At this final chapter we have to note two important topics:
I. When Talking of the Thaqalain narrations, some Sunnite scholars use the expression “كتاب الله وسنتي” “God's book and my tradition” in place of “كتاب الله وعترتى” “God's book and my household”.
II. When praising the Prophet, they would not mention the Prophet's Household.
These two viewpoints are the source of dispute between these two groups. In turn we shall deal with both viewpoints.
Which Interpretation Is Correct: “God's Book And My Household” كتاب الله وعترتي اهل بيتي Or “God's Book And My Tradition” كتاب الله وسنتي?
Question: The Imamat-relying scholars, such as Saduq, Mofid and Tusi (may God bless them) in their religious issues, refer to the narrations related to the Prophet's Household, stressing the Thaqalain narration in particular, while other scholars report this narration in another form (using “My tradition” for “My Household).
With this disagreement, how can we discuss the following topic?
An explanation: While in principle and religion the Shiites follow sound reasoning, they consider authentic the narrations on the Prophet's Household with the condition that they have been correctly conveyed. One of the sources of authenticity of the narrations on Household is the Thaqalain, which is approved by the Islamic narrators.
They say the Prophet has declared:
“إِنِّي تاركٌ فِيكُمُ الثقلين كتاب الله و عترتي ما إِنْ تَمَسَّكْتُمْ بِهِما لَنْ تَضِلُّوا”.
But since in some narrations the term “سنتي” my tradition” is used forعترتي” “ “my household” the validity of either one of the expressions becomes questionable.
Concerning this issue the Shiite scholars have written some treatises one of which is the publication called دار التقريب بين المذاهب الاسلاميه which is published in Cairo.
Recently one Jordanian scholar called Sheikh Hasan Ibn Ali Saqqaf has answered this question. Here we will present a translation of it (since it is a research paper we will not add anything to it).
Question: I have been asked the issue of Thaqalain and the authenticity of either عترتي” “وأهل بيتي or “سنتي” (please answer this question based on documents).
Answer: The authentic narration from the great prophet is with the term “وأهل بيتي” [and my Household]. The narration which appears with the word سنتي “my tradition” is wrong.
Now we shall present the documents for the reliability of the narration with the expression “and my Household”.
This text is issued by two great narrators:
1. In his Sahih, a Muslim narrates from Zayd Ibn Arqam. He says: once the Prophet delivered a sermon on a river called Khom, which is located between Mecca and Medina saying:
““أَلا أَيُّهَا النّاسُ! فَإِنَّما أَنَا بَشَرٌ يُوشَكُ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ رَسُولُ رَبّي فأُجيبَ، وَ أَنَا تارِكٌ فِيكُمْ ثِقْلَيْن: أَوَّلُهُما كِتابُ اللهِ فِيهِ الْهُدی وَ النُّور، فَخُذُوا بِكتابِ اللهِ وَ اسْتَمْسكُوا به”- فحثّ علی كتاب الله و رغّب فيه ثمّ قال:-”وَ أَهلُ بَيْتي، اذكّركُمُ الله فِي أَهْل بَيْتِی، اذكّركُمُ الله في أَهْل بَيْتي، اذكّركُمُ الله في أَهل بَيْتي”.
“O people! I am no more than a human being and in a short time God's angel would come and ask me to go with him. I will leave for you two precious things: one is God's book, which contains guidance and light; take this book and deliver it since the Prophet wishes that you do so; the second is my household; I emphasize this last part. The Prophet repeated this last part three times”.
2. Tirmizi, too, has narrated this text with the expression “وعترتي واهل بيتي” [and my Household]:
“إِنّي تارِكٌ فِيكُمُ ما إِن تَمَسّكْتمْ بِهِ لَنْ تَضِلُّوا بَعْدِي، أحدهُما أَعْظَمُ مِنَ الآخرِ: كِتابُ الله حَبلٌ مَمْدُودٌ مِنَ السَّماءِ إِلَی الأَرْضِ، وَ عِتْرَتِي أَهْلَ بَيْتِي، لَنْ يَفْتَرِقا حَتّی يَرِدا عَلَيَّ الْحَوض، فَانْظُروُا كَيْفَ تَخْلِفُونِي فِيها”.
“I will leave for you two items while you resort to them you shall not weaken: one is greater than the other: one is God's book, which is a cord of benevolence extending from the heaven towards the Earth. The other one is my Household, these two shall never separate till they meet me at Kauthar”.
Be careful in handling these two.
These two texts, which stress the expression “my Household” are authentic and need no further elaboration since their narrators are reliable.
The document of the narration with the expression “وسنتي and my tradition”
The narration with the word “وسنتي” is fake and is produced by the Omavi agent.
First, Hakim's Narration
In Mustadrak, Hakim Neishabari has reported his narration from the following:
1. (Abbas) Ibn Abi Owais.
2. Abi Owais.
3. Thur Ibn Zayd Al-Deylami.
5. Ibn Abbas saying that the Prophet has said:
“يا أَيُّهَا النّاسُ إِنّي قَدْ ترَكْتُ إِنِ اعْتَصَمْتُم بِهِ فَلَنْ تَضِلُّوا أَبَداً كتاب الله وَ سنّة نَبِيّه”.
“O people! I have left among you two things. While you resort to them, you shall not fade: God's book and the Prophet's tradition.” 3
The quoters of these texts are the father and the son who have been reported at the beginning of the document: i.e.
1. Ismael Iabn Abi Owais;
2. Abu Owais.
These two are accused of lying and deception.
Now let’s see what scholars have to say concerning the father and son:
Hafiz Mazi, in his book Tahdhib Al-Kamal concerning Ismael and his father reports:
Yahya Ibn Moin (a great scholar on narration) writes: Abu Owais and his son are weak people Yahya Ibn Mo’in has said: these two are thieves of narrations. Ibn Moin concerning the son, has said “He is not to be trusted”.
Nesaee has said the son is weak and unreliable. Abu Al-Qasim Lalkaee has said: Nesaee has said a lot against him.
Ibn Odai (an expert in narrations) says: Ibn Abi Owais reports some strange narrations from his maternal uncle which nobody may believe4.
In the introduction Fath Al-Bari Ibn Hajar writes: the narration relayed by Ibn Abi Owais could not be disputed5.
In his book Fathul Mulk Al-’Allee Hafiz Seyyed Ahmad Ibn Al-Sadiq reports from Salma Ibn Shobeib that he has heard from Ismael Ibn Abi Owais, saying: the people of Medina disagree and fall into two groups, I shall make up narrations6.
Thus, the son (i.e. Ismael Ibn Abi Owais) is accused of making up narrations. Ibn Moin says he is a liar. Besides, his narration is not reported in Sahih of either Muslim or Tirmazi.
Concerning the father Abu Hatam Razi in his book Jarh Wa Taadil writes: His narration is reported, but could not be declared. His narration is not strong enough7.
And Abu Hatam has reported from Ibn Moin saying that the narrations reported by these two are never reliable.
The point to be emphasized here is that the reporter of the narration, i.e. Hakim Neishaburi has confessed to the weakness of the narration and for this reason has not tried to correct it. However he has offered a document which tries to prove the authenticity of its contents; this too is weak and proves nothing, which adds to the weakness of the narration rather than strengthening it. Let us present his whimsical document:
“إِنّي قَدْ ترَكْتُ فِيكُمْ شَيْئَين لَنْ تَضِلُّوا بَعْدَهُما: كِتابَ اللهِ وَ سُنّتي وَلَنْ يَفْتَرِقا حَتّی يَرِدا عَلَيَّ الْحَوض”.
Hakim has issued this text based on the following documents:
1. Al-Thabi, from.
2. Saleh Ibn Musa Al-Talhi, from,
3. Abdol Aziz Ibn Rafia, from,
4. Abi Saleh, from,
5. Abi Horayrah.
This narration, too, like the previous one is fake.
Among the narrators we put our finger on Saleh Ibn Musa Al-Talhi. Let us see what the narration experts have to say about this person:
Yahya Ibn Moin writes: Salih Ibn Musa is not to be trusted. Abu Hatam Razi says: his narration is weak and untrue: he narrates fake narrations. Nesaee writes: His narration could not be written down. In another occasion he writes: His narration is out10.
In “Tahzib Al-Tahzib” Ibn Hajar writes: Ibn Habban says: Salih Ibn Musa's narration is not valid. And Abu Noaim says:
His narration is out and he always reports fake narrations11.
The third document of the narration with the expression “سنتي” “my tradition”
Ibn Abdul Berr, in his book Tamhid15 narrates this text with the following sources:
1. Abdul Rahman Ibn Yahya, from.
2. Ahmad Ibn Saeed, from.
3. Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim Al-Davili, from.
4. Ali Ibn Zayd Al-Faraezi, from.
5. Al-Hunayni, from.
6. Kathir Ibn Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Auf, from.
7. Abih, from his grandfather.
We shall point our finger to Kathir Ibn Abdullah, out of narrators. Imam Shafee says: he is one of the foundations of lying16. Abudawoud says: he is one of the great liars. Ibn Habban says: Abdullah Ibn Kathir narrates from his father and his grandfather; his book is based on falsehood. To narrate from that book is Islamically forbidden except for critique17.
Nesaee and Darqutni write: his narration is out. Imam Ahmad says: he is not to be trusted. Ibn Moin, too, expresses the same idea.
It is surprising that Ibn Hajar, in his book Al-Taqrib, uses only the word “weak” and has called extremists those who assure Ibn Kathir of lying. This is when narration experts accuse him of mere lying. Zahabi says in this regard: his speech is whimsical and illusionary.
In Al-Mowatta, Malik calls this narration baseless and undocumented.
This research shows that this narration is fake and is created by the lying narrators who were agents of the Umavi court. It is the counter fit of the narration which is based on “my Household” narration. Therefore it is compulsory for religious speakers to put aside those narrations which are not conveyed by the Prophet and to familiarize people with genuine narrations.
These speakers should convey the narration which Muslim narrates in his Sahih as “my Household” and the narration which Tirmazi relates as “my Household and my relatives” it is up to the religious students to adopt the science of narration and to distinguish between the strong and the weak ones.
At the end of this book, I should remind you that by Household is meant Fatimah, Hasan, Husain (and Imam Ali) and not Ayeshah as Muslim in his Sahih and Tirmazi in his Sunan18 mention:
“نزلت هذه الآية على النبيّ : “إِنَّما يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيراً “ في بيت أُمّ سلمة، فدعا النبيّ : فاطمة وحسناً وحسيناً فجلّلهم بكساء وعليّ خلف ظهره فجلله بكساء ثُمّ قال: اَللّهمّ هؤلاءِ أهل بَيْتي فاذهبْ عَنْهُمُ الرَّجسَ وَ طَهَّرهُمْ تَطْهيراًز قالت أُمّ سلمة: وأنا معهم يا نبي الله؟ قال: أَنتِ علَى مَكانِك وأَنْتِ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ”.
The following verse
﴿ إِنَّما يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَ يُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيراً ﴾
“[Allah desires to keep away the impurity from you, O people of the House! And to purify you a thorough purifying]”19 was revealed unto the Messenger at the home of Umme Salma the Prophet put Fatima, Hasan and Hussain under his aba (cloak) and Ali was standing behind him and the Prophet covered him with a coarse garment (kisa); then addressing God, the Prophet said: “O God these are the people of my house; purify them thoroughly and make them clean”. Umme Salma asked the Prophet: O messenger of God! Am I not one of them? [Am I included in the people referred to by this verse?] The Prophet replied: you stay where you are do not enter the aba) and you are on the right way20.
The translator says: Hasan Ibn Ali Saqqaf in his reply assumes that the Prophet's wives are also included, whereas Omme Salama's narration which is reported by Sahih of Muslim and in Sunan by Tirmazi, is against Saqqaf's view.
If the Prophet's wives had been included in the Prophet's Household then Umme Salama would not have been barred from entering the aba and having been told “stay at your place”.
Furthermore, those who have carefully read the Quranic verses dealing with the Prophet's wives have found that the tone of these verses is reproaching and punitive. Such individual could not be the referent of the verse on purity or subject to the Prophet's benediction.
For more details see the interpretation of Manshur Jawid21.
One of the cases of disaccord between the Sunnites and Shiites in praising the Prophet is that the Sunnites would not refer to the Prophet's Household when they praise him. They would say “send your blessings to him” while the Shiites say “send your blessings to him and to his Household”. Now the question is: which one of the two are correct?
No doubt our religious leaders have chosen the latter form. Now let us see the narrations the sunnites have concerning in praise of the Prophet.
