The Trustworthiness of Hammad, the Teacher of the Imam
Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman was mentioned by al-Dhahabi in al-Mizan and he put a sign at the beginning of his biography indicating that the practice is upon his trustworthiness, and he said:
They criticised him for irja’, and had Ibn ‘Adi not mentioned him in his Kamil, I would not have cited him [in this book]. Ibn ‘Adi said: “Hammad¹ has many narrations, and he has strange reports. He is strong, there is no harm in him.” (1:279).
His statement, “Had Ibn ‘Adi not mentioned him in his Kamil, I would not have mentioned him” is a reference to what he said in the introduction to al-Mizan (1:2):
In it [i.e. al-Kamil by Ibn ‘Adi] are those who were criticised despite their trustworthiness and greatness with the slightest weakness and the least criticism, so if it were not that Ibn ‘Adi and other authors of the books of criticism mentioned that person, I would not have mentioned him [in al-Mizan] due to his trustworthiness.
This hadith is contradicted by what al-Bayhaqi narrated in his Sunan:
Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Hafiz [i.e. Imam al-Hakim] reported to us: Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Saffar al-Zahid narrated to us by dication from his original book, he said: Abu Isma‘il Muhammad ibn Isma‘il al-Sulami said: I prayed behind Abu al-Nu‘man Muhammad ibn al-Fadl, and he raised his hands when opening the Salah and when bowing and when raising his head from bowing, so I asked him about this, so he said: I prayed behind Hammad ibn Zayd, and he raised his hands when opening the Salah and when bowing and when raising his head from bowing, so I asked him about this, and he said: I prayed behind Ayyub al-Sakhtiyani, and he raised his hands when opening the Salah and when bowing and when raising his head from bowing, so I asked him [about this], and he said: I saw ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah raise his hands when opening the Salah and when bowing and when raising his head from bowing, so I asked him [about his], and he said: I prayed behind ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, and he raised his hands when opening the Salah and when bowing and when raising his head from bowing, so I asked him [about this], and ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr said: “I prayed behind Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, and he raised his hands when opening the Salah and when bowing and when raising his head from bowing, and Abu Bakr said: ‘I prayed with Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and he would raise his hands when opening the Salah and when bowing and when he raised his head from bowing.’” Al-Bayhaqi said: “Its narrators are trustworthy.” This was mentioned in al-Ta‘liq al-Hasan (1:109).
I say: ‘Allamah Zahir criticised this hadith from [a number of] perspectives:
From them is that Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Saffar is alone [in narrating] this report, and none of the people of knowledge followed him up on it.
From them is that al-Saffar did not explicitly state in this [narration] that he heard from Muhammad ibn Isma‘il al-Sulami, rather he used the phrase “he said” which has the ruling of disconnection (inqita‘) after the early scholars, as Hafiz [Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani] stated in Fath al-Bari:
“He said” does not carry [the meaning] of audition except for one from whose habit it is know that he uses it in the meaning of audition, like Hajjaj ibn Muhammad al-A‘war. Ibn al-Salah held the opinion that the ruling of connection (ittisal) does not remain after the early scholars, and this is correct.
From them is that Abu al-Nu‘man Muhammad ibn al-Fadl ‘Arim al-Sadusi is in this [chain], who is trustworthy, having changed towards the end of his life, and Abu Isma‘il al-Sulami narrated this from him, and he is not from his early companions.
I say: It is not known if he heard from him before or after his change. It says in Tahdhib al-Tahdib:
Ibn Abi Hatim said: My father was asked about him, and he said: “Trustworthy.” He said: And I heard my father say: “‘Arim became confused towards the end of his life and his mind went, so whoever heard from him before the confusion, his audition is authentic. I wrote from him before his confusion in the year 214 and did not hear from him after the confusion. Thus, whoever heard from him before the year 220, his audition is good.” Al-Nasa’i said: “He was one of the trustworthy narrators before he became confused.” Ibn Hibban said: “He became confused towards the end of his life and he changed until he did not know what he was narrating, so many objectionable things occurred in his hadith, thus it is necessary to stay clear of his hadiths that were narrated by [his] later [companions], and if this cannot be distinguished from that, all of them should be abandoned, and none should be used as proof.” End of abbreviated [quote] (9:403-4).
If you say: Al-Daraqutni said as mentioned in Tahdhib al-Tahdbib also: “He changed towards the end of his life, and after his confusion no objectionable hadith appeared from him, and he is trustworthy.” I say: Abu Hatim, al-Nasa’i and Ibn Hibban opposed him since the statement of Abu Hatim indicates that those who heard from him after [his] confusion, his audition is inauthentic, and the statement of al-Nasa’i indicates that he did not remain trustworthy after [his] confusion, and Ibn Hibban clearly stated his hadiths cannot be used as proof when it is not known whether it is this [i.e. before the confusion] or that [i.e. after the confusion], so the lone opinion of al-Daraqutni will be disregarded.
As for what al-Dhahabi said as also mentioned in it: “Ibn Hibban was unable to cite one objectionable hadith of his, and the [right] verdict on this [issue] is what al-Daraqutni said.” [The fallacy] in this is that not citing [an example] is not evidence of his inability to do so. How so, when al-Ajurri narrated from Abu Dawud: “I was with ‘Arim and he narrated from Hammad from Hisham from his father that Ma‘iz al-Aslami asked about fasting while travelling, so I said to him, ‘[It is] Hamza al-Aslami [and not Ma‘iz al-Aslami],’” meaning, that ‘Arim said this, having lost his mind. This supports the statement of Ibn Hibban that he changed such that he did not know what he was narrating, so objectionable narrations occurred in his hadith. This is mentioned in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (9:404). The truth is, therefore, that this hadith cannot be used as proof so long as it is not known that Abu Isma‘il al-Sulami heard from him before the confusion. Al-Bayhaqi sufficed with the trustworthiness of its narrators, and he did not grade its authenticity. And Allah knows best.
[Hadiths Eleven & Twelve]
11. Ibn Abi Dawud narrated to us: He said: Nu„aym ibn Hammad narrated to us: He said: Waki„ narrated to us from Sufyan from „Asim ibn Kulayb from „Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Aswad from „Alqamah from „Abd Allah from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) that he would raise his hands in the first takbir and then would not repeat [it]. Muhammad ibn al-Nu„man narrated to us: Yahya ibn Yahya narrated to us: Waki„ narrated to us from Sufyan, then he mentioned the like of it with his chain. Al-Tahawi narrated them both.
I say: Ibn Abi Dawud is trustworthy, and al-Tahawi authenticated his hadith in the narration of „Umar (Allah be pleased with him) which has passed in the main text [above]. Nu„aym ibn Hammad is from the narrators of the two Sahihs. Yahya followed him up and he is trustworthy, firm, and an imam from the narrators of the two shaykhs as mentioned in Taqrib al-Tahdhib (p. 238), and this Muhammad ibn al-Nu„man is trustworthy as mentioned in there also (p. 197). The remainder of the narrators of the two chains are from the narrators of the two Sahihs besides „Asim who is from the narrators of Muslim.
12. Waki„ narrated to us from Sufyan from „Asim ibn Kulayb from „Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Aswad from „Alqamah from „Abd Allah: He said: “Should I not show you the Salah of Allah‟s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace)?” Thereupon, he did not raise his hands except once. Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated it in al-Musannaf (Athar al-Sunan, 1:104). I say: Its narrators are the narrators of the two Sahihs besides „Asim who is from the narrators of Muslim.
Ahmad narrated it with this very chain from „Alqamah: He said: Ibn Mas„ud said: “Should I pray for you the Salah of Allah‟s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace)?” He said: “Thereupon, he prayed and he did not raise his hands except once.” This is mentioned in Athar al-Sunan (1:104). Abu Dawud transmitted it (1:116) and was silent about it: „Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah narrated to us: Waki„ narrated to us, the equivalent of the hadith of Ahmad in chain and text. Then he said: Al-Hasan ibn „Ali narrated to us: Mu„awiyah and Khalid ibn „Amr and Abu Hudhayfah narrated to us: They said: Sufyan narrated this to us with his chain, and he said: “Then he raised his hands in the first instance,” and some of them said, “One time,” and he [i.e. Abu Dawud] was silent about it.
I say: These two are in reality two separate hadiths although their meaning is one, and Ibn al-Mubarak probably criticised the first path that is traced [to the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace)] and said it is not established. As for the second [narration], criticism from someone like him is farfetched. You are aware that the first path is also sahih since its narrators are all trustworthy, so its non-establishment according to Ibn al-Mubarak does not entail its non-establishment absolutely, and we have discussed this point in complete detail at the start of the chapter, so [that] ought to be revised.
13. Muhammad ibn Aban ibn Salih reported to us from „Abd al-„Aziz ibn Hakim: He said: “I saw Ibn „Umar raising his hands to the level of his ears in the first opening takbir of Salah, and he did not raise them in [any part of Salah] besides that.” Muhammad ibn al-Hasan transmitted it in al-Muwatta‟ (p. 90) and its narrators are trustworthy besides Muhammad ibn Aban. It says in Lisan al-Mizan: “Al-Nasa‟i said: „Kufan, not trustworthy.‟ Ibn Hibban said, „Weak.‟ Ahmad said, „He would not lie.‟ Ibn Abi Hatim said: I asked my father about him and he said, „Not strong, his hadiths are written and he is not used as proof.‟ Al-Bukhari said in al-Tarikh, „They criticised his memory, he is not relied upon.‟” This was mentioned in the footnotes to al-Muwatta‟ (p. 74). I say: Therefore it is acceptable amongst supporting narrations, especially since Muhammad ibn al-Hasan is a mujtahid, and his use of the hadith as proof is an authentication of it, as has come in the commentary.
I say: Its significance to the chapter is obvious, and it is supported by the hadith of Mujahid which has been mentioned previously.
14. Ya„qub ibn Ibrahim (i.e. Imam Abu Yusuf al-Qadi) reported to us: Husayn ibn „Abd al-Rahman² reported to us: He said: We entered, I and „Amr ibn Murrah, upon Ibrahim al-Nakha„i. „Amr said: “„Alqamah ibn Wa‟il al-Hadrami narrated to me from his father that he prayed with Allah‟s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and he saw him raise his hands when he said takbir and when he rose.” Ibrahim said: “I don‟t know, perhaps he did not see the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) praying till that day so he preserved this from him, while Ibn Mas„ud and his companions did not preserve [it]. I did not hear it from any of them. They would only raise it at the start of Salah when they said takbir.” Imam Muhammad transmitted it in al-Muwatta‟ (p. 90), and its narrators are trustworthy.
I say: Its significance to the chapter is obvious. Ibrahim al-Nakha‘i is from the great mujtahids who preferred the hadith of Ibn Mas‘ud over the hadith of Wa’il. His preference is sufficient for you. In giving preference to one Sahabi over another Sahabi there is no manner of diminishment of the other – far-removed is Ibrahim from this! ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud has prominent virtues by which he excels many of the great Sahabah, so Ibrahim did not err in preferring him over Wa’il (Allah Exalted is He be pleased with them).
15. Narrated from Abu Hanifah from Hammad from Ibrahim from al-Aswad that „Abd Allah ibn Mas„ud (Allah be pleased with him) would raise his hands in the first takbir and then not repeat [it] in any part of that [Salah], and he attributed this to Allah‟s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Abu Muhammad al-Bukhari al-Harithi transmitted it from Raja‟ ibn „Abd Allah al-Nahshali from Shaqiq ibn Ibrahim al-Balkhi from Abu Hanifah, as mentioned in Jami„ Masanid al-Imam (1:355). I say: The narrators of the chain of Abu Hanifah are all trustworthy, although some of the narrators leading to him were criticised, and its elaboration will come in the commentary. In brief, it is acceptable amongst supporting narrations.
I say: Its significance to the chapter is obvious. The reports from ‘Abd Allah agree that he would not raise his hands except in the opening takbir and he would attribute this to Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace). He is from the greatest and strongest of the Sahabah with a lengthy companionship and deep understanding. Three caliphs agreed with him on this as has preceded, and from the fourth [i.e. ‘Uthman] nothing is established. Imitation of them is sufficient for the one who imitates.
Hafiz Abu Muhammad al-Harithi, known as “the teacher,” the Compiler of the Musnad of the Imam
The hadith of Abu Hanifah was transmitted by al-Harithi in his Musnad. He is Imam Hafiz Abu Muhammad ‘Abd Allah ibn Ya‘qub ibn al-Harith al-Harithi al-Bukhari, popularly known as “‘Abd Allah, the teacher.” Hafiz Abu al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Uqdah al-Kufi, Abu Bakr ibn Adam al-Kufi, Abu Bakr ibn al-Ja‘ani, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub al-Kaghadhi al-Baghdadi and many of the scholars of Bukhara narrated from him. Al-Khawarizmi said: “Whoever studies his Musnad which he compiled on [the narrations of] Imam Abu Hanifah will ackowledge his depth of knowledge of hadith and his encompassing knowledge of the routes [of hadith] and texts,” as is mentioned in Jami‘ Masanid al-Imam (1:4, 2:275). It is mentioned in al-Fawa’id al-Bahiyyah from al-Sam‘ani that he possessed many hadiths and he was a shaykh who would narrate many hadiths, although he was weak in narration, not dependable in what he transmitted, and al-Hakim said: “One who had strange and isolated reports from trustworthy narrators, they were silent about him.” (p. 44, summarised) It is mentioned in Lisan al-Mizan: “Abu ‘Abd Allah ibn Mandah narrated many [hadiths] from him, and he has [a number of] works…Al-Khalili said: ‘He is popularly known as “the teacher,” he has knowledge of this field, though he is weak, they weakened him.’” I say: Therefore, his hadith is acceptable for support.
I did not find Raja’ ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Nahshali, and about Shaqiq al-Balkhi, it says in Lisan al-Mizan: “He was from the great ascetics, and it is inconceivable that he is graded weak.” End of abbreviated [quote] (3:151-2).
Abu Hanifah’s and al-Awza’i’s Debate on the Subject of Raising the Hands
I say: Al-Harithi narrated in his Musnad the story of the Imam with al-Awza‘i in relation to this hadith. He said:
Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ziyad al-Razi narrated to us from Sulayman al-Shadhakuni, he said: I heard Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah say: Abu Hanifah and al-Awza‘i met in the store of a perfume seller in Makkah. Al-Awza‘i said to Abu Hanifah: “What the matter with you, that you do not raise your hands in Salah upon bowing and upon rising from it?” Abu Hanifah said: “Because nothing about this is authentic from Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace).” He said: “How is it not authentic, when al-Zuhri narrated to me from Salim from his father from Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) that he would raise his hands at the opening of Salah and upon bowing and when rising from it?”
Abu Hanifah said: “Hammad narrated to us from Ibrahim from ‘Alqamah and al-Aswad from ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud (Allah be pleased with him) that Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would not raise his hands except in the opening of Salah, and then he would not repeat [it] in any part of it.” Al-Awza‘i said: “I narrate to you from al-Zuhri from Salim from his father from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and you say Hammad narrated to me from Ibrahim?!”
Abu Hanifah said to him: “Hammad had more jurisprudential knowledge than al-Zuhri, and Ibrahim had more jurisprudential knowledge than Salim, and ‘Alqamah is not less that Ibn ‘Umar in jurisprudential knowledge although Ibn ‘Umar had companionship and the excellence of companionship, and al-Aswad has great virtue, while ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud was much more superior in jurisprudence and recital [of the Qur’an] and the virtue of companionship with the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) from his youth than ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar.” Thereupon, al-‘Awza‘i became silent. This is mentioned in Jami‘ Masanid al-Imam (1:352-3).
Its narrators have been criticised: As for al-Harithi, he was discussed earlier.
Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ziyad al-Tayalisi al-Razi (d. 313 H) was an itinerant hadith-scholar who narrated from Ibrahim ibn Musa al-Farra’ and Yahya ibn Ma‘in, and al-Ji‘abi, Ja‘far al-Khuldi and a group narrated from him. Abu Ahmad al-Hakim weakened him, and Shirawayh said, “They criticised him, though he had deep understanding of hadith and was advanced in age.” This was abbreviated from Lisan al-Mizan (5:22).
Al-Shadhakuni is Hafiz Sulayman ibn Dawud al-Manqari al-Basri one of the unique huffaz, though weak.
‘Amr al-Naqid said: “Al-Shadhakuni arrived at Baghdad, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal said to me: ‘Come with us to Sulayman, we will learn from him criticism of narrators.’” Hanbal said: “I heard Abu ‘Abd Allah [i.e. Ahmad ibn Hanbal] say: ‘The most learned from us of narrators is Yahya ibn Ma‘in and the most retentive of us of the chapters is Sulayman al-Shadhakuni.’” Salih ibn Muhammad Jazarah was asked about al-Shadhakuni and he said: “I have not seen [one] more retentive than him although he lies in hadith.” Ibn ‘Adi said: “I asked ‘Abdan about him, and he said: ‘Allah’s refuge [be sought] that he be accused [of lying]! Only that his books went so he began to narrate from memory.’” This is mentioned in Tadhkirat al-Huffaz (2:66).
I say: Hence, these [narrators] can be used as proof outside of rulings, as the laxity of the hadith-scholars in the matter of wars, campaigns and history is known, so this story is not harmed by the criticism of its narrators, especially since they are differed upon as you know. Ibn al-Humam said in Fath al-Qadir after mentioning this story: “Thus, Abu Hanifah gave preference to the jurispudential understanding of the narrators just as al-Awza‘i gave preference to the highness of the chain which is a weak position according to us.”
[Footnotes to Part Three]
1. I [Mawlana Zafar Ahmad al-‘Uthmani] say: Shu‘bah narrated from him, and al-Bukhari transmitted his hadith in al-Adab al-Mufrad as mentioned in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (3:16). Shu‘bah only narrates from a trustworthy narrator as has preceded. In [al-Dhahabi’s] Kashif under his biography is mentioned: “He is a trustworthy imam, and a generous and noble mujtahid.” Al-Bukhari used him as supporting evidence with a chainless report in his Sahih, thus he said: “Hammad narrated from Ibrahim: ‘If they [i.e. those in the public baths] have an undergarment on them, then say salam, otherwise do not say salam.’” It says in al-Irshad al-Sari: “Ibn Abi Sulayman, the teacher of Abu Hanifah, and the jurist of Kufa.” This is mentioned in the introduction to Tansiq al-Nizam (p. 50).
2. Trustworthy, a proof, a hafiz with a high chain, as mentioned in Tadhkirat al-Huffaz (Mawlana Zafar Ahmad al-‘Uthmani)