Hadith of the ten promised paradise
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The Islamic prophet, Muhammad, in a hadith accepted by Sunni Muslims, specified ten of his companions who were promised paradise. Those companions named in this hadith are referred to by Sunnis as The Ten Promised Paradise (Arabic: العشرة المبشرون بالجنة; al-`Ashara al-Mubasharîn bi-l-Janna). The authenticity of this hadith is rejected by the Shias.
Narrated Sa'id ibn Zayd:
AbdurRahman ibn al-Akhnas said that when he was in the mosque, a man mentioned Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). So Sa'id ibn Zayd got up and said: I bear witness to the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) that I heard him say: Ten persons will go to Paradise: The Prophet (peace be upon him) will go to Paradise, Abu Bakr will go to Paradise, Umar will go to Paradise, Uthman will go to Paradise, Ali will go to Paradise, Talhah will go to Paradise: az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam will go to paradise, Sa'd ibn Malik will go to Paradise, and Abdur Rahman ibn Awf will go to Paradise. If I wish, I can mention the tenth. The People asked: Who is he: So he kept silence. The again asked: Who is he: He replied: He is Sa'id ibn Zayd.
Narrated Abdur Rahman bin Awf:
that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Abu Bakr is in Paradise, 'Umar is in Paradise, 'Uthman is in Paradise, 'Ali is in Paradise, Talhah is in Paradise, Az-Zubair is in Paradise, 'Abdur Rahman bin Awf is in Paradise, Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas is in Paradise, Sa'id ibn Zayd is in Paradise, and Abu 'Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah is in Paradise."
Muslims put different weight on this hadith, the majority of the Sunnis, viewing it as very favourable.
This hadith was narrated in three collections by Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, and Ibn Majah.
The Sunni canon of hadith, called the Kutub al-Sittah (six major hadith collections), includes: Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawood, Al-Sunan al-Sughra, Jami` at-Tirmidhi and Sunan ibn Majah. Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are considered the most reliable of these collections.
Sunnis say that Muhammad's companions were sorted into twelve groups and of these the ten promised paradise were ranked first.
Shia Muslims note that Ali is put together with nine other Sahaba who never supported him in his conflicts: Talha and Zubair were generals in the armies against him in the Battle of the Camel and Umar and Abu Bakr were the caliphs before Ali during the succession to Muhammad even though he (Ali) gave them his firm oath of allegiance. Many of the others even fought against Ali during his Caliphate, invalidating the Hadith due to its contradiction within. In contrast, companions like Ammar ibn Yasir, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and Malik al-Ashtar, who staunchly defended Ali, are not included in the list. Nor is Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib mentioned, the uncle of Muhammad who defended the Muslims in the early years of the prophethood. Abu Talib in the perspective of the shia is considered to have been Muslim prior to the public declaration of prophethood, much like other Bani Hashim tribesman, like the prophet's Father Abdullah. The Shia also cite the reliability and authenticity of the verse, and state that it appeared first in books much after the death of the Prophet. Therefore they cite the hadith as a later fabrication on part of Umayyad caliphs in order to elevate the stature of certain companions of the prophet.