Narratives on the Collection of the Qur’ān by ‘Alī(rta) (part 1/3)

Narratives on the Collection of the Qur’ān by ‘Alī(rta) (part 1/3)


I Introduction

Certain narratives recorded in both Sunnī and Shiite sources report that right after the death of the Prophet (sws), 'Alī (rta) collected the Qur'ān. Both the Sunnī and Shiite accounts of this collection differ significantly.

In this article, we will examine these narratives from both these sources.

II Representative Texts: Sunnī Sources

Four people report these narratives:

i. 'Alī ibn Abī Tālib (rta)

ii. Al-Yamān

iii. 'Ikramah mawlā Ibn 'Abbās (rta)

iv. Muhammad ibn Sīrīn

Following are the details

i. 'Alī (rta)

و أخبرنا أبو عبد الله الطبري قال أخبرنا أبي، قال حدثنا أبو علي المقري قال حدثنا أبو علي المقرئ حريث عن عبد الرحمن بن أبي حماد، عن الحكم بن ظهير، عن السدي عن عبد خير، عن علي ع أنه رأى من الناس طيرة عند وفاة رسول الله ص فأقسم أن لا يضع على ظهره رداء حتى يجمع القرآن، فجلس في بيته حتى جمع القرآن، فهو أول مصحف جمع فيه القرآن، جمعه من قلبه، و كان عند آل جعفر

'Abd Khayr reported from 'Alī (rta) that when he saw people in despair and frustration at the death of the Prophet, he swore that he would not wear his cloak on his back until he had collected the Qur'ān. Then he sat in his house and collected the Qur'ān. So it was the first mushaf in which the Qur'ān had been collected – collected from his heart and this [mushaf]is with the descendents of Ja'far.[1]

ii. Al-Yamān

قرئ على الحاكم أبي عبد الله سنة أربعمائة و أنا أصغي قال حدثنا محمد بن يعقوب المعقلي قال حدثنا محمد بن منصور الكوفي، قال حدثنا إبراهيم بن محمد بن ميمون قال حدثنا الحكم بن ظهير، عن السدي عن عبد خير عن يمان قال لما قبض النبي ص أقسم علي أو حلف أن لايضع رداءه على ظهره حتى يجمع القرآن بين اللوحين، فلم يضع رداءه على ظهره حتى جمع القرآن

'Abd Khayr reports from al-Yamān: "When the Prophet died, 'Alī swore or made a pledge that he would not put on his cloak on his back until he had collected the Qur'ān between two covers. So he did not put on his cloak on his back until he had collected the Qur'ān."[2]


أخبرنا أحمد ، قال : حدثنا محمد ، قال : حدثنا أبو علي بشر بن موسى قال : حدثنا هوذة بن خليفة ، قال : حدثنا عوف ، عن محمد بن سيرين ، عن عكرمة ، فيما أحسب قال : " لما كان بعد بيعة أبي بكر رضي الله عنه ، قعد علي بن أبي طالب في بيته . فقيل لأبي بكر : قد كره بيعتك . فأرسل إليه فقال : أكرهت بيعتي ؟ فقال : لا والله قال : ما أقعدك عني ؟ قال : رأيت كتاب الله يزاد فيه ، فحدثت نفسي أن لا ألبس ردائي إلا لصلاة حتى أجمعه . فقال أبو بكر : فإنك نعم ما رأيت . قال محمد : فقلت له : ألفوه كما أنزل ، الأول فالأول ؟ قال : لو اجتمعت الإنس والجن على أن يؤلفوه ذلك التأليف ما استطاعوا . قال محمد : أراه صادقا

'Ikramah said:[3]"After people had pledged their allegiance to Abū Bakr, 'Alī sat in his house. So, Abū Bakr was told: 'He is averse to pledging allegiance to you.' He then sent for 'Alī and asked him: 'Do you dislike pledging allegiance to me.' 'Alī replied: 'By God! No.'Abū Bakr then asked: 'What kept you away from me.' 'Alī replied: 'I saw that additions were being made in the Book of God and I said to myself that I would only wear my cloak to go out for any of the prayers until I have collected it.' Abū Bakr then remarked: 'What a good opinion you have formed.'" Muhammd ibn Sīrīn said: "I asked him[4]: 'Did they compile the Qur'ān according to its sequence of revelation?' He replied: 'If all men and jinn get together to arrange it in that sequence, they would not be able to do so.'" Muhammd ibn Sīrīn said: "I considered him to be correct in forming this opinion."[5]

iv.Muhammad ibn Sīrīn

حدثنا عبد الله قال حدثنا محمد بن إسماعيل الأحمسي قال : حدثنا ابن فضيل ، عن أشعث ، عن محمد بن سيرين قال :لما توفي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أقسم علي أن لا يرتدي برداء إلا لجمعة حتى يجمع القرآن في مصحف ففعل فأرسل إليه أبو بكر بعد أيام أكرهت إمارتي يا أبا الحسن ؟ قال : " لا والله إلا أني أقسمت أن لا أرتدي برداء إلا لجمعة فبايعه ثم رجع " [ قال أبو بكر : لم يذكر المصحف أحد إلا أشعث وهو لين الحديث وإنما رووا حتى أجمع القرآن يعني : أتم حفظه فإنه يقال للذي يحفظ القرآن قد جمع القرآن ]

Muhammad ibn Sīrīn said: "When the Prophet died, 'Alī swore that he would not wear his cloak except for the Friday prayer until he had collected the Qur'ān in a mushaf. He did so. Then after some days, Abū Bakr sent for him and said: 'Are you averse to pledging allegiance to me O Abū al-Hasan?' He replied: 'By God! The truth is that I had sworn not to wear my cloak except for the Friday prayer.' He then pledged allegiance and returned." Abū Bakr ibn Abī Dā'ūd said: "The only person who has mentioned the word mushaf is Ash'ath and he is layyin al-hadīth. Others have narrated the words ' … until I collected the Qur'ān,' which mean that he had finished memorizing it because he who has memorized the Qur'ān is called he who has collected it."[6]

III Existing Interpretations

Ibn Hajar[7] (d. 852 AH), while commenting on the narrative of Ibn Sīrīn quoted by Ibn Abī Dā'ūd, says that it is weak because of its inqitā' (break in the chain). And if it is considered to be correct, then it means that the word "collection (jam')" here means "memorization". He goes on to say that the words: hattā jama'tuhū bayna al-lawhayn (until I collected it between two tablets) which occur in certain texts of this narrative are additions from the narrator. He is also of the view that what has been narrated from 'Abd Khayr[8] is more correct and therefore to be relied upon.

Ibn Kathīr[9] (d. 774 AH) also says that there is inqitā' in this narrative. He is also of the view that the word jam' which the narratives attribute to 'Alī (rta) refers to memorization and not to a physical collection. He gives preference to what Abū Bakr ibn Abī Dā'ūd himself has said[10] that no one except Ash'ath has reported the word "mushaf" and he is layyin al-hadīth and others have narrated the words: hattā ajma'a al-qur'āna implying "I completed its memorization," because the words: yahfizu al-qur'āna can mean: qad jama'a al-qur'āna. His reason for this preference is that no mushaf has been reported from 'Alī(rta), whether in the alleged chronological order or any other order. He says that there are certain masāhif whose script is attributed to 'Alī (rta) but are written the way the 'Uthmānic mushaf is written. Some of them carry the words: katabahū 'Alī ibn Abū Tālib. This of course is a serious grammatical mistake[11] and it is beyond imagination that a person who was the inventor of Arabic grammar would commit it. Thus their ascription to 'Alī (rta) is doubtful.

Al-Zurqānī,[12] while commenting on the narrative of 'Ikramah, says that it was a written collection and like other collections, it was a personal collection and did not possess the characteristics of the one collected by Abū Bakr (rta) and referred to earlier. To this Abū Shahbah[13] adds that the narrative of Ibn Sīrīn also does not say that 'Alī (rta) was the first to collect the Qur'ān. Hence, it can be construed to mean that it was a personal collection like many others.

Schwally[14] (d. 1919 AD) is sceptical of the collection of the Qur'ān made by 'Alī (rta). He says that the sources which mention these narratives are mostly Qur'ānic commentaries or books of history which have been influenced by Shiism. All these narratives are subjective and contradict strongly established historical incidents. The narratives which mention the collection of the Qur'ān by Zayd (rta) or later in the time of 'Uthmān (rta) do not mention any collection by 'Alī (rta). Also, 'Alī (rta) himself neither alludes to his collection in the time of his own caliphate nor earlier, and it is certain that the Shiites never had any Qur'ān collected by 'Alī(rta). He further says[15] that it is not possible to arrange the Qur'ān in its chronological sequence in such a short span of time. If it is supposed that the time was enough then, the sheer stupendous nature of the task makes it very improbable that it was undertaken as Muhammad (sws) himself had mixed old revelations with new ones in the Qur'ān he was directed to compile. It is because of this impossible nature of the task that we find no details of the sūrah lists until after quite some time. Moreover, the first six sūrahs of 'Alī's Qur'ān as given by al-Itqān[16] do not match all available chronological lists. He concludes that he made no such collection and concedes that all this criticism does not negate the fact that 'Alī (rta) could have made a personal collection like other Companions (rta) had done so.

Al-Ya'qūbī[17] (d. 292 AH), on the other hand, says that what 'Alī (rta) had collected after the death of the Prophet (sws) was brought over by him on a camel and it had seven parts. He then gives details of the sūrahs each part consisted of, and at the end of each part was written the total number of its constituent sūrahs. Following is this scheme:

Part I (Juz' Baqarah) = 886 verses Part II (Juz' 'Imrān) = 886 verses Part III (Juz' (Juz' Nisā') = 886 verses
1. Baqarah (2) 2. Yūsuf (12) 3. 'Ankabūt (29) 4. Rūm (30) 5. Luqmān (31) 6. Ha-Mīm al-Sajdah (41) 7. Dhāriyāt (51) 8. 'Insān (76) 9. Sajdah (32) 10 Nāzi'āt (79) 11. Takwīr (81) 12. Infitār (82) 13. Inshiqāq (84) 14. A'lā (87) 15. Bayyinah (98) 1. 'Imrān (3) 2. Hūd (11) 3. H~ajj (22) 4. Hijr (15) 5. Ahzāb (33) 6. Dukhān (44) 7. Rahmān (55) 8. Hāqqah (69) 9. Ma'ārij (70) 10 'Abas (80) 11. Shams (91) 12. Qadr (97) 13. Zilzāl (99) 14. Humazah (104) 15. Fīl (105) 16. Quraysh (106) 1. Nisā (4) 2. Nahl (16) 3. Mu'minūn (23) 4. Yā Sīn (36) 5. Shūrā (42) 6. Wāqi'ah (56) 7. Mulk (67) 8. Muddaththir (74) 9. Mā'ūn (107) 10 Masad (111) 11. Ikhlās, (112) 12. 'Asr (103) 13. Qāri'ah (101) 14. Burūj (85) 15. Tīn (95) 16. Naml (27)
Part IV (Juz' Mā'idah) = 886 verses Part V (Juz' An'ām) = 886 verses Part VI (Juz' A'rāf) = 886 verses
1. Mā'idah (5) 2. Yūnus (10) 3. Maryam (19) 4. Shu'arā (26) 5. Zukhruf (43) 6. H~ujurāt (49) 7. Qāf (50) 8. Qamar (54) 9. Mumtahinah (60) 10. Tāriq (86) 11. Balad (90) 12. Alam Nashrah (94) 13. 'Ādiyāt (100) 14. Kawthar (108) 15. Kāfirūn (109) 1. An'ām (6) 2. Isrā' (17) 3. Anbiyā' (21) 4. Furqān (25) 5. Mūsā wa Fir'awn (28) 6. Mū'mīn (40) 7. Mujādalah (58) 8. H~ashr (59) 9. Jumu'ah (62) 10. Munāfīqūn (63) 11. Qalam (68) 12. Nūh (71) 13. Jinn (72) 14. Mursalāt (77) 15. Duhā (93) 16. Takāthur (102) 1. A'rāf (7) 2. Ibrāhīm (14) 3. Kahf (18) 4. Nūr (24) 5. Su'ād (38) 6. Zumar (39) 7. Jāthiyah (45) 8. Muhammad (47) 9. H~adīd (57) 10. Muzzammil (73) 11. Qiyāmah (75) 12. Nabā' (78) 13. Ghāshīyah (88) 14. Fajr (89) 15. Layl (92) 16. Nasr (110)
Part VII (Juz' Anfāl) = 886 verses
1. Anfāl (8) 2. Barā' (9) 3. Tā Hā (20) 4. Malā'ikah (35) 5. Sāffāt (37) 6. Ahqāf (46) 7. Fath (48) 8. Tūr (52) 9. Najm (53) 10. Saff (61) 11. Taghābun (64) 12. Talāq (65) 13. Mutaffifīn (83) 14 & 15. Mu'awwidhatān (Falaq, Nās 113 & 114)

