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Essays On Rijal

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This is a partial (not word to word - with my own many embellishments) translation of a discussion from ash-Shaykh al-Muhsini's al-Buhuth fi al-Ilm ar-Rijal.

Basically, he questions the authenticity of the available Tawthiqat.

This is a basic problem in Ilm ar-Rijal which needs to be answered, he tries giving his own half convincing reasoning in the end.

Maybe some Rijalis can give it a go in trying to come up with good answers.

The Fourth Discussion

About the I'tibar (dependence) on the available Tawthiqat

(Know that) the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil like the Shaykh (at-Tusi), an-Najashi, and others apart from them - did not meet or live in the time of the companions of the prophet and Amir-al-Mu'minin, or for that matter, the companions of the Aimmah.

Thus, their words and evaluations (which they recorded) about them (i.e. the companions) cannot possibly be originating from their sensory observation [Hiss] directly.

But this (i.e. that their words and evaluations about the companions be originating from sensory observation [Hiss]) is a necessity.

Knowing the above (we come to an understanding that) either their (i.e. the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil's) Tawthiqat and Tadhifat are:

(1) built upon the foundation of their own personal Ijtihad -

making use of the indicators of probability (assumptions of likelihood);

OR

(2) narrated from individual from individual -

until it ends up to someone [whom we will call - the principal narrator of the Tawthiq or Tadhif] who has possibility of sensory observation to the narrator-companion in question.

OR

(3) some (Tawthiqat and Tadhifat) are built on ther personal Ijtihad and others on narrations from individual from individual.

and (know that apart from this) there is no fourth option.

And considering all the options above, there is no Hujiyyah (argument) (upon us) at all.

For in the first case [i.e. wherein we assume that the words and evaluations are from the personal Ijtihad of the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil - and making use of the indicators of probability (assumptions of likelihood)], (we are to recognize that) their views are originating from their cognitive function (Hadas), and herein lies the problem, for Hadas is not a Hujjah upon us, for even when you use the axiom/principle of following the action of the intelligent man, it is true that it guides us to accept the words and evaluations of the Thiqaat (which the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil undoubtedly are) but only when their words and evaluation originate from their use of sensory observation [Hiss] or what is very close to being that (falling under that category) to formulate their opinion, not from the use of their cognitive function [Hadas], this is especially so when you consider the gap (between their time and that of the companions).

(and that is what we are being asked to do - in accepting this from the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil when we assume that their words and evaluations originate from option 1).

And if we choose the second option (2 above) (i.e. that the words and evaluations are based upon narration from individual from individual) - it then comes to light that most of the Tawthiqat we have are Mursal (disconnected), for the identity of the principal narrator [who has the opportunity of sensory observation] of the Tawthiq or Jarh (and the chain to him) in the books of Rijal are not given - in most cases.

And upon the Mursalat there can be no dependence.

Yes, a number of Tawthiqat are narrated with a complete chain (Musnad), like those in Rijal al-Kashi, and these are the Tawthiqat upon which there can be no doubt about their Hujiyyah (use as proof) and dependence upon them, that is of course if the Sanad is Mu'tabar, and they are in the minority.

And the outcome is that:

Most of the Tawthiqat are like the Mursal Riwayah, so the way ash-Shaykh at-Tusi says: "as-Sadiq said the following - ...." and does not mention his Sanad to Him, and we do not accept the attribution, the same conclusion should be drawn to the case wherein he says: "Mas'adah b. Sadaqh - from the companions of as-Sadiq, Thiqah" - because they are alike in every way, so how do we take the second, and do not accept the first?

And we used to ask our teacher the Sayyid al-Khui in our days of tutelage under him in Najaf al-Ashraf this very question, and he did not have a satisfying answer, and he used to say, when my book on Rijal is published (i.e. the Mu'jam), you will find your answer in it, and we studied the book after its publication, and found that he had attempted to answer the first doubt, that is - are the Tawthiqat (we have) sensory [Hiss] in origin?, but not the second doubt [that is, what about the chain in-between the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil and the principal narrator who performs the sensory observation, that is, after you have attempted to prove that they - the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil and the principal narrators recognised the importance of sensory observation and that the principal narrators were performing sensory observation to formulate their opinion of a companion-narrator, why are not the chains to them recorded by the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil?], and I used to ask him about this second doubt repeatedly.

It should be mentioned here, that even in this, he (al-Khui) was not able to prove that all the Tawthiqat are based upon sensory observation (of the principal narrator - narrating the Tawthiq), but he has proved that many of them are sensory in origin, and that not all are based on cognitive functioning [Hadas], and this much is agreed upon by all - simply when you refer back to study any source book of Rijal this will become clear to you, but it is not enough as you have known (for even if we agree that the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil are quoting the principal narrator who makes the Tawthiq - basing his evaluation on sensory observation - what is the Sanad to him?)

And I had raised this same question to a group of the scholars of the time, like the Sayyid our teacher al-Hakim, and the Shaykh al-Hilli (in Mashad al-Alawiy), and the Sayyid al-Milani (in Mashad Radhawiy), and the Sayyid al-Khumayni in Najaf al-Ashraf, and others apart from them, may Allah have mercy on all of them, and also to a group of scholars of the city of Qumm al-Muqadasa, but to no avail, for no one has come up with something to satisfy me.

to be continued ...

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(bismillah)

(salam)

Yea this is a big issue i have as well. Whereas many of the Sunni scholars of rijal were actually there and testing narrators, we don't have much of the same thing with Shia rijal. Yes people will point to the rijal of al-Fadhl bin Shadhan but this is only quoted like half a dozen times in al-Najashi and reaches us by means of a majhool narrator, unless someone can provide the tawtheeq.

And out of curiosity brother, what is the Arabic word which you have translated as "lords"?

But i'm interested to continue reading; maybe the author will solve this problem.

And Allah(swt) knows best

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Salaam.

@MuslimUnity

I do not know of english books on Rijal, this particular book - al-Buhuth fi Ilm ar-Rijal is availabe to download, it is in Arabic unfortunately.

@ImamAliLover

The word used is 'Arbaab' brother.

As in Rabb al-Bayt (lord/owner of the house).

Of course I could have translated it in another way denoting their ownership/posession of the science.

Summary:

al-Muhsini says that anyone will agree that the Tawthiqat available to us from the scholars of Jarh and Ta'dil are based either on their (i.e. the scholar's) Hiss (sensory observation) or Hadas (cognitive function).

As for Hiss (sensory observation) - this is impossible for the most popular of them - for they came after the time of the companions.

As for Hadas (cognitive function), when they use this, they are using personal Ijtihad to evaluate the Wathaqa of an individual who came before their time,

(Example: one method is checking the Mutun of the narrations narrated by a narrator and advocating his Wathaqa or lack of it solely based on that),

then he says that if a Tawthiq is based on Hadas it is not an argument upon us or binding upon us at all.

He says that it is true that we must accept the Thiqah's words about a narrator but only if these words are based on sensory observation (personal experience) of the Thiqah, it is also true that the scholars of Jarh and Ta'dil like an-Najashi and at-Tusi were Thiqaat, but their words cannot possibly come from Hiss, and if it is Hadas they used then again - it is not binding upon us.

Why?

If a Thiqah meets a person and then goes on to vouch for his reliability in memory then since he is Thiqah he cannot be lying.

BUT

If a Thiqah does not meet the person, but uses probability/likelihood and other indicators (personal Ijtihad) and uses these to rule on the reliability of memory of a narrator --> then it is not binding for us to accept this view, as he can err in his Ijtihad, furthermore, if this were allowed, what is stopping the Tawthiq of the Muta'akhir, which currently could depend only on Hadas.

Since the Scholars of Jarh and Ta'dil could not meet the companions, a valid way for the Tawthiq is to narrate from individual from Individual until it reaches to an individual who made the sensory observation, of course all the Individuals in this chain would have to be Thiqah themselves (circular argument? think about it, not a circular argument, since these individuals would also have gone through the same process - peer to peer authentication).

The question is, do the majority of the evaluations in the books of Rijal qualify?

Example:

at-Tusi says only --> Mas'adah b. Sadaqah: Thiqah,

Now how did he reach this opinion, if it was Hadas, it is not binding, if he got it from someone who was Mas'adah's contemporary - what is the chain from him to this contemporary, why did he not mention it?, if this is not available then this view is Mursal.

And if we cannot depend on the Marasil in Riwayah, how can we depend upon it in Tawthiq?

This is the basic problem in Rijal.

So a good example of the Tawthiqat that pass the test are those that are in Rijal al-Kashi, since we have chains from the author to an individual - contemporary of X talking about the Tawthiq of X [of course the members of the chain have to be Thiqah].

Inshallah, he goes on at length, and I will try to translate further the discussion.

But more importantly, can we advance some answers to such a question?

Edited by Islamic Salvation
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So a good example of the Tawthiqat that pass the test are those that are in Rijal al-Kashi, since we have chains from the author to an individual - contemporary of X talking about the Tawthiq of X [of course the members of the chain have to be Thiqah].

Which brings us to a chicken and egg, since we only "know" the people in the chain would be thiqa because the rijal books say so.

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Whereas many of the Sunni scholars of rijal were actually there and testing narrators, we don't have much of the same thing with Shia rijal.

Not really true. Fact is they don't actually know where their own tawthiqat and such come from either, not to mention the huge amount of contradictions that exist in the works they do have. Our rijal situation is far from ideal, but there's is certainly no shining example in comparison.

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Which brings us to a chicken and egg, since we only "know" the people in the chain would be thiqa because the rijal books say so.

Wouldn't the idea be something like the follows?

A met and vouches for B who met and vouches for C who met and vouches for D who met and vouches for E who met and vouches for F, the person in question. If you believe A that, B is a trustworthy individual, then B can be trusted in his vouching for C. Similarly, if C is trustworthy, he can be trusted in his judgment of D, and so on, back to F.

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Which brings us to a chicken and egg, since we only "know" the people in the chain would be thiqa because the rijal books say so.

Not really, if we picture say, for example, an-Najashi who does the Tawthiq of his Shaykh (Example: Abu Ali b. Hammam), and Abu Ali b. Hammam does a Tawthiq of his Shaykh (Muhammad b. Masud), as narrated by his student an-Najashi himself.

And then al-Kashi narrates a report with his Shaykh (the same) Muhammad b. Masud (who has the Tawthiq of Abu Ali, Abu Ali who has the Tawthiq of an-Najashi) saying I met Ali b. Hasan b. Fadhal and he is Thiqah, here the Tawthiq of Ali b. Hasan b. Fadhal has been proven without chicken - egg comparisons, and is valid.

Of course, the Tawthiq of an-Najashi and al-Kashi is assumed self evident.

Thus we have a pool of peer associated review.

Edited by Islamic Salvation
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Wouldn't the idea be something like the follows?

A met and vouches for B who met and vouches for C who met and vouches for D who met and vouches for E who met and vouches for F, the person in question. If you believe A that, B is a trustworthy individual, then B can be trusted in his vouching for C. Similarly, if C is trustworthy, he can be trusted in his judgment of D, and so on, back to F.

That is the idea, and it would be valid, but the problem in practise is that if A is a Najashi, we may know his opinion of B, since he took it upon himself to compile his views on his Shuyukh and others, now how do we know B vouches for C (apart from the fact that he narrates from him - which would not be enough in the so-called modern Ilm Rijal, we need B being quoted as vouching for C, and so on).

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(wasalam)

These are just a few thoughts...

This is a partial (not word to word - with my own many embellishments) translation of a discussion from ash-Shaykh al-Muhsini's al-Buhuth fi al-Ilm ar-Rijal.

JazakAllah khayr.

Basically, he questions the authenticity of the available Tawthiqat.

This is a basic problem in Ilm ar-Rijal which needs to be answered, he tries giving his own half convincing reasoning in the end.

Maybe some Rijalis can give it a go in trying to come up with good answers.

The Fourth Discussion

About the I'tibar (dependence) on the available Tawthiqat

(Know that) the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil like the Shaykh (at-Tusi), an-Najashi, and others apart from them - did not meet or live in the time of the companions of the prophet and Amir-al-Mu'minin, or for that matter, the companions of the Aimmah.

Thus, their words and evaluations (which they recorded) about them (i.e. the companions) cannot possibly be originating from their sensory observation [Hiss] directly.

But this (i.e. that their words and evaluations about the companions be originating from sensory observation [Hiss]) is a necessity.

Knowing the above (we come to an understanding that) either their (i.e. the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil's) Tawthiqat and Tadhifat are:

(1) built upon the foundation of their own personal Ijtihad -

making use of the indicators of probability (assumptions of likelihood);

OR

(2) narrated from individual from individual -

until it ends up to someone [whom we will call - the principal narrator of the Tawthiq or Tadhif] who has possibility of sensory observation to the narrator-companion in question.

OR

(3) some (Tawthiqat and Tadhifat) are built on ther personal Ijtihad and others on narrations from individual from individual.

and (know that apart from this) there is no fourth option.

The sources for the tawtheeqaat in the books of Tusi and Najashi and others as far as I can see:

1) Tawtheeq came from a ma`soom through a tareeq.

2) Tawtheeq came from a reliable Imami, like al-Fadhl.

3) Tawtheeq was known and passed down the generations.

These would fall under point (2) of shaykh al-Muhsini.

4) Tawtheeq came from direct contact with narrators.

5) They would go through the narrations reported by a narrator and compare them to other narrations.

These would fall under point (1) of shaykh al-Muhsini

Of course, it is a mixture of both.

And considering all the options above, there is no Hujiyyah (argument) (upon us) at all.

For in the first case [i.e. wherein we assume that the words and evaluations are from the personal Ijtihad of the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil - and making use of the indicators of probability (assumptions of likelihood)], (we are to recognize that) their views are originating from their cognitive function (Hadas), and herein lies the problem, for Hadas is not a Hujjah upon us, for even when you use the axiom/principle of following the action of the intelligent man, it is true that it guides us to accept the words and evaluations of the Thiqaat (which the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil undoubtedly are) but only when their words and evaluation originate from their use of sensory observation [Hiss] or what is very close to being that (falling under that category) to formulate their opinion, not from the use of their cognitive function [Hadas], this is especially so when you consider the gap (between their time and that of the companions).

(and that is what we are being asked to do - in accepting this from the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil when we assume that their words and evaluations originate from option 1).

One who examines a narrator in person can potentialy establish the accuracy and honesty, and ultimately their tawtheeq. (And of course, one can also a narrator by questioning the students of a narrator or someone else who examined the narrator).

In the absence of a tareeq to tawtheeq (from someone who had personal contact with the narrator in question), then what is wrong with alternative forms of tawtheeq or tadh`eef? For example, shaykh Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri said:

7 – Isma`il b. Mihran b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr. As-Sukuni. Known by the kunya Abu Muhammad. His hadiths are not pure, sometimes they are disturbed, and others are upright. He narrates from weak narrators a lot. It is permissible to bring his (hadith) out as a witness.

In this case, Tusi and Najashi says that he is thiqa and mu`tamad. Here Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri has examined the ahadeeth of the rawi - despite the tawtheeq - and identified that some of the hadeeths through him are faulty.

Hence Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri says about unclear narrators, about whom clear tawtheeq and tadh`eef either did not exist as far as we know, that "(some of) his hadeeth are recognised, and (some are) denied" and "it is permissible to rely on him as a witness" and so on.

What then is wrong with this?

And if we choose the second option (2 above) (i.e. that the words and evaluations are based upon narration from individual from individual) - it then comes to light that most of the Tawthiqat we have are Mursal (disconnected), for the identity of the principal narrator [who has the opportunity of sensory observation] of the Tawthiq or Jarh (and the chain to him) in the books of Rijal are not given - in most cases.

Yes. However, they will not have come from random individuals, but from previous scholars of rijaal. You will sometimes see the same, if not very similar, words used by Tusi and Najashi; Najashi obviously took it from Najashi. Tusi also copied Kashshi's personal statements (without naming Kashshi as the source). Tusi also copied Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri. They must also have copied and relied on earlier rijaal books.

For example for Ismaa`eel bin Ali bin Ali, notice the identical wording:

إسماعيل بن علي بن علي:

Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri:

كان بواسط مقامه وولى الحسبة بها. كان كذابًا وضاعًا للحديث.

Fihrist at-Tusi:

كان بواسط مقامه وولى الحسبة بها. وكان مختلط الأمر في الحديث يعرف وينكر.

Najashi:

كان بواسط مقامه وولى الحسبة بها. وكان مختلطًا يعرف منه وينكر.

Furthermore, if you look at a person upon whom there is ikhtilaaf, then you will see more sources given; for example, see Najashi's entry on Muhammed bin Isa bin `Ubayd in which he gives a breakdown of individual comments and references the sources with the name of the scholars in order to support his grading.

And upon the Mursalat there can be no dependence.

Even if we say that there is weakness in the maraseel, then then becomes a limitation of the surviving `ilm ar-rijaal. And this limitation, with the `ulema depending on the akhbaar and ijtihaad, is better than nothing. Without it, there is far too much subjectivity in accepting and rejecting narrations. For example, I have seen one knowledgable brother reject kitab Sulaym and another accept it; (both do not place serious weight in `ilm ar-rijaal).

Yes, a number of Tawthiqat are narrated with a complete chain (Musnad), like those in Rijal al-Kashi, and these are the Tawthiqat upon which there can be no doubt about their Hujiyyah (use as proof) and dependence upon them, that is of course if the Sanad is Mu'tabar, and they are in the minority.

And the outcome is that:

Most of the Tawthiqat are like the Mursal Riwayah, so the way ash-Shaykh at-Tusi says: "as-Sadiq said the following - ...." and does not mention his Sanad to Him, and we do not accept the attribution, the same conclusion should be drawn to the case wherein he says: "Mas'adah b. Sadaqh - from the companions of as-Sadiq, Thiqah" - because they are alike in every way, so how do we take the second, and do not accept the first?

I have not looked into the wording that the Shaykh uses. However if we turn to al-Faqeeh, shaykh as-Sadooq seems to choose his wording carefully. Where he says, "rawa fulan" or "qaala fulan", it is seems that he is narrating this with certainty; however if he says "ruwiyah fulan", then not so. In the same way, why can we not accept the maraseel of the `ulema ar-rijaal who give explicit tawtheeq or tadh`eef? They knew the importance and the gravity of this, for it affects who we rely on for our Deen and it could defame one who was `adil. For example, about Ahmed bin Ali ar-Razi, Tusi says:

قال أصحابنا لم يكن بذاك. وقيل فيه غلو وترفع.

the important word being "qeela". Tusi also says "qeela" when telling us that Muhammed bin Isa bin Ubayd was (perhaps) a ghali.

That is the idea, and it would be valid, but the problem in practise is that if A is a Najashi, we may know his opinion of B, since he took it upon himself to compile his views on his Shuyukh and others, now how do we know B vouches fo...

What about the tawtheeq for Najashi? Can we establish it? Or do we rely on it being self-evident?

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The sources for the tawtheeqaat in the books of Tusi and Najashi and others as far as I can see:

1) Tawtheeq came from a ma`soom through a tareeq.

2) Tawtheeq came from a reliable Imami, like al-Fadhl.

3) Tawtheeq was known and passed down the generations.

These would fall under point (2) of shaykh al-Muhsini.

Agreed, but the Sanad of the Tawthiq from the Ma'sum should be Mu'tabar, also that going to Fadhl, and he (Fadhl) should be basing his judgements on Hiss.

That Tawthiq was passed down from generation to generation is the most common procedure according to al-Muhsini, as we will see, his only beef is that we do not have the Turuq for it.

So his question is this --> how do we justify methodologically the Mursal Tawthiqat of an-Najashi and at-Tusi, when we do not accept their Mursal Riwayat.

4) Tawtheeq came from direct contact with narrators.

5) They would go through the narrations reported by a narrator and compare them to other narrations.

These would fall under point (1) of shaykh al-Muhsini

Of course, it is a mixture of both.

Number 4 is Hiss, which the scholars of Jarh and Ta'dil would have done to their contemporaries and Shuyukh, and this is accepted by al-Muhsini, and these Tawthiqat would be valid.

One who examines a narrator in person can potentialy establish the accuracy and honesty, and ultimately their tawtheeq. (And of course, one can also a narrator by questioning the students of a narrator or someone else who examined the narrator).

In the absence of a tareeq to tawtheeq (from someone who had personal contact with the narrator in question), then what is wrong with alternative forms of tawtheeq or tadh`eef? For example, shaykh Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri said:

7 – Isma`il b. Mihran b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr. As-Sukuni. Known by the kunya Abu Muhammad. His hadiths are not pure, sometimes they are disturbed, and others are upright. He narrates from weak narrators a lot. It is permissible to bring his (hadith) out as a witness.

In this case, Tusi and Najashi says that he is thiqa and mu`tamad. Here Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri has examined the ahadeeth of the rawi - despite the tawtheeq - and identified that some of the hadeeths through him are faulty.

Hence Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri says about unclear narrators, about whom clear tawtheeq and tadh`eef either did not exist as far as we know, that "(some of) his hadeeth are recognised, and (some are) denied" and "it is permissible to rely on him as a witness" and so on.

What then is wrong with this?

According to al-Muhsini, the problem is that the Tawthiq or Tadhif by Ibn al-Ghadhairi in the above cases (and mostly Ibn al-Ghadhairi relies on this method) is based on Hadas (his cognitive function) i.e. his Ijtihad.

And most scholars of Rijal do not accept a Tawthiq originating from Ijtihad, example al-Khui, since they say that the signs of Sidq and Adalah (which establish Wathaqa in anyone) are Hissiyah (to be physically/sensorily observed), not decided upon using Ijtihad.

And if we are to accept the evaluation originating from a scholar's Ijtihad, then nothing stops the Tawthiq of the Muta'akhir, so even latter-day scholars like those of today would be allowed to use their Ijtihad to establish Wathaqa of a narrator, and this is not agreeable to al-Khui and his students like al-Muhsini.

Yes. However, they will not have come from random individuals, but from previous scholars of rijaal. You will sometimes see the same, if not very similar, words used by Tusi and Najashi; Najashi obviously took it from Najashi. Tusi also copied Kashshi's personal statements (without naming Kashshi as the source). Tusi also copied Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri. They must also have copied and relied on earlier rijaal books.

