Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq – May 16, 2023

The Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq is an annual national holiday in Iran, and this year falls on May 16. The actual Western dates always shift, since its observers follow the Islamic calendar, which places the day on 25 Shawwal — which is the tenth month. This holiday commemorates the life and death of Ja’far al-Sadiq, also referred to as Imam Sadeq, an 8th-century Shia Muslim scholar and the founder of the Ja’fari school of law. He passed away in his mid-sixties, after being poisoned by al-Mansur, but his story has survived the passing of time, to even this day.

History 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 respect that the famous scholars of Medina held toward his grandfather, Zayn al-Abidin. After his grandfather died, Imam Sadeq participated in his father’s efforts as the representative of the Household of Muhammad. 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. Three fundamental religious ideas have been ascribed 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.

During his Imamate, political tension never ceased, and these conflicts eventually lead to his death. 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 place of pilgrimage until 1926.

Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq timeline

700 - 702 A.D
The Birth of a Great Imam

Imam Sadeq, also known as Ja'far al-Sadiq, is born in Medina.

732 - 736 A.D.
The Death of a Father

The Imam’s father, Muhammad al-Baqir, dies and hands over the mantle to him.

750 A.D.
The Establishment of a New Dynasty

The Abbasid dynasty is established when Imam Sadeq is 48 years old.

765 A.D.
The Murder of the Imam

Iman Sadeq dies after being poisoned.

Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq FAQs

How is Imam Sadeq related to Prophet Muhammad?

He is the sixth Imam or the spiritual successor to the Prophet Muhammad. This marks him as a great man worthy of all honor.

Who was the successor of Imam Sadeq?

Some consider Ismāʿīl ibn Jaʿfar, his eldest son, as his successor. This is in line with tradition since Imam Sadeq had himself been his late father’s successor.

How many Imams are there in Islam?

There are 12 Imams. It is also believed that these Imams all met unnatural deaths except the last one.

How to Observe Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq

  1. Read his teachings

    Read and study the teachings of Imam Sadeq. It is a great approach to this day and allows you to learn something new.

  2. Visit the Mosque

    Spend time at the Mosque praying. For believers, it’s an amazing way to strengthen their faith.

  3. Attend a mourning ceremony

    Host or attend a mourning ceremony for Imam Sadeq. This way, you can pay your respects and contribute to the faith.

5 Important Facts About Iran

  1. Iranians are Persian

    It is a common misconception that Iran is an Arabic country, but Iranians are actually Persian.

  2. The weekend starts on Thursday

    The weekend in Iran begins mid-Thursday all through to Friday.

  3. Iran has one of the oldest religions

    Iran is home to Zoroastrianism, which dates back to the 6th century B.C.

  4. It is rude to blow your nose

    In Iran, it is considered rude to blow your nose in public.

  5. The thumbs-up is an insult

    In Iran, the thumbs-up signal is disrespectful and considered an insult.

Why Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq is Important

  1. It is a day of rest

    The Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq is a national holiday. Thus, most schools and businesses are closed.

  2. It unites people

    Mourning ceremonies unite the public as they come together to pay their respects. It’s a moment for communities.

  3. It is a central event to the religion

    It is a chance to respectfully observe a long-standing event, pivotal to Islamic culture in Iran. It shows us how big our world truly is.

Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq dates

YearDateDay
2022May 27Friday
2023May 16Tuesday
2024May 4Saturday
2024April 24Wednesday
2025April 13Sunday

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