Perhaps, it is time to see the faces of some of these heretics. We know already from al-Bara that the Sahabah who gave ba’yah to the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alaihi wa alihi, under the Tree of al-Hudaybiyyah were among them. These, of course, were the most senior Sahabah – from the Muhajirun, the Ansar and some others. Writing about these people, Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 H) says:
ثم إن المسلمين بايعوه و دخلوا في طاعته و الذين بايعوه هم الذين بايعوا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم تحت الشجرة و هم السابقون الأولون من المهاجرين و الأنصار و الذين اتبعوهم بإحسان رضي الله عنهم و رضوا عنه و هم أهل الإيمان و الهجرة و الجهاد و لم يتخلف عن بيعته إلا سعد بن عبادة
Besides, the Muslims gave ba’yah to him (i.e. Abu Bakr) and obeyed him. Those who gave ba’yah to him were those same who gave ba’yah to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, under the Tree, and they were the foremost Muhajirun and Ansar and those who followed them in good deeds. Allah was pleased with them and they were pleased with Him; and they were people of iman, Hijrah and jihad, and none refused to give him (i.e. Abu Bakr) bay’ah except Sa’d b. ‘Ubadah.1
Obviously, Allah was pleased with them generally during the lifetime of the Prophet, because they had iman and were righteous2. However, they “changed” after him, and “innovated” in the religion. These later actions removed the Pleasure of Allah from them, and cancelled His Promises to them – which were hinged upon their continued iman and righteousness anyway3.
Meanwhile, we have Sunni reports which also identify some of these Sahabah by name with various other bid’ahs. Imam Muslim (d. 261 H) records one of them:
وحدثنا محمد بن المثنى وابن بشار قال ابن المثنى حدثنا محمد بن جعفر حدثنا شعبة عن الحكم عن عمارة بن عمير عن إبراهيم بن أبي موسى عن أبي موسى أنه كان يفتي بالمتعة فقال له رجل رويدك ببعض فتياك فإنك لا تدري ما أحدث أمير المؤمين في النسك بعد حتى لقيه بعد فسأله فقال عمر قد علمت أن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قد فعله وأصحابه ولكن كرهت أن يظلوا معرسين بهن في الأراك ثم يروحون في الحج تقطر رؤسهم
Muhammad b. al-Muthanna and Ibn Bashar – Muhammad b. Ja’far – Shu’bah – al-Hakam – ‘Amarah b. ‘Umayr – Ibrahim b. Abi Musa – Abu Musa:
I used to give fatwas in favour of Hajj al-Tamattu’. So, a person said to me, “Exercise restraint in delivering some of your fatwas, for you do not know what the Commander of the Believers has INNOVATED in the Hajj rites during your absence.” I met him subsequently and asked him and he replied, “I know that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, and his Sahabah performed it. But, I hate that the married persons should have intercourse with their wives under the shade of trees, and then set out for Hajj with water trickling from their heads.”4
Imam Ahmad (d. 241 H) documents a fuller version:
حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا عبد الرزاق أنا الثوري عن قيس بن مسلم عن طارق بن شهاب عن أبي موسى الأشعري قال …ما زلت أفتي الناس بالذي أمرني رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم حتي توفي ثم زمن أبي بكر رضي الله تعالى عنه ثم زمن عمر رضي الله تعالى عنه فبينا أنا قائم عند الحجر الأسود أو المقام أفتي الناس بالذي أمرني به رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إذ أتاني رجل فسارني فقال لا تعجل بفتياك فان أمير المؤمنين قد أحدث في المناسك شيئا فقلت أيها الناس من كنا أفتيناه في المناسك شيئا فليتئد فإن أمير المؤمنين قادم فبه فأتموا قال فقدم عمر رضي الله تعالى عنه فقلت يا أمير المؤمنين هل أحدثت في المناسك شيئا قال نعم إن نأخذ بكتاب الله عز و جل فإنه يأمر بالتمام وإن نأخذ بسنة نبينا صلى الله عليه و سلم فإنه لم يحلل حتى نحر الهدي
‘Abd Allah (b. Ahmad) – my father (Ahmad b. Hanbal) – ‘Abd al-Razzaq – al-Thawri – Qays b. Muslim – Tariq b. Shihab – Abu Musa al-Ash’ari:
... I continued to give fatwas to the people with what the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, commanded me (i.e. Hajj al-Tamattu’) till he died, then during the time of Abu Bakr, may Allah the Most High be pleased with him, then during the time of ‘Umar, may Allah the Most High be pleased with him. Then, while I was standing near the Black Stone or the Maqam, I gave fatwa to the people with that which the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, commanded me. At that point, a man came to me and whispered to me, saying “Exercise constraint with your fatwas, for the Commander of the Believers had INNOVATED something in the Hajj rites.” So, I said, “O people, whomever we gave any fatwa concerning the Hajj rites, let him wait, for the Commander of the Believers is about to come to you, and you should follow him.”
