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Back You are here: Home Islamic Articles Personalities Imam al-Baqir's Companions and the Narrators of His Traditions - Part 1

Personalities

Imam al-Baqir's Companions and the Narrators of His Traditions - Part 1

Ima`m Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir) took great care of spreading knowledge among the people. He spared no effort to educate his companions. He taught them jurisprudence and sciences. So, they became prominent jurisprudents in the Islamic world. Ima`m al-Ba`qir asked his son, Ima`m Ja'far al-Sa`diq, to spend money on them to devote themselves to record the traditions they heard from him. Ima`m Ja'far al-Sa`diq, peace be on him, lauded his father's companions.

Addressing his companions, he said: "By Allah, my father's companions were better than you. They were leaves without thorns while you are thorns without leaves.

We will mention al-Ba`qir's Companions and give a brief study about each of them. They are as follows:

1. Aba`n bin Taghlub

Aba`n bin Taghlub al-Rib'i al-Ku`fi was among the most brilliant Moslem scholars. He was among the most prominent Moslem jurisprudents. We will talk about some of his affairs:

 

His Birth and his early Life

He was born in Ku`fa, but our books have not mentioned the year of his birth. He grew up in Ku`fa, the capital of the Shi'ites. He was obedient to the members of the house ( ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, and loved them very much.

 

His Scientific Position

He was among the most prominent and brilliant scholars of his time. He reported traditions on the authority of Ima`m 'Ali b. al-Husayn, Abu` Ja'far, and Abu` 'Abd Allah, peace be on them. He had priority and importance with them. Ima`m Abu` Ja'far said to him: "Sit down in the Mosque of Medina. Give religious opinions to the people. I like to see persons similar to you among my Shi'ites.
Aba`n was the foremost in all techniques of sciences of the Koran, jurisprudence, tradition, literature, language, and grammar.

 

His Obedience to the ahl al-Bayt

Aba`n was very obedient to the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. He learned their sciences and morals and proclaimed them among the people. That was at the time when the love for them was among the most intense disasters. For the Umayyads spared no effort to punish those who loved the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, and proclaimed their outstanding merits.

However, Aba`n habituated himself to that. So, he suffered persecutions for them. His love for ahl al-Bayt was based on reason and proof, not on sentiments. He thought that the outstanding merits and high positions of the Companions (of the Prophet) were conditional on the obedience to the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. 'Abd al-Rahma`n b. al-Hajja`j reported. He said: "We were at the assembly of Aba`n b. Taghlub. Suddenly, a young man came and said to him:

O Abu` Sa'id, tell me. How many of the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, followed 'Ali b. Abi Ta`lib?

Aba`n understood the young man's purpose. So, he asked him:

"Do you want to know the outstanding merits of 'Ali through the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who followed?"

"Yes," the young man replied.

Aba`n answered him with the answer of the one who was aware of the right of Ima`m 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He said:

By Allah we have not known their outstanding merits but through obedience to him.

Aba`n passed by some people. The people blamed him, for he reported on the authority of Ima`m Ja'far, peace be on him. So, he mocked at them, saying:

"Why do you blame me for my reporting on the authority of the man whom I asked about every thing , and he said: 'Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said.'?

 

His Reliability

Aba`n was very pious. He devoted himself to the religion. Al-'Ajali said: "Aba`n was reliable.
Ahmed b. Hanbal, b. Na'im and Abu` Ha`tam regarded him as reliable. The proof for his reliability is that the Ima`ms, peace be on them, praised him. Salim b. Abu` Habba reported. He said: "I was with Abu` 'Abd Allah, peace be on him. Before I saw him off, I had said to him: I want you to supply me." So, he said: "Go to Aba`n b. Taghlub. For he has heard many traditions from me. What he narrates to you, then narrate it on my authority.

