The twelfth tradition on the excellences of caliphs and the order of their caliphate is narrated by Timidhi. He quotes Imam Ali (a.s) as saying:
May Allah bless Abu Bakr. He married me his daughter. He advised me to migrate to Medina and he freed Bilal through his own wealth. No one's wealth has been so helpful to me for the promotion of Islam as Abu Barkr's.
May Allah bless Umar who speaks the truth even though it be bitter. Truth left him alone but did not find any other friend.
May Allah bless Uthman whom angels did not face out of modesty. He equipped Jaish al-Usra1 and he expanded our mosque to the extent it accommodated us.
May Allah bless Ali! O Allah! Make truth accompany him wherever he goes.2
Jalal al-Din Suyuti narrated this tradition from Tirmidhi and considered it as authentic.3
Mukhtar bin Nafi'a
Among the reporters of this tradition is Mukhtar bin Nafi'a who is rejected by the scholars of tradition. According to Abu Zar'a, his narrations are weak. According to Bukhari, Nisaee and Abu Hatam his traditions are unknown. Based on what Nisaee has said elsewhere, he is not a reliable person. In Ibn Hayyan's point of view, he used to narrate unknown traditions from well-known people. It seems as if he was doing it intentionally.
According to Abu Ahmad Hakim, scholars are of the view that he is not reliable in narrating tradition. Saji is of the view that his traditions are unknown.4
Based on what was mentioned above, memorizers of traditions have considered this tradition among false ones. For example, Ibn Jawzi first relates this tradition through Mukhar and then says: This tradition owes its reputation to the name 'Mukhtar'. According to Bukhari he narrates unknown traditions. Based on Ibn Hayyan's opinion, he narrated unknown traditions from well-known people to the extent that it was thought that he was doing it purposely.5 According to Dahabi, he narrated tradition from Abu Hayyan Tamimi. On the basis of the opinions of Nisaee and others, he is not a credible reporter. According to Ibn Hayyan his traditions are extremely unknown. Ahmad bin Abd al-Rahman Kazbarani says that Mukhtar narrated this tradition from his father from Ali (a.s) in marfu'a format. Bukahri is of the view that his traditions are unknown and his nickname is Abu Ishaq.6
Manawi says: The author has implied that this tradition is authentic but his opinion is not correct. This is because Ibn Jawzi has considered this tradition among weak ones. This tradition owes its reputation to the name 'Mukhtar'. According to Ibn Hayyan, Mukhatar narrates unknown traditions from well-known people to the extent that it was thought that he was doing it purposely.
Mizan al-Itidal on the other hand mentions that his traditions are unknown. The author of Mizan places this tradition among unknown traditions reported by Mukhtar.7
- 1. - The army that was dispatched to Tabuk is called Jaish al-Usra. This is because this army was dispatched at a time of prevalence of famine, drought and scarcity of food.
- 2. - Sunan Ibn Majah, vol. 5, p. 297, tradition, no. 3798.
- 3. - Al-Jami'a al-Saghir, vol. 2, p. 9, tradition, no. 4412.
- 4. - Tahdib al-Tahdib, vol. 10, p. 63.
- 5. - Al-Ilal al-Mutanahiya, vol. 1, pp. 255 and 256.
- 6. - Mizan al-Itidal, vol. 6, p. 386.
- 7. - Fayz al-Qadir, vol. 4, p. 25.