Eight Asanid of the Hadith al-Thaqalayn from Ibn `Uqdah

The Isnad of Da`laj ibn Ahmad ibn Da`laj al-Sajzi
October 1, 2015
Isnad of al-Baghawi
October 1, 2015

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Eight Asanid of the Hadith al Thaqalayn from Ibn ‘Uqdah


His entire name is Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Sa’id al Kufi, commonly known as Ibn ‘Uqdah and his agnomen was Abu al ‘Abbas (d. 332 A.H).

The author of ‘Abaqat al Anwar, Mir Hamid Hussain Lucknowi, quoted eight narrations from Ibn ‘Uqdah on the authority of al Sakhawi and al Samhudi[1]. If these asanid are quoted together with their entire texts, then the length of our book will be unnecessarily lengthened. Thus, we will only present the asanid that appear in ‘Abaqat, with the intention of keeping the book concise. It should also be known that the asanid quoted in ‘Abaqat are not the complete asanid of Ibn ‘Uqdah. Nevertheless, we will reproduce whatever was quoted in ‘Abaqat.

It is worth mentioning at this juncture, that Ibn ‘Uqdah has also authored a book in which he tries to establish the narration, “‘Ali is the mawla of all those who take me as mawla”. This book has been titled Kitab al Muwalat or Kitab al Wilayah. In this book Ibn ‘Uqdah produced a few chains of the narration of Thaqalayn along with the other narration. Reference is repeatedly given to this book in ‘Abaqat. Therefore we considered it appropriate to inform the readers regarding it.

Below, we will present the eight narrations; thereafter the criticism against it will be presented at one place. This will enlighten us on the position of Ibn ‘Uqdah as well as the status of his scholarly works.


1. The Narration of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah

Ibn ‘Uqdah has mentioned eight asanid for the famous hadith regarding Thaqalayn in his book Kitab al Wilayah, which is better known as Kitab al Muwalat. Al Sakhawi mentioned it in Istijla’ Irtiqa’ al Ghuraf from Jabir that Abu al ‘Abbas ibn ‘Uqdah mentioned it in Kitab al Wilayah from Yunus ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Farwah — Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn ‘Ali (al Baqir) — from Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said:


كنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فى حجة الوداع فلما رجع…

We with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when he was returning from Hajjat al Wada’…[2]


2. The Narration of ‘Ali al Murtada

Al Sakhawi reported in Istijla’ Irtiqa’ al Ghuraf:


و اما حديث خزيمة فهو عند ابن عقدة من محمد بن كثير عن فطر و ابى الجارود و كلاهما عن ابى الطفيل ان عليا رضى الله عنه قام فحمد الله و اثنى عليه…

Ibn ‘Uqdah reported it from Muhammad ibn Kathir — from Fitr and Abu Jarud — both from Abu Tufayl that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said…


This is a lengthy narration. The crux of it is that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu stood up and addressed a large crowd saying, “All those who heard this narration from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam should please stand.” Upon his request, seventeen Sahabah stood up and testified in his favour.[3]


3. The Narration of Ibn Damirah

Al Sakhawi states in Istijla’ Irtiqa’ al Ghuraf that the hadith of Damirah al Aslami is found in al Muwalat:


و اما حديث ابراهيم بن محمد الاسلمى عن حسين بن عبد الله بن ضميرة عن ابيه عن جده رضى الله عنه قال لما انصرف رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من حجة الوداع

Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al Aslami — Hussain ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Damirah — (his father) ‘Abdullah — from (his father) Damirah who says:

When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was returning from Hajjat al Wada’…[4]


4. The Narration of Hudhayfah and ‘Amir ibn Layla


و اما حديث عامر فاخرجه ابن عقدة فى الموالاة من طريق عبدالله بن سنان عن ابى الطفيل عن عامر بن ليلى بن ضمرة و حذيفة بن اسيد رضى الله عنهما قالا لما صدر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من حجة الوداع ولم يحج غيرها…

As for the hadith of ‘Amir: Ibn ‘Uqdah has narrated it in al Muwalat from ‘Abdullah ibn Sinan — Abu al Tufayl — from ‘Amir ibn Layla ibn Damurah and Hudhayfah ibn Usayd radiya Llahu ‘anhuma who both said:

When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was returning from Hajjat al Wada’…[5]


5. The Narration of Abu Dhar


و اما حديث ابى ذر …فاشار اليه الترمذى فى جامعه فاخرجه ابن عقدة من حديث سعد بن طريف عن الاصبح بن نباتة عن ابى ذر رضى الله عنه انه اخذ بحلقة باب الكعبة فقال انى سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

As for the hadith of Abu Dhar radiya Llahu ‘anhu al Tirmidhi indicates towards it in his book, and Ibn ‘Uqdah narrated it from Sa’d ibn Tarif — al Asbah ibn Nubatah — from Abu Dhar radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he held the door handle of the Ka’bah and said:

