Good article since 27 June 2018
Without priority, Quality: b


From WikiShia
Revision as of 13:56, 26 March 2020 by Mohammad.Kh (talk | contribs) (irrelevant navboxes removed)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Thiqa (Arabic: الثِقَة, trustworthy) is a term in the science of rijal referring to a reliable transmitter of hadiths. some scholars of rijal take it to refer to an Imami transmitter of hadiths who is righteous and accurate. The notion is important in the distinction between reliable and unreliable transmitters, in order to discriminate between genuine and fabricated hadiths.

To show the reliability of a transmitter, scholars of rijal appeal to evidence such as explicit endorsements by one of the Infallibles (a), an endorsement by an early or a late scholar of rijal, and the like. The endorsement of reliability, or "tawthiq", is of two types: general and specific.

Different terms and phrases have been used in books of rijal to refer to the reliability of a transmitter of hadiths.


The term, "thiqa," is a widely used term in sources of rijal in reference to some transmitters of hadiths to express their reliability.[1] According to Arabic philologists, "thiqa" is a gerund for the verb, "wathiqa" وَثِقَ, which means to trust[2] or to be trusted and relied on.[3] Some contemporary scholars appeal to numerous pieces of evidence to show that the majority of scholars of hadiths and rijal used the term in its literal meaning, and so it has no terminological meaning. However,[4] other scholars believe that in the terminology of the Shiite rijal, "thiqa" refers to an Imami transmitter of hadiths who is truthful and accurate.[5]

There are yet other scholars who take "withaqa" (Arabic: وثاقت) in rijal to involve general conditions, such as Islam, maturity, sanity, righteousness, faith, and the like, where "thiqa" refers to truthful and reliable transmitters of hadiths who have sufficient knowledge of hadiths.[6] Some people take "withaqa" to be beyond truthfulness; on this view, a transmitter of hadiths is reliable when he or she satisfies further conditions such as truthfulness, accuracy, knowledge of taqiyya (precautionary dissimulation), awareness of Shiite secrets, religious affiliation, and the like.[7]


The term, "thiqa", was used by some Infallible Imams (a) with regard to some transmitters of hadiths.[8] There are many cases in which the Imams (a) introduced reliable transmitters.[9] Given these hadiths, "thiqa" is taken to mean a trusted carrier of the knowledge of Ahl al-Bayt (a).[10] In a tawqi' (letter) by Imam al-Mahdi (a), "thiqa" refers to people who carry the secrets of the Imams (a), and their words are said to be as reliable as the words of Imam al-Mahdi (a) himself.[11] The term, "thiqa", was used by scholars of hadiths contemporary with the Imams (a) as well. It was used 35 times in Rijal al-Kashshi, 248 times in Rijal al-Tusi, and 533 times in Rijal al-Najashi to characterize reliable transmitters of hadiths.[12] Cognates of the term, such as "thiqāt" (ثقات, plural of thiqa) and "thiqati" (ثقتی), are also widely used in early sources of rijal.[13]


In some sources, there is an explicit reference to the fabrication of hadiths by people such as Abu Hurayra, particularly at the request of unjust rulers. Thus, it has been important to find ways of knowing the reliability of the transmitters of hadiths in order to be able to discriminate reliable from unreliable people.[14] Thus, scholars of rijal propounded methods for the discrimination of reliable transmitters of hadiths from unreliable ones.

Al-Wahid al-Bihbahani, a prominent Shiite jurist and usuli, has proposed 39 ways to demonstrate the reliability of a transmitter of hadiths,[15] including the reliability being explicitly endorsed by an Infallible (a), by an early scholar of rijal, or by later scholars of rijal, and gathering evidence such as consensus over a person's reliability, the person being a deputy of an Imam (a), the person's hadiths being transmitted by a reliable transmitter of hadiths, the person being a master of the permission for the transmission of hadiths, the frequency of the person's hadiths, being one of the masters of al-Shaykh al-Saduq, and so on.[16]

Types of the Endorsement

There are two types of the endorsement of a person's reliability in the transmission of hadiths.

Specific Endorsement

A specific endorsement of reliability is when a particular transmitter of hadiths is explicitly endorsed for his or her reliability.[17] Many transmitters of hadiths have been specifically endorsed for their reliability in sources of rijal by scholars[18] such as al-Shaykh al-Tusi and al-Najashi.[19] al-'Allama al-Hilli subscribes to different principles in his endorsement or rejection of people's reliability in the transmission of hadiths, including a principle according to which a non-Imami transmitter of hadiths can be relied on if he is specifically endorsed for his reliability.[20]

General Endorsement

A general endorsement of reliability is when a certain group of people is endorsed as being reliable in the transmission of hadiths under certain rules.[21] Scholars of rijal disagree over the rules governing general endorsements of reliability.

There are many cases of general endorsements of reliability, including the general endorsement of the reliability of all transmitters of hadiths in Tafsir al-Qummi, or the transmitters of hadiths in Kamil al-ziyarat, as well as all masters of hadiths mentioned in al-Najashi's book, or the endorsement of the reliability of every hadith in the chains of the transmission of which Banu Faddal occur, or every transmitter whose hadiths are transmitted by any of the three masters of hadiths: Muhammad b. Abi 'Umayr, Safwan b. Yahya, and al-Bazanti.[22] The general endorsement of reliability is not restricted to these cases. Other cases include the reliability of people from whom the People of Consensus transmitted hadiths, or the reliability of all deputies of the Imams (a), or the reliability of the companions of Imam al-Sadiq (a), or people who allegedly transmit hadiths only from reliable people, such as Muhammad b. Abi 'Umayr.[23]

Reliability-Indicating Terms

There are terms in books of rijal indicating the reliability of a transmitter of hadiths, as there are terms indicating the unreliability of a transmitter.[24] Some people have classified reliability-indicating terms into different categories. For instance, terms indicating a ranking beyond reliability mostly used for prominent Shiite figures, such as the terms:

  • "Kabir al-sha'n" (of great prestige),
  • "Jalil al-qadr" (of high position),
  • "'Azim al-manzila" (of great ranking),
  • "Awthaq al-nas 'ind al-khassa" (the most reliable person in the view of confidants),
  • "Fadluh ashhar min 'an yusaf" (his virtue is too great to be described), and so on.[25]

There are other terms that emphasize the person's reliability, such as:

  • "Thiqa thiqa" (reliable reliable),
  • "Thiqa 'ayn saduq" (reliable, nobleman, and truthful),
  • "Thiqa mu'tamad 'alayh" (reliable and trusted), and so on.

There are terms that simply denote a person's reliability, such as:

  • "Thiqa", "'adl" (just),
  • "Saduq" (truthful),
  • "Sahih al-hadith" (with accurate hadiths),
  • "Ma'mun" (trusted), and so on.[26]

At another level, there are terms that only denote the goodness of a transmitter of hadiths without denoting his reliability, although they can lead to the acceptability or reliability of the hadith's chain of transmitters. Such terms include:

  • "Khayr" (good),
  • "Salih" (righteous),
  • "Salih al-hadith" (with right hadiths),
  • "Hasan" (good),
  • "Mu'tamad 'alayh" (relied on),
  • "Min khawass al-imam" (a confidant of the Imam), and so on.[27]

On the contrary, there are terms indicating the unreliability of a transmitter of hadiths (hence, the unreliability of the hadiths). Such terms denote a person's weakness in knowing hadiths, his wrong religious tendencies, or problems in his character or behaviors.[28]

See Also


  1. Marʿī, Muntahā l-maqāl fī l-dirāyat wa l-rijāl, p. 83-92.
  2. Fīrūzābādī, al-Qāmūs al-muḥīṭ vol. 3, p. 390.
  3. Dihkhudā, Lughatnāma, Under the word «ثقه»
  4. Ghulāmʿalī, Sanad shināsī, p. 263.
  5. Ibn al-Ghaḍāʾirī, al-Rijāl, p. 23.
  6. Marʿī, Muntahā l-maqāl fī l-dirāyat wa l-rijāl, p. 83-92; Muḥsinī, Buḥūth fī ʿilm al-rijāl, p. 187.
  7. Ghulāmʿalī, Sanad shināsī, p. 263.
  8. Najāshī, Rijāl al-Najāshī, vol. 1, p. 192, 490.
  9. Ṣarāmī, Mabānī-yi ḥujjīyat-i ārā-yi rijālī, p. 36.
  10. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 126; Ṭūsī, al-Ghayba, p. 360.
  11. Kashshī, Rijāl, p. 536; Ṣadūq, Kamāl al-dīn, p. 483.
  12. Ghulāmʿalī, Sanad shināsī, p. 263.
  13. Ghulāmʿalī, Sanad shināsī, p. 263.
  14. Rabbānī, Sabk shināsī-yi dānish-i rijāl-i ḥadīth, p. 177.
  15. Īrawānī, Durūs tamhīdīyya fī l-qawāʿid al-rijālīyya, p. 109.
  16. Rabbānī, Sabk shināsī-yi dānish-i rijāl-i ḥadīth, p. 180-188; Īrawānī, Durūs tamhīdīyya fī l-qawāʿid al-rijālīyya, p. 109-168.
  17. Īrawānī, Durūs tamhīdīyya fī l-qawāʿid al-rijālīyya, p. 33.
  18. Ghulāmʿalī, Sanad shināsī, p. 266.
  19. Īrawānī, Durūs tamhīdīyya fī l-qawāʿid al-rijālīyya, p. 33.
  20. Raḥmān Sitāyish, Āshnāyī bā kutub-i rijāl-i shīʿa, p. 156.
  21. Īrawānī, Durūs tamhīdīyya fī l-qawāʿid al-rijālīyya, p. 33, 171.
  22. Īrawānī, Durūs tamhīdīyya fī l-qawāʿid al-rijālīyya, p. 33-38.
  23. Ghulāmʿalī, Sanad shināsī, p. 266.
  24. See: Marʿī, Muntahā l-maqāl fī l-dirāyat wa l-rijāl, p. 93-105.
  25. Ghulāmʿalī, Sanad shināsī, p. 268-270.
  26. Ghulāmʿalī, Sanad shināsī, p. 270-27.
  27. Ghulāmʿalī, Sanad shināsī, p. 272-273.
  28. Ghulāmʿalī, Sanad shināsī, p. 276-278.


  • Dihkhudā, ʿAlī Akbar. Lughatnāma. Tehran: Dānishgāh-i Tehran, 1377 Sh.
  • Fīrūzābādī. Al-Qāmūs al-muḥīṭ. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, [n.d].
  • Ghulāmʿalī, Mahdī. Sanad shināsī rijāl kārburdī bā shīwa-yi barrasī-yi asnād-i riwāyat. Qom: Dār al-Ḥadīth, 1395 Sh.
  • Ibn al-Ghaḍāʾirī, Aḥmad b. Ḥusayn. Al-Rijāl. Edited by Muḥammad Riḍā Ḥusaynī Jalālī. Qom: Dār al-Ḥadīth, 1422 AH.
  • Īrawānī, Muḥammad Bāqir. Durūs tamhīdīyya fī l-qawāʿid al-rijālīyya. Qom: Intishārāt Madyan, 1431 AH.
  • Kashshī, Muḥammad b. ʿUmar al-. Rijāl. Mashhad: Muʾassisa-yi Dānishgāh-i Mashhad, 1409 AH.
  • Kulaynī, Muḥammad b. Yaʿqūb al-. Al-Kāfī. Qom: Dār al-Ḥadīth, 1429 AH.
  • Marʿī, Ḥusayn ʿAbd Allāh. Muntahā l-maqāl fī l-dirāyat wa l-rijāl. Beirut: al-ʿUrwa al-Wuthqā, 1417 AH.
  • Muḥsinī, Muḥammad ʿĀṣif. Buḥūth fī ʿilm al-rijāl. Qom: Jāmiʿat al-Muṣṭafā al-ʿĀlamī, 1432 AH.
  • Najāshī, Aḥmad b. ʿAlī. Rijāl al-Najāshī. Qom: Muʾassisat al-Nashr al-Islāmī, 1365 Sh.
  • Rabbānī, Muḥammad Ḥasan. Sabk shināsī-yi dānish-i rijāl-i ḥadīth. Qom: Markaz-i Fiqhī-yi Aʾimma-yi Aṭhār, 1385 Sh.
  • Raḥmān Sitāyish, Muḥammad Kāẓim. Āshnāyī bā kutub-i rijāl-i shīʿa. Tehran: Samt, 1385 Sh.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Kamāl al-dīn wa tamām al-niʿma. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ghaffārī. Tehran: Islāmīyya, 1395 AH.
  • Ṣarāmī, Sayf Allāh. Mabānī-yi ḥujjīyat-i ārā-yi rijālī. Qom: Dār al-Ḥadīth, 1391 Sh.
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Al-Ghayba. Qom: Dār al-Maʿārif al-Islāmīyya, 1411 AH.