The Tawtheeq of Ibn Ḥibbān

Alsalam alaykum,

Some of our friends seem to be thinking that Sunnis are making the rules up as they go along when it comes to rejecting weak narrations. However, this is far from true. I’ve personally seen examples of early and late scholars coming to the conclusion that Ibn Hibban’s tawtheeq shouldn’t be accepted if he is the only person doing tawtheeq.

Al-Albani said (Al-Rawd Al-Dani fil Fawa’id Al-Hadeethia, p. 18):

ولهذا نجد المحققين من المحدثين كالذهبي والعسقلاني وغيرهما لا يوثقون من تفرد بتوثيقه ابن حبان

Rough Trans: “And that is why we find the muhaditheen like Al-Thahabi and Ibn Hajar and others, not strengthening those that Ibn Hibban strengthens alone.”

Shaikh Muqbil was asked in Al-Muqtarah (p. 47):

السؤال: ابن حبان معروف أنه يوثق المجاهيل، فإن كان الراوي غير مجهول وقد روى عنه أكثر من واحد، وقال ابن حبان: هذا مستقيم الحديث أو قال هذا ثقة هل نتوقف في توثيقه أم نعتبره؟

الجواب: من أهل العلم كما في التنكيل بما في تأنيب الكوثري من الأباطيل من قال فيه: إنه يقبل. وهو إختيار المعلمي.

أما (ثقة) فالغالب أنه عرف هو نفسه بالتساهل، فيتوقف لأنه قد عرف هو بالتساهل في توثيق المجاهيل، فإذا وثق غير مجهول يقبل منه، أما المجهولون فقد عرف منه التساهل في هذا.

Rough trans:

Question: Ibn Hibban is known for strengthening anonymous narrators, so if the narrator wasn’t unknown, and has more than one student, and Ibn Hibban said: mustaqeemul hadith or thiqa, do we still not accept him or do we?

Answer: Some of the scholars, like Al-Mu’allami in Al-Tankeel accepted this. As for the term thiqa, in most cases, he is known for being lenient, so we stop, because he was lenient in strengthening unknown narrators. However, if he strengthened someone that is known, then we accept it.

So, there you have it, Al-Thahabi, Ibn Hajar, Al-Mu’allami, Al-Albani, and Shaikh Muqbil all hold the opinion that Ibn Hibban’s strengthening of unknown narrators is not acceptable.

Inshallah this will be beneficial to all.

By Farid
Posted by 13S2010

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Filed under Articles, Clarification about sunni hadiths, Hadith science

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