JAʿFAR AL-ṢĀDEQ ii. Teachings



ii. Teachings

Any attempt to summarize Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s teaching is hampered by the fact that his views are reported in support of a number of contradictory theological and legal positions. These conflicting reports emerged as scholars from different schools of thought used his legacy for their own ends. Particular views are attributed to Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq by one group, often prompting counter-attributions by their rivals. It is clear that nearly all the early intellectual factions of Islam (with the exception perhaps of the Kharijites) wished to incorporate Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq into their history in order to bolster their schools’ positions. The use of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq by conflicting and rival theological and legal traditions, obviously a testimony to his perceived importance, complicates any attempt to describe his teachings with certainty and makes the identification of his actual views difficult.

The potential sources for Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s teaching fall under a number of categories. First, there is an extensive list of attributed works (both extant and summarized or quoted by later writers), including works of Qurʾānic exegesis, so-called “occult sciences” (dream interpretation, divination by other means and hemerology), theology (normally transmitted through “extremist” or ḡāli sources; see ḠOLĀT), and reflections on Islamic law (feqh). Second, there are a large number of oral reports attributed to him. Many of these are to be found in imami Hadith collections amongst traditions from the other imams constituting legal and theological statements. There are also some accounts of his views found in non-imami Hadith collections (including Prophetic reports in Sunni collections, transmitted through Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq as well as his own legal views). Third, there are works by (or attributed to) his followers who claim to be representing Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s views, or to have written the work on Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s orders. In others, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq is portrayed as dictating a work to a follower. Finally, there are descriptions of his views found in hagiographic and heresiographical sources. It is not always easy to assess the reliability and authenticity of any of these sources, and even if they can be identified as reliable (or even as reliable summaries of his views), there is always the doctrinal problem of taqiya (precautionary dissimulation), where an individual is permitted, for the purposes of personal protection, to express outwardly one opinion, while inwardly holding another. According to most Shiʿite groups, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq is said to have advocated taqiya, and therefore even an accurate report of his words may not exactly reflect his real views. Consequently, an account of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s teaching is, to a large extent, an account of what others considered his teaching to be within the framework of their own intellectual traditions.

Within what can be described as the Sufi/mystical tradition, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s influence can be seen most obviously in Qurʾānic exegesis. His extent writings include a number of exegetical works, all broadly “mystical” in character. There exists a lengthy Qurʾānic commentary entitled Tafsir al-Qorʾān, together with shorter works entitled Manāfeʿ ṣowar al-Qorʾān and ḴawāsÂs al-Qorʾān al-aʿẓam (Āḡā Bozorg Ṭehrāni, VII, p. 273; Sezgin, IV, pp. 529-30). Gerhard Bowering considers the attribution of these works to Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq as “suspect” (Shaikh Mofid, Eršād II, pp. 174-75) In particular the more extensive Tafsir al-Qorʾān is accompanied by what, in his view, is a “cryptic” chain of transmission (esnād). The style of these commentaries demonstrate a mastery of the lexicon of Muslim mysticism, in particular Sufi tafsir, which might indicate a composition date sometime after Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s death. There is also an independent tradition of Qurʾānic exegesis attributed to Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, found first in the two Sufi tafsirs of ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Solami and extensively cited by later Sufis. Whether these came from a literary or oral source is not clear, although Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq is identified as one of the master exegetes of the early period of Islam in both of Solami’s tafsirs. In the Ḥaqāʾeq al-tafsir and his Ziādāt Ḥaqāʾeq al-tafsir, ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Solami cites Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq as one of his major (if not the major) source of knowledge concerning the meaning of Qurʾānic verses.

Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s MesÂbāḥ al-šariʿa wa meftāḥ al-ḥaqiqa is a work on personal conduct, with chapters on a variety of topics. Issues which are of strictly legal interest (such as pilgrimage, alms, ritual purity) are interspersed with general ethical topics (thankfulness, truthfulness, sincerity) and advice on how to lead a spiritual life and thereby purify the soul (fearing God, guarding oneself against evil, remembrance of God). Moḥammad-Bāqer Majlesi considered the work to have been written not by Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq but by the famous Sufi Šaqiq b. Ebrāhim Balḵi (d. 194/810, see Majlesi, I, p. 32; Āḡā Bozorg Ṭehrāni, XXI, pp. 110-11). Majlesi’s basis for this claim is one of the esnāds of the book, which goes back to Šaqiq al-Balḵi, who supposedly related it from “one of the people of knowledge,” and not explicitly Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq. Majlesi states that the Meṣbāḥ al-šariʿa is full of Sufi terminology and owes much to the ideas of Sufi shaikhs. There is a distinctively Shiʿite chapter on “Recognizing the Imams,” in which the names of all the imams are listed (both those before Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq and those after him) during a reported exchange between the Prophet and Salmān Fārsi (d. 33/654). If this passage is seen as a later interpolation, then the work may well have had its origins in a Sufi environment, though not necessarily that of Šaqiq Balḵi, since he also predates the occultation. For the faithful, of course, the inclusion of such an exchange is evidence of the Prophet’s foreknowledge of the names and fates of his successors. Despite Majlesi’s doubts as to its authenticity, the work continues to be extremely popular as a manual of personal devotion and has been the subject of a number of commentaries by famous Shiʿite and Sufi scholars. It has also been translated into various languages, the most popular probably being the Persian Meṣbāḥ ul-Šariʿa, a maṯnawi by Ne-ẓām ʿAli-šāh Aḥmad Kermāni (d. 1242/1826-27). The work itself does appear to be in the style of legally-inclined Sufis (the so-called sober Sufis), who advocated adherence to the law, whilst at the same time encouraged spiritual reflection on the performance of religious obligations such as purity law, alms, and the like. In a similar vein, the ethical work entitled al-Ḥekam al-jaʿfariya consists of a series of sayings by Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, divided into chapters (“Good manners,” “Rebellion,” “Avarice,” etc.). This, however, is not so much a work by Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, but a collection of his sayings, transmitted through Mofażżal b. ʿOmar Joʿfi (on whom, see below).

An attributed text, also of clear Sunni sectarian leanings, is the Monāẓara Jaʿfar b. Moḥammad al-Ṣādeq maʿa’l-rāfeżi. The text is prefaced by an esnād (recording it as having been written down in 435/1043) by ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Anṣāri Boḵāri, a Hanafite scholar of minor importance. The text itself is the record of fourteen question posed by a Shiʿite (the rāfeżi), with their replies by Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq. Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq dissociates himself from standard Shiʿite doctrines, announces his belief in the superiority of Abu Bakr and rejects the Shiʿite interpretation of numerous Qurʾānic verses. He chastises the Shiʿite rāfeżi for failing to understand both the words of the Prophet and the proclamations of the previous imams. The text is obviously an element of the Sunni polemic against the Shiʿite, in which Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq is reclaimed as a good Sunni scholar, who was not part of the Shiʿa and was not responsible for Shiʿite doctrines of imamate and the illegitimacy of the first three rightly guided caliphs. The general Sunni appraisal of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq is positive. He is remembered as a transmitter of Hadith and a jurist (faqih) of some importance.

Within the tradition of scientific Muslim writings, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq also holds a central role. There are also a large number of works on the “occult” sciences attributed to him. A work on auspicious and inauspicious days of the year has been edited by Ebied and Young and described as of Persian origin (Ebied and Young, but their characterization of the work has been corrected by Witkam). The editors consider it most likely to be Eḵtiārāt ayyām al-šahr. There is also a work on the interpretation of dreams, popularly known as Taqsim al-roʾyā and attributed to Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq. It is almost certainly identical with the work attributed to Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, entitled Ketāb al-taqsim fi taʿbir al-ḥolm. In this work, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq interprets eighty different categories of dream sightings from the religious (dreams of God, angels, the prophets, and imams) to the profane (dreams of meat, fat, and cheese). There are also a large number of attributed books on divination (given the various titles Faʾl-nāma, Ketāb al-jafr, al-Ḵāfiya fi’l-jafr, see British Museum, MS 426 and Browne, p. 246). Whether these can be considered works attributed to Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, or works attributed to Imam ʿAli b. Abi Ṭāleb and transmitted through Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq is not always clear. From a Shiʿite position, this is unproblematic since there is, religiously, no recognized division between the knowledge of one imam and another. The authenticity of these works, as indicated already, is questionable, but their attribution to Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq demonstrates that he became associated in later Muslim tradition with esoteric knowledge and the means whereby it might be obtained.

Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s work on medicine (Ṭebb al-Emām al-Ṣādeq) can also be included in this category (see v. below) , as can his work of various invocations (Ketāb al-saʿādāt) that are meant to be used as cures. He allegedly had a close relationship with Jāber b. Ḥayyān (d. 2nd/8th cent.); Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq is described in a number of sources as Jāber’s master (shaikh). Jāber b. Ḥayyān reports that all his knowledge comes from Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq (though he does mention other masters as well). Jāber is famous as an alchemist, scientist, and natural philosopher. His writings, if authentic, also reveal him to have devised a blend of Neoplatonism and Shiʿism, not dissimilar to that found amongst the Ismaʿilis (particularly the Qarāmeṭa) and certain extremist Shiʿite sects (ḡolāt, q.v.). He proposes a division of world history into cycles, the most recent witnessing the seven imams of the Muslims. Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, in line with some Ismaʿili views, is counted as the sixth imam in this latest cycle (the seventh being Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s eldest son, Esmāʿi; see Rusca).

Through the writings of Jāber and others, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq is linked with so-called “extremist” Shiʿism, and figures largely in key texts of the ḡolāt. Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq is said to have had a number of extremist Shiʿites among his followers and, thus, a number of works attributed to these followers supposedly record the teaching of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq (either by the normal citation of reports, or through dictation to the follower by Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq himself). Most famous among these is the Ketāb al-haft wa’l-aẓella, attributed to Mofażżal b. ʿOmar Joʿfi. Mofażżal is sometimes described as a follower of the extremist Abu’l-Ḵaṭṭāb Moḥammad Asadi, though he is also recorded as having direct contact with Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq. According to heresiographical works, Mofażżal and his followers, called Mofażżaliya, considered Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq a god and themselves as his prophets (Ašʿari, p. 13). According to imami tradition, however, he was appointed by Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq to rein in the excesses of the Ḵaṭṭābiya (the followers of Abu’l-Ḵaṭṭāb; Šahrastāni, pp. 136-38, tr. Afżal-al-Din Torka, pp. 140-41, tr. Haarbrücker, I, pp. 206-8; Nawbaḵti, pp. 68 ff.). Mofażżal is also recorded as having aided Imam Musā al-Kāẓem after Jaʿfar’s death. Whichever is the case, the principal work attributed to Mofażżal display a clear extremist character. In the Ketāb al-haft wa’l-aẓella (p. 32), Mofażżal records his conversations with Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, referring to him as “our lord” (mawlānā). The conversations are divided into sixty-seven chapters, and cover a range of topics. The emphasis throughout is on the secret knowledge of religion that Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq is passing on to Mofażżal. Mofażżal is, then, charged with establishing the true sect of the Muslims (called moʾmenin “believers”) who hold fast to Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s doctrines. These include a belief in the transmigration of souls (tanāsoḵ), a commitment to disassociating from the rest of the unbelievers, and the constant need for secrecy with regard to doctrine. Also found in the Ketāb al-haft are Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s supposed views on the cycles of seven Adams and Imams, which demonstrate a certain gnostic and (and possibly Ismaʿili) influence upon the text (pp. 160-77). The Ketāb al-ehlilaja is also presented as Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s views transmitted through Mofażżal b. ʿOmar (Moḥsen al-Amin, IV/2, p. 53). The work is supposedly a reply to a request of Mofażżal for a refutation of those who deny God. In it, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq recounts his own debate with an Indian doctor who denied God. The debate occurred whilst the doctor was making medicine from the myrobalan plant (known in Arabic as ehlilaja, and hence the title of the work).

The Ketāb al-tawḥid (also known as Ketāb al-fekr, and Kanz al-ḥaqāʾeq wa’l-maʿāref), often thought to be identical with the above (see Sezgin, I, p. 530), is presented as Mofażżal’s questions with Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s answers. The work is also more orthodox in doctrine, with Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq giving proofs as to the unity of God. Both these book can be seen as works intended to rehabilitate Mofażżal b. ʿOmar as a reliable transmitter of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s writings, countering the portrayal of him as an extremist (ḡāli) in works such as Ketāb al-haft wa’l-aẓella.

As indicated above, the use of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s name as an authority within the Sufi, scientific, Sunni legal, Ismaʿili and extremist writings demonstrate his importance as a figure within the development of early Muslim thought in that most groups wished to recruit his legacy for their own cause. Yet, the most extensive source for his teachings is to be found within the imami Shiʿite tradition. For Imami Shiʿites Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq is the sixth imam who established the imamiya as serious intellectual force in the late Umayyad and early ʿAbbasid periods. His most important contribution was in the legal sciences, as reports of his sayings and actions form the major source for imami legal scholars. It is for this reason that the imami legal school is often called al-Maḏhab al-Jaʿfari. He also continued to develop imami theological doctrine, a task begun by his father, Imam Moḥammad al-Bāqer, who died, by the earliest reckoning, in 114/732.

