Section 3: The Text of the Narrations and their Significations

Truth-seeker! Come with me so we may, after we have examined the biographies of the narrators of this story, look into the text of the narrations and their significations. This has to be done so that we should, throughout the stages of the story, look from close the malevolence and spiteful behaviors of the enemies of the household of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon them.

We shall carry on this discussion from several dimensions.

The first dimension

In the concocted story about Umm Kulthum‘s marriage to Umar, it has been narrated that the reason given by Imam Ali (a.s.) for not consenting to his daughter‘s marriage to Umar was the former‘s young age and that he had kept her for the son of his brother, Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib.

It has been narrated in the narration by Ibn Sa‘ad that Ali (a.s.) said: I have kept my daughters for the sons of Ja‘far.

In the narration of Hakim, the Imam has been quoted as having said: I have prepared her for the son of my brother.

In another narration quoted by Ibn Sa‘ad, it is reported that the Imam said: She is a young girl.‖

Of course Ibn Abd al-Barr, Ibn Athir and others have also reported the same thing. In Bayhaqi‘s narration, it has been reported that the Imam (a.s.) said: She is too young (for marriage).

So in these narrations, nothing else has been reported from the Imam (a.s.), except that Umar returned again and said: Marry her to me; I swear by Allah! There is no one in this world that….

According to these narrations, the Imam (a.s.) did not do anything except that he sent her daughter to Umar so that he could see her….!

It has been added in some narration that the Imam (a.s.) ordered her to be prepared and made-up. So that she was beautified and adorned and then, the Imam (a.s.) sent her to Umar so that if he liked her and agreed to marry, she would then become his wife!

It is surprising to see how the Imam‘s position changes in respect of Umm Kulthum‘s marriage from total and decisive refusal to quick acceptance, thus reversing and changing his mind so quickly?

Who believes this? At least this report is dubious and suspicious and requires some thought and reflection. Certain facts are revealed to the reader who goes through different narrations in this regard, facts that they have attempted to continue to hide in some old works authored by the scholars of hadith. Now we shall mention and elaborate on some of those narrations:

Ibn Maghazali (d. 483) narrates through his own chain from Abdullah ibn Umar that Umar ibn Khattab mounted the pulpit and said: Oh people! I swear by Allah! What made me talk persistently to Ali ibn Abi Talib concerning his daughter was the fact that I heard the Prophet of Allah (S) say:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع (يوم القيامة) إلا سببي وصهري فإنهما يأتيان يوم القيامة يشفعان لصاحبهما

“Every lineage and means and grooming relationship will be severed on the Day of Judgment except my lineage and grooming relationship with me, and these two will come on the Day of Judgment and will intercede for their owners.”1

Through this narration, it becomes clear that the Companions and their followers were surprised hearing this story and it was even talked about in the city making Umar to go on the pulpit and explain to the public his aim of this marriage proposal, and he swore that he had no other reason for this act of his except that he had heard the Messenger of Allah (S) about it and he was bent on doing that only for the same reason.

The point to be taken into consideration is that there is no detail as to Umar‘s persistence and insistence and it has not been explained why he insisted on marrying Ali‘s daughter and what the latter‘s reaction was to it.

In Khatib Baghdadi‘s narration, it has been reported that Umar ibn Khattab proposed to Ali ibn Abi Talib for his daughter, who was from Fatima (a.s.), and went to him time and again and said: O Abal Hassan, What has made me to come to you time and again is only a saying that I heard from the Messenger of Allah (a.s.) ….

It has been stated, in this narration, that Umar visited Ali (a.s.) many a time.

According to some narrations, Umar used threat to intimidate Ali (a.s.) in order to make him accept the offer. For instance, Ibn Sa‘ad reports:

When Imam Ali (a.s.) told Umar that Umm Kulthum was a young girl, Umar said: I swear by Allah! That is not your excuse, but we know what your intent is.

In the narration reported by Dulabi and Muhib Tabari from Ibn Ishaq, it has been said that Umar said: I swear by Allah! That is not what you want to do, it is only that you want to stop me from marrying Umm Kulthum.2

In some other narrations it has been clearly stated that Umar‘s whip also played an important role in this incident. In the narration that Dulabi has narrated through his own chain from Aslam, Umar‘s master, we read: Umar proposed to Ali ibn Abi Talib for his daughter, Umm Kulthum, and he discussed the matter with Abbas, Aqil and Hasan.

