Chapter Three – Analysing the chains of narrations

 

In their earth shattering article Ansar.Org relied heavily on the opinions of Ibn Katheer. Whilst it is little surprise that the Nasibi would seek reliance on the lead Imam of the anti Ali (as) clan, we shall point out that Ibn Katheer cited nine chains testifying that the verse 5:55 was revealed in the favour of Ali bin Abi Talib (as) but specifically, he was able to find faults in three chains, and the cunning Ansar.org have quoted the very three chains along with the criticism of them from their Imam Ibn Katheer. But we would like to ask them, ‘what about the remainder six chains which were not targeted for criticism by Ibn Katheer? Why didn’t you mention those?’

During the course of our discussion, we shall cite these three ‘faulty’ chains too, so as to:

- address the strength of his claims where required

- count the number of chains of narrations testifying that the verse was revealed in favour of Ali bin Abi Talib (as) since according to the Ahle Sunnah, a weak incident is acceptable if narrated by many chains.

1st Hadeeth

Abdur Razaq – Abdul Wahab bin Mujahid – his father – Ibn Abbas said that the verse “Inna ma walliyo kumullah” was revealed in the favor of Hadhrath Ali (as).

Ibn Katheer’s objection to this narration is that Abdul Wahab bin Mujahid is not reliable. Of course Ansar.Org jump on the bandwagon, expanding on the comments of their father Ibn Katheer they state:

‘Abd al-Wahhab ibn Mujahid is described by the rijal critics as matruk, which implies that his unreliability is a matter of consensus amongst them. (Ibn Hajar, Taqrib at-Tahdhib no. 4263) Imam Sufyan ath-Thawri described him as a liar. (Tahdhib al-Kamal vol. 18 p. 517) There is reasonable doubt about whether he ever heard hadith from his father. (Tahdhib al-Kamal vol. 18 p. 517)

2nd Hadeeth

Ibn Mardwiyah – Sufyan bin Thuri – Tariq Sunan – ad-Dahhak ibMuzahim – Ibn Abbas said that when Hadhrath Ali (as) gave his ring to beggar while he was in ruku, then the verse “Inna ma walliyo kumullah” was revealed.

Ibn Katheer’s objection to this narration is that ad-Dahhak did not meet with ibn Abbas. Of course Ansar.Org too points this out.

The weak point in this isnad lies in the fact that ad-Dahhak never met Ibn ‘Abbas, leave alone narrate from him. (See Tafseer Ibn Kathir vol. 2 p. 71)

There isn’t any weak point in this isnad since the contact of Ad-Dahhak with Ibn Abbas is not something impossible as Imam Bukhari in his book ‘Tarikh al-Kabir’ Volume 4 page 332 stated that al-Dahhak died in year 102 or 105 H at the age of 80. Bukhari in the very book Volume 5 page 3 stated that Ibn Abbas died in year 70 or 68 H. Thus, it means that al-Dahhak was born around the year 26 H making him contemporary to Ibn Abbas by at least 42 years. It is hence not surprising to read the following assessment of Dahhak as recorded by Imam Ibn Hajar Asqalani in Tahdeeb al-Tahdeeb, Volume 4 page 398:

وقال أبوجناب الكلبي عن الضحاك جاورت ابن عباس سبع سنين

“Abu Janab al-Kalabi narrated that al-Dahhak said: ‘I neighboured Ibn Abbas for seven years.”

Anyhow, we shall point out that the alleged lack of contact between Dahhak and Ibn Abbas didn’t hinder an esteemed Sunni scholar Ahmad Shakir in his margin for the book Musnad Ahmed bin Hanbal from grading the hadiths narrated by al-Dahhak from Ibn Abbas as ‘Sahih’ (see Volume 3 page 39 Hadith 2262, Volume 3 page 227 Hadith 2754 & Volume 3 page 394 Hadith 3268). Therefore, Nawasib cannot reject the cited chain just like that!

Even if for the sake of discussion, we believe that the contact of Dahhak with Ibn Abbas is not proven, it would not negate the incident of the ring as a whole, due to the fact that it has been narrated from various other chains and the lack of Sahaba contact by a Tabayee does not discard the tradition. We will discuss both of these points in the next chapter.

3rd Hadeeth

Muhammad ibn Marwan — Muhammad ibn as-Sa’ib — Abu Salih — Ibn’Abbas – the holy Prophet (pbuh) come in to the masjid and saw the people in ruku, sujood and qiyam. He then asked the beggar did anyone give you anything. The beggar said yes Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) gave me his ring while he was in ruku. Upon hearing this, the holy prophet (pbuh) said ‘Allaho Akbar’ and the recited the verse “Inna ma walliyo kumullah”.

Ibn Katheer’s objection here is that the chain of narration is not reliable. Al Khider seeks to back up the arguments:

This isnad is one of the most famous chains of forgery. Each one of the three narrators before Ibn ‘Abbas was a notorious liar. Abu Salih, whose name was Badham or Badhan, was described as a liar by his own student Isma’il ibn Abi Khalid. (See Abu Ja’far al-’Uqayli, ad-Du’afa’ al-Kabir vol. 1 p. 165)
The next narrator, Muhammad ibn as-Sa’ib al-Kalbi, was one of the most notorious liars of Kufah. His biography in al-Mizzi’s Tahdhib al-Kamal is filled with statements of the ‘ulama of his time who denounced him as an extremely unreliable reporter, and even a blatant liar. (See al-Mizzi, Tahdhib al-Kamal vol. 25 pp. 246-253)
Two of the statements in his biography are of particular interest here. The one is a statement by his kinsman Abu Janab al-Kalbi who records Abu Salih as saying that he never narrated any Tafseer to Muhammad ibn as-Sa’ib. The second is an admission of guilt by Abu Salih. Imam Sufyan ath-Thawri narrates that al-Kalbi said, “Whatever Tafseer I narrated from Abu Salih is untrue. Do not narrate it from me.”
The third person in this isnad is Muhammad ibn Marwan, who is also known as as-Suddi as-Saghir (the younger Suddi). In him we have another notorious forger whose mendacity was exposed by both his contemporaries and the ‘ulama who came after him. (See Tahdhib al-Kamal vol. 26 pp. 392-394)
This particular chain of narration (as-Suddi as-Saghir, from al-Kalbi, from Abu Salih) became so infamous amongst the ‘ulama that it was given the epithet Silsilat al-Kadhib, meaning the Chain of Mendacity. (See as-Suyuti, Tadrib ar-Rawi vol. 1 p. 181)

4th Hadeeth

“Hadhrath Ali (as) said that the verse “Inna ma walliyo kumullah” was revealed when I gave my ring to a beggar whilst I was in ruku.

Ibn Katheer has no objections to this Hadeeth.

5th Hadeeth

Ibn Abi Hatim – Rabae bin Suliman – Ayyub bin Sawaid – Utbah ibn Abi Hakim (ra) that they (those who believe, who establish salah and give zakah, and they bow down) are the Believers and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.

Ibn Katheer did not object to this Hadeeth. The objection that is raised if from Ansar.org namely Utbah bin Abi Hakim did not see any Sahabi thus this report should be rejected, we will refute his false qiyas in the next chapter under the topic ‘Can the lack of direct witness testimony discredit a narration among Ahle Sunnah?’ At this stage readers should know that Ibn Katheer did not have any concerns with this narration.

6th Hadeeth

Abu Saeed al-Ashaj narrated from Al-Fadhel bin Dukain from Musa bin Qais al-Hadhrami from Salamah bin Kuhayl who said: ‘Ali paid his ring as charity while he in bowing position, then it was revealed {Your guardian can be only Allah; and His messenger and those who believe, who establish worship and pay the poor due, and bow down (in prayer).}

Ibn Katheer has quoted this tradition from ‘Tafseer Ibn Abi Hatim’ Volume 4 page 1162 and Ibn Katheer offered no objection to this tradition. Despite this Ansar.Org advanced the same excuse i.e. lack of contact of Salamah Ibn Kuhayl with the Sahaba. We will inshallah address this excuse in the next chapter but first for the benefit of our readers, let us cite the opinions of Sunni Imams about the narrators in this chain which will prove that all the narrators are authentic:

Abu Saeed al-Ashaj: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqrib al-Tahdeeb, v1, p497). Al-Dahabi said: ‘Sheikh ul-Islam’ (Tazkirat al-Hufaz, v2 p501). Ibn Abi Hatim said: ‘Thiqah Seduq’ (Al-Jarh wa al-Tadil, v5, p73). Imam Ibn Haban included him in his book of authentic narrators (al-Thuqat, v8 p365). Imam Al-Nesai said: ‘Seduq’. Al-Shatwey said: ‘I never saw someone more preserved than him’. Imam Yahya ibn Mueen said: ‘Nothing bad about him’. Al-Khalili said: ‘Thiqah’. Muslima bin Qasim said: ‘Thiqah’. Mura said: ‘He is the imam of his time’. (Tahdeeb al-Tahdeeb, v5 p208).

Al-Fadhel bin Dukain: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah Thabt’ (Taqrib al-Tahdeeb, v2 p11). Al-Dahabi said: ‘Haifz Thabt’ (Tazkirat al-Hufaz, v1 p372). Ibn Abi Hatim said: ‘Thiqah’ (Al-Jarh wa al-Tadil, v7 p61). Imam Ibn Haban included him in his book of authentic narrators (al-Thuqat, v7, p319). Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: ‘Thiqah’ Abu Za’ara said: ‘I never saw a narrator more truthful than Abi Naeem’. Al-Ejli said: ‘Thiqah Thabt’ (Tahdeeb al-Kamal, v23 p209). Ibn Saad said: ‘Thiqah’. Imam Al-Nesai said: ‘Thiqah’. Al-Khatib said: ‘Thiqah’ (Tahdeeb al-Tahdeeb, v8 p248).

Musa bin Qais al-Hadhrami: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Seduq’ (Taqrib al-Tahdeeb, v2 p228). Al-Dahabi said: ‘Thiqah’ (Al-kashef, v2 p308). Ibn Abi Hatim said: ‘Nothing bad about him’ (Al-Jarh wa al-Tadil, v8 p157). Imam Ibn Haban included him in his book of authentic narrators (al-Thuqat, v7, p455). Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: ‘I only know good things about him’. Imam Yahya ibn Mueen said: ‘Thiqah’ (Tahdeeb al-Kamal, v29, p134). Ibn Numair said: ‘Thiqah’ Abu Naeem said: ‘He is sound’ (Tahdeeb al-Tahdeeb, v10 p327).

Salamah bin Kahayl: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqrib al-Tahdeeb, v1 p378). Al-Dahabi said: ‘Thiqah’ (Al-kashef, v1 p454). Ibn Abi Hatim said: ‘Thiqah’ (Al-Jarh wa al-Tadil, v4 p170). Imam Ibn Haban included him in his book of authentic narrators (al-Thuqat, v4 p317). Imam Yahya ibn Mueen said: ‘Thiqah’. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: ‘Mutqan’. Imam Al-Ejli said: ‘Thiqah’. Muhammad bin Saad said: ‘Thiqah’. Abu Za’ara said: ‘Thiqah’. Yaqoub bin Shayba said: ‘Thiqah’. Imam Al-Nesai said: ‘Thiqah Thabt’ (Tahdeeb al-Kamal, v11 p316).

7th Hadeeth

Ibn Jarir – Harith – Abdul Aziz – Ghalib ibn ‘Ubaydillah – Hadhrath Mujahid (ra), was asked concerning the verse “Inna ma walliyo kumullah”, he said this verse was revealed when Hadhrath Ali (as) gave his ring to a beggar whilst in ruku.

Ibn Katheer raises no objection to this Hadeeth either. Yet again the objection comes from the Ansar.Org author who asserts that Ghalib ibn ‘Ubaydillah is unreliable.

8th Hadeeth

Then he (Ibn Mardaweh) narrate it from Maymon bin Mehran from Ibn Abbas about the verse {Your guardian can be only Allah; and His messenger}that it was revealed for the believers and Ali bin Abi Talib.

Ibn Katheer has no objection regarding the above narration.

9th Hadeeth

There is a narration which Ibn Katheer has quoted from Tafseer Tabari that has also been cited by Ansar.org:

Hannad [ibn Sari]— ‘Abdah [ibn Sulayman]— ‘Abd al-Malik [ibn Abi Sulayman]— Abu Ja’far [i.e. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir]:
‘Abd al-Malik says: I asked Abu Ja’far about the verse, “Your wali is only Allah, His Messenger and those who believe, who establish salah and give zakah, and they bow down.” We asked: “Who is meant by those who believe?” He said: “Those who believe.” We said: “A report reached us that that this verse was revealed in connection with ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.” He said: “Ali is one of those who believe.”

Ibn Katheer has no objection to this narration.

10th Hadeeth

Ibn Katheer has recorded another narration from ‘Tafseer al-Tabari’ Volume 6 page 389 and raised no objection to the chain.

Muhammad bin al-Hussain – Ahmad bin Mufadhal – Asbaat – Al-Sedi who said: Then he told them whom they take as guardian, he said {Your guardian can be only Allah; and His messenger and those who believe, who establish worship and pay the poordue, and bow down (in prayer) } they are the believers, but it was Ali bin Abi Talib when a man asked him while he was bowing in the mosque, he gave him his ring.

Let us check the opinion of Sunni scholars about the narrators of this chain.

Muhammad bin al-Hussain: Al-Dahabi said: ‘Hafiz mutqan’ while Al-Darqutni said: ‘Thiqah’ (Siyar alam al-Nubala, v13 p243). Imam Haban included him in his book of authentic narrators (al-Thuqat, v9 p152). Al-Baani also deemed him authentic (Erwa al-Ghalil, v1 p275).

Ahmad bin al-Mufadhal: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Seduq’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1 p46). Al-Dahabi said: ‘Seduq’ (Al-kashef, v1 p203). Imam Ibn Abi Hatim said: ‘Seduq’ (Al-Jarh wa al-Tadil, v2 p77). Imam Haban included him in his book of authentic narrators (al-Thuqat, v8, p28). Al-Baani corrected the chain which contains Ahmad bin al-Mufadhal (Sahih Abu Dawoud, v2 p510 H2334 & Silsila Sahiha, v4 p300 H1723). Ibn Ashkab said: ‘Ibn Abi Shayba praised him’ (Tahdeeb al-Tahdeeb, v1 p70).

Asbaat bin Nasr: He is one of the narrators of Sahih Muslim. Ibn Hajar said: ‘Seduq’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1 p76). Imam Yahya ibn Mueen said: ‘Thiqah’ (Tarikh ibn Mueen, v1 p196). Imam Haban included him in his book of authentic narrators (al-Thuqat, v6, p85). Some of the critisim made against him didn’t hinder the Imam of Salafies Nasiruddin Al-Baani from accepting his hadith and he also said that according to Bukhari, he is ‘Seduq’ (Silsila Sahiha, v2 p474 H900). Musa bin Harun said: ‘Nothing bad about him’ (Tahdeeb al-Tahdeeb, v1 p186).

Ismaeel bin Abdulrahman al-Sedi (d. 127 H): He is one of the narrators of Sahih Muslim. Ibn Hajar said: ‘seduq’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1 p97). Al-Dahabi said: ‘Hasan al-hadith’ (Al-kashef, v1 p247). Al-Ejli said: ‘Thiqah’ (Marifat al-Thiqat, v1 p227). Ibn Haban included him in his book of authentic narrators (al-Thuqat, v4 p21). Beloved Imam of Salafies/Wahabies Nasiruddin Al-Baani stated: ‘He is thiqah’ (Silsila Sahiha, v1 p310 H311). Imam ibn Mueen said: ‘Nothing bad about him, I only know good about him’. Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: ‘Thiqah’ Imam Al-Nesai said: ‘Nothing bad about him’. Ibn Uday said: ‘Seduq’ (Tahdeeb al-Kamal, v3 p137). Al-Saji said: ‘Seduq’ (Tahdeeb al-Tahdeeb, v1 p274).

Summarizing the narrations of Ibn Katheer

Ibn Katheer has an issue with three narrations grading them as weak not a further six he also cites (although we have provided our stance on the criticism made by Nawasib regarding the 2nd Hadeeth). We don’t have a balance, there are more reliable Hadeeth than the weak ones, 3 weak and 6 reliable total = 9, with a bit of mathematical skill’s one can work out that 6/9 x 100= 60% reliability and the other way 3/9 X 100=30% weak. And if we go a step further to include the weak chains as well, the outcome will be the fact that the verse was revealed for Ali bin Abi Talib (as).

Chains of narrations from other books

Having discussed the chains of narrations from Tafseer Ibn Katheer, let us now move on to other books that contain several other chains of narration that evidence that the verse was revealed in favour of Ali bin Abi Talib (as) and thus negates the Ansar.org’s claim that it contains only three chains.

Manaqib ibn Al-Maghazili

Ibn al-Maghazili has recorded the testimonies of Ibn Abbas, Ali bin Abi Talib (as) and Imam Baqir (as) from different ways to demonstrate that the verse was revealed in favour of Ali bin Abi Talib (as):

  1. Hadith number 354 narrated by Muhammad bin Ahmed bin Uthman – Abu Bakar Ahmed bin al-Hasan – Hussain bin Shazan bin al-Bazaz bin Ali al-Adwi – Salamah bin Shabeeb – Abdul Razzak – Mujahid – Ibn Abbas.
  2. Hadith number 355, narrated by Abu Nasr Ahmed Musa al-Tahan – Qadhi Abul Faraj al-Hanoti – Abdulhameed bin Musa al-Qanad – Muhammad bin Ishaq al-Khazan – Abdullah bin Bakar – Junidi abul Fadhal – Muhammad bin Hassan – his father – his grand father – Ali bin Abi Talib.
  3. Hadith number 356, narrated by Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Tawan – Aba Ahmed Umar bin Abdullah bin Shodhab – his father – Ibrahim bin Abdulsalam – Muhammad bin Umar bin Bashir al-Asqalani – his father – Mutlab bin Ziyad – Sedi – Abu Isa from Ibn Abbas.
  4. Hadith number 357, narrated by Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Tawan – Aba Ahmed Umar bin Abdullah bin Shodhab – Muhammad bin Ahmed al-Askari al-Daqaq – Muhammad bin Uthman bin Abi Shaybah – Ubada – Umar bin Thabit – Muhammad bin Saaib – Abi Saleh – Ibn Abbas.
  5. Hadith number 358, narrated by Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Tawan – Aba Ahmed Umar bin Abdullah bin Shodhab – Muhammad bin Jafar bin Muhammad al-Askari – Muhammad bin Uthman – Ibrahim bin Muhammad bin Maymon – Ali bin Abbes said I went with Abu Maryam to Atta, Abu Maryam said to him: ‘Tell me the hadith which you had told me from Abu Jaffar’.

 

al-Manaqeb by Khuwarzami

Allamah Khuwarzami al-Hanafi (484-568 H) has recorded the testimonies of Ibn Abbas and Yahya bin Abdullah bin Umar bin Ali bin Abi Talib that the verse was revealed in favour of Ali bin Abi Talib (as):

  1. Hadith number 248, narrated by Shaykh al-Zahid Ali bin Ahmed al-Aasi – Al-Qadhi al-Imam al-Shaykh al-Qadha al-Zahid Ismaeel bin Ahmed al-Waiz – Abu Bakar Ahmed bin Hussain al-Behaqqi – Abu Abdullah Hafiz – Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Abdullah Safaar – Abu Yahya Abdullah Salm al-Razi al-Asbahani – Yahyah bin Jaraish – Yahya bin Abdullah bin Umar bin Ali bin Abi Talib.
  2. Hadith number 246, narrated by Imam of the time Abul Faraj Muhammad bin Ahmed al-Makki – Shaykh al-Imam al-Zahid Abu Muhammad Ismaeel bin Ali bin Ismaeel – Abul Hussain Yahyah bin al-muwafaq bellah – Abu ahmed Muhaamd Ibn Ali al-muadab – Abu Muhammad Abdullah bin Jafar – Hussain bin Muhammad bin Abi Hurrairah – Abdullah bin Abdul Wahab – Muhammad bin al-Aswad – Marwan bin Muhammad – Muhammad bin Saaib – Abi Saleh – Ibn Abbas.

 

Faraed al-Semtain by Allamah Ibrahim bin Muhammad Al-Juwayni al-Hamaweh (644 – 722 H)

Allamah Ibrahim bin Muhammad Al-Juwayni al-Hamaweh (644 – 722 H) has recorded the testimonies of companions Ibn Abbas, Bara bin Azeb, Abu Dhar Ghafari amd Ammar Yasir that the verse was revealed in favour of Ali bin Abi Talib (as):

  1. Hadith number 49, narrated by Wahidi – Saeed bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Harthi – Abu Bakar Muhammad bin Ahmed al-Jarjarai – Abu Muhammad al-Hasan bin Abdullah al-uBaidi – Abdullah bin Salamah – Malik bin Anas – Yazid bin Aslam – Atta -Ibn Abbas.
  2. Hadith number 50, narrated by Wahidi – Ismail bin Ibrahim bin Mahmowiyah – Yahyah bin Muhammad al-Alwi – Abu Ali al-sawaf– Hasan bin Ali al-Walid bin Numan al-Farsi – Ishaq bin Bashar – Khalid bin Zaid – Hamzah Ziyat – Abi Ishaq – Bara bin Azeb.
  3. Hadith number 149, narrated by Shaykh al-Saleh Jamaluddin Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Muhammad popularly known as al-Qazwini – Abul Qasim Abul Karim al-Rafi al-Qazwini – Ahmed bin IsmaiAbul- al-Asad Hibtulrehman bin Abdulwahid al-Qasri and Abul Muzafar Abdul Manam bin Abdul Qasim Abdul Karim al-Qasri – Abdul hadith number 151, narrated by Majdaldeen Abu al-Hassan Muhammad bin Yahya bin al-Hussain bin Abdulkarim al-Karji al-Qazwini – Radialdeen al-Muayad bin Muhammad bin Ali al-Muqri – his grand father Abu al-Abbas Muhammad bin Abbas al-Asary who known by Abasa – Abu Saeed al-Faraj Zadi al-Nuqati – Abu Ishaq ahmad bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Thalabi – Aba Mansour al-Hamshadi – Muhammad bin Abdullah And abu al-hassan Muhammad bin al-qasim bin ahmad al-faqih – abu Muhammad Abdullah bin Ahmad al-Shar’ani – Abu Ali Ahmad bin Ali bin Razin – al-Muzafar bin al-Hassan al-Ansari – al-Sendi bin Ali al-Faraq – Yahya bin Abdulhamid al-Hamani – Qais bin al-Rabee – al-Amash – Abaya bin al-Rubee – Ibn Abbas from Abu Dhar.
  4. Hadith number 152, narrated by Jalaluddin Abdulhameed bin Fakhar bin Ma’ad al-Moswi – Abu Talib Abdulrehman bin Abdul Sami al-Hashimi – Shazan bin Jabrail al-Qumi – Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz al-Qumi – Abu Abdullah Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Ali al-Tantiri – Abul Fatah Ismail bin al-akhsheed al-saraj – Abu Tahir Muhammad bin Ahmed bin Abdulrahim – Abu Muhammad bin Habban – Hasan bin M uhammad bin Abi Hurrairah – Abdullah bin Abdul Wahab – Muhammad bin al-Aswad – Muhammad Ibn Marwan – Muhammad Ibn Saaib – Abi Saleh – Ibn Abbas.
  5. Hadith number 153, narrated by Muhammad bin Yaqub bin Abi Faraj – Abdulrehman bin Abdul Sami – Shazan al-Qumi – Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz – Muhammad bin Ahmed bin Ali – Abul Ali Hasan bin Ahmed bin Hasan al-Hadaad al-Muqri – Abu Naeem al-Hafiz – Sulaiman bin Ahmed recorded in Majma al-Awsat – Muhammad bin Ali Sayagh – Khalid bin Yazid al-uamri – Ishaq bin Abdullah bin Muhamad bin Ali bin Hasan bin Ali bin hassan bin zaid – from his father Zaid bin hassan – from his grand father – Ammar bin Yasir.

 

Shawahid al Tanzeel by Allamah Haskani al-Hanafi (d. 480 H)

Allamah Haskani al-Hanafi (d. 480 H) has recorded the testimonies of companions Ibn Abbas, Anas bin Malik, Jabir bin Abdullah, Al-Miqdad bin al-Aswad, Abu Dhar and of the Tabayeen such as Abdullah bin Muhammad bin al-Hanafya, Muhammad bin al-Hanafia, Atta bin Saaib and Ibn Juraij in different ways that the verse was revealed in favour of Ali bin Abi Talib (as):

  1. Abu Bakr al-Harthy – Abu al-Sheikh – Ahmad bin Yahya bin Zuhair al-Tastary & Abdulrahman bin Ahmad al-Zuhary – Ahmad bin Mansour – Abdulrazaq – Abdulwahab bin Mujahed – from his father – ibn Abbas (v1, p209).
  2. Aqil bin Hussain al-Alawy – Abu Muhammad Abdulrahman bin Ibrahim bin Ahmad al-Fadhal al-Tabari – Abu al-Hussain Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Mazni – Abdu bakr ahmad bin Muhammad bin Abdullah – al-Fehm bin Saeed bin al-Fehm bin Saeed bin Salik bin Abdullah al-Ghatafani – Abdulrazaq bin Humam – Mu’amar – Ibn Tawous – from his father – Ibn Abbas (v1, p210).
  3. Al-Hussain bin Muhammad al-Thaqafi – Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Shayba – Ubaidllah bin Ahmad bin Mansour al-Kesaei – Abu Aqil Muhammad bin Hatim – Abdulrazaq – ibn Mujahid – from his father – Ibn Abbas (v1, p210).
  4. Hussain bin Muhammad al-Thaqafi – Abu al-Fath Muhammad bin al-Hussain al-Azdi al-Museli – Esam bin Ghayath al-Saman al-Baghdadi – Ahmad bin Sayar al-Marozi – Abdulrazaq. The same (v1, p211).
  5. Aqil bin Hussain – Ali bin Hussain – Muhammad bin Ubaidllah – Amro bin Uthman bin Ahmad bin Abdullah al-Daqaq – ibn al-Samak – Abdullah bin Thabit al-Muqri – from his father – al-Hadil – Muqatel – al-Dahak – Ibn Abbas (v1, p211).
  6. Aqil bin Hussain – Ali bin Hussain – Muhammad bin Ubaidllah – Amro bin Uthman bin Ahmad bin Abdullah al-Daqaq – ibn al-Samak – Abdullah bin Thabit al-Muqri – from his father – al-Hadil – Muqatel – al-Dahak – Ibn Abbas (v1, p211).
  7. Hussain bin Muhammad bin Uthman al-Fasawi – Yaqub bin Sufyan – Abu Naeem al-Fadhl bin Dukain – Sufyan al-Thawri – Mansur – Mujahid – Ibn Abbas & Sufyan – Al-Am’ash– Muslim al-Batin – Saeed bin Jubair – Ibn Abbas (v1, p212).
  8. Abu al-Hassan al-Farsi – Muhammad bin Ali – al-Mamoon bin Ahmad al-Salami – Ali bin Ishaq al-Handhali – Muhammad bin Marwan – Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Sufi – Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Ali – Abdulaziz bin Yahya bin Ahmad bin Isa – Muhammad bin Zakaria – Abu Aleas’a Ayoub bin Sulaiman al-Habti – Muhammad bin Marwan – al-Kalbi – Abi Saleh – Ibn Abbas (v1, p232).
  9. Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Faqih – Abdullah bin Muhammad bin jaffar – hassan bin Muhammad bin abi huraira – Abdullah bin abdulwahab – Muhammad bin al-aswad – Muhammad bin marwan – Muhammad bin al-Saaib – Abi Saleh – Ibn Abbas (v1, p234).
  10. Hassan bin Ali – Muhammad bin Imran – Ali bin Muhammad al-Hafiz – Hussain bin al-Hakam al-Hairi, Yahya bin abdulhamid al-hamani – Musa bin mutair – al-Menhal bin Amro – Abdullah bin Muhammad bin al-Hanafya (v1, p238).
  11. The same above chain = al-Hairi – Hassan bin hussain – Haban – al-Kalbi – Abi Saleh – Ibn Abbas (v1, p239).
  12. Abdullah bin Yusuf – Ali bin Muhammad bin Uqbah – al-Khezr bin Aban – Ibrahim bin Hudba – Anas (v1, p213).
  13. My father the Hakim & Muhammad bin al-Qasim – Umar bin Ahmad bin Uthman al-Waez – Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Ayoub bin al-Salt – Ahmad bin Ishaq – Abu Ahmad Zakaria bin Duwaid bin Muhammad bin al-Ashath bin Qais al-Kendi – Hamid al-Tawil – Anas (v1, p215).
  14. Abubakr al-Harithi – Abu al-Sheikh – al-Waleed bin Aban – Salamah bin Muhammad – Khalid bin Yazid – Ishaq bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Ali bin hussain bin ali – hassan bin zaid – from his father Zaid bin Hassan – from his grand father – Ammar bin Yasir (v1, p223).
  15. Al-hakem Abdullah al-hafiz – abu bakr Muhammad bin jaffar bin yazid al-Ademi – Ahmad bin Musa bin Yazid al-Shatwy – Ubrahim bin Ibrahim abu Ishaq al-Kofi – Ibrahim bin Hassan al-Taghlabi – Yahya bin Y’ala – Ubaidllah bin musa – abi al-Zubair – Jabir (v1, p224).
  16. Abu bakr al-Tamimi – Abu Muhammad Abdullah bin Muhammad – Saeed bin Salamah al-Thawri – Muhammad bin Yahya al-Fedi – Isa bin Abdullah bin Ubaidllah bin Umar bin Ali bin Abi Talib – from his father – from his grand father – from his great grand father (Ali bin Abi Talib) (v1, p226).
  17. Abu Uthman Saeed bin Muhammad al-Hiri – Abu bakr Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Madini – Hassan bin Ismail – Abdulrahman bin Ibrahim al-Fehri – from his father – Ali bin Sadaqa – Helal – al-Miqdad (v1, p228).
  18. Abu al-Hassan Muhammad bin al-Qasim al-Saidalani – Abu Muhammad Abdullah bin Ahmad al-Shar’ani – Abu Ali Ahmad bin Ali bin Razin al-Bashani – al-Muzafar bin Hassan al-Ansari – al-Sendi bin Ali al-Qaraq – Yahya bin Abdulhamid al-Hamani – Qais bin al-Rabee – al-Amash – Abaya bin al-Rubee – Ibn Abbas – Abu Dhar (v1, p229).
  19. Abu Abdullah al-Nisabori al-Sufyani – Zufran bin Hussain – Abu al-Hassan Ali bin Uthman – Tarikh al-M’amari – Yahya bin Abdak al-Qazwini – Hasaan bin Hasaan – Musa bin Faten al-Kofi – al-Hakam bin Utaibah – al-Menhal bin Amro – Muhammad bin al-Hanafia (v1, p216).
  20. Ahmad bin Jaffar bin Hamdan bin Abdullah – Muhammad bin Ishaq al-Tanokhi – ibn Hamid – Ali bin Abi Bakr – Musa the slave of al-Talha – al-Hakam – al-Menhal – Muhammad ibn al-Hanafia (v1, p217).
  21. Al-Hakim Abu bakr Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Farsi – Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Khafif – Abu al-Tayb al-Num’an bin Ahmad bin Y’amur al-Wasti – Abdullah bin Umar al-Qurashi – Abu Jaffar Muhammad bin Hamid al-Safar – Jaffar bin Sulaiman –Atta bin al-Saaib (v1, p218).
  22. Hussain bin Muhammad bin Hussain al-Jabali – Ali bin Muhammad bin Lolo – al-Haytham bin Khalaf al-Duri – Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Duraqi – Hajaj – Ibn Juraij (v1, p219).

Among these several chains, we shall here discuss the two chains cited within No. 7 above and prove it to be a Sahih chain.

Hussain bin Muhammad bin Uthman al-Fasawi: Allamah al-Sam’any records about him: ‘Thiqah & honorable’ (Al-Ansab, v4 p385). Dahabi mentioned him in ‘Tarikh al-Islam’ Volume 25 page 202 without passing any negative remarks about him which shows that he is an acceptable narrator. The Salafi scholar Bashar Awad Maroof in his margin on Tarikh Baghdad, Volume 12 page 5 authenticated a tradition having this narrator in the chain.

Yaqub bin Sufyan: Al-Dahabi said: ‘Thiqah’ (Al-Kashef, v2 p394). Ibn Hajar Asqalani said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqeeb al-Tahdeeb, v2 p337).

Abu Naeem al-Fadhl bin Dukain: Al-Dahabi said: ‘Hafiz Thabt’ (Tazkirat al-Hufaz, v1 p372). Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah Thabt’ (Taqreeb al-Tahdeeb, v2 p11).

Sufyan al-Thawri: Al-Dahabi said: ‘Sheikh ul-Islam, the master of Hufaz’ (Tazkirat al-Hufaz, v1 p203). Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah Hafiz’ (Taqreeb al-Tahdeeb, v1 p371).

Mansur bin al-Mu’atamer: Al-Dahabi said: ‘Imam, Hafiz, Huja’ (Tazkirat al-Hufaz, v1 p142). Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah Thabt’ (Taqreeb al-Tahdeeb, v2 p215).

Mujahid: Al-Dahabi said: ‘Huja’ Al-kashef, v2 p241). Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqreeb al-Tahdeeb, v2 p159).

Al-Am’ash: Al-Dahabi said: ‘Sheikh ul-Islam’ (Siyar alam alNubala, v6 p226). Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqreeb al-Tahdeeb, v1 p393).

Muslim al-Batin: Al-Dahabi mentioned him in al-Kashef, Volume 2 page 260 and he didn’t state any negative remarks about him. Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqreeb al-Tahdeeb, v2 p180).

Saeed bin Jubair: Al-Dahabi said: ‘Imam Hafiz’ (Siyar alam alNubala, v4 p321). Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqreeb al-Tahdeeb, v1 p349).

Asbab al-Nuzul by al-Wahidi al-Nisabori

We have the following chain of narration in Asbab al-Nuzul by al-Wahidi al-Nisabori page 134:

Abu bakr al-Tamimi – Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Jafar – Hussain ibn Muhammad bin Abi Huraira – Abdullah bin Abdulwahab – Muhammad bin al-Aswad – Muhammad bin Marwan – Muhammad bin al-Saaib – Abi Saleh – Ibn Abbas.

Takhrij al-Athar, by al-Zailai

We read the following chain in Takhrij al-Athar, by al-Zailai, Volume 2 page 238 quoting from Tafsir ibn Marduwih:

Ibn Mardweih – Sulaiman bin Ahmad – Muhammad bin Ali al-Saegh – Khalid bin Yazid al-Umari – Ishaq bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Hussain bin Ali bin Hussain bin Zaid – from his father Zaid bin Ali bin Hussain – from his grand father – Ammar bin Yasir.

Tarikh Dimashq by Ibn Asakir

We read the following chain of narration in Tarikh Dimashq, Volume 45 page 303:

Abu Ghalib al-Bana – Abu Muhammad al-Jawhari – Ali bin Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Lolo – Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Shatawy – Muhammad bin Yahya bin Durais – Isa bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Umar bin Ali bin Abi Talib – from his father – from his grand father (Ali bin Abi Talib).

Marifat Uloom al-Hadith by Imam al-Hakim al Nisaburi

We have the following chain of narration in Marifat Uloom al-Hadith, by al-Hakim al-Nisaburi, page 103:

Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Safar – Abu Yahya Abdulrahman bin Muhammad bin Salam al-Razi – Yahya bin al-Durais – Isa bin Abdullah bin Ubaidllah bin Umar bin Ali bin Abi Talib – from his father – from his grand father – Ali.

Al-Muj’am al-Kabir by Imam Tabarani

Imama Tabarani has recorded the following chain of narration in Al-Muj’am al-kabir, Volume 1 page 321:

Muhammad bin Uthman bin Abi Shayba – Yahya bin Hassan bin Furat – Ali bin Hashim – Muhammad bin Ubaidllah bin Abi Rafe’a – Uoon bin Ubaidllah bin abi Rafe’a – from his father – from his grand father Abu Rafe’a.

Marifat al-Sahaba by Allamah Abu Naeem al-Asbahani

We have the following chain in Marifat al-Sahaba, Volume 2 page 486:

Sulaiman bin Ahmad – Muhammad bin Uthman bin Abi Shayba – Yahya bin Hassan bin Furat – Ali bin Hashim – Muhammad bin Ubaidllah bin Abi Rafe’a – Uoon bin Ubaillah bin Abi Rafe’a – from his father – from his grand father (Ali).

Different books narrated from Sahabi Abdullah bin Salam

We don’t find the complete chain of narration today, but Sunni scholars have recorded that the verse was revealed in favour of Ali bin Abi Talib (as), narrated by a companion Abdullah bin Salam.

  1. Al-Riadh al-Nadhira, v2, p227
  2. Dakhaer al-Uqba, p102
  3. Al-Mukhtar fi Manaked al-Khayar, by Allamah al-Shaubani, p4
  4. Jame’a al-Usool, by ibn al-Athir, v9, p478

 

The views of Sunni commentators

No matter how many feeble attempts the Nawasib belonging to Ansar.org make to prove the disassociation of Ali bin Abi Talib (as) with the verse 5:55 the truth is that almost every Sunni commentator specifically mentioned the name of Ali bin Abi Talib (as) in their commentaries for the cited verse.

Maqatil bin Sulaiman (d.150 H)

Like a few other Sunni commentators, the famed Sunni commentator Maqatil bin Sulaiman also didn’t mention any other reason for the revelation of the cited verse other than for the commander of the believers Ali bin Abi Talib (as) in his Tafseer, Volume 1 page 307.

