Hadeeth Al-Thaqalayn(Two weighty Things) — The correct understanding and a Spot-on perspective of Sunnis.


Hadeeth Al-Thaqalayn(Two weighty Things) — The correct understanding and a Spot-on perspective of Sunnis.

Bismillaahi Walĥamdulillaahi waŝŝalaatu wassalaamu ‘alaa rasoolillaahi

We have divided this article in following Sections:

I. Introduction.

II. Meaning of Thaql and Thaqalayn.

III. The correct Sunni explanation and interpretation of the AUTHENTIC versions of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn.

IV. What is the reason for hadeeth al-Thaqalayn having different wordings/versions?

V. Why did some of the scholars authenticate weak versions of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn?

VI. Until the completion/perfection of religion, what was the source holding which Muslims would never go astray?

VII. Weighty things are two – But only ONE of these is a source, holding which Muslims would not go astray.(i.e. Quran).

VIII. Religion being completed/perfected before the mention of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn at Ghadeer is a clear proof that, the purpose behind the mention of Ahlelbayt in Thaqalayn was not to seek their guidance but to take care of them.

IX. Understanding of Sahabi disapproves the view that the purpose behind mention of Ahlelbayt in Hadith al-Thaqalayn was to seek guidance from them.

X. Sahabi’s understanding of Hadeeth in comparison to the understanding of people(Scholars) who came after.

XI. Why did the mention of Ahlelbayt occur at Ghadeer after completion of religion, even though Quran was already declared as the source of guidance just before the completion of religion?

XII. Who are the Ahlelbayt mentioned in hadeeth al-Thaqalayn?

XIII. Even the wives of Prophet(saws) are included in Ahlelbayt mentioned in Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn.

XIV. Hadeeth al-Kisa has no relation to Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn and it weakens the Shi’ee position.

XV. Who must be followed to attain salvation?

XVI. Quran and Sunnah of Prophet(saws) are the source adhering which Muslims would not go astray.

XVII. The Munkar(denounced) version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn – The wording of Khalifatayn.

 

I. Introduction.

Hadith al-Thaqalayn speaks of two heavy matters the Messenger of Allah(saws) left us, it speaks of two big responsibilities he asked us to carry, one of them much bigger and much more important than the other; the book of Allah most high- Quran-, which he(saws) often instructed his nation to hold on to it, as they will never go astray if they do. The second important responsibility is towards his AhlelBayt, he reminded the Muslims of his family’s rights and entrusted them to his nation. However, a sect from the Muslims called the “Shia” claims that the Prophet(saws) told us at the location of Ghadeer khumm, in his narration famously known as “Thaqalayn” that holding on to his Ahlelbayt(household) would save us from going astray, so is their understanding correct? Did the Prophet (saws) really say such a thing Or is it all a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of his(saws) words?.

In reality, Hadith al-Thaqalayn was said in a particular context and it is very important to understand if we want to properly understand the message Prophet(saws) wanted to convey. First off, there is authentic Hadith about following Quran alone and it being the only source holding which Muslims would never go astray, and this was said by the Prophet(saws) in front of the larger gathering during his Farewell Sermon atop Mount Arafat, where the verse of completion/perfection of religion was revealed. However, the Hadith al-Thaqalayn (i.e. Quran and Ahlel Bayt) was not said during the Farewell Sermon; instead, the Prophet(saws) said the Hadith al-Thaqalayn after some days, infront of the smaller gathering of people at a place called Ghadir Khumm, a half-way point to Medinah. Prophet(saws) said this hadeeth on the location of Ghadeer because, at that time it was directed only towards those living in Medinah, because the Prophet’s family lived in Medinah and therefore the task of taking care of them after Prophet, was upon their shoulders.

If Hadith al-Thaqalayn meant what the Shia imply, then surely the Prophet(saws) would have said it in front of the larger Muslim gathering during his Farewell Sermon. Instead, the Prophet(saws) only said this to those living in the same city as his family, again implying that what he meant was to take care of them.  Prophet’s words were not about deriving religion from the Ahlel Bayt but rather about behaving with them, taking care of them, giving their rights, and respecting them.

 

II. Meaning of Thaql and Thaqalayn.

“Thaqal” means a weighty thing or heavy thing; this is the singular form and “al-Thaqalayn” is the Dual form. The word Thaqal in the language of the ancient Arabs is directed towards the matter which is an important and heavy burden or responsibility; this is its explanation from the reliable classical Arabic dictionaries “Lisan al-`Arab” and “Taj-ul-`Arous”:

لسان العرب [11 /85]
والثِّقْل الحِمْل الثَّقِيل والجمع أَثْقال مثل حِمْل وأَحمال وقوله تعالى وأَخرجت الأَرض أَثقالها أَثْقَالُها كنوزُها ومَوْتَاها

لسان العرب [1 /117]
( عبأ ) العِبْءُ بالكسرِ الحِمْل والثِّقْلُ من أَي شيءٍ كان والجمع الأَعْباء وهي الأَحْمال والأَثْقالُ وأُنشد لزهير
الحامِل العِبْء الثَّقِيل عن ال … جانِي بِغَيرِ يَدٍ ولا شُكْر

تاج العروس – الزبيدي – ج 7 – ص 589
وقال الجوهري : الوزير : الموازر ، كالأكيل المواكل ، لأنه يحمل عنه وزره ، أي ثقله . وقد استوزر فلان فهو يوازر الأمير ويتوزر له

In the Quran the message of Islam or the revelation was described as being a “Thaqal” or a heavy burden, we read: {Indeed, We will cast upon you a heavy word.} (Quran 73:5).

The scholars of interpretation or the Mufassireen said that it was described as “heavy”, because the burden of delivering this message is heavy, to tell the people that the gods they were worshiping are false and there is one true God only, that is a heavy burden and a heavy responsibility.

Classical Shia scholar al-Tusi explains what the word Thaqal means in “Ikhtiyar Ma`rifat al-Rijal”:

اختيار معرفة الرجال – الشيخ الطوسي – ج 1 – شرح ص 411
قوله عليه السلام : فصيره في ثقل محمد صلواتك عليه ثقل الرجل – بالتحريك – حشمه أي قرابته وعياله ومن يغضب له ويذب عنه ، إذا أصابه أمر ونزلت به ملمة ، وثقل المسافر متاعه وأهل حزانته .

[The Thaqal of a man are his relatives and family, the ones who he gets angry for their sake and defends from harm, and the Thaqal of the traveler is his luggage ect…]

Shia scholar al-Sayyed Muhsin al-Ameen in his book “A`yan al-Shi`ah” stated:

أعيان الشيعة – السيد محسن الأمين – ج 1 – ص 602
فقال له الحسين ع كلم القوم فتقدم برير فقال يا قوم اتقوا الله فان ثقل محمد ص قد أصبح بين أظهركم هؤلاء ذريته وعترته وبناته وحرمه فهاتوا ما عندكم وما الذي تريدون ان تصنعوه بهم

[O people, fear Allah, for the Thaqal of Muhammad have become your responsibility, they are his progeny and relatives and daughters and women…]

Therefore, at-Thaqal means a heavy thing or heavy responsibility or a heavy burden. Just like it is said in Sahih Muslim:
وَعَنْ اِبْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اَللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ: { بَعَثَنِي رَسُولُ اَللَّهِ ‏- صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏-فِي اَلثَّقَلِ, أَوْ قَالَ فِي اَلضَّعَفَةِ مِنْ جَمْعٍ بِلَيْلٍ .‏

Ibn ‘Abbas(ra) narrated, ‘The Messenger of Allah(saws) sent me at night from al-Muzdalifah (to Mina) with the Thaqal or the weak members of his family (women and children).’ [Sahih Muslim #1293]

So here the Thaqal are the weak family members because they can’t defend themselves and as such are described as at-Thaqal i.e. a heavy responsibility for those who take care of them as they have to defend them in case of a surprise attack by an enemy.

 

III. The correct Sunni explanation and interpretation of the AUTHENTIC versions of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn.

Before starting the explanation we would like to clarify to the readers that, there are several versions of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, many of those are weak and unreliable expressions, having faulty text, which contradict the authentic expressions, however the Shi’ites, use those expressions from Sunni books which are weak versions in order to support their views and beliefs. But those weak versions can never be used to form any belief and are rejected. In this section we will be explaining the expressions from AUTHENTIC version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, leaving out the weaker ones.

Expression #1A:

قام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يخطبنا بماء يدعى خم بين مكة والمدينة ، فحمد الله وأثنى عليه ، ووعظ ، وذكر

[The messenger of Allah(saws) stood and addressed us in a pond called Khumm between Makkah and Madinah, He praised God and extolled Him and preached and reminded (us)]

This text defines the location of the event, it was in Ghadeer Khumm, while resting around the pond on their way back from Hajj the Prophet(saws) stood in front of his companions and began his sermon.

Expression #1B:

قَدِمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ، صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، فَنَزَلَ بِوَادٍ بَيْنَ مَكَّةَ وَالْمَدِينَةِ فَخَطَبَنَا

[The messenger of Allah (saws) came down a valley between Makkah and Madinah, He (then) addressed us in a sermon]

The area between Makkah and Madinah is again Ghadeer Khumm, this is where the narration of al-Thaqalayn was spoken by Prophet(saws), not in the farewell sermon(Khutbah al-Wida) where the religion was completed/perfected, because none of the authentic text of the farewell sermon contain any words regarding the Ahlelbayt(household) of Prophet(saws).

This is what we find in the farewell Sermon(Khutbah al-Wida) at Arafat based on the authentic narrations of Jabir(ra) in Muslim and others:

وقد تركتُ فيكم ما لن تضلوا بعده إن اعتصمتُم به . كتابَ اللهِ . وأنتم تُسألون عني . فما أنتم قائلون ؟ قالوا : نشهد أنك قد بلغتَ وأدَّيتَ ونصحتَ

[I have left among you the Book of Allah, and if you hold fast to it, you would never go astray. And you would be asked about me (on the Day of Resurrection), (now tell me) what would you say? They (the audience) said: We will bear witness that you have conveyed (the message), discharged (the ministry of Prophethood) and given wise (sincere) counsel.[Sahih Muslim, vol 3, page 350, #2950(1218)].

Notice, in the farewell Sermon, when the majority of Muslims were gathered, there is absolutely no mention of the Ahlelbayt(household), the only information we receive is that if the Muslims hold on to the Qur’an, they will never go astray. Therefore, ONLY Quran was referred a source holding which, Muslims would not go astray.

Expression #2:

أما بعد ، ألا أيها الناس ، إنما أنا بشر يوشك أن يأتيني رسول ربي فأجيبه ، وإني تارك فيكم الثقلين

[Lo, O people, I am only a human being and I am about to respond to the messenger of my Lord. I am leaving behind two heavy burdens(Thaqalayn) among you].

Thaqalayn is the dual form of Thaql. Thaql means “weight”, “burden”, and “heavy”. Obviously, Thaql has a general connotation of a weight which burdens and elicits responsibility.

Out of all the definitions of Thaql and its various forms and their various explications, “important” or “importance” is not one of them. “Importance” would be an inference at most, but definitely not a definition. Even if Thaql is to be understood as “important” it must be understood that it is an importance regarding its characteristic of eliciting responsibility, burden and cumber rather than being momentous and splendid. Obviously, Thaql and its various forms unanimously allude to burden, responsibility and cumber. It also refers to what is precious or valuable because taking care of such an item is surely cumbersome.

The word here is “taraka (ترك)” i.e. leaving something behind. This doesn’t usually mean that you are leaving something behind in the sense of being replaced by it, rather leaving something behind that you will not care for or attend to it or leave it unchanged. As it is said in the Quranic verse for example:
قَالُوا يَا أَبَانَا إِنَّا ذَهَبْنَا نَسْتَبِقُ وَتَرَكْنَا يُوسُفَ عِندَ مَتَاعِنَا فَأَكَلَهُ الذِّئْبُ ۖ وَمَا أَنتَ بِمُؤْمِنٍ لَّنَا وَلَوْ كُنَّا صَادِقِينَ
They said, “O our father, indeed we went racing each other and left Joseph with our possessions, and a wolf ate him. But you would not believe us, even if we were truthful.”(Quran 12:17).

Here the brothers of Prophet Yusuf(as) left him unattended. Similarly, taraka as-salat means that someone neglects or abandons his prayer, for example:

النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ بَيْنَ الرَّجُلِ وَبَيْنَ الشِّرْكِ وَالْكُفْرِ تَرْكَ الصَّلاَةِ

It is narrated on the authority of Jabir that he heard the Prophet(saws) saying: Verily between man and between polytheism and unbelief is the negligence of prayer. [Sahih Muslim Book 1, Hadith 146]

This is the reason in some versions at the end of hadeeth it says: “so look at how you will deal with them after me”.

Therefore, guarding the Qur’an and following it and spreading its teachings is a heavy responsibility, also protecting the Ahlelbayt(household) and offering them their rights and fulfilling the duties towards them is a heavy responsibility as well.

(Important) – Expression #3A:

أحدهما : كتاب الله ، فيه الهدى والنور ، فتمسكوا بكتاب الله وخذوا به – فرغب في كتاب الله وحث عليه ثم قال : « وأهل بيتي . أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي » ثلاث مرات

[One of them (is): The book of Allah, in it is guidance and light, so get hold of the Book of Allah and adhere to it. Then he urged and motivated (us) regarding the Book of Allah. Then he said: And my household, I remind you of Allah with regard to the people of my household(Three times).]

The Prophet(saws) defines these two heavy elements, the book of Allah contains the words of God, in it is the pure wisdom, the guidance of the soul and the light that extinguishes the darkness of ignorance. He(saws) informed them of the importance of the book and urged them to hold on to it and encouraged them to stick to its teachings.

The second element was his household(Ahlelbayt), he reminded the Muslims of his household, just like any responsible man on his death-bed, he(saws) was worried about his family after his passing, so he reminded the Muslims of them, that they must honor them and love them and support them, he(saws) entrusted the nation with the fate of his family.

As for his household(Ahlelbayt), Prophet(saws) did not say: “They are infallible and their orders must be obeyed”, but he(saws) reminded people of Allah concerning them and to be aware of how they treat them after his death. This is the belief adopted by the majority of this blessed nation(Sunnis), that it is necessary for every single one of us to love the Prophetic Household as they have not only gathered faith but also added to it the closeness to the Messenger of Allah(saws).

As for the “structure” of the narration of al-Thaqalayn and Ahlelbayt being mentioned alongside Quran, then it is similar to other narrations such as the one, where female Servants were mentioned alongside Prayer:

حَدَّثَنَا زُهَيْرُ بْنُ حَرْبٍ، وَعُثْمَانُ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْفُضَيْلِ، عَنْ مُغِيرَةَ، عَنْ أُمِّ مُوسَى، عَنْ عَلِيٍّ، عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ قَالَ كَانَ آخِرُ كَلاَمِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ الصَّلاَةَ الصَّلاَةَ اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ فِيمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ

[Narrated Ali ibn Abu Talib: The last words which the Messenger of Allah(saws) spoke were: Prayer, prayer; fear Allah about those whom your right hands possess(servants).] (Sunan Abi Dawud #5156 ; Sahih).

Even though female Servants were mentioned alongside Prayer, this does not make the female servants equal in importance and value to the prescribed Prayer.  The Prophet(saws) wanted us to take care of both of these, however each one is taken care of in a different way. The prayer is from the essentials of Islam and he who leaves it has technically left Islam, it cannot be compared to what the right hand possesses.

Similarly, in Hadith al-Thaqalayn, we are also told that Prophet(saws) left two weighty things, the Qur’an and the Ahlelbayt(household). Ahlelbayt were mentioned alongside Quran, but this in no way makes the Ahlelbayt(household) equal to the Qur’an as the Imami Shia scholars incorrectly claim. Only a mind that is foreign to Islam, a mind that does not understand the book of Allah nor the teachings of his Prophet(saws), only such a confused mind would elevate the Ahlelbayt(household) to be on the same level as the holy words of God.

Likewise, in reference to Prophet(saws) reminding of Allah in regards to Ahlelbayt, is also similar to Prophet(saws) reminding people to fear Allah in regards to female servants as in the Hadeeth of Sunan Abi Dawud(#5156). The reason fearing Allah(swt) was reminded to people in regards to female servants is because being kind/good with “those whom your right hands possess(female servants)” was commanded by Allah(swt) in Quran(4:36). Similarly, Allah was reminded to people in regards to Ahlelbayt is because their share or right over Khums was mentioned by Allah in Quran(8:41). The connection between Hadith al-Thaqalayn and Khums has been explained in detail under Section (XI).

Therefore, what is evident from this authentic expression is that holding on to the Qur’an means: Adhering to its rulings and following its orders and prohibitions, it is the true guidance. Whereas, the reminder of Ahlelbayt(household), meant to protect them, and respect them, give their rights and to not mistreat them or rob them of their right.

Expression #3B:

كتاب الله فيه الهدى والنور من استمسك به وأخذ به كان على الهدى ومن أخطأه ضل

[The book of Allah, in it is guidance and light, he who holds onto it and adheres to it will be upon guidance, and he who leaves it will be misguided (The rest is the same as the one mentioned previously)]

In this text it is clear that the protection from misguidance is tied to the Qur’an, following its teachings is guidance and success, and abandoning them is misguidance and failure. The Almighty says: { ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ /This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah} [Quran 2:2]

As for Ahlel-Bayt, loving them is a sign of belief per-consensus of the nation and its leaders. It was Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq(ra), the best man after the prophets(as) who said to the Muslims:

ارْقُبُوا مُحَمَّدًا صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي أَهْلِ بَيْتِهِ

[Look at Muhammad peace be upon him through his family] (Sahih Bukhari #3713)

Meaning, if you are not good to his family then you are not good to him.

Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq(ra) also said:

وَاللَّهِ لَقَرَابَةُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَحَبُّ إِلَىَّ أَنْ أَصِلَ مِنْ قَرَابَتِي

[By Allah in Whose Hands is my life. I love to do good to the relatives of Allah’s Apostle rather than to my own relatives].(Sahih Bukhari, #4035, #4036)

Expression #3C:

أحدهما كتاب الله عز وجل هو حبل الله من اتبعه كان على الهدى ومن تركه كان على ضلالة

[One of them is the book of Allah the mighty and majestic, it is the rope of Allah, whoever follows it will be upon guidance, and whoever leaves it shall be on misguidance(The rest is the same as the one above it)]

In this text the Qur’an is described as “The rope of Allah”. It is as if Allah threw this rope so we can hold on to it saving us from sinking in the deep sea of darkness. A rope is like a link between the heavens and the earth, it is the connection between the slave and his Lord who wishes for his guidance.

Expression #4:

إني تارك فيكم الثقلين كتاب الله وعترتي أهل بيتي وإنهما لن يتفرقا حتى يردا علي الحوض

[I am leaving with you the two heavy burdens (Thaqalayn), the book of Allah and my household, and they will not separate until they reach me at the pond]

The reliability of this expression is disputed, so let’s consider the view of those who considered it as reliable.

In this text we come across the expression “Kitab Allah wa Itrati Ahli-Bayti”, we know that Ahlel-Bayt refers to the household, let’s discover what the word `Itrah means in Arabic.

In the traditional Arabic dictionary Lisan al-Arab by ibn Manzour 9/34 we read:
عترة الرجل أقرباؤه من ولد و غيره ،وقيل هم قومه ، أو عشيرته، ومن قال إن عترة النبي عليه الصلاة والسلام هم أولاد فاطمة فقط فهم العامة الذين انفردوا بهذا الرأي دون العرب ، فعترته قريش ، فعلى هذا حديث العترة المعروف يقصد بهم أصحابه الأدنون و أهله جميعا إلا في لفظ أهل بيتي فإنهم معروفون.

[The Itrah of a man are his relatives from children and others, and it was said his folks, or his tribe, and those who said the Itrah of the Prophet(saws) are only the children of Fatima, they are the general laypeople who exclusively adopt this opinion, NOT the Arabs. His Itrah is Quraysh, and this is how the famous narration of Itrah is understood, (meaning) his close companions and all of his family, except when it is followed by “My household” then they are known.]

The Imam al-Tawrbashti said in Al-Marqah 5/600:
عترة الرجل: أهل بيته ورهطه الأدنون، ولاستعمالهم “العترة” على أنحاء كثيرة بينها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بقوله: “أهل بيتي” ليعلم أنه أراد بذلك نسله وعصابته الأدنين وأزواجه

[The Itrah of the man: It means the members of his household and his closest companions. Due to their usage of the word Itrah with many meanings, the Messenger of Allah(saws) explained it here with his statement, “Ahli Bayti” (my family members or the members of my household), so that it may be known by this that he meant his progeny, and his closest relatives and his wives.

The second part is [“They will not separate until they reach me at the pond”]

It means, that the Prophet(saws) told his nation to take responsibility for two things, the Qur’an and the Ahlelbayt(household), so if a Muslim held on to the Qur’an yet he wronged the household and oppressed them and harmed them, then he has not fulfilled the wish of the Prophet(saws) and he(saws) will not be pleased with him when he reaches him at the pond. On the other hand, if a Muslim was loyal to the household and loved them extremely, yet he abandoned the teachings of the Qur’an and deviated and innovated, the Prophet(saws) will not be pleased with him when he meets him at the pond because the responsibility of following the Qur’an and taking care of the Ahlelbayt(household) are linked. A true believer must always be responsible towards both.

Conclusion:

At the location of Ghadeer, Prophet(saws) began by saying that his time has come near, then he said that he is leaving behind “Thaqalayn” and the Thaqal is the heavy matter and the burden of a man, this is why the family of a man are referred to as his Thaqal in Arabic, they are two heavy responsibilities for him and he is leaving them behind for us.

Prophet(saws) reveals the first heavy matter and says “The book of Allah, a rope from the heavens to the earth” The Qur’an was the most important responsibility in his life, Allah tasked him with preserving it, and He tasked him with reciting it and explaining it, and teaching it to the people while following its instructions to the letter. He describes it as “A rope from the heavens to the earth”, meaning that it’s the link which will be left behind after his passing, the matter that will link us with God after the revelation stops is his holy book. This also implies that it is guidance for us to reach the heavens, thus the usage of the word “rope”.

Prophet(saws) then reveals the second heavy responsibility, he says “and my `Itrah my Ahlel-Bayt”, meaning that the second matter that was weighing on his shoulders was the responsibility of his family, to provide for them and care for them. Then after his death, this responsibility and heavy burden was placed on the shoulders of every believer, the duty of loving his family and protecting them and giving them their due rights. We give a simpler example, let’s say a friend of yours who was married and had a family and kids, this man suddenly discovers that he has a fatal disease (God Forbid), and he takes you to a room and tells you: “I feel I will not last long, and I’ll be leaving behind a heavy matter, my household.” Do you understand from this that you must obey them and follow their guidance? Or that he wishes for you to take care of them and treat them as your own?

Prophet(saws) informed the people that,“The merciful has informed me that they shall not separate until they reach me at the pond” Meaning that the responsibility of the Qur’an and the responsibility for his household shall both be tied together, and whoever reaches the Prophet(saws) and wishes to drink from the pond, if he were to be irresponsible towards one of the two during his life, then his fate shall hang in the balance. The example of this is that of the Khawarij/Nawasib, they perfected their Qur’anic recitation yet they killed Ali and his children and hated them, or the Rafidah who claimed to love and support the Ahlel-Bayt yet neglected the Qur’an and even claimed its distortion and also abandoned a major portion of Ahlelbayt including wives of Prophet(saws). A true believer must always be responsible towards both, which is from the teachings of Ahl us-Sunnah wal Jama’ah.

The view of some Sunni scholars regarding Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn:

(i). Imam Muhammad bin al-Hussain al-Ajuri(d. 360 A.H) after mentioning Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, said:

قَالَ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ: فَيَدُلُ عَلَى أَنَّ خُطْبَةَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي حَجَّةِ الْوَدَاعِ بِمِنًى , وَأَمَرَ أُمَّتَهُ بِالتَّمَسُّكِ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَبِسُنَّتِهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ , وَفِي رِجُوعِهِ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْحِجَّةِ بِغَدِيرِ خَمٍّ فَأَمَرَ أُمَّتَهَ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَالتَّمَسُّكِ بِهِ وَبِمَحَبَّةِ أَهْلِ بَيْتِهِ , وَبِمُوَالَاةِ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَبِي طَالِبٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ , وَتَعْرِيفِ النَّاسِ شَرَفَ عَلِيٍّ وَفَضْلِهِ عِنْدَهُ , يَدُلُّ الْعُقَلَاءَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَى أَنَّهُ وَاجِبٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ أَنْ يَتَمَسَّكَ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ , وَبِسُنَّةِ رَسُولِهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ , وَسُنَّةِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ الْمَهْدِيِّنَ , وَبِمَحَبَّتِهِمْ وَبِمَحَبَّةِ أَهْلِ بَيْتِهِ الطَّيِّبِينَ , وَالتَّعَلُّقِ بِمَا كَانُوا عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الْأَخْلَاقِ الشَّرِيفَةِ , وَالِاقْتِدَاءِ بِهِمْ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ , فَمَنْ كَانَ هَكَذَا , فَهُوَ عَلَى طَرِيقٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

This is the evidence that the Prophet(SAWS) gave his farewell sermon in Minaa and commanded the Ummah to hold fast to The Qur’an and Sunnah. And while returning back from Hajj, at Ghadeer khumm, he ordered the people to hold fast to the Book of Allah and to preserve love and compassion with Ahlel Bayt, and to hold Ali bin Abi Talib(RA) in high regard. He enlightened people about the virtues and honorable status of Ali(RA), and guided the wise and intelligent Muslims to strongly adhere to The Book and the Sunnah and the way of the rightly guided caliphs, and to show their love for them and reverence for Ahlel bayt, moreover, to imitate and follow their outstanding traits, such a person will be upon the straight path. [al-Shariah by Ajuri, vol 3, page 351352, #1765]; another edition [al-Shariah by Ajuri, vol 5, page 22212222, #1706].

(ii). Imam al-Qurtubi in regards to hadeeth al-Thaqalayn said: “This advice and urging in the strongest terms implies that it is obligatory to respect his family and love them. This highlights the obligation of the Muslims towards them and leaves no excuse for anyone not to do it.” [Faydh al Qadeer by al-Manawi, vol 3, page 14 ; Ali ibn Abi talib, page 122-123 by Ali Muhammad Sallabi].

(iii). Shaykh Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi stated in his book:

What is proven in Saheeh Muslim is that the command was to adhere to the Book of Allah, and the instruction was to show respect and kindness to Ahlelbayt, as we have seen in the hadith of Zayd ibn Arqam in Muslim. The Prophet(saws) enjoined adherence to the Book of Allah, then he said: “And the people of my household. I remind you of Allah with regard to the people of my household, I remind you of Allah with regard to the people of my household, I remind you of Allah with regard to the people of my household”. What he(saws) enjoined was adherence to the Quran. With regard to Ahlelbayt, the Prophet(saws) enjoined taking care of them and giving them their rights, which had been granted to them by Allah(swt).(See: Haqbat min al-Tareekh, page 203). [Source: Ali ibn Abi Talib, Ali Muhammad as-sallabi, vol 2, page 412413 (eng), (Arabic)].

(iv). Dr. Ali Ahmad al-Saloos, who discussed the speech at Ghadeer and the advice to adhere to the Quran and Sunnah. He studied the reports about adhering to the Quran and Sunnah and the reports about adhering to the Quran and the family of the Prophet(saws) and examined them critically, then he said: “From the above, we can see that the hadith of the two weighty matters is one of the hadiths which are sound in both chain of narration and text. However, of the eight reports which enjoin adhering to the family of the Prophet(saws) alongside the noble Quran, not one of them is free of some weakness in the chain of narration.  (See: Ma’a Al-Shia al-Ithna Asharia fi al-Usool wa al-Furoo, vol 1, page 129). [Source: Ali ibn Abi Talib, by Ali Muhammad as-sallabi, vol 2, page 411 (eng), (Arabic)].

(v). Al-Sindi said in the explanation of, ‘My Ahlelbayt:’ It was as if the Prophet(saws) made them equal in importance to his position. Just as in his(saws) life, it was him and the Qu’ran after his death. It was his family and the Qu’raan. But it means that we must abide by their love and position, not abiding to their orders and actions. (Source: Jamia Tirmidhi Sunan Al -Tirmidhi. Vol. 6, Pg. # 335).

(vi). Shaykh al-Islam Ahmed ibn Taymiyyah stated:

However, as for the term ‘al’Itrah’, we find in Saheeh of Muslim narrated Zayd ibn Arqam that he said; The Messenger of Allah(saws) spoke to us at a ghadeer Khumm located between Mekka and al Medina and He said; “I am leaving among you the two weighty things one of them is greater than the other, the Book of Allah(swt)” and incited us to adhere to it and He said; ”My progeny whom they are my Household, by Allah I remind you of my household, by Allah I remind you of my household, by Allah I remind you of my household” and in here lies the order to follow the Qur’aan and that He recommended the nation to take care of His Household and as for His saying; ”If you adhere to it than you would never astray after, the Book of Allah (swt) and my Itra (Family)”, it was narrated by al Tirmidhi and Ahmad ibn Hanbal said it is weak. (Source: Bayan Talbis al-Jahmiyyah. Vol. 8. Pg. # 230 – 231).

 

IV. What is the reason for hadeeth al-Thaqalayn having different wordings/versions?

The readers must know that, all those different versions are about the same event and statement of Prophet(saws). The Prophet(saws) couldn’t have said all of the different wordings some of which are contradictory to others.

The difference in the wording is due to reason that some sub-narrators of this Hadith, narrated it as per their understanding or some of the sub-narrators purposely or unintentionally twisted the wordings of the Hadith, as they were not credible in Hadith memorization and transmission. So they narrated the hadith with faulty or ambiguous wording, instead of exact and accurate wording. However the fact is that, Prophet(saws) uttered only one of those different wordings, and only that is acceptable. The most accurate version of Hadith al-Thaqalayn is the one in Sahih Muslim, which is supported by many chains of transmission in different books. The exact wording has been narrated by Imam Muslim in his Sahih and many others through Zayd bin Arqam, and this is the most authentic Isnad of Hadith Thaqalain. Similarly, the tradition of Hudhayfah bin Usayd al-Ghafar, Jabir bin Abdullah and the Wife of Zayd bin Arqam, supports this version. Besides that, the version of Muslim is also explicit. It has been narrated in a way which makes us to believe that it has been narrated precisely.

Shaykh Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi in regards to Hadith al-Thaqalayn stated:

There is some discussion as to whether it is sound and can be proven to be from the Prophet. What is proven in Saheeh Muslim is that the command was to adhere to the Book of Allah, and the instruction was to show respect and kindness to Ahlelbayt, as we have seen in the hadith of Zayd ibn Arqam in Muslim. The Prophet(saws) enjoined adherence to the Book of Allah, then he said: “And the people of my household. I remind you of Allah with regard to the people of my household, I remind you of Allah with regard to the people of my household, I remind you of Allah with regard to the people of my household”. What he(saws) enjoined was adherence to the Quran. With regard to Ahlelbayt, the Prophet(saws) enjoined taking care of them and giving them their rights, which had been granted to them by Allah(swt).(See: Haqbat min al-Tareekh, page 203). [Source: Ali ibn Abi Talib, Ali Muhammad as-sallabi, vol 2, page 412413 (eng), (Arabic)].

The wording of Hadith in Sahih Muslim is also supported by the narration of farewell ceremony related by Muslim and others, through Ja’far as-Sadiq from al-Baqir from Jabir bin Abdullah(ra). If it was necessary for the Ummah to follow Ahlelbayt then Prophet(saws) would have made this clear during his farewell speech at Makkah. But rather he commanded to stick with the Qur’an and later on at the location of Ghadeer Khumm he repeated the same thing except that he added the prescription for the Ummah to take care of his Ahlelbayt.

Therefore, any version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, which goes against the most strongest version of this hadeeth narrated by Zayd ibn Arqam(ra), is to be considered as faulty.

NOTE: When we say the version of Sahih Muslim by Zayd ibn Arqam(ra) is the most accurate version, then we don’t mean to say that in regards its completeness. There are additional expressions reported via authentic chains. However, what we mean by most accurate version, is the formation/structure of the sentence, which implies, Only Quran was mentioned as the source of guidance holding which people would not go astray, and the mention of Ahlelbayt was to remind people about taking care of Ahlelbayt. Contrary to the faulty versions of Thaqalayn which state that both Quran and Ahlelbayt are to be held to attain guidance and not to go astray. Notice, We don’t find the mention of Prophet(saws) reminding Ahlelbayt in these faulty versions, so where did it disappear? It is quite clear that, the weak and unreliable narrators who reported the faulty version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, erroneously or purposely twisted the actual version and narrated it in a faulty manner.

The Chains for the accurate and authentic version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn:

The accurate and authentic version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, which mentions Quran alone as a source of guidance holding which people will not go astray, has been transmitted via Thirty(30) Chains. Most of them are authentic, and the ones which have weakness in regards to the narrators, then we have pointed out the weakness in them.

(Chain #1) Zuhayr bin Harb and Shuja ibn Makhlad (wording is Zuhayr’s) — Ibn `Aliyyah (Isma`eel bin Ibrahim) — Abu Hayyan — Yazid bin Hayyan  — Zayd ibn Arqam. [Sahih Muslim, vol 6, page 267268 , #6225(2408)].

(Chain #2) Muhammad bin Bakkar bin al-Rayyan — Hassan bin Ibraheem — Sa`eed bin Masrouq — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd ibn Arqam. [Sahih Muslim, vol 6, page 268, #6226(2408)].

(Chain #3) (Abu Bakr bin abi Shaybah — Muhammad bin Fudayl) & (Ishaq bin Ibrahim — Jareer) Both From — Abu Hayyan — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd ibn Arqam. [Sahih Muslim, vol 6, page 268269 , #6227(2408)]

(Chain #4) Muhammad bin Bakkar bin al-Rayyan — Hassan (Bin Ibrahim) — Sa`eed ibn Masrouq — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd ibn Arqam. [Sahih Muslim, vol 6, page 269, #6228(2408)].

(Chain #5) Afaan  — Hassaan bin Ibrahim — Sa’eed bin Masrooq — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd bin Arqam. [Musannaf fi al-Ahadeeth wa al-Athar, by Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol 6, page 133, #30078].

(Chain #6) Muhammad bin Fudayl — abu Hayyan — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd bin Arqam. [Musnad ibn Abi Shaybah, vol 1, page 351352, #514].

(Chain #7) Abd Allah ibn Ahmad — (his father) Ahmad ibn Hambal — Isma`il ibn Ibrahim — from Abu Hayyan al-Tamimi — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd ibn Arqam. [Musnad Ahmad, vol 32, page 1011 , #19265].

(Chain #8) Ja`far ibn `Awn — Abu Hayyan al-Taymi — Yazid ibn Hayyan —  Zayd ibn Arqam. [Sunan a-Darami, vol 4, page 20902091 , #3359, Chapter 23: Fa’dhail al-Quran]

(Chain #9) Muhammad bin `Abdullah al-Hafiz — abu al-Fadl al-Hasa n bin Ya`qoub — Muhammad bin `Abdul-Wahhab al-Farra’ — Ja`far bin `Awn — abu Hayyan Yahya bin Sa`eed — his uncle Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd ibn Arqam. [Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi, vol 2, page 212, #2857].

(Chain #10) abu Zakariya Yahya bin Ibrahim — abu `Abdullah Mu hammad bin Ya`qoub — Muhammad bin `Abdul-Wahhab — Ja`far bin `Awn — abu Hayyan — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd bin Arqam. [Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi, vol 7, page 48, #13238].

(Chain #11) abu Muhammad Janah bin Nadheer bin Janah — abu Ja`far Muhammad bin `Ali al-Shaybani — Ibrahim bin Ishaq al-Zuhri — Ja`far bin `Awn & Ya`la bin `Ubayd — abu Hayyan al-Taymi — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd ibn Arqam. [Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi, vol 10, page 194, #20335].

(Chain #12) Ja`far bin `Awn — abu Hayyan al-Taymi — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd bin Arqam.[Muntakhab min Musnad Abd bin Hameed, page 114, #265].

(Chain #13) Zakariya bin Yahya — Ishaq — Jareer — abi Hayyan al-Taymi(Yahya bin Sa`eed bin Hayyan) — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd bin Arqam. [Sunan al-Kubra by al-Nasai, vol 7, page 319320 , #8119].

(Chain #14) Yusuf bin Musa — Jareer — Abu Hayyan — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd bin Arqam. [Musnad al-Bazzar, vol 10, page 240, #4336].

(Chain #15) (Abu Bakr — Muhammad bin Fudayl — abu Hayyan) & (Husayn bin Hasan — abu Jawwab — `Ammar bin Ruzayq — A`mash) — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd ibn Arqam.[al-Sunnah of Ibn Abi Asim, vol 2, page 643, #1550, #1551, #1552].

(Chain #16) Yusuf bin Musa — Jareer & Muhammad bin Fudayl — abu Hayyan al-Taymi — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd bin Arqam. [Sahih ibn Khuzaymah, vol 4, page 6263 , #2357].

(Chain #17) (Muhammad bin `Abdullah al-Hadrami — ibn abi Shaybah) & (abu Husayn al-Qadi — Yahya al-Hamani) — Both From — Muhammad bin Fudayl {ALSO} al-Husayn bin Ishaq al-Tustari — `Uthman bin abi Shaybah — Isma`eel bin Ibraheem ALL FROM Abu Hayyan — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd bin Arqam. [Mu’jam al-Tabrani al-Kabeer, vol 5, page 183, #5028183, #5028].

(Chain #18) Muhammad bin Hayyan — Kathir bin Yahya — Hayyan bin Ibrahim — Sa`eed bin Masrouq OR Suffiyan al-Thawri — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd bin Arqam. [Mu’jam al-Tabrani al-Kabeer, vol 5, page 182, #5026]. Hayyan is a mistake and he is Hassan bin Ibrahim.

(Chain #19) Abu Talib Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn `Uthman Abu al-Husayn Muhammad ibn al-Muzaffar ibn Musa ibn `Isa al-Hafiz — Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Baghandi — Suwayd — `Ali ibn Mushir — Abu Hayyan al-Taymi — Yazid ibn Hayyan —  Zayd ibn Arqam. [al-Manaqib Ameer Al-Momineen Ali ibn Abi Talib, page 304305 ,#284].

(Chain #20) Ubaydullah bin `Uthman bin`Ali — `Uthman bin Ja`far — Yusuf bin Musa — Jareer & Ibn Fudayl — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd ibn Arqam. [Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, vol 1, page 7879 , #88].

(Chain #21) Ibn Abi Dawud — Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Numayr al-Hamdani — Muhammad bin Fudayl bin Ghazwan — Abu Hayyan Yahya bin Sa’eed bin Hayyan al-Tamimi — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd bin Arqam. [Sharh Mushkil al-Athaar, vol 9, page 89, #3464]

(Chain #22) Abu Bakr bin abi Shaybah & Ali bin al-Mundhir  — ibn Fudayl — abu Hayyan — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd bin Arqam. [Ma’rifah wa al-Tarikh, vol 1, page 536].

(Chain #23) Muhammad ibn `Ali al-Shaybani — Ahmad ibn Hazim al-Ghifara — Abu Nu`aym —Kamil Abu al-`Ala’ — Habib ibn Abi Thabit — Yahya ibn Ja`dah —  Zayd ibn Arqam. [Mustadrak al Hakim, vol 3, page 613, #6272]. Narrator Habib ibn Abi Thabit is Mudallis.

(Chain #24) Muhammad bin `Abdullah al-Hadrami — Ja`far bin Humayd — `Abdullah bin Bukayr — Hakeem bin Jubayr — Abi al-Tufayl — Zayd bin Arqam. [Mu’jam al-Tabrani al-Kabeer, vol 3, page 6364, #2681] Narrator Hakeem bin Jubayr is Matrouk.

(Chain #25) (Muhammad bin `Abdullah al – Hadrami — Ja`far bin Humayd) & (Muhammad bin `Uthman bin abi Shaybah — al-Nadir bin Sa`eed abu Suhayb) — Both From — `Abdullah bin Bukayr — Hakeem bin Jubayr — Abi al – Tufayl — Zayd bin Arqam. [Mu’jam al-Tabrani al-Kabeer, vol 5, page 166167, #4971] Narrator Hakeem bin Jubayr is Matrouk.

(Chain #26) (Muhammad bin al-Fadl al-Saqti — Sa`eed bin Sulayman) & (Muhammad bin `Abdullah al-Hadrami & Zakariya bin Yahya al-Saji) — Both from — Nasr bin `Abdul-Rahman al-Washa’ — Zayd bin al-Hasan al-Anmati — Ma`rouf bin Khurboudh — Abi al-Tufayl — Hudhayfah bin Usayd al-Ghafar. [Mu’jam al-Tabrani al-Kabeer, vol 3, page 65, #2683] Narrator Zayd bin al-Hasan is Munkar al-Hadith.

(Chain #27) (Muhammad bin `Abdullah al-Hadrami &  Zakariya bin Yahya al-Saji —  Nasr bin `Abdul-Rahman al-Washa’) & (Ahmad bin al-Qasim bin Musawir al-Jawhari — Sa’eed bin Sulayman al-Wasiti)  — Both from — Zayd bin al-Hasan al-Anmati — Ma`rouf bin Khurboudh — Abi al-Tufayl — Hudhayfah bin Usayd al-Ghafar. [Mu’jam al-Tabrani al-Kabeer, vol 3, page 200201, #3052] Narrator Zayd bin al-Hasan is Munkar al-Hadith.

(Chain #28) Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Hamdan — al-Hasan bin Suffiyan — Nasr bin `Abdul-Rahman al-Washa`— Zayd bin al-Hasan al-Anmati — Ma`rouf bin Khurboudh — abu al-Tufayl — Hudhayfah bin Usayd. [Hilyat al-Awliya, vol 1, page 355]. Narrator Zayd bin al-Hasan is Munkar al-Hadith.

(Chain #29) Abu Ya’la Ali ibn Abi Abd Allah ibn al-Allaf al-Bazzar — Abd al-Salam ibn `Abd al-Malik ibn Habib al-Bazzar — `Abd Allah Muhammad ibn `Uthman — Muhammad ibn Bakr ibn `Abd al-Razzaq — Abu Hatim Mughirah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Muhallabi — Muslim ibn Ibrahim — Nuh ibn Qays al-Judhami — al-Walid bin Salih — the WIFE of Zayd ibn Arqam. [al-Manaqib Ameer Al-Momineen Ali ibn Abi Talib, page 444546, #23]. Narrator al-Walid bin Salih is Majhool(anonymous) and has tawtheeq from Ibn Hibban alone[Thiqaat by ibn Hibban, vol 7, page 551, #11424].

(Chain #30) Abdul-Rahman bin `Umar bin Ahmad — al-Husayn bin Isma`eel — abu Hisham al-Rifa`ee — Hafs — Mujalid — al-Sha`bi — Jabir. [Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, vol 1, page 81, #95]. Narrator Mujalid is weak.

 

Shia Objection #1:

How could be the version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn mentioned in Sahih Muslim, be the most authentic and accurate version, when Zayd ibn Arqam said: I have grown old and have almost spent my age and I have forgotten some of the things which I remembered in connection with Allah’s Messenger.[Sahih Muslim #2408]

Ibn Kathir said while speaking about people whose memory became weak due to different reasons (fear; illness; problem): “Whoever heard from such (narrators) before their change, his narrations are accepted, and if someone heard after, or there is a doubt (if he heard after or before) his reports are not accepted“.[al-Bath al-Hathith’  page 668]  and  Hafidh al-Iraqi said: “Ruling regarding those who changed in their memory (ikhtilat), his reports in such state are not accepted“. [Hafidh al-Alai ‘al-Mukhtalatin’ p 7].

Response:

Indeed, Zayd bin Arqam(RA) said he had become old and forgotten many things, this shows the  extreme carefulness and cautiousness of Zayd(RA) in narrating hadeeth of Prophet(SAWS). He wanted to narrate only that hadeeth, which he still remembered properly, about which he was confident and sure. Which makes the hadeeth more stronger.

Let us quote what Zayd(RA) said:

حَدِّثْنَا يَا زَيْدُ مَا سَمِعْتَ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم – قَالَ – يَا ابْنَ أَخِي وَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ كَبِرَتْ سِنِّي وَقَدُمَ عَهْدِي وَنَسِيتُ بَعْضَ الَّذِي كُنْتُ أَعِي مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَمَا حَدَّثْتُكُمْ فَاقْبَلُوا وَمَا لاَ فَلاَ تُكَلِّفُونِيهِ ‏
Hussain(narrator) said:  Zayd! narrate to us what you heard from Allah’s Messenger(SAWS). He(Zayd) said: I have grown old and have almost spent my age and I have forgotten some of the things which I remembered in connection with Allah’s Messenger(SAWS), so accept whatever I narrate to you, and which I do not narrate do not compel me to do that.[Sahih Muslim #2408]

Point to note is that, even though Zayd(RA) was extremely careful and cautious about narrating the hadeeth from Prophet(SAWS), yet for the hadeeth which he remembered and narrated about Thaqalayn, HE TOLD THE QUESTIONER TO ACCEPT IT. What else can we ask for,  to believe in accuracy of the report he narrated. Out of caution, he narrated that event which he witnessed, in which he was sure and confident, which makes the hadeeth most accurate version.

As for the argument of Ikhtilat; then this is an invalid argument in this case. Ikhtilat is when a narrator confuses events and mixes texts and wordings. If a narrator has not done this then he is not deemed a Mukhtalit regardless of whether he forgot some events or not, as long as he doesn’t mix and confuse events he’s good. And none of the Scholar ever claimed that Zayd bin Arqam(RA) was Mukhtalit. Therefore, the argument brought up by Shias, is invalid and it was due to their ignorance and misunderstanding of Hadeeth Sciences.

Moreover, it isn’t just that Zayd(ra) narrated the hadeeth only, rather he shared his view and explained it as well, about who are Ahlelbayt mentioned in hadith al-Thaqalayn. And this view of Zayd, supports the hadeeth he narrated and it refutes the claims that the hadeeth is about adhering both Quran and Ahlelbayt.

 

Shia Objection #2:

Below Hadith shows both Quran and Ahlelbayt are to be adhered.

حدثنا يحيى قال :حدثنا جرير عن الحسن بن عبيد الله عن أبي الضحى عن زيد بن أرقم قال: النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم :إني تارك فيكم ما إن تمسكتم به لن تضلوا كتاب الله عز وجل وعترتي أهل بيتي وإنهما لن يتفرقا حتى يردا علي الحوض.
Yahya – Jarir – al-Hasan b. ‘Ubayd Allah – Abu al-Duha – Zayd b. Arqam: The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “I am leaving behind over you that which if you adhere to it you will never go astray: the Book of Allah the Almighty and my offspring, my Ahl al-Bayt. Verily, both shall never separate from each other until they meet me at the Lake-Fount.”[al-Ma’rifah wa al-Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 294 by Abu Yusuf Ya’qub b. Sufyan al-Fasawi]

Response:

Abu Bakr al-Khatib said:

قال الخطيب البغدادي: “السبيل إلى معرفة علة الحديث أن يجمع بين طرقه، وينظر في اختلاف رواته، ويعتبر بمكانهم في الحفظ، ومنزلتهم في الإتقان والضبط”
“The way to discover the defect of a hadith is to collect the lines of transmission, examine the differences of its transmitters and examine their position in regard to retention and their status in regard to exactitude and precision. [Uloom al-Hadeeth by Ibn Salaah, page 91- 92].

Issues with the Isnaad(chain) of this hadeeth:

(a). Some Scholars doubted the hearing of Abu al-Duha(Muslim bin Subayh al-Hamdani) from Zayd bin Arqam. For example see [Anees al-Saari fi Takhreej al-Hadeeth Fath al-Baari, vol 7, page 5284 , by Shaykh Nabeel bin Mansoor].

(b). Narrator – Jareer bin Abdul-Hameed was a Thiqa narrator but an extreme Shi’ee.

Ibn Hajar stated: Qutaybah regarded him(Jareer) to be an extremist Shi’ee. [Haadi al-Saari(Muqaddima Fath al Bari), vol 1, page 395].

Abu Dawud said: Jareer was very extreme in his Tashayyu(Shiism). [Soualat Abu Ubayd Ajuri li’Abu dawud, vol 1, page 171].

Muhammad Tahir bin Ali al-Hindi al-Fattani stated: Jareer bin Abdul-Hameed bin Qurt al-Dabi al-Razi. They agreed upon expelling him and he was accused of being a Shi’ee. [Qanun al-Mowdu’at, page 246].

Shia Scholar Abdullah al-Mamaqani said: I say the mere fact that Shaykh(al-Tusi) has counted him(Jareer bin Abdul-Hamid) amongst the list of Shi’ee narrators without criticising his beliefs demands that he was an Imami(Shia). [Tanqih al-Maqaal vol 14, page 315317].

As per the standard rule of Hadeeth science, the hadeeth(or an addition in hadeeth) from an innovator, which he narrates, that promotes his innovation(bidah), will not be accepted. Refer [Mustalah al-Hadeeth, page 38 by Dr. Imaad Alee Jum’ah] ; [Taysir Mustalah Al Hadith, page 9495 , by Shaykh Dr. Mahmood al-Tahhaan] ; [Kitab Marifat Anwa ilm Al-hadith, eng. page 87].

Mowlana Muhammad Nafe rejects a report pointing the extreme Tashayyu of Jareer bin Abdul-Hameed, as one the reason. He said: “…there are Shi’ah narrators; whose Shi’ism reached the extremes, whereby they would curse the Sahabah. This alone is sufficient to disregard the narration”. [Hadith al-Thaqalayn, page 134135 , by Mowlana Muhammad Nafe].

(c). Narrator – Al-Hasan bin Ubaydullah.

Even though majaority of scholars considered Al-Hasan bin Ubaydullah to be Thiqa(trustworthy). However, Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Daraqutni seems to have noticed some mistakes from him.

Ibn Hajar stated: Al-Hasan bin Ubaydullah: al-Bukhari said: I didn’t transmit his reports because generally his hadeeth are Mudhtarib(contradictory) ; Imam Daraqutni considered him weak in comparison to al-Amash, (then Daraqutni mentioned a report and said) Al-Amash transmitted it differently, so Al-Hasan is not strong. [Tahdhib al-Tahdhib vol 2, page 292293 , #521].

Issues with the Matn(Text) of this hadeeth:

The wording in this hadeeth {that which if you adhere to it you will never go astray} is Shaadh(odd) and an addition from one of the narrator. Reports or additions which are Shaadh are unacceptable and rejected. [See, Taysir Mustalah Al Hadith, page 9091, by Shaykh Dr. Mahmood al-Tahhaan] ; [Mustalah al-Hadeeth, page 36, by Dr. Imaad Alee Jum’ah].

Abdullah bin Mubarak said:

ابْنَ الْمُبَارَكِ ، يَقُولُ : ” إِذَا أَرَدْتَ أَنْ يَصِحَّ لَكَ الْحَدِيثُ فَاضْرِبْ بَعْضَهُ بِبَعْضٍ

If you want to check authenticity of a hadith, then present it against other hadiths. [Al-Jami’ li Akhlaq al-Rawi wa aadaab al-Sama’a #1934].

Ali ibn Al-Madeeni said:

علي بن المديني قال الباب إذا لم تجمع طرقه لم يتبين خطؤه

“A particular topic, when its routes are not gathered together, the mistakes will not become clear.” [Al-Jami’ li Akhlaq al-Rawi wa aadaab al-Sama’a, #1666] ; [Uloom al-Hadeeth by Ibn Salaah, page 92].

In the light of these standard rules, mentioned by the pioneers of Hadeeth Science, we gathered the different chains for this hadeeth, five(5) of them are via Jareer — al-Hasan  — Abu al-Duha(Muslim bin Subayh)  — Zayd bin Arqam. And two(2) of them are via al-Hasan  — Abu al-Duha  — Zayd bin Arqam. We found that, none of these Seven(7) chains for the same report contain the additional wording {that which if you adhere to it you will never go astray}. Notice, the first five(5) chains are from the same narrators, from Jareer to Zayd bin Arqam.

(Chain #1) Yusuf bin Musa — Jareer bin Abdul-Hameed — al-Hasan bin Ubaydullah al-Nakh`ee — Muslim bin Subayh — Zayd bin Arqam. [Musnad al-Bazzar, vol 10, page 232, #4325].

(Chain #2) Mu’adh bin al-Muthanna — Ali bin al-Madeeni — Jareer bin Abdul-Hameed — al-Hasan bin Ubaydullah — Abu al-Duha — Zayd bin Arqam. [Mu’jam al-Tabrani al-Kabeer, vol 5, page 170, #4981].

(Chain #3) Abu Husayn al-Qadi — al-Hamani — Jareer bin Abdul-Hameed — al-Hasan — Abu al-Duha — Zayd bin Arqam. [Mu’jam al-Tabrani al-Kabeer, vol 5, page 170, #4982].

(Chain #4) Muhammad bin Mas’ud — abu Hajar Amro bin Rafi — Jareer — al-Hasan — Muslim — Zayd ibn Arqam. [Al-Tadween fi Akhbaar Qazween, vol 3, page 465].

(Chain #5) Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Husayn ibn Muslih al-Faqih narrated to us at al-Rayy —Muhammad ibn Ayyub — Yahya ibn al-Mughirah al-Sa’di — Jareer ibn Abd al-Hamid —al-Hasan bin AbdAllah al-Nakha’i — Muslim bin Subayh — Zayd ibn Arqam. [Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol 3, page 160161, #4711]. al-Hasan bin AbdAllah is a mistake He is al-Hasan bin UbaydAllah.

(Chain #6) Ali bin Abdul-Aziz  — Amro bin Awn al-Wasiti — Khalid bin Abdullah — al-Hasan bin Ubaydullah — Abu al-Duha — Zayd bin Arqam.[Mu’jam al-Tabrani al-Kabeer, vol 5, page 169170, #4980].

(Chain #7) Abu al-Talib Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Uthman (Ibn al-Sayrafi al-Baghdadi) — Abu al-Husayn `Ubayd Allah ibn Ahmad ibn Ya’qub ibn al-Bawwab — Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Baghandi — Wahban (Ibn Baqiyyah al-Wasiti) — Khalid ibn `Abd Allah — al-Hasan bin AbdAllah — Abu al-Duha — from Zayd ibn Arqam.  [al-Manaqib Ameer Al-Momineen Ali ibn Abi Talib, page 301303, #281].  al-Hasan bin AbdAllah is a mistake, he is al-Hasan bin UbaydAllah.

Therefore, the wording in this hadeeth {that which if you adhere to it you will never go astray} is Shaadh(odd) and an addition from one of the narrator, as its not there in the seven(7) chains we mentioned. This erroneous and odd addition could be from any of the narrator we discussed above or from the other narrators such as Yahya bin Yahya bin Bukayr bin Abd al-Raḥman al-Tamimi or Imam Fasawi. Reports or additions which are Shaadh(odd) are unacceptable and rejected. [See, Taysir Mustalah Al Hadith, page 9091, by Shaykh Dr. Mahmood al-Tahhaan] ; [Mustalah al-Hadeeth, page 36, by Dr. Imaad Alee Jum’ah].

This, Shaadh(odd) addition{that which if you adhere to it you will never go astray} also contradicts, the most accurate version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, which mentions Quran alone to be adhered inorder to not go astray. This has been narrated by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh and many others through Zayd bin Arqam. We presented twenty five(25) chains for this version from Zayd bin Arqam, which was even supported by the tradition of Hudhayfah bin Usayd al-Ghafar, Jabir bin Abdullah and the Wife of Zayd bin Arqam.

The Shaadh(odd) addition, even contradicts, the authentic reports about Quran alone being source of guidance from (a). Ja’far bin Muhammad(Jafar as-Sadiq) from his father(Muhammad al Baqir) from Jabir bin Abdullah. [Sahih Muslim, vol 3, page 343350, #2950(1218)] ; [Musannaf fi al-Ahadeeth wa al-Athar, by Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol 6, page 133, #30077] ; (b). Abdullah ibn Umar. [Musnad al-Bazzar, vol 12, page 298-300, #6135]; (c). Abu Shurayh al-‘Adawi and (d). Jubair bin Mut’am. [Silsilah al-Sahiha, vol 2, page 230, #713] ; (e). Ubay ibn Ka’b. [Hilyat ul- Awliya, vol 1, page 253](f). Also from the Sermon of Ali ibn Abi Talib reported in Shia book. [Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 1] ; (g). Last but not the least, the understanding of Sahabi Zayd bin Arqam, which has been explained in detailed under Section (IX) of this article.

 

Shia Objection #3

حدثنا سليمان بن عبيد الله الغيلاني، حدثنا أبو عامر، حدثنا كثير بن زيد، عن محمد بن عمر بن علي، عن أبيه، عن علي رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال :إني تركت فيكم ما إن أخذتم به لن تضلوا :كتاب الله، سببه بيد الله، وسببه بأيديكم، وأهل بيتي.

Sulayman b. ‘Ubayd Allah al-Ghilani – Abu ‘Amir – Kathir bin Zayd – Muhammad bin ‘Umar bin ‘Ali – his father – On the authority of Ali ibn Abi Talib“The Messenger of Allah(SAWS) said: “I have left behind over you that which if you hold fast to IT you will never go astray: the Book of Allah – one end of IT is in the Hand of Allah and the other end of IT is in your hands– and my Ahl al-Bayt”.[Musnad Ishaq ibn Rahwayah]

Response:

Issue with Chain of Transmission:

Narrator Kathīr bin Zayd is a weak transmitter.

(a). Ibn Abi Hatim in Kitab al-Jarh wa al-Ta`dil:
سئل يحيى بن معين عن كثير بن زيد فقال ليس بذاك القوى…فقال ابو زرعة هو صدوق فيه لين
Yahya ibn Ma`in was asked about Kathir ibn Zayd and he said: “He is not strong according to the Muhaddithin”… Abu Zur’ah said: “Truthful but he has weakness.”[Kitab al-Jarh wa al-Ta`dil, vol 7, page 150-151, #841].

(b). Al-Dhahabi in al-Mizan:
قال ابو زرعة فيه لين…قال النسائى ضعيف
Abu Zur`ah said: “He has weakness”… Nasa’i said: “Da’if(weak)” [al-Meezan, vol 5, page 489]

(c). Ibn Hajar in al-Tahdhib:
صالح بن أبي خيثمة عن بن معين ليس بذاك وكان اولا قال ليس بشيئ…قال النسائى ضعيف…قال ابو جعفر الطبرى كثير بن زيد عندهم ممن لا يحتج بنقله
Ibn Abi Khaythamah has reported from Ibn Ma`in: “He is not reliable.” And he first said: “He is nothing”… Nasa’i said: “Da`if”… Abu Ja`far al-Tabari said: Kathir ibn Zayd is amongst those whose narrations cannot be substantiated from.” [Tahdhib al-Tahdhib vol 8, page 414, #745]

(d). Imaam Dhahabi said: There is weakness in Katheer ibn Zayd [Mu’jam ash-Shuyookh ul-Kabeer by Dhahabi, vol 1, page 240]

(e). Ibn Jawzi mentioned him in Kitab al-Duafa wal Matrukin(weak and rejected narrators). [Kitab al-Duafa wal Matrukin by Ibn Jawzi vol 3, page 22 , #2786 ]

(f). Imaam Ali ibn al-Madeeni said: Saalih, He is not Strong. [Sawalat Ibn Abi Shaybah by Ibn al-Madeeni: Pg 95]

(g). Ibn Ḥajar says: “He is a sadūq(truthful) who makes mistakes in his transmission. [Taqrib al-Tahdhib, vol 1, page 459]

In the above references, the scholars of hadith have explicitly mentioned that the narrator Kathir bin Zayd is weak in the field of hadith. And even though there were some other scholars who praised him, however as the famous principle of hadeeth science “Explained disparagement is given preference over commendation”[Kitab Marifat Anwa ilm Al-hadith by ibn al-Salaah, page 84].

Issue with the Matn(text) :

The text of this version is ambiguous, as we shall see. But before we proceed let us present the grading given by Some Scholars for this report, along with the clarification of these gradings:

Shu’ayb Arnaut states regarding the above tradition: إسناده حسن [Isnaad Hasan]

Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani states:  إسناد صحيح [Isnaad Saheeh].

What does the terms Isnaad Saheeh or Isnaad Hasan imply?

Al-Haafiz ibn al-Salaah said:
” قولهم : ( هذا حديث صحيح الإسناد أو حسن الإسناد ) دون قولهم :  هذا حديث صحيح أو حديث حسن  لأنه قد يقال : هذا حديث صحيح الإسناد ، ولا يصح لكونه شاذا أو معللا ”
When they say “This hadeeth has a Saheeh Isnaad(chain) or a Hasan Isnaad(chain)” instead of “this is a saheeh hadeeth or a hasan hadeeth”, that is because it may be said that this hadeeth has a saheeh isnaad but it is not saheeh per se because it is shaadhdh(odd) or mu’allal(faulty). [Muqaddimah fi ‘Uloom al-Hadeeth, page 23].

Imam Ibn Katheer says:
” الحكم بالصحة أو الحسن على الإسناد لا يلزم منه الحكم بذلك على المتن ، إذ قد يكون شاذاً أو معللاً ”
The fact that the Isnaad(chain) is deemed to be Saheeh or Hasan does not necessarily mean that the same applies to the text, because it may be shaadhdh(odd) or mu’allal(faulty). [Ikhtisaar ‘Uloom al-Hadeeth page 43].

In regards to the accuracy of the text of this hadeeth in question, then it has an ambiguous wording or in a way faulty wording. The readers must know that Prophet(saws) uttered only one version(in regards to formation/structure of sentence) out of the different versions, and the most authentic and clear version(in regards to the sentence formation/structure) is the version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn in Sahih Muslim. The ambiguity in the wording of the hadith in question occurred due to the reason that a sub-narrator(who was known for making mistakes in his transmission) narrated it in a summarized form, instead of narrating it in an accurate and proper form as found in Sahih Muslim.

Abu Bakr al-Khatib said:

قال الخطيب البغدادي: “السبيل إلى معرفة علة الحديث أن يجمع بين طرقه، وينظر في اختلاف رواته، ويعتبر بمكانهم في الحفظ، ومنزلتهم في الإتقان والضبط”
“The way to discover the defect of a hadith is to collect the lines of transmission, examine the differences of its transmitters and examine their position in regard to retention and their status in regard to exactitude and precision. [Uloom al-Hadeeth by Ibn Salaah, page 91- 92].

Abdullah bin Mubarak said:

ابْنَ الْمُبَارَكِ ، يَقُولُ : ” إِذَا أَرَدْتَ أَنْ يَصِحَّ لَكَ الْحَدِيثُ فَاضْرِبْ بَعْضَهُ بِبَعْضٍ

If you want to check authenticity of a hadith, then present it against other hadiths. [Al-Jami’ li Akhlaq al-Rawi wa aadaab al-Sama’a #1934]

Therefore, inorder to understand the text of this summarized and ambiguous version, we need to use the most authentic version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, which clarifies the ambuiguity in the summarized version. This is the proper method of doing justice with the report.

Ambiguous version states:

إِنِّي تَرَكْتُ فِيكُمْ مَا إِنْ أَخَذْتُمْ بِهِ لَنْ تَضِلُّوا : كِتَابَ اللَّهِ ، سَبَبُهُ بِيَدِ اللَّهِ ، وَسَبَبُهُ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ ، وَأَهْلَ بَيْتِي

I have left behind over you that which if you hold fast to IT you will never go astray: the Book of Allah – one end of IT is in the Hand of Allah and the other end of IT is in your hands– and my Ahl al-Bayt”.[Musnad Ishaq ibn Rahwayah]

Accurate version of Sahih Muslim{supported by twenty five(25) chains} states:

أَنَا تَارِكٌ فِيكُمْ ثَقَلَيْنِ أَوَّلُهُمَا كِتَابُ اللَّهِ فِيهِ الْهُدَى وَالنُّورُ فَخُذُوا بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَاسْتَمْسِكُوا بِهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَحَثَّ عَلَى كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَرَغَّبَ فِيهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ وَأَهْلُ بَيْتِي أُذَكِّرُكُمُ اللَّهَ فِي أَهْلِ بَيْتِي

I am leaving among you two weighty things: the first one being the Book of Allah in IT there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to IT. He continued to encourage and urge regarding the Book of Allah. He then said: (secondly) and my AhlelBayt! I remind you of Allah with regard to the people of my household(Ahlelbayt). [Sahih Muslim #2408]

The Key word that needs to be focused in both versions is the pronoun {هِ/hi/hu= IT}, which is a singular pronoun. Even though as per Arabic grammar, the word (هِ/hi/IT) can occur for two or more things being addressed as in reference to (مَا/maa/Which), but without the change in verbs for the nouns being mentioned and it should be in a single sentence. However, in the accurate version of Sahih Muslim, we see that it has two verbs, Astamsiku bihi(adhere to it) and udhakkirukum(I remind you). These are two sentences, with two different verbs, and it doesn’t have (مَا/maa/which) in it. Moreover, in one of the report (مَا/maa/which) was used in reference to holding on Quran alone[Refer, Mustadrak al Hakim, vol 3, page 613, #6272], and there is no mention of Ahlelbayt in this report, which again proves the correctness of our explanation, that the command was to adhere/hold only one thing, that is Quran.

Therefore, the ambiguous version having the singular pronoun (هِ/hi/IT) must be understood in the light of the accurate and clear version(of Sahih Muslim), which clarifies that the command to “adhere to it” or “hold on it” was for single thing, that is Quran only. The sentence itself demonstrates that the mention of guidance, light, holding and adherence, is for Quran alone. As for mention of Ahlelbayt in the hadeeth, then they were mentioned to be reminded to people about their duties towards them. That’s why in one report there is no mention of Ahlelbayt but Quran alone, holding which people will not go astray. 

Afaan  — Hassaan bin Ibrahim — Sa’eed bin Masrooq — Yazid bin Hayyan — Zayd bin Arqam said: Prophet(SAWS) said:  I am leaving amongst you the Book of Allah, and that is the rope of Allah. He who holds it fast would be on right guidance and he who abandons it would be on misguidance. [Musannaf fi al-Ahadeeth wa al-Athar, by Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol 6, page 133, #30078].

Our explanation is also supported and strenghtened by the authentic reports about Quran alone being source of guidance from (a). Ja’far bin Muhammad(Jafar as-Sadiq) from his father(Muhammad al Baqir) from Jabir bin Abdullah. [Sahih Muslim, vol 3, page 343350, #2950(1218)] ; [Musannaf fi al-Ahadeeth wa al-Athar, by Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol 6, page 133, #30077] (b). Abdullah ibn Umar. [Musnad al-Bazzar, vol 12, page 298-300, #6135] ; (c). Abu Shurayh al-‘Adawi and (d). Jubair bin Mut’am. [Silsilah al-Sahiha, vol 2, page 230, #713] ; (e). Ubay ibn Ka’b. [Hilyat ul- Awliya, vol 1, page 253](f). Also from the Sermon of Ali ibn Abi Talib reported in Shia book. [Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 1] ; (g). Last but not the least, the understanding of Sahabi Zayd bin Arqam, which has been explained in detailed under Section (IX) of this article.

All these reports collectively support the fact that only Quran is to be adhered to gain guidance and not go astray and they collectively support our explanation for the ambiguous version. And this is a proper academic method to undertand an ambiguous hadeeth, because an authentic hadeeth of Prophet(saws) which is clear and accurate explains the other ambiguous hadeeth having faulty text.

NOTE: Readers should notice that, we don’t find the mention of Prophet(saws) reminding of Ahlelbayt in this ambiguous/faulty version, so where did it disappear? It is quite clear that, the weak narrator who was known for making mistakes in his transmission, erroneously reported this version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn in an ambiguous/faulty form. We won’t find any faulty version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, which mentions adhering or holding both Quran and Ahlelbayt, also mentioning the reminder towards Ahlelbayt.

Most importantly, the Shia interpretation for the faulty version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, even contradicts Quran(4:59). Hence, the Shia interpretation is rejected.

 

V. Why did some of the scholars authenticate weak versions of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn?

Most of the scholars who were specialized in the field of Hadeeth Science, they weakened the chain of narrators of weak versions of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn which had twisted and faulty wordings or they didn’t authenticate the text(matn) of the reports, since those chains and the text apparently had flaws in them. Therefore, they did not authenticate the weak version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn on its own, but authenticated the tradition based on other authentic versions traditions of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, the ones which we already discussed, where the mention of Ahlelbayt in the hadeeth, was to reminded the people about their duty of taking their care and being responsible towards them.

Scholars were well aware of the authentic versions of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, which is about the virtue of Ahlelbayt, therefore these scholars had those versions of  hadeeth al-Thaqalayn in the back of their mind, using those as a supporting evidence scholars authenticated the weak versions of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn. It is well known fact among the people of knowledge, that scholars of hadeeth, used to be lenient while grading the traditions which were regarding virtues(fadhail). For example, we read:

Shaykh Tahir al-jazairi has recorded the comments of Imam Abu Shama Maqdisi from his book “al-Baes Ala Inkaar al-Bida wal Hawadis” in which with reference to a Majlis of Hafidh Ibn Asakar Dimashqi(rah) three Ahadeeth about Rajab are mentioned and then Imam Abu Shama Maqdisi says, “I wish Hafidh Ibn Asakar Dimashqi had not mentioned these Ahadeeth as it is tantamount to giving credence to Munkar(denounced) Ahadeeth but he has adopted the path of a group of Muhadditheen who are lenient when it comes to Ahadeeth pertaining to Fadhail(virtues). (Source: Tawjeeun-Nadhar)

Imam Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Mahdī said: If we narrated anything from the Prophet(saws), related to the lawful and unlawful as well as legal rulings, we would scrutinize the chains and evaluate the narrators.  However, if we narrated anything related to virtuous deeds, rewards, punishments, merely-permissible actions (mubāḥāt), and supplications, we would be lax with the chains of narration. [Al-Ḥākim, al-Mustadrak (1/490), al-Madkhal ilā Kitāb al-Iklīl (29), al-Bayhaqī, Dalā’il al-Nubuwwa (1/34), al-Khaṭīb, al-Jāmi‘ (#1267)].

Therefore, the scholars who authenticated the weak versions of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, did so because they considered the weak versions of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn to be regarding virtue of Ahlelbayt, and since the authentic version of  Hadith al-Thaqalyn, was already established; they took that as a supporting evidence, and authenticated the weak versions. However, the problem that occurred due to this leniency is that, the innovators started using the unreliable ahadeeth not just in matters of virtues(fadhail) but they are trying to use these reports to form beliefs as well, which is unacceptable. Therefore, it is necessary to expose the reality of these weak traditions(ahadeeth) by scrutinizing their chains and pointing out the flaws in the text and chain of these traditions, since the Shias have taken an undue advantage of the lenience of scholars towards traditions about virtues of Ahlelbayt, as they started using the weak versions of Hadith al-Thaqalayn in matters of belief. Though the standard principle of forming the belief is that, the tradition(hadith) which is weak and not authentic on its own, cannot be used in matters of belief or to form a belief. Infact, some scholars differed in regards to using ahad(single authentic) hadeeth to form belief, let alone using weak ahadeeth(traditions) which go against the authentic ones.

In regards to the reason behind the occurence of weak and faulty versions of Hadith al-Thaqalayn, then it is because these were narrated via narrators who were disparaged as weak and unreliable in different manners, due to this they transmitted the report in an incorrect and faulty manner. Therefore a tradition which was narrated in a faulty way, its message would appear different in comparison to the tradition narrated by trustworthy narrators in accurate form. Same goes for the narrators who were innovators, they would sometime narrate the tradition adding their understanding to it, and not in the exact way as it reached them. This is the reason beliefs aren’t formed using the reports narrated by narrators having different sort of weakness or reports narrated by innovators in support of the innovation they are upon.

Let us see an example, that how the unreliable narrators twisted the text of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn:

Jabir ibn Abdullah said, “I saw the Prophet (saws) during his pilgrimage as was on his camel speaking, so I heard him say, “I left you that you must abide by that you will never go astray, the book of Allah (swt) and my Ahlelbayt (a.s).” [Grading on Footnote: Sahih li ghayri(authentic due to external evidence), the chain of this narration however is weak, because of Zayd Ibn Al-Hasan he is Qurashi and Al-Anmati. [Source: Jamia Tirmidhi Sunan Al -Tirmidhi. Vol. 6, Pg. # 335].

Shaykh Shuaib Al-Arnaut declared the chain of this narration as weak, because of narrator Zayd Ibn Al-Hasan Al-Anmati. We find here that even though he weakened the chain of this report, yet he authenticated the tradition based on external evidence; those are authentic versions of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn having correct wordings , which are regarding the virtues of Ahlelbayt, that mention about taking care of Ahlelbayt and being responsible towards them.

However, the narration in question is weak on its own, without the support of witness reports, as the text of this report is faulty since it was twisted and manipulated by the unreliable narrator, due to which it gives the message that, both Quran and Ahlelbayt should be adhered, inorder to avoid going astray. Whereas the authentic versions(eg: Sahih Muslim #2408) says that only Quran needs to be adhered to be protected from going astray.

Similarly, Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee in his grading of Jami’a Tirmidhi, pointed out that the narrator Zayd ibn al-Hasan is Weak, but the hadeeth is authentic due to witness(shawahid) in Sahih Muslim(#2408) and others. [Jami’a Tirmidhi, vol 6, page 435 #3786 – Zubair Ali Za’ee]

Hence such reports from weak narrators with faulty and twisted text, which are not authentic on their own, are to be rejected and considered unreliable in terms of using them to form Islamic beliefs.

Shaykh Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi stated:

Dr. Ali Ahmad al-Saloos, who discussed the speech at Ghadeer and the advice to adhere to the Quran and Sunnah. He studied the reports about adhering to the Quran and Sunnah and the reports about adhering to the Quran and the family of the Prophet(saws) and examined them critically, then he said: “From the above, we can see that the hadith of the two weighty matters is one of the hadiths which are sound in both chain of narration and text. However, of the eight reports which enjoin adhering to the family of the Prophet(saws) alongside the noble Quran, not one of them is free of some weakness in the chain of narration. (See: Ma’a Al-Shia al-Ithna Asharia fi al-Usool wa al-Furoo, vol 1, page 129). [Source: Ali ibn Abi Talib, by Ali Muhammad as-sallabi, vol 2, page 411 (eng), (Arabic)].

NOTE: Some Sunni Scholars have given explanation for the weaker version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, and these are often cited by the Shias. However, as per the rule these are discarded because the basis of explanation itself is on a weak report. For example, Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee, when discussing the reliability of a random hadeeth said that: “Since the hadeeth is proven as weak, the explanation of Shaykh al-Sindhi has no value“. [al-Hadeeth, vol 100, page 20, by Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee].

Shia Objection:

There are several weak chains for hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, which state that Quran and Ahlelbayt are to be held, to attain guidance and not to go astray.

Response:

It doesn’t matter if there are many weak chains for faulty version of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn having the faulty and incorrect text, which states Quran and Ahlelbayt are to be held to attain guidance. The fact is, these reports are to be rejected, since they go against the AUTHENTIC and ACCURATE version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, as well as authentic ahadeeth of Khutbah hajjat al-Wida (the Farewell/Last sermon on Arafah) when the religion of Islam was completed/perfected, and some other authentic reports as well. Hence, these reports having faulty and incorrect text of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn that come via weak chains are to be rejected, even if they are plenty.  Moreover, not just Hadith al-Thaqalayn, there are various ahadeeth about different issues as well, having  plenty of weak chains, yet they were rejected due to their incorrect text.

(a). Hafiz al-Zayla’i said:

قال الحافظ الزيلعي في نصب الراية 1/360

وكم من حديث كثرت رواته و تعددت طرقه وهو حديث ضعيف كحديث…. بل قد لا يزيد كثرة الطرق الا ضعفا

There are many of traditions reported by numerous narrators and many chains, yet they are still weak….Many a time, Abundant chains only increase the narration in weakness. [Nasb-ul-Rayah vol 1, page 360 ]

Even Shia Scholars rejected some of their ahadeeth having many chains due their weakness. For example:

(b). The Shia researcher of the book “al-Masa’il al-Sarawiyyah” Sa’ib Abdul-Hameed, he praises the author, the esteemed Shia Scholar Shaykh al-Mufeed for his scientific professional method in the book by saying:

“In this book we can clearly see the correct methodology (of al-Mufeed) in his research and in how he extracts proofs. He holds on to the authentic established narration and leaves all else, even if what opposes it was related by the great ones such as al-Saduq and ibn al-Junayd. He shows complete disregard to the multitude of narrations whose chains are unreliable, instead he relies on the single authentic chain leaving behind a large pile of weak and fabricated reports. He is the expert diver who selects the pure pearls leaving behind the rubble that floats in the oceans.”[al-Masa’il al-Sarawiyyah, by Shaykh al-Mufeed, Tahqeeq by Sa’ib Abdul Hameed, page 12].

Reports that are put forth by Shias, which says that, Quran and Ahlelbayt are to be held to attain guidance and not go astray, are weak, either due to weakness in narrators, or tadlees of narrators, or due to Inqita(disconnection) in the chain of transmission, or due to Majhool(anonymous) narrator, etc.  Therefore, all those reports having the faulty and incorrect text of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, that come via weak chains are to be rejected and discarded.

Criticized Narrators who narrated faulty version of Hadith al-Thaqalayn:

Below are the names of all those criticized narrators who mainly narrated the faulty and incorrect text of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn.

(a). (Narrator) Atiyyah al-Awfi — Imam Al-Dhahabī said: Atiyyah bin Sa’d Al-Awfi Al-kufi – “There is a consensus(of Muhaditheen) on his weakness”. [Deewan al-Duafa wal Matrookeen, page 276 #2843] ; Muhammad Tahir bin Ali al-Hindi al-Fattani stated:`Atiyyah al-Awfi: A weak narrator and fabricator, whose narrations are not permissible to write except with the purpose of noting it down as something really strange. He would conceal the name of Muhammad ibn al-Sa’ib al-Kalbi by referring to him using the nickname Abu Sa’id thereby deceiving people into believing that he was narrating from the Sahabi Abu Sa’id al-Khudri .[Qanun al-Mowdu’at, page 278] ; Imam al-Bukhari in his book al-Tarikh al-Saghir mentions criticism from Imam Ahmad – Ahmad said regarding the hadith of Abd al-Malik from Atiyyah from Abu Sa’id that Nabi(SAWS) said: “I have left amongst you Thaqalayn…”, these narrations of the people of Kufah are rejected. [Al-Tareekh al-Sagheer(al-awsat), vol 1, page 267, #1300 ; Muntakhab min al-‘ilal lil-Khallal, page 206].

(b). (Narrator) Habeeb bin Abi ThabitImam Ibn Hibban stated: Habeeb bin Abi Thabit was known for making tadlis. [Al-Thiqaat by Ibn Hibban vol 4 page 137] ; Imam Ibn Hajar placed Habeeb bin Abi Thabit in Third category of Mudallis narrators(their narrations are accepted only if they clarify that they heard it, and Habeeb narrated it without clarifying it; he merely transmits by saying: عن or “from”). [Tabqaat Mudalliseen, page 37] . Importantly, Imam Alī bin Al-Madīnī, said: “Habeeb met Ibn ‘Abbas and he heard from A’isha; however, he did not hear from any other Sahaba.” [Ilal al-Hadeeth wa Ma’arifat al-Rijaal wa al-Tareekh, page 331, #95]. And Habeeb didn’t narrate Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn from any of these Sahaba. Hence Habeeb narrating from any other Sahabi would be Munqati(disconnected) and weak. As how a Muhaqqiq graded a hadeeth as weak citing this reason. [Takhreej Ahadeeth Kitaab Akhbaar Isbahaan, vol 1 page 531].

The Ruling upon Mudallis/Tadlees: (a). Hafidh Ibn Hajr said: “If tadlees is established or proven from a trustworthy narrator then still his hadeeth will not be accepted, except the hadeeth in which he clarifies who he heard the hadeeth from.” [Nuzhatul Nazar fi Towdih Nukhbatil Fikr, page 104] ; (b). Imaam Nawawi said: “If a Mudallis narrates with Ann(عن /from) then that narration with agreement will not be proof.” [Nasb al-Raayah vol 2, page 3334 , al-Majmoo Sharh al-Muhazzab (6/212)].

(c). (Narrator) Zayd ibn al-Hasan al-Anmati — Imam Abu Ḥātim said: “Munkar Al Ḥadīth”[Tahdhib al-Tahdhib vol 3, page 406 #740] ; Imam al-Dhahabi  declared Zayd ibn al-Hasan al-Anmati as Weak. [Al-Kashif by al-Dhahabi vol 1, page 416 #1731] ; Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani declared Zayd ibn al-Hasan al-Anmati as Weak. [Taqreeb al Tahdheeb, page 352, #2139 by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani].

(d). (Narrator) Mohammad bin Salamah bin Kuhail Imam Yaḥya bin Ma’īn, Al Jawzajanī & Ibn Sa’d declared him to be weak…Ibn Adi said: He was counted amongst the Shi’ah of Kūfah. [Meezan al-I’tidal, vol 3, page 568, #7614] , [Lisan al-Mizan vol 7, page 167168, #6851] ; Ibn ‘Adi quoted Al Sa’dī declaring him “wahī al-ḥadīth”, meaning: very weak. [al-Kamil fi al-Dua’fa vol 7, page 443, #1686] ; Al-‘Uqailī also listed him in “al-Dua’fa al-Kabeer”, which is his encyclopedia on weak transmitters. [al-Dua’fa al-Kabeer, vol 4, page 79]. And as for His Father — (Narrator) Salamah bin KuhailAl-`Ajli said: “He is a Kufi and a Tabi`i… he was a Shi’ah.”… Ya`qub ibn Shaybah said: ….He remained firm upon Shi’ism”… Imam Alī bin Al-Madīnī said: “Salamah did not meet any of the Sahaba except: Jundub and Abu Juḥaifah.” [Tahdhib al-Tahdhib vol 2, page 77].

(e). (Narrator) Hensh bin Mo’tamir Imam Al-Nasā’ī stated: “He is not a strong transmitter” [al-dua’fa wa al-matrookeen, page 91] ; Imam Abu Ḥātem said: “I do not see that they [the critics] consider his transmission reliable”.[Meezan al-I’tidal vol 1, page 619] ; Imam Ibn Ḥibbān said: “He was very deluded in his transmission of reports, and he used to exclusively transmit from Alī certain reports that do not resemble what the other reliable transmitters used to report, to the extent that his transmission is not considered reliable any more.”[al-Majruheen min al-Muhadditheen by Ibn Hibban vol 1, page 333, #281] ; Al-‘Uqailī listed Hensh in al-dua’fa al-kabeer, his encyclopedia of weak transmitters.[al-dua’fa al-kabeer by Uqaili, vol 1, page 288] ; Imam Al-Dāraqutnī was asked about the ḥadīth of Hensh bin Al-Mo’tamir from Abu Dhar, from the Prophet(SAWS) that he said: “I have left among you al-Thaqalayn: The Book of Allāh and my Itrah, and they shall never separate until they meet at Al Ḥawdh. It [the itrah] is just like the vessel of Nuh, whoever rides it, then he will survive.” Then, Al-Dāraqutnī commented saying: “Abu Isḥaq Al Sube’i transmits it through Hensh. That is what Al-‘Amash, Yunis bin Abī Isḥaq, and Mufdhil bin Saleh reported. However, Isra’il reported it differently: he narrated it through Abu Isḥaq, through an unknown man, through Hensh bin Mo’tamir. The correct transmission, in my opinion is that of Isra’il.”[Al-Ilal al-Waaridah fi al-Ahaadeeth al-Nabawiyyah vol 6, page 236237, #1098]. Thus, Imam Al-Dāraqutnī in reality criticized the ḥadīth and criticized its chain of transmission due to the presence of an unknown man in the Isnād.

(f). Salih ibn Musa ibn Abd Allah Talhi Imam Abu Hatim al-Razi stated: Salih ibn Musa ibn Abd Allah ibn Ishaq al-Talhi: His narrations are da’if, extremely Munkar and he narrates many Munkar narrations from reliable narrators. [Kitab al-Jarh wa al-Ta`dil vol. 2 pg. 415] ; Imam Ibn Hajar writes: Salih Talhi Kufi: Ibn Ma`in says: “He is a non-entity.” He also stated: “Salih and Ishaq the two sons of Musa, both are non-entities. Their narrations are not to be written.” Al-Nasa’i said: “His narrations are not to be written, he is da’if.” He states at another juncture: “He is one whose narrations are to be discarded.” Abu Nu`aym said: “He should be discarded, he narrates many Munkar narrations. [Tahdhib vol. 4 pg. 404, 405].

(g). Al-Harith al-A’war ibn Abd Allah al-Hamdani — Imam Ibn Hajar states: Al-Harith al-A’war ibn Abd Allah al-Hamdani al-Kharifi al-Kufi: Sha’bi said: “He is flagrant liar” Abu Zur’ah said: “He cannot be cited as proof.” Abu Hatim said: “He is unreliable and he cannot be cited as proof.” Ibn Hibban said: “Al-Harith was an extremist Shi`i and his narrations are unreliable.” He died in the year 65 A.H. [Tahdhib vol. 2 pg. 145-146] ; Imam Dhahabi stated: Al-A’war: Ibn al-Madini said: “He is a flagrant liar.” Ibn Ma`in said: “He is da`if.” Ibn Sirin was of the opinion that all his narrations from Ali(ra) were baseless. Ibn Hibban said: “Al-Harith was an extremist Shi`i and his narrations are unreliable.” [Mizan al-I`tidal vol. 1 pg. 302].

