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Name: Ja'far             Title: As-Sadiq (The Truthful One)
         Surname: Abu Abdillah

Father: Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A)

Mother: Bibi Umme Farwa binte Qasim (A)

Birthdate: 17th Rabi-ul-Awwal 83 A.H. in Madina

Imamat: From 114 A.H. to 148 A.H.

Martyrdom 25th Shawwal 148 A.H.

Buried: Madina, Saudi Arabia.

Imam (A) has the same birth-date as our Holy Prophet (S). Among his titles are al-Faazil (the Successful) and at-Tahir (the Pure). He was brought up in the care of his grandfather, Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) for 12 years and then remained under the guidance of his father, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A) for another 19 years.

During the lifetime of Imam (A), the Bani Abbas took over the reins of political power from the Bani Umayyah. In this period of internal wars and upheavals, he was not disturbed by the rulers. He used this opportunity to advance the work started by his father and he set up a large teaching center.

Many students from foreign countries came to learn from Imam (A). His classes and sessions of instruction produced 4,000 scholars of Hadith and the sciences. Among his famous students were Hisham bin Hakam, Jaabir bin Hayyaan and Abu Hanifah. Imam (A) was responsible for organizing the Fiqh (laws) of the Shia faith, which is why we are sometimes known as the Ja'fari Shia.


Once a man from Iran by the name of Sahl bin Hasan came to Imam (A) and asked him why he did not fight for his right when there were so many Shia in Iran ready to fight with him. In reply Imam (A) took Sahl to the fire place and asked him to sit in the blazing fire. Sahl began to tremble and said that he had a family to return to, and begged to be excused from this test.

Meanwhile, Haroon Makki, a close companion of Imam (A), arrived, having just returned from Haj. Imam (A) asked him to jump in the fire and he did so at once. After a while, Imam (A) asked Sahl to look in the fire place. Sahl saw that Haroon sat there, quite unharmed. Imam (A) asked Sahl how many such followers were there in Iran, to which the man replied, "None, master." Having made his point, Imam (A) asked Haroon to come out of the fire.

Once, a man falsely accused Imam (A) of plotting against the Bani Abbas Caliph, Mansoor Dawanaqi. When he was called to the court to explain his actions, Imam (A) denied the allegation and asked the man to repeat his words under oath. The man began the oath by praising Allah, but Imam (A) asked him to make his statement by saying that he was free from the protection of Allah and trusted his own strength and wisdom. When the man took the oath against Imam (A) in this way, his leg was paralyzed immediately. Mansoor ordered the man to be thrown out of his court.

Once in Madina there was a shortage of wheat flour and prices of the flour were very high. Imam (A) asked his servant what their situation was. The servant replied that they had plenty of wheat and should have no problem for a long time. Imam (A) said, "Sell the wheat in the market and let us face the situation along with everyone else." In this way he taught that hoarding is discouraged by Islam.

Imam (A) was once called to the court of Mansoor who was in an extremely angry mood towards him. When he came to the court, a man called Rabi saw that he was reciting something quietly.

Gradually, the anger of Mansoor died down, and by the time Imam (A) approached him, he was pleased to see him. Later, Rabi asked him what he was reciting, and he said it was the prayer to Allah which his great grandfather Imam Husain (A) used to recite as follows:

"O my Provision in time of hardship, O my Help in the face of disaster, guard me with Your Eye which never sleeps, surround me with your impenetrable fortress."

Rabi said that he learnt this prayer and never remained in hard times after he recited it.

Towards the end of his life severe restrictions were put on Imam (A) by Mansoor, who used to torture the Shia mercilessly. Finally he sent some poisoned grapes to his governor in Madina, Muhammad bin Sulayman, with instructions to give them to Imam (A). The poison took its effect and Imam (A) breathed his last on 25th Shawwal 148 A.H. at the age of 63 years. He is buried in Jannatul Baqee next to his father