REFLECFIONS ON THE LIFE OFIMAM JA'FAR AS-SAADIQ
Imam Baqir appointed his son as-Saadiq Imam after him. He lived through most of the Marwanid Umayyad rule and witnessed their downfall. He also endured the rule of the first two caliphs of the new Abbasid dynasty. The decaying dynasty of the Umayyads and the political turmoil generated by the Hashimite movement of the Abbasids had created a vacuum of theological leaming. However, the Imam continued to teach large numbers of students in Madinah, and his followers continued to benefit from him in their search for the knowledge of the
during those difficult times. school of Ahle Bait
Imam Ja'far as-Saadiq is known for the reporting of authentic ahadith of the Prophet as passed on to him through his father and forefathers. His truthfulness and sincerity earned him the title of as-Saadiq.
Upon his death, his contemporary fuqaha (plural of the wordfaqih: leadingjurists of Islam) expressed their feelings thus:
Imam Abu Hanifa said, "Ja'far as-Saadlq was the greatest scholar of Islamic theology and jurisprudence. "
Imam Malik said, "My eyes have not seen a more learned, pious, and Godfearing man than Imam Ja'far as-Saadiq."
The Imam is renoned by the vast number of his students and disciples, some of whom had become revered as Imams among many of the Sunni sects. His students collected volumes of quotes from him including invaluable interpretations of the Quran and the Sunnah. These works are available today for reference and guidance. One of his greatest disciple was Jabir ibne Hayyan whose name is well known in history for his prolific writings and works on the physical sciences and on al-chemy.