Previously we tried to answer this question briefly. However now we shall present the whole text. When the following verse was revealed unto the Prophet:
“Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! Call for divine blessings on him and salute him with a becoming salutation [Quran 33:57], the close friends of the Prophet asked him how to praise him He replied:
لا تصلوا عليَّ الصلاة البتراء
do not praise me with short blessings.
His friends asked him: how could we bless you? The Prophet replied: say
اللّهمّ صلِّ علی محمّدٍ و آل محمّد
“O God send your blessings to Muhammad and his Household”22.
The expression “Al-e-Muhammad” [the Prophet's Household] is so important that some sects of Sunnites have stipulated the addition of this expression to the Prophet's blessings. Related to this Imam Shafee says:
يا اهل بيت رسول الله حبكم فرض من الله في القرآن انزله كفاكم من عظيم القدر انكم من لم يصل عليكم لاصلاة له
O the Household of the Prophet, loving you is an obligation which is stipulated by God in the holy Quran, you are so great that if anyone does not praise you his prayers are null and void.
For the Sunnites the Sahih of Bokhari is the most reliable book after the Holy Quran. I would like to attract the attention of our Sunnite brethren to the narration reported by Bokhari in his Sahih at the place where he interprets surah Ahzab:
Abdul Kahman Ibn Abi Leili reports: Kaab Ibn Mojarah met me and asked me if he could give me a narration as a gift; the narration runs in the following manner:
Once, the Prophet came to Sahabah. We asked the Prophet how they could praise him. He replied:
Thus, the Islamic etiquette forces us to bless the great prophet in the full form and not to separate him from his honorable and sacred Household.
- 1. . Sahih Muslim, vol. 4, pp.3-18 under the number 2408 Abdulbaqi publication.
- 2. . Sunan Darmi, vol. 2, pp. 431-432.
- 3. . Al-Mustadrak, Hakim, vol. 1 p.93.
- 4. . Tahzib Al-Kamal, Hafiz Mazi vol. 3, p. 127.
- 5. . Fath Al-Bârî, Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani (introduction), p. 391 Dâr ul Ma'rifat public description.
- 6. . Fath Al-Malik Al-'Ali, Hâfiz Seyyed Ahmad Ibn As Sidî, p. 15.
- 7. . Al-Jarh wa Al-Ta’adil, Abu Hatam Razi, vol.5, p. 92.
- 8. . A narration is called Marfua when its narrator does not narrate from a Flawless Imam.
- 9. . Al-Mustadrak, Hakim, vol. 1, p. 93.
- 10. . Tahdhib Al-Kamal, Hafz Mazi vol. 13, p. 96.
- 11. . Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, Ibn Hajar vol. 4, p. 355.
- 12. . Taqrib, Ibn Hajar (translation) no. 2891.
- 13. . Al-Kashif, Dhahabi, translation no. 2412.
- 14. . Mizan Al-Eatedal, Dhahabi, vol. 302, vol. 2.
- 15. . At-Tamhid, vol. 24, p. 331.
- 16. . Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, Ibn Hajar vol. 8, p. 377, section Darrul Fekr; Tahdhib Al-Kamal vol. 24, p. 138.
- 17. . Al-Muwatta, Malik, p. 889, narration No. 3.
- 18. . Tirmidhi, vol. 5, p. 663.
- 19. . Quran 33:33.
- 20. . Adopted from Sahîh sifati salât an Nabî, Hassan Ibn Ali, pp.289-294.
- 21. . Tafsîr Manshûr Javîd, t.5, p.294.
- 22. . As-Sawâ‘iq Al-Muhriqah, second edition, Maktabat Al-Qâhirah, publications Egypt section 11, chapter 1, p. 146.
A similar narration is repeated in the book called "Al-dor Al-Manthur" by Siuti, vol 5 with the interpretation of the verse 56 of Ahzab surah. He has referred to great narrators, such as Abdul Razzaq the writer of Al-Mosannef and Ibn Abi Shibah and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Bokhari and Muslim and Abu Dawoud and Tirmazi, and Nesaee and Ibn Majah and Ibn Marduqah.
- 23. . Sahih Bokhari, the Book on Interpretation, section 6, p. 217 (Surah Ahzab).