Ma'rifat Al-Hadith

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This is a translation of the introductory part of Ma'rifat al-Hadith of Sheikh Muhammad Baqir al-Bahbudi by Islamic Salvation. It is a very good primer on the Sciences of Hadith - having a unique approach and arrangement.

Contents

The History of Hadith and its Scholarship

And Only a Few of My Slaves are Grateful

<<All mankind were a single community; then Allah sent the Prophets as bearers of good news and warnings, and sent down with them the Book in truth, so that it may judge between the people concerning that about which they differed, and none differed in it except those who had been given it, after the manifest proofs had come to them, out of envy among themselves. So Allah guided those who had faith to the truth of what they differed in, by His will, and Allah guides whomever He wishes to the straight path>>.[1]

In spite of the words of Allah <<And do not be like those who became divided and differed after manifest proofs had come to them, for such there will be a great punishment>>[2] - the Islamic community differed after its prophet despite what was in their hands of the manifest proofs and guidance, out of envy among themselves, and returned back on their tracks, fighting each other, what ruled over them was their opinions and their desires, and they have not ceased being divided, except the one upon whom the Lord has had mercy, and for this did He create them, and the words of your Lord have been fulfilled - 'I will fill Hell up with the Jinn and the men - both'

After Guidance had Become Manifest to Them

Muslim narrates in his Sahih Vol. 4 Pg. 1873 by his chain to Zayd b. al-Arqam who said: the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم stood in our midst one day to speak - by the waters (pond) known as Khumm between Makka and Madina - so he praised Allah, and extolled his greatness, and counselled, and reminded, then he said: After this (introduction), O people, I am merely a mortal, it is feared that the messenger of my Lord (i.e. the angel of death) may come (to me) and I respond (to his call), I am leaving in your midst two weighty things, the first of them is the book of Allah, in it is guidance and light, so take by the book of Allah, and hold on to it, then he said: and the people of my house, I remind you of Allah about (your obligations to) the people of my house.

And Ahmad b. Hanbal narrated in his Musnad Vol. 3 Pg. 14, he said: Narrated to us Aswad b. Amir reported to us Abu Israil from Atiyya from Abi Said who said: the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said: I leave in your midst two weighty things, one of them is greater than the other, the book of Allah, a stretched rope between the heaven and earth, and my descendants - the people of my house, for they will never separate until they return to me at the pond.[3]

Out of Envy Among Themselves

And the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said in his speech on the day of Nahr [sacrifice] in his farewell pilgrimage: <<... and do not oppress one another, and do not revert after me to being disbelievers, some of you striking the backs of others (in oppression), I have left in your midst that by which you will never be misguided - the book of Allah ...>>[4]

And Ahmad b. Hanbal narrated in his Musnad Vol. 2 Pg. 104, he said: narrated to us Muhammad b. Ja'far narrated to us Shu'ba from Waqid from Muhammad b. Zayd that he heard his father narrating from Abdallah b. Umar from the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم - that he said in the farewell pilgrimage: <<Woe upon you! do not revert after me to being disbelievers, some of you striking the backs of others'.[5]

Have You Turned Back on Your Heels?

Muslim narrated in his Sahih Vol. 4 Pg. 2194 from Ibn Abbas who said: the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم stood in our midst to speak - aiming to give a counsel, so he said: <<O people, you will be raised to Allah barefooted, naked and uncircumcised <<As We have initiated the creation so will We renew it, a promise on Us, verily We are the doers (capable of it)>>,[6] surely, the first of all creation to be cloaked (with clothes) on the day of Judgement will be Ibrahim. Surely, some of the men of my community will be brought forth - so they will be taken towards the left hand-side, so I will say: O Lord - my companions! so it will be said: you do not know what they innovated after you, so I will say as the righteous servant: <<And I was a witness over them as long as I was with them, so when you caused me to die - you were the One who was a watcher over them, and you are a witness over all things, if you punish them then they are your slaves, and if you forgive them then you are the strong the wise>>,[7] he said: so it was said to me: they did not cease turning back on their heels (re-tracing their foot steps back-wards) since you left them'.[8]

And Do Not Corrupt the Land After its Reconciliation

In Sahih al-Kafi no. 4354 from Muhammad b. Muslim from Abi Ja'far عليه السلام about the words of Allah <<corruption has appeared in the land and the sea - due to what the hands of men have wrought>>[9] he said: that is by Allah when the Ansar said: from us will be a ruler and from you a ruler! (i.e. at Saqifa)

There is Nothing after Truth except Misguidance

Abu Amr al-Kashshi narrated - based on what is present in the selection of his Rijal (i.e. by al-Tusi) Pg. 7 - from the book of al-Ayyashi Muhammad b. Mas'ud who said: narrated to me Ali b. al-Hasan b. Fadhal narrated to me al-Abbas b. Amir and Ja'far b. Muhammad b. Hakiym from Aban b. Uthman from al-Harith b. Mughira al-Nasri who said: I heard Abd al-Malik b. A'yan asking Aba Abdillah عليه السلام - so he did not cease asking him (the same question - due to his amazement at it) - until he said to him (out of exasperation): so the people were destroyed then (after the messenger of Allah)? so he said: yes, by Allah, O the son of A'yan, all the people were destroyed, I (Abd al-Malik) said: whomever was in the east and the west? he said: it (the whole earth) was opened up to misguidance, yes, by Allah, they were all destroyed, except three, then joined Abu Sa'san, and Ammara, and Shatira and Abu Umara, so they became seven.

All the People Returned Back except Three?

Abu Amr al-Kashshi narrated in his Rijal Pg. 7 from the book of al-Naysaburi Muhammad b. Ismail Bandafar who said: narrated to me al-Fadhl b. Shadhan from Ibn Abi Umayr from Ibrahim b. Abd al-Hamid from Abi Basir who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: all the people returned back (apostatized) except three - Abu Dhar and Salman and Miqdad? so Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: so whereat is Abu Sasan and Abu Umara al-Ansari (in your list)?

True Selflessness

And in Sahih al-Kafi no. 4407 from Abi Ja'far عليه السلام who said: the people - when they did what they did, that is pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr, nothing prevented Amir al-Mu'minin عليه السلام to call to himself (seek support as a rival to them), except looking at (the condition of) the people, and fearing for them, that they will return back on Islam (apostatize), and begin worshiping the idols (anew), and they will not testify that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, so it was more preferable to him to agree to what they had done over them leaving Islam totally ... (until the end of) the Hadith.

Back to the Age of Ignorance

And in Sahih al-Kafi no. 4408 from Abd al-Rahim al-Qasiyr who said: I said to Abi Ja'far عليه السلام: the people are astonished when we say: the people as a whole turned back (apostatized), so he said: O Abd al-Rahim, the people reverted - after the messenger of Allah was taken - to being the people of Jahiliyya (Ignorance), the Ansar withdrew (from Abu Bakr) but they did not withdraw for something good (i.e. to favor the rightful person – rather it was to feed their tribal inclinations), they began pledging the allegiance to Sa'd while chanting the chants of Jahiliyya: 'O Sa'd, you are - the hoped in (our hope to reach the objectives), and your hair is - the finely styled, and your competitor (challenger) is - the pelted upon (repelled by stones)'

And Ibn Abi al-Hadid narrated in his commentary on the Nahj, Vol. 2 Pg. 3, published in Lebanon, from the book of Saqifa by Abi Bakr Ahmad b. Abd al-Aziz al-Jawhari, and in it - it is recorded that - Ma'n b. Adi said to Umar b. al-Khattab, this grouping from the Ansar have gathered in the Saqifa of Bani Saida and with them is Sa'd b. Ubada - they revolve around him and say: 'you are - the inspirer of hope, and your scion (son) is - the inspirer of hope'.

And they Drunk in their Hearts the Love of the Calf

And in Sahih al-Kafi no. 4409 from Abi Ja'far عليه السلام who said: the people became after the messenger of Allah unto the likeness of those who followed Harun and those who followed the calf ... (until the end of) the Hadith.

The Mighty Ones (Leaders) of Bani Hashim?

In Sahih al-Kafi no. 4380 from Sadir who said: we were with Abu Ja'far عليه السلام - so we recalled what the people had done after their prophet, and their subjugation of Amir al-Mu'minin عليه السلام, so a man from the group (present) said: may Allah set aright your affairs, where were the leaders of Banu Hashim? and what was their number (how many were they?) so Abu Ja'far عليه السلام said: and who was left of the Bani Hashim? verily it was Hamza and Ja'far, and they had both passed on, and were left with him two weak and insignificant individuals, new comers to Islam, Abbas and Aqil, and they were from the freed slaves (after the conquest of Makka).

And al-Kashshi mentioned in his Rijal Pg. 6 quoting from the book of Hisham from Abi Khalid al-Kabuli from Abu Ja'far عليه السلام who said: Ali b. Abi Talib عليه السلام was among you in Iraq, fighting his enemies, and with him were his companions, and there was not within them fifty men who recognized him with the true recognition (as he should be recognized), and his true recognition is acknowledging his Imamah.

Under the cover of Taqiyya (the Underground Period of Silence)

So when the nation had disregarded the testament of their prophet, and forgot what they had been reminded in regards his descendants, and the Imam from the people of his house, and removed him from the position that was rightfully his, the guiding descendants betook themselves to the compounds of their homes, and they covered themselves with the cover of Taqiyya, so as to guarantee the survival of their legacy, and they did not announce their right to leadership, except to their select ones, and their Mawali (clients) from the Shia (followers) of their father, they did not study nor teach anything except in secrecy, fearing the retribution of their enemies, thus, no one graduated from their school in those tyrannical times, except for a few who were called the ‘disciples’.

Who are my helpers to Allah?

Abu Amr al-Kashshi narrated in his Rijal Pg. 9 from Muhammad b. Qulawayh who said: narrated to me Sa’d b. Abdallah b. Abi Khalaf narrated to me Ali b. Sulayman b. Dawud al-Razi narrated to us Ali b. Asbat from his father Asbat b. Salim who said: Abu al-Hasan Musa b. Ja’far عليه السلام said: when the day of judgment occurs a caller will call out: where are the disciples of Muhammad b. Abdallah the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم - those who did not break the covenant and passed away whilst being faithful to it? So Salman and Miqdad and Abu Dhar will rise (to respond), then the caller will call out: where are the disciples of Ali b. Abi Talib the successor of Muhammad b. Abdallah the messenger of Allah? So Amr b. al-Hamiq al-Khuzai and Muhammad b. Abi Bakr and Maytham b. Yahya al-Tammar the client of Bani Asad and Uways al-Qarni will rise, then the caller will call out: where are the disciples of al-Hasan b. Ali the son of the daughter of Muhammad b. Abdallah the messenger of Allah? So Sufyan b. Abi Layla al-Hamdani and Hudhayfa b. Asiyd al-Ghifari (will rise), then he will call out: where are the disciples of al-Husayn b. Ali? So all those who were martyred with him and did not abandon him will rise, then he will call out: where are the disciples of Ali b. al-Husayn? So Jubayr b. Mut’im and Yahya b. Umm Tawil and Abu Khalid al-Kabuli and Sa`id b. al-Musayyab (will rise) …

The Beginning of the Blessed Call

And after the matter (i.e. the authority) had reached to Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Ali al-Baqir, the Imam of the guiding descendants in the second century (95-114), Allah granted him a suitable opportunity, so he began spreading the call of truth among the visitors who came to him of the men of Kufa and Basra, familiarizing them with the pure religion and teaching them the Book and the just Sunna, consequently, a large group of the free-minded and the possessors of cognition among them were won over to him, hearing him and obeying. And when they carried back the message of the purified descendants to their homes and the centers of their learning, acting as compassionate advisors to their folk, a large community of people answered their call and resolved to leave behind their desires and innovations, so they began to set out every year for some days in the months of the Hajj and the Umra, to conceal their arrival and to hide their true motives - and study under the Imam of the sanctified descendants the teachings of their religion through understanding and verification, this continued throughout the whole period of his honored life, and after that, their delegations continued, this time to his true successor: Abi Abdillah - the truthful, so it was that under his tutelage the Fiqh and the sciences of their Madhhab was perfected, and after his blessed name was their Madhhab and Aqida named.

