Refuting Tijani on Miscellaneous Issues

BACK⇒ Return to Table of contents

 

Chapter Thirteen

The Final Study: Miscellaneous Issues

 
 

1. Tijani’s Proofs for ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu immediate succession

 

The hadith, “I am the city of knowledge and ‘Ali is the door.”

As proof for his claim for the pre-eminence of ‘Ali for leadership after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise, Tijani presents what he believes to be mutually acceptable evidence. He says:

 

The prophetic traditions which persuaded me to follow Imam Ali were those I have read in the Sihahs of the Sunnis and were approved by the Shiites, and they have many more. But as usual I only referred to the prophetic traditions that have been agreed on by both parties, From those ahadith is, “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is the door.”[1]

 

Analysis of the hadith, “I am the city of knowledge and ‘Ali is the door.”

This narration has an unreliable chain, and its purport is problematic as well.

Ibn al Jawzi has listed this narration in his book al Mawduat and after a thorough examination of all of its variant narrations concluded that it is false.[2]

Ibn Tahir al Maqdisi mentioned it in his book Tadhkirat al Mawduat and said:

 

Appearing in its chain is Abu al-Salt. His name is ‘Abd al Salam. Also appearing in its chain is ‘Uthman ibn Khalid and Isma’il ibn Muhammad ibn Yusuf, all of whom are liars.[3]

 

Al Suyuti mentions it in his book al La’ali al Masnuah[4], as well al Shawkani in his book al Fawa’id al Majmuah.[5] The editor of al Shawkani’s al Fawa’id, ‘Abd al Rahman al Mu’allimi, provides a detailed discussion on this narration wherein he demonstrates that it is flawed by all counts.

Ibn Taymiyyah said about it:

 

This is a weak hadith. Rather, it is a fabricated hadith according to hadith experts. That being said, al Tirmidhi and others narrate it despite it being false.[6]

 

The words with which al Tirmidhi narrates it is, “I am the house of wisdom and ‘Ali is its door.” He goes on to comment, “This is a gharib munkar (anomalous contradictory) hadith.”[7]

Ibn Kathir mentions it in al Bidayah and says:

 

This hadith is known to pass through Abu al Salt al Harawi. From him it was appropriated by Ahmed ibn Salamah and a group of unreliable transmitters, who then fraudulently ascribed it to themselves.

 

He states further:

 

Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Qasim ibn Mihraz relates from Ibn Ma’in that he said, “Ibn Ayman narrated to me that Abu Muawiyah narrated this hadith initially but then refrained from it. He says, ‘Abu al Salt was a wealthy man who used to honour the scholars and they used to narrate these ahadith to him.’”

Ibn ‘Asakir forwards this hadith with a weak sanad reaching the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, from Jafar al Sadiq, from his father, from his grandfather, from Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah; He also narrates it from a different path through Jabir. Ibn ‘Adi says, “That is also fabricated.”

 

Abu al Fath al Awdi says, “There is no authentic hadith like this.”[8]

Daraqutni says, “This hadith has irreconcilable inconsistencies and is not reliable.”[9]

The wording of this narration suggests that it is problematic as well. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is an ocean of knowledge. It is inconceivable that the knowledge of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is only accessible via one door.

It is well-known that knowledge has been transmitted from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam by other than ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Much of Tijani’s claims have been based on narrations which have been conveyed from someone other than ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Knowledge was spread in the different regions and cities based on whichever of the Companions had settled there. Much of ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu knowledge was spread in Kufah. Despite that, the people of Kufah began learning the Qur’an and the Sunnah even before ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu era.

Muaz radiya Llahu ‘anhu was sent by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to teach the people of Yemen. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was in Yemen for a period of time, but Muaz radiya Llahu ‘anhu remained for a considerable time. Therefore, the people of Yemen narrate more from Muaz radiya Llahu ‘anhu than what they narrate from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Shurayh al Qadi, in addition to many other Tabi’in, learnt from Muaz ibn Jabal radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

When ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu arrived in Kufah, Shurayh was already appointed the judge. He and ‘Abidah al Salmani learnt from others before ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Therefore, Islamic knowledge preceded ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu arrival in Kufah.[10]

Overlooking the weakness of this narration, there is nothing in it that proves ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu pre-eminence for succession. At most it could be said that he is a leader in terms of knowledge.

 

The hadith, “O Ali! You hold in relation to me the same position as Haroon held in relation to Moses.”

 

Tijani goes on to cite the second hadith which he presents as mutually accepted proof:

 

The Prophetic tradition: O Ali! You hold in relation to me the same position as Haroon held in relation to Moses, except that there shall be no prophet after me.

This tradition, as should be apparent to every sensible person, shows the special quality of the Commander of the Believers, Ali, which made him the right person to be the supporter, the guardian and the deputy [or successor] of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as Haroon ‘alayh al Salam was the supporter, guardian and deputy of Moses ‘alayh al Salam when he went to meet his God. There is also the position of Ali vis-a-vis the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which is absolutely equal to the relation between Haroon ‘alayh al Salam and Moses ‘alayh al Salam, except for the prophethood, which was excluded in the same tradition.

Furthermore, we find in the tradition the fact that Imam Ali was the best Companion, who only came second after the Messenger of Allah ‘alayh al Salam.[11]

 

Analysis of the hadith, “O Ali! You hold in relation to me the same position as Haroon held in relation to Moses.”

It is ironic that Tijani presents the next hadith which is narrated by way of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas. Ideally he ought to have quoted a hadith from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu since the city of knowledge is meant to be accessed by its door! This hadith is authentic and narrated by al Bukhari and Muslim by way of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who said:

 

خلف رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على بن أبي طالب فى غزوة تبوك فقال يا رسول الله تخلفني في النساء والصبيان فقال أما ترضى أن تكون مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى غير أنه لا نبى بعدي

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left Ali ibn Abi Talib behind for the Battle of Tabuk. He said, “O Messenger of Allah! Are you leaving me behind with the women and the children?”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Does it not please you that you are to me, in the position Harun was to Musa (when he left to speak to his Lord) except that there is no Prophet after me?”[12]

 

This hadith definitely demonstrates the merit of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he is most deserving of merit and praise. The issue is not, however, whether or not ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was praised. The issue is whether the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam intended to nominate ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as his successor by this statement of his.

Before our investigation on the meaning of the hadith it is necessary that we are aware of the background to it. The Battle of Tabuk was one wherein the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not permit anyone to remain behind. Thus, when he left ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu behind the munafiqin spread the rumour that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left him behind because he was displeased with him. Al Nasa’i narrates in his book Khasa’is Ali from Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who said:

 

When the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left for the Battle of Tabuk he left ‘Ali, may Allah brighten his face, behind in Madinah. They (the munafiqin) said concerning him, “He is tired of him and he dislikes his company.” Therefore, ‘Ali followed the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam until he caught up with him in the road and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Are you leaving me behind with the women and the children and now they are saying, ‘He is tired of him and dislikes his company’?”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “O ‘Ali! I have left you behind to take care of my family that you are to me, in the position Harun was to Musa (when he left to speak to his Lord) except that there is no Prophet after me?”[13]

 

This version of the narration illustrates the reason that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu went to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said to him what he said. Thereafter, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam attempted to console ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and explained to him that remaining behind is not necessarily a shortcoming since Musa left Harun behind to assume responsibility for his people. How could it then be considered a shortcoming if it was at the instruction of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself? We find that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was satisfied with that explanation and said, “I am pleased, I am pleased,” as it appears in the narration of Ibn al Musayyab narrated by Ahmed.[14] Therefore, the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement was simply to console ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu; not to appoint him as successor for the following reasons:

1. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not understand it to refer to Caliphate or succession

Al Bukhari narrates with his chain to al Zuhri

 

عن الزهري قال أخبرني عبد الله بن كعب بن مالك الأنصاري وكان كعب بن مالك أحد الثلاثة الذين تيب عليهم أن عبد الله بن عباس أخبره أن علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه خرج من عند رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في وجعه الذي توفي فيه فقال الناس يا أبا حسن كيف أصبح رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال أصبح بحمد الله بارئا فأخذ بيده عباس بن عبد المطلب فقال له أنت والله بعد ثلاث عبد العصا وإني والله لأرى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سوف يتوفى من وجعه هذا إني لأعرف وجوه بني عبد المطلب عند الموت اذهب بنا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فلنسأله فيمن هذا الأمر إن كان فينا علمنا ذلك وإن كان في غيرنا علمناه فأوصى بنا فقال علي إنا والله لئن سألناها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فمنعناها لا يعطيناها الناس بعده وإني والله لا أسألها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

Al Zuhri related from ‘Abdullah ibn Ka’b ibn Malik—and Ka’b ibn Malik was one of the three whom Allah pardoned—that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas informed him that ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib emerged from the [home of the] Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during his final illness and the people said, “O Abu al Hassan; How is the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam this morning?”

He said, “All praise be to Allah, he is well this morning.”

‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al Muttalib took him by the hand and said to him, “I swear by Allah, in three days’ time you will be a subject. By Allah, I think that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will die of this illness. I recognise the look of death in the faces of the Banu ‘Abd al Muttalib when they are dying. Let us go to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ask him who will take charge over this matter (Caliphate). If it is for us, then we will know that, and if it is for someone other than us, we will know and he can advise him to look after us.”

‘Ali replied, “By Allah, if we ask him for it and he refuses us, then the people would never give it to us afterwards. By Allah, I will not ask it from the Messenger of Allah.” [15]

 

Why would ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu fear the Prophet’s refusal if he had already appointed ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as his successor prior to Tabuk?

2. It has been established in the sirah (prophetic biography) that whenever he went on a journey or a military expedition the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would leave someone behind to take care of matters in Madinah. However, he never said to anyone whom he left behind that he was to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam similar to Harun with Musa. The reason for that is every person whom the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left behind never considered this blameworthy and therefore the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam never needed to console him. This can easily be compared to an incident where a person once verbally abused a companion of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who was found guilty of consuming alcohol. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam rebuked the person who uttered the insult saying, “Do not curse him because you do not know that he loves Allah and his Messenger!”[16] This statement of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—and any rational person would agree—was not in negation of the faith of the person who cursed. Nor was it in affirmation of the faith of the person who drank because he drank. Instead, the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement was meant to prevent the curser from his cursing. In a similar manner, the reason the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was to console him and not for him to feel crestfallen for being left behind.

3. It cannot be said that this was specific transfer of succession to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu merely on account of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam leaving him in charge of affairs in Madinah in his absence since ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was tasked with taking care of the Prophet’s immediate family; and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed someone else, in charge of Madinah during his absence. Therefore, leaving someone behind to take care of Madinah does not automatically make the person left in charge a khalifah.

4. Even if it were the case that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left ‘Ali in charge of Madinah there is no conference of succession because the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left someone besides ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in charge of Madinah during the Farewell Hajj. Therefore, if leaving someone in charge means succession, then someone other than ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu has a greater claim to it than him.

5. If we were to further concede that Tijani is correct and that indeed ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was uniquely appointed; then this appointment would have been temporal and would have expired with either the appointment of Abu Bakr to lead the prayer, or with the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam It would not have extended beyond his death because Harun ‘alayh al Salam was only Musa’s ‘alayh al Salam deputy during his life and not after his death since there is consensus among the scholars that Harun ‘alayh al Salam passed away before Musa ‘alayh al Salam.[17]After all did Tijani not say, “The position of Imam ‘Ali vis-a-vis to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is absolutely equal to the relation between Haroon and Moses, except for the prophethood” and here is the complete picture of Harun’s succession of Musa. ‘Ali’s succession only becomes the exact replica of Harun’s ‘alayh al Salam succession of Musa ‘alayh al Salam when the succession remains within the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam life.

In light of the aforementioned, it becomes clear to the unbiased reader that this hadith does not prove ‘Ali’s succession during the Messenger’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam life, let alone after his death.

 

The hadith, “Whomsoever I am his Mawla, then this is ‘Ali, he too is his Mawla.”

The third hadith presented as proof by Tijani is the following:

 

Whomsoever I am his Mawla, then this is Ali, he too is his Mawla. O Allah, befriend whoever he befriends and take as an enemy whoever he takes as an enemy, and assist whoever assists him and desert whoever deserts him, and cause the truth to follow him wherever he goes.

 

Tijani adds to this as follows:

 

This tradition alone is sufficient to reply to the allegations concerning the seniority of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman to Ali, who was appointed by the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as the guardian after him of all the faithful. It is of no consequence for whoever tried to interpret the saying as the friend or the support in order to divert it from its original meaning so that the integrity of the Companions may be kept intact. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood up in the terrible heat addressing the people, saying, “Do you witness that I have a prior right to and superior authority over all the faithful?” They replied, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”Thereupon he said, “Ali is the master of all those whom I am a master . . . etc.” This is a clear text indicating that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had appointed Ali as his successor to lead the nation [of Islam], and the fair and sensible person could not but accept this interpretation and refuse that of the others, thus preserving the integrity of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam before preserving the integrity of the Companions. Those who give an alternative interpretation to the saying are in fact ridiculing the wisdom of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who gathered the multitude of people, in that unbearable heat, to tell them that Ali was the friend and supporter of the faithful. And what do those, who misinterpret the text in order to preserve the integrity of their masters, say about the procession of congratulation that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam organised for Ali? It started with the wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the mothers of the faithful, and then Abu Bakr and Umar came and said to him, “Well done Ibn Abi Talib, Overnight you became the guardian [master] of all the faithful.”

In fact all the historical evidence gives clear indications that those who misinterpret the above tradition are liars. Woe to those who wrote what they wrote, and woe to them for what they are writing![18]

Allah says:

وَإِنَّ فَرِيْقًا مِّنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُوْنَ الْحَقَّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُوْنَ

But indeed, a party of them conceal the truth while they know [it].[19]

 

Analysis of the hadith, “Whomsoever I am his Mawla, then this is ‘Ali, he too is his Mawla.”

The common wording of the hadith is authentic and in no uncertain terms establishes the virtue and lofty status of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Certainly he is our Mawla and the Mawla of all the believers.

