Shaikh Rabee’ Al-Madkhali: Ya’qūb b. Shaybah (d. 262H) Was A Great Scholar, Then He Innovated And Fell

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Ya’qūb bin Shaybah (died 262H) was present in the time of Imām Ahmad bin Hanbal (d. 241H). The Imām adh-Dhahabi (d. 748H, rahimahullāh) stated in Siyar A’lām an-Nubalā about him:

“He was the great Hāfidh, the ’Allāmah, the Thiqah (trustworthy).”

Then he goes on to say that he had authored a huge Musnad in hadeeth spanning 30 volumes. Ahmad bin Kāmil al-Qādi said:

Ya’qūb bin Shaybah was from the major companions of Ahmad bin al-Mu’adhdhal and al-Hārith bin Miskeen – was was a leading Faqeeh – but he withheld in the issue of the Qur’ān [by refusing to say, ‘it is not created’].”

Adh-Dhahabi (rahimahullāh) said:

“I say: He (Ya’qūb) took his position of withholding in the Qur’ān from his shaikh, the well-known Ahmad previously mentioned (i.e. bin al-Mu’adhdhal) – and likewise those who also withheld were Mus’ab az-Zubairi, Ishāq bin Abī Isrā’eel and a group of them – so nearly a thousand Imāms opposed them! Rather all the rest of the Imāms of the Salaf as well as the later Imāms, upon the issue of them not rejecting that the Qur’an is created, and their refusal to declare the Jahmiyyah to be unbelievers! We ask Allaah for safety in our Religion.”

Abu Bakr al-Marroodhi (rahimahullāh) said:

 “Ya’qūb bin Shaybah made apparent his withholding in Baghdad – so Abu Abdillāh (Ahmad bin Hanbal) warned against him. And when [the Khaleefah] al-Mutawakkil commanded Abdur-Rahmān bin Yahyah bin Khāqān to ask Ahmad bin Hanbal regarding who should be appointed to be judges, Abdur-Rahmān said: I asked Ahmad [bin Hanbal] regarding Ya’qūb bin Shaybah, so he said: ‘He is an innovator, a person of desires!’”

Al-Khateeb (rahimahullāh)  said:

“He described him as such due to him withholding.”

So this is how the Salaf would deal with such a person, even if he had knowledge, who stubbornly persisted upon opposition to the Truth. Shaikh Rabee’ (hafidhahullāh) said:

“The Salaf, do you people know their Manhaj? I will give an example of an Imaam from the Imams of Sunnah: Ya’qūb bin Shaybah, the author of the Musnad, the likes of which has not been authored as Imam Adh-Dhahabi (rahimahullah) and others have born witness to. But this man fell into bid’ah, and because of that he amounts to nothing with us.

(Audio title: Guidelines to the Students in the Department of Hadeeth, Q&A Section).

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