10) Hadith Al-Ada, Investigating Its Authenticity

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 H) states:

قوله لا يؤدي عني إلا علي من الكذب

His statement “None can discharge on my behalf except ‘Ali” is a lie.1

This hadith is recorded by Imam al-Tirmidhi (d. 279 H) in his Sunan:

حدثنا إسماعيل بن موسى حدثنا شريك عن أبي إسحق عن حبشي بن جنادة قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم علي مني وأنا من علي ولا يؤدي عني إلا أنا أو علي

Isma’il b. Musa – Sharik – Abu Ishaq – Habashi b. Junadah:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “’Ali is from me and I am from ‘Ali, and none can discharge on my behalf except myself or ‘Ali.2

Al-Tirmidhi comments:

هذا حديث حسن غريب

This hadith is hasan gharib (i.e. has a hasan chain)3

Al-Albani (d. 1420 H) also says:

حسن

Hasan.4

The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alaihi wa alihi, further put this declaration into practice during his lifetime. Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah (d. 235 H) records:

حدثنا عفان قال ثنا حماد بن سلمة عن سماك عن أنس أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بعث ببراءة مع أبي بكر إلى مكة، فدعاه فبعث عليا فقال: " لا يبلغها إلا رجل من أهل بيتي ".

‘Affan – Hamad b. Salamah – Simak – Anas:

The Prophet, peace be upon him, sent Abu Bakr with Barat to Makkah. But, he recalled him and sent ‘Ali (instead), and said, “None can convey it except a man from my Ahl al-Bayt.”5

This chain is apparently sahih. ‘Al-Hafiz (d. 852 H) says about ‘Affan, the first narrator:

عفان بن مسلم بن عبد الله الباهلي أبو عثمان الصفار البصري ثقة ثبت

‘Affan b. Muslim b. ‘Abd Allah al-Bahili, Abu ‘Uthman al-Saffar: thiqah (trustworthy), thabt (accurate).6

‘Allamah al-Albani also says:

عن عفان بن مسلم، قال: كنت عند سلام....

قلت: وهذا إسناد صحيح عن سلام، فعفان ثقة من رجال الشيخين

Narrated ‘Affan b. Muslim: I was with Salam....

I say: This chain is sahih up to Salam, and ‘Affan is thiqah, from the narrators of the two Shaykhs.7

What of the shaykh of ‘Affan b. Muslim, that is, Hamad b. Salamah? Al-Hafiz again states:

حماد بن سلمة بن دينار البصري أبو سلمة ثقة عابد أثبت الناس في ثابت وتغير حفظه بأخرة

Hamad b. Salamah b. Dinar al-Basri, Abu Salamah: Thiqah (trustworthy), ‘abid (a great worshipper of Allah), the most reliable person with regards to Thabit. His memory weakened at the end (of his life).8

‘Allamah al-Albani agrees on his trustworthiness, but with a mistaken reservation:

حدثنا أسود حدثنا حماد بن سلمة عن قتادة عن عكرمة عن ابن عباس ورجاله كلهم ثقات رجال مسلم، لكن حماد بن سلمة مع جلالة قدره في حديثه عن غير ثابت شيء، ولذلك لم يخرج له مسلم إلا ما كان من روايته عن ثابت، ولذلك قال الحافظ في "التقريب" :"ثقة عابد، أثبت الناس في ثابت، وتغير حفظه بآخره.

Aswad – Hamad b. Salamah – Qatadah – ‘Ikrimah – Ibn ‘Abbas:

Its narrators are all thiqah (trustworthy), narrators of (Sahih) Muslim. However, despite that high status of Hamad, in his ahadith from other than Thabit, there is a problem. This is why (Imam) Muslim never records his ahadith except those from Thabit. This is (also) why al-Hafiz says in al-Taqrib: “Thiqah (trustworthy), ‘abid (a great worshipper of Allah), the most reliable person with regards to Thabit. His memory weakened at the end (of his life)”.9

The above submission is inaccurate, actually. Imam Muslim (d. 261 H) has, for instance, recorded this chain:

حدثنا هداب بن خالد الأزدي حدثنا حماد بن سلمة عن سماك بن حرب قال سمعت جابر بن سمرة

Hadab b. Khalid al-Azdi – Hamad b. SalamahSimak b. Harb – Jabir b. Samurah10

As we shall soon prove, ‘Allamah al-Albani himself also accepts that Hamad authentically transmitted from Simak.

