Sahih Muslim

Jami` al-Tirmidhi
October 1, 2015
Nawadir al-Usul
October 1, 2015

BACK Return to Table of contents


Sahih Muslim


Amongst all the narrations that we have presented and scrutinised, the most authentic narration with a complete isnad is the narration of Muslim, which is also reported in Musnad Ahmed (the eighth narration) as well as in Darami. In reality, these three narrations are one and the same narration. The narrations of Muslim and Ahmed may differ in a word or two, while the narration of Darami is slightly abridged; but the meaning of all three is the same. Thus, this is but one narration. Therefore it is most appropriate to mention the details at one place. The texts of the narrations of Musnad Ahmed and Darami have been quoted already. Now only the narration of Muslim remains, which will be followed by an explanation for all three.


حدثنى زهير بن حرب و شجاع بن مخلد جميعا عن بن علية (اسماعيل بن ابراهيم) حدثنى ابو حيان حدثنى يزيد بن حيان قال انطلقت انا و حصين بن سمرة و عمر بن مسلم الى زيد بن ارقم  فلما جلسنا اليه قال له الحصين لقد لقيت يا زيد خيرا كثيرا رايت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و سمعت حديثه و غزوت معه و صليت خلفه لقد لقيت يا زيد خيرا كثيرا حدثنا يا زيد ما سمعت من رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فقال والله يا ابن اخى لقد كبرت سنى و قدم عهدى و نسيت بعض الذى كنت اعى من رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فما حدثتكم فاقبلوا ومالا فلا تكلفونىه ثم قال قام رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يوما فينا خطيبا بماء يدعى خما بين مكة و المدينة فحمد الله و اثنى عليه ووغظ و ذكر ثم قال اما بعد الا ايها الناس انما انا بشر يوشك ان ياتينى رسول ربى فاجيب و انا تارك فيكم الثقلين اولهما كتاب الله فيه الهدى و النور فخذوا بكتاب الله تعالى واستمسكوا به فحث على كتاب الله و رغب فيه ثم قال واهل بيتى اذكركم الله فى اهل بيتى اذكركم الله فى اهل بيتى اذكركم الله فى اهل بيتى فقال له الحصين و من اهل بته يا زيد الي نساءه من اهل بيته؟ قال نساءه من اهل بيته ولكن اهل بيته من حرم الصدقة بعده.قال من هم؟ قال هم ال على وال عقيل و ال جعفر و ال عباس قال كل هؤلاء حرم الصدقة؟ قال نعم

Zuhayr ibn Harb and Shuja ibn Makhlad (wording is Zuhayr’s) — Ibn ‘Ulayyah (Ismail ibn Ibrahim) — Abu Hayyan — Yazid ibn Hayyan said:

I went with Hussain ibn Saburah and ‘Umar ibn Muslim to Zaid ibn Arqam. After taking our seats, Hussain said to him, “O Zaid, you have been granted great virtue. You saw Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, heard his speech, joined him on expeditions and performed salah behind him. Indeed Zaid, you have encountered a great amount of goodness! Narrate to us, O Zaid, some of that which you have heard from Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” Zaid said, “O my nephew, I have reached old age, my time has passed a very long time ago and I have forgotten some of that which I had memorised regarding Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Therefore accept from me that which I narrate to you and what I do not then do not burden me with narrating it.” He then said, “Once Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood up to deliver to us a sermon at a well known as Khum, which was situated between Makkah and Madinah. He praised Allah abundantly, advised us and reminded us. Thereafter he said, ‘Pay attention O people, Indeed I am only a human and it is possible that soon the messenger of my Rabb will come to me and I will respond to him. Indeed I will leave amongst you the Thaqalayn. The first of the two is the Book of Allah, in it is guidance and light, so hold onto the Book of Allah and never let it go!’ He continued to encourage and urge regarding the Book of Allah. He then said, ‘and my Ahlul Bayt! I remind you to fear Allah regarding my Ahlul Bayt! I remind you to fear Allah regarding my Ahlul Bayt! I remind you to fear Allah regarding my Ahlul Bayt.’” So Hussain enquired, “And who are his Ahlul Bayt, O Zaid? Are not his wives part of his Ahlul Bayt?” Zaid replied, “His wives are part of his Ahlul Bayt but his Ahlul Bayt also includes those upon whom zakat is forbidden.” Hussain asked, “Who are they?” Zaid replied, “They are the family of ‘Ali, the family of ‘Aqil, the family of Jafar, and the family of ‘Abbas.” Hussain asked, “Is zakat forbidden for all of them?” Zaid replied, “Yes.”


In summary, this narration is an exhortation to uphold good ties and excellent conduct with the members of the Ahlul Bayt. They should always be treated with love, compassion, and honour. Due consideration should be given to fulfilling their rights under all circumstances, ensuring that they never becomes the targets of oppression and harassment.

Furthermore, the following aspects should be kept in mind when studying the above narration:

1. This narration was conveyed by Zaid ibn Arqam radiya Llahu ‘anhu at a time which he himself clearly admits, that he had reached old age. Many years had passed since he had seen and heard that which he was narrating; hence, he could not remember all that he heard from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as he used to. The apologies presented by him due to this, in the beginning of this narration have been similarly recorded in the narration of Musnad Ahmed that has already passed. The same appears in the Ibn Majah under the title: The Chapter of Taking Caution when Narrating Ahadith. ‘Abdul Rahman ibn Abi Layla narrates it as follows:


حدثنا عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال (زيد) كبرنا و نسينا والحديث عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لشديد

“Narrate to us that which you have heard from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” Zaid replied, “We have aged and we have forgotten, and indeed narrating from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is a severe matter!”


2. Immediately after this narration, another narration, also narrated by Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Muslim excludes the wives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from the Ahlul Bayt, whereas this narration includes them. The fact that two narrations from the same narrator contradict one another, clearly indicate that there is some inconsistency as far as the preservation of the narration is concerned.

3. After mentioning “Thaqalayn”, it was explicitly said, “The first of the two” is the Book of Allah, whereas there was no explicit mention of the ‘second one’. Also, the necessary details were given along with the mention of the Qur’an, i.e. “in it is illumination and guidance. It should be held onto.” Exhortation was sounded to accept it and practice upon it. On the other hand, mention of the Ahlul Bayt is not accompanied by any such statements that are indicative of them holding a fundamental position in Islamic law, such that it is incumbent to obey them unquestioningly. Rather, what we do see is the encouragement to keep good ties with them and love them, which is undisputed and upheld by both parties.

4. Another indication in this hadith which points out that the Ahlul Bayt are not the second thiqal is the words “ثم قال” (then he said). This is so because in the Arabic language, the word “ثم” (then) denotes a delay between the two occurrences. Therefore in this context, it proves that the discussion regarding the Ahlul Bayt is not linked to the discussion preceding it. A different subject matter was being discussed, which the narrator decided to omit and move on to the Ahlul Bayt. He indicated this by separating the two discussions using the words “ثم قال” (then he said). Hence the Ahlul Bayt have no connection with the Thaqalayn. The word “ثم” (then) does not fit into speech that is continuous and regarding the same subject. This will become even more evident if we look at the two instances prior to this one in this narration where the word “ثم” was used. Furthermore, it was a common practice amongst the Muhaddithun to summarise narrations. No person of knowledge will deny this. Keeping this in mind, it is very likely that the narrators of this hadith chose not to mention the second Thiqal with the intention of summarising the narration. There are many indications in this narration—when one ponders over them, then this possibility is strengthened. We will mention them hereunder:

I. When the Book of Allah was mentioned, it was preceded by the description “the first of the two”. Thereafter there was no mention of ‘the second of the two’. The Ahlul Bayt was not explicitly described as the second of the two. This is an indication that they are not part of the Thaqalayn.

II. The Book of Allah—of the Thaqalayn—was mentioned along with descriptions highlighting its importance, i.e. it is illumination and guidance. It should be held onto and exhortation was sounded to accept it and practice upon it. However, similar descriptions were not mentioned regarding the Ahlul Bayt, hence they are not the second Thiqal. The subject of the Ahlul Bayt is a completely separate subject.

III. The word “ثم” denotes a delay as explained above. Thus it would be inappropriate to use this word before mentioning the second Thiqal and completing the subject.


One can be convinced by means of the above indications that the second Thiqal is not the Ahlul Bayt. Instead, as explained by the vast majority of the scholars, it is the Sunnah. However, it was not mentioned here due to the narrator summarising the narration.

