The Sixth Imam: Ja’far Sadiq
Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) was born on the seventeenth of Rabi’ul Awwal in the year eighty three A.H. in Medina. His father was Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and his mother was Fatimah, Umm Farwah, the daughter of Qasim Ibn Muhamamd. His nicknames were Abu ‘Abdillah, Abu ‘Isma’il, and Abu Musa and his titles were Sadiq, Fazil, Tahir, Qa’im, Kafil, Munji, and Sabir.
He lived sixty five years and was martyred on the twenty fifth of Shawwal in the year 148 A.H. in Medina and was buried in Baqi’ cemetery.
He lived twenty years with his grandfather, Imam Sajjad (a.s.), and nineteen years with his father, Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.), and his Imamate lasted thirty four years.1
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) was the greatest most famous character of his own age in terms of knowledge, jurisprudence, parentage, worship, spiritual state, and ethical virtues. Some of the scholars have testified to this.
Malik Ibn Anas, the jurisprudent of Medina, has said about Imam Sadiq (a.s.), “When I went to Ja’far Ibn Muhammad Sadiq, he respected me, brought me cushion (to lean), and said, ‘O Malik! I like you.’ I was happy of his conduct and thanked the Almighty Allah. He was in either of three states; fasting, praying, or remembering Allah. He was one of the greatest worshipper and pious men. He narrated many traditions and held useful meetings. Whenever he narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S), his face changed color, in a way that he could be hardly identified.”
Once I accompanied him in Hajj. When he wanted to recite talbiyah for ‘ihram, his voice stopped in his throat and could not utter it. He nearly fell from atop his horse. I told him, ‘O son of Messenger of Allah! You inevitably should recite talbiyah.’ He told me, ‘O Ibn ‘amir! How can I dare say ‘Here am I O Allah!’ while I fear that the Exalted Allah may respond me, ‘No to you, nor are you blissful!)’”2
Malik Ibn ‘Anas has said, “By Allah that I saw no one superior to Ja’far Ibn Muhammad (a.s.) in terms of piety, knowledge, and worship.”3
‘Amr Ibn Abil Maqdam has said, “When I looked at Ja’far Ibn Muhammad (a.s.), I felt he was from the progeny of the prophets (S).”4
Ziyad Ibn Ali has said, “In every age there is someone from us, the Ahlul Bayt, who is the Hujjat (argument) of the Almighty Allah for the people. The Hujjat of this age is Ja’far Ibn Muhammad, my brother’s son. Everyone who follows him will not go astray and everyone who disobeys him will not be guided.”5
‘Isma’il Ibn Ali Ibn Abdullah Ibn Abbas has said, “One day I went to see Abu Ja’far Mansur. He wept until his beard was wet. He told me, ‘You do not know what has happened to the Ahlul Bayt!’ I asked, ‘O Amiral Mu’minin! What is that happening?’ He answered, ‘The master of the world; the remnant of the good people has passed away.’ I asked, ‘Who is he?’ Abu Ja’far Mansur replied, ‘Ja’far Ibn Muhammad.’ I said, ‘May Allah give you reward and long life in this calamity.’ He said, ‘Ja’far Ibn Muhammad was one of the people about who the Almighty Allah has stated, ‘Then We have given the Book for inheritance to such of Our Servants as We have chosen.’ 6 Ja’far Ibn Muhammad was one of those who was chosen by the Exalted Allah and was one of the pioneers of goodness.”7
Ibn Haban has considered Ja’far Ibn Muhammad one of the trustworthy narrators of tradition, saying, “He was one of the noblemen of the Ahlul Bayt in terms of jurisprudence and knowledge. His traditions are benefitted from.”8
Shahristani writes about Imam Sadiq (a.s.), “He was very knowledgeable in science and religion and perfect in piety and wisdom. He avoided passions. He lived in Medina for a while; his friends from the Shi’ah benefitted from his knowledge. Then he moved to Iraq and stayed there for a while.”9
Ahmad Ibn Hajar Hiythami has written, “The best son of Muhammad Baqir was Ja’far Sadiq; therefore, he became the successor to his father and the caliph after him. The people have narrated many traditions from him, which were spread in all regions. Great religious leaders, such as Yahya Ibn Sa’id, Ibn Jurayh, Malik, Dusufyani, Abu Hanifah, Shu’bah, Ayyub Sajistani have narrated tradition from him, too.”10
Ibn Sabbagh Maliki has written, “Ja’far Sadiq was his father’s caliph and successor after his father. He was superior to his brothers in terms of knowledge, intellect, and greatness. The people have narrated many scientific issues from him, which are distributed everywhere. The traditions narrated from him have not been narrated from any other relative of him.”11
Muhammad Ibn Talhah Shafi’i writes, “Ja’far Ibn Muhammad Sadiq was one of the noblemen of the Ahlul Bayt. He was so knowledgeable. He worshipped and remembered Allah very much. He was very pious and recited Holy Quran much. He pondered in Quranic meanings, found trivial facts, and discovered amazing results. He spent his time in various kinds of worship, reckoning himself in this regard. Seeing him reminded the people of the Hereafter. Listening to his speech made the people pious. Following him brought about the Paradise. His illuminated face and his purified deeds showed that he was from the progeny of Prophet Muhammad (S).”
A group of religious leaders, such as Yahya Ibn Sa’id Ansari, Ibn Jurayh, Malik Ibn Anas, Thuri, Ibn Ayinah, Shu’bah, and Ayyub Sajistani have narrated traditions from him, considering it an honor for themselves.”12
Shiykh Mufid has written about Imam Sadiq (a.s.), “Sadiq; Ja’far Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ali Ibn Husayn (a.s.) was chosen among his brothers and appointed as his father’s caliph and successor. He was superior to his brothers in terms of knowledge. He was the most famous and the most honorable of them for the public and the elites. His sciences were distributed in all regions. The great number of traditions narrated from him is not narrated from other members the Ahlul Bayt. The tradition experts have counted four thousand trustworthy narrators for his traditions.”13
As mentioned before, there are various reasons for proving the Imamate of the twelve infallible Imams (a.s.) that suffice for proving the Imamate of each. Moreover, there are specific reasons for proving the Imamate of each of the Imams (a.s.), namely the traditions from an Imam about the Imam after himself. The general reasons are not repeated here.
Abu Nazrah has said, “Imam Baqir (a.s.) called his son, Ja’far Sadiq, before his demise to devolve the Imamate to him. His brother, Ziyad Ibn Ali said, ‘It was good if you did as Hasan (a.s.) did in case of Husayn (a.s.).’ Imam Baqir (a.s.) answered, ‘The trusts cannot be compared via example. The imamate is an ancient promise, which has reached to us from Allah’s Hujjats.’”14
Abu Sabah Kanani has said, “Imam Abu Ja’far (a.s.) looked at his son, Abu Abdillah, and told me, ‘Do you see him? He is one of the persons about who the Almighty Allah has stated, ‘And We wished to be Gracious to those who were being depressed in the land, to make them leaders (in Faith) and make them heirs.’15”16
Jabir Ibn Yazid Ju’fi has said, “Imam Abu Ja’far, Muhammad Baqir, (a.s.) was asked about the Imam after himself. He patted his hand on the back of Abi Abdillah and said, ‘By Allah that this son of me will be the Imam from Muhammad (S)’s Ahlul Bayt after me.’”
Ali Ibn Hakam has quoted from Tahir, Abu Ja’far’s (a.s.) friend, who said, “I was with Imam Baqir (a.s.) when his son, Ja’far, came in. Imam (a.s.) told me, ‘This is the best human on the earth.’”17
Abdul ‘A’la has narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), “My father said before his demise, ‘Invite some people as witness!’ I called four persons from Qurash, one of which was Nafi’ (the master of Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar). So my father told me, ‘Write down: This is the legacy Jacob (a.s.) left to his sons, ‘Oh my sons! God hath chosen the Faith for you; then die not except in the State of Submission (to Allah).’18
Muhammad Ibn Ali wills to his son, Ja’far, to veil his body in the burd in which he prayed on Fridays, put his turban on his head, make his grave in the form of a square and four fingers higher than the ground, and put his old clothes off.’ Then he told the witnesses, ‘Go now! May Allah bless you!’ I asked my father, ‘Why did we call the witnesses?’ My father answered, ‘O my son! I feared that the people may overcome you and say that his father left no legacy for him. I wanted to leave a reason for you.’”19
Jabir Ibn Yazid Ju’fi has narrated that Imam Baqir (a.s.) was asked about the Qa’im after himself. Imam Baqir (a.s.) put his hand on Abi Abdillah’s shoulder and said, “By Allah that this is the Qa’im of Muhammad (S)’s Ahlul Bayt.”
Anbasah Ibn Mus’ab said, “When Imam Abu Ja’far (a.s.) passed away, I went to his son, Abu Abdillah, and told him the tradition of Jabir. He stated, ‘Jabir is true; every Imam is the Qa’im after the previous Imam.’”20
Muhammad Ibn Muslim said, “I was with Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) when his son, Ja’far, came in with grown hair and a stick in his hand. Imam Baqir (a.s.) hugged him close to his chest. Then he said, ‘He will be your Imam after me. Follow him and benefit from his knowledge. By Allah that he is Sadiq, who is named by the Messenger of Allah (S). The Almighty Allah will help all his Shi’ahs in this world and the Hereafter. His enemies are cursed by all the prophets (S).’
