Versions of the \adíth:
\adíth alThaqalayn is
a mutawátir tradition which has been narrated -
as we will presently see in our introductory study of `Abaqát
al'anwár, a book written to establish the fact
of its tawátur - through scores of different chains
of transmission (>uruq) only in the Sunní <adíth
corpus. If we add to these the Shí`í >uruq
of the tradition, the total number of its narrators becomes considerable.
Apart from being mutawátir, the
<adíth has been transmitted through several #a<í<
>uruq, that is, through chains in which all the transmitters
are regarded as thiqah or as of confirmed trustworthiness
and reliability. Following are four of these #a<í<
narrations of the tradition as recorded by Muslim and al\ákim
alNayshábúrí in their compilations:
(Muslim says:) Zuhayr ibn \arb and Shujá` ibn Makhlad narrated to me from `Ulayyah that he said: Zuhayr said: narrated to us Ismá`íl ibn Ibráhím, from Abú \ayyán, from Yazíd ibn \ayyán, who said: "I, \u#ayn ibn Sabrah and `Umar ibn Muslim went to see Zayd ibn Arqam. When we sat down with him, \u#ayn said to him, 'O Zayd, you have been greatly fortunate. You have seen the Messenger of Alláh, upon whom be Alláh's peace and benedictions, heard his speech, fought with him in battles and have prayed behind him. Indeed, O Zayd, you have been enormously fortunate. Narrate to us what you have heard from the Messenger of Alláh , may Alláh's peace and benedictions be upon him.'
"Zayd said: 'O brother, by God, I have become aged and old and I have forgotten some of what I used to remember from the Messenger of Alláh , upon whom be Alláh's peace and benedictions. So accept what I narrate to you and as to what I don't, trouble me not regarding it.' Then he said: 'One day the Messenger of Alláh , upon whom be Alláh's peace and benedictions, addressed us near a pond called Khumm between Makkah and Madínah. He praised God and extolled Him and preached and reminded (us). Then he said, "Lo, O people, I am only a human being and I am about to respond to the messenger of my Lord [i.e. the call of death]. I am leaving behind two precious things (thaqalayn) among you. The first of the two is the Book of Alláh. In it is guidance and light. So get hold of the Book of Alláh and adhere to it." Then he urged and motivated (us) regarding the Book of Alláh . Then he said, "And my Ahl alBayt (family). I urge you to remember God regarding my Ahl alBayt. I urge you to remember God regarding my Ahl alBayt. I urge you to remember God regarding my Ahl alBayt"'" ....
(@a<í< Muslim, part 7, Kitáb fa_á'il al@a<ábah [Maktabat wa Ma>ba`at Mu<ammad `Alí @ubay< wa Awláduhu: Cairo] pp. 122-123.)
(Al\ákim says:) Narrated to us Abú al\usayn Mu<ammad ibn A<mad ibn Tamím al\an~alí in Baghdad, from Abú Qallábah `Abd alMalik ibn Mu<ammad alRaqqáshí, from Ya<yá ibn \ammád; also narrated to me Abú Bakr Mu<ammad ibn Bálawayh and Abú Bakr A<mad ibn Ja`far alBazzáz, both of them from `Abd Alláh ibn A<mad ibn \anbal, from his father, from Ya<yá ibn \ammád; and also narrated to us Abú Na#r A<mad ibn Suhayl, the faqíh of Bukhárá, from @áli< ibn Mu<ammad, the <áfi~ of Baghdád, from Khalaf ibn Sálim alMakhramí, from Ya<yá ibn \ammád; and Ya<yá ibn \ammád narrated from Abú `Uwwánah from Sulaymán al'A`mash, from \abíb ibn Abí Thábit, from Abú al^ufayl, from Zayd ibn Arqam, may God be pleased with him, who said: "The Messenger of Alláh , may God's peace and benedictions be upon him and his progeny, while returning from his last <ajj (<ijjat alwadá') came down at Ghadír Khumm and ordered (us) towards the big trees, and (the ground) underneath them was swept.
