Types of Narrations – According to the Shia

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Types of Narrations – According to the Shia


Although the compilations of the Shia on the subject of narrators were extremely belated, and they did not serve their purpose, the one who reads the books of latter day Shia (such as Mir’at al Uqul by al Majlisi) or the books of present day Shia (such as al Shafi fi Sharh Usul al Kafi) will see that at times they classify certain narrations as authentic and others as unreliable. However, they do not take it upon themselves to do so in many of their books. We have already explained that this (authentication) is the view of one of their sects, i.e. the Usulis.

The Shia, all along, were ignorant on this subject. Hence, the Ahlus Sunnah would take them to task on the basis of their ignorance. The question now arises, when did the Shia begin classifying narrations, and what was the cause behind this? I have learnt, after studying their works on the science of al Jarh wa al Ta’dil that they classify narrations as,

  • sahih (authentic),
  • Hassan (good),
  • muwaththaq (passible),
  • and daif (weak).[1]

These terms were introduced into their books at a very late stage. Perhaps this matter needs a little more deliberation, as far as it being a new subject for them (as I understand) is concerned. I have not seen anyone before me discussing this.

According to my observation, the Shia began dividing and classifying narrations as authentic, weak, etc., in the seventh century, even though the study of narrators had existed amongst them since the fourth century. This came about at around the same time that Ibn Taymiyyah exposed their ignorance and cluelessness concerning the subject of narrators, just as he exposed them for using narrations from the books of the Ahlus Sunnah which, in many cases, were classified by the scholars as unauthentic or fabricated. Another complaint that he had against them was that they would keep quoting from unreliable books.

Thus, did the Shia come to realise their weaknesses in these aspects and consequently attempt to improve themselves, or did they realise that by using the methodology of the Ahlus Sunnah in these matters, they could find a way out of all the kufr and idiocy that is found in their books? This means that as soon as anyone questions one of their narrations, they can immediately respond that it is a fabrication, as Taqiyyah allows and encourages them to lie as much as they can!

Undoubtedly, the timing between the exposure by Ibn Taymiyyah and their adoption of these classifications reveal to us that they were definitely affected by his writings. Hereunder is their admission:

أن هذا الاصطلاح مستحدث في زمن العلامة

This terminology (sahih, da’if, etc.) were invented in the era of al ‘Allamah (al Hilli).[2]


When the title ‘Allamah appears without any person’s name after it, it is a reference to Ibn al Mutahhar al Hilli, in refutation of whom Ibn Taymiyyah authored his book. This deduction is strengthened further by the following statement of the author of al Wafi regarding Ibn al Mutahhar:

أول من اصطلح على ذلك وسلك هذا المسلك

(He was) the first to coin these terms and adopt this methodology.[3]


With this being the case, is it not quite apparent that Ibn Taymiyyah and his book, Minhaj al Sunnah, were largely responsible for the adoption of this system by the Shia? Does this not reveal to us that Ibn Mutahhar introduced this methodology to his people on account of the criticism that was levelled against them by Ibn Taymiyyah? In the following statement, Al Hurr al ‘Amili admits that the Shia only introduced these terms into their religion and began taking an interest in isnads due to the criticism levelled against them by the Ahlus Sunnah. He says:


والفائدة في ذكره… دفع تعيير الشيعة بأن أحاديثهم غير معنعنة، بل منقولة من أصول قدمائهم

The benefit of mentioning it (the isnad) is that it dispels the criticism against the Shia, that their narrations have no reporters to them, but rather, they are copied from the books of their predecessors.[4]


This text indicates that their narrations did not have isnads to them and thus they were criticised by others. Therefore, they began mentioning isnads along with their narrations. This means that the isnads which appear with their narrations were, in fact, concocted later on and added to the statements in the books of their predecessors merely to avoid the criticism of the Ahlus Sunnah (that the narrations are not reported with an unbroken isnad). Hence, it is not far-fetched that the one who undertook the task of concocting these isnads added to them names of people who did not even exist.

I have already expounded upon the fact that they attribute books and narrations – under the discussion regarding the book of Sulaim ibn Qais (which was their first book) – to people who did not exist. One of their scholars, whilst admitting that the book of Sulaim ibn Qais was a fabrication stated:

والحق أن هذا الكتاب موضوع لغرض صحيح نظير كتاب الحسنية، وطرائف بن طاوس، والرحلة المدرسية

The truth is that this book was fabricated for a valid reason, just like Kitab al Hassaniyyah, Tara’if ibn Tawus, and al Rihlah al Madrasiyyah.[5]


We have already explained that Sulaim ibn Qais was a name behind which there was no person. Further, I have seen the author of al Hur al In quoting a very important testimony of one of their scholars concerning this. He says:


قال السيد أبو طالب إن كثيراً من أسانيد الاثني عشرية مبنية على أسام لا مسمى لها من الرجال، قال: وقد عرفت من رواتهم المكثرين من كان يستحل وضع الأسانيد للأخبار المنقطعة إذا وقعت إليه. وحكي عن بعضهم: أنه كان يجمع روايات بزرجمهر، وينسبها للأئمة بأسانيد يضعها، فقيل له في ذلك، فقال: ألحق الحكمة بأهلها

