Al-Mufaddal ibn Umar, teacher of Ismail ibn Jafar

In this following al-Kafi hadith, Ismail - son of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq dies. 

Afterwards, Imam al-Sadiq orders his companion Yunus ibn Ya’qub to mourn al-Mufaddal for the loss of Ismail. 

The Imam tells Yunus greet al-Mufaddal with “al-Salam [alaykum]” on behalf of Imam al-Sadiq, and to tell him: 

“We have been struck by [the death] of Ismail, so we were patient. So be patient, [O Mufaddal], like we had been patient. We had wanted a matter [that Ismail become the next Imam], but Allah desired a different matter. So we had submitted our will to the will of Allah.”

16 - عنه، عن علي بن الحكم، عن يونس بن يعقوب قالأمرني أبو عبد الله (عليه السلامأن آتي المفضل وأعزيه بإسماعيل وقالاقرأالمفضل السلام (1) وقل لهإنا قد أصبنا بإسماعيل فصبرنا، فاصبر كما صبرنا، إنا أردنا أمرا وأراد الله عز وجل أمرا، فسلمنا لأمر الله عزوجل. (1) 

  • The fact that Imam al-Sadiq sends his companion to mourn Al-Mufaddal for the death of Imam al-Sadiq’s own & asking him to be patient. This highlights a very strong relationship between Al-Mufaddal & Ismail ibn Jafar - which the following ahadith show was because al-Mufaddal excercised a “teacher” role with Ismail ibn Jafar. 

I mention these ahadith in my booklet, “Labbayk Jafar! An examination of the first Imamite rebel movement”. It shows that al-Mufaddal had been teaching Ismail ibn Jafar the beliefs of the radical Khattabiya, often described with ghuluw, but both appeared to return to the mainstream:

“I heard Aba Abdilah tell al-Mufaddal ibn Umar [then a Khattabite]:

‘O kafir, o mushrik! You have nothing to do with my son’

[Narrator says]: He meant [his son] Ismail, who had joined the Khattabites but then returned [to the mainstream]’” (2)

In another narration, Imam al-Sadiq tells al-Mufaddal to stay away from Ismail - as al-Mufaddal’s activities will only kill Ismail. (3)


(1) Al-Kafi, volume 2, page 92

(2) Rijal al-Kashi, vol 2, page 612

(3) Rijal al-Kashi, page 272-274