Establishing His True Creed.
I. The principle groups that accused him of Rafd
II. The principle reasons that led to the accusations and discussions of Rafd in relation to him.
III. Comparing his views with that of the Shia.
Imam al Tabari was tormented, just as other scholars of his era were, of being framed by accusations against their beliefs that were both bogus and false. Falsities were attributed to them, of which they had no association. These were based solely on maliciousness, fanaticism, and a coordinated attack by immoral degenerates. Imam at-Tabari was accused of Rafd by his enemies in order to smear his position, reputation, and reliability. This route of attack was adopted since the Shia Rawafid are a sect well known for their instability, being dominated by their carnal self, and falling wayward from the true Islamic creed.
It should be noted that Imam al Tabari was not the first of the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah to have been accused of Rafd and neither was he the last to endure such slanders. Many of the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah were slandered by such untruths such as Al Hakim, Al Daraqutni, and others.
This slander should be also considered in the context of the era wherein Imam al Tabari lived. An era that was dominated by ideological differences and political upheaval which resulted in smear campaigns of innovation being the order of the day. This was especially prevalent between contemporary scholars of that time who had scholastic differences.
All in all, we shall address the principle groups that slandered Imam al Tabari with the accusation of Rafd, followed by discussing and dissecting the reasons that led to the slander, and concluding with a comparison between his views and that of the Shia. Differences in views vast and irreconcilable will become clear leaving no doubt that the accusation levelled against him was nothing more than a lie.
Many groups have contributed to the accusation of Rafd levelled against Imam al Tabari; in the former and latter time periods. Amongst these, the most notable are:
The prejudice of some of the Hanabilah had an immense effect on the accusations of Rafd against Imam al Tabari. He faced violent attacks from a group of the Hanabilah who credited him with opinions contrary to that of the predecessors; eventually accusing him of Rafd. The factuality of this opposition is cemented by the exoneration of Imam al Tabari expressed by himself his work Sarih al Sunnah. His awareness of the fact that certain factions accused him of holding views contrary to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah was the catalyst for him outlining his creed and beliefs in this work. He tackled every opinion that had been attributed to him wherein he had allegedly contradicted the Ahlus Sunnah by first defining the belief according to the creed of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah after which he would follow it up with the statement reproduce hereunder:
فمن تجاوز ذلك فقد خاب وخسر وضل وهلك ، فليبلغ الشاهد منكم أيها الناس من بعد ما فنأي أو قرب فدنا أن الذي ندين الله به في الأشياء التي ذكرناها ما بيناه لكم على وصفنا، فمن روى عنا خلاف ذلك أو أضاف إلينا سواه أو نحلنا في ذلك قولا غيره ، فهو كاذب متخرص معتد يبوء بسخط الله وعليه غضبه ولعنته في الدارين
Whoever goes beyond this has been disillusioned, beguiled, gone astray, and destroyed. Those that are a witness to these words should pass it on to those that are not, expounding that we believe in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in the issues under discussion as we have outlined. Whoever reports from us contrary to this or attributes to us any other view is a liar and one marked by calumny. Such a person will be worthy of the displeasure, anger, and curse of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in both worlds.
Ibn Kathir whilst citing the cause of differences between him and the Hanabilah together with the effects of slander that stemmed from it says:
وأما ما ذكره – يعني ابن مسکویه – عن تعصب العامة عليه ، فليس الأمر كذلك ، وإنما بعض الحنابلة تعصبوا عليه ووقعوا فيه فتبعهم غيرهم ، ولذلك سبب وهو أن الطبري جمع كتابا ذكر فيه اختلاف الفقهاء ، ولم يذكر فيه أحمد بن حنبل ، فقيل له في ذلك ، فقال : لم يكن فقيها ، وإنما كان محدثا ، فاشتد ذلك على الحنابلة ، وكانوا لا يحصون كثرة ببغداد ، فشغبوا عليه وقالوا ما أرادوا
Ibn Miskawayh has erroneously attributed prejudice of general masses against him (Imam al Tabari). In fact, it was some of the Hanabilah who were impartial and opinionated against him, others merely shadowed them. The reason for this was that Al Tabari had authored a book wherein he quoted the differences of the jurists, omitting those of Ahmed ibn Hanbal. When questioned regarding this he said, “He (Ahmed ibn Hanbal) was not a jurist. He was a scholar of hadith”. This did not sit well with the Hanabilah, of which there were multitudes in Baghdad. They thus rioted in contradiction of his view and were vocal of their opinions.
Hafiz al Dhahabi says:
وكانت الحنابلة حزب أبي بكر بن أبي داود وقد وقع بينه وبين ابن جرير کلام ، فكثروا وشغبوا على ابن جرير وناله أذى ولزم بيته
The Hanabilah were the partisans of Abu Bakr ibn Abi Dawood. There was dispute between him and Ibn Jarir which caused them to riot and intend harm against Ibn Jarir, restricting him to his home.
The oppression of the Hanabilah against him has been chronicled quite clearly by Imam ibn Khuzaimah. He states:
The Hanabilah oppressed him.
The Zahiriyyah too had a measurable effect on the accusations of Rafd against Imam al Tabari, a result of the dispute that arose between him and the leader of this school of thought; Dawood ibn ‘Ali al Zahiri and his son, Muhammad. Imam al Tabari had authored a book refuting Dawood ibn ‘Ali al Zahiri titled, Al Radd ‘Ala Dhi al Asfar. The cause for this refutation was that Abu Jafar al Tabari had in fact spent much time under the tutelage of Dawood ibn ‘Ali al Zahiri. However, on one occasion they had a debate in which Dawood was silenced. His followers felt snubbed and retaliated by badmouthing Abu Jafar at which point he left the gathering and began working on this book. The son of Dawood, in an effort to avenge his father, authored the book, Al Intisar min Muhammad ibn Jarir wherein he vilified Ibn Jarir and slandered him with Rafd and other issues of consequence. The masses, influenced by this, spread its false message.
‘Ali ibn ‘Isa would say:
والله لو سئل هؤلاء عن معنى الرفض والإلحاد ما عرفوه ولا فهموه
If these people were questioned on the meaning of Rafd and Ilhad they would not have an inkling of its purport.
Ibn al Athir has commented on this saying:
وحاشا ذلك الإمام عن مثل هذه الأشياء … وقد ذكرت شيئا من كلام الأئمة في أبي جعفر يعلم منه محله في العلم والثقة وحسن الاعتقاد
God forbid such statements be uttered by the Imam. His status in knowledge, nobility, and reliability is well recorded by the scholars.
Ibn Kathir says:
ونسبوه إلى الرفض ، ومن الجهلة من رماه بالإلحاد ، وحاشاه من ذلك ، بل كان أحد أئمة الإسلام علما وعملا بكتاب الله وسنة رسوله ، وإنما تقلدوا ذلك عن محمد بن داود الفقيه الظاهري ، حيث كان يتكلم فيه ويرميه بالعظائم وبالرفض ،
They have attributed the belief of Rafd to him with some ignorant one’s going to the extent of accusing him of heresy. Far be he from such! He was one of the great leaders of Islam on both knowledge and action; following the dictates of the Book of Allah and the sunnah of His Messenger. The masses took to these statements due to Muhammad ibn Dawood al Faqih al Zahiri who accused him of issues of consequence and of Rafd.
They were perhaps the most notable group to have accused Imam al Tabari of ascribing to the belief of Rafd. An effort to achieve a longstanding goal of theirs; tarnishing the status of the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah. They were quite aware that accusations of Rafd would place a huge question mark on the integrity of a person according to the Ahlus Sunnah and would further bring into question the narrations of the accused. The Imamiyyah Shia are ever eager to vilify the scholars who are the custodians of the narrations of the early part of the ummah. Imam al Tabari is amongst these custodian scholars.
They have enumerated him amongst their scholars who ascribed to the Shia doctrine behind closed doors fearing the oppressive rulers of his era.
Al Khuwanasari says:
ولكن عندي مع ذلك كله شبهة عظيمة في أمر مذهب أبي جعفر الطبري المؤرخ المفسر – الذي هو صاحب الترجمة – بل ظني يذهب إلى كونه أيضا من جملة أهل مذهب الحق – يقصد مذهب الرافضة – … فلا داعي إلى ذلك إلا كونه من هذه الطائفة في الباطن والحقيقة وإن كان لا يظهر من جهة معروفينه عند . خلفاء الجور وعظماء دولة الباطل – يريد دولة أهل السنة – كما هو شأن كثير من العلماء المشبهة أمورهم
However, I have much doubt regarding the school of thought of Abu Jafar al Tabari, the historian and mufassir. I do lean towards the idea that he was part of the true creed (referring to the Rafidah). It makes sense that he was part of this creed behind closed doors even though he did not make this apparent to the oppressive rulers of the illegitimate state (referring to the state of the Ahlus Sunnah) as was a common occurrence amongst many scholars.
This group too, has accused Imam al Tabari of ascribing to a Shia doctrine in order to achieve its goal of rejecting the sayings of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which centers around vilifying the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah who made an all-out effort to codify the ahadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and saying of the early Muslims.
They have accused Imam al Tabari of ascribing to a Shia doctrine in order to tarnish his Tafsir, as it is an exegesis of the Qur’an by way of the Sunnah. They are well aware that accusations of ascribing to a Shia doctrine will place a question mark on the integrity of the accused and by extension their works. Thus, they declare, based on this accusation, that his tafsir is not acceptable from an academic standpoint (according to them) and neither are any of the tafsirs based on his work that come after him acceptable. They claim this on the premise that all that came after him is based on an illegitimate foundation.
Al ‘Imadi says:
كان ابن جرير من بلدة آمل من طبرستان ، ولد وتربی فيها ، وارتحل إلى طلب العلم وتجول في البلاد الإسلامية قرابة 44 سنة ، كان من الشيعة ، ولكنه كان يظهر نفسه سنيا على وجه التقية وكان اسم جده رستما ، وتسمى بعد إسلامه بیزید ، وكان ابن جرير يسمي نفسه محمد بن جریر بن رستم في الكتب التي كان يكتبها للشيعة ، وكان يسمي نفسه محمد بن جریر بن یزید حين يكتب لسائر المسلمين
Ibn Jarir was from the city of Amol, Tabaristan. He was born there and was raised there. He travelled in search of knowledge in the Islamic lands for close to 44 years. He was from the Shia, though he portrayed himself a Sunni by way of Taqiyyah. His grandfather’s name was Rustam who after becoming a Muslim was named Yazid. Ibn Jarir would refer to himself as Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Rustam in the books he would write supporting the Shia and Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Yazid when writing for the rest of the Muslims.
The distortion and errors in the above passage is clear as day for any fair sighted person. The historians and genealogists are unanimous that the grandfather of Imam al Tabari is named Yazid whilst Rustam is the grandfather of Ibn Jarir al Tabari al Imami al Rafidi. Those overtaken by prejudice have exploited the similarity of the teknonym, name, and affiliation of these two distinct individuals. This is done to distort the view of the reader, spread doubts regarding Imam al Tabari, and tarnish his status.
The orientalists have exploited this accusation to arouse suspicion and highlight criticism, especially since they endlessly pine to distort the image of Islam and its scholars. To the extent that Hluost, an orientalist, has inferred the secret support of Imam ibn Jarir to the Shia camp based on his authentication of the Ghadir Khumm narration.
The fact that Imam al Tabari authenticated the narration pertaining to the incident at Ghadir Khumm had a marked effect in attracting the accusations of Rafd against him. Many of his enemies exploited his authentication of this hadith. They raised a hue and cry over this in order to accuse him and bring into question his beliefs. Al Hafiz ibn Hajar commenting on the reasons that led to accusations of Rafd says:
وإنما نبذ بالتشيع ؛ لأنه صحح حديث غدير خم
He was accused of ascribing to Shia beliefs due to him authenticating the Ghadir Khumm narration.
A point worthy of note here is that, Imam al Tabari was not the only one to authenticate this hadith. Many of the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah authenticated it. Furthermore, one ought to know that it is also narrated from multiple chains of transmission.
The text of the hadith as narrated by Bara’ ibn al ‘Azib radiya Llahu ‘anhu is as follows:
كنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في سفر، فنزلنا بغدير خم، فنودي فينا: الصلاة جامعة، وكسح لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم تحت شجرتين، فصلى الظهر، وأخذ بيد علي رضي الله عنه، فقال: ألستم تعلمون أني أولى بالمؤمنين من أنفسهم؟ قالوا: بلى، قال: ألستم تعلمون أني أولى بكل مؤمن من نفسه؟ قالوا: بلى، قال: فأخذ بيد علي، فقال: من كنت مولاه، فعلي مولاه، اللهم وال من والاه، وعاد من عاداه قال: فلقيه عمر بعد ذلك، فقال: له هنيئا يا ابن أبي طالب، أصبحت وأمسيت مولى كل مؤمن، ومؤمنة
We were on a journey with Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. On the way we stayed at Ghadir Khum. There it was announced that the prayer was about to be offered. The space under two trees was cleaned for Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Then he offered the Zuhr prayer, and, holding ‘Ali’s hand, he said, “Don’t you know that I am even nearer to the believers than their own selves?”
They said, “Most definitely!”
He said, “Do you not know that I am closer to the believers than themselves?”
They said, “Most definitely!”
Holding the hand of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu he said, “Whoever’s friend I am, ‘Ali is his friend. O Allah, befriend whom he befriends and be at war with the one who shows him hostility.”
Thereafter ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu met him and said to him, “O Ibn Abi Talib! Congratulations, you have forever become the friend of every male and female believer.”
This hadith has been recorded by, Imam Ahmed ibn Hambal in al Musnad and in Fada’il al Sahabah, by Ibn Majah in al Sunan, by al Hakim in al Mustadrak, by al Tirmidhi in al Sunan, by Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah in al Musnad, by Ibn Abi ‘Asim in al Sunnah, by al Dulabi in Al Kuna, and by al Nasa’i in al Khasa’is. Al Albani has gathered the many chains of transmission and has authenticated it.
Al Hafiz ibn Hajar says:
وأما حديث : من کنت مولاه فعلي مولاه ، فهو كثير الطرف جدا ، وقد استوعبها ابن عقدة في كتاب مفرد ، وكثير من أسانيدها صحاح وحسان
Al Dhahabi says:
جمع – يعني الإمام الطبري – طرق حديث غدير خم في أربعة أجزاء رأيت شطره فبهرني سعة رواياته ، وجزمت بوقوع ذلك
Imam al Tabari has gathered the chains of transmission of the Ghadir Khumm narration on four parts. I have come across half of it and I am taken aback by the sheer number of narrations. It convinced me of the incident.
Whilst considering the above it should be noted that Imam al Tabari was not the only one to authenticate the hadith. Rather, many other scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah cited and authenticated it as well. It would thus be a folly to accuse him of Rafd on the basis of him authenticating the hadith. In fact, it would amount to gross academic negligence.
Apart from this, Imam al Tabari has fundamentally differed with the Shia in the conclusions they draw from this hadith. Hereunder are some comparisons of these polar conclusions:
الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِيْنَكُمْ
This day I have perfected for you your religion.
They also attribute the following statement to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, citing it as a hadith:
الله أكبر على تمام الدين ورضا الرب برسالتي وبالولاية لعلي من بعدي
Allah is the greatest! The faith has been perfected. The Lord is pleased with my prophethood and with the leadership of ‘Ali after me.
Imam al Tabari:
He has fundamentally opposed the Shia in their deductions from this hadith.
a. He has established that the most rightful to the caliphate after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the rightful leaders were Abu Bakr al Siddiq, thereafter ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, thereafter ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, and then ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhum. He has further recognised their virtue per their succession in leadership.
There remains no doubt that these beliefs of al Tabari regarding the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, as celebrated by the Ahlus Sunnah, are not acceptable to the Shia. It contradicts the fundamental beliefs of the Shia who opine that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the rightful khalifah with the other Khalifas having usurped his right neglecting the wishes of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. These are amongst other such wicked beliefs held by the Shia regarding the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
وهم خير الخلق بعد الأنبياء، وخير قرون هذه الأمة التي هي أشرف الأم بنص القرآن وإجماع السلف والخلف
They were the best of creation after the prophets. Their era was the best of this nation; the best of nations as unequivocally declared by the texts of the Qur’an and consensus of the former and latter generations.
Similarly, Imam al Tabari would declare apostate those Shia and Khawarij who consider the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum to have turned apostate. He would not accept the narrations or testimony of such individuals. This is as he has stated in his work Dhayl al Mudhayyal.
He was also of the view that whoever says Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were not just and guided rulers should be killed. Furthermore, he would not accept narrations of those who were accused of Tashayyu’; considering it a blight on their integrity. Consider the following statements of his regarding such narrators:
Salim ibn Abi Hafsah, Abu Yunus-
وكان يتشيع تشيعا شديدا
He was extreme in his Shia beliefs.
Jabir ibn Yazid al Ju’fi-
He ascribed to Shia beliefs.
The goal of Imam al Tabari in authenticating the Ghadir Khumm narration was not to establish the caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the Shia have done. Rather, the aim was to expound his virtues and formulate a refutation against Abu Bakr ibn Abi Dawood who had qualms regarding the hadith.
Moreover, he did write on the virtues of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum. On his return to Tabaristan he found Rafd and reviling the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum to have become a common thing amongst its folk. He thus dictated the virtues of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu to the extent that he became apprehensive of harm from the Rawafid and so left the city.
If he was a Rafidi, he would not have written on the virtues of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma; the two greatest targets of vilification for the Shia.
b. Imam al Tabari has not addressed the hadith of Ghadir Khumm nor the issue of Imamah under the discussion of the verse:
الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِيْنَكُمْ
This day I have perfected for you your religion. 
He has in fact fundamentally contradicted the Shia in the exegesis of this verse by establishing its revelation, through authentic chains of narrations, to be at the occasion of ‘Arafah. This goes against the notion of the Shia who believe it to be revealed on the occasion of Ghadir Khumm.
He has also contradicted their interpretation of the intent of the verse. He has explained that it was revealed during the Farewell Pilgrimage so that it may become plain before the people that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has perfected for them their faith by assembling them alone in the sacred city and banishing the polytheists. This opposes the notion of the Shia who believe it to be revealed in order to ordain the perfection of faith by the instruction of leadership in favour of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Tabari commenting on the reason for the authentication of the Ghadir Khumm narration by Imam al Tabari states:
وسبب تصحيحه هذا الحديث أن بعض الشيوخ ببغداد قال بتكذيب حديث غدير خم وقال : إن علي بن أبي طالب كان باليمن في الوقت الذي كان رسول الله مع بغدير خم ، وبلغ أبا جعفر ذلك فرد عليه ، وذكر طرق حديث خم ، فكثر الناس لاستماع ذلك ، واجتمع قوم من الروافض ممن بسط لسانه بما لا يصلح في الصحابة و فابتدأ – أي الإمام ابن جریر – بفضائل أبي بكر وعمر رضي الله عنهما
The reason for authenticating the hadith was due to the view of some scholars of Baghdad who opined it to be a fabrication. They would state that ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was in Yemen when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was at Ghadir Khumm. When this erroneous view reached Abu Jafar, he refuted it by mentioning the various chains of transmission of the Ghadir Khumm narration. People came in droves to hear this, with a group of Rawafid—who vilify the Sahabah—also gathering for the same. Imam ibn Jarir thus began expounding the virtues of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.
The above discussion is conclusive enough to deem any labelling of Imam al Tabari as a Rafidi due to him authenticating the Ghadir Khumm narration as unsubstantiated and baseless from an academic viewpoint. Such labelling is also an indication of shallow thinking as many of the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah have cited, narrated, and authenticated this hadith. It thus becomes quite evident that the view of Imam al Tabari fundamentally contradicts that of the Shia in relation to this hadith.
The erudite scholars have expounded the purport of this hadith and have razed to the ground the Shia claims in this regard. Whoever wishes can refer to books such as Minhaj al Sunnah of Ibn Taymiyyah, Minhaj al I’tidal of Al Dhahabi, and Al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim of Ibn ‘Arabi.
His enemies consider this a proof against Imam ibn Jarir al Tabari in accusing him of ascribing to Shia beliefs or his support for the Shia. Al Khuwanasari has adopted this view. He states:
وثالثا عدم قبوله أحدا من المذاهب الأربعة التي انحصر فيها أهل السنة
Thirdly, his non acceptance of any one of the four school of thoughts which the Ahlus Sunnah are confined to.
This reason cannot be deemed academically acceptable as it contradicts the following:
Furthermore, not following one of the four schools of thought does not necessitate adopting the Shia creed. Consider that there are no shar’i texts that prevent a Muslim from becoming an absolute Mujtahid as long as the individual has acquired complete eligibility and competence.
The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah have recognized many jurisprudic schools of thought. Amongst these accepted schools of thought are the mazahib of Awza’i, Dawood al Zahiri, and Layth ibn Sa’d. However, the four renowned schools of thought—that of Malik, al Shafi’i, Ahmed, and Abu Hanifah—achieved prominence due to its many followers who codified the views of their respective Imams, securing it from becoming irrelevant and disseminated it amongst the people.
Therefore, to say that the Ahlus Sunnah is confined within the four schools of thought is a clear error. Such a view is aimed at blighting the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah by the Shia.
Al Khuwanasari says:
بل ظني يذهب إلى كونه أيضا من جملة أهل مذهب الحق – مذهب الرافضة في نظره – من جهة كونه أولا من أهل بلدة كانوا قديمي التشيع
I would presume him to be part of the true creed—in his view, the Rafidah creed—as he hails from an old Shia city.
This reason though is not suitable to be used as academic evidence in attributing Imam al Tabari to the Shia creed. A majority of the population of a city ascribing to the Shia creed does not necessitate him being a Shia. Believing such is a fallacy, refuted by mere observation. Almost all cities have predominant beliefs with pockets of individuals and groups believing in something else.
Aside from this, Imam al Tabari travelled from his city at a very young age and upon returning having found Rafd spread amongst its people wrote on the virtues of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma; defending their honor. If he was in fact a Rafidi or was sympathetic to their cause he would not have adopted this stance.
His antagonists have clutched onto this reason in accusing him of being a Shia. It is said that he studied hadith in the city of Rayy under the tutelage of Muhammad ibn Humaid al Razi. His opponents consider al Razi to be one of his main channels of Shia information. This reason too, does stand to academic scrutiny as Ibn Humaid al Razi was accused by some whilst he was deemed reliable by others.
Additionally, Imam ibn Jarir did not confine his studies to Ibn Humaid. He sought knowledge from the great famed scholars of hadith and fiqh of the Ahlus Sunnah; largely the teachers of al Bukhari and Muslim.
Besides, the fact that some of his teachers were accused of Tashayyu’ does not mean that he be accused of the same. Many students have disagreed with their teachers on a wide array issues. Whilst at times, a student has far outdone the academic capabilities of his teacher.
This is also one of the reasons of the accusations of Tashayyu’ in relation to Imam al Tabari. This reason in unacceptable as evidence for their claim due to the following:
Imam al Tabari quotes poems in his Tafsir in order to clarify the meanings of the Noble Qur’an. He does not consider the poets political or religious views. The poem of Kumayt that he has reproduced was to clarify the meaning of the verse, Ha Mim.
Imam al Tabari says:
اختلف أهل التأويل في معنى قوله : حم ، فقال بعضهم … وقال آخرون … ويقول الكميت
The interpreters have a differed in the meaning of Ha Mim. Some have said… whilst others have said… and Kumayt says:
تأولها منا تقي ومعرب
وجدنا لكم في آل حم آية
We have found a verse in the Ha Mim family;
Recited, though its meaning hidden from us.
Imam al Tabari has reproduced a poem of the Umayyad poet, ‘Ubaidullah ibn Qais al Ruqyat. He writes in his Tafsir commentating under the verse:
قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ هَلْ تَنقِمُوْنَ مِنَّا إِلَّا أَنْ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَأَنَّ أَكْثَرَكُمْ فَاسِقُوْنَ
Say, “O People of the Scripture, do you resent us except [for the fact] that we have believed in Allah and what was revealed to us and what was revealed before and because most of you are defiantly disobedient?”
أن العرب تقول : نقمت عليك وأنقم ، مستشهدا بقول عبيد الله بن قيس
The Arabs say, (explaining the word Naqama) ‘I resent you’. As ‘Ubaidullah ibn Qais says:
إلا أنهم يحلمون إن غضبوا
وما نقموا من بني أمية
They did not resent the Banu Umayyah;
Except for their forbearance at times of anger.
If Imam al Tabari was a Shia or sympathetic to their cause, he would not have quoted a poem in his Tafsir that celebrates the Banu Umayyah; sworn enemies of the Shia.
The accusations of Rafd laid out against Imam al Tabari stands on assumptions and conjecture arising due to the similarity of his name and teknonym with that of Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Rustum al Tabari, the Rafidi, Imami. This has led to confusing their views and works.
Note the comments of Al Hafiz al Dhahabi exonerating Imam al Tabari and clearing up this confusion:
أقذع أحمد بن علي السليماني الحافظ ، فقال : كان يضع للروافض ، كذا قال السليماني ، وهذا من الظن الكاذب ، بل إن ابن جرير من كبار أئمة الإسلام المعتمدين …. ولا يحل لنا أن نؤذيه بالباطل والهوى ، فإن كلام العلماء بعضهم في بعض ينبغي أن يتأنى فيه ، ولا سيما في مثل إمام كبير ، فلعل السليماني أراد الآتي : محمد بن جریر بن رستم ، أبو جعفر الطبري رافضي له تواليف ، منها كتاب الرواة عن أهل البيت ، رماه عبد العزيز الكتاني بالرفض . ولو حلفت أن السليماني ما أراد إلا الآتي – ابن رستم – لبررت ، والسليماني حافظ متقن كان يدري ما يخرج من رأسه ، فلا أعتقد أنه يطعن في مثل هذا الإمام – ابن جرير السني – بهذا الباطل ، والله أعلم
Ahmed ibn ‘Ali al Sulaimani has slighted by saying, “He would fabricate narrations for the Rawafid.” This, as Sulaimani has put it, is nothing more than a misconception. Rather, Ibn Jarir was from the great reliable Islamic scholars. It is not permissible for us to seek to harm him by falsities and prejudice. The refutations of scholars against each other ought to be carefully considered, especially when it relates to a great Imam. Perhaps al Sulaimani meant Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Rustum Abu Jafar al Tabari the Rafidi who has written amongst other books, Al Ruwat an Ahlul bayt. ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Kattani has accused him of Rafd. If I were to take an oath that al Sulaimani had intended Ibn Rustum, I would be absolved of it. Al Sulaimani was a stellar Hafiz who knew what was coming out of his head. I do not believe that he would vilify the like of Imam ibn Jarir al Sunni with such falsities. And Allah knows best.
Ibn Hajar furthers this, commenting in Lisan al Mizan:
قد اغتر شیخ شیوخنا أبو حيان بكلام السليماني ، فقال في الكلام على الصراط في أوائل تفسيره : وقال أبو جعفر الطبري وهو إمام من أئمة الإمامية : الصراط بحرف الصاد من لغة قريش … إلى آخر المسألة ، ونبهت عليه لئلا يغتر به ، فقد ترجمه – أي الإمام ابن جرير – أئمة النقل في عصره وبعده ، فلم يصفوه بذلك ، وإنما ضره الاشتراك في اسمه واسم لقبه ونسبته وکنیته ومعاصرته وكثرة تصانيفه والعلم عند الله تعالى ، قاله الخطيب
The teacher of our teachers, Abu Hayyan, has been misled by the words of al Sulaimani. He writes under the commentary of al sirat at the beginning of his Tafsir, “Abu Jafar al Tabari, an Imam from the Imams of the Imamiyyah, says ‘Al sirat, as is with the letter Sad is the dialect of the Quraysh…’” I allude to this mistake here so that no one else be misled. He had in fact profiled Imam ibn Jarir, an erudite scholar who collated works for his era and that to come after him, without marking him with such beliefs. The misconception arose from the similarity of name, teknonym, and title. Further confusion results from their sharing the same era, geographical location, and number of works produced. And true knowledge is only for Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. This is as al Khatib as stated.
Fu’ad Sizkin concludes in his book Tarikh al Turath that some scholars have confused Muhammad in Jarir ibn Rustum al Tabari and the famous historian al Tabari on various occasions.
What strikes one as peculiar is that al Khuwanasari, in branding Imam al Tabari a Shia, has employed the use of Taqiyyah. This becomes quite clear when considering his contradictory statements by later recognizing the difference and emphatically establishing two individuals; Muhammad ibn Jarir al Sunni and Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Rustum al Imami.
Due to the similarities in name some books authored by the Rawafid have been attributed, knowingly or not, to Imam al Tabari. Amongst these are Basharah al Mustafa which is actually the work of Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al Tabari as mentioned by Agha Buzurg Tehrani in Al Dhari’ah ila Tasanif al Shia. Another book that is wrongly attributed to him is Al Mustarshid fi al Imamah which is written by Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Rustum al Tabari. Al Dhahabi has eluded to this reproducing the statement of ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Kattani, “He is from the Rawafid. He has authored … Al Mustarshid fi al Imamah.”
After listing the reasons that led the adversaries of Imam al Tabari to accuse him of Rafd and laying out the evidence that disproves such reasons, we continue to remove the cobwebs of uncertainty by comparing the views of Imam al Tabari and that of the Shia. This will unveil the huge disparity between him and them, and accusations pitted against him will thus implode under the weight of the truth.
The Shia believe that the Prophets ‘alayhim al Salam are truly infallible. Therefore, no possibility of committing a major or minor sin exits. They further believe that no mistake can be made by them just as they are immune to forgetfulness.
It ought to be noted that the Shia cling to the doctrine of prophetic infallibility as a measure to cite the infallibility of their Imams. Consider the following statement of one of their scholars:
ونعتقد أن الإمام کالنبي يجب أن يكون معصوما من جميع الرذائل والفواحش ما ظهر منها وما بطن من سن الطفولة إلى الموت عمدا وسهوا ، كما يجب أن يكون معصوما من السهو والخطأ والنسيان ؛ لأن الأئمة حفظة الشرع والقوامون عليه حالهم في ذلك حال النبي ، والدليل الذي اقتضانا – وأي دليل ! – أن نعتقد بعصمة الأنبياء هو نفسه يقتضينا أن نعتقد بعصمة الأئمة بلا فرق
And we believe that an Imam like a Prophet is infallible. He is free from all types of evil and lewdness; both internal and external from childhood till death. This includes mistakes that are intentional or unintentional. He is also above forgetfulness and errors. This is because the Imams are the preservers of the faith and thus their state would be the same as that of a Prophet. The proof of this is—some proof this is—that that our belief in infallibility of the Prophets necessitates our belief in the infallibility of the Imams in the same way.
One of the contemporary Shia Imams—Khomeini—goes beyond this saying:
وإن من ضروریات مذهبنا أن الأئمتنا مقاما لا يبلغه ملك مقرب ولا نبي مرسل
Amongst the requirements of our creed is the belief that our Imams hold a position that no close Angel nor sent Messenger can aspire for.
As for Imam al Tabari, he believes in the infallibility of the Prophets as far as delivering the message of their Lord is concerned. However, making mistakes at other junctures is a possibility as per the evidence of the Qur’an and Prophetic traditions. Furthermore, he sees no issue in citing the mistakes and errors of some Prophets verbatim as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has stated.
The belief of Imam al Tabari in this regard becomes quite clear in his commentary on the inclination of Yusuf ‘alayh al Salam:
وأولي الأقوال في ذلك بالصواب أن يقال : إن الله جل ثناؤه أخبر عن هم يوسف وامرأة العزيز كل واحد منهما بصاحبه لولا أن رأى يوسف برهان ربه ، وذلك آية من آيات الله زجرته عن رکوب ما هم به يوسف من الفاحشة … والصواب أن يقال في ذلك ما قاله الله تبارك وتعالى والإيمان به، وترك ما عدا ذلك إلى عالمه
The most appropriate and correct opinion is to say, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has informed us of the inclination of Yusuf ‘alayh al Salam and determination of the Minister’s wife for each other had Yusuf ‘alayh al Salam not seen the proof from his Lord. This was a sign from the signs of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala to deter Yusuf ‘alayh al Salam from the ill inclination. The correct thing to do is say what Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has said and believe in that, leaving all other details to Him.
His belief about the Imams is that they are not infallible; mistakes in their actions and speech is possible. This contradicts the belief of the Shia who assume the impossibility of such. Imam al Tabari has alluded to this in citing the Tafsir of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhum under the verse:
وَأُولَاتُ الْأَحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَنْ يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ
And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth.
These two Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma have concluded that this verse is specific to the divorced women, whilst Imam al Tabari opines this to be incorrect stating it to include both divorced and widowed women. This is due Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala leaving it open ended and not specified it to divorced women thereby including in its purport both divorced and widowed pregnant women.
If Imam al Tabari was a Shia he would not have contradicted the Tafsir of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu nor would he have cited it to be incorrect. Furthermore, if he considered the Imams to be infallible he would not have considered ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to have made a mistake and neither would he have opposed his view. In this approach of Imam al Tabari there is definitive opposition to the Shia creed in one of their fundamental doctrines.
The Shia believe in the doctrine of al Raj’ah which is the belief of return; return of the Imams to this world after their death. Muhammad Rida al Muzaffar says:
إن الذي تذهب إليه الإمامية أخذا ما جاء من آل البيت أن الله يعيد قوما من الأموات إلى الدنيا … فيعز فريقا ويذل فريقا ، ويديل المحقين من المبطلين والمظلومين منهم من الظالمين ، وذلك عند قيام مهدي آل محمد – عليه وعليهم أفضل الصلاة والسلام – ، ثم يصيرون بعد ذلك إلى الموت ، ومن بعده إلى النشور
The Imamiyyah, ascribing to that which has come from the Ahlul bayt, opine that Allah will return certain individuals to life in this world thereby giving honour to some and dishonour to others, distinguishing the true from the false, and the oppressed from the oppressors. This will occur when Mahdi will make his appearance. They will then die once again till resurrection.
Imam al Tabari has opposed the Shia in their belief of Raj’ah. He rejects the return of the dead back to life after their death. This is as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala would not afflict one with death twice over. He has alluded to this in his explanation of the verse:
إِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَىٰ إِنِّيْ مُتَوَفِّيْكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ
[Mention] when Allah said, “O ‘Isa, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself.
After relating the successive narrations that establish the descent of ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam and explaining that wafat in this verse holds the meaning of raising he writes:
ومعلوم أنه لو كان قد أماته الله لم يكن بالذي يميته ميتة أخرى يجمع عليه ميتين ، لأن الله إنما أخبر عباده أنه يخلقهم ثم بينهم ثم يحيهم
It is known that if Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala had taken his life, He would not afflict him with a second death as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has informed his servants that he would create them, grant them death, and then resurrect them.
The above quotation of Imam al Tabari is quite clear in conveying his sentiment of rejection to the doctrine of Raj’ah as adopted by the Shia. Raj’ah according to the Shia is life followed by death followed by life once more before death and then resurrection on the Day of Qiyamah. Whist the view of Imam al Tabari is vastly different. He believes that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala created people, giving them life and will grant them death before resurrecting them on the Day of Qiyamah. He is quite clear in rejecting the possibility of death twice over on one person.
This is defined as concealment of one’s beliefs from another or expressing that which is contrary to one’s belief. Taqiyyah, to the Shia is a fundamental part of their faith and a defining characteristic of their creed. This belief of theirs has led them to permit dishonesty to the extent that examples are given of the extent of their dishonesty. In fact it has been become a proverb: More dishonest than a Rafidi. Muhammad Rida al Muzaffar states:
روي عن صادق آل البيت – يعني جعفر الصادق – التقية ديني ودين آبائي من لم يقل بها فقد كفر » ، « ومن لا تقئة له لا دین له»
It has been narrated from Sadiq of the Ahlul bayt—i.e. Jafar al Sadiq—“Taqiyyah is my faith and the faith of my ancestors. Whoever does not believe in it has turned renegade.” “Whoever doesn’t carry out Taqiyyah has no faith.”
The Shia indulge in Taqiyyah by way of speech and actions with Muslims and others.
Imam al Tabari on the other hand has opposed the Shia in law and practice. They, the Shia, believe it to be a fundamental aspect to be practiced upon whilst he views it to be a safety mechanism which can be relied upon in times of extreme need. Similarly, in practice he is at loggerheads with them. He does not deem it permissible to be employed with Muslims. Its use against disbelievers will be permitted under the ambit of the verse:
إِلَّا أَنْ تَتَّقُوْا مِنْهُمْ تُقَاةً
Except when taking precaution against them in prudence.
The Mut’ah marriage serves as one of the greatest issues of contention between the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia. The Shia permit it and consider its legislation as continually legitimate whilst the Ahlus Sunnah consider it to be an abrogated law that holds a perpetual prohibition.
Imam al Tabari is just one of the countless scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah who have disproved the permissibility of Mut’ah. He has vehemently attacked the notion of Mut’ah and has refuted the opinions that permit temporary marriages. Consider the following statements:
فأما الذي قال السدي فقول لا معنى له لفساد القول ياحلال جماع المرأة بغیر نکاح ولا ملك يمين ،
لقيام الحجة بتحريم الله تعالی متعة النساء على غير وجه النكاح الصحيح أو الملك الصحيح على لسان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ،
Due to the evidence of prohibition set by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala through the medium of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in having marital relations without a recognised marriage or recognised ownership.
The Shia insult the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum due to them having gone against the supposed ordainment of the Imamah of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They also introduce the notion that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum had turned renegade due to not taking the pledge of allegiance at the hands of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They further renounce all besides a few; roughly ten, from the entire galaxy of Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. This renouncement extends to the Ten Companions given glad tidings of Jannat, besides ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the Companions present at Bay’at al Ridwan, and above all the most noble and notable of them all Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma whom they label as ‘the two idols of the Quraysh’ and ‘Jabat and Taghut’. Consider the fact that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has said regarding the Companions present at Bay’at al Ridwan:
لَّقَدْ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ يُبَايِعُونَكَ تَحْتَ الشَّجَرَةِ
Certainly was Allah pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you, [O Muhammad], under the tree.
And Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said:
لا يدخل أحد ممن بايع تحت الشجرة النار
No one who took the pledge under the tree will enter the fire.
On the other hand we find Imam al Tabari praising the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum to the extent of writing a book on the virtues of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. He has praised ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and applauded his efforts in compiling the Noble Qur’an saying:
فلا قراءة اليوم للمسلمين إلا بالحرف الواحد الذي اختاره إمامهم الشفيق الناصح دون ما عداه من الأحرف الستة الباقية
There is no mode of recitation for the Muslims except that which was chosen by their compassionate and well-wishing Imam. Choosing one over the other six.
Apart from the above mentioned issues there are many other fundamental issues of doctrine wherein Imam al Tabari has differed with the Shia. Mentioning them all would render the discussion lengthy.
Based on the above discussion and the evidence presented therein coupled with the elucidation of beliefs and praise of scholars, it becomes clear as day that accusing Imam al Tabari of Rafd or Tashayyu’ is fundamentally wrought with implausibilities. Such accusations lean on the brittle crutch of assumptions and delusions not having any rational academic basis to stand upon. This sort of mudslinging can be attributed to fanaticism based on a doctrinal divide, sectarianism, and/or the need to stain Islam and its scholars. It does not behoove a fair minded individual or scholar to be influenced by such biased rhetoric coming from those who detested him and were resentful of his achievements. The poet has so aptly said:
فالناس أعداء له وخصوم
حسدوا الفتى إذا لم ينالوا سعيه
حسدا وبغيا إنه لدميم
كضرائر الحسناء قلن لوجهها
They envy the youth whose prestige they cannot reach;
People become his enemies and adversaries.
Like co wives of a beautiful women say;
Out of jealousy and hate, she is ugly.
Abu Jafar—may Allah shower his mercies upon him—was a reliable and stellar Imam as attested to unanimously by the scholars of Islam. Those that have diverged from this opinion are far and few removed; their judgment at loggerheads with the facts. Those that have made this great Imam a target of accusations or falsely attributed unsuitable works to him find within themselves deep seeded envy for Islam and its adherents.
Imam al Tabari ascribed to the creed of the Salaf (predecessors), the creed of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah; that which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and the Tabi’in ascribed to. It is the creed of those individuals who followed them without inferring any change, interpolation, or innovation. He concurred with and defended the doctrine of the Salaf against the innovators and prejudiced. He believed that the Qur’an and the Ahadith were the sole sources that could establish the beautiful names of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. He further opined that discussions of al Ism wa al Musamma is an innovation not present in the era of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and Tabi’in rahimahu Llah.
It should be noted that Imam al Tabari fundamentally disagreed with the scholars of theology in their views of negating or interpreting the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. He concurred with the Salaf in establishing the attributes whilst leaving its purport to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala without affirming similarity, negating its existence, or interpreting its meaning.
‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Tabari states:
كان أبو جعفر يذهب في جل مذاهبه إلى ما عليه الجماعة من السلف ، وطريق أهل العلم المتمسكين بالسنن شديدا عليه مخالفتهم ، ماضيا على مناهجهم لا تأخذه في ذلك ولا في شيء لومة لائم
The views of Abu Jafar mostly concurred with that of the majority of the Salaf and scholars who were adherents of the sunnah. He would not tolerate opposing them. He continued to hold firm to their path not fearing in the least any hostility in this path.
Abu Bakr ibn Kamil said to him once:
من سبقك إلى إكفار أهل الأهواء – فقال : إماما عدل : عبد الرحمن بن مهدي ويحيى بن سعيد القطان
Is there anyone who considered the Ahl al Ahwa’ as heretics prior to you?
He replied, “Yes, two just Imams; ‘Abdur rahman ibn Mahdi and Yahya ibn Sa’id al Qattan.”
When Imam al Tabari would see innovation in a person he would distance himself from him.
Imam al Tabari opposed the innovators in many issues of theology. He refuted the Mu’tazilah in their claim that the Qur’an is created. He established that the Qur’an is the direct speech of Allah and not created.
He has also refuted those who deny seeing Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala on the Day of Qiyamah. He establishes that the believers will see Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala on the Day of Qiyamah as clear from the Qur’an and authentic narrations of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
On the issue of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala being the creator of a servant’s actions he has opposed the Qadriyyah who opine that a servant is the originator of his actions. He has branded their view as senseless, ignorant, and an interpretation that is insubstantial as grasping at flimsy reeds. He has established that servants and their actions are a creation of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala whilst the servant is the one carrying out the act. Thus, good and evil are both creations attributed Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala whilst the act and its consequence are attributed to the doer.
On the issue of iman he has opposed the Murji’ah and Jahmiyyah, refuting their view that iman is solely attesting with the tongue or believing with the heart, by way of logic and divine texts. He opines that iman is made up of attestation and action. It rises and falls. The former by good deeds and the latter by evil.
و به جاء الخير عن جماعة من أصحاب رسول الله وعليه مضى أهل الدين والفضل
Thus the traditions have reflected from a group of the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; and to this have the faithful and noble adhered to.
On the issue of being opinionated regarding the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum he has opposed the Khawarij and the Shia who view them as having turned apostate and take to cursing them. He has established the great and noble status of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum through the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah. He views the most noble and most deserving of caliphate and Imamah from the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum to be Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu followed in succession by ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, ‘Uthman ibn al ‘Affan, and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhum. He views their virtue and nobility to be in the same order.
Amongst the books of Imam al Tabari on the subject of ‘Aqidah (theology) is a booklet titled Risalah al Basir fi Ma’alim al Din which he wrote addressing the folk of Tabaristan on the issue of al Ism wa al Musamma which had divided them. Regarding the creed of the innovators he has a renowned booklet entitled Sarih al Sunnah in which he recounts his creed and beliefs.
In short, his creed is that which the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah are known for, as narrated, and accepted by them from the era of the Salaf till our era.
 For further reading see, Ahmed al ‘Awayishah: Al Imam ibn Jarir al Tabari wa Difa’uhu an ‘Aqidah al Salaf.
 The term Rafd is used to describe those Shia who harbor enmity for Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Imam Ahmed was asked, “Who are the Rawafid?” He replied, “Those who curse Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.” This sect is also called the Rafidah due to them having rejected Zaid ibn ‘Ali bin al Hussain; a man who celebrated the caliphate of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, as they consider them to have usurped the caliphate from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and not having fulfilled the wish of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who—according to their understanding—granted Imamate to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu at Ghadir Khumm. Extremism of this sort is termed as Rafd and its adherents are known as the Rawafid or the Rafidah. In the early Islamic period there was a distinction between the Rawafid and the Shia. The latter were those who supported ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and were with him in the Battles of Jamal and Siffin. They harbored no ill towards Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, did not support the idea of preference of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu over Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, and weren’t embroiled in cursing ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu as was common amongst the Rawafid. This group of Shia as defined above consisted of the Sahabah, Tabi’in, and great scholars and noble men of the past. See, Ibn Taymiyyah: Majmu’ al Fatawa, vol. 4 pgs. 435-436/ 470. Those termed as Shia in the early period had no qualms regarding the greater status of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. It is no wonder that Sharik ibn ‘Abdullah says, “The most noble of people after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.” It was said to him, “You say this though you are a Shia?” He replied, “Every person that ascribed themselves to the Shia said the same. In fact, it is the very same thing ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said on the pulpit. Should we then belie him!” Ibid, vol. 13 pg. 34. Ibn Shawdhab narrates from al Layth ibn Abi Salim who says, “I encountered the early Shia in Kufah. Not a single one of them gave preference to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu over Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Al Dhahabi: Al Mizan, vol. 3 pg. 441. The Shia of the latter and contemporary times and Shi’ism in its current form is essentially Rafd as stated by Ibn Hajar. See, Al Tahdhib, vol. 1 pg. 93.
 The Rafidah did not hold their deviances to the extent of vilifying the caliphate of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. They went much further in attempts to unravel the fundamental basis of the Islamic creed. They hold the opinion that interpolation had occurred in the texts of the Qur’an. One of their great scholars, Hussain ibn Muhammad Taqi al Nawawi al Tabarsi, has authored a book to this effect wherein he gathered hundreds of texts of the Shia scholars and law makers over the centuries who opine that interpolation had occurred in the Qur’an. This book is entitled Fasl al Khitab fi Tahrif Kitab Rabb al Arbab and had been published in Iran the year 1289 A.H/1872 A.D. Furthermore, they reject the second fundamental source of Islamic teachings; the Ahadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They do not accept the ahadith that have been recorded in Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, nor those which the scholars of the ummah have relied upon throughout the ages. Similarly, they believe in the infallibility of their Imams, holding them to a higher status than that of the Prophets ‘alayhim al Salam, proclaiming their Imams as knowers of the unseen, and in control of their own death. To add to this, they vilify the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and consider all of them as having turned apostate besides a few, viz. ‘Ali, Al Miqdad, Abu Dharr, Salman, and ‘Ammar ibn Yasir radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Other than these, the Rafidah hold many erroneous and fringe beliefs regarding the fundamentals of Islam. For further reading see, Ibn Taymiyyah: Al Fatawa; Ihsan Ilahi Zahir: Al Shia wa al Sunnah; Dr. ‘Abdullah al Gharib: Wija’ Dawr al Majus; Muhib al Din al Khatib: Al Khutut al ‘Aridah li al Asas allati Qama ‘Alayha Din al Imamiyyah Al Ithnay ‘Ashariyyah.
 Refer to the last section of Tarikh al Tabari as well as Al Fakhri fi al Adab by Ibn al Taqtaqi, pgs. 237-269.
 Al Tabari: Sarih al Sunnah, pg. 27.
 He is Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Yaqub ibn Miskawayh, Abu ‘Ali. Historian and philosopher. He was the chief treasurer for ‘Adud al Dawlah, supreme ruler of the Buyid dynasty. He has written, Tajarib al Umam Ta’aqib al Himam, Adab al ‘Arab wa al Furus, Risalah fi Mahiyah al ‘Adl, and Tartib al Sa’adat. He passed away the year 421 A.H/1030 A.D. His life has been recorded by Abu Hayyan al Tawhidi: Al Imta’ wa al Muanasah and Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 3 pgs. 5 – 19.
 Ibn al Athir: Al Kamil fi al Tarikh, vol. 8 pg. 134.
 He is ‘Abdullah ibn Sulaiman ibn al Ash’ath al Azdi al Sijistani, widely known as Abu Bakr ibn Abi Dawood. Imam, Hafidh, Mufassir, and Sheikh of Baghdad.
Amongst his books authored are, Al Masahif, Al Musnad, Al Sunan, Al Tafsir, Al Nasikh wa al Mansukh, and Al Qira’at. He passed away in Baghdad the year 316 A.H/929 A.D. His life has been recorded by Abu Nuaim: Akhbar Asbahan, vol. 2 pg. 66; Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 9 pg. 464; Ibn Abi Ya’la: Tabaqat al Hanabilah, vol. 2 pg. 51; Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 2 pg. 767; Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, vol. 13 pg. 221.
 Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, vol. 14 pg. 277.
 Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 2 pg. 164.
 Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 79.
 Ibn al Athir: Al Kamil, vol. 8 pg. 135.
 Ibn al Kathir in Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 11 pg. 146.
 He is Muhammad Mahdi ibn Muhammad al Kazimi al Musawi al Khuwanasari al Asfahani, historian from amongst the scholars of the Rafidah. He was born and died in Baghdad. Amongst his books are, Usul al Shari’ah wa Furu’iha, Ahsan al Wadi’ah fi Tarajim Ashhar Mashahir al Shia, and Rawdat al Jannat fi Ahwal al ‘Ulama al Sadat. He died the year 1391 A.H/1971 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Zarkali: Al A’lam, vol. 7 pg. 116 and Joseph Elian Sarkis: Mujam al Matbu’at al ‘Arabiyyah wa al Mu’arrabah, pg. 1699.
 Al Khuwanasari: Rawdat al Jannat, vol. 7 pg. 295.
 ‘Umar al Faruq (Shahkar Risalah ‘Umar Faruq) Pg. 504 as taken from the Magazine Majallah Tulu’ al Islam 1968, August issue, pg. 61.
 See, Ibn al Nadim: Al Fihrist, pg. 326; Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 2 pg. 162; Sam’ani: Ibid, vol. 8 pg. 205; Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 17 pg. 40; Ibn al Athir; Al Lubab fi tahdhib al Ansab, vol. 2 pg. 274; Al Qafti, vol. 1 pg. 223; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 4 pg. 191; Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, vol. 14 pg. 267; Al Subki: Tabaqat al Shafi’iyyah, vol. 3 pg. 120; Ibn al Kathir in Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 11 pg. 145; and Al Suyuti: Tabaqat al Mufassirin, pg. 30.
 Al Dhahabi: Al Mizan, vol. 4 pg. 499.
 As quoted from Al Hibr Yusuf Nur al Da’im: Al Aqwal fi Ittiham al Tabari bi al Tashayyu’, pg. 35.
 Al Zamakhshari says, “Khumm is the name of a dyer to who the pool at al Juhfah, between Makkah and Madinah, is attributed to. See, Yaqut: Mujam al Buldan, vol. 2 pg. 389.
 Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, vol. 5 pg. 100.
 Ahmed ibn Hambal: Al Musnad, vol. 1 pg. 1185; vol. 4 pg. 281.
 Ahmed ibn Hambal: Fada’il al Sahabah vol. 2 pg. 563-596. The annotations of the researcher Ibn Muhammad Abbas suggest that the hadith is authentic.
 Ibn Majah: Al Sunan, vol. 1 pg. 43.
 Al Hakim: Al Mustadrak ‘Ala al Sahihayn vol. 3 pg. 110.
 Al Tirmidhi: Al Sunan, vol. 5 pg. 297.
 He is ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Shaybah Al Kufi al ‘Absi, Abu Bakr al Hafiz al Thiqah.
He has authored Al Musnad and Al Musannaf fi al Ahadith wa al Athar. He passed away the year 235 A.H/849 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 276; Ibn Hibban Al Thiqat, vol. 8 pg. 358; Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 10 pg. 66; Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 2 pg. 432; Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 6 pg. 2.
 See, Ibn Hajar Al Matalib al ‘Aliyah bi Zawa’id al Masanid al Thamaniyah, vol. 4 pg. 60.
 He is Ahmed ibn ‘Amr ibn Abi ‘Asim al Dahhak ibn Makhlad al Shaybani, Abu Bakr al Basri al Hafiz al Kabir. He was appointed as judge over Asbahan.
He has authored, amongst other books, Al Musnad al Kabir and Al Ahad wa al Mathani. He passed away the year 287 A.H/900 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim in Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil vol. 2 pg. 67; Abu Nuaim: Dhikr Akhbar Asbahan, vol. 1 pg. 100; Al Dhahabi in Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 2 pg. 640; and Ibn al Kathir in Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 11 pg. 84.
 Ibn Abi ‘Asim: Al Sunnah, vol. 2 pg. 604-607.
 He is Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn Hammad ibn Sa’d ibn Muslim, Abu Bishr al Ansari al Razi al Dulabi. He was a historian and reliable scholar of hadith. He was a papermaker and book seller. From amongst his books are, Al Kuna wa al Asma’ and Al Dhurriyah al Tahirah wa al Mutahharah. He passed away between Makkah and Madinah whilst carrying out the rites of his obligatory hajj the year 310 A.H/923 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 4 pg. 352; Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 2 pg. 759; and Ibn al Kathir in Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 11 pg. 145.
 Al Dulabi: Al Kuna wa al Asma’, vol. 2 pg. 61.
 Al Nasa’i: Khasa’is ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, pg. 72.
 Al Albani: Silsilah al Ahadith al Sahihah, vol. 4 pg. 330 no: 1750.
 He is Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Sa’id ibn ‘Uqdah al Kufi. Amongst the freed slaves of the Banu Hashim. He was a Shia and hafiz of hadith. Amongst his books is the one Ibn Hajar has mentioned in the principle quotation to this footnote. He has gathered the chains of transmission of the Ghadir Khumm narration under the chapter Al Wilayah wa man Rawa Ghadir Khumm. He has also written, Al Tarikh, Sulh al Hassan wa al Muawiyah, Al Adab, Al Shia min Ashab al Hadith and Akhbar Abi Hanifah wa Musanadihi. He died the year 332 A.H/944 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 5 pg. 14; Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 3 pg. 839.
 Ibn Hajar: Al Fath, vol. 7 pg. 73.
 Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 2 pg. 713.
 Muhammad Rida al Muzaffar: ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah, pgs. 60-61.
 Surah al Ma’idah: 3.
 Al Suyuti comments in Al Durr al Manthur, vol. 2 pg. 259: “Ibn Mardawayh and Ibn ‘Asakir have cited this with a weak chain of narration as follows. When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the khalifah on the day of Ghadir Khumm and announced his leadership, Jibril descended with the verse:
الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِيْنَكُمْ
This day I have perfected for you your religion.
Al Khatib al Baghdadi has recorded a similar narration in Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 8 pg. 296. In the chain of this narration is Matr al Warraq who is weak. Refer to, Taqrib al Tahdhib, vol. 2 pg. 257. And besides the weak chain of narration, narrations with this purport contradict authentic narrations that establish the revelation of the verse was at the occasion of the Farewell Pilgrimage. (Ṣaḥīḥ al Bukhārī, vol. 5 pg. 285).
 Al Tabari: Sarih al Sunnah, pg. 24.
 Ibn al Kathir: Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pgs. 225-226.
 See, Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 83. The work Dhayl al Mudhayyal is a book that discusses the history of those Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who passed away during the lifetime of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and those who passed away after his passing in order of relation to him; from the Quraysh and then the other tribes. The book then discusses the life, school of thought, and death of the Tabi’in and early prominent Muslims. See, Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pgs. 70-71. A portion of it has been published together with Tarikh al Rusul in the eleventh part under the heading ‘Al Muntakhab min Kitab Dhayl al Mudhayyal’.
 Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 2 pg. 712.
 Dhayl al Mudhayyal, vol. 11 pg. 666.
 Ibid, vol. 11 pg. 646.
 Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 85.
 Surah al Ma’idah: 3.
 Al Tabari: Jami’ al Bayan ‘an Ta’wil al Qur’an, 4/6/51.
 Ibid, 4/6/52.
 Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pgs. 84-85.
 Al Khuwanasari: Rawdat al Jannat, vol. 7 pg. 295.
 He is ‘Abdur rahman ibn ‘Amr ibn Yahmed al Awza’i, Abu ‘Amr. Sheikh al Islam and the scholar of Sham. He had formulated his own jurisprudic school of thought. An awe inspiring ascetic. He was offered the position of chief justice but refused.
He has authored amongst other books, Al Sunan. He lived in Beirut and passed away there in the year 157 A.H/774 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Sa’d: Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 7 pg. 488; Al Fasawi: Al Ma’rifah wa al Tarikh, vol. 2 pgs. 390, 397, and 408; Abu Nuaim: Al Hilyah, vol. 6 pg. 135; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 3 pg. 127.
 He is Layth ibn Sa’d ibn ‘Abdur rahman al Fahmi, Abu al Harith. The Imam of Egypt in Fiqh and Hadith.
He has written amongst other books, Al Tarikh and Masa’il fi al Fiqh. He passed away the year 175 A.H/791 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Sa’d: Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 7 pg. 517; Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Saghir, vol. 2 pg. 209; Ibn al Nadim: Al Fihrist, pg. 281; and Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 1 pg. 224.
 Al Khuwanasari: Rawdat al Jannat, vol. 7 pg. 295.
 Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 85.
 He is Muhammad ibn Humaid ibn Hibban al Tamimi Abu ‘Abdullah al Razi, al Hafiz. Many prominent scholars have narrated from him, such as, Abu Dawood, al Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ahmed ibn Hambal, and Yahya ibn Ma’in. Imam Ahmed has praised him.
He passed away the year 230 A.H/844 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/1/69; Ibn Abi Hatim: Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil vol. 7 pg. 232; Al Dhahabi: Al Mizan, vol. 3 pg. 530; Ibn Hajar: Al Taqrib, vol. 2 pg. 156.
 Al Hibr Yusuf: Al Aqwal, pg. 9.
Al Dhahabi: Mizan al I’tidal, vol. 3 pg. 530; Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 9 pg. 127.
 He is Kumayt ibn Yazid ibn Khunays Al Asadi, Abu al Mustahil. A poet of the Umayyad era. He was famed for being biased towards the Shia. He was a scholar of Arabic language, traditions, and lineage. He passed away the year 126 A.H/744 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Asfahani: Al Aghani, vol. 15 pg. 983; and Al Mirzabani: Mujam al Shu’ara, pg. 238.
 Al Hibr Yusuf: Al Aqwal, pg. 54.
 Al Tabari: Jami’ al Bayan, 9/24/27.
 He is ‘Ubaidullah ibn Qais ibn Shurayh ibn Malik, a decedent of Banu ‘Amir ibn Luayy. A Qurashi poet in in the Umayyad era. Most of his poems were court flattery. He passed away around the year 85 A.H/700 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Jumahi: Tabaqat Fuhul al Shu’ara’, 648; and Al Zabidi: Ibid, vol. 10 pg. 155.
 Surah al Maidah: 59.
 Al Tabari: Jami’ al Bayan, 4/6/188.
 He is Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Rustum al Tabari. From the Shia scholars.
He died in the early 4th century Hijri. His life has been recorded by Al Dhahabi: Al Mizan, vol. 3 pg. 499; Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, vol. 5 pg. 103; Agha Buzurg Tehrani: Al Dhari’ah ila Tasanif al Shia, vol. 8 pg. 241.
 He is Ahmed ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Amr ibn Ahmed al Sulaimani al Bikandi al Bukhari, al Hafiz. The muhaddith of Transoxiana.
He passed away the year, 404 A.H/1014 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Sam’ani: Al Ansab, vol. 7 pg. 122; Yaqut: Mujam al Buldan, vol. 1 pg. 533; Ibn al Athir; Al Lubab fi tahdhib al Ansab, vol. 2 pg. 133; and Al Subki: Tabaqat al Shafi’iyyah, vol. 3 pg. 17.
 He is ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al Tamimi al Dimashqi, Abu Muhammad al Kattani. Historian, Imam, outstanding Muhaddith.
He passed away the year 466 A.H/1074 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Makula: Al Ikmal, vol. 7 pg. 187; Ibn al Jawzi: Al Muntazam, vol. 8 pg. 288; Ibn al Athir; Al Lubab fi tahdhib al Ansab, vol. 3 pg. 83; Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 3 pg. 1170 and Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, vol. 13 pg. 180.
 Al Dhahabi: Mizan al I’tidal, vol. 3 pg. 499.
 Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, vol. 5 pg. 100-101.
 Fu’ad Sizkin: Tarikh al Turath al ‘Arabi, 1/3/291.
 See pg. 205.
 Al Khawansari: Rawdat al Jannat, vol. 7 pg. 293-295.
 Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, vol. 14 pg. 282.
 Muhammad Rida al Muzaffar: ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah, pg. 51.
 Khomeini: Al Hukumah al Islamiyyah, pg. 52.
 See for example the lengthy hadith of shafa’ah as narrated by al Bukhari in Kitab al Riqaq, vol. 7 pg. 203.
 Al Tabari: Jami’ al Bayan, 6/12/113.
 Surah al Talaq: 4.
 Al Tabari: Jami’ al Bayan, 1/28/93.
 Muhammad Rida al Muzaffar: ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah, pg. 67.
 Surah Al ‘Imran: 55.
 Literally meaning death.
 Al Tabari: Jami’ al Bayan, 3/3/203-204.
 Muhammad Rida al Muzaffar: ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah, pg. 72.
Note the fabrications of the Rawafid against Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has kept the Ahlul bayt pure from such frivolous activities and has imbued within them honesty and faith of the highest degree. Their faith was based on taqwa (piety) not Taqiyyah (dissimulation). Ibn ‘Asakir has cited the following in Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 4 pg. 435:
أن الحسن المثنى بن الحسن السبط ابن علي بن أبي طالب قال لرجل من الرافضة : « والله لئن أمكننا الله منكم لنقطعن أيديكم وأرجلكم ، ثم لا نقبل منكم توبة ، فقال له رجل – آخر – : لم لا تقبل منهم توبة – قال : نحن أعلم بهؤلاء منكم إن هؤلاء إن شاءوا صدقوكم وإن شاءوا كذبوکم ، وزعموا أن ذلك يستقيم لهم في التقية . ويلك إن التقية هي باب رخصة للمسلم إذا اضطر إليها وخاف من ذي سلطان وأعطاه غير ما في نفسه يدرأ عن ذمة الله ، وليست باب فضل ، إنما الفضل في القيام بأمر الله وقول الحق ، وايم الله ما بلغ من التقية أن يجعل الله بها لعبد من عباد الله أن يضل عباد الله
Al Hassan ibn al Muthanna ibn al Hassan, son of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib said to a man of the Rawafid: “By Allah! If we gain an upper hand over you, we would cut your hands and legs and would not accept your pleas of forgiveness either.”
A man said to him, “Why would you not heed their pleas of forgiveness?”
He replied, “We know these people better than you. When they wish they narrate truths from you and when they wish they attribute lies to you assuming it to be correct under the guise of Taqiyyah. Know well! The option of Taqiyyah is available as an alleviation for a Muslim in a state of extreme necessity permitting one to express other than what he believes. This is not an option based on virtue. Virtue lies in adhering to the commands of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and uttering the truth. By Allah! Taqiyyah has become a tool of misguidance.”
 Surah Al ‘Imran: 28.
 Al Tabari: Jami’ al Bayan, 3/3/152-153.
 He is Ismail ibn ‘Abdur rahman ibn Abi Karimah al Suddi al Kufi, the Mufassir.
He has authored Kitab al Tafsir. He passed away the year 127 A.H/744 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Sa’d: Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 6 pg. 323; Ibn Abi Hatim in Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil vol. 1 pg. 184; Ibn Hajar: Al Taqrib, vol. 1 pgs. 71-72; Ibn Taghribirdi: Al Nujum al Zahirah, vol. 1 pg. 308.
 Al Tabari: Jami’ al Bayan, 4/5/9-10.
 Ibid, 4/5/10.
 Al Kashi: Al Rijal, pg. 101.
 Both meaning idols. See, Dr ‘Abdullah Gharib: Ibid, pg. 176. The author writes that this is in their book Diya al Salihin, pg. 523.
 Surah al Fath: 18.
 Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 16 pg. 58.
 Al Tabari: Sarih al Sunnah, pg. 23.
 In his book Al Fada’il. Yaqut has alluded to this in Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 85.
 Al Tabari: Jami’ al Bayan, 1/1/22.
 Ibn al Athir: Al Kamil, vol. 8 pgs. 134-135.
 A matter of speculative theology which discusses the issue of whether the name is different from the thing named or if the name is identical to the thing named.
 Al Lalka’i: Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah, vol. 1 pgs. 185-186.
 Al Tabari: Jami’ al Bayan. See for instance, vol. 1 pg. 62.
 Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 82.
 He is Yahya ibn Sa’id ibn Farrukh al Qattan al Tamimi, Abu Sa’id al Hafiz al Basri. An authority in hadith.
Ahmed ibn Hambal says: “I have not laid my eyes upon anyone the like of Yahya ibn al Qattan. He passed away the year 198 A.H/813 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat, vol. 7 pg. 293; Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 14 pg. 135; and Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 1 pg. 298.
 Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 84.
 Al Tabari: Sarih al Sunnah, pgs. 18-19.
 Ibid, pg. 20.
 Ibid, pgs. 21-22.
 Al Tabari: Sarih al Sunnah, pgs. 25-26.
 Ibid, pgs. 23-24.
 Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 80.