5.6 Principles of al jarh wa al ta’dil established by al Khu’i

5.5 Miscellaneous principles in al jarh wa al ta’dil between al Hilli and al Khu’i
April 6, 2022
5.7 Miscellaneous beneficial points related to al jarh wa al ta’dil touched on by al Khu’i
April 6, 2022

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5.6 Principles of al jarh wa al ta’dil established by al Khu’i

Throughout this research, I came across several principles relied upon by al Khu’i in his rulings on narrators. These principles represent various points of benefit related to al jarh wa al ta’dil. I have not found any explicit text of al Hilli on them. I have agreed for the most part in regards to these principles with the editor of Rijal al Tusi in the valuable introduction. This introduction represents research in which he mentions several opinions of al Khu’i related to the principles of narrator criticism. I will present them in the form of questions posed and responded to by al Khu’i.



1. Does al Saduq’s authentication of the narrator’s report imply his tawthiq?

This is similar to the issue of the earlier generation of scholars’ authentication of a narration: Does it also imply tawthiq of its narrators? In refuting the authentication of al Saduq of a narration that contains ‘Abdul Wahid ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdus in its chain, al Khu’i states:


كلام الصدوق لا يدل على توثيق عبدالواحد بل و لا على حسنه فإن تصحيح الصدوق خبره غايته أنه يدل على حجيته عنده لأصالة العدالة التي بنى عليها غير واحد أما التوثيق أو المدح فلا يستفاد من كلامه

The statement of al Saduq does not prove the tawthiq of ‘Abdul Wahid; in fact, it does not even prove his uprightness. This is because the most that can be said about al Saduq’s authentication of his report is that he is, according to him, an authoritative proof by virtue of the presumption of integrity—a principle which more than one scholar has built upon. As for tawthiq, or praise (of the narrator), this cannot be ascertained by his statement.[1]


2. Does al Khu’i make tawthiq of the narrator whom al Saduq has a chain for in Mashyakat al Faqih?

Al Khu’i states:


إن وجود طريق للصدوق إلى رجل لا يدل على مدحه

The existence of a chain (of narration) of al Saduq to a person does not indicate praise of him.[2]


Under the biography of Muhammad ibn Sahl ibn Ilyasa’, he states:


وأما حكم المجلسي بأنه ممدوح فالظاهر أنه من جهة أن للصدوق إليه طريقا وهو لا يدل على المدح

As for the ruling of al Majlisi that he is praiseworthy, it is apparently based on the fact that al Saduq has a chain of narration to him. This does not prove (the narrator’s) praiseworthiness.[3]


This is irrespective of whether or not al Saduq has an authentic or weak chain to the original person. Under the biography of Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Mutahhar, al Khu’i states:


لم يرد في الرجل توثيق ولا مدح وطريق الصدوق إليه وإن كان صحيحا إلا أنه لا يلازم وثاقة نفس الرجل

There is no mention of tawthiq or praise of the narrator. The chain of narration to al Saduq, even though it is authentic, it does not automatically assume the person is reliable.[4]


5.6.2What is the position of al Khu’i regarding the statement of al Mufid about the narrator that he has “virtue and well-known traits?”

Al Khu’i states:


لا يدل على الحسن فضلا عن الوثاقة

It is not indicative of his uprightness (i.e., as a narrator), let alone his reliability.[5]


1. When the scholars of the earlier generation authenticate the isnad of a narration, does this necessitate the tawthiq of its narrators?

‘Abdul Nabi al Kazimi:


الصحة عند القدماء بمعنى مضمونه ثابت بشواهد الاعتماد سواء كان من جهة عدالة السند أم لا فهي عندهم أعم من عدالة الراوي فالاعتماد لا يستلزم وثاقة رجاله إذ لعل صحة الخبر و لاعتماد عليه من جهة القرائن الخارجة عن السند

Authenticity, according to the earlier generation of scholars in its full meaning is established through relying on (different forms of) evidence, whether they are from the perspective of the sanad’s veracity or not. Thus, according to them, it is broader than just the ‘adalah of the narrator. Therefore, reliance (on the narration) does not necessitate reliability of its narrators since the report’s authenticity and reliance thereon can be based on circumstantial evidence that is outside of the sanad.[6]


Al Khu’i states:


إن تصحيح القدماء لرواية لا يدل على وثاقة الراوي ولا على حسنه

The authentication of the earlier generation of a narration neither indicates to the reliability of the narrator nor his uprightness.[7]


And he stated:


لا ملازمة بين الحكم بالصحة وبين التوثيق

There is no necessary correlation between a ruling of (a report’s) authenticity and tawthiq (of its narrators).[8]


In explaining this position, he states:


إن اعتماد ابن الوليد أو غيره من الأعلام المتقدمين فضلا عن المتأخرين على رواية شخص والحكم بصحتها لا يكشف عن وثاقة الراوي أو حسنه وذلك لاحتمال أن الحاكم بالصحة يعتمد على أصالة العدالة ويرى حجية كل رواية يرويها مؤمن لم يظهر منه فسق وهذا لا يفيد من يعتبر وثاقة الراوي أو حسنه في حجية خبره

Ibn al Walid or other earlier notables’ reliance on (in addition to the latter-day ones) the narration of a person and judging it to be authentic does not reveal the reliability of the narrator nor his uprightness. This is because it is possible the person judging the narration to be authentic relied on the (principle of) presumption of ‘adalah and regards every narration narrated by a believer who does not appear to be guilty of any outward sin as authoritative. This is of no benefit to the person who considers the reliability or uprightness of a narrator based on the authoritative value of his report.[9]


2. Does the reliance of the earlier generation of scholars on a narrator imply his tawthiq?

Al Khu’i states:


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

The reliance of the earlier generation of scholars on a person neither proves his reliability nor his uprightness.[10]


3. Al Najjashi and al Tusi narrating from a person; does this prove his tawthiq?

Al Khu’i states:


مجرد نقل النجاشي والشيخ [الطوسي] لا يدل على وثاقته

Al Najjashi and al Sheikh (al Tusi) merely narrating (from a person) does not prove his reliability.[11]


NEXT⇒ 5.7 Miscellaneous beneficial points related to al jarh wa al ta’dil touched on by al Khu’i

[1] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 12/24, no. 7369.

[2] Ibid., 10/100, no. 5886. See, as well: p. 38, no. 5749 and 12/245, no. 7846.

[3] Ibid., 17/181, no. 10955. See, also: 19/361, no. 12676.

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

[5] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 11/377, no. 7192.

[6] ‘Abdul Nabi al Kazimi: Takmilat al Rijal, 2/125.

[7] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 4/96, no. 1439.

[8] Ibid., 16/99, no. 10264.

[9] Ibid., 1/70.

[10] Ibid., 4/353, no. 2054.

[11] Ibid. 16/72, no. 10221.