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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

السلام عليكم لو ورحمة الله وبركاته

حديث الثقلين Hadith at-Thaqalayn

This tradition is contained in the Musnad of Ibn Rahwayh and Ibn Asim [5 – 5.1] and its chain been graded Saheeh by Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani and others, and Hasan by Shu'ayb al-Arnaut  and A.Shakir.

“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. 

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.

 

 

Introduction

The most reliable version and the meaning of Hadith at-Thaqalayn or the 'tradition of the two weighty things'  has been the subject of intense debate. So pertinent is it to ascertaining the right belief system and distinguishing between the Shia and Sunni sects as to the most upright, that many Sunnis, particularly of the Salafi group, and particularly young men who own refutation websites, have attempted to weaken versions that do not suit them, change the  real meaning, interpretation and significance of this tradition. An attempt has therefore been made to present objective research, quoting only reliable and well respected Sunni authorities of Hadith, as well as attempting to respond to counter refutations. InshAllah, it is hoped this attempt can demonstrate to those who produce articles on websites,  that not only do they go against their own scholars, but also twist the evidence and play with the words and true meaning of the command of the Messenger of Allah (saw).

A request is made to kindly not post until a clear message has been made that the thread is open to comments, for the sake of continuity of posts. 

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Table of contents:

1. The two major versions.

2. Why we may have variants 

3. An assessment of the tradition in Sahih Muslim, narrated by Zayd bin Aqram.

4. An assessment of two reliable traditions for the second version.

5. Two further chains that may be acceptable to some Sunnis.

5. The chains of narrations for the second narration, and a summary of the unique chains.

6. Counter arguments against the criticism of particular narrators.

7. The words of imminent Sunni scholars, past to present, about the wording, meaning and significance of this tradition.

8. Summary. 

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The main two versions of Hadith at-Thaqalayn

Although there are more variants of the tradition, what will be presented are the two most important versions. There is no significance for the order presented. 

 

Version one:

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 (to be kind) to the members of my family. I remind you (to be kind) to the members of my family.

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

Source: Saheeh Muslim Book 1, Hadith 346 (Sunnah.com) (and other sources)

 

Version two:

“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. 

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.

Source: [1] [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  [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 (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). 

 

 

 

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Why we may have variants 

One question that may arise is why we have variants of this particular tradition. On one hand, there is the tradition of Zaid which alludes to the importance of the Thaqalayn without explicitly stating that if we hold onto them, we will never go astray (though one can argue for this to be the case). On the other, we have explicit words in the second version, commanding us to hold onto them for our salvation.

To begin with, it is pertinent here to mention a point which will be elaborated on further later into this work. We know that of two main versions, the second version is by far the most narrated, with far more unique chains. The version in Saheeh Muslim however, has far less unique chains and all goes through one companion. This doesn't prove which one is more reliable, but is an important observation. The reason for this is that we know the version we have in Saheeh Muslim are from chains that go back only to Zaid bin Aqram, who narrates this when he is very old, and first complains about his memory before narrating it. In addition there are also narrations (which again, will be presented in the relevant part) where he complains about the memory of the old , surviving companions and how difficult it is to remember the words of the Prophet (saw) at their advanced age. Therefore it may be that Zaid was merely narrating from what he believed he could best remember, and this is why he may have omitted the line 'if you hold onto them you will never go astray'.  So we do not argue that he fabricated the tradition, but rather, to the best of his ability, he remembered what he believed was accurate, but did not narrate the full narration as a result of his weak memory. 

Is there a precedent among other companions, where one companion narrates what he believes is true (for sake of argument) but another companion corrects him and adds to it something he forgot? Absolutely. One particular companion anyone who is versed in Sunni Hadith will immediately recognise is culpable of this is Ibn Umar, who, even in major books like Bukhari, is reprimanded or corrected for sometimes forgetting to add a line. His famous incident with Abu Hurairah is one of them, and there are many others. This would explain why the second version, which is far more widely narrated , and goes through more companions , rather than only one we see in the first version, has a an expression not found in the first version. 