The First one to return back to the Fold

Abu al-Husayn Ahmad b. al-Abbas Ibn al-Najashi said in the book Akhbar Bani Sunsun: narrated to us Abu Abdallah al-Husayn b. Ubaydallah b. Ibrahim al-Wasiti narrated to us Abu Ghalib Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Sulayman b. al-Hasan b. al-Jahm b. Bukayr b. A’yan al-Shaybani - in his epistle to the son of his son (i.e. grandson): Muhammad b. Abdallah b. Ahmad - the following: Muhammad b. al-Husayn reported from Ibrahim b. Muhammad b. Humran from his father from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: the first one to know this affair (i.e. Tashayyu) was Abd al-Malik b. A’yan, he learnt it from Salih b. Maytham (b. Yahya al-Tammar), then Humran knew it (i.e. was the second to know it) from Abi Khalid al-Kabuli - may Allah have mercy on them.

And he (Abu Ghalib) said: Humran met our master and the master of the worshipers Ali b. al-Husayn, and he (Humran) was among the greatest and most meritious of the Shaykhs of the Shia - about whom no doubt can be cast (had), and he was one of the carriers of the Qur’an (i.e. its memorizers), and from among those whose name is enumerated and mentioned in the books of the (study of the) Qur’an (i.e. since he was a transmitter of a specific recitation of the Qur’an), and it is narrated that he read (studied) it (the Qur’an) under Abi Ja’far Muhammad b. Ali عليه السلام, and he was apart from this a scholar of grammar and language.

Abu Amr al-Kashshi said in his Rijal Pg. 210: It is recounted from Ali b. al-Hasan b. Fadhal that he said: al-Hakam - that is Ibn Utayba - was among the Fuqaha of the A’mma (commoners), and he was the teacher of Zurara and Humran and al-Tayyar before they saw this affair (i.e. converted to it), and it is said: he was a Murji, that is - al-Hakam.

al-Kashshi narrated in his Rijal Pg. 7 saying: Hamdawayh said: narrated to us Ayyub b. Nuh from Muhammad b. al-Fudhayl and Safwan (b. Yahya) from Abi Khalid al-Qammat from Humran who said: I said to Abi Ja’far عليه السلام: how few we are! if we were all to gather upon a single sheep - we would not be able finish it (i.e. eat all of it by ourselves), he (Humran) said: so he عليه السلام said: do I not inform you of something even more astonishing than that? …

Their marks (signs) are on their Faces

Al-Kashshi narrated in his Rijal Pg. 161 saying: narrated to me Hamdawayh b. Nusayr narrated to me Ya’qub b. Yazid from al-Hasan b. Ali b. Fadhal from Tha’laba b. Maymun from one of his men who said: al-Rabia al-Rayy said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: who are these brothers who come to you from Iraq? for I do not see among your companions any who are better than them or more lively. So he عليه السلام said: those are the companions of my father - referring to the sons of A’yan.

The Spreading out of the Callers

In Sahih al-Kafi No. 291 from Humran b. A’yan who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: may I ask you? he said: yes, I said: I was upon a condition and today I am upon another condition (i.e. upon Tashayyu), I used to travel in the land and propagate to a man or two or a woman then Allah would deliver whomever he wishes - but today I do not propagate to anyone (i.e. due to Taqiyya)?, so he عليه السلام said: and what will be upon you if you leave it (i.e. guidance) as a matter between the people and their Lord (i.e. not interfere in it by propagating), so whomever Allah wishes to remove from the darknesses to the light - He will do so, then he عليه السلام said: but there is nothing against you if you perceive goodness in someone to insinuate to him an insinuation (about the truth of Tashayyu), I said: inform me about the words of Allah Mighty and Majestic – <<and whoever gives life to it (i.e. the soul) - it is as though he has given life to all the peoples>>, he عليه السلام said: by saving it from fire or drowning, then he remained silent for awhile, then he said: its greatest interpretation is to call it (i.e. the soul to the right way) – and it responds.

In Sahih al-Kafi No. 292 from Sulayman b. Khalid who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام – I have have a family, and they do listen to me, do I call them to this affair (i.e. Wilayah)? he said: yes …

In Sahih al-Kafi No. 4357 from Ismail b. Abd al-Khaliq who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying to Abi Ja’far al-Ahwal while I was listening -have you been to Basra? He (al-Ahwal) said: yes, he said: how did you find the enthusiasm of the people towards this affair (Wilaya) and their response in entering into it? he (al-Ahwal) said: by Allah, they are few (who have), and they have done it (entered into it) but it is in small number, so he عليه السلام said: upon you is (to call) the youth, for they are the most quick towards any good, then he said: what do the people of Basra say about this verse: <<say: I do not ask you for it any reward except love towards the kin>>? … (up to the end of) the Hadith.

Laying the Ground (Setting up a suitable Environment)

Abu Ghalib al-Zurari said: Narrated to me Abu Ja’far Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Lahiq al-Shaybani from his Mashayikh (sources) that the descendants of A’yan remained for forty years - numbering forty men, not a man among them dies except that he begats for them a boy (to replace himself and add to their number), and they were like this having full authority over the locality of the Bani Shayban in the quarter of Bani As’ad b. Hammam, and they had a Masjid called Hitta (meaning: humility) in which they prayed, and our master Abu Abdallah Ja’far b. Muhammad al-Sadiq had entered it and prayed in it. And in this locality were the houses of the descendants of A’yan close to each other, and there has remained to this day from among them the house that Muhammad b. Abd al-Rahman b. Humran had retained (kept standing) for his immediate family and then (it passes) to those closest to him in relation (and so on).

The Age of the Delegations

al-Kashshi narrated in his Rijal Pg. 161 No. 273 saying: narrated to me Muhammad b. Qulawayh narrated to me Sa’d b. Abdallah b. Abi Khalaf al-Qummi narrated to us Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Abdallah b. Muhammad al-Hajjal from al-Ala b. Razin from Abdallah b. Abi Ya’fur who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: it is not every time that I meet you (i.e. I am not always in contact with you), and it is not possible to (always) travel to come (to you - from Kufa), and a man from our companions (fellow Shia) comes and asks me, and I do not have the answer for all that he asks me (i.e. what am I to do)?, he عليه السلام said: what prevents you from (referring to) Muhammad b. Muslim al-Thaqafi? for he had heard (narrations) from my father, and had a privileged status/distinguished standing with him.[10]

The Provision of the Delegates (was Taqwa)

al-Kashshi said in his Rijal Pg. 383 under No. 716: Ibn Muskan was an affluent man, and he used to meet our companions when they came (back to Kufa) and take what was with them (i.e. of the Hadith they had taken from al-Sadiq in Madina), and Abu al-Nadhr Muhammad b. Masud postulated (put forward the assumption) that Ibn Muskan would not enter upon Abi Abdillah عليه السلام directly for fear that he would not be faithful in honoring him to the extent that he عليه السلام deserved (was his right), so he used to hear from our companions and refused entering upon him out of reverence for him and having deference for him.

Incoming Messengers and Letters

In Sahih al-Kafi No. 183 from Abd al-Rahim al-Qasiyr who said: I wrote with (i.e. via) Abd al-Malik b. A’yan to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام asking him about Iman (faith) - what was it? so he wrote back with Abd al-Malik b. A’yan …

In Sahih al-Tahdhib No. 2262 from Ibrahim b. Abi Bilad who said: I said to Ibrahim b. Abd al-Hamid - and we had prepared about thirty questions aming to send them to Abi al-Hasan Musa عليه السلام - insert for me this question of mine (into the body of questions) and do not name me to him (as being the questioner) - ask him: is the one who makes Umra al-Mufrada required to perform the Tawaf al-Nisa? …

In Sahih al-Tahdhib No. 2275 from Ibrahim b. Maymun who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: our companions reside in the vicinity of Makka and they ask me (having written to me) - if I were to come to them (reach Makka for the Hajj) - what are they to do (regarding the rites of Hajj)? he said: say to them: when the crescent of Dhu al-Hijjah …

In Sahih al-Kafi No. 1794 from Umar b. Udhayna who said: I wrote to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام with some questions, some of them with Ibn Bukayr, and others with Abi al-Abbas, so his dictated answer came …

In al-Kafi Vol. 5 Pg. 50 from Muhammad b. Yahya from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Ali b. al-Hakam from Ali b. Uqba who said: Abu al-Khattab - and this was before he became corrupt (in Aqida) - used to bear/carry for our companions their questions (letters) and come with their answers (from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام) …

Those who could only Manage a few Visitations

In Sahih al-Kafi No. 4375 from Amr b. Said b. Hilal who said: I said to Abi Abdillah al-Sadiq عليه السلام: It is not possible for me to meet you except after a number of years - so instruct me something that I can take (act upon) … Bearers of the Messages

In Sahih al-Kafi No. 278 from Khaythama from Abi Ja’far عليه السلام who said: give my salutations of peace to any of our Mawali (Shia) whom you see (meet), and instruct them to have the Taqwa of Allah and that their rich should familiarize themselves (visit) with their poor.[11]

The School

So sometimes, the arrivals (the Imam's visitors) would come to him and meet him in the house of one of his Mawali (clients), or that of his brothers and relatives. And at other times, they used to seek permission from him and enter his house - but only in groups of few (one after the other). And whenever some of his special ones (close companions) could accompany him - be it in the roads or in some spots within the Masajid (mosques) - and wherever else they could have privacy (seclude) with him - they would do so, and they would ask him and listen from him. And in all that, the Imam Abu Ja’far al-Baqir, and after him the Imam Abu Abdillah al-Sadiq, and likewise the rest of the purified Aimma of the guiding descendants - would sit with them like compassionate advisers - studying with them, so words would flow to and fro between them (they would converse), and they would teach them the teachings of the book and the Sunnah until they (the companions) became upon (i.e. achieved) cognizance and certainty, and on one occasion or another (sometimes) he (i.e. an Imam) would show them a sign or two (taken) from the inheritance (legacy) of the purified descendants, so that they can increase by that in their faith and certainty, and that they could realize that they are upon the true guidance and upon the straight path.

The Restrictive Atmosphere

In Sahih al-Kafi No. 298 from Hammad b. Waqid - the butcher - who said: I ran into Aba Abdillah عليه السلام in the road, so I turned away my face from him and passed (continued on my way), so I entered upon him (after this event) and said: may I be made your ransom, I sometimes meet you - but turn away my face disliking that I burden you (put you in a problem by showing my recognition of you i.e. due to Taqiyya), so he said to me: may Allah have mercy on you, but a man met me yesterday in such and such place so he (i.e. the man) said: ‘peace be upon you O Aba Abdillah’ - he (i.e. the man) did not do well nor good.

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 1920 from Hisham b. Salim who said: we sent (a message) to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام - and we were a group - and we were in Madina: 'we want to meet you', so he sent to us: 'come one by one one or in pairs of two ...'

In the roads

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 867 from Zurara who said: Abu Ja'far عليه السلام attended the funeral of a man from the Quraysh and I was with him ... so when they had prayed upon the body - its guardian (the one overseeing) said to Abi Ja'far عليه السلام: return - fully rewarded - for you do not have the strength to walk (with the body in the procession), so he عليه السلام refused to do so, so I said to him: he has allowed you to return, and I have a need (i.e. a Fiqhi problem) which I want to ask you about ...

