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Who was the bravest companion? [Ibn Hazm]

December 14, 2014 1 comment

Who was the bravest companion?

By

Abu Muhammad Ibn Hazm

 

Introduction

This is one of the issues which Shia love to raise against the personality of companions like Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. Their problem is that they think bravery is to kill people in Jihad and if someone couldn’t kill with his power than he is not brave. And hence, they conclude, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar were not brave. If that is the case then people like Pharaoh, Nimrod, Stalin and all the mass murderers would have to be listed at the top of all the braves.

Among the believers Bara bin Malik al-Ansari lonely killed hundred men besides those whom he killed with the help of others. Hamza, Abu Dujanah al-Ansari, ‘Aasim bin Thabit, Talha, Zubair, Sa’d were all known for their specialty in tackling the enemy. But no one prefer them over ‘Ali bin Abi Talib or over Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, may Allah be well pleased with them all.

Once a person presents himself to face the enemy he is proven to be a brave one regardless of how much of them he could kill or defeat. Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, never missed any battle with the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and they were seen defending the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) during harsh conditions especially in Uhud and Hunain. How could such a person be coward? If it is just because there is hardly any narration describing how they killed a Mushrik during battle then what could be the response regarding the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) who never killed anyone in battle except Ubayy bin Khalaf? If they say that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was bravest but he was a leader and hence did not involve in fighting then we shall let ‘Ali (ra) falsify this claim. Hence Imam Ahmad records in Musnad (1042), Abu Ya’la (302, 412) and others with an authentic Isnad through Abu Ishaq from Harithah bin Mudharrib that ‘Ali said:

لَمَّا حَضَرَ الْبَأْسُ يَوْمَ بَدْرٍ اتَّقَيْنَا بِرَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَكَانَ مِنْ أَشَدِّ النَّاسِ، مَا كَانَ – أَوْ: لَمْ يَكُنْ – أَحَدٌ أَقْرَبَ إِلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مِنْهُ

“When the fighting grew intense on the day of Badr we sought shelter by drawing closer to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), who was one of the strongest of men, and no was closer to the disbeliever than him.”

We see that during the harsh time even brave like ‘Ali (ra) used to seek shelter with the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) but still he did not kill anyone except Ubayy.

So what is bravery? Let us look at the meaning of Shuja’ah [Arabic of bravery] in Arabic dictionary. Al-Jawhari says in “As-Sihaah” (3/1235):

شدَّة القلب عند البأس

“It is the stability of heart during trial.”

Even the English word bravery means ‘able or ready to face and endure danger, disgrace or pain’. So not being able to kill someone or not being able to conquer some place does not indicate cowardice. Indeed, those who were killed by ‘Ali during the battles were more than those who were killed by Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. But it only proves that ‘Ali encountered more famous combatants than them not that they were hiding for their life.

As for running away from battles than there is no indication that any of the two Shaikh left the battle field. There were two incidents in Prophetic history when Muslims ran from the battle field when they couldn’t handle the enemies’ fierce attack. But in none of them, with any shred of evidence, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar left the battle field. So called proofs which some Shia authors quote to prove that they ran away from the battlefield are nothing but sheer misrepresentation of the context. If Allah willed I will compile a refutation on such arguments.

 

The following passage I translated from Minhaj as-Sunnah (8/87-89) of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah who quoted ‘Allamah Ibn Hazm from “Al-Fisal” (4/107).

 

Translation

Ibn Hazm said:

We see that they claim that ‘Ali was the greatest in waging Jihad against disbelievers and attacking and fighting them among all the companions.

Abu Muhammad (Ibn Hazm) said: This is wrong as the Jihad is classified in three categories;

  1. One of them is calling towards Allah,
  2. Second is to do Jihad during war by ideas and strategies
  3. And the third is to do jihad with hands by killing and hitting.