It is important here to note that in Sunni Hadith sciences: " if as a result of a narrator growing old, he (a narrator) loses his memory, the credibility of his narrations will undoubtedly be affected. Such narrators are labelled as ‘mukhtalit’[1]." However, the companions are given a free pass and not held to the same objective standards, and are never enlisted into 'Mukhtalit'. Having said that, the claim here is not that the narration has been distorted or weak statements are added into it, but rather than , if we assume that what has been reported is accurate, it may be that he has left out something that was also mentioned - which appears in the second version. As mentioned before, this is not an uncommon occurrence with Ibn Umar. 

 

References

[1]  http://hadithanswers.com/narrations-in-old-age/

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An assessment of the tradition in Sahih Muslim, narrated by Zayd 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 (to be kind) to the members of my family. I remind you (to be kind) to the members of my family.

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

Source: Saheeh Muslim Book 1, Hadith 346 (Sunnah.com) (and other sources)

 

Assessment

The above narration has an authentic (Saheeh) chain going to Zaid bin Aqram. In principle, there should be nothing wrong with this chain by Sunni Rijal standards. However, as mentioned in the section previously, the problem here is with Zaid bin Aqram. This might raise immediate issues with Sunni readers, considering that in Rijal, the companions are untouchable. They are regarded to be upright, trustworthy, and accurate reporters of the words of the Prophet (saw). They are at the highest level of the reliability hierarchy. To help ease these immediate contentions one may have, it must be made clear that this is not an attack on the character of Zaid, nor an attempt to claim he lied, or fabricated, or even produced a very confused and wrongly worded tradition. Rather, the claim is that while - for sake of argument - he may have reported what he felt was most accurate, he omitted an authentic line and authentic expression, owing to his poor memory.

Before we delve into this, is important here to note that this version is only ever narrated by Zaid bin Aqram, and in every version he narrates this, he first complains about his poor memory, which has been made red for ease of viewing. There are no other chains going to any other companion other than him and there is no version of this tradition where Zaid does not complain first of his poor memory. We also find in another unrelated tradition, Zaid complaining about the difficulty they old companions have of remembering Prophetic traditions, from Sunan ibn Majah (it is Saheeh):

"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).'”

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

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

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“.  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“. 

Source: [1] Ibn Kathir in ‘al-Bath al-Hathith’  (page 668, Maktabatul Maarif) [2]  Hafidh al-Iraqi in Hafidh al-Alai ‘al-Mukhtalatin’ p 7. 

We can't use this to argue against the poor memory of Zaid in his old age, but even so, as mentioned in the previous section, this isn't an attempt to prove he merits being considered one whose traditions are not accepted on account of his memory, given companions are given a special protection in Sunni Rijal and not held to the same rational standards. What is being claimed here is that Zaid may have omitted an authentic expression, rather than poorly remembered and distorted the tradition as a whole. We find a similar precedent in Ibn Umar:

 

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.

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud, Saheeh: https://sunnah.com/abudawud/21/41

 
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.’
Source: Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 67, Number 391 

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. 

Source: Sahih Muslim, Book 10, Number 3823

As we can see in the example above, Ibn Umar ommits what is an authentic expression to Sunnis.

 

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 reliable chains in 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.

 

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An assessment of two reliable traditions for the second version.

This is the version of the Hadith which is the most widely narrated, and includes the statement “If you hold onto them/that, you will never go astray”.  There are far more unique chains of transmission, and two versions of this Hadith that can be considered to be at least Hasan by orthodox standards in Sunni Rijal, and not subjective online standards of refutation websites made by non-scholars. Unfortunately, these online websites have spread lie for decades declaring that this version of the tradition is weak and only found in Tirmidhi and Mustadarak al-Hakim. We will demonstrate this is nothing short of a lie and they are deceiving their readers. This is one of the sicknesses we see with these online movements; they ignore what does not suit them, weaken what they wish, and when they wish.    

