Explanation of Some Jarh Terms

Explanation of Some Jarh Terms


Hadīth

1. Layyin al-Hadīth

Al-Dāraqutanī says that he uses this term to refer to a narrator who does not become forsaken or matrūk al-hadīth (lā yakūnu sāqitanmatrūk al-hadīth) but impugns him with a defect which does not besmear his probity (majrūhunbi shay' lā yusqitu 'an al-'adālah).[1]

Ibn Abī Hātim uses it to mean that his narratives will be written and used as additional evidence (shawāhid or mutābi'āt) (yuktabu hadīthuhū wa yunz@aru fīhī i'tibāran).[2]

In the opinion of Nāyif, this refers to the fact that the narrator suffers from a weak memory.[3]

2. Da'īf al-Hadith[4]

This is an incomprehensive (mujmal) jarh and requires more qualifying attributes to see what it refers to at different instances.

At times, it refers to a person who is less in status to a person whose narratives can be adduced from (dūna man yuhtajju bi hadīthihī) for example because of his bad memory; however, he is one whose narratives can be used as additional evidence (yu'tabaru bihī).

At times, it refers to a person who is so weak that his narratives are not worthy of being written (al-majrūh al-shadīd al-du'f lā yakādu yuktabu hadīthuhū) and at times to a person who is so weak that his narratives should be forsaken (alladhī yablughu hadīthuhū al-tark).

Al-Sakhāwīrecords that in the opinion of Yahya ibn Ma'īn this term refers to a person who is not trustworthy and whose narratives cannot be written (laysa huwa bi thiqah wa lā yuktabu hadīthuhū).[5]

3. Matrūk al-Hadīth[6]

According to 'Abd al-Rahmān ibn al-Mahdī when Shu'bah was asked to explain who a person whose narratives were abandoned (alladhī yutraku hadīthuhū) was? His reply was: a person who is blamed of lying (man yuttahamu bi al-kadhib), who makes many mistakes (man yukthiru al-ghalat), who errs in a narrative which is agreed upon by all and still does not blame himself for this error and remains adamant on his mistake and a person who narrates from known people what these known people do not even know (rawa 'an al-ma'rūfīn ma lā ya'rifuhū al-ma'rūfūn).

In the opinion of Ahmad ibn Sālih, the narratives of a person should not be abandoned until all the authorities agree on his rejection.[7]

Abū Ghuddah says that at times, in the expression tarakahū fulān the word tark (abandoning of narratives) is not used as a term; it means that someone stopped writing from such and such a person.[8]

Ibn Salāh says that when authorities say that someone is matrūk al-hadīth or dhāhib al-hadīth or kadhdhāb, then he is someone who is unreliable and whose narratives cannot be written (fa huwa sāqital-hadīth lā yuktabu hadīthuhū).[9]

4. Munkar al-Hadīth

In the opinion of the majority, this term refers to a da'īf narrator whose narrations contradict the narrations of thiqah narrators.[10]

In the opinion of Ibn Hajar, Ahmad ibn Hanbal uses this term to refer to a narrator who narrates a report which is not narrated by his contemporaries (man yughribū 'alā aqrānihī bi al-hadīth).[11]

According to Ibn al-Qattān, al-Bukhārī himself specifies that when he uses this term, he refers to a person from whom narration is forbidden (lā tahillu al-riwāyah 'anhū).[12]

Al-Sakhāwī[13] says that, at times, this term is used to refer to a thiqah person who narrates manākīr from al-du'afā'.

He[14] also says that many a time this term is used for a narrator who has narrated just one narrative.

Al-Sakhāwī[15] records the opinion of Ibn Daqīq that this attribute refers to a person who is worthy of being abandoned because of his narratives (wasfūnfī al-rajul yastahiqqu bihī al-tark bi hadīthihī).

5. Wāhī al-Hadīth

When Yahyā ibn Sa'īd al-Qattān asked Sufyān al-Thawrī, Sufyān ibn 'Uyaynah, Shu'bah ibn Hajjāj and Mālik ibn Anas about a person who is dubbed Wāhī al-Hadīth, their unanimous reply was that he is a person who is not reliable (laysa huwa thabtan) and that Yahyā ibn Sa'īd should expose him.[16]

6. Mudtarib al-Hadīth

A narrator who reports a narrative in one way at one time and then he reports the same narrative at another time in a way that it is conflicting with the first is called mudtarib al-hadīth. Similarly, if two or more narrators report a narrative in a conflicting way, then they are also called mudtarib al-hadīth. This idtirāb (conflict) in matn can also be found in the isnād which means that a narrative is reported once in muttasil form and at another time in mursal form or at one time a narrator is found in a chain of narration and at another the same narrator is suppressed. At times, both types of idtirāb (ie. in the isnād and in the matn) are found at the same time in a narrative.[17]

7. Laysa bi al-Qawī

Al-Dhahabī[18] records that if one analyzes the instances in which Abū Hātim uses this term, he is referring to a person who is not that reliable (lām yablugh darajah al-qawī al-thabt).

Al-Dhahabī goes on to record that al-Nasā'ī calls numerous narrators by this name and still brings their narratives in his book. He quotes al-Nasā'ī who says that this title is not a jarh which completely damages a narrator (laysa bi jarhinmufsidin)

He further records that at times al-Bukhārī uses it for a narrator who is da'īf.

8. Laysa bi Shay' / Laysa Hadīthuhū bi Shay'

According to Ibn Hajar, it is a hyperbolic phrase of disparagement for a narrator.[19] Al-Shāfi'ī uses it for a person who is a liar.[20] However, according to Ibn al-Qattān al-Fāsī, at times, Yahyā ibn Ma'īn uses it for a narrator who has reported very few narratives.[21] Al-Mundhirī[22]says that the person about whom these words are said shall be researched. If some others have regarded this person to be trustworthy and he is a person from whom narratives have been adduced, then the expression laysa bi shay' would mean that his narratives have been used as an additional evidence (yuktabu li al-i'tibār wa al-istishhād) and not primary. And if he is a person who is notorious for his du'f and also none of the authorities has praised him, then laysa bi shay' would mean that his narratives can neither be used as primary evidence (lā yuhtajju bihī) nor as additional evidence (lā yu'tabaru bihī wa lā yustashadu bihī) and such a person will be appended to the matrūk category.

9. Laysa bi Thiqah

In the opinion of Ibn Hajar, as a term, this expression entails great weakness (fī al-istilāhyūjibu al-du'f al-shadīd).[23]

10. Laysa bi Dhāka

According to Ibn Nāyif, this expression is used variously.[24]

i. For someone who is less in status than thiqah.

ii. For someone who is sadūq and whose narratives are categorized as hasan.

iii. For someone whose narratives are accepted as additional evidence and whose soundness is not apparent because he has reported few narratives.

iv. For a person who is laysa bi qawī in his narratives and whose narratives are accepted as additional evidence and not primary (yu'tabaru bihi wa lā yuhtajju bihī).

v. For a person whose du'f is known but he is basically truthful and his narratives are accepted as additional evidence.

11. Laysa bihī Ba's / Lā ba'sa bihī

According to 'Alī ibn Nāyif,[25] this expression is used variously:

i. For a person whose narratives can be used as primary evidence. Thus Yahyā ibn Ma'īn uses it to refer to someone thiqah.[26]

ii. For a narrator who is sadūq. He is one whose narratives are written, analyzed and if they are found error-free, then they are used as primary evidence (yuhtajju bihī).

iii. For a person about whom an authority differs from others who have regarded him to be reliable.

iv. For a person whose narratives can only be used as additional evidence.

v. Al-Dāraqut@nī uses it for a person who has few narratives to his credit.

12. Sakatū 'Anhū

Al-Sakhāwī records that al-Bukhārī uses this expression on most occasions to refer to a narrator whom authorities have abandoned (fī man tarakūhū). And that Ibn Kathīr opined this is the worst and lowest status [of a narrator] in al-Bukhārī's view.[27]

13. Sadūq

Ibn Abī Hātim says that when a narrator is regarded to be sadūqor mahalluhū al-sidqor lā ba'sa bihī, then he is one whose narratives shall be written and analyzed. Ibn Salāh ratifies these remarks and says that the reason for this is that these terms do not depict the sound grasp (dabt) of a narrator. Thus his narratives shall be analyzed and judged to ascertain his grasp. Ibn Salāhgoes on to say that in the opinion of 'Abd al-Rahmān ibn al-Mahdī a person who is al-sadūqand also has some du'f, then he is called sālih al-hadīth.[28]

14. Yuktabu hadīthuhū wa lā yuhtajju bihī

This is a term specially used by Abū Hātim al-Rāzī. He himself has clarified it in the biographical note on Ibrāhīm ibn Muhājir al-Bajlī. When his son asked him about what he meant by lā yuhtajju bihim (while referring to Ibrāhīm and some others), he replied that these are people who do not have a sound memory and they narrate what they have not memorized and then make mistakes and you will see many discrepancies in their narratives whenever you want.[29]

Abū Ishāq al-Hawaynī[30] is of the opinion that what Abū Hātim means is that the narrative of such a person will be written as additional evidence and will not be adduced from if it is alone.




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