نزلت هذه الآية إِنَّمَا يُرِيْدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ في خمسة علي و فاطمة
This verse: Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], was revealed in favour of five … ‘Ali, Fatimah …
Al Haythami remarks, “Al Bazzar narrated it. Bukayr ibn Yahya ibn Zuban is one of the narrators and he is da’if.”
This is challenged by the established report from Sayyidina ‘Ikrimah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:
نزلت هذه الآية إِنَّمَا يُرِيْدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ في نساء النبي خاصة
This verse: Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], was revealed specifically in favour of the wives of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
The narration is:
حدثنا زيد بن الحباب حدثنا حسين بن واقد عن يزيد النحوي عن عكرمة عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما في قوله إِنَّمَا يُرِيْدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ قال نزلت في نساء النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم خاصة
Zaid ibn al Hubab narrated to us―Hussain ibn Waqid narrated to us from―Yazid al Nahwi from―’Ikrimah from―Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma regarding His declaration: Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household.
He said, “It was revealed specifically in favour of the wives of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”
The isnad is Hassan as affirmed by the researcher of Siyar A’lam al Nubala’.
Ibn Kathir says, “If the meaning is that they are the reason for the revelation to the exception of all others, then it is sahih. However, if the intent is that they are only intended to the exclusion of all others, then this is debatable.”
This strengthens the revelation of the verse specifically for the wives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It is not possible to give precedence to da’if over sahih.
Due to this narration, the Rawafid launched a violent attack on ‘Ikrimah for unequivocally quoting a text that totally demolishes their building from the edifice.
Hafiz comments, “And this isnad is sahih.”
The books of tafsir are filled with ‘Ikrimah’s narrations from Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Al Bukhari and Muslim have documented his reports in their Sahih compilations. Muslim only reports one hadith of his. He does not narrate from him after hearing of Malik’s stance on the man.
“Yes,” he replied, “‘Ikrimah.”
He said, “Both,” and did not choose.
I asked, “‘Ikrimah or Sa’id ibn Jubayr?”
He said, “Reliable and reliable,” but did not choose.
لا تكذب علي كما كذب عكرمة على ابن عباس
Do not lie against me the way ‘Ikrimah lied against Ibn ‘Abbas.
Hafiz Ibn Hajar rejected this narration and stated that it is not established since it is from Khalaf al Jazzar from―Yahya al Bakka’.
Yahya al Bakka’
Ibn Hibban says, “It is impossible for a reliable person to be disparaged by the criticism of one who is criticised.”
Al Tabari casts doubts on this narration saying, “If this is established from ‘Umar…”
‘Ikrimah has been suspected due to his report that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married Sayyidah Maimunah radiya Llahu ‘anha while he was in ihram. They have oppressed ‘Ikrimah in this regard. He reports Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas’s radiya Llahu ‘anhuma words from many chains. The Hijazis used the word kidhb (lying) for a mistake. Probably, this is where the confusion began.
Ibn Jarir explains:
If this statement is correctly and authentically attributed to Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then it could refer to a number of possibilities, not specifically criticising all of his reports. It is possible that he criticised him for a specific ruling.
This possibility is correct since it is reported that Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma rejected his narration from Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma regarding sarf (trading gold/silver for gold/silver). Ibn Jarir then goes on to assert that this does not necessitate his disparagement. For example, the reliable narrators report from Salim ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar that he said, “If it is said to you that Nafi’ the freed slave of Ibn ‘Umar reports from Ibn ‘Umar regarding entering (intercourse) from the reprehensible opening, then the slave has lied against my father.” Ibn Jarir then says that the muhaddithin do not consider this disparagement of Nafi’ from Salim. Similarly, they should not consider Ibn ‘Umar’s statement disparagement of ‘Ikrimah.
Ibn Hibban has clarified that the people of Hijaz said, “He lied,” instead of “He erred.” He mentioned this in the biography of Burd on his Kitab al Thiqat. This is supported by ‘Ubadah ibn Samit’s clarification.
As regards to Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma labelling ‘Ikrimah a liar, this comes from the chain of Yazid ibn Abi Ziyad who is unreliable and his reports are not fit as proof. Ibn Hibban stated this and Hafiz said, “It is as he said.”
أنبأ أبو منصور سعيد بن محمد بن عمر بن البراز أنا أبو الخطاب نصر بن أحمد بن البطر أنا محمد بن أحمد بن محمد بن زرقوية أنا أحمد بن كامل القاضي حدثني سهل بن علي الدوري نا عبد الله بن عمر القرشي نا محمد بن فضيل عن عثمان بن حكيم كنت جالسا مع أبي أمامة بن سهل بن حنيف إذ جاء عكرمة فقال يا أبا أمامة أذكرك الله هل سمعت بن عباس يقول ما حدثكم عني عكرمة فصدقوه فإنه لم يكذب علي فقال أبو أمامة نعم
Abu Mansur Sa’id ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn al Barraz informed―Abu al Khattab Nasr ibn Ahmed ibn al Batar informed us―Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Razquyah informed us―Ahmed ibn Kamil al Qadi informed us―Sahl ibn ‘Ali al Duri narrated to me―’Abdullah ibn ‘Umar al Qurashi narrated to us―Muhammad ibn Fudayl narrated to us from―’Uthman ibn Hakim:
I was sitting with Abu Umamah ibn Sahl ibn Hanif when ‘Ikrimah approached and submitted, “O Abu Umamah, I remind you to fear Allah! Did you hear Ibn ‘Abbas saying that what ‘Ikrimah narrates to you from me, believe him for he does not lie against me?”