Aqil got angry and told Ali: The passage of days and months will only add to your lack of insight and astuteness in your work. By Allah, if you do this, such and such will happen.

Ali told Abbas: By Allah! He is not talking wishfully, but the whip of Umar has impelled him to say what you are hearing.3

On the other part, Abu Na‘eim Isfahani has also passed this report from Zaid ibn Aslam, from his father, but he has omitted Umar‘s whip from the report. Let‘s read this narration together:

Zaid ibn Aslam narrates from his father that Umar ibn Khattab called Ali ibn Abi Talib to his place and had a private conversation with him. Thereupon, Ali stood up and walked up to sufah4 and consulted Abbas, Aqil and Hasan regarding Umm Kulthum‘s marriage to Umar.

Ali Said: ―Umar has informed me that he heard the Prophet of Allah (S) say:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

“Every means and lineage is severed on the Day of Judgment except my lineage and means.”5

Apart from being an underage girl and the fact that Umm Kulthum had been kept for the son of Ja‘far, Ali (a.s.) also gave another reason for his refusal where the Imam (a.s.) said: She has also two other guardians apart from me.6

What the Imam (a.s.) meant by those two were Imam Hasan and Hussain (a.s.). According to the narrations, Ali discussed the matter with Hasan and Hussain (a.s.), Aqil and Abbas.

This narration that has been reported from Aslam implies that Imam Hasan (a.s.) kept silent about this proposal, and his silence has been taken as a sign of his consent and approval.

In another narration it is reported that Hussain kept quiet and Hasan started to talk. Thanking and praising Allah he said: Dear father, apart from Umar, who else is more appropriate for marriage with Umm Kulthum? He was a companion of the Prophet of Allah (S) and when the Prophet (S) passed away, he was pleased with him. He has taken the caliphate and has acted justly!

Ali said: You are right, my son, but I did not want to finish a task without seeking the opinion of you two.7

This narration contradicts the narration that Bayhaqi has reported from Ibn Abi Malikah, from Hasan ibn Hasan. It is reported in that narration that Ali told Hasan and Hussain: Marry her to your uncle.

They said: She is also like all other women and has the right to choose. Thereupon, Ali stood up angrily but Hassan grabbed his cloth and said: Dear father, we cannot afford to miss you.

Ali said: Then marry her to Umar.8

Nevertheless, a group of people have intentionally and knowingly paid heed to these forged narrations. Now, you should give careful attention to the narrations. This same contradiction has been reported from Hasan ibn Hassan in connection with the marriage of Umm Kulthum with Awn ibn Ja‘far. In that narration, it is reported that when Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib became a widow after the death of Umar ibn Khattab, her brothers Hasan and Hussain, came over to her and said….9

This is a long narration that contains shameful lies and laughable statements.

The second dimension

It has been stated before that as per many narrations the reason Imam Ali (a.s.) opposed to Umm Kulthum's marriage to Umar was the fact that she was young and underage. It is inferred from these narrations that Umar did not accept what Ali (a.s.) put forth as excuse. That was why he went to Ali time and again persistently asking him for his daughter‘s hand in marriage. He went as far as to use threat to intimidate Ali (a.s.) to accept the proposal as evidenced by narrations reported by Dulabi and Muhib Tabari.

Ali said: "She is young."

Umar said: “I swear by Allah! That is not what you want to do, it is only that you want to stop me from marrying Umm Kulthum. If what you say is the case, send her to me…"10

Since such actions are not in keeping with the reverence and respect of the second caliph according to Sunni scholars, some narrators and hadith experts have avoided to report on the opposition of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) to his daughter's marriage to Umar and also the latter's insistence, threat and refutation. One who refers to Khatib Baghdadi's narration will readily admit this fact.

Third dimension

Ibn Sa‘ad narrates from Waqidi and others and says: Then Ali requested for a piece of garment which he folded and told Umm Kulthum to take it to Umar.

It has been stated in Muhib Tabari‘s report from Ibn Ishaq that Ali called Umm Kulthum, gave her a piece of cloth and told her: Take this to Umar…

This was done to make Umar see her. That was why when Umm Kulthum returned to her father, she said: Umar did not unfold the cloth and he did not look at anything except me.

