[3/-] al-Tahdhib: Via his chain from Ahmad b. Muhammad from al-Abbas b. Ma’ruf from Ali b. Mahziyar who said: I read in a letter of Abdallah b. Muhammad to Abi al-Hasan عليه السلام [the following]: our fellows have differed in their narration from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام in regards the two units of Fajr whilst travelling, some of them narrated ‘pray them in your litter’ while others narrated ‘do not pray them except stationary on the ground’ so inform me what you personally do so that I can follow you in it? he wrote: it is accommodating for you whichever of them you act by. Comments
al-Moḥsini: The narration does call for Takhyir [choosing] explicitly, but it is not evident whether it is speaking of a clear-cut choice between two contradicting Ahadith both of which have Hujiyya – which is what the Usulis are after – or whether it is talking of a practical choice between two rulings of the Sharia i.e. permissibility of praying the Nafila of the morning either in the litter or upon the earth – both of which are equally valid even if the latter is more preferrable.
The Imam’s words “it is accommodating for you whichever of them you act by” evidently refers to acting upon either of the Ahadith. If he had said: “both are permitted” then it would have been possible to say that reference is being made to the rulings [not the Ahadith]. This point is also supported by the fact that the question of the narrator was about differences between Ahadith and so the Imam’s words ‘whichever of them’ would be most likely referring to Ahadith.
All this would mean that the original premise as far as contradictory narrations are concerned should be Takhyir [selecting whichever] and not Tasaqut [both being equally invalidated], even if this latter is what is entailed by first principle [al-Qa’ida al-Awaliyya].