Unfortunately on account of various reasons, some of which we shall mention shortly, the hadith did not remain immune from forgery and other problems. A great number of incorrect traditions found way into collections of prophetic sayings. The task of separating genuine traditions from apocryphal material was as necessary as that of removing weeds from a flower bed; as in case of weeds, their identification and removal was not an easy task, nor could they be left to flourish untouched, threatening the genuine material itself.
This was the reason why religious scholars, in their capacity as vigilant gardeners of the Faith, began to look for ways of separating forged material from genuine hadith. They needed new tools for this task, which was not an easy one, as is evident from the fact that despite centuries of scholarly efforts the remnants of these dangerous and destructive weeds have continued to survive.
As to how these weeds found their way into the flower beds of prophetic tradition, here are some of the important reasons:
1. There were some who wilfully sprinkled the seeds of such weeds, and dedicatedly looked after their growth and survival. Amongst them were supporters of Banu Umayyah and other opponents of Islam who dissembled adherence to it1.
2. Emergence of various sects in Islam led to forgeries by followers of different sects who wished to produce documentary evidence in favour of their own sect and to detriment of their opponents2.
3. Fabrications made by the devout about virtues of piety and abstinence from evil, who imagined that by this means they would be better equipped to guide others3.
4. Inclusion of Jewish myths, a process which was stimulated by the popular sense of curiosity and the people's interest in the lives and times of former prophets. Such imaginative accounts are replete in narrations regarding the lives and deeds of prophets - such as the account related by al-Tabari on the authority of Ibn Munabbih. According to this account, the serpent, formerly, had hands and legs; but since it allowed the Devil to enter its belly, God had made its limbs to sink into its stomach4!
5. Tribal and regional prejudices and rivalries, which incited some to forge traditions to be produced as evidence of their superiority over others - as is evident from traditions related to some cities.
6. Personal ambition was another stimulant which prompted some to be included among the scholars of hadith through forgery.
7. Fabrication of hadith as a means of procurement of personal gain or of earning goodwill of the caliph in power5.
8. Controversies and differences among jurists (fuqaha') prompted some scholars to fabricate traditions to be invoked in support of their own legal positions.
9. Story-tellers and reciters of fables, admittedly, were not averse to letting their imagination wander into the domain of hadith6.
Due to the above-mentioned and other reasons besides, a critical examination of hadith was necessary. As a result of the efforts made by Muslim scholars in this regard, a new branch was created in the science of hadith; it came to be called “dirayat al-hadith7”.
The Nihayat al-dirayah defines dirayat al-hadith in these words: “It is a science which investigates the isnad, contents, subject and the mode of transmission of ahadith, so that acceptable traditions can be separated from unacceptable ones.”
The emergence of `ilm dirayat al-hadith was followed by its division into numerous branches. Certain rules and guidelines were evolved for distinguishing reliable from unreliable ahadith. The body of such rules came to be called “mustalah al-hadith”, which together with `ilm al-rijal (lit. science of men), formed the means of scrutinizing hadith material.
However, for this purpose, knowledge of other preliminaries such as Arabic grammar and syntax, familiarity with literary style and form, knowledge of abrogated (mansukh) and the abrogating (nasikh) verses of the Qur'an, knowledge of the history of Islam and that of various Islamic sects and their beliefs, and other details regarding hadith, is necessary.
Haji Khalifah, in his Kashf al-zunun defines `ilm al-dirayah in this manner: “`Ilm dirayat al-hadith, which discusses the content and meaning of the words of hadith on the basis of Arabic grammar and syntax, and shar`i criteria, and examines their correspondence with the circumstances of the Messenger of Allah (S), linguistic standards of Arabic sciences and reports about the Messenger (S), consists of `ilm al-rijal, (the science of narrators, their names, genealogical lineages, lifetimes, their dates of death, their characters and circumstances of reception and transmission of hadith, as well as its topic or subject) and aims to distinguish acceptable from unacceptable traditions.
It entails classification of various modes of transmission, linguistic background of narrators, their remarks and criticism about what they have narrated, their connection with the prior source from whom they have received, knowledge of possession of permission (ijazah)8 by a narrator, and knowledge of various classifications of hadith, such as sahih, hasan, da`if, etc9.”
The following verse of the Qur'an made it incumbent upon al-muhaddithin (scholars of hadith) to make a thorough enquiry into details of narrators of ahadith:
As to who were pioneers in this field, it must be admitted that the Shi`ah had taken a lead in this field. The first writer to compile a book on this subject was Abu Muhammad `Abd Allah ibn Jibillah ibn Hayyan al-Kanani (died 219/834)10. But according to Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti in his Kitab al-'awa'il, the first writer on `ilm al-rijal was Shu`bah (died 260/87374)11. However, it is clear that the statement of Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti does not correspond with historical fact, for `Abd Allah ibn Jibillah died forty years before Shu`bah.
Another important point that should be noted here is that writing of chronicles of persons or biographical accounts was current amongst the Shi`ah from the very early days of Islam. If this is taken into account, Abu Rafi` and his desendents took a lead before all others12.
Some books on `ilm al-rijal give biographical accounts of narrators without giving the dates of their death, such as Ta'rikh of Ibn Jarir, Muruj al-dhahab of al-Mas`udi, aI-Kamjl fi al-ta'rikh of Ibn al-Athir. Some give dates of death without biographical accounts. Others, being more comprehensive, give almost all essential details, such as the works of Abu al-Faraj Jawzi and al-Dhahabi13.
The most important books compiled by Shi`ah scholars on `ilm al-rijal are five. They are:
1. Kitab al-rijal by Abi al-`Abbas Ahmad ibn `Ali al-Najashi (died 450/1058), which later became known merely as “al-Najash”, gives accounts of lives of narrators who have compiled books, giving little attention to others. Though the biographical accounts are given in an alphabetical order, the compilation is not very orderly. However, later, through the efforts of Kazim al-Ansari (died 1006/1597-8), Mulla `Inayat Allah Quhpa'i (died 1016/1607- 8) - the author of Majma` al-rijal - and Shaykh Dawud ibn al-Hasan al-Bahrayni (died 1104/1692-3), these defects have been removed.
2. Kitab al-fihrist, by Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Tusi, known as “Shaykh al-Ta'ifah” (died 460/1067-8). This book gives the biographical accounts in an alphabetical order. Moreover, several others have worked upon it.
3. Kitab al-rijal, also by al-Tusi, in which he gives the names of the contemporaries of every Imam (A) in the order of their succession.
4. Ma`rifat akhbar al-rijal, by `Umar ibn Muhammad al-Kashshi.
5. Al-Du`afa' by Ibn al-Ghada'iri, Ahmad ibn al-Husayn ibn `Abd Allah, a scholar of the fifth century Hijrah.
The most important books compiled in the field of `ilm al-rijal by scholars of the Ahl al-Sunnah are four:
1. Kitab Ibn Mandah, Abu `Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Yahya (died 301/913-14).
2. Hilyat al-'awliya' by Abi Nu`aym al-'Isfahani (died 430/1038-9).
3. Kitab Abi Musa, Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr al-'Isfahani (died 581/1185-6), which is a continuation of the work of Ibn Mandah.
4. Al-'Isti`ab by Ibn `Abd al-Birr.
After the above four works, other writings on `ilm al-rijal by Sunni scholars were primarily based on them. `Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Athir al-Jazari (died 630/1132-3) brought them together in his Usd al-ghabah. AI-Dhahabi produced a summarized version of Usd al-ghabah in his Tajrid Asma' al-Sahabah, adding some new entries. Badr al-Din Muhammad al-Qudsi and Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Kashghari, too, produced their own condensed versions of the Usd al-ghabah14.
A point worthy of notice here is that Shi`ah scholars of `ilm al-rijal, in the fifth and sixth centuries, named such books as were exclusively related to Shi`ite narrators of hadith as “rijal”, calling accounts of others, including both Shi`ah and Sunni narrators, as “ta'rikh”15.
Another notable point is that, in the past, there existed a mutual, inseparable link between the three disciplines of dirayat al-hadith, `ilm rijal al-hadith and bibliography. Works dealing with one of the topics, invariably discussed issues connected with the other disciplines.
The most important authors who have compiled works on `ilm al-rijal are following16:
1. `Ubayd Allah ibn Abi Rafi`.
2. Muhammad ibn Ishaq (died 151/768), grandson of Yasar. His work is called Madrak al-'Isti`ab.
3. Al-Tabari, Abu Ja`far (died 210/825-6). His work, too, is called Madrak al-'Isti`ab.
4. `Abd Allah ibn Jibillah ibn Hannan (died 219/834). He compiled a book on `ilm al-rijal17.
