Episode 27: The third branch: Classes of criticized narrators
Episode 27: The third branch: Classes of criticized narrators
The Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) were all trustworthy according to the testimony of Allah (may He be Exalted) and His Messenger (peace be upon him), and they do not need a search for their trustworthiness. This is the view of most Muslims: Imams and scholars from the Predecessors and the Successors.
The majority of Al Mu tazilah adopted the view that A'ishah, Talhah, Az-Zubayr, Mu awiyah, and all the people of Iraq and the Levant are Fussaq (Fasiq is the single word of Fussaq which means someone flagrantly violating Islamic law) because of their fight to the truthful Imam [i.e., Ali ibn Abu Talib].
Some people of Al Qadariyyah said: The testimony of Ali, Az-Zubayr, and Talhah must be rejected because one of them is Fasiq.
Some people said: The testimony of each one of them is accepted because his Fisq (violation to Islamic law) is not certain, but when their testimonies are gathered, their testimonies are rejected because one of them is Fasiq.
Some people doubted the Fisq of Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) and his killers.
All these views are considered lack of respect to the Predecessors and against the Sunnah because the actions took place between them were based on Ijtihad, and every Mujtahid is correct: The correct Mujtahid shall have a reward and the mistaken is excused, and both testimonies are accepted.
Some people said: This is not a disputable matter because the killers of Uthman and Kharijites were mistaken, but they did not know their mistake and thought they were interpreters. So, the testimony of the Fasiq who believes that he is an interpreter shall not be rejected; this is easier than doubting the Qur'an in regard to its testimony to the Companions.
Definition of the Companions
The meaning of companionship is: Everyone who accompanied the Prophet (peace be upon him) even for an hour, but custom gives the name to the people who accompanied the Prophet (peace be upon him) frequently, and there is no limit to this companionship but it is relative.
It was said: A Companion is the one who had two qualities: Companionship and taking knowledge from the Prophet or following him because the one who accompanies a scholar not to benefit from his knowledge is not considered a companion.
In order to know that a person was a Companion or not, there are two ways:
1- Full knowledge which is the frequently transmitted news that such and such person was a Companion.
2- Assumption which is the informing of trustworthy narrators and authentic transmission.
This proves the trustworthiness of Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) regardless the views of people toward them.
As for the people who came after them, speaking about them may go lengthy because each group of people includes good and bad people. Trustworthiness is few, whereas the reasons of Fisq are plenty. Each person who did not fulfill the conditions of narration or testimony which have been mentioned previously shall be criticized and his testimony is not acceptable.
The classes of criticized narrators
Classes of criticized narrators are plenty, and we only shall mention ten of them according to Imam Al Hakim (may Allah be merciful with him).
The first class:
It is the most serious and wicked class: Attributing lies against the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "And whoever tells a lie against me (intentionally), then (surely) let him occupy his seat in Hell-fire."
Attributing lies against the Prophet (peace be upon him) is one of the major sins although some people committed it for different reasons and purposes. Examples of people who committed such a crime: A group of heretics like Al Mughirah ibn Sa id Al Kufy, Muhammad ibn Sa id Ash-Shamy who was crucified because of his atheism and others who had fabricated Hadiths and reported them to people to make them doubt in their religion.
- Some people fabricated them for a purpose to call people to it, some of them repented and confessed his mistake.
A grand sheikh from the Kharijite said after his repentance: Hadiths are part of religion, so look for a trustworthy person to take from because when we desired something, we would fabricate Hadiths to match our whims.
Abu Al Ayna' said: Al Jahizh and I fabricated the Hadith of Fadak and presented it to the scholars of Hadith who accepted it except Ibn Shaybah Al Alawy who said: The last part of this Hadith does not match the first part, and refused to accept it.
Sulayman ibn Harb said: I entered to a sheikh who was crying and said to him: Why do you cry? He said: I fabricated four hundred Hadiths which have been circulated among people, and I do not know what to do?
- Some people fabricated Hadiths to call people to righteous deeds as they claim such as Abu Ismah, Nuh ibn Abu Maryam Al Marwazy, Muhammad ibn Ukashah Al Karmany, Ahmad ibn Abdullah Al Juwaybary, and others.
It was said to Abu Ismah: How did you get the Hadith of Ikrimah from Ibn Abbas from Ikrimah about the virtues of the Qur'an Surah by Surah, whereas the companions of Ikrimah do not know this Hadith? He said: I saw people refraining from the Qur'an and engaged themselves with the Fiqh of Abu Hanifah and the biographies written by Muhammad ibn Ishaq, so I fabricated this Hadith.
