5.3 The relationship that connects the Imam with the narrator

5.2 The positions of al Hilli and al Khu’i concerning the statements of al jarh wa al ta’dil that come from the infallible Imams—according to the Imami Shia
April 5, 2022
5.4. The positions of al Hilli and al Khu’i concerning riwayah and its sciences
April 6, 2022

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5.3 The relationship that connects the Imam with the narrator

 

5.3.1 The meaning of “khasi” and its implications

In al Rijal, al Tusi mentions the word “khasi” when discussing several narrators under the chapter, “Those who did not narrate from the Imams.”[1] So, what does this word signify? Al Mamaqani states:

 

خاصي وفيه احتمالان أحدهما كون المراد به الشيعي مقابل العامي والثاني كون المراد به أنه من خواصّ الأئمة عليهم السلام وعلى الأول فهو دال على كونه إماميا وعلى الثاني فهو دال على المدح المعتد به بل يمكن استفادة التوثيق منه لبعد تمكينهم عليهم السلام من صيرورة غير الثقة من خواصهم لكن استعمال اللفظ في الأول في هذه الأزمنة أشيع وإن كان في الأزمنة السابقة بالمساواة إن لم يكن بالعكس

Khasi: This word has two possibilities:

1) it means (the narrator is a) Shia, instead of an ‘Ammi (i.e., Sunni), or

2) it means the narrator is among the most select individuals of the Imams ‘alayhim al Salam.

Assuming the first possibility, it is indicative of the narrator being an Imami. And assuming the second possibility, it is indicative of the narrator being praiseworthy. In fact, it can be used as (a form of) tawthiq of the narrator since they ‘alayhim al Salam would not allow a non-thiqah to be of their close associates. However, the first usage of the word in these times is more widespread, even though they were used equally in the past, if not conversely.[2]

 

‘Ali al Burujirdi (d. 1313 AH) states:

إن ذكره في بعض الرواة خاصة له نوع من الخصوصية فيشعر بالمدح

It being mentioned about certain specific narrators is a type of uniqueness that suggests praiseworthiness.[3]

 

Several Imami scholars have agreed with him regarding this opinion.[4]

 

After addressing the issue, al Khaqani (d. 1334 AH) concludes saying:

 

الظاهر أن الخاصي نسبة إلى الخاصة والعامي نسبة إلى العامة فكما ان الخاصة والعامة متقابلان فكذا الخاصي والعامي ولا ريب أن الخاصة ظاهر في الشيعة وحينئذ فلم يبق ظهور في المدح والمدار عليه كما عرفت والله أعلم

Seemingly, the khasi is an attribution to the khassah and the ‘ammi is an attribution to the ‘ammah. Just as the khassah and the ‘ammah are opposites, so too, is the khasi and the ‘ammi. There is no doubt that the khassah appears in relation to the Shia. Accordingly, it does not remain applicable to and give the impression of praise, as you know. And Allah knows best.”[5]

 

What concerns us here is the opinion of al Hilli and al Khu’i on the matter.

It seems from how al Hilli dealt with the word “khasi” in al Khulasah that it is from the reasons for accepting the narration of a narrator and placing him in the first section, irrespective of whether he regards it as a simple praise or an actual tawthiq. This becomes very clear to us when we look at the biography of Haydar ibn Shu’ayb al Taliqani. Al Hilli only mentioned one word about him: Khasi.

This is the word that al Tusi used for him in Rijal al Tusi.[6] Consequently, al Hilli placed him in the first section.[7]

Al Khu’i held the opinion that this word is not useful in terms of the acceptance or rejection of a narration. He states:

 

و أما ماذكره الشيخ من أنه خاصي فلا دلالة فيه على الحسن فضلا عن الوثاقة

As for what al Sheikh mentioned in that he is a “khasi,” there is no indication therein of his uprightness, let alone his reliability.[8]

 

From here, the difference between al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding the word and its connotations is clear.

 

Note:

From the conduct of al Khu’i in his Mujam, it appears that he makes a distinction between the word “khasi” and the words, “khawass ashab al Imam (from the close associates of the Imam’s companions).” This is because his usage of the word “khasi” is clear in that it neither denotes tawthiq nor uprightness. As for their statement, “khawass ashab al Imam,” it is from the reasons of deeming the narrator upright. Under the biography of ‘Abdul Salam ibn ‘Abdur Rahman, al Khu’i states:

 

عده [ابن شهر آشوب]… من خواص أصحاب الصادق عليه السلام ويكفي هذا الحكم بحسنه

Ibn Shahr Ashub counted him to be … among the close associates of al Sadiq’s ‘alayh al Salam companions. This ruling is sufficient in regarding him to be upright.[9]

 

Regardless of al Khu’i’s contradiction in his acceptance of the sayings of Ibn Shahr Ashub (who is one of the latter-day scholars), which contradicts his methodology, what is important is al Khu’i’s distinction between the word “khasi” and the words khawass ashab al Imam.

 

5.3.2 The Imam making tawkil (delegating) of the narrator

Some Imami scholars consider the act of tawkil (delegation) of the Imam of a person—in matters related to the religion or otherwise—a reason among the reasons of investigating his ‘adalah, especially if the person has no previous tawthiq mentioned in the dictionaries of narrator evaluation. Thereafter, they differ regarding the Imam making tawkil of a person: Does it necessitate his tawthiq or not?

Al Ayrawani states:

 

فبينما البعض يصّر على دلالة التوكيل لا على الوثاقة فقط بل على العدالة ويستدل على ذلك بأن الوكيل إذا لم يكن عادلا فتوكيله محرم لأنه نحو ركون إلى الظالم الذي نهت عنه الآية الكريمة

وَلَا تَرۡكَنُوٓاْ إِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ فَتَمَسَّكُمُ ٱلنَّارُ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مِنۡ أَوۡلِيَآءَ ثُمَّ لَا تُنصَرُونَ

نجد آخرين ينكرون دلالة الوكالة على الوثاقة بحجة أننا نجد كثيرا من وكلائهم عليهم السلام قد صدر الذم في حقهم وقد عقد الشيخ الطوسي في كتابه الغيبة بابا خاصا للوكلاء الذين صدر الذم في حقهم

While some insist that the act of tawkil indicates not only reliability, but ‘adalah as well. They infer from this that if the wakil (agent) is not ‘adil, then the act of tawkil is haram because it is somewhat like relying on an oppressor. The following verse prohibits this:

And do not incline toward those who do wrong, lest you be touched by the Fire, and you would not have other than Allah any protectors; then you would not be helped.[10]

We find others denying that the act of Tawkil is an indication of reliability. They argue that we find many wakils about whom criticism was raised against. Al Sheikh al Tusi dedicated a specific section in his book, al Ghaybah, that speaks about wakils who have been criticized.[11]

 

And like this, we find among the Imami scholars those who generalize and do not provide specific details on the issue of agency; according to them, tawthiq is concluded from every act of Tawkil. Others, also generalize the issue at hand and say that the act of Tawkil does not necessitate tawthiq.[12]

Some scholars of the Imamiyyah went into details regarding the type of wakalah (that is required for accepting a narrator).[13] For example, if the wakalah is related to shar’i (legal) matters, then there is no problem in it indicating tawthiq, ‘adalah, and accepting of narrations in general. They mention that the khums tax, legal opinions, and other similar issues are among the considered shar’i matters.

Also, if the wakalah has to do with non-legal matters, such as protecting an amanah or something else, then tawthiq or ta’dil of the narrator is not a necessary outcome. How many a people are trustworthy in protecting someone’s wealth yet they lie in narrating reports!

If the word “wakalah (agency)” is left open about a narrator and we are unable to determine the type of agency he was entrusted with, then is he to be relied-upon or not? Hussain Mar’i responded to this saying:

 

التفصيل المذكور أحرى بالاعتماد فإن علم حال الوكيل من أي قسم فهو وإلا فلا يعتمد عليه لأنه أعم من أن يكون من الأول أو من الثاني

The aforementioned details are more deserving to be relied-upon. If the condition of the wakil (agent) is known in terms of what type of wakalah it is, then it is fine. If not, it is not to be relied-upon since it is more general than being from the first or the second.[14]

 

What is the position of al Hilli and al Khu’i on this difference of opinion?

 

 

Al Hilli on the Imam making tawkil of the narrator

While examining al Khulasah of al Hilli, it became clear to me that he inclines towards the act of wakalah being from the reasons of accepting the narration of a narrator. This is evident from his making tawthiq of those about whom it is said that is a wakil. Under the biography of al Hussain ibn ‘Abd Rabbih, al Hilli states:

 

روى الكشي عن محمد بن مسعود قال حدثني محمد بن نصير قال حدثني أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى أنه كان وكيلا وهذا سند صحيح

Al Kashshi narrated on the authority of Muhammad ibn Mas’ud — Muhammad ibn Nasir narrated to me — Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa narrated to me that he was a wakil. This is an authentic chain of narration.[15]

 

Thus, al Hilli placed him in the first section because his agency is established through an authentic chain. Al Hilli did not mention a reason for his tawthiq except for agency.[16]

Al Nuri al Tabarsi explicitly stated that al Hilli would consider general agency from the reasons of tawthiq, as transmitted from al Kazimi.[17]

From those who also stated that al Hilli considers general agency as a form of tawthiq is ‘Ali al Burijardi (d. 1313 AH). He states:

 

أشرنا أن مجرد الوكالة كاف في الوثاقة وقد ذهب إليه العلامة [الحلِّي]

We have alluded to the fact that agency alone is sufficient in determining reliability. Al ‘Allamah (al Hilli) held this view.[18]

 

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Al Khu’i on the Imam making tawkil of the narrator

Al Khu’i differed with al Hilli on the issue of the tawthiq of a wakil. On more than one occasion, he explicitly stated that the act of wakalah by the infallible Imam is not indicative of his tawthiq or uprightness. In refuting the issue of assuming ‘adalah from the act of wakalah, al Khu’i states:

 

الوكالة لا تستلزم العدالة ويجوز توكيل الفاسق إجماعا وبلا إشكال غاية الأمر أن العقلاء لا يوكلون في الأمور المالية خارجا من لا يوثق بأمانته وأين هذا من اعتبار العدالة في الوكيل وأما النهي عن الركون إلى الظالم فهو أجنبي عن التوكيل فيما يرجع إلى أمور الموكل نفسه هذا وقد ذكر [الطوسي] في كتابه الغيبة عدة من المذمومين من وكلاء الأئمة عليهم السلام فإذا كانت الوكالة تلزمها العدالة فكيف يمكن انفكاكها عنها في مورد وبعبارة أخرى إذا ثبت في مورد أن وكيل الإمام عليه السلام لم يكن عادلا كشف ذلك عن عدم الملازمة وإلا فكيف يمكن تخلف اللازم عن الملزوم وبهذا يظهر بطلان ما قيل من أنه إذا ثبتت الوكالة في مورد أخذ بلازمها وهو العدالة حتى يثبت خلافه ثم إنه قد يستدل على وثاقة كل من كان وكيلا من قبل المعصومين عليهم السلام في أمورهم بما رواه محمد بن يعقوب عن علي بن محمد عن الحسن بن عبد الحميد قال شككت في أمر حاجز فجمعت شيئا ثم صرت إلى العسكر فخرج إلي ليس فينا شك ولا في من يقوم مقامنا بأمرنا رد ما معك إلى حاجز ابن يزيد ورواه الشيخ المفيد أيضا والجواب عن ذلك أن الرواية ضعيفة السند ولا أقل من أن الحسن بن عبد الحميد مجهول مضافا إلى أن الرواية لا تدل على اعتبار كل من كان وكيلا من قبلهم سلام الله عليهم في أمر من الأمور وإنما تدل على جلالة من قام مقامهم بأمرهم فيختص ذلك بالنواب والسفراء من قبلهم سلام الله عليهم

Wakalah does not necessitate ‘adalah. Without issue, and by virtue of consensus, it is permissible to make tawkil of a fasiq (transgressor). The fact of the matter is that intelligent people do not delegate people in relation to financial matters whose trustworthiness is not verified, and so where is this compared to considering ‘adalah in a wakil?

As for the prohibition of relying on an oppressor, it is foreign to tawkil in that it goes back to matters of the appointer of the wakil himself. (Al Tusi) mentioned in his book, al Ghaybah, a number of criticized narrators from among the agents of the Imams. Thus, if ‘adalah was a necessary correlation of wakalah, how is it possible to separate it in one instance (and not the other)?

Stated differently, if it is proven in one instance that the wakil of the Imam is not ‘adil, then this reveals that it is not a necessary correlation. Otherwise, how is it possible that the lazim (consequent) falls away from the malzum (antecedent)? With this, the falseness of what is stated becomes clear: if agency is established in one instance, its consequent will come with it—which is ‘adalah—until the opposite is proven.

Furthermore, the reliability of everyone who was a wakil of the infallibles ‘alayhim al Salam in their affairs may be inferred from what was narrated by Muhammad ibn Yaqub — from ‘Ali ibn Muhammad — from al Hassan ibn ‘Abdul Hamid who said, “I was in doubt regarding the affair of Hajiz (i.e., his wakalah with the Imam) and so I gathered something and set off to al ‘Askar. He came out to me and said, “There is no doubt in us and in those who stand in our place with our affair. Return what is with you to Hajiz ibn Yazid.” Al Sheikh al Mufid narrated this as well.

The answer to this is as follows. The narration has a weak chain of narration and no less than the fact that al Hassan ibn ‘Abdul Hamid is majhul (unknown). In addition to this, the narration does not prove that there is to be a reliance on everyone that was a wakil on their behalf ‘alayhim al Salam for a particular issue. Rather, it proves the greatness of the person who stood in their place for a particular matter. As such, this is restricted to their nawwab (representatives) and sufara’ (ambassadors).[19]

 

Al Khu’i states:

 

الوكالة لا تلازم الوثاقة ولا الحسن

Wakalah neither necessitates reliability nor uprightness.[20]

 

And he stated:

 

الوكالة لا تستلزم العدالة ولا الوثاقة

Wakalah neither necessitates ‘adalah nor wathaqah (reliability).[21]

 

It appears from the words of al Khu’i that wakalah does not necessitate integrity, reliability, and uprightness. Also, al Khu’i makes a distinction between the safir (ambassador) of the Imam and his wakil (agent) because he considers sifarah (ambassadorship) more special. In arguing the meaning of one of the narrations, he states:

 

أنه على تقدير تسليم الوكالة فلا دلالة فيها على السفارة التي هي أخص من الوكالة

Conceding that there is agency, there is still no indication therein on ambassadorship which is more special than agency.[22]

 

Of those that agreed with al Khu’i is al Tustari. In refuting al Mamaqani, he explains his opinion on how wakalah of a narrator does not necessitate tawthiq saying:

 

كثيرا ما يستند المصنف في الحسن إلى الوكالة عنهم عليهم السلام مع أنها أيضا أعم

Many a times, the author bases uprightness (of a narrator) on the fact that he was a wakil on their behalf ‘alayhim al Salam, despite the fact that it, too is broader.[23]

 

It seems that the opinion of al Khu’i is correct; especially if we asked the following question to both proponents of this view (i.e., those who say that all forms of wakalah necessitate ‘adalah and acceptance of (the narrator’s) narration, and those who require more detail as to what type of wakalah it is (i.e., for the narrator to be presumed acceptable): When the agency is for supra-rational (ta’abbudi) matters (which you agreed necessitates tawthiq), will you also make tawthiq of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu who the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam delegated for issues of Imamah and leading the people in salah?[24] This is the greatest thing a person can be delegated for. This was at the end of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam life because he was afflicted with illness. Their answer will be, without a doubt, “No.”

This is one of the most important proofs that can be forced upon those who regard wakalah as indicative of ‘adalah. What is it that made it specific to the companions of the infallible Imams and removed from the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?!

The contradiction of this opinion is clear and manifest.

It is possible for us to say that rejecting this principle would be a clear criticism of the Infallible who entrusts a man for a worldly or legal matter and yet he is not considered reliable or trustworthy, especially considering the claim of the Imamiyyah that their infallible Imams know what the hearts of man conceal. Was the Infallible unaware of this yet al Khu’i knew of it? This proves the falsity of many creedal issues in the Imami school, especially those extreme issues related to Imams having knowledge of everything, including what the hearts conceal.

 

Note:

Similar to the Imam’s tawkil is what is known as “wisayah (executorship)” in that a narrator is a wasi (executor) (i.e., on behalf of the Imam) for a particular issue. Al Khu’i’s opinion on wisayah is similar to his opinion on wakalah. This is clear from the biography of Muhammad ibn Nuaim al Sahhaf. Al Khu’i states:

 

استظهر بعضهم أن منشأ توثيقه هو أن محمد بن أبي عمير أوصى إليه وترك امرأة لم يترك وارثا غيرها، فكتب إلى عبد صالح فكتب إليه أعط المرأة الربع واحمل الباقي إلينا فإن محمد بن أبي عمير لا يوصي إلا إلى ثقة أمين وهذا أيضا من الغرائب فإن محمد بن أبي عمير هذا غير محمد بن أبي عمير الثقة المعروف فإن هذا من أصحاب الصادق عليه السلام وتوفي في زمان الكاظم عليه السلام على ما تقدم في ترجمته على أن الوصاية إلى شخص لا تدل على وثاقته في الرواية غاية الامر أن تدل على أمانته في الأموال وعلى ما ذكرنا فمحمد بن نعيم الصحاف مجهول الحال

Some of them have claimed that the basis for his tawthiq is Muhammad ibn Abi ‘Umair. He was made a wasi (executor) (i.e., Muhammad ibn Nuaim al Sahhaf). Muhammad ibn Abi ‘Umair only left behind a wife and no other heirs. So, he wrote to the pious slave (i.e., the Imam). And he wrote (back) to him, “Give the women one-fourth and bring the remaining to us.”[25] Muhammad ibn Abi ‘Umair would only make a reliable and trustworthy person an executor. This, too is also strange. This Muhammad ibn Abi ‘Umair is not the same well-known thiqah. This one is from the companions of al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam; he died in the time of al Kazim ‘alayh al Salam, based on what was previously mentioned in his biography. The most that can be said is that it proves his trustworthiness in relation to wealth. Thus, based on what we have mentioned, Muhammad ibn Nuaim al Sahhaf’s condition is unknown.[26]

 

Under the biography of Muhammad ibn al Hassan Abu Khalid al Qummi al Ash’ari, al Khu’i states:

 

قال الوحيد  [البهبهاني] يظهر من غير واحد من الأخبار كونه وصي سعد بن سعد الأشعري وهو دليل الاعتماد والوثوق وحسن الحال وظاهر في العدالة

Al Wahid (al Bahbahani) states, “It appears from more than one report that he was the wasi of Sa’d ibn Sa’d al Ash’ari. This is a proof of reliance on him, his reliability, and his upright condition. It also seems to suggest ‘adalah.[27]

 

Al Khu’i commented on this, saying:

 

ويدفعه أن الوصاية لا تكشف عن العدالة ولا تدل على الاعتماد والوثوق به بما هو راو وإنما يدل على الوثوق بأمانته وعدم خيانته وبين الامرين عموم من وجه وعليه فالرجل مجهول الحال

What disproves this is the fact that wisayah does not reveal ‘adalah nor does it prove reliance and reliability in what he narrates. Rather, it proves reliability in relation to his trustworthiness and his non-deceptiveness. There is a generality between the two issues from one perspective. Based on this, the individual’s condition is unknown.[28]

 

With this, it is clear that al Khu’i does not consider any form of wakalah or wisayah to have any impact on accepting or rejecting the narrator’s report. Despite this, it is as if there is a contradiction in the words of al Khu’i because he says, “Rather, it proves reliability in relation to his trustworthiness and his non-deceptiveness.” And, before this, he says, “…wisayah does not reveal ‘adalah nor does it prove reliance and reliability in what he narrates.”

It is as if there is a contradiction here. How can a person be reliable, not deceive, and be trustworthy in worldly affairs and not be trustworthy in legal matters, especially considering the fact that he is from the Muslims? And especially considering the fact that the Imamiyyah do not rely much on the issue of dabt (precision) of a hadith narrator; rather, they only observe his ‘adalah, as is the situation with al Khu’i. The problem is that ‘adalah emerged because of his non-deceptiveness and his reliability. In summary, the issue that al Khu’i gave a foundation to is inaccurate and requires further scrutiny.

 

5.3.3 The Imam’s writing and correspondence with the narrator

Imami scholars differ regarding whether a narrator’s writing and maintaining correspondence with the Imam is considered a form of his tawthiq. I am referring to the tawthiq of the person who the letter is sent to, not the messenger[29] or carrier of the Imam’s correspondence. It can be defined according to what Muhammad Rida stated:

 

هي المراسلات التي جرت بين الأصحاب والأئمة عليهم السلام وحفظت ودونت حول مسألة واحدة غالبا أو موضوع معين

They are the correspondences which occurred between the companions and the Imams ‘alayhim al Salam. They were usually preserved and documented in regards to one issue or a particular subject.[30]

 

Based on this, can it be said that the person whom the infallible Imam sends the book or message to is reliable?

Al Namazi al Shaharudi regarded the correspondences of the Imams with their companions as a proof of the Imam’s care and concern for the narrator.[31]

What is the position of al Hilli and al Khu’i on this issue?

 

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The position of al Hilli regarding the Imam’s writing and correspondence with the narrator

Whoever analyzes the workings of al Hilli in al Khulasah will see that he regards the act of writing of the Imam to one of the Imamiyyah as a proof for accepting his narrations. This is evidenced by the fact that in some biographies, he did not mention a reason for placing the narrator in the first section of his book except because he has correspondence with the Imam. Examples of this are as follows.

Under the biography of Ahmed ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar al Himyari, al Hilli restricted himself to the following words:

 

له مكاتبة

He has correspondence (i.e., with the Imam).[32]

 

Under the biography of al Hussain ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar, al Hilli restricted himself to the following words:

 

له مكاتبة

He has correspondence (i.e., with the Imam).[33]

 

This proves that al Hilli regards the correspondence between the Imam and the narrator among the proofs for accepting his narrations. As a result, he included these biographies in the first section.

 

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The position of al Khu’i regarding the Imam’s writing and correspondence with the narrator

Al Khu’i disagreed with al Hilli’s opinion on the matter. Throughout the methodology he espoused in dealing with those narrators who are mentioned to have had correspondence with the Imam, he did not make it a reason for accepting, making tawthiq, or establishing the ‘adalah of the narrator.

Al Khu’i did not comment on the correspondences and their impact on narrators except in a negative manner. This confirms that he attached no importance to it in the first place. Under the biography of Ahmed ibn Hatim ibn Mahawayh, al Khu’i states:

 

قال الكشي في فضل الرواية والحديث أبو محمد جبرئيل بن أحمد الفاريابي قال حدثني موسى بن جعفر بن وهب قال حدثني أبو الحسن أحمد بن حاتم بن ما هويه قال كتبت إليه يعني أبا الحسن الثالث عليه السلام أسأله عمن آخذ معالم ديني وكتب أخوه أيضا بذلك فكتب إليهما فهمت ما ذكرتما فاعتمدا في دينكما على كبير في حبنا وكل كثير التقدم في أمرنا فإنهم كافوكما إن شاء الله تعالى

 قلت [أي الخوئي] إن هذه الرواية لا تدل على حسن الرجل أضف إلى ذلك أنها ضعيفة السند بجبرئيل بن أحمد وموسى بن جعفر بن وهب ولو سلمت دلالتها على حسن الرجل وأغمض النظر عن سندها لم يثبت بها حسنه لأنه بنفسه راوي الرواية

Al Kashshi states under the chapter of the virtue of narration and hadith: Abu Muhammad Jibril ibn Ahmed al Faryabi — Musa ibn Jafar ibn Wahb narrated to me — Abu al Hassan Ahmed ibn Hatim ibn Mahawayh narrated to me — I wrote to him, i.e., to Abu al Hassan the Third [‘Ali al Hadi] asking him, “Who should I take the tenets of my faith from?” His brother also wrote about this.

So, he wrote back to them, “I understood what you two have mentioned. For your religion, rely on the one who is senior in our love and has many steps in our affair. They will suffice you two, Allah willing.”[34]

I say [i.e., al Khu’i]: This narration does not indicate to the uprightness of the person. Add to that the fact that it has a weak chain of narration because of Jibril ibn Ahmed and Musa ibn Jafar ibn Wahb. If it was assumed that its meaning indicated the individual’s uprightness and a blind eye was turned to its sanad, it still would not prove his uprightness. This is because he himself is the narrator of the narration.[35]

 

In looking at the methodology of al Khu’i, we find that he did not deduce that Ahmed ibn Hatim ibn Mahawayh is a thiqah, or upright, or has ‘adalah. And despite the fact that the narration proves that he had correspondence with the infallible Imam, the Imam responded to him with words of advice and guidance, al Khu’i stated, “This narration does not indicate to the uprightness of the person. Added to that the fact that it has a weak chain of narration.” The narration lacks an indication of praise and it has a weak isnad.

Under the biography of Ahmed ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar al Himyari[36], al Khu’i mentioned the correspondence of his that al Hilli touched on. Despite that, al Khu’i did not regard it as a reason for his tawthiq, as the person responsible for summarizing the work of al Khu’i stated in that Ahmed ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar al Himyari is “majhul (unknown).”[37]

From here, the difference between the opinion of al Hilli and the opinion of al Khu’i regarding the Imam’s correspondence with the Imam (or, vice versa) is clear.

 

5.3.4 An individual serving the Imam as a doorkeeper or attendant

Al Mamaqani enlisted the reasons of tawthiq and mentioned among them:

 

اتخاذ الإمام عليه السلام رجلا وكيلا أو خادما ملازما أو كاتبا فإنه منه تعديل له

The Imam ‘alayh al Salam taking a man as a wakil (agent), closely connected attendant, and a scribe. This is ta’dil of the narrator from him.[38]

 

As for the wakil, there has already been a discussion on it in section two. What remains for us is to see what it means when the Imam takes a doorkeeper or an attendant.

 

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Does taking the narrator as a doorkeeper necessitate ta’dil?

Despite expending a lot of effort in trying to a find an opinion of al Hilli on this issue, it is still not clear to me. This is because he does not deal with it in his book, al Khulasah. However, if we were to infer from his opinion on the issue of tawkil of the narrator and draw an analogy therefrom on to the Imam taking a doorkeeper, then it is possible to say that he makes tawthiq of such a person. This is merely a possibility.

As for al Khu’i, he refuted those who considered that a reason for tawthiq. He states:

 

أفرط بعضهم فجعل كون الرجل بوابا للمعصوم عليه السلام دليلا على اعتباره مع أنه لا دلالة فيه للاعتبار بوجه من الوجوه

Some of them have gone to the extreme and made the fact that a person is a doorkeeper to the Infallible ‘alayh al Salam as evidence for him to be considered, while there is absolutely no indication therein.[39]

 

Under the biography of ‘Umar ibn Furat, al Khu’i transmitted the statement:

 

الشيخ تقي الدين إبراهيم الكفعمي كان عمر بن فرات بوابا للرضا عليه السلام

Al Sheikh Taqi al Din Ibrahim al Kaf’ami: ‘Umar ibn Furat was a doorkeeper of al Rida ‘alayh al Salam.

 

Al Khu’i commented saying:

 

لو ثبت ذلك لم تكن فيه دلالة على الحسن فضلا عن الوثاقة

If that is true, there is still no indication of his uprightness, let alone reliability.[40]

 

This is explicit from al Khu’i: he does not infer tawthiq for the person the Imam made a doorkeeper.

 

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Does the Imam taking the narrator as an attendant necessitate ta’dil?

Under the biography of al Qafi, al Hilli stated:

 

خادم لأبي الحسن عليه السلام، مجهول

Servant of Abu al Hassan ‘alayh al Salam. Majhul.[41]

 

Al Hilli only mentioned this in his biography. Therefore, nothing is known of al Qafi except for the fact that he was a servant of the infallible. Despite that, al Hilli did not infer any tawthiq nor take into consideration his service to Abu al Hassan. Therefore, he placed him in the second section of his book. In fact, he did not even build upon the premise of asalat al ‘adalah, or the presumption of the narrator’s integrity.

As for al Khu’i, he narrated the words of al Hilli regarding al Qafi as is and did not comment further.[42]

Al Khu’i mentioned many biographies and mentioned their service to the infallibles. Despite that, the person responsible for summarizing al Khu’i’s Mujam, namely al Jawahiri, regarded them as unknown according to the methodology of al Khu’i. Examples of this are many, including the following:

  1. Salim al ‘Attar: The servant of Abu ‘Abdullah, majhul.[43]
  2. Muhammad ibn Zaid al Rizami: The servant of al Rida, majhul.[44]
  3. Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah al Khurasani: The servant of al Rida, majhul.[45]
  4. Muhammad ibn al Hamdani: The servant of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, majhul.[46]
  5. Abu al Hamra’: The servant of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and from the companions of ‘Ali, majhul.[47]

 

These examples prove that al Khu’i does not consider service to the Imam a reason for accepting the report of the narrator. If it is mentioned about one of the narrators that he is a thiqah, and he is also described as an attendant, then the reason for him being considered is based on other facts, not because of him being described as an attendant of the Imam. Take note!

If they regarded service to the Imam a valid reason for the narrator’s tawthiq, as believed by al Mamaqani, then they need to apply it to the tawthiq of Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu since he served the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for ten years!

 

5.3.5 The Imam taking the narrator as a hawari (disciple)

Before explaining the opinions of al Hilli and al Khu’i on the word “hawari” and its implication in relation to al jarh wa al ta’dil, I should first explain the meaning of the word. Al Zabidi states:

 

الحواري الحميم والناصح وقال بعضهم الحواريون صفوة الأنبياء الذين قد خلصوا لهم. وقال الزجاج الحواريون خلصان الأنبياء عليهم السلام وصفوتهم قال والدليل على ذلك قول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الزبير ابن عمتي وحواريي من أمتي أي خاصتي من أصحابي وناصري قال وأصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم حواريون وتأويل الحواريين في اللغة الذين أخلصوا ونقوا من كل عيب وكذلك الحوارى من الدقيق سمي به لأنه ينقى من لباب البر قال وتأويله في الناس الذي قد روجع في اختياره مرة بعد أخرى فوجد نقيا من العيوب

The Hawari: the close friend and advisor. Some of them said: The hawariyyun: the choicest (disciples) of the prophets that are devoted to them. Al Zajjaj stated, “The hawariyyun: the purest and choicest (disciples) of the prophets ‘alayhim al Salam.

The evidence for this is the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement, “Al Zubair is the son of my paternal aunt and my hawari from my Ummah.” In other words, “(one of) my special companions and helpers.” The Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are Hawariyyun. Linguistically, the hawariyyun refer to those who were pure and purified from every defect. Similarly, flour that is refined is referred to as such because it is purified from the grains of wheat. In relation to people, it means the one whose choice is deferred to time after time and it is found to be pure from any defects.[48]

 

Thus, the meaning of the word explains the close relationship between the Imam and his Hawariyyin. Accordingly, the Hawari is the choicest of the companions of a person and his most sincere supporter, helper, and other such similar words.

Al Burujirdi (d. 1313 AH) states:

 

عن الرضا عليه السلام وقد سئل لم سمي الحواريون الحواريين قال أما عند الناس فإنهم سموا الحواريين لأنهم كانوا يقصرون… ومخلصين لغيرهم من أوساخ الذنوب ولا يخفى أن في هذا الخبر تعريضا على أهل السنة من أن التحوير والخلوص ليس بتجميل الثياب وتبييضها وإظهار التزهد كما هو دأب الثاني من خلفائهم وديدن أهل الدنيا في كل زمان ليجروا الناس إلى أنفسهم طلبا للرئاسة والمال حرسنا الله من هذه القصود الفاسدة

On the authority or al Rida ‘alayh al Salam: He was asked as to why the hawariyyun are called the hawariyyun. He said, “Accroding to the people (i.e., the Ahlus Sunnah), they are called hawariyyin because they would whiten (i.e., purify clothes)… [according to the Shia because they free themselves from the filth of sin] free others from the filth of sin [through exhortation and reminders].”[49]

It is apparent that this report contains an insinuation against the Ahlus Sunnah; transformation and purity are not accomplished by beautifying clothes, whitening them, and showing ascetism, as is the practice of their second Khalifah[50] and the people of this world in every era in order to draw people to themselves in pursuit of leadership and wealth. May Allah protect us from these corrupt intentions.[51]

 

It is for this reason that Muhammad Rida Jadidi narrated from the Imami scholars that it is from the words of tawthiq.

 

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The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding the disciples (hawariyyun) of the infallible Imam

Al Hilli and al Khu’i agree that every person described as being from the disciples of the Imams is regarded among the acceptable (narrators). Here we have al Hilli mentioning them in the first section of his book. This proves that he considers this description to be from the words of tawthiq, as is the case in many biographies.[52]

Similarly, al Khu’i did not object to the description of ‘disciple,’ as he did with other descriptions. This further emphasizes that he accepts those that are described as being from the disciples and makes it from the reasons of relying on the narration.[53]

We must ask al Hilli and al Khu’i a question: Is the tawthiq of the disciple specific to the companions of the Imams, or are those who are described as disciples of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also included?

What is evident from all of the Imamiyyahs dealings, including al Hilli and al Khu’i, is that they apply the principle of tawthiq to the companions of the infallible Imams and forbid it for the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Had this not been the case, they would have made tawthiq of al Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam radiya Llahu ‘anhu because of what Imam al Bukhari (d. 256 AH) narrated on the authority of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

ندب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الناس يوم الخندق فانتدب الزبير ثم ندبهم فانتدب الزبير ثم ندبهم فانتدب الزبير قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إن لكل نبي حواريا وحواريي الزبير

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam called the people again and Zubair responded to the call. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said, “Every prophet had a disciple and my disciple is Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam.”[54]

 

Here we have Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the disciple of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is better than the infallible Imams. Based on this, his discipleship is better than the discipleship of those after him. However, they did not consider this a form of praise for Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu and they did not build any tawthiq upon it. In summary, all of the principles of tawthiq and seeking excuses only applies to the companions of the infallible Imams—according to the Imamiyyah—and the Prophet’s Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum are deprived of them!

If a person like al Tustari[55] (d. 1401 AH) were to say: The report that describes Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu as a disciple of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is not authentic. I would say that the report that al Kashshi narrated:

 

عن محمد بن قولويه قال حدثني سعد بن عبد الله بن أبي خلف قال حدثني علي بن سليمان بن داود الرازي قال حدثنا علي بن أسباط عن أبيه أسباط بن سالم قال قال أبو الحسن موسى بن جعفر عليهما السلام إذا كان يوم القيامة نادى مناد أين حواريو محمد بن عبد الله رسول الله الذين لم ينقضوا العهد ومضوا عليه؟ فيقوم سلمان والمقداد وأبو ذر ثم ينادي مناد أين حواريو علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام وصي محمد بن عبد الله رسول الله فيقوم عمرو بن الحمق الخزاعي ومحمد بن أبي بكر وميثم بن يحيى التمار مولى بني أسد وأويس القرني قال ثم ينادي المنادي أين حواريو الحسن بن علي بن فاطمة بنت محمد بن عبد الله رسول الله فيقوم سفيان بن أبي ليلى الهمداني وحذيفة بن أسيد الغفاري قال ثم ينادي المنادي أين حواريو الحسين بن علي عليه السلام فيقوم كل من استشهد معه ولم يتخلف عنه قال ثم ينادي المنادي أين حواريو علي بن الحسين عليه السلام فيقوم جبير بن مطعم ويحيى بن أم الطويل وأبو خالد الكابلي وسعيد بن المسيب ثم ينادي المنادي أين حواريو محمد بن علي و حواريو جعفر بن محمد فيقوم عبد الله بن شريك العامري وزرارة بن أعين وبريد بن معاوية العجلي ومحمد بن مسلم وأبو بصير ليث بن البختري المرادي وعبد الله بن أبي يعفور وعامر بن عبد الله بن جداعة وحجر بن زائدة وحمران بن أعين ثم ينادي سائر الشيعة مع سائر الأئمة عليهما السلام يوم القيامة فهؤلاء المتحورة أول السابقين وأول المقربين وأول المتحورين من التابعين

On the authority of Muhammad ibn Qulawayh: Sa’d ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Khalaf narrated to me — ‘Ali ibn Sulaiman ibn Dawood al Razi narrated to me — ‘Ali ibn Asbat narrated to us — from his father, Asbat ibn Salim who said:

Abu al Hassan Musa ibn Jafar ‘alayh al Salam said, “When it is the Day of Judgement, a caller will call out, ‘Where are the disciples[56] of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah, the Messenger of Allah, those who did not break the covenant and did not pass over it?’ Then, Salman, al Miqdad, and Abu Dharr will stand.

Then, a caller will call out, ‘Where are the disciples of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib ‘alayh al Salam, the wasi of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah, the Messenger of Allah?’ Then, ‘Amr ibn al Hamiq al Khuza’i, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, Mitham ibn Yahya al Tammar, the mawla (client) of Bani Asad, and Uways al Qarni will stand.

Then, the caller will call out, ‘Where are the disciples of al Hussain ibn ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam?’ Then, everyone that was martyred with him will stand and will not drag behind.

Then, the caller will call out, ‘Where are the disciples of ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ‘alayh al Salam? Then, Jubayr ibn Mut’im, Yahya ibn Umm al Tawil, Abu Khalid al Kabuli, and Sa’id ibn al Musayyab will stand.

Then, the caller will call out, “Where are the disciples of Muhammad ibn ‘Ali and the disciples of Jafar ibn Muhammad?’ Then, ‘Abdullah ibn Sharik al ‘Amiri, Zurarah ibn A’yan, Burayd ibn Muawiyah al ‘Ijli, Muhammad ibn Muslim, Abu Basir Layth ibn al Bakhtari al Muradi, ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Ya’fur, ‘Amir ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Juda’ah, Hujr ibn Za’idah, and Humran ibn A’yan will stand.

Then, he will call the rest of the Shia with the rest of the Imams on the Day of Judgement. These remarkable individuals will be the first of the forerunners, the first of the muqarrabin (i.e., those brought close to Allah) and the first of the mutahawwirin from the Tabi’in.”[57]

From this narration, the Imami scholars infer the description of many narrators as the disciples of the Imams and that they are from the purest of followers.

 

A question: Does the above hadith have an authentic chain?

Al Khu’i deemed the narration weak in more than one place in al Mujam. Under the biography of Uways al Qarni, he described the narration as being “damaged in its isnad.”[58]

He stated the narration is weak under the biography of Jubayr ibn Mut’im[59] and Sa’id ibn al Musayyab[60].

Whoever analyzes the biographies of those narrators mentioned in the narration from the actual biographical works of the Imamiyyah themselves, we will find them relying on the weak narration of al Kashshi in establishing the discipleship of who they want. However, when it comes to the Sahabah, the authentic and established ahadith turn out to be, as the description of al Tustari states, invented!

 

5.3.6 The narrator keeping the company (suhbah) of the Imam

A number of Imami scholars have mentioned that the narrator having companionship (suhbah) with the infallible imam is from the words of ta’dil. When stating the levels of ta’dil, Muslim al Dawari states:

 

المرتبة الرابعة ما تدل على الحسن التالي تلو التوثيق وتوجب قوة السند

The fourth level: what proves uprightness after tawthiq and necessitates strength in the sanad.[61]

 

Among the words he mentioned was, “sahib al Imam (a companion of the Imam).”

Muhammad Taqi al Tustari (d. 1401 AH) states:

 

إن قولهم فلان صاحب الإمام الفلاني مدح ظاهر بل فوق الوثاقة فإن المرء على دين خليله وصاحبه فلا بدَّ وأن لا يتخذوا صاحبا لهم عليهم السلام إلا من كان ذا نفس قدسية ويشهد أن غالب من وصف بذلك من الأجلة

Their statement, “So-and-so is a companion of so-and-so Imam” is an evident form of praise. In fact, it is even above reliability because a man is on the religion of his friend and companion. Therefore, they would not take as a companion of theirs except he who has a sanctified soul. What testifies to this is the fact that most of those described as such are among the pre-eminent.[62]

 

Abu ‘Ali al Ha’iri mentioned the reasons of praise, strength, acceptance of narrations and counted among them:

 

صاحب فلان أي واحد من الأئمة عليهم السلام فإنه يشعر بالمدح

The companion of so-and-so, i.e., one of the Imams ‘alayh al Salam. It gives the impression of praise.[63]

 

This is the opinion of a group of Imami scholars; they rely on the narrations of a person who was a companion of one of the infallible Imams—according to them.

It is worth mentioning an issue that was touched upon by the Imami scholars. It is known as “deeming reliable the companions of al Imam al Sadiq”.

Muslim al Dawari mentioned the difference of opinion regarding the tawthiq of four thousand companions of al Imam al Sadiq.[64] He states:

 

وقد ادعي أن كل من ذكر من أصحاب الصادق عليه السلام في كلام النجاشي والشيخ فهو ثقة إلا من نص على تضعيفه ومعناه أن من لم يذكر بمدح ولا ذم فهو محكوم [عليه] بالوثاقة وذهب إلى هذا المحدث النوري ولم يستبعده صاحب الوسائل

It is claimed that everyone mentioned from the companions of al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam in the words of al Najjashi and al Sheikh is a thiqah (reliable) unless there is documented text stating his weakness. This means that every person about whom there is no praise and criticism mentioned is judged to be reliable.

Al Muhaddith al Nuri[65] is of this opinion and the author of al Wasa’il[66] did not rule it out.[67]

 

Then al Dawari narrated from al Mufid[68], Ibn Shahr Ashub[69], al Tabarsi (d. 588 AH)—the author of I’lam al Wara[70], al Muhaqqiq Najm al Din al Hilli (d. 676 AH)[71], and al Fattal—the author of Rawdat al Wa’izin[72] that there are four thousand reliable companions of al Imam al Sadiq!

It is necessary for me to pause at this juncture: In the discussion on the Sahabah, I narrated the statement of al Namazi al Shaharudi about the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In it, he stated:

What is necessarily understood from the many reports that speak about the apostasy of everyone save three or four after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is that the default state of every Sahabi that remained (alive) after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and was not martyred in his time salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is apostacy. The reason for this is because of giving preference to others who were not appointed by textual evidence for the position of successorship over someone who was appointed by virtue of textual evidence. Or, because of being sinful for neglecting his right. Therefore, it is not possible to make tawthiq of those who were not excluded except with legal evidence.[73]

This was stated about the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! However, when the issue was related to the companions of al Imam Jafar al Sadiq, we find al Shaharudi flipping the equation and saying:

 

فيمكن أن يقال الأصل الوثاقة في أصحاب الصادق عليه السلام إلا من خرج بدليل

It is possible to say: the presumed state of the companions of al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam is reliability, unless there is evidence to the contrary.[74]

 

This is a strange foundation to lay. It does not require much thinking in order to see how false it is! Al Shaharudi considers the presumed state of the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to be apostacy and transgression—except for those who establish their Islam—and for the companions of al Imam al Sadiq, he considers the opposite; a presumed state of reliability “unless there is evidence to the contrary.” And, as they claim, they are in the thousands!

From here, the scholar realizes the extent to which most Imami scholars venerate their narrators and assume the best for them (even if they do not know of their conditions), and the extent to which they arbitrarily dispose of the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

What is the position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding those described as being a companion of the Imam or a companion of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?

 

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The opinion of al Hilli on companionship

After analyzing the first section of al Hilli’s al Khulasah, we find him mentioning those who had companionship with one of the Imams without any other description. For example, under the biography of Rumaylah, he states:

 

من أصحاب أمير المؤمنين

From the companions of Amir al Mu’minin.[75]

 

Under the biography of Abu Shu’ayb al Mahamili, he states:

 

كوفي من أصحاب الكاظم عليه السلام

A Kufan. From the companions of al Kazim ‘alayh al Salam.[76]

 

Based on this, is it possible for us to say that al Hilli placed both of them under the category of acceptable narrators because of their being described as having had companionship with the infallibles? The answer is no.

What further proves that al Hilli does regard companionship alone as a reason for tawthiq is the methodology he follows in the following biographies.

 

‘Abdullah ibn Tawus

Al Hilli states:

 

من أصحاب الرضا عليه السلام، عاش مائة سنة بإخبار الرضا عليه السلام. ولم أعثر له على تعديل ظاهر ولا على جرح بل على ما يترجح أنه من الشيعة

From the companions of al Rida ‘alayh al Salam. He lived for a hundred years relating about al Rida ‘alayh al Salam. I did not find any seeming ta’dil and jarh of him. Rather, it is likely that he is from the Shia.[77]

 

Al Hilli stated that he is from the companions of al Rida. Despite that, he said, “I did not find any apparent ta’dil on him.” Thus, al Hilli does not consider the narrator being described as being a companion of the infallible as a (form of) ta’dil, even if it is a seeming one. Hence, he placed him in the first section because he is from the Shia, not because of companionship. Placing him in the first section is based on his principle and referred to as “asalat al ‘adalah (the presumption of a narrator’s integrity).”

 

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ata’

Al Hilli states:

 

من أصحاب الباقر والصادق عليهما السلام. قال النصر بن الصبّاح إنه نجيب ولا تثبت عندي بهذا عدالته خصوصا مع ضعف النصر بن الصباح

From the companions of al Baqir and al Sadiq ‘alayhim al Salam. Nasr ibn al Sabbah stated, “He is outstanding.” According to me, his ‘adalah is not established with this, especially considering the fact that al Nasr ibn al Sabbah is weak.[78]

 

This is another explicit statement from al Hilli in that the narrator being described as having companionship with the Imam is not indicative of ‘adalah. Despite that, al Hilli included him in the first section of his book because he based it on the presumption of the narrator’s ‘adalah, not on companionship.

 

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The opinion of al Khu’i on companionship

Al Khu’i was clearer regarding the narrator described with having companionship (with the Imam); he did not regard it as a reason for tawthiq or praise, whether it was in relation to the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam or concerning the difference of opinion among the Imamiyyah on the (automatic) tawthiq of the companions of al Imam Jafar al Sadiq (which amount to four thousand).

 

1. Al Khu’i’s refutation against those who say that companionship with the infallible is evidence for the narrator’s tawthiq

Al Khu’i states:

 

أنت خبير بأن المصاحبة لا تدل بوجه لا على الوثاقة ولا على الحسن كيف وقد صاحب النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسائر المعصومين عليهم السلام من لا حاجة إلى بيان حالهم وفساد سيرتهم، وسوء أفعالهم

You know that companionship does not at all prove reliability and uprightness. How can it when there are such people that enjoyed companionship with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the other Infallibles ‘alayhim al Salam who require no explanation of their (undesirable) condition, corrupt conduct, and evil actions?[79]

 

2. Al Khu’i’s refutation against those who say that the companions of al Imam al Sadiq are reliable

In refutation of those who make tawthiq of each of the companions of al Imam al Sadiq, al Khu’i states:

 

وكيف كان فهذه الدعوى غير قابلة للتصديق فإنه إن أريد بذلك أن أصحاب الصادق عليه السلام كانوا أربعة آلاف كلهم كانوا ثقات: فهي تشبه دعوى أن كل من صحب النبي صلى الله عليه وآله عادل مع أنه ينافيها تضعيف الشيخ جماعة … وقد عد الشيخ أبا جعفر الدوانيقي من أصحاب الصادق عليه السلام، أفهل يحكم بوثاقته بذلك وكيف تصح هذه الدعوى مع أنه لا ريب في أن الجماعة المؤلفة من شتى الطبقات على اختلافهم في الآراء والاعتقادات يستحيل عادة أن يكون جميعهم ثقات وإن أريد بالدعوى المتقدمة أن أصحاب الصادق كانوا كثيرين، إلا أن الثقات منهم أربعة آلاف فهي في نفسها قابلة للتصديق إلا أنها مخالفة للواقع … فإن المذكورين في رجاله لا يزيدون على ثلاثة آلاف إلا بقليل على أنه لو سلمت هذه الدعوى لم يترتب عليها أثر أصلا فلنفرض أن أصحاب الصادق عليه السلام كانوا ثمانية آلاف والثقات منهم أربعة آلاف لكن ليس لنا طريق إلى معرفة الثقات منهم ولا شيء يدلنا على أن جميع من ذكره الشيخ من قسم الثقات بل الدليل قائم على عدمه كما عرفت

How can it be? This claim is not believable. If what is intended thereby is that all four thousand companions of al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam are reliable, then this is similar to the claim that states that every person who had companionship with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is ‘adil. What also negates this is the fact that al Sheikh made tad’if of a number of them… Al Sheikh regards Abu Jafar al Dawaniqi as one of the companions of al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam, will he be deemed reliable with this?

How can this claim be valid when there is no doubt in the fact that the group consists of various classes of narrators that have such differences of opinions and hold such different beliefs such that it is generally impossible for all of them to still be reliable?

If what is intended by the previous claim is that the companions of al Sadiq are many, and only four thousand of them are reliable, then this in and of itself can be believable. However, it goes against reality… This is because the number of narrators mentioned in al Rijal do not exceed slightly more than three thousand. However, if this claim was presumed to be sound, then there are still no actual implications therefrom. Even if we assume that the companions of al Sadiq are eight thousand and the thiqat among them are four thousand, we still have no way of determining who the reliable ones are from among them, and we also have nothing to prove to us that everyone that al Sheikh mentioned is from the section of reliable narrators. Rather, as you know, the evidence rests upon that which does not exist.[80]

 

Under the biography of Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Mutahhar, al Khu’i states:

 

وأما توصيف الصدوق إياه في المشيخة بقوله صاحب أبي محمد عليه السلام فليس فيه أدنى إشعار بوثاقة الرجل أو حسنه كيف ذلك وقد كان في أصحاب الرسول الأكرم صلى الله عليه وآله من كان فما ظنك بصاحب الإمام عليه السلام

As for al Saduq’s describing him in al Mashyakhah with the words, “The companion of Abu Muhammad ‘alayh al Salam,” there is not the slightest indication therein of the individual’s reliability or uprightness. How can that be when there were those among the companions of the noble Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who were there? What then do you think of the companion of the Imam ‘alayh al Salam?[81]

 

With this, the position of al Khu’i is very clear on the narrator described as having companionship.

 

NEXT⇒ 5.4. The positions of al Hilli and al Khu’i concerning riwayah and its sciences


[1] See: Rijal al Tusi, biography nos. 5957, 6092, 6095, 6096, 6185, 6188, 6189, 6193, 6314, 6318, 6319. These are the only biographies I found in Rijal al Tusi and all of them were under the chapter, “Those who did not narrate from one of the Imams.” It is not clear to me the reason why this word is only mentioned in this final chapter of his book and not in the other chapters even once—a book that contains 5919 biographies! In fact, he omitted it entirely from his (other) book, al Fihrist. Also, al Najjashi did not mention it!

[2] ‘Abdullah al Mamaqani: Miqbas al Hidayah, 2/239.

[3] ‘Ali al Burujirdi: Tara’if al Maqal, 2/260.

[4] Several Imami scholars are of the opinion that the word “khasi” is from the words of praise (of the narrator), including the following: Rafi ibn ‘Ali al Jilani al Rashti (famously known as Shari’at-Madar) in a work related to the higher studies of hadith (‘ilm al dirayah); however, it is possible that it means the opposite of an ‘ammi (p. 312.). When mentioning the words of tawthiq and praise of a narrator, al Mulla ‘Abdur Razzaq ibn ‘Ali Rida al Asfahani al Hamdani (d. 1383 AH) states in his book, al Wajizah fi ‘Ilm al Dirayah: “Khasi. It can be regarded as a praise.” (p. 561). Both of these books are printed among Rasa’il fi Dirayat al Hadith of Abu al Fadl Hafizyan al Babili (vol. 2). See also: Mujam Mustalhat al Rijal wa al Dirayah, p. 59 and 174 – under the discussion of the words, “Min khawass al Shia wa min khiyar al Shia (From the close associates of the Shia and from the select of the Shia)”; Fawa’id al Wahid al Bahbahani ‘ala Manhaj al Maqal, 1/125 no. 2.

[5] Al Khaqani: Rijal al Khaqani, p. 329.

[6] Al Tusi: Rijal al Tusi, p. 423, no. 6096.

[7] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 127, no. 332.

[8] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 7/328, no. 4140.

[9] Ibid., 11/21, no. 6516.

[10] Surah Hud: 113.

[11] Baqir al Ayrawani: Durus Tamhidiyyah fi al Qawa’id al Rijaliyyah, p. 152. As it seems, perhaps al Ayrawani did not consider the details as he did not touch upon them.

[12] Of those who mentioned that wakalah necessitates tawthiq without mentioning any details regarding it is Mahdi al Kajuri al Shirazi, as mentioned in his book, al Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah, p. 103. From those who opposed the notion of agency necessitating tawthiq or tahsin of a narrator is al Nuri al Tabarsi. As it appears to me, he does not make a distinction between the tawkil of compulsory issues and personal matters. (Khatimat Mustadrak al Wasa’il, 5/263).

[13] Of those who went with this detailed analysis is ‘Abdul Hadi al Fadli in Usul ‘Ilm al Rijal, p. 125; Muslim al Dawari in Usul ‘Ilm al Rijal bayna Nazariyyah wa al Tatbiq, 2/301; Hussain ‘Abdullah Mar’i in Muntaha al Maqal fi al Dirayah wa al Rijal, p. 100; Jafar al Subhani in Usul al Hadith wa Ahkamuhu, p. 164. From the words of Muhammad Hussain al Jalali, it appears that he too, held the view of providing detail (i.e., of the type of agency required for a narrator be reliable), as it appears in his book, Dirayat al Hadith, p. 371. He states, “In summary, tawkil requested by the Ahlul Bayt ‘alayhim al Salam is in and of itself indicative of reliability as long as there is not a stronger impediment opposing it, excluding tawkil in relation to financial matters.” Muhammad al Sanad in his book (as well), Buhuth fi Mabani ‘Ilm al Rijal, p. 159.

[14] Hussain Mar’i: Muntaha al Maqal fi al Dirayah wa al Rijal, p. 100.

[15] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 117, no. 288.

[16] See biography numbers 256, 163, 187, 334, 500, 517, 585, 529, 546, 615, 670, 762, 768, 782, 827, 828, 898 and others.

[17] Al Nuri al Tabarsi: Khatimat Mustadrak al Wasa’il, 5/263.

[18] ‘Ali al Burujirdi, 2/328. See also: al Rasa’il al Rijaliyyah of al Kalbasi, 3/649-650.

[19] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 1/71.

[20] Ibid., 1/280. biography no. 318.

[21] Ibid., 17/221. biography no. 11055.

[22] Ibid., 1/280. biography no. 318.

[23] Muhammad Taqi al Tustari: Qamus al Rijal, 1/70.

[24] Because of what al Imam al Bukhari narrated in his Sahih, “On the authority of Aisha who said, ‘The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ordered Abu Bakr to lead the salah while he was sick. And so, he used to lead them.” (1/24, Bab: Man qama li janb al Imam li ‘illah).

[25] Al Kulayni: Al Kafi, 7/126.

[26] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 18/322, biography no. 11944.

[27] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 16/217, biography no. 10484.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Al Mamaqani mentioned many reasons for tawthiq and counted among them, “the Imam sending a messenger to an enemy of his or someone else; that necessarily means the narrator has integrity and is reliable.” (Tanqih al Maqal, 1/210, al Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah, no. 24). In refuting the opinion of al Mamaqani, Muhammad Taqi al Tustari states, “Written communication from them ‘alayhim al Salam is not proof of uprightness, as the author presumed … Based on this, he deduced rulings in many places in his book. He is wrong.” (Qamus al Rijal, 1/70, chapter 25).

[30] Muhammad Rida: Mujam Mustalahat al Rijal wa al Dirayah, p. 68.

[31] Al Shaharudi: Mustadrakat ‘Ilm al Rijal, 2/410, no. 3606 and p. 411, no. 3610.

[32] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 70, no. 103.

[33] Ibid., 120, no. 302.

[34] Al Tusi: Ikhtiyar Ma’rifat al Rijal (Rijal al Kashshi), p. 4, no. 7.

[35] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 2/68, biography no. 476.

[36] Ibid., 2/146, biography no. 636.

[37] Al Jawahiri: al Mufid min Mujam Rijal al Hadith, p. 31.

[38] Al Mamaqani: Tanqih al Maqal, 1/210, al Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah, no. 24.

[39] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 1/72.

[40] Ibid., 14/56, no. 7894.

[41] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p.390, no. 1569.

[42] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 15/74, no. 9606.

[43] Muhammad al Jawahiri: al Mufid min Mujam Rijal al Hadith, p.243

[44] Ibid., p. 529.

[45] Ibid., p. 546.

[46] Ibid., p. 587.

[47] Ibid., p. 696.

[48] Al Zabidi: Taj al ‘Arus, v. 1.

[49] Al Saduq: ‘Ilal al Shara’i’, 1/80, Bab: al ‘Illat allati min ajaliha sumiyya al hawariyyin al hawariyyin.

[50] He refers to ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Far be it from him to pretend like so!

[51] ‘Ali al Burujirdi: Tara’if al Maqal, 2/341.

[52] See: al Khulasah. nos. 164, 217, 344, 610, and others.

[53] I am unable to state with surety the position of al Khu’i on the word ‘hawari’ and whether it is considered from the reasons of tawthiq. What I mentioned is closest and most evident based on what I saw of al Khu’i dealing with those who he described as a hawari. However, looking at al Khu’i’s overall methodology, it is not possible for the word “hawari” to be a reason of the narrator’s tawthiq. This is because it is not far from one of the meanings of the word “khasi” which al Khu’i did not consider. And Allah knows best.

[54] Kitab: al Jihad wa al Siyar, Bab: al Siyar wahdah, 3/1092.

[55] Qamus al Rijal, 4:409. Al Tustari regarded the report of describing al Zubair as a disciple to be a fabricated hadith!

[56] The word was written in the reference under the narration as “hawari”. I changed it to “hawariyyu” because it is more correct linguistically.

[57] Al Tusi: Ikhtiyar Ma’rifat al Rijal (al Kashshi), p. 9 no. 20.

[58] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 4/156, no. 1581.

[59] Ibid., 4/356, no. 2072.

[60] Ibid., 9/139, no. 5190.

[61] Muslim al Dawari: Usul ‘Ilm al Rijal bayna al Nazariyyah wa al Tatbiq, 1/55.

[62] Muhammad Taqi al Tustari: Qamus al Rijal, 1/68.

[63] Abu ‘Ali al Ha’iri: Muntaha al Maqal fi Ahwal al Rijal, 1/92.

[64] In explaining the first person to make this claim, al Khu’i states, “This originated from al Sheikh al Tusi. Ibn Shahr Ashub and others followed him. As for Ibn ‘Uqdah, even though it is attributed to him that he counted the companions of al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam as four-thousand and mentioned a hadith for each of them, their tawthiq is not attributed to him. Al Muhaddith al Nuri thought the tawthiq was from Ibn ‘Uqdah. However, this is patently false.” (al Mujam, 1/56). Jafar al Subhani alluded to this issue and the connection Ibn ‘Uqdah had to it in his book, Kulliyyat fi ‘Ilm al Rijal, p. 324.

[65] Regarding the companions of al Imam al Sadiq, al Nuri states, “Ibn ‘Uqdah made tawthiq of four thousand of them and wrote a book on them.” (Khatimat Mustadrak al Wasa’il, 1/51, speaking on the asl of Zaid al Zarrad).

[66] The author of al Wasa’il is al Hurr al ‘Amili. However, al Hurr al ‘Amili mentioned these words in his book, Amal al Amil. Under the biography of Khulayd ibn Awfa, he states, “If it is said of his tawthiq and the tawthiq of the companions of al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam—except for those whose weakness has been established—then it is not far-fetched” (1/83).

[67] Muslim al Dawari: Usul ‘Ilm al Rijal bayna al Nazariyyah wa al Tatbiq, 2/261.

[68] Al Irshad, 2/179.

[69] In his book, Manaqib Al Abi Talib, 3/372.

[70] In his book Kulliyyat fi ‘Ilm al Rijal, p. 325, al Subhani alluded to this reference saying, “(Page 165, chapter 4).” Muhammad ‘Ali Salih al Mu’allim transmitted the reference from al Dawari (2/262), the author of Usul ‘Ilm al Rijal bayna al Nazariyyah wa al Tatbiq, saying. “I’lam al Wara, p. 284, second edition).” I narrated this because I could not find the original source.

[71] In his book, al Mu’tabar fi Sharh al Mukhtasar, 1/26.

[72] He is Muhammad ibn al Fattal al Naysaburi in his book, Rawdat al Wa’izin, p. 207.

[73] ‘Ali al Namazi al Shaharudi: Mustadrakat ‘Ilm al Rijal, 1/67, under the introduction, no. 6.

[74] Ibid., 1/64.

[75] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, 146, no. 409. Al Hilli only mentioned him as “Rumaylah.”

[76] Ibid., p. 300, no. 1118.

[77] Ibid., 193, no. 604.

[78] Ibid., p. 206, no. 662.

[79] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 1/73.

[80] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 1/56.

[81] Ibid., 3/113, no. 912.

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