كنت إذا سألت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أعطاني، وإذا سكت ابتدأني.
When I would ask the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he would give me, and when I would be silent, he would initiate (the act of speaking or giving) with me.
This hadith is narrated by ‘Ali with several different chains of transmission, including:
Imam al Tirmidhi says this hadith is Hassan gharib min hadha al wajh (fair rare in this particular way.
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr al Jamali did not hear (hadith) from ‘Ali. In the Mustadrak of al Hakim he narrates indicating that he explicitly heard from ‘Ali. However, in the chain of transmission, the teacher of al Hakim, Abu al Hassan Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn Hani’ al ‘Adl cannot be traced.
Abu al Bakhtari did not hear (hadith) from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. However, there is a narration which indicates that he is explicitly heard from him (i.e. the expression used in the hadith clearly shows that he directly heard from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib). However, I think it is an error. Ibn ‘Asakir narrates the hadith — from Abu ‘Abdullah al Mahamili — Yusuf narrated to us — ‘Ubaidullah ibn Musa narrated to us — Mis’ar ibn Kidam narrated to us — from ‘Amr ibn Murrah — from Abu al Bakhtari who said, “I asked ‘Ali regarding himself,” and then he mentioned a similar hadith.
Yusuf is ibn Musa ibn Rashid al Qattan, Abu Ya’qub al Kufi (more famously known as al Razi). He is a saduq (sincere).
‘Ubaidullah ibn Musa is al ‘Absi. He is a thiqah (reliable) and he has munkar (unacceptable) narrations.
I have mentioned previously that Abu al Bakhtari did not hear (hadith) from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. Therefore, it needs to be seen who the error is coming from. Perhaps it is coming from ‘Ubaidullah ibn Musa al ‘Absi. As mentioned previously, he is a thiqah (reliable) and he has munkar (unacceptable) narrations. The hadith masters have discovered ‘illahs (hidden impairing defects) in several hadiths like this. I have explained this in my book al ‘Illah wa Ajnasuha ‘inda al Muhadithin.
Abu Ishaq is a mudallis (obfuscates when he narrates) and a mukhtalit (commits serious errors).
Ibn Jurayj is a mudallis (obfuscates when he narrates).
Imam al Nasa’i narrates — Yusuf ibn Sa’id informed us — Hajjaj informed us — from Ibn Jurayj — Abu Harb narrated to us — from Abu al Aswad and another person — from Zadhan. They both said, “‘Ali said, ‘By Allah, when I ask (Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for something), I am granted it, and when I remain quiet, it (i.e. the act of giving or speaking) is initiated with me.’”
Ibn Jurayj did not hear (hadith) from Abu Harb. However, in this narration, he is explicitly narrating from him (i.e. he is using a term that implies he heard directly from Abu Harb). I think this display of explicit narration is a mistake committed by Hajjaj ibn Muhammad al Missisi. He is a thiqah (reliable), however, he committed serious errors at the end of his life.
Al Qati’i narrates — ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad narrated to us — my grandfather narrated to me — Hajjaj ibn Muhammad narrated to us — Ibn Jurayj narrated to us — Abu Harb ibn Abi al Aswad narrated to us — from Abu al Aswad — Ibn Jurayj and another person — from Zadhan. They both said, “‘Ali was asked about himself.” He said, “I will relate (to you) a favour of my Lord (upon me); by Allah, when I ask (Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for something), I am granted it, and when I remain quiet, it (i.e. the act of giving or speaking) is initiated with me. (On account of this, I have a acquired) a great deal of knowledge in my bosom.”
Al ‘Uqayli regarded al Haytham ibn al Ash’ath as da’if (weak). And, Ibn Hibban—as is his habit—regarded him as a thiqah (reliable).
Abu Hanifah al Yamami al Ansari’s name is Nashirah. Only Ibn Hibban regarded his as a thiqah (reliable). However, Ibn Hibban says that despite his few narrations, he commits errors.
If he only possesses a few narrations, and he commits errors in them, then he is matruk (suspected of forgery).
Ahmed ibn ‘Ata’ al Rudhabari is da’if (weak).
Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al Hussain al Qantari, ‘Ali ibn Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al ‘Alawi, his father and his grandfather could not be traced.
In short, all the different chains of transmission for this hadith are da’if (weak). And Allah knows best.
 Imam al Tirmidhi: Sunan al Tirmidhi, hadith nos. 3722 and 3729; al Hakim: Mustadrak al Hakim, hadith no. 4630.
 Ibn Abi Shaybah: Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, hadith no. 32069; al Bazzar: Musnad al Bazzar, hadith no. 575.
 Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, 42/377.
 Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, 42/377.
 Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat al Kubra, 2/338.
 Abu Dawood al Tayalisi: Musnad Abi Dawood al Tayalisi, 1/180.
 Al Tabarani: al Mujam al Kabir, hadith no. 6041.
 Al Tabarani: al Mujam al Kabir, hadith no. 6042.
 Imam al Nasa’i: al Sunan al Kubra, hadith no. 8452.
 Al Qati’i: Zawa’id Fada’il al Sahabah, 2/1099.
 Ibn Battah: al Ibanah al Kubra, 7/177.
 Ibn Hibban: Kitab al Thiqat, 7/545.
 Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, 42/385.Back to top