قيل: يا رسول الله من يؤمر بعدك؟ قال: إن تؤمروا أبا بكرتجدوه أمينا، زاهدا في الدنيا، راغبا في الآخرة، وإن تؤمروا عمر تجدوه قويا أمينا، لا يخاف في الله لومة لائم، وإن تؤمروا عليا – ولا أراكم فاعلين – تجدوه هاديا، مهديا، يأخذ بكم الطريق المستقيم.
It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, who is to be made the amir after you?” He said, “If you make Abu Bakr the amir, you will find him trustworthy, abstaining from the Dunya, desirous of the Akhirah. If you make ‘Umar the amir, you will find him strong (and) trustworthy; he does fear the blame of anyone for the sake of Allah. If you make ‘Ali the amir, even though I do not see you doing so, you will find him rightly guiding and rightly-guided; he will take you on the straight path.”
This hadith is narrated by ‘Ali and Hudhayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.
The Hadith of ‘Ali
Imam Ahmed and others narrate — from Isra’il — from Abu Ishaq — from Zaid ibn Yuthay’ — from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Abu Ishaq al Sabi’i is a mudallis (obfuscates when he narrates) and a mukhtalit (commits serious errors).
Ibn Hajar regarded the chain of transmission as jayyid (good).
Al Bazzar, al Tabarani and al Hakim narrate — from Fudayl ibn Marzuq — Abu Ishaq narrated to us — from Zaid ibn Yuthay’ — from ‘Ali.”
Al Hakim authenticated the hadith. However, al Dhahabi disagreed and regarded it as da’if (weak).
Al Hakim mentions a shahid (witness narration) for this hadith. It is the next hadith.
The Hadith of Hudhayfah
Al Bazzar and al Hakim narrate — from Sharik ibn ‘Abdullah — from ‘Uthman ibn ‘Umair — from Shaqiq ibn Salamah — from Hudhayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Al Dhahabi says that the hadith critics regard ‘Uthman Abu al Yaqazan as da’if (weak).
Sharik is considered sayyi’ al hifz (possesses a weak memory).
Al ‘Uqayli, al Hakim, and others narrate —from Abu Ishaq — from Zaid ibn Yuthay’ — from Hudhayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Al Hakim authenticated this version.
Abu Ishaq is a mudallis (obfuscates when he narrates) and is a mukhtalit (commits serious mistakes). His narration is inconsistent. Ibn al Jawzi narrates this version.
In short, all the different chains of transmission of this hadith are da’if (weak). Al Hakim authenticated it, and al Dhahabi regarded it as da’if (weak). As mentioned previously, Ibn Hajar regarded the chain of transmission as jayyid (good), as mentioned in his work al Isabah.
 Imam Ahmed: Musnad Ahmed, 1/108 and Fadaʾil al Sahabah, hadith no. 284.
 Ibn Hajar: al Isabah, 4/468.
 Al Bazzar: Musnad al Bazzar, hadith no. 783; al Tabarani: al Mujam al Awsat, hadith no. 2166; al Hakim: Mustadrak al Hakim, hadith no.4434.
 Al Bazzar: Musnad al Bazzar, hadith no. 2890; al Hakim: Mustadrak al Hakim, hadith no. 4435.
 Al ‘Uqayli: al Du’afaʾ al Kabir, 3/110; al Hakim: Mustadrak al Hakim, 3/4685.
 Ibn al Jawzi: al ‘Ilal al Mutanahiyah, 1/407.