5. Al-Yaqtini, Muhammad ibn `Isa ibn `Ubayd ibn Yaqtin. He is an author of a book on `ilm al-rijal18.
6. Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Nu`aym, son of Shadhan Nishaburi. He is the author of al-Tarajim.
8. Ahmad ibn al-Husayn ibn `Abd al-Malik al-'Azudi. He rearranged al-Mashikhah in an alphabetical order.
9. Al-Muharibi, Abu `Abd Allah Muhammad ibn al-Hasan. He is the author of a work on `ilm al-rijal.
10. Al-Jazawini, `Ali ibn al-`Abbas is the author of al-Mamduhun wa al-madhmumun.
11. Al-Hasan ibn `Ali ibn Faddal al-Fatahi (died 224/838-9). He is the author of a work on `ilm al-rijal.
12. Muhammad ibn Sa`d, al-Azhari al-Basri al-Waqidi (died 230/844-5). His fifteen-volume Kitab al-tabaqat al-kubra has been reprinted. Al-Suyuti (died 911/1505-6) has compiled a condensed version of it.
13. Al-Waqidi, Muhammad ibn `Umar, teacher of Muhammad ibn Sa`d al-Waqidi, has a work on al-rijal called Madrak al-'Isti`ab.
14. `Ali ibn al-Madyani (died 234/848-9). He compiled a chronicle extending over ten volumes.
15. `Ali ibn al-Hasan ibn `Ali, son of Faddal al-Fatahi, compiled a work on `ilm al-rijal.
16. Khalifah ibn al-Khayyat (died 240/854-5) is the author of Madrak al-'Isti`ab.
17. Al-Bukhari, Muhammad ibn Isma`il ibn Mughirah (died 256/870), is an author of three books.
18. Muslim ibn Hajjaj (died 261/874-5). His work, too, is called al-Tabaqat.
19. Al-Barqi, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid (died 274/887-8). He is the author of Tabaqat al-rijal.
20. Al-`Ayyashi al-Samarqandi, Muhammad ibn Mas`ud, is the author of Ma`rifat al-naqilin21.
21. Al-Rawajini, `Abbad ibn Ya`qub, is the author of al-Ma`rifah fi ma`riifat al-sahabah22.
22. Al-Narmashiri, Yahya ibn Zakariyya, is the author of Manazil al-sahabah23.
23. Abu al-Faraj al-Qanani, son of Muhammad ibn Ya`qub, is the author of Mu`jam rijal Abi Mufaddal24.
24. Al-Dabili, Muhammad ibn Wahban, author of Man rawa `an Amir al-Mu'minin25.
25. Abu al-Qasim al-Balkhi, author of Ma`rifat al-naqilin and Firaq al-Shi`ah26.
26. Ahmad ibn `Abd al-Wahid, author of Fihrist al-rijal27.
27. Ibn Abi Khuthaymah, Ahmad ibn Zuhayr (died 279/892-3), author of Madrak al-'Isti`ab.
28. Al-Haqiqi, Ahmad ibn `Ali (died 280/893-4), authored Ta'rikh al-rijal28.
29. Mutayyin, Muhammad ibn `Abd Allah ibn Sulayman al-Hadrami (died 297/909-10), authored Madarak al-'isabah.
30. Ibn Hazm al-Harawi (died 301/913-14).
31. Ibn Mandah, Abu `Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Yahya (died 301/913-14).
32. Hamid Naynawa'i Dihqan (died 310/922-923).
33. Al-Dulabi (died 310/922-23).
34. `Abd al-`Aziz ibn Ishaq.
35. Al-Kulayni, Muhammad ibn Ya`qub (died 329/940-41), the author of al-Kafi, has also compiled a work on al-rijal29.
36. Al-Jalludi (died 332/943-44).
37. Al-Mas`udi, `Ali ibn al-Husayn (died 333/944-45).
38. `Isa ibn Mihran30.
39. Ibn Battah, Muhammad ibn Ja`far Mu'addab al-Qummi.
40. Muhammad ibn `Abd Allah.
41. Ibn `Uqdah al-Hamadani (died 333/944-45). He compiled biographical accounts of 4000 figures. Reportedly, parts of his work still exist in the royal library in Yemen31.
42. Abu Sulayman, Muhammad ibn `Abd Allah (died 338/949-50).
43. Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Ash`ari.
44. Sa`d ibn `Abd Allah al-Ash`ari32.
45. Al-Tabarani (died 340/951-52).
46. Ibn Walid al-Qummi (died 343/95455)33
47. Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn `Ammar al-Kufi (died 346/957-58).
48. `Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Zubayr al-Qurashi (died 348/959-60).
49. Ibn Sakan, Sa`id ibn `Uthman (died 353/963).
50. Ibn Habban (died 354/965).
51. Qadi al-Ja`abi, Muhammad ibn `Umar (died 355/965-66).
52. Al-Kashshi, Abu `Amr, Muhammad ibn `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz, authored Ma`rifat al-naqilin, which al-Shaykh al-Tusi (died 460/1067-68) condensed under the title al-Rijal.
53. Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Dawud al-Qummi (died 368/978-79).
54. Abu Ghalib al-Zurari, Ahmad ibn Ahmad (died 368/978-79).
55. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq (died 381/991-92), compiled al-Masabih34. and al-Tabaqat of Ibn Sa`d.
56. Ibn Shahin (died 385/995).
57. Ibn al-Nadim, Muhammad ibn Ishaq (died 390/1000), compiled Kitab al-fihrist.
58. Ibn Hashir, Ibn `Abdun (died 423/1023).
59. Abu Nu`aym al-'Isfahani (died 430/1038-39).
60. Muhammad ibn Abi Qurrah, teacher of al-Najashi, (died 450/1058), compiled Mu`jam rijal Abi Mufaddal35.
61. Abu al-`Abbas, al-Sirafi Ahmad, teacher of al-Najashi, authored al-Masabih36.
62. Ibn al-Ghada'iri, Ahmad ibn al-Husayn, compiled al-Rijal al-du`afa'.
63. Abu Ya`la al-Khalili (died 442/1054-55).
64. Al-Najashi, Abu al-`Abbas Ahmad ibn `Ali (died 450/1058), the author of Ma`rifat al-rijal.
65. Al-Tusi, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (died 460/1067-68).
66. Al-Kitani (died 466/1073-74).
67. `Abd ibn Jarud.
69. Ibn Abi Hatim.
71. Ibn `Abd al-Birr (died 463/1070-71).
72. Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Ahmad ibn `Ali (died 463/1070-71).
73. Ibn Fathun, Abu Bakr.
74. Shihab al-Din, Ahmad ibn Yusuf.
75. Al-'Akfani, Hibat Allah ibn Ahmad (died 466/1073-74).
76. Al-Sam`ani, `Abd al-Karim (died 562/1166-67).
77. Abu Musa, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr (died 581/1185-86).
78. Muntajab al-Din, `Ali ibn `Ubayd Allah Babawayh (died after 585/1189). He wrote Kitab al-fihrist, and a history of the Shi`ah scholars. Al-Majlisi included it at the end of vol. XXV of his Bihar al-anwar.
79. Ibn Shahr Ashub, Muhammad ibn `Ali (died 588/1192). He made additions at the end of al-Tusi's Fihrist.
80. Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi, `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Ali (died 597/1200-1)
81. Al-Muqaddasi, `Ali ibn Mufaddal (died 611/1214-15).
82. Ibn Bitriq, Yahya ibn al-Hasan (died 600/1203-4). He wrote Kitab rijal al-Shi`ah37.
83. Ibn al-Athir, `Ali ibn Muhammad al-Jazari (died 630/1232-33) wrote Usd al-ghabah.
84. Ibn Abi Tayy, Yahya ibn Hamid al-Halabi (died 630/1232-33), wrote al-'Isti`ab.
85. Quraysh ibn al-Sabi' (died 664/1265-66) summarized al-'Isti`ab and al-Tabaqat of Ibn Sa`d.
86. `Abd al-Azim ibn `Abd al-Qawi al-Mundhiri (died 656/1285).
87. Ibn Tawus, Ahmad ibn Musa ibn Ja`far al-Hilli (died 673/1274-75) wrote Hall al-'ishkal in the year A.H. 644, and brought together in it all biographical accounts of the five major works on `ilm al-rijal: al-Kashshi, al-Najashi, al-Tusi's Rijal and Fihrist, and Ibn al-Ghada'iri's al-Du`afa'38.
