The Imami’s First al Usul al Rijaliyyah

November 23, 2023
December 5, 2023

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The Imami’s First al Usul al Rijaliyyah


The Imamiyyah call the books of Jarh and Tadil that deal with the narrators of the school, al Usul al Rijaliyyah, as they are the origins that the latter scholars relied upon when identifying narrators and their conditions. There are five Usul according to the popular view:


  1. Rijal al Kashshi of Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz, known as al Kashshi (d. 385 AH)
  2. Rijal al Najashi of Ahmed ibn ‘Ali al Najashi al Kufi (d. 450 AH).
  3. Al Fihrist of Muhammad ibn al Hassan al Tusi (d. 460 AH).
  4. Rijal al Tusi of Muhammad ibn al Hassan al Tusi (d. 460 AH).
  5. Rijal Ibn al Ghada’iri of Ahmed ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ubaidullah al Ghada’iri (5th century).


Sayed Jamal al Din Ahmed ibn Tawus (d. 673 AH) has gathered these five al Usul al Rijaliyyah in a book called Hall al Ishkal fi Marifat al Rijal. Similarly Sheikh ‘Inayat Allah al Quhba’i (after 1016 AH) has gathered them in his book Majma al Rijal.

However, these Usul al Rijaliyyah clearly lack in explaining the conditions of the School’s narrators and distinguishing between reliable and weak narrators as alerted to by Sayed Muhiyy al Din al Musawi al Ghurayfi by stating:


وليس في تلك الأصول الرجالية الستة كتاب شامل لجميع رواة أحاديثنا بحيث يكشف عن حالهم توثيقا وتضعيفا ومدحا وجرحا

Among the six[1] al Usul al Rijaliyyah there is no book that contains all the narrators of our narrations, which would reveal their condition pertaining to reliability, weakness, praise, and criticism.[2]


Prior to him, al Fayd al Kashani (d. 1091 AH) stated:


لإن كثيرا من الرواة المعتنين بشأنهم الذين هم مشايخ مشايخنا المشاهير الذين يكثرون الرواية عنهم ليسوا بمذكورين في كتب الجرح والتعديل بمدح ولا قدح ويلزم على هذا الاصطلاح أن يعد حديثهم في الضعيف مع أن أصحاب هذا الاصطلاح أيضا لا يرضون بذلك

Because many of the narrators, who we are concerned about, who are the teachers of our famous teachers that narrate abundantly from them, are not mentioned in the books of Jarh and Ta’dil, neither by praise nor criticism. Therefore, according to this terminology, their narrations should be considered to be weak, whereas the people of this terminology are also unhappy about that.


Ambiguity regarding a narrator’s condition is an inherent characteristic of this school which cannot be separated from them even though the arrogant oppose it.

Thus, the first Usul al Rijaliyyah which the former scholars of the school compiled till the 5th year after Hijrah, which are: Rijal al Barqi, Rijal al Kashshi, Rijal al Tusi, al Fihrist al Tusi, Rijal al Najashi, and Rijal Ibn al Ghada’iri, did not encompass all, majority, half, or even a quarter of the School’s narrators.

The number of these narrators, which these scholars have judged with approval or disapproval, hardly reaches 926, without the repeated ones. This is a very meager amount compared to the total number of narrators that are mentioned in the Imami chains of narrations. The number of biographies according to al Mamaqani, in his book Tanqih al Maqal fi Ahwal al Rijal, is 16307. Their numbers reached to 15706 narrators in Majma Rijal al Hadith wa Tafsil Tabaqat al Ruwat of al Khu’i. When we look at Mustadrakat Ilm Rijal al Hadith of ‘Ali al Namazi al Shahrudi—which is the largest ever encyclopedia of Imami narrators—wherein he has recouped the narrators that appear in Imami literature, which were left out by the former, latter, and contemporary books of narrators, we see that the numbers increase to 18189 narrators.

The astonishing aspect is the excuse al Shahrudi presented for this huge number of unknown narrators that fill the books of narrators. He says:


والمجاهيل المذكورة في كتب الرجال أكثر من الثقات والحسان كما هو واضح فلا ضير في ذكر راو مجهول فكم من مجهول عند السلف صار معلوما عند الخلف وكم من ضعيف عند السابق صار قويا عند اللاحق مثل جابر الجعفي والمفضل ومحمد بن سنان وسهل بن زياد وغيرهم

The unknown narrators mentioned in the books of narrators are more than the reliable and good narrators, as it is clear. There is no harm in mentioning an unknown narrator. How many a narrator was unknown to the predecessors but was known to the successors and how many a narrator was weak according to the formers but became strong according to the latter ones, such as Jabir al Ju’fi, al Mufaddal, Muhammad ibn Sinan, Sahl ibn Ziyad, etc.[3]


Rijal al Barqi

The first aspect to take notice of regarding this book of narrators is the Imami scholar’s differences pertaining to its association with Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid al Barqi (d. 273 or 280 AH), the author of al Mahasin. Some evidence indicates that this is not his book nor his fathers, as some believe. The possibility fluctuates between it being the book of his son, ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed al Barqi, from whom al Kulayni narrates, or the book of his grandson Ahmed ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed al Barqi, from whom Ibn Babawayh al Qummi narrates. Perhaps the second is more likely due to the mentioning of Sa’d ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Khalaf al Ash’ari al Qummi (d. 301 AH) amongst its narrators as well as ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar al Himyari, the author of Qurb al Isnad, and his declaration that he heard it from him.[4]

Whoever the author may be, the book Rijal al Barqi is considered to be a book on categories of narrators and not a book on Jarh and Ta’dil. This is what the contemporary Shia scholar of reference, Sheikh Jafar Subhani stated:


كتاب الرجال للبرقي كرجال الشيخ أتي فيه أسماء أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم والأئمة إلي الحجة صاحب الزمان ولا يوجد فيه أي تعديل وترجيح

Al Barqi’s book on narrators is like al Sheikh’s[5] book on narrators. He mentions the names of the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Imams till the Imam of his era. There is no Jarh or Ta’dil in it.[6]


It has been stated in the report of the late Shia scholar of reference Sayed ‘Ali al Fani al Isfahani (d. 1409 AH) thus:


وهذا الكتاب ليس بهذه المعروفية كسوابقه بل ولا أهمية له تذكر لعدم تعرضه للتوثيق أو التضعيف إلا نادرا جدا فإنه اقتصر فيه على ذكر الطبقات بلحاظ أصحاب كل إمام ولذا تنحصر فائدته في ذلك مضافا إلى معرفة بعض المهملين الذين قد يتعرض لذكرهم دون غيره

This book has not gained recognition like those before it; in fact, no significant importance to talk about due to the lack of authentication or weakening, except very rarely. He has sufficed on mentioning categories of the companions of all the Imams. Hence, its benefit is restricted to that, in addition to knowing some of the abandoned narrators who he mentions sometimes, nothing else.[7]


What they have mentioned is sufficient to understand the value of the book and its influence in Jarh and Ta’dil; however, it is worth noting that the number of the narrators whose biographies have been written in the book reaches [only] 1707 narrators. He mentioned authentication or weakening of 7 narrators only.


Rijal al Kashshi

This book is known as Marifat al Rijal or Marifat al Naqilin an A’immah al Sadiqin. Its author is Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz, known as al Kashshi, attributed to Kash which is close to Samarqand. Biographers do not have adequate information about his life, acquiring knowledge, and his teachers. What is known about him is what al Najashi mentioned that he is among the reliable ones, that he accompanied al ‘Ayyashi (d. 320 AH) and acquired knowledge from him, that he narrates abundantly from weak narrators and that there are lots of errors in his book al Rijal.[8]

The abovementioned book of al Kashshi is missing. What is found today is what Sheikh al Ta’ifah al Tusi selected from al Kashshi’s book after editing and summarising it, which he named Ikhtiyar Marifat al Rijal. This means that the book Rijal al Kashshi, which has reached us does not necessarily reflect the complete picture of the lost book of al Kashshi. Perhaps al Tusi made some substantial additions and changes to the book without us knowing its reality.[9]

Some researchers believe that this Ikhtiyar which al Tusi embarked on writing is tainted with a lot of mystery. We do not know the standards and mechanisms which al Tusi relied upon in his Ikhtiyar as he did not begin his book with an introduction explaining his approach and method in it, through which we can understand al Kashshi’s approach in his Rijal or al Tusi’s approach in the process of Ikhtiyar.[10]

Similarly, majority of the book contains Mu’allaq[11] chains and al Tusi mentions these chains without amending them. Some researchers are of the opinion that from the estimated 1150 texts in the book, less than 300 texts only are authentic.[12]

This is in addition to two other problems. One of them is that the book relies on authentication narrated from the Imams regarding the narrators and it does not concern the vast majority regarding whom nothing has been narrated from the Imams. The second problem is that many of the narrations of authenticity that are reported in the book from the Imams are narrations that are contradictory in praise and criticism. Even those narrators, who are described as very trustworthy and are relied upon when transmitting are not safe from this. It is an issue that compelled the scholars of the School to justify the narrations of criticism, by declaring it to be issued as Taqiyyah.[13]

In addition to this, some senior Imami scholars like al Muhaddith al Mirza al Nuri al Tabarsi (d. 1320 AH) accuse al Kashshi of relying largely on the Jarh and Ta’dil of the School’s opposition. He states:


فإن الكشي كثيرا ما يعول في الجرح والتعديل على غير الإمامية فلاحظ

Al Kashshi depends a lot on the non-Imamis in Jarh and Ta’dil. So take note.[14]


When the Asl (the original) which al Kashshi wrote is missing and the discussion is regarding its summarised and edited copy only, then ‘Allamah Muhammad Taqi al Tustari (d. 1415 AH) gives us a surprise greater than all that has passed when he declares that the copy of al Kashshi’s book that was in al Tusi and al Najashi’s possession, which was summarised and edited, was not an authentic one. He states:


وأما‏ رجال الكشي فلم تصل نسخته صحيحة إلي أحد حتي الشيخ والنجاشي … قلما تسلم رواية من رواياته عن التصحيف بل وقع في كثير من عناوينه بل وقع فيه خلط أخبار ترجمة بترجمة أخرى وخلط طبقة بأخرى‏… ثم إن الشيخ اختار مقدارا منه مع ما فيه من الخلط والتصحيف وأسقط منه أبوابا وإن بقي ترتيبه

As for Rijal al Kashshi, its authentic copy did not reach anyone, not even al Sheikh and al Najashi. Rarely any of its narrations are safe from distortion. In fact, it occurred in many of its headings. Rather, there is confusion between transmissions of one biography with another and one category with another in it. Then al Sheikh chose a portion of it despite the confusion and distortion found in it, and omitted some chapters, even though its order remained…


until he concluded by saying:


وبعد ما قلنا من وقوع التحريفات في أصل الكشي بتلك المرتبة لا يمكن الاعتماد على ما فيه إذا لم تقم قرينة على صحة ما فيه ثم إنه حدث في الاختيار من الكشي أيضا تحريفات غير ما كان في أصله فإنه شأن كل كتاب إلا أنها لم تكن بقدر الأصل ولذا ترى نسخ الاختيار أيضا مختلفة

After what we said about the occurrence of distortions in the Asl of al Kashshi in that stage, it is not possible to rely on what is in it as there is no evidence for the authenticity of what is in it. Then there were also distortions in the Ikhtiyar from al Kashshi, other than what was in the original—as is the case with every book—but they were not as great as the original, as a result one would see that the copies of Ikhtiyar are also different.[15]


This means that not even 70 years passed on al Kashshi’s book before it was lost, because he died in 385 AH, whereas the demise of al Najashi was in 450 AH and al Tusi was in 460 AH.

As for the weakness relating to the material of the book—assuming the integrity of the copy that reached al Tusi and al Najashi and the integrity of its material after the summary and editing—we notice:

First: The scarcity of narrators whose biographies al Kashshi wrote in his Rijal, as he has narrated 1151 narrations in his book—according to the numbering of the book—or more, taking into consideration that he narrates more than one narration for every biography. Sometimes he narrates more than ten narrations for a single biography.[16] Despite this, he only wrote biographies of 465 narrators. This number is not very meagre in comparison to the narrators he did not write about at all; in fact, it is barely significant compared to the total number of narrators whose names are mentioned in the Imami chains of transmissions, as we have mentioned before.

Above that, Rijal al Kashshi, as Abu al Ma’ali al Kalbasi (d. 1315 AH) states, was:


وُضع لنقل الروايات المادحة والقادحة والتعرض فيه لحال الرجل نادر

It was written to transmit narrations of praise and criticism. Dealing with conditions of narrators is rare.[17]


Second: Many of those who al Kashshi wrote about or narrated from are regarded as weak and criticised, either through the narrations which he transmits regarding their weakening or other books of narrators weakened them.

Ignoring the senior narrators of the sect, regarding whose weakening al Kashshi has transmitted narrations that they are considered to be Taqiyyah, or they are weakened in some other way, anyone who reviews the biographies of these narrators in Majma Rijal al Hadith of al Khu’i and his rulings on them, will notice that 83 of those narrators are judged to be weak and that al Kashshi has narrated close to 50 narrations from one of the narrators, Nasr ibn Sabah, alone.


Rijal al Najashi

This book is usually called Rijal al Najashi; however, its name, which is popular among the scholars is Fihrist Asma’ Musannifi al Shia. The author is Ahmed ibn ‘Ali al Najashi al Kufi (d. 450 AH).

Al Najashi is considered to be the greatest scholar of Jarh and Ta’dil according to the Imamiyyah.[18] According to Abu al Qasim al Khu’i’s expression, he is:


خريت هذه الصناعة والمتسالم عليه بالوثاقة

The most skilled in this field and assured in his reliability.[19]


Therefore, majority of the Imami scholars give preference to his view over the view of his colleague Sheikh al Ta’ifah al Tusi due to reasons that they mention.[20]

Al Najashi, in his autobiography, has mentioned his lineage, to Banu Asad al ‘Adnaniyyin. His writings besides this book are:

  • Kitab al Jumuah wa ma Warada fih min al A
  • Al Kufah wa ma fiha min al Athar wa al Fada’il
  • Ansab Bani Nasr ibn Quayn wa Ayyamuhum wa Asharuhum
  • Mukhtasar al Anwar wa Mawadi al Nujum allati Sammat’ha al [21]

Coming back to the name of the book; calling it a book of Rijal (narrators) is a misrepresentation of the name of the book and al Najashi’s object of writing it. The name of the book is, Fihrist Asma’ Musannifi al Shia, as we have mentioned. He has stated this name, himself, in the beginning of his second volume where he states:


الجزء الثاني من كتاب فهرست أسماء مصنفي الشيعة

The second volume of the book Fihrist Asma’ Musannifi al Shia.


Hence, ‘Allamah Muhammad Taqi al Tustari (d. 1401 AH) states in his Qamus:


سمينا كتاب النجاشي فهرستا لتصريحه بذلك في أول الجزء الثاني منه فتسمية العلامة اي ابن المطهر الحلي وابن داود له بالرجال في ترجمته غلط فإن الرجال ما كان مبنيا على الطبقات دون مجرد ذكر الأصول والمصنفات فإنه ييسمي بالفهرست ولذا ترى النجاشي يقول في بعضهم ذكره أصحاب الفهرستات وفي بعضهم ذكره أصحاب الرجال

We have named the book of Najashi as Fihrist due to his declaration of that at the beginning of his second volume. Thus, for al ‘Allamah—Ibn al Mutahhar al Hilli—and Ibn Dawood to name it as Rijal, is wrong. A book on Rijal is that book which explains categories and does not merely mention the origins and books, as that is called a Fihrist. Hence, you will see al Najashi saying regarding some that ‘the authors of Fihrists mentioned’, and for others he would say that ‘the authors of Rijal mentioned’.[22]


This is what al Najashi clearly states in the introduction of his book. He states:


اما بعد فإني وقفت على ما ذكره السيد الشريف أطال الله بقاءه وأدام توفيقه من تعيير قوم من مخالفينا أنه لا سلف لكم ولا مصنف وهذا قول من لا علم له بالناس ولا وقف على أخبارهم ولا عرف منازلهم وتاريخ أخبار أهل العلم ولا لقي أحدا فيعرف منه ولا حجة علينا لمن لم يعلم ولا عرف وقد جمعت من ذلك ما استطعته ولم أبلغ غايته لعدم أكثر الكتب وإنما ذكرت ذلك عذرا إلى من وقع إليه كتاب لم أذكره

Thereafter, I came across what Sayed al Sharif mentioned regarding the taunting by some of our opposition that you have no predecessors and authors. This is a statement of one who has no knowledge of our people and their transmissions, does not know their status and the history of the scholars’ narrations, and did not meet anyone from whom he could learn. There is no argument against us for someone who does not know and understand. I have gathered whatever I could but I did not reach the goals due to the unavailability of most of the books. I mention this as an apology for those who possess a book which I did not mention.[23]


Two aspects can be understood from this introduction:

First: The book was not written to reveal the conditions of narrators. It is merely a bibliography of all those who authored books among the Shia or those who wrote for them. Thus, his book is from amongst the bibliographies that specialize in identifying books and their authors. There is no mention in it of anyone who did not author any book.

In his Fihrist, al Najashi penned the biographies of 1269 narrators. He authenticated 556 of them, praised without authenticating 127 of them, considered 16 of them to be from the opposition, ruled 9 of them to be ignorant, weakened 131 and remained silent regarding 430 narrators without explaining their condition.[24]

As a result, al Tustari said about his book and the Fihrist of al Tusi:


إنهما كثيرا ما يسكتان عن تضعيف الإمامي الضعيف حيث إن كتابيهما ليسا إلا مجرد فهرست لمن صنف من الشيعة أو صنف لهم دون الممدوحين والمذمومين

Very often, both of them remain silent from weakening weak Imamis, as their books are mere bibliographies of those Shias who authored books or those who authored for them; not a book of the praised and the accused.[25]


Second: The object of writing the book was to repel the taunts of the Ahlus Sunnah. Yes, it is possible to say that he did not invent the names of the mentioned books on his own, he merely mentioned them and explained his path to it through teachers and chains of narrations to avert any accusation; however, this introduction and the introduction of al Tusi in al Mabsut exposes a complex problem that the leaders of the School clearly suffered from, which is the inferiority complex and persistent attempts to prove its existence and repel taunts from the sect, even though it is by quoting from the knowledge of others and plagiarising from them.

Some researchers explain a very important point in this regard; which is that the Shia referred to, in the introduction of the Fihrist of al Najashi does not refer to the Ithna ‘Ashari Imami Shia only. Rather it refers to the Shia in the broader meaning, which includes the Ithna ‘Asharis, Zaidis, Ismailis, Fathis, Waqifis etc., in addition to some writings of non-Shias whose authors narrate them from Shia scholars or the writings are in the interest of the Shia.[26] This is unjust proliferation through writings of others, just to repel taunts. As long as you live, time will show you wonders.

In addition to all this, some Imami scholars like Ayatollah al Sheikh Muhammad al Sanad clearly indicate to the influence al Najashi’s Sunni teachers had in his cognitive structure of the science of Rijal and his acquisition from them. Al Sanad states while explaining this influence:


ومما يسلط الضوء على الملامح العلمية لشخصية النجاشي ولونها ما يلاحظ من تتلمذ النجاشي على جملة من مشائخ العامة بل لم يكن يقتصر على التتلمذ فحسب فإن الملحوظ توطد علاقته معهم إلى درجة التأثر الفكري والمجاراة معه في جملة من آرائهم الرجالية المبتنية على جملة من الرؤى الكلامية

What sheds light to the scholarly features of al Najashi’s personality and its colour, is what is noticed from al Najashi’s studying under some Sunni scholars[27]. In fact, it is not limited to studying only. What is noticed is the strengthening of his relationship with them to the point of being intellectually influenced by them and keeping up to it in some of their opinions regarding narrators, based on some verbal revelations.[28]


He further states:


إن المشاهد في جملة من موارد التضعيف والجرح للرواة عند النجاشي أنه يتفرد دون بقية الأصحاب ولا يوافقه علي ذلك إلا ابن الغضائري بينما نجد  العامة قد ضعفوا أولئك الرواة بعبارات متقاربة في المعني أو اللفظ للتضعيف الذي ذكره النجاشي ومن ثم لا يبعد استظهار أن مراد النجاشي من إسناد التضعيف أو الغمز في مثل قوله (غُمز وضعّف) شامل لأرباب الجرح والتعديل من العامة

It has been noticed in some instances of weakening and criticising of narrators by al Najashi that he is isolated from the remainder of the companions. No one agrees with him accept Ibn al Ghada’iri. Meanwhile we find that the laymen (Sunnis) weaken those narrators with statements that are similar in meaning or wording to that which al Najashi mentioned. Hence, it is not farfetched to declare that al Najashi’s intention when attributing weakening or criticising through phrases like ‘he was criticised or he was weakened’ includes the leaders of Jarh and Ta’dil from the laymen (Sunnis).[29]


The existence of tempering through addition from the copyist or others has also been noticed in the book, because it is well known that the demise of al Najashi was in 450 AH, as declared by Ibn al Mutahhar al Hilli in his Khulasah;[30] however, a reader will find in the pages of the book, the chronicles of the author regarding the death of Muhammad ibn al Hassan ibn Hamzah al Jafari, who passed away in 463 AH.[31]

This necessitates that the author of the book was alive till after this year at the very least or that the book was manipulated by the copyist or others. This is when no doubt is raised regarding the copy of Rijal itself. Is it the one that the author wrote or the edited copy?

This can be cited by what the contemporary Shia scholar of reference Sayed ‘Ali Khamana’i mentioned in al Usul al Arbaah fi Ilm al Rijal while discussing the Fihrist of al Tusi. He states:


إن نُسخ كتاب الفهرست كأكثر الكتب الرجالية القديمة المعتبرة الأخرى مثل كتاب الكشي والنجاشي والبرقي والغضائري قد ابتليت جميعا بالتحريف والتصحيف ولحقت بها الأضرار الفادحة ولم تصل منها لأبناء هذا العصر نسخة صحيحة

Indeed, the copies of the book al Fihrist, just as most of the other reliable ancient books on narrators such as books of al Kashshi, al Najashi, al Barqi, and al Ghada’iri, were all plagued by distortion and misrepresentation which caused extensive damage to it. No authentic copy of it reached the people of this era.[32]


Prior to him, Muhammad Taqiyy al Tustari (d. 1401 AH) mentioned, in justification of al Najashi’s declaring al Hassan ibn Mahbub as unreliable, by saying:


لم تصل نسخة من النجاشي صحيحة ولا كاملة إلينا

No authentic or complete copy of al Najashi reached us.[33]


Fihrist and Rijal of al Tusi

Al Sheikh Muhammad ibn al Hassan al Tusi (d. 460 AH), popularly known as Sheikh al Ta’ifah, is the undisputed leader of the Imamiyyah. When the title of al Sheikh is mentioned, attention is immediately turned towards him. Most of the chains to the books, writings, and origins in the Imami Shia legacy goes through him. Al Tusi wrote three books in the field of Rijal.

  1. Ikhtiyar Marifat al Rijal: This is just a summary and an edited version of al Kashshi’s book which we have discussed.
  2. Al Fihrist.
  3. Kitab al Rijal known in scholarly circles as Rijal al Tusi.

As for al Fihrist, it is a specific bibliography of the authors of books and the Usul. It is not a book in the field of Rijal which would reveal their conditions. Al Tusi mentions in the introduction of his book:


فإذا‏ ذكرت كل واحد من المصنفين وأصحاب الأصول فلا بد من أن أشير إلى ما قيل فيه من التعديل والتجريح  وهل يعول على روايته أم لا وأبين عن اعتقاده وهل هو موافق للحق أو هو مخالف له لأن كثيرا من مصنفي أصحابنا وأصحاب الأصول ينتحلون المذاهب الفاسدة وإن كانت كتبهم معتمدة

When I mention each of the authors or the people of the Usul then I necessarily indicate to what Jarh or Ta’dil is mentioned about them and whether his narration is reliable or not. I clarify his beliefs as to whether he conforms to the truth or opposes it because many of our writers and the authors of the Usul assign themselves to corrupt Schools even though their books are reliable.[34]


But did al Tusi adhere to this?

Al Fihrist contains 912 narrators. He combined with al Najashi in approximately 700 personalities. Al Tusi judged only 92 to be reliable, weakened 21 and remained silent regarding 799 narrators.[35]

Pertaining to this, Muhiyy al Din al Musawi al Ghurayfi states:


فلم يذكر الشيخ في فهرسته غير المصنفين وأصحاب الأصول من الرواة علي أنه لم يجر على ما وعد به في المقدمة من الإشارة إلى ما قيل فيهم من التعديل والتجريح حيث أهمل توثيق كثير من وجوه الرواة مثل زكريا بن آدم  وزرارة بن أعين وسلمان الفارسي وعبيد بن زرارة وعبد الرحمن بن الحاج وعمار بن موسى الساباطي وليث المرادي ومحمد بن إسماعيل بن بزيع ومحمد بن الحسن الصفار ومحمد بن علي بن محبوب ومعاوية بن عمار ولا يصح الاعتذار عن ذلك بأن أمثال هؤلاء الرواة لا يحتاجون إلى توثيق لأن بعضهم محتاج إليه مثل عمار الساباطي الفطحي ونظائره حيث خدش فيه جماعة وإن اشتهر توثيقه واعتبار حديثه

Al Sheikh only mentioned, in his Fihrist, authors and the people of Usul among the narrators and he did not keep to his promise in the introduction of indicating to what was said in Jarh or Ta’dil regarding them, as he neglected the authentication of many of the narrators such as Zakariyya ibn Adam, Zurarah ibn A’yan, Salman al Farsi, ‘Ubaid ibn Zurarah, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn al Haj, ‘Ammar ibn Musa al Sabati, Layth al Muradi, Muhammad ibn Ismail ibn Bazi’, Muhammad ibn al Hassan al Saffar, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Mahbub, and Muawiyah ibn ‘Ammar. Presenting an excuse that narrators like these do not need authentication, is incorrect because some of them like ‘Ammar al Sabati al Fathi and the like, need it; as a group has criticised them even though his reliability is well known and his hadith is considered.[36]


We have mentioned al Tustari’s statement regarding the Fihrist of al Najashi and the Fihrist of al Tusi in its place. One can revert to it.

This is in addition to what we quoted from the contemporary Shia scholar of reference Sayed ‘Ali Khamana’i about the distortion in copies. So ponder.

As for Rijal al Tusi, the author has placed 6429 narrators in it; however, he only mentioned the conditions of very few of them. He authenticated 157 narrators, weakened 72, described 50 to be unknown and remained silent regarding the remaining narrators, without mentioning any Jarh or Ta’dil.[37] Therefore, the number of narrators regarding who he is silent about is 6150.

Whoever al Tusi mentions in his Rijal cannot be considered to be Imami Shias, because he mentions those who are not Shias or Imamis, according to the terminology, such as ‘Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad, who he counted as companion of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. He mentioned Abu Jafar al Mansur among the companions of Jafar al Sadiq.

As a result al Tustari believes that:


أراد استقصاء أصحابهم ومن روى عنهم مؤمنا كان أو فاسقا إماميا كان أو عامي

That he intended in-depth survey of their companions and those who narrated from them, whether he was a believer or a sinner, Imami or laymen (Sunni).[38]


Because of this, the contemporary Shia scholar of reference, Sheikh Jafar al Subhani quotes from the late Shia scholar of reference, Sayed Hussain al Burujirdi (d. 1292 AH) that he considers the book Rijal al Tusi to be a draft copy which was not published. He states:


كان سيدنا المحقق البروجردي يقول إن كتاب الرجال للشيخ كانت مذكرات له ولم يتوفق لإكماله ولأجل ذلك نرى أنه يذكر عدة أسماء ولا يذكر في حقهم شيئا من الوثاقة والضعف ولا الكتاب والرواية بل يعدهم من أصحاب الرسول والأئمة فقط

Our leader Muhaqqiq al Burujirdi used to say, “There were notes of al Sheikh’s book, Rijal. He did not succeed in completing it. Hence, we see that he mentions some names and does not mention anything regarding their reliability or weakness, any books or narrations. He merely considers them to be the companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Imams.”[39]


Al Tustari has mentioned, in Qamus al Rijal, some of his many errors and delusions found in his Rijal and Fihrist. Refer to it if you desire.

Over and above that, a group of Imami scholars believe in not relying on al Tusi’s rulings regarding narrators, due to his abundant contradiction and confusion in his statements regarding them. This occurs in some of the rulings of principles and Hadith also. ‘Allamah Muhammad Ismail al Khuwaju’i (d. 1173 AH), while discussing his contradictions in Jarh and Ta’dil states in Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah:


ووقع له في كتب الحديث غرائب فتارة يعمل بالخبر الضعيف مطلقا حتى إنه خصص به أخبارا كثيرة صحيحة حيث يعارضه بإطلاقها وتارة يصرح برد الحديث لضعفه وأخرى يرد الصحيح معللا بأنه خبر واحد لا يوجب علما ولا عملا كما عليه المرتضي وأكثر المتقدمين

ومن اضطرابه في معرفة الأحوال ونقد الرجال فإنه يقول في موضع: إن الرجل ثقة وفي آخر أنه ضعيف كما في سالم بن مكرم الجمال وسهل بن زياد الأدمي الرازي

وقال في الرجال محمد بن علي بن بلال ثقة وفي كتاب الغيبة إنه من المذمومين

وإنه قال في العدة إن عبد الله بن بكير ممن عملت الطائفة بخبره بلا خلاف وفي الاستبصار في آخر الباب الأول من أبواب الطلاق صرح بما يدل على فسقه وكذبه وأنه يقول برأيه

وفي عمار الساباطي أنه ضعيف لا يعمل برواياته كذا في الاستبصار وفي العدة إن الطائفة لم تزل تعمل بما يرويه

وأمثال ذلك منه كثير جدا

وأنه قد ادعي عمل الطائفة بأخبار الفطحية مثل عبد الله بن بكير وغيره وأخبار الواقفية مثل سماعة بن مهران وعلي بن أبي حمزة وعثمان بن عيسى وبني فضّال والطاطرية مع أنا لم نجد أحدا من الأصحاب وثق علي بن أبي حمزة البطائني أو يعمل بروايته إذا انفرد بها لأنه خبيث واقفي كذاب مذموم

وقس عليه حال غيره ممن ادعي عمل الطائفة على العمل بروايته في كلامه المذكور

وأنه تارة يشترط في قبول الرواية الإيمان والعدالة كما قطع به في كتبه الأصولية وهذا يقتضي أن لا يعمل بالأخبار الموثقة والحسنة وأخرى يكتفي في العدالة بظاهر الإسلام  ولم يشترط ظهور العدالة ومقتضاه العمل بالأخبار الموثقة والحسنة كالصحيحة

وأنه تارة يعمل بالخبر الضعيف مطلقا حتي أنه يخصص به أخبارا كثيرة صحيحة حيث تعارضها بإطلاقها

وتارة يصرح برد الحديث لضعفه

وثالثة يرد الصحيح معللا بانه خبر واحد لا يوجب علما ولا عملا

ومن هذا اضطرابه كيف يسوغ تقليده في معرفة أحوال الرجال؟ أم كيف يفيد إخباره بأن في الأخبار الضعيفة ما هو معتمد بين الطائفة ظنا على حال من الأحوال

Some strange things occurred from him in books of Hadith. Sometimes he practices on a weak narration in general, to a point that he specifies through it many authentic narrations that contradict it because of its generality. Sometimes he clearly rejects a narration because of its weakness whilst other times he rejects an authentic narration reasoning that it is al Khabar al Wahid which does not necessitate knowledge or practice, as is the view of al Murtada and most of the former scholars.

Amongst his confusion in the knowledge of conditions and criticism of narrators is that on one occasion he says that a man is reliable but on another occasion he says that he is weak such as Salim ibn Makram al Jammal and Sahl ibn Ziyad al Razi.

He states in Rijal that Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Bilal is reliable[40] and in Kitab al Ghaybah he mentions that he is reprehensible.[41]

He states in al Uddah that ‘Abdullah ibn Bukayr is amongst those whose narrations are practiced upon by the sect undisputedly.[42] While in al Istibsar, at the end of the first chapter of the chapters of divorce, he states that which indicates to him being a sinner and a liar and that he practices on his own opinion.[43]

Regarding ‘Ammar al Sabati, he states in al Istibsar[44] that he is weak whose narrations cannot be practiced upon, whereas in al Uddah he states that the sect continuously practiced on what he narrates.[45] Examples of this are many.

That he claimed that the sect practice on narrations of Fathis such as ‘Abdullah ibn Bukayr and others, and on narrations of Waqifis such as Sama’ah ibn Mahran, ‘Ali ibn Abi Hamzah, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Isa, Banu Faddal and the Tataris; however, we do not see any of the companions authenticating ‘Ali ibn Abi Hamzah al Bata’ini or practice on his narrations when he narrates isolated, because he is a malicious Waqifi, liar, and reprehensible.

Analyse on this the conditions of others regarding whom he claimed that the sect practiced on their narrations, in the aforementioned statement.

That sometimes he stipulates Iman (faith) and justice as condition for accepting a narration, as he stated with certainty in books of principles. This necessitates that al Muwaththaq and Hassan narrations should not be practiced upon. Other times he considers the mere existence of Islam to be sufficient for justice. This would necessitate practicing on al Muwaththaq and Hassan narrations just as the Sahih ones.

That sometimes he practices on a weak narration in general to a point that he specifies through it many authentic narrations that contradict it because of its generality.

Sometimes he clearly rejects a narration because of its weakness.

At other times he rejects an authentic narration reasoning that it is al Khabar al Wahid which does not necessitate knowledge or practice.

A person who is confused like this, how is it possible to follow him in understanding the conditions of narrators? Or how will his information that in the weak narrations there are aspects that are relied upon by the sect, benefit in any case?[46]


Rijal Ibn al Ghada’iri

This book is known as Kitab al Duafa’. It is a small book which specialises in weak narrators only. This book is famously attributed to Sheikh Ahmed ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ubaidullah, popularly known as Ibn al Ghada’iri (5th century). Although scholars differ as to who is the author, the son Ahmed or the father al Hussain, most select the first. Al Wahid al Bahbahani attributed this to a group of researchers, Ibn Tawus and Ibn al Mutahhar al Hilli.[47]

In Rijal Ibn al Ghada’iri, some of the narrators of the School are declared to be weak, which is not found in any other book. Hence, some of the scholars of the School cast doubts in it because it casts doubt on such narrators, who they believe, that accusing them of extremism and weakness, would be insulting the School.

These scholars’ opinions are deeply divided about this book. Some say that it is fabricated by some obstinate Imamis who intended to create problems among them. Some say that the book is definitely established and it is regarded as evidence as long as it does not contradict the authentication of al Sheikh and al Najashi. Others say that he is the author of the book and he is a critic of this field and the authentication of al Tusi and al Najashi will not get precedence over him. Others say that he is the author; however, his criticism and weakening is not reliable because his criticism and weakening was not attributed to any testimony or beneficial evidences that creates reassurance. In fact, it is attributed to his Ijtihad in the text of the narrations. Thus, if the narration contained any form of extremism or elevation of the Imams—according to his thinking—he described the narrator with fabrication and weakened him.[48]

Muhaqqiq Agha Buzurk al Tahrani states in al Dhariah:


إن لنسبة الكتاب هذا إلى ابن الغضائري المشهور الذي هو من شيوخ الطائفة ومن مشايخ الشيخ والنجاشي إجحاف في حقه عظيم … وهو أجل من أن يقتحم في هتك أساطين الدين حتي لا يفلت من جرحه أحد من هؤلاء المشاهير بالتقوى والعفاف والصلاح

To attribute this book to Ibn al Ghada’iri, who is one of the leaders of the group and the teacher of al Sheikh and al Najashi, is a great oppression on him… He is much nobler than launching an attack on the leaders of din, to a degree that none of these personalities, who are known for their piety, chastity, and righteousness, escaped from his criticism.[49]


However, Abu al Hadi al Kalbasi asserts with certainty that:


لا يبعد أن يكون ابن الغضائري أعلم بأحوال الرجال وتصانيفهم من النجاشي الذي هو من رؤساء هذا الفن وكذا من العلامة أي الحلي علي الإطلاق ويدل عليه تقدم زمانه علي زمانه ومن الظاهر كمال مدخلية التقدم في الاطلاع بأحوال المتقدمين

It is not farfetched that Ibn al Ghada’iri was more knowledgeable of the conditions of narrators and their writings than al Najashi—who is one of the leaders in this field—and al ‘Allamah, i.e. al Hilli. Testament to that is his precedence in time and it is obvious that precedence is perfect for knowing the conditions of the formers.[50]


‘Allamah Muhammad Taqi al Tustari (d. 1415 AH) defended Ibn al Ghada’iri honestly by saying;


وأما كتاب ابن الغضائري وإن اشتهر من عصر المجلسي عدم العبرة به لأنه يتسرع إلي جرح الأجلة إلا أنه كلام قشري ولم أر مثله في دقة نظره ويكفيه اعتماد مثل النجاشي الذي هو عندهم أضبط أهل الرجال عليه ومما استند إليه في خيبري

As for Ibn al Ghada’iri’s book, even though it was popularly disregarded during al Majlisi’s era, due to his haste in criticism of the luminaries; however, it contains cortical speech the likes of which I have not seen in accuracy. The reliance of al Najashi—who is the most accurate in the field of Rijal according to them—on it and that which is attributed to it in Khaybari is sufficient for reliance.[51]


In this context, al Fayd al Kashani (d. 1091 states:


إن في الجرح والتعديل وشرائطهما اختلافات وتناقضات واشتباهات لا يكاد ترتفع بما تطمئن إليه النفوس كما لا يخفي علي الخبير بها

Indeed, in Jarh and Ta’dil as well as their conditions, there are differences, contradictions, and confusions that can hardly be removed to reassure the heart, which is not hidden to anyone who knows about it.[52]


In criticism of the scholars of Jarh and Ta’dil, and in vilification of their methods, Muhaddith ‘Abd ‘Ali ibn Ahmed Al ‘Usfur al Bahrani (d. 1127 AH) states:


لا بد في معرفة الثقة من غيره من تتبع الرجال وأحوالهم وتطلع كتب سيرهم وأفعالهم والتفتيش عما ورد في شأنهم عن الأئمة الأطياب من الأخبار المودعة في كتب الأصحاب بحيث يحصل الاطلاع على حسن ظاهرهم وقبحه ولا يكتفي في ذلك بتعديل أحد أرباب التعديل وجرحه فإنهم مع قلة ضبطهم ووفور غلطهم وكثرة خبطهم متناقضو الأقوال متهافتو المقال كم مشترك توهموا توحده ومتحد توهموا اشتراكه وتعدده وكم من ضعيف صرحوا بوثاقته وثقة جزموا بضعفه مع ظهور عدالته بل كم رجل وثقوه وفي مقام آخر ضفوه كما هو غير خفي على من لاحظ كتبهم وتصفح مدحهم وثلبهم

It is necessary to identify a reliable narrator from an unreliable one by reviewing narrators and their conditions, discovering books on their lives and actions, and investigating the narrations reported regarding them from the pure Imams, in the companion’s books so that one can become aware of their apparent good or evil. The Jarh and Ta’dil by one of its scholars is not sufficient because they, in addition to their lack of accuracy, abundance of mistakes and confusions, are contradictory in their views and infatuated in their speech. How many were combined who they imagined to be single and vice versa, how many weak narrators they declared to be reliable, and how many reliable narrators they claimed to be weak despite his reliability being apparent. How many narrators they declared to be reliable but in another place they declare them to be weak, as is not hidden to one who observes their books and browsed their praise and criticism.[53]


This is what prompted ‘Allamah Yasin al Biladi al Bahrani (12th century AH) to write a treatise titled: Risalah fi Adam Itibar Qawl Ulama’ al Rijal li Kathrat Ishtibahatihim (treatise on disregarding the views of the scholars of Rijal due to their abundant confusions).[54]

It appears that there is complete contentment from the Imami scholars—Akhbaris as well as the Usulis—that the real application for the science of Dirayah, wherein they differed intensely about their views of it and blood was spilled because of it, as well as other factors, actually leads to the destruction of the School. Testament to that is the obvious evasion by religious authorities and scholarly seminars from adopting an authentic book in Hadith which would represent correct transmissions from Jafar al Sadiq and other Imams and could be considered—even though falsely—as the pride of the sect.

This is what Ayatollah Sayed Murtada al ‘Askari (d. 1428 AH) declared in Maalim al Madrasatayn by saying:


وتمتاز مدرسة أهل البيت على مدرسة الخلفاء بأنها لا تعتبر أي كتاب عدا كتاب الله من أوله إلى آخره صحيحا … ويدلك على ما ذكرنا بالنسبة إلى مدرسة أهل البيت أن ما انتخبه العلامة الحلي الحسن بن يوسف (٧٢٦ﻫ)‏ من حديث ودونه في عشرة أجزاء وسماه الدر والمرجان في الأحاديث الصحاح والحسان وكذلك ما انتخبه من حديث صحيح حسب اجتهاده وجمعه في تأليف وسماه النهج الوقاح في الأحاديث الصحاح وما انتخبه الشيخ حسن ابن الشهيد الثاني (١٠١١ﻫ)‏ من حديث مقتفيا أثر العلامة وسماه منتقى الجمان في الأحاديث الصحاح والحسان لم تتداول في الحوزات العلمية ولم يعتد بها العلماء وإنما اعتبروا عملهما اجتهادا شخصيا رغم اشتهار مؤلفاتهما لديهم وتداولها بينهم حتي اليوم مثل كتاب معالم الأصول للشيخ حسن الذي بقي منذ عصر مؤلفه إلى اليوم أؤل كتاب دراسي يدرسه طلاب أصول الفقه ودرسه عامة الفقهاء في سلم الدراسات الأصولية ومن جراء ذلك اشتهر مؤلفه بين العلماء بصاحب المعالم ومع ذلك نسيت مؤلفاتهم في صحاح الأحاديث وحسانها ولعل في العلماء بمدرسة أهل البيت من لم يسمع بأسماء كتبهم في صحاح الأحاديث وحسانها فضلا عن التمسك بما جاء فيها من حديث بعنوان الصحيح والحسن

The School of the Ahlul Bayt is distinguished from the School of the Khalifas in that it does not consider any book besides the Book of Allah to be Sahih (authentic) from start to end… Testament to what we have mentioned regarding the School of the Ahlul Bayt is that the narrations that ‘Allamah al Hilli (d. 726 AH) selected and compiled in ten volumes, titled al Durr wa al Marjan fi al Ahadith al Sihah wa al Hisan, similarly those Sahih narrations which he selected—according to his Ijtihad—and compiled it in a book titled al Nahj al Waddah fi al Ahadith al Sihah and those narrations which Sheikh Hassan, the son of al Shahid al Thani (d. 1011 AH) compile, following the footsteps of al ‘Allamah, and named it Muntqa al Juman fi al Ahadith al Sihah wa al Hisan, were neither circulated among the scholarly seminars nor relied upon by the scholars. They regarded their practice as personal Ijtihad only, despite the popularity and the prevalence of their writings amongst them until today like Maalim al Usul of Sheikh Hassan, which remains to be the first textbook—from the era of the author till present day—which the students of Usul al Fiqh study and jurists teach in various stages of fundamental studies. As a result, the author became famous among scholars as ‘Sahib al Ma’alim.’ Despite this, their books are forgotten with regards to their Sahih and Hassan narrations. Perhaps among the scholars of the Ahlul Bayt there are those who did not even hear the names of their books on Sahih and Hassan narrations let alone adhering to the narrations it contains under the title of Sahih and Hassan.[55]


This is the downfall. There is no word more explicit and true in expression than this.


