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Abu l-Jarud

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Abu l-Jarud
Founder of Jarudiyya
Full Name Ziyad b. Mundhir
Teknonym Abu l-Jarud, Abu l-Najm
Well-known As Abu l-Jarud
Religious Affiliation Zaydi
Death/Martyrdom Between 150/767 and 160/777
Known for Companions of Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a)
Works Tafsir Abi l-Jarud‎‎ and Asl

Zīyād b. Mundhir (Arabic: زیاد بن منذر), known as Abu l-Jārūd (ابوالجارود), was a political and religious figure of the first half of the 2nd/8th century and a companion of Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a). He was the founder of the first Zaydi sect, that is, Jarudiyya. Because of his peculiar views and his refusal to be committed to taqiyya (precautionary dissimulation), to which Shi'as were committed in that period, he was rejected by Imam al-Baqir (a).

Name, Teknonym, and Lineage

In most of the sources, he is referred to as Ziyad b. Mundhir. He is also mentioned as "Ziyad b. Abi Ziyad" which is probably a confusion with Yazid b. Abi Ziyad, a well-known muhaddith who significantly contributed to the Uprising of Zayd. A second teknonym, "Abu l-Najm", is also attributed to him in some sources, and he is also referred to as "al-'Abdi" and "al-Thaqafi", the latter of which repeatedly appears in sources of rijal. He is sometimes attributed to the Hamdan tribe, and in particular, to the Kharif branch thereof.

Birth and Lineage

There are scattered data about the Iranian origin of Abu l-Jarud, which should be treated with caution:

  • Sa'd al-Ash'ari referred to him as an "A'jami" (non-Arab). However, he might have confused Abu l-Jarud with a poet called Ziyad al-A'jam (d. c. 100/718).

Given that Abu l-Jarud transmitted hadiths from 'Amir b. Wathila al-Kinani‎ (d. at most 110/728), the latest date for his birth can be the last years of the 1st/7th century, but this is not compatible with a hadith according to which he had a conversation with Imam al-Baqir (a) in which he referred to himself as an old man. However, there are doubts about his being a companion of Imam al-Sajjad (a), especially given that he transmitted hadiths from Imam al-Sajjad (a) through the Imam's (a) son, 'Abd Allah, so it is probable that in the single hadith directly transmitted by him from Imam al-Sajjad (a), 'Abd Allah might have been crossed out from the chain of transmission.

A Companion of Imam al-Baqir (a)

Abu l-Jarud was a companion of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a). The many hadiths he transmitted from the Imam (a) show his close relations with him.

However, the Imam (a) rejected him because of his peculiar views and lack of commitment to taqiyya (precautionary dissimulation) to which Shi'as were committed at the time. It is said that the Imam (a) gave him the title, "Surhub" (the blind devil residing in the seas). However, Ayatollah al-Khu'i strongly dismissed the truth of such a title-giving. According to some hadiths cited in al-Kashshi's Ma'rifat al-rijal, Abu l-Jarud was rejected and reproached by Imam al-Sadiq (a) because of his peculiar views.

Advocacy of Zayd b. 'Ali

Abu l-Jarud's approach to the issue of imamate and his refusal to be committed to taqiyya distanced him from Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a) and led him to tend towards Zayd b. 'Ali. Some of the hadiths he transmitted from Zayd b. 'Ali are remarkable; for example, his transmission of Zayd's sermon before his uprising, his hadiths, and his remarks about jurisprudence and the exegesis of the Qur'an. He also heard hadiths from Yahya b. Zayd.

After Zayd b. 'Ali's uprising (in 122/740), Abu l-Jarud accompanied and supported him, but some reports about his activities during the Uprising of Zayd are not much reliable; for example, the one according to which he and Fudayl b. Zubayr al-Rassan tried to gain the support of Abu Hanifa for the uprising.


On some accounts, he was murdered in the Uprising of Zayd in 122/740. However, there is evidence against this claim, which shows that he was alive until the second half of the 2nd/8th century. One piece of evidence is that people such as Hasan b. Mahbub (alive in 149/766) and 'Abd Allah b. Hammad al-Ansari (alive in 229/843) transmitted hadiths from him. Moreover, people such as Muhammad b. Sanan, Muhammad b. Bakr al-Arhabi, Abu Mikhnaf, and Nasr b. Muzahim heard hadiths from him. According to Ibn Hajar, Abu l-Jarud died between 150/767 and 160/776.

In the View of the Scholars of Rijal

In the view of Sunni scholars of rijal: in Sunni sources of rijal, Abu l-Jarud is strongly reproached and his hadiths are considered to be unreliable.

In the view of Imami scholars of rijal: in Imami sources of rijal, remarks by the Imams (a) are cited in which he was reproached and cursed.

Ibn al-Ghada'iri believes that Abu l-Jarud is more cited in Imami sources of hadiths than in Zaydi ones, but Imamis do not like his hadiths; they mostly rely on hadiths transmitted by Muhammad b. Bakr al-Arhabi from him, rather than the ones transmitted by Muhammad b. Sanan.

On the other hand, some Shi'a scholars, such as al-Shaykh al-Mufid, permit the transmission of his hadiths, considering him as a person from whom hadiths of jurisprudence can be transmitted. Also, Ibn Qulawayh transmitted hadiths from him in his Kamil al-ziyarat and thus permitted the transmission of Abu l-Jarud's hadiths.

Thus, it is not surprising that his hadiths are widely cited in reliable Imami sources, such as al-Kulayni's al-Kafi, Tafsir Furat al-Kufi, and Tafsir 'Ali b. Ibrahim al-Qummi. There are many jurisprudential hadiths transmitted from Abu l-Jarud by Muhammad b. Bakr al-Arhabi which are cited in Ahmad b. 'Isa's al-Amali and other Zaydi sources.


In some sources, two works are attributed to Abu l-Jarud: one of them is a "Principle" ("asl", or a collection of fiqhi hadiths) and the other is an exegesis of the Qur'an which, he claims, is a transmission of hadiths from Imam al-Baqir (a).

  • Parts of his exegesis, which came to be known as the exegesis of Imam al-Baqir (a), are cited in the exegesis attributed to 'Ali b. Ibrahim al-Qummi. It was also cited by people such as Furat al-Kufi and al-'Ayyashi, but Sunni exegetes of the Qur'an have strongly opposed this exegesis. For example, al-Darqutni has strongly reproached a well-known muhaddith, Ibn Shahin, because of his citation of Abu l-Jarud's exegesis in his own exegesis.


Abu l-Jarud believed that the nass (designation) ceased after the demise of Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a), although imamate stayed in the progeny of Fatima (a). He thought that whoever from Fatima's (a) progeny calls people to himself will be an Imam whose obedience is obligatory, and people should consider him as their Imam. Thus, he refused the caliphate of Abu Bakr b. Abi Quhafa and 'Umar b. al-Khattab, holding that they usurped the position of imamate. Like other Zaydis, he believed that because of the multiplicity of the progeny of Fatima (a), it is difficult to identify the superior Imam. Thus, they believed that in order for a progeny of Fatima (a) to qualify as an Imam, he should launch an uprising.

He also believed that when something happens, an Imam acts on the basis of inspiration. It is probable that beliefs attributed to the Jarudiyya sect are indistinguishable from those of Abu l-Jarud himself.