 

First tradition  

This tradition is contained in the Musnad of Ibn Rahwayh and Ibn Asim [5 – 5.1]  

“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.”[5]  

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]]

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

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

(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]

The only narrator that is not absolutely Thiqah in the chain is   Kathir ibn Zayd 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. TSN online refutation website has also graded this tradition as ‘Hasan’. Thus, nothing more needs to be mentioned regarding this.   

 

 

Second tradition: 

 Another tradition which mirrors the above is the following contained in Musnad Ahmad[6]: `Abd Allah ibn Ahmad — (his father) Ahmad ibn Hambal — (1) al-Aswad ibn `Amir — (2) Sharik — (3) al-Rukayn —(4) al-Qasim ibn Hassan — from Zayd ibn Thabit that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said:   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      

Break down the chain of narrators:

Al-Aswad ibn ‘Amir   Tawthiq by Ibn al-Madini, Ibn Hajar and al-Suyuti. Mentioned by Ibn Hibban in al-Thiqat.  

Sharik   al-Dhahabi said: “Al-Bukhari uses him as a witness, and Muslim narrates from him in mutaba’at. Al-Nasai and others rely upon him as a hujjah.” and Dhahabi said: ” I (al-Dhahabi) say: Sharik was hasan al-hadith (i.e. his ahadith are hasan). He was an Imam, a jurist, a prolific hadith narrator. He was not as precise as Hammad b. Zayd. Al-Bukhari has used him as a witness, Muslim has narrated mutaba’at reports from him, and Yahya b. Ma’in declared him thiqah (trustworthy) … His ahadith are in the hasan categories. “  (2) Imam Al Hakim writes: “(Imam) Muslim has relied upon Sharik b. ‘Abd Allah as a hujjah, and he is to be relied upon as a hujjah]” (3) Ibn Hajar-Al-Asqalani writes: “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. His memory deteriorated since he became the judge in Kufah. He was just, excellent, a great worshipper of Allah, and he was severe against the people of bid’ah ” (4) Imam al-‘Ijli states: “Sharik b. ‘Abd Allah al-Nakha’i, the judge, Kufi: Thiqah (trustworthy), and he was hasan al-hadith (i.e. his ahadith are hasan). [”   He developed a memory problem when he became the judge of Kufah. Before this period, he was a completely accurate narrator. We find that (5) Imam Ibn ‘Adi writes: “The overwhelming majority of his ahadith are sahih and accurate (from his shuyukh). As for the repugnancy in his ahadith, that occurred only due to his poor memory ”  

Al Rukyan:    (1) Is considered thiqah by Ahmad, Ibn Mu’in, al-Nasa’i, Ibn Hibban and Ibn Hajar (2) al-Rukayn is relied upon as a hujjah by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh (3) Shaykh al-Arnaut has graded the chain of an independent report by al-Rukayn as being ‘Saheeh upon the standard of (Imam) Muslim’. 

Al-Qasim ibn Hassan:   (1) Imam Ibn Shahin again states: “ Al-Qasim b. Hassan who narrated from Zayd b. Thabit is thiqah (trustworthy). Ahmad b. Salih said so”  (2) Mentioned by Imam Ibn Hibban among the thiqah (trustworthy) narrator  (3) Imam al-‘Ijli  states: “Al-Qasim b. Hassan, a Kufi Tabi’i: Thiqah (trustworthy)” [18] (4) Imam Dahabi writes: “Al-Qasim b. Hasan al-‘Amiri: He narrated from Zayd b. Thabit and some others, and al-Rukayn b. al-Rabi’ and al-Walid b. Qays narrated from him. He was declared thiqah (trustworthy)”  (5)  Imam Ibn Khuzaymah (d. 311 H) famous for only choosing to include authentic narrations in his collection has relied upon this chain in his Sahih:  وحدثني الركين بن الربيع عن القاسم بن حسان عن زيد بن ثابت عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم and Shaykh Dr. al-A’zami, in his tahqiq of the above chain “The chain is Saheeh”   As-Suyuti writes:” Ibn Khuzaymah is more authentic on the whole than Ibn Hibban because Ibn Khuzaymah investigated his narrations very thoroughly, to the degree that he refused to accept a narration if there existed the slightest doubt about its authenticity. “Al-Thahabî states: “Imam Ibn Khuzaymah was one of the great imams who had insight when it came to rijâl (the science of determining the reliability of narrators).”

 Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani regards Al-Qasim ibn Hassan as ‘Maqbul’ and his hadith are accepted if they are supported by other narrators, which is the case given the first tradition presented and the many chains which will be presented later on: القاسم بن حسان العامري الكوفي مقبول من الثالثة د سv [Taqrib al-Tahdheeb]

Refer to this article for all the references: https://whoaretheshia.com/2017/11/28/hadith-thaqalayn-حديث-الثقلين-the-most-reliable-version/ please do note that the article needs updating and amending on weak aspects which are no longer deemed valid, and will be updated with the version on this thread. Fyi, it is not my website, i am a volunteer contributing. 

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Two further chains that may be acceptable to some sunnis

The following two chains contain the tradition with the phrase 'if you hold onto them you will never go astray'.

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. [Baladhuri , Ansab]

The only real weak link in the above chains are al-A’mash and Habib bin Abi Thabit. Despite being regarded as ‘Thiqah’ and trustworthy narrators, those narrators of Bukhari and Muslim, they are accused of Tadlees, and opinion remains divided as to what to do 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-Sunni’s, Tadlis is in five categories. The second category Ibn Hajar states is those who performed Tadlis frequently, 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. 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.

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' taught to tens of thousands globally, he writes:

 

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

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 on a particular situation at times against the Shia narrative, and sometimes supporting it too . In addition, what Baladhuri is quoting with a chain has been quoted with Hasan chains as well as through an incredible number of routes by many other respected scholars of hadith. This quashes the notion he fabricated it. If one was to argue that he fabricated the chain, the reality is, a similar chain is already present in books of other scholars. If he wanted to fabricate a chain to make it strong, he could have certainly picked a stronger one. 

 

Additional chain two:

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 — from Zayd ibn Arqam [Mustadrak Al Hakim]:اخبرنى محمد بن على الشيبانى بالكوفة ثنا احمد بن حازم الغفارى ثنا ابو نعيم ثنا كامل ابو العلاء قال سمعت حبيب بن ابى ثابت يخبر عن يحيى بن جعدة عن زيد بن ارقم رضى الله عنه قال خرجنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم حتى انتهينا الى غدير خم فامر بدوح فكسح فى يوم ما اتى علينا يوم كان اشد حرا منه فحمدالله و اثنى عليه وقال يا ايها الناس انه لم يبعث نبى قط الا عاش نصف ما عاش الذى كان قبله وانى اوشك ان ادعى فاجيب وانى تارك فيكم ما لن تضلوا بعده كتاب الله عز و جل ثم قام فاخذ بيد على رضى الله عنه فقال يا ايها الناس من اولى بكم من انفسكم فقالوا الله و رسوله اعلم…من كنت مولاه فعلى مولاه

Of course, this could be regarded reliable given what has been noted about Habib ibn Abi Thabit, the only weak link here. However, the only problem here is that the translation goes as something like: "I leave behind for you that which you will never go astray after, the book of Allah" and then the Prophet held the hand of Ali....' and he rest of the tradition is the Ghadeer Hadith. The reality is, even if the tradition does not mention the Ahlulbayt, we know that in the other traditions he explicitly mentions 'Thaqalayn' after saying this line and so the omission here could be due to the narrator omitting it, given it almost follows identically to the other traditions mentioned for version two. 

 

 

 

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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 (some of which have been mentioned above, and some have not been) for the second version, which is the most widely narrated.

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

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 4 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

 

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. 