Then Ja’far (a.s.) laughed and his face got red. Imam Baqir (a.s.) told me, ‘Ask my son whatever you want.’ So I asked him, ‘O son of Messenger of Allah! Where does laughing emerge from?’ Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) replied, ‘Wisdom emerges from the heart, sadness from the liver, breath comes from the lungs, and laugh from the lien.’ Then I stood up and kissed his head.”21
Hammam Ibn Nafi’ said, “Imam Abu Ja’far (a.s.) once told his companions, ‘When you did not find me, follow him, he will be the Imam and the caliph after me.’ And he pointed to Abi Abdillah, Imam Sadiq (a.s.).”22
Husham Ibn Salim has narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), “My father told me before his demise, ‘O Ja’far! I recommend you about my companions.’ I asked him, ‘O father! By Allah that I will train them in a way that they will not need anyone in gaining knowledge and acquiring sustenance.’”23
Surat Ibn Kalib said, “One day, Ziyad Ibn Ali told me, ‘How did you understand that your master (Ja’far) is the Imam?’ I answered, ‘Because we have gone to Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) before. When we asked him a question, he said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (S) said and the Almighty Allah said in His Book…’ and then he answered our question. When your brother, Muhammad Baqir, passed away, we came to you, the progeny of Prophet Muhammad (S), for acquiring knowledge. You answered some questions, but could not answer some of them. After that we went to Ja’far, your brother’s son, who answered all our questions, just like his father.’ Ziyad Ibn Ali smiled and said, ‘By Allah that this is because Ja’far has the books of Ali Ibn Abi Talib.’”24
‘Amr Ibn Abil Miqdam said, “I saw Imam Sadiq (a.s.) on the day of ‘Arafah in pilgrims’ staying place. He said with a loud voice, ‘O people! The Messenger of Allah (S) was the Imam. After him, Ali Ibn Abi Talib was the Imam. Then Hasan and then Husayn Ibn Ali were the Imams. After Husayn, Ali Ibn Husayn and then Muhammad Ibn Ali were the Imams. After him, etc.’ He repeated this speech for the people in front of him, the ones behind him, those on his right, and the people on his left three times for each group. When I went to Mina, I asked the exegesis of the word ‘etc.’ from Arab literary men. They said that it means ‘I; so ask me.’ I asked it from other people and all of them interpreted it in the same way.”25
Abdul Ghaffar Ibn Qasim said, “I told Imam Baqir (a.s.), ‘O son of Messenger of Allah! If something bad happened to you, who we should refer to after you?’ Imam Baqir (a.s.) replied, ‘Refer to Ja’far. He is my best son, the father of Imams, and trustworthy in speech and action.’”26
Shiykh Mufid, arguing the reasons for Imamate of Imam Sadiq (a.s.), has written, “Logically, it is proved that the Imam should be the most knowledgeable of the people. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) was so; his knowledge, piety, and deeds were superior to those of his brothers, cousins, and other people in his own age.”27
One of the major duties of infallible Imams (a.s.) was publishing original Islamic sciences, teachings, ethics, and jurisprudence they had acquired from the Messenger of Allah (S). All the infallible Imams (a.s.) were fully prepared to fulfill this great responsibility. Unfortunately, however, they often faced limitations. The oppressor rulers of their times, in addition to illegal seizing of the caliphate, did not allow distribution of religious sciences and teachings, which the people really needed.
The followers of infallible Imams (a.s.) did not dare refer to them for gaining knowledge and they usually hid their real belief. Especially in the time of Umayyad caliphs, a milieu of dread and strangulation existed among the Islamic Ummah and propaganda against Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and his progeny was very much. In the times of Imam Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Sadiq (a.s.), nevertheless, some changes took place in the society atmosphere.
The strangulation atmosphere was removed to some extent. The people found out about the oppressions that took place against the Prophet (S)’s Ahlul Bayt and felt the need to original religious sciences that were deposited with infallible Imams (a.s.).
The Umayyid government was gradually weakening and it had to reduce the limitations created previously. So was early Abbaside government, because their government had not been strengthened and they had to give more freedom to the Household of Prophet Muhammad (S).
For the reasons mentioned as well as other reasons, Imam Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Sadiq (a.s.) benefitted from the transient situation for publicizing original sciences, teachings, and jurisprudence of prophet hood. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) trained many students, teaching thousands of traditions in various skills, instances of which are present in tradition books. Most of the traditions in such books are narrated from these two honorable Imams (a.s.).