(h). Ibrahim bin Eliyasa al-MakkiImam Bukhari said: Munkar al-Hadeeth ; Abu Hatim al-Razi said: Munkar al-Hadeeth ; Abu Na’eem al-Asbahani said: His reports has Manakeer ; Imam Daraqutni said: Matrook(abandoned) ; Imam Nasai said: Da’eef ; Al-Jurjani said: Da’eef ; Al-Suyuti said: Waahi(very weak). [Lisan al-Mizan vol 1, page 271272273 , #116] ; [Jarh on Ibrahim]. He was also accused of fabrication.

(i). Abū al-Abbās, Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Saʿīd al-Kūfī (commonly known as Ibn ʿAqdah) — He is a Zaydī Jārūdī Shi’i. He reported three hundred thousand narrations with asānīd (according to one opinion) or one hundred and twenty thousand (according to another) regarding the virtues of the Ahl al-Bayt and Banū Hāshim. Amongst them is the narration of Thaqalayn, which he has reported with many asānīd(chains). He would ‘prepare’ (his own) narrations and present it to the leading scholars of Kūfah, requesting them to narrate it. He would then claim that he heard these narrations from them. He is well known specifically for narrating Munkar narrations. He had a well-planned method by means of which he would spread fabricated narrations amongst the people. He would concoct asānīd with the names of extremely reliable narrators and remove his own name. (It is open deception for a narrator to remove his name from a chain). Muḥaddithīn abandoned his narrations and others rejected it. More can be read about him in Lisan al-Mizan and Meezan al-I’tidal. [Lisan al-Mizan vol 1, page 603604605606 , #752] ; [Meezan al-I’tidal, vol 1, page 136137138, #548]

(j). Sharik ibn AbdAllah and Qassim bin al-Hassaan — The weakness of these narrators Sharik ibn AbdAllah and Qassim bin al-Hassaan has been discussed under Section XVII, about the Munkar version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn.

 

VI. Until the completion/perfection of religion, what was the source holding which Muslims would never go astray?

Until the verse of perfection/completion of religion was revealed by Allah(swt) on Arafah, Prophet(saws) mentioned only Quran as the source he left, holding which Muslims would never go astray.

(a). We read:

أبشروا أبشروا ، أليس تشهدون أن لا إله إلا الله و أني رسول الله ؟ قالوا : نعم ، قال : فإن هذا القرآن سبب طرفه بيد الله ، و طرفه بأيديكم ، فتمسكوا به ، فإنكم لن تضلوا و لن تهلكوا بعده أبدا
Abu Shurayh al-‘Adawi AND Jubair bin Mut’am both narrated: The Prophet (SAWS) told his companions: “I give you glad tidings, I give you glad tidings! do you not bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that I am his Prophet?” We said: “Yes O Rassul-Allah”, He (SAWS) said: “This Quran is a means, a part of it is in the hand of Allah and the other part is in your hands, so hold on to it so that you will never go astray or perish afterwards.“[Silsilah al-Sahiha, vol 2, page 230, #713 . Grading: al-Albani said: “Sahih on the condition of Muslim.” ; Sahih al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib 1/10, #38 & #39 ]

(b). Similarly we read in the Khutbah al-Wida(Farewell Sermon) of Prophet(saws) given on Arafah which was narrated by Imams from Ahlelbayt:

Ja’far bin Muhammad(Jafar as-Sadiq) reported on the authority of his father(Muhammad al Baqir) from Jabir bin Abdullah: The Messenger of Allah (saws), passed on till he came to ‘Arafah and he found that the tent had been pitched for him at Namira. There he(saws) got down till the sun had passed the meridian; he commanded that al-Qaswa should be brought and saddled for him. Then he came to the bottom of the valley, and addressed the people saying: Verily your blood, your property are as sacred and inviolable as the sacredness of this day of yours, in this month of yours, in this town of yours. Behold! Everything pertaining to the Days of Ignorance is under my feet completely abolished. Abolished are also the blood-revenges of the Days of Ignorance. The first claim of ours on blood-revenge which I abolish is that of the son of Rabi’a b. al-Harith, who was nursed among the tribe of Sa’d and killed by Hudhail. And the usury of she pre-Islamic period is abolished, and the first of our usury I abolish is that of ‘Abbas b. ‘Abd al-Muttalib, for it is all abolished. Fear Allah concerning women! Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah, and intercourse with them has been made lawful unto you by words of Allah. You too have right over them, and that they should not allow anyone to sit on your bed whom you do not like. But if they do that, you can chastise them but not severely. Their rights upon you are that you should provide them with food and clothing in a fitting manner. I have left among you the Book of Allah, and if you hold fast to it, you would never go astray. And you would be asked about me (on the Day of Resurrection), (now tell me) what would you say? They (the audience) said: We will bear witness that you have conveyed (the message), discharged (the ministry of Prophethood) and given wise (sincere) counsel. He (the narrator) said: He (the Holy Prophet) then raised his forefinger towards the sky and pointing it at the people (said):” O Allah, be witness. O Allah, be witness,” saying it thrice. [Sahih Muslim, Book 7, Hadith 2803].

(c). Similar is reported from Abdullah ibn Umar(ra) :

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مَعْمَرٍ ، نا بُهْلُولٌ ، عَنْ مُوسَى بْنِ عُبَيْدَةَ ، حَدَّثَنِي صَدَقَةُ بْنُ يَسَارٍ ، وَعَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ دِينَارٍ ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ . وَحَدَّثَنَا الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ عَمْرِو بْنِ سُكَيْنٍ ، نا أَبُو هَمَّامٍ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الزِّبْرِقَانِ ، نا مُوسَى بْنُ عُبَيْدَةَ ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ دِينَارٍ ، وَصَدَقَةَ بْنِ يَسَارٍ ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ : نَزَلَتْ هَذِهِ السُّورَةُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِمِنًى وَهُوَ فِي أَوْسَطِ أَيَّامِ التَّشْرِيقِ فِي حَجَّةِ الْوَدَاعِ إِذَا جَاءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ سورة النصر آية 1 فَعَرَفَ أَنَّهُ الْوَدَاعُ ، فَأَمَرَ بِرَاحِلَتِهِ الْقَصْوَاءِ فَرُحِّلَتْ لَهُ ، ثُمَّ رَكِبَ ، فَوَقَفَ لِلنَّاسِ بِالْعَقَبَةِ ، وَاجْتَمَعَ إِلَيْهِ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ ، فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ وَأَثْنَى عَلَيْهِ بِمَا هُوَ أَهْلُهُ ، ثُمَّ قَالَ : أَمَّا بَعْدُ : أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ فَإِنَّ كُلَّ دَمٍ كَانَ فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ فَهُوَ هَدْرٌ ، وَإِنَّ أَوَّلَ دِمَائِكُمْ أُهْدِرَ دَمُ رَبِيعَةَ بْنِ الْحَارِثِ ، كَانَ مُسْتَرْضَعًا فِي بَنِي لَيْثٍ فَقَتَلَتْهُ هُذَيْلُ ، وَكُلُّ رِبًا كَانَ فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ فَهُوَ مَوْضُوعٌ ، وَإِنَّ أَوَّلَ رِبَاكُمْ أَضَعُ رِبَا الْعَبَّاسِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ . أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ الزَّمَانَ قَدِ اسْتَدَارَ كَهَيْئَتِهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ ، وَإِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا ، مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ : رَجَبٌ ، مُضَرُ الَّذِي بَيْنَ جُمَادَى وَشَعْبَانَ ، وَذُو الْقَعْدَةِ ، وَذُو الْحَجَّةِ ، وَالْمُحَرَّمُ ، ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ فَلا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنْفُسَكُمْ سورة التوبة آية 36 ، إِنَّمَا النَّسِيءُ زِيَادَةٌ فِي الْكُفْرِ يُضَلُّ بِهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يُحِلُّونَهُ عَامًا وَيُحَرِّمُونَهُ عَامًا لِيُوَاطِئُوا عِدَّةَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ سورة التوبة آية 37 كَانُوا يُحِلُّونَ صَفَرَ عَامًا ، وَيُحَرِّمُونَ الْمُحَرَّمَ عَامًا ، وَيُحَرِّمُونَ صَفَرَ عَامًا ، وَيُحِلُّونَ الْمُحَرَّمَ عَامًا ، فَذَلِكَ النَّسِيءُ ، يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ مَنْ كَانَتْ عِنْدَهُ وَدِيعَةٌ فَلْيُؤَدِّهَا إِلَى مَنِ ائْتَمَنَهُ عَلَيْهَا ، أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ قَدْ يَئِسَ أَنْ يُعْبَدَ بِبِلادِكُمْ آخِرِ الزَّمَانِ ، وَقَدْ يَرْضَى مِنْكُمْ بِمُحَقَّرَاتِ الأَعْمَالِ فَاحْذَرُوا عَلَى دِينِكُمْ بِمُحَقَّرَاتِ الأَعْمَالِ . يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ النِّسَاءَ عِنْدَكُمْ عَوَانٌ أَخَذْتُمُوهُنَّ بِأَمَانَةِ اللَّهِ ، وَاسْتَحْلَلْتُمْ فُرُوجَهُنَّ بِكَلِمَةِ اللَّهِ ، لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ ، وَلَهُنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ حَقٌّ ، وَمِنْ حَقِّكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ أَلا يُوطِئْنَ فُرُشَكُمْ غَيْرَكُمْ ، وَلا يَعْصِينَكُمْ فِي مَعْرُوفٍ ، فَإِنْ فَعَلْنَ ذَلِكَ فَلَيْسَ لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلا ، وَلَهُنَّ رِزْقُهُنَّ وَكِسْوَتُهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ، فَإِنْ ضَرَبْتُمْ فَاضْرِبُوا ضَرْبًا غَيْرَ مُبَرِّحٍ ، لا يَحِلُّ لامْرِئٍ مِنْ مَالِ أَخِيهِ إِلا مَا طَابَتْ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ ، أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي قَدْ تَرَكْتُ فِيكُمْ مَا إِنْ أَخَذْتُمْ بِهِ لَمْ تَضِلُّوا ، كِتَابَ اللَّهِ فَاعْمَلُوا بِهِ ، أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَيُّ يَوْمٍ هَذَا ؟ ، قَالُوا : يَوْمٌ حَرَامٌ ، قَالَ : فَأَيُّ بَلَدٍ هَذَا ؟ ، قَالُوا : بَلَدٌ حَرَامٌ ، قَالَ : فَأَيُّ شَهْرٍ هَذَا ؟ ، قَالُوا : شَهْرٌ حَرَامٌ ، قَالَ : فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى حَرَّمَ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَأَمْوَالَكُمْ وَأَعْرَاضَكُمْ كَحُرْمَةِ هَذَا الْيَوْمِ وَهَذَا الشَّهْرِ وَهَذَا الْبَلَدِ ، أَلا لَيُبَلُّغْ شَاهِدُكُمْ غَائِبَكُمْ ؛ لا نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي ، وَلا أُمَّةَ بَعْدَكُمْ ، ثُمَّ رَفَعَ يَدَيْهِ ، فَقَالَ : اللَّهُمَّ اشْهَدْ

[Source: Musnad al-Bazzar, vol 12, page 298-300, #6135]

Therefore, we read in these traditions that, Prophet(saws) mentioned only Quran as the source holding which Muslims would never go astray after him. During the mass gathering of the Muslims at the important farewell sermon of Prophet(saws), there is no mention of his household(Ahlelbayt) at all. We notice, that Prophet(saws) even questioned the people, whether he conveyed the message or not? And the Muslims bore witness that the Message was conveyed to them by the Prophet(saws). Then Prophet(saws) made Allah(swt) as a witness for this sermon. However, in this authentic sermon of Prophet(saws) on the day of Arafah there is no mention of Ahlelbayt, and the only mention was of Quran, holding which Muslims would never go astray after him.

As per authentic traditions present in Sunni Books, the verse of completion/perfection of religion was revealed on the day of Arafah.

Narrated Tariq bin Shihab: A Jew said to `Umar, “O Chief of the Believers, if this verse: ‘This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favors upon you, and have chosen for you, Islam as your religion.’ (5.3) had been revealed upon us, we would have taken that day as an `Id (festival) day.” `Umar said, “I know definitely on what day this Verse was revealed; it was revealed on the day of `Arafat, on a Friday.” (Sahih al-Bukhari #7268).

Ibn Abbas recited: This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion (5:3). And a Jew was with him who said: ‘If this Ayah was revealed to us then we would have taken that day as a day of celebration.’ So Ibn ‘Abbas said: ‘Indeed it was revealed on two ‘Eids: On Friday, and on the Day of ‘Arafah.'” (Sunan Tirmidi, Book 47, Hadith 3318 ; Sahih).

We read in Tafseer ibn Katheer:

Ibn Jarir recorded that Harun bin `Antarah said that his father said, “When the Ayah, (This day, I have perfected your religion for you…) was revealed, during the great day of Hajj(the Day of `Arafah, the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah) ` Umar cried. The Prophet said, `What makes you cry’ He said, `What made me cry is that our religion is being perfected for us. Now it is perfect, nothing is perfect , but it is bound to deteriorate. ‘The Prophet said, You have said the truth.”. [Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Chapter 5, verse 3].

Important Points:

  1. Prophet(saws) on his important farewell sermon, did not mention about his household(Ahlelbayt), but rather he stated only about Quran being the source he left holding which Muslims won’t go astray.
  2. It was such an important message to Muslims, that people bore witness that it was conveyed. And then Allah(swt) was made a witness for that, If it was mandatory for the Ummah to follow Ahlel Bayt then Prophet(saws) would have definitely made this clear during his farewell speech at Makkah by mentioning Ahlelbayt along with Quran, but no authentic tradition states that, there was any mention of Ahlelbayt. Rather what the authentic reports states, that Prophet(saws) commanded to stick with the Qur’an and later on at Khumm he repeated the same command of holding Quran alone as source of guidance, except that he added the reminder for the Ummah to be dutiful and careful towards his Ahlel Bayt.
  3. On that same day, the verse of completion of religion(Ikmal al-deen)(5:3) was revealed, and the religion was completed/perfected, even though there was no mention of Ahlelbayt.
  4. If following Ahlelbayt in specific was a fundamental commandment, then this would have been definitely mentioned in the farewell sermon of Prophet(saws); before the religion being perfected. But this did not happen and no authentic tradition mentions this, and those reports which mention it are very weak and rejected, since they were reported from very weak/unreliable narrators and they contradict the authentic version of farewell sermon, which was reported by Imams from Ahlelbayt. As well as they contradict the authentic version of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn since it mentions that it was said on Ghadeer Khumm not Arafah.

 

VII. Weighty things are two – But only ONE of these is a source, holding which Muslims would not go astray.(i.e. Quran).

From the analysis of authentic reports in the above sections, we found that, although the weighty things are two, however only one of the weighty things is a source, holding which Muslims will remain on guidance and won’t go astray, that is the book of Allah(i.e. Quran). The holy Quran is the only thing mentioned as source of guidance, until the religion was completed/perfected.

Let us quote those reports again for the benefit of readers:

(a). Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah(ra) that: Prophet(saws) said: I have left among you the Book of Allah, and if you hold fast to it, you would never go astray. And you would be asked about me (on the Day of Resurrection), (now tell me) what would you say? They (the audience) said: We will bear witness that you have conveyed (the message), discharged (the ministry of Prophethood) and given wise (sincere) counsel. He (the narrator) said: He (the Holy Prophet) then raised his forefinger towards the sky and pointing it at the people (said): “O Allah, be witness. O Allah, be witness,” saying it thrice…. [Sahih Muslim, vol 3, page 343350, #2950(1218)].

(b). Also narrated from Hatim bin Isma’il  — Jafar — His Father(Mohammad Baqir) — Jabir: Prophet(SAWS) said: I have left among you the Book of Allah, and if you hold fast to it, you would never go astray. [Musannaf fi al-Ahadeeth wa al-Athar, by Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol 6, page 133, #30077].

(c). Similar report is found from Abdullah ibn Umar[Musnad al-Bazzar, vol 12, page 298-300, #6135], which we quoted in the previous section.

(d). Even before the last pilgrimage, The Prophet(saws) always reminded his companions, of the importance of Allah’s book, and that it protects from misguidance, we read in the Sahih Hadith:

أبشروا أبشروا ، أليس تشهدون أن لا إله إلا الله و أني رسول الله ؟ قالوا : نعم ، قال : فإن هذا القرآن سبب طرفه بيد الله ، و طرفه بأيديكم ، فتمسكوا به ، فإنكم لن تضلوا و لن تهلكوا بعده أبدا
Abu Shurayh al-‘Adawi AND Jubair bin Mut’am both narrated: The Prophet (SAWS) told his companions: “I give you glad tidings, I give you glad tidings! do you not bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that I am his Prophet?” We said: “Yes O Rassul-Allah”, He (SAWS) said: “This Quran is a means, a part of it is in the hand of Allah and the other part is in your hands, so hold on to it so that you will never go astray or perish afterwards.” [Silsilah al-Sahiha, vol 2, page 230, #713 . Grading: al-Albani said: “Sahih on the condition of Muslim.” ; Sahih al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib 1/10, #38 & #39 ]

(e). Even after Prophet(SAWS) passed away, his companions believed that he just left Quran.

حدثنا أبو عمرو بن حمدان ، ثنا الحسن بن سفيان ، ثنا علي بن الحسن بن سليمان ، ثنا أبو خالد ، عن المغيرة بن مسلم ، عن الربيع بن أنس ، عن أبي العالية . قال : قال رجل لأبي بن كعب : أوصني ، قال : اتخذ كتاب الله إماما ، وارض به قاضيا وحكما فإنه الذي استخلف فيكم رسولكم ، شفيع مطاع ، وشاهد لا يتهم . فيه ذكركم وذكر من قبلكم ، وحكم ما بينكم ، وخبركم وخبر ما بعدكم .

Abu Al-A’liyah reports that a man once asked ‘Ubay bin Ka’b (RA) for advice. He said: Take the Book of Allah(Quran) as your leader (Imâm) and be pleased with it as a judge and ruler. It is what your Messenger left amongst you. It will be an intercessor for you. It is to be obeyed. It is a witness never doubted. In it is a mention of you and those before you, and judgment for whatever happens amongst you. And in it is news about you and whatever will come after you. [Hilyat ul- Awliya, vol 1, page 253  ; Siyar A’lâm Al-Nubalâ, vol 1, page 392393 – All narrators are either Thiqa or Saduq hasan al-Hadeeth InshaAllah]

Ubay bin Ka’b(RA) didn’t mention that the Prophet(saws) left behind the Qur’an and Ahlel-Bayt as guidance, but he mentioned only the Qur’an.

(f). Similarly, Narrated Talha bin Musarrif: I asked `Abdullah bin Abu Aufa, “Did the Prophet (SAWS) make a will?” He replied, “No,” I asked him, “How is it then that the making of a will has been enjoined on people, (or that they are ordered to make a will)?” He replied, “The Prophet (SAWS) bequeathed Allah’s Book (i.e. Qur’an). [Sahih al-Bukhari #2740]

(g). Narrated `Abdul `Aziz bin Rufai’: Shaddad bin Ma’qil and I entered upon Ibn `Abbas. Shaddad bin Ma’qil asked him, “Did the Prophet (SAWS) leave anything (besides the Qur’an)?” He replied. “He did not leave anything except what is Between the two bindings (of the Qur’an).” Then we visited Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyya and asked him (the same question). He replied, “The Prophet (SAWS) did not leave except what is between the bindings (of the Qur’an). [Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Virtues of the Qur’an #5019].

In the light of these authentic traditions, let us understand the authentic tradition of Thaqalayn.

Narrated Zayd bin Arqam: One day Allah’s Messenger(saws) stood up to deliver sermon at a watering place known as Khumm situated between Mecca and Medina. He praised Allah, extolled Him and delivered the sermon and. exhorted (us) and said: […]I am leaving among you two weighty things: the one being the Book of Allah in which there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to it. He exhorted (us) (to hold fast) to the Book of Allah and then said: The second are the members of my Ahlelbayt(household)! I remind you of Allah with regard to the people of my household(Ahlelbayt). (Sahih Muslim, #2408).

In this most authentic narration of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, we find from the words of Prophet(saws) that, the source of guidance, which needs to be adhered is the Book of Allah(swt) ONLY. The necessary details were given along with the mention of the Qur’an, i.e. “in it is illumination and guidance. It should be held onto.” Exhortation was sounded to accept it and practice upon it. On the other hand, mention of the AhlelBayt is not accompanied by any such statements that are indicative of them holding a fundamental position in Islamic law, such that it is incumbent to obey them unquestioningly. Rather, what we do see is the encouragement to keep good ties with them and love them. Had it been that even Ahlelbayt were to be adhered to seek guidance, then the same would have been mentioned for them too, but as per the authentic version of Hadith al-Thaqalayn, it didn’t happen.

In the most authentic version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, Quran was singled out as the source of guidance which was to be held & adhered. What further strengthens our explanation is that; just like what Prophet(saws) said on Arafah during his Farewell Sermon, only the Quran being the source of guidance holding which people would not go astray, similarly even when Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn was stated by Prophet(saws), only Quran was mentioned as the source of guidance which needed to be held & adhered inorder not to go astray.

Even`Ali ibn Abi Talib(RA) agrees with Sunni understanding of Hadith al-Thaqalayn, that the only means of guidance left behind by the Prophet(SAWS) is Allah’s book(Quran) :

ثُمَّ اخْتَارَ سُبْحَانَهُ لِمحَمَّد صلى الله عليه لِقَاءَهُ، وَرَضِيَ لَهُ مَا عِنْدَهُ، فَأَكْرَمَهُ عَنْ دَارِالدُّنْيَا، وَرَغِبَ بِهَ عَنْ مُقَارَنَةِ البَلْوَى، فَقَبَضَهُ إِلَيْهِ كَرِيماً صَلَّى اللهُ علَيهِ و آلِهوَخَلَّفَ فِيكُمْ مَا خَلَّفَتِ الاْنْبيَاءُ في أُمَمِها، إذْ لَم يَتْرُكُوهُمْ هَمَلاً، بِغَيْر طَريق واضِح، ولاَعَلَمٍ قَائِم. كِتَابَ رَبِّكُمْ [فِيكُمْ:] مُبَيِّناً حَلاَلَهُ وَحَرامَهُ، وَفَرَائِضَهُ وَفَضَائِلَهُ، وَنَاسِخَهُ وَمَنْسُوخَهُ، وَرُخَصَهُ وَعَزَائِمَهُ، وَخَاصَّهُ وَعَامَّهُ، وَعِبَرَهُ وَأَمْثَالَهُ، وَمُرْسَلَهُ وَمَحْدُودَهُ، وَمُحْكَمَهُ وَمُتَشَابِهَهُ، مُفَسِّراً جُمَلَهُ، وَمُبَيِّناً غَوَامِضَهُ.
[…Then Allah chose for Muhammad(saws) to meet Him, selected him for His own nearness, regarded him too dignified to remain in this world and decided to remove him from this place of trial. So He drew him towards Himself with honor. He(saws) left among you the same thing other Prophets left among their peoples, because Prophets do not leave them untended without a clear path and a standing ensign, namely the Book of your Creator clarifying its permission and prohibitions, its obligations and discretion…](Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 1, page 121).

Ali(ra) didn’t mention that the Prophet(saws) left behind the Qur’an and Ahlel-Bayt as a source guidance, but he mentioned the Qur’an alone and this was the way of previous prophets as well.

 

VIII. Religion being completed/perfected before the mention of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn at Ghadeer is a clear proof that, the purpose behind the mention of Ahlelbayt in Thaqalayn was not to seek their guidance but to take care of them.

As per authentic traditions present in Sunni Books, the verse of completion/perfection of religion was revealed on the day of Arafah, before the event of Ghadeer and the mentioning of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn.

Following are the authentic traditions which proves the fact that verse of completion/perfection of religion(Ikmal al-Deen) was revealed at Arafah:

(a). Narrated Tariq bin Shihab: A Jew said to `Umar, “O Chief of the Believers, if this verse: ‘This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favors upon you, and have chosen for you, Islam as your religion.’ (5.3) had been revealed upon us, we would have taken that day as an `Id (festival) day.” `Umar said, “I know definitely on what day this Verse was revealed; it was revealed on the day of `Arafat, on a Friday.”(Sahih al-Bukhari #7268).

(b).Ibn Abbas recited: This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion (5:3). And a Jew was with him who said: ‘If this Ayah was revealed to us then we would have taken that day as a day of celebration.’ So Ibn ‘Abbas said: ‘Indeed it was revealed on two ‘Eids: On Friday, and on the Day of ‘Arafah.'” (Sunan Tirmidi, Book 47, Hadith 3318 ; Sahih).

(c). We read in Tafseer ibn Katheer:

Ibn Jarir recorded that Harun bin Antarah said that his father said, “When the Ayah, (This day, I have perfected your religion for you…) was revealed, during the great day of Hajj(the Day of `Arafah, the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah) ` Umar cried. The Prophet said, `What makes you cry’ He said, `What made me cry is that our religion is being perfected for us. Now it is perfect, nothing is perfect , but it is bound to deteriorate. ‘The Prophet said, You have said the truth.”. [Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Chapter 5, verse 3].

(d). Imam Tabari in his Jami’ al-Bayan(Tafsir al-Tabari),  presented several reports from Sahaba and Taba’een that the verse of completion/perfection of religion was revealed at Arafah. [Jami’ al-Bayan, vol 8, pages 808183848687888990 ].

(e). Similarly we even read in Shia hadeeth that the verse of perfection of religion was revealed on Arafah. We read in Shia book Al Kafi:

يوم الجمعة بعرفة ، أنزل الله عز وجل ” اليوم أكملت لكم دينكم وأتممت عليكم نعمتي

Narrated Abu Jafar(as): Friday on Arafah, Allah had revealed: “Today I have completed your religion for you”. (al-Kafi, vol 1, page 290).

[Note: Even though we believe that the Shia reports are manipulated and corrupted due to which they aren’t a binding proof upon Sunnis, however we are using a portion of Shia report, in order to refute those Shias who believe that the verse of perfection of religion was not revealed on Arafah but was revealed on Ghadeer.]

If following Ahlelbayt in specific was a fundamental commandment, then this would have been covered in the farewell sermon of Prophet(saws), before the religion was completed/perfected, but this did not happen and none of authentic traditions mention this, as for the authentic traditions, they state that hadeeth al-Thaqalayn was stated at Ghadeer NOT at Arafah. This being mentioned after religion was completed/perfected, is a clear evidence that seeking guidance from Ahlelbayt was not the purpose behind the mention of Ahlelbayt in hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, but rather it was to remind people of taking care of Ahlelbayt.

We are aware that, there are few very weak and unreliable reports having FAULTY text which state that, hadeeth al-Thaqalayn was even said at Arafah, however those reports are unreliable and Munkar(denounced) due to being reported by very weak and unreliable narrators and they even contradict the authentic version of farewell sermon which was reported by Imams from Ahlelbayt. As well as, they even contradict the authentic version of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn which mentions that it was spoken at Ghadeer Khumm.

Infact, it was the mischief of those very weak and unreliable narrators who reported the Munkar(denounced) version twisting the texts and stating that Hadith al-Thaqalayn was mentioned on Arafah, which contradicts other authentic reports, which has already been mentioned.

 

For the benefit of readers, let us verify the reliability of those weak reports with FAULTY text, which Shias quote claiming that hadeeth al-Thaqalayn was even mentioned at Arafah.

First unreliable tradition:

Jabir ibn Abdullah said, “I saw the Prophet(saws) during his pilgrimage as was on his camel speaking, so I heard him say, “I left you that you must abide by that you will never go astray, the book of Allah (swt) and my Ahlelbayt (a.s).”

Footnote: Sahih li ghayri(authentic due to external evidence), the chain of this narration however is weak, because of Zayd Ibn Al-Hasan he is Qurashi and Al-Anmati. [Source: Jami’ Tirmidhi Sunan Al -Tirmidhi. Vol. 6, Pg. # 335].

Response:

Here is the Chain for this tradition:

حَدَّثَنَا نَصْرُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ الْكُوفِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا زَيْدُ بْنُ الْحَسَنِ، هُوَ الأَنْمَاطِيُّ عَنْ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ

It was reported through the way of Zaid bin Al-Hasan Al-Anmati from Ja’far bin Muhammad from his father (Al-Baqir) from Jabir bin Abdullah.

Narrator Zaid bin al-Hasan al-Anmati was declared weak as stated by Hafiz Ibn Hajar in Taqreeb (1/337). Abu Hatim said that he was Munkar al-Hadeeth(denounced).

The hadeeth al-Thaqalain was said by the Prophet(saws) at the place of Khumm. However, according to this tradition the Prophet said it during his pilgrimage, at ‘Arafah.

Narrator Zaid al-Anmati who was called Munkar al-hadeeth by Abu Hatim, relates it from Ja’far as-Sadiq, while the other trustworthy narrators related it through same Ja’far as-Sadiq and they did not mentioned Ahlel Bayt. Rather,during the farewell pilgrimage the Prophet(saws) only urged people to stick with Qur’an. This tradition could be read in Sahih Muslim and other books.