88. Izz al-Din, Ahmad ibn Muhammad (died 656/1258).
89. Al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, Ja`far ibn al-Hasan (died 676/1277-78), condensed al-Tusi's Fihrist.
90. Ibn Tawus, `Abd al-Karim ibn Ahmad ibn Musa ibn Ja`far (died 693/1293-4).
91. Ibn Dawud, al-Hasan ibn `Ali ibn Dawud (born 647/1249-50).
92. Al-`Allamah al-Hilli, al-Hasam ibn Yusuf (died 726/1325-26) wrote Khulasat al-'aqwat, Idah al-'Ishtibah and Kashf al-'ishtibah.
93. Al-Birzali, al-Qasim ibn Muhammad al-Dimashqi (died 738/1337-38).
94. Al-Dhahabi, Shams al-Din, Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn `Uthman (died 748/1347-48) summarized Usd al-ghabah.
95. Ahmad ibn Aybak al-Dimyati.
96. Ibn Rafi`, Taqi al-Din, made additions at the end of al-Birzali's work.
97. Ibn Kathir al-Dimashqi (died 774/1372-73) wrote several works on `ilm al-rijal.
98. Ibn Mu`ayyah al-Dibaji, Muhammad ibn al-Qasim ibn al-Husayn ibn al-Qasim al-Hilli (died 776/1374-75).
99. Ibn al-Mulaqqin, `Umar (died 804/1401-2) wrote Tabaqat al- muhaddithin.
100. Zayn al-Din al-`Iraqi, `Abd al-Rahim (died 806/1403-4) made additions at the end of Ibn Aybak al-Dimyati's work.
101. Baha' al-Din, `Ali Nili al-Hilli ibn `Abd al-Karim (died 841/1437-38), wrote Kitab al-rijal.
102. Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Ahmad ibn `A1i (died 852/1448) wrote Kitab al-'Isabah.
103. Al-Suyuti, Jalal al-Din (died 911/1505-6) summarized al-'Isabah calling it `Ayn al-isabah.
104. Al-Hasan ibn Zayn al-Din al-Shahid al-Thani (martyred 1011/1602-3) is the author of al-Ma`alim, Tahrir Tawusi, Tartib mashikhat man la yahduruh al-faqih.
105. Mulla Mustafa, translated the al-'Isti`ab upto the letter “ha”' by the orders of the `Uthmani king, Sultan Ahmad.
106. Tash Kubra-Zadeh, Kamal al-Din Muhammad (died 962/1554-55) continued the unfinished work of Mulla Mustafa to the letter “ra”.
107. Yusuf ibn Muhammad al-Husayni al-`Amili (died 982/1574-75) compiled Jami` al-'aqwal and edited the Rijal of al-Kashshi.
108. `Abd al-Latif ibn `Ali ibn Shaykh Ahmad al-`Amili, pupil of the author of al-Ma`alim, (died 1011/1602-3) and Shaykh al-Baha'i (died 1031/1621-22) compiled a fihrist of narrators of the four hooks: Al-Kafi, Man la yahduruh al-faqih, al-Tahdhib and al-'Istibsar.
109. Mulla `Inayat Allah Quhpa'i, `Ali ibn Sharaf al-Din, (died 1016/ 1607-8), also like Ibn Tawus compiled a collection of the books of al-Kashshi, al-Najashi, Ibn al-Ghada'iri, al-Rijal and al-Fihrist, putting the biographical accounts in an alphabetical order. His work is called Majma` al-rijal.
110. Qadi Nur Allah al-Shushtari (martyred 1019/1610-11) wrote Majalis al-mu'minin.
111. Mulla `Abd Allah al-Shushtari (died 1021/1612) extracted the al-Du`afa' of Ibn al-Ghada'iri, which had been included in Hall al-'ishkal of Ibn Tawus.
