Thulathiyat of Ibn Majah

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami

Thulathi (pl. thulathiyat) is a hadith where there are only three narrators between the author and the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the sanad. A thulathi is the shortest chains available in the kutub sittah.

Sanads with shorter chains (‘ali) are favoured over those that have longer chains (nazil). The reason being, a shorter chain is easier to analyse and has a lower margin of error as opposed to  a sanad that has more people in the chain. However, it should be noted that a short sanad does not guarantee that the hadith is reliable.

There are five thulathiyat in Sunan Ibn Majah. These are as follows:

حدّثنا جبارة بن المغلّس، حدّثنا كثير بن سليمٍ، قال: سمعت أنس بن مالكٍ، يقول: قال رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم : من أحبّ أن يكثر الله خير بيته، فليتوضّأ إذا حضر غداؤه، وإذا رفع – رواه ابن ماجة (3620) باب الوضوء عند الطعام

حدّثنا جبارة بن المغلّس، حدّثنا كثير بن سليمٍ عن أنس بن مالكٍ، قال: ما رفع من بين يدي رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم فضل شواءٍ قطّ، ولا حملت معه طنفسةٌ – رواه ابن ماجة (3110) باب الشواء

حدّثنا جبارة بن المغلّس، حدّثنا كثير بن سليمٍ عن أنس بن مالكٍ، قال: قال رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم : الخير أسرع إلى البيت الّذي يغشى من الشّفرة إلى سنام البعير – رواه ابن ماجة (3356) باب الضيافة

حدّثنا جبارة بن المغلّس، حدّثنا كثير بن سليمٍ سمعت أنس بن مالكٍ يقول: قال رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم : ما مررت ليلة أسري بي بملإٍ إلّا قالوا: يا محمّد، مر أمّتك بالحجامة  – رواه ابن ماجة (3479) باب الحجامة

حدّثنا جبارة بن المغلّس، حدّثنا كثير بن سليمٍ عن أنس بن مالكٍ، قال: قال رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم : إنّ هذه الأمّة مرحومةٌ، عذابها بأيديها، فإذا كان يوم القيامة دفع إلى كلّ رجلٍ من المسلمين رجلٌ من المشركين، فيقال: هذا فداؤك من النّار  – رواه ابن ماجة (4292) باب صفة أمة محمد صلي الله عليه وسلم

In all of these narrations the sanad is the same which is from Jubarah b. Mughallith who narrates from Kathir b. Sulaym who in turn narrates from Anas b. Malik (may Allah almighty be  pleased upon him) who says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said …

The above mentioned sanad is da’if due to Kathir b. Sulaym who is generally criticised (cf Tahzib al-Kamal) particularly when he quotes Hadrat Anas b. Malik (may Allah almighty be pleased with him). Hafidh Ibn Hajar Asqalani declares him da’if, Imam Bukhari calls him munkar whilst Imam Nasa’i classed him to be matruk.

Jubarah b. Mughallith is a mutakallam fih narrator. Ibn Numayr says that he is ‘honest’ and Imam Abu Dawud Sajistani says he is ‘a pious man’. In contrast, Imam Zahabi et al. simply call him weak. The weakness does not arise from the lack of piety. Abu Zur’a states, ‘I do not see him as a person who would lie rather he was presented with fabricated hadith and he in turn forwarded it; I do not think he intended to lie.’ Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal said, ‘Some of his hadith are fabricated.’ Hafidh Ibn Hajar Asqalani clarifies that he reported the fabricated collection of Kathir b. Sulaym. Yahya b.Mu’in calls him a liar which is a bit harsh whilst Imam Bukhari is more reserved and declares his hadith Mudhtarab as in its authenticity are hit and miss. Considering this it is understandable why Usman b. Abi Shaybah and Maslamah consider him reliable.

In summary, Jubarah b. Mughallith is a good person and can be reliable person, however, his hadith cannot be accepted outright rather  one should check from whom he narrates. If it is from Kathir b. Sulaym and the like, reject it whilst if it is a reliable narrator his narration may be accepted (cf Tahzib al-Kamal).

 

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Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
24 Rabi I 1437 AH
4 January 2016 CE