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يا علي إن الله أمرني أن أتخذ أبا بكر والدا، وعمر مشيرا، وعثمان سندا، وأنت يا على ظهيرا، أنتم أربعة، قد أخذ الله لكم الميثاق في أم الكتاب لا يحبكم إلا مؤمن تقي، ولا يبغضكم إلا منافق شقي، أنتم خلفاء نبوتي، وعقد ذمتي، وحجتي على أمتي.
O ‘Ali, verily Allah has ordered me to take Abu Bakr as a father, ‘Umar as an advisor, ‘Uthman as a support, and you, O ‘Ali, as an assistant. You four, Allah has taken a covenant with you in Umm al Kitab (i.e. Qurʾan): only a pious believer loves you and only a wretched hypocrite hates you. You are the khulafaʾ of my Prophethood, the leader(s) of my dhimmah (responsibility) and the proof(s) against my Ummah.
This hadith is narrated from ‘Ali and Hudhayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.
This version of the hadith has the following two chains of transmission:
Al Khatib says, “This hadith is very munkar (unacceptable). I only know Dirar ibn Sahl to narrate with this chain of transmission; and from him al Ghabaghibi. Both of them are majhul (unknown).”
The person from whom al Khatib narrated the hadith is unidentified.
Al Dhahabi and Ibn Hajar said< “(The narration of) Dirar ibn Sahl from al Hassan ‘Arafah is a batil (false) report. It is not known who this animal is.”
In another place, al Dhahabi says that Dirar ibn Sahl is majhul (unknown) and that perhaps he is responsible for fabricating this hadith.
Ibn ‘Asakir narrates this version of the hadith — from Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Ibrahim ibn al Asamm al Bajali al ‘Akkawi — Al Mubajjal ibn Mansur narrated to us — from Yahya ibn ‘Ubaid al Tanafisi — from Fitr ibn Khalifah — from Abu al Tufayl — from Hudhayfah…” This contains a shahid (supporting witness report).
I could not trace Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Ibrahim ibn al Asamm al Bajali al ‘Akkawi, al Mubajjal ibn Mansur, and Yahya ibn ‘Ubaid al Tanafisi.
Ibn ‘Iraq says, “There are several narrators in the various chains of transmission for this hadith that I was unable to find a biography about. And Allah knows best.”
Al Suyuti mentions another chain of transmission of this hadith that is narrated by Abu Nuaim. It contains the narrator Abu Ishaq. He is a mudallis (obfuscates when he narrates) and a mukhtalit (commits serious errors).
It also contains the narrator al Kudaymi. He is suspected of lying.
It also contains the narrator ‘Umar ibn Ahmed ibn ‘Ali al Baghdadi. Ibn Tahir al Maqdisi says that he narrates fabricated reports from reliable narrators.
In short, all the chains of transmission are saqitah (wholly unreliable). The hadith is a lie.
 Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, 9/345.
 Al Dhahabi: Mizan al I’tidal, 2/327; Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, 3/202.
 Al Dhahabi: Talkhis al Mawdu’at, hadith no. 137.
 Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, 27/47.
 Ibn Hibban: Kitab al Thiqat, 8/53.
 Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, 14/63.
 Ibn ‘Iraq: Tanzih al Shari’ah, 1/368.
 Al Suyuti: al Laʾali al Masnu’ah, 1/350.
 For an explanation of this term, Click Here. [translator’s note]