112. Mulla `Abd al-Nabi al-Jaza'iri, ibn Sa`d (died 1021/1612) wrote Hawi al-'aqwal.
113. Mirza Muhammad al-'Astarabadi (died 1021/1612) wrote three books, of which the most important is Manhaj al-maqal.
114. Khudawardi, 'Afshar (died 1021/1612).
115. Mirza Fayd Allah Tafrishi (died 1025/1616).
116. Mir Mustafa Tafrishi (died 1031/1621-22).
117. Nizam al-Din al-Qurashi (died 1031/1621-22).
118. Shaykh Muhammad al-Najafi (died 1085/1674-75).
119. Qutb al-Din al-'Ashkawari (died 1040/1630-31).
120. Mir Damad, Muhammad Baqir ibn Muhammad al-'Astarabadi al-Husayni al-'Isfahani (died 1040/1630-31).
121. Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi al-Awwal, ibn Maqsud `Ali (died 1070/1659-60) wrote Mashikhat kitab man la yahduruh al-faqih.
122. Al-Turayhi (died 1085/1674-75).
123. Muhammad Amin al-Kazimi (died 1085/1674-75).
124. Aqa Radi al-Qazwini (died 1096/1684-85).
125. Kamal al-Din al-Husayni, Shaykh Hasan ibn `Ali al-`Amili.
126. Shaykh Hurr al-`Amili, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (died 1104/1692-93) wrote `Amal al-'amal and Tadhkirat al-`ulama' al-muta'akhkhirin.
127. Mulla Faraj Allah al-Huwayzi.
128. Mulla Haydar `Ali al-Qummi.
129. Muhaddith al-Tawbali (died 1107/1695-96).
130. Muhammad Salih Khatunabadi al-'Isfahani (died 1116/1704-5), was the nephew of al-Majlisi II.
131. Sayyid `Ali Khan Madani (died 1120/1708-9).
132. Mulla `Abd Allah Afandi (died 1131/1718 19).
133. Mulla Muhammad al-Ardabili (died 1111/1699-1700).
134. Shaykh Sulayman al-Makhuri (died 1121/1709-10).
135. Mulla Muhammad Ja`far al-Khurasani (born 1080/1669-70).
136. Aqa Husayn al-Khwansari (died 1128/1715-16).
137. `Ali ibn `Abd Allah al-Bahrayni (died 1127/1714-15).
138. Mirza Muhammad al-Akhbari (died 1132/1719-20).
139. `Abd Allah al-Samahiji (died 1135/1722-23).
140. Shaykh Yasin al-Bahrayni (died 1145/1732 33).
141. Mir Muhammad Ibrahim, son of Mir Ma`sum al-Qazwini, (died 1145/1732-33).
142. Radi al-Din, ibn Sayyid Muhammad al-`Amili al-Musawi, (died 1168/1754-55), in a work called 'Ithaf dkawi al-'albab, has arranged the entries according to surnames ending with the letter “ya”, and modelling it on Ibn al-Athir's work and al-Lubab of al-Suyuti.
143. Muhammad ibn `Ali al-Biladi (died 1186/1772-73).
144. Shaykh Yusuf (1186/1772-73) has compiled Lu'lu'at al-bahrayn.
145. Sayyid Husayn al-Qazwini (died 1208/1793-94).
146. `Abd al-Nabi ibn Muhammad (died 1191/1777).
147. Sayyid Mahdi Bahr al-`ulum al-Burujerdi al-Najafi (died 1212/1797-98).
148. Abu `Ali, Muhammad ibn Isma`il (died 1215/1800-1).
149. Sayyid Ahmad al-Kazimi.
150. Dawud ibn al-Hasan al-Jaza'iri, worked on Ikhtiyar al-rijal of al-Kashshi, and al-Rijal of al-Najashi.
151. Muhammad Tahir ibn Muhammad Talib al-Husayni al-'Ardabili.
152. Shaykh Yahya, who was a mufti of Bahrayn.
153. Mulla Darwish `Ali al-Ha'iri.
154. Sayyid Muhsin al-'A`raji al-Kazimayni (died 1227/1812).
155. Sayyid `Abd Allah Shubbar ibn Muhammad Rida (died 1242/1826-27).
156. Muhammad `Ali ibn al-Qasim Al Shakur al-Ha'iri (died 1245/1829-30).
157. Sayyid Muhammad Baqir, Hujjat al-Islam Shafti (died 1260/1844).
158. Shaykh `Abd al-Nabi al-Kazimi (died 1256/1840).
159. Mulla `Ali Kani al-Tehrani (died 1306/1888-89).
160. Shaykh Murtada al-'Ansari (died 1281/1864-65).
161. Ibrahim ibn Husayn ibn `Ali.
162. Haji Nuri, Husayn ibn Muhammad Taqi.
163. Muhammad Taha Najaf (died 1323/1905), son of Mahdi, son of Muhammad Rida al-Tabrizi al-Najafi, compiled Itqan al-maqal. In this book, he divided narrators of hadith into three categories: truthful, righteous and weak.
