The discussion regarding the disbelievers—both those that are disbelievers from inception, or those who apostatized—is not very different to al Hilli and al Khu’i’s position on oppositional narrators. We can extrapolate from al Hilli’s position on those who oppose in relation to creed and infer his general opinion on narrations of the disbelievers.
We have seen that al Hilli does not accept those who oppose him in creed because, in his view, they do not possess the requisite ‘adalah. Based on this, he made the second section of his book the presumed position of those who oppose him in creed. We also know that both al kufr al asli (original disbelief) and an apostasy from Islam are of the greatest factors in impairing ‘adalah. In fact, al Hilli regarded the non-apostasy of a narrator from among the reasons of tawthiq. Under the biography of Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he states:
أحد الأركان الأربعة روي عن الباقر (عليه السلام) أنه لم يرتد مات رحمه الله في زمن عثمان بالربذة له خطبة يشرح فيها الأمور بعد النبي (صلى الله عليه وآله)
One of the Arkan Arba’ah (four pillars). It is narrated from al Baqir ‘alayh al Salam that he did not apostatize. He died, may Allah have mercy on him, in the time of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in al Rabadhah. He has a sermon in which he explains issues after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Thus, the reason for mentioning Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the first section is non-apostasy. This becomes even more clearer in the biography of Salman al Farisi radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Al Hilli states:
سلمان الفارسي رحمة الله عليه، مولى رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله)، يكنى أبا عبد الله أول الأركان الأربعة حاله عظيم جدا مشكور لم يرتد
Salman al Farisi, may Allah have mercy on him, the mawla (client) of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. His agnomen is Abu ‘Abdullah. The first of the four pillars. His status is very great. Thankfully, he did not apostatize.
This is different to the opinion of al Khu’i who does not consider the false belief of a narrator as having a negative impact on accepting or not accepting his narration, even if it reaches the extent of disbelief. Perhaps the best example of al Khu’i accepting the narration of a disbeliever comes from his statement under the biography of al Hassan ibn ‘Ali Sajjadah. He states:
الرجل وإن وثقه علي بن إبراهيم، لوقوعه في إسناد تفسيره إلا أنه مع ذلك لا يمكن الاعتماد على رواياته لشهادة النجاشي بأن الأصحاب ضعفوه وكذلك ضعفه ابن الغضائري نعم لو لم يكن في البين تضعيف لأمكننا الحكم بوثاقته مع فساد عقيدته بل مع كفره أيضا
The individual, despite the fact that ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim made tawthiq of him because he appears in the isnad of his Tafsir, it is not possible to rely on his narrations. This is because of al Najjashi’s testimony that states that the companions made tad’if of him. Similarly, Ibn al Ghada’iri made tad’if of him. Yes, if there was no clear tad’if, we would be able to pass judgement that he is reliable, despite his false belief. In fact, despite his disbelief as well.
A person might say that al Khu’i included a narration in the biography of Yahya ibn Umm al Tawil stating that Yahya did not become an apostate after al Hussain. The narration is as follows:
عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال ارتد الناس بعد قتل الحسين عليه السلام إلا ثلاثة أبو خالد الكابلي ويحيى بن أم الطويل وجبير بن مطعم ثم إن الناس لحقوا وكثروا
On the authority of Abu ‘Abdullah ‘alayh al Salam who said, “The people became apostates after the killing of al Hussain ‘alayh al Salam except for three: Abu Khalid al Kabuli, Yahya ibn Umm al Tawil, and Jubayr ibn Mut’im. Then the people joined them and increased.”
As in the text of the narration, al Khu’i made tawthiq of these three because they did not apostatize. In response, I say the following:
However, al Khu’i could have made it a mere supportive narration and not a corroborative one for accepting the narration of Yahya. This is because he mentioned several matters which inform of the narrator’s good condition. Accordingly, he included the narration among these other matters as supportive evidence for accepting his narrations. This does not conflict with his explicit and unambiguous text that possessing a false belief—or even disbelief—does not negate, as we have already seen, the tawthiq of the narrator.
 Arkan Arba’ah: Literally means four pillars and according to the Shia it refers to those Companions who, according to them, did not apostatise after the demise of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It refers to Abu Dhar, Salman al Farisi, ‘Ammar ibn Yasir, and Miqdad ibn Aswad radiya Llahu ‘anhum. [Translator’s note]
 Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 96, no. 215 – section one.
 Ibid., 164, no. 477 – section one.
 Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 6/78, no. 2941.
 Ibid., 21/37, no. 13488. The original narration is in Rijal al Kashshi, p. 123, narration no. 193, under the biography of Yahya ibn Umm al Tawil.
 Ibid., 4/356, no. 2073.
 Muhammad al Jawahiri: al Mufid min Mujam Rijal al Hadith, p. 102.
 Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 21/37, no. 13488.Back to top