Jabir b. Abdallah al-Ansari and Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju`fi

//Jabir b. Abdallah al-Ansari and Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju`fi

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Jabir b. Abdallah al-Ansari and Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju`fi – Ḥadīth #3

[3/137] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh and Ibrahim the two sons of Nusayr from Muhammad b. Isa from Ali b. al-Hakam from Ibn Bukayr from Zurara who said: I asked Aba Abdillah عليه السلام about the narrations of Jabir, he said: I never saw him with my father – ever – except for one time, and he never entered upon me [to take Hadith] ever. Comments

This narration would seem to conflict with the one above it, and open up the possibility of mass deception on the part of Jabir!

وأما قول الصادق عليه السلام، في موثقة زرارة (بابن بكير): ما رأيته عند أبي إلا مرة واحدة، وما دخل علي قط، فلابد من حمله على نحو من التورية، إذ لو كان جابر لم يكن يدخل عليه سلام الله عليه، وكان هو بمرأى من الناس ، لكان هذا كافيا في تكذيبه وعدم تصديقه، فكيف اختلفوا في أحاديثه، حتى احتاج زياد، إلى سؤال الإمام عليه السلام عن أحاديثه على أن عدم دخوله على الإمام عليه السلام لا ينافي صدقه في أحاديثه، لاحتمال أنه كان يلاقي الإمام عليه السلام في غير داره: فيأخذ منه العلوم والاحكام، ويرويها، إذن لا تكون الموثقة معارضة للصحبة الدالة على صدقه في الأحاديث المؤيدة بما تقدم من الروايات الدالة على جلالته ومدحه، وأنه كان عنده من أسرار أهل البيت سلام الله عليهم

al-Khoei tries to explain it away by claiming that it could be Tawriya [a form of dissimulation] from the Imam. He reconciles it with Ziyad’s narration by noting that Jabir could be meeting the Imam and taking knowledge from him in other than his house [since the Imam said: ‘and he never entered upon me ever i.e. in my house’]. While this is indeed possible, it does not answer the question why the Imam would need to do this with Zurara, a student with whom he was freer than others.

[3/137] رجال الكشي: حمدويه و إبراهيم ابنا نصير، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن علي بن الحكم، عن ابن بكير، عن زرارة قال: سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عن أحاديث جابر فقال: ما رأيته عند أبي قط إلا مرة واحدة و ما دخل علي قط

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Jabir b. Abdallah al-Ansari and Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju`fi – Ḥadīth #2

[2/136] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh and Ibrahim from Muhammad b. Isa from Ali b. al-Hakam from Ziyad b. Abi al-Hilal who said: our companions differed about accepting the narrations of Jabir al-Ju`fi, I said to them: I will ask Aba Abdillah عليه السلام, so when I entered upon him, he عليه السلام began saying [without me asking]: may Allah have mercy on Jabin al-Ju`fi – he used to tell the truth about us, may Allah curse al-Mughira bin Sa`id, he used to lie about us. Comments

This narration is used to confirm Jabir’s truthfulness. Despite this, it cannot be overlooked that Jabir was seen as a controversial figure from very early on, indeed, this is why the Imam is asked about him in the first place.

روى عنه جماعة غمز فيهم و ضعّفوا … و كان في نفسه مختلطا. و كان شيخنا أبو عبد اللّه محمّد بن محمّد بن النعمان رحمه اللّه ينشد أشعارا كثيرة في معناه يدلّ على الاختلاط، ليس هذا موضعا لذكرها. و قلّما يورد عنه شي‏ء في الحلال و الحرام

al-Najashi points out that a number of weak and censured individuals narrate from him. They include some prominent Ghalis. He goes further and accuses Jabir himself of having corrupt “syncretist i.e. mixed with esoteric elements” beliefs. He cites a large number of poems [of Jabir] that were recited to him by al-Mufid which evidence him having such beliefs. He also accuses him of not concerning himself with the narrations of Halal and Haram [i.e. Fiqh] [which may be alluding to the fact that the Ghulat saw themselves as the elite above outward ritual]. This tallies with Jabir’s claims to have secret intitiatic knowledge that should be hidden from the “masses”.

و يضاف إليه رسالة أبي جعفر إلى أهل البصرة و غيرها من الأحاديث و الكتب، و ذلك موضوع، و اللّه أعلم

al-Najashi concludes by stating that a number of fabricated books and narrations are attributed to him including a supposed letter from Abi Ja`far al-Baqir to the people of Basra.

ثقة في نفسه، و لكن جلّ من روى عنه ضعيف فممّن أكثر عنه من الضعفاء: عمرو بن شمر الجعفي، و مفضّل بن صالح السكوني، و منخل بن جميل الأسدي و أرى الترك لما روى هؤلاء عنه و الوقف في الباقي، إلّا ما خرج شاهدا

Ibn al-Ghadhairi on the other hand sums him up by considering him Thiqa in of himself. This would rule him out of being personally responsible for disseminating esoterically corrupt material. He concedes, however, that weak narrators made use of his name to spread spurious material [he was almost the go-to person to attribute material to as anyone who studies the Jabirean corpus will tell you – which brings up the question, if he was so un-involved with these circles why did they consider him one of their pillars?]

In any case, Jabir is a complex character who is also known to Sunni Rijal scholars and a full study on him is needed [perhaps a monograph that treats […]

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Jabir b. Abdallah al-Ansari and Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju`f – Ḥadīth #1

[1/135] al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from his father from Ibn Abi Najran from A`sim b. Humayd from Muhammad b. Muslim from Abi Ja`far عليه السلام who said: Jabir [b. Abdallah] narrated to me from the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله – and Jabir did not lie – … Comments

For the Imam to be narrating from a companion is nothing of the extraordinary, provided the words of the companion are true. It may also be done to show the status of the companion. There is a weak-chained apologetic narration trying to explain away this phenomenon by noting that al-Baqir used to visit Jabir not to take Ilm from him but to honour him.

… جابر يأتيه طرفي النهار فكان أهل المدينة يقولون وا عجباه لجابر يأتي هذا الغلام طرفي النهار و هو آخر من بقي من أصحاب رسول الله، فلم يلبث أن مضى علي بن الحسين (عليهما السلام) فكان محمد بن علي يأتيه على وجه الكرامة لصحبته برسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) قال، فجلس فحدثهم عن أبيه فقال أهل المدينة ما رأينا أحدا قط أجرا من ذا قال : فلما رأى ما يقولون حدثهم عن رسول الله، قال أهل المدينة ما رأينا أحدا قط أكذب من هذا يحدث عمن لم يره، قال فلما رأى ما يقولون حدثهم عن جابر بن عبد الله فصدقوه، و كان جابر و الله يأتيه يتعلم منه

It adds that when al-Baqir used to narrate from his father, the people of Madina used to say – we have not seen someone bolder than him [acting as though the words of his father are a final authority], when the Imam heard what they said he began to narrate directly from the messenger of Allah so the people of Madina said – we have not seen someone more lying than him for he narrates from someone he has not met, when the Imam heard that he decided to narrate to them on the authority of Jabir and they considered him truthful, while in fact it was Jabir who used to gain knowledge from al-Baqir.

[1/135] الكافي: علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبي نجران، عن عاصم بن حميد، عن محمد بن مسلم، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: حدثني جابر عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ولم يكذب جابر …
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