إني عبد الله وأخو رسوله، وأنا الصديق الأكبر، لا يقولها بعدي إلا كاذب، صليت قبل الناس بسبع سنين، قبل أن يعبده أحد من هذه الأمة.
(‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said,) “I am the servant of Allah and the brother of His Messenger. I am the greatest Siddiq. No one will say these words after me except for a liar. I made salah seven years before everyone else; before anyone from this Ummah worshipped him.”
This hadith is narrated from ‘Ali, Abu Dharr, Abu Layla al Ghifari, and Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
This version of the hadith is transmitted with the following chains:
‘Ubaidullah ibn Musa is (‘Ubaidullah ibn Musa) al ‘Absi, one of the ghulat (extremists). He narrates several munkar (unacceptable) reports.
Abu Ishaq is (Abu Ishaq) al Sabi’i. He is a mudallis (obfuscates when he narrates) and is a mukhtalit (commits serious errors).
‘Abbad ibn ‘Abdullah al Asadi is da’if (weak).
Imam Ahmed gave this hadith as an example of al ‘Absi’s hadith and said, “It is a munkar (unacceptable) hadith.”
Al Dhahabi says this hadith is a lie about ‘Ali.
Al Hakim says this hadith fulfills the conditions of Imam al Bukhari and Imam Muslim, but al Dhahabi disagreed and wrote, “He (i.e. al Hakim) said this. It is not even according to one of their conditions. In fact, it is not even sahih (authentic); it is mawdu’ (fabricated). Think about it. It contains the narrator ‘Abbad ibn ‘Abdullah al Asadi. Ibn al Madini says he is da’if (weak).”
Al ‘Uqayli says this narration suffers from lin (leniency).
The following people were absolutely certain the hadith is a fabrication: Ibn al Jawzi, Ibn Taymiyyah and al Albani.
Al Busiri says this chain of transmission is sahih (authentic) and the narrators are all thiqat (reliable).
Al Albani says the hadith is batil (false).
Ibn Kathir says, “This hadith is munkar (unacceptable) under all circumstances.”
‘Abbad is da’if (weak).
Al ‘Alaʾ is a thiqah (reliable). A number of people have deemed him a thiqah, however, ‘Ali ibn al Madini says that he narrates manakir (unacceptable reports). Al Bukhari says he does not enjoy mutaba’at (parallel narrations). The likes of such a person’s hadith are to be considered a valid form of proof unless there appears something unacceptable it in; in such a case, judgement will be suspended. This hadith is an example of such a case.
Al Bukhari says regarding this hadith of Sulaiman, “It does not enjoy any mutaba’at (parallel narrations). And Sulaiman hearing (hadith) from Muazah is unknown.”
Al Suyuti says, “I found another chain of transmission for this hadith. Shadhan al Fadli says in Fadaʾil ‘Ali, “Abu Talib ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah al Katib narrated to us in ‘Ukbara — Abu al Qasim ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Ghiyath al Khurasani narrated to us — Ahmed ibn ‘Amir ibn Sulaim al Taʾi narrated to us — ‘Ali ibn Musa al Rida narrated to us — my father, Musa narrated to me — from his father, Jafar — from his father, Muhammad — from his father, ‘Ali — from his father, al Hassan — from his father ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Al Suyuti says, “Ibn ‘Amir al Taʾi narrates a false copy (of hadith) from the Ahlul Bayt. And Allah knows best.”
Therefore, the hadith is mawdu’ (fabricated). The accused person in the chain of transmission is Ahmed ibn ‘Amir ibn Sulaim al Taʾi.
This version of the hadith is narrated with the following two chains of transmission:
It also contains the narrator ‘Umar ibn Sa’id. The more correct name is perhaps (‘Umar) ibn Sa’d al Basri. Al Bukhari says the hadith of ‘Umar ibn Sa’d al Basri are not authentic.
Ibn Kathir says this hadith is munkar jiddan (very unacceptable).
There is another version of this hadith from the above unknown narrator, Abu Sukhaylah. Ibn ‘Asakir narrates it with a chain of transmission that is saqit (wholly unreliable). It contains the narrators Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn al Hassan al Qatawani and Makhlad ibn Shaddad, none of whom could be traced.
It also contains the narrator Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaidullah. He is (Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaidullah) ibn Abi Rafi’ and he is matruk (suspected of forgery).
Abu Ahmed al Hakim narrates in al Kuna (as mentioned by al Suyuti) with a chain of transmission that contains Ishaq ibn Bishr al Asadi. He is matruk (suspected of forgery).
It also contains the narrator Ibrahim ibn Sulaiman al Khazzaz al Kufi. He (too) is matruk (suspected of forgery).
The explanation of this version of the hadith has already been mentioned in the hadith of the Manzilah. It contains the following words:
Verily the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said while holding the hands of ‘Ali, “This is the first person to believe in me; and the first to shake my hand of the Day of Resurrection; and the one to distinguish between truth and falsehood of this Ummah; and he is the leader of the believers; and wealth is the leader of the oppressors; he is the greatest Siddiq; and he is my door by which to enter; and he is my khalifah after me…
As mentioned previously, the hadith is munkar (unacceptable).
In short, based on the above, it becomes evident that all the different chains of transmission for this hadith are wahiyah (feeble) and weak. The hadith is munkar (unacceptable).
 Al Hakim: Mustadrak al Hakim, 3/4584.
 Al Khallal: al Muntakhab min ‘Ilal al Khallal, hadith no. 204; Mughaltaʾi: Ikmal Tahdhib al Kamal, 7/177.
 Al Dhahabi: Mizan al I’tidal, 2/368.
 Ibn al Mulaqqin: Mukhtasar Talkhis al Mustadrak, 13/1314.
 Al ‘Uqayli: al Du’afaʾ al Kabir, 3/137.
 Ibn al Jawzi: Kitab al Mawdu’at, 1/341; Ibn Taymiyyah: Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah, 7/444, 445; al Albani: Silsilat al Ahadith al Da’ifah, 10/4947.
 For an explanation of this term. please see p. [translator’s note
 Ibn Majah: Sunan Ibn Majah, 1/120.
 Al Busiri: Misbah al Zujajah fi Zawaʾid Ibn Majah, 1/20.
 Ibn Kathir: al Sirah al Nabawiyyah, 1/432.
 Ibn ‘Adi: al Kamil, 3/274.
 Ibn al Jawzi: Kitab al Mawdu’at, 1/342.
 Al Suyuti: al Laʾali al Masnu’ah, 1/344.
 Al Tabarani: al Mujam al Kabir, 6/6184.
 Al ‘Uqayli: al Du’afaʾ al Kabir, 3/162.
 Ibn Kathir: Jami’ al Masanid wa al Sunan, 3/527.
 Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, 42/41.
 Al Bazzar: Musnad al Bazzar, 9/3898.
 Al Suyuti: al Laʾali al Masnu’ah, 1/289.
 For an explanation of this hadith, please see Section One, hadith no. 2 of this book. [translator’s note]