A Study of the Chains of Transmission of the Narrations of Umm Kulthum’s Marriage to Umar
By: Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Milani
The narrations that you went through were the most important reports that have been passed on by Sunni Muslims’ most famous books. Some of these narrations relate to the allegation that the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) married his daughter to Umar. Some relate to the marriage of Umm Kulthum after Umar‘s death and others relate to the event of her death and her son.
Based on Sunni Muslims’ rules and principles in the science of hadith (tradition) and relying on the sayings of their scholars in `ilm al-rijal [the science of narrators‘ biographies], if one carefully looks and examines the chains of the transmission of these narrations, he will come to understand that the story in its entirety is baseless and unsubstantiated let alone the relevant details and minor incidents in connection with it?1
Now, before verifying the chains, we shall remind you of a few points concerning these narrations: The stories that you went through in the previous section have not been reported in the two well-known and respected books, namely Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. The authors of these two books have disregarded these narrations, not mentioning them in their books.
These narrations have also not been narrated in the other Sunni books which are widely known as Sihah Sittah. Hence, all the authors of the six so-called authentic books have disregarded these traditions and agreed not to narrate them.
This story has not been related in other hadith books such as Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal. He and a group of his followers maintained that anything that is not recorded in this book – Musnad Ahmad – is not authentic.2
It is worth noting that in many cases and in different topics, Sunnis do not present their arguments with reliance on the narrations which are authentic simply because Bukhari and Muslim have not narrated them in their books or that they have not been recorded in the other Sihah books!
The Focal Point in this Regard
The focal point that can be mentioned in this regard is that this story has been narrated by their narrators from the Shia Imams, the Ahl Al-Bayt (a.s.). The above narrations have been transmitted in the books of Al- Tabaqat of ibn Sa‘ad, Al-Mustadrak of Hakim, Al-Sunan Al-Kubra of Bayhaqi and Al-Durriyat Al-Tahirah of Dulabi.
Two points must be noted concerning these narrations.
The first point: Following years of studying and reviewing Sunni Muslims‘ narrations, we have found out that when Sunnis and the opponents of the Ahl Al-Bayt (a.s.) wanted to relate a narration to the Ahl Al-Bayt (a.s.) which is in no way in harmony with those noble men‘s opinion and doctrine, they have always embarked on fabricating a narration ascribing it to one of the members of the pure progeny of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his descendants.
When they wanted to find a fault with Allah‘s Prophet (S) and his noble daughter, Fatima Zahra (S.A) as well as his successor Amirul Mu‘meneen Ali (a.s.), they made up a story ascribing a saying to the Ahl Al-Bayt that they said that, for example, Ali (a.s.) sought marriage to the daughter of Abu Jahl. (Refer to the treatise that we have written concerning this subject.)
When they wanted to propagate the prohibition of temporary marriage they made every effort to criticize Ibn Abbas, who until the last moment of his life believed that temporary marriage was lawful. Thus, they forged a narration forbidding the temporary marriage and quoting a saying from Ali rebuking and taunting Ibn Abbas for believing in the permissibility of temporary marriage. They also fabricated traditions quoting them from his sons. (See the research work that we have written concerning this topic.)
When they wanted to fabricate a tradition on the merits of the companions, they made this tradition imputing it Imam Ja‘far Sadiq (a.s.) that he said that the companions were like stars. (See the book that we have written concerning this topic.)
Therefore, there is no doubt that the story of Umm Kulthum‘s marriage to Umar is a fabricated story which has no basis at all.
The second point: The Sunni Muslims have narrated this story from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), from his father as narrated in Ibn Sa‘ad‘s Al-Tabaqat or from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), from his father, from Imam Sajjad (a.s.) as narrated in Al-Mustadrak or from Hasan ibn Hasan as narrated in Al- Durriyat Al-Tahirah or from Hasan ibn Hasan, from his father as narrated by Bayhaqi in his Al-Sunan Al-Kubra.
Therefore, if the Sunni Muslims’ aim of quoting these narrations is to base their argument on them to prove their side of the story on the basis of their own standards and principles, then it depends on the authenticity of the narration according to them.
Hence, it is not possible to use the foregoing narrations on the authority of the Ahl Al-Bayt (a.s.) because Ibn Sa‘ad, the writer of Al-Tabaqat Al- Kubra has spoken insolently and disrespectfully of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) saying: He has several narrations that cannot be used to argue with since they are weak and unreliable. He was once asked: Did you hear these narrations from your father?
He said: Yes.
He was asked again and he said: I found them in my father‘s book.3
Likewise, in his Al-Mustadrak, Hakim Nisharburi narrates a tradition from Imam Sajjad (a.s.) on the authority of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) considering it to be authentic. Commenting on that tradition, Dhahabi says: The chain of transmission of this narration is cut off.4
Concerning that narration, Bayhaqi, says: This narration is mursal‟ (hurried or a tradition in which the chain of narrators is omitted.5
The narration that has been narrated from Hasan ibn Hasan in Al- Durriyat Al-Tahirah, is also similar to this. On top of that, its narrators have been weakened as shall soon be clarified. Certainly, there is no interruption in the narrations transmitted in Bayhaqi‘s Al-Sunan Al-Kubra from Hasan ibn Hasan, from his father but their chains of transmission lack authenticity and credibility especially because the narrator narrates this tradition from Hasan ibn Hasan ibn Abi Malikah. We shall provide the details soon.
On the other hand, if their aim of relating these narrations is to make Shiites accept them, simply because they have been narrated from the Ahl Al-Bayt (a.s.) through those who narrated traditions from the Holy Messenger of Allah (S), such an effort depends on the fact that the followers of Ahl Al-Bayt (a.s.) should verify and authenticate the transmitters of these narrations according to their own viewpoint, and this is the beginning of the debate between Shi‘ism and the Sunnite school.
Hence, the most important narrations which Sunni Muslims have made recourse to and pointed out in their books are verified and proven be unreliable and unauthentic. (By extension, other relevant narrations would be void and unauthentic).
Notwithstanding this, we shall discuss at length in this regard. To begin with, we shall discuss the chain of the transmission of the narration that has been narrated in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra of Bayhaqi, from Imam Baqir (a.s.) and from his respected father Imam Sajjad (a.s.) and in Al-Isti‟ab, from Imam Baqir (a.s.) and in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra from Hasan ibn Hasan. Then we shall study their isnad (documentation) and chains of the transmission of the other narrations so as to draw a conclusion and to expose the opponents by concrete arguments and proofs. On this basis, we say: Bayhaqi has reported this narration in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra from Hakim Nishaburi, from Imam Baqir (a.s.), from his father Imam Sajjad (a.s.). The point is that Ahmad ibn Abdul Jabbar is also present in the chain of the transmission of the narration, and we shall now study his biography.
Ahmad ibn Abdul Jabbar as Seen by Biographers
Some of the comments made by biographers concerning Ahmad ibn Abdul Jabbar are as follows: Ibn Abi Hatim says: I have written many narrations reported by Ahmad, but because a lot of people are speaking [highly of] him, I have refrained from narrating them.
Ibn Mu‘ein says: He used to lie.
Abu Ahmad Hakim also says about him: Ahmad ibn Abdul Jabbar is weak according to biographers. That is why Ibn Uqdah has disregarded his narrations.
Ibn Adi also says about him: The people of Iraq unanimously consider him as weak (untrustworthy).6
Yunus ibn Bukair as Seen by Biographers
Yunus ibn Bukair is also in the chain of the transmitters of the narrations. Some biographers’ sayings about him are as follows: Ajuri, from Abi Dawud narrated that Yunus ibn Bukair is not trustworthy according to him. He used to take a clause from Ibn Ishaq‘s sayings and attach it with the traditions.
Nesai says about him: Yunus is not good in narrating traditions. He has also been reported as having said: Yunus is weak in terms of narrating traditions.
Jowzjani says about Yunus: It is appropriate to look into his work carefully.
Saji says: Ibn Madini never transmitted narrations from Yunus; nevertheless, he is counted among the honest narrators by Sunni Muslims.
Ahmad ibn Hanbal says about him: The people hated and detached themselves from no one as much as they hated and detached themselves from him.
Ibn Abi Shaybah says: He was characterized by weakness
Saji says: Yunus was a truthful person, the only flaw with him was that he used to follow the rulers and he was a follower of the Murji‘ah‘7 sect.8
Amr ibn Dinar as Seen by Biographers
This narration has also been quoted by Ibn Abd al-Barr and Ibn Hajar on the authority of Imam Baqir (a.s.) with Amr ibn Dinar being present in the chain of the transmission. We have mentioned below comments made by some biographers about him: Maymuni narrates from Ahmad ibn Hanbal that Amr ibn Dinar is weak in terms of transmitting narrations and that he was a reporter of weak [munkar] traditions.
Ishaq ibn Mansur narrates from Ibn Ma‘ein that he is not noteworthy from a biographical perspective. Ya‘qub ibn Shaybah has also narrated from Ibn Ma‘ein that he said that Amr ibn Dinar is a dhahib Al-hadith.9
Amr ibn Ali says about him: ―The narrations from Amr are weak in terms of transmission.‖ He narrated munkar10 traditions from Salim, from ibn Umar, from Allah‘s Messenger (S).
Abu Hatim has narrated the same saying: ―All of his narrations are denounced.
Abu Zur‘ah says about Amr: His narrations are vagarious.
Bukhari says: He is a man who should be looked at with uncertainty and hesitation.
Abu Dawud says about his narrations: They are not noteworthy.
Tirmidhi says: He is not strong in terms of transmitting traditions. Nasai declares his opinion about Amr by saying: He is not reliable since he has narrated denounced traditions from Salim.
Elsewhere, he says: He is weak in terms of transmitting traditions.
Jowzjani and Dar Qutni have made similar remarks about him.
Ibn Hibban says: Whoever looks at his narrations, becomes surprised; he has narrated Mawdu’ah11 traditions from trustworthy narrators.
In the book of Al-Awsat, Bukhari also writes as such about him: His narrations can neither be followed nor can they be considered authentic.
Ibn Ammar Mawseli says about Amr: He is weak in terms of transmitting traditions.
Saji also makes a similar remark saying: He is weak in terms of transmitting traditions for he has narrated denounced traditions from Salim.12
These were some of the remarks made by biographers concerning Amr ibn Dinar. Hence, the conclusion is that the narration which he has transmitted in connection with the subject matter is worthless. What is more, Sufyan ibn Uyainah is also in the chain of these narrators.
Sufyan ibn Uyainah as Seen by Biographers
Bayhaqi has also reported this narration from Hasan ibn Hasan, from his noble father (S). Among the people in the chain of the transmission of the tradition is Sufyan ibn Uyainah. What follows is what some biographers have some commented on him: Ibn Ammar says: I heard Yahya ibn Saeid Qattan saying: Bear witness that Sufyan ibn Uyainah lost his mind in the year 197 (A.H.). Therefore anyone who heard a narration from him in this year or in the following years, cannot be trusted.
After quoting Ibn Ammar, while answering the question of Dhahabi, Ibn Hajar Asqalani says: This has been reported by Dhahabi only because Ibn Ammar is among the trusted intellectuals. There would be no problem, if Yahya ibn Saeid heard it from a group of pilgrims in that year and testified it simply because he trusted them due to the fact that there were many people who reported the same.
I found a saying from Yahya ibn Saeid that can form a reason why Ibn Ammar narrated from him, concerning Ibn Uyainah. While elaborating on the biography of Ismail ibn Abi Saleh Muadhin, in Tarikh Baghdad, Abu Sa‘ad Sam‘ani narrates, with a strong chain of transmission from Abdul Rahman ibn Bushr ibn Hakam, that he heard Yahya ibn Saeid saying: I told Ibn Uyainah: You have written traditions but when you narrate them these days, you add and omit something from their chains of transmission!’
He said: You should obtain the traditions in the same way as you heard them earlier, because I have become old now.
Abu Mu‘een Razi writes as part of the annotations which he has written on Ahmad ibn Hanbal‘s Al-Iman: ―Haroon ibn Ma‘aruf told Ahmad: The health condition of Ibn Uyainah had deteriorated during the last moments of his life.‖ Sulayman ibn Harb also told him: Ibn Uyainah has made a lot of mistakes in most of the narrations that he has reported from Ayyub.13
Waki’ bin Jarrah as Seen by Biographers
Another narrator who has transmitted this narration is Waki‘ bin Jarrah. In his Mizan Al-E‟tidal, Dhahabi quotes Ahmad ibn Hanbal about Waki‘ bin Jarrah‘s incredibleness and unreliability as a reporter because he used to curse the predecessors, drink intoxicants and give false verdicts.14
Khatib Baghdadi narrates on the authority of Na‘eem ibn Hammad that he had his dinner – or breakfast – with Waki‘. Waki said: Which one do you like me to bring you, old men‘s special nabiz (wine of raisins or dates) or young men‘s special nabiz?
I said: Do you speak of such things?
He said: I believe this is more halal (permissible) than the Euphrates‘water.15
Ibn Hajar reports from Ahmad that Waki‘ has erred in as many as five hundred traditions.16
He has reported from Muhammad b. Nasr Marwazi that in the last days of his life, Waki‘ used to narrate traditions from his own mind changing his sentences.17
Ibn Juraij as Seen by Biographers
Ibn Juraij too, is one the transmitters of this tradition. Regarding him, Ibn Hajar writes: Malik says: ―When it comes to narrating a tradition, Ibn Juraij is like someone collecting firewood in the darkness.18
Ibn Mu‘een says: ―The narrations that he has narrated from Zuhri are not worthy of attention.
Ahmad says: When Ibn Juraij says: ‘Someone said,’ and ‘I am reporting,’ he is in fact narrating a denounced [munkar] narration.
Yahya ibn Saeid says: Whenever Ibn Juraij says that someone (or so and so) said, it is like he is speaking out his own mind [he is not reporting from anyone].
Ibn Madini says: I asked Yahya ibn Saeid concerning the narrations reported by Ibn Juraij from Ata Khurasani.
He said: His narrations are weak.
I told Yahya: Ibn Juraij says that Ata Khurasani reported to him. Yahya said: His words are not noteworthy; they are all weak. Ata only has given him a book.
Ibn Hibban says: Ibn Juraij used to practice tadlis19 (concealing).
Dar Qutni says: Keep away from the concealing and deceit of Ibn Juraij since his tadlis [concealing] is mean.20
Concerning Ibn Juraij‘s personality, Dhahabi writes in his Mizan Al- E‟tidal: He used to practice tadlis in narrating traditions.21
In this regard, Ibn Hajar says: Ibn Juraij used to practice tadlis in narrating narrations and used to narrate traditions by way of irsal (the absence of the link between the successor and the Prophet).22
Most importantly, Ahmad ibn Hanbal says about him: Some of the narrations that Ibn Juraij has narrated by way of irsal are forged. It was not important for him as to where he was narrating from.23
Ibn Abi Malikah as Seen by Biographers
His name is Abdullah ibn Ubaidullah and it is enough to say about him being untrustworthy that he was a special muadhin‟ (one who calls people to prayer) and the judge of Ibn Zubair.24
Now we shall once again look back at the tradition and see the narrators in the chain of transmission of the tradition which he has reported.
In the narrations of Ibn Sa‘ad and the narrations that Ibn Hajar has narrated from Ibn Abi Malikah in Al-Isabah, there is Waki‘ bin Jarrah whom we became familiar with through the details provided above.
Husham ibn Sa’ad as Seen by Biographers
One of the narrators is Husham ibn Sa‘ad about whom Dhahabi writes in his Mizan Al-E‟tidal: Ahmad has said about him: Husham was not a memorizer.25 On the other hand, Yahya ibn Qattan did not narrate from him.
Dhahabi further writes: On another occasion, Ahmad says: There is no sound and authentic tradition among Husham‘s traditions.
Concerning him, Ibn Mu‘een says: His traditions are neither strong nor ignorable.
Nesai has describes him as such: Husham is weak in narrating traditions. In another statement, he says: Husham was not strong in terms of narrating traditions.
Ibn Adi says about him: Although Husham was weak in terms of narrating traditions, they are worth writing down and recording.
Ibn Hajar says about him: Dowri narrated from Ibn Mu‘een that Husham is weak in terms of narrating traditions.
Commenting on him, Abu Hatim also says: The traditions of Husham are recorded but they lack the capacity to be used for argumentation or evidence-based reasoning.
Ibn Sa‘ad says about Husham: He used to narrate a lot of traditions but he was generally considered to be weak; he was inclined towards Shi‘ism.26
Ibn Wahab as Seen by Biographers
Ibn Wahab has appeared in the narration that Ibn Abd al-Barr and Ibn Hajar have narrated with their own isnad27 from Aslam, the freed slave of Umar. Now, we shall see who he is and what biographers have said about him.
Ibn Wahab is that same Abdullah ibn Wahab Al-Qurashi who is Egyptian by origin but was allied with the Quraish.
Ibn Adi and Dhahabi have recorded his name in Al-Kamil fi Al-Dhu‟afa28 and Mizan Al-E‟tidal respectively.29
Ibn Mu‘een has also said something about him with intent to reproach him.30
Ibn Sa‘ad says concerning Ibn Wahab: He used to practice tadlis.31 That is, he concealed the truth about the isnad of the tradition to create the impression that he heard the hadith in person.
Ahmad ibn Hanbal says about him: The traditions which Ibn Wahab has narrated from Ibn Juraij need to be examined and contemplated upon (for they may not be true).
Confirming what Ahmad ibn Hanbal has said about Ibn Wahab, Abu Awanah says: Ahmad has said the truth, because Ibn Wahab has transmitted reports which none other than him has reported.32
Musa ibn Ali Lakhmi as Seen by Biographers
Khatib Baghdadi has reported this narration with his own isnad from Laith ibn Sa‘ad, from Musa ibn Ali ibn Rabah Lakhmi, from his father, from Uqbah ibn Amir Juhani who are all verifiable in terms of trustworthiness and reliability.
According to Suyuti: Musa ibn Lakhmi was the governor of Egypt from 155 until 161 A.H.33
Ibn Hajar says about him: Musa took the governorship of Egypt in the year 161 AH.34
Sam‘ani says concerning Musa Lakhmi: He was the governor of Egypt.35
Ibn Mu‘een has commented on him by saying: Musa is not good in narrating tradition.
Regarding Musa Lakhmi, Ibn Abd al-Barr writes: The narrations that Musa has narrated alone are not strong.36
Ali ibn Rabah Lakhmi as Seen by Biographers
Ibn Hajar has studied Ali Lakhmi‘s life and made reference to certain facts about him in his book in which he writes: He came to Muawiyah as a representative.
He used to say: I shall not pardon whoever named me Ali‘ because my name is Ulai‘.
He was treated with respect by Abdul Aziz (the son of Marwan and brother of Abdul Malik who was for some time the governor of Egypt) until a time when Abdul Aziz got angry at him and sent him to a battle in Africa. He remained there in Africa until he died.37
Uqbah ibn Amir Juhani as Seen by Biographers
Uqbah has been criticized and considered unreliable by many biographers: He was one of the governors and agents of Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan. Sam‘ani says: Uqbah was present during the conquest of Egypt and he got the measurement of that area. In the year 44, after the death of Utbah son of Abu Sufyan, he served as the commander of Muawiyah‘s army in Egypt. Then in the year 47, Muawiyah dispatched him for a naval combat.38
Ibn Hajar says about Uqbah: He was appointed governor of Egypt by Muawiyah in the year 44.39
Suyuti has also said the same thing about him.40
He was the murderer – or one of the murderers – of Ammar ibn Yasir. In this regard, Ibn Sa‘ad writes: Ammar (may Allah bless him) was killed at the age of 91. He had been born before the Prophet of Allah (S). In the Battle of Siffin, Ammar was confronted by three people; Uqbah ibn Amir Juhani, Umar ibn Harith Khulani and Sharik ibn Salamah Muradi. When they had surrounded him, Ammar told them: I swear by Allah, if you attack me and push us back as far as to Hajar palm grove, I would still be sure that we are on the right side and you are not.
It was then that they attacked and killed him. Some people thought that Uqbah ibn Amir had killed Ammar.
He was the man who bate up Ammar by the order of Uthman.
After the above account of the conversation, Ibn Sa‘ad says: Uqbah is the person who bate Ammar at the behest of Uthman bin Affan.41
Based on the foregoing account, we do not see any need to examine the biographies of Laith bin Sa‘ad and other people in Khatib Baghdadi‘s chain of the transmitters of the narration.
Ata Khurasani as Seen by Biographers
One of the narrators of this narration is Ata Khurasani. Bukhari has mentioned him in the book titled Al-Dhuafa Al-Saghir.42
Ibn Hibban has made mention of him in Al-Majruhin.43 Uqaili has mentioned his name in his book titled Al-Dhuafa Al-Kabir.44
Dhahabi has provided Ata Khurasani‘s biographical details in two of his books namely Mizan Al-E’tidal and Al-Mughni fi Al-Dhuafa’.45
Sam‘ani says about Ata Khurasani: He was a man of bad memory, had a lot of mistakes, erred unknowingly and these narrations were transmitted from him. When these problems were noted with his narrations, they were no longer used as proofs and reasons as they were considered worthless and unacceptable.46
In addition, there is interruption and disconnection with this narration of his because Ata was born in the year 50 and he died in the year 133 or 150 of the Islamic calendar. Therefore he must have narrated these narrations from someone else whose name he has not mentioned.
Muhammad ibn Umar Waqidi as Seen by Biographers
One of the narrators who have reported this narration is Muhammad ibn Umar Waqidi. Biographers have also said a lot about him:
Ahmad ibn Hanbal says: He is a great liar and a person who tampers with narrations.
Bukhari and Abu Hatim say: Muhammad ibn Umar is an obsolete person.
Likewise Abu Hatim and Nesai have said: He used to forge narrations.
Ibn Rahwaih says: In my opinion, he is one of those who fabricated narrations.
Ibn Mu‘een says: He is not a reliable and trustworthy person.
Dar Qutni says: He is characterized by weakness in terms of narrating traditions.
Ibn Adi says: Traditions transmitted by him are not protected and coherent; evil and complications arise from them.
Sam‘ani says: Much has been said about him.
Ibn Khallakan says: The biographers have weakened him in terms of narrating traditions and they have said a lot concerning him.
Yafe’ei says: Prominent traditionists have labeled him as weak.
Dhahabi says: There is an all-out agreement about disregarding his narrations.47
Abdul Rahman ibn Zaid as Seen by Biographers
Another person who has narrated this tradition is Abdul Rahman ibn Zaid. Abu Talib says: Ahmad ibn Hanbal said concerning Abdul Rahman ibn Zaid: He is weak in terms of narrating traditions.
Abdullah ibn Ahmad says: I heard my father disparaging Abdul Rahman and saying: ―He narrates denounced traditions.
Dowri says: Ibn Mu‘een says about Abdul Rahman: His narrations are not noteworthy.
Bukhari and Abu Hatim say about him: Ali ibn Madini has strongly disparaged (weakened) him.
Abu Dawud says: Zaid ibn Aslam‘s children are all weak in terms of narrating traditions.‖
Nesai and Abu Zur‘ah have said about Abdul Rahman: He is weak in terms of narrating traditions.
Abu Hatim says: Abdul Rahman is not strong in reporting traditions.
Ibn Hibban comments on Abdul Rahman by saying: Owing to ignorance, he used to narrate the traditions inversely to an extent that he narrated a lot of mursal [lit. hurried] traditions as marfu [attributed] traditions and a lot of the mawquf48 traditions with chains of transmission and it is because of the same reason that his narrations are denounced and disregarded.
Ibn Sa‘ad says: He has reported a lot of narrations, but surely he is weak in terms of narrating traditions.
Ibn Khuzaymah says: Abdul Rahman is among the people who are of poor memory due to which the scholars and experts never use his narrations to present their argument.
Saji says: His narrations are munkar [denounced].
Tahawi says: His narrations are weak according to scholars of hadith.
Jowzjani says: Zaid‘s children are weak in terms of narrating traditions.
Hakim and Abu Na‘eim say: Abdul Rahman used to narrate forged traditions from his father.
Ibn Jauzi says: Biographers are unanimous about him being dhaif [weak].49
Zaid ibn Aslam as Seen by Biographers
Another narrator of this narration is Zaid ibn Aslam. Biographers have written that he has transmitted narrations from Jabir ibn Abdullah Ansari and Abu Hurairah, while Ibn Mu‘een has said: Zaid had never heard any narration from either Jabir or Abu Hurairah.
Thus many narrations reported from other companions have been attributed to him to make the impression that he himself has reported those narrations from them whereas in fact he had never heard them.
Ibn Abd al-Barr has also said the same thing about him and Ibn Hajar has quoted him and seen eye to eye with him in this regard. He says: Ibn Abd al-Barr has said things in the introduction to his book Al-Tamhid which show that Zaid practiced tadlis in narrating traditions.
Moreover, Ibn Umar has been quoted as having said: I do not know any weaknesses in him other than the fact that he interpreted the Quran based on his own personal opinion and he went to extremes in doing this.50
What was said above ignores the biographies of the narrators of this tradition in between Ibn Abd al-Barr, Ibn Hajar and Ibn Wahab.
Zubair ibn Bakkar as Seen by Biographers
Ibn Hajar has reported this narration in his Al-Isabah from Zubair ibn Bakkar. Zubair was the judge of the city of Makkah and was among the people who disobeyed the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) and the Prophet‘s Household (a.s.) going astray. With that said about him, he has also been disparaged and reproached by Sunnite scholars. Zubair died in the year 256 A.H.
It has been reported from Ibn Abi Hatim that he saw Zubair but he did not write any traditions from him.
Ahmad bin Ali Sulaymani has mentioned Zubair ibn Bakkar in Al- Dhu‟afa (a book on weak and unreliable narrators) and has commented on him as such: His narrations are denounced.
In addition, Ibn Hajar‘s narration from Zubair has been transmitted by way of irsal (the absence of the link between the successor and the Prophet (S)).51
A Study of the Chains of Transmission of Narrations about Umm Kulthum’s Marriage to Umar
What has been mentioned had to do with the main story which was, by way of the biographical study, proven to be baseless. Now we shall review the narrations concerning the marriage of Umm Kulthum after Umar‘s death. Sunni sources have passed on narrations concerning Umm Kulthum‘s life as per which the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) married Umm Kulthum to ‗Awn ibn Ja‘far. The main and original source of this narration is Al-Durriyat Al-Tahirah which other sources such as Usd Al-Ghabah, Al-Isabah, Dhakhair Al-Uqba etc. have cited from.
This narration from Hasan ibn Hasan has been reported through Ahmad ibn Abdul Jabbar, Yunus ibn Bukair and Ibn Ishaq, from Hasan ibn Hasan. Of course we have already examined the chain of the transmission of this narration.
Dulabi has transmitted this narration with his own chain from Ibn Shahab Zuhri, who was among the famous deviants going astray from the path of the Prophet‘s household, peace be upon them.52
In this study, we have skipped the biographies of other narrators and we are just reminding you of one thing and that is, Ibn Muni‘ – who has narrated from Zuhri – was the brother of Husham ibn Abdul Malik‘s wife.53
A Study of the Authenticity of the Narrations Concerning Umm Kulthum’s Death
The narrations which are about Umm Kulthum‘s death have, for the most part, been narrated by Ibn Sa‘ad in his Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra. We shall now examine their chains of transmission and then their significations.
There is no doubt that most of the chains of the transmitters of this narration end to Amir Shu‘abi. Hence, we shall now explore his personality and try to figure out who he is.
A Look at the Biography of ‘Amir Shu’abi
He was born during the last six years Umar‘s reign. He died after the hundredth hegira year. His narrations are, therefore, mursal (i.e. the chain of narrators is omitted). Shu‘abi was the judge of the Marwan family.
He was amongst the deviants who opposed the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) to the extent that he went to Hajjaj and spoke ill of him (a.s.) and cursed him. Hasan Basri was enraged witnessing this. He advised him not to curse Ali (a.s.).54
His grudge and enmity impelled him to say: ―Ali had never read the Quran nor had he memorized it!‖ This unconsidered saying made some people oppose him and reject what he had said about Ali (a.s.).55
It was because of this enmity that he was led to fabricate narrations such as the following: Abu Bakr prayed on Fatima, the daughter of Allah‘s Prophet (S) and recited four takbirs.
When Fatima passed away, Ali buried her at night and took Abu Bakr by his arm helping him to offer prayer on Fatima.
The fact that this narration is fabricated is so obvious that Ibn Hajar has been compelled to write under it: ―This narration is weak and disconnected.56
Likewise this enmity has made him go as far as to consider Harith Hamedani as a liar (because he was Shiite) but he was objected to for having leveled such an accusation against him.
Ibn Hajar says in this regard: While quoting Ibrahim about Shu‘abi refuting Harith, Ibn Abd al-Barr writes in his book titled Al-Ilm: I think Shu‘abi should be punished because he has refuted Harith and called him a liar. This is because Harith had not been seen lying, and his only crime was his excessive love of Ali, peace be upon him.57
A Look at the Biography of Ammar ibn Abi Ammar
In view of the fact that some of the narrations end with Ammar ibn Abi Ammar, a quick glimpse into his biographical account reveals that a number of the leaders of Jarh‘ (lit. to injure) and Ta‘dil‘ (lit. to adjust)58 such as Shu‘abah ibn Hajjaj, Bukhari, Ibn Hibban and others have reproached him.59
A Look at the Biography of Nafi’
Some of these narrations are connected to Nafi‘, the master of Ibn Umar. Hence, we must have a short glimpse of his biography. To understand the type of his character, it is enough to know that Abdullah ibn Umar had said to Nafi‘: ‘Oh Nafi‘ fear Allah and do not ascribe lies to me in the same way as Ikramah used to ascribe lies to Ibn Abbas.’
This saying of Ibn Umar about Nafi‘ and Ikramah, is famous. Additionally, Ahmad ibn Hanbal‘s saying about Nafi‘ is worthy of notice. He says: Nafi‘s narrations from Umar are cut-off and disconnected.60
A Look at the Biography of Abdullah Al-Bahi
Some of these narrations are connected to Abdullah Al-Bahi who is better known as Abdullah ibn Yasar.
Concerning him Ibn Hajar says: Abdullah was the master Mus‘ab ibn Zubair, therefore, his narrations are mursal’ (incompletely transmitted).
Whenever this man narrates from Aisha, he says, ‘Aisha narrated to me.’ The scholars have refuted him and said that he narrates only from Urwah ibn Zubair.
Ibn Abi Hatim has also made mention of Abdullah Al-Bahi in his Kitab Al-Ilal reporting from his father that argument cannot be built on Al- Bahi‘s narrations as they are disordered and shaky.61
What has so far been said was about the chains of the transmitters and documentation of the narrations regarding Umm Kulthum.
Of course, we have, for the sake of brevity, closed eyes to biographies of other individuals who have transmitted this narration.
1. We can divide the narrators of these narrations into two groups: People who have been weakened (considered as unreliable) and accused of lying by Sunni scholars; People who are though trusted by Sunni scholars, their hatred and malice towards the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) was an obvious and indisputable historical reality. It is pertinent to mention that, the narrations from this group of narrators – especially those against Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) – are not acceptable to Shia.
2. Vide: Nafaht Al- Azhar, 2/27 and next.
3. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 2/94.
4. Talkhis Al-Mustadrak, 3/142.
5. Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, 7/102.
6. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 1/47.
7. Murji‘ah was a group of Muslims who proclaimed: ―No sin is harmful with faith
8. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 11/383.
9. Meaning the traditions transmitted by him are worthless.
10. Munkar literally means 'denounced'. If a narration which goes against another authentic hadith is reported by a weak narrator, it is known as munkar.
11. Hadith Mawdu', a tradition fabricated by the narrator and falsely ascribed to Prophet Muhammad (S) or his descendants, peace be upon them.
12. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 8/27.
13. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib: 4/108 and 109.
14. Mizan Al-E‘tidal, 7/127.
15. Tarikh Baghdad, 13/477.
16. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 11/111.
17. Ibid, 11/114.
18. This phrase is used in scientific books to make a sarcastic remark about mixing up of the right and wrong and truth and falsehood.
19. A person reports from his shaikh whom he met, what he did not hear from him, or from a contemporary of his whom he did not meet, in such a way as to create the impression that he heard the hadith in person. A mudallis (one who practices tadlis) here usually uses the mode ("on the authority of") or ("he said") to conceal the truth about the isnad.
20. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 6/354 and 355.
21. Mizan Al-E‟tidal, 4/404.
22. Taqrib Al-Tahdhib,1/617.
23. Mizan Al-E‟tidal, 4/404.
24. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 5/272.
25. According to some scholars, a memorizer in the science of diraya (biography) and traditions is said to be a person who has memorized one hundred traditions together with their chains of transmission.
26. Dhahabi adds: ―Ibn Abd al-Barr has mentioned his name among the people who are counted as weak but whose narrations are written, and Ya‘qub ibn Sufyan has also considered him to be among the weak.
27. The chain of authorities attesting to the historical authenticity of a particular hadith.
28. Al-Kamil fi Al-Dhu‟afa: 5/336.
29. Mizan Al-E’tidal, 4/223.
30. Al-Kamil fi Al-Dhu’afa, 5/336 and 337 and Mizan Al-E’tidal: 4/223 and 224.
31. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 6/67 and 68.
32. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 6/67 and 68.
33. Husn Al-Muhadharah, 2/12.
34. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 10/323.
35. A-Ansab 5/134.
36. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 10/323.
37. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 7/271 and 272.
38. Al-Ansab, 2/134.
39. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 7/209 and 210.
40. Husn Al- Muhadharah, 2/8.
41. Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra, 3/196.
42. Al- Dhuafa Al-Saghir, 178 and 179.
43. The book of Al-Majruhin, 2/130 and 131.
44. Al-Dhuafa Al-Kabir, 3/405.
45. Mizan Al-E‟tidal, 5/92, Al-Mughni fi Al-Dhuafa, 2/59.
46. Al-Ansab, 2/337.
47. See: Mizan Al-E’tidal, 6/273, Al-Mughni fi Al-Dhuafa, 2/354, Al-Kashif, 3/65, Mir’at) Al-Jinan, 2/36 in the happenings of the year 207, Al-Ansab, 5/567, Taqrib Al-Tahdhib, 2/117 and Tabaqat Al- Hifadh (page 81), 149 and other sources.
48. Mawquf refers to a narration attributed to a Companion, whether a statement of that companion, an action or otherwise."
49. You can find this matter and other sayings in the book of Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 6/162 and 163.
50. You can find these statements and also other sayings in Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib volume 6 pages 162 and 163.
51. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 3/278.
52. Refer to the treatise I have written concerning the narration about Ali's proposal to Abu Jahl's daughter.
53. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 7/13.
54. Ihya Al- Ulum, 2/346.
55. Ghayat Al-Nihaya fi Tabaqat Al-Qura‟, 1/541.
56. Al- Isabah, 8/267.
57. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 2/135.
58. The phrase Al-jarh wa Al-ta'dil refers to a systematic approach to critiquing a narrator's position as a narrator.
59. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 7/341, Taqrib Al-Tahdhib, 1/707.
60. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 10/370.
61. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, 6/82 and 83.