Among the many accepted arguments about the lawfulness of our
following the descendants of the Prophet is the Hadith Thaqalain,
whose authenticity has been acknowledged by both the sects. The
Prophet said: "If you keep yourselves attached to these two,
never, never will you go astray after me."
Hafiz: I think you are mistaken
when you say that this hadith is authentic and that it has been
accepted by all since it is unknown by our great ulema. To prove
this I may say that the greatest narrator of hadith of our sect,
Muhammad Bin Isma'il Bukhari, does not record it in his Sahih,
which is the most authentic book after the Holy Qur'an.
Well-Wisher: I am not mistaken
about it. The authenticity of this holy hadith has been acknowledged
by your own ulema. Even Ibn Hajar Makki, for all his intolerance
and prejudice, accepts it as true. You should consult Sawa'iq
Muhriqa (Part II Chapter II, pages 89-90, under verse 4) in which,
after quoting the statements of Tirmidhi, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal,
Tibrani, and Muslim, he says: "Know that the hadith concerning
attachment to the Thaqalain (the holy descendants of the Prophet
and the Holy Qur'an) has been narrated in many ways. The narrators
of this hadith number more than twenty companions of the Prophet."
Then he says that there is some difference in the manner in which
this tradition has been narrated. Some say that it was narrated
when the Prophet was on his last Hajj at Arafa; some say it was
related in Medina, when the Holy Prophet was on his death bed,
and his room was full of his companions; others say that it was
narrated at Ghadir-e-Khum; and some say it was narrated after
his return from Ta'if. After saying all this, he (Hajar Makki)
himself comments that there is no significant difference in the
hadith itself. As for all the different occasions, it is probable
that the Prophet recounted this tradition time and again in order
to emphasize the greatness of the Holy Qur'an and his holy descendants.
You said that since Bukhari has not recorded this hadith in his
Sahih, its authenticity is questionable. But this hadith, although
not recorded by Bukhari, has been generally quoted by the major
ulema of your sect, including Muslim Bin Hujjaj and other authors
of the six collections of Traditions, who have exhaustively dealt
with it in their books and do not rely solely on the collection
of Bukhari. If you acknowledge the justice of all your own ulema,
all of whom were recognized by the Sunnis of the past, you should
accept as true the hadith, which for some reason has not been
recorded by Bukhari.
Hafiz: There was no motive behind
that. Bukhari was very cautious in the matter of recording reports.
He was a careful scholar, and if he found the hadith, from the
point of view of its text or source, to be harmful or unacceptable
to common sense, he did not record it.
Well-Wisher: As the proverb
goes: "Love for something makes a man blind and deaf."
The respected Sunnis are mistaken here. You are too enthusiastic
in your love for Imam Bukhari. You say that he was a very minute
scrutinizer of facts, and that the reports of his Sahih are reliable
and deserve the rank of revelation. But the fact is otherwise.
The chain of reports mentioned by Bukhari consists of persons
who are often condemned as liars.
Hafiz: Your assertion is false.
You denigrate Bukhari's learning and ability, which is an insult
to the whole Sunni Sect.
Well-Wisher: If criticism based
on knowledge is an insult, then many of your own most distinguished
ulema are men who have insulted the high position of learning
and erudition. I would advise you to study for yourself the books
written by great authors and ulema of your sect who have made
comments on Bukhari's Sahih, e.g., Al-Lu'ali'l-Masnu'a fi hadithi'l-Muzu'a
by Suyuti, Mizanu'l-Ibtidal and Talkhisu'l-Mustadrak of Dhahabi;
Tadhkiratu'l-Muzu'a by Ibn Jauzi; The History of Baghdad, compiled
by Abu Bakr Ahmad Bin Ali Khatib Baghdad, and other books of Rijal
(namely, treatises on the character of narrators of Traditions)
by many of your great ulema. If you read these books, you will
not dare say that I have insulted Imam Bukhari.