Al Sayed Abu Talib[6] says, “Many of the isnads of the Twelvers are based upon names behind which there are no individuals. Added to that, I have realised that some of those who narrated excessively (from their narrators) regarded it permissible to concoct isnads for the narrations which had no isnads, if they came his way. It is also reported from one of them that he would collect narrations in Zajamhar and thereafter attribute them to the Imams by means of isnads which he would fabricate. He was approached regarding this, to which he responded, “I attribute wisdom to its people.”[7]


According to them one of their narrators is Haydar ibn Muhammad ibn Nuaim al Samarqandi. They state regarding him:


روى جميع مصنفات الشيعة وأصولهم.. وروى ألف كتاب من كتب الشيعة

He reported all the writings of the Shia as well as their foundational books, and he reported a thousand of the books of the Shia.[8]


If this had any truth to it, his name would have appeared in all the books on narrators and this ‘fact’ would have been recorded in the books of history as well. However, I neither found any mention, nor any indication towards it in these books. The theory that their isnads have no reality to them is supported by yet another text, which appears in the most authentic of their books. They state:


إن مشايخنا رووا عن أبي جعفر وأبي عبد الله – عليهما السلام -، وكانت التقية شديدة فكتموا كتبهم ولم ترو عنهم، فلما ماتوا صارت الكتب إلينا”. ولما سألوا إمامهم عن ذلك قال: “حدثوا بها فإنها حق

Our scholars have reported from Abu Jafar and Abu ‘Abdullah. However Taqiyyah was at a very high level at that time. Therefore, they hid their books away and abstained from reporting from them. When they died, the books came into our possession. They asked their Imam regarding this, to which he replied, “Narrate it, for it is the truth.”[9]


This is an important confession that their narrations do not have proper isnads. What assurance do they have that these books, which reached them after era of fear and taqiyyah (as indicated to in the above confession) were not fabricated by some heretic whose goal was to distance them from the domain of al Jamaah (the majority) by attributing these fabrications to the noble Imams of the Ahlul Bayt? This is a very realistic possibility, which is strengthened when we consider the abundance of their narrations, especially those narrations which attempt at criticising that which is honoured most by the Muslims, i.e. the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. This is something that is not found in any other sect, whether they are innovators or disbelievers. It is only the Shia who have the audacity to state this.

Al Hurr al ‘Amili, at another juncture, emphasises that the ‘new terminology’ (sahih, da’if, etc.), which was introduced by Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli was an attempt to follow the Ahlus Sunnah. He says:


والاصطلاح الجديد موافق لاعتقاد العامة واصطلاحهم، بل هو مأخوذ من كتبهم كما هو ظاهر بالتتبع

The new terminology is on par with the beliefs and terminologies of the masses. In fact, it is taken from their books, as is apparent (for the one who looks) through them.[10]


This text leaves us with certainty regarding two things, i.e. the Shia were quite late in their adoption of this methodology, and the greater concern amongst them was to save their religion from the criticism of the opposition, instead of actually identifying the status of the narrations. Thus, the science of al Jarh wa al Tadil (commendation and disparagement of narrators), in their books, is filled with contradictions and inconsistencies. Al Fayd al Kashani (one of their scholars) says:


في الجرح والتعديل وشرايطهما اختلافات وتناقضات واشتباهات لا تكاد ترتفع بما تطمئن إليه النفوس كما لا يخفى إلى الخبير بها

Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil and its conditions have many contradictions, differences, and ambiguities; which cannot be cleared in a convincing manner. This is obvious to the one who is well-versed with the subject.[11]


These decisive confessions by al Hurr al ‘Amili and al Kashani would have never surfaced, had it not been for the differences between the Usulis and the Akhbaris, in which (as we have seen) Taqiyyah is greatly side-lined, especially since the Shia have (as stated in al Kafi) two qualities, viz, love for frivolities and brazenness.[12] Thus, these confessions explain that the isnad is among the specialities of the Ahlus Sunnah, and the Shia imitated them and adopted it as a measure to protect their religion from criticism. Furthermore, the fact that Ibn al Mutahhar, who was severely criticised by Ibn Taymiyyah, introduced these terms into the Shia religion highlights the extent to which they were affected by it.

However, these terms have been reduced by them to another type Taqiyyah, which they use to hide their extremism. Whenever they are questioned regarding any extremism that appears in their works, they try to brush it off by claiming that their authentic narrations state otherwise. This can be seen in the books of many of their contemporary scholars. If these scholars were to apply the principles of authentication objectively, most of their narrations would go to waste. This was admitted by their scholar, Yusuf al Bahrani, who says:


والواجب إما الأخذ بهذه الأخبار، كما هو عليه متقدمو علمائنا الأبرار، أو تحصيل دين غير هذا الدين، وشريعة أخرى غير هذه الشريعة، لنقصانها وعدم تمامها، لعدم الدليل على جملة من أحكامها، ولا أراهم يلتزمون شيئاً من الأمرين، مع أنه لا ثالث لهما في البين، وهذا بحمد الله ظاهر لكل ناظر، غير متعسف ولا مكابر

It is compulsory to either accept all these narrations, as was done by the predecessors from our righteous scholars, or to end up with a religion and a constitution besides this one, which is incomplete, as there are no proofs for a large number of its laws. I do not see them accepting either of these two options, even though a third option does not exist. Praise is due to Allah, this is evident to anyone who looks into it, as long as he is not stubborn and proud.[13]


This is an important text, which reveals the reality of their narrations in the light of their version of the science of al Jarh wa al Ta’dil. If they were to apply it objectively, most of their narrations would be declared unreliable or fabricated. If they wish to accept their narrations, they have no other option but to blind themselves from the reality and accept it without any questions, as was done by their predecessors (who accepted all the lies and tales in their books). On the other hand, if they are not prepared to totally discard their intellect, they should search for a religion other than Shi’ism, as it is incomplete and cannot fulfil the requisites of a religion.

