Hadith: Follow my Sunna
Replies to Shiʿis

[1] [2] [3]

HADITH: YOU MUST FOLLOW MY SUNNA and THE SUNNA OF THE RIGHTLY-GUIDED CALIPHS AFTER ME

by GF Haddad

[1/3]
A foundational sound hadith of the Prophet ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him and his Family and Companions - states:

"You must follow my Sunna and the Sunna of the rightly-guided, upright successors after me."

The Sunna status of what the Rightly-Guided Caliphs made Sunna is established by many hadiths of the Prophet ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- to that effect such as the following among others:

1. "You must follow my Sunna and the Sunna of the rightly-guided, upright successors after me." (See documentation and discussion below.)

2. "My Community shall divide into seventy-three sects - all of them in the Hellfire except one group: [Those that follow] that which I and my Companions follow." (See the first hadith in the post "[13] The Probativeness of the Sunna.") [see below (a)]

3. "Take for your leaders the two that come after me - Abu Bakr and ʿUmar." (See documentation and discussion in Part [2] of this thread.)

4. "If they obey Abu Bakr and ʿUmar they shall follow the right direction." He said it three times.1

5. "There shall be Prophethood among you then there shall be successorship on the pattern of Prophetship." (See documentation and discussion in Part [2] of this thread.)

6. To the woman who said: "O Messenger of Allah! What if I come back but do not find you?" - she meant death - the Prophet ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- replied: "Then go to Abu Bakr."2

7. To the man who said: "O Messenger of Allah! I saw in my dream as if a balance came down from the heaven in which you were weighed against Abu Bakr and outweighed him, then Abu Bakr was weighed against ʿUmar and outweighed him, then ʿUmar was weighed against ʿUthman and outweighed him, then the balance was raised up." The Prophet ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- said: "Successorship of prophethood (khilafa nubuwwa)! Then Allah shall give kingship to whomever He will." (See documentation and discussion in Part [2] below.)

The first hadith in the list above is actually part of a longer hadith that is narrated as follows:

Al-ʿIrbad ibn Sariya said:

Allah's Messenger ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- prayed among us that day then turned to face us and admonished us intensely so that the eyes wept and the hearts trembled. A man said: "O Messenger of Allah! This resembles the admonishment of one who bids farewell, therefore what solemn promise do you require of us?" He replied: "I exhort you to beware of Allah - Almighty and Exalted! I exhort you to hear and obey even if your leader is a black Ethiopian. Lo! Whoever of you lives shall live to see great divisions. You must follow my Sunna and the Sunna of the rightly-guided, upright successors after me. Hold on to it firmly, bite upon it with your very jaws! Beware of newfangled matters. Every newfangled matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance."3 [x]

Some versions have the wording cited by Ibn Mandah below, beginning with the words "I am leaving you on a path that is as clear as day." Some versions add: wa innama al-mu'minu kal-jamali al-anifi haythu qida inqada, "The believer is nothing other than like the docile camel who lets himself be led wherever he is led."4

The establishment of the probativeness of the order to follow the Prophet's ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- Sunna is tantamount to establishing the probativeness of all the different kinds of the Sunna such as the verbal Sunna (al-sunna al-qawliyya), the active Sunna (al-sunna al-fiʿliyya), and the confirmative Sunna (al-sunna al-taqririyya) definitely and for all time.5 Ibn Mandah (d. 395) said:

When Allah completed His Religion and consolidated it, opening up to His Prophet ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- what He had promised him and He informed him of his impending death, He revealed to him the verse {This day I have perfected your Religion for you and completed My favor unto you} (5:3). At that time the Prophet ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- understood that his life was about to be taken and he asked his Companions [in his Farewell Pilgrimage]: "Have I conveyed the message?" To which his Companions replied yes. Then he said: "O Allah! Bear witness."6 and he said: "Let every witness among you inform those who were absent."7 and he said [on another occasion]: "I am leaving you on a path that is as clear as day whether by day or by night! None shall stray from it after me except one who is bound for destruction. and whoever among you lives, shall live to see great divisions. At that time you must follow whatever you know of my Sunna and the Sunna of the rightly-guided, upright successors. You must obey, even if it means obeying an Abyssynian slave. Hold on to it firmly, bite upon it with your very jaws!"8

*

NOTES

.
(a) See the hadith Al-`Irbad ibn Sariya said: Allah's Messenger ﷺ  Allah bless and greet him -- prayed among us that day then turned to face us and admonished us intensely so that the eyes wept and the hearts trembled. A man said: "O Messenger of Allah! This resembles the admonishment of one who bids farewell, therefore what solemn promise do you require of us?" He replied: "I exhort you to beware of Allah -- Almighty and Exalted. I exhort you to hear and obey even if your leader is a black Ethiopian. Lo! Whoever of you lives shall live to see great divisions. You must follow my Sunna and the Sunna of the rightly-guided, upright caliphs after me. Hold on to it firmly, bite upon it with your very teeth! Beware of newfangled matters. Every newfangled matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance." [Hadith narrated from `Abd Allah ibn `Amr by al-Tirmidhi (hasan gharib), Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi in al-Sunna (p. 23), and al-Hakim (1:129=1990 ed. 1:218), all with weak chains for this wording which comes only through `Abd al-Rahman ibn Zyad al-Afriqi, who was declared weak by some but fair in his narrations by others. However, al-Lalika'i declared this hadith sound (sahih) in his Sharh Usul I`tiqad Ahl al-Sunna (1:100) and it was included - with its variant versions - by al-Kattani in his Nazm al-Mutanathir (p. 45-47). The second half of the hadith beginning with the words "Truly the Israelites divided..." is often quoted as a stand-alone narration and is the subject of a monograph by al-San`ani.] (This reference is from "The Probativeness of the Sunna" available at: livingislam.org/ps12-13_e.html)

1Narrated from Abu Qatada by Muslim, Ahmad, Abu ʿAwana in his Musnad (2:259), al-Bayhaqi in al-Iʿtiqad (p. 340) and al-Madkhal (p. 122), al-Faryabi and Abu Nuʿaym each in their Dala'il al-Nubuwwa, and the Jahmi hadith master ʿAli ibn al-Jaʿd (d. 230) in his Musnad (p. 450) - al-Dhahabi calls him al-Imam al-Hafiz al-Hujja in the Siyar (9:165 #1690)!