For the imami theologians, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s theological doctrine perfectly accords with later relevant discourses. His scattered statements in imami Hadith collections do not, however, reveal a systematic theological tradition. Sunni commentators (see, for example, Abu Zahrā) aim to portray the imamiya as infected by Moʿtazelite doctrine and, therefore, straying from the theologically orthodox position (which later became associated with Abu’l-Ḥasan Ašʿari) advocated by Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq (van Ess, I, pp. 274-82). This cleavage, however, is part of a Sunni polemic, and there is inconclusive evidence for both the continuity of imami theological doctrine from the time of the imams onwards, and for a cleavage between the thoughts of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq and later imami theologians. On the standard questions of kalām (theology), Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s statements are open to interpretation. For example, concerning the question of predestination and free will, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq is attributed with the statement: “Whoever claims that God has ordered evil (al-faḥšāʾ), has lied about God. Whoever claims that both good and evil are attributed to him, has lied about God” (Kolayni, 1994, I, pp.156-57). This would appear to absolve God of the responsibility for evil in the world, in line with general Muʿtazilite (and later imami) theological doctrine. Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq is also credited with the statement that God does not “order created beings to do something without providing for them a means of not doing it, though they do not do it, or not do it without God’s permission (Kolayni, 1994, I, p. 160).” This would seem to indicate a more orthodox Sunni (later Ašʿari) position, that God’s power is supreme and it is only through His power that human beings perform actions. That Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s statements can be interpreted as supporting either position is confirmed by the reported exchange between him and an unknown interlocutor. The interlocutor asks if God forces (ajbara) his servants to do evil or whether he had delegated (fawważa) power to them. Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq answers negatively to both questions. When asked “What then?” he relies, “The blessings of your Lord are between these two” (Kolayni, 1994, I, p. 159). Such doctrinal ambiguity can be found in Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s statements concerning most of the standard questions of early kalām including the nature of creation, God’s knowledge, the definition of faith and unbelief, and the created/uncreated nature of speech (and particularly the Qurʾān). The one doctrine in which a reasonably coherent doctrine merges from Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s statements is on the imamate. The imam for Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq (as portrayed in the imami Hadith collections) is clearly not only a supreme legal authority, but also a means whereby the individual believer can gain knowledge of God. The supremacy of the imam’s knowledge is such that the individual believer need not embark on detailed theological argumentation himself, but instead should refer all disputes over theological doctrine to the imam. The manner in which these doctrines are expressed by Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq in the collections are sufficiently vague for them to be cited both by later orthodox imamis and by more extremist Shiʿites. For example, a report of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, transmitted through Mofażżal b. ʿOmar and found in the standard imami Hadith collections, claims for the imams all human knowledge: “We have knowledge of the Torah, the Gospel, and the Psalms, and the explanation of all that is on the Tablets.” When asked if this was all of knowledge (al-ʿelm), he replied, “This is not knowledge. Knowledge is that which happens day after day, and hour after hour” (Kolayni, 1994, I, pp. 224-25). From such a statement it is not clear whether the imam has both knowledge of the past scriptures and of worldly events, or only the former. The extremists (and indeed some more daring imami theologians) interpret the statement as meaning that the imam has both types of knowledge, and hence as further supporting evidence for the divinational knowledge of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq found in the pseudographical literature mentioned above. More conservative imamis interpret Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq as stating that whilst they have knowledge of past scriptures, they do not have knowledge of future events.

In legal matters, the corpus of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s statements form the major source of imami jurisprudence. He is presented as one who denounces the legal reasoning of his contemporaries. Personal opinion (raʾy), personal juristic reasoning (ejtehād), and analogical reasoning (qiās) are roundly condemned as human attempts to impose conformity, regularity, and predictability onto the Shariʿa of God. Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, in these statements, argues that God’s law is occasional and unpredictable, and that the servants’ duty is not to embark on reasoning in order to discover the law, but to submit to the inscrutable will of God as revealed by the imam. This position is most obviously seen in the various exchanges between Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq and Abu Ḥanifa (q.v.), after whom the Ḥanafi school of Islamic law is named. Abu Ḥanifa supposedly studied with Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, but the reports recorded in imami Hadith collections do not portray him in a positive light. He is recorded as having employed analogical reasoning in his legal judgements, and Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq is well known as one who rejected this approach. In one exchange Jaʿfar asked Abu Ḥanifa whether it is true that he uses qiās. Abu Ḥanifa confirms this, to which Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq replies, “Do not use qiās for the first to use qiās was the Devil himself” (Kolayni, 1994, I, p. 58). In another exchange, Abu Ḥanifa asked Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq about temporary marriage (motʿa), and received the reply that this is what is referred to in the Qurʾānic verse “For what you have enjoyed from them, give them their due as a duty” (4:24). Abu Ḥanifa replies “By God, I have never read this verse” (or alternatively “it is as if I had never read this verse”; see Ḥorr Āmeli, Wasāʾel, XXVIII, p. 8). Reports such as this, where Abu Ḥanifa is bested by Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq and exposed as of inferior intellect, are extremely common, and clearly function as part of an anti-Sunni (and more specifically, anti-Ḥanafi) polemic. References in imami literature to the relationships between Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq and Mālek b. Anas are less narrative, and Mālek is normally portrayed simply as one who relates Hadith from Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq (e.g., Ebn Bābawayh, p. 128). Non-imami Shiʿite sources, especially the Daʿā-ʾem al-Eslām of the Ismaʿil Qāżi Noʿmān, also contain reports of the legal opinions of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, along with those of his father Moḥammad al-Bāqer. In general, the reports here agree with those of the imami sources, and, according to Wilferd Madelung, provide a common legal source for the two Shiʿite groupings, and (more tantalizingly) a core of legal teaching which might be more assuredly traced back to Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq himself.

Despite Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s emphasis on the imam’s supreme legal authority in the imami sources, there are also hints at a more devolved system of legal authority. Most famous amongst Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s saying in this regard is known as the Maqbula of ʿOmar b. Ḥanẓala. Ebn Ḥanẓala was a disciple of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq and is cited in the esnāds as relating a number of sayings from his master, and through intermediaries from Imam al-Bāqer. In the Maqbula, Ebn Ḥanẓala asks how legal disputes within the community should be solved, and whether one should take such cases to the ruler (sultan) and his judges. Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq replies in the negative, indicating that he considered at least the Umayyad and ʿAbbasid caliphates illegitimate. He describes the state apparatus as ṭāḡut (an idol or demon) in the Maqbula and says that those who take their disputes to the rulers and their judges get only soḥt (unlawful decision; Ebn Bābawayh, Man lā yaḥḏoroho al-faqih III, p. 3). This is a common motif in subsequent imami juridical literature, as most jurists considered any state not led by the imam himself to be illegitimate, citing the Maqbula (amongst other reports from the imams) as evidence of this. In place of the state system, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq appears to recommend an informal, and unofficial system of justice for the Shiʿite community. The disputants, he claims, should turn to “those who relate our [i.e., the imams’] Hadiths.” The reason for this is that the imams have “made such a one a judge (ḥākem) over you.” Subsequent questions within the report prompt Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq to list the means whereby a believer might choose between apparently equally qualified Hadith transmitters (see, for example, Ṭusi, VI, p. 218). The report itself has been variously interpreted by subsequent imami scholars. Some considered it to confer general legal (and for some, political) authority upon the scholars after the occultation (ḡayba) of the twelfth imam. Others considered Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq to be referring solely to Hadith transmitters and not to the ʿolamāʾ in general. Whichever interpretation one favors, however, it is clear that the ultimate legal authority of the imam, in this case Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, is to be tempered through his appointment of judges of the people in his place. While the imam has optimum community legal authority, he also may, when the need arises, appoint certain persons to act as judges in his stead. Whether this delegation applies only to the time of the imams’ presence, and whether it refers to all scholars or just one subset of the ʿolamāʾ was the subject of much subsequent debate amongst the imamiya. Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s words may have enabled the imamiya to develop an internal means of dispute resolution (and therefore avoid involvement in the judicial system of the ruling state). They did not, however, describe this alternative system in detail. That task was left to subsequent imami thinkers.

The variety of uses to which Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s name has been put, and the ideas and teachings which have been attributed to him, are significant not only because they establish him as an important figure in the history of early Islamic thought, but also because they demonstrate the malleability of his legacy. The works attributed to him may be of dubious authenticity, but they do establish his name at least as indicating a mastery of learning generally, and the Islamic sciences in particular. It is the manner in which his contribution has been recast and, at times, re-invented that enables him to be employed by writers in the different Islamic sciences as integral to their development.



(A) Published works attributed to Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq or allegedly written on his command: Faʾl-nāma, ed. Robert Ambelain as Le fal nameh, ou, Livre des sorts, Paris, 1984. al-Ḥekam al-jaʿfariya, ed. ʿĀref Tāmer, Beirut, 1957. Mofażżal b. ʿOmr Joʿfi (attr. to), Ketāb al-haft wa’l-aẓella: talmiḏ al-Emām Jaʿfar b. Moḥammad al-Ṣādeq, ed. ʿĀref Tāmer, Beirut, 1981. Meṣbāḥ al-šariʿa wa meftāḥ al-ḥaqiqa, Beirut, 1980; tr. Muna Bilgrami as The Lantern of the Path, Shaftesbury, 1989; tr. Ḥasan Moṣṭafawi as Meṣbāḥ al-šariʿa . . . : ṣad bāb dar ḥekmat wa maʿāref wa siar wa soluk wa aḵlāq wa ādāb wa sonan, Tehran, 2003. Monāẓarāt Jaʿfar ibn Moḥammad al-Ṣādeq maʿa’l-rāfeżi fi’l-tafżil bayna Abi Bakr wa ʿAli, ed. ʿAli Āl Šebl, Riyadh, 1996 or 1997. Ketāb al-taqsim fi taʿbir al-holm, ed. ʿAli Zayʿur, Beirut, 2004. Ṭebb al-Emām al-Ṣādeq, ed. Moḥsen ʿAqil, Beirut, 1998. Ketāb al-Tawḥid (also known as Tawḥid al-Mofażżal), Beirut, 2002; tr. Muhammad Ibrahim and Abdullah Shahin as Tawheed al-mufadhdha: As Dictated by Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq, Qom, 2004. Ketāb al-Ehlilaja, found in Moḥammad-Bāqer Majlesi, Behār al-anwār, Beirut, 1983, III, pp. 152-97.


(B) A selection of the unpublished works attributed to Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq referred to above. Ketāb al-saʿādāt, Princeton, Garrett MS no. 229Y, folios 188b-89a. Faʾl-nāma, Cambridge MS no. 2.47. Ketāb al-jafr, British Museum, MS no. 426.

