Some Traditions that Appear
to Conflict with Hadith alThaqalayn:
Shah `Abd al-`Aziz, in the Tuhfah, states
that even if Hadith alThaqalayn be accepted as such,
it contradicts some traditions of the Prophet (S). One of these
traditions, which he claims to be sahih, is as follows:
Adhere to my sunnah and the sunnah of the rightly-guided successors after me. Hold on to it and cling on to it stubbornly.
Sayyid Hamid Husayn points out that such a
contention is invalid:
The tradition has been recorded by Abu Dawud,
al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah in their works. As to al-'Irbad ibn
Sariyah, the sole narrator from whom the tradition is narrated,
he is not reliable because of the untenable statement he makes
in his own praise ("I am one-fourth of Islam").
As to Hajar ibn Hajar al-Kila'i, aside from
belonging to Hims, a Syrian town once notorious for its people's
enmity of `Ali (A), is of unknown standing as mentioned by Ibn
Hajar in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, iii, 118.
Khalid ibn Ma`dan ibn Abi Karib al-Kitabi,
aside from belonging to Hims, was the chief of police of Yazid
ibn Mu`awiyah, the most infamous ruler in the history of Islam.
Thawr ibn Yazid, too, belonged to Hims as mentioned
by alDhahabi (Mizan al'i`tidal, i, 374). As
mentioned by Ibn Hajar (op. cit., ii, 34) he hated `Ali
(A), who had killed his father in a battle. `Abd Allah ibn Mubarak
refrained from narrating from him and considered him a heretic
The next transmitter, al-Walid ibn Muslim,
has been accused of forgery by Abu Mushar, as mentioned by alDhahabi
in Mizan al-'i`tidal, iv, 347. These were some of Abu Dawud's
The author then goes on to show that the transmitters
of the narration recorded by al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, namely
Abu `Asim, Hasan ibn `Ali al-Khallal, Buhayr ibn Sa`id, Baqiyyah
ibn al-Walid, Yahya ibn Abi al-Muta`, `Abd Allah ibn `Ala', Mu`awiyah
ibn Salih, Isma`il ibn Bishr ibn Mansur, and `Abd al-Malik ibn
alSabbah, are all weak (da`if) transmitters, as mentioned
by Sunni authorities on rijal in their works.
Moreover, al-Hafiz ibn alQattan has expressly
rejected the authenticity of this sole narration of `Abd al-Rahman
al-Salami, as mentioned by Ibn Hajar in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib,
The author then goes on to point out that even
if this narration be presumed to be sahih, it cannot have
any weight against Hadith alThaqalayn which has been
narrated by a great number of Companions and leading Sunni scholars,
while this narration has not been recorded in most of their works.
Moreover, should this tradition be really authentic, then the
words "rightly-guided successors" should be taken to
mean the Twelve Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (A), as affirmed by another
well-known tradition of the Prophet (S) that there would be twelve
khulafa' or a'immah after him.
Thereafter the author goes on to deal with
another doubt cast on this tradition by Shah `Abd al-`Aziz, that
even if it be presumed that Hadith al-Thaqalayn does not
conflict with the above-mentioned tradition, the word al-`itrah
can be taken to mean all the Prophet's kinsmen (aqarib)
belonging to Banu Hashim in general, or all of the descendants
of Fatimah (A). Then it would be absurd to say that every individual
belonging to them were an imam.
Sayyid Hamid Husayn clarifies this doubt by
quoting various lexicographers, such as al-Jawhari, Ibn al-'Athir,
Ibn Manzur, alFiruzabadi and others to the effect that `itrah
means one's nearest relations (akhass aqaribih), children
(walad) and descendants (dhurriyyah).
Moreover, he points out, Hadith al-Thaqalayn
indicates the supreme knowledge as well as freedom of the
`itrah mentioned in it from sin and error. Such a description
applies solely to the Twelve Imams (A), who in their traditions,
from `Ali (A) onwards, have introduced themselves as the `itrah
of the Prophet (S) and as the supreme authorities of the Islamic
faith by the side of the Qur'an.
Thereafter, the author deals with another tradition
ascribed to the Prophet (S) which too Shah `Abd al-`Aziz claims
to be sahih:
Take part of your religion from this Humayra' (i.e. `A'ishah).
Sayyid Hamid Husayn points out that many Sunni authorities and scholars have considered it a baseless fabrication and forgery devoid of isnad; among them are:
Another tradition mentioned by Shah `Abd al`Aziz
to contend the import of Hadith alThaqalayn is the
following one ascribed to the Prophet (S):
Seek guidance with the guidance of `Ammar.
Sayyid Hamid Husayn points out that such a
tradition cannot be put forward to contest the import of Hadith
al-Thaqalayn, for `Ammar himself was one of the staunch followers
(shi`ah) of `Ali (A) and had been instructed by the Prophet
(S) to obey and follow `Ali (A):
[The Prophet (S) said to `Ammar:] O `Ammar, `Ali will not divert you from guidance. O `Ammar, obedience to `Ali is obedience to me, and obedience to me is obedience to God, Almighty and Glorious.
This tradition has been recorded in various non-Shi`i works, such as:
Moreover, it is strange of Shah `Abd al-`Aziz to bring this tradition as an evidence against Hadith al-Thaqalayn, for `Ammar, as mentioned by al-Ya`qubi in his Ta'rikh, ii, 114 and al-Mas`udi in Muruj al-dhahab, ii, 342, was among those who abstained from giving allegiance to the first caliph. `Umar, during his reign, rejected `Ammar's guidance and spoke to him in harsh terms when the latter suggested that one should perform tayammum when water could not be found for wudu', instead of abstaining from salat, as `Umar had ruled. This episode has been recorded by:
`Uthman during his reign had `Ammar beaten until he fell unconscious and nearly died when the latter handed over a letter of protest written by a group of Muslims against the former's misrule. This episode has been recorded by:
Although the Prophet (S) was known to have
made several statements in `Ammar's favour - such as "The
enemy of `Ammar is the enemy of God" - `Ammar was either
opposed, hated and mistreated by a number of Companions such as
`Abd alRahman ibn `Awf, Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, al-Mughirah
ibn Shu`bah, Abu Musa al-'Ash`ari, Abu Mas`ud al-'Ansari and others.
`Ammar stood firmly by `Ali's side and fought with him against
`Ali's opponents, Talhah, al-Zubayr and Mu`awiyah, in the battles
of Jamal and Siffin. Ultimately he was killed by Mu`awiyah's men,
thus fulfilling the Prophet's well-known prophecy that `Ammar
would be killed by a rebellious party (al-fi'at al-baghiyah).
Sayyid Hamid Husayn then goes on to deal with
some other narrations ascribed to the Prophet (S) and cited by
Shah `Abd al`Aziz, which are:
Hold on to the covenant of Ibn Umm `Abd (i.e. `Abd Allah ibn Mas`ud).
That which Ibn Umm `Abd approves of is approved for you by me.
Both of these are weak (da`if) and isolated
(ahad) traditions, while Hadith al-Thaqalayn is
a mutawatir one. That both Muslim and alBukhari did
not record them in their works indicates that they considered
their isnad to be weak. Moreover, even if assumed to be
authentic they do not contradict Hadith alThaqalayn,
for while they only show the merit of Ibn Mas`ud, Hadith
al-Thaqalayn signifies the preeminence and leadership of the
Ahl al-Bayt (A). Furthermore, it is inconsistent of Shah `Abd
al-`Aziz to advance those traditions, for `Umar, instead of approving
Ibn Mas`ud's acts, forbade him to give fatwa and narrate
the Prophet's hadith and forbade him from leaving Madinah, which
Ibn Mas`ud could not leave until the former's death. `Uthman went
a step further and had Ibn Mas`ud beaten so mercilessly that his
ribs were broken.
Another tradition advanced in this context
by Shah `Abd al-`Aziz is:
Mu`adh ibn Jabal is the most knowledgeable among you regarding halal and haram.
Sayyid Hamid Husayn points out that it has exclusively been narrated by the Sunnis. Muslim and al-Bukhari, although their traditions do not constitute any binding evidence for the Shi`ah, have avoided it in their compilations. Among a number of Sunni authorities who have considered it as weak or baseless are:
Among its narrators, Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rahman alBaylamani, his father, Zayd al-`Ammi, Salim ibn Salim have been considered unreliable by several authorities on hadith and rijal, among them:
Moreover, there are episodes recorded in Ibn
Sa`d's al-Tabaqat, iii, 585 and Ibn `Abd al-Barr's al-'Isti`ab,
iii, 1404 which indicate that Mu`adh did not possess the kind
of competence claimed for him in the above tradition.
Shah `Abd al-`Aziz advances another tradition
ascribed to the Prophet (S) in this context for which he claims
a degree of prevalence (shuhrah) nearing tawatur:
Follow those who will come after me, Abu Bakr and `Umar.
Hamid Husayn points out that the claim of shuhrah is untenable and that a number of Sunni authorities have found fault with it or considered it as baseless, such as:
Ibrahim ibn Isma`il, Isma`il ibn Yahya, Yahya
ibn Salamah ibn Kuhayl and Abu alZa`ra', who have transmitted
it have been considered unreliable transmitters by Abu Zur`ah,
Abu Hatim, Ibn Numayr, alDarqutni, alBukhari, alNasa'i,
Ibn Mu`in, Ibn Hibban, al-Tirmidhi and others.
The narrations cited above are advanced by
Shah `Abd al-`Aziz to make the point that if Hadith al-Thaqalayn
be considered as signifying the imamah of the Imams
of the Ahl al-Bayt (A) then these traditions must also be construed
as signifying the imamah of al-Humayra', `Ammar, Ibn Mas`ud,
Mu`adh ibn Jabal, Abu Bakr and `Umar. Sayyid Hamid Husayn points
out that such a conclusion would follow if the traditions advanced
were authentic. But as established, in the `Abaqat, all
of them are weak and unreliable ahad, which have no weight
in comparison with Hadith al-Thaqalayn, which is a mutawatir
tradition narrated widely by the leading traditionists and
scholars of the Ummah from the Shi`ah and the Ahl al-Sunnah.
Shah `Abd al-`Aziz cites another narration
known as Hadith alNujum ascribed to the Prophet (S)
in support of his argument:
Verily, my Companions are like the stars (nujum) in the sky; whichever of them you follow, you shall be guided rightly. The disagreement of my Companions is a blessing for you.
Among Sunni authorities those who have considered this tradition as unreliable are:
The tradition is also unacceptable on the following grounds:
There will be innovations perpetrated by my Companions after me (i.e. the fitnah that occurred amongst them). God shall forgive them due to their earlier record (of good deeds), but if a people follow them after them, God shall throw them into Hellfire.
6. Some of the Companions are on record as having made statements that imply the denial that they possessed the competence to be followed as guides and leaders. Abu Bakr and `Umar have made numerous statements about themselves which reveal their incompetence as guides who can be followed, like the Quran, without qualms. 
Aware of the difficulty involved in the adoption
of the Hadith alNujum, Shah `Abd al-`Aziz admits
that some Companions are known for certain to have erred in their
ijtihad because it conflicted with the express commands
(nusus) of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. However, he submits,
the Companions may be followed in matters when there exist no
express commands in the Book and the Sunnah.
Sayyid Hamid Husayn replies by pointing out