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[The 2nd Report] Investigating the Report of Ibrahim an-Nakha’i About Backbiting Muslim Rulers Publicly – Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Junayd

 Translated & Annotated 
Abu Khuzaimah Ansari

The 2nd – Report of

Ibrahim an-Nakha’i Rahimahullah

KEY  BLACK BOLD = Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Junayd.

Blue [AK…..END] my annotations

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]

(Athar al-Waridah Fi Jawaz Ghibah al-Hakim al-Ja’ir p.13-14)

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