This narration cannot be used to prove ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu pre-eminence for Caliphate because the term Mawla would be inconsistent with Khalifah in this instance. We have demonstrated this in great detail in the study of Abu Bakr. We refer the reader to the relevant discussion to avoid unnecessary repetition![20]

The additional wording of the hadith which Tijani presents, “and assist whoever assists him and desert whoever deserts him,” is an uncorroborated addition by the narrator, Sharik ibn ‘Abdullah al Qadi, who is weak of memory.[21]As such it will be treated as an irregular addition which means that these additional words are not considered to be the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam words.

Tijani does not fail to deliver when it comes to invented narrations. He has quoted a version of this hadith which has absolutely no basis, “and cause the truth to follow him wherever he goes. Despite exhaustive attempts we did not find this addition in all the various narrations of this hadith.

As for his statement,

It is of no consequence for whoever tried to interpret the saying as the friend or the support in order to divert it from its original meaning so that the integrity of the Companions may be kept intact.

 

It is ironic that Tijani attributes an original meaning to this narration. He implicitly acknowledges that the term Mawla has the latent capacity to present a spectrum of meanings. If Tijani’s ignorance of context is anything to go by, the reader will not find it strange that he struggles to understand the hadith

He alleges that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood up to give a sermon in the unbearable extreme heat in order to instate ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the khalifah. It is preposterous to imply that standing in the heat to deliver a speech was the underlying sign of ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointment. It would be more sensible if the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave a specific instruction for everyone to gather at Ghadir Khumm before announcing ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointment. However, reality paints quite a different picture. No announcement was made for the people to gather at Ghadir Khumm. Instead the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam waited until his return from the Farewell Hajj, and when he stopped for water and rest at Ghadir Khumm he addressed those who were present with him. This tells us that the reason for addressing the Companions at this point was never to announce ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu Caliphate because if that were the case he would have mentioned it during the Farewell Hajj, wherein he delivered numerous sermons about the most important matters for the entire Ummah to know. However, because this was not something to be conveyed to the people he did not mention it. After delivering those sermons he said, “Have I conveyed? O Allah, be my witness!”

This reinforces the view that says that the word Mawla was not used with the intention of Caliphate. Why wait until after Hajj, after the majority of Muslims have returned to their respective destinations, and appoint the Khalifah with language—that even Tijani accepts—is ambivalent?

What further demonstrates the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam intention behind the term Mawla is a narration recorded by Imam Ahmed in al Fada’il from Ibn Buraydah from his father, who said:

 

The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam dispatched us and appointed ‘Ali (as the leader) over us. When we returned he asked us, “How did you find your companion’s (i.e.’Ali’s) company?” Either I was going to complain about him or someone else was going to complain about him. I raised my head, being a man from Makkah, and the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam face was red. He said, “Whoever I am his Mawla, ‘Ali is his Mawla!”[22]

 

Ibn ‘Abbas also narrated from Buraydah, who said:

 

I went out with ‘Ali to Yemen and noticed some harshness about him. I went to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and complained about ‘Ali and criticised him. Then the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam face started to change (and he said), “Buraydah! Do I not have more right over the believers than they have over themselves?” I said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “Whoever I am his Mawla, ‘Ali is his Mawla.”[23]

 

If we take these narrations into consideration we realise that the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam intention by the term Mawla was support and assistance since his statement was a form of rebuke for their criticism of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

As for his statement:

 

And what do those, who misinterpret the text in order to preserve the integrity of their masters, say about the procession of congratulation that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam organised for Ali? It started with the wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the mothers of the faithful, and then Abu Bakr and Umar came and said to him, “Well done Ibn Abi Talib, Overnight you became the guardian [master] of all the faithful.

 

Our comment:

Firstly we would like to point out how Tijani selectively presents these narrations! When he mentioned this hadith in the study, “Reasons for Enlightenment,” he did not mention the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives among those who congratulated ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Here he is trying to eliminate the possibility of interpretation of this hadith so he includes them. He makes it appear as though there was a formal procession. The detail about some Companions congratulating ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is reported by ‘Ali ibn Zaid who is a weak transmitter.[24] That is not as significant as the fact that there is no mention of Abu Bakr in the version of the hadith[25] which has been narrated by ‘Ali ibn Zaid ibn Jud’an.

After deliberately lying and interpolating the weak narration of ‘Ali ibn Zaid ibn Jud’an, Tijani is not ashamed to say:

 

In fact all the historical evidence gives clear indications that those who misinterpret the above tradition are liars. Woe to those who wrote what they wrote, and woe to them for what they are writing. Allah – the Most High – said. “…a party of them most surely conceal the truth while they know it”[26]

 

Besides the fact that the grandson of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Hassan ibn Hassan al Muthanna, interpreted it to mean support and fondness[27], all that remains is for us to say, “Amin,” to Tijani’s supplication against the liars!

 

The hadith, “‘Ali is from me and I am from ‘Ali”

Then Tijani mentions the fourth hadith and says:

 

The Prophetic tradition: Ali is from me and I am from Ali and no one can discharge my duty except myself or Ali.

This honourable tradition [92] is another clear indication that Imam Ali was only one whom the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam authorized to discharge his duties. The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said it on the day of the great pilgrimage when he sent Ali with Surat Bara’a instead of Abu Bakr, who came crying and asked, “O Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! Reveal something for me.” The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam answered, “My Lord ordered me that nobody can discharge my duty except myself or Ali.”

There is another supporting tradition that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said on another occasion in honour of Ali, “O Ali! You will show them the right path when there will be dissension among them after me …”[28]

 

Analysis of the hadith, “‘Ali is from me and I am from ‘Ali”

This hadith is authentic and established. However, Tijani misinterprets it.

The phrase “from me,” in the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement, “‘Ali is from me and I am from ‘Ali,” is not exclusive to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu since the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used this phrase with other Companions as well. Al Bukhari and Muslim narrate from Abu Musa al Ash’ari radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

إن الأشعريين إذا أرملوا في الغزو أو قل طعام عيالهم بالمدينة جمعوا ما كان عندهم في ثوب واحد ثم اقتسموه بينهم في إناء واحد بالسوية فهم مني وأنا منهم

When the provisions of the Ash’ariyyin run low during time of war, or food for their families is scarce when at home, they gather what they have with them in one container and then divide it between themselves equally. They are from me and I am from them.[29]

 

He said something similar to Julaybib radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

كان في مغزى له فأفاء الله عليه فقال لأصحابه هل تفقدون من أحد قالوا نعم فلانا وفلانا وفلانا ثم قال هل تفقدون من أحد قالوا نعم فلانا وفلانا وفلانا ثم قال هل تفقدون من أحد قالوا لا قال لكنى أفقد جليبيبا فاطلبوه فطلب فى القتلى فوجدوه إلى جنب سبعة قد قتلهم ثم قتلوه فأتى النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم فوقف عليه فقال قتل سبعة ثم قتلوه هذا منى وأنا منه هذا منى وأنا منه

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was on an expedition and Allah granted him victory. Then he said to his Sahabah, “Are you missing anyone?”

They said, “Yes, this person and this person and this person.”

Then he said, “Are you missing anyone?”

They said, “Yes, this person and this person and this person.”

Then he said, “Are you missing anyone?”

They said, “No.”

He said, “But I am missing Julaybib. So search for him!”

Then they searched amongst the fallen and found him next to seven men who he killed and they killed him.

Then the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came and stood over him and said, “He killed seven and then they killed him. This person is from me and I am from him. This person is from me and I am from him.”[30]

 

Therefore, this statement of his was not unique for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu since it was said to others as well. It would hence be invalid to infer that this narration proves his pre-eminence.

The basis for the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement, “No one can act on my behalf besides me or ‘Ali,” is that it was the habit of the Arabs when they discussed something amongst themselves relating to abrogating, or consenting, or reconciliation, or abandoning, that the only persons who execute that was the chief or his closest relative. They would not accept anyone besides them.[31]

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to join up with Abu Bakr and inform him about the revelation of Surah al Bara’ah. Notwithstanding this he was sent as a follower under the command of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the leader of the Hajj at that point. So the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam dispatching ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu under the command of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu does not prove ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu rightfulness to the Caliphate. Rather, it is the other way around. It proves that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the most rightful person to the Caliphate as he was the leader of the Hajj.

The narration which Tijani produced, “You, O ‘Ali, will clarify to my Ummah what they dispute about after me…” is a fabricated hadith. We know this on account of the narrator Dirar ibn al Surad.

 

Al Bukhari and others say about him, “He is matruk (suspected of hadith forgery).”

Yahya ibn Ma’in, “There were two distinguished fabricators in Kufah, Dirar ibn al Surad and Abu Na’im al Nakha’i.”

Al Nasa’i says, “He was not reliable.”

Abu Hatim says, “Reasonable but not proof-worthy.”

Al Daraqutni says, “A weak transmitter.”[32]

 

This hadith is also narrated via another chain from ‘Ali ibn ‘Abis, which has been narrated by Ibn al Jawzi in his book al Mawduat.

 

He says, “This hadith is not reliable.”

Yahya ibn Ma’in says, ‘‘Ali ibn ‘Abis is not a good transmitter.”[33]

Al Jawzajani, al Nasa’i and al Azdi say, “He is a weak transmitter.”

Ibn Hibban says, “His mistakes are dreadful to the point that deserves to be abandoned (as a transmitter).”[34]

Ibn Hajar says, “He is a weak transmitter.”[35]

 

The hadith, “This is my brother, my trustee and my deputy [caliph] after me.”

Tijani has failed to produce a single ‘mutually agreeable’ narration that supports his claim until this point. He cites the final hadith and says:

 

The Prophetic tradition of the House on the day of Warning:

The Prophet of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, indicating Ali. “This is my brother, my trustee and my deputy [caliph] after me, so listen to him and obey him.”

This is yet another correct tradition cited by many historians at the beginning of the prophetic mission, and considered as one of the Prophet’s miracles. However, political intrigues distorted the facts.[36]

 

Analysis of the hadith, “This is my brother, my trustee and my deputy [caliph] after me.”

This hadith is false both in terms of its chain and its text.

Appearing in the chain of this narration is a pair of unreliable narrators, namely; ‘Abd al Ghaffar ibn al Qasim and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abd al Quddus.

As for ‘Abd al Ghaffar ibn al Qasim, he is matruk (suspected of forgery) as a transmitter and is not proof-worthy. Al Dhahabi says about him:

 

He is Abu Maryam al Ansari, he is a Rafidi. He is not reliable.

‘Ali ibn al Madini said about him: “He fabricates ahadith.”

It is also said about him that he is amongst the leaders of the Shia.

‘Abbas ibn Yahya narrates, “He is no good (as a transmitter).”

Al Bukhari says, “He is not a strong transmitter according to them.”

Ahmed ibn Hambal says, “Abu ‘Ubaydah when he used to relate hadith to us from Abu Maryam the people would become noisy and say, “We do not want him (his ahadith).”

Ahmed said, “Abu Maryam used to narrate imperfections of ‘Uthman.”[37]

 

Ibn Hibban says:

 

He was amongst those who narrated the imperfections concerning ‘Uthman. He drank alcohol until he became drunk. In addition to that he used to distort information. It is not permissible to cite him as proof. Ahmed ibn Hambal and Yahya ibn Ma’in suspected him of forgery.[38]

 

Ibn Kathir says about him:

 

He is matruk, a liar, a Shia, ‘Ali ibn al Madini and others accuse him of fabricating ahadith and the Imams (of transmitter criticism) grade him weak.[39]

 

As for ‘Abdullah ibn Quddus, al Dhahabi says about him:

 

He was a Kufi, Rafidi. He settled in Ray. He narrates from al A’mash and others.

Ibn ‘Adi says about him, “Most of what he narrates relates to the merits of the Ahlul Bayt.”

Yahya says, “He is no good (as a transmitter). He is a Rafidi, malicious.”

Al Nasa’i and others say, “He is not reliable.”

Al Daraqutni says, “He is a weak transmitter.”

Abu Ma’mar says, “‘Abdullah ibn al Quddus, he was a Rafidi.”[40]

Ahmed ibn ‘Ali al Abar says, “I asked Zanij, Razi’s teacher, about ‘Abdullah ibn al Quddus and he said, ‘I have abandoned him (as a transmitter). I did not write anything from him and he was not pleased with it.’”[41]

 

The purport of the narration is also problematic for the following reasons:

The narration mentioned by Tijani is not the complete version. Rather, the narration in its complete form reads:

 

When this verse, “And warn, (O Muhammad), your closest kindred,” was revealed upon Muhammad, he called me and said, “O ‘Ali! Allah has instructed me ‘to warn your close relatives,’ but I find that difficult. I know that when I open this discussion with them I will see from them what I dislike. Therefore prepare a meal for them with a leg of lamb and milk. Then gather the sons of ‘Abd al Muttalib for me so that I may speak to them and convey to them what I have been instructed with.”

Then I did what he instructed me to do and I invited them to come and see him. They were approximately forty on that day and amongst them were his paternal uncles Abu Talib, Hamzah, ‘Abbas, and Abu Lahab. When they were all there he summoned me to bring the food I had prepared for them. Then I brought it and when I placed it down the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took a chunk of meat and cut into it with his teeth and then spread it out at the corners of the plate. Then he said, “Take, with the name of Allah!” The people ate until they were satisfied. I could only see their hands. Then he said, “Bring the drinks,” and I brought them the milk and they drank until they all were quenched.

When the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam intended to address them Abu Lahab preceded him in speaking and said, “Indeed, your companion has bewitched you,” and the people left and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not speak to them.

Then Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Tomorrow, O ‘Ali! Indeed, this person preceded me to what you heard from him of speech and the people left before I could speak to them. Prepare the food again as you did before. Then gather them by me.” Then I did that and gathered them and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam summoned me to bring the food. I presented the food they ate to their fill as the previous day. Then he said, “Quench them.” and I brought the milk until all of them were quenched. Then the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam spoke and said, “O Bani ‘Abd al Muttalib! By Allah! I do not know of a youth amongst the Arabs who has brought to his people what I am bringing you. I bring to you the best of this world and the next. Indeed, Allah has instructed me to call you to him. Who will assist me with this and he will be my brother, and my executor, and my khalifah amongst you?”

