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

5.3 The relationship that connects the Imam with the narrator
April 5, 2022
5.5 Miscellaneous principles in al jarh wa al ta’dil between al Hilli and al Khu’i
April 6, 2022

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

 

5.4.1 The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding the narrator who has an asl or a kitab

As will be mentioned, Imami scholars differ regarding the tawthiq of a narrator who has been described as having possession of an “asl”, or primary source. However, it is essential in the beginning to explain what is meant by their statement, “He has an asl,” or, “a kitab (book).”

Al Hurr al ‘Amili (d. 1104 AH) states:

 

نقل ابن شهرآشوب في كتابه  معالم العلماء عن المفيد أنه قال صنفت الإمامية من عهد أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام إلى عهد أبي محمد الحسن العسكري عليه السلام أربعمائة كتاب تسمى الأصول فهذا معنى قولهم له أصل

Ibn Shahr Ashub transmits in his book, Ma’alim al ‘Ulama’, on the authority of al Mufid, “The Imamiyyah—from the time of Amir al Mu’minin ‘alayh al Salam until the time of Abu Muhammad al Hassan al ‘Askari ‘alayh al Salam—have authored four hundred kitabs. They are called the Usul (Primary sources). This is what they mean by, ‘He has an asl.’”[1]

 

Al Fadl ibn al Hassan al Tabarsi (d. 588 AH) states:

 

روي عن الصادق عليه السلام في أبوابه من مشهوري أهل العلم أربعة آلاف إنسان وصنف من جواباته في المسائل أربعمائة كتاب هي معروفة بكتب الأصول رواها أصحابه وأصحاب أبيه من قبله وأصحاب ابنه أبي الحسن موسى عليهم السلام ولم يبق فن من فنون العلم إلا روي عنه عليه السلام فيه أبواب

Four thousand from the most famous people of knowledge narrated from al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam in the (various) chapters (of knowledge). Four hundred kitabs were authored from his answers to questions. They are famously known as the books of Usul. His companions narrated them, and the companions of his father narrated them before him, and the companions of his son, Abu al Hassan Musa ‘alayh al Salam (narrated them after him). There did not remain a science from the different sciences of knowledge except that chapters on it were narrated from him.[2]

 

In defining an asl, Hadi al Najafi states:

 

أنه مجمع أخبار سمعت من الأئمة عليهم السلام من دون واسطة أو معها وجمعت في زمنهم ابتداء من غير أخذ من كتاب آخر بل أخذت مما حفظ في الصدور ونحوها لتصير مصونة محفوظة عن حوادث الأيام … وقد سميت بالأصول لأنها بمنزلة أصل المذهب وعروقها ولها دور عظيم في حفظ المذهب وعدم ضياعه

It is a collection of reports that were heard from the Imams ‘alayhim al Salam with or without an intermediary. They were collected in their times and were not taken from another book; rather, they were taken from what was preserved in the chests (of man), etc., in order for it to be protected and preserved from the events of the days… They were named the Usul because they represent the foundation and roots of the mazhab (school). They play a major role in preserving the mazhab and saving it from perishing.[3]

 

What is intended by their description of the narrator as someone who “has an asl,” or “a kitab” is that he is one of those who collected the words of the infallible Imam in a book, whether he narrated directly from him or via an intermediary.[4]

Al Tusi collected in al Fihrist the names of the Shia authors and the authors of the Usul. Based on the very important statements he makes in the introduction to al Fihrist, we are able to determine his opinion—he is from the forerunners on the issue of inferring tawthiq from the authors of the Usul. He states:

 

فإذا ذكرت كل واحد من المصنفين وأصحاب الأصول فلابد من أن أشير إلى ما قيل فيه من التعديل والتجريح وهل يعول على روايته أو لا وأبين عن اعتقاده وهل هو موافق للحق أو هو مخالف له لأن كثيرا من مصنفي أصحابنا وأصحاب الأصول ينتحلون المذاهب الفاسدة وإن كانت كتبهم معتمدة

When I mention each of the authors and authors of the Usul, it is necessary for me to point out what has been said about them in terms of jarh and ta’dil, and whether or not his narrations are to be relied upon or not. And I will also explain his creed: Does it correspond to the truth or is it at variance with it? The reason for this is because many authors from our companions and the authors of the Usul ascribe to false schools, even though their books are reliable.[5]

 

This is a clear statement from al Tusi in that the authors of the Usul are not all on one level. Therefore, they are neither to be completely accepted nor rejected. In fact, as al Tusi stated, “… it is necessary for me to point out what has been said about them in terms of jarh and ta’dil, and whether or not his narrations are to be relied upon or not. And I will also explain his creed: Does it correspond to the truth or is it at variance with it?”

Thus, in the view of al Tusi—who is Sheikh al Ta’ifah—that among them are those that are acceptable and those that are unacceptable.

A number of Imami scholars are of the opinion that a narrator’s tawthiq cannot be deduced from the fact that he has an asl or a kitab. This is what Jafar al Subhani alluded to when he stated:

 

أما دلالة كون الرجل ذا تصنيف أو ذا أصل على وثاقته ومدحه فغير معلوم لأن كثيرا من مصنفي الأصول مالوا إلى المذاهب الفاسدة كالواقفية والفطحية وإن كانت كتبهم معتمدة وذلك لأن مصطلح الصحيح عند القدماء غيره عند المتأخرين ولا يستتبع صحة حديث رجل عند القدماء وثاقته عندهم

As for the person who is an author of a kitab or an asl being (automatically) regarded as reliable or praiseworthy, this is unknown. This is because many authors of the Usul incline towards false schools (of belief), such as the Waqifiyyah and the Fathiyyah, even though their books are reliable. This is because the term sahih (authentic) according to the early generation of scholars is defined differently than that of the latter-day scholars. Authenticity of the person’s hadith according to the earlier generation of scholars does not entail his reliability.[6]

 

In disputing the meaning of asl, al Khomeini states:

 

وقد اتضح عدم دلالة قولهم إن له أصلا على الاعتماد به أو بصاحبه فضلا عن قولهم له كتاب

It is clear that their statement, “He has an asl,” is not indicative of a reliance on it or its author, let alone their statement, “He has a kitab.”[7]

 

As for those who are of the opinion that the narration of a person who has an asl is (automatically) accepted, they differ as to the level or degree of his acceptability: Does it imply tawthiq, or general uprightness, or uprightness in the more technical sense?[8]

After a general explanation and discussion on the meaning of asl, what is the position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding this difference of opinion?

 

 

The opinion of al Hilli regarding the narrator who has an asl or a kitab

I did not come across any explicit statements of al Hilli on this issue. However, the methodology in his book, al Khulasah, is clear in that the narration of some narrators is not accepted, even though they are authors of the Usul. This implies that he does not assume tawthiq of the authors of the Usul. The following are examples of this. Under the biography of ‘Ammar al Sabati, al Tusi states:

 

 له أصل وكان فطحيا إلا أنه ثقة وأصله معتمد عليه

He has an asl. He was a Fathi; however, he is a thiqah and his asl is relied upon.[9]

 

Al Hilli commented:

 

والأولى عندي التوقف فيما ينفرد به

According to me, it is better to suspend judgement in what he narrates in isolation.[10]

 

It is necessary for us to note the difference between al Hilli’s suspending judgement in what the narrator narrates in isolation and al Tusi’s statement, “His asl is relied-upon.” Despite the fact that the Imamiyyah rely on the asl of this individual, al Hilli suspended judgement on it.

Under the biography of al Hassan ibn Salih ibn Hayy, al Tusi states, “He has an asl.”[11] Al Hilli placed him in the second section because he is from the Zaidiyyah. He did not pay any attention to the fact that he is from the authors of the Usul.[12]

Under the biography of Ziyad ibn al Mundhir, Abu al Jarud, al Tusi states:

 

زيدي المذهب و إليه تنسب الزيدية الجارودية له أصل وله كتاب التفسير

Zaidi in mazhab. The Zaidiyyah Jarudiyyah are attributed to. He has an asl and a work on tafsir.[13]

 

Al Hilli placed him in the second section.[14]

A person can say that those whose narrations al Hilli rejected, they are from the opposing sects of the Shia, and they are those who from the outset are unacceptable in narration, as per the methodology of al Hilli.

This is a possibility; however, what is closer to the truth to me is that al Hilli does not regard the asl of a narrator as indicative of his ‘adalah. Had that been the case, he would have alluded to it, even in one place. This is because he mentioned a lot about the authors of the Usul. Despite this, as I have mentioned, he included some of them in the first section and others in the second. In short, al Hilli included the authors of the Usul in both sections of his book, the section on acceptable narrators and the section on unacceptable, or rejected narrators. Thus, it is not possible to state the opinion of al Hilli with certainty on this issue. However, what seems closer to the truth is that he does not regard the (authorship of an) asl a form of independent evidence for praise of the narrator. It is merely a possibility. And Allah knows best.

 

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The opinion of al Khu’i regarding the narrator who has an asl or a kitab

The opinion of al Khu’i is not different to al Hilli’s on this issue; he does not consider the asl or kitab of a narrator a proof of his tawthiq, praiseworthiness, or uprightness. This is clear from many examples.

Firstly, in responding to one of the narrations, al Khu’i states:

 

يمكن الخدش في سندها من جهة أن طلحة بن زيد عامي لم يوثق. نعم له كتاب معتبر لكن لم يعلم أن الرواية عن كتابه أو عنه مشافهة إذ الراوي عنه هو الكليني ولم يلتزم بنقل الرواية عمن له أصل أو كتاب عن نفس الكتاب كما التزم الشيخ بمثل ذلك في التهذيب فمن الجائز روايته عن نفس الرجل لا عن كتابه وقد عرفت عدم ثبوت وثاقته هذا ولكن الظاهر وثاقة الرجل من جهة وقوعه في أسانيد كتاب كامل الزيارات

It is possible to scratch in its sanad from the angle that Talhah ibn Zaid is an ‘Ammi whose tawthiq has not been made. Yes, he has a reliable kitab; however, it is not known whether the narration is from his book or from him directly. This is because the person narrating it from him is al Kulayni and, in transmitting narrations, he did not keep to transmitting only from the actual kitab—from those who have an asl or a kitab, as al Sheikh did in al Tahdhib. Accordingly, it is permissible for his narration to be from the actual person and not from his book. Furthermore, you already know that his reliability has not been determined. However, ostensibly, he is reliable since he appears in the asanid of the book, Kamil al Ziyarat.[15]

 

Al Khu’i mentioned the relied-upon kitab of the narrator. With the word “kitab” he does not mean that the individual authored it from inception; rather, he meant that he has a reliable kitab that he narrates with his Sheikh, and that the Imamiyyah relied upon this kitab. Despite that, he stated that his tawthiq has not been determined. If al Khu’i considered the reliable kitab of the individual as a proof of his reliability, he would have mentioned that. However, he inferred the tawthiq of the narrator based only on the fact that he appears in the chains of Kamil al Ziyarat.

