7) Hadith Al-Thaqalayn: The Prophet At Unindentified Places

There are reports of Hadith al-Thaqalayn which do not name the locations where it was delivered. It is therefore possible that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alaihi wa alihi, also uttered them at Ghadir Khumm, in addition to his other pronouncements. Meanwhile, it is equally probable that the sermons were given at other places, before or after Ghadir Khumm. Let us start with this riwayah by Imam al-Fasawi (d. 277 H):

حدثنا يحيى قال :حدثنا جرير عن الحسن بن عبيد الله عن أبي الضحى عن زيد بن أرقم قال: النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم :إني تارك فيكم ما إن تمسكتم به لن تضلوا كتاب الله عز وجل وعترتي أهل بيتي وإنهما لن يتفرقا حتى يردا علي الحوض.

Yahya – Jarir - al-Hasan b. ‘Ubayd Allah – Abu al-Dhuha – Zayd b. Arqam:

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “I am leaving behind over you that which if you adhere to it you will never go astray: the Book of Allah the Almighty and my offspring, my Ahl al-Bayt. Verily, both shall never separate from each other until they meet me at the Lake-Fount.”1

Al-Hafiz (d. 852 H) states concerning the first narrator:

يحيى بن يحيى بن بكير بن عبد الرحمن التميمي أبو زكريا النيسابوري ثقة ثبت إمام

Yahya b. Yahya b. Bukayr b. ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Tamimi, Abu Zakariyyah al-Naysaburi: Thiqah (trustworthy), thabt (accurate), an Imam.2

What about the second narrator? Al-Hafiz submits:

جرير بن عبد الحميد بن قرط بضم القاف وسكون الراء بعدها طاء مهملة الضبي الكوفي نزيل الري وقاضيها ثقة

Jarir b. ‘Abd al-Hamid b. Qurt al-Dhabi al-Kufi, a resident of al-Rayy and its judge: Thiqah (trustworthy).3

The third narrator is thiqah (trustworthy) as well, according to 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).4

And the last narrator is like that too, as affirmed by al-Hafiz:

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).5

All the narrators are thiqah (trustworthy), and the chain is fully connected. So, it is an absolutely sahih chain!

Meanwhile, Imam al-Tirmidhi (d. 279 H) has also recorded a shahid for it:

حدثنا علي بن المنذر كوفي حدثنا محمد بن فضيل قال حدثنا الأعمش عن عطية عن أبي سعيد و الأعمش عن حبيب بن أبي ثابت عن زيد بن أرقم رضي الله عنهما قالا : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إني تارك فيكم ما إن تمسكتم به لن تضلوا بعدي أحدهما أعظم من الآخر كتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء إلى الأرض وعترتي أهل بيتي ولن يتفرقا حتى يردا علي الحوض فانظروا كيف تخلفوني فيهما

‘Ali b. al-Mundhir Kufi – Muhammad b. Fudhayl – al-A’mash – ‘Atiyyah – Abu Sa’id (al-Khudri): AND al-‘Amash – Habib b. Abi Thabit – Zayd b. Arqam, may Allah be pleased with them both:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, “I am leaving behind over you that which if you adhere to it you will never go astray after me. One of them is greater than the other: the Book of Allah - a rope stretching from the heaven to the earth - and my offspring, my Ahl al-Bayt. Both shall never separate from each other until they meet me at the Lake-Fount. Therefore, watch carefully how you treat them after me.”6

Al-Tirmidhi says:

وهذا حديث حسن غريب

And this hadith is hasan gharib (i.e. has a hasan chain).7

And ‘Allamah al-Albani (d. 1420 H) states:

صحيح

Sahih8

Sayyid Hasan al-Saqqaf also has this comment:

ورواه الترمذي 663/5) برقم (3788 بسند صحيح بلفظ إني تارك فيكم ما إن تمسكتم به لن تضلوا بعدي أحدهما أعظم من الآخر كتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء إلى الأرض وعترتي أهل بيتي ولن يتفرقا حتى يردا علي الحوض فانظروا كيف تخلفوني فيهما

Al-Tirmidhi (5/663, # 3788) recorded it WITH A SAHIH CHAIN, with this wording:

“I am leaving behind over you that which if you adhere to it you will never go astray after me. One of them is greater than the other: the Book of Allah - a rope stretching from the heaven to the earth - and my offspring, my Ahl al-Bayt. Both shall never separate from each other until they meet me at the Lake-Fount. Therefore, watch carefully how you treat them after me.”9

Imam Ahmad (d. 241 H) further documents:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا بن نمير ثنا عبد الملك بن أبي سليمان عن عطية العوفي عن أبي سعيد الخدري قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم: اني قد تركت فيكم ما ان أخذتم به لن تضلوا بعدي الثقلين أحدهما أكبر من الآخر كتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء إلى الأرض وعترتي أهل بيتي الا وانهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا على الحوض

‘Abd Allah (b. Ahmad) – my father (Ahmad b. Hanbal) – Ibn Numayr – ‘Abd al-Malik b. Abi Sulayman – ‘Atiyyah al-‘Awfi – Abu Sa’id al-Khudri:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “I have left behind over you that which if you hold fast to it you will never go astray after me: the Two Weighty Things (al-thaqalayn). One of them both is greater than the other: the Book of Allah - a rope stretching from the heaven to the earth – and my offspring, my Ahl al-Bayt. Take note: verily, both shall never separate from each other until they meet me at the Lake-Fount.”10
Shaykh al-Arnaut comments:

حديث صحيح دون قوله " وإنهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا علي الحوض "

It is a sahih hadith, with the exception of the statement “And, verily, both shall never separate from each other until they meet me at the Lake-Fount”.11

Apparently, al-Arnaut rejects the authenticity of the last phrase of the hadith, and accepts all the others. But, this is strange, indeed! We have already quoted absolutely sahih chains – in the reports of Zayd b. Arqam – in this book which establish the authenticity of that phrase. Shaykh al-Arnaut apparently rushed to his conclusion without adequate research. Besides, the chain of this last riwayah above is reliable as well, as ‘Allamah al-Albani declares, after quoting that exact same report from Musnad Ahmad:

وهو إسناد حسن في الشواهد.

And it is a chain that is hasan through the shawahid (corroborating evidences).12

Interestingly, this is what al-Arnaut himself says about the same hadith of ‘Atiyyah above from the same Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, with the same chain, in another book:

سنده حسن بالشواهد.

Its chain is hasan through the shawahid.13

So, indeed, all the parts of the hadith are firmly established through this sanad and the sahih others.

  • 1. Abu Yusuf Ya’qub b. Sufyan al-Fasawi, al-Ma’rifah wa al-Tarikh (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah) [annotator: Khalil al-Mansur], vol. 1, p. 294
  • 2. 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. 318, # 7696
  • 3. 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. 158, # 918. We have already mentioned his trustworthiness previously in this book.
  • 4. 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. 158, # 918, vol. 1, p. 206, # 1258
  • 5. Ibid, vol. 2, p. 179, # 6653
  • 6. Abu ‘Isa Muhammad b. ‘Isa al-Sulami al-Tirmidhi, al-Jami’ al-Sahih Sunan al-Tirmidhi (Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi) [annotator: Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani], vol. 5, p. 663 # 3788
  • 7. Ibid
  • 8. Ibid
  • 9. Hasan b. ‘Ali al-Saqqaf al-Qurashi al-Hashimi al-Husayni, Sahih Sharh al-‘Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah (Amman: Dar Imam al-Nawawi; 1st edition, 1416 H), p. 654
  • 10. Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal al-Shaybani, Musnad (Cairo: Muasassat Qurtubah) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 3, p. 59, # 11578
  • 11. Ibid
  • 12. 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. 4, p. 357, # 1761
  • 13. 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