Author’s Preface

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds and may prayer and peace be upon our master and Prophet, Muhammad, and his pure progeny, and may Allah’s curse be upon all their enemies from the first to the last one.

In one of my studies, commenting on a tradition, I mentioned that all traditions that are about caliphs, relating their names in order are no doubt fabricated and forged.

Some thoughtful readers asked me to prove it through studying various chains of this kind of traditions available in sihah sitta or other credible works.

It was because of this that I began to write the book in your hand. While carrying out the research, I found out that not only the traditions in the section related to the virtues of caliphs but all such traditions found in any sections are fabricated and fake even the traditions that contain such phrases: the Holy Prophet (S) said: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and I came …. Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and I went out … Where are Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman?....

Some of these traditions contain the name of Ali (a.s) as well, placing it sometimes before the name of Uthman. The names of Abu Bkr and Umar however always precede the name of Imam Ali (a.s) in these traditions.

More interestingly I found a tradition in which the liars narrate such things from Imam Ali (a.s), commander of the faithful, to show that he himself accepted the virtues of caliphs and thus no one could reject it!

As an instance look at the tradition narrated by Bukhari and Muslim via two channels. Bukhari says: Walid bin Salih narrated from Isa bin Yunus from Umar bin Sa'eed bin Abi al-Husain Makki from Ibn Abi Malika from Ibn Abbas …. Whereas Muslim says: Sa'eed bin Amr Ash'athi, Abu al-Rabi'a Atki and Abu Karib Muhammad bin Alla (this phrase belongs to Abu Karib)1narrated from Ibn Mubarak from Amr bin Sa'eed bin Abi Husain, from Ibn Malika from Ibn Abbas:

When Umar bin Khattab's corpse was placed in coffin, people gathered around it. Before the coffin was moved, people were praying for Umar and telling his virtues. I was also there among them. All of a sudden a man grabbed my shoulder from behind. I turned back and saw that it was Ali (a.s). He was also asking forgiveness for Umar and addressing him, he said: "You did not leave anyone behind so that we could wish to meet Allah through his deeds. I hope Allah will help you to join the two comrades (the Holy Prophet (S)2 and Abu Bakr). This is because I frequently heard the Holy Prophet (S) say: I came along with Abu Bakr and Umar, I entered along with Abu Bakr and Umar and got out along with Abu Bakr and Umar. Thus I hope Allah will help you to join them.3

In addition to Bukhari and Muslim, it is Ibn Majah who has narrated this tradition from Umar bin Sa'eed from Ibn Abi Malika from Ibn Abbas.

It has to be however said that this tradition is absolutely fake and Imam Ali (a.s), commander of the faithful never said such things. This is because Ibn Malika who is the axis of the reporters of this tradition is among the foes of Imam Ali (a.s) and Ahl al-Bayt. He was the judge and mu'zzin (one who calls for prayer) of Abdullah bin Zubair.4

It has to be mentioned here that we appeal to this kind of traditions only to silence our opponents.

We ask Allah to help us do our deeds only for Him and assist us to find out the truth and act in accordance with it. Allah is kind and benevolent.

Sayyid Ali Husaini Milani

  • 1. - It is worth mentioning that Abu Rabi'a uses the phrase 'narrated to us' whereas the other two reporters have made use of the phrase 'told us'.
  • 2. - The letter‘s’ stands for ‘peace be upon him and his progeny’. Though the Sunnite sources suffice to saying ‘peace be upon him’ after mentioning the name of the Prophet (S), omitting ‘and his progeny’, we have intended to mention the whole version of this supplication, whenever we have used the abbreviation‘s’.
  • 3. - Sahih Bukhari, vol. 3, p. 1345. (Book of the virtues of the companions of the Holy Prophet (S)), tradition no. 3274. Sahih Muslim, vol. 5, p. 12 (Book of the virtues of the companions of the Holy Prophet (S)), tradition no. 2389.
  • 4. - Tahzib al-Tahzib, vol. 5, p. 272.