‘Umar, may Allah the Most High be pleased with him, then came and I said, “O Commander of the Believers! Did you INNOVATE something in the Hajj rites?” He replied, “Yes. If we follow the Book of Allah the Almighty, it commands to do al-tamam (i.e. Hajj al-Tamattu’); and if we follow the Sunnah of our Prophet, peace be upon him, he, peace be upon him, did not put off ihram till he had sacrificed the animal.”5
إسناده صحيح على شرط الشيخين
Its chain is sahih upon the standard of the two Shaykhs.6
But, what exactly was this self-confessed “innovation” of ‘Umar in the Hajj rites? Imam al-Nasai (d. 303 H) records the answer:
أخبرنا محمد بن علي بن الحسن بن شقيق قال أنبأنا أبي قال أنبأنا أبو حمزة عن مطرف عن سلمة بن كهيل عن طاوس عن بن عباس قال سمعت عمر يقول والله إني لأنهاكم عن المتعة وإنها لفي كتاب الله ولقد فعلها رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يعني العمرة في الحج
Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Hasan b. Shaqiq – my father – Abu Hamzah – Mutarrif – Salamah b. Kuhayl – Tawus – Ibn ‘Abbas:
I heard ‘Umar saying, “I swear by Allah, I forbid you from Hajj al-Tamattu’ while it certainly is in the Book of Allah and the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, practised it.” He meant the performance of ‘Umrah during Hajj.7
‘Allamah al-Albani says:
It has a sahih chain8
Interesting, isn’t it? Allah commands Hajj al-Tamattu’ in His Book, and His Messenger performed it and also “commanded” his Sahabah with it. But, ‘Umar arrogated to himself the authority to countermand the Order of his Lord, and to proscribe the Sunnah of his Prophet! Surprisingly, he personally admitted that his action was an innovation in the Hajj rites. Yet, he pressed ahead with it. Even more unbelievable was the instruction of Abu Musa to his followers to abandon the Qur’an and Sunnah in favour of ‘Umar’s bid’ah?!
This incident reveals how audacious the senior Sahabah were in trampling upon the Laws of Allah as they wished. They easily abandoned the Qur’an and Sunnah, just to satisfy their rulers. People like ‘Umar too saw nothing bad in supplanting the Laws of Allah with his own “innovations”; and he did not bat an eye-lid doing so. In any case, our main interest is to establish that ‘Umar was an innovator; and, all praise be to Allah, he too personally confirmed that explicitly.9
Another senior Sahabi whose bid’ah became apparent was ‘Uthman b. ‘Affan, the third Sunni khalifah. After the death of ‘Umar, he carried on the former’s bid’ah, as Imam Muslim documents:
حدثنا محمد بن المثنى وابن بشار قال ابن المثنى حدثنا محمد بن جعفر حدثنا شعبة عن قتادة قال قال عبدالله ابن شقيق كان عثمان ينهى عن المتعة وكان علي يأمر بها فقال عثمان لعلي كلمة ثم قال علي لقد علمت أنا قد تمتعنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فقال أجل ولكنا كنا خائفين
Muhammad b. al-Muthanna and Ibn Bashar – Muhammad b. Ja’far – Shu’bah – Qatadah – ‘Abd Allah b. Shaqiq:
‘Uthman used to forbid Hajj al-Tamattu’ while ‘Ali used to command people to perform it. So, as a result, ‘Uthman said something to ‘Ali. Then, ‘Ali said, “You know that we performed Hajj al-Tamattu’ with the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him.” He (‘Uthman) replied, “That’s right. But, we were in fear then.”10
What fear exactly was ‘Uthman talking about? There was none when the Prophet and his Sahabah performed Hajj al-Tamattu’. Even ‘Umar, the original founder of this bid’ah, did not attempt to bring up such a ridiculous revision of history. Besides, ‘Umar himself named it an innovation. So, ‘Uthman had no real defence whatsoever. Imam Ahmad also records:
حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا محمد بن جعفر ثنا شعبة عن الحكم عن على بن الحسين عن مروان بن الحكم انه قال شهدت عليا وعثمان رضي الله عنهما بين مكة والمدينة وعثمان ينهى عن المتعة وان يجمع بينهما فلما رأى ذلك على رضي الله عنه أهل بهما فقال لبيك بعمرة وحج معا فقال عثمان رضي الله عنه تراني أنهى الناس عنه وأنت تفعله قال لم أكن أدع سنة رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لقول أحد من الناس
‘Abd Allah (b. Ahmad) – my father (Ahmad b. Hanbal) – Muhammad b. Ja’far – Shu’bah – al-Hakam – ‘Ali b. al-Husayn – Marwan b. al-Hakam:
I witnessed ‘Ali and ‘Uthman, may Allah be pleased with them both, between Makkah and Madinah. ‘Uthman was forbidding (people) from Hajj al-Tamattu’, and from joining them both (Hajj and ‘Umrah) together (during the Hajj season). When ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said that, he took the ihram for both of them (i.e. Hajj and ‘Umrah), and said, “Labaik bi ‘Umrah wa Hajj”. So, ‘Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “You saw me forbidding the people from it, and yet you are performing it.” He (‘Ali) replied, “I will never abandon the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, on the word of anyone from mankind.”11
As-salamu ‘alaika ya Amir al-Muminin ‘Ali b. Abi Talib! Unlike Abu Musa who abandoned the Sunnah for the “innovation” of ‘Umar, Imam ‘Ali would rather die than commit such an abomination.
Meanwhile, apart from continuing the bid’ah of ‘Umar, ‘Uthman proceed to found his own too. Imam Abu Dawud (d. 275 H) documents his feat:
حدثنا محمد بن سلمة المرادي ثنا ابن وهب عن يونس عن ابن شهاب قال أخبرني السائب بن يزيد أن الأذان كان أوله حين يجلس الإمام على المنبر يوم الجمعة في عهد النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم وأبي بكر وعمر [رضي الله عنهما] فلما كان خلافة عثمان وكثر الناس أمر عثمان يوم الجمعة بالأذان الثالث فأذن به على الزوراء (الزوراء موضع بسوق المدينة) فثبت الأمر على ذلك
Muhammad b. Salamah al-Muradi – Ibn Wahb – Yunus – Ibn Shihab – al-Saib b. Yazid:
The adhan used to be made for the first time when the Imam sat on the pulpit on Friday during the lifetimes of the Prophet, peace be upon him, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar [may Allah be pleased with them both]. But, during the khilafah of ‘Uthman, when the population grew, ‘Uthman ordered a THIRD adhan. So, the adhan was made at al-Zawra (al-Zawra was a plat near the market of al-Madinah), and the practice became established.12
In other words, the first adhan used to be made once the Messenger was seated on the pulpit during his lifetime. Later, there was a second one – actually the iqamah, which was also the final. Imam al-Mubarakfuri (d. 1282 H) clarifies further:
والمعنى كان الأذان في العهد النبوي وعهد أبي بكر وعمر أذانين أحدهما حين خروج الإمام وجلوسه على المنبر والثاني حين إقامة الصلاة فكان في عهدهم الأذانان فقط ولم يكن الأذان الثالث والمراد بالأذانين الأذان الحقيقي والإقامة
The meaning of the statement “the adhan during the time of the Prophet, and the time of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, used to be two adhans”: one of them was when the Imam came out (into the mosque) and sat down on the pulpit, and the second was during the iqamah of the Salat. During their times, the adhans were only two, and there was no third one; and what was intended by the two adhans were the real adhan and the iqamah.14
This was the correct Sunnah. But, ‘Uthman ordered a “third” adhan, which was made near the marketplace. It was also called the “first adhan”, because it was placed before original adhan. Imam Ibn Khuzaymah (d. 311 H) records:
أن سلم بن جنادة حدثنا : و كيع عن ابن أبي ذئب عن الزهري عن السائب بن يزيد قال كان الأذان على رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أبي بكر و عمر أذانين يوم الجمعة حتى كان زمن عثمان فكثر الناس فأمر بالأذان الأول بالزوراء
Salam b. Junadah – Waki’ – Ibn Abi Dhaib – al-Zuhri – al-Saib b. Yazid:
“The adhan during the times of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar were two adhans on Friday. This remained until the time of ‘Uthman when the population grew. So, he ordered the FIRST adhan at al-Zawra.”15
Its chain is sahih16
Al-Mubarakfuri also explains:
قال الحافظ في رواية وكيع عن ابن أبي ذئب فأمر عثمان بالأذان الأول ونحوه للشافعي من هذا الوجه ولا منافاة بينهما لأنه باعتبار كونه مزيدا يسمى ثالثا وباعتبار كونه جعل مقدما على الأذان والإقامة يسمى أولا
Al-Hafiz said: In the riwayah of Waki’ from Ibn Abi Dhaib, it is narrated that “‘Uthman ordered the first adhan.” Al-Shafi’i transmitted a similar thing from this route. There is no contradiction between the two: because it was an addition, it was called the third (adhan); and because it was made before the adhan and iqamah, it was called the first (adhan).17
Meanwhile, some top ‘ulama of the Ahl al-Sunnah have identified ‘Uthman’s new adhan as an “innovation”. Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah (d. 235 H) documents one such testimony:
حدثنا ابن علية عن برد عن الزهري قال كان الأذان عند خروج الامام فأحدث أمير المؤمنين عثمان التأذينة الثالثة على الزوراء ليجتمع الناس.
