'Ali b. al-Imam al-Sadiq (a)
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|'Ali b. al-Imam al-Sadiq (a)|
|Role||Companion of Imam al-Sadiq (a), Imam al-Kazim (a), Imam al-Rida (a), Imam al-Jawad (a), and Imam al-Hadi (a)|
|Father||Imam al-Sadiq (a)|
|Children||13 sons and 7 daughters|
He has narrated a lot of hadiths. He was very pious and well educated. He accompanied his brother, Musa b. Ja'far (a) and narrated a lot of hadiths from him. He is counted the youngest child of Imam al-Sadiq (a) who also experienced the Imam al-Hadi's period. Mausoleums in 'Urayd, a village near Medina, and Qom and Simnan in Iran, are attributed to him.
|Family tree of Ahl al-Bayt (a)|
There is no report about his exact birth date. Some say that he was 2 when Imam al-Sadiq (a) was martyred (148/765), on the other hand, some believe that he was in his early youth at that time. For example, al-Mamaqani believes that he was between 16 to 20; because, narrating from his father requires this age.
Kunay and Surname
His kunay was Abu l-Hasan. Due to his relationship with Ahl al-Bayt (a) he was given various surnames such as: al-Husayni, al-Hashimi, and 'Alavi, but the most famous one is al-'Uraydi. 'Urayd is a village located one farsakh away from Medina, Arabia. It was a private property of Imam al-Baqir (a), who left it for Imam al-Sadiq (a), and later according to the will of Imam al-Sadiq (a) it was given to his youngest son, 'Ali b. Ja'far.
Wife and Children
- Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad Akbar, Jamal al-Din.
- Ahmad, known as al-Sha'rani
- Ja'far al-Asghar
- Ja'far al-Akbar
- 'Abd Allah
- Muhammad al-Asghar
- Ahmad al-Asghar
Companionship with Imams (a)
It is said that 'Ali b. Ja'far is one of the few people who experienced 5 Imams. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi has listed him in his father's (Imam al-Sadiq (a)) companions. According to Tarikh Qom, which says that he was 2 years old when Imam al-Sadiq (a) was martyred, his direct narration from him remains dubious; unless we accept the opinion of al-Mamaqani, who believes that he was between 16 to 20 years old at that time.
Al-Shaykh al-Tusi also listed him among Imam al-Kazim (a) companions and added that he had a book in which he had a book in which he had compiled his questions from Imam al-Kazim (a) and the Imam's answers.
He was the nearest companion to Imam al-Kazim (s) to the point that he said: "I performed 'Umra 4 times along with my brother and his family. One lasted 26 days, the other 25, the other 24, and the last one 21 days."
Also, his name is counted among Imam al-Rida (a) companions in the book Rijal written by al-Shaykh al-Tusi. He had a book of narrations from Imam al-Rida (a). Al-Hasan b. Faddal quoted in a narration that Imam al-Kazim (a) informed 'Ali b. Ja'far about the imamate of Imam al-Rida (a) and he accepted that. In another hadith Zakaryya b. Yahya narrated that 'Ali b. Ja'far explained the imamate of Imam al-Rida (a) in his conversation with al-Hasan b. al-Husayn b. Imam al-Sajjad (a).
In another incident 'Ali b. Ja'far supported Imam al-Jawad (a): Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. 'Ammar narrates: "It was two years that I was studying under 'Ali b. Ja'far and writing his narration from his brother. One day [while we were in Masjid al-Nabi (the mosque of the Prophet (s) in Medina) and he was retelling the hadiths to us Imam al-Jawad (a) entered Masjid al-Nabi, 'Ali b. Ja'far jumped to his feet and without [wearing] his shoes and cloak hurried to him. He kissed Imam al-Jawad's (a) hand and honored him. Imam al-Jawad (a) told him: "O uncle! [please] sit down. God bless you."
He replied: "O my master! How I can sit, while you are standing." When 'Ali b. Ja'far returned to his place, his companions criticized him and said: "you are his father's uncle. Why do you treat him like this?" he grabbed his white beard and said: "be silent! If Allah did not see [the owner] of this beard suitable for imamate, but this child, should I deny his merits? -I seek protection to God from what you are saying- rather I am his servant.
He also met Imam al-Hadi (a) but there is no hadith in narration sources, that he has narrated it form Imam al-Hadi (a).
- Al-Husayn b. Zayd b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn; his nickname is Dhu l-Dam'a, and his surname is al-Madani.
- Sufyan b. 'Uyayna b. 'Umran al-Hilali; whose great grandfather was an agent of Khlid al-Qasri.
- Muhammad b. Muslim.
- 'Abd al-Malik b. Qudama.
- Mu'tab; the servant of Imam al-Sadiq (a).
- Abu Sa'id al-Makki.
According to the books of 'ilm al-rijal and narration sources, he had more than 40 pupils, some of which are:
- Ahmad b. 'Ali b. Ja'far (a); his son.
- Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Ja'far (a); his son.
- Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr al-Bazanti
- Ishaq b. Muhammad b. Ishaq b. al-Imam al-Sadiq (a)
- Ishaq b. al-Imam al-Kazim (a) (a); his nephew.
- Isma'il b. Muhammad b. Ishaq b. al-Imam al-Sadiq (a) (a); his brother's grandson.
- Al-Hasan b. 'Ali b. 'Uthman b. al-Imam al-Sajjad (a); also known as Hasan b. 'Ali b. 'Amr 'Amraki.
- Al-Husayn b. Zayd b. Imam al-Sajjad (a)
- Al-Husayn b. al-Imam al-Kazim (a)
- Abd al-'Azim al-Hasani
- Yunus b. 'Abd al-Rahman
Most of the scholars of 'ilm al-rijal has reported a book titled Masa'il 'Ali b. Ja'far for him (al-Najashi mentioned that he had one book); but Sayyid Musa Shubayri Zanjani believes that he had 3 books:
There are different reports about his demise date. Some said that he passed away in 210/826, some said in 220/835 and some other said that it is not improbable that he lived to 252/866 and consequently, believed that he lived for 120 years or even more.
Al-Mas'udi believes that he passed away in Dhu l-Hijja 27, 233/August 6, 848 and he was 72; but this report can not be right, because he was a child and at least 2 years old when his father as martyred, and if we accept the demise year that al-Mas'udi reported, he was at least 87 when he passed away in 233/848, not 72.
Before his demise 'Ali b. Ja'far said: "a year before my father's demise when his family were at his presence, he said: Allah has never emphasized this much on anything, more than imamate and [his] servants have never denied anything more imamate.
Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi wrote in his autobiography that the buried person in the cemetery of Bagh-i Bihisht, Qom is 'Ali b. Ja'far al-'Uraydi and added that he travelled to Qom because of the invitation of its people. Also, Mudarrisi Yazdi has the same opinion.
Muhaddith Nuri believes that the burial of 'Ali b. Ja'far in Qom is very improbable; because, firstly: there is no report about this in 'ilm al-rijal sources, secondly: narrators of Qom, who would even travel to narrate hadiths, did not narrate any hadith from him, and thirdly about 100 of Sayyids and Imams' descendants who traveled to Qom have been listed in the book Tarikh Qom but there is no indication about 'Ali b. Ja'far or his travel to Qom in the book. Consequently, he Muhaddith Nuri believes that 'Ali b. Ja'far was buried in 'Urayd located about one farsakh away from Medina. Nowadays there are a mausoleum and a mosque by his name.
In downtown Simnan, there is a mausoleum attributed to him.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from علی بن جعفر in Farsi WikiShia.