Imam Sadiq (AS) preserved the Judicial and legal Independence of Shia Islam Part (1)

The faculty member of the Research Centre for Islamic Culture and Thought said, “Imam Sadiq established a judicial system protected by the spiritual and religious sanctions within the Muslim society.”

Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) was born in 83 Hijri Qamari (in either 700 or 702 CE) and was brought up by his father, Imam Muhammad Baqir (AS) and his mother.

Being 31 years old, and following the martyrdom of Imam Muhammad Baqir (AS), he was appointed to Imam position and direction of the Muslims. His life was contemporary with the rule of five Umayyad and two Abbasid caliphs, and the struggles between Umayyds and Abbasids over the assumption of power have relieved the pressures on the Household of the Prophet (S).

This provided Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) with a good opportunity for distribution of the Islamic sciences and training students in his school, and as a result of his attempts, thousands of jurisprudents (Faqihs) and scholars were trained in different fields, such as medicine, chemistry, algebra, astronomy and etc. were trained, an example of whom is Jabir bin Hayyan, the founder of chemistry science.

Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS), together with his father, Imam Muhammad Baqir (AS), founded the biggest science centre of their own time in the world of Islam in Medina, and a countless number of students, coming from far and near region, attended his courses for acquiring knowledge.

Finally, the cruel Abbasid ruler, Mansoor Davaniqi, who couldn’t stand the enormous influence of Imam Sadiq (AS) on the people, issued the order of poisoning and martyring Imam Sadiq (AS) when he was 65 years old, and then he was buried in Baqi Cemetery of Medina.

Dr. Mahmood Hekmatnia, expressing condolences over the martyrdom of Imam Sadiq (AS), said, “I am going to talk about the impact of Imam Sadiq (AS) on the legal system of Islam. You know that He was born in 83 Hijri Qamari, and was martyred in 148 Hijri Qamari. His life was contemporary with the final years of the Umayyad caliphate and beginning of the Abbasids rule when Imam was 49 years old, and the final 16 years of his life passed in the era of the Abbasid Dynasty. A big change and development happened in the judicial system of Islam during the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties. The judicial system of the Umayyads was not centralised, i.e., the installation of the judges and judgement procedures were assigned to the provinces, cities and villages. Each region had its own judicial system and judges were installed and judged in the selected regions.”


He added, “The change of the non-centralized judicial system was what happened during the Abbasid dynasty. It means that the court [of the king] appointed someone to the position of the chief of justice and the chief judges of different countries were in turn installed by him, and they, in turn, chose the judges of countries, provinces, cities, states and etc. It is argued that Abbasids’ judicial system was an imitation of that of the Sassanid dynasty. As in the final years of the Umayyads and the initial years of the Abbasids, some theoretical, intellectual, logical and philosophical arguments and discussions were held. It is also possible that an argument held in the said era was a work on reviewing/revising the judicial systems belonging to the pre-Islam era, for instance to the judicial system of the Sassanid Dynasty.”


The faculty member of the Research Centre for Islamic Culture and Thought continued, “It is highly likely that the Abbasid dynasty adopted this system and then developed its own system. With regard to what mentioned, many books composed on the justice and judgement, for example on the judicial procedure, evidence and the manner of holding courts, jurisprudence and judicial titles and etc. belong to the era of Abbasid Dynasty. The first one who received the proposal to assume the position of chief of justice was Abu Hanifa, and although he didn’t accept this high position, the judicial system is established within the system of Abbasid Dynasty.”


Dr. Mahmood Hekmatnia then maintained, “Accordingly, Imam Sadiq (AS) confronted two different judicial systems, one non-centralized, and the other centralised belonging to the Abbasid Dynasty. This system includes a judicial system and judicial laws, i.e. legal regulations. The judicial laws underwent several radical changes in the era of Imam Sadeq (AS) because the establishment of Abu Hanifa’s school introduced and distributed rationalism as analogy and Istihsan (decorating or improving or considering something good), and indeed as independent reasoning. Abu Hanifa is almost the same age of Imam Sadeq (AS) he is three years older than Imam Sadeq (AS). He was born in the year 80 Hijri Qamari, and lived two years more than Imam Sadiq (AS), i.e., passed away in the year 150 Hijri Qamari.”