Caliphs and glad tiding of Prophet

The tenth tradition on the excellences of caliphs and the order their caliphate is narrated by Suyuti. In his al-Khasaes, he mentions: Ibn Abi Khathima (in his history), Abu Ya'ala, Bazzaz and Abu Na'aeem have quoted Anas as saying:

One day I was with the Holy Prophet in a garden. Someone knocked at the gate. The Holy Prophet (S) ordered me to get up and open the gate for him and give him the glad tiding of Paradise and caliphate after me. I opened the gate and it was Abu Bakr. Thereupon another person knocked at the gate. The Holy Prophet (S) ordered me to get up and open the gate for him and give him the glad tiding of Paradise and caliphate after Abu Bakr. I opened the gate and it was Umar. Thereupon another man knocked at the gate. The Holy Prophet (S) ordered me to get up and open the gate for him and give him the glad tiding of Paradise and caliphate after Umar and tell him that he would be killed. I opened the gate and it was Uthman.1

Fabricated tradition from the viewpoint of Khatib Baghdadi

Saqar bin Abd al-Rahman bin Bint Malik bin Mughul – he was from Kufa. Known as Abu Behz he lived in Baghdad. He narrated traditions- told me: Ali bin Muhammad bin Hasan Maliki narrated from Abdullah bin Uthman Saffar from Muhammad bin Imran bin Musa Sayrafi from Abdullah bin Ali Madini who told me he had talked about Abu Behz's tradition – which he had narrated from Ibn Idris from Mukhtar bin Filfil from Anas – with his father and told him this tradition is similar to Abu Musa's.

My father said that this tradition was fabricated. Thereupon Khatib narrates it through his own chain from Abu Ya'ala, which is as under:

Abu Behz bin Abd al-Rahman bin Bint Malik bin Mughul narrates from Abdullah bin Idris from Mukhtar bin Filfil from Anas bin Malik who quotes the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

One day I was with the Holy Prophet in a garden. Someone knocked at the gate. The Holy Prophet (S) ordered me to get up and open the gate for him and give him the glad tiding of Paradise and caliphate after me. I opened the gate and it was Abu Bakr. Thereupon another person knocked at the gate. The Holy Prophet (S) ordered me to get up and open the gate for him and give him the glad tiding of Paradise and caliphate after Abu Bakr. I opened the gate and it was Umar. Thereupon another man knocked at the gate. The Holy Prophet (S) ordered me to get up and open the gate for him and give him the glad tiding of Paradise and caliphate after Umar and tell him that he would be killed. I opened the gate and it was Uthman.

Abd al-Mu'amin says that he asked Abu Ali about his opinion regarding Saqar, he said that Saqar was a simple teacher to whom no one paid attention in Baghdad. He used to fabricate traditions. Abu Ali goes on saying that Salih bin Muhammad is among the most lying people and his son Abu Hez excels his father in lying.2

It has to be mentioned that Aini has also narrated this tradition in his commentary on Sahih Bukhari saying that Abu Ya'ala Musili has narrated it as one of the traditions of Mukhtar bin Filfil from Anas. According to him, it is a hasan (good) tradition.3

Other opinions

As mentioned above, some of the Sunni memorizers have considered Abu Behz as a liar and regarded this tradition of his as fabricated. Ibn Udai says that whenever he narrated a tradition from him, Abu Ya'ala would point out that it was weak.Dahabi is also among those who deem this tradition as fabricated. After giving an account of Saqar's life, he, in his Mizan, says that Saqar bin Abd al-Rahman known as Abu Behz, was the grandson of Malik bin Mughul. He narrates this false tradition from Abdullah bin Idris from Mukhtar bin Filfil from Anas who quotes the Holy Prophet (S) as saying: O Anas! Get up, open the gate and give him the glad tiding of Paradise and caliphate after me….!

This tradition mentions the same thing about Umar and Uthman. Zahabi says according to Ibn Udai Abu Ya'ala considered him as weak whenever he narrated a tradition from him.

In Abu Bakr's point of view, he used to fabricate traditions. According to Abu Ali he was lying very much.4 In his Lisan al-Mizan, Ibn Hajar has followed Dahabi, after mentioning his words. He narrates the said tradition using his own chain from Abu Ya'ala from Saqar bin Abdullah bin Idris from Mukhtar bin Filfil from Anas. According to him, if this tradition were authentic, Umar would not leave the matter of caliphate to council and would introduce Uthman as the next caliph.5

  • 1. - Al-Khasaes al-Kubra, vol. 2, p. 438.
  • 2. - Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 9, pp. 340 and 341.
  • 3. - Umda al-Qari, vol. 16, pp. 176 -177.
  • 4. - Mizan al-Itidal, vol. 3, pp. 434 and 435.
  • 5. - LIsan al-Mizan, vol. 3, pp. 227 and 228.