Authoritativeness of the Solitary Report of a Truthful Narrator

//Authoritativeness of the Solitary Report of a Truthful Narrator

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Authoritativeness of the Solitary Report of a Truthful Narrator – Ḥadīth #14

[14/-] al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from his father from Ibn Abi Umayr from Jamil b. Darraj who said: a man is not obliged to provide food except for the two parents and the children, Ibn Abi Umayr said: I said to Jamil: what about the wife? He said: it has been narrated from Anbasa from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام that he said: if he (the husband) clothes her with what covers her Awra [what should be covered] and if he feeds her what keeps her back straight then she remains with him otherwise he divorces her. Comments

Initially, Jamil gives a ruling in his own words which was undoubtedly based on a narration [variants have him speaking not in the first voice but quoting the Imam to this effect], however, when asked a question by Ibn Abi Umayr he cites the words narrated from al-Sadiq to answer it.

[-/14] الكافي: علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن جميل بن دراج قال: لا يجبر الرجل إلا على نفقة الابوين والولد، قال ابن أبي عمير: قلت لجميل: والمرأة؟ قال: قد روى عن عنبسة، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: إذا كساها مايواري عورتها ويطعمها مايقيم صلبها أقامت معه وإلا طلقها

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Authoritativeness of the Solitary Report of a Truthful Narrator – Ḥadīth #13

[13/-] al-Kafi: Humayd b. Ziyad from Ibn Sama’a from Ibn Ribat from Iys b. al-Qasim from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام, he (Iys) said: I asked him about a man who derogates to his wife the option to choose – so she chooses herself, will this mean that the divorce is final? he said: No, this (i.e. Takhyir) is a thing which was only for the messenger of Allah specifically, he was ordered to do that so he did it, and if they had chosen themselves then he would have divorced them – and it is the words of Allah Mighty and Majestic “Say to your wives: if you prefer the life of this world and its adornment then come forth so that I provide you a provision and set you free in a goodly manner” (33:28). al-Hasan b. Sama’a said: by this Hadith do we take [rule] in the matter of Khiyar [giving an ultimatum to the wife to decide her future]. Comments

Takhyir in this context means a husband derogating power to his wife either to ‘choose him’ i.e. continue in the marriage, or ‘choose herself’. Many Sunni scholars upheld its continuing validity, while some considered the act of her choosing herself to be a three-in-one divorce by which she becomes permanently separated from him. The Imam rejects such an interpretation and makes it clear that this was a historical command exclusive only for the prophet who was told to place this ultimatum to his wives [after one of them misbehaved] – all of whom ‘chose him’ and that was the end of that. Note also that Ibn Sama’a sums up the Imami view in the issue as being represented by this solitary report.

[-/13] الكافي: حميد بن زياد عن ابن سماعة عن ابن رباط عن عيص بن القاسم عن ابى عبدالله عليه السلام قال: سألته عن رجل خير امرأته فاختارت نفسها بانت منه؟ قال: لا انما هذا شئ كان لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله خاصة امر بذلك ففعل، ولو اخترن انفسهن لطلقن وهو قول الله عزوجل: قُلْ لأزْوَاجِكَ إِنْ كُنْتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ الحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا فَتَعَالَيْنَ أُمَتِّعْكُنَّ وَأُسَرِّحْكُنَّ سَرَاحًا جَمِيلا قال الحسن بن سماعة وبهذا الحديث نأخذ في الخيار

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Authoritativeness of the Solitary Report of a Truthful Narrator – Ḥadīth #12

[12/-] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Qulawayh from Sa’d from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Abdallah al-Hajjal from al-Ala from Ibn Abi Abi Ya’fur who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام – I am not with you at all times, and it is sometimes impossible to travel (i.e. to come to you from Kufah), and a man from among our companions comes and asks me – but I do not have everything regarding what he asks me about, he عليه السلام said: what prevents you from (going to) Muhammad bin Muslim al-Thaqafi – for he had heard from my father and had a most favorable position with him. Comments

It is such through narrations that the `Aimma delegated their own authority to those of the Rijal who performed various tasks on their behalf, such as guiding their followers in distant lands. It was not to any companion that the `Aimma would ask others to refer to, but only those special disciples to whom they devoted attention and brought close. Ibn Muslim spent a lot of time with al-Baqir and then al-Sadiq such that he is said to have 30,000 traditions from al-Baqir and 16,000 traditions from al-Sadiq during his four-year sojourn in Madina. And this made Hammad b. Uthman and Abd al-Rahman b. al-Hajjaj [themselves no light-weights] to exclaim that there was no one more Afqah among the Shia than Muhammad b. Muslim.

