Traditions of Ahle Bayt (a) – the third source

Traditions of Ahle Bayt (a) – the third source

 

The third source of the teachings and beliefs of Islam are the Sunnah and lifestyle of the Imams of Ahle Bayt (a). The Prophet of Islam (s) knew that after him, Muslims would be in need of a reliable and trustworthy point of reference in order to derive the laws of religion from it and that they might take refuge in it in solving their religious problems. With this aim he selected his Ahle Bayt (a) and introduced them to the Muslims, so that they may remain along with Quran and be the point of reference of religion. Time and again, he urged the people to refer to them, as mentioned in Shia and Sunni books of traditions.

One of the most important traditions is a tradition known as the Tradition of two-weighty things (Hadith Thaqlayn), which is narrated in different ways and in different versions; some of them are mentioned below:

Zaid bin Arqam says: When the Messenger of Allah (s) returned from the Farewell Hajj and reached Ghadeer Khum, he ordered that the ground under the trees be swept clean and then he said: As if I have been summoned by the Lord and very soon I would have to harken to the call. Indeed, I leave among you two things, one of them being greater than the other: Book of Allah and my progeny, my Ahle Bayt (a). Take care how you behave with them after me. The two of them will never separate, till they join me at the Pool of Kauthar. Then he said: Allah, the Mighty and Sublime is my master and I am the master of believers. Then he held the hand of Ali (a) and said: Of whomsoever I am the master, this Ali is also his master. O Allah, love those who love Ali and be inimical to those, who are inimical to Ali.[115]

In another place, he says as follows: I was present with the Messenger of Allah (s) in the Farewell Hajj. When we reached Ghadeer Khum, the Holy Prophet (s) ordered his men to clean the place under the date palms. After that he said: As if I have been summoned by the Lord and very soon I would have to harken to the call. Allah, the Mighty and Sublime is my master and I am the master of believers. Indeed, I leave among you two things, if you act on them, you would never go astray; Book of Allah and my progeny, my Ahle Bayt (a). The two of them will never separate till they join me at the Pool of Kauthar. Then he held the hand of Ali (a) and said: Of whomsoever I am the master and have right upon him, this Ali is also his master and is having more right upon him. O Allah, love those who love Ali and be inimical to those, who are inimical to Ali. Abu Tufayl says: I asked Zaid: Did you hear this directly from the Messenger of Allah (s)? He replied: Like all those who were present under the trees, I also witnessed that incident and heard the statements of the Prophet directly.[116]

Zaid bin Thabit says: The Messenger of Allah (s) said: I am leaving two successors among you: Book of Allah, which is a rope stretching between the earth and the heavens, and my Ahle Bayt (a); these two would not separate from each other till they meet me at the Pool of Kauthar.[117]

Huzaifah bin Usaid says: The Messenger of Allah (s) said: O people, I will depart before you and you would meet me at the Pool. When you meet me, I will most particularly interrogate you with regard to the two weighty things (Thaqlayn); so be careful how you deal with them after me. The greater of them is Quran, which on one side is in the hand of Allah and on the other side it is in your hands. Thus remain attached to them and do not go astray and do not make distortion in it.[118]

Abu Saeed says: The Messenger of Allah (s) said: I am leaving a thing among you and if you remain attached to it, you would never go astray and that is ‘Thaqlayn’[119]. One of the two is greater than the other: Book of Allah, which is a rope from the heavens to the earth; and my Ahle Bayt (a). Know that the two would never separate till they meet me at the Pool.[120]

On the basis of this, the Tradition of Thaqlayn is a widely related (Mutawatir) tradition, which has been recorded in different versions through numerous chains through some personages of the senior companions of the Holy Prophet (s), like Zaid bin Arqam, Abu Zar Ghiffari, Abu Saeed Khudri, Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a), Zaid bin Thabit, Huzaifah bin Yaman, Ibne Abbas, Salman Farsi, Abu Huraira, Jabir bin Abdullah, Huzaifah bin Usaid Ghiffari, Jubair bin Motim, Hasan bin Ali, Fatima Zahra, Umme Hani binte Abu Talib, Umme Salma, Abu Rafe etc.

Imam Ali (a), during the period of his Caliphate one day recited a sermon among his companions and said: All of you who had been present in the event of Ghadeer Khum and heard the tradition of Thaqlayn from the Messenger of Allah (s), please arise and narrate what you heard. Seventy persons arose and said: We were present there and we heard the tradition from the Messenger of Allah (s). Some of those companions were as follows: Khuzaimah bin Thabit, Sahal bin Saad, Adi bin Hatim, Aqbah bin Aamir, Abu Ayyub Ansari, Abu Saeed Khudri, Abu Shuraih Khuzai, Abu Qudamah Ansari, Abu Yala Ansari, and Abu Haitham Taihan.[121]

Ahmad bin Hajar Haithami writes: The tradition of Thaqlayn is narrated through more than twenty persons from the companions of the Messenger of Allah (s).[122]

Three important points are derived from this valuable tradition:

1. The Prophet (s) has deemed Ahle Bayt (a) to be the equals of Quran and said: If you remain attached to them, you would never go astray. And I will ask you regarding this matter on Judgment Day. On the basis of this, as Quran is a reliable source of knowledge, Ahle Bayt of the Prophet are also points of reference and evident legal religious proofs and all Muslims are duty bound to refer to them in solving their problems that are related to religion.

2. As Quran remains as a reliable point of reference of knowledge among the people till Judgment Day, Ahle Bayt (a) also would also exist among the people till Judgment Day to serve as a point of reference.

3. Quran and Ahle Bayt (a) are two evident religious proofs, which would never separate from each other. On the basis of this, a Muslim cannot dispense with Ahle Bayt (a) and claim: The Book of Allah is sufficient for us, because no Muslim has right to dispense with Quran and only remain attached to Ahle Bayt (a).

Other traditions also are having the same meaning that following Ahle Bayt (a) is a cause of guidance and they consider aloofness from them as a factor for deviation. Like the tradition of the Ark.

Ibne Abbas has narrated from the Messenger of Allah (s) that he said: My Ahle Bayt (a) are like the Ark of Nuh (a). Whosoever boards it, gains salvation and one who does not board it, is drowned.[123]

Now, the question arises that who are Ahle Bayt (a)? Do they imply all the relatives of the Messenger of Allah (s)? Or it is those who lived in the house of the Prophet under his care; like his wives, consorts, children and servants?

It can be concluded from the text of the tradition that none of these possibilities is correct, because firstly the Holy Prophet (s) has deemed Ahle Bayt (a) to be equals to Quran and considered following them to be a cause of success and salvation and advised Muslims to obtain the laws of religion from them. Therefore, no one other than the infallibles (a) are learned in beliefs and laws of religion. Secondly: They should be absolutely free of sin and mistakes, so that following them leads to perfect success and salvation. It is clear that all relatives of the Prophet were not thus.

On the basis of this, it is necessary that Ahle Bayt (a) are some particular personages. That is the same personalities, about whom the verse of purification is revealed:

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيراً

Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.” (33:33)

This verse informs us of the infallibility and purity of Ahle Bayt (a).

Regarding this, we have a number of traditions and some of them are as follows:

Umme Salma says: The verse: “Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House” was revealed in my house. The Messenger of Allah (s) sent someone to summon Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain (a). When they arrived, he said: These are my Ahle Bayt (a).[124]

Umar bin Abi Salma, a ward of the Prophet, says: The verse: “Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying” was revealed in the house of Umme Salma. The Prophet called Fatima, Hasan and Husain (a), Ali was also with him; he threw his cloak over them and said: These are my Ahle Bayt (a) and Allah has removed all impurities (sins) from them. At that moment, Umme Salma asked: O Messenger of Allah (s), am I also not from them? He replied: Remain where you are; you are on good.[125]

Ayesha says: One morning, the Messenger of Allah (s) emerged from his chamber wearing a black woolen garment. Hasan arrived and went into the cloak; after that Husain followed and Fatima too; Ali also arrived and went below the cloak. Then the Holy Prophet (s) said: “Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.” (33:33)[126]

On the basis of this, the implication of Ahle Bayt (a) about whom the verse of purification is revealed, are the following: The Prophet, Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain (a).

But we have other traditions also that the Holy Prophet (s) has widened the scope of this term and introduced some other people also in Ahle Bayt.

Ibne Abbas says: I heard the Messenger of Allah (s) say: I, Ali, Hasan and Husain and nine persons from the progeny of Husain are free of sin and infallible.[127]

It can be concluded from such traditions that the implication of Ahle Bayt (a) in the tradition of two weighty things are Ali Ibne Abi Talib, Fatima, Hasan, Husain (a) and nine personages from the progeny of Imam Husain (a), who are introduced as Infallibles from Ahle Bayt (a) through the Prophet, Imam Ali, Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (a).[128]

On the basis of this, traditions of Ahle Bayt (a) and the Holy Imams (a) are the third source of knowledge and laws of Islam.

 

[115] Mustadrak, Hakim, Vol. 3, Pg. 109
[116] Ansabul Ashraf, Vol. 2, Pg. 110
[117] Majmauz Zawaid, Vol. 9, Pg. 162
[118] Tarikh Baghdad, Vol. 8, Pg. 442
[119] Two ‘heavy’ things
[120] Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 3, Pg. 59
[121] Yanabiul Mawaddah, Pg. 41
[122] Sawaiqul Mohriqa, Pg. 150
[123] Majmauz Zawaid, Vol. 9, Pg. 168
[124] Mustadrak, Hakim, Vol. 3, Pg. 146
[125] Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 2, Pg. 12
[126] Sahih Muslim, Vol. 4, Pg. 1883
[127] Faraidus Simtain, Vol. 2, Pg. 133
[128] The matter of infallibility and Imamate requires broader and detailed discussion, which at present is not possible; if in future opportunity is there, we will discuss in detail, Insha Allah.