Application examples of those who narrate abundantly.

We have mentioned before that there is a need to review the application examples of some of those who narrate excessively from those who are likely to be weak or accused of lies, along with presenting some of their narrations found in the sect’s four primary Hadith compilations (al Kafi, Man la Yahduruhu al Faqih, Tahdhib al Kamal, and al Istibsar), which are considered to be the most trusted and important narrations of the sect, so that we can be informed of the extent of the problem surrounding the conditions of the School’s narrators and narrations.

The following is the list of those narrators. After investigating and sorting, I decided to divide them into two main categories.


1. Narrators who narrate excessively, however, their conditions are unacceptable.


I. Zurarah ibn A’yan

He appears in the chains of many of the Shia narrations which add up to 2094 narrations.[56] He is one of the jurists who al Kashshi counted among the Ashab al Ijma’, i.e. he is one of those who the sect agreed upon his ratification and following him in Fiqh.[57]

Al Najashi states:


زرارة بن أعين بن سنسن مولى لبني عبد الله بن عمرو السمين بن أسعد بن همام بن مرة بن ذهل بن شيبان أبو الحسن شيخ أصحابنا في زمانه ومتقدمهم وكان قارئا فقيها متكلما شاعرا أديبا قد اجتمعت فيه خلال الفضل والدين صادقا فيما يرويه

Abu al Hassan Zurarah ibn A’yan ibn Sunsun (freed slave of Banu ‘Abdullah) ibn ‘Amr al Samin ibn As’ad ibn Humam ibn Murrah ibn Dhahl ibn Shayban was the teacher and leader of our companions during his time. He was a Qari, jurist, theologian, poet, and an author. He possessed traits of virtue and din and he was truthful in his narrations.[58]


Due to Zurarah’s abundant narrations from al Baqir and al Sadiq, some gave him the title of “the treasurer of the Imams’ narrations”. But the amazing thing is that this Kufi (from Kufah) who narrates abundantly from the two Imams, al Baqir and al Sadiq, never travelled to Madinah to stay and acquire hadith from them, in addition to the fact that there is no evidence of al Baqir and thereafter al Sadiq’s travelling to Iraq. Despite this, the Imamis narrate this statement from Jafar al Sadiq:


رحم الله زرارة بن أعين لولا زرارة بن أعين ونظراؤه لاندرست أحاديث أبي

May Allah have mercy on Zurarah ibn A’yan. If it was not for Zurarah ibn A’yan and his peers, the narrations of my father would be extinct.[59]


Hence, when Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah—who was most knowledgeable about Imam Jafar and the people of Hijaz[60]—was asked if Zurarah ibn A’yan narrated any book from Abu Jafar he said:


ما رأى هو أبا جعفر ولكنه كان يتبع حديثه

He did not see Abu Jafar; however, he followed his narrations.[61]


We have mentioned in our discussion about Taqiyyah, with regards to Zurarah and the narration of Abu ‘Abdullah Jafar al Sadiq specifically. We mentioned the following incident of Ibn Sammak al Kufi:

خرجت إلى مكة فلقيني زرارة بن أعين بالقادسية فقال لي إن لي إليك حاجة وارجو أن أبلغها بك وعظمها فقلت ما هي فقال إذا لقيت جعفر بن محمد فأقرئه مني السلام وسله أن يخبرني من أن أهل الجنة أنا أم من أهل النار فأنكرت ذلك عليه فقال لي إنه يعلم ذلك فلم يزل بي حتى أجبته فلما لقيت جعفر بن محمد أخبرته بالذي كان منه فقال هو من أهل النار فوقع في نفسي شيء مما قال فقلت ومن أين علمت ذاك فقال من ادعي علي أني أعلم هذا فهو من أهل النار فلما رجعت لقيني زرارة بن أعين فسألني عما عملت في حاجته فأخبرته بأنه قال لي إنه من أهل النار فقال كال لك يا عبد الله من جراب النورة فقلت وما جراب النورة؟ قال عمل معك بالتقية

I went to Makkah. Zurarah ibn A’yan met me in Qadisiyyah and said, “I have a need to be fulfilled by you and I hope you will fulfil it.”

He magnified the need so I said to him, “What is the need?”

He replied, “If you meet Jafar ibn Muhammad, convey my greetings to him, and ask him to inform me whether I am from the people of Paradise or the people of Hell?”

I disliked this but he said that Jafar knows about this. He persisted until I agreed. When I met Jafar ibn Muhammad, I informed him about what had transpired with Zurarah. He replied, “He is from the people of Hell.”

What he said struck me so I asked him, “How do you know that?”

He replied, “Whoever claims that I know about this, is from the people of Hell.”

When I returned, Zurarah ibn A’yan met me and asked me as to what I did regarding his need. I informed him that he said that you are from the people of Hell.

He said, “O servant of Allah, he measured for you from the pouch of Nurah”

I asked, “What is the pouch of Nurah?”

He replied, “He practiced Taqiyyah with you.”[62]


The extent of tempering with the Imams’ narrations which Zurarah practiced, without shame towards Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala or the people, is obvious.

Some authentic and reliable Imami narrations have been transmitted which criticise, in fact, curse him. Most clear and explicit ones are the following:


لا يموت زرارة إلا تائها

Zurarah will die forlorn.[64]


  • The Hassan narration of Masma’ Kurdin Abi Yasar[65] who also narrates from Imam Jafar that he said:


لعن الله بريدا ولعن الله زرارة

May Allah curse Burayd and may He curse Zurarah.[66]


Sayed Muhsin al Amin has categorised these two narrations as Hassan in his encyclopaedia called Ayan al Shia.[67]


  • The narration of Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman[68] from Ibn Muskan[69] who states:


سمعت زرارة يقول رحم الله أبا جعفر وأما جعفر فإن في قلبي عليه لعنّة فقلت له وما حمل زرارة علي هذا قال حمله على هذا لأن أبا عبد الله جعفر الصادق أخرج مخازيه

I heard Zurarah saying, “May Allah have mercy on Abu Jafar. As for Jafar, I have aversion[70] for him in my heart.”

I asked him, “What prompted Zurarah to say this?”

He replied, “He said this because Abu ‘Abdullah—Jafar al Sadiq—disgraced him.”[71]


  • The Sahih[72] narration of Ziyad ibn Abi al Halal who says:


قلت لأبي عبد الله إن زرارة روى عنك في الاستطاعة شيئا فقبلنا منه وصدقناه وقد أحببت أن أعرضه عليك فقال هاته قلت فزعم أنه سألك عن قول الله تعلى وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيْلًا (آل عمران: ‎٢٩٧‏) فقلت من ملك زادا وراحلة فقال كل من ملك زادا وراحلة فهو مستطيع للحج وإن لم يحج؟ فقلت نعم فقال أبو عبد الله ليس هكذا سألني ولا هكذا قلت كذب علي والله كذب علي والله لعن الله زرارة لعن الله زرارة لعن الله زرارة إنما قال لي من كان له زاد وراحلة فهو مستطيع الحج؟ قلت وقد وجب عليه الحج قال فمستطيع هو فقلت لا حتى يؤذن له قلت فأخبر زرارة بذلك قال نعم قال زياد فقدمت الكوفة فلقيت زرارة فأخبرته بما قال أبو عبد الله وسكت عن لعنه فقال أما أنه قد أعطاني الاستطاعة من حيث لا يعلم وصاحبكم هذا ليس له بصر بكلام الرجال

I said to Abu ‘Abdullah that Zurarah narrated something about ability. We accepted it and believed it. I wanted to present it to you.

He said, “Bring it.”

I said that he claims that he asked you about the saying of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, “Pilgrimage to this House is an obligation by Allah upon whoever is able among the people.”[73] You said (it refers to), “Whoever possesses provision and a conveyance?” Then he asked, “Anyone who possesses provision and a conveyance is regarded to have the ability to perform Hajj, even if he does not perform Hajj?” And You replied, “Yes.”

Abu ‘Abdullah said, “That is not how he asked me, nor is that what I said. He lied about me, by Allah; he lied about me, by Allah. May Allah curse Zurarah. May Allah curse Zurarah. May Allah curse Zurarah. He only asked me that whoever has provisions and conveyance, is he able to perform Hajj?”

I said, “Hajj is obligatory for him.”

He said, “So is he regarded as the one who has ability?”

I said, “No, until he is given permission.”

Then I asked him, “Should I tell Zurarah that?”

He said, “Yes.”

Ziyad says, “I came to Kufah, met Zurarah and I told him what Abu ‘Abdullah said. He remained silent about cursing him and then said, “As for him, he has given me ability from where he does not know, and this friend of yours has no insight[74] into the words of men.”[75]


  • That which al Kashshi reported in his Rijal, through his chain from Mas’adah ibn Sadaqah who narrates that Jafar al Sadiq said:


إن قوما يعارون الإيمان عارية ثم يسلبونه يقال لهم يوم القيامة المعارون أما إن زرارة بن أعين منهم

Indeed some people borrow Iman as a loan, and then snatch it away. On the Day of Qiyamah they will be called the borrowers. Zurarah ibn A’yan is amongst them.[76]


  • That which al Kashshi reported in his Rijal, through his chain from Walid ibn Subayh[77] who said:


مررت في الروضة بالمدينة فإذا بإنسان قد جذبني فالتفت فإذا أنا بزرارة فقال لي استأذن لي علي صاحبك قال فخرجت إلى المسجد فدخلت على أبي عبد الله فأخبرته الخبر فضرب بيده إلى لحيته ثم قال لا تأذن له لا تأذن له لا تأذن له فإن زرارة يريدني على القدر على كبر السن وليس من ديني ولا دين آبائي

I passed the Rawdah in Madinah. Suddenly a man distracted me. I turned around and found Zurarah. He said to me, “Seek permission for me by your companion.”

I came out towards the Masjid and entered by Abu ‘Abdullah. I gave him the news.

He struck his beard with his hand and said, “Do not give him permission, do not give him permission, do not give him permission. Zurarah wants me to increase his life against destiny, which is neither my din nor the din of my forefathers.”[78]


  • That which al Kashshi also reported in his Rijal, through his chain from ‘Ali ibn al Hakam who narrates from some of his narrators, who narrate from Jafar al Sadiq stating:


دخلت عليه فقال متي عهدك بزرارة قال: قلت: ما رأيته منذ أيام قال لا تبال وإن مرض فلا تعده وإن مات فلا تشهد جنازته قال قلت: زرارة؟ متعجبا مما قال  قال: نعم زرارة  زرارة شر من اليهود والنصارى ومن قال إن مع الله ثالث ثلاثة

I came to him and he asked me, “When last did you meet Zurarah?

I replied, “I have not seen him for days.”

He said, “Do not even bother. If he falls ill, do not visit him and if he passes away, do not attend his funeral.”

Astonished, I asked him, “Zurarah?”

He replied, “Yes, Zurarah. Zurarah is worse than the Jews, Christians and those who believe in Trinity.”[79]


  • That which al Kashshi also reported in his Rijal, through his chain from ‘Imran al Za’farani who states:


سمعت أبا عبد الله يقول لأبي بصير يا أبا بصير وكنا اثني عشر رجلا ما أحدث أحد في الإسلام ما أحدث زرارة من البدع عليه لعنة الله هذا قول أبي عبد الله

I heard Abu ‘Abdullah telling Abu Basir, “O Abu Basir—and we were twelve people—no one brought about innovation in Islam as Zurarah did. May the curse of Allah be on him.” This is the statement of Abu ‘Abdullah.[80]


A person who attributes lies to Jafar al Sadiq during his life time with complete boldness and insolence, to such an extent that Imam Jafar is compelled to curse, renounce, and disgrace him; how can he be trusted with the beliefs of the Muslims to a point that his narrations are regarded as din and practiced upon?


II. Jabir ibn Yazid al Ju’fi

One of al Baqir and al Sadiq’s companions and among those who narrate abundantly from al Sadiq.

Al Hurr al ‘Amili states:


روي أنه روى سبعين ألف حديث عن الباقر وروى مائة وأربعين ألف حديث والظاهر أنه ما روى أحد بطريق المشافهة عن الأئمة أكثر مما روى جابر فيكون عظيم المنزلة عندهم لقولهم اعرفوا منازل الرجال منا على قدر رواياتهم عنا

It has been narrated that he narrated 70 000 narrations from al Baqir and 140 000 narrations in total. It is obvious that no one has narrated directly from the Imams more than Jabir. Thus, he holds great status by them due to the Imam’s statement, “Recognise the status of our men according to the extent of their narrations from us.”[81]


Sheikh Muhammad Hassan al Muzaffar (d. 1375 AH) states:


روى عن الباقر خاصة سبعين ألف حديث … وقيل: إنه ممن انتهي إليه علم الأئمة

He narrated 70 000 narrations specifically from al Baqir… It is said that the knowledge of the Imams end by him.[82]


Therefore, Jabir holds the first position in narration from the quantity point of view. When we observe that the total number of narrations in the four Shia books is 44244,[83] we realize the magnitude of what Jabir narrated and that his narrations have the largest share in the Shia compilations. Hence, he is one of the pillars of the School.

However, it has been reported in Rijal al Kashshi from Zurarah ibn A’yan who said:


سألت أبا عبد الله  عن أحاديث جابر فقال ما رأيته عند أبي قط إلا مرة واحدة وما دخل علي قط

I asked Abu ‘Abdullah about the narrations of Jabir. He replied, “I have not seen him by my father except once and he has never entered by me.”[84]


Here Imam al Sadiq is denying what Jabir claimed about narrating from him and his father. Then, how can he narrate such a huge amount of narrations from someone who he has not met or someone who he met once only, whereas he clearly declares that he heard and narrated from them?

