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5) Hadith Al-Thaqalayn: The Prophet At Ghadir Khumm (Part 3)

The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alaihi wa alihi, conveyed Hadith al-Thaqalayn in different words to absolutely ensure that the message was not lost on his audiences. At ‘Arafat, he declared:

يا أيها الناس إني قد تركت فيكم ما إن أخذتم به لن تضلوا كتاب الله وعترتي أهل بيتي

O mankind! I have left behind over you that which if you hold fast to it you will never go astray: the Book of Allah and my offspring, my Ahl al-Bayt.

Later, at Ghadir Khumm, he again statements:

أنا تارك فيكم ثقلين أولهما كتاب الله فيه الهدى والنور من استمسك به وأخذ به كان على الهدى ومن أخطأه ضل فخذوا بكتاب الله تعالى واستمسكوا به وأهل بيتي

I am leaving behind over you Two Weighty Things (thaqalayn). The first of them is the Book of Allah. In it there is guidance and light. Whoever adheres to it and holds fast to it, he will be upon guidance; and whosoever belittles it, he will go astray. So hold fast to the Book of Allah the Most High and adhere to it and my Ahl al-Bayt.

Then, at that same Ghadir Khumm, he made some other pronouncements, which were clearly intended to drive home the point more forcefully. Al-Hafiz Ibn Kathir (d. 774 H) affirms this in his Tafsir:

و في الصحيح: أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال في خطبته بغَدِير خُمّ: "إني تارك فيكم الثقلين: كتاب الله وعترتي، وإنهما لم يفترقا حتى يردا علي الحوض"

In the sahih report, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said in his sermon at Ghadir Khumm: “I am leaving behind over you the Two Weighty Things (al-thaqalayn): the Book of Allah and my offspring. Verily, both shall never separate from each other until they meet me at the Lake-Fount.”1

Meanwhile, Imam al-Hakim (d. 403 H) has equally recorded this riwayah which identifies the main narrator of the hadith:

حدثنا أبو بكر محمد بن الحسين بن مصلح الفقيه بالري ثنا محمد بن أيوب ثنا يحيى بن المغيرة السعدي ثنا جرير بن عبد الحميد عن الحسن بن عبد الله النخعي عن مسلم بن صبيح عن زيد بن أرقم رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إني تارك فيكم الثقلين كتاب الله وأهل بيتي وإنهما لن يتفرقا حتى يردا علي الحوض

Abu Bakr Muhammad b. al-Husayn b. Musalih al-Faqih – Muhammad b. Ayub – Yahya b. al-Mughirah al-Sa’di – Jarir b. ‘Abd al-Hamid – al-Hasan b. ‘Abd Allah al-Nakha’i – Muslim b. Subayh – Zayd b. Arqam, may Allah be pleased with him:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “I am leaving behind over you the Two Weighty Things (al-thaqalayn): the Book of Allah and my Ahl al-Bayt. Verily, both shall never separate from each other until they meet me at the Lake-Fount.”2

Al-Hakim states:

هذا حديث صحيح الإسناد على شرط الشيخين

This hadith has a sahih chain upon the standard of the two Shaykhs.3

Imam al-Dhahabi (d. 748 H) concurs:

على شرط البخاري ومسلم

Upon the standard of al-Bukhari and Muslim4

Imam al-Tabarani (d. 360 H) too has an additional sanad for the hadith:

حدثنا علي بن عبد العزيز ثنا عمرو بن عون الواسطي ثنا خالد بن عبد الله عن الحسن بن عبيد الله عن أبي الضحى عن زيد بن أرقم قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم : إني تارك فيكم الثقلين كتاب الله وعترتي أهل بيتي وإنهما لن يتفرقا حتى يردا علي الحوض

‘Ali b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz – ‘Amr b. ‘Awn al-Wasiti – Khalid b. ‘Abd Allah – al-Hasan b. ‘Ubayd Allah – Abu al-Dhuha – Zayd b. Arqam:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “I am leaving behind over you the Two Weighty Things (al-thaqalayn): the Book of Allah and my offspring, my Ahl al-Bayt. Verily, both shall never separate from each other until they meet me at the Lake-Fount.”5

Shaykh al-Arnaut says about this hadith:

وهو صحيح

It is sahih6

This is an authentication of all the parts of the hadith by our typically reluctant Shaykh. This, of course, means a lot.

Meanwhile, there is no sin in independently verifying the authenticity of the hadith. As such, al-Dhahabi says about the first narrator:

علي بن عبد العزيز ابن المرزبان ابن سابور: الامام، الحافظ، الصدوق، أبو الحسن البغوي

‘Ali b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz b. al-Marzaban b. Sabur: the Imam, the hafiz (hadith scientist), the saduq (very truthful) narrator, Abu al-Hasan al-Baghwi.7

Elsewhere, he adds:

علي بن عبد العزيز البغوي الحافظ المجاور بمكة. ثقة، لكنه يطلب على التحديث، ويعتذر بأنه محتاج. قال الدارقطني: ثقة مأمون.

‘Ali b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Baghwi: the hafiz (hadith scientist), adjacent to Makkah: Thiqah (trustworthy). However, he used to request (payments) for narrating ahadith, and he is excused on the ground that he was needy. Al-Daraqutni said: “He was thiqah (trustworthy) and totally reliable.”8

Al-Hafiz (d. 852 H) states about the second narrator:

عمرو بن عون بن أوس الواسطي أبو عثمان البزاز البصري ثقة ثبت

‘Amr b. ‘Awn b. Aws al-Wasiti, Abu ‘Uthman al-Bazzaz al-Basri: Thiqah (trustworthy), thabt (accurate).9

Concerning the third narrator, al-Hafiz also says:

خالد بن عبد الله بن عبد الرحمن بن يزيد الطحان الواسطي المزني مولاهم ثقة ثبت

Khalid b. ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Yazid al-Tahan al-Wasiti al-Muzni, their freed slave: Thiqah (trustworthy), thabt (accurate).10

The fourth narrator is thiqah (trustworthy) too, as affirmed by al-Hafiz:

الحسن بن عبيد الله بن عروة النخعي أبو عروة الكوفي ثقة فاضل

Al-Hasan b. ‘Ubayd Allah b. ‘Urwah al-Nakha’i, Abu ‘Urwah al-Kufi: Thiqah (trustworthy), fadhil (virtuous).11

Finally, al-Hafiz proclaims about the last narrator:

مسلم بن صبيح بالتصغير الهمداني أبو الضحى الكوفي العطار مشهور بكنيته ثقة فاضل

Muslim b. Subayh al-Hamdani, Abu al-Dhuha al-Kufi al-‘Attar, well-known with his kunya: Thiqah (trustworthy), fadhil (virtuous).12

Imam Muslim (d. 261 H) also states concerning him:

أبو الضحى مسلم بن صبيح سمع ابن عباس والنعمان بن بشير وزيد بن أرقم روى عنه الأعمش وحبيب بن أبي ثابت

Abu al-Dhuha, Muslim b. Subayh: He heard (ahadith from) Ibn ‘Abbas, al-Nu’man b. Bashir and Zayd b. Arqam. Al-A’mash and Habib b. Abi Thabit narrated from him.13

So, all the narrators are thiqah (trustworthy), and the sanad, of course, is fully connected. As such, it is a perfectly sahih chain.

But, there is more! Imam al-Tabarani again documents:

حدثنا معاذ بن المثنى ثنا علي بن المديني ثنا جرير بن عبد الحميد عن الحسن بن عبيد الله عن أبي الضحى عن زيد بن أرقم قال قال رسول الله : إني تارك فيكم الثقلين كتاب الله وعترتي أهل بيتي وإنهما لن يتفرقا حتى يردا علي الحوض

Mu’adh b. al-Muthanna – ‘Ali b. al-Madini – Jarir b. ‘Abd al-Hamid – al-Hasan b. ‘Ubayd Allah – Abu al-Dhuha – Zayd b. Arqam:

The Messenger of Allah said: “I am leaving behind over you the Two Weighty Things (al-thaqalayn): the Book of Allah and my offspring, my Ahl al-Bayt. Verily, both shall never separate from each other until they meet me at the Lake-Fount.”14

There are only three new names in this chain.

Al-Dhahabi says about the first narrator:

معاذ بن المثنى أبو المثنى: ثقة، متقن.

Mu’adh b. al-Muthanna, Abu al-Muthanna: Thiqah (trustworthy), extremely precise.15

About the second narrator, al-Hafiz states:

علي بن عبد الله بن جعفر بن نجيح السعدي مولاهم أبو الحسن بن المديني بصري ثقة ثبت إمام أعلم أهل عصره بالحديث وعلله

‘Ali b. ‘Abd Allah b. Ja’far b. Najih al-Sa’di, their freed slave, Abu al-Hasan b. al-Madini Basri: Thiqah (trustworthy), thabt (accurate), an Imam, the most knowledgeable of his time in hadith and its ‘ilal.16

The third narrator is like that too, as al-Hafiz submits:

جرير بن عبد الحميد بن قرط بضم القاف وسكون الراء بعدها طاء مهملة الضبي الكوفي نزيل الري وقاضيها ثقة صحيح الكتاب قيل كان في آخر عمره يهم من حفظه

Jarir b. ‘Abd al-Hamid b. Qurt al-Dhabi al-Kufi, a resident of al-Rayy and its judge: Thiqah (trustworthy), sahih al-kitab (i.e. whatever he narrated from his books was sahih). It is said that he used to hallucinate due to his memory during the last part of his lifetime.17

Al-Hafiz refers to the criticism against Jarir with “it is said”, which is a term employed to express doubt. In other words, al-Hafiz does NOT confirm that Jarir really used to hallucinate during the last part of his lifetime. Secondly, even if the allegation were accepted, it would still not harm Jarir. The claim was that he hallucinated, but not “a lot”. That shows that his memory problem was not serious, and therefore would not affect his ahadith. In any case, there is a mutaba’ah for Jarir by Khalid b. ‘Abd Allah. Therefore, this second chain is impeccably sahih too, in any case.

  • 1. Abu al-Fida Isma’il b. ‘Umar b. Kathir al-Qurashi al-Dimashqi, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Azim (Dar al-Taybah li al-Nashr wa al-Tawzi’; 2nd edition, 1420 H) [annotator: Sami b. Muhammad Salamah], vol. 7, p. 201
  • 2. Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. ‘Abd Allah al-Hakim al-Naysaburi, al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-’Ilmiyyah; 1st edition, 1411 H) [annotator: Mustafa ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Ata], vol. 3, p. 160, # 4711
  • 3. Ibid
  • 4. Ibid
  • 5. Abu al-Qasim Sulayman b. Ahmad b. Ayub al-Tabarani, Mu’jam al-Kabir (Mosul: Maktabah al-‘Ulum wa al-Hukm; 2nd edition, 1404 H) [annotator: Hamadi b. ‘Abd al-Majid al-Salafi], vol. 5, p.169, # 4980
  • 6. Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Wazir al-Yamani, al-‘Awasim wa al-Qawasim fi al-Dhabb ‘an Sunnah Abi al-Qasim (Beirut: Muasassat al-Risalah; 2nd edition, 1416 H) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 1, p. 178, footnote # 1
  • 7. Shams al-Din Muhammad b. Ahmad b. ‘Uthman al-Dhahabi, Siyar A’lam al-Nubala (Beirut: Muasassat al-Risalah; 9th edition, 1413 H) [annotators: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut and ‘Ali Abu Zayd], vol. 13, p. 348, # 164
  • 8. Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. Ahmad b. ‘Uthman al-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I’tidal fi Naqd al-Rijal (Beirut: Dar al-Ma’rifah) [annotator: ‘Ali Muhammad al-Bajawi], vol. 3, p. 143, # 5882
  • 9. Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Taqrib al-Tahdhib (Beirut: Dar al-Maktabah al-‘Ilmiyyah; 2nd edition, 1415 H) [annotator: Mustafa ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Ata], vol. 1, p. 742, # 5104
  • 10. Ibid, vol. 1, p. 259, # 1652
  • 11. Ibid, vol. 1, p. 206, # 1258
  • 12. Ibid, vol. 2, p. 179, # 6653
  • 13. Muslim b. al-Hajjaj, al-Kuna wa al-Asma (Madinah al-Munawwarah: al-Jami’ah al-Islamiyyah; 1st edition, 1404 H) [annotator: ‘Abd al-Rahim Muhammad Ahmad al-Qushqari], vol. 1, P. 455, 1722
  • 14. Abu al-Qasim Sulayman b. Ahmad b. Ayub al-Tabarani, Mu’jam al-Kabir (Mosul: Maktabah al-‘Ulum wa al-Hukm; 2nd edition, 1404 H) [annotator: Hamadi b. ‘Abd al-Majid al-Salafi], vol. 5, p.170, # 4981
  • 15. Shams al-Din Muhammad b. Ahmad b. ‘Uthman al-Dhahabi, Siyar A’lam al-Nubala (Beirut: Muasassat al-Risalah; 9th edition, 1413 H) [annotators: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut and ‘Ali Abu Zayd], vol. 13, p. 527, # 259
  • 16. Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Taqrib al-Tahdhib (Beirut: Dar al-Maktabah al-‘Ilmiyyah; 2nd edition, 1415 H) [annotator: Mustafa ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Ata], vol. 1, p. 697, # 4776
  • 17. Ibid, vol. 1, p. 158, # 918