Ja'far al-Sadiq

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Ja‘far ibn Muhammad as-Sādiq (700 or 702765 CE) (Arabic: جعفر ابن محمد الصادق ), was a theologian, jurist as well as the sixth Twelver and Mustaali Shī‘ah Imām, and the fifth Nizari Imam. His rulings are the basis of the Ja‘farī school of Shī‘ah jurisprudence (fiqh); but he is well respected by both Shī‘as and Sunnis. He is the direct descendant of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islām

General Quotes

  • Be careful to have truthful friends and try to obtain them, for they are your support when you are in welfare, and your advocator when you have misfortune.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.74, p. 187
  • Immorality and surliness makes the human's life miserable and bitter.
    • Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p. 392
  • There are three things that signify the magnanimity of a person: good temper, patience, and to avoid aggressive gaze.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p. 232
  • Whenever the mind of a person is rectified, he becomes strong and powerful in appearance.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p. 208
  • Paying visits to ones own relatives prolongs the life of a person and prevents poverty and indigence.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.74, p. 58
  • The person who is aware of the present situations of his time, will never get involved with falsifying and wrongdoing.
    • Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī, vol.1, p. 31
  • Having the foresight to plan to earn a living, is half of the peace and leisure in life.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p. 204

Regarding Knowledge & Wisdom



  • One who does not use his intelligence will not succeed and one who does not use his knowledge will have no intellect. One who understands will attain nobility and excellence, and one who is tolerant will triumph. Knowledge is a shield (against evil), truth begets honour and ignorance disgrace, understanding is distinction, generosity is salvation and good manners command love and respect.
    • Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī - The Book of Intellect and Ignorance.
  • A learned person among ignorant people, is like a live person among the dead.
    • Shaykh al-Mufīd, Al-Amali, p. 40
  • To acquire knowledge is neccessary at all times.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.1, p. 172
  • Write knowledge since you can’t memorize unless with writing. Heart confides to the written.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.1, p. 202
  • Being cheerful and affable with people is by itself half of wisdom.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.76, p. 60
  • It makes no sense at all if people consider the one who lacks knowledge and science as a prosperous person.
    • Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p. 382
  • The person who associates with scholars, will have his reputation exalted.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p. 202
  • There are two kinds of scholars: those who act on their knowledge, these are the saved ones; and those who do not put into practise what they know, these are led to their downfall.
    • Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī, vol.1, p. 55
  • Precision, accuracy and pondering in wisdom and sciences, will nourish and develop a person's brain.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p. 247

Religious Wisdom

  • Seek Knowledge and adorn it with forbearance and dignity. Be humble to those whom you teach and to those from whom you learn. Don't be tyrannical in your teaching conduct, for you will forfeit that to which you are entitled to (the reward) on account of it.
    • Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī - The Book of the Merits of Knowledge.
  • The believers have four signs: good humor, tactfulness, kind heartedness and openhandedness
    • Muhammad al-Hur al-Aamili, Wasā'il al-Shī‘ah, vol.6, p. 321
  • A sin that accelerates death and annihilation of man is breaking off paying visits to one's own relatives.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.74, p. 94
  • My words are the words of my father, and the words of my father are the words of my grandfather, and the words of my grandfather are the words of my great-grandfathers - Hasan and Husayn; and their words are the words of Ali, and the words of Ali are the words of the Prophet of Allah; and the words of the Prophet are the words of Allah.
    • Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī - The Book of Intellect and Ignorance. Ch.17
  • The basis of religion is our affection for the household of the holy Prophet.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p. 183
  • Everything has a foundation, and the foundation of Islām is our affection for the household of our Prophet.
    • Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī, vol.3, p. 77
  • As for ‘Alī ibn Husayn (a), he cried over Husayn (a) for twenty years (after the tragedy of Karbalā); never would any food be placed before him except that he would begin to weep.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.46, p. 108
  • God has appionted to the grave of Imām Husayn (a), four thousand anguished and grief-stricken angels, who weep over him (and shall continue to do so) up until the Day of Judgment.
    • Ja‘far ibn Muhammad ibn Qulawayh, Kāmil al-Ziyarat, p. 119
  • Seventy thousand angels worship near the grave of Imām Husayn (a). The prayer (salah) of one of them, is equal to a thousand prayers of mankind. The reward of this prayer is for the visitors of Imām Husayn's (a) grave. The curse of God, His angels and all mankind is forever upon the killers of Imām Husayn (a).
    • Ja‘far ibn Muhammad ibn Qulawayh, Kāmil al-Ziyarat, ch.42, p. 393
  • The one who visits the grave of Imām Husayn (a) knowing his right (of Imāmat), then it is as if he has done the Ziyārat of God on the ‘Arsh (throne).
    • Ja‘far ibn Muhammad ibn Qulawayh, Kāmil al-Ziyarat, ch.71, p. 192

