Salam alaikum, we have received a question to our board regarding Hadith Al-Thaqalayn. Our respected brother Mahmud al-Misri (hafizahullah) gave an indepth analyses and answer.
JazakAllah khair for your reply, I am extremely grateful and may Allah reward you for your tireless efforts.
I don’t mean to prolong this issue, however just briefly, I have always thought ‘itra’ is specific to the lineage of the Prophet (saw) no? The Prophet (saw) in the hadith almost seems to hold the itra as high a stance as The Quran if they are both being compared in the same light, and ‘left behind’. Though we do narrate from the itra, we narrate as much, if not more from other companions (eg Abu Huraira (ra)). I’m just concerned that the Ahlus-Sunnah don’t give the itra as much weighting as the hadith seems to imply. I don’t believe this hadith proves shiism however shias would be able to use this hadith to bolster their argument as they claim to follow the itra, so I’m just curious as to how to reconcile the issue; namely that the itra were left behind as was The Quran, but what did the itra do which the companions didnt? One possible explanation is that a lot of wisdom was taken from the itra, from Ali(ra) to Jafar Al-Saduq (ra)…so maybe the Ahlus Sunnah do follow them in that sense? But nevertheless, a lot is taken from the companions, so why did the Prophet (saw) not state ‘I leave behind Quran and itra and ahlul bait and noble companions’ for example?
Also, did Sheikh Al-Khamees neglect this hadith then when answering a question on the topic? Out of curiosity, how come this hadith isn’t classified as sahih in the sihah sitta?
I’m sorry for the lengthy reply and any ignorance on my part. I honestly do not intend to go round in circles on the matter. Its just that I’m sure shias would attempt to use this hadith, and it seems as if everything else can be clearly refuted.
Thank you very much once again.
Now to avoid any confusion in this matter, one should ask himself two questions:
- Who are those the Messenger of Allah intended by Itrati?
- Is what they claimed really, what the Messenger of Allah intend by the mention of the Itra?
After these matters are clear it will, In Sha Allah, be evident that whether you see the tradition as authentic or not, will in no way affect what Ahl Al-Sunnah are already upon, and nothing in it will be found to support the religion of the Shia.
Who are intended by Itra?
Now the Shia keep propagating matters that defy both language and religious basics. There is nothing in either, that would restrict it to those whom the Shia literature I went through restricts them to.
The brother [May Allah preserve him], for example, said: “I have always thought ‘itra’ is specific to the lineage of the Prophet (saw) no?”
No, why then would Ali [May Allah be pleased with him] be part of the Itra? If you say he is not part of the Itra, because it is only restricted to the lineage then you cannot say that “however shias wouldbe able to use this hadith to bolster their argument as they claim to follow the itra”.
If they say that Ali is part because of his marriage to Fatima, then that would include also the husbands of the Messenger’s other daughters, who are taken as enemies by the Shia, and taken as allies by Ahl Al-Sunnah.
If they say Ali is the only one included because Fatima is the only daughter to have outlived the Messenger then did Ali lose his Itra “status” after the death of Fatima?
If you say that it is because he is the cousin of the Messenger of Allah, then you should also include the other cousins of the Messenger of Allah. Those whom Ahl Al-Sunnah affirm their high status in both scholarship and nobility because of their relationship to the Messenger of Allah.
Something else to note, the brother specified that “wisdom was taken from the itra, from Ali(ra) to Jafar Al-Saduq (ra)”. It is important for him not to be confused by the Shia propaganda. What I mean is what is special about that route that was mentioned? Why are you restricting the Itra to the route of the lineage of Al-Husien. What about the lineage of Al-Imam Al-Hasan [May Allah be pleased with him]? What about the lineage of Al-Abbas? What about the Itra who the Shia neglect and disrespect.
We will get into other details soon, but just wanted to point out the importance of not being deceived by the propaganda that they spread to support what they claim in being followers of the Itra, when in fact they are the furthest from them possible.
In any case ya akhee, the first thing you should ask the brother to ask for himself are: Who are those intended by the word Itra? Advise him not to accept an answer without evidence and then we can jump into the next parts. He will then find that the Shia have absolutely no evidence or no way to support their claims.
On a side note, Shaykh Al-Albani [Rahimahu Allah] specifically states that the Itra includes the wives of the Messenger of Allah, rather they are from the most significant members of it, and Aisha is one of them. So as you can see even Shaykh Al-Albani’s view is furthest away as possible from the view of the Shia … you can refer to it, since he gives an interesting discussion after discussing the chain.
Is what they claim really the Messenger of Allah’s intend by the mention of the Itra?
As I hinted in the beginning akhee, the matter of whether the tradition is authentic or not would not affect our belief in any way, and will not support the Religion of the Shia in anyway, unless they attempt to distort meanings and play tricks. even if you consider the tradition authentic
Now, back to the question …
The brother [May Allah bring tranquility to his heart] said: “Though we do narrate from the itra, we narrate as much, if not more from other companions (eg Abu Huraira (ra)).” and also questioned: “One possible explanation is that a lot of wisdom was taken from the itra, from Ali(ra) to Jafar Al-Saduq (ra)…so maybe the Ahlus Sunnah do follow them in that sense? But nevertheless, a lot is taken from the companions, so why did the Prophet (saw) not state ‘I leave behind Quran and itra and ahlul bait and noble companions’ for example?”
This seems to also be propagated by many Shia, who claim that the intention of the Messenger is that the Itra are the ones the Religion should be taken from, and had the Messenger intended that: “a lot is [to be] taken from the companions, [then] why did the Prophet (saw) not state ‘I leave behind Quran and itra and ahlul bait and noble companions’ for example?”
This claim is easily pushed back by looking at this tradition by itself …
a) This tradition of Al-Thaqalayn was reported from the way of Zayd ibn Thabet, Zayd ibn Al-Arqam, Jaber, Abu Saeed, Jubayr ibn Mut’am [May Allah be pleased with them] … all non-Itra companions of the Messenger of Allah. That in itself should present an issue for those who claim that the Messenger intended the Religion and wisdom are to be taken from the Itra.
Let’s explain more … If we were not to take the religion from the companions, then why should we even accept even this tradition from them?! And if we accept this from them, then why are we not to accept other matters of the Deen from them? If we accept this from them then why would it be strange to accept from them Aqeedah, how one is to pray, to fast, and other matters of the deen.
Accept both or Reject both…
b) The Messenger of Allah who was the most caring and devout to the Message of Allah, and he did not even rely solely on his Itra in conveying the Deen.
For example, when the Messenger sent Messengers to the kings of Egypt, Persia, Rome, etc … most of those sent were companions not part of the Itra … and that Messenger was calling these kings to the Most important foundation of the Religion … If the tradition meant: Take your Religion Only from Quran and Itra then we can say that the Message of Islam did not reach these kings in an acceptable form and thus they were not obligated to obey, since a trustworthy reliable companion’s word are not to be taken.
c) If someone try to respond by saying that these companions were sent before the Prophet said that tradition (which is around the time of his return from Hajj), then that can easily be shown to be false too, since we have the tradition of Moaz (as well as others) whom the Messenger sent to Yemen to convey the religion … and that occurred close to the time of his Death … He asked Moaz to call the people to Tawheed, salah, Zajah, Fasting … the whole religion.
So it becomes obvious that The Messenger did not intend that the itra as the sole reference to the religion with the Quran, else the Messenger would have sent someone from his Itra … rather even Ali when he became Khalifa you will see him assigning and appointing judges and teachers not from the Itra. So was Ali not following the Messenger in assigning a non-Itra judge to a state
Many traditions shows the Messenger assigning, sending, appointing, referring back to a companion in different matters of the Religion.
d) Now if a person in Yemen received the message of Islam from a non-Itra member (ex. Moaz), and it was made clear to him, would he have been obligated to follow or not?
e) Would that Yemeni be permitted to transmit the religion he followed or does the obligation fall from him? The Messenger of Allah did say: May Allah brighten the face of he who hears my statement, understands, and delivers it as he heard it …
Now if you agree with any of the above then by knowing that the number of the companions were much more than those who were from his Itra, and that these companions were all eager to spread the Message of Islam by Jihad of the Sword or Jihad of the Tongue, and that many of the people who embraced Islam by their hands strived to spread the Religion too … then naturally the knowledge received from the way of the companions is more.
Are all these people’s Islam void for not getting the religion directly from the Itra? I do not know of a Muslim that would say that
f) Ahl Al-Sunnah hold that Abu Bakr was the most knowledgeable of all the companions, and more knowledgeable than even Umar … with that you will find that we narrated from Umar more. Rather you will see that we narrate more from Abu Huraira than Abu Bakr and Umar combined.
