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[e-Book] A Critical Study of the Chains of Transmission and Wording of Reports About the Permissibility of Backbiting Oppressive Rulers – Clarifying their Weakness and Answering their Evidential Reasoning – Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Junayd

 Translated & Annotated 
Abu Khuzaimah Ansari




KEY  BLACK BOLD = Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Junayd.

Blue [AK…..END] my annotations

ʿAudhu Billāhi min ash-Shayṭān al-Rajīm Bismillāh al-Raḥmān al-Raḥīm Alḥamdullilāhi Rabbil ʿAlamīn, Waṣalatu Wassalām ʿAla Rasūlillahil Karīm, Wa ʿAla Alihī Wa Aṣḥābīhi Wa Man Tabiāhum Bi-Eḥsan Ilaʾ Yaum al-Dīn; Wa Baʿd

All Praise belongs and is directed to the Rabb of everything that exists, Praise and Salutations be upon His Final beloved Messenger, his revered family and his noble Companions and upon those who follow them in good until the end of times, To proceed,


This is a small treatise in which Shaikh Abdul Qadir al-Junayd explains and elucidates the harm and evil of backbiting Muslim rulers. He also discusses the weakness of the reports transmitted from the Salaf which are used by some claimants of Salafiyyah. This is important since some claimants of Salafiyyah are advocating the permissibility of backbiting rulers publicly on account of these reports from the Salaf which is an aberrant view. They hide behind these reports to express a legitimate difference of opinion from the Salaf.

When there is inherent desire to please the nafs to publicly ridicule and rebuke Muslim rulers on account of the shortcomings of the Ummah, this is nothing but weakness. The same people divert attention from evil corruptive sins of the heart and body resort to this; failing to address their accountability as an Ummah. This is the way of the cowards.

Since the spread of emotional outbreaks by the practitioners of evil, ruler or non-ruler, the same claimants of Salafiyyah abandon the Quran and Sunnah which detail how to deal with these affairs. To such an extreme that a brother said Salafis were duped in this issue based on these reports. Unbeknown to most, these reports from the Salaf are severely weak and have no support from the vast majority of the Salaf.

The Salaf do not support this view and the detractors have failed to prove this. They resort to cherry picking odd aberrant reports to support their redundant view. Shaykh Abdul Qadir has shown the clear weakness of these reports and refuted those who encourage backbiting Muslim rulers.

Presenting and screening themselves behind a singular, lone, odd, aberrant and contradictory statement from one Salaf is rudimentary and certainly insufficient to formulate legal points of Manhaj. This is further problematic when they clearly oppose the plethora of reports and statements from them which well documented in the early works of Aqidah and Manhaj.

Many people and claimants of Salafiyyah have been spreading these statements without recourse to research or relying on Sunni scholars for understanding. Merely quoting statements without context and the mere thought of the existence of a report is hardly thrilling. Nonetheless, this treatise will dampen the mood! Some brothers have been sharing scans while others continuously repeat these statements from websites, e.g.,

Lastly, as a summary, the view of the Salaf in this matter is very clear and it was comprehensively expressed by Imam Abu Bakr al-Isma’ili (d.371H) when he said, “Know, May Allah have mercy on us and you, indeed the Madhab of Ahlul Hadith wa Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jama’ah is….” (Kitab I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah p.35)

And then he said about the rulers, “To supplicate for their rectification and that they turn towards being just.” (Kitab I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah p.55 no.58. (KSA: Maktabah Dar ul-Minhaj, 1431H. 2nd Edn. Ed. Jamal Azzun). This opposes backbiting rulers openly since its deception and treachery.

The Manhaj of the Salaf on this issue can also be summarised with the view and statement of Imams Malik and Sufyan ath-Thawri when they said, “It is better to be under the rule of an oppressive ruler for 70 years than not have a ruler for even an hour.” (Tartib al-Madarik wa Taqrib al-Masalik (2/493), ad-Dibaj al-Madhab Fi Ma’rifah A’yan Ulama al-Madhab (1/125)

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah echoes this by mentioning 60 years, wherein he said, “The wise people said 60 years with an unjust ruler is better than a night without a ruler.” (Majmu’a al-Fatawa (30/136)

This shows the Salaf understood how to deal with oppressive rulers and would not want a believer to backbite them for 70 years! This explains it is better to have patience with an oppressive ruler then not have one and the ensuing harm.

I have presented a simple translation of the Shaykh’s treatise and added detailed explanatory notes when needed. I did not reference the reports and ahadith in the introduction since the Shaykh clarifies he penned this elsewhere in a lengthier treatise. The intention is to render this into English at some stage, In-Sha-Allah.

The reader might encounter different numbers for reports in Ibn Abi Dunya’s book as-Samt and al-Ghibah wan-Namimah. This is because authors have used two different editions in their books. The publication of Dar ul-Gharb edited by Najm Abdur Rahman Khalaf and Dar ul-Kutub al-Arabi edited by Abu Ishaq al-Huwayni. These two have been used by numerous authors hence the numbering issue. Shaykh Abdul Qadir used the Dar al-Kutub al-Arabi edition and so are the scans.

I have presented scans where necessary and at other times I have referenced books with their publishers, so the avid reader can refer to them for further research. Some of the scans presented were originally shared on social media by the advocators of backbiting the oppressive ruler, and so I have presented themin this treatise for them to know this is a direct response to them.

Shaykh Abdul Qadir’s words are in black bold typography and my additional notes are in blue, marked with [AK] at the beginning and END] when my notes are complete for each relevant section.

Abu Khuzaimah Ansari

Birmingham, UK. 1445/2023


Shaykh Abul Qadir al-Junayd begins his small treatise by saying,

All praise belongs to Allah and salutations on his Messenger Mustafa Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam

To proceed,

It has been transmitted from some Imams, they did not consider it backbiting to speak against the oppressive Muslim ruler, Therefore, some students of knowledge in our time, may Allah correct them, use this as evidence for the permissibility of rebuking the ruler openly by backbiting them.

I say,

This line of argument is defective due to the following reasons.

The First – 1st Reason

The first thing to note; these reports which have been transmitted from these Imams are not authentic. These reports will be mentioned in due course, along with who transmitted them with clarifying their defects which indicate their weakness.

The Second – 2nd Reason

Even if one statement from them was established to be authentic, their statements are not evidence according to the agreement of the scholars. Rather their statements in and of themselves require evidence as numerous people of knowledge have said. Evidence or proof is the statement of Allah, his Messenger Sallalalhu Alayhi Wasallam, the statement of the Companions and the ijma of the scholars.

The Third – 3rd Reason

Backbiting a fellow Muslim is haram whether it’s the ruler or those being ruled over, based on the texts of the Quran, Prophetic Sunnah and the ijma of the scholars. The ruling of it being haram does not leave this status except by other evidence from the Shari’ah. There is no evidence in the Shari’ah that specifies the ruler.

So, there are no ayahs of the Quran, there are no clear authentic Prophetic hadith, nor are there any clear authentic reports from the Companions nor is there any ijma. Rather backbiting the ruler is more harmful and worse in terms of its severity on the general Ummah and the various Muslim lands. The likes of Abu Bakr al-Isma’ili ash-Shafi’i, Ibn Abi Zamanin al-Maliki, Ibn Salah ash-Shafi’i and Ibn Taymiyyah all said speaking against the ruler was backbiting. It is also permitted based on ijma as quoted by Ibn Taymiyyah to backbite the wicked sinner who publicises his evil sins. This is also supported by numerous texts of the Shari’ah.  

The Fourth – 4th Reason

Indeed, the statement of the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam is established and clear in its meaning which states, “Whoever has advice for the ruler, he should not do it publicly, rather, he should take him by his hand and advise him privately. If he accepts it, he accepts, and if he does not, he would have fulfilled his duty.”

This hadith prohibits and denounces backbiting the ruler.

This point is further confirmed and clarified based on the reason this hadith was transmitted, its background and the understanding of the Companions, May Allah be pleased with them all, in how commanding the good and forbidding the evil encompasses advising. This also includes guidance to whoever errs in this affair of the rulers. The hadith mentions,

It is reported that Iyadh bin Ghanam lashed the governor of Dara when it was conquered, so Hisham bin Hakim spoke harshly with Iyadh until he (Iyadh) was angry. Then, a few nights later, Hisham bin Hakim came to him to excuse himself and said, “Did you not hear the Prophet say, “The worst punishment on Yawm ul-Qiyamah will be for the one who is worse in punishing people?” Iyadh bin Ghanam said, “Oh Hisham bin Hakim, we know what you know and saw what you saw, and we accompanied who you accompanied. Did you not hear Allah’s Messenger Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam say, “Whoever wants to advise the ruler, he should not do so publicly. Rather, he should take him by his hand and advise him (privately). If he accepts it (that is good). If not, he has fulfilled his obligation.” You, Oh Hisham, you are reckless, when you are reckless with the ruler of Allah, do not fear the ruler of Allah will kill you, since you will be someone killed by the ruler of Allah?”

The statement of the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam, “…He should not do it publicly, rather, he should take him by his hand and advise him privately…” indicate a prohibition and a command. The foundational principle is that a command denotes an obligation (an obligatory act) and a prohibition denotes something which is unlawful.

The transmission of this hadith has been outlined in the lengthier treatise and a discussion related to its authenticity.

The Fifth – 5th Reason

The Companions RadhiAllahu Anhum differed and disagreed with this view (of backbiting the ruler) and what they deduced from the texts. Their views take precedence over the views of others from amongst them. In fact, the statement of one (Companion) is considered evidence according to the view of Ahlus Sunnah if no one opposes it (i.e. another Companion). What about then if they all were agreed on one view? Rather, they complied and agreed with the Prophetic texts and their statements and actions are explanatory confirmations of this matter.

Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah said in an-Nuniyyah (p.226),

“Knowledge is what Allah said, His Messenger said,

his Companions said, as they were the first to know,

Any knowledge attributed to any other than them is haughty,

It is between the Messenger and the opinion of so and so.”

  1. It is authentically transmitted from Sa’id ibn Jubayr who said, “I asked Ibn Abbas, “Shall I command my ruler with good?” Ibn Abbas said, “If you fear he will kill you, then no. If you must do so, then do it (privately) between you and him and do not backbite your ruler.”

Ibn Abbas RadhiAllahu Anhuma prohibited him from rebuking the ruler publicly through backbiting since backbiting is unlawful.

  1. It is authentically transmitted from Tawus who said, “I mentioned the rulers in front of Ibn Abbas and a man became insolently brazen (with his statements) and no one was more insolent than him in the house. Ibn Abbas heard him and said, “Oh Hazhan do not make yourself a fitnah for the oppressors.” He then became small and humbled to the extent that no one was seen so small and humbled in the populus than him.”

So, Ibn Abbas RadhiAllahu Anhuma considered speaking of the shortcomings of the rulers to be a source of tribulation and aiding the oppressive people in their evil and corruption. This statement is conveying the warning against publicly rebuking the ruler by backbiting him.

This report has been referenced in the longer treatise.

  1. It is established (authentically) from Sa’id bin Jumhan that he said, “I met Abdullah bin Abi Awfa RadhiAllahu Anhu and he was a sight to behold. I greeted him with salam and he said to me, “who are you?” I replied, “I am Sa’id bin Jumhan.” He asked me, “What did your father do?” I replied, “He killed the Azariqah.” He said, “May the curse of Allah be upon the Azariqah, may the curse of Allah be upon the Azariqah. Allah’s Messenger Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam said they (Khawarij) are the dogs of hellfire. I said, “Al-Azariqah (a sect of the Khawarij) alone or all the Khawarij?” He said, “Rather all the Khawarij.” I said to him, “But the ruler oppresses the people and does this, and he does that to them (i.e. their evil). So, then he grabbed me by my hand and pinched it very hard and said, “Oh Son of Jumhan, stick with the great majority (of scholars), stick with the great majority (of scholars). If the ruler listens to you then advise him in his home (in private), inform him of what you know. If he accepts (that’s good) and if not then leave him, for you are not more knowledgeable than him.”

So, Abdullah bin Abi Awfa RadhiAllahu Anhu rebuked Ibn Jumhan’s speech when he mentioned the evil of the ruler concerning his affair of governance by backbiting him. He said to advise the ruler privately if he listens to you.

This report has been referenced in the longer treatise and with a discussion whether it is Sahih or Hasan (authentic or good).

  1. It is transmitted by al-Bukhari (no.3267) and Muslim (no.2989) and it is his wording on the authority of Usamah bin Zayd RadhiAllahu Anhu when it was said to him, Why don’t you visit Uthman and talk to him? Thereupon he said, “Do you think that I have not talked to him that you also hear? By Allah. I have talked to him (about things) concerning me and him and I did not like to divulge those things about which I had to take the first step.”

This report establishes the Companions of the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam did not rebuke their rulers or leaders publicly if many people were around them. This was their way to do it behind closed doors and not publicly which was not their norm RadhiAllahu Anhum. Furthermore, Usamah RadhiAllahu Anhu did not want to be the first to open the door to fitnah by rebuking the ruler publicly.

  1. It is reported that Iyadh bin Ghanam lashed the governor of Dara when it was conquered, so Hisham bin Hakim spoke harshly with Iyadh until he (Iyadh) was angry. Then, a few nights later, Hisham bin Hakim came to him to excuse himself and said, “Did you not hear the Prophet say, “The worst punishment on Yawm ul-Qiyamah will be for the one who is worst in punishing people?” Iyadh bin Ghanam said, “Oh Hisham bin Hakim, we know what you know and saw what you saw, and we accompanied who you accompanied. Did you not hear the Allah’s Messenger Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam say, “Whoever wants to advise the ruler, he should not do so publicly. Rather, he should take him by his hand and advise him (privately). If he accepts it (that is good). If not, he has fulfilled his obligation.” You, Oh Hisham, you are reckless, when you are reckless with the ruler of Allah, do not fear the ruler of Allah will kill you, since you will be someone killed by the ruler of Allah?”

This hadith and incident has been referenced in the lengthier treatise wherein I have mentioned its authenticity whether it is Sahih or Hasan.

The point of deduction is, when Iyadh bin Ghanam RadhiAllahu Anhu knew someone wanted to publicly and openly rebuke the ruler by the way of recklessness, he said, You, Oh Hisham, are reckless. When you are reckless with the ruler of Allah.”

  1. Abu Dawud at-Tayalisi said in his Musnad (no.928), From Humayd bin Mihran from Sa’d bin Aws from Ziyad bin Kusaib who said, “Ibn Amir mounted the minbar while wearing a fine garment. Abu Bilal said, “Look at your leader wearing clothes of the wicked! Abu Bakrah who was (sitting) under the minbar said, “I heard Allah’s Messenger Sallalalhu Alayhi Wasallam saying, “Whoever insults Allah’s leader then Allah disgraces him.”

At-Tirmidhi (no.2224) transmitted it through his chain of transmission (Abu Dawud at-Tayalisi’s) with the wording, I was with Abu Bakrah under the Minbar of Ibn Amir while he was giving a Khutbah wearing a fine garment. Abu Bilal said, “Look at our Amir wearing clothes of the wicked!’ So, Abu Bakrah said, Be quiet! I heard Allah’s Messenger saying, “Whoever insults Allah’s ruler on the earth, Allah disgraces him.”

Imam at-Tirmidhi said, “This hadith is Hasan Gharib.” Allamah al-Albani graded it Hasan according to his last view. Hafiz al-Bazzar said in his Musnad (no.3670),

“This hadith has been transmitted from Allah’s Messenger Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam with similar words, and I do not know anyone to have transmitted this from Allah’s Messenger Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam with this wording except Abu Bakrah.”

I say, Sa’d bin Aws al-Adawi is in the chain. As-Saji said concerning him “Truthful.” Ibn Hibban and Ibn Khalfun mentioned him in ath-Thiqat. Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani said, “Truthful but had errors.” Adh-Dhahabi said, “He was declared weak by Ibn Ma’in while others said he was thiqah and Ibn Hibban mentioned him in his ath-Thiqat.” Al-Albani was inclined towards his tawthiq.

As for Humayd bin Mihran he is thiqah.

The point of deduction from this report which establishes proof is that Abu Bakrah ath-Thaqafi RadiAllahu Anhu rebuked the man’s speech in front of the worshippers regarding the representative of the ruler and silenced him. He informed him this type of rebuking is insulting the ruler which results in Allah disgracing the one who does it.

The Sixth – 6th Reason

On the authority of Anas bin Malik RadhiAllahu Anhu who said, “Our elders from the Companions of Allah’s Messenger Salallahu alayhi Wasallam forbade us (warned us from) “Do not revile your rulers, do not deceive them, do not have hatred for them, have taqwa of Allah and have patience for indeed the affair is near.”

Transmitted by Ibn Abi Asim in as-Sunnah (no.1015) and al-Bayhaqi in Shu’bal Iman (no.7523) and others. Allamah al-Albani said, “the chain is good – jayyid.”

The point of deduction is due to the prohibition of reviling the rulers in every affair, in cheating them while being ordered to have patience due to the corruption that would result in the Din, this world and for the worshippers. This is even though he might be correct in his cursing (i.e. the reason) and permissible by the way of punishment in the same way as long as the cursing does not entail words or cursing that are haram or transgress boundaries.

So, backbiting the ruler, rebuking him publicly by backbiting and mentioning his faults openly is prohibited even more so. The corruption of backbiting is worse than being abusive because its corruptive effects encompass the Din, this world and the ummah as a whole and it spreads. He does this to portray he is concerned for the religion and the Ummah. This is then accepted by the people and spread far and wide while misguiding many people. This is in opposition to abuse as this affects the abuser and he is vilified by the general public.

Backbiting the ruler and spreading his faults is not from the affair of advising him. The opposite to advising the ruler is deception and betrayal. We have been commanded to advise and prohibited from deceiving or betraying.

The Seventh – 7th Reason

The Shari’ah came to expel evil and corruption from the Ummah. Ayahs of the Quran, texts from the Prophetic Sunnah both general and specific all elaborate this.

Allowing the ruler to be backbitten especially when he is oppressive and publicly rebuking him through backbiting is from the main reasons that bring evil and corruption in the ummah. This approach makes backbiting continuous and increase in its severity. This reason and affairs lead to rebelling against the just and oppressive ruler and the spread of the Madhab of the Khawarij.

It is transmitted by al-Bukhari (no,3267) and Muslim (no.2989) and it is his wording on the authority of Usamah bin Zayd RadhiAllahu Anhu when it was said to him, Why don’t you visit Uthman and talk to him? Thereupon he said: Do you think that I have not talked to him but that I have make you hear? By Allah. I have talked to him (about things) concerning me and him and I did not like to divulge those things about which I had to take the first step.”

The wording in al-Bukhari is, Somebody said to Usamah, “Will you go to so-and-so and talk to him?” He said, “Do you think that I have not talked to him but that I have make you hear.  I talk (advise) to him privately without opening the door (of trials), for neither do I want to be the first to open it (i.e. rebellion),”

The jurist Siraj ud-Din Ibn Mulqaain ash-Shafi’i said in his book, at-Tawdih Li-Sharh al-Jam’i as-Sahih (19/180),

“His saying [I talk to him privately] meaning speaking out by rebuking the rulers openly would be from the affairs of opposing the rulers of the Muslims, it would cause splitting of the Muslim ranks and disrupt and separate the body of the Muslims. Just as the affair was when Uthman was confronted with public rebuking.

Al-Imam Abdul Aziz ibn Baz said in Majmu’a al-Fatawa (8/210-211)

“…When the ignorant Khawarij opened the door to evil in the time of Uthman RadhiAllahu Anhu and they openly rebuked and criticised Uthman, it was a great fitnah, killing and corruption, the effect of which has still not subsided in people today. To the extent that the fitnah encompassed in what occurred between Ali and Mu’awiyyah RadhiAllahu Anhuma. They killed Uthman and Ali RadhiAllahu Anhuma due to this reason [i.e., openly criticising and rebuking the rulers]. In fact, the same reason led to the killing of many Companions and others which was to openly rebuke and criticise rulers, to mention their sins openly. To the extent that many people had hatred for the rulers and killed them.”

It is authentically transmitted from Abdullah bin Ukim that he said, “I will never aid the killing of any Khaliph after Uthman.” It was said to him, “Were you involved in spilling his blood?” he replied, “I consider mentioning his faults the same as spilling his blood.”

(Transmitted by Ibn Sa’d in at-Tabaqat al-Kubra (3/80, 6/115), Ibn Abi Shaybah in his Musannaf (no.32706 and no.32043) al-Bukhari in at-Tarikh al-Kabir (1/31 no.45), ad-Dawlabi in al-Kunna wal-Asma’ (no.476) and others.

And Abdullah bin Ukim was a Mukhadram, meaning he encountered and was alive during the time of Allah’s Messenger Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam but he did not hear or meet him.

The Eighth – 8th Reason

Permitting backbiting the ruler especially if he is oppressive and rebuking him publicly by backbiting, is slander and defamation in the Shari’ah. It is alleging there are contradictions in the Shari’ah. So how does one prevent the causes of evil and corruption in the Ummah, the prevention of which is supported by numerous texts (of Islam), both general and specific when at the same time the main reason which leads to evil, and corruption is being allowed or permitted?

The explanatory meaning above is evidence that you cannot find in the Shari’ah what they want to make permissible.

So, besides these affairs, May Allah reward you, the reports you have encountered with the following meaning, we will investigate them,

“It is not backbiting when speaking about three people, the innovator, a wicked sinner who sins publicly and the oppressive ruler.”

(Athar al-Waridah Fi Jawaz Ghibah al-Hakim al-Ja’ir p.1-10)

The 1st – Report of

al-Hasan al-Basri Rahimahullah

Ibn Abi Dunya in his as-Samt (no.234) and al-Ghibah wan-Namimah (no.97) through the chain of Yahya bin Abi Bakir from Sharik from Uqil from al-Hasan. And Sharikh bin Abdullah in the chain is da’if – weak. Uqil in the chain is not specified and I was unable to find any narrations of Sharik from Uqil except only this narration. If it was Uqil bin Khalid, then he is trustworthy who transmits from al-Hasan but I could not find anyone saying Sharik narrates from this Uqil or whether a different one and Allah knows best.

 samt cov

The edition with Al-Huwayni’s checking.

samt 234

samt najam

The edition with Najm Abdur Rahman’s checking.

samt najm 234 235

[AK] There is a difference of opinion concerning Sharik bin Abdullah whether he is weak or Hasan in hadith. Many of the scholars and Imams of hadith, rijal and Jarh wat-Ta’dil have criticised and praised him. For further details refer to al-Jam’i li-Kutub adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin wal Kadhabin (7/261-281 no.5506) where the latter has collated over 20 pages concerning him by the way of his integrity in hadith.

Further to differences on his trustworthiness, Sharik is a Mudallis.

The following scholars all classed and graded him to be a mudallis. Hafiz Ibn Hajr in Tabaqat al-Mudallisin (p.75 no.56), Hafiz al-Ala’i in Jam’i at-Tahsil Fi Ahkam al-Marasil (p.77 no.23), Sabt ibn al-Ajami in Kitab at-Tabiyin Li-Asma al-Mudallisin (p.33), Manzumah Mahmud al-Maqdisi (line 4), Abu Zurah al-Iraqi in Kitab al-Mudallisin (no.28), Hafiz Suyuti in Asma Man Urifa Bi-Tadlis (no.31), Muhammad Tal’at  in Mu’ajam al-Mudallisin (p.248-250) (KSA: Adwa as-Salaf 1426H/2005, 1st Edn.).

Shaikh Zubair Ali Za’s discusses this to some extent despite declaring him hasan in hadith. See his Fath al-Mubin Fi Tahqiq al-Mudallisin (p.75 no.56). The Shaikh Rahimahullah also quotes Imam Ibn Hazm and Ibn Qattan al-Fasi declaring Sharik a Mudallis (al-Muhalla (8/263 issue no.1383 and 10/333 issue no.2016) Bayan al-Wahm wal-Iyham (3/533-534) (KSA: Dar Tayybah, 1432H/2011) 2nd Edn. Ayat Sa’id)

Al-Qufili in his checking of Sharh Usul al-I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah said, “Also transmitted by Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Dunya in al-Ghibah (no.98) and in as-Samt (no.235) through the route of Sharik bin Abdullah an-Nakha’i from Uqil bin Khalid al-Ayli from al-Hasan al-Basri with the same wording. However, its chain is weak due to Sharik al-Qadhi and there is a disconnection in the chain between Uqil and al-Hasan and Allah knows best.” (Sharh Usul al-I’tiqad (1/310)

Najm Abdur Rahman in his checking of Kitab as-Samt said, “Its narrators are from the thiqat.” (Kitab as-Samt wa Adab al-Lisan (p.343 no.235) (Lebanon: Dar ul-Gharb, 1406H/1986) 1st Edn.). This is not the case, and he did this because he made assumptions on who this Uqil is and despite bringing criticism on Sharik. Al-Huwayni answers Najm’s words with surprise and astonishment, as you will read below.

Abu Ishaq al-Huwayni, who many of the advocators of backbiting the ruler publicly take from and who is known to have serious errors in Manhaj, grades the chain weak, he says, “There is weakness in the chain and Sharik an-Nakha’i had a weak memory….some of them claim the narrators are trustworthy! Despite what they said about Sharik an-Nakha’i (in terms of weakness)!!” (Kitab as-Samt wa Adab al-Lisan of Ibn Abi Dunya (p.145 no.234) (Lebanon: Dar ul-Kutub al-Arabi, 1410H/1990, 1st Edn. Ed. Abu Ishaq al-Huwayni) [END]

Ad-Dinawari also transmit it in is his book al-Majalisah wa Jawahir al-Ilm (no.1347) with a very weak chain.

[AK] Ibn Qutaybah ad-Dinawari transmit this report in al-Majalisah (4/196 no.1347) also with the same chain in (8/43 no.3352) (KSA: Dar ibn Hazm, 1419H/1998) 1st Edn. Ed. Mashur Hasan) and in his other work, U’yun al-Akhbar (2/17).

The chain is from Ad-Dinawari from Ahmad from Yusuf bin Abdullah al-Halwani from Uthman from A’wf from al-Hasan. Yusuf bin Abdullah al-Halwani is majhul – unknown and ad-Dinawari himself was accused of lying by Imam ad-Daraqutni (Mizan (1/156) and Lisan (1/309) END]

Al-Bayhaqi also transmit it in Shu’bal Iman (no.9221). The chain includes Abul Abbas bin Masruq, Mandal and Musa bin Ubaydah and all three are dhu’afa – weak narrators.

shubal 12 rushd

shubal 9221

Shubal cov salafiyyah 17

9221 1

9221 2

[AK] The chain from Imam al-Bayhaqi is from Abu Abdullah al-Hafiz, from Ja’far al-Khawas from Abul Abbas bin Masruq from Ibrahim bin Sa’d and Sufyan bin Waki both from Mandal bin Ali from Musa bin Ubaydah from Sulayman bin Muslim who said al-Hasan al-Basri said…. (Shu’bal Iman 12/167 no.9221) another edition (17/163-164 no.9221) (Indian Print)

Dr Abdul Ali Abdul Hameed Hamid grades this report weak; He continues and says Ja’far al-Khawas is Ja’far bin Muhammad bin Nasir al-Khaladi Abu Muhammad and in the manuscript we have it says Abu Ja’far al-Khawas, which is incorrect. He then says,

“It’s chain is weak…Abul Abbas bin Masruq is Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Masruq at-Tusi and he is not strong…..Mandal bin Ali is al-Anazi he is weak. Musa bin Ubaydah he is al-Rabadhi Abu Abdul Aziz al-Madani, he is weak.” (al-Jam’i Shu’bal-Iman (17/163-164 no.9221) (India: ad-Darus-Salafiyyah, 1416H/1996, 1st Edn. Ed. Under the supervision Mukhtar Ahmad al-Nadwi), in another edition (12/167 no.9221), (KSA: Maktabah ar-Rushd, 1437H/2015, 4th Edn.) with the checking of Dr. Abdul Ali Abdul Hameed Hamid, refer to the scan above)

For Abul Abbas bin Masruq

See Mizan (1/166), Lisan (1/646), Diwan ad-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin (p.9), Mughni fidh-Dhu’afa (1/92), adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin (1/89) of Ibn al-Jawzi from al-Jam’i li-Kutub adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin wal Kadhabin (1/649 no.1011) (Egypt: Dar Ibn Abbas, 1439H/2018 1st Edn. Shadi Al Nu’man)

Imam ad-Daraqutni said, “He is not strong, and his narrations are from the Mu’adhalat (missing 2 consecutive narrators).” (Suwalat Hamza bin Yusuf as-Sahmi, no.165)

For Mandal bin Ali

see Ahwal ar-Rijal (p.105), adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin (no.611) an-Nasa’i, adh-Dhu’aqa al-Uqayli (6/149), al-Majruhin (3/24) al-Kamil (8/214), Man Takallam Fihim ad-Daraqutni Fi Kitab as-Sunan (no.430), Tarikh Asma ath-Thiqat adh-Dhu’afa wal Kadhabin wal Matrukin (no.636) Ibn Shahin, adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin (3/138) of Ibn al-Jawzi, Diwan ad-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin (p.397), Mughni fidh-Dhu’afa (2/429), Mizan (4/380) from al-Jam’i li-Kutub adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin wal Kadhabin (15/324 no.13255)

For Musa bin Ubaydah

see adh-Dhu’afa (no.361) of al-Bukhari, adh-Dhu’aqa al-Uqayli (5/440), Ahwal ar-Rijal (p.214), Asami adh-Dhu’afa Li-Abi Zurah ar-Razi (no.316), Suwalat al-Barza’i (no.478), al-Majruhin (2/234), Ta’liqat ad-Daraqutni Ala Kitab al-Majruhin (p.226), al-Kamil (8/44), adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin (no.517) ad-Daraqutni, Man Takallam Fihim ad-Daraqutni Fi Kitab as-Sunan (no.434), Tarikh Asma adh-Dhu’afa wal Kadhabin wal Matrukin (no.588), adh-Dhu’afa (no.202) Asbahani, adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin (3/147) of Ibn al-Jawzi, Diwan ad-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin (p.402), Mughni fidh-Dhu’afa (2/441), Mizan (4/405), Kashf al-Hathith (no.796) from al-Jam’i li-Kutub adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin wal Kadhabin (15/453 no.13425)

Imam al-Lalaka’i also transmits this in his Sharh Usul al-I’tiqad with the following chain, from al-Hasan from Ahmad bin al-Hasan bin Yunus from Muhammad bin Uthman from Ahmad bin Yunus from Mandal from Musa bin Ubaydah from Sulayman bin Muslim from al-Hasan, “It is not unlawful to backbite three people, one is the person of innovation who is extreme in his innovation.” (Sharh Usul al-I’tiqad (1/231 no.278) (Maktabah al-Islamiyyah – Nashat bin Kamal). This is still weak due to Mandal and Musa bin Ubaydah.

