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The Hadiths in Imam Tabari's books

Question

I recall hearing from scholars to beware of many of the narrations found in the History (Taareekh) of al-Tabari as many of them are weak.

However, I wanted to ask if he was more stringent in his selection of Hadiths in his Tafseer than in his Taareekh? If so, did he specifically say that he will only use a certain grade of narrations or on the other hand did later scholars say anything about his selection of narrations in his Tafseer?

 

Answer

The Tafsir of Imam Ibn Jarir Tabari (rahimahullah) is considered among the popular sources for Tafsir based on traditions (Tafsir bir Riwayah)

Imam Abu Hamid Al-Isfarayini (rahimahullah) said:

‘If someone had to travel all the way to China for this book, it would be worth his while.

(Safahat min sabril ‘Ulama, pg.294)

I haven’t seen any such distinction made between his 2 books specifically.

However, ‘Allamah Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) has mentioned that Ibn Jarir’s (rahimahullah) Tafsir is among the the more reliable ones.

(Majmu’ Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah, vol.13 pg.385-388)

 

As a general rule, if the author of any book hasn’t undertaken to ensure that all the Hadiths contained therein will be authentic (sahih), then that particular book is prone to have all types of Hadiths; authentic as well as unauthentic.

One commonly encounters weak narrations in the books of history as well as tafsir.

 

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

 

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar