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

5.6 Principles of al jarh wa al ta’dil established by al Khu’i
April 6, 2022
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April 7, 2022

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Al Khu’i states:


أما كون روايته يفتي بها فهو على تقدير تسليمه لا يدل على وثاقة الراوي كما هو ظاهر

As for his narration being used to pass a legal ruling, it is—assuming it is accepted—not indicative, evidently, of the narrator’s reliability.[1]


2. Is the narrator’s expertise in (the art of) debating and argumentation advantageous to him such that his tawthiq and uprightness is established because of it?

Al Khu’i states:


لا ملازمة بين أن يكون الرجل قويا في الجدل و المناظرة وأن يكون ثقة في أقواله

There is no necessary correlation between the narrator possessing proficiency in (the art of) debating and argumentation and him being reliable in his statements.[2]


3. Is the fact that a notable scholar narrated from a person indicative of his tawthiq?

Al Khu’i states:


مر غير مرة أن رواية الأعاظم عن شخص لا تدل على وثاقته ولا على عدالته

It has already been mentioned on more than one occasion that the fact of a notable scholar narrating from a person neither indicates the latter’s reliability nor his ‘adalah.[3]


4. When an infallible says to a narrator, “Your opinion is in conformity with the Sunnah,” does it imply his tawthiq?

Al Khu’i states:


هذا لا يدل على شيء من الوثاقة أو الحسن

This indicates to nothing of his reliability and uprightness.[4]


5. The position of al Khu’i regarding a narrator described with possessing a great deal of etiquette, virtue, knowledge, and an elevated standing

Al Khu’i states:


الرجل ضعيف لا يعتمد على روايته…ولا ينافي ذلك كثرة أدبه و فضله وعلمه وكبر منزلته فإن ذلك أمر و الوثاقة في الحديث أمر آخر

The narrator is weak. His narration is not to be relied upon… This does not negate the fact that he is very well-mannered, virtuous, knowledgeable, and of a high standing. This is one thing. And reliability in hadith is another.[5]


Regarding the narrator about whom it is said that he is “fadil (virtuous)”, al Khu’i states:


أن الفضل لا يعد مدحا في الراوي بما هو راو وإنما هو مدح للرجل في نفسه باعتبار اتصافه بالكمالات

Virtuousness is not regarded as praise of the narrator in what he narrates; rather, it is praise of the individual himself such that he is described with (qualities of) perfection.[6]


Under the biography of Khaythamah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman, al Khu’i states:


الرجل من الحسان لا لما ذكره العقيقي من أنه كان فاضلا فإنه لا يدل على الحسن على أن العقيقي لم تثبت وثاقته بل لما ذكره النجاشي من أن بسطاما كان وجها في أصحابنا وأبوه وعمومته فإن توصيف عمومة بسطام بذلك مدح يقرب من التوثيق، فإن كون رجل وجها في الأصحاب والرواة مرتبة عظيمة من الجلالة

The man (i.e., Khaythamah) is among the upright (narrators), not because of what al ‘Aqiqi mentioned in that he is virtuous; this does not indicate uprightness. Even still, al ‘Aqiqi did not verify his reliability. In fact, when al Najjashi mentioned him when he said that “Bistam was a prominent figure among our companions—as was his father and uncles[7],” then such a description of Bistam’s uncles is a form of praise that is close to tawthiq. A man being prominent among the companions and narrators is a great status.[8]


6. The position of al Khu’i regarding a reliable scholar transmitting words of criticism of a narrator without mentioning the critic’s name. For example, it is said of him that he is “accused of being weak,” and we do not know who accused him.

Under the biography of ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Hammad, al Najjashi states:


رمي بالضعف والغلو

He was accused of being weak and holding extreme views.[9]


Despite the fact that the person transmitting the criticism is al Najjashi (the most precise of men, by them), we find al Khu’i commenting:


وأما قول النجاشي رمي بالضعف والغلو فلم يظهر أنه أراد بذلك ابن الغضائري فإن النجاشي ممن يعتمد على قول ابن الغضائري وهو شيخه فلا وجه لعدم ذكر اسمه ونسبة الرمي إلى مجهول إذن لا يعتمد على الرمي المزبور لجهالته فالرجل المترجم لم يثبت ضعفه

As for al Najjashi’s statement, “He was accused of being weak and holding extreme views,” it is not clear that he intended (as the critic) Ibn al Ghada’iri thereby. This is because al Najjashi is among those who rely on the statements of Ibn al Ghada’iri—and he is his teacher. As such, there is no reason for not mentioning his name and attributing the accusation to an unknown person. Consequently, because the accusation against the narrator is from an unknown, it cannot be relied upon. Therefore, the weakness of the narrator in question is not proven.[10]


Of note, ‘Abdul Nabi al Kazimi states under the biography of ‘Abdur Rahman ibn al Hajj:


لم يرمه بالكيسانية أحد ممن علم بشخصه ونسبه إنما نقل ذلك النجاشي عمن هو غير معلوم فلا يتحقق بذلك

Nobody who has knowledge of him and his ancestry accused him of being from the Kaysaniyyah. Al Najjashi was the only one to narrate that from someone who is unknown. Therefore, it cannot be established as being true.[11]


7. Is the Imam’s making the narrator a messenger and his requesting the infallible for counsel indicative of his tawthiq?

Al Khu’i states:


إن شيئاً من ذلك لا يدل على الوثاقة إذ لا يعتبر في الرسول أن يكون موثوقا في جميع أخباره ولا دلالة في طلب الوصية على عدالة الرجل وجلالته

None of that is indicative of reliability since the messenger (i.e., of an Imam) is not considered reliable in all of his reports. And there is no indication in (his) seeking counsel of the person’s ‘adalah and loftiness.[12]


8. The significance of the scholars’ statement “maskun al riwayah” in the view of al Khu’i

Al Khu’i states:

مرادف للوثوق

Synonymous to wuthuq (reliability).[13]


9. Al Khu’i’s position on describing the narrator as “mustaqim”

Under the biography of Tahir ibn Hatim al Qazwini, al Khu’i states:


الكلام في روايته حال استقامته والظاهر أنها لا تقبل أيضا لعدم ثبوت وثاقته والاستقامة بمجردها لا تكفي في حجية الرواية

The discussion is regarding his narration while possessing istiqamah (uprightness). It appears that this, too, is not acceptable since his reliability is not proven. Istiqamah, or being upright itself is not sufficient in establishing authoritative value of a narration.[14]


Complete, by the grace of Allah.



[1] Ibid., 10/280, no. 6240.

[2] Ibid., 10/279, no. 6240.

[3] Ibid., 17/181, no. 10955.

[4] Ibid., 11/10, no. 6490.

[5] Ibid., 16/167-168, no. 10396.

[6] Ibid., 13/172, no. 8475.

[7] Khaythamah was the uncle of Bistam. [Translator’s note]

[8] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 8/86, no. 4357.

[9] Al Najjashi: Rijal al Najjashi, p. 238, no. 633.

[10] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 10/318, no. 6334. See also: Mustadrakat ‘Ilm al Rijal of al Shaharudi, 1/81 under the biography of Adam ibn Muhammad al Qalanisi, no. 7. Al Shaharudi commented on the statement of al Tusi, “He used to believe in tafwid (relegating meanings to Allah)” saying, “Al Sheikh narrated this in al Rijal. He did not specify who the person saying it is because such a person, and the saying is unknown.” (Rijal al Tusi, p. 406, Bab Man lam yarwi ‘an wahid min al A’immah, biography no. 5, no. 5924.

[11] ‘Abdul Nabi al Kazimi: Takmilat al Rijal, 2/32.

[12] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 14/112, no. 8928.

[13] Ibid., 16/134, no. 10325. See: Rijal al Najjashi, p. 394, no. 1052.

[14] Ibid., 10/171, no. 5999.