Concerning the last narrator, Simak, Imam al-Dhahabi (d. 748 H) says:

سماك بن حرب أبو المغيرة الهذلي الكوفي. صدوق …. قلت: قد احتج مسلم] به [في روايته، عن جابر بن سمرة، والنعمان بن بشير، وجماعة.

Simak b. Harb, Abu al-Mughirah al-Hazali al-Kufi: Saduq (very truthful).... I say: Muslim had relied [upon him] as a hujjah in his reports, from Jabir b. Samurah, al-Nu’man b. Bashir, and a group of others.11

So, the chain is sahih upon the standard of Sahih Muslim.

Imam Ahmad (d. 241 H) further records

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا عبد الصمد وعفان قالا ثنا حماد المعني عن سماك عن أنس بن مالك: أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بعث ببراءة مع أبي بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه فلما بلغ ذا الحليفة قال عفان لا يبلغها إلا أنا أو رجل من أهل بيتي فبعث بها مع علي

‘Abd Allah – my father (Ahmad b. Hanbal) ‘Abd al-Samad and ‘AffanHamad al-Ma’niSimak – Anas b. Malik:

Verily, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, sent Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, with Barat (to Makkah). But, when he reached Dhu al-Halifah, he (the Prophet) – as narrated by ‘Affan – said: “None can convey it except myself or a man from my Ahl al-Bayt.” So, he sent ‘Ali with it (instead).12

Note that Hamad b. Salamah is occasionally referred to as al-Ma’ni, as documented by Ibn Asakir (d. 571 H):

…. أبو شبل وحسن يعني ابن موسى قالا نا حماد بن سلمة المعني عن ثابت ….

.... Abu Shibl and Hasan, that is Ibn Musa – Hamad b. Salamah al-Ma’ni – Thabit....13

Therefore, there should no confusion due to this new phrase “al-Ma’ni”.

Shockingly, Shaykh al-Arnaut says about the above chain of Musnad Ahmad:

إسناده ضعيف لنكارة متنه

Its chain is da’if due to the repugnancy of its matn (content)14

This is a rather disturbing manner of weakening asanid! So, if someone does not like the content of a hadith, he is free to declare its patently reliable sanad as dha’if only on that basis?!

Meanwhile, al-Arnaut has authenticated a very similar chain in the same book:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا عبد الصمد وعفان قالا ثنا حماد ثنا ثابت عن أنس .... إسناده صحيح على شرط مسلم

‘Abd Allah – my father (Ahmad b. Hanbal) – ‘Abd al-Samad and ‘Affan – Hamad – Thabit – Anas.... Its chain is sahih upon the standard of Muslim.15

The only difference is: instead of Simak, there is Thabit. But, what does al-Arnaut say about Simak? Here are his words:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا معاوية بن عمرو ثنا زائدة قال ثنا سماك بن حرب عن عبد الرحمن بن القاسم عن أبيه عن عائشة ....إسناده صحيح على شرط مسلم

‘Abd Allah – my father (Ahmad b. Hanbal) - Mu’awiyah b. ‘Amr – Zaidah – Simak b. Harb – ‘Abd al-Rahman b. al-Qasim – his father – ‘Aishah.... Its chain is sahih upon the standard of (Sahih) Muslim.16

In other words, Shaykh al-Arnaut is fully well aware that the chain of Hadith al-Ada – which he baselessly discredits – is truly sahih upon the standard of Sahih Muslim!

Imam al-Tirmidhi too records about the Prophet’s practicalization of the hadith:

حدثنا محمد بن بشار حدثنا عفان بن مسلم و عبد الصمد بن عبد الوارث قالا حدثنا حماد بن سلمة عن سماك بن حرب عن أنس بن مالك قال: بعث النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم ببراءة مع أبي بكر ثم دعاه فقال لا ينبغي لأحد أن يبلغ هذا إلا رجل من أهلي فدعا عليا فأعطاه إياه

Muhammad b. Bashar – ‘Affan b. Muslim and ‘Abd al-Samad b. ‘Abd al-Warith – Hamad b. Salamah – Simak b. Harb – Anas b. Malik:

The Prophet, peace be upon him, sent Abu Bakr with Barat to Makkah. But, he recalled him and said, “It is NOT right for ANYONE to convey this except a man from my family.” So, he summoned ‘Ali and gave it to him.17

Al-Tirmidhi says:

هذا حديث حسن غريب

This hadith is hasan gharib (i.e. has a hasan chain)18

‘Allamah al-Albani concurs:

حسن الإسناد

Its chain is hasan19

Imam Abu Ya’la al-Mawsili (d. 307 H) also documents:

