Isma'il ibn Jafar
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Ismāʿīl ibn Jaʿfar al-Mubārak (Arabic: إسماعيل بن جعفر; c. born: 719 AD, Medina - died circa 762 AD, Medina) was the eldest son of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq. He is also known as Isma'il Al-Ãraj ibn Ja'far (اسماعيل الاعرج ابن جعفر الصادق). Following Ja'far's death, the Shia community split between those who would become the Twelver Shia and those who believed that the Imamate passed to Ja'far's son, Isma'il; the Isma'ili branch of Shia Islam is accordingly named for Isma'il. According to both the Nizari and Mustaali Shia sects, he is the rightful successor of the sixth Imam, Jafar al-Sadiq, and the seventh Imam.
Isma'il ibn Ja'far
(approximately 722 C.E)
(approximately 762 C.E)
|Resting place||Al-Baqi' Madina Saudi Arabia|
|Other names||Abu Muhammad, Isma'il Al-A"raj|
|Known for||Elder son of Ja'far al-Sadiq, sixth Ismāʿīlī Imām, Syed|
|Title||az-Azbab-i-Itlaq (Absolute lord), Al-Wafi, Al-aa"raj|
|Predecessor||Ja'far al-Sadiq According to Isma'ili Shia|
|Successor||Muhammad ibn Isma'il According to Isma'ili Shia|
|Children||Muhammad ibn Isma'il, Ali ibn Isma'il, Fatima|
Isma'il was born in Shawwal 100 AH/719 C.E. He was the eldest son of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq. His mother, Fatima bint al-Hussain'l-Athram bin al-Hasan bin Ali, was the first wife of Ja'far al-Sadiq. He was the brother of Abdullah al-Aftah.
Isma'ili sources say that, after the age of seven, as his father's designated successor, Isma'il was kept apart from his siblings, limited in his contact with the public, with his father taking personal responsibility for his education. Given his father's reputation as a scholar and the number of distinguished students who sought out his tuition, Isma'il would have received excellent training. It is said that whenever Ja'far was ill and unable to fulfill his duties as Imam, he deputized Isma'il, although his role was restricted to the confines of the home.
According to Daftary, Isma'il may have taken part in an anti-Abbasid plot in 755 and identified with the more activist, or militant Shi'a (some of whom split off as the Zaydis). He may have been summoned to the Caliph's court with others to face charges but was spared execution, unlike some of his fellow plotters.
To protect him from persecution, his father sent him into hiding and publicly declared him deceased. The majority Twelver groups argue that Isma'il actually died during his father's Imamate in the year 138 AH/756 C.E.
In about 762, Isma'il may have left Medina for Basra, although this is disputed. He is said to have had a full grasp of the esoteric truth, the inner message of Islam. He was succeeded by his son, Muhammad, as the 8th Isma'ili Imam, who was about 22 at the time. Some Isma'ilis believe that Muhammad bin Isma'il became "hidden" and will return as the Mahdi, to establish universal peace and justice.
According to Daftary, Isma'il may have led a revolt against the Abbasids in 815, "and died shortly afterwards". He probably lived in "southwestern Persia ... from where he dispatched his own Dais to adjoining areas".
According to some Isma'ili sources, Isma'il ibn Ja'far is buried in Salamiyah, a city located in Syria. Other sources point to Al-Baqi' Madina as his burial place. Twelver Shia's and Sunni Muslims sources have contradicted this, stating that he was buried in Al-Baqi' Medina, the holy Islamic city located in Hijaz.
The Ismāʿīlī–Ithnaʿasheri schismEdit
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Isma'il ibn Jafar
of the Ahl al-Bayt
Clan of the QuraishBorn: 122 AH ≈ 719 AD Died: …. AH ≈ 815…. AD
|Shia Islam titles|
|7th Imam of Ismailism||Succeeded by|
Muhammad ibn Ismāʿīl ash-Shākir