Secondly, regarding Ismail ibn Jabir, one of the narrators, al Khu’i states:

 

الكلام في الرجل نفسه فقد ذكره النجاشي وقال إسماعيل بن جابر روى حديث الأذان له كتاب وهكذا الشيخ في الفهرست ولم يوثقه أي منهما

The discussion is about the actual person. Al Najjashi[16] mentioned him and stated, “‘Ismail ibn Jabir: He narrated the hadith of the adhan. He has a kitab.” And like this, al Sheikh also mentioned him in al Fihrist.[17] None of them made his tawthiq.[18]

 

Yes, al Tusi did not make his tawthiq in al Fihrist. However, he made his tawthiq in Rijal al Tusi.[19] However, the evidence is in the statement of al Khu’i, “None of them made his tawthiq.” If al Khu’i considered having an asl or a kitab as proof of his tawthiq, or his uprightness, he would have mentioned that.

Thirdly, as the person who summarized al Khu’i’s book deduced, al Khu’i judged that some narrators are majhul (unknown), despite the fact that they are authors of the usul. There are many such examples of this, including the following.

 

Ibrahim ibn Yahya

He has an asl. The person who abridged al Khu’i’s book considered him to be majhul.[20]

 

Al Hassan ibn Ribat

He has an asl. The person who abridged al Khu’i’s book considered him to be majhul.[21]

 

Al Hussain ibn Abi Ghundar

He has an asl. The person who abridged al Khu’i’s book considered him to be majhul.[22] As for those whom he mentioned that have a kitab, they are many. Some of them include the following.

 

Ibrahim ibn Khalid al ‘Attar

He has a kitab. The person who abridged al Khu’i’s book considered him to be majhul.[23]

 

Ahmed ibn al Hassan – al Hussain – Ibn Sa’id ibn ‘Uthman al Qurashi

In summarizing al Khu’i’s opinion, al Jawahiri states:

 

مجهول له كتاب عده بعض أصحابنا من جملة الأصول

Majhul. He has a kitab. Some of our companions regard it as from the Usul.[24]

 

Ahmed ibn Sulaiman al Hajjal

The author of al Mufid regarded him as majhul.[25]

In summary, from the examples, al Khu’i does not consider the narrator being described as one of the authors of the Usul, or kutub (pl. of kitab) as a proof of his tawthiq or uprightness.

 

5.4.2 Abundantly narrating from the infallible

Some of the Imami scholars are of the opinion that having abundant narrations from the infallible is from the signs of the narrator’s tawthiq or uprightness. Enumerating the reasons of praise and uprightness of a narrator, Mahdi al Kajuri al Shirazi (d. 1293 AH) states:

 

كونه كثير الرواية…من أسباب المدح كما يظهر من كثير من التراجم

The fact that he narrates a lot… (is) from the reasons of praise, as it appears from many biographies.[26]

 

Al Namazi al Shaharudi states:

 

كثرة الرواية عن المعصوم بالواسطة أو بلا واسطة فإن ذلك يدل على حسنه وكماله وقدر تحمله للمعارف الحقة وعلو منزلته ومقامه

Abundant narrations from the infallible, with or without an intermediary proves his uprightness, his perfection, the extent to which he receives true knowledge, and his high rank and position.[27]

 

Al Hurr al ‘Amili states:

 

كثير الرواية يدل على المدح

Abundantly narrating proves uprightness.[28]

 

Alluding to the fact that this is the position of the Imami scholars, al Nuri al Tabarsi (d. 1320 AH) states:

 

كون كثرة الرواية عنهم (عليهم السلام) مع الواسطة أو بدونها مدحا عظيما كما عليه علماء الفن فإنهم عدوها من أسبابه لكشفها غالبا عن اهتمامه بأمور الدين وسعيه في نشر آثار السادات الميامين وهذه فضيلة عظيمة توصل صاحبها إلى مقام علي

As the scholars of the science maintain, the fact of narrating abundantly from them ‘alayhim al Salam, with or without an intermediary, is itself a great praise. They regard it as from the reasons (of praise) because it often reveals the narrator’s interest in matters of religion and his efforts to spread the reports of the blessed descendants. This is a great virtue that leads such a person to the station of ‘Ali.[29]

 

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The opinion of al Hilli regarding the narrator who narrates abundantly

When considering the methodology of al Hilli with dealing with those who are described as having abundant narrations from the Imam, it is difficult to state his opinion on this issue with certainty since he added such narrators in both sections of his book.[30]

However, I have those who have alluded to the opinion of al Hilli in that he regards the phenomenon of abundant narrations as being from the reasons of praise or tawthiq of a narrator. Al Burujirdi (d. 1313 AH) states:

 

ومنها كونه كثير الرواية وهو موجب للعمل بروايته مع عدم الطعن عند الشهيد وعند صه [يقصد الخلاصة للحلي] فيها أنه من أسباب قبول الرواية وعن المجلسي في ترجمة إبراهيم بن هاشم أنه من شواهد الوثاقة ولكن الظاهر كونه من أسباب المدح والقوة كما في تراجم كثير من الرجال

And from them: the fact that he narrates abundantly. This necessitates acting on his narrations together with the fact that he was not criticized, according to al Shahid. According to al Hilli in al Khulasah, it is from the reasons of accepting narrations. According to al Majlisi, under the biography of Ibrahim ibn Hashim, a narrator having abundant narrations is from the evidences of his reliability. However, it appears that it is from the reasons of praise and strength, as is the case in many narrators’ biographies.”[31]

 

Al Burujirdi deduced that al Hilli is of the view that the narration of a person who is described as having abundant narrations is acceptable. Al Jawahiri is also of this opinion. In proving the tawthiq of Ibrahim ibn Hisham, he states:

 

فلولا أن إبراهيم بن هاشم بمكان من الوثاقة والاعتماد عندهم لما سلم من طعنهم وغمزهم بمقتضى العادة ويؤيده زيادة على ذلك اعتماد أجلاء الأصحاب وثقاتهم وإكثار الكليني من الرواية عنه وعدم استثناء محمد بن الحسن بن الوليد إياه من رجال نوادر الحكمة في من استثنى كما قيل وكونه كثير الرواية جدا وقد قال الصادق (عليه السلام) اعرفوا منازل الرجال بقدر روايتهم عنا ومما يزيد ذلك كله تصريح العلامة في الخلاصة بأن الأرجح قبول روايته

Were it not for the fact that Ibrahim ibn Hashim enjoyed a level of trust and support with them, he would not have been safe from their criticism and insinuations, according to the custom. Moreover, it is further supported by the fact that the great companions rely on him, al Kulayni narrates from him, Muhammad ibn al Hassan ibn al Walid did not exclude him from the narrators that he excluded from Nawadir al Hikmah, as it was said, and because of the fact that he narrates abundantly. Al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam said, “Know the rank of men according to the extent to which they narrate from us.” What emphasizes this even more is the fact that in al Khulasah, al ‘Allamah stated that the more preponderant opinion is to accept his narrations.[32]

 

After reflecting on the biography of Ibrahim ibn Hashim, it is possible to say that the opinion of al Hilli is to accept his narrations. This is because he said, “The narrations from him are many. The more preponderant opinion is to accept his narrations.”[33]

Thus, al Hilli accepted Ibrahim ibn Hisham because of his abundant narrations. Perhaps this is closer (to the truth).

It is possible to say that al Hilli built upon the premise of what is known as “asalat al ‘adalah,” or the presumption of a narrator’s integrity in relation to Ibrahim ibn Hisham, especially considering his statement that he was unable to successfully find (any statements) of praise or criticism. If abundant narrations indicated the narrator’s praise according to al Hilli, he would have mentioned that abundant narrations are from the signs of acceptance. This is also a possibility.

 

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The opinion of al Khu’i regarding the narrator who narrates abundantly

Al Khu’i was more explicit in his opinion on a narrator who narrates abundantly. He did not consider this from the reasons of accepting a narration. In refuting those who state that this a reason for accepting a narrator’s narrations, he states in a lengthy discussion:

 

استدل على اعتبار الشخص بكثرة روايته عن المعصوم عليه السلام بواسطة أو بلا واسطة بثلاث روايات…قال أبو عبد الله اعرفوا منازل الرجال منا على قدر رواياتهم عنا… قال الصادق عليه السلام اعرفوا منازل شيعتنا بقدر ما يحسنون من رواياتهم عنا فإنا لا نعد الفقيه منهم فقيها حتى يكون محدثا فقيل له أو يكون المؤمن محدثا قال يكون مفهما والمفهم المحدث… عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال اعرفوا منازل الناس منا على قدر رواياتهم عنا

It is inferred from three narrations that a person is to be considered based on the abundance of his narrations from the infallible ‘alayh al Salam—with an intermediary or without:

    1. Abu ‘Abdullah stated, “Know the ranks of men by us by the extent they narrate from us.”
    2. Al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam stated, “Know the ranks of our Shia by the extent to which they narrate from us. We do not consider the faqih (jurist) from them an actual faqih until he is a muhaddath. It was said to him, “Or, the believer is a muhaddath?” He said, “He is a mufahham. A mufahham is a muhaddath.”
    3. On the authority of Abu ‘Abdullah ‘alayh al Salam who said, “Know the ranks of people by us based on the extent to which they narrate from us.”[34]

 

Al Khu’i commented:

… The answer to these narrations is as follows: All of these narrations are weak. The reason why the last two narrations are weak is evident. As for the first narration, it is because of Muhammad ibn Sinan. According to the more likely opinion, he is weak.

However, if we turn a blind eye to the weakness of the Sheikh, then the indication there in is still limited. This is because what is meant by the sentence, “the extent to which they narrate from us,” is not the amount of what the narrator narrates from them ‘alayhim al Salam—even though whether he is truthful or is a liar is not known. When it is not known whether he is truthful or a liar, then this is not a praise of the narrator; sometimes the narrations of a liar can be more than the narrations of a truthful person. Rather, what is intended thereby is the extent to which he (authentically) receives their narrations ‘alayhim al Salam. This can only be attained after the narrator’s words are proven to have authoritative value and after establishing that what he is narrating has, in fact, come from the infallible ‘alayh al Salam.[35]

 

Al Khu’i states:

 

إن كثرة الرواية إذا لم يعلم صدق الراوي لا تكشف عن عظمة الشخص بالضرورة

Abundantly narrating, when the truth of the narrator is not known, it does not necessarily reveal the greatness of the individual.[36]

 

At times, a narrator can have abundant narrations and still be from among those whom the scholars have agreed is weak. Under the biography of al Mufaddal ibn Salih Abu Jamilah, al Khu’i states:

 

مر غير مرة أن كثرة الرواية ورواية الأجلة وأصحاب الإجماع عن رجل لا تدلان على وثاقته وعلى تقدير تسليم الدلالة فلا يمكن الأخذ بها مع ما سمعته من النجاشي من التسالم على ضعف الرجل

It has already been mentioned more than once that a narrator who has abundant narrations, and the narrator who has both eminent people and the people of consensus narrating from, these two facts do not indicate to his reliability. Assuming this is the case, it is still not possible to accept the narrations because of what I heard from al Najjashi[37] in that the individual’s weakness is essentially agreed upon.[38]

 

A narrator with abundant narrations can also, at times, be a liar and extreme in his beliefs. Al Khu’i states:

 

إن سهل بن زياد وقع الكلام في وثاقته وعدمها فذهب بعضهم إلى وثاقته ومال إلى ذلك الوحيد قدس سره واستشهد عليه بوجوه ضعيفة سماها أمارات التوثيق منها أن سهل بن زياد كثير الرواية ومنها رواية الاجلاء عنه ومنها كونه شيخ إجازة ومنها غير ذلك وهذه الوجوه غير تامة في نفسها وعلى تقدير تسليمها فكيف يمكن الاعتماد عليها مع شهادة أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى عليه بالغلو والكذب وشهادة ابن الوليد وابن بابويه وابن نوح بضعفه

There has been discussion on the reliability, or lack thereof of Sahl ibn Ziyad. Some are of the opinion that he is reliable. Al Wahid is inclined to this opinion and he suggests a number of weak proofs to substantiate it. He refers to them as “imarat al tawthiq (signs of tawthiq)”. Among such signs is the fact that Sahl ibn Ziyad abundantly narrates; eminent people narrate from him; the fact that he is a scholar of ijazah (authorization); and other similar signs. These reasons are not completely self-contained. Assuming they are valid, how is it possible to rely on them when there is Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa’s testimony that he is a liar and has extreme views, as well as Ibn al Walid, Ibn Babawayh, and Ibn Nuh’s testimony that he is weak?[39]

 

Thus, the correction opinion is that abundant narrations is not indicative of tawthiq or uprightness since, as you can see, such a narrator can be an extremist (in his views), or a liar, or from those whom the scholars have agreed to his weakness.

 

5.4.3 The fact that the narrator narrates from eminent people and they narrate from him

Many Imami scholars mention the reasons of tawthiq or tahsin (deeming someone upright) of a narrator and count among them the narration of a person from eminent people, or vice-versa. Perhaps this principle was not mentioned until after it became clear that most of the Imami narrators are counted among the unknown, about whom nothing is known except a name! In justifying the adoption of this principle, al Khaqani states:

 

كثيرا ما يروى المتقدمون من علمائنا رضي الله عنهم عن جماعة من مشايخهم الذين يظهر من حالهم الاعتناء بشأنهم وليس لهم ذكر في كتب الرجال والبناء على الظاهر يقتضى إدخالهم في المجهولين بل في ترك التعرض لذكرهم في كتب الرجال إشعار بعدم الاعتماد عليهم بل وعدم الاعتداد بهم ويشكل بأن قرائن الأحوال شاهدة ببعد اتخاذ أولئك الأجلاء الرجل الضعيف أو المجهول شيخا يكثرون الرواية عنه ويظهرون الاعتناء به

Many a times, our early scholars would narrate from a number of their scholars whom, as it appears from their condition, were of significant prestige. There is no mention of them in the books of narrator criticism. Building on what is apparent would imply including them among the unknown narrators. Actually, the fact that they are not mentioned in the books of narrator criticism gives the impression that there is to be no reliance on and attention given to them. It is problematic since circumstantial evidence would imply that these great individuals would not take a weak or unknown person as a teacher from whom they would frequently narrate from and express a concern for.[40]

 

Al Bahbahani (d. 1206 AH) states:

 

رواية الجليل عنه وهو أمارة الجلالة والقوة…وإذا كان الجليل ممن يطعن على الرجال في الرواية عن المجاهيل ونظائرها فربما تشير روايته عنه إلى الوثاقة

A great person narrating from him—which is a sign of greatness and strength… When the great person is among those who also critique narrators for narrating from unknown narrators and other similar people, then this perhaps can indicate to the fact that the narrator (from whom the great person is narrating) is reliable.[41]

 

Thus, al Bahbahani considers the fact that when a great person narrates from him—let alone a few great people—then this is from the signs of acceptability and strength. Then he takes it a step further; that is to say that if this great person is also a critic and criticizer of those who narrate from unknown narrators, then this is not just a sign of greatness or praise; rather, it is a tawthiq of the narrator!

Al Bahbahani mentioned a narration of the great people from him and said:

 

إذا كان رواية جماعة من الأصحاب تشير إلى الوثاقة كما مر فرواية أجلّائهم بطريق أولى

When the narration of a (ordinary) group of companions (from a person) suggests reliability—as mentioned already—then the narration of very great people (from a person) is an even stronger suggestion of reliability.[42]

 

In general, this is the opinion of many Imami scholars.

 

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The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i on the narrator who narrates from the greats and they narrating from him

There isn’t a clear opinion of al Hilli for me on this issue. However, al Khu’i was clear in his opinion: he regarded this as a reason for accepting the narration of a narrator. In refuting the previously-mentioned words of al Wahid al Bahbahani, he states:

 

كما ادعاها الوحيد قده في التعليقة حيث ذكر أن رواية الجليل عن شخص أمارة الجلالة والقوة وكذلك رواية الأجلاء عنه أو رواية الثقة أو الجليل عن أشياخه مندفعة بما مر غير مرة من أن المعروفين بالفقه والحديث كثيرا ما يروون عن غير الثقات

As al Wahid claimed in al Ta’liqah—when he mentioned that the narration of a great person from a person is a sign of greatness and strength, or that the narration of a thiqah or a great person from his teachers (is also a sign of greatness); This is rebutted on account of what was mentioned on more than one occasion, viz. many who were famous for fiqh and hadith would often-times narrate from unreliable narrators.[43]

 

Al Khu’i states:

 

رواية الأجلاء لا تدل على الوثاقة ولا على الحسن

The narration of the greats neither proves reliability nor uprightness (of the narrator).[44]

 

Similarly, al Khu’i in the context of refuting this opinion, states:

 

رواية الأجلاء عمن هو معروف بالكذب والوضع فليست بعزيزة

The greats narrating from someone who is known to lie and fabricate is not noble.[45]

 

Similarly, he states in relation to this issue:

 

أن اعتماد القدماء على رجل لا يدل على وثاقته ولا على حسنه

The reliance of the earlier generation on a person neither indicates his reliability nor his uprightness.[46]

 

For the sake of benefit, I will mention the statement of al Tustari (d. 1401 AH) who agreed with al Khu’i. He states:

 

قول النجاشي في جعفر بن بشير و محمد بن إسماعيل بـأنهما رويا عن الثقات وروى الثقات عنهما لا دلالة فيه على وثاقة كل راو و مروي عنه لهما

The statement of al Najjashi regarding Jafar ibn Bashir and Muhammad ibn Ismail that “they narrated from the reliable narrators and reliable narrators narrated from them” does not prove that every narrator of theirs and what they narrate is reliable.[47]

 

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5.4.4 Scholars who grant ijazah (authorization to narrate) and its implication on tawthiq

‘Abdul Hadi al Fadli states:

 

هم العلماء الذين يستجازون في رواية الكتب المشهورة وجوامع الحديث

They are the scholars from whom authorization is sought in narrating the famous books and collections of hadith.[48]

 

Al Ayrawani illustrates it for us in the following manner:

 

يجيز الأستاذ التلميذ بأن يدفع له الكتاب الذي سجل فيه الروايات و جمعها فيه ويقول أجزتك في أن تروي عني الروايات الموجودة فيه ويصطلح على هذا الشكل… بتحمل الرواية بنحو الإجازة كما ويصطلح على صاحب الكتاب الذي صدرت الإجازة منه بشيخ الإجازة

The teacher authorizes the student such that he hands him the book in which he recorded and gathered the narrations, and says, “I authorize you to narrate from me the existing narration herein.” It is termed in this manner… ‘receiving the narration by way of permission.’ Just as the author of the book from whom the authorization comes is termed Sheikh al Ijazah, or the scholar of authorization.[49]

 

Most Imami scholars are of the opinion of making tawthiq of majhul scholars of authorization[50] such that if nothing is known about a narrator, and he is a scholar of authorization, they consider it a tawthiq, even though his condition is unknown!

What prompted most of the Imamiyyah scholars to adopt this opinion is that they found that most of their books are narrated and authorized from names of narrators whose conditions are completely unknown. This means that many of the narrations are false due to so many of the narrators being unknown. As such, they were forced to adopt the opinion of making tawthiq of those who are described as being from the “scholars of authorization”—even if they did not know the reality of such a narrator’s condition! Jafar al Subhani states:

 

إن قسما من مشايخ الإجازة الذين يجيزون رواية أصل أو كتاب لغيرهم غير موصوفين في كتب الرجال بالوثاقة

A number of scholars of authorization, those who grant others authorization of an asl or a kitab are not described as reliable in the dictionaries of narrator evaluation.[51]

 

Al Hassan ibn Zayn al Din, the author of al Ma’alim states:

 

يروي المتقدمون من علمائنا عن جماعة من مشايخهم الذين يظهر من حالهم الاعتناء بشأنهم وليس لهم ذكر في كتب الرجال والبناء على الظاهر يقتضي إدخالهم في قسم المجهولين

Our early scholars would narrate from a number of their scholars whom, as it appears from their condition, were of significant prestige. There is no mention of them in the books of narrator criticism. Building on what is apparent would imply including them among the unknown narrators.[52]

 

Then he attempted to infer acceptance of their narrations.

Criticizing the methodology of the Usuliyyah and describing them as being contradictory, al Bahrani (d. 1186 AH) states:

 

لمخالفتهم أنفسهم فيما قرروه من ذلك الاصطلاح فحكموا بصحة أحاديث هي باصطلاحهم ضعيفة كمراسيل ابن أبي عمير وصفوان بن يحيى وغيرهما زعما منهم أن هؤلاء لا يرسلون ألا عن ثقة ومثل أحاديث جملة من مشايخ الإجازة لم يذكروا في كتب الرجال بمدح ولا قدح مثل أحمد بن محمد بن الحسن بن الوليد وأحمد بن محمد بن يحيى العطار والحسين بن الحسن بن أبان وأبي الحسين ابن أبي جيد وأضرابهم زعما منهم أن هؤلاء مشايخ الإجازة وهم مستغنون عن التوثيق وأمثال ذلك كثير يظهر للمتتبع

Because they contradicted themselves in what they decided on regarding that term. As such, they judged ahadith to be authentic when, according to their terminology, they are weak, such as the marasil of Ibn Abi ‘Umair, Safwan ibn Yahya, and others. They claim that they commit irsal from reliable narrators.

And like the ahadith of a number of scholars of authorization who are not mentioned in the dictionaries of narrator evaluation with any praise and criticism (for and against them), such as Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn al Hassan ibn al Walid, Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya al ‘Attar, al Hussain ibn al Hassan ibn Aban, Abu al Hussain Ibn Abi Jayyid, and their likes. They claim that these scholars of authorization are not in need of their tawthiq being made! There are many such examples for the one that searches for them.[53]

 

Muhsin al Amin states:

 

إن جماعة من مشايخ الإجازات أو غيرهم لم يوثقهم أهل الرجال أو وثقهم البعض ولم يوثقهم البعض ولكنهم مدحوا بمدائح تقرب من التوثيق أو تزيد عليه وهؤلاء الظاهر أن عدم توثيقهم لظهور حالهم في الوثاقة

The scholars of narrator evaluation did not make tawthiq of a number of scholars of authorization and others. Or, some have made their tawthiq while others have not. However, they have been praised in such a manner that is close to, or even more than a tawthiq. It is evident that their tawthiq was not made because of how clear their condition in being reliable is.[54]

 

Strange is the statement of al Amin! It is possible for us to apply this claim to every unknown narrator! I do not know why he does not bring out for us the praises which he claims are close to tawthiq? If we ask him to mention something of it, he would find no avenue to do so. How could he when all he knows about them is their name? These are but the excuses relied on by al Amin.

Evidence for what has been mentioned is the fact that they admit to there being a number of narrators whose conditions are unknown that exist in the books of narrator evaluation. And this is not a small amount; they are the scholars of authorization from whom the words of the Ahlul Bayt are transmitted, as they claim.

Even stranger than this is the statement of al Majlisi (d. 1111 AH) in Maladhdh al Akhyar wherein he comments on unknown status of certain narrators:

 

وكيفما كان فالأول لم أجده في كتب أصحابنا المتقدمين بجرح و لا تعديل والثاني مذكور مهملا ولعل جهالتهما غير ضارة نظرا إلى أنهما من مشايخ الإجازة لا أنهما من المصنفين أو الحافظين للأخبار وإنما يذكران في الإسناد لمجرد الاتصال وعدم قطع الإسناد

Whatever the case may be, I did not find a jarh or a ta’dil of the first in the books of our earlier companions. The second is mentioned ambiguously. Perhaps their unknown status is not harmful considering the fact that both of them are among the scholars of authorization, not because they are authors or memorizers of reports. They are only mentioned in the isnad for the sake of ittisal (contiguity) and so that the isnad is not disconnected.[55]

 

The reality of their condition is that many among then are unknown. They are only mentioned for the sake of ittisal, even though the condition of that narrator is not known. Al Hurr al ‘Amili acknowledged this reality with his statement:

 

إنا كثيرا ما نقطع في حق كثير من الرواة أنهم لم يرضوا بالافتراء في رواية الحديث والذي لم يعلم ذلك منه يعلم أنه طريق إلى رواية أصل الثقة الذي نقل الحديث منه والفائدة في ذكره مجرد التبرك باتصال سلسلة المخاطبة اللسانية ودفع تعيير العامة الشيعة بأن أحاديثهم غير معنعنة بل منقولة من أصول قدمائهم

Many a times, we state regarding numerous narrators that they would not permit lying in relation to narrating hadith. Regarding such a person, it is known that it is a path towards the narration of someone who is originally a thiqah from whom the hadith is narrated from. The benefit in mentioning such a person is merely for the sake of barakah in maintaining the contiguity of the verbal chain of communication, and for the sake of deterring the reproach of the ‘Ammah against the Shia in that their ahadith are not mu’an’anah (i.e., narrated using the words ‘‘an (from)’; rather, they are transmitted from the usul of their predecessors.[56]

 

This is the reality of the situation. Therefore, you will rarely find a book in the sciences of hadith and narrator evaluation of the Imamiyyah except that there is an attempt to verify it, even though it is just a claim that is not based upon actual evidence. This will be seen from the refutation of al Khu’i.

The difference of opinion on the issue of tawthiq of the scholars of authorization has an impact on the acceptance or rejection of narrations. Al Kalbasi (d. 1315 AH) states:

 

يمكن أن يكون التصحيح مبنيا على دلالة شيخوخة الإجازة على العدالة فلو كان المصحح له لا يرى دلالة شيخوخة الإجازة على العدالة بل على المدح، فلا مجال لأن يحكم بعدالة البعض المجهول بواسطة التصحيح

It is possible that the authentication is based on the ‘adalah (of the narrators) which is inferred from the scholars of authorization. If the authenticator only considers the presumption of praise for the scholars of authorization (and does not presume ‘adalah), then there is no possibility to, via authentication (of the hadith), to judge that some unknown (narrators) have ‘adalah.[57]

 

Therefore, because of the impact this principle has on the tawthiq of tens of unknown narrators that exist in their books of narrator evaluation, many scholars of the Imamiyyah have given it much attention and have attempted to support it with every type of evidence they have at their disposal. Accordingly, they authenticate thousands of narrations that these unknown narrators transmit for them and yet, at the same time, they criticize the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam!

The proponents of this principle differ: Does it indicate to the ‘adalah of the scholar of authorization, or, is it simply an indication of his upright condition?[58]

 

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What is the position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding the tawthiq of scholars of authorization?

The position of al Hilli regarding the tawthiq of scholars of authorization

I was unable to find an explicit view of al Hilli on this subject-matter. However, considering the general methodology of al Hilli in dealing with the Imami narrator who has no criticism levelled against him, and considering his acceptance of the narrations of Ibrahim ibn Hashim al Qummi (because of their abundance, as we have already seen), it is possible for us to deduce, based on the above, that al Hilli considers the tawthiq of the scholars of authorization—when he does not hold a false belief (in his view).

Based on some of the statements of al Khu’i, we can deduce that al Hilli does consider the automatic tawthiq of the scholars of authorization. Al Khu’i states:

 

وماجيلويه لم يوثق وذكرنا غير مرة أن مجرد الشيخوخة لا توجب الوثاقة فمن حكم بالصحة إنما تبع العلامة في الخلاصة ولا عبرة بتصحيحه

And Majiluyah’s tawthiq was not made. We have mentioned on more than one occasion that merely being a scholar (of authorization) does not necessitate reliability. Therefore, whoever judged the narration as authentic, did so following al ‘Allamah in al Khulasah. And there is no consideration to be given of his authentication.[59]

 

The text of al Khu’i can be a proof that al Hilli makes tawthiq of the scholars of authorization based on the words of al Khu’i. And even though the text is not explicit, or it is too deficient to infer what is intended thereby, it is, nonetheless, not farfetched. Perhaps what can support this is the statement of al Khu’i under the biography of Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya al ‘Attar:

 

تصحيح العلامة في الفائدة الثامنة من الخلاصة طريق الصدوق إلى عبد الرحمان بن الحجاج وكذا طريقه إلى عبد الله ابن أبي يعفور وفيهما أحمد بن محمد بن يحيى ويرده ما مر من أن تصحيح العلامة مبني على بنائه على أصالة العدالة وعلى أن أحمد من مشايخ الإجازة وكلا الأمرين لا يمكن الاعتماد عليه

The authentication of al ‘Allamah under al Fa’idah al Thaminah of al Khulasah comes from: al Saduq to ‘Abdur Rahman ibn al Hajjaj and his chain to ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Ya’fur. Both of them contain Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya. What refutes this is the fact that, as mentioned, the authentication of al ‘Allamah is based on his principle of the presumption of ‘adalah, and on the fact that Ahmed is from the scholars of authorization. It is not possible to rely on these two matters.[60]

 

Perhaps this text is clearer in that al Hilli follows the methodology of making tawthiq of the scholars of authorization, as al Khu’i stated.

 

The position of al Khu’i regarding the tawthiq of scholars of authorization

Al Khu’i mentioned his opinion regarding scholars of authorization in the introduction to his book, al Mujam; he does not regard the narrator described as being a “scholar of authorization” a reason for his tawthiq unless one of the early generation of scholars documented it as such, or, his tawthiq is based on other reasons.

In refuting the opinion that states the tawthiq of the scholars of authorization, al Khu’i states:

 

إن كون الشخص من مشايخ الإجازة لا يقتضي الوثاقة كبرويا بوجه فإن شيخ الإجازة راو في الحقيقة غايته على نحو الاجمال لا التفصيل فيعطي الكتاب لتلميذه ويقول أنت مجاز عني في روايته فهو لا يزيد على الراوي بشيء يعتني بشأنه كي يقتضي الإغناء عن التوفيق

The fact that a person is from the scholars of authorization does not invariably necessitate his reliability. In reality, the scholar of authorization is (just) a narrator. Not in a detailed sense, but in a more general sense, he merely gives the book to his student and says, “You are authorized on my behalf to narrate it.” Thus, he is not much different than an average narrator such that he does not require his tawthiq to be made.[61]

 

In another place, al Khu’i states:

 

وأما كونهما من مشايخ الإجازة لمثل الصدوق والكشي فهو أيضا كسابقيه وذلك لأن الصدوق (قده) كان ينقل الحديث عمن سمعه وأخذه منه سواء أكان شيعيا أم لم يكن وموثقا كان أو غيره بل إن من مشايخ إجازته من هو ناصب زنديق كما في الضبي عليه لعائن الله حيث ذكر (قدس سره) أنه لم ير أنصب منه وبلغ من نصبه أنه كان يقول اللهم صل على محمد فردا ويمتنع من الصلاة على آله فترى أنه مع نصبه وزندقته قد روى عنه الصدوق (قده) وهو من مشايخه ومعه كيف يكون مجرد الشيخوخة له أو لغيره كافية في التوثيق ولم يصرح هو نفسه ولا الكشي بأنه لا يروي إلا عن ثقة كما صنعه النجاشي (قده) على أن ظاهر النجاشي أن الكشي لم يظهر منه اعتماد على ابن القتيبة غير نقل الرواية عنه في كتابه وقد بينا أن مجرد الشيخوخة لا دلالة له على الوثاقة

As for the fact that both of them[62] are from the scholars of authorization, such as al Saduq and al Kashshi, it too is like its two predecessors[63]. This is because al Saduq would transmit hadith from who he heard it from and would take it from him, whether he was a Shia or not, and whether he was reliable or not. In fact, from his scholars of authorization is someone who is a Nasibi Zindiq, as is the case with al Dabbi[64], may Allah’s curses be upon him. He mentioned that he never saw a greater Nasibi than him and that he reached such a level in his belief that he would say, “O Allah. Send salutations upon Muhammad alone.” And he would refuse to ask Allah to send salutations on his family. Thus, as you can see, despite his Nasb and Zandaqah, al Saduq still narrated from him and he is among his teachers. Knowing this, how can simply being a teacher of his, or a teacher of others be sufficient in establishing tawthiq? And neither he nor al Kashshi explicitly stated that they only narrate from reliable narrators, as al Najjashi did. Although, the ostensible words of al Najjashi are that it appears that al Kashshi did not rely on Ibn al Qutaybah other than in the fact that he narrated from him in his book. We have explained that merely teachership is not indicative of reliability.[65]

 

Based on this, the opinion of al Khu’i regarding scholars of authorization is clear: they are like other narrators in that require documented text that states their tawthiq from those of the past. And, according to al Khu’i, one of them being described as a “scholar of authorization” is neither a proof of his praiseworthiness or tawthiq.

 

5.4.5 The narrator about whom it is said, “asnada ‘anhu”

Muhammad Rida al Hussaini states:

 

إني وجدت مما يعترض الباحث في أحوال الرواة والمراجع لكتب الرجال هو وصف الراوي بأنه أسند عنه وهذا الوصف قد استعمله الشيخ الطوسي رحمه الله في كتابه المعروف بالرجال وتبعه من تأخر عنه في الاستعمال ولم أجد من سبقه من الرجاليين العامة والخاصة إلى استعماله بصدد تعريف الراوي به وقد وقع الأعلام من علماء الرجال في ارتباك غريب بشأن هذا الوصف من حيث تركيب لفظه ومن حيث تحديد معناه حتى أن بعض مشايخنا الكرام توقف وصرح بأنه لم يفهم له معنى مرادا

From the things that I found a researcher objecting to in regards to the conditions of narrators and what he finds in the books of narrator evaluation is a narrator being described with, “asnada ‘anhu,” or, “transmitted from him.” Al Sheikh al Tusi used this in his work, famously known as al Rijal and others that came after him followed suit in using it. I have not found any of the scholars of biographical evaluation using it to describe a narrator before him, both from the ‘Ammah (Ahlus Sunnah) and the Khassah (Shia). Well-known scholars of narrators have fallen into a strange confusion both in terms of the word’s sequence and defining what it means, to such an extent that our noble scholars suspended judgement on it and have explicitly stated on numerous occasions[66] that its meaning is unknown.[67]

 

We conclude from his words that the first person from the Imamiyyah to describe narrators with this description was al Tusi in Rijal al Tusi, not in al Fihrist.

Imami scholars differ regarding what al Tusi intended by the statement and the explanation thereof.[68] Furthermore, they differ on whether these words imply tawthiq or not.

Regarding the number of narrators described with this description, Muhammad al Hussaini states:

 

الموصوفين بهذه الكلمة في كتاب رجال الطوسي المطبوع يبلغ (341) شخصا منهم شخص واحد من أصحاب الباقر والصادق (ع) ومنهم (330) من أصحاب الصادق عليه السلام و اثنان من أصحاب الكاظم عليه السلام وسبعة من أصحاب الرضا عليه السلام ومنهم شخص واحد من أصحاب الهادي عليه السلام

There are 341 people described with these words in the printed copy of the book, Rijal al Tusi. One of them is from the companions of al Baqir and al Sadiq, 330 from the companions of al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam, two from the companions of the al Kazim ‘alayh al Salam, seven from the companions of al Rida ‘alayh al Salam, and one from the companions of al Hadi ‘alayh al Salam.[69]

 

The number is not insignificant. If a scholar were to go and count these words as an indication of tawthiq, the person described as such would never be a reason for criticism of the al Sheikh. Also, keeping in mind that nothing is known regarding the condition of many of them, if not most of them, except for al Tusi’s description of them, “asnada ‘anhu!” Some Imami scholars are of the opinion of inferring tawthiq from this description.[70]

In summary, the Imami scholars have a lengthy discussion on the meaning and indication of this statement. It seems appropriate to mention a summary of the discussion as presented by Muhammad al Hussaini. He states:

 

  1. The verb ‘asnada’ is a past-tense verb whose active participle is mentioned and known. Its active participle is in the form of a pronoun that goes back to the narrator described with the action.
  2. The pronoun in ‘‘anhu’ goes back to the Imam that regards the narrator to be from his companions.
  3. What is meant with this description is that the narrator narrates from the Imam narrations that are traceable to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and that he has collected them into a book regarded as a musnad.
  4. The description is not specific to the companions of the al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam. Rather, narrators of Imams al Baqir, al Kazim, al Rida, and al Hadi ‘alayhim al Salam are also described as such, even though most of them are from the companions of Imam al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam.
  5. The person described with that indicates that he was, in the beginning, an ‘Ammi in mazhab that does not acknowledge that the hadith is traced back to the Imam. Rather, he only considers the words of the Imam that are marfu’, or elevated to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. However, when there is external evidence that the narrator described as such is a Shia in mazhab, then it is a proof that this narrator is very distinguished, and that he intended to collect what the Imams narrated that are traceable to their grandfather so as to use such narrations as a proof against the others that do not believe in their Imamah. Accordingly, the description is indicative of greatness and virtue. In any case, the description does not indicate a criticism that leads to his weakness, or a praise that leads to his reliability. Rather, it is proof of a specific methodology in the narration of hadith.[71]

This is a summary of Muhammad al Hussaini’s findings on the issue.

 

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The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding their statement “asnada ‘anhu”

 

The position of al Hilli regarding their statement “asnada ‘anhu”

I did not find explicit text from al Hilli on the meaning or indication of “asnada ‘anhu.” However, it is clear from looking at some narrators who have been described with such words in al Hilli’s al Khulasah that it neither suggests a tawthiq nor a criticism of the narrator. It appears as such because of the methodology of al Hilli in his al Khulasah. Al Hilli transmits tens of biographies from Rijal al Tusi which contain a large number of narrators described with the words “asnada ‘anhu,” yet he attached no importance to narrating such words. Examples of this include:

  • Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Yahya[72]
  • Ibrahim ibn Nasr ibn al Qa’qa’[73]
  • Ishaq ibn Bishr, Abu Hudhayfah al Kahili (al Tusi mentioned him and said: “asnada ‘anhu.” Al Hilli mentioned him in the second section of weak and rejected narrators saying, “He is from the ‘Ammah. He was a thiqah.”[74]

He did not transmit the words, “asnada ‘anhu!” This is the case for so many other biographies. Thus, if these words had an impact on the tawthiq of a narrator according to al Hilli, he would have mentioned it in his book. As for al Hilli mentioning these words in about five instances, according to what I came across[75], this proves that it does not mean anything related to the strength or weakness of the narrator. In fact, he mentioned three of the five in the second section. They are biography numbers 1531, 1580, and 1685.

 

The position of al Khu’i regarding their statement “asnada ‘anhu”

In his Mujam, al Khu’i mentioned the scholars’ difference of opinion regarding the words “asnada ‘anhu.” He mentioned the opinions regarding its meaning and then disputed them. He commented saying:

 

فتلخص أنه لا يكاد يظهر معنى صحيح لهذه الجملة في كلام الشيخ [الطوسي] في هذه الموارد وهو أعلم بمراده

It can be summed up that there does not appear to be a sound meaning for this sentence in the words of al Sheikh (al Tusi) in these instances. And he knows best what he intended.[76]

 

However, al Khu’i mentioned in his book the meaning of al Tusi’s statement “asnada ‘anhu.” In discussing the issue of a narrator sharing in name, he states:

 

أنه لا ينبغي الشك في اتحاد القاسم بن محمد الجوهري وأما ما ذكره الشيخ في أصحاب الصادق والكاظم عليهما السلام وفيمن لم يرو عنهم عليهم السلام فهو لا يدل على التغاير فإن ذلك قد تكرر في كلامه وقد بينا في المقدمة أن الذي يظهر منه أنه يذكر في أصحاب كل إمام من لقيه وإن لم يكن له رواية عنه عليه السلام وقد يصرح بذلك فيقول أسند عنه يريد بذلك أنه روى عن الإمام عليه السلام مع الواسطة ويذكر فيمن لم يرو عنهم عليهم السلام من لم يعاصر المعصوم أو عاصره وليست له رواية منه بلا واسطة

There should be no doubt in al Qasim ibn Muhammad al Jawhari being one person. As for what al Sheikh mentioned regarding the companions of al Sadiq and al Kazim ‘alayh al Salam, and regarding the person that did not narrate from them ‘alayhim al Salam, it does not prove there is a difference (in person). This occurs often in his statements. We have explained in the introduction that what appears from him is that he mentions among the companions of every Imam those who he met, even though he does not have a narration from him ‘alayh al Salam. At times, he is explicit with this and says, ‘asnada ‘anhu,’ intending thereby that he narrated from the Imam ‘alayh al Salam via an intermediary. And he also mentions regarding the person that does not narrate from them ‘alayhim al Salam those that did not live in the same time as the infallible, or, he lived in his time, but he does not have a direct narration from him.[77]

 

In summary, al Khu’i does not regard the statement as from the indications of tawthiq or praise. What further emphasizes this is what he stated under the biography of al Harith ibn Ghussain:

 

أبو وهب الثقفي كوفي أسند عنه من أصحاب الصادق عليه السلام رجال الشيخ [الطوسي] وعده العلامة [الحلِّي] في القسم الأول…وقال ابن عقدة عن محمد بن عبد الله بن أبي حكيمة عن ابن نمير أنه ثقة خيار وتوفى سنة 143هـ وكذلك فعل ابن داود غير أنه قال وثقه ابن عقدة أقول أما توثيق ابن عقدة نفسه فلم يثبت بل إنما حكي التوثيق عن ابن نمير بواسطة محمد بن عبد الله بن أبي حكيمة على ما صرح به العلامة وهما لم يثبت وثاقتهما إذن لم تثبت وثاقة الرجل

Abu Wahb al Thaqafi. Kufan. Asnada ‘anhu. From the companions of al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam, as stated in Rijal al Sheikh [al Tusi]. Al ‘Allamah (al Hilli) included him in the first section… Ibn ‘Uqdah said, “From Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Hakimah — from Ibn Numair: He is Thiqah, excellent. He died in 143 A.H.” Ibn Dawood did the same except that he said Ibn ‘Uqdah deemed him Thiqah. I say: As for the tawthiq by Ibn ‘Uqdah himself, this is not established. Rather, he transmitted tawthiq from Ibn Numair through Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Hakimah, as has been clarified by al ‘Allamah. Their tawthiq is not established and therefore as a result their tawthiq of another will not be established either.[78]

 

In summary, al Hilli and al Khu’i do not regard this statement as a reason for the tawthiq of a narrator.

 

5.4.6 The confused narrator (al rawi al mukhallat)

In the biographical dictionaries of the Imamiyyah, some narrators have been described with ‘takhlit,’ or being mixed-up and confused. As such, it is first necessary to explain the meaning of the word and the implications it has on the jarh of a narrator, if any.

