Jump to content
Islamic Salvation

A Comprehensive Compilation of Reliable Narrations


Lots of time and effort has been made on this list. Thanks for creating this collection.

Message added by Reza

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

3.162. Mualla b. Khunays



Mualla b. Khunays (d. 133 AH) was a Mawla [client] of Imam al-Sadiqعليه السلام  serving him in Madina. He was originally from Kufa and in the clothes trade. He seems to have associated with extremist circles and there is evidence that he believed at one point in time that the Imams were prophets or super-human [before possibly changing his position].

محمد بن الحسن البراني و عثمان، قالا حدثنا محمد بن يزداد، عن محمد بن الحسين، عن الحجال، عن أبي مالك الحضرمي، عن أبي العباس البقباق قال: تدارأ ابن أبي يعفور و معلى بن خنيس، فقال ابن أبي يعفور الأوصياء علماء أبرار أتقياء، و قال ابن خنيس الأوصياء أنبياء، قال: فدخلا على أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: فلما استقر مجلسهما، قال: فبدأهما أبو عبد الله عليه السلام فقال: يا عبد الله ابرأ ممن قال إنا أنبياء

Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Barani and Uthman – Muhammad b. Yazdad – Muhammad b. al-Husayn – al-Hajjal – Abi Malik al-Hadhrami – Abi al-Abbas al-Baqabaaq: Abdallah b. Abi Ya’fur and Mualla b. Khunays disputed with each other. Ibn Abi Ya’fur said: the Awsiya (i.e. Imams) are Ulama (knowledgeable), Abrar (good doers) and Atqiya (God - fearing). Ibn Khunays said: the Awsiya are Anbiya (prophets). They both entered upon Abi Abdillah عليه السلام, so when they had taken their seats, Abu Abdillah عليه السلام began saying (i.e. without being informed of their dispute): O Abdallah (b. Abi Ya’fur) - disassociate from the one who says that we are prophets.

The later Ghulat consider him one of their pillars and claim that he was killed because he exposed the secret which the Imam initiated him into.

أبو علي أحمد بن علي السلولي المعروف بشقران، قال: حدثنا الحسين بن عبيد الله القمي، عن محمد بن أورمة، عن يعقوب بن يزيد، عن سيف بن عميرة، عن المفضل بن عمر الجعفي قال: دخلت على أبي عبد الله عليه السلام يوم صلب فيه المعلى، فقلت: يا ابن رسول الله ألا ترى هذا الخطب الجليل الذي نزل بالشيعة في هذا اليوم؟ قال: ما هو؟ قال: قلت: قتل المعلى بن خنيس، قال: رحم الله المعلى، قد كنت أتوقع ذلك، لأنه أذاع سرنا، وليس الناصب لنا حربا بأعظم موبقة علينا من المذيع علينا سرنا، فمن أذاع سرنا إلى غير أهله لم يفارق الدنيا حتى يعضه السلاح، أو يموت بخبل

Abu Ali Ahmad b. Ali al-Saluli Shaqran – al-Husayn b. Ubaydallah al-Qummi – Muhammad b. Awrama – Ya’qub b. Yazid – Sayf b. Umayra – al-Mufadhal b. Umar al-Ju’fi: I entered in to see Abi Abdillah عليه السلام on the day in which Mualla was crucified. I said: O the son of the Messenger of Allah - do you not see the grave matter that has befallen the Shia on this day? He said: what is that? I said: Mualla b. Khunays has been killed. He said: May Allah have mercy on Mualla. I expected that to happen because he divulged our secret. The one who fights us because of hating us is not more of a danger to us than the one who divulges our secret. Whoever divulges our secret to the undeserving will not leave this world without being torn by a weapon or dying mad.    

The Ghulat attributed a lot of spurious material to him. Perhaps it was by looking at this that some early Rijal authorities were scathing in their assessment of him.

al-Najashi says of him:

ضعيف جدا، لا يعول عليه

Very weak. Not to be turned to [depended on].

Ibn al-Ghadhairi says:

كان أول أمره مغيريا، ثم دعا إلى محمد بن عبد الله، وفي هذه الظنة أخذه داود ابن علي، فقتله، والغلاة يضيفون إليه كثيرا، ولا أرى الاعتماد على شئ من حديثه

He was at first one of the Mughiriyya, then he called for Muhammad b. Abdallah [Nafs al-Zakiyya]. It is in this context that Dawud b. Ali took him and killed him. The Ghulat attribute quite a lot [of material] to him. I do not see how any of his narrations can be relied upon.

