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A Distortion in Thaqalain Tradition

By: Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Milani

An inquiry into the narrators of Thaqalain tradition and their Traditions
No doubt, the version of Thaqalain tradition that contains ‘Book and Tradition’ [in place of Book and Prophet’s progeny] has appeared only in a few Hadith books and biographical works, which we will now study.

The Tradition of Malik bin Anas
Based on researches made the most ancient narrator of this tradition is Malik bin Anas (d. 179 AH). In his al-Muwatta, he quotes the Holy Prophet (s)1 as saying: “I leave two things among you, as long as you follow them, you will never go astray: Allah’s Book and His Prophet’s tradition.”

The Tradition of Ibn Hisham
Another person who has narrated this tradition is Ibn Hisham (d. 218 AH). In his al-Sira al-Nabaviyya, which is an abridgment of al-Sira by Muhammad bin Ishaq, he quotes the Holy Prophet (s) as having said in his Farewell Hajj: “…And I have left something among you to which if you resort, you will never go astray and they are clear issues: Allah’s Book and His prophet’s tradition.”

Hakim’s Tradition
Hakim e Nayshaburi (d. 405 AH) has also narrated this tradition. He has mentioned it in his al-Mustadrak and, commenting on it, he says: It is narrated from Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn Ishaq Faqih, from Abbas Ibn Isqati, from Ismael Ibn Abi Uwais from Muhammad Bin Fazl Sha‟arani from his grandfather, from Ibn Abi Uwais, from his father, from Thawr Ibn Ziyad Dily, from Akrama, from Ibn Abbas that he quoted the Holy Prophet as saying in his Farewell Hajj: “Satan is disappointed from being worshiped in your land, but he is satisfied to be obeyed through those acts of you which are not acts of worship and which you underestimate. So be careful.
O’ people! I left two things among you as memorials to which if you resort, you will never go astray: Allah’s Book and His Prophet’s tradition.
As a matter of fact each Muslim is a brother of another Muslim and actually all Muslims are brothers. No one is allowed to use his brother’s possession without his permission. And never commit oppression and do not return to the state of disbelief after me, killing each other.”
After narrating this tradition, Hakim begins assessing its chain of reporters. He says: While narrating this tradition, Bukhari has relied on Akrama, whereas Muslim has referred to Ibn Abi Uwais. As to the other reporters of this tradition, they are accepted by all scholars.
After assessing its chain of reporters, Hakim assesses its text, saying: This tradition is a part of the Holy Prophet’s sermon. All scholars agree that the Holy Prophet (s) has said: “O people! I left two things among you, to which if you resort, you will never go astray: Allah’s Book (about which I will ask you and to which you will be answerable) [and His Prophet’s tradition].
To mention the issue of resorting to Prophet’s tradition sounds strange, but this is really something that is needed.
Hakim thereupon says: Nevertheless I have found some evidence in Abu Huraira’s narrations that attests to the truth of the subject under discussion.
It is narrated from Abu Bakr bin Ishaq Faqih, from Muhammad bin Isa bin Sakan Wasiti, from Dawood bin Amr Dabbi, from Salih bin Musa Talhi, from Abd al-Aziz bin Rafi’a, from Abi Salih, from Abu Huraira, from the Holy Prophet (s) that he said: “I leave two things among you. You will never go astray after [following] them: Allah’s Book and my tradition. These two will never get separated from each other until they join me by the pool.”2

Bayhaqi’s Tradition
Abu Bakr Bayhaqi (d. 458 AH) has narrated this tradition via two chains of narrators.

First Chain
Abu Abdullah Hafiz narrates from Ismael bin Muhammad bin Fazl Sha‟arani, from his grandfather, from Bin Abi Uwais, from his father, from Thawr bin Zaid Dily, from Akrama, from Ibn Abbas who quotes the Holy Prophet (s) as having said in Farewell Hajj: “O’ people, no doubt, I leave something among you to which if you resort, you will never go astray: Allah’s Book and His prophet’s tradition.”

Second Chain
Abu al-Husain Bin Bushran al-Adl in Baghdad reports from Ahmad Hamzat Bin Muhammad Bin Abbas, from Abdul Karim Bin Haytham, from Abbas BinHaytham, from Saleh Bin Musa Talhi, from Abdul Aziz BinRafi, from Abi Saleh, from Abu Hurairah who quoted the Holy Prophet (s) as saying: “There is no doubt that I have left two things among you after me to which as long as you hold fast or by which as long as you abide, you will never go astray: Allah’s Book and my tradition. These two will never separate from each other until they join me by the pool.” 3

Ibn Abd al-Barr’s Tradition
Ibn Abd al-Barr (d. 463 AH) is another person who has narrated this tradition, using two chains of transmitters 4

First Chain
Based on this chain, Ibn Abd al-Bar rnarrates this tradition from Dawood bin Amr Dabbi, from Salih bin Musa Talhi, from Abd al-Aziz bin Rafi’a, from Abi Salih, from Abu Huraira. This tradition is the same as the tradition reported by Hakim in his book, which we will assess later on.

Second Chain
In this chain, Ibn Abd al-Barr has, linking one tradition to another in Al- Muwatta states: Abd al-Rahim Bin Yahya narrates from Ahmad Bin Saeed, from Muhammad Bin Ibrahim, from Ali Bin Zaid Arayezi, from Hunaini, from Kathir bin Abdullah Bin Amr Bin Auf, from his father from his grandfather, from the Holy Prophet (s) who said: “I leave among you two things to which as long as you hold fast, you will never go astray: Allah’s Book and His Prophet’s tradition.”

Qazi Ayad’a Tradition
Qazi Ayaza Yahsibi (d. 544 AH) concerning how he related this tradition, said: “I read this tradition to Qazi Abu Ali Husain Bin Muhammad and he [commenting on the tradition] said: “I narrate this tradition from Sheikh Imam Ab al-Fazil Ahmad Bin Ahmad Isfahani, from Abu Naeem Ahmad Bin Abdullah Hafiz, from Abdullah Bin Muhammad Bin Ja’afar, from Banan Bin Ahmad Qattan, from Abdullah Bin Umar Bin Aban, from Shuaib Bin Ibrahim, from Siaf Bin Umar, from Aban Bin Ishaq Asadi, from Sabah Bin Muhammad, from Abu Hazim, from Abu Saeed Khedri from the Holy Prophet (s) that he said: “O’ people! I leave among you two precious things: Allah’s Book and my tradition. So, do not destroy them, because as long as you keep them both, your eyes will never get blind, your steps will never stumble and your hands will never be in need of anything.” 5

Suyuti’s Tradition
Jalal al-Din Suyuti (d. 911 AH) has also narrated this tradition. In his al ‘Jami’a al-Saghir’, he says that Hakim in his al-Mustadrak, narrates from Abu Huraira that he quotes the Holy Prophet (s) as saying: “I leave among you two things. You will not go astray after [following] them; Allah’s Book and my tradition. These two will never separate from each other until they join me by the pool.” 6

The Tradition of Muttaqi Hindi
Sheikh Ali Muttaqi Hindi (d.975 AH) has devoted the second part of the first volume of his Kanzul Ummal, to [a discussion titled] “holding fast to [Allah’s] book and [Prophet’s] tradition”. Here he has related this tradition via many channels: In his Ghilaniyat, Abu Bakr Shafi’ai says that Abu Huraira has quoted the Messenger of Allah (s) as saying: “I left two things among you after me. You will never go astray after [following] them; Allah’s Book and my tradition. These two will never separate from each other until they join me by the pool.”
In his al-Mustadrak, Hakim Nayshaburi says that Abu Huraira has quoted the Messenger of Allah as saying: “I left two things among you after me. You will never go astray after [following] them; Allah’s Book and my tradition. They will never separate from each other until they join me by the pool.”
In his al-Mustadrak Hakim Nayshaburi says that Ibn Abbas has quoted the Holy Prophet (s) as saying: “Satan has become disappointed from being worshiped in your land….”
Bayhaqi narrates from Ibn Abbas that the Holy Prophet (s) said: “O’ people! I leave things among you to which if you hold fast, you will never go astray; Allah’s Book and His Prophet’s tradition.”
In his al-Abana, Abu Nasr Sajzi says that Abu Huraira has quoted the Holy Prophet (s) as saying: “Allah’s Book and my tradition will never separate from each other until they join me by the pool.”
After quoting this tradition, he says: This tradition is really strange7.
1. The letter‘s’ stands for ‘peace be upon him and his progeny’. Though the Sunnite sources suffice to saying ‘peace be upon him’ after mentioning the name of the Prophet (s), omitting ‘and his progeny‟, we have intended to mention the whole version of this supplication, whenever we have used the abbreviation ‘s’.
2. Al-Mustadrak, vol. 1, p. 93.
3. Al-Sunan al Kubra, vol. 10, p. 114
4. It is worth mentioning that Ibn Abd al-Aziz has written two books concerning Al-Muwatta and its chains of reporters. The author of Kashf al-Dunoon has mentioned the names of these two books. (see, Kashf al-Dunoon, vol. 2, p. 1907). One of these books is al-Tamheed lima fi Al-Muwatta mi al-Ma’ani wa al-Asanid. The tradition quoted above is the 32nd of the traditions under the heading ‘Balaghani’, taken from a manuscript. We could not, due lack of space, relate the entire chain.
5. Al-Ilma’a Fi Dabti Al-Riwayah wa Taq’yiidi Al-Sama’a, pp. 8 & 9.
6. Faiz al- Qadir, Sharh al- Jami’a al- Saghir, vol. 3, p. 240.
7. Kanzul Ummal, vol. 1, p. 73; Traditions No. 875, 876, 184, 941, 187, 954 and 955.

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