21. Will The Mahdi Burn Or Crucify Abu Bakr And ‘Umar?

There are a number of ahadith in the Shi’i books which some Sunni elements often quote to “prove” that the “Shi’i Mahdi” will violate the graves of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, exhume their bodies and then burn or crucify them. In this chapter, we will be investigating the authenticity of those reports.

The first of them is this riwayah which ‘Allamah al-Majlisi (d. 1111 H) has copied:

وباسناده إلى بشير النبال، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: هل تدري أول ما يبدء به القائم عليه السلام؟ قلت: لا، قال: يخرج هذين رطبين غضين فيحرقهما ويذريهما في الريح

Through his chain to Bashir al-Nabbal, from Abu ‘Abd Allah, peace be upon him:

“Do you know the first thing that the Qaim, peace be upon him, will do?” I said, “No.” He said, “He will resurrect these two into fresh beings and will burn them both, and will blow them away into the air.”1

The sanad of this report is unknown;, and the authenticity of its source book - Kitab al-Fadhl b. Shadhan - is equally unknown! As for its main narrator whose name has been given, Bashir al-Nabbal, Shaykh al-Jawahiri says about him:

مجهول

Majhul 2

So, it is indeed dha’if at many levels. In any case, it has also been declared dha’if by Ayatullah Muhsini3. Shaykh ‘Ali Al Muhsin has the same verdict as well:

فالرواية ضعيفة السند, لا يصح الاحتجاج بها

The report has a dha’if chain. It is not correct to use it as evidence.4

Cetainly, it does not constitute valid evidence, due to its weakness, in this matter.

Shaykh Ibn Jarir al-Tabari has the second hadith:

وأخبرني أبو الحسين محمد بن هارون بن موسى، عن أبيه، عن أبي علي محمد بن همام، عن أبي عبد الله جعفر بن محمد، قال: حدثنا محمد ابن حمران المدائني، عن علي بن أسباط، عن الحسن بن بشير، عن أبي الجارود، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام، قال … : ثم يدخل المسجد فينقض الحائط حتى يضعه إلى الأرض، ثم يخرج الأزرق وزريق غضين طريين، يكلمهما فيجيبانه، فيرتاب عند ذلك المبطلون، فيقولون: يكلم الموتى؟! فيقتل منهم خمسمائة مرتاب في جوف المسجد، ثم يحرقهما بالحطب الذي جمعاه ليحرقا به عليا وفاطمة والحسن والحسين عليهم السلام، وذلك الحطب عندنا نتوارثه، ويهدم قصر المدينة.

Abu al-Husayn Muhammad b. Harun b. Musa – his father – Abu ‘Ali Muhammad b. Hammam- Abu ‘Abd Allah Ja’far b. Muhammad – Muhammad b. Humran al-Madaini – ‘Ali b. Asbaṭ – al-Hasan b. Bashir – Abu al-Jarud - Abu Ja’far, peace be upon him:

... Then, he (the Mahdi) will enter the mosque, and will destroy the wall until he brings it down to the ground. Then, he will bring out al-Azraq and Zariq and they both will be fresh. He will speak to them both and they will answer him. Then, the doubters will doubt, and they will say, ‘He speaks with the dead?!’ Then he will kill among them five hundred doubters in the middle of the mosque. Then, he will burn them both with the (same) firewood which they had gathered to burn with it ‘Ali, Faṭimah, al-Hasan and al-Husayn. That firewood is (still) with us. We inherit it. And he will demolish the palace of al-Madinah.5

Concerning the first narrator, al-Jawahiri says:

محمد بن هارون بن موسى: أبو الحسين … مجهول

Muhammad b. Harun b. Musa, Abu al-Husayn ... : Majhul.6

On another of the narrators, he also states:

الحسن بن بشير: مجهول

Al-Hasan b. Bashir: Majhul.7

So, the chain is dha’if, with two dha’if narrators in it.

Shaykh al-Saduq (d. 381 H) has the third riwayah:

حدثنا محمد بن إبراهيم بن إسحاق رضي الله عنه قال: حدثنا محمد بن همام قال: حدثنا أحمد بن مابنداذ قال حدثنا أحمد بن هلال، عن محمد بن أبي عمير عن المفضل بن عمر، عن الصادق جعفر بن محمد، عن أبيه، عن آبائه عليهم السلام عن أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: لما أسري بي إلى السماء أوحى إلي ربي جل جلاله فقال: يا محمد … هذا القائم الذي يحلل حلالي ويحرم حرامي وبه أنتقم من أعدائي، وهو راحة لأوليائي، وهو الذي يشفي قلوب شيعتك من الظالمين والجاحدين والكافرين، فيخرج اللات والعزى طريين فيحرقهما، فلفتنة الناس يومئذ بهما أشد من فتنة العجل والسامري.

Muhammad b. Ibrahim b. Ishaq, may Allah be pleased with him – Muhammad b. Hammam – Ahmad b. MabindadhAhmad b. Hilal – Muhammad b. Abi ‘Umayr – al-Fadhl b. ‘Umar – al-Sadiq Ja’far b. Muhammad – his father – his ancestors, peace be upon them – Amir al-Muminin, peace be upon him:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his family, said, “When I was taken on the night journey to the heaven, my Lord, Glorious be He, sent wahy to me, and said, “O Muhammad! ... This is the Qaim who will permit My halal and forbid My haram. And through him, I will take revenge from My enemies. He is a comfort to My friends, and he is the one who will heal the hearts of your Shi’ah from the unjust people, the deniers and the disbelievers. So, he will exhume al-Lat and al-‘Uzza and they both will be fresh, and he will burn them both. So, the fitnah of the people through them both on that day will be more severe than the fitnah of the calf and al-Samiri.8

About one of the narrators, al-Jawahiri comments:

أحمد بن مابنداذ … مجهول

Ahmad b. Mabindadh...: Majhul.9

In ‘Uyun, this narrator’s name is given as:

أحمد بن بندار

Ahmad b. Bundar

However, even this one is dha’if too, as stated by al-Jawahiri:

أبو جعفر أحمد بن بندار: مجهول

Abu Ja’far Ahmad b. Bundar: Majhul.10

Then, Prof. ‘Ali Akbar al-Ghiffari explains the other defects in the sanad:

أحمد بن هلال العبرتائي متهم في دينه غال. ورواية ابن أبي عمير عن المفضل بدون الواسطة بعيد

Ahmad b. Hilal al-‘Abirtai, he is accused in his religion, a ghali (exaggerator). And the narration of Ibn Abi ‘Umayr from al-Fadhl without an intermediary is improbable.11

Shaykh al-Tusi (d. 460 H) also says:

أحمد بن هلال العبرتائي … ولد سنة ثمانين ومائة، ومات سنة سبع وستين ومائتين، وكان غاليا متهما في دينه

Ahmad b. Hilal al-‘Abirtai ... he was born in 180 H, and he died in 267 H. He was a ghali, accused in his religion.12

Al-Saduq himself also tells us about Ahmad b. Hilal and people like him:

اعتقادنا في الغلاة والمفوضة أنهم كفار بالله تعالى، وأنهم أشر من اليهود والنصارى والمجوس والقدرية والحرورية ومن جميع أهل البدع والأهواء المضلة

Our belief concerning the ghulat (exaggerators) and the mufawwidhah is that they are DISBELIEVERS (kuffar) in Allah the Most High, and they are worse than the Jews, the Christians, the Majus, the Qadariyyah, the Haruriyyah and all the heretics and deviants.13

Of course, we do not take our religion from kuffar! Their disbelief itself is sufficient to kill off their ahadith completely and absolutely. The ghulat commit outward kufr by awarding some attributes of Allah to the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alaihi wa alihi, and the Imams, ‘alaihim al-salam, after him.

Al-Tusi further says about him:

أحمد بن هلال وهو ضعيف فاسد المذهب

Ahmad b. Hilal: he is dha’if, and a heretic.14

Ayatullah Sadiq al-Ruhani concurs:

والاشكال فيه بأن في طريقه أحمد بن هلال وهو ضعيف

Its problem is that in its chain is Ahmad b. Hilal, and he is dha’if.15

The bottomline here then is, this chain is dha’if as well; in fact it is outrightly mawdhu’ due to the presence of the ghali in it. So, the report is NOT a valid proof.

Shaykh Ahmad al-Tabarsi (d. 548 H) here presents the fourth hadith:

وعن عبد العظيم الحسني رضي الله عنه قال: قلت لمحمد بن علي بن موسى عليهم السلام: يا مولاي أني لأرجو أن تكون القائم من أهل بيت محمد الذي يملأ الأرض قسطا وعدلا كما ملئت ظلما وجورا. فقال عليه السلام: ما منا إلا قائم بأمر الله، وهاد إلى دين الله، ولكن القائم الذي يطهر الله به الأرض من أهل الكفر والجحود ويملأ الأرض قسطا وعدلا هو: الذي يخفى على الناس ولادته، ويغيب عنهم شخصه، ويحرم عليهم تسميته، وهو سمي رسول الله وكنيه، وهو الذي تطوى له الأرض، ويذل له كل صعب، يجتمع إليه من أصحابه عدة أهل بدر: ثلاثمائة وثلاثة عشر رجلا من أقاصي الأرض وذلك قول الله} : أينما تكونوا يأت بكم الله جميعا إن الله على كل شئ قدير {فإذا اجتمعت له هذه العدة من أهل الإخلاص، أظهر الله أمره، فإذا كمل له العقد وهو: عشرة آلاف رجل خرج بإذن الله، فلا يزال يقتل أعداء الله حتى يرضى عز وجل. قال عبد العظيم: فقلت له: يا سيدي فكيف يعلم أن الله قد رضي؟ قال: يلقي في قلبه الرحمة، فإذا دخل المدينة أخرج اللات والعزى فأحرقهما.

And from ‘Abd al-‘Azim al-Hasani, may Allah be pleased with him, who said:

I said to Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. Musa, peace be upon them. “O my master, I wish that you be the Qaim from the Ahl al-Bayt of Muhammad, who will fill the earth with equity and justice, just as it had been filled with injustice and aggression.” So, he, peace be upon him, said, “Everyone of us is a Qaim with the Command of Allah, and a guide to the Religion of Allah. However, the Qaim through whom Allah will cleanse the earth of the people of disbelief and denial, and who will fill the earth with equity and justice is: the one whose birth will be hidden from the people, and whose personality will be concealed from them, and the mentioning of his name will be haram upon them, and he has the name and kunya of the Messenger of Allah.

He is the one to whom the earth will fold up, and to whom every difficulty will yield. The number of the people of Badr from his companions will gather together for him: three hundred and thirteen from the remotest parts of the earth. That is the Statement of Allah {Wherever you may be, Allah will bring you together. Truly Allah is able to do all things} [2:148]. When these people have gathered for him, from the people of al-ikhlas (pure monotheism), Allah will make his affair apparent. When the allegiance for him is completed, and that will be ten thousand men, he will rise with the Permission of Allah. So, he will not cease to kill the enemies of Allah until He, Glorified be He, becomes pleased.”

‘Abd al-‘Azim said: I said to him, “O my master, so how will he know that Allah, Glorified be He, has become pleased?” He said, “He will place mercy in his heart. When he enters Madinah, he will exhume al-Lat and al-‘Uzza and will burn them both.”16

This riwayah is mursal, as it has no chain of transmission. Therefore, it is dha’if.

Ibn Jarir al-Tabari reports the fifth hadith:

وأخبرني أبو الحسين محمد بن هارون بن موسى، قال: حدثنا أبي رضي الله عنه، قال: أخبرني أبو جعفر محمد بن الحسن بن أحمد بن الوليد، قال: حدثنا محمد بن أحمد بن أبي عبد الله البرقي، قال: حدثني زكريا بن آدم، قال: إني لعند الرضا عليه السلام إذ جئ بأبي جعفر عليه السلام، وسنه أقل من أربع سنين، فضرب بيده إلى الأرض، ورفع رأسه إلى السماء فأطال الفكر، فقال له الرضا عليه السلام: بنفسي أنت، لم طال فكرك؟ فقال عليه السلام : فيما صنع بأمي فاطمة عليها السلام، أما والله لأخرجنهما ثم لأحرقنهما، ثم لأذرينهما، ثم لأنسفنهما في اليم نسفا. فاستدناه، وقبل بين عينيه، ثم قال: بأبي أنت وأمي، أنت لها. يعني الإمامة.

Abu al-Husayn Muhammad b. Harun b. Musa – my father, may Allah be pleased with him – Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Ahmad b. al-Walid – Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Abi ‘Abd Allah al-Barqi – Zakariya b. Adam:

I was with al-Ridha, peace be upon him, when he brought Abu Ja’far, peace be upon him, to me, and his age was lower than four years. Then, he hit towards the ground with his hand, and raised his head towards the heaven, and thought for long. So, al-Ridha, peace be upon him, said to him, “May my soul be for sacrificed for you, why are you thinking for so long?” Then, he, peace be upon him, said, “It is about what was done to my mother, peace be upon her. By Allah, I would exhume them both and burn them, and throw them down, and then scatter them both completely in the sea.” Then, he kissed between his eyes, and then said, “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you. You are for it”. He meant the Imamah.17

About the first narrator, al-Jawahiri states:

محمد بن هارون بن موسى: أبو الحسين … مجهول

Muhammad b. Harun b. Musa, Abu al-Husayn ... : Majhul.18

So, the report is dha’if. Even then, it mentions absolutely nothing about the Mahdi. Therefore, it is grossly irrelevant. It merely claims that Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt had a desire to exhume and burn those two people. It mentions nothing about whether the Mahdi will eventually carry out this wish or not. Anyway, it is an unreliable riwayah. Therefore, it establishes nothing.

Al-Tabari again records the sixth hadith:

وروى أبو عبد الله محمد بن سهل الجلودي، قال: حدثنا أبو الخير أحمد بن محمد بن جعفر الطائي الكوفي في مسجد أبي إبراهيم موسى بن جعفر عليه السلام، قال: حدثنا محمد بن الحسن بن يحيى الحارثي، قال: حدثنا علي بن إبراهيم بن مهزيار الأهوازي، قال: خرجت في بعض السنين حاجا إذ دخلت المدينة وأقمت بها أياما، أسأل واستبحث عن صاحب الزمان عليه السلام… ثم قال: يا ابن المهزيار … يأذن لولي الله، فأخرج بين الصفا والمروة في ثلاثمائة وثلاثة عشر رجلا سواء، فأجئ إلى الكوفة وأهدم مسجدها وأبنيه على بنائه الأول، وأهدم ما حوله من بناء الجبابرة، وأحج بالناس حجة الاسلام، واجئ إلى يثرب فأهدم الحجرة، وأخرج من بها وهما طريان، فأمر بهما تجاه البقيع، وآمر بخشبتين يصلبان عليهما

Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. Sahl al-JuludiAbu al-Khayr Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Ja’far al-Tai al-KufiMuhammad b. al-Hasan b. Yahya al-Harithi‘Ali b. Ibrahim b. Mahziyar al-Ahwazi:

I went out during one of the years to do Hajj. When I entered al-Madinah and stayed them for days, I asked and investigated about Sahib al-Zaman, peace be upon him ... Then he (the Mahdi) said, “O Ibn Mahziyar ... The Wali of Allah will be given permission. So, I will come out between al-Safa and al-Marwah, among three hundred and thirteen similar men. Then, I will come to Kufah, and I will demolish its mosque; and I will rebuild it upon its original foundations. Then, I will demolish whatever will be around it from the constructions of the tyrants. Then, I will lead the people in the (true) Hajj of Islam. Then, I will come to Yathrib and I will demolish the chamber, and I will exhume those in it and they both will be fresh. Then, I will order that they both be placed opposite al-Baqi’, and I will order that they both be crucified upon two pieces of wood.19

This one deviates from the others. It mentions absolutely nothing about the “burning” of the two corpses. Rather, they will only be crucified, and not burnt. Meanwhile, the first narrator, Muhammad b. Sahl al-Juludi, is muhmal (untraceable). He has no entry in the foundational books of rijal. this fact alone sufficiently throws the hadith into the dustbin. Interestingly, the second narrator, Abu al-Khayr, is muhmal as well! This makes the riwayah even doubly worthless. Even then, Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Harithi, the third narrator, is muhmal too! As for the last narrator, this is what al-Jawahiri declares about him:

علي بن إبراهيم: بن مهزيار - مجهول

‘Ali b. Ibrahim b. Mahziyar: Majhul.20

Obviously, without doubt, the hadith is dha’if jiddan (very weak). All its narrators are unreliable.

Then, Shaykh al-Saffar (d. 290 H), in the book attributed to him, documents the seventh report:

حدثنا أحمد بن محمد عن الحسن بن علي عن أبي الصخرة قال حدثني الحسن بن علي قال دخلت انا ورجل من أصحابنا على علي بن عيسى بن عبد الله بن أبي طاهر العلوي قال أبو الصخر فأظنه من ولد عمر بن علي قال وكان أبو طاهر في دار الصيديين نازل قال فدخلنا عليه عند العصر وبين يديه ركوة من ماء وهو يتمسح فسلمت عليه فرد علينا السلام ثم ابتدأنا فقال معكم أحد فقلنا لا ثم التفت يمينا وشمالا لا يرى أحدا ثم قال اخبرني أبى عن جدي انه كان مع أبي جعفر محمد بن علي بمنى و هو يرمى الجمرات وان أبا جعفر عليه السلام رمى الجمرات قال فاستتمها ثم بقي في يده بعد خمس حصيات فرمى اثنتين في ناحية وثلثة في ناحية فقال له جدي جعلت فداك لقد رأيتك صنعت شيئا ما صنعه أحد قط رأيتك رميت الجمرات ثم رميت بخمسة بعد ذلك ثلاثة في ناحية واثنين في ناحية قال نعم انه إذا كان كل موسم أخرجا الفاسقين الغاصبين ثم يفرق بينهما ههنا لا يراهما الا امام عدل فرميت الأول اثنتين والاخر ثلاثة لان الاخر أخبث من الأول.

Ahmad b. Muhammad – al-Hasan b. ‘Ali – Abu al-Sakhrah (also spelt Abu Sakhr) – al-Hasan b. ‘Ali - ‘Ali b. ‘Isa b. ‘Abd Allah b. Abi Tahir al-‘Alawi (later called Abu Tahir) – his father (‘Isa b. ‘Abd Allah) – his grandfather (‘Abd Allah b. Abi Tahir), who said:

I was with Abu Ja’far, Muhammad b. ‘Ali, at Mina and I was throwing the pebbles, and Abu Ja’far, peace be upon him, too threw the pebbles. He finished them (i.e. the required number to be thrown). Then, there were still five pebbles in his hand. So, he threw two to one side and three to another side. As a result, I said to him, “May I be sacrificed for you. I saw you doing something that no one had ever done. I saw you throwing pebbles. Then, you threw five after that: three to one side and two to another side”. He said, “Yes. During every pilgrimage season, the two evil-doers and usurpers are exhumed. Then, they are separated here, and none sees them except a just Imam. So, I stoned the first with two pebbles and the other with three pebbles, because the other was more evil than the first.”21

The first problem of this report is that its source – Basair al-Darajat – is a dha’if book according to Ayatullah al-Muhsini22. This, in effect, makes it dha’if, without even the need to check the sanad.

Meanwhile, before we examine its narrators, let us quote this other version of the same report, from Shaykh al-Mufid (d. 413 H):

أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن الحسن بن علي الوشاء، عن أبي الصخر أحمد بن عبد الرحيم، عن الحسن بن علي رجل كان في جباية مأمون قال: دخلت أنا ورجل من أصحابنا على أبي طاهر عيسى بن عبد الله العلوي، قال أبو الصخر: وأظنه من ولد عمر بن علي وكان نازلا في دار الصيديين فدخلنا عليه عند العصر وبين يديه ركوة من ماء وهو يتمسح، فسلمنا عليه فرد علينا السلام، ثم ابتدأنا فقال: معكما أحد؟ فقلنا: لا، ثم التفت يمينا وشمالا هل يرى أحدا ثم قال: أخبرني أبى عن جدي أنه كان مع أبي جعفر محمد بن علي عليهما السلام بمنى وهو يرمي الجمرات وأن أبا جعفر رمى الجمرات فاستتمها وبقي في يديه بقية، فعد خمس حصيات فرمى ثنتين في ناحية وثلاثة في ناحية، فقلت له: أخبرني جعلت فداك ما هذا فقد رأيتك صنعت شيئا " ما صنعه أحد قط، إنك رميت بخمس بعد ذلك ثلاثة في ناحية وثنتين في ناحية؟ قال: نعم إنه إذا كان كل موسم أخرجا الفاسقان غضيين طريين فصلبا ههنا لا يراهما إلا إمام عدل، فرميت الأول ثنتين والآخر بثلاث لأن الآخر أخبث من الأول.

Ahmad b. Muhammad b. ‘Isa – al-Hasan b. ‘Ali al-Washa – Abu al-Sakhr Ahmad b. ‘Abd al-Rahim – al-Hasan b. ‘Ali – Abu Tahir ‘Isa b. ‘Abd Allah al-‘Alawihis father (‘Abd Allah al-‘Alawi)his grandfather, who said:

I was with Abu Ja’far, Muhammad b. ‘Ali, peace be upon them both, at Muna and I was throwing the pebbles, and Abu Ja’far, peace be upon him, threw the pebbles. He finished them (i.e. the required number to be thrown). Then, there were still some (pebbles) in his hand. So, he counted five pebbles and threw two to one side and three to another side. As a result, I said to him, “May I be sacrificed for you. What is this? I have seen you doing something that no one had ever done. You threw five pebbles after that: three: three to one side and two to another side”. He said, “Yes. During every pilgrimage season, the two evil-doers are exhumed and they are fresh. Then, they are crucified here. None sees them both except a just Imam. So, I stoned the first with two pebbles and the other with three pebbles, because the other was more evil than the first.”23

There is a fundamental contradiction between both reports, even though they supposedly come from the same person! Meanwhile, like in the case of the first riwayah, this one too has a dha’if source. The book, al-Ikhtisas, is dha’if, and there is even no solid proof that its author was really al-Mufid24! With both sources for both reports being dha’if, then both of them are also dha’if by default.

But, that is not all. Al-Jawahiri has words about one of the narrators in both reports:

أحمد بن عبد الرحيم أبو الصخر: مجهول

Ahmad b. ‘Abd al-Rahim Abu al-Sakhr: Majhul.25

The name of one of the narrators is also mixed up. In the first report, it is given as ‘Ali b. ‘Isa b. ‘Abd Allah b. Abi Tahir al-‘Alawi, and in the second as Abu Tahir ‘Isa b. ‘Abd Allah al-‘Alawi. These are two different persons with different fathers and grandfathers! This shows idtirab in the sanad, and reveals a further fatal defect in it. In the matn too, there is confusion over whether the duo are crucified or not. This makes the case of the two reports even more hopeless.

Concerning the narrator in the second riwayah, al-Jawahiri says again:

عيسى بن عبد الله العلوي :مجهول

‘Isa b. ‘Abd Allah al-‘Alawi: Majhul.26

As for ‘Ali b. ‘Isa b. ‘Abd Allah b. Abi Tahir al-‘Alawi, he is muhmal (untraceable). Honestly, we really need not even dig further into the two chains. They are already dha’if jiddan (very weak), and very tragic as they are! Besides, both reports diverge completely from the others, and mention absolutely nothing about how the Mahdi will allegedly crucify the two caliphs.