 

Completely unique chains:

Four chains have been given previously, 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]

 

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Counter arguments against the criticism of particular narrators and of gradings given by scholars (P1)

There are some who produce websites online, who seek to argue against the view of scholars and claim that there is no legitimate difference of opinion. Certain authors have argued have Muhammed, bin Umar bin Ali ibn Abi Talib is weak, because he is Majhool. However, this is the response given by the famous Sunni website, 'Hadith Answers' on this narrator:

From: http://hadithanswers.com/the-hadith-narrator-muhammad-ibn-umar-ibn-ali-ibn-abi-talib/

Question: What is the status of the narrator, Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib?  

Answer: Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (rahimahullah) was ‘qalilul Hadith‘ i.e He reported few Hadith only. Imams Nasai, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah (rahimahumullah) have accepted his Hadiths.  Imam Ibn Hibban (rahimahullah) has declared him reliable. Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al ‘Asqalani (rahimahullah) declares him ‘saduq‘ i.e. His Hadiths will be sound. ‘Allamah Ibnul Qattan (rahimahullah) was also of the view that his Hadiths are sound (hasan).  (Refer: Mizanul I’tidal, vol. 4 pg. 222, Tahdhibut Tahdhib, vol. 9 pg. 361. Taqribut Tahdhib, 6170)  And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.  Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala  Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

complete_signature_ml_suhail_updated.jpg

 

 

Men like Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani are giants in the field of Hadith, and not only does he regard Muhammed ibn Umar as reliable in Hadith, he gives him a high grading. Some accuse Ibn Hajar of giving people the 'Maqbul' grading when it is just Ibn Hiban who has given them Tawtheeq. However, Ibn Hajar here doesn't grade him as 'Maqbul' or another lower ranking, but places him as 'Saduq'. Being a scholar of his ilk, he has viewed all the evidences and come to an educated verdict, and he knew more than anyone about the status of a Majhul narrator. Random individuals commenting on websites do not override the view of giant scholars of Hadih. Ibnul Qattan has also agreed that his traditions are Hasan. 

It must be noted that no online refutation website by non-scholars can ever claim a monopoly on what is authentic or not.  Refer to the following:

  1. Imam Tirmidhi (rahimahullah) said:

“The scholars have differed when criticizing narrators just as they have differed in other aspects of knowledge.”

(Al-‘ilalus-Saghir, Tirmidhi, vol. 5 pg. 709)

 

  1. Hafiz Ibnus Salah (rahimahullah) writes the following after defining the basic conditions for a Hadith to be classified as Sahih (authentic):

“Sometimes the scholars differ on the authenticity of some Hadiths. This could be the result of their disagreement on whether the above conditions are met. It could even be the consequence of their disagreement on the relevance of some of these conditions.”

(Muqaddimah Ibnus Salah, pg. 13)

 

  1. ‘Allamah Al-Mundhiri (rahimahullah) says:

“The disagreement of the Muhaddithun (in their accreditation of the narrators) should be viewed like the disagreement of the Fuqaha (Jurists).”

i.e., these are as legitimate as the conflicting views of the Jurists.

(Jawabul Hafidh Al-Mundhiri -rahimahullah-pg. 83)

 

  1. ‘Allamah Nawawi (rahimahullah) writes in the introduction to his commentary on Sahih Muslim (pg.16):

“Sometimes a narrator may be reliable according to Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) and unreliable in the view of others.”

 

  1. Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) writes in his book: “Raf’ul Malam”:

“The field of grading the narrators is vast, and the scholars may sometimes disagree on the credibility of the narrators just as the scholars of other branches of knowledge differ with each other.”

(see: Qawa’id fi ‘Ulumil Hadith, pg.49)

 

  1. ‘Allamah Shamsudin Ibn ‘Abdil-Hadi (rahimahullah) says:

“Sometimes a Muhaddith classifies a particular narrator as ‘Matruk’ (very weak) whereas others accept him (as reliable) and use his Hadith as proof.”

(Sharhul-Qasidah pg. 41)

 

  1. ‘Allamah Dhahabi (rahimahullah) writes:

“There are numerous Hadiths whose classification is debated; some scholars declare them as hasan (sound) and others deem them was weak.”

