5.0 The absence of writing in the sciences of Mustalah al Hadith except in later times

4.0 The Imami Shia’s lacking in the sciences of tashih, tad’if, and ta’lil
September 23, 2020
6.0 A biography of al Hilli and al Khu’i and an exposition of their creed and respective methodologies in their works
September 23, 2020

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5.0 The absence of writing in the sciences of Mustalah al Hadith except in later times

 

The question of authorship in the science of Mustalah al Hadith is one of the issues of anguish in the school of the Imami Shia. This is, as will be seen later, on account of their differences regarding its permissibility, origins, and its practical application.

Mustalah al Hadith, or ‘Ilm al Dirayah (the in-depth science of hadith knowledge) is from, in reality, the direct sciences of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah. They are its rightful and outstanding heirs. As for the Shia, they are nothing but imitators of the Ahlus Sunnah in this regard. The Shia scholar, Abu al Fadl Hafizyan al Babili states:

 

يمتاز علم الدراية لدى السنة بالقدم والوضوح عما عليه عند الشيعة، وكان متداولا بين علمائهم منذ عهد مديد، وقد ألفوا في هذا المضمار كتبا عديدة جدا. أما بالنسبة إلى الشيعة الإثني عشرية فلم يشعروا بالحاجة إلى علم الدراية؛ وذلك بسبب وجود الأئمة المعصومين (عليهم السلام) بين ظهرانيهم؛ إذ كانوا ينهلون عنهم الأحكام والأحاديث وهم في مأمن من خطر تسرب الوضع أو التحريف أو الكذب إليها.

The Sunnis in-depth knowledge of ‘Ilm al Dirayah is distinguished in terms of its antecedence and clarity than that of the Shia. It was in circulation among their scholars for a long time. They authored a great number of works in this regard. In relation to the Twelver Shia, they did not feel a need for ‘Ilm al Dirayah because of the existence of the infallible Imams ‘alayh al Salam in their ranks. They would draw legal rulings and ahadith from them as they were safe from the risk of forgery, distortion, and lies slipping in.[1]

 

There are a few observations on the words of al Babili:

  1. His recognition of the precedence, and in fact, clarity of the Ahlus Sunnah in this regard. This is the evidence.
  2. His recognition of the Shia’s delay in this science, which he attributed to the existence of infallible Imams that freed them from the need of authorship in mustalah. This is the other evidence.

 

Ghulam Hussain Qaisariyyah agreed with him when he stated:

 

لما كانت الشيعة في زمن الأئمة عليهم السلام غير محتاجة إلى علم الدراية – لأنهم مرتبطون بالأئمة عليهم السلام ومعتمدون على الأصول المصنفة. وعندهم قرائن كانوا يعولون عليها، وكانت القرائن لا تزال موجودة عند المتقدمين من الأصحاب – لم يهتموا بهذا العلم، ولم يدونوا أصوله ولم يؤلفوا فيه تأليفا.

When the Shia were in the time of the Imams ‘alayh al Salam they did not require ‘Ilm al Dirayah since they were linked to the Imams ‘alayh al Salam and use to rely on the authored Usul works. They had (knowledge of) circumstantial evidences which they relied on. These evidences continued to exist with the early scholars of the Shia; they too did not show much importance to this science and did not document its usul. They did not author any works therein.[2]

 

In refutation of al Babili and Qaisariyyah, I say: Did you both not claim the existence of an Imam in every age until our present; that is, the awaited Mahdi? Therefore, why do you not draw your legal rulings and ahadith from him such that you are safe from the dangers of forgeries, distortions, and lies in your ahadith? If they say that he is absent (gha’ib), I ask: Did al Tusi not produce a chapter in his work al Ghaybah with the chapter heading “What has been narrated of reports regarding those who saw him ‘alayh al Salam while not knowing him, or coming to know him after – (these reports are) more than can be counted; however I will mention a selection from them?”[3] Al Tusi goes on to cite a number of narrations of those that met him!

The infallible, who is the Mahdi, the last of the Imams in their belief, is not absent from sight. In fact, he is present in every time and place. The Shia scholar, Fadil al Maliki states:

هذا الشخص المقدس صلوات الله وسلامه عليه يمكن أن يلتقي به بعض الأبدال وبعض الأوحديين وبعض الأفذاذ من الناس ممن يليق أن يفوز بلقاء الإمام صلوات الله وسلامه عليه ورؤية طلعته المباركة. وهذا باب واسع عقد له الميرزا النوري أعلى الله مقامه كتابا في هذا المعنى فيمن رأى الإمام المهدي سلام الله عليه في الغيبة الكبرى، وكذلك عقد له السيد البحراني كتابا سماه تبصرة الولي فيمن رأى القائم المهدي سلام الله عليه، وهنالك ملحق في بحار العلامة المجلسي رحمه الله فيمن التقى بالإمام سلام الله عليه في عهد الغيبة الكبرى.

It is possible for some of the abdal (saints of Allah), ultra-monotheists (al awhadiyyin), and noble peoples of whom are deserving of obtaining a meeting with the Imam ‘alayh al Salam to meet him and see his blessed outward appearance. This is an extensive chapter; al Mirza al Nuri rahimahu Llah composed an entire book on this; those who saw al Imam al Mahdi ‘alayh al Salam in the Major Occultation. Similarly, al Sayed al Bahrani composed a book called Tabsirat al Wali fi man Ra’a al Qa’im al Mahdi ‘alayh al Salam. There is (also) an appendix to al ‘Allamah al Majlisi’s rahimahu Llah Bihar al Anwar concerning those that met with the Imam ‘alayh al Salam during the Major Occultation.[4]

 

The issue of the Mahdi meeting with his fellow Shia is mutawatir; there is no dispute between them, even in the time of the Major Occultation! So why did they not draw their rulings and ahadith from him when they were safe from the risk of forgery and distortion? Is the meeting of the absent (Imam) with his believers and disciples just a greeting, or is to communicate beneficial things to them and teach them their religion?

Therefore, what the scholars of the Shia claim when they are late in every (religious) science is untrue. May Allah have mercy on Ibn Taymiyyah when he said: “Neither a believer of this awaited (Imam) nor his rejector benefitted from him.”[5]

This is the truth that no one, who promotes this self-admitted excuse, wants to admit. Based on this, it becomes known that there is no credibility to this excuse. This is because their claim of total and complete occultation is unconfirmed. If what they claim of these meetings is confirmed, then it is actually one of the greatest criticisms against the infallible and absent (Imam); he does not even take advantage of his meeting with his loved ones to do (or say) what is beneficial for their Din, even before their dunya. In reality, they are claims, the truth of which its claimants can never verify. These peoples’ clinging to illusions, secretive meetings, or dreams is one of the greatest ways to deviate from the straight path. Ibn Taymiyyah states:

 

The person of the time (i.e. the awaited Imam) whom they call toward, it is impossible for people to know who he actually is, what he commands and prohibits people to do, and what he informs them of. If a person’s felicity and success (i.e. in the Hereafter) depends on obeying this Imam, whose commands and prohibitions is unknown, it becomes impossible for anyone to attain success, felicity, and obedience to Allah. This is one of the greatest forms of burdening someone with that which they cannot bear (taklif ma la utaq). (At the same time,) they are one of the greatest/most frequent of people (i.e. the Shia) to refer to him.[6]

 

Among those who have admitted to the antecedence of the Ahlus Sunnah and the late-coming of the Shia in this particular chapter is the introduction submitted by the University of al Imam al Sadiq to the work Dirasat fi ‘Ilm al Dirayah of ‘Ali Akbar Ghaffari. It states therein:

 

إن الدقة والعمق والعراقة التي تبرز في تصانيف الشيعة في هذا المجال قد ميزت هذا العلم بكثير على الرغم من سبق الآخرين لهم

The accuracy, depth, and deep-rootedness that stand out in the writings of the Shia in this field have characterized this science much, despite the antecedence of others.”[7]

 

Another person to point out the late-coming of the Shia in this field is al Karaki (d. 1076 A.H). He states:

 

وأن تقسيم الأحاديث إلى الأقسام الأربعة المذكورة في الدراية من مخترعات العامة؛ لأن معظم أحاديثهم أخبار خالية عما يوجب القطع بورودها عن النبي (ص) فلذلك اضطروا إلى التقسيم المذكور وما يتعلق به واشتهر العمل به عندهم لذلك أو لغيره من الأغراض.

And the division of ahadith into the four distinct aforementioned divisions in al Dirayah is from the inventions of the ‘Ammah (i.e. the Sunnis). This is because most of their ahadith are reports mentioned from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that are bereft of what necessitates certain knowledge. Therefore, they were forced into the aforementioned division and whatever is related to it. According to them, it became common practice for this purpose and others.[8]

 

Al Karaki states:

 

لم يكن للإمامية تأليف في الدراية لعدم احتياجهم إليها ومخالفة عمدة مقاصدها لطريق القدماء وكون العمل بها يوجب سوء الظن بالسلف الصالح وعدم الاعتماد عليهم وتخطئتهم فيما شهدوا بصحته وما أشبه ذلك بالماء الصافي يلقى فيه التراب فيكدره. وأول من ألف في الدراية من أصحابنا الشهيد الثاني اختصر (دراية ابن الصلاح الشافعي في رسالته) ثم شرحها.

The Imamiyyah did not have a work in ‘Ilm al Dirayah because they did not have a need for it, and because the major objectives behind it were contrary to the path of the early scholars. Acting on them would bring about a negative opinion of the pious predecessors, non-reliance on them, and their being considered mistaken in what they viewed as authentic. This is similar to dirt thrown into clean water, causing it to become muddy. The first person to write in al Dirayah from our companions was al Shahid al Thani. He summarized, and thereafter commented on Dirayat Ibn al Salah al Shafi’i fi Risalatihi.[9]

 

This work is nothing but a summary of Ibn al Salah’s (d. 643 A.H) work. It is not a separate treatise specific to the school (of the Shia)! The opinion of al Hassan ibn Zayn al Din is important in this regard. In his discussion on concept of idtirab (irreconcilably discrepant hadith), he states:

 

فإنها من مستخرجاتهم [يقصد السنة] بعد وقوع معانيها في حديثهم فذكروها بصورة ما وقع، واقتفى جماعة من أصحابنا [الشيعة] في ذلك أثرهم، واستخرجوا من أخبارنا في بعض الأنواع ما يناسب مصطلحهم وبقي منها كثير على محض الفرض. ولا يخفى أن إثبات الاصطلاح للمعنى بعد وقوعه وتحققه أبعد عن التكلف واحتمال الخطأ من إثبات المعنى للاصطلاح بعد وقوعه وتحققه، وأن البحث عما ليس بواقع واتباعهم في إثبات الاصطلاح له قليل الجدوى، بعيد عن الاعتبار، ومظنة للإبهام.

It is from their inferences (i.e. the Sunnis), the meanings of which occurred in their hadith. And so they mentioned it in the manner it occurred. A group of our companions (i.e. the Shia) followed in their tracks and extracted from our reports a number of technical terms that resembled their technical terms. Many of the terms remained purely hypothetical. It is obvious that establishing a technical term for a meaning after its occurrence and verification is less susceptible to error and strain than establishing a meaning for a technical term after its occurrence and verification. And the fact that analyzing that which is unreal and following them (i.e. the Sunnis) in establishing a technical term for it is useless, far from consideration, and a cause for ambiguity.[10]

 

So, the Shia have admitted to following the Ahlus Sunnah in this science, and that they took sciences for themselves which were not theirs. In fact, as al Hassan Zayn al Din described them: “A group of our companions (the Shia) followed in their tracks and extracted from our reports a number of technical terms that resembled their technical terms. Many of the terms remained purely hypothetical.” For this reason, we find that many technical terms in al Dirayah of the Shia have no existence in reality. The best example of this is what has already been mentioned, and what I have mentioned in the chapter of Tadlis.

Of those that admitted to this fact is al Istarabadi (d. 1033 A.H). In commenting on the words of al Hassan ibn Zayn al Din, he states:

 

الحق أن تقسيم الخبر الواحد الخالي عن القرائن إلى الأقسام الأربعة من هذا القبيل ومن باب الغفلة عن أن معاني تلك الاصطلاحات مفقودة في أحاديث كتبنا عند النظر الدقيق.

The truth is that dividing the solitary report which is free from circumstantial evidences into four categories is of this kind and, upon careful consideration, it is heedless to the fact that the meanings of those technical terms are not to be found in the ahadith of our works.[11]

 

Al Bahrani (1186 AH) considered that the division of reports has no existence in the works of the Shia, and that accepting such a division and applying it to their works stems from obstinacy and deviance. In criticizing the previously mentioned text of al Hassan ibn Zayn al Din, he states:

 

وأنت إذا تأملت بعين الحق واليقين وجدت التقسيم المذكور من هذا القبيل إلى غير ذلك من الوجوه التي أنهيناها في كتاب المسائل إلى إثني عشر وجها، وطالب الحق المنصف تكفيه الإشارة والمكابر المتعسف لا ينتفع ولو بألف عبارة.

And if you ponder with the eyes of truth and conviction, you will find the aforementioned division is of this type, and the likes of it which we have completed in twelve parts in Kitab al Masa’il. A mere indication is enough (to understand) for the fair-minded student who seeks the truth and, even if expressed in a thousand (different) ways, the despotic, obstinate individual will not benefit.[12]

 

And like this, their scholars acknowledge that they drew these sciences from the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah, and that they took from them a science that does not conform to their ahadith, all of which put them in difficulty and hardship in their application thereof. In fact, it went further than that when some of the proponents of the Akhbari methodology prohibited this field for the Imamiyyah since it was taken from the Ahlus Sunnah, and that the truth and salvation is to be considered in opposing the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah. Al Hurr al ‘Amili (d. 1104 A.H) states:

 

إن طريقة المتقدمين [يقصد متقدمي الإمامية] مباينة لطريقة العامة [أهل السنة]، والاصطلاح الجديد موافق لاعتقاد العامة، واصطلاحهم، بل هو مأخوذ من كتبهم كما هو ظاهر بالتتبع، وكما يفهم من كلام الشيخ حسن، وغيره وقد أمرنا الأئمة عليهم السلام باجتناب طريقة العامة. وقد تقدم بعض ما يدل على ذلك، في القضاء في أحاديث ترجيح الحديثين المختلفين، وغيرها.

The method of the early scholars is different to the method of the ‘Ammah (the Ahlus Sunnah). The new convention is in accordance to the belief and technical terms of the ‘Ammah. In fact, they are taken from their works, as is clear after studying, and as understood from the words of Hassan and others. The Imams ‘alayh al Salam have ordered us to stay away from the method of the ‘Ammah.[13] Some evidence for this and other issues has been provided in the issue of giving preference between two conflicting ahadith.[14]

 

When did the Imamiyyah write about the science of Mustalah?

Imami scholars differed in answering this question; some of them were realistic and fair, and some of them were controlled by the propaganda complex of the Shia school—in that they were at forefront in everything—to such an extent that people were included among the Imami Shia who were not even from them. All so that he (i.e. the proponent of this view) can tell people that we (i.e. the Shia) have a head start in everything. This inferiority complex has continued to control the minds and opinions of many of their scholars.

I will answer this question by first mentioning their views in chronological order and commenting on each of them accordingly.

 

The first opinion

The first to write on this subject from the scholars of the Shia is al Imam Abu ‘Abdullah al Hakim al Naysaburi (d. 405 AH), the author of al Mustadrak rahimahu Llah. Of those who held this view is Hassan al Sadr when he stated:

 

تقدم الشيعة في تأسيس علم دراية الحديث وتنويعه إلى الأنواع المعروفة فأول من تصدى له أبو عبد الله الحاكم النيسابوري، …. صنف فيه كتابا سماه معرفة علوم الحديث.

The Shia came first in establishing ‘Ilm al Dirayah and its division into its well-known divisions. The first to undertake this was Abu ‘Abdullah al Hakim al Naysaburi … He authored a work therein and called it Ma’rifat ‘Ulum al Hadith.[15]

 

The reason for Hassan al Sadr’s claims goes back to what was said in the biography of al Imam al Hakim rahimahu Llah when some scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah attributed him to the Shia; in fact, to the Rawafid. Commenting (on the biography), al Sadr states:

 

الحاكم من الشيعة باتفاق الفريقين، فقد نص السمعاني في الأنساب والشيخ أحمد بن تيمية، والحافظ الذهبي في تذكرة الحفاظ على تشيعه، بل حكى الذهبي في تذكرة الحفاظ عن ابن طاهر أنه قال: سألت أبا إسماعيل الأنصاري عن الحاكم فقال: ثقة في الحديث، رافضي خبيث. قال الذهبي: ثم قال ابن طاهر: كان الحاكم شديد التعصب للشيعة في الباطن، وكان يظهر التسنن في التقديم والخلافة، وكان منحرفا عن معاوية وآله، متظاهرا بذلك ولا يعتذر منه. قلت: وقد نص أصحابنا على تشيعه، كالشيخ محمد بن الحسن الحر في آخر الوسائل، وحكى عن ابن شهرآشوب، في معالم العلماء في باب الكنى، أنه عده في مصنفي الشيعة، وأن له الأمالي وكتابا في مناقب الرضا.

