Topic: Shaykh Rabee' on Narrating on the Authority of an Unnamed Thiqah

fath.ul-majeed    -- 23-09-2007 @ 7:57 PM
QUESTION We understand that accepting the report of a thiqah (trustworthy person) is from the Deen, however how do we know who is thiqah and who is not? Many people are spreading reports on the authority of someone who is thiqah, but they do not reveal who he is, possibly because they really doubt his reliability.

And some people are passing on reports on the internet saying, "Someone who is thiqah told me," but after further investigation, they confess that they really do not know anything about that person except his name or his nickname from the internet. Since they really do not know them, then it appears that they have only narrated on the authority of unknown people.

So please, dear shaykh, advise the youth about this issue, about passing on reports from unknown people, and about being too easy in declaring someone to be thiqah, may Allaah reward you with every good.

ANSWER by Shaykh Rabee' ibn Haadee Al-Madkhalee, well-known scholar and retired professor from the Islaamic University of Al-Madeenah

A thiqah is a sane, adult Muslim, someone who has upright character and is known for precision in what he narrates. One is known as thiqah either: (1) by way of the positive statements of the trustworthy and reliable Muslims who are well known for their fairness, precision, and trustworthiness in the Religion, or (2) by his position being well-known to all the people, that he is a scholar, he is thiqah, etc., just as the positions of the well-known scholars have become known to everyone.

As for other than this, the person who does not fulfill these conditions, he is not a sane, adult Muslim with upright character, or no one has testified to his trustworthiness, or his position is not well known amongst the people, then he is not a thiqah, may Allaah bless you, even if someone says, "A thiqah told me..."

Even if Ash-Shaafi'ee said, "A thiqah told me..." (without naming him) it would not be accepted from him. For example, Ash-Shaafi'ee says, "A thiqah told me..." then, afterwards, may Allaah bless you, it is found that he was narrating from Ibraaheem ibn Yahyaa Al-Aslamee, one of the least deserving of the people to be called a thiqah, since he was criticized about his Deen, his ability to narrate, everything!

We still have a good opinion of Ash-Shaafi'ee, may Allaah have Mercy on him, and the other imaams who said that they were narrating on the authority of a thiqah and it turns out that others knew he was not thiqah.

So it is binding that the people know who the thiqah is when someone says, "A thiqah told me..." even if he said, "An imaam told me..." it will never be accepted from him until he conveys the name of the person, and that the identity of this thiqah becomes known. Then, if he is well known for his fairness and precision, then his report is accepted. And if he is not known for his fairness and precision, then his narration is not to be accepted.

The students of knowledge must know these kinds of affairs, so they can spread knowledge, knowing how to interact with the reports of the people, the reports that come from thiqah narrators, as well as those that come from other than thiqah narrators.


This was translated exclusively for from a cassette recording with the knowledge and permission of the shaykh, file no. AARM008, dated 1423/9/3.

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