One night Khalifah Mansur said to his wazir (prime minister):
"Bring Saadiq to me. I want to slay him."
Wazir: "Do you wish to slay a man who has renounced the world; who has adopted solitude; who is engrossed in the worship of Allah and who has no worldly designs?"
Expressing his annoyance, the Khalifah said: "Go! Bring him so that I could slay him." Inspite of the wazir's pleas, the Khalifah remained adamant. Finally the wazir was constrained to summon Hadhrat Ja'far Saadiq (rahmatullah alayh). Meanwhile Mansur ordered his guards to kill Hadhrat Ja'far on his arrival. When the Khalifah removed his crown from his head it will signal the moment for slaying Hadhrat Ja'far.
When Hadhrat Ja'far appeared, the Khalifah stood up in respect. With great honour and humility he welcomed Hadhrat Ja'far. In fact, he ran forward to greet Hadhrat Ja'far. He brought Hadhrat Ja'far to sit on the royal stage. The guards were greatly surprised by the reverence and honour which Mansur showed to Hadhrat Ja'far. The Khalifah said to Hadhrat Ja'far: "Is there any thing you need?"
Hadhrat Ja'far: "Do not inconvenience me again by calling me. Leave me to worship Allah." Mansur allowed Hadhrat Ja'far to leave with utmost respect.
After the departure of Hadhrat Saadiq, the Khalifah began to shiver uncontrollably and fell down unconscious. He remained unconscious for three days. According to some, he was unconscious for the duration of three Salaat which became qadhaa.
When the Khalifah regained conscious, the wazir asked for an explanation. The Khalifah said: "When Saadiq entered, a huge serpent was at his side. The one jaw of the serpent was touching the ground and the other jaw, the ceiling. The serpent was implying to me: 'If you harm him I shall swallow you along with the whole stage."
As a result of the fear for the serpent, the Khalifah did not know what he was saying or doing. He said: "I apologized and became unconscious."
Once Hadhrat Daud Tai (rahmatullah alayh) said to Hadhrat Ja'far (rahmatullah alayh):
"O son of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم)! My heart has darkened. Give me some naseehat."
"O Abu Sulaiman! You are the zaahid of the age. You are not in need of my naseehat."
Hadhrat Daud said: "O son of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم)! Allah Ta'ala has bestowed to you all excellences and virtues. It is incumbent on you to admonish everyone."
Hadhrat Ja'far: "O Abu Sulaiman! I fear that on the Day of Qiyaamah my grandfather may apprehend me and demand: 'Why did you not fulfil the demands of my obedience?' This mission is not correctly discharged by genealogy. It is fulfilled by maintaining a beautiful relationship with Allah Ta'ala."
Hadhrat Daud wept profusely and commented: "O Allah! When this is the state of him whose grandfather is the Rasool, whose mother is Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) and who is a beacon of Knowledge, who is this non-entity Daud to become vain and proud?"
One day Hadhrat Ja'far Saadiq (rahmatullah alayh) said to his disciples: "Come, let us pledge and promise that whoever among us will be saved on the Day of Qiyaamah, he will intercede on behalf of the others."
The disciples said: "O son of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم)! What need do you have for our intercession when your grandfather will be the intercessor for entire creation?"
Hadhrat Saadiq: "I feel ashamed of my deeds. How can I look my grandfather in the face on the Day of Qiyaamah?"
When Hadhrat Ja'far Saadiq (rahmatullah alayh) went into solitude, refusing to emerge, Hadhrat Sufyaan Thauri (rahmatullah alayh) visited him and said:
"O son of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم)! The people are deprived of your blessings. Why have you gone into solitude."
Hadhrat Ja'far: "Now, I consider this to be appropriate. Trust has departed. People are engrossed in their own thoughts and needs. While they profess love and friendship, their hearts are filled with scorpions."
5. Once when a man saw Hadhrat Ja'far Saadiq (rahmatullah alayh) wearing fine, expensive garments, he commented:
"O son of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم)! It is not befitting for the Ahl-e-Bait to wear such garments."
Hadhrat Ja'far Saadiq took the man's hand and pushed it inside his (Ja'far Saadiq's) sleeve. The lining under the fine cloth was of such coarse sack-cloth which hurt the man's hand. Hadhrat Ja'far commented:
"This (the external cloth) is for creation and that (the coarse lining) is for the creator." (His externally adorned garments were to conceal his piety while the simple coarse sack-cloth was the demand of his high level of piety.)
6. Hadhrat Ja'far Saadiq (rahmatullah alayh) asked Hadhrat Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh):
"Who is an intelligent man?"
Imaam Abu Hanifah: "One who can distinguish between good and bad."
Hadhrat Ja'far: "An animal is also able to distinguish between good and bad. An animal recognizes a man who is kind and cruel to it."
Imaam Abu Hanifah: "Who then is an intelligent person?"
Hadhrat Ja'far: "A person who is able to distinguish between two acts of goodness and two acts of badness so that he could choose the greater act of goodness and the lesser evil." (The rule of choosing the lesser evil applies when confronted by two evils and there is no third option. To save oneself from either of the evils has to be chosen. In such an eventuality, the lesser evil is adopted.)
7. A man whose purse containing gold coins was lost. He accused Hadhrat Ja'far Saadiq (rahmatullah alayh ) of having stolen it. This man was not aware of the identity of Hadhrat Ja'far. On asking the man about the contents of the purse, he said that the purse contained 1,000 dinars. Hadhrat Ja'far took the man home and gave him 1,000 dinars.
A short while later when the man discovered his purse with the money intact, he returned to Hadhrat Ja'far Saadiq, presented the 1,000 dinars and apologized. Hadhrat Ja'far said: "I do not take back what I had given." When the man learnt who Hadhrat Ja'far Saadiq was, he left feeling very ashamed.
8. A man said to Hadhrat Ja'far Saadiq (rahmatullah alayh): "Show me Allah. I want to see Him with my eyes."
Hadhrat Ja'far: "Have you not heard (i.e. in the Qur'aan) it is said to Musaa (alayhis salaam): 'You cannever see Me.' ?"
The man said: "I have heard it. But this is the Millat (Deen) of Muhammad ( صلى الله عايه وسالم). Someone calls out: 'My heart has seen Allah'. Another says: 'I do not worship a being I cannot see'." (This man was referring to statements of the Auliyaa of this Ummah. If they could make these claims, then there can be nothing wrong in the demand to see Allah. So thought this man.)
Imaam Ja'far Saadiq ordered his mureeds (disciples) to tie the man and toss him into the river Dajla. This was done. The water swallowed him. As he bobbed up, he cried: 'O son of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم), help! Help!'
Hadhrat Ja'far exclaimed: 'O water take him.' The water submerged the man. This occurred several times. Each time when he surfaced, he cried out: 'O son of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم), help! Help!' Finally when he lost all hope, he called out: 'O Allah, help me!' Hadhrat Ja'far ordered his disciples to bring him out of the river. After the man had rested and gained his composure, Hadhrat Ja'far asked: "Did you see Allah?"
The man: "As long as I called to others, there remained a veil concealing Allah. When I turned my attention only to Him, seeking His aid, a window opened up in my heart from which I saw Him."
Hadhrat Ja'far Saadiq said: Aslong as you called: 'Saadiq! Saadiq!', you were a kaathib (liar). Now guard this window."
(Saadiq means true. As long as the man was calling 'Saadiq', his belief in Allah was defective, hence Hadhrat Ja'far Saadiq described his as being kaathib. When he abandoned calling creation to aid him and turned his gaze to Allah, he became a true believer.)
9. Hadhrat Ja'far Saadiq (rahmatullah alayh) said: "A sin preceded by khauf (fear of Allah) and followed by taubah (repentance) draws the servant closer to Allah. Ibaadat preceded by and followed by ujub (vanity) takes the servant far away from Allah."
(This statement should not be misunderstood. Sin never leads to the proximity of Allah Ta'ala. Sin leads to the Wrath and punishment of Allah. The statement here means that the person understands the act to be sinful. He does not justify the sin. He has no intention of committing the sin. He is always fearful of Allah's punishment. However, in a moment of weakness and negligence, his nafs overwhelms him and casts him into sin. He then regrets and repents.)
10. He said: "A man who is proud on account of his ibaadat, is a sinner and a sinner who regrets and repents is an obedient servant."
11. Hadhrat Ja'far Saadiq (rahmatullah alayh) was asked: "Who is superior–a patient durwaish or a wealthy man who is grateful?"
Hadhrat Ja'far said: "The patient durwaish. The heart of the wealthy man is attached to his wealth while the heart of the durwaish is with Allah Ta'ala."
(Durwaish or dervish–a pious poor person.)
12. He said: 'Ibaadat without taubah is not proper because Allah Ta'ala has placed taubah before ibaadat. The Qur'aanic aayat says: “Those who engage in Taubah, those who are involved in ibadah..”
First taubah is mentioned. (This statement does not mean that ibaadat is not valid if not preceded by taubah. However, when a man contaminated by sin worships Allah, he does not derive the full benefit and reward of the ibaadat. The bandah–servant of Allah–should therefore, always repent.)
13. He said: "True Thikr (remembrance of Allah) is to forget everything else. Allah Ta'ala suffices for all the things forgotten by virtue of His Thikr."
14. He said: "A Mu'min is he who always stands in confrontation of his nafs. An Aarif is he who stands in the presence of Allah Ta'ala."
15. He said: "Whoever struggles against his Nafs-e-Ammaarah for the sake of Allah, finds Allah."
16. He said: "Ilhaam (inspiration from Allah) is an attribute of the accepted servants of Allah."
17. He said: "The attempt to rationally disprove ilhaam is a sign of the irreligious people."
18. He said: "Allah Ta'ala is more hidden in His servants than a black ant walking on a black stone in an intensely dark night."
19. He said: "The secret of reality was unlocked for me when I was branded a madman." (True lovers of Allah Ta'ala are generally branded as mad by people of the world.)
20. "Among the good fortunes of a man is that his enemy is an intelligent person."
21. He said: "Beware of the company of five persons:
A liar. You will always be misled by him.
A stupid person. Even if he intends to benefit you, he will harm you without realising it.
A miser. He will destroy your valuable time.
A coward. He will leave you in the lurch at the time of need.
A faasiq. On account of greed, he will betray you for a morsel of food.
22. He said: "Allah Ta'ala also has paradise and hell on this earth. Paradise is safety and hell is unsafety. Paradise is to assign all affairs to Allah. Hell is to assign all affairs to the Nafs-e-Ammaarah."