 

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The meaning of takhlit

Imami scholars differ on the meaning of takhlit. Muhammad Jadidi summarizes them saying:

مخلط أو مختلط معناه الخلط بمعنى المزج ولكن المراد منه أنواع مخصوصة منه

    1. خلط الاعتقاد الصحيح بالفاسد
    2. خلط الروايات المنكرة بغيرها
    3. خلط أسانيد الأخبار بالآخر
    4. خلط المطالب الصحيحة بغيرها

Mukhallat or mukhtalit, meaning ‘confusion,’ i.e., mixing things up. However, what is intended thereby are more specific types, namely:

    1. Confusing a sound belief with a false one;
    2. Confusing unacceptable reports with other non-unacceptable reports;
    3. Confusing the asanid of reports with other asanid;
    4. Confusing correct issues with incorrect issues.[79]

 

In explaining the meaning of takhlit, al Kalbasi states:

 

قد يكون المنسوب إليه هو نفسه الراوي وقد يكون المنسوب إليه كتابه أو إسناده

Takhlit can be attributed to the person himself (the narrator) as well as to his book. It can also be attributed to his Sheikh, or chain of narration.[80]

 

Thereafter, al Kalbasi cited several examples for the various types of takhlit he mentioned.

In summary, there are numerous definitions for takhlit. This is what was emphasized by Muhammad al Karbasi with his statement:

 

التخليط في كل موضع يحمل على معنى

Takhlit carries a (different) meaning in every context.[81]

 

The usage of this description in the biographical dictionaries mostly refers to a false belief. Al Tustari (d. 1401 AH) states:

 

وبالجملة التخليط المطلق في الراوي ينصرف إلى روايته المناكير

In summary, general takhlit in a narrator applies to his narrating unacceptable narrations.[82]

 

Perhaps the first is closer to the truth. It is possible.

 

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The implication, or lack thereof, of takhlit on jarh

Because of the Imamiyyah’s difference of opinion on the meaning of takhlit, there is an effect on the implication of this word in terms of accepting or rejecting the narration of a narrator described with such a word. Muhammad Jadidi collected all of the opinions of the Imami scholars on the issue. Among them are those who state that there is no affect of this word on the jarh or ta’dil of a narrator. Others consider it from the words of jarh. And still others state that it does not suggest a criticism of the narrator himself, but rather in what he narrates.[83]

 

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The opinion of al Hilli and al Khu’i on takhlit

The opinion of al Hilli on takhlit

Al Hilli regarded the description of a narrator with the word takhlit as a reason to reject the narration. This is because such a description typically goes back to the false belief of the narrator—which is, according to al Hilli, the most important reason for criticizing a narrator. What proves this is the fact that he mentioned this description about four narrators and placed them all in the second section of his book that is dedicated to both weak and rejected narrations, or such narrators about whom judgement is suspended. The narrators are as follows.

 

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud

The great Sahabi. Al Hilli restricted his words to:

 

روى الكشي عن الفضل بن شاذان أنه خلط

Al Kashshi narrated on the authority of al Fadl ibn Shadhan that he confused things.[84]

 

When we go back to al Kashshi’s book, we find that the narration al Hilli built his opinion on reads as follows:

 

سئل الفضل بن شاذان عن ابن مسعودو حذيفة فقال لم يكن حذيفة مثل ابن مسعود لأن حذيفة كان ركنا و ابن مسعود خلط ووالى القوم ومال معهم وقال بهم

Al Fadl ibn Shadhan was asked about Ibn Mas’ud and Hudhayfah. He said, “Hudhayfah was not like Ibn Mas’ud because Hudhayfah was a pillar and Ibn Mas’ud mixed things up and was close to the people (Sahabah), took their side, and defended them.[85]

 

Thus, al Hilli regarded takhlit to mean a falseness related to belief in that Ibn Mas’ud opposed the mazhab of the Imamiyyah by being close to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah

Al Hilli restricted his words to:

 

من أصحاب علي عليه السلام، مخلط

From the companions of ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam. Mukhallat (confused).[86]

 

Perhaps what made al Hilli place him in the second section of his book is the fact that ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah was not an Imami. Al Tustari (d. 1401 AH) states:

 

الظاهر عاميته فلم يذكر أحد تشيعه

Ostensibly, he is an ‘Ammi. Nobody has mentioned him being a Shia.[87]

 

Salamah ibn Salih al Ahmar

Al Hilli states:

 

من أصحاب أبي عبدالله عليه السلام أصله كوفي مخلط

From the companions of Abu ‘Abdullah ‘alayh al Salam. He is originally a Kufan. Mukhallat (confused).[88]

 

The meaning of takhlit here is a confusion or mixing up of beliefs, since Salamah ibn Salih was not an Imami, as al Tustari stated:

 

لم نقف عليه في أخبارنا ولا يبعد عاميته

We have not come across anything about him in our reports. He being an ‘Ammi is not farfetched.[89]

 

Ishaq ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn Aban ibn Mirar

Al Hilli placed him in the second section because, as per his description of him, he is “the source of takhlit.” He also narrated the statement of Ibn al Ghada’iri on him:

 

أنه كان فاسد المذهب

He had a false (creedal) school.[90]

 

In summary, al Hilli considered the narrator being described with takhlit as from the reasons of his rejection. This is because it forms part of the narrator’s false beliefs. This is generally the case.

Al Hilli (also) states about a narrator that he is “mukhallat;” however, he qualifies it as in the biography of Muhammad ibn Wahban Abu ‘Abdullah al Dabili:

Reliable from our companions. Clear in narration. Little takhlit (confusion).

He included him in the first section because al Hilli stated that he is “from our companions.” In other words, he does not hold a false belief in his view. Thereafter, he says, “Clear in narration. Little takhlit (confusion).”

Therefore, according to al Hilli, little takhlit in a narration while holding a sound belief is not regarded as a reason to reject the narration of a narrator. If there is takhlit in creed, as is mostly the case, then this is a reason, according to al Hilli, for rejecting.

 

The opinion of al Khu’i on takhlit

Al Khu’i differed with the opinion of al Hilli on the issue of takhlit. The reason for this difference of opinion goes back to their adhered to methodology in al jarh wa al ta’dil, as mentioned previously. This is because al Khu’i does not consider the false belief of a narrator a reason for his jarh. This is different to the opinion of al Hilli.

Similarly, takhlit in creed or narration is not, according to al Khu’i, regarded as being from the reasons of a narrator’s jarh. The following are examples.

In refuting those who describe Ahmed ibn ‘Ali al ‘Alawi al ‘Aqiqi with takhlit, al Khu’i states:

 

توصيف الشيخ الرجل بالمخلط أو أن في أحاديثه مناكير وإن لم يدل على ضعفه في نفسه إلا أنه يكفي في عدم اعتباره عدم ثبوت وثاقته

Al Sheikh[91] describing the person as ‘mukhallat,’ and stating that ‘his ahadith include unacceptable reports,’ even though it does not prove that he himself is weak, it is sufficient in proving that he is not reliable.[92]

 

Al Khu’i does not consider al ‘Aqiqi’s description of him as ‘mukhallat’ a valid reason of criticism against him. The criticism is for other reasons; that is to say that his tawthiq is not proven to have come from the earlier generation of scholars.

Under the biography of Yahya ibn al Qasim, Abu Basir, al Khu’i states:

 

وأما قول ابن فضَّال إنه كان مخلطا فلا ينافي التوثيق فإن التخليط معناه أن يروي الرجل ما يعرف وما ينكر فلعل بعض روايات أبي بصير كانت منكرة عند ابن فضَّال فقال إنه مخلط

As for the statement of Ibn Faddal, “He was confused,” it does not negate tawthiq. Takhlit means when a narrator narrates both what is known and what is unacceptable. Perhaps some of Abu Basir’s narrations were unacceptable according to Ibn Faddal and, as such, he said that he is a mukhallat.[93]

 

This is clear in that takhlit in narration does not negate, according to al Khu’i, the acceptance of his narrations.

Under the biography of Muhammad ibn al Hassan ibn Jumhur, al Khu’i states:

 

الظاهر أن الرجل ثقة وإن كان فاسد المذهب لشهادة علي بن إبراهيم بن هاشم بوثاقته غاية الأمر أنه ضعيف في الحديث لما في رواياته من تخليط وغلو وقد ذكر الشيخ أن ما يرويه من رواياته فهي خالية من الغلو والتخليط وعليه فلا مانع من العمل بما رواه الشيخ من رواياته

Ostensibly, the individual is a reliable, even though he follows a false school of creed. The reason for being reliable is the testimony of ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim’s in his favour. The most that can be said is that he is weak in hadith because of the takhlit and ghuluww (extremeness) in his narrations. Al Sheikh mentioned that what he narrates from his narrations, they are free from both takhlit and ghuluww. Based on this, there is no impediment in acting on what al Sheikh narrated from him from his narrations.[94]

 

Al Khu’i contradicted himself with this statement of his. How do we reconcile between his statement, “The individual is reliable,” and, “The most that can be said is that he is weak in hadith”?

The meaning of ‘reliable’ according to al Khu’i and also what he infers from the Tafsir of ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim al Qummi is that such a narrator’s narrations are acceptable. This is what he means by “thiqah (reliable).” Thereafter, al Khu’i contradicts himself with his statement that he is “weak in hadith!”

Unless it is said that the meaning of weak here goes back to the reason of takhlit in narration, whether it is mixing up of asanid, ghuluww, or mixing of unacceptable reports. According to al Khu’i, this does not contradict being a thiqah!

This further proves that the Imamiyyah are not concerned with dabt, or precision of a narrator. Thus, if the narrator is excessive in committing mistakes, and he narrates reports that contain ghuluww, are unacceptable, incorrect, and whatever else the minds can think of, then he is still an acceptable thiqah, according to some of them, like al Khu’i!

As for his statement, “Based on this, there is no impediment in acting on what al Sheikh narrated from him from his narrations,” I say: al Khu’i similarly accepts what others, beside al Sheikh al Tusi, have narrated.

Here we have (the narrator) Muhammad ibn Jumhur in the sanad of some narrations that contain ghuluww in belief in the Tafsir of al Qummi—which al Khu’i believes in the tawthiq of its narrators. Among such narrations are the following:

 

  1. Al Hussain ibn Muhammad informed us — on the authority of al Mu’alla ibn Muhammad — from Muhammad ibn Jumhur — from Jafar ibn Bashir — from ‘Ali ibn Abi Hamzah — from Abu Basir — from Abu Jafar ‘alayh al Salam regarding the verse:

فَأَقِمۡ وَجۡهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفٗاۚ

So, direct your face (i.e., self) toward the religion, inclining to truth.

