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What is the Zaydi opinion concerning Abu Hurayra and his narrations?

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For the answer to this question, we turn to an excerpt from the encyclopedic work on Zaydi belief and scholarship called Lawâmi’ al-Anwâr by the late Allama Sayyid Majiddîn al-Mu’ayydi, may Allah have mercy on him:

 

Abu Hurayra ad-Dawsi—There is disagreement concerning his name and even more disagreement concerning his father’s name. There is no one whose name is disagreed upon as much as his.

 

Out of all the Companions, he has narrated the most absolutely. ‘Umar would beat him with his cane. In Imlâ` of Abu Ja’far an-Naqîb, he narrates on the authority of ‘Ali, upon him be peace, who said: “I have not found anyone who would lie more on Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, than this ad-Dawsi!” It is related in the Musnad of Abu Dawuud at-Tayâlasi that A’isha objected to what he would narrate. Ibn Qutayba narrated the same from her. It is reported that both A’isha and Ibn ‘Abbâs would object to his hadîths as deceptive. Al-Bukhâri reported from him a hadîth on the authority of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. He was asked: “Did you hear that from Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny?” He replied: “No. It is from my bag (kîsi).”  

 

Al-Manšur Billah, upon him be peace, described him as heedless. He stayed close to Mu’awiya. He entered Kuufa and word got back to Amîr al-Mu’minîn, upon him be peace. He [i.e. ‘Ali] said to him in front of those present: “O Abu Hurayra, did you not hear Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, say: ((O Allah, be an ally to those who are allies to him. Be an enemy to those who are enemies to him))?” He replied: “Indeed!” [‘Ali] responded: “Bear witness that you have become an ally to His enemy and an enemy to His ally!”

 

It says in Al-Jidâwal: “Much praise is heaped upon him by the defenders (hashawiyya) such as ash-Shawkâni and others. Much is narrated on his authority.”

 

What is related from him: Five of our imams narrated from him, and al-Hâdi ila al-Haqq, upon him be peace, narrated one report from him in Al-Ahkâm. He narrates that report from other than him also. The Majority (al-jamâ’a) narrate from him.

 

Our sheikh, Fakhr al-Islam said in Al-Jidâwal:” One may ask: ‘How is it that the imams relate on his authority and the authorities of those that accuse him?’ Regarding the early imams, they do not narrate anything from him concerning the laws. Regarding the later imams, they only narrate from him in order to prove the school (madhhab) to those opponents that accept him. And Allah knows best!”


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