If we add to these confessions the other confession which appears in their books, i.e. that they were ignorant regarding the rites of Hajj as well as haram and halal until the appearance of Abu Jafar[14] (added to the fact that in his era as well as the era of his son, there were many who would fabricate narrations in the names of the Imams) it becomes glaringly evident to us that most of their narrations were concoctions and lies. If the principles of al Jarh wa al Ta’dil are applied, they will return to the state in which they found themselves before the era of Abu Jafar. They will not be able to learn the din except by means of the books of the Ahlus Sunnah.

Unfortunately, they chose not to apply their principles. Thus, we see them authenticating the book Nahj al Blaghah, to the extent that one of their contemporary scholars said:


إن الشيعة على كثرة فرقهم واختلافها متفقون متسالمون على أن ما نهج البلاغة هو من كلام أمير المؤمنين – رضي الله عنه – اعتماداً على رواية الشريف ودرايته ووثاقته.. حتى كاد أن يكون إنكار نسبته إليه – رضي الله عنه – عندهم من إنكار الضروريات وجحد البديهيات اللهم إلا شاذاً منهم.. وأن جميع ما فيه من الخطب والكتب والوصايا والحكم والآداب حاله كحال ما يروى عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم

The Shia, despite their abundant sects and differences, unanimously accept all of that which is in Nahj al Balaghah to be from the speech of Amir al Mu’minin radiya Llahu ‘anhu, relying wholly upon the narrations, trustworthiness and reliability of al Sharif… Denying their attribution to him (‘Ali) is like denying the obvious, except for a few of them. All the sermons, books, laws, and etiquettes mentioned therein are of the same condition as that which is reported from Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[15]


The reality, on the other hand, is that the book Nahj al Balaghah is questionable on the basis of both, its isnad as well as its contents. It was compiled three and a half decades after the demise of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, without any isnad attached to it. The Shia claim that it was compiled by al Sharif al Radi[16], who was not considered a reliable person by the scholars of hadith as far as the matters of his beliefs were concerned. This was in the case when he produced an isnad. What can be said about his book, which does not even have an isnad? Nonetheless, the scholars of hadith are of the opinion that the book Nahj al Balaghah was, in fact, compiled by his brother, ‘Ali ibn Hussain.[17] Ibn Taymiyyah says:


The scholars are aware that most of the sermons in this book are fabrications in the name of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This is why most of them are not found in any of the earlier books and they do not have any known isnads.[18]


There are many other signs which indicate that this book was a fabrication.[19] However, we cannot afford to discuss all of them here. The crux of this discussion is that the Shia have stipulated the condition that the isnad should be unbroken and continuous, yet they authenticated this book, which has no sign of it. Their scholars (who accepted the methodology of authentication) have always been guilty of not upholding their own rules. Al Hurr al ‘Amili states regarding their scholar, al Tusi:


يقول: هذا ضعيف، لأن روايه فلان ضعيف، ثم نراه يعمل برواية ذلك الرواي بعينه، بل برواية من هو أضعف منه في مواضع لا تحصى. وكثيراً ما يضعف الحديث بأنه مرسل ثم يستدل بالحديث المرسل، بل كثيراً ما يعمل بالمراسيل وبرواية الضعفاء، ويرد المسند ورواية الثقات

He says, “This is unauthentic because so and so narrator in it is unreliable.” Thereafter we see him practising upon the narration of that very narrator. In fact, he practises upon the narrations of those who are much weaker than him on countless occasions. Many a time he declares a narration weak on account of it being mursal (a narration whose chian of narration does not reach the Imam), but there are many instances in which he practises upon mursal narrations and the narrations of those who are unreliable. On the other hand, he rejects narrations which have complete isnads and the narrations of reliable narrators.[20]


Al Bahrani’s (d. 1186 A.H.) confession, in which he admits that true application of their principles of al Jarh wa al Ta’dil (despite its flaws) will result in most of their narrations being discarded, is outclassed by the claim of their scholar, al Ardabili[21] (d. 1101 A.H.). After compiling his book Jami al Ruwat (in the eleventh century), he stated that the status of as many as twelve thousand narrations from the scholars of the past will now change. His exact words are:


بسبب نسختي هذه يمكن أن يصير قريباً من اثني عشر ألف حديث أو أكثر من الأخبار التي كانت بحسب المشهور بين علمائنا – رضوان الله عليهم – مجهولة أو ضعيفة أو مرسلة معلومة الحال وصحيحة لعناية الله تعالى، وتوجه – كذا – سيدنا محمد وآله الطاهرين

By virtue of this writing of mine, it is possible that twelve thousand or more narrations, which were famously known among our scholars to be unknown, mursal, or unreliable, will now be known and authentic. This is due to the help of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and the attention of our master Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his pure family.[22]


The author of Fasl al Khitab uses this statement to support his claim, saying that it is not impossible that the narrations of Tahrif were considered unauthentic by their former scholars on account of their lack of knowledge of the authentic isnads, by means of which they would have considered all the narrations to be authentic.[23]

Al Majlisi, in his book, Mir’at al Uqul, declares some narrations of al Kafi as unauthentic, even though he says:


فإننا لا نحتاج إلى سند لهذه الأصول الأربعة، وإذا أوردنا سنداً فليس إلا للتيمن والتبرك والاقتداء بسنة السلف’

We do not require isnads for these four foundational books. When we mention the isnads, it is only to acquire blessings and to follow the path of the predecessors.[24]


This is a strange contradiction. Another scholar of theirs, Hashim Ma’roof states:


أن اتصاف هذا المقدار من مرويات الكافي بالضعف لا يعني عدم جواز الاعتماد عليها في أمور الدين، ذلك لأن وصف الرواية بالضعف من حيث سندها، لا يمنع من قوتها من ناحية ثانية كوجودها في أحد الأصول الأربعمائة، أو في بعض الكتب المعتبرة.. أو لكونها معمولاً بها عند العلماء وقد نص أكثر الفقهاء على أن الرواية الضعيفة إذا اشتهر العمل بها والاعتماد عليها تصبح كغيرها من الروايات الصحيحة، وربما تترجح عليها في مقام التعارض

Classifying this amount of narrations from al Kafi as unauthentic[25] does not mean that it is impermissible to rely upon them in the matters of religion. If the narration is classified unauthentic from the perspective of its isnad, it is still possible that it is authentic on account of other reasons, such as; it is found in one of the four hundred foundational books or any other reliable book or it is practised upon by the scholars. Most of the jurists have clearly stated that if practising upon an unreliable narration becomes common, and it is relied upon, it becomes like the other narrations, i.e. it is authentic. At times, it even takes precedence over them, when they contradict one-another.[26]


It is for this reason that their scholar, al Sha’rani stated that although most of the isnads of al Kafi are unreliable, its content is authentic.[27] It should be noted that these are attempts by them to stay away from applying the principles laid down for them by Ibn al Mutahhar in the seventh century, which lays to waste most of their narrations, as admitted by al Bahrani. However, they needed to prove that these narrations are authentic; otherwise there would be no point in having them recorded in ‘the authentic books’, the foremost of which is al Kafi – which was presented to their Mahdi. Thus, they hunted for any other sign to substantiate this.

Additionally, he stated that the narrations of al Kafi can be classified as authentic if they are from one of the four hundred foundational books.[28] However, their scholars are of the opinion that the four books as well as the other reliable books, such as al Khisal, al Amali, Madinat al Ilm, etc., are sourced from the four hundred usul.[29] So, how did they state that a narration of al Kafi should be declared authentic if it appears in one of the four hundred usul, whereas the entire book is supposedly taken from them?


The Status of the Imams Regarding whom the Shia Make their Claims


It is no secret that most of the narrations in all of the books of the Shia are attributed to the Twelve Imams, with most of them being attributed to Jafar al Sadiq. Only a handful of narrations (which cannot be found without difficulty) are attributed to the Rasul of Guidance salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Al Hurr al ‘Amili has even indicated that they stay away from the narrations of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, fearing that they might be from the narrations of the Ahlus Sunnah.[30]

Thus, this sect has no interest in the ahadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They do not wish to differentiate between the authentic and unauthentic narrations. Also, they have distanced themselves from the sayings of the Sahabah and the Tabi’in, due to which they are unaware of their methodology and interpretations. In other words, they do not wish to resolve their matters by referring to Allah and His Rasul.[31]

Rather, their interest lies in that which they falsely attribute to some members of the Ahlul Bayt, not even all of them. Hence, al Tusi rejected the narrations of Zaid ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain.[32] As if that was not enough, they even declared a large number of the members of the Ahlul Bayt as kafir, simply because they did not accept the Imamah of the Twelve Imams.[33] If only they chose to confine themselves to the narrations of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, or the mursal narrations of the Tabi’in such as ‘Ali ibn Hussain! Instead, they chose individuals who appeared much later, such as the ‘Askaris, and claimed that anything that was said by them was said by Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as well.

It is undisputable that the ‘Askaris were no different to the rest of the Hashimites in their era. They had no such knowledge by means of which they could have been distinguished from the rest, and due to which others would be dependent upon them. The people of knowledge would not study under them, but rather, they would study under the scholars of their time. This is unlike the cases of ‘Ali ibn Hussain, his son Abu Jafar, and his grandson Jafar ibn Muhammad, who were distinguished scholars, from whom students would acquire knowledge, just as they would acquire it from the rest of the scholars.

No influential or well-known scholar is reported to have studied under the ‘Askaris. Despite this, these people wish to equate their speech to the speech of the Rasul, who was sent to guide the entire universe. They wish to equate the speech of these individuals to the Qur’an and the mutawatir sunnah. Who would accept this and base his religion upon such statements, except the one who is far away from the path of the people of knowledge and iman?[34]

Ibn Hazm commented on this claim of the Rafidah saying:


As for those who appeared after Jafar ibn Muhammad, we cannot trace any knowledge to them; neither narrations, nor verdicts. This is despite their era being close to ours. If they did possess this knowledge, it would have been known, just as the narrations of Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, his son Jafar, and others are from whom people narrate are known.[35]


As for those who appeared before Jafar, they possessed the same knowledge as their contemporaries. Ibn Taymiyyah says regarding those whose words are taken to be equivalent to the word of Allah and His Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam by the Rawafid:


Among them is one who was a rightly guided Khalifah, whose obedience was binding, just like the obedience of the Khalifah caliphs before him was binding. He was ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Then, there were some who were leading spiritual and academic personalities, the likes of ‘Ali ibn Hussain, Abu Jafar al Baqir, and Jafar ibn Muhammad al Sadiq. They deserve all that which is deserved by the leaders in knowledge and religion. Besides them, there are those who were of a lesser standing.[36]


On another occasion, he explains who those ‘who were of a lesser standing’ were. He explains:


Musa ibn Jafar did not narrate many ahadith. He reported from his father and his brother ‘Ali reported from him. Al Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah have recorded narrations from him. As for those after Musa, no knowledge was acquired from them. There are no narrations from them in the famous books of hadith, no verdicts from them in those places where the verdicts of the predecessors are mentioned, or any tafsir etc., reported from them. However, they did have the virtues and merits that they ought to have had. May Allah be pleased with them.[37]


It is as if Ibn Taymiyyah made a correction to the statement of Ibn Hazm, as he added Musa ibn Jafar, explaining that a narration of his is recorded from him in the books of hadith. However, his narrations are not many in number. Al Dhahabi counted his narrations in the six books and concluded that he has two narrations in al Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.[38] However, a narration from his son, ‘Ali ibn Musa al Rida, is also recorded in Ibn Majah, as pointed out by al Dhahabi and Ibn Hajar (who indicated towards it by a ‘Qaf’ under his biography).[39] Al Mizzi has pointed out that it is only one narration.[40]

This narration is reported from Abu al Salt al Harawi[41], whose narrations cannot be used as proof. Al Daraqutni says, “(He is) a wretched Rafidi. He is accused of concocting the narration of iman in the heart.”[42] This is the very narration which appears in Sunan Ibn Majah from ‘Ali ibn Musa through Abu al Salt. It is for this reason that Ibn al Sam’ani said, “The problem with the narrations of ‘Ali al Rida is the narrators. Only the ones whose narrations are discarded have reported from him.”[43] Ibn Hajar says regarding al Rida, “He was outstandingly honest; however, those who narrate from him cause the problem.”[44]

Perhaps this is what Ibn Taymiyyah was referring to when he said, “None of the scholars of hadith reported anything from him, and not a single hadith is reported from him in the books of the Sunnah. It is only Abu al Salt al Harawi and his likes who narrate writings from his forefathers, in which there are such lies, from which Allah exonerated all the truthful ones.”[45]

As for those who appeared after ‘Ali al Rida, who was the eighth Imam of the Twelvers, there are no narrations from them in the books of hadith. When Ibn al Mutahhar al Hilli claimed that “the masses (Ahlus Sunnah) have many narrations from Hassan al ‘Askari (the eleventh Imam)”, Ibn Taymiyyah rejected it saying, “This is a baseless claim and a definite lie. There are no famous narrations in the books of the scholars which are reported from Hassan ibn ‘Ali al ‘Askari by the scholars who were well known for narrations in his era.”

He further says, “The teachers of the authors of the books of Sunnah (al Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, al Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah) were of the same era as him and they were not far from him. Al Hafiz Abu al Qasim Ibn ‘Asakir had gathered the names of the teachers of all of them (al Bukhari, Muslim, etc.) but none of them have narrated from Hassan ibn ‘Ali al ‘Askari, even though they narrated from thousands of others. How can it then be said that the masses have many narrations from him? Where are all of these narrations?’[46] I have seen that Ibn Hajar mentioned, under the biography of Hassan ibn ‘Ali al ‘Askari that Ibn al Jawzi considered him to be a weak narrator in his book al Mawduat.[47] Look at the difference between this and the view that his speech is no different to revelation!

Ibn Hazm took the Shia to task on the basis of a historical fact, i.e. one of these Imams lost his father at the age of three. Thus, he says, “We ask them: Where did this toddler acquire all the knowledge of shari’ah from, as he was way too young for his father to have taught it to him?” The only answer that they may offer is; through revelation. This would mean that he is a Nabi, which is clear-cut kufr. They will not go to the extent of claiming that he was a Nabi and that he was granted the miracle of his speech being corrected. Thus, these are baseless claims. None of them have ever come close to being a reality. Yes, they may claim that he was inspired. Anyone can make the same claim (thus, it holds no weight).”[48]

It seems as if Ibn Hazm is predicting that which the Shia were soon to add to their religion, or he was exposing that which they tried to hide. They have it in their books that the Imam receives both, inspiration as well as revelation, as explained previously. Their narrations also emphasise that children were Imams. The following appears in Usul al Kafi:


عن ابن بزيع قال: سألته يعني أبا جعفر – رضي الله عنه – عن شيء من أمر الإمام، فقلت: يكون ابن أقل من سبع سنين؟ فقال: نعم، وأقل من خمس سنين

Ibn Bazigh reports, “I asked him (Abu Jafar radiya Llahu ‘anhu) regarding a certain matter of the Imam. I said, ‘Can he be a child who is younger than seven?’”

He replied, ‘Yes, (he can be) even younger than five years old.’[49]


They state that al Jawwad became an Imam at the age of five.[50] The pinnacle however, is the awaited one, to whom they have attributed narrations when he was only a day old. These have been quoted previously. These fairy-tales are all that a person needs in order to realise the extent of the nonsense in their narrations. The law which is established by the Qur’an, the mutawatir Sunnah, and ijma’ is that it is incumbent to take care of the likes of these children as far as their wealth and lives are concerned. The responsibility of caring for them and protecting their wealth lies on the shoulders of the closest Islamic guardian. They are not even commanded to perform a single salah, as they are under the age of seven (which is the age after which they should develop the habit of salah).