164. Al-Mamaqani, Shaykh `Abd Allah ibn Shaykh Hasan (died 1350/1931-32).
165. Sayyid Muhsin al-`Amili (died 1370/1950-51) wrote 'A`yan al-Shi`ah, of which thirty-four volumes have been printed in Syria.
166. Aqa Buzurg, Muhammad Muhsin al-Tehrani, wrote al-Dhari`ah 'ila tasanif al-shi`ah, in which he devoted each volume to figures of every century starting from the fourth century Hijrah. He also compiled a work on history of `ilm al-rijal with the title Musaffa al-maqal. In this book he has given biographical accounts of six-hundred narrators.
- 1. See Muhaqqiq's introduction to al-Suyuti's Tadrib al-rawi; al-Madinah 1379/1959. One instance of this case is the “hadith” which was forged regarding the following verse of the Holy Qur'an on the orders of Mu`awiyah:
And among men is he who sells himself in exchange for God's good pleasure....(2:207)
Through this forgery, an attempt was made to relate this verse to Ibn Muljam, the assassin of Imam `Ali (A); whereas, in reality, this verse is related to `Ali (A) himself, who exposed himself to the danger of death by lying in the Prophet's (S) bed on the night of his hijrah to al-Madinah. See also Kazim Mudir Shanehchi, `IIm al-hadith, p. 66; Mashhad University 1964-65
- 2. See Muhaqqiq's introduction to al-Suyuti's Tadrib al rawi al Madinah 1379/1959. See also Ahmad Amin Fajral Islam, p. 255; Egypt 1347/1928
Ahmad ibn Nasr says: “The Prophet in reply [to a question that he had put] said, 'Hold on to al-Shafi`i for he is from me and God is with him and his followers.”' See Kazim Mudir Shanehchi `IIm al hadith, p. 69, Mashhad University 1964-65
- 3. The Encyclopedia of Islam, pp. 24, 25. Ahmad Amin, Fajr al Islam, p.256; Egypt 1347/1928. See also Parto e Islam vol I p. 258. An instance of this is the case of Abi `Ismah Nuh ibn Abi Maryam whose practice was to forge a tradition in relation to every surah of the Qur'an. Once when asked about the source of his narrations, he said, “Since people started turning towards the fiqh of Abi Hanifah and the chronicles of Muhammad ibn Ishaq they have been neglecting to memorize the Qur'an by heart. I have fabricated these traditions only for the sake of God's good pleasure.” See Parto e Islam p. 258 and Fajral Islam p. 256
- 4. Partoe Islam, vol.11, pp. 356, 385
- 5. An instance of this is the case of Ghiyath ibn Ibrahim, who once on visiting the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur saw him playing with pigeons. On the spur of the moment, he fabricated a “hadith” for the caliph's good pleasure: The Prophet said, “No racing is better than that of hoofs and feathers.” See Fajr al-'Islam, p. 255, and Partoe Islam, vol. I, p.258. Abu Hurayrah once fabricated a “hadith” about onions of Akka (seaport in Palestine). Asked by Mu'awiyah as to where the Prophet said such a thing, he answered, “there where he said, 'Mu'awiyah is the maternal uncle of the faithful (khal al-mu'minin)'.”
