Tabaqat ibn Sa`d

Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah
October 1, 2015
Sahifah Imam `Ali al-Rida ibn Musa al-Kazim
October 1, 2015

BACK Return to Table of contents


Tabaqat ibn Sa’d


He is Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Sa’d ibn Mani’i al Hashimi (d. 235 A.H).


اخبرنا هاشم بن القاسم الكنانى حدثنا محمد بن طاحة عن الاعمش عن عطية عن ابى سعيد الخدرى عن النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم قال انى اوشك ان ادعى فاجيب وانى تارك فيكم الثقلين كتاب الله و عترتى كتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء الى الارض و عترتى اهل بيتي وان اللطيف الخبير اخبرنى انهما لن يتفرقا حتى يردا على الحوض كيف تخلفونى فيهما

Hashim ibn al Qasim al Kinani — Muhammad ibn Talhah — al A’mash — ‘Attiyah — from Abu Said al Khudri that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

Soon I will be invited (by Allah towards my eternal abode) and I will accept the invitation. I leave amongst you two weighty objects, the Book of Allah and my ‘itrah. The Book of Allah is like a rope that has been extended from the sky to the earth and my ‘itrah refers to my Ahlul Bayt. Indeed the One Who knows the finest details and is aware of everything has informed me that these two will never separate until they meet me at the Pond (of al Kawthar). Beware of how you treat them in my absence.[1]


In the above chain, an individual by the name ‘Attiyah has been severely criticised. The details of this ‘Attiyah will first be quoted from the books of the Ahlus Sunnah, thereafter to conclude the argument; Shia sources will be quoted to shed further light on his personality. We have adopted this method at many places ahead as well; after quoting the works of Sunni scholars, quotations are added from the books of Shia scholars as well, and in so doing the argument against the opposition is left indisputable.


‘Attiyah al ‘Aufi according to the Ahlus Sunnah

1. It is stated in Taqrib al Tahdhib:

عطية بن سعد العوفى الجدلى الكوفى ابو الحسن…يخطى كثيرا كان شيعيا مدلسا

‘Attiyah ibn Sa’d al ‘Aufi al Jadali al Kufi Abu al Hassan: He was a Shia who would commit many errors in his narrations and would conceal the name of the person from whom he narrated.[2]


2. Tahir al Fattani states in Qanun al Mawdu’at:


عطية العوفى ضعيف و موضع لا يحل كتب حديثه الا على جهة التعجب يدلس فى الكلبى بابى سعيد فيظن الخدرى

‘Attiyah al ‘Aufi: A weak narrator and fabricator, whose narrations are not permissible to write except with the purpose of noting it down as something really peculiar. He would conceal the name of Muhammad ibn al Sa’ib al Kalbi by referring to him using the agnomen Abu Sa’id thereby deceiving people into believing that he was narrating from the Companion of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu[3].


3. Ibn al Hajar writes in al Tahdhib:


مسلم بن الحجاج ذكر عطية العوفى فقال هو ضعيف الحديث ثم قال باغنى ان عطية كان ياتى الكلبى و يسئله عن التفسير و كان يكنيه بابي سعيد فيقول قال ابو سعيد و كان هشيم يضعف حديث عطية…قال الجوزجانى مائل و قال النسائى ضعيف…وكان يعده ابن عدى مع شيعة اهل الكوفة قال ابن حبان وكناه ابو سعيد و يروى عنه فاذا قيل له من حدثك بهذا؟ فيقول حدثنى ابو سعيد فيتوهممن انه يريد ابا سعيد الخدرى و انما اراد الكلبي لا يحل كتب حديثه الا على جهة التعجب قال ابو بكر البزار كان يعده فى التشيع …وقال الساجى ليس بحجة وكان يقدم عليا على الكل

Muslim ibn al Hajjaj mentioned ‘Attiyah al ‘Aufi by saying, “His narrations are unreliable.” Thereafter he said, “It has reached be that ‘Attiyah would visit al Kalbi and he would ask him regarding tafsir. He had given him the agnomen Abu Sa’id from his own side. Thereafter, he would narrate to people saying, ‘Abu Sa’id said’. Hushaym would consider his narrations to be da’if (weak). Juzajani said, “He was inclined towards Shi’ism.” Nasa’i said, “He is da’if.” Ibn ‘Adi would count him amongst the Shia of Kufah. Ibn Hibban says that he had given him (al Kalbi) the agnomen Abu Sa’id. Thereafter, if anyone asked him, “Who narrated this to you?” He would reply, “Abu Sa’id.” This would mislead people into thinking that he was narrating from Abu Sa’id radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the Companion, whereas he was actually referring to al Kalbi. It is not permissible to write his narrations except with the purpose of noting it down as something really peculiar. He further says, Abu Bakr al Bazzar would count him amongst the Shia. Al Saji said, “He is not a reliable narrator and he used to believe that ‘Ali had the greatest rank.”[4]


4. Al Dhahabi states in al Mizan:


عطية بن سعد العوفى الكوفى تابعى شهير ضعيف…قال سالم المرادى كان عطية يتشيع…كان يكنيه بابى سعيد فيقول قال ابو سعيد قلت يعنى يوهم انه الخدرى قال النسائى و جماعة ضعيف

‘Attiyah ibn Sa’d al ‘Aufi al Kufi—a famous Tabi’i[5] who is da’if… Salim al Muradi said, “‘Attiyah was a Shia. He gave his teacher the agnomen Abu Sa’id and he would narrate from him saying, ‘Abu Sa’id said’, thus creating the impression that he is narrating from Abu Sa’id al Khudri.” Nasa’i and a group of others have stated that he is da’if.[6]


In the light of the above mentioned details, the position of ‘Attiyah al ‘Aufi is quite evident. His ploy by means of which he would conceal the name of his teacher who subscribed to the same beliefs as he did, Muhammad ibn al Sa’ib, has also been exposed. There is no way that the narrations of an individual like this can ever be accepted. It will be worth mentioning here that this teacher of his, Muhammad ibn al Sa’ib al Kalbi, was an infamous liar. Not only was he a member of the Saba’iyyah (followers of Ibn Saba’) but one of their leaders.

Whatever the position of this Kalbi may be in the eyes of our ‘friends’, a reference to the book Mulakhas al Maqal fi Tahqiq Ahwal al Rijal (category six regarding the majahil (unknown narrators)), is sufficient to grant one contentment. Amongst the products of the ‘generosity’ of these two (al Kalbi, the teacher, and al ‘Aufi, the student) is the narration of Thaqalayn, which our scholars have mentioned in their books. This was not on account of their reliance upon these narrators but rather it was mentioned merely to add to the list of fada’il (virtues) already mentioned regarding the Ahlul Bayt, without paying much attention to the isnad.

We now reproduce quotations for our ‘friends’ from their own books on narrators, thus concluding the argument against them.


‘Attiyah al ‘Aufi according to the Shia

1. Al Ardabili writes in Jami’ al Ruwat:


عطية العوفى من اصحاب باقر عليه السلام


2. Al Mamaqani writes in Tanqih al Maqal:


 عطية العوفى الكوفى من اصحاب باقر عليه السلام

‘Attiyah al ‘Aufi al Kufi is from amongst the companions of Imam Muhammad al Baqir. Muhammad Mirza Astarabadi counted him amongst their Shia narrators.


Thus, according to both parties, he is regarded as a staunch and well known Shia and as a result his narrations are inadmissible with regards to those subjects which are disputed.[7]


NEXT⇒ Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah

[1]Tabaqat ibn Sa’d vol. 2 pg. 2, Printed in Leidon

[2]Taqrib al Tahdhib pg. 363, Printed in Lucknow.

[3]Qanun al Mawdu’at wa al Du’afa’ by Tahir al Fattani al Hindi, pg. 278, printed in Egypt.

[4]Tahdhib al Tahdhib vol. 6 pg. 225-226, Printed in Dakkan-Kitab al Majruhin vol. 2 pg. 166

[5]  This refers to the generation after the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

[6]Mizan al I’tidal vol. 2 pg. 201, Egyptian print.

[7]Jami’ al Ruwat vol. 1 pg. 539, Tanqih al Maqal vol. 2 pg. 253