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Jaʿfar ibn Muhammad al-Sādeq (702-765 C.E. or 17th Rabī‘ al-Awwal 83 AH - 25th Shawwāl 148 AH) is the sixth infallible Imam of Shi'a Muslims, or spiritual leader and successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He is the Imam recognized by both Ismaili and Twelver Shi'a sects and the dispute over who was to succeed him led to a division within Shi'a Islam. Sadiq was the most celebrated, greatest in rank among his brothers and stood out among their group for his great merit. He is said to be highly respected by both Shia and Sunni Muslims for his great ####Islamic scholarship, pious character, and academic contributions. Although he is perhaps most famous as the founder of Shia jurisprudence, known as Ja'fari jurisprudence, he had many other accomplishments. As well as being an Imam on the Shia chain, he is also a member of the Naqshbandi Sufi chain.He was a polymath: an astronomer, alchemist, Imam, Islamic scholar, Islamic theologian, writer, philosopher, physician, physicist and scientist. He was also the teacher of the famous chemist, Jābir ibn Hayyān (Geber), and a contemporary of Abū Ḥanīfa, founder of the Hanafi school of Sunni jurisprudence.
Marriage and offspring
Jaf'ar married Fatima Al-Hassan, a descendant of Imam Hasan ibn Ali, who bore him two sons Isma'il ibn Jafar (the Ismaili Imām-designate) and Abdullah al-Aftah. Following his wife's death Al-Sadiq purchased a black slave of African origin, Hamidah Khātūn, freed her, trained her as an Islamic scholar, and married her he bore Mūsá al-Kāżim (the seventh Shi’ah Imam) and Muhammad al-Dibaj and was revered by the Shī‘ah, especially by women, for her wisdom. Ja'far al-Sadiq was 34 years old when his father, Muhammad al-Baqir was poisoned and he inherited the Imamate.
As a child, Ja'far Al-Sadiq studied under his grandfather, Zayn al-Abidin. After his grandfather's death, he studied under and accompanied his father, Muhammad al-Baqir, until Muhammad al-Baqir died in 733. Ja'far Al-Sadiq became well versed in Islamic sciences, including Hadith, Sunnah, and the Qur'an. In addition to his knowledge of Islamic sciences, Ja'far Al-Sadiq was also an adept in natural sciences, mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, anatomy, alchemy and other subjects. The foremost Islamic alchemist, Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan, known in Europe as Geber, was Ja'far Al-Sadiq's most prominent student. Ja'far Al-Sadiq was known for his liberal views on learning, and was keen to have discourse with Scholars of other views. Abū Ḥanīfa was an Islamic scholar and Jurist. He was a student of Ja'far Al-Sadiq, as was Imam Malik ibn Anas, who quotes 12 Hadiths from Imam Jafar Sadiq in his famous Al-Muwatta. Ja'far al-Sadiq developed Ja'fari jurisprudence at about the same time its Sunni legal fiqh counterparts were being codified. It was distinguished from Sunni law "on matters regarding inheritance, religious taxes, commerce, and personal status." After Ja'far al-Sadiq's death during the reign of the ‘Abbāsids, various Shī‘ī groups organised in secret opposition to their rule. Among them were the supporters of the proto-Ismā‘īlī community, of whom the most prominent group were called the "Mubārakiyyah". There are hadīth which state that Ismā‘īl ibn Ja‘far "al-Mubārak" would be heir to the Imamate, as well as those that state Musa al-Kadhim was to be the heir. However, Ismā‘īl predeceased his father. Some of the Shī‘ah claimed Ismā‘īl had not died, but rather gone into hiding, but the proto-Ismā‘īlī group accepted his death and therefore that his eldest son, Muḥammad ibn Ismā‘īl, was now Imām. Muḥammad remained in contact with this "Mubārakiyyah" group, most of whom resided in Kūfah. In contrast, Twelvers don't believe that Isma'il ibn Jafar was ever given the nass ("designation of the Imamate"), but they acknowledge that this was the popular belief among the people at the time. Both Shaykh Tusi and Shaykh al-Sadūq did not believe that the divine designation was changed (called Bada'), arguing that if matters as important as Imāmate were subject to change, then the basic fundamentals of belief should also be subject to change. Thus Twelvers accept that Mūsá al-Kāżim was the only son who was ever designated for Imāmate. This is the initial point of divergence between the proto-Twelvers and the proto-Ismā‘īlī. This disagreement over the proper heir to Ja‘far has been a point of contention between the two groups ever since. The split among the Mubārakiyyah came with Muḥammad's death. The majority of the group denied his death; they recognised him as the Mahdi. The minority believed in his death and would eventually emerge in later times as the Fāṭimid Ismā‘īlī, ancestors to all modern groups. Another Shia sect that emerged around the figure of Ja'far al-Sadiq was the Tawussite Shia. Following the death of al-Sadiq, the Tawussite's denied that he died and instead believed in his Mahdism. Another Shia sect claimed that al-Sadiq's eldest surviving son Abdullah al-Aftah was the Imam to succeed his father. This sect was known as the Aftahiyya/Fathiyya/Fathites. He died on 14 December, 765. He was poisoned by Al-Mansur. He is buried in Medina, in the famous Jannatul Baqee' cemetery.
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