2Narrated from Jubayr Ibn Mutʿim by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

3Narrated from al-ʿIrbad ibn Sariya [Abū Najīh al-Irbād bin Sāriyah al-Salamī, vissuto a Hims, città della Siria centrale, morto a 70 anni] by al-Tirmidhi (hasan sahih) with four chains [Kitāb al-‘ilm, cap. 16, hadīth n. 2676 (5/44)], Abu Dawud [Kitāb al-sunna, hadīth n. 4607 (5/13)], Ibn Majah with two chains [hadīth nn. 42 e 43], Ahmad [4/126-127] - he declared it sahih according to Ibn Rajab - with four chains in his Musnad (13:278-280 #17077-17080, sahih according to Hamza al-Zayn), al-Darimi [hadīth n. 96 (1/43)], Ibn Hibban in his Sahih (1:178-179 #5, sahih according to Shuʿayb al-Arna'ut), al-Hakim in al-Madkhal ila al-Sahih (p. 80-81) and al-Mustadrak with five chains (1:95-97=1990 ed. 1:174-177) declaring it sahih while al-Dhahabi confirmed it, al-Ajurri with four chains in al-Shariʿa (p. 54-55 #79-82=p. 46, sahih according to ʿAbd al-Razzaq al-Mahdi), Ibn Abi ʿAsim in al-Sunna (p. 29 #54, sahih according to Nasir al-Albani), al-Tahawi in Mushkil al-Athar (2:69=3:221-224 #1185-1187; sahih according to al-Arna'ut), Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi with four chains in al-Sunna (p. 26-27 #69-72, sahih according to Salim ibn Ahmad al-Salafi), al-Harith ibn Abi Usama in his Musnad (1:197-198), al-Ruyani in his Musnad (1:439), Abu Nuʿaym who said "Among the sahih narrations of the people of Sham" in Hilya al-Awliya' (1985 ed. 5:220-221, 10:115), al-Tabarani with several chains in Musnad al-Shamiyyin (1:254, 1:402, 1:446, 2:197, 2:298) and al-Muʿjam al-Kabir (18:245-257), al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (10:114), al-Madkhal ila al-Sunan (p. 115-116), al-Iʿtiqad (p. 229), and Shuʿab al-Iman (6:67), al-Baghawi in Sharh al-Sunna (#102), Ibn al-Athir in Jamiʿ al-Usul (1:187, 1:279), al-Lalika'i in Sharh Usul Iʿtiqad Ahl al-Sunna (1:74-75), Ibn ʿAsakir in al-Arbaʿin al-Buldaniyya (p. 121), Tammam al-Razi in al-Fawa'id (1:98, 1:154), al-Dani in al-Sunan al-Warida fi al-Fitan (2:373-375 #123-124), Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr in al-Tamhid (21:278-279), al-Khatib in al-Kifaya (p. 344) and Mudih Awham al-Jamʿ wa al-Tafriq (2:489), al-Haythami in Mawarid al-Zam'an (p. 56), and others. This is the first hadith Ibn Hibban narrates in al-Thiqat and hadith #28 of al-Nawawi's Arbaʿun.

4Narrated by Ibn Majah, Ahmad, al-Hakim (1:96), al-Tabarani in al-Kabir (18:247), al-Bayhaqi in al-Madkhal (p. 116), and al-Lalika'i (1:74)

5See previous posts entitled "The Meaning of Sunna and Bidʿa".

6Narrated from Abu Bakrah al-Thaqafi, Ibn ʿUmar, Ibn Masʿud, and Jabir by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, and al-Darimi.

7Narrated from Abu Bakrah by Ibn Majah in his Sunan and Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr in Jamiʿ Bayan al-ʿIlm (1:182-184 #192-194) with three chains, two of them sound; also, as part of a longer narration, by Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, and al-Darimi. Also narrated from ʿUbada ibn al-Samit by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir with a chain of sound narrators as stated by al-Haythami in Majmaʿ al-Zawa'id (1:139). The second sentence is narrated without the first from ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAmr by Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr in Jamiʿ Bayan al-ʿIlm (1:190 #200) with a very weak chain because of ʿAbd al-ʿAziz ibn ʿUbayd Allah.

8Ibn Mandah, Fadl al-Akhbar (p. 25).

[2/3]

In his masterpiece entitled Jami‘ al-‘Ulum wa al-Hikam (2:43-49) the Hanbali hadith master Ibn Rajab said in commentary of this hadith:

Concerning the saying of the Prophet ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him: "Lo! Whoever of you lives shall live to see great divisions. You must follow my Sunna and the Sunna of the rightly-guided, upright successors after me. Hold on to it firmly, bite upon it with your very jaws!" By saying this he ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- gave information about what befell his Community after him in the way of abundant divergences both in the foundations of the Religion and its branches, in deeds, sayings, and doctrines. This is in agreement with what was narrated from him pertaining to the division of his Community into seventy-odd sects, all of them in the Fire but one - that which remains on his path and that of his Companions.1 So in this hadith he has ordered that when divisions and divergences take place, we must hold fast to his Sunna and the Sunna of the well-guided successors after him.

"Sunna" means the path that is trodden (al-tariq al-masluk), which entails holding fast to whatever he and his rightly-guided successors held of doctrines, deeds, and sayings. This is the perfect and complete Sunna. That is why the Salaf of old refrained from applying the name of Sunna to anything that fell short of this. This meaning has been related from al-Hasan [al-Basri], al-Awzaʿi, and al-Fudayl ibn ʿIyad. Many of the later ulamas apply the name of "Sunna" specifically to what pertains to doctrine.2 For the Sunna is the root of the Religion and whoever contravenes it is in great peril.

In the mention of the phrase ["You must follow..."] after his order to hear and obey those in command, is a sign that no obedience is due to those in command in other than obeying Allah Almighty and Exalted just as it is authentically related from him ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- that he said: "Obedience is only in good matters."3 It is also related in the Musnad from Anas that Muʿadh ibn Jabal said: "O Messenger of Allah, what do you say if there are over us rulers who do not follow your Sunna (la yastannuna bisunnatik), nor abide by your commands? What do you order [us] pertaining to them?" Allah's Messenger ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- said: "No obedience to whom obeys not Allah Almighty and Exalted."4 Ibn Majah narrated it from Ibn Masʿud - Allah be well-pleased with him - that Allah's Messenger said ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him: "After me your affairs will be ruled by men who shall extinguish the Sunna with innovation and practice innovation. They shall delay the prayer from its time." Ibn Masʿud said: "O Messenger of Allah, if I see them what should I do?" He replied: "No obedience to whom disobeys Allah Almighty and Exalted."5

In the sequence of the Prophet's ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- order to follow his Sunna and the Sunna of the well-guided Successors, coming after his order to hear and obey governors generally, is a proof that the Sunna of the Rightly-Guided Successors must be followed just as his own Sunna must be followed, contrary to the case of others governors.

In Ahmad's Musnad and al-Tirmidhi it is narrated from Hudhayfa - Allah be well-pleased with him:

We were sitting with the Prophet ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- when he said: "Truly I know not the remaining extent of my stay among you. So take for your leaders the two that come after me, <gesturing toward>6 Abu Bakr7 and ʿUmar,8 and hold fast to ʿAmmar's [= Ibn Yasir]9 covenant,10 and whatever Ibn Masʿud narrate to you, believe it."11 Another narration states: "Hold fast to Ibn Umm ʿAbd's [= Ibn Masʿud]12 covenant and follow ʿAmmar's guidance."13

Allah's Messenger ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- therefore explicitly stipulated (nassa) toward the end of his life those who should be followed as leaders after him.14 The rightly-guided caliphs whom he ordered people to take as their leaders are Abu Bakr, ʿUmar, ʿUthman, and ʿAli (, for it was related in the hadith of Safina15 from the Prophet ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him: "Successorship (al-khilafa) after me shall last for thirty years. After that, there will be kingship."16 Imam Ahmad declared this narration sound and adduced it as a proof for the caliphate of the four imams.17 Many of the imams also stipulated that ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAziz is also a rightly-guided successor.