Then, al-Majlisi has the eighth riwayah on the matter:

وباسناده، عن إسحاق بن عمار، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: إذا قدم القائم عليه السلام وثب أن يكسر الحائط الذي على القبر فيبعث الله تعالى ريحا شديدة وصواعق ورعودا حتى يقول الناس: إنما ذا لذا، فيتفرق أصحابه عنه حتى لا يبقى معه أحد، فيأخذ المعول بيده، فيكون أول من يضرب بالمعول ثم يرجع إليه أصحابه إذا رأوه يضرب المعول بيده، فيكون ذلك اليوم فضل بعضهم على بعض بقدر سبقهم إليه، فيهدمون الحائط ثم يخرجهما غضين رطبين فيلعنهما ويتبرأ منهما ويصلبهما ثم ينزلهما ويحرقهما ثم يذريهما في الريح.

And with his chain, from Ishaq b. ‘Ammar from Abu ‘Abd Allah, peace be upon him, said:

When the Qaim, peace be upon him, arrives, he will jump, to crush the wall which is upon the grave. So, Allah the Most High will send a terrible wind and lightnings and will thunder till the people will say, “That is only for that”. So, his companions will desert him till there will remain not a single person with him. Then, he will pick the pickaxe with his hand, and will be the first to strike with the pickaxe. Then, his companions will return to him when they see him striking the pickaxe with his hand. So, that day, some of them will become superior to others based upon how earlier they came to him. Then, they will demolish the wall, and he will exhume both of them and they will be fresh and wet; and he will curse them both; and he will dissociate from them both; and he will crucify them both. Then he will bring them down and burn them. Then, he will let them both be ablated in the wind.”27

The hadith has no known chain; and the authenticity of its source book – Kitab al-Fadhl b. Shadhan - is also unknown. No wonder, the report is dha’if according to Ayatullah Muhsini28.

So, we move to the final, and the most dramatic, hadith on this matter. ‘Allamah al-Majlisi records:

روي في بعض مؤلفات أصحابنا، عن الحسين بن حمدان، عن محمد ابن إسماعيل وعلي بن عبد الله الحسني، عن أبي شعيب محمد بن نصير، عن عمر بن الفرات، عن محمد بن المفضل، عن المفضل بن عمر قال: سألت سيدي الصادق عليه السلام … يا سيدي ثم يسير المهدي إلى أين؟ قال عليه السلام: إلى مدينة جدي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله، فإذا وردها كان له فيها مقام عجيب يظهر فيه سرور المؤمنين وخزي الكافرين. قال المفضل: يا سيدي ما هو ذاك؟ قال: يرد إلى قبر جده صلى الله عليه وآله فيقول: يا معاشر الخلائق، هذا قبر جدي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله؟ فيقولون: نعم يا مهدي آل محمد فيقول: ومن معه في القبر؟ فيقولون: صاحباه وضجيعاه أبو بكر وعمر، فيقول وهو أعلم بهما والخلائق كلهم جميعا يسمعون: من أبو بكر وعمر؟ وكيف دفنا من بين الخلق مع جدي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله، وعسى المدفون غيرهما. فيقول الناس: يا مهدي آل محمد صلى الله عليه وآله ما ههنا غيرهما إنهما دفنا معه لأنهما خليفتا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وأبوا زوجتيه، فيقول للخلق بعد ثلاث: أخرجوهما من قبريهما، فيخرجان غضين طريين لم يتغير خلقهما، ولم يشحب لونهما فيقول: هل فيكم من يعرفهما؟ فيقولون: نعرفهما بالصفة وليس ضجيعا جدك غيرهما، فيقول: هل فيكم أحد يقول غير هذا أو يشك فيهما؟ فيقولون: لا فيؤخر اخراجهما ثلاثة أيام، ثم ينتشر الخبر في الناس ويحضر المهدي ويكشف الجدران عن القبرين، ويقول للنقباء: ابحثوا عنهما وانبشوهما. فيبحثون بأيديهم حتى يصلون إليهما. فيخرجان غضين طريين كصورتهما فيكشف عنهما أكفانهما ويأمر برفعهما على دوحة يابسة نخرة فيصلبهما عليها … ثم يأمر بانزالهما فينزلان إليه فيحييهما بإذن الله تعالى ويأمر الخلائق بالاجتماع، ثم يقص عليهم قصص فعالهما في كل كور ودور حتى يقص عليهم قتل هابيل بن آدم عليه السلام، وجمع النار لإبراهيم عليه السلام، وطرح يوسف عليه السلام في الجب، وحبس يونس عليه السلام في الحوت، وقتل يحيى عليه السلام، وصلب عيسى عليه السلام وعذاب جرجيس ودانيال عليهما السلام، وضرب سلمان الفارسي، وإشعال النار على باب أمير المؤمنين وفاطمة والحسن والحسين عليهم السلام لاحراقهم بها، وضرب يد الصديقة الكبرى فاطمة بالسوط، ورفس بطنها وإسقاطها محسنا، وسم الحسن عليه السلام وقتل الحسين عليه السلام، وذبح أطفاله وبني عمه وأنصاره، وسبي ذراري رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وإراقة دماء آل محمد صلى الله عليه وآله، وكل دم سفك، وكل فرج نكح حراما، وكل رين وخبث وفاحشة وإثم وظلم وجور وغشم منذ عهد آدم عليه السلام إلى وقت قيام قائمنا عليه السلام كل ذلك يعدده عليه السلام عليهما، ويلزمهما إياه فيعترفان به ثم يأمر بهما فيقتص منهما في ذلك الوقت بمظالم من حضر، ثم يصلبهما على الشجرة و يأمر نارا تخرج من الأرض فتحرقهما والشجرة ثم يأمر ريحا فتنسفهما في اليم نسفا.

