Ishaq b. Ja'far al-Sadiq (a)

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Descendant of Imam
Ishaq b. Ja'far al-Sadiq (a)
Epithet al-Mu'taman, al-Hazin
Father Imam al-Sadiq (a)
Mother Hamida
Place of Birth Arid, a village near Medina
Place(s) of Residence Egypt
Spouse(s) Nafisa
Children Muhammad, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn
Place of Burial Egypt

Isḥāq b. Jaʿfar (Arabic: اسحاق بن جعفر) well-known as al-Mu'taman (المؤتمن) was the son of Imam al-Sadiq (a). He was a virtuous, benefactor, devotee, and pious man. Many hadiths has been narrated from him. He believed in Imamate of his brother, Imam al-Kazim (a) and also nephew, Imam al-Rida (a). His wife was al-Sayyida Nafisa, the daughter of al-Hasan b. Zayd b. Imam al-Hasan (a). It is said that he was buried in Egypt.



His teknonym was Aba Muhammad[1] and due to his fame in trusteeship, he was called "al-Mu'taman".[2] His father was Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (a) and his mother was Hamida.[3] He was the full brother of Imam Musa al-Kazim (a)[4] and born in Arid a village near Medina.[5]

Family tree of Ahl al-Bayt (a)
'Abd Allah
Lady Fatima
Imam Ali
Umm al-Banin
Imam al-Husayn
Imam al-Hasan
Lady Zaynab
Umm Kulthum
Abd Allah
Umm Kulthum
'Abd Allah
'Abd Allah
Imam al-Sajjad
'Ali al-Akbar
'Ali al-Asghar
Imam al-Baqir
Imam al-Sadiq
'Abd Allah
'Ubayd Allah
Imam al-Kazim
Umm Farwa
'Abd Allah
Imam al-Rida
Imam al-Jawad
Imam al-Hadi
Imam al-'Askari
Imam al-Mahdi

Marriage to al-Sayyida Nafisa

Main article: Al-Sayyida Nafisa

Ishaq married to Nafisa the daughter of al-Hasan b. Zayd b. al-Hasan. About the proposal of Ishaq for Nafisa and his marriage to her, it is said that at first al-Hasan b. Zayd did not agree with this marriage, but in one night, he dreamed the Prophet (s) and he (s) ordered him to agree with this marriage.[6]


There is a disagreement about the number of Ishaq's children. Some mentioned them three and some mentioned them more. In total, his children were Muhammad, Hasan, Husayn,[7] Ja'far and Qasim[8] and his daughter, Umm Kulthum.[9]

Qasim and Umm Kulthum were his children after his marriage to Sayyida Nafisa.[10].[11]

The progeny of Ishaq in Aleppo, Syria and Baalbek reached Naqib al-Sadat (Chief of Sayyids) position and were known as Ishaqiyyun.[12]

Immigration to Egypt

In 193/809, Ishaq went to Egypt with his wife, Nafisa. When people were informed about their coming, went to welcome them. About this journey, it is mentioned in Nasikh al-tawarikh that his affairs and his position became great and he became the refuge for the people who loved him.[13].[14]

Ishaq stayed in the house of a businessman called Jamal al-Din b. Abd Allah b. Jassas and after some months, moved to the house of Umm Hani and later went to the house of Abu l-Saraya Ayyub b. Sabir. Some writers wrote that people's reception of him was so great that the lady thought that the neighbors would be annoyed and decided to leave Egypt. People asked the governor of Egypt to accommodate them and he provided them with a residence.[15].[16]

His Demise

The exact year of Ishaq's demise is not known, but they say that he died after the demise of his wife Nafisa. Nafisa Khatun became ill in 208/823 and passed away in that year.[17] During the days of his wife's illness, Ishaq was in Medina and when he arrived in Egypt, Nafisa had already passed away. He decided to take his wife's body to Medina, but the people of Egypt asked him to bury her body in Egypt. They went to the governor and asked him to convince Ishaq not to take the body of Sayyida Nafisah to Medina. It did not work, so people gathered many goods and gave Ishaq and asked him to accept their request. Ishaq did not accept it, but it is said that he had a dream in which the Prophet (s) ordered him not to accept those goods, but accept to bury his wife there, and thus he accepted people's request.[18]

