Aban bin Taghlub
Aba`n bin Taghlub al-Rib'i al-Ku`fi was among the most brilliant Moslem scholars. He was among the most prominent Moslem jurisprudents. We will talk about some of his affairs:
His Birth and his early Life
He was born in Ku`fa, but our books have not mentioned the year of his birth. He grew up in Ku`fa, the capital of the Shi'ites. He was obedient to the members of the house ( ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, and loved them very much.
His Scientific Position
He was among the most prominent and brilliant scholars of his time. He reported traditions on the authority of Ima`m 'Ali b. al-Husayn, Abu` Ja'far, and Abu` 'Abd Allah, peace be on them. He had priority and importance with them. Ima`m Abu` Ja'far said to him: "Sit down in the Mosque of Medina. Give religious opinions to the people. I like to see persons similar to you among my Shi'ites.
Aba`n was the foremost in all techniques of sciences of the Koran, jurisprudence, tradition, literature, language, and grammar.
His Obedience to the ahl al-Bayt
Aba`n was very obedient to the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. He learned their sciences and morals and proclaimed them among the people. That was at the time when the love for them was among the most intense disasters. For the Umayyads spared no effort to punish those who loved the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, and proclaimed their outstanding merits.
However, Aba`n habituated himself to that. So, he suffered persecutions for them. His love for ahl al-Bayt was based on reason and proof, not on sentiments. He thought that the outstanding merits and high positions of the Companions (of the Prophet) were conditional on the obedience to the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. 'Abd al-Rahma`n b. al-Hajja`j reported. He said: "We were at the assembly of Aba`n b. Taghlub. Suddenly, a young man came and said to him:
O Abu` Sa'id, tell me. How many of the Companions of the
Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, followed 'Ali b. Abi Ta`lib?
Aba`n understood the young man's purpose. So, he asked him:
"Do you want to know the outstanding merits of 'Ali through the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who followed?"
"Yes," the young man replied.
Aba`n answered him with the answer of the one who was aware of the right of Ima`m 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He said:
By Allah we have not known their outstanding merits but through obedience to him.
Aba`n passed by some people. The people blamed him, for he reported on the authority of Ima`m Ja'far, peace be on him. So, he mocked at them, saying:
"Why do you blame me for my reporting on the authority of the man whom I asked about every thing , and he said: 'Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said.'?
Aba`n was very pious. He devoted himself to the religion. Al-'Ajali said: "Aba`n was reliable.
Ahmed b. Hanbal, b. Na'im and Abu` Ha`tam regarded him as reliable. The proof for his reliability is that the Ima`ms, peace be on them, praised him. Salim b. Abu` Habba reported. He said: "I was with Abu` 'Abd Allah, peace be on him. Before I saw him off, I had said to him: I want you to supply me." So, he said: "Go to Aba`n b. Taghlub. For he has heard many traditions from me. What he narrates to you, then narrate it on my authority.
Safwa`n b. Yahya`` reported on the authority of Aba`n b. 'Uthma`n on the authority of Abu` 'Abd Allah, peace be on him, who said:
"Aba`n b. Taghlub received thirty thousand traditions on my authority, then report them on my authority.
Aba`n b. Mohammed b. Aba`n reported. He said: [I heard my father say] "My father and I came to Abu` 'Abd Allah, peace be on him. When Abu` 'Abd Allah saw my father, he ordered a cushion to be brought for him. The cushion was brought for him. Then he shook hand with him and embraced him and greeted him.
When Aba`n came to Medina, the people gathered about him, and the praying-place of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, was emptied for him.
Al-Dhahabi said: "Aba`n was a steadfast Shi'ite. However, he was truthful. His truthfulness is for us. His heresy is for him.4 Some people defamed him for his love for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. Al-Jawza`ni said: "Aba`n was deviated (from the truth). His doctrine was dispraised.
Such a group of people regarded the love for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, as deviation from the truth. Without doubt, the love for the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, is part of Islam. Whoever denies them denies Islam. Whoever loves them believes in Islam.
As for his books, they show his wide knowledge and sciences. The following are some of them:
1. Tafsir Gharib al-Qur'an. He mentioned some examples from poetry concerning it. Then 'Abd al-Rahma`n b. Mohammed al-Azdi al-Ku`fi gathered in one book the book of Aba`n, of Mohammed b. al-Sa`iyib al-Kalbi, and of b. Rawa`q b. 'Atiya b. al-Harth.
3. Al-Usool fi al-Ruwaiya 'ala` Madhhab al-Shi'a.
Aba`n died in the year 264 A.H. This is a mistake. For he died in the year 141 A.H. When Ima`m al-Sa`diq, peace be on him, heard of his death, he became very sad. He praised him, saying: "By Allah, the death of Aba`n b. Taghlub has hurt my heart.Abu` al-Bila`d said: "The death of Aba`n was a disaster for all Shi'ites everywhere.
Indeed Aba`n was the most knowledgeable of the Moslem main figures in the religion. So, his death was among the heaviest disasters that hit Islam.
2. Mu'jam Rijal al-Hadith
3. Tanqih al-Maqal
4. Ibn al-Nadim, Fihrist
5. Al-Tusi, Fihrist