Tafsir Ma`alim al-Tanzil

The Isnad of al-`Abdari
October 1, 2015
Kitab al-Firdows
October 1, 2015

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Tafsir Ma’alim al Tanzil


The author is Hussain ibn Mas’ud Abu Muhammad al Gharra’ Muhiy al Sunnah al Baghawi al Shafi’i (d. 516 A.H).


اخبرنا ابو سعيد احمد بن محمد بن العباس الحميدى اخبرنا ابو عبيدالله محمد بن عبدالله الحافظ انا ابو الفضل الحسن بن يعقوب بن يوسف العدل اخبرنا ابو احمد محمد بن عبدالوهاب العبدى انا ابو جعفر بن عوف اخبرنا ابو حيان يحيى بن سعيد بن حيان عن يزيد بن حيان قال سمعت زيد بن ارقم  قال قام فينا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ذات يوم خطيبا فحمد الله و اثنى عليه ثم قال ايها الناس انما انا بشر يوشك ان ياتينى رسول ربى فاجيبه و انا تارك فيكم الثقلين اولهما كتاب الله فيه الهدى و النور فخذوابكتاب الله و استمسكوا به فحث على كتاب الله و رغب فيه ثم قال و اهل بيتى اذكركم الله فى اهل بيتى اذكركم الله فى اهل بيتى

Abu Sa’id Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn al ‘Abbas al Humaidi — Abu ‘Ubaidullah Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah al Hafiz — Abu al Fadl al Hassan ibn Ya’qub ibn Yusuf al ‘Adl — Abu Ahmed Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab al ‘Abdi — Abu Jafar ibn ‘Awf — Abu Hayyan Yahya ibn Sa’id ibn Hayyan — Yazid ibn Hayyan — Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu[1]


  1. The first three narrators of this hadith (Abu Sa’id, Abu ‘Ubaidullah and Abu al Fadl) are unknown. A thorough search was carried out in the books of rijal to ascertain their condition, but to no avail. Taqrib al Tahdhib, Mizan al I’tidal, Lisan al Mizan, Tahdhib al Kamal Khazraji, Tarikh Baghdad, Tarikh Asfahan of Abu Nuaim, Tarikh Ibn Khallikan, Tarikh Jurjan of al Sahmi, al Jarh wa al Ta’dil of Ibn Abi Hatim al Razi, etc., were thoroughly searched for details regarding them, but they were nowhere to be found. Our search also included the following books, Tarikh Saghir, Tarikh Kabir of Bukhari Kitab al Asma’ wa l-Kuna of al Dulabi. However, we still could not find them.
  2. If we accept that this narration is sahih despite the appearance of three unknown narrators, then too the text is identical to that of Muslim and Darimi. Hence the explanation and interpretation presented there, will apply here as well. Refer back to them for more detail.
  3. The author of ‘Abaqat attributed this narration four times at different places to Muhiy al Sunnah Farra’ al Baghawi. This is contrary to the reality, however, in order to scare off the opposition, he needs to resort to this type of academic deception to lengthen his list of references, and he does not waste any opportunity in doing so.


Anyway, the reality is that Farra’ al Baghawi quoted this hadith with its isnad in his Tafsir Ma’alim al Tanzil in the fourth juz under the verse:


وَکَیْفَ تَكْفُرُوْنَ وَاَنْتُمْ تُتْلٰی عَلَیْكُمْ اٰیٰتُ اللّٰهِ وَفِیْكُمْ رَسُوْلَه_ ؕ

And how could you disbelieve while to you are being recited the verses of Allah and among you is His Messenger?


As explained above. We also included the isnad with which we mentioned it (which contains unknown individuals in it). Thereafter, under the verse of Mawaddah:

قُلْ  لَّآ اَسْـَٔلُكُمْ عَلَیْهِ  اَجْرًا  اِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ  فِی الْقُرْبٰی ؕ

Say, [O Muhammad], “I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship.”


He referred to it briefly, whilst explaining the meaning of the verse in the following words:


زيد بن ارقم  قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم انا تارك فيكم الثقلين

Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “O people, Indeed I will leave amongst you al Thaqalayn.”


The only reason why he quotes this narration here is to explain the meaning of Qurba (close relatives). Thereafter, he again quotes it under the verse:


سَنَفْرُغُ  لَكُمْ  اَیُّهَ الثَّقَلٰنِ

We will attend to you, O prominent beings.


and explains it in the following manner:


قال اهل المعانى كل شيئ له قدر ووزن ينافس فيه فهو ثقل قال النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم انى تارك فيكم الثقلين كتاب الله و عترتى فجعلها ثقلين اعظاما لقدرهما

The linguists have said, “Everything that has value and weight and is sought after is referred to as Thiqal.” Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “I am leaving amongst you al Thaqalayn, the Book of Allah and my ‘itrah.” He classified them as Thaqalayn (two weighty things) to highlight their worth.


He only presented this well-known narration to prove the meaning of the word ‘thiqal’. He did not mention any separate isnad for it.

Muhiy al Sunnah also authored a famous compilation on hadith, Masabih al Sunnah. In it he presented a summary of the works of famous Muhaddithin. He left out the asanid of all the narrations, sufficing upon the texts. A few more narrations as well as the sources of all the narrations were then added, and a new book, Mishkat al Masabih, was then prepared. The scholars are well-acquainted with both books.

Al Baghawi mentioned this narration, once from Zaid ibn Arqam radiya Llahu ‘anhu which he quoted from Muslim, and a second time from Jabir radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which he quoted from al Tirmidhi. Both these narrations have been quoted verbatim from Muslim and Tirmidhi. Al Baghawi did not narrate them through his own separate isnad. Hence attributing this narration four times to al Baghawi is a futile act. In fact it is an incorrect attribution which is contrary to the truth.

This book has been decorated with many such futilities which do not behove the integrity of people of knowledge. The discussion on the narration of al-Tirmidhi has been covered in its appropriate place, which one may refer to. In light of principles, the narration of al Tirmidhi cannot be accepted. As far as the narration of Muslim goes, it is highly authentic from the perspective of the isnad. However, the correct meaning has to be understood. It has been explained under the discussion of the narration. Refer to it, and understand this narration in the exact same manner.


NEXT⇒ The Isnad of al-`Abdari

[1]Tafsir Ma’alim al Tanzil of al Baghawi vol. 1 pg. 327 Egyptian print (which is printed along with Tafsir al Khazin).

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