Explanation of Some Jarh Terms

Explanation of Some Jarh Terms


Hadith

1. Layyin al-Hadith

Al-Daraqutani says that he uses this term to refer to a narrator who does not become forsaken or matruk al-hadith (la yakunu saqitan matruk al-hadith) but impugns him with a defect which does not besmear his probity (majruhun bi shay' la yusqitu 'an al-'adalah).[1]

Ibn Abi Hatim uses it to mean that his narratives will be written and used as additional evidence (shawahid or mutabi'at) (yuktabu hadithuhu wa yunzaru fihi i'tibaran).[2]

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

2. Da'if al-Hadith[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 (duna man yuhtajju bi hadithihi) for example because of his bad memory; however, he is one whose narratives can be used as additional evidence (yu'tabaru bihi).

At times, it refers to a person who is so weak that his narratives are not worthy of being written (al-majruh al-shadid al-du'f la yakadu yuktabu hadithuhu) and at times to a person who is so weak that his narratives should be forsaken (alladhi yablughu hadithuhu al-tark).

Al-Sakhawirecords that in the opinion of Yahya ibn Ma'in this term refers to a person who is not trustworthy and whose narratives cannot be written (laysa huwa bi thiqah wa la yuktabu hadithuhu).[5]

3. Matruk al-Hadith[6]

According to 'Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Mahdi when Shu'bah was asked to explain who a person whose narratives were abandoned (alladhi yutraku hadithuhu) 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'rufin ma la ya'rifuhu al-ma'rufun).

In the opinion of Ahmad ibn Salih, the narratives of a person should not be abandoned until all the authorities agree on his rejection.[7]

Abu Ghuddah says that at times, in the expression tarakahu fulan 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 Salah says that when authorities say that someone is matruk al-hadith or dhahib al-hadith or kadhdhab, then he is someone who is unreliable and whose narratives cannot be written (fa huwa saqit al-hadith la yuktabu hadithuhu).[9]

4. Munkar al-Hadith

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

In the opinion of Ibn Hajar, Ahmad ibn Hanbal uses this term to refer to a narrator who narrates a report which is not narrated by his contemporaries (man yughribu 'ala aqranihi bi al-hadith).[11]

According to Ibn al-Qattan, al-Bukhari himself specifies that when he uses this term, he refers to a person from whom narration is forbidden (la tahillu al-riwayah 'anhu).[12]

Al-Sakhawi[13] says that, at times, this term is used to refer to a thiqah person who narrates manakir from al-du'afa'.

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

Al-Sakhawi[15] records the opinion of Ibn Daqiq that this attribute refers to a person who shall be abandoned because of his narratives (wasfun fi al-rajul yastahiqqu bihi al-tark bi hadithihi).

5. Wahi al-Hadith

When Yahya ibn Sa'id al-Qattan asked Sufyan al-Thawri, Sufyan ibn 'Uyaynah, Shu'bah ibn Hajjaj and Malik ibn Anas about a person who is dubbed Wahi al-Hadith, their unanimous reply was that he is a person who is not reliable (laysa huwa thabtan) and that Yahya ibn Sa'id should expose him.[16]

6. Mudtarib al-Hadith

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 mudtarib al-hadith. Similarly, if two or more narrators report a narrative in a conflicting way, then they are also called mudtarib al-hadith. This idtirab (conflict) in matn can also be found in the isnad which means that a narrative is reported once in muttasil 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 idtirab (ie. in the isnad and in the matn) are found at the same time in a narrative.[17]

7. Laysa bi al-Qawi

Al-Ḍhahabi[18] records that if one analyzes the instances in which Abu Hatim uses this term, he refers to a person who is not that reliable (lam yablugh darajah al-qawi al-thabt).

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

He further records that at times al-Bukhari uses it for a narrator who is da'if.

8. Laysa bi Shay' / Laysa Hadithuhu bi Shay'

According to Ibn Hajar, it is a hyperbolic phrase of disparagement for a narrator.[19] Al-Shafi'i uses it for a person who is a liar.[20] However, according to Ibn al-Qattan al-Fasi, at times, Yahya ibn Ma'in uses it for a narrator who has reported very few narratives.[21] Al-Mundhiri[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'tibar wa al-istishhad) and not primary. And if he is a person who is notorious for his du'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 (la yuhtajju bihi) nor as additional evidence (la yu'tabaru bihi wa la yustashadu bihi) and such a person will be appended to the matruk category.

9. Laysa bi Thiqah

In the opinion of Ibn Hajar, as a term, this expression entails great weakness (fi al-istilah yujibu al-du'f al-shadid).[23]

10. Laysa bi Dhaka

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

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

ii. For someone who is saduq and whose narratives are categorized as hasan.

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 qawi in his narratives and whose narratives are accepted as additional evidence and not primary (yu'tabaru bihi wa la yuhtajju bihi).

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

11. Laysa bihi Ba's / La ba'sa bihi

According to 'Ali ibn Nayif,[25] this expression is used variously:

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

ii. For a narrator who is saduq. He is one whose narratives are written, analyzed and if they are found error-free, then they are used as primary evidence (yuhtajju bihi).

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-Daraqutni uses it for a person who has few narratives to his credit.

12. Sakatu 'Anhu

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

13. Saduq

Ibn Abi Hatim says that when a narrator is regarded to be saduq or mahalluhu al-sidq or la ba'sa bihi, then he is one whose narratives shall be written and analyzed. Ibn Salah ratifies these remarks and says that the reason for this is that these terms do not depict the sound grasp (dabt) of a narrator. Thus his narratives shall be analyzed and judged to ascertain his grasp. Ibn Salah goes on to say that in the opinion of 'Abd al-Rahmanibn al-Mahdi a person who is al-saduq and also has some du'f, then he is called salih al-hadith.[28]

14. Yuktabu hadithuhu wa la yuhtajju bihi

This is a term specially used by Abu Hatim al-Razi. He himself has clarified it in the biographical note on Ibrahim ibn Muhajir al-Bajli. When his son asked him about what he meant by la yuhtajju bihim (while referring to Ibrahim 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]

Abu Ishaq al-Hawayni[30] is of the opinion that what Abu Hatim 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.

[1]. Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Sakhawi,Fathal-Mughith. 1st ed., vol. 1 (Beirut: Dar al-kutub al-'ilmiyyah, 1403 AH), 372.

[2]. Abu 'Amr ibn Salah al-Shahrazuri, Muqaddimah (Beirut: Dar al-fikr, 1977), 124.

[3]. 'Ali ibn Nayif, Al-Khulasah fi 'ilm al-jarh wa al-ta'dil (n.p.: n.d.), 312.

[4]. Summarized from: 'Ali ibn Nayif, Al-Khulasah fi 'ilm al-jarh wa al-ta'dil, 326.

[5]. Ahmad ibn 'Ali ibn Thabit al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Al-Kifayah fi 'ilm al-riwayah(Madinah: Al-Maktabah al-'ilmiyyah, n.d.), 22.

[6]. Al-Sakhawi, Fathal-Mughith, vol. 1, 370.

[7]. 'Abu Ghuddah 'Abd al-Fattah (ed.), 'Abd al-Hayy Lakhnawi, Al-Raf' wa al-takmil fi al-jarh wa al-ta'dil, 8th ed (Beirut: Dar basha'ir al-islamiyyah, 2004), 140-141.

[8]. Ibid., 153.

[9]. Ibn Salah, Muqaddimah, 126.

[10]. Zafar Ahmad al-'Uthmani, Qawa'id fi 'ulum al-hadith (Karachi: Idarah al-Qur'an wa 'ulum al-islamiyyah, n.d.), 258-259.

[11]. Abu al-Fadl Ahmad ibn 'Ali ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani.Muqaddimah Fathal-Bari(Beirut: Dar ihya' al-turath al-'arabi, 1988), 453.

[12]. Abu al-Fadl Ahmad ibn 'Ali al-'Asqalani ibnHajar, Lisan al-mizan, vol. 1 (Beirut: Mu'assasah al-a'lami li al-matbu'at, 1986), 20.

[13]. Al-Sakhawi, Fathal-Mughith, vol. 1, 373.

[14]. Ibid.

[15]. Ibid.

[16]. Al-Hasan ibn 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Khallad Ramahurmuzi, Al-Muhaddith al-fasil bayn al-rawi wa al-wa'i, 3rd ed. (Beirut: Dar al-fikr, 1404), 593-594.

[17]. Al-Sakhawi, Fathal-Mughith, vol. 1, 373.

[18]. Abu 'Abdullah Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn 'Uthman ibn Qaymaz ibn 'Abdullahal-Dhahabi, Al-Muqizah fi mustalih al-hadith, 1st ed. (Beirut: Dar al-basha'ir al-islamiyyah, 1405), 82-83.

[19]. Abu al-Fadl Ahmad ibn 'Ali ibnHajar al-'Asqalani, Fathal-Bari,4th ed., vol. 13 (Beirut: Dar ihya' al-turath al-'arabi, 1988). 343.

[20]. Al-Sakhawi, Fathal-Mughith, vol. 1, 371.

[21]. Abu al-Fadl Ahmad ibn 'Ali ibnHajar al-'Asqalani,Muqaddimah fathal-Bari(Beirut: Dar ihya' al-turath al-'arabi, 1988), 419.

[22]. Abu Muhammad 'Abd al-Azim ibn 'Abd al-Qawial-Mundhiri, Risalah fi al-jarh wa al-ta'dil, 1st ed. (Kuwait: Maktabah dar al-aqsa, 1406 AH), 55.

[23]. Abu al-Fadl Ahmad ibn 'Ali ibnHajar al-'Asqalani, Tahdhib al-tahdhib, 1st ed., vol. 4 (Beirut: Dar al-fikr, 1984), 303.

[24]. 'Ali ibn Nayif, Al-Khulasah fi 'ilm al-jarh wa al-ta'dil, 317-318.

[25]. Ibid., 295-297.

[26]. Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi, Al-Kifayah, 22.

[27]. Al-Sakhawi, Fathal-Mughith, vol. 1, 371.

[28]. Ibn Salah, Muqaddimah, 122-124.

[29]. 'Abd al-Rahman ibnAbi Hatim, Al-Jarh wa al-ta'dil, 1st ed., vol. 4 (Beirut: Dar al-ihya' al-turath al-'arabi, 1952), 132.

[30]. Abu Ishaq Hijazi ibn Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn Sharifal-Huwayni, Badhl al-ihsan bi taqrib sunan al-Nasa'i Abu 'Abd al-Rahman, 1st ed., vol. 1 (n.p.: Maktabah al-tarbiyah al-islamiyyah, 1990), 23.

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