Ja'far ibn Yahya (also spelled Giafar) was Harun al-Rashid's Persian Vizier. He was a member of the influential Barmakid family, who were close to Harun and helped him gain power. He was reputed as a patron of science. However, in 803 Harun suddenly turnd against them and had Ja'far beheaded. The exact reasons are unclear. A persistent rumor is that Ja'far had had an affair with Harun's sister Abbasa, but there are many other possible scenarios.
Ja'far appears in many stories, normally accompanying Harun. In the "The Three Apples", Ja'far is the protagonist of the story, depicted in a role similar to a detective. In another story, "The Tale of Attaf", he is also a protagonist, depicted as an adventurer alongside the protagonist Attaf.
In modern adaptations, Ja'far has been presented as a more villainous figure.
- The Thief of Baghdad (1940)
- The Golden Blade (1952)
- Prince of Persia (video game 1989)
- Aladdin (Disney film, 1992)
- Iznogoud (French cartoon series)
Tales in the Arabian Nights featuring Ja'far Edit
- Harun Al-Rashid and Abu Hasan, The Merchant of Oman
- Harun al-Rashid and the Slave-Girl and the Iman Abu Yusuf
- The History of Al-Bundukani or, the Caliph Harun Al-Rashid and the Daughter of King Kisra
- Ja'afar the Barmecide and the Bean-Seller
- Ja'afar the Barmecide and the Old Badawi
- Khalifah The Fisherman Of Baghdad
- Nur al-Din Ali and the Damsel Anis Al-Jalis
- The Tale of Attaf
- The Tale of the Three Apples