We find that with regards to the first type of Jihad no person supersede Abu Bakr and ‘Umar after the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). As for Abu Bakr then we find that the senior companions accepted Islam on his hands. As compared to him, ‘Ali does not have much share in this. As for ‘Umar then we see that the day he became Muslim Islam was strengthened and the worship of Allah was being done openly. This is the greatest Jihad and these two persons were alone in such Jihad of the first two categories (during early days) which has no comparable and ‘Ali does not have participation in it.

With regards to the second category then we find that it is specifically for Abu Bakr and then for ‘Umar.

As for the third category which is stabbing, hitting and combating then we find that it is the lowest level of Jihad because of the obvious reason that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), with the agreement of Muslims, was selective in doing the most virtuous of the act and we see that his – may Allah sends Salaat and salutation upon him – Jihad in most of the cases was restricted within the first two categories which is to call towards Allah – the Mighty and Majestic – and planning and forwarding. His least involvement (among the three categories) was in stabbing, hitting and combating. This is not because of cowardice but in reality he was absolutely the bravest of all earthly beings with his hands and soul and the most complete to attain succor. But he would look for the best and then next after it from the acts, and then he would prefer it and get involved with it. We find that, during Badr and other battles, Abu Bakr would not leave him and sometimes even ‘Umar was included in it. They were distinguished in this case unlike ‘Ali and all other companions, except in rare cases.

Then after that we ponder over the third category of Jihad which is to stab, to hit and to combat. We see that ‘Ali was not alone in this, but many other companions also had the same share like Talha, Zubair and Sa’d and those were killed in early Islam like Hamza, ‘Ubaidah bin Harith and Mus’ab bin ‘Umair, and from Ansar Sa’d bin Mu’adh, Simak bin Kharshah Abu Dujanah and others. Also Abu Bakr and ‘Umar do have good share in it even if they did not involve in it like these people which is because of their participation in a better Jihad in association with the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and to aid him during battles. And he sent them for war more than he sent ‘Ali. He sent Abu Bakr towards Bani Fazarah and elsewhere and he sent ‘Umar towards Bani Fulan. On the other hand we do not know ‘Ali was sent for any battle except at some fort of Khaibar which he conquered [and he had sent Abu Bakr and ‘Umar there, before ‘Ali, but they could not conquered it]. So Abu Bakr and ‘Umar were involved in the highest level of Jihad and besides that they have their share with ‘Ali in the lower category of Jihad.

 

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The authenticity of the addition “He is not the one who flee”

October 11, 2014 Leave a comment

This research is not to deny that ‘Ali (ra) was “not the one who flee”, but since Shiites may use it to show that Abu Bakr (ra) and ‘Umar (ra) were the one who fled away from the battle of Khaybar therefore I made went into depth of this particular addition. This is a version of very famous hadith on the merit of ‘Ali (ra) quoted in authentic book. But the addition under discussion has different story. This discussion is a part of my ongoing work on shia encyclopedia. Quoting from “A Shiite Encyclopedia”:

“I will give the standard tomorrow to a man who loves Allah and his Prophet, and whom Allah and his Prophet love, (a man) who will be steadfast and will not flee”.

The next day Allah’s Apostle gave ‘Ali the flag and Allah granted victory under his leadership. (See Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English version, Traditions 5.52, 5.520)

 

I could not find the hadith in Sahih Bukhari with the addition of “who will be steadfast and will not flee” neither do I see such sentence in the English translation of Sahih Bukhari by Muhsin Khan and Al-Hilali. Imam Bukhari has mentioned this hadith at seven places in Sahih Bukhari; twice in the book on Merits of Companions, and twice in the Book of Maghazi and thrice in the book of Jihad. Nowhere does this meaning exist.

However, I found this tradition with the addition of “He is not the one who flees” as follows:

  1. It has been reported in Musnad (778) of Imam Ahmad, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (32080), Ibn Majah (117) and others through the chain of Muhammad bin Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Lailah from Minhaal from Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Lailah who report the incident of his father with Ali (ra) which include this hadith of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). Muhammad bin Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Lailah was the one regarding whom Shu’bah said, “I have not seen a person who has as bad memory as Ibn Abi Lailah.”
  2. Ibn Ishaq reports it in Seerah [] and through him At-Tabrani in “Al-Kabeer” (7/35) through Buraidah bin Sufyan bin Farwah from his father from Salamah bin Akwa’ (ra). Buraidah bin Sufyan is not reliable. [Meezan (1/306)] His father remains unknown as no one considered him reliable except Ibn Hibban as per his standard rejected by other scholars.
  3. Ibn Abi Shaibah in Musannaf (36894) through Nu’aim bin Hakeem from Abu Maryam [Ath-Thaqafi] from ‘Ali (ra). Nu’aim bin Hakeem who is disputed upon among scholars. [ Tahdheeb al-Kamal (29/464), Meezan (4/267)]
    Abu Maryam Qais Ath-Thaqafi al-Kufi was Majhool as per the statement of Ad-Daarqutni and Ibn Hajar. [Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (12/232)] An-Nasai mentioned a narrator “Abu Maryam Qais al-Hanafi” and declared him Thiqah. According to Ibn Hajar this is a Wahm of A-Nasai as the name of Abu Maryam al-Hanafi was Iyas bin Sabeeh not Qais. Abu Maryam Iyas bin Sabeeh Al-Hanafi was a Qadhi of Basrah by the command of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari and he narrated from Umar bin al-Khattab and ‘Uthman, and his son Abdullah and Ibn Sireen have narrated from him as stated by Abu Ahmad al-Hakim in his book Al-Kuna. While Abu Maryam Qais Ath-Thaqafi al-Madaini was a different person who narrate from Ali and ‘Ammar. Refer to Tahdheeb of Ibn Hajar. And Allah knows best.
  4. Imam Nasai narrates it in Al-Kubra (8458) under “Khasais ‘Ali” through Muhammad [bin Ishaq] from Abdullah bin Abi Najeeh from his father from Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas (ra). Muhammad bin Ishaq is mudallis of the fourth category and besides that Abu Najeeh did not hear from Sa’d and hence Abu Hatim said regarding this Isnad that it is Mursal. [Al-Jarh wa at-Ta’deel (9/306)]

And Allah knows best

Hadith : “Whoever loves Ali has loved me, and whoever hates Ali has hated me”

August 31, 2014 Leave a comment

Hadith : “Whoever loves Ali has loved me, and whoever hates Ali has hated me”

 

Al-Haakim (no.4648) reported it through Sa’eed bin Aus Al-Ansari from ‘Auf from Abu ‘Uthman An-Nahdi that a person asked Salman al-Farasi, “What is this intense love of ‘Ali from you?” He said, “I heard the messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)…alhadith”. All of its narrators are trustworthy.

Its narrators are as follow:

  1. Ahmad bin ‘Uthman bin Yahya al-‘Atashi al-Adami al-Muqri (d.349): He was trustworthy as per the declaration of Al-Barqani and Khateeb. [Tarikh al-Islam (7/871)]
  2. Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Yazeed bin Abil ‘Awwam ar-Riyahi: He was declared Saduq by Ad-Daarqutni. Ibn Hibban listed him among Thiqaat. Maslamah bin Qasim said that he was Thiqah. Ibn ‘Uqdah reports from Abdullah bin Ahmad that he was Saduq. [Ath-Thiqat by Qasim bin Qatloobagha (8/163)]
  3. Sa’eed bin Aws Abu Zaid al-Ansari: Ibn Ma’eed and Abu Hatim said Saduq. Salih Jazarah said Thiqah. [Tahdheeb al-Kamal (10/330-337)]
  4. Awf al-A’rabi: He was declared Thiqah by Ahmad bin Hanbal, Yahya bin Ma’een and An-Nasai. [Tahdheeb al-Kamal (22/437-441)]
  5. Abu ‘Uthman An-Nahdi: He was from the senior-most Tab’een.

Al-Hakim declared it authentic. This narration was also reported by Ash-Shajari in his Amaali through a weak chain going back to Sa’eed bin Aws. [Al-Eema ila zawa’id al-Amaali wa al-Ajza (3/29)]

The same wording has also been reported as a narration of Um Salamah (ra). At-Tabarani in “Al-Kabeer” (23/380), Abu Tahir Al-Mukhallis in Fawaid (3/150, no.2193) and Ibn ‘Asakir in his Tarikh (42/270-271) through Abu Jabir from Hakam bin Muhammad from Fitr from Abu Tufayl from Um Salamah (ra)…alhadith.

Shaikh Al-Albani declared the Isnad of the hadith of Umm Salamah to be Sahih. [As-Saheehah (1299)]

Categories: Hadeeth Tags: , , , , ,

Few examples of unintentional textual alteration in the books of hadith

Bismillah

All praises due to to Allah and may His peace and blessings be upon the last and final prophet Muhammad.

 

“The Best of Inhabitants of Madinah” or “the Best judge of inhabitants of Madinah”: Clarification regarding a narration

It was reported by Ahmad in Fadhail As-Sahaba (1033) through Muhammad bin Ja’far Ghundur and Abu Ja’far Al-Qatee’i reports it in Zawaid to Fadhail As-Sahabah of Ahmad (1097) through Abul Qasim al-Baghwi from his grandfather from Abu Qutn. Both Abu Qutn and Ghundur narrates it from Shu’bah from Abu Ishaq from Abdullah bin Yazeed from ‘Alqamah from Ibn Mas’ud that he said, “We used to say that the best (Afdhal) among the people of Madinah is Ali bin Abi Talib.”
This Isnad is authentic but there is replacement of the word Afdhal (best) in place of Aqdha (best judge) as we shall see. This narration has also been reported by Al-Bazzar in his Musnad (1616) through Yahya bin Sakan from Shu’bah similarly with the phrase “the best (afzal) among the people of Madinah”.

However, Yahya bin Sakan is weak. Besides that the narration of Bazzar has been cited by Ibn Hajar in Al-Mutalib al-‘Aliyah (16/75) with the original wording “Aqdha Ahl al-Madinah”. In Fath al-Bari also, he cites it with correct wording but at another place in Fath al-Bari he cites it with the phrase “Afzala Ahl Al-Madinah”. One may claim that these both wordings are present in the Musnad of Bazzar and in current version it is missing due to some unknown reason, however this assumption is false because this hadith is present in the Musnad under the section where Bazzar has cited the narration of Abdur-Rahman bin Yazeed from ‘Alqamah. There he has cited only one narration and that could only be with one of those phrases. Also, if there had been both of these wordings present in Bazzar then Ibn Hajar would have cited both of them separately in Al-Mutalib as it is a collection of Zawaid of ten hadith books. Al-Haythami also cites only one wording in Majma’ az-Zawaid (9/116) and that is with the incorrect wording “Afzala Ahlal Madinah”. So we see that there is only one wording in Musnad al-Bazzar and that could be any of those two.  Therefore, if the wording is “the best judge among Ahlal Madinah is Ali” then it would add to the list of those students of Shu’bah who has reported this from him, and if the wording in Bazzar is “the best of Ahl al-Madinah is Ali” then this would be a weak and Munkar tradition due to weakness in Yahya bin Sakan and his opposition to the reliable students of Shu’bah. Although Ibn Hibban listed him among Thiqat but Imam Ad-Daarqutni and Salih Jazrah said that he was weak. Adh-Dhahabi also said that he was not strong. It is quite well known that Ibn Hibban was lenient in Tahwtheeq to some extent. [See Lisan al-Mizan (1/28) (6/259)]

The narration related by Al-Qatee’i in Fadhail as-Sahaba (1097) is also a Tasheef or mistake. The reason being the Shaykh of Al-Qatee’i in this is Abul Qasim al-Baghwi, and this Shaykh has reported this narration in his book “Mu’jam as-Sahabah” (4/361) in the same manner but the wording is “We used to say the best judge among the people of Madinah is Ali bin Abi Talib.” Ibn ‘Asakir also relates it in Tarikh Dimashq (42/405) through the Isnad of Abu al-Qasim al-Baghwi similarly as in Mu’jam as-Sahabah.