As specified in the chart, al-Ya'qūbī mentions that each of these parts consisted of 886 verses; he has also specified the total number of sūrahs in each of these seven parts:

Part I: 16 sūrahs

Part II: 15 sūrahs

Part III: 17 sūrahs

Part IV: 15 sūrahs

Part V: 16 sūrahs

Part VI: 16 sūrahs

Part VII: 16 sūrahs

As pointed out by Jeffery[18], there are a total of 109 sūrahs and the missing ones are Fātihah (1), Ra'd (13), Sabā (34), Tahrīm (66), 'Alaq (96).

Jeffery goes on to criticize this arrangement and says that it cannot be relied upon. A gist of his criticism is:

i. It is dependent on the sūrah division of 'Uthmān's text which " 'Alī's codex was hardly likely to follow."

ii. This arrangement is in contradiction to what other sources say that 'Alī (rta) had collected the Qur'ān in its chronological sequence.

iii. The list itself lacks accuracy. Part I which is said to contain 16 sūrahs, actually has only 15. Part II which is said to contain 15 sūrahs, actually has 16. Part III which is said to contain 17 sūrahs, actually has only 16 and Part VII which is said to contain 16 sūrahs, actually has only 15.

Schwally[19] is of the opinion that this list was most probably formulated in the Umayyad period.

Rāmyār[20] also says that this list is dubious and reflects an effort on the part of the author to arrange the first seven sūrahs (sab' tiwāl) of the Qur'ān in separate groups, and looks to be an effort by someone in the third century when counting the words and verses of the Qur'ān came in currency.

Ma'rifah[21] also calls this arrangement a concoction and asserts that it is against the consensus of scholars according to whom the sequence of 'Alī's mushaf was chronological. He says that this is an effort to arrange the Qur'ān in seven equal parts, with each part having 886 verses.

Ibn Nadīm has recorded the following about 'Alī's mushaf:

قال بن المنادي حدثني الحسن بن العباس قال أخبرت عن عبد الرحمن بن أبي حماد عن الحكم بن ظهير السدوسي عن عبد خير عن علي عليه السلام انه رآى من الناس طيرة عند وفاة النبي فأقسم أنه لا يضع عن ظهره رداؤه حتى يجمع القرآن فجلس في بيته ثلاثة أيام حتى جمع القرآن فهو أول مصحف جمع فيه القرآن من قلبه وكان المصحف عند أهل جعفر ورأيت أنا في زماننا عند أبي يعلى حمزة الحسني رحمه الله مصحفا قد سقط منه أوراق بخط علي بن أبي طالب يتوارثه بنو حسن على مر الزمان وهذا ترتيب السور من ذلك المصحف

'Abd Khayr reports from 'Alī (rta) that when he found people were in a state of frustration and despair at the time of the death of the Prophet, he swore that he would not take off his cloak from his back until he had collected the Qur'ān. So he sat in his house for three days until he had collected the Qur'ān. It was the first mushaf in which the Qur'ān was collected from his heart. This mushaf was safely lodged with the family of Ja'far and in my times I saw a mushaf written by 'Alī in the custody of Abū Ya'lā Hamzah al-Hasanī. Owing to the passage of time, some of its pages were missing and it was found with the family of Banū Hasan. The arrangement of the sūrahs in this mushaf was as follows …[22]

Jeffery[23] while commenting on Ibn Nadīm's narrative says "the probability is that the reference is to a copy of the 'Uthmānic text made by or for 'Alī (rta) rather than to his own pre-'Uthmānic text."

IV Analysis of Existing Interpretations and Narratives

A. Analysis of the Matn

An analysis of the opinion of the scholars shows that their comments are not available on all the four representative narratives.[24] Hence their analysis of the narratives is not comprehensive. However, if in a nutshell, their opinions are evaluated disregarding this fact, it can be said that they can be classified into two categories:

i. The narratives refer to memorization of the Qur'ān by 'Alī (rta) after the death of the Prophet (sws).[25]

ii. The narratives refer to a written personal collection made by 'Alī (rta) after the death of the Prophet (sws).[26]

The first of these options is unlikely because although the word jama' can refer to both memorization of the complete Qur'ān and to its written collection, there are strong indications in these narratives that here it has been used for a written collection. Perhaps the strongest of these indications is that variants from 'Alī (rta),[27] Yamān[28]and from Ibn Sīrīn[29] (other than the one that contain Ash'ath) refer to the fact that the collection made by 'Alī (rta) was in written form between two covers.

If the narratives refer to a personal written collection, then the following questions arise on it:

Firstly, some of the variants mention that 'Alī (rta) took to this task because additions were being made to the Qur'ān.[30] The reaction depicted by Abū Bakr (rta) is contrary to common sense. His response: "What a good opinion you have formed," is inappropriate on such a grave situation. If additions were really being made, how could he have not been more concerned and taken additional measures to safeguard the Qur'ān? He should have very naturally inquired about the nature of these additions and about the people responsible for it. Moreover, if additions were being made to the Book of God, it seems strange that out of all the people, only one person came to know of these additions.

Secondly, if 'Alī (rta) thought that additions were being made to the Book of God, why is it that he did not take the initiative to inform other Companions (rta) about such an alarming situation? On the contrary, narratives say that it is only after he was asked about his delay in pledging allegiance that he informed them of this.

Thirdly, it is alleged by classical scholars that it was after the battle of Yamāmah that Abū Bakr (rta) at the behest of 'Umar (rta) undertook the collection of the Qur'ān.[31] It is strange, as pointed out by Schwally also, that at that time no use was made of this Qur'ān collected by 'Alī (rta). Moreover, we find Abū Bakr (rta) displaying two contradictory attitudes. In the narratives under discussion, he seems very pleased that 'Alī (rta) is undertaking this task. However, in the narratives which depict the collection of the Qur'ān after the battle of Yamāmah, we find him very hesitant in attempting the task of collection.

Fourthly, as such, the overall picture which emerges is very fragmentary and seemingly incomplete. Neither do we find any report of Abū Bakr (rta) asking 'Alī (rta) to bring over the collected Qur'ān nor do we find 'Alī (rta) bringing it over to him at his own initiative. It seems that the whole endeavour had no further role in Muslim history, though common sense demands that this should not have been the case.

Fifthly, as Ibn Hajar has pointed out, 'Alī (rta) himself has specified that it was Abū Bakr (rta) who was the first to collect the Qur'ān between two covers:

حدثنا عبد الله قال حدثنا يعقوب بن سفيان قال : حدثنا أبو نعيم قال : حدثنا سفيان ، عن السدي ، عن عبد خير ، عن علي رضي الله عنه قال : رحم الله أبا بكر هو أول من جمع بين اللوحين

'Abd Khayr reports that 'Alī (rta) said: "May God have mercy on Abū Bakr; he was the first to collect [the Qur'ān] between two covers."[32]

As a result, we have two contradictory reports about the first collection of the Qur'ān between two covers.

Sixthly, there is no narrative in the six canonical books of Hadīth regarding any collection made by 'Alī (rta) in spite of the fact that they contain chapters which record narratives on the collections made by the first three caliphs. As pointed out by Schwally, it is only tafsīr or history books which have been influenced by Shiism that mention such narratives.

Seventhly, some variants[33] of the narratives speak of a chronological collection. What exactly was the purpose of arranging the Qur'ān chronologically. Had it been of any significance, would not have the Prophet (sws) done so?

Moreover, the ascription of such a collection to 'Alī (rta) is also not very sound. There is nothing reported from 'Alī (rta) himself about the nature of arrangement in which he compiled the Qur'ān. It is only later people like 'Ikramah or Muhammad ibn Sīrīn who report that this collection was chronological.

In the narrative from 'Ikramah quoted above, the endeavour of this chronological collection is in fact attributed to a group of people. The words are: "Did they compile the Qur'ān according to its sequence of revelation?" (ألفوه كما أنزل ، الأول فالأول); the words are not: "Did he compile the Qur'ān according to its sequence of revelation?" (ألفه كما أنزل ، الأول فالأول).

In the following narrative from Muhammad ibn Sīrīn, an unidentified narrator says: "People reckoned that 'Alī had written it in the chronological order" (فزعموا أنه كتبه على تنزيله). The word فزعمواhas an obvious ring of vagueness around it.

أخبرنا إسماعيل بن إبراهيم عن أيوب وابن عون عن محمد قال نبئت أن عليا أبطأ عن بيعة أبي بكر فلقيه أبو بكر فقال أكرهت إمارتي فقال لا ولكنني آليت بيمين أن لا أرتدي بردائي إلا إلى الصلاة حتى أجمع القرآن قال فزعموا أنه كتبه على تنزيله قال محمد فلو أصيب ذلك الكتاب كان فيه علم قال بن عون فسألت عكرمة عن ذلك الكتاب فلم يعرفه

Muhammad ibn Sīrīn said: "I have been told that 'Alī delayed pledging allegiance to Abū Bakr. So Abū Bakr met him and said: 'Are you averse to pledging allegiance to me?' He replied: 'By God! The truth is that I had sworn not to wear my cloak except for the Friday prayers until I have collected the Qur'ān.'" One of the narrators said: "People reckoned that 'Alī had written it in the chronological order." Muhammad ibn Sīrīn said: "If that book is obtained it would have a lot of knowledge." Ibn 'Awn said: "I asked 'Ikramah about it and he did not know of any such book."[34]

A possible answer to some of the questions raised above is that they are a classic case of argumentum e silentio: Perhaps Abū Bakr (rta) did express this concern and perhaps others besides 'Alī (rta) were aware of additions being made in the Book of God and perhaps the collection made by 'Alī (rta) did have some role in the collection made later by Abū Bakr (rta) but all this has not been reported, as is the case with many historical incidents.

The response to this critique is as follows: If the nature of an incident is such that if it ever happened, then common sense demands that it should have been reported and that a report of silence would be considered improbable and unlikely, then it cannot be regarded as a case of such a fallacy.

The cited critique of the scholars on the arrangement of the mushaf reported by al-Ya'qūbī is strong.

B.Analysis of the Isnād

As referred to earlier, these narratives are reported from the following four persons.

i. 'Alī (rta)

ii. Al-Yamān

iii. 'Ikramah, mawlā of Ibn 'Abbās (rta)

iv. Muhammad ibn Sīrīn

Our traditional scholars have referred to the inqitā' in the chain of narrations. It is evident that this inqitā' is obvious in the case of Ibn Sīrīn's Narratives. However, it needs to be examined in the case of 'Ikramah's narratives. While, this inqitā' is obviously not present in the case of narratives of 'Alī (rta). No information is available on the identity of al-Yamān as will be shown later.

I will now analyze these chains.

The following charts reflect the chains of the narratives reported by these three narrators:

1. 'Alī's Narratives


'Abd Khayr


al-Hakam ibn Zuhayr

Ibrāhīm ibn Muhammad ibn Maymūn

'Abd al-Rahmān

Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Rahmān ibn Abī Hammād

'Uthmān ibn ibn Abī Hammād

Abī Shaybah


Sā'd ibn


al-Hasan ibn 'Abbās Abū al-Qāsim

Abū Nu'aym

Ibn al-Munādā Abū 'Alī

Abū 'Alī al-Haddād

Ibn Nadīm Father of Abū

'Abdullāh al-Tabarī

Mas'ūd Ahmad ibn Abū 'Abdullāh

al-Jammāl Muhammad al-Tabarī


Ibn Salāmah

Yūsuf ibn Khalīl

Ishāq ibn Tariq



i. In the above chain, al-Hakam ibn Zuhayr is suspect. Yahyā ibn Ma'īn[35] has said about him: laysa hadīthuhū bi shay'. 'Abd al-Rahmān reports that his father Abū Hātim[36] has called him matrūk al-hadīth, lā yuktabu hadīthuhū. Abū Zur'ah[37] says that he is wāhī al-hadīth. Al-Nasā'ī also regards him to be matrūk al-hadīth.[38]

Al-Bukhārī[39] says that he is munkar al-hadīth; Ibn Hajar[40] has referred to him as matrūk.

ii. Ibrāhīm ibn Muhammad ibn Maymūn has been mentioned by Asadī among the du'afā' and said that he is munkar al-hadīth.[41]

iii. In the chain recorded by Ibn Nadīm, there is a missing person (indicated by a blank box in the chart above) between al-Hasan ibn 'Abbās and 'Abd al-Rahmān ibn Abī Hammād. This is evident from the words of the former who says: ukhbirtu 'an 'Abd al-Rahmān ibn Abī Hammād(I have been informed by 'Abd al-Rahmān ibn Abī Hammādthrough someone).

iv. Muhammad ibn 'Uthmān ibn Abī Shaybah is suspect in the eyes of some authorities. Ibn Hajar[42]records that according to 'Abdullāh ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal he is a liar and Ibn Khirāsh says that he fabricates narratives.

2. Al-Yamān's Narrative


'Abd Khayr


al-Hakam ibn Zuhayr

Ibrāhīm ibn Muhammad ibn Maymūn

Muhammad ibn Mansūr

Muhammad ibn Ya'qūb



i. Al-Yamān is a majhūl person. No authority has specified that 'Abd Khayr narrates from such a person. 'Abd Khayr himself is a companion of 'Alī (rta). One possibility is a tashīf. 'Abd Khayr ibn Yazīd was erroneously written as 'Abd Khayr 'an al-Yamān. [(عبد خيربن يزيد) as (عبد خير عن اليمان)].

ii. The jarh on al-Hakam ibn Zuhayrand Ibrāhīm ibn Muhammad ibn Maymūn has already been pointed out.

3. 'Ikramah' Narratives

'Ikramah mawlā Ibn 'Abbās

Ayyūb Ibn Sīrīn

Ma'mar ibn Rashid 'Awf ibn Abī Jamīlah

'Abd al-Razzāq Nadr ibn Shumayl Hawdhah ibn


Hafsibn 'Umar Ahmad ibn Mansūr Bishr ibn Mūsā

ibn 'Abd al-Rahmān

al-Hasan ibn 'Abbās Muhammad ibn Makhlad ibn Hafs

Abū al-'Abbās ibn 'Uqdah

(Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Sa'īd) Ahmad

Ibn Durays



i. 'Ikramah died in 107 AH at the age of 84. Hence he was born in 23 AH.[43]This means that he was not a witness to the event reported in the narrative, which thus must also be regarded as munqati'.

He could have heard this narrative from 'Alī (rta). However, Abū Zur'ah[44]says that his narratives from 'Alī (rta). are mursal. So one cannot even be certain that he has heard this narrative from 'Alī (rta).

We also find the following jarh on him:

حدثنا الحسن بن علي ومحمد بن أيوب قالا حدثنا يحيى بن المغيرة قال حدثنا جرير عن يزيد بن زياد عن عبد الله بن الحارث قال دخلتعلى علي بن عبد الله بن عباس فإذا عكرمة في وثاق عند باب الحسن فقلت له ألا تتقي الله قال فإن هذا الخبيث يكذب على أبي

'Abdullāh ibn al-Hārith said: "I came to 'Alī ibn 'Abdullāh ibn 'Abbās and found that 'Ikramah was chained near the door of Hasan. I said to him: 'Do you not fear God.' He replied: 'This hideous person fabricates lies about my father.'"[45]

ii. Though the muhaddithūn have generally regarded 'Awf ibn Abī Jamīlah to be a trustworthy person, here is some contrary evidence to his trustworthiness:

Abū Zur'ah and al-'Uqaylī have mentioned him in their respective books both titlled al-Du'afā'.[46]

Al-Hākim records:

قلت فعوف بن أبي جميلة قال ليس بذاك

I asked: "[What about] 'Awf ibn Abī Jamīlah?" He [al-Dāraqutnī]replied: "laysa bi dhaka."[47]

Al-Juzjānī records:

عوف بن أبي جميلة الأعرابي يتناول بيمينه ويساره من رأي البصرة والكوفة

'Awf ibn Abī Jamīlah al-A'rābī would [carelessly] accept narratives from his right and left from the opinion of the [people of] Basrah and Kūfah.[48]

Al-Mizzī records:

قال بعضهم يرفع أمره إنه ليجيء عن الحسن بشيء ما يجيء به أحد

Some of them are of the opinion that he is not trustworthy. He narrates from al-Hasan what no one else ever has.[49]

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