Safwa`n b. Yahya`` reported on the authority of Aba`n b. 'Uthma`n on the authority of Abu` 'Abd Allah, peace be on him, who said:

"Aba`n b. Taghlub received thirty thousand traditions on my authority, then report them on my authority.
Aba`n b. Mohammed b. Aba`n reported. He said: [I heard my father say] "My father and I came to Abu` 'Abd Allah, peace be on him. When Abu` 'Abd Allah saw my father, he ordered a cushion to be brought for him. The cushion was brought for him. Then he shook hand with him and embraced him and greeted him.
When Aba`n came to Medina, the people gathered about him, and the praying-place of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, was emptied for him.

Al-Dhahabi said: "Aba`n was a steadfast Shi'ite. However, he was truthful. His truthfulness is for us. His heresy is for him.4 Some people defamed him for his love for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. Al-Jawza`ni said: "Aba`n was deviated (from the truth). His doctrine was dispraised.5 Such a group of people regarded the love for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, as deviation from the truth. Without doubt, the love for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, is part of Islam. Whoever denies them denies Islam. Whoever loves them believes in Islam.

 

His Books

As for his books, they show his wide knowledge and sciences. The following are some of them:

1. Tafsir Gharib al-Qur'an. He mentioned some examples from poetry concerning it. Then 'Abd al-Rahma`n b. Mohammed al-Azdi al-Ku`fi gathered in one book the book of Aba`n, of Mohammed b. al-Sa`iyib al-Kalbi, and of b. Rawa`q b. 'Atiya b. al-Harth.

2. Al-Fada`'il.

3. Al-Usool fi al-Ruwaiya 'ala` Madhhab al-Shi'a.

 

His Death

Aba`n died in the year 264 A.H. This is a mistake. For he died in the year 141 A.H. When Ima`m al-Sa`diq, peace be on him, heard of his death, he became very sad. He praised him, saying: "By Allah, the death of Aba`n b. Taghlub has hurt my heart.Abu` al-Bila`d said: "The death of Aba`n was a disaster for all Shi'ites everywhere.

Indeed Aba`n was the most knowledgeable of the Moslem main figures in the religion. So, his death was among the heaviest disasters that hit Islam.

2. Aba`n bin Abi 'Ayya`sh Fayru`z

Shaykh al-Tu`si numbered him as one of the companions of Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him. He said that Aba`n was a weak narrator who belonged to the next generation.

Ibn al-Ghada`'iri said: "Aba`n bin Abi 'Ayya`sh was a narrator who belonged to the next generation. He reported on the authority of Anas b. Ma`lik. He reported on the authority of 'Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on him. He was weak. No one pays attention to him. A large group of the traditionists regarded him as weak.
Yazid b. Ha`ru`n said: [Shu'ba said:] "If b.'Ayya`sh did not narrate false traditions, I would give my garments to the poor as alms. Shu'ba said: "To drink from my donkey's urine is more lovable with
me than to say: Aba`n relates to me.

Many main traditionists dispraised and refused his traditions.

 

His Death

Aba`n bin Abi 'Ayya`sh Fayru`z died in the year 128 A. H. It was said that he died in a year other than this.

3. Ibra`him bin al-Azraq

Ibra`him bin al-Azraq was from Ku`fa. He sold food. Abu` Ja'far al-Tu`si numbered him as one of the men of Ima`m Abu` Ja'far al-Ba`qir, peace be on him.Ibra`him was an unknown Ima`mi (Shi'ite).

4. Ibra`him bin Abi al-Bila`d
Al-Naja`shi said: "Ibra`him bin Abi al-Bila`d: the real name of Abi al-Bila`d is Yahya`` b. Salim. It was said

that he was the son of Sulayma`n, the retainer of b. 'Abd Allah b. 'Atfa`n. He was given the kunya of Abu` Yahya``. Abu` al-Bila`d was blind. He reported poetry. He reported (traditions) on the authority of Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir), peace be on him, and Abu` 'Abd Allah (al-Sa`diq).

5. Ibra`him bin Jamil

He was the brother of Tarba`l al-Ku`fi. Shaykh al-Tu`si numbered him as one of the companions of Ima`m Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir), peace be on him. So did al-Barqi.

6. Ibra`him bin Hana`n

He was called al-Asadi al-Ku`fi. He lived in Wasit. Shaykh al-Tu`si and al-Barqi numbered him as one of the companions of Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him.

7. Ibra`him bin Salih al-Anma`ti

In his book "al-Rija`l", Shaykh al-Tu`si numbered him as one of the companions of Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him. Ibra`him wrote books on the doctrine of the Ima`mi Shi'ites.

8. Ibra`him bin 'Abd Allah

He was called al-Ahmari. He reported traditions on the authority of Ima`m al-Ba`qir and Abu` 'Abd Allah (al-Sa`diq), peace be on them. Sayf b. 'Umayra reported traditions on his authority. He was unknown.

9. Ibra`him bin 'Ubayd

He was given the kunya of Abu` Ghurata al-Ansa`ri. Shaykh al-Tu`si numbered him as one of the companions of al-Ba`qir and of al-Sa`diq, peace be on them. Apparently, he was an Ima`mi Shi'ite. He was unknown.

10. Ibra`him bin 'Umar

He was called al-San`ani al-Yamani. Al-Naja`shi said: "Ibra`him was a shaykh. He was among our companions. He was reliable. He reported on the authority of Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir) and Abu` 'Abd Allah (al-Sa`diq), peace be on them." Abu` al-'Abba`s and others mentioned that. He had a book. Hamma`d b. 'Isa` and others reported the book.

Ibn al-Ghada`'iri regarded Ibra`him as a weak narrator. However, our Professor said: "Ibra`him is reliable, for al-Naja`shi regarded him as reliable, and al-Qummi mentioned him in his chain of authorities.

11. Ibra`him bin Mohammed

He was called al-Madani. Al-Naja`shi said: "Ibra`him reported on the authority of Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir) and Abu` 'Abd Allah (al-Sa`diq), peace be on them. He devoted his life to them. For this reason, the non-Shi'a regard him as a weak narrator.

"Some of our companions narrated on the authority of the non-Shi'a: 'Al-Waqidi plagiarized the books of Ibra`him b. Mohammed b. Abu` Yahya.'1Ibn Hajar slandered him. It was reported on the authority of b. Abu` Maryam, who said: [I heard Yahya`` say:] "Ibra`him had three qualities: He was a liar. He was a fatalist. He was a Rafidite.

Al-Sha`fi'i regarded Ibra`him as a reliable narrator, and reported on his authority. He said: "Ibra`him was far above lying. He was reliable in tradition.

However, Ibra`him was reliable and truthful.

12. Ibra`him bin Marthed

He was called al-Azdi. He was given the kunya of Abu` Sufya`n. He was one of the companions of Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him. He was an Ima`mi Shi'ite. He was unknown.

13. Ibra`him bin Ma'a`dh

He was among the companions of Ima`m Abu` Ja'far (al-Ba`qir), peace be on him. He reported on his authority the tradition of the agreement (ta'a`qid) among the people concerning these Words of Allah, the Exalted: "Surely (as for) those who return on their backs after that guidance has become manifest to them.

14. Ibra`him b. Ma'rad

He was called al-Ku`fi. He was among the companions of Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him. He reported on his authority and on the authority of Abu` 'Abd Allah (al-Sa`diq), peace be on him. Mansu`r b. Hazim and Husayn b. Mukhariq reported on the authority of Ibra`him.

15. Ibra`him b. Na'im

He was called al-Kina`ni. He was given the kunya of Abu` al-Saba`h. He was among the main companions of Ima`m al-Ba`qir, peace be on him. Ima`m Abu` 'Abd Allah (al-Sa`diq), peace be on him, said to him: "You are a balance!" So, Ibra`him said to him: "May I be a ransom for you, perhaps, the balance has a pan." He said: "You are a balance without a pan. Shaykh al-Mufid numbered him as one of the main jurists.