The Allegations Made by `Abd al-Husayn Sharf al-Din al-Musawi

Exaggeration of Shi`i narrators
December 9, 2015
Chapter Two
December 9, 2015

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Section one

The Allegations Made by ‘Abdul Hussain Sharf al Din al Musawi


He writes in the introduction of his book, Abu Hurairah (pg. 5):


This is a treatise on the life of the Sahabi who narrated from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and narrated so excessively that he exceeded all the limits. His narrations have been reported in the Sihah of the majority (i.e. the Ahlus Sunnah) and in all their Masanid, and they too reported from him excessively such that they too exceeded the limits. It was impossible for us to examine these narrations except by studying the source of it because of it having a direct link to our spiritual lives and logic as well. If this were not the reason then we would have overlooked it and its source, and occupied ourselves with something more important.

However, the thorns of this excess became widespread amongst the furu’ (secondary) and usul (primary) aspects of din; and the fuqaha (jurists) of the majority (i.e. the Ahlus Sunnah) and their mutakallimin (theologians) substantiate from them in many of the laws of Allah and His Shari’ah, which requires careful scrutiny and deliberation. It is not surprising for them to have acted in this manner after having decided to attribute reliability to all of the Sahabah. Just as there is no proof for this principle, as will be clarified in its relevant chapter, it became necessary for us to discuss this exaggerator and his narrations entirely so that we may be aware which of his narrations are related to the furu’ and usul of din. This is what prompted me to write this treatise on the life of this Sahabi (and he is Abu Hurairah), and his lamentable narrations. I have researched extensively and investigated copiously such that the path of truth has been revealed in this book of mine and the light of conviction made apparent.

As for Abu Hurairah, we will soon discuss his life history and analyse his personality as has been narrated in the books. We have revealed his true nature and character from all his lamentable actions, which you will be able to discern on your own. As for his ahadith, I have scrutinised them carefully and have found no option, Allah is my witness, but to discard all of them. Which knowledgeable, impartial, open-minded scholar will be content with such excessive narrating, which cannot be found amongst the narrations of the four khalifas, Ummahat al Muʼminin, or the men and women of the Banu Hashim? How can you consider it practical that an unlettered one (who embraced Islam late in the life of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and on account of which you regard him amongst the Sahabah) could have narrated that from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which the forerunners of the close and near Companions did not narrate. When we gauge his narrations in light of common sense and examination, we find that they did not corroborate the majority of what has been narrated by this exaggerator in his excessiveness and incongruity. The Sunnah is far greater than to have thorny weeds, by which Abu Hurairah had stabbed common sense and wounded the criteria of examination when he distorted the exalted Shari’ah and wronged the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Ummah…

The truth is that companionship (of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is a great virtue but it does not make one infallible. Among the Sahabah were saints, veracious and honest men, who were their ‘Ulama’ and leaders, and there were those who were unknown. Also, there were the munafiqin (hypocrites), who committed great sins and crimes. The Noble Qur’an mentions this clearly:

And from amongst the people of Madinah, (are those) obstinate upon hypocrisy. You do not know who they are, We know who they are.[1] (Surah Tawbah: 101)

So, the narrations of the reliable are proof and those who are unknown will be investigated, and those who are guilty of sin have no value nor do their narrations. This is our point of view on those who narrated hadith from the Sahabah and others. The Noble Qurʼan and the Sunnah are established upon this opinion; the liars were never excused from criticism even if they were called Sahabah, because excusing them is a deception upon Allah, His Rasul, and His servants. It is sufficient for us to depend upon the ‘Ulama’, leaders, Siddiqin and virtuous of the great Sahabah of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his family, whom he ordered to be at the same rank with the Holy Qur’an and to be the example for the wise.

Based upon this, we are in agreement upon the result, even if we somehow differed in the beginning because the majority (i.e. the Ahlus Sunnah) excused Abu Hurairah, Samurah ibn Jundub, al Mughirah, Muawiyah, ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, Marwan ibn al Hakam and the likes thereof, in honour of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam because they were amongst his Companions. We on the other hand criticised them to honour the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Sunnah, which is befitting of those who are open minded, understanding of honour and greatness.

It is obvious that refuting all that has been narrated from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which is impossible to believe, is more in line with honouring the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and it is more in accordance with that reasoning which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam intended for transmitting the Shari’ah and knowledge to his Ummah. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had warned that there would be many liars against him and promised them that their abodes would be in Jahannam.

I publish this study in my book (Abu Hurairah) solely to reveal the truth and to purify the Sunnah and its ascription to the great sacred Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

And he does not speak of his own desire… (Surah Najm: 3)


I say that his statement of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu being an exaggerator is a lie. What exaggeration did Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu do, when he is the hafiz whom we know, the Mufti which the Ummah relied upon after the demise of the senior Sahabah. Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was amongst those who resided in Madinah as a recourse for people in their din and shari’ah, after the Sahabah settled in the various cities of Islam to teach and tutor its people. We will reply in detail to his allegations but first it is imperative to clarify that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was no exaggerator but was the same as all the other ‘Ulama’ amongst the Sahabah, who issued rulings when it was sought from them, and answered when they were asked. He was not excessive, neither during the era of the al Khulafaʾ al Rashidin nor after them. On the contrary, people understood his reliability, recognised his status and awarded him the honour he deserved. Numerous were those who travelled great distances just to see Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and many were those who would come to him seeking a ruling or a hadith, in the presence of the senior Sahabah.

Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not narrate such a large number of ahadith of his own accord but people relied upon his excellent memory and desired to benefit from it. What crime did he commit in this? His deep knowledge and excellent memory was attested to by Ibn ‘Umar, Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah, Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and many others. When asked about his abundant narrations, he replied:

What sin have I committed, if I remembered and they forgot.


It is reported in the books of the Shia[2] under the chapter: The miracles of the Messenger of Allah where his supplications were accepted:


أن أبا هريرة قال لرسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إني أسمع منك الحديث الكثير أنساه ، قال : أبسط رداك قال : فبسطته فوضع يده فيه ثم قال : ضمّه فضممته، فما نسيت كثيرا بعده

Verily Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “I hear many ahadith from you but forget.”

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed him to spread his shawl and he did. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then placed his hand in it and said, “Hold it tightly.”

Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu says, “I then held it tightly and I did not forget thereafter.”


What crime did Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu commit if the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam supplicated to Allah for him to be granted an excellent memory? On the other hand, the Shia believe that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam supplicated for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be granted understanding and knowledge, after which he never forgot any verse of the Qurʼan.

It is reported in Bihar al Anwar that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu one thousand chapters.


عن سليم بن قيس عن أمير المؤمنين (ع) قال : كنت إذا سألت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أجابني ، وإن فنيت مسائلي ابتدأني ، فما نزلت عليه آية في ليل ولا نهار ولا سماء ولا أرض ولا دنيا ولا آخرة ولا جنة ولا نار ولا سهل ولا جبل ولا ضياء ولا ظلمة إلا أقرأنيها وأملاها عليّ ، وكتبت بيدي وعلّمني تأويلها وتفسيرها ومحكمها ومتشابهها وخاصها وعامها ، وكيف نزلت وأين نزلت وفيمن أنزلت إلى يوم القيامة ، دعا الله لي أن يعطيني فهماّ وحفظاّ ، فما نسيت آية من كتاب الله ، ولا على من أنزلت أملاه عليّ

Sulaim ibn Qais reports from Amir al Muʼminin ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam, “Whenever I would ask the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam anything, he would answer me. When I had no questions to ask, he would exhort me. There was no verse that descended upon him in the night or the day, regarding the heavens or the earth, this world or the hereafter, Jannat or Jahannam, ease or adversity, light or darkness except that he recited it to me, dictated it to me and I wrote it with my hand. He taught me its interpretation, commentary, clear meaning and unclear meaning, general and specific, the manner in which it was revealed, where it was revealed and regarding whom it was revealed until the Day of Qiyamah. He supplicated to Allah to grant me understanding and memory; I never forgot a verse from the Book of Allah after that or regarding whom it was revealed, which he dictated to me.”[3]


Thus, what crime did ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu commit if the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam supplicated for Allah to grant him an excellent memory? What wrong did he do if the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught him one thousand chapters, as the Shia presume?

