Narration of traditions (ahadith) is a thing of paramount importance. Neither every Tom, Dick and Harry are allowed to narrate, nor their narrations can be listened to. The knowledge of narrators is a touchstone for it. Abu Dharr is one of those trustworthy, reliable and authentic narrators whose narrations cannot be doubted or rejected. He has remained in the company of the Holy Prophet most of the time. Hence his narrations are too many; out of them a few are given here:
About the verses of the Holy Qur'an 'O believers! Obey Allah, His Messenger and the "Ulil amr-i minkum", Imam Fakhruddin Razi has explained in Tafsirul Kabir that it refers to the infallibles and Saiyid Ali Hamadani has mentioned it in “Mawaddatul Kurba”, and referred to the twelve infallibles. But it needs confirmation by some dignified companion of the Prophet that the Prophet (s) himself has told it. Abu Dharr narrates from the Prophet that when the above mentioned verse was revealed he requested the Holy Prophet to tell him the names of the Ulil Amr (in charge of affairs). He mentioned the twelve Imams. After specifying the names Abu Dharr summarizes it that the first appointee is Ali and the last is Imam Mahdi1.
Abu Ishaq Tha'labi writes in his commentary: One day Ibn Abbas was narrating the traditions of the Holy Prophet while sitting near the well of Zamzam when a man with a veiled face came by Ibn Abbas paused in his narration. That person started narrating the hadith of the Prophet.
Ibn Abbas said, "O man! I ask you in the name of Allah to tell me truly who you are". He unveiled his face and said, "O people! He who knows me, knows me, but he who does not know me, should recognize me that I am Abu Dharr Ghifari. I have heard from the Holy Prophet with these two ears which may become deaf if I am wrong, and I have seen with these two eyes which may become blind, if I tell a lie that the Prophet said about Ali that he is the leader of the righteous people and a killer of evil doers. He who helped him became victorious and he who forsook him was forsaken”.
According to the narration of Abu Dharr Ghifari the Prophet of Allah said: "Ali is the gate of my knowledge and a guide to my followers of the purpose for which I have been sent. Love for him is faith and enmity with him is hypocricy and friendship with him is worship2.
According to the narration of Abu Dharr the Prophet (s) said, "He who obeyed me, obeyed Allah. He who disobeyed me disobeyed Allah. He, who obeyed Ali, obeyed me and he who disobeyed him disobeyed me"3.
Abu Dharr says, "We used to recognize the hypocrites by three things: Firstly by his denying Allah and His Prophet, secondly by his abstaining from prayers, and thirdly by his spite against Ali.4
There is a tradition narrated by Abu Dharr Ghifari, that the Prophet said, "Ali is the gate of my knowledge. He is the narrator after me of those things for which I have been appointed. Love for him is faith and spite against him is hypocricy, and to have a look at him is worship". Ibn Abd al-Barr writes in Isti'ab that many companions have narrated the hadith of the Prophet: "O Ali! None will be your friend except a believer, and none will be your enemy except a hypocrite"5.
Abu Dharr quotes Umm Salamah to have said that she heard the Holy Prophet (s) saying: "Ali is with truth and truth is with Ali, and both of them will not be separated till they arrive at the Cistern of Kauthar"6.
Allamah Subaiti writes: Abu Dharr says that the Prophet (s), told him, "He who acknowledges the faith sincerely keeps his heart pure for the sake of Allah, speaks the truth, keeps his self composed, is of good habits, uses his ears to listen to good things, and makes his eyes see the right things, will get deliverance".
Abu Dharr says that the Prophet has said, "My followers will not be blessed so long as they make haste in breaking the fast, and delay in eating before dawn (the beginning time of the obligatory fast during the month of Ramadhan)".
Abu Dharr says that the Prophet said, "My happiness lies in distributing the gold in charity even if it be equal to the Mount Uhud"7.
Abu Dharr says that the Holy Prophet (s) has said, "O Ali! Allah has made me and you from the same tree. I am its root and you are its branch. Allah will throw a man into Hell by his face, if he cuts its branch". He further said, "Ali is the leader of Muslims and Imam of the pious. He will kill the breakers of allegiance (People of Jamal), outcasts (Kharijites) and deniers".8
Abu Dharr says that the Holy Prophet (s) has said, "Ali is to me what Harun was to Musa with the only difference that no prophet will come after me".
