Chapter Three – The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding the narrations of their adversaries in creed (the people of heresy—in their view) and those who are wanting in integrity (‘adalah)

Foreword by Molana Muhammad Taha Karaan (Allah’s mercy be upon him)
February 7, 2022
3.1 The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding their intra-creedal adversaries from the Imamiyyah Shia
February 9, 2022

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Chapter Three

The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding the narrations of their adversaries in creed (the people of heresy—in their view) and those who are wanting in integrity (‘adalah)

 

3.1 The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding their intra-creedal adversaries from the Imamiyyah Shia

3.2 The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding their intra-creedal adversaries from the non-Imami Shia

3.3 The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding non-Shia narrators

3.4 The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding non-Muslim narrators

3.5 The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding narrators wanting in ‘adalah

 

3.0 The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding the narrations of their adversaries in creed (the people of heresy, in their view), and those who are wanting in ‘adalah

 

In general, the science of al jarh wa al ta’dil is, according to al Hilli, closely tied together with issues pertaining to creed. As a result, the narrator criticized is, according to him, he who differs with him in creed. And this is the line of thinking that al Hilli liked for himself; he placed most of the narrators who differ with him (in creed) in the second category of his book, and he placed most of the Imami narrators—those who have are not known to have statements of jarh or tawthiq (in their favour or against them)—in the first category. This is based on what is referred to as asalat al ‘adalah, or the presumption of an Imami narrator’s integrity.

On the other hand, we find al Khu’i disagreeing with what al Hilli believed; the belief of the narrator has no impact on accepting or rejecting his narration. We can see their difference of opinion manifest in the words of al Khu’i who summarized al Hilli’s methodology saying:

 

أما تصحيح العلامة [الحلِّي] فلما ظهر لنا بعد التتبع في كلماته من أنه كان يصحح رواية كل شيعي لم يرد فيه قدح….. [ثم ساق أمثلة ثم قال]…. نعم فيمن ادعي الاجماع على قبول روايته يعمل برواياته من جهة الاجماع، وإن لم يكن شيعيا، والحاصل أنه [الحلِّي] يرى أصالة العدالة ويرى أن الشرط المعتبر في الراوي هو العدالة دون الوثوق، ومن هنا يصحح رواية كل شيعي لم يظهر منه فسق، ولا يعتمد على رواية غير الشيعي وإن كان ثقة وثقه الشيخ أو النجاشي أو هو نفسه (قده)….. وحيث أن الرجلين في محل الكلام شيعيان ولم يظهر منهما فسق فروايتهما مصححة عند العلامة [الحلِّي] وعلى مسلكه، ومثل هذا التصحيح كيف يفيد غيره ممن يعتبرون الوثاقة في الراوي ولا يكتفون بأصالة العدالة حيث لا يجدون أي توثيق لهما في الرجال

As for al ‘Allamah (al Hilli’s) statements of authentication, since it appears to us—after studying his words—that he would authenticate the narration of every Shia who has no criticism levelled against him… (then he cited several examples and said) Yes, we act upon the narrations of a person whom there is a consensus about regarding the acceptance of their narrations, even though they may not be a Shia. However, this is from the perspective of consensus (ijma’). In summary, he (al Hilli) considers the presumption of (an Imami narrator’s) integrity, and the (only) condition that he considers in the narrator is ‘adalah, not reliability. From here, he authenticates the narration of every Shia who appears to have no (outward) fisq (sin). And he does not rely on the narration of a non-Shia, even though he may be reliable[1] based on the tawthiq of al Sheikh, or al Najjashi, or even himself… And since the two men under discussion are Shia, and they appear to have no outward sin, their narration is authentic, according to al ‘Allamah (al Hilli) and his methodology. How can the likes of this authentication be of benefit to other than him (i.e., al Hilli), such as those who take into consideration the reliability of the narrator (in accepting or rejecting his narration) and are not satisfied with merely the condition of asalat al ‘adalah, (especially) since they do not find any statement of tawthiq for the two in the (books of) narrator criticism?[2]

 

Whoever contemplates on al Khu’i’s words will arrive at a number of conclusions, the most important of them being:

  • Al Khu’i’s lack of reliance on the statements of tawthiq of al Hilli since they are based on his personal discretion, and
  • Al Khu’i considers “‘adalah the (only) condition to be considered in the narrator, not his reliability.”

