The First Narration

The Second Narration
January 20, 2016
Responding to the Narrations That Have Been Declared Weak, Which Indicate Virtue for Mu`awiyah
January 20, 2016

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The First Narration

 

O Allah, make him a guide, rightly-guided and guide (others) through him.

 

This narration has been narrated by al Bukhari in al Tarikh al Kabir (5/240), al Tirmidhi in his Jami’ (3843), Ibn Sa’d in al Tabaqat (7/417), al Tabarani in Musnad al Shamiyyin (2198), Ibn Abi ‘Asim in al Ahad wa l-Mathani’ (3129), al Ajurri in al Shari’ah (1914,1915) and al Khatib al Baghdadi in his Tarikh (1/207). All of them by way of Abu Mus-hir — from Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz — from Rabi’ah ibn Yazid — from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umairah.

It has also been narrated by Ahmed in is Musnad (17929), Ibn Abi Khaythamah in his Tarikh (1233), Abu Nuaim in al Hilyah (8/358) by way of al Walid ibn Muslim — from Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz with the same chain.

It has also been narrated by al Bukhari in al Tarikh al Kabir (5/240), Abu Nuaim in Akhbar Asbihan (1/180), Ibn Abi ‘Asim in al Ahad wa l-Mathani (3129), al Baghawi in Mujam al Sahabah (4/490) by way of Marwan ibn Muhammad al Tatiri — from Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz with the same chain.

It has also been narrated by al Tabarani in al Awsat (656), and Musnad al Shamiyyin (707), al Khallal in al Sunnah (1/451) by way of al Walid ibn Muslim — from Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz — from Yunus ibn Maisarah — from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umairah.

It has also been narrated by al Baghawi in Mujam al Sahabah (5/367), Ibn ‘Asakir in his Tarikh (59/86) by way of Hisham ibn ‘Ammar — from Abu Sa’ib ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn al Walid ibn Sulaiman — from his father, mentioning from ‘Umar ibn al Khattab … and this chain is interrupted[1], since al Walid ibn Sulaiman did not meet ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

Al Tirmidhi also narrates it in his Jami’ (3843) and Abu Nuaim, both by way of ‘Amr ibn Waqid — from Yunus ibn Maisarah — from Abu Idris — from ‘Umair ibn Sa’d. Al Tirmidhi commented after it:

 

This hadith is Gharib, and ‘Amr ibn Waqid is considered weak.

 

This narration has been discredited on account of unsubstantiated defects!!![2]

 

The First Alledged Defect

‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umairah, his narrations are not established and neither has his companionship of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam been confirmed; and he best resembles a majhul (unknown). Ibn ‘Abdul Barr said: “His narrations are irreconcilable, his companionship cannot be established, he is from al Sham.”

 

The response to this is that the companionship of ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umairah is established on the basis of two aspects:

 

1. In some versions of this narration, he expressly mentions that he heard it from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; and this proves his rank as a Sahabi.

The express mention of having heard it from the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is found in the narration of al Bukhari’s al Tarikh al Kabir (5/240), al Bukhari said of him:

 

He is considered from the people of al Sham. Abu Mus-hir said: “‘Abdullah ibn Marwan related from Sa’id — from Rabi’ah that ‘Abdur Rahman heard from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

The explicit mention of ‘hearing’ is also found in al Shari’ah (1915) of al Ajurri by way of Abu Mus-hir — from Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz with the above chain; and in the Tarikh of Ibn ‘Asakir (59/83) by way of Muhammad ibn Sulaiman al Harrani — from Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz with the above chain.

So there is no basis for denying his rank as a Sahabi after him explicitly saying he heard from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Ibn Hajar said in al Isabah (4/342):

 

Suppose that this narration that Ibn ‘Abdul Barr has indicated to, appears to be defective due to an interruption that seems to be there; what will he do with the rest of the narrations which clearly state that he heard it from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?! What could be a greater confirmation of his rank as a Sahabi than this?

 

2. Majority of the scholars are of the opinion that his companionship is well established. In fact, nobody is known to deny this fact besides Ibn ‘Abdul Barr; and Ibn Hajar was astonished by this as has been shown from the quote of al Isabah (4/342).

 

From those scholars who confirmed his rank as a Sahabi are:

 
  • Ahmed ibn Hambal, since he narrates this hadith in his Musnad (17929) from the narration of ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umairah and that indicates that he considers him to be a Sahabi. If this were not the case he would have not included this narration since it would be Mursal and not Musnad.
  • Al Bukhari in al Tarikh al Kabir (5/240) said of him: “He is considered from the people of al Sham. Abu Mus-hir said: “‘Abdullah ibn Marwan related from Sa’id — from Rabi’ah that ‘Abdur Rahman heard from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”
  • Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Tanukhi — one of the narrators of this hadith from him — as it appears in Jami’ al Tirmidhi (3842), Tarikh ibn Abi Khaythamah (1/350), Tarikh Dimashq of Ibn ‘Asakir (35/230) by way of Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz — from Rabi’ah ibn Yazid — from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umairah and he was from the Sahabah of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
  • Ibn Sa’d, in al Tabaqat (7/417), said regarding him: “Al Muzani, he was from the Sahabah of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; he settled in al Sham.”
  • Al Mizzi, in Tahdhib al Kamal (17/321), said regarding him: “‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umairah al Muzani, and it is also said al Azdi al Barni. However this is a mistake since he is a Muzani and not an Azdi; he is the brother of Muhammad ibn Abi ‘Umairah. He settled in Hims, and he had narrated from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”
  • Ibn ‘Asakir, in Tarikh Dimashq (35/229), writes: “‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umairah al Muzani, and it has been said al Azdi, the brother of Muhammad ibn Abi ‘Umairah. He was a Sahabi.”
  • Ibn Hajar, in al Isabah (4/342), states: “… and these narration even though every chain of transmission of them is not free from a statement (of criticism), the collective corroboration of them firmly establishes that status of companionship for ‘Abdur Rahman.”
  • Abu Hatim al Razi, Ibn al Sakan, Ibn al Barqi, Ibn Hibban, ‘Abdul Samad ibn Sa’id and Abu al Hassan ibn Sami’ all mention him among the Sahabah according to whom Ibn Hajar writes in al Isabah (4/342): “Abu Hatim al Razi and Ibn al Sakan said, “he has companionship, and al Bukhari, Ibn Sa’d, Ibn al Barqi, Ibn Hibban, ‘Abdul Samad ibn Sa’id and Abu al Hassan ibn Sami’ all mention him from the Sahabah.”
 

The Second Alledged Defect

Ibn Abi Hatim has transmitted, in his ‘Ilal (2/363) — from his father that Ibn Abi ‘Umairah did not hear this narration from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Instead he narrated it from Muawiyah — from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

I say that Ibn Abi Hatim has been mistaken in what he mentions of Abu Mus-hir, and Marwan ibn Muhammad, that they both narrate the report by way of Ibn Abi ‘Umairah — from Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu himself since all the variant chains narrated by Abu Mus-hir and Marwan do not mention Muawiyah.[3]

The narration of Abu Mus-hir has been narrated by al Bukhari in al Tarikh al Kabir (5/240), Ibn Sa’d in al Tabaqat (7/417), al Tirmidhi in his Jami’ (3843), al Tabarani in Musnad al Shamiyyin (2198), Ibn Abi ‘Asim in al Ahad wa l-Mathani’ (3129), al Ajurri in al Shari’ah (1914,1915), al Khatib al Baghdadi in his Tarikh (1/207), all of them by way of Abu Mus-hir — from Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz — from Rabi’ah ibn Yazid — from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umairah; and there is absolutely no mention of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

The narration of Marwan ibn Muhammad al Tatari has been narrated by Abu Nuaim in Akhbar Asbihan (1/180), and Ibn Abi ‘Asim in al Ahad wa l-Mathani (3129), both of them by way of Marwan ibn Muhammad al Tatari — from Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz with the same chain, neither does it have any mention of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

The Third Alledged Defect

The student of ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umairah and the teacher of Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz is possibly — but not certain — to be Rabi’ah ibn Yazid al Sulami… He is extremely weak more so after his Nasibi sentiments became apparent, and it is he of whom Ibn ‘Abdul Barr said: “He was from the Nasibis, he used to curse ‘Ali,” and Abu Hatim said: “He is not to be narrated from, and no honour is lost in that.”