[-/12] رجال الكشي: محمد بن قولويه، عن سعد، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن عبد الله الحجال، عن العلاء، عن ابن أبي يعفور قال: قلت لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام إنه ليس كل ساعة ألقاك و لا يمكن القدوم، و يجي‏ء الرجل من أصحابنا فيسألني و ليس عندي كلما يسألني عنه، قال فما يمنعك من محمد بن مسلم الثقفي فإنه قد سمع من أبي و كان عنده وجيها

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Authoritativeness of the Solitary Report of a Truthful Narrator – Ḥadīth #11

[11/-] al-Faqih: Via his chain from Ibrahim b. Hashim that: Muhammad b. Abi Umayr was a cloth merchant whose wealth perished and he fell into poverty, however he had loaned out ten thousand silver coins to someone, so the one he owed sold his house which he used to live in at a price of ten thousand silver coins and carried the whole sum to his (Ibn Abi Umayr’s) door, so Muhammad b. Abi Umayr came out to him and said: what is this? he said: this is your money which was due upon me, he said: you have inherited it? he said: no, he said: it has been gifted to you? he said: no, he said: is it the price of a land you have sold? He said: no, he said: then what is it? he said: I sold my house in which I live in so that I can repay my debt, so Muhammad b. Abi Umayr said: Dharih al-Muharibi narrated to me from Abi Abdillah that he said: a man is not driven out of his place of residence (his home) because of debt, take it away for I have no need of it, by Allah even though I do have a need of even a single silver coin at this time – I will not take a single one of them into my possession. Comments

Ibn Abi Umayr bases his action of not accepting the debtor’s money [which he obtained from selling his house] on a narration from Dharih. This proves that narrations had probative force to the earliest companions. Scholars have also concluded from this that Dharih is Thiqa otherwise Ibn Abi Umayr would not have cited his report and acted on it.

[-/11] الفقيه: بإسناده عن ابراهيم بن هاشم ان محمد بن ابي عمير كان رجلا بزازا فذهب ماله وافتقره وكان له على رجل عشرة آلاف درهم فباع دارا له كان يسكنها بعشرة آلاف درهم وحمل المال إلى بابه فخرج اليه محمد بن ابي عمير فقال: ما هذا؟ فقال: هذا مالك الذي لك علي قال: ورثته؟ قال: لا قال: وهب لك؟ قال: لا قال: فهل هو ثمن ضيعة بعتها؟ قال: لا قال: فما هو؟ قال: بعت داري التي اسكنها لاقضي ديني فقال محمد بن ابي عمير: حدثني ذريح المحاربي عن ابي عبدالله (ع) انه قال: لا يخرج الرجل عن مسقط رأسه بالدين، ارفعها فلا حاجة لي فيها والله اني لمحتاج في وقتي هذا إلى درهم واحد وما يدخل ملكي منها درهم واحد

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Authoritativeness of the Solitary Report of a Truthful Narrator – Ḥadīth #10

[10/-] al-Kafi: A number of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad from al-Hasan b. Ali from Wuhayb b. Hafs who said: we were with Abi Basir when Amr b. Ilyas came and said to him: O Aba Muhammad (i.e. Abi Basir) my brother is in Halab (Aleppo), he sent me some wealth as Zakat so that I can distribute it in Kufa, but the road was cut-off on him [brigands stole it] – do you have a narration about this? he said: yes, I asked Aba Ja’far عليه السلام this question and I don’t think anyone else has asked me about it before, I said to Abi Ja’far عليه السلام: may I be made your ransom, a man sends his Zakat from one land to another but it is intercepted on the road, he said: he is excused but if it were me I would have repeated again [giving Zakat a second time]. Comments

Observe how the Ashab stuck to the Riwayat of the Aimma and did not experiment with independent reasoning. Amr asks Abu Basir specifically if he has a Riwaya and not for his ‘opinion’ of what he should do. Although the Imam rules that one does not have repay the Zakat, yet he holds himself to a higher standard and would have repeated paying a second time, from this we recognize that doing so would be better.

[-/10] الكافي: عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن الحسن بن علي، عن وهيب بن حفص قال: كنا مع أبي بصير فأتاه عمرو بن إلياس فقال له: ياأبا محمد إن أخي بحلب بعث إلي بمال من الزكاة اقسمه بالكوفة فقطع عليه الطريق فهل عندك فيه رواية؟ فقال: نعم. سألت أبا جعفر عليه السلام عن هذه المسألة ولم أظن أن أحدا يسألني عنها أبدا فقلت لابي جعفر عليه السلام: جعلت فداك الرجل يبعث بزكاته من أرض إلى أرض فيقطع عليه الطريق فقال: قد أجزأت عنه ولو كنت أنا لاعدتها

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Authoritativeness of the Solitary Report of a Truthful Narrator – Ḥadīth #09

 [9/-] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh who said: narrated to us Ibn Yazid from Ibn Abi Umayr from Shuayb al-Aqraqufi who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: it may happen that we require to ask about something – so whom should we ask? he said: upon you is al-Asadi – meaning by it – Aba Basir.
  [-/9] رجال الكشي: حمدويه، عن ابن يزيد، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن شعيب العقرقوفي قال: قلت لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام: ربما احتجنا أن نسأل عن الشئ فمن نسأل؟ قال: عليك بالأسدي – يعني أبا بصير

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Authoritativeness of the Solitary Report of a Truthful Narrator – Ḥadīth #08

[8/-] al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from his father from Ibn Abi Umayr from Umar b. Udhayna from Ismail b. al-Fadhl al-Hashimi who said: I asked Aba Abdillah عليه السلام about Mut’a so he said: go and see Abd al-Malik b. Jurayj and ask him about it for he has some knowledge about it, so I met him and he (Ibn Jurayj) dictated a lot of material in regards its permissibility to me, so from among that which Ibn Jurayj transmitted to me included: it (Mut’ah) has no fixed duration nor limit in number [of partners with whom you can contract], it has the same status as [union with] slave girls, a man marries with them as he likes, even someone who already has four wives can marry as many as he wishes, without [permission from] guardian required nor witnesses, so when the period terminates she departs from him without divorce, and he gives her some small thing [as her Mahr], and her Idda is two menstrual cycles, and if she does not menstruate then forty five days, so I came with the book to Aba Abdillah عليه السلام and presented its contents to him, so he said: he is truthful, and he agreed with it. Comments

We see here that the Imam is referring Ismail to someone who is not even from his followers, but rather a scholar of renown among the proto-Sunnis. al-Kashshi notes that Ibn Jurayj was from the Amma but had excessive Mahaba (love towards the Ahl al-Bayt). The Imam agrees with what Ibn Jurayj narrated, which shows that the Amma did not lose all prophetic truth rather a lot of authentic narrations can be found in their corpus.

[-/8] الكافي: علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن عمر بن أذينة، عن إسماعيل بن الفضل الهاشمي، قال: سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عن المتعة، فقال: إلق عبد الملك بن جريح فسله عنها فإن عنده منها علما، فلقيته فأملى علي منها شيئا كثيرا في استحلالها، فكان فيما روى لي ابن جريح، قال: ليس فيها وقت ولا عدد إنما هي بمنزلة الإماء يتزوج منهن كم شاء، وصاحب الأربع نسوة يتزوج منهن ما شاء بغير ولي ولا شهود، فإذا انقضى الاجل بانت منه بغير طلاق ويعطيها الشئ اليسير، وعدتها حيضتان، وإن كانت لا تحيض فخمسة وأربعون يوما، فأتيت بالكتاب أبا عبد الله عليه السلام فعرضت عليه، فقال: صدق وأقر به

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Authoritativeness of the Solitary Report of a Truthful Narrator – Ḥadīth #07

 [7/-] From the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه واله who said: whoever preserves forty of our narrations Allah will raise him on the day of judgment as a scholar possessing understanding.

Comments

al-Moḥsini says: The narration has different wordings and diverse chains.

al-Majlisi says: This purport is famous and dispersed both among the Khassa and the Amma, in fact, Tawatur has also been claimed for it.

 [-/7] عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه واله: من حفظ احاديثنا أربعين حديثا بعثه الله يوم القيامة عالما فقيها

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Authoritativeness of the Solitary Report of a Truthful Narrator – Ḥadīth #06

 [6/-] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh b. Nusayr from Ya’qub b. Yazid and Muhammad b. al-Husayn b. Abi al-Khattab from Muhammad b. Abi Umayr from Ibrahim b. Abd al-Hamid and others apart from him – they all said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: may Allah have mercy on Zurara bin A’yan, if it was not for Zurara b. A’yan and his peers the narrations of my father would have perished.

Comments

The Pillars who safe-guarded the Diin were initially companions of al-Baqir and then senior companions of al-Sadiq. These include figures like Zurara who is singled out here, but also Muhammad b. Muslim, Layth and Burayd i.e. the great four among the Ashab al-Ijma’. They spent a lot of time with the Sadiqayn and then went on to relay the treasure trove of what they collected to the  next generation, thus, they are known for being prolific narrators.

 [-/6] رجال الكشي: حمدويه بن نصير، عن يعقوب بن يزيد و محمد بن الحسين بن أبي الخطاب، عن محمد بن أبي عمير، عن إبراهيم بن عبد الحميد و غيره قالوا: قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام رحم الله زرارة بن أعين لو لا زرارة و نظراؤه لاندرست أحاديث أبي عليه السلام

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Authoritativeness of the Solitary Report of a Truthful Narrator – Ḥadīth #05

[5/-] al-Kafi: A number of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr from Aban b. Uthman from Ibn Abi Ya’fur from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله gave a speech to the people in the Masjid of al-Khif and said: may Allah make radiant [the face of] a slave who hears my words and understands them and memorizes them and relays them to the one who did not hear them, for it may happen that a bearer of Fiqh is not a Faqih and it may happen that a bearer of Fiqh relays them to one who is more of a Faqih than him … Comments

The prophet himself sanctions and encourages the practice of relaying his words to those that did not hear them [i.e. Hadith narration]. This is because as he says – it may happen that one can carry those words and not truly understand them, or have partial understanding, but can relay it to a scholar who possesses a better faculty than him for understanding, who will make use of the Hadith and explain it better.

[-/5] الكافي: عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن عيسى، عن أحمد بن محمد بن أبي نصر عن أبان بن عثمان، عن ابن أبي يعفور، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله خطب الناس في مسجد الخيف فقال: نضر الله عبدا سمع مقالتي فوعاها وحفظها وبلغها من لم يسمعها، فرب حامل فقه غير فقيه ورب حامل فقه إلى من هو أفقه منه …
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