 

Al Khu’i takes into consideration the complete opposite of this. Under the biography of Ismail al Sha’iri, he states:

 

ذكره العلامة في الخلاصة: في القسم الثاني… وقال ” كان عاميا”….. وصرح بذلك الشيخ [الطوسي] في العدة: عند البحث عن حجية الخبر عند تعارضه، ولكنه مع ذلك، ذكر أن الأصحاب عملت برواياته، ويظهر منه [أي الطوسي] أن ما يعتبر في العمل بالرواية إنما هو الوثاقة لا العدالة، وأن فسق الجوارح والمخالفة في الاعتقاد لا يضر بحجية الخبر…. فمراده – قدس سره – من الاستشهاد بالرواية إنما هو جواز العمل بأخبار العامة إذا كان موثوقا بهم، وعدم اعتبار العدالة في حجية خبر الواحد. وقد عد الرجل ممن هو متحرج في روايته وموثوق به في أمانته وإن كان مخطئا في أصل الاعتقاد. وعليه كانت رواياته حجة، على ما نراه من عدم اعتبار العدالة في الحجية.

Al ‘Allamah mentioned him in al Khulasah: under the second category… and he said, ‘He was an ‘ammi (i.e., a Sunni) …’ This was stated by al Sheikh (al Tusi) in al ‘Uddah[3] under the section pertaining to the authoritative value of a report when it is conflicting. However, despite this, he mentioned that the companions acted on his narrations. It appears from him (i.e., al Tusi) that he considers wathaqah (reliability) and not ‘adalah (integrity) when acting (or not acting) on a narration, and that a sin of the body parts and a difference in creed does not negatively affect the authoritative value of a report… And so, what he means by citing the narration is that it is permissible to act on the reports of the ‘Ammah (Sunnis) when he deems them reliable and that ‘adalah is not considered (i.e., as a condition) in determining the fact that the khabr al wahid (isolated report) holds authoritative value. He is counted among those who is disappointing in his narration and reliable in terms of his integrity, even though he is mistaken in relation to the foundation of his creed. Based on this, his narrations are a binding proof—according to what we see in terms of not considering the condition of ‘adalah (i.e., in a narrator) in determining the authoritative value (of a khabr wahid).[4]

 

While the methodology of al Hilli is that “‘adalah is the (only) condition to be considered in the narrator, not (his) reliability,” we find al Khu’i (on the other hand) saying: “According to what we see in terms of not considering (the condition of) ‘adalah (i.e., in a narrator) in determining the authoritative value (of a khabr wahid).”

According to al Khu’i, a non-Imami is not considered as possessing of ‘adalah; however, despite this, we find him relying on him if he trusts him. For this reason, we find him saying:

 

ذكرنا أنه لا يعتبر في حجية الخبر العدالة، ولهذا نعتمد على توثيقات أمثال ابن عقدة وابن فضَّال وأمثالهما

We have mentioned that (the condition of) ‘adalah is not taken into consideration in determining the authoritative value of the khabr. It is for this reason we rely on the statements of tawthiq from the likes of Ibn ‘Uqdah, Ibn Faddal, and others.[5]

 

This is because Ibn ‘Uqdah is a Zaidi in mazhab and Ibn Faddal is a Fathi. A conflict in the (creedal) school of thought is regarded as a form of criticism on the narrator’s ‘adalah. Based on this, draw an analogy on all of the (other) people of heresy—in their view.[6]

 

NEXT⇒ 3.1 The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding their intra-creedal adversaries from the Imamiyyah Shia


[1] In confirming this, Hussain al Sa’idi states, “The methodology of al ‘Allamah (al Hilli) assumes that the narration of someone who subscribes to a false school (of belief) is not accepted, and that judgement regarding it should be suspended, even if there is a statement of tawthiq (of the narrator)” (al Du’afa’ min Rijal al Hadith, 1/97).

[2] Al Khu’i: Kitab al Salah, 1/73 (commentary). He stated this under “Suqut Nafilat al Zuhrayn fi al Safar”. See, as well: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 2/57, no. 441, under the biography of Ahmed ibn Ismail ibn ‘Abdullah.

[3] He is referring to ‘Uddat al Usul or al ‘Uddah fi Usul al Fiqh of al Tusi.

[4] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 4/22, biography no. 9128 of Ismail ibn Abi Rafi’ al Sha’iri.

[5] Ibid., 1/41.

[6] For more on the ruling of the narrations of the people of heresy in the view of the Imamiyyah, see: Kitab al Du’afa’ min Rijal al Hadith of Hussain al Sa’idi, 1/80.

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