(Al-Muqizah, pg.33)

 

  1. ‘Allamah Ibnul Humam (rahimahullah) has also explained this in Fathul-Qadir.  (see: Qawa’id fi ‘Ulumil-Hadith, pgs. 56-57)

 

  1. ‘Allamah Suyuti (rahimahullah) writes:

“There are many narrations which were deemed as weak by some experts and hasan (sound) by others.”

(Tadribur Rawi, vol.1 pg.217)

 

  1. Al-Muhaddith Zafar Ahmad At-Tahanawi (rahimahullah) writes after citing several quotations like the ones above:

“There are innumerable quotations from the scholars that prove the above. Perhaps what I have cited is sufficient. Therefore a Hadith (or a narrator) being authentic or unauthentic according to one, doesn’t necessitate the same according to others.” 

(Qawa’id fi ‘Ulumil-Hadith, pg.55)

 

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'.

fNwm5bj.png

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:

bCqCwXH.png

However, in the 'research' article where he wrote his gradings, he clearly mentions that he will be neither too lenient nor too strict as it will affect the validity of the grading:  "We have only used the most reliable books of Rijal to judge each of the narrators and we decided to not be very harsh or too lenient in our judgment as it would greatly reduce the value and reliability of our research and our hard work would be lost and therefore the truth."

oXidiYT.png

When it can be used against them, they have performed a U-turn.

 

 

 

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Counter arguments against the criticism of particular narrators and of gradings given by scholars (P2)

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

And 
إسناده حسن [The chain is Hasan] 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  
 

Indeed, 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. Here's evidence:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا بن نمير ثنا عبد الملك بن أبي سليمان عن عطية العوفي عن أبي سعيد الخدري قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم: اني قد تركت فيكم ما ان أخذتم به لن تضلوا بعدي الثقلين أحدهما أكبر من الآخر كتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء إلى الأرض وعترتي أهل بيتي الا وانهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا على الحوض 

There is no doubt the chain above is weak. However , this is another chain al-Albani is willing to grade as Hasan despite being weak in and of itself, through the witnesses. 


He says: وهو إسناد حسن في الشواهد. [ Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Sahihah wa Shayhun min Fiqhihah wa Fawaidihah, go to page 357 in the first edition]  

Shu'ayb al-Arnaut agrees with him: سنده حسن بالشواهد. [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]  

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 The words of imminent 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…”   Source:  Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah (4/260).

Source:  Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah (4/260).  

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."  

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

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."  

Source: Sharh Sahih al-Muslim, Vol. 15, p. 180

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. "

 Source: Al-Faiq fi Gharib al-Hadith, Vol. 1, p. 150

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."  

Source: Al-Nihayah fi Gharib al-Hadith, Vol. 1, p. 216

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."

 Source: Sahih Sharh al-Aqidat al-Tahawiyah, p. 653

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."  

Source: Mirqat al-Mafatih, Vol. 9, p. 3974

 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."

 Source: Fayd al-Qadeer, Vol. 3, p. 20

 

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Summary

Hadith at-Thaqalayn is Muttawatir, particularly between the Shia and Sunni book of traditions such that no-one can deny it. Before his death, the Messenger of Allah , Muhammed (saw) made it clear that he was leaving behind two weighty things, that if we held onto, we would never go astray. He referred to them as the 'Thaqalayn' to denote their importance, the fact we must obey them, act by their instructions and the authority they have over us. One can not be taken without the other, because they complement one another, and the Ahlulbayt are the real interpreters of the noble Quran, and the real way to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saw). 

As it has been noted, the version in Saheeh Muslim goes through Zaid and only him, at a time when he was very old and forgetful, and complained first about his poor memory. It may have been the case owing to his memory he forgot to include an authentic expression that is contained in the second main version. It has been clearly demonstrated that the second version has arguably two if not more reliable chains, and major Sunni scholars of Hadith have graded them such, and not out of leniency. Even taking account weak chains, major scholars of Hadith like Al-Albani have used the principle of Shawahid to elevate them to a 'Hasan due to Shawahid'.  Furthermore, the second version is the one that is - by far - the most widely narrated, through far more unique chains.  

