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Imam Sadiq (AS): Genius in Knowledge of Languages

Shafaqna English | by Haruna Djamanca: Many people are endowed with great God-given talents; some are gifted in mathematics, physics, or chemistry, while others are gifted in memorization, knowledge of languages, or other fields.

Divine Wisdom requires each person to be given their own unique ability to enable them to make a living and participate in building civilization and society.

One of the purposes for which prophets were sent was to help mankind empower and develop their innate intellect, giving them the opportunity to serve their religion and the rest of their peers in creation.

But this ability has stages and differs from one person to another. Sometime, due to the enormous effort they put into an ordeal or craft, it then becomes instinctive to them to the point where you may think they were born with it.

One of these figures who bewildered the world and humans as a whole due to the abundance of his knowledge and versatility, is our role model and mentor, Imam Al-Sadiq (AS).

Our Imams, including Imam Sadiq (AS), who in his time science burst out and the four (madhhabs) schools of jurisprudence were founded as a result of his diligent efforts, a knowledge that they inherited from Ali and their grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (SWT).

Now it’s time to review the narratives about his unprecedented genius—a prodigy unprecedented in human history.

The Hadiths in this regard are as follows: Yunus ibn Dhabian Al-Nabati narrated that Imam Sadiq (AS) spoke to him in Nabati language and told him about the first people who went out against Moses (AS), against Christ (AS), and against Imam Amir Al-Mu’minin (AS) in Nahrawan and delayed his words by saying: “Malh Derbir Maki Malh,” which translates to that this is in your village, in Nabataean. (1)

Abu Basir narrated: I was in the presence of Aba Abdillah (AS), and a man from Khorasan (a city in Iran) was speaking to him in a language that I did not understand, and the language he was speaking to the Khorasani was Persian. (2)

Aban ibn Taghlib narrated: I left my house early seeking Aba Abdillah (AS). When I arrived at the door, I found people there whom I did not recognize, and I have never seen people better dressed than them, nor better looking, as if birds were on their heads, so Aba Abdillah (AS) started narrating to us, and we came out of his presence, having made fifteen different people with a variety of tongues understand, including an Arab, a Persian, a Nabati, an Abyssinian, and a Sicilian. They all said he spoke to us in our own languages. (3)

1) Basa’ir Al-Darajat, c. 7, chapter 11, p. 11

2)  Ikhtisas p. 325

3) Basa’ir Al-Darajat, c. 7, chapter 11, p. 11


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