Thaqalayn (Hadith) (حديث الثقلين) the real Sunni view


Hadith-at-Thaqalayn (حديث الثقلين) is a topic of fierce debate between Shia and Sunni Muslims. The interpretation of this tradition has enormous ramifications in virtually every fundamental branch in Islam. Did the Prophet ﷺ  merely recommend his Ummah to take care of his Ahlulbayt, or was it a statement with far more significance – one to hold onto select members of his Ahlulbayt for guidance along with the Quran, after which they would never go astray?

Unfortunately, the internet, though a potentially useful tool, has also given a platform for anyone and everyone to voice their opinion. We now see individuals who are not scholars, nor even accurately represent many major scholars in their own sect, creating websites and making judgements concerning narrations and narrators, positing very twisted interpretations at many a time, not even inline with what many of their own major scholars have affirmed . Indeed, what they are concealing from readers in their articles are the words of their great scholars , which we will reveal here.

 It is absolutely pertinent to note that in the field of Hadith, lay people, or those who are self-taught can not grade traditions as per their own whims and desires. Scholars in either sect have extensively studied this field, and while they may arrive at different opinions, they are qualified in doing so. Lay people merely come and interject their own incomplete comprehension with a lack of awareness of the depth and nuances that underly grading traditions. Objective readers have a choice: Accept the judgements of major scholars like Ibn Hair al-Asqalani, al-Albani, al-Arnaut, Muhammed Shakir, Ibnul Qattan, or the words of laymen writing articles online. The real Sunni view can be found in the words and works of the scholars, not in the refutation of lay men whose only notable achievement is owning a website.  Even if you disagree with the full ramifications acknowledging the reliable expressions of this tradition may lead to, to argue against it for the sake of attacking Shias may put you at risk of your Akhirah.

Many great Sunni scholars have authenticated what we will present here, and given them  interpretations that fit in with the Sunni view, rather than adopting an approach of weakening them. Do not fall into the trap of Ibn Taymiyyah, whose partisan bias led him to considering authentic traditions as weak, earning him criticism from many major Sunni scholars.

We would like to here give thanks to the late brother Toyyib, and his work ‘Thaqalayn – The last deposed will to humanity’, whose work has proven invaluable in our attempt to counter refutations against portions of traditions contained within it, and take the research further, which would only have been possible with the permission of Allah, and he groundwork payed by those who have endeavoured and struggled before us.

 

Table of contents:

Part one: An explanation as to why we have variants of this tradition

Part two: The three major versions

Part three: An assessment of the tradition in Sahih Muslim, narrated by Zaid bin Aqram

Part four: An assessment of the reliable traditions for the second and third versions

Part five: An additional chain that may be accepted to some Sunni scholars that corroborates the second version

Part six:  The chains of narrations for the second narration, and a summary of the unique chains

Part seven: Intellectual dishonesty

Part eight: Response to counter arguments 

Part nine:  The words of imminent Sunni scholars, past to present, about the wording, meaning and significance of this tradition

Part nine: Summary.

 

Part One: An explanation as to why we have variants of this tradition.

It is generally accepted that there are authentic expressions some versions have which others do not, even if one disagrees which versions are reliable, most accept at least two. This in and of itself, proves that the version of this Hadith in Saheeh Muslim omits authentic expressions that other narrators have included in reliable chains of transmission. However there are some who like to put across the notion that the other traditions (more numerous in chain) for this tradition are to be rejected because they contradict the version in Saheeh Muslim. However, one tradition including an authentic expression another one omits does not mean they contradict each other;  it is just evidence that more was said and both traditions can therefore be collated together to bring forth the totality of what was said.

It is important nonetheless, to present an important detail about the version contained in Saheeh Muslim. Zaid bin Aqram is the original narrator for this version, and it only goes through him at a time where, in the tradition, he first mentions his very advanced age and poor memory. It is not inconceivable therefore, that owing to his poor memory, while he might arguably have accurately mentioned what he remembered, he may have forgotten to include an authentic expression. We will demonstrate this in the following sections, to remove any doubt that this is a highly plausible explanation. 

 

Part Two:  A presentation of the three main versions

Version one (Saheeh Muslim): On the authority of Yazid bin Haiyan on the authority of Zaid bin Aqram: “I went along with Husain bin Sabrah and ‘Amr bin Muslim to Zaid bin Arqam (May Allah be pleased with them) and, as we sat by his side, Husain said to him, “Zaid, you acquired great merits, you saw Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), listened to him talking, fought by his side in (different) battles, and offered Salat (prayer) behind him. Zaid, you have indeed earned great merits. Could you narrate to us what you heard from Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)?” Zaid said, “By Allah! I have grown old and have almost spent up my age and I have forgotten some of the things which I remembered in connection with Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), so accept what I narrate to you, do not compel me to narrate what I fail to narrate”. He then said, “One day Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) stood up to deliver a Khutbah at a watering place known as Khumm between Makkah and Al-Madinah. He praised Allah, extolled Him, and exhorted (us) and said, ‘Amma Ba’du. O people, I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) from my Rubb and I will respond to Allah’s Call, but I am leaving with you two weighty things: the first is 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 is the members of my household, I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt.  [1].

وعن يزيد بن حيان قال‏:‏ انطلقت أنا وحصين بن سبرة، وعمرو بن مسلم إلى زيد بن أرقم رضي الله عنهم، فلما جلسنا إليه قال له حصين‏:‏ لقد لقيت يا زيد خيرًا كثيرًا، رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وسمعت حديثه، وغزوت معه، وصليت خلفه‏:‏ لقد لقيت يا زيد خيرًا كثيرًا، حدثنا يا زيد ما سمعت من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ يا ابن أخى والله لقد كبرت سني، وقدم عهدي، ونسيت بعض الذي كنت أعي من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فماحدثتكم ، فاقبلوا، وما لا فلا تكلفونيه ثم قال‏:‏ قام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يومًا فينا خطيبًا بماء يدعى خماء بين مكة والمدينة، فحمد الله، وأثنى عليه، ووعظ، وذكر، ثم قال‏:‏ ‏”‏أما بعد، ألا أيها الناس، فإنما أنا بشر يوشك أن يأتي رسول ربي فأجيب، وأنا تارك فيكم ثقلين‏.‏ أولهما كتاب الله، فيه الهدى والنور، فخذوا بكتاب الله، واستمسكوا به‏.‏ فحث على كتاب الله، ورغب فيه ثم قال‏:‏ ‏”‏وأهل بيتي أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي، أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي‏

 

Version two (Musnad Ibn Rahwayh): On the authority of Ali ibn Abi Talib: “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “I have left behind over you (al-Thaqalayn) that which if you hold fast to it you will never go astray: the Book of Allah – one end of which is in the Hand of Allah and the other in your hands– and my Ahl al-Bayt” [2-3]

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.

 

Version three (Al-Tabarani and Al-Bazzar):

 Al-ṭabarānī and Al-Bazzār report the ḥadīth through Al-Hassan bin ‘Ubaidillah, from Al Qasim bin Hassan, on the authority of Zaid bin Thābit that: The messenger of Allāh said: “I am leaving behind among you Al Thaqalayn: The Book of Allāh the members of my household, and they shall not separate until they meet at the Ḥawdh.[4]

 

 

Part three: An assessment of the tradition in Sahih Muslim, narrated by Zaid bin Aqram.

Version one (Saheeh Muslim): On the authority of Yazid bin Haiyan on the authority of Zaid bin Aqram: “I went along with Husain bin Sabrah and ‘Amr bin Muslim to Zaid bin Arqam (May Allah be pleased with them) and, as we sat by his side, Husain said to him, “Zaid, you acquired great merits, you saw Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), listened to him talking, fought by his side in (different) battles, and offered Salat (prayer) behind him. Zaid, you have indeed earned great merits. Could you narrate to us what you heard from Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)?” Zaid said, “By Allah! I have grown old and have almost spent up my age and I have forgotten some of the things which I remembered in connection with Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), so accept what I narrate to you, do not compel me to narrate what I fail to narrate”. He then said, “One day Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) stood up to deliver a Khutbah at a watering place known as Khumm between Makkah and Al-Madinah. He praised Allah, extolled Him, and exhorted (us) and said, ‘Amma Ba’du. O people, I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) from my Rubb and I will respond to Allah’s Call, but I am leaving with you two weighty things: the first is 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 is the members of my household, , I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. [1].

وعن يزيد بن حيان قال‏:‏ انطلقت أنا وحصين بن سبرة، وعمرو بن مسلم إلى زيد بن أرقم رضي الله عنهم، فلما جلسنا إليه قال له حصين‏:‏ لقد لقيت يا زيد خيرًا كثيرًا، رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وسمعت حديثه، وغزوت معه، وصليت خلفه‏:‏ لقد لقيت يا زيد خيرًا كثيرًا، حدثنا يا زيد ما سمعت من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ يا ابن أخى والله لقد كبرت سني، وقدم عهدي، ونسيت بعض الذي كنت أعي من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فماحدثتكم ، فاقبلوا، وما لا فلا تكلفونيه ثم قال‏:‏ قام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يومًا فينا خطيبًا بماء يدعى خماء بين مكة والمدينة، فحمد الله، وأثنى عليه، ووعظ، وذكر، ثم قال‏:‏ ‏”‏أما بعد، ألا أيها الناس، فإنما أنا بشر يوشك أن يأتي رسول ربي فأجيب، وأنا تارك فيكم ثقلين‏.‏ أولهما كتاب الله، فيه الهدى والنور، فخذوا بكتاب الله، واستمسكوا به‏.‏ فحث على كتاب الله، ورغب فيه ثم قال‏:‏ ‏”‏وأهل بيتي أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي، أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي‏

 

Assessment

There are some important facts that ought to be mentioned before any deeper analysis of this particular tradition. As mentioned previously, the first, and perhaps the most important, is that this version is only narrated by Zaid bin Aqram when he first complains about his advanced age and poor memory. No other companion has narrated it in this fashion, and out of all the versions, this has the fewest chains both in pure number and unique routes. We acknowledge this is not sufficient to discount it – and we are not attempting to claim this is inauthentic. To emphasise the extent of his memory loss, and advanced age, let us bring forth a tradition in Sunan Ibn Majah:

“Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Laila said: We said to Zaid bin Arqam: ‘Tell us a Hadith from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).’ He said: We have grown old and have forgotten, and (narrating) Ahadith from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) is difficult (not a simple matter).’[5]

Interestingly for anyone other than the companions (who are given a free pass) , the following (and rather logical) approach is used:

Our dear viewers may want to read what the position is on someone whose memory is said to have changed:

Ibn Kathir in ‘al-Bath al-Hathith’ 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“.[6]  and  Hafidh al-Iraqi in ‘Hafidh al-Alai ‘al-Mukhtalatin’  said: “Ruling regarding those who changed in their memory (ikhtilat), his reports in such state are not accepted“. [7]

It is rather interesting that the companions are given a free pass, and not enlisted into the ‘Mukhtilat’ whereas non-companions may be. Nevertheless, all we argue is that Zaid was old, had complained but a notable decline in his memory, and this therefore makes it highly plausible to suggest he may have forgotten to include authentic expressions.

Some examples of Ibn Umar setting a precedent in omitting an authentic expression or perhaps making an error:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: The dead is punished because of his family’s weeping for him. When this was mentioned to Aishah, she said: Ibn ‘Umar forgot and made a mistake. The Prophet (ﷺ) passed by grave and he said: The man in the grave is being punished while his family is weeping for him. She then recited: “No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another.” The narrator Abu Mu’awiyyah said: (The Prophet passed) by the grave of a Jew. [8]

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:  Allah’s Apostle said, “If someone keeps a dog neither for guarding livestock, nor for hunting, his good deeds will decrease (in reward) by two Qirats a day.’[9]

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who kept a dog except one meant for watching the herd, or for hunting or for watching the fields. he lost two qirat of reward every day. Zuhri said: “The words of Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) were conveyed to Ibn Umar who said: May Allah have mercy upon Abu Huraira; he owned a field.” [10]

As we can see in the example above, Ibn Umar ommits what is an authentic expression to Sunnis, which is correctly preseved by Abu Huraira. 

Summary

Considering the evidence presented above, it is not unreasonable to suggest that it is possible that Zaid bin Aqram could have omitted an authentic expression, due to his poor memory, which has been preserved in the many more unique and in cases reliable chains for the second version of the tradition. Sunnis should not see the first version as a contradiction to the second, but both are reliable with the second containing an authentic expression the first has omitted, and the third an expression the first and second may have omitted. 

 

Part four: An assessment of the reliable traditions for the second and third versions.

The most widely narrated version of Hadith at-Thaqalayn is the second version, closely followed by the third version. These two independently each have by far the most unique number of chains, on the authority of many more companions, compared to the version in Saheeh Muslim, which converges onto Zaid bin Aqram when he first complains about his advanced age and poor memory.

Version two (Musnad Ibn Rahwayh):

On the authority of Ali ibn Abi Talib: “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “I have left behind over you (al-Thaqalayn) that which if you hold fast to it you will never go astray: the Book of Allah – one end of which is in the Hand of Allah and the other in your hands– and my Ahl al-Bayt.”[2-3]  

Chain: Sulayman b. ‘Ubayd Allah al-Ghilani – Abu ‘Amir – Kathir b. Zayd – Muhammad b. ‘Umar b. ‘Ali – his father – ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him:  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.    

Verdict of Sunni scholars on the chain of the hadith:

(1) Shu’ayb Arnaut states regarding the above tradition: إسناده حسن [The chain is Hasan [good]] [3.1]

(2) Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani states: هذا إسناد صحيح [The chain is Saheeh] [3.2]

(3) Ahmad B. Abu Bakr b.Ismail Al Busri states : رواه إسحاق بسند صحيح [The chain is Saheeh] [3.3]

(4) Ali b. Husam al-Din al-Muttaqi al-Hindi states: ابن راهويه وابن جرير وابن أبي عاصم والمحاملي في أماليه وصححه [Narrated by (Ishaq) Ibn Rahwayh, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi ‘Asim, and by al-Muhamali in his Amali, and he (al-Muhamali) declared it Saheeh] [3.4]

(5) It is also worthy of note, that al-Albani performed some extensive research on the issue in his ‘ Silsilat Al Ahadeeth  As Saheehah’ [3.5]. We will provide a screenshot whereby he regards the above chain as a strong evidence:

He also declares the men in the chain as trustworthy but that he had been unaware of who Yazid b. Kathir was, before clarifying that upon further research it was clear to him  ‘Yazid b. Kathir is actually Kathir b. Zayd in the coming page – after hi lighting confusion over the issue in the portion cited. We will demonstrate that he himself has graded traditions with Kathir b. Zayd as ‘Hasan’ in the next section. We must stress that those who will reject the views of major scholars, who have done extensive research on the traditions – and it is clear when we look at the fact al-Albani collected most of the major sources for this particular tradition, on the weak claim they were ‘limited in their research’ employ a thoroughly intellectually dishonest tactic. 

 

Kathir bin Zayd

There are two narrators that individuals and non-scholars often claim are weak, the first is Kathir bin Zayd, who  has been given Tawthiq by Ibn ‘Ammar al-Musili and Ibn Hibban in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, viii, 300 and is classed as ‘Saduq (truthful) and makes mistakes’ (but reliable and accepted in Hadith) by Ibn Hajar.  It is pertinent here to note that someone being Saduq who makes mistakes does not degrade him to the level of a Dhai’f narrator. The science of Hadith is more nuanced than that. Rather, the weakness must be investigated for the severity, and context, and so and in this case, given the number of scholars who have graded this chain to as at least Hasan, he is not deemed to be a weak narrator by many scholars and most importantly, those who came later and collated the views of the previous ones (like Ibn Hajar).

If we take the example of Sharik, who is weaker than Kathir bin Zayd, and rather than just making mistakes, is said to have made many of them, even then we find  scholars may regard him to be Hasan narrator. Al-Dhahabi says regarding him:” I (al-Dhahabi) say: Sharik was hasan al-hadith (i.e. his ahadith are hasan).” This is despite Ibn Hajar writing in his Taqrib Al-Tahdhib : ““Sharik b. ‘Abd Allah al-Nakha’i al-Kufi al-Qadi, (resided) first at Wasit and then Kufah, Abu ‘Abd Allah: Saduq (very truthful), made a lot of mistakes”. References have not been provided given the name is sufficient to look into the dictionary of the famous and well known books of Rijal. Indeed if one performs research on Kathir bin Zayd, they will find that Ibn Khuzaymah has narrated many narrations with him, At-Tabari declared a chain containing him to be ‘Saheeh’, Ahmad ibn Hanbal has declared ‘ i do not see anything wrong with him’, Ibn Hiban has declares him Thiqah, as well as Yahya bin Ma’in and there are many more examples such as this. 

The well respected Sunni Hadith website, ‘Hadithanswers.com’ notes:  “…Nevertheless, in the case in question (saduqun yukhti-u, or saduqun yahimu or saduqun lahu awham), such a narrator’s Hadiths can be sound (hasan), depending on the nature of the Hadith’s content and its topic of discussion.  [11]

Unfortunately, lay people who produce articles and give their own subjective gradings based on a very simplistic understanding of the science of Rijal and narrator criticism and Hadith,  fail to apply a holistic approach. We do not deny some scholars might judge a narrator weak, while another may not, and methodology differs. However, there is no such principle that means a Saduq narrator that sometimes makes a mistake is automatically considered weak, but rather he may be considered Hasan.  

Indeed, we find al-Albani has graded a number of chains with Kathir b. Zayd as ‘Hasan’ outright. You can find examples here and here.