Another proof [for following the Sunna of the rightly-guided successors] is what Imam Ahmad related from Hudayfa's - Allah be well-pleased with him - narration from the Prophet ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- who said: "There shall be Prophethood (nubuwwa) among you for as long as Allah wishes it to be among you. Then it shall be lifted up when Allah wishes to lift it up. Then there shall be successorship (khilafa) on the pattern (minhaj) of Prophetship for as long as Allah wishes it to be. Then it shall be lifted up when Allah wishes to lift it up. Then there shall be a trying kingship (mulkan ʿaddan) for as long as Allah wishes it to be. Then it shall be lifted up when Allah wishes to lift it up. Then there shall be a tyrannical kingship (mulkan jabriyyatan) for as long as Allah wishes it to be. Then it shall be lifted up when Allah wishes to lift it up. Then there shall be successorship on the pattern of Prophetship."18

A man came to see ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAziz when the latter was made caliph and related to him the above report. ʿUmar was pleased to hear it.

Muhammad ibn Sirin, when asked about certain beverages, would say: "An imam of right guidance forbade it - ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAziz, may Allah be well-pleased with him and grant him mercy."19

The ulamas differed about the consensus of the Four Caliphs: Does it constitute Consensus [i.e. of the entire Community] or merely a major proof (hujja), and does this apply if other Companions differ with them or only when not? Two opinions are related from Imam Ahmad concerning this. Abu Khazim al-Hanafi in the time of al-Muʿtadid ruled for the inheritor-status of maternal relatives, paying no heed to whoever differed with the [Four] Caliphs, and this ruling of his was enforced far and wide.

What if one of the Four Caliphs holds a certain position [in ijtihad] in which none of the other three contradicts him, but others of the Companions do: does the caliph's position have precedence over the other Companions? There are also two kinds of responses from the ulamas pertaining to this. What was textually stipulated by Ahmad is that the Caliph's position takes precedence over that of the other Companions. Thus did al-Khattabi and others relate it.

The sayings of most of the Salaf confirm this position, particularly with regard to ʿUmar ibn al-Khattab - Allah be well-pleased with him -. For it was narrated fom the Prophet ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- through different chains that he said: "Allah has engraved truth on the tongue of ʿUmar and his heart."20 ʿAbd al-ʿAziz ibn ʿUmar used to follow ʿUmar's rulings, adducing this Prophetic hadith as his proof.

Malik said that ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAziz said:

Allah's Messenger ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- and those in authority after him instituted ways (sanna sunanan). To hold to these ways is to hold fast to Allah's Book and to achieve strength in order to establish Allah's Religion. It is not for anyone to substitute nor modify nor investigate any of those ways. Whoever is guided by them is well-guided. Whoever seeks them to gain victory shall achieve victory. Whoever leaves them and follows the path of other than the Muslims, Allah Almighty and Exalted shall abandon him to what he has taken upon himself, he shall make him burn in Hellfire. A hapless journey's end! [A reference to the verse {and whoso opposes the messenger after the guidance (of Allah) has been manifested unto him, and follows other than the believers' way, We appoint for him that unto which he himself has turned, and expose him unto hell - a hapless journey's end!} (4:115).]21

ʿAbd Allah ibn al-Hakam narrated from Malik that he said: "I like ʿUmar [ibn Abd al-ʿAziz]'s resolve in this matter." In fact, ʿAbd al-Rahman ibn Mahdi narrated these words directly from Malik, not from ʿUmar. Khalaf ibn Khalifa said: "I saw ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAziz addressing the people when he was caliph, and he said in his sermon: ʿLo! Truly what Allah's Messenger ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- and his two Companions instituted is a duty of the Religion. We put it into practice and we deem I conclusive.'"22

Abu Nuʿaym narrated from ʿArzab al-Kindi that Allah's Messenger ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- said: "New matters shall arise after me, so endeavor to stick to (ijtahidu ila an talzamu) whatever ʿUmar innovates (ma ahdatha ʿUmar)."23 ʿAli - Allah be well-pleased with him - used to follow ʿUmar's judgments and rulings, saying: "Truly ʿUmar was following the right way (kana rashid al-amr)."24 Similarly, al-Ashʿath narrated from al-Shaʿbi that he said: "If the people differ about something, see what ʿUmar's judgment was in the matter. For ʿUmar did not pass a judgment in something without precedent except he first consulted with others."25 Mujahid said: "If people differed about something, see what ʿUmar's judgment was in the matter." Ayyub narrated from al-Shaʿbi that he said: "See what Muhammad's ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- Community agreed upon - for Allah Almighty and Exalted would not make it concur on misguidance - and if they differed, then see what ʿUmar ibn al-Khattab did and follow it."26

ʿIkrima was asked about the status of the slave who gives birth to her master's son. He replied: "She is manumitted at the time her master dies." They asked him: "Based on what proof?" He said: "The Qur'an." They asked: "Where in the Qur'an?" He replied: "{Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority} (4:59), and ʿUmar - Allah be well-pleased with him - is among those in authority."27 Wakiʿ said: "If ʿUmar and ʿAli concur on something: that is authority." and it was narrated from Ibn Masʿud that he used to swear: "Truly the straight path is that upon which ʿUmar was firmly established until he entered Paradise."

At any rate, whatever ʿUmar gathered the Companions upon in agreement and whatever they concurred upon in his time: there is no doubt that that is the truth. ...

[Concerning] the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ
- Allah bless and greet him --:

In a dream I saw myself drawing water from a well. Abu Bakr came and drew a large pail (dhanub) or two, but there was some weakness in his efforts - and Allah forgives him. Then ʿUmar ibn al-Khattab came and the bucket turned into a huge pail (gharab) in his hands. I never saw anyone do such acomplished work (yafri fariyyah) as he until all the people drank to satiation and watered their camels that knelt down there. (Another version states:) I never saw greater leader (ʿabqari) among the people drawing water the way Ibn al-Khattab drew water! (Another version states:) Until the trough was bursting with water.28

This is an indication that ʿUmar did not die before he disposed all matters into their proper order and until affairs settled. This is explained by the length of his tenure and the undivided attention he gave to all events, while Abu Bakr's tenure was short and he was occupied with the conquests of new territories and the arrayal of troops, so he could not devote his attention to all events. Perhaps, in the latter's tenure, he was not aware of everything that took place nor was every matter reported to him the way it was reported to ʿUmar. Thus did ʿUmar strive in directing people to the truth and point to them the right path to follow. May Allah be well-pleased with him, with Abu Bakr, and with all the Companions.

NOTES

1 See the hadith Al-ʿIrbad ibn Sariya said: Allah's Messenger ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- prayed among us that day then turned to face us and admonished us intensely so that the eyes wept and the hearts trembled. A man said: "O Messenger of Allah! This resembles the admonishment of one who bids farewell, therefore what solemn promise do you require of us?" He replied: "I exhort you to beware of Allah -- Almighty and Exalted. I exhort you to hear and obey even if your leader is a black Ethiopian. Lo! Whoever of you lives shall live to see great divisions. You must follow my Sunna and the Sunna of the rightly-guided, upright caliphs after me. Hold on to it firmly, bite upon it with your very teeth! Beware of newfangled matters. Every newfangled matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance." [Hadith narrated from ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAmr by al-Tirmidhi (hasan gharib), Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi in al-Sunna (p. 23), and al-Hakim (1:129=1990 ed. 1:218), all with weak chains for this wording which comes only through ʿAbd al-Rahman ibn Zyad al-Afriqi, who was declared weak by some but fair in his narrations by others. However, al-Lalika'i declared this hadith sound (sahih) in his Sharh Usul Iʿtiqad Ahl al-Sunna (1:100) and it was included - with its variant versions - by al-Kattani in his Nazm al-Mutanathir (p. 45-47). The second half of the hadith beginning with the words "Truly the Israelites divided..." is often quoted as a stand-alone narration and is the subject of a monograph by al-Sanʿani.] [hadith also at: http://www.livingislam.org/ps14-15_e.html] 2Such as Abu Dawud in his "Book of Sunna" in the Sunan, Ibn Abi ʿAsim, and Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi.

3Narrated from 'Ali by Bukhari and Muslim. Cf. note 4 in the post "[7] The Probativeness of the Sunna."

4Narrated by Ahmad and Abu Yaʿla in his Musnad (7:102) with a chain containing ʿAmr ibn Zunyab who is unknown according to al-Haythami in Majmaʿ al-Zawa'id (5:225). Al-Diya' al-Maqdisi declared its chain fair (hasan) in al-Ahadith al-Mukhtara (6:319) while al-Munawi in Fayd al-Qadir (6:432) claimed that Ibn Hajar said: "Its chain is strong" but the truth is Ibn Hajar was referring to a different chain (see Fath al-Bari, 1959 ed. 13:123). This hadith is confirmed by the next one.

5Narrated by Ibn Majah and Ahmad with three chains, one of them sound, as well as al-Tabarani in al-Kabir. Also narrated from ʿUbada ibn al-Samit as part of a longer hadith by Ahmad, al-Tabarani, and al-Hakim.

6In some sound narrations, while other sound narrations omit the Prophet's gesture and name Abu Bakr and ʿUmar within his direct speech.

7This Prophetic stipulation for Abu Bakr's succession is confirmed by the sound hadith whereby a woman came to the Prophet asking for something whereupon he told her to come back, so she asked: "O Messenger of Allah! What if I come back but do not find you?" - she meant death. The Prophet replied: "Then go to Abu Bakr." Narrated from Jubayr Ibn Mutʿim by al-Bukhari and Muslim. Al-Shafiʿi said: "In this is a proof for Abu Bakr's successorship."

8Narrated to this point from Hudhayfa by al-Tirmidhi with a chain containing the Shiʿi Salim al-Muradi who is most probably trustworthy [al-Arna'ut, Sahih Ibn Hibban (15:328 n. 2)] although weak according to some [al-Mizzi, Tahdhib al-Kamal (10:161); al-ʿUqayli, al-Duʿafa' (2:150)], Ibn Majah, Ibn Abi Shayba in his Musannaf (6:350), Ibn Abi ʿAsim in al-Sunna (p. 531-532 #1148-1149, sahih according to Albani), Ahmad with two chains in Fada'il al-Sahaba (1:332) and - without the first sentence - from Hudhayfa by al-Tirmidhi (hasan, confirmed by al-Dhahabi in the Siyar 1-2:512 with regard to the chain), Ahmad with a sound chain as stated by al-Zayn in the Musnad (16:566-567 #23138) and with three chains in Fada'il al-Sahaba (1:238, 1:359, 1:426), al-Tahawi with six sound chains according to al-Arna'ut in Sharh Mushkil al-Athar (3:257-259 #1227-1232), al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (5:212 #9826, 8:153 #16353), Ibn Balban in Tuhfa al-Siddiq (p. 63-64), al-Khalili who declared it sound in al-Irshad (1:378, 2:664-665), and Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr in al-Tamhid (22:126); also from Ibn Masʿud by al-Tirmidhi (hasan) through five chains and Ahmad in Fada'il al-Sahaba (1:238); and from Ibn ʿUmar with an erroneous chain as stated by Ibn Hajar in Lisan al-Mizan (1:188) and Talkhis al-Habir (4:190), cf. Ibn Kathir, Tuhfa (p. 165).

9ʿAmmar ibn Yasir ibn ʿAmir Abu al-Yaqzan al-ʿAnasi, one of the Foremost and First (al-sabiqun al-awwalun) among the Emigrants, one of seven who first made public their Islam, he and his father used to be tortured by the pagans of Mecca, whereupon the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - would pass them by and say: "Bear patiently, O Family of Yasir, your tryst is in Paradise." He emigrated to Madina and fought in all the battles, then later at al-Yamama. ʿAli - Allah be well-pleased with him - and Khalid ibn Walid - Allah be well-pleased with him - respectively narrated from the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - that the latter said: "ʿAmmar is filled with belief to his marrow" and "Whoever fights ʿAmmar, Allah Almighty and Exalted fights him; and whoever angers ʿAmmar, Allah Almighty and Exalted is angry with him." The reports have reached the rank of mass transmission (tawatur) that the Prophet ( foretold his death at the hands of "the rebellious faction" (al-firqa al-baghiya). He was killed in the year 87 at the battle of Siffin on ʿAli's side, at the age of 93. See Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba (4:575).

10Narrated to this point from Hudhayfa by Ibn Abi Shayba in al-Musannaf (7:433).

11A sound narration from Hudhayfa by al-Tirmidhi (hasan), Ahmad with two sound chains as stated by al-Zayn in the Musnad (16:576 #23169, 16:620 #23312) as well as in Fada'il al-Sahaba (#479), Ibn Hibban with a fair chain, as stated by al-Arna'ut, in his Sahih (15:327-328 #6902), Ibn Saʿd with the same chain in his Tabaqat (2:334), al-Khallal in al-Sunna (1:275), al-Hakim (3:75=1990 ed. 3:79), al-Khatib in Tarikh Baghdad (4:346, 12:20), and al-Haythami in Mawarid al-Zam'an (p. 538). Some narrations such as Ibn Hibban's and al-Haythami's have the wording "accept it" (faqbaluh) instead of "believe it" (fasaddiquh). Also narrated from Ibn Masʿud by al-Tirmidhi (hasan gharib) with a weak chain because of Yahya ibn Salama ibn Kuhayl as stated by Ibn Kathir in Tuhfa al-Talib (p. 164-165).