We read in Manaqib, “The scientific issues quoted from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) are not quoted from anyone else. Some of the tradition narrators have recorded the names of narrators from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), which are nearly four thousand.”28
The book Hilyatul ‘Awliya’ by Abu Na’im cites, “great religious scholars and leaders, such as Malik Ibn Anas, Shu’bat Ibn Al-Hajjaj, Sufyan Thuri, Ibn Jurayh, Abdullah Ibn Amr, Ruh Ibn Qasim, Sufyan ‘Ayinah, Sulayman Ibn Balal, ‘Isma’il Ibn Ja’far, Hatam Ibn ‘Isma’il, Abdul Aziz Ibn Mukhtar, Wahab Ibn Khalid, and Ibrahim Ibn Tahhan have narrated traditions from Ja’far Ibn Muhamamd.”
Muslim has narrated traditions from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) in his book Sahih and deducted commandments based on them.29
Other authors have said that Malik, Shafi’i, Hasan, Salih, Abu Ayyub Sajistani, ‘Amr Ibn Dinar, and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal have also narrated traditions from ja’far Ibn Muhammad.
Malik Ibn Anas has said, “No one is ever heard to be superior to Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) in terms of knowledge, piety, and worshipping.”30
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) stated, “I know everything that is in the heavens and the earth, in the Paradise and the Hell, and in the past and the future, using the Quran.” Then he opened his hands toward the sky and said, “That is why the Almighty Allah has stated in Quran, ‘The Book) explaining all things.’31”32
Salih Ibn ‘Aswad has said, “I heard from Ja’far Ibn Muhammad, ‘Ask me whatever you want before I pass away, because no one can narrate traditions for you like me after myself.’”33
‘Isma’il Ibn Jabir has quoted from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), “The Exalted Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (S) as the prophet and will send no other prophet after him. He revealed a book to Muhammad (S) and will not reveal any other books after it. In that book, Allah set some deeds halal (lawful) and some haram (unlawful). The halal and haram deeds will remain so forever. The news of the people in the past, in the future, and in the present time exist in this heavenly Book.” Then Imam Sadiq (a.s.) pointed to his own chest and said, “We do know all these facts.”34
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said, “Our sciences are four types; the past records, the written ones, what is inspired to our hearts, and what is whispered in our ears. The Books of Jafr Ahmar, Jafr Abyaz, Mus’haf Fatimah, and Jami’ah are with us. Whatever the people need is recorded in them.”35
Ibn Abil Hadid writes, “The companions of Abu Hanifah, such as Abu Yusuf, Muhammad, etc. learned jurisprudence from Abu Hanifah. Shafi’i was the student of Muhammad Ibn Hasan, who had learned jurisprudence from Abu Hanifah. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal has learned his jurisprudence from Shafi’i, so his jurisprudence is from Abu Hanifah. Abu Hanifah has acquired his jurisprudence from Ja’far Ibn Muhammad (a.s.).”36
Mas’udi has written, “Abu Abdillah, Ja’far Ibn Muhammad (a.s.) had teaching sessions for the masses and the elites. People came to his sessions from around the Islamic land to ask him about halal, haram, Quranic exegesis and explanation, and judicial commandments. No one exited Ja’far Ibn Muhammad’s (a.s.) sessions except that he was content with the reply he had received.”37
Imam Sadiq (a.s.), like his father and grandfathers, was the best person of his own age in terms of humility before Allah, remembrance of Allah, supplications, and prayers.
It is narrated that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) was reciting Holy Quran while performing prayer when he fainted. When he awakened, he was asked about the reason for that state. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) stated, “I repeated some Quranic verses so much that it was as if I heard them from Gabriel or the Almighty Allah.”38
‘Aban Ibn Taghlab has said, “I went to Imam Sadiq (a.s.) while he was performing prayers. I counted his zikrs in ruku’ and sajdah; he glorified the Exalted Allah for sixty times.”39
Hamzah Ibn Hamran and Hasan Ibn Ziyad said, “We went to Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and found him performing the Afternoon Prayer with a group of other people. He repeated the phrase subhana rabbiya al-azeemi wa-bihamdih‘Glory be to my Great Lord and I praise Him.’ thirty three or thirty four times in ruku’ and sajdah.”40
Yahya Ibn ‘Ala’ has said, “Imam Sadiq (a.s.) was very sick and in bed on the twenty third night of Ramadan. He ordered to take him to the mosque of Messenger of Allah (S) and he worshipped until the dawn.”41
Ibn Taghlab has said, “While traveling from Medina to Mecca I was with Imam Sadiq (a.s.). When he reached the haram, he landed, performed ghusl, held his shoes, and entered the haram barefooted.”42
Hafz Ibn Bakhtari has quoted from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), “I was very serious in worship as a youth. My father, Imam Baqir (a.s.) said, ‘O my son! Do not take yourself into trouble in worship, because when Allah likes His servant He accepts his little worship, too.’”43
Mu’awiyat Ibn Wahab has said, “Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and I were going toward Medina bazaar on a donkey. When we reached near the bazaar, Imam (a.s.) landed from the donkey and performed a long sajdah. Then I asked him, ‘Why did you landed and performed sajdah?’ Imam Sadiq (a.s.) answered, ‘I remembered one of the blessings of the Almighty Allah, so I performed sajdah to thank Him.’ I asked again, ‘Did you do it near the bazaar that the people are coming and going?’ Imam (a.s.) replied, ‘No one saw me.’”44
Malik Ibn ‘Anas has said, “I had relations with Ja’far Ibn Muhammad (a.s.) for some time. I always saw him in one of three states; performing prayer, fasting, or reciting Holy Quran. When narrating traditions, he was always with wudu (ablution).”45
Malik Ibn ‘Anas has also said, “In a Hajj pilgrimage, I was with Imam Sadiq (a.s.). He stopped his horse in Miqat to become muhrim. However, he could not say labbayk and his voice stopped in his throat. He nearly fell off his horse. I told Imam Sadiq (a.s.), ‘O son of Messenger of Allah (S)! Why don’t you say labbayk?’ Imam (a.s.) answered, ‘How can I say labbayk, while the Almighty Allah may reply, ‘No, nor are you blissful!’”46
Although Imam Sadiq (a.s.) had many scientific engagements, spending most of his time in publishing religious sciences and teachings and training students, he attempted for making a living in his spare time.
‘Abdul ‘A’la has said, “On a hot day, I saw Imam Sadiq (a.s.) in a route leading to Medina. I told him, ‘O son of Messenger of Allah (S)! May I sacrifice for you! You have taken yourself into trouble in such a hot day, while you have a high stance before Allah and a relation with Prophet Muhammad (S)?’ Imam (a.s.) said, ‘I have come out of my house not to be dependent upon you and others.’”47
‘Isma’il Ibn Jabir has said, “I saw Imam Sadiq (a.s.) in his farm, wearing a burlap cloth and watering the farm with a shovel.”48
Abu ‘Umar Shiybani has said, “I saw Imam Sadiq (a.s.) in his farm, wearing a harsh garment and working with a shovel while he was sweating. I told him, ‘Let me help you! He answered, ‘I like to work in hot weather for making halal sustenance.’49”
Shu’ayb has said, “I hired some workers to work in the farm of Imam Sadiq (a.s.). They had to continue working until the evening. When they finished, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Pay their wage before their sweat is dried.’”50
Muhamamd Ibn ‘Adhafar has narrated, “Imam Sadiq (a.s.) gave my father a thousand and seven hundred dinars to merchandise for him. Then Imam (a.s.) said, ‘Profiting is good, but it is not my purpose. My purpose is that the Almighty Allah sees me while I am benefitting from his blessings.’ My father said, ‘I merchandised with that money and gained one hundred dinars profit. I told Imam (a.s.) about the profit.
Imam (a.s.) said, ‘Add it to the capital!’ ’ After some time, my father died. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) wrote to me, ‘May Allah grant you good health! I have a trust of a thousand and eight hundred dinars with your father. Give the money to ‘Umar Ibn Yazid!’ I searched in my father’s records and found that he had written down, ‘Abu Musa has trusted a thousand and eight hundred dinars with me; Abdullah Ibn Sanan and ‘Umar Ibn Yazid know this too.’”51
Like his father and grandfathers, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) helped the poor and the debtor as much as he could, though he did not have much property.
Husham Ibn Salim has said in this regard, “Imam Sadiq (a.s.) used to hold a sack of bread, meat, and money in the middle of night and divide the content of the sack among the poor of Medina. The poor did not know him and realized his identity only after his demise.”52
Mu’alli Ibn Khanis has said, “On a rainy night, I saw Imam Sadiq (a.s.), who was going toward Bani Sa’idah sunshade. I was following him from distance. Suddenly, his sack fell off his shoulder. Imam (a.s.) said, ‘In the Name of Allah; O Allah! Return it to me!’ I approached Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and greeted him. Imam (a.s.) greeted me and told me, ‘O Mu’alli! Try to find what is fallen on the ground for me!’ I searched the ground in darkness. I found some loaves of bread and a sack.
Then I told Imam Sadiq (a.s.), ‘Let me carry it for you!’ Imam (a.s.) answered, ‘I am more deserved to carry it, but you accompany me.’ We went until we reached Bani Sa’idah sunshade. A group of the poor had slept there. Imam (a.s.) left one or two loaves of bread for each of them. When returning I asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.), ‘O son of Messenger of Allah! Have they recognized the truth?’ Imam Sadiq (a.s.) replied, ‘If they had recognized the truth, I divided all my property equally among them, even the salt.’”53
Harun Ibn ‘isa has said, “Imam Sadiq (a.s.) told his son, Muhammad, ‘How much money is left with you?’ Muhammad answered, ‘Forty dinars.’ Imam (a.s.) said, ‘Divide it among the poor.’ Muhammad told his father, ‘Then we will have nothing for ourselves.’ Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Give it as charity and the Almighty Allah will return it to us. Don’t you know that charity is the key to sustenance?’ Muhammad obeyed his father’s order and gave away the existing money. Soon four thousand dinars was sent fors Imam Sadiq (a.s.). Then Imam (a.s.) told his son, ‘We gave away forty dinars in Allah’s path; the Almighty Allah sent back four thousand dinars for us.’”54
Hiyaj Ibn Bastam has said, “Sometimes Imam Sadiq (a.s.) gave whatever he had to the poor as charity, then nothing was even left for his family.”55
Mufazzal Ibn Qiys has said, “I went to Imam Sadiq (a.s.), told him about my problems, and asked him to pray for me. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) told his female slave, ‘Bring the bag Abu Ja’far has sent for us!’ She brought that bag. Imam (a.s.) told me, ‘There is four hundred dinars in this bag; spent it for solving your problems!’ I said, ‘O son of Messenger of Allah! I did not mean to get money from you. I only wanted you to pray for me.’ Imam Sadiq (a.s.) stated, ‘Of course I will pray for you. And you should not tell all your problems to other people, because they will humble you.’”56
A poor man asked help from Imam Sadiq (a.s.). Imam (a.s.) told his slave, ‘How much money is with you?’ He answered, ‘Four hundred dirhams.’ Imam Sadiq (a.s.) told him, ‘Give the money to this poor man!’ The salve did so. The poor man took the money, thanked, and went. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) told his slave, ‘Go and bring the poor man here!’ The slave asked, ‘You granted him what he wanted. Why should I bring him back?’ Imam (a.s.) stated, ‘The Messenger of Allah (S) said that the best charity is the one that makes the poor needless, but we did not do so.’ Then Imam Sadiq (a.s.) gave his ring to the poor man and said, ‘This ring costs ten thousand dirhams. Whenever you needed money, sell it and spend it for your life.’57
‘Umar Ibn Yazid has said, “A man expressed his problem and asked help from Imam Sadiq (a.s.). Imam (a.s.) told him, ‘I have nothing to help you now. Wait until I receive some goods; I will sell them and give you the money, insha’allah!’ That man told Imam Sadiq (a.s.), ‘Promise me!’ Imam (a.s.) said, ‘How can I promise about something that is not certain?’”58
Walid Ibn Sabih has said, “A man went to Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and said, ‘Mu’alli Ibn Khanis had borrowed a sum of money from me and violated (not paid) my right.’ Imam Sadiq (a.s.) stated, ‘His killer has violated your right. If Mu’alli were alive now, he would pay your money back.’ Then Imam (a.s.) told me, ‘Pay Mu’alli’s debt! I want his soul to rest in peace, though he is in peace now.’”59
Abu Hanifah, the Hajjis’ camel driver has said, “My brother-in-law and I were quarreling over legacy, when Mufazzal passed us. He stopped and said, ‘Come to my house!’ At his home, we compromised on four hundred dirhams and he paid it to us himself, saying, ‘This is not my money, but that of Imam Sadiq (a.s.). He has ordered me to make peace among his companions with his money, whenever they have monetary disputes.’”60
Fazl Ibn Abi Qurrah has said, “Imam Sadiq (a.s.) gave some bags of money to a person and told him to take them to the houses of two of Imam’s (a.s.) relatives, telling them that the money is sent from Iraq. That person did as Imam Sadiq (a.s.) had ordered him. Imam’s (a.s.) relative took the money and said, ‘May Allah reward you! May Allah punish Ja’far who is heedless to us!’ Imam’s (a.s.) envoy returned and related the relatives’ speech. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) performed sajdah and said, ‘O Lord! Make me humble before the sons of my father!’”61
A narrator says, “I told Imam Sadiq (a.s.), ‘O son of Messenger of Allah (S)! I have heard you want to do something special about the products of ‘Iyn Ziyad garden?’ Imam Sadiq (a.s.) replied, ‘Yes. I have ordered to make a break in the garden wall after the fruits are ripe, so that everyone can enter and eat the fruits. Also we are going to prepare ten large bowls of fruit every day, each enough for ten people.
