Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tafseer Al-'Askaree (AS) is mawDoo' (fabricated)

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Unfortunately, I have noticed that a lot of people on here and various places seem to take out the Tafseer that has been attributed to Imaam Hasan Al-'Askaree. Even so much that Al-Khoei Bookstore is selling the tafseer on their website, here.

What we must know and remember is that this Tafseer is mawDoo’ (fabricated) and da’eef (weak) under the name of Imaam Hasan Al-'Askaree
(عليه السلام)!

Let me mention to you the chain of narrators from whom we've received this Tafseer. This is mentioned in the beginning of the book, Tafseer Al-Imaam Al-'Askaree.

قال محمد بن علي بن محمد بن جعفر بن دقاق
حدثني الشيخان الفقيهان أبو الحسن محمد بن أحمد بن علي بن الحسن بن شاذان و أبو محمد جعفر بن أحمد بن علي القمي (ره) قالا حدثنا الشيخ الفقيه أبو جعفر محمد بن علي بن الحسين بن موسى بن بابويه القمي (ره) قال أخبرنا أبو الحسن محمد بن القاسم المفسر الأسترآباذي الخطيب (ره) قال حدثني أبو يعقوب يوسف بن محمد بن زياد و أبو الحسن علي بن محمد بن سيار

Muhammad bin 'Alee bin Muhammad bin Ja'far bin Daqaaq said: "The two jurisprudent sheikhs Aboo Al-Hasan Muhammad bin Ahmad bin 'Alee bin al-Hasan bin Shaadhaan and Aboo Muhammad Ja’far bin Ahmad bin 'Alee Al-Qummee told me from Aboo Ja'far Muhammad bin 'Alee bin Al-Husayn bin Moosa bin Baabuwayh Al-Qummee told me from Aboo Al-Hasan Muhammad bin Al-Qaassim Al-Mufassir Al-Astr'aabaadhee Al-KhaTeeb (preacher) that Aboo Ya’qoob Yoosuf bin Muhammad bin Ziyaad and Abo Al-Hasan Ali bin Muhammad bin Sayyaar"
1.     Tafseer Al-Imaam Al-'Askaree, pg. 9 (published by Imaam Mahdi Seminary School, Qum, Iran, first edition, published in 1409 AH)

Then a story is narrated how they were in the company of Imaam Hasan Al-'Askaree.
و كانا من الشيعة الإمامية قالا كان أبوانا إماميين، و كانت الزيدية هم الغالبون بأسترآباذ، و كنا في إمارة الحسن بن زيد العلوي الملقب بالداعي إلى الحق إمام الزيدية، و كان‏ كثير الإصغاء إليهم، يقتل الناس بسعاياتهم، فخشينا على أنفسنا، فخرجنا بأهلينا إلى حضرة الإمام أبي محمد الحسن بن علي بن محمد أبي القائم ع
Translation: "Who were from the Shee'ah Imaami, said, ‘Our parents were Twelver Shia. The Zaydees were prevailing in Astr'aabaad. We were under the rule of Al-Hasan bin Zayd Al-'Alawi called as Al-Daa’ee ilal-Haqq. He was the Imam of the Zaydees. He often listened to them (the Zaydees) and killed people according to their slanders. We feared for ourselves , and so we resorted with our families to HaDrah Al-Imam Aboo Muhammad Al-Hasan bin 'Alee bin Muhammad the father of al-Qa’im (Imam al-Mahdi)."

فأنزلنا عيالاتنا في بعض الخانات، ثم استأذنا على الإمام الحسن بن علي ع فلما رآنا قال مرحبا بالآوين
Translation: We asked permission to visit the imam. When he saw us, he said, "Welcome to the two comers...
1.     Tafseer Al-Imaam Al-'Askaree, pg. 9 - 10 (published by Imaam Mahdi Seminary School, Qum, Iran, first edition, published in 1409 AH)

Yes, it is true that Al-Majlisi quotes from this Tafseer all over Bihaar Al-Anwaar, that doesn't mean that he "accepts" it as the Tafseer Attributed to our 11th Imaam.

I respect all of our great scholars, but what we must know about hadeeth is that it is called 'Ilm Al-Hadeeth. Some people have translated it to "Science of Al-Hadeeth". The reason why it is called "Science" is because it is supposed to be unbiased and objective. What this means is, whichever scholars has said something good about this tafseer and whichever scholar has said this is our 11th Imaam tafseer, we must find out for ourselves about this hadeeth.

Let's find out for ourselves about this tafseer.

We must first examine the 2 people who "claim" that they've heard this tafseer directly from our 11th Imaam. Those 2 people are:

قال حدثني أبو يعقوب يوسف بن محمد بن زياد و أبو الحسن علي بن محمد بن سيار
First Person: Yoosuf bin Muhammad bin Ziyaad
Second Person: 'Alee bin Muhammad bin Sayyaar

The first book I looked at was Rijaal Al-Toosi. The reason is, I wanted to see if these 2 men have even been mentioned as one of the companions of our 11th Imaam. Let alone if they are Thiqah (trustworthy) or Da'eef (weak).

1.) Yoosuf ibn Muhammad ibn Ziyaad is nowhere to be found.
1.     Al-Toosi, Rijaal, pg. 403, under the Chapter of "Imaam Abee Muhammad Hasan ibn 'Alee bin Muhammad bin 'Alee Al-RiDaa", under section of "Ya"

2.) 'Alee bin Muhammad bin Sayyaar is also no where to be found.
1.     Al-Toosi, Rijaal, pg. 429 - 435, under the Chapter of "Imaam Abee Muhammad Hasan ibn 'Alee bin Muhammad bin 'Alee Al-RiDaa", under section of 'Ayn

There is mention of these two people in the Rijaal book, but not in a good light.

روى عنه أبو جعفر ابن بابويه ضعيف كذاب روى عنه تفسيرا يرويه عن رجلين مجهولين أحدهما يعرف بيوسف بن محمد بن زياد و الآخر علي بن محمد بن يسار [سيار] عن أبيهما عن أبي الحسن الثالث عليه السلام و التفسير موضوع عن سهل الديباجي عن أبيه بأحاديث من هذه المناكير

Translation: Muhammad bin Al-Qaasim, Al-Mufassir, al-Astarabadi. Aboo Ja`far b. Baabuwayh narrated from him. Weak, and a liar. He narrated a tafseer from him that he narrated from two unknown men: one of them known as Yoosuf bin Muhammad bin Ziyaad, and `Alee bin Muhammad bin Yaasar (mispell: it should be Sayyaar), from their father from Aboo Al-Hasan the Third. The tafseer is fabricated (mawDoo') from Sahl Al-Dibaajee from his father with aHaadeeth from these disgraceful people.
1.     Ibn Al-GhaDaa’iree, Kitaab Al-Du`afaa, pg. 98
2.     Al-Hillee, Al-KhulaaSah, pg. 287

There are some things wrong with what is said by Ibn Al-GhaDaa'iri and 'Allaamah Hilli who quotes from Ibn Al-GhaDaa'iri.

1.)  He says that Yoosuf ibn Muhammad ibn Ziyaad and 'Alee ibn Muhammad ibn Sayyaar narrate from their fathers
         --> this is wrong because as you see from the chain of narrators, they do not narrate from their fathers, they have no "middle man" to get to the Imaam.

2.)  Also he says the tafseer is attributed to Aboo Al-Hasan the third which is our 10th Imaam.
         --> this is wrong because the tafseer is attributed to our 11th Imaam and not our 10th Imaam.

3.)  He also says he got from Sahl Al-Dibaajee
         --> As you can see in the chain of narrators Sahl Al-Dibaajee is not even mentioned.

According to Al-Khoei, he says this about these 2 narrators (Yoosuf ibn Muhammad ibn Ziyaad & 'Alee ibn Muhammad ibn Sayyaar)

Yoosuf ibn Muhammad ibn Ziyaad
أقول: إنه رجل مجهول الحال‏
Translation: I (Al-Khoei) say: “This man's condition is majhool (unknown).”
1.     Al-Khoei, Mu'jam Rijaal Al-Hadeeth, vol. 20, pg. 175, under person # 13809

'Alee ibn Muhammad ibn Sayyaar
أو كلاهما مجهول الحال و لا يعتد برواية أنفسهما عن الإمام ع
Translation: The conditions of both (Yoosuf ibn Muhammad bin Ziyaad & 'Alee ibn Muhammad ibn Sayyaar) these men are unknown and these narrations false attributed to the Imaam (عليه السلام)
1.     Al-Khoei, Mu'jam Rijaal Al-Hadeeth, vol. 12, pg. 147, under person # 8428

Al-Khoei also says:
هذا التفسير لا يشك في أنه موضوع‏
Translation: There is no doubt that this Tafseer is mawDoo’ (fabricated).
1.     Al-Khoei, Mu'jam Rijaal Al-Hadeeth, vol. 12, pg. 147, under person # 8428

As you can see since the main two people who "claim" that they narrate this tafseer directly from our 11th Imaam is "unknown" we cannot take anything from this tafseer. In the science of Hadeeth, when you have just ONE majhool (unknown) narrator whether he be the narrator or the sub-narrator. The hadeeth is automatically deemed as Da'eef (weak).

Now, in this tafseer, the main narrators who directly here it from the 11th Imaam 
(عليه السلام) are majhool (weak). These people are equivalent to Aboo BaSeer & Zurarah to our 5th and 6th Imaam (عليه السلام). So for them to be unknown puts the WHOLE tafseer as weak.

Another way you can tell that this Tafseer is fabricated is, our 11th Imaam was surrounded by policemen and under cover agents of the Abbasid government. Also during the reign of Al-Musta'een our 11th Imaam 
(عليه السلام) was put in prison of 'Alee ibn Awtamish. It is almost impossible for someone to be with our 11th Imaam (عليه السلام) for so long to the point that this Tafseer is about 700 pages long! And for these two people to be considered majhool (unknown) to the Rijaal authors is really weird!
Here are the Caliphs that our 11th Imaam went through
1.      Al-Mutawakkil: He hated shee'ahs extremely, he assumed the role of caliph the same year our 11th Imaam was born (see: Tareekh Al-Khulafaa by Al-Suyootee). He didn't live too long. No praise or kunya coming from him.
2.     Al-Muntasir: This was the ONLY caliph who was good to the Shee'ahs, and he didn't live very long because the Turks killed him. (See: Tareekh Al-Khulafaa, pg. 357 by Al-Suyootee). Also, in the books of history, there is NO mention of our 11th Imaam and Al-Muntasir meeting face-to-face, so that'll put big doubts into this tradition.
3.     Al-Musta'een: He hated our Imaam bitterly, to the point he put our Imaam in prison. No praise or kunya coming from him.
4.     Al-Mu'tazz: He hated the our Imaam (AS) as well. He once tried to assassinate him, but failed. (See: Dalaa-il Imaamah). He was killed by the Turks over money.
5.     Al-Muhtadi: He hated our Imaam (AS) also, he put our 11th Imaam (AS) in prison. (See: Muhaj Al-Da'waat). He was killed by the turks also.
6.     Al-Mu'tamid: Our Imaam (AS) was put into prison ONCE again, but this time at the hands of Al-Mu'tamid. He hated our Imaam (AS). He put undercover agents with the Imaam, and remained under heavy watch. And then he was assassinated by POISON by this caliph.

One of the reasons why he was surrounded by policemen and undercover agents was because they knew that his (AS) son would be the awaiting Al-Mahdee (AS) that has been foretold by the Prophet (SAWAS). Even logically, this tafseer couldn't be true.

Another way you can tell that this Tafseer is not from our 11th Imaam (AS) is because the language and manner that this tafseer is mentioned is not eloquent. If you delve deep into its arabic, you will see it is not as eloquent as it is suppose to be since it is coming from one of our Imaams. There is this famous hadeeth in Al-Kaafi, that I would like to narrate.
مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عِيسَى عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَبِي نَصْرٍ عَنْ جَمِيلِ بْنِ دَرَّاجٍ قَالَ قَالَ أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع أَعْرِبُوا حَدِيثَنَا فَإِنَّا قَوْمٌ فُصَحَاء
Translation: Once, Abu 'Abdullah (Ja'far as-Saadiq) said: "Express our hadeeth (sayings) in a clear manner; (for) we are of the people of eloquence"
1.     Al-Kulayni, Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, ch. 17, pg. 52, hadeeth # 13
1.       Al-Majlisi said this hadeeth is SaHeeH (Authentic)
à Mir'aat Al-'Uqool, vol. 1, pg. 182
2.     Bahboodee said this hadeeth is SaHeeH (Authentic)
à SaHeeH Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, pg. 7

So it is impossible for this to be attributed to one of our Imaams, because the language in which it is written is not eloquent at all.

Scholarly opinion regarding the tafseer:
أن الرواية ضعيفة السند لان التفسير المنسوب إلى العسكري- عليه السلام- لم يثبت بطريق قابل للاعتماد عليه فان في طريقه جملة من المجاهيل كمحمد بن القاسم الأسترآبادي، و يوسف بن محمد بن زياد، و علي بن محمد بن سيار فليلاحظ. هذا إذا أريد بالتفسير المنسوب إلى العسكري- ع- هو الذي ذكره الصدوق «قده» بإسناده عن محمد بن القاسم الأسترآبادي، و الظاهر أنه مجلد واحد كما لا يخفى على من لاحظ التفسير الموجود بأيدينا اليوم
“The narrated is weak in the sanad because the Tafseer that has been attributed to Al-`Askaree wasn't
proven to be as such through a correct way, for there are several majhool narrators like
Muhammad bin Al-Qaasim Al-Astraabaadee, Yoosuf bin Muhammad bin Ziyaad, and 'Alee bin
Muhammad Sayyaar, so one would notice that when Al-Saduq mentions the tafseer through
Mohammed bin Al-Qasim Al-Asterabadi, and it appears to be a volume long which is what one
would observe from the copy that has reached us today”
1.     Al-Khoei, TanqeeH fee SharH Al’Urwah Al-Wuthqaa, vol. 1, pg. 221

أقول: لا بأس بهذا الدليل من حيث الدلالة، و الشواهد الحاليّة تشهد بصحّة هذا الخبر، فلا وقع للإشكال عليه بأنّ سند هذا الخبر غير خال عن الضعف؛ لكونه منقولًا عن التفسير المنسوب إلى العسكري عليه السلام، و لم تثبت النسبة
I say: This evidence isn't all that bad, and there are other elements that point to the authenticity of
this report, so, it isn't a problem that this chain is weak because it is attributed to the Tafseer of Al
Askari, and the attribution (to al-`Askari) is not proven.
1.     RiDaa Al-Sadr, Al-Ijtihaad wa Al-Taqleed, pg. 329

أنّ التفسير المنسوب إلى العسكري (ع) لم يثبت كونه صادرا من حضرته
The Tafseer that is attributed to Al-'Askaree (AS) has not been proved to be issued by the Imaam
(عليه السلام)
1.     Al-Sayfee Al-Maazandaraanee, Daleel TaHreer Al-Waseelah, pg. vol. 5, pg. 249

Al-Hoor Al-‘Aamilee (compiler of Wasaa-il Al-Shee’ah) has discussed this tafseer in depth in his book Al-Fuwaa-id Al-Toosiyyah, in it he shows that this book is mawDoo’ (fabricated) and da’eef (weak). This is the reason why he has not quotes this book in his compilation of Wasaa-il.
1.     Al-Hoor Al-‘Aamilee, Al-Fuwaa-id Al-Toosiyyah, Ch. 42 – Condition of Tafseer Al-‘Askaree, pg. 128 - 130

