Writings of Imam Ja'afar as-Sadiq
Category: Islam
2:40 h
Writings of Imam Ja'afar as-Sadiq summarise the life of the sixth Imam, a most prominent character, who benefited the human kind with his highly new scientific achievements, his instructions in the acts of worship and transactions and his contribution in the field of legislation. The book further expands his positive and active share in the establishment of human culture and civilization as well as improving general public lives and enhancing human thoughts, and his discovery of many of the secrets of the universe.

Writings of Imam Ja'afar as-Sadiq

Baqir Sharif al-Qurashi

Translated by M. Majid Asadi

© Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project 1995-2020

His Letters and Advices

Among the high exemplar of the great Islamic culture is the letters of Imam al-Sadiq (as) and his advice that a number of prominent figures of Shiah were supplied with. They represent a great side of the targeted modern Islamic thoughts aimed at elevating the level of life, organizing the way of life, managing the desires and establishing comprehensive social relationship among them as well as touching the political issues in Islam. They based the most brilliant and the most important sections in the political and judgment world. Below, you will find some of those letters and advices.


The letters of Imam al-Sadiq (as) are among the stars of the Islamic heritages, which, at the same time, talk about his high emphasis to focus on the good concepts in the soul of the people and their natures. We are about to mention some of them.

A Letter to al-Najjashi

Abdullah al-Najjashi was the ruler of Ahwaz (a city in southern Iran) and he was considered among the best partisans of the Imam (as) and among the most prominent rulers who were highly careful in their devoutness and belief in religion. He asked Imam al-Sadiq (as) to provide him with a letter to take as a methodology and tactic to be used during his government. So that it would be his saviour from destruction and sins. Here is the text of his letter, which was sent to the Imam (as):

“May Allah lengthen your life and let me be your protector from every harm and ill and not to see anything wrong with you. He, the Almighty, is able to do everything.

I would like to inform you that I was afflicted with the government of Ahwaz. If my master does me a favour and gives me the limits of the tasks and to provide me with an exemplar to follow and what makes me closer to the Almighty Allah and His Prophet (S) and to give me in brief what he sees best for me to practice and what should be followed, where to spend the money and to whom place the help; in whom I should trust; in whom I should believe; where to resort and to whom to narrate the secrets. May Allah, the Almighty, save me with your guidance and leadership; you are the evidence of Allah on His creatures and His king in His land and He is still having His blessings on you.”

This letter showed the high morality of al-Najjashi and his high politeness. This is because of his high respect towards the successor of the Prophet (S), Imam al-Sadiq (as), in addition to his severe preciseness in his Hereafter affairs. He considered his government for Ahwaz as tribulation and affliction. In fact every kind of ruling in the government body of that time was tribulation and affliction on those who have to obey their consequent responsibilities and duties to have them done completely. Al-Najjashi has asked the Imam (as) to favour him and clarify the following points:

• Specifying the methodology and policy that he should adhere to during his period of rule.

• Knowing to whom he should give financial assistance, (e.g. charities, etc.) in addition to clarifying the attributes that must be found in them.

• Willingness to know, whom to take as his companions and consultants.

The Answer of the Imam (as)

The answer of the Imam (as) was among the most important political certificates in Islam. It clarified the Islamic methodologies in the political and judgment world. These brilliant methodologies elevated the flags of freedom, equality and progress among the people. Therefore, the Imam (as) guided him to the most significant tools for spreading justice and truth among the people and that have saved them from the punishment of Allah (SwT). Look and ponder at the response of the Imam (as). He started after saying ‘In the name of Allah’’

“May Allah protect you and be kind to you with His kindness and support you with his protection as He is verily capable to be so. Next, a messenger came with a letter on your behalf. I have read it and understood all that was mentioned and all that was asked. You’ve mentioned that you’ve being afflicted with the government of Ahwaz.

“This made me both happy and sad. I will inform you on what made me happy and what made me sad if Allah wills. My happiness is because of hearing you have taken the government, so I said: Maybe Allah, with your government, relieves someone sad and frightened from the followers of Muhammad, Allah’s blessing and peace be to him and his family; to return the honour of someone who becomes low; to dress someone who becomes unclothed; to empower someone who was made weak and to extinguish the fire of the enemies.

“Regarding what made me sad, I should say that the least case was that I fear the situation if you become conceited and forget the holy attributes. Here, I have summarized whatever you asked about to be performed. If you follow them and adhere to them, I hope that you will reach salvation.

“O Abdullah! My father informed me from his fathers from Ali and from the Holy Prophet (S) who said: If someone asked for advice from his Muslim brother and he does not give him the accurate advice, Allah will deprive him of mind.

“Beware that I will advise you with my ideas and if you adhere accordingly, what you feared from will be no more. You should be informed that your salvation and rescue place is in avoiding shedding blood, preventing hurting the followers of Allah, kindness, mercy, compassion, being easy going with our being weak and being strong without fierceness; regarding dealing with your companion and whoever he sent as messenger, be kind and compassionate with your people and inform them about what goes well with the truth and justice.