Many Sunni scholars examining the actual text of either of the two versions have commented quite clearly on the significance of the word Thaqalayn in this context, and what the Messenger of Allah (saw) was referring to in the tradition by his words. It is clear from their words that they take this to mean much more than merely looking after the Ahlulbayt. Unfortunately because they are chained by the belief in certain companions being superior, and Sunni ideology, despite making such major admissions, they can't follow through on the natural conclusion that such comments will lead to and rather make T'awil (interpretation) distorting the importance or trying to reconcile it with their belief. The words however, as so clear that there is no room for doubt. 

Indeed, there can be no doubt that the Prophet (saw) left behind two weighty things, which if we hold onto, we will never go astray. Evidence has been presented, and we must look into our own souls, and put aside preconceived biases. Nothing is bigger than truth, neither our current beliefs, attachment to dogmas, or our egos. There is no shame in embracing truth and abandoning a wrong belief. Will you hold onto those two things, after which, you will never go astray, should you abide by them properly? Put aside strange  practises performed by a minority of Shias, , or unclear and questionable things some, again a minority may practise. Follow that which is clear, rather than chasing that which is unclear. 

Anything correct in this article is thanks to Allah, and any mistake is my own doing, and not representative of our madhab, but one that should fall on my shoulders and mine alone.

Noble Quran:

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

May Allah send his blessings on Muhammed, and his Ahlulbayt, and give us the ability to adhere onto the Quran, and his Ahlulbayt, who have best preserved his Sunnah and the real interpretation of the Quran. 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, MustafaMc said:

Thank you for posting this. It is very pertinent to me at this point in my life as I explore and learn about the Shi'a perspective.

No problem dear brother. This is quite extensive research, and i hope it benefits you (:  The thread is now open for all to post or comment, inshAllah if they wish to. 

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Feel free to ask any questions, i may be delayed in replying as i often take prolonged breaks from this website. 

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14 minutes ago, Intellectual Resistance said:

No problem dear brother. This is quite extensive research, and i hope it benefits you (:  The thread is now open for all to post or comment, inshAllah if they wish to. 

brother what do you say about the later brother Toyib's refutation of the tradition in Tirmidhi. He proves that Zayd bin Hassan is only weak according to abi hatim however ibn hibban and tirmidhi strengthened him. And so zayd bin hassan would be considered reliable and the hadith would be authentic.

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Just now, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

brother what do you say about the later brother Toyib's refutation of the tradition in Tirmidhi. He proves that Zayd bin Hassan is only weak according to abi hatim however ibn hibban and tirmidhi strengthened him. And so zayd bin hassan would be considered reliable and the hadith would be authentic.

I can see an argument that could be mounted in that regard, but for the sake of ensuring the article is as strong as it can possibly be, i have omitted that, as i know the Salafis can counter it and it is an area that is debatable from what i've seen. I don't want to really leave room for doubt so i've kept to what we can be quite sure on. InshAllah perhaps in the future i will have a go at looking into that further. 

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2 minutes ago, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

will you make an article on the implications of this hadith?

Maybe in the future, inshAllah. I'll need to increase my knowledge and do far more learning, so make Dua for me.   I don't see it as essential, because the only purpose of proving that chain to be authentic is to prove he related this at Hajj, by Sunni standards. However i don't see that as necessary. 

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10 minutes ago, Intellectual Resistance said:

Maybe in the future, inshAllah. I'll need to increase my knowledge and do far more learning, so make Dua for me.   I don't see it as essential, because the only purpose of proving that chain to be authentic is to prove he related this at Hajj, by Sunni standards. However i don't see that as necessary. 

sorry brother. I didn't mean the specific hadith in tirmidhi, i meant hadith thaqalayn and "hold on to it, and you will never go astray". Will you make an article on the implications of this?