It is narrated in some books of our companions from al-Husayn b. Hamdan – Muhammad b. Isma’il and ‘Ali b. ‘Abd Allah al-Hasani – Abu Shu’ayb Muhammad b. Nusayr‘Umar b. al-FuratMuhammad b. al-Mufadhdhal – al-Mufadhdhal b. ‘Umar:

I asked my master, al-Sadiq, peace be upon him ...: “O my master, where will the Mahdi go thereafter?”

He, peace be upon him, said, “To the city (Madinah) of my ancestor, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his family. When he gets there, he will have a strange status. It will reveal the believers’ joy concerning him, and the sorrow of the disbelievers.”

Al-Mufadhdhal said, “O my master! What will that be?”

He said, “He will go to the grave of his ancestor, peace be upon him and his family, and will say, ‘O creatures! Is this the grave of my ancestor, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his family?’ They will say, ‘Yes, O Mahdi of the family of Muhammad.’ Then, he will say, ‘And who is with him in the grave?’ They will say, ‘His two companions and bedfellows, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.’ So, he will say - he will know best concerning the two of them – while the entire creation listen, ‘Who are Abu Bakr and ‘Umar? And how were they – of all the creatures - buried with my ancestor, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his family? Perhaps, others are buried here.’ The people will say, ‘O Mahdi of the family of Muhammad, peace be upon him and his family, there is none else here apart from the two of them. They have only been buried with him because they both were successors of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his family, and his fathers-in-law.’

So, he will say to the creatures after three days, ‘Exhume them both from their grave.’ Then, they will be exhumed, and they will be fresh and intact, and their skin colour will not have become pallid. Therefore, he will say, ‘Is there anyone among you who recognizes them both?’ They will say, ‘We recognize them both by description. There are no other bedfellows of your ancestor except them both.’ He will say, ‘Is there anyone among you who has a different opinion or who doubts concerning them both?’ They will say, ‘No.’ Then, he will delay their exhumation for three days. Then, the news will spread among the people and the Mahdi will come and will remove the two walls from their graves, and will say to the captains, ‘Search for them both and exhume them.’ So, they will search with their hands until they will reach them both. Then, they will be exhumed and they will be fresh as they originally were. He will remove their shrouds from them, and will order that they both be raised on a lofty, dry, decayed tree. Then, they both will be crucified on it ... Then, he will order that they both be brought down.

So, they will be brought down to him, and he will bring them back to life with the Permission of Allah the Most High and he will order all creatures to gather together. Then, he will narrate to them stories of what both of them did during every age and epoch, till he will narrate to them the murder of Habil b. Adam, peace be upon him; and the gathering of the fire for Ibrahim, peace be upon him; the throwing of Yusuf, peace be upon him, into the well; the confinement of Yunus, peace be upon him, inside the whale; the murder of Yahya, peace be upon him; the crucifixion of ‘Isa, peace be upon him; the torture of Jirjis and Daniyal, peace be upon them; the beating of Salman al-Farisi; the torching of the door of Amir al-Muminin, Faṭimah, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be upon them, in order to burn them through it; the beating of the hand of al-Siddiqah al-Kubra Faṭimah with the whip, and the kicking of her stomach and the miscarriage of Muhsin; the poisoning of al-Hasan, peace be upon him; the murder of al-Husayn, peace be upon him, and the slaughter of his babies, cousins and helpers; the taking of the offspring of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his family, as war captives and the shedding of the blood of the family of Muhammad, peace be upon him and his family; and every blood that is spilled unlawfully; and every lady who is illegally married; and every fraud, evil deed, obscenity, sin, injustice, aggression, and every act of wrongdoing since the time of Adam, peace be upon him, till the time of the rise of our Qaim, peace be upon him – he will charge all of that against them both, and will accuse them of everything, and they both will confess to everything. Then, he will order concerning them both, and every victim among those present will retaliate against them. Then, he will crucify them upon the tree and will command a fire which will come out of the earth, and it will burn them both and the tree. Then, he will order the wind to blow them both completely into the sea.’”29

This report is so worthless that one hardly knows where to begin criticizing it. Is it its chain? Or its text, which patently contradicts several verses of the holy Qur’an and authentic history? The reader is also surprised by its weird length: it spans a total of 35 pages!30 A single hadith?! We have only quoted the most relevant part.

Maybe we should just start with verdict of the annotator, ‘Allamah al-Bahbudi, who says about its sanad:

وان نحقق عن حال من أسند عنه فنرى في الحديث محمد بن نصير وهو النميري الكذاب الغال الخبيث المدعى للنيابة على ما في غيبة الشيخ ص ٢٥٠ - وقد مر في ج ٥١ ص ٣٦٧ و ٣٦٨ شطر من ترجمته - يروى عن عمر بن الفرات الكاتب البغدادي الغالي ذو المناكير، عن محمد بن المفضل بن عمر: مهمل أو مجهول، ولكن الظاهر أن الكذب إنما جاء من قبل البغدادي الكاتب ذي المناكير، وهو الذي كتب وصنف هذا الحديث وسردها بطوله، أو الجاعل هو نفس النميري.

If we investigate the status of those who narrated (the hadith) from him (i.e. al-Mufadhdhal b. ‘Umar), we see in the hadith Muhammad b. Nusayr, and he is al-Numayri, the LIAR, the GHALI, the evil doer who claimed deputyship (to the chosen Imam), based upon what is in Ghaybah of Shaykh, page 250, and it has passed in Volume 51, page 367 and 368 (of Bihar al-Anwar), a part of his biography. He narrated from ‘Umar b. al-Furat, the Baghdadi scribe, the GHALI, narrator of manakir (repugnant reports), from Muhammad b. al-Mufadhdhal b. ‘Umar, who is muhmal (untraceable) or majhul (unknown). What is apparent is that THE LIE (i.e. the hadith) only originated from al-Baghdadi, the scribe, narrator of manakir. He was the one who wrote and scripted this hadith and also narrated it in its entirety. Or, the fabricator was al-Numayri himself.31

First and foremost, the hadith is identified as “the lie”. Of course, the existence of two fabricators in its chain leave no doubt about that. Moreover, both fabricators were from the ghulat (exaggerators) – people with outward disbelief in Allah and His Messenger, sallallahu ‘alaihi wa alihi. The ahadith of such people are, by default, of zero value in Islam.

