Farid

Shia Hadith Sciences 101

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Shia Hadith Sciences 101

Bismillah wal salatu wal salam ala rasoolillah,

In this thread, that will be updated every once in a while, I will include the basics that one needs to know about how to grade Shia hadiths. I will include a small amount of theory, but I will try to get to the implementation as soon as possible, since this seems to be the goal of most of the brothers. Furthermore, theory is much more complicated when we get deeper, and most chains can be graded based upon the basics.

Firstly, there are four levels of hadith which are saheeh, hasan, muwathaq, and da’eef.

A saheeh hadith in a hadith in which all the narrators are thiqaat Imamis.

A hasan hadith is one in which all of the narrators are thiqaat Imamis, but there is one Imami that doesn’t have tawtheeq, but rather, only has been praised.

A muwathaq hadith is a hadith in which all the narrators are thiqaat, but at least one is not an Imami.

A da’eef hadith is a hadith in which there are unknown or weak narrators.

Moving on, the ilmul rijal of Shiasm is based upon something very special. The praises and condemnations that are used in determining the status of a narrator isn’t based simply on the opinions of scholars, but also on the statements of the Imams. The main book that is used for this very practice is Ikhtiyar Ma’rifatul Rijal by Al-Kashshi. Technically, the original book was lost, however, Al-Tusi, wrote a commentary/summary of the book which is pretty decent, and with it, we find statements by Al-Sadiq, Al-Baqir, and the rest of the Imams about their students.

However, there are a few problems with this book. The main one is that it is based upon chains of narrations. So, in order to figure out if the Imam is praising or condemning the narrator, we first need to examine the chain up to him. Furthermore, in some cases, we will find a contradiction about a narrator. One hadith in praise of him and promising heaven, and another one condemning him, promising him hell. Both chains will be authentic. This will be a topic for another time. Inshallah if we reach a specific example, we will look more deeply into this.

In any case, one should be aware that 95% of Shia rijali opinions will come from two individuals. Al-Tusi, in his books Al-Rijal and Al-Fihrist, and Al-Najashi, in his Rijal.

Al-Tusi’s Rijal was my first, Shia rijal book. I was amazed by the size, since it came in a set of around twelve volumes. I had tons of cash on me that day. So, me and a friend picked up the whole thing and we place it on a table. Ironically, I quickly realized that it was only one volume long, and the rest were just other copies. I quickly opened it up, and found, to my surprised, thousands of names of narrators, without any commentary about them other than their name, usually their kunya, rarely a word of praise or condemnation, and extremely rarely something about their year of death. Here I was, thinking that Ibn Abi Hatim had a rival. Overall, out of the 6400+ narrators in the book, only around 200 have any tawtheeq or tad’eef. There are also 150 narrators that Al-Tusi mentions as followers of specific sects. I suggest that the brothers that feel at awe when it comes to stepping into a subject like this should take a good look at an online copy of the book. It is an extremely simple book, but yet, perhaps, the most significant rijal book.

Specifics about Rijal Al-Tusi:

The first problem is that the book, as mentioned, includes little to no information about the narrators. However, the book is somewhat more useful when it comes to determining who is who. Al-Tusi mentions the names of the narrators and mainly classifies them into categories of when they narrated from each Imam. However, there seems to be an issue with how Al-Tusi does this since he has a chapter called “those who don’t narrate from the Imams” in which he includes narrators that he’s included in other chapters. For example, Mu’awiyah bin Hakeem, can be found under the narrators of Al-Jawad and Al-Hadi. Yet, he is also under the chapter of “those that don’t narrate from the Imams”.

Fihrist Al-Tusi is the second book by the author, third if you count Al-Kashshi’s “abridgement”. In it, he mentions the names of narrators that have books, then he mentions his chain up to that book. He sometimes, though rarely, speaks about the narrator himself. You will at times find praise or condemnation though.

Rijal Al-Najashi is perhaps the most loved Shia rijali book. He includes over 1200 narrators. The style of the book is similar to that of Fihrist Al-Tusi, in which he includes his chain to the books of the authors. He tends to speak more about the lives of specific individuals, even though it is somewhat rare. Due to Al-Najashi being only known for his book on rijal, Shia scholars tend to prefer his opinions over the opinions of Al-Tusi. Some claim that when a contradiction occurs, one should always take Najashi’s opinion. Inshallah we will examine this in the days to come.

The final book that is sometimes considered to be important to rijal, is the Rijal of Ibnul Ghada’iri. The author mainly focused on weakening narrators. He mentions their names, and specifies why they are weak. Even though this book is very short, with only around two hundred narrators, you will find that the most detailed about narrators can be found in this book. Unfortunately, due to Ibn Al-Ghada’iri’s focus on weakening narrators, some contemporary Shias have chosen the opinion to weaken the book and view it as a forgery. However, when one examines the book, one will notice that Ibn Al-Ghadha’iri rarely ever contradicts both Al-Tusi and Al-Najashi. I’ve personally counted perhaps six direct contradictions when it comes to rijali opinions. There are also some very important scholars that have accepted this book, and I believe that one of the very first things that one should do when getting into ilmul rijal is examine the opinions of those that are for and those that are against using this book as a tool for rijali needs.

These five books are the tools that you will mainly need for breaking down hadiths. I wouldn’t be far away from truth if one were to say that 99% of direct narrator criticism can be found in these books.

I’ll continue with the rest later. Any questions?

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السلام عليكم

So far so good Akhi... Still my problem is finding the proper e-books of what you mentioned above... by the way didn't al-Najashi make a Tarjamah of a narrator who died after him? why didn't the Shia drop this book?

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I'm sure that there are a number of reasons that one could come up with. Like it being a copyist error, or that Al-Najashi's true date of death isn't 450 AH, etc. The book is too important to fail in my opinion.

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Akhee why is it that shia scholars gather info of very few narrators THAT too with incomplete info, as compared to scholars of Ahlesunnah(Though it is neccessary to have sumarized info of narrators). Even when Ahlesunnah concentrates from narrations from just one Imam(prophet. saw) , where as Shias have to gather narrations from multiple Imams. And technically this must have multiple the narrators too.

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Still my problem is finding the proper e-books of what you mentioned above...

Did you try searching yasoob.com?

Try buying a hard copy. It is definitely worth it.

Akhee why is it that shia scholars gather info of very few narrators THAT too with incomplete info, as compared to scholars of Ahlesunnah(Though it is neccessary to have sumarized info of narrators). Even when Ahlesunnah concentrates from narrations from just one Imam(prophet. saw) , where as Shias have to gather narrations from multiple Imams. And technically this must have multiple the narrators too.

I'm assuming that one of the reasons that they really lack info is because Al-Tusi and Al-Najashi came pretty late. Notice how they lived in the late 300s and the early 400s, while the majority of the narrators lived in the late 100s and 200s. Perhaps the only other real reason is that they just didn't care as much about their heritage as we did. I don't have any real good explanations akhi.

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With regard to Al-Fihrist by Tusi, following is the introductory preface, available within the same arabic version of his book:

P.S: Akhi Farid, if you feel these attachments are OK to show up, the fine; else you may delete my post as required.

الفهرست الشيخ و نضد الأصول - الشيخ الطوسي

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Salam,

brother farid I can't wait for the next one laugh.gif

I found proper versions of all the books you mentioned except Rijal al-Tusi, the one I have is low quality.

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Another question about Najashi, we know the Man lived in the 5th century so how can he make Tawtheeq for people that lived 200 and 300 years before him?

EDIT: Actually I have the same question regarding al-Tusi who was just as late as his companion.

Edited by TripolySunni
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[b][color="#ff0000"]Bump and this should be a sticky[/color][/b]
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[quote name='TripolySunni' timestamp='1310901744' post='94023']
[b][color="#ff0000"]Bump and this should be a sticky[/color][/b]
[/quote]

[font="Book Antiqua"][size="3"]I have pinned the topic now, brother....[/size][/font]
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[quote] Another question about Najashi, we know the Man lived in the 5th century so how can he make Tawtheeq for people that lived 200 and 300 years before him?

EDIT: Actually I have the same question regarding al-Tusi who was just as late as his companion.[/quote]

Technically, there are a few ways this can be done.

The first is by the narrations of the Imams that have attacked or praised the companions, then, the scholars like Al-Tusi and Al-Najashi base their opinions on these statements.

The second is by using the opinions of earlier Shia hadith scholars like Ali bin Al-Hakam and Ibn Fidhal, who lived during the time of those narrators. We can still find some of their opinions in Al-Kashshi's book, yet, I feel as though they didn't really include that many opinions about narrators, well, at least not enough to build a "school of [i]rijal".

[/i]Finally, it seems as though a lot, if not most, of the opinions come through what one narrates. If a narrator narrates some funky narrations that cannot be found within the hadiths of others, they will usually weaken him. The whole concept of [i]tafarrud al-rawi bil hadith [/i]and it leading to weakening the narrator can also be found in Sunni hadith. Surely, if one narrators a hadith in the 300s that hasn't been collected already then the Sunni scholars would accuse that person of fabricating that hadith. You get the idea.
[i]

[/i]
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salam to all,  one thing i want to know in shia hadith.. i.e.    

1. WHAT IS THE CONCEPT OF HASAN LI GHAYRIHI in shia hadiths?? is this concept supported by previous ulema's & rejected by new one's like al-khoi!!??  

2. If this concept is supported by previous ulema's, then what is their methodology? i.e. the chains should  differ with different narrators completely or one main narrator {instead of imam [i.e. the one just below masoom imam]} narrated to 10 different peoples & the chain differs after that but still the chains are considered as 10 different chains?  wasalam Edited by mohammadfarhan
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Thanks brother farid, yet another exposure! in the shia ahadiths
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[b][size="4"]Ya Farid Maaaadaaaad!!![/size][/b]
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[quote name='TripolySunni' timestamp='1312140206' post='95582']
[b][size="4"]Ya Farid Maaaadaaaad!!![/size][/b]
[/quote]

[font="Book Antiqua"][size="3"]Tripoly Shia'ism :smile:

[/size][/font]
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