Ibn ‘Ulayyah – Burd:
Al-Zuhri said, “The adhan used to be made when the Imam came out (into the mosque). But, the Commander of the Believers ‘Uthman INNOVATED the third adhan which was made at al-Zawra to gather the people.18
Al-Hafiz (d. 852 H) says about the first narrator:
إسماعيل بن إبراهيم بن مقسم الأسدي مولاهم أبو بشر البصري المعروف بابن علية ثقة حافظ
Isma’il b. Ibrahim b. Miqsam al-Asadi, their freed slave, Abu Bishr al-Basri, well-known as Ibn ‘Ulayyah: Thiqah (trustworthy), a hadith scientist.19
And concerning the main narrator, he further states:
برد بن سنان أبو العلاء الدمشقي نزيل البصرة مولى قريش صدوق رمي بالقدر
Burd b. Sinan, Abu al-‘Ala al-Dimashqi, he resided in Basra, freed slave of Quraysh: Saduq (very truthful), he was accused of believing in fatalism.20
So, the sanad is hasan. Al-Zuhri himself was a grand Sunni Imam, as testified by Imam al-Dhahabi (d. 748 H):
محمد بن مسلم بن عبيد الله بن عبد الله بن شهاب بن عبد الله بن الحارث بن زهرة بن كلاب بن مرة بن كعب بن لؤي بن غالب، الامام العلم، حافظ زمانه أبو بكر القرشي الزهري المدني نزيل الشام .روى عن ابن عمر، وجابر بن عبد الله شيئا قليلا، ويحتمل أن يكون سمع منهما، وأن يكون رأى أبا هريرة، وغيره
Muhammad b. Muslim b. ‘Ubayd Allah b. ‘Abd Allah b. Shihab b. ‘Abd Allah b. al-Harith b. Zuhrah b. Kilab b. Murrah b. Ka’b b. Luayy b. Ghalib, the Imam of knowledge, the hadith master of his time, Abu Bakr, al-Qurshi, al-Zuhri, al-Madani, he lived in Syria. He narrated a few things from Ibn ‘Umar and Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah. So, it is possible that he heard from them both, and that he saw Abu Hurayrah and others.21
This huge Imam named ‘Uthman’s action an innovation.
Besides, Ibn Abi Shaybah has an even more important athar for us:
حدثنا شبابة قال حدثنا هشام بن الغاز عن نافع عن ابن عمر قال الأذان الأول يوم الجمعة بدعة.
Shubabah – Hisham b. al-Ghaz – Nafi’ – Ibn ‘Umar:
“The first adhan on Friday is a bid’ah.”22
Al-Hafiz says about the first narrator:
شبابة بن سوار المدائني أصله من خراسان يقال كان اسمه مروان مولى بني فزارة ثقة حافظ رمي بالإرجاء
Shubabah b. Sawar al-Madaini, his origin was Khurasan. It is said that his (real) name was Marwan, freed slave of Banu Fazarah: Thiqah (trustworthy), a hadith scientist, accused of believing in al-irja.23
What about the second? Al-Hafiz submits:
هشام بن الغاز بن ربيعة الجرشي بضم الجيم وفتح الراء بعدها معجمة الدمشقي نزيل بغداد ثقة
Hisham b. al-Ghaz al-Jurashi al-Dimashqi, he lived in Baghdad: Thiqah (trustworthy).24
The last narrator is like that too, according to al-Hafiz:
نافع أبو عبد الله المدني مولى ابن عمر ثقة ثبت فقيه مشهور
Nafi’, Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Madani, freed slave of Ibn ‘Umar: Thiqah (trustworthy), thabt (accurate), a well-known jurist.25
As such, the chain is sahih. Ibn ‘Umar, a prominent Sahabi, described ‘Uthman’s new adhan as a bid’ah.
Ibn Abi Shaybah has recorded a mutaba’ah as well:
حدثنا وكيع قال حدثنا بن الغاز قال سألت نافعا مولى ابن عمر عن الأذان الأول يوم الجمعة فقال :قال ابن عمر :بدعة.
