See part 1 here. By Farid (islamic-forum.net) Original Link Posted here By 13S2010
Anyhow, I’ve managed recently to get an actual hard copy of the book. Many of you that know me are aware that I can’t stand reading PDF versions of books.
Anyhow, here are some notes about on the book of Al-Sanad: Al-Ijtihad wal Taqleed fi Ilm Al-Rijal. I’m sure many of you will find the views of this man to be fascinating. Be aware that the version of the book I am using is the one printed by Dar Al-Ameera, first edition, 2011:
Firstly, the man is apparently against the usage of ilm al-rijal in general. He argues the following:
إن التتبع يشهد بأن جل أرباب الجرح والتعديل في الفريقين إنما يعتمدون في الجرح والتعديل والحكم على حال الراوي على مضامين ما يرويه الراوي من الروايات والمدرسة الكلامية التي ينتمي إليها
Rough translation: Continued study testifies that most of the rulings of the scholars of jarh wa ta’deel, of both sects, in regards to strengthening and weakening narrators, revolve around the content of the narrators in their narrations and their kalami school that they follow. (p. 24)
In other words, he is arguing that most of the rijali views are not based on the objective study of narrators, but rather, they would weaken whoever went against their views, or narrated something that they disagreed with.
He also says:
جل الجرح والتضعيف عند النجاشي وابن الغضائري وكذا الفضل بن شاذان ومن تبعه على هذه المدرسة كالكشي هو مبني على مبان كلامية خاصة
Rough translation: The majority of the weakening of narrators by Al-Najashi, Ibn Al-Ghadai’ri, and Al-Fadhl bin Al-Shathaan, and those that followed him like Al-Kashshi, are based upon kalami (aqeedah) reasons. (p. 153)
أن جل الجرح والتعديل في الرجال يبتني على مبان ومبنيات عقائدية ومعرفية سواء اختلفوا فيها أم كانت متفق عليها.
Rough translation: Most of jarh wa ta’deel of narrators is based on aqeedah views, whether is it something disagreed or agreed upon. (p. 46)
In other words, even if there is a disagreement on an issue of aqeedah, the rijali will weaken the narrator for holding that view. In other words, there is a disagreement among early Shia scholars regarding whether the Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa salam) made a mistake in prayer. Al-Sanad’s view means that rijalis that held the view that he did make a mistake will go out of their way to weaken all the narrators that held that view that he never made a mistake.
Now, here is the more interesting part, Al-Sanad quotes Al-Bahbaha’ee (p.72):
ثم اعلم أنه والغضائري ربما ينسبان الراوي إلى الكذب ووضع الحديث أيضا بعدما نسباه الغلو وكأنه لروايته ما يدل عليه ولا يخفى ما فيه وربما كان غيرهما أيضا كذلك، فتأمل. أقول: ما أفاده لا يخلو من نباهة وفطنة وإشارة إلى أن إعمال أرباب الجرح والتعديل اجتهادهم لا ينحصر بالموارد التي يحكمون فيها على الراوي بالغلو والتفويض والارتفاع وكونه من الطيارة، بل ذلك الاجتهاد يعملونه حتى في وصف الراوي بالكذب والوضع وهذا أمر بالغ الخطورة والحساسية.
Rough translation: (Al-Bahbaha’ee says): Be aware that he (most likely Al-Najashi) and Ibn Al-Ghadha’iri would possibly claim that a narrator is lying, and that he fabricated narrations, after claiming that he is a ghali (exaggerator/extremist), and that his narration implies it, and the problem with them holding this view is clear, and perhaps others held views similar to these. I say (Al-Sanad): What he has stated shows wisdom and intellect, and as he pointed, the ijtihad of the scholars of jarh and ta’deel isn’t simply about claiming that certain narrators are ghulaat or mufawidha or is from the tayara (all these statements are statements describing extreme tashayyu), but rather, these ijtihadaat are used also in referring to a narrator as a liar or a fabricator, and this is very dangerous. (p. 72)
In other words, Al-Sanad isn’t only saying that the narrators that narrate extreme things are considered extremists, but rather, the scholars of rijal would accuse them of lying, simply because they didn’t like their narrations. Be aware that this is Al-Sanad’s view regarding Shia rijali scholars, and not Sunni ones, even though he holds the same view about Sunnis.
As for his views regarding Sunni rijali scholars, he says:
إن من الأمور المهمة التي ينبغي الالتفات إليها أن أرباب الجرح والتعديل في مذاهب العامة يدأبون في تضعيف الرواة عندهم الراوين لفضائل أهل البيت عليهم السلام ومقاماتهم أو الراوين لمثالب خصوم أهل البيت أو الراوين للأحاديث النبوية المشتملة على أحكام مطابقة لمذهب أهل البيت، لا يسما بعد تأصل هذه القاعدة لديهم والتي صرحوا بها أن السنة عندهم هو في عداء أهل البيت وجفائهم والقطيعة معهم، وكل ما ازداد الراوي في ذلك قيل فيه إنه صلب في السنة، وكلما كان لديه هوى ومحبة ومودة لأهل البيت عليهم السلام والميل إليهم جرحوه بالضعف والبدعة والطعن.
One of the important that that we should take notice of is that the scholars of jarh and ta’deel among the ‘aama (Sunnis) work hard in weakening the narrators of the merits of Ahlulbayt and their status, and (weaken) the narrators of narrations that criticize the opponents of Ahlulbayt, or the narrators of prophetic narrations that include views that are supporting the views of the mathhab of Ahlulbayt, especially after rooting the foundation in which they have been clear that the Sunnah in their view is going against Ahlulbayt and disassociation from them. The more one of them did that, the more they described him as being upon the Sunnah, and the more love he shared for Ahlulbayt the more they would weaken him and ascribe innovations to him. (p.105)
Al-Sanad also arrives as some mind blowing conclusions about some of the major rijali scholars:
إن المشاهد في جملة من موارد التضعيف والجرح للرواة عند النجاشي أنه يتفرد بها دون بقية الأصحاب، ولا يوافقه على ذلك إلا ابن الغضائري. بينما نجد أن العامة قد ضعفوا أولئك الرواة بعبارات متقاربة في المعنى أو اللفظ للتضعيف الذي ذكره النجاشي. ومن ثم لا يبعد استظهار أن مراد النجاشي من إسناد التضعيف أو الغمز في مثل قوله (غمز وضعف) شامل لأرباب الجرح والتعديل من العامة
Rough translation: Those that observe the weakenings of Al-Najashi notice that he is the only one to hold those views, apart from Ibn Al-Ghadha’iri. We also find that the ‘aama weakened those narrators with similar meanings or words that are mentioned by Al-Najashi. So, it is not unlikely that when Al-Najashi mentions that a narrator has been weakened that it is the view of ‘aama scholars of jarh andta’deel. (p. 316)
Al-Sanad goes on to show his evidences, which include the weakening of Jabir Al-Ju’fi, Amr bin Shimr, Mufadhal bin Salih, and the strengthening of the famous Sunni scholar Yahya bin Sa’eed Al-Qattan.
Al-Sanad furthermore goes on to imply that Al-Najashi is a Batri that was influenced by Sunnis, and that his teachers were Sunni and that he used to attack major Shia narrators and strengthen Nawasib. (p. 320-327)
In any case, even though I disagree with Al-Sanad’s ridiculous views about Shia rijal, I will only focus on his accusations of bias about Sunni rijal. The objective Shia brothers will have to do their own homework as I will not be doing it for them.
Al-Sanad weakened the following Sunni scholars of bias and that they would weaken narrators simply based on their tashayyu. He mentioned the following scholars:
– Ahmad bin Salih Al-Ijli , Al-Thahabi, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Ibn Ma’een, Ibn Sa’ad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Hajar, for their statements in jarh andta’deel in favour of Nawasib and against Shias.
– Al-Bukhari, Abu Dawud, and Al-Tirmithi, for their inclusion of Nawasib in their books.
In other words, according to Al-Sanad, these narrators weakened Shias simply because they loved Ahlulbayt, and not due to their weakness in dhabt; and that they strengthened Nawasib not due to their actual reliability in narrating, but rather, simply because they hated Ahlulbayt.
The following is a list of strengthenings of Shia narrators by the group that Al-Sanad accused of being biased.
Taleed bin Sulaiman, Ja’far bin Sulaiman, Hibban bin Ali, Al-Hasan bin Salih bin Salih, Al-Jabbar bin Al-Abbas, Abdulrazaq bin Hammam, Ubaidullah bin Musa, Mohammad bin Abdullah bin Al-Zubair, Mohammad bin Al-Fudhail bin Ghazwan, Mandal bin Ali, Hashim bin Al-Bareed, and Yahya bin Al-Jazzar.2- Al-Thahabi, in Thikr Asma’a man Tukulima feehi wahuwa Muwathaq, strengthened the following Shias:
Ja’far bin Ziyad Al-Ahmar, Ja’afar bin Sulaiman, Sa’eed bin Mohammad Al-Jarmi, Abbad bin Ya’qoub (who is a Rafidhi according to Al-Thahabi), Ubaidullah bin Musa, and Mohammad bin Fudhail bin Ghazwan.
3- Ahmad bin Hanbal, also strengthens several Shias. We see in Bahr Al-Dam that he said about Sulaiman bin Qarm that he was “not bad” even though he was excessive in his tashayyu’. We also find him saying that Ali bin Buthaima is “decent in hadith”, and yet called him a leader in tashayyu’.
4- Yahya bin Ma’een also strengthens the following Shia in his books of su’alaat. For example, but going through Al-Duri’s book alone, we find him strengthening the following Shias:
Mohammad bin Katheer Al-Kufi, Fitr bin Khalifa, and Salama Al-Abrash.
Furthermore, he weakened the Omar bin Sa’ad, and said: How can the killer of Al-Hussain be a thiqa?!
I ask: Are these the words of someone that seems pro-Nasibi?
5- Ibn Sa’ad also strengthens Shias in Al-Tabaqaat Al-Kubra. Examples include:
Awf bin Abi Jameela, Ja’afar bin Sulaiman, and Abbad bin Al-Awwam.
6- Abu Dawud also strengthens Shias, as we can see in Su’aalaat Al-Ajurri. Examples include:
Ja’afar Al-Ahmar, Al-Harith bin Haseera, Isma’eel Al-Suddi, and Khalid bin Mukhlad Al-Qatwani.
7- Ibn Hajar too is a great example of how Sunnis used to strengthen Shia narrators. We find tons of examples in his Taqreeb. Some examples include:
Tha’laba bin Yazeed, Dawud bin Abi Awf, Abdulmalik bin Muslim, Ja’far Al-Ahmar, Ja’afar bin Sulaiman, Khalid bin Makhlad, Abdullah bin Shareek, Abdulrahman bin Salih Al-Azdi, and many others.
Ibn Al-Jawzi commented, “This is not authentic from the Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa salam) for Ali (bin Al-Hasan Al-Kufi) and Yahya (ibn Dhurais) are anonymous.”