Abu Umamah replied in the affirmative.
Hafiz comments, “And this isnad is sahih.”
With regards to bid’ah, if it is established against him then too it will not negatively impact on his hadith since he did not invite to it. And it is not established in the first place.
Al Juzajani says, “I asked Ahmed ibn Hambal, ‘Was ‘Ikrimah an Ibadi?’ He answered, ‘It is said that he was a Sufri.’” This is mentioned with words suggesting weakness.
With regards to Malik’s disparagement, the reason is clarified. The reason was that he accused him of being involved in the bid’ah of the Khawarij. Abu Hatim said with determination.
Ibn Abi Hatim reports:
I asked my father about ‘Ikrimah.
He replied, “Reliable.”
I asked, “His hadith should be used as proof?”
“Yes,” he replied, “when reliable narrators report from him.”
Despite the fact that this stance is not common and relied upon with regards those about whom bid’ah is known. See what al Dhahabi says about Aban ibn Taghlib:
شيعي جلد لكنه صدوق فلنا صدقه و عليه بدعته
A staunch shia but he is truthful. His truthfulness is to our advantage and his bid’ah is to his disadvantage.
Malik’s rejection of him is only his view. Besides, it is not established from him in a decisive manner that this is his stance. He would only conform to them in some rulings so he attributed him to them. However, Ahmed and al ‘Ijli have exonerated him from this. He says in Kitab al Thiqat:
‘Ikrimah the freed slave of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. A Makki, Tabi’i. Reliable. Exonerated from the Haruriyyah allegations people level against him.
If this is established, for argument’s sake, then will he become a liar or an extremist in forbidding lying?
Is it not contradictory at one place that lying and believing in the methodology of the Khawarij join in ‘Ikrimah?
Those who labelled him a liar forgot that lying according to the Khawarij is the partner of shirk in sending a person forever to Hell. If ‘Ikrimah is from the Khawarij, we will continue narrating from him because he is reliable according to majority of the masters of hadith. The Khawarij are far superior to the Rawafid in being pure from lying.
We also narrate from a person whose tashayyu’ is known if he is recognised as truthful. So what about those who believe that the liars will rot in Hell forever? There is a world of difference between the fervour to speak the truth between the Khawarij and Shia. The Khawarij on one hand regard lying as a major sin akin to shirk in terms of a person remaining forever in Hell. The Ahlus Sunnah have reported from narrators known to observe tashayyu’ despite lying being common among the Shia whereas it is unheard of by the Khawarij. Ibn Jarir says very beautifully:
لو كان كل من ادعى عليه مذهب من المذاهب الرديئة ثبت عليه ما ادعى به و سقطت عدالته و بطلت شهادته بذلك للزم ترك أكثر محدثي الأمصار لأنه ما منهم إلا و قد نسبه قوم إلى ما يرغب به عنه
If every accusation made against every one of being assigned to a base wayward sect is established and his truthfulness is cancelled and his testimony is annulled due to this, then this would lead to abandonment of majority of the muhaddithin of the cities because they have all been ascribed by people to that which they desist from.
Hafiz says, “As regards his acceptance of the gifts from the leaders, this does not prevent accepting his narration. Al Zuhri is more infamous in this regard than ‘Ikrimah. Despite this, no one has stopped narrating from him due to this.”
With regards Ibrahim’s criticism of him due to his retraction from his tafsir of al batshah al kubra to what he was told from Ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu, apparently this deserves his admiration, not condemnation. He assumed something and was subsequently informed of the opposite from someone more knowledgeable than himself, so he abandoned his stance and opted for the latter.
 Majma’ al Zawa’id vol. 9 pg. 167.
 Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ vol. 2 pg. 208.
 Taqrib al Tahdhib Biography: 4673.
 Al Tarikh al Kabir vol. 7 pg. 49. Hafiz quoted it in his Muqaddamah pg. 429.
 Fath al Bari.
 Muqaddamat al Fath pg. 425 – 430.
 Al Tamhid vol. 2 pg. 30.
 Muqaddamat al Fath 427.
 Muqaddamah Fath al Bari pg. 428; Tahdhib al Kamal vol. 20 pg. 271; Tarikh Dimashq vol. 41 pg. 83; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ vol. 5 pg. 16.
 Mizan al I’tidal vol. 1 pg. 118.