Waki’ – Ibn al-Ghaz:
I asked Nafi’, the freed slave of Ibn ‘Umar, about the first adhan on Friday. He replied, “Ibn ‘Umar said: ‘It is a bid’ah’”.26
The only new name here is Waki, and this is what al-Hafiz says about him:
وكيع بن الجراح بن مليح الرؤاسي بضم الراء وهمزة ثم مهملة، أبو سفيان الكوفي ثقة حافظ عابد
Waki’ b. al-Jarah b. Malih al-Ruwasi, Abu Sufyan al-Kufi: Thiqah (trustworthy), a hadith scientist, a devout worshipper of Allah.27
So, this chain too is sahih.
However, al-Mubarakfuri thinks he has a defence for ‘Uthman:
وروى ابن أبي شيبة من طريق ابن عمر قال الأذان الأول يوم الجمعة بدعة فيحتمل أن يكون قال ذلك على سبيل الانكار ويحتمل أنه يريد أنه لم يكن في زمن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وكل ما لم يكن في زمنه يسمى بدعة لكن منها ما يكون حسنا ومنها ما يكون بخلاف ذلك وتبين بما مضى أن عثمان أحدثه لإعلام الناس بدخول وقت الصلاة
Ibn Abi Shaybah recorded through the route of Ibn ‘Umar that he said, “The first adhan on Friday is a bid’ah.” It is possible that he said that to express disapproval, and it is possible that he intended that it did not exist during the time of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and whatsoever did not exist during his time is called a bid’ah. However, some of them (i.e. the bid’ahs) are good and some are not. And it is clear from the previous discussion that ‘Uthman INNOVATED it to announce the arrival of the time of the Salat to the people.28
So, it was after all only a “good” bid’ah, a “good” innovation. Really?! But, how can that be, considering these words of the Messenger of Allah, documented by Imam al-Nasai:
شر الأمور محدثاتها وكل محدثة بدعة وكل بدعة ضلالة وكل ضلالة في النار
The worst of the (religious) affairs are their innovations, and every innovation is a bid’ah, and every bid’ah is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Fire.29
‘Uthman’s invention was an “innovation” and a “bid’ah”. It was therefore a “misguidance”, which led its inventor and followers into the Fire.
Meanwhile, another innovator among the Sahabah was also Mu’awiyah b. Abi Sufyan. Imam al-Mubarakfuri confirms:
وروى ابن أبي شيبة في المصنف بإسناد صحيح عن ابن المسيب قال أول من أحدث الأذان في العيد معاوية
Ibn Abi Shaybah recorded in al-Musannaf with a sahih chain from Ibn al-Musayyab that he said: “The first to INNOVATE the azan during the ‘Eid (prayers) was Mu’awiyah.”31
His comrade-in-arms against Imam ‘Ali was an innovator too. Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah documents her testimony:
حدثنا أبو أسامة حدثنا إسماعيل بن أبي خالد عن قيس قال قالت عائشة لما حضرتها الوفاة ادفنوني مع أزواج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فإني كنت أحدث بعده.
Abu Usamah – Isma’il b. Abi Khalid – Qays:
When she was about to die, ‘Aishah said, “Bury me with the wives of the Prophet, peace be upon him, for I had INNOVATED after him.”32
حدثنا أبو أسامة قال حدثنا إسماعيل عن قيس قال: قالت عائشة لما حضرتها الوفاة: ادفنوني مع أزواج النبي عليه السلام فإني كنت أحدثت بعده حدثا.
