Message of Thaqalayn

A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies

A Biography of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (a)

Jaʿfar ibn Muhammad al-Sādiq, the sixth Imam, was revered by both Sunni and Shi’a Muslims for his deep Islamic scholarship, piety, and academic accomplishments.  This article offers a brief biography of his life, the distinctive features of his Imamate compared to other Imams, his educational achievements, and his political confrontations. Although the Imam is most renowned as the initiator of Shi’a Islamic fiqh, called Ja’fari jurisprudence, his extensive knowledge in a variety of fields had a great academic impact on the people of his time. Tawhid al-Mufaddal, a compilation of his teachings, reflected his extensive knowledge, particularly on the wonders of creation.  Moreover, given the grim political situation for 21 years under the rule of the second Abbasid caliph Mansur, he supported Shi’a uprisings and advised them to implement a suitable approach to confront oppressors.


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