12ʿAli - Allah be well-pleased with him - narrates that Allah's Messenger - Allah bless and greet him - summoned Ibn Masʿud one day. He [came and] climbed a tree to get something for him [to eat]. His companions looked at ʿAbd Allah's leg and laughed at the slenderness (humusha) of his legs, whereupon Allah's Messenger said - Allah bless and greet him: "Why are you laughing? I swear that ʿAbd Allah's foot shall weigh more heavily than Uhud in the Balance on the Day of Judgment." Narrated by al-Hakim (#5385) who declared it sahih and al-Dhahabi concurred. It is also narrated from Qarra ibn Iyas al-Muzani in the following wording: Ibn Masʿud climbed a tree and they started laughing at the slenderness of his legs, whereupon the Prophet said - Allah bless and greet him: "I swear that they shall be heavier in the Balance than Mount Uhud." Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad (#920), Abu Yaʿla in his (#539), al-Tabarani in al-Kabir (#38516), Ibn Saʿd in his Tabaqat (3:109), Abu Nuʿaym in Hilya al-Awliya (1:127), and al-Hakim. Al-Haythami indicated that its chain was sound in Majmaʿ al-Zawa'id (#15561).

13Narrated from Hudhayfa by al-Tirmidhi (hasan gharib), Ahmad in the Musnad with a sound chain according to al-Zayn (16:611 #23279) and in Fada'il al-Sahaba (1:187), al-Khatib in Tarikh Baghdad (14:366 and 7:402 - the latter with a chain containing Abu Farwa who is weak. Also narrated - without the first sentence - by al-Tahawi with several sound and fair chains according to al-Arna'ut in Sharh Mushkil al-Athar (3:256-257 #1224-1226, 3:259 #1233), Ibn Abi Shayba in al-Musannaf (12:11), al-Hakim (3:75-76=1990 ed. 3:79-80) with three sound chains as stated by him and al-Dhahabi, al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (8:153 #16352), al-Madkhal (p. 122), and al-Iʿtiqad (p. 340-341), and al-Tabarani in al-Awsat with a weak chain as indicated by al-Haythami in Majmaʿ al-Zawa'id (#15606). Also narrated from Ibn Masʿud by Tammam al-Razi in al-Fawa'id (2:276) and al-Tabarani in al-Kabir (9:72), and from Anas by al-Tabarani as stated by al-ʿAjluni in Kashf al-Khafa (1:181). Al-Tabarani in Musnad al-Shamiyyin (2:57) and al-Qassar as stated by al-Tabari in al-Riyad al-Nadira (1:348) also narrate from Abu al-Darda' the following wording: "take for your leaders the two that come after me: Abu Bakr and ʿUmar, for truly they are Allah's rope extended, and whoever holds fast to them (has grasped a firm handhold which will never break( (2:156) with chains containing unknown narrators as stated by al-Haythami in Majmaʿ al-Zawa'id (9:53).

This hadith was declared weak by two hadith masters only: Ibn Hazm in al-Ihkam (6:242-243) and al-Bazzar. Their ruling was refuted by Ibn Hajar in Talkhis al-Habir (4:190) where he declared that the chains of the hadith are good and firmly establish it as authentic. Note that Ibn Hazm had no knowledge of al-Tirmidhi's and Ibn Majah's Sunan (cf. biographical notice on Ibn Hazm posted in June 1999 on SRI and msa-ec).

14Abu Nuʿaym said in Dala'il al-Nubuwwa (1989 ed. p. 130): "This hadith is among the signs of Prophetship whereby he foretold that his successor would be Abu Bakr and the latter's successor would be ʿUmar, and it was just as he said."

15Safina - Allah be well-pleased with him - (d. 71) is the Prophet's freedman whose name was Mahran; but one day when he saw him carrying his comrades' belongings, the Prophet said to him: "Today you are nothing but a ship" (ma kunta al-yawma illa safina). Narrated from Safina by Ahmad in his Musnad with a fair chain and others. Al-Mizzi in Tahdhib al-Kamal (7:388) and al-Dhahabi in the Siyar (4:324) narrate that when he alighted on a desert island after a shipwreck and saw a lion he said: "O lion! I am Safina, the freedman of Allah's Messenger - Allah bless and greet him," whereupon the lion showed him the way and muttered something. Safina said: "I believe he meant salam."

16A fair hadith narrated from Safina by al-Tirmidhi (hasan) and Abu Dawud with sound chains according to al-Albani; Ahmad in his Musnad with two chains; al-Hakim; Ibn Hibban in his Sahih with two fair chains as stated by al-Arna'ut (15:34 #6657, 15:392 #6943); al-Tayalisi in his Musnad (p. 151, 479); and al-Tabarani in al-Kabir with several chains. This narration is among the "Proofs of Prophethood" (dala'il al-nubuwwa) as the sum of the first five caliphates is exactly thirty years: two years and three months for Abu Bakr, ten years and a half for ʿUmar, twelve years for ʿUthman, four years and nine months for ʿAli, and six months for al-Hasan as stated by al-Suyuti in Tarikh al-Khulafa' (p. 22, 198-199). Al-Dhahabi cites the saying by Muʿawiya: "I am the first of the kings" (ana awwalu al-muluk) in the Siyar (3:157).

Ibn al-ʿArabi al-Maliki weakened the hadith in al-ʿAwasim (p. 201) to pre-empt the claim that the thirty year-span includes al-Hasan's successorship after ʿAli, whereas al-Hasan, after ʿAli's murder, pledged fealty (bayʿa) to Muʿawiya in the year 41 as stated by al-Suyuti in Tarikh al-Khulafa' (p. 199). Al-Hasan's pledge was foretold by the Prophet ( in his hadith from the pulpit with al-Hasan by his side: "Verily, this grandson of mine - al-Hasan - is a leader among men (sayyid), and Allah may put him in a position to reconcile two great factions of the Muslims." Narrated from Abu Bakrah by al-Bukhari with four chains, al-Tirmidhi (hasan sahih), al-Nasa'i, Abu Dawud, and Ahmad with four chains. Ibn al-ʿArabi (ibid. p. 210) further rejects the authenticity of the thirty-year hadith on the basis of Allah's praise of kingship and its synonymity with prophethood in the verse {and Allah gave him [Dawud - Allah bless and greet our Prophet and him] the kingdom and wisdom} (2:251). Another proof adduced against the authenticity of the thirty-year hadith is the much stronger hadith: "Verily, this matter shall not be terminated until there come to pass among them twelve Caliphs, all of them from Quraysh." Narrated from Jabir ibn Samura by Bukhari and Muslim. However, none of these three proofs actually contradicts the thirty-year hadith as pointed out by al-Nawawi in Sharh Sahih Muslim (1972 ed. 12:201) and al-Munawi in Fayd al-Qadir (cf. al-Mubarakfuri, Tuhfa al-Ahwadhi 6:396 and ʿAzim Abadi, ʿAwn al-Maʿbud 11:245). The twelve caliphs according to al-Suyuti in Tarikh al-Khulafa' (p. 24) are the Four Rightly-Guided Caliphs, then Muʿawiya after al-Hasan's pledge to him, then his son Yazid, then ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwan, then the latter's four sons al-Walid, Sulayman, Yazid, and Hisham, then al-Walid ibn Yazid ibn ʿAbd al-Malik. Al-ʿAzim Abadi (12:253) recommends in this chapter Shah Wali Allah al-Dihlawi's two books Izala al-Khafa' ʿan Khilafa al-Khulafa' and Qurra al-ʿAynayn fi Tafdil al-Shaykhayn.

17In ʿAbd Allah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Sunna (p. 235-236 #1276-1277) and Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 7:58 #3494). This is attributed to Safina himself by al-Qurtubi in his Tafsir (12:298) and ʿAzim Abadi in ʿAwn al-Maʿbud (12:260).

18Narrated from Hudhayfa by Ahmad with a sound chain as stated by al-Zayn in the Musnad (14:163 #18319) and as indicated by al-Haythami in Majmaʿ al-Zawa'id (5:188-189): "Narrated by Ahmad, al-Bazzar with a more complete wording, and al-Tabarani partly, in al-Awsat. The narrators in its chain are trustworthy." Also narrated from Abu ʿUbayda by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir (1:157) with the wording "Then there shall be kingship and tyranny" after the mention of successorship.

The narration is similar to the hadith: "Successorship of Prophethood" as indicated by Ibn Hajar who said in Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 12:392 #6600): "By ʿsuccessorship after me,' he meant successorship of Prophethood; as for Muʿawiya and those who followed him, most of them were after the pattern of kings, even if they are still called ʿsuccessors' (khulafa'), and Allah knows best." The hadith he referred to goes as follows: The Prophet asked - Allah bless and greet him: "Did any of you see anything in his dream?" A man said to the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him: "O Messenger of Allah, I saw in my dream as if a balance came down from the heaven in which you were weighed against Abu Bakr and outweighed him, then Abu Bakr was weighed against ʿUmar and outweighed him, then ʿUmar was weighed against ʿUthman and outweighed him, then the balance was raised up." This displeased the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - who said: "Successorship of prophethood (khilafa nubuwwa)! Then Allah shall give kingship to whomever He will." Narrated from Abu Bakrah by Ahmad with three chains, Abu Dawud, and al-Tirmidhi who said: hasan sahih, and from Safina by Abu Dawud with a fair chain and al-Bazzar with a fair chain as indicated by al-Haythami in Majmaʿ al-Zawa'id. Al-Tirmidhi's narration omits the last statement of the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him. Al-Hakim narrated it with a chain similar to al-Tirmidhi's and graded it sahih, and al-Dhahabi concurred.

19Narrated from Ibn ʿAwn by Abu Nuʿaym in the Hilya (5:258).

20Narrated from Ibn ʿUmar by al-Tirmidhi (hasan sahih gharib), Ahmad, and Ibn Hibban with a fair chain according to al-Arna'ut (15:318 #6895); from Abu Dharr by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and al-Hakim; from Abu Hurayra by Ahmad, Ibn Hibban with a sound chain according to al-Arna'ut (15:312-313 #6889), Abu Yaʿla, al-Hakim, Ibn Abi Shayba in al-Musannaf (12:21), Ibn Abi ʿAsim in al-Sunna (#1250), and al-Bazzar (#2501) with a sound chain as indicated by al-Haythami in Majmaʿ al-Zawa'id (9:66); and from Bilal and Muʿawiya by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir. See al-Baghawi in Sharh al-Sunna (14:85), Ibn Abi ʿAsim in al-Sunna (p. 567 #1247-1250), Ibn Saʿd in his Tabaqat (21:99), and Ibn al-Athir in Jamiʿ al-Usul (9:444).

21Narrated from Mutarrif by Abu Nuʿaym in Hilya al-Awliya (1985 ed. 6:324), al-Dhahabi in the Siyar (al-Arna'ut ed. 8:98-99), Ibn al-Qayyim in his commentary on Abu Dawud's Sunan (13:45), and al-Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthur (1:393).

22Narrated by Abu Nuʿaym in the Hilya (5:298).

23Narrated by Ibn Mandah in Maʿrifa al-Sahaba with a chain containing two unknown narrators as stated by Ibn Hajar in al-Isaba (4:483), including ʿAzrab, over whose Companion-satus there is disagreement.

24The complete narration states that the people of Najran came to ʿAli saying: "O Commander of the Believers, the edict is now in your right hand and your intercession is upon your tongue: ʿUmar expelled us from our lands, so return us to them." He replied: "Woe to you! Truly ʿUmar was following the right way." Narrated from Salim by Ibn Abi Shayba in his Musannaf (6:357, 7:426), al-Khatib al-Baghdadi in Tarikh Baghdad (6:185), and - with slight differences - al-Bayhaqi in his al-Sunan al-Kubra (10:120) and ʿAbd Allah ibn Ahmad in Fada'il al-Sahaba (1:366). See also Ibn Hajar, Talkhis al-Habir (4:125). But al-Fakihi in Akhbar Macca (5:108) narrates it from Ibn Jaʿd and says its chain is interrupted.

25Narrated by Abu Nuʿaym in the Hilya (4:320).

26Narrated by Ahmad in al-ʿIlal (2:258).

27Narrated by Saʿid ibn Mansur in his Musnad as stated by al-Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthur (1:316).

28Narrated from ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿUmar and Abu Hurayra by al-Bbukhari, Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, and Ahmad.

[3/3]

There is agreement among the people of knowledge in hadith as well as the rest of Ahl al-Sunna that the hadith "You must follow my Sunna and the Sunna of the rightly-guided, upright successors after me" is rigorously authentic except for two stray opinions: that of Ibn Hazm and that of al-Bazzar; their ruling was refuted by Ibn Hajar (see Part 2, note 13). To reject a rigorously authentic hadith in full knowledge of its authenticity is a sin from which we seek refuge in Allah Almighty.

There are some who reject this hadith and seem unconscious of the gravity of their act, insisting on following their lusts in picking and choosing what to follow in their Religion, and coming up with various excuses, which they have posted at the site:
al-islam.org/thaqalayn/nontl/Traditions.htm

Among their excuses:

1. They claim that the Prophet's Companion al-ʿIrbad ibn Sariya - Allah be well-pleased with him - cannot be trusted -subhan Allah- because, they claim, he said: "I am one quarter of Islam."

Answer: They have not provided any reference as to what source under the sky contains the claim that al-ʿIrbad ibn Sariya said: "I am one quarter of Islam." For surely it is not found in the authoritative encyclopedias of what we know of the Companions such as al-Isaba, al-Istiʿab, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Usd al-Ghaba, Muʿjam al-Sahaba, Maʿrifa al-Sahaba, and Fada'il al-Sahaba! But the disrespect and fabrications committed by part of the Shiʿis against the Companions are clear as day.

May Allah have mercy on ʿIrbad ibn Sariya, he was known as "one of those who wept much" (al-bakka'un) as stated by Ibn Abi ʿAsim (d. 287) in al-Sunna (p. 29 #54). It was concerning al-ʿIrbad that the following verse was revealed: {Nor unto those whom, when they came to thee (asking) that thou shouldest mount them, thou didst tell: I cannot find whereon to mount you. They turned back with eyes flowing with tears, for sorrow that they could not find the means to spend} (9:92) as stated by al-Ajurri (d. 360) in al-Shariʿa (p. 55). He was one of the People of the Shelter (Ahl al-Suffa) as listed by Abu Nuʿaym in Hilya al-Awliya' (1:398-400, 2:390-392) and al-Sakhawi in al-Fatawa al-Hadithiyya (p.300-301).

2. They claim: "As to Hajar ibn Hajar al-Kila'i, aside from belonging to Hims, a Syrian town once notorious for its people's enmity of ʿAli (A), is of unknown standing as mentioned by Ibn Hajar in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, iii, 118."

Answer: This objection betrays ignorance of hadith science, for several reasons.

(1) The chain that contains Hajar al-Kila'i is only one of many chains taken into consideration in the grading of this hadith as sahih, being the last of four chains cited by al-Tirmidhi, who knew full well that Hajar is unknown.

(2) The circumstance of his being from Hims does not matter in determining his reliability or unreliability as geographical provenance is not one of the criteria for determining a narrator's grading but only (a) uprightness (ʿadl) and (b) accuracy (dabt). The directive in this was spelled out by ʿAli himself - Allah be well-pleased with him - in his saying: "Do not curse the people of al-Sham for among them are the Substitutes (al-Abdal), but curse their injustice." [Narrated as part of a longer hadith pertaining to al-Mahdi and al-Dajjal by al-Hakim (4:553=1990 ed. 4:596) by al-Hakim who graded it sound (sahih), and al-Dhahabi concurred.]

There are many sound Prophetic narrations exalting the immense merit of al-Sham. The hadith master and imam of Sham in his time al-Walid ibn Muslim (d. 195) reported that because of the Prophet's ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- insistence on the immense merits of al-Sham, "10,000 eyes that had seen the Prophet ﷺ - Allah bless and greet him -- later entered Sham." Cited in Ibn ʿAbd al-Salam, Targhib Ahl al-Islam fi Sakan al-Sham (Dar al-Fikr ed. p. 25).

If geographical provenance mattered, before the unprincipled gainsaying of the reliability of these 5,000 Sahaba that settled in al-Sham we would have to reject the Prophet's own recommendation - Allah bless and greet him - and this is absolutely unacceptable. But some people allow themselves to do this because if the Companions and Tabiʿin narrators from al-Sham were to be a priori rejected then more than half of Bukhari and Muslim should be tossed out, and this is the wont of those innovators.

Nor does the fact that a Sahabi or Tabiʿi comes from present-day Palestine, Syria, Jordan, or Lebanon determine that he was an enemy of ʿAli - Allah be well-pleased with him - nor would his being from Iraq automatically mean that he loved ʿAli.

(3) It would have been more appropriate according to their own method to begin by saying that al-ʿIrbad himself resided and died in Hims.

(4) Why single out Hajar when all the narrators of this hadith are from al-Sham? In fact the Hanbali hadith master Shaykh al-Harawi al-Ansari said of this hadith: "This is the finest and best hadith narrated by the people of Sham"! (In Ibn Kathir, Tuhfa al-Talib 2:163).

3. Concerning their similar objection to the narrator Khalid ibn Maʿdan ibn Abi Karib al-Kitabi: "aside from belonging to Hims, was the chief of police of Yazid ibn Muʿawiyah, the most infamous ruler in the history of Islam."

Answer: Whether or not he were the chief of police of Pharaoh and Nimrod's secretary of state, he was still declared thiqa (trustworthy) by the Godwary imams of hadith, and that suffices to make his narrations sahih. Objectors have to bring up more valid reasons for narrator-discreditation than geographical provenance and employment. Even so, this hadith is narrated with several reliable chains that contain neither Hajar nor Khalid by Ibn Majah, Ahmad, al-Hakim, al-Bayhaqi, al-Ajurri, al-Tabarani, al-Razi, and Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi! (See Part [1] note 3 for the exact page references.)

4. They claim: "Thawr ibn Yazid [one of the narrators of this hadith], too, belonged to Hims as mentioned by al-Dhahabi (Mizan al'iʿtidal, i, 374). As mentioned by Ibn Hajar (op. cit., ii, 34) he hated ʿAli (A), who had killed his father in a battle. ʿAbd Allah ibn Mubarak refrained from narrating from him and considered him a heretic (fasid almadhhab)."

Answer: As for Thawr ibn Yazid belonging to Hims it is immaterial as already stated. The reason that al-Dhahabi listed him in Mizan al-Iʿtidal (1:374-375 #1406) is not that he was from Hims but because he was a believer in absolute free will (Qadari). Al-Dhahabi himself said in his introduction (1:3): "I listed ... also the firmly established, trustworthy narrators in whom there is innovation." His notice on Thawr states:

"Thawr ibn Yazid -- retained by al-Bukhari and in the Four Sunan [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah] -- al-Kalaʿi, Abu Khalid al-Himsi: One of the hadith masters. He narrated from Khalid ibn Maʿdan, ʿAta', and a large group; and from him narrated Yahya [ibn Saʿid] al-Qattan, Abu ʿAsim, and a number of others. Ibn Maʿin said: 'I have seen no-one that doubted he was a Qadari although he is sound in his narrations (sahih al-hadith).' Ibn al-Mubarak said: 'I asked Sufyan about taking from Thawr and he said: Take from him, but beware of his two horns.' [Ar. thawr = "bull"] ... Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: 'Thawr held the doctrine of absolute free will, and the people of Hims banished and expelled him.' [Ahmad narrated 34 hadiths from Thawr.] Abu Mishar related from ʿAbd Allah ibn Salim: 'I saw the people of Hims at the time they expelled Thawr and burned down his house for his statements pertaining to absolute free will.'"

As for Ibn Hajar's notice on Thawr in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (2:30), it does state that Ibn Saʿd said: "It is related that Thawr used to say of ʿAli: 'I do not like a man who killed my grandfather [at the battle of Siffin].' This report is invalid evidence for two reasons: First, Ibn Saʿd alludes to its weakness by relating it in the passive mode and without chain of transmission; second, Ibn Hajar goes on to narrate - with its chain - a report showing the contrary position on Thawr's part: "ʿAbbas al-Duri narrated from Yahya ibn Maʿin that Azhar al-Harrazi and Asad ibn Wadaʿa used to sit and insult ʿAli ibn Abi Talib, while Thawr would not insult him, and when they saw that he would not insult him they would drag his leg."

