14) Hadith Al-Qital, the Prophet’s Defence of Amir Al-Muminin

The Messenger, sallallahu ‘alaihi wa alihi, had predicted the occurence of ‘Ali’s wars before his departure. He also gave clear hints about the true nature and purpose of those wars. Let us have a look at his words. Imam Abu Ya’la (d. 307 H) records:

حدثنا عثمان حدثنا جرير عن الأعمش عن إسماعيل بن رجاء عن أبيه عن أبي سعيد الخدري قال : سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول : إن منكم من يقاتل على تأويل القرآن كما قاتلت على تنزيله فقال أبو بكر : أنا هو يا رسول الله ؟ قال : لا قال عمر : أنا هو يا رسول الله ؟ قال : لا ولكنه خاصف النعل وكان أعطى عليا نعله يخصفها

‘Uthman – Jarir – al-A’mash – Isma’il b. Raja – his father – Abu Sa’id al-Khudri:

I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, “Verily, among you is he who will fight for the implementation of the Qur’an as I fought for its revelation.” So, Abu Bakr said, “Am I the one, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “No”. ‘Umar said, “Am I the one, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “No. Rather, he is the one repairing the shoe”. And he had given his shoe to ‘Ali which he was repairing.1

Shaykh Dr. Asad says:

إسناده صحيح

Its chain is sahih2

Imam al-Haythami (d. 807 H) also comments about the hadith:

رواه أبو يعلى ورجاله رجال الصحيح

Abu Ya’la recorded it, and its narrators are narrators of the Sahih3

So, Imam ‘Ali’s wars were for the Qur’an. Yet, Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah claims that he was not fighting for Islam! Apparently, the Shaykh is very unfair in his damning accusation against ‘Ali, ‘alaihi al-salam, that the latter only fought for power. Amir al-Muminin was fighting for the Book of Allah while his opponents were fighting against it. Interestingly, the Prophet specifically made it clear that neither Abu Bakr, nor ‘Umar or ‘Uthman, ever fought for the Qur’an. This is an extremely crucial point concerning the legitimacy of their khilafah, and their wars! It is not possible for a true khalifah to fight wars that are not for the Qur’an. As such, one may safely conclude that Allah and His Messenger never accepted the legitimacy of the khilafah and wars of the trio.

Imam Ahmad (d. 241 H) also records:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا حسين بن محمد ثنا فطر عن إسماعيل بن رجاء الزبيدي عن أبيه قال سمعت أبا سعيد الخدري يقول كنا جلوسا ننتظر رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فخرج علينا من بعض بيوت نسائه قال فقمنا معه فانقطعت نعله فتخلف عليها علي يخصفها فمضى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ومضينا معه ثم قام ينتظره وقمنا معه فقال ان منكم من يقاتل على تأويل هذا القرآن كما قاتلت على تنزيله فاستشرفنا وفينا أبو بكر وعمر فقال لا ولكنه خاصف النعل قال فجئنا نبشره قال وكأنه قد سمعه

‘Abd Allah (b. Ahmad) – my father (Ahmad b. Hanbal) – Husayn b. Muhammad – Fatr – Isma’il b. Raja al-Zubaydi – his father – Abu Sa’id al-Khudri:

We were sitting, expecting the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him. Then he came to us from one of the rooms of his wives. So, we stood with him, and his shoe broke. Therefore, he asked ‘Ali to stay behind to repair it. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, departed and we departed with him. Then, he stood waiting for him (i.e. ‘Ali), and we stood with him.

So, he said, “Verily, among you is he who will fight for the implementation of this Qur’an as I fought for its revelation. So, we became curious. Among us were Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. But, he (the Prophet) said, “No (to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar). Rather, he is the one repairing the shoe.” We went (to him) to give him the glad news. But, it was as though he had heard it (before).4

Shaykh al-Arnaut says:

حديث صحيح , وهذا إسناد حسن

It is a sahih hadith, and this chain is hasan.5

‘Allamah al-Albani (d. 1420 H) comments about the exact same hadith:

فالحديث صحيح لا ريب فيه.