Al Hakim is from the Shia, as agreed upon by both sects. Al Sam’ani in al Ansab, as well as Ahmed ibn Taymiyyah and al Hafiz al Dhahabi in Tadhikirat al Huffaz have documented his Shi’ism. In fact, al Dhahabi in Tadhikirat al Huffaz (narrates) from Ibn Tahir that he said: “I asked Abu Ismail al Ansari about al Hakim and he said: ‘Reliable in hadith. A repulsive Rafidi.’ Al Dhahabi said: ‘Then Ibn Tahir said: ‘Inside, al Hakim was a fanatical Shia. He used to outwardly express Sunnism regarding issues of taqdim (i.e. preferring ‘Ali over the other Khalifas) and the caliphate. He openly and unapologetically held distorted views about Muawiyah and his family.’

I (i.e. Hassan al Sadr) say: Our companions (i.e. the Shia) have documented the fact that he is a Shia. For example, Muhammad ibn al Hassan al Hurr at the end of al Wasa’il. He reported from Ibn Shahr Ashub in Ma’alim al ‘Ulama’ under the chapter of agnomens (bab al kuna) that he regarded him among the authors of the Shia, and that he has al Amali and a work on the virtutes of al Rida.[16]  

 

There are a number of observations to the words of Hassan al Sadr. Firstly, his statement “al Hakim is from the Shia, as agreed upon by both sect” requires some explanation. First of all, if, by this statement, he meant that al Hakim was an Imami that believed in Twelve “infallible” Imams, then he is mistaken. In fact, none of the scholars have said that al Hakim was a Twelver. Secondly, if he meant that al Hakim sided with ‘Ali, then yes. Many scholars have said this. However, his claim that this is agreed-upon by both the Sunnis and Shia requires proof. The correct and appraised answer to this issue is that he was not a Shia, let alone a Rafidi, as will come later.

The second observation to al Sadr statements is his (attempted) inference from al Dhahabi’s statement:

 

In fact, al Dhahabi in Tadhikirat al Huffaz (narrates) from Ibn Tahir that he said: “I asked Abu Ismail al Ansari about al Hakim and he said: ‘Reliable in hadith. A repulsive Rafidi.’ Al Dhahabi said: ‘Then Ibn Tahir said: ‘Inside, al Hakim was a fanatical Shia. He used to outwardly express Sunnism regarding issues of taqdim (i.e. not preferring ‘Ali over the other caliphs) and caliphate. He openly and unapologetically held distorted views about Muawiyah and his family.’

 

Firstly, Hassan al Sadr did not assume a true academic and trustworthy role when he omitted al Dhahabi’s commentary on Ibn Tahir. After quoting Ibn Tahir, al Dhahabi rahimahu Llah immediately states:

كلا ليس هو رافضيا، بل يتشيع

Never. He was not a Rafidi; rather, he was a Shia.[17]

In Mizan al I’tidal, he states:

الله يحب الإنصاف، ما الرجل برافضي، بل شيعي فقط

Allah loves fairness; the man was not a Rafidi. Rather, he was only a Shia.[18]

 

Secondly, adding al Hakim among the authors of the Shia merely based on Ibn Tahir’s statement that al Hakim was a ‘Rafidi’ is far from accurate academic research. This is because it has not been established that al Hakim ever said anything disparaging about Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman. Where is the proof that he is a Rafidi?

Thirdly, adding al Hakim among the authors of the Shia on account of some Sunnis saying that he has Shia tendencies is incorrect. As it appears, the reason for describing al Hakim as a Shia is on account of him authenticating a number of weak ahadith on the virtues of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Describing a scholar as a Shia simply on account of his authenticating ahadith on virtues of ‘Ali is an incorrect description. Al Hakim reached his conclusions based on his independent reasoning. It is irrational to say that someone who authenticates a da’if hadith on (the subject of) virtues is a Shia. As is irrational to say that someone who grades the same hadith da’if a Nasibi.

Fourthly, Hassan al Sadr’s clinging to the word ‘Shia’ in order to drag al Hakim into the group of Shia authors is also rejected. The Shia scholar, al Tustari (d. 1401 A.H) explains a reality—often hidden by the scholars of the Shia from the ordinary non-scholar Shia. That is, if they wanted to include someone who has been attributed to the Shia among the group of the Imamiyyah in order to increase their numbers, many of their scholars would infer to the term “Shi’i” that is given to one of the scholars or one of the narrators. In his discussion about one of the narrators, al Nuri al Tabarsi states:

 

جاز أن يكون رجع من العامية إلى التشيع، الذي هو أعم من الإمامية – أي الإثنا عشرية – الذي هو المراد الآن من الشيعة. فلا يكون هذا دالاً على حسنه وإماميته.

It is possible that he reverted from the ‘Ammiyyah (i.e. the Ahlus Sunnah) to Shi’ism—which is a more general term than the Imamiyyah (i.e. Twelver Shi’ism)—and which is implied nowadays from the term Shia. Therefore, this is not indicative of his goodness and his status as an Imami.[19]

 

Muhammad al Tustari explains the meaning of “Shia” according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah saying:

 

إن قول العامة [أهل السنة]: فلان شيعي أو يتشيع أعم من الإمامية وإنما المرادف له الرافضي أو الشيعي الغالي.

قال الذهبي في ابن البيع الحاكم النيسابوري: أما انحرافه عن خصوم علي فظاهر. وأما أمر الشيخين فمعظم لهما بكل حال، فهو شيعي لا رافضي. وعنون ابن قتيبة – في معارفه – الشيعة و عد فيهم طاووسا و الحكم بن عتيبة و إبراهيم النخعي و الحسن بن صالح بن حي و سفيان الثوري وجمعا آخر مع وضوح عدم كونهم إماميين ……… بل الشيعي الغالي أيضا عندهم أعم .

قال الذهبي في ميزانه (في عنوان أبان بن تغلب): إن الشيعي الغالي في زمان السلف وعرفهم هو من تكلم في عثمان والزبير وطلحة ومعاوية وطائفة ممن حارب عليا وتعرض لسبهم. والغالي في زماننا وعرفنا هو الذي يكفر هؤلاء السادة ويتبرأ من الشيخين أيضا. وللشيعي أيضا عندهم معنى آخر وهو أنه عباسي.

The statement of the ‘Ammah (Ahlus Sunnah): “So and so is a Shia, or practices Shi’ism” is more general than the (term) Imamiyyah and this is but synonymous to the Rafidi or the extreme Shia (al Shia al ghali).

Al Dhahabi states about Ibn al Bayyi’ al Hakim al Naysaburi: “As for his deviation from the opponents of ‘Ali, it is apparent. And as for the matter of the Sheikhayn, either way, he respects them. Therefore, he is a Shia, not a Rafidi. Ibn Qutaybah in al Ma’arif has a title “The Shia” and counts among them Tawus, al Hakam ibn ‘Utaybah, Ibrahim al Nakha’i, al Hassan ibn Salih ibn Hayy, Sufyan al Thawri, and a number of others. He clarifies that they are not Imamis…

In fact, the extreme Shia is also, according to them, more general…

Al Dhahabi states in al Mizan under the section of Aban ibn Taghlib: “The extreme Shia in the time of the predecessors and their ‘urf (i.e. customary usage of the term) referred to anyone who spoke (negatively) and cursed  ‘Uthman, al Zubair, Talhah, Muawiyah, and a group of those who fought with ‘Ali. The extreme (Shia) in our time and customary usage is he who makes takfir (excommunicates) these noble personalities and also disavows the Sheikhayn.”

According to them, they also have another meaning for (the word) Shia; and that is he is an ‘Abbasi.[20]

 

It is clear now that the scholars’ statements about al Imam al Hakim do not include him among the Imamiyyah, as Hassan al Sadr attempted to do.

Fifthly, we will now challenge Hassan al Sadr regarding the Shi’ism of al Hakim and whether he was a Shia.

Hassan al Sadr confirmed that the first work of the Shia in Mustalah al Hadith is the work of al Imam al Hakim Ma’rifat ‘Ulum al Hadith. A question arises here: How can al Hakim be a Shia when he himself stated in this work: “Mentioning the seventh type of knowing the types of hadith. The seventh type of this science is knowing the Sahabah according to their ranks. The first of them are the people who became Muslim in Makkah, like Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, and others radiya Llahu ‘anhum?”[21] This is clear documentation from him in the work itself which Hassan al Sadr infers. He arranged the Sahabah according to their respective ranks as follows: Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali. Can the person who arranged them in this manner be regarded as a Shia, let alone an Imami?

