Extent of accuracy of Ibn As-Sakan's Saheeh
Fatwa No: 314299

  • Fatwa Date:25-2-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 17, 1437
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Question

Who is Al-Hafiz Sa'id ibn Uthman ibn As-Sakan, and what is the status of his Sahih in light of other authentic works like those of Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibban, Al-Hakim and Abu Awanah? Are his authentications accepted independently or is he in need of support?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Ath-Thahabi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

"The Imaam and Haafith of high quality Abu ʻAli Saʻeed ibn ʻUthmaan ibn Saʻeed, ibn As-Sakan Al-Masri Al-Bazzaaz, who was of Baghdadi origin. He settled in Egypt after extensive traveling across the lands between the two rivers: the Amu Darya and the Nile. He was born in 294 AH. In Baghdad, he studied at the hands of Abu Al-Qaasim Al-Baghawi, Ibn Abi Daawood, and other scholars in their tabaqah (rank or class of reporters of hadeeth) ... He compiled musannafaat (hadeeth collections defined by their arrangement of content according to topic). He criticized and evaluated hadeeth narrators and classified ahaadeeth as authentic and defective ... Ibn Hazm used to praise his book (Saheeh Ibn As-Sakan), despite the odd narrations therein. He passed away in Muharram in 353 AH." [Siyar Aʻlaam An-Nubalaa']

As for the status of his book Saheeh Ibn As-Sakan compared to other books of authentic Prophetic narrations, Imaam Ibn Hazm  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him was quoted by Ath-Thahabi in his book Siyar Aʻlaam An-Nubalaa' saying, "...rather, the best books of hadeeth, the worthiest of admiration, and the most authentic are Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim, Saheeh Ibn As-Sakan, Muntaqa Ibn Al-Jaarood, Al-Muntaqa by Qaasim ibn Asbagh and then come Saheeh Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa'i's book, Al-Musannaf by Qaasim ibn Asbagh, and Musannaf Abu Jaʻfar At-Tahaawi." Ath-Thahabi remarked, "He did not make mention of Sunan Ibn Majhaah or Jaamiʻ Abu ʻEesa (at-Tirmithi) because they were not introduced into Al-Andalus except after his death."

As for his judgment on hadeeth authenticity, Shaykh ʻAbdullaah As-Saʻd wrote in his introduction to the book entitled "Taʻleeqat Ibn ʻAbd Al-Haadi ʻala ʻilal Ibn Abi Haatim", "Ibn As-Sakan was clearly lenient and inaccurate in declaring ahaadeeth authentic, as deduced from the investigation of the ahaadeeth that he declared authentic; he actually declared some false, defective, and fabricated ahaadeeth to be authentic and even those narrated by weak reporters whose narration is rejected." He then cited some examples on the false ahaadeeth that Ibn As-Sakn leniently declared authentic and then remarked, "It is deduced from what above mentioned examples that Ibn As-Sakn was rather lenient and inaccurate in declaring these ahaadeeth authentic because all of them are false and cannot be considered authentic. In fact, most of the scholars of hadeeth have declared them inauthentic and some of them are even rejected."

It should be noted, though, that the fact that Ibn As-Sakn was lenient and inaccurate in declaring ahaadeeth authentic does not mean that we should not avail ourselves of his book as a secondary reference. Rather, the purpose is only to clarify his leniency in declaring some of the ahaadeeth that he narrated authentic.

Allaah knows best.

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