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10 minutes ago, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

Sorry for asking so many questions brother, but can you please provide the link or a scan for the second tradition mentioned in musnad ahmad. I cannot find it. Also a link to albani's authentication would be helpful

docb6e05a03f3.jpg

 

I'm not sure i can provide a screenshot of al-Albanis grading, i will try to at some point, but a full reference has been given , and it is correct. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

sorry brother. I didn't mean the specific hadith in tirmidhi, i meant hadith thaqalayn and "hold on to it, and you will never go astray". Will you make an article on the implications of this?

It would be the same as what has been contained in this work brother, which is a collection of many more chains. The only difference between the tradition in Tirmidhi is that it places the statement as being made at the farewell hajj. 

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6 minutes ago, Intellectual Resistance said:

docb6e05a03f3.jpg

 

I'm not sure i can provide a screenshot of al-Albanis grading, i will try to at some point, but a full reference has been given , and it is correct. 

 

but this hadith is 'khilafatayn' and doesnt mention the phrase 'hold onto them, and you will never go astray".

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On 4/2/2018 at 10:12 AM, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

but this hadith is 'khilafatayn' and doesnt mention the phrase 'hold onto them, and you will never go astray".

Ah sorry brother, i overlooked the text and just examined the chain. Yes, it isn't that one. The reference is this: Musnad Ahmad vol. 5 pg. 181, 182

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7 minutes ago, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

but this hadith is 'khilafatayn' and doesnt mention the phrase 'hold onto them, and you will never go astray".

A website attempting to refute the Shia position (albeit very weakly as they used Sunni Rijal in the wrong way) compiled the ones from Musnad Ahmad with the exact reference: http://mahajjah.com/musnad-ahmad-ibn-hambal-al-shaybani/

It's number 6 on there. 

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2 minutes ago, Intellectual Resistance said:

I've contacted them asking for a scan, inshAllah i will update you when they reply. 

Jazakallah brother

 

12 minutes ago, Intellectual Resistance said:

A website attempting to refute the Shia position (albeit very weakly as they used Sunni Rijal in the wrong way) compiled the ones from Musnad Ahmad with the exact reference: http://mahajjah.com/musnad-ahmad-ibn-hambal-al-shaybani/

It's number 6 on there. 

bro this website is a joke, they try and say that the hadith in sahih muslim doesn't even mention ahlulbayt being part of thaqalayn, they don't mention the clear cut sahih hadith that mention ahlulbayt being part of the thaqalayn (the hadith in mu'jam al kabir) and at the end of the mess, they say quran and sunnah is the authentic version. 

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1 minute ago, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

Jazakallah brother

 

bro this website is a joke, they try and say that the hadith in sahih muslim doesn't even mention ahlulbayt being part of thaqalayn, they don't mention the clear cut sahih hadith that mention ahlulbayt being part of the thaqalayn (the hadith in mu'jam al kabir) and at the end of the mess, they say quran and sunnah is the authentic version. 

They also have butchered Sunni Rijal. Not even Salafis agree with the methods of this website. Having said that, they have referenced, sourced and even cited another chain, so i'm going to let them get back to me inshAllah. 

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On 4/2/2018 at 10:34 AM, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

 

Brother, it may be the case Mahajjah has inadvertently made a mistake. If that is the case, then i will remove the second chain , and it won't change the dynamic of the argument by much at all, given we have the authentic chain, and many corroborating chains, in addition to al-Albani and al-Arnaut authenticating many weak chains and elevating them to Hasan due to Shawahid. 

I might also include:

1. A mention about 'and they will never separate until they meet me at the pond' because that is also relevant and strengthens our argument no matter how much refutation websites attempt to distort the meaning - and as i've shown in the page previous to this, they oppose Ibn Taymiyyahs understanding.

2. The tradition from Tirmidhi.

Good eye for detail by the way brother, i never really thought much of it. I will be gone for a few weeks, so inshAllah see you until next time.

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http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235056785-hadith-at-thaqalayn-research/ 

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