I heard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying…


6. The Narration of Abu Rafi’ — the freed slave


 و اما حديث ابى رافع فهو عند ابن عقدة من طريق محمد بن عبدالله بن ابى رافع عن جده مولى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لما نزل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم غدير خم مصدره من حجة الوداع قام خطيبا…

As for the hadith of Abu Rafi’, Ibn ‘Uqdah narrated it from Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Rafi’ — from (his grandfather) Abu Rafi’ who said:

When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stopped at Ghadir Khumm on his return from Hajjat al Wada’, he stood to address…


7. The Narration of Umm Salamah

Al Sakhawi reports in Istijla’ Irtiqa’ al Ghuraf:


و اما حديث ام سلمة فحديثها عند ابن عقدة عن حديث هارون بن خارجة عن فاطمة بن على عن ام سلمة رضى الله عنها قالت اخذ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بيد على بغدير خم فرفعها

As for the hadith of Umm Salamah, her narration has been reported by Ibn ‘Uqdah from Harun ibn Kharijah — Fatimah bint ‘Ali — from Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha:

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam held the hand of ‘Ali in Ghadir and raised it…


8. The Narration of Umm Hani


و اما حديث ام هاني فحديثها عنده ايضا من خديث عمر بن سعيد بن عمر جعدة بن هبيرة عن ابيه انه سمعها تقول رجع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من حجة الوداع…

As for the hadith Umm Hani it has also been reported by Ibn ‘Uqdah from ‘Umar ibn Sa’id ibn Umar ibn Ja’dah ibn Hubayrah — from his father who says that he heard Umm Hani radiya Llahu ‘anha say:

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam returned from hajj…


Ibn ‘Uqdah has gathered a great number of chains for the narration ‘‘Ali is the mawla of all those who take me as a mawla as well as this narration (of Thaqalayn) in his book Kitab al Muwalat and his other books. Many of those who compiled books on the subject of virtues, have relied upon him as a source of narrations. This fact is admitted by the author of ‘Abaqat as well. He writes:

These narrations of Ibn ‘Uqdah have been taken from the works of ‘Allamah Nur al Din Samhudi, Jawahir al Aqdayn, and Ahmed ibn Fadl ibn Muhammad Bakathir, Wasilat al Ma’al, and Mahmud ibn ‘Ali al Sheikhani, Sirat Sawi.[6]

The book of al Hafiz Shams al Din al Sakhawi is from the same category. He took a great number of narrations from Ibn ‘Uqdah. Another book Yanabi’ al Mawaddah by Sheikh Sulaiman al Balkhi al Qunduzi—who is erroneously understood to be a Sunni—is also of the same category. Al Qunduzi regarded Ibn ‘Uqdah as one of his sources and thus mentioned many narrations from his works. In a similar fashion, many scholars copied a great deal of narrations from Ibn ‘Uqdah.

Many of the scholars did not pay attention to the personality of this individual, i.e. to which sect does he belong and what is the status of his narrations? Now we will present to you the position of Ibn ‘Uqdah according to the scholars of rijal, without editing the texts. Thereafter the fair-minded—as well as those who are able to distinguish truth from falsehood—can decide for themselves. There will be no need for any comment from our side. We will first present a summary of all the comments and thereafter provide a bibliography which will include page numbers so that those who wish to verify our quotations may do so. Now take a look at the summary of the comments.


The ‘Accolades’ of Ibn ‘Uqdah

  1. His full name is Abu al ‘Abbas, Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Sa’id al Kufi (commonly known as Ibn ‘Uqdah). He is a Zaidi Jarudi Shia. This is a fact that both parties attest to.
  2. He reported three hundred thousand narrations with asanid (according to one opinion) or one hundred and twenty thousand (according to another) regarding the virtues of the Ahlul Bayt and Banu Hashim. Amongst them is the narration of Thaqalayn, which he has reported with many asanid.
  3. He would ‘prepare’ (his own) narrations and present it to the leading scholars of Kufah, requesting them to narrate it. He would then claim that he heard these narrations from them. He is well known specifically for narrating Munkar narrations.
  4. He had a well-planned method by means of which he would spread fabricated narrations amongst the people. He would concoct asanid with the names of extremely reliable narrators and remove his own name. (It is open deception for a narrator to remove his name from a chain.)
  5. Wherever he found the opportunity, he would portray actions of the Sahabah to be mistakes and faults, especially the actions of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. It is for this reason that many Muhaddithin (like ‘Amr ibn Hamwayh) abandoned his narrations and others rejected it.
  6. Ibn ‘Uqdah is a reliable narrator in the four pivotal books (Usul al Kafi, Tahdhib al Ahkam, al Istibsar, Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih) of the Shia. All the Shia scholars on rijal accept him to be reliable and truthful. Therefore, we wish to add his details from Shia sources to establish his position, after presenting it from the sources of the Ahlus Sunnah.
  7. Ibn ‘Uqdah accomplished a great academic feat, due to which all the Shia scholars are indebted to him. He compiled books in which he recorded all the companions and students of the first six Imams until Jafar al Sadiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. All the latter-day scholars merely cut and paste from his works.


Take a look at the following list of scholars from the Sunni masters on the subject of rijal, all of whom have disparaged this narrator:

  1. Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 5 pg. 22014 – 22021
  2. Al Muntazam fi Tarikh al Muluk wa l-Umam by Ibn al Jawzi, vol. 6 pg. 336 – 337
  3. Tadhkirat al Huffaz by al Dhahabi, vol. 3 pg. 157
  4. Mizan al I’tidal by al Dhahabi, vol. 1 pg. 65
  5. Mir’at al Jinan by al Yafi’i, vol. 2 pg. Page 311.
  6. Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah by Ibn Kathir al Dimashqi, vol. 6 pg. 78
  7. Minhaj al Sunnah by Ibn Taymiyyah vol. 4 pg. 186 – 192 (The Chapter of the Sun Being Brought Back for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu


Now look at the list regarding Ibn ‘Uqdah from Shia scholars:

  1. Rijal al Najjashi pg. 68 – printed in Iran
  2. Rijal al Tafrishi pg. 31 – printed in Iran
  3. Rijal ‘Allamah Hilli pg. 67- printed in Iran
  4. Majalis al Mu’minin pg. 88 and 174-Iranian print
  5. Jami’ al Ruwat by Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al Ardabili vol. 1 pg. 65-67
  6. Muntaha al Maqal by Abu ‘Ali, pg. 107-108 Iranian print
  7. Rawdat al Jannat by Khuwansari pg. 58
  8. Rijal al Mamaqani: Tanqih al Maqal, vol. 1 pg. 85-86
  9. Mulakhas al Maqal fi Tahqiq Ahwal al Rijal, Category two regarding the reliable ones, pg. 118
  10. Tuhfat al Ahbab by Sheikh ‘Abbas al Qummi, pg. 14 Iranian print
  11. Tatimmat al Muntaha by Sheikh ‘Abbas al Qummi, pg. 304 Iranian print


Note:- This ‘saint’ is not mentioned in Rijal al Kashshi. This is because this book contains the names of the narrators of the former times, whereas he only died in the year 322 A.H. A logical conclusion would be that the book was compiled before his era. Even though Sheikh Tusi summarised this book, and it was as if he had given it a new sequence, this person was still not mentioned in the new sequence. Apart from Rijal al Kashshi, his name is mentioned with praise regarding his reliability in all the famous Shia books on narrators (those possessed by the author). The scholars can refer to the original sources for further satisfaction. We hope that they will find all our references to be accurate.


A Final Word

A question may arise in the minds of some, i.e. the great luminaries of the ummah such as al Sakhawi and al Samhudi did not raise objections or point out faults regarding this narration, so these objections must have been prepared now in the fourteenth century?

The answer to this is that we only quoted the works of other scholars in criticism of Ibn ‘Uqdah. These comments have been penned down by seven of the most outstanding scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah. Therefore to assume that these were made up in the fourteenth century is a great injustice! We guarantee that these quotations are accurate. One can refer to the sources to confirm our accuracy. It will be found that we did not deceive in any way.

However, we do admit that a few authors and biographers have also mentioned great praise regarding Ibn ‘Uqdah, regarding him to be reliable. This is due to the fact that they were unaware of his other side. Therefore, we will find that those who were aware, mentioned the praise and thereafter added a detailed criticism of his personality. Those who did not mention the criticism are thus excused. However, the rule “Disparagement is given preference over commendation” demands that commendation not be considered.

Secondly, the comments of the Shia ‘ulamaʼ are supportive of that which our scholars have written (in criticism of Ibn ‘Uqdah). This is because our scholars have stated that he was a Zaidi Jarudi Shia. The scholars of the Shia confirm that this is totally accurate, “He was definitely a Zaidi Jarudi Shia, and he is a reliable narrator according to us. We accept all his great scholarly writings.” How can the narrations of a person like this, who is accepted by both parties to be a Shia, be accepted without question regarding a disputed matter? The scholars of hadith have clearly stated that the narrations of an innovator (such as a Shia or Khariji etc.) cannot be accepted if it is in support of his innovation. Thus, whatever we have presented is in complete compliance to our principles. We did go out of the way and stretch arguments. In a nutshell, the narrations of Ibn ‘Uqdah cannot be relied upon concerning this subject, and it will not be considered.


NEXT⇒ The Isnad of Da`laj ibn Ahmed ibn Da`laj al-Sajzi 

[1]  Volume 1 Page 175-177

[2]‘Abaqat vol. 1 pg. 175

[3]‘Abaqat vol. 1 pg. 176

[4]  ibid

[5]  ibid

[6]‘Abaqat al Anwar  vol. 1 pg. 177