The Isnad of Akhtab Khawarizm

Tarikh Ibn `Asakir
October 1, 2015
The Isnad of al-`Asimi
October 1, 2015

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The Isnad of Akhtab Khawarizmi


The author of ‘Abaqat writes:

Abu al Mu’ayyad Muwaffaq ibn Ahmed famously known as Akhtab Khawarizmi reports in Kitab al Manaqib with the following isnad:


اخبرنى الشيخ الزاهد ابو الحسن على بن محمد العاصمى الخوارزمى قال اخبرنا الشيخ اسماعيل بن احمد الواعظ قال اخبرنا ابو بكر احمد بن حسين البيهقى فقال اخبرنا ابو عبدالله قال ثنا ابو نصر احمد بن سهل الفقيه ببخارا قال ثنا صالح بن محمد الحافظ البغدادى قال ثنا خلف بن سالم المخرمى قال ثنا يحيى بن حماد ثنا ابو عوانةعن يحيى بن حماد عن سليمان الاعمش قال حدثنا حبيب بن ابى ثابت عن  ابى الطفيل عن زيد بن ارقم رضى الله عنه قال لما رجع النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم من حجة الوداع و نزل غدير خم امر بدوحات فقممن فقال كانى قد دعىت فاجبت انى قد تركت فيكم الثقلين احدهما اكبر من الاخر كتاب الله وعترتى فانظروا كيف تخلفونى  فيهما فانهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا على الحوض….ثم قال ان عز و جل مولاى  وانا مولى كل مؤمن ثم اخذ بيد على رضى الله عنه فقال من كنت مولاه فهذا وليه اللهم وال من والاه وعاد من عاداه

Abu al Hassan ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al ‘Asimi al Khawarizmi — al Sheikh Ismail ibn Ahmed al Wa’iz — Abu Bakr Ahmed ibn Hussain al Bayhaqi — Abu ‘Abdullah — Abu Nasr Ahmed ibn Sahl al Faqih — Salih ibn Muhammad al Hafiz al Baghdadi — Khalaf ibn Salim al Makhrami — Yahya ibn Hammad — Abu ‘Awanah — Sulaiman al A’mash — Habib ibn Abi Thabit — Abu al Tufayl — that Zaid ibn Arqam said:

Whilst returning from Hajjat-al Wada’, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam disembarked at a pond called Khum. He ordered that the trees of the area should be trimmed. Thereafter he addressed the people saying, “I will soon be invited to my eternal abode and I will accept the invitation. I am leaving amongst you al Thaqalayn, one is of greater weight than the other. They are the Book of Allah and my ‘itrah. Be wary of how you treat them in my absence. They will not separate until they meet me at the pond.” Thereafter he said, “Allah is my mawla, and I am the mawla of every Muslim.” Then he took hold of the hand of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and said, “Whoever takes me as a mawla, ‘Ali is also his wali. O Allah, Befriend those who befriend him and take as your enemy those who have enmity towards him.”


We wish to enlighten our readers regarding certain issues.

  1. Some of the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah have levelled severe criticism against Akhtab Khawarizmi. We quoted this criticism verbatim under the isnad of al Bayhaqi. Ibn Taymiyyah and Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz (in Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah) have stated that he was a Zaidi Shia. His narrations are not acceptable by the Ahlus Sunnah.
  2. Have a look at the injustice committed by the author of ‘Abaqat (Mir Hamid Hussain Shia Lucknowi), once again. This narration is the exact same as the second narration of al Hakim) which was quoted from Mustadrak. The author of ‘Abaqat undertook to mention the narration of Thaqalayn from different Muhaddithin in chronological order. Thus he rightfully mentioned this particular narration for the first time under al Hakim, who passed away in the year 405 A.H, thereafter he narrated the exact narration through al Bayhaqi (who happens to be one of the narrators) under the year 458, as that is the year in which al Bayhaqi passed away. He reproduces the narration for a third time under the name of Akhtab Khawarizmi, who passed away in the year 568 A.H. He creates the impression that every time someone narrates this narration, he is doing so through his own separate isnad. The reality is that this is only one narration that has only one isnad, although he tried to portray them as different narrations which have their own asanid. This deception is against integrity, and it serves no other purpose besides adding volume to his book.
  3. We do not wish to mimic the author of ‘Abaqat, by unnecessarily repeating one point. In short, this isnad has been criticised under the narration of al Hakim. Khalaf ibn Salim al Makhrami has been severely criticised and he is a Shia as well. Therefore, this narration cannot be accepted. We included all the references from the books on rijal. You may refer to them (under the second narration of al Hakim) for further satisfaction.

If—for arguments sake—we accept that this narration is sahih, then the correct interpretation is that which we have explained a few times, which is that the ummah was told to be careful regarding the rights of the Ahlul Bayt and to be kind and compassionate towards them. With regards to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, there were certain baseless doubts regarding him, and these statements were uttered in his defence. Mention of Muwalat and Mu’adat (friendship and enmity) in contrast to one another, specifies the intended meaning of the word Mawla in this context. There is no need for further external indications. If the word Mawla is given another meaning (‘the immediate successor’-for example) in this context, then the next sentence will no longer remain connected to the one before it. Secondly, to take words of the same root in one context to have two different meanings creates incoherence in the speech, which defies the dictates of eloquent speech.


A Necessary Caution

The readers are aware that at times, some people are known by their names, which resemble the names of famous scholars or authors. For example, there are famous authors like Ibn Qutaybah, Ibn Jarir, and others. However, there are many other people who also go by the same names. This resemblance leads to confusions and problems. In this case as well, Akhtab Khawarizmi is the title of many other people as well. There is an outstanding Hanafi jurist who also has the same name as well as the title (Akhtab Khawarizmi). The Akhtab under discussion does not refer to him. This Akhtab is the author of the book al Manaqib, and he is an extremist Shia. He is the one who Ibn Taymiyyah has criticised in Minhaj al Sunnah (vol. 3 pg. 10 – chapter ten), by writing that his narrations are fabrications. He is neither a scholar of hadith, nor should he be referred to in any of these matters.

Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Dehlawi also rejected his narrations in Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (The ahadith on Caliphate and Imamah – Hadith six). He also stated that he is a Zaidi Shia. Thus it has become evident that his narrations cannot be counted as proof against us, just as they cannot be regarded acceptable. Anyway, our opposition took cover behind this resemblance in names and presented these narrations to us. Now that we have explained the reality, the matter has become clear. The scholars should be aware that the narrations of this Akhtab are not to be accepted, despite the reference given for it.


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