Abu Hamzah al Thumali reports from Imam Jafar:


قال علي (ع): لقد علّمني رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ألف باب كل باب يفتح ألف باب

‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam said, “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught me one thousand chapters, each chapter comprising of one thousand sub-chapters.”


In another narration:

علّم رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم علياً ألف كلمة كل كلمة تفتح ألف كلمة

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught me one thousand phrases, each phrase opening one thousand phrases.[4]


Muhammad Mahdi has reported in his book Al Jami’ li Ruwat wa Ashab al Imam al Rida:

‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam said, “Come close! Come close! Seek a means! Seek a means! For verily knowledge flows like a river.” He then began stroking his belly saying, “Food will not satiate him but knowledge will.”[5]


Al Najashi has reported under the biography of Hisham ibn Muhammad ibn Sa’ib:

Well-known to possess great virtue and knowledge, granted eminent distinction in our school. The famous hadith has been reported in his favour, “A severe illness affected me and I lost my knowledge. I then sat in the company of Jafar ibn Muhammad and he gave me knowledge to drink from a cup, and my knowledge returned to me.”[6]


In light of the above, is it not then unscrupulous of the author to reject the abundant narrations of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his knowledge?

Even more astonishing is to make this an issue in the tenth century. Is he astonished at the power of memory granted to man, especially the Arabs, who memorised twice as more as what Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu memorised. They memorised the Qur’an, hadith, and poetry; what will the ‘honest’ author say about them? What does he say about Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his memory of the lineage of the Arabs, about ‘Aʼishah radiya Llahu ‘anha and her memory of their poetry? What does he say about Hammad al Rawiyah, who was most knowledgeable of the history of the Arabs, their poetry, narrations, lineage and diction? What will he say about him when he learns that he has reported hundreds of lengthy poems on each of the letters of the alphabet, from the poems of the Period of Ignorance and not Islam?

What does he say about the memory of Imam al Bukhari rahimahu Llah in hadith as he memorised one hundred thousand sahih ahadith and two hundred thousand which were not sahih? He compiled his book (Sahih al Bukhari) from six hundred thousand ahadith.

What does he say about the memory Ibn ‘Uqdah, who memorised one hundred and twenty thousand ahadith? Ayatollah al Gulpaygani has reported in his book Anwar al Wilayah (page 415) in his research of the chains of hadith:

Sheikh al Tusi said that he heard a group reporting from him that he said, “I have memorised one hundred and twenty thousand ahadith with their chains of narration, and I will learn three hundred thousand ahadith.”[7]


The problem with ‘Abdul Hussain is that he deceives in every page of his book; he assumes Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be an exaggerator but he forgets—or intentionally forgets—that those who narrated from his Imams, whom he regards to be infallible, have narrated loads more then what Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu has narrated; such that they were the ones who exaggerated and the four (most relied upon) books of the Shia or four fundamental books also exaggerated (since they relied upon their narrations).

In addition to the previous chapter which al Majlisi compiled in his Bihar al Anwar, which is filled with narrations in this regard (from page 127 to page 200), there is much more in addition to it.

Read and be amazed by the narrations of the ‘reliable’ narrators of the Shia and their number of narrations.



NEXT⇒ Exaggeration of Shia narrators

[1]  The verse of Allah, “And from the amongst the people of Madinah”, does not indicate that the munafiqin were from amongst the Sahabah. Instead it indicates that from amongst the munafiqin, some were from Madinah and others from elsewhere. As for being a Sahabi, this negates being a munafiq whereas being from Madinah does not negate being a munafiq. Instead, it is possible that a munafiq may come from Madinah or from Makkah, and be obstinate upon kufr and evil. The narrations, in the Qur’an and Sunnah, proving the reliability of the Sahabah are numerous.

[2] Bihar al Anwar, 18/13.

[3] Bihar al Anwar, 40/139, chapter 93.

[4]Bihar al Anwar, 40/131, 132

[5] Al Jami’ li Ruwat wa Ashab al Imam al Rida, 1/244.

[6] Al Najashi: Rijal, 2/399-400.

[7]Anwar al Wilayah, pg. 415; Rijal al Najashi, 1/240.