When this is the law regarding them, how does anyone take them to be infallible Imams, whose words are no different, in status, to the words of Allah and His Rasul? Who holds such beliefs, besides the one whose heart is blinded by Allah? Even some of the sects of the Shia (as stated in their books regarding sects) have rejected the Imamah of al Jawwad, due to his tender age. They were of the opinion that being mature was one of the conditions of Imamah.

To prove this, they state that if Allah commanded people to obey one who is a minor, then he would have also made minors accountable for their deeds (which is obviously not the case). Just as it impossible that a minor is taken to task, similarly it is impossible that he is able to judge between people, as there are some cases which are obvious, but others are intricate. In the same way, it cannot be fathomed that he understands the intricacies of the laws of din and all else that was taught by Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which encompasses all the worldly and religious needs of the ummah until the day of Qiyamah.[51]

The result of taking toddlers as Imams was that they were forced to accept the narrations of liars who attributed to the Imams that which was not said by them, as they only met them in the state of their childhood. Al Mamaqani states under the biography of Mu’alla ibn Khanis:


إن المعلى قتل لأربع وثلاثين ومائة، والكاظم طفل لأنه ولد سنة 28 أو 29 ومائة، فعمره عند قتل المعلى ست أو سبع سنين

Mu’alla was killed in the year 134 A.H, when al Kazim was still an infant, as he was born either in the year 128 or 129 A.H. Thus, his age at the time of Mu’alla’s killing was six or seven.[52]


However, Mu’alla reports from al Kazim, and the Shia accept these narrations. Al Mamaqani explains this:


وفيه أن صغرهم لا يمنع من علمهم بالأحكام، ألا ترى إلى إمامة الجواد وهو صغير فيمكن أن يكون المعلى سأل الكاظم وهو صغير فروى عنه

Their childhood does not negate their knowledge of the laws. Do you not see the Imamah of al Jawwad, who was a child? It is thus possible that Mu’alla asked al Kazim whilst the latter was a child, and thereafter reported from him.[53]


Further, they do not look for an isnad for that which they report from some of the scholars of the Ahlul Bayt, to ascertain whether or not it was actually said by him. This is because they have no knowledge regarding the hadith and isnad.[54] The reality is that they do not have any Imams who speak to them directly, besides their scholars who devour their wealth without any valid basis and stop them from the path of Allah.[55] This is why they found books that were attributed to their former scholars, without any isnad to them — as they feared the Islamic Caliphate (as stated by them). Thereafter, they simply told their people to practise upon them as they are authentic, as explained previously.

Their scholars would then accept all the contents of these books without scrutinising them. It was only in the seventh century that Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli began classifying their narrations as sahih, da’if etc., and the first book on the subject of hadith terminology that was authored by them appeared as late as the tenth century. This too, was not appreciated by all of them, and thus we find the Akhbaris opposing them. They expose and disgrace their brothers by admitting that this is nothing more than an attempt at imitating the Ahlus Sunnah and copying their principles.

Many Muslim luminaries have testified that lying is an integral part of Shia civilisation, and they believe it to be part of their religion, by virtue of the doctrine of Taqiyyah (as explained previously). Nonetheless, their fanaticism reached its peak when they accepted the narrations of established liars, some of whom even rejected one or more of the Imams, simply because they upheld other beliefs of the Shia, yet they rejected the narrations of those who were praised by Allah and His Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, i.e. the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

There is no limit to the absurdity of their principles of commendation (of a narrator). Whoever claims that he saw the awaited one, attributes excessive lies to the Ahlul Bayt[56], claims that he was guaranteed by them a place in Jannat[57] or done anything extreme regarding them[58] is considered by them to be reliable and trustworthy. On what stretch of logic is a person declared reliable due to the amount of lies that he speaks?

Moreover, if a person studies the men in their isnad, in the light of that which appears in their books regarding narrators, he will see that the senior narrators and those who narrate excessively have been severely criticised and cursed by the Imams. The Imams would declare them liars and distance themselves from them. All of this is narrated in the books of the Shia. However, the scholars of the Shia disregard the sentiments of the Imams on the feeble excuse of Taqiyyah, which, in these instances, is an excuse that is weaker than a spider’s web.

Besides the isnad, the texts of their narrations are highly problematic. As we have seen from the chapters and sections of this book, many of their narrations are obvious lies, for the one who has any amount of knowledge regarding Islam. This becomes all the more evident to the one who reads through Usul al Kafi, al Bihar, Tafsir al Qummi, al Ayyashi, Rijal al Kashshi, etc. This is because they contain criticism of the Book Allah, defilement of the Sunnah of His Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and they declare the best of people after the ambiya’, as well as all of those who follow diligently in their footsteps; to be out of the fold of Islam. To make matters worse, they then try to establish such beliefs which cannot be proven in any way from the Qur’an. Thus, a study of the texts of their narrations is sufficient to realise the status thereof.


وكل متن يباين المعقول، أو يخالف المنقول، أو يناقض الأصول فاعلم أنه موضوع على الرسول

Know well that any text which is definitely contradictory to the intellect, contradicts that which was passed on (i.e. the Qur’an and Sunnah) or goes against the basics is a fabrication against the Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[59]


NEXT⇒ Chapter Three – Their Beliefs Regarding Ijma’ (consensus of the Ummah)

[1] Sahih: That narration, the isnad of which is continuous until it reaches the infallible one, by the transmission of an Imami, who is a person of integrity, from one who is like him in all the generations.

