The sixth Imam Ja’far b. Muhammad al-Sadiq (a.s), who is often remembered as the pioneer of the Madhhab (hence the oft-used term “Ja’fari”), was born in the Holy City of Madinah in the Year 83 A.H (702 A.D) to his father, the fifth Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s) and his mother, Umm Farwa b. Qasim b. Muhammad b. Abi Bakr.
The Imam was recognised for being the most astute and knowledgeable of his father’s children. Much like his father, he benefitted significantly from the changing times which allowed him to spread the teachings of Islam openly. It is believed that thousands of students of Hadith (Prophetic sayings) would gather around Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) in the Holy City of Madinah and learn directly from him.
During this period, the teachings of original Islam as taught by the Ahlulbayt spead extensively, and under the guidance of Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) numerous students were produced who could debate and overcome the scholars of other schools of thought in Islam. These scholars included men such as Hisham b. Hakam, Hisham b. Salim al-Jawaliqi, Zurarah b. ‘Ayun and others.
However, Imam al-Sadiq’s (a.s) legacy was not merely confined to the field of pioneering the religious sciences. Rather, under his period of Imamate, the natural sciences also flourished. Men like Jabir b. Hayyan, who was known for his skills in sciences such as chemistry, would carry the name of their teacher Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) into the world of the natural sciences as well as other fields of human learning.
The Imam passed away in the year 148 A.H, leaving the mantle of Imamah for his son, Imam Musa b. Ja’far (a.s).