The above tradition is fabricated. Ibn Taymiyyah says that it is weak.1 Bazzaz says that this tradition quoted from the Holy Prophet (S) is inauthentic and it is not found in any authentic book of traditions. In the same way, Ibn Kuram says in his journal Kubra, that this tradition is invalid and false. Ahmad Wamzi Zahabi, Wathqi and Abul Hujjaj have all said similar things about this tradition. Maulavi Abdul Ali Bahrul Uloom writes in Sharhe Muslim and Mulla
Nizamuddin, his father, in Subhe Sadiq Sharhe Manar consider it invalid and false.
Abdul Hai Lakhnavi also writes in his book, Tohfatul Akhyar, that this tradition is concocted and he does not consider it correct at all. Briefly, we say that this tradition is not at all the saying of the Holy Prophet (S). When it is so, why Ahlul Sunnat people are so much in love with this tradition? Apparently, it is so, because Ahlul Sunnat find their water bags tied to the tradition of Two Heavy Things (Thaqlayn).
Thus, what could they do if not to consider this tradition consoling. It is an ancient saying that the drowning man clutches at the straw. Obviously, this act of theirs is an open attribution of falsehood to the Messenger of Allah (S).
But they could not see anything in their blind love of the three Caliphs. That is why they close their eyes from the falsification of the captioned tradition. May Allah give good sense to all His servants. Amen. A poet has penned a beautiful couplet in this connection:
“If all the companions be like stars; some stars are of ill omen.”
- 1. Ref. Minhaj