Ayyub B. Aiz's Hadith Inserted Posthumously In The Sahih Of Al-Bukhari?

M S M Saifullah & Muhammad Ghoniem

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First Created: 5th August 2000

Last Modified: 7th September 2003

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It is interesting to note that Bukhari wrote a book about the narrators (Zuafa-us-sagher). What is even more interesting is that Bukhari's book condemns several narrators including: ... Ayyub bin Aiz ... as unreliable. However, the Hadith-collection of Bukhari in the its modern form actually includes many traditions narrated by these very individuals! Obviously, these traditions, which Bukhari rejected, were inserted in his book following his death.

a narrator called "Ayyub bin Aiz".

1. Did Al-Bukhari Say Ayyub Bin Aiz "Unreliable"?

Ayyub bin `A'idh is in Kitab al-Du`afa al-Saghir. Al-Bukhari says:

24 - Ayyub Ibn `A'idh al-Ta'i, he heard from al-Shu`abi and Qays Ibn Muslim. Narrated from him Ibn `Uyaynah. He believed in irja' and is [deemed] truthful [Arabic: saduq].[1]

Al-Bukhari says that he was a murji'ah. Contrary to the claims of the missionaries about Ayyub Ibn `A'idh al-Ta'i being considered "unreliable", al-Bukhari says that he is truthful! In the Science of Hadith, it means that his hadith are perfectly acceptable and such a narrator is simply one level below someone who is thiqah.

In the footnotes, we get more information about this narrator from various scholars of hadith:

24 - Al-Dhahabi wrote about him under the name Ayyub Ibn Salih Ibn `A'idh al-Kufi. Ibn Hajar said: Ibn Ma`in deemed him trustworthy and so did Abu Hatim and al-Nasa'i and al-`Ijli and Abu Dawud, and he added: He was murji'. Because of his belief in irja', Abu Zur`ah deemed weakened him. Ibn Hajar commented on [??] al-Bukhari stating that he [Ayyub] has one hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari in the section of al-Maghazi [the battles] regarding the account of Abu Musa al-Ash`ari. It was narrated through Shu`bah with a follow up. Muslim and al-Tirmidhi also narrated from him. Al-Dhahabi wondered at al-Bukhari's insinuation about him while he uses him as evidence in Hidayat al-Sari 392. [refer to al-Mizan 289/1 and al-Kabir 420/1][2]

Al-Bukhari elaborates in his Kitab al-Tarikh al-Kabir:

1346 - Ayyub Ibn `A'idh al-Ta'i, he heard from al-Shu`abi and Qays Ibn Muslim. Narrated from him Ibn `Uyaynah and `Abd al-Wahid. He believed in irja'. Ma`liyy said, `Abd al-Wahid told us, Ayyub Ibn `A'idh Ibn Mudlij al-Buhturi told us.[3]

Ibn Hajar in his Taqrib al-Tahdhib said about Ayyub Ibn `A'idh al-Ta'i:

700 - Ayyub Ibn `A'idh [...] Ibn Mudlij al-Ta'i al-Buhturi al-Kufi. He is thiqah [trustworthy] and was accused of irja'....[4]

Al-`Ijli said about Ayyub in his Tarikh al-Thiqat:


The editor of Tarikh al-Thiqat also said that Yahya Ibn Ma`in, Abu Hatim, Al-Nasa'i and Ibn Hibban graded him as thiqah, a statement very similar to what we have seen in the footnotes of Kitab al-Du`afa. So, his hadith are perfectly acceptable and there is no contradiction on al-Bukhari's part if he included him in Kitab al-Du`afa and in his Sahih. This is because in Kitab al-Du`afa al-Bukhari did not actually say that he was a weak narrator; rather he said Ayyub was accused of being a murji'ah.

2. Traditions Of Ayyub bin `A'idh In The Sahih Of Al-Bukhari

Al-Bukhari records only a single hadith (as opposed to the claim of missionaries of "many traditions") from him in his Sahih in the Book of Battles.

Allah's Apostle sent me (as a governor) to the land of my people, and I came while Allah's Apostle was encamping at a place called Al-Abtah. The Prophet said, "Have you made the intention to perform the Hajj, O `Abdullah bin Qais?" I replied, "Yes, O Allah's Apostle!" He said, "What did you say?" I replied, "I said, 'Labbaik' and expressed the same intention as yours." He said, "Have you driven the Hadi along with you?" I replied, "No, I did not drive the Hadi." He said, "So perform the Tawaf of the Ka'ba and then the Sai, between Safa and Marwa and then finish the state of Ihram." So I did the same, and one of the women of (the tribe of) Banu-Qais combed my hair. We continued follow in that tradition till the caliphate of Umar. [Kitab al-Maghazi, No. 3999]

The isnad bundle of this hadith is given below.

The hadith is narrated through `Abdullah b. Qais as well as `Umar b. al-Khattab. The isnad through latter does not contain Ayyub Ibn `A'idh. A quick glance at the isnad bundle shows that only al-Bukhari used a source (`Abbas b. al-Walid) that narrated through Ayyub and he uses five other isnads for the same hadith that are independent of Ayyub. All other collectors collected this hadith from the isnads that are again independent of Ayyub Ibn `A'idh. The obvious conclusion is that al-Bukhari did not "reject" the traditions from Ayyub and nor were they "inserted" after his death.

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[1] Muhammad Ibn Isma`il al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Du`afa al-Saghir, 1976 (1396 H), Dar al-Wa`y, p. 18.

[2] ibid.

[3] Muhammad Ibn Isma`il al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Tarikh al-Kabir, 1986, Volume I, Mu'assasat al-Kutub al-Thaqafiyah: Beirut (Lebanon), p. 420.

[4] Ahmed Ibn `Ali Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Taqrib al-Tahdhib, Volume I, 1960, Al-Maktabat al-`Ilmiyyah: Al-Madinah, p. 90.

[5] Ahmed Ibn `Abdullah Ibn Salih Abu al-Hassan al-`Ijli, Tarikh al-Thiqat, 1984 Edition, Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah: Beirut (Lebanon), No. 130.

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