Imam Sadiq (pbuh), similar to other Shi’a Imams, made the issue of Imamate the prominent axis of his efforts to promote Islam.
Imam Sadiq’s (pbuh) plan was to openly initiate an uprising and overthrow the government of the Bani Umayyah. The plan was to recruit forces and bring them into Medina from Khorasan, Rey, Isfahan, Iraq, Hijaz, Egypt, Morocco and all other regions that were populated by the Muslims and were a part of Imam Sadiq’s (pbuh) political Shi’a network. He wanted to lead his army to the Levant and overthrow its government. His plan was to raise the flag of the caliphate himself and return to Medina to establish the government of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). This was Imam Sadiq’s (pbuh) plan.
Delineating and promoting the issue of Imamate
Imam Sadiq (pbuh), similar to other Shi’a Imams, made the issue of Imamate the prominent axis of his efforts to promote Islam. At the time when he was promoting this issue, he saw himself in a position of struggle that required direct and explicit rejection of the rulers of his time and the public assertion of his rightful entitlement to Guardianship (Vilayat) and Imamate. Logically, this would have been possible only after successful implementation of all the previous phases of the struggle, only after having spread political and social awareness on a large scale, only after potential preparedness had been realized everywhere, only after an ideological background had been created among a significant number of people, only after the necessity of establishing a rule of truth and justice had been proven to a large number of people, and only after the leader had decided to launch the final battle. In the absence of these requirements, it would have been a hasty and futile effort to introduce a certain person as the Imam and the rightful leader of the society.
Another point that must be taken into consideration is that in some cases, Imam Sadiq (pbuh) did not restrict his efforts to proving his right to the Imamate. Rather, he also highlighted the names of the previous rightful Imams. In fact, he introduced the rule of the members of the Holy Prophet’s Household (pbut) as inseparable links in a chain. Considering the fact that Shi’a ideology has invariably rejected all the unlawful leaders of the past as “taghut,” this may point to the continuity between the struggle of Shi’a Muslims at his time and those living in previous times. In fact, in this way, Imam Sadiq (pbuh) considered his Imamate to be a natural result of the Imamate of his predecessors. He changed the appearance of Imamate at that time from being something unprecedented, without roots and baseless. He connected his rule to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in an indisputable way.
The organizational struggle of Imam Sadiq (pbuh)
Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was a man of struggle, a man of knowledge and a man who worked with an organization. Everyone has heard about the fact that he was a man of knowledge. His classes and the educational environment that he created were unparalleled during the lives of the Shi’a Imams, both before and after him. Imam Sadiq (pbuh) corrected all the Islamic traditions and Quranic concepts that had been distorted for more than a century by malicious, corrupt or ignorant individuals.
However, few have heard about the fact that Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was a man of struggle. He was engaged in a widespread and determined struggle, a struggle to assume power and take the reins of government, a struggle to create an Islamic, Shi’a government. That is to say, Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was preparing the ground to eliminate the Bani Umayyah and replace them with a Shi’a government, which is the genuine form of Islamic rule.
However, the third dimension, which you have never heard of, is that Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was a man of organizational work. He formed a massive network of people who believed in him and supported Shi’a rule from all over the Islamic world, from the remote parts of Khorasan and Transoxiana to North Africa. What did “network” mean? It meant that whenever Imam Sadiq (pbuh) decided to deliver a message to the people, his representatives would spread his message throughout the world of Islam. It meant that