The Meaning of Holding on to the Thaqalayn According to Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah.

The Shia substantiation from Hadith al Thaqalayn
April 18, 2019
The Manner in which the Ahlus Sunnah and Shia act upon this Hadith
April 18, 2019

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The Meaning of Holding on to the Thaqalayn According to Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah.

 

Indeed the meaning of taking hold of the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is clinging to and acting according to it. As for the Ahlul Bayt radiya Llahu ‘anhum the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is encouraging the Ummah to fulfil the rights awarded to them by Allah and to be considerate in our treatment of them, according to what is authentically transmitted from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Among those who authenticate the hadith of Thaqalayn is Muhammad Nasir al Din al Albani with all its variant chains of narration. However, his understanding of this hadith is contrary to that which the Shia understand. His statement reads as follows:

 

و اعلم أيها القارئ الكريم، أن من المعروف أن الحديث مما يحتج به الشيعة، و يلهجون بذالك كثيرا، حتى يتوهم بعض أهل السنة أنهم مصيبون في ذالك، و هم جميعا واهمون في ذالك، و بيانه من وجهين: الأول: أن المراد من الحديث في قوله صلى الله عليه و سلم : ( عترتي ) أكثر مما يريده الشيعة، و لايرده أهل السنة، بل هم مستمسكون به، ألا و هو أن العترة فيه هم أهل بيته رضي الله عنهم، و قد جاء ذالك موضحا في بعض طرقه كحديث الترجمة: و عترتي أهل بيتي . وأهل بيته في الأصل هم نساؤه رضي الله عنهن، و فيهن الصديقة عائشة رضي الله عنهن جميعا، كما هو صريح قوله تعالى في (الأحزاب) : ( إنَّمَا يُرِيْدُ اللهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَ يُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيْرًا) بدليل الآية التي قبلها و التي بعدها: يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفً وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا وَاذْكُرْنَ مَا يُتْلَىٰ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللهِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللهَ كَانَ لَطِيفًا خَبِيرًا(الأحزاب:32-34) و تخصيص الشيعة (أهل البيت) في الآية بعلي و فاطمة و الحسن و الحسين بيته رضي الله عنهم دون نسائه رضي الله عنهن من تحريفهم لآيات الله تعالى انتصارا لأهوائهم كما هو مشروح في موضعه، وحديث الكساء وما في معناه غاية ما فيه توسيع دلالة الآية، و دخول علي و أهله فيها، كما بينه ابن كثير و غيره، و كذالك حديث (العترة) قد بين النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أن المقصود أهل بيته رضي الله عنهم بالمعنى الشامل لزوجاته و علي و أهله.و لذالك قال التوربشتي كما في (المرقاة)(5/600): (عترة الرجل: أهل بيته و رهطه الأدنون، و لاستعمالهم (العترة) على أنحاء كثيرة بينها رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بقوله: (أهل بيتي) ليعلم أنه أراد بذالك نسله و عصابته الأدنين و أزواجه).و الوجه الآخر: أن المقصود من (أهل البيت) إنما هم العلماء الصالحون منهم، و المتمسكون بالكتاب والسنة، قاللاالإمام أبو جعفر الطحاوي رحمه الله:( العترة هم أهل بيته رضي الله عنهم، الذين هم على دينه، و على التمسك بأمره).و ذكر نحوه الشيخ علي القاري في الموضع المشار إليه آنفا، ثم استظهر أن الوجه في تخصيص أهل البيت بالذكر ما أفاده بقوله: (إن أهل بيت غالبا يكونون أعرف بصاحب البيت وأحواله، فالمراد بهم أهل العلم منهم المطلعون على سيرته، الواقفون على طريقته، العارفون بحكمه و حمته، و بهذا يصلح أن يكون مقابلا لكتاب الله سبحانه، كما قال: (وَ يُعلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَ الْحِكْمَةَ).قلت:-أي الأباني- و مثله قوله تعالى في خطاب أزواجه في آية التطهير المقدمة ( وَ اذْكُرْنَ مَا فِيْ بُيُوْتِكُنَّ مِن آيَاتِ اللهِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ) (الأحزاب:34) فتبين أن المراد ب(أهل البيت) المتمسكون منهم بسنته صلى الله عليه و سلم فتكون هي المقصود بالذات في الحديث، و لذالك جعلها أحد (الثقلين) في حديث زيد بن أرقم المتقدم للثقل الأول و هو القرآن، و هو ما يشير إليه قول ابن الأثير في (النهاية): (سماهما((ثقلين))، لأن الأخذ بهما (يعني: الكتاب و السنة) والعمل بهما ثقلان، ويقال لكل خطير نفيس: (ثقل) فسماهما (ثقلين) إعظاما لقدرهما، و تفخيما لشأنها.قلت:-أي الألباني- الحاصل أن ذكر أهل البيت في مقابل القرآن في هذا الحديث كذكر سنة الخلفاء الراشدين مع سنته صلى الله عليه و سلم في قوله: (فعليكم بسنتي و سنة الخلفاء الراشدين…).قال الشيخ علي القاري (1/199): (فإنهم لم يعلموا إلا بسنتي، فالإضافة إليهم، إما لعملهم بها، أو لاستمباطهم و اختيارهم إياهم) انتهى كلام العلامة الألباني رحمه الله.

Know well, O respected reader, it is known that the hadith which the Shia use as proof and are very much attached too, even some of the Ahlus Sunnah incorrectly assume that they are correct in doing so, they are all wrong in this regard. Clarity is given to this from two angles:

Firstly: The implication of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement, my ‘itrah is much broader than what the Shia assume, and the Ahlus Sunnah do not reject this, but adhere to it. With certainty the ‘itrah refers to the Ahlul Bayt, which is explicitly mentioned in some chains of narration like the hadith which is being discussed, my ‘itrah is my Ahlul Bayt. His Ahlul Bayt in reality are all his wives, amongst whom is Sayyidah al Siddiqah ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhunna, as is clearly stated in the verses (in al Ahzab):

 

إنَّمَا يُرِيْدُ اللهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَ يُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيْرًا

Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification. [33]

 

With the proof of the verses which are before it:

 

يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفًدج[32]  وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا وَاذْكُرْنَ مَا يُتْلَىٰ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللهِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللهَ كَانَ لَطِيفًا خَبِيرًا  [34]

O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah, then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech. And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification. And remember what is recited in your houses of the verses of Allah and wisdom. Indeed, Allah is ever Subtle and Acquainted [with all things].[1]

 

The Shia restricting the Ahlul Bayt in this verse to only ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hassan, and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum—excluding the Prophet’s wives radiya Llahu ‘anhunna—is an interpolation of the verses of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala to support their whims, as is discussed in its relevant chapters.

The hadith of Kisa’ and the like there of, its objective is only to expand the inference of the verse and thus include ‘Ali and his family in it, as has been explained by Ibn Kathir and others. Similarly, the hadith of the ‘itrah which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam clarified was his Ahlul Bayt includes his wives as well as ‘Ali and his family.

This is why al Turibishti has said, as stated in al Mirqat (5/600), “The ‘itrah of a man is his house hold and his close relatives. Due to their usage of ‘itrah for many aspects. The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam clarified it with his statement, ‘My household,’ in order that it be known that he intends thereby his progeny, close relatives, and his wives.”

Secondly: What is intended by Ahlul Bayt are the pious scholars from amongst them, who cling to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah. Abu Jafar al Tahawi rahimahu Llah has said, “The ‘itrah are His Ahlul Bayt radiya Llahu ‘anhum, those who are upon his Din and cling to its dictates.”

‘Ali al Qari’ has mentioned something similar as was alluded to previously, after which he clarifies the purport behind the added elucidation of the Ahlul Bayt, “Indeed the household of a man are usually more acquainted with him and his conditions. So the Ahlul Bayt who are implied are the scholars amongst them, who are knowledgeable of his way of life, and practices; those who are acquainted with his instructions and its wisdom. With this meaning in mind, it will then be possible to stand alongside the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, just as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has said:

وَ يُعلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَ الْحِكْمَةَ

And to teach them the Book and the Wisdom.[2]

 

I (Al Albani) say: An example of it is Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala address to the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives in the previous verse of purification:

وَ اذْكُرْنَ مَا فِيْ بُيُوْتِكُنَّ مِن آيَاتِ اللهِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ

And remember what is recited in your houses of the verses of God and wisdom.[3]

 

which makes it clear that those intended by Ahlul Bayt are those who adhere to His Sunnah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which is the intended purpose of this hadith. This is why the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam made one of the Thaqalayn, in the previous hadith of Zaid ibn ’Arqam, uniquely first, i.e. the Qur’an. Ibn al Athir’s statement in al Nihayah indicates to this as well, “He has named them Thaqalayn (Two Weighty things) because holding on to them—the Qur’an and Sunnah— and acting in accordance with them are two enormous tasks. Anything which is of importance is referred to as Thiqal, thus the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam named them Thaqalayn (i.e. the two weighty/important things) to elaborate upon its significance and status.

I (al Albani) say: The summary is that mentioning the Ahlul Bayt alongside the Qur’an in this hadith is like how the al Khulafa’ al Rashidin were mentioned alongside the Prophet’ salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Sunnah; as is found in His statement, “Following my Sunnah is incumbent upon you as well as the Sunnah of my al Khulafa’ al Rashidin.”

‘Ali al Qari’ has said (1/199), “As they only practiced upon my Sunnah. Thus the attribution to them is either on account of their practising upon the Sunnah, or their substantiation and extrapolation from it.”[4]

 

So where in this explanation is al Albani justifying its restriction to only Twelve Imams such that the Shia can cite it as a proof against the Ahlus Sunnah?

We gauge from this that the Shia accept the authentication of al Albani of the hadith, but not his understanding of it. If you wish to accept his authentication then accept his understanding of it as well.

The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah do not impose on anyone to take the view or understanding of any person if it is void of proof. They only impose adopting a view or understanding when it is supported by evidence, and here the words of al Albani are quite clear.

 

NEXT⇒ The Manner in which the Ahlus Sunnah and Shia act upon this Hadith


[1] Surah al Ahzab: 32-34.

[2] Surah al Baqarah: 129.

[3] Surah al Ahzab: 34.

[4] Silsilat al Ahadith al Sahihah, 4/359-361.

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