The late Shia scholar of reference Sayed Abu al Qasim al Khu’i did not find any other way out of this narration that falsifies Jabir than resorting to Taqiyyah. Thus, he states that:


لابد من حمله إلى نحو من التورية إذ لو كان جابر لم يكن يدخل عليه سلام الله عليه وكان هو بمرأى من الناس لكان هذا كافيا في تكذيبه وعدم تصديقه فكيف اختلفوا في أحاديثه حتي احتاج زياد إلى سؤال الإمام عن أحاديثه على أن عدم دخوله علي الإمام لا ينافي صدقه في أحاديثه لاحتمال أنه كان يلاقي الإمام  في غير داره فياخذ منه العلوم والأحكام ويرويها

It is necessary to regard it as a type of dissimulation because if Jabir did not enter by the Imam, whilst he was in the presence of other people, then this would be sufficient to falsify and disapprove him. Then how would it be possible to differ in his narrations to such a degree that it prompted Ziyad to ask the Imam about his narrations? This is despite the fact that his non-entry by the Imam does not contradict his truthfulness due to the possibility that he met the Imam somewhere other than his house, acquired knowledge and rulings from him, and narrated it.[85]


This desperation in defending Jabir and his narrations is clearly visible in the writings of some Imami scholars such as Muhammad Taqi al Majlisi (d. 100 AH), as he states in his commentary of Man la Yahduruhu al Faqih regarding Jabir:


ظهر لنا من التتبع أنه ثقة جليل من أصحاب أسرار الأئمة وخواصهم والعامة تضعفه لهذا كما يظهر من مقدمة صحيح مسلم وتبعهم بعض الخاصة لأن أحاديثه تدل على جلالة الأئمة صلوات الله عليهم ولما لم يمكنه القدح فيه لجلالته قدح في رواته وإذا تأملت أحاديثه يظهر لك أن القدح ليس فيهم بل فيمن قدحه باعتبار عدم معرفة الأئمة صلوات الله عليهم كما ينبغي والذي ظهر لنا من التتبع التام أن أكثر المجروحين سبب جرحهم علو حالهم كما يظهر من الأخبار التي وردت عنهم: اعرفوا منازل الرجال علي قدر رواياتهم عنا والظاهر أن المراد بقدر الرواية الأخبار العالية التي لا يصل إليها عقول أكثر الناس وورد متواترا عنهم إن‏ حديثنا صعب مستصعب لا يحتمله إلا ملك مقرب أو نبي مرسل أو عبد مؤمن امتحن الله قلبه للإيمان ولذا ترى ثقة الإسلام وعلي بن إبراهيم ومحمد بن الحسن الصفار وسعد بن عبد الله وأضرابهم  ينقلون أخبارهم ويعتمدون عليهم وابن الغضائري المجهول حاله وشخصه يجرحهم والمتأخرون رحمهم الله تعالي يعتمدون على قوله وبسببه يضف أكثر أخبار الأئمة صلوات الله عليهم

It becomes clear to us, through research that he is reliable and lofty, from amongst the secrets of the Imams and his elite ones. The laymen[86] weaken him as is clear from the forward of Sahih Muslim and some of the special ones followed them because his narrations indicate to the majesty of the Imams. When they could not criticise him due to his loftiness, they criticised his narrations. If anyone ponders on his narrations, he will realize that the criticism is not directed to them, but to those who criticise him on the basis of not knowing the Imams properly. What has become clear to us through thorough research is that the reason for criticism of most the criticised narrators is their lofty positions, as it becomes clear from the transmissions narrated from the Imams that recognise the status of our men according to the extent of their narrations from us.[87] It appears that what is meant by ‘the extent of narrations’ is the high-level transmissions that the minds of most people cannot comprehend. It has been consecutively narrated from the Imams that, “Our narrations are difficult and complex. Only a close angel, a sent prophet, or a believing servant, whose heart Allah has tested for Iman,[88] can bear it.”


Hence, one will see Thiqat al Islam,[89] ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim, Muhammad ibn al Hassan al Saffar, Sa’d ibn ‘Abdullah and others quote their transmissions and rely on them. Ibn al Ghada’iri—whose condition and personality is unknown—criticises them and the latter scholars rely on his view and subsequently weaken most of the Imam’s transmissions.[90]

It is surprising that we find al Najashi (d. 450 AH)—he is who he is in the field of Jarh and Ta’dil according to the sect—mentions about Jabir that:


قل ما يورد عنه شيء في الحلال والحرام

Very seldom anything about Halal and Haram is narrated from him.[91]


Whereas al Khu’i states about his narrations in Halal and Haram:


فإن الروايات عنه في الكتب الأربعة كثيرة

Narrations from him in the four books are plenty.[92]


Who do we believe?


III. Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn Rabah al Thaqafi

One of the companions of the two Imams, al Baqir and al Sadiq. He appears in the chains of 2276 Shia narrations.[93] It is reported that he resided in Madinah for four years[94] and that he stated:


سمعت من أبي جعفر الباقر ثلاثين ألف حديث ثم لقيت جعفرا ابنه فسمعت منه أو قال سألته عن ستة عشر ألف حديث أو قال مسالة

I heard 30 000 narrations from Abu Jafar al Baqir. Thereafter I met his son Jafar. I heard (or he said, “I asked about.”) 16 000 narrations (or he said rulings) from him.[95]


Al Najashi mentioned a book attributed to him called al Arbaa Mi’ah Mas’alah fi Abwab al Halal wa al Haram, despite the fact that Jafar al Sadiq denounced and falsified this Muhammad ibn Muslim saying:


لعن الله محمد بن مسلم كان يقول إن الله لا يعلم الشيء حتي يكون

May Allah curse Muhammad ibn Muslim. He used to say that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala does not know anything until it comes into existence.[96]


He warned against him and other fabricators like him by saying:


هلك المتريسون في أديانهم منهم زرارة وبريد ومحمد بن مسلم

Those who desired to be leaders in din have perished. From amongst them are Zurarah, Burayd, and Muhammad ibn Muslim.[97]


IV. Ibrahim ibn Hashim al Qummi

He is amongst the companions of Imam al Rida. He appears in the chains of 6414 Shia narrations.[98]

Al Najashi states in his biography:


أبو إسحاق القمي أصله كوفي انتقل إلى قم قال أبو عمرو الكشي تلميذ يونس بن عبد الرحمن من أصحاب الرضا هذا قول الكشي وفيه نظر وأصحابنا يقولون أول من نشر حديث الكوفيين بقم هو

He is Abu Ishaq al Qummi. He was originally from Kufah, then relocated to Qum. Abu ‘Amr al Kashshi says that he is a student of Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman, from amongst the companions of al Rida. This is his view which is disputable. Our companions state that he is the first to spread the knowledge of the people of Kufah in Qum.[99]


It appears that al Najashi’s scepticisms in him being a student of Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman is as a result of two considerations:

First: He does not narrate anything from Yunus. Generally, it is very unlikely that someone is a teacher in narration but he does not narrate, even a single narration from him.

Second: It has been mentioned in the biography of Ibrahim ibn Hashim that he was the first to spread the narrations of the people of Kufah in Qum. This indicates that his narrations were accepted by them. It is a known fact that Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman was criticised by the Qummis. How can a narration of the student be accepted but the narration of the teacher be rejected and criticised?[100]

In his Rijal,[101] Sheikh al Ta’ifah al Tusi counted him amongst the companions of al Rida, whereas in al Fihrist[102] he mentions:


وذكروا أنه لقي الرضا

They mention that he met al Rida.


The difference between the two phrases is great. The first establishes companionship whilst the second mentions mere meeting without companionship and the tense of the verb used in narrating this narration does not denote conviction.

Meanwhile Sayed Mahdi Bahr al ‘Ulum (d. 1212 AH) gave preference to view that he was a companion of al Jawwad. He states:


ولعل الأقرب أنه لقيه ولم يرو عنه وإنما روى عن الجواد

Most likely he met him but did not narrate from him. He only narrated from al Jawwad.[103]


One can see the scarcity of information about this narrator whose narrations reached 6414 in number in the four books only, let alone the complete eight books. Hence, al Khu’i stated about him:


لا يوجد في الرواة مثله في كثرة الرواية

There is no narrator like him in narrating abundantly.[104]


Despite the scarcity, we see contradiction among the rare information about him. Is he a student of Yunus or not? Is he from amongst the companions of al Rida or al Jawwad? All that is known about him is that he is the first to spread the narrations of the people of Kufah in Qum.

As from the reliability point of view, Zayn al Din al ‘Amili states in Masalik al Afham:


لم ينص الأصحاب على تعديله

The companions did not stipulate his reliability.[105]


The same pattern continued here as the other narrators. No wonder al Fayd al Kashani expressed this bitter truth by saying:


فإن كثيرا من الرواة المعتنين بشأنهم الذين هم مشايخ مشايخنا المشاهير الذين يكثرون الرواية عنهم ليسوا بمذكورين في كتب الجرح والتعديل بمدح ولا قدح ويلزم علي هذا الاصطلاح أن يعد حديثهم في الضعيف مع أن أصحاب هذا الاصطلاح أيضا لا يرضون بذلك وذلك مثل أحمد بن محمد بن الحسن بن الوليد الذي هو من مشايخ شيخنا المفيد … ومثل إبراهيم بن هاشم القمي الذي أكثر صاحب الكافي الرواية عنه بواسطة ابنه علي وهو أول من نشر حديث الكوفيين بقم إلي غير ذلك من الرجال

Many of the narrators, who we are concerned about, who are the teachers of our famous teachers that narrate abundantly from them, are not mentioned in the books of Jarh and Ta’dil, neither by praise nor criticism. Therefore, according to this terminology, their narrations should be considered to be weak whereas the people of this terminology are also unhappy about that. Example of that is Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn al Hassan ibn al Walid, who is one of or teacher al Mufid’s teachers… and Ibrahim ibn Hashim al Qummi, from whom the author of al Kafi narrated abundantly through the medium of his son ‘Ali and the one who is the first to spread the narrations of the people of Kufah in Qum and other narrators.[106]


V. Sahl ibn Ziyad al Adami al Razi

He appears in the chains of various Shia narrations which reach 2304 in number.[107]

He is considered to be one of the companions of the three Imams, Muhammad al Jawwad, ‘Ali al Hadi, and al Hassan al ‘Askari.[108]

Al Najashi states:


كان ضعيفا في الحديث غير معتمد فيه وكان أحمد بن محمد بن عيسي يشهد عليه بالغلو والكذب وأخرجه من قم إلي الري وكان يسكنها

He was weak and unreliable in hadith. Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa used to testify against him for extremism and lies, and banished him from Qum to Ray. He used to reside there.[109]


Ibn al Ghada’iri states:


كان ضعيا جدا فاسد الرواية والدين وكان أحمد بن محمد بن عيسي الأشعري أخرجه من قم وأظهر البراءة منه ونهى الناس عن السماع منه والرواية عنه ويروي المراسيل ويعتمد المجاهيل

He was very weak, corrupt in narrating and in din. Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa al Ash’ari banished him from Qum, absolved himself from him, and prevented people from listening and narrating from him. He used to narrate Mursal narrations and rely on unknown people.[110]


Ibn al Mutahhar al Hilli mentions in Khulassat al Aqwal that Abu Jafar ibn al Walid use to exclude those narrations of Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn Yahya which he narrates from a group, and he counted Sahl ibn Ziyad in that group. From amongst the senior Imami scholars, Abu al ‘Abbas Ahmed ibn Nuh al Sirafi and Ibn Babawayh al Qummi followed him in this.[111]


VI. Muhammad ibn Sinan al Zahiri al Khuza’i

He was from amongst companions of al Kazim, al Rida, al Jawwad and al Hadi. He appears in the chains of 797 Shia narrations. He appears in 447 narrations[112] under the title of Ibn Sinan, which is a name that revolves around two personalities, Muhammad and ‘Abdullah.[113] Thus, the amount increases to approximately 1000 narrations.

He is counted among the companions of al Kazim, al Rida, al Jawwad, and al Hadi. It is mentioned that his father passed away during his infancy. Thereafter, his grandfather Sinan nurtured him and he is attributed to him.[114]

Al Fadl ibn Shadhan mentioned in some of his books that he is a famous liar.[115]

Ibn Hamdawayh said:


سمعت الفضل بن شاذان يقول لا أستحل أن أروي أحاديث محمد بن سنان

I heard al Fadl ibn Shadhan saying, “I do not deem it permissible to narrate the narrations of Muhammad.”[116]


Al Fadl ibn Shadhan mentioned in some of his books:


الكذابون المشهورون أبو الخطاب ويونس بن ظبيان ويزيد الصايغ ومحمد بن سنان وأبو سمينة أشهرهم

The famous liars are: Abu al Khattab, Yunus in Zabyan, Yazid al Sayigh and Muhammad ibn Sinan. Abu Saminah is the most famous one.[117]


Al Mufid (d. 413 AH) has reported the weakening of Muhammad ibn Sinan in his Risalah al Adidah. While criticising one of the narrations, he states:


وهذا شاذ نادر غير معتمد عليه في طريقه محمد بن سنان وهو مطعون فيه لا تختلف العصابة في تهمته وضعفه وما كان هذا سبيله لم يعتمد عليه في الدين

This is abnormal and rare which cannot be relied upon. In its chain is Muhammad ibn Sinan and he is criticised. The sect does not differ with regards to his accusation and weakening. Any narration that has a chain like this cannot be relied upon in din.[118]


Ibn al Ghada’iri (5th century) states regarding him:


غال لا يلتفت إليه

Extremist. He should not be given any consideration.[119]


Al Najashi (d. 740 AH) in his Fihrist and al Tusi (d. 460 AH) in Tahdhib al Ahkam have declared that:


رجل ضعيف جدا لا يعول عليه ولا يلتفت إلي ما تفرد به

He is a very weak person. He cannot be relied upon. Whatever he narrated isolated will not be considered.[120]


Al Muhaqqiq al Hilli (d. 676 AH) weakened him in al Mutabar.[121]

Ibn Dawood al Hilli (d. 740 AH) states:


قد طعن عليه ضعيف وروي عنه أنه قال عند موته: لا ترووا عني مما حدثت شيئا  فإنما هي كتب اشتريتها من السوق  والغالب علي حديثه الفساد

He is criticised and weak. It has been reported that at the time of his death he said, “Do not narrate anything that I narrated. They were merely from books that I purchased from the marketplace.”

Majority of his narrations are corrupt.[122]


The first person to oppose the former scholars—astonishingly and confusingly—is Ibn al Mutahhar al Hilli (d. 726 AH) as he has four views regarding him:

  1. Remain neutral regarding his narrations.[123]
  2. Weakening his narrations.[124]
  3. Regard his narrations to Sahih (authentic)[125].
  4. Regard his narrations to be Muwaththaq (reliable).[126]

It seems as though discarding 797 narrations was burdensome for some of the latter and contemporary Imami scholars. As a result, they tried extensively to authenticate Ibn Sinan, disregarding the opinions and structures of the formers.

It is sufficient to read the statement of Mawla Muhammad Taqi al Majlisi (d. 1070 AH) who, in his commentary of Man la Yahduruhu al Faqih, whilst commenting on the scholar’s weaking of Ibn Sinan, states:


روى الكشي أخباره في الغلو ولا نجد فيها غلوا بل الذي يظهر منها أنه كان من أصحاب الأسرار

Al Kashshi narrated his transmissions in extremism; however, we do not find any extremism in them. In fact, what becomes clear is that he was one of the keepers of secrets.[127]


This is how extremism changes into loyal secret keepers with the passing of time.


