Khamsan B. Minhal's Hadith Inserted Posthumously In The Sahih Of Al-Bukhari?

M S M Saifullah & Muhammad Ghoniem

© Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.

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: ... Khamsan bin Minhal ... 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 "Khamsan bin Minhal".

1. Did Al-Bukhari Say Khamsan Bin Minhal "Unreliable"?

There is no such name mentioned in Kitab al-Du`afa al-Saghir at all! As for the "reliability"of this non-existing narrator, we do not have to worry about it. The conclusion is that al-Bukhari could not have "rejected" the traditions from a non-existent narrator.

The closest name that we have in Kitab al-Du`afa is Kahmas bin al-Minhal. Al-Bukhari says that he was Qadari.

307 - Kahmas Ibn al-Minhal: From Sa`id Ibn Abi `Arubah. Isma`il Ibn Hafs narrated from his father: He was accused for his belief about qadar [i.e., he was a qadari].[1]

In the footnotes we read:

307 - He has a rejected hadith for which al-Bukhari included him in Kitab al-Du`afa. Abu Hatim said: His rank is that of truthfulness. [refer to al-Mizan 416/3 and al-Kabir 240/7][3]

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

1029 - Kahmas Ibn al-Minhal from Sa`id Ibn Abi `Arubah from Qatadah from al-Hasan from Samrah Ibn Jundub said: The Prophet, peace be upon him, forbade selling (Al-Sinin - 4). Narrated by Sa`id Ibn `Ufayr, he heard Kahmas al-Sudusi, said Isma`il Ibn Ja`far from his father, he used to accuse him about qadar.[3]

Ibn Hajar in his Taqrib al-Tahdhib said:

76 - Kahmas Ibn al-Minhal al-Sudusi, Abu `Uthman al-Basri al-Lu'lu'i, truthful, accused about qadar...[4]

Summing up, there exists nobody by name Khamsan b. Minhal in al-Bukhari's Kitab al-Du`afa. The name that exists is Kahmas b. al-Minhal who was accused of being a qadari, but was truthful.

2. Traditions Of Kahmas B. Al-Minhal In The Sahih Of Al-Bukhari

Only one hadith of Kahmas is narrated by al-Bukhari.

The Prophet once climbed the mountain of Uhud with Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Uthman. The mountain shook with them. The Prophet said (to the mountain), "Be firm, O Uhud! For on you there are no more than a Prophet, a Siddiq and two martyrs. [Kitab al-Manaqib, No. 3410]

The isnad bundle of this hadith looks like this:

The hadith is collected by al-Bukhari through isnads independent of Kahmas b. al-Minhal. Furthermore, this hadith is also available through Shu`bah b. al-Hajjaj and the isnad is independent of Sa`id b. Abi `Arubah.

3. Conclusions

The Christian missionaries have made a charge that after the death of al-Bukhari "many" rejected "traditions" of "unreliable" narrators were added to his Sahih. They have also claimed that al-Bukhari himself has "condemned" these narrators in his Kitab al-Du`afa al-Saghir. A detailed investigation has revealed that six out of ten narrators does not even exist in Kitab al-Du`afa al-Saghir leave alone al-Bukhari condemning them as "unreliable" and their traditions "rejected". Whoever are present in al-Bukhari's Kitab al-Du`afa either belonged to a early sects of Islam, such as the qadariyyah, murji'ah, etc. It is interesting to note that al-Bukhari did not condemn any of these narrators as unreliable at all, contrary to the Christian missionaries' claim! Furthermore, the analysis of isnad bundles of allegedly "rejected" hadiths narrated by these allegedly "unreliable" narrators have shown the existence of parallel isnads independent of these narrators; many of them also present in the collections earlier and later than that of al-Bukhari. This leads us to the conclusion that after the death of al-Bukhari "many traditions" of allegedly "unreliable" narrators could not have been added to his Sahih. Even a beginner in hadith criticism would have figured out that it would make more sense to have ensured that all narrators were famous and reliable so that the hadiths would be accepted by the later day scholars without suspicion.

4. Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Abu Hudhayfa for giving us a good start for a refutation of this alleged claim. He suggestions were extremely useful and without them a comprehensive refutation like this would not have been possible. May Allah reward him profusely. And may Allah accept it from us.

And Allah knows best!

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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. 97.

[2] ibid.

[3] Muhammad Ibn Isma`il al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Tarikh al-Kabir, 1986, Volume VII, Mu'assasat al-Kutub al-Thaqafiyah: Beirut (Lebanon), p. 240.

[4] Ahmed Ibn `Ali Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Taqrib al-Tahdhib, Volume II, 1960, Al-Maktabat al-`Ilmiyyah: Al-Madinah, p. 137.

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