Zubair Bin Muhammad At-Tayyimi'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: ... Zubair bin Muhammad, At-Tayyimi ... 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 "Zubair bin Muhammad At-Tayyimi".

1. Did Al-Bukhari Say Zubair Bin Muhammad At-Tayyimi "Unreliable"?

It is interesting to note that there is no Zubair bin Muhammad at-Tayyimi in Kitab al-Du`afa al-Saghir. We do not expect al-Bukhari to call a non-existing narrator "unreliable".

The closest sounding name that we found is Zuhayr bin Muhammad al-Tamimi.

127 - Zuhayr Ibn Muhammad at-Tamimi al-Khiraqi: Abu al-Mundhir al-Khurasani. It is adam who gave him his kunyah. He heard from `Abd Allah Ibn Abi Bakr Ibn Hazm and Zayd Ibn Aslam and Abu `Aqil. Narrated from him Ibn Mahdi and al-`Unayzi and Musa Ibn Mas`ud. The people of Sham [~Syria] narrated from him rejected hadiths.[1]

In the footnotes we read:

127 - Yaqut mentioned his name completely [??]. He was called after his town Khiraq: Zuhayr Ibn Muhammad, Abu al-Mundhir, al-Tamimi al-`Anbari al-Khurasani al-Maruzi al-Khiraqi. It is said that he is Hirawi. He narrated from Yahya Ibn Sa`id al-Ansari and Hisham Ibn `Urwah and Abu Hazm al-A`raj and Muhammad al-Sadiq and others. Ahmad said: He is thiqah [trusworthy]. It was narrated that he said: His hadith is approximative. It was also narrated that he said: He is alright. Narrated also from him: thiqah; and also: weak; and another time: he is not strong; and on another occasion: He is alright. Al-`Ijli said: His hadith is permissible. Abu Hatim said: His rank is that of truthfulness, his memory has flaws and his hadith in Sham [~Syria] is worse than in `Iraq. Al-Najjari used to hesitate in accepting his hadith as he thought they were two different men. [refer to al-Mizan 84/2, Mu`jam al-Buldan 360/2 and al-Kabir 446/3][2]

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

1420 - Zuhayr Ibn Muhammad al-Tamimi al-`Anbari al-Khurasani, Abu al-Mundhir. It is Adam who gave him his kunyah. He heard from `Abd Allah Ibn Abi Bakr Ibn Hazm and Ibn `Aqil [in the first quote above, it was Abu `Aqil] and Zayd Ibn Aslam and Musa Ibn Wirdan. Narrated from him Ibn Mahdi and al-`Iqdi and Musa Ibn Mas`ud. The people of Sham [~Syria] narrated from him rejected hadiths. Ahmad said: It is as though the one from whom the people of Sham narrated is a different Zuhayr whose name was confused with his.[3]

Ibn Hajar in his Taqrib al-Tahdhib said:

80 - Zuhayr Ibn Muhammad al-Tamimi, Abu al-Mundhir, al-Khurasani. He lived in Sham then in Hijaz. The narrations of the people of Sham from him are not upright. He was weakened because of that. Al-Bukhari said: The Zuhayr from who the people of Sham narrated is a different one. Abu Hatim said: He narrated hadith from memory in Sham. Therefore, he made many mistakes....[4]

Al-Bukhari did not condemn Zuhayr as unreliable; rather he points out that the people of Sham narrated from a different Zuhayr.

2. Traditions Of Zuhayr Bin Muhammad al-Tamimi In The Sahih Of Al-Bukhari

Al-Bukhari has narrated three hadiths from him, out of which two are similar (and come from different source). The first one says:

The Prophet said, "No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that." [Kitab al-Marda, no. 5210]

The isnad bundle of this hadith is given below.

It is interesting to note that Ahmed uses a shorter isnad than al-Bukhari for the same hadith. Ahmed, Muslim and Tirmidhi collected the same hadith that is independent of Zuhayr.

The second hadith is:

The Prophet said, 'Beware! Avoid sitting on the roads." They (the people) said, "O Allah s Apostle! We can't help sitting (on the roads) as these are (our places) here we have talks." The Prophet said, ' l f you refuse but to sit, then pay the road its right ' They said, "What is the right of the road, O Allah's Apostle?" He said, 'Lowering your gaze, refraining from harming others, returning greeting, and enjoining what is good, and forbidding what is evil." [Kitab al-Isti'dhan, no. 5761]

The isnad bundle of this hadith is given below.

Similar observation made earlier are also true here. Zuhayr was not the only one who narrated this hadith; there were others who transmitted it independently of him.

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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. 47.

[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] Ahmad Ibn `Ali Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Taqrib al-Tahdhib, Volume I, 1960, Al-Maktabat al-`Ilmiyyah: Al-Madinah, p. 264.

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