For example for Ismaa`eel bin Ali bin Ali, notice the identical wording:

إسماعيل بن علي بن علي:

Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri:

كان بواسط مقامه وولى الحسبة بها. كان كذابًا وضاعًا للحديث.

Fihrist at-Tusi:

كان بواسط مقامه وولى الحسبة بها. وكان مختلط الأمر في الحديث يعرف وينكر.

Najashi:

كان بواسط مقامه وولى الحسبة بها. وكان مختلطًا يعرف منه وينكر.

Furthermore, if you look at a person upon whom there is ikhtilaaf, then you will see more sources given; for example, see Najashi's entry on Muhammed bin Isa bin `Ubayd in which he gives a breakdown of individual comments and references the sources with the name of the scholars in order to support his grading.

You are right, they do come from previous scholars (mostly their Shuyukh) like:

Ibn Walid, al-Uqayqi, Ibn Buttah, Husayn b. Ubaydullah, Ibn Nuh, Ibn Uqdah, Abil Mufadhal, Ibn Babawayh - as al-Muhsini goes on to say in his Bahth, but even when we reach to these previous Rijal scholars the question remains - how did they come to their conclusions?

I mean me and you know that an-Najashi and at-Tusi were not pulling it out of thin air, and the importance of it, but how can you then prove that to someone, by the same token we are not ready to accept the Mursalat of a Thiqah.

Even if we say that there is weakness in the maraseel, then then becomes a limitation of the surviving `ilm ar-rijaal. And this limitation, with the `ulema depending on the akhbaar and ijtihaad, is better than nothing. Without it, there is far too much subjectivity in accepting and rejecting narrations. For example, I have seen one knowledgable brother reject kitab Sulaym and another accept it; (both do not place serious weight in `ilm ar-rijaal).

Of course this is a logical exercise by al-Muhsini, but the point he brings out according to him was to show that Ilm Rijal has got insufficiency and contradicts itself in its basic methodology, which we will have to put a blind eye to, and use what we have got, use stringent rules in the branches, but not on the root.

He himself says it is the best way we have, and that what pleases his soul is to use the Sahih, Hasan and Muwathaq only in Fiqh, as current principles dictate.

But he says in the end, that if this problem was solved - Ilm Rijal would be fully compliant with rules of logic and Shariah, without solving it, there remains a leap of faith, he even promises money to someone who can give an answer to it.

I have not looked into the wording that the Shaykh uses. However if we turn to al-Faqeeh, shaykh as-Sadooq seems to choose his wording carefully. Where he says, "rawa fulan" or "qaala fulan", it is seems that he is narrating this with certainty; however if he says "ruwiyah fulan", then not so. In the same way, why can we not accept the maraseel of the `ulema ar-rijaal who give explicit tawtheeq or tadh`eef? They knew the importance and the gravity of this, for it affects who we rely on for our Deen and it could defame one who was `adil. For example, about Ahmed bin Ali ar-Razi, Tusi says:

قال أصحابنا لم يكن بذاك. وقيل فيه غلو وترفع.

the important word being "qeela". Tusi also says "qeela" when telling us that Muhammed bin Isa bin Ubayd was (perhaps) a ghali.

What about the tawtheeq for Najashi? Can we establish it? Or do we rely on it being self-evident?

You are right, but we have to ask ourselves - what is the source of their knowledge of the Tawthiq and the Tadhif, this is necessary, and once we delve into that, we realize that the foundation is not as solid as we thought, most Rijalis of today do not accept Mursalat as-Saduq outright.

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He himself says it is the best way we have, and that what pleases his soul is to use the Sahih, Hasan and Muwathaq only in Fiqh, as current principles dictate.

Thanks for all that, brother. How does Muhsini حفظه الله feel about rijal in areas of `aqeedah and tareekh? Does he make comment on the fact that establishing rijal is an effort of ijtihad to begin with - so the conclusions of al-Khoei are not binding Muhsini, nor are his conclusions binding on al-Rohani, etc and son on....?

في امان الله

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^

al-Muhsini says at the end of the Bahth:

"So we have no option (in Ilm ar-Rijal) but to unjustifiably build upon the Sihha (validity) of the Mursalat (of Tawthiq) even though we do not accept the Mursal in essence (at all).

And as for those who claim Ijma (consensus) of the Ulama al-Muta'akhireen (latter day scholars) from the time of the Shaykh (at-Tusi) and an-Najashi onwards upto our time (in using their Tawthiqat and Tadhifat) - to prove the Hujiyyah of the Tawthiqat of the Shaykh (at-Tusi), an-Najashi, al-Kashi (and others from the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil), then this argument of theirs (based upon Ijma) is wrong, for the Ijma (if it exists) is not Ta'abudi, nor is it revealing the word of the Ma'sum (which is the only Ijma we accept), furthermore we know that the Ulama have different paths and opinions about the Hujiyyah of these Tawthiqat given by the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil (i.e. thus there is no Ijma).

And what is also said in attempting to solve this problem that - referring back to the lords of Jarh and Ta'dil is necessary and justifiable by comparing it to referring back to the Ahl al-Khibra (which is proven by the intelligent man's action) - then this argument is the weakest (for we refer back to the Ahl al-Khibra only when we are sure that their knowledge is based upon solidity).

So if this Ishkal (problem) is not solvable, then we have no other way but to use the method of Insidad (instead of Rijal) and agree to its supremancy in decoding Fiqh.

But what is strange is that I myself personaly do not see in Insidad and its principles the competency to prove the Halal and Haram, and what I am inclined to, and what pleases me - is only acting by the Sahih Riwayah, and the Hasan, and the Muwathaq, based upon the Tawthiqat and Tadhifat of these honoured lords of Jarh and Ta'dil (despite seeing the evident unprovability of the Hujiyyah of their Tawthiqat and Tadhifat).

And if only I could find someone who could solve this shaming problem for me, I would have given him enough of wealth, and thanked him profusely.

But with the existence of this shaming problem, It is revealed that Ilm ar-Rijal is not compatible at its base with the rules of Aql and Shariah, as is evident.

And Allah is the guide, and the inspirer to the right.

And in concluding I summarize the problem to make it clear to those following the discussion... " (I will translate his summary Inshallah)

--> There is an argument to solve this problem forwarded by as-Sistani which he quotes (when they met to discuss), and which according to him he debunks (will be translated).

--> Also there is an argument which I think comes close to solving this problem, which he mentions but does not give it much consideration.

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That Tawthiq was passed down from generation to generation is the most common procedure according to al-Muhsini, as we will see, his only beef is that we do not have the Turuq for it.

It would not be necessary to quote a tareeq for (3). If the tawtheeq is passed down from generation to generation by its self-evident nature and by its prominence, then recording of the tareeq is unnecessary. For example, is it really necessary to give a tareeq for the tawtheeq of Ahmed bin Muhammed bin al-Ashari or Sad bin Abdullah, the leaders of Qumm? Their tawtheeq is self-evident, due to their prominence, position, their writings, and their status amongst the scholars/companions who succeeded them, etc.

Rather, the "beef" should be with tawtheeq for a low-key relatively unknown individual from an unknown source.

For example, Yahya bin Sa`eed is considered to have been a nasibi by some. He is reported to have levelled a form of criticism at Imam as-Sadiq, aleyhis salam. Yet, Najashi writes that he is thiqa.

So his question is this --> how do we justify methodologically the Mursal Tawthiqat of an-Najashi and at-Tusi, when we do not accept their Mursal Riwayat.

I mean me and you know that an-Najashi and at-Tusi were not pulling it out of thin air, and the importance of it, but how can you then prove that to someone, by the same token we are not ready to accept the Mursalat of a Thiqah.

Who is to say that when transmitting biographical information they felt bound by the same conditions of recording that they felt when transmitting reports attributed to the ma`soomeen? That is, when they had a hadeeth, they felt obliged to write the chain, and did so in the majority of cases. However, would they have felt that same obligation to record a tareeq when recording biographical information? Clearly not, judging by the books of rijaal. Having emphasised this, we then consider the nature of the recorded information. When recording information in the books of ahadeeth, were they only reporting the sihhaat? No, judging by the content of their books in which they weaken ahadeeth that they have quoted, or quote ahadeeth through narrators who they have weaken elsewhere (sometimes even in the same book). For example, shaykh as-Sadooq weakens Ahmed bin Hilaal in Kamal ad-Deen, yet in the same book later goes onto quote a hadeeth through Ibn Hilaal that has a strange, and possibly ghali, matn. The scholars were under no obligation to record only sihaat, and regardless of whatever their original intentions may have been, it is extremely unlikely that they considered every single thing that they quoted in any of their books to be authentic (saheeh as opposed to hujjah). However, when they quote biographical information in the books of rijaal, they are issuing this an ultimate judgement: "this man is a liar" or "this man is a trustworthy scholar, `ayn, jaleel". Al-Kashshi aside, they are not listening everything they know about a rawi, but issuing a judgement about who is a trustworthy source of Deen and who is not. If they are not careful, they risk seriously affecting the religion, not to mention defaming innocent men or making fasiq people greats. Najashi, a Shi`i scholar and rijal scholar, personally accepted the tariq/turuq of the grading that he recieved from predecessors.

Agreed, but the Sanad of the Tawthiq from the Ma'sum should be Mu'tabar, also that going to Fadhl, and he (Fadhl) should be basing his judgements on Hiss.

Number 4 is Hiss, which the scholars of Jarh and Ta'dil would have done to their contemporaries and Shuyukh, and this is accepted by al-Muhsini, and these Tawthiqat would be valid.

According to al-Muhsini, the problem is that the Tawthiq or Tadhif by Ibn al-Ghadhairi in the above cases (and mostly Ibn al-Ghadhairi relies on this method) is based on Hadas (his cognitive function) i.e. his Ijtihad.

And most scholars of Rijal do not accept a Tawthiq originating from Ijtihad, example al-Khui, since they say that the signs of Sidq and Adalah (which establish Wathaqa in anyone) are Hissiyah (to be physically/sensorily observed), not decided upon using Ijtihad.

I fail to see the problem if al-Fadhl had issued some of his tawtheeqaat and ta`deelaat without hiss. Hiss is not the only method for doing so. For example, comparing the narrations of a rawi or examining his works can expose lies, poor accuracy, etc. I also mentioned earlier in this post that fame, positions, writings etc. are also sufficient for recording mursal tawtheeq. And it is also sufficient for tawtheeq or tadh`eef in itself, such as it would be for shaykh as-Sadooq al-Awwal. For example, Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri examined writings and other evidences and gave the following judgements:

( 34 ) - 7 - الحَسَنُ بنُ العبّاس بن الحريش، الرازيّ، أبُو مُحَمَّد. ضَعِيْفٌ. رَوى‏ عن أبي جَعْفَر الثاني‏ (ع) «فضل إنّا أنزلناه في ليلة القدر» كتاباً مُصَنَّفاً، فاسِدَ الألْفاظ، (تَشْهَدُ مخايِلُهُ على أنّهُ مَوْضُوعٌ). وهذا الرَجُلُ لا يُلْتَفَتُ إليه، ولا يُكْتَبُ حديثُهُ.

7 – al-Hasan b. al-`Abbas b. al-Harish. Ar-Razi. Abu Muhammad. Weak. Narrated from Abu Ja`far ath-Thani عليه السلام “The Virtue of ‘Verily We have made it descend on the Night of Power’” a compiled book of corrupt expressions. (Its characteristic bear witness to its being forged.) This man is not to be regarded, and his hadith is not to be written.

( 38 ) - 11 - الحُسَيْنُ بنُ شاذَوَيْه، أبُو عَبْدِاللَّهِ، الصَفّارُ، القُمّيُّ. زَعَمَ القُمُّيون: أنّهُ كانَ غالِياً. ورأيتُ لَهُ كِتاباً في الصلاةِ سَدِيداً، واللَّهُ أعْلَمُ.

11 – al-Husayn b. Shadhawayh. Abu `Abdillah. As-Saffar. Al-Qummi. The Qummis alleged that he was a ghali. I saw a book from him about salat that was correct. Allah knows best.

( 41 ) - 14 - الحَسَنُ بنُ مُحَمَّد بن يَحْيى‏ بن الحَسَن، أبُو مُحَمَّد، العَلَويّ، الحُسَيْنيُّ، المَعْرُوفُ بابنِ أبي طاهِر. كانَ كذّاباً، يَضَعُ الحديثَ مُجاهَرَةً. ويَدَّعي رِجالاً غُرَباءَ لا يُعْرَفُون، ويَعْتَمِدُ مَجاهِيلَ‏ لا يُذْكَرُون. وما تَطِيْبُ الأنْفُسُ من رِوايَتِهِ إلّا في ما رواهُ من كُتُب جدّهِ التي رواها عنهُ غَيْرُهُ، وعن عليّ بن أَحْمَد بن عليّ العَقِيْقيّ، من كُتُبِهِ المُصَنَّفةِ المَشْهُورةِ.

14 – al-Husayn b. Muhammad b. Yahya b. al-Hasan. Abu Muhammad. Al-`Alawi. Al-Husayni. Known as Ibn Abi Tahir. He was a liar. He openly fabricated hadiths. He claimed strange rijal who are not recognized. He depended on unknown narrators who are not mentioned. None of his riwaya are good except for what he narrated from the books of his grandfather, which others apart than him have narrated, and from `Ali b. Ahmad b. `Ali al-`Aqiqi, from his famous written books.

And if we are to accept the evaluation originating from a scholar's Ijtihad, then nothing stops the Tawthiq of the Muta'akhir, so even latter-day scholars like those of today would be allowed to use their Ijtihad to establish Wathaqa of a narrator, and this is not agreeable to al-Khui and his students like al-Muhsini.

I don't see a problem with tawtheeq or tadh`eef from a late scholar. Rather the problem is with the loss of writings of individuals, reports attributed to individuals, etc., making a judgment nigh impossible. Rather, we would have to settle for weak form of strengthening or weakening, such as tarjeeh and tawaqquf.

You are right, they do come from previous scholars (mostly their Shuyukh) like:

Ibn Walid, al-Uqayqi, Ibn Buttah, Husayn b. Ubaydullah, Ibn Nuh, Ibn Uqdah, Abil Mufadhal, Ibn Babawayh - as al-Muhsini goes on to say in his Bahth, but even when we reach to these previous Rijal scholars the question remains - how did they come to their conclusions?

The four methods of recieving information were given earlier. I also made the point that a rijal scholar would understand the gravity in issuing a judgement, and would only do so based on a source/tariq that they found at an acceptable level of trustworthiness.

Of course this is a logical exercise by al-Muhsini, but the point he brings out according to him was to show that Ilm Rijal has got insufficiency and contradicts itself in its basic methodology, which we will have to put a blind eye to, and use what we have got, use stringent rules in the branches, but not on the root.

Contradictions if you assume that the scholars of rijal considered the recording of a hadeeth and biographical information and judgments of tawtheeq/tadh`eef the same.

There can be certain knowledge (yaqeen) and knowledge that we can take as a hujjah. Ilm ar-rijaal would fall under the second. Its limitations do not nullify it.

He himself says it is the best way we have, and that what pleases his soul is to use the Sahih, Hasan and Muwathaq only in Fiqh, as current principles dictate.

There was no marked distinction universally-applied between fiqh and aqeeda when it came to ahadeeth. Many compilers simply compiled a variety of subjects into a collection. The subject of the content of a matn (which in itself can be subjective) does not dictate the use of `ilm ar-rijaal.

Fiqh is important, but so is aqeeda or tareekh or other subjects. There is the possibility of voiding your `ibaadaat. But the wrong aqeeda can void your emaan or even your islaam. It would not make sense to use information concerning the accuracy of transmittors, and the strange beliefs of narrators in fiqh, and then to ignore it when it comes to aqeeda! Indeed, we see that the beliefs of an individual were carefully noted in the rijaal books and scholars, such as the Shaykh, set criteria for accepting ahadeeth from those who are not 12ers. (Rather the argument that should be argued (though not necessarily because it is correct) is that we apply `ilm ar-rijaal more strictly for aqeeda and become lenient when it comes to fiqh).

Inconsistency is another problem. If you trust a good chain, such as Kulayni->Qummi->his father->Ibn Abi Umayr->Jameel bin Darraaj->Imam, for fiqh, then why not trust it for aqeeda? And vice versa. A path of personalities is acceptable for one narration and not acceptable for another? How can this be logical when it is the same path/source giving both narrations? (Especially when many reports would have been collected and compiled together regardless of their content).

Do translate more of what al-Muhsini says, dear brother.

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It would not be necessary to quote a tareeq for (3). If the tawtheeq is passed down from generation to generation by its self-evident nature and by its prominence, then recording of the tareeq is unnecessary. For example, is it really necessary to give a tareeq for the tawtheeq of Ahmed bin Muhammed bin al-Ashari or Sad bin Abdullah, the leaders of Qumm? Their tawtheeq is self-evident, due to their prominence, position, their writings, and their status amongst the scholars/companions who succeeded them, etc.

Rather, the "beef" should be with tawtheeq for a low-key relatively unknown individual from an unknown source.

For example, Yahya bin Sa`eed is considered to have been a nasibi by some. He is reported to have levelled a form of criticism at Imam as-Sadiq, aleyhis salam. Yet, Najashi writes that he is thiqa.

Salaam.

According to al-Muhsini it would be necessary if Ilm Rijal wants to be self consistent, just as in Ahmad bin Muhammed bin Isa al-Ashari or Sa'ad bin Abdallah so to Yahya bin Said.

Of course, with those close to the time of ash-Shaykh and Najashi, we can rely on what al-Muhsini calls 'Qareeb anil Hiss' i.e. what is near to being Hiss, and this is a Hujjah for him, but what about the Narrators to the Sadiqayn who were hundreds of years away.

What al-Muhsini says is the following:

Consider we have a statement by Tusi or Najashi that says simply: "person A - Thiqah".

Now he questions the source of this statement, noting that it cannot be the author's Hiss [personal observation] as A was way beyond his time.

Either:

(I) Tusi or Najashi has based it on his Hadas [cognitive functioning] i.e. Ijtihad

OR

(II) Tusi or Najashi got this Tawthiq from predecessor from predecessor until someone who could have done A's personal observation and given the Tawthiq, that was passed down and recorded by Tusi or Najashi.

There can be no other option.

Now if we go with (I), he says that it is Batil, and this is his view and that of his teacher al-Khui,

Why?

Because the signs of Adalah or Sidq are physically observable, Adalah or Sidq cannot be decided upon from far away (generations apart) using probabilities of assumption.

And that is why both al-Khui and al-Muhsini do not accept the Tawthiq of the latter day scholar, and this is the view of the majority of scholars currently, and that is why they both do not accept the independent Tawthiq given by Ibn Tawus, Allamah Hilli or Ibn Dawud, or any other future scholar after them up to today, for they do not believe that they are basing it upon anything other than Hadas, which as previously stated is Batil.

Having said that, al-Khui goes for (II) as the source of all the Tawthiqat of Tusi and Najashi,

With al-Muhsini deciding that the majority of them are (II), and some are possibly (I), and we have to differentiate between the two.

Now the question that al-Muhsini poses, which al-Khui does not answer is:

Who are the individuals who were narrating these Tawthiqat from earlier times?

They are unknown, so how do we depend on them narrating the Tawthiq,

And also how then do we justify using Tusi's and Najashi's Mursal Tawthiq, when we do not use their Mursal Riwayah?

And this is where he says, Ilm Rijal is found wanting.

Who is to say that when transmitting biographical information they felt bound by the same conditions of recording that they felt when transmitting reports attributed to the ma`soomeen? That is, when they had a hadeeth, they felt obliged to write the chain, and did so in the majority of cases. However, would they have felt that same obligation to record a tareeq when recording biographical information? Clearly not, judging by the books of rijaal. Having emphasised this, we then consider the nature of the recorded information. When recording information in the books of ahadeeth, were they only reporting the sihhaat? No, judging by the content of their books in which they weaken ahadeeth that they have quoted, or quote ahadeeth through narrators who they have weaken elsewhere (sometimes even in the same book). For example, shaykh as-Sadooq weakens Ahmed bin Hilaal in Kamal ad-Deen, yet in the same book later goes onto quote a hadeeth through Ibn Hilaal that has a strange, and possibly ghali, matn. The scholars were under no obligation to record only sihaat, and regardless of whatever their original intentions may have been, it is extremely unlikely that they considered every single thing that they quoted in any of their books to be authentic (saheeh as opposed to hujjah). However, when they quote biographical information in the books of rijaal, they are issuing this an ultimate judgement: "this man is a liar" or "this man is a trustworthy scholar, `ayn, jaleel". Al-Kashshi aside, they are not listening everything they know about a rawi, but issuing a judgement about who is a trustworthy source of Deen and who is not. If they are not careful, they risk seriously affecting the religion, not to mention defaming innocent men or making fasiq people greats. Najashi, a Shi`i scholar and rijal scholar, personally accepted the tariq/turuq of the grading that he recieved from predecessors.

al-Muhsini says that the predecessors did not use the same methods as us in authenticating Ahadith i.e. Rijal as it is today, rather they used Qarain Kharijiyyah [external indicators] which were available to them and not to us.

But it was the norm at that time to record any attributable words with its Sanad from the speaker to the recorder, and this was quite rampant.

The question is - why did Tusi and Najashi not do this.

Your general argument is close to one of the arguments put forward that al-Muhsini does not accept, al-Muhsini outlines it below before going on to refute it.

"Yes, there is another thing that they use to differentiate between the Mursal Tawthiq and the Mursal Riwayah, so that they cann accept the former but still reject the latter, and they say: (for Tusi and Najashi) narrating a Riwayah from a Dhaif individual is possible, but narrating the Tawthiq [of a narrator] from a Dhaif individual is impossible, and it is not acceptable that this occur from the meritious, let alone these great ones, for the only reason for a Tawthiq is to establish the trustworthiness of the narrator and confirm him as not being a liar in his words and narrations, so that his narrations can thereafter be considered by the Ulama and the Mujtahidin, who themselves did not know of his condition before that Tawthiq was given, therefore, narrating a Tawthiq [of a narrator] from a Dhaif individual would be inherently wrong/against the purpose, for every intelligent one knows that the Wathaqa of a Majhul narrator cannot be established by the Tawthiq given by a liar or another Majhul person.

And no one is allowed to attribute this act to these great ones like the Shaykh and his like, who are the poles of the sciences of the Shariah.

So when the Shaykh rules on the Wathaqa of a narrator, he had no option but to have already investigated the Wathaqa of all those who narrated the Tawthiq of that narrator to him. And upon that the Tawthiq remains a Hujjah."

This argument is what al-Muhsini calls Husn adh-Dhann to the Shaykh and Najashi, and goes on to refute.

I fail to see the problem if al-Fadhl had issued some of his tawtheeqaat and ta`deelaat without hiss. Hiss is not the only method for doing so. For example, comparing the narrations of a rawi or examining his works can expose lies, poor accuracy, etc. I also mentioned earlier in this post that fame, positions, writings etc. are also sufficient for recording mursal tawtheeq. And it is also sufficient for tawtheeq or tadh`eef in itself, such as it would be for shaykh as-Sadooq al-Awwal. For example, Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri examined writings and other evidences and gave the following judgements:

( 34 ) - 7 - الحَسَنُ بنُ العبّاس بن الحريش، الرازيّ، أبُو مُحَمَّد. ضَعِيْفٌ. رَوى‏ عن أبي جَعْفَر الثاني‏ (ع) «فضل إنّا أنزلناه في ليلة القدر» كتاباً مُصَنَّفاً، فاسِدَ الألْفاظ، (تَشْهَدُ مخايِلُهُ على أنّهُ مَوْضُوعٌ). وهذا الرَجُلُ لا يُلْتَفَتُ إليه، ولا يُكْتَبُ حديثُهُ.

7 – al-Hasan b. al-`Abbas b. al-Harish. Ar-Razi. Abu Muhammad. Weak. Narrated from Abu Ja`far ath-Thani عليه السلام “The Virtue of ‘Verily We have made it descend on the Night of Power’” a compiled book of corrupt expressions. (Its characteristic bear witness to its being forged.) This man is not to be regarded, and his hadith is not to be written.

( 38 ) - 11 - الحُسَيْنُ بنُ شاذَوَيْه، أبُو عَبْدِاللَّهِ، الصَفّارُ، القُمّيُّ. زَعَمَ القُمُّيون: أنّهُ كانَ غالِياً. ورأيتُ لَهُ كِتاباً في الصلاةِ سَدِيداً، واللَّهُ أعْلَمُ.

11 – al-Husayn b. Shadhawayh. Abu `Abdillah. As-Saffar. Al-Qummi. The Qummis alleged that he was a ghali. I saw a book from him about salat that was correct. Allah knows best.

( 41 ) - 14 - الحَسَنُ بنُ مُحَمَّد بن يَحْيى‏ بن الحَسَن، أبُو مُحَمَّد، العَلَويّ، الحُسَيْنيُّ، المَعْرُوفُ بابنِ أبي طاهِر. كانَ كذّاباً، يَضَعُ الحديثَ مُجاهَرَةً. ويَدَّعي رِجالاً غُرَباءَ لا يُعْرَفُون، ويَعْتَمِدُ مَجاهِيلَ‏ لا يُذْكَرُون. وما تَطِيْبُ الأنْفُسُ من رِوايَتِهِ إلّا في ما رواهُ من كُتُب جدّهِ التي رواها عنهُ غَيْرُهُ، وعن عليّ بن أَحْمَد بن عليّ العَقِيْقيّ، من كُتُبِهِ المُصَنَّفةِ المَشْهُورةِ.

14 – al-Husayn b. Muhammad b. Yahya b. al-Hasan. Abu Muhammad. Al-`Alawi. Al-Husayni. Known as Ibn Abi Tahir. He was a liar. He openly fabricated hadiths. He claimed strange rijal who are not recognized. He depended on unknown narrators who are not mentioned. None of his riwaya are good except for what he narrated from the books of his grandfather, which others apart than him have narrated, and from `Ali b. Ahmad b. `Ali al-`Aqiqi, from his famous written books.

They only depend on Hiss, so even Fadhl statements should be based on Hiss.

al-Muhsini does not accept Ibn Ghadhairi's Tawthiq and Tadhif at all, just like al-Khui, for they believe that his book did not reach us with a Mu'tabar chain.

But if you look at Ibn Ghadhairi's methods, most are based on Hadas i.e. his Ijtihad, this would be Batil for them, and in his second discussion, al-Muhsini negates most of the things that the scholars depend on in doing Ijtihad to give Tawthiq or Tadhif, these include considerations of position, fame and writings, for these are subjective, I shall append this post with 34 reasons for giving Tawthiq (based on Ijtihad) that al-Muhsini thinks are wrong (without explaining his reasoning - which he gives - for brevity, though can expand on a point if asked to do so).

There was no marked distinction universally-applied between fiqh and aqeeda when it came to ahadeeth. Many compilers simply compiled a variety of subjects into a collection. The subject of the content of a matn (which in itself can be subjective) does not dictate the use of `ilm ar-rijaal.

Fiqh is important, but so is aqeeda or tareekh or other subjects. There is the possibility of voiding your `ibaadaat. But the wrong aqeeda can void your emaan or even your islaam. It would not make sense to use information concerning the accuracy of transmittors, and the strange beliefs of narrators in fiqh, and then to ignore it when it comes to aqeeda! Indeed, we see that the beliefs of an individual were carefully noted in the rijaal books and scholars, such as the Shaykh, set criteria for accepting ahadeeth from those who are not 12ers. (Rather the argument that should be argued (though not necessarily because it is correct) is that we apply `ilm ar-rijaal more strictly for aqeeda and become lenient when it comes to fiqh).

Inconsistency is another problem. If you trust a good chain, such as Kulayni->Qummi->his father->Ibn Abi Umayr->Jameel bin Darraaj->Imam, for fiqh, then why not trust it for aqeeda? And vice versa. A path of personalities is acceptable for one narration and not acceptable for another? How can this be logical when it is the same path/source giving both narrations? (Especially when many reports would have been collected and compiled together regardless of their content).

Do translate more of what al-Muhsini says, dear brother.

al-Muhsini agrees fully with you here, and he uses his Rijali principles throughout, not differentiating between Ahadith of Fiqh, Aqeedah, or Tarikh, and is famous for this, when you refer back to his Mashra'ah.

My statement should be understood as follows:

He himself says it is the best way we have, and that what pleases his soul is to use the Sahih, Hasan and Muwathaq only; in Fiqh, as current principles dictate.

He confined it to Fiqh here - as this is what the majority approve of, but it does not mean that he personally does not refer to it in all other subjects as his practise shows.

Insha Allah I will translate from the start, from discussion one onwards so as the picture becomes clear.

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The Reasons which may be used to give Tawthiq or Tahsin to someone and which are wrong (weak)

[taken from the Second Discussion].

[Note: al-Muhsini first gives the reasons why some scholars feel that this should be enough for Tawthiq or Tahsin and then goes on to explain why their reasoning is wrong, both are not included by me, but if one wants elaboration he/she may ask]

1. The Taradhi and Tarahum of the Ma'sum on someone (except if it is repititive).

2. The giving of the flag/banner of war by the Ma'sum to someone.

3. The sending of someone with a letter by the Ma'sum.

4. The appointment by Ma'sum of someone to guradianship over a Waqf or monetory fund.

5. The taking of someone as a deputy, or servant, over seer, or writer (assistant) by the Ma'sum.

6. Being from the Shuyukh of Ijaza (having certification of narration).

7. Being martyred with the Imam in Karbala (or any other Shahid).

8. It being said that one was a companion of a Ma'sum

9. Being an author of a book or Asl.

10. Being a narrator of many narrations.

11. The one to whom Shaykh Saduq has a Sanad to in Mashyakhat al-Faqih.

12. If a narration is called Sahih (by the Mutaqadimeen), then this proves the Tawthiq of all its narrators.

13. The narration of Ibn abi Umayr, Safwan b. Yahya and al-Bazantiy on someone's authority.

14. The occurence of someone in the chains of Ahadith narrated by the Ashab al-Ijmaa who are mentione by al-Kashi.

15. Being described as 'Alim',  'Fadhil', 'Faqih', or 'Muhadith'.

16. Being the subject of a Riwayah of Tawthiq or Tahsin even if he is the one who narrates it.

17. Having Dhann about the Tawthiq or Tahsin of someone due to any cause.

18. The Tawthiq or Tahsin of all latter day scholars like the Allamah, the Shahidayn, or al-Majlisi and their like

19. Being in the Isnad of the Riwayat of Tafsir al-Qummi and Kamil az-Ziyarat.

20. Being from the Mashayikh of an-Najashi.

21. Being from the narrators of as-Sadiq for it is claimed that al-Mufid authenticated all 4000 of his companions.

22. Whoever narrated the Ahadith that prove that the month of Ramadhan can increase [30 days] and decrease [29 days] for al-Mufid authenticated them all.

23. Being from the companions of the prophet.

24. Being a narrator whose narrations or books are described as being narrated by 'Jam'ah min Ashabina' - 'A number of our companions'.

25. Being a narrator who is described as narrating from 'Jama'ah' - 'A number of our companions'.

26. Dependence (and lack of crticisim) by Ibn al-Ghadhairi and the Qummiyun upon someone, for they used to crticize the narrators from the smallest of things.

27. The saying of Shaykh Tusi about someone 'Asnada anhu'.

28. Being described as 'Hafidh' or 'Qari'.

29. Being described as 'Basir fil Hadith' - 'aware/possesor of insight in Hadith'.

30. The increase in al-Kafi or al-Faqih of narrations on someone's authority.

31.al-Kashi mentioning someone without including any crticism of him.

32. Being described as 'Makbul fil Riwayah' - 'acceptable in narration' [unless it is Mutlaq]

33. Being in a Sanad of a Hadith - whose Sanad is critcised by earlier scholars, due to personalities in it other than him, for the silence on him, and the concentration on others (to criticize it) may demostrate his Tawthiq or Tahsin.

34. The narration of the 'Jalil' - 'meritious' and the 'Ajilla' - (pl.) on his authority.

35*. The unremoval of Ibn Walid of his narration from Nawadir al-Hikma of al-Ash'ari.

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(bismillah)

1. The Taradhi and Tarahum of the Ma'sum on someone (except if it is repititive).

6. Being from the Shuyukh of Ijaza (having certification of narration).

11. The one to whom Shaykh Saduq has a Sanad to in Mashyakhat al-Faqih.

13. The narration of Ibn abi Umayr, Safwan b. Yahya and al-Bazantiy on someone's authority.

14. The occurence of someone in the chains of Ahadith narrated by the Ashab al-Ijmaa who are mentione by al-Kashi.

15. Being described as 'Alim',  'Fadhil', 'Faqih', or 'Muhadith'.

20. Being from the Mashayikh of an-Najashi.

29. Being described as 'Basir fil Hadith' - 'aware/possesor of insight in Hadith'.

32. Being described as 'Makbul fil Riwayah' - 'acceptable in narration' [unless it is Mutlaq]

34. The narration of the 'Jalil' - 'meritious' and the 'Ajilla' - (pl.) on his authority.

Can you please explain these, brother?

في امان الله

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(wasalam)

Inshaa'Allah, I may ask you later to elaborate on some of the points in the list given in your latest post, akhee.

According to al-Muhsini it would be necessary if Ilm Rijal wants to be self consistent, just as in Ahmad bin Muhammed bin Isa al-Ashari or Sa'ad bin Abdallah so to Yahya bin Said.

We will have to agree to disagree.

I have argued that the circumstances for al-Ashari or Sad bin Abdullah, leaders of Qumm and the Imamiyyah, are not the same as they are for Yahya, a potential nasibi; that strong evidence in the form of strong qaraa'in would justify a mursal tawtheeq (even if there additionally existed saheeh tareeq(s) to a thiqa's tawtheeq of a rawi based on hiss). And I am currently personally convinced by this. Hence I do not find `ilm ar-rijaal lacking when it comes to the tawtheeq of major figures such as these.

al-Muhsini says that the predecessors did not use the same methods as us in authenticating Ahadith i.e. Rijal as it is today, rather they used Qarain Kharijiyyah [external indicators] which were available to them and not to us.

But it was the norm at that time to record any attributable words with its Sanad from the speaker to the recorder, and this was quite rampant.

The question is - why did Tusi and Najashi not do this.

Do the muttaakhareen know better than their salaf? The salaf used qaraain, which were available to them, in addition to `ilm ar-rijaal.

As for the question, I have already put forward the argument that Tusi and Najashi did not feel a need to do this, despite seeing al-Kashshi do this, and despite the recording of the tareeq being a norm for a khabar. And I argued that their behaviour in this regard is evidence of their certainty and carefulness in their gradings. The qaraa'in in addition to transmitted hiss must have strengthened their certainty in their gradings, and should strengthen our trust in their gradings.

Your general argument is close to one of the arguments put forward that al-Muhsini does not accept, al-Muhsini outlines it below before going on to refute it.

"Yes, there is another thing that they use to differentiate between the Mursal Tawthiq and the Mursal Riwayah, so that they cann accept the former but still reject the latter, and they say: (for Tusi and Najashi) narrating a Riwayah from a Dhaif individual is possible, but narrating the Tawthiq [of a narrator] from a Dhaif individual is impossible, and it is not acceptable that this occur from the meritious, let alone these great ones, for the only reason for a Tawthiq is to establish the trustworthiness of the narrator and confirm him as not being a liar in his words and narrations, so that his narrations can thereafter be considered by the Ulama and the Mujtahidin, who themselves did not know of his condition before that Tawthiq was given, therefore, narrating a Tawthiq [of a narrator] from a Dhaif individual would be inherently wrong/against the purpose, for every intelligent one knows that the Wathaqa of a Majhul narrator cannot be established by the Tawthiq given by a liar or another Majhul person.

And no one is allowed to attribute this act to these great ones like the Shaykh and his like, who are the poles of the sciences of the Shariah.

So when the Shaykh rules on the Wathaqa of a narrator, he had no option but to have already investigated the Wathaqa of all those who narrated the Tawthiq of that narrator to him. And upon that the Tawthiq remains a Hujjah."

This argument is what al-Muhsini calls Husn adh-Dhann to the Shaykh and Najashi, and goes on to refute.

What is the refutation? If the refutation is that we cannot accept the argument because it is based on assumption (or the benefit of the doubt), then I counter this because it is a very reasonable assumption to make. If Tusi and Najashi did not do as I have argued, in the majority of cases, then they are worthy of criticism and loss of respect because they would be giving tawtheeq and tadh`eef for weak reasons and these can significantly affect the religion. If Najashi was personally satisfied with the tawtheeq or tadh`eef of a rawi, why should not accept this from this rijaal scholar?

al-Muhsini does not accept Ibn Ghadhairi's Tawthiq and Tadhif at all, just like al-Khui, for they believe that his book did not reach us with a Mu'tabar chain.

I disagree with that position. However that is a debate for another topic.

But if you look at Ibn Ghadhairi's methods, most are based on Hadas i.e. his Ijtihad, this would be Batil for them, and in his second discussion, al-Muhsini negates most of the things that the scholars depend on in doing Ijtihad to give Tawthiq or Tadhif, these include considerations of position, fame and writings, for these are subjective, I shall append this post with 34 reasons for giving Tawthiq (based on Ijtihad) that al-Muhsini thinks are wrong (without explaining his reasoning - which he gives - for brevity, though can expand on a point if asked to do so).

Based on his kitab adh-dhu'ufa', Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri agrees with, or does not contradict, either Tusi or Najashi or both on the vast majority of cases. With the exceptions of Ibrahim bin Umar, Sulayman bin Dawood, Sabbaah bin Yahya, Muhammed bin Isma'il, Ya`qoob bin as-Sarraaj, and Yahya bin Muhammed, for whom no reason is given for their tadh`eef, Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri gives a reason for his opinion when he disagrees Tusi or Najashi, which is often based on examining the reports or writings of a narrator in question. What he writes is quite agreeable, and he does not outright contradict Tusi and/or Najashi. For example, he will say "he reports from the weak" while they say "trustworthy", or he will say "in his [the narrator's] madhab was weakness" while they will say "trustworthy in hadeeth", or will say "he narrates good and bad, his affair is ambigious, it is permissible to use him as a witness" while they say "trustworthy", etc.

The sole exception to that is Abdullah bin Ayyoob who Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri was unaware of, while Najashi was. And even here, Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri did not issue tadh`eef, showing his carefulness:

( 39 ) – 18 – عَبْدُاللَّه بنُ أيُّوب، القُمّيُّ. ذَكَرَهُ الغُلاةُ، ورَوَوا عنهُ. لا نَعْرِفُهُ.

18 - `Abdullah b. Ayyub, al-Qummi. The ghulat mentioned him, and narrated from him. He is not recognized.

In-case, my point is unclear, I will summarise it: Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri often examines the contents of writings, in addition to other factors, and when he does this, he never issues a final grading that would contradict Tusi/Najashi. Rather he advocates hesistancy with statements such as: "it is permissible to use him as a witness" or "some of his narrations are known and others are denied". This is surely acceptable and an acceptable form of ijtihaad in `ilm ar-rijaal.

(So It would not go against the opinion of Khui and Muhsini, may Allah be pleased with them, that ijtihaad is insufficient in tawtheeq/tadh`eef since one cannot establish adalah and sidq except through hiss.)

I would also like to draw attention to Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri saying:

( 43 ) – 35 – مُحَمَّدُ بن نُصَيْر. قالَ لي أبُو مُحَمَّد ابنُ طلحة بن عليّ بن عَبْداللَّه بن علاله‏: قالَ لنا أبُو بَكْر الجعابي: كانَ مُحَمَّدُ بنُ نُصَيْر من أفاضل أهْلِ البَصْرة عِلْماً. وكانَ ضَعيفاً. بَدْء النُصَيْريَّةِ، وإليه يُنْسَبُون. (انتهى. وهذا كلام السيّد(ره). ولعلّه قد سَقَطَ من عدّتها المذكورة أوّلاً؛ إذ لا غلط أنّ الموجود هنا أربعة وثلاثون).

35 – Muhammad b. Nusayr. Abu Muhammad b. Talha b. `Ali b. `Abdullah b. `Alalah said to me: Abu Bakr al-Ja`abi said to us: Muhammad b. Nusayr was from the virtuous folks of Basra in knowledge. And he was weak. He started the Nusayriyya, and to him they are attributed.

Why do you think that Ibn al-Ghadaa'iri here gives a tareeq for his information, when he does not give the tareeq for information in cases such as:

( 30 ) – 22 – مُحَمَّدُ بنُ الحَسَن بن شمّون، أبُو جَعْفَر، أصْلُهُ بَصْريٌّ. واقِفٌ، ثمّ غَلا، ضَعِيْفٌ، مُتَهافِتٌ، لا يُلْتَفَتُ إليهِ، ولا إلى مُصَنَّفاتِهِ، وسائِرِ ما يُنْسَبُ إليهِ.

22 – Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Shammun, Abu Ja`far, his origin was Basran. Waqifi, then he became a ghali, weak, collapsed, he is not turned to nor is his writings and the rest of what is attributed to him.

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Here is partial translation of the First Discussion to understand the principles of al-Muhsini in Ilm ar-Rijal

The First Discussion

These are the rules which are required to be understood and followed by the one who wants to investigate the condition of the narrators, so that if even one of them is ignored, the truth will not be reached to, and these rules with their description are given below:

1. The Wathaqa of the one giving the Tawthiq or Tadhif

This rule is inferred by the the necessity of not depending (following) the words of a Kadhab or a Majhul person in the Ta’dil or Tadhif of somebody else.

And it is because of this rule that we do not accept the Tawthiqat and Tadhifat of a number of scholars, among them: Nasr b. Sabah, al-Uqayqi – both father and son – Ibn Nadim; for the lack of the establishment of their own Tawthiq [thus they are Majhul].

Similarly, we do not accept the witness of someone upon/about himself, for it results in circularity of logic.

So if a Majhul narrator narrates his own praise from the Imam, we do not rule upon his Tawthiq using his own narration, what we need to do is - first prove his Wathaqa (apriori) before we can accept any of his narrations, so how can we prove his Tawthiq using his own narration? Would this not constitute a clear infinite regression?

2. Similarity in meaning of Adalah

Know that Tawthiq is given to a narrator if he posesses Adalah, but the meaning of Adalah to the Muta’akhir scholar may be different than to the Mutaqadim scholar.

If we assume that Adalah to the one giving the Tawthiq simply requires him - being a Muslim and not exposing (or having apparent) Fisq [Asl al-Adalah] like it has been attributed to some of the past scholars, but to us it means a state/condition requiring much more than that, then the Tawthiq given by those who hold the former meaning of Adalah will not be beneficial to us, in fact, it will not even reveal the truthfulness of the narrator in question, and this is a rule whose ignorance cannot be tolerated.

[in other words – the meaning of Adalah must be the same between how we understand it today and how it was understood by the one giving the Tawthiq, for the Tawthiq to be relevant and useful to us, meaning - the Tawthiq given by the Mutaqadim who gives it due to his belief in Asl al-Adalah will not benefit us presently, since we do not consider Asl al-Adalah to be a valid principle]

Adalah is defined by al-Muhsini as the performance of all the Wajibat and the protection of oneself against the all the Haramat, it is proactive not reactive as Asl al-Adalah was.

3. Hujiyyah of Hiss and Ibtal of Hadas in Ilm ar-Rijal

The one giving the Tawthiq must be contemporary to the narrator he is giving Tawthiq to, so that we are assured that his evaluation is based on his Hiss [sensory observation] and that he witnessed the signs of Adalah or the signs of Sidq from the subject of the Tawthiq

OR

We must have (I) certain knowledge or (II) justifiable possibility

that the one giving the Tawthiq has obtained it (i.e. the Tawthiq) from a connected chain of predecessors, and that it was reported to him the signs of Adalah or Sidq through individual from individual (going upwards) until it reached to the contemporary of the subject of the Tawthiq.

And if we are to assume that both these options are not present, the words of the one giving the Tawthiq are not a Hujjah unto us, for he is deriving the Tawthiq from far-away (generational gap) Hadas (cognitive function), and Hadas is not a Mu’tabar Khabar Wahid.

One may say: Adalah as you define it is a condition which someone posesses, so it cannot be observed by the senses.

It is Answered: Yes, it is true that Adalah is a condition that someone posesses and therefore not tangible, but its signs can be observed, and this is enough.

So, in conslusion, there is no dependence upon the Tawthiq or Tahsin if we do not have certain knowledge or justifiable possibility that it is based (originates) from a connected chain to the contemporary of the subject of the Tawthiq who based it on his Hiss [sensory observation].

And it is because of this rule that we do not accept the independent Tawthiq and Tahsin of our Muta’akhir scholars - like the gracious Allamah, and the Shahidayn, and al-Majlisi and their like, when they give it upon the companions of the Sadiqayn, for they could not have witnessed the signs of Adalah and Sidq of these companions by observation, and also, we cannot possibly justify that their Tawthiqat and Tadhifat are coming through a connected chain from their predecessors and reaching to the contemporaries of these companions, except that any such chain if it exists would certainly pass through the Shaykh and an-Najashi and their like, and if so – they do not have anything new to add which we cannot obtain from the Shaykh or an-Najashi and their like directly.

Using this rule, one can argue against the words of the Shaykh and an-Najashi in strengthening and weakening the companions of Amir al-Mu’mineen and al-Hasanayn, due to the lengthy gap in-between and the unjustifiability of even the possibility that these information coming down to them in a connected chain [since they have not mentioned the Turuq].

4. The Tawthiq should not be Mursal

[When we look at the Tawthiqat availabe to us from the three main sources of the accepted Tawthiqat, that is the Shaykh, an-Najashi and al-Kashi, and how they fulfill the previous rule, in the case of al-Kashi we have certain knowledge that the Tawthiqat of the companions of the Sadiqayn and others were obtained via a connected chain reaching to the contemporaries of the subjects of Tawthiq (since he recorded the Turuq in his book), and in the case of the Shaykh and an-Najashi we have justifiable possibility that they were basing the majority of their Tawthiqat on Naql via a connected chain - this judgement is due to the Indicators present in their own works [like their obvious dependence on their Shuyukh and the past books, and the words in their Muqadimma - introduction].

But this fourth rule requires of them to mention the Wasita – intermediaries – between them and the original (principal) giver of the Tawthiq or Tahsin who is a contemporary of the subject of the Tawthiq or Tahsin (i.e. the narrator in question).

And this is what is not available, and more about this rule and what it means to Ilm ar-Rijal will follow in the Fourth Discussion in detail, and it will decide whether Ilm ar-Rijal is more beneficial or less.

5. The Tawthiq or Tadhif should reach US via a Mu’tabar chain

And it is because of this rule that we do not accept what has been attributed to Ibn Uqdah, Ibn al- Ghadhairi and al-Barqi about the Tawthiq and Tadhif of narrators, for their books have not reached us through a Mu’tabar chain.

6. The Reasons for the Tawthiq and Tadhif mentioned by the lords of Jarh and Ta’dil should be acceptable based on Shariah, Aql and Urf (customary usage)

And more detail about this rule, and what has happened in contravention to it - due to the misunderstandings of most scholars will follow in the Second Discussion.

And you will come to know there, that some have understood Adalah or Sidq due to matters that do not allow such an understanding at all.

[Example: some have based the word of the Shaykh about Ali b. Muhammad b. Qutayba, wherein he said about him 'Fadhil' to be revealing his Tawthiq or Tahsin, and this is not acceptable]

[For the Madh/Husn (praise) that al-Mushini accepts to give Tahsin is the one that reveals the Sidq of the narrator in question, so what is the relation between being Fadhil and being Sadiq?]

7. The words of the one giving the Tawthiq or Tahsin should be clear – based on the rules of the language and not general or given to contradiction

And due to the contravening of this rule, there has occurred the Ikhtilaf over the Tawthiq of al-Husayn b. Ulwan, this is due to the difficulty in understanding the apparent words of an-Najashi – on whether the Tawthiq refers back to al-Husyan (the subject of the Tarjama) or his brother al-Hasan.

8. The Tawthiq or Tadhif should not have a contradicting Mu’tabar opponent

When there is a Mu’tabar Tawthiq and a Mu’tabar Tadhif about the same narrator, they clash and both are dropped (none is followed) except if one is closer/more in accordance – like the words of the Shaykh and an-Najashi in the case of the narrator Salim b. Mukrim, where the scholars have found an opening in not following this rule, by ruling that an-Najashi is more aware in this field, and so his decision takes precedence.

These, then are the important rules for Ta’dil and Tajrih and Tahsin and Tadhif, which we repeat once more, are necessary to keep in mind and follow, and there is no dependence on the words of the Rijaliyun in proving Madh and Dhamm that are outside (do not follow) these rules.

Edited by Islamic Salvation
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(bismillah)

(salam)

This is a good and heavy discussion.

(I) Tusi or Najashi has based it on his Hadas [cognitive functioning] i.e. Ijtihad

OR

(II) Tusi or Najashi got this Tawthiq from predecessor from predecessor until someone who could have done A's personal observation and given the Tawthiq, that was passed down and recorded by Tusi or Najashi.

For a person to be thiqa (i.e. we can rely on their speech) and for them to write a book firmly judging historical non-contemporary persons with regard to their veracity or reliability, they have to know this beyond reasonable doubt. Otherwise, it is sinful slander against narrators of hadith.

Najashi and Tusi are thiqa. They make firm judgments about the veracity or reliability or even the faith of some historical non-contemporary persons. They didn't slander. So they told the truth.

If we dismiss this, we are seriously weakening the wathāqa of these scholars. They become like judges who judge without evidence. Such a judge is worthless and lacking in intellect.

"So we have no option (in Ilm ar-Rijal) but to unjustifiably build upon the Sihha (validity) of the Mursalat (of Tawthiq) even though we do not accept the Mursal in essence (at all).


I am more inclined to save the status of marāsīl. The reasoning is as the above. If a thiqa declares that the Imam ruled x, then he must have found it beyond reasonable doubt, either through similar chains (which he has omitted) or because it is mashhūr.

That's not to say a mursal is automatically sound. It's to say that, bar any serious objection to the hadith - (contradicting the Qur'an and the mutawātirāt of hadith or bearing an absurd or exaggerated matn, etc) - my reason would prefer to take it than reject it.

(wasalam)

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(bismillah)

(salam)

This is a good and heavy discussion.

For a person to be thiqa (i.e. we can rely on their speech) and for them to write a book firmly judging historical non-contemporary persons with regard to their veracity or reliability, they have to know this beyond reasonable doubt. Otherwise, it is sinful slander against narrators of hadith.

Najashi and Tusi are thiqa. They make firm judgments about the veracity or reliability or even the faith of some historical non-contemporary persons. They didn't slander. So they told the truth.

If we dismiss this, we are seriously weakening the wathāqa of these scholars. They become like judges who judge without evidence. Such a judge is worthless and lacking in intellect.

Salaam bro.

Yes it is true that an-Najashi and at-Tusi are Thiqah.

And it is true that a Thiqah's words are accepted, but with a qualifier.

as al-Muhsini states, the words of the Thiqah are accepted if and only if the Thiqah is basing his words on his sensory observation [Hiss], if he is using his Ijtihad, then we do not do Taqlid to a Thiqah's Ijtihad soleley because he is Thiqah.

A Thiqah using his Ijtihad to come to a conclusion can err, and we do not even have the sources of his Ijtihad to confirm his Ijtihad.

Look at the Waqifi, Fathi, and Nawusi companions who were Thiqah but erred in their formulation of belief, so we accept only their words, since we belive them to be true in speech, nothing else.

If X is Thiqah and says - I saw Y, he had a poor memory --> This is valid.

If X - despite being Thiqah - comes to a conclusion that Y had a poor memory based on other (unknown to us indicators) then obviously his reasoning can be faulty.

This is because Wathaqa comes due to someone's Adalah which is just a condition of Affinity to the performance of all the Halal, and the repulsion from all the Haraam, it does not say anything about the abilities of a person in terms of Ijtihad.

I am more inclined to save the status of marāsīl. The reasoning is as the above. If a thiqa declares that the Imam ruled x, then he must have found it beyond reasonable doubt, either through similar chains (which he has omitted) or because it is mashhūr.

That's not to say a mursal is automatically sound. It's to say that, bar any serious objection to the hadith - (contradicting the Qur'an and the mutawātirāt of hadith or bearing an absurd or exaggerated matn, etc) - my reason would prefer to take it than reject it.

As said by al-Muhsini, the only argument we can use to save the Hujiyyah is having Husn adh-Dhann to the Shaykh and an-Najashi, that they were not pulling this out of thin air, and he agrees that they were not, but where are their source?

He likens this to when as-Saduq says - as-Sadiq said: '' ... '' without giving an Isnad, most of the Rijalis do not accept this, where has the Husn adh-Dhann for as-Saduq gone?, when we know for sure that he is Thiqah and does not fabricate, nor did he pull it out of thin air, the truth is for its Hujiyyah we still need the Isnad.

Insh Allah I will translate his rebuttal to such an argument.

Of course, as-Sistani he says, once said to him in an answer, that the views about the Rijal which came down to at-Tusi and an-Najashi were Mutawatir, thus we do not require even seeing individual sources and Isnads, and the Hujiyyah remains, he also argued with him on this -- and he has mentioned his answer to such an argument.

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The Final Reformulation of the Problem [al-Muhsini concludes his point]

The Majority of the Tawthiqat of the Shaykh at-Tusi and an-Najashi - based on their own words, and using other external indicators - definitely originated from Hiss [sensory observation] [i.e. not their own of course, but they obtained it through Naql - from individual from individual - until it reached to a contemporary of the narrator in question].

And to come to this conclusion, one does not even need to use the principle [formulated by al-Khui], that the words of a speaker are to be held as originating from Hiss [sensory observation], if the matter is indecisive between it originating from Hiss or Hadas, as is proven by the intelligent man's action.

So, the problem in this respect does not arise due to me thinking that their Tawthiqat are based on Hadas (for that would be a problem),

But the problem is that:

Their Tawthiqat, Tadhifat, and all that they mention about a narrator are Mursal [disconnected], they did not mention the intermediaries of the reports that came down to them about this (which allowed them to make the decision of Tawthiq), so that we could know - were these [who were reporting to them] themselves Thiqah, or Dhaif or from the Majhul.

And accepting the Tawthiqat that are Mursal in nature has no basis at all, except if one uses Husn adh-Dhann with the Shaykh and an-Najashi - that they did not use [the reports about the Tawthiqat] except that which came down to them from a Thiqah from a Thiqah up to the end, BUT they did not mention to us that they would follow this method, nor did they indicate that they have done this.

So how is it allowed for us to accept this? And why do we not ask them --> who are these who reported to you that Muhammad b. Muslim for example is Thiqah? for you certainly did not meet him.

Do you not see that when one of them [i.e. the Shaykh or an-Najashi] narrates a Hadith on the authority of the prophet or the Aimmah, we all say that this report did not originate from their Hadas, but is definitely coming from Hiss [i.e. through Naql], but because we know that they did not meet the prophet or the Aimmah, we all need for the acceptance of the Hadith which is originating from Hiss - a Sanad, and then we follow up the condition of the narrators constituting the Sanad, so if we come to know of them being of the Thiqah and of the Muhsin, we accept it, and if not, we reject it.

And since we have come to realize that the majority of the Tawthiqat we have are Mursal not Musnad, there is no dependence upon them, even though they originate from Hiss - whereby the authors of the source books of Rijal - heard it from those in the community who came before them.

This is the difficult problem I have alluded to by which Ilm ar-Rijal suffers due to its own restrictions [which it placed upon itself].

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Guest Jebreil

(bismillah)

(salam)

Islamic Salvation

Mashallah, thank you for the clear response.

I am discussing over 2 points:

1. What does the wathaqa of Najashi, Tusi and Saduq imply? 2. What is the status of marāsīl?

I accept your formula that "Wathaqa comes due to someone's Adalah which is just a condition of Affinity to the performance of all the Halal, and the repulsion from all the Haraam, it does not say anything about the abilities of a person in terms of Ijtihad."

I am then asking, is slander halal, haram or open to ijtihad?

Of course it is haram.

Many weakening judgments are based on defects in faith and akhlaq. Liar, exaggerator.

I am then asking, is making a judgment in religion without solid evidence halal, haram, or open to ijtihad?

Of course it is haram.

All weakenings affect the status of the ahadith in which the "weak" figures, rendering them inert. Yet, if this ruling is passed without solid evidence it counters the Qur'an:

و لا تقف ما لیس لک به علم ان السمع و البصر و الفواد کل اولئک کان عنه مسئولا

Arguably, there is no room for ẓann.

I believe that if a person is truly of reliable speech (i.e. thiqa) and satisfies the formula for ʿadāla, then if they say "x is not to be trusted", they rely on good evidence that "x is not to be trusted", and they are not just making an estimate. Because it has come to them through mutawātirāt or a perfect sanad.

The very wathāqa of Najashi, for example, is enough to trust that he said what he said on good information.

This is not to say his judgement was correct. Others may have had access to different information. But I abhor the idea that a thiqa with a work affecting the very sacred text of Islam, i.e. the traditions, would judge without some good information.

So, this reliability on the thiqāt isn't faulty per se. However, the question of why they didn't include their chains is a different matter.

I also think this raises the status of marāsīl from unacceptable to acceptable given no problem with the matn.

------

Just as a sidenote:

I know you are arguing that the wathāqa of Tusi, for example, merely guarantees his reliability in transmission and not his reliability in judgement.

I am arguing that wathāqa does guarantee that his judgement is based on good evidence, but not necessarily sound.

In other words, there is reasonable evidence for every judgment, but it is not always conclusive; hence why we have differences in the Classical scholars.

If we did have their reasons/evidence for the judgement, this would probably not solve our problem, and perhaps even exacerbate it. Because today we differ over Tusi v Najashi. In the other possible world, we would be differing over the tonne of evidence available to them.

Rijāl is a good tool; one tool out of the toolbox. It differentiates between the clear and the unclear and prefers the former. However, I don't think it can do miracles.

(wasalam)

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(bismillah)

(salam)

^ Could I just add to my post above:

Islamic Salvation:

the truth is for its [i.e. mursal] Hujiyyah we still need the Isnad

I would dispute that we need it. If something was ḥujja for Shaykh Saduq, a prominent Classical scholar, it would bound to have remained ḥujja until today.

People would, in the worst case, differ over a particular rāwī, whose wathāqa remains a contention between Saduq and those opposed. Thus, we would have to admit that both made their judgements on the basis of evidence, which implies that there was contradicting evidence.

We would prefer the earlier scholar's judgement, for he would have been closer to the rāwī. We would prefer the later scholar's judgement, for he would have made his judgement already knowing his respectable predecessor's dissent. Therefore, priority or posteriority wouldn't solve the dilemma.

In the end, I assume we would agree that the situation is unclear and foggy, and we must either prefer stringent grading, which is brutal to the ḍaʿīf, or we must prefer a more flexible and less consistent approach, which in its inconsistency, is at least more tactful to the real situation on the ground.

(wasalam)

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(bismillah)

(salam)

Islamic Salvation

Mashallah, thank you for the clear response.

I am discussing over 2 points:

1. What does the wathaqa of Najashi, Tusi and Saduq imply? 2. What is the status of marāsīl?

I accept your formula that "Wathaqa comes due to someone's Adalah which is just a condition of Affinity to the performance of all the Halal, and the repulsion from all the Haraam, it does not say anything about the abilities of a person in terms of Ijtihad."

I am then asking, is slander halal, haram or open to ijtihad?

Of course it is haram.

Many weakening judgments are based on defects in faith and akhlaq. Liar, exaggerator.

It is true what you say - that slander is Haram, but whether what happens in the Tarjama of a narrator is slander or not is debatable, and I think the majority do not consider it slander --> since there had already been a conclusive debate about whether it was allowed to make Dhamm [criticism] of a Muslim or a Mu'min in Ilm Rijal in the past, and the answer is that speaking the truth for the benefit of preventing damage to Islam that can accrue from accepting a Kadhab's report is far greater than protecting individual's sense of honour or respect.

And the Imam's spoke openly about some of their companions [even if they were not present in the Majlis] who they felt were astray and leading others astray using harsh language, and we have the famous Riwayah about the companions of the Imams who were arguing about the status of some of the narrators in his presence, and he did not stop them.

I am then asking, is making a judgment in religion without solid evidence halal, haram, or open to ijtihad?

Of course it is haram.

All weakenings affect the status of the ahadith in which the "weak" figures, rendering them inert. Yet, if this ruling is passed without solid evidence it counters the Qur'an:

و لا تقف ما لیس لک به علم ان السمع و البصر و الفواد کل اولئک کان عنه مسئولا

It is al-Muhsini's position that the majority of the judgements that were made by at-Tusi and an-Najashi were Hissi in nature - that is based on Naql - reports they recieved from the Salaf about a narrator's Adalah and so they ruled on his Wathaqa, or reports about someone being a liar and so they ruled on his weakness in narration.

This more so when we consider details of Kuniyyah, years of birth, places of death, books authored, etc. as this cannot possibly be from their Hadas i.e. Ijtihad.

Some decisons by at-Tusi were based on his Ijtihad, and this of course is Ibn al-Ghadhairi's favourite method as evidenced in his work, both would not be making decisions in religion without evidence, as they have a basis for their Ijtihad, rules they follow, but al-Khui and al-Muhsini do not accept categorically any Tawthiq made by a scholar on the basis of his Ijtihad, further more they say no to the Taqlid of the Ijtihad of a scholar in making Tawthiq of the Rijal, just as no one can perform Taqlid to a scholar's Aqeedah which he would have formulated through his own Ijtihad,

the only source for Tawthiq is sensory observation of the signs of Adalah or Sidq, or obtaing a valid report of the presence of these signs.

al-Muhsini says those Tawthiqat that are based on Ijtihad he will not follow just as he does not follow the Ijtihad of at-Tusi in matters of Fiqh, this does not take anything away from the Wathaqa of at-Tusi - you will agree, those that are based on reports, we do not have the ability to check their validity as their Turuq are not given, al-Khui fails to answer this second doubt, and the Hujiyyah of the Tawthiqat fall, except for a minority in al-Kashi, and then we have the question of circularity, so it is a mess, if we want to apply the same rules everywhere and be consistent.

I mean at-Tusi narrated on the Dhuafa's authority in Hadith, why would he not in gathering info. about a narrator?

Arguably, there is no room for ẓann.

Of course, but that is in the ideal world, even a Hadith with a perfect Sanad just gives us actable Dhann, a Hadith with no Sanad or imperfect Sanad gives nothing [though it could be true --> but it is not a Hujjah against us], and the elusive Mutawatir reports give certain knowledge - but where is the Mutawatir I ask you?

I believe that if a person is truly of reliable speech (i.e. thiqa) and satisfies the formula for ʿadāla, then if they say "x is not to be trusted", they rely on good evidence that "x is not to be trusted", and they are not just making an estimate. Because it has come to them through mutawātirāt or a perfect sanad.

I agree, far be it from at-Tusi or an-Najashi to have pulled this out of thin air, by Allah they were careful in it, but al-Muhsini asks, when at-Tusi narrates a Mursal Hadith you do not accept it, even though we know that he was Adil, and infact at the height of Adalah, truthful in speech, we still ask for the Sanad for the Hadith to become a Hujjah, why the double standards when it comes to the Tawthiq he gives, in which he did not include the trail for.

They relied on good evidence for it, but where is that evidence?

I am sure they did the same for such an important thing as the Hadith - which they were attributing to the Aimmah, but there we do not accept their word for it, why here?

I also think this raises the status of marāsīl from unacceptable to acceptable given no problem with the matn.

The very reason for including all this data about the narrators, was to enable it to be a crude sifter for all the Ahadith, thus a Hadith whose intermediaries are unknown can never be a Hujjah to us.

Just the possibility that one of the intermediaries could have been a fabricator- and we are not sure, means that it is not a Hujjah.

Just as a sidenote:

I know you are arguing that the wathāqa of Tusi, for example, merely guarantees his reliability in transmission and not his reliability in judgement.

I am arguing that wathāqa does guarantee that his judgement is based on good evidence, but not necessarily sound.

al-Muhsini wants to see the evidence, and not have to rely on Husn adh-Dhann that the evidence was good, what is good for the Muta'akhir could be very wrong to the Mutaqaddim, as we have experienced in matters of Aqeedah.

More sources about our narrators would not be a problem, as more info. can never harm.

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Guest Jebreil

(bismillah)

(salam)

Islamic Salvation

Thank you once more for a clear and complete response. Allow me some time to make a decision. There are 2 areas for which I have questions, however:

First, about marāsīl

Just the possibility that one of the intermediaries could have been a fabricator- and we are not sure, means that it is not a Hujjah.

Questions:

1. Don't we have the same possibility for a perfect sanadto have been a forged interpolation? Here, the sanad does not affect the ḥujja, but the matn does.

2. If we had the perfect sanad (say in Saduq's mursal), then we have the following possibilities: either all of the narrators are accepted by Saduq or not all of them are. If the former, then anyone who comes to the same conclusion as Saduq would accept that mursal. If the latter, then we know that despite Saduq's mistrust of the sanad, he has trusted the matn, and even goes so far as to conceal all intermediaries, declaring directly that the Imam said x.

So, in both possibilities, we have strong reasons to accept the matn. Therefore, Saduq's mursal is no different to Saduq's isnād.

It might be argued that with the sanad, we could sift the narrators ourselves. I admit, we could. But this is only necessary where the sanad is suspect. If Saduq can directly quote the Imam, would it be reasonable to assume that he would do so for a suspect sanad?

I think it is not reasonable.

So the narrators in question are thiqa for Saduq, or at the very least, thiqa for that particular matn. Again we have two possibilities. Every other rijālī takes them to be thiqa. In that case, Saduq's mursal is sound. Now the other possibility: Let's imagine Tusi says "ḍaʿif". Whom will you follow? On what evidence?

Therefore, either way, mursal or isnād, we would differ as to whether the hadith is ḥujja or not. There is no difference in ḥujja between them, as far as I can see.

Do you disagree with this analysis?

Second

More sources about our narrators would not be a problem, as more info. can never harm.

But would it make any difference to the way we evaluate hadith? I think it would either increase difference of opinion or, at the very least, keep it as it is. After all, all this "lost" evidence was once "available" to the Classical scholars, and they differed.

(wasalam)

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