The Messenger of Alláh - may Alláh bestow peace and benedictions upon him and his Progeny - said: "Verily, I am leaving behind two precious things (thaqalayn) among you: the Book of God and my kindred (`itrah), my household (Ahl alBayt), for indeed, the two will never separate until they come back to me by the Pond (of alKawthar on the Judgement's Day)."
Imám Khumayní - ri_wán
Alláh `alayh - began his wa#íyyah or
will with the mention of this tradition of the Prophet (S), known
as \adíth alThaqalayn. In the prologue to
his wa#íyyah he pointed out that whatever tragedies
and disasters befell the Muslim world during the last fourteen
centuries have been mainly due to its estrangement from the Thaqalayn,
the twofold legacy of the Prophet (S) in the form of the Qur'án
and the Ahl alBayt (A).
The extent of the estrangement of the Qur'án
will be obvious to anyone who closely examines its teachings and
contrasts them with the popular religion of the masses and the
prevailing religious ethos, even among the scholars and the intelligentsia.
There is certainly a wide gulf that lies between the message and
spirit of the Glorious Qur'án and the way Islam has come
to be practised in Muslim society, a gulf which has never been
so wide as it became in recent centuries under the influence of
the West and the tyrannical regimes that have been ruling over
The extent of the estrangement suffered
by the Prophet's Household will be obvious to anyone who studies
the history of the Imáms of the Ahl alBayt (A), who
were isolated from the Muslim masses by despots and left without
support in their struggle against the tyrannical regimes of Banú
Umayyah and Banú `Abbás. The result was that the
most authentic exponents and defenders of the Qur'án -
whom the tides of time will never separate from the Qur'án
until the Day of Judgement, as stated by the Noble Prophet (S)
- were put under severe surveillance, exiled, imprisoned, poisoned
and martyred, and the masses were deprived of their guidance and
Having removed the Ahl alBayt (A)
from their way, the road was opened by the selfseeking tyrants
for making the Holy Qur'án itself an instrument for the
justification of their antiQur'ánic rule. "They
forced," as Imám Khumayní says, "the true
exponents of the Qur'án... off the stage with various ploys
and systematic plans. In this way, they in fact, eliminated the
Qur'án itself, the Qur'án which was the greatest
programme for organizing man's material and spiritual life, and
rejected its plan of government based on Divine justice, which
was and remains one of the ideals of this sacred scripture. Thus
they laid the foundations of deviation from the Dín
and the Book of God, bringing things ultimately to an indescribable
If today the custodians of American Islam
with their petrodollars conspire against the aspirations of the
Muslim masses inspired by the genuine Islam, so did once the Umayyad
and `Abbásid tyrants stand in the way of Islam and seek
to isolate and destroy its exponents, the Imáms of the
Ahl alBayt (A), and promote a counterfeit version of Islam.
But no matter how much they tried they could not extirpate the
Prophet's exhortations regarding the Ahl alBayt and conceal
the unbreakable link between the Book of God and the Prophet's
`Itrah, in the form of \adíth alThaqalayn
and scores of other traditions similar to it.
This <adíth has continued to be
narrated by each generation of authentic Shí`í and
Sunní traditionists and scholars throughout the last fourteen
centuries. Reliable and trustworthy narrators of each generation,
from the days of the Prophet's committed Companions - may God
be pleased with them - to the present, including many or rather
most of the greatest and leading figures in the history of Islamic
scholarship have narrated this <adíth. It is in view
of this undeniable fact that Imám Khumayní declared
in his wa#íyyah:
It is essential to point out that \adíth alThaqalayn is a mutawátir tradition amongst all Muslims. It has been narrated in Sunní sources - including the Six @i<á< as well as other books - from the Holy Prophet (S) in different wordings, and as having been spoken by him on repeated occasions. This tradition is a definite proof (<ujjah) for all mankind, in particular for the Muslims, regardless of sect. And all Muslims are answerable (before God) concerning it. For it leaves no room for any excuse for any one. And should there be room for an excuse for the ignorant and the uninformed, there isn't any for the scholars of various schools.
Meaning of Tawátur:
As we know, the tradition or a<ádíth
of the Holy Prophet (S) recorded in the books of Muslim traditionists
begin with chains of transmitters on whose authority the traditionist
reports the Prophet's acts or statements. Experts of <adíth
amongst Muslims have developed certain criteria for assessing
the reliability of different chains of transmission and ascertaining
the authenticity of the contents of traditions. They have developed
a terminology with terms denoting various classifications of <adíth
depending on the character, strength or weakness of narrators
and other factors, such as mutawátir, á<ád,
#a<í<, <asan, qawí, _a`íf, etc.
By tawátur is meant
the multiplicity of the sources of a certain report that leads
to certitude in the listener that the report is indeed true. One's
knowledge of the existence of distant countries and towns and
such historical figures as Cyrus or Napolean may be said to be
based on the tawátur of reports that one hears about
them. So also is one's knowledge of the contemporary events not
witnessed by him.
A mutawátir <adíth
is one which has been reported by so many different chains of
transmission and such a number of narrators in every generation
as normally could not agree to fabricate a tradition without the
fact of its fabrication becoming known. Although some jurisprudents
have specified a particular minimum for the number of narrators,
such as five, seven, ten or even hundred, it is generally held
that no particular number can be specified and the number capable
of producing certitude depends on the experience of the listener.
Islamic jurisprudents have set forth certain
conditions for a tradition to be mutawátir. AlGhazálí
in alMusta#fa min `ilm al'u#úl 
mentions the following conditions.
(1) That the transmitters should report
on the basis of knowledge (`ilm) and not conjecture (~ann).
(2) Their knowledge should have been acquired
through the senses.
(3) That the number of narrators should
be sufficient to produce certitude.
(4) That all the links in the chains of
transmission of a report should fulfil the first two conditions
and their number in every stage of transmission must fulfil the
AlShaykh al\asan ibn Zayn alDín,
the Shí`í author of Ma`álim al'u#úl,
mentions similar conditions for a report to be mutawátir.
As can be seen, the legal condition of `adálah (justice)
is not required for the narrators nor are they required to be
thiqah when the conditions of tawátur are fulfilled.
Rather, alGhazálí states explicitly that in
such cases knowledge is attained even if the narrators should
be fásiq. The author of Ma`álim states
two conditions in order for a mutawátir report to
produce knowledge in the listener:
(1) The listener should not have previous
knowledge of the matter, for it is not possible to know something
that one already knows.
(2) The listener should not be inhibited
by doubt or imitation (taqlíd) in his belief, for
then the report will fail to make any impression upon him.