He said, “It is (referring to) Wilayah (of ‘Ali)!”[95]

 

  1. Al Hussain ibn Muhammad informed us — on the authority of al Mu’alla ibn Muhammad — from Muhammad ibn Jumhur — from Jafar ibn Bashir — from al Hakam ibn Zuhayr — from Muhammad ibn Hamdan — from Abu ‘Abdullah ‘alayh al Salam regarding the verse:

ذَٰلِكُم بِأَنَّهُۥٓ إِذَا دُعِيَ ٱللَّهُ وَحۡدَهُۥ كَفَرۡتُمۡ وَإِن يُشۡرَكۡ بِهِۦ تُؤۡمِنُواْۚ فَٱلۡحُكۡمُ لِلَّهِ ٱلۡعَلِيِّ ٱلۡكَبِيرِ

(They will be told), “That is because, when Allah was called upon alone, you disbelieved; but if others were associated with Him, you believed. So, the judgement is with Allah, the Most High, the Grand.

He states:

إذا ذكر الله ووحد بولاية من أمر الله بولايته كفرتم وإن يشرك به من ليست له ولاية تؤمنوا بأن له ولاية

When Allah was mentioned alone with the Wilayah of he Who Allah commanded to his Wilayah, you rejected and associated with Him he who has no Wilayah. You believed that he has Wilayah.[96]

 

  1. Ahmed ibn ‘Ali and Ahmed ibn Idris narrated to us — Muhammad ibn Ahmed al ‘Alawi narrated to us — from al ‘Amraki — from Muhammad ibn Jumhur — Sulaiman ibn Samma’ah narrated to us — from ‘Abdullah ibn al Qasim — from Yahya ibn Maysarah al Khuth’ami — from Abu Jafar ‘alayh al Salam who said: “I heard him saying:

حمٓ عٓسٓقٓ

Ha Mimm ‘Ayn Sin Qaf.

is the amount of years of al Qa’im.[97]

 

  1. Muhammad ibn Jafar narrated to us — Muhammad ibn Ahmed narrated to us — from Ahmed — from al Qasim ibn Muhammad — Ismail ibn ‘Ali al Fizari narrated to us — from Muhammad ibn Jumhur — from Faddalah ibn Ayub who said, “Al Rida ‘alayh al Salam was asked about the statement of Allah:

قُلۡ أَرَءَيۡتُمۡ إِنۡ أَصۡبَحَ مَآؤُكُمۡ غَوۡرٗا فَمَن يَأۡتِيكُم بِمَآءٖ مَّعِينِۢ

Say, “Have you considered: if your water was to become sunken (into the earth), then who could bring you flowing water?”

He said ‘alayh al Salam, “Your water is your doors, i.e., the Imams ‘alayhim al Salam. And the Imams are the doors of Allah between Him and His creation. “… Then who could bring you flowing water?” I.e., knowledge of the Imam.”[98]

 

Thus, the extremism of Ibn Jumhur is widespread in the books, the narrators of which al Khu’i regards as reliable, such as Tafsir al Qummi. Therefore, his statement cannot be accepted unconditionally such that there is no impediment from those things that al Tusi narrated from him. In fact, according to al Khu’i, there is no impediment regarding what other than al Tusi, such as al Qummi, narrated.

Therefore, no matter the level of takhlit the narrator reaches, his extremism (in belief), the unacceptability of his reports, he is acceptable according to al Khu’i, as is the situation with Muhammad ibn Jumhur. Regarding him, Ibn al Ghada’iri states:

 

غال فاسد الحديث لا يكتب حديثه رأيت له شعرا يحلل فيه حرمات الله عز وجل

Extremist. False in hadith. His hadith are not written. I saw a poem of his in which he made hailal the haram things of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.[99]

 

In summary, takhlit, whether in belief or in hadith, does not negatively affect the narrator as per the methodology of al Khu’i.[100]

For the sake of benefit, I will mention al Khu’i has a strange opinion regarding the Ahlus Sunnah’s statement about a narrator that he is “mukhtalit.” Under the biography of ‘Ata’ ibn al Sa’ib, he states:

 

ذكر غير واحد من علماء العامة من أنه ثقة في حديثه القديم ولكنه اختلط وتغير أنه كان من العامة سابقا ثم استبصر

More than one of the scholars of the ‘Ammah have mentioned that he is a thiqah in his old hadith. However, he became confused and changed (ikhtalata wa taghayyara): he was from the ‘Ammah (i.e., the Ahlus Sunnah) previously, then he saw (the truth).[101]

 

What he means is that the word ikhtilat (confusion), according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah, means to leave the Ahlus Sunnah and join the ranks of the Shia!

 

Note:

It is appropriate here to mention the opinion of al Khu’i on the issue of idtirab (unresolvably problematic). It is similar to what has already been mentioned. Al Khu’i states:

 

إن الاضطراب في المذهب لا ينافي الوثاقة كما هو ظاهر وكذا الاضطراب في الحديث إذ ليس معنى ذلك أنه ممن يضع الحديث ويكذب كي يكون ذلك طعنا في الرجل نفسه وكاشفا عن تضعيفه إياه وإنما هو طعن في أحاديثه وأنها ليست مستقيمة ولا تكون على نمط واحد وإنما يروى الحديث تارة عن الثقة وأخرى عن الضعيف وقد يروى المناكير وغيرها فلا تكون أحاديثه على نسق واحد وعلى الجملة إن هذه العبارة لا تقتضي القدح في وثاقة الرجل كي يعارض به التوثيق المستفاد من وروده في أسانيد (كامل الزيارات)

Idtirab (unresolvably problematic) in the (Imami) mazhab does not negate reliability, as is self-evident. Similarly, idtirab in hadith. This is because idtirab does not mean he is from those that fabricate hadith and lies such that the criticism is levelled at the actual person and it reveals his weakness. Rather it is a criticism of his ahadith and the fact that they are not correct. And they are not all of the same type; at times, a hadith is narrated from a Thiqah, and other times, from a weak person. Unacceptable and other types of reports can also be narrated. Therefore, his ahadith are not all of the same type. In summary, this statement does not necessitate a criticism against the individual’s reliability such that the tawthiq conflicts with it—the tawthiq which is gained from the fact that he appears in the asanid of Kamil al Ziyarat.[102]

 

NEXT⇒ 5.5 Miscellaneous principles in al jarh wa al ta’dil between al Hilli and al Khu’i


[1] Al Hurr al ‘Amili: Wasa’il al Shia, 30/208.

[2] Al Fadl ibn al Hassan al Tabarsi: I’lam al Wara bi A’lam al Huda, 2:200.

[3] Hadi al Najafi: Mawsu’at Ahadith Ahlul Bayt, 1/10, introduction.

[4] The Imamiyyah have a lengthy discussion on these Usul that they claim exist. Similarly, they unnecessarily differ in the different distinctions they make between the Usul and the Kitab. For more information, see Muhammad Rida Jadidi’s Mujam Mustalahat al Rijal wa al Dirayah, p. 23. He summarizes for us the opinions of the Imami scholars in this regard. Also see al Kalbasi’s al Rasa’il al Rijaliyyah, 4/112; Jafar al Subhani’s Kulliyyat fi ‘Ilm al Rijal, p. 474; al Karbasi’s Iklil al Manhaj, p. 48; al Kajuri’s al Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah, p. 99; and al Mulla ‘Ali Kani’s Tawdih al Maqal, p. 229. 

[5] Al Tusi: al Fihrist, p. 29.

[6] Jafar al Subhani: Kulliyyat fi ‘Ilm al Rijal, p. 485.

[7] Al Khomeini: Kitab al Taharah, Tahqiq al murad min al asl, 3/268.

[8] ‘Ali Kani: Tawdih al Maqal fi ‘Ilm al Rijal, p. 235. Al Kalbasi did an excellent job in analysing the issue in al Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah, 4/117.

[9] Al Tusi: al Fihrist, p. 43, no. 52.

[10] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 318, no. 1244,  section two.

[11] Al Tusi: al Fihrist, p. 79, no. 176.

[12] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 337, no. 1330, section two.

[13] Al Tusi: al Fihrist, p. 102, no. 305.

[14] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 348, no. 1378.

[15] Al Khu’i: Kitab al Salah, 2/14, Ikhtisas al butlan bi surat al ‘ilm wa al ‘amad.

[16] In Rijal al Najjashi, p. 32, no. 71.

[17] Al Fihrist, p. 42, no. 49. Al Tusi provided a biography of him in Rijal al Tusi, p. 124, no. 1246 saying, “Reliable. Praiseworthy. He has Usul (pl. of asl). Safwan ibn Yahya narrated them from him.” This text further proves that the Imamiyyah generally refer to an asl as a kitab and, a kitab as an asl, at times. This is because he mentioned in al Fihrist that he “has a kitab.” Al Khu’i debated the statement mentioned by al Tusi in al Rijal about Isma’il ibn Jabir. He believes that the person in Rijal al Tusi is somebody else, different to the person he offered a biography of in al Fihrist.

[18] Al Khu’i: Kitab al Salah, 2/272, Ma Yuqal badalan ‘an al adhan fi sayir al salawat al wajibah.

[19] Rijal al Tusi, p. 124, no. 1246.

[20] Muhammad al Jawahiri: al Mufid min Mujam Rijal al Hadith, p. 17.

[21] Ibid., p. 139.

[22] Ibid., p. 162.

[23] Ibid., p. 8.

[24] Ibid., p. 24. There is a clear indication from his words that a kitab refers to an asl.

[25] Ibid., p. 29.

[26] Mahdi al Kajuri: al Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah, p. 105.

[27] Al Namazi al Shaharudi: Mustadrakat ‘Ilm al Rijal, 1/59.

[28] Al Hurr al ‘Amili: Wasa’il al Shia, 30/289.

[29] Al Nuri al Tabarsi: Khatimat Mustadrak al Wasa’il, 5/224.

[30] As in the biography of Ibrahim ibn Nusayr (p. 63, section one) and Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib al Shaybani (p. 397, no. 1601,  section two).

[31] ‘Ali al Burujirdi: Tara’if al Maqal, 2/261.

[32] Muhammad Hassan al Najafi al Jawahiri: Jawahir al Kalam fi Sharh Shara’i’ al Islam, 1/8.

[33] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 49, no. 9.

[34] These are the first three narrations in the book, Ikhtiyar Ma’rifat al Rijal (Rijal al Kashshi) of al Tusi (p. 3).

[35] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 1/74.

[36] Ibid., 14/33, no. 8738.

[37] Al Najjashi did not offer a biography on him; rather, he mentioned him under the biography of Jabir ibn Yazid al Ju’fi when he stated, “A number of people narrated from him who have been criticized and deemed weak, including ‘Amr ibn Shimr and Mufaddal ibn Salih…” (p. 128, no. 332).

[38] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 19/312, no. 12607.

[39] Ibid., 9/356, no. 5639.

