Reliability of the Companions
The issue of reliability of the Companions is quite critical, about which much talk was there, beside lengthy dispute throughout all ages. Hence this subject deserves good attention and much care so as to have moderate opinion about it, and any dispute be eliminated.
There was much dispute and controversy among Muslims regarding this adalah (reliability), while it being in itself an issue in which favour of the Qur’an and the Messenger can be clearly sensed. Thus it neither calls to disagreement, nor needs controversy. So is it right to enter into debate about an issue in which the merit of the Qur’an and the Messenger is established?
A group of people have gone too far in this matter to the extent they deemed them (Sahabah) to be reliable in all, even those indulged in fitnah (sedition), or in whose hypocrisy a Qur’anic verse was revealed, making it impermissible to criticize anyone of them, or raise doubt about his riwayah, accusing anyone doing so with debauchery.1 And this verily is an exaggeration in trust and extravagance in appreciation. Besides, it contravenes the principles stated in the Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah regarding the firm evidences, and can never agree with the human tempers and nature.
It can be said that claiming the reliability of all the Sahabah, and consecrating books of hadith constitute the two main factors that facilitated for the enemies of Islam to attack it, and led to close-mindedness of its friends among thinkers! That is because adalah of all the Sahabah undoubtedly necessitates trusting whatever they narrate as cited in books of hadith, while it is known they contained many weak and poor traditions that constituted source of harm and detriment. If we intend to enumerate all the detriments that afflicted the Muslims as a result of that belief, it would be so lengthy, but we suffice here with stating only two detriments:
First: That intense dispute which inflicted the Ummah so seriously causing disunity among Muslims, from the days of Uthman till the present day and even to the days to come! This dispute scattered the Muslims, renderring them inconsistent parties, wrangling cults, and differing schools, either in ibadat (rituals) or transactions. And despite the efforts exerted by many ulama’ who endeavoured to reuniting the Muslims throughout hundreds of years, so as to make them hold fast together to the cable of Allah and not to separate, but the moth of disagreement was and is still eating into the bones of the Islamic Ummah, the fact that no one can deny.
Second: The fatal attacks and stabs that inflicted Islam everyday, because of what hadith books contained of traditions including superstitions and confusions, and other things that no free mind can approve of or right knowledge can support, till our religion came to be called Din of superstitions and misconceptions and that it being unfit and incompetent for ages of science and civilization. There is no dispute that those who reported those dubious traditions were the Sahabah themselves, and from them the narrators took and men of hadith inscribed in their books.
So if we exclaim that: The tribulation inflicting Islam is actually caused by two things: Absolute reliability of the Sahabah, and blind trust in books of hadith which contain together the poor and strong traditions, we would never alienate or neglect the truth.
If we go along the straightforward path, and obligate the express hujjah, following logic of aql (reason), adopting the programme adopted by contemporary ulama’ in studying the issues, unaffected by any conventional or passional impact whether in respect of analyzing the characters of the Sahabah or what they narrated, the truth will be manifested explicitly and light of Islam will brightly shine, and Muslims all over the world will hold fast to the cable of Allah, united and not separated. And since the reliability of the Sahabah – as said before – is quite a perilous issue, I find it proper here to write this chapter so as to reinstate the matter aright and show – through strong indisputable evidences from the Book of Allah and His Messenger’s traditions – the correct aspect that safeguards us from committing a mistake and protects against nonsense.
Before broaching the subject of reliability of the Sahabah, I have to define who the Sahabi is as identified by them (Sunnis), and the most adequate definition in view of the Jumhur (Sunnis) being that one mentioned by al-Bukhari:
In his exposition for the definition of al-Bukhari, Ibn Hajar al-Asqallani declared: What he wants to say is that the epithet Suhbat al-Nabi (Companionship of the Prophet) fits that who kept company with the Prophet (S), a degree less than what the word suhbah means lexically, though the prevalent norm stipulated for it some mulazamah (association). It is also used for anyone who saw him (S) even from a remote distance.
What al-Bukhari stated is the preponderant notion, but is it stipulated that the seer should discern what he has seen! Or mere seeing being enough? Still there is controversy regarding this point but the practice of those who were counted among the Sahabah indicates the second option. As they mentioned Muhammad ibn Ali Bakr al-Siddiq, who was born only three months and few days before the demise of the Prophet, as recorded in the Sahih, stating that his mother Asma’ bint Umays gave birth to him during the Hijjat al- Wada’ (Farewell Pilgrimage), before enterring Mecca, in the last days of Dhu al-Qa’dah in the year 20H.
Ali ibn al-Midyani says: Whoever accompanied or saw the Prophet even for only one hour, should be counted among the companions of the Prophet. It seems that they supported this definition with a hadith reported from the Prophet as saying: Some people will launch invasion, when it will be said to them: Is there among you anyone saw the Messenger of Allah? (When an affirmative answer is given) Then they will verily conquer.
In his introduction to the book al-Isabah fi tamyiz al-Sahabah, he (Ibn Hajar), in defining who the Sahabi is, said: The best definition I managed to get being: The Sahabi is that who met the Prophet (S), having faith in him, dying as a Muslim, he will be counted among those who met him, an fought beside him or those who did not participate in a battle. Also is that who saw him by his own eyes, even if he did not sit beside him, and that who could not see him due to a casualty like blindness.4
While making jarh and ta’dil of the narrators an obligation incumbent upon every narrator whatever his status be, they could not transgress the boundaries of the Sahabah, as they held
The ulama’ have – a manifested in the previous chapter — obligated investigation about narrators of hadith, sarcasting some and moderating some others. And they have right in this as it is improper to admit the claim of any man whatever he may be, without investigation or verification or scrutiny them all to be reliable not liable to criticism, nor sarcasm can be levelled at them. What they said in this regard: “Their carpet had been folded”(i.e. there is no room for attacking them).
The wonderful point here is that they adopt such a stance while the Companions themselves used to criticize each other and even charging each other with impiety, as stated before and will be manifested later on in this book.
In his al-Taqrib, al-Nawawi writes: The Sahabah are altogether reliable, those who were involved in the fitnah and others. Al-Dhahabi, in his Risalah, said about the trustworthy narrators:5
If we open the door of jarh and ta’dil, a good number of Companions, Followers and leaders (imams) would enter it, as some of the Sahabah charged each other with impiety, according to some interpretation!! And Allah is pleased with all and forgives them, as they are not infallible, and their disagreement or contending them can never make them mild in our eyes.
Then he said: But the Sahabah, are not liable to sarcasm, despite whatever happened, and even if they erred as other trustworthy men erred! No one can be immune against mistake, but it being a very rare error causing no harm at all! As their reliability should be accepted and whatever they reported should be approved of, and acted according to, with which we charge Allah the Exalted.
While the Tabi’un are nearly free from anyone deliberately telling lies, but they may err and have misconceptions, and whoever committing very rare errors would be admitted, but that making multiple mistakes, though being among men of knowledge, his error would be forgiven too, with reporting his hadith and acting according to it. But determined ulama’ would hesitate in referring to narrators, with such description and acting alone in argumentation, as whoever making numerous mistakes, his hadith can never be used in dispute and debate.
Concerning the companions of the Tabi’un – like Malik and al-Awza’i and their likes – they are also classified in the same categories, and it was found in their time some who would deliberately lie or perpetrate so many errors, as a result of which his hadith would be ignored.
For instance, Malik who was known as the guiding star among the Ummah, could never be immune against sarcasm!! And if anyone talked against Malik while using him in argumentation, his talk would be for an excuse! And so also is al-Awza’i, who was thiqah (trustworthy) and hujjah (authority), and he probably reported hadith alone and misconceived, with his reporting from al-Zuhri being doubted! In his regard Ahmad ibn Hanbal said that he was of weak opinion and weak hadith. So also spoke that who could not yet acquainted with al-Zuhri since he dyed with black colour, was wearing like soldiers, and served Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik.
This is a vast section. Also a reference should be made to Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi’i, who was widely known as a virtuous, trustworthy and honest man and a verifying memorizer that rarely erring. But Abu Umar ibn Abd al-Birr said: I heard Muhammad ibn Waddah saying: I inquired Yahya ibn Mu’in about al-Shafi’i, when he said: He is not a thiqah. The clause of Ibn Mu’in6about al-Shafi’i was only a slip of the tongue (lapsus lingue) out of desire and bigotry,7 as Ibn Mu’in was a Hanafi, though being an upstart.
Beside Ja’far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq, who was deemed trustworthy by Abu Hatam and al-Nasa’i, whereas al-Bukhari did not consider him a hujjah (authority)!8 Also Sa’id ibn Abi Urubah, in whose regard Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: He is thiqah, an imam of bad memory, and his traditions were recorded in the books, but he was a qadari (fatalist).
And al-Walid ibn Muslim: He was the learned man of Damascus, thiqah, and a memorizer but he used to defraud from weak narrators, with his traditions being cited in all books. That was what we quoted of this treatise in brief.
In al-Ahkam9 al-‘Amudi says:
The Sunnah Imams concurred in believing in the reliability of the Sahabah, with some of them holding: Their judgement in adalah is like that of those who followed them necessitating investigation and verification about their reliability in riwayah. Some of them said: They (Sahabah) continued to be reliable till the time when conflict and seditions erupted among them. After that we should look into the reliability of the narrator or the witness among them, when he being not widely-known to be reliable. Some others said: Whoever fought against Ali, being aware, is verily a debauchee of refuted narration and witness against the true Imam. Some others believed in rejecting the narration and testimony of all of them, as one of the two parties should be fasiq, and he is unknown and unidentified.10
Al-Gazzali, in al-Mustasfi, says: Some people held them to be like others in respect of necessity of investigation. Some others said: They used to be characterized with reliability from the beginning till the eruption of battles and enmities, when the situation changed and blood was shed, the fact entailing investigation and scrutiny. The basis upon which those believing in reliability of all the Sahabah depended was the hadith they used to report from the Messenger of Allah: Verily, my Companions are like the nujum (stars), whichever of them you follow, you shall be guided rightly. But this hadith is false and baseless.
Al-Imam al-Muqbili,11 in his book al-‘Ilm al-shamikh fi tafdil al-haqq ala al-aba’ wa al-mashayikh, dedicated a separate chapter in which he discussed the issue of disagreement in religious affairs, including the reliability of Sahabah. Due to the numerous advantages and valuable rules it contained, I cite herewith a brief abstract of it:
Allah, Subhanahu, has hinted to difference in religion, reiterating this several times in His holy Book, as He is fully aware of its detriment in the world, repeating it in regard of the Children of Isra’il, saying: “And they were not divided until after the knowledge came unto them, through rivalry among themselves.” Allah said the truth, as we could not find disagreement but only where truth could be ascertained. Then came the Messenger of Allah (S) and forbade from suspicions entailing conflict, warning against them, like controvery about qadar (fate), regarding which the Almighty said: “O ye who believe! Ask not of things which, if they were made known unto you, would trouble you…”
And the Messenger of Allah said: “Depart me as long as I leave you”. Allah, the Glorified, has perfected the Din on His Prophet’s tongue, so nothing drawing us near paradise but he would show it to us, and so also with the Fire, nothing was ignored by Allah or His Messenger. Because Allah never likes us to search for everything with our powerless minds, as all the world was created in a limited measure within His Knowledge, after which the apostles were sent to perfect that what completing the favour, and establishing the hujjah.
Whatever other than this being only officiousness the detriment of which is feared and no benefit is expected. This mission was undertaken by the best of men, who used to evade disagreement, making up for every slip made by them, not insisting on the wrong they did knowingly, as did by Talhah and al-Zubayr and ‘A’ishah.
Those Companions who survived till after the demise of the Prophet, bore patiently despotic rulers till the emergence of heresies due to searching for whatever left by Allah and His Messenger, of which if there was any good for them, Allah would certainly make them acquainted with all these things through His Messenger never leaving them groping about awkwardly. Then some novel things appeared among Muslims, like talking about qadar and issue of creation of the Qur’an, and interfering in what occurred among the Companions, followed by debate before kings and emirs which turned to partisanship.
Each party was claiming this to be religiosity, while in fact it is not so. But when they overleapt the bounds, not observing their limit at which Allah and His Messenger ordered them to stop, Allah forsook them alone bewildering them with dissension and making them taste the tyranny one of another. Consequently, one caliph would agree with those people, launching severe attack against their opponents, while another one would invalidate what the first one did, speaking ill of these and belittling those, till evil prevailed and people divided into schisms.
Sometimes we see someone convert from a madhhab to another for the sake of some shaykh, or a ruler or any other worldly cause and natural bigotry. It is also reported that Ibn Abd al-Hakam inquired for majlis (meeting) of al-Shafi’i after his death, when it was said to him: Al-Shafi’i said: Al-Rabi’ is more rightful to my majlis. Al that time he was enraged, converting to the Maliki School, compiling a book calling it: Al-Radd ala Muhammad ibn Idris fima khalafa fih al-Kitab wa al-Sunnah. Thus was mentioned by Ibn al-Sabki, and only Allah and those who are of sound instruction know well that haqq (truth) could never be wholly beside a certain party, and falsehood with the rest, but the truth – thanks to God – can never come out from among them altogether.
In fact truth was quite on the side of those who committed themselves to what the Prophet (S) brought with him, and it is inevitable for him to err in his exertions too in respect of minor issues not in major issues. And who can keep on his state and accept the teaching taught from Allah and His Messenger, never adopting any madhhab, preferring the ancestors to the Book and the Sunnah and abandoning this irremediable blight, committing himself to equity in reporting? By God I know not anyone in all these extinct books but he would grope about and confuse, being bigoted to his madhhab without any fairness, referring the Book of Allah to his belief and perverting!
After exposing the biography of the mutakallimun, he embarked on talking about the narrators, saying:
These muhaddithun, who claim the Sunnah to be firm, forbidding from kalam (theology),12 were afflicted with corruption and deviation more than others, as they being on the centre of way of the Shari’ah, and demorality, war, assault, serpents, scorpions, poisons and lions when being on the road are verily more detrimental than when they be on the sideways.
However, their calamity being caused by indulgence in kalam, becoming more fanatic than the mutakallimun since the latters based their work on examination, without blaming the knowledge-seeker for discussion and putting questions and inventing explanations, rather counting this as a kind of elegancy and perfection. With succession of views, the latters, might discover the rapprochement in kalam of the two parties and alike, as falshood of jabr (determinism) was uncovered for the followers of al-Ash’ari, who clung then to acquisition and after finding it defective they converted to the Mu’tazilah school on the basis of meaning as stated before.
Also establishment of option never appertains to the Mu’tazilah alone so as to be averse to it, but it being verily the Din and hujjah of Allah, and when being verified by any of the latters he would take easy what was aggrandized by the ancestors and be calm. While the muhaddithun have adopted something through the first sight, never criticizing, as if this being an innovation which they believed in, while it being an innovation from first to last, so why did they engaged themselves in it? It seems that their indulgence was unintentionally, but they were enticed by the Satan saying to them: You are Ahl al-Sunnah (followers of the Prophetic Sunnah), so who would defend it if you forsake these people? Thus they neither were satisfied with what they had, nor realized the intention of those people so as to be able to refute their claim!
Al-Imam Ahmad, with his full knowledge of the Sunnah and dedication to God the Glorious, was not ignorant of this, but when discussing the issue of creation of the Qur’an and was afflicted because of it, he considered it equal to Tawhid (monotheism) or even more! Once he was told that Muhammad ibn Harun said to Isma’il ibn Ulayyah: O the son of prostitutor! Do you claim the Qur’an to be invented? Or a similar expression! Ahmad said: May God forgive him (i.e. Muhammad ibn Harun). While Isma’il ibn Ulayyah was more entitled to imploring of Ahmad, since he was his equal in being an imam of knowledge and piety. And if supposedly he has erred in regard of what Ahmad alleged, then God’s forgiveness is certainly more expansive. And his error in its regard is only like that who assumes caliphate while being devoid of its provisions and traits, plunged (ya’uth)13 in blood and properties of Muslims!
May God forgive Ahmad, he has gone too far in bigotry in this issue, to the extent that whoever opposing him would be rebuffed with rejecting his riwayah, which being a treachery to the sanad. Because that who obligated approval of the report of the reliable, would obligate accepting such khabar, as he used to say: ‘We report from the Qadariyyah’, and when checking al-Basrah we will find two thirds of their people to be Qadariyyah, as reported in Tahdhib al-‘Izzi and other books.
This issue cannot exceed the limit if there being steadiness in the disagreement regarding the two issues, but he exaggerated and began to reject the waqif saying: So and so is an ill-omened waqifi.14 He even overstated and said: I never like reporting from that who responded in the ordeal like Yahya ibn Mu’in, though Ahmad was not among the obstinate nor among the hardliners. His shaykhs (in hadith) included ‘Amir ibn Salih ibn Abd Allah ibn Urwah ibn al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwan, in whose regard al-Nasa’i said: He is not thiqah, and al-Daraqutni recommended to reject his hadith. Ibn Mu’in said about him: He is a liar, villain, enemy of Allah, and of no value, and also said: Ahmad turned mad, is he reporting from ‘Amir ibn Salih? Al-Dhahabi said: He is very weak…Ahmad has never reported from anyone weaker than him.
Despite guluww of al-Dhahabi15 in regard of Ahmad and approving of him, but he would not doubt that he was not covetous toward his narrators, but only when the issue be related to the Qur’an. We want to ask him: What do you know about the Qur’an and the Sunnah, is the Qur’an not invented? Or is it invented? And your research and that of others are both innovations! And Allah described the Qur’an as an Arabic Qur’an containing no crookedness, saying:
وَلَقَدْ جِئْنَاهُم بِكِتَابٍ فَصَّلْنَاهُ
never saying, We have invented (created) it, nor saying it is not invented. So wherefrom you have brought this Sunnah.
When Ali ibn al-Midyani, in whose regard al-Bukhari16 said: ‘I never despised myself but only near him’, responded during the tribulation, being subject to sarcasm, though he might be excused when responding in the abandonment, in regard of the issue of invention of the Qur’an, till was defended by Muslim17 though being known of leniency toward his rijal.
Even more amazing than this being the fact that those supporting Ali ibn al-Midyani couldn’t find any fault except their saying: From him many narrators reported that he said: “Whoever claims the Qur’an to be makhluq (invented) has denied God! And whoever said, Allah does not see has denied God!” This exemption, if being right, has in fact incited vindictive feelings against him, since it is charging a Muslim with impiety without a proof shouldered by one of them, the charge that was levelled against ‘A’ishah and some of the Sahabah and Tabi’un in negation of vision (ru’yah of God).
But the muhaddithun could not recognize the extent of error in kalam as this being out of their capacity, and every owner of anything should have knowledge of that thing alone. So we should search for this meaning and learn every art from its leaders, and beware of aliens in it. They used to reiterate this rule, and when intending to exempt anyone from error or extol him they would say: Whoever claims the Qur’an to be makhluq (invented) he is a disbeliever. That was said in regard of some people, among whom being Ibn Luhay'ah and others, and rather they said: Al-Muhasibi left the heritage of his father adding: the followers of two cults can never inherit each other, since his father was a waqifi.
Yahya ibn Mu’in, leader of jarh and ta’dil, said: ‘Amr ibn Ubayd was a dahri (atheist, sceptic)! When asked, who is the dahri? He replied: He who says: nothing…while ‘Amr was not so. Had we referred to the greatest of mutakallimun, or rather the venturous story-tellers, we would have never found anyone daring to that extent against a man known widely of knowledge, asceticism and gnosticism, followed by about half the Ummah.
In regard of Unbasah ibn Sa’id ibn al’As ibn Umayyah, Yahya ibn Mu’in said: He is thiqah, and used to keep company with al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf; and so also said al-Nasa’i and Abu Dawud and al-Daraqutni, with al-Bukhari and Muslim reporting from him. Further al-Bukhari has reported from Marwan ibn al-Hakam, who accused Talhah while being among his army, and the one who prompted him to revolt against Ali, doing every sort of calamity.
Ibn Hajar al-Asqallani, a leader of the recent narrators (al-Kamil), in his exposition on Marwan, said: If his companionship is proved, no vilification would affect him! As if suhbah being like prophethood or the Companion being infallible,18 the fact being an imitation in investigation after reliability of the Sahabah became intuitive among the Jumhur.
Truly what is intended by this being only the majority, as the praise from Allah and His Messenger – the evidence for their reliability – has not identified individuals by names but it came in general, though the evidence for the Companionship including every seer (one who only saw the Prophet) and alike, is a very meagre evidence, and would that be known who is the addressed recommended? Is he the same recommended in the Prophet’s hadith: Do not insult my Companions…if anyone of you spends the weight of each of them in gold, he can never attain to the measure or half of anyone of them.
Here it is obvious what kind of factors lying behind those traditions,19 when the latters in Islam talking in regard of the formers, as when he said to Ammar (may God be pleased with him): Does this slave insult me? If we intend to generalize the epithet of companionship from upward going downward, i.e. starting from the sabiqun (ancestors) up to that who could only see the Prophet, so from looking at the positions of extolling cited in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, we can distinguish between one telling of a lofty status the least of which being reliability, and one telling of some kind of honour, though the Prophetic distinguishing probably came very explicit as his (S) saying in regard of one poor Companion: “He is verily better than the earthful of this”, i.e. some of the heads among the latters in Islam.
Generally-speaking, whoever following up these and other cases among the Sahabah, he is either blind or feigning blindness. As reliability of some of them should be recognized out of necessity, who constitute the majority as stated before, in a way making it unnecessary to investigate their biographies.
Among the Sahabah there being very few who were devoid of reliability, like wine-imbibers, so we should drive them out of reliability not out of companionship. Some of them have embraced Islam for fear from the sword (killing) like the freed prisoners of war (tulaqa’),20 and others, of whom if his good state couldn’t be confirmed, he would be quite unknown for all, who being very rare in number.
Nevertheless, reliability verily is not like ‘ismah (infallibility), but people have exaggerated in regard of those whose companionship was confirmed in insisting on proving their adalah. Had we admitted the inclusion of subhah (companionship) and after it adalah to all, the case would not have reached that level portrayed by ghulat among the narrators.
If suhbah benefitted one like Bishr ibn Marwan, if supposedly it was proved, or al-Walid, it would become clear for us that no act would be detrimental along with companionship except infidelity, when suhbah would be greater than faith, and this belief would be more special than madhhab of Muqatil and his followers, the Murji’ah.
And what is the position and consideration of the ahadith: “You don’t know what they have done after you”, which were mutawatir (successive) in meaning. Rather, if tawatur in words was claimed in some of them that belief would be justifiable, and Sunnah-claimants have claimed companionship or its confirmation for those no evidence was established in their regard, deriving from it as many as they liked of ramifications, founding then the Din on this. Hasn’t God said: “If an evil-liver bring you tidings verify it...” in regard of a man of an ascertained suhbah,21 though his state was uncovered together with the suhbah.
Among the Sahabah there were some addicted to drinking wine22, beside innumerable (bad) practices that were not divulged as an observation for the right of the Prophet (S), unless there being a religious necessity when it should be mentioned. The worst infliction is verily inference of a religious ruling out of narrations of Marwan and al-Walid ibn Uqbah23 and others. This being verily the greatest betrayal to the Din of Allah and contradiction to the express text of the holy verse, the consequence of which would not bring the Sahabah as a whole any defect, but rather it being a vindication for them, so beware of self-conceit.
No doubt al-Bukhari was one of the leaders of lofty muhaddithun, so how would be the case with those having lower position despite the fact that al-Bukhari evaded reporting from so many devout huffaz,24 as stated in books of jarh and ta’dil. Also Ali al-Midyani was ignored by Muslim. In regard of Umar ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, al-Ijli said: He is a Tabi’i and thiqah, from whom people reported hadith, and it was him who embarked on murdering al-Imam al-Husayn.
So is there jarh (defamation) in religion worse than this? And this being a warning only, as it is a vast section when opened for researchers to compile in it, this would take a full book. So also said the other muhaddithun in regard of their opponents in aqa’id (doctrines), that can be put to test.
The evidence for this claim can be found in the books of jarh, from which we can meditate statements about the supporter and opponent, considering them as witness from the foes, and would that they made this inward and outward, but they say that they report from the innovators while treating them in such a way. Yahya ibn Mu’in - when authenticating Sa’id ibn Khalid al-Bajali and being told that he was a Shi’i - said: a Shi’i and thiqah, and a qadari, thiqah.
Al-Ijli, described Imran ibn Hattan as a thiqah, while he flattered Ibn Muljam25 (may God’s curse be upon him), saying:
O smite by a pious desiring nothing from it,
But to attain to pleasure of throne Owner!
Here we can identify who was pleased with killing of Ali, and who killed Talhah, and who killed al-Husayn, and how they were deemed trustworthy by others. While the faithful and true ulama and huffaz of the Ummah, like Hammad ibn Salamah - the known leader - and the ascetic scholar Makhul, were avoided and ignored by al-Bukhari and Muslim too.
