Is it true that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiyallahu ‘anhu cursed Sayyidina Anas ibn Malik radiyallahu ‘anhu for refusing to testify that he heard the hadith: Whoever’s Mawla (friend) I am, ‘Ali is his Mawla? Three references are cited as evidence, viz. Hilyat al Auliya, Musnad Ahmed, and Kitab al Ma’arif.
Sulaiman ibn Ahmed narrated to us—Ahmed ibn Ibrahim ibn Kaysan narrated to us—Ismail ibn ‘Amr al Bajali narrated to us—Mus’ir ibn Kadam narrated to us—from Talhah ibn Musarrif—from ‘Amirah ibn Sa’d who reports:
I clearly remember ‘Ali standing on the pulpit and asking the Companions of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam on oath. Among them were Abu Sa’id, Abu Hurairah, and Anas ibn Malik who were sitting around the pulpit while ‘Ali was on the pulpit. Around the pulpit were twelve men, among them were the above individuals. ‘Ali announced, “I ask you in the name of Allah, did you hear Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam saying, ‘Whoever’s friend I am, ‘Ali is his friend?’”
All of them stood up and replied positively on oath besides one man who kept on sitting.
‘Ali asked him, “What prevented you from standing?”
He replied, “O Amir al Mu’minin, I have grown old and I forgot.”
‘Ali supplicated, “O Allah, if he is lying, afflict him with a befitting trial.”
The narrator says: He did not pass away until we saw a white mark between his eyes (on his forehead), which the turban could not conceal.
Mas’ud is the only narrator from Talhah. [Hilyat al Auliya, vol. 5 pg. 26, 27]
Firstly, this narration does not mention who the culprit was. It just says that one man kept sitting and was cursed by Sayyidina ‘Ali radiyallahu ‘anhu.
Secondly, this narration is da’if (weak) as ‘Amirah ibn Sa’d is majhul (unknown). Yahya al Qattan says, “He was not relied upon.” [Mizan al I’tidal, vol. 5 pg. 358]
‘Abdullah narrated to us—Ahmed ibn ‘Umar al Waki’i narrated to us—Zaid ibn al Hubab narrated to us—Walid ibn ‘Uqbah ibn Nizar al Qaisi narrated to us—Simak ibn ‘Abid ibn al Walid al ‘Absi narrated to us saying:
I entered the presence of ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Layla who narrated to me that he saw ‘Ali in al Rahbah saying, “I ask in the name of Allah a person who heard Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam and saw him on the Day of Ghadir Khum to stand up; only one who saw him should stand.”
Twelve men stood up and testified, “We certainly saw him and heard him saying after taking his (‘Ali) hand, ‘O Allah, befriend the one who befriend him, show animosity to the one who hates him, assist the one who assists him, and forsake the one who forsakes him.’”
Three men did not stand up. He cursed them and his curse afflicted them. [Musnad Ahmed, vol. 2 pg. 270, 271, Hadith: 964]
Firstly, this narration does not mention anything about Sayyidina Anas ibn Malik radiyallahu ‘anhu.
Secondly, the narration is da’if due to Walid ibn ‘Uqbah and Simak ibn ‘Ubaid being majhul. [Mizan al I’tidal, vol. 7 pg. 135]
Ibn Qutaybah states that this story is baseless and has no credibility whatsoever! Ibn Qutaybah only related the incident to point out that it was a forgery. [Kitab al Ma’arif, pg. 194-195]
The allegation against Sayyidina Anas ibn Malik radiyallahu ‘anhu is thus false. Reality and fact disprove the allegation. Al Tabarani has recorded a narration which proves that Sayyidina Anas ibn Malik radiyallahu ‘anhu was one of those who stood up confirming that Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam did, in fact, say, “Whomsoever considers me his Mawla; ‘Ali is his Mawla.” [Al Mu’jam al Saghir, vol. 1 pg. 119, Hadith: 175]