People of Kufa and their reliability in narrating Hadith

al-Salamu `Aleykum,

I found these interesting quotes in a book of virtues, so I thought I’d share.

قال الخليلي: لأهل الكوفة من الضعفاء ما لا يُمكن عدُّهم. قال بعضُ الحفاظ: تأملت ما وضعه أهل الكوفة في فضائل علي وأهل بيته فزاد على ثلاثمائة ألف. (الإرشاد 1/420 وعلق عليه ابن القيم في المنار المنيف ص116 بقوله: ولا تستبعد هذا، فإنك لو تتبعتَ ما عندهم من ذلك لوجدتَ الأمر كما قال. أفاده المحقق)

[Imam abu Ya`la al-Khalili said: The people of Kufa have so many weak narrators that it is impossible to count all of them. Some of the Huffaz(plural of Hafiz) said:”I observed what the people of Kufa have fabricated from narrations of virtue for `Ali and his household, and it exceeded three hundred thousand.”]

source: al-Irshad (1/420)

Ibn al-Qayyim commented on this in “al-Manar al-Muneef” page 116: “Do not think that it is unlikely, because if you tracked what they have from such narrations, you would find that the matter is as he said.”

وقال الخليلي: سمعتُ محمد بن سليمان الفامي يقول: سمعت عبد الله بن محمد الأسفراييني يقول: سمعت محمد بن إدريس وراق الحميدي يقول: قال أهل المدينة: وضعنا سبعين حديثا نُجَرِّبُ بها أهل العراق، فبعثنا إلى الكوفة والبصرة. فأهلُ البصرة ردّوها إلينا ولم يقبلوها، وقالوا: هذه كلها موضوعة. وأهل الكوفة ردوها إلينا وقد وضعوا لكل حديث أسانيد‍! الإرشاد 1/421 وسنده جيد، الفامي أكثر عنه الخليلي مترجم في التدوين للرافعي 1/298 وتاريخ الإسلام وفيات 386 ص126 والاسفراييني ثقة حافظ، والوراق صدوق)

[al-Khalili said: I heard Muhammad bin Suleiman al-Fami say: I heard `Abdullah bin Muhammad al-Asfarayinee say: I heard Muhammad bin Idris the Warraq of al-Hamidee say: The people of Madinah said: We made up seventy narrations to test the people of `Iraq through them, and sent them to Kufa and Basara. The people of Basara returned them to us and did not accept them, they said: “They are fabricated, all of them.” The people of Kufa also returned them to us however they added a chain of narrators for each one!]

source: al-Irshad (1/421)

Shaykhul Islam ibn Taymiyah said:

“As for the people of Kufa, there were no people of any city who lied more than they did. In the time of the followers, there were many people who were known for lying, especially the shia. The various sects there were the parties most frequently given to lying by the agreement of the people of knowledge. It is for this reason that it is mentioned from Malik and others of the people of Madina that they didn’t accept as evidence the general hadiths of the people of Iraq because there were known to be liars among them, and the Iraqis couldn’t distinguish between those who were truthful and liars”.

source: The Madinah Way p 21.