The beliefs and opinions held by the muhaddithun differed much regarding the narrators, as we see the same man may be described once with the epithet Amir al-Mu’minim by some and the biggest liar by others or something alike. We can have a look into the two Sahihs, and see how their authors shunned the great imams, against whom malice should be harboured, and if avoiding the best of them was considered, it (malice) would vanish, and it would never affect the supposition of their truthfulness but only like a drop in the sea.
And among the rijal they cited in their books there were some who were vilified by many leaders of hadith, and harshly attacked by some others, though they both - i.e. authors of the two Sahihs - would not be obliged but to act according to their ijtihad. More wonderful than this is the fact that their rijal included some whose ta’dil could never be established, but rather their position was like that of unknown or ignored ones.
In his exposition of Hafs ibn Bughayl, al-Dhahabi said: Ibn al-Qattan said: He is of unknown condition and unrecognized, meaning he was not known to be unreliable and he himself was unknown, gathering both the ignorances. Al-Dhahabi said: I haven’t mentioned such kind (of people) in my book al-Mizan. Ibn al-Qattan said: He has discussed those subjects that were not broached by any imam (leader) or one lived contemporaneously with that man, indicating his reliability, which being something great.
In the two Sahihs there can be found so many of these concealed people who were neither deemed weak by anyone nor considered unknown. In his tarjumah of Malik al-Khayr al-Zabbadi he said: Among narrators of the two Sahihs, there being a large number (of narrators) whose authentication was not confirmed by anyone. How marvellous is that! The reporting is done from the unknown while eminent leaders and compilers are abandoned because they believed in invention of the Qur’an or were among the Waqifah or something of the sort. What causes wonder here is the courtesy of al-Dhahabi when he said: “...and they are not unknown,” as that whose reliability was not proved would not be included with the evidences of khabar al-ahad relevant particularly to the reliable.
Besides the term mastur (hidden, concealed) can never bring its owner into the fold of the reliable who being meant by proofs of approving the ahad (single) narrators. To ignore men like Abu Hanifah, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, Ibn Ishaq and Dawud al-Zahiri, among whom some were admitted by people in the maghazi (moral lessons), and some others were imitated by half the Ummah, and reporting from an unidentified man that no one knows who is he and what is he.
My intention is not defaming or belittling the two Sahihs, but to make known that the corruption of disagreement has prevailed everywhere, and this is exactly what I intend to manifest out of inviting to disdaining from disagreement and conflict, the fact to be known for all.26
In a footnote to this book, which is called al-Arwah al-nawafikh, al-Muqbili 27 explained the statement “they claimed suhbah (companionship) and proved it for that no evidence was established for it in his regard, “saying” The outside aspect of this speech is the fact we reiterated before that they term something emerged in recent times, embarking then on interpreting the Book and the Sunnah with their renewed term... and suhbah has no legal Identity, but it and other words about merits of the Sahabah were used on the basis of lexical meaning.
But the traditionists termed and decided, without any evidence, that the term suhbah was used for everyone saw the Prophet, or seen by the Prophet even when he was a child, provided that he be a Muslim, keeping this until death and not apostatizing. No equitable or sane man can doubt that these restrictions being only in terminology not necessitated by the language, as the derivation being from sahaba (accompanied) not from ra’a (saw) or sighted certainly or hypothetically, so as to include even the blind one. It was better for them to say close hypothetically or a similar expression, so as to include even the contemporary people who did not see the Prophet or even every and each one, as hypothesis has capacity to cover everything. This is verily the origin of misconception of the issue, as we cautioned previously against this mistake that was perpetrated by so many people.
After identifying the word suhbah (companionship), they added to it an appendix by cancelling what was practised by the Sahabah. Some of them disguised under claim of ijtihad, that could be proved false by exigency in numerous cases, and some others would declare openly! How wonderful is this impudence in claiming ijtihad on the part of Bisr ibn Arta’ah28, who was known of doing all kinds of evil, as he was envoy of the mujtahid Mu’awiyah, advisor of Islam in slandering Ali ibn Abi Talib and his Shi’ah (party). Beside Marwan and the debauchee al-Walid, and the ijtihad in swearing allegiance to Yazid and that who suggested it and endeavoured to achieve it or advocated it, beside innumerable cases.
They claim that all these practices aimed only at gaining God’s pleasure, except some ignorant ones unaware of what they are saying, giving premises, nourishing on desire and blind imitation, that became their diet. After that on this basis they dared to construct identical things from which no one could be free, though they differed in religious status, with the purpose that the pious disdaining from approving such calamities. That who was absent in time of committing a sin but showed his consent then would be viewed like that who attended and participated in it, and vice versa, as stated in the Prophetic hadith.29
While the Jumhur believe in reliability of all the Companions, refusing any jarh and ta’dil regarding them with accepting that for other narrators, considering them (Sahabah) all infallible against error, inadvertence and forgetfulness, there being many researchers not believing in this (absolute) reliability for all the Sahabah. But they hold the same view held by al-Allamah al-Muqbili that it includes the majority not all, and that they are liable to error, forgetfulness, inadvertence and even caprice, as they are human beings doing what others do, that which belongs to the human nature.
Besides, their master (S) who was chosen by Allah, Who knows better where to place His Message, said: “I am only a human being, that may be right or mistaken,” supporting their judgement with those (companions) who were during the lifetime of the Prophet (S) among the hypocrites and liars, and many of whom apostatized after his demise. Truly they have instigated wars and seditions that consumed everything, with their bad consequences still sensed nowadays and will continue in future. It seems that the Messenger (S) could discern with his penetrating insight what will his Companions do after his passing away, as a result of which he said in the Hijjat al-Wada’ Pilgrimage (Farewell): “Do not return after me disbelievers beheading and killing each other.”30
Al-Bukhari reported from Ibn Abbas, that the Prophet (S) said: “Verily you will be resurrected bare-footed and naked, and a group of my Companions will be driven to the left (Fire). I would say, (God! Aren’t they) my Companions! He (God) would say: They were still apostatizing and renegading since the time you departed them. I would say as the righteous bondman (al-Abd al-Salih) said: “I was a witness of them while I dwelt among them”.
Muslim reported the same hadith thus: “A group of my Companions will be brought to me at the Pond (of al-Kawthar), and as soon as I recognize them they shall be dragged away. I would say, (God! Aren’t they) my Companions! He (God) would say: ‘You don’t know what they did after you.”
Al-Bukhari reported from Abu Hurayrah as the Prophet saying: “When I was standing, a group of people came toward me. As soon as I recognized them a man emerged between me and them saying: Come on! I said: Where to? He said: Toward the Fire, by God. I said: ‘What did they do?’ He said: ‘They retraced their steps backwards after you.’ Then another group appeared, and as soon as I recognized them, a man came out in between me and them, saying: Let’s go, I said: whereto? He said: Toward the Fire, by God. I said: What did they do? He said: They retreated backwards. And I never think any of them will be delivered but as few as the ignored cattle.31
In another version of the hadith, the Prophet (S) said: “On the Day of Resurrection, a group of my Companions will come toward me, and will be dragged away from the Hawd (Pond). I would say: O God, (aren’t they) my Companions. He (God) would say: You have no knowledge of what they did after you... they have retreated backwards”.
Sahl ibn Sa’d reported that the Prophet said: A group of people will be brought to me (on the Doomsday), whom I know and they know me. Then something will intervene between me and them. Abu Hazim said: Al-Nu’man ibn Abi Ayyash heard me and said: Did you hear it in this way from Sahl? I said: Yes. He said: I give evidence against Abu Sa’id al-Khudri that I heard him — adding to it— and me (the Prophet) would say: But they are from me. It would be said to him: You don’t know what they did after you. I would say: Remote be everyone who changed after me.
Al-Bukhari, under “bab Ghazwat al-Hudaybiyyah”, reported from al-Ala’ibn al-Musayyab, from his father, as saying: I met with al-Bara’ ibn Azib when I said to him: Blessed be you, you kept company with the Prophet (S) and swore allegiance to him under the tree. He said: O my nephew, you don’t know what we did after him!
He also reported from Abd Allah, that the Prophet (S) said: I will precede you on the Pond, and some men from among you will be brought to me, and will be dragged away from me. I would say: O God, (aren’t they) my Companions! It would be said: You don’t know what they did after you. Al-Bukhari said: He was followed by Asim who reported from `Wa’il. Husayn said: It is reported from Abu Wa’il, from Hudhayfah, from the Prophet (S).
And he reported from Asma’ bint Abi Bakr as saying: The Prophet said: I will be at the Pond waiting to see who from among you will come toward me. And a group of people will be dragged away from me, when I would say: O my Lord (aren’t they) from me and from among my Ummah? It would be said: Did you realize what they did after you? By God, they kept on retreating and falling backwards.
Al-Bukhari said: Ibn Abi Mulaykah used to say: O God, we seek Your protection against retreating backwards and being seduced away from our Din.
Those were some traditions I quoted from al-Bukhari and Muslim, which contained so many (odd) things I disdained from citing for sake of brevity.
Al-Baghawi and others reported from Ibn Abbas as saying: The Messenger of Allah was not aware of the hypocrites till the revelation of Surat Bara’ah (al-Tawbah). Before it he could recognize some of their distinguishing qualities, sayings and deeds, out of what is revealed in their regard in several surahs before Surat al-Tawbah, like al-Munafiqun, al-Ahzab, al Nisa, al-Anfal, al-Qital and al-Hashr.
Surat Bara’ah has in fact disgraced them and divulged all sorts of their outward and inward hypocrisy, the reason for which it was called also al-Fadihah, al-Muba’thirah, al-Musharridah, al-Mukhziyah, al-Muthirah, al-Hafirah, al-Munakkilah, al-Mudamdimah and Surat al-Adhab.
Herewith exposition of some facts about them in the Battle of Tabuk and its limit, with their acts and signs of their hypocrisy, and scandals, and their punishment, arranged according to the course of the verses of Surat al-Tawbah not according to the letters.32
1. Their asking permission to remain behind, which can never be done by a believer, as none asks permission to abandon jihad but only that who believes neither in Allah nor in the Hereafter (467).
2. Had they intended really to go out they would have made ready for it (174)
3. Allah was averse to their resurgence, so He hindered them (471)
4. Had they risen out among the believes, they would have only increased in their perplexity, with wishing for their disgrace (473).
5. They have adopted the course of sedition before Battle of Tabuk, during Battle of Uhud, when they instigated discord among Muslims, discouraging some of them (474).
6. They reversed the facts for the Prophet in the outset till truth was revealed to make him victorious and manifesting of Allah’s decree, while they being averse to this (475).
7. Some of them took leave from the Prophet to stay behind (in battles), with the excuse of fearing from being infatuated by prettiness of the Roman women but they were afflicted with the fascination of disobeying Allah and His Messenger by practice (477).
8. Every good befalls the Prophet would bother them, and every disaster strikes him would delight them, thinking themselves to be decisive in remaining behind (478).
9. The believers await for the hypocrites to be afflicted with a doom from Allah directly or at their hands (479).
10. Their almsgiving would not be accepted due to their debauchery, impiety, performing prayers while being idlers, and paying their contribution only unwillingly (481).
11. Punishing them with their wealth and children in this world, and passing away of their souls while being disbelievers (485-574).
12. Their swearing for the believers that they be in truth of them, with describing their failure and being afraid of them (485).
13. Pointing of some of them at the Messenger in the alms, and if they be given from them they would be pleased, otherwise they would be enraged (487).
14. Their vexing the Prophet (S) by saying: He is only a hearer (516).
15. Their swearing for the believers to please them without pleasing Allah and His Messenger (522).
16. Their fearing from revelation of a surah proclaiming what be in their hearts, and threatening them (by God) for their scoffing with disclosing what they fear (525).
17. Their apologizing for their scoffing by saying that they were only prating and jesting, which being the same as infidelity, with threatening to punish a party of them because of their insistence on their guilt, and possibility of forgiving another party (528-532).
18. Manifesting the conditions of the hypocrites and their general qualities, males and females, and throwing them together with the disbelievers into Hellfire and cursing them (533).
19. Resembling them to the hypocrites of the ancient peoples in having nothing to do but to enjoy what they stated when prating in falsehood and perishing of their works in the world and the Hereafter like them (527), with reminding them with the fate of the hypocrites folks who were before them (539).
20. The hypocrites are verily the transgressors (the verse 67).
21. Connecting them (hypocrites) to the disbelievers in respect of obligation of striving against them, with being harsh in treating them and threatening them (549).
22. Their swearing (by Allah) on denying what they said of the word of disbelief, and God’s proving what they denied, (and He inspired them that which they could not attain), which being the attempt to assassinate the Prophet (551-555).
23. Making some of them a covenant with Allah to give alms when being straitened, but breaching their covenant and lying after attaining richness and affluence, with (Allah’s) making the consequence of this to be hypocrisy accompanying them until the day of meeting God. And their unawareness that Allah knows both their secret and what they announce (558).
24. Their pointing at and carping the believers in giving the alms, and deriding them (563).
25. Depriving them from asking forgiveness by the Messenger due to their disbelief in Allah and His Messenger, with no hope to be guided (by Allah) through abandoning their rudeness. (666).
26. Rejoicing of those who were left behind at sitting still behind the Messenger of Allah, and their recommendation not to go forth in the heat with reminding them with the fire of hell (569).
27. Its being more proper for them to be sad, laugh a little and weep much (572).
28. The Prophet’s forbidding from praying for the dead of them, giving the reason to be their disbelief and dying while being disbelievers.(573).
29. Asking leave by men of wealth among them to stay behind of jihad whenever a surah is revealed commanding to gather between faith and jihad (581).
30. The state of the wandering Arabs and asking permission by some of them to sit and be exempted from jihad, and sitting of the liars without an excuse, with threatening that a painful doom will fall on those who disbelieve (583).
I suffice with citing these qualities of the hypocrites in the Battle of Tabuk, as stated in Surat al-Tawbah, Whoever seeking more information or desiring to recognize all the acts done by the hypocrites, he can refer to the Surahs of al-Munafiqun, al-Ahzab, al-Nisa’, al-Anfal, al-Qital and al-Hashr.
In the two Sahihs, in hadith al-Ifk, it is reported that Asid ibn al-Khudayr said to Sa’d ibn Ubadah: You are a hypocrite, and you dispute on behalf of the hypocrites. Then there was a heated wrangling between them till the Prophet reconciled between them. These were the Badrites among whom someone said to the other: you are hypocrites, but the Prophet never charged with impiety anyone of them.
There are so many reports in this regard, and anyone desiring to know the names of the hypocrites among the Khazraj and Aws (Tribes), he can refer to the first volume of Ansab al-Ashraf, in which their names filled ten pages from p.274 upto p.283.
It seems proper to state here what was done by the Sahabah toward the Messenger of Allah, and how they broke away from him toward merchandise and pastime, preferring this to prayers, leaving him standing performing the Jumu’ah (congregation) prayer, alone. That was after the commandment of Allah the Glorified to them to haste unto remembrance of Allah and leave the trading, as that is better for them, if they but knew. Nevertheless, they disobeyed Allah’s order and dispersed toward their merchandise and pastime, leaving the Messenger of Allah!
The following verse can divulge the truth about them:
وَإِذَا رَأَوْا تِجَارَةً أَوْ لَهْوًا انفَضُّوا إِلَيْهَا وَتَرَكُوكَ قَائِمًا قُلْ مَا عِندَ اللَّـهِ خَيْرٌ مِّنَ اللَّـهْوِ وَمِنَ التِّجَارَةِ وَاللَّـهُ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ
The following is a hadith reported by al-Bukhari and others33 from Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman, in which he manifests clear the hypocrisy of the Sahabah during the Prophet’s lifetime and after him.
Hudhayfah said: The contemporary hypocrites are worse than those who lived during the Prophet’s lifetime and used to conceal their truth but today they declare publicly! In another narration by al-Bukhari from him (Hudhayfah) too; who said: Verily hypocrisy was found in the time of the Prophet (S), but today it is no more than disbelief after faith. In another narration (he said): It is in fact disbelief and faith.
Al-Bazzar reported from Abu Wa’il as saying: I said to Hudhayfah: Which is worse, the hypocrisy of today or that which was found during the time of the Messenger of Allah? He — banging his forehead by hand — said: Oh! It is today manifest, while in the time of the Messenger of Allah they used to hide it.
I support this chapter with a statement written by Dr. Taha Husayn in his book Uthman, in which he referred to the issue of fitnah (disorder) that happened during the time of Uthman, and some comments of the historians about it.
The stances of people toward the events during the days of Uthman and his role in them differed much. Some of them relieved themselves of the job saying: Most of these events were falsified and innovated, and their occurrence was not established. But they were claimed to exist by claimants, some of whom intended to hatch plots against Islam, with some others being compelled to do so, because of the severe animosity that was found among the parties. Therefore they would reject and deny most of the events, viewing those ones accepted by them to be not so perilous, but were subjected to exertion of opinion (ijtihad) by the madhhab leader (imam) that if he would be correct, two rewards will be his share but if mistaken one reward.
However, his intention of that was only good, as he could not intend but good, the opinion that was held by them (the latters) in regard of the narrations approved by them, which were exposing the antagonism that was going on between Uthman and the Prophet’s Companions. So most of these events were viewed by them to be composed and very few of them could be accepted according to the above-mentioned interpretation, i.e. they were produced as a result of ijtihad.
Most of those holding this notion, are in fact compelled to it, due to their consecration to that era of Islam, and being averse to accuse the Prophet’s Companions with charges that were usually ascribed to those caring only for the worldly lusts, out of what they harbour of readiness to rivalry and struggling on transient wishes that never suit people accompanied the Messenger of Allah, striving hard in the way of Allah and founding the State, through what they expended of money , wealth and efforts.
Despite the possibility of being wrong or correct but they used to strive all the time, rushing to do good, so it was not possible for them to be involved in major sins, nor to perpetrate such minor sins that Allah forgive for His benevolent bondmen! Few of those holding this belief are impelled to hold it due to the mental inactivity that curbs them from researching, investigation and inquiry.
There being others who make it easy for themselves by denying the possibility of occurrence of such events and seditions at the hands of the Prophet’s Companions, viewing them to be conspiracies hatched by enemies of Islam, like Abd Allah ibn Saba’ and his likes from among People of the Book and other than them. It is quite obvious that we can never believe in this or that notion, as we neither like laziness nor incline towards comfort, nor exaggerate in consecrating people to that far extent, nor ascribing to the Prophet’s Companions traits which they don’t attribute to themselves.
They used to consider themselves to be human beings, liable to what others are subject to, of sins and guilts, exchanging serious charges, with some of them accusing each other with infidelity and liberatinism. As an example, it is reported that Ammar ibn Yasir used to charge Uthman with impiety, deeming it lawful to kill him, calling him with the name of Na’thal.
It is reported too that Ibn Mas’ud used to deem shedding the blood of Uthman to be lawful when he was in Kufah, where he used to address the people saying: The worst of things are verily their invented ones, and every invented thing is a heresy (bid’ah), and every bid’ah is dalalah (deviation), and every deviation is in fire, meaning with this Uthman and his deputy al-Walid. Further it is reported that Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf said to some of his companions, when he was in deathbed: Precipitate him (i.e. Ali), before his sovereignty exceeds the bounds.
Those who supported Uthman from among the Prophet’s Companions, were of the opinion that their opponents had renegaded religion and violated his commandment, the reason for which they deemed fighting each other as lawful. And actually so they did, as in the Battles of al-Jamal and Siffin, except in the case of Sa’d and his few companions.
While the Prophet’s companions have obliged themselves toward such disagreement, reciprocating charges with major sins and fighting each other to please God! So how can our opinion of them be better than the way they viewed themselves, and we can’t hold the belief held by those denying most of the akhbar (reports) that conveyed to us the sedition and conflict occurred among them. Doing so, we would only negate the Islamic history as a whole since the mission of the Prophet, since those who narrated the reports of these seditions were the same narrators relating the news of conquest and reports of maghazi, beside sirah (conduct) of the Prophet and caliphs.
Hence it is not for us to believe them when narrating that which pleases us, and belie them when reporting that which we dislike. And we should not approve of a part of history and negate its other part, for the only cause that some of it pleases us while some other part of it bothers or harms us. Also it is improper to believe whatever is narrated or belies it as a whole, as the narrators being ordinary people liable to err and be correct, and may tell the truth or falsehood.
The earlier traditionists themselves realized this fact, and made ready for it, laying down certain rules and regulations for ta’dil and tajrih, and believing and refuting, beside ways of preponderation and disapproval, and suspecting that which is doubtful. So we are not to blame when adopting the same method they followed, and to add to the rules known for them the new rules recognized by recent traditionists, which they employed to verify, investigate and analyze the texts so as to comprehend their denotations.
The point that has no room for any doubt being that, the Muslims have differed in opinions regarding Uthman, and this disagreement resulted in a disorder and insurrection that created disunion and discord after which they haven’t attained unity or agreement till the present time.34
Taha Husayn concluded this chapter with some elaboration about the rules that everyone studying the Islamic history should follow and base his research on their principles, so as to employ them to verify, investigate and analyze the texts and comprehend their denotations.
He also obligated upon anyone intending to study these reports properly, to adopt a stand toward narrators of reports as that of a psychologist, viewing them as ‘ordinary people liable to err and be right, and may tell the truth or falsehood.” Further, he should seek truth and equity when investigating their narrations, believing nothing out of malignance, or denying nothing out of self desire.
If these healthy rules cited by Dr. Taha Husayn enrage some people, they undoubtedly deserve approval and confidence of ilm (knowledge), truth and religion altogether.
I conclude this chapter with a word recorded by Dr. Ahmad Amin (may God’s mercy be upon him) in his book Duha al-Islam,35 through a letter by some Zaydis, saying:
“We noticed how the Sahabah used to criticize each other, or rather curse each other, and if the Companions were at a position where no criticism or cursing be permitted, we would be able to recognize this fact through them themselves, as they are better aware of their status than common people of our present time.36
For example Talhah, al-Zubayr and A’ishah and their supporters have forsaken Ali, with Mu’awiyah and Amr ibn al-As having not fallen short of smiting him and his followers with the sword. It is also reported that Umar used to vilify and refute the narrations of Abu Hurayrah,37 standering Khalid ibn al-Walid and charging him with debauchery, accusing Amr ibn al-’As and Mu’awiyah with dishonesty and looting the spoils of war and deducting them. In fact we can rarely find among the Sahabah anyone whose tongue and hand be free from fault, beside many similar instances found in history books.
The Tabi’un used to follow this way in regard of the Sahabah, holding such belief about the rebels among them, while common people considered them as masters after that. It can be said that the Companions were only ordinary people, and should be judged and viewed in the same way of other people. Whoever of them doing any offence is to be censured, and that who does good should be extolled, having no merit over others but in sighting and accompanying the Messenger. Rather, the sins they perpetrated might be more obscene than those of others, since they have witnessed all the landmarks and miracles, therefore our guilts should be considered lighter as we are far from that time and more excused.”
After finishing talk on reliability of the Sahabah, I am going to manifest how the Ummah ulama’ were viewing the akhbar al-ahad.
In a comment on utterance of Ibn al-Salah38, “The Ummah received al-Bukhari and Muslim with approval” al-Jaza’iri said: “He didn’t manifest what he meant by Ummah! Or what he intended by receiving them both with approval! And he had to elucidate that clearly so as not to let doubts and questions raised in the minds of people. If he meant by Ummah all the Ummah throughout all ages, he would prove his dishonesty, as these two books were only approved in the 3rd century after the time of al-Bukhari and leaders of known schools of mudhahib (Islamic Law). And if he meant some of it — who came on the scene after the two Sahihs and they truly constituted part of the Ummah — his proof cannot be established. But if he meant by it its ulama’ — which is apparently sensed — the ulama’ here are on three divisions: Mutakallimun, Fuqaha’ and Grammarians.
But the ulama’ to whom this description can be applied, being in fact those who emerged after coming out of these two books in the 3rd Hijrah century. Whereas those who came before them from among people of ancient centuries, in regard of whom a hadith ascribed to the Prophet was cited, that ‘they were the best of peoples of all centuries’, had never seen these two books so as to seek their opinion regarding them, nor the way they received them.
Let’s go back to the ulama’ who came after the appearance of these two books, to inquire about the way they viewed them and how they received them.
Out of what is known about them, they used to refute and reject every hadith contradicting their beliefs, even if it was among the conjectural issues. When any such hadith was cited before them, they would interpret it if finding its interpretation accessible. Or they would reject it contenting with saying: This is of akhbar al-ahad indicating only conjecture, and it is impermissible to take decision based on conjecture in the case of kalami issues, since the basic principle in ilm al-kalam being always: The naqli evidences can never indicate certainty”39
As an example for this, we can refer to the hadith: A dispute was heated between the Paradise and Fire. The Fire said: I have been distinguished with the supercilious and despots. While the Paradise said: What is the matter with me that no one enters me but only the weak and mean among people! Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, said to the Paradise: You are My mercy, with you I bestow My mercy upon whoever I choose from among My bondmen. And to the Fire He said: You are only a torment, with you I punish whoever I wish from among My bondmen. For every one of them is her filling! As the Fire is never filled till He (We seek God’s forgiveness) puts His leg, when it would say: Never, never, never. Only then it would be filled and would seclude itself altogether, and Allah the Glorious and Exalted never oppresses anyone. Concerning the Paradise, Allah will verily prepare for it certain creatures.
This hadith is unanimously concurred, and was reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Hurayrah, from the Prophet (S). In another narration by al-Bukhari, from Abu Hurayrah, it reads thus: the Paradise and Fire quarrelled before their Lord — the hadith — saying in it: Allah will originate creatures for the Fire. In another narration by Muslim: “Till Allah puts His leg.” The researchers believed that the narrator intended to mention the Paradise, but he was distracted and his tongue slipped and said the Fire.
No mutakallim can believe in veracity of this hadith and its likes – which being so many – and rather he can never be determined in their regard! And if he be obliged to believe in their veracity he would spare no effort to interpret them, even if when the words cannot conduce it, in a way the hearer gets to know that the speaker never holds it permissible inwardly. This fact has created strong antagonism between the mutakallimun and muhaddithun, that is known for anyone looking into history books, to the extent that the mutakallimun called the muhaddithun with the name al-mushabbihah (anthropomorphists), while the muhaddithun used to give them the title al-mu‘attilah (prorogators). 40
In relation to the fuqaha’, it is commonly known about them that they used to interpret every hadith contradicting the notions held by the ulama’ of their madhhab, even if being among the latters. Or they used to refute the hadith by another hadith, though being unfamiliar among leaders of hadith, and that one they refuted being recorded in the two Sahihs or reported in al-Sihah al-Sittah.
Whoever looking into the expositions of the two Sahihs, everything will be explicitly manifested. Some have avoided courtesy to the muhaddithun, expressing that preponderating two Sahihs over other books being a preponderation without a preponderated, and those who showed courtesy were content with the apparent indications. To this fact a reference was made by al-Izz ibn Abd al-Salam in Kitab al-qawa’id by saying:
What raises wonder here is the fact that even when any of the imitating fuqaha’ be acquainted with the weakness of doubt aroused by his imam, he would keep on following him in it, though failing to find an escape for him. Moreover he would leave alone those who witnessed and attended the revelation of the Book and the (Prophetic) Sunnah, and the correct criteria for his madhhab, clinging strictly to imitating his imam, and rather he may follow some trickery so as to divert and repel the phenomena of the Book and Sunnah, interpreting them with false illogical interpretations for defending his imitated imam.
They used to meet and gather in one place, and when anyone of them hearing some hadith contradicting what he used to have in mind, he would be so astonished, not bothering himself to seek the evidence, rather being stiffly adherent to what he was familiar to, that is imitating his imam. But had he pondered over it, his amazement of the madhhab of his imam would have been much more and prior to that of any other madhhab!
Hence, debating with such people is verily futile and useless, leading only to antagonism and discord of which no benefit is hoped. I have never known of anyone converted from madhhab of his imam after coming to know that truth and right be in the side of another madhhab! Rather such person would insist on it despite his awareness of its weakness and remoteness from truth. It is better then to refrain from debating such people who when one of them failing to keep pace with madhhab of his imam, he would say: There may be an Imami who comprehended a proof that I couldn’t understand, or be guided to it. This poor man is unaware of the fact that this is encountered by its equal, and he is distinguishing his rival with the manifest evidence and clear proof mentioned by him. Glorified is Allah, many are those whose sight was covered by imitation, till impelling him to hold the belief I referred to.
May Allah help us to follow the truth wherever it be and no matter by whom it is disclosed. (End of statement of al-Izz).
Al-Jaza’iri (may God’s mercy be upon him) concluded this discussion with an important notice, in a commentary on their criticism for the hadith of disputation between Paradise and Fire), that the Fire is never filled till Allah originates another creation, saying:
What is strange in this respect being the attempt of some unknown man, who has no experience in this profession, whether in respect of riwayah or dirayah to ascribe error to it, believing that criticism has closed its door for all, or thinking that criticizing the text is unjustifiable since he fearing that pleasure-seekers may enter from it, unknowing that when criticism being practised according to the normal course it would not be deplored.
Many of leaders of hadith have experienced this case, like al-Isma’ili, who after citing the hadith “Abraham will meet his father Azar on the Day of Resurrection with darkness covering Azar’s face”, said: This is a report in whose veracity there being doubt, with respect to the fact that since Abraham is well aware that Allah never fails to keep is well aware that Allah never fails to keep the tryst, so he may consider what befell his father as a disgrace for him, with telling him that Allah promised not to disgrace him on the Doomsday, though being aware that He never breaks His covenant. We can see here how he found defect in the text he stated.
Some of the usulis said that the traditions contained things that can’t be ascribed to the Prophet (S), as they can’t be held in accordance with their apparent aspect due to their being contradictory to the proof, and other than their appearance being far from his(S) eloquence.41
After completing the speech of those who refuted Ibn al-Salah, I am going to cite a number of sayings about imitators of madhahib and their standpoint in respect of hadith, so as to perfect what al-Izz ibn Abd al-Salam previously said.
The indisputable fact being that a certain hadith may be adopted by some Hanafi due to its good fame, but some Shafi’i may come then and reject it due to weakness (he claimed) in its sanad! While some Maliki follower may neglect the same hadith since the practices and acts proceeded in its contrariety, with a Shafi’i acting according to it due to strength of its sanad in his view, and so on and so forth.
In Mir’at al-usul and its exposition Mirqat al-wusul, there can be found principles laid by the Hanafis on investigating the position of the narrator. They hold that if he was a faqih, all of his narrations will be approved, whether he agreeing with the qiyas (analogy) or contradicting it. But if he was not a faqih, like Abu Hurayrah and Anas, his narration would be rejected when disagreeing with the hadith he reported.
Some ulama’ hold: Riwayah of akhbar from the Messenger of Allah (S) is not accepted but only when being khabar by common people from common people, or the ulama’ of all regions concurring on acting according to them. This method was followed by the fuqaha’ of Iraq: Abu Hanifah and his companions.
This matter was elucidated by al-Imam Abu Yusuf, the companion of Abu Hanifah, in his book which he compiled from al-Awza’i. And in the book al-Umm of al-Imam al-Shafi’i42 the following statement was quoted from Abu Yusuf the disciple of al-Shafi’I: “You have to take the hadith which is widely-known by ‘ammah (common people)43 and beware of the odd one, as Ibn Abi Karimah related to us from Ja’far that the Messenger of Allah has one day summoned the Jews and put to them some questions, when they related to him some traditions in which they told lies about Jesus Christ. Thereafter he assumed the pulpit and addressed the people saying:
Verily the traditions ascribed to me will spread among you. When what is reported to you from me agrees with the Qur’an, it is certainly from me, but when it contradicts the Qur’an it is verily not from me. And as we were told, Umar was not approving of any hadith reported from the Messenger of Allah (S) but only with two witnesses (confirming it). Ali ibn Abi Talib also used to reject every hadith reported from the Messenger of Allah.
The narrations are multiplied, producing strange things unknown by the fuqaha’, and inconsistent with the Book and Sunnah, so avoid the odd traditions, and take only the traditions approved unanimously by men of hadith and fiqh, and which agree with the Book and the (Prophetic) Sunnah.44So you have to measure everything according to this rule, whatever contradicting the Qur’an is verily not uttered by the Messenger of Allah, even if cited through narrations. And even if related by trustworthy narrators from the Messenger of Allah (S) that he said when was on death-bed: I forbid — in another narration: I never forbid but only — what is forbidden by the Qur’an and Allah, and they never retain anything against me.45 Make the Qur’an and the Sunnah your Imam and leader, and keep on this, and take it as a criterion for measuring whatever is cited to you, of that which was never clarified in the Book and the Sunnah!
Al-Imam Alam Al-Din Al-Maliki, In His Book Iqaz Al-Himam,46 Writes:
We may see someone that when coming across some hadith agreeing with his madhhab, he would be delighted and would admit and yield to it. But if coming across a correct hadith free from abrogation and contradiction, supporting the madhhab of other than his imam, he would open wide the door for remote probabilities, turning away from it, seeking for his leader’s madhhab aspects of preponderation, despite its contradiction with the Suhabah, Followers and express text; when failing in all this he would claim abrogation47 , without any evidence, or specification, or non-acting according to it, or any other plea presented by ill-minded people.
When being unable to do all this, he would allege that his imam had knowledge of all the narrations or most of them, and he (imam) had left this noble hadith only when coming across a refutation against it in his view. Hence he would take of the ulama of his madhhab as lords, opening for their excellences and noble acts many doors, thinking that whoever opposing this to be mistaken and misled. And if he was being counselled by anyone of the Sunni ulama, he would take him as an enemy, even if he was an intimate friend before!
The opinion held by Malik and his companions being thus: The Sunnah can be established through two manners: One of them lies in finding some leaders among the Prophet’s Companions holding an opinion agreeing with it. The second way being: Not to find people disagreeing in its regard. And he (Malik) used to toil and exert efforts all the time, abandoning every other thing though several traditions were cited in its regard, saying: The most beloved traditions to me are those upon which there being unanimous agreement among people.
We have to return to the original topic. Al-Shatibi, in al-Muwafiqat,48 said. About the hadith “washing the pot from the licking of the dog seven times”, the imam (of madhhab) said: This hadith is cited, and I don’t know the truth about it! He deemed it weak saying: When its (dog’s) game trophy is eaten so how its saliva being abhorred? Malik also disregarded the hadith: “Whoever dies while owing some days fasting, his wali (custodian) should fast on his behalf,49 in accordance with the Qur’anic principle: “No laden soul can bear another’s load.”
Ibn al-Arabi says: If khabar al-wahid comes contradictory to any of the legal rules, is it permissible to act according to it or not? Abu Hanifah said: No, it is impermissible to act according to it. Whereas al-Shafi’i holds: It is permissible. Malik said: When the hadith be supported by a rule, it can be adopted, but if it be alone it should be neglected, as in the case of the dog’s licking. That is because this hadith contradicted two great principles: One of them being the Almighty’s saying: “... so eat of that which they catch for you...”.
The second one is that: The cause of taharah (purity), which is hayat (animation), is incarnated in the dog. He also forbade from fasting six days of the Month of Shawwal – despite the establishment of the hadith that is reported by al-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud and al-Nasa‘i, saying: Whoever fasts Month of Ramadan, following it with six days of Shawwal it will counted as he has fasted all the life – which he refuted, relying on the principle of sadd al-dhara’i.
Abu Hanifah holds: When khabar al-wahid is cited contradictory to the qiyas (analogy) it will never be accepted, that is why they have never approved of the hadith of al-misrat.
Al-Tahawi,50 the Imam of the Hanafis, who was mujtahid in the madhhab, used to disagree with his father when the evidence being established, criticizing the hadith in respect of its meaning despite the veracity of the sanad in the view of the traditionists.
Ibn al-Hammam reported that al-Awza’i said: Why don’t you raise your hands (to the chest) during ruku’ and standing up? He (Abu Hanifah) said: Because there is no confirmed hadith about it from the Messenger of Allah. Al-Awza’i said: “How is that, while al-Zuhri related to me from Salim, from his father Ibn Umar, that the Messenger of Allah used to raise his hands when starting the prayers and during ruku’ and when standing up after it. Abu Hanifah said: It was related to us by Hammad, from Ibrahim (i.e. al-Nakha’i), from Alqamah and al-Aswad, from Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud that the Prophet was not raising his hands but only when starting the prayers, not returning to it again. Al-Awza’i said: I relate to you from al-Zuhri, from Salim, from his father, and you say: It was related to me by Hammad, from Ibrahim! Abu Hanifah said: Hammad was afqah (more knowledgeable) than Salim, and Alqamah was not lower than Ibn Umar in fiqh ... and if Ibn Umar was merited with his company (to the Prophet), al-Aswad also was of great virtue.
The Moroccan Hafiz, in al-Intiqa’,51 said:
Many of men of hadith used to permit sarcasm against Abu Hanifah because of his refuting a large number of reliable akhbar al-ahad, as he used to compare them to what got unanimous agreement of traditions and meanings of the Qur’an, rejecting whatever deviated of them and calling it odd.
Al-Nawawi says: Abu Hanifah was keen in taking the knowledge, defending God’s sanctuaries against violation, taking only those traditions he considered to be correct that were reported by trustworthy narrators, beside the acts of the Messenger and Kufah ulama’ he could see.