It is al-Tusi who mounts a defense of him. He does this by noting Mualla’s closeness to al-Sadiq and the Imam’s reaction to his killing.

كان من قوام أبي عبد الله عليه السلام، وإنما قتله داود بن علي بسببه، وكان محمودا عنده، ومضى على منهاجه وأمره مشهور، فروى عن أبي بصير، قال: لما قتل داود ابن علي، المعلى بن خنيس فصلبه، عظم ذلك على أبي عبد الله عليه السلام واشتد عليه، وقال له: يا داود، على ما قتلت مولي وقيمي في مالي وعلى عيالي ...

He [Mualla] was one of the servants of Abi Abdillah عليه السلام. Dawud b. Ali killed him for this reason. He [Mualla] had a praise-worthy station in his [the Imam’s] eyes. He passed away on the same path [was steadfast in his faith]. His affair [story] is well-known. It is narrated from Abi Basir who said: When Dawud b. Ali killed al-Mualla b. Khunays and crucified him - Abi Abdillah considered it to be a grave and serious. He [the Imam] said to him: O Dawud, why did you kill my client and my care-taker over my wealth and family …

It is because of this that most modern scholars reject the opinions of al-Najashi and Ibn al-Ghadhairi and consider him Thiqa. They ask: How can the death of a corrupt individual have evinced such an emotional reaction from the Imam! [See a number of authentic narrations below]. The Imam even declares that he is ‘in paradise’ having died a death of martyrdom [See No. 1/261]    

Mualla was killed by the governor of Madina called Dawud b. Ali who instructed al-Sayrafi [the money-changer] the head of his guards [Sahib al-Shurta] to do the deed. al-Sayrafi took him and crucified him in the public square.

A final point which must be made is that some details in the narrations below, which recount Mualla’s killing, the Imam’s conversations with Dawud b. Ali, the fate of al-Sayrafi and Dawud [against whom the Imam supplicated] are contradictory. This cannot be avoided and are a natural consequence of faulty human memory and oral transmission.


[1/261] رجال الكشي: حمدويه بن نصير، عن العبيدي، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن عبد الرحمن بن الحجاج، عن إسماعيل بن جابر قال: كنت مع أبي عبد الله عليه السلام مجاورا بمكة، فقال لي: يا إسماعيل اخرج حتى تأتي مرة أو عسفان، فسل هل حدث بالمدينة حدث، قال: فخرجت حتى أتيت مرة فلم ألق أحدا، ثم مضيت حتى أتيت عسفان فلم يلقني أحد، فارتحلت من عسفان فلما خرجت منها لقيني عير تحمل زيتا من عسفان، فقلت لهم: هل حدث بالمدينة حدث؟ قالوا: لا، إلا قتل هذا العراقي الذي يقال له المعلى بن خنيس، قال: فانصرفت إلى أبي عبد الله عليه السلام فلما رءاني قال لي: يا إسماعيل قتل المعلى بن خنيس فقلت: نعم، قال: فقال: أما و الله لقد دخل الجنة

[1/261] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh b. Nusayr from al-Ubaydi from Ibn Abi Umayr from Abd al-Rahman b. al-Hajjaj from Ismail b. Jabir who said: I was with Abi Abdillah عليه السلام in the vicinity of Makka when he said to me: O Ismail, proceed until you reach Marra or Usfan [two stations on the road between Makka and Madina] and ask [anyone you encounter on the way] - is there any incident which has occurred in Madina. He [Ismail] said: I went out until I reached Marra but did not encounter anyone. Then I proceeded until I reached Usfan but did not encounter anyone. I decided to turn around. When I began leaving Usfan I encountered a caravan carrying olives from Usfan. I said to them: Is there any incident which has occurred in Madina? They said: No, except the killing of this Iraqi called al-Mualla b. Khunays. He [Ismail] said: I returned to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام so when he saw me he said to me: O Ismail - al-Mualla b. Khunays has been killed? I said: Yes. He said: by Allah he has entered paradise.       


