Article by shia Nader Zaveri, edited by our team:
Here is a Ṣaḥīḥ or Hasan (Authentic or Good) ḥadīth that says al-Mukhtār al-Thaqafī used to lie against (or, about) `Alī bin al-Ḥussayn (عليه السلام).
I have posted earlier that al-Mukhtār al-Thaqafī has a Ṣaḥīḥ (Authentic) ḥadīth that praises the action that al-Mukhtār did by avenging the deaths of Karbalā’.
I was under the impression that all of the ḥadīth in condemnation of al-Mukhtār were da`īf (weak). I was unfortunately relying on al-Khoei’s grading, but after careful research I was wrong.
One might think that these two ḥadīth contradict each other, when this is not the case at all. This is very easily reconcilable. The Ahl al-Bayt (عليه السلام) have praised al-Mukhtār for his “action” for avenging the deaths at Karbalā’, they have never praised al-Mukhtār the person. This ḥadīth, on the other hand, condemns al-Mukhtār the person and calls him a liar. Others might try to say this was said under taqiyyah, when this is not the case at all, since both these ḥadīth are easily reconcilable.
When you research the life of al-Mukhtār bin Abī `Ubaydah al-Thaqafī you will see that he was one of the leaders of the Kaysāniyyah sect. The Kaysāniyyahs were those who believed that Muhammad al-Hanafiyyah was the Imām after his father. The sect was called Kaysāniyyah because al-Mukhtār’s laqab (nickname) was Kaysān. (See: al-Nawabakhtī, Firaq al-Shī`ah, pg. 33, # 55).
I have felt the need to make a post about al-Mukhtār for a very long time, because unfortunately, some of our Shee`ahs are getting misguided and swayed by this new phenomenon TV series by Iran titled Mukhtār Nameh (Narratives of Mukhtār). If you were to watch this TV series, by the time you finish watching it you will be under the impression that al-Mukhtār was a “good” guy, when it is farther from the truth.
Taken from al-Kashī’s al-Rijāl, (Beirut, Mu’assasah al-`Amalī lil-Matbū`āt, 1st ed., 1430), pg. 97:
محمد بن الحسن و عثمان بن حامد، قالا حدثنا محمد بن يزداد الرازي، عن محمد بن الحسين بن أبي الخطاب، عن عبد الله المزخرف، عن حبيب الخثعمي، عن أبي عبد الله (ع) قال كان المختار يكذب على علي بن الحسين (عليهما السلام
From Habīb al-Khath`amī from Abī `Abd Allāh (عليه السلام) said: “al-Mukhtār used to lie against (or, about) `Alī bin al-Ḥussayn (عليه السلام)”
1. Al-Kashī, al-Kashī, ed. Sayyid Mahdi al-Rijā’ī, (Qum: Mu’assasah Ālī al-Bayt al-Aḥyā’ al-Turāth, 1404), pg. 340, ḥadīth # 198
1. Muqaddis al-Ardabili said this hadeeth is Hasan Tarīq wāḍiḥ al-matn (Through a Good Path (chain), with clear text)
à Jāmi` al-Ruwāt, 2 vols., (Qum: Maktabah Ayatullah al-Mar`ashi, 1403), vol. 2, pg. 221
2. `Alī al-Burujerdi said this hadeeth is Hasan Tarīq (Good Path (chain))
àTarā’if al-Maqāl, (Qum: Maktabah Ayatullah al-Mar`ashi, 1st ed., 1410) vol. 2, pg. 590
3. `Āsif al-Muḥsinī said There is No Problem in its Chain
à Mashra`ah Bihār al-Anwaar, (Beirut: Mu’assasah al-`Ārif lil-Matbū`āt, 2nd ed., 1426) vol. 2, pg. 159
Al-Khoei says in his Mu`jam Rijāl al-ḥadīth that this ḥadīth is da`īf (weak). (See: al-Khoei, Mu`jam Rijāl al-ḥadīth, vol. 19, pg. 105). Now if you look throughout al-Khoei’s Mu`jam and go by his standards, you will see that he has contradicted his own standards and gradings.
Breakdown of the isnaad (chain of narrators):
عثمان بن حامد (`Uthmān bin Ḥāmid) is thiqah (trustworthy) according to:
1. Al-Ṭūsī, Rijāl, pg. 429, person # 6163
2. Al-Hillee, Al-KhulaaSah, pg. 126, person # 3
3. Al-Khoei, Mu`jam Rijāl al-ḥadīth, vol. 11, pg. 106, person # 7573
محمد بن يزداد الرازي (Muhammad bin Yazdād al-Rāzī) is فلا بأس به (And There is No problem with him) according to:
1. Al-Kashī, Rijāl, pg. 530 – 531, hadeeth # 1014
2. Ibn Dawūd, Rijāl, pg. 388
3. Al-Khoei, Mu`jam Rijāl al-ḥadīth, vol. 18, pg. 245 – 247 (Al-Khoei is authenticating a ḥadīth with Muhammad bin Yazdād al-Rāzi in it)
محمد بن الحسين بن أبي الخطاب (Muhammad bin al-Ḥussayn bin Abī al-Khattāb) is thiqah (trustworthy) according to:
1. Al-Najāshī, Rijāl, pg. 334, person # 897
2. Al-Ṭūsī, Rijāl, pg. 400, person # 608
3. Al-Ṭūsī, al-Fihrist, pg. 379, person # 5615
4. Al-Hilli, al-Khulāṣah, pg. 141, person # 19
5. Al-Khoei, Mu`jam Rijāl al-ḥadīth, vol. 15, pg. 291, person # 10554
عبد الله المزخرف (`Abd Allāh bin Muhammad al-ḥajjāl al-Mazkharaf) is thiqah (trustworthy) according to:
1. Al-Najāshī, Rijāl, pg. 226, person # 595
2. Al-Ṭūsī, Rijāl, pg. 360, person # 5332
3. Al-Hilli, Rijāl, pg. 105, person # 18
4. Al-Khoei, Mu`jam Rijāl al-ḥadīth, vol. 10, pg. 301, person # 7095
حبيب الخثعمي (Habīb bin al-Mu`allil al-Kath`amī) is thiqah (trustworthy) according to:
1. Al-Najāshī, Rijāl, pg. 141, person # 368
2. Al-Hillee, Al-KhulaaSah, pg. 62, person # 4
3. Al-Khoei, Mu`jam Rijāl al-ḥadīth, vol. 4, pg. 224, person # 2570
About Muhammad bin Yazdād al-Rāzī
There is a authentic narration that is taken by all scholars in al-Kashī’s Rijāl, pg. 530 – 531, ḥadīth # 1014, that Muhammad bin Mas`ūd al-`Ayyāshī says فلا بأس به (And there is no problem in him) about Muhammad bin Yazdād al-Rāzī.
When you look through al-Khoei’s Mu`jam Rijāl al-ḥadīth, you will find al-Khoei never weakens or call him (Muhammad bin Yazdād al-Rāzī) majhūl (unknown). Rather, you see al-Khoei take his narrations. Here is an example:
محمد بن الحسن البراثي و عثمان قالا: حدثنا محمد بن يزداد، عن محمد بن الحسين، عن الحجال، عن أبي مالك الحضرمي، عن أبي العباس البقباق قال
After this narration al-Khoei says أقول: هذه الرواية صحيحة (I say: This narration is Ṣaḥīḥ (Authentic)). (See: al-Khoei, Mu`jam Rijāl al-ḥadīth, vol. 18, pg. 245-246)
About فلا بأس به (And There is No Problem in him)
Scholars through majority of Shī`ah Islām have taken the words لا بأس به as a form of tawtheeq (authenticity) or madḥ (praise), not only al-Khoei:
1. Al-Bihbahani, al-Fawaa’id al-Waheed, pg. 31-32
2. `Iddah al-Rijāl, vol. 1, pg. 122-123
3. Mulla `Alī al-Tihrani, Tawḍeeh al-Maqāl, pg. 203
4. Al-Mamaqānī, Miqbās al-Hidaayah, vol. 2, pg. 228
5. Hasan bin `Abd al-Samad al-Hā’irī, Wusūl al-Akhyār, pg. 192
6. Sayyid al-Dāmād, al-Rawāshiḥ al-Samāwiyyah, pg. 60
7. Muhammad `Alī al-Mu`allim, Usool `Ilm al-Rijāl, vol. 1, pg. 50
As you can see this ḥadīth is Ṣaḥīḥ or Hasan and there is no doubt about its authenticity. After studying this narration and compare it with the life of al-Mukhtār al-Thaqafī it is obvious that the A’immah (عليهم السلام) praised him for his action of killing the killers of Karbalā’, but al-Mukhtār as a person has be condemned heavily in this authentic narration and history books.