Studies. Moḥammad Abu Zahrā, al-Emām al-Ṣādeq: ḥayātoh wa-ʿaṣroh, ārāʾoh wa-feqhoh, Cairo, 1964. Āḡā Bozorg Ṭehrāni, al-Ḏariʿa elā taṣānif al-šiʿa, 24 vols. in 27, Najaf and Tehran, 1936-78. Moḥsen al-Amin Ḥosayni ʿĀmeli, Aʿyān al-šiʿa, ed. Ḥasan al-Amin, Beirut, 1962, IV/2, pp. 29-79. Abu’l-Ḥasan ʿAli b. Esmāʿil Ašʿari, Ketāb maqālāt al-eslāmiyin wa eḵtelāf al-moṣellin, ed. Helmut Ritter, Cairo, 2000. Gerhard Bowering, “Isnad, Ambiguity and the Qurʾān Commentary of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq,” in Lynda Clarke, ed., Shiʿite Heritage: Essays on Classical and Modern Traditions, Binghampton, 2001. E. G. Browne, A Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the Library of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, 1896. Ronald Paul Buckley, “Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq as a Source of Šhiʿi Traditions,” Islamic Quarterly 43/1, 1999, pp. 37-58. Idem. “The Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq, Abu’l-Khaṭṭāb and the Abbasids,” Der Islam, 79/1, 2002, pp. 118-140. Leonardo Capezzone, “Un aspetto della critica imamita alle tradizioni eterodosse: il Kitāb al-haft wa’l-azilla e le molteplici redazioni di un Kitāb al-azilla,” Annali di Ca’ Foscari (Ann. Ca’ Foscari) 38/3, 1999, pp. 171-93. L. Clarke, “Early Doctrine of the Shiʿah, According to the Shiʿi Sources,” Ph.D. diss., McGill University, 1995. Rifaat Y. Ebied and M. J. L. Young, “A Treatise on Hemerology Ascribed to Ğaʿfar al-Ṣādiq,” Arabica 23, 1976, pp. 296-307. Ebn Bābawayh, ʿElalal-Šariʿa, Najaf, 1966. Idem, al-Amāli, Qom, 1984. Taufic Fahd, “Ğaʿfar aṣ-Ṣādiq et la tradition scientifique arabe,” in idem, ed., Le Shîʿisme imâmite: colloque de Strasbourg (6-9 1968), Paris, 1970, pp. 131-42. Marshall G. S. Hodgson, “Djaʿfar al-Ṣādiq,” in EI2 II, pp. 374-75. Moḥammad b. Yaʿqub al-Kolayni, al-Kāfi, Tehran, 1994. Paul Kraus, Jābir Ibn Ḥayyaān: contribution à l’historie des idées scientifiques dans l’islam, Jābir et la science grecque, Paris, 1986. Judith Loebenstein, “Miracles in Šiʿi Thought: A Case Study of the Miracles Attributed to Imām Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq,” Arabica 50/2, 2003, pp. 199-244. Wilferd Madelung, “The Sources of Ismaili Law,” JNES 35/1, 1976, pp. 29-40. Moḥammad-Bāqer Majlesi, Beḥār al-anwār, 111 vols., Beirut, 1983. Ensieh Nasrollahi Zadeh, “The Qurʾan Commentary Attributed to Imam Jaʿfar Sadiq (a.s.): A Study of its Dating and Interpretive Method,” Ph.D. diss., University of Birmingham, UK, 2003. Ḥasan b. Musā Nawbaḵti, Ketāb feraq al-šiʿa, tr. Mo ḥammad-Jawād Maškur as Tarjama-ye Feraq al-šiʿa-ye Nawbaḵti, Tehran, 1974. Paul Nwyia, “Le Tafsir mystique attribué à Ğaʿfar Ṣādiq: edition critique,” Mélanges de l’Université St.-Joseph, no. 43, 1967, pp. 179-230 Abu Ḥanifa Qāżi Noʿmān b. Moḥammad Tamimi, Daʿāʾem al-Eslām fi ḏekr al-ḥalāl wa’l-ḥarām wa’l-qażāya wa’l-aḥkām, ed. ʿĀṣaf A. A. Fayżi (Fyzee), 2 vols., Cairo, 1951-61; tr. A. A. A. Fyzee, as The Pillars of Islam, completely revised and annotated by Ismail K. Poonawala, 2 vols., New Delhi, 2002-4. Julius Ruska, “Ğābir ibn Ḥajjān und seine Beziehungen zum Imām Ğaʿfar aṣ-Ṣādiq,” Der Islam, no. 16, 1927, pp. 264-66. Abu’l-Fatḥ Mo-ḥammad b. ʿAbd-al-Karim Šahrastāni, Ketāb al-melal wa’l-neḥal, ed. William Cureton, Leipzig, 1928; tr. Afżal-al-Din Ṣadr Torka Eṣfahāni, ed. Sayyed Moḥam-mad-Reżā Jalāli Nāʾini, Tehran, 1956; tr. Theodore Haarbrücker as Religionsparthien und Philosophen-Schulen, 2 vols. in 1, Hildesheim, 1969. Fuat Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, 8 vols., Leiden, 1967-84. Abu ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Solami, Majmuʿa-ye āṯār-e Abu ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Solami, comp. Naṣr-Allāh Purjawādi, Tehran, 1996. Shaikh Moḥammad b. Ḥasan Ṭusi, Tahḏib al-aḥkām, 10 vols., Tehran, 1970. Josef van Ess, Theologie und Gesellschaft im 2. und 3. Jahrhundert hidschra: eine Geschichte des religiösen Denkens im frühen Islam, 6 vols, Berlin, 1991. Januarius J. Witkam, “An Arabic Treatise on Hemerology Ascribed to Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq,” Arabica, no. 26, 1979, pp. 100-102.

(Robert Gleave)

Originally Published: December 15, 2008

Last Updated: April 5, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XIV, Fasc. 4, pp. 351-356

Cite this entry:

Robert Gleave, “JAʿFAR AL-ṢĀDEQ ii. Teachings,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, XIV/4, pp. 351-356, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/jafar-al-sadeq-ii-teachings (accessed on 30 December 2012).