THE SCIENTIFIC MOVEMENT OF IMAM ṢĀDIQ (P.B.U.H.)
Imam Ṣādiq (P.B.U.H.) lived at a time when there was a real and deep interaction between Islamic thought and knowledge, and that of other nations and peoples. Philosophy and thought from other nations were translated from foreign languages specially Greek and Persian into Arabic. Muslims studied these sciences, added to them, enriched them, and broadened their scope. As a result, an active, ideological and scientific movement emerged. This intrusion and cultural interaction did not pass without drawing reactions from the Muslims. And so a current of suspicion and disbelief rose in the Muslim community. Groups of people who adopted dialectics, and embraced deviant views took root.
Amid these hard conditions, and the scientific and cultural activities following the emergence of various schools of thought, Imam Ṣādiq (P.B.U.H.) lived and carried out his responsibilities as a scholar and unmatched teacher in the cultural and religious domains. Even though the rulers and their hired writers tried to obliterate the image of this great man, he remained a shining star in the sky of Islam, and a rich spring of Islamic knowledge.
During his father’s lifetime, he helped in the establishment of Ahl al-Bayt’s (P.B.U.T.) university at the Mosque of the Prophet (P.B.U.H. & H.H.). Their main objectives were defending Islamic beliefs and spreading Islam. After the martyrdom of Imam Bāqir (P.B.U.H.), Imam Ṣādiq (P.B.U.H.) continued carrying out the task of developing this school, and defending monotheism. A whole generation of speakers, preachers, philosophers, scholars, etc., graduated from that school. No other Muslim Imams were so much visited and asked about the different Islamic sciences, specially Qur’anic exegesis, traditions, beliefs, ethics, etc., as were Imam Bāqir (P.B.U.H.) and his son. Indeed, it is by the guidance of Imam Ṣādiq (P.B.U.H.) and that of his noble forefathers and sons that Muslims found the right path which led them to the pure Sharī‘a.
Nobody was capable of creating such a scientific movement in that chaotic and dark era; the only one deserving this great status was the one who had a Divine mission and was upheld by Allah, so that he would be able to relate to the unseen through the power of revelation, purity of soul, and God-wariness. Thus he obtained the truths of knowledge from the boundless ocean of Divine knowledge, and impart them to those who would appreciate their value.
It was only the holy Imam Ṣādiq (P.B.U.H.) who was worthy of having such a position, and it was he alone who by withdrawing from politics and political controversies from the beginning of his Imamate, made great efforts in spreading Islamic knowledge, the genuine traditions of the true religion, and disseminating ordinances and teachings as well as training Muslims.
The era of Imam Ṣādiq (P.B.U.H.) was actually the golden age of knowledge and promulgation of Divine ordinances and education of disciples who would each carry the brilliant torch of knowledge to the nooks and corners of the world and, like their honorable teacher and leader, make endeavors to guide people through self-knowledge and knowledge of their Lord.