Al-Awza’i used to say: We never harbour malice against Abu Hanifah because of exerting his opinion,52 as we all do that also, but the reason for our malice against him lies in the fact that when relating to him any hadith from the Messenger of Allah he would disagree with it by approving of another hadith.53
Despite all these facts, Abu Hanifah is and will be counted as the greatest Imam, and his followers are spreading all over the world, east and west, with no one being allowed to doubt their faith or suspect their devotion. In A’lam al-muq’in Ibn al-Qayyim enumerated about one hundred traditions that were not adopted by imitators of the fuqaha’, taking them from the books regarded authentic by Ahl al-Sunnah.
Sibt ibn al-Jawzi has also cited a number of traditions taken from the two Sahihs that were disregarded by the Shafi’is, when they approved other contradictory ones. And so also was the case with other madhahib.
Al-Khatib reported from Abu Salih al-Farra’ as he said: I heard Yusuf ibn Asbat saying: Abu Hanifah refuted four hundred or more traditions reported from the Messenger of Allah. He also reported from Wukay’ as saying: We know about Abu Hanifah that he disapproved of two hundred traditions. Further he reported from Hammad ibn Salamah through two ways, as saying: Abu Hanifah received the athar (old traditions) and sunan and refuted them by his opinion.54
We conclude this chapter with a statement uttered by Abu Shamah:
He (Abu Shamah), in his Mukhtasar Kitab al-Mu‘ammal li al-radd ila al-amr al-awwal, writes: One of gnostics was inquired about the meaning of the madhhab, when he replied: It gives the meaning of an altered Din, as Allah the Exalted said: “... and be not of those who ascribe partners (unto Him). Of those who split up their religion and became schismatics.”55
The opinions of fuqaha’ differed due to the fact that everyone of them adopted a single hadith, adhering to it alone with ignoring others, the example for which can be seen in the hadith related by Abd al-Warith56 ibn Sa’id who said: I came to Makkah where I found Abu Hanifah. I said to him: What is your opinion regarding a man who sold something with stipulating a certain provision? He replied: The selling transaction is invalid and the provision is invalid! I came then to Ibn Abi Layla and inquired him about the same issue, when he said: The selling is valid and the condition is invalid. Then I (Abd al-Warith) put the question to
Ibn Shubrimah, who said: The selling is valid and the condition is valid. I said to myself: Glorified is Allah, three of the fuqaha’ of Iraq do not concur in opinion on one issue! After that I returned to Abu Hanifah and apprised him with what his two companions said, when he said: I don’t know what they said to you. It was related to me by ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb, from his father, from his grandfather saying: The Messenger of Allah has forbidden from selling with condition, so the selling transaction is invalid then and the condition. Then I betook myself again to Ibn Abi Layla and informed him of what his friends said, when he said: I have nothing to do with what they said to you, I was told by Hisham, reporting from his father, that A’ishah said: The Messenger of Allah ordered me to buy a slave girl and set her free ... the selling is valid and the condition is invalid57.
Then I went to Shubrimah and made him aware of the opinions of his two companions, when he said: It is not my business to know what the opinions of them are. It was reported to me by Mis’ar ibn Kudam, from Muharib ibn Dithar, from Jabir who said: I sold to the Prophet (S) a camel, and he stipulated to me to carry it to al-Madinah, so the selling is valid and the condition is valid58.
I suffice with these evidences, as citing all of them will need a full volume.
As was stated before, the Ummah ulama’ were divided, in respect of manners of receiving the hadith, into three parts: Mutakallimun, Usulis – Fuqaha’ – and Muhaddithun. For perfecting this discussion, I have to refer to the viewpoint of the grammarians and linguists, who have not depended on hadith as an evidence for proving rules of language and grammar. Al-Suyuti, in his book al-Iqtirah fi usul al-nahw, stated: From his (Prophet’s) speech, it can be inferred as was confirmed, that he said it with the narrated wording, which is very rare, but it can be found in the short traditions, so rarely too.
Because most of the traditions were reported on the basis of meaning, and were transmitted by the non-Arabs who were born before committing them to writing. So they narrated them in accordance with the meaning indicated by the expressions they used, increasing and omitting, changing the places of the words, and substituting words with other ones. That is why we see different narrations with unsimilar expressions for the same hadith related to one subject. Then he disapproved for Ibn Malik his confirmation of grammatical rules with the words used in the hadith.
Then he reported from Abu al-Hasan ibn al-Da’i’ (d. 86 H.) as saying in Sharh al-jumal:
Permitting narration through the meaning is the reason – as I believe – behind relinquishing inference of hadith to establish rules of language, by imams (of linguistics) like Sibawayh and others. They relied in this regard upon the Qur’an and correct traditions reported by the Arabs (from the Messenger), and had not been there the declaration of ulama’ in permitting the reporting of hadith on basis of meaning, the Prophet’s speech would have more deserving to be used in confirming the rules of language, as he being the most eloquent of all the Arabs.
The author of Thimar al-sina’ah says: “Grammar (nahw) is a science deduced through qiyas and istiqra‘ (investigation) into the Book of Allah and speech of the eloquent among the Arabs.” So he confined it (grammar) to these two ways without citing the hadith.
In Sharh al-Tashil, responding to Ibn Malik (d. 672) who permitted inference of hadith and compiled al-Alfiyyah, Abu Hayyan (d. 740) said:
“The compiler has abundantly inferred what came in the traditions for establishing the universal rules in the language of Arabs. I have never come across anyone among the formers and latters to adopt this method other than him. But the first founders of ilm al-nahw (grammar), the investigators of ahkam from language of Arabs, like `Amr ibn al-Ala’ (d.154), Isa ibn Umar (d.149), al-Khalil (d.175), Sibawayh (d.188) among the Basran notable ulama’, al-Kisa’i (d.189), al-Farra’ (d.207), Ali Ibn Mubarak al-Ahmar (d.194) and Hisham ibn al-Darir, the Kufah leaders, have never done so.
They were followed by the latters among the two sects and others among the grammarians of all regions, like those of Baghdad and al-Andalus. On this topic there was some discussion with one of the smart latters who said: The ulama’ have in fact abandoned this (inference by hadith) due to not trusting the words to be uttered actually by the Messenger of Allah (S), as if they trusted that it would be counted identical to the Qur’an in establishing the general rules. But that was for two factors:
First: The narrators permitted reporting on basis of meaning, as a result of which we may see a certain event occurred in his (S) time, but never reported with the same words uttered by the Prophet, like: his saying: “I married her to you (zawwajtukaha) with what you know (by heart) of the Qur’an” and “I made her your property (mallaktukaha) with what you have...” and other alike words mentioned in this story.
Thus we can realize for sure that he (S) has not disclosed all these words, or rather we can never determine that he said some of them, since it is probable he said some words identical to these ones, and the narrators have used the identical words not the original ones. Because what is intended being the meaning, particularly with passage of long time on hearing without precising the hadith by writing, and depending upon memorization with precision of meaning,59 as precising of words being far-reaching especially in the long traditions. Sufyan al-Thawri said: If I tell you that I relate to you the hadith exactly in the way I heard it, never believe me, as it is verily the denotation. And whoever making the least glance at the hadith he would recognize certainly that they (narrators) used to relate hadith on basis of meaning.
Second: So much solecism occurred in the narrated traditions, because a large number of narrators were non-Arabs and unaware of the language of Arabs in the art of nahw, the fact leading to occurrence of solecism in their speech unknowingly. Hence their words and narrations included so many non-eloquent words, of and it is certainly known for all that the Messenger of Allah (S) was the most eloquent among people, not using but the chaste language with the best, most famous and clearest expressions. And the compiler (i.e. Ibn Malik) has abundantly inferred what is cited in the athar pursuing - as he alleged - the grammarians, without meditating much in this nor accompanying that who was of acute discernment, as Badr al-Din ibn Jama’ah — who was among those taking from Ibn Malik — said to me.
I said to him: Sir, this hadith is narrated by the non-Arabs, and their narrations are known to contain within them words and expressions which were never uttered by the Messenger (S)! But he couldn’t give any answer. Abu Hayyan says: I have insisted on discussing this issue so that no beginner would say: What is the matter with the grammarians, they infer the utterances of the Arabs, among whom Muslims, and disbelievers are there, and do not infer what is narrated in the hadith reported by reliable narrators like al-Bukhari and Muslim and their equals. Whoever going through what I have mentioned, he would verily realize the reason why hadn’t the grammarians inferred the hadith.
Ibn al-Anbari, in al-Insaf, discussed the prevention of (inna) in the khabar (predicate) of kada (almost be), saying: Concerning the hadith “Poverty has almost been kufr (infidelity)” was changed and altered by the narrators, since he (S) was the most eloquent among the Arabs, and this hadith is da’if (weak). Also in the book al-Nahw of Ibrahim Mustafa, a hadith is recorded, that reads: Verily the severest torment on the Day of Resurrection will befall the photographers,” so its narrator has solecized60. This hadith was reported by Muslim.
Among those who refuted Ibn Malik, we can mention also Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-Andalusi al-Shatibi al-Ghirnati, in his exposition (sharh) of Alfiyyat Ibn Malik, who said.61
Ibn Malik, by inferring the Prophetic hadith, has in fact disagreed with all the earliers (grammarians), as in none of their grammar books we can see inference of a hadith reported from the Prophet (S), but only in a way which I later on will indicate, God-willing. This while they quote the speech of the insolent and uncivil men among the Arabs, and their poems which include obscene words and abomination.
Abu Hatam reported from al-Jarmi that Abu Ubaydah Mu’ammar ibn al-Muthanna brought him some portion of his book Tafsir Gharib al-Qur’an al-Karim, when he said to him: From whom you have taken this, O Abu Ubaydah? As it contradicts the tafsir of fuqaha’! He replied: This is the tafsir of the backward bedouins (who urinate on their heels)! If you like you can take, or otherwise you can leave! Thus they depend on such people and forsake the correct traditions, for such people and forsake the correct traditions, for the only reason that they infer in grammar and language those ones proved to be, in their view, reported on basis of meaning, and permitted by imams, as what is intended for understanding the legal rules being the meaning not the words.
Therefore we see so many differences in the traditions as for the same hadith on one event we find the expressions differ greatly between what is agreeing with what was commonly known of speech of Arabs and what was unknown. Hadn’t the case been another way, it was unjustifiable for the narrators to report hadith on basis of meaning, in contravention to the case with transmitting poetry and utterances of Arabs, as the intention in quoting them being the words not the meaning, as indicated by tongue rules.
Hence the grammarians cared much for inference from the speech of Arabs reported from trustworthy men, leaving the traditions reported due to possibility of the narrator’s perverting the wording of the hadith from the Arabic criterion (standard), the fact leading to base it on other than the origin, and that was one of the things they prohibited for safeguarding the tongue rules. If we make a glance at their ijtihad in taking from the Arabs we would be astonished, as it was not abominable in their view to refrain from inferring the Prophetic traditions and deducing from them. How is that while they used to depend upon the narrations reported by men of readings, from the Qur’anic words, since they paid much attention to reporting of words.
Then he (al-Shatibi) said: I have never known any other one among the earlier grammarians be equal to him (Ibn Malik) but only Ibn Kharuf. It is probable that Ibn Malik has Allah knows better — adopted the opinion of forbidding from narration of hadith through meaning outright, which is a weak notion refuted by the determined reporting of the same issues through different words, the fact that was not specified to the time of the Sahabah alone, not to the Arabs other than them. Whoever pondering over books of hadith will verily find a lot of such instances, with a large number of words that are perverted from their Arabic origin, to the extent leading to charge with error the narrators among the scrutinizing imams and ulama’ knowledgeable of speech of Arabs, without distinguishing them from others. Al-Shaykh Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi says: Ibn Malik is surely not right in respect of this rule... etc.
The dear reader may have noticed in this book abundance of quotations of utterances of leaders of grammar about this theme. That was due to the fact that in each utterance of everyone of them there can be found benefits that cannot be seen in that of the other, and their evidences altogether can convince men of thought and opinion (with truth), so that no dispute can be there but only by the ignorant and bigoted.
There were several other cults and groups who took various positions toward hadith, like the Shi’ah, Zaydis, Kharijites (Khawarij) and others, as every people have their own Sunnah and their own leader (imam).
In regard of the Shi’ah, in particular the Imamiyyah, they never approve but only the traditions that proved to be correct in their view, through the way of Ahl al-Bayt from their grandfather (S). That means, they accept only those traditions reported by al-Sadiq (Ja’far), from his father al-Baqir, from his father Zayn al-Abidin, from al-Husayn al-Sibt, from his father Amir al-Mu’minin, from the Messenger of Allah, (God’s peace be upon them all. Whereas the traditions reported by people like Abu Hurayrah, Samurah ibn Jundub, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, Imran ibn Hittan, and Amr ibn al-As and their likes, have no consideration even an atom in their view.62
Concerning the Khawarij,63 they used to take and adopt only those traditions reported by the Sahabah followed by them. So the traditions accepted and deemed authentic by them being only those which were propagated to people before the fitnah (disorder, sedition)64, white after it they have disregarded all the Jumhur due to their following of the imams of tyranny — as they claimed — as a result of which they could not attain their trust.
Hadith al-ahad, whatever degree of veracity it attained with the traditionists, was rejected and disapproved alright by al-Imam Muhammad Abduh, when it be contradictory to and disagreeing with reason, Qur’an and knowledge. The following are some excerpts of his sayings in this regard.
Talking about the sorcery ascribed to the Prophet, he said: Many of (blind) imitators who never recognize what the Prophethood is and the rights to be considered for it, were of the opinion that effect of sorcery on the noble soul of the Prophet was correct,65 so it should be believed, with disapproving and rejecting all the innovations of the heretics since they denied sorcery while some Qur’anic verses were revealed on confirming it.
We can clearly notice here how the correct Din and manifest truth being rendered to heresy by the imitators! We seek God’s protection! That the Qur’an is used as a hujjah to prove and establish presence of sihr (sorcery)! While it is ignored and disregarded when negating sorcery to be a trait of the Prophet (S), with, considering that only a lie fabricated by the polytheists.
How is it possible that interpretation is applied to this fact while it is unallowed in that case? Though what is intended by the polytheists being so manifest. Because they say that the Satan used to transfigurate the Prophet (S), and this transfiguration was counted by them to be sorcery and one of its modes. This being the very sorcery ascribed to Labid,66 in regard of whom they claimed that sorcery had intermixed with his mind and perception!
The fact in which all should strongly believe is that the Qur’an being confidently affirmed, and the Book of Allah through successive tawatur (transmission) from the Infallible (S). So we should be believed in whatever it establishes, and disbelieve in whatever it denies. And in it there being verses refuting the charge of sorcery from his (S), when ascribing assertion of this charge to the polytheists, his enemies, censuring them for this allegation. So he is definitely not afflicted with sorcery.
The hadith on sorcery - supposing it to be correct, is a singly narrated one (hadith ahad), and the ahad traditions are not approved in the bab of aqa’id (doctrines). And the Prophet’s infallibility against impact of sorcery being one of the aqa’id, that cannot be refuted and discarded off him but only by yaqin (certainty), nor it can be adopted through suspicion and suspected! While in regard of the hadith reaching us through the way of ahad, suspicion occurs only for that who deemed it veracious, but that for whom it was proved to be incorrect, he has no hujjah to establish against us. Anyhow, we have to give full authority in the matter of hadith, not making it arbitrator in regard of our creed, and take hold of the text of the Book and evidence of ’aql (reason).
Since if the Prophet became disordered in mind — as alleged by them — he would be warranted to suppose that he propagated something while he did not do so actually, or that something was revealed to him while it was not so, and this fact is so manifest needing no elucidation. Till he (Muhammad Abduh) said: How detrimental is the ignorant lover, and how severe being his danger against that whom he thinks to love. We seek protection by God against disappointment.
It is to be noted that the denier of sorcery outright can never be regarded a heretic, since Allah the Exalted has clarified what is that the believer should believe in the verse: آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ “The Messenger believed...” 67(2:285), and in other verses. Also there were commandments showing the things in which the Muslim should believe so as to be counted a (true) Muslim, with no any reference to sorcery.
He also said: Had these people given the Book its rightful value, and knowing of the language that much enough for a wiseman to speak, they would have neither prated all that nonsense, nor disgraced Islam with that blemish. But with that who got accustomed to believe in the impossible, it is not possible to debate with him whatsoever. We seek refuge by God against insanity.68
Charging the Prophet with sorcery was negated and refuted by the earlier ulama’ among whom I can refer, beside al-Imam (Abduh), to al-Jassas in his Tafsir.
Al-Imam (Abduh) has also refuted many traditions on doctrinal and non-doctrinal matters like hadith al-gharaniq (crowned-cranes), and hadith on Zaynab bint Jahash and others, regarding which his comments we cannot cite here.
I conclude this topic with a valuable comment for al-Allamah al-Sayyid Rashid Ridha’ (upon whom be God’s mercy):
Some of the ahadith al-ahad may constitute a hujjah against that for whom they were established and attained his trust, not being a hujjah against other than him according to which he should act. For this reason the Companions were not writing all the traditions reaching them nor inviting to follow them, but used to call to follow and act according to the Qur’an and the followed practical Sunnah (Prophet’s acts) manifesting it (Qur’an), except few cases where they would refer to the Sahifah of Ali that included some rules such as diyah (blood-money), emancipation of the captive, tabooing a city like Makkah.
Al-Imam Malik disapproved of the caliphs al-Mansur and al-Rashid their compelling people to act according to his books, even al-Muwatta’, but obligated following the ahadith al-ahad upon that who believed in them, in respect of narration and indication, necessitating on that trusting the riwayah of anyone and comprehending part of it to learn from him, but not to make of this as a law for all.
Whoever hearing a hadith that proved to be authentic in his view, should act according to it, and whoever contradicting some traditions due to not-being confirmed for him or due to being unaware of them, is not to blame. And ahadith al-ahad should not be followed in case of aqa’id (doctrines), but to be applied in the legal rules, since the proofs of the aqa’id being the mutawatir akhbar (reports).
It is not to blame also that who found a defect in narration of any hadith, disbelieving its chain of transmission due to that defect, and it is not fair to describe him as a denier of so and so hadith. They (ahadith al-ahad) indicate surmise, and the Ummah have based their worship on a khabar whose truth prevails over surmise, till considering among their rules that judgement is established through overwhelming surmise, of which its veracity is not binding in reality. And among the important foundations agreed among ulama’ of usul being: Occurrence (unexpectedly) of probability in the marfu’ actual conditions and events, can cover them with garb of wholeness, as a result of which its inferring will be invalid.69
Asking For Hadith Without Fiqh (And What The Traditionists Nicknamed With)
There remained one point worth mentioning, which is asking for the hadith in the recent eras, since it being relevant to the topic of my book.
Abu Umar ibn Abd al-Barr said: In regard of seeking the hadith, as done by a large number of present time 70people without comprehending it or deliberating its meanings, is something reprehensible among a group of men of knowledge.71
Al-Dhahabi (d.748) in his book Bayan zaghal al-ilm wa al-talab an ilm al-hadith, writes:
Most of the muhaddithun, have no knowledge (of hadith), and are not resolved to comprehend the hadith, or following it. And it is not to blame Sufyan al-Thawri for saying: Had the hadith been good, it would have gone away as the good goes away! (The full text of statement of Sufyan is thus: Had this hadith been khayr (good) it would have decreased as the good decreases, but it is evil, so it increases as the evil increases). By God he said the truth! As what good is there in a hadith whose sahih and weak words being intermixed, and not verified, nor its transmitters be investigated, nor being fit for recognizing teachings of the Din. He continued by saying: By God, it is better to forget about these things, as we have become a subject of teasing and mockery for men of intellect, who started to look at us differently, saying: These are the people of hadith!
After reviewing the course of riwayah and notable narrators in the earlier ages, he said: This intense situation retreated in the 4th Century as compared to the 3rd century, and it is continuing to come down up to the present time. Now the best of today traditionists — though numbering so few — are equal to those who were of low position in the past, despite their large number. Also there can be someone renowned with fiqh and opinion in the past who excels many among the latters in hadith, besides, some of ancient time mutakallimun being more knowledgeable in ilm al-athar than the mashayikh (chiefs) of present time... etc.72
These were the statements of leaders of hadith in regard of the condition of muhaddithun during the 5th and 8th Hijrah centuries... so how would be the case with those claiming nowadays to be among the muhaddithun, with their level of knowledge being only reading some of hadith books, and learning by heart a few of the traditions contained in them? This alone can never be enough to make of anyone a knowledgeable man, of whose knowledge people can benefit, or trust his sayings or verdicts.
In regard of a man said to be striving much till reaching a degree that could not be attained by any other one, learning by heart all of Sahih al-Bukhari, al-Imam Muhammad Abduh said: “One copy increased in the country…“By God al-Imam said the truth: what he meant that the worth of this man, who was admired by all people due to his memorizing of al-Bukhari, was not more than the value of a copy of al-Bukhari’s book, that can’t move or comprehend !
Al-Dhahabi, from whom we quoted these words, being in fact the great traditionist and historian of Islam, in regard of whom al-Safadi in his book Nukat al-himyan has said: I have met him and learned from him so many of his compilations, never seeing in him the inaction of traditionists, or non-originality of transmitters.73
That was not to be said by al-Safadi but only due to the inertia widely known to afflict the men of hadith. Al-Imam described them also with putrefication and narrow-mindedness, in his book Risalat al-Islam wa al-Nasraniyyah. 74
If all that was said by al-Safadi about his shaykh for the sake of exempting him from the defect of jumud (stiffness) known to be common among men of hadith, his shaykh al-Dhahabi himself has uttered the following words in their regard in his valuable book Siyar a’lam al-nubala’, in the biography of al-Faqih al-Muhaddith Shaykh al-Islam Abu Bakr ibn Ayyash:
I reported from the book Fawa’id of Abu `Amr Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Nisaburi, from Abu Turab Muhammad ibn al-Faraj who said: I heard Khalid ibn Abd Allah al-Kufi saying: On the way of Abu Bakr ibn Ayyash there was a dog, that on seeing any inkpot owner (i.e. one of scribes of hadith) it would attack him. One day men of hadith have fed it something which caused its death. Abu Bakr then went out, and on seeing it dead said: We all belong to God that who used to bid to good and forbid from evil has gone away. Nu’aym ibn Hammad says: Abu Bakr ibn Ayyash used to spit at men of hadith.
In Ta’wil mukhtalif al-hadith (p.96) Ibn Qutaybah writes:
We cannot exempt most of men of hadith from censure and blame in our books, due to neglect acquiring knowledge of what they wrote, and comprehend what they compiled, with rushing into seeking to obtain the hadith from ten or twenty ways! And in every correct way and the two ways sufficient evidences are there for that intending to recognize God through his knowledge till going away of their lives, getting nothing of all that but a number of asfar,75 that fatigued the knowledge-seeker and never benefitted the successor! Whoever be of this class we will view him as a loser of his right, demanding other than which can benefit him.
Al-Wazir al-Yamani, in al-Rawd al-basim, says: They were called Hashwiyyah because they used to yahshun (insert) baseless traditions into those ones reported from the Messenger of Allah. That is they used to foist these fabricated traditions into the original ones while they had never been among them.
In his book Diya’ al-ulum, Muhammad ibn Nashwan writes: The reason for calling the Hashwiyyah with this name lies in their approval of so many akhbar without negation. 80
Al-Shi’bi says: The earlier righteous men were averse to relating the hadith abundantly, and if I was able to be moderate and fair in accepting and rejecting, I would not relate any hadith but that which got unanimity of men of hadith.
Al-A’mash said: By God to give in charity a piece of bread is much better for me than relating sixty traditions.
Shu’bah inquired Ayyub al-Sakhtiyani about some hadith, when he replied: I suspect it. He (Shu’bah) said: Your suspicion is to me more lovable than certainty of seven ones.
It is reported too that Shu’bah ibn al-Hajjaj said: O people, the more you progress in hadith, the more you retrograde in the Qur’an.
He also said: I never fear anything to cause me to enter the Fire but only the hadith.
Further he said: I wish I was a bathhouse igniter, and never being engaged in hadith.
Ubayd Allah ibn `Amr said: I was in the meeting in al-A’mash’s house, when some man came and asked him about an issue, for which he couldn’t give him any answer. But he looked at Abu Hanifah saying: O Nu’man, declare your opinion in its regard. And he said: The opinion about it is so and so.
He (Ubayd Allah) said: From where (is that)? He (Abu Hanifah) said: From the point you related it to us. Al-A’mash said: We are the pharmacists, and you are the physicians. That is: men of hadith are like the pharmacists while the fuqaha’ being like the physicians.
Shu’bah says: I used to (in the past) be delighted whenever sighting anyone of men of hadith! While nowadays nothing is more detestable in my eyes than to see one of them. He also used to say: Verily, this hadith curbs you from remembering Allah, and from salat (prayers). So would you give up (relating the hadith)?
Al-Shi’bi was of the opinion that to be engaged in poetry is safer than relating the hadith. Once upon a day he said to his companions: If I sought (to serve) Allah, I wouldn’t go out for you, and if you sought Allah (His pleasure), you wouldn’t come to me... but we all like flattery and dislike censure.
‘Amr ibn al-Harith says: I have never seen knowledge more honourable, nor people more foolish than people of hadith!
Sufyan looked at the men of hadith saying: You are going too far. Had we and you altogether been present in the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab, he would have severely beaten us.81
Mughirah al-Dabbi said: By God I am much more frightened from the debauchees than them (men of hadith).
Sufyan al-Thawri said: We have been indulged in the hadith for sixty years, and I wish I had come out from it self-sufficient, neither against me nor for me.82
Muhammad ibn Salam says: Yahya ibn Sa’id al-Qattan related to me saying: Reciters of poetry are more mindful than narrators of hadith, since the latters narrate a lot of fabricated traditions. While reciters of poetry recite the masnu’ (falsified), criticize it and say that this being falsified.83
Al-Mazini (the eminent grammarian) was asked about characteristics of men of knowledge, when he said: Men of the Qur’an are charged with confusion and weakness, while men of hadith are charged with hashw (insertion) and raqa’ah (impertinence). And the poets are known with hawaj (i.e. recklessness and rashness), and the grammarians are known with sluggishness, and in narration of akhbar are quite elegant.84
If we intend to cite all the sayings uttered in regard of inanimation of men of hadith, it would be so protracted, so we suffice with what we have already stated.
I conclude this chapter with a regrettable issue, as it indicates how Islam was inflicted with the malady of discord, and partition into several groups. Among the Muslims communities and sects, I can refer to the Mu’tazilah group which was called also al-Adliyyah and its rival group which was called Ashab al-Sunnah, between which there was heated conflict that led them to defame and attack each other.
- 1. Refer to my reply to al-Ajjaj and others in my book Shaykh al-mudirah.
- 2. Fath al-Bari, vol. III, p.2.
- 3. Al-Allamah al-Muqbili, in his reply to those proving the companionship for that who saw the Prophet: They term something very late, coming then and interpret the Book and Sunnah with their abstract term. And suhbah (companionship) has no legal origin but only used lexically, and so also are the rest of words used for indicating the merits of the Sahabah. But the muhaddithun termed and decided, with no any proof, that suhbah is used for everyone the Prophet saw, or he saw the Prophet even if he be a child! on condition that he be a true Muslim, and dying on this without apostatizing.
- 4. Al-Isabah, p. 4.
- 5. Al-Taqrib, pp. 3 - 21.
- 6. Yahya ibn Mu'in was one of great leaders of jarh and ta'dil whose opinions about the rijal were deemed a decisive authority (hujjah).
- 7. The result of bigotry can be realized here.
- 8. If al-Bukhari does not depend on such lofty magnate as hujjah so on whom does he depend? You can see what al-Bukhari did to Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, from whom he disdained to report, as stated before.
- 9. Al-Ahkam, vol. II, p. 128.
- 10. Ibn Qutaybah, in Ta'wil mukhtalif al-hadith, writes: What is wonderful about them being their charging the Shaykh with falsity, without reporting from him what the traditionists agreeing with him, of censuring Yahya ibn Mu'in and Ali ibn al-Midyani and their likes, while they argue with the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (as hujjah) in cases not agreed by anyone of the Sahabah, though he was belied by Umar and Uthman and A'ishah (pp. 10, 11).
- 11. He is al-Shaykh Salih Mahdi al-Muqbili, one of Yemen mujtahidun. He died in 1108 H. In origin he was a follower of Zaydiyyah school (madhhab), seeking truth then by not imitating, which led him to abandon embracing any religion, and admitting the truth that is established on evidence. Al-Imam al-Shawkani certified his absolute ijtihad.
- 12. That is 'ilm al-kalam.
- 13. It is said: 'atha - ya'thi - and 'atha - ya'ith which is the severest kind of corruption. See al-Qirtayn, p. 43.
- 14. The waqif is that who never talked about the issue of creation of the Qur'an.
- 15. Al-Muqbili described al-Dhahabi as that who used to feign calumniating Ahl al-Bayt, being blind to their virtues and merits, taking the side of the Umayyads, particularly the Marwanis.
- 16. One of those discussing the issue of creation of the Qur'an was al-Bukhari who said: Our acts are created and our words are taken from our acts.
- 17. Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, is the author of the famous book.
- 18. See their definition of the Sahabi, stated before in this book.
- 19. This hadith was said when Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf stickled with Khalid ibn al-Walid in one of the battles, and Khalid used harsh words against Abd al-Rahman. When this news reached the Messenger of Allah, he said: Never insult my Companions … (the hadith). Hence it is said in a certain occasion, and it was reported by Muslim.
- 20. Like Abu Sufyan and Mu'awiyah and their supporters.
- 21. That is, his being one of the Sahabah, who was al-Walid ibn Uqbah.
- 22. Like Qudamah ibn Maz'un.
- 23. It is him in whose regard the verse "…If an evil-liver bring you tidings, verify it…" was revealed.
- 24. Refer to what I stated earlier about this issue.
- 25. Ibn Muljam was the one who perpetrated the guilt of murdering Ali (A).
- 26. Al-'Ilm ol-shamikh, pp. 297-312.
- 27. Al-Arwah al-nawafikh, pp. 678-688.
- 28. Ibn Hajar, in al-Isabah reported that Mu'awiyah has delegated Bisr ibn Arta'ah to Yemen and Hijaz, commanding him to find those who followed Ali and kill them altogether. It was him who killed two kids for Ubayd Allah ibn Abbas.
- 29. Those who were considered among the Sahabah, some who carped the Prophet (S) in regard of the alms (sadaqat), and some who vexed him saying: He is only a hearer, and some who chose a place for worship out of opposition and disbelief, and separation among the believers, with those in whose hearts there was disease, and the disabled, and those asked to stay behind in the Battle of Tabuk, who were eighty-plus men, and swore to the Prophet who accepted their declaration. In their regard the verses:
"They will swear unto you by God, when ye return unto them, that ye may turn aside from them; so turn ye aside from them; verily they are unclean and their abode is hell; a recompense for what they did earn. They will swear unto you that ye may be pleased with them, but (even) if ye be pleased with them, verily God is not pleased with people who are wicked," (9:94-96)
were revealed. Al-Bukhari reported from Zayd ibn Thabit as saying: When the Prophet went out toward (Battle of) Uhud, some of his Companions retreated backwards, when a group said: We should kill them. Another group said: We should not kill them. At that time this verse: was revealed "What hath happened to you (that) ye are two parties about the hypocrites? Verily God hath reversed them for what they have earned…". Al-Raghib, in his Mufradat, said: "reversed them, meaning: he returned them to the disbelief." There is so much talk about this bad.
- 30. See al-'Ilm al-shamikh, of al-Muqbili, p. 92.
- 31. Hummal al-na'am means the cattle which have no shepherd, which means that only very few of them will be delivered from the hell.
- 32. This chapter is taken from the tenth volume of Tafsir al-Qur'an al-hakim, of al-Imaman Muhammad Abduh and Muhammad Rashid Ridha’, and the numbers placed before the words are the numbers of the pages of this volume.
- 33. Fath al-Bari, vol. XIII, pp. 62, 63.
- 34. Al-Fitnah al-kubra, p. 17 and following pages.
- 35. Duha al-Islam, vol. III, pp. 75, 76.
- 36. Similar to them are the commoners of our time, though disguising among people under cloak of ulama'.
- 37. Refer to my book Shaykh al-mudirah.
- 38. Tawjih al-nazar, p. 125.
- 39. Al-Mawaqif by al-Ibji and al-Jurjani, p. 79, Istanbul edition.
- 40. Also al-mutakallimun used to call the muhaddithun with the term al-Hashwiyyah, describing them as the most ignorant of what they have of knowledge, and the miserest among people in what they seek. They contented of knowledge with its outward only, and were pleased to say: So and so is expert in ways and narration of hadith, but was indifferent to be said: He is aware of what is written and applying what he has knowledge of.
Refer to Ibn Abd al-Barr's Jami' bayan al-ilm wa fadlih, vol. II. And I will give more elaboration on this in the chapter: "Seeking Hadith without Fiqh."
- 41. Tawjih al-nazar, pp. 130, 131, 136, 137 and following pages.
- 42. Al-Umm, vol. II, pp. 307, 308.
- 43. With the word ammah (common people) the jumhur (Sunnis) not the opposite of khassah (the upper class).
- 44. The Sunnah is the practical one (acts), which was commonly known among them in this way.
- 45. See Sirat Ibn Hisham, vol. IV, p. 332.
- 46. Qawa'id al-tahdith, p. 72.
- 47. Al-Zuhri says: The weariest and most incompetent among fuqaha' is that who failed to recognize the abrogating hadith and abrogated one of the Messenger of Allah.
- 48. Al-Muwafiqat, vol. III, p. 21.
- 49. It is reported by the two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) and Abu Dawud.
- 50. He is Abu Ja'far al-Tahawi, who learnt fiqh under his uncle al-Muzni the companion of al-Shafi'i. He compiled Ma'ani al-Qur'an and Mushkil al-athar and other books. He was born in 229 H. and died in 321. H.
- 51. Al-Intiqa', p. 149.
- 52. Abu Hanifah was leader of men of opinion (who used to exert their opinion).
- 53. Ta'wil mukhtalif al-hadith, p. 63.
- 54. See vol. XIII, p. 390.
- 55. See p. 10.
- 56. In another narration: al-Layth ibn Sa'd.
- 57. This hadith was reported by al-Bukhari under bab "al-Shurut fi al-wala".
- 58. Al-Batliyosi, al-Insaf, pp. 70, 71.
- 59. It is too difficult for him to convey the meaning exactly and accurately.
- 60. Al-Insaf, p. 65.
- 61. I have quoted this statement from the book al-Mawahib al-fathiyyah, of al-Shaykh Hamzah Fath Allah, vol. I, pp. 39-41, in which he briefed what was reported by al-Allamah Abu Ubayd Allah Muhammad al-Andalusi al-Maliki, who was widely-known with al-Ra'i, from chief of his shaykhs Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-Andalusi.
Among those who talked about the standpoint of the grammarians toward the hadith, claiming that they were never inferring it, was Abd al-Qadir al-Baghdadi, the author of Khazanat al-adab, so refer to pages 5 and 6 of vol. I of his book.
- 62. Al-Allamah Muhammad Husayn Al Kashif al-Ghita', Asl al-Shi'ah wa usuluha, p. 149, 10th edition.
- 63. They are those who renounced allegiance and revolted against Ali (A).
- 64. How is it possible to distinguish between what was produced before the fitnah and what was produced after it.
- 65. The hadith of sorcery was reported by Ahmad and the two Shaykhs and al-Nasa'i.
- 66. Labid ibn al-A'sam, who was said to have bewitched the Prophet (S).
- 67. Full text of the ayat quoted:
آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّـهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ
“The messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers; they all believe in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers; We make no difference between any of His messengers; and they say: We hear and obey, our Lord! Thy forgiveness (do we crave), and to Thee is the eventual course”.(2: 285)
- 68. The tafsir of part of 'amma, pp. 183-186. Some ulama' refuted and disapproved narration of hadith of sorcery, among whom being the faqih exegete Abu Bakr al-Jassas in his book Ahkam al-Qur'an.
- 69. Al-Manar Journal, vol. XXVII, p. 784.
- 70. Ibn Abd al-Barr died in 463 H.
- 71. Jami' bayan al-ilm, vol. II, p. 127.
- 72. See pp. 6, 9, 11.
- 73. See p. 242. In Lisan al-Arab: Kawdan is the cross-bred (hajin), and it is said to be the mule.
- 74. See 4th edition, p. 107.
- 75. Asfar means books, and plural of sifr.
- 76. See Asas al-balaghah of al-Zamakhshari, and this is the notion held by al-Nabitah and al-Nawabit, who are the Hashwiyyah.
- 77. Al-Ghutha' is whatever comes on the surface of flood, including scum and filth, and the alike. This name was used for them metaphorically.
- 78. Ghuthr is plural of aghthar, meaning in origin the despicable and mean among people.
- 79. It means nicknames.
- 80. See vol. I, p. 120.
- 81. Umar used to hit whoever narrating the hadith. Those whom he beat were Abu Hurayrah and Ka'b al-Ahbar. Refer to my book Shaykh al-mudirah.
- 82. All these news and others can be found in the 2nd volume of the book Jami' bayan al-ilm wa fadlih, of the Moroccan Hafiz Ibn Abd al-Barr.
- 83. Abu Ali al-Qali, al-Amali, p. 105.
- 84. Mu'jam al-udaba', vol. VII, p. 123.