What I have said is this: the two books, Sahih Muslim and Sahih
Bukhari, contain hadith narrated by liars. If you study Sahih
Muslim and Sahih Bukhari in the light of the books of Rijal, you
will find that they have recorded many hadith reported from men
who were great liars, e.g., Abu Huraira, the notorious liar, Ikrima
Kharji, Sulayman Bin Amr, and others of the same category. Bukhari
was not so cautious in recording hadith as you think. He did not
record the Hadith-e-Thaqalain, which others have done, but he
had no hesitation in recording ludicrous and insulting stories
about the Prophet Moses slapping the face of the Angel of Death,
the Prophet Moses' running away naked after a stone, and Allah's
visibility. Consider another ridiculous and insulting story recorded
by Bukhari in his Sahih, Volume II, Chapter ""Al-Lahr
Bi'l-Harb," page 120, and by Muslim in his Sahih Volume I,
quoting Abu Huraira as saying that on the Eid (a holiday) some
Sudanese nomads gathered in the Mosque of the Prophet. They entertained
spectators with their sport and performances. The Prophet asked
A'yesha if she would like to witness the performances. She said
she would. The Prophet let her mount on his back in such a way
that she had her head over his shoulders and her face on the head
of the Prophet. In order to amuse A'yesha, the Holy Prophet was
asking the entertainers to stage a better dance. At last A'yesha
became tired, and the holy Prophet let her get down on the ground!
Judge for yourself whether such a story is not insulting. If Bukhari
was so cautious about recording facts, was it fair on his part
to record such foolish stories in his Sahih. But even now you
characterize these books as the most authentic ones after the
Holy Qur'an. Of course Bukhari took special care to omit the matter
of the Imamate and the Vicegerency of Ali, as well as the matter
of the Ahle Bait. Probably he feared such information might some
day be used as a weapon against the opponents of the Ahle Bait.
So when we compare the Sahih Bukhari with other Siha, we come
to the conclusion that on this topic, the Ahle Bait, a hadith,
however authentic and fully supported by writers in the light
of the Holy Qur'an it may be, Bukhari has purposely failed to
record it. For instance, there are many verses of the Holy Qur'an,
revelations which have a direct bearing on the hadith (Hadith-e-Wilaya
on the Day of Ghadir; Hadith-e-Inzar-e-Yaumu'd-Dar; Hadithu'l-Muwakhat;
Hadith-e-Safina; Hadith-e-Babu'l-Hitta, etc.) which concern the
respect for, and vicegerency of, the descendants of the Holy Prophet.
These have been avoided scrupulously by Bukhari. And on the other
hand, those so-called "ahadith" which humiliate the
prophets, particularly our Prophet and his chaste descendants,
are recorded in his book without the least consideration that
they have been reported by liars.
As for the hadith of Thaqalain (two weighty things), which Bukhari has not included in his collection, the other authentic books of your sect have related it. In fact, even the great traditionist, Muslim, who is regarded as being equal to Bukhari, has also related it. The other scholars who have related this tradition are the following: Muslim bin Hajjaj in his Sahih, Volume VII, page 122; Abu Dawud in his Sahih; Tirmidhi in his Sunan, Part 2, page 307; Nisa'i in his Khasa'is, page 30; Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in his Musnad, Volume III, page 14-17, Volume IV, page 26 and 59, and Volume V, page 182 and 189, Hakim in Mustadrak, Volume III, page 109 and 148; Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Isfahani in his Hilyatu'l-Auliya, Volume I, page 355; Sibt Ibn Jauzi in his Tadhkira, page 182; Ibn Athir Jazari in his Usudu'l-Ghaiba, Volume II, page 12 and Volume III, page 147; Hamidi in Jama' Baina's-Sahihain; Razin in his Jama' Baina's-Siha-e-Sitta; Tibrani in his Ta'rikh-e-Kabir; Dhahabi in his Talkhis-e-Mustadrak;
Ibn Abd Rabbih in his Iqdu'l-Farid; Muhammad bin Talha Shafi'i
in is Matalibu's-Su'ul; Khatib Khawarizmi in Manaqib; Sulayman
Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Chapter page 18, 25, 29, 30,
31, 32, 32, 34, 95, 115, 126, 199 and 230, with slight narrations
in words; ir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in the second Mawadda of his
Mawaddatu'l-Qurba; Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in Sharh Nahju'l-Balagha; Shablanji
in Nuru'l-Absar, page 99; Nuru'd-Din bin Sabbagh Maliki in Fusulu'l
Muhimma, page 25; Hamwaini in Fara'idu's-Simtain; Imam Tha'labi
in Tafsir Kashfu'l-Bayan; Sam'ani and Ibn Maghazili Shafi'i in
Manaqib; Muhammad bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i in Kifayatu'l-Talib,
Chapter I, in the account of the authenticity of the sermon of
Ghadir Khum and also in Chapter 62, page 130; Muhammad bin Sa'ad
Katib in Tabaqa, Volume 4, page 8; Fakhru'd-Din Razi in Tafsir
Kabir, Volume 3, under the verse of Etesam, page 18; Ibn Kathir
Damishqi in Tafsir, Volume 4, under the verse of Mawadda, page
113, Ibn Hajar Makki in Sawa'iq-e-Muhriqa; pages 75, 87, 90, 99
and 136 with variations of words.
