A General Overview Concerning the Phenomenon of Fabrications in the Reports on the Virtues of Sayyidina ‘Ali
It is worthy of note that the vast majority of ahadith I have traced back to their original sources are not authentic. From the 302 ahadith there are only 27 which are sahih (authentic), which amounts to approximately 8%. The bulk of these ahadith are da’if (weak); and the bulk of these da’if (weak) ahadith are, in fact, mawdu’ah (fabricated) and munkarah (unacceptable).
What contributed towards the intensification of hadith forgery and the creation of an atmosphere conducive to it was the fact that the ones responsible for circulating these forgeries suffered persecution under both the Umayyads and ‘Abbasids. It is typical for an outlawed entity to seek religious justification for its enterprise in prophetic traditions, thereby compensating for the political losses it suffers. Herein lies the cause for the proliferation of hadith forgery.
Al Khalili writes that some of the huffaz (hadith masters) used to say:
I thought over how much the people of Kufah have fabricated concerning the virtues of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the (other) members of his household. I found that they exceed three hundred thousand reports.
Yahya ibn Ma’in was asked about al Ma’alla ibn ‘Abdul Rahman al Wasiti. He said:
The greatest of his conditions—according to me—was that he, at the time of his death, was told, ‘Will you not repent unto Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala?’
He responded by saying, ‘I hope that He subhanahu wa ta ‘ala forgives me, for I have fabricated 90 ahadith about the virtues of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.’”
This is a clear admission of guilt from this man that he forged reports in support of his creed and belief.
The people of Kufah were very much active in fabricating hadith and propagating it in public and in private. All this so they could obtain some form of empathy from the general masses, and the ‘ulama’ of the Sunnah.
In the third section of this book I mention tens of ahadith which are totally baseless, that the ghulat (extremists) invented in order to support their own opposition to the existing political system (at that time). Seen from another angle, they would also search for religious validation which would equip them against their opponents—both political and doctrinal (i.e. the Ahlus Sunnah, Khawarij, Nawasib). This group remained within the larger and more popular groups; such groups that did not recognize, or have any (legal) recourse save the Shari’ah (which is embodied in the Qur’an and Sunnah).
Therefore, it is not appropriate to enter into this subject matter without having understood the political, theological, and existent denominations at that time, and the frenetic zeal that existed to promulgate this group’s (ideologies) by means of fabricating ahadith to support their beliefs.
This fanaticism and partisanship supported itself behind the dreadful amount of lies which were narrated and popularized. Proselytization was now complete of the persona of ‘Ali in such a way that he is someone who possesses superhuman qualities which none other than he enjoys. And the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam chose him to have sanctified qualities. This will be discussed in chapters two and three of this book.
It is for this reason that there exist so many reports on the virtues of Imam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. To such an extent that it has been authentically reported from Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal that he said:
Not one among the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam enjoys the same amount of virtues being related about him than that of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Some liars have gone to the preposterous extreme of saying that the virtues of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu reach thirty thousand! They attribute this to Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Even the virtues of all the Ambiya’ ‘alayh al Salam and Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum combined do not enjoy this amount of authentically transmitted reports about them! Just think how brazenly this liar resorts to falsehood!
‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu enjoys enough authentically transmitted reports relating to his virtues to not only boast about, but also to increase him in stature and love in the hearts of the believers. Al Dhahabi correctly expressed himself when he said:
Allah has spared ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu from having to have his virtues established through lies and baseless claims.
There are 27 authentic reports about his virtues; an amount sufficient to elevate his status and station amongst his peers. If there was only one hadith it (in this regard) it would be enough for him. What then when there has been such a large amount that has been authentically reported about his virtues (as I have previously alluded to)?
Just as some individuals went to the extreme (something which Allah and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam do not approve of) in praising ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the Khawarij and Nawasib, on the other hand, also went to extremes and displayed much antipathy towards him radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They either rendered him a kafir or they completely disassociated themselves from him. The Ahlus Sunnah have always maintained a moderate path in between the two: They acknowledge his virtues as vested unto him by whatever has been authentically reported about him, thereby filling their hearts with his love. By the same token, they completely disassociate themselves from anybody who insinuates and defames him, or anyone who holds any rancour in their heart for him. They would consider anybody guilty of such crimes a misguided heretic that deserves to be shunned and branded at all costs.
Therefore, the Ahlus Sunnah oscillates between two extreme schools of thought: 1) the extreme adherents of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and 2) those that hold hatred against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
I have dedicated an entire section in the original work under the title A Quick Perusal of the Contents of Select Fabricated and Baseless Ahadith Concerning the Virtues of ‘Ali. In this section, I give details as to how certain extremists have attempted to depict ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in such a ghastly manner, and with such qualities that even the intellect cannot fathom. Or that he enjoys such qualities that raise him even higher than the Prophets and Messengers. This is mentioned in hadith number 166. They even go to the extent of saying that both he and Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were created from one (source of) light. This light came into existence fourteen thousand years before Adam ‘alayh al Salam existed! This is mentioned in hadith number 170.
At times, other ahadith speak to a personality of ‘Ali that is, for all practical matters, supernatural. These ahadith inform us that a mere glance at him constitutes a form of ‘ibadah (worship). This is mentioned in hadith number 97. Other ahadith describe the centrality of his being in relation to the entire universe. And in some instances (the word) ‘‘Ali’ is coupled with the shahadatayn and that he is the only among them whose name is mentioned in Jannat. This is mentioned in hadith number 173. And that the all Ambiya’ were sent to proclaim the wilayah (authority) of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This is mentioned in hadith 198. Or, as is mentioned in hadith 209, all of humanity (including the Ambiya’) possess (only) 10% of the Dunya’s wisdom. This, as opposed to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu who possesses (the remaining) 90%! In other words, ‘wisdom’ was divided into ten parts; ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was given nine-tenths and humanity was given (only) one-tenth. Hadith number 217 mentions that kufr, or disbelief means not believing in the wilayah (authority) of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Probably the greatest indication of their lies is the following hadith which they propagate (as mentioned in hadith 241):
إذا كان يوم القيامة قال الله لي ولعلي: أدخلا الجنة من أحبكما، وأدخلا النار من أبغضكما.
Enter into Jannat whoever loves you and permit into the fire whoever dislikes you.
This is how the Day of Reckoning and Recompense will transpire—in the form of sectarianism!
As for the love of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu—and what do you really know about the love of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu? It is the title for the notebook of every believer (as mentioned in hadith number 101); and all success lies in his love (as in hadith number 119); and love of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu eats away at reprehensible actions just as fire consumes firewood (as mentioned in hadith number 131); nay, a person jealous and envious of ‘Ali is a kafir (as mentioned in hadith number 143); and if all of creation (stones, trees, and fruits) if they concede to the love of ‘Ali, then—and only then—do they become sweet and fresh (as mentioned in hadith number 227; and fire was only created for the enemies of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu (as mentioned in hadith number 287). These are—among others—some of the lies that I have explained in the original work. The aim and objective being: to create a sense of aura and sanctity surrounding the personality of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and his centrality in the universe. Furthermore, it displays that he—and he alone—is deserving of Caliphate.
As mentioned previously, I have divided the ahadith into three categories. Let us now commence with the first of those three…
 Al Khalili: al Irshad fi Ma’rifat ‘Ulamaʾ al Hadith, 1/420
 Al ‘Uqayli: al Du’afa al Kabir, 4/215
 Al Hakim al Naisaburi: Mustadrak al Hakim, 3/116
 Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, 2/199
 Al Dhahabi: Mizan al ‘Itidal, 2/417