The Golden Chain

5. Jafar as-Sidiq

Jafar as-Sidiq (may God sanctify his innermost being) was born in 702 C.E in Medina and is the fifth Master in the Golden Chain lineage.

His geneology holds a special place in the Naqshbandi Order. His father, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, was the son of Imam Zain al-Abidin, whose father was Husayn, whose father was Ali ibn Abu Talib. His mother’s father was al-Qasim, the fourth Shaykh in the Golden Chain, and from whom he received the secret of the Golden Chain. His grandfather was Abu Bakr as-Siddiq.

Consequently, he received from the Prophet (peace & blessings upon him) the meeting of two lines of profound spiritual inheritance: the secret of the Prophet through Ali and the secret of the Prophet through Abu Bakr. For this reason he was called ‘The Inheritor of the Prophetic Station and the Inheritor of the Truthful Station’. The lights of the knowledge of Truth and Reality were reflected through him.

The Naqshbandi Order is unique in Sufism, because it is initiated from the Prophet through Abu Bakr as-Siddiq. However, through Jafar as-Sidiq, the Shaykhs of the Golden Chain also received spiritual access to Ali ibn Abu Talib.

He took knowledge from his father through Ali and from his grandfather, al-Qasim, through Abu Bakr. Being of the generation of the Followers (Tabi’een), he then added to this knowledge by learning from the Companions of the Prophet. Jafar spent the first fourteen years of his life beside his Grandfather, Zain al-Abidin and later spent his life in worship and acts of piety for the sake of God, rejecting the positions of fame offered to him. He had two sons from his first wife. Following her death, he purchased and freed an Andalusian slave named Hamidah, trained her as an Islamic scholar and then married her. She later bore him two sons and became famous for her wisdom and knowledge, being known as Hamidah the Pure.

Jafar became an authority in all aspects of Islam, to such an extent that he taught two of the four great Imams of Islam – Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik. He also taught other leading figures in Islam, such as Sufyan ath-Thawri, Sufyan bin Ayinah and al-Qattan.

Some of his sayings are:-

“Three things cause affection: religion, modesty and generosity . . . three things cause hatred: hypocrisy, self-admiration and oppression.”

“Whoever fears God, God makes all things fear him; and whoever does not fear God, God makes him fear all things.”

“He who answers all that he is asked, surely is mad.”

“The best is he who wastes not.”

He passed away in 765 A.D. and is buried in Jannat al-Baqi in Medina.


Extracts from “The Naqshbandi Way – History and Guidebook of the Saints of the Golden Chain”, by Mawlana Shaykh Hisham.