- Some people fabricated the Hadith to draw nearer to kings such as Ghiyath ibn Ibrahim who entered to Al Mahdi ibn Mansur who admired pigeons which come from remote places, and narrated a Hadith from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said: "Wagers are allowed only for racing camels, or horses or shooting arrows or birds." The narrator said: Al Mahdy gave him ten thousand dirhams, but when Ghiyath stood and started to leave, Al Mahdy said: I bear witness that Ghiyath is a liar because the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not say the word "bird," but that liar wanted to draw nearer to us. O servant, slaughter these pigeons. The narrator said: The servant slaughtered too many pigeons. It was said to the emir [i.e., Al Mahdy]: What is the fault of pigeons? He replied: For them he attributed lies against the Prophet (peace be upon him).
It was said to Ma mun ibn Ahmad Al Marwazy: What is your opinion in Ash-Shafi y (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) and those who followed him from the people of Khurasan? He said: Ahmad ibn Ubayd Allah told us that Ubayd Allah ibn Ma dan Al Azdy reported from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "There shall be in my nation a man whose name will be Muhammad ibn Idris who shall be more harmful to my nation than Satan. And there will be a man whose name shall be Abu Hanifah who shall be the guide of my nation."
- Some of them were beggars who stood in the streets and masjids to fabricate Hadiths through authentic chains of transmission which they had memorized and narrated the fabricated Hadith with these chains of transmission.
Ja far ibn Muhammad At-Tyalisy: Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahya ibn Ma in offered Salah in Ar-Rasafah Masjid and when they finished their Salah, a narrator stood up and said: Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahya ibn Ma in told us: Abdur-Razzaq informed them that Ma mar informed him from Qatadah from Anas that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever says: "La Ilaha Illa Allah [No god but Allah]," Allah shall create from each word a bird with a golden beak and its feathers are made of coral..." The narrator kept on narrating for about twenty pages during which Ahmad kept on looking to Yahya ibn Ma in and Yahya ibn Ma in kept looking to Ahmad in amazement. Each one of them kept asking one another: Did you narrate that to him? They both said: By Allah, I did not hear this Hadith but now. They kept silent until the narrator finished his story. Yahya pointed to the narrator to come. The narrator thought that he shall give him a reward. Yahya said to him: Who did narrate this Hadith to you? He said: Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahya ibn Ma in. Yahya said: I am Yahya ibn Ma in and this is Ahmad ibn Hanbal and we both did not hear this Hadith but now. If you need to attribute lies to anyone, do not attribute it to us. The narrator replied: Are you Yahya ibn Ma in?! He said: Yes. The narrator said: I heard that Yahya ibn Ma in is a fool, and I was not sure of that but now. Yahya asked: How did you know I am a fool? He said: Are not there other men whose names are Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahya ibn Ma in?! I wrote narrations from seventeen people whose names were Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Thereupon, Ahmad ibn Hanbal placed his sleeve on his face and said to Yahya ibn Ma in: Let him go.
Such people attributed lies against the Prophet (peace be upon him), so they can attribute lies to anyone.
The second class
Some people who changed the chains of transmission of well-known Hadiths to appear weird in such mixed chains of transmission.
Of those people was Ibrahim ibn Al Yasa from Makkah who narrated from Ja far ibn Muhammad As-Sadiq and Hisham ibn Urwah, so he mixed the chain of transmission of Ja far with the chain of transmission of Hisham.
And of them also were Hammad ibn Amr and Bahlul ibn Ubayd.
The third class
Some people of knowledge who longed for narrating from grand imams who had died before those narrators were born such as Ibrahim ibn Hadabah who narrated from Al Awza y who died before Ibrahim was born.
The fourth class
A group of people attributed authentic narrations that were said or done by the Companions to the Prophet (peace be upon him) such as Abu Hudhafah Ahmad ibn Isma il As-Sahmy who narrated from Malik from Nafi from Ibn Umar that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Shafaq is redness." The Hadith was reported in Al Muwatta' from Nafi from Ibn Umar who said that the statement was not said by the Prophet.
Likewise, the narration of Yahya ibn Salam Al Basry who narrated from Malik ibn Wahb ibn Kaysan from Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Each Salah in which Surat Al Fatihah is not recited is considered incomplete [he means if a person offers it individually] except Salah that is performed after the imam." The narration was reported in Al Muwatta' from Wahb from the statements of Jabir.
