This year, May 16 marks the annual Iranian national holiday commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Sadeq. Since its adherents follow the Islamic calendar, which places the day on 25 Shawwal — the tenth month — the actual Western dates are constantly shifting. This holiday commemorates the life and death of Ja’far al-Sadiq, also known as Imam Sadeq, a Shia Muslim scholar and the founder of the Ja’fari school of law from the eighth century. After being poisoned by al-Mansur, he died in his mid-sixties, but his story has survived the passage of time to this day.
The background of Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq
Imam Sadeq was born in Medina around 700 or 702 A.D. He was the eldest son of al-Baqir the fifth Shia Imam. He came from a line of respected men, and he witnessed the veneration that the famous scholars of Medina held toward his grandfather, Zayn al-Abidin. Imam Sadeq participated in his father’s endeavours as the Household of Muhammad’s representative following the passing of his grandfather. Then, after his father died, he was designated as the next Imam. He was around 37 years old and held the Imamate for approximately 28 years.
His time as Imam coincided with a crucial period in Islamic history. He witnessed the overthrow of the ‘Umayyad Caliphate’ by the ‘Abbasids,’ and later on, the Abbasids’ prosecution of their former Shia allies. There are three fundamental religious concepts attributed to him. The first is that he adopted a middle road regarding the question of predestination, asserting that while God certainly mandated some things, others were left to human agency and free will. Secondly, he proclaimed what is deemed as the most important proposition for judging traditions: a ‘hadith’ that opposes the ‘Qurʾān’ should be rejected. Finally, he described Muhammad’s prophetic mission as a ray of light, created before Adam and passed on from Muhammad to his descendants.
Political tension never subsided during his Imamate, and these conflicts ultimately led to his demise. He was poisoned at the orders of the ‘caliph’ al-Mansur on 25 Shawwal, 148 A.H., or 765 A.D. He was buried in the al-Baqi Cemetery in Medina, and his tomb was a site of pilgrimage until 1926.
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5 essential facts about Iran
It is a common misconception that Iran is an Arabic country, but Iranians are actually Persian.
Iran’s weekend begins midway through Thursday and continues through Friday.
Iran is home to Zoroastrianism, which dates back to the 6th century B.C.
In Iran, it is considered rude to blow your nose in public.
In Iran, the thumbs-up signal is disrespectful and considered an insult.
MARTYRDOM OF IMAM SADEQ DATES