‘Ali: The Best of the Sahabah: Explicit Testimonies of Sahih Sunni Ahadith

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Category: Imam Ali
ISBN: 13: 978-1492390497

‘Ali: The Best of the Sahabah: Explicit Testimonies of Sahih Sunni Ahadith

Author: Toyib Olawuyi
Publisher: Unknown

ISBN: 13: 978-1492390497
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Download: 3617


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‘Ali: The Best of the Sahabah: Explicit Testimonies of Sahih Sunni Ahadith

‘Ali: The Best of the Sahabah: Explicit Testimonies of Sahih Sunni Ahadith

Publisher: Unknown
ISBN: 13: 978-1492390497

‘Ali: The Best of the Sahabah

Explicit Testimonies of Sahih Sunni Ahadith

This book is an in-depth academic critique, and a thoroughly investigative refutation, of Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah’s Minhaj al-Sunnah on the specific question of Abu Bakr’s alleged superiority overAmir al-Muminin ‘Ali b. Abi Talib. The shaykh has adopted a two-pronged approach in his Minhaj. He presents arguments and proofs to support Abu Bakr’s superiority and discredits all arguments and proofs in favour of ‘Ali’s superiority. Toyib Olawuyi has however placed all the primary submissions, evidences and denials of Ibn Taymiyyah under the microscope and punctured every single one of them severely using the Book of Allah, thesahih ahadith of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah, and their strictestrijal verification methods. Full transparency, accuracy and accountability are strictly observed throughout our book, and we hope it will ease the way for every soul seeking to find out the real truth.

Author(s):  Toyib Olawuyi

Miscellaneous information:

Copyright © 2014 Toyib Olawuyi All rights reserved. ISBN-13: 978-1492390497 ISBN-10: 1492390496

Table of Contents

Dedication. 3

Acknowledgments 4

Preface 5

1. Hadith Al-Qadha, Investigating Its Authenticity. 10

2. Hadith Al-Qadha, Confessions Of The Sahabah. 14

3. Hadith Al-Qadha, ‘Ali’s Superior Knowledge Of The Qur’an And Sunnah  17

4. Hadith Al-Qadha, An Age Of Jungle Justice I 20

5. Hadith Al-Qadha, An Age Of Jungle Justice II 24

6. Hadith Al-Qadha, An Age Of Jungle Justice III 29

7. Hadith Al-Qadha, An Age Of Jungle Justice IV. 33

8. Hadith Al-Qadha, An Age Of Jungle Justice V. 37

9. Hadith Al-Qadha, An Age Of Jungle Justice VI 42

10. Hadith Al-Qadha, An Age Of Jungle Justice VII 50

11. Hadith Al-Qadha, ‘Ali Versus ‘Umar 52

12. Hadith Al-Tafdhil, Investigating Its Authenticity. 57

13. Hadith Al-Tafdhil, Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah Raises Objections 62

14. Hadith Al-Tafdhil, is ‘Aishah Really the best of the Ummah?. 67

15. Hadith Saluni, Investigating Its Authenticity. 70

16. Hadith Saluni, Implications Of The Reports 75

17. Hadith Saluni, Did The Sahabah Ask ‘Ali?. 80

18. Hadith Al-‘Ilm, Establishing Its Authenticity. 84

19. Hadith Al-‘Ilm, Proving Its Tawattur 90

20. Hadith Al-‘Ilm, Some Further Shawahid. 97

21. Hadith Al-Istislam, Investigating Its Authenticity. 100

22. Hadith Al-Zuhd, Correcting An Exaggeration. 107

23. Verse Of Al-Najwa, A Real Eye-Opener 114

24. Hadith Al-Rayat, A Truly Messy One 119

25. Hadith Al-Rayat, Investigating Its Authenticity. 125

26. Hadith Al-Tair, Investigating Its Authenticity. 133

27. Hadith Al-Tair, Examining Some Shawahid. 136

28. Hadith Al-Ta’rif, Understanding Its Background. 143

29. Hadith Al-Ta’rif, Proving Its Authenticity. 150

30. Hadith Al-Tashbih, Establishing Its Authenticity. 154

31. Hadith Al-Tashbih, Instances Of Equality. 159

32. Hadith Al-Ikhtiyar, Examining The Verse Of The Cave 164

33. Hadith Al-Ikhtiyar, ‘Ali: The True Second Of Two. 176

Bibliography. 184

Endnotes 189


This research is dedicated toAmir al-Muminin ‘Ali b. Abi Talib,salawatullah wa salamuhu ‘alaihi , who is mymawla and themawla of all believers.


Special thanks to the following brothers and sisters for their encouragement: Shaykh Muhammad Nura Dass, Ahmad Olawuyi, Ali Baker, Tural Islam, Syed Jarry Haider, Syed Mansab Ali Jafri, Jaffer Abbas, Agbonika Salihu, Jibreel Ibn Mikael, Syeda Umme Rabab Bukhari, Aneela Sultan, Nasir Hasan, and Hassan Bokhari. May Allah bless them all and all our loving brothers and sisters from the Shi’ah Imamiyyah and the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah.


The question of who the best of the Sahabah,radhiyallah ‘anhum , was has always been a thorny issue within theUmmah , especially among the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah. Even the Sahabah disputed with one another over the topic. Specifically, the debate often revolves around Abu Bakr and ‘Ali,‘alaihi al-salam , only. It is very difficult to see anyone - whether Sunni or Shi’i – arguing that ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, Talhah, Zubayr or some other Sahabi – was the best of the Sahabah. Rather, the exact point of contention is, and always was: was Abu Bakr their best or ‘Ali?

Expectedly, most of the Ahl al-Sunnah consider Abu Bakr to have been the best of the Sahabah, then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthman, and then ‘Ali. By contrast, the Shi’ah believe thatAmir al-Muminin ‘Ali was the best, then al-Hasan, then al-Husayn, and then Sayyidah Faṭimah,‘alaihim al-salam . There is a minority among Sunnis – including some Sahabah and a lot of Sufis – who share the Shi’i view on the matter.

Ordinarily, the debate over who was the best should have been a mere, healthy academic exercise. However, it is linked withImamah andkhilafah in theUmmah . So, it is a very big issue, and provokes the deepest emotions of some people. In fact, countless Shi’is and others have been murdered for more than a millenium by Sunni extremists, only for their belief in the superiority of ‘Ali. The best of theUmmah at each point in time is the only one qualified for thekhilafah . This is the Command of Allah and His Messenger,sallallahu ‘alaihi wa alihi . Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 H) confirms:

ففي هذا الخبر إخبار عمر بين المهاجرين والأنصار أن أبا بكر سيد المسلمين وخيرهم وأحبهم إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ذلك علة مبايعته فقال بل نبايعك أنت فأنت سيدنا وخيرنا وأحبنا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ليبين بذلك أن المأمور به تولية الأفضل وأنت أفضلنا فنبايعك

In this report is the declaration of ‘Umar among the Muhajirun and the Ansar that Abu Bakr was thesayyid of the Muslims and the best of them, and the most beloved of them to the Messenger of Allah. This is the reason for following him. So, he (‘Umar) said, “Rather, we will follow you because you are oursayyid , and the best of us, and the most beloved of us to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him”. He wanted to make clear through it that:WHAT IS ORDAINED IS TO GIVE AUTHORITY TO THE BEST , and you are the best of us. So, we will follow you.1

The bottomline here is thatkhilafah by anyone who is not the best of his time is contrary to the Order of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and is therefore both illegal and abid’ah . That makes thekhalifah himself and all his supporters ringleaders of abid’ah , as long as they are aware of his deficiency and still uphold hiskhilafah . In that way, they would be guilty of creating a new provision in the religion to supplant that of Allah. The grave danger of all this is captured perfectly in these words of the Messenger of Allah, documented by Imam al-Nasai (d. 303 H):

شر الأمور محدثاتها وكل محدثة بدعة وكل بدعة ضلالة وكل ضلالة في النار

The worst of the (religious) affairs are their innovations, and every innovation is abid’ah , andevery bid’ah is misguidance, and every misguidance ends to the Fire .2

‘Allamah al-Albani (d. 1420 H) comments:


Sahih 3

The Command of Allah and His Messenger is that the best of theUmmah should always be theirkhalifah , as testified by ‘Umar b. al-Khaṭṭab. Meanwhile, the innovation in this matter is to make or allow any inferior individual as thekhalifah . This innovation is abid’ah , and will land whosoever leads, practices or recognizes it in Hellfire. It is understandable then why some of our Sunni brothers are so hell-bent upon emphasizing the superiority over Abu Bakr over the wholeUmmah , followed by ‘Umar and ‘Uthman, by all means – even to the extent of committing massacres. The survival of theirSahih depends very heavily on it. Should Abu Bakr, ‘Umar or ‘Uthman fall, Sunnism itself ceases to exist as a valid entity!

So, certain drastic steps were taken to address the challenge. First, a very wide re-definition was issued for Shi’ism. This, apparently, was to scare Sunnis away from researching into the issue. Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani (d. 852 H) takes the podium:

والتشيع محبة على وتقديمه على الصحابة فمن قدمه على أبى بكر وعمر فهو غال في تشيعه ويطلق عليه رافضي وإلا فشيعي فإن انضاف إلى ذلك السب أو التصريح بالبغض فغال في الرفض وإن اعتقد الرجعة إلى الدنيا فأشد في الغلو

Shi’ism is love of ‘Ali and the placing of him over the Sahabah (except Abu Bakr and ‘Umar only). Whoever places him above Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, such is an extremist in his Shi’ism, and he is called a Rafidi.

If he does not (place ‘Ali over the two), then he is only a Shi’i. If he added to that (i.e. preference of ‘Ali over Abu Bakr and ‘Umar) abuse, cursing or open hatred (of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar), he is then an extremist inRafdh . If he believes in Raj’ah into this world, then he is severe in (Rafidhi) extremism.4

Therefore, a Sunni is only someone who considers ‘Ali as inferior to Abu Bakr, ‘Umar AND ‘Uthman. Whosoever places him above ‘Uthman is a Shi’i, and whosoever views him as superior to Abu Bakr or ‘Umar is a Rafidhi. In the Sunni creed, being a Shi’i is abid’ah . Imam al-Dhahabi (d. 748 H) says:

أن البدعة على ضربين: فبدعة صغرى كغلو التشيع، أو كالتشيع بلا غلو ولا تحرف، فهذا كثير في التابعين وتابعيهم مع الدين والورع والصدق. فلو رد حديث هؤلاء لذهب جملة من الآثار النبوية، وهذه مفسدة بينة. ثم بدعة كبرى، كالرفض الكامل والغلو فيه

Bid’ah has two types:

The minor bid’ah: like extreme Shi’ism, or like moderate Shi’ism , for this was widespread among the Tabi’in and their followers, despite their

devotion, piety and truthfulness. If theahadith of these people were rejected, part of teachings of the Prophet would be lost, and that would be a clear evil.

Thenthe major bid’ah: like complete rafdh and extremism in it.5

By classifying the placing of ‘Ali above ‘Uthman as abid’ah – which leads to Hellfire – the classical Sunni‘ulama hoped to put a firm lid on all threats to theirSahih . However, their action has produced some horrible unintended consequences. Many of the Sahabah were Rawafidh by Sunni definition, and therefore heretics who will burn forever in the Fire! Imam Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (d. 463 H) identifies some of these Rafidhi Sahabah:

وروى عن سلمان وأبي ذر والمقداد وخباب وجابر وأبى سعيد الخدري وزيد بن الأرقم أن علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه أول من أسلم وفضله هؤلاء على غيره

Salman, Abu Dharr, al-Miqdad, Khabab, Jabir, Abu Sa’id al-Khudri and Zayd b. Arqam narrated that ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, was the first to accept Islam,and they considered him the most superior (among the Sahabah) .6

These senior Sahabah considered ‘Ali as superior to Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman! By Sunni standards, theirbid’ah , therefore, was of the major type! They were complete Rafidhis. Another well-known Sahabi like them was Abu al-Tufayl, radhiyallah ‘anhu. Imam al-Dhahabi states about him:

واسم أبي الطفيل، عامر بن واثلة بن عبد الله بن عمرو الليثي الكناني الحجازي الشيعي. كان من شيعة الإمام علي.

The name of Abu al-Tufayl was ‘Amir b. Wathilah b. ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Amr al-Laythi al-Kanani al-Hijazi, the Shi’i. He was from the Shi’ah of Imam ‘Ali.7

Imam Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr adds:

وكان متشيعا في علي ويفضله ويثني على الشيخين أبي بكر وعمر ويترحم على عثمان

He was a Shi’i of ‘Ali and considered him the most superior. He used to extol the two Shaykhs, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, and would ask for Allah’s mercy upon ‘Uthman.8

Al-Hafiz explains the words of Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr above:

قال أبو عمر كان يعترف بفضل أبي بكر وعمر لكنه يقدم عليا

Abu ‘Umar said: He accepted the merit of Abu Bakr and ‘Umarbut he considered ‘Ali to be the most superior. 9

This creates an impossible dilemma for Sunni Islam. If Sunnis stick with their view that Shi’ism – as defined by them – is abid’ah , then they must agree that all these fine Sahabah were heretics with no hope of salvation in the Hereafter. By contrast, if they free the Shi’i Sahabah, then they must equally free all other Shi’ah and Rawafidh! What is good for the goose is equally good for the gander. Besides, the Sahabah, who met the Prophet, are in an even more accountable position on any Islamic matter than all the generations after them. It gets scary when one considers the possibility that the Messenger of Allah could have been of the same opinion as the Shi’i Sahabah! If he did, then it would have been Sunnah to place ‘Ali over Abu

Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman. In that case, the majority view of the Ahl al-Sunnah on the matter would have been abid’ah - in fact, a compoundedbid’ah .

The other step taken by the Sunni‘ulama was to confuse their followers on the status and meanings of explicitahadith indicating the overall superiority ofAmir al-Muminin ‘Ali b. Abi Talib over all Sahabah. The most guilty individual in this regard was none other than “Shaykh al-Islam” Ibn Taymiyyah. Others, such as Imam al-Mubarakfuri (d. 1282 H), ‘Allamah al-Albani, Shaykh al-Arnauṭ and others, have also followed his steps, albeit at a much lower level. In this book, we will be examining some of suchahadith , proving their authenticity absolutely, and analyzing their texts in the light of the Qur’an andmutawatir Sunnah. Ourmanhaj in this regard is open, transparent, mathematical and precise. For instance, we have relied very heavily upon the verdicts concerning the individual narrators by al-Hafiz al-‘Asqalani in his legendary reference work,al-Taqrib . The reasons for this approach are two. First, al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, often fondly referred to simply as al-Hafiz, is one of the greatest Sunni scholars ofrijal andhadith . ‘Allamah al-Albani says about him:

لكن من كان في ريب مما أحكم أنا على بعض الأحاديث فليعد إلى فتح الباري فسيجد هناك أشياء كثيرة وكثيرة جداً ينتقدها الحافظ أحمد بن حجر العسقلاني الذي يسمى بحقٍ أمير المؤمنين في الحديث والذي أعتقد أنا وأظن أن كل من كان مشاركاً في هذا العلم يوافقني على أنه لم تلد النساء بعده مثله.

But, whoever is in doubt concerning the verdicts I have given concerning someahadith (inSahih al-Bukhari ), let him refer to Fath al-Bari, and he will find there lots and lots of things (inSahih al-Bukhari ) which have been criticized byal-Hafiz Ahmad b. Hajar al-‘Asqalani, who is rightly named the Amir al-Muminin in Hadith, and whom I believe – and I suppose that anyone who has this knowledge (i.e. science of hadith) would agree with me – that no woman has ever given birth to anyone like him after him. 10

The phrase “amir al-muminin” is of course a reference to the supreme master.

Secondly, al-Hafiz himself states in the Introduction toal-Taqrib :

أنني أحكم على كل شخص منهم بحكم يشمل أصح ما قيل فيه، وأعدل ما وصف به

I have graded every individual among them with a verdict that contains the most correct of what is said about him, and the most just of the descriptions given for him.11

In other words, a lot of things have been said about each of the narrators. But, not everything said about them is authentically transmitted, correct or accurate. So, al-Hafiz, who is a king in the Sunni science ofhadith , has compiled only “the most correct” and “the most just” of the statements made about them. No wonder, top Sunnihadith scientists like ‘Allamah al-Albani and others have relied very heavily upon thisal-Taqrib in all their works. We will be doing the same throughout this book and others. There are two clear advantages in doing this. One, it would ensure the accuracy of our conclusions on the various narrators. Two, it would keep our book

concise and neat. As such, we will firstly quote the criticisms of a Sunni scholar, mostly Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah, against a particularhadith - which establishes ‘Ali’s superiorty over all the Sahabah – and then examines the trustworthiness of all its narrators, primarily throughal-Taqrib . Where the name of the narrator is not present inal-Taqrib , then we go for the books of Imam al-Dhahabi, who is equally a superweight in Sunnihadith sciences, as well as others like ‘Allamah al-Albani and Shaykh al-Arnauṭ.

This humble author has adopted a very stricttakhrij style throughout the book. This is why he has excludedahadith which he believes to be true, but which do not meet the strict standards of authenticity in the Sunnihadith sciences. In particular, we focus on the reliability of the narrators and the full connectivity of the chains. We also seek if there are corroborative supports for either the chains or the texts of theahadith . Most importantly, we also investigate any possible hidden defects in the chains, such astadlis , poor memory andirsal of the narrators and present detailed researches to make clarifications wherever necessary. Sometimes, in order to save space, we do simply rely upon explicit authentications of chains andahadith by the topmost Sunnihadith scientists. Through this methodology, we hope to give the full opportunity to whoever is researching the topic in order to determine the real truth.

Meanwhile, we do not neglect Sunni arguments and reports in favour of the superiority of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar either. We query their authenticity too, in line with strict standards of Sunnirijal and further test their compatibility with the Qur’an and undisputed history. The full details of our investigations are provided in our book, so that our esteemed reader can verify, reason and make his independent conclusions too.

Throughout our book, we have relied upon Sunni books only, and specifically those of the highest standing in their respected categories. This way, we aim ensure full accuracy in everything. We implore Allah to forgive us all our mistakes, and to accept this as a worthy act ofirsal .

1. Hadith Al-Qadha, Investigating Its Authenticity

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 H) states:

و إما قوله قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لاقضاكم علي والقضاء يستلزم العلم و الدين فهذا الحديث لم يثبت و ليس له إسناد تقوم به الحجة لم يروه أحد في السنن المشهورة و لا المساند المعروفة لا بإسناد صحيح و لا ضعيف و إنما يروي من طريق من هو معروف بالكذب

As for his statement, “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:‘The best judge among you is ‘Ali’” , and justice dispensation requires knowledge and religious devotion.But, this hadith is not authentic , and it has no chain of transmission which makes it a valid proofIt is not recorded by anyone in the famous Sunan books, and not (by anyone) in the well-knownMusnad books – not with asahih chain, nor with adha’if chain.It is only narrated through the route of notorious liars. 12

Meanwhile, Imam Ibn Majah (d. 273 H) records in hisSunan :

حدثنا محمد بن المثنى ثنا عبد الوهاب بن عبد المجيد ثنا خالد الحذاء، عن أبي قلابة، عن أنس بن مالك، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال :أرحم أمتي بأمتي أبو بكر وأشدهم في دين الله عمر وأصدقهم حياء عثمان وأقضاهم علي بن أبي طالب.

Muhammad b. al-Muthanna – ‘Abd al-Wahhab b. ‘Abd al-Majid – Khalid al-Haza – Abi Qilabah – Anas b. Malik:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, “The most merciful of myUmmah to myUmmah is Abu Bakr. The most severe of them in the religion of Allah is ‘Umar. The most shy of them is ‘Uthman.And the best judge among them is ‘Ali b. Abi Talib.” 13

This report cancels out the first leg of our Shaykh’s claims: that thehadith is not documented in any of the authoritativeSunan andMusnad books – whether with asahih chain or even adha’if one!

So, the next question is: has thehadith truly been narrated by a liar or liars?

The first narrator, Muhammad b. al-Muthanna isthiqah (trustworthy) without absolutely any doubt. Al-Hafiz (d. 852 H) for instance says about him:

محمد بن المثنى بن عبيد العنزي بفتح النون والزاي أبو موسى البصري ….ثقة ثبت

Muhammad b. al-Muthanna b. ‘Ubayd al-‘Unaza, Abu Musa al-Basri....Thiqah (trustworthy), thabt (accurate ).14

Elsewhere, he adds about him:

روى عنه) خ (مائة حديث وثلاثة أحاديث ومسلم سبعمائة واثنتين وسبعين حديثا

Al-Bukhari narrated 103ahadith from him (in hisSahih ), and Muslim also narrated 772ahadith (from him in hisSahih ).15

Apparently, he was a super-weight in Sunniahadith .

Al-Hafiz also says about the second narrator:

عبد الوهاب بن عبد المجيد بن الصلت الثقفي أبو محمد البصري ثقة تغير قبل موته بثلاث سنين

‘Abd al-Wahhab b. ‘Abd al-Majid b. al-Salt al-Thaqafi, Abu Muhammad al-Basri:Thiqah (trustworthy). He changed (i.e. his memory weakened) 3 years before his death.16

In his Lisan, he gives further, crucial information about him:

لكنه ما ضر تغيره حديثه فإنه ما حدث بحديث في زمن التغير

But, his change (in memory) does not harm hisahadith , for he never narrated a singlehadith during the period of the change.17

So, what about the remaining narrators? Shaykh al-Arnauṭ saves us a lot of time with thistahqiq :

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا عفان ثنا وهيب ثنا خالد الحذاء عن أبي قلابة عن أنس بن مالك عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم إسناده صحيح على شرط الشيخين

‘Abd Allah (b. Ahmad) – my father (Ahmad b. Hanbal) – ‘Affan – Wuhayb– Khalid al-Haza – Abu Qilabah – Anas b. Malik – the Prophet, peace be upon him Its chain issahih UPON THE STANDARD OF THE TWO SHAYKHS. 18

We understand from this that both Khalid al-Haza and Abu Qilabah arethiqah (trustworthy) narrators of bothSahih al-Bukhari andSahih Muslim , like Muhammad b. al-Muthanna.

Interestingly, Imam al-Hakim (d. 403 H), Imam al-Dhahabi (d. 748 H) and ‘Allamah al-Albani (d. 1420 H) also confirm that the second narrator is like the others too in this regard. The ‘Allamah writes:

أخرجه الترمذي (2 / 309) وابن ماجه (154) وابن حبان (2218) و (2219) والحاكم (3 / 422) من طريق عبد الوهاب بن عبد المجيد الثقفي حدثنا خالد الحذاء عن أبي قلابة عن أنس قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: فذكره، وقال الترمذي: " حديث حسن صحيح ". وقال الحاكم: " هذا إسناد صحيح على شرط الشيخين ". ووافقه الذهبي وهو كما قالا.

Al-Tirmidhi (2/309), Ibn Majah (154), Ibn Hibban (2218) and al-Hakim (3/422) narrated it through the route of‘ABD AL-WAHHAB B. ‘ABD AL-MAJID AL-THAQAFI – Khalid al-Haza – Abu Qilabah – Anas – the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him. Al-Tirmidhi said: “Thehadith ishasan sahih ”. Al-Hakim (also) said,“This chain is sahih UPON THE STANDARD OF THE TWO SHAYKHS”. Al-Dhahabi concurred with him, andit is (indeed) as they both have stated. 19

In a simple summary,Hadith al-Qadha – as documented by Imam Ibn Majah – has a chain of transmission that issahih upon the standard of al-Bukhari (d. 256 H) and Muslim (d. 261 H). All its narrators are relied upon in bothSahih al-Bukhari andSahih Muslim , and there is no disconnection anywhere in the chain. Apparently, Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah’s weird,

unfounded claim that thehadith is narrated only by notorious liars is itself a sickening rape of the truth!

There is equally amutaba’ah for Muhammad b. al-Muthanna copied by Imam al-Haythami (d. 807 H):

أخبرنا أحمد بن مكرم بن خالد البرتي، حدثنا علي بن المديني، حدثنا عبد الوهاب الثقفي، حدثنا خالد الحذاء، عن أبي قلابة عن أنس بن مالك قال: قال رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم :ارحم أمتي بأمتي أبو بكر، وأشدهم في أمر الله عمر، وأصدقهم حياء عثمان، وأقضاهم علي

Ahmad b. Makram b. Khalid al-Birti – ‘Ali b. al-Madini – ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Thaqafi – Khalid al-Haza – Abu Qilabah – Anas b. Malik:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “The most merciful of myUmmah to myUmmah is Abu Bakr. The most severe of them concerning the Command of Allah is ‘Umar. The most shy of them is ‘Uthman.And the best judge among them is ‘Ali .20

We already know that the last four narrators – including Anas – arethiqah narrators of bothSahih al-Bukhari andSahih Muslim . So, we only have to find out the status of the first two narrators. Once again, Shaykh al-Arnauṭ saves us time. Imam Ibn Hibban (d. 354 H) records this chain in hisSahih :

أخبرنا أحمد بن مكرم بن خالد البرتي قال حدثنا علي بن المديني قال حدثنا معن بن عيسى قال حدثنا مالك بن أنس عن صفوان بن سليم عن عطاء بن يسار عن أبي سعيد الخدري

Ahmad b. Makram b. Khalid al-Birti –‘Ali b. al-Madini – Ma’n b. ‘Isa – Malik b. Anas – Safwan b. Sulaym – ‘Aṭa b. Yasar – Abu Sa’id al-Khudri21

Al-Arnauṭ says:

إسناده صحيح على شرط البخاري رجاله ثقات رجال الصحيح غير علي بن المديني فمن رجال البخاري

Its chain is sahih upon the standard of al-Bukhari. Its narrators are thiqah (trustworthy), narrators of theSahih , except ‘Ali b. al-Madini because he is from the narrators of (Sahih )al-Bukhari (only).22

So, both al-Birti and ‘Ali b. al-Madini arethiqah (trustworthy) narrators ofSahih al-Bukhari too. As such, themutaba’ah of ‘Ali b. al-Madini to Muhammad b. al-Muthanna inHadith al-Qadha issahih as well, upon the standard ofSahih al-Bukhari !

Thehadith has equally been transmitted from other Sahabah, apart from Anas. Imam al-Haythami for instance records:

عن جابر بن عبد الله الأنصاري قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم : أرحم أمتي بأمتي أبو بكر وأرفق أمتي لأمتي عمر وأصدق أمتي حياء عثمان وأقضى أمتي علي بن أبي طالب

NarratedJabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari :

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “The most merciful of myUmmah to myUmmah is Abu Bakr. The kindest of myUmmah to myUmmah is ‘Umar. The most shy of myUmmah is ‘Uthman. The best judge of myUmmah is ‘Ali b. Abi Talib”.23

He comments:

رواه الطبراني في الأوسط وإسناده حسن

Al-Tabarani narrated it in al-Awsaṭ,and its chain is hasan .24

In modern prints ofMu’jam al-Awsaṭ of Imam al-Tabarani (d. 360 H), thishadith , unfortunately, is no longer present! The previous existence of this report inal-Awsat is further confirmed by Imam al-Haytami (d. 974 H):

و في رواية الطبراني في الأوسط أرحم أمتي بأمتي أبو بكر وأرفق أمتي لأمتي عمر وأصدق أمتي حياء عثمان وأقضى أمتي علي بن أبي طالب

In the report of al-Tabaraniin al-Awsat , it is recorded: “The most merciful of myUmmah to myUmmah is Abu Bakr. The kindest of myUmmah to myUmmah is ‘Umar. The most shy of myUmmah is ‘Uthman.The best judge of my Ummah is ‘Ali b. Abi Talib” 25

It has gone missing in the sameal-Awsat after the time of al-Haytami.

Finally, ‘Allamah al-Albani has copiedHadith al-Qadha from yet another Sahabi, namely Ibn ‘Umar:

أرأف أمتي بأمتي أبو بكر وأشدهم في دين الله عمر وأصدقهم حياء عثمان وأقضاهم علي

The most compassionate of myUmmah to myUmmah is Abu Bakr, and the most severe of them in the religion of Allah is ‘Umar. The most shy of them is ‘Uthman andthe best judge among them is ‘Ali. 26

The ‘Allamah says:

(صحيح) [ع] عن ابن عمر.

Sahih ... (Narrated) byIbn ‘Umar 27