Shaykh Shoaib Al-Arnaut declared the chain of this narration as weak, because of Zayd Ibn Al-Hasan Al-Anmati.

If it is said that Shaykh al-Albani authenticated this, then answer would be: No, Shaykh al-Albani did not authenticate this particular incident; rather he specifically authenticated the wording which was common in both this narration and other narrations. He notified the weakness in Zaid al-Anmati there in As-Sahihah #1761.

Shaykh al-Albani stated:

I say, Abu Ḥatim said, “Munkar al-ḥadith” and Ibn Ḥibban  mentioned him in al-Thiqat (The Trustworthy Narrators). Al-Ḥafiẓ said: “Da’if(weak)”. I say, But the hadith is sahih, for verily it has a witness(shahid) in the ḥadīth of Zayd bin Arqam. He(Zayd) said: One day Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) stood up to deliver sermon at a watering place known as Khumm situated between Mecca and Medina… [Silsilah al-Aḥādīth al-Ṣaḥīḥah, vol 4, page 355356, #1761].

Therefore, the hadith of Zayd bin Arqam(ra) which Shaykh al-Albani is using as witness, is the hadeeth mentioned in Sahih Muslim, which is the most accurate version of the hadeeth. IT STATES THAT THE EVENT OCCURRED IN GHADEER KHUMM(NOT ARAFAH) and its wording is also correct.

Shia Objection #1:

Only Abu Hatim is from the classical scholars who weakened narrator Zayd ibn al-Hasan al-anmati. Abu Hatim was known for his strictness in weakening narrators.

(a). Imam al-Dhahabi said: When Abū Ḥātim declared a narrator to be thiqah (trustworthy), then hold fast to his statement, because he never declared a narrator to be thiqah except a narrator whose aḥādīth are ṣaḥīḥ. When he weakened a narrator, or said about him “he is not accepted as a ḥujjah”, then pause until you have seen what others also said about him (i.e. that narrator). If there was A single other person who declared him (i.e. the narrator) to be thiqah (trustworthy), then do not adopt the criticism of Abū Ḥātim, because he was strict about the narrators. [Siyar A’lām al-Nubalā  , vol. 13, page. 260, # 129]

(b). Al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-‘Asqalānī said about a random narrator:

In al-Mīzān, it is stated that Abū Ḥātim said “He is not accepted as a ḥujjah”. But, watch that carefully. There was strictness in Abū Ḥātim. He (the narrator) has been accepted as a ḥujjah by the majority. [Hadī al-Sārī Muqaddimah Fatḥ al-Bārī , page 441, By Ibn Hajar]

Response:

It is true that in some cases, Imam Abu Hatim was very strict in his criticism over a narrator, and we would find a number of “moderate” muhadditheen, praising that narrator and declaring him to be trusthworthy. So, the criticism of Imam Abu Hatim gets overruled. However, there were cases when the criticism of Imam Abu Hatim over a narrator was correct and none of “moderate” muhadditheen praised that narrator. In those cases the criticism of Imam Abu Hatim is sustained.

The narrator under question “Zayd ibn al-Hasan” falls under the same category in which the criticism of Imam Abu Hatim was accepted by the “moderate” Scholars of Jarh wa Ta’deel. Interestingly, the same scholars(al-Dhahabi & Ibn Hajar) whom Shias quoted to overrule the criticism of Imam Abu Hatim, they have accepted Abu Hatim’s criticism on “Zayd ibn al-Hasan” and declared him, Weak.

(a). Imam al-Dhahabi.

Imam al-Dhahabi himself declared Zayd ibn al-Hasan al-Anmati as Weak. [Al-Kashif by al-Dhahabi vol 1, page 416 #1731].

Imam al-Dhahabi even included Zayd ibn al-Hasan al-Anmati in his Al-Mughni fi ‘l-Du’afa , an authoritative abridged manual of weak narrators. [Al-Mughni fi ‘l-Du’afavol 1 page 358 ; #2269]

(b). Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani.

Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani declared Zayd ibn al-Hasan al-Anmati as Weak. [Taqreeb al Tahdheeb, page 352, #2139 by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani]

The reason they accepted the criticism of Abu Hatim is because, Ibn Hibban praised Zayd ibn al-Hasan and he was known to be from the lenient scholars in praising narrators, whose praise isn’t taken into consideration, if he is alone or supported by another lenient scholar like al-Ijli.

Shaykh Al-Albani said:
ولهذا نجد المحققين من المحدثين كالذهبي والعسقلاني وغيرهما لا يوثقون من تفرد بتوثيقه ابن حبان
“And that is why we find the muhaditheen like Al-Dhahabi and Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani and others, not strengthening those that Ibn Hibban strengthens alone.” (Al-Rawd Al-Dani fil Fawa’id Al-Hadeethia, page. 18).

Moreover, one could easily figure out that indeed Zayd ibn al-Hasan was a weak narrator, by just comparing the hadeeth al-Thaqalayn he narrated by comparing it with the hadeeth narrated by many other narrators. He was ALONE, who narrated that this hadeeth was said by Prophet(SAWS) in Arafah, which goes against the hadeeth of many other strong and reliable narrators, including those who narrated it from Ahlelbayt(Muhammad al-Baqir). This apparently proves that Zayd ibn al-Hasan confused two different events that occurred in two different places as one, and twisted the wording of the hadeeth. That’s why Imam Abu Hatim correctly called Zayd ibn al-Hasan Munkar al-Hadeeth and agreeing to which, Ibn Hajar and al-Dhahabi weakened him.

 

Shia Objection #2:

Imam Tirmidhi after reporting the hadeeth in his Jami’ said:

قَالَ هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ

This Hadeeth is Hasan Ghareeb.

Response:

The readers must know that, the terminology that was used by Imam al-Tirmidhi in his Jami’/Sunan was different to what is generally known to people. Many scholars say that al-Tirmidhi himself mean by this terminology that the chain is weak as al-Tirmidi sometimes himself points out the weakness after terming the hadith Hasan Ghareeb. Moreover, Shaykh Sahsawani has given lots of examples from Jami’ Tirmidhi where Imam Tirmidhi declared a well known weak hadith to be Hasan. However, inorder to clear this confusion, regarding what Imam al-Tirmidhi actually meant by “Hasan Ghareeb” , let us see what Imam al-Tirmidhi explained about the terms he used in his Jami’/Sunan.

Imam Abu Isa Al-Tirmidhi wrote a book known as Al-‘Ilal, which is often published along with Jami’ Al-Tirmidhi. In Al-‘Ilal, he mentioned some important introductory points to let the reader know about what he has included in his Jami’/Sunan. Based on these points we come to know that, a hadeeth which Tirmidhi says “Hasan”, could either be authentic or it could be weak. Even for the word “Gharib”, he gives different explanations. So unless we read his clarification, we won’t properly understand his approach.  So let us quote what Imam al-Tirmidhi says about Hasan and Ghareeb.

Imam Abu Isa al-Tirmidhi said:

قال أبو عيسى : وما ذكرنا في هذا الكتاب حديث حسن ، فإنما أردنا به حسن إسناده عندنا ، كل حديث يروى لا يكون في إسناده من يتهم بالكذب ، ولا يكون الحديث شاذا ويروى من غير وجه نحو ذاك فهو عندنا حديث حسن.

وما ذكرنا في هذا الكتاب حديث غريب ، فإن أهل الحديث يستغربون الحديث لمعان رب حديث يكون غريبا لا يروى إلا من وجه واحد….قال أبو عيسى : ورب حديث إنما يستغرب لزيادة تكون في الحديث ، وإنما يصح إذا كانت الزيادة ممن يعتمد على حفظه….ورب حديث يروى من أوجه كثيرة وإنما يستغرب لحال الإسناد.

“Whatever it is that we mentioned in this book saying ‘A Hasan Hadith,’ we only meant that its chain is Hasan according to us. Every Hadith that is related that does not have in its chain someone who is accused of lying, nor is the Hadith Shadh, and it has been related through other routes similar to that, then it is a Hasan Hadith according to us.

About whatever we said in this book is a Gharib Hadith, then the people of Hadith considered the Hadith to be Gharib for various reasons: Sometimes a Hadith is Gharib because it is not related except through one route…Abu ‘Isa said: Sometimes a Hadith is considered Gharib due to an addition that is in the Hadith, and it will only be correct when the addition is from one who is depended upon for his memory….Sometimes a Hadith is related through many routes, and it is only considered Gharib due to the condition of the chain. [Kitaab Al-Ilal, by Imam Abu Isa al-Tirmidhi].

Notice: Imam al-Tirmidhi says when describing the term “hasan” says {…does not have in its chain someone who is accused of lying….} So yes in the chain there is no narrator accused of lying, BUT that is just one type of criticism over a narrator, there are other types of jarh(criticism) on a narrator which could make hadeeth weak, such as a narrator could be Munkar al-hadeeth, or Da’eef al-hadeeth, or Mukhtalit(confusion), Mudallis, etc. Therefore, al-Tirmidhi saying a hadeeth is Hasan only means the chain of the narration is free from a narrator who was accused of lying, but it could still could be weak due to other reasons such a narrator being Munkar al-Hadeeth or Da’eef al-Hadeeth, etc ; And we know the narrator in question Zayd ibn al-Hasan al-Anmati was called Munkar and Da’eef by other Scholars of Jarh wa Tadeel.  In addition to this, Imam al-Tirmidhi used the term Ghareeb, and one of the definition regarding Ghareeb given by him is that, the hadeeth has an addition in it, and it will be only accepted if it’s from the narrator who is depended for his memory. And we known Imam al-Dhahabi and Ibn Hajar considered Zayd ibn al-Hasan as weak narrator. Hence additions from him won’t be accepted.

 

Second unreliable tradition:

Al-Rafi’i Al-Qazweeni: narrated his grandson Abul Hussain Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ahmad ibn Maymoon from him (i.e. Ahmad Muhammad iMaymoon) and from Muhammad ibn Al-Hajjaj both of them said: narrated Muhammad ibn Mihran from Hatam ibn Ismaeel from Ja’far ibn Muhammad from his father from Jabir that the Allah’s Messenger when performing the hajj seated on his she camel Al-Qaswa on the day of Arafah, saying, “O people, I have left among you something of such a nature that if you adhere to it you will not go astray: Allah’s Book and my close relatives, my Ahlelbayt (a.s).” [Source: Al-Tadween Fi Akhbar Al-Qazween. Vol.2, Pg. # 266].

Response:

Here is the chain for this report:

Muhammad bin Mehran -> Hatim bin Isma`eel -> Ja`far bin Muhammad -> his father -> Jabir.

This report is also weak since it has Ilal(hidden defect) in it. The lateness of this source casts great doubts on its authenticity; it also contradicts the most authentic of narrations which state that al-Thaqalayn happened in Ghadeer Khumm, not in the last Hijjah or the farewell sermon at Arafah. It also contradicts the earliest and most authentic reports from Ja’far, from his father, from Jabir(ra) in which he narrates the Hadith of Hajj in full detail without any mention of Thaqalayn or Ahlelbayt.

Al-Imam al-Tabarani who has researched this narration said in his Mu’jam that: “No one narrated this Hadith from Ja’far bin Muhammad except for Zayd bin al-Hasan al-Anmati.” And this is true if one were to revise all the narrations above, we find al-Anmati narrating it and not Hatim bin Isma’eel, meaning that there is an error in this chain, which is expected from late sources.

The mistake is that Hatim bin Isma’eel narrated a similar narration, from Ja’far, from his father, from Jabir (ra), and it is authentic in al-Tahawi’s book(Sharh Mushkil al-Athaar, vol 1, page 32, #41) and it mentions that the Prophet(saws) rode his favorite camel (al-Qaswa’), and when it climbed on top of a small mountain called al-Bayda’, he started making Ihlal (Loud calling of Talbiyah). Apparently al-Rafi’ee or one of the narrators made the mistake since both narrations are similar and he switched the chain of one Hadith for the text of the other Hadith.

Therefore, what is correct is that, it was narrated by narrator Zayd bin al-Hasan al-Anmati, and his status has been discussed in the previous response under objection #1, he was declared weak and was called Munkar al-hadeeth.

 

IX. Understanding of Sahabi disapproves the view that the purpose behind mention of Ahlelbayt in Hadith al-Thaqalayn was to seek guidance from them.

Narrated Zayd bin Arqam: Prophet(saws) said: I am leaving among you two weighty things: the one being the Book of Allah in which there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to it. He exhorted (us) (to hold fast) to the Book of Allah and then said: The second are the members of my household! I remind you of Allah with regard to the people of my household. He (Husain) said to Zayd: Who are the members of his household? Aren’t his wives the members of his family? Thereupon he said: His wives are the members of his family (but here) the members of his family are those for whom acceptance of Zakat is forbidden. And he said: Who are they? Thereupon he said: ‘Ali and the offspring of ‘Ali, ‘Aqil and the offspring of ‘Aqil and the offspring of Ja’far and the offspring of ‘Abbas. Husain said: These are those for whom the acceptance of charity(sadaqa) is forbidden. Zayd said: Yes. (Sahih Muslim, #2408).

Notice, that when the noble Sahabi(companion) of Prophet(saws) was asked about who Ahlelbayt are, he replied that members of household(Ahlelbayt) in regards to Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn are those relatives of Prophet(saws) on whom the acceptance of charity(sadaqa) is forbidden. They are Ali and the offspring of ‘Ali, ‘Aqil and the offspring of ‘Aqil and the offspring of Ja’far and the offspring of ‘Abbas.

Zayd bin Arqam(ra) did not say, Ahlelbayt are those who are chosen by Allah or those who were purified or those who were infallible. Rather Zayd(ra) GENERALIZED that Ahlelbayt in regards to Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn are those relatives of Prophet(saws) on whom acceptance of charity(sadaqa) is forbidden. The question which the readers should ponder over is that; Were all these members from Ahlelbayt on whom acceptance of Sadaqa was made forbidden, eligible or deserving to be adhered or held, to save ourselves from going astray? Undoubtedly, No! People of knowledge know that, not all the relatives of Prophet(saws) on whom acceptance of Sadaqa was made forbidden, were righteous. There were people among them who were unrighteous too and they were fallible, prone to commit sins and mistakes. And even Zayd bin Arqam(ra) knew this fact very well, yet he defined Ahlelbayt mentioned in hadeeth al-Thaqalayn in a generalized manner, that those are the relatives of Prophet(saws) on whom acceptance of Saqada(charity) is forbidden; that is ‘Ali and the offspring of ‘Ali, ‘Aqil and the offspring of ‘Aqil and the offspring of Ja’far and the offspring of ‘Abbas. Which implies that as per understanding of Zayd bin Arqam(ra) the purpose behind the mention of Ahlelbayt in Hadith al-Thaqalayn wasn’t to adhere or hold or seek guidance from Ahlelbayt.

The reason we are saying this is because of the generalized definition given by Zayd(ra). He described Ahlelbayt, as those relatives of Prophet(saws) on whom acceptance of Sadaqa was forbidden, this was the only condition he mentioned to define Ahlelbayt in regards to hadeeth al-Thaqalayn. This is the reason, even though Zayd(ra) accepted wives of Prophet(saws) were Ahlelbayt, yet he said that in regards to hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, Ahlelbayt were those relatives of Prophet(saws) on whom acceptance of Sadaqa was forbidden. If Zayd bin Arqam(ra) believed that righteousness or purification, was a criteria to define Ahlelbayt in hadeeeth al-Thaqalayn, then he would have even included wives of Prophet(saws) in it, since all the wives of Prophet(saws) were righteous[If The Rafidah disagree then we give them the example of Umm Salamah(ra) and Zaynab bint Jahash(ra), atleast they must have been included], but Zayd(ra) didn’t include them and made a generalized definition that, it is those relatives of Prophet(saws) on whom acceptance of Sadaqa(charity) is forbidden, even though this definition included some members who were unrighteous or (atleast) members who were fallible and prone to sins and mistakes. Therefore, Zayd bin Arqam(ra) making a generalized definition which even included unrighteous members, is an apparent proof that, he didn’t believe that in regards to hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, the purpose behind the mention of Ahlelbayt was to adhere them or seek their guidance to avoid going astray.

Rather, the generalized definition made by Zayd bin Arqam(ra) for Ahlelbayt and him stating the only condition for it as, “acceptance of Sadaqa being forbidden”, is a clear proof that, Zayd(ra) understood the purpose behind the mention of Ahlelbayt in hadeeth al-Thaqalayn was to take care of them and to be responsible towards them, not to adhere them or to seek their guidance, and this is the right and correct understanding of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn. This is the reason that in authentic version of Hadith al-Thaqalayn, the mention of Quran has the necessary details i.e. “in it is illumination and guidance. It should be held onto.” Exhortation was sounded to accept it and practice upon it. On the other hand, mention of the AhlelBayt is not accompanied by any such statements that are indicative of them holding a fundamental position in Islamic law, such that it is incumbent to obey them unquestioningly. Rather, what we do see is the encouragement to take care of them and be responsible towards them.

Readers might question that, how does the generalized definition of Ahlelbayt made by noble companion Zayd(ra) in regards to hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, prove that the purpose behind the mention of Ahlelbayt in hadeeth al-Thaqalayn was to take care of them and be responsible towards them?.

The answer is that, hadeeth al-Thaqalayn was mentioned on the location of Ghadeer Khumm, this was in relation to what occurred during Hajj when, the Muslim army from Yemen returned to Makkah, they made multiple complains against their commander -Ali(ra) – who was a member of Ahlelbayt, and one of the complaint was that Ali(ra) had taken a slave girl from Khums, therefore Prophet(saws) rebuked those who complained against Ali(ra) and said that Ali(ra) even deserved more than that from Khums. Therefore, on the way back to Madina after Hajj, and after religion was completed/perfected and after Farewell Sermon was given at Makkah; Prophet(saws) stopped at a resting place called Ghadeer Khumm, and there he addressed people encouraging them to befriend and love Ali(ra) who was a member of Ahlelbayt, and in the same speech He(saws) even mentioned hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, which mentions about being responsible towards Ahlelbayt.

The reason, Prophet(saws) did so, is most likely because he realized that people criticized a member of his household(Ahlelbayt), who took his right from Khums, therefore Prophet(saws) felt the need to remind the people about the importance of taking care of his Ahlelbayt and to be responsible towards them, after him. Because his relatives due to relation with him, were prohibited from accepting Sadaqa(charity), and if some Muslims criticize or object against them, for taking their right, like their share from Khums, which was a right given to them by Allah in Quran, then that would create a big problem for his Ahlelbayt, since they weren’t even eligible to accept Sadaqa(charity); This would even be against the Quran. This is the reason, Prophet(saws) mentioned Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, where the purpose of mentioning Ahlelbayt, was to remind the people about taking care of Ahlelbayt and to be responsible towards them.

This is the reason, noble Sahabi(companion) Zayd bin Arqam(ra) believed that, Ahlelbayt in regards to hadeeth al-Thaqalayn were those relatives of Prophet(saws) on whom acceptance of Sadaqa was forbidden, since these same people were eligible to receive a portion from Khums.

We read in Shia book regarding the ruling on Khums:

مسألة: المشهور أن المراد باليتامى والمساكين وابن السبيل في آية الخمس من قرابة النبي – صلى الله عليه وآله – من بني هاشمخاصة، ذهب إليه الشيخان، وابن أبي عقيل، وأبو الصلاح، وباقي فقهائنا

It is popular among our scholars that what is meant by the orphans, the poor ones, and the wayfarer, in the verse of khums (8:41), among the kindred of the Prophet(saws), are those exclusively from the Bani Hashim. Among those who advocated this view are Shaikh Mufid, Shaikh Tusi, ibn abi Aqil, Abu Salah, and other scholars.(Mukhtalif al Shia by Shia Allama Hilli, Volume 3 Page 330).

We read in Shia book regarding the ruling on Zakat(obligatory charity) :

وتحرم الزكاة الواجبة علي بني هاشم جميعا من ولد أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام، وجعفر، وعقيل، والعباس رضي اللهعنهم

(Acceptance of) Zakat is haram for all the Bani Hashim, from the progeny of Imam Ali(as), Ja’far bin abi Talib, Aqil bin abi Talib, and Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib, may Allah (swt) be pleased with them. (Al Muqniah by Shaikh Mufid, Page 243)

As can be seen, the ruling of a share in Khums as well as forbiddance to accept charity is for the same group in general, that is, all the Bani Hashim, not just specific to the children of Fatima(ra) and Ali(ra). It is applicable on all the Muslims among them, whether they are righteous or not. This is same way, Zayd bin Arqam(ra) generalized Ahlelbayt while defining them as per Hadith al-Thaqalayn.

The explanation and understanding of Sahabi Zayd bin Arqam(ra) is further strengthened by a reliable version of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, which has the expression “Kitab Allah wa `Itrati Ahlu-Bayti“, we know that Ahlel-Bayt refers to the household, let’s discover what the “Itrah” means in Arabic.

In the traditional Arabic dictionary Lisan ul-Arab 4/536 by Ibn Manthur, we read:

والمشهور المعروف أَن عتْرتَه أَهلُ بيته وهم الذين حُرّمَت عليهم الزكاة والصدقة المفروضة وهم ذوو القربى الذين لهم خُمُسُ الخُمُسِ المذكور في سورة الأَنفال

“And what is famously recognized is that his ‘Itrah’ are the People of his Household, and they are those upon whom Zakaah and the mandatory Sadaqah is prohibited; and they are the relatives (Thuw al-Qurbaa) who are due a fifth of the spoils of war(Khums), mentioned in Surat al-Anfal in Quran.”]

Therefore, it is established that, as per the understanding of noble companion Zayd(ra), the purpose behind the mention of Ahlelbayt in hadeeth al-Thaqalayn was to remind people about taking care of Ahlelbayt and to be responsible towards them. It wasn’t to adhere them or to seek their guidance, and this is the right and correct understanding of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn.

This is again further strengthened by the established fact that, before the completion/perfection of religion at Farewell sermon on Arafah, ONLY Quran was mentioned as a source of guidance adhering to which Muslims would not go astray; there was no mention of Ahlelbayt in any authentic tradition about Farewell sermon.

Our view is also supported by the fact, that Jabir bin Abdullah(ra) who narrated the Farewell sermon to Muhammad bin Ali(Imam Al-Baqir), led him in prayer(Salah).

Ja’far bin Muhammad reported on the authority of his father: We went to Jabir bin Abdullah and he began inquiring about the people (who had gone to see him) till it was my turn. I said: I am Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin Husain. He placed his hand upon my head and opened my upper button and then the lower one and then placed his palm on my chest (in order to bless me), and I was, during those days, a young boy, and he said: You are welcome, my nephew. Ask whatever you want to ask. And I asked him but as he was blind (he could not respond to me immediately), and the time for prayer came. He stood up covering himself in his mantle. And whenever he placed its ends upon his shoulders they slipped down on account of being short (in size). Another mantle was, however, lying on the clothes rack near by. And he led us in the prayer. I said to him: Tell me about the Hajj of Allah’s Messenger(saws). [Sahih Muslim, vol 3, page 343344, #2950(1218)].

We find that Jabir bin Abdullah(ra) narrated to Muhammad bin Ali(Al-Baqir) about the final Hajj of Prophet(saws) before his death and it even included the Farewell sermon of Prophet(saws) in it, yet Jabir bin Abdullah led them in prayer in his house. Had it been that, he believed that adhering to Ahlelbayt or seeking guidance through them or taking them as leaders was said by Prophet(saws), then Jabir bin Abdullah wouldn’t have led the prayer in presence of Muhammad Al-Baqir(rah) who is a member of Ahlelbayt, Jabir(ra) would have made Muhammad Al-Baqir(rah) lead the prayer. Even this incident proves that, the purpose behind the mention of Ahlelbayt in Hadith al-Thaqalayn wasn’t about taking Ahlelbayt as a source of guidance or adhering them to avoid going astray.

Note: We anticipate that, some biased and incompetent readers might jump to conclusion that, we mean to say that Ahlelbayt are not a source of guidance nor they should be adhered. No! This is not what we are saying, because Ahlus-sunnah does believe that just like Sahaba, even Ahlelbayt are a source of guidance and should be followed in goodness just as Quran commands to follow the foremost of Muhajireen and Ansar(9:100). We believe that adherence to them and following them is conditional, similar to the case of following Sahaba. Infact, we take a big part of our religion from the narrations of the scholars from the prophetic-household such as: Ali ibn abi Talib(ra), `Abdullah ibn al-Abbas(ra), Abdullah bin Ja’far al-Tayyar(ra), wives of Prophet(saws) and others.

However, this doesn’t contradict the fact that, in regards to hadeeth al-Thaqalayn the purpose behind the mention of Ahlelbayt in it, wasn’t regarding adhering them or seeking their guidance, to avoid going astray, rather the reason they were mentioned in al-Thaqalayn, was to remind people to take care of them and to be responsible towards them.

Even Ali(ra) agreed with Sunni understanding of Hadith al-Thaqalayn, that the only means of guidance left behind by the Prophet(saws) is Allah’s book(Quran) :

ثُمَّ اخْتَارَ سُبْحَانَهُ لِمحَمَّد صلى الله عليه لِقَاءَهُ، وَرَضِيَ لَهُ مَا عِنْدَهُ، فَأَكْرَمَهُ عَنْ دَارِالدُّنْيَا، وَرَغِبَ بِهَ عَنْ مُقَارَنَةِ البَلْوَى، فَقَبَضَهُ إِلَيْهِ كَرِيماً صَلَّى اللهُ علَيهِ و آلِهوَخَلَّفَ فِيكُمْ مَا خَلَّفَتِ الاْنْبيَاءُ في أُمَمِها، إذْ لَم يَتْرُكُوهُمْ هَمَلاً، بِغَيْر طَريق واضِح، ولاَعَلَمٍ قَائِم. كِتَابَ رَبِّكُمْ [فِيكُمْ:] مُبَيِّناً حَلاَلَهُ وَحَرامَهُ، وَفَرَائِضَهُ وَفَضَائِلَهُ، وَنَاسِخَهُ وَمَنْسُوخَهُ، وَرُخَصَهُ وَعَزَائِمَهُ، وَخَاصَّهُ وَعَامَّهُ، وَعِبَرَهُ وَأَمْثَالَهُ، وَمُرْسَلَهُ وَمَحْدُودَهُ، وَمُحْكَمَهُ وَمُتَشَابِهَهُ، مُفَسِّراً جُمَلَهُ، وَمُبَيِّناً غَوَامِضَهُ.
[…Then Allah chose for Muhammad(saws) to meet Him, selected him for His own nearness, regarded him too dignified to remain in this world and decided to remove him from this place of trial. So He drew him towards Himself with honor. He(saws) left among you the same thing other Prophets left among their peoples, because Prophets do not leave them untended without a clear path and a standing ensign, namely the Book of your Creator clarifying its permission and prohibitions, its obligations and discretion…](Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 1, page 121).

Ali(ra) didn’t mention that the Prophet(saws) left behind the Ahlel-Bayt along with Quran as guidance, but he mentioned the Qur’an alone.

 

X. Sahabi’s understanding of Hadeeth in comparison to the understanding of people(Scholars) who came after.

The Sahabi(companion) of Prophet – Abdullah ibn Mas’ood(ra) said:

وقد ذكر سنيد قال حدثنا معتمر عن سلام بن مسكين عن قتادة قال قال ابن مسعود: من كان منكم متأسيا فليتأس بأصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فإنهم كانوا أبر هذه الأمة قلوبا، وأعمقها علما، وأقلها تكلفا، وأقومها هديا، وأحسنها حالا، آختارهم الله لصحبة نبيه صلى الله عليه وسلم وإقامة دينه، فاعرفوا لهم فضلهم، واتبعوهم في آثارهم، فإنهم كانوا على الهدى المستقيم.

“Whoever wants to follow an example, let him follow the example of those who have passed away, the Companions of Muhammad (S). They were the best of this ummah, the purest in heart, the DEEPEST in knowledge, the least in sophistication. They were people whom Allah chose to be the Companions of His Prophet (S) and to convey His religion, so imitate their ways and behaviour, for they were following the Straight Path.” [Tafseer Al-Qurtabi and Sharh as-Sunnah of Al-Baghawi]

Similarly, Al-Hasan Al-Basri said:

1143 – وحدثنا ابن عبد الحميد قال : حدثنا يعقوب بن إبراهيم الدورقي قال : حدثنا حكام بن سلم الرازي ، عن عمرو بن أبي قيس ، عن عبد ربه قال : كنا عند الحسن في مجلس ، فذكر كلاما ، وذكر أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال : « أولئك أصحاب محمد كانوا أبر هذه الأمة قلوبا ، وأعمقها علما ، وأقلها تكلفا ، قوم اختارهم الله عز وجل لصحبة نبيه ، وإقامة دينه ، فتشبهوا بأخلاقهم وطرائقهم ، فإنهم كانوا ورب الكعبة على الهدي المستقيم »

Those are the companions of Mohammad, best in the heart, DEEPEST in knowledge, without going out of their way. They were chosen by Allah to accompany his prophet, to stabilize the religion, so follow their manners and ways, for by Allah they were on the straight path.( Al-Sharee’a by Al-Ajurri #1143)

In the first report, Abdullah ibn Masood is telling the Tabaeen –- who are the second greatest generation –- to follow those who have passed away, that is the companions(sahaba) of Muhammad(saws). Abdullah ibn Masood(ra) was saying this in the time of second best generation(Tabaeen). And he gives some reasons for following the Sahaba, one of which is, “they were DEEPEST in knowledge” – notice here the choice of words, Abdullah Ibn Masood(ra) as well as Hasan Al-Basri(rah) didn’t say, Sahaba had the MOST knowledge, but they said Sahaba had the “DEEPEST knowledge”; because there were people who came after Sahaba, who might know things which Sahaba may not have known, for example Imam Al-Bukhari knew more ahadeeth than many Sahaba, because he knew of ahadeeth which different Sahaba had, he knew ahadeeth which Umar(ra) had, which Ali(ra) had, which Ibn Abbas(ra) had, which Abu Huraira(ra) had, which Ayesha(ra) had, etc, He was an encyclopaedia of Hadeeth. So Abdullah ibn Masood(ra) and Hasan Al-Basri didn’t say they had the most knowledge, but they said Sahaba had the DEEPEST knowledge.

Therefore, even though some of the scholars who came later knew the things which some of the Sahaba didn’t know, however none of the people who came after Sahaba have the depth of knowledge that the Sahaba had, because even though a Sahabi may know only two hundred hadeeth or three hundred hadeeth, but he was there when those ahadeeth were spoken by Prophet Muhammad(saws), He knew the circumstances, He knew why Prophet(saws) said it, He was there, he experienced it first hand, therefore everyone who came after Sahaba is just scratching the surface of knowledge, whereas Sahaba lived that hadeeth, an opportunity that none of the people who came after has, so sahaba had an edge over everyone who came later. This is the reason Abdullah Ibn Masood(ra) and Hasan al-Basri advised people to follow the understanding of Sahaba in comparison to those who came after.

In the previous section we have proven, by the help of Allah, that as per the understanding of Sahabi Zayd bin Arqam(ra), the purpose behind mention of Ahlelbayt in hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, WAS NOT that, they are to be adhered and taken as a source of guidance, inorder to be protected from going astray, since he made a generalized definition and believed that Ahlelbayt in hadeeth al-Thaqalayn are all those relatives of Prophet(saws) upon whom acceptance of Sadaqa is forbidden, which even included people from Bani Hashim who could be unrighteous.

We are aware that there are some Sunni scholars who on the basis of some weak reports with faulty text, reported in a twisted form by unreliable narrators; explained the Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn to mean adhering to Ahlelbayt and following their guidance. Even though we believe that Ahlelbayt should be adhered and followed in a conditional way, just like Sahaba, but we disagree with the view of those scholars who say that, the meaning of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn is adhering Ahlelbayt and following their guidance, because the understanding of these scholars is based on weak and unreliable reports with faulty and twisted text, and it goes against the understanding of noble Sahabi Zayd bin Arqam(ra). Therefore, these scholars erred in their understanding. As as per the rule their explanations are discarded because their basis itself is weak. For example, Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee, when discussing the reliability of a random hadeeth said that: “Since the hadeeth is proven as weak, the explanation of Shaykh al-Sindhi has no value”. [al-Hadeeth, vol 100, page 20, by Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee].

As we quoted the words of Abdullah ibn Masood(ra) and Hasan Al-Basri(rah), Sahaba had the deepest knowledge, their understanding was deep, they understood the hadeeth way better than those who came later. Therefore the understanding of Sahabi will be given preference over the understanding of scholars who came later. So in the case of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn too, the understanding of Zayd bin Arqam(ra) would be followed, because he was there when those words were spoken by Prophet Muhammad(saws), He knew the circumstance, He knew why Prophet(saws) said it, He was there, he experienced it first hand, therefore scholars who came centuries later are just scratching the surface of knowledge and they can be wrong, whereas Zayd bin Arqam(ra) fully understood the hadeeth al-Thaqalayn and He didn’t believe that Ahlelbayt are a source of guidance adhering whom, Muslims would not go astray, as we explained in the previous section.

Hence, the understanding of later scholars is a no match in comparision to the understanding of Sahabi Zayd bin Arqam(ra). The understanding of Sahabi is highly preferred over the understandings of all those scholars who misunderstood hadeeth al-Thaqalayn. Also, refer the Section (III), where we quoted the explanation of those scholars who understood Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn correctly, which supports the understanding of Sahabi – Zayd bin Arqam(ra).

 

XI. Why did the mention of Ahlelbayt occur at Ghadeer after completion of religion, even though Quran was already declared as the source of guidance just before the completion of religion?

The mention of Ahlelbayt at Ghadeer was in relation to what occurred during Hajj, when the army whose commander was Ali(ra) returned from Yemen to Makkah. The soldiers from the army made multiple complains against their commander -Ali(ra) – who was a member of Ahlelbayt, and one of the complaint was that Ali(ra) had taken a slave girl from Khums, therefore Prophet(saws) rebuked those who complained against Ali(ra) and said that Ali(ra) even deserved more than that from Khums. We read:

Narrated Buraida: The Prophet(saws) sent Ali to Khalid to bring the Khums(of the booty) and I hated Ali, and Ali had taken a bath (after a sexual act with a slave-girl from the Khums). I said to Khalid, “Don’t you see this (i.e. Ali)?” When we reached the Prophet (saws) I mentioned that to him. He said, “O Buraida! Do you hate `Ali?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Do you hate him, for he deserves more than that from the Khums.” (Sahih al-Bukhari #4350).

Therefore, on the way back to Madina after Hajj, and after religion was completed/perfected at Arafah and after Farewell Sermon was given at Makkah; Prophet(saws) stopped at a resting place called Ghadeer Khumm, and there he addressed people and encouraged them to befriend and love Ali(ra),who was a member of Ahlelbayt, and He(saws) even mentioned hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, where the purpose behind the mention of Ahlelbayt, was to remind people about, taking care of Ahlelbayt and being responsible towards them.

The reason, Prophet(Saws) did so, is most likely because he realized that people criticized a member of his household(Ahlelbayt), who took his right from Khums, therefore Prophet(saws) felt the need to remind the people about the importance of taking care of his Ahlelbayt and to be responsible towards them, after him. Because his relatives due to relation with him, were prohibited from accepting Sadaqa(charity), and if some Muslims criticize them for taking their share from Khums, which was their right given by Allah in Quran, then that would create a big problem for his Ahlelbayt, especially those who were not financially strong, since they weren’t even eligible to receive charity.  And it would even be against Quran, since relatives of Prophet(saws) were eligible to receive a share from Khums, as per Quran. This is the reason, Prophet(saws) mentioned Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, where the purpose of mentioning Ahlelbayt was to take their care and to be responsible towards them.

In the traditional Arabic dictionary Lisan ul-Arab 4/536 by Ibn Manthur, we read:

والمشهور المعروف أَن عتْرتَه أَهلُ بيته وهم الذين حُرّمَت عليهم الزكاة والصدقة المفروضة وهم ذوو القربى الذين لهم خُمُسُ الخُمُسِ المذكور في سورة الأَنفال

“And what is famously recognized is that his ‘Itrah’ are the People of his Household, and they are those upon whom Zakaah and the mandatory Sadaqah is prohibited; and they are the relatives (Thuw al-Qurbaa) who are due a fifth of the spoils of war(Khums), mentioned in Surat al-Anfal.”

We read in Shia book regarding the ruling on Zakat:

وتحرم الزكاة الواجبة علي بني هاشم جميعا من ولد أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام، وجعفر، وعقيل، والعباس رضي اللهعنهم

Zakat is haram for all the Bani Hashim, from the progeny of Imam Ali(as), Ja’far bin abi Talib, Aqil bin abi Talib, and Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib, may Allah (swt) be pleased with them. (Al Muqniah by Shaikh Mufid, Page 243)

We read in Shia book regarding the ruling on Khums:

مسألة: المشهور أن المراد باليتامى والمساكين وابن السبيل في آية الخمس من قرابة النبي – صلى الله عليه وآله – من بني هاشمخاصة، ذهب إليه الشيخان، وابن أبي عقيل، وأبو الصلاح، وباقي فقهائنا

It is popular among our scholars that what is meant by the orphans, the poor ones, and the wayfarer, in the verse of khums (8:41), among the kindred of the Prophet(saws), are those exclusively from the Bani Hashim. Among those who advocated this view are Shaikh Mufid, Shaikh Tusi, ibn abi Aqil, Abu Salah, and other scholars.(Mukhtalif al Shia by Shia Allama Hilli, Volume 3 Page 330)

As can be seen, the ruling to in regards to khums is same as for prohibition of accepting charity. The ruling in both cases applies in a general sense to all the Bani Hashim.

This is the reason, noble Sahabi(companion) Zayd bin Arqam(ra) understood that, Ahlelbayt in regards to hadeeth al-Thaqalayn were those relatives of Prophet(saws) on whom acceptance of Sadaqa was forbidden, since these same relatives were eligible to receive a portion from Khums.

Hence, due this reason, the mention of Ahlelbayt occurred at Ghadeer after the completion/perffection of religion, even though Quran was already declared as the source of guidance adhering which Muslims would not go astray, just before the completion/perfection of religion.

 

XII. Who are the Ahlelbayt mentioned in hadeeth al-Thaqalayn?

As per the understanding of noble companion(Sahabi) of Prophet(saws) – Zayd bin Arqam(ra) – who was present at that moment when Prophet(saws) spoke those words, who lived that moment and was aware under which circumstances Prophet(saws) said those words; according to him Ahlelbayt mentioned in Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn were ALL those relatives of Prophet(saws), upon whom acceptance of Sadaqa(charity) was forbidden. We read:

Husain said to Zayd bin Arqam(ra) : Who are the members of his household? Aren’t his wives the members of his family? Thereupon he said: His wives are the members of his family (but here) the members of his family are those for whom acceptance of Zakat is forbidden. And he said: Who are they? Thereupon he said: ‘Ali and the offspring of ‘Ali, ‘Aqil and the offspring of ‘Aqil and the offspring of Ja’far and the offspring of ‘Abbas. Husain said: These are those for whom the acceptance of Sadaqa(charity) is forbidden. Zayd said: Yes. (Sahih Muslim, #2408).

The explanation and understanding of Sahabi Zayd bin Arqam(ra) is further strengthened by a reliable version of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, which has the expression “Kitab Allah wa `Itrati Ahlu-Bayti“, we know that Ahlel-Bayt refers to the household, let’s discover what the `Itrah means in Arabic.

In the traditional Arabic dictionary Lisan ul-Arab 4/536 by Ibn Manthur, we read:

والمشهور المعروف أَن عتْرتَه أَهلُ بيته وهم الذين حُرّمَت عليهم الزكاة والصدقة المفروضة وهم ذوو القربى الذين لهم خُمُسُ الخُمُسِ المذكور في سورة الأَنفال

“And what is famously recognized is that his ‘Itrah’ are the People of his Household, and they are those upon whom Zakaah and the mandatory Sadaqah is prohibited; and they are the relatives (Thuw al-Qurbaa) who are due a fifth of the spoils of war(Khums), mentioned in Surat al-Anfal.”

The Imam al-Tawrbashti said in Al-Marqah 5/600:

عترة الرجل: أهل بيته ورهطه الأدنون، ولاستعمالهم “العترة” على أنحاء كثيرة بينها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بقوله: “أهل بيتي” ليعلم أنه أراد بذلك نسله وعصابته الأدنين وأزواجه

[The `Itrah of the man: It means the members of his household and his closest companions. Due to their usage of the word `Itrah with many meanings, the Messenger of Allah(saws) explained it here with his statement, “Ahli Bayti” (my family members or the members of my household), so that it may be known by this that he meant his progeny, and his closest relatives and his wives.

Therefore we find that the meaning of Itrah is not just family of Fatima(ra) and Ali(ra), but it includes, the progeny of Prophet(saws), his close relatives and wives. In other words, they are those relatives of Prophet(saws) on whom acceptance of Sadaqa(charity) is prohibited, which matches with the explanation given by Zayd bin Arqam(ra). Therefore, the presence of the word ‘Itra’ in hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, further strengthens the understanding of Zayd bin Arqam(ra) that Ahlelbayt in regards to Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn are those relatives of Prophet(saws) upon whom acceptance of Sadaqa is forbidden.

 

XIII. Even the wives of Prophet(saws) are included in Ahlelbayt mentioned in Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn.

(Husain) said to Zayd: Who are the members of his household? Aren’t his wives the members of his family? Thereupon he said: His wives are the members of his family (but here) the members of his family are those for whom acceptance of Zakat is forbidden.(Sahih Muslim, #2408).

Even though Zayd(ra) was spot on and accurate in his understanding and defining, that Ahlelbayt mentioned in Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn are those relatives of Prophet Muhammad(saws) on whom acceptance of Sadaqa(charity) was forbidden. However, Zayd(ra) wasn’t aware that acceptance of charity was forbidden even on wives of Prophet(saws), therefore he viewed that wives of Prophet(saws) aren’t included in Ahlelbayt mentioned in Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn. Zayd(ra) wasn’t aware of the implication of this definition even on wives of Prophet(saws), because the relationship of wives of Prophet with Prophet Muhammad(saws) is special and different than a regular Husband and Wife relationship, as the relationship of Prophet and his wives continued, even after the death of Prophet(saws). Therefore, even the wives of Prophet(saws) are included in Ahlelbayt mentioned in hadeeth al-Thaqalayn. The correct view is that, acceptance of Sadaqa(charity) is even forbidden on wives of Prophet(saws), as this was stated by none other than a wife of Prophet(saws) herself.

Here we will list out some strong evidences which establishes that acceptance of charity was even forbidden on wives of Prophet(saws), which implies that even they are included in Ahlelbayt mentioned in Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn.

We read in Musannaf ibn Abi shaybah (chapter Laa tahillu al-sadqa ala bani hashim)
ابن أبي مليكة أن خالد بن سعيد بعث إلى عائشة ببقرة من الصدقة فردتها وقالت إنا آل محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم لا تحل لنا الصدقة
Narrated with sahih sanad From Ibn Abu Malika [narrated] that: Khaled Ibn Saeed sent a cow from the Sadaqah to Aisha, so she sent it back and said: We are the Aal(family) of Muhammad(saws) the sadaqah is not permissible for us. [Fadhl Ahlelbayt, page 9 ; Isnad Sahih as per shaykh Abdul Muhsin bin Hammad Al-’Abbad Al-Badr].

In following tradition Prophet(saws) spoke with ‘Aisha(ra) regarding her female servant, this is how it goes:

Narrated ‘Aisha: I intended to buy buraira but her masters stipulated that her Wala should be for them. When the Prophet was told about it, he said to me, “Buy and manumit her, as the Wala’ is for the liberator.” Once buraira was given some meat, and the Prophet asked, “What is this?” I said, “It has been given to buraira in charity.” He said, “It is sadaqa for her but a gift for us.” buraira was given the option (to stay with her husband or to part with him). [Sahi bukhari, Book #47, Hadith #752]

Comment: Notice Prophet(saws) was talking with ‘Aisha(ra) and he told her “For us it is a gift” which means that for the Prophet(saws) and ‘Aisha(ra) both, he’ll consider it a gift since they do not take Sadaqah(charity), but for Buraira it is a Sadaqah. He didn’t say for me its gift, but for you and buraira it’s Sadaqa.

Scholars who considered that sadaqa was prohibited even on wives of Prophet(Saws).

(a).

مِمَّا ذكره ابن القيِّم في كتابه (( جلاء الأفهام )) (ص:331 – 333) للاحتجاج للقائلِين بدخول أزواجه صلى الله عليه وسلم في آل بيته قوله: (( قال هؤلاء: وإنَّما دخل الأزواجُ في الآل وخصوصاً أزواجُ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم تشبيهاً لذلك بالنَّسَب؛ لأنَّ اتِّصالَهُنَّ بالنَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم غيرُ مرتفع، وهنَّ محرَّماتٌ على غيرِه في حياتِه وبعد مَمَاتِه، وهنَّ زوجاتُه في الدنيا والآخرة، فالسَّببُ الذي لهنَّ بالنَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قائمٌ مقامَ النَّسَب، وقد نصَّ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم على الصلاةِ عليهنَّ، ولهذا كان القولُ الصحيح – وهو منصوص الإمام أحمد رحمه الله ـ أنَّ الصَّدقةَ تحرُمُ عليهنَّ ، لأنَّها أوساخُ الناسِ، وقد صان اللهُ سبحانه ذلك الجَنَابَ الرَّفيع، وآلَه مِن كلِّ أوساخِ بَنِي آدَم

“And as it has been related by Ibn Qayyim in his book “Jalaa al afham” page 331-333 as proof that his(saws) wives are part of AhlelBayt. “Wives are part of the Ahl, and specifically, the wives of the Prophet(saws) are AhlelBayt, because they are connected to the Prophet(saws) without disconnect, and because they are forbidden to others in marriage in this life and the next, and they are his wives in this life and the next, so the connection here is a fixed relationship, and the Prophet(saws) has said that one must send peace and blessings upon them, and that’s the correct position, and it’s related by Imam Ahmed that sadaqa is forbidden for them, because it is the refuse of people, and because God has protected the family of the Prophet(saws) from any filth.”[Jalaa al afham” page 331-333]

(b).

قال الحموي : وفي المغني عن عائشة رضي الله عنها : أنا آل محمد لا تحل لنا الصدقة

al Hamwee said: and in the Mughni from Aisha’ that she said: “We the family of the Prophet(saws) aren’t permitted Sadaqathis is evidence that it is forbidden for them. [In the margin of Rad al Muhtar of Ibn Abidin, Volume 2, page 384.]

(c).

كشاف القناع – البهوتي ج 2 ص 337 :
في المغني والشرح عن ابن أبي مليكة : أن خالد بن سعيد بن العاص أرسل إلى عائشة بسفرة من الصدقة فردتها وقالت : إنا آل محمد لا تحل لنا الصدقة رواه الخلال . فهذا يدل على تحريمها عليهن . ولم يذكر ما يخالفه ، مع أنهم لم يذكروا هذا في الوصية والوقف . وهذا يدل على أنهن من أهل بيته في تحريم الزكاة . وذكر الشيخ تقي الدين : أنه يحرم عليهن الصدقة . وأنهن من أهل بيته في أصح الروايتين ورده المجد .

In the Mughni and explanation by Ibn Aby Malika: that Khalid bin Sa’eed bin Al Aas sent to Aisha some sadaqa but she returned it saying: We the family of the Prophet(saws) aren’t permitted sadaqa, narrated by Al Khalaal. And this is evidence that it is forbidden for them. And he didn’t mention what opposes this. Even though they didn’t mention this in Wills and Donations. And this is evidence that they are from his family in being forbidden zakat. And sheikh Taqee al Deen said: Sadaqa is forbidden for them. And they are from his AhlelBayt in the more correct of the narrations. [Kashshaf al Fattah, Al Bahooti, volume 2, page 337]

(d).

وقال السخاوي في القول البديع في بيان صيغة الصلاة في التشهّد: فالمرجع أنّهم من حرمت عليهم الصدقة، وذكر أنّه اختيار الجمهور ونصّ الشافعي، وأنّ مذهب أحمد أنّهم أهل البيت، وقيل: المراد أزواجه وذرّيّته… (عن هامش الصواعق المحرقة لعبد الوهاب عبد اللطيف: 146 ط. مصر 1385 هـ ).

Al Sakhawi says in “Al Qawl al badee fee bayaan Seeghat al Salaat fee altashahud”: and the conclusion is that they are those for whom charity is forbidden, and it has been mentioned that this is the opinion of the majority, and this is related from Al Shaf’ee, and in the school of Ahmed bin Hanbal that those are the AhlelBayt, and it was said: what is meant are his wives and his descendents.

(e).

وقال القسطلاني: ان الراجح أنّهم من حرمت عليهم الصدقة، كما نص عليه الشافعي واختاره الجمهور ويؤيده قوله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم للحسن بن عليّ: إنّا آل محمّد لا تحل لنا الصدقة، وقيل المراد بآل محمّد أزواجه وذرّيّته.

Al Qastalani said: the correct answer is that they are those for whom charity is forbidden, as was recorded by al Shaf’ee and what was selected by the majority and supported by what was said by al Hassan bin Ali: The family of Muhammad, charity is not permitted for us, and it was said that what is meant by the family of Muhammad are his wives and descendents. [Al Kashf wal Bayaan by Al Thaalabi]

Therefore, in the light of these evidences it is proven that, acceptance of charity(Sadaqah) is also forbidden on wives of Prophet(saws). Even though Zayd bin Arqam(ra) was spot on while understanding and defining who are Ahlelbayt in regards to Hadith al-Thaqalayn(i.e. those family members on whom acceptance of charity is prohibited), but he wasn’t aware of the implication of this definition even on wives of Prophet(saws), because the relationship of wives of Prophet with Prophet Muhammad(saws) is special and different than a regular Husband and Wife relationship, as the relationship of Prophet and his wives continued, even after the death of Prophet(saws). Therefore, even the wives of Prophet(saws) are included in Ahlelbayt mentioned in hadeeth al-Thaqalayn.

If for the sake of argument, the view of Zayd(ra) is considered, then we find that Zayd(ra) did accept wives of Prophet(saws) being Ahlelbayt, but not from those mentioned in Thaqalayn, this can be explained in this way that, after Prophet(saws) death, his wives have support from their families and tribes, so the ones the Prophet(saws) was telling us to take care of are the other members of his family who have no means of support after him.

 

Objection #1:

Wives of Prophet(saws) were not included in Hadeeth al-Kisa(cloak), so they are not Ahlelbayt.

Response:

Wives of Prophet(saws) are Ahlelbayt as per Quran. When we refer the context of verse 33 of Surah Ahzaab(33) in Quran, we can see clearly in the Book of Allah, that wives of Prophet(saws) are Ahlelbayt. Moreover, wives of Prophet(saws) being Ahlelbayt is even proven from various authentic traditions which has been collected in our article. [Quran and several sahih narrations explicitly shows that wives of prophet(saws) are Ahlelbayt].

As for the misconception that wives of Prophet(saws) are not included in Ahlelbayt, because they were not included in the Hadith al-Kisa(cloak) when Prophet(saws) made dua(supplication) for members under the cloak, then the answer to this misconception is that, they were not included by Prophet in the dua(supplication), because wives of Prophet were already the ones for whom the verse of purification(33:33) was revealed, therefore there was no need for Prophet(saws) to include them in the dua(supplication).

ومن حديث هاشم بن هاشم بن عتبة بن أبي وقاص ، عن عبد الله بن وهب ابن زمعة قال : أخبرتني أم سلمة رضي الله عنها ، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم جمع وفاطمة ، والحسن ، والحسين ، رضي الله عنهم ، ثم أدخلهم تحت ثوبه ، ثم جأر إلى الله تعالى وقال : « « هؤلاء أهل بيتي . فقالت أم سلمة : يا رسول الله أدخلني معهم ، قال : إنك من أهلي »

Umm Salamah reported to me that the Messenger of Allâh collected Fâtimah, al-Hasan, al-Husayn then he entered them under his cloak, then he supplicated to Allâh Most High and said: “These are the members of my household”. Then Umm Salamah said: O Messenger of Allâh enter me with them, he said: Verily, you are form my family”. [Fadail ahlelbayt, page 26, Maqrizi ]

Prophet(saws) making dua(supplication) for those members inside cloak(Fatima, Ali, Hassan, Hussain – May Allah be pleased with them) itself is a proof that the verse of purification(tatheer) was not revealed for them. This is why, Prophet(saws) was quick to make dua(supplication) for them, so that even they be included in the favour of Allah which he had intended for wives of Prophet(saws). Had it been that the verse of purification(tatheer) was revealed for people of cloak(kisa) then there was no need for the Prophet(saws) to repeatedly make the dua(supplication) , since as per the verse of Quran, Allah(swt) had already intended to purify those who were addressed in the verse of purification.

Imam al-Qurtubi said after quoting Hadeeth Kisa:
قال القرطبي بعد أن ذكر الحديث :
فهذه دعوة من النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لهم بعد نزول الآية أحب أن يدخلهم في الآية التي خوطب بها الأزواج فذهب الكلبي ومن وافقه فصيرها لهم خاصة وهي دعوة لهم خارجة من التنزيل

After the verse(33:33) was revealed, Prophet(saws) called them(Ahl al-Kisa) and wanted to included them in the verse which was addressed to the wives of Prophet(saws). Al-Kalbi and those who agreed with him, held the view that it was specific for these people(Ahl al-Kisa), however Prophet(saws) making supplication(dua) for them excludes them from those for whom the verse was revealed. (Tafseer Qurtubi, for verse 33:33)

Shaykh Ali Muhammad Sallabi stated:

Hence it says in the hadith that when the Prophet(saws) wrapped them in the cloak, he said: “O Allah, these are the people of my household, remove from them ar-rijs.” The supplication of the Prophet(saws) settles the matter. If there was any indication in the verse of purification that purification of the people of the cloak had already taken place, the Messenger of Allah(saws) would not have covered them with the cloak and prayed for them by saying, “O Allah, these are the people of my household, remove from them ar-rijs.” This is clear evidence that the verse was revealed concerning the wives of the Prophet(saws) the Messenger of Allah(saws) wanted the people of the cloak to be included in this divine revelation of purification, so he gathered them and  covered them with the cloak and prayed for them. [Ali Ibn Abi Talib, vol 2, page 365366 ].

The verse of purification(Tatheer) was revealed for wives of Prophet(saws) :

In Siyar alam al-Nubala by Imam al-Dhahabi with a Hasan(good) chain:

قال زيد بن الحباب : حدثنا حسين بن واقد ، عن يزيد النحوي ، عن عكرمة ، عن ابن عباس : إنما يريد الله ليذهب عنكم الرجس أهل البيت قال : نزلت في نساء – النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم . ثم قال عكرمة : من شاء باهلته ، أنها نزلت في نساء النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم خاصة

Ibn Abbas(ra): “Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household,” He said: It was revealed especially about the wives of the prophet(saws). [Siyar A’lam al-nubalaa, vol 2, page 208; Grading: Shaykh Shuaib Arnaut said: Isnad Hasan] ; [Fatawa ilmiyyah, vol 2, page 70 : Isnad Hasan as per Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee].

Al-Fawa’id al-Muntaqah li ibn abi al-Fawaris:

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ، ثنا عَلِيُّ بْنُ حَرْبٍ، ثنا زَيْدُ بْنُ الْحُبَابِ، حَدَّثَنِي حُسَيْنُ بْنُ وَاقِدٍ، عَنْ يَزِيدَ النَّحْوِيِّ، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ: ” إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَنْ يُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ “، قَالَ: نَزَلَتْ فِي أَزْوَاجِ النَّبِيِّ خَاصَّةً

`Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Ziyad (Thiqah) -> abu al-Hasan `Ali bin Harb (Thiqah) -> Zayd bin al-Habbab(Saduq Hasan); Husayn bin Waqid (Saduq Hasan) -> Yazid bin abi Sa`id al-Nahawi (Thiqah) -> `Ikrimah (Thiqah) -> ibn `Abbas.

Ibn Asakir reported it in “Tareekh madinatul dimashq” 69/150::

أخبرنا أبو القاسم بن السمرقندي أنا أبو الحسين بن النقور أنا أبو طاهر المخلص نا عبد الله بن محمد بن زياد نا علي بن حرب نا زيد بن الحباب حدثني حسين بن واقد عن زيد النحوي عن عكرمة عن ابن عباس ” إنما يريد الله ليذهب عنكم الرجس أهل البيت قال نزلت في أزواج النبي ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) خاصة قال عكرمة ومن شاء باهلته أنها نزلت في نساء النبي

Isma`il bin Ahmad al-Samarqandi (Thiqah) -> Ahmad bin Muhammad bin al-Naqqour (Thiqah) -> abu Tahir Muhammad bin `Abdul-Rahman (Thiqah) -> Abu Bakr `Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Ziyad al-Faqih (Thiqah) -> abu al-Hasan `Ali bin Harb (Thiqah) -> Zayd bin al-Habbab al-Tamimi (Thiqah or Saduq hasan) -> Husayn bin Waqid (Saduq Hasan) -> Yazid bin abi Sa`id al-Nahawi (Thiqah) -> `Ikrimah (Thiqah) -> ibn `Abbas.

Ibn Kathir in his commentary (6/410) wrote:
حدثنا علي بن حرب الموصلي، حدثنا زيد بن الحباب، حدثنا حسين بن واقد، عن يزيد النحوي، عن عكرمة عن ابن عباس في قوله: { إنما يريد الله ليذهب عنكم الرجس أهل البيت } قال: نزلت في نساء النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم خاصة.
“Reported Ali ibn Harb Mausuli, from Zyed ibn Habab, Husayn ibn Vakad, Yazeed Nakhu, from Ikrima, from ibn Abbas, that he said about this verse: “O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying” —“it was revealed concerning to wives of prophet(saws)”. [Tafseer ibn Katheer, vol 6, page 410]

Imam al-Suyuti quotes this hadith:

وأخرج ابن سعد عن عروة رضي الله عنه { إنما يريد الله ليذهب عنكم الرجس أهل البيت } قال: يعني أزواج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم نزلت في بيت عائشة رضي الله عنها

Imam Ibn S’ad (ra) narrates from Urwa who said: { O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying} Meaning wives of Prophet(saws). This verse was revealed in the house of Ayesha(ra). (Tabaqat, Ibn Sad narrated in volume 8, p 199)

al-Suyuti in “Durr al mansur” reported:
وأخرج ابن مردويه من طريق سعيد بن جبير رضي الله عنه عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال : نزلت في نساء النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم
“Ibn Mardaweyh reported via Sa’eed ibn Jubayr, that ibn Abbas said (about this verse): It was revealed about prophet’s woman”. [Source: “Durr al mansur” 6/603].

Abu’l-Qasim ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad al-Sarraj informed us> Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub> al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Affan> Abu Yahya al-Hamani> Salih ibn Musa al-Qurashi> Khusayf> Sa‘id ibn Jubayr> Ibn ‘Abbas who said: “This verse was revealed about the wives of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace (Allah’s wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing)”.

Ibn Jarir recorded that `Ikrimah used to call out in the marketplace:(Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs from you, O members of the family, and to purify you with a thorough purification.(33:33)) “This was revealed solely concerning the wives of the Prophet.”(tafseer ibn katheer, for 33:33).

The ‘Allamah al-tahir ibn ‘Ashur, in his al-Tahrir wa al-Tanwir wrote:

وأَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ: أَزوَاج النبيء صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَالْخِطَابُ مُوَجَّهٌ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَكَذَلِكَ مَا قَبْلَهُ وَمَا بَعْدَهُ لَا يُخَالِطُ أَحَدًا شَكٌّ فِي ذَلِكَ، وَلَمْ يَفْهَمْ مِنْهَا أَصْحَاب النبيء صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ والتابعون إِلَّا أَن أَزوَاج النبيء عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ هُنَّ الْمُرَادُ بِذَلِكَ وَأَنَّ النُّزُولَ فِي شَأْنِهِنَّ
The Ahl-al-Bait are the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and the statement is addressed to them, may Allah be pleased with them. So none can doubt that…the companions(sahaba) and those who followed them(Taba’een) did not understand from the verse except that the wives of the Prophet are the ones meant with that, may Allah be pleased with them. [Tafsir al-Tahrir wa al-Tanwir, Vol. 22, page 15].

For detail discussion on this matter, please refer our article: [A Scientific Dialogue Regarding Incident Of Kisa].

 

Objection #2:

The tradition from Ibn Abbas(ra) which says that verse of Tatheer was revealed for wives of Prophet(saws) was reported on the authority of Ikrimah the Kharji.

Response:

This narrator is ‘Ikrimah al-Barbari, Mawla of Ibn ‘Abbas. He is considered Thiqa(trustworthy) by majority Sunni scholars and his narrations are present in all the books of Sihah Sittah. He was specialized in Tafseer(commentary of Quran).

Regarding the criticism on Ikrimah, then that is based on some unreliable reports, it isn’t proven that he was Khariji. Imam Ibn Hajar did comment and refute some of those reports in which Ikrimah was criticized in the beginning of Fath al-Bari, but what some dishonest people do is that they only take those reports on criticism of Ikrimah but not the answers and comments of scholars on them. What is clear is that, a lot of these statements of criticism were falsely attributed. Take for example the statement of Yazeed bin Abi Ziyad that Ali bin Abdullah bin Abbas used to beat Ikrimah. Yazeed is weak and Ibn Hibban rejected this statement by him. Yahya bin Ma’een is known to have referred to Ikrimah as trustworthy in more than one occasion. We will also notice that Imam Malik quoted Ikrimah in Al-Muwatta, and he usually only quotes narrators he finds to be trustworthy.

To make the Shia understand this in a better way, we would like to bring up the example of Shia narrator Zurarah ibn A’yan, we find that this highly important Shia narrator was heavily criticized by Shia Imams in their books, yet Shia scholars reject those reports and consider him trustworthy. So they should consider the case of Ikrimah too, similar to Zurarah.

Secondly, even if for sake of argument it is supposed that Ikrimah was a Khariji, even then it doesn’t give a dent to the authenticity of the hadeeth, because Ikrimah is a Thiqa(trustworthy) narrator; And Khawarij were even known for their hatred for Ayesha(ra) – They disagreed with the decision of Ali(ra) for not taking battle booty from the party of Ayesha(ra) and taking them as captives after Battle of Jamal, due to which Ibn Abbas(ra) debated them and rebuked them. So Ikrimah narrating the hadeeth of Ibn Abbas(ra) doesn’t affect the reliability of Hadeeth.

Praise of Ikrimah’s knowledge in Tafseer(commentary of Quran).

Qatada said: “Most knowledgeable from people in halal and haram is Hasan, and most knowledgeable in rituals of hajj is Ata, and most knowledgeable in tafsir is Ikrima”. (Juzz fihi zikri hal Ikrima mawla ibn Abbas” by  Hafidh Munziri.p 23, #25).

Jabir ibn Ziyad Abu Shatha said: “He is most knowledgeable of people”. (Juzz fihi zikri hal Ikrima mawla ibn Abbas” by  Hafidh Munziri.p 24, #26).

Salam ibn Miskin said: “Ikrima is most knowledgeable of people in tafsir”. (Juzz fihi zikri hal Ikrima mawla ibn Abbas” by  Hafidh Munziri.p 24).

Sufayn as-Sawri said: “Take tafsir from Ikrima, Saeed ibn Jubayr, Mujahid and Dahhak”.(Juzz fihi zikri hal Ikrima mawla ibn Abbas” by  Hafidh Munziri.p 25, #29).

Shabe said: “No one remained more knowledgeable in book of Allah, than Ikrima”. (Juzz fihi zikri hal Ikrima mawla ibn Abbas” by  Hafidh Munziri.p 22, #19).

Ibn Hajar in “Taqrib” (#4673) said: Thiqat, steady, alim bi tafsir,and it’s not proved that he was accused in lie by ibn Umar, and it’s not proved innovation from him

Ibn Hibban mentioned him in “Thiqat” and said: “From scholars of his time in fiqh and tafsir”. (“Tahzib at-tahzib” 7/240)

Zirikli in “Alam” (4/244) said: “From most knowledgeable people in tafsir and magazi”.

 

Objection #3:

Narrator Hussain bin Waqid in the hadeeth of Ibn Abbas(ra) even though a truthful and reliable narrator, but he was accused of being a Mudallis and he is narrating with “An”.

Response:

Those who raise these arguments aren’t aware of rules of hadeeth science. Due to their half baked knowledge, they start making objections. Tadlees has got different types, and the Mudalliseen have different levels as well, therefore the verdict on the reports of a Mudallis narrator depends upon the level he is from.

As for the narrator under question, “Hussain bin Waqid”, then Imam Ibn Hajar in his book “Tabaqat al-Mudalliseen”, listed him in the First level of Mudalliseen, and they are those who very rarely committed tadlees, hence their hadeeth is accepted by Imams of Hadeeth Science and the accusation of tadlees against them is not substantial as it didn’t come from the big guns in the field of Jarh wa Tadeel . To get an idea who are the other narrators listed in the first level by Ibn Hajar, then they are the likes of Tawus, Ibn Dukayn, Amr bin Dinar, Malik bin Anas, Imam Bukhari etc, who are all accepted without question.

Hafidh Salah al-deen al-ala’i in his Jami’ al-Tahseel(which is the basis of Ibn Hajar’s Tabqat al-Mudalliseen) said that the First Tabaqa is the one that their tadlees is so little that they shouldn’t be considered among them(i.e mudalliseen). [Jami’ al-Tahseel, page 113].

Infact, Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee states that Hussain bin Waqid is free of the accusation of Tadlees in his Fath al-Mubeen fi tahqeeq tabqaat al-Mudalliseen, page 24.

This is the reason the reports narrated via Hussain bin Waqid with “An”, were authenticated by various Muhadditheen. For example: (i). Shaykh Shuaib Arnaut graded the Hadeeth in question as “Isnad Hasan” in Siyar alam al-Nubala, vol 2 page 208. (ii). Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee graded a report narrated via “Hussain bin Waqid” as Isnad Sahih. [Sunan Abu Dawood #2049] (iii). Shaykh al-Albani declared a report narrated via “Hussain bin Waqid” as Sahih. [Sunan Abi Dawood#2049(al-Albani)]. (iv). Imam Muslim in his Sahih included the report narrated via Hussain bin waqid. [Sahih Muslim #4695]. Likewise there are other reports as well wherein Hussain bin Waqid narrated with “an”, yet those were deemed authentic by Scholars. [Sunan Abu Dawood #2869, declared Hasan by Zubair Ali Zaee and Hasan Sahih by Albani] ; [Also, Sunan an-Nasa’i #4392 ; Sunan Abi Dawud #2090 ; Jami` at-Tirmidhi #1501 ; Jami` at-Tirmidhi #1391].

 

XIV. Hadeeth al-Kisa has no relation to Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn and it weakens the Shi’ee position.

We often find that along with Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn Shias quote Hadeeth of al-Kisa(cloak) to prove who are Ahlelbayt, and they reject the categorical definition of Ahlelbayt in relation to Hadith al-Thaqalayn given by noble Sahabi Zayd bin Arqam(ra). They claim that, it goes against Hadeeth of cloak(Kisa). However the fact is that Shias are terribly mistaken, because Hadeeth al-Kisa has no relation with hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, therefore in no way does it effect the understanding of Zayd bin Arqam(ra).

Hadeeth al-Kisa(cloak) only shows that, who were those members of his household for whom Prophet(saws) supplicated, so that they be included in the favour of Allah which he intended for wives of Prophet(saws) mentioned in the verse of Tatheer(purification). In other words, Hadeeth al-Kisa only shows that, who were those members of Prophetic household for whom Prophet(saws) made dua(supplication), that they be included in verse of Tatheer(33:33).

Whereas, the Ahlelbayt mentioned in Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn are those, who were to be taken care of and whose responsibility was on the Muslims after Prophet(saws), like protecting them, offering them their rights and fulfilling the duties towards them. These were all those members of prophetic household(Ahlelbayt), on whom acceptance of charity was forbidden, not just four individuals from the family of Prophet(saws).

Therefore, the correct view is that, Hadeeth al-Kisa(cloak) has no relation with Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn.

Secondly, those Shia who keep quoting Hadeeth al-Kisa(cloak) inorder to prove who are Ahlelbayt in Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, they aren’t aware that using Hadeeth al-Kisa actually weakens their position, because even though Sayyida Fatima(ra) is part of Ahlelbayt mentioned in Hadeeth al-Kisa, but as per authentic Shia hadeeth, Sayyida Fatima(ra) is NOT A PART of Ahlelbayt, mentioned in Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn.

We read in authentic Shia report that:

حدثنا محمد بن زياد بن جعفر الهمداني رضي الله عنه قال حدثنا علي بن إبراهيم بن هاشم عن أبيه عن محمد بن أبي عمير عن غياث بن إبراهيم عن الصادق جعفر بن محمد عن أبيه محمد بن علي عن أبيه علي بن الحسين عن أبيه الحسين بن علي )عليه السلام( قال سئل أمير المؤمنين )عليه السلام( عن معنى قول رسول الله (صلى الله عليه و آله) إني مخلف فيكم الثقلين كتاب الله و عترتي من العترة فقال أنا و الحسن و الحسين و الأئمة التسعة من ولد الحسين تاسعهم مهديهم و قائمهم لا يفارقون كتاب الله و لا يفارقهم حتى يردوا على رسول الله ص حوضه

Sheikh Sadooq (r.a) said Ahmed ibn Ziyad ibn Ja’far Al-Hamdani narrated from Alee ibn Ibraheem narrated from his father from Muhammad ibn Abi Umayr from Qayath Ibn Ibraheem from Al-Sadiq Ja’far ibn Muhammad (a.s) from his father Muhammad ibn Alee from his father Alee ibn Al-Hussain (a.s) from his father Al-Hussain (a.s) said: Amir al-Momineen Alee (a.s) was asked about the saying of the Prophet(saws) : “I am leaving among you the two weighty things, the book of Allah and my Itrah(family).” He was asked who are the Itrah(family)? He replied: “Me, Al-Hassan, Al-Hussain and the nine imams from the progeny of Imam Hussain (a.s) the ninth one is the Mahdi and the Qa’im they do not separate the book of Allah neither is it separate from them until they meet the Prophet(saws) at lake-fount (Kawthar).” [Shia book: Hadeeth Al-Thaqalain Wa’ Maqamat Ahlelbayt. Pg. # 120.]

Infact, A Shia website boldly declared that, Fatima(ra) is not a part of Ahlelbayt mentioned in Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn.

Shia website stated:

[Quote]

We proved through our authentic Hadiths that Sayyidah Fatimah is NOT part of the Ahl al-Bayt (عليهم السلام) mentioned in Hadith al-Thaqalayn or Hadith al-Khalifatayn because she is not a Khalifah!

(Screen Shot)

[End Quote]

Notice, in the Shia tradition, Fatima(ra) was not included in the Itrah(family) mentioned in Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, only the Shia Imams were defined as Itrah, which clearly proves that Hadeeth Al-Kisa(cloak) has no relation with Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, because in Hadeeth al-Kisa(cloak), Sayyida Fatima(ra) was included in Ahlelbayt. Secondly, in Hadeeth al-Kisa, there was no mention or even a hint for the inclusion of the nine other Imams of Twelver Shia or the four Imams of Waqifi(Sevener) Shia, or Imam of Zaidi Shia or Imam of Ismaili Shia. Thirdly, in none of the authentic version of Hadeeth al-Kisa(cloak), the word “Itra” is found, which again proves our point.

Hence, this shows that Hadeeth Al-Kisa(cloak) has no relation, with Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn. Those Shi’ites who use Hadeeth al-Kisa to define Ahlelbayt mentioned in hadeeth al-Thaqalayn are either ignorant of their own traditions and beliefs or they simply do this to fool the lay Sunnis. Since as per the correct Sunni understanding, Ahlelbayt mentioned in al-Thaqalayn, are all those relatives of Prophet(saws) upon whom acceptance of charity was forbidden, and this is also the view of Sahabi Zayd bin Arqam(ra).

Moreover, Shia even use some weak reports from Sunni books which state that Prophet(saws) used to recite verse of Surah al-Ahzab(33:33) outside the house of Fatima(ra) for six to nine months, they claim that Prophet(saws) did this to make people understand who are Ahlelbayt, even though those reports are weak and the Shia connotations to it are irrational because the ones who were addressed by Prophet in these reports were not Muslims in general but specifically family of Ali(ra), if it was to make people understand then the ones who were addressed would have been the Muslims in general. But even if for argument’s sake we consider the Shia connotation to those reports, then this further weakens their stance because a noble companion of Prophet(saws) even after months of Prophet’s preaching(supposedly) still believed that Ahlelbayt mentioned in Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, were those relatives of Prophet(saws) on whom acceptance of charity was forbidden, not people of cloak(Kisa). This leads to two conclusions; either Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn had no relation with Ahlelbayt mentioned in hadeeth al-Kisa, or that the traditions which Shias use are all unreliable.

 

XV. Who must be followed to attain salvation?

As per Quran and authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad(saws), the Muslims are obliged to follow Prophet Muhammad(saws) and his companions(Sahaba) inorder to attain salvation.

From Quran:

(a). And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favor of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.(Quran 4: 69).

(b). And (as for) the foremost, the first of the Muhajirs and the Ansars, and those who followed them in goodness, Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them for ever; that is the mighty achievement.(Quran 9:100).

Comment: The first of Muhajirs even includes the four rightly guided Caliphs, that is Abu Bakr(ra), Umar bin Khattab(ra), Uthman bin Affan(ra) and Ali ibn Abu Talib(ra).

(c). And whoever acts hostilely to the Messenger after that guidance has become manifest to him, and follows other than the way of the believers, We will turn him to that to which he has (himself) turned and make him enter hell; and it is an evil resort.(Quran 4:115).

Comment: When this verse was revealed on Prophet Muhammad(saws), the believers in his time were his Sahaba(companions), therefore Allah(swt) informs hypocrites/disbelievers that, following the way other than the way of companions(Sahaba) of Prophet Muhammad(saws), will lead them to hell-fire.

(d). And when it is said to them: Believe as the people believe they say: Shall we believe as the fools believe? Now surely they themselves are the fools, but they do not know.(Quran 2:13).

Comment: In this verse of Quran we find that Allah(swt) says that, when people were told to believe like the companions(Sahaba) of Prophet Muhammad(saws) believed, the disbelievers/hypocrites mocked them, and in reality they themselves were the fools.

Authentic tradition of Prophet(saws) :

Prophet Muhammed(saws) said: “Indeed the people of the Book before you split into seventy-two sects. And this nation will split into seventy-three sects, seventy-two are in the Fire and one in Paradise”. And in another narration, “All are in the Fire except one.” It was asked: Who is that one? He replied, “That which I and my Companions are upon.

[Related by at-Tirmidhi (5/62) and al-Haakim (1/128). It has been authenticated by al-Haafidh al-Iraaqee in Takhreejul-Ihyaa (3/199) and Sheikh Albani authenticated it in Saheeh at-Tirmizi 2641. He said it’s hasan(good)].

Similarly, we read in Shia book of Shiekh al-Sadooq:

Prophet(saws) said “The Ummah will be divided into 73 sects , all of them will go to hell except one”. He was asked “Which sect is that one”. Prophet (peace be upon him) said “That is the one on which I and my companions (ashaab) are”(Shia book, Ma’ani Al Akhbar, Page 370)

Note: Sahaba, encompasses some of members of prophetic householdAhlelbayt) such as wives of Prophet(saws), his daughters[incl. Fatima(ra)], Ali(ra), Hassan(ra), Hussain(ra), Abbas(ra), Ibn Abbas(ra), etc.

 

XVI. Quran and Sunnah of Prophet(saws) are the source adhering which Muslims would not go astray.

Allah Almighty have coupled submission to Him with submission to His Prophet(saws) in many noble verses of Quran that stimulate obedience to the Prophet(saws) and following his Sunnah.

The Prophet(saws) manifests the spirit of the Holy Quran through his ethics, action and his speech. This unison between the Prophet(saws) and the Holy Quran is one of the reason for why we must adhere to the “Sunnah”. The main pillar of religion and the first in rank being the Book of Allah(swt), and then following suit, the Sunnah.

Some deviant Muslims claim that we should only follow the Qur’an and neglect the Sunnah. This is very wrong, and it clearly shows that these people have not understood the Qur’an. It’s important to read and understand the Qur’an, and it is just as important to know how Muhammad(saws) lived according to it. The Qur’an is the Final Revelation from Allah, the Sunnah is the Ways of the Final Messenger of Allah(saws); So knowledge should be taken from both sources.

Below are some verses in the Qur’an, which prove the fact that we must obey and follow  Prophet Muhammad(saws) if we are real Muslims (i.e. submitters) :

Say (O Muhammad): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 3:31)

…and whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad) will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide therein, and that will be the great success.(Quran 4:13.)

When Allah says “Obey the Messenger” this does not only refer to people around the Messenger(saws) 1400 years ago, but rather to people who will come till the end of this world, because the Qur’an was sent to all of mankind until the Last Day.

Allah is telling all Muslims to obey Muhammad(saws). So the question here is “How do we obey and follow Muhammad(saws)?”. We follow him in his manners, actions, practices… etc. The Scholars of Islam have in fact dedicated their lives writing down these things [passed onto them from authentic chains leading to the Messenger(saws), through the Sahaba] and preaching them to us through volumes and volumes of authentic books.

The way to obey and follow Muhammad(saws) is by reading and learning what his Companions(Sahaba), that were alive in his time, recorded. Most of what he has said or has done throughout his lifetime is recorded and memorised by his Companions. The Sahaba kept a careful account of his life, deeds, sayings and examples, and these have been gathered together as the Hadith. “Sunnah” is the name given to the ways of Muhammad(saws). The Sunnah is that which Muhammad(saws) did, which he commanded, and which was not forbidden by him when done in his presence.

Therefore, obeying the Sunnah of Muhammad(saws) is actually a part of following the Qur’an. This is the reason we often find scholars repeating the following weak hadeeth in their talks and speeches, because even though the chain is weak, however the content of it is not questionable and the meaning of it is accepted.

رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ تَرَكْتُ فِيكُمْ أَمْرَيْنِ لَنْ تَضِلُّوا مَا تَمَسَّكْتُمْ بِهِمَا كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَسُنَّةَ نَبِيِّهِ ‏‏

Messenger of Allah(saws) said, “I have left two matters with you. As long as you hold to them, you will not go the wrong way. They are the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet.”

Proofs from Sunni Sources regarding following the Sunnah and guidance of Prophet Muhammad(saws).

(a). Jabir bin Abdullah said: When Allah’s Messenger(saws) delivered the sermon, his eyes became red, his voice rose. and his anger increased so that he was like one giving a warning against the enemy and saying:” The enemy has made a morning attack on you and in the evening too.” He would also say:” The last Hour and I have been sent like these two.” And he would join his forefinger and middle finger; and would further say:” The best of the speech is embodied in the Book of Allah, and the best of the guidance is the guidance given by Muhammad. And the most evil affairs are their innovations; and every innovation is error.” (Sahih Muslim Bk 4, Number 1885).

(b). It has been narrated on the authority of Hudhaifa bin al−Yaman who said: People used to ask the Messenger of Allah(saws) about the good times, but I used to ask him about bad times fearing lest they overtake me. I said: Messenger of Allah, we were in the midst of ignorance and evil, and then God brought us this good (time through Islam). Is there any bad time after this good one? He said: Yes. I asked: Will there be a good time again after that bad time? He said: Yes, but therein will be a hidden evil. I asked: What will be the evil hidden therein? He said: (That time will witness the rise of) the people who will adopt ways other than mine and seek guidance other than mine. You will know good points as well as bad points. I asked: Will there be a bad time after this good one? He said: Yes. (A time will come) when there will be people standing and inviting at the gates of Hell. Whoso responds to their call they will throw them into the fire.(Sahih Muslim Bk 20, Number 4553).

Comment: This narration shows us that for all times, the guidance of Prophet(saws) should be used to attain salvation.

(c). AbdurRahman ibn Amr as-Sulami and Hujr ibn Hujr said: We came to Irbad ibn Sariyah who was among those about whom the following verse was revealed: “Nor (is there blame) on those who come to thee to be provided with mounts, and when thou saidst: “I can find no mounts for you.” We greeted him and said: We have come to see you to give healing and obtain benefit from you. Al-Irbad said: One day the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) led us in prayer, then faced us and gave us a lengthy exhortation at which the eyes shed tears and the hearts were afraid. A man said: Messenger of Allah! It seems as if it were a farewell exhortation, so what injunction do you give us? He then said: I enjoin you to fear Allah, and to hear and obey even if it be an Abyssinian slave, for those of you who live after me will see great disagreement. You must then follow my sunnah and that of the rightly-guided caliphs. Hold to it and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties, for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is an error. [Sunan Abi Dawud #4607 ; Graded Sahih by shaykh al-Albani and Shaykh Zubayr Ali Za’ee – Narrator Hujr bin Hujr was graded as Maqbool by Ibn Hajar and Ibn Hibban included him in his Thiqaat ; Narrator AbdurRahman ibn Amr as-Sulami was considered Saduq(truthful) by Dhahabi, al-Hakim said his reports are Sahih, and Ibn Hajar considered him Maqbool].

It also has a witness report, which means there are three narrators in one Taqabqa supporting each other the report from Irbad ibn Sariyah :

697 – حدثنا أحمد بن عبد الوهاب بن نجدة ثنا أبو المغيرة ح وحدثنا أبو زرعة الدمشقي ثنا أبو اليمان الحكم بن نافع قال ثنا إسماعيل بن عياش قالا ثنا أرطاة بن المنذر عن المهاصر بن حبيب عن العرباض بن سارية قال : وعظنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بعد صلاة الغداة موعظة بليغة ذرفت منها العيون ووجلت منها القلوب فقال رجل من أصحابه يا رسول الله كأنها موعظة مودع فقال أوصيكم بتقوى الله والسمع والطاعة وإن كان عبدا حبشيا فإنه من يعش منكم بعدي يرى اختلافا كثيرا فعليكم بسنتي وسنة الخلفاء الراشدين المهديين بعدي عضوا عليها بالنواجذ

(“Musnad ash-shameeyin” by Tabarani)

(d). We read:

أَخْبَرَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بَشَّارٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَامِرٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنِ الشَّيْبَانِيِّ، عَنِ الشَّعْبِيِّ، عَنْ شُرَيْحٍ، أَنَّهُ كَتَبَ إِلَى عُمَرَ يَسْأَلُهُ فَكَتَبَ إِلَيْهِ أَنِ اقْضِ بِمَا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ فَبِسُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ فِي سُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَاقْضِ بِمَا قَضَى بِهِ الصَّالِحُونَ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ فِي سُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَلَمْ يَقْضِ بِهِ الصَّالِحُونَ فَإِنْ شِئْتَ فَتَقَدَّمْ وَإِنْ شِئْتَ فَتَأَخَّرْ وَلاَ أَرَى التَّأَخُّرَ إِلاَّ خَيْرًا لَكَ وَالسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ‏.

It was narrated from Shuraih that: He wrote to ‘Umar, to ask him (a question), and ‘Umar wrote back to him telling him: “Judge according to what is in the Book of Allah. If it is not (mentioned) in the Book of Allah, then (judge) according to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah(saws). If it is not (mentioned) in the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah(saws), then pass judgment according to the way the righteous passed judgment. If it is not (mentioned) in the Book of Allah, or the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah(saws), and the righteous did not pass judgment concerning it, then if you wish, go ahead (and try to work it out by yourself) or if you wish, leave it. And I think that leaving it is better for you. And peace be upon you.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i 5399 ; Grade: Sahih].

(e). It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah(saws) observed: What would you do when the son of Mary would descend amongst you and would lead you as one amongst you? Ibn Abi Dhi’b on the authority of Abu Huraira narrated: Your leader amongst you. Ibn Abi Dhi’b said: Do you know what the words: “He would lead as one amongst you” mean? I said: Explain these to me. He said: He would lead you according to the Book of your: Lord(swt) and the Sunnah of your Apostle(saws). [Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Hadith 292].

(f). We read:

أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ قَرَأْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَمِنْ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَا يُرَدُّ بِهِ قَوْلُكُمْ أَتَرْضَوْنَ ؟ قَالُوا : نَعَمْ
Ibn ‘Abbas in his debate with Khawarij said to them: “If I bring evidence to you from the Book of Allah and THE SUNNAH of His Prophet(saws) to answer your questions, do you think that you will recant?” They said yes. [al Mustadrak al Hakim # 2582. al Hakim said: It is authentic upon the conditions of Muslim, ad-Dahabi agreed with him]

Proofs from Shia Sources regarding following the Sunnah and guidance of Prophet Muhammad(saws).

(a). Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa ibn ‘Ubayd from Yunus in a marfu’ manner from Ali ibn al Husayn(as), who has said the following: “The best deed in the sight of Allah is the one that is performed according to the Sunnah, even if it is of a small degree.” [Al-Kafi H 205, Ch. 22, h7]

(b). A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid from his father from abu ’Isma‘il Ibrahim ibn Ishaq al-Azdi from abu ‘Uthman al-‘Abdi from Ja’far from his ancestors from Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (a.s.) who has said the following. “There are no words without action, thee are no words or actions without intention and there are no words, actions and intentions without learning the Sunnah. [Al-Kafi, H 205, Ch. 22, h 9]

(c). Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from Ahmad ibn al-Nadr from ‘Amr ibn Shimr from Jabir from abu Ja’far (a.s.) who has said the following. “There is no one without excitement and calmness. Whoever’s calmness would lead him towards the Sunnah, he is rightly guided but if it would lead him towards innovations then he has gone astray.”[Al-Kafi, H 206, Ch. 22, h 10]

(d). Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Barqi from Ali ibn Hassa’n and Muhammad ibn Yahya from Salama ibn al-Khattab from Ali ibn Hassa’n from Musa ibn Bakr from Zurara ibn A‘yan from abu Ja’far (a.s.) who has said the following. “Whoever may transgress against the Sunnah, he must return to the Sunnah.” [Al-Kafi, H 207, Ch. 22, h 11]

(e). Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from al-Nawfali from al-Sakuni from abu ‘Abdallah from his ancestors (the Imams (a.s.) who have said the following. “Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘There are two kinds of Sunnah, (traditions). There is a Sunnah in obligations and following such Sunnah is guidance and its disregard is misguidance. There is a Sunnah, (tradition), in none obligatory issue. The following of this kind of Sunnah is a virtuous deed and its disregard for other matters is a sin.[Al-Kafi, H 208, Ch. 22, h 12].