[2/262] رجال الكشي: ابن أبي نجران، عن حمّاد الناب، عن المسمعى قال: لما أخذ داود بن علي المعلّى بن خنيس حبسه، وأراد قتله، فقال له معلّى بن خنيس: أخرجني إلى الناس، فإنّ لي ديناً كثيراً ومالاً، حتى أشهد بذلك، فأخرجه إلى السوق فلما اجتمع الناس، قال: ياأيها الناس أنا معلّى بن خنيس فمن عرفني فقد عرفنى، اشهدوا أنّ ما تركت من مال، من عين، أو دين، أو أمة، أو عبد، أو دار، أو قليل، أو كثير، فهو لجعفر بن محمد عليه السلام، قال: فشدّ عليه صاحب شرطة داود فقتله. قال: فلما بلغ ذلك أبا عبد اللّه عليه السلام خرج يجرّ ذيله حتى دخل على داود بن على، وإسماعيل ابنه خلفه، فقال: ياداود قتلت مولاي وأخذت مالى. فقال: ما أنا قتلته ولا أخذت مالك. فقال: واللّه لادعون اللّه على من قتل مولاي وأخذ مالى. قال: ما قتلته ولكن قتله صاحب شرطتى. فقال: بإذنك أو بغير أذنك. قال: بغير إذني. فقال: ياإسماعيل شأنك به. قال: فخرج إسماعيل والسيف معه حتى قتله في مجلسه

حماد، عن المسمعي، عن معتب قال: فلم يزل أبو عبد الله عليه السلام ليلته ساجدا و قائما، قال: فسمعته في آخر الليل و هو ساجد ينادي: اللهم إني أسألك بقوتك القوية و بمحالك الشديد و بعزتك التي خلقك لها ذليل أن تصلي على محمد و آل محمد و أن تأخذه الساعة، قال: فو الله ما رفع رأسه من سجوده حتى سمعنا الصائحة فقالوا: مات داود بن علي فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: إني دعوت الله عليه بدعوة بعث الله إليه ملكا فضرب رأسه بمرزبة انشقت منها مثانته 

[2/262] Rijal al-Kashshi: Ibn Abi Najran from Hammad al-Nab from al-Mismai who said: When Dawud b. Ali [the governor of Madina] arrested al-Mualla b. Khunays, imprisoned him, and wanted to kill him - Mualla b. Khunays said to him: take me out to the people first, for I have a lot of debts and wealth which I want to declare, so he took him out to the market. When the people had gathered he [Mualla] said: O people, I am Mualla b. Khunays, whoever knows me has known me. I bear witness that what I leave of wealth, or debt, or slave-girl, or house, or less or more, then it is is for Ja`far b. Muhammad عليه السلام. He [al-Mismai] said: then Dawud’s head of security struck him and killed him. When the news reached Aba Abdillah عليه السلام he came out dragging his cloak [on the ground - in his hurry] until he entered upon Dawud b. Ali with his son Ismail behind him and said: Dawud you killed my Mawla [client] and usurped my property?! He said: I did not kill him nor have I taken your property. He said: By Allah I am going to pray to Allah against the one who killed my Mawla and took my property! He [Dawud] said: I did not kill him - it was the head of my guards. He [the Imam] said: by your permission or without? He [Dawud] said: without my permission. He [al-Sadiq] said: O Ismail have your way with him! he [al-Mismai] said: so Ismail came out with a sword and killed him in his seating place. 

Hammad from al-Mismai from Muattib who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام remained standing in worship and in prostration the whole night. I heard him calling out near the end of the night whilst in prostration: O Allah, I ask you by your irrepressible strength, and your over-powering awe, and by your might in the face of which your creatures are abased, that you bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and that you take him this moment! He [Muattib] said: by Allah he [the Imam] had not raised his head from the prostration when we heard a cry and they said Dawud b. Ali has died.  Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: I supplicated against him to Allah with a supplication due to which Allah sent him an angel who struck his head with a hammer and caused his bladder to split.


