Letter 29

Thul-Hijjah 20, 1329

I. Believing in Our Arguments Regarding the Hadith's Sanad

1) All what you have mentioned regarding the authenticity of the status hadith is indeed beyond any doubt. Al-Amidi has stumbled in a way which has proven his distance from the science of hadith, and from traditionists. I have bothered you with mentioning his views in clarifying what is already clear. This is my mistake for which I invoke your forgiveness, since you are apt to forgive.

II. Doubting its General Application

2) I have come to know that there are others besides al-Amidi from among your arbitraters who claim that there is no proof that the status hadith has a general application, and that it is restricted to its own context. They support their view by the hadith's text itself, saying that the Prophet's statement is due only to its time context, that is, when he left him in Medina during the Battle of Tabuk.

The Imam, peace be upon him, asked him: "Why do you leave me with women and children?" His answer, peace be upon him and his progeny, was: "Aren't you pleased that your status to me is similar to that of Aaron to Moses, except there will be no Prophet after me?" as if he (S) explained that his position to him is like that of Aaron to Moses when the latter left him to represent him among his people when he left for the Tur Mountain [Mount Sinai]. The gist of the Prophet's statement would be something like: "You are to me, during this Battle of Tabuk, like Aaron to Moses who had to depart to communicate with his Lord."

III. Doubting its being Binding

3) Your arbitraters may even say that this hadith is not a binding proof, even if its implication is general, and a restricted hadith cannot be applied in its general sense, and peace be with you.