The Privacy of the Masajid

In Sahih al-Kafi No. 1129 from Zurara b. A'yan who said: I said to Abi Ja'far عليه السلام: what do you say about sleeping in the Masajid? he said: there is no problem in it, except in two Masjids - the Masjid of the prophet, and the Masjid al-Haram, he (Zurara) said: and he عليه السلام used to take me by the hand - in some part of the night, so he moves (with me) to a corner and sits, so he narrates to me in the Masjid al-Haram, so he may sometimes fall asleep and I may also sleep, so I asked him about that, so he said: it is disliked to sleep within the Masjid that was at the time of the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله (i.e. within the original boundaries of the Masjid before expansion) ...

The Privacy of the Night

al-Kashshi narrates in his Rijal Pg. 616 No. 1150 from Muhammad b. Qulawayh who said: narrated to us Sa'd from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Muhammad b. Hamza b. al-Yasa from Zakariyya b. Adam who said: I entered upon al-Ridha عليه السلام from the beginning of the night - in relation to the event of the death of Abi Jarir - so he asked me about him, and prayed to Allah to have mercy on him, and he did not cease speaking to me and I likewise with him, until dawn appeared, so he stood up and prayed the Fajr.

In the Houses of the Mawali

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 4424 from Said b. Yasar who said: we asked permission from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام (to meet him), me and al-Harith b. al-Mughira al-Nasri and Mansur al-Sayqal, so he promised us the house of Tahir - his Mawla (client) (i.e. to meet up), so we prayed the Asr, then we went to him, so we found him reclining upon the bed which was close to the ground, so we sat around him, then he raised (i.e. settled) himself into a seating position, then he sent his legs until he had placed his feet upon the ground, then he said: All praise is due to Allah.

In the Houses of his Brothers

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 178 from Amr b. Hurayth who said: I entered upon Abi Abdillah عليه السلام while he was in the house of his brother - Abdallah b. Muhammad, so I said to him: may I be made your ransom, what has brought you (carried you over) to this place? ...

In the Days of the Hajj

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 938 from Aban b. Taghlib who said: I prayed with (i.e. behind) Abi Abdillah عليه السلام the Maghrib in Muzdalifa, so when he had finished, he made the Iqama and prayed the final Isha, without praying anything (of the Nafila) in between the two (i.e. Maghrib and Isha), then I prayed with him one year after this (i.e. at Muzdalifa), so he prayed the Maghrib, then he stood and prayed four units of Nafila (i.e. supererogatory prayers), then he made the Iqama and prayed the final Isha, then he turned to look at me and said ...

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 1788 from Said al-Samman who said in a Hadith (report) from him: ... so when it was the next year - I made the Hajj, so when I came to Mina I saw Aba Abdillah عليه السلام and the people were gathered around him, so I came to him and said (to him): which one of them is better? the Hajj or Sadaqa?

On Journeys

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 1259 from Bashir al-Nabbal who said: I came out (travelling) with Aba Abdillah عليه السلام until we reached Shajara, so Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said to me: O Nabbal, I said: Labbayk (here I am at your service - responding to your call), he said: it is not required for anyone from among the people of this regiment (who were also travelling with them) to pray four (units) except for you and me, and that is because (unlike them) the time of prayer had entered before we came out (started the journey).

In the Privacy of The Home

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 1182 from Muhammad b. Muslim who said: I saw Aba Ja’far عليه السلام praying in a single loin cloth - it was not expansive and he had knotted (i.e. fixed) it upon his neck - so I said to him: what do you say about a man who prays in a single long shirt? …

And al-Kashshi narrated in his Rijal Pg. 190 No. 333 saying: narrated to me Muhammad b. Masud who said: narrated to me Ali b. Muhammad al-Qummi who said: narrated to me Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Ali b. al-Hakam from Fudhayl b. Uthman who said: I entered upon Abi Abdillah عليه السلام in a group of our companions (i.e. together with them), so when he had invited me to sit - he said: what did Sahib al-Taq do? …

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 1040 from Hamza b. Humran and al-Hasan b. Ziyad both of whom said: we entered upon Abi Abdillah عليه السلام and with him were a group - so he led them in the Asr and we had already prayed it (i.e. we did not join the congregation), so we counted from him in his Ruku ‘Glory be to the great Lord and by his praise’ thirty three times, and in his Sujud ‘Glory be to the high Lord and by his praise’ thirty three times.

Leniency

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 415 from Zurara who said: Abu Ja’far عليه السلام said (to me): what do you say about the Companions of the Heights (Ashab al-A’raf)? I said: they are not but (either) believers or disbelievers, if they enter paradise they are believers, and if they enter hell they are disbelievers, so he said: by Allah! they are not believers nor are they disbelievers, for if they were believers they would enter paradise as other believers, and if they were disbelievers they would enter hell as other disbelievers, rather they are … (until Zurara said:) I said to him: does a disbeliever enter paradise? he said: no, I said: does anyone enter hell except a disbeliever? he said: no - except if Allah wishes, O Zurara - I say: ‘whatever Allah wishes’ while you do not say ‘whatever Allah wishes’. As for you - when you grow older - you will return (renege) and loosen from you your bind (of faith).

And in Sahih al-Tahdhib No. 2457 from Muadh al-Harra - and Abu Abdillah used to call him al-Nahwi (the Grammarian) - he (Muadh) said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: I do sit in the Masjid - so a man comes to me (and asks) - so if I know that he opposes you - I inform him of the saying (verdict) of other than you, and if he is someone that I do not know (i.e. whether he opposes or follows you) - I inform him of your saying (verdict) and the saying (verdict) of other than you - so he will choose for himself, and if he is someone who says by your saying (follows your verdict) - I inform him of your saying (verdict), so he عليه السلام said: may Allah have mercy on you - do like this.