“Woe to you on being luxurious and among those tattling. Try avoiding anyone of them. Allah does not like to see you on any day or night while you are accepting their repentances and ransom; otherwise Allah will be highly angry with you.

“Avoid the cheating of Ahwaz Khozi My father narrated from his fathers and from the King of the Muslims, Ali saying: Faith does not grow in the heart of a Jew nor in the ones of the Khozi. Regarding those to enjoy being with and to refer to in your affairs, these men should be examined, experienced, trusted men according to your religion. Choose your companions and test them. If you find them rational, it will be your choice that matters. Woe to you and them to give a penny or to unclothe someone. Simply do not do something unless for the sake of Allah and His satisfaction.

“When you aim at presenting each of the following, grant the best ones: your presents, gifts, grants to the leaders, messengers, the owner of letters and military officers; also what you want to spend for goodness, success, feeding, charity, Hajj, beverages, clothing with which you are praying and the gifts that you present to the Almighty Allah and His Holy Prophet (S).

“O Abdullah! Try not to store gold or silver! Otherwise you will be what the following verse describes: ‘And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah: announce unto them a most grievous penalty’ (9:34).

“Do not consider simple performing any good deed or feeding an empty stomach. These are ways to calm down the anger of Allah the Almighty and Majestic.

“Be informed that I have heard that my father was narrating from his fathers from the King of the Muslims, Imam Ali who heard from the Holy Prophet who once said to his companions: ‘No one is a believer in Allah and Hereafter if he passes a night full, while his neighbour is hungry.’ They answered: ‘O Prophet! We are extinct!’ Then he answered: ‘Do this from what remains from your foods, fruits, earnings, clothes or old dresses to calm down the anger of the Lord.’

“I will inform you about the disgrace of the earth and the humiliation of its honour from those who were living in the past. My father, Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Husayn, narrated the following: ‘When Husayn set out towards al-Kufah, ibn Abbas swore him with name of Allah and the salvation of his family that he will be martyred in al-Taff Battle. He answered: ‘I know my end better than you and my aim in the earth is nothing except leaving it away. O ibn Abbas! Did not I inform you about the speech of the Imam Ali and the earth?’ He answered: ‘Yes, by all means! I am very eager to hear about that.’ He said that my father Ali ibn al-Husayn said: ‘I have heard Abu Abdullah said: ‘I have heard the King of the Muslims, Imam Ali said: ‘I was near Fadak close to some of its walls when Fatimah possessed it. Then suddenly a woman fell on me while a spade was in my hand with which I was working. When I looked at her, my heart flied because of her beauty, which resembled the beauty of Buthaynah al-Jahmi bint Amir who was among the most beautiful ladies in the Quraysh tribe. She said: ‘O son of Abu Talib! Would you marry me? I will make you free from this spade; I will guide you towards the treasures of the earth; kingdom will be used as far as you are living and it will be that your successors later on.’ He answered: ‘Who are you so I can ask for your hand from your family?’ She replied: ‘I am the earth!’ Then he told her: ‘Go back and ask for another husband and then I was back with my spade.’’’’

“He passed away from the earth without having any kind of dependencies till meeting Allah while he is glorified and commendable. Afterwards the nation followed him after his passing away according to what he addressed you; as he was not tainted with any kind of sins. He called you towards the honours of the earth and the Hereafter.

“From the trusted trustee, the Holy Prophet (S) if you perform according to what I am advising you from this book while you have such a great deal of sins and wrongs similar to the weight of mountains and the waves of the seas, I will ask Allah to neglect them from you by his might and majesty.

“O Abdullah! Woe to you unto frightening a believer. My father Muhammad ibn Ali narrated to me from his father and then from his grandfather and from Ali ibn Abu Talib who said: ‘If someone looked at a believer in a way to frighten him, Allah will frighten him on a day that there will be no shadow except the one of His and will make him as small articles and will punish him.’

“My father narrated from his fathers who heard from Ali and he in turn heard that from the Prophet (S) who said: ‘One who helps someone regretful, Allah will relieve him in a day that there would be no shadow except the one of His, and He, the Almighty, will rescue him from the great fear and from the Hell. Also one, who overcomes the needs of his brother, Allah will overcome many of his needs, one of those is Paradise. One, who clothes his believer brother from nudeness, Allah clothes him with silk garment of the Paradise and will stay under the blessing of Allah. One, who feeds his brother from hunger, Allah will feed him from the food and the beauty of Paradise. One who served his brother, Allah will grant him good children and will keep him staying with those He has selected as elevated salves. One who lets his brother use his riding camel, Allah will return to him from the blessing of the Paradise and those angels close to Allah will be proud of him. One who helped his believer brother marry someone to feel comfortable and happy with and to help him on hard times, Allah will grant him in the paradise with someone having eyes with intensely white and deep black and Allah will allow him to feel good by accompanying those he loves such as the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and his family members. One who assists his believing brother against a cruel king; Allah will assist him when passing the Discriminating Bridge (Sirat) where feet are easily slipped. One who visits his brother without having a demand to accomplish, Allah will document his name as the visitors of Allah and He, the Almighty, will reward him the best.’

