How authentic is Hadith al-Thaqalayn (The Two Weighty Things)?


Huzooraa was requested to shed some light on the authenticity of Hadith al-Thaqalain – a narration from the ahadith in which the Holy Prophetsa advised his Ummah to adhere to two “weighty”, or important, means of guidance.

Huzooraa, in his letter dated 29 June 2018, gave the following reply:

“There are two variations [of this hadith] in the books of ahadith. In one, the words:

کِتَابَ اللہِ وَ سُنَّۃَ نَبِیِّہِ

[the book of Allah and the sunnah of His Prophetsa] are used, while in the other, the following words are used:

کِتَابَ اللہِ وَعِتْرَتِی أَھْلَ بَیْتِی

[the book of Allah and my descendants from among my household].

“The narrations which use the words, کِتَابَ اللہِ وَ سُنَّۃَ نَبِیِّہِ are trustworthy and authentic.

“The Holy Quran is in fact the Word of God Almighty, while the sunnah of the Holy Prophetsa is the practical interpretation of that Word. Both are inseparable, complementary and free of any kind of speculation. Those who hold onto both of these i.e. live by their commandments, will never go astray.

“Although the narrations regarding, وَعِتْرَتِی أَھْلَ بَیْتِی have been included in some of the six authentic hadith books [Al-Sihah al-Sittah], Imam Bukharirh did not record them in his Sahih.

“Scholars of hadith have debated much about these narrations, in view of their riwayah as well as dirayah. Moreover, books of Asma al-Rijal – the biographies of hadith narrators – have also taken much exception to the narrators of these narrations and have proven that there must have been someone in the chain of their narrators who was sympathetic towards the Shia point of view.

“The statement of one of the narrators – namely Hazrat Zaidra ibn Arqam – is worthy of consideration. He states, ‘I am old and I have forgotten a lot of what I heard from the Holy Prophetsa.’

“Another narrator is Hazrat Jabirra bin Abdullah. Although the short narration from him, which is recorded in Sahih Muslim and Sunan Tirmidhi, contains the words, کِتَابَ اللہِ وَعِتْرَتِی أَھْلَ بَیْتِی, but, when the same narration by Hazrat Jabirra bin Abdullah was narrated in detail in Sahih Muslim and Sunan Ibn Majah, nowhere did it mention the words, وَعِتْرَتِی أَھْلَ بَیْتِی. Instead, it only mentions the words کِتَابَ اللہِ i.e. ‘the book of Allah’.

“Therefore, only those narrations of Muwatta Imam MalikSahih MuslimSunan Abi Daud and Sunan Ibn Majah etc. are reliable and acceptable in terms of riwayah and dirayah, which instruct to hold fast to the Book of Allah or to follow the sunnah of the Holy Prophetsa.

“All other narrations – in which the words أَھْلَ بَیْتِی or وَعِتْرَتِی أَھْلَ بَیْتِی are included with the word ‘Book of Allah’, as stated by the scholars of hadith and experts on the biographies of the narrators of ahadith – are not worthy of acceptance.”

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