 

Muhammed ibn Umar ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib

He is the grandson of Ali ibn Abi Talib, and the great grandson of of the Messenger of Allah (saw).Imams Nasai, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah (rahimahumullah) have accepted his Hadiths and Ibn Hiban has given him Tawtheeq. Ibn Hajar grades him as ‘Saduq’ which is a high grading and is below a ‘Thiqah’ but above many other ranks [12].  Dhahabi also makes a statement worth nothing and says: “I did not see any problems in him, nor did I see any criticism of him by the earlier critics. [13]. We acknowledge this is not an admission of him believing he was a reliable narrator, but it is worthy of note, and may allude to it, given he could clearly have stated that there is a problem with him being unknown and is therefore unreliable. Rather, he doesn’t make a clear statement that this as an issue of major criticism. In fact, Dhahabi is the one who has quoted Ibnul Qattan al-Fasi , who raised a question about the hal and condition of the narrator , bringing up the term ‘Majhul’ in discussing him, but nevertheless concludes that he is Hasan-ul-Hadith , which means his traditions will be in the Hasan category [14]. It is possible that Dahahabi may have agreed with the judgement of Ibnul Qattan, given that it isn’t the case of just one scholar having this view but a number of major scholars. 

Once more, a number of serious scholars of Hadith have given the grandson of Ali ibn Abi Talib the status of being at least Hasan in Hadith, and these are major scholars who have reviewed the balance of evidence and considered many factors into making their final decision. It would be insulting for anyone who regards men with enormous weight in the field such as Ibnul Qattan, Ibn Hajar, and possibly even Dhahabi, and the many scholars who came after and graded the above chain at at least ‘Hasan’ , to have erred in their judgement and to have been unaware of what ‘Majhul’ meant. If this is not good enough for a very small group of individuals , some of them part of very niche groups within their own sect, then we do not appeal to fringes. Rather, the above evidence should satisfy the vast majority of Sunnis, who are wise to put the view of their scholars above that of lay people in their sect. 

 

Version three (Al-Tabarani and Al-Bazzar):

 Al-ṭabarānī and Al-Bazzār report the ḥadīth through Al-Hassan bin ‘Ubaidillah, from Al Qasim bin Hassan, on the authority of Zaid bin Thābit that he said: The messenger of Allāh said: “I am leaving behind among you Al Thaqalayn: The Book of Allāh the members of my household, and they shall not separate until they meet at the Ḥawdh.[4]

There is no debate about the authenticity of the above version from any refutation website, and this is an authentic narration, and so it suffices we quote it without any need to break down the chain and argue for a grading. 

 

Part five:  An additional chain that may be acceptable to some Sunnis.

The following chain contain the tradition with the phrase ‘if you hold onto them you will never go astray’ from the work of Baladhuri[15]

Additional chain one:

Abdul-Malik bin Muhammad bin `Abdullah al-Qurashi -> Yahya bin Hammad -> abu `Awanah -> al-A`mash -> Habib bin abi Thabit -> `Amir bin Wathilah abu al-Tufayl -> Zayd bin Arqam. 

The only real weak links in the above chains are al-A’mash and Habib bin Abi Thabit. Despite being regarded as ‘Thiqah’ and a trustworthy narrators, and narrators of Bukhari and Muslim, they are accused of Tadlees, and opinion remains divided as to how to judge when someone performs Tadlees. However, if we consult the opinion of Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani on this issue, which is a popular one among orthodox-Sunnis, Tadlis is in five categories. The second category Ibn Hajar has made is for those who performed Tadlis more than those , but in category one, but the scholars generally accept their traditions even if they use an ‘Ananah’. This would mean according to a good contingent of Sunni opinion, and ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, al-A’mash is accepted , and regarded Thiqah and his traditions deemed connected. The view of lay people online, or minority opinions , particularly when we are writing this work for the sake of the majority of Sunnis, is not of our concern.

Thus, the only real question here is Habib bin Abi Thabit, who is again regarded as Thiqah and is among the narrators of Bukhari and Muslim He is in the third category of those who perform Tadlis, and some scholars agree on accepting his narrations and others do not. It must be admitted that this divides opinion. However Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips, the famous Salafi scholar (though not on the standards of the major ones), founder of the online islamic university and a very influential figure among Salafis, regards Habib ibn abi Thabit as wrongly regarded as a Mudallis. In his famous work ‘ Usual al-Hadith’ [15]  taught to tens of thousands globally, he writes:

 

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Even considering this, an attempt would be made to reject this tradition because Baladhuri himself is regarded not to have any explicit praise for him and may be in some circles regarded as Majhool. However, we know Baladhuri’s books on history are some of the most famous we have in existence, side by side with Tabari’s, and indications show he merely included reports of everything he heard. At times, what he includes goes against the Shia narrative, and at times, it supports it. Had he been a Shia, intent on fabricating, he would have merely compiled a History which strongly supports most major Shia positions. Furthermore, if he wanted to fabricate a chain, there are stronger ones that he could have made and far more partisan material he could have included in these text of the tradition. In fact, is Baladhuri is assumed to be someone who fabricated this to support a Shia narrative, we do ask why he includes this and many other statements like it in his history [16]: 

أنت مني يا معاوية وأنا منك لتزاحمني على باب الجنة كهاتين السبابة والوسطى

(The Prophet said) “You are from me O Muawiyah, and I from you. You will be with me at the gate of Jannah like these two: the index finger and the middle finger.”

In order to try to refute this version of Hadith at-Thaqalayn, one would have to ignore all the evidence and grow a conspiracy , using mental and linguistic gymnastics.

 

Part six: The chains of narrations for the second narration, and a summary of the unique chains.

The following are most – but not all – of the chains ( including some which have been mentioned above,) for the second version, which is the most widely narrated version of Hadith at-Thaqalayn. Readers may also notice the final statement of the third version in reference to the pool of Kawther, included in some of these as well. Having said that, this is not a list of the third version , but just the second which may also include the statement of the third. 

 

From the Musnad ibn Ibn Rahwayh (teacher of Imam Bukhari) as well as from Ibn Asim:

1.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.  

From the Musnad of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal:

1 حدثنا عبد الله حدثنى احمد بن حنبل حدثنا الاسود بن عامرثنا شريك عن الركين عن القاسم بن حسان عن زيد بن ثابت قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم انى قد تركت فيكم ما ان اخذتم به لن تضلوا بعدى الثقلين احدهما اكبر من الاخر كتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء الى الارض و عترتى اهل بيتى وانهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا على الحوض   

2 حدثنا عبد الله حدثنى ابى عن ابن نمير ثنا عبدالملك بن ابى سليمان عن عطية العوفى عن ابى سعيد الخدرى قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم انى قد تركت فيكم ما ان اخذتم به لن تضلوا بعدى الثقلين احدهما اكبر من الاخر كتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء الى الارض و عترتى اهل بيتى وانهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا على الحوض  

3 حدثنى ابى حدثنا اسود بن عامراخبرنا ابو اسرائيل يعنى اسماعيل بن اسحاق الملائى عن عطية عن ابى سعيد قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم انى تارك فيكم الثقلين احدهما اكبر من الاخر كتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء الى الارض و عترتى اهل بيتى وانهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا على الحوض

 

From the Jami’ of Imam Tirmidhi:

حدثنل نصر بن عبدالرحمان الكوفى قال حثنا زيد بن الحسن عن جعفر بن محمد عن ابيه عن جابر بن عبدالله قال رءيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فى حجته يوم عرفة وهو على ناقته القصواء يخطب  1 فسمعته يقول يا ايها الناس انى تركت فيكم ما ان اخذتم به لن تضلوا كتاب الله و عترتى اهل بيتى

حدثنا على بن المنذر الكوفى حدثنا محمد بن الفضيل حدثنا الاعمش عن عطية عن ابى سعيد والاعمش عن حبيب بن ابى ثابت عن زيد بن ارقم قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم انى تارك فيكم ما  2 تمسكتم به لن تضلوا بعدى احدهما اعظم من الاخر كتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء الى الارض وعترتى اههل بيتى ولن يتفرقا حتى يردا علىّ الحوض فانظروا كيف تخلفونى فيهما هذا حديث غريب

 

From the Mustadrak of al-Hakim:

حدثنا ابو بكر بن اسحاق ودعلج بن احمد السجزى قالا انبانا محمد بن ايوب ثنا الازرق بن على ثنا حسان بن ابراهيم الكرمانى ثنا محمد بن سلمة بن كهيل عن ابيه عن ابى الطفيل بن واثلة انه سمع زيد بن ارقم رضى الله عنه يقول نزل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بين مكة والمدينة عند شجرات خمس دوحات عظام فكنس الناس ما تحت الشجرات ثم راح رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم عشيه فصللى ثم قام خطيبا فحمد الله و اثنى عليه وذكر ووعظ فقال ما شاء الله ان يقول ثم قال ايها الناس انى تارك فيكم امرين لن تضلوا ان اتبعتموهما وهما كتاب الله و اهل بيتى عترتى ثم قال اتعلمون انى اولى بالمؤمنين من انفسهم ثلاث مرات قالوا نعم فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من كنت مولاه فعلى مولاه

 

From the Musnad of Abd ibn Humayd

حدثنى يحيى بن عبدالحميد قال حدثنا شريك عن الركين عن القاسم بن حسان عن زيد بن ثابت قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم انى تارك فيكم ما ان تمسكتم به لن تضلوا كتاب الله و عترتى اهل بيتى وانهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا على الحوض

 

From the Musnad of al-Bazzar:

1.  حدثنا احمد بن منصور ثنا داود بن عمرو ثنا صالح بن موسى بن عبدالله حدثنى عبدالعزيز بن رفيع عن ابى صالح عن ابى هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم انى قد خلفت فيكم اثنين لن تضلوا  بعدهما ابدا كتاب الله و نسبى و لن يفترقا حتى يردا على الحوض قال الشيخ لا نعلمه يروى عن ابى هريرة الا بهذا الاسناد و صالح لين الحديث

2. حدثنا الحسين بن على بن جعفر ثنا على بن ثابت ثنا سعاد بن سليمان عن ابى اسحاق عن الحارث عن على قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم انى مقبوض وانى قد تركت فيكم الثقلين يعنى كتاب الله و اهل بيتى و انكم لن تضلوا بعدهما و انه لن تقوم حتى يبتغى اصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم كما يبتغى الضالة فلا توجد-الحديث ضعيف

 

From Tabari quoted in Kanz al-Ummal: 

عن محمد بن عمر بن على عن ابيه عن علي ابى طالب قال ان النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم حضر الشجرة بخم فقال يا ايها الناس الستم تشهدون ان الله ربكم قالوا بلى قال الستم تشهدون ان الله و رسوله اولى بكم من انفسكم و ان الله و رسوله مولاكم قالوا بلى من كنت مولاه فعلى مولاه انى قد تركت فيكم ما ان اخذتم لن تضلو بعدى كتاب الله بايديكم واهل بيتى

 

From the Musnad of Abi Yala:

حدثنا بشر بن الوليد ثنا محمد بن طلحة عن الاعمش عن عطية بن سعد عن ابى سعيد الخدرى ان النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم قال انى انى اوشك ان ادعى فاجيب و انى تارك فيكم الثقلين كتاب الله حبل ممدود بين السماء و الارض وعترتى اهل بيتى و ان اللطيف الخبير اخبرنى انهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا عللى الحوض فانظرو بما تخلفونى فيهما

 

From the Musannaf of Abi Shaybah (two successors hadith ‘Khalifatayn’):

حدثنا عمر بن سعد ابو داود الحفرى عن شريك عن الركين عن القاسم بن حسان عن زيد بن ثابت رضى الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم انى تارك فيكم الخليفتين من بعدى كتاب الله و عترتى اهل بيتى و انهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا على الحوض

 

From the M’ujam Saghir of Imam Tabarani:

حدثنا حسن بن مسلم بن الطبيب الصنعانى ثنا عبدالحميد بن صبيح ثنا يونس بن ارقم هارون بن سعد عن عطية عن ابى سعيد الخدرى عن النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم قال انى تارك فيكم الثقلين ما ان تمسكتم به لن تضلوا كتاب الله وعترتى ولن يتفرقا حتى يردا على الحوض-لم يروه عن هارون بن سعد الا يونس

Only those chains   the Arabic was obtainable are cited, and there exists many others, such as the one  of Baladhuri , mentioned in the previous section. It is also worthy of note that a number of these chains do not contain people who are regarded as extreme Shias, but rather the fault may be in the memory of the individual. There are a number of chains with no indication that the individuals may have partisan bias and wish to fabricate something conforming to their own beliefs. 

 

Completely unique chains:

Two chains have been given previously for the second version, which may be deemed reliable. The following are the remainder of the remainder unique chains (where there is no overlap of narrator to a companion whatsoever, meaning there is a different set of narrators from the compiler to the companion in each example). 

1. Abd Allah ibn Ahmad — (his father) Ahmad ibn Hambal — Ibn Numayr — `Abd al-Malik Abu Sulayman — `Atiyyah — from Abu Sa`id al-Khudri that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said:  حدثنى ابى ثنا ابن نمير ثنا عبدالملك يعنى ابى سليمان عن عطية عن ابى سعيد الخدرى قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم انى تركت فيكم الثقلين احدهما اكبر من الاخر كتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء الى الارض و عترتى اهل بيتى ال انهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا على الحوض: [Musnad Ahmad] Note: There are numerous chains which go through Atiyyah, but for sake of brevity we have included only one.

 2. Nasr ibn `Abd al-Rahman al-Kufi — Zayd ibn al-Hasan — Ja`far ibn Muhammad — his father (al-Baqir) — from Jabir ibn `Abd Allah who said:حدثنل نصر بن عبدالرحمان الكوفى قال حثنا زيد بن الحسن عن جعفر بن محمد عن ابيه عن جابر بن عبدالله قال رءيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فى حجته يوم عرفة وهو على ناقته القصواء يخطب فسمعته يقول يا ايها الناس انى تركت فيكم ما ان اخذتم به لن تضلوا كتاب الله و عترتى اهل بيتى [Tirmidhi]  

3. Ahmad ibn Mansur — Dawud ibn `Amr — Salih ibn Musa ibn `Abd Allah — `Abd al-`Aziz ibn Rafi` — Abu Salih — from Abu Hurayrah that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said:  [ حدثنا احمد بن منصور ثنا داود بن عمرو ثنا صالح بن موسى بن عبدالله حدثنى عبدالعزيز بن رفيع عن ابى صالح عن ابى هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم انى قد خلفت فيكم اثنين لن تضلوا بعدهما ابدا كتاب الله و نسبى و لن يفترقا حتى يردا على الحوض قال الشيخ لا نعلمه يروى عن ابى هريرة الا بهذا الاسناد و صالح لين الحديث] Musnad Al Bazzar  

4. Al-Husayn ibn `Ali ibn Ja`far — `Ali ibn Thabit — Su`ad ibn Sulayman — Abu Ishaq — al-Harith — from `Ali that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said: حدثنا الحسين بن على بن جعفر ثنا على بن ثابت ثنا سعاد بن سليمان عن ابى اسحاق عن الحارث عن على قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم انى مقبوض وانى قد تركت فيكم الثقلين يعنى كتاب الله و اهل بيتى و انكم لن تضلوا بعدهما و انه لن تقوم حتى يبتغى اصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم كما يبتغى الضالة فلا توجد-الحديث ضعيف [Musnad Al Bazzar]

 5. Abu Bakr ibn Ishaq and Da`laj ibn Ahmad al-Sajzi — Muhammad ibn Ayyub — al-Azraq ibn `Ali — Hassan ibn Ibrahim al-Kirmani — Muhammad ibn Salamah ibn Kuhayl – (his father) Salamah ibn Kuhayl — Abu al-Tufayl ibn Wathilah — that Zayd ibn Arqam radiya Llahu `anhu said: حدثنا ابو بكر بن اسحاق ودعلج بن احمد السجزى قالا انبانا محمد بن ايوب ثنا الازرق بن على ثنا حسان بن ابراهيم الكرمانى ثنا محمد بن سلمة بن كهيل عن ابيه عن ابى الطفيل بن واثلة انه سمع زيد بن ارقم رضى الله عنه يقول نزل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بين مكة والمدينة عند شجرات خمس دوحات عظام فكنس الناس ما تحت الشجرات ثم راح رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم عشيه فصللى ثم قام خطيبا فحمد الله و اثنى عليه وذكر ووعظ فقال ما شاء الله ان يقول ثم قال ايها الناس انى تارك فيكم امرين لن تضلوا ان اتبعتموهما وهما كتاب الله و اهل بيتى عترتى ثم قال اتعلمون انى اولى بالمؤمنين من انفسهم ثلاث مرات قالوا نعم فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من كنت مولاه فعلى مولاه  [Mustadrak Al-Hakim]

There also exist others, but these have been deemed sufficient to include.

 

Part seven: Intellectual dishonesty 

The famous anti-Shia website which will not be named performed ‘research’ on Hadith at-Thaqalan and graded the first Hadith presented in version 2 of this work as ‘Hasan’.

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When they were pressed on this after, the author of the article peformed a U-turn, and claimed that Muhammed ibn Umar ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib is unknown and weak, and that he was just being ‘lenient’ for a descendent of Ali ibn Abi Talib. Here he is the evidence:

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However when we look at this methodology: 

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When it can be used against them, they have performed a U-turn. On one hand he claimed that he would only use the most reliable books of Rijal (the works and views of Ibn Hajar for instance, and perhaps the words and works of Dhahabi and Ibnul Qattan among others) and not be overly harsh nor lenient. Such an approach would only yield to an acceptance of the gradings and verdicts of the major scholars, past and present, who have graded the second version to be at least a Hasan in chain. It seems that this was overlooked by the author, who perhaps forgot to read the text of the tradition, and when realising what it would do for the very distorted and twisted narrative they are promoting, this was very quickly altered. 

 

Part seven: Response to counter arguments 

Some have argued that the scholars were just being lenient in grading the traditions, because it is one of ‘virtue’. However, this again is not the truth. For instance, Shu’ayb al-Arnaut grades the first  chain for the second version brought in this work as ‘Hasan’. They would want you to believe that he was just being lenient. However, the same Shu’ayb al-Arnaut also has graded weak chains of the second version, and has not graded them ‘Hasan’ out of lenience but forthrightly pointed out that the chain is weak! 

The following is Shu’ayb al-Arnaut grading the same tradition but with different chainsFootnote (Arnaut) : 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. [18]. And إسناده حسن [The chain is Hasan] [19]

It is evident that Shu’ayb al-Arnaut would not grade a weak chain Hasan. When it is weak, he declares it so. In other cases, both Shu’ayb al-Arnaut and Al-Albani have also graded some weak chains as ‘Hasan due to Shawahid’ This is a principle in Sunni Hadith sciences whereby corroborating chains going through many multiple paths, even though some have weaknesses, depending on the level of those weaknesses, may support and strengthen each other. We therefore find both Shu’ayb al-Arnaut and Al-Albani elevating the tradition to a ‘Hasan due to Shawahid’ in some cases, which again, has nothing to do with leniency out of virtue whatsoever, but is an objective assessment made on the strength of all of the chains coming together as well as a potentially stronger chain found elsewhere. They have decided that on the balance of all the routes for a particular tradition, that they will strengthen each other. These are major scholars in their field, and have been regarded as the most knowledgable in this area. Here’s evidence, pertaining to the second version of Hadith at-Thaqalayn:

He says: وهو إسناد حسن في الشواهد. [The chain is Hasan in its witnesses] [20]

Shu’ayb al-Arnaut agrees with him: سنده حسن بالشواهد. [The chain is Hasan in its witnesses] [21]

 

Part eight:  The words of emminent Sunni scholars, past to present, about the wording, meaning and significance of this tradition

Unfortunately, as well as distorting the validity of an authentic expression of Hadith at-Thaqalayn, attempts are made to attack the text itself. Some have put forth the notion Thaqalayn means nothing more than just ‘caring’ for the Ahlulbayt as a ‘weighty burden’. The following are the words of imminent Sunni scholars on the text of Hadith at-Thaqalayn, which robustly counter attempts made by individuals who own online refutation websites.

Al-Albani, one of the great modern day Sunni-Salafi scholars of Hadith [Who authenticated the second version]: “What is specifically meant by the members of the household is the righteous scholars among them, who adhere to the Qur’an and Sunnah.  Imam Abu Ja‘far at-Tahhaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The “family” are the members of his household (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) who adhere to his religion and follow in his footsteps. Conclusion: the mention, in this hadith, of the members of his household, alongside the Qur’an, is like the mention of the way of the Rightly Guided Caliphs alongside the Sunnah (way) of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in the hadith: “I urge you to adhere to my way (Sunnah) and the way of the Rightly Guided Caliphs…”  [22]

Imam Nawawi:”The scholars said: The two have been called Thaqalayn to show their ealtedness and the greatness of their importance. It has also been said that the word is used to show the heaviness of the (responsibility to) act by their instructions.” [23]

Al-Zamakhshari states: Jinn and man have been called the Two Weighty Things (i.e. Thaqalaan, as in Qur’an 55:31) because both of them dwell on the earth, and are actually the two most important beings on it. The Qur’an and the itrah have been likened to them because the good health and survival of the religion is dependent upon them, just as the survival of the earth is dependent upon the existence of jinn and man on it. ” [24]

Ibn Athir:” The two (i.e. Qur’an and Ahl al-Bayt) have been called Thaqalayn (i.e. the Two Weighty Things) because holding firmly onto them and acting by their instructions is a heavy (responsibility), and it is said that everything that is weighty is precious. The two have been called Thaqalayn in recognition of their authority and importance.”  [25]

Shaykh Hasan al-Saqqaf: Holding firmly onto the Ahl al-Bayt (as in hadith Thaqalayn) means loving them, defending their rights, copying their manners, following their guidance and conduct, acting by their narrations (of the Sunnah), basing one’s religion upon their opinions, statements and jurisprudence and to prefer them above all others.” [26]

Mullah Ali al-Qari :Holding firmly onto the Ahl al-Bayt (as in Hadith Thaqalayn) means loving them, defening their rights, acting by their  narrations (of the Sunnah) and basing one’s religion upon their words.”  [27]

 Shaykh al-Munawi states: “The Holy Prophet (pbuh) made the Holy Qur’an and the Ahl al-Bayt his successors and instructed his Ummah to be kind to them both, to place their rights above their own and to hold onto them both in the religion.”[28] 

Al-Sindi: “It was as if the Prophet (saw) made them equal in importance to his position. Just as in his (pbuh) life, it was him and the Qu’raan 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. [29]

Note: Bizarrely, al-Sindi admits that the noble Quran and the Ahlulbayt are on equal position and in place of the Prophet (saw) after his death, and then manages to claim that this does not mean obedience. It is clear that if they are equal in importance to his position after his death, this denotes we obey them and adhere to their commands.

 

On the statement ‘and they will never deviate from one another until they reach the lake-fount”

Ibn Taymiyyah:  “The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said concerning his family: “They and the Book will never be separated until they both come to him at the Cistern.” And he is the most truthful one, so this indicates that the consensus of the (Prophet’s) family constitutes proof. This is the view of a number of our companions, and it was mentioned by al-Qaadi in al-Mu‘tamad.” [30]

Interestingly, Al-Albani when discussing a version which has ‘Sunnah’ in place of Ahlulbayt, makes a very interesting admission:

“Rather, it is obligatory to consider the Book and the Sunnah as a single source, with no difference between them both, as indicated in the statement of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him: “I have been given the Qur’an and its likeness with it”, that is the Sunnah, and his statement:“Both shall never separate until they meet me at the Lake-Fount.”  [31]

 

Part nine: Summary

It should now be clear to any individual who exercise objective thinking, putting away preconceived bias, and upon the standards of the major Sunni scholars of Hadith, that version two, going through Ali ibn Abi Talib, as seen in Musnad ibn Rahwayh, is an authentic version. Not only that, but it is the most widely narrated of all of the versions, going through many companions and having by far the most number of unique chains. Indeed, for some Sunnis, the version in Baladhuris history may also be regarded as authentic. Chains in and of themselves can be the result of misguided individuals coming together across space and time periods to fabricate, however, many of these chains do not contain extreme Shias, and the only major blame upon some of the narrators is in their memory and accuracy, which is something that can be remedied by supporting paths, and may be the reason major scholars such as Al-Albani and Al-Arnaut have graded some of the weaker chains as ‘Hasan due to their witnesses’.  

The actual text of the tradition is also an area that has been manipulated and distorted by layman writing online articles. We have demonstrated just how far they are from the view of their scholars, who give far more weight to the expression ‘Thaqalayn’ and the real meaning and scope of this tradition, that is not limited to merely ‘caring’ for the family of the Prophet Muhammed (saw). Indeed, to any objective reader, the command is clear: they and the Quran are one and the same pertaining to our duty towards them; we must obey them , and adhere to there instructions , for they will never lead us save unto guidance. If we hold onto both, the Quran and Ahlulbayt, we will never go astray, as they will never separate until they meet the Prophet at the lake fount.  

As we have identified the authentic expressions of this tradition, we will now reconstruct it:

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “ O people, I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) from my Rubb and I will respond to Allah’s Call, but I am leaving with you two weighty things, which if you hold onto, you will never go astray : the first is the Book of Allah, in which there is right guidance and light, one end of which is in the Hand of Allah and the other in your hands, 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 is the members of my household, I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. They shall not separate until they meet me at the Hawdh (of Kawthar in Jannah).”

Verily, the Messenger of Allah (saw) has spoken the truth, we submit to his command without distorting the interpretation  and thus,  we end with a verse of the noble Quran:

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

 

 

 

 

References

[1] Saheeh Muslim Book 1, Hadith 346 (Sunnah.com) (and other sources)

[2] [Abu Bakr b. Abi ‘Asim, Ahmad b. ‘Amr b. al-Dhahhak b. Mukhlid al-Shaybani, Kitab al-Sunnah (al-Maktab al-Islami; 1st edition, 1400 H) [annotator: Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani], vol. 2, pp. 644-645, # 1558  

[3] Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Hajar al-‘Asqalani, al-Matalib al-Aliyah bi Zawaid al-Masanid al-Thamaniyyah (Beirut: Dar al-Ma’rifah; 1414 H) [annotator: Prof. Shaykh Habib al-Rahman al-A’zami], vol., 4, p. 65, # 3972 (The books are the Musnad of Ibn Rahwayh , the teacher of Bukhari, and also Ibn Abi Asim, there are also a number of other sources which will be presented later on).

[3.1] Abu Ja’far Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Salamah b. ‘Abd al-Malik b. Salmah al-Azdi al-Hajari al-Misri al-Tahawi, Sharh Mushkil al-Athar (Muasassat al-Risalah; 1st edition, 1415 H) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 5, p. 13, # 1760

[3.2] Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Hajar al-‘Asqalani, al-Matalib al-Aliyah bi Zawaid al-Masanid al-Thamaniyyah (Beirut: Dar al-Ma’rifah; 1414 H) [annotator: Prof. Shaykh Habib al-Rahman al-A’zami], vol., 4, p. 65, # 3972

[3.3] Ahmad b. Abi Bakr b. Isma’il al-Busiri, Itihaf al-Khiyarah al-Maharah bi Zawaid al-Masanid al-‘Ashra (Riyadh: Dar al-Watan; 1st edition, 1420 H), vol. 7, p. 210, # 6683

[3.4] ‘Ali b. Husam al-Din al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-‘Ummal fi Sunan al-Aqwal wa Af’al (Beirut: Muasassat al-Risalah; 1989 H), vol. 13, p. 121, # 36441

[3.5] Silsilat Al Ahadeeth Saheehah #1761 vol.5 page.355 -366

[4] Al-Mo’jam Al-Kabir [4980 & 4981],   Musnad Al-Bazzar: Musnad Zaid bin Arqam  [224]

[5] Sunan ibn Majah, Book 1, Hadith 26 / ENG: Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 25 (Darrusalam).

[6] Ibn Kathir in ‘al-Bath al-Hathith’  (page 668, Maktabatul Maarif)

[7] Hafidh al-Iraqi in Hafidh al-Alai ‘al-Mukhtalatin’ p 7.  

[8] Sunan Abu Dawud, Saheeh: https://sunnah.com/abudawud/21/41

[9] Source: Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 67, Number 391

[10] Sahih Muslim, Book 10, Number 3823

[11]  Shaykh ‘Awwamah’s footnotes on Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 723, 6028 and 6934

[12] Tahdhibut Tahdhib, vol. 9 pg. 361. Taqribut Tahdhib, 6170

[13] Mizanul I’tidal, vol. 4 pg. 222

[14]  Mizan Al-I’tidal 3/668

[15] Source: Usool al-Hadith, by Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips

[16] Ansab al-Ashraf, vol. 5, pg. 134

[17] [Baladhuri , Ansab]

[18] [Source: Jamia Tirmidhi Sunan Al -Tirmidhi. Vol. 6, Pg. # 335]

[19]  Abu Ja’far Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Salamah b. ‘Abd al-Malik b. Salmah al-Azdi al-Hajari al-Misri al-Tahawi, Sharh Mushkil al-Athar (Muasassat al-Risalah; 1st edition, 1415 H) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 5, p. 13, # 1760

[20]  Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Sahihah wa Shayhun min Fiqhihah wa Fawaidihah, go to page 357 in the first edition

[21] [Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Wazir al-Yamani, al-‘Awasim wa al-Qawasim fi al-Dhabb ‘an Sunnah Abi al-Qasim  Volume one, go to page 178]

[22] Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah (4/260).

[23]  Sharh Sahih al-Muslim, Vol. 15, p. 180

[24] Al-Faiq fi Gharib al-Hadith, Vol. 1, p. 150

[25] Al-Nihayah fi Gharib al-Hadith, Vol. 1, p. 216

[26]  Sahih Sharh al-Aqidat al-Tahawiyah, p. 653

[27]  Mirqat al-Mafatih, Vol. 9, p. 3974

[28] Fayd al-Qadeer, Vol. 3, p. 20

[29] Footnotes by Shuayb’al-Arnaut quoting al-Sindi in  Jamia Tirmidhi Sunan Al -Tirmidhi. Vol. 6, Pg. # 335.

[30] Source: Minhaaj as-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah (7/395)

[31] Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman Ahmad b. Shu’ayb al-Nasai, al-Mujtaba min al-Sunan (Halab: Maktab al-Matbu’at al-Islamiyyah; 2nd edition, 1406 H) [annotator: Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani], vol. 5, p. 153, # 2736]]