Shattering the Mirage: A Response to ‘Abdul Hussain Sharaf al Din’s al Muraja’at: Letter 33 and 34

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Letter 33

Thul-Hijjah 25, 1329

 

When was ‘Ali and Aaron Described as the Two Stars?

 

It has not been clarified yet what you claim that he, peace be upon him and his progeny, used to describe ‘Ali and Aaron as the two stars which are alike; when did he do that?

 

Sincerely,

S

Letter 34

Thul-Hijjah 27, 1329

 

I. The Occasion of Shabar Shubayr and Mushbir

II. The Occasion of Fraternity

III. The Occasion of Closing the Doors

 

Research the biography of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, and you will find him describing ‘Ali and Aaron as two bright stars in the heart of the skies, the eyes positioned in the face, neither of them is distinguished in his nation from the other.

 

1) Have you noticed how he, peace be upon him and his progeny, had insisted that ‘Ali should name his sons just like Aaron did, calling them Hassan, Hussain, and Muhsin? He ‘alayh al Salam has said: “I have named them after Aaron’s sons, Shabar, Shubayr, and Mushbir,”1 intending thereby to emphasize the similarity between himself and Aaron, and generalizing such a similarity in all areas and aspects.

 

2) For the same reason, ‘Ali has cherished his brother and favoured him over all others, thus achieving the goal of generalizing the similarity of both Aarons to their respective brothers, making sure that there must be no difference between them.

He, peace be upon him and his progeny, created brotherhood among his companions, as stated above, making, in the first incident, Abu Bakr brother of ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman brother of ‘Abdul-Rahman ibn ‘Auf. In the Second Fraternity, Abu Bakr became brother of Kharijah ibn Zaid, and ‘Umar was made brother of ‘Atban ibn Malik. Yet on both occasions, ‘Ali was made brother of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, as you have come to know.

There is no room here to quote all verified texts citing Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn ‘Umar, Zaid ibn Arqam, Zaid ibn Abu ‘Aufah, Anas ibn Malik, Huthayfah ibn al Yemani, Makhduj ibn Yazid, ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, al Bara’ ibn ‘Azib, ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib, and others narrating this hadith as such. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam has also said to ‘Ali: “You are my Brother in this life and the life hereafter.”2

In Letter No. 20, we stated how he salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam took ‘Ali by the neck, saying: “This is my Brother, vicegerent and successor among you; therefore, listen to him and obey him.”

He, peace be upon him and his progeny, came out to meet his companions with a broad smile on his face. ‘Abdul-Rahman ibn ‘Auf asked him what pleased him so much. He answered: “It is due to a piece of good news which I have just received from my Lord regarding my brother and cousin, and also regarding my daughter. The Almighty has chosen ‘Ali a husband of Fatima.”

When the Mistress of all women of the world was wed to the master of the Prophet’s progeny ‘alayh al Salam, the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: “O Umm Ayman! Bring me my brother.” Umm Ayman asked: “He is your brother, and you still marry him to your daughter?!” He said: “Yes, indeed, Umm Ayman.” She called ‘Ali in.3

Quite often, the Prophet ‘alayh al Salam used to point to ‘Ali and say: “This is my brother, cousin, son-in-law, and father of my descendants.”4

Once he spoke to him and said: “You are my brother and companion.” In another occasion, he said to him: “You are my brother, friend, and companion in Paradise.” He once addressed him in a matter that was between him, his brother Ja’far, and Zaid ibn Harithah, saying: “O ‘Ali! You are, indeed, my brother and the father of my descendants. You are of me and for me.”5

He made a covenant with him once saying: “You are my brother and vizier; you complete my religion, fulfill my promise, pay my debts on my behalf, and clear my conscience.”6

When death approached him, may both my parents be sacrificed for him, he said: “Fetch me my brother.” They called ‘Ali in. He said to him: “Come close to me.” ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam did. He kept whispering in his ears till his pure soul departed from his body. ‘Ali even caught some of the Prophet’s saliva.7

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has also said: “It is written on the gate of Paradise: ‘There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, ‘Ali is the Brother of the Messenger of Allah.'”8

The Almighty, when the Prophet left ‘Ali sleeping in his bed while the enemies were outside plotting to murder him, addressed Gabriel and Michael thus: “I have created brotherhood between both of you and let the life-span of one of you be longer than that of the other. Which one of you wishes to have the life of the other be longer than his own?” Each held his own life dearer. The Almighty said: “Why can’t you be like ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib between whom and Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam I have created brotherhood, and he has chosen to sleep in Muhammad’s bed, offering to sacrifice his own life for his brother? Go down to earth and protect him from his foes.” They both came down. Gabriel stood at ‘Ali’s head while Michael stood at his feet. Gabriel cried: “Congratulations! Congratulations! Who can be like you, O son of Abu Talib? Even Allah brags about you to His angels!” Regarding that incident, the verse “And there are among men those who trade their own lives for the Pleasure of Allah (Qur’an, 2:207)” was revealed.9

‘Ali himself is quoted saying: “I am the servant of Allah and the Brother of His Messenger. I am the strongest in believing in the Prophet. Nobody else can say so except a liar.”10

He has also said: “By Allah! I am his Brother and wali, his cousin and the inheritor of his knowledge; who else is more worthy of it than me?”11

On the Day of Shura, he said to ‘Uthman, ‘Abdul-Rahman, Sa’d, and al Zubair: “Do you know of anyone among the Muslims other than myself with whom the Messenger of Allah established Brotherhood?” They answered: “We bear witness, no.”12

When ‘Ali stood to duel with al Walid during the Battle of Badr, the latter asked him: “Who are you?” ‘Ali answered: “I am the servant of Allah and the brother of His Messenger.”13

When ‘Umar was caliph, ‘Ali asked him:14 “Suppose some Israelites come to you and one of them told you that he was cousin of Moses, would he receive a preferred treatment than the others?” ‘Umar answered: “Yes, indeed.” ‘Ali said: “I, by Allah, am the brother of the Messenger of Allah and his cousin.” ‘Umar took off his mantle and spread it for ‘Ali to sit on, saying: “By Allah, you will sit nowhere else other than on my own mantle till each one of us goes his way.” ‘Ali did so while ‘Umar was pleased by that gesture of respect for the brother and cousin of the Messenger of Allah as long as he was in his company.

 

3) ‘Well, I seem to have lost control over my pen. The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, ordered the doors of his companions’ houses overlooking the mosque to be closed for good, as a measure to protect the mosque’s sanctity against janaba or najasa, but he allowed ‘Ali’s door to remain open, permitting him to cross the mosque’s courtyard even while being in the state of janaba, just as Aaron was permitted to do, thus providing another proof for the similarity of positions of both men, peace be upon them, in their respective creeds and nations.

Ibn ‘Abbas has said: “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, ordered all the doors of his companions closed except that of ‘Ali who used to enter even while in the state of janaba, having no other way out.”15

‘Umar ibn al Khattab has narrated an authentic hadith which has been reproduced in both sahih books wherein he says:16

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib was granted three tokens of prestige; had I had one of them, it would have been dearer to me than all red camels [of Arabia]: his wife Fatima daughter of the Messenger of Allah, his residence at the mosque neighbouring the Messenger of Allah and feeling at home therein, and the standard during the Battle of Khaybar.”

Sa’id ibn Malik, as quoted in an authentic hadith, once mentioned a few unique merits of ‘Ali and said: “The Messenger of Allah turned out everyone from the mosque, including his uncle al ’Abbas and others. Al ’Abbas asked him: ‘Why do you turn us out and keep ‘Ali?’ He, peace be upon him and his progeny, answered: ‘It is not I who has turned you out and kept ‘Ali. It is Allah who has turned you out while keeping him.'”17

Zaid ibn Arqam has said: “A few companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam used to have the doors of their houses overlooking the mosque. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, then said: ‘Close down all these doors except ‘Ali’s.’

Some people did not like it, and they talked about it. So, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, stood one day, praised the Almighty then said: ‘I have ordered these doors to be closed save ‘Ali’s, and some of you have disliked that. I have not closed down a door nor opened it, nor gave any order, except after being commanded by my Lord to do so.'”18

Quoting Ibn ‘Abbas, Al Tabrani has said that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, stood up once and said: “I have not turned you out acting on my own personal desire, nor have I left a door open out of my own personal preference. I only follow whatever inspiration I receive from my Lord.”19

And the Messenger of Allah said once to Ali ‘alayh al Salam: “O ‘Ali! It is not permissible for anybody other than your own self to be present [in the mosque] while being in the state of janaba.”20

Sa’d ibn Abu Waqqas, al Bara’ ibn ‘Azib, Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn ‘Umar, and Huthayfah ibn al Yemani, have all said: “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, came out to the mosque once and said: ‘Allah inspired to his Prophet Moses to build Him a pure mosque in which nobody other than Moses and Aaron would live. Allah has inspired to me to build a sanctified mosque wherein only I and my brother ‘Ali are permitted to sleep.'”21

There is no room here to state all the ascertained texts narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas, Abu Sa’id al Khudri, Zaid ibn Arqam, a companion from the tribe of Khath’am, Asma’ bint ‘Amis, Umm Salamah, Huthayfah ibn Asid, Sa’d ibn Abu Waqqas, al Bara’ ibn ‘Azib, ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib, ‘Umar, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, Abu Tharr al Ghifari, Abul Tufail, Buraidah al Aslami, Abu Rafi’, freed slave of the Messenger of Allah, Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah al Ansari, and others have all narrated the same hadith.

It is also well known that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, invoked the Almighty once saying:

“O Lord! The my brother Moses had prayed you saying: ‘Lord! Remove depression from my chest, untie my tongue’s knot so that people may understand my speech, and let my brother Aaron be my vizier from among my household to support me in my undertaking and participate therein,’ and you, Lord, responded with: ‘We shall support you through your brother and bestow upon you a great authority (Qur’an, 28:35).’

Lord! I am your servant Muhammad; therefore, I invoke you to remove depression from my chest, to make my undertaking easier to carry out, and to let ‘Ali be my brother from among my household.”22

Al Bazzaz has likewise indicated that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, took ‘Ali’s hand and said: “Moses had prayed his Lord to purify His mosque through Aaron, and I have prayed my Lord to purify mine through you.” He then sent a messenger to Abu Bakr ordering him to close down his door which overlooked the mosque, and Abu Bakr responded expressing his desire to honour the Prophet’s command.

Then he sent another messenger to ‘Umar to do likewise, and another to al ’Abbas for the same purpose. Then he, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: “It is not I who has closed down your doors, nor have I kept ‘Ali’s door open out of my own accord; rather, it is Allah Who has opened his door and closed yours.”

This much suffices to prove the similarity between ‘Ali and Aaron in all circumstances and conditions, and peace be with you.

 

Sincerely,

Sh

 

Footnotes

  1. This is quoted by the traditionists according to their own authentic sources of the traditions of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny. Refer to pages 265 and 168, Vol. 3, of Al Mustadrak, and you will find the text of this hadith described as authentic according to the endorsement of both Sheikhs. Imam Ahmed has also quoted it from ‘Ali’s hadith on page 98, Vol. 1, of his Musnad. Ibn ‘Abdel-Birr, too, quotes the biography of the grandson of the Prophet al Hassan ‘alayh al Salam from Isti’ab, and even al Thahbi quotes it in his Talkhis, taking its authenticity for granted, in spite of his fanaticism and deviation from this nation’s Aaron, and from its Shabar and Shubayr. It is also quoted by al Baghwi in his Mu’jam, and ‘Abdul-Ghani from his Idah, as is recorded on page 115 of Al Sawaiq al Muhriqa, from Salman whose text is almost similar, and also from Ibn ‘Asakir.
  2. Al Hakim has quoted it on page 14, Vol. 3, of his Al Mustadrak as narrated by Ibn ‘Umar from two authentic sources and endorsed by both Sheikhs. Al Thahbi has also quoted it in his Talkhis, taking its authenticity for granted. Al Tirmithi, too, quotes it as cited by Ibn Hajar on page 72 of his Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqa; so, refer to the seventh hadith of the ones included in Section 2 of Chapter 9 of Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqa. All those who have discussed the brotherhood hadith among writers of traditions and chronicles have accepted it without any argument.
  3. This is quoted by al Hakim on page 159, Vol. 3, of his Al Mustadrak. Al Thahbi, too, has quoted it in his Talkhis, admitting its authenticity. Ibn Hajar copies it in Chapter 11 of his Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqa. All those who wrote about the wedding of al Zahra’ ‘alayh al Salam have, without any exception, mentioned it.
  4. This is included by al Shirazi in his chapter on surnames, and by Ibn al Najjar who quotes Ibn ‘Umar. Al Muttaqi al Hindi has transmitted it in his Kanz al ’Ummal and Al Muntakhab which he attaches to the footnote of his Musnad; so, refer to the second line of the footnote on page 32 of its fifth volume.
  5. Al Hakim quotes it on page 217, Vol. 3, of his Mustadrak, the authenticity of whose narrators is endorsed by Muslim. Al Thahbi has admitted the same in his own Talkhis.
  6. Al Tabrani has quoted it in his Al Kabir from Ibn ‘Umar, and it is transmitted by al Muttaqi al Hindi in his Kanz al ’Ummal as well as Al Muntakhab; so, refer to Al Muntakhab to see the inclusion of the footnote on page 32, Vol. 5, of the Musnad.
  7. This is quoted by Ibn Sa’d on page 51, Part Two, Vol. 2, of his Tabaqat, and also on page 55, Vol. 4, of Kanz al ’Ummal.
  8. This is quoted by al Tabrani in his Al Awsat, by al Khatib in his Al Muttafaq wal Muftaraq, and it is transmitted by the author of Kanz al ’Ummal; so, refer to Al Muntakhab and see the inclusion of a footnote on page 35, Vol. 5, of Ahmed’s Musnad. It is also transmitted by Ibn ‘Asakir in his footnote on page 46.
  9. This is quoted by authors of books of traditions in their respective works, and it is briefly referred to by Imam Fakhrul-Din al Razi as he interprets this verse of Surat al Baqara, on page 189, Vol. 2, of his Al Tafsir al Kabir.
  10. This is quoted by al Nisa’i in Al Khasa’is al ’Alawiyya, and by al Hakim at the beginning of page 112, Vol. 3, of his Al Mustadrak, by Abu Shaybah and Ibn Abu ‘Asim in Al Sunnah, and by Abu Na’im in Al Ma’rifa. It is also transmitted by al Muttaqi al Hindi in Kanz al ’Ummal and Muntakhab al Kanz. Refer to Al Muntakhab and read what Ahmed has included in the footnote on page 40, Vol. 5, of his Musnad.
  11. Refer to page 126, Vol. 3, of the Al Mustadrak. It is quoted by al Thahbi in his Talkhis, where the author does not dispute its authenticity at all.
  12. This is quoted by Ibn ‘Abdl al Birr in ‘Ali’s biography in the Isti’ab, in addition to many other trusted authorities.
  13. This is quoted by Ibn Sa’d while discussing Badr’s military campaign in his Tabaqat, page 15, part One, Vol. 2.
  14. As Dar Qutni quotes in the fifth maqsad of the Maqasid of the verse enjoining kindness to the Prophet’s kin, and it is verse 14 of the ones counted by Ibn Hajar in Part 11 of his Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqa; so, refer to page 107 of Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqa.
  15. This hadith is quite lengthy, and it contains ten exclusive merits of ‘Ali, and we have quoted it Letter No. 26.
  16. It exists on page 125, Vol. 3, of Al Mustadrak. It is quoted by Abu Ya’li, as stated in Part 3, Chapter 9, of Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqa; so, refer to page 76 of this book. It is also quoted in this meaning in almost similar wording by Ahmed ibn Hanbal while quoting ahadith by ‘Umar and his son ‘Abdullah, and by many other trusted traditionists through various avenues.
  17. As stated at the beginning of page 17, Vol. 3, of Al Mustadrak. This hadith is included in Sunni books of traditions, and it is quoted by many trusted Sunni authorities.
  18. As quoted about him by Ahmed on page 369, Vol. 4, of the Musnad. It is also quoted by al Diya as stated in Kanz al ’Ummal and its Muntakhab; so, refer to Al Muntakhab to see what is included in the footnote for page 29 of the fifth volume of the Musnad.
  19. As he is quoted by al Muttaqi al Hindi at the end of the footnote on the page referred to above.
  20. As quoted by al Tirmithi in his Sahih and quoted from him by al Muttaqi al Hindi as we have stated when referring to his Muntakhab. It is also quoted by al Bazzaz from Sa’d, as stated in hadith 13 of the ahadith which Ibn Hajar quotes in Section 2, Chapter 9, of his Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqa; so, refer to page 73 of the same.
  21. As they are quoted by ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al Khatib, the Shafi’i faqih who is better known as Ibn al Maghazli, in his book Al Manaqib from various sources, and transmitted by the trusted researcher al Balkhi in Chapter 17 of his Yanabi’ al Mawaddah.
  22. This is quoted by Imam Abu Ishaq al Tha’labi from Abu Tharr al Ghifari in his interpretation of the following verse of Surat al Ma’ida: “Verily, your wali are: Allah, His Messenger, and the Believers,” in his Al Tafsir al Kabir, similar to which is transmitted from Imam Ahmed’s Musnad by the Balkhi researcher.


Discussions

 

Jewish Influence

There is no mistaking the Jewish influence of ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’ in the development of Shia thought. The entire concept of Wasiyyah for the Khilafah of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is an adaptaion of the Wasiyyah for Yusha’ ibn Nun ‘alayh al Salam by Musa ‘alayh al Salam. This is something attested to my the scholars of the Shia. Al Nawbakhti writes:

 

A group of scholars aligned to ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam, have concluded that ‘Abdullah ibn Sabaʼ was a Jew, who embraced Islam and expressed love for ‘Ali. He was known for propagating the idea that Yusha’ ibn Nun was the one to whom leadership was bequeathed after Musa. After embracing Islam he promoted the same idea about ‘Ali; that leadership was bequethed to him upon the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise. He was the first person to propagate the doctrine which declared the necessity of accepting the Imamah of ‘Ali, and disassociating one’s self from his enemies and adopting a hostile attitude towards them.[1]

 

The progression of this idea subconciously resonates in ‘Abdul Hussain’s arguments. He argues along similar lines for the pre-eminence of ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu immediate succession. The parallel to the Jewish tradition is again misplaced since Harun ‘alayh al Salam did not succeed Musa ‘alayh al Salam. Notwithstanding this, our arguments have very little to do with the nuanced Jewish similarilities.

 

The dilemma

Not only was it that circumstances prompted the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to console ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu; but Harun’s ‘alayh al Salam position with regards to Musa ‘alayh al Salam was temporal. Even if Harun ‘alayh al Salam were to be alive at the time of the demise of Musa ‘alayh al Salam he would not have been his successor since he was already a prophet with a mission. He would be continuing the mission with which he was mandated to perform by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

Harun ‘alayh al Salam was also the biological brother of Musa ‘alayh al Salam; so arguing that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu resembled Harun in every aspect besides prophethood is simply not possible in this respect. The hermanuetic principle dictates that a general text which has been restricted, ceases to be absolute and is subject to further restriction. Proving the pre-eminence of ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu succession in light of the Hadith al Manzilah is not merely speculative but downright whimsical.

To argue that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was first in line for succession because of Wasiyyah becomes increasingly problematic since Harun ‘alayh al Salam did not succeed Musa ‘alayh al Salam. It is thus imperitive that we look to another candidate to be the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam successor. Consider that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam companion on the Hijrah journey, just as Yusha’ ibn Nun ‘alayh al Salam was the companion of Musa ‘alayh al Salam on their journey to meet al Khidr. Similarly, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was nominated to lead the people in prayer – even though ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was present – seems to indicate the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam preference for succession. To the disappointment of many detractors, it was only the door of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu which led into the Masjid that the Prophet demanded be kept open when he instructed that all other such doors be sealed shut.[2] It is not farfetched to establish the similarities between them.

 

The narrations

Considering the delicate foundation upon which this argument rests, it is imperative that it be supported by other forms of evidence. To this end ‘Abdul Hussain has cited over two dozen narrations; most of which are fabricated or seriously flawed, the exception being a few over which the scholars have differed.

We present our study of these narrations below:

 

1. The names of Hassan, Hussain, Muhassin and Shabbar, Shabir, Mushabbir

Even if this narration was accepted, all it indicates is a similarity between Harun ‘alayh al Salam and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It does nothing to support the idea of ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu immediate succession. It also calls into question the Rafidi version of events after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise which holds ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu responsible for Fatimah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu miscarriage; an invented tale.

This narration is transmitted with variant wordings via different chains:

a. Isra’il – Abu Ishaq – Hani’ ibn Hani’ – ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[3] All those who narrate it with this chain mention Hassan, Hussain, Muhassin and Shabbar, Shabir, Mushabbir as well as the fact that these were the names of the children of Harun ‘alayh al Salam, with the exception of al Bazzar who names them Jabr, Jubayr, Mujabbir.

It is interesting to know that after ascribing this narration to al Hakim in his Mustadrak, ‘Abdul Hussain quotes him as grading this narration authentic according to the criteria of both al Bukhari and Muslim whereas al Hakim merely accepted it without ascribing to it the criteria of neither al Bukhari nor Muslim.

b. Yusuf ibn Ishaq – Abu Ishaq – Hani’ ibn Hani’ – ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[4] This version mentions nothing about Harun ‘alayh al Salam.

c. Qais ibn al Rabi’ – Abu Ishaq – Hani’ ibn Hani’ – ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[5] This version only mentions two names and does not make any reference to Harun ‘alayh al Salam.

d.Amr ibn HuraythBardhaah ibn Abdul Rahman – Abu al Khalil – Salman al Farisi radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[6] This version only mentions two sons.

e. Al A’mash – Salim ibn Abi al Ja’d – ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[7]

f. Al A’mash – Salim ibn Abi al Ja’d – Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[8]

 

The first three chains are all by way of Abu Ishaq al Sabi’i, from Hani’ ibn Hani’, from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The astute reader will notice the inconsistency in the wording between the three versions. This could be attributed to the fact that the memory of Abu Ishaq al Sabi’i was not as strong towards the end of his life.[9]

Earlier we touched on ‘Abdul Hussain’s deception vis-à-vis al Hakim’s grading. Let us elaborate on why this could not be on the criteria of al Bukhari or Muslim, let alone them both.

The narrator, Hani’ ibn Hani’, is relatively unknown. The only person to narrate from him is Abu Ishaq al Sabi’i. His narrations do not appear in any of the Sahihayn; instead they are found in Abu Dawood, al Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.[10] Ibn Hajar describes him as one whose narrations would not be independantly relied upon, but have the capacity of being elevated when there is supporting evidence.[11]Naturally, this would apply when there is nothing to contradict it. However, if the inconsistencies in the wordings are considered it might be reason for scholars not to accept this narration as has been the case with some scholars. Others might not deem it too contradictory, and accept the narration on the lowest level of acceptance.

The narration by way of Salman radiya Llahu ‘anhu includes two problematic narrators whose weakness renders his version incapable of providing support to others. Appearing the chain of this narration is Amr ibn Hurayth, whose status as a narrator remains unknown.[12] Worse still is Bardhaah ibn Abdul Rahman who is severely criticized and known for spurious narrations; this one in particular[13]

The remaining two versions have interrupted chains, Salim ibn Abi al Jad did not meet ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu let alone the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

The problem does not end here. There is another narration which describes different circumstances for the naming of Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. In the narrations above, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is said to have named each of his sons Harb, which means war. Each time the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam changed the name and in some versions mentioned the resemblance to Harun ‘alayh al Salam.

Imam Ahmed narrates from Zakariyya ibn ‘Adi — from ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Amr — from ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Aqil — from Muhammad ibn ‘Ali[14] — from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said that when Hassan was born he first named him Hamzah (after his uncle) and when Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu was first born he named him Jafar (after his brother); however the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam indicated that he wished to change their names. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said that Allah and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam know best. So, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam changed the names to Hassan and Hussain.[15]

It is increasingly difficult to decide which of the narrations is the most accurate. Needless to say that this narration is not known to have been criticized by the scholars of Hadith. In any case, if the Shia accept the narration presented by ‘Abdul Hussain then it is necessary to retract all allegations of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu kicking in the door of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and causing Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to lose the child with which she was pregnant.

 

2. You are my brother in this life and the next

a. Hakim ibn JubayrJumay ibn Umair – ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma[16]

b. Ishaq ibn Bishr al Kahili – Muhammad ibn Fudayl – Salim ibn Abi Hafsah – Jumay ibn Umair – ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.[17]

c. Kathir al Nawa’Jumay ibn Umair – ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.[18]

The common narrator in all the variant chains is Jumay’ ibn ‘Umair. Before discussing his status as a narrator let us investigate the other problematic narrators who appear in each chain.

Hakim ibn Jubayr has been criticized by a number scholars including Shu’bah, Ahmed ibn Hanbal, al Nasa’i and al Daraqutni. Some of them have criticized him with very harsh terms.[19]

Appearing in the second chain is Ishaq ibn Bishr al Kahili, a narrator of Hadith in Kufah who is suspected of forging narrations. Mutayyin said that the only person he heard Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah call a liar was Ishaq ibn Bishr. He was also suspected of fabricating Hadith by Abu Zur’ah al Razi, ‘Amr ibn ‘Ali al Fallas and al Nasa’i.[20] Al Dhahabi criticizes him harshly in Talkhis al Mustadrak.[21]

Kathir al Nawa’ was a hardline Shia, considered weak by Abu Hatim al Razi, al Nasa’i, ibn ‘Adi and al Dhahabi among many others.[22]

 

Jumay ibn Umair

Jumay’ ibn ‘Umair is the common narrator in this Hadith. ‘Abdul Hussain claimed that al Dhahabi ratified this narration as being sound. The reality, however, is very different. Al Dhahabi suspects him of forging this narration in Talkhis al Mustadrak![23]

Al Bukhari described him with the term, “Fihi Nazar,” a term used mostly for a narrator whose weakness is severe. Ibn Hibban described him as a hardline Shia who forged Hadith; whereas Ibn ‘Adi said that his narrations are largely unsupported.[24]

None of the chains can be elevated due to the severity of the weakness of this narration.

 

3. This is my brother, my executor, and my khalifah amongst you! Therefore, listen to him, and obey him!

We have already discussed this narration in significant detail under Letter 20. Please refer there for the detailed response, especially the inconsistancies in the text. Our brief comment in this narration will follow.[25]

All the references quote this narration with one of two common chains

a. Muhammad ibn Ishaq – Abdul Ghaffar ibn al Qasim – Minhal ibn ‘Amr – ‘Abdullah ibn al Harith – ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu – ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu

b.Abdullah ibn Abdul Quddus – al A’mash – al Minhal ibn ‘Amr with his chain to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Abdul Ghaffar ibn al Qasim, Abu Maryam, is matruk (suspected of forgery) and is not reliable on any level.[26]

Abdullah ibn Abdul Quddus was considered weak and a known Rafidi. Ibn ‘Adi said most of what he narrates is about the Ahlul Bayt, and al Nasa’i and al Daraqutni emphatically conclude that he was weak.[27]

 

4. Good news which has just reached me from my Lord…

‘Abdul Hussain has not provided a reference for this naration. We managed to trace it to Tarikh Baghdad by al Khatib al Baghdadi. It is a lengthy narration with a lengthy chain. Al Khatib, after citing this narration, states, “All the narrators appearing in this chain from ‘Umar ibn Muhammad until Bilal [ibn Hamamah] – this amounts to seven narrators – are all Majhul.”[28]This means that there are seven consecutive narrators whose identities, and status as transmitters of Hadith, remains a mystery. What is not a mystery is why ‘Abdul Hussain relied on this Hadith.

 

5. On the night of Fatimah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha wedding the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “ O Umm Ayman, call my brother.” She responded, “Is he is your brother yet you marry him to your daughter?”

a. Hatim ibn Wardan – Ayub – Abu Yazid al Madani – Asma’ bint ‘Umays radiya Llahu ‘anha who said, “I was present at the wedding of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha…”[29]

b. Ma’mar – Ayub – Abu Yazid & ‘Ikrimah or one of them – that Asma’ bint ‘Umays radiya Llahu ‘anha…(Mursal)[30]

c. Hammad ibn Zaid – Ayub – Abu Yazid that Asma’ bint ‘Umays radiya Llahu ‘anha (Mursal)[31]

d. Muhammad ibn Sawa’Said ibn Abi Arubah – Ayub – ‘Ikrimah – ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma[32]

 

The variations in this chain might hold little value, if any, to the untrained eye. However, expert critics examined the subtle changes in the way a narration was transmitted.

The reader will notice that Ayub is the common narrator in all chains, however those who narrate it from Ayub differ in the manner in which they narrate it from him.

Three versions have Ayub with a chain to Asma’ bint ‘Umays, whereas one chain goes via Ibn ‘Abbas.

