Facing severe hopelessness about Hadith al-Wilayah, a high-standing Sunni ‘alim decides to play the last remaining card: “Shi’is doctored it”! Imam al-Mubarakfuri (d. 1282 H) says:
رواه أحمد في مسنده) وهو ولي كل مؤمن من بعدي (كذا في بعض النسخ بزيادة من ووقع في بعضها بعدي بحذف من وكذا وقع في رواية أحمد في مسنده وقد استدل به الشيعة على أن عليا رضي الله عنه كان خليفة بعد رسول الله من غير فصل واستدلالهم به عن هذا باطل فإن مداره عن صحة زيادة لفظ بعدي وكونها صحيحة محفوظة قابلة للاحتجاج والأمر ليس كذلك …. زيادة لفظ بعدي في هذا الحديث ليست بمحفوظة بل هي مردودة فاستدلال الشيعة بها على أن عليا رضي الله عنه كان خليفة بعد رسول الله من غير فصل باطل جدا
Ahmad recorded it in his Musnad: “And he is THE wali of every believer after me (min ba’di)”. This is how it is recorded in some manuscripts, with the addition of “min”. In other manuscripts, there is “ba’di” without “min”, and this is how it is in the report of Ahmad in his Musnad. The Shi’ah have proved with it (i.e. the phrase “after me”) that ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, was the immediate khalifah of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him.
Their reliance of upon as proof is fallacious because it depends entirely upon the authenticity of the additional phrase “after me”. If it were authentic, then it would be acceptable as proof.
But, the matter is not like that.... The additional phrase “after me” in this hadith is not authentic. Rather, it is rejected. Therefore, the reliance upon it as proof, by the Shi’ah, that ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, was the immediate khalifah of the Messenger of Allah is terribly fallacious.1
In simple words, the original hadith was this:
علي ولي كل مؤمن
‘Ali is THE wali of every believer.
However, some unreliable people maliciously added “after me” to it to make it:
علي ولي كل مؤمن بعدي
‘Ali is THE wali of every believer after me.
In his haste, al-Mubarakfuri obviously fails to notice that the “dangerous elements” in the hadith are two, not one: the word “the” before wali and the phrase “after me”. The only way he can have his way is if the original hadith had been this:
علي ولي لكل مؤمن
‘Ali is a wali of every believer.
In that case, Amir al-Muminin, ‘alaihi al-salam, would have been only one of the friends and helpers of the believers. But, the definite article (i.e. the word “the”) before wali in the actual hadith restricts wilayah to him, to the exclusion of all others – based on the testimony of Ibn ‘Abbas, radhiyallahu ‘anhu. As such, the alternative version being proposed by al-Mubarakfuri is blasphemous in its purport as it suggests that the wali was only ‘Ali, and not the Messenger, sallallahu ‘alaihi wa alihi, even though the latter was still alive! Whatever meaning is given to wali in such a situation, the meaning still constitutes disbelief in Islam. No doubt, al-Mubarakfuri has no viable way out of the quagmire.
So, who possibly forged “after me” in the hadith? Al-Mubarakfuri now reads his charge sheet:
قد تفرد بها جعفر بن سليمان وهو شيعي بل هو غال في التشيع…. وظاهر أن قوله بعدي في هذا الحديث مما يقوى به معتقدا الشيعة وقد تقرر في مقره أن المبتدع إذا روى شيئا يقوى به بدعته فهو مردود …. فإن قلت لم يتفرد بزيادة قوله بعدي جعفر بن سليمان بل تابعه عليها أجلح الكندي …. قلت أجلح الكندي هذا أيضا شيعي …. والظاهر أن زيادة بعدي في هذا الحديث من وهم هذين الشيعيين
Ja’far b. Sulayman was the only one to narrate it (i.e. the phrase “after me” in the hadith) and he was a Shi’i. Rather, he was an extremist in Shi’ism.... An apparent fact is that his statement “after me” in this hadith is PART OF what is used to strengthen the beliefs of the Shi’ah. It has been repeatedly stated at its place that whenever a heretic narrates anything through which he strengthens his heresy, then such is rejected.... If you say that Ja’far b. Sulayman is not the only one who narrated the phrase “after me” (in the hadith), and that, rather, Ajlah al-Kindi also narrated it.... I say: Ajlah al-Kindi too was a Shi’i.... The apparent fact is that the additional phrase “after me” in this hadith is from the hallucinations of these two Shi’is.2
Al-Mubarakfuri admits that “after me” is only “part of” the pro-Shi’i elements in the hadith. He fails to elaborate however, and prefers not to touch on the other part at all! It is our submission that this second undisclosed “dangerous” part of Hadith al-Wilayah is none other than its definite article.
