In Defense of Sunni Hadith Sciences part 2


See part 1 here
By Farid (islamic-forum.net)
Original Link 
Posted here By 13S2010

Update:

My apologies for the delay in posting this refutation. I have written most of this many months ago, but have completely forgotten about completing and posting it. I have brother Captain to thank for bringing it to my attention.
Those that do not have the time to go through this whole refutation should just scroll down to the bottom to the bolded and underlined hadiths to be both educated and entertained.

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)

He continues:

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.

Rough translation:

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.

1- Al-Ijli, from his book on Thiqaat, strengthened the following Shias:
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.

Furthermore, we find Ibn Hajar weakening Nawasib like Al-Salt bin Dinar.As we can see from the names mentioned above, these narrators are both Shias, and have been accepted as trustworthy. This clearly goes against the suggestion of Al-Sanad that the rijali opinions are based upon sectarian issues. If that was the case, then all the Shias would be weakened, and all the Nawasib would have been strengthened, without exception, and we can see from the evidence above that this was not the case.

Perhaps even more importantly is when we look into the practical application by scholars.
Ibn Al-Jawzi, in Al-Mawdoo’aat 1/225 admitted that some Sunnis who claim to hold steadfast onto the sunnah have fabricated narrations as “merits of Abi Bakr in order to contradict the fabrications that was made for Ali, and that both groups are wrong.” He then mentioned that both have authentic merits and do not need fabricators to help their cases.
He then provides examples of such fabrications.
We also find in his Kitab Al-Ilal Al-Mutanahiya 1/189 him narrating that the Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa salam) said to Ali, “I asked Allah to put you forward three times, but he declined to put anyone forward other than Abi Bakr.”
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.”
Notice that Ibn Al-Jawzi’s comments imply that is not aware of anyone weakening these two men. He does not strengthen the hadith by claiming that they are reliable, nor could he find anyone that claimed that these men were reliable. This implies that narrators have narrated the merits of the Sahaba but were not strengthened for doing such.
On page 1/196 he quotes a narration that says, “Beware the anger of Omar, for Allah is angered when he becomes angry.”
Ibn Al-Jawzi accuses Mohammad bin Abdullah Al-Nakhas of fabricating this narration by quoting the weakening of Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadi.
Perhaps my favorite hadith is the one on 1/199, which says that “Abu Bakr and Omar are to me as Harun was to Musa.”
Ibn Al-Jawzi, in this hadith, accuses both the poet Ali bin Al-Hasan bin Ali bin Zakariya and Qaza’a bin Suwayd. This narration is a perfect example of the objectivity of the scholars of Ahl Al-Sunnah, for if Al-Sanad was correct in stating that hadith grading and gradings of the reliability of narrators are based on the aqeedah of the narrators and the contents of the hadith, then this narrator would have received the greatest praise from the scholars of hadith.
A Shi’ee may argue that this narration is an obvious fabrication for the narration of “Ali is to me as Harun is to Musa” is a very famous one and cannot be seen as the fabrication.
However, it is easily argued that the vast number of chains for a hadith does not necessarily strengthen it, if it is only reported by liars, anonymous, and weak narrators, like Hadith Al-Tayr (the hadith of the bird.)
One single authentic chain is sufficient for the scholars to authenticate a narration and does not require tens or hundreds of chains. A good example of this is the hadith in Saheeh Muslim in which the Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa salam) says that, “Only a hypocrite hates Ali and only believers love him.”
The narration is solely narrated by Ali bin Thabit and Imam Muslim recorded this narration in his Saheeh because he accepts this sole chain. So, as we can see, bias played no role in his judgment. It is the same as the position of Ibn Al-Jawzi, who let go of the hadith “that Abu Bakr and Omar are to the Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa salam) as Harun was to Musa” since he objectively believed that it was not authentic, due to the weakening of the early hadith scholars towards this narrator.
On a similar note the hadith in Saheeh Muslim was countered by Ahmad bin Eisa Al-Khashab and Ibrahim bin Malik Al-Ansari. They narrated, “Only believers love Abu Bakr and Omar and only hypocrites hate them.” Ibn Al-Jawzi accuses both men of fabricating this tradition. They too have been weakened by hadith scholars.
Once again, if it hadith sciences was simply a game in which one would strengthen those who narrated narrations in favor of one’s sect, then these narrations would have been treated as authentic, and the narrators would have been glorified as trustworthy narrators.
Furthermore, when we look into the merits of other Sahaba we get an even clearer picture of the objectivity of Sunni scholars. As we are aware, there are a large number of narrations in praise of Mu’awiyah, I’ve even made a thread about it on Shiachat years ago. However, all of them are seen as weak, with the exception of one hadith that some scholars have termed to be hasan. Yet, some scholars, like Ishaaq bin Rahawaih, the teacher of Al-Bukhari argued that all of them are weak. See Siyar A’alam Al-Nubala’a 3/3884. This statement only shows the objectivity of this man, for there is nothing to be gained by Sunnis from weakening all those narrations, except the sincere quest for truth.
The examples mentioned in above not only destroy any shred of doubt regarding the objectivity of the scholars of hadith, but clearly shed light upon the strict hadith society of the times, which frowned upon dishonesty even if it was in support of one’s sect. It furthermore burns down to the ground any claim that Bani Umayyah have set up hadith factories, for if that were the case, then the Sunni hadith system wouldn’t have so much going against it. Rather, there would be no authentic narrations in praise of Ali, and all the narrations in praise of the Shaikhain and Mu’awiyah would be authentic.
…and alhamdulillahi rab al-a’lameen.

1 Comment

Filed under Articles, Clarification about sunni hadiths, Hadith science, Rebuttals

One response to “In Defense of Sunni Hadith Sciences part 2

  1. Hugh Slaman

    There is only one religious tradition on the face of the earth which transmits objectively and accurately preserved information about a genuine Divine Revelation.
    This is the religious tradition of classical Sunni Islam, as represented by the the Quran, the four schools of law, the great hadith masters (Bukhari, Muslim, and so on), and the well-known basic texts of aqida (like the Tahawiyya).
    Shi’ism, Zaydism, Ibadism, Protestant Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism and all the rest are not comparable in any way to classical Sunni Islam, which is the religion of truth that has been sent to be made manifest and dominant above all religion.
    If you want to follow your desires, Twelver Shi’ism is a good place to start!
    If you want pure Divine truth, get plugged in to classical Sunni Islam!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s