It should be pointed out also that the testimonies concur that Thawr was a strongly pious and Godwary person - as were many of the early innovators, unlike the following generations. Both al-Dhahabi and Ibn Hajar relate that Duhaym said: "I never saw someone more devoted to worship than Thawr" and to someone who shouted at him: "Ya Qadari!" he replied: "If the matter is as you said then I am certainly an evil man, and if it is other than what you said then I forgive you." (Note that the first part of this sentence most probably contains a double-entendre for Qadaris did not call themselves as such, instead they redirected the label of Qadari to Ahl al-Sunna, as shown in the post "Ibn al-Juwayni." Thus although Thawr was certainly a Qadari, but he himself considers that the name applies more properly to Sunnis, and so is able to call Qadaris evil.)

At any rate, the charge that Thawr hated or did not hate ʿAli was not relied upon in assessing his grading as a narrator, as shown by Ibn Hajar relations of the opinions of the following hadith masters on Thawr: (1) Ibn Saʿd himself, (2) Muhammad ibn Ishaq, (3) Abu Usama, (4) Duhaym, (5) ʿUthman al-Darimi, (6) Ahmad ibn Salih, (7) ʿAli ibn al-Madini, (8) Wakiʿ, (9) ʿIsa ibn Yunus, (10) al-Walid ibn Muslim, (11) Sufyan al-Thawri, (12) Ibn Abi Rawwad, (13) al-Awzaʿi, (14) Ahmad ibn Hanbal, (15) Yahya ibn Maʿin, (16) Muhammad ibn ʿAwf, (17) al-Nasa'i, (18) Abu Hatim, (19) Abu Dawud, (20) al-Tirmidhi, (21) Malik ibn Anas, (22) Ibn al-Mubarak, (23) Ibn ʿAdi. All but three of these hadith masters declared Thawr to be "trustworthy" (thiqa) and narrated from him, while _none_ of the twenty-three declared him "weak" (daʿif). Only Ibn al-Rawwad said: "Beware lest he gore you with his two horns" - a reference to his innovative doctrine; and al-Awzaʿi and Malik rejected him for the same reason.

Ibn Hajar summed it up in his condensed compendium entitled al-Taqrib (p. 135 #861) saying: "Trustworthy and firmly established (thiqa thabt) except that the held the doctrine of absolute free will."

The following rebuttals can be made on the basis of the above evidence:

(1) It is not true that Thawr was unreliable in hadith narration.
(2) It is not true that he hated ʿAli ibn Abi Talib.
(3) It is not true that Ibn al-Mubarak refrained from narrating from him nor that he considered him a heretic.

5. They claim:

"The next transmitter, [1] al-Walid ibn Muslim, has been accused of forgery by Abu Mushar, as mentioned by alDhahabi in Mizan al-'iʿtidal, iv, 347. These were some of Abu Dawud's authorities. The author then goes on to show that the transmitters of the narration recorded by al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, namely [2] Abu ʿAsim, [3] Hasan ibn ʿAli al-Khallal, [4] Buhayr ibn Saʿid, [5] Baqiyyah ibn al-Walid, [6] Yahya ibn Abi al-Mutaʿ, [7] ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAla', [8] Muʿawiyah ibn Salih, [9] Ismaʿil ibn Bishr ibn Mansur, and [10] ʿAbd al-Malik ibn alSabbah, are all weak (daʿif) transmitters, as mentioned by Sunni authorities on rijal in their works."

Answer: The above is a string of lies except for #5. See below.

[1] Al-Dhahabi did not report from Abu Mushar what they claim. What is reported from Abu Mushar is: "al-Walid is a concealer of his source(mudallis, using the vague term 'from') and he may have concealed his source when narrating from liars." Then al-Dhahabi states: "When al-Walid says 'from Ibn Jurayj' or 'from al-Awzaʿi' he is not relied upon, for he conceals his [intermediate] source when narrating from liars. But when he says: 'narrated to us [haddathana]' then he is a firm proof (hujja)." In the case of the hadith at hand, the term used by al-Walid is: haddathana therefore he is reliable in reporting it as stipulated by al-Dhahabi.

[2] Abu ʿAsim al-Dahhak ibn Makhlad is listed in Ibn Hajar's al-Taqrib (#2977) as "trustworthy and firmly established" (thiqa thabt) which is the highest degree of reliability, and Bukhari and Muslim narrated from him a total of 161 narrations. Ibn Hajar's grading is confirmed in Shaykh Shuʿayb al-Arna'ut and Dr. Bashshar ʿAwwad Maʿruf's revision entitled Tahrir Taqrib al-Tahdhib (2:149 #2977).

[3] al-Hasan ibn ʿAli ibn Muhammad al-Khallal in al-Taqrib (#1262) is similarly "trustworthy and a hadith master who authored manuals" (thiqa hafiz lahu tasanif) which is the same as thiqa thabt. Confirmed in al-Tahrir (1:276 #1262).

[4] Bahir (not Buhayr!) ibn Saʿid is also thiqa thabt in al-Taqrib (#640) and thus confirmed in al-Tahrir (1:165 #640).

[5] Baqiyya ibn al-Walid is listed in al-Taqrib (#734) as "truthful but frequently conceals his source if weak" (saduq kathir al-tadlis ʿan al-duʿafa'). This is contested in al-Tahrir (1:179 #734) which lists Baqiyya as "weak" (daʿif).

[6] Yahya ibn Abi al-Mutaʿ is listed in al-Taqrib (#7649) as "truthful" (saduq) and thus confirmed in al-Tahrir (4:102 #7649).

[7] ʿAbd Allah ibn al-ʿAla' is listed in al-Taqrib (#3521) as "trustworthy" (thiqa) and thus confirmed in al-Tahrir (2:250 #3521).

[8] Muʿawiya ibn Salih is listed in al-Taqrib (#6762) as "truthful with some errors" (saduq lahu awham) but this is contested in al-Tahrir (3:394 #6762) which lists him as "trustworthy" (thiqa).

[9] Ismaʿil ibn Bishr ibn Mansur is listed in al-Taqrib (#426) as "truthful but was criticized because of holding the doctrine of absolute free will" and thus confirmed in al-Tahrir (1:130 #426).

[10] ʿAbd al-Malik ibn al-Sabbah al-Mismaʿi is listed in al-Taqrib (#4186) as "truthful" (saduq) and thus confirmed in al-Tahrir (2:384 #4186).

This is enough as a sample of a refutation of the lies and attacks against this great hadith. The falsehoods of past and present innovators are glaring for all to see, but they keep regurgitating them here and there now and then in order to catch the unwary and lead them to perdition, like the wolf with the stray sheep. {Fain would they put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah disdains aught save that He shall perfect His light, however much the disbelievers are averse} (9:32). and success is from Allah.

Allah's blessings and peace on the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions, and all praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the worlds.


© GF Haddad


This text was kindly advertised to us and
in the notes emended by Sidi ʿAbd al-Shakūr

 





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