By: Abdullah ibn Abi Effendi.
In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate
All praise is due to Allah, the Rabb of all mankind, jinn and all that exists. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet the Seal of all Messengers, Muhammad, his family, Companions and all those who follow him till the Day of Judgement. – Ameen.
InshAllah in this short booklet I would discuss authenticy of three famous narrations that falsely have been attributed to our beloved Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa ala alihi wa sallam).
It was reported that Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa ala alihi wa sallam) said: “To look at the face of Ali is worship”.
You can see this hadith in many shia polemic works, shia scholars quoting it, and using it during their debates with people of Sunnah.
First of all we should notice that in accordance to shia narrations such superiority wasn’t something special for Ali (r.a), but for all believers.
Shia muhadith Hussain Noore Tabarsi in his “Mostadrak al wasail” (9/152/10527) narrated hadith: “Looking of believer with love to other believer is worship”.
And in the same volume he narrated hadith (10525): “Looking of child to his parents is worship”.
Second, in books of ahl al-sunnah there is no single authentic chain for hadith where stated that looking at the face of Ali is worship.
Opinion of Islamic scholars on this narration:
Those who said it’s weak or fabricated:
- Ibn Hibban al-Busti in “Majroohen” (1/292) regarding such hadith that was reported from Abu Bakr, said: “Fabricated”.
- Ibn Jawzi in “al-Mawdua” (1/361) said it’s not authentic from all ways of transmission.
- Dhahabi said in “Mizanul itidal” (4/401) said it’s fabricated.
- Ibn Qaysarane said it’s false in “Tazkiratul al-huffaz” (434).
- Same opinion shared Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in “Lisanul mizan” (1/572).
- Albani said it’s fabricated in “Daif al-jame” (5992) and “Silsila ad-daifa” (4702).
- Muhammad ibn Darwish ibn Muhammad al-Khot, he included it in his “Asna mattalib” and noticed there opinions of Dhahabi and ibn Jawzi.
Those who said it’s authentic:
- Hakim in his “Mostadrak”.
- Ibn Hajar al-Makki in his “Sawaiq al-muhrika” said chain of hadith is good.
Ways of transmission.
Narration from Abdullah.
It was transmitted by al-Hakim in “Mostadrak” (4682). In the chain Yahya ibn Eesa ar-Ramli. Nasai said he’s not strong. Yahya said he was weak1.
Also in this chain is al-Amash, thiqat but famous for his tadlis, and he narrated this hadith in /anana/ form. It’s mean he didn’t make clear that he heard this hadith from next narrator or not.
Also in this chain Salih ibn Muqatil. Daraqutni said he’s not strong2.
Same two problems present in similar hadith in “Mustakraj at-Toose” by Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn Nasir at-Toose (n103), in “Sharkhul mazhab ahles-unnah” by ibn Shaheen, and in “Mojam al-kabeer” at-Tabarane. In the chain of Tabarani also present Ahmad ibn Budayl and Muhammad ibn Abi Shayba. Daraqutni said there is softness in ibn Budayl. Ibn Adi noticed he’s weak3. As for ibn Abi Shayba scholars differed in him.
Dhahabi in “Talkhis” said this hadith was fabricated.
Suyuti in “Leal” cited two ways of transmission as witnesses, but both of them are weak. In first one Ahmad ibn al-Hajjaj ibn Salat, he was accused by Dhahabi4. And second one would be discussed later.
There is another way till al-Amash, it was transmitted by al-Halabi and ibn Asakir, in the chain is Khammad ibn Mubarak and he’s unknown.
Narration from Imran ibn al-Hussain.
It was transmitted by al-Hakim in “Mostadrak” (4681) with wording: “Looking at the Ali is worship”.
In the chain some narrators unknown for me, like Ibrahim ibn Ishaq al-Jufi, Abdullah ibn Abdurabeh. These two narrators also present in the chain from “Marifat” by Abu Nuaym.
Dhahabi said narration is fabrication.
From Imran it was also narrated by his great-great-grandson Imran ibn Khalid, that hadith was transmitted by Abu Nuaym in “Marifat”.
