Section One

Sahifah Imam `Ali al-Rida ibn Musa al-Kazim
October 1, 2015
An Appeal from the Author
October 1, 2015

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Section One

It should be known that in the light of their self-made principle, our friends have given the Household of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the same rank as the Qur’an as far as obedience is concerned. According to them, both are equal with regards to them being valid proofs. The narration of Thaqalayn, which appears in the books of both parties, has been given the position of being the governing principle. The reality is that this entire belief is founded solely upon this narration.

If any other verse or narration is used, it is merely to supplement this narration and to further substantiate it. Otherwise, they consider it unnecessary to bring forth any other proof as long as this narration could be used. This is why they have claimed that this narration is mutawatir as far as both, the words as well as the meaning is concerned. This claim of tawatur was sounded a long time ago by their prominent scholars and authors.[1] In an attempt to prove this claim, many voluminous books have been compiled.

The present day Shia scholars have treaded the path of their predecessors by regarding this as a priceless treasure and making extravagant claims regarding it.[2] According to them, this narration is the foundation of Islam and has the similitude of being the millstone of Islam. We present to the honourable reader, as an example, a quotation from the work of a contemporary Shia scholar, who himself claims that his work is a masterpiece:

 

قال انى تارك فيكم الثقلين الحديث وهو حديث الثقلين حديث متواتر ولو انكره الجهول…وهو حديث الثقلين الذى هو مدار الهمام بحيث يدور عليه رحى الاسل

I leave amongst you two weighty items… this is Hadith al Thaqalayn, a mutawatir narration which is widely accepted by the ummah even though the ignorant have rejected it. It is the core of all the fundamental matters and that which turns the mill of Islam.[3]

 

Amir al  Din, the diligent student of the author of the above text, has translated the book Fulk al Najat and has added a few footnotes to it as well. Under the discussion regarding the revealed texts on the subject of the Caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which appears in this book, the narration of Thaqalayn is also quoted. Adding his footnote at this juncture, he repeats the claim of tawatur in a slightly different manner. He writes in condemnation of the Ahlus Sunnah:

 

Although the ones who love the first three (Khalifas of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) have concocted many narrations in order to please their rulers, then too they could not concoct such narrations which could match Hadith al Thaqalayn, Hadith al Wilayah (‘Ali is the mawla of all those who take me as a mawla) as well as other authentic, mutawatir and widely accepted narrations which have been narrated regarding the Ahlul Bayt.[4]

 

The summary of the above quoted text is as follows;

  1. The narration of Thaqalayn (the Book of Allah and my ‘itrah, my Ahlul Bayt) is mutawatir according to them.
  2. The foundation of their ideology is this narration, that is as far as the Ahlul Bayt being proof and compulsory to obey is concerned this narration is the original source of their belief.
  3. This narration is what specifies the milling stone of Islam. In other words, this narration holds the position of being the foundation of Islam.

 

Before us continuing with our actual discussion, a few points need to be taken cognisance of:

 

Point one

The honourable reader should be aware that the author of Fulk al Najat did not suffice on claiming that the narration of Thaqalayn is mutawatir as far as the wording is concerned. Instead, before commencing with his discussions regarding all the disputed subjects, he tried his best to establish his argument by means of this narration. Thus, he even mentioned a great number of narrations (authentic as well as unauthentic) from the books of the Ahlus Sunnah.

However, after researching and studying various books, we can say with confidence that most of the material presented under the discussion of Hadith al Thaqalayn, by the student and his teacher were plagiarised from the book of the Shia Mir Hamid Hassan of Lucknow, the author of ‘Abaqat al Anwar. This is no accomplishment of theirs.

Mir Hamid had taken great pains in trying to establish from the books of the Ahlus Sunnah that this narration is mutawatir.