"Then he said, 'I am about to answer the call (of death). Verily, I have left behind two precious things amongst you, one of which is greater than the other. The Book of Alláh , the Exalted, and my `itrah (kindred). So watch out how you treat these two after me, for verily they will not separate from each other until they come back to me by the side of the Pond.' Then he said 'Verily, Alláh , the Almighty and the Glorious, is my master (mawlá) and I am the master of every believer (mu'min).' Then he took `Alí, may God be pleased with him, by the hand and said, 'This (`Alí) is the master of whomever I am his master. O God, love whoever loves him and be the enemy of his enemy.'"
(Al\ákim adds:) "This <adíth is #a<í< in accordance with the conditions of #i<<ah laid down by the Shaykhayn (alBukhárí and Muslim), although they have not recorded it in its full length."
(Al\ákim says:) The first tradition (mentioned above) is supported by this one narrated by Salamah ibn Kuhayl, from Abú al^ufayl, which is also #a<í< according to the requirements of alBukhárí and Muslim. Narrated to us Abú Bakr ibn Is<áq and Da`laj ibn A<mad alSijzí, both of them from Mu<ammad ibn Ayyúb, from al'Azraq ibn `Alí, from \assán ibn Ibráhím alKirmání, from Mu<ammad ibn Salamah ibn Kuhayl, from his father, from Abú al-^ufayl, from Ibn Wáthilah that he heard Zayd ibn Arqam, may God be pleased with him, say: "The Messenger of Alláh , may Alláh 's peace and benedictions be upon him and his progeny, came down at a place between Makkah and Madínah near the trees with five big shades and the people swept the ground under the trees. Then the Messenger of Alláh , may God's peace and benediction be upon him and his progeny, began to perform the evening prayer. After the prayer he began to address the people. He praised God and extolled Him, preaching and reminding (us), and said what God wanted him to say. Then he said, 'O people! Verily, I am leaving behind two matters (amrayn) among you if you follow them (the two) you will never go astray. These two are: the Book of God and my ahl albayt, my `itrah.' Then he said thrice: 'Do you know that I have more right over the believers (Inní awlá bi almu'minín) than they over themselves?' The people said, 'Yes.' Then the Messenger of Alláh , may Alláh's peace and benedictions be upon him and his progeny said, 'Of whomever I am his master (mawlá) `Alí also is his master.'"
(al'Imám al-\áfiz Abú `Abd Alláh al\ákim alNaysábúrí, alMustadrak `alá al-@a<í<ayn [Dár alMa`rifah li al^ibá`ah wa alNashr: Beirut), vol. iii, pp. 109-110).
(Al\ákim says:) Narrated to us Abú Bakr Mu<ammad ibn al\usayn ibn Muslim, the faqíh of Ray, from Mu<ammad ibn Ayyúb, from Ya<yá ibn al-Mughírah alSa`dí, from Jarír ibn `Abd al\amíd, from al\asan ibn `Abd Alláh alNakha`í, from Muslim ibn @ubay<, from Zayd ibn Arqam, may God be pleased with him, who said: "The Messenger of Alláh , may Alláh's peace and benedictions be upon him and his progeny, said, 'Verily, I leave behind two precious things amongst you: the Book of Alláh and my ahl albayt. Verily, the two will never separate until they come back to me by the side of the Pond.'"
(Al\ákim says:) This <adíth is #a<í< al'isnád according to the conditions laid down by the Shaykhayn (alBukhárí and Muslim), though they did not record it. (al\ákim, op. cit., vol. iii, p. 148)
These are four versions of the tradition
narrated on the authority of Zayd ibn Arqam. Their #i<<a<
(authenticity) is confirmed by two of the great Sunní
Imáms of hadith. In addition, as we will see in our study
of `Abaqátal'anwár, the tradition has
been narrated by more than thirty Companions of the Prophet (S)
and a host of narrators and leading traditionists of every generation
up to the contemporary era.