ليلة أسري بي انتهيت إلى ربي عز وجل، فأوحى إلى أو أمرني – جعفر – في علي رضي الله عنه بثلاث: أنه سيد المسلمين، وولي المتقين، وقائد الغر المحجلين.
The night I was made to ascend (the Heavens), I stopped before my Lord subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. He sent wahi (revelation) to me—or he ordered me (Jafar was unsure) regarding the following three things about ‘Ali: he is the leader of the Muslims, the wali of the pious, and the leader of al ghurr al muhajjalin (radiant faces).
This hadith is narrates from ‘Abdullah ibn As’ad ibn Zurarah, Anas, ‘Ali, ‘Abdulla ibn ‘Ukaym, and ‘Aʾishah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Al Muhamili and others narrate this version of the hadith — from Yahya ibn Abi Bukayr — Jafar ibn Ziyad narrated to us — Hilal al Sayrafi narrated to us — Abu Kathir al Ansari narrated to us — ‘Abdullah ibn As’ad ibn Zurarah narrated to me, “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said…”
I could not trace Abu Kathir al Ansari.
Ibn Hibban is the only one to regard Hilal al Sayrafi as a thiqah (reliable).
There are severe inconsistencies that are unreslovably problematic in his chain of transmission. Al Albani ruled the hadith to be a fabrication.
Abu Nuaim and others narrate this version of the hadith. It contains the narrator ‘Ali ibn ‘Abis. He is da’if (weak). In fact, he is suspected of forgery.
It also contains the narrator al Harith ibn Hasirah. There is a difference of opinion regarding his status.
His teacher could not be traced.
It also contains the narrator Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Maymun. He is munkar al hadith (unacceptable in hadith).
The following people have mentioned this hadith in their respective works on fabrications: Al Dhahabi, Ibn al Jawzi, al Suyuti, Ibn ‘Iraq, al Shawkani, and al Albani.
Abu Nuaim and others narrate this version of the hadith. It contains the narrator Hassan ibn Hussain al ‘Urni al Kufi. He is munkar al hadith (unacceptable in hadith) and has been accused of lying.
There is a difference of opinion regarding his teacher.
Al Albani ruled this version of the hadith to be a fabrication.
Ibn al Maghazili also narrates this version with the words, “O ‘Ali, verily you are the leader of the Muslims, the leader of the pious, the leader of al ghurr al muhajjalin (radiant faces), and the leader of the believers.”
Abu al Qasim says, “I asked Ahmed ibn Yahya Tha’lab regarding al ya’sub (leader). He said, ‘It is a male bee that attacks/defends.’”
As mentioned previously, the hadith is from a false and fabricated nuskhah (copy).
Al Tabarani narrates this version of the hadith. It contains the narrator Mujashi’ ibn ‘Amr and ‘Isa ibn Sawadah al Razi. They are both accused of lying.
Al Albani ruled this version of the hadith a fabrication.
Ibn ‘Asakir narrates this version of the hadith. It contains the narrator Jafar ibn Ahmed al ‘Awsaji. I could not trace him.
It also contains the narrator Abu Bilal al Ash’ari. Al Daraqutni regarded him as da’if (weak) and Ibn Hibban mentioned him in Kitab al Thiqat. Ibn Hibban is a mutasahil (lenient in hadith).
Ibn Taymiyyah criticizes this hadith at length in terms of its matn (text). I have quoted this in the original work.
In short, the hadith is mawdu’ (fabricated), as mentioned by a number of huffaz (hadith masters), whose names have been mentioned.
 Al Muhamili: Amali al Muhamili: Riwayat Ibn Mahdi al Farisi, hadith no. 106.
 Ibn Hibban: Kitab al Thiqat, 7/572.
 Al Albani: Silsilat al Ahadith al Da’ifah, 10/4889.
 Abu Nuaim: Hilyat al Awliyaʾ, 1/63.
 Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, 1/107.
 Al Dhahabi: Talkhis al Mawdu’at, hadith no. 125 and Mizan al I’tidal, 1/64; Ibn al Jawzi: Kitab al Mawdu’at, 1/376; al Suyuti: al Laʾali al Masnu’ah, 1/329; Ibn ‘Iraq: Tanzih al Shari’ah, 1/357; al Shawkani: al Fawaʾid al Majmu’ah, hadith no. 322; al Albani: Silsilat al Ahadith al Da’ifah, 10/4886.
 Abu Nuaim: Hilyat al Awliyaʾ, 1/66.
 Al Albani: Silsilat al Ahadith al Da’ifah, 10/4885.
 Ibn al Maghazili: Manaqib ‘Ali, hadith no. 93.
 Al Tabarani: al Mujam al Saghir, 2/1012.
 Al Albani: Silsilat al Ahadith al Da’ifah, 1/353.
 Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, 42/305.
 Ibn Hibban: Kitab al Thiqat, 9/199.
 Ibn Taymiyyah: Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah, 7/386.