he showed towards them, illuminated his personality and worth. Howsoever they (enemies) abused and teased him he showed patience and forbearance and admonished them. He never cursed or used foul language about them.
The Friendship of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S), which Terminated
A man would always accompany Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) and he loved him very much and always cherished his memory. One day, they went together to the bazaar of cobblers. That man had a black slave who was moving behind him. The slave was busy watching the shops and got away from his master. The friend of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) was continuously looking at his back and he did not find the slave. He got very annoyed and enraged. Suddenly he saw the slave and said, "your mother so and do, where were you?"
As soon as he uttered this sentence Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) raised his hand with surprise and struck it hard upon his forehead and said, "you abuse his mother?" I thought you were a pious man and I was a friend of yours for a long time and I talked about you in the assembly of friends and companions. It is good that I came to know that you are not a good friend. Hurry, get away from me.
Learning the style of Propaganda from Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S)
Shakrani was a young man who performed bad deeds stealthily. Since his grandfather was a slave freed by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), therefore, people thought him to be associated to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW). One day he learnt that "al-Mansur the second Abbasid Caliph" was distributing the wealth of State Treasury (Baitul Mal). He went there to seek some help. Since, he did not know anyone there he could not get a thing. During this span of time he happened to sight Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S). He went rushing towards him and requested him to become a medium for him and get him a share from the caliph. Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) accepted his request, and went to get his share and brought it. When Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) gave him the money, he (A.S) said to him "A good deed is good from everyone but it is better to occur from you, who is associated to us. And a bad act is bad from every one, but it is worse from you who is associated with us."
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) said it and went. Shakrani getting hold of the money started pondering deep and knew that Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) had come to know about his bad acts and by these words he meant to stop him from it. The wicked man got very ashamed by this conduct of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) and decided to abandon his misdeeds and so he did.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) attends the Oppressed
1. One of the friends of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) named Moally Bin Khunais says, "On a rainy and dark night I saw that Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) was carrying a heavy sack on his back in the streets of Madina. I followed him to find out as to where he was heading. He threw a quantity of bread on earth and I collected it and went towards Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) and saluted him and gave that to him. Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) took that kept it in the sack, and continued walking on. Not very long after that, he reached a point where a group of oppressed men were sleeping. Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) put two breads underneath the head of each one and turned back I asked the Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) "were they your shias?" He said, "No, if they were our shias I would have attended them better than that."
2. Hisham Bin Salem another friend of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) says, "Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) had a peculiar manner of action that he picked up food in the dark nights and carried it to the doors of the houses of the oppressed ones, delivered it to them and did not let himself be recognized.
Long time passed and Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) passed away. Since his help was discontinued, the poor and afflicted ones got to know that the unknown man who came in the night and helped them was Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) for this reason they became very sad and miserable.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) Struggles against hoarding
One of the years, a shortage of wheat took place in Madina. A bewilderment and anxiety overtook the people. Anyone who had not stored wheat for years use would try hard to provide and stock it.
At the same time, the poor have-nots were forced to buy there every day needed wheat from the market.
One day Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) asked his servant "Motab," "Do we have wheat in the house this year? Motab replied, "Yes we have got wheat to meet the requirement of a few months."
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) said, "Take that to the market and surrender it to the people and sell it."
Motab said, "Oh my Lord! Wheat is scarce in Madina, if I sell it purchasing wheat after that will be difficult and we will face hardship and will be forced to buy it on a higher cost."
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) said, "Do what I have said, hereafter do purchase the bread of the house like the have-nots of Madina, do each day. Because the bread of my house should not have any difference with that of the masses although you may buy it on a higher rate."
The greedy afflicted and the thankful poor
One of the friends of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) says, we were busy taking grapes in Mina along with the Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S). An afflicted one come and asked for help. Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) gave him a bunch of grapes. The man did not take that and demanded money. Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) said, "God may provide you that." The afflicted man walked a few steps and turned back and requested the Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) to give him the grapes. He said, "may God provide you that" and the man went back.
At the same time another poor man came and asked the Imam for help. Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) gave him a bunch of grapes. The man took them and thanked God. Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) gave him a handful of grapes. The man took that and again thanked God, for his boon. For the third time, Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) gave him twenty dirhams and the fourth time, gave him his shirt. The man took all and went back praying for Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S).
I said to myself had this man continued on, Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) would have given him all that he had.