The person who prefers ‘Uthman over ‘Ali is not regarded as a Shia. In fact, after mentioning them, he says Radi Allah ‘anhum (may Allah be pleased with them). Neither the Shia nor Hassan al Sadr will be pleased with this. In fact, more than that. After establishing al Imam al Hakim’s arrangement of the Sahabah according to that of the Ahlus Sunnah, and his being pleased with ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, I will mention this text so that we can understand the reality of al Hakim’s Shi’ism. Imam al Dhahabi states:

 

وروى ابن شودب عن ليث قال: أدركت الشيعة الأول بالكوفة وما يفضلون على أبي بكر وعمر أحدًا، يعني إنما كانوا يتكلمون في عثمان وفيمن قاتل عليًا.

Ibn Shawdab narrated from Layth: “I met the first Shia in Kufah; they would not prefer anyone over Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. They would simply speak about ‘Uthman and those that fought ‘Ali.”[22]

 

Let us apply this text to al Imam al Hakim. We find him arranging the Sahabah as the Sunnis do. As mentioned, he (also) documented his pleasure with ‘Uthman. Therefore, there remains nothing for us from the description of Shi’ism except Layth’s statement “and those that fought ‘Ali.” Thus, whoever falls into (the category of) fighting ‘Ali is considered to be of the Shia. Did this happen to al Imam al Hakim such that we regard him as a Shia? The answer: The most famous of those who fought ‘Ali are al Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam and Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. And of the most famous enemies of the Imami Shia is al Mughirah ibn Shu’bah as well. Let us see how al Imam al Hakim dealt with them. He states: “Mentioning the virtues of the Messenger’s disciples and his cousin al Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam ibn Khuwaylid ibn Asad ibn ‘Abdul ‘Uzza ibn Qusayy.”[23]

And he states: “Mentioning the virtues of Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah al Taymi—may Allah be pleased with him.”[24]

And he states: “Mentioning the virtues of al Mughirah ibn Shu’bah—may Allah be pleased with him.”[25]

What kind of Shia is this who dedicates chapters to the virtues of these people? He was pleased with many of the Sahabah whom the Shia are not pleased with such as ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. When mentioning the female Companions, he describes her as: “The first of them (i.e. female Companions) we will begin with is al Siddiqah bint al Siddiq, ‘Aisha bint Abi Bakr, may Allah be pleased with both of them.”[26]

Regarding Abu Hurairah, he states: “I am confused with commencing on the virtues of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu because of his memorizing the hadith of al Mustafa salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the testimony of the Sahabah and Tabi’in in his favour in that regard. Every person who seeks to memorize hadith from the advent of Islam until our time are among his followers and supporters. He is but their first and most deserving of the word hifz (i.e. to memorize the hadith of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).”[27]

His praise for the great Sunni Imams, like Ibn Khuzaimah, appear a lot in his book. In fact, the sources of al Hakim’s work are all the (same) sources of the Sunnis, whether they are the asanid or actual wordings (of the hadith), they are different to the Shia’s wordings. Similarly, the authoritativeness of the work is contrary to what Hassan al Sadr wanted it to pass as; al Hakim rahimahu Llah did not adhere to the statements of the infallible Imams, as Hassan al Sadr believes. Therefore, he is from the honourable and greats of the Ahlus Sunnah.

There remains nothing for us of the Shi’ism of al Imam al Hakim except for his stance regarding Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Here, it is necessary to pose a question: Has it been proven that al Imam al Hakim criticized Muawiyah? The answer is no. In fact, al Hakim mentioned a number of asanid that include Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as it comes in the Mustadrak:

 

حدثني علي بن حمشاد العدل، ثنا بشر بن موسى، ثنا الحميدي، ثنا سفيان، ثنا عمرو بن دينار قال: سمعت وهب بن منبه في داره بصنعاء وأطعمني خزيرة في داره يحدث عن أخيه عن معاوية بن أبي سفيان رضي الله عنه: أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: لا تلحفوا في المسألة فوالله لا يسألني أحد منكم شيئا فتخرجه له مني المسألة فأعطيه إياه وأنا كاره فيبارك له في الذي أعطيه.

قال الحاكم: هذا حديث صحيح على شرط الشيخين ولم يخرجاه بهذه السياقة.

تعليق الذهبي قي التلخيص: على شرط البخاري ومسلم.

‘Ali ibn Hamshad narrated to me – Bishr ibn Musa narrated to us – al Humaidi narrated to us – Sufyan narrated to us – ‘Amr ibn Dinar narrated to us (and) said: “I heard Wahb ibn Munabbih in his house in San’a’–and he fed me khazirah[28] in his house—narrating from his brother, from Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: ‘Do not be importunate[29] in asking. By Allah, if one of you asks me for something and I give it to him unwillingly, there is no blessing in what I give him.’

Al Hakim says: This hadith is sahih according to the condition of the Sheikhayn (i.e. al Bukhari and Muslim) and they did not include it (in their collections) with this thread of the conversation.

Al Dhahabi’s commentary in al Talkhis: On the condition of al Bukhari and Muslim.[30]

 

If al al Hakim had a negative opinion or criticism against Muawiyah he would not have included his ahadith that he regarded as sahih.

The judgement of al Hakim on any of the Sahabah is to be in the positive and not in the negative. Accordingly, if his tongue and pen abstained from Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then the original and actual presumption is soundness (of opinion regarding Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu). If, on the other hand, a positive statement appeared from him such that he spoke or wrote something about Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then we are to judge him accordingly (i.e. based on his statement).

How so, when he included the ahadith of Muawiyah and judged their asanid to be authentic and sound. If there was something in his heart, he would have said or implied it.

Also, if Hassan al Sadr regards al Imam al Hakim rahimahu Llah as a Shia, why did the scholars of the Imamiyyah not mention him in their difference of opinion regarding the division of hadith into sahih, hassan, muwaththaq, and da’if?

The Shia dispute is confined to Ibn Tawus and his student Ibn al Mutahhar al Hilli. Al Hakim was not mentioned, despite the fact that he classified hadith in sections before Allah created Ibn Tawus and his student.

Sixthly, the definitions and divisions mentioned by al Imam al Hakim do not correspond with the doctrine of the Imami Shia; the Shia do not infer the statements of al Imam al Hakim in any chapters of hadith because he contradicts them altogether.

Seventhly, the most important thing we respond with to the claim of Hassan al Sadr are the statements of the Shia scholars themselves about al Imam al Hakim. Not one of the scholars of the Shia stated, according to my findings, that al Imam al Hakim is a Twelver Shia. In fact, commenting on Hassan al Sadr’s view, the Shia scholar Abu al Fadl Hafizyan al Babili states:

 

تجدر الإشارة إلى أن انتماء الحاكم النيسابوري إلى المذهب الشيعي غير متفق عليها وثمة شكوك حولها

It should be noted that al Hakim al Naysaburi’s affiliation to the Shia school of thought is not agreed upon and there are doubts about it.[31]

 

And what confirms the invalidity of what Hassan al Sadr believed is the statement of ‘Ali al Milani about al Hakim:

 

هو من كبار أهل السنة بل أساطينهم، ومن صدور علمائهم، بل سلاطينهم

He is from the seniors of the Ahlus Sunnah, in fact, their masters. And (he is) from their foremost scholars, in fact, their sultans.[32]

 

Jafar al Subhani states:

لا يصح لنا عده ممن ألف من الشيعة في هذا المضمار فضلا عن كونه أول المؤلفين فيه

It is incorrect for us to regard him from those of the Shia who authored works in this category, let alone him being the first one.[33]

 

Aqa Buzurg al Tahrani states:

 

ويحكى الجزم بتشيعه عن ابن تيمية أيضا لكنه احتمل جمع من الأعلام أن رمي هؤلاء إياه بالتشيع لإرادة إبطال احتجاج الشيعة بما أورده في مستدركه وغيره مما يضر بعقائدهم وهو غير بعيد، فراجعه.

A definitive opinion of his Shi’ism has been reported from Ibn Taymiyyah as well. However, a number of notable scholars conceived the fact that these individuals’ accusations of Shi’ism against him was merely intended to invalidate the Shias ability to use as proof whatever he mentioned in his Mustadrak, and other works regarding such things that would harm their doctrines. This is not farfetched, so consider it.[34]

 

The contemporary Shia scholar Hussain al Ma’tuq states:

 

وتهمته بالتشيع وكذا الرفض على حد تعبيرهم لا شك في بطلانها وعدم صحتها وذلك: أولا: لأن المعروف من حال الحاكم أنه من أهل السنة وأعلامهم، بل ومن كبار أئمتهم.

