[5/-] Al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from his father from Ibn Abi Umayr from Abd al-Rahman b. al-Hajjaj from Sulayman b. Khalid who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: the companions of my father came to him and asked him about that which is taken by the temporal ruler [as Kharaj – deeming it Zakat – is it sufficient], so he pitied them, while he knew that Zakat is not legitimate except for its people [only the true Imam can divide it to its rightful claimants], so he ordered them to count it [as Zakat], so my thoughts ran wild by Allah about them so I said: O father, if they have heard this then no one of them is ever going to give Zakat [in its right way]! so he said: O my son, it is a truth which Allah wanted to make apparent. Comments
al-Moḥsini: There are several problems with the narration:
(ã) The Imam’s knowledge that Zakat is not legitimate except if given to its rightful people cannot be reconciled with his order to count it so [what they give to the Sultan as Zakat] just because of the pity he felt towards them [they would have had to pay twice otherwise]. It is not allowed to change rulings just because of pity.
(b) al-Sadiq informing us that al-Baqir knew that Zakat is not legitimate except if it is given to its rightful parties contradicts what al-Baqir says “it is a truth which Allah wanted to make apparent”
(c) al-Sadiq himself ruled in a similar way to al-Baqir, even if he contradicts this in some instances.
In Summary, I have not managed to find a solid Dalil to disprove this reason [for the occurrence of differences between narrations], though I do not accept it [perhaps because of the theological implications it would have]. And Allah knows more.
Continuing our list (started from hadith 2 in this chapter):
(XIII) The change in the meanings of words over time, from the age of the prophet and the `Aimma to the age of the scholars engaged in Ijtihad, as is known to happen to all languages. The speakers in the early period had a specific understanding when they heard certain words and phrases spoken while we have our own understanding. This evolution has sometimes caused seeming contradictions between reports based on how we conceive of them. Finally, one must work to exhaust all such potential causes for differences between narrations.
One of the researchers from the Amma [Mahmud Abu Riyya] says: Know that the Hadith which is traced back to the messenger of Allah and his companions and the successors have differences between them, the causes of which can be categorized into eight:
1. The weakness of the chain.
2. Quoting the report based on its “meaning” and not verbatim.
3. Failures in correct vowelization [the early script was defective]
4. Scribal errors in writing.
5. Droppage of a significant portion from the Hadith with the exclusion of which the Hadith’s meaning becomes incomplete [this is because of faulty memory].
6. The narrator transmits the […]