By Haidar Hobbollah
Translated and published by Thaqalayn.blog
Our great Sheikh, given your deep knowledge regarding the foundational principles and the views of Sayed al-Khoei, in relation to Rijal and Hadith, we want you to comment on this treatise written by one of the great scholars regarding the chain of Ziyarat Ashura, [we want you to comment] from the point of view of Sayed al-Khoei exclusively, not the rest of the scholars
I will try to follow – as you requested – the methodology like that of Sayed al-Khoei while commenting on this text in particular, besides that, the discussion about whether the contents of Ziyarat Ashura are established or not requires another research in a somewhat different field in which we won’t go into right now.
I will quote each section of the text from the treatise of the great scholar and then I will provide comments in accordance to the methodology of Sayed al-Khoei.
The recommendation to visit the grave of the Lord of the Martyrs, Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) (d. 61 A.H. / 680 A.D.) on the tenth day of the month of Muharram, is one on which the scholars of the Imamiyya sect have collectively agreed on throughout the centuries. This consensus is the best proof of its authenticity and its origins from the Imams of the House of the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all.
If the consensus of the Imamiyya sect is used with the intention to establish a ziyara on the day of Ashura, then we have no problem with that. But the possibility of there being a ziyara for the 10th day, is already of very high probability even without this consensus, because it is unlikely that the Imams did not visit him on this sacred day.
But if this [usage of the consensus] is intended to infer this specific narration of the Ziyara, then it is on the premise that they acted on this narration, and establishing that [they acted on it] is difficult, and if someone accepts [this assumption], it will be a consensus based on observation, in which they relied on the existence of narrations [as proving that the scholars acted on it], so it has no hujjiyah [probative force], and some comments related to this point will come in our final words, God willing.
A question has been posed concerning the authenticity of the reports that recommend this pilgrimage, which are included in the books of the Imamiyya. This essay has been written in order to set aside any doubts, regarding the authenticity of the recommendation of this pilgrimage.
The reports encouraging the pilgrimage to the grave of the Lord of the Martyrs on the tenth day of the month of Muharram, have been narrated through five chains of transmissions.
The distinguished jurist and leader of the Imamiyya sect, Shaykh Tusi (d. 460 A.H. / 1067 A.D.) has recorded three reports in his book Misbahul Mutahajjid wa Silahul Mut’abbid. Each report has its own chain of transmission. The first report simply describes the rewards of visiting the grave, without providing the well-known text of the salutation, which is supposed to be recited at the site of the grave. However, the two other reports both state the text of the salutation.
In addition, Ibn Qawlawayhi (d. 369 A.H. / 979 A.D.) has recorded two reports of this recommendation in his book Kamil al-Ziyarat and both reports include a chain of transmission. Therefore the reports total five in number. In what follows, the five reports and their respective chains of transmissions will be presented and examined.
The First Chain of Transmission: The Chain of the Report about the Rewards of the Pilgrimage to the Grave of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.)
Shaykh Tusi reports: Narrated Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’, from Salih bin ‘Uqba, from his father, from Abu Ja’far (a.s.) (d. 114 A.H. / 732 A.D.) who said: “Whoever visits the grave of al-Husayn bin ‘Ali (a.s.) on the day of ‘Ashura’, in the month of Muharram and persists in weeping at his grave, then Allah the Glorified and Exalted will receive him on the Day of Judgment with the reward of two thousand major pilgrimages, two thousand minor pilgrimages and two thousand military expeditions. The reward of each major and minor pilgrimage and military expedition will be akin to having undertaken them with the Prophet of Allah and the Rightly Guided Imams.”
The narrator said: “May I be ransomed for you, but what about him who lives in far and distant lands and is unable to travel there (i.e. to the site of the grave) on that day?
He (the Imam) said: ‘If that is so, then let such a person go out into the desert or climb up to the terrace or roof-top of his house and gesture in the direction of the grave of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.); send greetings and salutations and exert himself in invoking curses on his enemies. Thereafter he should recite two units of prayer. This ritual should be done at the beginning part of the day, before the sun passes its zenith. Thereafter, he should lament and weep over al-Husayn (a.s.), and command the people of his house, who are unaware of it, to cry over al-Husayn (a.s.). He should establish mourning in his house by expressing grief and sorrow over al-Husayn (a.s.). Some of them are to console others of their feelings of distress. If they do all this, then I am their guarantor near Allah the Exalted.’
I said (i.e. the narrator, in a state of amazement): ‘May I be ransomed for you, are you their guarantor in that?!’
He (the Imam) said: ‘I am the guarantor for him who does that.’
I (i.e. the narrator) said: ‘But how do some of us console others?’
He (the Imam) said: ‘You should say: “May Allah magnify our recompense due to our distress for al-Husayn (a.s.). May He establish you and us from amongst those who seek to avenge his murder, in the company of His friend, the Imam al-Mahdi from the progeny of Muhammad.”
(The Imam continues). ‘Furthermore, if one is able to abstain from spending this day in fulfilling needs, then do so, for it is a day of misfortune and calamity, in which the needs of a faithful are not fulfilled. If the need is fulfilled, it will not be blessed and he will not see any goodness in it. None of you must attempt to accumulate anything for the future in his house on that day; for he who does so will not obtain any blessings in what he has accumulated and neither will his family.
Thus if they do this, Allah will ordain for them the reward of a thousand major pilgrimages, a thousand minor pilgrimages and a thousand military expeditions, as if done with the Prophet of Allah (saw). Additionally, for such a person will be the recompense of the suffering of every Prophet, Messenger, Successor (of the Prophets), the Truthful and the Martyr who was killed, since the creation of the world till the Day of Judgement.”
Here ends the text reported by Shaykh Tusi regarding the rewards of the pilgrimage to Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) on the day of ‘Ashura’. The report does not mention a specific salutation to be recited at the gravesite; rather it merely mentions the rewards of going out into the desert or climbing up to a high rooftop and pointing towards al-Husayn’s gravesite with greetings and exertion in cursing his enemies.
An Analysis of the Chain of This Tradition
Shaykh Tusi has obtained the above tradition from the book of Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’ and the Shaykh has mentioned his chain of authorities leading to Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’ ‘s book in his Fihrist as follows;
Ibn Abi Jid, from Muhammad bin al-Hassan bin al-Walid, from ‘Ali bin Ibrahim, from Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’.
Thus the Shaykh narrates the rewards of visiting al-Husayn (a.s.) on the day of ‘Ashura’ from the following authorities:
Ibn Abi Jid – Muhammad bin a-Hassan bin al-Walid – ‘Ali bin Ibrahim – Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’ – Salih bin ‘Uqba – ‘Uqba bin Qays – from Abu Ja’far al-Baqir (a.s.).
A study of the integrity of these narrators:
1) Ibn Abi Jid: His name is Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Abi Jid, known by the epithet Abu al-Hassan. He was one of the authorities and teachers of Najashi (d. 450 A.H. / 1058 A.D.) and Shaykh Tusi; the teachers of Najashi are all trustworthy and reliable.
Ibn Abi Jid is trustworthy according to Sayed al-Khoei; because he is from the hadith authorities [mashayikh] of Shaykh al-Najashi, whom Sayed al-Khoei ruled as being trustworthy
2) Muhammad bin al-Hassan bin al-Walid: He died in the year 343 A.H. (954 A.D.) and was among the important leaders and respected authorities of the (Imamiyya) sect, such that his integrity is beyond doubt. Shaykh Saduq learned the science of “biographical analysis” from him. This science is known as ‘Ilm al-Ta’dil wa al- Tajrih.
