Sahifah Imam `Ali al-Rida ibn Musa al-Kazim

Tabaqat ibn Sa`d
October 1, 2015
Section One
October 1, 2015

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Sahifah Imam ‘Ali al Rida ibn Musa al Kazim


عن الحافظ ابن عساكر عن زاهر السخانى عن الحافظ البيهقى عن ابى القاسم المفسر عن ابراهيم بن جعدة عن ابى القاسم عبد الله بن احمد بن عامر الطا ئ بالبصرة قال حدثنى ابى سنة ماتين و ستين قال حدثنى على بن موسى الرضا عليه السلام سنة مائة واربع و تسعين قال حدثنى ابى موسى بن جعفر قال حدثنى ابى جعفر بن محمد قال حدثنى ابى محمد بن على قال حدثنى ابى على بن الحسين قال حدثنى ابى الحسين بن على قال حدثنى على بن ابى طالب شلام الله عليهم اجمعين امين الى يوم الدين قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم كانى قد دعيت فاجبت وانا تارك فيكم الثقلين احدهما اكبر من الاخر كتاب الله عز و جل ممدود من السماء الى الارض و عترتى اهل بيتي فانظروا كيف تخلفونى فيهما

Hafiz Ibn ‘Asakir — Zahir al Sakhani — Hafiz al Bayhaqi — Abu al Qasim al Mufassir — Ibrahim ibn Ja’dah — Abu al Qasim Abdullah ibn Ahmed ibn Amir al Ta’i (at Basrah) — his father ‘Amir (in the year 260 A.H) — ‘Ali ibn Musa al Rida rahimahu Llah (in the year 194 A.H) — (his father) Musa ibn Jafar — (his father) Jafar ibn Muhammad — (his father), Muhammad ibn ‘Ali (al Baqir) — (his father) ‘Ali ibn Hussain — (his father) Hussain ibn ‘Ali — (his father) ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhum that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

It is as if I have been invited and I have accepted the invitation. Now I leave amongst you al Thaqalayn (two weighty things), one is greater than the other. They are: the Book of Allah—which could be likened to a rope that has been extended from the sky to the earth—and my ‘itrah who are my Ahlul Bayt. Beware of how you treat them after my departure.[1]


I wish to inform the honourable readers that whilst gathering all the different versions of Hadith al Thaqalayn, I have reproduced here all those narrations which have isnad and are found in those books which are attributed to the Ahlus Sunnah. This will assist one in getting to know the status of the narration as far as authenticity is concerned, in light of the rules and principles of hadith. Whilst gathering the narrations, this narration was found under the section: The Sahifah of ‘Ali al Rida. I have quoted it verbatim, with its isnad.

Another noteworthy fact is that all the narrations in this script have been narrated with one isnad, which has been quoted in the beginning of the script, and thus the authenticity of the entire script depends on this single isnad. Therefore we will now quote, word for word, the views of all those senior scholars of hadith and scrutiny of narrators that we could find. This will ease the task of passing a verdict upon this narration, whether it is acceptable or not?

1. Al Dhahabi in Mizan al I’tidal states regarding the narrator of this Sahifah:


عبد الله بن احمد بن عامر عن ابيه عن على الرضاء عن اباءه بتلك النسخة الموضوعة الباطلة ما ينفك عن وضعه او وضع ابيه قال الحسن بن على الزهرى كان اميا لم يكن بالمرضى

‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed ibn ‘Amir al Ta’i — from his father — from ‘Ali ibn Musa al Rida — from his forefathers: narrates that fabricated and baseless scroll. It is either the concoction of ‘Abdullah or his father. Al Zuhri said regarding him, “He was illiterate and not one who was accepted.”[2]


2. Ibn al Hajar al ‘Asqalani in Lisan al Mizan mentioned this narration in the exact same manner as al Dhahabi. The crux of these two references is that ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed fabricated a scroll that he had attributed to Imam ‘Ali al Rida and his forefathers. If he was not the one who fabricated it then it was done by his father. Also, Hassan ibn ‘Ali al Zuhri said that he was an illiterate person who was not approved of.[3] It should also be borne in mind that ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed is not the son of the famous Imam Ahmed ibn Hambal, care should be taken not to mistake one for the other.


3. Mulla ‘Ali al Qari in his book al Masnu’ fi Ahadith al Mawdu’ has also written clearly regarding this fabricated scroll:


وعبد الله بن احمد عن ابيه عن على الرضاء عن اباءه يروى نسخة باطلة موضوعة ما ينفك عن وضعه او وضع ابيه

‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed narrates — from his father — from ‘Ali ibn Musa al Rida a fabricated and baseless scroll. It is either the fabrication of ‘Abdullah or of his father.[4]


4. ‘Allamah Shawkani has also written in his book Fawa’id al Majmu’ah fi Ahadith al Mawdu’ah very clearly:


و منها عبد الله بن احمد عن ابيه عن على الرضاء عن اباءه كلها موضمعة باطلة

Amongst them (fabrications) is the scroll of ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed from his father from ‘Ali al Rida from his forefathers. It is all a baseless fabrication.


In summary, ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed attributed a fabricated scroll to Imam ‘Ali al Rida and his forefathers, which he transmitted to the masses. In light of the words of these great scholars, this scroll that has become famous amongst the masses as the Sahifah ‘Ali al Rida is in actual fact the product of the ‘brilliant mind’ of either ‘Ali ibn Ahmed ibn ‘Amir al Ta’i or his father.

The remainder of the names in the chain, who happen to be pious saints, have been added simply to pull wool over the eyes, so that the masses will accept the narration without any hesitation. A mere glance at the names will convince them to accept this fabricated scroll. The elucidation above exposes the reality of all the narrations appearing in this scroll, and the narration of Thaqalayn also appears in this scroll; which will fall in the same category as the other narrations.

If we were to, hypothetically, accept that the above narration is acceptable then too it will not count against us. This is because, firstly, the meaning of the narration is quite clear, the glorious Qur’an has been compared to a rope onto which we are ordered to hold tightly and we are instructed to conduct ourselves in an amicable manner with the members of the household of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They should always be honoured and given due consideration, and if they are ever approached, then it should be done with love. Their rights should never be trampled upon. The Ahlus Sunnah are in total agreement with this, which is the central message of this narration. There is no degree of difference of opinion regarding it.

Secondly, there is no such wording in the above narration which indicates incumbency of following and obeying the Ahlul Bayt. This narration does not indicate in any way, that the one who does not obey them will be deviated. Hence, even if we were to accept that this narration is authentic and acceptable (which it is not) then too it does not go against any of our beliefs. Furthermore, it does not prove in the slightest the validity of the claim of our ‘friends’.


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 [1]The scroll of ‘Ali al Rida ibn Musa al Kazim pg. 14 (printed by al Muwahid printing press, Egypt, Edition 2, printed with the Musnad of Imam Zaid.

[2]  vol. 2 pg. 22

[3]  vol. 3 pg. 252 Number 1097

[4]  pg. 36, printed by Muhammadi printers, Lahore.

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