There are several other scholars of your sect whose names I cannot
relate in this meeting because of the lack of time. Many of your
scholars have related this important hadith from the Holy Prophet
so commonly and with unbroken continuity of narration from one
to the other that it has attained the status of a regularly narrated
hadith. According to this hadith, the Prophet said the following:
"I leave among you two weighty things: the Book of Allah
and my progeny. If you keep yourselves attached to these two,
never, never will you go astray. These two will never be separated
from each other until they meet me at the Fountain of Kauthar."
Based on this genuine hadith, we hold that we should seek adherence
to the Holy Qur'an and the Ahle Bait of Muhammad.
Sheikh: This hadith of the Prophet
has been related by Salih Bin Musa Bin Abdullah Bin Ishaq, through
his accredited chain of narrators saying that Abu Huraira reported
it in this way: "I leave behind me two great things: The
Book of Allah (the Holy Qur'an) and my sunna (tradition)...."
Well-Wisher: You again quote
the hadith from the same wicked person who has been rejected by
critics of the Shia (like Dhahabi, Yahya, Imam Nisa'i, Bukhari
and Ibn Adi, etc.). Aren't you satisfied with the reliable references
that I have made from your own great ulema regarding this hadith?
You quote an unacceptable version of the hadith even though both
Shias and Sunnis have accepted that the Holy Prophet used the
words "the Book of Allah and my progeny," and not "my
sunna." In fact, "Book" (Qur'an) and "sunna"
(tradition) both require interpretation. Traditions, therefore,
cannot explain the Holy Qur'an. So the progeny of the Prophet,
who are the equals of the Holy Qur'an, are the real interpreters
of the Qur'an, as well as the traditions (sunna) of the Prophet.
Another reason we seek attachment to the descendants of the Prophet
is the authentic Hadith-e-Safina, which has been narrated by all
of your great ulema, almost without exception, and with unbroken
More than a hundred of your own scholars have related this hadith:
Muslim bin Hajjaj in Sahih, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in Musnad, Hafiz
Abu Nu'aim in Hilyatu'l-Auliya; Ibn Abdi'l-Birr in Isti'ab; Abu
Bakr Khatib Baghdadi in Ta'rikh-e-Baghdad; Muhammad bin Talha
Shafi'i in Matalibu's-Su'uli; Ibn Athir in Nihaya; Sibt Ibn Jauzi
in Tadhkira; Ibn Sabbagh-e-Makki in Fusulu'l-Muhimma; Allama Nuru'd-Din
Samhudi in Ta'rikhu'l-Medina; Seyyed Mu'min Shablanji in Nuru'l-Absar;
Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi in Tafsir-e-Mafatihu'l-Ghaib; Jalalu'd-din
Suyuti in Durru'l-Mansur; Imam Tha'labi in Tafsir-e-Kashfu'l-Bayan;
Tabrani in Ausat; Hakim in Mustadrak, Volume 3, page 151; Sulayman
Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Chapter 4; Mir Seyyed Ali
Hamadani in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Mawadda 2; Ibn Hajar Makki in Sawa'iqu'l-Muhriqa
under verse 8; Tabari in his Tafsir as well as his History; Muhammad
bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i in Kifayatu't-Talib, Chapter 100, page
233. Many other great scholars of your sect have related that
the Holy Prophet said: "The likeness of my Ahle Bait is that
of the Ark of Noah. He who gets into it is saved; he who turns
away from it will be drowned and lost."
Imam Muhammad Bin Idris Shafi'i has referred to the authenticity
of this hadith in his couplets which Allama Fazil Ajib recorded
in his Zakhiratu'l-Ma'al. Imam Shafi'i, who is recognized as one
of the distinguished religious scholars of the Sunni sect, admits
that our attachment to the purified family of the Prophet is the
means of our deliverance because, of the seventy sects of Islam,
the sect which follows the descendants of the Prophet is the only
one to secure deliverance.