It is said that after burying Nafisa, Ishaq stayed in Egypt until the end of his life. He passed away and was buried there.[19]


It is said that Ishaq's appearance was similar to the Prophet Muhammad (s).[20]

Also it is said that he was called Ishaq al-Hazin (the sad) because he never laughed in front of people.[21]

He believed in the imamate of his brother, Musa b. Ja'far (a) and narrated some hadiths from his father regarding the imamate of his brother.[22].[23] Yet, after the demise of Imam al-Sadiq (a), a group of people called him Imam and refused Imamate of Imam Musa al-Kazim (a).

Al-Shaykh al-Mufid introduced him as a knowledgeable, devotee,[24]22 and pious man and said whenever Ibn Kasib narrated hadith from Ishaq, introduced him as honorable truthful.[25]


  1. Kutubī al-Ḥusnā, al-Uṣūl fī dhurīyyāt al-baḍʿat al-Rasūl, p. 123.
  2. Nasājī, Sayyida Nafīsa bānū-yi parhīzgār wa pārsā, p. 137.
  3. Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 211.
  4. Kutubī al-Ḥusnā, al-Uṣūl fī dhurīyyāt al-baḍʿat al-Rasūl, p. 123.
  5. Kutubī al-Ḥusnā, al-Uṣūl fī dhurīyyāt al-baḍʿat al-Rasūl, p. 123.
  6. ʿAṭārudī, Gawhar-i khandan-i imamat, p. 10; Abū Kaf, Āl-i Bayt al-Nabī fī Miṣr, p. 101-102; Tawfīq, al-Sayyida Nafīsa, p. 95-96.
  7. Rajāʾī, Kawākib al-mashriqīyya, vol. 1, p. 256.
  8. Ibn Ḥazm, Jumhurat ansāb al-ʿarab, p. 60.
  9. Maqrīzī, al-Mawāʿiz wa al-iʿtibār, vol. 4, p. 35.
  10. Maqrīzī, al-Mawāʿiz wa al-iʿtibār, vol. 4, p. 35.
  11. Gulī Zawāra, Bānu-yi bā kirāmat, ?
  12. Muʿjam al-qaba'il al-ʿarab, vol. 1, p. 20.
  13. Nāsikh al-tawārīkh, vol. 3, p. 120.
  14. Maḥallātī, Rayāḥīn al-sharīʿa, vol. 5, p. 88.
  15. ʿAṭārudī, Gawhar-i khandan-i imamat, p. 13, 20, 21.
  16. Abū Kaf, Āl-i Bayt al-Nabī fī Miṣr, p. 108.
  17. Gulī Zawāra, Bānu-yi bā kirāmat, p. 12.
  18. Shablanjī, Nūr al-abṣār, p. 258; Abū Kaf, Āl-i Bayt al-Nabī fī Miṣr, p. 104; Tawfīq, al-Sayyida Nafīsa, p. 13; Maḥallātī, Rayāḥīn al-sharīʿa, hadith 5; Qummī, Muntahā l-āmāl, vol. 2, p. 300; Qummī, Tatimmat al-muntahā, 195.
  19. Rajāʾī, Kawākib al-mashriqīyya, vol. 1, p. 256.
  20. Kutubī al-Ḥusnā, al-Uṣūl fī dhurīyyāt al-baḍʿat al-Rasūl, p. 123.
  21. Zabīdī, Tāj al-ʿarūs, vol. 18, p. 28; Kutubī al-Ḥusnā, al-Uṣūl fī dhurīyyāt al-baḍʿat al-Rasūl, p. 92; Rajāʾī, Kawākib al-mashriqīyya, vol. 2, p. 256.
  22. Mufīd, al-Irshād, p. 555.
  23. Irbilī, Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 221.
  24. Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 211.
  25. Dāʾirat al-Maʿārif Tashayyuʿ, vol. 2, entry of Isḥāq b. Jaʿfar.


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