The six major books of Hadith are referred to as the Sihah Sittah. Two of them, known collectively as the Sahihayn (Bukhari and Muslim), contain mostly Sahih (authentic) narrations. However, the other four contain a mixed bag, with Hadith ranging from Dhaeef (weak) to Sahih (authentic).
As for the Hadith al-Thaqalayn, it is narrated in two different versions. One of these versions is considered Sahih (authentic) and part of the Sahihayn. The other version, however, is considered Dhaeef (weak) and is not a part of the Sahihayn.
Dhaeef (Weak) Version
The weak version is as follows:
“I have left with you something, which if you strictly adhere to, you shall never go astray–The Book of Allah and my progeny.”
This version has been narrated in Sunan Tirmidhi and is classed as Dhaeef (weak). Even though Imam Tirmidhi included it in his book, he himself did not consider it Sahih (authentic) and referred to it as Ghareeb (i.e. strange in its content and not widely recognized). A similar version of Hadith al-Thaqalayn can be found in Musnad Ahmad, but it too is classed as Dhaeef.
This version of the Hadith does not have any valid chains of transmission. Some of the narrators of this version of Hadith al-Thaqalayn were openly known to be Shia, such as Ali ibn al-Munzir al-Koofiy, Mohammed ibn Fudhayl, and Atiyyah Al Awfi. It is an established principle in the Hadith sciences that a narrator is rejected if the content of the narrative is peculiar to a particular deviant school of thought if it is narrated by a deviant who ascribes to such a school of thought (Al-Kifaayah fi `ilm al-Riwaayah).
In other words, a Shia narrator cannot possibly be accepted on issues related to the Sunni-Shia divide. This version of the Hadith, found in Sunan Tirmidhi, was narrated via persons who were openly Shia and therefore such a narration cannot serve as a proof. It is a well-known fact that the Shia claim that Ali ibn Abi Talib (رضّى الله عنه) was nominated to be the Caliph by Prophet Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) at Ghadir Khumm; because of this belief, the Shia have propagated many false reports with regards to what was said at Ghadir Khumm, including what was said by the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) in regards to al-Thaqalayn. It is therefore not surprising that the modern day Shia can point to many narrations in support of Shia claims, because these reports were forged by Shia themselves; these Hadith are Dhaeef (weak). The reader might wonder why these reports can be found in Sunni books, but such a wondering is based on ignorance of the Sunni science of Hadith: narrations are recorded and only afterwards graded for authenticity. The only two books which contain “pre-screened” Hadith are Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim (i.e. the Sahihayn), neither of which record this version of Hadith al-Thaqalayn.
Let us examine the chain of transmission for this version of the Hadith as found in Sunan Tirmidhi and Musnad Ahmad.
*The first chain of narrators, as reported by Tirmidhi, includes:
Nasr ibn Abd al-Rahmaan al-Koofi – Zayd ibn al-Hasan al-Anmaatiy – Ja`fer ibn Mohammed – Mohammed ibn Ali ibn Hussain…
The second person in the chain is Zayd ibn al-Hasan. Zahabiy in his book “Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal” has quoted Abu Haatim as saying that Zayd is ‘Munkir al-Hadith’ – i.e. Zayd narrates repudiated and abominable narratives. Shaikh Al-Islam Ibn Hajar has considered him to be Dhaeef – i.e. a weak or an unreliable narrator (Taqreeb al-Tehzeeb). Even Tirmidhi, who has reported the said narrative, does not consider it to be ‘Sahih’. On the contrary, Tirmidhi, in his comments says that the Hadith is Ghareeb – i.e. strange in its content and not widely recognized.
*The second chain of narrators, as reported in Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal is:
Al-Aswad ibn `aamir – Shareek ibn Abd Allah ibn Abi Shareek – Al-Rakeen ibn al-Rabiy` — Al-Qaasim ibn Hassaan – Zayd ibn Thaabit…
The second person in this chain is Shareek ibn Abd Allah ibn Abi Shareek. Yahya ibn Sa`eed has considered him ‘extremely unreliable’ (Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal). Mohammed ibn Yahya says that his father said: ‘I have noticed confusion in Shareek’s principles’ (Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal). Abd al-Jabbaar ibn Mohammed says that once he asked Yahya ibn Sa`eed whether Shareek had become confused in his last days, to which Yahya ibn Sa`eed replied: “He (i.e. Shareek) was always confused” (Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal). Ibn al-Mubaarak says: ‘Narratives of Shareek are worthless’ (Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal). Juzjaaniy says: ‘[Shareek had a] faulty memory, [was] confused [in] narrating, [was] prejudiced’ (Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal). Ibraheem ibn Sa`eed al-Jauhariy says: ‘Shareek committed mistakes in four hundred narratives’ (Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal). Ibn Mu`een says: ‘When Shareek’s narratives contradict with someone else’s, the other person is preferable to me’ (Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal).
