إن أحدث الناس عهدا برسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم علي.
‘Ali was the earliest of people with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
This hadith is reported by Umm Salamah, Ibn ‘Abbas, and ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
The Hadith of Umm Salamah
Imam al Nasa’i narrates: ‘Ali ibn Hujr informed us — Jarir informed us — from Mughirah — from Umm Musa who said, “Umm Salamah said…”
Jarir’s name is Ibn ‘Abdul Hamid. He is a thiqah (reliable) narrator.
Mughirah’s name is Ibn Miqsam al Dabbi. He is a thiqah (reliable) narrator who, at times, commits tadlis (obfuscates when he transmits). In fact, he is obfuscating in this hadith because he is narrating with the word ‘an (from).
Umm Musa is the slave of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Mughirah ibn Miqsam al Dabbi is the only one to narrate from her. Al ‘Ijli states: “She was a thiqah (reliable) Tabi’iyyah from Kufah.” The likes of al Mu’allimi and al Albani that followed suit have no proof to state al ‘Ijli was a mutasahil (lenient).
I have explained in the original work the error committed by al Mizzi when he transmitted the statement of al Daraqutni as follows, “Her hadith is reliable; it can be used for i’tibar (consideration).”
Imam al Nasa’i and others narrate from Jarir — from al Mughirah — from Umm Musa who said, “What Umm Salamah swore by was that ‘Ali was the earliest of people with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”
The Hadith of ibn ‘Abbas
Ibn Sa’d narrates this version with a chain of transmission that contains the narrator Muhammad ibn ‘Umar al Waqidi. He is matruk (suspected of forgery) and is suspected of lying.
Sulaiman ibn Dawood al Hussain is majhul (unknown). Ibn Abi Hatim has written on him.
Ibn Hajar states, “This chain of transmission contains al Waqidi. Sulaiman, whose condition is unknown, is also in the chain of transmission.”
Al Albani ruled this specific version a fabrication.
The Hadith of ‘Aisha
رواه ابن عساكر من طريق أبي الحسن الدارقطني، نا أبو القاسم الحسن بن محمد بن بشر البجلي الكوفي الحرار، نا علي بن الحسين بن عبيد بن كعب، نا إسماعيل بن أبان، نا عبد الله بن مسلم الملائي، عن أبيه، عن إبراهيم، عن علقمة بن الأسود، عن عائشة، قالت: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو في بيتها لما حضره الموت: ادعوا لي حبيبي. فدعوت له أبا بكر، فنظر إليه ثم وضع رأسه. ثم قال: ادعوا لي حبيبي. فدعوا له عمر، فلما نظر إليه وضع رأسه. ثم قال: ادعوا لي حبيبي. فقلت: ويلكم ادعوا لي علي بن أبي طالب. فوالله ما يريد غيره، فلما رآه أفرد الثوب الذي كان عليه، ثم أدخله فيه، فلم يزل يحتضنه حتى قبض ويده عليه.
Ibn ‘Asakir narrates — from Abu al Hassan al Daraqutni —, from Abu al Qasim al Hassan ibn Muhammad ibn Bishr al Bajali al Kufi al Harrar — from ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ubaid ibn Ka’b — from Ismail ibn Aban — from ‘Abdullah ibn Muslim al Mala’i — from his father — from Ibrahim — from ‘Alqamah ibn al Aswad — from ‘Aisha who said that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said at the time of his death in her house, “Call my habib (beloved) for me.”
I called Abu Bakr. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam looked at him and then put his head down.
Then he said, “Call my habib (beloved) for me.”
They called ‘Umar for him. When he looked at him he put his head down.
Then he said, “Call my habib (beloved) for me.”
I (i.e. ‘Aisha) said, “Woe unto you. Call ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. By Allah, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam does not desire anyone else.”
When he saw him he removed the clothes he was wearing and then put them on him. He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam continued embracing him until he passed away, with his hand still on him.”
I have yet to see anyone regard ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ubaid as a thiqah (reliable).
‘Abdullah ibn Muslim al Mala’i could not be traced. His father is Abu Kaysan. He is matruk (suspected of forgery).
Al Albani writes, “This is of his lies or from him serious errors. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Awn—who is a thiqah (reliable) thabt (trustworthy)—contradicts him. He narrates the following:
رواه عن إبراهيم، عن الأسود بن يزيد قال: ذكروا عند عائشة أن عليا كان وصيا! فقالت: متى أوصى إليه؟! فقد كنت مسندته إلى صدري أو قالت: حجري، فدعا بالطست، فلقد انخنث في حجري، وما شعرت أنه مات، فمتى أوصى إليه؟!
(Narrated) from Ibrahim — from al Aswad ibn Yazid who said, “They said in ‘Aisha’s presence that ‘Ali was appointed (by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam before he died), and she said, ‘When was he appointed? He (the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was resting against my bosom, or in my lap, and he called for a basin. He became unresponsive in my lap and died, and I did not realize it. So when did he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appoint him?”
(The author says) This narration invalidates the hadiths of Muslim al Mala’i and al Waqidi.
 Imam al Nasa’i: al Sunan al Kubra, hadith no. 8486 and Khasa’is ‘Ali, hadith no. 154.
 Al ‘Ijli: Kitab al Thiqat, 2/462.
 I’tibar (consideration) is the process in which a hadith critic collects all the reports that a transmitter has narrated from various teachers and then analyzes them for corroboration. [translator’s note]
 Al Daraqutni: Su’alat al Barqani, p. 75.
 Al Hafiz al Mizzi: Tahdhib al Kamal, 35/389.
 Ibn Abi Hatim al Razi: Kitab al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 4/111.
 Al Albani: Silsilat al Ahadith al Da’ifah, hadith no. 4969.
 Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq: 42/393.
 Imam al Bukhari: Sahih al Bukhari 2/158; Imam Muslim: Sahih Muslim 5/75; Ahmed: Musnad Ahmed 6/32.