Abu Usamah – Isma’il – Qays:
When she was about to die, ‘Aishah said, “Bury me with the wives of the Prophet, peace be upon him, for I had INNOVATED a heresy after him.”33
Al-Hafiz says about the first narrator:
حماد بن أسامة القرشي مولاهم الكوفي أبو أسامة مشهور بكنيته ثقة ثبت ربما دلس وكان بأخرة يحدث من كتب غيره
Hammad b. Usamah al-Qurshi, their freed slave, al-Kufi, Abu Usamah, well-known with his kunya: Thiqah (trustworthy), accurate, perhaps did tadlis. During the end of his life, he used to narrate from the books of others.34
His probable tadlis is inconsequential here, as he has narrated with explicit tahdith. He stated that he literally heard the athar from the mouth of Isma’il. Concerning Isma’il himself, al-Hafiz states:
إسماعيل بن أبي خالد الأحمسي مولاهم البجلي ثقة ثبت
Isma’il b. Abi Khalid al-Ahmasi, their freed slave, al-Bajali: Thiqah (trustworthy), accurate.35
And finally, he has this verdict about the last narrator:
قيس بن أبي حازم البجلي أبو عبد الله الكوفي ثقة
Qays b. Abi Hazim al-Bajali, Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Kufi: Thiqah (trustworthy).36
Therefore, the report is perfectly sahih. Imam al-Hakim (d. 403 H) also records:
حدثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ثنا أبو البحتري عبد الله بن محمد بن بشر العبدي ثنا إسماعيل بن أبي خالد عن قيس بن أبي حازم قال قالت عائشة رضي عنها : وكانت تحدث نفسها أن تدفن في بيتها مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأبي بكر فقالت : إني أحدثت بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حدثا أدفنوني مع أزواجه فدفنت بالبقيع
Abu al-‘Abbas Muhammad b. Ya’qub – Abu al-Bahtari ‘Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. Bishr al-‘Abdi – Isma’il b. Abi Khalid – Qays b. Abi Hazim:
‘Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her - and she used to tell herself to be buried in her house with the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, and Abu Bakr - said: “I INNOVATED a heresy after the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, Bury me with his wives.” So, she was buried at al-Baqi’.37
هذا حديث صحيح على شرط الشيخين
This hadith is sahih upon the standard of the two Shaykhs.38
And, Imam al-Dhahabi concurs with him:
على شرط البخاري ومسلم
Upon the standard of al-Bukhari and Muslim.39
Obviously, the list of innovations and bid’ahs by various Sahabah, including some of their most senior, is endless. We have merely quoted a very tiny number of examples in order to prevent our book from getting too big. Moreover, we believe that the few examples we have given have sufficiently served our purpose.
One of the truly incredible fallacies we experience from some of our Sunni brothers is how they quote the athar below – from Musnad Ahmad – in “retaliation” when we show them some of the aforementioned Sunni ahadith about the innovations of the various Sahabah:
حدثنا عبد الله حدثني وهب بن بقية الواسطي أخبرنا خالد بن عبد الله عن حصين عن المسيب بن عبد خير عن أبيه قال قام علي فقال خير هذه الأمة بعد نبيها أبو بكر وعمر وأنا قد أحدثنا بعدهم أحداثا يقضى الله تعالى فيها ما شاء
‘Abd Allah (b. Ahmad) – Wahb b. Baqiyyah al-Wasiti – Khalid b. ‘Abd Allah – Husayn – al-Musayyab b. ‘Abd Khayr – his father:
‘Ali stood and said, “The best of this Ummah after its Prophet are Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. And we have innovated heresies after them. Allah the Most High will decide concerning them (i.e. the heresies) whatever He wills.”40
Its chain is sahih.41
We also read:
حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبو بحر عبد الواحد البصري ثنا أبو عوانة عن خالد بن علقمة عن عبد خير قال قال علي رضي الله عنه لما فرغ من أهل البصرة إن خير هذه الأمة بعد نبيها صلى الله عليه و سلم أبو بكر وبعد أبي بكر عمر وأحدثنا أحداثا يصنع الله فيها ما شاء
‘Abd Allah (b. Ahmad) – Abu Bahr ‘Abd al-Wahid al-Basri – Abu ‘Awanah – Khalid b. ‘Alqamah – ‘Abd Khayr:
‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, after finishing with the people of Basra, said: “Verily, the best of this Ummah after its Prophet, peace be upon him, is Abu Bakr, and after Abu Bakr it is ‘Umar. And we have innovated heresies, concerning which Allah will do whatever He wills.”42
Al-Arnaut again says:
Its chain is sahih.43
The apparent aim of quoting these reports is to “prove” that Amir al-Muminin too was also an innovator. But, who exactly are these people attempting to convince? Is it their Sunni brethren or the Shi’ah? If it is the Shi’ah, then their case is absolutely hopeless. The author of the book, Ahmad b. Hanbal, is majhul al-hal according to Shi’i rijal44.
Therefore, everything in his entire book is dha’if by default, from the sanad point of view. His son too, the transmitter of the athar, is muhmal (untraceable), with no entry in our rijal books.45 ‘Abd al-Khayr, main narrator, is majhul as well46. The various other narrators in the two chains of the report are equally dha’if. So, it is extremely dha’if, in fact mawdu’ (fabricated). No wonder, Grand Ayatullah al-Tustari says:
ثم إن الذهبي نقل روايتهم عنه، عن المسيب بن عبد خير، عن أبيه سمع عليا يقول: ألا أن خير هذه الأمة بعد نبيها أبو بكر وعمر .ولابد أنهم وضعوها عليه.
Then, al-Dhahabi quoted their report from him, from al-Musayyab b. ‘Abd Khayr, from his father, that he heard ‘Ali saying: “Verily, the best of this Ummah after its Prophet are Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.” There is NO doubt that they fabricated it and attributed it to him.47
So, by Shi’i rijali standards, the riwayah is mawdu’ (fabricated), and therefore is completely worthless to or against the Shi’ah.
But then, it is equally weak by Sunni standards. It contradicts Hadith al-Thaqalayn, Hadith al-Khalifatayn and a lot of other sahih ahadith48. Meanwhile, Hadith al-Thaqalayn alone – with its several, distinct sahih and hasan chains - is far more authentic than it. As such, the athar of ‘Abd Khayr above has a munkar (repugnant) matn (text) on account of its inconsistency with a more reliable report, and is therefore dha’if.
Besides, it is authentically narrated in Sahih Muslim – as we have already quoted in this book – that ‘Ali considered both Abu Bakr and ‘Umar to be dishonest liars and traitors.
How then would he have declared such people to be the best of this Ummah?! Amir al-Muminin was far more reasonable than that.
In all, we see that the warning of our dear Prophet – that following the Ahl al-Bayt prevents from misguidance – has full merit. Those Sahabah who refused to obey Hadith al-Thaqalayn later deviated from the Right Path, and became innovators. If they had chosen the offspring of Muhammad as their masters and supreme guides after him, they certainly would have remained upon the Kitab and the Sunnah, in line with the assurance in Hadith al-Thaqalayn. We too should learn from this costly mistake of the Sahabah, and set straight our Path to Allah till death.
- 1. Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad b. ‘Abd al-Halim b. Taymiyyah al-Harrani, Minhaj al-Sunnah al-Nabawiyyah (Muasassat Qurtubah; 1st edition, 1406 H) [annotator: Dr. Muhammad Rashad Salim], vol. 7, p. 450
- 2. There were a few exceptions though, such as those of them who accused the Rasul of mental illness on the tragic Thursday. But, the vast majority of them remained upon the truth until after the death of the Prophet.
- 3. In the Qur’an, Allah has made His Pleasure and all His promises of Paradise conditional upon the steadfastness (istiqamah) of the believer upon the Right Guidance. The moment he slides back, everything he had previously earned goes up in smoke. See Qur’an 41:30-32 and 46:13-14. Even Prophet Muhammad too was ordered to be steadfast in his Islam. See Qur’an 11:112. In recognition of this fact, Allah commanded him to tell his Ummah that he (Muhammad) too would enter Hellfire if he slid back. See Qur’an 2:120, 10:15 and 69:44-47. So, the fact that Allah was once pleased with a Sahabi, or that he had promised him Paradise during the lifetime of His Messenger, is not sufficient. It has to be shown that the Sahabi did not later slide back from the Right Guidance by innovating bid’ahs or committing grave atrocities.
- 4. Abu al-Husayn Muslim b. al-Hajjaj al-Qushayri al-Naysaburi, Sahih Muslim (Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi) [annotator: Muhammad Fuad ‘Abd al-Baqi], vol. 2, p. 896, # 1222 (157)
- 5. Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal al-Shaybani, Musnad (Cairo: Muasassat Qurtubah) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 4, p. 393, # 19523
- 6. Ibid
- 7. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman Ahmad b. Shu’ayb al-Nasai, al-Mujtaba min al-Sunan (Halab: Maktab al-Matbu’at al-Islamiyyah; 2nd edition, 1406 H) [annotator: Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani], vol. 5, p. 153, # 2736
- 8. Ibid
- 9. The case of ‘Umar seems to be even more serious than that of the Sahabah who will be charged with apostasy at the Lake-Fount. From the look of it, he will be in a worse category than them. At least, those Sahabah were upon the Qur’an and Sunnah, and upon the correct iman and tawhid, throughout the lifetime of the Messenger. They only apostatized through their bid’ahs after his death. By contrast, there is evidence which casts serious doubts on the iman of ‘Umar b. al-Khattab during the time of the Prophet. For instance, he was the leader of the group of Sahabah who accused the Messenger of Allah of “raving madness”. No true believer would ever do that. Anyway, our Sunni brothers insist that he was a perfect believer while the Prophet lived. Even then, they cannot deny the fact that he turned an “innovator” after the death of the Rasul.