 

The response to this is from two perspectives:

 
  1. Who of the scholars of hadith considered that Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz narrates from Rabi’ah ibn Yazid al Sulami al Nasibi?
  2. There has been a difference among the scholars regarding Rabi’ah ibn Yazid al Sulami whether he was a Sahabi or not; as some of them have clearly stated this. Among them:
  • Al Bukhari, in al Tarikh al Kabir (3/280), said: “Rabi’ah ibn Yazid al Sulami, he has companionship…”
  • Ibn Hibban, in al Thiqat (3/129), said: “Rabi’ah ibn Yazid al Sulami, it is said that he was a Sahabi…”
  • Ibn Abi Hatim al Razi, in al Jarh wa al Ta’dil (3/472), said: “Some people say that he was a Sahabi, I heard my father saying this.”
  • Ibn Hajar, in al Isabah (2/477), said: “Al ‘Askari said that some of them said that he had companionship… Ibn Fathun, Abu ‘Ali al Ghassani and Ibn Mi’waz ‘Ali Abu ‘Umar have emended him (Ibn ‘Abdul Barr) relying on the statement of al Bukhari.”
 

The Fourth Alledged Defect

Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Dimashqi, notwithstanding the fact that he is well established, from the narrators of Muslim and the Sunan works, well-revered by the people of Sham, he became confused at the end of his life.

 

This will be responded to from two perspectives, and with Allah is success:

 
  1. Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Dimashqi did get confused towards the end of his years. However, in one of the numerous chains of narration from him the narrator from him is Abu Mus-hir ‘Abdul A’la ibn Mus-hir, as is found in al Tarikh al Kabir of al Bukhari (5/240), Ibn Sa’d in al Tabaqat (7/417), al Tirmidhi in al Jami’ (3843), al Tabarani in Musnad al Shamiyyin (2198), Ibn Abi ‘Asim in al Ahad wa l-Mathani (3129), al Ajurri in al Shari’ah (1914,1915), and al Khatib in his Tarikh (1/207). Abu Mus-hir is among those who narrated from Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz early on and he would elevate him. He would say: “Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz vies with al Awza’i[4].” How could he consider him an equal of al Awza’i if he narrated after his lapse?
  2. Abu Mus-hir did not narrate from Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz in isolation, there are four others who have also narrated it from Sa’id and it is farfetched to think that they would all have narrated from him after his confusion and memory lapse. They are as follows:
  • Al Walid ibn Muslim al Dimishqi as found in Musnad Ahmed (17929), Abu Nuaim in al Hilyah (8/358), al Tabarani in al Awsat and Musnad al Shamiyyin (606), al Khallal in al Sunnah (2/451).
  • Marwan ibn Muhammad al Tatari as found in al Tarikh al Kabir of al Bukhari (5/240), Abu Nuaim in Akhbar Asbihan (1/180), and Ibn Abi ‘Asim in al Ahad wa l-Mathani (3129).
  • ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul Wahid, as is found in al Sunnah of al Khallal (2/450), and Ibn ‘Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq (59/83).
  • Muhammad ibn Sulaiman al Harrani as found in Ibn ‘Asakir’s Tarikh Dimashq (59/83).[5]
 

The Fifth Alledged Defect

The occasion of the narration, as they mention of Rabi’ah the teacher of Sa’id, was when ‘Uthman[6] dismissed ‘Umair ibn Sa’d al Ansari from the governorship of Hims and nominated Muawiyah in his stead. ‘Uthman dismissed him (‘Umair) early, 24 A.H, and Rabi’ah, the narrator of the incident and the hadith only died after 120 A.H meaning that between him and the incident there is a period of almost one hundred years and the gap is evident between Rabi’ah and ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Umairah.

