Hadith of the two weighty things

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Hadith of the two weighty things
Arabic حديث الثقلين
Romanization Hadith at-Thaqalayn
Literal meaning Narration of the Two Weighty Things

The Hadith al-Thaqalayn refers to a saying (hadith) about al-Thaqalayn, which translates to "the two weighty things." In this hadith Muhammad referred to the Qur'an and Ahl al-Bayt ('people of the house', Muhammed's family) as the two weighty things. Although the Hadith is accepted by both Sunnis and Shi'as, the two groups differ on the exact wording of what Muhammad said, as well how to interpret these words. The Shias use the Hadith al-Thaqalayn to prove their claim that Muhammad meant for all his successors to be from his own family (Ahl al-Bayt). Wahabis reject this view and believe in a different interpretation of Hadith al-Thaqalayn. However Sunnis believe that the Hadith does refer to the Family of the Prophet and his successors.


Both Sunnis and Shi'as believe that Muhammad said the following:

While both Sunnis and Shi'as believe in respecting Ahl al-Bayt, the Shi'a believe that the successors of the Prophet were appointed from the Ahl al-Bayt, while Sunnis reject the claim that anyone was appointed as successor.

But according to the Muwatta[3] by Malik ibn Anas:


There are also other versions of this Hadith that say:[non-primary source needed]

For this reason Muslims regard the Quran as the most authentic book in Islam. Many of these books were written between 100 and 300 years after Muhammad. There had been oral transmission from generation to generation until then.[original research?]

Shia view[edit]

Shi'as believe that Muhammad said Hadith al-Thaqalayn multiple times in multiple settings in multiple wordings. They argue that Muhammad said Hadith al-Thaqalayn at Mount Arafat during his Farewell Sermon, at Ghadir Khumm, in the mosque of Medinah, during his last illness, and at many other places and times.

Shi'as believe that this hadith is mutawattir, meaning that it has been related so many times by so many people that there is no doubt about its authenticity. Shi'as claim that this hadith is the most authentic of hadiths, claiming that it has been narrated by over 35 companions of Muhammad.

The Hadith al-Thaqalayn is used by the Shi'a, among other reasons, to justify their claim of Ali's succession to Muhammad.[citation needed] Shi'as view this hadith as a clear indication that Muhammad wished to keep the matter of leadership within his own family, starting with his cousin Ali. They say that Muhammad was clearly indicating that only the Ahl al-Bayt have a right to authority and leadership. It is based on this claim that the Shi'as reject the first three Sunni Caliphs, referring to them as usurpers and tyrants.[citation needed]

Because the Shi'a believe that Muhammad said Hadith al-Thaqalayn on many occasions, the Shi'a have many different versions of what Muhammad said. One such version corresponds closely to what the Sunnis also believe in:

Muhammad said: "One of them (i.e. the Thaqalayn) 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." [5]

Volume 6, Chapter 31, Hadith No. 3788:

Zaid bin Arqam, narrated that the messenger of Allah . said: "Indeed, I am leaving among you, that which if you hold fast to them, you shall not be misguided after me. One of then is greater than the other: (First is) The book of Allah is a rope extended from the sky to the earth, and (the second is) my family, the people of my house (ahlul bait), and they shall not split until they meet me at the hawd, so look at how you deal with them after me." (Sahih).

Volume 6, Chapter 31, Hadith No. 3786:

Jibir bin Abdullah said: "I saw the Messenger of Allah during his Hajj, on the Day of Arafah (on his last pilgrimage). He was upon his camel Al-Qaswa, giving a Khutbah, so he said: O People! Indeed, I have left among you, that which if you hold fast to it, you shall not go astray: The Book of Allah (Quran) and my Family, the People of my House (Ahlul-Bait).(Sahih)

The Shi'as, however, also believe in other versions of the Hadith such as:

"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."

"I am leaving for you two precious and weighty Symbols that if you adhere to both of them, you shall not go astray after me. They are, the Book of Allah, and my progeny, that is, my Ahl al-Bayt. The Merciful has informed me that these two shall not separate from each other till they come to me by the Pool (of Paradise)."

Based on shia belief, it can be concluded from this hadith that "household" are not all descendants and relatives of the prophet and specific individuals are meant by this.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sahih Muslim, 031:5920
  2. ^ Sahih Muslim, 031:5923
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ A’alam al-Wara, pp 132-133
  6. ^ Tabatabaei, Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn (1975). Shi'ite Islam. Translated by Sayyid Hossein Nasr. State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-87395-390-8. 

External links[edit]

Shi'a Viewpoint: