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Zahra Najafi
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Hadith Al-Thaqalayn
The Meaning of Hadith al Thaqalayn

This tradition was also referred to by al-Hasan ibn `Ali (A) in his speech delivered after being elected as caliph following `Ali's (A) martyrdom. Al-Qunduzi, op. cit., 21, 48 483 and Sibt ibn al Jawzi in Tadhkirat al khawass, 198, have recorded related traditions in their works. Besides the large number of Companions who have narrated the tradition, reference to it also occurs in a letter of `Amr ibn al-`As addressed to Mu`awiyah and recorded in al-Khwarazmi's al-Manaqib, 128 - 130, and in a statement of al-Hasan al-Basri, a well-known Tabi`i saint, as recorded by Ibn Abi al-Hadid in Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, iv, 95. All these references affirm the preeminence of `Ali ibn Abi Talib (A) and the Ahl al-Bayt (A) in the Ummah and their claim to the comprehensive leadership of the Ummah after the Holy Prophet (S).

Hadith Al-Thaqalayn
The Meaning of Hadith al Thaqalayn

To return to the discussion of `Abaqat about the doctrinal import of Hadith al-Thaqalayn, the author next points out that `Ali (A) referred to it in the course of his debate with the members of the six-man council (shura) appointed by `Umar, the second caliph, to select a successor to him. `Ali's arguments (ihtijaj) before the shura are recorded in detail by Ibn al-Maghazili in his al-Manaqib, 112. Al-Qunduzi in Yanabi` al-mawaddah,35, also refers to `Ali's reference to Hadith al Thaqalayn in order to establish the incontestability of his claim to successorship of the Prophet (S).

Hadith Al-Thaqalayn
The Meaning of Hadith al Thaqalayn

This tradition of `Ali (A) has been widely reported and recorded by Shi`i and non-Shi`i traditionists and historians, including Ibn `Abd Rabbih inal-`Iqd al-farid, i, 265, 293; al-Ya`qubi in Ta`rikh, ii, 400; al-Harrani in Tuhaf al-`uqul, 169; al-Saduq in al-Khisal, i, 85 and Ikmal al-Din, 169; Abu Talib al-Makki in Qut al-qulub, i, 272; al-Khatib al Baghdadi in Ta'rikh Baghdad, vi, 389; al-Razi in al-Tafsir al-kabir, ii, 192; Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Mukhtasar, 29 and Jami` bayan al-`ilm; al-Khwarazmi in al-Manaqib, 390 and al 'Azhari in Tahdhib al-lughah, vi, 70.

Hadith Al-Thaqalayn
The Meaning of Hadith al Thaqalayn

...But the earth is never devoid of him who stands for God with a proof (qa'im li'Ilah bi hujjatin). He is either manifest and well-known or afraid and concealed, so that God's proofs and His clear signs should not become invalid. How many are they and where are they? By God, they are few in number, but great in esteem before God. Through them God maintains His proofs and signs till they entrust them to others like themselves and plant them in the hearts of their likes. Knowledge has led them to the reality of understanding and they have attained the spirit of certitude. That which is hard upon the seekers of comforts comes easy to them. They endear what the ignorant regard with aversion. They live in the world with their bodies, but their spirits are in a higher realm. They are the vicegerents (khulafa') of God in His earth and His callers to His Din. Oh, how much I yearn to see them! (H: 147)

Hadith Al-Thaqalayn
The Meaning of Hadith al Thaqalayn

This closely resembles the following tradition of Nahj al balaghah (Hikam:147) addressed by `Ali (A) to his pupil Kumayl ibn Ziyad.

Hadith Al-Thaqalayn
The Meaning of Hadith al Thaqalayn

O God, You don't let the earth remain devoid of Your Proof over Your creation so that Your proofs should not become invalid or that Your friends should go astray after You have guided them. They (the Proofs of God) are few in number but great in worth near God, Almighty and Glorious. Indeed, I had prayed to God, Exalted and Blessed, to place knowledge and wisdom in my descent and the descent of my descendants, and in my seed and the seed of my seed, until the Day of Resurrection, and my prayer was granted.

Hadith Al-Thaqalayn
The Meaning of Hadith al Thaqalayn

Some versions of the tradition, such as the one narrated by al Qunduzi in Yanabi` al-mawaddah, 20, from al-Hasan ibn `Ali (A), contain the following statement of the Prophet (S) which signifies the perpetuity of the Imamate:

Hadith Al-Thaqalayn
The Meaning of Hadith al Thaqalayn

In some versions of the tradition, he points out, the word 'khalifatayn' (successors) is mentioned instead of 'thaqalayn', as in the narrations recorded by Ahmad ibn Hanbal in Musnad, v, 181, as well as al Tabarani, Ibn Abi `Asim, Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah, al-Zarqani and others. This word implies rather more explicitly the Imamah and Khilafah of `Ali ibn Abi Talib (A) and the Ahl al-Bayt (A).

Hadith Al-Thaqalayn
The Meaning of Hadith al Thaqalayn

In some versions of the tradition, he points out, the word 'khalifatayn' (successors) is mentioned instead of 'thaqalayn', as in the narrations recorded by Ahmad ibn Hanbal in Musnad, v, 181, as well as al Tabarani, Ibn Abi `Asim, Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah, al-Zarqani and others. This word implies rather more explicitly the Imamah and Khilafah of `Ali ibn Abi Talib (A) and the Ahl al-Bayt (A).

Hadith Al-Thaqalayn
The Meaning of Hadith al Thaqalayn

According to still some other versions of the narration, Hadith al Thaqalayn, Hadith al-Ghadir and Hadith al-Manzilah were mentioned in the course of the same sermon at Ghadir Khumm as mentioned by Ibn Hajar in al-Fatawa al-fiqhiyyat al-kubra, ii, 122.
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