Dawud b. Sulayman al-Ghazi

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Companion of Imam (a)
Dawud b. Sulayman al-Ghazi
Full Name Dāwūd b. Sulaymān al-Ghāzī
Companion of Imam al-Rida (a)
Kunya Abu Ahmad
Epithet al-Ghazi, al-Qazwini
Place(s) of Residence Qazvin
Works Musnad of Imam al-Rida (a)

Dāwūd b. Sulaymān (Arabic: داوود بن سلیمان), known as al-Ghāzī (Arabic: الغازی), was an Imami transmitter of hadith in the 2nd/8th and 3rd/9th centuries, and a companion of Imam al-Rida (a) who met the Imam (a) when he (a) was traveling through Qazvin.

Although early sources of Shiite 'ilm al-rijal (or biography) were silent over his reliability or unreliability, centuries later he was praised by Ibn Dawud al-Hilli. He transmitted hadiths regarding the virtues of Ahl al-Bayt (a), and this is evidence that he was a Shi'a. Because of transmitting such hadiths, he was considered by Sunni scholars as a liar and an unknown transmitter of hadith. He transmitted Musnad of Imam al-Rida (a).

Kunya and Titles

Dawud b. Sulayman was originally from Qazvin and his kunya was Abu Ahmad. He was known as “al-Qazwini”.

In some hadiths he is referred to as “Ghazi” (warrior). It might be because of his presence in some wars. He was also called “Ghazza'” (a person who often goes to wars). According to Husayni Jalali, this title implies his close relationship with the rulers of his time. Other titles attributed to him, such as “Qari” (reader or reciter), “Mughazi”, “Qazzaz” (silk seller), and “Farra'” (sheepskin seller), are distortions of “Ghazi”.

His grandfather’s name was mentioned in different ways. It seems that his name was Yusuf, other alternatives being distortions.

A Companion of Imam al-Rida (a)

Dawud b. Sulayman is considered as a companion of Imam al-Rida (a). Some people believe that he should be distinguished from Dawud b. Sulaym al-Hammar al-Kufi, a companion of Imam al-Sadiq (a), and Dawud b. Sulayman, a close companion of Imam al-Kazim (a) who transmitted the Imam’s (a) explicit remarks about the imamate of Imam al-Rida (a) as his successor. However, Shushtari maintains that the latter two refer to one and the same person who is distinct from Dawud b. Sulayman al-Ghazi. Others have identified Dawud b. Sulayman al-Ghazi with the person who transmitted hadiths from Imam al-Kazim (a). Sayyid Abu l-Qasim al-Khu'i believes that it is impossible to identify him from among other namesakes.


Nothing about Dawud’s reliability or unreliability is found in early sources of Shiite 'ilm al-rijal. In subsequent centuries, however, Ibn Dawud al-Hilli mentioned him in the first part of his book of 'ilm al-rijal which is a list of praised transmitters of hadiths.

Muhammad Baqir al-Bihbahani appeals to a hadith transmitted by Dawud from Imam al-Rida (a) with a chain of narrations leading through his fathers to the Prophet Muhammad (s) as evidence that Dawud was a Sunni Muslim. However, 'Abd Allah al-Mamaqani maintains that the mention of such a chain of narrations up to the Prophet (s) does not necessarily mean that the transmitter is a Sunni Muslim, rather it might be in order to give assurance Sunni Muslims who might hear the hadith.

One piece of evidence for Dawud’s being an Imami Shi'a is a number of hadiths he transmitted from Imam al-Rida (a) concerning the virtues of Ahl al-Bayt (a) and the reproach of their enemies and adversaries. It is apparently because of these hadiths that Sunni scholars of 'ilm al-rijal considered him to be a liar or unknown. Al-Dhahabi held that Dawud b. Sulayman was unreliable because he transmitted hadiths concerning the virtues of the Imams (a).

Hearing Hadiths from Imam al-Rida (a)

According to Rafi'i Qazwini, when Imam al-Rida (a) was traveling through Qazvin, he hid in Dawud b. Sulayman’s house where Dawud heard hadiths from him (a) and collected them in a manuscript. People of Qazvin transmitted the manuscript—sometimes referred to as “Sahifa” or “Musnad”—from Dawud. However, others hold that the Imam (a) lived in a camp on a land owned by Dawud during his temporary residence in Qazvin.

Sunni sources of 'ilm al-rijal also take Dawud to be a transmitter of hadiths from Imam al-Rida (a) who had a manuscript of his hadiths. 'Ali b. Muhammad Mihrawayh al-Qazwini (d. 335/946) is the best-known transmitter of this manuscript—he transmitted it from Dawud b. Sulayman. According to 'Imad al-Din al-Tabari al-Amuli, Ibn Miharwayh heard the manuscript from Dawud in 266/879.

Transmitters of Dawud’s Hadiths

Most of Dawud b. Sulayman’s hadiths are transmitted by 'Ali b. Mihrawayh, and some of them are jointly transmitted by 'Ali b. Mihrawayh and Isma'il b. 'Abd al-Wahhab. In addition to these two transmitters, Qazwini has cited a hadith from Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Talib al-Qazwini from Dawud in his book, al-Tadwin. Moreover, according to chains of narrations within Shiite sources of hadiths, other transmitters seem to have directly transmitted hadiths from Dawud. But it seems that in such chains, Ibn Mihrawayh’s name is left out. One case in point is a hadith transmitted by 'Ali b. Ibrahim al-Qumi from his father, Ibrahim b. Hashim al-Qumi from Dawud.

Manuscripts of the Musnad of Imam al-Rida (a)

There are various manuscripts of the Musnad of Imam al-Rida (a) transmitted by Ibn Mihrawayh from Dawud b. Sulayman, including:

Husayni Jalali in his Musnad al-Rida and Muhammad Barakat in his Mirath-i maktub-i Shi'a have referred to two other manuscripts different from the one cited in Bihar al-anwar.