Note:- Towards the end of this treatise we will gather the narrations wherein the famous bequest of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in which he commands us to uphold the Book of Allah and the Sunnah is mentioned. This will bring to the attention of the masses as well as the learned, the correct meaning of the word Thaqalayn. Also this version contains the instruction of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam of holding on to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah.

After the above explanation, we wish to draw the attention of the fair-minded to one more point—the explanation of the narration of Muslim, Musnad Ahmed and Darami, has been presented to you—however, it has also been narrated by three more scholars through different chains, namely Imam al Baghawi, Imam al Bayhaqi and Imam Ibn al Maghazali. These narrations will be qouted in their sequence shortly. However, the second narration of Bayhaqi, the fourth narration of Ibn al Maghazali and the narration of Baghawi all correspond to the narration of Muslim. There might be insignificant differences in one or two words of the narrations, but the remainder of the narration as well as the core of the isnad (It is narrated from Abu Hayyan al Taymi, whose name is Yahya ibn Sa’id who narrates from Yazid ibn Hayyan who in turn narrates from Zaid ibn Arqam radiya Llahu ‘anhu) corresponds to this one. All the narrators are reliable and free from criticism.

Since all these narrations correspond to the text of the narration of Muslim, they will all be counted as one narration and the explanation presented above will apply to all of them.  A summary of this narration is presented below.

  1. All six books (Ahmed, Darami, Muslim, Bayhaqi, Ibn al Maghazi and Baghawi) quote the exact same narration. Therefore it should be counted as only one narration. The narrator Abu Hayyan is the only person in his era to narrate this hadith; hence this narration is neither Mashhur[1] nor Mutawatir. Rather it is Khabr al Wahid (known as Ahad).
  2. All these narrations describe the Qur’an as a Book of guidance and illumination. None of them describe the Ahlul Bayt in the like manner.
  3. The instruction of adhering to the Qur’an was issued. There was no such instruction regarding the Ahlul Bayt.
  4. Holding fast onto the Qur’an was clearly mentioned. The same was not said with regards to the Ahlul Bayt.
  5. Exhortation (to follow) the Qur’an was clearly emphasised but the same exhortation was not given for the Ahlul Bayt.
  6. An order of practicing upon the Qur’an was issued. This did not appear along with the mention of the Ahlul Bayt.
  7. The word “ثم” denotes a delay. To use the word whilst discussing one and the same subject is inappropriate (thus, a new topic—the rights of the Ahl-al Bayt and not the Thaqalayn—was being discussed thereafter).
  8. With all the indications in this narration, there is no doubt that the second Thiqal is not the Ahlul Bayt; rather it is the Sunnah of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

The difference of opinion that exists between us and the claimants of love of the Ahlul Bayt is with regards to the position of the Ahlul Bayt; should they be followed in the same manner as the Qur’an is to be followed? This cannot be proven from the above narration as has been explained above. The narration clearly states the importance of following the Qur’an, but it is silent as far as obeying and following the Ahlul Bayt is concerned. Therefore, the claim that is made cannot be substantiated from this narration.

This narration, no doubt proves the importance of upholding good ties with the Ahlul Bayt, fulfilling their rights and honouring them. However, the claim that it is incumbent to obey them cannot be established from this narration.

Due to the narration of Muslim being the most important narration, a lengthy explanation was presented along with it. We hope that our readers have not been overtaken by tiredness. We wish to conclude this discussion by drawing the attention of the readers to one more point. According to our ‘friends’, the Ahlul Bayt refer to the Twelve Imams as well as Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. Now, the questions we wish to pose are: What is the exact meaning of Ahlul Bayt? and  Who exactly does it refer to?

This narration contains the answers to these questions as well. When Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu was asked: “Are the wives of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam included in the Ahlul Bayt?” his reply was that they are part of the Ahlul Bayt but the Ahlul Bayt further comprises of four families; the families of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, ‘Aqil ibn Abi Talib, Jafar ibn Abi Talib, and ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib. In the light of this narration, all these families form part of the Ahlul Bayt. It is important to note that if this narration spells out the incumbency of obeying the Ahlul Bayt, as assumed by our ‘friends’, then this would mean that it is incumbent to follow every single one of the members of the above mentioned four families as well as the noble spouses of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Our ‘friends’ should reflect and ponder, is this really the meaning that they wish to adopt?


NEXT⇒ Jami` al-Tirmidhi

[1]Mashhur: A narration that is narrated by a large number of people in every era but lesser then the number required to make it Mutawatir.

Back to top