VII. Hariz ibn ‘Abdullah al Sijistani

He was among the companions of al Baqir and al Sadiq. He appears in the chains of 1320 Shia narrations. His narrations from al Sadiq reach up to 190.[128] He is from Kufah. Due to his excessive travelling for trade to Sijistan, he became attributed to it. He used to trade in butter and oil.[129]

However, al Najashi quoted from Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman that he only heard two narrations from Jafar al Sadiq.[130] If this is true then where did all these narrations come from?


VIII. Muhammad ibn ‘Isa

He appears with this name in the chains of 1092 Shia narrations.[131] This name is used for two narrators:

  1. Muhammad ibn ‘Isa ibn Sa’d, who is unknown.
  2. Muhammad ibn ‘Isa ibn ‘Ubaid Yunusi, who is weak according to the Qummis, as stated by Sheikh al Ta’ifah al Tusi.[132]

He stated regarding him in al Fihrist:


ضعيف  استثناه أبو جعفر محمد بن علي بن بابويه عن رجال نوادر الحكمة وقال لا أروي ما يختص برواياته وقيل إنه كان يذهب مذهب الغلاة

He is weak. Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Babawayh excluded him from the narrators of Nawadir al Hikmah and said, “I do not narrate what he exclusively narrates.” It is said that he used to adopt the School of the extremists.[133]


Ibn al Mutahhar al Hilli, during the course of the biography of Bakr ibn Muhammad al Azdi, stated:


‏ وعندي في محمد بن عيسي توقف

I remain neutral with regards to Muhammad ibn ‘Isa.[134]


Ibn Tawus and Zayn al Din al ‘Amili regarded him to be weak.[135]


IX. Al Hussain ibn Yazid ibn Muhammad al Nawfali

He appears in the chains of 826 Shia narrations.[136]

Al Najashi states:


‏ قال قوم من القميين إنه غلا في آخر عمره  والله أعلم وما روينا له رواية تدل علي هذا

A group of Qummis said that he became an extremist at the end of his life. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows best. We have not narrated any narration that indicates to this.[137]


Ibn al Mutahhar al Hilli states:


وأما عندي في روايته توقف لمجرد ما نقله عن القميين وعدم الظفر بتعديل الأصحاب له

As for me, I remain neutral in his narrations merely because of what he narrated from the Qummis and inability to find any approval from the companions.[138]


Sayed Bahr al ‘Ulum states in al Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah, while commenting on one of the narrations:


والمشهور ضعف السند بالنوفلي لضعفه أو جهالته

The popular view is that the narration is weak because of al Nawfali, due to his weakness or being unknown.[139]


In Sama’ al Maqal Abu al Hadi al Kalbasi has quoted the statement of ‘Allamah Muhammad ibn al Hassan ibn Zayn al Din al ‘Amili (son of al Shahid al Thani) in Istiqsa’ al Itibar:


إن النوفلي هو الحسين بن يزيد وضعفه أظهر ما يذكر وليت شعري وجه ابتلائه وصاحبه بهذه التضعيفات حتي أنه ذكر في رياض العلماء تارة السكوني هو إسماعيل ابن أبي زياد السكوني الشعيري من أصحاب الصادق وهو الذي يروي عنه النوفلي الضعيف الكذاب العامي كثيرا ولقرب جواره اشتهر هو أيضا بالكذب حتى أنه يضرب به المثل في الكذب والافتراء

Al Nawfali is al Hussain ibn Yazid. He being weak is too obvious to mention. If only I knew the reason for him and his companion getting involved in these weak narrations to such point that it has been mentioned in Riyad al Ulama’ once that: Al Sukuni is Ismail ibn Abi Ziyad al Sukuni al Sha’iri, one of the companions of al Sadiq. He is the one from whom al Nawfali, the weak, liar and layman narrates abundantly. Due to his close proximity to al Nawfali, he also became famous for lies to such a degree that he became proverbial in lies and fabrications.[140]


X. Al Mu’alla ibn Muhammad al Basri

He appears in the chains of 712 Shia narrations.[141]

Al Najashi states about him:


مضطرب الحديث والمذهب

He is inconsistent in hadith and in Mazhab.[142]


Ibn al Ghada’iri states:


يعرف حديثه وينكر يروي عن الضعفاء ويجوز أن يخرج شاهدا

Some of his narrations are known and some are unknown. He narrates from weak narrators. It will be permissible to narrate his narrations as a support.[143]


However, to declare such a huge number of narrations as weak is not easy, at least for al Khu’i. That is why he tried earnestly to justify the criticisms directed at al Mu’alla al Basri by saying:


الظاهر أن الرجل ثقة يعتمد علي رواياته وأما قول النجاشي من اضطرابه في الحديث والمذهب فلا يكون مانعا عن وثاقته أما اضطرابه في المذهب فلم يثبت كما ذكره بعضهم وعلى تقدير الثبوت فهو لا ينافي الوثاقة وأما اضطرابه في الحديث فمعناه أنه قد يروي ما يعرف وقد يروي ما ينكر وهذا أيضا لا ينافي الوثاقة ويؤكد ذلك قول النجاشي وكتبه قريبة وأما روايته عن الضعفاء على ما ذكره ابن الغضائري فهي علي تقدير ثبوتها لا تضر بالعمل بما يرويه عن الثقات فالظاهر أن الرجل معتمد عليه والله العالم

It is clear that the man is trustworthy whose narrations can be relied upon. Al Najashi’s statement regarding his inconsistency in hadith and Mazhab cannot be a barrier for his reliability. As for his inconsistency in his Mazhab, this is not proven, as some of them mentioned. Assuming that it is proven, then also, this does not contradict with reliability. As for his inconsistency in hadith, what is meant is that sometimes he narrates what is known and sometimes he narrates that which is strange. This also does not contradict reliability. Endorsing this is al Najashi’s statement, “His books are distinguishable.” As for his narration from weak narrators, as mentioned by Ibn al Ghada’iri, then this—assuming that it is proven so—does not harm that which he narrates from trustworthy narrators. Thus, it is clear that the man is reliable. Allah knows best.[144]


However, these ambitious justifications will soon encounter a great obstacle that no one will be able to overcome, which is that none of the infallible Imams or the latter scholars declared his reliability.

Thus, there is vast wilderness between the narrator and al Khu’i, which cannot be traversed easily, to transform this weakening to reliability through these assumptions.


XI. ‘Ali ibn Abi Hamzah al Bata’ini

He appears in the chains of 545 Shia narrations.[145]

Al Hilli quotes the statement of Abu al Hassan ‘Ali ibn al Hassan ibn Faddal who states:


علي بن أبي حمزة كذاب واقفي متهم ملعون وقد رويت عنه أحاديث كثيرة وكتبت عنه تفسير القرآن كله من أوله إلى آخره إلا أني لا أستحل أن أروي عنه حديثا واحدا

‘Ali ibn Abi Hamzah is a liar, a Waqifi, accused, and accursed. I have narrated narrations from him. I have written the commentary of the whole Qur’an, beginning to end, from him; however, I do not deem it permissible to narrate a single narration from him.[146]


Ibn al Ghada’iri states:


علي بن أبي حمزة -لعنه الله- أصل الوقف وأشد الخلق عداوة للولي من بعد أبي إبراهيم

‘Ali ibn Abi Hamzah—may Allah curse him—is the origin of the Waqifah and the staunchest enemy of Wilayah after Abu Ibrahim.[147]


XII. Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman

He was among the companions of Musa al Kazim and ‘Ali al Rida. He appears in the chains of 263 Shia narrations.[148]

Al Najashi mentioned in al Fihrist that he was the freed slave of ‘Ali ibn Yaqtin ibn Musa al Asadi, that he is one of the elite Imamis and that he saw Jafar al Sadiq between Safa and Marwah but did not narrate from him. He only narrated from his son, Musa al Kazim, and his grandson, ‘Ali ibn Musa al Rida. Al Rida would consult him in knowledge and Fatwa.[149]

Al Kashshi considers him to be among the people of Ijma’, regarding who the Imamiyyah are unanimous on the authenticity of their narrations and their ratification, in addition to attesting to their knowledge and fiqh.[150]

However, Ibn Dawood al Hilli (d. 740 AH) indicates in his Rijal that there is no consensus on the reliability of Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman as al Kashshi claimed. Rather, Yunus is criticised by the Qummis who are known for their extremism against other extremists and deviants.[151]

Praise as well as criticism has been reported from the Imams regarding Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman.[152]

Al Kashshi has reported in his Rijal from Jafar ibn Ma’roof that Yaqub ibn Yazid ibn Hammad al Anbari al Sulami—he is reliable—from the companions of ‘Ali al Rida, Muhammad al Jawwad and ‘Ali al Hadi—used to criticise Yunus and say:


كان يروي الأحاديث من غير سماع

He used to narrate hadith without hearing them.[153]


This detailed criticism itself, is sufficient to discard the reliability in Yunus’s narrations. How about other criticisms?

Al Kashshi has further quoted from Safwan ibn Yahya and Ibn Sinan that they heard Abu al Hassan—Musa al Kazim—saying:


لعن الله العباسي فإنه زنديق وصاحبه يونس فإنهما يقولان بالحسن والحسين

May Allah curse al ‘Abbasi. He is a heretic. He as well as his companion Yunus, for they speak ill of al Hassan and al Hussain.[154]


This narration explicitly declares Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman to be a heretic and mentions a very dangerous approach in the heretics, which is secret criticism of the two grandsons of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, al Hassan and al Hussain. Despite this they claim to be supporting the Ahlul Bayt.

In the biography of Hisham ibn al Hakam, there appears a narration of al Kashshi, through his chain, that once ‘Ali al Rida mentioned al ‘Abbasi saying:


هو من غلمان أبي الحارث يعني يونس بن عبد الرحمن وأبو الحارث من غلمان هشام وهشام أي ابن الحكم من غلمان أبي شاكر وأبو شاكر زنديق

He is from the servants of Abu al Harith, i.e. Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman, and Abu al Harith is from servants of Hisham, and Hisham, i.e. ibn al Hakam, is from the servants of Abu Shakir, and Abu Shakir is a heretic.[155]


Mentioning this sequence from Hisham ibn Ibrahim al ‘Abbasi, the slave of Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman till Abu Shakir, the heretic, shows that Imam al Rida considers all of them to be from the same dough, whose origin and roots are in heretics.

It seems that the abundance of narrations criticising Yunus, caused some type of confusion in stipulating his condition, to a point that Zayn al Din al ‘Amili (d. 965 AH), known as al Shahid al Thani, stated in his Risalah:


أورد الكشي في ذمه نحو عشرة أحاديث وحاصل الجواب عنها يرجع إلي ضعف بعض سندها وجهالة بعض رجالها والله أعلم بحاله

Al Kashshi has reported around ten narrations in his criticism. The gist of the response to it is that it is due to the weakness in some of its chains and ignorance regarding some of the narrators. Allah knows best of his condition.[156]


If the chains of the criticising narrations are weak, and others are established or weak, but his reliability is proven, then why is there confusion? Why did he use the phrase ‘Allah knows best of his condition’ when judging him?

Sayed Abu al Qasim al Khu’i has declared two narrations about criticism of Yunus, his deviation and corrupt beliefs to be Sahih. They are:

  1. That which al Kashshi narrated in his Rijal from al Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Yaqtin—who had bad opinions of Yunus—who said:


قيل لأبي الحسن وأنا أسمع إن يونس مولى آل يقطين يزعم أن مولّيكم والمتمسك بطاعتكم عبد الله بن جندب يعبد الله علي سبعين حرفا ويقول إنه شاك قال: فسمعته يقول هو والله أولى بأن يعبد الله علي حرف ماله ولعبد الله بن جندب إن عبد الله بن جندب لمن المخبتين

Someone said to Abu al Hassan while I was listening, “Yunus, the freed slave of Al Yaqtin claims that your supporter and adherent to your obedience, ‘Abdullah ibn Jundub worships Allah with seventy doubts and he says that he (‘Abdullah) is in doubt.”

I heard him reply, “By Allah, he is more likely to worship Allah with doubt. What does he have to do with ‘Abdullah? Verily ‘Abdullah ibn Jundub is from the humble ones.”[157]


  1. That which Ibn Babawayh al Qummi reported in al Amali from ‘Ali ibn Mahziyar who states:


كتبت إلى أبي جعفر محمد بن علي بن موسي الرضا جعلت فداك أصلي خلف من يقول بالجسم ومن يقول بقول يونس يعني ابن عبد الرحمان فكتب لا تصلوا خلفهم ولا تعطوهم من الزكاة وابرؤوا منهم برئ الله منهم

I wrote to Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Musa stating, “May I be sacrificed for you. Should I perform salah behind those who believe in Jism (attribute physicality to Allah) and those who believe in the view of Yunus, i.e. Ibn ‘Abdur Rahman?”

He wrote back replying, “Do not perform salah behind them, do not discharge your Zakat to them, and absolve yourself of them as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is free of them.”[158]


What is the view of Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman to which Imam Muhammad al Jawwad alluded to?

Al Kashshi narrated in his Rijal, through his chain from al Washa’ who narrates from Yunus ibn Buhman who states:


قال يونس بن عبد الرحمن كتبت إلى أبي الحسن الرضا سألته عن آدم هل كان فيه من جوهرية الرب شيء فكتب إلي جواب كتابي ليس صاحب هذه المسألة على شيء من السنة زنديق

Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman said, “I wrote to Abu al Hassan al Rida asking him about Adam ‘alayh al Salam, whether he had any essence of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in him.”

He wrote back the reply to my question saying, “The person who posed this question is not on the Sunnah at all. He is a heretic.”[159]


Scholars of religious groups and sects have declared that this Yunus was a Mushabbihah Shia and that he claimed that those angels that carry the Arsh (throne) of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala carry Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala also. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is far beyond this.[160]


2. Narrators that narrate abundantly, however, there is no mention of them in the books of Jarh and Ta’dil.

These are narrators that, as they mention, narrate abundantly despite the fact they are not mentioned in books of Jarh and Ta’dil at all. Among them are:


I. Abu al Hussain ‘Ali ibn Abi al Jayd

He was one the teachers of al Tusi and al Najashi and the intermediary between al Tusi and Muhammad ibn al Hussain ibn al Walid. Al Tusi narrated abundantly from him.


II. Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya al ‘Attar

Teacher of al Saduq, who narrates abundantly from him through the intermediary of Sa’d ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Khalaf.


III. Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Majilwayh

From whom Ibn Babawayh al Qummi narrated abundantly.


IV. Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn al Hussain ibn al Walid

He is one of al Mufid’s teachers and the intermediary between him and his father. Narrations from him are plenty.


V. Al Hussain ibn al Hassan ibn Aban

He is the teacher of Muhammad ibn al Hussain ibn al Walid and the intermediary between him and al Hussain ibn Sa’id. Narrations from him are also plenty.