[40] Al Khaqani: Rijal al Khaqani, p. 181.

[41] Al Wahid al Bahbahani: Fawa’id al Wahid ‘ala Manhaj al Maqal (al Ta’liqah), 1/145.

[42] Ibid., 1/146. See also: al Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah of al Kajuri, p. 106; Usul al Hadith wa Ahkamuhu fi ‘Ilm al Dirayah of al Subhani wherein he dedicated an entire chapter entitled “Riwayat al ajilla’ ‘an al rawi al majhul (The narration of great people from an unknown narrator), p. 179. Al Ayrawani disputed the issue in his work, Durus Tamhidiyyah fi al Qawa’id al Rijaliyyah under the discussion “Riwayat al thiqah”, p. 154. See also: Tawdih al Maqal of al Mulla Kani, p. 207; Manhaj al Maqal of Abu ‘Ali al Ha’iri, 1/523 under “al Mawarid al mustathna min afdaliyyat al ta’jil”.

[43] Al Khu’i: Kitab al Salah, 1/523, al Mawarid al mustathna min afdaliyyat al ta’jil.

[44] Ibid., 8/288, no. 4702.

[45] Ibid., 17/170, no. 10938.

[46] Ibid., 4/352, no. 2054.

[47] Al Tustari: Qamus al Rijal, 1/73.

[48] ‘Abdul Hadi al Fadli: Usul ‘Ilm al Hadith, p. 147.

[49] Baqir al Ayrawani: Durus Tamhidiyyah fi al Qawa’id al Rijaliyyah, p. 158. See: Usul al Hadith wa Ahkamuhu of Jafar al Subhani. He speaks on the meaning of sheikh al ijazah in a formidable manner.

[50] Al Wahid al Bahbahani states, “What is known is that it is considered from the reasons of uprightness (of a narrator).” (Fawa’id al Wahid ‘ala Manhaj al Maqal al Ta’liqah, 1/141). Al Khu’i states, “It is famously-known that the scholars of authorization do not require tawthiq (to be made of them)” (al Mujam, 1/72).

[51] Jafar al Subhani: Kulliyyat fi ‘Ilm al Rijal, p. 353. He has a lengthy discussion on the topic that can be referred to.

[52] Al Hassan ibn Zayn al Din al Shahid (the author of al Ma’alim): Muntaqa al Jamman fi al Ahadith al Sihah wa al Hisan, 1/39, no. 9. He attempted to justify not mentioning them and made excuses for it. Muhammad al Sanad attempted to justify the fact that there is no mention of them in the books of narrator evaluation by claiming it is not necessary to mention every single reliable narrator therein, also that the door of ijtihad on narrators is not closed, and other similar statements. See his book: Buhuth fi Mabani ‘Ilm al Rijal, p. 159.

[53] Al Bahrani: al Hada’iq al Nadirah, 1/23.

[54] Muhsin al Amin: A’yan al Shia, 3/157.

[55] Muhammad Baqir al Majlisi: Maladhdh al Akhyar, 1/37, hadith no. 1, under the chapter “al Ahdath al mujibah li al taharah.

[56] Al Hurr al ‘Amili: Wasa’il al Shia, 30/258, no. 9:10.

[57] Abu al Ma’ali al Kalbasi: al Rasa’il al Rijaliyyah, 1/343.

[58] Abu al Ma’ali al Kalbasi has provided a detailed analysis of this difference of opinion in al Rasa’il al Rijaliyyah (3/292 and 4/140). See also: Usul ‘Ilm al Rijal of ‘Abdul Hadi al Fadli, p. 149.

[59] Al Khu’i: Kitab al Hajj, 4/270, “Kaffarat qal’ al shajarh”.

[60] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 3:121 (no. 932).

[61] Al Khu’i: Kitab al Sawm, 1/291, “al Iftar ‘ala muharram kaffarat al jam’”.

[62] The two are ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Qutaybah and ‘Abdul Wahid ibn ‘Abdus.

[63] Before this, al Khu’i contested the issue of al Saduq’s supplication of mercy on a narrator and the statements of tawthiq of the latter-day scholars. According to him, both of these issues do not prove tawthiq. This is what al Khu’i means by “like its two predecessors,” i.e., there is no indication therein of tawthiq.

[64] He is Ahmed ibn al Hussain ibn Abi ‘Ubaid al Dabbi. See: Mujam al Khu’i, 2/99, no. 514.

[65] Al Khu’i: Kitab al Salah, 1:69 (“Suqut nafilah al zuhrayn fi al safar”).

[66] It is al Khu’i, as will be seen later on. Hassan al Sadr claimed that he understood from it something that no one else before him ever understood. He states, “There is a difference of opinion on the meaning of this statement and they mention many different opinions on it. However, what appears more likely to me in terms of its meaning is something that I have yet to see anyone else besides me mention. The explanation requires several preliminary remarks. Firstly, this statement is only to be found in Rijal al Sheikh and no other books of his nor of our companions. Furthermore, it is only found in the chapter “Rijal al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam” in Rijal al Sheikh and no other chapters on the narrators of the remaining infallibles ‘alayhim al Salam.” He mentioned this in his book, Nihayat al Dirayah (p. 401). We should know that Hassan al Sadr is mistaken in what he concluded and, accordingly, built upon an incorrect principle. The claim that al Tusi only mentioned this statement under the narrators of Jafar al Sadiq is incorrect, as it will soon be seen. Rather, it also appears in relation to companions other than al Sadiq’s.

[67] Muhammad Rida al Hussaini: al Mustalah al Rijali Asnada ‘anhu, (research paper in Majallat Turathina), 3/98.

[68] Abu al Ma’ali al Kalbasi mentioned ten explanations from Imami scholars in al Rasa’il al Rijaliyyah (3/367) regarding this term.

[69] Muhammad Rida al Hussaini: al Mustalah al Rijali “Asnada ‘Anhu (research paper disseminated in Majallat Turathina, 3/104).

[70] From those who consider the statement “asnada ‘anhu’ as a form of praise or tawthiq of a narrator is: al Nuri al Tabarsi in Khatimat al Mustadrak, 1/87 and 4/14; al Jilani al Rashti in Risalah fi ‘Ilm al Dirayah (printed among Rasa’il fi Dirayat al Hadith of Hafizyan al Babili, 2/311); ‘Abdur Razzaq al Ha’iri al Asfahani in al Wajizah fi ‘Ilm Dirayat al Hadith (also printed in Rasa’il fi Dirayat al Hadith, p. 561); al Mulla ‘Ali Kani in Tawdih al Maqal (p. 203); al Wahid al Bahbahani in al Ta’liqah ‘ala Manhaj al Maqal (1/113). Muslim al Dawari narrated from al Muhaqqiq al Qummi, Muhammad ibn Hassan al Jilani (as it appears in Mujam al Rumuz wa al Isharat, p. 294), Muhammad Baqir al Sabzawari, and al Majlisi that it is an indication of praise or tawthiq (Usul ‘Ilm al Rijal bayna al Nazariyyah wa al Tatbiq, 2/323).

[71] Muhammad Rida al Hussaini: al Mustalah al Rijali “Asnada ‘Anhu” (research paper disseminated in Majallat Turathina, 3/142).

[72] Al Khulasah, p. 48, no. 6, section one; Rijal al Tusi, p. 155, no. 1720.

[73] Ibid., p. 51, no. 16, section one; Rijal al Tusi, p. 157, no. 1751.

[74] Ibid., p. 318, no. 1247, section two; Rijal al Tusi, p. 161, no. 1833.

[75] Biography numbers 806, 807, 1531, 1580, and 1685. These are the biographies I came across.

[76] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 1/101.

[77] Ibid., 15/52, no. 9565.

[78] Ibid., 5/17652, no. 2503. Also see 7/220, no. 3951, biography of Hammad ibn Shu’ayb.

[79] Muhammad Rida Jadidi: Mujam Mustalahat al Rijal wa al Dirayah, p. 151.

[80] Abu al Ma’ali al Kalbasi: al Rasa’il al Rijaliyyah, 3/386, under “Ma’na al takhlit wa al ikhtilat”.

[81] Muhammad Jafar al Karbasi: Iklil al Manhaj fi Tahqiq al Matlab, p. 134.

[82] Muhammad Taqi al Tustari: Qamus al Rijal, 12/478.

[83] See: Mujam Mustalahat al Rijal wa al Dirayah of Muhammad Rida Jadidi, p. 151.

[84] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 369, no. 1456.

[85] Al Tusi: Ikhtiyar Ma’rifat al Rijal (Rijal al Kashshi), p. 38, no. 78.

[86] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 381, no. 1528. Al Tusi referred to him as “mukhallat” in Rijal al Tusi, p. 75 no. 721.

[87] Qamus al Rijal, 7/203.

[88] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 354, no. 1399. This proves the mistake of ‘Abdul Hussain al Shabastari who described Salamah ibn Salih as, “Muhaddath. Imami. Mukhtalat” (al Fa’iq fi Ruwat wa Ashab al Imam al Sadiq, 2/73). Al Tustari was correct in his statement, “We have not come across anything about him in our reports. Him being an ‘Ammi is not farfetched.” It is for this reason al Hilli placed him in the second section, because he is not an Imami.

[89] Qamus al Rijal. 5/216.

[90] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 318, no. 1248; Ibn al Ghada’iri: al Rijal, p. 41, no. 14.

[91] This is Sheikh al Tusi, as mentioned in Rijal al Tusi, p. 434, no. 6217.

[92] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 12/282, no. 7931.

[93] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 21/89, no. 13599.

[94] Ibid., 16/191, no. 10439.

[95] Tafsir ‘Ali Ibn Ibrahim al Qummi, 2/130, Surah al Rum: 30.

[96] Ibid., 2:226 (Surah Ghafir, v. 12).

[97] Ibid., 2:240 (Surah al Shura, v. 1-2).

[98] Ibid., 2:365 (Surah al Mulk, v. 30).

[99] Ibn al Ghada’iri: Rijal Ibn al Ghada’iri, p. 92, no. 131.

[100] For more information, see: Ma’rifat al Hadith of al Bahbudi, p. 130-214; Rijal al Khaqani, p. 314; Tara’if al Maqal of al Burujirdi, 2/270); Tawdih al Maqal of Mulla Kani, p. 212; Iklil al Manhaj of al Karbasi, p. 398; Mujam al Khu’i, 16/67 and 4/344; al Rasa’il al Rijaliyyah of al Kalbasi, 3/393; al Du’afa’ min Rijal al Hadith of Hussain al Sa’idi, 2/371; Muntaha al Maqal of Abu ‘Ali al Ha’iri, 4/341.

[101] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 12/159, no. 7701.

[102] Al Khu’i: Kitab al Salah, 5/222. “Hukm ma law kanat ‘alayhi fawa’it ayyam wa fatat minhu salat dhalik al yawm”.

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