Agha Mahdee Pooya:
This tafseer as it is in our hands now contains statements like Sayyari’s book should be discredited.There is no doubt that the eleventh Imaam dictated a brief commentary of the Qur’an to some of his disciples who had approached him when he was in Samarrah under house arrest. The dictation undoubtedly was of great value but it was tampered with before its publication. The person accused of this profane act is Ahmad bin Sahl Deebaji.”
1.     Agha Pooya, Essence of the Holy Qur’an, pg. 112

Baaqir Shareef Al-Qarashi:

“Anyhow, it is certain that this tafseer was not Imam Abu Muhammad’s but it was fabricated and ascribed to him.
1.     Baqir Qarashi, Hayaah Al-‘Askaree, pg. 86

I hope this clarifies for people about this Tafseer that has been attributed to our 11th Imaam (عليه السلام) and that it is fabricated. Thank you.


  1. Salaam,
    thanks for sharing - may the blessing of Allah and the pure ones be upon you and your kind once,

  2. Those Who Depended On This Tafsir
    Some of the great ulama of the Twelver Shia depended on this tafsir and believed certainly it was Imam Abu Muhammad’s tafsir. The following are the names of some of those ulama:

    1. Shaikh as-Saduq[1] Man La Yahdhuruhu al-Faqih.

    2. Shaikh at-Tabarsi[2] Al-Ihtijaj.

    3. Al-Muhaqqiq al-Kurki[3] He permitted this tafsir for Safiyuddeen.

    4. The Second Martyr[4] Al-Munyah.

    5. Muhammad Taqiy al-Majlisi[5] Sharh al-Mashyakhah.

    6. Ibn Shahrashub[6] Al-Manaqib.

    7. Al-Muhaqqiq Agha Buzurgh[7] Ath-Tharee’ah, vol.4 p.285.

    These great men did not suspect the ascribing of this tafsir to Imam al-Askari and believed it was really his.

  3. Source:
    1. Baqir Qarashi, Hayaah Al-‘Askaree, pg. 86

  4. And yes Baqir al-Qarashi himself calls this book a fabrication.

    “Anyhow, it is certain that this tafseer was not Imam Abu Muhammad’s but it was fabricated and ascribed to him.”
    --> Baqir Qarashi, Hayaah Al-‘Askaree, pg. 86

    The whole book is narrated through two unknown people, whom none of our Rijaal books have their name mentioned.

  5. you are not reviving a Islam but your are reviving saitan

  6. why brother anwar ali are ayayollah khoi etc ulemas are reviving saitan. we must accept truth unlike our ahl e suuna bro under taqleed.

  7. Salam.
    Few things come in mind after reading your article:

    1) If you say that the Tafseer is Fabricated, then how do you explain the fact that many narrations from the Tafseer are also found in other books?

    2) Secondly if the two major narrators are unknown then how does this make the Tafseer Fabricated? Solid evidence have to be provided to prove that the Tafseer is a fabrication. In case of Majhool narrators maximum what can be said is that the attribution of the Tafseer to Imam Askar (as) is not proven.

    3) The fact that Imam Hasan Askar (as) was in prison for most of His life, makes one belief that it would require unknown people to be able to reach him and then narrate the Hadees. It would be quite difficult (not impossible) for known people to be able to visit the Imam (as) and narrate this Tafseer from him. This could be one aspect of the fact that the major narrators of this Tafseer are unknown.


  8. See the below link for the narrations from Tafseer al-Askari found in other source books

  9. VERY misleading article. You have looked at the authenticity based on the chain of narrators, which is a sunni method of judging the strength of a hadeeth. They look at the chain and if all of the narrators are reliable they deem the hadeeth to be sahih. No matter what the content is, for example if theres a hadeeth which says the prophet said pray 4 times a day and EVERY narrator was reliable they would deem this to be sahih.

    Us shias look at the content of the hadeeth and see if it contradicts the quran, if it doesnt contradict the quran the next stage is seeing if theres any other hadeeth which say something similar. Then we look through history and see if any ulama and groups with a shia majority have been implenmenting the hadeeth.

    Tafseer askari doesnt contradict the quran, there are other hadeeth and tafseer saying similar things and may great ulama and shias all over the world throughout history have been using this book. So its a reliable book and for a shia to see its fabricated you must be crazy!