Meanwhile, there is one more of its narrators whom al-Bahbudi inadevertently missed: al-Husayn b. Hamdan. ‘Allamah al-Hilli (d. 726 H) says about him:

الحسين بن حمدان الجنبلاني - بالجيم المضمومة، والنون الساكنة، والباء المنقطة تحتها نقطة - الحضيني - بالحاء غير المعجمة المضمومة، والضاد المعجمة، والنون بعد الياء وقبلها - أبو عبد الله، كان فاسد المذهب، كذابا، صاحب مقالة ملعون، لا يلتفت إليه.

Al-Husayn b. Hamdan al-Junbulani al-Hadhini, Abu ‘Abd Allah: He was a heretic, A LIAR, maker of an accursed statement. No attention is paid to him.32

This is the third fabricator in the sanad !

The mawdhu’ (fabricated) hadith accuses Abu Bakr and ‘Umar of several crimes – including the murder of Habil b. Adam, the gathering of the fire for Ibrahim, the throwing of Yusuf into the well, the confinement of Yunus inside the whale; the murder of Yahya, the crucifixion of ‘Isa, and the torture of Jirjis and Daniyal – all of which had taken place before those two Sunni caliphs were even born! Certainly, nothing can be more laughable, and more fallacious, than these blatantly outrageous claims??! Unsurprisingly, this fabricated report also falsely affirms the “crucifixion of ‘Isa” – one of its several direct contradictions to the Book of Allah and the authentic Sunnah. Meanwhile, the Qur’an has explicitly stated that no such crucifixion ever took place:

وقولهم إنا قتلنا المسيح عيسى ابن مريم رسول الله وما قتلوه وما صلبوه

And their saying, “Surely, we killed the Masih, ‘Isa b. Maryam, the Messenger of Allah.” And they did not kill him, AND THEY DID NOT CRUCIFY HIM.33

Apparently, whoever fabricated that hadith was not very conversant with the Book of our Lord, or with reliable history. This is very evident throughout the report; and, sometimes, he takes his very deep ignorance to very ridiculous extents. Sadly, there are even some extremists among the Shi’ah who quote this hadith – in spite of its extreme weaknesses – as “evidence” in desperate attempts to slight Abu Bakr and ‘Umar!

We have examined the riwayat which are normally quoted as “proof” that Imam al-Mahdi will exhume the two Sunni caliphs and burn or crucify them. All the reports are dha’if, and most of them are very unreliable. There are nine reports:

a) The first hadith is dha’if: Imam al-Mahdi will resurrect them both and then burn them only, without crucifying them at all.

b) The second hadith is dha’if: Imam al-Mahdi will resurrect them both and will then burn them with the same firewood which they had allegedly gathered to burn the Ahl al-Bayt, without crucifying them.

c) The third hadith is mawdhu’ (a fabrication) due to Ahmad b. Hilal: Imam al-Mahdi will only exhume their corpses and will NOT resurrect them, and he will burn them both.

d) The fourth hadith is dha’if: Imam al-Mahdi will only exhume their corpses and will NOT resurrect them, and will burn them both.

e) The fifth hadith is dha’if: It mentions absolutely nothing about Imam al-Mahdi or his alleged exhumation/resurrection/cremation of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. So, it is grossly irrelevant.

f) The sixth hadith is dha’if jiddan: Imam al-Mahdi will only exhume their corpses and will NOT resurrect them, and will only crucify them on two pieces of wood (and not trees) and will NOT burn them.

g) The seventh hadith is also dha’if jiddan: It mentions absolutely nothing about Imam al-Mahdi or his alleged exhumation/resurrection/cremation of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. So, it is grossly irrelevant as well.

h) The eighth hadith is dha’if: Imam al-Mahdi will only exhume their corpses and will NOT resurrect them, and will crucify them, and then burn them.

i) The ninth hadith is mawdhu’: It contradicts itself on the exact timing of the alleged exhumation. It also claims that Imam al-Mahdi will crucify the duo on a tree (not on two pieces of wood), and will then burn them with a fire from the earth and the tree on which they will be crucified (and not with the wood which they had allegedly gathered to burn the Ahl al-Bayt).

Two of them are completely irrelevant. Therefore, we are left with seven reports. Two of those are also mawdhu’. That leaves five. Of those five, four are dha’if, and one is dha’if jiddan. So, we are left with the four dha’if reports. The four dha’ifah also contradict one another on whether the Qaim will resurrect the two caliphs or not, and on whether he will crucify them or not.

  • 1. Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’ah li Durar Akhbar al-Aimah al-Aṭhar (Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi; 3rd edition, 1403 H), vol. 52, p. 386, Ch. 27, # 200
  • 2. Muhammad al-Jawahiri, al-Mufid min Mu’jam al-Rijal al-Hadith (Qum: Manshurat Maktabah al-Mahalati; 2nd edition, 1424 H), p. 87, # 1766
  • 3. Muhammad Asif al-Muhsini, Mashra’ah Bihar al-Anwar (Beirut: Muasassat al-‘Arif li al-Maṭbu’at; 2nd edition, 1426 H), vol. 2, p. 233
  • 4. ‘Ali Al Muhsin, Lillah wa li al-Haqiqah (2nd edition, 1425 H), vol. 2, p. 605
  • 5. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Jarir b. Rustam al-Tabari al-Saghir, Dalail al-Imamah (Tehran: Muasassat al-Bi’thah; 1st edition, 1413 H), p. 455, # 435 (39)
  • 6. Muhammad al-Jawahiri, al-Mufid min Mu’jam al-Rijal al-Hadith (Qum: Manshurat Maktabah al-Mahalati; 2nd edition, 1424 H), p. 586, # 11947
  • 7. Ibid, p. 136, # 2742
  • 8. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. Babuyah al-Qummi, Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mah (Qum: Muasassat al-Nashr al-Islami li Jama’at al-Mudarisin; 1405 H) [annotator: ‘Ali Akbar al-Ghiffari], pp. 252-253, Ch. 23, # 2; Abu Ja’far al-Saduq Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. Babuyah al-Qummi, ‘Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha (Beirut: Muasassat al-A’lami li al-Maṭbu’at; 1st edition, 1404 H) [Husayn al-A’lami], vol.2, pp. 60-61, # 27
  • 9. Muhammad al-Jawahiri, al-Mufid min Mu’jam al-Rijal al-Hadith (Qum: Manshurat Maktabah al-Mahalati; 2nd edition, 1424 H), p. 37, # 767
  • 10. Ibid, p. 689, # 14023
  • 11. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. Babuyah al-Qummi, Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mah (Qum: Muasassat al-Nashr al-Islami li Jama’at al-Mudarisin; 1405 H) [annotator: ‘Ali Akbar al-Ghiffari], p. 252, Ch. 23, # 2, footnote # 2
  • 12. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Tusi, al-Fihrist (Muasassat Nashr al-Faqahah; 1st edition, 1417 H) [annotator: Shaykh Jawad al-Qayumi], p. 83, # 107 (45)
  • 13. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. Husayn b. Babuyah al-Qummi, al-I’tiqadat (Dar al-Mufid; 2nd edition, 1414 H) [annotator: ‘Isam ‘Abd al-Sayyid], Ch. 37, p. 97
  • 14. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Tusi, al-Istibsar (Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah) [annotator: Sayyid Hasan al-Musawi al-Khurasan], vol. 3, p. 28, # 90 (22)
  • 15. Muhammad Sadiq al-Husayni al-Ruhani, Fiqh al-Sadiq (Qum: Muasassat Dar al-Kitab; 3rd edition, 1412 H), vol. 4, p. 204
  • 16. Abu Mansur Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Abi Talib al-Tabarsi, al-Ihtijaj (Najaf: Dar al-Nu’man li al-Taba’ah wa al-Nashr; 1386 H) [annotator: Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Khurasan], vol. 2, pp. 249-250
  • 17. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Jarir b. Rustam al-Tabari al-Saghir, Dalail al-Imamah (Tehran: Muasassat al-Bi’thah; 1st edition, 1413 H), pp. 400-401, # 358 (18)
  • 18. Muhammad al-Jawahiri, al-Mufid min Mu’jam al-Rijal al-Hadith (Qum: Manshurat Maktabah al-Mahalati; 2nd edition, 1424 H), p. 586, # 11947
  • 19. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Jarir b. Rustam al-Tabari al-Saghir, Dalail al-Imamah (Tehran: Muasassat al-Bi’thah; 1st edition, 1413 H), pp. 539-542, # 522 (126)
  • 20. Muhammad al-Jawahiri, al-Mufid min Mu’jam al-Rijal al-Hadith (Qum: Manshurat Maktabah al-Mahalati; 2nd edition, 1424 H), p. 380, # 7817
  • 21. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Farukh al-Saffar, Basair al-Darajat al-Kubra fi Fadhail Al Muhammad (Tehran: Muasassat al-A’lami; 1404 H), pp. 306-307, Ch. 7, # 8
  • 22. See Muhammad Asif al-Muhsini, Buhuth fi ‘Ilm al-Rijal (Markaz al-Mustafa al-‘Alami li Tarjamah wa al-Nashr), pp. 426-427, # 5 ; Muhammad Asif al-Muhsini, Mashra’ah Bihar al-Anwar (Beirut: Muasassat al-‘Arif li al-Maṭbu’at; 2nd edition, 1426 H), vol. 1, p. 14
  • 23. Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. al-Nu’man al-‘Ikbari al-Baghdadi, al-Iktisas (Qum: Manshurah Jama’ah al-Mudarisin fi al-Hawzah al-‘Ilmiyyah) [annotator: ‘Ali Abkar al-Ghiffari], p. 277
  • 24. Muhammad Asif al-Muhsini, Mashra’ah Bihar al-Anwar (Beirut: Muasassat al-‘Arif li al-Maṭbu’at; 2nd edition, 1426 H), vol. 1, p. 405
  • 25. Muhammad al-Jawahiri, al-Mufid min Mu’jam al-Rijal al-Hadith (Qum: Manshurat Maktabah al-Mahalati; 2nd edition, 1424 H), p. 30, # 617
  • 26. Ibid, p. 448, # 9199
  • 27. Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’ah li Durar Akhbar al-Aimah al-Aṭhar (Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi; 3rd edition, 1403 H), vol. 52, p. 386, Ch. 27, # 201
  • 28. Muhammad Asif al-Muhsini, Mashra’ah Bihar al-Anwar (Beirut: Muasassat al-‘Arif li al-Maṭbu’at; 2nd edition, 1426 H), vol. 2, p. 233
  • 29. Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’ah li Durar Akhbar al-Aimah al-Aṭhar (Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi; 3rd edition, 1403 H) [annotator: Muhammad al-Baqir al-Bahbudi], vol. 53, pp. 1-14, Ch. 25
  • 30. Ibid, vol. 53, pp. 1-35, Ch. 25
  • 31. Ibid, vol. 53, p. 1, Ch. 25
  • 32. Abu Mansur al-Hasan b. Yusuf b. Muṭahhar al-Asadi, Khulasat al-Aqwal fi Ma’rifat al-Rijal (Muasassat Nashr al-Faqahah; 1st edition, 1417 H) [annotator: Shaykh Jawad al-Qayumi], p. 339, # 10
  • 33. Qur’an 4:157