This fantasy tale has been narrated by al Baladhuri in Ansab al Ashraf (5/137) by way of Jarir — from al A’mash — from Abu Wa’il who said:
I was with Masruq at al Silsilah when ships laden with idols and statues of men passed by so he asked them about it and they responded, “Muawiyah is exporting these to the lands of al Sind [Sindh] and al Hind [India] to be sold for him.” So Masruq remarked, “if I knew they would kill me I would have sunk these (ships). However, I fear they will torture me and put me to test. By Allah, I do not know what kind of man Muawiyah is; is he a man who has no hope in the next life that he indulges in worldly vanity, or is he a man whose evil has appeared as adorned to him.”
Ibn Abi Shaibah (5/267) narrates it by way of Abu Muawiyah — from al A’mash — from Abu Wa’il without mentioning Muawiyah. Likewise al Tabari narrates it in Tahdhib al Athar (4/399) by way of Sufyan — from al A’mash — from Abu Wa’il.
The falsehood in this report is very clear. Does it not contradict the reliable hadith wherein the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prayed for him that Allah guide him and make him a guide for others? How is it possible that Allah guides him and he sells idols?
Therefore, the senior critics have severely criticised this fabrication. Al A’mash did not expressly narrate it with Sama’ which is a cause to believe that there is Tadlis (omission of a narrator in the chain) on account of the obscurity of the narration.
Al Mu’allimi states in al Tankil (1/51):
Likewise, in the narrations of al A’mash there are narrations which the scholars have declared weak. Some of them consider the weakness to come about on account of those above al A’mash in the chain, some of them on account of interruptions, and some on account of al A’mash not expressly narrating it with Sama’ which results in Tadlis. From the last kind there is a narration regarding Muawiyah which al Bukhari mentions in al Tarikh al Saghir (pg.68) and declared it weak on account of the Tadlis of al A’mash.
He also says in the introduction of al Fawa’id al Majmu’ah (8):
If the great scholars find the text condemnable and the chain appears to be sound, then they usually look for an ‘illah (subtle defect). If they cannot find an ‘illah in a general sense, but they consider it sufficient for reproach of that condemnable narration is when they indicate a flaw in the narration on the basis of the narrator not having heard it from the one whom he has transmitted from; despite the narrator not being one who does Tadlis (as a habit). Al Bukhari found fault of the same kind in a narration transmitted ‘Amr ibn Abi ‘Amr Mawla al Muttalib — from ‘Ikrimah — under the biography of ‘Amr in Tahdhib.
In al Muntakhab min al ‘Ilal (227) by al Khallal it appears:
Muhanna said: “I asked Ahmed about the narration of al A’mash — from Abu Wa’il that Muawiyah dabbled with idols. He responded, ‘how harsh are the people of Kufah with the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the narration is not sound. A man from the Shi’ah spoke of this.’”
This is what Imam Ahmed said about someone who accused Muawiyah of involvement with idols, what about selling them?
 See also al Tarikh al Awsat (71)
 Tahdhib al Tahdhib (8/72)Back to top