1. Layyin al-Hadith
Al-Daraqutani says that he uses this term
to refer to a narrator who does not become forsaken or matruk
al-hadith (la yakunu saqitan matruk al-hadith) but impugns him
with a defect which does not besmear his probity (majruhun bi
shay’ la yusqitu ‘an al-‘adalah).
Ibn Abi Hatim uses it to mean that his
narratives will be written and used as additional evidence (shawahid
or mutabi‘at) (yuktabu hadithuhu wa yunzaru fihi i‘tibaran).
In the opinion of Nayif, this refers to
the fact that the narrator suffers from a weak memory.
2. Da‘if al-Hadith
This is an incomprehensive (mujmal)
and requires more qualifying attributes to see what it refers
to at different instances.
At times, it refers to a person who is
less in status to a person whose narratives can be adduced
from (duna man yuhtajju bi hadithihi) for example because of
his bad memory; however, he is one whose narratives can be
used as additional evidence (yu‘tabaru bihi).
At times, it refers to a person who is so
weak that his narratives are not worthy of being written (al-majruh
al-shadid al-du‘f la yakadu yuktabu hadithuhu) and at times to
a person who is so weak that his narratives should be forsaken
(alladhi yablughu hadithuhu al-tark).
Al-Sakhawi records that in the opinion of
Yahya ibn Ma‘in this term refers to a person who is not
trustworthy and whose narratives cannot be written (laysa huwa
bi thiqah wa la yuktabu hadithuhu).
3. Matruk al-Hadith
According to ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Mahdi
when Shu‘bah was asked to explain who a person whose
narratives were abandoned (alladhi yutraku hadithuhu) was? His
reply was: a person who is blamed of lying (man yuttahamu bi
al-kadhib), who makes many mistakes (man yukthiru al-ghalat),
who errs in a narrative which is agreed upon by all and still
does not blame himself for this error and remains adamant on
his mistake and a person who narrates from known people what
these known people do not even know (rawa ‘an al-ma‘rufin ma
la ya‘rifuhu al-ma‘rufun).
In the opinion of Ahmad ibn Salih, the
narratives of a person should not be abandoned until all the
authorities agree on his rejection.
Abu Ghuddah says that at times, in the
expression tarakahu fulan the word tark (abandoning of
narratives) is not used as a term; it means that someone
stopped writing from such and such a person.
Ibn Salah says that when authorities say
that someone is matruk al-hadith or dhahib al-hadith or
kadhdhab, then he is someone who is unreliable and whose
narratives cannot be written (fa huwa saqit al-hadith la
4. Munkar al-Hadith
In the opinion of the majority, this term
refers to a da‘if narrator whose narrations contradict the
narrations of thiqah narrators.
In the opinion of Ibn Hajar, Ahmad ibn
Hanbal uses this term to refer to a narrator who narrates a
report which is not narrated by his contemporaries (man yughribu ‘ala aqranihi bi al-hadith).
According to Ibn al-Qattan, al-Bukhari
himself specifies that when he uses this term, he refers to a
person from whom narration is forbidden (la tahillu al-riwayah
says that, at times, this term is used to refer to a thiqah
person who narrates manakir from al-du‘afa’.
also says that many a time this term is used for a narrator
who has narrated just one narrative.
records the opinion of Ibn Daqiq that this attribute refers to
a person who shall be abandoned because of his narratives (wasfun
fi al-rajul yastahiqqu bihi al-tark bi hadithihi).
5. Wahi al-Hadith
When Yahya ibn Sa‘id al-Qattan asked
Sufyan al-Thawri, Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah, Shu‘bah ibn Hajjaj and
Malik ibn Anas about a person who is dubbed Wahi al-Hadith,
their unanimous reply was that he is a person who is not
reliable (laysa huwa thabtan) and that Yahya ibn Sa‘id should
6. Mudtarib al-Hadith
A narrator who reports a narrative in one
way at one time and then he reports the same narrative at
another time in a way that it is conflicting with the first is
called mudtarib al-hadith. Similarly, if two or more narrators
report a narrative in a conflicting way, then they are also
called mudtarib al-hadith. This idtirab (conflict) in
also be found in the isnad which means that a narrative is
reported once in muttasil form and at another time in
form or at one time a narrator is found in a chain of
narration and at another the same narrator is suppressed. At
times, both types of idtirab (ie. in the isnad and in the
are found at the same time in a narrative.
7. Laysa bi al-Qawi
records that if one analyzes the instances in which Abu Hatim
uses this term, he refers to a person who is not that reliable
(lam yablugh darajah al-qawi al-thabt).
Al-Dhahabi goes on to record that
calls numerous narrators by this name and still brings their
narratives in his book. He quotes al-Nasa’i who says that this
title is not a jarh which completely damages a narrator (laysa
bi jarhin mufsidin)
He further records that at times al-Bukhari
uses it for a narrator who is da‘if.
8. Laysa bi Shay’ / Laysa Hadithuhu bi
According to Ibn Hajar, it is a
hyperbolic phrase of disparagement for a narrator.
Al-Shafi‘i uses it for a person who is a liar.
However, according to Ibn al-Qattan al-Fasi, at times, Yahya
ibn Ma‘in uses it for a narrator who has reported very few
says that the person about whom these words are said shall be
researched. If some others have regarded this person to be
trustworthy and he is a person from whom narratives have been
adduced, then the expression laysa bi shay’ would mean that
his narratives have been used as an additional evidence (yuktabu
li al-i‘tibar wa al-istishhad) and not primary. And if he is a
person who is notorious for his du‘f and also none of the
authorities has praised him, then laysa bi shay’ would mean
that his narratives can neither be used as primary evidence
(la yuhtajju bihi) nor as additional evidence (la yu‘tabaru
bihi wa la yustashadu bihi) and such a person will be appended
to the matruk category.
9. Laysa bi Thiqah
In the opinion of Ibn Hajar, as a term,
this expression entails great weakness (fi al-istilah yujibu
10. Laysa bi Dhaka
According to Ibn Nayif, this expression
is used variously.
i. For someone who is less in status than
ii. For someone who is saduq and whose
narratives are categorized as hasan.
iii. For someone whose narratives are
accepted as additional evidence and whose soundness is not
apparent because he has reported few narratives.
iv. For a person who is laysa bi qawi in
his narratives and whose narratives are accepted as additional
evidence and not primary (yu‘tabaru bihi wa la yuhtajju bihi).
v. For a person whose du‘f is known but
he is basically truthful and his narratives are accepted as
11. Laysa bihi Ba’s / La ba’sa bihi
According to ‘Ali ibn Nayif,
this expression is used variously:
i. For a person whose narratives can be
used as primary evidence. Thus Yahya ibn Ma‘in uses it to
refer to someone thiqah.
ii. For a narrator who is saduq. He is
one whose narratives are written, analyzed and if they are
found error-free, then they are used as primary evidence (yuhtajju
iii. For a person about whom an authority
differs from others who have regarded him to be reliable.
iv. For a person whose narratives can
only be used as additional evidence.
v. Al-Daraqutni uses it for a person who
has few narratives to his credit.
12. Sakatu ‘Anhu
Al-Sakhawi records that al-Bukhari uses
this expression on most occasions to refer to a narrator whom
authorities have abandoned (fi man tarakuhu). And that Ibn
Kathir opined this is the worst and lowest status [of a
narrator] in al-Bukhari’s view.
Ibn Abi Hatim says that when a narrator
is regarded to be saduq or mahalluhu al-sidq or
la ba’sa bihi,
then he is one whose narratives shall be written and analyzed.
Ibn Salah ratifies these remarks and says that the reason for
this is that these terms do not depict the sound grasp (dabt)
of a narrator. Thus his narratives shall be analyzed and
judged to ascertain his grasp. Ibn Salah goes on to say that
in the opinion of ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Mahdi a person who is
al-saduq and also has some du‘f, then he is called
14. Yuktabu hadithuhu wa la yuhtajju bihi
This is a term specially used by Abu
Hatim al-Razi. He himself has clarified it in the biographical
note on Ibrahim ibn Muhajir al-Bajli. When his son asked him
about what he meant by la yuhtajju bihim (while referring to
Ibrahim and some others), he replied that these are people who
do not have a sound memory and they narrate what they have not
memorized and then make mistakes and you will see many
discrepancies in their narratives whenever you want.
Abu Ishaq al-Hawayni
is of the opinion that what Abu Hatim means is that the
narrative of such a person will be written as additional
evidence and will not be adduced from if it is alone.