Hadith of the two weighty things
|Hadith of the two weighty things|
|Literal meaning||Narration of the Two Weighty Things|
The Hadith al-Thaqalayn, also known as the Hadith of the two weighty things, refers to a saying (hadith) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. In this hadith Muhammad referred to the Qur'an and Ahl al-Bayt ("people of the house", Muhammad's family) as the two weighty things. In the context of this Hadith, Muhammad's family refers to Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib, Fatimah bint Muhammad (the daughter of the Holy Prophet), and their children and descendants. This hadith is accepted in both Shia and Sunni Islam.
Hadith are collections of the reports claiming to quote what Muhammad said verbatim on any matter. The term comes from the Arabic meaning "report", "account" or "narrative". Hadith are second only to the Quran in developing Islamic jurisprudence, and regarded as important tools for understanding the Quran and commentaries (tafsir) on it. Different hadith are regarded with different levels of importance by different Muslims, although all variants emphasize the Sunnah.
The hadith literature is based on spoken reports that were in circulation in society after the death of Muhammad. Unlike the Quran itself, which was compiled under the official direction of the early Islamic State in Medina, the hadith reports were not compiled by a central authority. Hadith were evaluated and gathered into large collections during the 8th and 9th centuries, generations after the death of Muhammad, after the end of the era of the "rightful" Rashidun Caliphate, over 1000 km from where Muhammad lived.
Both Sunnis and Shi'as believe that Muhammad said the following:
A narration attributed to Yazid b. Hayyan reports:I went along with Husain b. Sabra and 'Umar b. Muslim to Zaid b. Arqam and, as we sat by his side, Husain said to him: Zaid. you have been able to acquire a great virtue that you saw Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) listened to his talk, fought by his side in (different) battles, offered prayer behind me. Zaid, you have in fact earned a great virtue. Zaid, narrate to us what you heard from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). He said: I have grown old and have almost spent my age and I have forgotten some of the things which I remembered in connection with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), so accept whatever I narrate to you, and which I do not narrate do not compel me to do that. He then said: One day Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) stood up to deliver sermon at a watering place known as Khumm situated between Mecca and Medina. He praised Allah, extolled Him and delivered the sermon and. exhorted (us) and said: Now to our purpose. O people, I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) from my Lord and I, in response to Allah's call, (would bid good-bye to you), but I am leaving among you two weighty things: the one being the Book of Allah in which there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to it. He exhorted (us) (to hold fast) to the Book of Allah and then said: The second are the members of my household I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family. He (Husain) said to Zaid: Who are the members of his household? Aren't his wives the members of his family? Thereupon he said: His wives are the members of his family (but here) the members of his family are those for whom acceptance of Zakat is forbidden. And he said: Who are they? Thereupon he said: 'Ali and the offspring of 'Ali, 'Aqil and the offspring of 'Aqil and the offspring of Ja'far and the offspring of 'Abbas. Husain said: These are those for whom the acceptance of Zakat is forbidden. Zaid said: Yes."
A narration attributed to Yazid b. Hayyan reports:We went to him (Zaid b. Arqam) and said to him. You have found goodness (for you had the honour) to live in the company of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and offered prayer behind him, and the rest of the hadith is the same but with this variation of wording that lie said: Behold, for I am leaving amongst you two weighty things, one of which is the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, and that is the rope of Allah. He who holds it fast would be on right guidance and he who abandons it would be in error, and in this (hadith) these words are also found: We said: Who are amongst the members of the household? Aren't the wives (of the Holy Prophet) included amongst the members of his house hold? Thereupon he said: No, by Allah, a woman lives with a man (as his wife) for a certain period; he then divorces her and she goes back to her parents and to her people; the members of his household include his ownself and his kith and kin (who are related to him by blood) and for him the acceptance of Zakat is prohibited."
I am leaving among you something which is very important and should be followed, you will not go astray if you get hold of it after I am gone, one part of it being more important than the other: Allah's Book, which is a rope stretched from Heaven to Earth, and my close relatives, who belong to my household. These two will not separate from one another till they come down to the reservoir, so consider how you act regarding them after my departure."
While both Sunnis and Shi'as believe in respecting Ahl al-Bayt, the Shi'a believe that the successors of Muhammad were appointed from the Ahl al-Bayt, while Sunnis reject the claim that anyone was appointed as successor.
Majority of scholars are of the view that the household which Muhammad is referring to here include not only Ali, Fatima and the descendants of Muhammad, it includes his wives as well. When we look for the word "Ahlul Bayt" (meaning household) in the Qur'an, then we find that it has been mentioned in Chapter 33 (Ahzab), verse 33.
