'Abd Allah ibn J'afar

Abdallah ibn Ja'far
عبد الله بن جعفر
TitleCompanion of Muhammad
Bornc. 622 or 626
Diedc. 699 or 702/704

Abdullah ibn Ja'far (Arabic: عبد الله بن جعفر‎) (c.624–c.699 or 702/704),[1] was a companion and relative of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, a nephew of Ali ibn Abi Talib and a half-brother of Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr. He was loyal to Ahl al-Bayt in spite of his absence at the Battle of Karbala. He is reported to have said: ”Thanks to God Almighty, I could not support al-Husayn ibn Ali at Karbala, but my two sons (’Awn and Muhammad) did."[2] According to Richard Francis Burton he is widely recognized as the most sympathetic amongst Arabs. His grave is situated near Aqeel ibn Abi Talib and Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harith (the grandson of Abd al-Muttalib) in Jannat al-Baqi[3]

The Grave of Abdullah ibn Ja'far in Al-Baqi

Early life[]

He was the son of Ja'far ibn Abu Talib and Asma bint Umais. They had emigrated to Abyssinia in 616, and Abdullah and his two brothers were born there.[4]: 196  Abdullah was the first of Muslims to be born in the land of Abyssinia [5] After the birth of Abdullah in Abyssinia (Habesha Presently Ethiopia), the king of the Kingdom of Aksum ( Al-Najashi) was blessed with a son too. He immediately asked the parents of Abdullah Ibn Jaffar about the name of their child. Upon knowing the name of Jaffar family, King of Abyssinia also chose the name “Abdullah” for his first son. It is also stated that Asma bint Umays was the nursing mother of son of Abyssinian King.[6] The younger brother of Abdullah appears to be the first child in the Muslim history who was named Muhammad after the Prophet of Islam.[7] The family returned to Arabia in 628 and settled in Medina.[4]: 196 

Muhammad's Supplication & instruction[]

In addition to Ibn Hajar' reference, it is said that after 3 days of Jafar's death Muhammad went to the house of Asma and called for the children of Jafar. He then said about each of them “As for Muhammad, he resembles our uncle Abi Talib. As for Abdullah, he resembles me in terms of both my appearance and character. Afterward, Muhammad took the right hand of Abdullah and said “O Allah, provide a successor for Jafar in his family, and bless Abdullah in his business, and repeated this appeal to Al-mighty thrice.[8][5] Muhammad instructed the sons of Abi Talib, namely Jafar, Aqeel and Ali that they should arrange marriages of their children with their cousins.[9]

Marriage and Family Life[]

Ali had particularly wished that his daughters should marry Ja'far's sons.[4]: 299  When Abdullah asked for Zainab's hand, Ali accepted it.[10] Abdullah and Zainab had five children.

According to Shaikh Muhammad Abbas Qummi, he had 20 sons from different wives, including 5 children from Zainab Binte Ali. Daira-e-Maarif Islamia (Circle of Islamic Knowledge) of University of Punjab (pages 568-70, Vol.X) describes that Zainabi is a progeny of Abdullah’s son Ali through Zainab binte Ali[10]: 31 

Abdullah Bin Jaffar-e-Tayyar was one of the richest people in Madina and a famous philanthropist who was called as “Bahrul Joud” which means an ocean of charity.[10]: 35 

When Ali became the Caliph in 656 and moved from Medina to Kufa, Zainab and Abdullah joined him.[11]

His wife’s journey with Hussain Ibn Ali[]

It is related that Zainab already forecast the journey (journey to Karbala) before her marriage and permission for accompanying with her brother was obtained during marriage negotiations.[12][13] With regard to Absent of Abdullah in battle of Karbala, it is said it was due to his poor eye sighting consequently he was unable to bear the rigidities of journey and war.[10]: 37  Knowing Hussain's journey to Kufa, Zainab, the wife of Abdullah ibn Jaffar begged her husband's permission to accompany her brother.[14] Realizing anxiousness of her husband she stated that:

You know that for 55 years my brother and I have never been separated. Now is the time of our old age and the closing period of our lives. If I leave him now, how shall I be able to face my mother, who at the time of her death had willed, “Zainab” after me you are both mother and sister for Hussain? It is obligatory for me to stay with you, but if I do not go with him at this time, I shall not be able to bear the separation.