This tradition has been quoted by many other companions out of whom worthy of mention are Umar bin Khattab, Sa'd bin Abi 'Waqqas, Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, Abdullah ibn Abbas, Jabir bin Abdullah, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Sa'id Khudari, Jabir bin Samrah, Milik bin Havirath, Bara' bin 'Azib, Zayd bin Arqam, Ans bin Malik, Abu Ayyub Ansari, Aqil ibn Abi Talib etc.9
Allamah Abdul Mo'min Shablanji Shafi'i writes in his book Nurul Absar that Abu Dharr, quotes from the Holy Prophet who said: "The best act in the cause of Allah is to love Him and not to do anything against His Will".
Abu Dharr quotes the Holy Prophet (s) as saying, "When you have friendship with somebody for Allah's sake, reveal it to him".
Abu Dharr narrates that the Holy Prophet (s) says, "When a person becomes angry he should sit down if he is standing and if the anger does not subside by sitting he should lie down". 10
Abu Dharr quotes a tradition of the Prophet (s) that Allah loves the man who shows forbearance against the bad treatment of a neighbour. 11
Abu Dharr says that the Holy Prophet (s) has ordered for piety and abstemiousness and asked us to guard the trust, not to go begging before anybody, not to break the relationship of love between two people, to do good to the man who does wrong to you, and to fear Allah always in every open and secret matter. 12
Abu Dharr narrates the tradition of the Prophet (s) thus: "Allah likened my Ahlul Bayt to the Noah's Ark (Safinatu Nuh) for my followers. Whoever got aboard it was saved from the Deluge and whoever avoided it, was drowned, that is, went astray. Also my Ahlul Bayt are for my followers like the door of Hittah (repentance) for the Children of Israel about whom Allah had told the Israel that one who entered through that door, would be saved from the tortures of the world and the Hereafter. Similarly, whosoever from my followers follows the path of my Ahlul Bayt and remains steadfast in following them, will get deliverance on the Day of Reckoning". (Ainul Hayat)
Ali bin Shahab Hamadani quotes Abu Dharr who says that he had heard the Holy Prophet saying, "O Abu Dharr! Ali is he who is going to bifurcate Heaven and Hell. O Abu Dharr! Not even an angel could get the honour of dividing Heaven from Hell. Look! Heaven has been reserved for his supporters and he has been granted a brother like me while no brother of anybody is like me".
Abu Dharr quotes the Holy Prophet as saying: "Allah has strengthened Islam through Ali. Ali is from me and I am from Ali, and this verse "Should they be compared with those whose Lord has given them guidance which is testified by a witness", 13 has been revealed about him. I am the possessor of proof in this verse and Ali is a witness to me". 14
According to Abu Dharr the Prophet (s) told Ali, "O Ali! One who obeyed me, obeyed Allah and one who obeyed you, obeyed me, and one who disobeyed me disobeyed Allah and one who disobeyed you, disobeyed me".15
Abu Dharr says that one day he was present in Baqi' Graveyard (Medina) with the Holy Prophet (s), when he said, "I swear by Allah who has control over my life that there is a person among you who will fight for the correct interpretation of the Holy Qur'an, in the same way, as I fought against the polytheists at the time of revelation of the Qur'an, although they will be reciting the formula of faith (There is no god but Allah). When he (Ali) will fight against them, people will regard it improper and pass remark against the friend of Allah (viz. Ali) and will be offended with him on account of this (war) as Prophet Musa was offended with Khizr for breaking the boat, killing the child and constructing the wall, although the breaking of the boat, killing of the child and the construction of the wall were carried out according to the will and command of Allah” 16.
Muhammad bin Yusuf Kanji Shafi'i quotes Abu Dharr as saying that the Prophet (s) said, "The banner of Ali bin Abi Talib, the leader of the believers, the pontiff of the bright faced and my successor will reach me at the Cistern of Kauthar 17
Abu Dharr says that he asked the Prophet, "Which is the first masjid constructed on the face of the earth?" He said, "Masjid al-Haram" (Ka'bah). He said, "And after that?" He replied, "The masjid of Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem)". Then he asked, "How much was the interval between the two?” The Prophet answered, "Of forty years" 18.
Imam Bukhari quotes Abu Dharr as saying that the Holy Prophet said, "If somebody intentionally relates himself to someone else other than his own father, he is an unbeliever; and the man, who shows himself belonging to a race in which he does not have parentage, must prepare his abode in Hell” 19.