The hadith is sahih. There is NO doubt about it.6

Imam Ahmad further records:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا وكيع حدثنا فطر عن إسماعيل بن رجاء عن أبيه عن أبي سعيد قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ان منكم من يقاتل على تأويله كما قاتلت على تنزيله قال فقام أبو بكر وعمر فقال لا ولكن خاصف النعل وعلي يخصف نعله

‘Abd Allah (b. Ahmad) – my father (Ahmad b. Hanbal) – Waki’ – Fatr – Isma’il b. Raja – his father – Abu Sa’id:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, “Verily, among you is he who will fight for its implementation as I fought for its revelation.” So, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar stood up, and he said, “No. Rather, he is the one repairing the shoes”. And ‘Ali was repairing his shoes.7

Shaykh al-Arnaut comments:

صحيح وهذا إسناد حسن

It is sahih, and this chain is hasan8

Imam al-Hakim (d. 403 H) caps it:

أخبرنا أبو جعفر محمد بن علي الشيباني بالكوفة من أصل كتابه ثنا أحمد بن حازم بن أبي غرزة ثنا أبو غسان ثنا عبد السلام بن حرب ثنا الأعمش عن إسماعيل بن رجاء عن أبيه عن أبي سعيد رضي الله عنه قال ابن أبي غرزة : وحدثنا عبيد الله بن موسى ثنا فطر بن خليفة عن إسماعيل بن رجاء عن أبيه عن أبي سعيد رضي الله عنه قال كنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فانقطعت نعله فتخلف علي يخصفها فمشى قليلا ثم قال : إن منكم من يقاتل على تأويل القرن كما قاتلت على تنزيله فاستشرف لها القوم وفيهم أبو بكر وعمر رضي الله عنهما قال أبو بكر : أنا هو قال : لا قال عمر : أنا هو قال : لا ولكن خاصف النعل عليا فاتيناه فبشرناه فلم يرفع به رأسه كأنه قد كان سمعه من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Shaybani – Ahmad b. Hazim b. Abi Gharzah – Abu Ghassan – ‘Abd al-Salam b. Harb – al-A’mash – Isma’il b. Raja – his father – Abu Sa’id, may Allah be pleased with him, AND Ibn Abi Gharzah – ‘Abd Allah b. Musa – Fatr b. Khalifah – Isma’il b. Raja – his father – Abu Sa’id, may Allah be pleased with him:

We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, when his shoe broke. So, he left ‘Ali behind to repair it, and walked a little. Then he said, “Verily, among you is he who will fight for the implementation of the Qur’an as I fought for his revelation.” The people became curious about it and among them were Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both. Abu Bakr said, “Am I the one?”. He said, “No”. ‘Umar said, “Am I the one?” He said, “No. Rather, he is the one repairing the shoe, ‘Ali.” So, we went to him, and we gave him the good news. But he did not raise his head due to it, as if he had already heard it from the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him.9

Al-Hakim comments:

هذا حديث صحيح على شرط الشيخين

This hadith is sahih upon the standard of the two Shaykhs.10

Imam al-Dhahabi (d. 748 H) agrees:

على شرط البخاري ومسلم

(Sahih) upon the standard of al-Bukhari and Muslim11

  • 1. 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. 2, p. 341, # 1086
  • 2. Ibid
  • 3. Nur al-Din ‘Ali b. Abi Bakr al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawaid (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr; 1412 H), vol. 5, p. 338, # 8950
  • 4. Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal al-Shaybani, Musnad (Cairo: Muasassat Qurtubah) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 3, p. 82, # 11790
  • 5. Ibid
  • 6. 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. 5, p. 640, # 2487
  • 7. Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal al-Shaybani, Musnad (Cairo: Muasassat Qurtubah) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 3, p. 33, # 11307
  • 8. Ibid
  • 9. 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. 132, # 4621
  • 10. Ibid
  • 11. Ibid