Story No. 383 – Scholarly Jihad of the sixth Holy Imam Jafar Sadiq (as)
Imam Jafar Sadiq stood out among his peers for his great merits. He was the most celebrated personality of his time, the greatest in rank and the most illustrious in the eyes of both the non-Shia and the Shia Muslims. Upon his authority the religious sciences were transmitted and great travelers carried these with them to many nations and his wisdom and piety were known and respected in other lands.
The learned scholars have transmitted more traditions on the authority of Imam Jafar Sadiq than any other member of Ahl al-Bayt (pbut).
During the period of his Imamate, a more favorable climate existed for the propagation of this religious teaching. This was a result of revolts within the Islamic realm, in particular the uprising which was aimed at overthrowing the Umayyad Caliphs, and the bloody wars which finally led to the fall and extinction of the Umayyad dynasty.
The greater opportunities for the teaching of the Shia Muslim faith were also a result of the favourable groundwork that the fifth Imam, Muhammad al-Baqir, had prepared during the twenty years of his Imamate, through the propagation of the true teachings of Islam and Ahl al-Bayt (pbut).
The end of the Imamate of Imam Jafar Sadiq was coupled with the end of the Umayyad dynasty and the beginning of the Abbasid Caliphate. Emam Sadegh (as) instructed many scholars in different fields of intellectual and transmitted sciences (Maqul and Manqul), such as Zurarah and Jabir bin Hayyam the alchemist. Indeed, the first personage to give attention to chemistry was Imam Jafar Sadiq and it can be stated, without fear of contradiction, that he is the forerunner of chemistry.
The Greek texts on this area of science had not yet been translated into Arabic and the Muslims possessed no knowledge of this subject. It is the result of Imam Jafar Sadiq’s deep thinking that the developed the science of chemistry. The aforementioned Jabir bin Hayyam would visit Emam Sadegh (as) daily, only missing to see him on one occasion when Jabir was ill. The latter beseeched the Imam to pray for him via a written communication and Jabir was subsequently cured.
Emam Sadegh (as) spent his whole life in propagating the teachings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and never strove for power. His acclaim attracted the envy of the Abbasid ruler, Mansur Ad-Dawaniqi who, fearing the popularity of the Imam, decided to do away with him. Mansur ordered the torture and arrest of the descendents of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), many of whom were brutally murdered. Eventually he also succeeded in poisoning our 6th Emam Sadegh (as).
In the end let us heed to the following saying of Imam Jaf’ar Sadiq (as): “Either be a scholar, or try to seek knowledge or at least be a follower of the possessors of knowledge.”