[3/263] رجال الكشي: حمدويه، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن إبراهيم بن عبد الحميد، عن الوليد بن صبيح قال: قال داود بن علي لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام: ما أنا قتلته يعني معلى قال: فمن قتله؟ قال: السيرافي و كان صاحب شرطته، قال: أقدنا منه قال: قد أقدتك، قال: فلما أخذ السيرافي و قدم ليقتل جعل يقول: يا معشر المسلمين يأمروني بقتل الناس فأقتلهم لهم ثم يقتلوني، فقتل السيرافي

[3/263] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh from Muhammad b. Isa from Ibrahim b. Abd al-Hamid from al-Walid b. Sabih who said: Dawud b. Ali said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: I am not the one who killed him - that is Mualla [b. Khunays]. He [the Imam] said: then who killed him? he said: al-Sayrafi - who was the man in charge of his guards. He [the Imam] said: grant us retaliation. He [Dawud] said: I have. So when al-Sayrafi was taken and was about to be killed he began saying: O masses of the Muslims, they order me to kill people so I kill them for them then they kill me. al-Sayrafi was then executed.  


[4/264] رجال الكشي: محمد بن مسعود، عن الفضل، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن إبراهيم بن عبد الحميد، عن إسماعيل بن جابر قال: قدم أبو إسحاق عليه السلام من مكة، فذكر له قتل المعلى بن خنيس قال: فقام مغضبا يجر ثوبه، فقال له إسماعيل ابنه: يا أبة أين تذهب قال: لو كانت نازلة لأقدمت عليها، فجاء حتى دخل على داود بن علي، فقال له: يا داود لقد أتيت ذنبا لا يغفره الله لك، قال: و ما ذاك الذنب؟ قال: قتلت رجلا من أهل الجنة ثم مكث ساعة ثم قال: إن شاء الله، فقال له داود: و أنت قد أتيت ذنبا لا يغفره الله لك قال: و ما ذاك الذنب؟ قال: زوجت ابنتك فلانا الأموي، قال: إن كنت زوجت فلانا الأموي فقد زوج رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم عثمان، و لي برسول الله أسوة، قال: ما أنا قتلته، قال: فمن قتله؟ قال: قتله السيرافي، قال: فأقدنا منه قال: فلما كان من الغد غدا إلى السيرافي فأخذه فقتله، فجعل يصيح: يا عباد الله يأمروني أن أقتل لهم الناس و يقتلوني  

[4/264] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Masud from al-Fadhl from Ibn Abi Umayr from Ibrahim b. Abd al-Hamid from Ismail b. Jabir who said: Abu Ishaq [al-Sadiq] عليه السلام arrived from Makkah and the killing of Mualla b. Khunays was mentioned to him. He [Ismail] said: So he stood up in anger - dragging his garment [on the ground i.e. moving in a hurry]. Ismail - his son - said to him: O father - where are you going? He said: even if it were a calamity [that be in front of me] - I would still head out towards it! so he went until he entered upon Dawud b. Ali [i.e. the Abbasid governor of Madina]. He [the Imam] said to him: O Dawud - you have committed a sin for which Allah will never forgive you! He [Dawud] said: and what is that sin? He said: you have killed a man from the people of Jannah - then he paused for a bit - then he added: if Allah wills. Dawud said to him: and you have also committed a sin for which Allah will never forgive you! He [the Imam] said: and what is that sin? He [Dawud] said: you married off your daughter to so and so - the Ummayad. He [the Imam] said: if I have married her off to so and so - the Umayyad - then the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم had given in marriage to Uthman, and I have in the Messenger of Allah an example [to follow]. He [Dawud] said: it is not me who killed him. He [the Imam] said: then who killed him? He [Dawud] said: al-Sayrafi killed him. He [the Imam] said: then retaliate on our behalf over him. So when it was the morrow - he [Dawud] came to him [al-Sayrafi] first thing in the morning - took him and had him killed. He [al-Sayrafi] began to cry out [before his execution]: O slaves of Allah! they order me to kill people for them and then they kill me!


The Imam knew that Dawud was the one ultimately responsible for killing Mualla. When Dawud was confronted by the Imam - he took the easy way out as any tyrant would and got rid of the lackey after using him. Since the Imam knew that there is no way Dawud would admit to his own guilt, he took the second best option which was to demand justice for Mualla by demanding Qisas from the one who actually carried out the killing. May this be a lesson to those who are used and discarded that they are not totally absolved of responsibility and cannot claim that they are just following instructions.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now