Fabricated Traditions: a Critical Assessment of Traditions On Classification of Caliphs and Their Excellences

The Holy Prophet (s) talks to Mount Hira

The third fabricated tradition is narrated by Muslim in hisSahih in a chapter devoted to the excellences of Talha and Zubair. He narrates from Ubaidullah bin Muhammad bn Yazid bin Khanis and Ahmad bin Ysuf bin Azdi from Ismael bin Yunus bin Abu Uwais from Sulayman bin Bilal from Yahya bin Sa'eed from Sahl bin Abu Salih from his father who quotes Abu Huraira as saying:

Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) was on the mountain of Hira' that it stirred; thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Hira! be calm, for there is none upon you but a Prophet, a Siddiq, a martyr, and there were upon it Allah's Prophet (may peace be upon him), Abu Bakr, 'Umar, Uthman, 'Ali, Talha, Zubair, Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas.[^21]

Evaluation of tradition

Though the tradition mentioned above does not arrange the names of caliphs on the basis of the order of their caliphate, we, however, look at it from two angles: First, the inventor of this tradition has dealt with the issue of the order of the names of caliphs elsewhere in this tradition, using the language of the Holy Prophet (s). Two, in addition, this tradition intends to attributethe adjective 'siddiq' to Abu Bakr and the adjective 'shahid' to all others who follow him. It has to be however mentioned that this tradition is fabricated on two grounds: its text and its chain of transmitters.

1. Text of Tradition

This tradition attributes the adjective 'shahid' to the people mentioned above, whereas none of them except Imam Ali (a.s) was martyred. Sa'ad bin Abi Waqqas died in his castle a natural death. That is why in a tradition preceding this tradition inSahih Muslim no mention is made of the name of Sa'ad. This in itself is a thought provoking point! Others have however, complying with the implication of the tradition, said that Sa'ad bin Abi Waqqas died of plague. Whoever dies of plague is a martyr![^22]

2. Chain of transmitters of tradition

In assessing the chain of transmitters of this tradition we suffice to looking at Ismael bin Uwais, omitting thus other reporters this chain includes. Scholars of traditions have given varied comments in regard with him.

Nisaee says he was weak in terms of transmitting traditions.[^23] Yahya bin Mu'aeen accuses Ismael and his father of stealing traditions. Dulabi, commenting on weak narrators, quotes Nadr bin Salama Maruzi as saying that Ismael bin Abu Uwais is a full liar. After quoting this quotation, Zahabi says: Ibn Udai narrated three traditions from Ismael and said: He narrated strange traditions from his maternal uncle which are not reliable at all.[^24] Ibrahim bin Junaid quotes Yahya as saying: Ismael bin Abu Uwais is a liar. He is not a credible narrator.[^25]

In hisal-Muhalla , Ibn Hazm quotes Abu al-Fath Azdi as saying: Saif bin Muhammad told me that Ibn Uwais was in fact fabricating traditions.[^26]

Commenting on Ismael, 'Aini says that he himself confessed that he was fabricating traditions. Nisaee has also mentioned the same point, quoting Salma bin Shu'aib.[^27]