Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari

Musnad Abi `Awanah
October 1, 2015
Musnad Abi Ya`la
October 1, 2015

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Muhammad ibn Jarir al Tabari

(Quoted from Kanz al ‘Ummal)


عن محمد بن عمر بن على عن ابيه عن علي ابى طالب قال ان النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم حضر الشجرة بخم فقال يا ايها الناس الستم تشهدون ان الله ربكم قالوا بلى قال الستم تشهدون ان الله و رسوله اولى بكم من انفسكم و ان الله و رسوله مولاكم قالوا بلى من كنت مولاه فعلى مولاه انى قد تركت فيكم ما ان اخذتم لن تضلو بعدى كتاب الله بايديكم واهل بيتى

Muhammad ibn’Umar ibn ‘Ali — (his father) ‘Umar — from (his father) ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib who said:

When Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam reached the tree at Khum, he said, “O people, do you not testify that Allah is your Rabb?” They replied, “Definitely!” He then asked, “Do you not testify that Allah and his Rasul have a greater right over you than yourselves and that Allah and his Rasul are your mawla?” They replied, “Definitely!” He then said, “‘Ali is the mawla of all those who take me as a mawla. Indeed I have left amongst you that which if you hold onto it you will never go astray after me; the Book of Allah which is in your hands and my Ahlul Bayt.”


The isnad, despite extensive research could not be found, which brings great sorrow to us. It is possible that the complete chain could be found in the book of al Tabari Tahdhib al Athar, however we could not find a copy of this book. We then searched through the books of hadith (those books which mention the isnad) to see how was this narration is narrated from the grandson of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu (Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali) by others. This research revealed to us that the narrator from Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali is Kathir in Zaid, who narrates directly from Muhammad ibn ‘Umar. There is no difference until this point. After Zaid, there are a few differences in the chains. This information was retrieved from the works of the contemporaries of Muhammad ibn Jarir and those who were from an era close to his.  One of the books in which this narration was found was Musnad Ishaq ibn Rahawayh. The second book in which it was found was Mushkil al Athar of Imam Abu Jafar al Tahawi (vol. 2 pg. 307). The text is identical to the one of Kanz al ‘Ummal and the chain is the same as the one that has been mentioned. Therefore it can be confirmed that the narrator from Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali is Kathir ibn Zaid. The following words of criticism have been recorded regarding this Zaid by the scholars of rijal:

ضعيف-فيه لين-ليس بشيئ-ليس بقوى-لا يحتج بنقله

He is da’if — he is not particular about his narrations — he is a non-entity — he is not reliable — his narrations cannot be cited as proof.


Similarly in the commentary of Jami’ al Saghir of al Suyuti, which is Fayd al Qadir, ‘Abdul Ra’uf al Munadi has declared this Kathir worthy of criticism. (Refer to Fayd al Qadir vol. 6 pg. 387 under the hadith “Do not lament over din…”). We already mentioned the exact words of criticism under the narration of Musnad Ishaq ibn Rahawayh, which one can refer to for further elucidation.

According to the principle “Disparagement is given preference over commendation” this Kathir will be regarded as unreliable despite the clemency a few individuals might mention in his favour. Their praise will not be given consideration, and this narration will not reach the required level of authenticity. When citing proof, authentic narrations with reliable isnad are required.


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