حدثنا زهير حدثنا عفان حدثنا حماد بن سلمة حدثنا سماك عن أنس: أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بعث بـ(براءة) مع أبي بكر إلى أهل مكة ثم دعاه فبعث عليا فقال : لا يبلغها إلا رجل من أهل بيتي

Zuhayr – ‘Affan – Hamad b. Salamah – Simak – Anas:

Verily, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, sent Abu Bakr with (Barat) to the people of Makkah. Then he recalled him, and sent ‘Ali (instead), and said, “None can convey it except a man from my Ahl al-Bayt.”20

Shaykh Dr. Asad says:

إسناده حسن

Its chain is hasan.21

Shaykh Muhammad Ghazali al-Saqa (d. 1416 H) has his own submission too:

بعث رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أبا بكر أميرا على الحج، ليقيم بالمسلمين المناسك، فخرج من المدينة يسوق البدن أمامه مولّيا وجهه شطر المسجد الحرام، ونزل الوحي بسورة براءة بعد انصراف أبي بكر ووفد الحجيج، فأشير على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن يبعث بالايات إليه ليقرأها على أهل الموسم كافّة. ورأى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن يرسل بها عليّ بن أبي طالب قائلا: «لا يؤدّي عنّي إلا رجل من أهل بيتي»

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, appointed Abu Bakr the amir over the Hajj, in order to lead the Muslims in the performance of the Hajj rites. So, he left Madinah, driving camels ahead of him, turning his face towards the Masjid al-Haram (in Makkah). Then, wahy (divine revelation) descended with Surah Barat after Abu Bakr had left and had reached al-Hajij.

So, it was suggested to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, to send a messenger with the verses to him (i.e. Abu Bakr) so that he could recite it to all the pilgrims. But the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, had the opinion that he should send ‘Ali b. Abi Talib with it (to the Hajj, instead), saying: “None can discharge on my behalf except a man from my Ahl al-Bayt.”22

‘Allamah al-Albani says about the report:

حديث حسن، رواه ابن هشام: 2/ 328، عن ابن إسحاق عن أبي جعفر محمد بن علي مرسلا، لكن له شواهد يتقوّى بها، ذكرها ابن كثير في تاريخه: 5/ 37- 38.

It is a hasan hadith. Ibn Hisham (2/328) recorded it, from Ibn Ishaq, from Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. ‘Ali in a mursal manner. However, it has corroborating reports that strengthen it. Ibn Kathir (also) mentioned it in his Tarikh (5/37-38).23

Finally, Imam al-Hakim (d. 403 H) records Ibn ‘Abbas’ testimony, radhiyallahu ‘anhu, that Hadith al-Ada is an exclusive merit of ‘Ali:

أخبرنا أبو بكر أحمد بن جعفر بن حمدان القطيعي ببغداد من أصل كتابه ثنا عبد الله بن أحمد بن حنبل حدثني أبي ثنا يحيى بن حماد ثنا أبو عوانة ثنا أبو بلج ثنا عمرو بن ميمون قال إني لجالس عند ابن عباس إذ أتاه تسعة رهط فقالوا : يا ابن عباس : إما أن تقوم معنا وإما أن تخلو بنا من بين هؤلاء قال : فقال ابن عباس بل أنا أقوم معكم قال وهو يومئذ صحيح قبل أن يعمى قال : فابتدؤوا فتحدثوا فلا ندري ما قالوا قال فجاء ينفض ثوبه ويقول أف وتف وقعوا في رجل له بضع عشرة فضائل ليست لأحد غيره .... بعث رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فلانا بسورة التوبة فبعث عليا خلفه فأخذها منه وقال لا يذهب بها إلا رجل هو مني وأنا منه

Abu Bakr Ahmad b. Ja’far b. Hamdan al-Qati’i – ‘Abd Allah b. Ahmad b. Hanbal – my father (Ahmad b. Hanbal) Yahya b. Hamad – Abu Awanah – Abu Balj - ‘Amr b. Maymun:

I was sitting in the company of Ibn ‘Abbas when nine men came to him and said, “O Ibn ‘Abbas! Either you debate with us, or tell these folks that you prefer a private debate.” So, Ibn ‘Abbas said, “I would rather participate with you.” In those days, he had not lost his eye-sight yet. So they started talking, but I was not sure exactly what they were talking about.