The fourth person in this chain is Al-Qaasim ibn Hassaan. Bukhari says: ‘His narratives are Munkar (i.e. repudiated and abominable) and nothing is known about him’ (Meezaan al-Ai`tidaal). Ibn al-Qattaan says: ‘nothing is known about him’ (Tehzeeb al-Tehzeeb).
Musnad Ahmad also has a chain with Atiyyah Al Awfi from Abu Sa’id Al Khudri, and we discuss below how `Atiyyah was a Shia.
*The third chain of narrators as reported in Tirmidhi is:
Ali ibn al-Munzir al-Koofiy – Mohammed ibn Fudhayl – Al-A`mash – `Atiyyah – Abu Sa`eed.
The first, second, and fourth narrator in this chain (i.e. Ali ibn al-Munzir al-Koofiy, Mohammed ibn Fudhayl, and Atiyyah) are all known to be Shia. Based on this alone, the narration can be disregarded. Besides this, Mohammed ibn Fudhayl is also criticized by Ibn al-Mubarak as not being approved of by his contemporaries. (Dhu`afaa al-`Uqayliy). Moreover, Mohammed ibn Sa`d has said that ‘his narratives are not considered by many to be evidence of a true saying of the Prophet’ (Siyar A`laam al-Nubalaa).
The fourth narrator in this chain is Atiyyah. Shaikh Al Islam states regarding him in his Taqrib: “He was a Shia and a concealer.” Imam Dhahabi states regarding him in his Mizan Al I’tidal: “he was Dhaeef (i.e. unreliable).” Yahya ibn Mu`een considers him to be Dhaeef – i.e. unreliable (Al-Kaamil fi al-Dhu`afaa). Ahmad ibn Hanbal says that he incorrectly ascribes narratives that he hears from al-Kalabiy to Abu Sa`eed (Al-Kaamil fi al-Dhu`afaa). The same thing is reported by Ibn Hibbaan (Tehzeeb al-Tehzeeb). Ahmad ibn Hanbal says that Sufiyaan al-Thauriy considered him unreliable (Al-Kaamil fi al-Dhu`afaa). Ibn Hajar says that he commits a lot of mistakes (Taqreeb al-Tehzeeb). Al-Nasaaiy and ibn Hibbaan consider him to be unreliable (Tehzeeb al-Tehzeeb). Abu Dawood says: ‘He cannot be trusted’ (Tehzeeb al-Tehzeeb).
Besides these three chains, all other chains of narration of this version of the narrative include one or more of those narrators who have been strongly criticized by scholars of Hadith. It is in fact abundantly clear that this version of Hadith al-Thaqalayn is weak and therefore cannot serve as a proof.
Sahih (Authentic) Version
The more reliable version of Hadith al-Thaqlayn–and the one narrated in the Sahihayn–is as follows:
“I am going to leave with you two heavy burdens. The first of them is the Book of Allah: in it is the true guidance and the light. Therefore, hold fast to it.” Then he (the Prophet) prompted and induced the Muslims to adhere to the Book of God. Then he said: “And my household. I remind you of Allah in matters relating to my household. I remind you of Allah in matters relating to my household. I remind you of Allah in matters relating to my household.”
This version has been reported (with very minor variations, if any) in Sahih Muslim, Musnad Ahmad, Sunan Daarimiy, and others. In Sahih Muslim #5922, we also find that the following was said: “The Book of Allah contains right guidance, the light, and whoever adheres to it and holds it fast, he is upon right guidance and whosoever deviates from it goes astray.”
A similar narration has been accepted by the Shia, such as the following:
“The Prophet replied: “One of them is the Book of Allah and the other one is my select progeny (Itrat), that is family (Ahlul-Bayt). Beware of how you behave (with) them when I am gone from amongst you, for Allah, the Merciful, has informed me that these two (i.e., Quran and Ahlul-Bayt) shall never separate from each other until they reach me in Heaven at the Pool (of al-Kawthar). I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt. Once more! I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt.
– A’alam al-Wara, pp 132-133
It should be noted that this version of Hadith al-Thaqalayn is accepted by the Shia to be the most authentic one, and it is in fact narrated in A’alam al-Wara (pp.132-133) by “Amin al-Islam” al-Tabrisi, the great Shia author who wrote Majma` al-Bayan.
The perceptive reader will notice that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) says that in the Quran is guidance and it is a light which we should hold fast to without which we will go astray. It can be inferred from this that the Quran is a source of deriving our religion from. On the other hand, when the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) talks about his family, he says only “I remind you of my family”. In the version used by the Shia website above, we even read the words quite clearly: “Beware of how you behave with them…” And in another version, the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) uses the words “how you treat them after me.”
Therefore, the Hadith al-Thaqalayn is in reference to taking care of (and behaving with) the Prophet’s family after his death, and it cannot be construed in the Shia manner at all. While the Quran is referred to as a source of guidance and light, this is not the case for the Ahlel Bayt, which is not referred to as a source of religion. The Hadith only directs the Muslims to refrain from adopting an uncalled for attitude towards them or a disrespectful behavior towards them.
If the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) really meant what the Shia are implying, then the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) should have said something like “follow the Quran and my Ahly Bayt, the light and gudiance”, instead of saying: “…The Quran, which is the light of guidance…and I remind you of my family…”
Shaikh Faraz Rabbani’s student Sidi Salman Younas says:
It is important to note what Thaqalayn means. It is the dual form of Thaql. Thaql means “weight”, “burden”, and “heavy”. Obviously, Thaql has a general connotation of a weight which burdens and elicits responsibility. Out of all the definitions of Thaql and its various forms and their various explications, “important” or “importance” is not one of them. “Importance” would be an inference at most, but definitely not a definition. Even if Thaql is to be understood as “important” it must be understood that it is an importance regarding its characteristic of eliciting responsibility, burden and cumber rather than being momentous and splendid. Obviously, Thaql and its various forms unanimously allude to burden, responsibility and cumber.
Context of the Hadith
It is impossible to discuss the Hadith al-Thaqalayn without first understanding the specific context in which the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) said what he said. This is a general rule of thumb pertaining to the Islamic canon as a whole: it is important to know the background in which a Quranic verse was revealed or a certain Hadith was said.
For example, the Quranic verse “slay them wherever you find them” is often used by Orientalists to wrongfully make it appear as if Islam advocates the slaying of people wherever you find them all the time. Of course, if we look at when this verse was revealed, we find that it was specifically revealed during a battle between the Muslims and the Quraish Mushriks; this makes us realize that it is not a general ruling to slay people but rather it was a verse revealed in a specific situation.
Likewise, Hadith al-Thaqalayn was revealed in a certain context and this background is important to understand if we want to see what the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) meant when he said what he said. First off, the Hadith about following Quran and Sunnah was said by the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) in front of the larger gathering during his Farewell Sermon atop Mount Arafat. However, the Hadith al-Thaqalayn (i.e. Quran and Ahlel Bayt) was not said during the Farewell Sermon; instead, the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) said the Hadith al-Thaqalayn in front of the smaller gathering of people at a place called Ghadir Khumm, a half-way point to Medinah. It was directed only towards those living in Medinah, because the Prophet’s family lived in Medinah and therefore the task of taking care of them would fall upon their shoulders.
If Hadith al-Thaqalayn meant what the Shia imply, then surely the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) would have said it in front of all the Muslims during his Farewell Sermon. Instead, the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) only said this to those living in the same city as his family, again implying that what he meant was to take care of them. And perhaps the biggest proof is the fact that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) said the Hadith al-Thaqalayn during his speech at Ghadir Khumm.
As we have shown in that article, a group of soldiers were harshly criticizing Ali (رضّى الله عنه) and complaining about him to the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) at the place of Ghadir Khumm. (Please read that article for details and references.) It was in response to this hatred, abuse, and disrespect towards Ali (رضّى الله عنه) that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) found it necessary to defend his family in the Hadith al-Thaqalayn. This serves as a very strong proof that the meaning behind the Prophet’s words were not about deriving religion from the Ahlel Bayt but rather about behaving with them, taking care of them, honoring them, respecting them, etc.
Analyzing Weak Hadith
Sometimes the Shia will insist that we accept the weak versions of Hadith al-Thaqalayn. Even if we were to do that, then we must view those Hadith in light of the authentic Hadith. For example, often the Shia will use these weak versions of the Hadith:
“I have left with you something, which if you strictly adhere to, you shall never go astray–The Book of Allah and my progeny.”
“I leave you two weighty things, if you stick to both you will never go astray after me: the Book of Allah and my progeny.”
or other similar versions.
In this case, we understand that the words “sticking to” or “adhering to” or “holding onto” refers to loving them, respecting them, honoring them, etc. This is the interpretation of that, and this is based on (1) the authentic Hadith al-Thaqalayn, and (2) the context in which the Hadith was said (i.e. a group of soldiers were criticizing, disrespecting, and hating Ali).
The Shia argue that since we are told to “adhere to” the Quran and Ahlel Bayt, then we must adhere to them in the same fashion since the same word is used for both. However, this is a hasty assumption: we should adhere to them in their own respective ways that is appropriate and fitting for each. One could easily imagine an Imam saying “adhere to the Quran and the believing people.” This would mean obey the Quran and look for it as a book of guidance, as well as befriend and love the believers. It would not, however, mean equating the believers as a source of Allah’s Words. Furthermore, the problem rests mostly in English translations which do not account for the dynamic nature of the Arabic language.
In any case, no authentic Hadith words it in this way (“Hold onto both and you will never go astray”), but rather the Hadith which are worded like this are narrated from Shia and other unreliable people. The strong and authentic versions of the Hadith state it in two clauses: “…The Quran, which is the light of guidance…and I remind you of my family…” And to serve as the strongest proof against the Shia, then we look at their own website which shows what they themselves consider to be the most authentic version of Hadith al-Thaqalayn, as narrated in A’alam al-Wara (pp.132-133) by “Amin al-Islam” al-Tabrisi, the great Shia author who wrote Majma` al-Bayan:
“The Prophet replied: “One of them is the Book of Allah and the other one is my select progeny (Itrat), that is family (Ahlul-Bayt). Beware of how you behave (with) them when I am gone from amongst you, for Allah, the Merciful, has informed me that these two (i.e., Quran and Ahlul-Bayt) shall never separate from each other until they reach me in Heaven at the Pool (of al-Kawthar). I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt. Once more! I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt…
– A’alam al-Wara, pp 132-133
Shia Rejection of the Thaqalayn
Inspite of their vociferous slogans claiming adherence to the two weighty things, the Shia are in reality the worst and vilest deniers of the Quran and Ahlel Bayt. Even though the Shia accept parts of the Quran, they deny other parts of it. And even though the Shia accept parts of the Ahlel Bayt, they deny other parts of it. This attitude is in marked contrast to the mainstream Muslims (i.e. Sunnis), who accept all of the Quran and all of the Ahlel Bayt.
Despite the vehement denials by the Shia polemicists, many classical Shia scholars have held the opinion that the Quran has been tampered with by the Sahabah who supposedly eliminated those verses of the Quran relating to the Wilayah of Ali (رضّى الله عنه). We shall show in future articles how Tahreef (i.e. tampering of the Quran) has been a doctrine that finds much support in the core of Shia texts. In this way, the Shia have disregarded and maligned the Book of Allah, classifying it as an adulterated book much like the Torah and Bible, or at least holding in high regards those classical scholars who held such a position. Therefore, whenever the Shia polemicists mention the Hadith al-Thaqalayn, we urge our readers to remind them of their many narrations about Tahreef which can be found in their books, which will hopefully show them that they have abandoned the stronger Thaql.
As for the Ahlel Bayt, the Shia have abandoned many parts of the Prophetic family. The Shia reject Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) and Hafsa (رضّى الله عنها), who are definitely part of the Ahlel Bayt. They also reject the very existence of three of the Prophet’s daughters, namely Zaynub (رضّى الله عنها), Ruqayyah (رضّى الله عنها), and Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها). The Shia have selected a very small portion of the Prophet’s descendants to be part of the Ahlel Bayt, denying that the Prophet’s paternal uncle (Abbaas) and his children are a part of the Prophetic family. They deny that the Prophet’s cousin, Zubair (رضّى الله عنه), is part of the Ahlel Bayt. The Shia also denounce Ibrahim bin Musa Kaazim (رحمه الله) and Jafar bin Musa Kaazim (رحمه الله), referring to the latter as Kadhab (the Liar) even though he was a very noble Muslim beloved by the Ahlus Sunnah. And then there is the brother of Hasan al-Askari (رحمه الله), whose name was Jafar bin Ali (رحمه الله); because Jafar bin Ali (رحمه الله) denied the existence of Hasan al-Askari’s son, the Shia have similarly branded him as Kadhab (the Liar). Among others of the Ahlel Bayt who have been abandoned by the Shia include: Ibrahim Bin Abdullah (رحمه الله), Zakariyyah Bin Muhammad Baaqir (رحمه الله), Muhammad Bin Abdullah Bin Hussein Bin Hasan (رحمه الله), Muhammad Bin Qaasim Bin Hasan (رحمه الله), Yahya Bin Umar (رحمه الله), and many others from amongst the Prophet’s progeny.
On the other hand, the Sunnis accept and revere all parts of the Ahlel Bayt, including the eleven Imams of the Shia. Whereas the Shia hate Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) and Hafsa (رضّى الله عنها)–and deny the existence of three of the Prophet’s daughters–the Sunnis love the entire Ahlel Bayt, including Ali (رضّى الله عنه), Fatima (رضّى الله عنها), Hasan (رضّى الله عنه), and Hussain (رضّى الله عنه). While it may be true that the Shia have done a fantastic job of idolizing these four individuals and their other Imams, they have abandoned other parts of the Ahlel Bayt and have therefore only taken care of part of this Taql. Meanwhile, the Sunnis have revered all sections of the Ahlel Bayt; being a Shia means loving a part of the Ahlel Bayt to excess and hating other parts of it. Being a Sunni means loving all parts and segments of the Ahlel Bayt. This is the only difference between the Sunni and Shia when it comes to the love for the lesser Thaql.
Acquiring Knowledge from the Ahlel Bayt
While it is clear that Hadith al-Thaqalayn has to do with loving and behaving with the Prophet’s family, the Shia will insist that it refers to taking knowledge from them. Even if this is the case, the Sunnis have always used the knowledge of the Ahlel Bayt. Ali (رضّى الله عنه), the Prophet’s cousin, was the vizier of the first Three Caliphs, and his input on religious matters was invaluable; he was also a rightly guided Caliph who is emulated by the Sunnis. Aisha (رضّى الله عنها), the Prophet’s wife, was an Aalimah who taught many Sahabah. As for the rest of the Imams of the Shia, they were all Sunnis in reality and Aalims. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (رحمه الله)–whom the Shia consider to be the fifth Imam–was the Shaikh of Imam Abu Hanifa (رحمه الله), and the Hanafi Madhab is the most popular Madhab amongst Sunnis! And Imam Abu Hanifa (رحمه الله) also attended many lectures of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (رحمه الله). Does this not involve taking knowledge from the Prophet’s progeny?
The Sunnis acknowledge that all eleven Imams of the Shia were great Aalims and reservoirs of knowledge. However, we do not accept the exaggerations of the Shia, who claim that their Imams possess knowledge of the Unseen, who control all the atoms of the universe, etc. Much in the same way that we revere Prophet Isa (عليه السلام) but reject the Christian exaggerations, likewise do we revere the eleven Imams but reject the Shia exaggerations. The Shia will often challenge the Sunnis by asking: “how many Sunni Hadith are narrated through the Imams of Ahlel Bayt?” They ask this implying that the number of Hadith narrated through them is somehow indicative of love for them. What these silly Shia propagandists do not realize is that of course we do not have many Hadith narrated through the eleven Imams, because only three of them were even alive during the time of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم)! And of these three that were alive during the time of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم), two of them (Hasan and Hussain) were only young children during the lifetime of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم); and as for the third (Ali ibn Abi Talib), he was killed by the Shia in his own party at a very early point in his lifetime before the Hadith were compiled en masse. Nonetheless, the Sunnis have more Hadith narrated by Ali (رضّى الله عنه) than we do by Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) and Umar (رضّى الله عنه), yet nobody questions our love for Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) and Umar (رضّى الله عنه) simply because we narrate very few Hadith through them.
It should be noted that even if we were to accept this meaning of Hadith al-Thaqalayn (i.e. taking religious knowledge from Ahlel Bayt), this does not negate taking religious knowledge from other than the Ahlel Bayt. The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) similarly praised his Sahabah, and we also look to them as a source of religious knowledge. The Sunnis love all of the Prophet’s family members and his friends, whereas the Shia are partisan in their love; why do the Shia not open up their hearts and love all of the Prophet’s family and friends? The only difference in regards to love of the Ahlel Bayt is that the Sunnis love all of Ahlel Bayt whereas the Shia only love parts of it.
Wording of Hadith al-Thaqalayn
This is a point which cannot be stressed enough: if the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) had meant what the Shia intend, then the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) would have said that the two weighty things were the Quran and the Imams of Ahlel Bayt. Instead, the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) only said that the two things were the Quran and the Ahlel Bayt, without any mention of the twelve Infallible Imams of the Shia. Therefore, Hadith al-Thaqalayn is about not only the twelve Imams of the Shia, but rather about others of the Ahlel Bayt as well.
Many Shia respect Imam Zayd (رحمه الله), although they do not believe that he was one of the twelve Infallible Imams. The Zaydis claim that Imam Zayd (رحمه الله) claimed Imamah for himself, but the (12er) Shia reject this and say that Zayd (رحمه الله) never claimed Imamah for himself. And the Shia respect Zayd (رحمه الله) despite the fact that they deny that he was a God-appointed Imam. Well then, is this not the position of the Sunnis with regards to the twelve Imams of the Shia? The Sunnis respect all eleven Imams of the Shia (and also believe in the advent of Imam Mehdi), but we deny that they ever claimed to be Infallible Imams. Therefore, if the Shia have fulfilled the conditions of Hadith al-Thaqalayn with respect to Imam Zayd (رحمه الله), then have the Sunnis not also fulfilled the conditions of Hadith al-Thaqalayn with respect to their twelve Infallible Imams? If the Shia say that we have not given a proper status to their twelve Imams, then we can say that they have not given a proper status to Zayd (رحمه الله) who was also one of the Prophet’s progeny!
The point here is that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) said that the second Thaql was the Ahlel Bayt, not only the Infallible Imams of the Ahlel Bayt who were only twelve from amongst the many in the Prophet’s progeny. The Sunnis love all of the Ahlel Bayt and regard many amongst the Ahlel Bayt to be great Aalims; whatever the case, Hadith al-Thaqalayn has absolutely nothing to do with Imamah or Caliphate. The Shia can give absolutely no good reason as to why the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) said that the second Thaql was the Ahlel Bayt and why he did not say that it was the Imams of the Ahlel Bayt. The Prophet’s statement was therefore general in nature, and it cannot possibly be construed to justify the Infallible Imamah of the Shia.
The Quran and Sunnah
The Shia say:
The Hadeeth about Quran and Sunnah is weak and narrated by only 1 Sahabi, whereas the other Hadeeth (Quran and Ahl al-Bayt) is mutawattir and narrated by 35 Sahabah.
Answer by Shaikh Gibril Haddad:
The hadith in question (Quran and Sunnah) is not weak…(and it is narrated by) at least four different Companions …the other hadith (Quran and Ahl al-Bayt) is not mutawatir as I already said…the hadith is NOT mutawatir nor narrated by anywhere near even 10 Sahaba. [Therefore, a similar number of Companions narrated BOTH Hadith, with perhaps only a couple more narrating the Hadith of the Quran and Ahl al-Bayt.]
The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) was reminding the Muslims to take care of his family after his death (i.e. “Beware of how you behave with them when I am gone from amongst you”), and this is what is known as Hadith al-Thaqalayn. The Shia understanding of Hadith al-Thaqalayn is nothing short of deviancy and error; and inspite of their vociferous slogans claiming adherence to the two weighty objects, the Shia are in reality the worst and vilest deniers of the authenticity of the Book of Allah and the innocence of the entire Ahlel Bayt. We ask Allah to bless all of the Prophet’s family.