Imam Malik and weak narrators?
Did Imam Malik narrate (ahadith) from weak narrators? We read statements from several scholars that:
– “Imam Malik never narrates except from the trustworthy narrators.” (Imam ‘Ali b. al-Madini)
– “Everyone whom imam Malik narrates from is trustworthy.” (Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal)
And there are more similar statements from the ‘ulama.
But we also read:
وقال يحيى بن معين كل من روي عنه مالك بن أنس فهو ثقة إلا عبد الكريم البصري أبو أمية ” تهذيب الكمال ”
And Yahya b. Ma’in said: “Whoever Malik b. Anas narrated from (him), (and he) is trustworthy, (or in another translation: Everyone from whom Malik ibn Anas narrates is a trustworthy narrator) except for ‘Abd al-Karim al-Basri Abu Umayyah”. (Tahdhib ul-Kamal) He was considered “matruk” (left / abandonded), which means: a narrator whose hadith transmission was discarded due to unreliability.
More info on ‘Abd al-Karim al-Basri Abu Umayyah we can read in at-Ta’liq al-Mumajjad, a commentary on the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad by shaykh ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Laknawi rahimahullah: ‘Abd al-Karim ibn Abi’l-Mukhariq. Two [narrators] are called ‘Abd al-Karim. (..) The second was Ibn Abi’l-Mukhariq whose kunya was Abu Umayyah, and he is to be abandonded, as is in al-Qawl al-Musaddad fi’dh-Dhibb ‘an Musnad Ahmad by Hafiz Ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani. He said in at-Tamhid (by imam Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr): “He is weak, about which people of hadith are unanimous.” (..) his way of living deceived Malik [about his qualities as a narrator of hadith], for he was not one of the people of his town so that he could know him. He died in 126 AH or 127 AH. As-Suyuti said in Mirqat as-Su’ud: It is not sound in that which ‘Abd al-Karim ibn Abi’l-Mukhariq alone narrates to judge that he fabricated, because Malik narrated from him, and it is well known that it was his habit only to narrate from those he regarded as trustworthy narrators even if others discovered what necessarily required taking a critical view of him.
Imam Malik related several ahadith in the Muwatta (both most well-known versions of Imam Muhammad and al-Laythi) from ‘Abd al-Karim al-Basri Abu Umayyah.
He is not the only weak narrator (each differing in grade of weakness) imam Malik narrates from, there are more (about which some doubts have been raised), for example:
– Sharik b. Abi Namir / Numayr (although trustworthy according to Ibn Sa’id and Abu Dawud)
– ‘Asim b. ‘Ubayd Allah
– ‘Ata al-Khurasani (Imam al-Bukhari regarded him as weak although Yahya b. Ma’in and Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr disagreed with imam al-Bukhari)
– Dawud b. al-Husayn (although Yahya b. Ma’in regarded him as trustworthy)
Does this mean the Muwatta contains weak narrations? This question is answered here: http://english.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=showfatwa&Option=FatwaId&Id=274981 Although this fatwa is anonymous the information is correct as I have heard the same from my teacher. The different versions do have some mursal and mawquf ahadith, which technically means they are weak, and it has some balaghat, but those issues have been resolved by later scholars.
While researching on Allah’s Most Beautiful Names I stumbled upon some strange statements I couldn’t withhold from the general public.
In the introduction of the translator “Abu Rumaysah” of the book “Explanation to the Beautiful and Perfect Names of Allah”, which is a translation of an extraction of the tafsir by shaykh Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahman Nasir as-Sa’di rahimahullah on the Most Beautiful names of Allah he mentions imam ar-Razi rahimahullah and says: “and he is from the greatest opponents of Ahlu-s-Sunnah” p. 31). See here:
This is a blatant lie, intellectual fraud and academic dishonesty. Imam ar-Razi was not an opponent of Ahl us-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah, instead he was a defender of Ahl us-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah. This is well-known and doesn’t need reference.
Is it because the translator is a Salafi and as such opposed to the Asha’irah whom are not considered from Ahl us-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah in his limited view? I find this odd and very strange.
After that I stumbled upon what should be seen as a fatwa aparently from the in Salafi circles popular Saudi ‘shaykh’ Assim al-Hakeem where he outright denies there is a verse of the Qur’an or hadith that mentions Allah has 99 names subhan’Allah. He says: “There isn’t any verse or hadeeth that tells us what are these 99 names but there are speculations of scholars whether a particular set of names are actual names or attributes.” See here:
In another ‘fatwa’ he mentions that hadith which mentions the 99 names is not authentic. See here:
So firstly he contradicts himself and then mentions the hadith is not authentic.
I can’t take this ‘shaykh’ seriously. Imam Tirmidhi rahimahullah mentions the hadith with the 99 names in his Jami’ and says it is hasan; imam an-Nawawi mentions this in his Kitab al-Adhkar (Bab Asma’iLlahi al-Husna). This suffices I think. Who is Assim al-Hakeem compared to imam Tirmidhi?
Qadi ‘Iyyad and the science of hadith
I recently came across the following short article at the English site of Islam Today (http://en.islamtoday.net/) on the book al-Shifa by Qadi ‘Iyyad rahimahullah.
“What is your opinion about the book al-Shifâ’ by al-Qâdî `Iyâd?
Answered by Sheikh Khâlid Husayn
This book is a valuable book on the subject of the Prophet’s virtues, though had it some weak and false hadîth in it.
This is the statement of Imam Shams al-Dîn al-Dhahabî in his immense biographical encyclopedia entitled Siyar A`lâm al-Nubalâ’. In his biographical entry on al-Qâdî `Iyâd (20/212-216), he writes: “His writings are valuable and one of his best works would have been his book al-Shifâ’ had it not been filled with fabricated hadîth.”
This Imam has no experience or knowledge in the science of hadîth. May Allah reward him for his good intention and let people benefit from his book al-Shifâ’. It has proven useful for many people.
It includes some far-fetched interpretations. Our Prophet (peace be upon him) is sufficiently praised by the Qur’ân and the authentic hadîth. We have no need for false hadîth.
It is better to read Dalâ’il al-Nubuwwah by al-Bayhaqî instead. Though it also contains weak hadîth, Imam al-Bayhaqî has done good job by providing the chains of transmission for them so that the student of knowledge may refer to hadîth books and determine the strength and weakness of the hadîth for himself. This is not the case with al-Shifâ’.
And Allah knows best.”
One of the statements in the article -by this to me unknown shaykh- struck me: “This Imam has no experience or knowledge in the science of hadith.” This is completely incorrect and one wonders where and with whom this so called ‘shaykh’ has studied and what his knowledge of this science is. He obviously has no idea about who Qadi ‘Iyyad rahimahullah is. Every serious and beginning student of (the science of) hadith can easily refute this statement based on the following grounds:
1. Although may be not one of the top scholars in the field Qadi ‘Iyyad was a great muhaddith (hadith scholar).
2. Qadi ‘Iyyad wrote a detailed book on the science of hadith “Al-Ilma’ ila Ma’rifah Usul ar-Riwayah wa Taqyidi as-Sama’a” which shows his mastery of this science. This is one of the major (and relatively early) works in this science. This book has almost 500 pages. This book has been taught online by shaykh Hassan al-Kittani of Cordoba Academy in English.
3. Qadi ‘Iyyad wrote an extensive commentary on Sahih Muslim, which served as a basis for the commentary of imam al-Nawawi on Sahih Muslim. His commentary –with the title Ikmal al-Mu’lim bi Fawa’id Muslim- shows his extensive knowledge in the field of hadith. Next to this he wrote the book Mashâriq al-Anwâr `alâ Sihâh al-Âthâr, which explains ambiguous terms in the Sahihayn and the Muwatta. This work also shows his erudition in the field of hadith. His work al-Tanbihat al-Mustanbata ‘ala al-Kutub al-Mudawwana wa al-Mukhtalitah also attests to this, which consists of notes on the Maliki mother books al-Muddawanah and al-Mukhtalitah. He also wrote a work about the lessons which can be extracted from the famous hadith of Umm Zar’ with the title: Bughyat Ar-Râ’id limâ fî Hadîth Umm Zar` Min Fawâ’id.
This is a post about amir ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri rahimahullah which contains interesting links with info about him:
- Hamza Yusuf on him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8Ljj8FAVGU