Surely, such a behavior from the Muslim‘s caliph has been seen by some Sunni scholars e.g. Sabt ibn Jauzi, as filthy and unpleasant. We shall soon point out his words in this regard. It is for the same reason that some narrators have not made reference to this topic in their narrations.

Abu Bushr Dulabi has narrated as such: Ali called Umm Kulthum, who was a little girl, and said to her: Go to Amirul Mu‘meneen and tell him: My father sent you his greetings and said that he fulfilled the request that you had made.

Khatib Baghdadi has also reported a similar narration: Umar proposed to Ali for his daughter‘s hand in marriage and said: Marry her to me.

Ali said: I have kept her for the son of my brother, Abdullah ibn Ja‘far.

Umar said: I swear by Allah, there is no man on the face of the earth who seeks to achieve through her good companionship that which I seek to achieve.

Thereupon, Ali married her to Umar and the latter went to the Muhajireen.

The Fourth dimension

In this story, filthy and unpalatable things have been quoted including the following:

Ibn Sa‘ad narrates from Ibn Waqidi as such: Ali ordered Umm Kulthum to be made up and adorned so that she could go to Umar. She was prepared and adorned (as ordered by her father).

In the narration transmitted by Khatib Baghdadi from Uqbah bin Aamir, it has been reported: She was adorned.

In the narration reported from Imam Baqir (a.s.) by Ibn Abd al-Barr and others, the Imam has been quoted as having said: When Umm Kulthum went to Umar, Umar pulled away the cloth from the calf of her leg!

Truly, these reports are at the highest level of obscenity. The question is that, are the liars and forgers of these narrations not ashamed of doing such obscene and loathsome acts? Their conducts are so mean and despicable that even if a lay person hears them, he will readily despise them and testify to their obscenity. Are they not ashamed of forging and attributing such filthy stories to Imam Baqir, peace be upon him?

Indeed it is so shameless and it is owing to the same reason that we see some Sunni narrators trying to misreport and concoct such stories in order to prove their side of the story. Ibn Athir modifies the story and makes it look a bit modest. He says: Umar placed his hand on her.

In this respect, Dulabi and Muhib Tabari have reported as such: Umar took hold of her arm.

Elsewhere they say: Umar grabbed her and pulled her to his bosom! Others such as Bayhaqi and Hakim Nishaburi have not narrated anything in this regard. When reporting such narrations, Muhib Tabari says: Ibn Samman has made a brief but implicit reference to this subject.‖ However, what he has reported does not include anything from the reports transmitted by the narrators whose names were mentioned above.11

In addition, some of the narrators of this story, have stated clearly that this story is a lie. Concerning this same issue, Sabt ibn Jauzi (d. 654) says:

My grandfather writes in Al-Muntazam that Ali sent Umm Kulthum to Umar so that he could see her. Umar pulled away the cloth from the calf of her leg and then touched her!

Sabt ibn Jauzi further says: In my opinion – I swear by Allah – this is a despicable act; even if she were a slave girl, she would not have been treated as such.12

On the other hand, Muslims are unanimous about touching a non– mahram lady being prohibited in Islam. The question is: Why are they attributing all this to Umar?13

The author says: ―I wish it was only touching. In Khatib Baghdadi‘s narration, Umar is said to have even kissed and grabbed the calf of Umm Kulthum‘s leg!

The fifth dimension

The text of the narration narrated by Ibn Sa‘ad and others, in a way, contains praise and congratulation. We have read that Umar told Meccan migrants: Congratulate me and they congratulated him.14 In other words, Umar requested a special congratulation and said: ―Congratulate me on wives being considerate and empathetic and on having more children.15

It is pretty obvious that this kind of congratulation was customary in the period of ignorance which, according to all Muslims, the Messenger of Allah (S) had prohibited. In this regard, Ahmad ibn Hanbal narrates through his own chain that Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Aqil says: ―Aqil son of Talib had married, he came to us and we congratulated him in the way which was customary during the period of ignorance. Aqil said: ―Calm down! Do not congratulate me in such a manner because the Prophet of Allah (S) prohibited us from congratulating in such a manner and he said:

You should say ―May Allah bless you, may Allah make it blessed, may it be blessed.16

Since this statement of Umar depicts his ignorance and a lack of knowledge about the things that the Messenger of Allah (S) prohibited as well as indicates the fact that he wanted to revive the customs and norms of the period of ignorance, some Sunni scholars have endeavored to alter the text and manipulate it in a way which is consistent with their own values and standards. That is why in Hakim‘s Al-Mustadrak, we read: Umar went to the Muhajirin and said: Will you not congratulate me?

In Bayhaqi‘s Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, it is reported that Umar went to the Muhajirin and they prayed and wished him well. Let‘s not forget that Khatib Baghdadi has never narrated this incident in his Tarikh (history book).

The sixth dimension

Another aspect of this story that can be studied and examined is the fruit of this false marriage; it has been reported in some narrations that following the marriage of Umm Kulthum to Umar, she gave birth to a son allegedly named Zaid. It has been reported by Sa'ad and other narrators that she gave birth to bin Umar and Roqayyah, daughter of Umar.

When it comes to the number of Umar's children, Nawavi narrates as such: "Fatima and Zaid whose mother was Umm Kulthum…"17

In another narration passed on by Ibn Qutaibah about the daughters of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, peace be upon him, it has been stated as such: "Umm Kulthum gave birth to children whom I referred to."18

The seventh dimension

One of the topics discussible in this fabricated story is Umm Kulthum's marriage after Umar; it has been mentioned in many a number of narrations that after Umar's death, Awn followed by Muhammad sons of Ja'far married Umm Kulthum but the same people who have reported that these two married Umm Kulthum have said: "Awn and Muhammad were killed in the battle of Shushtar which took place during Umar's caliphate."

Ibn Abd Al-Barr says: "Awn son of Ja'far bin Abi Talib was born in the time of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his descendants.

Awn's mother and that of his brothers Abdullah and Muhammad sons of Ja'far bin Abi Talib was Asma daughter of Umais Khath'ami. Awn and his brother, Muhammad, were martyred in the battle of Shushtar without them leaving any children behind."19

He further says: Muhammad bin Ja'far bin Abi Talib was born in the time of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his descendants. He is the one who, after the death of Umar bin Khattab, married Umm Kulthum daughter of Ali bin Abi Talib… and was martyred in the battle of Shushtar.20

Concerning Awn bin Ja'far's martyrdom, Ibn Hajar says, "Awn bin Ja'far was martyred in the battle of Shushtar which took place in the time of Umar's caliphate. He did not have a child."21

Ibn Athir has made a similar comment.22

It is pertinent to mention that the battle took place during the caliphate of Umar and historians have made clear reference to it in their accounts.23

In this passage quoted from Ibn Hajar, he has made mention of the same fact. Indeed, a truth-seeking researcher is amazedly mindful of the contradictory reports and narrations transmitted by these people.

The eighth dimension

An important question in connection with the topic under discussion is: Which one of the two brothers married Umm Kulthum, Awn bin Ja'far or Muhammad bin Ja'far? Sunni traditions provide different accounts in this regard. Ibn Sa'ad and Dar Qutni, as stated in Al-Isabah, says: "Awn died during the lifetime of Umm Kulthum and his brother, Muhammad, contracted marriage with her. Then, Muhammad died and Abdullah married her."

Ibn Sa‘ad narrates as such: Umm Kulthum said: I feel embarrassed towards Asma bint Umais whose two sons died when they were with me, and I am worried about the third one!‖ Umm Kulthum died when she was with Abdullah ibn Ja‘far.24

Ibn Qutaibah narrates this story differently; he says: When Umar was killed, Muhammad ibn Ja‘far married Umm Kulthum and died during her lifetime. Then Awn ibn Ja‘far married her and Umm Kulthum died when she was married to him.25

You can see that Ibn Qutaibah has mentioned the marriage of Muhammad ibn Ja‘far with Umm Kulthum before the latter‘s marriage to Awn ibn Ja‘far and she died when she was still married to Awn. Qutaibah has made no mention of Abdullah bin Ja‘far.

