Priority: c, Quality: b

Aban b. Abi Ayyash

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Companion of Imam (a)
Aban b. Abi Ayyash al-Basri al-Tabi'i
Full Name Firuz al-Basri al-Tabi'i
Companion of Imam al-Sajjad (a)Imam al-Baqir (a)Imam al-Sadiq (a)
Teknonym Abu Isma'il
Well Known As Aban b. Abi Ayyash
Death/Martyrdom 138/755
Activities Narrating Book of Sulaym b. Qays

Abān b. Abī ʿAyyāsh (Fīrūz) al-Baṣrī al-Tābiʿī (Arabic:اَبان بن ابی‌عَیاش(فیروز) البصری التابعی) (d. 138/755) known as Abān b. Abī ʿAyyāsh was a hadith scholar in the 2nd/8th century after Bi'that. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi considered him a companion of Imam al-Sajjad (a), Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a). He is mostly famous among Shi'ite Muslims due to narrating from Sulaym b. Qays. He was regarded as a true virtuous and religious man by everyone including Sunni Muslims.

Birth and Demise

His name is Aban b. Abi 'Ayyash or Aban b. Firuz. And his teknonym was Abu Isma'il.[1]

There is not enough information on the time and place of birth of Aban b. Abi Ayyash, it is only said that he was a slave of Abd al-Qays.[2] He passed away about 140/757 or 128/746.[3]

Teachers

Aban b. Abi Ayyash has narrated from famous earlier hadith scholars.

He has mostly narrated from Anas b. Malik, companion and servant of Prophet Muhammad (s).[7]

Narrations from Him

Many hadith scholars in the 2nd/8th century have learned hadiths or narrated hadiths from him.

  • 'Umar b. Hafs
  • Yazid b. 'Amr[8]
  • 'Uthman b. 'Isa
  • Hammad b. 'Isa al-Juhani[9]
  • Ibrahim b. Abi Bakra al-Shami
  • Ibrahim b. Abd al-Hamid b. Dhi Himaya
  • Abu Ishaq Ibrahim b. Muhammad Fazazi
  • Artat b. Mundhir
  • Bakr b. Khunays
  • Al-Harith b. Nabhan
  • Husayn b. Abi Ja'far
  • Hasan b. Salih b. Hay
  • Hafs b. Jumi'
  • Hafs b. 'Umar al-Abar (Judge of Aleppo)
  • Hammad b. Salma
  • Hammad b. Waqid
  • Khalil b. Mura
  • Dawud b. Zabarqan
  • Zayd b. Khirash
  • Salih Murri
  • Tu'ma b. Amr Ja'fari
  • 'Ibad b. 'Ibad Muhlibi
  • Abd al-Rahman b. Thabit Thawban
  • Abd al-Rahim b. Waqid
  • 'Umran Juhada
  • Muhammad b. Fadl b. Atiyya
  • Mu'ammar b. Rashid
  • [Abu Hanifa al-Nu'man b. Thabit]]
  • Yazid b. Harun
  • Abu Asim Ibadani[10]

In the Perspective of Rijal Scholars

Neither Shi'ite nor Sunni rijal scholars regarded Aban b. Abi 'Ayyash thiqa (reliable).[11] However some recent Shi'ite rijal scholars including Mirza Husayn Nuri[12] and 'Abd Allah Mamaqani[13] tried to prove that Ibn Abi 'Ayyash was thiqa which is not accepted. Generally, well-known Sunni hadith scholars considered him unreliable.[14]

Why he was not Thiqa

There is not any decisive evidence to reject the acceptance of Aban b. Abi Ayyash as thiqa (reliable hadith narrator). Mirza Husayn Nuri believed Abi Ayyash was a Shi'ite narrator, his opponents tried to marginalize him,[15] but such statement is not accurate according to Shi'ite rijal books.

Some Sunni rijal scholars did not accept Abi Ayyash as a reliable narrator, as he was weak at memorizing hadiths[16] and had a habit of forgetting the name of narrators and hadiths' content.[17]

Characteristics

Aban b. Abi Ayyash is unanimously accepted as a virtuous and a true believer, especially among Sunnis. According to Ibn Habban, Abi Ayyash was a devoted believer who fasted during the day and worshiped God during the night.[18] He paid attention to his appearance and wore decent and pure clothes. Accordingly, Sufyan b. 'Uyayna narrated that Malik b. Dinar entitled Aban b. Abi Ayyash as "Tawus al-Qarra'" (a magnificently attractive man).[19]

Being a Shi'ite

Aban was Shi'ite without a doubt. Although some reports stated that Aban was not Shi'ite,[20] Al-Shaykh al-Tusi regarded him as companion of Imam al-Sajjad (a), Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a).[21] However he was surprised to figure out that Aban did not narrate any hadith from them; even if he narrated hadiths, they are not mentioned in any Shi'ite hadith books.

Well-known among Shi'ites

Aban b. Abi 'Ayyash is well-known among Shi'ites because of narrating hadiths from Sulaym b. Qays. Sulaym was a companion of Imam 'Ali (a) and lived in the time of Hajjaj b. Yusuf al-Thaqafi (d. 95/714). As Sulaym was a Shi'a, Hajjaj was perusing him but he fled to Fars and Aban provided shelter for him. When Sulaym was on the verge of death he gave Aban a book that included the events that happened after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (s).[22]

After the demise of Aban, the content of this book was narrated by other hadith narrators including Himad b. 'Isa and 'Uthman b. 'Isa.[23]

Features of His Book

As stated by Al-Shaykh al-Tusi, Aban b. Abi Ayyash thought Sulaym b. Qays had read this book to Imam al-Sajjad (a) and he had approved it.[24] But as al-'Allama al-Hilli stated, it should be taken into account that this book was narrated only by Aban b. Abi Ayyash[25] which represents the harsh situation of Shi'ites in Iraq in the time of Hajjaj b. Yusuf; it must be the only original copy of the book. Regardless of the content of the book, it was the first book written by a Shi'a Muslim on Shi'ite thoughts including political thoughts of Shi'ites.[26]

Notes

  1. Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-Islām, vol. 9, p. 55.
  2. Bukhārī, Tārīkh al-ṣaghīr, vol. 2, p. 50.
  3. Ibn Ḥajar, Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, vol. 1, p. 31; Dhahabī, Mīzān al-iʿtidāl, vol. 1, p. 14.
  4. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 2, p. 106.
  5. Ṭūsī, al-Fihrist, p. 162.
  6. Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 2, p. 19.
  7. Ibn ʿUday, al-Kāmil fī al-ḍuʿafā al-rijāl, vol. 1, p. 375.
  8. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 2, p. 106.
  9. Ṭūsī, al-Fihrist, p. 162.
  10. Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 2, p. 20.
  11. Ṭūsī, al-Rijāl, p. 106; Ḥillī, al-Rijāl, p. 99.
  12. Nūrī, Mustadrak al-wasāʾil, vol. 3, p. 32.
  13. Mamaqānī, Tanqīḥ al-maqāl, vol. 1, p. 3.
  14. Nasā'ī, al-Ḍuʿafā wa al-matrukūn, p. 47; Dāraqutnī, al-ḍuʿafā wa al-matrukūn, p. 285; Jūzjānī, Aḥwāl al-rijāl, p. 102; Ibn Ḥajar, Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, vol. 1, p. 98 reported by Ibn Hanbal.
  15. Nūrī, Mustadrak al-wasāʾil, vol. 3, p. 32.
  16. Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 2, p. 22.
  17. Dhahabī, Mīzān al-iʿtidāl, vol. 1, p. 12.
  18. Ibn Ḥibbān, al-Majrūḥīn, vol. 1, p. 96.
  19. Ibn ʿUday, al-Kāmil fī al-ḍuʿafā al-rijāl, vol. 1, p. 374.
  20. Māzandarānī, Sharḥ uṣūl kāfī, vol. 2, p. 163.
  21. Ṭūsī, Rijāl, p. 83, 106, 152.
  22. Ḥillī, al-Rijāl, p. 99.
  23. Ṭūsī, al-Fihrist, p. 162.
  24. Ṭūsī, Ikhtiyār maʿrifat al-rijāl, p. 321.
  25. Ḥillī, al-Rijāl, p. 99.
  26. Ibn al-Nadīm, al-Fihrist, p. 275.

References

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