Thursday, 14 March 2019

Weak Hadith: "Ali, You Are My Khalifa After Me"

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
ولا حول ولا قوة الا بالله
The astray Shi’a believe Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) designated sayyidina Ali bin Abi Talib (radi Allahu anhu) his successor, but that the majority of the Sahaba were either heedless of this fact or turned apostate by electing sayyidina Abi Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) as the Prophet’s successor upon the latter’s death and pledging their allegiance to him. Some Shi’ite apologists present the following Hadith and argue that it is a proof that the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) explicitly designated sayyidina Ali (radi Allahu anhu) as his successor and leader of the community of Believers after his death:
عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لِعَلِيٍّ : أَنْتَ مِنِّي بِمَنْزِلَةِ هَارُونَ مِنْ مُوسَى ، إِلا أَنَّكَ لَسْتَ نَبِيًّا ، إِنَّهُ لا يَنْبَغِي أَنْ أَذْهَبَ إِلا وَأَنْتَ خَلِيفَتِي فِي كُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ مِنْ بَعْدِي
Ibn Abbas narrates that Allah’s Apostle (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) said to Ali: “You are to me in the position of Aaron to Moses, except that you are not a prophet, and you are my khalifa [successor] for every believer after me.”
(as-Sunna of Ibn Abi ‘Asim #1188)

Incidentally, the contemporary muhaddith, al-Albani, declared this narration hasan (sound) in its isnad:

However, this was a questionable grading of the Hadith to say the least because of the presence of the narrator Abi Balj Yahya bin Sulaym. He has been criticized by the likes of Imam al-Bukhari, the Amir ul-Mu’minin in Hadith, and also Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal who declared his reports ‘munkar’ or rejected, as well as Ibn Hibban who said he makes errors, and al-Jawzjani who said he is not a trustworthy narrator. Finally, Imam adh-Dhahabi has written that the narrations of Yahya bin Sulaym from Amru bin Maymun from Ibn Abbas from the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) are rejected, and incidentally this very narration is based on this rejected sanad (Mizan ul-I’tidal v.4 p.384):

However, if this narration is accepted as sound for the sake of argument, it still isn’t a proof for the Shi’ite argument that the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) designated sayyidina Ali (radi Allahu anhu) as his successor to succeed him and lead the Believers after his death. Rather, this narration is simply another version of the Hadith al-Manzila. In other words, the context proves that the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) stated that sayyidina Ali (radi Allahu anhu) is his successor during his temporary absence for the expedition of Tabuk.

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