As for the narration of Ahmad in Fadhail as-Sahabah then I could not find it in any other book with the Isnad of Ahmad so as to compare them except that Ibn ‘Asakir (42/404) has cited this through Muhammad bin Uthman bin Abi Shaibah from his father from Ghundar, the shaykh of Ahmad in this narration, from Shu’bah with the correct phrase “the best judge among Ahl al-Madinah”. However there is famous dispute regarding the reliability of Muhammad bin Uthman bin Abi Shaybah among scholars. In any case, it appears that there is replacement of the word in this narration as well because it is very much probable that a scribe might have done this. Bothe the words “Afdhal” and “Aqdha” look very similar when written in arabic especially without dots. Besides that it is very much unexpected that Imam Ahmad would narrate a narration, which is not found anywhere else with authentic Isnad, and scholars would not narrate it.

From above discussion we can see that the wording ((best among people of Madinah)) has been narrated in the following sources:

  1. Fadhail as-Sahabah of Ahmad through Ghundur from Shu’bah. If it is not a Tasheef (a replacement of the correct word with similar incorrect word) then it is a mistake by Ghundur as he was opposed by majority of students of Shu’bah. However, Abu Ja’far Ibn Abi Shaibah has reported this through Ghundur with correct wording. And Allah knows best.
  2. Additions of Al-Qatee’i on Fadhail as-Sahabah through Abu Qutn from Shu’bah. This is obviously a Tasheef as the shaykh of Al-Qatee’i here has narrated this in his book “Mu’jam as-Sahaba” with the correct wording.
  3. Musnad al-Bazzar through Yahya bin Sakan from Shu’bah. Yahya bin Sakan was weak specially when opposed by well known students of Shu’bah. However, Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani has recorded this report in Al-Mutalib al-‘Aaliyah through Ibn Sakan with correct wording. And Allah knows best.

Now coming to the narration with accurate wording through famous students of Shu’ba, it was reported by Ahmad bin Manee’ [Al-Mutalib al-‘Aliyah (3924)], Ibn Sa’d in Tabaqat (2/258), Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak (4656), Abul Qasim al-Baghwi in Mu’jam as-Sahabah (4/361), Ibn ‘Asakir (42/404, 405) and Ibn Abdul Barr in Al-Istai’ab (3/1103).

So from the above references we came across the following students of Shu’bah:

  • Abu Qatan Umar bin Haytham
  • Wahb bin Jareer
  • Adam bin Abi Iyas
  • Muslim bin Ibrahim
  • Abu ‘Aamir al-‘Uqdi

All these narrators narrate it from Shu’ba bin Hajjaj with the wording “we used to say that the best judge among Ahl al-Madinah is Ali”. Also Hafiz Ibn Abdul Barr has said the same thing that the wording “Afzala Ahl al-Madina” is a Tasheef (mistake in word while writing or narrating). Al-Istidhkar (14/242)

Another strong evidence which strengthen our above clarification is that Ibn Mas’ud considered Uthman (ra) to be the best among the companions after the death of Umar (ra), so how could Ali (ra) be superior than even Abu Bakr (ra) and ‘Umar (ra) according to him?

