Exaggeration of Shi`i narrators

Scrutiny of Shi`ah Narrators Part 1
December 9, 2015
The Allegations Made by `Abd al-Husayn Sharf al-Din al-Musawi
December 9, 2015

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Exaggeration of Shia narrators


Aban ibn Taghlib

The well-known Shia scholar, Abu al ‘Abbas al Najashi, who is regarded as an expert in the field of scrutiny of narrators, reports in his famous book Rijal al Najashi that Aban ibn Taghlib narrated thirty thousand ahadith from Imam Jafar.[1]

In fact, the author himself (‘Abdul Hussain) narrates this in his fabricated book in the name of the Sheikh of al Azhar entitled: Al Muraja’at.[2] He writes in Al Muraja’at:


فمنهم أبو سعيد أبان بن تغلب رباح الجريري القارىء الفقيه المحدث المفسر الأصولي اللغوي المشهور،كان من أوثق الناس ، لقى الأئمة الثلاثة فروى عنهم علوماً جمة و أحاديث كثيرة ، وحسبك أنه روى عن الصادق خاصة ثلاثين ألف حديث!! كما أخرجه الميرزا محمد في ترجمة أبان من كتاب منتهى المقال بالإسناد إلى أبان بن عثمان عن الصادق

Amongst them is Abu Sa’id Aban ibn Taghlib Rabah al Jariri al Qari al Faqih al Muhaddith al Mufassir al Usuli al Lughawi. He was the most reliable of people; he met three Imams and narrated from them abundant knowledge and numerous ahadith. It is sufficient for you that he narrated thirty thousand ahadith from al Sadiq alone, as has been reported by Mirza Muhammad under the biography of Aban in his book, Muntaha al Maqal, with a chain of narrations to Aban ibn ‘Uthman from al Sadiq.[3]


‘Abdul Hussain says:

قال الصادق لأبان بن عثمان: إن أبان بن تغلب روى عني ثلاثين ألف حديث فاروها عني

Jafar al Sadiq said to Aban ibn ‘Uthman, “Verily Aban ibn Taghlib has narrated thirty thousand ahadith from me, you too report them from me.”[4]


In fact, the majority of the ‘reliable’ Shia narrators narrate this amount of ahadith and even more.


Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn Rabah

One of the most relied upon scholars by the Shia in the scrutiny of narrators, al Kashshi, mentions about one of their narrators by the name of Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn Rabah:


سأل الباقر عن ثلاثين ألف حديث و سأل الصادق عن ستة عشر ألف حديث

He asked al Baqir about thirty thousand ahadith and asked al Sadiq about sixteen thousand ahadith.[5]


Jabir ibn Yazid al Ju’fi

Amongst the excessive exaggerators is Jabir ibn Yazid al Ju’fi, in whose chest the abundant narrations from the ‘infallibles’ raged until it drove him mad, he would then go to the cemetery and ‘bury’ his ahadith.

Al Kashshi has reported from Jabir al Ju’fi:


حدثني أبو جعفر (ع) بسبعين ألف حديث لم أحدث بها أحداً قط ولا أحدث بها أحد أبدا ، قال جابر فقلت لأبي جعفر (ع) جعلت فداك أنك قد حملتني وقراً عظيماً بما حدثتني به من سرّكم!! الذي لا أحدث به أحداً!! ، فربما جاش في صدري حتى يأخذني منه الجنون !! قال يا جابر فإذا كان ذلك فاخرج إلى الجبانة فاحفر حفيرة ودل رأسك ثم قل حدثني محمد بن علي بكذا وكذا

Imam al Baqir narrated seventy thousand ahadith to me, which I had not narrated to anyone else before nor will I narrate to anyone in the future.

I said to Imam al Baqir, “May I be sacrificed for you! You have placed upon me a heavy burden by narrating to me from your secrets, such narrations which I will not narrate to anyone. Many a time these narrations rage within my chest until it drives me mad.”

Imam al Baqir replied, “O Jabir! When that happens go to the cemetery and dig a hole, lower your head (in it) and then say Muhammad ibn ‘Ali narrated this and this to me.”[6]


Al Kashshi has reported with his chain of narration from Jabir al Ju’fi:


رويت خمسين ألف حديث ما سمعه أحد مني

I have narrated fifty thousand ahadith, which no other has heard but me.[7]


Al Hurr al ‘Amili reports in Khatimah al Wasaʼil that he narrates seventy thousand ahadith from Imam al Baqir and one hundred and forty thousand ahadith from Imam Jafar. He then states, “It is clear that no other person has narrated in a reliable manner from the Imams more than what has been narrated by Jabir.”[8]

These very same exaggerators were mentioned by ‘Abdul Hussain in his book entitled al Muraja’at, defending them from criticism and praising them. What exaggeration has Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu committed compared to these exaggerators?

As for the statement that the Sihah and Masanid of the Ahlus Sunnah being excessive in reporting from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, this is a lie and false accusation. We do not accept such an allegation nor will any fair-minded person accept it. This is truly a false accusation; their books are the ones filled with such excessiveness, by their own admission. He says in his book- al Muraja’at:


وأحسن ما جمع منها الكتب الأربعة التي هي مرجع الإمامية في أصولهم و فروعهم من الصدر الأول إلى هذا الزمان، وهي : الكافي، و التهذيب، والاستبصار، ومن لا يحضره الفقيه، وهي متواترة ومضامينها مقطوع بصحتها، والكافي أقدمها و أعظمها وأحسنها و أتقنها ، وفيه ستة عشر ألف و مئة وتسعة وتسعون حديثا، وهي أكثر مما اشتملت عليه الصحاح الستة بأجمعها، كما صرح به الشهيد في الذكرى وغير واحد من الأعلام

The best of the books compiled in hadith are the four, which are references for the Imamiyyah in their primary and secondary matters, from the first generations until this era. They are: al Kafi, al Tahdhib, al Istibsar, Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih. They are mutawatir[9] and their contents unquestionably authentic. Al Kafi’ is the first, the most revered, most excellent and most reliable. It contains 16199 ahadith, which is more than all the narrations contained in the Sihah Sittah combined, as elaborated by Al Shahid in Al Dhikra as well as many other scholars.[10]


Read his words again, “Which is more than all the narrations contained in the Sihah Sittah combined”, O intelligent ones! Whose books have been excessive and exaggerated? The books of hadith of the Ahlus Sunnah; a hadith is only recorded therein after it has been carefully scrutinised and examined. A hadith is only recorded after careful scrutiny, examination, research and evaluation, the lives of its narrators closely inspected; their character and memory. A hadith is only accepted from a person after his credibility has been established. This scrutiny extends to both the chain of narration and the content of the narration, and not superficially but each narration is gauged in light of the Qur’an and Sunnah until one can determine with certainty that it is authentic. Amongst the scholars were those who gathered those narrations whose authenticity was disputed, studying it in detail; its nature, composition meaning and implication, until they were able to clarify the correct stance regarding it. The Sihah were compiled after deep research of both the chain of narration and the content of the narration itself. This is opposed to the books of the Shia; ‘Abdullah Fayyad says in his book al Ijazat al ‘Ilmiyyah ‘inda al Muslimin:


ويبدو أن عملية انتحال الأحاديث من قبل غلاة الشيعة القدامى ودسّها في كتب الشيعة المعتدلين لم تنته بمقتل المغيرة بن سعيد (سنة 119هـ)… بل نجد إشارة للعملية نفسها تعود إلى مطلع القرن الثالث الهجري ولعل ذلك ما يدل على عمق حركة الغلو من جهة واستمراريتها من جهة أخرى

It is apparent that the practice of transmitting hadith by the early extremist Shia and concealing them in the books of the level-minded Shia did not end with the execution of Mughirah ibn Sa’id[11] (119 A.H) but we find an indication of this very practice returning in the third century after hijrah. Perhaps this indicates the depth of the exaggeratory movement and its continuation…


‘Abdullah Fayyad also says:


ومن الجدير بالذكر أنه لم تجر عملية تهذيب وتشذيب شاملة لكتب الحديث عند الشيعة الإمامية على غرار العملية التي أجراها المحدثون عند أهل السنة والتي تمخض عنها ظهور الصحاح الستة المعروفة ونتج عن فقدان عملية التهذيب لكتب الحديث عند الشيعة الأمامية مهمتان هما :

أولاً: بقاء الأحاديث الضعيفة بجانب الأحاديث المعتبرة في بعض المجموعات الحديثية عندهم .

ثـانيـاً : تسرب أحاديث غلاة الشيعة إلى بعض كتب الحديث عند الشيعة وقد تنبه أئمة الشيعة الإمامية وعلمائهم إلى الأخطار المذكورة وحاولوا خنقها في مهدها ولكن نجاحهم لم يكن كاملا نتيجة لعدم قيام تهذيب شاملة لكتب الحديث

Also worthy of mentioning is that the practice of scrutiny and examination is not found in the Shia books of hadith as is found to be the stringent practice of the Muhaddithin of the Ahlus Sunnah, which culminated in the compilation of the al Sihah al Sittah. The result of this scrutiny being absent from the hadith books of the Shia are two:

    1. Da’if ahadith remaining alongside reliable ahadith in most of their compilations of hadith.
    2. Continued narration of the ahadith reported by extremist Shia in the majority of the Shia compilations of hadith. The Imams of the Shia and their ‘Ulama’ have indicated this danger and attempted to contain it but their success was hindered on account of there being no system of scrutiny in their books of hadith.[12]


This is contrary to the hadith books of the Ahlus Sunnah, as has been hinted at by ‘Abdullah Fayyad, because they filtered their books from fabricated narrations such that they were able to compile all these fabricated narrations in various voluminous works. Hafiz al Juzajani (d. 543 A.H) was the first to compile all the fabricated ahadith in one book entitled al Abatil, followed by Hafiz Ibn al Jawzi (d. 597 A.H) who compiled a book entitled al Mawdu’at. Al Saghani al Laghwi (d. 650 A.H) then wrote two booklets in this regard and al Suyuti (910 A.H) wrote al Nukt al Badi’at, al Wajiz, al Laʼali al Masnu’ah, and al Ta’aqqubat. Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn ‘Ali al Shami (d. 942 A.H) later wrote al Fawaʼid al Majmu’ah fi Bayan al Ahadith al Mawdu’ah. ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Iraq (963 A.H) wrote Tanzih al Shari’ah al Marfu’ah ‘an al Akhbar al Shani’ah al Mawdu’ah. After him it was Muhammad ibn Tahir al Hindi (986 A.H) who wrote Tadhkirat al Mawdu’at and then Mulla ‘Ali Qari (1014 A.H) also wrote a book entitled Tadhkirat al Mawdu’at. Sheikh al Saffarini al Hanbali (1188 A.H) wrote a voluminous book on the same subject entitled al Durar al Masnu’at fi al Ahadith al Mawdu’at. Qadi al Shawkani (1250 A.H) wrote a book entitled al Fawaʼid al Majmu’ah fi al Ahadith al Mawdu’ah. Abu al Hassan Muhammad ibn Khalil (305 A.H) wrote al Luʼluʼ al Mawdu’ah, in which he said (regarding these fabrications), “It has no source” or “Its source is fabricated”. Muhammad ibn Bashir Zafir al Azhari (1325 A.H) has a book entitled Tahdhir al Muslimin min al Ahadith al Mawdu’ah ‘ala Sayed al Mursalin.

Similarly, here we have more books indicating the fabricated and false ahadith such as al Tadhkirah by Allamah al Maqdasi and al Mughni ‘an al Hifz wa al Kitab by ‘Umar ibn Badr al Mawsuli (543 A.H). He also has a book entitled al ‘Aqidah al Sahihah fi al Mawdu’at al Sarihah. In addition, there are a number of books highlighting the fabricated narrations (which may have crept into other books) such as Takhrij al Ahadith al Ihyaʼ of ‘Iraqi and the concise version, Maqasid al Hassanah fi al Ahadith al Daʼirah ‘ala al Alsinah by al Sakhawi. Hafiz Ibn al Qayyim has a book by the name of al Manar, which discusses the status of fabricated ahadith. Lastly, Sheikh al Albani wrote a massive compilation of fabricated ahadith which he entitled Silsilat al Ahadith al Mawdu’ah.

This is in direct contrast with the hadith books of the Shia, who have no such compilations. Instead we find fabricated narrations alongside the authentic; and to date no Shia has written a detailed book indicating the manner of identifying these fabricated narrations; disparaging the likes of al Mughirah and Abu al Khattab and the multitudes of narrations they are assumed to have narrated from the Ahlul Bayt. In fact, one look at al Kafi makes it known that it is in need of such scrutiny; such as the alleged narrations from the Ahlul Bayt which state that the Qur’an has been altered or that the Imams have knowledge of the unseen or that they receive revelation, that they know where they will die and many other ahadith of this nature. Is al Kulayni—the author of al Kafi—not amongst the extremist deviants, has he not stated that al Sadiq was of the opinion that that the Qur’an has been altered, such that he compiled a chapter in this regard wherein he reported numerous narrations from al Sadiq claiming the Qur’an is altered and that the verses were not revealed in this manner but in another manner according to their baseless beliefs?

It is because of these reasons that the Shia have not compiled a separate book of fabricated narrations, because they act upon them, because it is the creed of ‘Abdul Hussain, because their religion is based upon these fabricated narrations.

The renowned Shia scholar Hashim Ma’roof says in his book al Mawdu’at fi al Athar wa al Akhbar:


وبعد التتبع في الأحاديث المنتشرة في مجاميع الحديث كالكافي والوافي وغيرهما نجد الغلاة والحاقدين على الأئمة الهداة لم يتركوا باباً من الأبواب إلا ودخلوا منه لإفساد أحاديث الأئمة و الاساءة إلى سمعتهم وبالتالي رجعوا إلى القراّن الكريم لينفثوا سمومهم ودسائسهم لأنه الكلام الوحيد الذي يتحمل مالا يتحمله غيره ففسروا مئات الآيات بما يريدون وألصقوها بأئمة الهداة زورا وبهتاناً وتضليلا وألف علي بن حسان، وعمه عبدالرحمن بن كثير وعلي بن أبي حمزة البطائني كتبا في التفسير كلّها تخريف وتحريف وتضليل لا تنسجم مع اسلوب القرآن وبلاغته وأهدافه

After studying the ahadith collected in the compilations of hadith such al Kafi, al Wafi’, etc., we find the extremists and those bearing hatred for the Imams not leaving a single chapter of it except that they have included some narration in it, so as to ruin the ahadith of the Imams and blemish their reports. Subsequently, they turned their attention to the Noble Qur’an so as to inject their poison and deviation therein, as it (the Noble Qur’an) is the one book which carries such weight as no other. Thus, they provided interpretations for hundreds of verses according to their intentions and ascribed it to the Imams of guidance; falsely and slanderously. Hence, ‘Ali ibn Hassan and his uncle, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Kathir, as well as ‘Ali ibn Abi Hamzah al Bataʼini wrote commentaries (tafsir) on the Noble Qurʼan, all of which were distortions, alterations, and deviation, which have no relation to the style of the Qur’an, its eloquence and purpose.[13]


In light of this, we say to ‘Abdul Hussain: You have erred in your approach and concealed the path of truth; slandering all the Muslims that they do not know the value of the Sihah, whereas you were the one unaware of the true worth of your own (Shia) Sihah. However, the author did not mention this so as to cloak their methods from the eyes of the Muslims and cause them to doubt the books they rely upon. He intends for us to acknowledge what he says and sees, whereas we (the readers) do not know anything about his viewpoint. It is not possible for us to make a decision upon what he says until we study his viewpoint in detail, after which we will be able to pass verdict. As for us being the prey of his thoughts and notions, this has no relation to scholarly discourse. In light of this, it would have been more appropriate for the author (‘Abdul Hussain) to have begun with scrutinising and amending their (Shia) books of hadith, especially al Kafi, from the kufr it contains such as the narrations that the Qur’an has been altered, charging the Sahabah with kufr, cursing them, condemning the Ummahat al Mu’minin, and elevation of the Imams; as opposed to making the following statement:

الواجب تطهير الصحاح والمسانيد من كل ما لا يحتمله العقل من حديث أبي هريرة

What is compulsory is to purify the Sihah and Masanid from all the ahadith of Abu Hurairah which are illogical.


It would have been more appropriate for him to have begun with this purification of their own Shia books than casting doubts upon Allah and His Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He should have passed a verdict upon al Kafi, regarding which he rather said:

Al Kafi is the first, the most revered, most excellent and most reliable.


…since the Ahlus Sunnah have already carried out this ‘purification’ which became apparent in the form of the six famous books of hadith.

It would have been more appropriate for him to have occupied himself with this task as opposed to occupying himself with writing a book that creates division in the Ummah and drives a wedge through it[14], such as his book al Fusul al Muhimmah fi Ta’lif al Ummah (Imperative discourses for the contentment of the Ummah), which is more deserving of being entitled al Fusul al Muhimmah fi Tashtit al Ummah[15] (Imperative discourses for the splintering of the Ummah). As opposed to squandering his time with investigating and scrutinising the life of a Sahabi, whom the Ummah has agreed to be reliable on account of the approval of Allah and His Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he should have discussed the life of their Sheikh al Nuri al Tabarsi, who wrote a book attempting to prove that the Qur’an has been altered which he entitled al Fasl al Khitab fi Ithbat Tahrif Kitab Rabb al Arbab, wherein he quoted 1800 (Shia) narrations claiming the Qur’an to be altered. At the least it would have befitted him to write a refutation of his Sheikh[16] and declare him to be a kafir on account of disbelieving in the word of Allah, instead of him declaring Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be a kafir and of the dwellers of Jahannam, by relying upon fabricated narrations. Instead, he declared his Sheikh to be:

Sheikh of the Muhaddithin in his era and truthful in relaying narrations.


NEXT⇒ Scrutiny of Shia Narrators Part 1

[1]Rijal al Najashi, 1/78, 79; Khatimah Wasaʼil al Shia, 20/ 116.

[2]  Further discussion of this book will be mentioned later.

[3]Al Muraja’at, letter 110, pg. 722

[4]Al Muraja’at, pg. 722, also refer to Rijal al Najashi, pg. 9.

[5]Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 163; Khatimah al Wasaʼil, 20/343.

[6]Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 194.

[7]  Ibid.

[8]Khatimah al Wasaʼil, 20/ 151.

[9]  Mutawatir: A hadith which is reported by such a large number of people that it is inconceivable that they could have all agreed upon a lie.

[10]Al Muraja’at, letter 110, pg. 729.

[11]  Al Mamaqani has reported in the introduction of his book Tanqih al Maqal that Mughirah ibn Sa’id said, “I have concealed numerous narrations in their books, close to one hundred thousand ahadith.”

[12]Al Ijazah al ‘Ilmiyyah ‘inda al Muslimin, pg. 98.

[13] Al Mawdu’at fi al Athar wa al Akhbar, pg. 253.

[14]  The majority of books authored by ‘Abdul Hussain, such as the book we are refuting on Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu which reeks of prejudice, are sectarian in nature. More examples of such books are al Muraja’at, which was falsely ascribed to the Sheikh of al Azhar, his book al Nas wa al Ijtihad, which in addition to being a complete deception also condemns the first three khulafa’ and the Ummahat al Mu’minin, which we will highlight shortly. A few more sectarian books are Falsafah al Mithaq wa al Wilayah, al Majalis al Fakhirah fi Tafdil al Zahra, Hawl al Ruʼyah, al Nusus al Jalilah fi al Imamah, Tanzil al Ayat al Bahirah fi al Imamah, Sabil al Muʼminin fi al Imamah, al Asalib al Badi’ah fi Rujhan Matam al Shia and al Majalis al Fakhirah fi Matam al ‘Itrah al Tahirah.

[15]  He claims that this book is a source of contentment for the Ummah; in what manner? He intends for the Ahlus Sunnah to believe that the Sahabah only brought iman in the basic fundamentals of din so as to seek power—as they assume—and that they would submit to the injunctions of din only when it exclusively pertained to din and the akhirah, but those injunctions which were worldly related, they did not submit to them. This was why they (i.e. the majority of the Sahabah according to the Shia) reneged from the khalifah, who was verbally appointed by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He separated his argument into various sub-sections, attaching to it ahadith from the Ahlus Sunnah supporting his claim, followed by three ahadith from the Shia, none of which supports his claim, finally revealing his true purpose and standpoint in the final section after having deceived the readers in the previous sections, that the narrations of bringing iman in one Deity according to them means bringing iman in the wilayah of the Twelve Imams, as they are the door of partitioning; only those who enter are forgiven and bringing iman in them is one of the fundamentals of din. Thus, the purpose of ‘Abdul Hussain’s literary works is for Muslims to bring iman in the Twelve Imams and believe in cursing the Sahabah and disparaging them. It was with this purpose in mind that he sat out to pen a work dedicated specifically to this deviation, which he entitled al Nas wa al Ijtihad, wherein he mentioned examples of such curses while asserting that his view regarding the Sahabah is the most level opinion.

[16]  Al Nuri al Tabrasi is the sheikh (mentor) of ‘Abdul Hussain al Musawi as stated by himself in his book al Nas wa al Ijtihad, when discussing al Nuri (page 124). He says in the sub-notes:

Sheikh of the Muhaddithin in his era and truthful in relaying narrations. Our Sheikh and master, the most God-fearing, Mirza Hussain al Nuri, author of Mustadrak al Wasa’il.

However, he neglected to mention that he is also the author of al Fasl al Khitab fi Ithbat Tahrif Kitab Rabb al Arbab, which is dedicated to proving that alterations have taken place in the Qurʼan.