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Abd Allah b. Abi Ya'fur

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Companion of Imam (a)
Abd Allah b. Abi Ya'fur
Full Name Abd Allah b. Abi Ya'fur al-'Abdi al-Kufi
Companion of Imam al-Sadiq (a)
Teknonym Abu Muhammad
Epithet Al-Abdi
Well Known As Ibn Abi Ya'fur
Place(s) of Residence Kufa
Death/Martyrdom 131/749

Abū Muḥammad Abd Allāh b. Abī Yaʿfūr al-Abdī al-Kūfī, (Arabic:ابومحمد عبدالله بن ابي یعفور العبدي الکوفي), (d. 131/749) known as Ibn Abi Ya'fur was a hadith narrator and a companion of Imam al-Sadiq (a). He was accepted as a reliable hadith narrator by Imam al-Sadiq (a) and Imam al-Kazim (a). Also he is admired and praised in a number of hadiths.


He is considered as al-'Abdi, due to attribution to 'Abd al-Qays b. Aqsa, descendant of Rabi'a b. Nizar. His father, Waqid or Waqdan, was known as Abu Ya'fur al-Akbar. Al-Sam'ani stated his title as Waqdan.


The information about biography of Ibn Abi Ya'fur is extremely limited. Al-Najashi considered him as a grand and valuable companion of Imam al-Sadiq (a). Al-Shaykh al-Tusi mentioned him in his works as Ibn Abi Ya'fur al-Abdi and Abd Allah b. Abi Ya'fur al-Kufi who was a companion of Imam al-Sadiq (a). As al-Najashi has said, he was a reciter of the Holy Quran in the Mosque of Kufa; he had a book which was narrated by a number of twelver Shiites such as Thabit b. Shurayh.

Ibn Abi Ya'fur passed away in 131/749 in the plague year; at the time of the Imamate of Ja'far al-Sadiq (a).

Credibility and Status

Al-Najashi considered him as thiqa thiqa (the most trustworthy of the trustworthy); Muhaddith Nuri regarded him as a notable twelver faqih such as Zurara. In addition, he was a man of piety and ijtihad among companions of Imam in Kufa.

According to narrations of Al-Shaykh al-Tusi from Imam al-Sadiq (a), Ibn Abi Ya'fur was the most obedient person to the orders of Imams. In a narration, Imam al-Sadiq (a) said: "No one obeyed all the commands of Allah thoroughly except Abd Allah b. Abi Ya'fur." As Al-Shaykh al-Tusi has stated, Abu Hamza Ma'qil al-'Ijli quoted from Ibn Abi Ya'fur that he has said to Imam al-Sadiq (a): If you order me about a Pomegranate that half of it is Halal and the other half is Haram, I will obey you without hesitation.

After Ibn Abi Ya'fur passed away, Imam al-Sadiq (a) wrote a letter to Mufaddal b. Umar al-Ju'fi and mentioned him as one who obeyed the commands of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (s), and Imams.

A Member of the Disciples

In the well-known hadith of the disciples in which Imam al-Kazim (a) mentioned the names of notable companions of Prophet Muhammad (s) and Imams, he considered Ibn Abi Ya'fur as companion of Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a).


Ibn Abi Ya'fur was definitely a Shi'a Muslim. However due to the political situations of the time in Umayyad and Abbasid era, it was highly risky for Shi'a Muslims to publicly declare their beliefs. According to al-Kulayni, Ibn Abi Ya'fur refused to answer clearly to Abu Yusuf Qadi's question about following Shi'ism. However Abu Yusuf admired Ibn Abu Ya'fur for being 'sincerely trustworthy' in this incident. Nevertheless, according to the time of Ibn Abi Ya'fur's demise, it seems doubtful.

Al-Shaykh al-Tusi mentioned a sect called Ya'fur. Al-Mashkur in his glosses on Al-Maqalat wa al-firaq by al-Ash'ari discussed the possibility that this sect is attributed to Ibn Abi Ya'fur. However it is incorrect, they are considered as Ghulat (exaggerators) of Shi'a who are attributed to Muhammad b. Ya'fur.

Al-Ash'ari considered Ibn Abi Ya'fur as one of those Shi'a Muslims who believed that Imam al-Kazim (a) was the succeeding Imam after Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (a) and due to their stability, followers of 'Abd Allah al-Aftah accepted the Imamate of Musa al-Kazim (a) and supported him.


Although Ibn Abi Ya'fur's father was a hadith narrator, and he was considered as thiqa, he did not narrate any hadith from him. However, he narrated hadith from Imam al-Baqir (a) through his brother 'Abd al-Karim. He narrated hadith from Abu al-Samit, Ishaq b. Ammar and Mu'alla b. Khunays etc.


Numerous hadith narrators have narrated from Ibn Abi Ya'fur including: