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Narration without a chain of transmission

Narration without a chain of transmission

In Al-Muwaṭṭa’ Mālik has narrated it as mursal[1] without mentioning the chain of transmission,[2] and we all know that such a narration is devoid of any value.    

This survey has clearly shown that the narration, “wa sunnatī” [and my tradition] has been forged and concocted by the mendacious narrators affiliated to the ‘Umayyads who have fabricated it as opposed to the authentic hadīth, “wa ‘itratī” [and my progeny]. As such, it is necessary for those who deliver sermons in mosques, religious orators, and prayer leaders to abandon the unfounded narration attributed to the Messenger of Allah (), and to familiarize, instead, the people with the authentic hadīth—the hadīth which has been narrated by Muslim in his Ṣaḥī with the phrase “ahla baytī” [members of my Household] and Tirmidhī (in his Sunan) with the words “‘itratī ahla baytī” [my progeny, the members of my Household]. It is incumbent upon the seekers of knowledge to observe the rules of the science of hadīth and distinguish between the authentic hadīth and the weak’ one.   

In conclusion, we have to note that by the term, “ahla baytī” the Prophet () is referring to his offspring [dhurriyyah], namely Hadrat Fātimah, Hasan and Husayn (‘a)[3] as Muslim in his Ṣaḥī[4] and Tirmidhī in his Sunan[5] have narrated on the authority of ‘Ā’ishah:

إِنَّماوسلّم [وآله] عليه الله صلّىالنّبي علىٰ الآية هذه نزلت

تطهيراً كُمْ يُطَهِّرَ وَ الْبَيْت أهلَ الرِّجسَ عَنْكُمُ لِيُذْهِبَ الله يُريدُ

وسلّم [وآله] عليه الله صلّىالنّبي فدعا سلمة أُمّ بيت في

ظهره خلف علىٰ و بكساء فجلّلهم حسيناً و حسناً و فاطمة

عنهم فاذهب بيتي أهل هولاء اللّهم :قال ثمّ بكساء فجلّله

نبيّ يا معهم أنا و :سلمة أُمّ قالت .تطهيراً طَهَّرَهم و الرِّجس

.الخير إلىٰ أنتِ و مكانكِ علىٰ أنت :قال ؟ الله

The verse, “Indeed, Allah desires to repel all impurity from you, O People of the Household, and purify you with a thorough purification”[6] was revealed in the house of Umm Salamah. The Prophet wrapped Fātimah, Hasan and Husayn in a cloak, and ‘Alī was behind him. He wrapped him in it and then said: “O God! They are the members of my Household [ahl al-bayt]. Repel all impurity from them and purify them with a thorough purification.” Umm Salmah said: “O Prophet of Allah! Am I with them?” He said: “Remain where you are and you are in good (position).”[7]

The meaning of Hadīth ath-Thaqalayn [Tradition on the Two Weighty Things]

As the Holy Prophet has mentioned ‘itrah [progeny] alongside the Qur’an, describing both of them as the proofs of Allah for the ummah, two conclusions can be deduced from it:

1. The words of the Prophet’s progeny [‘itrah], like the very Qur’an, is a proof [ujjah], and so in religious affairs—both ideological and jurisprudential—their words must have to be adhered and with the existence of the proof that they have to be followed, one must not turn away from them and follow others.

Although after the demise of the Prophet () the Muslims split over the issue of caliphate and administering the political affairs of the ummah and they became two groups each of which has its own logic and basis, they ought to have no disagreement about the intellectual authority of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) because all Muslims confirm the authenticity of Hadīth ath-Thaqalayn, which regards the Qur’an and the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) as the authority on beliefs and laws, and if the Muslim ummah abide by this hadīth, the scope of difference will be narrowed and this will pave the way to the unity of the Muslims.

2. The Qur’an, the Word of Allah, is preserved from error and mistake. So how could it include errors when God says about it: ﴿ لاَ يَأْتِيهِ الْبَاطِلُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلَا مِنْ خَلْفِهِ تَنزِيلٌ مِّنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ ﴾  “Falsehood cannot approach it, from before it nor from behind it, a [gradually] sent down [revelation] from One all-wise, all-laudable”[8]?

If the Qur’an is preserved from error, then its partner and counterpart, i.e. the ‘itrah must also be preserved from error because it is incorrect to couple an errant person or errant people with the Qur’an.

This adīth is a testimony to their immunity from any sort of impurity. It must be observed here that infallibility [‘imah] is not a special privilege which only prophets (‘a) enjoy. It is not impossible for an individual to be immune from sin eventhough he or she is not a prophet. Based on the following verse,

العالَمِينَ نِسَاءِ عَلى وَاصْطَفاكِ وَطَهَّرَكِ اصْطَفاكِ اللهَ إِنَّ ﴿

“Allah has chosen you and purified you, and He has chosen you above the world’s women,”[9]

Hadrat Maryam (Saint Mary) is free from sin though she is not a prophet. ?




[1] Mursal: ‘hurried’ – a tradition, whose complete chain of transmission is unknown, i.e. the names of one or more of its narrators are missing or unknown. The word ‘mursal’ literally means ‘forwarded on’ because often the tradition is forwarded on by a Follower [Tābi’ī], missing out the name of the Companion [āib] who narrated it to him. [Trans.]

[2] Mālik ibn Anās, Al-Muwaṭṭa’, p. 889, hadīth no. 3.

[3] The abbreviation, “‘a” stands for the Arabic invocative phrase, ‘alayhis-salām, ‘alayhimus-salām, or ‘alayhās-salām [may peace be upon him/them/her], which is mentioned after the names of the prophets, angels, Imāms from the Prophet’s progeny, and saints (‘a). [Trans.]

[4] Muslim, aī, vol. 4, p. 1883, hadīth no. 2424.

Abdul-Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), aī Muslim (English Translation), vol. 4, hadīth no. 5955. [Trans.]

[5] Tirmidhī, Sunan, vol. 5, p. 663.

[6] Sūrah al-Azāb 33:33. [Trans.]

[7] Quoted from Hasan ibn ‘Alī ash-Shaqqāf, aī ifah alāt an-Nabī (), pp. 289-294.

[8] Sūrah Fuṣṣilat 41:42.

[9] Sūrah Āl ‘Imrān 3:42.

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