Hassan: The isnad is continuous, just like the above, except that the narrator should be praised, even though his integrity is not mentioned. This should be found in all the generations or in some of them, with the rest being like that of sahih.

Muwaththaq: An isnad which has in it a narrator who was been declared reliable by the scholars, but he held incorrect beliefs.

Da’if: None of the conditions of the above three are found. It includes a criticised or an unknown narrator or even someone of a lower standard.

Mursal: That which is narrated from the infallible one by one who did not meet him.

Zaid al Din al ‘Amili: al Dirayah pg. 19, 21, 23, 24, 47. Refer also to al Mamaqani: Miqbas al Hidayah pg. 33-35, Baha al Din al ‘Amili: al Wajizah pg. 5.

It should be noted that the ‘infallible one’, as explained previously, is not only Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam according to them. The Imams are also infallible, a trait that is confined to the ambiya’ alone. Further, for the narration to be classified as authentic or acceptable, it is a condition, according to them, that the narrator should be an Imami. The narrations of non-Imamis are not accepted, as stated by their scholar, Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli , who says:

لا تقبل رواية الكافر وإن علم من دينه التحرز عن الكذب

The narrations of an infidel cannot be accepted, even if is known that abstention from lies is part of his religion.”


المخالف لا يقبل روايته أيضاً لاندراجه تحت اسم الفاسق

The narrations of the one who opposes cannot be accepted, as he is among the transgressors. (Ibn al Mutahhar: Tahdhib al Wusul pg. 77-78)


It should also be noted that they consider as disbelievers all those who not belong to the Shia. Al Mamaqani says:


والأخبار في فسقهم بل كفرهم لا تحصى كثرة

The narrations which highlight their transgression, or rather, their disbelief, are too many to count. (Tanqih al Maqal 3/207)


For further details, refer to the discussion regarding Imamah in this book. Nonetheless, they are selective as far as applying this principle is concerned. The author of al Tuhfah, as well as others, including their brothers from the Akhbaris, have exposed their inconsistencies in this matter.

[2] Wasa’il al Shia 2/102, Al Kashani: al Wafi (the second introduction).

[3] Al Wafi 1/11

[4] Wasa’il al Shia 20/100

[5] Abu al Hassan al Sha’rani: Taliqat Ilmiyyah (‘ala Sharh al Kafi li al Mazindarani) 2/373-374

[6] Abu Talib Yahya ibn Hussain ibn Harun al Hassani stated this in his book al Daamah. He died in the year 424 A.H. Refer to Mujam al Mu’allifin 13/192-193

[7] Al Hur al In pg. 153

[8] Wasa’il al Shia 20/185

[9] Usul al Kafi 1/53

[10] Wasa’il al Shia 20/100

[11] Al Wafi 1/11-12

[12] Usul al Kafi 2/221-22

[13] Lu’lu’at al Bahrayn pg. 47

[14] Usul al Kafi 2/20. The entire text was quoted previously.

[15] Al Hadi Kashif al Ghita: Midrak Nahj al Balaghah pg. 190-191

[16] Muhammad ibn Hussain ibn Musa al Rida Abu al Hassan. Al Dhahabi says, ‘A extremist Rafidi.’ Mizan al Itidal 3/523

[17] ‘Ali ibn Hussain al ‘Alawi al Sharif al Murtada aal Mutakallim al Rafidi al Mu’tazili. He died in the year 436 A.H. refer to Mizan al Itidal 3/124

[18] Ibn Taymiyyah: Minhaj al Sunnah 4/24, al Muntaqa min Minhaj al Itidal pg. 430

[19] Refer to Ibn Taymiyyah: Minhaj al Sunnah 4/159, al Muntaqa min Minhaj al Itidal pg. 508, 509, al Dhahabi: Mizan al Itidal 3/124 (under the biography of ‘Ali ibn Hussain al Sharif al Murtada), Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan 4/223, Mukhtasar al Tuhfah al Ithna Ashariyyah pg. 36, Muhibb al Din al Khatib: Hashiyat Mukhtasar al Tuhfah pg. 58, Hashiyat al Muntaqa pg. 430, Ahmed Amin: Fajr al Islam pg. 178, Ahmed Zaki ut: Tarjamat Ali ibn Abi Talib pg. 125-162, al Zu’bi: al Bayyinat fi al Radd ala Abatil al Murajaat pg. 36-40, Majallat al Muqtataf Rabi’ al Awwal 1331 A.H., Al Wadi’i: Riyad al Jannat pg. 162-163.

[20] Wasa’il al Shia 20/111

[21] Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al Ardabili al Gharawi al Ha’iri.

[22] Al Ardabili: Jami al Ruwat (the introduction)

[23] Fasl al Khitab pg. 354

[24] Al Imam al Sadiq pg. 470-471

[25] They state that that al Kafi contains 9485 da’if narrations, 5072 sahih ones, 144 Hassan narrations, 178 muwaththaq narrations and 302 qawi narrations.

