© About Islam.
Each one of us desires good fortune for our selves. No one wants to live an unfortunate and wretched life.
There are many worldly blessings, indicators, and gifts that people associate with good fortune. Such as, being of noble birth. Hailing from a family and lineage that is respected and loved. Being raised by loving and pious parents and grandparents. This, followed by a morally upright upbringing that results in one gaining deep knowledge of Quran and other Islamic sciences/subjects.
After the passage of this preliminary stage in life, as a young person enters adulthood, good fortune is indicated by their having a successful, honorable career. Good health. A righteous spouse and children. And, last but not least, a noble and dignified demise that marks their exit from this world, followed by a long-lasting good legacy and name that is not just honorable, but also becomes a beacon of light for the guidance of generations to come.
Even in the Quran, Allah has stated that he blessed Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) in the life of this world with a pious progeny, and a long-lasting legacy of righteousness after his death:
And …We made for them a reputation of high honor. (19:49-50)
A Lineage of Righteousness
Whilst, as Muslims, we believe that merely belonging to a noble family will not be enough to guarantee our admission into Paradise in the Hereafter, if it is not accompanied by correct Islamic belief and righteous actions, we also concur that receiving a righteous upbringing as a child is necessary for ensuring a Muslim’s steadfastness upon Islam and success as an adult.
Ja’far ibn Muhammad was born in the year 80 AH into a family tree that would leave any righteous Muslim misty-eyed and speechless with wistfulness and admiration. He was the son of Muhammad ibn `Ali ibn Hussein, i.e. on his paternal side, he was the grandson of the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
On his maternal side, He was the grandson of a righteous couple whose fathers were, both, the sons of Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him). Ja’far ibn Muhammad Al-Sadiq therefore used to say that the noble companion of the Prophet, Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, was his ancestor twice over! (IslamQA)
Though the family tree can get a little mind-boggling at first, it becomes quite obvious that Allah favored Ja’far when he blessed him to hail from such a righteous family. Furthermore, living in Madinah, he got to meet some of the companions of Prophet Muhammad in person, such as Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with them all).
A Righteous Upbringing
Ja’far grew up under the tutelage of his father Muhammad ibn `Ali, eventually going on to narrate Hadith mainly from him. This is actually a great sign of good fortune that was prevalent among the early generations of the Muslims, which followed that of the companions of the Prophet. This generation, known as the “Tabi’een”, produced many scholars and specialists in the fields of Islamic knowledge.
In these clans, it was the norm that the moral upbringing and early education of a child was undertaken as a personal responsibility by the older, pious family members living in the household. A little child was not sent off to a religious school for their religious education and character-building, as is the norm among Muslims nowadays. Rather. the child was taught primarily by their own kith and kin.
Islamic Scholarship and the Company of Scholars
It is a sure sign of good fortune for any Muslim youngster or adult, if they are granted access to the company of righteous scholars of Islam viz. those noble teachers and students of Islamic knowledge, who spend most if not all of their time, remaining busy in gaining, propagating, and/or preserving the knowledge of the Quran, Hadith, and their related sciences and disciplines.
To sit in the company of scholars, to gain knowledge at their knees, to shake their hands, to pray salah behind them, to consult them in matters related to Islamic knowledge, to eat with them, and to even narrate Prophetic sayings from them directly, in fact symbolize the practical embodiment of the grace and favor of Allah upon an adult Muslim.
Though he narrated mainly from his father, as they both dwelled in the holy city of Madinah, Ja’far Al-Sadiq also enjoyed other scholarly company during his life as a student/teacher of Islamic knowledge. Among his students, who went on to narrate from him, were Sufyan ibn ‘Uyainah, Sufyan al-Thawri, Hasan ibn ‘Ayyash – the brother of Abu Bakr, Malik, and Abu Hanifa, among others. (Islamweb) His narrations have been recorded in Sahih Muslim.
A Lofty Legacy: A Noble Name
Like I said at the start of this article, for a righteous believer to live their life according to and in the service of Islam is indeed a sign of being fortunate. However, to also die a noble death, and thenceforth enjoy an honorable reputation, a good name, and an exalted status upon the tongues and in the hearts of the Muslims, which prevails even centuries after your demise, is another sign of good fortune. This is a gift that Allah bestows upon his chosen slaves, with whom He is pleased when they depart from this world.
Ja’far ibn Muhammad was so truthful, that he was nicknamed “al-Sadiq”, a suffix that has been appended to just his name among the noble generation of the Tabi’een. Worthy of being pointed out is how his nick is exactly the same as the one that was given to Prophet Muhammad by his people, before he became a Prophet of Allah. Such indeed is the exaltedness of the honor of a good name and repute that Allah bestows upon his chosen slaves.
May Allah be pleased with Ja’far ibn Muhammad Al-Sadiq, the truly “great” great-grandson of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)!