Moreover, although Ibn Abd al-Barr has discussed Umm Kulthum‘s life, he has not stated anything regarding her marriage after Umar‘s death, nor has he said anything about her marriage to Awn. Nevertheless, when it comes to Muhammad bin Ja‘far‘s life, he says: Muhammad ibn Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib is the one who married Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib, after the death of Umar ibn Khattab.26

The ninth dimension

In this section, we shall now have a short look at the biography of Abdullah ibn Ja‘far. He was the husband of the Wise Woman of Bani Hashim, e.g. Zainab, the daughter of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.). Lady Zainab (S.A) used to live with her husband Abdullah until his death after the tragedy of Karbala.

Concerning Zainab (a.s.), Ibn Sa‘ad writes: Zainab was the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib. Abdullah ibn Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib married her. They were blessed with four sons namely; Ali, Awn Akbar, Abbas and Muhammad and a daughter named Umm Kulthum.

Ibn Sa‘ad goes on to report a narration from Muhammad ibn Ismail ibn Fadik, he from Ibn Abi Ze‘b that he said: Abdul Rahman ibn Mahran told me as such: Abdullah ibn Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib, married Zainab the daughter of Ali. At the same time he had married Ali‘s widow, Laila Bint Mas‘ud; both Zainab and Laila were his wives.27

After counting the number of Abdullah‘s children, Nawavi says: Their mother was Zainab, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib from Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him and his descendants.28

Concerning Hazrat Zainab (a.s.), Ibn Hajar writes: Zainab was the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib ibn Abdul Muttalib. She was Hashemi and the granddaughter of the Messenger of Allah (S) and her mother was Fatima.

He further writes: Ibn Athir describes Zainab as such: She was born during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (S). She was an intelligent and a learned woman as well as a great orator. Her father married her to the son of his brother, Abdullah ibn Ja‘far whereupon they were blessed with children. When her brother Imam Husain (a.s.) was killed, she was in his company but thereupon she was taken to Sham (Syria). She was present in the court of Yazid son of Muawiyah. While in the court, a man from Sham wanted to take her sister Fatima as a slave. Addressing Yazid, Zainab delivered a speech that showed her intelligence and strong heart. This story is well-known.29

Therefore, if the woman who was called Umm Kulthum and who died during the reign of Muawiyah is the very daughter of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) and she Abdullah ibn Ja‘far‘s wife after the death of Awn and Muhammad (as also reported in the narrations), then it implies that Abdullah ibn Ja‘far married two sisters at the same time, something which is prohibited and obscene in Islam.

That is why Ibn Sa‘ad has carefully reported saying: Umm Kulthum was married to Muhammad ibn J‘afar. After his death, his brother Abdullah ibn Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib married her following the death of her sister, Zainab.

The tenth dimension

Another question that comes up is, who prayed on Umm Kulthum after she died? The answer to this question is found in the reported narrations, but there are contradictions and discrepancies in those reports. The contradictions are found even in the narrations reported by one narrator.

When it comes to the prayer on Umm Kulthum and her son Zaid, Ibn Sa‘ad narrates from Shu‘abi and Abdullah Al-Bahi as such: Ibn Umar prayed on them.

He has also reported the same story from Ammar bin Abi Ammar and Nafi‘ who said: Saeid bin Aas prayed on them.

It is interesting to note that some historiographers have narrated from Ammar ibn Abi Ammar that Sa‘ad ibn Abi Waqas prayed on them.30

In any case, regardless of who offered the funeral prayer, the narrations indicate the fact that she died during the reign of Muawiyah because the narrations report that Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain (a.s.) attended the prayer.

However, what is proven through historical accounts is that Umm Kulthum and her sister Zainab (a.s.) were present in the event of Karbala. When they were taken to Kufah as slaves, she delivered a famous speech in that city the text of which has been recorded and narrated in many books.

Ibn Taifur (d. 280) has narrated Umm Kulthum‘s speech in the book of Balaghat Al-Nesa. Ibn Athir and a few other famous scholars and traditionists have also mentioned it under the term ‗farth‟ in their books such as Al-Nihayah, Lisan Al-Arab and Taj Al-Arus.

Perhaps it is because of the same reason that in Abu Dawud‘s narration from Ammar ibn Abi Ammar, it is reported that Ammar ibn Abi Ammar said: ―I was present in the funeral prayer on Umm Kulthum and her son. Her son‘s corpse was placed on the side where the Imam was standing to which I objected but Ibn Abbas, Abu Saeid Khedri, Abu Qutadah and Abu Hurairah were also in attendance. They said that the way they placed the corpses in front of the prayer leader was customary.1

Ammar ibn Abi Ammar ends the story without mentioning the name of the Imam who prayed on those two. Likewise, he has not clarified as to who Umm Kulthum and her son were.

It has been reported again in Nesai‘s narrations from Ammar ibn Abi Ammar that he said: I was attending the funeral prayer of a lady and a son. The corpse of the son was placed in front on the side at which the Imam was standing and that of the lady was placed behind him when the prayer on those two was offered. Among the people in attendance were Abu Saeid, Ibn Abbas, Qutadah and Abu Hurairah. I objected to the way they had positioned the corpses and they said that it was customary.31

Here Ammar ibn Abi Ammar has only reported that tradition and he has failed to mention the Imam‘s name, and those of the two dead bodies on which prayer was offered nor has he stated anything about the relation between the woman and the boy.


As you noticed, we presented and examined the chains of the transmission of the narrations about the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) marrying his daughter to Umar ibn Khattab, and other narrations pertaining to this great lady of the Household of the Prophet (S). However, we could not find in them a chain of transmission that could be relied upon or which an argument could be based upon. We also investigated meticulously the text of the narration regarding Umm Kulthum‘s marriage to Umar. We looked carefully into the sayings of Sunni scholars and their reports on this topic. We found out that their reports are contradictory and refuting each other.

Moreover, we also studied the significations of the narration and it was made clear that the entire story is baseless and undocumented. The probability here is that the forgers of this story sought to create a virtue for Umar ibn Khattab who himself is one of the narrators of this prophetic tradition:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

“Every means and lineage will be severed on the Day of Judgment except my means and my lineage.”

This tradition signifies the virtues and merits of the Prophet‘s Household especially the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.). As also stated by Manawi, even Hakim Nishaburi has narrated the above tradition as a proof of the virtues of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.).32 That was why they forged the story of Umar‘s proposal to the daughter of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) in a bid to include Umar amongst those who were linked to the Prophet (S) and to finally establish a virtue for him. This is further evidenced by the fact that a number of great Sunni traditionists have reported this tradition from Umar without mentioning this story, and they have reported the same tradition from other individuals without making reference to Umar‘s marriage proposal and the relevant story.

Muttaqi Hindi has cited this tradition from different sources. As per his report, the Messenger of Allah (a.s.) said:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

“Every means and lineage will be severed on the Day of Judgment except my means and my lineage.”

However, he writes under the tradition as such: Khatib Baghdadi and Hakim Nishaburi have narrated this tradition from Umar. Likewise, Khatib Baghdadi has narrated from Ibn Abbas and Miswar. He further says that Ibn Asakir has also narrated from Ibn Umar that the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him and his descendants, said:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

“Every lineage and grooming relation will be severed on the Day of Judgment except my lineage and grooming relation.”33

Ibn Maghazali has reported this tradition in Manaqib Al-Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) that the Prophet of Allah (S) said:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

“Every means and lineage will be severed on the Day of Judgment except my means and my lineage.”

Then he narrates this tradition through his own chain from Saeid ibn Jubair, from Ibn Abbas, from Umar.34

There is a narration similar to this one reported from the Holy Prophet (S) about Fatima‘s position and rank. He has been quoted as having said:

فاطمة بضعة مني

“Fatima is a part of my body…”

The Holy Prophet (S) has been quoted by different companions to have said the above on a number of occasions. When some enemies of the Prophet‘s Household (a.s.) saw the different aspects and implications of this sound and authentic tradition which has been recorded in their own Sihah, they deliberately embarked on fabricating the story of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) making a marriage proposal to Abu Jahl‘s daughter, something which they linked to the above tradition to prove their own side of the story.35 Thus, both of the traditions relate to marriage proposals, one of them about Umar asking the daughter of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) for her hand in marriage and the other is about Ali (a.s.) proposing marriage to Abu Jahl‘s daughter!

Umar‘s marriage to Umm Kulthum would make him a groom of Fatima Zahra (S.A) while Ali‘s marriage to Abu Jahl‘s daughter would hurt Fatima and injure her feeling! As stated earlier, Umar‘s proposal was owing to the fact that he had heard the Prophet of Allah (S) say:

كل سبب ونسب منقطع يوم القيامة إلا سببي ونسبي

“Every means and lineage will be severed on the Day of Judgment except my means and my lineage.”

