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

Ya’qoob bin Shaibah (died 262H) was present in the time of Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (d. 241H). The great Imaam adh-Dhahabee (d. 748H, rahimahullaah) stated in Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa about him:

“The great haafidh, al-’Allaamah, ath-thiqah (trustworthy).”


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

Ya’qoob bin Shaibah was from the major companions of Ahmad bin al-Mu’adhdhal and al-Haarith bin Miskeen – was was a leading Faqeeh – but he withheld in the issue of the Qur’aan (by refusing to say, ‘it is not created’).”


Imaam adh-Dhahabee (rahimahullaah) said:

“I say: He took his position of withholding in the Qur’aan 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-Zubairee, Ishaaq bin Abee Israa’eel and a group – so nearly a thousand Imaams opposed them! Rather all the rest of the Imaams of the Salaf as well as the later Imaams upon the issue of them not rejecting that the Qur’aan is created, and their refusal to declare the Jahmiyyah to be unbelievers! We ask Allaah for safety in our Religion.”


Abu Bakr al-Marroodhee (rahimahullaah) said:

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


Al-Khateeb (rahimahullaah)  said:

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


So this is how the Salaf would deal with a person, even if he had knowledge, who stubbornly persisted upon innovations. Shaikh Rabee’ (hafidhahullaah), the Imaam of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel of our age said:

“The Salaf, do you people know their Manhaj? I will give an example of an Imaam from the Imaams of Sunnah: Ya’qoob bin Shaibah, the author of the Musnad, the likes of which has not been authored as Imaam adh-Dhahabee (rahimahullaah) 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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