Laying foundation of the Islamic University in Madina
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) decided to lay the foundation of Islamic University in Madina, so as to train students in different fields and branches of knowledge. The gushing knowledge spring of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) was so evident that it attracted the researcher of knowledge from all the directions of the world. Hundreds of knowledge thirsty youth from all over the world came to Madina to join the teaching classes of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S). Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) trained famous and well-known men in various fields of knowledge the names of some of them are as follows:
1. Zurara and Mohammad Bin Muslim in jurisprudence.
2. Hisham and Momin ut Taq in beliefs and kalam (discourse).
3. Muffazil and Safwan in Gnosticism and Islamic learning.
4. Jabbir Bin Hayyan in mathematics and sciences.
Many other glorious men each of whom became the founder of various Islamic Learning's and arts so that for many years their books had been translated and taught in Europe. Evidently, such a chance for the propagation of Islamic learning's was not available in the age of Imam Ali (A.S). Because, the enemy continuously engaged him in internal battles so that a constraint be put upon the propagation and dissemination of Islamic knowledge and learning's and this situation prevailed till the age of Imam Sajjad (A.S).
From the age of Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S) the schools of Islamic learning were founded and those reached the climax of their expansion in the age of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S). So far so, that in the university of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) four thousand students were trained in various branches of Islamic knowledge and learning's and they spread all over the world and taught and trained the people.
Why Shiaism is named Jafri religion?
For the sake of the propagation of the Shiite constitution in the shadow of the knowledge, political sacrifices, and devotion, the Shiite school was attributed to him and this religion was named as the Jafri religion. We belong to the Jafri religion and take pride in this name. The message of the true Islam of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) can be sought in the blood of Imam Hussain (A.S) and its explanation and description in the teachings of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S).
Jafri Islam is the same one, on the way of which Imam Ali (A.S) fought holy war (Jehad) and Imam Hassan (A.S) made truce and Imam Hussain (A.S) gave his blood (life). Imam Sajjad (A.S) put on the dress of prisoner ship and Bibi Zainab (SA) became the messenger of the blood of martyrs. Holy Prophet Muhammad's (SAW) daughter Hazrat Fatima Zahra (SA) raised her voice in the mosque of her father over the cruelties and tyranny, which were committed on her.
If Islam were the one in which the rulers seated themselves upon snatched usurped chairs and enrage and unpleased Hazrat Fatima Zahra (SA) and made Imam Ali (A.S) sit at home, we admit that we will not submit to such Islam. From the logical point of view of the informed, faithful and scholars devoted to the family of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the Islam wherein the family of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) be suspended will be the same Islam whose custodians were the rulers like Muawiyah, Yazeed and Muttawakils.
The red history of Shiaism of Imam Ali (A.S) proved that whosoever accepted the Islam minus the family of Imam Ali (A.S) and struggled on its way did reach no where and was finally rendered despicable and helpless and at last turned into the tool of the hands of imperialists of the history.
Al-Mansur conspires against Imam Sadiq (A.S)
Since the cultural school of thought of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) considered human beings effective in their fate and told them it is you who form a society. It is you who make yourselves prosperous or unfortunate and miserable. Only you provide the grounds for your progress or your fall.
Meaning thereby, it is you who can dismiss the rulers from the seat of power and do not accept cruelty and hand over the ruler ship to the men who are capable and sympathizers.
The propagation and spread of this belief and idea, which was the same Quranic belief of the Muslims, displeased and annoyed al-Mansur the second Abbasid Caliph.
al-Mansur the second Abbasid Caliph tried that he might arrest and stop the flow of this belief by propagation of negative values about morality and corruption of ideas and practices. Thus refrain the people from joining the school of thought of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S), which is the school of information, consciousness and movement.
al-Mansur the second Abbasid Caliph employed scholars for the implementation of his aims so that they may make the people believe in the religion of suppression and constraint. That is to say, they wanted to mould the belief of people and make them believe that whatever poverty, woe, and oppression and excesses are going on, all these are from God and human being do not have any interference to reshape it. So that as a result of it the opposition, revolt and uprising are stopped. People may tolerate the excesses and cruelties of the tyrant rulers and bear the punishments and whips of their criminal masters. They, instead of objecting upon them, may express Commendation and thankfulness.
Evidently and clearly Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) could not watch the propagation of such a wrong and dangerous belief, which was given to the people and taught in the name of Islamic culture and beliefs.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) laid the foundation of the Islamic University to combat against this dangerous imperialistic belief. In a short span of time, he trained four thousand students in the field of Islamic culture and beliefs and spread them among the people to get the effects of the propaganda of the agent scholars, neutralized and defused.
