Translated & Annotated
Abu Khuzaimah Ansari
The 7th – Report of
Sufyan bin Uyaynah Rahimahullah
KEY BLACK BOLD = Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Junayd.
Blue [AK…..END] my annotations
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.”
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).
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]
(Athar al-Waridah Fi Jawaz Ghibah al-Hakim al-Ja’ir p.18-19)