The chain that mentions Sa’id ibn Abi ‘Arubah cites ‘Ikrimah, from Ibn ‘Abbas, a common chain. It is to be noted that while Sa’id ibn Abi ‘Arubah was a highly reliable narrator, his memory failed him at the end of his life as a result of which he erred in his narrations. The scholars accept the narrations of those who narrate from him prior to the lapse in memory, 145 A.H. Those who narrate from him after this date have been found to have errors in their narrations.[33]

Muhammad ibn Sawa’, despite being a reliable narrator,[34] is among those who narrate from him after his lapse in memory;[35] and the evidence to that can be seen in this narration as he cites the common chain from ‘Ikrimah.

Abu Yazid al Madani, while it is correct that he is among the narrators found in Sahih al Bukhari, has only been cited by him once in his Sahih.[36] This narration happens to be a Mawquf narration. While scholars like Yahya ibn Ma’in and Ahmed ibn Hanbal were inclined to accept his narration; that was only on account of Ayub narrating from him. Imam Malik appears not to have known him. Perhaps this is the reason that Ibn Hajar grades him on the bare minimum, Maqbul.[37]

In the remaining three versions, two of them have interrupted chains and one of the chains is transmitted in way that can be assumed continuous. All three versions mention Ayub. Fortunately, the expert in the science of Ilal [subtle anomalies], Abu al Hassan al Daraqutni, has offered his insight by pointing out that the interrupted version is the correct narration.[38]

Contrary to what ‘Abdul Hussain deceitfully ascribes to al Dhahabi in Talkhis al Mustadrak, we find that al Dhahabi has acknowledged that this narration is incorrect, Ghalat.[39] We have come to accept this as deceit since neither the Talkhis, nor the Mustadrak was printed during the period in which this correspondence is meant to have taken place.[40]

The error is further confirmed by historical inaccuracies in the text. Asma’ bint ‘Umays radiya Llahu ‘anha could not have been present at the wedding of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha as she was still in Abyssinia. She only arrived in Madinah with her husband, Jafar ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu, in the seventh year of the Hijrah; around the time of the Khaybar expedition.

 

6. This is my brother, cousin, son-in-law and the father of my descendents.

There is nothing objectionable in the wording of this narration. The only question is whether this was said by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the manner described.

The narration could be traced with the following chain:

Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ars – Muhammad ibn Sahl al Mazini – Ismail ibn Yahya al Tamimi - ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Umar – Nafi’ – ibn ‘Umar…[41]

Al Tabarani states after narrating it, “This narration is only known from Ibn ‘Umar except by way of Isma’i ibn Yahya al Tamimi; and the only one to narrate it from him is Muhammad ibn Sahl al Mazini.”[42]

Ismail ibn Yahya al Tamimi is known for forging Hadith. He has been described as a liar, and a cornerstone of forgery.[43]As such, this narration cannot be relied upon.

 

7. You are my brother and my companion.

Like the narration before it, there is nothing objectionable in the text. The issue is whether this narration can correctly be traced back to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the manner described. The correct wording appears in the narration of al Bara ibn ‘Azib.[44]

It is narrated by way of Hajjaj [ibn Artat] – al Hakam – Miqsam – ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma[45]

Hajjaj ibn Artat is known as a Mudallis, which means that if he often omits the person from whom he received the Hadith and assigns its reference to someone higher up the chain. The problem with Hajjaj is that he was known for omitting spurious narrators and ascribing the narration to a reliable narrator higher up the chain. As such, the scholars are reluctant to accept his narrations unless he expressly indicates whom he received it from.[46] In this case he used the word “‘an” which is an ambiguous term.

In addition to this there is the interruption between al Hakam and Miqsam. Shu’bah ibn Hajjaj stated that al Hakam only heard five narrations from Miqsam;[47] this is not one of them.

 

8. You are my brother, my friend, and companion in paradise.

What has been said for the previous two narrations applies here as well in terms of the meaning. The narration has correctly been ascribed to Tarikh Baghdad.[48]

The end of the chain is as follows:

Uthman ibn Abdul Rahman – Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain – his father – ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu

firstly, this is an interrupted chain since ‘Ali ibn al Hussain does not narrate from his grandfather, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

The major problem, however; is the presence of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Abdul Rahman al Qurashi al Waqqasi in this chain. He is suspected of forging Hadith.[49]

 

9. Zaid ibn Harithah, Jafar ibn Abi Talib and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu came to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asking him who was the most beloved…

It is narrated by way of Muhammad ibn Salamah – Muhammad ibn Ishaq – Yazid ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Qusayt – Muhammad ibn Usamah – Usamah…[50]

Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Yasar is considered acceptable if he expressly states the person from whom he received the Hadith. In this case he used the ambiguous term “‘an” which raises a red flag.

The Hadith is found to contradict the more authentic version narrated by both al Bara’ ibn ‘Azib[51] and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu;[52] both in the wording and circumstance. We have already discussed the variant versions of this Hadith.[53]

 

10. You are my brother, my adviser…

This narration appears by way of Muhammad ibn ‘Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah – Muhammad ibn Yazid – Abdullah ibn Muhammad al TahwiLayth [ibn Abi Sulaim] – Mujahid – ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma[54]

After citing this narration al Haythami said, “Al Tabarani narrates it; though there are names which I do not recognize in it [the chain].”[55]Perhaps he is refering to Abdullah ibn Muhammad al Tahwi who does not have any bigraphical data on him; which means that his anonymity alone is enough to dismiss this narration.

The chain suffers from further problems in that Layth ibn Abi Sulaim was considered a weak narrator. Al Dhahabi has cited quotations from Yahya ibn Sa’id, Ahmed ibn Hanbal, and al Nasa’i, all of them discrediting his narrations. Al Dhahabi further lists a number of narrations, including some by way of Mujahid, for which Layth has been criticized and found wanting in terms of his memory.[56]

 

11. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam called for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu on his deathbed

‘Abdul Hussain ascribed this narration, via the agency of Kanz al Ummal,[57] to Ibn Sa’d in his Tabaqat. Although; he conveniently omited the fact that after referencing this narration, ‘Ali al Muttaqi says that the chain is weak!

We present the chain as it appears in Tabaqat ibn Sad:[58]

Muhammad ibn Umar [al Waqidi]Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Umar ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib – from his father [Muhammad] – from his grandfather…

To begin with the chain is interrupted. Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib did not meet ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. As such there is a missing link between him and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[59] It might be argued that the pronoun in this chain refers not to the grandfather of Muhammad, but that of his son, ‘Abdullah; meaning that Muhammad narrates it from his own father. If this is the case the narration remains Mursal since ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib is a Tabi’i and his narration from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam directly is also interupted.

‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad has been graded the bare minimum by Ibn Hajar, Maqbul.[60] Ibn Hajar has divided narrators into twelve categories. Six categories of narrators whose narrations are within the realm of acceptance, and the remaining six describe the weak narrators with increasing degrees of unreliablity. The term Maqbul is used for narrators on the lowest ond of the spectrum. This term applies to someone who does not narrate in adundance, whose narrations dont deserve to be discarded completely. Such a narrator is one whose solitary narrations would be considered on the higher end of weak, whilst they may be elevated to acceptable if supported by others.[61]

The major problem in this chain is the presence of al Waqidi, Muhammad ibn ‘Umar. He was considered extremely unreliable, even suspected of falsifying narrations. When it came to matters of Sirah and military expeditions they would mention his views alongside others due to the vast number of narrations he collected in that genre. The scholars are uninimous in rejecting those ahadith which he alone narrates.[62]

The authentic narrations place the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife, Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha at his side during his final moments.

Al Aswad ibn Yazid relates:

 

It was said in Aisha’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu presence that ‘Ali was appointed (by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam before he died), and she responded, “When did he [the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] do the Wasiyah? [In his final moments] He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was resting against my bosom, or in my lap, and he called for a basin, then he became limp in my lap and passed away, and I did not realize it. So when did he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appoint him?”[63]

 

The combination of those three defects in the chain with the contradictory narrative is enough to consider the narration in the Tabaqat of Ibn Sa’d a fabrication, as some have pointed out.

 

12. It is written on the doors of Paradise…

This narration has been transmitted by way of Muhammad ibn ‘Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah – Zakariyya ibn YahyaYahya ibn SalimAshath – Mis’ar – Attiyah – Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah … [64]

Zakariyyah ibn Yahya al Kisa’i has been described by Yahya ibn Ma’in as an evil person who narrated false narrations. Al Nasa’i and al Daraqutni claim that the scholars suspected him of forgery so they abandoned his narrations.[65]

Yahya ibn Salim al Asadi al Kufi was considered a weak narrator by al Daraqutni. Al ‘Uqayli put him in the same category as his teacher, Ash’ath. Ibn al Jawzi upheld the opinion of al Daraqutni, as did al Dhahabi and Ibn Hajar.[66]

Ashath, the cousin of Hassan ibn Salih, is described by al Dhahabi has an extremist Shia. Abu Jafar al ‘Uqayli discredits him saying that he did not preserve his narrations. He then goes on to cite this narration as an example of his spurious narrations.[67]Al ‘Uqayli goes on to state that the previous two narrators, Yahya ibn Salim al Asadi and Zakariyya ibn Yahya al Kisa’i, are no better than Ash’ath.[68]

Attiyah al Aufi is considered weak notwithstanding his Shia leanings. He is also on ‘Abdul Hussain’s list of 100 and we have pointed out that the scholars of Hadith do not rely on his narrations independently.[69] Al Dhahabi documents the fact that the all the scholars agree that he is weak.[70]

A further reference to Kanz al Ummal reveals a similar narration recorded by Ibn ‘Asakir.[71]This narration is found with the following chain:

Sulaiman ibn al RabiKadih ibn Rahmah – Mis’ar ibn Kidam – Attiyah al Aufi – Jabir radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[72]

It is clear from this chain of transmission that this is simply another version of the narration that we are discussing. The link from Mis’ar – Attiyah al Aufi – Jabir radiya Llahu ‘anhu is common; unreliable independently. What can about the rest of the chain is that it is even more problematic than the previous one due to the severity of the weakness of both Sulaiman ibn Rabiand Kadih ibn Rahmah.

Ibn Hibban writes:

Kadih ibn Rahmah, the Ascetic. He was from Kufah and narrates from al Thawri and Mis’ar; and Sulaiman ibn Rabi’ al Nahdi narrates from him. He’s known for grafting weak narrations onto strong chains. I have a niggling feeling that this was deliberate; although it is possible that these were inadvertent in which case his narrations were poorly preserved which resulted in huge blunders on account of which he deserved to be abandoned.[73]

 

To demonstrate the spurious narrations which have been transmitted by way of Kadih, ibn Hibban cites this very narration as an example. He says:

It is he who narrates from Mis’ar ibn Kidam — from ‘Attiyah — from Jabir that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “I saw written on the door of Paradise, ‘There is none worthy of worship besides Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, ‘Ali is the brother of the Messenger of Allah.’”[74]

 

Al Dhahabi quotes al Azdi, claiming that Kadih was a forger.[75]He also confirms that this narration is a forgery and establishes that the narrator from Kadih, Sulaiman ibn Rabi’, is suspected of forgery as well.[76]

These fabrications were well-known and recorded by the scholars very early on. The fact that anyone would think that these narrations would pass by unnoticed in a scholarly exchange is sufficient to prove that it was one-sided.

 

13. The night that ‘Ali slept in the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam bed Allah revealed to Jibril and Mika’il that He had made them brothers…

Contrary to ‘Abdul Hussain’s claim, no such narration exists in the Sunan works! To cover his bases he added al Tafsir al Kabir of Fakhr al Din al Razi as a secondary reference; whereas al Razi does not cite this narration verbatim in his tafsir.[77]

Under the discussion on the verse in Surah al Baqarah:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْرِيْ نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَآءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ رَءُوْفُۢ بِالْعِبَادِ

And of the people is he who sells himself, seeking means to the approval of Allah . And Allah is kind to [His] servants.[78]

 

Before we proceed it ought to be noted that the great scholar, Fakhr al Din al Razi, was an expert in the rational sciences, especially in the disciplines of ilm al Kalam, and Usul al Fiqh. Hadith, however, was not his speciality and his opinion on Hadith related matters doesn’t receive much consideration. That being said; al Razi opens this discussion citing three possible scenarios which serve as the circumstance for the revelation of this verse neither of which he has cited any original reference.

The first context that he provides describes a number of individuals whose sacrifices in Makkah were notable. Specific mention is made of Suhayb al Rumi who struck a bargain with the Quraysh; all his wealth in exchange for unhindered passage allowing him to migrate to Madinah where he would join the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This scenario is correct and is supported by a sound narration which al Hakim has vouched is authentic and is aproved by al Dhahabi.[79]

The second possibility is that it was revealed about an unnamed man who endured hardship in the way of enjoining good and forbidding evil.

The third context was that of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu sleeping on the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam bed on the night of Hijrah. The issue is that al Razi did not provide any reference for any of the scenarios which he had described. Furthermore, the version about ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is worded very differently from the one cited by ‘Abdul Hussain.

So, considering the lack of any mention of this narration in Sunni Hadith literature and the absence of any Isnad there is no way of reliably ascribing this version of events the the Prophetic period. However, an analysis of the text reveals that this narration – not the fact that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu slept in the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam bed – is inconsistent with Prophetic ahadith and considering this in addition to the previous problems some have no reservations in declaring this a forgery.

 

14. I am the slave of Allah and the brother of His Messenger. I am the greatest believer; only a liar shall claim this after me.

This narration appears by way of al Minhal ibn ‘Amr – Abbad ibn Abdullah – ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[80]

We have already pointed out that ‘Abbad ibn ‘Abdullah al Kufi is an unreliable narrator, as well as the opinions of al Bukhari and ‘Ali ibn al Madini on the extent of his weakness.[81]

Commenting on this narration, al Hakim graded it sound. However, al Dhahabi pointed out that this was an oversight and that the narration was baseless.[82]

Ibn al Jawzi included this narration on his collection of fabricated ahadith, al Mawduat.[83]

 

15. By Allah! I am his brother, his Wali, his cousin and the inheritor of his knowledge; who then can be more deserving of him me?

This is narrated by way of Amr ibn Talhah al QannadAsbat ibn Nasr – Simak ibn Harb – ‘Ikrimah – ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma[84]

Asbat ibn Nasr, even though his narrations appear in Sahih Muslim, he does not meet the criteria of credibility by Imam Muslim. Abu Zur’ah al Razi objected to Muslim’s inclusion of narrators like Asbat. Muslim justified his inclusion saying that he did not include him on the basis of accepting his narrations independently. Instead, he had acquired narrations by way of Asbat with a higher chain than that of the sound narrators of his time.. Since these narrations of Asbat are known to be correct, partly through the supplementary chains and partly by the fact that he only selected that which the reliable narrators have recorded from him, he included them with his shorter chain.[85]

When asked about Asbat, Abu Zur’ah claimed that some of his narrations were reliable whilst others were suspicious.[86] Although, Abu Hatim and al Nasa’i and Abu Nuaim – one of those on ‘Abdul Hussain’s list of 100 – considered Asbat weak and unreliable.[87] Al Saji has pointed out that Asbat narrated many flawed narrations from Simak ibn Harb which could not be corroborated.[88]

Simak ibn Harb was a moderately reliable narrator in general, his memory did affect his narrations towards the end of his life though. Ibn Ma’in, Abu Hatim and Ahmed ibn Hanbal all accepted his narrations in general. However, when asked about the reason for his criticism Ibn Ma’in responded that often times Simak was found narrating a complete chain where others had narrated the same report with an interrupted chain. Hisham ibn ‘Ammar acknowledges that Simak erred in his narrations somewhat, and the narrators from him differed, suggesting inconsistency.

‘Ali ibn al Madini and Ya’qub ibn Shaybah al Sadusi have identified the problem area in Simak’s narrations; when he narrrated from ‘Ikrimah. He was particular inconsistent with what he narrated from ‘Ikrimah, and would revert to that chain due to the abundance of what he narated via it, even when the narration was transmitted with a different chain.[89]

So, while Simak is reliable in general, his narrations from ‘Ikrimah specifically are problematic.

If we combine the problems found with ‘Simak from ‘Ikramah’ with the weakness of Asbat ibn Nasr it is quite easy to see why this narration is flawed.

Al Dhahabi has pointed out that this narration is baseless adding to the previous problems that of ‘Amr ibn Hammad ibn Talhah al Qannad. He concludes that although ‘Amr is within the acceptable range of narrators, he is known to have narrated baseless narrations and cited this particular narration as an example of such narrations.[90]

 

16. On the Day of Shura, he said to ‘Uthman, ‘Abdul Rahman, Sa’d, and al Zubair: “Do you know of anyone other than myself with whom the Messenger of Allah established Brotherhood?”…

In the footnotes this narration is correctly referenced to al Istiab of Ibn ‘Abdul Barr. Ibn ‘Abdul Barr was the unrivaled expert of Hadith in al Andalus in the fifth century. His book, al Istiab, is one of the earliest encyclopedias on the biographies of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

The narration appears thus in al Istiab:

‘Abdul Warith – Qasim – Ahmed ibn Zuhayr – Amr ibn Hammad al Qannad – Ishaq ibn Ibrahim al Azdi – Ma’roof ibn Kharrabudh – Ziyad ibn al Mundhir – Sa’id ibn Muhammad al Azdi – Abu al Tufayl[91]

The comments on Amr ibn Hammad al Qannad have been discussed in the previous narration.

The more obvious issue in the chain of this narration is Ziyad ibn al Mundhir; to whom the extremist Jarudiyyah branch of the Zaidi Shia is ascribed.

He is Abu al Jarud, Ziyad ibn al Mundhir al Hamadani [some say al Nahdi]. Al Shahrastani quotes al Baqir calling Ziyad a blind devil.[92] Yahya al Naysapuri, al Bukhari, Ibn Ma’in have all agreed to the severity of his weakness and to the fact that he cannot be trusted.

Al Hakim al Naysaburi refers to him as having adopted a wayward doctrine, famed for narrating false narrations about the virtues of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[93]

Some of the students of Yahya ibn Ma’in have him on record declaring Ziyad a liar. This opinion is upheld by many of the critics; including Ibn Hibban, who said that he was a Rafidi known for forging narrations which paint the Sahabah in negative light, in addition to his narration of baseless ahadith about the virtues of Ahlul Bayt.[94]

Even ibn ‘Abdul Barr, from whom ‘Abdul Hussain sourced this narration, considers Ziyad ibn al Mundhir extremely unreliable.[95]This confirms that ibn ‘Abdul Barr did not rely on this narration himself. He probably included it in al Istiab for the purpose of collected whatever had been written about ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

17. ‘Ali’s statement to al Walid at the Battle of Badr, “I am the slave of Allah, and the brother of His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam…”

This has been ascribed correctly to Ibn Sa’d in his Tabaqat. While there is nothing objectionable in th text of this narration it does appear to suffer from problems in terms of the chain of transmission. The narration appears in al Tabaqat of Ibn Sa’d with the following chain:

Khalaf ibn al Walid al Azdi – Yahya ibn Zakariyya ibn Abi Za’idah – Ismail ibn Abi Khalid – al Bahiyy [‘Abdullah ibn Yasar][96]

This narration ends with al Bahiyy, whose name is ‘Abdullah. Despite being from the generation of the Tabi’in, he only met the younger Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and did not meet ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This means that this chain is interupted and cannot be relied upon.