Showing the Signs

Abu Amr al-Kashshi narrated in his Rijal Pg. 133 from Muhammad b. Masud al-Ayyashi who said: narrated to me Ali b. al-Hasan b. Fadhal who said: narrated to me my two brothers Muhammad and Ahmad from their father from Ibn Bukayr from Zurara who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: O Zurara - your name is among the names of the people of paradise without having an Alif (i.e. the letter Alif in the name), I (Zurara) said: yes, may I be made your ransom, my name is Abd Rabbi but I was given the nick-name (title) Zurara.

Studying the Book

In Sahih al-Kafi No. 650 from Zurara who said: I said to Abi Ja’far عليه السلام - will you not inform me from where you came to know and thus said - the wiping is only for some part of the head and some part of the two feet? so he laughed and then said: O Zurara, the messenger of Allah said it (instructed it) and the Book from Allah came down (was revealed) with it, because Allah the Mighty and Majestic says: <<So wash your faces>> so we came to know that the whole face is supposed to be washed, then He said: <<and your hands up to (i.e. from) the elbows>>, then He partitioned between the two clauses (in His speech) - so He said: <<and wipe of your heads>> so we came to know when He said <<of your heads>> that the wiping applies only to some part of the head because of the presence of the particle ‘of’, then He joined the two feet with the head, just as He had joined the two hands with the face - so He said in this regard: <<and your feet up to the ankles>>, so we came to know when he had joined them both (i.e. the two feet) with the head that the wiping is also only upon some of them both (i.e. some part of the two feet - just as it was for some part of the head), then the messenger of Allah interpreted it for the people but they lost it (did not preserve and act upon it), then he said: <<and you do not find water - then make Tayammum with pure earth - so wipe of your faces and your hands from it>> - so when He waived ablution - if you do not find water - He established wiping only on some parts of what is washed (in ablution i.e. the face and two hands) - because He said: <<of your faces>> then he joined it with <<and your hands>>, then He said: <<from it>> - that is - from that Tayammum, this is because He knew that all that (picked up earth dust) does not pass over the (whole) face …

And in Sahih al-Tahdhib No. 2709 from Abd al-Rahman b. al-Hajjaj who said: I asked Aba Abdillah عليه السلام about a man who buys food-stuffs from a man who does not have them (i.e. the food-stuffs) with him (at the time of purchase) - does he buy from him presently (beforehand and with immediate effect)? he said: there is no harm in it, I said: they who are with us (people where we come from) consider it impermissible (i.e. call us out on it), he said: and what do they say about advance payment?...

Training in Fiqh

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 3942 from Zurara who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said to me: what do you say about a man who leaves behind (i.e. after dying) both his parents and his (half) brothers from his mother’s side? he (Zurara) said: I said: one-sixth (of his inheritance) is for his mother, and what remains is for the father, so he said: from where do you say this? I said: I heard Allah the Mighty and Majestic saying in his book: <<so if he has brothers then for his mother is one-sixth>>, so he said: woe be upon you O Zurara, those are the (half) brothers from the father’s side, so if they are (half) brothers from the mother’s side they do not prevent the mother from the one-third (normal portion).

And in Sahih al-Tahdhib No. 3320 from Ma’mar b. Yahya b. Bassam who said: I asked Aba Ja’far عليه السلام about what the people narrate concerning the commander of the faithful in regards some types of conjugal relations - that he used not to enjoin them (recommend others to engage in them) nor did he prohibit them - except that he prohibited them for himself and his children, so I said: how can that be? he (al-Sadiq) said: a verse permits it, and another prohibits it, so I said: the two verses - is it that one abrogates the other, or are they both valid and it is required to act upon them both? he said: he (i.e. the commander of the faithful) has explained to you (the true position) when he prohibited himself and his children (from those relations), I said: what prevented him from (explicitly) declaring that (i.e. the prohibition) to the people? he said: he feared that he will not be obeyed (by the people), for if the feet of the commander of the faithful had been entrenched (i.e. his rule would have been secure) - he would have established the book of Allah and the truth wholly (in its totality).

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 2723 from Ishaq b. Ammar who said: I said to Abi Ibrahim عليه السلام - a man mortgages a slave and a house, so an affliction afflicts him (i.e. the mortgaged slave becomes injured, sick or dies), upon whom will it be (i.e. to bear the loss in the mortgage deal)?, he said: upon his (i.e. the slave's) master, then he said: consider - if he (i.e. the slave) kills someone - upon whom will it be (i.e. to face the death penalty)? I said: it is upon the neck of the slave (i.e. to bear the responsibility for his action), he said: do you not see? then why does the wealth (i.e. the slave) of this one (i.e. the master) perish (because of the slave's actions)? then he said: consider - if his (i.e. the slave's) value is a hundred Dinars then it increases and reaches two hundred Dinars - for whom does this become (to whom does the gain accrue)? I said: for his master, he said: in the same way, it is upon him - what is for him (i.e. it is upon the master to bear the loss of what in opposite circumstances is to his gain)

Lessons in the Sunnah

Ibn al-Najashi narrates in his Fihrist Pg. 279 from Muhammad b. Ja’far who said: reported to us Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Said from Muhammad b. Ahmad b. al-Hasan from Abbad b. Thabit from Abi Maryam Abd al-Ghaffar b. al-Qasim from Udhafir al-Sayrafi who said: I was with al-Hakam b. Utayba at Abi Ja’far’s عليه السلام - so he (Utayba) began asking him, and Abu Ja’far used to be gracious to him, so they differed about a matter, so Abu Ja’far said: O my son (i.e. Ja’far) stand (and get the book of Ali) - so he (i.e. Ja’far) took out a big and scrolled book (i.e. rolled up parchment), so he opened it and began perusing it until he found the problem (and its solution), so Abu Ja’far said: this is the hand writing of Ali and the dictation of the messenger of Allah صلوات الله عليهما, and he faced al-Hakam and said: O Aba Muhammad - go you and Salama and Abu al-Miqdam wherever you wish - to the right and to the left - for by Allah! you well never find knowledge more trustworthy than that which is with a people upon whom Gabriel used to descend.

And narrated some of it (i.e. this report) al-Kashshi in his Rijal Pg. 209 No. 369 from Muhammad b. Masud from Ali b. Muhammad b. Fayruzan al-Qummi who said: reported to me Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Yahya from al-Abbas b. Ma’ruf from al-Hajjal from Abi Maryam al-Ansari from Abi Ja’far al-Baqir عليه السلام

The Dictation of the Messenger of Allah

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 3950, 3943 and 3974 from Muhammad b. Muslim who said: Abu Ja’far عليه السلام made me read (i.e. gave me to read) the Scroll of the Book of the Inheritance Shares which was the dictation of the messenger of Allah and the hand writing of Ali by his hand …

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 3944 from Zurara who said: I asked Aba Ja’far عليه السلام about the grandfather (i.e. his share of inheritance), so he said: I have not found anyone speaking about it except by his opinion - except the commander of the faithful, I said: and what did the commander of the faithful say? he said: meet me tomorrow so that I can make you read it from a book, I said: may Allah set you aright, narrate it to me - for your (oral) narration is more preferable to me than making me read it in a book, so he said to me: listen to what I say to you, when it is the morrow meet me so that I can make you read it from a book, so I came to him the next day after the Dhuhr, and this was the time in which I used to seclude with him, between the Dhuhr and the Asr, and I used to dislike asking him except in privacy with him (when I with him alone) - fearing that he may give me a Fatwa due to Taqiyya because of someone who was in his presence (apart from me), so when I had entered upon him - he turned towards his son Ja’far and said to him: make Zurara read from the Scroll of the Inheritance Shares, then he stood to go and sleep, only I and Ja’far remained in the room, so he (i.e. Ja'far) stood and took out a scroll like the thigh of a camel (in its ancient appearance).

Debate in Fiqh

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 947 from Zurara who said: I was seated with Abi Abdillah عليه السلام, me and Humran b. A’yan, so Humran said to him: what do you say about what Zurara says and I have opposed him in it, so Abu Abdillah said: and what is it (that he says)? he (Humran) said: he believes that the timings of the prayer were delegated to the messenger of Allah - he was the one who determined them, so Abu Abdillah said: and what do you say? I said: Gabriel came to him in the first day (first time of the day) with the initial time and (also came to him) in the last day (last time of the day) with the final time, then Gabriel said to him: what is in between these two is the time, so Abu Abdillah said: O Humran - Zurara says Gabriel came only to indicate to the messenger of Allah, and Zurara is correct, verily Allah gave that that to Muhammad - so he is the one who determined it, and Gabriel indicated it to him.

The Companions (People) of the Usul (Hadith Notebooks)

And the recipients (of the Hadith) from the Imam of the descendants could be divided into different categories: among them were those who could not write, rather, one of them receives the Hadith verbally, and preserves it in his heart (memory), accompanied with due cognition and understanding, then he passes it on to his students and his companions, so that they can write it down in their Usul (Hadith Notebooks), like Abi Basir Yahya b. al-Qasim al-Asadi and Abi Basir Layth b. al-Bakhtari al-Muradi, both of whom were blind - afflicted in sight. And among them were those who were capable of writing (i.e. were literate), nevertheless, one of them chooses to receive it by hearing, and preserves it in the heart (memory), at least initially, until he finds a suitable opportunity to put it down in writing, and this was even if it (the Hadith recorded) is with different wordings (whilst having preserved the meaning), and they were the majority. And among them were those who heard the narration and wrote it down - with the exact (identical) wordings - without any gap (i.e. immediately), to insure the correctness of the narration, and these were in the minority. And among them was the one who would prefer to seclude (in private) with the Imam, and ask him his questions, fearing that he may otherwise answer with Taqiyya, because of some of those attending the meeting.

That the Retaining Ear may Retain it

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 729 from Abi Basir who said: I entered upon Abi Ja'far عليه السلام while he was praying - so my attendant (sitter) said to me - there is blood on his clothes, so when he had finished - I said to him: my attendant informed me that there was blood on your clothes, so he عليه السلام said to me: I have boils (sore blisters) …

Trustworthy Chests

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 22 from Jamil b. Darraj who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: make fluent our narrations (i.e. when narrating from us without our exact wordings) - for we are an eloquent people.

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 3880 from Umar b. Udhayna who said: I was the witness of Ibn Abi Layla, so he ruled in the case of a man who had made for his relation (i.e. given over to him) the income (i.e. rent) of his house and he did not put a time limit to it (i.e. specify when the arrangement was to come to an end), then the man (i.e. the owner) died, so Ibn Abi Layla said: I see that I should leave it as it was left by its owner, so Muhammad b. Muslim al-Thaqafi said to him: as for Ali b. Abi Talib عليه السلام - then - he had ruled in this Masjid contrary to what you have ruled, so he said: and what made you know that? he said: I heard Aba Ja'far Muhammad b. Ali عليهما السلام saying: the commader of the faithful - Ali b. Abi Talib - ruled for returning back the hold-ed up (detained legacy of the deceased) and executing (dividing up) the portions of inheritance, so Ibn Abi Layla said: is this with you in a book? he said: yes, he said: then send for it and give it to me, Muhammad b. Muslim said to him: with the condition that you do not look into the whole book except in that specific narration, he said: that is for you (i.e. I will abide by that condition).

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 20 from Muhammad b. Muslim who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: I hear the narration from you - then I add to it (for elaboration) and shorten it (to summarize), he said: if you want its meanings (i.e. to convey the original) then there is no problem.

And Do Not Tire to Write It Down

And in the book of Asim b. Humayd from Abi Basir who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: write down, for you will not preserve (lit. memorize) except by writing down.

I say: He narrated it in al-Bihar Vol. 2 Pg. 153. And it is also narrated in al-Kafi Vol. 1 Pg. 52.

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 2961 from Mansur b. Buzurj who said: I said to Abi al-Hasan Musa عليه السلام while I was standing: may I be made your ransom, I have a partner of mine who had a woman under him (i.e. his wife), so he divorced her - and she became separated (i.e. estranged irrevocably) from him (i.e. she completed the waiting period of the divorcee after which return is not possible except with a new marital contract), so he wanted to return her (i.e. marry her again) but the woman said: No - by Allah - I will not marry you - ever - until you place Allah for me over you (i.e. stipulate in the marriage contract) that you will not divorce me nor will you marry upon me (add another wife to me) … then he (al-Kadhim) said: as for now (i.e. if this is the case) - then - tell him to fulfill for the woman her condition, for the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said: the Muslims are with their conditions (i.e. bound by them), I said: may I be made your ransom, I doubt in its wording (i.e. whether the condition as stipulated is legal or not), so he said: it is Imran (i.e. who will help you as a middleman) - he will pass by you, let him (i.e. the man) write it down (the contract) and send it to me, so Imran came to us after that, so we wrote it down for him … so he (Imran) returned after that - and met me in the market of the wheat sellers, so he touched his shoulder to my shoulder and said: he sends you greetings - and says to you: tell the man to fulfill his condition (for the woman).

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 10 from Ubayd b. Zurara who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: preserve (protect) your books - for you will come to have need of them.

In the Protected Tablet

And al-Kashshi narrated in his Rijal Pg. 143 No. 226 - he said: narrated to me Hamduwayh narrated to me Muhammad b. Isa from al-Qasim b. Urwa from Ibn Bukayr who said: Zurara entered upon Abi Abdillah عليه السلام and said: you have spoken to us in the Dhuhr and the Asr (that it is) upon the cubit (arm-breadth) and two cubits (i.e. to pray Dhuhr and Asr when the length of the shadow of a man is equivalent to a cubit and two cubits respectively), then you said: cool (ease) both of them in the summer, so how is the cooling of them both? And he opened up the tablet-board to write what he (i.e. the Imam) will say, so Abu Abdillah عليه السلام did not answer him anything, so he closed the tablet and said: it is upon us (i.e. it is our obligation) to ask you and you know best what is upon you (i.e. what your obligation is) and he came out, and Abu Basir entered upon Abi Abdillah عليه السلام, so he said: Zurara asked me a question about something, but I did not reply him, and I feel straightened (burdened) due to that, so go you as my messenger to him and say: pray the Dhuhr in the summer if your shadow is like you (of the same height as you), and the Asr if it is twice as you (the length of the shadow is double your height). And this is how Zurara used to pray in the summer (at these times), and I did not hear any one from our companions doing the same except for him (Zurara) and Ibn Bukayr.

Honored Writers

And in Sahih al-Tahdhib No. 3535 from Abdallah b. Sinan who said: I asked Aba Abdillah عليه السلام about a woman who breast-feeds a slave-boy of hers born to her own slave until she weans him, is it allowed for her to sell him? he said: no … so I went to write it down, so Abu Abdillah said: and the like of this is not written down (i.e. either because it is easily memorizable or it is a trivial jurisprudential issue).

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 2628 from Said b. Yasar who said: I asked Aba Abdillah عليه السلام about exchanging (bartering) a camel for two camels, either hand in hand (an exchange on the spot - with immediate effect) or on credit, so he said: yes, there is no problem, if it (i.e. the camels) are named (known and clear) by their ages - such as - two five year old or two six year old (she-camels), then he ordered me - so I striked out over (the word) ‘on credit’ (i.e. cancelled it).[12]

Seclusion with the Master

And in Sahih al-Kafi No. 3944 from Zurara who said: I asked Aba Ja’far عليه السلام about the grandfather (i.e. his inheritance portion), so he said: when it is the morrow - meet me - so that I can make you read it from a book, so I came to him the next day after the Dhuhr, and it was the time in which I used to seclude with him, between the Dhuhr and the Asr, and I used to dislike asking him except when I am alone with him, fearing that he may answer me by dissimulation because of considering those who were present with him (also in attendance.

Footnotes

  1. Surat Baqara, Vs. 213.
  2. Surat Al Imran, Vs. 105.
  3. Refer to Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Vol. 5, pg. 328, published in Madina; Mustadrak al-Hakim, Vol. 3, Pg. 148; Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, Vol. 2, Pg. 194, published in Egypt, and, Vol. 2, Part 2, Pg. 2, published in Leiden.
  4. Maghazi al-Waqidi, Vol. 3, Pg, 1113.
  5. Refer to Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1, Pg. 81, and, Vol. 3, pg. 1307; Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, Vol. 2, Part 1, Pg. 132, Sahih al-Bukhari, The Book of Knowledge, Hadith No. 43.
  6. Surat al-Anbiya, Vs. 104.
  7. Surat al-Maida, Vs. 117 and 118.
  8. Refer to Sahih al-Bukhari, Tafsir Surat al-Anbiya, Hadith Nos. 2, 5 and 14; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Tahara, Hadith No. 37, Kitab al-Salat, Hadith No. 53, Kitab al-Fadhail, Hadith No. 29; Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Qiyama, Chapter No. 3, Tafsir Surat al-Anbiya, Hadith No. 4; Sunan al-Nisai, Kitab al-Iftitah, Hadith No. 21; Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Manasik, Chapter Nos. 40 and 76.
  9. Surat al-Rum, Vs. 41.
  10. Refer to al-Ikthisas by Abi Ali b. Imran attributed to our Shaykh al-Mufid Pg. 201.
  11. Refer Amali al-Tusi, Vol. 1, Pg. 135, Published in Najaf; al-Fusul al-Mukhatara by al-Mufid, Pg. 287; al-Ikthisas by Abi Ali b. Imran al-Ash’ari attributed to our Shaykh al-Mufid Pg. 29; Qurb al-Isnad, Pg. 24.
  12. Some Ulama speculate that this change was because of Taqiyya
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