- 10. Abu al-Husayn Muslim b. al-Hajjaj al-Qushayri al-Naysaburi, Sahih Muslim (Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi) [annotator: Muhammad Fuad ‘Abd al-Baqi], vol. 2, p. 896, # 1223 (158)
- 11. Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal al-Shaybani, Musnad (Cairo: Muasassat Qurtubah) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 1, p. 135, # 1139
- 12. Abu Dawud Sulayman b. al-Ash’ath al-Sijistani al-Azdi, Sunan (Dar al-Fikr) [annotator: Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani], vol. 1, p. 352, # 1087
- 13. Ibid
- 14. 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. 3, p. 39
- 15. Abu Bakr Muhammad b. Ishaq b. Khuzaymah al-Sulami al-Naysaburi, Sahih (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami; 1390 H) [annotators: Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani and Dr. Muhammad Mustafa al-A’zami], vol. 3, p. 137, # 1774
- 16. Ibid
- 17. Ibid
- 18. ‘Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. Abi Shaybah Ibrahim b. ‘Uthman b. Abi Bakr b. Abi Shaybah al-Kufi al-‘Ubsi, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah fi al-Ahadith wa al-Athar (Dar al-Fikr; 1st edition, 1409 H) [annotator: Prof. Sa’id al-Laham], vol. 2, p. 48, # 6
- 19. 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. 90, # 417
- 20. Ibid, vol. 1, p. 123, # 654
- 21. Shams al-Din Muhammad b. Ahmad b. ‘Uthman al-Dhahabi, Siyar A’lam al-Nubala (Beirut: Muasassat al-Risalah; 1413 H) [annotator of the fifth volume: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 5, p. 326, # 160
- 22. ‘Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. Abi Shaybah Ibrahim b. ‘Uthman b. Abi Bakr b. Abi Shaybah al-Kufi al-‘Ubsi, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah fi al-Ahadith wa al-Athar (Dar al-Fikr; 1st edition, 1409 H) [annotator: Prof. Sa’id al-Laham], vol. 2, p. 48, # 3
- 23. 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. 410, # 2741
- 24. Ibid, vol. 2, p. P. 268, # 7331
- 25. Ibid, vol. 2, p. 239, # 7111
- 26. ‘Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. Abi Shaybah Ibrahim b. ‘Uthman b. Abi Bakr b. Abi Shaybah al-Kufi al-‘Ubsi, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah fi al-Ahadith wa al-Athar (Dar al-Fikr; 1st edition, 1409 H) [annotator: Prof. Sa’id al-Laham], vol. 2, p. 48, # 7
- 27. 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. 2, p. pp. 283-284, # 7441
- 28. 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. 3, p. 40
- 29. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman Ahmad b. Shu’ayb al-Nasai, al-Mujtaba min al-Sunan (Halab: Maktab Matbu’at al-Islamiyyah; 2nd edition, 1406 H) [annotator: Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani], vol. 3, p. 188, # 1578
- 30. Ibid
- 31. 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. 3, p. 62
- 32. ‘Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. Abi Shaybah Ibrahim b. ‘Uthman b. Abi Bakr b. Abi Shaybah al-Kufi al-‘Ubsi, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah fi al-Ahadith wa al-Athar (Dar al-Fikr; 1st edition, 1409 H) [annotator: Prof. Sa’id al-Laham], vol. 3, p. 230, # 4
- 33. Ibid, vol. 8, p. 708, # 16
- 34. 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, pp. 236-237, # 1492
- 35. Ibid, vol. 1, p. 93, # 439
- 36. Ibid, vol. 2, p. 32, # 5583
- 37. 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. 4, p. 7, # 6717
- 38. Ibid
- 39. Ibid
- 40. Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal al-Shaybani, Musnad (Cairo: Muasassat Qurtubah) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 1, p. 115, # 926 and vol. 1, p. 125, # 1032
- 41. Ibid
- 42. Ibid, vol. 1, p. 125, # 1031
- 43. Ibid
- 44. Muhammad al-Jawahiri, al-Mufid min Mu’jam al-Rijal al-Hadith (Qum: Manshurat Maktabah al-Mahalati; 2nd edition, 1424 H), p. 42, # 855
- 45. ‘Ali al-Namazi al-Shahrudi, Mustadrakat ‘Ilm Rijal al-Hadith (Tehran: Haydari; 1st edition, 1414 H), vol. 4, p. 475, # 8043
- 46. Muhammad al-Jawahiri, al-Mufid min Mu’jam al-Rijal al-Hadith (Qum: Manshurat Maktabah al-Mahalati; 2nd edition, 1424 H), p. 306, # 6304
- 47. Muhammad Taqi al-Tustari, Qamus al-Rijal (Qum: Muasassat al-Nashr al-Islami; 1st edition, 1422 H), vol. 11, p. 165, # 8553
- 48. We have investigated a lot of them in both our previous books: ‘Ali: The Best of the Sahabah and On the Khilafah of ‘Ali over Abu Bakr.