This verse was revealed when Muhammad was sitting with his daughter Fatima, her husband Ali, and their sons Hassan and Hussain. The event is known as the event of the cloak, or hadith al Kisa. The word Ahlul-bayt has also been used in the Quran for Sara, the wife of Abraham. Hence, it shows that Ahlul-bayt refers to wives as well. Linguistically, a wife of a person is an integral part of his household i.e. his Ahlul-bayt, but the traditions of Muhammad deny the wives being a part.
Sunni sources that deny wives being a part of the Ahlul Bayt (Household) :
1."We went to him (Zaid b. Arqam) and said to him. You have found goodness (for you had the honour) to live in the company of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and offered prayer behind him, and the rest of the hadith is the same but with this variation of wording that lie said: Behold, for I am leaving amongst you two weighty things, one of which is the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, and that is the rope of Allah. He who holds it fast would be on right guidance and he who abandons it would be in error, and in this (hadith) these words are also found: We said: Who are amongst the members of the household? Aren't the wives (of the Holy Prophet) included amongst the members of his house hold? Thereupon he said: No, by Allah, a woman lives with a man (as his wife) for a certain period; he then divorces her and she goes back to her parents and to her people; the members of his household include his ownself and his kith and kin (who are related to him by blood) and for him the acceptance of Zakat is prohibited."
So in above Hadith, Muhammad denied that wives are included in Alhul Bait ( House Hold ) when he was asked " Are not the wives included among the members of the househod ?". And, this hadith is Sahih (authentic), Muslim hadith.
2.Another version of the 'Tradition of Cloak' is written in Sahih al-Tirmidhi, which is narrated in the authority of Umar Ibn Abi Salama, the son of Umm Salama (another wife of Prophet), which is as follows:
The verse "Verily Allah intends to ... (33:33)" was revealed to Muhammad in the house of Umm Salama. Upon that, he gathered Fatimah, al-Hasan, and al-Husain, and covered them with a cloak, and he also covered Ali who was behind him. Then he said: "O' Allah! These are the Members of my House (Ahlul-Bayt). Keep them away from every impurity and purify them with a perfect purification." Umm Salama (his wife) asked: "Am I also included among them O Apostle of Allah?" Muhammad replied: "You remain in your position and you are toward a good ending."
So In this hadith, Muhammad gathered Ali, Fatimah, al- Hasan and al Husain and covered them with a cloak and then he said "O Allah ! These are the members of my House (Ahlul Bayt)". He denied Salama (his wife) to be included among them.
3. A narration attributed to Shu'ba reports: “ This hadith has been narrated. on the authority of Shu'ba with the same chain of transmitters. Amir b. Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas reported on the authority of his father that Muawiya b. Abi Sufyin appointed Sa'd as the Governor and said: What prevents you from abusing Abu Turab (Hadrat 'Ali), whereupon be said: It is because of three things which I remember Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said about him that I would not abuse him and even if I find one of those three things for me, it would be more dear to me than the red camel. I heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) say about 'Ali as he left behind him in one of his campaigns (that was Tabuk). 'Ali said to him: Allah's Messenger, you leave me behind along with women and children. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said to him: Aren't you satisfied with being unto me what Aaron was unto Moses but with this exception that there is no prophethood after me. And I (also) heard him say on the Day of Khaibar: I would certainly give this standard to a person who loves Allah and his Messenger and Allah and his Messenger love him too. He (the narrator) said: We have been anxiously waiting for it, when he (the Holy Prophet) said: Call 'Ali. He was called and his eyes were inflamed. He applied saliva to his eyes and handed over the standard to him, and Allah gave him victory. (The third occasion is this) when the (following) verse was revealed:" Let us summon our children and your children." Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) called 'Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain and said: O Allah, they are my family."
So from the above three Sahih Hadiths, It is clear that Muhammad's household consists of Ali, Fatimah, Hasan, and Husain. Wives are not included in the Household.
However, the Sunni state that because the Quranic verse of Sura Al-Ahzab 33:33 mentions the wives explicitly, the Sunni maintain that both the wives and the other five members of Muhammad's household are all part of the Ahlul Bayt thus all are to be equally revered by acting on both the Quran and the Hadith.
As for the narration on Tabuk where Ali was made a deputy just as Aaron was made a deputy for Moses, this only proves Ali is suitable to be a leader, which the Sunni also accept when he became the fourth caliph. To prove this, the Sunni point out that Aaron by agreement did not succeed Moses, as he died before him and instead Yusha bin Nun succeeded Moses.
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- Ibn Hajar, Ahmad. al-Nukat ala Kitab ibn al-Salah, vol. 1, p. 90. Maktabah al-Furqan.
- Cambridge Companion to the Quran. p. 62.
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- https://web.archive.org/web/20100526063938/http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/muslim/031.smt.html (Book 031, Number 5920)