 

Point two

Our friends on the other side of the fence have twisted reality by unsuccessfully trying to prove that this narration is mutawatir by both us and them. They have also accused the Ahlus Sunnah of rejecting this hadith and considering it not worthy of practice. Due to this, we wish to elucidate the exact viewpoint of the Ahlus Sunnah regarding this narration, in accordance with their principles. The degree to which this narration is acceptable will be explained. We will present as many asanid we can find for this narration along with a comment in the light of research regarding their authenticity or weakness. Thereafter, the meanings of the text of the authentic asanid will be specified.[5]

This discussion will reveal to the reader the inaccuracy of the claim that this hadith is mutawatir as made by those who claim to love the Ahlul Bayt. The truth behind the objection and accusation against the Ahlus Sunnah of rejecting the narration will also be made apparent to the reader and those who are truly guilty of deceit will be exposed. Moreover, this discussion will also educate the reader about the validity of the opposition’s claim that this narration proves the incumbency of following the Ahlul Bayt; whether or not this is a valid claim will be revealed.

 

Point Three

We have tried our best to present all the narrations of Thaqalayn that we could find in our books, whether it was by means of our own research or it was through the guidance of our ‘friends’. Since Fulk al Najat merely quoted from ‘Abaqat al Anwar, we did not find any new isnad in it. However, we have managed to find a few asanid in Abaqat al Anwar. We also found some information in the book Yanabi’ al  Mawaddah.

Additionally, we only mentioned in this book narrations from those compilations wherein the isnad have been mentioned. We have not narrated from those compilations who instead of narrating the hadith themselves rely on others and quote it from other sources. This is because there is no benefit in quoting from those who themselves have quoted from others, in other words, their books are secondary sources and not the original sources of the narration.

This method has not been adopted by our ‘well-wishers’ who did not care to differentiate between the different types of compilations. Rather, in a frenzy to lengthen the list of their sources, they added every single compilation in which they could find this narration, whether that author mentioned the asanid or he was merely quoting another source. It should be understood that whilst quoting from secondary sources may lengthen the list of sources, it does not serve the intended purpose which is the abundance of asanid.

It is for this very reason that only those scholars’ and authors’ books have been quoted from who have mentioned the isnad. Those who were merely quoting other sources were not given any attention and the narrations from their books do not deserve any answers. Similarly, those references are also not worthy of being answered in which this narration was attributed to a famous and accepted muhaddith by saying “narrated by so and so”, without actually quoting any portion of the chain, or even specifying the book in which the narration was quoted. In the light of the principles of research, these kinds of unknown references are neither deserving of any answers, nor are they worthy of any attention. This is more so when those who have put forward these references are of the belief that Taqiyyah (dissimulation) is one of the greatest acts of worship.

 

Point Four

The list of references that has been gathered up until now has approximately sixty-six narrations from thirty-eight books. Most of these narrations are such that despite extensive research, either their asanid could not be traced or they were found to be incomplete. The entire list has been put forward in a systematic way.

 

Point Five

The author’s style in ‘Abaqat al Anwar of listing references in chronological order of the compilers was also maintained. Therefore we will first discuss the narrations of those Muhaddithin who were of the former times, followed by those who came thereafter.  In this manner (of following the Islamic calendar) the discussion will be completed.

 

Point Six

It should also be known to the reader that we have included such narrations in our list, that neither did the author of Fulk al Najat mention them, nor did the author of ‘Abaqat al Anwar come across them. Due to the fact that we sincerely wished to bring this debate to an end, we took it upon ourselves not to get away by merely mentioning our sources. Rather we mentioned the narration with all its asanid. If these narrations are—in light of the rules and principles of hadith —acceptable then they should be unhesitatingly accepted, otherwise they need to be rejected. To cite examples, we quoted this narration from Mushkil al Athar of Imam al Tahawi and from Tarikh Baghdad by al Khatib, whereas the two (Shia) authors have omitted them.

 

Point Seven

Since many contemporary Shia scholars, including the author of Fulk al Najat, rely greatly upon the book Yanabi’ al Mawaddah, especially with regards to the hadith of Thaqalayn—as the author of Yanabi’ al Mawaddah gathered a sizeable amount of narrations—we deemed it appropriate to add a chapter at the end of the discussion titled: The Narrations of Yanabi’ al Mawaddah. The views of the author of this book as well as the status of the narrations of Yanabi’ al Mawaddah has been explained scrupulously, which will prove beneficial for the fair-minded.

 

Point Eight

Along the course of the discussion, it will be appropriate to keep in mind a few principles which the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah employ in the scrutiny of narrations. By the will of Allah, this discussion will not go against any of these accepted principles. Firstly, whenever a certain narrator has been disparaged and criticised then the rule “Disparagement is given preference over commendation” was kept in mind when commenting on a hadith. Thereafter if the reliability of this narrator was found mentioned in another book on the scrutiny of narrators then this will not be considered.

However, it needs to be clarified that the scholars have laid certain conditions for the application of this principle. One of them is that the criticism should not be vague but the reason for the disparagement should be clarified as well. Secondly, this disparagement needs to be reported from scholars who are knowledgeable and well-acquainted with the subject.

The second principle which should be kept in mind: The narrations of an innovator will only be accepted when his narration does not lend support to his innovation. If he has a narration which lends support to his innovation then this narration will not be accepted; as stated in the books expounding the principles of hadith:

قيل يقبل ما لم يكن داعية الى بدعته لان تزيين بدعته قد يحمله تحريف الروايات و تسويتها على ما يقتضيه مذهبه

It has been said that (the narrations of an innovator) will be accepted as long as he is not one who propagates his beliefs. This is because the thought of beautifying his innovation may spur him onto twisting and corrupting the narrations in order to suit his beliefs.

 

Point Nine

It important to remember that references were given from the books of the Shia with the sole purpose of completing the proof against them. The comments regarding the narrators, whether negative or positive, was first taken from the books of the Ahlus Sunnah, and only thereafter, at a few junctures, the comments of the Shia scholars were also quoted.

 

Point Ten

After these points have been understood, we finally begin with our actual discussion. Every narration that we could find will be mentioned, each with its isnad and thereafter a complete discussion regarding it will follow. The following method will be adopted: the text of the narration along with its chain will first be mentioned, thereafter the translation of the narration will be made and lastly a discussion regarding the authenticity and criticism of the narration will ensue. If need be further details will be added to conclude.

As far as the Arabic text is concerned, an effort was made to integrate their translations for the benefit of those unconversant with the Arabic language. However, after accompanying the Arabic with translation on a few occasions, it will be then be omitted; as all the narrations have more or less the same meaning. Thus, there would be no real benefit in repeatedly translating it. At some instances notes have been added at the end of the discussion to serve as a conclusion.

 

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


[1]  An example of their latter day scholars and authorities is Mir Hamid Hussain-Mujtahid Lucknowi who authored his book ‘Abaqat al Anwar in rejection of the chapter on Imamah from the book of Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz rahimahu Llah Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah. His book comprised of a few volumes, of which two large volumes were dedicated only to the narration of Thaqalayn. He went to great lengths in trying to prove that, in accordance to his understanding, this narration is Mutawatir in both wording and meaning.

[2]  The contemporary Shia scholars have written extensively on the Hadith al Thaqalayn and new booklets are penned regarding it every now and then. Recently, in the year 1370 A.H a Shia scholar, Muhammad Qawam al Din al Qummi collected the narrations of Hadith al Thaqalayn from Sunni sources. The Egyptian Dar al Taqrib printed this in the year 1374. Thereafter a Shia scholar from Sarghodah, Muhibb Hussain Kazimi translated this book into Urdu and printed it with the title Irshad Rasul al Thaqalayn al Ma’ruf bi Hadith al Thaqalayn. In it the era of each scholar who mentioned this hadith has also been mentioned. This book was kept in front of us whilst compiling our book. Answers to these narrations will appear as part of the discussion, hence there is no need for a separate book to answer those narrations.

[3] Fulk al Najat, the first edition of the translated version. pg. 26. Chapter One, regarding the standards of the Ahl al Haqq. Written by Muhammad ‘Ali Shia and translated by Amir al Din.

[4]  The footnote of pg. 492 – vol. 1 Fulk al Najat, under the texts proving the Caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

[5]  After reading through this book, it will become clear as to which narrations are authentic and which narrations are not. For example the eighth narration of Musnad Ahmed, the narration of Darimi and the narration of Sahih Muslim have all been established through authentic asanid. It is only their texts that need to be explained. Therefore it will be incorrect to accuse the author of rejecting all the narrations regarding Thaqalayn.

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