Responding to Usuli claim on Kitab Sulaym Ibn Qays

He begins with his thread by saying:

“Important to note is that the thread referenced is written by an Akhbari. A belief of many akhbari scholars is in accepting the authenticity of every hadith in the 4 Shi’i compilitaions. This should give an impression of how lenient they MAY be.”

That is irrelevant. All of the Usulis depend on the books written by Akhbaris like Bihar al anwar, Wasail-ush-Shia and Al-Kafi. It is well known that these authors were not Usuli and rejected many ideas of Usuli school of thought. So therefore, Usulis are dependent and bound on dedication and preservation of the works by Akhbari scholars. There is also no proof Tusi or Saduq were Usulis since they have not preached the idea of Taqlid and had a different methodology when it came to taking a hadith or rejecting a hadith than that of the Usulis. However not all Usulis are in agreement when it comes to Ilm al Rijal. For example, Al nai’ni the teacher of Al Khu’i also believed Al kafi to be 100% authentic:

Abu l-Qasim Al-Khu’i writes:

وَقَـدْ ذَكَـرَ غَـيْـرُ وَاحِـدٍ مِـنَ الْأَعْـلَامِ أَنَّ رِوَايَـاتِ الْـكَـافِـي كُـلَّـهَـا صَـحِـيـحَـةٌ وَلَا مَـجَـالَ لِـرَمْـيِ شَـىْ‏ءٍ مِـنْـهَـا بَـضَـعْـفِ سَـنَـدِهَـا وَسَـمِـعْـتُ شَـيْـخَـنَـا الْأُسْـتَـاذَ الـشَّـيْـخُ مُـحَـمَّـدٌ حُـسَـيْـنٌ الـنَّـائِـيـنِـيُّ قُـدِّسَ سِـرُّهُ فِـي مَـجْـلِـسِ بَـحْـثِـهِ يَـقُولُ إِنَّ الْـمُـنَـاقَـشَـةَ فِـي إِسْـنَـادِ رِوَايَـاتِ الْـكَـافِـي حِـرْفَـةُ الْـعَـاجِـزِ وَقَـدِ اسْـتَـدَلَّ غَـيْـرُ وَاحِـدٍ عَـلَـى هَـذَا الْـقَـوْلِ بِـمَـا ذَكَـرَهُ مُـحَـمَّـدُ بْـنُ يَـعْـقُـوبَ فِـي خُـطْـبَـةِ كِـتَـابِـهِ

“Several outstanding personalities have stated that all the traditions of Al-Kafi are authentic (Sahih) and there is no room for rejecting any of them because of a weak chain, and I heard our Teacher, who is the scholar Muhammad Husain An-Na’ini, may he rest in peace, say in his discussion session: “To criticize the chain of the traditions of Al-Kafi is the act of an incompetent.” Several have based their opinion on what Muhammad Ibn Ya’qub Al-Kulaini mentioned in the introduction of his book.” [Mu’jam Rijali l-Hadith, Volume 1, page 81]

Many other Usulis followed this methodology especially in Aqidah matters like
Sayyed Alee Hussaini Al-Sadr. The Akhbariyya might be lenient but they have good reasons to do so because they do not want to end up rejecting the word of Ahlulbayt (as) since that is what the Imams strictly forbade us to do!

حدثنا محمد بن الحسين عن محمد بن اسماعيل عن حمزة بن بزيع عن على السنانى عن ابى الحسن ع انه كتب إليه في رسالة ولا تقل لما بلغك عنا أو نسب الينا هذا باطل وان كنت تعرفه خلافه فانك لا تدري لم قلنا وعلى أي وجه وصفة.

Muhammad b. al-Husayn narrated to us from Muhammad b. Isma`il from Hamza b. Bazi from Ali the as-Sinani from Abu ‘l-Hasan (as)  that he wrote to him in an epistle: “And do not say for what reaches you from us and is attributed to us “this is false” even if you have known its opposite, for verily you do not know why we said (it) and upon which aspect and attribute.” [Source: Basair Al-Darajat Pg. 538]

“Who is Sulaym b. Qays? – The reality of the matter is that we barely know anything about him besides from what is claimed in the book itself. Wether such person even existed in history is also a discussion:”

We live in a world where you have people that doubt on the existence of almost every historical personality like Jesus (a) and Muhammad (sawa). Just because there is doubt about his existence by some later scholars does not mean anything. We have to present the evidences and I challenge the people who doubt about his existence to quote me one single early scholar that doubted his existence and claimed that he did not exist. How could majority of Shia be quoting from a book that is based on a guy that did not even exist? Does any of rijal books doubt that he existed? Can you give me one single clear cut evidence? Its amazing how people can go so far to undermine a book because they simply do not agree with the content. It is sufficient to know that Major scholars like Kulayni,Saduq,Tusi,Numani,Two majlisis, Hurr Al Amili, Bahrani, Mufid and Najashi did not doubt about his existence. This has never been a debate amongst Shia scholars!

Here are some testimonies from scholars with regards to Sulaym Ibn Qays and that he really did exist:

Al-Barqi: “And of the close friends (i.e. Al-Awliya):A’lam Al-Azdi, Suwayd ibn Ghafla Al-Ju’fi, Al-Harith Al-A’war Hamdani, Aboo Abdullah Al-Jadali, Aboo Yahya Halim ibn Sa’eed Al-Hanafi and of the Shurtatul KhamisAboo Ridha Abdullah ibn Yahya Al-Hadhrami, Sulaym ibn Qays Al-Hilali, Ubayda Al-Salmani Arabi.” [Source: Rijal Al-Barqi. Pg. # 3 – 4.]

Sayyed Al-Khoei:
First: Sulaym ibn Qays himself is an esteemed trustworthy person of high position, and the testimony of Al-Barqi is enough that he was of the Awliya (i.e. very special companions) of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s), it is also supported with what Al-Nu’mani says about his book, and Al-Allamah (i.e. Al-Hilli) has mentioned him in the first part of his book and attests his uprightness, as for ibn Dawood, he mentions him in both parts of his book (i.e. trustworthy and not trustworthy people) and we do not see it to be correct in any way.
Second: The Book of Sulaym as Al-Nu’mani mentions is of the reliable Usool, rather of the biggest Usool and all of what is in it, is Saheeh (Authentic) and its narrations have been issued from the Infallibles (a.s) or from those who are attested and their narrations are accepted, and the author of Al-Wasa’il mentions it in the Fourth Lesson, among reliable books that the evidences confirm their authenticity and they have been narrated in Mutawatir form from their authors or the correctness of attribution to their authors is established in a way that it remains no doubt.  [Source: Mu’jam Rijal- Al-Hadeeth. Vol. 9, Pg. # 230.]

Also even amongst the Bakris he is a well known person and nowhere do they mention that he did not exist:

[Source: Al-Kamil Fi Dhu’afa. Vol. 2, Pg. # 57 / 67.]
 [Source: Mizan Al-I’tidal. Vol. 1, Pg. # 125 – 126.]

And if u look at Fihrist of Tusi and Najashi you see that they both declared Sulaym Ibn Qays to be trustworthy that wrote a book. Hence only an ignorant can make such a bizare claim in order to deny the book. How can any person rely on such nonsense that goes against their own Ilm Al Rijal standards and proclaim himself to be a “strict” in this field? May Allah swt protect us from such dishonesty.

He goes further by stating:

“For the sake of argument we shall accept that this person existed and is praised, we have no problem with that. Cause as we will see there is a bigger problem. Scholars – He mentions Al-Saduq and Al-Kulayni narrating from Kitab Sulaym, to point to its authenticity. This is only an argument for Akhbaris. As for us Usulis, we do not rely on the alleged mass authentication of Al-Kulayni on his own book, our scholars will still look at every report in Al-Kafi and analyze its chain, and come to a conclusion. For example Shaykh Murtadha al-Haeri weakening a narration in a fiqhi discussion related to khums, from Aban b. Abi Ayyash from Sulaym:”

So now he thinks this position is only held by akhbaris. I have shown you a clear statement from Al-Khu’i where he has stated that many scholars believed Al-Kafi to be authentic including Al-Khu’is own teacher, Al Na’ini who is not AKHBARI but a staunch Usuli. So hence this is not only an Akhbari method but rather an method that both sides can use. How can you make such a generalization as if all Usuli scholars agree with your approach? The fact is that Both Kulayni and Saduq clearly mentioned that their books are authentic, which means that they took the contents from reliable books of Hadith.

Al-Kulaini wrote in his introduction: 

ويرجع إليه المسترشد ويأخذ منه من يريد علم الدين والعمل به بالآثار الصحيحة عن الصادقين عليهم السلام

“That serves as a reference (Marja’) for those who seek the true path, that is taken by those, who are acquiring the knowledge of the religion and who wants to act according to the traditions of the Imams (a.), which are authentic (Sahih).”

Muhammad Al-Faid Al-Kashani writes:

وقد جرى صاحبا كتابي الكافي والفقيه على متعارف المتقدمين في إلطلاق الصحيح على ما يركن إليه ويعتمد عليه فحكما بصحة جميع ما أورداه في كتابيهما من الأحاديث

“In accordance with the customs of the early scholars, the two authors of Al-Kafi and Al-Faqih used the terminology authentic (Sahih) for that which is supported and relied upon, and they considered all the sayings they have narrated in their two books as authentic (Sahih).” [Kitab-ul-Wafi, Volume 1 Page 23]

Husain An-Nuri At-Tabarsi writes:

توضيحه إن السائل سأله أن يجمع له الاخبار الصحيحة مما يتعلق بامور الدين، فالف له ولسائر إخوانه في الدين هذا الكتاب لينتفع به إلى يوم القيامة

“It is clearly stated that the desiring one requested him to collect the religious narrations for him that are authentic (Sahih), so Al-Kulaini wrote the book for him and for all the other of his fellow believers, so that benefit would be derived from the book until the Day of Resurrection.” [Khatimat-ul-Mustadrak, Volume 3 Page 491]

Abu Ja’far As-Saduq writes: “I wrote this book without copying the chains of narrators from the reports, so that its paths would not become too numerous and its usefulness would be increased. My intention was not to report everything that the authors intended to narrate. Rather, my intention was to report what i consider to be authentic (Sahih) and what i am convinced to be a proof between me and my Lord, may His name be sanctified and His omnipotence be glorified. Everything in it is taken from the famous works on which people rely on and where the reference (Marja’) is.” [Man La Yahduruh-ul-Faqih, Volume 1 Page 12]

قال أبو حعفر الصدوق: وصنفت له هذا الكتاب بحذف الأسانيد لئلاّ تكثر طرقه وإن كثرت فوائده، ولم أقصد فيه قصد المصنفين في إيراد جميع ما رووه، بل قصدت إلى إيراد ما أُفتي به وأحكم بصحته وأعتقد فيه أنّه حجّة في ما بيني و بين ربّي تقدّس ذكره وتعالت قدرته وجميع ما فيه مستخرج من كتب مشهورة عليها المعول وإليها المرجع

So were Kulayni and Saduq ignorant akhbaris for considering their own books as authentic? And all the other great scholars whom Khu’i described too? This is an nonsensical claim that does not even represent the Usuli school of thought. There are many Usuli scholars till today who accept Kitab Sulaym and Al-Kafi as sahih or atleast consider it generally authentic.

“There is weakness in them: … secondly because Aban b. Abi Ayash has been accused of weakness and of creating Kitab Sulaym and Allah knows best”

I dont really care what Al-Haeri here has to say. His opinion is not Hujjah and does not stand a foot against the major scholars of Hadith, who are far greater than him like Al-Nu’mani the author of Kitab Al Ghaybah, who authenticated the whole book.

“Then he mentions some points to describe Shaykh Tusi’s stance, some important notes regarding the mentioned points: – In no way does Shaykh Al-Tusi mentioning a book in his fehrest point to reliability, Al-Tusi wrote this book as a bibliography of ANY shi’i authorings.”

No one has ever made the claim that because a book is mentioned by Tusi in his fihrist that it therefore becomes authentic. The point was that despite him weakening Aban, Tusi narrated narrations from Kitab Sulaym and did not criticise the content or made the claim that we should not act on the Hadith because Aban is in the chain. This proves he relied on Kitab Sulaym since he mentions in the introduction of his book:

Abu Ja’far At-Tusi writes: “Whatever I narrate in the two books (At-Tahdhib and Al-Istibsar), I take from the principles that are considered authentic (Mu’tamad) and this is the path that many of the scholars of the tradition have taken.” [Kitab-ul-Wafi, Volume 1 Page 23]

قال أبو حعفر الطوسي: إن ما أورده في كتابي (التهذيب والاستبصار) الاخبار إنما آخذه من الاصول المعتمد عليها وقد سلك على ذلك المنوال كثير من علماء الرجال

He continues:

– Yes, the main and sole narrator of the book from Sulaym, Aban b. Abi Ayyash has been mentioned to be weak by Shaykh Al-Tusi. – Then once again, mere mention of a narration in Tahdheeb al-Ahkam by Al-Tusi, does not point to the authenticity of the book, nor narration. Then the Akhbari argument that the authors of the 4 hadith compilations authenticate everything inside it is shown, this is a false claim by the Akhbaris and we can even find Shaykh Al-Tusi rejecting narrations in his own book!”

“Tusi says: “.. So the first part of this hadith is that nobody narrates it except Muhammad ibn Sinan from Al-Fadhl bin Umar, and Muhammad ibn Sinan is accused and extremely weak…” Tahdheeb, V. 7. P. 361”

So let me clarify first what Akhbaris mean with “authentic”. Authenticity means that the hadith can be worked upon. Meaning there is no need to look at the chain, one can straight go to the content and take it as if it is said by the Imam (a). However, this does not mean that every single narration in it must be ACTED upon. In cases of contradiction, like if it goes against the Quran or goes against well established famous Ahadith, we dont need to act upon it. However, we do not DENY or REJECT the narration since it may have been uttered by the Imam (a) because it could have been said in TAQIYYAH or we might be simply misunderstanding the narration. So authenticity does not mean to act upon every single narration and that we can not take one hadith over the other. We have principles laid down by Infallibles on what to do when contradiction occur between two narrations or when a narration contradicts Quran.