Refer to al Dhariah 17/245-246, al Nuri: Mustadrak al Wasa’il

[26] Hashim Ma’roof: Dirasat fi al Hadith wa al Muhaddithin pg. 137

[27] Al Sha’rani: Taaliq Ilmiyyah 2/123

[28] The scholars of the Shia claim that their predecessors would rely upon four-hundred compilations which they referred to as ‘al Usul’. Thereafter, these books were summarized and gathered in certain books, the best of which are the four books. Al Wasa’il 20/67

[29] ibid

[30] Wasa’il al Shia 20/391

[31] Mihaj al Sunnah 3/40

[32] Refer to al Istibsar 1/66

[33] Refer to Usul al Kafi 1/372, Bihar al Anwar 25/112-114

[34] Minhaj al Sunnah 3/40-41

[35] Al Fisal 4/175

[36] Majmu Fatawa 19/69

[37] Minhaj al Sunnah 2/155

[38] Siyar Alam al Nubala 6/270

[39] Al Dhahabi: al Kashif 2/296, Ibn Hajar: Taqrib al Tahdhib 2/44-45

[40] Al Mizzi: Tahdhib al Kamal 2/993

[41] Refer to Sunan Ibn Majah 1/25-26 number 45. Ibn al Jawzi declared it a fabrication. Al Mawduat 1/128-129. Refer also to al Sakhawi: al Maqasid al Hassanah pg. 140, al Kinani: Tanzih al Shariah 1/151-152, al Busiri: Misbah al Zujajah pg. 12

[42] Mizan al Itidal 2/616

[43] Al Ansab 6/134, Tahdhib al Tahdhib 7/389

[44] Taqrib al Tahdhib 2/45

[45] Minhaj al Sunnah 2/156. Tahdhib al Tahdhib contains examples of these ridiculous lies that Abu al Salt reports from ‘Ali al Rida. Tahdhib al Tahdhib 7/388-389. One example is their narration in which he says:


السبت لنا، والأحد لشيعتنا، والاثنين لبني أمية..

Saturday is ours, Sunday is for our Shia, and Monday is for the Banu Umayyah. (Tahdhib al Tahdhib 7/388-389)


His narrations are reported in the reliable books of the Shia. Refer to Uyun al Akhbar pg. 207, Wasa’il al Shia 8/258

[46] Minhaj al Sunnah 2/163-164

[47] Lisan al Mizan 2/240

[48] Al Fisal 4/172

[49] Usul al Kafi 1/383-384, Bihar al Anwar 25/103

[50] Bihar al Anwar 25/103

[51] Al Nawbakhti: Firaq al Shia pg. 87-88, Al Qummi: Al Maqalat wa al Firaq pg. 90

[52] Tanqih al Maqal of al Mamaqani (under the biography of Mu’alla)

[53] ibid

[54] Minhaj al Sunnah 3/246

[55] Minhaj al Sunnah 2/134, al Muntaqa pg. 163

[56] This is because they narrate from their Imams:

اعرفوا منازل الناس على قدر روايتهم عنا

Know the stature of people on the basis of the amount of their narrations from us. (Usul al Kafi 1/50)

[57] The Imams guarantee of Jannat is one of the highest forms of commendation. Refer to Wasa’il al Shia 20/118, number 20, Rijal al Kashshi pg. 381, number 714, pg. 567, number 1073, Rijal al Hilli pg. 98, 158. One example of these guarantees is that which they report under the biography of Abu Mahmud, regarding whom Al Kashshi says:


روى عنه أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى مسائل موسى – رضي الله عنه – (يعني موسى الكاظم) قدر خمس وعشرين ورقة، وعاش بعد الرضا

Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa reported from him the verdicts of Musa (i.e. al Kazim). They amount to approximately twenty five pages. He lives after al Rida.


He is declared reliable based on the following alleged narration of al Kashshi:


عن إبراهيم ابن أبي محمود، قال: دخلت على أبي جعفر – إلى أن قال – فقلت: جعلت فداك تضمن لي عن ربك أن تدخلني الجنة؟ قال: نعم، قال: فأخذت رجله فقبلتها

Ibrahim ibn Abu Mahmud reports, “I entered upon Abu Jafar… ‘May I be sacrificed for you, can you guarantee me on behalf of your Rabb that you will enter me into Jannat?’

He replied, ‘Yes.’

Thereupon, I grabbed his leg and kissed it. (Rijal al Kashshi pg. 567)


The one who holds such beliefs regarding the Imams is undoubtedly out of the fold of Islam, yet this very statement is taken by them as a reason to accept his narrations. Jafar al Sadiq declared those who hold these types of beliefs regarding them as disbelievers. Refer to Mizan al Itidal 1/69-70.

[58] Regarding a narrator of theirs, who was referred to as Wasil, Rijal al Hilli states that he is authentic. This is substantiated by the author from the following narration of al Kashshi:


حدثني واصل، قال: طليت أبا الحسن – رضي الله عنه – بالنورة، فسددت مخرج الماء من الحمام إلى البئر، ثم جمعت ذلك الماء، وتلك النورة، وذلك الشعر فشربته كله

Wasil reported to me, I sought Abu al Hassan by the plants. I blocked off the drain pipe of the bathroom, which was connected to the well, and thereafter gathered the water, the hair, and the plants; and drank all of it. (Rijal al Kashshi pg. 614)


Ibn al Mutahhar says:

وهذا يدل على علو اعتقاده، والسند صحيح

This indicates the high level of his beliefs and the isnad is authentic. (Rijal al Hilli pg. 177-178)


[59] Ibn al Jawzi: al Mawduat 1/106