In any case, al-Mubarakfuri is correct about the Shi’ism of both Ja’far b. Sulayman and Ajlah al-Kindi. Both were companions of the sixth Shi’i Imam, Ja’far al-Sadiq, ‘alaihi al-salam. The Shi’i hadith scientist, al-Jawahiri, says about Ja’far:
جعفر بن سليمان الضبعي: البصري - من أصحاب الصادق) ع (ثقة.
Ja’far b. Sulayman al-Dhab’i: al-Basri, one of the companions of al-Sadiq, peace be upon him. He was thiqah (trustworthy).3
He equally states about Ajlah:
الأجلح بن عبد الله: بن معاوية أبو حجية الكندي أسمه يحيى من أصحاب الصادق)ع (روى في كامل الزيارات والكافي وقال المفيد في كتاب الكافية في سند فيه الأجلح انه صحيح الاسناد
Al-Ajlah b. ‘Abd Allah: b. Mu’awiyah Abu Hujiyyah al-Kindi. His name was Yahya. He was one of the companions of al-Sadiq, peace be upon him. He narrated in Kamil al-Ziyarat and al-Kafi, and al-Mufid says in Kitab al-Kafiyyah concerning a chain which includes al-Ajlah, that it is a sahih chain.4
Both Ja’far and Ajlah are considered trustworthy by the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah and the Shi’ah Imamiyyah. So, on what basis does al-Mubarakfuri seek to establish his accusation against them? Does he have any positive proof that they doctored the hadith? This is all he has given as his basis:
وقد تقرر في مقره أن المبتدع إذا روى شيئا يقوى به بدعته فهو مردود
It has been repeatedly stated at its place that whenever a heretic narrates anything through which he strengthens his heresy, then such is rejected.
So, both Ja’far and Ajlah are suspects only because the hadith supports Shi’ism and they are Shi’is! Therefore, they must have doctored it to make it the pro-Shi’i evidence that it is, even though they were trustworthy people! Al-Mubarakfuri has no concrete evidence against his two victims. All he has is mere conjecture. Meanwhile, a contemporary Salafi hadith scientist, al-Turayfi, further reveals that al-Mubarakfuri has actually misrepresented the true Sunni position:
والأصل في رواية المبتدع إذا كان ضابطاً ثقة القبول، سواء روى فيما يوافق بدعته أم لا، ما لم يكن قد كفر ببدعته، فحينئذ يرد لكفره، وعلى هذا الأئمة الحفاظ، فهم يخرجون للمبتدع إذا كان ثقة ثبتاً، ويصححون خبره، فقد أخرج الإمام أحمد في "مسنده" ومسلم في "صحيحه" والنسائي في "الكبرى" و"المجتبى" والترمذي وابن ماجه وابن حبان في "صحيحه" وابن منده في كتاب "الإيمان" والبيهقي في "الاعتقاد" وغيرهم من حديث عدي بن ثابت عن زر قال: قال علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه: والذي فلق الحبة وبرأ النسمة إنه لعهد النبي الأمي إليّ أن لا يحبني إلا مؤمن ولا يبغضني إلا منافق. وعدي بن ثابت ثقة وصفه بالتشيع الأئمة كابن معين والإمام أحمد وأبي حاتم ويعقوب بن سفيان، بل قال المسعودي: (ما رأيت أقول بقول الشيعة من عدي بن ثابت) انتهى. ومع هذا أخرج له الأئمة. بل قال بتوثيقه من وصفه بالتشيع وأخرج له فيما يوافق بدعته كالإمام أحمد بن حنبل والنسائي.
The default position concerning the report of a heretic, if he was accurate and trustworthy, is to accept it, regardless of whether he narrated concerning what agrees with his bid’ah (heresy) or not, as long as he had not apostatized through his heresy. In such a case, it will be rejected due to his kufr (disbelief). This was the practice of the Imams who were hadith scientists, for they used to narrate from the heretic if he was trustworthy and accurate, and used to declare his report to be sahih. For verily, Imam Ahmad has recorded in his Musnad, and Muslim in his Sahih, and al-Nasai in al-Kubra and al-Mujtaba, and al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, and Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, and Ibn Mandah in Kitab al-Iman, and al-Bayhaqi in al-I’tiqad and others the hadith of ‘Adi b. Thabit from Zirr, who said: ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “I swear by the One Who split up the seed and created something living, the Ummi Prophet verily informed me that none loves me except a believer and that none hates me except a hypocrite.”
