The Imams after me will be Twelve; the same number as the chiefs of the Bani Isra’il

The Imams after me will be Twelve; the same number as the chiefs of the Bani Isra’il

 

الأئمة من بعدي إثنا عشر كعدة نقباء بني إسرائيل

The Imams after me will be twelve; the same as the number of chiefs of Bani Isra’il.

 

Hasan ibn Musa narrated to us—from Hammad ibn Zaid—from al Mujalid—from al Sh’abi—from Masruq, who said:

 

كنا جلوسا عند عبد الله بن مسعود وهو يقرئنا القرآن فقال له رجل يا أبا عبد الرحمن هل سألتم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كم تملك هذه الأمة من خليفة فقال عبد الله بن مسعود ما سألني عنها أحد منذ قدمت العراق قبلك ثم قال نعم ولقد سألنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال اثنا عشر كعدة نقباء بني إسرائيل‏.

We were sitting near ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud while he was teaching us the Qur’an. A man said to him, ‘O Abu ‘Abdul Rahman! Have you ever asked the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam how many khulafa’ will govern this Ummah?”

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “From the time I entered Iraq not one person, except you, has ever asked me such a question.”

Then he said, “We asked the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (regarding the same issue) and he replied, ‘There will be twelve; the same as the number of the chiefs of the Bani Isra’il.”’[1]

 

This hadith is daif (weak) on account of al Mujalid, whose full name is Ibn Sa’id al Hamdani.

  • Ibn Hajar in al Taqrib considered him daif.[2]
  • Ibn Hajar al Haythami said, “Imam al Nasa’i rated him as thiqah (reliable), but the majority of scholars have deemed him daif. The remaining transmitters in the chain of transmission are thiqah.”[3]
 

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[1] Imam Ahmed: Musnad Ahmed Hadith: 3781

[2] Ibn Hajar: Taqrib al Tahdhib, narrator no. 6478

[3] Ibn Hajar al Haythami: Majma al Zawa’id v. 5 p. 190