Some Traditions that Appear to Conflict with Hadith al-Thaqalayn

Tradition n.1

Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz, in the Tuhfah, states that even if Hadith al-Thaqalayn be accepted as such, it contradicts some traditions of the Prophet (S). One of these traditions, which he claims to be sahih, is as follows:

عليكم بسني وسنة الخلفاء الراشدين المهديين من بعدي تمسكوا بها وعضوا عليها بالنواجد.

Adhere to my sunnah and the sunnah of the rightly-guided successors after me. Hold on to it and cling on to it stubbornly.

Sayyid Hamid Husayn points out that such a contention is invalid:

• Firstly, he says, the tradition has been narrated solely by Sunnis, unlike the Hadith al-Thaqalayn which has been narrated widely both by Shi’i and non-Shi’i narrators.

• Secondly, Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz has here failed to observe his own self-declared principle that his arguments against Shi’i doctrines will be based on material derived from works accepted as reliable by the Shi’ah themselves.

• Thirdly, he points out, this tradition has been avoided by Muslim and al-Bukhari, whose works are widely accepted by the Ahl al-Sunnah as the most authentic works on hadith.

• Fourthly, the claim that the above-mentioned narration is sahih is not true, because the veracity of its transmitters has been considered as questionable by Sunni authorities.

The tradition has been recorded by Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah in their works. As to al-Irbad ibn Sariyah, the sole narrator from whom the tradition is narrated, he is not reliable because of the untenable statement he makes in his own praise ("I am one-fourth of Islam").

As to Hajar ibn Hajar al-Kila'i, aside from belonging to Hims, a Syrian town once notorious for its people's enmity of ‘Ali (A), is of unknown standing as mentioned by Ibn Hajar in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, iii, 118.

Khalid ibn Ma’dan ibn Abi Karib al-Kitabi, aside from belonging to Hims, was the chief of police of Yazid ibn Mu’awiyah, the most infamous ruler in the history of Islam.

Thawr ibn Yazid, too, belonged to Hims as mentioned by al-Dhahabi (Mizan al-i’tidal, i, 374). As mentioned by Ibn Hajar (op. cit., ii, 34) he hated ‘Ali (A), who had killed his father in a battle. ‘Abd Allah ibn Mubarak refrained from narrating from him and considered him a heretic (fasid al­madhhab).

The next transmitter, al-Walid ibn Muslim, has been accused of forgery by Abu Mushar, as mentioned by al-Dhahabi in Mizan al-i’tidal, iv, 347. These were some of Abu Dawud's authorities.

The author then goes on to show that the transmitters of the narration recorded by al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, namely Abu ‘Asim, Hasan ibn ‘Ali al-Khallal, Buhayr ibn Sa’id, Baqiyyah ibn al-Walid, Yahya ibn Abi al-Muta’, ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Ala', Mu’awiyah ibn Salih, Isma’il ibn Bishr ibn Mansur, and ‘Abd al-Malik ibn al-­Sabbah, are all weak (da’if) transmitters, as mentioned by Sunni authorities on rijal in their works.

Moreover, al-Hafiz ibn al-Qattan has expressly rejected the authenticity of this sole narration of ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Salami, as mentioned by Ibn Hajar in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vi, 238.

The author then goes on to point out that even if this narration be presumed to be sahih, it cannot have any weight against Hadith al-Thaqalayn which has been narrated by a great number of Companions and leading Sunni scholars, while this narration has not been recorded in most of their works. Moreover, should this tradition be really authentic, then the words "rightly-guided successors" should be taken to mean the Twelve Imams of the Ahlul Bayt (A), as affirmed by another well-known tradition of the Prophet (S) that there would be twelve khulafa' or a'immah after him.

Thereafter the author goes on to deal with another doubt cast on this tradition by Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz, that even if it be presumed that Hadith al-Thaqalayn does not conflict with the above-mentioned tradition, the word al-’itrah can be taken to mean all the Prophet's kinsmen (aqarib) belonging to Banu Hashim in general, or all of the descendants of Fatimah (A). Then it would be absurd to say that every individual belonging to them were an imam.

Sayyid Hamid Husayn clarifies this doubt by quoting various lexicographers, such as al-Jawhari, Ibn al-Athir, Ibn Manzur, al-­Firuzabadi and others to the effect that ‘itrah means one's nearest relations (akhass aqaribih), children (walad) and descendants (dhurriyyah).

Moreover, he points out, Hadith al-Thaqalayn indicates the supreme knowledge as well as freedom of the ‘itrah mentioned in it from sin and error. Such a description applies solely to the Twelve Imams (A), who in their traditions, from ‘Ali (A) onwards, have introduced themselves as the ‘itrah of the Prophet (S) and as the supreme authorities of the Islamic faith by the side of the Qur'an.

Tradition n.2

Thereafter, the author deals with another tradition ascribed to the Prophet (S) which too Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz claims to be sahih:

خدوا شطر دينكم عن هذه الحميراء.

Take part of your religion from this Humayra' (i.e. ‘A'ishah).

Sayyid Hamid Husayn points out that many Sunni authorities and scholars have considered it a baseless fabrication and forgery devoid of isnad; among them are:

• al-Mizzi and al-Dhahabi as mentioned in al-­Taqrir wa al-tahbir fi sharh al-­Tahrir, iii 99;

• Ibn Qayyim al-­Jawziyyah, who has considered all traditions with the words "ya Humayra" and "al-Humayrah" as fabrications;

• Ibn Kathir as quoted in al-­Durar al-­muntashirah fi al-ahadith al-­mushtahirah, 79;

• Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani as quoted in al-Taqrir wa al-­tahbir, iii, 99;

• as well as Ibn al-­Mulaqqin, al-­Subki, Ibn Amir al-Hajj, al-Sakhawi, al-Suyuti, al-Shaybani, al-Shaykh ‘Ali al-Qari, al-Zarqani, ‘Abd al-Ali al-­Shawkani and others.

Tradition n.3

Another tradition mentioned by Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz to contend the import of Hadith al-Thaqalayn is the following one ascribed to the Prophet (S):

اهتدوا بهدي عمار.

Seek guidance with the guidance of ‘Ammar.

Sayyid Hamid Husayn points out that such a tradition cannot be put forward to contest the import of Hadith al-Thaqalayn, for ‘Ammar himself was one of the staunch followers (shi’ah) of ‘Ali (A) and had been instructed by the Prophet (S) to obey and follow ‘Ali (A):

يا عمار, إن عليا لا يزيلك عن هدى, يا عمار إن طاعة علي طاعتي وطاعتي من طاعة الله عز وجل.

[The Prophet (S) said to ‘Ammar:] O ‘Ammar, ‘Ali will not divert you from guidance. O ‘Ammar, obedience to ‘Ali is obedience to me, and obedience to me is obedience to God, Almighty and Glorious.

This tradition has been recorded in various non-Shi’i works, such as:

Farai'd al-simtayn, i, 178;

al-Mawaddah fi al-qurba;

• al-Khwarazmi's Manaqib, 57, 124;

Yanabi’ al-mawaddah, 128, 250;

Miftah al-naja, MS.; and

Kanz al-’ummal, xii, 212.

Moreover, it is strange of Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz to bring this tradition as an evidence against Hadith al-Thaqalayn, for ‘Ammar, as mentioned by al-Ya’qubi in his Ta'rikh, ii, 114 and al-Mas’udi in Muruj al-dhahab, ii, 342, was among those who abstained from giving allegiance to the first caliph. ‘Umar, during his reign, rejected ‘Ammar's guidance and spoke to him in harsh terms when the latter suggested that one should perform tayammum when water could not be found for wudu', instead of abstaining from salat, as ‘Umar had ruled. This episode has been recorded by:

• Ahmad in his Musnad, iv, 265 and

• Muslim in his Sahih, i, 110,

• as well as a host of other writers such as Abu Dawud, al-Nasa'i, al-Tabari, al-Ayni, Ibn al-Athir and al-Shaybani.

‘Uthman during his reign had ‘Ammar beaten until he fell unconscious and nearly died when the latter handed over a letter of protest written by a group of Muslims against the former's misrule. This episode has been recorded by:

• Ibn Qutaybah in al-Imamah wa al-siyasah, i, 32;

• Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih in al-­‘Iqd al-­farid, ii, 192;

• al-Mas’udi in Muruj al-dhahab, ii, 338;

• Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Isti’ab, iii, 136; and

• al-Ya’qubi in Ta'rikh, ii, 160.

Although the Prophet (S) was known to have made several statements in ‘Ammar's favour - such as "The enemy of ‘Ammar is the enemy of God" - ‘Ammar was either opposed, hated and mistreated by a number of Companions such as ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah, Abu Musa al-Ash’ari, Abu Mas’ud al-Ansari and others. ‘Ammar stood firmly by ‘Ali's side and fought with him against ‘Ali's opponents, Talhah, al-Zubayr and Mu’awiyah, in the battles of Jamal and Siffin. Ultimately he was killed by Mu’awiyah's men, thus fulfilling the Prophet's well-known prophecy that ‘Ammar would be killed by a rebellious party (al-fi'at al-baghiyah).

Tradition n.4

Sayyid Hamid Husayn then goes on to deal with some other narrations ascribed to the Prophet (S) and cited by Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz, which are:

وتمسكوا بعهد ابن أم عبد.

Hold on to the covenant of Ibn Umm ‘Abd (i.e. ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud).

رضيت لكم ما رضي به ابن أم عبد.

That which Ibn Umm ‘Abd approves of is approved for you by me.

Both of these are weak (da’if) and isolated (ahad) traditions, while Hadith al-Thaqalayn is a mutawatir one. That both Muslim and al-Bukhari did not record them in their works indicates that they considered their isnad to be weak. Moreover, even if assumed to be authentic they do not contradict Hadith al-Thaqalayn, for while they only show the merit of Ibn Mas’ud, Hadith al-Thaqalayn signifies the preeminence and leadership of the Ahlul Bayt (A).

Furthermore, it is inconsistent of Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz to advance those traditions, for ‘Umar, instead of approving Ibn Mas’ud's acts, forbade him to give fatwa and narrate the Prophet's hadith and forbade him from leaving Madinah, which Ibn Mas’ud could not leave until the former's death. ‘Uthman went a step further and had Ibn Mas’ud beaten so mercilessly that his ribs were broken.

Tradition n.5

Another tradition advanced in this context by Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz is:

وأعلمكم بالحلال والحرام معاذ بن جبل.

Mu’adh ibn Jabal is the most knowledgeable among you regarding halal and haram.

Sayyid Hamid Husayn points out that it has exclusively been narrated by the Sunnis. Muslim and al-Bukhari, although their traditions do not constitute any binding evidence for the Shi’ah, have avoided it in their compilations. Among a number of Sunni authorities who have considered it as weak or baseless are:

• Ibn Taymiyyah,

• Ibn ‘Abd al-Hadi,

• al-Dhahabi, and

• al-Munawi.

Among its narrators, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-­Baylamani, his father, Zayd al-Ammi, Salim ibn Salim have been considered unreliable by several authorities on hadith and rijal, among them:

• al-Bukhari,

• al-Nasa'i,

• al-Muqaddisi,

• al-Darqutni,

• Ibn Hajar,

• al-Dhahabi,

• Ibn al-Jawzi and others.

Moreover, there are episodes recorded in Ibn Sa’d's al-Tabaqat, iii, 585 and Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr's al-Isti’ab, iii, 1404 which indicate that Mu’adh did not possess the kind of competence claimed for him in the above tradition.

Tradition n.6

Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz advances another tradition ascribed to the Prophet (S) in this context for which he claims a degree of prevalence (shuhrah) nearing tawatur:

اقتدوا بالذين من بعدي أبي بكر وعمر.

Follow those who will come after me, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.

Hamid Husayn points out that the claim of shuhrah is untenable and that a number of Sunni authorities have found fault with it or considered it as baseless, such as:

• Abu Hatim al-Razi, al-Bazzaz and Ibn Hazm as mentioned in Fath al-Qadir fi sharh al-Jami’ al-saghir, ii, 52;

• al-Tirmidhi, Sahih, v, 672;

• al-’Uqayli, al-Du’afa';

• al-Naqqash, as mentioned in Mizan al-i’tidal, i, 142;

• al-Darqutni, as mentioned in Lisan al-mizan, v, 237;

• al-’Ibri al-Farghani in Sharh al-­Minhaj, MS;

• al-Dhahabi, Mizan al-i’tidal, i, 105;

• Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Lisan al-­mizan, i, 188, 272, v, 237; and

• Shaykh al-Islam al-Harawi, al-Durr al-­nadid, 97.

Ibrahim ibn Isma’il, Isma’il ibn Yahya, Yahya ibn Salamah ibn Kuhayl and Abu al-­Za’ra', who have transmitted it have been considered unreliable transmitters by Abu Zur’ah, Abu Hatim, Ibn Numayr, al-Darqutni, al-Bukhari, al-Nasa'i, Ibn Mu’in, Ibn Hibban, al-Tirmidhi and others.

The narrations cited above are advanced by Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz to make the point that if Hadith al-Thaqalayn be considered as signifying the imamah of the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt (A) then these traditions must also be construed as signifying the imamah of al-Humayra', ‘Ammar, Ibn Mas’ud, Mu’adh ibn Jabal, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. Sayyid Hamid Husayn points out that such a conclusion would follow if the traditions advanced were authentic.

But as established, in the ‘Abaqat, all of them are weak and unreliable ahad, which have no weight in comparison with Hadith al-Thaqalayn, which is a mutawatir tradition narrated widely by the leading traditionists and scholars of the Ummah from the Shi’ah and the Ahl al-Sunnah.

Tradition n.7

Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz cites another narration known as Hadith al-­Nujum ascribed to the Prophet (S) in support of his argument:

إن أصحابي بمنزلة النجوم في السماء, فأيها أخذتم به اهتديتم, و اختلاف أصحابي لكم رحمة.

Verily, my Companions are like the stars (nujum) in the sky; whichever of them you follow, you shall be guided rightly. The disagreement of my Companions is a blessing for you.

Among Sunni authorities those who have considered this tradition as unreliable are:

• Ahmad ibn Hanbal, as quoted in al-Taqrir wa al-tahbir, iii, 99;

• al-Mizzi, as quoted in Jami’ bayan al-’ilm, ii, 89-90;

• al-Bazzaz, as quoted in Jami’ bayan al-’ilm, ii, 90;

• Ibn al-Qattan, in al-Kamil;

• al-Darqutni, as quoted in Lisan al-mizan, ii, 137;

• Ibn Hazm, as quoted in al-Bahr al-muhit, v, 528;

• al-Bayhaqi, as quoted in al-Hafiz al-’Iraqi, Takhrij ahadith al-­Minhaj, MS.;

• Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in Jami’ bayan al-’ilm, ii, 90-91;

• Ibn ‘Asakir as quoted in Fayd al-Qadir, iv, 76;

• Ibn al-Jawzi, in al-’Ilal al-mutanahiyah fi al-ahadith al-­wahiyah, MS.;

• Ibn Dahiyyah as quoted in Ta’liq Takhrij ahadith al-­Minhaj, MS.;

• Abu Hayyan al-Andlusi, in al-Durr al-laqit min al-Bahr al-­muhit published with al-Bahr al-muhit, v, 527-528;

• al-Dhahabi in Mizan al-i’tidal, i, 413, ii, 102, ii, 605;

• Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah in I’lam al-muqi’in, ii, 223;

• Zayn al-Din al-’Iraqi, in Takhrij ahadith al-Minhaj, MS.;

• Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, in Talkhis al-Khabir, iv, 190-191;

• Ibn al-Humam in al-Tahrir bi Sharh Ibn Amir al-Hajj, iii, 99;

• Ibn Amir al-Hajj, al-Taqrir wa al-tahrir, iii, 99;

• al-Sakhawi in al-Maqasid al-hasanah, 26-27;

• Ibn Abi Sharif, as mentioned in Fayd al-Qadir, iv, 76;

• al-Suyuti, Itmam al-dirayah and al-Jami’ al-saghir, iv, 76;

• al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-’ummal, vi, 133;

• al-Qari, al-Mirqat, v, 523;

• al-Munawi, al-Taysir fi sharh al-Jami’ al-saghir, ii, 48 and Fayd al-Qadir, iv, 76;

• al-Khafaji, in Nasim al-riyad (sharh of al-Shifa'), iv, 323-324;

• al-Sindi, Dirasat al-labib fi al-uswat al-Hasanat al-­Habib, 240;

• al-Qadi Muhibb Allah al-Bihari, in Musallim al-­thubut bi sharh ‘Abd al-Ali, ii, 510;

• Nizam al-Din al-Sahalawi, al-­Subh al-Sadiq (sharh al-­Manar);

• Al-­Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Ali, Fawatih al-­rahmut (sharh Musallim al-­thubut), ii, 510;

• al-Shawkani, in Irshad al-­fuhul, 83;

• Wali Allah ibn Habib Allah al-Lakhnowi in Sharh Musallim al-­thubut; and

• Siddiq Hasan Khan al-Qannawji, in Husul al-­ma'mul, 568.

The tradition is also unacceptable on the following grounds:

1. It not only implies that each and every Companion was righteous himself but was a competent leader and guide of the Ummah; such an implication is false according to consensus, for all of them themselves required guidance.

2. A group of them was guilty of such major sins as adultery, homicide and false witness according to the testimony of history, and it is unreasonable that the Prophet (S) should have appointed such individuals as guides and leaders of the Ummah.

3. There are many verses in the Qur'an, especially in the surahs of al-Anfal, al-Bara'ah, al-Ahzab, al-Jumu’ah and al-Munafiqun, which throw a bad light on the character of a considerable number of the Companions and it is illogical to hold that the Prophet (S) would make such individuals as the leaders and guides of the Ummah.

4. There is a large number of the Prophet's traditions, narrated both in authentic Sunni and Shi’i sources, which make the Companions appear suspect as a group. The above-mentioned narration conflicts with all such authentic traditions. 1

5. There are traditions recorded in Sunni sources which explicitly prohibit the Ummah from following the Companions. According to one recorded by al-Asimi in Zayn al-fata fi tafsir Surat Hal Ata, MS., the Prophet (S) is reported to have said:

يكون من أصحابي أحداث بعدي (يعني الفتنة كانت بينهم), فيغفرها الله لهم لسابقتهم, إن اقتدى بهم قوم من بعدهم كبهم الله في نار جهنم.

There will be innovations perpetrated by my Companions after me (i.e. the fitnah that occurred amongst them). God shall forgive them due to their earlier record (of good deeds), but if a people follow them after them, God shall throw them into Hellfire.

6. Some of the Companions are on record as having made statements that imply the denial that they possessed the competence to be followed as guides and leaders. Abu Bakr and ‘Umar have made numerous statements about themselves which reveal their incompetence as guides who can be followed, like the Quran, without qualms. 2

Aware of the difficulty involved in the adoption of the Hadith al-­Nujum, Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz admits that some Companions are known for certain to have erred in their ijtihad because it conflicted with the express commands (nusus) of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. However, he submits, the Companions may be followed in matters when there exist no express commands in the Book and the Sunnah.

Sayyid Hamid Husayn replies by pointing out that:

1. one who is known for certain to have erred in his judgements cannot be a legitimate guide.

2. Secondly, when the Companions are known to have erred in matters where there exist express texts in the Book and the Sunnah, the possibility of error is greater in matters where there are no such express texts.

3. Thirdly, he points out, it is not permissible to follow one who may err when there exist guides the righteousness of whose guidance and whose freedom from error or sin (‘ismah) has been guaranteed by God. The Verse of al-Tathir (33:33) and Hadith al-Thaqalayn, as well as a great number of other verses and ahadith, introduce the Imams of Ahlul Bayt (A) as possessing the quality of ‘ismah.

4. Fourthly, the Companions disagreed amongst themselves concerning the laws of the Shari’ah, including those which did not possess express texts. In such a situation it is highly improper to consider them as stars of the firmament of guidance.

5. Fifthly, the Companions often found fault with one another, sometimes violating all limits of moderation in attributing falsehood, ignorance and even kufr to one another, as recorded in the books of the Ahl al-Sunnah. Obviously, no rational person will accept all of them as the righteous guides of Muslims.

6. There were individuals amongst the Companions who practiced analogy (qiyas) which has been condemned by a large number of the legists of the Ummah.

7. There were individuals among them, including the first three caliphs, who turned to others to find out the rule of the Shari’ah concerning an emergent issue. It is illogical to imagine that the Prophet (S) would designate ignorant persons as authorities for the Ummah in doctrinal and legal matters. There were some among them who did not understand the meanings of certain words of the Qur'an, such as ‘Umar, who, for instance, did not know the meaning of 'kalalah'. Al-Tabari in his exegesis, iv, 283-284, has recorded ‘Umar 's own statement in this regard.

8. Some of them were guilty of usurious transactions,3 sale of wine,4 or of giving fatwa without knowledge,5 and sometimes in opposition to the Prophet's express command.6 Some of them were guilty of instituting innovations contrary to the Prophet's Sunnah.7

  • 1. AI-Bukhari in his Sahih (Kitab al-ruqaq, hadith no. 1441) narrates the following mutawatir tradition of the Prophet (S) from Anas ibn Malik:

    حدثنا مسلم بن إبراهيم, حدثنا وهيب حدثنا عبد العزيز عن انس عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: ليردن علي ناس من أصحابي الحوض حتى إذا عرفتهم اختلجوا دوني فأقول أصحابي فيقول لا تدري ما أحدثوا بعدك.

    AI-Bukhari reports from Muslim ibn Ibrahim, from Wuhayb from `Abd al-Aziz, from Anas that the Prophet (S) said: "A group of my Companions will be brought to me on the Pond (of al-­Kawthar) and as soon as I recognize them they shall be dragged away. I would say, ('God! Aren't they) my Companions?' (God) would say, 'You don't know what they did after you.'

    According to another version of this tradition (no. 1442) the Prophet (S) would be told:

    إنك لا علم لك بما أحدثوا بعدك إنهم ارتدوا على أدبارهم القهقرى.

    You have no knowledge of what they did after you. They went back in a retrogressive manner (i.e. apostasized).

    Al-Bukhari narrates similar traditions on the authority of Hudhayfah (no 1435), `Abd Allah (no.1435), Sahl ibn Sa`d (no. 1442), Abu Sa`id al-Khudri (no 1442), Ibn `Abbas (no.1442), Abu Hurayrah (no 1443), and Asma' bint Abi Bakr (no. 1449) in "Kitab al-ruqaq", as well as elsewhere in "Kitab al-tafsir" and "Kitab bad' al-khalq". The same tradition with various wordings is also recorded by Muslim, Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in their books (as well as Imam Malik in al-­Muwatta', "Kitab al-­taharah", hadith no.28) from several Companions. Imam Malik reports the following tradition in his al-­Muwatta', "Kitab al-­jihad", hadith no.32:

    أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال لشهاداء أحد ((هؤلاء أشهد عليهم)) فقال أبو بكر الصديق: السنا يا رسول الله باخوانهم؟ أسلمنا كما أسلموا, وجاهدنا كما جاهدوا؟ فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ((بلى. ولكن لا أدري ما تحدثون بعدي)).

    "The Prophet (S) said concerning the martyrs of Uhud, "I shall bear witness for them (i.e. their faith)." Thereupon Abu Bakr said, "O Messenger of Allah, aren't we their brethren, who embraced Islam like them and did jihad like them?" The Prophet (S) replied, "Yes, but I don't know what you will do after me ..."

    See, for instance, Adwa' `ala al-Sunnat al-Muhammadiyyah, pp.339-363, by Mahmud Abu Riyyah, a Sunni scholar, and Nahj al-haqq wa kashf al-sidq, pp.262-375, by al-Allamah al-Hilli concerning the large number of Qur'anic verses and Prophetic traditions which decisively negate the very possibility of considering each and every Companion as a star of the skies of guidance.

  • 2. Ibn Sa`d in his al-Tabaqat (Leiden, 1322), iii, part 1, p.129 reports that in a sermon that Abu Bakr delivered after taking charge of the caliphate, he declared, "I am only a man, and I am not better than any of you. So obey me when I go straight and correct me when you see me deviate. You should know that (at times) I am overwhelmed by a devil, so when you see me in a state of rage keep away from me." Similar statements by him have been reported by:

    al-Tabari in his Ta'rikh (Cairo, 1357), ii, 440;
    Ibn Qutaybah in al-Imamah wa al-siyasah (Matba`at al-Futuh al-Adabiyyah, 1331), 6;
    al-Haythami in Majma` al-zawa'id (1352), v, 183;
    al-Muttaqi in Kanz al-ummal (Hyderabad, 1312), ii, 136;
    and others.
    `Umar, the Second Caliph, is on record as often having made such statements as "Everyone has a better knowledge (of the Shari`ah) than `Umar" (kullu ahadin a`lamu min `Umar) and "All the people have better understanding (of the Shari`ah) than `Umar" (kullu ahadin afqahu min `Umar). See:

    al-Bayhaqi, Sunan (Hyderabad, 1344), vii, 233;
    al-Suyuti, al-Durr al-manthur (al-Matba`at al-Maymaniyyah, 1314), under verses 4:20 and 34:13;
    al-Zamakhshari, al-Kashshaf (Egypt, 1354) under verses 4:20 and 34:13;
    al-Muttaqi, Kanz al-ummal, viii, 298;
    al-Haythami in Majma` al-zawa'id, iv, 263.

  • 3. Here the author of the `Abaqat has cited the tradition of `A'ishah which describes a usurious transaction between Zayd ibn Arqam and a woman. The tradition is mentioned by:

    `Abd al-­Razzaq in al-Musannaf,
    Imam Ahmad in his Musnad,
    al-Jassas in Ahkam al-Qur'an,
    al-Sarakhsi in al-Mabsut,
    al-Dabusi in Ta'sis al-nazar, as well as a host of Sunni legists, traditionists and exegetes in their works.

  • 4. Here the author cites traditions from the works of al-Bukhari, Muslim, al-Darimi, Ibn Abi Shaybah, al-Nasa'i, Ibn al-Athir, al-­Ghazzali, al-Muttaqi, Ibn Khaldun and Abu Hilal al-Askari concerning the sale of wine by certain Companions.
  • 5. Here the author has cited three instances of such baseless fatawa by Abu Musa al-Ash`ari.
  • 6. Here the author has cited an episode of `Umar ibn al-Khattab who gave a fatwa contrary to the Prophet's command from al-Suyuti's Miftah al-jannah.
  • 7. Here the author has given several instances of violation of the Sunnah by Mu`awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan.