Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (AS) is one of the most influential figures in Islamic sciences in such fields as Fiqh (jurisprudence), Quran interpretation, ethics, geography, economics, astronomy, medicine and mathematics and whose students created a great capacity in the development of religious sciences all over the Muslim world.
Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq, Imam Sadiq (AS), was born on the 17th day of the month of Rabi al-Awwal in the year 83 Hijri (702 AD) in Medina. He was known all over the Muslim world in terms of scholarly status and people from different parts of the Islamic world would come to benefit from his knowledge.
Imam Sadiq (AS) trained many scholars, including Jabir ibn Hayyan, who is known as the father of chemistry. The leaders of Sunni Islam were his students directly or indirectly and have talked about his moral and scholarly character:
Imam Malik ibn Anas
Muhammad ibn Ziyad Azudi has quoted Malik ibn Anas as saying about Imam Sadiq (AS), “I did not see him in any other state than saying prayers, fasting or reciting the Quran and he would always talk about good and pure things.”
Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani has quoted Ibn Hibban as saying about Imam Sadiq (AS), “I haven’t seen anyone who is more Afqah (more learned) in Fiqh than Jafar ibn Muhammad. He is among the Sadat of Ahl-ul-Bayt (AS) who was Faqih, learned and virtuous and we needed his words.”
Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani quotes Is’haq ibn Rahuyeh as saying that he asked Shafi’i what he thought of Jafar ibn Muhammad and Shafi’i said: “Thiqa”, meaning a very reliable and trusted character.
Imam Abu Hanifa
Imam Abu Hanifa was one of the students of Imam Sadiq (AS) who says about him, “I haven’t seen anyone more Faqih and learned than Jafar ibn Muhammad. Once, after speaking with Imam Sadiq (AS), he said, “God knows better where to place His divine mission. Imam Abu Hanifa has also said, “If Jafar ibn Muhammad (hadn’t taught them, people would not know how to perform Hajj”.
Khayr al-Din al-Zirikli
Khayr al-Din al-Zirikli was a famous Sunni writer. In his book al-Aalam, he writers about Imam Sadiq (AS), “Imam Jafar Sadiq has a high status in knowledge and a large number of individuals have learned from him, including two leader of Sunnis, namely Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik. He was known as Sadiq because no one ever heard a lie from him.”