In Defense of Sunni Hadith Sciences – The Ignorance of Ayatollah Al-Sanad

Bismillah wa salatu wa salamu ala rasullah.

A fellow that goes by the name: Dar’ul_Islam on Shiachat posted some garbage on Shiachat, in which he attacks the Sunni hadith system by translating an excerpt from the book of Mohammed Al-Sanad. The brother does not believe in Shia rijal himself, not only that, but he does not know how to follow tashayyu since he has no standards except for his hawa. Anyhow, let’s examine some of the arguments of Al-Sanad that are directed towards the Sunni system.

Al-Sanad says:

It is extremely important to look into and investigate the Jarh and Ta`dīl of the different schools of the Sunnis where they continued in weakening narrators who would narrate the fadā’il of the Ahl al-Bayt عليهم السلام and their status or those who would narrate the defects of the opponents of the Ahl al-Bayt عليهم السلام or those would narrate prophetic narrations in agreement with the ahkām practiced by the school of Ahl al-Bayt عليهم السلام especially after the formed the principles [of their Mazhzhhab] in their hands today which they have made very clear that the Sunna with them is in opposing the Ahl al-Bayt [as] and exiling them and those obstinately with them. But every that narrator increases in this [opposing them and their followers] then it is said that he is firm in the Sunna, while everything coming from those narrating in their favor is passion (hawā), affection, love (muwadda) for the Ahl al-Bayt عليهم السلام and inclining towards them, they criticized attributing to them weakness, innovation, and attacks.

Inshallah this will be examined. Do Sunnis truly believe that the Sunnah is through opposing Ahlulbayt, and that those that love Ahlulbayt are weakened? Together we shall see the “evidences” of this that Al-Sanad brings.
Al-Sanad says:

We will provide a few example in their Jarh and Ta`dīl showing their partisanship or nasb opposing the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt عليهم السلام.

1 – `Umar b. Sa`d b. Abī Waqās : The murderer of al-Imam The Grandson The Martyr. al-`Ijlī said: thiqa (trustworthy, reliable). Ibn Hajr said in Tahzhīb al-Tahzheeb : He is a tābi`ī (first generation follower after the Companions), thiqa and he is the one who murdered al-Husayn. عليه السلام

I say: Al-Sanad has left out an important opinion, which is that of Yahya bin Ma’een, arguably the greatest of all the rijalis, in which he says: How can the killer of Al-Hussain be thiqa? (Tahtheeb Al-Tahtheeb) Why didn’t Al-Sanad quote the opinion of Yahya bin Ma’een? Perhaps it is because it will destroy his very argument that the Sunni system revolves around Nasb.

2 – Ziyād b. Abīh : A man of severe calamities, excessive crimes, and mortal sins. Khalīfa b. Khayyāt : He was included amongst the very ascetic ones. Ahmad b. Sālih said: He was not accused of lying.

A man who isn’t accused of lying is not necessarily considered reliable. We find in Al-Majrooheen by Ibn Hibban: It appears as though he was disobedient to Allah, and there is a consensus upon the scholars to avoid using those that appear to be in a state of disobedience of Allah as evidence.

Why has Al-Sanad not quoted the opinion of Ibn Hibban? Perhaps it is because it shows that among Ahlulsunnah were those that acted objectively and criticized those that deserve criticism, and that our view of rijal does not revolve around the love and hatred of people towards Ahlulbayt.

3 – `Imrān b. Hattān : leader of the Khawārij. He wrote well-known poetry regarding Ibn Muljam al-Murādī praising him. al-`Ijlī authenticated him. al-Bukhārī included him amongst the narrators of his Sahīh and selected his narrations.

Al-Daraqutni and Al-Uqaili both criticized him and rejected his narrations. This is clear that there is no conspiracy among the scholars of hadith against Ahlulbayt and the Shias.

4 – Harīz b. `Uthmān : The one would who would pray in the masjid and would not leave until he had cursed (yal`an) `Alī seventy times every single day. al-Bukhārī, Abū Dawūd, al-Tirmizhī, and others presented his narrations as proof [as a matter of dalīl]. In al-Riyād al-Nadra : Thiqa, except he hates `Alī, Allah hates him.

Abu Hatim Al-Razi has said that there is nothing authentic about him cursing Ali. Yazeed bin Harun, his student, said that he never heard him say that he doesn’t love Ali. Ali bin Ayyash said that Hareez denied cursing Ali. It is very possible that each of these three scholars held the same view, which is that Hareez never committed this sin. Al-Bukhari though, in Al-Tareekh Al-Kabeer quotes Abu Al-Yamaan who implied that this is Hareez’s old view, and that he left it.

5 – al-`Abbās b. Bakkār al-Dabbī : al-Zhahabī said in Mīzān al-I`tidāl : He is accused by his hadith from Khālid b. `Abd Allah from Bayān from al-Sha`bī from Abī Juhayfa from `Alī عليه السلام marfū`an (meaning it originates from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله): On the Day of Resurrection a Caller will call: O People of the Gathering! Lower your gazes from Fātima until she passes the path (al-Sirāt) to Paradise. He [al-Zhahabī] also said: And from among his many false sayings: from Khālid b. `Amr al-Azdī from al-Kalbī from Abī Sālih from Abī Hurayra. He said: It is written upon the throne (al-`Arsh): There is no god except Allah Myself Only, Muhammad صلى الله عليه وآله is My slave and My messenger, I supported him with `Alī.

Al-Sanad assumes that Sunnis weaken narrators due to narrations of praise towards Fatima and Ali, and yet, our Saheehain include such narrations. However, these two specific narrations do not come to us through those that have been deemed as trustworthy, but rather, through a man who is known to have attributed lies to scholars of hadith. I wonder if Al-Sanad accepts these narrations in the first place, since I am not aware that modern Shias believe that Allah has a tangible throne. However, Al-Sanad is a lumberjack by night, and so he uses whatever he can against Ahlulsunnah, not matter how bad the argument is, or if it can be turned against him.

6 – `Ubayd Allah b. Mūsā al-`Abasī : from al-Khatīb that Ahmad b. Hanbal abandoned narrations from him when he heard him presenting [defamation] of Mu`āwiya b. Abī Sufyān, so he went his messenger to Yahyā b. Ma`iīn so he said to him : Your brother Abū `Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal sends you salām and he says : Behold you increase in narrating the narrations from `Ubayd Allah and you and I both heard him presenting [defamation] of Mu`āwiya b. Abī Sufyān and I surely have abandoned narrations from him. So Yahyā b. Ma`īn said to the messenger : I return the salām to Abī `Abd Allah. Say to him : Yahyā b. Ma`īn sends you salām, he said to you : You and I both heard `Abd al-Razzāq presenting [defamation] in `Uthmān b. `Affān so then abandon narrations from him! For verily `Uthmān is more virtuous than Mu`āwiya.

The other view that Al-Sanad does not want to share is that the majority of the scholars of hadith have accepted the narrations of Ubaidullah bin Musa and hold it to the highest regard, even with his tashayyu. He is a major narration in Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Muslim, and is praised by Yahya bin Ma’een (as Al-Sanad shows), Ibn Adi, Ibn Sa’ad, Ibn Qani’, Al-Saji, Al-Ijli, and Abu Hatim.
Al-Sanad though is isolation Al-Imam Ahmad and making it seem as though this is a part of his agenda against Shias. However, when we go to Bahr Al-Dam by Ibn Abdul Hadi we find that Al-Imam Ahmad had an issue with his narrations, not his tashayyu.

7 – Zakariyyā b. Yahyā al-Kasā’ī : al-Zhahabī said in Mīzān : `Abd Allah b. Ahmad [b. Hanbal] said: I asked Ibn Ma`īn about him so he said : a vile man that narrates vile narrations. He also said : He deserves that a well be built for him and then he is thrown in it. Abū Yu`lā al-Mūsalī narrated: Zakariyyā al-Kasā’ī narrated to me: Zakariyyā b. al-Qāsim narrated to me from Mu`allā b. `Irfān from Shaqīq from `Abd Allah. He said: I saw the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله take the hand of `Alī عليه السلام while he saying: Allah is my walī and I am your walī and the enemy whoever makes you their enemy and peacemaker with whoever makes with with you.

Ironically, even Al-Nasa’ee, who is accused of tashayyu and of hating Mu’awiyah, rejected the narrations of this man. As we can see from the example of Ubaidullah bin Musa, the scholars of Ahlulsunnah have accepted the narrations of Shias that are thiqaat.

8 – Talīd b. Sulaymān al-Kūfī al-A`raj al-Muhārabī : In al-Tahzhīb : Abū Dawūd said : a rāfidī that villifies Abā Bakr and `Uthmān, a vile man malignant, rāfidī. Ibn Mu`ayd said: A liar, he vilifies `Uthmān and any person who villifies `Uthmān or Talha or anyone from the companions of Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وآله is a dajjāl (anti-christ, super-evil-liar) his narrations are not written down!

Let me quote a narration that Al-Thahabi in Mizan Al-I’itidal quoted in order to prove that this man was a liar. He fabricated a narration where the Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa salam) looked at Ali and said: This man is in heaven, and his Shia are a people that claim Islam but have nabz, they are called the Rafidha, if you see them then kill them, for they are Mushrikoon. Subhanallah. Rahimakallah ya Al-Thahabi. You criticize a narrator for fabricating a narration that is in your favour. This is the objectivity of Ahlulsunnah.

10 – Lamāza b. Zabbār al-Azdī al-Jahdamī : [al-Zhahabi] said in Mīzā al-I`tidāl : He was present at the incident of Jamal and he was a Nāsibī. He would defame `Alī عليه السلام and praise Yazīd لعنه الله. And in al-Tahzhīb : Ibn Ma`īn said: He would vilify `Alī. Abū Lubayd said : I said to him [Limāza] : Why do you abuse `Alī? He said : That I abuse a man that kills 2500 from us while the Sun is as here!?
The man is authenticated, Ibn Sa`d gives him authentication (tawthīq). Harb said from his father : He was righteous in narrations and he praised him good praises.

See the explanation by Ibn Hajar and the previous examples of the condemnation of Nawasib by hadith scholars.

The First: Ibn Hajr makes it very clear in this discussion that the practice of the master of Jarh and Ta`dīl of the Sunnis was that they would mostly give tawthīq to the Nāsibī and weaken the Shī`ah absolutely and this reporting from him about methodology of the people in Jarh and Ta`dīl and that it is explicitly being in opposition to the Ahl al-Bayt عليهم السلام not regarding honesty of tongue or the lack of it.

The statement that the Sunnis give tawtheeq to Nawasib is true. However, they are not given tawtheeq due to their nasb, but due to their truthfulness. On the other hand, there are those that are Nawasib that have been rejected by Sunni scholars, since they were known to have lied or are weak in hadith. (See Al-Salt bin Dinar’s biography in Taqreeb Al-Tahtheeb) Furthermore, as we have demonstrated above, we do not weaken Shias absolutely, and Al-Sanad is clearly not being truthful about this.

Second: From that which indicates the nasb of Ibn Hajr is that he weakened some thuqāt because they would abuse some of the Companions like Talha and `Uthmān without it being clarified for a reason – like what has passed in the entry of Talīd – meanwhile he has given tawthīq to those who vilify Amīr al-Mūminīn عليه السلام; rather he says that most of the Nāsiba were described with honesty of the speech and upholders of religion so what is concluded from his words is the following: Everyone who abuses a single one from the Companions is a dajjāl, it is not permissible to take narrations from him except the insulters/abusers of Amīr al-Mūminīn `Alī عليه أفضل الصلاة والسلام for verily they are generally the masters of religious affairs and described as honest in speech! So welcome to this type of religiosity! Congratulations to these religious ones the most daring [in challenging] Allah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وآله! How joyous for these pens that seek reward in supporting Banī Umayya in assaulting the law of Islam and the sanctity of the Master of Risālah al-Mudriyya (?) with wickedness and fasād and hating the purified progeny and aiding the Tulaqā’* and the sons of Tulaqā’! The opposers of the Imam of Truth! The drinkers of wine! The creators of calamities and pages of darkness, the likes of Talha, `Uthmān, and Mu`āwiya لعنه الله. “A grievous word comes from the mouths! The speak nothing but lies!” [al-Kahf 18:5]

This is correct, and there shouldn’t be anything confusing about this, nor does this have anything to do with the biases of Sunnis. This is an objective observation by our hadith scholars. The corruptness of a sect does not necessarily make them liars. A good example of this are the Khawarij, who believe that lying is a major sin that leads to hellfire. Due to this belief, the Khawarij, as vile as they were, were very cautious about lying. They were even more cautious than those that ascribed themselves to Ahlulsunnah. However, certain sects that fell under the umbrella of Rafdh believed in the permissibility of lying in order to hide one’s point of view. It is natural for Sunni hadith scholars to be more cautious of the Rafidha than the Khawarij, even if we agreed that the Khawarij are worse than the Rafidha in general.

The Conclusion: The matter of Jarh and Ta`dīl is subjected to the ijtihād of the rijāli according it was grounded in from inquiries of belief so his conclusions that he put out were nothing but his fatāwā, meaning his ijtihād and the majority of the matter is not grounded in assessing the moral behavior of the narrator.  

Alhamdulillah, this has been proven to be false, and Alhamdulillah, these arguments by Al-Sanad shows only how weak his opinion is.

In addition to the above, I’d like to demonstrate how Sunni hadith scholars weaken Shias. I’ll be doing so by proving the weakness of Al-Sanad himself when it comes to transmitting information.

1st Mistake: He said: Ibn Hajr said in Tahzhīb al-Tahzheeb : He is a tābi`ī (first generation follower after the Companions),thiqa and he is the one who murdered al-Husayn. عليه السلام

I say: Ibn Hajar said no such thing in Tahtheeb Al-Tahtheeb.

2nd Mistake: He said: Khalīfa b. Khayyāt : He was included amongst the very ascetic ones.

I say: The person that said that was Abu Nu’aim. Furthermore, in another edition of Tareekh Dimashq he says that he was considered as one of the smartest, not an ascetic. The same can be found in Ma’rifat Al-Sahaba by the same author.

3rd Mistake: He said when defending Taleed: So anyone who vilifies anyone from the Sahaba is proven to be a dajjāl according to Ibn Hajar and it is not permissible to write his hadith.

I say: The actual quote is by Ibn Ma’een and not Ibn Hajar. Note: Dar’ul Islam, the translator has changed the name to Ibn Ma’een, when in the published book it says Ibn Hajar.

4th Mistake: He says: Abū Lubayd said : I said to him [Limāza] : Why do you abuse `Alī? He said : That I abuse a man that kills 2500 from us while the Sun is as here!?

I say: Abu Lubaid IS Limaza, so how can he be talking to himself?! The quote says that “someone” said to Abu Lubaid, not that Abu Lubaid was speaking to Limaza.

Subhanallah. How can such a man be trusted when he makes such blunders? Truly, it is clear that Al-Sanad is weak in his transmitting the opinions of scholars.