(f). We read:

عن هشام بن الحكم أنه سمع أبا عبدالله عليه السلام يقول : لا تقبلوا علينا حديثا إلا ما وافق القرآن والسنة
It has been narrated from Hisham bin Al-Hakam that he heard Imam Jafar that he said : “Don’t accept from us except which is according to Quran and Sunnah.[Shia book, Tanqih al maqal , Vol. 1 , p. 174].

(g).

عِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِنَا عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ خَالِدٍ عَنْ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ مِهْرَانَ عَنْ سَيْفِ بْنِ عَمِيرَةَ عَنْ أَبِي الْمَغْرَاءِ عَنْ سَمَاعَةَ عَنْ أَبِي الْحَسَنِ مُوسَى ع قَالَ قُلْتُ لَهُ أَ كُلُّ شَيْ‏ءٍ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّهِ ص أَوْ تَقُولُونَ فِيهِ قَالَ بَلْ كُلُّ شَيْ‏ءٍ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّهِ ص
From Samaa`ah from Abee Al-Hasan Moosa(as) said, I said to him(as): “Is everything in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of his Prophet(saws), or do you have a say in it?” He(as) said: “Rather, everything is in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of his Prophet (saws)”.[Al-Kafi, vol. 1, pg. 62, hadeeth # 10. Grading: Al-Majlisi said this hadeeth is Muwaththaq (Reliable) à Mir’aat Al-`Uqool, vol. 1, pg. 209].

(h). We read:

عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد بن خالد، عن أبيه، عن النضر بن سويد، عن يحيى الحلبي، عن أيوب بن الحر قال: سمعت أبا عبدالله (عليه السلام) يقول

كل شئ مردود إلى الكتاب والسنة، وكل حديث لا يوافق كتاب الله فهو زخرف

A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid from his father from al Nadr ibn Suwayd from Yahya al Halab from Ayyub ibn al Hurr who has said the following: “I heard abu ‘Abd Allah(as), saying, ‘Everything must be referred to the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. Any Hadith that does not agree with the Holy Quran is a useless statement.”‘.[Al-Kafi, H 201, Ch. 22, h3; Grading: Sahih as per Majlisi in Miratul uqul, vol 1, page 229]

(i). We read:
محمد بن يحيى، عن عبدالله بن محمد، عن علي بن الحكم، عن أبان بن عثمان عن عبدالله بن أبي يعفور، قال: وحدثني حسين بن أبي العلاء  أنه حضر ابن أبي يعفور في هذا المجلس قال: سألت أبا عبدالله (عليه السلام) عن اختلاف الحديث يرويه من نثق به ومنهم من لا تثق به؟ قال: إذا ورد عليكم حديث فوجدتم له شاهدا من كتاب الله أو من قول رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله)  وإلا فالذي جاء كم به أولى به
Muhammad b. Yahya, from Abdullah b. Muhammad, from Ali b. al Hakam, from Abaan b. Uthman, from Abdullah b. Abi Ya’foor, said: And told us Hussain b. Abi al ‘Ala who was present in this gathering with ibn Abi Ya’foor said: I asked Aba Abdullah(as) about difference in the hadith being narrated by whom we trust and some of those from whom we don’t trust? (Imam(as)) said: When you people come across hadith and you find support for it from testimony of book of Allah(swt) or from saying of Rasool Allah(saws) and otherwise then go with the first one (i.e. the one that was narrated by trust worthy narrator).[Al-Kafi , vol 1, page 69, hadith number 2;  the narration is authentic and has been included by allama mohib ud deen mosvi in al-mo’tabar min ahadeeth al-kafi.]

(j). We read:

وقال عليه السلام:  من أخذ دينه من كتاب الله وسنة نبيه صلوات الله عليه وآله زالت الجبال قبل أن يزول ومن أخذ دينه من أفواه الرجال ردته الرجال
Imam(as) said : Who took his religion from the book of Allah and the sunnah of His Prophet(saws) , the mountains can displace from their location , but he can’t be removed (from his religion) and who took his religion on the hearsay of people, the other people can divert him (from his religion). [Al kafi, Vol. 1, p. 7].

(k). We read:

عن أحمد بن محمد بن خالد، عن إسماعيل بن مهران، عن أبي سعيد القماط وصالح بن سعيد، عن أبان بن تغلب، عن أبي جعفر (عليه السلام) أنه سئل عن مسألة فأجاب فيها، قال: فقال الرجل: إن الفقهاء لا يقولون هذا، فقال: يا ويحك (1) وهل رأيت فقيها قط؟! إن الفقيه حق الفقيه (2) الزاهد في الدنيا، الراغب في الآخرة، المتمسك بسنة النبي (صلى الله عليه وآله).
“A man asked a question from Imam abu Ja‘far (a.s.) who replied to it and then the man said, “The Fuqaha, scholars of law, do not say this.” The Imam then said, “It is a pity. Have you ever seen a Faqih, a scholar of law? The real Faqih, scholar of law is one who maintains restraint from the worldly matters, who is deeply interested in the life hereafter and holds firmly to the Sunnah, noble tradition of the holy prophet (s.a.)” [Al Kafi H 204, Ch. 22, h 8]

(l). We read:

عن ابن أبي عمير، عن بعض أصحابه قال: سمعت أبا عبدالله (عليه السلام) يقول: من خالف كتاب الله وسنة محمد (صلى الله عليه وآله) فقد كفر
It is narrated through the same chain of narrators from ibn abu ‘Umayr from certain persons of his people who has said the following. “Abu ‘Abdallah (a.s.) who has said, ‘Whoever disagrees with the book of Allah and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.) he has certainly become a unbeliever.’” [Al Kafi H 202, Ch. 22, h 6]

(m). We read:

عن أبي جعفر عن رسول  الله  أنه قال فإذا أتاكم الحديث عني فأعرضوه على  كتاب   الله  وسنتي، فما وافق  كتاب   الله   وسنتي  فخذوا به، وما خالف  كتاب   الله   وسنتي  فلا تأخذوا به
Imam Baqir narrates the saying of the Messenger of Allah[saws] that he said : When any of my hadith reaches you, then present it on the book of Allah and my sunnah, and if it is according to the book of Allah and my sunnah, so take it, and if it is against the book of Allah and my sunnah, than don’t take it. [Ihtijaj Tibrisi Vol. 2 ,p. 246 ].

(n). Imam Ali(ra) said:
و لكـم عـليـنا العـمـل بكتاب الله تعالى و سيره رسول الله – صلى الله عليه و اله – و القيام بحقه و النعش لسنته
It is incumbent upon us to act upon the book of Allah Almighty and the seerah of the Messenger of Allah[saws] and to keep the haq(of His book) and to raise his Sunnah. [Nahjul Balagha, Vol. 1, p. 31]

(o). Abul Hasan(as) said: The Messenger [salallahu alayhi wa salam] brought them what should be sufficient for them during his era, and what should be sufficient for them after him: The Book of Allah, and the Sunnah of His Prophet” [Al-Mahaasin of al-Barqi, vol.1, pages 421 422 ]

Comment: Shia scholar Al-Barqi in his book al-Mahaasin, reports that the Messenger of Allah(saws) left behind the Book and his Sunnah.

(p). Ali(ra) stated:

[…Then Allah chose for Muhammad(saws) to meet Him, selected him for His own nearness, regarded him too dignified to remain in this world and decided to remove him from this place of trial. So He drew him towards Himself with honor. He(saws) left among you the same thing other Prophets left among their peoples, because Prophets do not leave them untended without a clear path and a standing ensign, namely the Book of your Creator clarifying its permission and prohibitions, its obligations and discretion its repealing injunctions and the repealed ones, its permissible matters and compulsory ones, its particulars and the general ones, its lessons and illustrations, its long and the short ones, its clear and obscure ones, detailing its abbreviations and clarifying its obscurities. In it there are some verses whose knowledge is obligatory and others whose ignorance by the people is permissible. It also contains what appears to be obligatory according to the Book but its repeal is signified by the Prophet’s action…]. (Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 1, page 121).

(q). Shia Scholar, Allama Baqir al-Majlisi narrated:

Narrated Ali ibn Ibrahim with authentic chain, in his Tafseer commentary of verse “ O you who believe! do not forbid (yourselves) the good things which Allah has made lawful for you” from Abu Abdullah (alaihi salam): It was revealed about commander of faithful (alaihi salam), Bilal and Uthman ibn Maudhun. And commander of faithful(alaihi salam) promised that he would never sleep at night, as for Bilal, he promised that he never would eat during the day, as for Uthman ibn Maudhun he promised that he never would marry (meaning he would never have intercourse with wife). And wife of the Uthman ibn Maudhun entered upon Aisha, and she was beautiful woman. Aisha asked: Why I see you upset?…. His wife said: By Allah, my husband didn’t approached me from such and such time….. (when prophet sallalahu alaihi wa ala alihi wa sallam entered to Aisha, she said that to him) He went out, and called to congregational prayer. People gathered, and minbar was set, he praised Allah, then said: What happen with group which prohibited upon themselves pure things? HEAR, I AM SLEEPING AT NIGHTS, MARRY (WOMAN) AND EAT DURING THE DAYS. AND WHOEVER WOULD GO ASTRAY FROM MY SUNNAH IS NOT FROM ME. [Ayn al-Hayat, by Baqir Majlisi, vol 1, page 348].

We read in al-Bayan fi Tafseer al-Qur’an by Grand Ayatullah al-Khoe’i page 230:

وقد دلت الاخبار المتواترة على وجوب عرض الروايات على الكتاب والسنة وأن ما خالف الكتاب منها يجب طرحه ، وضربه على الجدار
[The Mutawatir narrations show the necessity of presenting the narration (of the Imams) on the Book (of Allah) and the Sunnah, and that whatever disagrees with the Qur’an must be discarded and slammed against the door.]

Therefore, in the light of these traditions we see that, to remain on guidance and to be protected from going astray, adherence to the Quran and Sunnah is a must. If Ahlelbayt adhere to both, then they have both the virtue of descent[from the Prophet] and the virtue of adherence(to the Quran and Sunnah), and deserve to be leaders of guidance whose example we follow, as Allah(swt) says:{And make us leaders of the Muttaqoon(the pious)}[Quran 25:74]. This means leaders who follow the example of those who came before us, and whose example will be followed by those who come after us. This is not limited to Ahlelbayt; rather it applies to all who adhere to the Quran and Sunnah. In the case of reports with weak and unreliable chains of narration, whose text was twisted by unreliable narrators, then the faulty text itself does not make sense either, and this is a further weakness.

 

XVII. The Munkar(denounced) version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn – The wording of Khalifatayn.

Prophet of Allah(saws) said: “I will leave among you two successors(Khalifatayn) – the Book of Allah, a rope stretching between the heaven and the earth, and my ahlalbayt. Both shall never separate till they return to me at the pool”.” [Source: Jamia Al-Sageer. Vol. 1, Pg. # 482, H # 2457 – 2456].

Response:

This odd wording comes only in the tradition of narrator Sharik from Rukain from Qasim bin Hassaan from Zayd bin Thaabit. It was related by Ibn Abi Shaibah in “al-Musannaf” (31679), Imam Ahmad in his Musnad (21578, 21654) and others.

Issues with the chain of narrators:

(i). Sharik bin Abdullah al-Qaadhi:

Narrator Sharik is known to be an unreliable transmitter who makes mistakes in his transmission. Sharik was weak, especially when he opposes others. [See Taqreeb (1/417)]. Below is the criticism on Sharik from Sunni Scholars.

Ibn Sa’d & Al-Dāraqutnī mentioned he was not a strong transmitter [Meezan al-I’tidaal, 2/271 & Tabqaat al-Kubara 6/355].

Ibn Ḥajar said: “He was a sadūq(truthful) who made lots of mistakes, his retention changed a lot once he became the judge of Kufa” [Taqreeb al-Tahdheeb 1/266].

Similarly Ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani said:
“ولما ولي القضاء تغير حفظه”
“His memory deteriorated when he was appointed as a Judge” [Tabaqaat al-Mudalliseen (P. 44)].

Al-’Uqailī included him in al-Du’afa al-Kabeer , his encyclopedia on weak transmitters. [al-Du’afa al-Kabeer, 2/193].

Imaam Ali bin Abdullah al-Madeeni said, I heard Yahya bin Sa’eed al-Qattaan saying:

“قَدِمَ شَرِيكٌ مَكَّةَ، فَقِيلَ لِي آتِهِ، فَقُلْتُ: لَوْ كَانَ بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مَا سَأَلْتُهُ عَنْ شَيْءٍ، وَضَعَّفَ يَحْيَى حَدِيثَهُ جِدًّا”
“Sharik came to Makkah, thus I was told about his arrival, so I said: Even if he were to be in front of me, I would not ask him about anything – and Yahya severely weakened his hadeeth”. [ Ad-Du’afa al-Kabeer by al-Ukaylee (2/193)]

Imaam Abu Zur’ah ar-Raazi said:

“كان كثير الحديث صاحب وهم، يغلط أحيانا”
“He was Katheer ul-Hadeeth, he had errors, and he would often make mistakes”.[ Al-Jarh wat Ta’deel by Ibn Abi Haatim (4/367)].

Al-Dhahabi states:

قال الجوزجانى سيئ الحفظ مضطرب الحديث…قال ابو زرعة كان كثير الحديث صاحب وهم يغلط احيانا…قال عبد الله بن ادريس ان شريكا لشيعى
Al-Jawzajani said: He had a bad retention of reports, and was contradictory in his transmission. Abu Zur`ah said: “He narrated many narrations. He would get confused and make mistakes at times.” `Abd Allah ibn Idris
said: “Sharik was most certainly a Shi`i. [Meezan al-I’tidaal, 2/270].

Ibn al-Hajar writes in al-Tahdhib:

قال ابن القطان شريك بن عبد الله كان مشهورا بالتدليس…قال الازدى انه مائل عن القصد غالى المذهب سيئ الحفظ مضطرب الحديث…قال الساجى كان ينسب الى التشيع المفرط

Ibn al-Qattan said: “Sharik ibn `Abd Allah was well known for concealing his sources(Tadlees)…” Al-Azdi said: “He strayed from moderation. He was an extremist in his beliefs. He had a bad memory, he committed many errors and his narrations had many contradictions.” Al-Saji said: “He was looked upon as an extremist Shiah. [Tahdhib al-Tahdhib vol. 4 pg. 337]

Imaam Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi said:

“وَشَرِيكٌ مِمَّنْ لَا يُحْتَجُّ بِهِ فِيمَا يُخَالِفُهُ فِيهِ أَهْلُ الْحِفْظِ وَالثِّقَةُ لِمَا ظَهَرَ مِنْ سُوءِ حِفْظِهِ”
“Sharik is among those Hujjah is not taken from whom, in which he opposes the people of Memory and Reliability because of what appeared from his weak memory”
[ Ma’rifat us-Sunan wal Athaar by Al-Bayhaqi (12/388 # 17115)]

Sharik bin Abdullah himself said:
“إني لأسمع الكلمة فيتغير لها بولي”
I would forget the speech that I had heard, by the time I was appointed as a Judge” [Ath-Thiqaat by Al-Ijlee (1/220)]

(ii). Qasim bin Hassaan:

The other narrator Qasim bin Hassaan, al-Dhahabi quotes from Bukhari that his hadith is Munkar and he was not known.

والقاسم بن حسان لم يذكره البخاري في التاريخ الكبير (7\161) إلا بقوله: «القاسم بن حسان» مما يعني جهالته. وقال البخاري:«حديثه منكر، ولا يعرف» وضعفه الذهبي في ميزان الإعتدال (3/369) وقال ابن القطان :«لا يعرف حاله» تهذيب التهذيب (311/8)؛ ولخص ابن حجر حاله بقوله في تقريب التهذيب (1\449): «مقبول»، وهنا قد تفرد به. فالحديث ضعيف لضعف وجهالة القاسم بن حسان، ولأن سماعه من زيد بن ثابت شكك فيه ابن حبان.

Bukhari said: “His ḥadīth is munkar, and he is unknown” [Meezan al-I’tidaal, 3/369]
Ibn Al-Qattan Al-Fasi said: “He is unknown” [Tahdheeb al-Tahdheeb 8/311]

Imam al-Dhahabi included Qasim bin Hassaan in his Al-Mughni fi’l-Du’afa , an authoritative abridged manual of weak narrators.[Al-Mughni fi ‘l-Du’afa– vol 2, page112 , #4983]

Ibn Ḥajar said: Maqbūl. [Taqreeb al-Tahdheeb 1/449]. This means, according to Ibn Ḥajar, that: “his reports are only accepted if they are corroborated by other reliable transmitters; otherwise, he is a weak transmitter.”[Taqreeb al-Tahdheeb 1/8]. However there is no one else who narrated this version of Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn with the wording of Khalifatayn. Moreover the criticism of Imam Bukhari is Mufassar(explained) and as per the basic rule of Hadeeth Science, Explained disparagement is given preference over commendation”[Kitab Marifat Anwa ilm Al-hadith ibn al-Salaah, page 84].

Issue with the Text(Matn)

In Mu’jam al-Kabeer by Imam al-Tabarani,  we find that the same report from same narrators, Sharik — al-Rukayn — al-Qasim — Zayd bin Thabit, was reported with the wording of “Thaqalayn” NOT “Khalifatayn”.

Ubayd bin Ghunam — Abu Bakr bin abi Shaybah — `Umar bin Sa`d abu Dawud — Sharik — al-Rukayn bin al-Rabee` — al-Qasim bin Hassan — Zayd bin Thabit. [Mu’jam al-Tabrani al-Kabeer, vol 5, page 154, #4923].

So, here we find either Sharik or al-Qasim has contradicted his own report. Therefore, it is possible that Sharik or al-Qasim, made a mistake while narrating and switched Thaqalayn with Khalifatayn, because all the authentic versions have the word Thaqalayn, not Khalifatayn. And the above version having the wording as “Thaqalayn”, is also supported by all the authentic ahadeeth which uses the word Thaqalayn instead of Khalifatayn.

When returning to Al-Albani’s takhreej of Kitab Al-Sunnah, we find the following comments:

حديث صحيح: وإسناده ضعيف لسوء حفظ شريك وهو ابن عبد الله القاضي. والقاسم بن حسان مجهول الحال… وإنما صححته لأن له شواهد تقويه

“The narration is authentic: The chain is WEAK due to the weak memory of Sharik the judge, who is the son of Abdullah, and Al-Qassim bin Hassan, who is anonymous(majhool) in status… but I authenticated it due to supplementary narrations that strengthen it.”

Al-Albani is correct, for this chain is without a doubt weak. Upon returning to Al-Silsila Al-Saheehah to check out his supplementary narrations, we found that they came from the paths of Jabir, Zayd bin Arqam, Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudari, and others. However, none of these narrations includes the wordings “Khalifatayn”.

In other words, what Al-Albani is implying that, the overall narration is authentic, but the odd wording(Khalifatayn) in this narration is weak, since it comes through a weak path. It is not conceivable to accept such a wording when more authentic versions of the narration do not have this wording. Hence the wording of Khalifatayn is Munkar(denounced).

Similar goes with Shaykh Wasiullah Abbas. In Fadha’il Ahmad (2/747 hadith #1032) the Muhaqqiq Wasiullah Abbas says Isnadahu hasan li ghairih(the chain is hasan due to other chains) then says Sharik is weak, but there are shawahid(witnesses) then, in the end he says, “and the hadith is saheeh, See  (#170). He says the same thing under (hadith #1403 2/988) he says that there are many shawahid and “see (170)”.

But when we go back to(#170) which Shaykh Wasiullah Abbas asked us to see, we find the following:

تركت فيكم ما أن تمسكتم به فلن تضلوا كتاب الله وأهل بيتي

This witness is WITHOUT the word Khalifatain, moreover, he declared the chain of this report(#170), as very weak, as it has a narrator who is Matrook. In the footnote of this hadeeth, he mentions the various routes through which Hadeeth al-Thaqalayn was reported, which even includes the authentic version of Sahih Muslim. [Fadhail Sahaba by Ahmad, page 171172 , #170].

Therefore, like Shaykh Al-Albani even Shaykh Wasiullah Abbas is implying that, the overall narration is authentic, but the odd wording of this narration is weak, since it comes through a weak path.

In fact this narration in its current form, is Munkar(denounced) based on the authentic version of al-Thaqalayn.

Interestingly, we know that Rasul-Allah(saws) said in one version of hadeeth al-Thaqalayn, “Fandhuru Kayfa Takhlufunani Feehima”, meaning “So be careful how you deal with these two”. Thus Prophet(saws) made a Wasiyyah or he(saws) willed for us to be careful in how we succeed him in both of these issues, and this proves that it is us who shall be responsible for them and not the other way around.

Ali(ra) is reported to have said similarly in of Nahj-ul-Balagha regarding the Ansar, Amir al-mu’minin(Ali) said: “Why did you not argue against them (ansar) that the Prophet had left his will that whoever is good among Ansar should be treated well and whoever is bad should be forgiven. People said: “What is the proof against them in it?” Amir al-mu’minin said: “If the Government was for them there should have been no will in their favour.”[Nahj-ul-Balagha, page 216, Sermon 66].

Esteemed Shia scholar Sayyid Muhammad Shirazi in his sharh of Nahjul balagha says while commenting upon the above words:

فلو کان الانصار امراء، کان اللازم ان يوصيهم الرسول صلي الله عليه و آله و سلم بان يعطفوا علي الناس لا ان يوصي الرسول صلي الله عليه و آله و سلم بان يعطف عليهم
If the Ansar were to be the rulers, it was necessary that the Prophet(saws) should have made the will that they should treat the people kindly, rather than the Prophet(saws) making the will that the people should be kind to them. (Nahjul balagha, with Taleeq of Ayatullah Shirazi, page 103)

What Ali means, is that the Messenger(saws) did not intend for the Ansar to be in a position of government, and the proof is that he(saws) told the believers and willed for them to treat the Ansar with goodness, whereas if they were entitled for it then he(saws) would have told the Ansar to treat the rest of the believers well as they would be in position of power. Since Rasul-Allah(saws) told us to succeed him in taking care of his Ahlelbayt(household) then it is proven that the government(Khilafah) after him was not intended for them.

Therefore, the word “Khalifah” in this tradition doesn’t indicate the successor of Prophet(saws) in any way. Qur’an cannot be a successor of the Prophet(saws) for it was in authority even during the lifetime of the Prophet(saws). In fact, the Messenger of Allah(saws) himself followed the Qur’an. Khalifah here is simply something which has been left behind. This is also proven from the fact that Prophet(saws) mentioned a whole group of Ahlelbayt who were left by him at that time as Khalifah, and we know it is impossible for a whole group of Ahlelbayt which even includes women and children to be Khalifah at the same time. Islamically there cannot be two individuals as Khalifah at same time, let alone a whole group including women and children.

[“Truth has(now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish.” (Quran 17:81).]

Article by Ibn Ahmed al-Hindi.

9 thoughts on “Hadeeth Al-Thaqalayn(Two weighty Things) — The correct understanding and a Spot-on perspective of Sunnis.

  1. at-Thaqal means a heavy thing or heavy responsibility or a heavy burden. Just like it is said in Sahih Muslim:
    وَعَنْ اِبْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اَللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ: { بَعَثَنِي رَسُولُ اَللَّهِ ‏- صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏-فِي اَلثَّقَلِ, أَوْ قَالَ فِي اَلضَّعَفَةِ مِنْ جَمْعٍ بِلَيْلٍ .‏

    Ibn ‘Abbas (RAA) narrated, ‘The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) sent me at night from al-Muzdalifah (to Mina) with the Thaqal or the weak members of his family (women and children).’

    So here the Thaqal are the weak family members because they can’t defend themselves and as such are described as at-Thaqal ie a heavy responsibility for those who take care of them as they have to defend them in case of a suprise attack by the enemy.

    The word I would like to look at here is taraka (ترك) ie leaving something behind. This doesn’t usually mean that you are leaving something behind in the sense of being replaced by it, rather leaving something behind that you will not care for or attend to it or leave it unchanged. As it is said in the verse for example:
    قَالُوا يَا أَبَانَا إِنَّا ذَهَبْنَا نَسْتَبِقُ وَتَرَكْنَا يُوسُفَ عِندَ مَتَاعِنَا فَأَكَلَهُ الذِّئْبُ ۖ وَمَا أَنتَ بِمُؤْمِنٍ لَّنَا وَلَوْ كُنَّا صَادِقِينَ
    Sahih International
    They said, “O our father, indeed we went racing each other and left Joseph with our possessions, and a wolf ate him. But you would not believe us, even if we were truthful.”

    Here the brothers of Prophet Yusuf left him unattended, taraka as-salat means that someone neglects his prayer ie he doesnt pray anymore, a person who is matruk is someone who is abandoned.

    This is the reason at the end of hadeeth it says:
    فَانْظُرُوا كَيْفَ تَخْلُفُونِي فِيهِمَا ie “so look at how you will deal with them after me”

  2. It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) observed: What would you do when the son of Mary would descend amongst you and would lead you as one amongst you? Ibn Abi Dhi’b on the authority of Abu Huraira narrated: Your leader amongst you. Ibn Abi Dhi’b said: Do you know what the words:” He would lead as one amongst you” mean? I said: Explain these to me. He said: He would lead you according to the Book of your: Lord (hallowed be He and most exalted) and the Sunnah of your Apostle.[ Sahih Muslim 155 f]

  3. It was narrated from Shuraih that:
    He wrote to ‘Umar, to ask him (a question), and ‘Umar wrote back to him telling him: “Judge according to what is in the Book of Allah. If it is not (mentioned) in the Book of Allah, then (judge) according to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah [SAW]. If it is not (mentioned) in the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah [SAW], then pass judgment according to the way the righteous passed judgment. If it is not (mentioned) in the Book of Allah, or the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah [SAW], and the righteous did not pass judgment concerning it, then if you wish, go ahead (and try to work it out by yourself) or if you wish, leave it. And I think that leaving it is better for you. And peace be upon you.”
    أَخْبَرَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بَشَّارٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَامِرٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنِ الشَّيْبَانِيِّ، عَنِ الشَّعْبِيِّ، عَنْ شُرَيْحٍ، أَنَّهُ كَتَبَ إِلَى عُمَرَ يَسْأَلُهُ فَكَتَبَ إِلَيْهِ أَنِ اقْضِ بِمَا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ فَبِسُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ فِي سُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَاقْضِ بِمَا قَضَى بِهِ الصَّالِحُونَ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ فِي سُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَلَمْ يَقْضِ بِهِ الصَّالِحُونَ فَإِنْ شِئْتَ فَتَقَدَّمْ وَإِنْ شِئْتَ فَتَأَخَّرْ وَلاَ أَرَى التَّأَخُّرَ إِلاَّ خَيْرًا لَكَ وَالسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ‏.‏
    Grade : Sahih (Darussalam

    Sunan an-Nasa’i 5399

  4. Thaqalayn; hadeeth of Sahih Muslim has two verbs. Tamaskum bihi and azkirkum ahlebayt. These are two sentences. Where as the faulty text like in tirmidhi says tamaskumbihi quran wa Ahlelbayt with a “wa” In between,so this can be argued for Shia argument for faulty text but not text of Sahih Muslim having two verbs.

  5. Al-Qurtubi said: “This advice and urging in the strongest terms implies that it is obligatory to respect his family and love them.This highlights the obligation of the Muslims towards them and leaves no excuse for anyone not to do it.” [Faydh al Qadeer by al-Manawi, vol 3, page 14

  6. أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ قَرَأْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَمِنْ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَا يُرَدُّ بِهِ قَوْلُكُمْ أَتَرْضَوْنَ ؟ قَالُوا : نَعَمْ
    Ibn ‘Abbas in his debate with Khawarij said to them: “If I bring evidence to you from the Book of Allah and THE SUNNAH of His Prophet(saws) to answer your questions, do you think that you will recant?” They said yes. [al Musradrak al Hakim # 2582. al Hakim said: It is authentic upon the conditions of Muslim, ad-Dahabi agreed with him]

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