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Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as) and recognition of Allah (SWT)

Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as)Man's turning to Allah (SWT) during times of calamities is a sign of our inclinations to Godliness. Man gets involved with his position and status so much that he forgets about Allah (SWT). He gets fully entangled in his sins and disobedience. Once a calamity befalls upon man, he suddenly remembers Allah (SWT) and turns to Him for help. Thus, we realize that this sense of Godliness is intrinsic in humans, but man's involvement in worldly affairs results in his forgetting Allah (SWT).

There is a well-known tradition that states that a man went to see Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as) and expressed his amazement about the recognition of Allah (SWT).

He said: "I have discussed this issue with many knowledgeable people, but they have not been able to help me." Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) ended his amazement using his intrinsic human Godliness and asked him:

"Have you ever been aboard a ship?"

The man said: "Yes."

Then Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) asked: "Have you ever been on a sinking ship, and reached out for a narrow piece of board to stay afloat?"

The man said: "Yes. I have."

Then Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) said: "Then while you could not see any dry land or anyone there to save you, were you not really attracted to some power to rescue you?"

The man replied in the positive and was finally relieved of his amazement about Allah's (SWT) recognition."

Harun Al-Makki sincere follower of Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as)

Harun Al-Makki sincere followerOnce a Khorasani chief by the name of Sahl bin Hasan came to Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as), and asked him why the Imam wasn't fighting for his rights in spite of the truth being on his side when there were thousands of supporters ready to fight with him.

Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as) with the intention of giving him a practical answer, asked him to sit down and wait. In the meantime, a servant of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) came, and Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as) asked her if she had kindled the fire. She replied, "Yes".

Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as) took Sahl bin Hasan with him and went to the fireplace. The fire was blazing red. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) turned to Sahl bin Hasan and told him to jump into the fire. Sahl bin Hasan trembled and begged forgiveness from Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) and asked not to be burnt.

At this moment, Harun Al-Makki one of the sincere companions of the Imam (as) happened to arrive. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) told Harun Al-Makki to jump into the fire, and Harun Al-Makki did this at once, without hesitating.

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) then turned to Sahl bin Hasan and started to brief him about the circumstances prevailing in Khorasan, as if he had been there to witness the events taking place.

After a while, Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) asked Sahl bin Hasan to go check on Harun Al-Makki. Sahl bin Hasan saw Harun Al-Makki sitting cross legged in the fire safely. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) then asked Sahl bin Hasan how many of his followers were like this man. Sahl bin Hasan replied, "none, master", Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) then asked Harun Al-Makki to leave the fire and no burns were seen on him!

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) then explained, "I shall not stage an uprising when I do not have even five sincere companions. (And do remember) we are very well aware as to when we should stage an uprising."

Supplications of Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as)

Supplications of Imam Sadiq (as)One day, Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as) was eating dates at his home in Kufa when one of his companions, Bashar bin al-Kari, approached him. After exchanging greetings, Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) invited Bashar to share the dates but Bashar refused Imam Jafar al-Sadiq's (as) offer.

Surprised, Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) said to him: By my right over you, sit and eat. As Bashar ate. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) noticed that he looked very sad and asked him the reason for this.

Bashar replied: While coming, I saw something that made me feel sad. I saw the Caliph's soldiers beating a woman on her head as they dragged her to prison. She was crying out, 'By Allah (SWT) and His Prophet Muhammad (saw), please help me!' But no one dared to do so.

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) asked Bashar why the woman was treated in that manner and he explained, the woman tripped on a stone and said 'May Allah (SWT) curse your oppressors! O' Fatima Zahra (sa).' When the soldiers heard her, they began to hit her and then arrested her. When he heard this, Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) stopped eating and wept so bitterly that his beard became wet with tears. He turned to Bashar and said, "O Bashar", let us go to Masjid Al-Sahla to pray to Allah (SWT) for the freedom of this woman.

While they went to Masjid Al-Sahla, Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as) ordered some of his companions to keep watch at Caliph's gate and bring any news of the woman.

When they reached Masjid Al-Sahla. Imam Jafer al-Sadiq (as) and Bashar offered two Rakaats for the sake of Allah (SWT). After they had completed their prayers, Imam Jafer al-Sadiq (as) raised his hands in Du'a (Supplication) to Allah (SWT) saying: "O' Listener of supplications, O' Lord, O' Master, O' Helper, I ask You by every name You have taught us and by those you have kept hidden, to send Your blessings upon Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his pure progeny to free this woman, O' Lord,..."

After finishing his supplication, Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) said to Bashar: Let us go back, because the woman has been freed!

When they arrived home, one of his companions, who had been sent to keep watch, had come back with the good news that Caliph had set the woman free!

Caliph had also offered her 200 dirhams and although she was very poor and needed money, she had refused to take it. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) was very pleased to hear this and he gave Bashar some money to take to the woman.

Bashar went to the woman's house with the money and after giving it to her, he told her of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq's (as) tears and du'a for her freedom. The woman took the money and cried, "Peace be upon you, O' my Master and Lord, O' son of Prophet Muhammad (saw)." She turned to Bashar and said, "Tell Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) to pray for the followers of Ahlul-Bayt (as). He is our Imam and we do not know anyone else, who would pray and supplicate to Allah (SWT) for us. We do not know anyone else, except him and his fathers, peace be upon them all!"

Defination of Knowledge according to Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as)

Defination of KnowledgeWith the knowledge he had gained about Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq's (as) intelligence in all matters, at age 94 Unwaan Basri wished to acquire knowledge only from Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) who had entered Medina. But the surveillance the government had on Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as), and Imam's own overscheduled hours did not make it easy for Unwaan Basri to schedule with Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as). Yet, his love and respect toward Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) had increased so much that he would not let the thought go easily. And thus he prayed and requested that Allah (SWT) provide him the opportunity to study under the Imam.

Eventually, he found the opportunity to go to the Imam's house. He asked permission to enter. And when finally allowed he sat with Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) and awaited to taste a drop from the Imam's sea of knowledge.

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) said, 'O Aba Abdellah (Nick name of Unwaan Basri)! Knowledge is not (just) about studying; rather it is a light, placed within the heart of someone whom Allah (SWT) wills to guide. Thus if you seek knowledge, you must first be a true servant and receive it by practicing what you learn. And ask Allah (SWT) for understanding so that you can comprehend.

Unwaan Basri asked, 'O Aba Abdellah (Nick name of Imam)! What are the characteristics of a true servant of Allah (SWT)?

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) answered, "Three things. The first is not to see that which Allah (SWT) gave him as solely his own, for servants are not the true owners; rather they see their wealth (as a blessing) from Allah (SWT). They use it only where Allah (SWT) has asked them to."

The second characteristic is that a true servant does not do anything other than his duties and does not think about the results of his duties.

And the third is that a true servant spends all his time obeying the commands of Allah (SWT) and not doing that which Allah (SWT) has banned.

A true servant is one who does not view the wealth Allah (SWT) has given him as solely his. With this view in mind, it is thus easier for him to give what Allah (SWT) has given him in charity. When a true servant accomplishes his duties, tragedies he faces in life become much more bearable for him. A servant who has occupied himself with obeying Allah (SWT) will not have time to argue and show off his wealth to the people.

So whenever a servant acquires these three characteristics, the materialistic world, Satan and people become very small for him. He does not seek worldly things or pride for others. He does not have eagerness for worldly positions or luxurious life styles and thus, he does not waste his time with seeking these matters. This is the first level of piety and Allah (SWT) says, "As for that future Abode, We assign it to those who have no desire to exalt themselves in the earth nor to make mischief and the good end is for the righteous." (Noble Qur'an, 28:83)

Taking a look at our lives, have we prepared our hearts to openly receive the holy light of wisdom and knowledge? Are we about to acquire more knowledge by practicing what we know? Do we ask Allah (SWT) to give us more understanding and wisdom?

O Allah (SWT)! We seek your refuge from a life spent learning, but failing to practice it in obedience to You; and therefore failing to receive any of that light in our hearts.

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Islamic Moral Stories is designed by Akramulla Syed Last Updated: Thursday, November 17, 2016