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Maqbulat 'Umar b. Hanzala

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Maqbūla ʿUmar b. Ḥanẓala (Arabic: مَقبولة عُمَر بن حَنظَلة) is a well-known hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a) appealed to in some crucial issues in fiqh (jurisprudence) and usul al-fiqh, such as the issue of ta'arud al-adilla (conflict between pieces of evidence), wilaya al-faqih, etc. The hadith is transmitted by 'Umar b. Hanzala. He asked Imam al-Sadiq (a) questions about the judicial authority to whom the Shi'as should refer and the way conflicting hadiths should be reconciled or preferred over one another. In books of rijal of the early centuries, there is no comment about the reliability or unreliability of 'Umar b. Hanzala, but Shiite jurisprudents have accepted this hadith because of its content and the occurrence of People of Consensus in its chains of the transmitters, and issued fatwas on its basis. Thus, the hadith came to be known as "maqbula" (accepted). The hadith is cited by al-Kulayni, al-Shaykh al-Saduq, and al-Shaykh al-Tusi in the Four Books.

Authenticity

Maqbula 'Umar b. Hanzala is a well-known hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a). It was cited by al-Kulayni, al-Shaykh al-Saduq, and al-Shyakh al-Tusi in the Four Books. Each of them has transmitted the hadith from 'Umar b. Hanzala from Imam al-Sadiq (a) through his own chain of transmission.

The objection to the reliability of the hadith comes from the immediate transmitter of the hadith, that is, 'Umar b. Hanzala, because primary rijal sources are silent about his reliability. However, some scholars have tried to demonstrate the reliability of 'Umar b. Hanzala on the basis of some pieces of evidence. Moreover, they believe that the hadith is, nonetheless, reliable in general and there are no doubts as to the legitimacy of acting upon it.

Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi writes that the hadith has been transmitted from 'Umar b. Hanzala through different chains from Dawud b. al-Husayn-who is a Waqifi but reliable transmitter of hadiths- there is no comment on 'Umar b. Hanzala's reliability or unreliability, but al-Shahid al-Thani considered him as reliable. The jurisprudents have accepted the hadith because of the correctness of its contents in comparison with other hadiths. It seems that they take its contents to be semantically, although not verbally, mutawatir. Moreover, the hadith has been transmitted through three chains from Safwan b. Yahya, one of the People of Consensus, and all Shiite jurisprudents accept hadiths transmitted by the People of Consensus.

Since the hadith was accepted by the Shiite jurisprudents and fatwas were issued on its basis, it came to be known as "maqbula" (accepted).

Content

The hadith is appealed to in some crucial issues of fiqh and usul al-fiqh, such the conflict between pieces of evidence (particularly, conflicts between hadiths), wilaya al-faqih, etc.

The hadith has two parts:

  1. The first part of 'Umar b. Hanzala's question from Imam al-Sadiq (a) concerns the judicial authority to whom the Shi'as should refer. This part has been appealed to in order to prove wilaya al-faqih.
  2. The second part is concerned with the ways to prefer some of the conflicting hadiths over the others. This part has been very helpful with respect to the issue of conflicting hadiths in fiqh.

Application to the Issue of Wilaya al-Faqih

Many Shiite jurisprudents have appealed to this hadith in their discussions of wilaya al-faqih to show its legitimacy. This is based on the remark by Imam al-Sadiq (a) in this hadith: "I have made him a ruler for you". The remark is said to show that a faqih (jurisprudent) is appointed by the Imam (a) as the ruler of the Shi'as.

Application to the Issue of Conflicting Hadiths

In the second part of the hadith, 'Umar b. Hanzala asked a number of questions about conflicting hadiths, and the Imam (a) elaborated certain principles according to which some of these hadiths should be preferred over others. These principles have later been deployed by jurisprudents in the issues of balancing and preferring conflicting pieces of evidence.

References

The material for this article is mainly taken from مقبوله عمر بن حنظله in Farsi Wikishia.