أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو القَاسِمِ زَاهِرُ بْنُ طَاهِرٍ الشَحَّامِيُّ، أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو عُثْمَانَ الصَّابُوْنِيُّ إذْنًا، أَخْبَرَنَا الحَاكِمُ أَبُو عَبْدِ اللهِ الحَافِظُ، أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو سَهْلٍ بِشْرُ بْنُ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ بِشْرِ بْنِ مَحْمُودٍ الإِسْفَرَائِيْنِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا القَاسِمُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللهِ الهَرَوِيّ، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَمْرِو القَيْرَوَانِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ حَيَّانَ الأَحْمَرُ، عَنْ إِسْمَاعِيْلَ بْنِ أَبِي خَالِدٍ، عَنْ قَيْسِ بْنِ أَبِي حَازِمٍ، عَنْ سَهْلِ بْنِ أَبِي حَثْمَةَقَالَ لِأَعْرَابِيٍّ: إِذَا أَنَا مِتُ وَمَاتَ أَبُوْ بَكْرٍ وَمَاتَ عَمَرُ وَمَاتَ عُثْمَانُ، فَإِنْ اِسْتَطَعْتَ أَنْ تَمُوْتَ فَمُتْ، فَإِنَ بَاطِنَ الأَرْضِ خَيْرٌ لَكَ مِنْ ظَاهِرِهَا، أَلَا وَإِنَّ الخُلَفَاءَ بَعْدِي أَرْبَعَةٌ، وَالخِلَافَةُ بَعْدِي ثَلَاثُوْنَ سَنَةً، وَإِنَّهَا نُبُوَةٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ، ثُمَّ خِلَافَةٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ، ثُمَّ مُلْكٌ عَضُوْضٌ، ثُمَّ جَبْرِيَةٌ وَطَوَاغِيْتٌ، ثُمَّ عَدْلٌ وَقِسْطٌ،أَلَا وَإنَّ خَيْرَ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ أَوَّلُها وَآخِرُهَا وَبَيْنَ ذَلِكَ ثَبَجٌ أَعْوَجُ، لَيْسُوْا مِنِّي وَلَسْتُ مِنْهُم
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to a Bedouin, “If my demise comes to pass and Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman meet the same fate, if you are able to die, then die! Verily to be under the ground is better than to be on top of it. The Khalifas after me are four and it will last for thirty years. It starts with Prophethood and mercy, then it will be followed by Caliphate with mercy. Thereafter oppressive kingdoms will follow, then haughty states and tyrants will follow. Then just and righteous states will follow. Verily the best of this nation are its first and last. Between these two, is a crooked spine, they are not from me and I am not from them.”
 The isnad is Da’if due to the anonymity of al Qasim ibn ‘Abdullah al Harawi and Muhammad ibn ‘Umar al Qayrawani. I could not find any mention of them in any hagiographical work. Al Tabarani narrates this narration in his al Awsat (6918) from Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Habib—from Raziq ibn Wird—from Salam al Khawas. He then commented, “The only narrator to take from Ismail ibn Abi Khalid is Abu Khalid al Ahmar, who is the sole narrator from Salam al Khawas.
Salam al Khawas’s last name is ibn Maymun al Razi. Ibn al Jawzi in ‘Ilal al Mutanahiyah (1/303) said, “As for the chain, al Daraqutni said, ‘Salam ibn Maymun is the only person to narrate this. Salam ibn Maymun narrated a number of Manakir (uncorroborated narrations); this narration is one of them. Ibn Hibban said, “His narrations cannot be used as evidence.” He added, “This narration has alternate chains that are sound.” Ibn al Jawzi narrates, “‘Ali ibn ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Ali ibn Ahmed al Bundar—from Ibn Battah—from Abu al Fadl Shu’ayb ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Harb—from Abu Khalid al Ahmar—from Ismail—from Qais—from Sahal that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to a Bedouin, “If I, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman die then if you are able to die, then die.” He narrated it abridged. He also did not comment on the narration. This is another chain of transmission other than the one the author used which does not feature Salamah al Khawas. This alternate chain is Sahih from Abu Khalid al Ahmar. Abu Nuaim in his Hilyah (8/280) states, “It is gharib (solitary narration) from Ismail ibn Abi Khalid, no one, as far as I know narrated from him except Abu Khalid”.
Note: This is indicative that the Tafarud is from Abu Khalid and not from Salamah al Khawas. If we regard the narration as Sahih from Abu Khalid, then are we going to accept such Tafarud in this situation? Ibn Ma’in said, “Abu Khalid al Ahmar is Suduq (truthful) and not a Hujjah (authority).” Ibn ‘Adi said, “He has narrations which are sound. I do not know of except what I mentioned which are statements that need to be verified. He was criticised for his weak memory, and erring when narrating. In essence he is as Ibn Ma’in said, ‘Suduq (truthful) and not a Hujjah (authority).’” Even Ibn ‘Adi did not reject the authenticity of the narration due to him seeing the narration as being authentic despite the fact of his attesting to Abu Khalid not being a Hujjah (authority). Al ‘Uqayli said in his Du’afa’ (2398), “This narration has an alternate chain with the same wording. Some of its chains are sound while others are weak.” It is apparent that the weak chain he is referring to is that of Salamah ibn al Khawas. As for the content of the narration, the hadith narrated from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam warning of the Fitnah (civil strife) started with the murder of ‘Uthman. It is better for a Muslim to taste death instead of seeing what the Ummah went through during the subsequent civil wars. Therefore, this narration is one of the miraculous proofs of his Prophethood. Hoping for death will not be strange if a person witnessed these incidents. Even ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu made statements such as, “O Hassan, I wish I died ten years ago.” The isnad of this statement is Sahih. Check: Bughyah al Bahith ‘an Zawa’id al Harith of Al Haythami (757).Back to top