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Abbas

Hafs ibn Sulayman

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Salam Alaikum

This is a question directed at the Sunnis:

The recitation of Asim ibn Bahdalah al-Kufi al-Asadi as reported by his student Hafs ibn Sulayman al-Asadi is one of the most popular read by Muslims all across the globe and it has been standardised as the modern official recitation of the Quran.

However, if we look at the books of Rijal we see that Asim was reliable but weak in memorisation. Then we have serious statements against Hafs:

Al-Bukhari: “They (scholars) rejected him”

Muslim: “Rejected”

Al-Nisai: “Rejected” and “Not reliable, and his narrations are not written”

Ibn Hanbal, as reported by Ibn Abi Hatim through Abdullah: “His narrations are rejected”

Ibn Hanbal, as reported by Al-Dhahabi: “Yahya Al-Qattan narrated to me: Shu’bah mentioned Hafs ibn Sulayman and said that he used to take people’s books and eradicated them, he took his books and never returned it.”

Ibn Mu’in: “Not reliable” and, as related by Al-Saji, “Hafs and Abu Bakr (ibn Ayyash) were the most knowledgeable of people on the qira’ah of Asim, and Hafs’ recitation was better than Abu Bakr’s, but he was a liar and Abu Bakr was truthful”

Al-Darqutni: “Weak”

Ibn Hajr: “His hadeeth are rejected, despite that he is a leader in qira’ah”

Abu Hatim: “Rejected, he was not truthful”

Ibn Kharash: “Liar, fabricated hadeeth”

Ibn Uday: “Generally his ahadeeth are not protected”

Ibn Hibban: “He changed the chains of transmission, and fabricated chains for those that were mursal, and he used to take people’s books and eradicated them, and narrated them without having heard them.”

Ibn Al-Madini: “His hadeeth are weak”

Salih ibn Mohammad: “His hadeeth are not written, and all his hadeeth are objectionable”

Al-Saji: “He narrated from Sammak and others unfounded hadeeth”

Abu Zar’ah: “His hadeeth are weak”

How can the Sunnis concile the fact that Hafs is the narrator of the most popular recitation of the Quran today, and also that the scholars have spoken against him in such strong terms? Surely a recitation cannot rest on a chain weakened by the likes of Hafs?

An explanation would be appreciated.

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Bro Muhawir, have you never heard the hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) that:

"The one who narrates a lie and falsely alleges that he heard it from me is headed for the hellfire."?

How then, can a clear inmate of hellfire be a "specialist of Quran"? And so very trustworthy?

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A liar couldn't. But Hafs wasn't a liar. What happened was that he got confused with Hafs bin Sulayman Al-Basri over an incident where the latter would take books and not return them.

After all the Ummah agreed on him being trustworthy in Qur'aan.

Edited by Muhawir

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A liar couldn't. But Hafs wasn't a liar. What happened was that he got confused with Hafs bin Sulayman Al-Basri over an incident where the latter would take books and not return them.

After all the Ummah agreed on him being trustworthy in Qur'aan.

The Ummah seems to have also agreed on him being untrustworthy in Hadeeth. How can you reconcile the two? The recitation of the Quran is believed to have been passed from the Prophet through specific sahabah, then on to Hafs. The qira'ah is therefore also transmitted as hadeeth. If he is no reliable in hadeeth, and even accused of being a liar by some, then his qira'ah should also be regarded the same.

Your claim that he got confused with Hafs Al-Basri is also unsupported, as his reliability as enunciated by the jamhoor is far wider than a single claim. Hafs Al-Basri is regarded as thiqah and all those who said that Hafs Al-Kufi is unreliable said that Hafs Al-Basri is reliable and trustworthy. He was also much senior than Shu'bah for him to accuse him of taking books and never returning them. I have not read any Sunni book of rijal yet that says that there was this confusion between the two.

Please try again in explaining this inconsistency of non-acceptance in riwayah, but acceptance in riwayah of qira'ah.

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But Hafs wasn't a liar. What happened was that he got confused with Hafs bin Sulayman Al-Basri over an incident

Bro its my request that some reference(s) be mentioned with the above statement for those who would like to research. Thanks.

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What are you trying to prove? What's the point of this thread?

I would like to show the incredible inconsistencies in the Sunni hadeeth and rijal system - the Qira'ah most common today is related by a person accused of lying and apparently unanimously regarded as weak.

So if you are able to explain this, please do, I'm all eyes.

I also repeat brother Ibrahim's request for references from Muhawir to back up his claim.

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The Ummah seems to have also agreed on him being untrustworthy in Hadeeth

Nope, they haven't. For example, there are three narrations from Imam Ahmad in which he considers him to be good (one where he says that he is weak in Hadith). And similarly, Waqi' bin Al-jarrah considered him to be trustworthy in Hadith.

But the point is, him being weak in Hadith doesn't necessitate that he is weak in Quraan. He specialized in the latter, so it's not surprising to find him weak in the former. Likewise Imam Abu Hanifah was weak in Hadith, but a giant in Fiqh.

Adn such a discrepancy is very common even today, someone might be really into medical science, but only average in history, despite the fact that both really rely on having a good memory.

Your claim that he got confused with Hafs Al-Basri is also unsupported, as his reliability as enunciated by the jamhoor is far wider than a single claim. Hafs Al-Basri is regarded as thiqah and all those who said that Hafs Al-Kufi is unreliable said that Hafs Al-Basri is reliable and trustworthy. He was also much senior than Shu'bah for him to accuse him of taking books and never returning them. I have not read any Sunni book of rijal yet that says that there was this confusion between the two.

The problem was that when one scholar made the confusion, probably Imam Bukhari, many following scholars just took from him, so the mistake became popular and while Hafs Al-Basri was not charged for that event, our Hafs was. I am not aware of any other event that was mentioned as a charge to justify why he was weakened.

The proof that the narration refers to the Basri is the fact that Ibn Sa'd in his Tabaqat ascribes this habit to Hafs under the category of the scholars of Basrah.

Bro its my request that some reference(s) be mentioned with the above statement for those who would like to research. Thanks.

There is a nice article on the topic that explains the main points here:

http://eld3wah.com/vb/t1575.html

Enjoy.

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