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In the Name of God بسم الله
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(bismillah) One the various compilation that our Qudamaa’ [ra] put to gether, one of the most interesting ones, to me, is Qurb al-Isnad by `Abdullah b. Jafar al-Himyari [ra]. A famous thiqa scholar who’s trustworthiness and knowledge is undoubted. His book is narrated from by the 3 Muhammads [as] in their large compilations. However, upon the majority, the book form that has reached us is not reliable in its tareeq or it’s contents Majalisi included in Bihar. However, the tareeq of Sh. Hurr al-Amili to the book is reliable and he has included many narrations from the book in Wasaa’il al-Shi`ah. Therefore, the `ulemaa’ take into consideration the book’s narrations as found in Wasaa’il. One of the usool books that Himyari [ra] relies on heavily in his book is the Masaa’il of `Ali b. Jafar b. Muhammad al-`Alawi al-Uraydi [ra], the son of al-Sadiq [as] and brother al-Kathim [as] – he is thiqa as mentioned by Tusi in his Fihirist. His book is where he asks his brother [as] questions and he answers them. This masaa’il is also no reliable in its sanad as it is found in Bihar. But Himyari has a different tareeq and it is not related to what Majalisi compiled. This is the only one book he had and that was narrated from. The tareeq of al-Himyari [ra] as found in Qurb is the following, always: حدثنا عبد الله بن الحسن العلوي، عن جده علي بن جعفر قال: سألت أخي موسى بن جعفر عليه السلام `Abdullah b. al-Hasan al-`Alawi narrated to us from his grandfather `Ali b. Ja`far, he said: I asked my brother Musa b. Ja`far [as]… Unfortunately, this tareeq is weak because the intermediary between al-Himyari [as] and the Masaa’il, Abdullah b. al-Hasan, is majhool – very majhool. So it unfortunately would make everything al-Himyari [ra] takes from this Masaa’il as unreliable (this is if we put aside ideas like shuhra of the book and other reasons to accept it). However, if we examine al-Tusi’s [ra] turuq to the Masaa’il of `Ali b. Jafar in his Fihrist, we discover that al-Himyari [ra] received the book from another tareeq: ورواه أبو جعفر محمد بن علي بن الحسين بن بابويه، عن ابيه، عن سعد والحميري واحمد بن ادريس وعلي بن موسى، عن احمد بن محمد، عن موسى بن القاسم البجلي، عنه. And Abu Ja`far Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn b. Babuwayh [al-Saduq] narrated it from his father from Sa`d & al-Himyari & Ahmad b. Idris & Ali b. Musa from Ahmad b. Muhammad from Musa b. al-Qasim al-Bijli from him. This tareeq is saheeh. So we see that al-Himyari [ra] has a parallel chain running along with whatever he narrates through Abduallah b. al-Hasan, he also has from this tareeq which is saheeh. Why would he list this tareeq instead of the Saheeh one? Well, putting aside that rijal/dirayah was not always their goal, the point of Qurb al-Isnad (as evidence from his title, “Nearness of the Chain”) is to have the shortest chains possible. So the chain with the majhool grandson is shorter because then al-Himyari [ra] has one intermediary between him and the Masaa’il rather than 2. Therefore, everything al-Himyari [ra] narrates from the Masaa’il in Qurb al-Isnad, upon accepting this argument, is saheeh. والله أعلم All mistakes are my own and all guidance and correct information is from Allah [swt]. في امان الله
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