3) ‘Ali bin Ibrahim al-Qummi: He was a teacher of Shaykh Kulayni and lived until the year 307 A.H. (919 A.D.) He was one of the authorities of the (Imamiyya) sect, without equal and unrivalled in his integrity.
4) Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’: He was from the companions of Abu al-Hassan (al-Kadhim), al-Ridha’ and al-Jawad (a.s). Shaykh Tusi remarks concerning his character in his Rijal as follows: “reliable, veracious and a Kufan” (i.e. from Kufa in ‘Iraq). In addition Najashi says: “He was from amongst the virtuous and trustworthy members of the (Imamiyya) sect, and abundant in doing good deeds.”
5) Salih bin ‘Uqba: He is Salih bin ‘Uqba bin Qays bin Sim’an. Najashi introduces him as: Salih bin ‘Uqba bin Qays bin Sim’an bin Abi Rabiha. He narrates from his father, who in turn narrates from his own father and from Zayd bin Shahham. Whilst those who narrate from him include: Muhammad bin al-Husayn bin Abi al-Khattab and his son (i.e. Salih’s son) Isma’il bin Salih bin ‘Uqba.
It needs to be pointed out here that the person by the name of Salih bin ‘Uqba mentioned in this chain must not be confused with Salih bin ‘Uqba bin Khalid al-Asadi. This is because Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’ narrates from Salih bin ‘Uqba bin Khalid al-Asadi through the intermediary of Muhammad bin Ayyub whilst he narrates without any intermediary from Salih bin ‘Uqba bin Qays bin Sim’an. This is proved from a study of the chain of authorities of Najashi to the book of Khalid al-Asadi, where he writes, after mentioning a number of his teachers and authorities…”from Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’, from Muhammad bin Ayyub, from Salih bin ‘Uqba bin Khalid al-Asadi”.
Thus it can be seen that Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’ transmits from Salih bin ‘Uqba bin Khalid al-Asadi via an intermediary, whereas he transmits directly from Salih bin ‘Uqba bin Qays bin Sim’an as observed in the chain above which is the subject of the current scrutiny.
This is further supported by the chain recorded by Shaykh Tusi where he writes; “Salih bin ‘Uqba possesses a book, about which Ibn Abi Jid informed us, from Ibn al-Walid, from al-Saffar, from Muhammad bin al-Husayn, from Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’, from him”.23 And the person meant here by the word “him” is Salih bin ‘Uqba bin Qays and not Khalid al-Asadi. Thus what Muhaqqiq al-Tustari assumed is incorrect.
Therefore according to a general rule regarding all that Najashi mentions, Salih bin ‘Uqba bin Qays bin Sim’an bin Abi Rabiha was an Imami, for had he been other than that, then Najashi would have raised an objection about his sectarian affiliations, just as if there was a concern about his integrity, then he would have mentioned it.
The scholars of the science of Rijal such as Seyyid Bahr al-‘Ulum al-Tabatabai (d 1212 A.H. / 1797 A.D.) have relied on this general rule. He mentions this general rule as the tenth benefit in his book al-Fawaid al-Rijaliyya. He held the view that all those narrators whom Shaykh Tusi and Najashi mention in their (two) books (of Rijal) are from among the Shi’ite Imamiyya, of correct sectarian affiliation and praiseworthy in a general sense. These are the attributes, which qualified them to be mentioned among the scholarly authors.
Furthermore, due to these very same attributes, attention was also paid to their significance and the significance of their books; the mentioning of the paths of transmission to them; along with citing the names of those who narrated from them; as well as those whom they narrated from. This is with the exception of those among them, who were stipulated on the contrary to be from the Zaydiyya or Fathiyya or the Waqifiyya and others.
In light of this, Salih bin ‘Uqba bin Qays bin Sim’an bin Abi Rabiha was an Imami, praiseworthy in a general sense, which was the reason he was included in the books.
Secondly, from another perspective, two noble authorities from the great Shi’ite scholars narrate from him. They are: Muhammad bin al-Husayn bin Abi al-Khattab (died in the year 262 A.H. / 875 A.D.) and Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’, who was one of the great Shi’ite scholars.
Admittedly, Ibn al- Ghadhairi has considered him (Salih bin ‘Uqba) to be weak, just as Allama Hilli (d 726 A.H. / 1325 A.D.) has mentioned in his book Al-Khulasa where he writes concerning Salih bin ‘Uqba; “Extremist, liar, he is not to be paid any attention to.”
However, the disparagement of Ibn al- Ghadhairi is not to be relied upon, for he has criticized many of our scholars and trustworthy people who were unparalleled and peerless in their integrity. Ibn al- Ghadhairi had some unique beliefs and ideas about the twelve Imams and whoever disregarded these views or narrated a tradition on the topic of the Imamate which did not agree with his beliefs, tended to be described by him as an extremist and as a liar, as in this speech: “extremist, liar, he is not to be paid any attention to.” This is proof that his describing somebody with falsehood, was because of his (Ibn al- Ghadhairi’s) suspicions of extremism.
Indeed, how is it possible for Salih bin ‘Uqba to be described as an extremist when he was from the authorities of Muhammad bin al-Husayn bin Abi al-Khattab and Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’. The latter was mentioned in the presence of al-Ridha’ (a.s.), who said (about Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’); “I would love to see people like him amongst you.” He was a person towards whose person and book, the two authorities Najashi and Tusi devoted their attention to, so it can be concluded that his trustworthiness and reliability was strong and his narrations are reliable.
I do not know how he established that any person that has been mentioned by Shaykh al-Tusi or Shaykh al-Najashi [without explicit authentication] in their books, is praised according to general commendation. And this is not accepted by the majority of the scholars, and I assume that even the great scholar himself does not adopt this in his published books on Rijal. Nor is this accepted by Sayed al-Khoei, who considered hundreds of narrators to be unknown, regardless of them being mentioned in the books of Shaykh al-Najashi and Shaykh al-Tusi [without explicit authentication], even though al-Tusi and al-Najashi weakened dozens of people in these two books.
Yes, the inference that the narrator is an Imami Shi’a is perhaps conceivable, but establishing his trustworthiness because of merely mentioning his name among the names of the Shiite authors is no argument at all, especially since the books of al-Tusi and al-Najashi were authored to show the names of the authors and their works, they did not attempt to always show the conditions of a narrator.
Unless by general commendation it is meant that he is an Imami, and this does not benefit us here, as our purpose is to prove the reliability of his narrating.
In addition, being among those narrated from by some great narrators, such as Ibn Bazee’, is not evidence of his trustworthiness according to most of the scholars, including Sayed al-Khoei and others, because the narrators sometimes narrate for the sake of the collection of the hadith legacy/herritage and not [selectively narrating] depending on their beliefs, and it was alluded to by Ibn Idris Al-Hilli in the book al-Sarair while commenting on the book al-Nihaya by al-Tusi in multiple places.
But in any case, Salih bin ‘Uqba is considered trustworthy according to Sayed al-Khoei because of his presence in the chains of Tafsir al-Qummi. (See: Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol 10, pg 84-86)
6) ‘Uqba bin Qays bin Sim’an: Shaykh Tusi has mentioned him in his Rijal and considered him from the companions of Imam al-Baqir (a.s.). His being a companion of Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) proves that he was an Imami and the Shaykh has not criticized him.
The mere absence of criticism for the narrator does not mean that he is trustworthy, as he could be unknown to the early scholars as well.
And this principle that has been mentioned by his eminence the great scholar, is not acceptable to the majority of the fuqaha [islamic jurists], nor do I think he himself accepts this in his researches on Fiqh and Rijal, just as Sayed al-Khoei doesn’t accept this.
Then the fact that a person is one of the companions of Imam al-Baqir does not mean that he is an Imami Shi’ia; because the Fathiya, Zaydiyyah and others can be among the companions of al-Baqir, and rather most of them are, especially since some groups emerged after the death of Imam al-Baqir, so how is being a companion of this Imam (as) evidence that the narrator did not stop [following the Imam] after that ?!
And with all this, according to Sayed al-Khoei, ‘Uqba bin Qays bin Sim’an is unknown [majhool] and his reliability cannot be established (See: Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol 12, pg 172)
Here ends the study of the first chain of the report presented by Shaykh Tusi, regarding the rewards of visiting the grave of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) on the day of ‘Ashura’. It can be concluded here that the chain has no defects and it is one of the hasan chains, in the sense of being generally praiseworthy.
This chain was found to be unreliable according to Sayed al-Khoei, at the very least because of ‘Uqba bin Qays bin Sim’an being unknown.
The important thing here is the study of the chain by which Shaykh Tusi narrates the text of the salutation. He writes:
Salih bin ‘Uqba and Sayf bin ‘Umayra narrate from ‘Alqama bin Muhammad al-Hadhrami who reports: “I said to Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir) (a.s.); ‘Teach me a salutation by which I may greet and salute him (al-Husayn) on that day (i.e. the day of ‘Ashura’), if I were to visit him from near, and by gesturing towards him when from afar and when at home.”
‘Alqama said: “He (al-Baqir (a.s.) said to me ‘O ‘Alqama, if you recite two units of prayer after gesturing towards him with greetings and salutations, then say these words after glorifying Allah. And so if you say that, then you will have greeted and saluted him with words by which the angels greet him. And Allah will elavate you a million ranks and you will be like him who was martyred with al-Husayn (a.s.) and you will share with them in their ranks. Then you will be known as being with the martyrs who were martyred with him. Allah will ordain for you the reward of visiting every Prophet and every Messenger and (the reward) of the pilgrimage of every person who visited al-Husayn (a.s.) since he and his family were killed.’
‘Greetings to you, O Aba ‘Abdillah. Greetings to you, O son of the Messenger of Allah. Greetings to you, O son of the Prince of Believers and the son of the Leader of the Successors. Greetings to you, O son of Fatima, the Mistress of the Women of the Worlds…’
“Then he (al-Baqir) (a.s.) said – after specifying the salutation once and invoking of curses once – ‘then prostrate and say:
“O Lord, for you is the praise, the praise of the thankful ones, (even) during adversities and tribulations. Praise be to Allah for my intense grief. O Lord, grant me the intercession of al-Husayn on the Day of Judgement, and strengthen me in truth, with you and with al-Husayn, and with al-Husayn’s companions who sacrificed themselves for al-Husayn (a.s.).”
Then ‘Alqama said: “Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir) (a.s.) said; ‘If you are able to greet and salute him (al-Husayn) every day with this salutation from your house, then do so, and you will obtain the reward of all that (all the above-mentioned rewards).”
This is the conclusion of the report of the salutation of ‘Ashura’, along with its chain and text.
An Analysis of The Chain of This Report
The manner of the mode of expression makes apparent that Shaykh Tusi has taken this tradition from the book of Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’ regarding whose reliability there is no doubt, rather the need for verification is for those whom he narrates from.
Thus Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’ narrates the text of the salutation through the following chain: Salih bin ‘Uqba and Sayf bin ‘Umayra, and they from ‘Alqama bin Muhammad al-Hadhrami.
As for Salih bin ‘Uqba, his biographical details have been presented above, as well as the fact that he is considered in the books of Rijal (biographies) to be an Imami and praiseworthy in a general sense. Further, other evidences prove that he was acceptable in his narrations despite the criticisms of Ibn al-Ghadhairi.
Nevertheless, if we were to assume the absence of proof of his trustworthiness, this does not affect the authenticity of the chain, for Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’ narrates the text of the salutation from two persons; one of them being Salih bin ‘Uqba and the other being Sayf bin ‘Umayra and the second is reliable without doubt.
Najashi says: Sayf bin ‘Umayra al-Nakha’i was an Arab, a Kufan and trustworthy. He reports from Abu ‘Abdillah (the sixth Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) and Abu al-Hasan (the seventh Imam al-Kadhim (a.s.). He possessed a book and a group of our companions narrate from it.
Shaykh Tusi has explicitly declared his trustworthiness in his Fihrist.
Thus, so far, the narrators are all trustworthy and consequently the narration is authentic. Now there remains the need to verify the last narrator: ‘Alqama bin Muhammad al-Hadhrami.
Shaykh Tusi regarded ‘Alqama to be one of the companions of al-Baqir (a.s.) and al-Sadiq (a.s) (d. 148 A.H. / 765 A.D.).
There is no explicit statement about his veracity in the books of biographies; however other evidences testify to his reliability, such as:
1) Al-Kashi (floruit in the first half of the fourth century hijri) reports from Bukar bin Abi Bakr al-Hadhrami, who said: “Abu Bakr (al-Hadhrami) and ‘Alqama (al-Hadhrami) visited Zayd bin ‘Ali (d. 122 A.H./ 739 A.D.). ‘Alqama was older than my father. Zayd seated one of them on his right and the other on his left. It had reached their attention that he was saying; ‘the Imam from amongst us is not one who is politically quiescent. So Abu Bakr, who was the more courageous of the two, said to him (Zayd), ‘O Abu al-Hasan, tell me about ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.). Was he an Imam when he was leading a politically quiet life or did he not become an Imam till he drew his sword?
Zayd understood the intent of his speech, and so remained silent and didn’t answer. Abu Bakr repeated his question thrice and each time Zayd did not answer him.
So he (Abu Bakr) said to him (Zayd): ‘ If ‘Ali bin Abi Talib was an Imam even when he was politically inactive then it is possible that there is an Imam after him who also leads a politically inactive life, and if ‘Ali was not an Imam and leading a politically inactive life, then what is your problem here?’
(At that moment), ‘Alqama insisted that Abu Bakr should restrain himself (from carrying on his speech) and so Abu Bakr kept silent.”
This tradition reveals that the two brothers possessed insight in the matter of the Imamate.
This narration, if its chain is authentic, is evidence that ‘Alqama is a Shia and not a Zaydi, and what is the relation between this [him being a Shia] and his trustworthiness and honesty in narrating ?!
Not every Shia is trustworthy according to the consensus of scholars, including Sayed al-Khoei. Rather, this narration itself is not reliable according to Sayed al-Khoei, in which he said:
أقول: محمّد بن جمهور ضعيف، وبكّار مجهول، فلا اعتماد على الرواية
I [Sayed al-Khoei] say: Muhammad bin Jamhour is weak, and Bakair is unknown, so there is no reliance on this narration
Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, volume 8, pg 363
2) Furthermore, on the basis of the forthcoming analysis of the third chain below, through which Shaykh Tusi narrates the text of the salutation, it can be determined that Sayf bin ‘Umayra, the trustworthy narrator (al-thiqa), complained to Safwan bin Mihran, also a trustworthy narrator (al-thiqa), that the supplication by which he supplicated, doesn’t appear in the report of ‘Alqama from al-Baqir (a.s.), whereupon Safwan excused himself and clarified that he had heard the supplication from Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) during the course of the latter’s pilgrimage to his ancestor al-Husayn (a.s.).
Thus Sayf’s complaint at the absence of the supplication, and the response of Safwan that he had heard it from Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.), delineates from the acceptability of these two trustworthy men, the trustworthiness of ‘Alqama bin Muhammad al-Hadhrami, for if not, then Sayf bin ‘Umayra would not have advanced ‘Alqama’s report as an argument, and Safwan would not have responded to him that he had heard it (the supplication) from al-Sadiq (a.s.).
Just this does not establish his trustworthiness, you can also ask a trustworthy person about something and say to him: Your words are against the words of Zayd from the people, and Zayd is unknown to you, there is no evidence to his weakness nor his trustworthiness, and he answers you that he heard it from the Imam, so what evidence is there in this to establish trustworthiness [of Zayd]? Yes this can point to him not being weak according to him, but lack of establishment of weakness does not indicate trustworthiness.
On this basis, it is known that the reported supplication (to be recited after the salutation) is not from ‘Alqama, even though it is famously believed to have been reported from him, rather it is reported from Safwan bin Mihran.
Therefore, the following conclusion can be deduced:
1) That the chain of Shaykh Tusi leading to the book of Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’ is authentic as found in (his) Fihrist.
2) That Muhammad bin Isma’il bin Bazi’ is unanimously agreed upon to be trustworthy.
3) That Sayf bin ‘Umayra is trustworthy, which has been explicitly declared by Najashi.
4) That ‘Alqama bin Muhammad al-Hadhrami is trustworthy according to the evidences made known.
This brings to a close the second chain. Thus if we were to maintain the trustworthiness of ‘Alqama, then the chain is authentic (i.e. sahih) and if not, then it is good (hasan) according to general praiseworthiness.
As we have mentioned, the weakness of this chain has also become apparent, and Sayed al-Khoei had authenticated ‘Alqama al-Hadhrami based on the mass authentication of Kamil al-Ziyarat (See: Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol 12, pg 201), and this means he has corrected this view later on in his life because he corrected his stance on this mass authentication, and ‘Alqama is not of the direct transmitters from Ibn Qulawayh, so the trustworthiness of al-Hadhrami [‘Alqama] cannot be established according to Sayed al-Khoei based on his opinion at the end of his life.
The Third Chain of Transmission: The Chain to The Text of the Salutation
Shaykh Tusi has an additional third chain in (his book) Misbah al-Mutahajjid for the text of this salutation.
Shaykh Tusi reports: Muhammad bin Khalid al-Tayalisi narrated from Sayf bin ‘Umayra who said; “I rode out with Safwan bin Mihran al-Jammal towards al- Ghariy, and a group of our companions were with us. This was after Abu ‘Abdillah (a.s.) (i.e. Imam al-Sadiq) had left. Later we set out for Medina from al-Hira.
When we had completed performing the pilgrimage rites, Safwan turned his face in the direction of the grave of Abu ‘Abdillah (al-Husayn) (a.s.) and said to us: ‘salute and greet al- Husayn (a.s.) from this place, from the place of the head of the grave of the Prince of the Believers, the blessings of Allah be upon him, for Abu ‘Abdillah (al-Sadiq) (a.s.) pointed towards it (towards the grave of al-Husayn) from right here, and I was with him.”
He (Sayf bin ‘Umayra) said: “Then Safwan recited the salutation, which ‘Alqama bin Muhammad al-Hadhrami had narrated from Abu Ja’far al-Baqir (a.s.) for the day of ‘Ashura. Thereafter he recited two units of prayer at the head of the grave of the Prince of the Believers. At the end of these two rites, he bid farewell to the Prince of the Believers and gestured towards (the grave of) al-Husayn (a.s.) in the state of salutations and greetings, making his departure while his face was turned towards his (al-Husayn’s) direction and bid him farewell. At the end he recited the following supplication:
‘O Allah! O Allah! O Allah! O He who responds to the call of the afflicted…” (The famous supplication, widely known as the supplication of ‘Alqama).
This tradition is clear that Safwan greeted Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) by the salutation text, which ‘Alqama bin Muhammad al-Hadhrami had narrated.
At the end of the tradition, Sayf bin ‘Umayra says; “So I asked Safwan: ”Alqama bin Muhammad al- Hadhrami did not narrate this supplication, by which I mean, ‘O Allah! O Allah! O Allah! O He who responds to the call of the afflicted…!’ Rather he narrated only the text of the salutation!’
So Safwan replied: ‘I arrived with my Master, Abu ‘Abdillah al-Sadiq (a.s.) at this place and he acted in a similar way to how we acted in our pilgrimage rituals and he supplicated with this supplication when bidding farewell after having recited the ritual prayers which we had recited, and he bade farewell in the same manner as we bade farewell.’
Thus the disagreement was regarding the supplication that is recited after the salutation, whereas there is no disagreement about the famous text of the salutation, which is accepted and acknowledged.
The report continues further as follows:
“Then Safwan said to me: ‘Abu ‘Abdillah (al-Sadiq) (a.s.) said to me: “Commit yourself to the recitation of this salutation, and supplicate by this supplication (of ‘Alqama) and visit him (i.e. Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) for I am a guarantor near Allah the Most High for anyone who visited and greeted (al-Husayn) with this salutation and supplicated by this supplication from near or from afar: that his visit will be accepted, his endeavours acknowledged and appreciated, his greetings arriving (at their intended destination) without being veiled (or concealed) and his needs fulfilled by Allah however difficult, and He (Allah) will not disappoint him.
O Safwan! I obtained this salutation guaranteed with this guarantee from my father, and my father from his father ‘Ali bin al-Husayn (a.s.). ‘Ali bin al-Husayn (a.s) obtained it from his father al-Husayn, and al-Husayn from his brother al-Hasan, and al-Hasan from his father, the Prince of the Believers. The Prince of the Believers obtained it from the Prophet of Allah, and the Prophet of Allah from Gabriel and Gabriel from Allah, Great and Exalted.
The guarantee is that Allah, Great and Exalted, has taken it upon Himself that whosoever visits and greets al-Husayn (a.s.) with this salutation text, from near or from afar and supplicates with this supplication then He will accept his greetings and his supplication with regards to his problem however difficult, and will fulfil his wish.
Thereafter the visitor will not turn away from Allah disappointed, rather Allah will turn his state into a happy one; (a state) whereby his eyes will be delighted by the granting of his requests and success in heaven and emancipation from hell. Furthermore, Allah will accept the intercession of any who intercedes, except the intercession of our opponent, the opponent of the people of the House (of the Prophet). Allah has undertaken this on Himself, and called us to witness what the angels of His realm had witnessed regarding that.
Then Gabriel said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, He (Allah) has sent me to you with glad tidings and joy, and glad tidings and joy for ‘Ali (a.s.) and Fatima and al-Hasan and al-Husayn (a.s.) and for the Imams from his (al-Husayn’s) progeny till the Day of Judgment. So may your happiness and joy continue O Muhammad, and that of ‘Ali and Fatima and al-Hasan and al-Husayn and the Imams from al-Husayn’s progeny and that of your adherents till the Day of Resurrection.’
Then Safwan said: ‘Abu ‘Abdillah (a.s.) said to me, ‘If you happen to be in need and desire it’s fulfilment from Allah, then greet and salute (al-Husayn) with this salutation wherever you may be, and supplicate with this supplication and beseech your need from your Lord, it will certainly be fulfilled by Allah, for Allah is not one who goes against His promise nor does He go against what He has blessed and graced His Messenger with, and all praise is due to Allah.
An Analysis of The Third Chain
Shaykh Tusi has taken this tradition from the book of Muhammad bin Khalid al-Tayalisi and has mentioned his chain of transmission to this book in his Fihrist. He says: He (i.e. Muhammad bin Khalid al-Tayalisi) has a book which we have transmitted from al-Husayn bin ‘Abdallah (al-Ghadhairi), from Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Yahya (the teacher of Shaykh Saduq), from his father (Muhammad bin Yahya al-‘Attar al-Qummi), from Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin Mahbub, from him (i.e. Muhammad bin Khalid al-Tayalisi).
Shaykh Tusi’s chain of transmission to the book (of Muhammad bin Khalid al-Tayalisi) is authentic and correct, and Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Yahya is one of the teachers and authorities of Shaykh Saduq. Shaykh Saduq narrates from him with appreciation and satisfaction, and the teachers do not need further verification.
Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Yahya was not authenticated by any of the classical scholars, and all the evidence for his authentication is weak; therefore, he was not authenticated by Sayed al-Khoei (See: Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol 3, pg 122), so the path of Sheikh al-Tusi to al-Tayalisi is not reliable according to Sayed al-Khoei, as he himself stated. (See: Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol 17, pg 76).
It should be known that the judgment about the veracity of the chain of transmission depends on an analysis of the integrity of the narrators who occur in it, and the narrators who occur in this chain are: Muhammad bin Khalid al-Tayalisi, Sayf bin ‘Umayra, and Safwan bin Mihran al-Jammal.
As for the second narrator, Sayf bin ‘Umayra, Najashi has authenticated him, thus what remains is the need to analyse the first and third narrator.
As for Muhammad bin Khalid al-Tayalisi, Shaykh Tusi has considered him in his Rijal to be one of the companions of al-Kadhim (a.s.). Further, the testimony of great authorities confirms and corroborates his veracity. These include:
1) ‘Ali bin al-Hasan bin al-Fadhdhal
2) Sa’d bin ‘Abdillah al-Qummi
3) Hamid bin Ziyad: Shaykh Tusi says in his Fihrist that: Hamid transmits many Usul from Muhammad bin Khalid al-Tayalisi (who is) also known by the epithet of Abu ‘Abdillah.
4) ‘Ali bin Ibrahim al-Qummi
5) Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin Mahbub
6) Muhammad bin Yahya al-M’adi
7) Mu’awiya bin Hakim.
Najashi writes: Muhammad bin Khalid bin ‘Umar al-Tayalisi al-Tamimi, Abu ‘Abdillah, died when three days were yet left in the month of Jamadi al-Akhar in the year 259 A.H. (872 A.D.). He was ninety-seven years old.
And perhaps this number of verifications substantiates his eminence in hadith and that he commanded prestige and dignity amongst the scholars of hadith.
Thus it can be concluded that he was an Imami and praiseworthy, and therefore acceptable in transmission.
No one has authenticated al-Tayalisi, and scholars merely narrating from him does not indicate authentication, and therefore Sayed al-Khoei did not authenticate him except when he depended on the mass authentication of Kamil al-Ziyarat, but he corrected his stance on this mass authentication at the end of his life. (See: Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol 17, pg 75)
As for the third narrator in the chain by whom I mean: Safwan bin Mihran, he was a Kufan and trustworthy, and known by the epithet of Abu ‘Abdillah.
Here ends the analysis of the three chains of transmissions through which Shaykh Tusi reports the recommendation for the pilgrimage to the grave of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) as well as the text of the salutation to be recited at his gravesite, and the following conclusions can be deduced:
The first of the three chains of transmissions is the chain of Shaykh Tusi to the report, which describes the consequences of visiting al-Husayn (a.s.) in terms of the rewards attainable, in a general sense. It was initially thought that to mention this report here would be a digression, however, Shaykh Tusi has narrated all three reports in one place and therefore we decided to mention it as well.
As for the second chain of transmission, Shaykh Tusi narrates it from Sayf bin ‘Umayra and he is reliable and trustworthy by consensus. He in turn narrates it from ‘Alqama bin Muhammad al-Hadhrami. Shaykh Tusi did not elucidate his reliability; rather other evidences prove his trustworthiness.
As for the third chain, Shaykh Tusi narrates it from Muhammad bin Khalid al-Tayalisi, from Sayf bin ‘Umayra, from Safwan bin Mihran. The last two are reliable. As for the first, the Shaykh did not elaborate on his reliability; rather other evidences prove the acceptability of his hadith transmissions.
The trustworthiness of al-Tayalisi is not established, nor for ‘Alqamah al-Hadhrami, so these chains are not authentic, even based on the opinion of Sayed al-Khoei.
Next we will consider the chains of transmissions of Ibn Qawlawayhi to the text of this salutation.
The First Chain of Transmission of Ibn Qawlawayhi to the Text of the Salutation
Ibn Qawlawayhi reports the salutation of the day of ‘Ashura’ in his book Kamil al-Ziyarat with the following chain:
Hakim bin Dawud bin Hakim and others narrated to me, from Muhammad bin Musa al-Hamadani, from Muhammad bin Khalid al-Tayalisi, from Sayf bin ‘Umayra and Salih bin ‘Uqba together, from ‘Alqama bin Muhammad al-Hadhrami, from Abu Ja’far al-Baqir (a.s.) who said: ” Whoever visits (the grave of) al-Husayn bin ‘Ali (a.s.) on the day of ‘Ashura’ and persists in weeping at his grave, then Allah the Glorified and Exalted will present him on the Day of Judgment, with the reward of two thousand major pilgrimages…”
We have already said that the reliability of ‘Alqama al-Hadhrami and al-Tayalisi is not established according to Sayed al-Khoei, so this chain is only a reference to the previous chain we have discussed, and is not a new thing, so it is weak.
And Muhammad bin Ismai’l, from Salih bin ‘Uqba, from Malik al-Juhani, from Abu Ja’far al-Baqir (a.s.) who said: “Whoever visits (the grave of) al-Husayn bin ‘Ali (a.s.) on the day of ‘Ashura’ in the month of Muharram and persists in weeping…”
Ibn Qawlawayhi has concluded the first chain with the words “from ‘Alqama bin Muhammad al-Hadhrami,” and then he starts with the other chain and says “and Muhammad bin Ismai’l, from Salih bin ‘Uqba.”
Thus his words “Muhammad bin Ismai’l…” carry two possibilities:
First possibility: Ibn Qawlawayhi commenced with the first chain and took the tradition from the book of Muhammad bin Ismai’l bin Bazi’, and you know that Shaykh Tusi narrates the same salutation from that book. As discussed earlier in the section on the analysis of the first chain of transmission of Shaykh Tusi, that his path of transmission to the book of Muhammad bin Ismai’l bin Bazi’ is authentic and correct and thus it yields evidence of the existence of the text of the salutation in that book.
Thus both the authorities, Shaykh Tusi and Ibn Qawlawayhi, have undertaken its narration from that book, although the chain of transmission of the Shaykh to the book is known while the chain of Ibn Qawlawayhi to it is not known. However, that does not harm the authenticity of the tradition, due to the knowledge of the existence of the tradition in that book by way of the path of transmission of the Shaykh. This possibility is the most distinguished and so Ibn Qawlawayhi has two chains of transmissions for the salutation of ‘Ashura’.
Second possibility: His writing “and Muhammad bin Ismai’l”, is a coordinating conjunction to his writing “Muhammad bin Khalid al-Tayalisi ”. Thus the chain of transmission of Ibn Qawlawayhi to the book of Muhammad bin Ismai’l bin Bazi’ is the same chain as his chain to the book of Muhammad bin Khalid al-Tayalisi. Thus it would seem that he narrates the book of Ibn Bazi’ by the same path of transmission as the one through which he narrates the book of al-Tayalisi.
Therefore, his chain to the book of Muhammad bin Ismai’l bin Bazi’ would be as follows: Hakim bin Dawud, from Muhammad bin Musa al-Hamadani, from Muhammad bin Ismai’l bin Bazi’. However this possibility is far fetched.
Third Possibility: None who have the knowledge of (the science of) Rijal would voice this, which is, that his writing “and Muhammad bin Ismai’l” is a coordinating conjunction to his writing ”’Alqama bin Muhammad al-Hadhrami ” and therefore a part of the preceding chain. Indeed this would be far from accurate, indeed exceedingly far-fetched, for ‘Alqama is from the companions of al-Baqir and al-Sadiq (a.s.), while Ibn Bazi’ is from the companions of al-Ridha’ and al-Jawad (a.s.), and so with a difference in the generation, how can a person from a later generation be considered contemporaneous to a person from an earlier generation?
Now that this has been clarified, a study of the narrators of the first chain will be undertaken.
Study of the First chain of Narrators
1) Hakim bin Dawud bin Hakim: He is one of the teachers of Ibn Qawlawayhi and Ibn Qawlawayhi has authenticated his (Hakim bin Dawud bin Hakim) teachers en masse in the beginning of his book where he says; “He (Hakim bin Dawud bin Hakim) does not mention anything in his book except that which he has come across from authentic sources.”
And Ibn Qawlawayhi narrates from him in Kamil al-Ziyarat in the second chapter, hadith number eleven, and in the fifty fourth chapter, third hadith in addition to the seventy first chapter, hadith number nine.
2) Muhammad bin Musa al-Hamadani: Najashi mentions him as follows: “Muhammad bin Musa bin ‘Isa, Abu Ja’far al-Hamadani al-Saman.”
Muhammad bin Yahya al-‘Attar al-Qummi narrates from him (i.e. from Muhammad bin Musa al-Hamadani). This is proven from the path of transmission of Najashi to Muhammad bin Musa bin ‘Isa bin al-Hamadani’s book, where Najashi says; “Ibn Shadhan informed us, from Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Yahya, from his father, from him (Muhammad bin Musa bin ‘Isa bin al-Hamadani), from his book.
Similarly, Muhammad bin Ahmed bin Yahya bin Imran al-Ash’ari narrates from him. He was the most important of Kulayni’s teachers. Muhammad bin Musa bin ‘Isa bin al-Hamadani has been mentioned in the chains of the book Nawadir al-Hikma of al-Ash’ari, though Ibn al-Ghadhairi has undermined his integrity saying he was: “weak, narrates from weak people and it is permissible that he be ruled out as a witness.” Ibn al-Walid, the teacher of Shaykh Saduq (d. 381 AH / 991 AD) also undermines his integrity.
However, their disparagement is due to their differences regarding the stations of the Imams, for the people of Qum and at their head was Muhammad bin al-Walid, had special beliefs with regards to the members of the Prophet’s house to which perhaps, the Imamiyya scholars did not agree with.
Shaykh Mufid (d. 413 AH / 1022 AD) writes in his book Tas-hih al-I’tiqad that: “we have heard an opinion of Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin al-Hasan bin al-Walid, regarding which we did not find any support in the exegesis, which is what is narrated from him that he said: ‘the first stage of extremism (ghuluww) is the negation of forgetfulness for the Prophet and the Imams (a.s.)!!’
Thus, if this account is true, then he was a reductionist despite the fact that he was from the scholars of Qum and their chief. We also met a group from Qum whom we found clearly denigrating matters of religion and lowering the rank of the Imams (a.s.) from their stations alleging that they (the Imams) did not know many laws of religion until it was impressed (lit: scratched) on their hearts.
There were amongst them those who said that they (the Imams) took recourse to personal opinions and conjectures in matters of the law. They also claimed that the Imams were merely from the scholars. This implies that the Imams had no special significance above the others. This is a denigration of the stations of the Imams, about which there is no doubt!!”61
Therefore it is not improbable that Muhammad bin Musa bin ‘Isa bin al-Hamadani’s disparagement by Ibn al-Walid is due to their differences with regards to the stations of the Imams, and for that reason, when Najashi narrates the speech of Ibn al-Walid saying that he (i.e. Muhammad bin Musa bin ‘Isa bin al-Hamadani’s) used to forge traditions, he (Najashi) concluded with the words “and Allah knows best”.
What was stated in the book of al-Ghadhaeri about the weakening of al-Hamdani has no value – as is the truth – according to Sayed al-Khoei, because of the incorrectness of the attribution of the book of al-Ghadhaeri that is in our hands today to him [al-Ghadhaeri], but this does not prove the trustworthiness of al-Hamdani; Because nobody authenticates him, and him being a hadith transmitter of a Shaykh of al-Kulayni does not establish his trustworthiness, as is evident from the foundational principles [mabani] of Sayed al-Khoei.
Rather, Muhammad bin al-Hassan bin al-Waleed weakened al-Hamdani explicitly according to al-Najashi’s narration, and the Qummis also weakened him, and Sheikh al-Saduq explicitly weakened him and accused him of lying, and because of this Sayed al-Khoei did not authenticate him and did not take his narrations. (See: Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol 18, pg 297-299)
And regarding the rejection of adopting their weakenings [of Al-Saduq, Ibn al-Waleed and the Qummis], this still does not prove his trustworthiness; because there is no evidence of his trustworthiness even if there is no evidence of weakness. So as for al-Hamdani his hadith cannot be used in argumentation according to Sayed al-Khoei.
3) Muhammad bin Khalid al-Tayalisi: His biography has been mentioned in the course of the study of the third chain of Shaykh Tusi and evidences prove him being acceptable in his narrations.
We have already mentioned the lack of establishment of his trustworthiness according to Sayed al-Khoei earlier, as is the correct view.
4) Sayf bin ‘Umayra: It has been mentioned that he is reliable without doubt.
5) Salih bin Uqba: His biography has been mentioned during the course of the study of the first chain of Shaykh Tusi. He was an Imami and praiseworthy in a general sense.
6) ‘Alqama bin Muhammad al-Hadhrami: His biography has been presented during the course of the study of the Shaykh about him. And we said that the evidences prove that he was trustworthy.
We have said that Sayf bin ‘Umayra is trustworthy, and Salih bin ‘Uqba is trustworthy according to Sayed al-Khoei but not according to me [Shaykh Hobbollah], and as for ‘Alqama his trustworthiness is not established as we have mentioned earlier, not according to Sayed al-Khoei nor according to me [Shaykh Hobbollah].
And based on this it shows that this chain is not authentic according to Sayed al-Khoei because of the presence of ‘Alqama.
Here ends the first chain of Ibn Qawlawayhi. What follows is the study of the second chain.
The Second Chain of Transmission of Ibn Qawlawayhi to the Text of the Salutation
Muhammad bin Isma’il narrates from Salih bin ‘Uqba, who narrates from Malik al-Juhani, who narrates from Abu Ja’far al-Baqir (a.s.) that: “Whoever visits (the grave of) al-Husayn bin ‘Ali (a.s.) on the day of ‘Ashura’, in the month of Muharram and persists in weeping at his grave…”
The honourable reader should note here how the narrators are repeated in most of the chains of narrators, and this means that they are not multiple chains, but a method for reducing the chains can be performed on them.
Now, this chain of transmission does not need an analysis except for the biography of Malik al-Juhani, for the biographies of Muhammad bin Isma’il and Salih bin ‘Uqba have already been presented. As for Malik al-Juhani, Shaykh Tusi has considered him to be from the companions of al-Baqir (a.s.) and al-Sadiq (a.s.) in his Rijal, saying; ”(He was) a Kufan, (and he) died in the lifetime of Abu ‘Abdillah (a.s.).”
It is possible to demonstrate his reliability with the following evidences.
First: ‘Ali bin Ibrahim narrates from Muhammad bin ‘Isa, from Yunus, from Yahya al-Halabi, from Malik al-Juhani who said: “Abu Ja’far al-Baqir (a.s.) said; ‘O Malik! You are from our Shi’ites, yet do you not see that you are being negligent in our affair?! Indeed it is impossible to appraise the attributes of Allah, and just as it is impossible to appraise the attributes of Allah, likewise it is impossible to appraise our attributes, and just as it is impossible to appraise our attributes, likewise it is impossible to appraise the attributes of the believer.
Surely when a believer meets another believer and shakes hands with him, Allah continues to watch over them and their sins wear away from their faces just as leaves fall off from trees, till they part company, so how is it possible to appraise the attributes of one who is like that?”
Even though this tradition ends at Malik al-Juhani himself, the interest of ‘Ali bin Ibrahim al-Qummi and Muhammad bin ‘Isa bin ‘Abid and Yunus bin ‘Abd al-Rahman in narrating it, expresses their reliance and confidence in his narrations.
This way of authenticating narrators is not correct according to the muhaqiqeen of the rijal scholars, one of them being Sayed al-Khoei.
Followed by even al-Wahid al-Behbahani and Shaykh al-Namazi, and they are considered as being excessive in their methods of authenticating the narrators among the Imami scholars, for if this method was correct it would establish all of the narrations of the Shia.
[By saying] It is inconceivable that al-Saduq, al-Kulayni, al-Tusi and al-Mufeed narrate a narration without trusting it and relying upon its narrators, and using this method, there is no worth to any of our studies into the narrators and the hadith sciences, and hadith criticism, and the verifications of the hadith based on its chain and contents, and I don’t know how the great scholar adopted the foundational principles [mabani] of the Usulis and he is from our contemporary scholars in the field of Rijal, when in reality here he is taking the Akhbari methodology.
Furthermore, Sayed al-Khoei does not establish the trustworthiness of Malik al-Juhani, as is correct. (See: Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol 15, pg 164)
Second: al-Kulayni (d. 329 AH / 940 AD) narrates from ‘Isa al-Halabi, from Ibn Miskan from Malik al-Juhani who said: “Abu ‘Abdillah (a.s.) said to me; ‘O Malik! Aren’t you all satisfied and pleased that you establish prayers, give the poor-rate, refrain (from the prohibited) and that you will enter heaven?
O Malik! Indeed it is not for any community which is led by a leader in the world, except that he (the leader) will come on the Day of Judgment cursing them and they will be cursing him, save you and he who is in the same state as you. O Malik! Surely the deceased among you, who adheres to our leadership, is like a martyr with the status of a fighter who fought with his sword in the way of Allah.”
This narration is narrated by Malik al-Juhani himself, so it is not possible to establish his trustworthiness from a narration he himself narrates to us, as the scholars have stated, including Sayed al-Khoei. Except for someone who is on the methodology we mentioned earlier [Akhbari], which the great scholar has practiced here… and our comments on this have been provided earlier.
Third: His eulogy in praise of Imam al-Baqir (a.s) highlights his perception and cognizance of the station of the Imam, and that he used to publicly declare devotion and allegiance to the Imam at a time when declaring it was prohibited. He said:
“If mankind demands the knowledge of the Qur’an,
Then the Quraysh are dependent on him (i.e. on al-Baqir (a.s.),
And if it is said, ‘where is the son of the daughter of the Prophet?’
I realized that in you with long branches,
They [i.e. the Ahlulbayt] are like stars, which shine and glitter for those who set out at night,
(They are like) mountains that bequeath great knowledge”.
All that this establishes is the Shiism of this person, and the scholars – including Sayed al-Khoei – have stated that a person being Shia is not evidence for his trustworthiness, so what convincing proof establishes that every Shi’i is trustworthy except if evidence is provided [for the contrary] ?!
How can this be, when among the liars of the ghulat [exaggerators] there were those with excessive love for the Ahlulbayt, and they proclaimed this love [even in their narrations].
This study is a quick citation of the chains of transmissions of the reports recommending the pilgrimage to Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) as well as transmitting the text of the salutation of ‘Ashura’. Their authenticity and acceptability has also been discussed. A consideration of the sum-total of these chains results in strengthening some of them with the others and grants knowledge or approximate certainty of the origins of these traditions from the infallibles (a.s.) in addition to two further considerations, which are:
1) The consensus of the (Shi’ite) community and their diligence in reciting this salutation throughout the centuries, which is one of the indications that the origins of these traditions lie with the infallibles, and
2) A careful study of the contents of the salutation indicates its origins to be from a heart brimming with grief and sadness, whose tears and torment cannot be appeased except through revenge, and it is in harmony with the contents of all the transmitted traditions in the supplications and salutations.
Here culminates what was intended to be explained in this essay, of the study of the chains of transmissions of the salutation to Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) on the day of ‘Ashura’.
The persistence of the Shia upon this Ziyara [now] does not safeguard that this was the case at the time of its transmission so that it would be a legislated conduct, otherwise, let’s establish evidence for this and how we can know this. And the existence of this persistence of the Shia after the era of the transmission of the text may have emerged from the scholars directing to it. And this directing by the scholars does not establish their belief in its issuance; since this narration is in relation to mustahhab [recommended] acts, and it is possible that they took the narration with leniency using the Principle of Leniency in Deducing Proofs for Recommended Acts, and if this is the case this does not establish their belief in the issuance of this hadith.
And Sayed al-Khoei does not accept the Principle of Leniency in Deducing Proofs for Recommended Acts. (See: Misbah al-Usul, vol 2, pg 320; al-Tanqeeh, Kitab al-Tahara, vol 1, pg 526 – vol 4, pg 8 – vol 5, pg 417 – vol 9, pg 294,295,324,331,339,363 and more…)
Nor does he accept the forcing of acting upon the weak narration because of the act being popular [mashoor]. (See: al-Tanqeeh, al-Tahara, vol 1, pg 286, 453 – vol 2, pg 477 – vol 6, pg 137 – vol 7, pg 274, 283 – vol 8, pg 62, 181 – vol 9, pg 294, 295, 376; Mustanad al-‘Urwa, Kitab al-Salat, vol 2, pg 160 etc… [see Arabic article for all references])
In addition, the originating of this Ziyara from a hurt, distressed, and sad heart is clear to me, but can’t this heart be one of a honest and sincere Shi’i who loves to promote the thought of the Ahlulbayt and the love of Ahlulbayt, may God’s prayers be upon them all, so that he came up with this narration and devised it for the service of the Ahlulbayt, is the mere fact that the narration came from a distressed heart evidence of its truthfulness ?!
Are these the criteria for accepting a hadith that are acceptable to the scholars of Rijal and Hadith ?!
And we know – as has been researched in detail in ‘ilm al diraya, and which Shaheed al-Thani and Hussein bin Abdul-Samad al-Karaki and others pointed out – that many of the fabricators were from the righteous and pious people, and they fabricated in anticipation and nearness to God Almighty, to push people towards goodness, and they used to say ‘we fabricate ahadith for the Prophet, not against him’, so the hadith that says “Whoever deliberately lied about me, let him take his place in Hell.” doesn’t include us, because we lie for him ﷺ and not against him.
In addition, agreement of the hadith with the contents of other authentic hadiths could make it reliable – in meaning – as a common denominator, but this does not prove its issuance so that it can be relied upon in the matters mentioned and this applies to all other narrations. So it is fair to say that we need other ways to establish the chain and the content.
This, and I do not claim that the chain of this ziyara is weak, because I am not in the process of examining it extensively based on all of the sources, but I wished to answer the questioner regarding the position of Sayed al-Khoei on the chain of this ziyara (as referred to in the message of this great Sheikh …) according to his principles in Usul and Rijal, and that the method [adopted here] by the great scholar is not correct according to what is the truth and according to Sayed al-Khoei as well. The detailed research on this matter will be in its place, and perhaps there are other methods other than these methods mentioned by the great shaykh that amount this ziyara to the level of of being authentic.
The results of the research:
1 – The first chain of narrators mentioned by Sheikh al-Tusi is weak, at the very least because of ‘Uqba bin Sam’an who is majhool [unknown], even according to Sayyid al-Khoei (See: Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol 12, pg 172).
2 – The second chain of narrators is weak, due to the lack of evidence of ‘Alqama al-Hadhrami’s trustworthiness, even according to Sayed al-Khoei, who at first ruled it based on the mass authentication of Kamil al-Ziyarat, which he has corrected his stance on at the end of his life (See: Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol 12, pg 200-201).
3 – The third chain of narrators is weak due to Muhammad bin Khalid Al-Tayyalsi, whose trustworthiness was not established even according to Sayed al-Khoei, except based on the mass authentication of Kamil al-Ziyarat, which he has corrected his stance on at the end of his life (See: Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol 17, pg 75). This is in addition to the presence of Muhammad bin Ahmed bin Yahya, whom Sayed Al-Khoei did not authenticate, as mentioned previously.
4- The fourth chain of narrators is weak, due to both Muhammad bin Musa Al-Hamdani, who is a weak narrator according to the Qummis, Muhammad bin Al-Hassan bin Al-Walid and Sheikh Al-Saduq, and also according to Sayed al-Khoei (See: Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol 18, pg 297-299), and this chain is also weak due to Muhammad bin Khalid Al-Tayyalsi, and ‘Alqama bin Muhammad Al-Hadhrami, who have been mentioned previously, that they are not established as being trustworthy even according to Sayed al-Khoei.
5- As for the fifth chain, it is weak, at the very least due to no establishment of the trustworthiness of Malik al-Juhani, even according to Sayed al-Khoei (See: Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol 15, pg 16).
This, and it is noticeable that the names of some narrators are repeated in more than one of these five chains, which – after consideration – returns the amount of chains to three or even less.
And Sayed al-Khoei was asked about Ziyarat Ashura:
س: ما هو رأيكم الشريف بسند ومتن زيارة عاشوراء الواردة في كتاب (مصباح المتهجّد) للشيخ الطوسي قدس سره؟ وهل تجزئ قراءتها عن الزيارة المذكورة في كتاب كامل الزيارات لابن قولويه قدس سره؟ فقد تكلّم في ذلك أناس لم يبلغوا رتبة الاجتهاد؟
ج: يجزئك أن تقرأ من أيّ من النسختين مورد مخالفتهما عن الأخرى، برجاء أن يكون هو الواقع الوارد
Q: What is your honourable opinion on the chain and the content of Ziyarat Ashura contained in the book (Misbah Al-Mutahajid) of Sheikh al-Tusi (qs)? And is it sufficient to read this ziyara from the book Kamil al-Ziyarat of Ibn Qulawayh (qs)? A person who did not reach the rank of ijtihad has spoken about it
A: It is permissible for you to read from either of the two copies in the instances where they differ from one another, with the hope that what is narrated is the actual reality
Muniat al-Sail, pg 226
And the meaning of his saying “With the hope of”, is that he [Sayed al-Khoei] has not established any of the chains among these two books, which the great scholar attempted to establish their authenticity in his treatise, otherwise it is meaningless to say about a ziyara which you believe was issued that it should be read with the intention of hope [that maybe it is their actual words], but rather he would’ve said that what is stated in such and such a book is correct and recommended, and as for the second book it can be read with the intention of hope, and this reveals the rejection of the authentication of any of the previously mentioned chains by Sayed al-Khoei as we have shown in our answer to your question above, and the knowledge regarding this matter is with Allah.
And lastly I would like to point out that Sayed al-Khoei is not infallible, and his opinion is not the end of all opinions, and that is why it is not a good idea to take his opinion and deal with it on the basis that matters are resolved [with his opinion], but on the other hand – with giants such as Sayed al-Khoei having such a view [on this narration] – it is not good for some of us to deal with the establishment of these narrations and their likes as if they are clear-cut unanimously accepted matters in which those who discuss this narration, are accused in their religion, madhab, beliefs and morals.
Let the two parties meet God Almighty regarding what comes from them, and accept the multiplicity of opinions on the matter, so let them take their time before attributing something to the Prophet and his Household and companions, or denying something from them, because all of us will be accountable before God Almighty, and we will be questioned regarding what we have said and done, and we will be asked about our attribution of words to an infallible, and vice versa we will be asked about denying words to be from an infallible, so let us acknowledge the multiplicity of opinions, and let each person work with the academic methodology he has chosen.
And with such topics [as the one discussed in this article] we shouldn’t rely on a poor methodology because of our desire to authenticate or weaken, and then for other topics proceed to return to a solid methodology, which we then adopt in our researches of jurisprudence and other subjects !! and Allah knows our purpose behind this.