(‘Ali says) All of them desisted and I said, and I was the youngest amongst them, and the one with the smallest eyes, and the sternest amongst them, and the most zealous amongst them, “Me, O Messenger of Allah! I will be your assistant upon it!”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took me by the shoulder and said, “This is my brother, and my executor, and my khalifah amongst you! Therefore, listen to him, and obey him!” The people stood up laughing and saying to Abu Talib, “Indeed, he instructs you to listen to your son and to obey him!”

(In another narration it comes with the wording) No one responded to him. Then ‘Ali stood up and said, “Me, O Messenger of Allah!”

He said, “Sit down.”

Then he repeated his request a second time but the people remained silent.

Then ‘Ali stood up again and said, “Me, O Messenger of Allah!”

He said (for a second time), “Sit down.”

Then he repeated himself for a third time and (once again) no one responded. Then ‘Ali stood up (for a third time) and said, “Me, O Messenger of Allah!”

The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Sit down! You are my brother, and …”[42]

 

The reason for Tijani’s concealing this part of the hadith is no surprise; it brings to light the evidence of his lies and fabrications. We know this text to be forged because:

  • In the hadith it tells us that the sons of ‘Abd al Muttalib, “Were approximately forty on that day.” However, history tells us that they were not even twenty men in number, let alone forty!
 

Scholars agree that only four of the sons of ‘Abd al Muttalib had sons to perpetuate the family name. They were ‘Abbas, Abu Talib, Harith, and Abu Lahab. As for the uncles and the cousins, Abu Talib had four sons: Talib, ‘Aqil, Jafar, and ‘Ali. As for ‘Abbas all of his sons were minors as none of them were adults when in Makkah. But for argument’s sake, let us assume they were all adult men then they were ‘Abdullah, ‘Ubayd Allah, and Fadl. As for Qatham, he was born afterwards. The eldest amongst them was Fadl and it was with that name he was called by in his agnomen. As for Harith ibn ‘Abd al Muttalib and Abu Lahab, their sons were fewer. Harith had two sons: Abu Sufyan and Rabi’ah, both of them accepted Islam later. They were amongst those who accepted Islam upon the Conquest of Makkah. Similarly, the sons of Abu Lahab, they too accepted Islam upon the Conquest of Makkah. He had three sons, two of whom accepted Islam, ‘Utbah and Mughith.[43]

 
  • This narration contradicts another narration which the hadith scholars agree is authentic and established. Al Bukhari and Muslim narrate in their Sahihs from Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said:
 

لما نزلت ‏وأنذر عشيرتك الأقربين‏ صعد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم على الصفا فجعل ينادي ‏يا بني فهر يا بني عدي‏ لبطون قريش حتى اجتمعوا فجعل الرجل إذا لم يستطع أن يخرج أرسل رسولا لينظر ما هو فجاء أبو لهب وقريش فقال أرأيتكم لو أخبرتكم أن خيلا بالوادي تريد أن تغير عليكم أكنتم مصدقي قالوا نعم ما جربنا عليك إلا صدقا‏ قال‏ فإني نذير لكم بين يدى عذاب شديد‏ فقال أبو لهب تبا لك سائر اليوم ألهذا جمعتنا فنزلت ‏تبت يدا أبي لهب وتب ما أغنى عنه ماله وما كسب

When the verse, “And warn, (O Muhammad), your closest kindred,” was revealed, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ascended al Safa and started exclaiming, “O sons of Fihr! O sons of ‘Adi!” to all the clans of the Quraysh until all of them were gathered together. Those unable to attend sent a messenger to find out what the commotion was about. Then Abu Lahab and the Quraysh came.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “If I should tell you that there is an army in the valley ready to attack you will you believe me?”

They said, “Yes, we have only experienced truthfulness from you.”

He said, “Then certainly I am a warner unto you before a severe punishment.”

Abu Lahab said, “May you be ruined for the rest of the day! Did you gather us here for this?”

Then the following verse was revealed:

تَبَّتْ يَدَا أَبِيْ لَهَبٍ وَّتَبَّ مَا أَغْنٰى عَنْهُ مَالُهوَمَا كَسَبَ سَيَصْلٰى نَارًا ذَاتَ لَهَبٍ وَّامْرَأَتُه حَمَّالَةَ الْحَطَبِ فِيْ جِيْدِهَا حَبْلٌ مِّنْ مَّسَدٍ

May the hands of Abu Lahab be ruined and ruined is he. His wealth will not avail him or that which he gained. He will (enter to) burn in a Fire of (blazing) flame. And his wife (as well)—the carrier of firewood, around her neck is a rope of twisted fibre.[44]

 

This narration claims that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to ‘Ali, after his people desisted from assisting him, “This is my brother, my executor, and my khalifah amongst you! Therefore, listen to him, and obey him!” The people stood up laughing and saying to Abu Talib, “Indeed, he instructs you to listen to your son and to obey him!”

Here I ask astonished: How could the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say to a people who had refused to assist him, rather, they waged war against him, “This is my brother, and my executor, and my khalifah amongst you! Therefore, listen to him, and obey him”?

By Allah! They did not obey the divinely sent Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, would they follow a small boy? If we assume that Tijani argues (that the wording), “This is my brother, my executor, and my khalifah (after me)” is correct and the words, “amongst you”, as in the above narration, is not authentic, then we ask were they obedient to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at that point in time that they would obey his khalifah after him? It is as if the address was for all Muslims and not for the leaders of the Quraysh.

After all of the above proofs can anyone still accept the authenticity of this hadith?

 

NEXT ⇒ 2. Tijani’s proofs for the obligation of following the Ahlul Bayt 


[1]Then I was guided, p. 146.

[2]Al Mawdu’at by Ibn al Jawzi, vol. 1, p. 349-354.

[3]Tadhkirat al Mawdu’at p. 33

[4]Al La’ali al Masnu’ah vol. 1 p. 332

[5]Al Fawa’id al Majmu’ah p. 348

[6]  Al Ahadith al Mawdu’ah by Ibn Taymiyyah, p. 40, the examiner says, “All its narrations are weak.”

[7]Sunan al Tirmidhi, Kitab al Manaqib, Hadith: 3723.

[8]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah by Ibn Kathir, vol. 8, p. 372.

[9] Al ’Ilal al Waridah fi al Ahadith al Nabawiyyah, vol. 3, question no. 386, p. 247.

[10]Minhaj al Sunnah, vol. 7, p. 515-517.

[11]Then I was guided, p. 148.

[12]Sahih Muslim with the commentary, Kitab al Fada’il, Hadith: 2404; Bukhari, Kitab al Fada’il, Hadith: 3503.

[13]Khasa’is Amir al Mu’minin by Nasa’i, Hadith: 43, the examiner says, “its sanad is reliable.”

[14]  Refer to Fath al Bari, vol. 7, p. 92.

[15] Sahih al Bukhari , Kitab al Maghazi, hadith no. 4182

[16]  This hadith was previously cited in Chapter 6.5.

[17]Fath al Bari, vol. 7, p. 93; Sharh Muslim, vol. 15, p. 249.

[18]Then I was guided, p. 148.

[19]  Surah al Baqarah: 146.

[20]  Refer to Chapter 6.4 of this book.

[21]Al Silsilah al Sahihah, vol. 4, p. 338; al Jowzajani says in al Shajarah wa Ahwal al Rijal, p. 150, “Sharik ibn ‘Abdullah: Weak of memory, confused in hadith.”

[22]Khasa’is Amir al Mu’minin, Hadith: 77; Ahmed in al Fada’il, Hadith: 947; the examiners of the two books say, ‘reliable’.

[23]Al Fada’il by Ahmed, Hadith: 989; Nasa’i in al Khasa’is, Hadith: 79, the examiners say, “It is reliable.”

[24]  Return to Chapter 6.4 for more clarity.

[25]  Return to Chapter 6.4 of this book in order to ascertain the scope of Tijani’s distortion of the texts.

[26]Then I was guided, p. 148.

[27] Al Itiqad wa al Hidayah, pg. 232

[28]Then I was guided,p. 149.

[29] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Shirakah (2353); Sahih Muslim, Fada’il al Sahabah (2499)

[30]Sahih Muslim with the commentary, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, Bab Fada’il Julaybib, Hadith: 2472.

[31] Tuhfah al Ahwadhi (commentary of Tirmidhi) by al Mubarakfuri, vol. 10, p. 152.

[32]Mizan al I’tidal by al Dhahabi, vol. 2, p. 327-328, biography no. 3951.

[33]Al Mawdu’at by Ibn al Jawzi, vol. 1, p. 376-377.

[34]Al Mizan, vol. 3, p. 134-135, Hadith: 5872.

[35]Taqrib al Tahdhib, vol. 1, p. 697.

[36]Then I was guided, p. 150.

[37]Mizan al I’tidal by al Dhahabi, vol. 2, p. 640.

[38]Kitab al Majruhin by Ibn Hibban, p. 143

[39]Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 3, p. 363

[40]Mizan al I’tidal, vol. 2, p. 458

[41]Al Du’afa’ by al ’Uqayli, vol. 2, p. 279.

[42]Li Madha Ikhtarta Madh-hab al Shia by Muhammad Mar’i al Antaki, p. 137-143; Al Muraja’at Muraja’ah, p. 20 and 123.

[43]Minhaj al Sunnah, vol. 7, p. 304-305 with some alterations.

[44]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Tafsir, Bab Wa Andhir ‘Ashirataka al ’Aqrabin, Hadith: 4492.