“O Abdullah! My father narrated for me from his fathers who heard from Ali who heard the Holy Prophet (S) and his family, once saying to his companions: ‘O People! One who just expresses his belief with his tongue without ever believing in his heart is not a believer at all. Do not pursue the mistakes of Muslims, because the one, who precisely pursues the small mistakes of the Muslims, will be pursued by Allah on the Resurrection Day and will uncover his faults and sins inside his house.’

“O Abdullah! My father narrated from his fathers who heard from Ali and he in turn heard that from the Prophet (S) who said: ‘Archangel Gabriel said: ‘O Muhammad! Allah coveys His regards and says: ‘I have extracted a name from my names for those believers, and called it Believer. So, a Believer is from me and I am from him. Therefore, anyone scorns a Believer, has called me for a fight.’’’

“O Abdullah! My father narrated from his fathers who heard from Ali and he in turn heard that from the Prophet (S) who once said: ‘O Ali! Do not look at a man unless you look at his purpose and his intention. If that was good, Allah will not let down the owner of that idea. However if the intention were malicious, that would be enough for him to suffer.’

“O Abdullah! My father narrated from his fathers who heard from Ali and he in turn heard that from the Prophet (S) who once said: ‘The most severe infidelity is when a man hears something from his brother and keeps it in his mind, intending to uncover his fault on day. These people have no morality.’

“O Abdullah! My father narrated from his fathers who heard from Ali, who once said: ‘If someone saw something ungraceful from a believer or heard something similar and tried narrating it somewhere to destroy the honour of that believer, he will be among those whom Allah the Almighty and Majestic, said the following about: ‘Those who love (to see) scandal published broadcast among the Believers, will have a grievous Penalty’ (24:19)’.

“O Abdullah! My father narrated from his fathers who heard from Ali, who once said: ‘If someone narrates something about his believer brother aiming at destroying his respect and honour, Allah will uncover his faults at the Resurrection Day until finding a pretence for what he had done. However, if someone enters happiness in the heart of his believer brother, he will make the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him, happy; and if someone makes the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet happy, he will make the Prophet (S) happy; and one who makes the Prophet happy, he will make Allah happy too; and one makes Allah happy, Allah will in return reward him with the Paradise.’

“After all, I advise you on fearing Allah; obeying him; keeping the advices of Allah tightly as one who keeps following advices of Allah, Allah will lead him towards the Guided Path.

“Fear Allah and prefer nothing from desire and wills other than the satisfaction of Allah. This is the advice of Allah, the Almighty and Majestic, as He does not accept anything rather than this. You know that He, the Almighty, does not require something other rather than believing in him, as it is the advice of the Ahl al-Bayt too. If you afford, try performing nothing and asking for nothing in the worldly life starting from tomorrow! Do this!”

When this document, which is the message of light and guidance, was received by al-Najjashi, he pondered on it and tried finding the profound meaning of its sections, which are verily the essence of Islam and its brilliant reality. Then, he went on saying: “I swear by Allah, who is unique, that he was truly right and he is my master and if someone follows these instructions, he will be actually granted the salvation.”

This document talked about the political justice in Islam, which achieves human beings’ desires and their ambitions; the poor and deprived are living under its protection. First of all, it specified the behaviours of the kings and those responsible. They are not allowed to interfere in the people’s task in everyway they wish according to their desires and wishes. They have to take into account the benefits of the nation above all things as it asks for achieving justice with all its vastness and concepts among the people. We will take a look at some of the important points in this document, which should be taken as a rule and methodology for all the governments and those responsible.

Important Points:

The important points in this letter are summarized as follows:

• Commanding those in charge to prevent any blood shed and being cautious to the utmost extent. Islam has taken this as the most severe sin and corruption on the earth.

• Do not try bothering people or making any bad or anything malicious to anyone. It is necessary to spread security and settlement in the nation.

• Be kind and patient towards people. One thing that the king should be is to not be too tight and make people hate his policy and his treatment with the nation. This will result in the citizens being away from the government and put the first step to its separation from the people.

• Pondering in political issues and having deliberation accordingly. Being rash or careless is what may lead to the occurrence of faults and may lead the country towards many of mistakes and faults.

• Living with people and dealing kindly with them. This should happen with tenderness without weakness and it should occur powerfully without cruelty. This is the logic of steadiness and justice that helps the nation to be prepared.

• Informing people using mass media and try leading their intellectual and social growth.

• Preventing spies from ever being close to the government and its body. As this is one of the malicious and miserable elements in the earth that aims at destruction every time and everywhere.

• Contacting religious people and those with sense of honour, as they are suitable callers. Those in charge of should take this well-mannered group as important elements of their government.

• Preventing distribution of government money to jesters and jokers. This will result in spreading the culture of nonsense and silliness among the people.

Ocean 2.0 Reader. Empty coverOcean 2.0 Reader. Book is closedOcean 2.0 Reader. FilterOcean 2.0 Reader. Compilation cover