It seems that Imam al-Lalaka’i made ikhtisar of the riwayah perhaps owing to only mentioning the point of discussion (backbiting the people of bid’ah) or perhaps the feasible possibility he was not convinced of the authenticity of the other two types of people. It is therefore also possible he might have summarised report (no.276), the report above or again, he might not have deemed the other wording to be authentic, Allahu Ta’la A’lam.

The muhaqqiq of Sharh Usul I’tiqad, Nashat bin Kamal said about this report (no,278), “(1) Mandal bin Ali al-Anazi Abu Abdullah al-Kufi, Ahmad declared him weak. (2) Musa bin Ubaidah Nashit al-Rabadhi, he was a worshipper but weak in hadith especially when narrating from Abdullah bin Dinar.” (Sharh Usul al-I’tiqad (1/231 no.278) (Egypt: Maktabah al-Islamiyyah, 1431H/2010, 6th Edn. Ed. Nashat bin Kamal al-Misri).

Al-Qufili said, “This report is weak, and its chain is disconnected. (He then quotes verbatim with the chain from Shu’bal Iman (vol 17 no.9221) [AK] Dar us-salafiyyah – Indian Print] and said) Mandal bin Ali al-Anazi is in the chain who is weak. Musa bin Ubaidah al-Rabadhi is also weak. Sulayman bin Muslim Abul Mu’ali al-Ijli is Majhul al-Hal (unknown). Furthermore, there is link (missing) between (Sulayman) and al-Hasan al-Basri as mentioned in al-Jarh Wat’Ta’dil (4/142) and Allah knows best.” (Sharh Usul al-I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah (1/309-310 no.244) END]

Also, Sulayman bin Muslim transmits from al-Hasan, but I could not find anyone who transmitted on al-Hasan al-Basri with that name. I found three people with that name who resided in al-Basrah who transmitted from al-Hasan, one is majhul and two are weak.

Several current researchers have definitively said Sulayman bin Muslim is Abu Mu’alli al-Ijli who is majhul – unknown.

[AK] Dr Abdul Ali Abdul Hameed Hamid said, “Sulayman bin Muslim he is Abul Mu’alli al-Khuza’i al-Ijli Kufi al-Asal Basri ad-Dar. Ibn Hibban cited him ath-Thiqat (6/393) and he did not mention any criticism or praise for him.” (Shu’bal Iman (12/167 under no.9221) END]

Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal also transmitted in az-Zuhd (p.486 no.1689) and another edition (p.234 no.1666) but with wording, “a treacherous ruler” and through another chain of transmission from Abdullah bin Ahmad by Abul A’la Attar al-Hamdani in his book Futya Wa Jawabiha Fi Zikr al-I’tiqad Wa Dhamm al-Ikhtilaf (no.14) but with the wording as “the oppressive ruler.” And its chain is weak due to a disconnection in it.

zuhd cov

 zuhd 1666 (2)


 zuhd 1666

(These 2 scans were shared on social media by those who promote the permissibility of backbiting rulers publicly)

[AK] Kitab az-Zuhd with additions by Imam Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal is referred to as as-Zawa’id of Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal. It has been published many times and thus different references are often quoted. The scan shows what the opposers have shared (p.302 no.1666) Dar ul-Ghad al-Jadid, ed. Muhammad Ahmad Isa. END]

Imam Abu Hatim ar-Razi further said as mentioned in his son’s book, al-Marasil (no.421), “Ibn Shawdhab did not see (i.e. meet) al-Hasan and he did not hear any hadith from him.”

[AK] The chain in az-Zuhd is from Abdullah from al-Hasan bin Abdul Aziz al-Jarawi from Dhamrah from Ibn Shawdhab from al-Hasan.

Although Ibn Shawdhab is thiqah, he did not meet al-Hasan. (Kitab al-Marasil (p.116 tarjamah no.194 no.421) (Syria: Mu’assasah ar-Risalah, 1439H/2018, 2nd Edn. Ed. Shukrullah bin Ni’matullah Qawchani.

So, it seems Abdullah bin Shawdhab encountered al-Hasan’s era, but he did actually meet or transmit any narrations or reports from him. So, there is a disconnection in the chain which renders it weak.

Hafiz al-Ala’i (d.761) also classed Abdullah Ibn Shawdhab as narrator who did irsal while repeating the view of Imam Abu Hatim ar-Razi. (Jam’i at-Tahsil Fi Ahkam al-Marasil (p.212 no.371) (Lebanon: Alam al-Kutub, 1426H/2005, Edn. 3rd ed. Shaikh Hamdi Abdul Majid as-Salafi)

Hafiz Wali ud-Din bin Abdur Rahim al-I’raqi also classed him as a mursal narrator while relying on the view of Imam Abu Hatim ar-Razi. (Tuhfah at-Tahsil Fi Zikr Ruwat al-Marasil (p.305 no.482 (Lebanon: Dar al-Moqtabas, 1439H/2018, Edn. 1st Ed. Nafiz Hussain, Rif’at Fawzi and Ali Abdul Basit END]

Ibn Abi Dunya in his book as-Samt (no.238) from the statement of al-Hasan al-Basri through the chain of “From my father from Ali bin Shafiq from Kharijah from Ibn Jaban from al-Hasan who said, “It is not haram to backbite three, the open sinner, the oppressive ruler and the innovator.”

samt 238

[AK] See also Mawsu’ah Ibn Abi Dunya (4/379) and this report is extremely weak. END]

The chain for this report is very weak due to Kharijah bin Mus’ab who is abandoned. As for Ibn Jaban or Jaban I could not determine who he was (and thus his trustworthiness) as others have also said. Ibn Abi Dunya also reported this with the same chain in al-Ghibah wan-Namimah (no.101) but in marfu form and this is another defect (that is transmitted in marfu form)

[AK] This chain although it is the same, the only variation is Jaban instead of Ibn Jaban.  Najm Abdur Rahman Khalaf said in his checking of Kitab as-Samt“In the manuscript of al-Zubaydi it says Ibn Jaban.” (Ittihaf (7/557) (Kitab as-Samt wa Adab al-Lisan (p.345) (Lebanon: Dar ul-Gharb, 1406H/1986) 1st Edn.)

Kharijah bin Mus’ab was a very weak narrator, heavily criticised, abandoned in hadith and would do tadlis from liars.  Imam al-Bukhari said it was impossible to decipher his authentic hadith from others (ie weak) (Kitab ad-Dhu’afa (no.108), Tarikh ash-Saghir (p.192). He was also accused of Irja (Ahwal ar-Rijal (p.355), abandoned in hadith adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin (no.184) of an-Nasa’i, he was accused of lying and abandoned by most of the scholars of hadith. Ibn Ma’in said he was a liar (Tarikh Ibn Ma’in (3/253)

For comprehensive statements concerning him refer to al-Jam’i li-Kutub adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin wal Kadhabin (5/135 no.3902), where the author devotes approximately 8 pages to him.

Kharjah bin Mus’ab was also a mudallis. Hafiz Ibn Hajr brings his entry in Tabaqat al-Mudallisin and said, “al-Khurasani, the majority of the scholars of hadith declared him weak and Ibn Ma’in said, “He would perform tadlis from liars.” (Tabaqat al-Mudallisin (p.155 no.136).

Sabt ibn al-Ajami in Kitab at-Tabiyin Li-Asma al-Mudallisin (no.24) and Muhammad bin Tal’at also declared him to be a Mudallis (Mu’ajam al-Mudallisin (p.174-175)

Shaikh Zubair Ali Za’i in his summary said, “Matruk – abandoned and accused of doing tadlis on liars. Hafiz Ibn Hajr said, “Matruk, he would do tadlis from liars and Ibn Ma’in declared him to be a lair.” (at-Taqrib no.1612) from Fath al-Mubin Fi Tahqiq Tabaqat al-Mudallisin (p.155 no.136).

