CONCERNING THE TAFSEER ATTRIBUTED TO IBN ‘ABBAS
“And whosoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”
Is The Kufr In This Ayah, Kufr Akbar Or Kufr Asghar
A beginning note, most of the following is taken from Abu Ayoob bin Noor al-Burqa’ee/Abu Marwaan as-Sudaani’s refutation of ‘Ali al-Halabi in his takhrij of the athaar of Ibn ‘Abbaas. I will quote the athar, then quote al-Burqa’ees reply, insha’Allaah.
Athar One and Two
Ibn Jareer reported, “Narrated to me, Hunaad and narrated to me, Ibn Wakee’ah who said, ‘Narrated to me, my father from Sufyaan from Mu’amr Ibn Rashaad from Ibn Tawoos from his father from Ibn ‘Abbas, “and whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”. [He said] ‘In it there is Kufr, but not like Kufr in His Angels and His Books and His Messengers’ [Tafseer Ibn Jareer, Vol. 6/256]
Comment: I say this isnaad is saheeh, and what it apparent is that all the statement is from Ibn ‘Abbas rahimahullah. And many people have fallen for this athar due to its isnaad and have not noticed the idraaj (interpolation) which is made clear by the narration found in the collection of Imaam ‘Abdurazzaaq (who said): “We were informed by Mu’amar from Ibn Tawoos from his father: “Ibn ‘Abbas was asked about His saying: “and whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”, [so] he said: “In it there is kufr” (hiya bihi kufrun). Ibn Tawoos said: “But not like kufr in His angels, and His books and His messengers”‘
And idraaj, as can be read in the small booklet on science in hadeeth in English, by Shaykh Suhayb Hasan, is: “If an expression or statement is proved to be an addition by a reporter to the text, it is declared as mudraj (interpolated).” al-Burqa’ee quotes the definition of ath-Thahabi, which adds that ‘and later a hadeeth may be found that splits the additional expression of the reporter, from the original statement. [al-Muwqitha fi ‘Ilm il-Hadeeth, page 53-54]
[al-Burqa’ees words:] Add to that, that ‘Abdurrazaaq is more reliable (athbat) and more better (atqan) than Mu’amar, and the saying is for him if differing occurs: Ya’qoob bin Shaybah says: “‘Abdurazzaaq is more reliable than Mu’amar, and better”
And Ibn ‘Asaakir said: “I heard Ahmad bin Hanbal say, ‘If you see the companions of Mu’amar differ, then the hadeeth is for ‘Abdurazzaq’”. [See: Sharh ‘Ilal at-Tirmithi for Ibn Rajab, volume 2/607] [In addition, one should note that Ibn Katheer does not mention the athar found in Ibn Jareer with its idraaj].
al-Haafith Ibn Nasr al-Marwazee said: “Narrated to us Muhammed bin Yahya, narrated to us ‘Abdurazaaq, narrated to us from Sufyaan, from a man, from Tawoos from Ibn ‘Abbas, in His saying: “…such are the disbelievers”. He said: ‘Kufr which does not expel one out of the millah.’”. [See Ta’theem Qadr is-Salaah, number 573] And the isnaad is da’eef due to the unknown man.
al-Haafith Ibn Nasr said: “Narrated to us Yahya bin Yahya, Sufyaan bin ‘Uyaynah informed us, from Hishaam (bin Hujayr), from Tawoos that Ibn ‘Abbas said concerning His saying, “…such are the disbelievers”, he said ‘It is not the kufr which you are going to’.
Comment: And this sanad, its people are trustworthy except Hishaam bin Hujayr al-Makki, for he has been weakened by the great a`immah: Such as ‘Ali bin al-Madeenee, Yahya bin Sa’eed. [see: al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel, volume 9/54] ‘Abdullaah bin Ahmad said: “I asked Yahya about Hishaam bin Hujayr and he weakened him very much”. [See al-‘Ilal wa ma’rifat ar-Rijaal, volume 2/30]
And he also said: “I heard my father [Imaam Ahmad] say: ‘Hishaam bin Hujayr is a Makki, and he is weak in hadeeth’” [See: Ibid, volume 1/204] And also, al-’Uqayli recalled him in ad-Du’afaa’.
al-Haakim narrated, from the way of ‘Ali bin Harb, from Sufyaan bin ‘Uyaynah from Hishaam bin Hujayr from Tawoos, that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “It is not the kufr which you tend to, ‘Whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers’ is kufr lesser than [greater] kufr”. [-See al-Mustadrak, volume 2/313]
And this athar, despite its popularity, is also from the path of Hishaam bin Hujayr and he has been declared weak by the mountains of knowledge from amongst the Salaf.
Ibn Jareer at-Tabari said, narrated to us al-Muthanna, ‘Abdullaah bin Saaleh said, Mu’awiyah bin Saaleh told us, that ‘Ali bin Abi Talhah, from Ibn ‘Abbas that he said concerning His saying: “Whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”, ‘Whoever rejects what [He] revealed then he has disbelieved, and whoever affirms it, and does not rule by it, then he is a thaalim and faasiq’” [See Ibn Jareer’s tafseer, volume 4/256]
And ‘Abdullaah bin Saaleh is: Ibn Muhammed bin Muslim al-Juhni al-Misree, al-Layth bin Sa’d scribe, and he is weak.
‘Abdullaah bin Ahmad said: I asked my father about ‘Abdullaah bin Saaleh, the scribe of al-Layth bin Sa’d, so he said: “He was at first firm, then he became corrupt, and he is nothing.”
Ibn al-Madeenee said: “I do not narrate from him anything”. [See al-‘Ilal wa Ma’rifat ar-Rijaal, volume 2/213]
an-Nisaa`ee said: “He is not trustworthy”
Ahmad bin Saaleh said: “He is accused, and is nothing”
Saaleh Jazarah said: “Ibn Mu’een used to consider him trustworthy, and he is to me a liar in hadeeth”
Abu Zur’ah said: “To me he wasn’t a person who intentionally lied, and he was acceptable in hadeeth”. [See, al-Mizaan for ath-Thahabi, volume 4/441]
Abu Haatim said: “Trustworthy, truthful, I never knew him as such” And much has been said about ‘Abdullaah bin Saaleh, but the summary is as follows, as Ibn Hibbaan mentions: He was righteous within himself, but many false ahadeeth were given to him by his neighbour, and I heard Ibn Khuzaymah say, ‘He had a neighbour, with whom there was much enemity, and he [the neighbour] would narrate the false ahadeeth upon the Shaykh of Abu Saaleh, and write it in a handwriting similar to ‘Abdullaah and he would throw it in his house amongst his books, so ‘Abdullaah would imagine that that was his own handwriting, and so he would end up narrating it. [See al-Majrooheen for Ibn Hibbaan]
And in the isnaad is ‘Ali bin Abi Talhah, and his full name was Saalem bin al-Makhaariq al-Haashimi.
Ahmad bin Hanbal said: “‘Ali bin Abi Talhah, has many criticisms upon him.” [See ad-Du’afaa`, volume 3/234]
an-Nisaa`ee said: “There is no problem with him.” [See al-Mizaan for ath-Thahabi, volume 3/134]
al-’Ajali said: “He is trustworthy.” [See Tareekh al-Thiqaat, page 283]
Ibn Hibban considered him from the trustworthy reliable narrators, as can be seen in ath-Thiqaat, volume 7/211.
Ya’qoob narrated from Sufyaan that he is weak, and not reliable. And he also said: He is a Shaami, he is not avoided nor taken as evidence. As for his narration from Ibn ‘Abbas, then is it munqati’ah (not connected), for he did not hear from him. Ibn Abi Haatim said: I heard my father say, I heard Daheem saying: ‘Ali bin Abi Talhah did not hear tafseer from Ibn ‘Abbas. [See al-Maraseel, page 117]
Ibn Hibban said: “He narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas and never saw him”. [See, ath-Thiqaat, 7/211][And al-Burqa’ee quotes many more statements, and ends by saying:] al-Manwaawi quotes, in Fayd al-Qadeer, volume 2/397, Ibn Abi Haatim saying regarding ‘Abdullaah bin Saaleh: “He is really bad in hadeeth when narrating from Mu’awiyah bin Saaleh”.
And as any student of this art knows, whoever this kind of statement is said of, then he cannot be used as a witness to anything. Furthermore, I found a refutation for al-Albaani – the Shaykh of al-Halabi – were he criticised Ahmad Shaakir for classifying this hadeeth, “‘Abdullaah bin ‘Amr narrates, ‘The angels said, ‘Oh our Lord, you gave the children of Aadam the dunya letting them eat and drink in it….’”, so he [al-Albaani] said: “And it is not correct to me, to declare this hadeeth as strong, relying upon that, with the statement of ‘Abdullaah bin Saaleh, due to the latter being from those who have been criticised (dakhala ‘alayh)” And then he mentioned Ibn Hibaan’s statement as can be found above. [See his commentary on the explanation of at-Tahawiyyah, page 308] So we see that al-Halabi’s shaykh is in agreement with us.
And so, we conclude by saying that the only authentic narration concerning the tafseer of this ayah, from Ibn ‘Abbas is the following: We were informed by Mu’amar from Ibn Tawoos from his father: “Ibn ‘Abbas was asked about His saying: “and whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers”, [so] he said: “In it there is kufr”(hiya bihi kufrun). As for the rest, they are all weak, and Allaah knows best what is correct. Written by Abu Ayoob al-Burqa’ee. [End]
In addition, Hasan bin Abir-Rabee’ al-Jurjaani said, that ‘Abdurazzaq informed him that Mu’ammar narrated from Ibn Tawoos from his father, the statement of Ibn ‘Abbas, “It is enough kufr for him” (kafaa bihi kufruh), as can be seen in Akhbaar al-Qadaa`, volume 1/40 and onwards for Imaam Muhammed bin Khalaf bin Hayyan, known as Wakee’. And from the contemporaries who have made tad’eef of the athaar that are attributed to Ibn ‘Abbas, is al-Muhaddith, al-Haafith, ash-Shaykh Sulaymaan al-’Alwaan, hafithahullah, as is in at-Tibyaan Sharh Nawaaqid al-Islaam.
Statements by other companions and tab’ieen
1. ‘Abdullaah bin Mas’ood said, as mentioned by Ibn Katheer in his tafseer, that he was asked about bribery in judgement, so he said: “That is the very kufr (thaak alkufr)”, and then he quoted the ayah, this is also mentioned by Ibn Jareer, who has numerous quotes for this, one of which is from the path of Masrooq who said: “I asked Ibn Mas’ood about as-suht (ill gotten wealth), is it [like] bribery in judgment?” So he said: “No, whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed then he is a kaafir, whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed then he is a thaalim, whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revealed then he is a faasiq, but as-suht is when you help someone to do something oppressive, so he gives you a gift, so you accept it” [See Tafseer of at-Tabari, 6/240].
And at-Tabaraani collected, with a saheeh isnaad, from Ibn Mas’ood that he said: “Bribery in judgement is kufr, and it is amongst the people ill gotten wealth” [Ibn Hajr al-Makki collected it in az-Zawaajir, volume 2/189, Daar al-Ma’rifah print 1402 AH]
2. And similar to this was said by ‘Umar bin al-Khattab and ‘Ali bin Abi Taalib, radiAllaahu ‘anhum, as has been collected by al-Aloosee al-Baghdaadi in his tafseer; he said: “And Ibn al-Munthir collected from Masrooq that he said: “I said to ‘Umar bin al-Khattab, radiAllaahu ta’ala ‘anh, “What do you think of bribery in judging, is it from the ill-gotten wealth? He said ‘No, rather it is kufr, ill-gotten wealth is when a man has a position and rank in the view of a ruler, and the man seeks something from this ruler, he cannot achieve this thing, unless he gives the ruler a gift [and this is ill-gotten wealth].’”
And ‘Abd bin Humayd collected from ‘Ali, radiAllaahu ta’ala ‘anh, that he was asked about as-suht (ill-gotten wealth), he said: “It is bribery”, so he was asked, “In rulership”, he replied: “That is the very kufr” (thaak al-kufr)”. And al-Bayhaqi collected from Ibn Mas’ood similar to this statement”. [See, Tafseer Rooh al-Ma’ani, for al-Aloosee, volume 3, part 6, page 140]
3. And similar to this has been said by the tabi’een, from them: al-Hasan al-Basri, Sa’eed bin Jubayr, Ibraheem an-Nakh’ee, as-Suddi, Ibn Qudaamah al-Hanbali said: “Allaah ta’ala said: “Akaloona lis-suht” (Takers of ill-gotten wealth), al-Hasan and Sa’eed bin Jubayr explained it to be, “It is bribery”, and said: “If the judge takes bribes, then it reaches alkufr”. [al-Mughni ma’ ash-Sharh al-Kabeer, volume 11/437-438]
al-Qaasimi said regarding its tafseer, as has been mentioned in al-Lubaab, that Ibn Mas’ood, al-Hasan and an-Nakh’iee said: “These ayaat are general regarding the Jews, and regarding this ummah, so whoever takes bribes, and replaces the judgement of Allaah, so he ruled by other than what Allaah has revealed, then he has disbelieved, and oppressed and become evil, and to it went as-Suddi [And this statement of as-Suddi, was recalled by Ibn Katheer, and Ibn Jareer collected with his sanad: “Whoever does not rule by what Allaah has revaled”, he [as-Suddi] said: “Whoever does not rule by what I revealed, so he left it intentionally, and trangressed whilst knowing, then he is from the disbelievers”. See Tafseer at-Tabari, volume 6/257.], and it is the apparent meaning of the statement [i.e. the ayah, See Mahaasin at-Ta`weel, for al-Qaasimi, volume 6/215, Daar al-Fikr print, 1398 AH]