Abdullah then granted his permission and sent their two sons for the destined journey.[15]

Abdullah was concurrently married to Layla bint Masud.[4]: 300  With reference to books ‘Nasab e Quraish Page-83’ and ‘Jameerath ul Nasab by Ibn Hazm page 62’ it is described that Layla Binte Masood bin Khalid was “Zoja-e-Sani (second wife)” through this marriage he had two daughters (Umme Muhammad and Umme Abhiha) and four sons (Yahya, Haroon, Suleh & Musa).[16]


Battles:With regard to his presence in the Battle of Camel, it is indicated that at the end of Battle, while entrusting the return of Aisha to Medina under security of her brother Muhammad ibn Abi Bakar, Ali ordered for payment of 12,000 Dirhams to Aisha. Abdullah thinking that the amount was too little, brought out a larger sum for Aisha.[17]: 127  According to Ahmad ibn A'tham in battle of Siffin he was commanding the infantry in the army of Ali ibn Abi Talib together with his cousin Muslim ibn Aqeel, Muhammad ibn Al-Hanafiyyah and step brother Muhammad bin Abi Bakar.[18]

Politics:He was a staunch supporter of his uncle Ali in the civil war. He maintained a reputation for liberality and patronage in Medina, earning him the nickname “the Ocean of Generosity”.[19] After killing of Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Abdullah bin Jaffar together with his cousins Hassan and Hussain participated in washing the body and dressed him for burial in three robes without a Kurta (a long shirt).[20]

In addition to some spy reporting to Ali Ibn Abi Talib that Qays bin Sad bin Ubadah, his governor at Egypt had given allegiance to Muawiya, he received his letter which was written in perspective of affairs emerged on account of a conspiracy caused by opponent of Ali. Ali called his sons and Abdallah bin Ja'far and consulted the matter. Upon advice of Abdullah, Ali wrote a letter ordering Qays bin Sad to seek the people to give their allegiance as the Muslims have done (after the 3rd Caliph). But, if they do not, then fight them. The governor of Egypt against this communication wrote a letter to Ali Ibn Abi Talib. Then Abdullah Bin Jaffar requested his father in law to replace Qays bin Sad bin Ubadah with Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr as governor of Egypt and pleaded that if he really has gone over to Mu`awiyah, he will refuse to give up Egypt. However, according to Tabari it was a poor advice consequent to meeting of Qays bin Sad with Ali during the period of killing of Muhammad bin Abi Bakar.[17]: 185–189 (VOL.XVI) 

Once a Chief of Iraqi village asked Abdullah Bin Jafar to recommend his case before Caliph Ali for accomplishment. He did so and matter of that chief was satisfied by Ali Ibn Abi Talib. As a gratification the chief sent 40,000 Darhims through some people to Abdullah, who refused the money saying that we do not sell our good deeds[21]

His vision for Hussain[]

Knowing death of his two sons in the battle of Karbala, people were offering condolences to Abdullah, one of his Mawili (Abu al-Lislas [a companion]) said that “this is what we have met and what has come upon us through Hussain Ibn Ali” on this statement he struck him with his sandal and told that I am pleased that my two sons killed with my brother and cousin. By God! If I had been present with him, I would have preferred not to leave him in order that I would be killed with him. He then seeking attention of people consoling him, said that “Praise be to God, Who has made life hard, console Hussain Ibn Ali with my own hands, my two sons consoled him.[17] : 177 

Letter to Hussain[]

Ibn Khaldun in chapter 2 volume II title “Yazid-I” from 60 to 64 AH, it is described that Abdullah sent a letter through his sons Awn & Muhammad, to Hussain, requesting that “for God sake come back. It is my advice to you in anxiety that you would be killed and Ahle-Bayt destroyed. As a result, earth’s light will come to an end, there would be no leader for Muslims. Please do not hurry in journey, I would be reaching there after this letter.[22]" Later he went to Amr bin Said who was Yazid's governor of Mecca and asked him to write a letter to Hussain offering him a guarantee of harmless behavior assuring him kindness and open-handedness. "Show trust to him in your letter and request him to return." This letter was replied by Hussain too.[17]

See also[]


  1. ^ Sallabi, Ali, al-Hasan ibn Ali, His Life and Times, p. 269
  2. ^ Shahin, Badr (2002). Lady Zaynab. Qum, Iran: Ansariyan Publications. p. 82. ISBN 964-438-399-0.
  3. ^ Francis Burton, Sir Richard (1893). Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah, Volume 2. UK: The Meccan Press, 3 Soho Square, London, W. p. 44.
  4. ^ a b c d e Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 8. Translated by Bewley, A. (1995). The Women of Madina. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  5. ^ a b Dr. Ayman Odaibat, Dr. Mona Borhan Ghazal (Al Refai) (3 March 2013). Virtuous Women In Mythology and Holy Books (English translation from Arabic). Bloomington, Indiana: Author House. p. 189.
  6. ^ Khan, Ashfaq Ahmed. Sakhawat Ka Darya the 5th series of books "Daur-e-Nabuwat kay bacchay (Children during Prophethood) (in Urdu). Pakistan, UK, USA & Saudi Arab: Darus Salam (International publisher). p. 12.
  7. ^ A. Hamid (June 1995). "Jafar Ibn Abi Talib". The Fountain Magazine. Archived from the original on 15 December 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  8. ^ Faisal Shafeeq, Dr.Ali Muhammad As-Sallaabee (2001). The Noble Life of the Prophet. UK: Kalamullah.com. pp. 1661–1662.
  9. ^ Shaikh Abbas Borhany, Qazi Dr. (30 June – 6 July 1994), "Syedah Zainab, Protector of the Renaissance of Karbala" (PDF), The Weekly Mag, Pakistan, pp. 5–6, archived from the original (PDF) on 25 February 2017, retrieved 18 December 2017
  10. ^ a b c d Akbar Rizvi, Syed Ali (2007). Bibi Zainab (s.a) - Granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Karachi, Pakistan: Idara Tarveej-e-Uloom-e-Islamia. p. 30.
  11. ^ Aalulbayt Global Information Center (2003–2007). "Al-Sayeda Zainab (p.b.u.h.), the Greatest Women Messenger of Imam al-Hussain (p.b.u.h.) Revolution". Holy Karbala Net. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  12. ^ Nisar Ahmed Zainpuri, Akbar Asadi, Mehdi Raza’í (1951). Namoona-e-Sabr (Zainab) translation from Persian to Urdu (in Persian). Qum, Iran: Ansarian Publications. p. 60.
  13. ^ Fatima Naqvi, Dr. Umme (December 2011). The Ultimate Sacrifice for Allah: Karbala. Nashriyat-e-Walayat-e-Elahia. p. 13.
  14. ^ Shaikh Musa Muhammad (8 August 2009). "Lady Zaynab (Peace be Upon Her) - Ubaydullah Ibn Ziyad in Kufa". Al-Hassanain Com. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  15. ^ Bilgrami, M.H (1986). The Victory of Truth – The Life of Zaynab Binte Ali. Karachi, Pakistan: Zahra Publications. p. 82. ISBN 088059-151-X.
  16. ^ Abbasi, Mehmood Ahmed (1962). Khilafat-e-Muawiya O Yazid (in Urdu). Liaquatabad, Karachi, Pakistan: Maktab-e-Mehmoodia. pp. 276–77.
  17. ^ a b c d I.K.A. Howard, Al-Tabari. The Caliphate of Yazid b. Mutawiyah. New York: State University of New York Press. pp. 73–74 (Volume XIX).
  18. ^ Asam Kufi, Ahmed bin Abu Muhammad bin Ali (2002). Tareekh-e-Asam Kufi (in Urdu). Janazga, Mazang, Lahore, Pakistan: Ali publication. p. 278.
  19. ^ Ibn Rashid, Mamar (May 2014). The Expions: An Early Biography of Muhammad. NY, USA: New York University Press. p. 316. online ref:[1]
  20. ^ Ibn Sad, Allama Abdullah al-Imadi. Tabqat Ibn Sad Vol-2 (Parts-3 & 4) (in Urdu) (2003 ed.). Karachi Pakistan: Darul Ishaat. p. 192.
  21. ^ Mufti Afzal Hoosen Elias, Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf Kandhelvi (March 2006). Hayat Us Sahaba - (English translation from Urdu) Volume 2. Karachi, Pakistan: Zem Zem, Publisher, Urdu Bazar. p. 282..
  22. ^ Illabadi, Hakeem Ahmed Hussain. Tareekh-e-Ibn Khaldun by Nafees Academy (in Urdu) (2003 ed.). Karachi Pakistan. p. 522.

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