Al-Mansur the second Abbasid Caliph's Excesses over Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S)
Surprisingly, the Abbasides gathered the people around them on the pretext of taking the revenge of the blood of martyrs of Karbala and fight against the brutalities of Bani Omaiydes and remove and replace the Bani Omaiydes through the help of Iranians who were inclined to and loved the family of Imam Ali (A.S) and also with the help of Abu Muslim Khorasani. But instead of handing over the caliphate to the Imam of the age i.e., Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) they themselves overtook the government.
From the year 132 Hijra the period of Omaiydes was discontinued. Two caliphs named 'Saffah' and 'al-Mansur' overtook power. The first one ruled for 10 years while the second for a period of 22 years. All the time they teased and annoyed the Imams and religious leaders continuously. Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) was under a severe stress and pressure during the age of al-Mansur. Even to the extent that sometimes the people were stopped from seeing him. So far so, that when a person named 'Haroon' wanted to see Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) and enquire the solution to a problem. He started thinking what to do to meet the Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S). Suddenly, he happened to see a street hawker who was selling cucumbers. He came near him, purchased all the cucumbers, borrowed his old dress, put it on, and pretending to be a cucumber seller went to Imam Jafar Sadiq's (A.S) house and questioned him about his problem, received the answer and returned.
al-Mansur arrested most of the friends of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) and imprisoned them and quite a few times decided to martyr the Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) but each time by the miracle of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) he would be defeated.
Stability of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S)
al-Mansur who had been disappointed after using various means and ways, started deceiving public and tried to manifest and show himself as the real heir of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and one of the persons fit for the post of Islamic caliphate, on the pretext that he is from the lineage of Abbas (Holy Prophet Muhammad's uncle) and the family of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW). But he knew fully well that he did not have the caliber and capability of this and that post only suited the sons of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) "the Imams (A.S)."
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) severely and strongly combated against this public deceiving conduct and degraded and disgraced this family through his letters.
1. One day al-Mansur wrote to Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) "why do you not come to see me like the others?" Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) wrote in his response. "We do not possess any thing from the world so that we may be afraid of you for it (loss of it). You too do not possess anything for the justice day and the spiritualism so why must I come to see you?
2. The next day al-Mansur wrote to Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) "Come here to admonish me." Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) wrote replying him, "whosoever be from the people of the world (adorer of world) will not admonish you and whosoever will be the man of the justice day will not come near you."
3. One of the days Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) was present in the assembly of 'al-Mansur'. By chance, a fly started teasing 'al-Mansur' and howsoever he tried to make it buzz off it would not and again sat upon his nose and head. al-Mansur much annoyed as he was, said to Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S), "Why has God created the fly?"
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) at once replied, "For the reason of disgracing and degrading the powerful tyrants through them."
'al-Mansur' became annoyed; he sat comfortably on his place and allowed the Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) to leave.
Conflict of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) with ruler of Madina
After al-Mansur had martyred a group of the family of Bani Hashim. He sent a man named "Sheba" as the ruler of Madina to keep the activities of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) under observation. He came to the mosque on Friday and after the prayers was over. Seated himself on the tribune and started taking liberty and using foul language about Imam Ali (A.S) and the family of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW). People who knew the Prophet's family form a close quarters and loved them got extremely annoyed but they could not dare utter a word.
At this occasion Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) got up and said, "Oh man! We deserve all those merits and virtues you have mentioned and you and al-Mansur deserve those demerits and vices you have spoken about. Then he turned his face towards the people and said, "Do you know who will be the most of the looser on the day of justice, tomorrow. That person who sells his doomsday for the world (material gains) of the others and such is this corrupt ruler."
Martyrdom of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S)
Although al-Mansur did his best to bring the Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) close to himself or make him silent by threatening him but he failed. So he decided to martyr Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S).
Consequently, the Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) was poisoned and martyred on 15th of Shawwal, 148 Hijrah. His pure body was buried in the graveyard of Baqi in Madina.
Sayings of Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S)
1. A Muslim who puts in endeavors to materialize the desire of his brother is like someone who performs holy war (Jehad) on the way to God.
2. Our intercession will not be extended to the one who is careless in performing prayers.
3. The fruit (result) of love and attachment with the world is inconvenience, trouble and sorrow and the result of piety and purity in the world is the comfort of body and soul.
4. How indecent is it that the powerful ones take revenge from the weak.
5. Be benevolent to your father and mother so that your children may as well be benevolent to you.
6. Pray to God that your sustenance does not lie in the hand of people.
7. One who invites the people towards himself (leadership) and a person wiser than him is present among the people, has gone astray.
8. Three things are the signs of a hypocrite:
i) While talking, tells lies.
ii) Does not fulfill promises and commitments.
iii) Embezzles the deposits of others.
9. Take distance from (avoid) being jealous of others because this will be the cause of your becoming away from God.