There is no doubt about the invalidity and inauthenticity of the accusation of his Shi’ism, and similarly, being a Rafidi—according to their interpretation. Firstly, because it is known from al Hakim’s condition that he was from the Ahlus Sunnah and their notable scholars. In fact, he is of their senior Imams.[35]

 

Thamir Hashim Habib al ‘Amidi:

 

إنَّ الحاكم نفسه متنازع فيه بين الشيعة والعامة؛ إذ لم يثبت – بنحو القطع، على كثرة ما قيل حوله – انتماؤه إلى أحد الفريقين، وإن كان ظاهر مستدركه عدم الاعتقاد بالتشيع.

Al Hakim himself is in conflict between the Shia and the ‘Ammah (i.e. the Sunnis). This is because his affiliation to one of the two groups has not been definitively established, despite much of what has been said concerning him.[36]

 

Did Thamir Hashim not bother to look at the remaining works of al Hakim so that he could know the truth that he does not want to speak out about? It may be difficult for him seeing that al Hakim is from the most notable and greatest scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah. These are the statements of the Shia scholars about al Hakim, our Imam. It is worth noting that the Shia scholar ‘Ali al Namazi al Shahrudi stated in his biography of al Hakim: “They (i.e. the Shia) did not mention him.”[37] In other words, there is no mention of him in the encyclopedias of Shia narrator evaluation, such as Tanqih al Maqal of al Mamaqani, Mujam al Khu’i, and Jami’ al Ruwat of al Ardabili, all of which are considered the most comprehensive encyclopedias in Shia narrator evaluation. All of this further proves that al Hakim rahimahu Llah is free from Shi’ism.

The third observation to Hassan al Sadr’s statements has to do with the error he committed in his biography of al Imam al Hakim. He stated:

 

Our companions (i.e. the Shia) have documented the fact that he is a Shia. For example, Muhammad ibn al Hassan al Hurr at the end of al Wasa’il. He reported from Ibn Shahr Ashub in Ma’alim al ‘Ulama’ under the chapter of agnomens (bab al kuna) that he regarded him among the authors of the Shia, and that he has al Amali and a work on the virtutes of (‘Ali) al Rida.[38]

 

The first reference which documents the Shi’ism of al Hakim from the ones mentioned by Hassan al Sadr is Ma’alim al ‘Ulama’. When I referred to Ma’alim al ‘Ulama’ by Ibn Shahr Ashub, I found him[39] saying: “Abu ‘Abdullah al Naysaburi, al Sheikh al Mufid (d. 413 AH). He has (written) al Amali and Manaqib al Rida ‘alayhi al salam.”[40]

Ibn Shahr’s statement “Abu ‘Abdullah al Naysaburi, al Sheikh al Mufid;” the identification of (the epithet) al Mufid proves the delusion and confusion of Hassan al Sadr, especially when the text states “al Sheikh al Mufid.” This further proves to me the existence of a mistake in the understanding of Hassan al Sadr. What further proves this is what I found in the work A’yan al Shia of Muhsin al Amin. Under the biography of al Imam al Hakim, he states: “And what is apparent from what he mentioned in Ma’alim al ‘Ulama’ is that it is somebody else. In in, it states “Abu ‘Abdullah al Naysaburi al Sheikh al Mufid. From his works is al Amali and Manaqib al Rida ‘alayh al Salam.” His famous nickname is ‘al Hakim;’ no other nickname is mentioned.”[41]

Aqa Buzurg al Tahrani mentions the following among the works of the Shia: “Al Ridawiyyat of al Sheikh al Mufid Abu Muhammad ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Ahmed ibn al Hussain al Naysaburi al Khuza’i al Razi al Hafiz al Thiqah, the student of the two sayeds al Rida and al Murtada, Sheikh al Ta’ifah, al Karachi, Sallar, Ibn al Barraj. Muntakhab al Din mentions him; perhaps it (i.e. Manaqib al Rida) too is attributed to him.”[42]

What is meant by ‘al Mufid’ here is not Muhammad ibn Muhammad al No’man, the teacher of the Shia, which al Hilli has a biography about saying: “From the most honourable mashayikh, leaders, and teachers of the Shia. Everyone that succeeded him benefited from him. His virtue is more famous than can be described in fiqh, kalam (scholastic theology) and riwayah. The most reliable and knowledgeable of his time. The Imamiyyah’s rule in his time ended with him.”[43]

In fact, this is another useful point since whatever has been attributed to al Hakim of being a Shia is not true, even a slight form of Shi’ism is not proven rahimahu Llah.

 

The second opinion

The first person to write on the in-depth sciences of hadith or ‘ulum al Dirayah is Sa’id ibn Hibat Allah ibn al Hassan al Rawandi (d. 573 AH). His work is entitled Risalah fi Sihhat Ahadith Ashabina. From those who held this view is the Shia scholar ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Hakim. After mentioning this work, he states:

 

يعد القطب الراوندي أول من ألف من أصحابنا في علم الدراية

Al Qutb al Rawandi is regarded as the first of our companions to write in the in-depth science of hadith.[44]

 

Where did the Shia come to know that this is a work on ‘Ilm al Dirayah and mustalah?

It appears from the title that it does not depart from the Akhbari methodology which considers all (hadith) reports as sahih. If this is not the case, who of the Shia scholars actually transmits the technical terms of al Dirayah from this work?

What confirms that this work does not depart from the Akhbari methodology (which rejects the division of hadith) is the fact that it was relied upon by the head of the Akhbaris in his time, the erudite scholar al Istarabadi. He used to reference it in his work al Fawa’id al Madaniyyah. In describing the work, he states: “The work which he authored in explaining the conditions of the ahadith of our companions and proving their authenticity.”[45]

Therefore, the work is, as documented by al Istarabadi, an explanation on the authenticity of ahadith. It is the methodology of the Akhbari school which opposes the division of ahadith. With this, it becomes clear that what ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Tabtaba’i believed is far from the truth; there is no correlation with this work and the in-depth sciences of hadith and its definitions.

 

The third opinion

What Hassan al Sadr mentioned in his statement:

 

وصنف بعد أبي عبد الله الحاكم في علم دراية الحديث، جماعة من شيوخ علم الحديث من الشيعة، كالسيد جمال الدين أحمد بن طاووس أبي الفضايل، وهو واضع الاصطلاح الجديد للإمامية، في تقسيم أصل الحديث إلى الأقسام الأربعة: الصحيح، والحسن، والموثق، والضعيف، كانت وفاته سنة 673هـ.

A number of scholars of the Shia in the science of hadith authored works after Abu ‘Abdullah al Hakim in ‘Ilm al Dirayah, such as al Sayed Jamal al Din Ahmed ibn Tawus Abi al Fadayil. He is the originator of the new technical terms of the Imamiyyah in their division of hadith into four categories: sahih, hassan, muwaththaq, and da’if. He died in the year[46] 673 A.H.[47]

 

Based on this statement, chronologically, Ibn Tawus is third. If we asked those who held this opinion: What the name of Ibn Tawus’s work is that you claim is about ‘Ilm al Dirayah? Their answer would be: Hall al Ishkal fi Ma’rifat al Rijal.

The book is missing. Nothing of it reached us except for what Hassan ibn Zayn al Din al Shahid al Thani found; he summarized it in what is known as al Tahrir al Tawusi. The editor of al Tahrir writes in his introduction to the work:

 

وصل هذا الكتاب إلى الشيخ حسن صاحب المعالم ووجده مشرفا على التلف. فانتزع منه ما حرره السيد من كتاب اختيار الكشي وزاد عليه بعض الزوائد في المتن مع حواشي لطيفة وسماه بـ (التحرير الطاووسي)

This work reached al Sheikh Hassan, the author of al Ma’alim and he found it completely damaged. He removed from it what al Sayed edited from the book Ikhtiyar al Kashshi and added additional information to the text alongside a brilliant supercommentary that he named al Tahrir al Tawusi.[48]

 

Therefore, this book is nothing but explanatory remarks on al Kashshi’s work on narrator evaluation. Where is Rijal al Kashshi in terms of the sciences of mustalah?

I perused this work and found Ibn Tawus saying in it: “I have decided to collect in this work of mine the names of authors and others about whom praiseworthy or negative things have been said and has been harmed by other (statements in other works).” And he states: “After completing the names, I began, in a similar manner, verifying the agnomens (kuna) and other titles (of narrators).” And he stated: “Thereafter, the intention is to scrutinize the asanid that are related to narrators who have been praised and criticized, according to what has been concluded by me. I do not know anyone that has preceded me in this regard throughout the ages.”