Abu Hatim expressed reservations about his narrations whereas others accepted him as honest. Therefore Ibn Hajar says that although he is trustworthy he has erred in some of his narrations.[97]

Both these factors affect the reliability of the chain.

 

18. Conversation with ‘Umar

‘Abdul Hussain has given a spin to this incident that it is barely recognizable from the one mentioned in al Sawaiq al Muhriqah. Also, the reference to al Daraqutni could not be verified.

The narration as it appears in al Sawaiq demonstrates that ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu asked about ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he was told that he was working his fields. So ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu went with those who were with him to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu providing assistance with his work. After a while they took a rest and in the conversation ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu asked ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “O Amir al Mu’minin! If a cousin of Musa ‘alayh al Salam were to come to you would he receive special treatment from you?” ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied in the affirmative. So ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu asked, “Is it because I am the cousin of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his brother [that you came personally to assist be with manual labour]?” So ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu removed his own shawl and spread it down ushering ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to sit on his shawl, telling him that none shall have the privilege of being seated on it whilst they were present.

Al Haytami mentioned this incident without a chain. Despite the lack of credibility in the narration, it shows that ‘Abdul Hussain was deceptive. Even a weak narration had to be tailored to suit his agenda!

 

19. Instruction to close all doors besides the door of ‘Ali

We have discussed this narration in a fair amount of detail under Letter 26.[98] The summarized version is that while some of the experts have declared it a forgery, others have considered it a weak narration which has been contradicted by an authentic narration, thus significantly unreliable.

The correct version of the Hadith is the one narrated by Abu Sa’id al Khudri in Sahih al Bukhari, wherein the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed that all doors leading into the Masjid besides Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu be sealed shut.[99]

We might add here that al Nasa’i has suggested where the confusion might have arisen which resulted in the erroneous version of the Hadith. He cites a narration by way of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “We were seated with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and there was a group of people around him. Then ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu entered; in turn they got up and left. After they left, the began blaming each other for leaving saying, ‘By Allah, he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not instruct us to leave or him (‘Ali) to enter!’ When they returned the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commented, ‘It was not I who made you leave or him (‘Ali) to enter, instead it was Allah who made you leave and caused him to enter.’”[100]

Al Nasa’i cited this narration immediately after the narration which mentions closing all the doors except ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu door. He commented on it saying, “This appears to be more accurate.”[101]

He follows that up with a weak narration which is worded slightly differently. The weaker version states that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam anounced one evening that everyone ought to vacate the masjid besides the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam own family, and the family of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The next morning one of his uncles expressed his disappointed when he asked the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam why his companions and uncles were made to leave for a youngster; to which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam allegedly responds, “It was not I who took you out and brought him in, rather it is Allah who took you out and brought him in.”[102]

It is clear that the underlying premise in the second version is somewhat altered from the first. The first version merely states that those who were seated around the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left from their own misunderstanding of a situation. The second, and weaker, version seems to imply that this was a divine directive. There is a variation of the second version, and in this variation the questioner is named as ‘Abbas. He is alleged to have said, “O Prophet od Allah, you have closed all our doors [told us to leave] and opened the door of ‘Ali [permited him to stay]?” the response was, “I have neither opened them, nor closed them.”[103]

The details of each version become increasingly elaborate. It comes as no surprise when there are numerous weak versions of the report calling for the closing of all doors except ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu. And Allah Knows Best.

Our apologies to the esteemed reader. Since ‘Abdul Hussain’s correspondence was not really responded to he repeatedly employs the same flawed evidence without worry. However, it is our duty to point these out periodically.

 

20. ‘Umar said that ‘Ali had been granted three things…

The translation of al Murajaat gives the impression that this narration appears in the Sahihayn, whereas the original Arabic merely states that this is on the criteria of the Sheikhayn [al Bukhari and Muslim]. In the footnotes he references it to al Mustadrak, Musnad Abi Yala and he points to a supporting version in Musnad Ahmed.

While the narration does appear in al Mustadrak[104], al Hakim merely stated that the chain was authentic – though al Hakim is known for his leniency in authenticating reports. ‘Abdul Hussain took the liberty of elevating the grading to the level of the Sahihayn!

Al Dhahabi expressed his disagreement with al Hakim in his abridgment. He pointed out that there was a narrator in the chain, Abdullah ibn Jafar, whose weakness is agreed upon. ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar is the father of the legendary ‘Ali ibn ‘Abdullah al Madini, al Bukhari’s famous teacher and mentor. ‘Ali ibn al Madini’s objectivity is remarkable; when asked about his father he first avoided the question, but when asked again he confirmed that his father was weak in Hadith.

Abu Hatim and al Nasa’i suggest that the extent of the weakness was significant.[105]

Al Haythami has pointed out that that the narration in Musnad Abi Yala is transmitted with the same chain; by way of ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar ibn Najih. Al Haythami says about him, “Matruk.”[106]

In the footnote he makes a vague reference to Musnad Ahmed. The narration, as it appears in Musnad Ahmed is as follows:

Waki’ – Hisham ibn Sad – ‘Umar ibn Usayd – ibn ‘Umar

We used to say during the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam time, “After him the best of this Ummah was Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu,” and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was given three virtues, had I been granted even one of them it would have been better for me than red camels. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam got him married to his own daughter, Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and she bore him children, the doors to the Masjid were closed besides his door, and he was granted the standard on the Day of Khaybar.”[107]

A similar narration is found in Musnad Abi Yala[108]by way of Nasr ibn ‘Ali – ‘Abdullah ibn Dawood – Hisham ibn Sad with the same chain to Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma

Also, by al Tahawi[109] by way of Fahd ibn Sulaiman – Abu Nuaim – Hisham ibn Sad with the same chain to Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

Its quite evident that this narration has four primary elements: Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma being the best of this Ummah, ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu marriage to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, the standard on the Day of Khaybar and the closing of all doors leading to the Masjid besides the door of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

The question is whether ‘Abdul Hussain accepts this narration in its entirety. The elements besides the matter of closing the doors to the Masjid are corroborated in sound reports. It is this matter which is contradicted by other narrations.

This brings us to the chain of transmission. The common narrator in all versions is Hisham ibn Sad.

‘Ali ibn al Madini said of him, “Not very strong.” Ahmed ibn Hanbal was also critical of him as a narrator of Hadith. Ibn Ma’in and al Nasa’i shared the same sentiments of him being not that reliable. Ibn ‘Adi considered him weak, though not weak enough for his narrations to be discarded. Ibn Sa’d noted Shia tendencies as well.[110]These factors acount for the erroneous addition in this narration.[111]

 

21. The narration of Sa’d ibn Malik [Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas]

He ascribed this narration to al Hakim, claiming that this is among the most authentic narrations. This is nothing more than his own deception since al Hakim did not even consider this narration sound. [112] What is more strange is that al Dhahabi points this out on the very same page! To the contrary, al Dhahabi mentions the problematic narrator, Muslim al A’war; he calls him ‘Matruk’, suspected of forgery!

The narration of Sa’d is the one which we used to demonstrate the development of the idea that the instruction was given for all doors leading to the Masjid to be sealed besides the door of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. There are a few versions of this narration:

a. Ibn Fudayl – Muslim al A’war al Mala’i – Khaythamah ibn ‘Abdul Rahman – Sa’d

b. Muhammad ibn Sulaiman [Luwayn] – ibn ‘Uyayanah – ‘Amr ibn Dinar – Muhammad ibn ‘Ali [al Baqir] – Ibrahim ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas – Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas:

We were seated with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and there was a group of people around him. Then ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu entered; in turn they got up and left. After they left, the began blaming each other for leaving saying, ‘By Allah, he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not instruct us to leave or him (‘Ali) to enter!’When they returned the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commented, ‘It was not I who made you leave or him (‘Ali) to enter, instead it was Allah who made you leave and caused him to enter.’”[113]

 

This is al Nasa’is prefered version. This chain is sound, and it is also a chain in which Abu Jafar, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain, also known as al Baqir radiya Llahu ‘anhu appears.

c. ‘Ali ibn Qadim – Isra’il – Abdullah ibn Sharikal Harith ibn Malik – Sa’[114]

d. Fitr – Abdullah ibn SharikAbdullah ibn Ruqaym – Sa’[115]

Versions C and D mention closing of the doors. Both of these versions are declared weak by al Nasa’i; firstly due to the weakness of the common narrator, Abdullah ibn Sharik, and secondly because both his teachers, al Harith and Abdullah ibn Ruqaym, are considered Majhul.[116]

 

22. The narration of Zaid ibn Arqam

Appearing in the common chain of this narration is Maymun, Abu Abdullah.

Yahya ibn Ma’in said Maymun Mawla ‘Abdul Rahman ibn Samurah is worthless as a narrator.[117] Furthermore, al Dhahabi cites this narration as a specimen of his baseless narrations.[118] We have discussed this in detail under Letter 26.[119]

 

23. The narration of Ibn ‘Abbas

This narration is referenced to al Tabarani by way of the abridged version of Kanz al Ummal. The narration appears in al Mujam al Kabir with the following chain:

‘Abdullah ibn Zaidan al Bajali – Muhammad ibn Hammad ibn ‘Amr al Azdi – Hussain al AshqarAbu Abdul Rahman al MasudiKathir al Nawa’Maymun Abu Abdullah – Ibn ‘Abbas.[120]

Hussain ibn Hassan al Ashqar has been discredited by al Bukhari, Abu Zur’ah – who considered him completely unreliable – and Abu Hatim. Al Juzajani calls him an extremist Shia accused of cursing the companions. Ibn ‘Adi has pointed out the fact that he was known to have narrated many baseless narrations.[121]

Abu Abdul Rahman, Abdullah ibn Abdul Malik al Masudi, is considered weak. Abu Jafar al ‘Uqayli said that his narrations were problematic.[122]

Kathir ibn Ismail al Nawa’ is extremely unreliable. Al Dhahabi says, “A Shi’i die hard. Abu Ḥatim and al Nasa’i deem him incompetent and weak.”[123]

Maymun, Abu Abdullah is considerably weak. His biography appears briefly in the previous narration.

