Author’s Preface

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds and may prayer and peace be upon our master and Prophet, Muhammad, and his pure progeny, and may Allah’s curse be upon all their enemies from the first to the last one.

In one of my studies, commenting on a tradition, I mentioned that all traditions that are about caliphs, relating their names in order are no doubt fabricated and forged.

Some thoughtful readers asked me to prove it through studying various chains of this kind of traditions available in sihah sitta or other credible works.

It was because of this that I began to write the book in your hand. While carrying out the research, I found out that not only the traditions in the section related to the virtues of caliphs but all such traditions found in any sections are fabricated and fake even the traditions that contain such phrases: the Holy Prophet (s) said: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and I came …. Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and I went out … Where are Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman?....

Some of these traditions contain the name of Ali (a.s) as well, placing it sometimes before the name of Uthman. The names of Abu Bkr and Umar however always precede the name of Imam Ali (a.s) in these traditions.

More interestingly I found a tradition in which the liars narrate such things from Imam Ali (a.s), commander of the faithful, to show that he himself accepted the virtues of caliphs and thus no one could reject it!

As an instance look at the tradition narrated by Bukhari and Muslim via two channels. Bukhari says: Walid bin Salih narrated from Isa bin Yunus from Umar bin Sa'eed bin Abi al-Husain Makki from Ibn Abi Malika from Ibn Abbas …. Whereas Muslim says: Sa'eed bin Amr Ash'athi, Abu al-Rabi'a Atki and Abu Karib Muhammad bin Alla (this phrase belongs to Abu Karib)[^1] narrated from Ibn Mubarak from Amr bin Sa'eed bin Abi Husain, from Ibn Malika from Ibn Abbas

When Umar bin Khattab's corpse was placed in coffin, people gathered around it. Before the coffin was moved, people were praying for Umar and telling his virtues. I was also there among them. All of a sudden a man grabbed my shoulder from behind. I turned back and saw that it was Ali (a.s). He was also asking forgiveness for Umar and addressing him, he said: "You did not leave anyone behind so that we could wish to meet Allah through his deeds. I hope Allah will help you to join the two comrades (the Holy Prophet (s)[^2] and Abu Bakr). This is because I frequently heard the Holy Prophet (s) say: I came along with Abu Bakr and Umar, I entered along with Abu Bakr and Umar and got out along with Abu Bakr and Umar. Thus I hope Allah will help you to join them.[^3]

In addition to Bukhari and Muslim, it is Ibn Majah who has narrated this tradition from Umar bin Sa'eed from Ibn Abi Malika from Ibn Abbas.

It has to be however said that this tradition is absolutely fake and Imam Ali (a.s), commander of the faithful never said such things. This is because Ibn Malika who is the axis of the reporters of this tradition is among the foes

of Imam Ali (a.s) and Ahl al-Bayt. He was the judge and mu'zzin (one who calls for prayer) of Abdullah bin Zubair.[^4]

It has to be mentioned here that we appeal to this kind of traditions only to silence our opponents.

We ask Allah to help us do our deeds only for Him and assist us to find out the truth and act in accordance with it. Allah is kind and benevolent.

Sayyid Ali Husaini Milani

The (first) three caliphs enter Paradise

Sunni scholars narrate traditions from the Holy Prophet (s) which talk about the virtues and excellences of the caliphs. We will now deal with fourteen traditions, studying them carefully and critically. The first tradition is taken fromSahih Bukhari .

In hisSahih , Bukhari narrates from Abu al-Hasan Muhammad bin Miskin, from Yahya bin Hisan from Sulayman from Sharik bin Abi Namr from Sa'eed bin Musayyib who quotes Abu Musa 'Ash'ari as saying:

One day, I performed ablution in my house and then went out and said, "Today I shall stick to Allah's Apostle and stay with him all this day of mine (in his service)." I went to the mosque and asked about the Prophet (s). They said, "He got out of the mosque and went in this direction." So I followed his way, asking about him till he entered a place called Bir Aris. I sat at its gate that was made of date-palm leaves till the Prophet finished answering the call of nature and performed ablution. Then I went up to him to see him sitting at the well of Aris at the middle of its edge with his legs uncovered, hanging in the well. I greeted him and went back and sat at the gate. I said, "Today I will be the gatekeeper of the Prophet (s)." After a short while, Abu Bakr came and pushed the gate. I asked, "Who is it?" He said, "Abu Bakr." I told him to wait, went in and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Abu Bakr asks for permission to enter." He said, "Admit him and give him the glad tidings that he will be in Paradise." So I went out and said to Abu Bakr, "Come in, and Allah's Apostle gives you the glad tidings that you will be in Paradise" Abu Bakr entered and sat on the right side of Allah's Apostle on the built edge of the well and hung his legs in the well as the Prophet did and uncovered his legs. I then returned and sat (at the gate). I had left my brother performing ablution and he intended to follow me. So I said (to myself). "If Allah wants good for so-and-so (i.e. my brother) He will bring him here." Suddenly somebody moved the door. I asked, "Who is it?" He said, "'Umar bin Al-Khattab." I asked him to wait, went to Allah's Apostle, greeted him and said, 'Umar bin Al-Khattab asks the permission to enter." He said, "Admit him, and give him the glad tidings that he will be in Paradise." I went to "Umar and said "Come in, and Allah's Apostle, gives you the glad tidings that you will be in Paradise." So he entered and sat beside Allah's Apostle on the built edge of the well on the left side and hung his legs in the well. I returned and sat (at the gate) and said, (to myself), "If Allah wants good for so-and-so, He will bring him here." Somebody came and moved the door. I asked "Who is it?" He replied, "Uthman bin Affan." I asked him to wait and went to the Prophet and informed him. He said, "Admit him, and give him the glad tidings of entering Paradise, I asked him to wait and went to the Prophet and informed him. He said, "Admit him and give him the glad tidings of entering Paradise after a calamity that will befall him." So I went up to him and said to him, "Come in; Allah's Apostle gives you the glad tidings of entering Paradise after a calamity that will befall you."Uthman then came in and found that the built edge of the well was occupied, so he sat opposite to the Prophet on the other side. Said bin Al-Musaiyab said, "I interpret this (narration) in terms of the location of their graves."[^5]

Muslim Nayshaburi has also narrated this tradition using the same wordings and chain of transmitters.[^6]

Bukhari has also narrated this tradition through another chain from Yusuf bin Musa from Abu Usama from Uthman bin Ghiyath from Abu Uthman Nahdi from Abu Musa.[^7]

Muslim has similarly narrated this tradition using another chain. He narrates from Muhammad bin Muthanna Itri from Ibn Abi Udai from Uthman bin Ghiyath from Abu Uthman Nahdi from Abu Musa 'Ash'ari.[^8]

In addition to Bukhari and Muslim, others have also narrated this tradition.

Transmitters tradition

We will now assess the lives of the narrators of this fabricated tradition.

Sharik bin Abi Namr

One of the narrators in the chain of this tradition is Sharik bin Abi Namr. Though Ibn Mu'aeen has confirmed him, terming his traditions as acceptable other scholars of tradition have rejected him. For example Nisaee (and even Ibn Mu'aeen elsewhere) have said that Sharik is not strong in terms of narrating traditions. Speaking about him, Ibn Udai says that if a reliable narrator narrates from him then he is a reliable narrator. Yahya bin Sa'eed, one of the narrators of this tradition, does not narrate from him. Commenting on him, Saji says that Sharik believes in fatalism (a remark that shows that he was an adherent of a false religion). Ibn Hazm has considered him as weak due to narrating Mi'araj tradition. After narrating this tradition, Zahabi says that this tradition is among the strange traditions narrated by Bukhari.[^9]

Uthaman bin Ghiyath

Uthman bin Ghiyath is one of the narrators of the second chain. Scholars of traditions have considered him as weak. Quoting Ibn Mu'aeen Dawri says that Yahya bin Sa'eed has regarded his commentary traditions as weak. Ali bin Madini quotes Yahya (namely Qattan) as saying that Uthman bin Ghiyath has access to books compiled by 'Akrama, which are not authentic. Ajuri quotes Abu Dawood as having said that he is a member of Basran Murji'a.[^10] Ahmad says that he is a proponent of Murji'a school of thought.[^11]

Abu Usama

It is worth mentioning that Bukhari has narrated this tradition from Uthman bin Ghiyath who has narrated it from Abu Usama (Hammad bin Usama). This narrator has also been criticized. Quoting Mu'aeeti, Azdi says that he usually resorted to deception, though he abandoned this habit later. Commenting on him, Ibn Sa'eed says that he resorts to deception and his deception is plain. Concerning him, Sufyan Thawri is quoted as having said that he is perplexed as to how Usama's traditions are accepted whereas he is well-known for his excelling others in stealing good traditions. Ajuri narrates from Abu Dawood, from Waki'a who said that Abu Usama had buried his books and that was the reason why he prevented him from borrowing book.[^12]