The narration appears with two asanid in the Jami’ of al Tirmidhi.
حدثنل نصر بن عبدالرحمان الكوفى قال حثنا زيد بن الحسن عن جعفر بن محمد عن ابيه عن جابر بن عبدالله قال رءيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فى حجته يوم عرفة وهو على ناقته القصواء يخطب فسمعته يقول يا ايها الناس انى تركت فيكم ما ان اخذتم به لن تضلوا كتاب الله و عترتى اهل بيتى
Nasr ibn ‘Abdul Rahman al Kufi — Zaid ibn al Hassan — Jafar ibn Muhammad — his father (al Baqir) — from Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah who said:
I saw Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam delivering a sermon on his camel al Qaswa’ during his Hajjat al Wada’. I heard him saying, “O people, indeed I have left amongst you that which, if you hold onto it, you will not go astray, the Book of Allah and my ‘itrah who are my Ahlul Bayt.”
The respected readers are requested to take note of the fact that this narration is the exact same as the narration quoted from Hakim al Tirmidhi on the authority of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah. The only difference being that the isnad has been omitted in that narration. After studying the books on narrators, it was learnt that this chain contains an individual named Zaid ibn al Hassan, whose position has been clarified under the first narration of Hakim al Tirmidhi. It seems as if this narration is the result of his ‘generosity’. This individual is considered unreliable by the Muhaddithin and he narrates Munkar narrations. He is responsible for spreading the narrations of Ma’ruf Makki (an infamous Shia narrator) amongst the masses. This individual is taken as an authentic source of narrations by the Shia. He is a Shia and is even portrayed as a close companion of Imam Jafar al Sadiq—the sixth Imam. In light of the above mentioned discrepancies this narration is unacceptable according to the Ahlus Sunnah.
حدثنا على بن المنذر الكوفى حدثنا محمد بن الفضيل حدثنا الاعمش عن عطية عن ابى سعيد والاعمش عن حبيب بن ابى ثابت عن زيد بن ارقم قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم انى تارك فيكم ما تمسكتم به لن تضلوا بعدى احدهما اعظم من الاخر كتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء الى الارض وعترتى اههل بيتى ولن يتفرقا حتى يردا علىّ الحوض فانظروا كيف تخلفونى فيهما هذا حديث غريب
‘Ali ibn al Mundhir al Kufi — Muhammad ibn al Fudayl — al A’mash — ‘Attiyah — Abu Sa’id and al A’mash (also narrated it from ) — Habib ibn Thabit — from Zaid ibn Arqam that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
Indeed I am leaving amongst you that which if you hold onto, you will never go astray. One of them is greater than the other, the Book of Allah — a rope that has been extended from the sky to the earth and my ‘itrah who are my Ahlul Bayt. They will never separate until they meet me at the Pond (al Kawthar), therefore be careful how you succeed me with regards to them.”
After studying this chain, it was discovered that it contains three narrators who were devout Shia and examining their ‘sincerity’ towards the cause of Shi’ism will answer our question on whether we should accept their narration or not? The credentials of ‘Ali ibn al Mundhir al Kufi and Muhammad Fudayl will be discussed. ‘Attiyah’s details have already been presented under the discussion of Tabaqat ibn Sa’d. It would be pointless for us to repeat that here, thus we will suffice with the details of ‘Ali ibn al Mundhir and Muhammad ibn Fudayl.
1. Ibn Hajar writes:
على بن المنذر الطريقى الكوفى يتشيع من العاشرة
2. Al Dhahabi said:
قال النسائى شيعى محض مات سنة 256
3. Ibn Hajar reports in al Tahdhib:
على بن المنذر بن زيد الاودى ابو الحسن الكوفى الطريقى قال النسائى شيعى محض …قال مسلمة بن قاسم لا بأس به وكان يتشيع
The second problematic narrator is Muhammad ibn Fudayl.
1. Ibn Hajar states in Taqrib:
محمد بن فضيل بن غزوان الضبى الكوفى … رمى بالتشيع
2. Al Dhahabi and Ibn Hajar both write:
قال احمد حسن الحديث شيعى وقال ابو داود كان شيعيا محترقا قال بعضهم لا يحتج به…قال ابن حبان كان يغلو فى التشيع قال الدارقطنى كان منحرفا عن عثمان
Ahmed said, “He has decent narrations but he is a Shia.” Abu Dawood said, “He was a antagonistic Shia (in other words harboured great hostility towards the first three Khalifas). Some said that he cannot be used as a proof…” Ibn Hibban said, “He was an extremist Shia.” Al Daraqutni said, “He was loathsome towards ‘Uthman.”
1. It is stated in Mulakhas al Maqal fi Tahqiq Ahwal al Rijal:
محمد بن الفضيل بن غزوان الضبى …من اصحاب الصادق عليه السلام ثقة…وفى الوجيزة ثقة
2. In Jami’ al Ruwat it is written:
محمد بن الفضيل بن غزوان الضبى مولاهم ابو عبد الرحمان من اصحاب الصادق عليه السلام ثقة (صه -.حج – د) (مح)
3. Abu ‘Ali writes in Muntaha al Maqal:
محمد بن الفضيل بن غزوان الضبى مولاهم ابو عبد الرحمان ثقة …قلت وعن السمعانى كان يغلو فى التشيع
Muhammad ibn al Fudayl ibn Ghazwan al Dabbi the freed slave of Abu ‘Abdul Rahman, from the companions of al Sadiq rahimahu Llah. He is reliable… I say, it has been narrated from al Sam’ani that he was an extremist Shia.
He is also included in the book Khulasah, Tanqih al Maqal, and Ibn Abi Dawood also mentioned him (amongst Shia narrators); not to mention Muhammad Mirza Istarabadi as well.
We learn from the above quotations that the two narrations of Tirmidhi are also the result of the ‘generous contributions’ of these Shia personalities. May Allah grant them retribution that befits their devious intentions!
كُلُّ امْرِیًٔۢ بِمَا کَسَبَ رَهِیْنٌ
Every person, for what he earned, is retained
Furthermore, Imam al Tirmidhi has also clarified this issue for us by neither labelling this narration Mutawatir nor Mash-hur, rather he stated that it is a Gharib narration. This view has also been supported by the scholar Abu Musa al Madini who explicitly states that this narration is gharib jiddan (extremely strange). We will quote the exact saying of Abu Musa shortly, in its appropriate place. The people of knowledge should refer to it. Ibn Taymiyyah al Harrani penned his research regarding Hadith al Thaqalayn in the following words:
واما قوله و عترتى اهل بيتى وانهما لن يتفرقا حتى يردا على الحوض فهذا رواه الترمذى وقد سئل عنه احمد بن حنبل فضعفه غير واحد من اهل العلم وقالوا لا يصح
With regards to the saying of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “and my ‘itrah, who are my Ahlul Bayt, and the two of them will not separate until they meet me at the pond” Imam al Tirmidhi has narrated it. However Imam Ahmed was asked regarding it, to which he replied that it was declared unauthentic by a number of scholars and they stated that it cannot be established.
 Al Tirmidhi vol. 2 pg. 219 – Chapter on the virtues of the Ahlul Bayt.
 Taqrib al Tahdhib pg. 376.
 Mizan al I’tidal vol. 2 pg. 239 (Egyptian print)
 Tahdhib vol. 47 pg. 386
 Taqrib pg. 467
 Mizan al I’tidal vol. 3 pg. 123, Tahdhib vol. 9 pg. 406, Kitab al Jarh wa al Ta’dil vol. 4 pg. 57.
 Mulakhas al Maqal fi Tahqiq Ahwal al Rijal pg. 101
 Jami’ al Ruwat vol. 2 pg. 175
 Muntaha al Maqal pg. 357
 The word Gharib is used to indicate that a hadith is narrated from only one narrator at some point in the chain.
 Minhaj al Sunnah by Ibn Taymiyah al Harrani vol. 4 pg. 105