All these narrators are such that their reliability has not been established and their conditions are unknown.


NEXT⇒ Conclusion

[1] With the addition of Rijal al Barqi.

[2] Qawaid al Hadith, pg. 159.

[3] Mustadrakat Ilm Rijal al Hadith, 1/67.

[4]Kulliyyat fi Ilm al Rijal, pg. 74; also see Qamus al Rijal, 1/31.

[5] i.e. Rijal al Tusi.

[6] Kulliyyat fi Ilm al Rijal, pg. 72-73.

[7] Buhuth fi Fiqh al Rijal, pg. 28.

[8] Rijal al Najashi, pg. 372.

[9] This is what is suspected; however, al Nuri al Tabarsi states in Khatimat al Mustadrak, 3/287:

واعلم أنه قد ظهر لنا من بعض القرائن أنه قد وقع في اختيار الشيخ أيضا تصرف من بعض العلماء أو النساخ بإسقاط بعض ما فيه وأن الدائر في هذه الاعصار غير حاو لتمام ما في الاختيار  ولم أر من تنبه لذلك ولا وحشة من هذه الدعوى بعد وجود القرائن

Know well that it appears to us, through some evidences that manipulation has occurred in Sheikh’s book Ikhtiyar also, through some scholars or transcribers by deleting some of its contents. Therefore, what is circulating in these times does not entail all that is found in the Ikhtiyar. I have not seen anyone alerting to this. There is no desolation in this claim with the existence of evidences.

[10] Al Madkhal ila Mawsuat al Hadith al Nabawi ind al Imamiyyah, pg. 237.

[11] Narrations where a narrator is omitted from the beginning of chain.

[12] Al Bahbudi states in Marifat al Rijal, pg. 103:

ولم يصح لنا من ألف ومائة وخمسين نصا إلا اقل قليل منها لا يبلغ رقمها إلى ثلاثمائة

From 1150 texts, only very few are authentic. Their number does not reach 300.

[13] Yahya Muhammad: Mushkilat al Hadith, pg. 228.

[14] Mustadrak al Wasa’il, 5/78.

[15] Al Tustari: Qamus al Rijal, 1/58-62; and refer to, Muhiyy al Din al Musawi al Ghurayfi: Qawaid al Hadith, pg. 51.

[16] He narrates from the Ithna ‘Ashari Imams or other luminaries of the sect.

[17] Al Rasa’il al Rijaliyyah, 3/180.

[18] Rijal al Sayed Bahr al Ulum, 2/35.

[19] Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 2/166.

[20] Al Khuwanasari: Rawdat al Jinan, 1/69; Rijal al Sayed Bahr al Ulum, 2/46-50.

[21] Rijal al Najashi, pg. 101.

[22] Qamus al Rijal, 1/34, introduction (sixteenth chapter).

[23] Introduction of Rijal al Najashi, pg. 3.

[24] Introduction of Rijal al Najashi, pg. 3.

[25] Qamus al Rijal, 1/34, introduction (sixteenth chapter).

[26] Refer to: al Tustari: Qamus al Rijal, 1/25, introduction (sixteenth chapter); al Khu’i: Majma Rijal al Hadith, 1/96; Haydar Hubb Allah: al Madkhal ila Mawsuat al Hadith al Nabawi Ind Imamiyyah, pg. 246.

[27] The following are said to be some of the Sunni teachers of al Najashi:

  • Ibrahim ibn Mukhallad ibn Jafar al Baqarhi (from the Jariri school of thought, attributed to Imam Ibn Jarir al Tabari, the famous jurist, commentator and historian). Al Khatib states in Tarikh Baghdad, 7/139:

كتبنا عنه وكان صدوقا صحيح الكتاب حسن النقل جيد الضبط ومن أهل العلم والمعرفة بالادب

We write from him. He was truthful, of authentic book, good in transmitting, and solid in capturing. He was from the people of knowledge and understanding of literature.

  • Al Qadi Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Hussain al Ju’fi al Kufi, known as Ibn al Harawani (from the Hanafi Mazhab). Refer to: Tarikh Baghdad, 3/508; al Ibar fi Khabar min Ghayr, 2/203.
  • Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Ahmed al Tabari al Muqri (from the Maliki Mazhab). Al Khatib states in Tarikh Baghdad, 6/510:

كان أبو الحسن الدارقطني خرج له خمسمائة جزء وكان كريما سخيا مفضلا علي أهل العلم حسن المعاشرة جميل الأخلاق وداره مجمع أهل القرآن والحديث وكان ثقة

Abu al Hassan al Daraqutni has made Takhrij (investigating and attributing hadith to its original source) of 500 of his narrations. He was noble, generous and virtuous over scholars, good natured and of beautiful character. His house was a place of gathering for the people of Qur’an and Hadith. He was trustworthy.

  • Al Hassan ibn Ahmed ibn Ibrahim al Bazzaz (Muhaddith and engrossed in the science of theology according to the school of the Ash’aris). Refer to Tarikh Baghdad, 8/223.
  • ‘Abdul Salam ibn al Hussain ibn Muhammad al Basri (the Qari and a linguistic writer). Al Khatib states in Tarikh Baghdad, 12/331:

كان صدوقا عالما أديبا قارئا للقرآن عارقا بالقراءات وكان يتولي ببغداد النظر في دار الكتب وإليه حفظها والإشراف عليها

He was truthful, a scholar, literary person, reciter of the Qur’an and knowledgeable in the science of Qira’ah. He was in charge of the library in Baghdad in preserving and supervising it.

  • Al Hassan ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya al Fahham (of the Shafi’i Mazhab). Refer to: Tarikh Baghdad, 8/451; Tarikh al Islam, 9/128.

[28] Al Ijtihad wa al Taqlid fi Ilm al Rijal wa Atharuhu fi al Turath al Aqa’idi, pg. 320.

[29] Al Ijtihad wa al Taqlid fi Ilm al Rijal wa Atharuhu fi al Turath al Aqa’idi, pg. 316.

[30] Khulasat al Aqwal, pg. 73.

[31] Rijal al Najashi, pg. 404.

[32] Al Usul al Arbaah fi Ilm al Rijal, pg. 34.

[33] Qamus al Rijal, 3/349, he mentioned similar to this in 5/58; Raf al Tadafu Bayn Ibaratayn li al Najashi in the biography of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah al Qummi.

[34] Al Fihrist, pg 28.

[35] Al Madkhal ila Mawsuat al Hadith al Nabawi ind al Imamiyyah, pg. 266.

[36] Qawaid al Hadith, pg. 266.

[37] Al Madkhal ila Mawsuat al Hadith al Nabawi ind al Imamiyyah, pg. 260.

[38] Qamus al Rijal, 1/29, also refer to: al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 1/97.

[39] Kulliyyat fi Ilm al Rijal, pg. 69.

[40] Rijal al Tusi, pg. 410.

[41] Al Ghaybah, pg. 353.

[42]Uddat al Usul, 1/10.

[43] Tahdhib al Ahkam, 8/36; al Istibsar, 3/276.

[44] Al Istibsar, 1/372.

[45]Uddat al Usul, 1/150.

[46] Rasa’il al Khuwaju’i, 1/370; al Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah, pg. 203-204; Abu al Ma’ali al Kalbasi: al Rasa’il al Rijaliyyah, 2/325; Abu al Huda al Kalbasi: Sama’ al Maqal, 1/159-160.

[47] Taliqat Manhaj al Maqal, pg. 35.

[48] Kulliyyat fi Ulum al Rijal, pg. 89.

[49] Al Dhariah ila Tasanif al Shia, 10/89.

[50] Sama’ al Maqal, 1/10.

[51] Qamus al Rijal, 1/55.

[52] Al Wafi, 1/25, Maktabat al Imam Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu al ‘Ammah print, Isfahan.

[53] Ihya’ Maalim al Shia bi Akhbar al Shariah: sixth chapter, pg. 100.

[54] Al Dhariah ila Tasanif al Shia, 15/234.

[55] Maalim al Madrasatayn, 3/338-339.

[56] Majma Rijal al Hadith, 8/254.

56  Rijal al Kashshi, 2/507.

[58] Fihrist al Najashi, pg. 175.

[59] Rijal al Kashshi, 1/348, narration: 217.

[60] Imam ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Mahdi al ‘Anbari (d. 198 AH) states:

كان ابن عينة من أعلم الناس بحديث الحجاز

Ibn ‘Uyaynah was the most learned about the narrations of Hijaz

Imam Muhammad ibn Idris al Shafi’i al Muttalabi (d. 204 AH) states:

لولا مالك وسفيان بن عيينة لذهب علم الحجاز وجدت أحاديث الأحكام كلها عند ابن عيينة سوى ستة أحاديث ووجدتها كلها عند مالك سوى ثلاثين حديثا

Were it not for Malik and Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah, the knowledge of Hijaz would have perished. I found all narrations pertaining to rulings by Ibn ‘Uyaynah except six and I found all of them by Malik except thirty narrations.

Al Hafiz al Dhahabi quoted both these statements in al Siyar, 8/457 and commented at the end by saying:

فهذا يوضح لك سعة دائرة سفيان في العلم وذلك لأنه ضمم أحاديث العراقين إلي أحاديث الحجازيين وارتحل ولقي خلقا كثيرا ما لقيهم مالك وهما نظيران في الإتقان ولكن مالكما أجل واعلى

This illustrates Sufyan’s vast knowledge because he combined the narrations of the people of Iraq with the narrations of the people of Hijaz. He travelled and met large amounts of people who Malik did not meet. They are unique in proficiency; however, Malik was greater and loftier.

[61] Al ‘Uqayli: al Duafa’ al Kabir, 2/96.

[62]Al Duafa’ al Kabir, 2/96. Al ‘Uqayli states:

حدثنا أبو يحي عبد الله بن أحمد بن أبي مسرة (٢٧٩ﻫ)‏ وهو إمام محدث ثقة قال حدثني سعيد بن منصور (٢٢٧ﻫ)‏ وهو إمام محدث ثقة من أوعية العلم قال حدثنا ابن السماك (١٨٣ﻫ) وهو صدوق فذكره

Abu Yahya ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed ibn Abi Masarrah (d. 279 AH)—and he is an Imam, Muhaddith, and reliable—narrated to us, who said that Sa’id ibn Mansur (d. 227 AH)—and he is an Imam, Muhaddith and reliable and a vessel of knowledge—narrated to me, who said that Ibn Sammak (d. 183 AH)—and he is truthful—narrated to us… then he mentioned him.

[63] He is reliable. Al Majlisi states in Maladh al Akhyar:

وهو المشهور بالثقة ويعتبر عند قوم من أصحاب الإجماع الذين أجمعت الطائفة علي تصديقهم والعمل بفقههم

He is known for reliability. Some consider him to from the Ashab al Ijma’ regarding whom the sect is unanimous on their ratification and practicing on their fiqh.

Al Kashshi states:

أجمعت العصابة على تصديق هؤلاء الأولين من أصحاب أبي جعفر وأصحاب أبي عبد الله وانقادوا لهم بالفقه فقالوا أفقه الأولين ستة زرارة ومعروف بن خربوذ وبريد وأبو بصير الأسدي والفضيل بن يسار ومحمد بن مسلم الطائفي قالوا وافقه الستة زرارة وقال بعضهم مكان أبي بصير الأسدي أبو بصير المرادي وهو ليث بن البختري

The group is unanimous on the ratification of these former companions of Abu Jafar and Abu ‘Abdullah and they follow them in Fiqh. They say: Most learned of the former scholars in Fiqh are six, i.e. Zurarah, Ma’roof ibn Kharrabudh, Burayd, Abu Basir al Asadi, Fudayl ibn Yasar, and Muhammad ibn Muslim al Ta’ifi. They further state that Zurarah is the most learned of the six. Some mention Abu Basir al Muradi in place of Abu Basir al Asadi, he is Layth ibn al Bakhtari.

[64] Rijal al Kashshi, 1/365, narration: 240.

[65] He is Abu Yasar Masma’ ibn ‘Abdul Malik who was given the title of Kurdin. He is reliable. Al Najashi states:

شيخ بكر بن وائل بالبصرة ووجهها وسيد المسامعة روى عن أبي جعفر الباقر رواية يسيرة وروى عن أبي عبد الله جعفر الصادق وأكثر واختص به وقال له الإمام جعفر إني لأعدك لأمر عظيم يا أبا السيار

He was the teacher of Bakr ibn Wa’il in Basrah, the face of Basrah and the leader of transmissions. Narrated few narrations from Abu Jafar al Baqir and narrated more from Jafar al Sadiq and specialised in it. Imam Jafar said to him, “O Abu al Yasar, I am preparing you for a great matter.”

[66] Rijal al Kashshi, 1/364, narration: 237.

[67] Ayan al Shia, 10/388.

[68] He is reliable, from the Ashab al Ijma, regarding whom the sect is unanimous on their ratification and practicing on their fiqh.

[69] He is reliable, from the Ashab al Ijma also. Al Najashi said regarding him:

ثقة عين

He is Thiqah ‘Ayn (extremely reliable).

Ibn Dawood al Hilli states:

فقيه عين معظم من الستة الذين اجمعت العصابة على تصديقهم وثقتهم

He was a reliable jurist, a great person, from the six whom the sect is unanimous on their ratification and reliability.

[70] This is how it appears in the copy of the researcher al Mir Damad al Astarabadi (d. 1041 AH). The copy of Muhammad Taqiyy al Mubidi the word appears as لفتة and according to Ibn Tawus it is لعية. This misspelling occurred because all these possibilities exist in the writing of the word. In the past I used to think that the word لفتة was the only view until I came across the researcher al Damad giving preference and being certain of other than that and criticising the others. Al Damad states:

قوله فإن في قلب عليه لعنّة بفتح اللام للتأكيد وإهمال العين مفتوحة أو مضمومة وتشديد النون أي أن في قلي عليه لعنة أي أن في قلبي عليه لعارضا واعتراضا عليه عنّ للنفس وعرض للقلب وهجس في الصدر وخطر في الضمير معتنا معترضا إلى أن قال ثم إن السيد جمال الدين بن طاووس كأن على ما يستذاق من كلامه ويستشم من سياقه قد صحف النون بالياء المثناة من تحت بعد العين المهملة من العي بالكسر وهو الجهل وخلاف البيان والغين المعجمة بالفتح وهو الجهل وخلاف الرشد كما في مجمل اللغة وغيره وذلك لأنه قال في اختياره من كتاب الكشي في الجواب عن هذا الحديث والطعن فيه بهذه العبارة وقد روي من طريق محمد بن عيسى عن يونس أن زرارة استقل علم الصادق وما أبعد هذا من الحق وهل يشك مخالف أو مؤالف في جلالة علم مولانا الصادق ولقد أكثر محمد بن عيسي في القول في زرارة حتى لو كان بمقام عدالة كادت الظنون تسرع إليه بالتهمة فكيف وهو مقدوح

In his statement ‘in my heart there is La’annah the word begins with Lam for emphasis, thereafter is an Ayn, either with a fathah or dammah and then a Nun with a Tashdid, which means that in my heart there is aversion and objection which is anguish to the soul, loss for the heart, anxiety in the bosom, danger to the conscience and a concerned objection… [till he says,] Then Sayed Jamal al Din ibn Tawus—as sensed from his speech and understood from the contex—misspelled Nun with Ya after the Ayn with a Kasrah, i.e. لعِية  which means ignorance, the opposite of declaration and if it is a Ghayn with a Fathah then it will mean ignorance which is opposite of guidance as found in Mujmal al Lughah and others. This is so because, in his Ikhtiyar of al Kashshi’s book, in response to and in criticism of this narration, he states by saying, “This narration is narrated through Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from Yunus that Zurarah regarded the knowledge of al Sadiq to be insignificant. How far is this from the truth? Can any opposition or supporter doubt the greatness of our master al Sadiq’s knowledge? Muhammad ibn ‘Isa spoke abundantly about Zurarah to such an extent that if he was in a position of justice, thoughts would rush to accuse him. How can he (do this), whereas he is criticised in it.”