This narration is extremely unreliable; it comprises of a chain with four unreliable narrators in succession.

 

24. Entering the Masjid in the state of Janabah

There are two narrations cited. The narration in al Bazzar and the narration of Abu Sa’id in al Tirmidhi. One wonders why he insists on calling al Tirmidhi’s Jami’ as Sahih. The two terms commonly attributed to al Tirmidhis work, both of which suggest a particular chapter arrangement, are Sunan and Jami. The prefered name is the Jami of al Tirmidhi, whilst Sunan al Tirmidhi is also an acceptable term in academic circles.

The narration in Musnad al Bazzar appears by way of Hassan ibn ZaidKharijah ibn Sad – from his father. After narrating it al Bazzar states, “We do not know of this narration from Sa’d except by this chain. Kharijah ibn Sa’d [is only known to] narrate one [other] Hadith, also with this chain. We are not aware of anyone who narrates from Kharijah besides Hassan ibn Zaid.”[124]

Al Haythami listed this very narration in Majma al Zawa’id and then commented, “I do not recognize Kharijah.”[125]

Kharijah appears to be Majhul [anonymous narrator]. Neither al Bukhari, nor Ibn Abi Hatim list him in their anthologies of Hadith narrators. His absence in these anthologies, as well as al Bazzar’s confirmation that the only narrator was Hassan ibn Zaid is a textbook definition of Majhul.

Hassan ibn Zaid was a scholar in Madinah. Yahya ibn Ma’in rearded him weak, whereas others have accepted his narration. Ibn Hajar said that he was trustworthy, but known for some errors. He passed away in 168 A.H.[126]

The second narration, which appears in al Tirmidhi, is narrated by way of ‘Ali ibn al Mundhir – Muhammad ibn Fudayl – Salim ibn Abi HafsahAttiyah [al Aufi] – Abu Sa’id…[127]

Salim ibn Abi Hafsah is described by al Dhahabi as, “… a Shia whose narrations cannot be relied upon. He died around 140 A.H.”[128] Ibn Hajar describes him as being extreme in his Tashayyu’, almost hinting that when he narrates something that might support his ideology it could be compromised by prejudice.[129]

Attiyah al Aufi is not only weak in terms of his memory, but he narrates from one of his teachers – al Kalbi – refering to him as Abu Sa’id. This was perceived as a problem by many of the early experts since al Kalbi was a known forger.

Ibn Ḥajar states in his Tahdhib:

 

Muslim ibn al Ḥajjaj said about ‘Attiyah al ‘Aufi that “His narrations are unreliable.” Thereafter he said, “I have been made aware that ‘Attiyah would visit al Kalbi asking him about tafsir. He had conferred on him the title Abu Sa’id which was his unique way of referring to him. Thereafter, he would narrate to people saying, “Abu Sa’id said”.

Hushaym considered his narrations to be da’if (weak). Al Juzajani said, “He was inclined towards Shi’ism.” Al Nasa’i said, “He is weak.” Ibn ‘Adi included him among the Shi’ah of Kufah.

Ibn Ḥibban says, “He (‘Attiyah) had given him (al Kalbi) the title Abu Sa’id. Later he would narrate in such a way that he gave the impression that he was narrating from Abu Sa’id al Khudri, whereas he was actually referring to his codename for al Kalbi. It is not permissible to write his narrations except to note down their peculiarities.” He adds that Abu Bakr al Bazzar considered him from the Shi’ah.[130]

 

‘Abdul Hussain tries desperately to establish similarities between the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and Musa ‘alayh al Salam and Harun ‘alayh al Salam, based on blood relations. While we have already disproved the prospect of successorship in previous discussions, we have consistently demonstrated that ‘Abdul Hussain has conjured his theory from unreliable narrations. However, even, if it were conceded for the sake of argument that this narration was acceptable by the standards of the Hadith scholars, it would be of no avail to ‘Abdul Hussain.

Anyone remotely failiar with the location of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam house, specifically the house of Aisha in which he lays buried, in relation to his Masjid, would know that the house enters into the Masjid. The home of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was located directly behind the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam home, and is today part of the enclosed area, seperated from the greater Masjid. The door of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu also led directly into the Masjid. Since there was no other door to both the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam house and ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu house, necessaity dictated that they would have to pass through the Masjid for their comings and goings. It was in the geographical location of their houses, in relation to the Masjid, that would have determined this concession if the narration were proven correct; not blood relations between the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Furthermore, if this narration were furnished to support the previous ones it would only reinforce the fact that this was not a matter of distinction but of necessity based on the location of both homes in relation to the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Masjid.

 

25. Allah inspired Musa ‘alayh al Salam to build a pure Masjid…

This narration is referenced to al Manaqib by Ibn al Maghazili, citing Yanabi al Mawaddah.

Yanabi al Mawaddah is for all intents and purposes a melting pot of unreliable narrations. The author, Sulaiman ibn Ibrahim al Balkhi al Qunduzi, is a Shia portraying himself as a Sunni. He quotes extensively from the radical Shia sources, which are filled with known fabrications. This, in addition to his advocating the belief of only twelve Imam’s after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise, that the Mahdi is the son of Hassan al ‘Askari and the doctrine of Ghaybah. All of these beliefs are foreign to the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah.

The source that he cites, the Manaqib, by Ibn al Maghazili is no better. Ibn Taymiyyah had identified it as a source for fabricated reports and baseless narrations.[131]

This narration has been identified as a forgery by Ibn al Jawzi.[132]

 

26. The Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam supplication

He references it to the Tafsir of al Thalabi and Ahmed, citing al Balkhi.

We have just discussed al Balkhi in the previous narration. ‘Abdul Hussain’s citing him is convenient as it provides an opportunity to demonstrate the type of narrations it comprises of.

This narration, ascribed to Ahmed is assumed to refer to the Musnad. However, it turns out that it is narrated in Fada’il al Sahabah. It appears with this chain:

‘Abdullah ibn Ghannam – ‘Abbad ibn Ya’qub – Ali ibn Abbas – al Harith ibn Hasirah – al Qasim – a person from the Khatham tribe – Asma’ bint ‘Umays[133]

Ali ibn Abbas al Azraq was described by Yahya ibn Ma’in as “worthless” while al Juzajani, al Nasa’i and al Azdi merely said that he was weak. However, Ibn Hibban went on to say, “… Abundant in error to the extent that his narrations deserve to be discarded.”[134]

The anonymity of the person from the Khath’am tribe compounds the weakness of this narration.

Ibn ‘Adi cites another version by way of Ahmed ibn al Mufaddal – Jafar al AhmarImran ibn SulaimanHussain al Thalabi – Asma’ bint ‘Umays[135]

Jafar ibn Ziyad al Ahmar was considered slightly weak, with Shia leanings. Ibn ‘Adi points out that he narrates unreliable narrations regarding the virtues of Ahlul Bayt, citing this as one of them.[136]

Imran ibn Sulaiman is described as one who – at times – narrates that which can be corroborated, whilst other times his narrations are severly flawed.[137]Such a narrator is never independantly relied upon.

Hussain al Thalabi is described by al Bukhari with the term, “Fihi Nazar.”[138] Oftentimes al Bukhari uses this term to describe someone with significant weakness; such narrations could never support others.[139]

The remaining narration is from the Tafsir of al Thalabi from Abu Dharr.[140] This narration will form part of the discussion on Ayat al Wilayah in the forthcoming correspondence. Suffice to say that the greatest Hadith scholar of the 9th century, al Hafiz ibn Hajar al ‘Asqalani has said that the chain of this narration is worthless.[141]

 

27. The narration from al Bazzar

This is a variation of the narration appearing at no. 25. This narration comes by way of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and appears in Musnad al Bazzar with the following chain:

Layth ibn Hatim – ‘Ubaidullah ibn Musa – Abu MaimunahIsa al Madani – ‘Ali ibn al Hussain – his father – ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib…[142]

After narrating it al Bazzar goes on to explain why it is significantly weak. He points out two errors:

a. Abu Maimunah is Majhul. None, besides ‘Ubaidullah ibn Musa narrates from him

b. This narration is only known by way of ‘Isa al Madani, also known al Mala’i.

Al Bazzar goes on to say that this narration is not known from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; the only reason for mentioning it was to point out its errors.[143]

Isa al Mala’i is considered severely weak, suspected of narrating fabrications.[144]

This is the final narration that forms part of this round of correspondence. The short of it is that the narrations cited are found to be unreliable by the standards of the early Hadith critics.

Many of the narrations, even if presumed to be correct, indicate a meaning very different from the twisted meanings ‘Abdul Hussain attempts to provide.

 

 NEXT⇒ Letter 35 and 36


[1] Firaq al Shia pg. 44

[2] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Salat, Hadith 466; Sahih Muslim, Fada’il al Sahabah, Hadith 2382

[3] Musnad Ahmed vol. 2 pg 159 Hadith 769; vol. 2 pg. 264 Hadith 953; al Adab al Mufrad (823); al Bazzar vol.2 pg.314 Hadith 742, al Ihsan fi Taqrib Sahih ibn Hibban vol. 15 pg. 409 Hadith 6958; al Mujam al Kabir vol. 3 pg. 96 Hadith 2773; al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 165

[4] Al Mujam al Kabir vol.3 pg. 97 Hadith 2776

[5] Musnad al Tayalisi (129); al Bazzar vol.2 pg.315 Hadith 743

[6] Al Tarikh al Kabir vol. 2 pg. 147; al Mujam al Kabir vol. 3 pg. 97

[7] Al Mujam al Kabir vol. 3 pg. 97 Hadith 2777

[8] Fada’il al Sahabah vol.2 pg. 774 Hadith 1367

[9] Tahdhib al Kamal vol. 22 pg. 102

[10] Al Kashif bio. 5938; al Taqrib bio. 7264

[11] Al Taqrib bio. 7264

[12] Lisan a-Mizan vol. 7 pg. 198

[13] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 1 pg. 303, Lisan al Mizan vol. 2 pg. 270

[14] Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah, the son of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu

[15] Musnad Ahmed vol 2. Pg. 464-465, Hadith 1370; A similar narration appears in Musnad Abi Ya’la (498) and al Mujam al Kabir vol. 3 pg. 98 Hadith 2780.

[16] Al Tirmidhi, Abwab al Manaqib Hadith 3720; al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 14; al Kamil vol. 2 pg. 166

[17] Al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 14

[18] Al Kamil vol. 2 pg. 166

[19] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 1 pg. 584; al Kashif bio. 1197; al Taqrib bio. 1468

[20] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 1 pg. 187

[21] Talkhis al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 14

[22] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 3 pg. 402

[23] Talkhis al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 14

[24] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 1 pg. 422

[25] Please refer to Letter 20

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

[27] Mizan al I’tidal, vol. 2, p. 458

[28] Tarikh Baghdad vol. 4 pg. 210

[29] Fada’il al Sahabah vol.2 pg. 762 Hadith 1342, Khasa’is ‘Ali pg 137 Hadith 124, al Mujam al Kabir vol. 24 pg. 136, al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 159

[30] Musannaf ‘Abdul Razzaq vol. 5 pg. 485, Fada’il al Sahabah vol. 2 pg. 578 Hadith 958, al Mujam al Kabir vol. 24 pg. 137

[31] Tarikh Dimashq vol. 42 pg 133, ‘Ilal al Daraqutni vol 14. Pg. 243

[32] Khasa’is ‘Ali pg. 138 Hadith 125

[33] Tahdhib al Kamal vol. 11 pg. 5; al Thiqat by ibn Hibban vol. 6 pg. 360

[34] Al Kashif bio. 4892, al Taqrib bio. 5939

[35] Al Kawakib al Nayyirat pg. 111-112

[36] Sahih al Bukhari, Manaqib al Ansar, al Qasamah fi al Jahiliyyah, Hadith3845

[37] Al Taqrib bio. 8542

[38] ‘Ilal al Daraqutni vol. 12 pg. 243

[39] Talkhis al Mustadrak vol.3 pg. 159

[40] Please refer to Letter 26 Discussion

[41] Al Mujam al Awsat vol. 6 pg. 300; al Mujam al Kabir vol. 11 pg. 316

[42] Ibid

[43] Al Kamil vol.1 pg. 491, Mizan al I’tidal vol 1. pg. 253

[44] Sahih al Bukhari Hadith 4251

[45] Musnad Ahmed vol. 3 pg. 480; al Isti’ab vol. 3 pg. 1098

[46] Ta’rif Ahl al Taqdis pg 164

[47] Al Tirmidhi, Abwab al Jumu’ah, Hadith 527

[48] Tarikh Baghdad vol. 12 pg. 268

[49] Al Taqrib bio. 4525

[50] Musnad Ahmed vol. 36 pg. 110 Hadith 21777; al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 217

[51] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Maghazi Hadith 4251; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Jihad Hadith 1783

[52] Musnad Ahmed vol. 2 pg. 160 Hadith 770

[53] Please refer to Letter 32 – The Second Narration

[54] Al Mujam al Kabir vol. 12 pg. 420;

[55] Majma’ al Zawa’id vol. 9 pg. 121

[56] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 3 pg. 420

[57] Kanz al ‘Ummal Hadith 18790

[58] Al Tabaqat vol. 2 pg. 263

[59] Fath al Bari vol. 8 pg. 107

[60] Al Taqrib bio. 3595

[61] Muqaddimah al Taqrib pg. 111, Dar al Yusr, 1430 A.H

[62] Mizan al I’tidal vol 3. Pg. 662-666, al Ta’rif wal Ikhbar bi Takhrij Ahadith al Ikhtiyar vol. 1 pg 246

[63] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Wasaya, Hadith 2741; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Wasiyyah, Hadith 1636

[64] Al Mujam al Awsat Hadith 5498; Hilyat al Awliya’ vol. 7 pg. 256; Tarikh Baghdad vol.7 pg. 387; al Dua’afa’ al Kabir by al ‘Uqayli vol. 1 pg. 33

[65] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 2 pg. 75

[66] Al Du’afa wal Matrukin by al Daraqutni pg. 218, 395; al Du’afa al Kabir vol. 1 pg. 33; al Du’afa’ wal Matrukin by ibn al Jawzi vol. 3 pg. 195; Mizan al I’tidal vol. 4 pg. 377; Lisan al Mizan vol. 8 pg. 442

[67] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 1 pg. 270, al Du’afa al Kabir vol. 1 pg. 33

[68] Al Du’afa al Kabir vol. 1 pg. 33

[69] Refer to his bio in Letter 16

[70] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 3 pg. 80, al Mughni fi al Du’afa bio.4139, al Kashif bio.3820, Taqrib al Tahdhib bio. 4616

[71] Tarikh Dimashq vol. 56 pg. 72

[72] Fada’il al Sahabah vol. 2 pg. 665; al Kamil fil-Du’afa’ vol. 7 pg. 228; Hilyat al Awliya vol. 7 pg. 256

[73] Al Majruhin vol. 2 pg. 230

[74] Ibid

[75] Al Mughni fil-Du’afa’ vol. 2 pg. 529

[76] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 3 pg. 399

[77] Al Tafsir al Kabir vol. 5 pg. 221

[78] Surah al Baqarah: 207

[79] Al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 398-400

[80] Sunan ibn Majah vol. 1 pg. 87 hadith no. 120, al Sunan al Kubra of al Nasa’i hadith no. 8340, al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 111-112.

[81] See discussions on Letter 22

[82] Al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 111-112

[83] Al Mawdu’at vol. 1 pg. 341

[84] Tafsir ibn Abi Hatim vol. 3 pg. 777; Khasa’is ‘Ali pg. 82 Hadith 65 ; al Mujam al Kabir vol.1 pg. 64; al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 126, Tarikh Dimashq vol. 42 pg. 56

[85] Su’alat al Bardha’i pg. 676

[86] Su’alat al Bardha’i pg. 464

[87] Ibid

[88] Ikmal Tahdhib al Kamal vol. 2 pg. 64, Tahdhib al Tahdhib vol. 1 pg. 109

[89] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 2 pg. 232-234, Tahdhib al Tahdhib vol. 2 pg. 115

[90] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 3 pg. 255

[91] Al Isti’ab vol. 3 pg. 1098

[92] Ikmal Tahdhib al Kamal vol. 5 pg. 112

[93] Ibid

[94] Tahdhib al Tahdhib vol. 1 pg. 654

[95] Ibid

[96] Al Tabaqat vol. 2 pg. 23

[97] Al Taqrib bio. 3723

[98] Please refer to Letter 26

[99] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib al Ansar, Hadith no. 3904

[100] Khasa’is ‘Ali pg. 61 Hadith 39

[101] Ibid

[102] Khasa’is Ali pg62. Hadith 40

[103] Ibid

[104] Al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 125

[105] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 2 pg. 401

[106] Majma’ al Zawa’id vol. 9 pg. 121

[107] Musnad Ahmed vol 8. Pg. 416 Hadith 4797

[108] Musnad Abi Ya’la Hadith 5601

[109] Sharh Mushkil al Athar Hadith 3560

[110] Al Kamil vol. 7 pg. 109, Mizan al I’tidal vol. 4 pg. 299 Al Tabaqat, vol. 2 pg. 15

[111] Refer to the discussions on letters 14 and 16 for more details on the narrations of an innovator.

[112] Al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 117

[113] Khasa’is ‘Ali pg. 61 Hadith 39

[114] Khasa’is ‘Ali pg. 62 Hadith 40

[115] Khasa’is ‘Ali pg. 62 Hadith 41

[116] Ibid

[117] Mizan al I’tidal vol.4 pg.235

[118] Ibid

[119] Please refer to Letter 26

[120] Al Mujam al Kabir vol. 12 pg. 147

[121] Mizan al Itidal vol.1 pg. 531

[122] Al Dua’afa’ al Kabir vol. 2 pg. 275

[123] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 3 pg. 402

[124] Al Bahr al Zakhkhar vol.4 pg. 33

[125] Majma’ al Zawa’id vol. 9 pg. 115

[126] Al Taqrib bio. 1242

[127] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, Hadith 4061

[128] Al Kashif, bio. 1767

[129] Al Taqrib, bio. 2173

[130] Tahdhib al Tahdhib vol. 7 pg. 225

[131] Mukhtasar Minhaj al Sunnah pg. 420

[132] Al Mawdu’at vol. 1 pg. 179

[133] Fada’il al Sahabah vol. 2 pg. 678

[134] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 3 pg. 134

[135] Al Kamil vol. 2 pg. 377

[136] Ibid

[137] Mizan al I’tidal vol.3 pg. 238

[138] Al Tarikh al Kabir vol. 3 pg. 6

[139] Al Raf’ wa al Takmil pg. 141

[140] Al Kashf wal Bayan vol. 4 pg. 81

[141] Al Kaf al Shaf bi Takhrij Ahadith al Kashshaf vol. 4 pg. 56-57

[142] Al Bahr al Zakhkhar vol. 2 pg. 144

[143] Ibid

[144] Mizan al I’tidal vol. 3 pg. 328