Al-Husayn b. al-Hakam al-Hibari

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Al-Husayn b. al-Hakam al-Hibari
Personal Information
Full NameAl-Husayn b. al-Hakam b. Muslim al-Hibari
TeknonymAbu 'Abd Allah
Epithetal-Hibari, al-Washsha
Religious Affiliationprobably Zaydiyya
Scholarly Information

Al-Ḥusayn b. al-Ḥakam al-Ḥibarī (Arabic: الحسین بن الحکم الحبري; d. 281/894-5) was a muhaddith (hadith transmitter) and an exegete of the Quran in the 3rd/9th century. Al-Hibari wrote two books entitled Musnad and al-Tafsir, and the latter is available today. Tafsir al-Hibari, which is also referred to as "Ma nazal min al-Qur'an fi Ali b. Abi Talib (a)" (Arabic: ما نَزَلَ مِن‌َ القُرْآن فی عَلی‌ّ بْن اَبی‌‌طالب علیه‌السلام) is a collection of scattered hadiths regarding Quranic verses which were revealed about the virtues of 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) and Ahl al-Bayt (a).

Name and the Year of Death

Al-Hibari is attributed to "Hibara" which is a type of cloth. "Washsha'" (the seller of silk clothes) is another title of al-Hibari with which he came to be known among Zaydi scholars. Scholars of biographies and rijal (biographical evaluation) have generally mentioned his first name as "Husayn", but some of them mentioned him as “Hasan” which does not seem to be accurate. According to al-Dhahabi, al-Hibari died in 281/894-5.


Some Shiite scholars maintain that al-Hibari was a Sunni scholar, but Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin has mentioned him as a Shiite scholar. However, it seems that he was a Zaydi Shi'a, since Zaydi scholars have mentioned him in their biographical sources and many of them have transmitted his hadiths. Such a tendency is evident from his Musnad. Moreover, some Zaydi scholars have explicitly said that al-Hibari was Zaydi.

Significance in Hadith

According to Sunni Scholars

Sunni scholars of rijal and hadith agree that al-Hibari was reliable, as Darqutni and al-Hakim al-Nishaburi have transmitted many of his hadiths. Despite his caution with respect to the reliability of the transmitters of hadiths, al-Dhahabi took al-Hibari’s hadiths to be reliable, although he took the hadiths transmitted by Hasan b. Husayn al-'Urani al-Kufi, one of al-Hibari’s masters, to be unreliable.

According to Imamiyya

Imami scholars of rijal have hardly mentioned al-Hibari in their books. Even al-Shaykh al-Tusi did not mention al-Hibari among people who have transmitted the hadiths of Imam al-Jawad (a), despite the fact that he cited a hadith by al-Hibari from Imam al-Jawad (a). This might be because al-Hibari has transmitted his hadiths through non-Imami chains of transmitters. However, Imami scholars do not take al-Hibari’s hadiths to be unreliable. Even Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi has taken the hadith transmitted by al-Hibari from Imam al-Jawad (a) to be reliable.

Masters and narrators

Some of al-Hibari's Masters (whom he has narrated hadith form):

  1. Imam al-Jawad (a)
  2. Abu Ishaq Ibrahim b. Ishaq al-Sini al-Kufi.
  3. Isma'il b. Abban al-Warraq al-Azdi al-Kufi.
  4. Hasan b. Husayn al-'Urani al-Ansari, who was from Zaydi Masters.
  5. Mukhawwal b. Ibrahim al-Nahdi
  6. Husayn b. Nasr b. Muzahim al-Minqari

Some of al-Hibari's dominant narrators (who have narrated from al-Hibari):

  1. Abu Ishaq Ibrahim b. Sulayman al-Khazzaz al-Kufi
  2. Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Sa'id, known as Ibn 'Uqda
  3. Furat b. Ibrahim b. Furat al-Kufi, the author of Tafsir Furat al-Kufi
  4. Abu al-Hasan Ali b. Muhammad b. 'Ubaid Hafiz, known as Ibn al-Kufi, who has narrated al-Hibari's Tafsir.


Al-Hibari wrote two books entitled Musnad and al-Tafsir, but only the latter has survived.


Ibn Shahrashub has attributed Musnad to Hasan b. Hasan al-Hakam which seems inaccurate. Recently, a researcher has exctracted and organized al-Hibari’s Musnad from Sunni and Shiite—both Zaydi and Imami—sources of hadith. The book consists of 61 hadiths mostly concerned with the virtues of Amir al-Mu'minin (a). Some of the hadiths are concerned with the rulings of sharia or exegeses of the Quran.


Tafsir al-Hibari, also known as Ma nazal min al-Qur'an fi Ahl al-Bayt 'alayhim al-salam or Ma nazal min al-Qur'an fi 'Ali b. Abi Talib 'alyh al-salam, is a collection of 71 hadiths, usually concerned with the interpretation of Quranic verses which were revealed about the virtues of 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) and Ahl al-Bayt (a).

The Significance of Tafsir al-Hibari

From the beginning, al-Hibari's exegesis of the Quran was cited by many exegetes of the Quran and scholars of hadiths. People such as Abu l-Qasim al-Haskani in his Shawahid al-tanzil and Furat al-Kufi in his Tafsir cited his Tafsir and its hadiths.

The transmitter of this Tafsir is Abu 'Ubayd Allah Muhammad b. 'Umran al-Marzbani (d. 384/994-5) through 'Ali b. Muhammad b. 'Ubayd al-Hafiz. Al-Marzbani himself wrote a book entitled Ma nazal min al-Qur'an fi Amir al-Mu'minin 'Ali b. Abi Talib. It is speculated that Tafisr of al-Hibari is the Tafsir of al-Marzbani. However, according to some evidence this does not seem accurate, because, among other things, Tafsir al-Hibari is also transmitted by people other than al-Marzbani.


There are two manuscripts of Tafsir al-Hibari both of which are written from a unique manuscript kept in the treasury of Mustansariyya in Baghdad with the hand-writing of 'Ali b. Hilal, known as ibn Bawwab. The book has been published twice:

  • Under Ma nazal min al-Qur'an fi Ahl al-Bayt 'alayhim al-salam, Qom, 1395/1975-6.
  • Under Tafsir al-Hibari published by Mu'assisa Al al-Bayt li Ihya' al-Turath, Beirut, 1408/1987-8. It contains a preface written by Muhammad Rida Husayni Jalali concerning al-Hibari and his book.