His statement ends here. We have explained to you before that Muhammad ibn ‘Isa cannot be downgraded from the position of justice.

[71] Rijal al Kashshi, 2/356, narration: 228.

[72] Muhaqqiq al Damad states in al Hashiyah, 2/39:

طريق هذا الحديث صحيح بلا امتراء اتفاقا ومن العجب كل العجب من السيد جمال الدين ابن طاووس إذ قال الذي يظهر أن الرواية غير متصلة لأن محمد بن أبي القاسم كان معاصرا لأبي جعفر محمد بن بابويه ويبعد أن يكون زياد بن أبي الحلال عاش من زمن الصادق حتى لقيه محمد بن أبي القاسم معاصر أبي جعفر بن بابويهه وكيف خفي عليه أن المماصر لأبي جعفر بن بابويه محمد بن علي ماجيلويه لا محمد بن أبي القاسم وكثيرا ما في (الفقيه) وسائر كتبه يقول في الأسانيد حدثني محمد بن علي ماجيلويه عن عمه محمد بن أبي القاسم ويظهر من النجاشي أن محمد بن أبي القاسم جد محمد بن علي ماجيلويه المعاصر لأبي جعفر محمد بن بابويه فإنه ذكر في كتابه أن محمد بن أبي القاسم الملقب ماجيلويه صهر أحمد بن أبي عبد الله على ابنته وابنه محمد بن علي منها ثم قال أخبرنا أي علي بن أحمد قال حدثنا محمد بن علي بن الحسين يعني به أبي جعفر بن بابويه قال حدثنا محمد بن علي ماجيلويه قال حدثنا أبي علي بن محمد عن أبيه محمد بن أبي القاسم فتدبر

It is agreed that the chain of this hadith is correct without doubt. It is very surprising that Sayed Jamal al Din ibn Tawus said that it appears that the chain of this narration is not connected because Muhammad ibn Abi al Qasim was a contemporary of Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Babawayh, and it is farfetched that Ziyad ibn Abi al Halal lived from the time of al Sadiq until Muhammad ibn Abi al Qasim met him, who is a contemporary of Abu Jafar ibn Babawayh. How was it hidden from him that the contemporary of Abu Jafar ibn Babawayh is Muhammad ibn ‘Ali Majilawayh, not Muhammad ibn Abi al Qasim? Many times in al Faqih and all his books he says in the chains of transmission that Muhammad ibn ‘Ali Majilawayh narrated to me from his uncle, Muhammad ibn Abi al Qasim. It appears from al Najashi that Muhammad ibn Abi al Qasim is the grandfather of Muhammad ibn ‘Ali Majilawayh, a contemporary of Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Babawayh, because he mentioned in his book that Muhammad ibn Abi al Qasim, given the title of Majilawayh, was the son-in-law of Ahmed ibn Abi ‘Abdullah through his daughter and his son Muhammad ibn ‘Ali was born from her. Then he said, “‘Ali ibn Ahmed narrated to us who said that Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain—i.e Abu Jafar ibn Babawayh—narrated to us who said that Muhammad ibn ‘Ali Majilawayh narrated to us, who said that my father, ‘Ali ibn Muhammad narrated to us from his father Muhammad ibn Abi al Qasim. So ponder.

[73] Surah Al ‘Imran: 97.

[74] It is astonishing that the Imamiyyah go to people like Zurarah and trust them whereas they utter statements that the Imamiyyah consider to be clear disbelief. Then you will see them making excuses for them like al Damad did for him in Hashiyat Rijal al Kashshi, 2/381, that his disrespect to the infallible Imam is only because of having confidence on his high status by him and intense specialization towards him, whereas they criticise the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhu for much less than this, unproven issues, and corrupt suspicions. O Allah, how precious is justice?

[75] Rijal al Kashshi, 2/359- 361, narration: 234.

[76] Rijal al Kashshi, 2/378, narration: 263.

[77] Al Najashi said:

ثقة روى عن أبي عبد الله

Reliable. Narrates from Abu ‘Abdullah.

[78] Rijal al Kashshi, 2/380, narration: 266.

[79] Rijal al Kashshi, 2/380, narration: 267.

[80] Rijal al Kashshi, 2/380, narration: 241.

[81] Wasa’il al Shia, 2/151.

[82] Al Imam al Sadiq, pg. 143.

[83] Ayan al Shia, 1/44.

[84] Rijal al Kashshi, 2/436.

[85] Majma Rijal al Hadith, 4/344.

[86] i.e. the Ahlus Sunnah. It is reported in Da’irat al Maarif al Shia, 17/122:

‏ الخاصة في اصطلاح بعض أهل الدراية الإمامية الاثنا عشرية والعامة أهل السنة والجماعة ومن ذلك الرواية الإمامية المشهورة ما خالف العامة ففيه الرشاد

Al Khassah (the special ones) in the terminology of the people Dirayah are the Ithna ‘Ashari Imamis and al Ammah (the laymen) refers to the Ahlus Sunnah. Hence the famous Imami narration, ‘Whatever contradicts the laymen, there is goodness in it.”

[87] Rijal al Kashshi, 1/5; Wasa’il al Shia, 27/149; Bihar al Anwar, 2/150.

[88] Basa’ir al Darajat, pg. 42; Bihar al Anwar, 2/150.

[89] i.e. al Kulayni.

[90] Rawdat al Muttaqin, 1/208-209.

[91] Rijal al Najashi, pg. 128.

[92] Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 4/345.

[93] Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 18/246.

[94] This short period of time, in comparison the huge amount which he narrates from al Baqir and al Sadiq, reminds me of Sayed ‘Abdul Hussain Sharf al Din’s slandering of the Companion Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu for narrating a total of 5374 ahadith from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam despite his companionship with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam being merely for four years. However, they will never denounce the claim of Muhammad ibn Muslim al Thaqafi that he heard 30 000 narrations from al Baqir and 16 000 from al Sadiq. Rather, they declare that the position of a narrator and the extent of his proximity to the Imam is gauged through the abundance of his narrations. Furthermore, the confusion which some fall into, pertaining to Abu Hurairah’s narration specifically, need clarification. These thousands of narrations which are reported from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu are not independent in its thousands. They are various chains of those ahadith. Thus, those ahadith which Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrated, whose total reaches to 5372 chains, in reality return to 1170–1300 ahadith. An observer into the Musnad narrations of Abu Hurairah in Musnad Ahmed ibn Hanbal, with the research of Ahmed Shakir or Shu’ayb al Arna’ut, will notice that the references of the ahadith, on duplicated numbers in the chain itself, sometimes exceeds ten and at times it is as little as three. If we compare this number to the number of days Abu Hurairah lived with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, we will find that the narrations are less than the days and there would be less than one hadith per day. So what will be the condition if he heard more than one hadith in a day? Similarly, these ahadith which Abu Hurairah narrates, he is not isolated in narrating them from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, rather, several other Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum also narrate many of them.

During his commentary on the ahadith of Musnad Ahmed in al Masjid al Nabawi, ‘Allamah Sayed Muhammad al Muntasir bi Allah al Kattani al Hassani al Idrisi (d. 1419 AH), whilst commentating on the ahadith of Abu Hurairah would mention at the end of each hadith, which scholars of Hadith reported the hadith and which other Companion corresponded with Abu Hurairah in narrating that hadith. When he completed the last hadith of the Musnad narrations of Abu Hurairah, he said:

ولم ينفرد أبو هريرة عن النبي من كل ما روى عنه إلا بعدد أصابع اليدين (سبعة أو ثمانية أحاديث) فقط

Abu Hurairah was isolated in narrating from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam only in a handful of narrations (seven or eight).

Refer to: Dr Muhammad ‘Abduh Yamani: al Sahabi al Jalil Abu Hurairah wa al Haqiqah al Kamilah, pg. 48.

[95] Rijal al Kashshi, 1/394, narration: 280.

[96] Rijal al Kashshi, 1/394, narration: 284.

[97] Rijal al Kashshi, 1/394, narration: 283.

[98] Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 1/291.

[99] Rijal al Najashi, pg. 16.

[100] Tanqih al Maqal, 1/73-74.

[101]Rijal al Tusi, pg. 353.

[102] Al Fihrist, pg. 56.

[103] Al Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah, 1/445.

[104] Al Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah, 1/445.

[105] Masalik al Afham, 7/136.

[106] Al Wafi, 1/25.

[107] Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 9/358.

[108] Rijal al Tusi, pg. 375, 387, 399.

[109] Fihrist al Najashi, pg.185.

[110] Rijal Ibn al Ghada’iri, pg. 67.

[111] Khulassat al Aqwal, pg. 430, 431.

[112] Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 17/148.

[113] Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 23/198.

[114] Al Kalbasi: al Rasa’il al Rijaliyyah, 3/606.

[115] Ikhtiyar Marifat al Rijal, 2/823, 2/796.

[116] Ikhtiyar Marifat al Rijal, 2/823, 2/796.

[117] Ikhtiyar Marifat al Rijal, 2/823; al Tahrir al Tawusi, pg. 515.

[118] Jawabat Ahl al Mawsil (al Radd ala Ahl al Adad), pg. 20.

[119] Rijal Ibn al Ghada’iri, pg. 92.

[120]Al Fihrist, pg. 328; Tahdhib al Ahkam, 7/361.

[121] Al Mutabar, 1/289, ruling regarding wetting the cotton with which the shroud is sewn, with saliva.

[122] Rijal Ibn Dawood, pg. 273.

[123] Khulassat al Aqwal, pg. 394.

[124] Mukhtalaf al Shia, 2/425.

[125] Mukhtalaf al Shia, 7/8. Al Damad stated in his commentary on Rijal al Kashshi, 1/5:

كثيرا ما يستصح العلامة -أي ابن المطهر- الحديث وفي الطريق محمد بن سنان

Al ‘Allamah—Ibn al Mutahhar—often regards some ahadith to be Sahih whereas Muhammad ibn Sinan is in the chain of that narration.

[126] Muntaha al Matlab, 5/56. The difference between a Sahih and Muwaththaq hadith is as they mention that a Muwaththaq is:

ما دخل في طريقه من نص الأصحاب على توثيقه مع فساد عقيدته ولم يشتمل باقيه على ضعف

That there is such a narrator in its chain who is declared to be reliable by the companions despite his corrupt beliefs and there is no weakness in any of the other narrators.

This is why Muhammad Baqir al Shafti (d. 1260 AH) stated in al Rasa’il al Rijaliyyah, pg. 618, commenting on Ibn al Mutahhar’s action in al Muntaha regarding the narration ‘is it sufficient for me to read in the Fard’:

وليس في سنده من يرجب الحكم بموثقية الحديث عدا محمد بن سنان لأن شيخ الطائفة رواه في تهذيب الأحكام٢ /٧٠ ‏بإسناده إلى الحسين بن سعيد عن محمد بن سنان عن ابن مسكان عن الحسن الصيقل وطريقه إلى الحسين بن سعيد صحيح وهو كعبد الله بن مسكان من أعاظم الرواة وأكابرهم وجلالتهما لا تكاد تخفي

There is no one in the chain that necessitates the hadith to be ruled a Muwaththaq narration besides Muhammad in Sinan, because Sheikh al Ta’ifah reported it in Tahdhib al Ahkam, 2/70, through his chain to al Hussain ibn Sa’id ibn Muhammad ibn Sinan, who narrates from Ibn Muskan, who narrates from al Hassan al Sayqal. His chain till al Hussain ibn Sa’id is authentic. He is, like ‘Abdullah ibn Muskan, from amongst the greatest and the senior narrators. Their greatness cannot be concealed.

[127] Rawdat al Muttaqin, 14/29.

[128] Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 5/234-235.

[129]Al Tiffarishi: Naqd al Rijal, 1/411.

[130] Rijal al Najashi, pg. 144.

[131] Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 18/92.

[132] Rijal al Tusi, pg. 391.

[133] Al Fihrist, pg. 216.

[134] Khulasat al Aqwal, 2/26.

[135] Al Tahrir al Tusi, pg. 240; Taliqat al Shahid al Thani ala al Khulasah, pg. 38.

[136] Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 24/170, under the title of al Nawfali.

[137] Fihrist al Najashi, pg. 38.

[138] Khulassat al Aqwal, pg. 339.

[139] Al Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah, 4/85.

[140]Sama’ al Maqal, 2/53.

[141]Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 19/273.

[142] Fihrist al Najashi, pg. 418.

[143] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, pg. 410.

[144] Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 19/280.

[145] Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 12/248.

[146] Khulasat al Aqwal, pg. 363.

[147] Rijal Ibn al Ghada’iri, pg. 83.

[148] Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 21/229.

[149] Al Fihrist, pg. 46

[150] Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 207.

[151] Rijal Ibn Dawood, pg. 207.

[152] Naqd al Rijal, 5/109.

[153] Rijal al Kashshi, 2/786, narration: 945.

[154] Rijal al Kashshi, 2/791, narration: 958.

[155] Rijal al Kashshi, 2/791, narration: 958.

[156] Rasa’il al Shahid al Thani, 2/1070.

[157] Rijal al Kashshi, 2/852, narration: 1098.

[158] Al Amali, council: 47, hadith: 3.

[159] Rijal al Kashshi, 2/787, narration: 949.

[160] Al Ash’ari: Maqalat al Islamiyyin, pg 35; al Isfarayini: al Farq Bayn al Firaq, pg 53; al Shahrastani: al Milal wa al Nihal, 1/188.