Then we will invite the people to come in and eat ten at a time. Some dates will also be given to everyone. Moreover, we will send some dates for all garden neighbors who cannot come, including the elderly, children, women, or the sick. When I pay the wages of workers, farmers, lawyers, and others from the fruits, I will carry the rest of it to Medina. Some I will give to poor families two or three times as they need. Finally, four hundred dinars will remain for myself, while the whole garden costs four thousand dinars.’”62
Abu Ja’far Nazari has said, “Imam Sadiq (a.s.) gave a thousand dinars to his servant, Musadif, and told him, ‘Go to Egypt and merchandise with this money, because my family has largened.’ Musadif bought some goods with that money and traveled to Egypt along with the merchants. When they reached near a city in Egypt, a group of people welcomed them outside the city. The merchants asked about their goods and they were told that the goods were rare in the city. So the merchants promised each other to sell their goods twice the price they had bought.
They did so and returned to Medina with the profit they had earned. Musadif came to Imam Sadiq (a.s.) with two bags of money, each containing a thousand dinars. He told Imam (a.s.), ‘One bag is the capital and the other is the profit.’ Imam (a.s.) said, ‘This is a good profit. How did you earn it?’ Musadif related the story to Imam Sadiq (a.s.). Imam Sadiq (a.s.) stated, ‘Glory be to Allah! How did you make such a promise?’ Then he took one of the bags and said, ‘This is my original money and I do not need a profit earned in this way. O Musadif! Fighting with a sword is easier than earning halal sustenance.’”63
Mu’tab has said, “Imam Sadiq (a.s.) told me, ‘The goods have got expensive in Medina. How much food do we have?’ I said, ‘As much as the food for some months.’ Imam (a.s.) told me, ‘Take them to bazaar and sell them!’ I said, ‘But necessary goods are expensive in Medina.’ Imam Sadiq (a.s.) told me, ‘Sell them and buy our food day by day like other people.’ Then he added, ‘The food of my family should be of wheat and barley. Allah knows that I can afford making food with pure wheat, but I like the Almighty Allah to see that I am moderate in my family life.’”64
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) not only did good and solved the problems of people, but also recommended others to do so.
A man told Imam Sadiq (a.s.), “The government of Najashi that rules Ahwaz and Fars has obliged me to pay a tax, but I cannot afford it. Najashi is a sincere lover of you; recommend him about me.” Imam Sadiq (a.s.) wrote in a letter, “In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Behave leniently towards your brother; may Allah be lenient with you too!” So the man took the letter and went to his own city. He visited Najashi, gave him the letter, and said, “Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has sent you this letter.” Najashi took the letter, kissed it, and said, “What is your request?” The man answered, “I cannot pay the tax that is due on me.” Najashi asked, “How much is that?” “Ten thousand dirhams,” the man replied.
Najashi called his ascribe and told him, “Pay the debt of this man from my own property!” He ordered not to take the tax of next year from the man. Then Najashi told the man, “Did I make you happy?” “Yes,” the man answered. So Najashi ordered to give him a horse, a slave, a female slave, and some clothes, asking him the same question every time. The man repeated the same answer every time. Then Najashi said, “Give this carpet on which I received the letter of my master, Imam Sadiq (a.s.), to this man too.” And he told the man, “Come to me whenever you have a request!”
The man took the property and went. He went to Imam Sadiq (a.s.) after a while and told him about what Najashi had done. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) became very happy. That man asked Imam (a.s.), “O son of Messenger of Allah (S)! Did you become happy of his conduct?” Imam (a.s.) replied, “By Allah yes! Allah and His Messenger (S) became happy too.”65
Muhammad Ibn Bashar owed a thousand dinars to Shahab, but he could not pay it to Shahab. Muhammad went to see Imam Sadiq (a.s.), asking him to talk to Shahab to take his money back after Hajj time. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) called Shahab and told him, “You know Muhammad and his relation with us. He owes a thousand dinars to you. He has not spent it for food or lusts, rather other people owe him money. I like you to grant him this money and become happy of him. Maybe you think that the Almighty Allah grants Muhammad’s good deeds to you in return for the money you grant him.” Shahab said, “I think so.” Imam Sadiq (a.s.) stated, “The Exalted Allah is just; He does not take the reward of His servant’s worship on cold nights, fasting on hot days, and Tawaf of His house to give it to another one. It is not true. Allah’s Mercy is great and He blesses His servant.” Shahab said, “O son of Messenger of Allah! I forgave him!”66
Qutaybah has said, “I went to Imam Sadiq’s (a.s.) house to visit his sick child. I found him very sad and asked about his sick child. Imam (a.s.) said, ‘(S)he is in the same state.’ After a while, Imam (a.s.) entered the house. He soon returned, with red face and happiness. I thought his child was better and asked about him. Imam (a.s.) said, ‘(S)he passed away.’ I told Imam Sadiq (a.s.), ‘When your child was sick, you were sad. How is it you are not sad anymore now that (S)he has passed away?’ Imam (a.s.) answered, ‘We, the Ahlul Bayt, are this way; we are sad before happening a calamity, but become happy with Allah’s will after it.’”67
Sufyan Thuri went to see Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and found him embarrassed. He asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.) the reason and Imam (a.s.) replied, “I had prohibited my family from going atop the roof. When I entered the house, I saw a female slave, ascending the ladder with one of my children on his shoulder. When she saw me, she trembled with fear. The child fell on the ground and died. Now I am not sad of my child’s death, but I am upset that it happened because of the slave’s fear of me.” Then Imam Sadiq (a.s.) told the female slave, “I make you free in Allah’s path. You have no sin.” And he repeated his speech again.68
‘Ala’ Ibn Kamil said, “I was with Imam Sadiq (a.s.). Suddenly crying was heard from inside the home. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said, inna lillahi wa-inna ilayhi raju’oon “Surely we belong to Allah and we will return to Him.” Then he sat and continued his speech. When he finished, he said, “We are interested in the health of ourselves and our family members and our property, but when Allah’s destine comes we’d better like what Allah likes.”69
- 1. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, pp. 1-11.
- 2. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 16.
- 3. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 20; Manaqib ‘ali Abi Talib, Vol 4, p. 297; and Hilyatul ‘Awliya’, Vol 3, p. 193.
- 4. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 29; Tahdhibut Tahdhib, Vol 2, p. 104; and Manaqib ‘ali Abi Talib, Vol 4, p. 270.
- 5. Manaqib ‘Ali Abi Talib, Vol 4, p. 299.
- 6. Surah Fatir 35: 32.
- 7. Tarikh Ya’qubi, Vol 2, p. 383.
- 8. Tahdhibut Tahdhib, Vol 2, p. 104.
- 9. Al-Milal wan Nihal, Vol 1, p. 166.
- 10. Al-Sawa’iq Al-Muharriqah, p. 201.
- 11. Al-Fusulul Muhimmah, p. 204.
- 12. Matalibus Su’ul, Vol 2, p. 110.
- 13. Al-Irshad, Vol 2, p. 179.
- 14. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 12.
- 15. Surah Al-Qasas 28: 5.
- 16. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 13.
- 17. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 13.
- 18. Surah Al-Baqarah 2:132.
- 19. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 14; Al-Fusulul Muhimmah, p. 204; Al-Irshad, Vol 2, p. 181.
- 20. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 15; Al-Irshad, Vol 2, p. 180.
- 21. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 15.
- 22. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 15.
- 23. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 12; Al-Irshad, Vol 2, p. 180.
- 24. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 36; Manaqib ‘ali Abi Talib, Vol 4, p. 272.
- 25. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 58.
- 26. ‘Ithbatul Hudat, Vol 5, p. 328.
- 27. Al-Irshad, Vol 2, p. 182.
- 28. Manaqib ‘ali Abi Talib, Vol 4, p. 268.
- 29. Manaqib ‘ali Abi Talib, Vol 4, p. 268.
- 30. Manaqib ‘ali Abi Talib, Vol 4, p. 268.
- 31. Surah Al-Nahl 16: 89.
- 32. Manaqib ‘ali Abi Talib, Vol 4, p. 270.
- 33. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 33.
- 34. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 35.
- 35. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 26.
- 36. Explanation of Nahjul Balaghah, Vol 1, p. 18.
- 37. ‘Ithbatul Wasiyyah, p. 156.
- 38. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 58.
- 39. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 50.
- 40. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 50.
- 41. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 53.
- 42. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 54.
- 43. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 55.
- 44. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 21.
- 45. Tahdhibut Tahdhib 2/104; Manaqib ‘ali Abi Talib, Vol 4, p. 297.
- 46. Manaqib ‘ali Abi Talib, Vol 4, p. 297.
- 47. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 55.
- 48. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 56.
- 49. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 57.
- 50. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 57.
- 51. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 56.
- 52. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 38.
- 53. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 20.
- 54. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 38.
- 55. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 23; Tadhkiratul Khawas, p. 342.
- 56. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 34.
- 57. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 61.
- 58. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 58.
- 59. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 337.
- 60. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 57; Manaqib ‘Ali Abi Talib, Vol 4, p. 295.
- 61. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 60.
- 62. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 51.
- 63. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 59.
- 64. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 59.
- 65. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 370.
- 66. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 364.
- 67. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 49.
- 68. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 24; Manaqib ‘Ali Abi Talib, Vol 4, p. 296.
- 69. Biharul Anwar, Vol 47, p. 49.