Ahmad on Apocrypha: Many books of history, exegesis are baseless

Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi reported: Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “Three types of books have no basis: chronicles of military history, great battles at the end of time, and Quranic exegesis.”

Al-Khatib said, “These words should be understood at face value as they are. The meaning is that there are some specific books on these three topics that are neither reliable nor sound as their authors and those who transmitted them did not have good character, and a great deal of material was added by storytellers. As for the great battles at the end of time, all of these books are unreliable. There are no sound reports that mention details about the great battles and turmoil that are expected to come, except for a few traditions that have connected and authentic chains of authority reaching back to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him.”

Source: al-Jāmiʻ li-Akhlāq 1519

عن الخطيب البغدادي أن أحمد بن حنبل رحمه الله قال ثَلاثَةُ كُتُبٍ لَيْسَ لَهَا أُصُولٌ الْمَغَازِي وَالْمَلاحِمُ وَالتَّفْسِيرُ

وقال الخطيب وَهَذَا الْكَلامُ مَحْمُولٌ عَلَى وَجْهٍ وَهُوَ أَنَّ الْمُرَادَ بِهِ كُتُبٌ مَخْصُوصَةٌ فِي هَذِهِ الْمَعَانِي الثَّلاثَةِ غَيْرُ مُعْتَمِدٍ عَلَيْهَا وَلا مَوْثُوقٍ بِصِحَّتِهَا لِسُوءِ أَحْوَالِ مُصَنِّفِيهَا وَعَدَمِ عَدَالَةِ نَاقِلِيهَا وَزِيَادَاتِ الْقُصَّاصِ فِيهَا فَأَمَّا كُتُبُ الْمَلاحِمِ فَجَمِيعُهَا بِهَذِهِ الصِّفَّةِ وَلَيْسَ يَصِحُّ فِي ذِكْرِ الْمَلاحِمِ الْمُرْتَقَبَةِ وَالْفِتَنِ الْمُنْتَظَرَةِ غَيْرُ أَحَادِيثَ يَسِيرَةٍ اتَّصَلَتْ أَسَانِيدُهَا إِلَى الرَّسُولِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مِنْ وُجُوهٍ مَرْضِيَّةٍ وَطُرُقٍ وَاضِحَةٍ جَلِيَّةٍ

1519 الجامع لأخلاق الراوي وآداب السامع للخطيب