Part 3: A reflection on the text of this tradition and its meaning
Given the preceding discussions, it is clear that the tradition containing the word ‘thaqalain’ (two weighty things) and its likes has no originality and is not thus correct. This is because one cannot trace any tradition containing any recommendation to ‘Book and Tradition’ under the heading ‘thaqalain’ in Sihah or Masanid.
The traditions that have appeared in some books – though they have originally appeared in al-Muwatta and Hakim’s al-Mustadrak- have no sound basis, particularly the rare versions of this tradition that is together with this phrase: the Holy Prophet (s) made this comment in his sermon in Farewell Hajj.
There is a strong probability that those who invented this tradition with this text aimed at confronting and challenging the real „thaqalain‟ tradition by this invented tradition. The real thaqalain tradition is the tradition that is a matter of consensus among Muslims and there exists certainty that the Holy Prophet (s) has mentioned it.
The Holy Prophet (s) has presented thaqalain tradition in different places, the most well-known of which is Ghadir where the Holy Prophet (s) after performing his Farewell Hajj gave his well-known Ghadir sermon. This is where he recommended his community to hold fast to the Book and Tradition and ordered them to follow these two precious things and stop opposing them.
.... و قد ترکت فیکم ما ان اخذتم بهما لن تضلوا بعدی: کتاب هللا و اهل بیتی
“… I left something among you. As long as you hold fast to them, you will never go astray after me: Allah’s Book and my progeny”. 1
The Holy Prophet (s) in this sermon says emphatically that as long as his community holds fast to the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet’s progeny (which do not separate from each other until they join him by the pool), they will not go astray.
Numerous narrators including hundreds of Hadith scholars and Huffaz (memorizers of traditions), belonging to various centuries, have narrated thaqalain tradition from around forty male and female companions of the Holy Prophet (s) through innumerable channels, to the extent that some great scholars have compiled a book in order to collect the chains of the transmitters of this tradition. For instance scholars including Muslim bin Hajjaj, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maja, Nisaee, Hakim Nayshaburi, Tabari, Tabarani etc. have related this tradition.
Thaqalain tradition clearly signifies that it is obligatory on Muslims to follow Prophet’s progeny in every matter, religious or secular. There is no doubt in the authenticity of its chain of transmitters and the clarity of its content (in explaining the position of the Holy Prophet’s progeny), though some have however, attempted in vain to question its chain and signification or distort its words and text. Others have tried to introduce the fabricated tradition of laying emphasis on holding fast to Book and Tradition, as ‘thaqalain tradition’. They have taken refuge to this fabricated tradition with the aim to replace it with the real thaqalain tradition that is no doubt stated by the Holy Prophet (s)!
Based on the assessments made, we made it – thanks to God- clear that the tradition of enjoining adherence to Book and Tradition is invented and fabricated.
The tradition of adherence to Book and Tradition is forged and invented. If we suppose that this tradition is correct having a sound origin, there is no incoherence between recommending adherence to Book and Tradition and recommending adherence to Book and Prophet’s progeny. This is because there is a consensus among Muslims that all is obliged to act in accordance with the Book and prophetic tradition. The tradition of adherence to the Book and Prophet’s progeny intends to say that it is necessary to take the Holy Prophet’s tradition from Prophet’s progeny – not anyone else. This is what the scholars of Hadith and the commentators on this tradition have pointed out. As an instance, Muttaqi Hindi has mentioned both of these traditions under the heading “holding fast to Book and Tradition” - a thing that does not remain hidden from the sight of those who read it.
Peace and blessing of Allah be upon Muhammad and his pure progeny.
All praise belongs to Allah.
- 1. Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 13, p. 140, Tradition no. 36441.