Arabic: ‘abū ¢adullahi ja¢fari bni muhammad
He is one of the most widely respected Imams by Shi’i and Sunni alike for his learning and piety. Jafar as-Sadiq (the truthful) was an influential teacher, theologian, and jurist.
Among his students were Abu Hanifa and Malik ibn Anas who were instrumental in the development of Sunni Islam. While an active Shi’i theologian, Jafar appears to have had a liberal view of learning and maintained an active discourse with many scholars of differing views.
While he stayed out of politics he was imprisoned and persecuted on several occasions by the Abbassid Caliphs.
His eldest son Ismail who had been selected to be his successor died before Jafar, resulting in confusion in the succession. The Isma’ilis maintain that Ismail was the 7th Imam even though he had no opportunity to exercise that role.
He was buried in Madina in the cemetery known as Janna al-Baqi’. Musa al-Kazim succeeds Jafar as Sadiq in the Twelver tradition.