Therefore, Imam Ahmad narrates in Fadhail (747), Ibn Sa’d in Tabaqat (3/46), Tabarani (9/170), Abu Nu’aym in Hilyah (7/244) through Abdul Malik bin Maisirah from Nazzaal bin Saburah from Abdullah that he said when Uthman was chosen as Caliph, “We selected the best of those who are alive as our leader.” This has been reported through other Isnad as well and is quite famous from Ibn Mas’ud so much so that Imam Abu ‘Ubaid used it as evidence to claim that ‘Uthman (ra) was superior to ‘Ali (ra). [Tarikh Baghdad (12/409), Siyar A’alam an-Nubala (10/498)]

 

An addition in the published copies of Sunan Ibn Majah

 

In Sunan Ibn Majah (154) a hadith exist which is narrated through Anas bin Malik (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “The most merciful of my Ummah towards my Ummah is Abu Bakr; the one who adheres most sternly to the religion of Allah is ‘Umar; the most sincere of them in shyness and modesty is ‘Uthman; the best judge is ‘Ali bin Abi Talib; the best in reciting the Book of Allah is Ubayy bin Ka’b; the most knowledgeable of what is lawful and what is unlawful is Mu’adh bin Jabal; and the most knowledgeable of the rules of inheritance is Zaid bin Thabit. And every nation has trustworthy guardian, and the trustworthy guardian of this Ummah is Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Jarrah.”

This is taken from English translation of Sunan Ibn Majah published from Darussalam with the rulings of Shaykh Zubair ‘Ali Za’i. The part of the narration “the best judge ‘Ali bin Abi Talib” is not present in the manuscript although it is in the published version and Sharh Ibn Majah of Abul Hasan as-Sindi. Shaikh Shu’aib Arnaut notified that this part is not found in the manuscript he had although it is in the copy on which As-Sindi wrote his commentary. [Ibn Majah (154) Arnaut’s ed.]

The absence of this part in Ibn Majah could be claimed based on the following factors:

  1. It cannot be found in original manuscripts as per the statement of Shaykh Shu’aib Arnaut.
  2. Hafiz Ibn Abdul Hadi has a treatise on the hadith “the most knowledgeable about Faraidh is Zaid bin Thabit” which is a part of this tradition. He quoted this hadith even from Ibn Majah but did not mention this addition.
  3. Hafiz Sakhawi discussed the hadith al-Qadha in Al-Maqasid al-Hasanah but did not reference Ibn Majah as its source.
  4. This hadith has been narrated through this route by many but no one mention this part. Hence the hadith in Ibn Majah is through Abdul Wahhab Ath-Thaqafi from Khalid al-Hadhdha from Abu Qilabah from Anas bin Malik (ra). The hadith with this same isnad has been recorded by Imam Tirmidhi in Sunan (3791), Imam Nasai in As-Sunan al-Kubra (8229), Ibn HIbban in his Sahih (7131, 7137, 7252), Al-Bayhaqi in As-Sunan al-Kubra (12188), Al-Hakim in “Al-Mustadrak” (5784), but no one mention the sentence under discussion. Other students of Khalid al-Hadhdha, like Wuhaib and Sufyan ath-Thawri, also relate it without any such addition.

 

There is another book where this addition exists in a version of this hadith. Hence it is present in Mawarid az-Zamaan (2218) by Al-Haythami which is a collection of those hadith which is in Sahih of Ibn HIbban but not in the Sahih collection of Bukhari and Muslim. Therefore the actual source of this book is the Sahih of Ibn Hibban. But when we look into Sahih Ibn HIbban, preserved as an arrangement of that book done by Ibn Balban, we find that he has reported this hadith three times in the book but nowhere does this addition exist. Besides that all the factors (from 2 to 4) mentioned earlier to show the absence of this addition in Ibn Majah also apply here.

