Hadith

The ignorant writer writes under the heading “Denial of the Hadith”:
“The Shia’s have their own books of traditions; however, in these books the sayings of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam) are no more than five percent; the rest 95 % contains sayings and doings of their imams. In Shi’a terminology “Hadith” means talk, action or speech of an Imam. Thus the Shi’as have broken all the links with the Islam of Rasulullah (Sallallah alayhi Wasallam) who on the occasion of Farewell Pilgrimage said:
“I am leaving behind two things among you; if you hold fast to them you will never go astray. These are the Book of Allah and my Sunnah”

There are a lot of amusing things in this short quotation.

Let us begin with the definition of Hadith. Hadith even in Sunni terminology is not confined to “narration of the talk, action or ‘Taqreer” of the Holy Prophet (S) but includes talks of his companions and their disciples too.

Likewise, in Shi’a terminology it means the talk, action or “Taqreer” of the Holy Prophet (S), his daughter Bibi Fatimah and the twelve Imams (a.s.) (i.e. the 14 Ma’sums) or its narration.

Now it is for the reader to decide whether the words of the companions and their disciples (who were admittedly not Ma’sum ) are more worthy of acceptance or those of Bibi Fatimah and the 12 Imams whose ‘Ismah is accepted even by such pillars of Sunni’ism as Shah Waliullah Dehlavi, Shah ‘Abdu ‘l­ ‘Aziz Dehlavi and others. This is quite apart from the fact that 4 of this group - Bibi Fatimah, ‘Ali, Hasan and Husayn a.s - were also companions of the Holy Prophet (S).

The unknown writer has given the definition of hadith in these words: “In Shi’a terminology “Hadith” means talk, action or speech of an Imam:’ You have seen that it is not only Imams but even before them the Holy Prophet and Bibi Fatimah whose talk, action and Taqreer or its narration which is called Hadith. Most amusing is his translation of “Taqreer” as speech, which shows his crass ignorance of even his own madhhab and its terminologies, because the terminology “Taqreer” is commonly used by all sects, and it means this:

“When a follower does something in the presence of the Prophet or Imam and the Prophet or Imam does not forbid him to do so (in spite of being in a position to guide that follower if he so wished), then that silent or tacit approval will prove the validity of the follower’s action:’ This “silent approval” is called “Taqreer” which this fool has translated as “speech”

He claims that 95% of the Shi’a traditions are from the Imams. Can anyone accept the claim of someone who has not ever seen any book of Shi’a traditions? He is ignorant of the fact that our Imams never spoke of their own accord. Whatever they said was a narration of the ahadith received through their immaculate and sinless forefathers. As this fact was known to one and all, there was no need for them to elongate their hadith by mentioning the chain of narrators.

Someone who was unaware of this fact asked Imam Muhammmad al-Baqir (a.s.) about the hadith “which you transmit without mentioning its chain of narrators” The Imam (a.s.) said: “When I narrate a hadith without mentioning its chain of narrators, then my link in that is “my father (Imam Zaynu ‘l-’Abedeen a.s.) from my grandfather (Imam al-Husayn a.s.) from his father (Imam ‘Ali a.s) from the Messenger of Allah (Blessings of Allah be on him and his progeny), from Jibra’il from Allah the Mighty, the Great.”1

The same declaration was made by Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) about his own ahadith.2

Salim ibn Hafsah says: “When Abu Ja’far Muhammad al-Baqir ibn ‘Ali (Zaynu ‘l-’Abedeen) (peace be on both) died, I said to my companions: ‘Wait for me, so that I may go to Abu ‘Abdillah Ja’far (as-Sadiq) ibn Muhammad (Al-Baqir) (peace be on him) to offer condolences to him’. Then I went to his house and offered condolence. Then I said: “To Allah we belong and to Him are we to return. By Allah, such a man has passed away that when he said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (S) has said: he was not asked about the links between him and the Messenger of Allah (S). No, by Allah! his like will not be seen again!”

He says: “(Hearing this), Abu ‘Abdillah (Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq a.s .) was silent for a while; then said: ‘Allah, the Mighty, the Great, has said: “Verily, whosoever gives in sadaqah even a portion of a date, I make it grow for him as one of you brings up his colt, until I make it (big) for him like the (mountain of) Uhud;”” Then I came to my companions and said: ‘I never saw anything more wonderful than it. We used to regard as great the words, “The Messenger of Allah (S) said” when spoken by Abu Ja’far (Imam Muhammad al-Baqir a.s.) without the intermediate links: and (now) Abu ‘Abdillah (Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq a.s.) has said to me, ‘‘Allah, the Mighty, the Great, has said” --without the Intermediate link.”3

So when our Imams spoke, their connecting link upto Allah Ta’ala was known and understood by their listeners: and they had no need to give those sacred names every now and then. That is why a poet had said:

“If you want to choose for yourself a madh-hab
Which will protect you from the Fire on the Day of Resurrection.
Then leave aside the opinions of so and so and this and that
And love and follow those people whose narration and hadith (runs as follows):
“Has narrated it our Grandfather from Jibra’il from (Allah) the Creator”.

It is such a holy and blessed link that if it was uttered for some reasons by our Imams it was treated as a precious treasure of spiritual benefits.

Golden Link

A lot of muhadditheen have narrated that when our 8th Imam, Abu ‘I-Hasan ‘Ali Ar-Rdha (peace be on him) was passing from Nishapur on his way to Marv, two famous muhadditheen, Abu Zar’ah ar -Razi and Muhammad ibn Aslam at­ Tusi met him together with innumerable scholars and students of fiqh, hadilh and dirayah. The two muhadditheen said: “O Great Sayyid, son of the Sayyids who were Imams, we request you by the haqq of your purified forefathers and venerated progenitors that you show us your blessed face and narrate to us a hadith through your fathers from your grandfather, Muhammad (S), that we should remember you by it:’ The Imam stopped his mule, and ordered his servants to raise the shade from his howdah; and thus the people were delighted to see his blessed features; he had two strands reaching his shoulders.

All the people of various categories stood there looking at him, some were crying, others weeping, yet others putting their cheeks on the earth and some kissing the hooves of the mule. Then the scholars and the jurisprudents asked the people to keep quiet, saying: “Hear and listen and remain calm in order that you may hear what would benefit you, and do not trouble us by excessive crying and weeping:’ Thereafter the Imam (‘Ali) Ar-Rdha said:

“Narrated to me my father Musa al-Kazim from his father Ja’far as-Sadiq, from his father Muhammad al-Baqir, from his father ‘Ali Zaynu ‘l-’Abedein, from his father al-Husayn the martyr of Karbala, from his father ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib that he said: ‘Narrated to me my beloved and the delight of my eye, the Messenger of Allah (S) from Jibra’il, that he said: “I heard the Mighty and Exalted Lord saying: ‘The Kalimah, La Ilaha Illallah, is My fort, and whoever utters it enters My fort, and whoever enters My fort becomes safe from my chastisement:” Then the shade was drawn on the howdah and he proceeded a little, and then he called to them: “(It depends) on its conditions and I am one of its conditions,”

This hadith was written on that day in that place by more than twenty thousand scribes4. It is one of the traditions agreed upon by Sunnis and Shi’as both; and is narrated by scholars of both sects. The famous Sunni muhadd ith Abu Nu’aym al-Isfihani has narrated it in his well-known book, Hilyatu ‘l-awliya’; and then he writes: “This hadith is confirmed and famous, with these links, by riwayah (narration) of the purified ones from their clean fathers;’ Then he adds: “Some of our predecessors among the muhaddithin used to say after narrating this link of narrators: “If this asnad (chain of narrators) were recited on a mad person, he would be cured:’ Ibn Hajar al-Haythami al-Makki has said that this belief was expressed by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.5 Incidentally, this asnad is known to muhaddithin as silsilatu ‘dh-dhahab (the Golden chain).

Perhaps now this ignorant writer would understand why it was not necessary for our Imams to spell in so many words their links to the Prophet (S), for it was understood by everyone that whatever they said was taken from their holy progenitor, the Messenger of Allah (S).

Nor it will be out of place to mention that a hadith of the same meaning has been narrated with a longer “Golden chain” starting with our twelfth Imam (a.s,), by none other than the Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlavi, who writes in his “Al Fazl al-Mubeen fi al-Musalsalat min hadith al-Nabi al-Amin”:

“I say: Ibn ‘Uqlah had given me ijazah (permission) to narrate all that he had the authority to narrate. And I have found in his al-Musalsalat, a musalsal hadith in which each of its narrators has the distinction of possessing a great virtue uniquely. He (may Allah have mercy on him) has said: ‘Informed me the peerless of this time ash-Shaykh Hasan ibn ‘Ali al-’Ujaymi; from the Hafiz of his time Jamaluddin al-Babili, from the Relied one of his time Muhammad al-Hijazi al-Wa’iz, from the Sufi of his time ash-Shakh ‘Abdul Wahbab ash­ Sha’rawi, from the Mujtahid of his time Jalaluddin as-Suyuti, from the Hafiz of his time Abu Nu’aym Rizwan al-’Uqba, from the Reciter of his time ash­ Shams Muhammad ibn al-Juzwi from the Imam Jamaluddin Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Jamal the Zahid of his time, from the Imam Muhammad ibn Mas’ud the Muhaddith of the Fars in his time, from our Shaykh Isma’il ibn Muzaffar ash-Shirazi the Scholar of his time, from ‘Abdus Salaam ibn Abi’r-Rabi’ Hanafi the M uhadd ith of his time, from Abu Bakr ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Shapur al-Qalanasi the Shaykh of his time, from ‘Abdu ‘l-’Aziz ibn Muhammad al-Adami the Imam of his times, from Sulayman ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Sulayman the extra-ordinary person of his time, from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hashim al-Baladhuri the Hafiz of his time, who said that: Narrated to us Muhammad (Al-Mahdi) ibn al-Hasan (Al-’Askari) ibn ‘Ali (al-Hadi), the Hidden Imam of his time, (who said) narrated to us (my father) al-Hasan (Al-’Askari) ibn ‘Ali (Al-Hadi), from his father (Imam ‘Ali Al-Hadi) from his grandfather (Imam Muhammad At-Taqi) from his great grand-father ‘Ali ibn Musa Ar-Rdha, from (his father) Musa Al-Kazim who said: Narrated to us my father (Imam) Ja’far as-Sadiq, (who said) narrated to us my father (Imam) Muhammad al-Baqir, (who said) narrated to us my father ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn Zaynu ‘l-’Abedeen as-Sajjad, (who said) narrated to us my father al-Husayn the Chief of the martyrs, (who said) narrated to us my father ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib the Chief of the Awliya: who said: lnfonned us the Chief of the prophets Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him!) who said: Informed me Jibra’il the Chief of the angels who said that Allah the Paramount Lord has said: “Verily I am Allah, there is none to be worshipped except Me; whosoever acknowledges My Tawheed (Oneness) enters My fort, and whosoever enters My fort is safe from My chastisement.”6

At this juncture, it is necessary to draw the attention of the readers to the following facts:

First: Shah Wahyullah Dehlavi narrates a hadith from the twelfth Imam of the lthna-’asharis whom the said narration describes as “the Hidden Imam of his time”. How could he narrate by ijazah that hadith if he did not believe in the existence of that Imam who had transmitted it through his illustrious forefathers up to the Holy Prophet?

Second: As quoted earlier, Mirza Hasan Ali in his question and Shah ‘Abdu ‘1-’Aziz Dehlavi in his detailed reply have used the words, (The Respected Twelve Imams, Peace be on them). It means that they too believed in the existence of our Twelfth Imam, and all of them had shown full reverence and respect for these Imams; so much so that they used for them the phrase “Peace be on them”.

Third: Maulana Ali Akbar Maududi, like Shah Waliullah, Shah ‘Abdu ‘1-’Aziz and Shaykh Muhyiddin ibn Al-’Arabi, Shaykh ‘Abdul Wahhab Sha’rani and many others, believed that our Twelfth Imam (who is the son of the Eleventh Imam a.s. and was born in 255 A.H.) is the Qutb of this time, and all the bounties of Allah reach the creatures through him; and that he, like his forefathers upto ‘Ali (a.s.) is Ma’sum, sinless and infallible; and this distinction is reserved in this ummah to these twelve persons only.

In spite of the above distinctions, no Shi’a has ever said, written or thought that ‘Ali (a.s.) or his children were more virtuous than the Messenger of Allah (S), as this writer of unknown origin accuses the Shi’as to believe. (See p.22 of his booklet) The fool does not realize that in the Shi’a’s eyes the virtues and distinctions of the Imams (a.s.) are based on, and derived from the virtues and distinctions of the Holy Prophet (S). Such demented balderdash should not be glorified by reply. We should rather say: Curse of Allah be on the liars.

Before closing this topic it is necessary to point out that even if our Imams had not made it clear that whatever they said was actually the saying of the Holy Prophet (S) which had come to them through their holy forefathers, we were bound to accept their words and follow their guidance. Why? Because of the mutawatir hadith of “The two precious/weighty things” which is accepted by both the Sunnis and the Shi’a as we have briefly mentioned in the beginning.

Is it not strange that our adversaries are ready to accept and follow the words of thousands of non-ma’sums -not only the Companions but even their disciples like ‘Ikrimah, Mujahid, al-Hasan al-Basri and others; but recoil from accepting and following the words of the ma’sum Imams of Ahlu ‘I-Bayt, who are clearly designated by the Holy Prophet (S) as the equals of the Qur’an!?

It is about the people of such mentality that Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) had said in the presence of some people from Kufa: “How strange it is that the people say that they have got all their knowledge from the Messenger of Allah (May Allah’s mercy and blessings be on him and his progeny), and that they have acted upon it and have been guided; and at the same time they think that we, the people of his house, did not receive any knowledge from him, nor were we guided aright while we are his people and his progeny! !It was in our house that the revelation was sent to him, and from our place the knowledge was imparted to the people. DOh, you think that they got the knowledge and were guided while we remained ignorant and went astray? Certainly it is impossible.”7

  • 1. al-Mufid, Kitabu ’l-Irshad, Tehran. 1377. p. 250; Al-Majlisi, Biharu ’l-Anwar, new ed, Vol. 46. p. 288.
  • 2. al-Mufid, Kitabu ’l-Irshad, p. 257; Al-Kafi, Vol.1, p.42.
  • 3. al-Mufid, Al-Amali, p. 90; Al-Majlisi, Biharu’l-Anwar, new ed Vol. 47. p. 27 and 337.
  • 4. Ash-Shaykh As-Saduq, ‘Uyunu Akhbar ‘r-Rida, Beirut, 1404/1984. Vol.2, pp.143.
  • 5. as-Sawa‘iqu ’l-Muhriqah.
  • 6. Shah Waliullah, Al-Fazl al-Mubeen. as quoted in Istiqsa‘u ’l-ifham.
  • 7. Biharu’l-Anwar, Vol. 26. p. 158.