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Aban Bin Taghlub

His Kunya was Abu Sa'd. His real name was Aban b. Taghlub al- Kabary al- Jariry. He reported traditions on the authority of al- Sajjad, al- Baqir, and al- Sadiq, peace be on them. He died during the lifetime of al-Sadiq, peace be on him, in the year 141 or in the year 140 (A.H.).

When Abu Abd Allah (i.e. al- Sadiq), peace be on him, heard of his death, he said: "By Allah, the death of Aban has pained my heart!" These words show you that Aban had a great position with him. I wonder, what was the importance of the person whose death ached the heart of al- Sadiq, peace be on him?

Aban had plentiful knowledge and strong evidence. The following words of al- Baqir, peace be on him, affirm that: "Sit down in the Mosque of Medina and give people religious opinions, for I like people to see persons like you among my Shi'a (followers)." Also the following words of al-Sadiq, peace be on him, stress that: "Debate with the people of Medina, for I like my narrators to be like you." If Aban had no plentiful knowledge and no strong evidence, they (the Imams) would have not subjected him to those difficulties and dangers, because his failure would have meant theirs.

Only on the authority of al- Sadiq, Aban reported thirty thousand traditions. Al- Sadiq himself told (people) about that and ordered AbAn b. 'Uthman to report them (the traditions) from him.

Aban was a specialist in tradition and theology. Besides he was versed in many great sciences such as exegesis (of the Koran), literature, grammar, and reading. He heard (the literary words) of the Arabs and reported them on their authority. He classified the unusual words in the Koran and brought poetic examples for them.

Because of Aban's lofty position, the two parties (i.e. Sunna and Shi'a) have agreed on his reliability. The Sunni great figures had great confidence in him though they regarded him as a Shi'te. Some of them were Ahmad, Abu Hatam, al- Nisa'y, b. 'Uday, b. 'Jlan, al- Hakim, al- 'Aqily, b. Sa'd, b. Hajar, b. Hayyan, b. Maymuna, and al- Dhahaby in his book Mizan al- I'tidal. Also they regarded him as one of the successors. This is enough evidence for his irrefutable merit.

Adapted from: "Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.)"