Musa Al-Kazim (a.) reported that the Prophet Muhammad (s.) said: “Behold, shall there be anyone who declares me a liar while leaning on his couches?” They said: “O Messenger of God, who is the one who declares you a liar?” He said: “The one to whom a statement comes, to which he says: “Never did the messenger of Allah (s.) say that.” Whatever comes from me to you as a saying (hadith) and corresponds to the truth, that is what i have said, and whatever comes to you from me as a saying (hadith) and does not correspond to the truth, that is what i did not say, for i will say nothing but the truth.” [Bihar-ul-Anwar of Al-Majlisi, Volume 2, Page 188]

عن موسى الكاظم عليه السلام عن النبي صلى الله عليه وآله قال: ألا هل عسى رجل يكذبني وهو على حشاياه متكئ ؟ قالوا: يا رسول الله ومن الذي يكذبك ؟ قال: الذي يبلغه الحديث فيقول: ما قال هذا رسول الله قط. فما جاءكم عني من حديث موافق للحق فأنا قلته وما أتاكم عني من حديث لا يوافق الحق فلم أقله، ولن أقول إلا الحق

Hasan Ibn Jahm reported that Imam Al-Kazim (a.) said: “If two sayings (hadith) come to you that differ from each other, compare them with the Scripture of God and our sayings. If it is similar to both, then it is true, and if it is not similar to both, then it is false.” [Bihar-ul-Anwar of Al-Majlisi, Volume 2, pages 244 – 245]

عن الحسن بن الجهم عن الإمام الكاظم عليه السلام أنه قال: إذا كان جاءك الحديثان المختلفان فقسهما على كتاب الله وعلى أحاديثنا فإن أشبههما فهو حق وإن لم يشبههما فهو باطل

Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad from Ali ibn al-Hakam from Aban ibn ‘Uthman from ‘Abd Allah ibn abu Ya‘fur who has said the following.

أنه حضر ابن أبي يعفور في هذا المجلس قال: سألت أبا عبدالله (عليه السلام) عن اختلاف الحديث يرويه من نثق به ومنهم من لا تثق به؟ قال إذا ورد عليكم حديث فوجدتم له شاهدا من كتاب الله أو من قول رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله) وإلا فالذي جاء كم به أولى به

“In a meeting where ibn abu Ya‘fur was also present I asked Imam abu ‘Abd Allah (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) about the differences in Hadith which is narrated from people whom we trust and yet from other people we do not trust.” The Imam replied, “If you come across a Hadith and you find evidence in the Holy Quran to support it or in Hadith of the Holy Prophet (you may follow it), else the one who has come with the narration is more deserving of it. (i.e. leave the narration to the one who has brought it to you?) “ [Al Kafi : The Book on Virtue of Knowledge : H 197, Ch. 22, h2]

So Al-Tusi did in fact consider the narrations to be authentic, in a way that those narrations can be dealt with according to the matn (content).

At-Tusi says elsewhere:

”..This narration is odd, nobody except Wahab ibn Wahab narrates it and he is extremely weak according to the Ashab of Hadith, and IF it were to be sahih it would be out of taqiyyah because it agrees with the school of the ’Amma (sunnis)..” Vol. 9, P. 77


”Muhammad ibn Al-Hassan said: This hadith is weak contradictory to the sahih reports that we have shown and (it contradicts) the apparent (verses of) the Qur’an..” V. 10, P. 88

Again this stems from the ignorance of how classical scholars used to act with hadith and what the term “authentic” means. As I explained before, authentic does not mean every narration should be ACTED upon and taken. Because we have possibility of Taqiyyah. However, this is an issue of MATN not chain. As you can see, Tusi doesnt simply deny the narration and calls it a lie because the chain is weak, he believes the CONTENT goes against other CONTENT which he found more reliable. However he doesnt say that the narration is fabricated or that it doesnt come from the Imam (a). He even gives the possibility that it could be taqiyyah “and IF it were to be sahih it would be out of taqiyyah because it agrees with the school of the ’Amma (sunnis)..” ,exactly how Akhbariyya would deal with the traditions. He could have simply said “its weak” and rejected it but he did not do it.

We will further strengthen our view by showing you how Tusi relied on weak chains in his own book:

Muhammad Ibn Hasan At-Tusi writes:

وأخبرني الشيخ أيده الله قال أخبرني أحمد بن محمد بن الحسن عن أبيه عن محمد بن الحسن الصفار عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى عن أبيه عن ابن أبي عمير عن ابن أذينة عن زيد الشحام قال قلت: لابي عبد الله عليه السلام المذي ينقض الوضوء ؟ قال: لا ولا يغسل منه الثوب ولا الجسد إنما هو بمنزلة البزاق والمخاط وأخبرني الشيخ أيده الله تعالى قال: أخبرني أبو القاسم جعفر بن محمد عن محمد بن يعقوب عن الحسين بن محمد عن معلى بن محمد عن الوشا عن أبان عن عنبسة قال: سمعت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام يقول: كان علي عليه السلام لا يرى في المذي وضوءا ولا غسل ما أصاب الثوب منه إلا في الماء الاكبر فاما الحديث الذي رواه أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى عن محمد ابن إسماعيل بن بزيع قال: سألت الرضا عليه السلام عن المذي فأمرني بالوضوء منه، ثم أعدت عليه في سنة أخرى فأمرني بالوضوء منه وقال: ان علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام أمر المقداد بن الاسود أن يسأل النبي صلى الله عليه وآله واستحيا أن يسأله فقال: فيه الوضوء. فهذا خبر ضعيف شاذ والذى يكشف عن ذلك الخبر المتقدم الذي رواه اسحاق ابن عمار عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام وذكر قصة أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام مع المقداد وانه لما سأل النبي صلى الله عليه وآله عن ذلك فقال: لا بأس به، وقد روى هذا الراوي بعينه انه يجوز ترك الوضوء من المذي، فعلم بذلك ان المراد بالخبر ضرب من الاستحباب

“The scholar, May God strengthen him, who reported from Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Hasan, who reported from his father Muhammad Ibn Hasan As-Saffar, who reported from Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Isa, who reported from his father Muhammad Ibn Abi Umair, who reported from Ibn Udhainah, who reported from Zaid Ash-Shahham, in which he asked Abu Abdillah As-Sadiq (a.): “Does the drop of the lust (genital area) break the ablution (Wudu’)?” He said: “No, and therefore one does not wash neither the clothes nor the body. It is only just like the saliva and slime.” The Teacher, May God strengthen him, reported to me from Abu l-Qasim, Ja’far Ibn Muhammad, who reported from Muhammad Ibn Ya’qub, who reported from Husain Ibn Muhammad, who reported from Mu’alla Ibn Muhammad, who reported from Al-Washsha’, who reported from Aban, who reported from Anbasah, that Abu Abdillah As-Sadiq (a.) said: “Neither did Ali (a.) prescribe a washing for the drops of lust nor a washing for that which hit the clothes of it, except for the ejaculation.” As for the tradition reported by Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Isa, in which Muhammad Ibn Isma’il Ibn Bazi’ said: “I asked Ali Ar-Rida (a.) about the drops of lust, whereupon he ordered me to wash it. Afterwards i repeated it to him in another year, whereupon he ordered me to wash it and said: “Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.) ordered Miqdad Ibn Aswad to ask the Prophet (s.) the question and was ashamed to ask him, whereupon he replied: “For this, one does the washing.” So this is a tradition that is weak (Da’if) and not familiar and what this has clearly demonstrated, is the previous tradition, reported by Ishaq Ibn Ammar from Abu Abdillah As-Sadiq (a.), who mentioned the event of the Commander of the believers (a.) with Miqdad and after asking the Prophet (s.) he received the answer: “There is no problem in it.” For the very same narrator already reported that it is permissible to leave out the washing for the drops of lust. Thus, one comes to the knowledge that the tradition only means that it is a form of desirability (Mustahab).” [Tadhib-ul-Ahkam, Volume 1 Page 58-59]

So here instead of rejecting a WEAK report, Tusi goes on to reconcile the two reports and make the conclusion it is MUSTAHAB not obligatory.

Hurr Al-Amili presents further evidences why WEAK does not mean unauthentic in matn according to Tusi:

Muhammad Al-Hurr Al-Amili writes:

أما تضعيف الشيخ (الطوسي) بعض الأحاديث بضعف راويه فهو تضعيف غير حقيقي، لما تقدم، وإنما هو تضعيف ظاهري، ومثله كثير من تعليلاته كما أشار إليه صاحب المنتقى في بعض مباحثه، حيث قال: والشيخ مطالب بدليل ما ذكره إن كان يريد بالتعليل حقيقته وعذره وما ذكره في أول التهذيب من رجوع بعض الشيعة (الإمامية) عن التشيع بسبب اختلاف الحديث فهو كثرا ما يرجح بترجيحات العامة على أن الأقرب هناك أن مراده أنه ضعيف بالنسبة إلى قوة معارضه لا ضعيف في نفسه، فلا ينافي ثبوته ومما يوضح ذلك أنه لا يذكره ألا في مقام التعارض، بل في بعض مواضع التعارض. وأيضا فإنه يقول: هذا ضعيف لان راويه فلان ضعيف، ثم نراه يعمل برواية ذلك الراوي بعينه، بل برواية من هو أضعف منه في مواضع لا تحصى وكثيرا ما يضعف الحديث بأنه مرسل ثم يستدل بالحديث المرسل، بل كثيرا ما يعمل بالمراسيل وبرواية الضعفاء ويرد المسند ورواية الثقات، وهو صريح في المعنى الذي قلناه، على أن فعل غير المعصوم عليه السلام ليس بحجة

“As for the weakening by the scholar At-Tusi of some of the narrations due to the weakness of its narrator,  so, based on what has preceded it, it is not an actual, but only a superficial weakening and its example is present in his explanations in numerous places, as the author of the work Al-Muntaqa pointed out in some of his investigations when he said: “The scholar would be required to bring proof of what he has mentioned, if by justification he meant it being actual and being exempt from it, and what he mentioned at the beginning of the work At-Tahdhib about the apostacy of some of the followers (of the imams) from the followership, due to the contradiction of the traditions, is mostly that, which he weights with the gradings of the general public. The most obvious fact here is that weak (Da’if) is a reference to the strength of its contradiction, whereby it is not weak (Da’if) in itself.” Therefore the confirmation of this is not rejected, and what makes this even more clear, among the other things, is that he only mentions it at the contradictory reports, and much more so only at some of the contradictory reports, and even when he says: “This is weak (Da’if), for its narrator is weak (Da’if), so and so.” So we see that he is following a tradition with the same narrator, and much more than that, in numerous places he is following the tradition of the one who is even weaker than him and as much as he weakens a tradition, by the fact that it is interrupted (Mursal), he uses as proof a tradition that is interrupted (Mursal) and even more he follows numerous interrupted reports and traditions of weak narrators and rejects complete reports and traditions of trustworthy narrators and there is obviously the meaning we were talking about. The deed of the one, who is not an infallible (a.), is not a proof.” [Wasa’il-ush-Shi’ah, volume 30 page 279]

So it proves that, just because he declared some reports to be weak in his own book, that it does not mean he rejected that it was uttered by the Imam (a). Only in cases of contradiction he used to take one narration over the other, which is what Hurr Al Amili did as well! This does not go against the belief that his book is authentic!

He goes on further by stating:

Then some scholars opinions are listed, of whom several are akhbaris such as Shaykh al-Bahrani, Taqi al-Majlisi, Baqir al-Majlisi, Hurr al-Amili. We can also share some alternative satements from scholars: Firstly to clarify Sayed al-Khoeis view, he does not believe the version that reached us today is reliable, neither are the chains listed by Al-Tusi: “And the correct view is that we have no chain for Kitab Sulaym b. Qays that is narrated from Hamad b. Isa, from Ibrahim b. Umar, from him, and this is because in the chain there is Muhammad b. Ali Al-Sayrafi Aba Sameena, he is weak and a liar.” Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith, V9 P237

Interesting coming from a person, who accepted the book of Ibn Ghadairi simply because Khu’i quoted from it. While the book has no authentic chain, yet he relies on it and makes judgements from it. But when it comes to Books of Hadith which are Mashoor and which contents can be found in many other books, he puts doubt on it because it doesnt have “authentic” chain. So what if those Scholars were Akhbari? Is that an sufficient reason to reject their testimony? I can reject your testimony based upon the fact Khu’i was an usuli and therefore his opinion is worthless to me. But its also dishonest for you to keep clinging on Khu’i as if he is the only representative of Usuli school. There are so many Usuli scholars who use the early classical way of dealing with traditions and do not agree with your method. So to keep talking as if Akhbaris are the only ones with this methodology is an false claim.

“Shaykh Al-Mufeed (d. 413 AH) said about the book: Keep in mind now that even the copy that reached him, and he was living in the same era as Al-Tusi, contained unacceptable things to him”

Quoting Shaykh Al Mufid wont help you here. He nowhere denied the entire book or doubted that Sulaym Ibn Qays existed. Yes he said there are contents in it which he deemed unreliable, which does not mean he considered the book to be weak but rather some contents in it. Maybe he considered it as scribal errors or the traditions about 13 Imams which confused him or maybe he held a manuscript which wasnt free from errors. However, this does not mean he considered the book to be weak because he himself in many instances took from it.

“Sayed Al-Sistani when he was asked about the book:”

Is that all? Just a testimony of Sistani with no evidence whatsoever is enough for you to declare the whole book weak, but when it comes to majority of early scholars who relied on it is not sufficient? This is honestly laughable. And why would you quote Sayed Sistani as if you agree with him on Ilm Al Rijal? If so, do you agree with every opinion he makes when it comes to Rijal? You dont have a consistent methodology. You pick and choose scholars so your pressuposed position seems strong. But infact its weaker than a spidersweb.

“As for the book Rijal Ibn al-Ghadhaeri which is attributed to Ibn al-Ghadhaeri mentioning:”

“It is correct that there is discussion around the attribution of this book, but some notable scholars have accepted it including Sayed al-Sistani whom even prefers it over Al-Najashi and Al-Tusis works.”

Sayed Ridha al-Sistani lists many other scholars here who accepted its attribution, while mentioning that, according to his research, the first person to doubt its attribution was Agha Buzurgh Tehrani (d. 1970 AD)

He goes on to Quote Sayed Sistani from 21st century. Since when do we work with early books like that? Is a testimony of a present scholar sufficient these days? SubhanAllah, then we can use the same method  and authenticate all the Ahadith books like Al kafi as well. You have to be consistent with your methodology. You should bring out the chains for the book, authenticating each single narrator till the author of the book and then you can make the claim that it is reliable. How can you apply one method to Hadith books and then apply a different method to rijal books? But I know this task is IMPOSSIBLE for you because with your method we end up having no HADITH to rely upon. Its also shocking how you dismiss the testimony of Agha Buzurgh Tehrani because he was apparantly the only early scholar to reject its attribution, while you are here using modern claims to dismiss Sulayms own existence. I hope you make your methodology more clear next time.

Now he brings forth the narrations that are apparantly weak:

“Also as for the 3 narrations shared which claim that the Imams have spoken about this book: Narration #1: it is weak because the one who is accused of fabricating this book, Aban b. Abi Ayyash himself is the narrator of this narration praising the book…”

Translation of the narration:

Ishaq Ibn Ibrahim reported that Ibn Udhainah said about Aban: “This is the edition of Kitab Sulaim Ibn Qais Al-Amiri. Then Al-Hilali handed it over to Aban Ibn Abi Ayyash and presented it to him, and Aban claimed that he read it to Ali Ibn Al-Husain (a.) who said: “Sulaim has found himself to be confirmed, may God’s mercy be upon him! We know these traditions.” Aban reported that Sulaim Al-Hilali said: “I spoke to the commander of the believers (a.): “I heard things from Salman, Miqdad and Abu Dharr about the explanation of the Qur’an and traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (s.) and i heard from you the confirmation of what i heard from them while i saw in the hands of the people many things about the explanation of the Qur’an and traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (s.) in which you contradict them. Then he mentioned the narrative in its length.”Aban said: “After the death of Ali Ibn Al-Husain (a.) i was allowed to make the pilgrimage and i met Abu Ja’far, Muhammad Ibn Ali (a.). I told him all these traditions and left out not one letter, whereupon his eyes filled with tears. Then he said: “Sulaym has found himself to be confirmed. He came to my father (a.) after the death of my grandfather Al-Husain (a.), while i sat with him. He told him exactly these traditions, whereupon my father (a.) said to him: “You have found yourself to be confirmed. My father (a.) and my uncle Al-Hasan (a.) told me these traditions from the commander of the believers (a.).” Whereupon they told you: “You found yourself confirmed. I told you this before and we are witnesses.” Then they told him that they heard this from the Prophet Muhammad (s.) and he mentioned the whole story.” [Ikhtiyar Ma’rifat Ar-Rijal of At-Tusi, pages 99-100]

حدثني محمد بن الحسن البراثي قال: حدثنا الحسن بن علي بن كيسان، عن إسحاق بن إبراهيم بن عمر اليماني، عن ابن أذينة، عن أبان بن أبي عياش، قال: هذا نسخة كتاب سليم بن قيس العامري ثم الهلالي، دفعه إلى ابان ابن أبي عياش وقراه، وزعم ابان انه قرأه على علي بن الحسين عليهما السلام قال: صدق سليم رحمة الله عليه هذا حديث نعرفه محمد بن الحسن، قال: حدثنا الحسن بن علي بن كيسان، عن إسحاق بن إبراهيم، عن ابن أذينة عن أبان بن أبي عياش، عن سليم بن قيس الهلالي، قال قلت لأمير المؤمنين عليه السلام اني سمعت من سلمان ومن مقداد ومن أبي ذر أشياء في تفسير القرآن ومن الرواية عن النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسمعت منك تصديق ما سمعت منهم، ورأيت في أيدي الناس أشياء كثيرة من تفسير القرآن ومن الأحاديث عن نبي الله عليه السلام أنتم تخالفونهم وذكر الحديث بطوله. قال ابان: فقدر لي بعد موت علي بن الحسين عليهما السلام اني حججت فلقيت أبا جعفر محمد بن علي عليهما السلام فحدثت بهذا الحديث كله لم أخطئ منه حرفا فاغر ورقت عيناه. ثم قال: صدق سليم قد أتي أبي بعد قتل جدي الحسين عليه السلام وانا قاعد عنده فحدثه بهذا الحديث بعينه، فقال له أبي صدقت قد حدثني أبي وعمي الحسن عليه السلام بهذا الحديث، عن أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام فقالا لك: صدقت قد حدثك بذلك ونحن شهود، ثم حدثاه انهما سمعا ذلك من رسول الله، ثم ذكر الحديث بتمامه

Weak according to who? Is there an consensus on him or are you just pick and choosing rijali opinions and then make an generalization as if Aban was a Liar that fabricated books? The fact that many Muhaditheen relied on the book proves Aban was not seen as a fabricator. Here is an testimony of a Shia about Aban:

Sheikh Al-Mamaqani:
As for Aban ibn Abi Ayyash: “We have given preference to him being a praiseworthy Imami and his narrations as Hasan (Reliable) and Hasan is proof according to the famous opinion. So it became evident that the man (i.e. Sulaym) is praiseworthy and his book is authentic.” [Source: Tanqih Al-Maqaal. Vol. 32, Pg. # 405.]

“Narration #2: I dont know if it is done on purpose but the person has said the source of the narration is Bihar Al Anwar, but when you go to the page, Majlisi mentions that he is quoting this from Kitab Sulaym itself, you cant affirm a books authenticity by what it claims!”

Translation of the narration:

Ma’mar reported that Aban said: “When Ali Ibn Al-Husain (a.) died, i made the pilgrimage and met Abu Ja’far, Muhammad Ibn Ali (a.). i told him all these traditions (Kitab Sulaim) and did not leave out a single letter, whereupon his eyes filled with tears. Then he said: “Sulaim has found himself approved.”[Bihar-ul-Anwar of Al-Majlisi, Volume 36 Page 276 – 277]

عن عبد الرزاق عن معمر بن راشد عن أبان بن أبي عياش رضي الله عنه قال: فلما مضى علي بن الحسين حججت فلقيت أبا جعفر محمد بن علي عليهم السلام فحدثته بهذا الحديث كله (كتاب سليم) لم أترك منه حرفا فاغر ورقت عيناه ثم قال: صدق سليم

It doesnt say that he got it from Kitab Sulaym. Majlisi only states that he has found old version of Kitab Sulaym Ibn Qays and that is it. Nowhere does he say everything he narrated from Aban is from Kitab Sulaym. What this really proves is that, the author Baqir Majlisi, whom Khomeini considered a eminent Faqih, considered this statement to be Saheeh that Kitab sulaym was shown to the Imam (a). Proving that the book was relied on by him and did not doubt the existence of Sulaym.

Narration #3: Once again a secondary source is quoted, perhaps to make it seem like external things affirm the book, but once again when looking up this narration it is taken from Kitab Sulaym itself

Translation of the narration:

Ibn Nadim reported that Imam As-Sadiq (a.) said: “Whoever among our followers and lovers does not have the book of Sulaim Ibn Qais Al-Hilali with him, has nothing of our matter with him and knows nothing of our events. These are the principles for our followers and what is entrusted to the family of Muhammad (a.).” [Jannat-ul-Ma’wa by Kashif Al-Ghita, page 133]

عن ابن النديم عن الإمام الصادق عليه السلام قال: من لم يكن عند من شيعتنا ومحبينا كتاب سليم بن قيس الهلالي فليس عند من أمرنا شيء ولا يعلم من أسبابنا شيئا وهو أبجد الشيعة وهو سر من أسرار آل محمد صلى الله عليه وآله

Al-Majlisi doesnt say that the narration from Sadiq is part of Kitab Sulaim Qays. You will not find any version of Kitab Sulaim where this narration is written. The narration from Imam Sadiq is from Ibn Nadim. This is a lie and this person is not able to understand the easiest things. 

It is so strange why it is so hard for people like you to swallow the fact that Imams (a) made sure that authentic books were transmitted in times of Ghaybah? It is very strange that people like you consider 80 percent or so to be merely a fabrication! How on earth did the Imam (ajf) decide to leave the Shia without attesting to some notable works of their times? Is there any book which you believe is attested by Imam at all? Look how they downgrade the Imam (a) and his justice.

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