Another factor which testifies that this addition is not in the book of Ibn Hibban is the explanation of Ibn Hibban to this hadith:

قال أبو حاتم: هذه ألفاظ أطلقت بحذف الـ “من” منها يريد بقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “أرحم أمتي” أي: من أرحم أمتي وكذلك قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “وأشدهم في أمر الله” يريد: من أشدهم ومن أصدقهم حياء ومن أقرأهم لكتاب الله ومن أفرضهم ومن أعلمهم بالحلال والحرام يريد أن هؤلاء من جماعة فيهم تلك الفضيلة وهذا كقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم للأنصار: “أنتم أحب الناس إلي”, يريد من أحب الناس من جماعة أحبهم وهم فيهم

 

In brief, Abu Hatim Ibn Hibban is saying is that these phrases (in the hadith) are used with the ommition of “min”. Hence, although “min” (which literally means ‘from’) is not mentioned in the text but its meaning is intended there. Then Ibn Hibban mentions the original phrase and then expand it with the addition of “min” in it. He does so starting from the statement regarding Abu Bakr (ra) until he ends with the statement of praise mentioned in in the hadith regarding Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Jarrah (ra). The point of evidence is the fact that he did not mention the statement regarding ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (ra) in it. This shows that the addition was not there in the text otherwise Ibn Hibban would have done the same as he has done with the statement regarding other companions. All these things suggest that the addition regarding ‘Ali (ra) is not the part of hadith of Ibn Hibban and it was mistakenly added by the author or some of the copyists of the book Mawarid az-Zamaan. And Allah knows best.

 

RULING ON THE HADITH AS A WHOLE

A lot of ‘Ulama have declared this hadith to be Mursal of Abu Qilabah. Therefore according to them the hadith was not narrated by Abu Qilabah from Anas, rather Abu Qilabah (who was a Taba’i) narrates it directly through the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). Here is a list of those scholars who consider this hadith (even without the addition regarding ‘Ali) to be Mursal:

 

  1. Ad-Daarqutni
  2. Ibn ‘Abdul Barr
  3. Khateeb Baghdadi
  4. Ibn Taymiyyah
  5. Ibn ‘Abdul Hadi
  6. Al-Albani

Ibn ‘Abdul Hadi had written a treatise regarding the hadith “the most knowledgeable regarding the law of inheritance is Zaid bin Thabit” which is a part of this hadith, where he discussed the authenticity of this hadith and declared it to be Mursal. This treatise has been published in the collection of Ibn Abdul Hadi’s treatises called “Majmoo’ rasail Ibn Abd al-Hadi”. All the references to the above mentioned scholars, except Al-Albani, could be found there. As for Shaykh Al-Albani’s view then earlier he authenticated the hadith but later on when he was shown the treatise of Ibn Abdul Hadi he retracted and declared it weak as mentioned by his student Shaykh Mashhoor Hasan[1].

While some other scholars have authenticated it which includes Imam Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban and Hakim etc. However, the opinion of the first group of scholars seems more correct due to their status in the field of hadith and it’s ‘Ilal. Besides that, apparently Bukhari and Muslim held the same view as they have included this hadith in their Sahih with only the part regarding Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Jarrah which is the only connected (Musnad) portion of the hadith. Therefore the only portion of the hadith which is connected is the part in praise of Abu ‘Ubaidah (ra), while other portions of this narration are Mursal. And Allah knows best.

 

‘ALI BIN ABI TALIB: THE BEST JUDGE

Although it is not reported authentically from the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) however as a statement of ‘Umar bin al-Khattab it is authentic. Hence Imam Bukhari narrates in his Sahih (4481):

حدثنا عمرو بن علي، حدثنا يحيى، حدثنا سفيان، عن حبيب، عن سعيد بن جبير، عن ابن عباس، قال: قال عمر رضي الله عنه: ” أقرؤنا أبي، وأقضانا علي، وإنا لندع من قول أبي، وذاك أن أبيا يقول: لا أدع شيئا سمعته من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم “. وقد قال الله تعالى: {ما ننسخ من آية أو ننسها}

Ibn ‘Abbas said: ‘Umar bin al-Khattab said, “Our best Qur’an reciter is Ubayy and our best judge is ‘Ali…”

 

[1] http://ar.islamway.net/fatwa/31123