Theme Seven: ‘Ali Accepted the Narrations of Abu Bakr Without any Investigation
Beneath I present before you a few narrations wherein it is stated that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would accept the narrations of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu without verification because he perceived Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be truthful.
These narrations are as follows:
عن ابي سعيد المقبري انه سمع عليا بن ابي طالب يقول ما حدثت حديثا لم أسمعه انا من رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم الا امرته ان يقسم بالله انه سمعه من رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم الا ابو بكر فانه كان لا يكذب فحدثني ابو بكر انه سمع رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يقول ما ذكر عبد ذنبا اذنبه فقام حين يذكر ذنبه ذالك فيتوضأ فأحسن وضوئه ثم صلي ركعتين ثم استغفر الله لذنبه ذالك الا غفر له.
Abu Sa’id al Maqbari narrates that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “no tradition of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which I personally never hear from him, was ever mentioned to me but that I demanded the narrator to take an oath stating that he heard it directly from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam excluding Abu Bakr. He would not lie; Abu Bakr once narrated to me that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “no servant remembers a sin that he had committed in the past than, stands up, when recollecting that sin, performs wudu thoroughly, reads two raka’at of salah and seeks forgiveness from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala but that he is forgiven.”
اسماء بن حكم الفزاري انه سمع عليا يقول كنت اذا سمعت من رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم حديثا نفعني الله بما شاء ان ينفعني منه وكان اذا حدثني غيره استحلفه و اذا حلف أصدقه و حدثني ابو بكر و صدق ابو بكر قال سمعت رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يقول ما من عبد مسلم يذنب ذنبا ثم يتوضأ يصلي ركعتين ثم ليستغفر الله له.
Asma’ ibn al Hakam al Fazari narrates that he heard ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying, “from the many ahadith I would hear from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala would inspire me by the ones he wanted to benefit me with. However, when someone besides him narrates a hadith to me I seek to verify it by demanding an oath from him; when he takes the oath only then do I have faith in him. Abu Bakr once narrated a hadith to me and he indeed was the truthful. He said, “I heard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “no Muslim commits a crime subsequent to which he does wudu, performs salah and seeks the forgiveness of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala but that he is forgiven by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.”
Note:- Imam Tirmidhi, Imam Ibn Majah and al Bazzar have also made mention of this narration via the transmission of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Lessons Derived From These Narrations
The following is deduced from these narrations:
- Abu Bakr and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma would impart knowledge to one another just as they would learn from each other. This is indicative of their mutual affinity and sincerity.
- ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu relied completely upon Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and hence saw no need to seek an oath from when hearing a hadith from him. This means that Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrations were always reliable in the view of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu unlike others.
- We likewise infer from this narration that all the jurisprudential rulings narrated by Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu were authentic according to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Banu Hashim. In other words, even according to the Banu Hashim, the most truthful was Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Therefore if he, having such a noble profile, narrates the Hadith, “we the Prophets do not leave anything as inheritance. Whatever we leave is to be spent in charity,” then there should be no speculation whatsoever in accepting the narration for it is without doubt, the hadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Accepting traditions or rejecting them is solely based on the reliability and truthfulness of the narrator; the more truthful the narrator the more reliable his narration. Previously, we have seen that Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrations were accepted without any investigation.
In culmination I would like to add that the title of al Siddiq, which means the most truthful, with which Abu Bakr is prominently known was a title given to him divinely by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala via Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This is also transmitted to us through the transmission of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Ahead these narrations are presented. I hope that they will be a means of engendering unity and reconciliation:
عن ابي يحي قال سمعت عليا يحلف بالله انزل الله اسم ابي بكر من السماء “الصديق
Abu Yahya narrates that he heard ‘Ali swearing by Allah and saying that the name al Siddiq was given to Abu Bakr from the heavens.
عن عمر ان بن ظبيان عن ابي يحي قال سمعت عليا يحالف لأنزل الله اسم ابي بكر من السماء “الصديق”.
I heard ‘Ali taking an oath that the name al Siddiq was given to Abu Bakr by Allah from the heavens.
عن علي قال ان الله هو الذي سمي ابا بكر علي لسان رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم صديقا.
‘Ali said, “Allah has named Abu Bakr ‘al Siddiq’ upon the tongue of his Nabi Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”
Note:- Sayyiduna Muhammad al Baqir has likewise, whenever talking of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, mentioned his name with the title of al Siddiq as is manifest in the narration of the adornment of the sword. The narrations that allude to this will be cited in chapter five. I have referred to it here merely to make the readers aware of it. Nonetheless, the title of al Siddiq for Abu Bakr is established through Sunni and Shia sources.
 Musnad al Humaidi, 1: 4-5, al Musannaf li Ibn Abi Shaibah 2/ 387
 Musnad Imam Ahmed 1/2,9; Sunan Abi Dawood al Sijistani 1/220; al Madkhal Fi Usul al Hadith, p. 34; Akhbar Isfahan of Abu Nuaim al Isfahani 1/142; Kitab Fada’il Abi Bakr al Siddiq, p. 7, Muwaddih Awham al Jam’ wa al Tafriq 2/113-114
 Al Tarikh al Kabir 1/99
 Kitab Fada’il Abi Bakr al Siddiq p. 4, Riyad al Nadirah 1/68
 Kanz al ‘Ummal 6/314
 Hilyah al Auliya’, 3: 183; Kashf al Ghummah Fi Ma’rifah al ’A’immah, 2: 32.Back to top