Abu Bakr and ‘Umar are the best of the inhabitants of the Earth and Heavens
ابوبكر و عمر خير اهل السماوات و الارض
Abu Bakr and ‘Umar are the best of the inhabitants of the Earth and Heavens.
This hadith is Mawdu’ (fabricated) as stated by Ibn ‘Adi in al Kamil fi al Du’afa’. Ibn Asakir, Ibn al Jawzi in al ‘Ilal al Mutnahiyyah, and al Khatib in his Tarikh report it with a more complete chain.
This chain comprises of Jabrun ibn Waqid, who is Muttaham (accused of lying) and Munkar.
- Ibn ‘Adi has given a ruling of Munkar on him.
- Ibn ‘Asakir and Ibn al Jawzi confirm to that.
- Al Dhahabi has graded Jabrun’s hadith as a fabrication in his Mizan.
- Ibn Hajar admits to this in his al Lisan.
In Musnad al Firdaws of al Daylami this hadith is reported via another murky chain which comprises Yahya ibn al Sirri who narrates from his father. However his father is majhul (unknown). Yahya, the son, however is thiqah (reliable).
Al Albani has graded this hadith as a fabrication.
The Shia quote this hadith and others like it to malign the Ahl al Sunnah, and accuse us by saying, “You claim we are excessive in our love for the Ahlul Bayt and for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, but you prefer Abu Bakr and ‘Umar over the entire creation, including the Prophets and Messengers!”
However it should be noted that this hadith is not regarded as authentic according to the Ahlus Sunnah and in fact we regard it as a fabrication. We only adhere to what has been authentically reported regarding them from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that they are the best of this Ummah after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which has also been transmitted via Tawatur (mass transmission) from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and his Ahlul Bayt as well.
حدثنا عبد الله، حدثني أبو بحر عبد الواحد البصري، ثنا أبو عوانة عن خالد بن علقمة عن عبد خير قال علي رضي الله عنه: لما فرغ من أهل البصرة إن خير هذه الأمة بعد نبيها صلى الله عليه وسلّم أبو بكر وبعد أبي بكر عمر وأحدثنا أحداثا يصنع الله فيها ما شاء.
After the Battle against the people of Basrah (Battle of Jamal), ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu announced, “Verily the best of this nation after its Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is Abu Bakr and after him, ‘Umar. Then certain issues occurred which we were part of, Allah will deal with it in a way He deems fit.”
Khalid is Khalid ibn ‘Abdullah al Wasiti, and he heard this hadith from ‘Ata’ after ikhtilat, but there is a corroborating narration for this narration of ‘Ata’ from Hussain ibn ‘Abdul Rahman who is thiqah.
 Al Kamil fi al Du’afa’ v. 2 p. 180
 Ibn al ‘Asakir v. 44 p. 195
 Al ‘llal al Mutanahiyah v. 1 p. 193 no. 331
 Tarikh Baghdad v. 253 p. 5
 Silsilat al Da’ifah v. 4 p. 227, 228, no. 1742
 Refer to the researchers notes in Musnad Ahmed v. 2 p. 245, 247 Hadith: 922, 926, 833, 837