Ibn Tawus mentions these texts in the beginning of his work.[49] In reality, the subject-matter of this work is to be regarded as part of the works of narrator evaluation—works that examine the conditions of narrators. This is clear from its title: Hall al Ishkal fi Ma’rifat al Rijal. The attempt by some researchers to add this work among the (other) works of Mustalah al Hadith is nothing but an attempt to gain, as much as possible, antecedence in writing (in this field) to the Ahlus Sunnah. As we have mentioned this work has no correlation to Mustalah al Hadith.

Based on this, the Shia do not have anyone that wrote on the sciences of mustalah until the time of al Hilli (648-726 A.H). This is what I wanted to explain; that is, Ibn al Mutahhar al Hilli does not have a legacy of writing and authorship (to rely on) from his predecessors in the sciences of mustalah. This led him to invent rules that were completely unprecedented, such as the division of hadith into separate categories. He was the first to divide hadith, according to many scholars of the Shia. There is a difference between al Hilli—who could not find a foundational basis from the statements of his scholars—and Abu al Qasim al Khu’i—who was aware of the statements of al Hilli and those after him until our time. This lends support to the opinions of al Khu’i, relatively speaking, in those areas wherein he disagrees with Ibn al Mutahhar.

 

The fourth opinion

‘Abdul Hadi al Fadli states: “The earliest imami work in this science which reference is made to is Sharh Usul Dirayat al Hadith of al Sayed ‘Ali ibn ‘Abdul Karim ibn ‘Abdul Hamid al Najafi al Nili, the student of al ‘Allamah al Hilli who is from the scholars of the eighth century A.H.”[50]

I searched long and hard so I could find a person who transmitted even one letter from this work, but I was unable to. It appears from the title that the work speaks about ‘Ilm al Dirayah; however, it does not exist in the first place such that we can verify its subject matter. We are only able to ascertain a name like Sharh Usul Dirayat al Hadith; we cannot build a historical basis for it. The words of Muhsin al Amin drew my attention: “Among the authors therein is al Sayed ‘Ali ibn ‘Abdul Hamid al Hassani. He has (i.e. authored) Sharh Usul Dirayat al Hadith, as has been said from the eighth century.”[51]

If we turn our attention to his statement “as has been said,” it is as if al Amin was uncertain about the reality of the work. However, this is a statement that is not possible to be certain about, especially since, under his biography in the Tabaqat of eminent Shia personalities, Aqa Buzurg al Tahrani mentioned some of his works but did not mention this work. However, he alludes to him having a work on narrator evaluation (Kitab al Rijal)[52] without mentioning an actual name for. In Kitab al Dhari’ah of Aqa Buzurg al Tahrani stated:

 

شرح أصول دراية الحديث – للسيد علي بن عبد الكريم بن عبد الحميد النجفي النيلي تلميذ العلامة الحلِّي المتوفى سنة 726هـ. وشيخ أبي العباس أحمد بن فهد الحلِّي. ذكر في ترجمته في عداد مصنفاته.

Sharh Usul Dirayat Hadith of al Sayed ‘Ali ibn ‘Abdul Karim ibn ‘Abdul Hamid al Najafi al Nili, a student of al ‘Allamah al HIlli (d. 726 A.H) and the sheikh of Abu al ‘Abbas Ahmed ibn Fahd al Hilli. This work is mentioned in his biography among his works.[53]

 

The question is: Is the work Kitab al Rijal the same as Sharh Usul Dirayat al Hadith? Especially since the scholars of the Imamiyyah mentioned al Tahrir al Tawusi among the works of the in-depth science of hadith, and it is a work on narrator evaluation!

This is possible. In short, this work is doubtful, at most. It is not possible to say with certainty that this work falls within the parameters of our subject-matter. Perhaps this is closer (to the truth). If the opposite is proven true in that Kitab al Rijal is different to Sharh Usul Dirayat al Hadith, and we can see the contents, it is possible to say that this is the first work of the Shia in this regard. Therefore, authorship in this science commenced in the eighth century, notwithstanding the uncertainty that hovers around this work.

 

The fifth opinion

The first work written by the Imamiyyah in Mustalah al Hadith is al Bidayah fi ‘Ilm al Riwayah of Zayn al Din ibn ‘Ali al ‘Amili, famously known as al Shahid al Thani (d. 965 A.H). This opinion is the most famous and closest to the truth. A number of scholars of the Shia held this view. Rida al Mukhtari states:

 

من المشهور أن الشهيد الثاني أول عالم من الشيعة كتب كتابا في علم الدراية، ولم يكتب قبله أحد من علماء الشيعة كتابا في هذا العلم وقالوا: “وهذا العلم لم يسبقه أحد من علمائنا إلى التصنيف فيه”. جاء هذا الكلام من جملة ما جاء فيه في الكتب التالية: الدر المنثور وأمل الآمل ورياض العلماء وروضات الجنات وريحانة الأدب ومعجم رجال الحديث ومقدمة شرح اللمعة وإن المرجع الأول لكل هذه المصادر – مباشرة أو بالواسطة – هو كلام ابن العودي المنقول في “الدر المنثور”.

It is famously known that al Shahid al Thani was the first scholar of the Shia to write a book on ‘Ilm al Dirayah. None of the scholars before him wrote a book in this science and they said: “There was no one to write before him in this science from our scholars.” This statement came from among what was mentioned in the following books: al Durr al Manthur[54], Amal al Amil, Riyad al ‘Ulama’, Rawdat al Jannat, Rayhanat al Adab, Mujam Rijal al Hadith, Muqaddimah Sharh al Lum’ah. The first reference for all of these sources—directly or indirectly—is the words of Ibn al ‘Awdi which is transmitted in al Durr al Manthur.[55]

 

This is the preference of a number of notable scholars of the Imami school. I add the following:

  1. What was mentioned by Ghulam Hussain Qaisarahy and Ni’mat Allah al Jalili. They stated: “It has been said that the first person to independently study the (different) subjects of ‘Ilm al Dirayah and write a separate treatise on it was al Shahid al Thani Zayn al Din al ‘Amili. He authored the work al Bidayah fi ‘Ilm al Dirayah. Thereafter, he went on to offer a commentary on it.”[56]
  2. In describing the work of al Shahid al Thani, Abu al Fadl Hafizyan al Babili states: “It is a short and very famous work and is considered by many researchers as the first Shia work in ‘Ilm al Dirayah. It had a great influence on what was written later on (‘ilm) al Dirayah.”[57]
  3. I’jaz Hussain al Naysaburi states: “He is the first to author a work ‘Ilm al Dirayah. The beginning of it starts with ‘We praise you at the beginning and the end and ask You for good care until the end…’”[58]
  4. Muhsin al Amin states: “Al Shahid al Thani Zayn al Din ibn ‘Ali al ‘Amili al Juba’i was the first of our companions to author a work therein in a fashionable manner.”[59]

 

When looking at and contemplating these sayings, we find that they revolve around two tendencies. Firstly, al Shahid al Thani did not convey anything new. In fact, he gathered (the opinions) of a number of Shia authors among his predecessors. This is apparent from several texts, as Rida al Mukhtari mentioned when he spoke about the origins of writing in this field. He states:

 

وعلى فروض ورود الإشكال والتشكيك في بعض الموارد المذكورة آنفا – والظاهر أنه كذلك – فمع ذلك يثبت من مجموعها أن الشهيد لم يكن أول من ألف في ذا الفن من علماء الشيعة.

Assuming there exist problems and doubts in several of the aforementioned resources (and it seems that is the case), nevertheless, all of the resources collectively prove that al Shahid was not the first person to write in this field from the scholars of the Shia.[60]

 

Therefore, his admitting that all the sources mentioned before this work are questionable sources is the correct opinion and what I believe, except that he (also) believed that al Shahid did not convey anything new.

Of those who specifically expressed this point is Hafizyan al Babili. He states:

 

فهو أول من جمع ما كان متناثرا في الكتب والرسائل من آراء سلفه من علماء الشيعة

Therefore, he is the first to collect what was scattered in the works and treatises from the opinions of his predecessor, Shia scholars.[61]

 

The second tendency is the fact that this work is the first of it is kind in its field; the Imamiyyah have no knowledge of this field before this work. Also, what al Shahid did is merely transmit what the Ahlus Sunnah have. The clearest example of this is what al Karki (d. 1076 AH) stated:

The Imamiyyah did not have a work in ‘Ilm al Dirayah because they did not have a need for it, and because the major objectives behind it were contrary to the path of the early scholars. Acting on them would bring about a negative opinion of the pious predecessors, non-reliance on them, and their being mistaken in what they viewed as authentic. This is similar to dirt thrown into clean water, causing it to become muddy. The first person to write on the in-depth science of hadith from our companions was al Shahid al Thani. He summarized, and thereafter commented on Dirayat Ibn al Salah al Shafi’i fi Risalatihi.[62]

Al Khu’i states: “He is the first of the Imamiyyah to write on ‘Ilm al Dirayah. However, he transmitted the technical terms from the works of the ‘Ammah (i.e. the Ahlus Sunnah), as mentioned by his son and others.”[63]

The erudite scholar Ghulam Hussain Qaisariyyah admitted to this when he stated:

 

نظرا إلى أن أكثر الأقوال والآراء التي نقلها المصنف من أهل السنة والجماعة، وبلفظ (قيل) بذلنا وسعنا لتخريج الأقوال من مصادرها الأصلية والإرجاع إليها، وتفحصنا على قائلها. ولهذا كان أكثر مصادر التحقيق من كتب العامة.