Ali‘s proposal was opposed by the Messenger of Allah (S) and he was offended to the extent that he, peace be upon him, wanted Ali to divorce his daughter!

In short, given the outcome of the research conducted into this story, it is very clear that the entire story is fabricated and outrageous.

When it comes to the narrators of this story, they are Umar‘s slave, Qadhi ibn Zubair, the killer of Ammar Yasir and the clerics who were affiliated to the Ummayad family.

The narrators in the chain of transmission are a few liars, fabricators, weak and mudallis (one who practices tadlis) in terms reporting traditions.

Most probably, the main reason for fabricating this story is what we just mentioned as evidenced by the fact that some of the narrators are involved in the transmission of both of the stories.

One Question

Based on what was said, a question arises as to whether or not there is any probability or an occasion to which the narrations regarding this story could be applied after assuming their authenticity and the reliability of the chains of their transmission notwithstanding the fact that this story is famous among Sunni Muslims and there are few shadh (irregular) narrations reported in this connection through Shiite channels as well.


In reply to this question, we must say that there is no doubt that the statements and narrations reported in this regard contain allegations and claims which are not permissible to accept under any circumstances. For instance, go through the following narration that they have related:

Ali sent Umm Kulthum to Umar so that he could see her. He also ordered that she be adorned and beautified! There are many other such narrations which we do not mention here for the sake of brevity.

Obviously the reason these narrations are invalid and false is quite clear. Another instance is the story of the death of Umm Kulthum during the time of Muawiyah as reported by Sunni narrators. The report that she died during Muawiyah‘s reign is untrue because she was present in the event of Karbala and there are reports confirming her presence in the incidents that took place on the Day of Ashura.

Therefore, that lady who died on the same day as Zaid, and on whom a certain individual prayed was one of Umar‘s wives with her name being either Umm Kulthum (as she had wives whose names or nicknames were Umm Kulthum) or she was someone bearing a name other than Umm Kulthum.36

Assuming the authenticity of their narrations and their isnad [chains of transmission], this probability is reaffirmed by the narrations of Abu Dawud, Nesai and others. Thus, there is no reliable report to prove that Umm Kulthum, the daughter of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) bore Umar a child called Zaid. That is because there is no evidence apart from the narrations that were proved to be worthless and fabricated.

Likewise, there is no report or evidence to prove that she gave birth to a daughter, not to mention the fact that the narrators themselves have discrepant views as to the story itself as well as the name of that daughter.

It is further reaffirmed by Muslim scholars who have said: When Umar died, Umm Kulthum was still young and immature. One of those scholars is Sheikh Abu Muhammad Nawbakhti who is one of the early Shiite scholars. In his Al-Imamah, he writes: Umm Kulthum was young and juvenile and Umar died before consummating marriage with her.37

Likewise, Sheikh Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Abdul Baqi Zarqani Maliki (d.1122)38 while elaborating on the meaning of kinship of the holy Prophet (S) makes reference to the same point saying: Kinship refers to people who are related to the closest grandfather of the Messenger of Allah (S) i.e. Abdul Muttalib because the Prophet (S) said:

من صنع إلى أحد من ولد عبد المطلب يدا فلم يكافئه بها في الدنيا فعلي مكافاته إذا لقيتني

“Whoever treats well any of the children of Abdul Muttalib and does him a favor and he does not not make up for the favor in this world, it will be necessary upon me to make it up on the Day of Judgment when he shall meet me.”

Tabarani has reported this tradition in Al-Mu’ujam Al-Awsat. Hence, those who are related to people before Abdul Muttalib like the children of Abdul Manaf, or the people who are in the same level related to Abdul Manaf, for example the children of Hashim, the brothers of Abdul Muttalib or the people related to him but who did not see him or associated with him, are excluded from his kinship.

It seems that kinship does not refer to the men and women who were in the company of the Messenger of Allah (S) and did not see him; but it refers to Ali and his children; Hassan, Hussain, Mohassin and Umm Kulthum, the wife of the second caliph, Umar ibn Khattab.