That in no way means that ahl Al-sunnah neglected Abu Bakr, rather many factors led to this … died soon after the Messenger, was busy because of his Khilafa, was busy during his Khilafa, etc … Which is also the case with Umar, Uthman, Ali, Al-Hasan, and Al-Husien … some companions and Itra members were busy with establishing the foundations of the Muslim Ummah and trying to bring stability to it, others with spreading the knowledge, others participated in Jihad …
g) Now that tradition being discussed mentions the Quran as one of, rather the major, Thaql … so when he says the Quran was left behind that requires another pause … The brother should know, that there is not a single Quran between the hands of the Muslims today recited by them that is solely from the narration of the Itra i.e. a member of the Itra to another to another, etc.
As you know, The Messenger did not leave a fully compiled bound Quran … so our question becomes:
With whom did the Tawatur of the Quran come into being?
This is a very important question, so let me repeat it again:
With whom did the Tawatur of the Quran come into being?
If you say by the Itra … i.e. the members of the Itra that had the Quran memorized would achieve and fulfill the condition of Tawatur of the Quran … then who were those? … Something they cannot prove
if you say instead the Tawatur was accomplished through them and others, then you needing others in accomplishing the first Thiqal’s Tawatur shows that u r not restricting when it comes to taking your religion to the Itra only.
Neither the Messenger of Allah relied on this, nor did Ali, or Aisha, or Ibn Abbas, or the companions, or the members of the Itra that followed.
Rather, they will not produce a Quran narrated solely by the Itra … so that claim too can be rejected
I can go on about all the evidence that will go against what they claim and that understanding put forth. Thus to save time, I would like to note that the Religion of Islam should be taken in its entirety … all of it explains each other, and is understood together … This is the only way you can ensure you have arrived at a proper understanding of the Religion and of the words of the Messenger, and through that you can realize that what they claimed is definitely not the Prophet’s intend behind the mention of the Itra.
h) Now, if some claim that the intention of the Messenger was to … to give them the Bay3aa, then will fall into more issues. Why did Ali let go of that Adherance? Why did remainder of the Itra? Why did Ali say as was reported in the Nahj: I will make a better wa zeer for you than ameer? Why did Al-Hasan go for the Sul7 letting go of this claimed adherence and letting the Bay3ah go to someone else? why did the Messenger of Allah praise al-Hasan for agreeing to that Sul7, and calling him a Sayed? If the intention was a Caliph, why didn’t the messenger clearly state who from the Itra to adhere too?
Many issues would come up if they claim that this is what was intended?
In any case, you will see that the falsehood in whatever they claim will be made more apparent when examined against historical facts and the other authentic evidence of the Sunnah, and that is what we should use to evaluate all their other claims.
Ahl Al-Sunnah on the other hand …
Realize that honoring the Quran is from the reverence of Allah, and the honoring of the Prophet’s household is from the reverence of the Messenger of Allah, and both these are heaviest of pillars in the religion of Islam.
For this you will see Ahl Al-Sunnah holding the Prophet’s wives, daughters, lineage, cousins, and relatives in the highest of regards. They are the closest in following the guidance received from them, which they received from the Messenger of Allah. They honor anyone for being related to their Messenger from close or from far, and the evidence for that is plenty. They gave weight and value to the Quran as was ordered by Allah and his Messenger, and with that you will not see them prostrating to the Quran or worshipping its papers. Similarily, they gave respect and reverence to the Household as signified by Allah and his Messenger. Their love upon us is a matter that we draw near to Allah by. You will see that evident in the actions of the companions and how the honored the Messenger’s household, and you will see the fact that spreading the knowledge is not restricted to the Itra since you will find Ibn Abbas going to a companion to take knowledge from him, Ja’far Al-Sadiq from the way of his father narrated several traditions and took knowledge from Jaber … a companion, so they themselves who were brought as an example did not restrict the routes where they take knowledge to members of the Itra as themselves.
Now this topic has many other aspects that need to be covered, but I hope that what was mentioned is sufficient to show the falsehood in any claim or boast that can be made by the Shia.
So akhee, if the brother is worried that the “shias would attempt to use this hadith” then let them bring forth their evidence if they were Truthful …
And Allah knows best.
More answers in following article: