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Jarh Precedes Ta’dil

Ibn al-Salah said: When jarh and ta’dil come together in one person, the jarh would be given priority over ta’dil, as the moderated (mu‘addal) narrator tells of his apparent condition, while the jarih tells of a hidden reality about the mu‘addal. So if the number of the moderated being more than others, then priority would be given to ta’dil, while the correct notion held by all the jumhur (Ahl al-Sunnah) being: the jarh should be given priority.647

The philosopher Ibn Khaldun, when discussing the reason compelling some of the narrators to reduce number of their narrations, said:

The only reason that made every narrator decrease number of his narrations lies in the slanders facing him regarding them, and the defects intercepting his way, particularly the majority giving priority to jarh. Hence ijtihad would lead him to abandon adopting such interceptors befalling the traditions and ways of asanid. On multiplicity of this, his riwayah would become less due to the weakness in the turuq.648

Notes:

647. Muqaddimat Ibn Salah, p.42.

648. Muqaddimat Ibn Khaldun, p.444.

Adapted from: "Lights on the Muhammadan Sunnah" by: "Mahmud Ali Riyyah"

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