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1. Hadith Al-Qadha, Investigating Its Authenticity

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 H) states:

و إما قوله قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لاقضاكم علي والقضاء يستلزم العلم و الدين فهذا الحديث لم يثبت و ليس له إسناد تقوم به الحجة ... لم يروه أحد في السنن المشهورة و لا المساند المعروفة لا بإسناد صحيح و لا ضعيف و إنما يروي من طريق من هو معروف بالكذب

As for his statement, “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: ‘The best judge among you is ‘Ali’”, and justice dispensation requires knowledge and religious devotion. But, this hadith is not authentic, and it has no chain of transmission which makes it a valid proof ... It is not recorded by anyone in the famous Sunan books, and not (by anyone) in the well-known Musnad books – not with a sahih chain, nor with a dha’if chain. It is only narrated through the route of notorious liars.1

Meanwhile, Imam Ibn Majah (d. 273 H) records in his Sunan:

حدثنا محمد بن المثنى ثنا عبد الوهاب بن عبد المجيد ثنا خالد الحذاء، عن أبي قلابة، عن أنس بن مالك، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال :أرحم أمتي بأمتي أبو بكر وأشدهم في دين الله عمر وأصدقهم حياء عثمان وأقضاهم علي بن أبي طالب.

Muhammad b. al-Muthanna – ‘Abd al-Wahhab b. ‘Abd al-Majid – Khalid al-Haza – Abi Qilabah – Anas b. Malik:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, “The most merciful of my Ummah to my Ummah is Abu Bakr. The most severe of them in the religion of Allah is ‘Umar. The most shy of them is ‘Uthman. And the best judge among them is ‘Ali b. Abi Talib.”2

This report cancels out the first leg of our Shaykh’s claims: that the hadith is not documented in any of the authoritative Sunan and Musnad books – whether with a sahih chain or even a dha’if one!

So, the next question is: has the hadith truly been narrated by a liar or liars?

The first narrator, Muhammad b. al-Muthanna is thiqah (trustworthy) without absolutely any doubt. Al-Hafiz (d. 852 H) for instance says about him:

محمد بن المثنى بن عبيد العنزي بفتح النون والزاي أبو موسى البصري ….ثقة ثبت

Muhammad b. al-Muthanna b. ‘Ubayd al-‘Unaza, Abu Musa al-Basri.... Thiqah (trustworthy), thabt (accurate).3

Elsewhere, he adds about him:

روى عنه) خ (مائة حديث وثلاثة أحاديث ومسلم سبعمائة واثنتين وسبعين حديثا

Al-Bukhari narrated 103 ahadith from him (in his Sahih), and Muslim also narrated 772 ahadith (from him in his Sahih).4

Apparently, he was a super-weight in Sunni ahadith.

Al-Hafiz also says about the second narrator:

عبد الوهاب بن عبد المجيد بن الصلت الثقفي أبو محمد البصري ثقة تغير قبل موته بثلاث سنين

‘Abd al-Wahhab b. ‘Abd al-Majid b. al-Salt al-Thaqafi, Abu Muhammad al-Basri: Thiqah (trustworthy). He changed (i.e. his memory weakened) 3 years before his death.5

In his Lisan, he gives further, crucial information about him:

لكنه ما ضر تغيره حديثه فإنه ما حدث بحديث في زمن التغير

But, his change (in memory) does not harm his ahadith, for he never narrated a single hadith during the period of the change.6

So, what about the remaining narrators? Shaykh al-Arnauṭ saves us a lot of time with this tahqiq:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا عفان ثنا وهيب ثنا خالد الحذاء عن أبي قلابة عن أنس بن مالك عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم .... إسناده صحيح على شرط الشيخين

‘Abd Allah (b. Ahmad) – my father (Ahmad b. Hanbal) – ‘Affan – Wuhayb – Khalid al-HazaAbu QilabahAnas b. Malik – the Prophet, peace be upon him .... Its chain is sahih UPON THE STANDARD OF THE TWO SHAYKHS.7

We understand from this that both Khalid al-Haza and Abu Qilabah are thiqah (trustworthy) narrators of both Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, like Muhammad b. al-Muthanna.

Interestingly, Imam al-Hakim (d. 403 H), Imam al-Dhahabi (d. 748 H) and ‘Allamah al-Albani (d. 1420 H) also confirm that the second narrator is like the others too in this regard. The ‘Allamah writes:

أخرجه الترمذي (2 / 309) وابن ماجه (154) وابن حبان (2218) و (2219) والحاكم (3 / 422) من طريق عبد الوهاب بن عبد المجيد الثقفي حدثنا خالد الحذاء عن أبي قلابة عن أنس قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: فذكره، وقال الترمذي: " حديث حسن صحيح ". وقال الحاكم: " هذا إسناد صحيح على شرط الشيخين ". ووافقه الذهبي وهو كما قالا.

Al-Tirmidhi (2/309), Ibn Majah (154), Ibn Hibban (2218) and al-Hakim (3/422) narrated it through the route of ‘ABD AL-WAHHAB B. ‘ABD AL-MAJID AL-THAQAFIKhalid al-HazaAbu QilabahAnas – the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him. Al-Tirmidhi said: “The hadith is hasan sahih”. Al-Hakim (also) said, “This chain is sahih UPON THE STANDARD OF THE TWO SHAYKHS”. Al-Dhahabi concurred with him, and it is (indeed) as they both have stated.8

In a simple summary, Hadith al-Qadha – as documented by Imam Ibn Majah – has a chain of transmission that is sahih upon the standard of al-Bukhari (d. 256 H) and Muslim (d. 261 H). All its narrators are relied upon in both Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, and there is no disconnection anywhere in the chain. Apparently, Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah’s weird, unfounded claim that the hadith is narrated only by notorious liars is itself a sickening rape of the truth!

There is equally a mutaba’ah for Muhammad b. al-Muthanna copied by Imam al-Haythami (d. 807 H):

أخبرنا أحمد بن مكرم بن خالد البرتي، حدثنا علي بن المديني، حدثنا عبد الوهاب الثقفي، حدثنا خالد الحذاء، عن أبي قلابة عن أنس بن مالك قال: قال رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم :ارحم أمتي بأمتي أبو بكر، وأشدهم في أمر الله عمر، وأصدقهم حياء عثمان، وأقضاهم علي

Ahmad b. Makram b. Khalid al-Birti‘Ali b. al-Madini – ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Thaqafi – Khalid al-Haza – Abu Qilabah – Anas b. Malik:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “The most merciful of my Ummah to my Ummah is Abu Bakr. The most severe of them concerning the Command of Allah is ‘Umar. The most shy of them is ‘Uthman. And the best judge among them is ‘Ali.9

We already know that the last four narrators – including Anas – are thiqah narrators of both Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. So, we only have to find out the status of the first two narrators. Once again, Shaykh al-Arnauṭ saves us time. Imam Ibn Hibban (d. 354 H) records this chain in his Sahih:

أخبرنا أحمد بن مكرم بن خالد البرتي قال حدثنا علي بن المديني قال حدثنا معن بن عيسى قال حدثنا مالك بن أنس عن صفوان بن سليم عن عطاء بن يسار عن أبي سعيد الخدري

Ahmad b. Makram b. Khalid al-Birti‘Ali b. al-Madini – Ma’n b. ‘Isa – Malik b. Anas – Safwan b. Sulaym – ‘Aṭa b. Yasar – Abu Sa’id al-Khudri10

Al-Arnauṭ says:

إسناده صحيح على شرط البخاري رجاله ثقات رجال الصحيح غير علي بن المديني فمن رجال البخاري

Its chain is sahih upon the standard of al-Bukhari. Its narrators are thiqah (trustworthy), narrators of the Sahih, except ‘Ali b. al-Madini because he is from the narrators of (Sahih) al-Bukhari (only).11

So, both al-Birti and ‘Ali b. al-Madini are thiqah (trustworthy) narrators of Sahih al-Bukhari too. As such, the mutaba’ah of ‘Ali b. al-Madini to Muhammad b. al-Muthanna in Hadith al-Qadha is sahih as well, upon the standard of Sahih al-Bukhari!

The hadith has equally been transmitted from other Sahabah, apart from Anas. Imam al-Haythami for instance records:

عن جابر بن عبد الله الأنصاري قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم : أرحم أمتي بأمتي أبو بكر وأرفق أمتي لأمتي عمر وأصدق أمتي حياء عثمان وأقضى أمتي علي بن أبي طالب

Narrated Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “The most merciful of my Ummah to my Ummah is Abu Bakr. The kindest of my Ummah to my Ummah is ‘Umar. The most shy of my Ummah is ‘Uthman. The best judge of my Ummah is ‘Ali b. Abi Talib”.12

He comments:

رواه الطبراني في الأوسط وإسناده حسن

Al-Tabarani narrated it in al-Awsaṭ, and its chain is hasan.13

In modern prints of Mu’jam al-Awsaṭ of Imam al-Tabarani (d. 360 H), this hadith, unfortunately, is no longer present! The previous existence of this report in al-Awsat is further confirmed by Imam al-Haytami (d. 974 H):

و في رواية الطبراني في الأوسط أرحم أمتي بأمتي أبو بكر وأرفق أمتي لأمتي عمر وأصدق أمتي حياء عثمان وأقضى أمتي علي بن أبي طالب

In the report of al-Tabarani in al-Awsat, it is recorded: “The most merciful of my Ummah to my Ummah is Abu Bakr. The kindest of my Ummah to my Ummah is ‘Umar. The most shy of my Ummah is ‘Uthman. The best judge of my Ummah is ‘Ali b. Abi Talib14

It has gone missing in the same al-Awsat after the time of al-Haytami.

Finally, ‘Allamah al-Albani has copied Hadith al-Qadha from yet another Sahabi, namely Ibn ‘Umar:

أرأف أمتي بأمتي أبو بكر وأشدهم في دين الله عمر وأصدقهم حياء عثمان وأقضاهم علي

The most compassionate of my Ummah to my Ummah is Abu Bakr, and the most severe of them in the religion of Allah is ‘Umar. The most shy of them is ‘Uthman and the best judge among them is ‘Ali.15

The ‘Allamah says:

(صحيح) ... [ع] عن ابن عمر.

Sahih ... (Narrated) by Ibn ‘Umar16

  • 1. Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad b. ‘Abd al-Halim b. Taymiyyah al-Harrani, Minhaj al-Sunnah al-Nabawiyyah (Muasassat Qurtubah; 1st edition, 1406 H) [annotator: Dr. Muhammad Rashad Salim], vol. 7, pp. 512-513
  • 2. Ibn Majah Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. Yazid al-Qazwini, Sunan (Dar al-Fikr) [annotator: Muhammad Fuad ‘Abd al-Baqi], vol. 1, p. 55, # 154
  • 3. Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Taqrib al-Tahdhib (Beirut: Dar al-Maktabah al-‘Ilmiyyah; 2nd edition, 1415 H) [annotator: Mustafa ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Ata], vol. 2, p. 129, # 6283
  • 4. Shihab al-Din Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (Dar al-Fikr; 1st edition, 1404 H), vol. 9, p. 378, # 698
  • 5. Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Taqrib al-Tahdhib (Beirut: Dar al-Maktabah al-‘Ilmiyyah; 2nd edition, 1415 H) [annotator: Mustafa ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Ata], vol. 1, p. 626, # 4275
  • 6. Shihab al-Din Abu al-Fadhl Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Lisan al-Mizan (Beirut: Manshurat Muasassat al-A’lami li al-Matbu’at; 2nd edition, 1390 H), vol. 4, p. 88, # 168
  • 7. Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal al-Shaybani, Musnad (Cairo: Muasassat Qurtubah) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 3, p. 281, # 14022
  • 8. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman Muhammad Nasir al-Din b. al-Hajj Nuh b. Tajati b. Ādam al-Ashqudri al-Albani, Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Ṣahihah wa Shayhun min Fiqhihah wa Fawaidihah (Riyadh: Maktabah al-Ma’arif li al-Nashr wa al-Tawzi’; 1st edition, 1415 H), vol. 3, p. 223, # 1224
  • 9. Nur al-Din ‘Ali b. Abi Bakr al-Haythami, Mawarid al-Zaman ila Zawaid Ibn Hibban (Damascus: Dar al-Thaqafah al-‘Arabiyyah; 1st edition, 1412 H) [annotators: Husayn Salim Asad al-Darani and ‘Abd ‘Ali al-Kushk], vol. 7, pp. 161-162, # 2218
  • 10. Abu Hatim Muhammad b. Hibban b. Ahmad b. Hibban b. Mu’adh b. Ma’bad al-Tamimi al-Darimi al-Busti, Ṣahih Ibn Hibban bi Tartib Ibn Balban (Beirut: Muasassat al-Risalah; 2nd edition, 1414 H) [annotators: Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani and Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 16, p. 404, # 7393
  • 11. Ibid
  • 12. Nur al-Din ‘Ali b. Abi Bakr al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawaid (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr; 1412 H), vol. 9, p. 235, # 14918
  • 13. Ibid
  • 14. Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. Hajar al-Haytami, al-Ṣawaiq al-Muhriqah ‘ala Ahl al-Rafdh wa al-Ḍalal wa al-Zindiqah (Beirut: Muasassat al-Risalah; 1st edition, 1997 CE) [annotators: ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Abd Allah al-Turki and Kamil Muhammad Khurat], vol. 1, p. 226
  • 15. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman Muhammad Nasir al-Din b. al-Hajj Nuh b. Tajati b. Ādam al-Ashqudri al-Albani, Ṣahih al-Jami’ al-Ṣaghir wa Ziyadatuhu (Al-Maktab al-Islami), vol. 1, p. 211, # 868
  • 16. Ibid

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