Dhahabi cited it in “Mizanul itidal” (3/236/n6280) in the bio of this Imran, and said it’s false. His full name was Imran ibn Khalid ibn Taliq ibn Imran ibn Hussain. He also part of the chain, which was transmitted by Tabarani. Al-Heythami in “Majmau zawaid” (14695) said this narrator was weak.
Narration from Abdullah ibn Masood.
It was transmitted by Hakim in “Mostadrak” (4683). In the chain Aseem ibn Ali. Ibn Muin said he’s nothing. Nasai said he’s weak. Scholars differed in grading of this narrator5.
Also in chain Abdurrahman ibn Abdullah al-Masoode, truthful narrator that became confused in the end of his life. Sulayman ibn Harb, Abu Ubeyd and Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: He died in 1606. In this chain he is shaykh of Aseem ibn Ali, and Aseem died in 221. It’s possible that he heard from him in the end. Allah knows best.
Also I couldn’t find any praise or critic about narrators Musab ibn Zuhayr. Seems his reliability isn’t known.
Narration from Aisha.
It was transmitted by Abu Nuaym in “Hiliyah” (2/182-183) via chain: Abad ibn Suhayb from Hisham ibn Urwa from father from Aisha.
Abu Nuaym himself noticed: “Ghareeb from narrations of Hisham ibn Urwa, didn’t wrote it except from (this) hadith of Abad”.
And this Ubada is liar. Bukhari and Nasai said he was abandoned (martook)7.
Hadith of Aisha was also transmitted by ibn Asakir via chain of Dinaware: Ali ibn Sayed – Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Qade – Abu Usama – Hisham.
Shaykhana Albani in “Silsila ad daifa” noticed uncertainty Muhammad ibn Abdullah. In that period lived Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Numayr, he was thiqat, but wasn’t labeled as al-Qade
Ali ibn Sayed that’s Razi, and he was weakened by Daraqutni8.
Dinaware himself is disputed, he was Ahmad ibn Marwan Abu Bakr al-Qade al-Maliki and he was accused in fabrication by Daraqutni.
Other way was transmitted by Abul Qaseem al-Halabi and ibn Asakir via chain: Abu Ali al-Hussain ibn Abdulghafar ibn Amr al-Azdi – Duhaym – Shuyab ibn Iskhaq – Hisham.
Narrator al-Hussain was abandoned9.
Other way from Aisha present in the “Zayl tareh al-bagdad”. In the chain is al-Muwamal ibn Ihab. Nasai said he’s thiqat. Abu Khatim said saduq, but ibn Muin noticed that he was weak10.
Also in this chain Uthman ibn Umar ibn Abdurrahman ash-Shafei and Ahmad ibn Eesa al-Washa, I couldn’t find any good or bad information about them.
Other way was present in the work “Fadhail khulafa ar-rasheden” by Abu Nuaym al-Isfahani.
In the chain Ali ibn al-Muthanna at-Tahawe al-Koofe. Ibn Hibban mentioned him in “Thiqat”, but I can’t find any other good opinion on this narrator. His lever as a narrator seems to be close to uncertainty. Dhahabi in “Mizanul itidal” (3/152/n5918) noticed that he was weakened by Al-Azdi.
In this chain also such narrators like Asem ibn Umar al-Bajali and Ahmad ibn Jafar ibn Asram. I couldn’t find any info on them. And this was second witness chain that was cited by Suyuti in “Leal”.
Narration from Abu Khurayra.
Abul Wafa Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Sibt al-Halabi in his book “Kashf al khasais aman ramie bil wudu al-hadeth” (n626) quoted this hadith from Abu Khurayra in the bio of Muhammad ibn Ismaeyl ibn Mosa ibn Haroon, as an example of his ahadeth. In the same place Abul Wafa quoted Khatib Bagdade saying about this narrator: “Not truthful”, and noticed that Dhahabi accused him in fabrication.
Other way was transmitted via al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn Zakariya al-Adawe, and he was accused in lie by ibn Adi.
Narration from Sawban.
It was transmitted via Yahya ibn Salamah ibn Kuhayl. He was abandoned as stated Nasai and Daraqutni.
Narration from Uthman ibn Affan.
Transmitted by ibn Asakir via chain of Abbase caliphs. Their level as narrators is uncertain11.
Narration of Muadh.
Transmitted by Khatib (2/51) via chain: Muhammad ibn Ismayel ibn Mosa ar-Razi – Muhammad ibn Ayub – Huzat ibn Khalifat – ibn Jurayj – Abu Saleeh – Abu Khurayra, which reported it from Muadh.
I already talked about Muhammad ar-Razi.
Other problem is fact that Muhammad ibn Ayub didn’t met ibn Khalifat12. Ibn Jawzi in “al-Mawdua” (1/362) noticed that it’s not known that ibn Ayub heard from ibn Khalifat or narrated from him, and then quoted ibn Hibban saying: “(Ibn Ayub) narrated fabrications, it’s not permitted to rely on him”.
There is other way of hadith of Muadh. It was transmitted by ibn Khallal in “ath-Thaniy min hadithehe” (2/114). In the chain is Muhammad ibn Saib al-Kalbi, and Thurr ibn Musaab.
Al-Kalbi was accused dajal13.
Thurr was weak. Nasai said about him: “Abandoned”. Abu Dawud said: “Not truthful”14.
Narration of Anas ibn Malik.
It was transmitted by ibn Adi. In the chain is Matar ibn Abu Matar. He’s Matar ibn Maymun. Hakim and Abu Nuaym said that this man narrated fabrications from Anas.
Ibn Hibban said: “Narrated fabrications from steady (narrators), it’s not permitted narrate from him”. And it was mentioned two other ways from Anas. In one of them is al-Adawe liar as I presented, and in other Muhammad ibn al-Qaseem as-Sudde, Daraqutni said: “He lied”. Ahmad said: “His ahadeth are fabrications”15.
Narration of Abu Bakr.
It was transmitted by ibn Najjar in “Zayl at tareh”, ibn Jawzi in “al-Mawdua”, ibn Hajar in “Musalsalat”. Chain contains Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Jufe and his shaykh in it is Abul Hussain Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Mahzum. Ibn Jawzi in “al-Mawdua” said: “Fabrication, it was steal by one from kufian extremists, and Allah knows was it Jufi or his shaykh”16.
Problem should be in ibn Mahzum. He was accused in lie by Abul Hasan at-Tammar, and Muhammad ibn Qulam az-Zuhri said he’s weak17.
Ibn Jawzi mentioned other way which runs from Zuhri, in it al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn Zakariya al-Adawe, and he was liar18.
Narration from Jabir.
It was narrated via chain which contains al-Adawe, he’s liar as I said before.
Hadith: Mentioning Ali is worship.
This hadith is fabrication as it was stated by shaykhana Albani in “Silsila ad daifa” (1729).
This narration was transmitted by ibn Asakir via chain: al-Hasan ibn Sabr al-Hashimi – Wakiyah – Hisham – from his father – from Aisha.
Al-Hasan is abandoned, ibn Hibban said his ahadeth are munkar19. Ibn Jawzi in “al-Mawdua” cited second way of transmission, in it al-Kalbi and Loot ibn Yahya, both of them were famous liars. Third way that was transmitted by Tabarani contain Abad ibn Suhayb. He was abandoned as Suyuti said20.
And Allah knows best.
- “Mizanul itidal” 4/401/n9600.
- “Mizanul itidal” 2/301/n3830.
- “Mizanul itidal” 1/84/n305.
- “Silsila ad daifa” 4702.
- “Tahzib at-tahzib” 5/44.
- “Tahzib at-tahzib” 6/190.
- “Mizanul itidal” 2/367/n4122.
- “Mizanul itidal” 3/131/n5850.
- “Mizanul itidal” 1/540/n2019.
- “Mizanul itidal” 4/229/n8950.
- Suyuti “Leal al masnua” 1/314.
- “Mizanul itidal” 3/485.
- “Mizanul itidal” 3/556/n7574.
- “Mizanul itidal” 2/24/n3616.
- “Silsila ad daifa” 4702.
- “Silsila ad daifa” 4702
- “Mizanul itidal” 3/463/n7171.
- “Mizanul itidal” 1/506/n1904.
- “Mizanul itidal” 1/496/n1866.
- “Silsila ad daifa” 1729 abriged.
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