Views on free will

  • "O God, thine is the praise that I give thee, and to thee is the excuse if I sin against thee. There is no work of merit on my own behalf or on behalf of another, and in evil there is no excuse for me or for another."[1]
  • When a man asked him whether God coerced his bondsmen to sin. Al-Sadiq replied "Allah is more just than to make them commit misdeeds then chastise them for what they have done." The man further asked, "Has he empowered them with their actions?" al-Sadiq said, "If He had delegated it to them, He would have not confined them to enjoining good and forbidding evil." The man further asked, "Is there a station or a position between the two?" The Imam said, "Yes, wider than [the space] between the heaven and the earth."[2]

Theological views


When Abu Basir asked him about God and that whether believers see Him on the Day of Resurrection, he answered, "Yes, and they have already seen Him before the Day of Resurrection." Abu Basir asked, "When ?" al-Sadiq replied, "When He said to them, Am I not your Lord? They said: Yea, verily."(Quran, 7:172) Then he was quiet for a time. Then said,"Truly the believers see him in this world before the Day of Resurrection. Doest thou not see Him now?" Abu Basir then said to him, "That I might be made thy sacrifice! Shall I relate this (to others) from thee?" He answered, "No, for if thou relatest it, a denier ignorant of the meaning of what thou sayest will deny it. Then he will suppose that it is comparison and unbelief. But seeing with the heart is not like seeing with the eyes. High be God exalted above what the compares and heretics describe!"[3]



The following is a interpretation of a quranic verse based on other verses of Quran. It concerns an incident where he spoke to a man who stole two loaves of bread and two pomegranates in order to give them to a sick person. Al-Sadiq himself relates this narration:[4]

  • "Then I (al- Sadiq) asked him (the thief) about his act. He said: 'perhaps, you are Ja'far b. Mohammed?' 'Yes,' I said. He said to me:'What does your noble origin avail you while you are ignorant?' 'Which verse of the Quran am I ignorant at?' I asked. He said these Words of Allah, the Great and Almighty:Whoever brings a good deed, he shall have ten like it, and whoever brings and evil deed he shall be recompensed only with the like of it.(Quran, 6:160) 'When I stole the two loaves of bread, they were two evil deeds. And When I stole the two pomegranates, they were two evil deeds, too. So these are four evil deeds. When I gave each one of them as alms, Allah has subtracted 4 evil deeds from 40 good deeds. So, I have 36 good deeds.' I (al- Sâdiq) said: 'May your mother loses you! It is you who are ignorant at the Book of Allah. Have you not heard that Allah said: (Allah) accepts-(deeds) from the pious only.(Quran, 5:27) When you stole the two loaves of bread, they were two evil deeds. And when you stole the two pomegranates, they were two evil deeds, too. And when you gave them to other than their owner without the permission of their owner, you have added four evil deeds to the four evil deeds, and you have not added four evil deeds to forty good deeds. So, he began looking at me. Then I left him and went away."[4]

About Ja'far al-Sadiq

  • I heard Layth ibn Saad say, "I went on pilgrimage in the year 113AH/731 CE. After I performed the afternoon prayer, I was reading some verses of the Holy Quran when I saw someone sitting beside me invoking God saying, "Ya Allah, Ya Allah..." repeatedly until he lost his breath. He then continued by saying, "Ya Hayy, Ya Hayy" until his breath was again lost. He then raised his hands and said, "O God, I have the desire to eat grapes, O God give me some. And my robe is becoming so old and tattered. Please, O God grant me a new one.
He had hardly finished his words before a basket of grapes appeared in front of him while at that time there were no grapes in season. Beside the basket of grapes there appeared two cloaks more beautiful than I had ever seen before. I said, "O my partner let me share with you." He said, "How are you a partner?" I replied, "You were praying and I saying "amin". Than Iam Jafar said, "Then come and eat with me," and he gave me one of the two cloaks. Then he walked off until he met a man who said, "O son of the Prophet, cover me because I have nothing but these tattered garments to cover me." He immediately gave him the cloak that he had just received. I asked that man, "Who is that?" He replied, "That is the great imam, Jafar as-Sadiq." I ran after him to find but but he had disappeared.
  • Imam at-Tabari, as quoted in Classical Islam and Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition by Muhammad Hisham Kabbani p. 125


  1. Donaldson, Dwight M. (1933). The Shi'ite Religion: A History of Islam in Persia and Irak. BURLEIGH PRESS. 
  2. Nasr & Leaman (February 1, 1996). The History of Islamic Philosophy (1 ed.). Routledge. pp. 256-257. ISBN 978-0415056670. 
  3. Tabåatabåa'åi, Muhammad Husayn (1981). A Shi'ite Anthology. Selected and with a Foreword by Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i; Translated with Explanatory Notes by William Chittick; Under the Direction of and with an Introduction by Hossein Nasr. State University of New York Press. p. 9-11, 42-43. ISBN 9780585078182. 
  4. a b al-Husayn al-Muzaffar, Mohammed (1998). Imam Al-Sadiq. Translated by Jasim al-Rasheed. Qum: Ansariyan Publications. pp. 165-166,230-247. ISBN 964-438-011-8. 
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