Imam Ibn Jareer Tabari (d.310 H)

We read in Tafseer al-Tabari, Volume 6 page 388:

“His statement {and those who believe, who establish worship and pay the poordue, and bow down } the scholars of interpretation disagreed about its meaning, some of them said it refers to Ali bin Abi Talib, other said it refers to all of the Muslims”

Abu al-Laith Naser bin Muhammad al-Hanafi al-Samarqandi (d. 373 H)

We read in Tafseer al-Samarqandi, Volume 1 page 424:

{ who establish worship and pay the poordue, and bow down } mean they gave charity while they bowing, when Ali pointed to the needy by his ring till he (the needy) took it from his finger and he was in a bowing position, it has been said that it refers to all of the Muslims who pray and pay the poordue”

Makki bin Abi Talib (d. 437)

One of the great Sufi scholars and Shafiyee jurists Makki bin Abi Talib in his renowned Tafsir al-Hidayah Ila Balugh al-Nihayah stated as follows while making commentary of the verse under discussion:

قيل: هو علي بن أبي طالب، تصدق وهو راكع. قال السدي مرَّ به سائل – وهو راكع – فأعطاه خاتمه.

It has been said that it’s Ali bin Abi Talib when he donated while he was bowing. al-Seddi said that a beggar passed by him while he was bowing and he gave him his ring.

Allamah Zamakhshri (d. 538 H)

We read in Tafseer al-Kashaf, Volume 2 page 55:

“It has been said about it that those who pay poordue while bowing in prayer was revealed for Ali when a needy [man] asked him, whilst he was bowing in his prayer and he gave him his ring”

Ibn al Arabi (d. 638 H)

Ibn al-Arabi did not record any reason for the revelation of the cited verse, other than its descent for the commander of the believers Ali bin Abi Talib (as):

{and bow down} submissive to Allah by his completeness and adjectives, as the commander of the believers (as) in whose favor this has been revealed.”
Tafseer ibn al-Arabi, Volume 1 page 204

Ez al-Deen bin Abdulsalam al-Selami al-Demashqi al-Shafiyee (d. 660 H)

We read the following in Tafseer al-Ez bin Abdulsalam al-Shafiyee, Volume 1 page 393:

“{ and bow down } revealed for Ali – (ra)- he gave his ring while bowing, or it was (revealed) for all of the Muslims”

Imam Abdullah bin Ahmed bin Mahmood Nasafi (d. 710)

We read the following rhetorical arguments in Tafseer al-Nasafi, Volume 1 page 289:

“We read in { while they bow } their status, meaning they pay it whilst in the prayer bowing position. It has been said that it was revealed for Ali (ra) when someone needy asked him whilst he was bowing in prayer, he dropped his ring to him; he did it easily and didn’t make his prayer void.

It has been mentioned in the plural form although the reason is singular in order to motivate the people to achieve the same reward. The verse prove the lawfulness of paying charity during prayer and also that slight actions do not make the prayer void.”

Qadhi Baydhawi (d. 685 H)

Mullah Ali Qari records in his authority work Mirkat Sharh Mishkat, Volume 17 page 431:

قال البيضاوي قوله وهم راكعون أي متخشعون في صلاتهم وزكاتهم وقيل هو حال مخصوصة بيؤتون أي يؤتون الزكاة في حال ركوعهم في الصلاة حرصا على الإحسان ومسارعة إليه فإنها نزلت في علي كرم الله وجهه حين سأله سائل وهو راكع في صلاته فطرح له خاتمه انتهى

Baydhawi said: The phrase “while they prostrate” which implies the devout humble ones in their prayer and in giving to charity, refers to a specific situation where they offer charity in the state of prostration in prayer, eager to give charity and rushing towards good/kindness. For surely this was sent down for Ali ibn Abi Talib, may God honor his face, when he was asked by a needy while he was prostrating in his prayer, and he droped his ring towards him.

 Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (d. 713)

This sacred figure amongst Ahle Sunnah has stated the following in his Tafseer al-Jilani:

خاضعون في صلاتهم، نزلت في علي – كرم الله وجهه – حين سأله سائل، وهو راكع في صلاته، فرمى له خامته

Submissive in their prayer, the incident of revelation is when Ali – Karam Allah Wajahu - was asked by a beggar while he was bowing in his prayer, thus he dropped his ring for him.

Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Qasim bin Ahmad al-Ghernati al-Kalbi (d. 741 H)

We read in Al-Tashil le Uloom al-Tanzil, Volume 1 page 181:

{ and bow down } it has been said it was revealed for Ali bin Abi Talib (ra), a needy man asked him while he was bowing in the prayer, then he gave him his ring, and it has been said it was (revealed) about the public (all Muslims).

Ibn Adel Umar bin Ali bin Adel al-Hanbali al-Demashqi (d. after 880 H)

We read in Tafseer al-Lubab by Ibn Adel, Volume 6 page 128:

“It possibly refers to the the actual bowing as is mentioned about Ali (ra)”

Syed Mahmood Alusi al-Baghdadi (d. 1270 H)

Allamah Syed Mahmood Alusi al-Baghdadi (d. 1270 H) writes in his Tafseer Ruh Ma’ani, Volume 6 page 166 that:

“The majority of the historians say that it was revealed for Ali”

Verdict of Imam Saaduddin Taftazani

Imam of Ahle Sunnah Saaduddin Taftazani (712-791 H) states in his authority work Sharh al-Maqasid, Volume 5 page 270:

}إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ } نزلت بإتفاق المفسرين في علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه حين أعطى السائل خاتمه وهو راكع في صلاته

{Your guardian can be only Allah; and His messenger and those who believe, who establish worship and pay the poordue, and bow down (in prayer) } the commentators agreed that it was revealed for Ali bin Abi Talib (ra), when he gave an inquirer his ring whilst he was bowing in the prayer.
Sharah Maqasid, Volume 5 page 270

 

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