 

The response to this is as follows:

 
  1. Rabi’ah ibn Yazid has been corroborated on this narration from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umairah and does not narrate it in isolation. He is corroborated by Yunus ibn Maisarah as it appears in al Awsat (656) and Musnad al Shamiyyin (606) of al Tabarani, and al Sunnah (2/451) of al Khallal.
  2. Rabi’ah ibn Yazid clearly states to have heard it from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umairah, and he in turn clearly states that he heard it from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as in al Tarikh al Kabir of al Bukhari (5/240). So where is the gap or interruption?
  3. The incident regarding the occasion of mentioning the hadith is not reliable. Al Tirmidhi (3843) narrates it and says: “Gharib, and ‘Amr ibn Waqid is considered weak.”
 

The Sixth Alledged Defect

The inconsistency regarding ibn Abi ‘Umairah, sometimes they say ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Umairah, and other times they say ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Umairah, sometimes al Muzani, and others al Ansari etc. … all of which imply the unknown status of this person.

I say: this purported defect has been dealt with in previous responses, which suffices from repeating it here.

 

The Seventh Alledged Defect

They have narrated it from Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz — from Rabi’ah at times and others from Yunus ibn Maisarah — and perhaps this — if it is correct — is from the confusion of Sa’id also.

 

The Eighth Alledged Defect

They narrate it from Sa’id — from Rabi’ah — from Ibn Abi ‘Umayarah at times; and others from Sa’id — from Rabi’ah — from Abu Idris — from Ibn Abi ‘Umairah. Perhaps this is from Sa’id’s confusion and memory lapse as well.

 

The Ninth Alledged Defect

Sometimes there is one person between Sa’id and Ibn Abi ‘Umairah, sometimes two, and other times the narration is from him directly. Perhaps this came about on account of the confusion of Sa’id.

I say: these defects revolve on Idtirab (internal contradiction and inconsistency). However, this Idtirab is not such that it affects the reliability of the narration, as the correct chain for this narration is from Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz — from Rabi’ah ibn Yazid — from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umairah; and this is the narration of the majority. It has been narrated as such by:

 
  • Al Walid ibn Muslim al Dimishqi as in Musnad Ahmed (17929), Abu Nuaim in al Hilyah (8/358), al Tabarani in al Awsat (656) and Musnad al Shamiyyin (606), al Khallal in al Sunnah (2/451).
  • Marwan ibn Muhammad al Tatari as in al Tarikh al Kabir of al Bukhari (5/240), Abu Nuaim in Akhbar Asbihan (1/180), and Ibn Abi ‘Asim in al Ahad wa l-Mathani (3129).
  • ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul Wahid, as is found in al Sunnah of al Khallal (2/450), and Ibn ‘Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq (59/83).
  • Muhammad ibn Sulaiman al Harrani as found in Ibn ‘Asakir’s Tarikh Dimashq (59/83).
  • Abu Mus-hir, as is found in al Tarikh al Kabir of al Bukhari (5/240), Ibn Sa’d in al Tabaqat (7/417), al Tirmidhi in al Jami’ (3843), al Tabarani in Musnad al Shamiyyin (2198), Ibn Abi ‘Asim in al Ahad wa l-Mathani (3129), al Ajurri in al Shari’ah (1914,1915), and al Khatib in his Tarikh (1/207).
 

All five of them narrate it from Sa’id Ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz — from Rabi’ah ibn Yazid — from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umairah. Therefore Ibn ‘Asakir says in Tarikh Dimashq (59/84): “The view of the majority is correct”, al Albani says in al Sahihah (4/616) of this Idtirab: “It is not from the kind that affects the reliability of the narration since the inconsistent variants are not of matching strength (hence not irreconcilable).”

 
 

NEXT⇒ The Second Narration


[1]  See Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ (5/122) and al Bidayah wa al Nihayah (11/409).

[2]  Hassan Farhan al Maliki has discredited this narration on the basis of certain alleged defects. The author is going to address these alleged defects and disprove them systematically. – [Translator]

[3]  Al Maliki mentions this himself in his book pg. 155.

[4] al Jarh wal Ta’dil (1/287)

[5]  Also see al Silsilah al Sahihah of al Albani (4/615)

[6]  As such it appears in the Tarikh of Ibn ‘Asakir (59/81) and the one who dismissed ‘Umair ibn Sa’d was ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu as in al Tirmidhi (3843) and he said after it: “This narration is Gharib; and ‘Amr ibn Waqid is considered weak.”

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