Isma'il ibn Jafar

Isma'il ibn Jafar
Born 103 AH
(approximately 722 C.E)
Died 138 AH
(approximately 755 C.E)
Resting place Al-Baqi' Madina Saudi Arabia
Other names Abu Muhammad, Isma'il Ad-deebaj
Known for Elder son of Ja'far al-Sadiq, sixth Ismāʿīlī Imām, Syed
Title az-Azbab-i-Itlaq (Absolute lord), Al-Wafi
Predecessor Ja'far al-Sadiq According to Ismaili Shia Branch
Successor Muhammad ibn Ismail According to Ismaili Shia Branch
Children Muhammad ibn Ismail, Ali ibn Ismail, Fatima
Relatives Musa al-Kadhim

Ismāʿīl ibn Ja‘far al-Mubārak (Arabic: إسماعيل بن جعفر; c. born: 719 AD, Medina - died circa 755 AD, Medina) was the eldest son of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, and he was the full-brother of Abdullah al-Aftah. His mother, Fatima bint al-Hussain'l-Athram bin al-Hasan bin Ali, was the first wife of Ja'far al-Sadiq. Following Ja'far's death, the Shia community split between the element that would become the Twelver Shia, and those who believed the Imamate passed through to Ismail's son; the Ismaili branch of Shia Islam is accordingly named for Ismail.[1] According to both the Nizari and Mustaali Shia sects, he is the sixth Imam.

The Ismāʿīlī-Ithna’asheri Division

Ismāʿīlī followed Ismail ibn Jafar as the sixth Imam after Ja'far al-Sadiq[2] instead of them, Twelver Shia Muslims follow Musa al-Kadhim as successor of Jafar ibn Muhammad.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Ismāʿīlī sources deny the death of Isma'il Ibn Jafar in the life of Jafar ibn Muhmmad[10] However other Shia and Sunni Muslims believe that he died in the life of Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq.[11][12][13][14][15][16]

Burial Place

According to Ismāʿīlī sources, he is buried in Al-Salamiyah, a city located in Syria.[17] Twelver Shia's and Sunni Muslims sources have contradicted this information, stating that he was buried in Al-Baqi' Medina, the holy Islamic city located in Saudi Arabia.[18][19][20][21][22][23] However, some Ismāʿīlī sources also point to Al-Baqi' Madina as the burial place of Isma'il ibn Jafar.[24]


He was born in Shawwal in 100 AH/719 C.E. To protect him from persecution, his father sent him into hiding and publicly declared him deceased. The majority Twelver groups however argue that Ismail actually died, and that the funeral was not a fraud. He died during the Imamat of Imam Ja'far al- Sadiq in the year 138 AH/756 C.E. Ismaili sources say that after the age of seven, as the designated successor, Ismail was kept apart from his siblings, limited his contact with the public and took personal responsibility for his education. Given his father Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq's own reputation as a scholar and the number of distinguished students who sought out his tuition, Ismail would have received high quality training. It is also said that whenever he was ill and unable to fulfill his duties as Imam he deputized Ismail, although this role was restricted to the confines of the residence. According to Daftary, Ismail 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).[1] He may have been summoned to the Caliph's court with others to face charges but according to Daftary he was spared execution, unlike some of his fellow plotters.[2] In about 762, Ismail may have let Madina 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 Ismaili Imam, who was about 22 at the time. Some Ismailis believe that Muhammad bin Ismail became "Hidden" and will return as the Mahdi, to establish universal peace and justice. According to Daftary, he may have led a revolt against the Abbasids in 815, "and died shortly afterwards."[3] He probably lived in "southwestern Persia ... from where he dispatched his own Dais to adjoining areas."[4]


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  3. "The Imamate of Imam Musa Kazim (A.S.) || Imam Reza (A.S.) Network". Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  4. "Examining the Ismaili Imams & the Bohras". Alhassanain(p) Network for Heritage and Islamic Thought. 2015-08-08. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
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  6. Tignor, Robert L. (2011-09-12). Egypt: A Short History. Princeton University Press. ISBN 1400839823.
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  11. Dungersi, Mohammed Raza (1996-01-01). A Brief Biography of Imam Musa bin Jafar (a.s.): al-Kadhim. Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania. ISBN 9789976956931.
  12. "Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) in the Books of the Ahle Tasannun | Serat Online". Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  13. "The Twelve Successors of the Holy Prophet". Retrieved 2016-04-11.
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  16. "Farsictionary, English-Persian (Iranian History Glossary) : Imam Jafar Sadegh". Retrieved 2016-04-11.
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  18. "Criminal silence on the Baqee destruction reason behind Muslim problems; Moosavi on 8 Shawwal | Jafariya News Network". Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  19. "Ziarat of Hazrat Ismail bin Imam Jafar Sadiq (as)". Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  20. "SAUDI ARABIA - ZIARAAT & INFORMATION". Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  21. "Madinah a-Munawwarah | almiskeenah | Page 4". Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  22. "History of Baqi cemetry in Medina". Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  23. "iClassic". Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  24. "Burial Places of Imams - Dawoodi Bohra Forum". Retrieved 2016-04-11.
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