Imam al-Bukhari also said, “Waki abandoned him, and he (Kharijah) would do tadlis on Ghiyath bin Ibrahim. (Ghiyath is weak in his hadith” (adh-Dhufa as-Saghir (no.108 p.259), Tuhfa al-Aqwiya Fi Tahqiq Kitab adh-Dhu’afa (p.41), Tarikh ash-Saghir (p.192)

Shaikh Zubair also said in his checking of Kitab adh-Dhu’afa as-Saghir“Kadhab – a liar, matruk – abandoned, did tadlis from liars.” (Tuhfa al-Aqwiya Fi Tahqiq Kitab adh-Dhu’afa (p.41 no.109) (Pakistan: Maktabah al-Islamiyyah, 1433H)

Furthermore, Ibn Jaban is not known on the scale of the scholars of praise or criticism. This then adds to the weakness of the report. Najm Abdur Rahman Khalaf said, “I could not find a biographical note for him (Kitab as-Samt wa Adab al-Lisan (p.345)

He continues and says, “I think it was misspelt and it should be Ibn Jad’an al-Basri. He is one of the narrators who narrated from al-Hasan al-Basri. His name is Ali bin Zayd bin Jad’an at-Tamimi. He is weak. He was from the fourth tabaqah and he died in 131H, some said before that. (Taqrib (2/37), Tahdhib (7/322-324)” (Kitab as-Samt wa Adab al-Lisan (p.345)

Al-Huwayni in his checking of as-Samt said, “The chain is very weak. Kharijah bin Mus’ad is matruk – abandoned (in hadith) as an-Nasa’i and others said and as for Ibn Jaban, I do not know who he is.” (Kitab as-Samt wa Adab al-Lisan of Ibn Abi Dunya (p.146 no.238) (Lebanon: Dar ul-Kutub al-Arabi, 1410H/1990, 1st Edn. Ed. Abu Ishaq al-Huwayni) END]

Other people have transmitted this report from al-Hasan al-Basri and sometimes these reports only mention the innovator, sometimes they only mention the wicked sinner and sometimes they mention both.

[AK] As mentioned there are various reports from Imam al-Hasan al-Basri in many books. Some of these reports are authentic and some are weak. Reports concerning innovators can be found in books of Aqidah and Manhaj that discuss the reprehension of innovations and innovators. Some of these reports are from Rabi bin Sabih, as-Salat bin Tarif, Uthman bin Matar, Yunus bin Ubayd and others.

Some are related to etiquettes and manners for example, from Qatadah from al-Hasan who said,

“There should be no sense of respect between you and a wicked sinner.” (Adab al-Mufrad no.1018, Shaikh al-Albani authenticated it)

Another interesting report of al-Hasan al-Basri with the chain from al-Mubarak bin Fadhalah from al-Hasan who said, “When wicked sinning becomes open, it is not backbiting to speak about them. He said the same regarding the effeminate man and the Haruriyyah (the Khawarij).” (Ibn Abi Dunya in as-Samt (no.236), al-Ghibah wan-Namimah (no.98)

The narrators in the chain are thiqah except al-Mubarak who is truthful but also mudallis and narrates with Aan-Aan, however all the various reports from al-Hasan that speak about backbiting the innovators support this transmission since some are authentic

Imam al-Khattabi (d. 388H) said while expanding the Manhaj of Imam al-Hasan al-Basri when he said, “Who amongst is like al-Hasan today who will carry out his tasks with regards to giving sincere advice and aspiring admonishment. May Allah rectify us and our rulers, for they are corrupt because of our sins.” (al-Uzla p.235. Damascus: Dar Ibn Kathir 1410H/1990 2nd Edn. Ed. Yasin Muhammad al-Sawwas)

This shows this was the Manhaj of Imam al-Hasan al-Basri of advising the rulers and not backbiting them. Imam al-Khattabi recalls this in his era of the 4th century and expresses the need for someone to be like Imam al-Hasan al-Basri.

There are many reports from al-Hasan al-Basri which show apparent contradictions with this view, for example Imam Ibn Abdul Barr transmit from al-Hasan al-Basri said, “One who acts without knowledge is like one who travels off the path; and the one who acts without knowledge corrupts more than he rectifies. So, seek knowledge in a way that does not harm your worship, and seek to worship in a way that does not harm (seeking) knowledge. For verily, there were people (the Khawarij extremists) who sought to worship (Allah) but abandoned knowledge until they attacked the Ummah of Muhammad Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam with their swords. But if they had sought knowledge, it would not have directed them to do what they did.” (Jam’i Bayan al-Ilm wa Fadlihi no.905)

These reports contradict his insightful words which Imam Ibn Abi Hatim mentions in his explanation of the Quran, when al-Hasan al-Basri said, “If people called on Allah when put to trial because of their rulers, Allah would relieve their suffering, but instead they resorted to the sword, so they were left to it. And not one day of good did they bring. Then he recited (Quran 7: 137), “And the good word of your Rabb was fulfilled for Bani Isra’il, for the patience and perseverance they had, and We destroyed the works of Pharaoh and his people and what they had erected. (Tafsir al-Quran al-A’zim Musnadan Aan Rasul Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam was-Sahabah wat-Tabi’in, (7/311 no.883), Ibn Sa’d in at-Tabaqat al-Kubra (7/164), and as-Suyuti in ad-Darr al-Manthur (3/532)

And when l-Hasan was on his deathbed some of his companions came to him and said: “Oh Abu Sa’id, offer us some words you can benefit us with. He replied, “I will equip you with three words, then you must leave me to face what I am facing.( 1) Be the farthest of people from those things you have been forbidden (2) And be the most involved of people in the good you have been commanded to do (3) and know that the steps you take are two steps: a step in your favour and a step against you, so be careful where you come and where you go.” (Hilyatul Awliya (2/154)

And when al-Hasan said to the people regarding the oppression of al-Hajjaj, “If he is a punishment for you then do not oppose Allah’s punishment with the sword but with peace and supplication.” (Tarikh Dimashq (12/177)

This again shows, the need to be patient when faced with oppression. It is not the case if one argues that al-Hasan said with peace and supplication and by backbiting him since this is incomprehensible. Yes, this is about not rebelling but the advice of the Salaf is to be patient and advise privately. END]

The 2nd – Report of

Ibrahim an-Nakha’i Rahimahullah

This is reported by Ibn Abi Dunya in as-Samt (no.222) and al-Ghibah wan-Namimah (no.85) through the transmission of Yusuf bin Musa from Abdur Rahman bin Maghra’a from al-A’mash from Ibrahim (an-Nakha’i)

[AK] See also Mawsu’ah al-Imam Ibn Abi Dunya (7/ 51 no.223). The text of the report is, “It is not considered backbiting when speaking about three people, the oppressive ruler, the innovator and a wicker sinner who sins publicly.” END]

samt 222


mawsua 1

(These 2 scans were shared on social media by those who promote the permissibility of backbiting rulers publicly)

Abdur Rahman bin al-Maghra’a’s trustworthiness and reliability is disputed. Ali bin al-Madini, Ibn Adiyy and others criticised him for his narrations from al-A’mash and this report is from and through the route of al-A’mash.

[AK] Ali bin al-Madini said concerning Abdur Rahman bin Maghra’a, “He is nothing he transmitted 600 hadith from al-A’mash, we discarded them as they were not transmitted like that.” Also, “Trustworthy narrators did not corroborate his hadith, he narrated odd and strange narrations from other than al-A’mash and all of them were weak.” Yahya ibn Ma’in said “He is nothing.” As-Saji said, “He is from the truthful people but has weakness.” Abu Ahmad al-Hakim said, “His hadith are not supported.” Abu Zurah said, “Truthful”, al-Khalili said, “Thiqah.”

Refer to al-Kamil (5/471), al-Iktifa Fi Tanqih adh-Dhu’afa (2/406), Mukhtasar al-Kamil (p.490), adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin (2/101) of Ibn al-Jawzi, Diwan ad-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin (p.246), Mughni fidh-Dhu’afa (1/614), Mizan (2/520), Qanun adh-Dhu’afa (p.229) from al-Jam’i li-Kutub adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin wal Kadhabin (8/441 no.6433)

Najm Abdur Rahman said in his checking of as-Samt“Its chain is Hasan and Abdur Rahman bin al-Maghra’a is truthful.” And then he said, “They (scholars of hadith) resented the hadith he transmitted from al-A’mash since he was not supported by other trustworthy narrators.” (Kitab as-Samt wa Adab al-Lisan of Ibn Abi Dunya (p.338 no.223). So, there is a problem with al-Maghra’a from al-A’mash and his saying the chain is Hasan is incorrect.

Al-Huwayni in his checking of as-Samt said, “There is weakness in the chain. Although Abdur Rahman bin Maghra’a is truthful his hadith from al-A’mash have been criticised.” (Kitab as-Samt wa Adab al-Lisan of Ibn Abi Dunya (p.142 no.222). END]

Ad-Darimi (no.394) also transmitted it but without the words “the oppressive ruler.” He ad-Darimi transmits, “From Makhlad bin Malik from Abdur Rahman bin Maghra’a from al-A’mash who said, “Ibrahim (an-Nakha’i) did not consider it backbiting when speaking about innovators.”

[AK] This shows the wording especially the phrase, “The oppressive/unjust ruler” is controversial and disputed by the very fact it is lost in transmission in some reports. This is further problematic when the transmission is through the same narrators. Since the chain of transmission is the same in Ibn Abi Dunya except Musa bin Yusuf and Makhlad bin Malik.

Makhlad bin Malik is awthaq than Musa bin Yusuf and thus his riwayah is taken and accepted. Makhlad is a narrator of Sahih al-Bukhari and Imam al-Bukhari’s Shaikh. His narration in Sahih al-Bukhari is (no.4074).

Abi Nasr Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Bukhari al-Kalabadhi (d.398H) has an entry for him in his book on the narrators of al-Bukhari. He says, “al-Bukhari transmitted from him in the Ghazwa of Uhud.” (Rijal Sahih al-Bukhari (2/725 no.1205) (Lebanon: Dar al-Ma’rifah, 1407H/1987, 1st Edn. Ed. Abdullah al-Laithi). There is no doubt he is thiqah refer to (al-Jam’a Bayna ar-Rijal as-Sahihain (2/507), at-Taqrib (2/235), Tahdhib ut-Tahdhib (10/75), al-Kashif (3/113) as mentioned in Rijal Sahih al-Bukhari.

Abul Walid Sulayman bin Khalf al-Baji (d.474H) brings his entry in Kitab at-Ta’dil wat-Tajrih Liman Kharaja Lahu al-Bukhari F’il Jam’i as-Sahih (2/740 no.672) (Tunisia: Dar ul-Gharb, 1431H/2010) 2nd Edn. Ed. Abu Lubaba at-Tahir Salih Hussain. In another edition (p.259 no.672) (Lebanon: DKI, 2010, 1st Edn. Ed. Ali Ibrahim Mustafa)

Al-Hasan bin Muhammad al-Adawi and Umari (d.650) has an entry for in his book in the Shuyukh of Imam al-Bukhari. (Asami Shuyukh al-Bukhari (p.218-219 no.280). (Syria: Dar ul-Kamal, 1437K/2916, 1st Edn. Ed. Hussain Salman Mahdi)

For further details on Makhlad refer to Imam al-Bukhari’s Tarikh al-Kabir (4/438 no.1914. Tahdhib ul-Kamal (27/340), Tahdhib ut-Tahdhib (12/625-626 no.6937), al-Hidayah wal-Irshad (2/725), al-Mu’ajam al-Mushtamil (p.289)

For arguments sake, some researchers did authenticate this riwayah in Sunan ad-Darimi, like Shaikh Subhi Hasan Hallaq (p. 106 no.408) and his saying the rijal are trustworthy and ad-Darimi is the only one who reported it, it is still not worthy of evidence since it does not contain the words which are disputed, namely the oppressive or unjust ruler.

Shaikh Muhammad Ilyas, a student of Shaikh Ibn Baz, alludes to its weakness. He says, “The narrators of this narration are thiqah however there is criticism regarding Abdur Rahman bin Maghra’a’s narrations from al-A’mash and al-Lalaka’i transmits it with an authentic chain.” (Sunan ad-Darimi (1/240 no.408)

Nabil Hashim al-Ghamari also alluded to Abdur Rahman bin Maghra’a’s narrations from al-A’mash being criticised and that his reports from him were unsupported. He declared the chain of the report to be hasan, due to a supporting report in Imam al-Lalaka’i’s Sharh Usul I’tiqad (no.276). (Fath ul-Manan Sharh Musnad al-Jam’i (4/418 no.427) (Lebanon: Dar al-Basha’ir al-Islamiyyah, 1436H/2014, 2nd Edn. Ed. Nabil Hashim)

Again, this is not opposing the weakness of the former report since its words are different, this report does not mention the oppressive or unjust ruler. END]

Al-Lalaka’i also transmitted it in his book Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus-Sunnah (no.276) through the route of Sulayman bin Hayyan from al-A’mash from Ibrahim with the wording, “It is not backbiting when speaking about the people of innovation.”

The chain is Hasan but not Muhammad bin al-Hasan ash-Sharqi and perhaps he is Muhammad bin Ahmad bin al-Hasan ash-Sharqi, I could not any biographical information for an entry of that name.

[AK] reported in al-Lalaka’i’s Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah (1/231 no.276) (al-Maktabah al-Islamiyyah – Nashat bin Kamal, in another edition (1/309 no.243) (Mutamayyiz / an-Nasihah – al-Qufili) with the chain from al-Hasan from Muhammad bin al-Hasan al-Sharqi from Muhammad bin Uthman from Abu Bakr from Abu Khalid from al-A’mash….

Al-Qufili said, “This report is Hasan – good, and I could not find anyone other than the author transmitting it with a connected chain to (al-Hasan). Abu Khalid in the chain is al-Ahmar Sulayman bin al-Azdi, who is truthful but would make mistakes.” (Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah (1/309 no.243) (KSA: Mutamayyiz / an-Nasihah, 1436H/ 2015, 1st Edn.

In the advent the report is taken to be authentic, it does not endorse the view of those who advocate backbiting the oppressive ruler. END]

Ibn Abi Dunya also transmitted it in as-Samt (no.226) and in al-Ghibah wan-Namimah (no.89) from Ahmad bin Imran al-Akhnasi from Sulayman bin Hayyan from al-A’mash from Ibrahim who said, “It is not backbiting speaking against three people, the oppressor, the wicker sinner and the person of innovation.”

 samt 226 1

 samt 222

Ahmad bin Imran bin Abdul Malik al-Akhnasi in the chain is weak and there is an unknown link between al-Akhnasi and Ibn Abi Dunya.

[AK] Ahmad bin Imran al-Akhnasi is weak and abandoned in hadith. Imam al-Bukhari said, “He is rejected in hadith, and he was criticised.” (adh-Dhu’afa (1/366) of al-Uqayli, adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin (1/82) of Ibn al-Jawzi, Mughni Fidh adh-Dhu’afa (1/83), Mizan (1/146), Lisan (1/559).

Imam adh-Dhahabi said, “His reports are false.” Abu Zur’ah said, “Kufi, abandoned (in hadith).” (Mughni Fidh adh-Dhu’afa (1/83). Abu Hatim also abandoned him. (Mizan (1/146). Al-Azdi said, “He was munkar al-hadith.” (Lisan (1/559).

Refer to al-Jam’i li-Kutub adh-Dhu’afa wal-Matrukin wal Kadhabin (1/546-547 no.851) for more details concerning him. END]

Najm Abdur Rahman said, “The chain is Hasan, Ahmad bin Imran was declared thiqah by a group of scholars of hadith while others said he was weak. The author narrates from in his book in other places. He narrates from him many times with words that indicate he heard directly from him.” (Kitab as-Samt wa Adab al-Lisan (p.329 no.227).

Al-Huwayni in his checking of as-Samt said answers Najm’s argument, “The chain is weak. The author also transmitted it through the same chain in his book Dhamm ul-Ghibah. The chain is weak due to a disconnection in the chain between the author (Ibn Abi Dunya) and Ahmad bin Imran al-Akhnasi in this report. This is because the author transmits the report without a narrator between them yet in no.19 and no.168 he transmits with narrators between them. Furthermore, al-Bukhari said about Ahmad bin Imran, “He was criticised.”, Abu Zur’ah “He was abandoned.” adh-Dhahabi said in Mizan, “Abu Hatim abandoned him.” This is why in al-Jarh wat-Ta’dil (1/1/65) Abu Hatim said, “He did not write anything from him, but he only encountered his era.”… Abu Hatim clarified in another book that he was abandoned in hadith…So, it is possible adh-Dhahabi may have not taken the statement due to other reasons. Some people said, “The chain is Hasan (good) Ahmad bin Imran, a group of scholars said he was thiqah while others said he was weak.” This is a lie in this matter, where are the those who said he was thiqah? And where was he declared thiqah? This miskin person was not satisfied with this audacity to the extent he declared other chains of Ahmad bin Imran al-Akhnasi (no.417, 418) to be authentic.” (Kitab as-Samt wa Adab al-Lisan (p.142-143 no.226). END]

The 3rd – Report of

Ubaydullah bin al-Hasan Rahimahullah

Harb al-Kirmani transmit in his Masailuhu (2/286)
harb masail 1416

[AK] This a typographical error, 286 should be 886. It is in his Masail (2/286 no.1416) as, from al-Akhdar from Arim from [Wuhayb bin] Khalid who said, “I heard Ubaydullah say concerning the backbiting of the Khawarij and ruler which was done publicly, that he did not consider it backbiting. As for person who knows he is sinning, it is incumbent upon him to conceal it. He saw this as backbiting from them.” END]

His Shaykh who is in the chain Abu Abdur Rahman al-Akdhar bin Manjab, his biography cannot be found.

[AK] Dr. Fayiz, who published his Doctoral Thesis on Harb’s Masail in this masala mentions, “I could not find a biographical for him.” (Masail Harb (2/886 no.1416 footnote 4) END]

His Shaykh in the chain is his uncle Arim, and it is not known whether he narrated from him before or after he became forgetful.

[AK] Arim, who is Muhammad bin Fadhal as-Sadusi is Thiqah Thabt as Hafiz Ibn said in Taqrib ut-Tahdhib (no.6226). he became forgetful and his memory deteriorated. END]

The 4th – Report of

Yahya bin Abi Kathir Rahimahullah

This is reported by al-Harawi in Dhamm ul-Kalam Wa-Ahlihi (no.687)

[AK] This is from (Dhamm ul-Kalam Wa-Ahlihi (3/352 no.687) (KSA: Dar ul-Ajyal ut-Tawhid/Dar ul-Dalyaqan, 1442/2021, 1st Edn.) END]

Dhamm cov

 dhamm 687

dhamm ghuraba

dhamm ghurab

(These 2 scans were shared on social media by those who promote the permissibility of backbiting rulers publicly)

[AK] in another edition (3/312 no.700) (Maktabah al-Ghuraba al-Athariyyah) END]

He said,

From Abu Ya’qub from Muhammad bin Ahmad bin al-Azhar from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Yunus from Abu Zayd adh-Dharir al-Mustamli from Ahmad bin Abi Raja’ from Mu’awiyyah bin Amr from Abi Ishaq al-Fazari from al-Awza’i who said Yahya bin Abi Kathir said, “It is not backbiting to speak against three people, the oppressive ruler, the person of innovation and the wicked sinner.”

Abu Zayd adh-Dharir is in the chain, and I do not know who he is (his trustworthiness) and this is what others have said. The teacher of al-Harawi, Abu Yaq’ub, No one could be found who declared him trustworthy. (Athar al-Waridah Fi Jawaz Ghibah al-Hakim al-Ja’ir p.15)

[AK] This report is in Dhamm ul-Kalam Wa-Ahlihi (3/352 no.687) (Dar ul-Ajyal ut-Tawhid). The muhaqqiq Abu Malik Ahmad bin Ali bin al-Muthanna ibn Shaykh Sa’id bin Amir al-Qufili grades the report weak. He said, “This Athar is da’if” (footnote 2).

He also does not bring any scholar of hadith who declared Abu Ya’qub trustworthy. There are some scholars who referred to him with praiseworthy titles but not even one described him with words of praise according to the terminology of the Muhadithun.

Al-Qufili adds Abu Zayd has a biographical entry in Hafiz adh-Dhahabi’s Tarikh al-Islam (6/646) and Ibn Makula in al-Ikmal (2/555) but none of them mention any words of criticism or praise for him. (Dhamm ul-Kalam Wa-Ahlihi (3/352 no.687) (KSA: Dar ul-Ajyal ut-Tawhid/Dar ul-Dalyaqan, 1442/2021, 1st Edn.)

Jamal ud-Din Yusuf bin Hasan bin Abdul Hadi al-Maqdisi al-Hanbali known as Ibn al-Mibrad also transmit this report in Jam’a al-Juyush wad-Dasakir Ala Ibn Asakir (p.202) and he quoted it in the context of backbiting the people of innovation and kalam and having those fanaticism of bidah (part of Mathalib Ibn Abi Bishr Egypt: Dar ul-Zakha’ir, 2017/1439H, 1st Edn. Muhammad bin Abdul Hamid al-Ghuwayatiyyi), another edition, (p.63) (KSA: Dar ul-Aqidah 2017 1439H 1st Edn. Ed. by Hussain bin Man’i al-Qahtani. END]

The 5th – Report of

Abdur Rahman bin Udhaynah Rahimahullah

Transmitted by Harb al-Kirmani in his Masailuhu (2/883-884) who said,

[AK] Masail Harb (2/883-883 no.1410). This report is mostly quoted from this Doctoral thesis in Fiqh of the Masail from Kitab un-Nikah to the end of the book. The Thesis was by Fayiz Ahmad Habis at Ummul Qurra University by in 1422H.END]

Narrated Abdullah bin Abdul Wahhab who said Ziyad bin ar-Rabi’a from Abdur Rahman bin Udhaynah said our Shaykhs narrated to us and said, “There is no sanctity, and it is not backbiting when speaking about three people, the oppressive tyrannical ruler, the wicked sinner who sins publicly and the person of innovation.”

masail harb cov

masail harb p883

 masail harb p884

This chain is weak due to disconnection or a broken link in the chain with two or more successive narrators dropped from the chain. Ziyad bin ar-Rabi’a did not meet Abdur Rahman bin Udhaynah.

When Ibn Udhaynah died during the reign of Abdul Malik bin Marwan Hajjaj bin Yusuf took charge of Iraq in 75H and Abdul Malik died in 86H, and Hajjaj died in 95H.

Hafiz Ibn Hibban said in ath-Thiqat (no.3970) concerning the death of Ibn Udhaynah, “He died when al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf took charge of Iraq.”

Tahdhib ul-Kalam Fi Asma ar-Rijal (9/460) mentions concerning the death of Ziyad bin ar-Rabi’a, it says, “Abu Musa Muhammad bin al-Muthanna said He died in the year 185H.”

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said as mentioned in al-I’llal Wa Ma’rifah ur-Rijal (no.5902), “He died in the year 186H.”

So, we learn between the death of Ibn Udhaynah and the death of Ziyad bin ar-Rabi’a there is a gap of 110 years.

Furthermore, I could not anywhere in the books of rijal or in the books of hadith Ziyad bin ar-Rabi’a transmitting from Abdur Rahman bin Udhaynah. In fact, I could not any narration or report from him (Ziyad from Ibn Udhaynah) except and only this one.

The statement of Abdur Rahman bin Udhaynah, “He said our Shaykhs transmitted to us.” It gives the perception its only one narrator and not many.

Also, it is mentioned in Ikmal Tahdhib ul-Kamal (5/104 no.1718) under the biographical entry of ar-Rabi’a bin Ziyad, “It is mentioned in Tarikh Abi Abdullah al-Bukhari, he transmits from Abdul Malik bin Habib and his chain needs looking into. Abul Arab al-Qayrawani mentioned the word weak for him as did Abu Bishr ad-Dawlabi, al-Uqayli, al-Balkhi and Ibn as-Sakan. Ahmad bin Hanbal, Abu Dawud and Ishaq bin Abi Isra’il said he was thiqah.”

Al-Hafiz Ibn Adiyy said in his book al-Kamil Fidh-Dhu’afa ar-Rijal (no.96), “Ziyad bin ar-Rabi’a has other hadith from the ones I mentioned, and I do not see his hadith except they are fine.”

The 6th – Report of

Mansur bin Mu’tamar Rahimahullah

This is transmitted by Ibn Abi Dunya in his as-Samt (no.235) and al-Ghibah wan-Namimah (no.98) from Muhammad from Marwan bin Mu’awiyyah from Za’idah bin Qudamah who said I said to Mansur bin al-Mu’tamar, “Can I insult the ruler when I am fasting? He said, no. He then said to him, “Can I insult the people of desires (innovators)? He said, yes.”


 samt 235


The teacher of Ibn Abi Dunya, Muhammad bin Ubad bin Musa is weak. And Marwan bin Mu’awiyyah is a mudallis and would transmit with AanAan.

Hafiz Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani in his book Ta’rif Ahlul Taqdis Bi-Maratib al-Mawsufin bit-Tadlis (p.45 no.105) he said, “He is famous for tadlis and he would do tadlis of his shuyukh and ad-Daraqutni described his affair like this.”

[AK] Marwan bin Mu’awiyyah despite being thiqah is also a mudallis, who did tadlis of his teacher’s name. This is as Hafiz Ibn Hajr described him in at-Taqrib ut-Tahdhib (p.742, no.6579) (Syria: Mu’assasah ar-Risalah, 1436H/2015, 1st Edn. Ed. Sa’d bin Najdat Umar).

Hafiz al-Ala’i in Jam’i at-Tahsil Fi Ahkam al-Marasil (p.110 no.51), Abu Zurah al-Iraqi in Kitab al-Mudallisin (no.62), Hafiz Suyuti in Asma Man Urifa Bi-Tadlis (no.70), Sabt ibn al-Ajami in Kitab at-Tabiyin Li-Asma al-Mudallisin (p.54) (no.76), Manzumah Mahmud al-Maqdisi (line 12) all graded him to be a mudallis narrator.

Muhammad bin Tal’at describes his tadlis and criticism over 7 pages in his Mu’ajam al-Mudallisin (p.436-443 no.154) (KSA: Adwa as-Salaf 1426H/2005, 1st Edn.)

Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’i further said while explaining Imam Ibn Ma’in’s statement when asked by ad-Duri about Marwan transmitting from Ali bin Abil Walid, he replied, “He is Ali bin al-Ghurab” (Tarikh ad-Duri (no.2843), also (no.2611), Tahdhib ul-Kamal (27/408).

Shaykh Zubair said, “Meaning he did tadlis of his Shuyukh and it not proven he did tadlis of the isnad.” (Fath ul-Mubin Fi Tahqiq Tabaqat al-Mudallisin (p.124) (Pakistan: Maktabah al-Islamiyyah, 1434H) END]    

Imam Yahya bin Ma’in said, “I have not seen more devious tadlis from anyone except him.”

[AK] This is mentioned in Tarikh ad-Duri (no.2843). It should be noted ad-Darimi in his recension from Imam Ibn Ma’in reports him to be thiqah, yet this contradicts most of Ibn Ma’in’s statements concerning Marwan. For a comprehensive overview of Imam Ibn Ma’in’s statements on refer to Mawsu’ah Aqwal Yahya ibn Ma’in Fi Rijal ul-Hadith wa I’llalihi (4/293-296 no.3646) (Tunisia: Dar ul-Gharb, 1430H/2009, Edn, 1st Ed. Bashar Ma’ruf, Jihad Mamud and Mahmud Muhammad).

How Najm Abdur Rahman said in his checking of as-Samt“Its narrators are from the thiqat.” (Kitab as-Samt wa Adab al-Lisan of Ibn Abi Dunya (p.343 no.236) is baffling.

Al-Huwayni in his checking of as-Samt said, “There is weakness in the chain.” (Kitab as-Samt wa Adab al-Lisan (p.145 no.235). END]

Abu Nu’aym also transmitted it in his book Hilyatul Awliya (5/41) and mentioned the same text through the chain Abu Hamid bin Jabalah from Muhammad bin Ishaq from Abbas bin Muhammad from Khalf bin Tamim from Za’idah from Mansur.

Abu Hamid bin Jabalah is in the chain, and I could not find any statements of praise or criticism for him.

Al-Khallal also transmit in his Kitab as-Sunnah (no.789) without mentioning the part of the rulers, he said, from Harb from Muhammad bin Abdur Rahman from Abu Usamah from Za’idah who said, I said to Mansur, “Oh Abu Uttab, the day on which one of us fasts (for seeking reward) he denounces those who denounce Abu Bakr and Umar? He replied yes.”

[AK] This is reported in as-Sunnah of al-Khallal as Shaikh Abdul Qadir said, (1/391 no.789) (al-Faruq al-Hadithiyyah) and (1/400 no.774) (KSA: Dar al-Awraq, 1439H/2018. 3rd Edn. Ed. Al Hamdan. END]

The chain contains Muhammad bin Abdur Rahman bin al-Hasan bin al- al-Ju’fi. Hafiz Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Shaybah said, “he memorised hadith with good memory of hadith that were connected and disconnected.” Ibn Hibban mentioned him in ath-Thiqat and said he preserved hadith and his hadith transmitted from Sham are very strange and odd. Maslamah bin Qasim said the people criticised him and he narrated abandoned reports. Ad-Daraqutni said, he is relied upon, Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani said, truthful and a preserver of hadith but he transmitted odd and strange reports.

I say: This report is not evidence for backbiting the oppressive ruler rather it is clear evidence which prohibits it. When I mentioned these defects of this report to a detractor, may Allah correct him, he thought the meaning was, it was allowed to backbite the rulers when not fasting. He abandoned the clear claim and did not pay attention to the answer of Mansur to the question. The statement of the one who backbites is not evidence and the affair requires a legal Islamic text to support it.

The 7th – Report of

Sufyan bin Uyaynah Rahimahullah

Al-Bayhaqi transmits in his book Shu’bal Iman (10/257 no.6374) who said,

From Abu Abdullah al-Hafiz from Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Dinar al-Adl from Zakariyyah bin Dalwiyyah from Ali bin Salamah al-Lubqi who said he heard Ibn Uyaynah say “It is not backbiting when speaking about three people, the oppressive ruler, the wicked sinner who publicises his sin and the innovator who calls people to his innovation.”

 shubal 9 rushd

 6374 1

 shubal 6374 2

 shubal indian 12

 shubal 6374


Zakariyyah bin Dalwiyyah is in the chain and in Khatib’s biographical entry for him in his Tarikh he does not mention any statement of criticism or praise concerning him and I could not find anyone declaring him trustworthy, and this is what others also said.

[AK] I could not ascertain which edition Shaykh Abdul Qadir used, nonetheless the report number is the same. This report of Imam Sufyan is in al-Jam’i Shu’bal Iman (9/126-127 no.6374) of Imam al-Bayhaqi (KSA: Maktabah ar-Rushd, 1437H/2015, 4th Edn.) with the checking of Dr. Abdul Ali Abdul Hameed Hamid.

Dr. Abdul Ali Abdul Hameed Hamid said in his grading of the report, “There is a narrator in the chain whose (trustworthiness) I could not ascertain. Zakariyyah bin Dalwiyyah – I could not determine his trustworthiness. As-Suyuti mentioned this report in ad-Durr al-Manthur (7/577) and he transmitted it only through the author (i.e. Imam al-Bayhaqi).” (al-Jam’i Shu’bal Iman (9/126 in the footnotes to no.6374, refer to the scan above)

This then indicates this is the only chain for this report, which has been shown to be weak. Some have put forward the argument Imam al-Bayhaqi said Zakariyyah was an “Abid – a worshipper” (al-Jam’i Shu’bal Iman (9/192), then we know this is not praise that has any bearing on the authentication and trustworthiness of a narrator.

Throughout al-Jam’i Shu’bal Iman the muhaqqiq and tracer of the hadith Dr. Abdul Ali Abdul Hameed Hamid repeats this criticism on Zakariyyah, for example (6/134-135 no.3974) wherein he declared the chain to be weak.

Let the reader unequivocally note Imam al-Bayhaqi transmitted 60 reports prior to this report from Imam Sufyan bin Uyaynah in the same book that he said,

“Backbiting is worse to Allah than fornication and drinking alcohol, since fornication and drinking alcohol is a sin between you and Allah. If you repent from them, Allah will accept your repentance. Yet backbiting is not forgiven unless the one backbitten forgives you.” (al-Jam’i Shu’bal Iman (9/98 no.6314).

shubal 6314

Imam al-Bayhaqi says, “This is what Sufyan bin Uyaynah said (i.e. it his statement). It has also been reported with a weak chain from the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi Wasalam and with another mursal chain.” (al-Jam’i Shu’bal Iman (9/98).

The muhaqqiq Dr. Abdul Ali Abdul Hameed Hamid under this report said, “Its chain, the narrators are trustworthy except the Shaikh of the author as I was unable to ascertain his trustworthiness. Sufyan is Ibn Uyaynah, I was unable to find this report (elsewhere)” (al-Jam’i Shu’bal Iman (9/98 under hadith and footnote no.6314).

The checking or verification of Shu’bal Iman was first published several decades ago, and information was not widely available hence ascertaining the trustworthiness of the Shaikh of Imam al-Bayhaqi.

Abu Tahir al-Faqih is the Shaikh of Imam al-Bayhaqi in this report and his biographical entries are found in numerous books. His name is Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Mahmish.

Imam al-Khalili (d.446) declared him to be, “Thiqah – trustworthy and they (the scholars of hadith) were agreed upon (his trustworthiness).” (al-Irshad Fi Ma’rifah Ulama al-Hadith (p.401 no.943) (Egypt: al-Faruq al-Hadithiyyah, 1431H/2010, 1st Edn. Walid Matwali Muhammad)

Nayf bin Salah bin Ali al-Mansuri present 5 pages of biographical notes on Abu Tahir Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Mahmish az-Ziyadi al-Faqih in his work on the Tarajim of the Shuyukh of Imam al-Bayhaqi. He concludes and says,

“Thiqah Musnad an outstanding jurist, there is agreement on this phrase.” (as-Salsabil al-Naqi Fi Tarajim Shuyukh al-Bayhaqi (p.614). For detailed biographical notes refer to pages 611-615 no.195) (KSA: Dar ul-Asimah, 1432H/2011, 1st Edn. Ed. Abi Tayyib Nayf bin Salah bin Ali al-Mansuri)

Mahmud bin Abdul Fattah an-Nahhal also presents a detailed biographical entry for him in Ittihaf al-Murtaqi Bi-Tarajim Shuyukh al-Bayhaqi (p.186) (KSA: Dar ul-Mayman, 1429H/2008, 1st Edn.) END]

The 8th – Report of

Isa bin Dinar Rahimahullah

Abu Walid al-Baji transmitted it in his book al-Muntaqi Sharh al-Muwatta (7/312), he said,


muntaqa 312

Isa bin Dinar said (in the book) al-Utbiyyah about backbiting, “It is not backbiting when speaking against the oppressive ruler, the wicked sinner who sins publicly and the person of innovation.”

Ibn Rushd al-Maliki mentions the same in his book al-Bayan wat-Tahsil (17/575)

 bayan wat tahsil

 bayan tahsil 17 575

This report was quoted without a chain and therefore it is difficult to make a ruling on its grading. Furthermore, al-Utbi’s book al-Mustakhrajah al-Utbiyyah Alal Muwatta Hafiz adh-Dhahabi said Muhammad bin Waddah said the book has many mistakes. Imam adh-Dhahabi then goes on to quote others saying the book is filled with lies and most of the reports in his are weak and odd or has strange issues. (Tarikh al-Islam (19/234-235 no.393), Siyar A’lam an-Nabula (12/235-236 no.132)

[AK] There is no chain for this report. Abul Walid al-Baji quotes it without a chain, it is not befitting to present this statement if the chain cannot be presented with it. The onus lies with those who quote this statement. END]

The 9th – Report of

Ishaq bin Rahawayh Rahimahullah

Harb al-Kirmani said in Masai’luhu (2/886),

“I asked Ishaq about backbiting the oppressive ruler. He said, “It is not regarding them (i.e backbiting them), except that it is disliked a person makes it a habit.”

 harb masail 1415 ishaq

 sunnah cov

 sunnah 1

sunnah 2 

(These 3 scans were shared on social media by those who promote the permissibility of backbiting rulers publicly)

[AK] The people who use these reports often quote this statement of Imam Ishaq. They always quote it from the addendum from Kitab as-Sunnah which in turn quotes it from Harb’s Masail as we can see above. END]

Shaikh Abdul Qadir al-Junayd said,

This is the best report I have seen in this matter. Ishaq is confined by the evidence that have preceded (which prohibit backbiting). He is indeed a man who is wrong and correct at times and his statements or opinions are not hujjah, rather he requires evidence for them to be accepted. It might also be the case he might have had other reasons, explanations or possibilities (for this statement).”

(Athar al-Waridah Fi Jawaz Ghibah al-Hakim al-Ja’ir Ma’a Dirasah Asanidiha wa Alfadhuha wa Bayan Dhu’afuha wal Ijabah Anha Waradal Istidlal Biha p.20)

Written by

Abdul Qadir bin Muhammad bin Abdur Rahman al-Junaid.

[AK] This is the statement of Imam Ishaq bin Rahaywah. Although this statement is quoted in Kitab as-Sunnah of Harb bin Ismail al-Kirmani (d.280), it is not actually from it. The compiler, Adil Al Hamdan added additional chapters as addenda from various early books of creed and Masail which were transmitted by Harb but were not directly related to Masail of the Sunnah, namely creed and Manhaj.

This addendum starts from (p.291) of Kitab as-Sunnah (Adil Al Hamdan, Dar al-Loloaa, 2019 2nd edn) and this report is under the chapter of backbiting the people of innovation. We know the chapter was not from Imam Harb al-Kirmani but Adil Al Hamdan deemed it appropriate to categorise this report (no.660/121) under this chapter based on his understanding of the report.


mulhiq 1


He also brings other such reports regarding backbiting the people of innovation. This then being the first answer that this report is more appropriately regarding the oppressive rulers who were innovators and those who believed in the innovated belief of the Quran being created.

Imam Harb al-Kirmani brings this report in his Masail (2/886 no.1415) and the researcher of the book does not make any comment.

Let the reader note, did not those who shared this report fail to read the numerous other chapters in this addendum regarding the censure and refutation of the Khawarij (p.308+ no.576/37+) and advising the ruler (p.307+ no.574/35+) and there are many other topics like this that would put the claimants in comprising situations, like the, wilayah of a mushrik, marrying open sinners (Fusaq) and the people of desires or praying behind the Qadariyyah and innovators like them and more importantly, refuting and censuring desires and innovations and warning against its people and their books (p.316+ no.596/57+).

So, would the claimants happily based on having this report to show the Salaf differed in speaking ill of the rulers also take the statements on Abu Hanifah and his people of false opinions transmitted by Imam Harb al-Kirmani in the same book, refer to (p.276-289 no.529-539), particularly report (no.536) which is also from the same Ishaq!

The inference here is, if you take an isolated or lone view of Imam Ishaq which opposes the view of most of the scholars of the Salaf to show a difference of opinion exists or is validated, then surely you should also accept all the reports that show differences on other Masail and this example from Imam Ishaq himself on the veracity of Abu Hanifah. This is a rhetorical point for consideration and not for the blind followers of Abu Hanifah to show hypersensitivity.

Since we know the other reports are weak and the inference of the Salaf allowed backbiting the oppressive ruler is incorrect and wrong. So, we must then assume Imam Ishaq’s statement must be specific to a particular matter. For example, this might apply to a ruler who has an innovated belief like Khalq ul-Quran.

The statement could also refer to when someone lodges a complaint to the Qadhi or he needs to offer testimony in a legal case. Another possibility is, it could be an older statement or view which Harb transmitted. As Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Junayd, there is scope for a valid explanation.

Lastly, it is not from the Manhaj of the Salaf or Ahlus Sunnah to form legal Islamic positions based on isolated or lone reports or views while ignoring the absence of evidence. There must be clear, decisive and authentic texts from the Shari’ah, namely the Quran and Hadith that evidence and validate a legal view. Allahu Ta’la A’lam END]

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