English
Tuesday 27th of June 2017
code: 85721
Is Fadak Sermon of Lady Fatima Zahra in Muhammad bin Jarir Tabari’s ‘Dalael al-Imamah’ authentic?

Al Salam o Allykom Sir! Please tell me about authenticity of famous hadeeth, known as Hadeeth-e-Fadak, mentioned by Mohammad bin Jarir Tabari in his book, Dalail-ul-Imama, with 8 different chains mentioned from page 109-111 to it. Especially the chain which is like this, وأخبرنی أبو الحسین محمد بن هارون بن موسى التلعکبری، قال: حدثنا أبی (رضی الله عنه)، قال: حدثنا أبو العباس أحمد بن محمد بن سعید الهمدانی، قال حدثنی محمد بن المفضل بن إبراهیم بن المفضل بن قیس الأشعری، قال: حدثنا علی بن حسان، عن عمه عبد الرحمان بن کثیر، عن أبی عبد الله جعفر بن محمد (علیه السلام)، عن أبیه، عن جده علی بن الحسین، عن عمته زینب بنت أمیر المؤمنین علی بن أبی طالب (علیهم السلام)، قالت: لما أجمع أبو بکر على منع فاطمة (علیها السلام) In this narration, Abdur Rehman bin Katheer and Ali bin Hasan have been criticized, though both of them are Thiqa/reliable as per Ali bin Ibrahim. What is your opinion about this chain in particular, and sermon in general, with 7 other chains supporting it? Thank you very much
Concise answer
In Mohammad bin Jarir Tabari’s Dalael al-Imamah different chains of transmission have been mentioned for Hazrat Fatima Zahra’s Fadak Sermon. This sermon has been narrated in various books authored by early Muslim scholars. The sermon is so famous and widely known that it is impossible to refute it. Although some of the narrators of this hadith have been considered as weak and unreliable, narrators such as Muhammad bin Mufadhal, Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Sa’eid and Harun bin Musa Al-Talakbari have relied on the hadith which has been passed on by those people. This shows that there have been signs indicating the authenticity of this hadith in their opinion.
 
Detailed Answer
In Mohammad bin Jarir Tabari’s Dalael al-Imamah different chains of transmission have been mentioned for Hazrat Fatima Zahra’s Fadak Sermon. This sermon has been narrated in various books authored by early Muslim scholars. The sermon is so famous and widely known that it is impossible to refute it.
Muhammad bin Jarir bin Rustam Tabari is among the Imamiyah scholars[1] and his book entitled “Dalael al-Imamah” is about the leadership of each of the infallible Imams (a.s.) as well as Fatima Zahra (a.s.).
Discussing Lady Fatima Zahra’s biography or issues surrounding her life, Tabari deals with the subject of Fadak. Elaborating on “Fadak Tradition”, he first narrates the chain of the transmission of the hadith from different sources and channels. Among the chains of the transmission of the said tradition, he mentions the chain of the transmission in your message.
The chain of the transmission is as such: “Reported by Abul Hasan Muhammad bin Harun bin Musa Al-Talakbari who said, “My father (may Allah be pleased with him) reported and said, Abul Abbas Ahmed bin Saeid al-Hamedani, said that Muhammad bin Al-Mufadhal bin Ibrahim bin Al-Mufadhal  bin Qays Al-Ash’ari said that Ali bin Hassān reported from Amma Abdur Rahman bin Katheer from Abi Abdillah Ja’far bin Muhammad bin Muhammad (Imam Sadiq), peace be upon him from his grandfather, Ali bin Al-Hussein, from his aunt, Zainab daughter of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali bin Abi Talib, who said:  « لمّا أجمع أبو بکر على منع فاطمة (ع) فدکا....» [2]
A Study of the Chain of Transmission of Fadak Sermon
1. Muhammad bin Harun bin Musa Al-Talakbari is among the scholars of the Imamiyah school and one of the friends and classmates of the famous biographer, Najashi who reports some of the books through him from his father Harun bin Musa.  Muhammad bin Harun died in the year 408 A.H.[3]
2. Najashi says about Muhammad bin Musa Al-Talakbari: Harun bin Musa is from Bani Shayban tribe. He is a respected person and a man of status, one who is trusted by people. He has a book titled “al-Jawami’ fi al-Ulum”. His son, Muhammad bin Harun and I were together in his house seeing people coming to recite ahadith in front of him.”[4]
3. Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Saeid Hamedani is one of Imamiyah’s prominent scholars known for his knowledge and memorization of prophetic traditions. He is trustworthy, reliable and enjoys a high position among Imamiyah scholars and jurisprudents.[5]
4. Muhammad bin Mufadhal bin Ibrahim bin Mufadhal bin Qays Al-Ash’ari who was known with the nom de guerre Abu Ja’far was one of the Kufa scholars. He is trustworthy and reliable. Among his books are “al-Taqiyah” and “Majalis al-Aemmah”.[6]
5. As for Ali bin Hassān, there are two personalities known with this name, one being Ali bin Hassān bin Waseti and the other being Ali bin Hassān Hashemi.  Ali bin Hassān Wastei is trustworthy and reliable.[7] As for Ali bin Hassān bin Hashemi, he has been considered as dha’if (weak).[8] One way to distinguish between these two figures is to take notice of those who have narrated from them or those whom these two have narrated from. Technically speaking, in order to distinguish between these two narrators, it is important to look carefully at the narrators and the people from whom they have narrated.
Ali bin Hassān Hashemi is he who narrates from his uncle, Abdur Rahman bin Katheer. In this narration also, he narrates from his uncle, Abdu Rahman bin Katheer. Clearly, Ali bin Hassān in this narration refers to Hassān bin Hashemi.[9]
Given that Ali bin Hassān who narrates from his uncle, Abdur Rahman bin Katheer, is in the chains of the transmission of Kamil al-Ziyaraat, according to some prominent scholars, he can be considered trustworthy but since the authentication of Ali bin Hassan in the chain of the transmission of Kamil al-Ziyarat goes against the statement of certain elites like Najashi, he cannot be regarded as trustworthy.[10]
6. As for Abdu Rahman bin Katheer, he has been criticized by Imamiyah scholars to an extent that he has been accused of fabricating traditions.[11]
7. After Abdur Rahman bin Katheer, the chain of the transmission of the hadith reaches Imam Sadiq (a.s.).  He narrates from his father, Imam Baqir (a.s.) who narrates from Imam Sajjad (a.s.) and Imam Sajjad narrates from Lady Zainab (a.s.) who narrates her holy mother’s sermon about Fadak being usurped and taken from her per force.
Although these two people at the end of the chain of the transmission have been considered as weak and unreliable, narrators such as Muhammad bin Mufadhal, Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Sa’eid and Harun bin Musa Al-Talakbari have trusted the hadith which has been passed on by these people. This shows that there have been signs indicating the authenticity of this hadith in their opinion.
As we mentioned earlier, Muhammad bin Jarir Tabari has narrated this tradition from different sources and with different chains of transmission. The first chain of transmission ends in two prominent Sunni narrators i.e. Al-Akramah and he from Ibn Abbas.[12]
As well, this sermon has been narrated by Ibn Tayfoor (d.280 A.H.) with several intermediaries from Zainab (s.a.),[13] and Abu Bakr, Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Baghdadi has mentioned this sermon in his book.[14] Ibn Abil Hadid praising and authenticating Ahmad bin Abdul Aziz says that he is one of the Sunni scholars.[15] Therefore, this sermon is very well-known and it has been narrated by many a number of the early Muslim scholars.
 
[1] Vide: Tabari and Commonness in Name, question 20952.
[2] Tabari, Muhammad bin Jarir, Dalael al-Imamah, p. 109, Be’that Publications, 1413 A.H.
[3] Husseini Jalali, Sayed Muhammad Hussein, Fehres al-Turath, vol.1, p. 460, Dalil Ma Publications, Qom, 1422 A.H.
[4] Najashi, Ahmad bin Ali, Fehrest Asmaa Musannefi al-Shi’ah, p.439, Islamic Publications Office, Qom, 1407 A.H.
[5] Ibid, p.94.
[6] Ibid, p. 340
[7] Kashi, Muhammad bin Umar, Ikhtiar Ma’refat al-Rejal, researched and edited: Shaykh Tusi, Muhammad bin Hasan, Mustafawi, Hasan, p. 451 – 452, Mashad University Press, first edition, 1409 A.H.
[8] Fehrest Asmaa Musannefi al-Shi’ah, p. 251.
[9] See: Khoei, Abul Qasim, Mu’jam Rejal al-Hadith, vol.11, p. 313, Shia Works Publication Center, Qom, 1410 A.H.
[10] Ibid, vol.11, p. 312.
[11] Fehrest Asmaa Musannefi al-Shi’ah, p. 234.
[12] He says:
:«حدّثنی أبو المفضّل محمّد بن عبد اللّه، قال: حدّثنا أبو العبّاس أحمد ابن محمّد بن سعید الهمدانی، قال: حدّثنا أحمد بن محمّد بن عثمان بن سعید الزیّات، قال: حدّثنا محمّد بن الحسین القصبانی، قال: حدّثنا أحمد بن محمّد بن أبی نصر البزنطی[عن] السّکونی، عن أبان بن عثمان الأحمر، عن أبان بن تغلب الرّبعی، عن عکرمة، عن ابن عبّاس، قال: لمّا بلغ فاطمة (علیها السلام) إجماع أبی بکر على منع فدک »
Dalael al-Imamah, p.109.
[13] Ibn Tayfoor, Ahmed bin Abi Taher, Balaghat al-Nisa, p. 26, Sharif Razi Publications, Qom (date not mentioned).
[14] Jawhari Baghdadi, Abu Bakr, Ahmad bin Abdul Aziz, Al-Saqifa wa Fadak, p. 99, Neinava Publications, Tehran (without date).
[15] Ibn Abil Hadid Mu’tazili, Abdul Hamid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha, researched and edited, Ibrahim, Muhammad Abul Fazl, vol.16, p. 210, Ayatollah Mar’ashi Najafi, Qom, first edition, 1404 A.H.

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