In fact, Umar died before Umm Kulthum reached the age of puberty and Awn ibn Ja‘far married her. He also departed and she got married to his brother, Muhammad. He too died and she got married to Abdullah, the brother of those two. Umm Kulthum died in his house and did not bear a child with any of those three, except Muhammad, for whom she bore a daughter who died, while still a child. Thus, Umm Kulthum does not have any children or descendents as the author mentioned in the second section of this book.39

Furthermore, assuming that Umar married Umm Kulthum, the fact that Umm Kulthum did not bear a child is reaffirmed by Umar who stressed that he did not want anything by making a marriage proposal but to be the son- in-law of Holy Prophet (S). He insisted that he wanted to be one of the members of the Prophet‘s household (a.s.). He declared that he did not seek to gain anything except relationship with the Messenger of Allah through marriage with Umm Kulthum.

  • 1. Manaqib Al-Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.), Ibn Maghazali, 134 & 135.
  • 2. Dhakhair Al-Uqba fi Manaqib Dhawi Al-Qurba, 286.
  • 3. Al-Durriyat Al-Tahirah, 160.
  • 4. A raised place with a roof made of leaves of date-palm trees and it is a resting place for the poor and miserable.
  • 5. Hiliyat Al-Awliya‟, 2/42.
  • 6. Dhakhair Al-Uqba, 289.
  • 7. Dhakhair Al-Uqba, 289.
  • 8. Al-Sunan Al- Kubra, 7/185 number 13660.
  • 9. Al-Durriyat Al-Tahirah, 162 and 163; Dhakhair Al-Uqba, 290.
  • 10. Al-Durriyat Al-Tahirah, 157 and 158; Dhakhair Al-Uqba, 286.
  • 11. Refer to: Dhakhair Al-Uqba, 289.
  • 12. It is worth mentioning that in the Islamic laws (of both the Sunni and Shia sects) specific laws on how to treat a slave have been discussed which are not comparable with the laws regarding a free woman. In any case, the meanness and obscenity of Umar‘s action remains in place and what Ibn Jauzi Hanafi means from the above statement refers to the very point.
  • 13. Tadhkirat Al-Khawas, 288 and 289.
  • 14. Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra, 8/339, Kanzul Ummal, 13/269 number 37576, Al-Isti‟ab, 4/509, Usd Al- Ghabah, 7/378, Al-Isabah, 8/465.
  • 15. Dhakhair Al-Uqba, 287. To understand the meaning of this kind of congratulation, refer to Lisan Al-Arab and other books in Arabic grammar to find the word ―Rifa‘a‖.
  • 16. Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, 4/484. Refer to Wasail Al-Shia, 14/183 tradition number 25550.
  • 17. Tahzib Al-Asma wa Al-Lughat, 2/334.
  • 18. Al-Ma'aref, 122.
  • 19. Al-Isti'ab, 3/315.
  • 20. Al-Isti'ab, 3/423 and 424.
  • 21. Al-Isabah, 4, 4/ 619.
  • 22. Usd Al-Ghabah, 4, 302.
  • 23. Tarikh Tabari, 3/ 174, Al-Kamil fi Al-Tarikh, 2/550.
  • 24. Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra: 8/338.
  • 25. Al Ma‟arif, 122.
  • 26. Al-Isti‟b, 3/424.
  • 27. Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra, 8/340.
  • 28. Tahdhib Al-Asma, Wa Lughat, 1/249.
  • 29. Al-Isabah, 8/166 and 167.
  • 30. Tarikh Al-Khamis, 2/285.
  • 31. Sunan Al-Nesai, 4/374 number 1976.
  • 32. Faidh Al- Qadir, 5/27.
  • 33. Kanzul Ummal, 11/183 number 31911 & 31912
  • 34. Manaqib Al-Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), 133 & 134.
  • 35. Refer to the thesis that we have written in this regard.
  • 36. Ifham Al-A‟ada Wa Al- Khusum, 2/72 – 212.
  • 37. Bihar Al-Anwar, 42/91.
  • 38. His biography can be read in Silk Al- DurarfFi A‟ayan Al- Qarn Al-Thani Ashar, 4/32
  • 39. Sharh Al-Mawahib Al-Ladoniyyah, 7/9 and 10, theme: Mabhath Qarabat Al-Nabi (S).