Given that most of the sayings and opinions conveyed by the author are from the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah. And with the word “qila (it was said),” we have made every effort to resort back to and extract the sayings from their original sources and examined them accordingly. Therefore, most of the sources of inquiry were from the works of the ‘Ammah (i.e. Ahlus Sunnah).

 

After a few lines, he states:

 

We found that al Shahid was influenced by Muqaddimah Ibn al Salah … This becomes apparent to those who have reviewed Sharh al Bidayah and Muqaddimah Ibn al Salah.[64]

 

This second tendency is in accordance with the truth and the evidence. This is clear to anyone who reads the work al Bidayah fi ‘Ilm Dirayah. It does not go beyond the work of Ibn al Salah rahimahu Llah. More than one scholar of the Shia themselves alluded to this. Al Shahid al Thani even mentioned the (same) examples as mentioned by Ibn al Salah rahimahu Llah. For example, the hadith “Whoever misrepresents me intentionally, let him prepare for himself a seat in the Hellfire.” Ibn al Salah mentioned this in the section on mutawatir (massively transmitted) reports and al Shahid al Thani followed him and mentioned the same example.

Another example is the hadith “Indeed deeds are (judged) by intentions.” Ibn al Salah mentioned this when speaking about the mashhur (wide-spread) hadith. Al Shahid al Thani quoted the same example in the same discussion. Likewise, Ibn al Salah mentioned the same hadith in the section on gharabah (rare reports) and al Shahid followed suit. This is in addition to the many words quoted from the work of Ibn al Salah.

If someone said that al Shahid took from his predecessors and did not take from the Ahlus Sunnah, I say that consideration is to be given to the majority and greater portions. Al Shahid al Thani could have taken from some scholars of the Shia, such as al Hilli[65] or al Shahid al Awwal[66] (d. 786 A.H) some words or terms such as the definition of sahih, hassan, muwaththaq, da’if, and mutawatir. However, those are general and relatively easy words and terms. Definitions of the sciences of mustalah were not brought forth. Therefore, they do not represent anything in relation to what al Shahid al Thani mentioned. Also, it is not possible to judge a methodology of a group like the Imamiyyah and establish opinions and knowledge of the sciences of mustalah through a word that has not been mentioned in the actual subject-matter unless the science is rooted and properly arranged. Only al Shahid al Thani undertook such a task in this work. Therefore, the correct opinion is that he was the first to author a work in this regard, without forgetting that most of the work is a summary of the Sunni scholar Ibn al Salah’s work.

There is an important issue that deserves attention here. That is, al Shahid al Thani stated at the end of his work al Bidayah fi ‘Ilm al Dirayah:

 

ومن أراد الاستقصاء فيها مع ذكر الأمثلة فعليه بكتابنا غنية القاصدين في معرفة اصطلاحات المحدثين

And whoever wants to investigate it with the citation of examples should read our work Ghunyat al Qasidin fi Ma’rifat Istilahat al Muhaddithin.[67]

 

This statement from al Shahid al Thani proves that he has another extensive work in this chapter. However, most scholars of the Shia did not mention this work. In fact, they believed that al Bidayah fi ‘Ilm al Dirayah is where this science actually commenced. In any event, whether al Bidayah or Ghunyat al Qasidin, there is no difference since both of them are from one author. It is beneficial to know that the work Ghunyat al Qasidin is missing. Abu al Fadl Hafizyan documented the fact that it was missing when he stated:

لم يُعثر على نسخة من هذا الكتاب

No copy of this work was found.[68]

 

There is another important note here. Rida al Mukhtari, in his biography of al Shahid al Thani in the introduction to this work Munyat al Murid states:

 

وقد كتب بعض علماء الشيعة قبل الشهيد الثاني كتابا في هذا العلم، مثل: ابن أبي جمهور الأحسائي (توفي بعد901هـ) والذي ألف كتابه (تحفة القاصدين في معرفة اصطلاح المحدثين) قبل الشهيد بعدة أعوام.

A number of scholars of the Shia have written a work on this science before al Shahid al Thani. For example, Ibn Abi Jamhur al Ahsa’i (d. 901 AH). Also, the person who authored the work Tuhfat al Qasidin fi Ma’rifat Istilah al Muhadithin several years before al Shahid.[69]

 

Aqa Buzurg al Tahrani wrote in this regard saying:

 

تحفة القاصدين في معرفة اصطلاح المحدثين، للشيخ محمد بن علي بن إبراهيم ابن أبي جمهور الاحسائي، قال في آخر كتابه (كاشفة الحال) المؤلف سنة 888هـ، عند ذكره لأنواع الحديث وأقسامه: ومن أراد الاستقصاء مع ذكر الأمثلة فعليه بكتابنا (تحفة القاصدين في معرفة اصطلاح المحدثين).

Tuhfat al Qasidin fi Ma’rifat Istilah al Muhaddithin of Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Abi Jamhur al Ahsa’i. He stated in the end of his work Kashifat al Hal—authored in the year 888 A.H—when mentioning the types and divisions of hadith: “And whoever wants to investigate (it) with the citation of examples should read our work Tuhfat al Qasidin fi Ma’rifat Istilah al Muhaddithin.”[70]

 

We conclude from this that the Shia scholar Rida al Mukhtari emulated Aqa Buzurg al Tahrani in proving that al Ahsa’i has a work, the subject-matter of which concerns the sciences of mustalah, and that it was before al Shahid al Thani.

A response to this can be given based on what Abu al Fadl Hafizyan stated: “Whoever refers back to Kashifat al Hal, he will not be able to find what al Tahrani attributed to al Ahsa’i; though there exists a similar statement at the end of al Bidayah of al Shahid al Thani. However, instead of “Tuhfat al Qasidin,” it comes as “Ghunyat al Qasidin.” What was mentioned as a mistake in the work that was edited by al Tabtaba’i under the title Risalah fi al Dirayah of Ibn Abi Jamhur was Bidayat al Dirayah of al Shahid al Thani.[71] We can therefore conclude that his opinion—which he replicated from Aqa Buzurg al Tahrani—is incorrect. And that it was a mistake from al Tahrani.

More than this is the fact that the Shia scholar al Khuwanasari mentioned in his work Rawdat al Jannat that Ibn Abi Jamhur al Ahsa’i is on the methodology of the Akhbariyyah, and that he heavily criticized him and deemed acting on all reports as something admissible. Al Nuri al Tabarsi (d. 1320 AH) alluded to and contested this in his work Khatimat Mustadrak al Wasa’il.[72] Based on this, it is highly unlikely that the likes of this Akhbari authored a work in this field, especially considering the fact that he bases his methodology on the principle that all books of hadith are sound and authentic, as well as attacking the methodology espoused by the Usuliyyah—who consider the classification of hadith as something valid.

 

NEXT⇒ 6.0 A biography of al Hilli and al Khu’i and an exposition of their creed and respective methodologies in their works


[1] Abu al Fadl Hafizyan al Babili: Rasa’il fi Dirayat al Hadith, 1:13-14.

[2] He states this in the introduction of al Bidayah fi ‘Ilm al Dirayah, 1/108 (printed among Rasa’il fi Dirayat al Hadith).

[3] Chapter Three, p. 253.

[4] Fadil al Maliki: al Ghaybah al Sughra wa al Sufara’ al Arba’ah, p. 14-15.

[5] Ibn Taymiyyah: Minhaj al Sunnah, p. 133.

[6] Ibid, 1:88.

[7] Introduction to Dirasat fi ‘Ilm al Dirayah of ‘Ali Akbar Ghaffari, p. 4. This work is a summary of Miqbas al Hidayah of ‘Abdullah al Mamaqani.

[8] Hussain ibn Shihab al Din al Karki al ‘Amili: Hidayat al Abrar, p. 178.

[9] Ibid, p. 104.

[10] Hassan Sahib al Ma’alim: Muntaqa al Jamman, 1/10.

[11] Nur al Din al ‘Amili: al Fawa’id al Makkiyyah wa bi Hamishihi al Shawahid al Madaniyyah, p. 126.

[12] Al Bahrani: al Hada’iq al Nazirah, 1:24.

[13] Do not be surprised by the reasoning of al Hurr al ‘Amili that one of the evidences of the division of hadith into sahih and da’if is that it is from the division Ahlus Sunnah scholars’. The issue of opposing the Ahlus Sunnah, whom they call the ‘Ammah is one of the greatest doctrines of al Wala’ wa al Bara’ (loyalty and disavowal) according to the Twelver Shia. Just as the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commanded us to oppose the polytheists in many ahadith, such as, when he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as reported by al Bukhari, said: “Oppose the polytheists” (Bab Taqlim al Azafir). Similar, the Shia; among their universal objective in both their usul and furu’ is their opposition to the Ahlus Sunnah. The words of their scholars have been massively transmitted (i.e. it is mutawatir) in this regard. After recounting several narrations commanding opposing the Ahlus Sunnah, Khomeini states: “In any case, there is no problem that opposing the ‘Ammah is one of the ways of giving preference (to an opinion) in the chapter of (how to deal with) contradictions” (p. 83). Therefore, the words of al ‘Amili do not go beyond the legal theory of the school—which is supported by narrations.

[14] Al Hurr al ‘Amili: Wasa’il al Shia, 30/249.

[15] Hassan al Sadr: al Shia wa Funun al Islam, p. 55 (abbreviated).

[16] Ibid.

[17] Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 17/174.

[18] Al Dhahabi: Mizan al I’tidal, 3/608.

[19] Al Nuri al Tabarsi: Khatimat al Mustadrak, 1/119.

[20] Al Tustari: Qamus al Rijal, 1/22 (introduction of chapter five).

[21] Al Hakim: Ma’rifat ‘Ulum al Hadith, 1/43.

[22] Al Dhahabi: Tarikh al Islam, 3/:88.

[23] Al Hakim: al Mustadrak, 5/39.

[24] Ibid, 5:51.

[25] Ibid, 5:156.

[26] Ibid, 5:428.

[27] Ibid, 5/245.

[28] Ibn al Athir (d. 606 A.H) states in al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith: “(Khazar) … al khazirah: Meat that is cut into small pieces and a lot of water is poured over it. When it gets well done, flour is sprinkled over it. If there is no meat in it, it is ‘asidah. It is said that it is mixed with flour and cream. It is also said that when it is from flour then it is harirah, and when it is from bran then it is khazirah.” (2/72)

[29] Ibn al Athir states in al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith: “(Lahf) … alhafa fi al mas’alah ulhifu ilhafan – when a person persists therein and perseveres.” (4/455) Ibn Manzur states in Lisan al ‘Arab: ”(Lahf) … Wa alhafa al masa’il alahha.” (9/314)

[30] Al Hakim: al Mustadrak, 2/325.

[31] Abu al Fadl Hafizyan al Babili: Rasa’il fi Dirayat al Hadith, 1?14.

[32] ‘Ali al Milani: Nafahat al Azhar, 14/160.

[33] Al Subhani: Usul al Hadith wa Ahkamuhu, p. 11.

[34] Aqa Buzurg al Tahrani: al Dhari’ah, 2/199.

[35] Hussain al Ma’tuq: al Insaf fi al Masa’il al Khilaf, 1/44.

[36] In his published research entitled “Tarikh al Hadith wa ‘Ulumuhu” in Majallat Turathina, 47/248.

[37] 7/170.

[38] Hassan al Sadr: al Shia wa Funun al Islam, p. 55.

[39] After writing this chapter—which took about five months, I came across the words of Dr. ‘Umar al Farmawi in his work al Khilaf bayn al Shia wa al Sunnah (p. 105). He preceded me in several of the refutations I reached, among them is regarding the error of al Hurr al ‘Amili. Therefore, it is necessary to point this out since I found him refuting the opinion that al Hakim was a Shia. He refuted Hassan al Sadr excellently. May Allah reward him.

[40] P. 167.

[41] 5/328. From the contradictions of Muhsin al Amin is that he stated in another place in A’yan al Shia: “(2421) Abu ‘Abdullah al Naysaburi al Sheikh al Mufid, famously known as Ibn al Bayyi’. His name is Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Hamawayh ibn Na’im al Dabbi al Tahmani al Naysaburi” (2/380). Muhsin al Amin also stated: “(391) Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Hamawayh ibn Na’im al Dabbi al Tahmani al Naysaburi, famously known as al Hakim and Ibn al Bayyi’.” This proves the error of Muhsin al Amin; at times, he shows that al Hakim is different to al Mufid. Other times, he makes them one person.

[42] Aqa Buzurg: al Dhari’ah, 11/240. Refer to: al Kuna wa al Alqab of ‘Abbas al Qummi, 2/666 (no. 702).

[43] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal fi Ma’rifat al Rijal, p. 248.

[44] He mentioned this in Majallat Turathina, 39/273. Hafizyan al Babili also quoted this from him, as mentioned in Rasa’il fi Dirayat al Hadith, 1/14.

[45] Al Istarabadi: al Fawa’id al Madaniyyah, p. 381.

[46] What is strange is the fact that the editor of the work mentioned on the cover that the death date of Ibn Tawus is 664 A/H. And in the introduction to the work he mentions that he died in the year 673 AH.

[47] Hassan al Sadr: al Shia wa Funun al Islam, p. 56. Muhsin al Amin also held this view in A’yan al Shia, 1/149.

[48] The editor of the work, Muhammad Hassan Tarhini said this in the introduction, p. 7.

[49] Al Shahid al Thani: al Tahrir al Tawusi, p. 24-25 (a summary of a Ibn Tawus’s lengthy statements).

[50] Al Fadli: Usul al Hadith, p. 26.

[51] Muhsin al Amin: A’yan al Shia, 1/149.

[52] 3/142-143.

[53] 13/94.

[54] This work is not the same as the famous one of al Imam al Suyuti. In fact, it is another work. Aqa Buzurg al Tahrani states: “Al Durr al Manthur min al Khabar al Ma’thur wa Ghayr al Ma’thur is a large work that consists of three volumes. It was written by al Sheikh ‘Ali ibn al Sheikh Fakhr al Din Muhammad ibn al Hassan ibn Zayn al Din al Shahid al Thani al Juba’i al ‘Amili—born 1014 (al Dhari’ah, 8/76).

[55] He stated this in his editorial introduction to Munyat al Murid of al Shahid al Thani, p. 43-44 (with slight variation).

[56] They mentioned this in the introduction to the edited version of al Rawashih al Samawiyyah, p. 5.

[57] Al Babili: Rasa’il fi Dirayat al Hadith, 1/22.

[58] I’jaz Hussain al Naysaburi: Kashf al Hajb wa al Astar ‘an Asma’ al Kutub wa al Asfar, p. 82.

[59] Muhsin al Amin: A’yan al Shia, 1/149.

[60] Al Shahid al Thani: Munyat al Murid, p. 45 (editor’s introduction).

[61] Al Babili: Rasa’il Dirayat al Hadith, 1/15.

[62] Hussain ibn Shihab al Din al Karki al ‘Amili: Hidayat al Abrar, p. 104.

[63] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 8/385.

[64] Introduction to the reviewed work al Bidayah fi ‘Ilm al Riwayah (p. 19). This work has been printed more than once, of which I have two prints. The first one is by Markaz al Abhath wa al Dirasat al Islamiyyah (Qom). I have transmitted this text from this print. The second one printed in Rasa’il fi Dirayat al Hadith of Hafizyan al Babili. However, the introduction of the same editor, Ghulam Qaisariyyah, mentioned the same introduction in full and in the exact same order, except that he altered most of the words. I mentioned this so that a mistake does not occur, and that if the reader comes across the same words in one of the prints that he thinks that I transmitted it by way of meaning (i.e. not by its exact wording).

[65] Al Hilli: Muntaha al Matlab, 1:15 (in the eighth introduction).

[66] Al Shahid al Awwal: Dhikra al Shia fi Ahkam al Shari’ah, 1:48 (under the chapter “Ta’rif al Sunnah wa Taqsimuha”).

[67] P. 47.

[68] Al Babili: In a work entitled Musannafat al Shia fi ‘Ilm al Dirayah, 1/67, printed among Rasa’il fi Dirayat al Hadith of the same author.

[69] Introduction to Munyat al Murid, p. 44 where he mentioned a detailed biography of al Shahid al Thani.

[70] Al Tahrani: al Dhari’ah, 18/299.

[71] Al Babili: Musannafat al Shia fi ‘Ilm al Dirayah, 1/34 (printed among Rasa’il fi Dirayat al Hadith).

[72] Al Nuri al Tabarsi: Khatimat al Mustadrak, 1:334-335.

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