Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam, attained martyrdom on the 25th of Shawwal in the year 14 AH.
It was during the Caliphate of Abu Jafar Mansoor Abbasi. Imam Sadiq (AS) lived 65 years. He had the longest life amongst the other Imams (AS) except Imam Zaman (may God hasten his glad advent). Thus, he is also called the Sheikh-ul-Aimma.
After the martyrdom of his respected father, Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS), he undertook the flag of the guidance of Islamic Ummah for 34 years. During the period when the Umayyad government was in decline and there was dispute and feud with the Abbasids, Imam Sadiq (AS) utilized this golden opportunity in the revival of the Prophetic tradition, the dissemination of the Islamic culture and trained students who created epics in the Shia history.
During the said period, the theological university of Imam Sadiq (AS) had more than 4000 students in the different fields of Figh (Jurisprudence), Tafsir (Commentary) of Holy Quran, Kalaam, Hadith (traditions) and experimental science.
It is noteworthy that two of the Imams of the Ahl-e-Sunnat (i.e.) Abu Hanifa and Malik Ibn-e-Anas reaped from the harvest of the knowledge of Imam Sadiq (AS). In this regards, Abu Hanifa says, “If it was not for those two years (the period that Abu Hanifa was the student of Imam Sadiq (AS), Nu’man (Abu Hanifa) would have been destroyed.”
It is for this reason that the untiring efforts, struggles and endeavors of Imam Sadiq (AS) in the revival and dissemination of the original Islamic culture became the reason why the Shia school of thought is also called the Jafari religion.
A great jurisprudent of the Ahl-e-Sunnat Malik Ibn – e- Aues says about Imam Sadiq (AS), “No eye has seen nor any ear has heard a man in virtue and excellence greater that Jafar Ibn Mohammed (AS).”
Abu Hanifa says, “I have not seen a man more learned and jurisprudent than Jafar Ibn Mohammed (AS.”
Again, he says, “On the directive of Mansoor, the Abbaside caliph, I prepared forty questions and went in the presence of Jafar Sadiq (AS) and asked him about the questions. He replied them all. The answers were so excellent and profound that I had never heard them from any one until that time.”