There shall enter upon you, from this mountain pass, a man who will die upon other than my religion.
Al Baladhuri said in Ansab al Ashraf (126):
Bakr ibn al Haytham said that ‘Abdur Razzaq narrated to us — he said — Ma’mar narrated to us from, Ibn Tawus — from his father — from Kaysan — from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As — who said: “I was sitting with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when he said, ‘there shall enter upon you, from this mountain pass, a man who will die upon other than my religion,’ and I had left my father after the water for wudu’ had been placed for him — so I was like a person who was holding back his urge to urinate, out of fear that my father would come. Then Muawiyah came and the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “this is he.”
Al Tabarani has narrated a similar narration without the mention of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Al Haythami has said in Majma’ al Zawa’id (5/243):
It has been narrated entirely by al Tabarani, and in the chain is Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Rahuyah, his narrations are generally fine however he has some weakness that is not apparent, and the remainder of the narrators are the narrators of the authentic collections.
Imam Ahmed pointed out a defect in this narration with the wording, “a man shall enter upon you from the inmates of the Fire…” it is similar to the meaning of the first narration in al Muntakhab min al ‘ilal, al Khallal said (228):
I asked Ahmed regarding the narration of Sharik, from Layth, from Tawus from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, who said that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said. “there shall enter upon you a man from the inmates of the Fire,” and then Muawiyah entered. He said, “in fact it is from Ibn Tawus, from his father, from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr or someone other than him, he was uncertain.”
Al Khallal said:
‘Abdur Razzaq narrated it from Ma’mar, from Ibn Tawus, who said, “I heard al Farkhash narrating this narration from my father, from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr.”
Al Bukhari pointed out the flaw in this narration in al Tarikh al Awsat (71), he said:
It is narrated from Ma’mar, from Ibn Tawus, from his father, from a man, from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, from the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding this incident. However, this chain is interrupted, not to be relied upon.
Ibn Taymiyyah, in Minhaj al Sunnah (4/444), said:
This narration is a fabricated lie according to the unanimous opinion of the people of knowledge of hadith.
In addition to this, Bakr ibn Haytham, the teacher of al Baladhuri, I could not find any biographical details for him.
As for the narration of Ishaq, who narrates this jointly, he is Ishaq ibn Ibrahim al Dabari al San’ani, not — as al Maliki claims — Ishaq ibn Isra’il, since Ishaq ibn Isra’il, even though he is from the teachers of al Baladhuri, he is not known to have narrated from ‘Abdur Razzaq as opposed to Ishaq ibn Ibrahim al Dabari.
Ibn ‘Adi has mentioned in al Kamil (1/344):
Ishaq ibn Ibrahim ibn ‘Abbad, Abu Yaqub, al Dabari al San’ani, said, “‘Abdur Razzaq considered me too young.” His father brought him into the gathering [of ‘Abdur Razzaq] when he was very young. He used to say, “we read to ‘Abdur Razzaq.” Actually, others read since he was very small. He narrated uncorroborated narrations [contradicting the reliable narrations] from ‘Abdur Razzaq.
Ibn Rajab al Hanbali in Sharh ‘ilal al Tirmidhi (2/581) has quoted Ibrahim al Harbi saying: “‘Abdur Razzaq passed away when al Dabari was six or seven years old.”
I say that ‘Abdur Razzaq was reliable, an expert, except that his memory faltered towards the end of his life. Therefore, the narration of the later students is not on par with the narrations of those who narrated from him early on. As for al Dabari, he only heard during the latter portion, after ‘Abdur Razzaq lost his eyesight and his memory faltered. In addition to this, ‘Abdur Razzaq has narrated a number of objectionable narrations [which contradict the reliable] on the virtues of the Noble Household, and regarding the shortcomings of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Ibn ‘Adi, in al Kamil (1/344), has said: “They have attributed to him Shia leanings, and he has narrated on the virtues of the Noble Household, which have not been concurred by other. And, this is the greatest thing that he has been criticised with; his narration of these narrations as well as that which he narrated in the flaws of others of which I am not going to mention. As for his honesty, I certainly consider no harm in him except those few narrations on the virtues of the Noble Houshold, and the flaws of others which are objectionable [on the basis of contradicting reports of higher authenticity],” this is a an unequivocal statement by Ibn ‘Adi that he — ‘Abdur Razzaq — has narrations of virtues and demerits which are not valid.
Ibn Rajab, in Sharh ‘ilal al Tirmidhi (2/580), said: “… and more than one have mentioned of ‘Abdur Razzaq that he has narrated objectionable narrations on the virtues of ‘Ali and the Noble Household. Perhaps these narrations have been fed to him after he lost his sight, as Imam Ahmed has said, and Allah knows best. As for some of these narrations, they are narrated by weak narrators from him and therefore are not correctly attributed to him.”
Al Dhahabi has said of Ishaq ibn Ibrahim al Dabari: “Ibn ‘Adi considered him too young to narrate from ‘Abdur Razzaq. My opinion is that he did hear from ‘Abdur Razzaq, he wrote it down when he was approximately seven years old, and he relates from him many objectionable narrations, so uncertainty arose whether these objectionable narrations were the lone narrations of al Dabari from ‘Abdur Razzaq, or whether they they the lone narrations of ‘Abdur Razzaq. Some of the scholars, like Abu ‘Awanah, have relied on his narrations.”
Ibn al Salah, in his Muqaddimah (355), said: “I have found some narrations, which al Tabarani relates from al Dabari, which were highly objectionable. So I considered it due to that reason [mentioned earlier].”
In the first chain appears Layth ibn Abi Sulaim ibn Zunaym, al Qurashi (through allegiance), Abu Bakr. It is also said Abu Bakr al Kufi.
In the second chain is Sharik ibn ‘Abdullah al Qadi, and his details have been mentioned previously as well as Layth.
Nasr ibn Muzahim has narrated in Siffin (217), by way of Jafar ibn Ziyad al Ahmar — from Layth — from Mujahid — from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr.
Nasr ibn Muzahim has narrated in Siffin (219), by way of Sharik — from Layth — from Tawus — from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr — from the Prophet radiya Llahu ‘anhu, with the wording … “a man shall die, and when he dies it will be on other than my religion.”
Nasr ibn Muzahim has narrated in Siffin (217), by way of Jafar ibn Ziyad al Ahmar — from Layth — from Muharib ibn Dithar — from Jabir — from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, with the wording: “Muawiyah shall die on other than my religion.”
All these complimentary narrations are from the narrations of Nasr ibn Muzahim, a Rafidi, abandoned in narration, the details of his weakness have been previously mentioned, as well as that of Layth ibn Abi Sulaim who had a weak memory.
As for the second of these narrations, appearing in the chain is Sharik al Qadi, whose memory was considered weak, especially in that which he narrated after assuming the post in the judiciary.
How beautiful are the words of Ibn Taymiyyah in his (4/472):
It has been established through recurrence in reports that Muawiyah had been instructed by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as a scribe for recording revelation. Thereafter he was appointed by ‘Umar, who was the most acquainted person in assessing men and upon whose tongue and heart Allah voiced the truth, to govern and ‘Umar had no doubts about him in giving him that jurisdiction. During his lifetime, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mandated the father of Muawiyah, Abu Sufyan, with governing and this continued until the demise of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Muawiyah is superior to his father, and of a higher rank in Islam, so if his father had been mandated to govern, he is more deserving of that than his father. He was not of the renegades or the apostates after the demise of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and none of the scholars ascribed any of this to him. As to those who ascribe this to him, they do the same of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, most of the participants of Badr, the people who swore the Allegiance of al Ridwan, and others besides them from the earliest of the Muhajirin and Ansar and those who followed him with excellence.
In his Fatawa (4/476) he said:
As to those who say that the faith of Muawiyah was hypocrisy, then that is also a forgery and lie. None of the scholars among the Muslims have accused Muawiyah with hypocrisy, in fact they are in agreement with the excellence of his Islam. Although, some of them had reservations about the Islam of his father, Abu Sufyan, they all agree to the excellence of the Islam of Muawiyah, and his brother Yazid, just as they do not disagree with regards to the excellence of Islam of ‘Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl, Suhayl ibn ‘Amr, Safwan ibn Umayyah and their likes from those who accepted Islam on the Conquest of Makkah.
How does a man who governs the Muslims for forty years, both as a representative and as an independent ruler, and he leads them in their five daily prayers, delivers sermons, admonishes them, advises them with righteousness, forbids them from evil, establishes the penal code, distributes the booty and charities among them, and he undertakes the pilgrimage with them; how is it possible that he hid his hypocrisy from them? Add to that the presence of senior Sahabah during that era?
In fact greater than this — and all praise belongs to Allah — is the fact that none of the Caliphs who had general jurisdiction, from the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphs was ever accused of heresy or hypocrisy, although some individuals among them were accused of innovation and oppression. Yet none of the scholars ever accused them of heresy or hypocrisy, as to those who were accused of this, they were from the semi-autonomous kingdoms living under their jurisdiction like the Buyids and others. As for the general rulers, Allah has sanctified the believers from setting upon them a ruler who was a heretic or hypocrite, and this is worthy of being known and is beneficial in this regard. The scholars are unanimous that Muawiyah was the best sovereign of this ummah, since the four before him were prophetic Caliphs, he was the first of the sovereigns whose reign was one of mercy.
He also said (35/62):
… and Muawiyah, ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, and their likes are from the believers. None of the earliest generation of Muslims accused them of hypocrisy.
In the Masa’il of Ibn Hani al Naysapuri (408) it appears:
I heard Abu ‘Abdullah, Ahmed saying that Dulluyah said to him that he heard ‘Ali ibn al Ja’d saying: “I swear by Allah that Muawiyah died on other than Islam.”
‘Ali ibn al Ja’d, he is ‘Ali ibn ‘Ubaid ibn al Ja’d al Jowhari, an Imam, and an authority, from the teachers of al Bukhari. However, he would accuse ‘Uthman and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, infact he would reject narrations which proved the preference of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman above the rest of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. To the extent that he would reject the narration which praises Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu: “This son of mine is a sayed.”
Harun ibn Sufyan al Mustamli said: “I was with ‘Ali ibn al Ja’d once when ‘Uthman was mentioned, to which he remarked, ‘he took one hundred thousand dirhams from the public treasury without rightful cause,’ upon which I responded, ‘by Allah, he only took it with rightful cause.’”
Abu Dawood says: “‘Amr ibn Marzuq is preferred to me over ‘Ali ibn al Ja’d. ‘Ali was branded with an evil branding-rod and used to say, ‘it does not affect me that Muawiyah be punished.’”
Abu Yahya al Naqid said: “I heard Abu Ghassan al Duri saying I was present with ‘Ali ibn al Ja’d when the narration of Ibn ‘Umar was mentioned, ‘we would prefer during the era of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and we used to say, ‘the best of this ummah after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman,’ and this reached the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he would not object,” to which ‘Ali [ibn al Ja’d] said: “Look at this immature youngster who does not even know how to properly divorce his wife yet he says, “we used to prefer…,” so the hadith regarding Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhum, “this son of mine is a sayed…” was mentioned, to which he responded, “Allah has not made him a sayed.”
So the Rafidah and their ilk, if they wish to accept the statement of ‘Ali ibn al Ja’d regarding Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, they ought to accept what he says about Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well.
As for Ahlus Sunnah, this hadith is mentioned in their Sihah, Sunan and Musnad collections, and their response regarding what has been quoted of Ibn al Ja’d is as mentioned by al Dhahabi in Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ (10/464):
Perhaps Ibn al Ja’d has repented from this predicament. Allah has made him a sayed despite whatever any ignoramus has to say. Indeed one who persists on matters like these by rejecting that which the best of mankind salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said, such a person becomes a heretic without any hesitation. What leadership and nobility can compare to one who is sworn as the khalifah, then elinquishes it to his relative, and swears allegiance to him on condition that he becomes the sworn incumbent and that the affairs of state will be entrusted with Muawiyah to eliminate the fitnah, and to preserve human blood, and to reconcile between the armies of the ummah, so that they may concentrate on fighting the real enemies and be free of infighting. The insight of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding him was certainly correct and that is considered from his miracles, by way of predicting future events. Thereby displaying the nobility of Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the dear, beloved grandson of Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
This same ‘Ali ibn al Ja’d from whom it is claimed that he considered Muawiyah one who died on something other than Islam, he narrates hadith from Mu’awiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his Musnad as well!
So either it is not correctly established from him, the unwarranted comments regarding Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, or he repented from such comments. Otherwise, how does one explain the fact that he swears on the disbelief of an individuals then include that persons narration in his Musnad?!
Imam Ahmed has criticised ‘Ali ibn al Ja’d on account of his unwarranted comments on the Sahabah, May Allah be pleased with them all. Imam Ahmed drew a line across all the narrations that he collected by way of ‘Ali ibn al Ja’d.
Abu Jafar al ‘Uqayli said: “I asked ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed why he did not narrate from’Ali ibn al Ja’d and he responded that his father prohibited him from going to ‘Ali ibn al Ja’d as it had reached him that ‘Ali ibn Ja’d spoke unfavourably of the Sahabah.”
Abu Zur’ah said: “Ahmed did not see it appropriate to narrate from ‘Ali ibn al Ja’d and Sa’id ibn Sulaiman, and I had seen in his books the marks striking out their narrations.”
 Al Tabari has mentioned in his Tarikh (5/618) from the incidents that occurred in the year 248 A.H, that on the 11th day of that year, a Friday, people said that al Mu’tadid instructed that a book be taken out, which al Ma’mun had ordered be compiled with curses against Muawiyah. This was to be read from the pulpits. In this book it is alleged that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “There shall enter upon you a man, from my community, from this mountain pass, who will die on something other than my religion,” and Muawiyah emerged. Also, the alleged statement: “If you see Muawiyah on my pulpit, kill him!” as well as: “May the curse of Allah be on the leader, the rider, and the driver” and other types of profanities which a Muslim will be too ashamed of mentioning.
 This is how it appears in the original text, but it seems to be an error. Perhaps the correct wording would be: ‘I heard al Layth narrating…’
 Al Mughni fi al Du’afa’ (1/69)
 al Du’afa’ al Kabir (4/16)
 Tarikh ibn Ma’in narration of al Duri (1/158)
 al Jarh wa al Ta’dil (7/178)
 al Tabaqat al Kubra (6/349)
 al ‘ilal al Kabir (293), al Tahdhib (8/418)
 Ahwal al Rijal (biography 91)
 Tarikh Baghdad (11/364), Tahdhib al Kamal (biography 4623)
 Ibid, Al ‘Uqayli in al Du’afa’ (3/945)
 Tahdhib al Kamal (biography 4623), Al ‘Uqayli in al Du’afa’ (3/945)