Then he came, squeezing his robe, and saying: “Nonsense! They are attacking a man who has ten EXCLUSIVE merits.... The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, sent so-and-so with Surat al-Tawbah. But, he sent ‘Ali to go after him and take it from him, and said, “None goes with it except a man who is from me and I am from him.”24

Al-Hakim says:

هذا حديث صحيح الإسناد

This hadith has a sahih chain.25

Al-Dhahabi (d. 748 H) corroborates him:

صحيح

Sahih.26

‘Allamah Ahmad Shakir also declares about the sanad:

إسناده صحيح

Its chain is sahih.27

‘Allamah al-Albani too says concerning its chain:

إسناده حسن.

Its chain is hasan.28

Dr. Al-Jawabirah says the same thing:

اسناده حسن.

Its chain is hasan.29

Imam al-Busiri is not left out either, concerning the chain:

سند صحيح

A sahih chain.30

  • 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. 5, p. 63
  • 2. 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. 636, # 3719
  • 3. Ibid
  • 4. Ibid
  • 5. ‘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. 7, p. 506, # 72
  • 6. 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. 679, # 4641
  • 7. Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani, Mukhtasar al-‘Uluw al-‘Aliyy al-‘Azim (al-Maktab al-Islami; 2nd edition, 1412 H), pp. 148-149
  • 8. 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. 238, # 1504
  • 9. Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani, Mukhtasar al-‘Uluw al-‘Aliyy al-‘Azim (al-Maktab al-Islami; 2nd edition, 1412 H), p. 118
  • 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. 3, p. 1452, #1821
  • 11. Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. Ahmad b. ‘Uthman al-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I’tidal fi Naqd al-Rijal (Beirut: Dar al-Ma’rifah li al-Taba’ah wa al-Nashr; 1st edition, 1382 H) [annotator: ‘Ali Muhammad al-Bajawi], vol. 2, pp. 232-233, # 3548
  • 12. Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal al-Shaybani, Musnad (Cairo: Muasassat Qurtubah) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 3, p. 212, # 13237
  • 13. Abu al-Qasim ‘Ali b. al-Hasan b. Habat Allah b. ‘Abd Allah, Ibn Asakir al-Shafi’i, Tarikh Madinah Dimashq (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr; 1415 H) [annotator: ‘Ali Shiri], vol. 24, p. 235
  • 14. Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal al-Shaybani, Musnad (Cairo: Muasassat Qurtubah) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 3, p. 212, # 13237
  • 15. Ibid, vol. 3, p. 152, # 12560
  • 16. Ibid, vol. 6, p. 115, # 24883
  • 17. 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. 275, # 3090
  • 18. Ibid
  • 19. Ibid
  • 20. Abu Ya’la Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Muthanna al-Mawsili al-Tamimi, Musnad (Damascus: Dar al-Mamun li al-Turath; 1st edition, 1404 H) [annotator: Dr. Husayn Salim Asad], vol. 5, p. 412, # 3095
  • 21. Ibid
  • 22. Muhammad Ghazali al-Saqa, Fiqh al-Sirah (Damascus: Dar al-Qalam; 1st edition, 1427 H) [annotator: Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani], p. 417
  • 23. Ibid
  • 24. Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. ‘Abd Allah al-Hakim al-Naysaburi, al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-’Ilmiyyah; 1st edition, 1411 H) [annotator: Mustafa ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Ata], vol. 3, p. 143, # 4652
  • 25. Ibid
  • 26. Ibid
  • 27. Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal al-Shaybani, Musnad (Cairo: Dar al-Hadith; 1st edition, 1416 H) [annotator: Ahmad Muhammad Shakir], vol. 1, p. 331, # 3062
  • 28. Abu Bakr b. Abi ‘Asim, Ahmad b. ‘Amr b. al-Dhahhak b. Mukhlid al-Shaybani, Kitab al-Sunnah (al-Maktab al-Islami; 1st edition, 1410 H) [annotator: Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani], vol. 2, p. 565, # 1188
  • 29. Abu Bakr b. Abi ‘Asim, Ahmad b. ‘Amr b. al-Dhahhak b. Mukhlid al-Shaybani, Kitab al-Sunnah (Dar al-Sami’i li al-Nashr wa al-Tawzi’) [annotator: Dr. Basim b. Faysal al-Jawabirah], vol. 1, pp. 799-800, # 1222
  • 30. Ahmad b. Abi Bakr b. Isma’il al-Busiri, Itihaf al-Khiyarah al-Maharah bi Zawaid al-Masanid al-‘Ashara (Riyadh: Dar al-Watan; 1st edition, 1420 H), vol. 7, p. 184, # 6630