In the 8th year of Hijri, the battle of Mutah took place in which Maulana Ja´far al-Tayyaar SA was martyred. Rasulullah SAW made him the commander-in-chief of his army when he sent him on campaign against the Eastern Roman Empire. He indicated clearly that if Maulana Ja´far were slain then Zaid bin Haaretha would succeed him as the commander, and if anything were to happen to him then Abdullah bin Rawaahah would lead. Rasulullah SAW went to see off Ja´far bin Abi Talib SA and his companions on their expedition.
The army marched till it reached Shaam (Syria), where they got the news that the Roman emperor had set out in a huge army of one lakh soldiers and factions of people from different places were also joining him on the way. Muslimeen remained at their camping site watching the developments and decided to write to Rasulullah SAW informing him of the situation and awaiting his response: either to receive fortification or orders to go ahead. At that moment Maulana Ja´far and Abdullah bin Rawaahah exhorted the army, saying, “We have set out to seek martyrdom; we are not fighting the enemy with our strength or preparation; but we are fighting them with this deen which Allah has privileged us with. So, move forth; for it could be either of one: victory or shahadat.” Inspired by this, the army moved on till it confronted the Roman army at a village called Saraf, in the district of Balqaa As the Roman army inched closer, the Muslim army turned towards the village of Mutah.
Maulana Ja’farSA took the flag in his right hand and kept fighting the enemy till his right hand was severed. He then took the standard in his left hand and when that too was severed he cradled it in his upper arms till he was slain. He was only thirty-three years of age. Allah compensated him with two wings with which he can fly wherever he wants in jannat.
Zaid bin Haretha succeeded Maulana Ja´far al Tayyar SA and took over the standard, till he too was slain. Abdullah bin Rawaahah then took the standard and hesitated a bit before venturing ahead and being slain. Rasulullah SAW, though in Medina, far away from Mutah, gave a detailed account of all that was happening in Mutah. He said, “Ja´far bin Abi Talib fought till he was slain; then Zaid bin Haretha took over the flag and fought till he too was slain.” After saying this Rasulullah SAW went quiet for sometime which made the Ansaar anxious about Abdullah bin Rawaahah and they thought that some act of his had caused displeasure to Rasulullah SAW. Rasulullah SAW continued, “Abdullah bin Rawaahah took the flag and fought with it till he was slain. All three are in jannat raised on thrones of gold. I saw ricketiness in Abdullah’s throne and when I enquired about it I was told that Abdullah hesitated before committing himself to shahadat.”
When Maulana Ja´farSA was martyred Rasulullah SAW went to his house and asked Asmaa’ binte Umais (his wife) to bring him Ja´far’s children. Rasulullah SAW held them close, while tears fell from his eyes. Asmaa’ enquired, “What makes you cry O Rasulullah? Have you got any news about Ja´far and his companions?” Rasulullah SAW replied, “They were martyred today.” Upon hearing these words, Asmaa’ let out a cry of wail and numerous other women joined her. Rasulullah SAW ordered his family to prepare food for Ja´far’s family as they were engrossed in the loss of Maulana Ja´far. Rasullah’sSAW grief knew no bounds as his love for Ja´far was immense. He used to say, “People have branched out from different trees; and I and Ja´far have emerged from the same tree, therefore his character is similar to my character and his build resembles mine.”
Maulana Ja’far al-TayyaarSA was buried at the site of his martyrdom at Mutah. Al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA was the first al-Dai al-Mutlaq to travel to the site of Mutah and perform ziyaarat of Maulana Ja’far al Tayyar SA. He also built a zarih mubarak and dedicated it in the year 1420 H. Allah’s salawaat on Maulana Ja´far al-TayyaarSA