Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma`rifat al-Sahabah

Al-Mukhtarah of al-Diya’ al-Maqdisi
October 1, 2015
The Isnad of Abu Musa al-Madini
October 1, 2015

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Usd al Ghabah fi Ma’rifat al Sahabah


The author is ‘Izz al Din Abu al Hassan ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Karim al Jazri, famously known as Ibn al Athir al Jazri (d. 630 A.H.).


وروى عنه ابنه ايضا انه قال خطبنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بالجحفة فقال الست اولى بكم من انفسكم قالوا بلى يا رسول الله قال انى سائلكم عن اثنين عن القران و عن عترتى قال الترمذى عبد الله بن حنطب لم يدرك النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم

His son also narrated from him that he said, “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam delivered a sermon to us at al Juhfah. He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked, “Do I not have more right over you than yourselves?” They said, “Most definitely O Rasul of Allah!” He said, “I will question you regarding two things, the Qur’an and my ‘itrah.” Al Tirmidhi said, “‘Abdullah ibn Hantab did not meet Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”


Firstly, it should be known that Ibn al Athir al Jazri reports this narration twice in Usd al Ghabah, once under the biography of Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which he quotes from Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[1] This narration is the exact same as the narration of al-Tirmidhi, regarding which a discussion has already passed. There were a few Shia narrators in it including ‘Ali ibn al Mundhir al Kufi and ‘Attiyah al ‘Aufi.

This narration appears for a second time in vol. 3 pg. 147 under the biography of ‘Abdullah ibn Hantab. We have quoted it verbatim above. Now, we wish to present a few aspects regarding it, which will be appreciated by the scholars:

1. The wording above was “His son narrated from him”, his son refers to Muttalib ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Hantab ibn al Harith al Makhzumi, who narrates from ‘Abdullah ibn Hantab. After the son Muttalib, ‘Abdul ‘Aziz — his son — narrates it from him.


2. It is worthy to note what the Muhaddithin have written about this father and son (Muttalib and ‘Abdullah) when deciding on whether to accept their narration or not.

Ibn ‘Abdul Barr writes in al Isti’ab:

حديثه مضطرب الاسناد ولا يثبت

His ahadith have contradictions in the asanid and cannot be established.[2]


While Hafiz ibn Hajar in al Isabah acknowledged him to be a Sahabi, he also added that Imam al Tirmidhi stated under the ‘Chapter regarding the merits of Sheikhayn (Abu Bakr and ‘Umar)’ (vol. 2 pg. 208), that ‘Abdullah ibn Hantab did not meet Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He also mentioned the difference of opinion of some Muhaddithin, who are of the opinion that the father of ‘Abdullah, who is Hantab, is the actual narrator of the hadith and it was he who was the Sahabi. Others opine that Muttalib appears between ‘Abdullah and Hantab, and he (Muttalib) is the father of ‘Abdullah and the son Hantab. Hence, he is a Sahabi and not ‘Abdullah. Due to this difference of opinion, there is no clarity regarding this isnad.[3]


3. Ibn Hajar notes in Taqrib:

المطلب بن عبدالله المخزومى صدوق كثير الارسال و التدليس

Al Muttalib ibn Abdullah al Makhzumi: He was truthful, but he was habitual of connecting disjointed narrations and not mentioning his sources.[4]


4. Imam al Tirmidhi states:


قال محمد بن اسماعيل البخارى لا اعرف للمطلب بن عبدالله سماعا من احد من اصحاب النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم الا قوله حدثنى من شهد خطبة النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم و سمعت عبدالله بن عبدالرحمان يقول لا نعرف للمطلب سماعا من احد من اصحاب النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم

Al Tirmidhi says that Muhammad ibn Ismail al Bukhari said, “I do not know of Muttalib ibn ‘Abdullah hearing from any of the Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, except when he said, ‘Those who witnessed the sermon of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam narrated to me…’ I heard ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdul Rahman saying, ‘We do not know of Muttalib ibn ‘Abdullah hearing from any of the Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.’”[5]


5. Al Dhahabi states:

قال ابن سعد كان كثير الحديث و ليس يحتج بحديثه لانه يرسل كثيرا و ليس له لقاء و عامة اصحابه يدلسون

Ibn Sa’d said, “He narrated many ahadith, but his ahadith cannot be used as proof, because he does not mention his source in many instances. He did not meet the Sahabah, and most of his companions also do not mention their sources.”[6]


هو يرسل عن كبار الصحابة كابى موسى و عائشة قال ابو حاتم و عامة احاديثه مراسيل…قال ابن سعد كثير الحديث و ليس يحتج بحديثه

He does not mention his sources between him and senior Sahabah like Abu Musa and Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Abu Hatim says, “Most of his narrations do not have mention of his sources.” Ibn Sa’d said, “He narrated many ahadith, but his ahadith cannot be used as proof.”[7]


6. Ibn al Athir did not mention the complete isnad of this narration. We commented only on that which was mentioned. It would have been much better if we had the complete isnad. The author of ‘Abaqat loves situations like these, where his aims can be achieved by quoting half of the isnad.


Note: – This narration of ‘Abdullah ibn Hantab is also quoted by al Suyuti in his treatise Ihya al Mayyit. The status of the narration is as explained above. Therefore, there is no need for a separate reply for the reference of Ihya al Mayyit.


NEXT⇒ Al-Mukhtarah of al-Diya’ al-Maqdisi

[1]Usd al Ghabah vol. 12 pg. 147

[2]Al Isti’ab vol. 2 pg. 282.

[3]Al Isabah with al Isti’ab vol. 2 pg. 29 and Tahdhib vol. 5 pg. 192.

[4]Taqrib pg. 496 Lucknowi print.

[5]Al Tirmidhi vol. 2 pg. 115 – Chapter of the reward for reading one letter of the Qur’an.

[6]Tahdhib vol. 10 pg. 178

[7]Mizan al I’tidal vol. 3 pg. 177

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