Imam al-Sadiq’s marriages to Abbasids and Umayyads


Our ahadith record our Imams having infiltrated the governments of oppressors in numerous ways - for the benefit of their secretive da’wah movement, such as:

  • Loyal viziers, such as Ali ibn Yaqtin
  • Recruiting members of the Abbasid family, such as al-Mutawakkil’s mother
  • Recruiting members of the Abbasid government, such as Banu Nawbakht
  • Recruiting the hajib (prime minister) of the Abbasid govt, such as Sa’id al-Hajib in the era of Imam al-Hadi

One of the ways in which such recruitment was facilitated, but is not widely discussed, is marriage.

Imam al-Ridha & al-Jawad married the daughters of al-Ma’mun. Imam Ali gave his daughter to Umar. However, these seem to be political maneuvurings by those rulers against the Imams. 

However, Imam al-Sadiq willingly married his daughters to Umayyad & Abbasid men - likely indicating this is to co-opt these figures. Particularly since the Abbasid figure, governor of Mecca, appears to have become Shi’i. This will be the subject of today’s post:

  • Umayyad marriage

(Rijal al-Kashi, vol 2, page 678):

Dawud ibn Ali al-Abbasi, in an attempt to criticize Imam Jafar al-Sadiq, said: 

You [O Jafar] have also commmitted a sin which Allah does not forgive you for. 

He [Jafar] said: ‘And what might that sin be?’ 

Dawud said: ‘You have married your daughter to Fulan, the Umayyad.’

Imam Jafar said: ‘If I had married my daughter to Fulan the Umayyad, then Rasul Allah had married his daughter to Uthman, and Rasul Allah is a model for me [in my action]’”

فقال له داودوأنت قد أتيت ذنبا لا يغفره الله لك قالوما ذاك الذنب؟ قال زوجت ابنتك فلانا الأموي، قالإن كنت زوجت فلانا الأموي فقدزوج رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله عثمان، ولي برسول الله أسوة.

Given that Imam al-Sadiq lived through both the Umayyad and Abbasid eras, if this marriage took place in the Umayyad period - it is most likely for political advantage for the Imam’s da’wah movement.

  • Abbasid marriage

A man named Muhammad ibn Ibrahim, governor of Mecca, was the husband of Fatima - daughter of Imam al-Sadiq.

(Tahdheeb al-Ahkam, vol 7, page 471)

“Abu al-Hasan al-Madhi (i.e, Imam al-Kadhim) was with Muhammad ibn Ibrahim - the governor of Mecca - and he is the husband of Fatima, daughter of Abi Abdilah (as) [i.e, Imam al-Sadiq]

قالكان أبو الحسن الماضي (عليه السلامعند محمد ابن إبراهيم والي مكة وهو زوج فاطمة بنت أبي عبد الله (عليه السلام)

Upon inspection into the background of Muhammad ibn Ibrahim - the governor of Mecca, we find the following.

It would seem that Muhammad is the son of the founder of the Abbasid movement, Ibrahim al-Imam, however it would seem he ended up following Tashayyu’ on Imam al-Sadiq’s path:

“Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Imam ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Abdullah ibn Abbas ibn Abdulmuttalib: 

From the companions of al-Sadiq (as), has many ahadith narrated from (al-Sadiq). He was killed in 140 AH at at the age of 57.”

12231 - محمد بن إبراهيم الإمام بن محمد بن علي بن عبد الله بن العباس بن عبد المطلب:

من أصحاب الصادق عليه السلاموله نسخة كبيرة عنه عليه السلامو أصيب سنة 140 وله سبع وخمسون سنةوتقدم في أبيه مزيد بيانفي حقهبعض رواياته في بشا ص 197 مكررا.

Going to Mukhalif sources, Tarikh Dimashq by Ibn ‘Asakir speaks of “Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Imam ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Abdullah ibn Abbas ibn Abdulmuttalib” being appointed governor of Mecca and leading hajj once.

Interestingly enough - Tarikh Dimashq records a hadith in which the grandson of Muhammad ibn Ibrahim, narrates from his father, from Muhammad ibn Ibrahim, from Imam al-Sadiq.

Thus, corroborating the Shi’i ahadith in establishing some form of relation existed between al-Sadiq and Muhammad ibn Ibrahim: