AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CLAIMS OF THE TAKFIRES REGARDING THE NUMEROUS ATHARS ATTRIBUTED TO IBN ABBAS CONCERNING HIS TAFSEER OF THE VERSE “AND WHO SO EVER DOES NOT RULE BY WHAT ALLAH HAS REVEALED, SUCH ARE THE DISBELIEVERS”

The takfires have claimed the only authentic narration concerning the tafseer (explanation) of the verse, “And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”, from Ibn Abbas is the following:

We were informed by Mu’amar from Ibn Tawoos from his father: “Ibn ‘Abbas was asked about His saying: “and whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”, [so] he said: “In it there is kufr”. (This athar is saheeh and is part of a longer athar from Ibn Abbas)

They also claim every other athar which is a tafseer of this verse which is attributed to Ibn Abbas is weak. So this is a very important claim so it is upon us to investigate this claim.

The 1st Takfire Claim

Ibn Jareer reported, “Narrated to me, Hunaad and narrated to me, Ibn Wakee’ah who said, ‘Narrated to me, my father from Sufyaan from Mu’amr Ibn Rashaad from Ibn Tawoos from his father from Ibn ‘Abbas, “and whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”.‘In it there is Kufr, but not like Kufr in His Angels and His Books and His Messengers’ [Tafseer Ibn Jareer, Vol. 6/256]

They say this isnaad is saheeh, but many people have not noticed the idraaj (interpolation) of Ibn Tawoos, which is made clear by the narration found in the collection of

Imaam ‘Abdurazzaaq (who said): “We were informed by Mu’amar from Ibn Tawoos from his father:

“Ibn Abbas was asked about His saying: “and whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”, [so] he said: “In it there is kufr.”

Ibn Tawoos said: “But not like kufr in His angels, and His books and His messengers”‘

Idraj is an additional wording in the narration (in the hadeeth or athar) which is the wording of the reporter of the text but seem to be apart of the text itself, this is termed mudraj (interpolated). Such an addition to the wording of the text may be found in the beginning, in the middle, or at the end, often in explanation of a term used. Idraj (interpolation) is mostly found in the text, a few examples show that such additions can be found in the isnad as well, this is where the reporter grafts a part of one isnad into another.

The 1st Rebuttal

Ibn Jareer reported, “Narrated to me, Hunaad Narrated to me, my father from Sufyaan from Mu’amr Ibn Rashaad from Ibn Tawoos from his father from Ibn ‘Abbas “and whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”. [He said] ‘In it there is Kufr, but not like Kufr in His Angels and His Books and His Messengers’ [Tafseer Ibn Jareer, Vol. 6/256]

Ibn Jareer reported, “narrated to me, Ibn Wakee’ah who said, ‘Narrated to me, my father from Sufyaan from Mu’amr Ibn Rashaad from Ibn Tawoos from his father from Ibn ‘Abbas, “and whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”. [He said] ‘In it there is Kufr, but not like Kufr in His Angels and His Books and His Messengers’ [Tafseer Ibn Jareer, Vol. 6/256]

Shaykh Albaanee states the isnaad (chain of narration) is saheeh (authentic), in Silsilah as-Saheehah (vol 6. no.2552), however he did not specify which of the two is the saheeh. However both isnaads seem to be saheeh and even if one is not saheeh both narrations act like supporting narrations to each other. So together both athar help raise each others individual isnaads authenticity.

The takfires claim both these isnaads are saheeh however they claim the wording in the above two athars “but not like Kufr in His Angels and His Books and His Messengers” is that of Ibn Tawoos and not Ibn ‘Abbas.

So they think there is idraj (interpolation) of Ibn Tawoos in both athars.

The takfires claim that both athars have idraj (interpolation) of Ibn Tawoos however this is very doubtful.

Firstly  no scholar has stated that these two athars contain idraj from Ibn Tawoos, even Shaykh Albaanee one of the greatest scholars of hadeeth of this era did not mention any idraj (interpolation) of Ibn Tawoos in his authentication of these athars.

Another thing is there are many shawahid narrations (supporting narrations) supporting the fact that Ibn Abbas did state these two athars with out any idraaj.

Ibn Taimiyyah said a shahid narrations (supporting narration) are, “other narrations from the same reporters, a narration which supports the text (meaning) of the original hadith, although it may be through a completely different isnad (or may be a through the same or a similar isnad), is called a shahid (“witness”).” Principles of Tafseer of Ibn Taimiyyah (trans. M.A.H. Ansari, Al-Hidaayah,Birmingham, 1414/1993), p p. 156.

The shawahids to Ibn Abbas narration, “and whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”. ‘In it there is Kufr, but not like Kufr in His Angels and His Books and His Messengers’, are;

Imaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah in his book Hukm Taarik us-Salaah (p.74) stated Via Abdur Razzaaq, (Sufyaan ath-Thawree from Ma’mar from ’Abdullaah bin Taawoos from)

Ibn Abbas said: Within him is kufr and it is not like the kufr one who disbelieves in Allaah, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers.

And then in the same book the shaykh brings a supporting narration to the first narration he gave of Ibn Abbas, the supporting narration is Ibn Abbas said: “It is the kufr which does not expel one from the religion” (about this second narration of Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah in his book Hukm Taarik us-Salaah of Ibn Abbas, Ibn Katheer transmitted in his Tafseer, vol.6, p.163 from al-Haakim a slight longer narration from Ibn Abbas including these words and he said: “the hadeeth (athar) is Saheeh (authentic) on the conditions of Shaykhayn (Bukhari and Muslim).”

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah also stated in Madaarij us-Saalikeen, vol.1, pp.335-336:

Ibn Abbas said: “It is not the kufr which expels from the religion, rather if one does it he has kufr within him but it is not like the kufr of the one who disbelieves in Allah and the Last Day.

As Taawoos said. (In this statement Ibn Qayyim has clarified that Ibn Tawoos said the same or a very similar statement to Ibn Abbas hence Ibn Qayyim did not narrated what he said but he narrated what Ataa said as his statement was completely different in wording from Ibn Abbas statement though the meaning was the same).

Ataa said: “It is kufr less than kufr, dhulm less than dhulm and fisq than fisq.”

Al-Waahidee stated in al-Waseet, vol.2, p.191 a similar narration as those in Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyahs book Hukm Taarik us-Salaah (p.74) and in the book Madaarij us-Saalikeen, vol.1, pp.335-336, from Ibn Tawoos from Ibn Abbas. Al-Waahidee said:

Tawoos said: I said to Ibn Abbas: “Whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed is he a disbeliever?”

Ibn Abbas replied: “Within him is kufr, yet it is not like the kufr of the one who disbelieves in Allaah, the Last Day, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers.”

So far in these section refuting the claim that there is Idraaj of Ibn Tawoos in the two athars we have established there are three similar narrations of Ibn Abbas (not including the two dispute narrations) and one shahid (supporting narration).

The narrations are as follows:

The disputed athars of Ibn Abbas are;

Ibn Jareer reported, “Narrated to me, Hunaad Narrated to me, my father from Sufyaan from Mu’amr Ibn Rashaad from Ibn Tawoos from his father

from Ibn ‘Abbas “and whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”. [He said] ‘In it there is Kufr, but not like Kufr in His Angels and His Books and His Messengers’ [Tafseer Ibn Jareer, Vol. 6/256]

Ibn Jareer reported, “narrated to me, Ibn Wakee’ah who said, ‘Narrated to me, my father from Sufyaan from Mu’amr Ibn Rashaad from Ibn Tawoos from his father from Ibn ‘Abbas, “and whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”. [He said] ‘In it there is Kufr, but not like Kufr in His Angels and His Books and His Messengers’ [Tafseer Ibn Jareer, Vol. 6/256]

The three similar narrations which support the meaning of the above two are;

1. Imaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah in his book Hukm Taarik us-Salaah (p.74) stated “Via Abdur Razzaaq, (Sufyaan ath-Thawree from Ma’mar from ’Abdullaah bin Taawoos from)

Ibn Abbas said: “Within him is kufr and it is not like the kufr of the one who disbelieves in Allaah, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers.”…”

2. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah also stated in Madaarij us-Saalikeen, vol.1, pp.335-336:

Ibn Abbas said: “It is not the kufr which expels from the religion, rather if one does it he has kufr with in him but it is not like the kufr of the one who disbelieves in Allah and the Last Day.

3. Al-Waahidee stated in al-Waseet, vol.2, p.191 Tawoos said: I said to Ibn Abbas: “Whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed is he a disbeliever?”

Ibn Abbas replied: “Within him is kufr, yet it is not like the kufr of the one who disbelieves in Allaah, the Last Day, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers.”

The narration which supports the meaning of the above three is;

Ibn Abbas said: “It is the kufr which does not expel one from the religion (it is not major kufr it is minor kufr)” Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah in his book Hukm Taarik us-Salaah, Ibn Katheer transmitted in his Tafseer, vol.6, p.163 from al-Haakim a slight longer narration of this athar from Ibn Abbas including these words and he said: “the hadeeth (athar) is Saheeh (authentic) on the conditions of Shaykhayn (Bukhari and Muslim).”

All of the above narrations are similar in wording and identical in meaning and they are all from Ibn Abbas and no scholar as stated they are not from him for that in any of these narrations there is any Idraj from Ibn Tawoos.

The fact that all of these narrations have been deemed as athars of Ibn Abbas by all the scholars of the past and present with out idraj and are similar in wording and identical in meaning prove that the takfires have been mistaken when they claimed that the two narrations in Tafseer Ibn Jareer, Vol. 6/256 have idraj of Ibn Tawoos in them.

The takfires tried to prove this Idraj by stating a narration of Imaam ‘Abdurazzaaq (who said): “We were informed by Mu’amar from Ibn Tawoos from his father:

“Ibn Abbas was asked about His saying: “and whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”, [so] he said: “In it there is kufr.”

Ibn Tawoos said: “But not like kufr in His angels, and His books and His messengers”‘

This narration gives the impression that the words ‘But not like kufr in His angels, and His books and His messengers’ are idraaj of Ibn Tawoos and that only the words ‘In it there is kufr’ are from Ibn Abbas in the two narrations in Tafseer Ibn Jareer, Vol. 6/256.

The problem is this narration with this wording does not exist as a narration of Imaam ‘Abdurazzaaq and is their incorrect.

What does exist as a narration from Imam ’AbdurRazzaaq in his Tafseer, vol.1, p.1, no.191, is this correct narration:

Sufyaan ath-Thawree from Ma’mar from ’Abdullaah bin Taawoos was asked “Is it (major) Kufr?” (Regarding the verse “and whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”)

Ibn Taawoos said “It is not like the kufr of the one who disbelieves in Allaah, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers.”

  • This is reported by Imaam Ahmad in al-Eemaan, vol.4, p.160, no.1420;
  •  Ibn Nasr al-Marwazee, Ta’dheem Qadr us-Salaah, vol.2, p.521, no.570;
  •  at-Tabaree, Jaami’ Bayaan, vol.6, p.166;
  •  Ibn Abee Haatim, Tafseer, vol.4, p.1143, no.6435;
  •  Qaadee Wakee’, Akhbaar ul-Qudaat, vol.1, p.41;
  •  Ibn Battah, al-Ibaanah, vol.2, p.736, no.1009
  •  and all of them from Imam ’AbdurRazzaaq in his Tafseer, vol.1, p.1, no.191.

This correct narration proves there is no narration narrated by ImamAbdurRazzaaq which indicates any idraaj from Ibn Tawoos in the two narrations in Tafseer Ibn Jareer.

If the takfires try to dispute the correct narration of Imam AbdurRazzaaq claiming there is correct and mine is incorrect. Then below is shahid (supporting narrtion) to my narration I transmitted from Imam AbdurRazzaaq.

From Wakee’ and Aboo Usaamah both from ath-Thawree from Ma’mar bin Raashid from

Abdullaah bin Taawoos (who said),Within him is kufr, but it is not like the kufr of one who disbelieves in Allaah, His angels, His Books and His Messengers.”

Shaykh al-Albaanee authenticated it in his commentary on the book al-Eemaan (p. 307) by Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah. So this shahid is saheeh (authentic).

Ruling On The Two Athars

The two athars are saheeh narrations in Tafseer Ibn Jareer, Vol. 6/256 which are both from Ibn Abbas with out any Idraj from Ibn Tawoos.

The 2nd Takfire Claim

al-Haakim narrated, from the way of ‘Ali bin Harb, from Sufyaan bin ‘Uyaynah from Hishaam bin Hujayr from Tawoos, that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “It is not the kufr which you tend to‘Whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers’ is kufr lesser than [greater] kufr”. [-See al-Mustadrak, volume 2/313]

They claim this athar is weak due to Hishaam bin Hujayr who they believe to have been declared weak by some amongst the salaf.

The 2nd Rebuttal

al-Haakim narrated, from the way of ‘Ali bin Harb, from Sufyaan bin ‘Uyaynah from Hishaam bin Hujayr from Tawoos, that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “It is not the kufr that you are going towards (in your minds), it is not the kufr that expels one from the religion, “And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are disbelievers.” {al-Maa’idah (5): 44}…is kufr less than kufr. [-See (al-Haakim) al-Mustadrak, volume 2/313]

  • This athar of Ibn Abbas is also reported by: Sa’eed bin Mansoor, Sunan, vol.4, p.1482, no.749;
  •  Ahmad, al-Eemaan, vol.4, p.160, no.1419 via Ibn Battah in his al-Ibaanah, vol.2, p.736, no.1010;
  • Muhammad bin Nasr al- Marwazee, Ta’dheem Qadr us-Salaah, vol.2, p.521, no.569;
  •  Ibn Abee Haatim, Tafseer, vol.4, p.1143, no.6434 (al-Baaz edition);
  •  Ibn ’AbdulBarr, at-Tamheed, vol.4, p.237;
  •  al-Bayhaqee, vol.8, p.20.

The takfires have alleged that this athar of Ibn Abbas is weak (daeef) due to the presence of a narrator called Hishaam bin Hujayr, who the takfires claim he is a weak narrator.

Al-Jarh wa al- Tadeel (Criticism and Praise) of Hishaam bin Hujayr

Ibn Shabramah said: “there is no one in Makkah like him”,

al-’Ijlee said: “he was thiqah (trustworthy) and a man of theSunnah.”

Aboo Haatim ar-Raazee said: “his hadeeth are to be documented (i.e. accepted)”,

Ibn Sa’d said: “he is thiqah and has narrated ahaadeeth.”

Ibn Shaaheen said: “he is thiqah” and

Ibn Hibbaan also deemed him to be thiqah.

Zakariyyah bin Yahyaa as-Saajee (d.307 AH), one of the students of Imaam al-Muzanee, stated: “Sudooq (truthful and thus acceptable)”

adh-Dhahabee said: he is thiqah” and adh-Dhahabee stated in al-Kaashif: “Hishaam bin Huajyr is thiqah (trustworthy).”

Abdullaah bin Ahmad said: “I asked Yahyaa bin Ma’een about Hishaam bin Hujayr and he weakened him very much”. [See al-'Ilal wa ma'rifat ar-Rijaal, volume 2/30]

Abdullaah bin Ahmad,“I asked Yahyaa bin Ma’een about him (Hishaam bin Hujayr) and he said that he is very weak. I asked Yahya ‘Is Hishaam bin Hujayr more beloved to you than ’Amru bin Muslim?’ Yahya replied: ‘Na’am (‘yes’).’”

Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee states “Amru bin Muslim…is al-Janadee”

Yahyaa Ibn Ma’een weakened him in the narration of ad-Dooree yet in the narration of Ibn ul-Junayd Yahyaa ibn Ma’een said about Amru: “there is no problem with him” and in at-Taqreeb it is reported that Yahyaa bin Ma’een stated about Amru: “he is sudooq yet has some errors.”

So based on the testimony of Yahyaa bin Ma’een, Hishaam bin Hujayr is stronger than ’Amru bin Muslim about whom Imaam Ibn Ma’een said: “there is no problem with him.”

It is claimed that Imaam Yahyaa bin Ma’een intended a severe weakness of Hishaam bin Hujayr, yet he described Hishaam in the narration of Ishaaq bin Mansoor as being “Saalih (acceptable in narration)” and this is a commendation.

Yahya bin Ma’een, has two narrations on Hishaam, one in which he weakens him and the other wherein he commends him. In this instance we are to refer to the views of other scholars in order to ascertain the correct view on the narrator.

Abdullaah bin Ahmad said, “I heard my father [Imaam Ahmad] say: ‘Hishaam bin Hujayr is a Makki, and he is weak in hadeeth’” [al-'Ilal wa ma'rifat ar-Rijaal, volume 1/204].

Yahyaa al-Qattaan deemed Hishaam bin Hujayr to be weak.

Ali bin al-Madeenee and Yahya bin Sa’eed deemed Hishaam bin Hujayr to be weak. [al-Jarh wat-Ta'deel, volume 9/54]

These jarhs (criticisms) of Hishaam bin Hujayr by Ali bin al-Madeenee, Yahya bin Sa’eed, Yahyaa al-Qattaan and Imaam Ahmad are known as jarh al-mubham (the vague general jarh), this can be understood by the fact they only considered Hishaam weak (daeef).

Shaykh Muqbil said, “And as for the Jarh which is not Mufassar, then it is like saying, “Daeef” (weak).”

Shaykh Muqbil when asked,When it is said, al-Jarh al-Mufassar”, then what is this al-Jarh al-Mufassar”? The Shaykh replied, “Examples of this has preceded, saying “Matrook Da’eef Jiddan (Abandoned and very weak), Munkar al-Hadeeth (His Hadeeth are rejected), Kadhdhaab (Liar), Akdhabun-Naas (the greatest of liars), ilaihil-muntahaa fil-kadhib (all lies end with him)

The narrator Hishaam bin Hujayrs adaalah (integrity), has been established by many scholars (his tabdeels (praises) were previously mentioned). So only a jarh al-mufassir can be accepted as a criticism of him. So the jarh al-mubhams of Ali bin al-Madeenee, Yahya bin Sa’eed, Yahyaa al-Qattaan and Imaam Ahmad can not be accepted as jarhs on him.

Imaam Ahmad said “he (Hishaam bin Hujayr) is not strong.”

(Many people have mistakenly taken this commented to mean Hishaam bin Hujayr is completely weak and is thus a weak narrator. However this is not the case as this statement only implies Imam Ahmad did not think he was thiqah (reliable), which would mean he was completely strong. But this means based on the statement of Imam Ahmad Hishaam bin Hujayr should be classified as Sudooq (trustworthy, the level under thiqah) due to some of his errors. These errors meant Hishaam was a strong narrator of hadeeth however he had some weakness therefore he was not a completely strong narrator of hadeeth.

Shaykh al-Mu’allimee al-Yamaanee stated in at-Tankeel (vol.1, p.240): The words ‘he is not strong’ negates absolute strength even if absolute weakness is not affirmed; and the words “he is not strong” only negates a complete level of strength.

Imaam al-Haafidh adh-Dhahabee stated in al-Muqaddimat ul-Muqidhah (p.319 – with the explanation of Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee) that: “It has been stated about a group of narrators that “he is not strong” yet they have been utilised (i.e. their hadeeths have been relied upon to make Islamic rulings)”

Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah in regards to Iqaamat ud-Daleel [Establishing the Evidence] as found in al-Fataawaa al-Kubraa, vol.3, p.243, in discussing ’Utbah bin Humayd ad-Dabbee al-Basree: “It has been relayed from Imaam Ahmad that he said: “he is weak and he is not strong” however, the intent of this term of expression (for a narrator) is that: his hadeeth are not saheeh but rather is hadeeth are hasan. So they (some of the early scholars) would name such hadeeth as being “da’eef” yet still utilise them because they were hasan.”

Shaykh al-Albaanee also said (p.254): The statement of Ahmad…:“he is not strong” does not negate the narrator as only absolute strength is negated from a narrator described with this as is apparent to those with understanding of this science.)

Conclusion On Hishaam bin Hujayr

After all the jarh and tabdeel on Hishaam bin Hujayr what seems to be the most correct classification of him is, that he is not thiqah because he has been weakened by some scholars, nor is he daeef due to the strengthening of him by other scholars so he is as Haafidh Ibn Hajar said: “he (Hishaam bin Hujayr) is Sudooq (trustworthy) but he does have some errors.” This is tabdeel mufassar as he has replied to the weakening of hishaam by other scholars.

Ruling On The Athar

Al-Haakim said: “This hadeeth has an authentic chain of transmission and Shaykhayn did not transmit it.”

Adh-Dhahabee agreed with him (Al-Haakim).

Shaykh al-Albaanee stated in as-Saheehah, vol.6, p.113: It would have been more deserving that they (said: “…on the conditions of Shaykhayn (Bukhaaree and Muslim)” as the isnad is of this type. Then I saw that al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer transmitted in his Tafseer, vol.6, p.163 from al-Haakim that he said: “the hadeeth is Saheeh on the conditions of Shaykhayn (Bukhari and Muslim).” So it is obvious that this statement is omitted in the printed edition of ‘al-Mustadrak (by al-Haakim)” and ibn Katheer also ascribes the narration, (in) summarised (form), to ibn Abee Haatim.

 The 3rd Takfire Claim

al-Haafith Ibn Nasr said: “Narrated to us Yahya bin Yahya, Sufyaan bin ‘Uyaynah informed us, from Hishaam (bin Hujayr), from Tawoos that Ibn ‘Abbas said concerning His saying, “…such are the disbelievers”, he said ‘It is not the kufr which you are going to’.

They believe this sanad (chain of narration) has all its people are trustworthy (sudooq) narrators except Hishaam bin Hujayr.

They state he has been weakened by the great scholars: Such as ‘Ali bin al-Madeenee, Yahya bin Sa’eed. [see: al-Jarh wat-Ta'deel, volume 9/54]

Abdullaah bin Ahmad said: “I asked Yahya about Hishaam bin Hujayr and he weakened him very much”. [See al-'Ilal wa ma'rifat ar-Rijaal, volume 2/30]

And he also said: “I heard my father [Imaam Ahmad] say: ‘Hishaam bin Hujayr is a Makki, and he is weak in hadeeth’” [See: Ibid, volume 1/204]

And also, al-’Uqayli recalled him in ad-Du’afaa’.

They therefore conclude this athar is weak due to the presence of Hishaam bin Hujayr in the sanad.

The 3rd Rebuttal

al-Haafith Ibn Nasr said: “Narrated to us Yahya bin Yahya, Sufyaan bin ‘Uyaynah informed us, from Hishaam (bin Hujayr), from Tawoos that Ibn ‘Abbas said “And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are disbelievers.”{al-Maa’idah (5): 44} It is not the kufr (the major kufr) that you are going towards (in your minds as it is minor kufr).

The takfires have asserted this athar of Ibn Abbas is weak because although all the narrators are Sudooq (trustworthy) they assert the narrator Hishaam bin Hujayr is a weak narrator in the isnad, who makes the isnad weak.

However the jarh wal al- tadeel (criticism and praise) of Hishaam bin Hujayr has preceded and it has been proved beyond doubt that he is at least on the level of a Sudooq narrator.

Also a similar athar (the previous one in this article) was deemed as saheeh by Al-Haakim , Adh-Dhahabee and al-Albaanee even though Hishaam bin Hujayr was in the isnad, so they must have at least deemed him to be Sudooq.

Ruling  On The Athar

This athar is at least hasan and at best saheeh. What supports this is the fact that all the narrators are Sudooq (trustworthy).

The 4th Takfire Claim

Ibn Jareer at-Tabari said, narrated to us al-Muthanna, ‘Abdullaah bin Saaleh said, Mu’awiyah bin Saaleh told us, that ‘Ali bin Abi Talhah, from Ibn ‘Abbas that he said concerning His saying: “Whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”‘Whoever rejects what [He] revealed then he has disbelieved, and whoever affirms it, and does not rule by it, then he is a thaalim and faasiq’” [See Ibn Jareer's tafseer, volume 4/256]

The takfires belief this athar of Ibn Abbas is very weak due to:

  • Abdullah bin Saaleh being a weak narrator in the isnaad
  • Ali ibn Talah being a weak narrator in the isnaad
  • And the isnad having a missing narrator which makes the athar munqati (broken – a type of daeef (weak) hadeeth or athar).

 The 4th Rebuttal

Ibn Jareer at-Tabari said, narrated to us al-Muthanna, ‘Abdullaah bin Saaleh said, Mu’awiyah bin Saaleh told us, that ‘Ali bin Abi Talhah, from Ibn ‘Abbas that he said concerning His saying: “Whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”, ‘Whoever rejects what Allaah has revealed has disbelieved, whoever acknowledges it yet does not rule by it is a sinful transgressor (thaalim and fasiq).’”

  • Reported by at-Tabaree in Jaami’ ul-Bayaan, vol.6, p.166; and
  • Ibn Abee Haatim in his Tafseer, vol.4, p.1142, no.6426 and p.1146, no.6450

The takfires belief this athar of Ibn Abbas is very weak due to two narrators in the isnad of this athar Abdullah bin Saaleh and Ali ibn Talah both being weak. Also they further claim the athar is very weak because the isnad has a missing narrator which makes the athar munqati which means it is daeef.

Al-Jarh wa al- Tadeel (Criticism and Praise) of Abdullaah bin Saaleh

And Abdullaah bin Saaleh is: Ibn Muhammed bin Muslim al-Juhni al-Misree,

al-Layth bin Sa’d described him as weak.

al-Manwaawi quotes, in Fayd al-Qadeer, volume 2/397, Ibn Abi Haatim saying regarding ‘Abdullaah bin Saaleh: “He is really bad in hadeeth when narrating from Mu’awiyah bin Saaleh”.

Abdullaah bin Ahmad said: I asked my father about ‘Abdullaah bin Saaleh, the scribe of al-Layth bin Sa’d, so he said: “He was at first firm, then he became corrupt, and he is nothing.”

Ibn al-Madeenee said: “I do not narrate from him anything”. [See al-'Ilal wa Ma'rifat ar-Rijaal, volume 2/213]

an-Nisaaee said: “He is not trustworthy”

Ahmad bin Saaleh said: “He is accused, and is nothing”

Saaleh Jazarah said: “… he is to me a liar in hadeeth”

Abu Haatim said: “Trustworthy, truthful, I never knew him as such”

Ibn Hibbaan mentions: He was righteous within himself, but many false ahadeeth were given to him by his neighbour, and I heard Ibn Khuzaymah say, ‘He had a neighbour, with whom there was much enemity, and he [the neighbour] would narrate the false ahadeeth upon the Shaykh of Abu Saaleh, and write it in a handwriting similar to ‘Abdullaah and he would throw it in his house amongst his books, so ‘Abdullaah would imagine that that was his own handwriting, and so he would end up narrating it. [See al-Majrooheen for Ibn Hibbaan]

Ibn Mu’een used to consider him trustworthy.

Abu Zur’ah said: “To me he wasn’t a person who intentionally lied, and he was acceptable in hadeeth”. [See, al-Mizaan for ath-Thahabi, volume 4/441]

Conclusion

The jarh on Abdullaah bin Saaleh is jarh al-mufassal and al-mufassar (the detailed and the explained criticism) and the tadeel on him is tadeel al-mubham (the vague general praise). As this is the case the criticism takes precedence over the praise on him. So he is deemed as a weak narrator.

Shaykh Muqbil when asked, ‘When both Jarh and Tadeel are combined in a person, then which of them is given precedence?’ He replied, “When the Jarh is Mufassar (explained), it is given precedence (over the tadeel that is general).

Al-Jarh wa al- Tadeel (Criticism and Praise) of Ali bin Abi Talhah

And in the isnaad is ‘Ali bin Abi Talhah, and his full name was Saalem bin al-Makhaariq al-Haashimi.

Ahmad bin Hanbal said: “‘Ali bin Abi Talhah, has many criticisms upon him (an important point here is Imam Ahmad himself is not criticising him or even saying the criticism against Ali are correct).” [See ad-Du'afaa`, volume 3/234]

Ya’qoob narrated from Sufyaan that he is weak and not reliable (not thiqah (reliable).

Shaykh Muqbil said, “And as for the Jarh which is not Mufassar, then it is like saying, “Da’eef” (weak).”

Aboo Ja’jar an-Nahaasee stated in an-Naasikh wa’l-Mansookh (p.75): He (Ali) himself is thiqah and Sudooq.

an-Nisaaee said: “There is no problem with him.” [See al-Mizaan for ath-Thahabi, volume 3/134]

al-’Ajali said: “He is trustworthy.” [See Tareekh al-Thiqaat, page 283]

Ibn Hibban considered him from the trustworthy reliable narrators, as can be seen in ath-Thiqaat, volume 7/211.

Ibn Hajar also said in al-’Ujaab fee Bayaan il-Asbaab, vol.1, p.207 (Dammaam: Daar Ibn Jawzee, 1997 CE):26’Ali is Sudooq…

Adh-Dhahabee stated in Meezaan ul-I’tidaal (vol.1, pp.3-4) that:

I have not resorted to refer to those about whom it has been said “his station is that of sidq (truthfulness)”, “there is no problem with him”, “Saalih ul-Hadeeth”, “his hadeeth are to be documented” or “Shaykh” – for these terms of expression and the likes indicate the lack of absolute weakness.

Ibn Abee Haatim stated in al-Jarh wa’t-Ta’deel, vol.2, p.37:

If it is said about a narrator: “Sudooq”, “his level is that of sidq (truthfulness)” and “there is no problem with him” – then his hadeeth are documented and looked at and this is of the second level.”

So Ibn Abee Haatim and adh Dhahabee consider the term, “Sudooq (truthful)”, that which renders a narrator as having his hadeeth (or athars) documented and recorded and does not prove that the narrator is completely weak. So the narrator only has some slight weakness (not absolute weakness), but his hadeeth are still good enough to be used. So the hadeeth (or athars) of Ali bin Abi Talhah narrates are not saheeh (authentic) or daeef (weak) but they are hasan (good).

Conclusion

The narrator Ali bin Abi Talhah has had his adaalah (integrity) established by the scholars as they have stated he was a thiqah and sudooq.

So only a jarh mufassir can be accepted as a criticism of him. However the jarh against him is not mufassir it is mubham (vague and general).

Also this jarh has been over looked due to this tadeel mufassar of Ibn Hajar in which he explains the condition of Ali and his narrations.

In Hadee us-Saaree (p.414) Ibn Hajar stated, “What is apparent from the words of those Imams is that his (Ali’s) hadeeth at the beginning were sound (saheeh) and then he began to get confused.

This demonstrates that what he narrated from the Ahl ul-Hadhq (such as Yahyaa bin Ma’een, al-Bukhaaree, Aboo Zur’ah and Aboo Haatim who were all major hadeeth scholars of the past) are authentic hadeeth (athars as well). As for what other Shaykhs have narrated from him then these are to be withheld (from accepting or rejecting).”

In conclusion as this hadeeth has been narrated in Ibn Abee Haatim in his tafseer based on the words of Ibn Hajar above and the fact that the tadeel in Ali’s case is given preference to the jarh as the tadeel is mufassar and the jarh is mubham. In this narration there is no problem in Ali he is at lest sudooq at best thiqah.

Is The Isnad Munqati (Broken)?

A munqati hadeeth/athar is a hadeeth/athar where the name of a narrator anywhere before the Taabieen (successor) is missing. So a munqati narration has a missing link in the isnad, which is closer to the hadeeth scholar who recorded the narration (like Bukhari).

Sufyaan said: “He is a Shaami, he is not avoided nor taken as evidence. As for his narration from Ibn ‘Abbas, then is it munqati (not connected), for he did not hear from him.  Ibn Abi Haatim said: I heard my father say, I heard Daheem saying: ‘Ali bin Abi Talhah did not hear tafseer from Ibn ‘Abbas.” [See al-Maraseel, page 117]

Ibn Hibban said: “He narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas and never saw him”. [See, ath-Thiqaat, 7/211]

Aboo Ja’jar an-Nahaasee stated in an-Naasikh wa’l-Mansookh (p.75): The one who attacks this chain of transmission says ‘Ibn Abee Talhah did not hear from Ibn ’Abbaas, he only took the tafseer from Mujaahid and ’Ikrimah’, yet this fact should not be a cause for attack, because Ibn Abee Talhah took from two trustworthy men (Mujaahid and ’Ikrimah’). He himself is thiqah and Sudooq.

As-Suyootee stated in al-Itqaan, vol.2, p.188: A people have said that: ‘Ibn Abee Talhah did not hear tafseer from Ibn ’Abbaas, rather he took from Mujaahid or Sa’eed bin Jubayr.’

Ibn Hajar stated in Tahdheeb ut-Tahdheeb, vol.7, p.339:

’Ali bin Abee Talhah narrated from Ibn ’Abbaas but he did not hear from him, Mujaahid is in between them both.

Adh-Dhahabee stated in Meezaan ul-’I’tidaal, vol.3, p.134:

He took the tafseer of Ibn ’Abbaas from Mujaahid yet he did not mention Mujaahid rather he hurried it (mursal) from Ibn ’Abbaas.

Ibn Hajar also said in al-’Ujaab fee Bayaan il-Asbaab, vol.1, p.207 (Dammaam: Daar Ibn Jawzee, 1997 CE):26… he did not meet Ibn ’Abbaas rather he took from the thiqaat from his companions and for this reason al-Bukhaaree, Ibn Abee Haatim and others depend upon this copy.

So the isnaad is not munqati (not connected) as some takfires think because the missing narrator has been identified through other sources. So now the isnaad is no longer munqati but now it is muttasil (connected). The missing narrator was Mujaahid as stated by Ibn Hajar previously in this article.

He was a great scholar of tafsir who learnt tafsir from Ibn Abbas directly. He was deemed as thiqah as state previously in this section. Due to this his inclusion in the isnaad, he helps to strength the isnaad as he is a thiqah and therefore does not to weaken the isnaad.

Ruling On The Athar

As-Suyootee stated in al-Itqaan, vol.2, p.188: Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar said: after I realised the route of the transmission, which is thiqah (trustworthy), (I saw that) there s no problem in it.

Shaykh Aboo Usaamah Saleem bin ’Eeid al-Hilaalee said “The chain of transmission is hasan and the narrators are all thiqaat (trustworthy).”

The Shawahids (The Supporting Narrations)

Below are two saheeh narrations from Abdullaah bin Tawoos and Ataa Bin Abee Rabaah that act as supporting narrations to the five athars that are from Ibn Abbas which were discussed earlier in this article.

Ibn Taimiyyah said shahid narrations (supporting narration) are, “other narrations from the same reporters, a narration which supports the text (meaning) of the original hadeeth (athar), although it may be through a completely different isnad (or may be a through the same or a similar isnad), is called a shahid (“witness”).” Principles of Tafseer of Ibn Taimiyyah (trans. M.A.H. Ansari, Al-Hidaayah,Birmingham, 1414/1993), p p. 156.

So shahid athars support each other’s authenticity like witnesses to each other. Therefore the five athars document so far in this article from Ibn Abbas which are all either saheeh or hasan now become either saheeh li dhatihi (authentic in and of its self) if the athar was already saheeh or saheeh li ghayrihi (authentic due to supporting narrations) if the athar was hasan before.

1st Shahid Of Abdullaah bin Tawoos

Abdullaah bin Taawoos also transmits it and he is thiqah (trustworthy), for he reported via his father: Within him is kufr, but it is not like the kufr of one who disbelieves in Allaah and the Last Day.

This is reported by Sufyaan bin Sa’eed ath-Thawree (d.161 AH) in his Tafseer (vol.101, p.241) via at-Tahaawee in Mushkil ul-Aathaar, vol.2, p.317.

The chain of transmission is authentic and the narrators are thiqah and are utilised by the Shaykhayn (Bukhari and Muslim) and deemed authentic based on the conditions of the Shaykhayn.

Sa’d bin ’Abdullaah Aal Humayd, in his edit of Sunan Sa’eed bin Mansoor (vol.4, p.1484), has claimed that this narration has a defect due to a severance of the narrations between ath-Thawree and Ibn Tawoos.

Yet this is an error because ath-Thawree heard from ’Abdullaah bin Tawoos and ath-Thawree narrated from him as documented in a hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim! So how can it be said that ath-Thawree did not hear from ’Abdullaah bin Tawoos?!

This is another narration which supports the one above, from: Wakee’ and Aboo Usaamah both from ath-Thawree from Ma’mar bin Raashid from ’Abdullaah bin Tawoos: Within him is kufr, but it is not like the kufr of one who disbelieves in Allaah, His angels, His Books and His Messengers.

The chain of transmission is saheeh; shaykh al-Albaanee authenticated it in his commentary on the book al-Eemaan (p. 307) by Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah.

  • It was reported by: Imaam Ahmad in al-Eemaan, vol.4, pp.158-159, no.1414;
  •  Muhammad bin Nasr al-Marwazee, Ta’dheem Qadr us-Salaah, vol.2, p.521, no.571, p.522, no.572;
  • al-Fareeyaabee, Tafseer as documented in ad-Durar al-Manthoor, vol.3, p.87
  • at-Tahaawee also records it via him, vol.2, pp.317-318;
  • at- Tabaree, Jaami’ ul-Bayaan, vol.6, p.166;
  • Ibn Battah, al-Ibaanah, vol.2, p.734, no.1005;

Another narration which supports the other two previously mentioned narration of ’Abdullaah bin Tawoos is Sufyaan ath-Thawree from Ma’mar from ’Abdullaah bin Tawoos: “it is kufr”, Ibn Tawoos said It is not like the kufr of the one who disbelieves in Allaah, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers.

  • This is reported by Imaam Ahmad in al-Eemaan, vol.4, p.160, no.1420;
  • Ibn Nasr al-Marwazee, Ta’dheem Qadr us-Salaah, vol.2, p.521, no.570;
  • at-Tabaree, Jaami’ Bayaan, vol.6, p.166;
  • Ibn Abee Haatim, Tafseer, vol.4, p.1143, no.6435; 
  • Qaadee Wakee’, Akhbaar ul-Qudaat, vol.1, p.41;
  • Ibn Battah, al-Ibaanah, vol.2, p.736, no.1009
  • and all of them from ’AbdurRazzaaq in his Tafseer, vol.1, p.1, no.191.

Also Shaykh Albaanee narrates another athar of Abdullah bin Tawoos with different wording from the pervious three athars above but the meaning is the same, so it supports them as a shahid.

Shaykh Albaanee said from Sa’eed is ibn Ziyaad ash-Shaybaanee al-Makki from Tawoos about the verse ,“And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”, “it is not the kufr that ejects one from the religion.” Its isnaad is saheeh said Shaykh Albaanee in Silsilah as-Saheehah (vol 6. no.2552).

Shaykh Albaanee said, “ibn Ma’een and al-Ijlee and ibn Hibbaan and others declared him (Sa’eed) trustworthy, and a group narrate from him.”

2nd Shahid Of Ataa Bin Abee Rabaah

Ataa said: “Kufr less than kufr, dhulm less than dhulm and fisq less than fisq.” It was relayed via the route of Sufyaan ath-Thawree from Ibn Jurayj from Ataa’.

  • This has been recorded by: Imaam Ahmad, al-Eemaan, vol.4, pp.159-160, no.1417 and p.161,no.1422;
  • Imaam Ahmad, Masaa’il Abee Daawood, p.209;
  • at-Tabaree, Jaami’ ul-Bayaan, vol.6, p.165, 166;
  • Muhammad bin Nasr al-Marwazee, Ta’dheem Qadr us-Salaah, vol.2, p.522, no.575;
  • Ibn Battah, al-Ibaanah, vol.2, p.735, no.1007 and pp.736-737, no.1011;
  • Ibn Abee Haatim, Tafseer, vol.4, p.1149, no.6464
  • and al-Qaadee Wakee’, Akhbaar ul-Qudaat, vol.1, p.43. This chain of transmission has narrators who are all thiqah (reliable) and
  • Shaykh al-Albaanee authenticated it in as-Saheehah, vol.6, p.114

Final Conclusion

The takfires have claimed the only authentic narration concerning the tafseer (explanation) of the verse, “And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”, from Ibn Abbas is the following: We were informed by Mu’amar from Ibn Tawoos from his father: “Ibn ‘Abbas was asked about His saying: “and whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”, [so] he said: “In it there is kufr”. They also claim every other athar which is a tafseer of this verse which is attributed to Ibn Abbas is weak.

But this assertion of theirs is incorrect because from what has preceded it is clear that there are at lest six athars some of which are saheeh li dhatihi (authentic in and of its self) and others which are saheeh li ghayrihi (authentic due to supporting narrations).

These six athars from Ibn Abbas are supported by two saheeh supporting narrations.

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About Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie

I am a revert trying to spread the sunnah inshallah.
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