Meanwhile, ‘Adi b. Thabit was trustworthy, and the Imams like Ibn Ma’in, Imam Ahmad, Abu Hatim and Ya’qub b. Sufyan identified him as a Shi’i. Rather, al-Mas’udi said, “I do not see anyone who professes Shi’ism more than ‘Adi b. Thabit.” Despite this, the Imams narrated from him. Rather, those who identified him as a Shi’i, like Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal and al-Nasai, also declared him trustworthy, and narrated from him in what agrees with his bid’ah.5
Another Salafi hadith scientist, al-Mua’lami (d. 1386 H) corroborates him:
وقد وثق أئمة الحديث جماعة من المبتدعة واحتجوا بأحاديثهم وأخرجوها في الصحاح، ومن تتبع رواياتهم وجد فيها كثيراً مما يوافق ظاهرة بدعهم، وأهل العلم يتأولون تلك الأحاديث غير طاعنين فيها ببدعة راويها ولا في راويها بروايته لها
The Imams in the hadith sciences have declared as trustworthy a lot of the heretics, and have taken their (i.e. the heretics’) ahadith as hujjah, and have recorded them (i.e. those reports) in their Sahih books. And whoever researches their (the heretics’) narrations finds that a lot of them apparently agree with their heresies. The scholars give alternative interpretations for those ahadith without attacking them (i.e. the ahadith) on account of the heresy of their narrators, nor do they attack the narrators for narrating them.6
‘Allamah al-Albani (d. 1420 H), in particular, feels uncomfortable about al-Mubarakfuri’s “solution” to the crisis, and therefore refutes him about the same Hadith al-Wilayah:
فإن قال قائل: راوي هذا الشاهد شيعي، وكذلك في سند المشهود له شيعي آخر، وهو جعفر بن سليمان، أفلا يعتبر ذلك طعنا في الحديث وعلة فيه؟ !
فأقول: كلا لأن العبرة في رواية الحديث إنما هو الصدق والحفظ، وأما المذهب فهو بينه وبين ربه، فهو حسيبه
If someone says: “The narrator of this corroborative hadith (i.e. that of Ajlah) was a Shi’i, and also in the chain of the main hadith, there is another Shi’i, and he is Ja’far b. Sulayman. Does this not justify attack on the hadith and constitute a fault in it?”
So, I answer: “Not at all, because the requirements in the transmission of hadith are ONLY truthfulness and sound memory. As for the madhhab (of the narrator), that is between him and his Lord, and He is sufficient for him.7
But, the ‘Allamah is not done yet. He drops the final bombshell:
على أن الحديث قد جاء مفرقا من طرق أخرى ليس فيها شيعي.
Plus, the hadith (i.e. Hadith al-Wilayah) has been narrated, in parts, through many others chains, which do not contain a single Shi’i in them.8
The above submissions basically flatten al-Mubarakfuri’s foul attempts on the hadith and his unfair allegation against Ja’far and Ajlah!
- 1. Abu al-‘Ala Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Mubarakfuri, Tuhfat al-Ahwazi bi Sharh Jami’ al-Tirmidhi (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah; 1st edition, 1410 H), vol. 10, pp. 146-147
- 2. Abu al-‘Ala Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Mubarakfuri, Tuhfat al-Ahwazi bi Sharh Jami’ al-Tirmidhi (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah; 1st edition, 1410 H), vol. 10, pp. 146-147
- 3. Muhammad al-Jawahiri, al-Mufid min Mu’jam al-Rijal al-Hadith (Qum: Manshurat Maktabah al-Mahalati; 2nd edition, 1424 H), p. 107, # 2171
- 4. Ibid, p. 19, # 378
- 5. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz b. Marzuq al-Turayfi, al-Tahjil fi Takhrij ma lam Yukhraj min al-Ahadith wa al-Athar fi Irwa al-Ghalil (Riyadh: Maktabah al-Rushd li al-Nashr wa al-Tawzi’; 1st edition, 1422 H), p. 546
- 6. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Yahya b. ‘Ali b. Muhammad al-Mu’alami al-‘Atmi al-Yamani, al-Tankil bi ma fi Ta-anib al-Kawthari min al-Abatil (al-Maktab al-Islami; 2nd edition, 1406 H) [annotators: Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani, Zuhayr al-Shawish and ‘Abd al-Razzaq Hamzah], vol. 1, p. 237
- 7. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman Muhammad Nasir al-Din b. al-Hajj Nuh b. Tajati b. Adam al-Ashqudri al-Albani, Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Sahihah wa Shayhun min Fiqhihah wa Fawaidihah (Riyadh: Maktabah al-Ma’arif li al-Nashr wa al-Tawzi’; 1st edition, 1415 H), vol. 5, p. 262, # 2223
- 8. Ibid, vol. 5, p. 263, # 2223