The fifth class
Some people took some narrations reported from the Followers and attributed them to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and added to them a Companion.
Such as Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Al Maqdisy who narrated from Al Firyaby from Ath-Thawry from Al A mash from Ibrahim from Abu Zhibyan from Salman that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Nothing is better than a thousand of the like except man." The Hadith was found in the book of Ath-Thawry from Al A mash from Ibrahim -then the Companion was omitted- from the Prophet (peace be upon him).
The sixth class
A group of people who seemed to be righteous but they did not busy themselves with authenticating and memorizing Hadiths, so they did not pay attention to the chain of transmission and their conditions were discovered.
Such as Thabit ibn Musa Az-Zahid who entered to Shurayk ibn Abdullah Al Qady while he was dictating something to his servant. Shurayk was saying: Al A mash reported to us from Abu Sufyan from Jabir that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: And he did not mention the text of the Hadith. However, when he looked at Thabit ibn Musa, he said: "Who frequently performs voluntary Salah at night, his face becomes bright in daytime." He meant Thabit ibn Musa for his asceticism and piety. Thereupon, Thabit ibn Musa thought that the statement was the test of the Hadith. Thereafter, Thabit ibn Musa used to narrate this as a Hadith from the way of Shurayk from Al A mash from Abu Sufyan from Jabir; but there is no Hadith as such from this way of narration.
The seventh class
A group of people who heard narrations from sheikhs then brought some other Hadiths which they did not hear from their sheikhs and narrated them to the people without differentiating between those Hadiths which they heard from their sheikh from other Hadiths.
Yahya ibn Ma in said: Hisham ibn Yusuf said to me: Mutarraf ibn Mazin came to me and said: Give me the narration of Ibn Jurayj and Ma mar so as to hear it from you. So, I gave it to him and he wrote it then he started to narrate it directly from the way of Ma mar and Ibn Jurayj after omitting my name.
The eighth class
A group of people who heard narrations from their sheikhs whom they witnessed but did not write down their narrations and neglected them until they grew old, and when they were asked about these narrations, they brought the same narrations written and classified by other narrators without hearing them directly from their sheikhs and reported them to the people thinking that their narrations were truthful.
This type is common among people even grand scholars might do it except if they read the book to their sheikhs or compare it with the original books of their sheikhs and so on. In this case, it is permissible for them to do so, particularly in this time in which dependence on conveying from books and reading from them is more used and because memorization was the profession of those people.
The ninth class
A group of people who do not master the profession of Hadith, do not refer to original books which a scholar needs to read, and do not memorize Hadiths. A student comes to them and reads to them Hadiths and they approve them without knowing.
Yahya ibn Sa id said: Hafs ibn Ghiyath and I were at a sheikh from Makkah while Jariyah ibn Haram was writing down after him. Hafs was fabrication Hadiths saying: A'ishah bint Talhah reported to you from A'ishah, the Mother of the Believers, such and such? He would say: A'ishah bint Talhah reported to me from A'ishah, the Mother of the Believers, such and such. Then Hafs says: Al Qasim ibn Muhammad told you from A'ishah such and such? He would say: Al Qasim ibn Muhammad told me such and such from A'ishah. He would say: Sa id ibn Jubayr reported to you from Ibn Abbas with the same? He would say: Sa id ibn Jubayr reported to me from Ibn Abbas with the same. When he finished, Hafs hit the sheets of Jariyah and wiped them out. Then Jariyah said: Do you envy me? Hafs said: No, but he is telling lies. Hafs said: I said to Yahya: Who is the man? But he did not name him to me. One day, I said to him: O Abu Sa id: Perhaps I wrote narrations from the way of that man without knowing him, who was he? He said: He was Musa ibn Dinar.
The tenth class
A group of people who wrote Hadiths, reported them, and were known with narrations, but their books were corrupted and when they were asked about Hadiths, they narrated other narrations from the books of others or from their memory, and they mixed narrations.
Such as Abdullah ibn Lahi ah Al Hadramy who was righteous but when his books were burnt in Egypt, his Hadiths were lost and he started to narrate from his memory and mixed narrations, so his narrations are not taken as proofs. Ahmad ibn Hanbal used to say: The hearing of Ibn Al Mubarah and his peers who heard from Ibn Lahi ah twenty years before his death is authentic but after that his narrations are not authentic because of the burning of his books.