- 6. Kazim Mudir Shanehchi, `Ilm al-hadith, pp.74,75, Mashhad University, 1344 A.H. According to Ibn al-Jawzi, once Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahya ibn Ma`in were in the mosque of al-Rasifah (in Baghdad) for prayers. In the meanwhile, a storyteller gathered around himself some people and began to recite a tradition, citing as his sources Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahya ibn Ma`in, that the Prophet said, “whoever says, 'La ilaha illa Allah', God will reward him with a bird whose beak is of gold and feathers of coral.” Then he proceeded to describe the bird and the reward of the recipient in such a detail as can not be contained even in twenty pages. On hearing him, Yahya and ibn Hanbal looked at each other while the “muhaddith” started collecting tips from the people. Yahya approached the man and asked him as to who had told him this tradition. “Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahya ibn Ma`in,” was his reply. “I am Yahya and this is Ahmad ibn Hanbal”, said Yahya pointing to Ibn Hanbal, “we ourselve have never heard of such a tradition.” The storyteller replied, 'I had heard that Yahya ibn Ma`in is an idiot I didn't believe it. You talk as if you two are the only Yahya and Ibn Hanbal in the whole world! I have written traditions from seventeen Yahya ibn Ma`ins and Ahmad ibn Hanbal's.” Then he promptly slipped out of the mosque. See Hafiz Nishaburi Hakim Abu `Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Abd Allah, Ma`rifat ulum al hadith, p. 289; Egypt 1937
- 7. Shaykh al-Bahi'i, Nihayat al-dirayah p. 7; `Imad al Islam Press, 1324. See also al-Suyuti's Tadrib al-rawi, pp. 4, 5; al Madinah 1379/1959
- 8. During the earliest times the traditions were transmitted orally by teachers to students of hadith. One who had leant traditions in this way under the direction of a teacher could, in his turn, again communicate them to others. Ijazah (lit. permit) was the term for a teacher's sanction granted to those considered reliable by him for further transmission of traditions to others
- 9. Haji Khalifah, Mustafa ibn `Abd Allah, Kashf al-zunun `an asami al-kutub wa al-funun, pp.635-636; 1360/1941
- 10. Sayyid Hasan al-Sadr, Ta'sis al-Shi`ah, p.233; see also al-Najashi's Ma`rifat ahwal al-rijal, p.340; Bombay 1317
- 11. Sayyid Hasan al-Sadr, Ta'sis al-Shi`ah
- 12. Al-Najashi, Ma`rifat ahwal al-rijal. See Shaykh Aqa Buzurg al-Tehrani, Muhammad Muhsin, al-Dhari`ah ila tasanif al-Shi`ah, vol. III, p. 224. See also Sayyid Hasan al-Sadr, Ta'sis al-Shi`ah, p.232
- 13. Haji Khalifah, Kashf al-zunun `an asami al-kutub wa al-funun, p.834, 1360
- 14. See the Catalogue of the Library of University of Tehran, p.503
- 15. Shaykh Aqa Buzurg al-Tehrani, al-Dhari`ah ila tasanif al-Shi`ah, vol.111, p. 224
- 16. The names in this list are of those who have worked on history or `ilm al-rijal, regardless of whether they were merely chroniclers or those whose work was aimed at distinguishing reliable from unreliable narrators. The names in the list have been taken from the Catalogue of the Library of University of Tehran
- 17. Al-Najashi, Ma`rifat ahwal al-rijal, p.235; Bombay 1317
- 18. Ibid
- 19. Al-Tusi, Kitab al-fihrist, p.47; Najaf 1359/1937
- 20. Tawdih al-maqal, p.65
- 21. Al-Najashi, Ma`rifat ahwal al-rijal, 248; Bombay 1317
- 22. AI-Tusi, Kitab al-fihrist, p.119; Najaf 1359/1937
- 23. Al-Najashi, Ma`rifat ahwal al-rijal, p.309; Bombay 1317
- 24. Ibid., p.283
- 25. Ibid., p. 282
- 26. Ibid., p.302
- 27. Tawdih al-maqal, p.65
- 28. Al-Najashi, Ma`rifat ahwal al-rijal, p.59
- 29. Ibid., p.267
- 30. Al-Tusi, Kitab al-fihrist, p.116
- 31. Ibid., p. 28; al-Najashi, Ma`rifat ahwal al-rijal, pp.68, 69; See also the Catalogue of the Library of Tehran University
- 32. Al-Tusi, Kitab al-fihrist, 75; al-Najashi, Ma'rifat ahwal al-rijal, p. 126
- 33. Al-Najashi, Ma'rifat ahwal al-rijal, p.23
- 34. Ibid., pp. 276, 278
- 35. Ibid., p.283
- 36. Ibid., p.63; al-Tusi, Kitab al-fihrist, p.37
- 37. Shaykh Aqa Buzurg al-Tehrani, al-Dhari`ah ila tasanif al-Shi`ah, vol.111, p. 222
- 38. Ibid., vol. VII, p.64