For centuries, Shias have been quoting narrations that are found in Sunni books and shoving them in the faces of Sunnis. Those that have the tools, the Arabic, the knowledge of hadith sciences, have been able to differentiate the authentic from the weak. While those that didn’t have these tools were left questioning the reliability of these narrations. This is especially true today, in the age of internet, where arguments have reached the masses that have not studied these fields sufficiently to defend themselves.
Firstly, it is important to note that Ahlulsunnah are extremely special in the sense that they narrate that which supports them and that which is against them. Due to their fairness, they have documented a lot of narrations that do indeed go against Islamic teachings and Sunni views. Unfortunately, those from other sects, like the Shias, take advantage of this, and quote these narrations, often claiming that they are authentic.
In order to combat this, here is a list of the most common flaws that can be found in narrations that are quoted by Shias. Every Sunni that is interested in hadith should be aware of. Of course, please note that these opinions are the opinions of the majority, or at least the majority of the early scholars of hadith sciences.
Notes that have to do with narrators:
1- The following narrators are weak:
Abdullah bin Lahee’a
Mohammad bin Omar Al-Waqidi (the shaikh of Ibn Sa’ad)
Ali bin Zaid bin Jad’aan
Abd Al-Salaam bin Salih Abu Al-Salt Al-Harawi
Lut bin Yahya Abu Mikhnaf
Nasr bin Muzahim
Al-Balathuri (no information can be found regarding the reliability of this man)
2- The following narrators are mudalisoon (the narrate from their shaikhs what they didn’t hear, so their hadith is rejected unless they said specifically that they heard the narration):
Al-A’amash Sulaiman bin Mahran
Abu Ishaaq Al-Sabee’ee
Mohammad bin Ishaaq (the author of the Sirah)
Notes that have to do with the grading of narrators:
1- Ibn Hibban is infamous for including unknown/anonymous narrators in his book of Thiqaat. Refer to this thread:http://islamic-forum…showtopic=14818
2- When Ibn Hajar says about a narrator that he is Maqbool (satisfactory), this, in most cases, is because he is relying on the Tawtheeq of Ibn Hibban above. Ibn Hajar also says in his introduction that when he says Maqbool, he only means that this is the case when there are supporting narrations.
3- Al-Ijli, the author of Al-Thiqaat is described by Sh. Abdulrahman Al-Mu’allami as being similar in his gradings as Ibn Hibban. It seems as some of the late scholars too didn’t care much about his strengthening of narrators.
Notes that have to do with the authenticating of narrations:
1- The following scholars are seen as very lenient when it comes to strengthening narrations:
2- When Al-Hakim says that the narration is upon the conditions of the two Shaikhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim), he can be wrong. Proof of this is a compilation of a contemporary scholars who collected a whole volume of such mistakes.
3- Al-Thahabi wrote his summary of Mustadrak Al-Hakim (which includes his gradings) when he was young, so his opinions from his late books are often less lenient. He himself admits that his summary needs to be revised.
4- The strengthening of narration simple because it has two or more chains is not a general rule. Al-Albani is guilty of this, and this methodology wasn’t practiced to the extent by the early scholar. There are many hadiths that the early scholars saw, that had many chains, but still refused to strengthen them, for various reasons.
5- Two chains with anonymous narrators does not make an authentic hadith.
6- Additions are to be taken into account. If a narration is known to have been narrated in one particular way, but then includes an addition in one of the specific chains, then it needs to be studied instead of immediately accepting it as authentic.
7- Disconnected narrations happen from time to time from the narration of the Tabi’een. Refer to books like Tatheeb Al-Tahtheeb by Ibn Hajar, and the books of maraseel by Ibn Abi Hatim, Al-Ala’ee, and Al-Iraqi, for details regarding specific disconnections of narrators.
8- When a scholar says that the narration has the narrators of the authentic books, that doesn’t mean that the hadith is authentic. It only means that the narrators are reliable. However, other problems including disconnection of the hadith, or the inclusion of a mudalis, is possible.
Notes on the Companions of the Prophet (pbuh):
1- Not every single companion that is mentioned in the books that detail the names of the companions is an actual companion of the Prophet (pbuh). Refer to this thread for details: http://islamic-forum…showtopic=17278
2- Not all the information included about the lives of companions in these books are accurate. Chains of narrations needs to be taken into account when determining truth from falsehood.
3- The book of Ubaidullah bin Abi Rafi’ on the companions of Ali is not authentically attributed to him.
4- Nasr bin Muzahim and Lut bin Yahya’s books that detail historical events are not seen as reliable, because both of these men are from the Rafidha.